Posts by Joel Taylor

Posts by Joel Taylor

Bitesize Chunks

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, February 25, 2020, Anders Hoffman completed Project Iceman. Just under 73 hours after starting (including 27 hours sheltering from a blizzard), he had finished the first Ironman-distance triathlon in Antarctica. There were many points when he thought he wouldn’t make it, his body constantly telling him to give up. The only way through was to divide the distance into manageable chunks and just get through that next chunk. This is what he’d done…

Seek What Lasts

Love never ends… or does it? Contrary to Paul’s words here, often love is one of the first things to end. It seems that Love must make way in the face of our preferences, opinions and traditions. Like all good things, it seems all too easy for Love to come to an end. Bad things are so difficult to shake and refuse to stay gone. By contrast, good things have a tendency to slip through our fingers. So how can…

The Curious Case of Euodia & Syntyche

As I’ve been reading through Romans this summer (in preparation for our men’s bible studies this Fall), one of the things that has struck me is Paul’s commitment to having one united church in Rome. Now, of course, physically, the church in Rome would have been made up of various house churches but, spiritually, they are one. So that one could just as easily go to any of these house churches and find welcome in the one body of Christ…

Hopescrolling

Doomscrolling is a new term that has come to fore during these Covid times. It refers to our tendency to continue to scroll through news articles full of bad news, despite how saddening, disheartening or depressing the news is. This Doomscrolling is not limited to Covid-related news but it seems that Covid is one of the main culprits! It’s no surprise then that many of us are functioning as people of despair instead of people of Hope. I think many…

Shining Like Stars

This week we’ll see Paul call the Philippian church to shine like stars in the midst of a twisted and broken world. It seems an overwhelming task until we realize that it is God at work in us who provides both the desire and the ability to do so. The call is, therefore, to participate in the work that God is doing in and through us. So what would it look like for us to shine like stars in our…

Unity! Unity! Unity!

As we return to Paul’s friendship letter to the Philippian church, we see Paul asking for just one thing from them – Unity! In an individualistic society, we highly value our right to our own opinion and we definitely don’t want to be brainwashed. So what is this Unity? Is it even possible? And if it is possible, is it even something we want?

Do What He Says!

We saw in the account of the wedding at Cana, that not only do we need to invite Jesus into our lives and the situations we face, but we also need to do what He says. And I’ve been thinking about the need to ‘do what He says’ ever since. On one level, it sounds so simple, but how often do we invite Jesus in and ask for His help and then we don’t do what He says. Maybe what He asks us…

This is Personal!

This week we see Jesus go from one celebration (a wedding) to another (Passover). But while He was willing to remain a guest at the wedding, Jesus is not willing to remain a ‘guest’ at the temple. It is, as Jesus says, “My Father’s house”. So what happens when God, in the person of Jesus Christ, shows up to His house of worship to find it has been turned into a house of business? Come and see!

Reverse Sheltering-In-Place

In Shawn’s text yesterday, the first two disciples asked Jesus, “Where are you staying?” (in response to Jesus’ question, “What are you seeking?”), which may seem like a strange question but which points to the deeper question of ‘what are we getting ourselves into’. Jesus’ response to them is, “Come and see”. So they ‘come and see’ where Jesus is staying and what do we (as the readers) learn? Absolutely nothing! We don’t get any details about where Jesus is…

Upwards!

We are a people of direction! The Apostle Paul knows where he’s going. And as the people of God, so do we… Upwards! Paul is not saying here that God is the ‘man upstairs’ or ‘the big man in the sky’, as some like to refer to Him. Rather, ‘up’ is a positive direction and the opposite of sinking, drowning, slipping, stumbling and falling. Not only that but this ‘up’ is not dependent on us. It is God who is…

Welcome To Life!

As Shawn was preaching yesterday, I was struck by the accessibility of Jesus. The invitation is to ‘come and see’. Far from being a God who is distant and inaccessible, Jesus is close enough for us to ‘come and see’ Him and He desires that we do just that. As the weeks drag on and so much is inaccessible right now, Jesus remains just as accessible as ever. And nothing can cut off that access! The reality that ‘nothing can separate us from…

The Endurance Of Hope

I don’t know about you but this whole situation is quite surreal, in fact sometimes I think I should pinch myself to see if I’ll wake up! I’ve never experienced anything like this before and while on one level, it is unsettling and fear inducing to have this threat hanging over our heads, on another level, at least right now, it’s just downright inconvenient. Unless of course, you were hoping to spend a couple of months indoors, in which case,…