Jeffrey Miller’s Famous Speech

Jeffrey Miller’s Famous Speech

My husband Jeff, tells a story that when he was in school he was required to make a speech in one of his classes. So he choose this:

“Ladies and gentlemen, dogs and cats, cross eyed mosquitoes and bowlegged nats, I come before you, not behind you, to tell you something I know nothing about. Last night, this morning, two babies got up to fight, back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other, a deaf policeman who heard the noise, and come and shot those two dead boys, if you don’t believe this lie is true, ask the blind man he saw it too. “

This limerick nonsense verse is a form of nonsense literature usually employing strong prosodic elements. I think Jeff just liked it because it didn’t make any sense and caused people to think. He still remembers it today and it is a favorite of our children and grandchildren.

As he was quoting it for the upteenth time to our children this week. It got me thinking the contrast of each statement. “I come before you, not behind you”. “Back the back they faced each other” and so on. Statements like this are confusing to people and often so is the way we live our lives as Christians.

We can claim to love God, but we hate His people. We say we believe in God but we don’t believe in His church. We condemn and call out others for their sins while we still sin ourselves. We say we believe the bible but yet we pick and choose what we want to believe from His word. We say we are Christ followers but we only follow what we want in the bible.

We can’t have it both ways. The limerick verse is nonsense literature that we laugh at and enjoy for a good time, but if we decide to live our lives like that we are only asking for trouble. We can’t claim to believe in God and not believe in His church, when God design the church to expound His message to the world by encouraging and educating the believers.

We can’t condemn others for their sins, when we ourselves are sinners. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. Perhaps it would be a good idea for us, to show that same love that God showed to us, to others. We need to live our lives as Christ lived His and that was not in a Limerick attitude.

The Sadducees and Pharisees had a Limerick moment as well in the bible, you see they had added 611 commandments to the original ten God had given Moses and in their effort to defame Jesus they questioned Him.  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40

You see in this life, we can get so focused on what other people are doing or think of us, that we forget what God said. We need to remember that God’s word is the final word and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His words does not change He is the one constant in the ever changing world. So no matter what others may say or do we need to remember that loving God and others is the most important thing we can do.

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The Cowboy Hat and Boots…. the rest of the story!

The Cowboy Hat and Boots…. the rest of the story!

In our house, like many, I am sure, there are a few, I guess you could say “inside jokes”, when something is mentioned our family will all laugh about it because we know the back story. For instance at our house if someone starts to pray and says “Jesus,” then pauses and ever so slowly says ”we love you” our whole family may burst into laughter because it reminds us of a season in Chad’s life when he was about 4 yrs old where his only prayer was “Jesus”, then pause and ever so slowly would say “we love you” then he would speed it up and say “we love you, we love you, Amen” or if someone starts telling a story, we will drag out the word story in just the perfect southern draw, because Jeff is the best storyteller in the world when it comes to Jerry Clower stories and he has his own way of saying “Let me tell you a story” that only he can do.

 

Well, we have another inside joke in our home. It has to do with a pair of cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. Since probably 1985, every time Jeff sees a pair of cowboy boots or a hat, he will mention how I threw his away and honestly he was a little mad, okay, I think he was a lot mad at first. But I wasn’t and I have no regrets and still to this day don’t.

 

For years I have been blamed and be the brunt of many jokes in our family for throwing away Jeff’s cowboy boots and hat. All in good fun of course and technically that is what happened,I did throw them away, I admit it,  but just saying that statement doesn’t explain everything. For at least 34 yrs I have sat quiet and taken the brunt of the jokes and been teased and even at some points made to feel bad because of the deed I did. But today I am hear to clear my name.

 

You see when I threw those away, Jeff had not worn them in years and I found them smashed into the back of the closet and if I remember correctly they had mold growing on them or, I might have tried to save them. But the truth is when I married Jeff Miller he had a horrible time with ingrown toenails.

 

You know what we found out was causing that? Jeff was wearing a size 12 shoe at the time and needed a size 14, and guess what size the boots were? You guessed it! 12.

 

But nobody hears that part of the story when Jeff tells it, They just all look at me with destain in their eyes as if I am a horrible person and that these items are some sort of religious artifacts that can never be touched, and that hat, it was crumbled up beyond repair since it too had been squashed in the closet and left unused.

