Archives for June 2010

Jun 29

15 Years Ago Today

15 Years ago today, my 2nd son was born.  His name is John Hayden Taylor. We call him Hayden…or Sweet Pea…or Hurricane Hayden :)   Notice that his nicknames seem to contradict each other, well that’s my Hayden.  Often misunderstood (except by his mama, who knows how sweet he is), this child truly is a hurricane one moment and a sweet mama’s boy the next.

When Hayden was a baby, I began praying Joshua 1:9 for him.  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)  (I used green because that is his favorite color.) I can’t tell you how many times this verse has been exactly what he’s needed.  That reminder that the Lord is always with him providing strength and courage has been of great value to my very strong on the outside but sensitive on the inside little (big) boy.

Even though the world sees my Hayden as an outspoken, confident, funny, tough boy who plays football and lacrosse, and is passionate about the Florida Gators and SEC football, as his mom, I am privied to the other side of him too.  The side that needs a hug, cares about his little sister’s feelings, and recognizes when his mom needs him.

I was recently reminded of how the time really has flown by.  Our family went to the movie, Toy Story 3 together.  The 3rd installment of the wonderful Toy Story movies did not disappoint. Instead it brought back wonderful memories. We are huge fans of the 1st 2.  After the movie, we talked about old toys that our kids used to play with and how much fun it was to be little. Hayden said it really made him miss being a little kid.  It made me miss it too.  In the movie, Andy, who is the boy that we have watched grow up in these movies, is going to college and his toys are worried about what will become of them.  It really made us all just want to cling to the moment and treasure our time together.  Time goes by and that is something we can’t change. What we do with our time, however, is in our control.  So we need to make the most of it!  And now we are treating the toys in our home like they are real people. It’s crazy!

I hope you are making the most of your day today!  Add a comment and I’ll pray specifically for you by name. I’ll pray Joshua 1:9 for anyone who leaves me a comment today in honor of Hayden’s 15th birthday.  Blessings to you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAYDEN!!  Your Mama loves you “to infinity and beyond!”

Melissa
Jun 24

He Knows My Name

Comments from yesterday’s blogpost have been stuck in my head.  Most of us are similar. We know that freedom in Christ is ours to be had, but often living it and remembering it 24/7 is a different story.  The message Free From the Past was inspired by the sermon I heard on Sunday by Pastor Derwin Gray.  That was not the first time Derwin inspired me.  I pray you are encouraged by this devotion written quite a few years ago, also inspired by a real life encounter between Derwin and my son, Hayden.  May you leave this blog today feeling, receiving, and knowing that the Lord knows you by name and loves you very much.

He Knows My Name

“He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3b (NIV)

My son Hayden loves football. Sometimes I think it’s his reason for living. He reads, plays, and studies the game. His moods are often affected by how a game turns out, and he looks up to many of the athletes who have played the game well. One such athlete is Derwin Gray. Derwin and his family attended our church for years. He played for the Indianapolis Colts and the Carolina Panthers. He is also a great man of God who has devoted his life to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. Hayden has great memories of passing the football with Derwin in the hallways of our church. He also had the pleasure of accompanying him in leading the Miami Dolphins’ chapel service before a game. How it brought joy to my heart to hear Hayden talk about meeting professional football players, especially those who loved God. This man, though he probably doesn’t know it, has had a profound impact on my son’s life. Derwin Gray invested in my son.

Hayden collects football cards. Each time I go to Wal-Mart, I pick up a pack, hoping we will get a few new ones and maybe even the prestigious “Peyton Manning” card. Well, it finally happened! After buying many, many packs of cards, Peyton was finally ours! Hayden placed him on the page of honor, the front page of his book. There was still one space left and I asked Hayden who he was saving it for. Derwin Gray, he replied.

A few days later, Hayden’s best friend, Hunter came over with his football cards. Hunter had three Derwin Gray cards, so Hayden asked him for one. Being the smart business man he is, Hunter said, “Sure, if I can have your Peyton Manning card.” Hayden gladly handed it over and was thrilled to receive his hero’s card. I, on the other hand, thought, Do you know how much money I spent to find that thing? What are you thinking?

Later I asked Hayden why he traded that card we worked so hard to get. Hayden’s answer blew me away. “Mom,” he explained, “Derwin knows me. He knows my name.” It meant a lot to Hayden that someone he looked up to knew his name. Peyton Manning was special, but he did not know his name.

