We Are Family

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During the Summer months, many families will come together to catch up and have fun. The chatter will include new family members who are there for the first time. Some family members will be missing for one reason or another. Some will have passed on while others simply just could not make it.

Recently, I met for the first time one of my great nieces.  A delightful young woman, filled with energy and passion for life.  She inquired if I could tell her more about my father, her great-grandfather. As I began to share with her some details of his personality, his hope and dreams for his family, it occured to me that even though I have fond memories of him, I seldom share them. It started me thinking just how little my own children know about their grandfather.

Life gets busy and less important things sometimes fall by the wayside.  We have good intentions but our good intentions never amount to putting things into action.  At this season of my life, I really want to focus on building and maintaining relationships.  Connecting with others is so important, you never know how God will use you to be a blessing in someone else’s life.  Or how God will use someone else to be a blessing in your life.

Visiting and sharing with other members of your family is a good thing. It might surprise you to learn who you most resemble in looks and personality.  Perhaps you can offer stories of family members who are deceased, making them come alive in the hearts of those who never met them in person.

As believers we are a part of a larger family.  This family is called the Body of Christ. The Scripture admonishes us to not neglect meeting with this family.   Hebrews 10:25.  When we fellowship with our brothers and sisters we draw strength and encouragment from each other.  Spend time getting to know family and learning about each other.  The ties that connect us are stronger than the challenges that divide us.

Behold how good and pleasant it is for God’s people to dwell together in unity.. Psalm 133:1.

 

Dr. Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

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Next Chapter

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Our first born just finished her graduate degree, and is off to start her first professional job.  While she seems confident and poised I wonder what she is really thinking.  Is she a lot like me, hiding her fears knowing the best way to conquer fear is to face it?  Does she know that fear can block the blessings God has for us?

How is she really processing this new chapter in her life?  Is she nervous while excited at the same time?  Will she really enjoy being on her own as much as she thinks she will?  How will she know the right answers when asked questions?  Could it be that deep down she is afraid of the next chapter? Or perhaps she does not know enough about life to be concerned about what awaits her in adulthood?

Well, here is a thought, maybe she is the confident young woman that I prayed she would become.  Perhaps she understood when we told her that she could do all things through Christ who strengthens her. Just maybe she grasps the truth of God’s Word and understands that He has not given her the spirit of fear.

Parents: when we pray for our children, do not be surprised when God answers our prayers. While we want our children to grow, there is a part of us that wants them to stay dependent on us.  Well, we can’t have it both ways. Either we pray and trust God, or we live in fear and despair.  The same God that watches them in childhood will watch them in adulthood.  No matter how old they get, they are still His children.

So today, I am a thankful mother.  God has answered and continues to answer my prayers relating to my children. The  screaming infant we brought home years ago is a force to be reckoned with.  She is strong, independent, mature, and knows what she wants in life.  My prayer now is that she stays close to God and allows Him to direct her path. So I say to everyone reading this, do not be afraid to start the next chapter of you life.  And to parents everywhere, if you have raised your children according to God’s Word, rest in that.  Know that God is faithful to fulfill what He has promised.

Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him.  Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

Evelyn and her husband Scott have been married for twenty five years and are the parents of two daughters. My husband and I thank God for our gift, times two.

 

Dr. Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

To learn more about conquering fears read my book Seven Blessing Blockers: Discover How You Can Overcome Hindrances to the Abundant Life

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What Makes A Good Father?

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Although not met with the same enthusiasm as Mother’s Day, we pause on the third Sunday in June to honor our fathers. Children will take their fathers to dinner, buy them gifts, and send cards.  The sermon this Sunday will most likely speak to fathers in one way or another.  Many restaurants will offer discounts for the father’s meal on Father’s Day. Truly it is a day of celebration for those who take their responsibilities as a father seriously.

Looking at the definition of the word father we see a man who has produced or created a child.  It takes no real effort to possess the title of father. There is nothing said about his abilities, his love, his devotion, or his character.  Simply that he created a child.

While there are many fathers, there are some that stand out as good fathers.  A good father will do everything in his power to ensure that the needs of his family are met.  He may work long hours taking on additional jobs just to make sure his family is secure.

A good father not only provides for his family but he will be the spiritual leader of his family.  He will demonstrate the love of our Heavenly Father by the love he shows to his children.  Praying with his children and spending time teaching them about the love of God.

A good father will demonstrate for his sons and daughters how a woman should be treated by the way he treats his wife.  When the son sees his mother respected and cherished he gains much needed knowledge on how to build relationships with the opposite sex.  The daughter also learns how she is to be treated and will not settle for less than the example set by her father.

The role of a good father cannot be reduced to producing or creating a child.  But it encompasses the character and the integrity of the man.  I was blessed to have a good father who my children never met.  But because of the impact he had in my life they have an idea of what he must have been like.  I will close by saying happy Father’s Day to those who have accepted the duties that accompany the title. Know that your children are counting on you to help them to be the best they can be.  Be the kind of father that you want your sons to duplicate one day.

In honor of my father

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 Bishop Martin Luther Johnson Sr.

                 1908-1990

     Gone but not forgotten

Dr. Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

 

Happy Anniversary

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On June 1, my husband and I celebrated 25 years of marriage.  The first 17 or so years went by very fast, but the last few years have been challenging.  I have been my husband’s caregiver since 2008.  He has a chronic neurological disorder which followed a cancer diagnosis.  Over the past years his condition has fluctuated and sometimes he needs more help than other times.  Life has been unpredictable to say the least. While our lives have not been all that we had imagined them to be, we have been blessed.

I wish to share with you a very important lesson that I have learned.  It is a mistake to get overwhelmed with trying to build a life rather than simply living it. Many of our dreams for our future were wrapped in waiting until our children were adults.  Of course, now we realize that many of the things we planned for our empty-nest period will not take place because of his physical condition.

Knowing that God is in control has been our source of strength.  Although illness has a huge impact on a person, I believe that the core of a person remains intact.  The mood may change at times due to pain and suffering, but deep down there is a glimpse of who you are.  On those days that I see little resemblances of the person I married, I have to remind myself of the character and love of the man I vowed to love in sickness and in health 25 years ago.  When we make a commitment in marriage, it has to be to someone we would be willing to accept and love at any condition of life. Life has a way of sending you things you did not expect or prepare for.

Sickness is something we have no control over, and with sickness comes much more.  Many times a chronic illness will take its toll on the family finances.  Some families are forced into bankruptcy, losing their homes, etc. Marriages can end in divorce due to the pressure of a long term illness. But when it appears that much has been loss, remember that God wants to be glorified in our marriages. When God is glorified in the dark moments of our lives we defeat the works of the enemy and render him powerless.

I find it interesting that my husband chose a nurse for his wife.  Coincidental?  I would say not. But divinely inspired is a more appropriate answer, for God knows what we have need of before we ask.


To read more about my journey wait for my new book:

The Heart of a Caregiver.

1 Corinthians 13:13,   “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor Ph.D.

 

Stand Strong

 

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“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

Faith is trust and total reliance on the Word of God.  Faith comes as a result of hearing the Word of God.  Once we hear the Word, we can trust that what God has said will come to past.  Our faith is not in things or people, but our faith is in God and what His Word has to say about our situation.  Others may have an opinion or suggestion regarding our condition, but we must trust what God has said in His Word concerning us.

While it is true that we will experience some difficult periods in this life, God is still the governor.  It is He who knows all there is to know about us.  It is He who orders our steps, and we must trust that He knows the way we take.  Life has its trials and its share of disappointments, but God the creator has placed in each of us what we will need to win the fight.

It is  in the darkest moment that the opportunity for our faith to be strengthened is displayed.  Maintaining a level of faith when life is chaotic can be difficult.  It is in our weakness that He is strong.  Our faith can remain firm because our faith is in a never changing God.  We can lean on God when we are shaky because He is always solid.

If there were no storms in our lives, how would we ever experience the deliverance of an almighty God? Trust the God you serve that He will bring you through.  You can always stand strong because He is holding you.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor Ph.D.

 

Dr. Evelyn J Taylor Ministries

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