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Friday, July 25, 2014



Suffering And God's Children
by Pastor Mark Taylor

 Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and not receive bad?
Job 2:10

If you want to believe in Gods goodness and fairness, but find it hard because of the things that have happened to you and to people you care about, I want to write some thoughts I have had as I ponder that same question and thinking of others who have experienced  great loss.  You may even be angry at God as you read this, but remember that God can handle your disappointments and anger.  He is still a loving God that wants to help you.  It is my desire that the Holy Spirit take this information and speak to your heart about your hurt.
I do not personally believe that all bad things that happen to us always comes from God.  Many people do.  And I am sure you can find verses that would indicate that they might.  I am not a Bible scholar but based on my thoughts and experiences over 50 years of serving and walking with The Lord Jesus, I have some educated explanations.
 One of those explanations that is central to my understanding of God in my personal relationship with Him is that "God is love."  (1 John 4:8). Therefore I believe that most of the bad things that cause us suffering comes from another source.  I believe some of our suffering is due to poor choices we make.  Another source of our suffering comes from Satan.  My personal belief is based on one verse that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave us:  "The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10::10.  And finally, there is some suffering for which there is no explainable answer this side of Heaven.
The great theme of the book of Job-- and the one for which it is world famous -- is its treatment of the reason for suffering in the Christian life. None of us have a problem when we are told that suffering is sent by God to punish wrongdoers. We have a long list of names that we could present to God of people who deserve this kind of thing. It is eminently just for God to punish wrongdoers with suffering, we think. People who hurt others and are vicious, cruel, and wicked ought to be made to suffer for what they do. Our whole system of justice is built upon that principle. That is why we put people in jail and fine them, because we are trying to carry out justice through punishing wrongdoing. That satisfies our sense of justice -- except when we happen to be the wrongdoers getting punished. Then, of course, it is all very unfair.
But what about the times we are living right and are close to God.  The book of Job teaches us something that should have been obvious to us from our reading of the Gospels, and that is the fact that Jesus suffered. Now, obviously, 

Jesus did not suffer because he was a wrongdoer, nor did he suffer because he needed to have his attention captured by God. He was always sensitively responsive to the Father's will, and always did that which was pleasing in his sight. Yet his life was filled with suffering from beginning to end -- rejection, misunderstanding, disappointment, cruelty, harsh words, and unjust treatment -- all the way through, so that he merited the description of the Old Testament, even before the cross, that he was "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief," (Isaiah 53:3).
If we are going to suffer, then the question may arise about “why live a righteous life and follow Jesus?”  The reason is that Scripture speaks in numerous passages about "this slight momentary affliction preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Corinthians 4:17), and of how "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us," (Romans 8:18). When that day breaks, the one thing for which we will be infinitely thankful, the one thing above all others that will thrill us and cheer us and cause us to glory, is the fact that out of all the created universe we were chosen to be the ones who bore the name of God in the hour of danger and affliction, problem and trial. There is no higher honor than that. 
That is what Jesus means when he says, "Blessed are you when men persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name's sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your honor before the Father. For so persecuted they the prophets who were before you," (Matthew 5:11-12).  You may feel as I do, and that is that I don't want to suffer.  And I hope you and I are not called to suffer.  But, if and when we do, we need to have some understanding of why it is happening.
Finally, I want to say that there are some questions that we will never know the answer to until we get to Heaven.  Who can explain a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado that sweeps across an area and good Christian people lose there lives or possessions?  Who can explain the evil events such as September 11, 2001 or shootings in elementary schools?  Who can explain why children get terrible diseases such as leukemia  or aids?  I certainly cannot and even though I have read countless books and heard many explanations, I have not found an answer.
There are some obvious explanations for some suffering.  When a person has poor health habits for many years such as excessive smoking of tobacco, use of drugs, or excessive drinking, medical science has told us what the consequences will be.  Law enforcement has told us the consequences for drinking and driving, distracted driving, and not wearing seat belts. Our parents and grandparents have told us of possible consequences for being with the "wrong crowd" and going to the "wrong places".  A reasonable person cannot blame God for the suffering brought on by these poor decisions.
There are explanations I have heard that I don't agree with, even though I have heard good people use them to explain suffering.  Below are what I view as some wrong assumptions that many people have developed as they go through suffering.  

