What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

I love weddings! And there is nothing I like more than a Royal Wedding. This past week I set the DVR early and recorded the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markel,  on 2 different channels on my DVR. Because I didn’t want to miss a thing! As the day grew closer and the hype of the event begin to escalate, I begin to ask myself, why do I like watching this so much?

Is it because I watched his mother get married?

Is it the dream of being a princess?

Is it the idea of Royalty and all the wealth that comes from it?

Is it because she is an american?

Is it the dresses?

Is it the hats?

 

After pondering over this for most of the past week. I came to the conclusion I love the tradition, I love the heritage that comes with it all. The castle is over 1000 yrs old. The center broch used in her tiara dated back  from the 1800’s. The gold for her ring is made from the family’s own chuck of gold from wales. The dress code for guests were, men could wear a morning coat, uniform, or sport jackets, and women must wear hats, dresses should at least be knee length, and their shoulders covered.  There is something rich and wonderful about the traditions, that comes with Royalty. There is a standard of excellence that I just love!

 

I have reminisced a lot about Tradition/Heritage this last month. As the Assemblies of God celebrated 100 yrs in Kansas, realizing I had lived over half my life with that great heritage. I am proud to have been raised in a home that decided to draw a line in the sand and say we will not be like everyone else. I am thankful for the heritage that has been afforded to me.

 

I have done my best to instill those same values and beliefs in my kids. I pray everyday that the same heritage and values I was raised with will not slip passed those who come after me and be considered  remise or unimportant. After all, I realize that the ultimate value I was raised with is a relationship with Jesus Christ that above all else is the most important thing. But because of that personal relationship with Christ. It calls for me to live a life different than others, a standard of excellence as well,  I have a heritage of this. But what happens if my kids and grands and great grands (one day) refuse to hold on to that same heritage. What will I do?

 

Like the New Royals, they will  also have a choices to make. The next generations will have to decide how to hold on to the roots of what they have been taught, while making a difference in the new world that seems to develop new hurdles that desires to keep them from that standard of excellence, day after day and  year after year.

 

As I pondered this in my heart. I was reminded of a young man in the bible that ultimately refused to follow the heritage of his family. He decided to live on the “Wildside” of his parents faith. He wanted to push it to the edge. He wanted to rebel against what he had been taught was right.

Samson who appears in the Book of Judges, 13-16 of the Bible,  was an Israelite who followed the Nazirite life, which included not drinking or cutting their hair. A Nazarite took a vow, This vow required the person to: Abstain from wine, wine vinegar, grapes, raisins, intoxicating liquors, vinegar made from such substances, and eating or drinking any substance that contains any trace of grapes. As well as touching anything dead.

 

Samson’s mother prayed for him as she was barron. One day an angel appeared to her and told her she would have a child and this child was to be raised as a Nazarite as he was going to be save the Israelites.

 

Samson was anointed with special power of strength. He had a God given gift that was to help him defeat the Philistines. Unfortunately, Samson got cocky,  He didn’t follow the traditions of his family and let the love of a woman outside the traditions of his faith lead him astray. He decided he would play to close to the enemy and ended up losing his life over it. He ultimately accomplished what God desire, but I have to believe, God’s original plan did not include Samson giving his life for it.

 

So that is the question we have to answer today. When is it okay to compromise your beliefs and traditions that make up that heritage? The Royals, are now marrying divocee’s and for the first time ever, there was an African American spoke at the thousand year old Windsor Chapel. Samson choose to marry outside his traditions of marrying within your own country. Samson choose to sleep with a prostitute that would soon be the end to his demise. He allowed his pride and jealousy to reek havoc on the Philistines.

 

Did either lowered their standard of excellence?  The angel told Samson’s mom to raise him as a nazirite which included not drinking alcohol, but Samson, allow the lust of his flesh to deceive him. Is one worse than the other? What is important here to remember is that anything that comes between you can God is wrong. When we believe that we know better than what the scripture says we have a problem.

 

God’s word is our absolute truth. There is no compromising it. God has given us His word not because He hates us or wants to make our lives miserable but He has given us His word because He loves us, He has given us His word because He wants to protect us. All too often today we are lowering our standards to fit in with what the world says.

