Updated: 9/7/2004; 9:41:01 AM.
Journey w/ Greg Taylor
Come talk of life & loving Jesus

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I've learned a lot about blogging since diving into the blog pool last January (though it was cold then). Radio is a versatile and high powered blog site but several things have led me to move my blog to http://gregtaylor.blogspot.com

  1. Seems content loads slowly
  2. Most fellow bloggers are on Blogspot (I'm hoppin' on the bandwagon!)
  3. URL is ugly and hard even for me to remember
  4. Though originally it had more features than blogspot, other blog sites like blogspot are catching up and providing RSS feeds, template changability, etc.
  5. It took me minutes to set up blogspot where it took me months to figure the same things out on Radio (it's probably best for tech people and people who like to tinker and learn, which I did for a while but I need to stick with the business of writing and sharing my heart and not the guts of my blog engine).
  6. Comments come up slow or the box pops up behind and people get frustrated and give up
  7. This costs $30 a year, which I don't mind paying for a good service...does blogspot have a pay service that has more features?

Go to http://gregtaylor.blogspot.com and see what you think (I'm moving my archives over gradually but will blog from there starting now).

9:39:49 AM    comment []

Friday, September 03, 2004

Just heard a good sermon by Tim Spivey of Highland Oaks Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas. It brings kingdom of God balance into the discourse on Republican and Democrat ideals and affirms that God's kingdom vision overrides the visions or conventions of parties.

Pathways to Freedom: Uncommon Decency

10:49:29 AM    comment []

I didn't hear President George W. Bush's speech last night, but Eric Noah-Wilson gave me a rundown, and I had read the newspaper account from The Tennessean. As a friend said, "Many people, even non-Republicans, are seeing that Bush has had a tough four years with 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and that no one wants to meet face to face with mother's of fallen soldiers as Bush has done over the last year."

Here's an interesting story about reversals in rhetoric. I've never thought the idea of "winning the war on terror" was rhetorically or morally or theologically correct, that we could somehow in our American idealism root out evil in the world. Here's a story on Bush admitting war on terror not winnable and Kerry saying yes it is. Reversal story

Eric also shared with me his shift of thinking during an NPR story we both heard on the drive in this morning. The set up: small Alabama town loses textile mill, 300 jobs, and $300,000 of annual revenue. Super Wal-Mart comes in, people have to drive 40 miles for other jobs. Eric said he felt sorry for the workers. But then he thought, You know, those town leaders could have done something to diversify and bring in new industries, planned ahead.

"Like a pro sports team?" I said.

He gave me a wry smile.

"Well, Eric, you started the NPR story thinking like a Democrat, caught yourself and started thinking like a Republican," I said, tongue in cheek (but speaking the truth in love).

Issues are so complex that we do often mix Republican and Democratic ideals, and there's nothing wrong with that as long as kingdom of God ideals override the party notions.

10:26:50 AM    comment []

Monday, August 30, 2004

Right now I teach 5th and 6th graders (with Jill) on Wednesday nights and WW II generation class on Sunday mornings called "Joyful Class." I've found they--and perhaps everyone in between--like some of the same things:

  1. Stories with suspense
  2. Sticking to the Bible and its core messages and not tangents
  3. Personal testimonies or ways of bringing the text of Scripture to the here and now
  4. Remembering their names and hearing what they have to say
  5. Seeing and hearing the point with audio/visuals
  6. Being challenged to go deeper into the word themselves

What are other things that help all ages learn?

NOTE: I have one report from a MAC user that this blog server, particularly comments, is slow in bringing up pages...let me know if that's your experience. If comments is not working, please email me at gtaylor@woodmont.org. Sometimes comments box comes up behind the main window.


1:12:41 PM    comment []

Friday, August 27, 2004

ZOE and Wineskins have had a lot of requests for several important and moving videos. Let me explain about a few of them:

  1. Give Me Jesus - Leonard Sweet (www.leonardsweet.com), according to his office, bought the rights to put a Fernando Ortega (www.fernandoortega.com/) song, Give Me Jesus, together with art photos of Christ images and other images related to words in the song. Sweet's office said they owned the copyright for the music video for about three years and no longer own it. The song itself can be played publically if a church has a CCLI license but the song and the video cannot be used together. There is no known availability of this music video that many of the ZOE conference attendees saw at our conference in October 2003.

  2. Baptism video - I have shown this at Pepperdine and ACU, and several have asked about the source. I purchased the DVD from Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana (www.wiredchurches.com) tel 574.243.3500. The video was done in 2002 at a baptism ceremony for the Granger Community Church and shows many baptisms set to a song that says, "Living Water, Jesus, More of Thee." One of the most unique features of the baptismal experience of Granger is that they baptize some couples or families simultaneously with locked arms.