1. One wrong assumption in my opinion is that bad things are not suppose to happen to good    people.  Let us look at a couple of many verses in the Bible that contradict that theory.  "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous But the Lord delivers him out of them all." Psalms 34:18-19.  Even our Lord and Savior let us know that life is full of suffering.  "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
2.  Some people have address suffering in every generation by assuming that we somehow get what we deserve and our misfortunes come as punishment for our sins.  This is another wrong assumption in my opinion.  It creates guilt even where there is no basis for guilt.  Blaming the victim is a way or reassuring ourselves that the world is not as bad a place as it may seem, and that there are good reasons for peoples suffering.   It makes people hate God, and even makes them hate themselves.  And most disturbing of all it does not even fit the facts.  God has provided a payment and forgiveness for all of our sins, and there is no one that is without sin.  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one(Romans 3:10).  If we all got what we deserve, none of us would be alive.  It is true that there are natural consequences for sin, but that is not why bad things happen to good people.  
This does not take into account that God does chastise His children when we need it. But I personally believe that he does not hurt other people for our sins.  I do not believe that a person who loves God and is trying to serve Him will receive chastisement at the expense of others.  For instance, I do not believe God would take a child or spouse of someone because they did not live up to all the standards they felt were set for them.  Neither do I believe we get diseases like cancer and other things for our shortcomings.  We serve a merciful and loving God and Father and He is a better Father than any of us and we would not punish our children with that severity.  
"For whom the Lord loves He chastens,  And scourges every son whom He receives.  If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.  Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness."  Hebrews 12:6-10
3.  Another wrong assumption in my opinion is that one of Gods reasons to make us suffer is educational.   I have heard people say Maybe God is trying to teach us a lesson.”  God does not do painful things to us as His way of helping us.  

This statement is used to defend God or give Him an excuse for the bad things that happens to His children.  God does not operate this way.  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  (Jeremiah 29:11).  It is wrong to think that the God who loves us and sent His son to die for us would try to teach us lessons by allowing innocent children to die in accidents or through incurable diseases.
3.  Let me give you one final assumption that I think is wrong, even though it may take you awhile to believe it or process it.  God is all-powerful and causes everything that happens in the world.  Nothing happens without His willing it.  God is all powerful, but   Just because God is all-knowing does not mean He causes bad things to happen to good people.   The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”   (2 Peter 3:9).  
It is almost impossible to believe that God does not always get His way.  Bad things do happen to good people in this world, but it is not God who wills it.  God would like people to get the good things they deserve in this life, but He will not always arrange it.  God wants the righteous to live peaceful, happy lives, but sometimes it does not happen the way He wants it to.
Why?  Because He loves you and me and He has given us a license that is called free will"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live(Deuteronomy 30:19). 
 He has temporally abdicated His all-powerful ability to give you the ability to choose to love Him and receive good things from Him.  If we can bring ourselves to acknowledge that there are some things God does not control, many good things become possible.  We will be able to turn to God for things He can do to help us, instead of holding on to unrealistic expectations of Him which will never come about.  Our question should be God, see what is happening to me. Can You help me?not God, why are You doing this to me?”  Where was God when Hitler killed over 6 million men, women, and Children?  He was with the victims and not with the murderers.  Even though He does not control mans choosing between good and evil, he is sees and feels the tears and prayers and is suffering alongside the people He has created. For we have not a high priest who is not able to be touched by the feelings of our feeble flesh; but we have one who has been tested in all points as we ourselves are tested, but without sin. Then let us come near to the seat of grace without fear, so that mercy may be given to us, and we may get grace for our help in time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:15-16).
God gets back His power when we pray and get strength and comfort from Him.  He puts that power in us to feed the hungry, fight the injustice in our world, heal the brokenhearted, and all the things that He allowed His Son, the Lord Jesus to do, now He can use us.  You become His legs, His arms, His feet, and His mouth.
When bad things happen to good people, God wants to help them.  He wants  those who are hurting to stop hurting themselves.  He wants you to pray and connect with others who have the power to get things from Him.  He wants to comfort you and love you when bad things are happening to you.  He wants you to comfort others when bad things are happening to them.  Prayer will deliver you from many bad things, but not all bad things.  But when bad things happen to Gods people, they can be assured of one thing and that is that He will give you the ability to get through it.  This is called grace.  And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”                              (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Finally, when bad things happen to good people, they have a choice.  They can allow God to use them to help others or they can become bitter and angry.  You can become better or you can become bitter. I hope you will understand this one thing and that is that the bad things that happen to you are not from God.  They are either from poor choices or Satan Himself.   Our Lord said about Himself and Satan: The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.(John 10:10).

