Thursday, June 30, 2016

Why Does Heaven Weep?

Today, I just had to stop and photograph a statue I saw out of the car window. It was a weeping-in-prayer, stone angel. The citing troubled me deeply in a holy way. 

I invite you to take 5 minutes of silence today to imagine and maybe even to write down the likely answers to this question: "What makes Heaven weep?" Then pray a while about the things you imagined.

Hint: 2 Peter 3:8-9 came to my mind. 

(Click image below for full-frame view of the weeping angel.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Hope is an Anchor for the soul and Hope has a name -- Jesus! If you're adrift, say the Name -- Jesus! 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Who Have You/i Enjoyed Blessing With Kindness Lately?

Consider this paraphrase written below that I seemed to hear God speaking as I saturated in sacred, selected words that the Psalmist penned in Psalm 109:16a and 17b GW:

"...remember to be kind... If you do not enjoy blessing others? You should never expect to receive a blessing."

Assignment for today: Let's go out and enjoy blessing three people and let's make sure one of them does not deserve a blessing. Of course, I speak in a riddle, because who among us really deserves a blessing? Nevertheless, God's Word seems to say "only as we enjoy blessing others should we ever expect to receive a blessing!"

Question: Who have you/i blessed with kindness lately?

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Monday, June 27, 2016

"Thy Will Be Done"

Our local worship pastor shared this deep song with me today. Saturate in it with me:

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Sunday, June 26, 2016

An Ugly Thing!

A judgemental attitude fueled by jealousy is an ugly thing!

God spoke these words to me as I recently read Luke 19, verses 1 through 10. Verse 7 is the ugly, judgemental, jealous verse. It was ugly then, and it is ugly now.

Let us rejoice when Jesus shows the favor of His presence to others, especially to those who are lost. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW 


Saturday, June 25, 2016

"Out of the Dark..." / Psalm 107:13-15a

Psalm 107:13-15a from God's Word Translation speaks deeply to me:

(Click type below for full-frame view of the passage.) 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Friday, June 24, 2016

"Prayer is..."

"Prayer is the linking up of the soul and mind and heart to God." -- Russell

My prayer: Lord, let prayer not be the missing link in my life. Oneness with You is what I most definitely cherish even now and most desperately long for forever. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

"... and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Amazing Grace Matters

Click link below and listen yet again to what is likely the best song ever written:

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

So, You Want to Be an Island? Not!

This song below is so true and powerful because God created us to need Him and to need one another. Warning: "Don't be an island. It's the opposite of true Christianity, closer even to insanity."

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Tuesday, June 21, 2016


My prayer today:

Lord, I know You reign over the vast universe and even beyond. Let me know that you also reign within me moment-by-moment. Manifest Your Purity, Peace, Power and Presence to and through and even beyond me. I desire to be Unified in Oneness with You, so that You might be Glorified as the One True God to all souls I encounter. In Your Holy Name, I pray. Amen. 

(Click on image for full-view of silver crown I photographed in a German castle.) 

"... and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Monday, June 20, 2016

A Holy Father's Day Memory in "the holy land"

I posted this on my Instagram account for Father's Day 2016 and sensed it would be a good story for my blog one day later...

On our journey home from The Outer Banks we stopped by the boat docks at Wanchese, North Carolina, where my Dad gave his life to Jesus during the fourth watch of the night on January 6, 1969. Dad's decision made here all those years ago aboard the Willis' fish/shrimp trawler, the Miss Vickie, proved to make the lives of his three boys delightfully different. I was seven-years-old. Truly a Holy Father's Day memory for my soul. This story is, in large part, why I call North Carolina "the holy land". 

P.S. I also had a 20-minute conversation with a boat captain at the docks and shared dad's testimony with him. It was a very tender exchange. Pray for Captain Steve. His fishing boat is named "All Pain".

(Click image to view Wanchese Docks full-frame.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Dad and The Lad -- A Family-Tree Encounter -- Happy Father's Day

It's been a week of rest and reflection. Yes, I was blessed to spend seven days alongside the Atlantic Ocean with my wife. The life-giving week was bracketed by two Sundays -- my birthday and Father's Day. 