Do you know there is someone incredible who knows your name? He is the Almighty God, Creator of this Universe and Creator of you. He not only knows your name, but the Bible tells us He knows every hair on your head. He also knows every detail of your life. He loves you and wants to spend time with you. God wants to be a part of your life. You don’t even have to make a trade for Him. He’s yours just for the asking. Oddly enough, a Derwin Gray football card could’ve been Hayden’s just for the asking too.

This story got back to Derwin. On the day of Hayden’s First Communion, Derwin came to church with something greater than a football card. It was an 8×10 picture of him when he played for the Panthers. He signed it with a personal message and Bible verse for Hayden. He also handed Hayden five of his football cards to give to friends. Even when Hayden is mad at the outcome of a Panthers game and removes all of the Panther stuff from his room in protest, the Derwin Gray picture remains, because, “Mom, he knows my name.”

Dear Lord, Wow! You know my name! I praise You for Your unfailing and unconditional love in my life. I am grateful that I do not have to do anything to earn Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart? by Lysa TerKeurst

Building the Christian Family You Never Had by Mary E. DeMuth

Application Steps:
Take the time to read Jesus’ very own words in John 10:1-16. Celebrate the fact that Jesus knows your name.

Reflections:
Now that you know that Jesus knows your name, who do you say that He is?

Do you recognize God’s voice when He is speaking to you?

Power Verses:
Matthew, 10:30, “And even the very hairs on your head are numbered.” (NIV)

Luke 9:20, “’But what about you?’ Jesus asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’” (NIV)

Psalm 16:3, “The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!” (NLT)

Blessings and Love! Have a wonderful day :)
Melissa
Jun 23

Free From the Past

This past Sunday we had a guest preacher.  Pastor Derwin Gray of  Transformation Church in Fort Mill, SC delivered a message that I will not soon forget. It was a prodigal son message. I’ve heard the story many times (Luke 15:11-32), but this week it seemed new to me.  Don’t you just love how God’s Word is like that?  You can read the same verses over and over yet God can use them to speak to you in a different way each time.  Of course the story of the prodigal son did not change, but the pastor delivered it in his own style and I haven’t been able to quit thinking about it since.

If you have not read this story, check it out in Luke 15.  “Marinate” on it, as Pastor Gray would say :)  He also added some of his own words of wisdom taken from God’s Word, specifically this story.  If you’ve ever struggled with forgiveness, guilt, or your past, you need to claim these today!

“If we could do something to make God love us more, that would diminish what Jesus did for us.” So true!!!!  How often to we try to please God hoping that He will forget the bad we’ve done and remember the good.  Well guess what?  He does. But not because of what we do.  Because of what Jesus did…dying on the cross to remove our sin.  If we could make God love us more, then what Jesus did doesn’t matter.  We can’t make God love us more. He already loves us the mostest of all! No matter what we do, have done, or try to be.  He just does. He loves us. Always has. Always will.

“Your past doesn’t define you. Jesus’ past does.” Thank You Jesus!!!  Thank You so much, I can never give You enough thanks and praise for this.  What You did for me and the fact that I love and believe in You, THAT defines me.  I’ve done many things I regret.  If I could change that, I would for sure, but I can’t.  Thank the Lord that doesn’t mean that I’m done for!  It just means I messed up.  Jesus gives me freedom from my past.

“Every Christian has a past, every sinner has a future.” I can’t add much more to that.

Do you struggle with the sins of your past?  The prodigal son did too.  Yet, when he returned home, his father was waiting for him with the fatted calf, a new robe, open arms, and a party!  Wouldn’t it be terrible if when the party was over, the son went back to believing that he was a no good scum failure?  His father would not want him to ever believe that.  Your Father in Heaven doesn’t want you to believe that either. I hope you don’t. Leave your sins where they belong. With Jesus. In the past.

I know how hard it is to believe that we are indeed worthy and valuable. I hear the same negative voices in my ear that many of you do.  But they aren’t from God.  Let’s not listen to them any more. If you still have doubts, read my Top 10 Ways to Know You Are Worthy.

John 10:10– “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

I pray you are living a free and full life today.

Much Love  <3

Melissa