A special song that helps me when I am suffering:

His Eye is On The Sparrow - by Ethyl Waters


A special song that I love that helps me during suffering.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


By Pastor Mark Taylor

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh”  (Genesis 22:14)

There is a lot of uncertainty in our world.  There are wars, violence, hunger, and disease.  But there is also one certainty we can depend on and that is God our Father and that He can and will take care of His children.  The Bible, God's Holy Word is full of examples of how He has taken care of those who love Him over and over again.

The sermon below is not just written to give you more information.  It is written to give you more faith.  As you read the Scriptures, accept them as a personal message from your Heavenly Father to you.  May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ answer your prayers and may our Heavenly Father meet all your need according to His riches by Christ Jesus.

The meaning of “Jehovah-Jireh” is The Lord Who Provides. The name is literally, The Lord Who Sees, or The Lord Who Will See To It. This is what we long for when we have a need that is personal and special; One who will see to our needs and provide for us. This is what Jehovah-Jireh means; the Lord Who will see to it that my every need is met. One Who knows my need because He sees. One Who is able to meet my need in just the right time as He did for Abraham, and One Who can meet it fully. For Abraham, it was the ram caught in the thicket that was offered in Isaac's place. For us it is whatever we need.  “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil” (Psalms 34:15-16).

In Genesis 22 we have the account of God telling Abraham to take his only son and offer him as a sacrifice and burnt offering.  This was a test and God was not going to allow him to complete this assignment.  When Abraham’s adult son asked him, where was the sacrifice, he said: “My son, God will provide (Jehovah-Jireh) Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22: 6-8).  At the time Isaac was going to be offered up, God provided a ram.  “And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." (Genesis 22:10-12).

Abraham believe that even if he had offered Isaac, God was able to raise him from the dead.  “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” (Hebrews 11:17-19).  God provided His Son as a sacrifice for you and me, and raised Him from the dead as he will you and me one day.  Christ has already made provision for your salvation: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  

From these scriptures and others we can learn several things.  We can learn that God’s provision will come in the time of our greatest need.  Where will He provide?  He will provide for us “in the mount”, that is the place of our trial.  When you cannot see the answer to your need, the Lord will see you and see to your need.  He will be your Jehovah-Jireh.  “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”  (Psalms 34:15-16).

We can learn from this scriptural account of Abraham and Isaac, that God’s provision was spontaneously made.  This was an issue of God’s free grace, and nothing that Abraham had worked for or planned for.  When we have needs, God is Jehovah-Jireh for us.  He can and will provide. “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass” 
(Psalms 37:4-5).

We can learn that the provision was made by God Himself. This is a provision that guarantees all other provisions you need. We do not have to interfere with the provision of God.  Do you think that after He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, that you need to try to manipulate circumstances for God to work?  “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).  Jehovah-Jireh is concerned about your needs: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

We can learn that the provision was made effectively.  Isaac did not die, there was no grief, and they went home rejoicing.  You and I were bound on the altar of sin, but Jehovah-Jireh has delivered us and will take us home to Heaven.  "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

Jehovah-Jireh will provide for His children:  “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalms 37:25).