Our season of exhaling happened on an "unnamed" island :) of the Outer Banks that one side of my father's family still calls "home".

While I cannot share every moment of my week, something happened yesterday that was certainly a God-given encounter and I want to tell you about it. 

As we returned from the beach, I saw a seven-year-old local boy sitting under some shade trees alongside the road in the village. He was selling mostly natural items he had collected from the seaside. His inventory included unique seashells and pieces of driftwood ranging from small to very large. He even had a few jars of homemade fig preserves. 

I pulled my vehicle off the road, and greeted the young lad. I told him I loved to collect driftwood as well, and I wanted to help his business. So I selected a medium size piece of driftwood and paid the $5 he was asking for it. Then I saw his great-grandparents sitting in their rocking chairs on their screened-in porch just behind his selling location. I casually approached the older couple and asked if they had lived on the island all of their lives. They said "yes". I then told them about my own island heritage. They remembered my grandmother and her family. The great-grandmother then said, "Do you know who that young boy is that you just purchased the driftwood from?" Somehow in that moment I knew who he must be. I was right. He was the youngest child in my father's extended family now living on the island. I had met him when he was two years old, but had not seen him since. I have had frequent encounters with his dad, but had not since seen the lad. 

I then went back to the young boy and we had a great, kinship kind of a conversation. I am not sure who was more excited that we were kin, me or him? I could tell he was anticipating telling his dad, my cousin, that his own relative had been his best customer of the day. Maybe his only customer. It was a deep moment in my soul.

Indeed, something about that spontaneous roadside stop started what I believe to be a healing in a gaping-hole in my own heart. I had stopped to mostly encourage a little "unknown-to-me" boy, but I was the one really encouraged the most in the end. 

Healing? Yes, this is the second Father's Day that my dad has been in Heaven. My heart still hurts. Nevertheless, while I miss his presence, in his absence it is refreshing to know that our family tree is still growing. Yes, it's wonderful to know that our island roots still remain. 

My prayer today is that future generations will be told about our Good, Good Father God. Happy Father's Day to Him and to my dad who is with Him. And to you, too.

(Click below for full-frame image of the seven-year-old lad that's related to me and my dad. And that's my driftwood he's holding. Island roots, for sure! :)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW 


Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Rainbow & The Lightning Bolt

Earlier this week, there was a storm in our home region of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. After the storm, friends of mine shared multiple photographs of double rainbows and the sun shining through ominous clouds, etc. All of the photographs were very beautiful and powerful. As I was away on vacation, it was very inspiring for me to see these images captured by my friends. 

But the final image I received was nothing short of miraculous. I've been a photographer most of my adult life, and this particular capture is something that is surely once in a lifetime. It was sent to me by Tom and Wanda Spangler. Tom captured the image and both Tom and Wanda were shocked when they saw the results. Wonderfully shocked! 

The Spanglers gave me permission to share the image on my social media sites. I am grateful. In the words of Wanda, "There seems to be a deep message in this photograph". I have some thoughts of my own; however, I will leave it up to you to get your own God-given, deep message from the image. 

Here it is below. Click on image for full-frame rendering and I have also added two verses of Scripture below to click on. 

Psalm 8 would make a great benediction as well for this image. Peace. 

"...and I wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Friday, June 17, 2016

In Our Loneliness, Let Us Listen.

"When loneliness is haunting me with its possibility of being a threshold instead of a dead end, a new creation instead of a grave, a meeting place instead of an abyss, then time loses its desperate clutch on me. Then I no longer have to live in a frenzy of activity, overwhelmed and afraid for the missed opportunity."
-- An Unknown Young Student

Lord, let us listen for Your holy leading in the midst of our human loneliness. Yes, anything that would haunt us, You will use to give us the beauty of Your holiness. In the Name of Jesus. Amen 

"..and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Psalm 103 / Like a Flower

Psalm 103 touched me deeply this morning. Here's a soul-sobering section of the passage below.