 

Now is it true, that I have never been attracted to a man in cowboy boots and a hat?, (although that seemed to be the only clothes in which Jeff wore to gain my attention before we were married) “yes”  and is it true that I began to buy things for Jeff to wear that I liked, like dress clothes and penny loafers? “Yes”.

 

But none of that is relevant to the fact that I threw the boots and hat out because he could not wear them any longer and they were actually doing harm to his body. Which sent us on many doctors visits and cost us a lot of money.

 

But Jeff, as you may already know is the most tender hearted sentimental, sweetest man I know. Which is wonderful, but also makes him often cling to certain things that could be thrown away. Jeff enjoys keeping those things around because when he looks at them it brings him joy and reminds him of sweet memories he has.

 

All this got to thinking ….. Isn’t that a lot like us in our life? We want to cling on to the way things use to be. Whether it be how our town used to look, or where we used to live, or what we once had. Even if the previous situation was bad and not good for us we cling to the memories of what we want to remember and some are not the whole picture of what was really going on.

 

You know in the bible the children of Israel had the same problem, God delivered them out of the hands of Pharaoh in Egypt, where they had been slaves all their lives (you can read about it in the book of Exodus) and all they did was complain and want to go back to what they were used to, even though they had prayed for years for God to deliver them. They wanted to go back to what was comfortable. They wanted to go back to what was familiar but God had a different and bigger plan for them. He wanted to take them to a land that was plentiful of everything they needed. He wanted to give them more than what they had. He had a better plan but because it was going to take them stepping out of their comfort zone to do that,  they griped and complained the whole way.

 

In Egypt they were slaves, beaten and abused, made to work long hours for little to no rewards. Bound to an owner that did not love them or care about them. We look back on this story in the bible and think they were crazy for wanting to go back to that. But how crazy are we, when we want to lose weight so we can gain our health back, so we aren’t on so many medications, maybe even avoid having to have knee or hip surgery if we can just get our weight off but we still continue to put things in our mouths that cause us to be sick and gain weight because it is comfortable.

 

Maybe it is an unhealthy relationship that we have we continue to go right back into it. Knowing it isn’t good for us but because we are to scared to make the leap and walk away even though this person abuses you and doesn’t have the capacity to love you like you need to be loved.

 

We are all slaves to something, whether it is holding on to things that we don’t need or use anymore to people and habits that are not healthy for us.

 

The thing is, this past Christmas I bought Jeff a new pair of boots to replace the ones he had, and if I do say so myself, they are as nice if not nicer than the ones he had and the kids just bought him a new cowboy hat for Father’s Day that came in the swanky hat box with a mirror in it and apparently a lock on it so I can’t throw this one away. (at least that is what I have been told)

 

Now could Jeff of replaced them at any time? Sure he could of,  long before this. But the truth is he really didn’t need them and just between you and me I think he likes teasing me about the story more than he wanted a new set. But don’t we often do that, for some we hold onto the memories and even sometimes the resentment of things that have happened in the past instead of moving on, instead of walking in the better life God has for us, because that is where we are comfortable.

 

That is what satan wants us to do, he wants us to keep looking back at where we use to be, longing for that old way of life. When God says “Look to me”, “I have something better for you over here, just trust me”  Even in Isaiah He tells us “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19

 

So when you see Jeff down at the Rodeo or around town in his new boots and hat on, be sure and tell him how nice he looks.  Feel free to sympathize with him of how horrible his wife was to throw his old ones away. But at the same time, ask yourself. “Is there something you are holding onto that God wants you to lay down so He can take you to a new and better place in Him?”

 

Who’s Your Daddy???

Who’s Your Daddy???

If I remember one thing about my daddy, it was that he never gave advice until he was asked. I on the other had have never had that quality. I just kind of spit out what I am thinking even before I am asked. Thus, the reason I have this blog page. I lost my daddy when I was just 23 yrs old. He died of congestive heart failure right in front of me, as Jeff gave him CPR. “Alesa come quick your daddy is dying” I heard for the other room as my mom called out.