  3. That's my King - From the jacket of the Vertical Sky Productions Igniter Vol 1 DVD: "The late S.M. Lockridge once presented an incredible message, describing God and who He is. Though God can't be described with just words, this is as close as you can get this side of Heaven." Makes you want to get up and shout, "That's My King!" Find this and four other videos on the Igniter Videos Vol. 1 available on DVD from The ZOE web site.

  4. Team Hoyt - From the DVD jacket: "Together, Dick and Rick Hoyt have run in marathons, competed in triathlons and once even trekked 3,700 miles across America. Together, what they have accomplished is simply amazing, even more so when you consider that Rck cannot walk or talk." Mike Cope uses this video and shares his own family's experience with their daughter, Megan, who died in 1994. Vertical Sky Productions | this Igniter Video Vol. 2 available next week on DVD from The ZOE web site

  5. One of the best connections a church can make in the use of video is CVLI (Christian Video Licensing International). I spoke to a very helpful David Weighman this morning, and I have available for anyone who requests it an application for a church license to use major studio films and faith-based production films. The license should cost about $600 a year but check with www.cvli.org for more details.

1:20:10 PM    comment []

Thursday, August 26, 2004

A repairman and I went into our attic the other day to check some wiring. “It's hotter than hades up here,” Stron Johnson, the large African American man, said.


“You can go ahead and say hell, though I’d say hell’dbe worse," I said.


“Makes you wanna be good,” Stron said.


 “Problem is,” I replied as I crawled on the itchy fiberglass insulation, “none of us is good enough—only way any of us can be good is through the Lord Jesus Christ.”


“You got that right,” Stron said.


We wiped sweat from our brows, itched, and checked the wiring.

1:20:22 PM    comment []

Though the prospect of these talks having any real impact on the dire circumstances of nearly a million refugees in Sudan, please pray for the talks and continued international and Sudanese government support for giving the refugees relief.

Straw demands action in Darfur. The UK foreign secretary touring a refugee camp urges Sudan to do more to make the Darfur region safe. [BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]

12:40:04 PM    comment []

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

From An African Prayer Book by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

O Lord, O Ruler of the world, O Creator, O Father

This prayer is for Africa, for our brothers in the South, our brothers in the North...

We know that our White brothers have made their Black brothers second class people. O Lord, this hurts us so much. We suffer from this.

You have given us a dark skin so that we may better bear your strong sun.

Why have our brothers done this to us? They are not better than we. And we are not better than they.

What comforts us is that you always love most those who suffer most.

We call ourselves Christians on both sides, but we go to different churches as if there were also different heavens.

The White men still have power in parts of Africa. Help them to use their power wisely and accept us as brothers. Take the mistrust out of their hearts and minds and make them share with us. For this is our continent, or more truly, Yours. For you have marked us for this continent and them for the North.

We also pray for ourselves: O Lord, keep our hearts from hatred, and help us also to be grateful for what missionaries have done here too, for government and the economy. Let us become brothers again, as it should be among your children.

You have died for all and risen. Hallelujah! We praise you, our Father. Who is greater than Europe and Africa, who loves where we hate, who long ago could have destroyed us. But you love us so much, and we have not deserved it. Praise be to you, O Lord.


9:32:53 AM    comment []

Monday, August 23, 2004

In the last month our family has gone through a challenging transition. Jacob, our last of three, entered kindergarten, all our children are in new schools, and Jill started back teaching. Though I'm the only one not in a school, I have been learning not to be an oblivious dad. Just when I think I'm doing pretty well, another wide open plain of needed growth in this area lies before me...

Jill is teaching algebra, geometry, and general math in an inner city middle school. Probably more than half of her students are African American, and regardless of race nearly half are living with a single parent. She daily asks for prayers of anyone willing to offer one for her and her mission.

Meanwhile our children are experiencing more of dad's awareness of their daily needs--to many concerns, programs, daily lunch money or prep and homework, I have been traditionally a skosh oblivious. Things like sports--I'm coaching all three in soccer this year--and formally trying to pray and read the Bible with my kids are more naturally on my mind, but it's those daily concerns of a child's life that I constantly have to remind myself to connect with. And with Jill now teaching, I've needed to take that torch more.

The Lord is so very good to us and all is well, but we would appreciate your prayers in this transition. Even for the guy who is learning out of school to be more aware of those around him. Is dad awareness something all men fight uphill to conquer?

9:24:08 AM    comment []

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