Friday, July 11, 2014


Living A Life Just Like Jesus
by Pastor Mark Taylor
We try to lead our children in a way that will give them the opportunity to live a happy and successful life.  This is what God wants for us.  He wants to protect us from getting hurt as we walk through this difficult and dangerous world.  He has sent His Son to show us how to live this type of life.  
Some may think that living a life like our Lord Jesus Christ would be impossible.  I would like to remind you of what our Lord said about the impossible. “Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23).  It is true that we cannot live a sinless life like our Lord did because He was God. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15).  But we can certainly live a life with less sin.  God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.  He wants you to be just like Jesus.  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).  Let us look at some ways we can live a “life just like Jesus”.  
Live like Jesus by loving the people that God has given you to live with and work with.  “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Colossians 3:12-13).  Our Lord Jesus knew the feeling of being around the same crew for three years.  They rode in the same boats and walked the same roads and visited the same houses.  He even knew their private doubts and unspoken thoughts.  But Jesus was able to love His disciples.   “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.”    (John 13:12-14).  Grace is the key to being like Jesus.  Relationships don’t get better because the guilty are punished, but because the innocent are merciful.  Certain conflicts can only be resolved with someone humbling themselves and showing grace.
Live like Jesus by being willing to use your hands to be the hand of God touching those in need.  “When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:1-3).  This man needed a touch from God.  The divorced know this feeling and so do the handicapped.  The unemployed and unmarried moms also need a touch from God.  Those in nursing homes, addiction centers, and prisons are the lonely lives that have been rejected by society.  But Jesus wants to use you to be His hands and feet to touch others.
Live like Jesus by spending time with your Heavenly Father. Jesus said 16 times “"He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 11:15).  If we are to be just like Jesus,we are going to have to have ears that hear God’s voice.  Our Lord spent a lot of personal time in both talking and listening to His Father.  “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”  (Mark 1:35).  If we are going to be just like Jesus, we must have a regular time of talking to God and listening to His Word.  “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.”  (Psalms 55:17).  “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  (Romans 10:17).
Live like Jesus by being led by God’s Holy Spirit and His unseen hand.   Clearly, our Lord Jesus Christ did not act unless He was guided by His Father.  “Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”  (John 5:19).  
God desires the same for us today as he did for the Lord Jesus Christ.  He wants you to be just like Jesus and He want the same relationship and love with you that He had with His precious Son.  “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”  (Romans 8:28-32).  God’s relationship with us about loving us, helping us, and giving to us all that we need.

What incredibly good news for us.  We are never away from God and He is never away from us, not even for a moment.  “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:35-39).

Saturday, July 5, 2014


By Pastor Mark Taylor

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”  Matthew 11:28-30.

A “yoke” is an instrument used to connect two animals together to get a heavy and hard job done.  The Lord Jesus Christ wants to hook up with you to make your life easier and more enjoyable.
Why is rest so important? For several reasons. One of the most important functions of rest is to allow us to listen to God. We become so busy doing things for Christ that we forget to simply be with Christ. We get tunnel vision, becoming so fixated on completing our list of assigned tasks that we have no time for anything else but work. But somehow, the list of tasks never gets any shorter. For every one we finish, two more rise up to take their place. . We begin to run on autopilot. Instead of being guided by the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves being controlled by emotion; by habit and circumstance.
"The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ’Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place." – Mark 6:30-32

One of the striking things about these passages is the fact that Jesus withdrew from the crowds just when he was most in demand. There were thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of people waiting for Jesus to heal them, to teach them, to bless them.  The need was great.  Jesus understood that the need was endless. But in order to accomplish the purpose for which God had sent Him, he had to remain spiritually strong. And that required regular times of prayer and meditation, regular times of rest and recuperation. 
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ’Everyone is looking for you!’" – Mark 1:35-36

Not only did our Lord set an example of rest for us, but God the Father did as well.  “So the creation of the heavens and earth and everything in them was completed.  On the seventh day, having finished His task, God rested from all His work.” (Genesis 2: 1-3)
Time away from our labors helps us to regain our perspective and realign our priorities. It helps us to remember what’s most important. It reminds us that the things of God are eternal, while the things of this life are temporary.

We are not merely the sum of what we accomplish. We are not merely a means of production, cogs in a machine.  Yes, our work has value, but it’s not our work that gives us value. Our value is inherent within us; it comes from the fact that God made us and gave his Son for us.  We have great worth, regardless of how much or how little we accomplish. We have value because God is our Father, and because in Christ we are his children. “Even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not because you are of more value that many sparrows who are  not forgotten before God?...Not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Heavenly Father being aware of it. (Luke 12:6-7, Matthew 10-29-31).

  Schedule or find a time by yourself and meditate on something relaxing to you. Listen to music.  Free your mind from thoughts of problems or projects.

Just do nothing.  That is difficult for some people, but it is an important part of resting.Take a walk in a park or in your neighborhood. Turn off your cell phone, TV, and other distractions that will keep you from getting the most from your “nothing” time.  Take this time to pray, read a small portion of scripture or a short devotion out of a book like “Daily Bread”.

Remember the source of the healing you will receive from getting rest.  It is the Lord Jesus Christ.  He can speak to you during these times of rest.  He can restore strength to you and give you the desire to be better. “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Moses received some good advice from his father-in law when he saw Moses working from sun-up to sun-down.  “... The thing that you do is not good.  You will surely wear away both you and this people that is with you, for this thing is too heavy for you, and you are not able to perform it by yourself alone.”  (Exodus 18: 13, 17-18).

