Spirit Lead Me

Spirit Lead Me

One of the very first memories I have of attending a community event in Greensburg KS was hearing the school choir/ talent night at the High School, a young girl got up and sung,  Oceans by Hillsong. It was a new song to me but the words stuck in my head for days. 

That night, something was changed, in me and looking back, it was the beginning of something that would dramatically change my life through out the next 6 and a half years later.  The chorus to the song continued to run through my mind “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters, Wherever You would call me, Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith be made stronger, In the presence of my Savior.”

For the next 6 years, I believe God was personally challenging me to begin to step out in faith and trust Him more. You might not realize this but I have suffered from a lot of anxiety and depression and most of it has stemmed from previous ministries experiences I have had, either as a Pastor’s wife, or Preachers daughter.  In many of those experiences I was made to feel less than capable, less that good enough, So coming to Greensburg and stepping into being a Pastor’s wife one more time was quite the step of faith for me. 

When you live in the proverbial fish bowl called the parsonage, you never really feel like your life is our own and being in a small town, where I felt like every time I walked outside my door people were looking out their window watching my every move did not help. (and trust me I know it happened when one of my neighbors told me they saw me walked out to my car in my PJ’s to get something one day) 

Nor did it help that when I walked into public places and people stared me down, looking me up and down as if to say “Who are you and what are you doing here?” As if I was not worthy to be in there town because they didn’t know who I was or where I was from. 

All that simply pushed me into an even more secluded lifestyle than I had previous had in the City, living in Kansas City it never bother me to go out and about, because people in the city could care less if you walk outside in your yard on your PJ’s. But in Greensburg every eye was on me when I went outside and I felt it.  

Looking back, I took the first step onto the water of faith by starting to write a religious column for the paper.  It was easy, I could express my faith, click send on my computer and WA-LAA! A few days later it magically appeared in the paper. I did that for about 2 yrs when one day magically an email came back to me from someone I had never met before, at the same address I had been sending those columns to, the email asked “ Would you be interested in a job?”  

Days later, I will never forget as I got off the phone with the editor telling her I had made my decision to write for the Kiowa County Signal. I pointed my finger to the heaven’s and told God “I know what your trying to do here and I don’t like it!” 

See what He was doing was “ Letting me walk upon the waters, Where He had called me, Taking me deeper than my feet could ever wander,  And I knew that my faith would be made stronger, In the presence of my Savior.” 

If you had ever asked me if I would be writing for a paper. I would have laughed in your face. But God asked me to step onto waters where I had never been before,  I had no education, no degree to do it, I was totally unprepared, except for God, who gave me the gift of gab and the ability to put that on paper.I knew God would go with me. 

These last few years writing articles about this community for the paper has done more for me personally and spiritually than anyone could ever know. It has stretched my faith, it has helped me to build relationships and get to know this community that I have now fallen in love with.

Before writing for the paper, I got out of my house maybe 2 days a week, I literally planned all my errands around Sunday and Wednesday so I didn’t have to leave the house and see anyone, just to assure, I wouldn’t get to many of  those weird looks when I walked into places. I wouldn’t feel that feeling that I wasn’t good enough to be here because people didn’t know who I was. 

You see those first few interactions I had with the community had so fed into the anxiety and issues I had dealt with in past ministry experiences all my life, that I allowed it to isolate me and that is exactly what satan wanted me to do! 

I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone, which was the four walls of my house, but that email that ultimately led to a phone call, that opened the door for me to write for the paper, was just a confirmation of what God had been telling me and that was “Get out in the community!” That email led me to meeting so many people and gave me an open door where even being a pastor’s wife in town could not. 

We read in Exodus when God called Moses to free the Israelite and Moses asks God “Who am I to do that?” then God responds “I will go with you” confirming what was written in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” 

I don’t know what fear is holding you back from doing but I will tell you, that God has a plan for you and no matter what He asks you to do. He will go with you. Don’t allow fear to hold you back because you have never done what God has asked you to do before.

That song is about Peter who standing in a boat on the sea,he asked Jesus to allow him to walk on the water to him. Peter chooses to take a step of faith and walk on the water to Jesus, 

Peter’s step of faith was bigger than the step he took on the water, before he fell in. See Christ was with Him and He picked him up and Christ ultimately let Peter, to go on to share the good news of Jesus to the gentiles,  something I am sure he never thought he would do as a Jew. 

In this life, we only have two choices to live for ourselves or live for Christ. The question is who are you following?

Will you honestly ask “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters, Wherever You would call me, Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith be made stronger, In the presence of my Savior.” and be willing to follow?

Reverse Psychology

Reverse Psychology

When Jeff and I were first married, he was in the military and about 4 years later he went into the ministry. I was raised in a ministers home and let’s face it living in a minister’s home could be considered, like living in a fishbowl.  But yet when you know that there is nothing else you can do because God has so lined up your life to place you and your family in that profession. You either surrender or live a life unfulfilled and miserable. 


