Monday, October 29, 2012

About the Audience

Dear Reader,

Who are you?

Really think about this for a minute.  Close your eyes if you have to.  Once you have your answer, you may continue reading.

Over the years, I have asked myself “Who are you?” many, many, MANY times.  Sometimes the answer was “You are a writer,” or “You are an artist,” but the question is not “What do you do?” but “Who are you?” so both of these responses were incorrect.   Once or twice I tried to make the answer “You are beautiful by the world’s standards,” and was miserable as a result.  After answering the question wrong for many years, I finally started to answer the question right.  Maybe you are wondering, “Who IS Megan Taylor, exactly?”  Drum roll, please…

I am a child of God.

You cough.  You read my response a second time.  You are not as impressed as you should be.  Let me say it again:

I am a child of the living God (John 1:12), the Alpha and Omega (Beginning and End), the Creator, the divine Father, the Light, the Savior of the World, the Healer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the Lion of Judah, the Shepherd, the Holy, Holy, Holy One!  I am loved, redeemed, and adopted by Yahweh!

Consider the implications of what I just said. 

As a daughter of God, I can know not only that I am loved and treasured by the Author of the Universe, but also that I have access to His power.  From ground level everything looks a lot scarier.  From God’s perspective, however, our poor finances, diseases, bad relationships, divorced parents, and uncertain future, are much smaller problems. 

Romans 8:14-15 says,

“All who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

This is not to say that God does not care about our pain—Jesus experienced our pain while living on earth.  What I mean is that He sees the future, He helps us when we cry out to Him, and He protects us from that which we cannot handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).

I am not the sum of my actions, likes, dislikes, victories, failures, or words…

I am God’s daughter.  That’s it.  Nothing I do can make that more true (or false).  Once adopted by God, always adopted by God.

In Romans 8:38-39, Paul proclaims,

“I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

And in 1 Corinthians 13:8,

“Love never fails.”

So let me ask you again: who are you?  

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a child of God!  If you are not yet a follower but want to be one, all you have to do is ask God to forgive you for your sins, acknowledge that Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross (see John 3:16), and ask God to help you follow Him!  If you would like to know more about your Creator, the Bible is the perfect place to start looking.

Ardently Yours,


Monday, October 8, 2012

Hamlet: Who is Shakespeare?!

Life is full of difficult questions--especially if you don't believe in a Creator.  But even if you do, and even if you are a Christian (as I am), there are still many things left to wonder about...and according to the Bible, God is okay with that, and even commends us for seeking the truth (Acts 17:11)!  In Proverbs 14:15, Solomon rightly avers,

"The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps."

So lately I've been asking myself "Why, God?" (can anyone relate?)

First off, I know that the God of the Bible exists--there is too much evidence supporting His existence in and around me for me to possibly believe otherwise.  What I have been asking is why does God love us (1 John 4:19), and what is the purpose of "love" anyways?  Isn't love just an arbitrary characteristic or invention of an all-powerful God?  And what if love and truth are really evil and lies, and we've all just been hardwired to perceive these things as good?

Who can know if God is truly good and not a divine liar?

But I keep going back to those verses that say things like "His ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9, Job 38)," and "His love is incomprehensible (Ephesians 3:17-19)," so...I know I'm just supposed to trust Him*.  


Because I don't know everything, and am incapable of doing so.

C.S. Lewis put it this way: we relate to God the way Hamlet relates to Shakespeare--He is the Writer, and we are the characters in His novel.  He is the Creator, and we are His creation!  (This does not mean, by the way, that He is not involved in our lives; roughly 2000 years ago He wrote Himself into His story as the God/man Jesus Christ and suffered with us and for us for Love's sake!  See John 3:16.)  

Although God is an orderly, logical God, I cannot reach God with logic alone--some belief in mystery is essential.  After all, if we understood all things, faith would be unnecessary (and anyone who seriously studies the Scriptures knows that the truth couldn't be further!  See Hebrews 11:6).

And I take immense comfort in the mystery. makes me so relieved when I remember the answer (that that question cannot be answered!) that I always breathe a huge sigh of relief, look up, and laugh (as I am doing now).

Love the logic AND the mystery, my friends!