The Lord Jesus is offering to help you get some quality rest if you will come to Him.

Saturday, June 28, 2014



By Pastor Mark Taylor

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.”
Psalm 103: 1

When we look around and see all the problems in the world it is easy to get discouraged and feel the negativity of others. One of the best ways to overcome the feeling of hopelessness is to start thanking God for all the wonderful things He has done for you.  There is a song that says: "Count your many blessings and name them one by one, count your many blessings and you will see what God has done."  I would encourage you today to think about all He has done for you in the past and all the things He has promised you in the future.  Then verbalize your thanksgiving to your Heavenly Father.  This is called "Praise" and is a way to bring "happiness" to your Heavenly Father.  Be a blessing to God today by praising Him for all the great and wonderful things He has already done for you.

We bless God by speaking well of Him, by calling attention to all the things God has done to enrich our lives.  The word “Bless” often carries the synonym of being happy.  David is telling himself to make God happy by thanking Him for His blessings and not forgetting the things He has done for him.  I could imagine when our Heavenly Father looks down on Earth and sees all the crime, corruption, moral depravity, and other sins it makes Him unhappy.  It certainly did in the days of Noah. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.”  Genesis 6:5-6

David had to remind his heart and mind (soul) that God had been really good to him and that He needed to give thanks to Him.  We see that the opposite of praising God is forgetting God’s benefits, overlooking all the great things God has done to enrich our lives. Instead of neglecting God’s blessings, the psalmist stirs himself to remember, to praise God, to bless God.  He wanted to be a person on Earth that could let God know He was loved and appreciated.  He wanted to “Bless” God.
In our busy schedules, we often forget to “Bless The Lord”.  We forget that He appreciates being loved.  This would make Him happy just as a parent would be happy at receiving thanksgiving from their children.  David tells us that we can “Bless The Lord” by not forgetting all His blessings on our lives.  Psalms 103-2-5 gives us a list of things we should thank  and “bless” Him for:
“Who forgives all your sins....” (v.3a).  What a wonderful benefit to “Bless The Lord” for.  Even though others may not forgive you or forget your poor life choices, God is merciful to us.  “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that respect and love Him.  As far as the east is from the west, he has removed our sins from us.  Like a father has pity on his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him.”  (Psalm 103: 11-13).  How about a big “thank you Lord” for continuing to forgive my sins.
“Who heals all my diseases...” (v. 3b).  All healing is divine healing and all recovery from sickness, injury and surgery is the result of the healing properties that God has built into our bodies. Medicine, surgery and therapy are merely extensions of God’s healing ministry.
This verse doesn’t say that God heals everyone’s diseases, but that He heals all diseases. There is no disease or sickness that lies beyond His healing power—not even what we call “incurable.” He is the Great Physician.

“Who redeems your life from destruction..” (v. 4a).  The Lord not only saves our souls from hell, but He also redeems our lives from the clutches of the devil. Satan is bent on damning our souls and destroying our lives.  Many of us have been rescued from death’s door and life-threatening circumstances.  “Satan comes for no other reason, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy you:  I am come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly.”  (John 10:10 edited).  Can we say “Bless The Lord” for protecting me and my children, and grandchildren from that accident, that storm,  that home invasion, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, that financial disaster, and so many other situations that could have happened, but did not because of the mercy and grace of our Heavenly Father.

“Who crowns you with lovingkindness, and tender mercies..” (v. 4b) This is God’s favor on your life.  He is saying to you, that He is going to listen to your prayers and answer them and help you when you get into difficult situations.  Every time you look in the mirror, visualize a crown on your head that says “God loves me.”  By now your soul should really be shouting “BLESS THE LORD!!”.

“Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (v. 5).  God is concerned with giving you your basic needs and then more.  He wants you to be satisfied  with the many good things you have now and the things He has planned for you in the future.  “Eye has not seen, nor ears heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.”  (I Corinthians 2:9).  Your youth shall be restored to you when you arrive in Heaven and you get your glorified body.  The last time the disciples saw Jesus, He was a young man about 33 years old.  “Beloved, now are we the children of God, and we cannot see what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. (I John 3:2).  “Bless the Lord, O My Soul” for your new resurrected body.