In fact,  I would say Jeff and I were set up, or more like pushed into a corner to go into the ministry. You see Jeff had been out of work for 6 months and one day when Jeff was asking God to give us a job. God reminded Jeff “I already gave you a job when you were 12 yrs old at a youth camp I called you into the ministry”


The problem was, God also gave Jeff amazing engineering mind, and as many may know, there isn’t much Jeff can’t build or repair. He is amazingly talented and for many years those abilities has supplemented our minister’s income allowing us to minister where many couldn’t because they would need to make more money. 


So I have had a running joke for about 36 years now and it goes something like this. “There are two things I said I never wanted to be the first one, was a military personal wife, and the second was a preacher’s wife, So now I am telling God I never want to go to Hawaii, and hoping I can use reverse psychology on Him” 


This joke usually gets a good laugh because we all know the old saying “Man makes plans and God laughs” The truth is, we all know that it doesn’t matter what we want, if we truly want to follow God’s plan for our lives we have to submit our will to Him and there is no reverse psychology going to work on the Creator of the Universe, ever! The bible tells us that “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21NIV


There was one other thing though,  I have whispered in my heart, that I never wanted to be, and that was a missionary.  Despite the fact that Jeff tried to stand at every church conference we ever attended, when they asked all the missionaries to stand. His reasoning of why he was standing when,  I would jerk on the hem of his suit coat to sit down was “Well I am a missionary from Alabama to Kansas” I would just roll my eyes and tell him “That isn’t what they are talking about, now sit down” in my mean momma voice, as I tried to hide my head of embarrassment.  


You see I never said I didn’t want to be a missionary’s wife out loud,  because by the time I decided this I had already realized that if I say I am NOT going to do something out loud, God will hear it and make me do it anyway! At least that has been my experience up to this point in my life as you can judge from my other protests above,  so I was of course just going to think it and it wouldn’t really count. Would it??


Then Jeff was elected by the other pastors in the state of Kansas to serve on the Kansas Assemblies of God board of directors we call Presbyters. In this position, he traveled all over the state assisting some of the smallest churches in Kansas with whatever he could do in various areas, all while still serving our church here in Greensburg. Our hearts broke as we felt helpless in some situations by the needs they had. 


Because we believe there is nothing like the local church when the local church works, the problem was some of our Kansas churches aren’t working to their full potential because of various, needs they have, from building repairs to ministry worker needed. 


So Jeff approached the Pastor over all the Assembly of God pastors in the state of Kansas and asked “What about making a special position for this ministry need?”, only to find out there was no budget for it. Disappointed he walked away wondering why God put this desire in his heart if He wasn’t going to help Jeff fulfill it? 


Several months later through a series of events, Jeff was asked to be a speaker at one of our Kansas Family camps. Where he met Billy Thomas another speaker, Billy and Jeff hit it off right away,  because Billy previously pastored in Georgia and was born and raised in De Soto KS where we previously lived before moving to Greensburg. Billy didn’t talk that much about his position in the Assemblies of God except for the fact that he was the director for the US MAPS Department but we didn’t really know what that met,  and at camp were weren’t talking much about that. Except for the fact that Billy wanted Jeff to have him out to our church to preach.


Jeff said he would see what he could do, but honestly inside he brushed it off, because frankly our church is small and we didn’t want to have him out unless we knew we could give a good offering because we know how hard these missionaries work. 


Then, fast forward even more months later, and because Jeff served on the board of directors, he was asked to attend a meeting in Springfield where the Assemblies National offices are and guess who Jeff saw again? You guest it! Billy Thomas and guess what the first thing Billy asked Jeff “When are you going to have me out to preach? Well, backed into a corner again, Jeff books him for a service. 


So Jeff decided he wanted to have Billy over to the house for dinner the night before he spoke and invited anyone in the church to join us so they could get to know what kind of ministry he does. As Billy talked, He shared that he oversees all the RV Volunteers and Church teams who help do physical labor of work on churches as well as Missionary Associates who are people who serve in non pastoral ministries in the church, like children workers, tech teams, etc.. He also added that he needed a Field Director for Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico to help oversee all those ministries in those states and the director would need to have Heating and Air Conditioning, Construction, Electrical, Plumbing experience, and it would be good if he has been a church planter and pastor. 

Jeff and I looked at each other and knew this was the mission that God has been leading us too! Because what Billy said was like reading Jeff’s resume he has all the qualifications for it and the more Billy talked the more we realized it was the exact job that we saw was needed here in Kansas.. 


That is why Sunday Oct 27 Jeff told our congregation, we are becoming US Missionaries with the MAPS Department of the Assemblies of God. Our last Sunday in Greensburg will be March 15 and we will be moving in April to Tulsa Oklahoma where we will be centrally located as Field Directors for Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, we will be traveling about 40 weekends out of the year to churches all over these states, in order to connect people who can help, with those that need help. Jeff will be overseeing the construction of two churches in Kansas this next year. 