Ardently Yours,

*Its hard to trust someone you don't know anything about.  If you want to know more about God, you could try
1) reading the book He inspired (the Bible); Here are a few passages for you to read: Exodus 34:5-7, Psalms, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  For more verses about God's character, here is a good link to check out:
2) Praying (talking) to God and asking Him to reveal Himself to you.  
If you are patient and sincere, I guarantee you will not be disappointed by either option.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DaVinci, the Moon, and the Promises of God

Should Leonardo DaVinci have painted the Mona Lisa? Four years is a long time for any man to spend painting one portrait. Much labor was probably invested in the artistic endeavor. Perhaps DaVinci should have instead spent his time gallivanting about the French countryside picking flowers and dreaming of love everlasting. Of course DaVinci should have painted the Mona Lisa!  Because of DaVinci’s vision and dedication to his work, millions of people around the world enjoy his mysterious masterpiece. Why question DaVinci’s choice to paint? His decision was obviously a wise one. As DaVinci labored to complete the Mona Lisa, so every man and woman must labor to create a beautiful, fulfilling relationship. According to Divorce Magazine, 49% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Many members of today’s culture believe that love is a mere, transient feeling, and divorce their spouses promptly after “falling out of love.” Margaret Anderson once said, "In real love you want the other person's good. In romantic love, you want the other person." If this is true, why do people divorce, and what is the result of this severance of souls? Frequently, divorce causes tension between family members and friends, children who grow up to respect marriage less, and desensitized divorcees who are less likely to be faithful in future relationships.

There are more than two victims for every marriage annulled. Every November, my grandma goes into hyper mode trying to prepare a decent Thanksgiving Day get-together for the family. This is not a simple task; there are many people to consider. Because one of my uncles has divorced twice and is currently dating, my grandma has been forced to make awkward, difficult choices when choosing who to invite to our Thanksgiving feast. Ex wives, half cousins, and distant extended family must all be circumspectly considered. The point is this: when two people divorce, they are not just hurting themselves; they are hurting everyone around them. Divorce might legally divide a husband from a wife, but a mom from her son? A father from his daughter? What about the couple’s formerly united extended family and friends? All of these people are inevitably spiritually wounded in some way by the nuclear bomb otherwise known as divorce.

The most devastated casualties of any divorce are the children. Shockingly, according to the research of Daniel T. Lichter
1, "Children who grow up in single-parent homes are less likely to marry, more likely to divorce, and more likely to have children outside of wedlock." This statement is painfully true. My eighteen-year-old cousin, whose parents divorced when she was young, is currently unmarried and raising a toddler. She hangs out with druggies, some of whom come from broken families as well. Having grown up without a father to tell her how beautiful and precious she is, this young girl looked for love in all the wrong places hoping to fill the emptiness in her life with something worthwhile. Her boyfriend grew up without a father present in his life who could teach him to be a man. Because my cousin’s boyfriend was the only one who “understood” her, she must now focus on raising a child instead of on planning her college education. How can anyone claim that divorce is a personal choice, one that harms only its chooser? The casualties are too real. Divorce is war.

Divorce serves as a great desensitizer of the human heart. According to an article on, 65% of all second marriages and 75% of all third marriages end in divorce. I once attended a conference for young people that addressed teen dating, in which teens were instructed to view dating as practicing divorce.  The speaker at this conference called a boy with hairy legs to come to the front of the room where everyone could see him. This speaker then proceeded to press a piece of duct tape to one of the boy’s legs. Notably, the tape was said to represent a relationship with a girl. After the speaker had established the role that the tape played in his presentation, he suddenly ripped the tape from the volunteer’s leg, to the boy’s horror. To the surprise of all watching, the speaker pressed the tape onto the same spot of his leg again, and soon ripped it away. This strange, painful process was repeated a few times. By the last time, this boy did not wince at the pain any more. Like a bad break up, or divorce, the ripping away of the tape desensitized his leg until he could no longer feel the pain. How tragic it is for those who do not feel the pain. Every time a person chooses to “tear away” from the heart of another through divorce, they lose a little bit of their heart in the process.

Divorce is not a mere personal affair, nor is it neat and tidy. It cannot be wiped clean like a kitchen counter, nor can it be washed down the bathroom sink in a swirl of hand soap and black dirt. Maggie Gallagher, author of The Abolition of Marriage, wrote, “‘You can't force two people to stay married,' we tell ourselves and turn the page. Divorce, however, is not usually the act of a couple, but of an individual. Eighty percent of divorces in this country are unilateral, rather than truly mutual, decisions. In fact, the divorce revolution can be more accurately described as a shift of power, favoring the interests of one party over others: the interests of the spouse who wishes to leave over those of the spouse who is being abandoned and over those of the children whose consent is not sought.” Sometimes a husband or wife divorces his or her spouse for selfish reasons, while others divorce to flee abuse. Whatever the case, divorce always ends unhappily, inevitably hurting friends, family, children, and the divorcees. What is the solution?   Hopeless misery? Suicide? No. What, then? Perhaps it would be wise for couples to consider separating for a time to gather their thoughts or sanity, or to seek marital counsel from someone who is wise and trustworthy. One might even consider going to God for help. In 
God’s Word, He promises all that come to Him a future full of hope, as well as His redemptive power and love. Jesus can redeem all brokenness. He does not promise His children that they will always be happy, but instead that He will give them His immutable joy. David proclaims in the psalms that the joy of the Lord is his strength. If one is bold enough to entrust their broken marriage, their children, and their life in God’s hands, they cannot fail. Do not give up on your marriage because it is imperfect. Instead, with God’s help, strive to paint Mona Lisa marriages, and do not fear failure. Les Brown collaborated on this assertion when he quoted, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”  