 

As hard as it was to stand there and watch my daddy die, It was actually an answer to prayer. You see being a preacher’s kid and living in 5 different states in 18 yrs, and attending 9 different  schools in 12 yrs. My parents were not around when their parents were rushed to the hospital before they passed away. I can remember time after time, my family would get a phone call wherever we were living at the time “ Hurry come quick, we don’t know how much time Mom or Dad has” that call would come from one of my Aunts or Uncles, concerned with one of their parents and every time my family would rush around and drive as fast as we could praying all the way there that they would still be alive by the time we got there.

 

I don’t recall, when or even where I said it and I am sure it probably wasn’t an audible request, but I know I said it in my heart “God don’t let me have to live so far away from my parents that when their time comes to meet you, I have to get the call that says, Hurry come quick!”  

 

And so God granted me that request with both my parents I was there when they took their last breath. But He hasn’t always granted me every request I have asked for. You see as Jeff was doing CPR on my father I was calling 911, the ambulance came and the EMT’s worked on daddy to do everything they could to keep him alive, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital. I can remember, they allowed us time to go in and see him once after they had called it, and I can remember walking up to Daddy as his lifeless body laid on the table in the ER and in the same way I called out to God and said “Please don’t let me get that Hurry come quick, phone call”. I called out to God and said “I know you can raise him from the dead!, In the name of Jesus rise up be healed!”  

 

But that time, God didn’t answer my request. What makes God answer one request and not another?  Why does someone else get what they want and we can pray for the same thing and never get it? This is the questions that plagues many of us. It is the question that has been asked a million times and the only answer anyone can really say is “I don’t know” But I do know, that…….

 

God is the all knowing and all seeing God. He spoke the world into existence and if He can do that, then I think we should follow what He says because He has the right to do just about anything He wants

 

Romans Chapter 5 tells us that  ”because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”

 

Now don’t misunderstand what the verse is saying here God is not sitting up there with a big sledge hammer waiting till you ask for something just so he can jerk it out of your hand, saying “No! Hahaha!” In a big hideous voice laughing at the authority He has over you because He wants to teach us a lesson.

 

No, the bible says that “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” it also tells us that “All things work together for good to those who love God,  according to the plan He has for us”

 

So I don’t know why my dad didn’t sit right up when I called on God to raise him from the dead. I mean I believed, I trust God’s word is true and it happened in the bible it can happen again. Does it mean, I didn’t believe enough, does it mean I didn’t have enough faith, NO! It means God had a better plan. The same way my grandchildren come to my home today and want to eat all the candy, Ice cream, cake and pop I will feed them. But, I know that it is not the best for them, because they will wake up with a stomach ache or throwing up, so I have to be the mean Mimi and say “No!”. Now do you really think I am being mean by telling my grandchild she can’t have her 4th piece of cake or 12th can of pop?  No, you would say I had already indulged them enough, you would say I know best because those things aren’t good for them. It is the same with God, He knows best He can see the future and wants what is best for us.  

 

So why can’t we trust the creator of the universe, the man who predicted His death burial and resurrection with what we ask Him? We can, we just have to realize that, when things don’t happen the way we plan, we know it is just a testing of our faith. We may have a plan for our lives, but God has a bigger plan and so when it feels like we are suffering because we didn’t get what we wanted.  We need to realize if we will just trust God and persevere our perseverance will produce character and out of our character we will gain hope in God and God won’t put us to shame, but He will turn what looked like something going wrong, to something better than we could of ever dreamed of,  if we will not lose hope and only persevere.

 

You know that is the kind of character that our Heavenly Father is looking for in His people. He is looking for a person that will trust Him. Because a friend trusts. We need to see this character in men today because we are living in a generation where many kids don’t have a father, and often a mother they can rely on.

 

It use to be when I would tell people about Jesus I could relate it to a loving father or mother, or even grandparent that had taken care of that child but today with the destruction of the family I am not sure there is a general example that we can compare Christ too,  and you know what? Maybe that is why people don’t trust God like we need to, its because we don’t have that example in front of us anymore.

 

So I don’t know what kind of family you come from, but on this Father’s Day Weekend. It doesn’t matter if your dad was around or not, it doesn’t matter if you have never met your dad, and it doesn’t matter if your daddy is in heaven like mine is. Because we have a Heavenly Father that said He would be the Father to the Fatherless. So trust in Him this week. Even if He has to tell you no. Just remember, He knows best and He loves you enough to keep you from harm even when we don’t understand.