And we are on a new adventure with God, and Yes, I am now a Missionaries wife! Something that I had only spoken in my heart that I didn’t want to be, but the truth is God knows our every thought and hears our every prayer and He isn’t doing this to punish me, because the desire He put in our hearts would not allow us to do anything else but this. We are extremely excited about our new adventure.


The most challenging part is that we now have to raise our own budget for our living and ministry expenses and that only comes from donations from friends and churches that are willing to step out in faith with us and help the local church be the best it can be. So check out http://www.millers4usmissions.com and see everything we will be up to and don’t forget Whatever you have planned, God’s plan is best so just follow it,  because reverse psychology never works on God!

Two All Beef Patties Special Sauce…

“Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun.”  Was the lyrics of the McDonald’s franchise commercial song for many years as well as their famous Big Mac recipe. Another famous jingle was “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce special orders don’t upset us all we ask is that you let us serve it your way!  Have it your way at Burger King, Have it your way at Burger King!”


The two commercial Jingles that are years old contradicted each other specifically because one was telling you what you were getting on their sandwich, while the other was telling you “You can have whatever you want if you come eat at our restaurant” 


While McDonald’s was known for its fast customer service and strategic and concise drive thru abilities when it first opened up. It was doing fast food like no one else ever had before. It seemed to be the best business plan on the market. Because everything happened the same way and the speed was possible because there were no changes to the orders.  


Then Burger King came on the market and started telling customers “We will give you whatever you want,  you can have it your way” and customers loved it because, let’s face it, there isn’t a whole lot of people that want to be told what to do,  let alone what to eat.”After all don’t we all prefer to make our own choices and do things the way we think they should be done?


 Its is part of the free will that God gave us. When He created us, He created us with a free will to choose for ourselves. He could have created us like every other creation He made, that must follow all of His commands without their own will. But God gave us His creation made in the image of Him a choice. That is why we feel most of the time we are the experts in our opinions. 


I am reminded of a verse in the Bible that gives us a choice. Deut. 30:19 NLT “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses.” but then He goes on to tell us “Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” 


God tells us to choose life, He gives us a choice but then He gives us the answer to the test. He wants the best for us and He has a plan, and as bad as we want to do things on our own. He knows what the future holds so it is wise to listen to Him. 


Just like McDonalds who’s tried and true tested system of fast food management. God’s reach is bigger than any fast food venture. God wants the best for us. But He knows in this life there is going to be temptations to not do the right thing. He knows there is evil in this world and we have a choice to follow what He wants us to do or what the devil wants us to do everyday. As this world continues to go those lines are often not as clear to someone who is not as educated in God’s word as they could be. 


So God tells us to choose life. So what does life look like to you and to me? Is it living up the life we want,  doing whatever we want, when we want as long as we aren’t hurting others? I believe God has carved out a path for us in His words with guidelines and directions if we will choose to follow it.  James 1:22 ESV tells us to “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  See there is going to be plenty of people who heard the words of God they may be attenders every week to the church and sit in the pew, but they are only hearers of the word. They are religious without any relationship with the father. They have a list of the do’s and don’ts and if you cross one of those don’ts they decide you aren’t worthy of their friendship or love. They cast you aside and make you feel like you aren’t worthy of their presence let alone God’s. 


That is a hearer of the word is a person who is just checking off the to-do- list, without any relationship with Jesus Christ. Maybe you have encountered someone like that, who made you feel bad about something you did or believed. The truth is a real follower of Christ can love someone who isn’t like them or doesn’t agree with everything you believe or do and can still love you right where you are. A real follower of Christ understands that you can love someone who is different and doesn’t believe in the God you believe in and that doesn’t mean you condone what they do or agree with it just simply means you are treating them like Jesus would. 


Not every person believed in Christ when Jesus walked the earth, and yet Jesus walked with them day after day. The Bible says Jesus hung out with the drunkards so much the Pharisees called Him a drunkard. So don’t tell me “You don’t want to be associated with those kinds of people” Whatever those kinds of people are? If you are a follower of Christ it is your job to associate with those kind of people and every kind of person because everyone needs Christ’s love. 


1 Cor 13:13 tells us,”and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”. Did you hear that? When they asked Jesus what is the most important thing, He told them “Love”. 


So who have you decided you can’t love? You can’t have it your way in this situation. God says we have to love everyone and in that aspect we need to show them love. Does that mean we sometimes don’t have to set boundaries if there is a possibility of abuse? No! But we can still love and pray for that individual. What it means is no longer when you hear their name or see their face does your gut  turn over and a rage boils up inside of you or you will,no longer will walk past someone without speaking, because you think you are better than they are. 


We just don’t get to have things our way in this area. We are to be a BE’ER of the word, not just doer’s or hearer’s but BE who God has called you to be and that is His love! Just like He walked this earth and loved everyone, we need to do the same. Now, get yourself to church this week and learn more about how He loved everyone because we weren’t meant to do life alone.