Click type below for full-view of Scripture selection and then click image below of flowers I photographed on a bike ride around Ocracoke's Silver Lake Harbor. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Loneliness, Solitude & The Master's Peace.

"By slowly converting our loneliness into a deep solitude, we create that precious space where we can discover the Voice {within} telling us about our inner necessity -- {what we were born for and what we should be spending our lives focused on}."
-- Nouwen remix 

(Click below to view full-frame look at a moment of deep solitude I recently experienced while watching a summer, seaside sunset across the Pamlico Sound of North Carolina. The Master's Peace.) 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"The Good Old Days"

I suppose it was 40 years ago as I was working the night shift at an island supermarket when I heard ABC radio personality, Mr. Paul Harvey, talking about what many people referred/refer to as "the good old days." The idea seemed/seems to be prevalent that somehow the past behind us is preferred to the present that's with us.

It's not true! Especially for Jesus-believers. The present is God's gift! That's why it is correctly called "the present". I remember Mr. Paul Harvey saying, "The past seems better only because distance lends enchantment." I laughed. 

While the future ahead of us may be preferred to the present that is with us -- for everyone who is an eternal citizen of Heaven held captive by time here in this moment -- nevertheless, surely right now, our present, is preferred to our past.

Last evening my wife and I were riding bikes at sunset around Ocracoke Island -- our favorite barrier island along North Carolina's Outer Banks -- when suddenly we passed an old store window with an old sign posted in the window. The words on the old sign were the exact words Mr. Paul Harvey closed his radio commentary with (when I was a teenager on that memorable night so many years ago.) 

I pulled my bike off the road and grabbed my camera to take a photo of the sign before daylight gave way to darkness. 

Read the very true words about "the good old days" by clicking my new image of the old sign below and I've also added a second box to click, a Good Word from God's Word about "Today". 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Monday, June 13, 2016

My Refuge, Rescuer & Resting Place / Jim Cole Song

I've visited a lot of seaside harbors lately and across my lifetime. These places prove to be sacred for my own soul, because they remind me that Jesus is my Refuge, my Rescuer, and my Resting Place.

My friend, Jim Cole, sings a song titled "Master of This Heart of Mine". Surely, the Master of the Sea can be trusted to be the Master of our souls. 

Listen to the song by clicking the link below. Also, Jim Cole plans to be at our local church on Sunday, July 3, 2016. Join us at either 9 AM or 10:30 AM if you are available. If not you can watch and/or listen at our media link online at later in that first week of July. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Praying for Captain Rusty & Family

My wife and I are in the midst of taking some quiet days to exhale along this journey called life. Yesterday, we stopped around sunset at the island harbor where my dad used to dock his shrimp trawler just to reminisce for a while. 

At the dock, we came upon a childhood friend I hadn't seen in over 25 years. Rusty is his name. He's my brother's (Billy Joe's) age. His older sister Diane is closer to my age. Anyway, Rusty's family has always owned the local furniture store on my native island. He also is now Captain Rusty, as he owns and operates a shrimp trawler as his second full-time career.

Captain Rusty was readying his boat for the shrimping season. Though I remember him as the quietest of the Taylor children, I could tell he really needed to talk. We shared memories of yesterday and challenges of today. 

When our conversation was over, I told Captain Rusty that I would be sure to remember him in my prayers. That's what I'm doing this morning. His family needs prayer in so many ways. I sincerely care about Captain Rusty and invite you to join me in interceding for my old, but younger childhood friend. He would surely appreciate your intercessions and mine on behalf of his family's seemingly insurmountable needs. God hears and cares and is able to help.

My mom often says: "Let us pray one for the other." 

(Click below for full-frame images from The Refuge Harbor on Harkers Island, North Carolina.)

Captain Rusty aboard his shrimp trawler

Boats at rest

Nets ready for the summer season

Shrimp trawler returning to harbor as sun sets

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Longtime Friends Matter!

This morning I was blessed to cook breakfast in my mom's kitchen for my longtime friend, Paul. 