Your soul is your true person, it is your spirit and your mind.  I would encourage us all to memorize Psalm 103: 1-5 and say it to ourselves as a prayer.  The entire chapter should be read often to remind of us how much God loves us and cares for us.  These verses can lead you into a worshipful time with your Heavenly Father, and He will be blessed and so will you.


Saturday, June 21, 2014




By Pastor Mark Taylor

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was the first person who had been in Heaven to give us a testimony and documentation that there was life after death.  Some have said if I could prove that their was a  “Heaven”, then I would believe the Bible and commit myself to a relationship with God.  but Jesus said: “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16: 31).  But some have heard and believed and look forward to Heaven without fear.  Our Lord told His disciples and tells us today:  “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions...I go to prepare a place for you...I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am there you will be also.”  (John 14:1-3).

I have personally met some people who were clinically dead but came back from the dead and told me and others about visiting with the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people have shared with me accounts of loved ones returning to bring a message from Heaven to their loved ones to assure them that they are ok.   But in this short time we have together I would like to relate to your the stories of others who have documented their visits to Heaven and later you can read their books.  If you are a child of God and have accepted the Lord Jesus as your Savior, then the Holy Spirit will testify to your Spirit that the stories below are true and actual experiences.

Scientifically, it is not explainable that someone who does not have brain waves, could read and recount a license plate number at the scene of a accident.  But this has happened.  We have to accept in humbleness that there are millions of things we don't understand.  Many people have had an out-of-body experience during surgery, and in fact are,watching the surgeons at work."  My daughter in law had that experience when my grandson was born on August 15, 2011.  She reported to me that she was floating above her bed and watched the birth and delivery.  She heard every thing the doctors said including that she had coded and she watched several other medical personal enter the room to bring her back to life.  At this time I was in the hospital chapel praying for her and my grandson's safety.  Blind people who have had an out-of-body experience can tell you in detail what jewelry and the colors you were wearing if you were present.  Further more they can tell you the pattern of your sweater and the color of tie you were wearing.

There are more cases of “NDE” (Near life Experiences) than the average person may be aware of.  Dr. Elizabeth Ross was awarded 10 Doctor degrees including M.D.'s and PhD's for her 20 years of work, wrote a book titled Life After Death.  Elizabeth devoted her life to proving that an after life did exist. Her work showed that death was really a beautiful experience and the beginning of another life.  She showed that this after life was full,of promise and love and meeting those we loved who had died before us.  She studied 20,000 cases of people all over the world who had been who had been declared clinically dead and had returned to life.  She inspired the start of the Hospice movement.  Some awoke naturally, and others had been brought back to life through medical help.  "Fifty - one percent of my cases were sudden near death experiences."  Here are only a few of her findings after being at the bedside of many people who have had “NDE’s”.  These are direct quotes from her book “Life After Death”

She states that “The dying experience is almost identical to the experience at birth.  It is a birth into another experience that can be proved.  "The death of the human body is identical to what happens when the butterfly emerges from its cocoon.  The cocoon can be compared to the human body, but it is not identical with your real self, for it is only a house to live in for awhile. Dying is only moving from one beautiful house into another beautiful house.  As soon as the cocoon is in an irreparable condition - be it from suicide, murder, heart attack, chronic illness, it doesn't matter how it happens, it will release the butterfly, your soul to speak.  You will experience some important things which you ought to know in order not to be afraid of death anymore."

"As soon as your soul leaves your body, you will immediately perceive everything happening at the place of,death. Be it at the seen of an accident or in a hospital room, or where ever you left your body.  You do register this with your earthly consciousness, but with a new awareness.  You realize exactly what everyone says, what they think, and how they act.  It has even occurred that people remember the exact license number of the car that hit them and drove off.”

“At the moment of this transition you are never ever alone.  You are not alone now, but you don't know it.  At the moment of your transition, your guardian angels, your loved ones who have passed on before you will be there to guide you.  "We have verified this beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I say this as a scientist.  There will always be someone to help you with this transition.  Most of the time it is a parent or a grandparent, or a child if you have lost a child.  Sometimes it is people you did not know we're on the "other side" already.  This means that many children who do not have anyone they know on the "other side", see Jesus.”  “Jesus said:  I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me, though he were physically dead, yet shall he live.  And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”  (John 11:25-26).