 

On the opposite side many of us are willing to die on a mountain of controversy that God doesn’t even care about. It is important to teach our children the love of our Heavenly Father. He is not a God up in heaven waiting with a hammer in his hand, just looking for us to mess up so He can knock us on the head. If we do it right and our kids really grasp the fact that God loves them, then they will long to desire to please Him and follow after that standard of excellence.

 

So what are you doing today? Are you studying God’s word so you will know what it says? Or are you just taking someone’s word for it? Because when we don’t know what to do. We need to know what God’s word says.  That is the only standard of excellence we need to follow

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REDO Part #2 a continuations from Praise Him!!

This article was originally written in October 2010. I am re-sharing this to remind us of how faithful God is.  As I talked about in my article last week. this is just some of the memories that was going through my mind as I was singing “Great is your faithfulness, your promise still stands this in my confidence you’ve never failed me yet!! (Do it again, by Elevation Worship)

 Have you ever felt like you wanted to just quit, and holler re-do, or just hit the reverse button on this life altogether?

I have!  It has been one of those days…… no weeks…..no months……. OK! really a couple of years.

Between finding out our youngest has some learning disabilities, a job loss (still unemployed after 2yrs), being responsible for the care of my handicapped elderly mother, and now finding out that a 14yr hope, dream and vision that we know God wants us to do, appears to be on hold once again!  I have come to my wits end.

I am wondering; what’s the next step and where do we go? What do we do? What did we do wrong? My head is spinning with questions of uncertainty. What curriculum to use for my child now? Have I already screwed him up? How are we going to pay for the special curriculum? Am I really this bad of a parent? Will the next phone call I get.  be that my mother is gone?  What have I done so wrong that God has allowed me to go through this? The questions are endless and so are the accusations the devil flies at me.

I feel my family has been on a long journey, a wandering in the wilderness per say for the last 11yrs. All I want is a “normal” life.

So, I go to the Word.  I open the bible to Joshua 5. Here are the children of Israel, those promised the Promised Land.  They have wandered in the wilderness for 40yrs on the hope and dream of a promise their parents had only talked about.  All this generation knows is God’s provision, simply that God covers them with a cloud by day to keep them cool in the desert and provides a fire by night to keep them warm. Manna falls from the sky to feed them. All these people have known is God’s provision and that they have been promised a land flowing with milk and honey.

Think about it, all these people (about 2.5 million) and all but Caleb and Joshua, have now only eaten manna all their lives, they have known nothing but God’s provision for every part of their life. Every part of their day and night for the last 40 yrs., literally all their lives, has been about getting to the Promised Land. Now they have just crossed the Jordan River (on dry land, another provision of God) they can see the Promised Land and God tells them to make a camp, celebrate the Passover and get circumcised. They can see what God has promised them and the scripture says……

Joshua 5:12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna anymore; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

THAT YEAR!!!! Really???? Is it saying they waited a year???  A YEAR???? Seriously??? Here they are they can see what God has promised them and they have to sit there and look at it for a year

Maybe you have been waiting on that “Promised Land”, whatever it is for you in your life, and it seems like once again you’re on hold.

The reassuring part to this story for me is threefold:

  1. God provides. The whole time, in the wilderness God provides. So, no matter what we’re going through, whatever wilderness we may feel like we are in, God will provide.
  2. They do make it to the promised land. God does not leave them hanging, but He sees them through.
  3. We have nothing to be ashamed of. The past is the past, Gods word says, forgetting those things behind me I press on…I reach forth… Basically, Keep going! God is about to bring you to a higher ground!

Whether you are in the middle of what feels like a 40yr wilderness journey, or you may be so close, can see what God has promised you and yet you must sit outside and wait before you can reach it. Know this …. That today, whatever your wilderness, whatever your Promised Land whatever your battle… God will provide, He will see you through to the other side and you WILL come out victorious! You are a priceless, valuable treasure to God and He loves you.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

Praise Him!!

This past Sunday I attended the Church in Wichita that Chad’s College is associated with. They have a annual end of the year event at the church and invite all the families of the students to attend. Well, since Jeff must preach on Sundays here, I am always the representative for the family on events like this. Once Amy came down from Kansas City and joined me, but this year, we had a surprise for Chad. His oldest brother and family drove in from Tulsa to surprise him.

Chad and I arrived at the church early because he was on the agenda of the service. Church began, and Lee was nowhere to be found. But as the whole church stood in the worship service singing Lee comes up taps Chad on the shoulder and asks if the seat next to him is taken. Chad was thrilled his brother was there, but we were both excited to see J.J.  See he is my first grandson and named after Jeff so to have a third in the family is super special. As I took J.J. in my arms still standing and singing with the congregation, the words of the song ”Do it again” by Elevation worship came out of my mouth…

“Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, you’ve never failed me yet”

Those words were repeated several times as I stood there. As I sung them,   I couldn’t help but first look at the little one in my arms and in my mind I went back in time, when his daddy was about that age and how I would tell Lee, “Now one day you are going to have a son and you will call him, Jeffrey Lee Miller the Third after you and your daddy”. I told him that often throughout his life, it was a silly little dream I had, but I prayed it would come true and it did. Then my mind jumped to all the learning difficulties Chad has had and the times I had cried out to God “What should I do? How can I help him? I recalled all that Chad has overcome just since being at school in Wichita. From failing every class his first semester, except Student Success Class (Go figure? How does that Happen?) to this year passing all his classes with C’s or above. Memory after memory kept running through my mind of just how good God had been to us.  The time Lee had an infection in his thumb and he almost lost it, but we prayed, and woke up the next morning to new skin growing on it, God healed it. I remembered the time we didn’t know where our next meal was going to come from but God provided that check in the mail. I recounted over and over again of God’s faithfulness in our lives! As I sung out to Him“You’ve never failed me yet!”

All this got me thinking……. What if, we would all just do that? Just look back and recount all that God has done for us. Because I must tell you. My heart swelled with gratitude when I considered what He has done. Is my life perfect now? Absolutely not! Do I still have problems? Yep, every day! But see one of the verses in that song says…

“Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet”

I think all too often instead of looking at what God has done for us, we focus on what we haven’t gotten. What we prayed for and never came, or when the circumstance didn’t turn out to be what we expected. But our faith can never be measured by whether God answers our prayers or not. Our faith can only be measured by the sure fact that we believe who God says He is and we trust in who He is, knowing if we will follow Him that in the end He has the best plan. It is called dying to our-self. We have to learn to give up our will, and our way if it doesn’t go as we had hoped and we trust in the Master’s plan.

But all too often we act like a 2-year-old who when they don’t get their way, throws a fit and refuses to play nicely. Let me encourage you this week, take the time to think of all God has brought you through, then praise Him for being there even when you didn’t know it and providing and protecting for you and your family. Maybe even look up this song and listen to it. Because let me tell you as we focus on the faithfulness of God, if we won’t quit if we will continue to trust in His faithfulness. Yes, it may not turn out like we had hoped and our heart maybe breaking but I promise when the dust settles, and all is said and done, we may even have to be standing before our Heavenly Father one day before we find out, but in the end we will find out, we can trust Him!

He has a plan and He is faithful. When Chad graduated from High School not being able to read much more than a 4th grade level because of his Dyslexia and other learning disabilities, all of which have no cure. We never dreamed He would be attending a Bible School where he had to read and write so much. We assumed he would end up in a more manual labor job because that is where he is gifted at. But God had a different plan.

So, no matter what mountain you are going around right now, or how many times you feel like you have been around it. Trust God, give Him glory right where you are. Don’t make Him perform to your specifications before you will praise Him. Because if you demand that, He isn’t the God, you are! And let me tell you, You nor I are God or even close to being one.

I have to be honest, there was a season of my life, I was a little mad at God, because my kid has to work 10 times harder than any other to do the same thing another kid easily accomplishes. Chad is incredibly intelligent yet struggles to get it out. But I had to choose, to trust God, even though I couldn’t see how He would use this for His glory. I choose to trust, to keep going. I refuse to lose faith in a God I knew was faithful! And I would be lying if I said I still don’t have to encourage myself every now and then by remembering what God has already brought us through.

So, this week, let’s do what Psalms 150:1-6 (ESV) says

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens![a]
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his excellent greatness!                                                                                                                         

 3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!

Praise him with tambourine and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!