We met in first grade and have cared deeply for each other for all these years since. As God would have it we are both now second-career pastors. 

Our mealtime together was sacred and celebrative. We discussed past memories, our families and things pertaining to our King and His Kingdom. 

And, Paul found out -- I prepare a pretty tasty omelet, etc. 

Longtime friends matter! 

(Click below for a stolen snapshot from the experience.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW 


Friday, June 10, 2016

Embrace the Lord. Eject All Sin.

Pray with me:

Lord, I adore and worship You. 
You alone are my heart's Joy 
and surely my soul's Reward. 
I want to embrace You as my Life.
Eject all sin within me without end as 
I am being always filled with Your Love. 
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Thursday, June 9, 2016

"The Horrible Pit of Hopelessness..." / Rescued

An old hymn of the church woke me up this morning. I shared the lyrics with our men's prayer group at 6:10 a.m. Then, I encouraged volunteers to come and stand before us all and thank God in praise-filled testimony for being the One who rescued us from the horrible pit of hopelessness. 

(Click below for full-text of the hymn.)

And this Scripture surely must've inspired the hymnwriter: 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ephesians 6:18 "How To Pray?" / Supplication

In one verse written in the letter to the Ephesians, The Apostle Paul tells us how to pray:

1. Pray always
2. Pray with all prayer and *supplication
3. Pray in The Spirit
4. Pray watching with all perseverance
5. Pray with all *supplication for all saints (for those who belong to God)

* Supplication = the action of asking, even begging Someone for something earnestly or humbly.

(Click-on type below for full-frame view) 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"Is Your All On The Altar?"

This morning after reading God's Holy Word for a short season, before turning to my daily devotional guides, I sensed a desire to call my mom during my quiet time. Sometimes, we forget that for our devotional time, talking to other believers can be a great resource. In other words, we should not just read books but also listen to the words of life written as holy epistles on the hearts of those we know best. 

Talking with my mom proved to be exactly what I needed for my own spirit. Mom testified of God's faithfulness in her life over and over during our sacred and uplifting conversation. We probably talked 30 minutes, encouraging one another in ways that cannot adequately be described.

At one point, mom quoted the words of an old hymn of the church. She was so passionate as she asked this question: "Is our all really on the altar of sacrifice laid?" 

So, here are the words of that old hymn and a link for you to listen to the song as well. May we be able to say with confidence that "surely our all is on the altar of sacrifice laid!"

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Monday, June 6, 2016

"One Verse From God's Word..."

I remember one day -- some 23 years or so ago -- in our Nazarene Bible College theology class with Dr. Floyd Perkins, when he came to the classroom and challenged us to choose just one verse from the Holy Bible each day to saturate in and to be consumed with. Dr. Perkins said, "One verse from God's Word is more than any of us can fathom." 

Well, this morning as I was reading God's Word, this one verse lodged into my thinking. I pray it will bless your life today as you saturate in it and are consumed by it.

(Click text box below for full-frame.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW 


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Children of The World Choir

This precious Children of the World Choir from World Help blesses us every time they come our way. Some are orphans and all come from poverty, but they have Hope because of Jesus. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW 


Friday, June 3, 2016

"What Jesus Did in Lonely Places..."

You're in my prayers today. 

If you find yourself in a lonely place join me in doing what Jesus did in lonely places -- pray! Pray to the Father in the Name of the Son, by the Power of the Holy Spirit. 

Our God knows, cares, hears, and loves. All peace to your heart, mind, soul and strength.

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Heart's Intent...

"God is concerned...
...with heart's intent,
Not what is said... 
...but what is meant.
The heart, thought & tongue...
By Him, will every day... blessed."

Mathew 5 inspired poem by Marie Taylor 

Click for full-view of our knockout roses.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Oreo Pup -- 2003-2016 -- Goodbye My Old Friend

Goodbye my old friend, The Oreo Pup, 2003-2016... 

Your unconditional love will never be forgotten.

(Click image. Portrait appears a little teary-eyed blurry, as it should be.) 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW