AUTHOR - BILL TAYLOR
COPYRIGHT 2017 - BILL TAYLOR
PUBLISHED BY BILL TAYLOR AT
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*Special thanks to Shila and
Pragna for their encouragement and inspiration*
Running On Fumes
A show of hands. How many can relate? Thank you, just as I thought.
What an unenviable position we so often find ourselves in, when we
push the envelope a little to far. We knew we were running out of gas
but we kept ignoring the fuel gauge and then the inevitable happened,
I’ve been wondering if the envelopes that we push need examining as
to their content. I do believe that God gives us more than enough
energy, time, and strength to accommodate His desires and will for
our lives. So if pending “burn out” feels very much like a part
of our soon to be future, could it be that we are taking on more than
God asked or licensed. From our earlier ‘‘show of hands”, mine
is still in the air.
see, the thing I’m writing about, is the thing I do, on a regular
basis. I know it’s wrong but as long as I’m getting away with it
I continue until I hear the car “sputtering” and “gasping”.
in five months I turn seventy therefore this should have happened a
long time ago, but applying the “better late than never” theory
to the exercise, it’s time to check what’s in those envelopes.
Care to join me? Hopefully we will discover that much of what we
carry, was never meant for us to carry. With a lightened load and a
sustainable spiritual equilibrium, maybe we can go forward to be even
more effective for God. Sometimes less is truly more!
confessions. I do this all the time but with good intentions. The
road to “burn out” is paved with good intentions. The question
is, are they God’s intentions for my individual life?
so He will orchestrate, enable, empower, and anoint those
involvements every time without exception, as I am led by His Spirit
and not by my emotions. And that’s my persistent “fly in the
ointment”. My “emotions”, accompanied by my “good intentions”
always tend to lead me into places I don’t belong and away from
where I do.
is the case in my own life and likely is like-wise in yours, God has
clearly given me something to do as a ministry from Him to others. He
has asked me to honor this trusted privilege with my undivided and
complete attention. He has graciously given me the wherewithal to
complete the task at hand. I forget my specific instructions and
allow my mind to wander off into areas that I have no God imparted
encouragement to enter. I accomplish nothing constructive by doing
expanding my horizons he said sarcastically, I mis-use the gifts God
has given me and in doing so I use the imparted by God ‘’wherewithal”
where it wasn’t meant to be used. I forget!
net result: I become ”sidetracked” and the thing God asked from
me doesn’t get done near as well as it should. Running on fumes is
no way to exercise a ministry! Running on fumes is the result of
distracted “wilderness wanderings” into the existing negatives.
In the process I lose my focus on the more than enough positives that
God has provided for my daily perusal. I forget what is truly
important when I get entangled in that which isn’t.
negatives while being real and plentiful, will never lead me into the
joy of the Lord which is scripturally described as my place of
strength and refuge.
previously mentioned God has given me sufficient strength but if I
choose to waste it mulling over things I have no ability to alter, my
eventual spiritual exhaustion will be my own fault!
find it experientially interesting, in a painful sort of way, that
negatives never create positives but rather give birth to more of
their kind! Slippery slopes are called slippery for a good reason!
Here’s a question I ask myself: If I insist on running my head into
immoveable walls, do I also maintain the right to complain about
bible clearly directs me to “encourage myself in the Lord” not
spend my time discouraging myself in the obvious prevailing
negatives. I believe that directive is in place for my well-being and
not to be forgotten!
a fact that never changes in my life: God’s intentions, not good
intentions, is a discipline much needed to maintain my spiritual
health! Selectivity regarding granted access to my mind is therefore
of paramount importance and a spiritual dynamic I can’t afford to
forget! There’s a high cost in doing so!
simply can’t be considered as wise to keep stubbornly running into
walls and crashing into fits of dismay, discouragement,
disillusionment, disappointment and at times, depression! That just
doesn’t sound like our Lord’s promise of “abundant life” to
consider it to be “good intentioned”, self-induced torture but
thank God, one with an answer and antidote. “Good intentioned”
because we care. “Self-induced” because we weren’t asked to
invest our hearts in it, whatever that “it” might be.
4 - 4 > 9: “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again
rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do
not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and
petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the
peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your
hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is
excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Whatever you have
learned or received or heard from me or seen in me, put into
practice. And the God of peace will be with you”.
I suggest, some of the “whatever” Paul is speaking of “putting
into practice” is found in verses four to eight, with the reward of
complying, exposed in verse nine. I’m guessing non-compliance
doesn’t achieve the same result. To me, that’s serious and to be
am convinced to the uttermost, that if I were to use this scripture
as my “determining factor” as to appropriate content in all
conversations and communications, I just might become the most
spiritually heathy man on this planet.
I don’t. You see, I forget and get careless, allowing my ‘’good
intentioned” emotions to take control. Always? No. But more than
often enough to have a major impact. One lost day is one too many!
things that annoy me take center stage, as if worthy of such
prominence and the wonderful things Paul talks about evaporate as if
not existing, leaving me with the toxic negative filling my mind
in the Lord always,
becomes at best a fantasy! And it’s all self-induced! Here’s the
real danger: It can become a “good intentioned” habit!
to make light of mine or other’s concerns. There are certain things
within the context of our faith that do annoy and are legitimate but
allowing them to side-track me for a moment is spiritually
ridiculous. These are things that have been bantered about endlessly
for centuries with no resolve. I highly doubt one more opinion added
to the already established weight will tip the scales, correcting all
that is wrong with the church and its people.
I commit my mind and attention to them, I’m already keenly aware I
won’t be changing them with my annoyance, so what’s my point.
What am I hoping to accomplish that so many others haven’t? In
magnifying the negatives, I’m doing no more than profoundly
relegating my God’s sovereignty over them. I then wonder why I feel
the need for a very long spiritual shower.
the caution: In doing so I run the risk of missing what I’m
actually here for. Sharing the love of Jesus in word and deed to His
creation who quite frankly don’t care about what annoys me but they
care about being loved as does God care that they are. While needing
to express my grievances, I just may be grieving God! Ironic don’t
you think, where “good intentions” can lead?
Breathe - “The
Church” Is Fine!
you ever felt like you can’t? Breathe that is. I get it! It’s
almost as if we know too much to ingest it all without being
swallowed up by it all.
about a diet promoting the spirit of anxiousness while dismissing the
spirit of celebration!
and the internet give us never ending layers of toxic garbage to
ingest if we choose to. Then we regurgitate it through-out our days,
wondering why we feel sick.
“National Enquirer” exists profitably for a good reason folks.
People buy it! So, whose fault is it for its existence?
at times the “church” news can be just as toxic. Some of it isn’t
untrue just toxic as it removes our spirits from Paul’s prescribed
content for our meditation. Good intentions again promoting its
sharing but once shared is anyone honestly better off or simply
worried as a net result.
how do we manage to breathe when we feel like we’re being smothered
by the latest news regarding the latest flavor of the month, teaching
something strange. Well, first of all we should acknowledge that it’s
not strange as in “new”.
talked about those who were profiteering from the gospel thousands of
years ago so let’s not think as though it just arrived on the
scene. I’m pretty sure, throughout post-cross history, there has
always been investors with a keen eye for opportunity cashing in on
the gospel. It’s a terrible thing no doubt but remember, like all
other terrible things, it only exists because people buy it.
sheep sugar is big business folks! But the sheep have to co-operate
to maintain its profitability so who’s to blame for its existence?
All the outrage we can muster will not stop those who have chosen to
drink the Kool-Aid.
drinking it because they want to. Who thinks that if I spend my time
at the corner store screaming at those purchasing the “National
Enquirer” they will stop? They won’t until they get sick of it.
In the meantime I lose my voice. A voice that has been asked to
declare the goodness and grace of God to a world that needs to know
it is loved by its Creator!
we attack, we not only waste our time but worse, we cause the people
sitting in the pews to defend, pushing them deeper into the insanity.
They need to sit there until the day arrives when they get sick of
paying for their pastors mansion. Having your “ears tickled” is
expensive. Sooner or later I’m thinking “some of them” will get
tired of it and leave. And who would those folks be? The Church!
Which leads us to our key to breathing:
16 - 18: “I will build My church and the gates of Hades ( Hell )
will not overcome it”. Folks it’s His church and He’s building
it and the latest whoever, teaching whatever, will not alter our
Lord’s control over “His church” being built one iota.
are we going to do with each other? We have been called to love one
another with the love of Christ but we don’t. We spend most of our
time complaining about and being annoyed by each other. Again not
new! With hundreds of denominations actively in play, one ponders the
improbable likelihood of oneness in Christ as we argue to justify the
existence of our group. That’s what we do. That’s what we’ve
always done. You’d think by now we would be better at this.
trivialize our central commonness of “Christ crucified, buried, and
resurrected” and immerse ourselves in the divisive trivial in the
mentioned in a previous book the cost of needing to be right, so we
won’t go down that road again but suffice to say: It’s huge!
what to do? Well, until God’s people truly want change there will
be none. Perhaps just like the other mentioned folks, we will have to
sit in our pews until such a time arrives when we get sick of the
status quo, age old, approach which has defiled our Lord’s
“greatest commandment” for centuries.
perhaps we as individuals, one at a time, can take the lead
leapfrogging our denominational authorities biases and just do it
ourselves without permission. Radical eh?
book title is “I Forget”. So, I’m wondering if the answer to
all our relational church woes is found in “Remembering” that the
one sitting next to me, has been deemed loved and accepted by God
regardless of their denomination and I have been commanded by Jesus
to love them all equally without hesitation or reservation.
of us are on a journey and none of us are standing in the exact same
place on that journey. But each place is called “holy ground”
based on the One we sojourn with. We should relate to all our places
with the sacredness they so deserve.
the cross we all stand on level and common ground looking vertically
have choice when it comes to our spiritual well-being. We aren’t
slaves to our feelings and emotions. We can discipline them to adhere
to Paul’s teaching. We can choose to fully meditate upon that which
edifies, encourages, and inspires ours and other’s hearts. We can
choose to “forget not” all His benefits! Benefits too innumerable
our souls feel contaminated perhaps we should check as to what we’ve
been feeding them? Our conversational and thought life will determine
our inside-out relevance to the world! We are not the point in God’s
heart, they are! Let’s not forget, THEY are the reason we are here!
over simplified, but does anyone actually think the complicated
version has worked?
definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again but
expecting a different result! We as followers of Jesus are not immune
from that descriptive. That being true, it would seem obvious to me,
that I have some serious work to do. I better get at it! Care to join
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ROSE AND THE THORN
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ROAD LESS TRAVELED
IN CHINA SHOPS
IS A JOURNEY
HEART IS SACRED
- IT’S A NEW DAY!
FRIEND - MY PEACE - MY LORD
DECIDE - CHOICES
REAR VIEW MIRROR
LOVE MADE PERFECT
GRACE - AMAZING SAVIOR
ME HOLY SPIRIT
- GOD IS NOT INTIMIDATED