"You too have to know approaching the bed of your dying mother or father, who may be in a deep coma, that this woman or man can hear every thing you say.  At those moments it is not to late to say "I'm sorry", or "I love you", or whatever else you want to say.  For these words are never to late for you to say them, because they can still hear you.  Even then you can finish "unfinished business" which you may have carried with you for 10 or 20 years.  In this way you can unburden yourself of guilt, so that you yourself may live more fully.

People who were blind can see again.  People who could not hear or speak can hear and speak again.  And there are thousands who were in wheelchairs who reported "Doctor, I could dance,and walk again."  Little girls who have lost their hair from cancer treatments, tell me after such an event: "I had my nice curls again."    

"What the Church tells little children about guardian angels is based on fact.  There is proof that every human is guided by a spirit entity from birth to death.  Everyone has a spirit guide whether you believe it or not. 

"Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)

For it is written, He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you. (Luke 4:10)

"After you have perceived your body is whole again and you have seen your loved ones, you will realize that dying is only a transition to a different form of life. But before you step out of your physical form in exchange for those forms which you will keep for eternity, it could be you will float through a tunnel, pass through a gate, or cross a bridge."

"After you have passed through this tunnel or gate, or crossed a bridge, you are at its end embraced by light.  This light is whiter than white.  It is extremely bright, and the closer you approach this light you are embraced by the greatest, indescribable, unconditional, love you could imagine.  There are no words for it.  After seeing the light no one wants to go back.  In this light you will experience for the first time what man could have been."

"In this light, in the presence of Christ and God, you are now in the possession of knowledge.  You know in minute detail every thought you had at every time during your life on earth. ( the Bible says that man will give account of every word he said).  You will know all the consequences from the results of your thoughts, words, and deeds.

There will be a time when what we call “death” ends.  “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Corinthians 15: 54)   We shall be changed into the new order of life: our personalities continuing in those bodies that God will prepare for us, which are supernatural.  

The time you spend in your physical body is a very, very short time of your total existence.  It is  a very important time because you are here for a very special purpose, which is yours and yours alone.  The question of time is not terribly important; it is a man made artificial concept anyway.  Death is like putting away your winter coat when spring comes.  You know the coat is shabby and you don't want to wear it any more. 

“How are the dead raised?”  “God gives it a body.” (I Corinthians 15:38)   Paul explains it: “Behold, I show you a mystery....we shall all be changed.” (I Corinthians 15:51).  Look at a little seed that we put into the ground, or take a look at a dry looking bulb that some put into the ground.  They look withered and dead, but in the spring we see the flowers and the fruit of the new life.

Not one of my patients who had an out-of-body experience was afraid of dying.  Many of our patients beside feeling a sense of peace, also feel a sense of wholeness. That means someone who had a leg amputated has both legs.  Those that lose their sight can see again.

Dr. Eben Alexander M.D, an academic neurosurgeon for the last 25 years did not believe in “NDE’s” until his own brain was attacked by a rare illness.  The part of the braid that controls thought and emotion.  He was in a coma for seven days.  Then as the doctor’s considered stopping treatment, his eyes open and he came back to life.  He wrote about his time in Heaven in a book titled PROOF OF HEAVEN.    He said when he initially entered Heaven he both felt and heard three messages:  “You are loved and cherished”,  “You have nothing to fear”, and “There is nothing you can do wrong here.”  He said: “The unconditional love and acceptance that I experienced on my journey is the single most important discovery I have ever made.”  It is no wonder those who have had “NDE’s do not want to return to Earth, but are sent back as an answer to other’s prayers.

Colton Burpo had an emergency appendectomy when he was four years old.  He told his family a beautiful story of his trip to Heaven and back.  His parents retold his story in  a book about his experiences titled HEAVEN IS FOR REAL.  Colton told of meeting people in Heaven like a sister he never met or knew of that had died when his mother had a miscarriage years before his birth.  He described Jesus and the angels, and how “really, really big” God is and how much God love us.

Other documentations of Heaven have come from people who have had visions and been given access to Heaven.  One of those is a girl named Akiana. 

Akiiane Kramariks was brought up in a family in Lithuania that “never talked about religion, never prayed together, and never went to any church.”  The family was atheist.  The children “did not watch TV, had never been out of her parents sight, and were home schooled.

When she was four, she began sharing her visions of heaven with her parents.  She said:  “Today I met God.”  Her mother said “What is God?”.  Akin said “God is light - warm and good.  It knows everything and talks with me.  It is my parent.”  Her mother said:  Tell me more about your dream.”  She said “It was not a dream, It was real.”

“I eat there, but I don’t go to the bathroom.  The plants there move and sing when I move an talk.  It seems as if they can think.. Animals there are not like here.  They listen to me, and they’re not afraid of me, so I can pet them whenever I want....I am good there and I listen there.  Everyone there listens - God is there.” Heavenly music is always gentle..  It feels like joy, looks like love, smells like flowers, and dances like butterflies.  Music there is alive!  You can even taste it.”  The evidence of vision has been seen on many national TV news and entertainment programs.  She had never had a drawing or painting lesson but at the age of 8 1/2 she desperately wanted to paint  portraits of Jesus who she had seen in another vision of Heaven.   Her painting was called “The Prince of Peace.”  Then another painting called “Father Forgive Them”. She said this was a gift given to her while she was in Heaven.  Many of her paintings, drawings and poems are in a book titled AKIANE .

Akiane  said “I have been blessed by a gift from God, a gift I will use to help others.”  Below is some of her work.  This gift was given to her after her vision and visit to Heaven at the age of 4.  About the same time as the visions began, Akin suddenly began showing an intense interest in drawing.  At the age of six she was writing advanced poetry of six stanzas or more.

Painting by Akiane at the age of 9 - "Father Forgive Them"

Someone asked her “What church do you belong to? What  denomination?  “I belong to God,” Akiane responded.  Who taught you how to paint?  “I’m self-taught.  In other words, God is my teacher.”  “I want my art to draw people’s attention to God, and I want my poetry to keep their attention on God.”

God brought this child without any knowledge of His existence or love to Him and gave her this wonderful gift.  He also has many things for those of us that love Him and are serving Him.  “Eye has not seen, neither has ear heard, or has it entered into the heart of mankind, the things which God has prepared for those that love Him.  But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit knows all things, yes, the deep things of God” (I Corinthians 2: 9-10).  Most of this

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Our Father Who Is In Heaven
By Pastor Mark Taylor
June 15, 2014

Jesus said His purpose in coming to Earth was to "glorify His Father".  To show people on Earth what God was all about (John 12:28). To show all of us how much He loves us.  This Sunday is "Father's Day" in the U.S.  This day is set aside to thank and honor our earthly fathers  partly responsible for giving us life and providing for our needs as children..  But greater than that, I would like this sermon to be centered around thanking and honoring our Heavenly Father for giving us "real life, and life more abundantly". (John 10:10)

All any Pastor can do  is to show you Who He - your Heavenly Father is, and what He can do for you.  You must decide when you leave here today if you are going to take your relationship with Him seriously, or if you are going to "play church".  There is great value in getting close to your Heavenly Father, because He has so much to give you now and in the life to come.  He can provide your material needs and physically healing, but He wants to give you so much more - His greatest gift and that is His love.

This weekend I am getting to spend Father's Day with my three children.  All I really want from them is their love.  When I am in their presence I feel loved and in turn they feel my love for them.  Our Heavenly Father longs for those days and moments you spend with Him.  

What does your Heavenly Father desire from you on this Father's Day?

First of all He desires that we should love Him and have a loving heart toward others. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ said:   "The first of all the commandments is:  "You shall love The Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  There is none other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:28-31).

 The second thing He desires of you is to "love one another".  "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.  as I have loved you, the same way you love one another."  By this  all people will know you are my disciples if you have love one for another.  (John 13:34-35).

Some of Our Earthly Fathers are not with us today and we miss the relationship we had with them.  Some of you may have not had a outwardly affectionate Father or had a good relationship with him.    Some of you may have grown up in a home without your natural Father.  All of these circumstances may have kept you from understanding what a good father-child relationship should be.  Our Heavenly Father wants you to establish that relationship with Him in which you can trust Him and feel loved by Him.

Seeking and finding this relationship with your Heavenly Father will help the men to become better Fathers, women to become better mothers, and. Children and youth to become happy with who God made them to be.

This relationship begins with accepting The Lord Jesus as your personal Savior.  You will never understand the Father's love, until you have His Holy Spirit in you.  He is the Gift of God's presence through His Son to you.  When you have One of them, you have all of Them. Without that personal relationship with The Lord Jesus you will miss the Fatherly relationship with God.  That relationship is available to everyone:   "whosoever calls on the Name of The Lord, shall be saved."   

My prayer for you is that today you will have a Happy Father’s Day with your Heavenly Father.