1Daniel T. Lichter et al., "Race and the Retreat from Marriage: A Shortage of Marriageable Men?" American Sociological Review 57

Monday, October 1, 2012

He Rejoices Over Us

Dear Readers,

No words can describe how happy I am to be able to write for you today!  Since my last entry was published in June, my life has been, shall we say...a beautiful mess.  There have been extraordinarily beautiful moments where God touched me in a powerful way (while I was smiling), and there have been extraordinarily painful moments where God touched me in a powerful way (while I was crying).  I can honestly report that I am thankful for the full spectrum of beauty and pain I have experienced this summer, because each vivid moment spent with God has made me stronger.  Jesus is so good!

And now, to dive into our pressing subject matter: US.  No, I am not talking about the slang abbreviation for our wayward country...I am referring to YOU.  Me.  We.  Humans saved by God’s grace…and delighted in by our divine Father. 

Here I have documented some of your likely initial reactions:

1) Huh?

2) Ha-ha.

3) Heresy!

4) Hmm, I’d rather not…

If you find you are somewhere in between, or that you are a bit of each: good.  That means I’m not alone! 

Standing straight, palms facing up, head bowed down, I prayed in earnest:

Dear God, I am such a sinner…so wretched before You…how can You love a person as messed up as I am?  Just tell me what You want me to do, and I’ll do it!

And although I was immersed in a sea of Jesus-worshippers, I felt almost as solitary as if I were completely alone.  I was at a church conference for teenagers, waiting for God to reveal Himself to me in a new way…and during the first few worship songs (which were really like corporate prayer sessions), it didn't seem like God would ever show up.

Then came the song “Mighty Fortress,” and my whole world began to shift a bit:

Like a mighty fortress, He is our God
Like a mighty fortress, He is our God
When enemies surround us, rising like a flood
They break into pieces, swallowed in dust

At this point of the song, everything for me was fine, normal…it is the next stanza that really sent me into a spiritual tailspin:

He rejoices
He rejoices over us

The rest of the song is awesome, and I really gelled with the lyrics in worship…but the phrase “He rejoices over us” made me cringe a little every time it was used, evoking a simultaneous “Heresy!” and “Hmm, I’d rather not…” reaction in my gut.  I was disturbed by the fact that many of the other worshippers around me loved this part of the song.  Smiles flashed and eyes shined.  Some worshippers even danced.  I ducked my head down and sort of apologized to God for the selfish assertion.  You may think at this point that I was merely being humble, but what I was really experiencing was a sense of deep, crippling unworthiness that’s root was not exactly grounded in Truth. In fact, focusing on one’s inability to serve God reflects a lack of faith, and an excess of fear. 

Consider, for example, the story of Moses in the Bible.  God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and his response to God was that he was "not capable."  While Moses did not seem to struggle so much with unworthiness as He did with fear of man, the concept is similar: Moses focused more on his weakness than he did on God's power to use him despite his shortcomings.  If we really desire to serve God, we must see and understand Him as He truly is--all-powerful, graceful, and loving--and not as our feelings dictate.  If God's Word says that God is the One who makes those faithful to Him worthy (2 Thessalonians 1:11), then who are we to say we are unworthy?  After all, God knows us better than anyone else, including ourselves (Psalm 139)!

If you still don’t understand what was wrong with my reaction, consider for a moment the fact that we are called sons and daughters of God (2 Corinthians 6:18).  Now imagine that your biological dad asks you to help him partake in a community outreach.  You feel so unworthy to help your dad minister to the community that you require him to tell you what to do step by step, and apologize for your lack of proficiency in completing the tasks he gives you every time you trip up, or even for no reason at all.  Your dad would probably be more frustrated than flattered by your dependency, and consequently try to teach you to be more independent.  You and He would still be a team by necessity, but you would have to learn to take more initiative, to take leaps of faith…and to not be so afraid to mess up that you choose to not do anything to help at all.  In short, you would learn to co-labor with your father.

Zephaniah 3:17 declares,

"The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

Honestly, the thought of God rejoicing over me is still very overwhelming, and I still will often bow my head down low when I hear the phrase “He rejoices over us,” but now I smile, because I know that my identity as His daughter makes that statement 100% correct.  He does not revel in my sinfulness, but in the victory that He foresees in my life.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God promises,

"I know the plans I have for you...They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

And in Philippians 1:7, Paul asserts,

"I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."


Ardently Yours,