The Ultimate Miller Kids Competition!

The Ultimate Miller Kids Competition!

Mother’s Day was just a few weeks ago, and I have to say it has always
been a big deal to my kids. Well, not necessarily because they want to
honor me on Mother’s Day. But I think they actually like to torture
me. Okay, torture might be to strong of a word. Perhaps a better word
is compete. Yes, my children have turned the last several Mother’s
Days and by several I mean about 10-15yrs. into a competition. See,
this competition isn’t about who can buy me the biggest gift, or the
grandest thing they can do for me. Nope! It is about who can make me
cry first.

Yes, they try to buy or make the most heartfelt Mother’s Day card
there is, then as they give me the card, each one sits intently
staring at me, their eyes wide open refusing to blink, while their
necks are stretched out, intently focused on my eyes to see if there
is the slightest bit of liquid that might flow out from them. It is
almost to the point these days, where it makes me laugh instead of
cry.

But then I begin to read each card, and slowly but surely, one of them
will touch my heart and yes, you guessed it. I begin to cry, as soon
as the tears fill my eyes, and almost before it has left my tear
ducts. Whichever child’s card I am reading at the time, lets out a
shout of rejoicing and sometimes does a little happy dance, while the
other two sigh in disappointment because they can’t claim the victory
for the year.

This year was no different and now even though they are going to be
32, 22, and 20 this year they still find joy in it. I have often
thought I am not so sure somedays if it is actually the heartfelt
response they want or just the thrill of beating their sibling. But
never the less they each one ends up touching my heart in a special
way every year.

This got me thinking……….

I wonder if that is what God was hoping for when He made man? I wonder
if He was longing for someone that would fight over who would love Him
more? I wonder if He is as taken with us as I am with my children? I
wonder if He tears of joy run down His face, when He sees His children
in worship to Him and singing His praises?

The bible says, If we delight ourselves in the Lord He will give us
the desires or our heart. (Psalms 37:4)

Now that doesn’t mean that we can use Him like a vending machine. No!
But what that does mean is that God wants us to delight ourselves in
His word. Psalms 40:8 says I delight to do your will, Your law is in
my heart and Romans tells us, “For in my inner being I delight in your
law.” If we choose to do His will and follow what He tells us to do in
His word willingly, not begrudgingly and not in a “I’ll scratch your
back of you scratch my back” sort of way. But out of the pure
gratitude we feel for all He has done for us. Then, God in His
infinite wisdom, like a parent of a child who would only give their
child good gifts. (see Matt 7:11) God only wants the best for us. Just
like myself, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my children if it was
for their good. Now, do I expect them to follow my rules (which lines
up with God’s word) Yes! God in His “I created the universe and know
everything, past present and future” kind of perspective. Then decides
if it is for our best when we bring our requests to Him.

So, Let us remember this week as we go about our day, to delight
ourselves in God’s will. In other words, when you get up in the
mornings, ask yourself what God wants you to do today. When you go to
work, ask God what He wants you to do today, then do it. Your
obedience is a form of praise and as we give that praise to Him the
bible says it is a sweet smelling fragrance to Him and I am just
betting, like when I read those cards and hear my children pour out
praises to me. It might bring a small tear of joy to His eye too.

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Happy Birthday to Me!!

We recently spent sometime with my kids in honor of Mother’s Day and My 51st Birthday since the dates are just 2 weeks apart. We went to one of those break-out/escape rooms, and then sat around a table at a local restaurant and just chatted and reminisced.  As I sat back and looked at each of my kids I see the adults they are becoming and I revel in each and everyone of their successes.

See I had many opportunities to do my life differently from what I have, but I don’t believe I would change a thing. See, I could have finished High School, before I got married, but I didn’t. I could have chosen to go to College right after High School but instead I choose to have my first son. I could of chosen to have a musical career when a famous christian artist offered to write songs and produce an album for me, But I didn’t. I choose to stay at home and be a mom. I could of been an ordained minister like my mother who was one of the first ordained woman in the Assemblies of God in the state of Oklahoma, but I didn’t, instead I choose to stay at home and minister to my kids. I could of continued in a successful career as a Assisted Living Director, but I choose to focus on living with my husband and assisting him in every way I could.

Many would say I have given up a lot. Some would even say I sacrificed myself for my family. See to me, none of my successes matter, if I don’t have a family to sit around and enjoy it with. Jeff and I made a commitment a long time ago, truth is, it is our family motto. For we committed, that “What good does it do to win the whole world for Christ, if we lose our own families soul”. Now I know some would say I could’ve had it all and perhaps I could have, but one thing I have learned in this half a century of life, is you can have it all, but something in that equation always has to sacrifice and I wasn’t willing to take a chance that it might be my family that did.

I wouldn’t give up, being up all hours of the night with my babies,  dinners around the family table, family nights, friday field-trip days, or piles of dirty laundry for any of it! (okay, maybe the laundry haha!)

See because as I looked around the table and saw each one of my children and the amazing adults they have and are becoming. That is my successes.

My oldest who is an amazing father, who married a wonderful young lady, and has a Master’s Degree in Family and Marriage Therapy.  He is a Psychologist making a difference in young boys lives in a boys home everyday. He is beginning to make his way in the political world as well as serving as the online campus pastor at his church and he will forever be the future forward thinking farmer. That is my success, with each success he has, it is my reward as well.

My daughter the up and coming Graphic Designer, on the Dean’s list the last 2 yrs of school, member of Phi-Thetta-Kappa, she has been an Intern and Personal Assistant to the Senator, Amazing Nanny to 8 kids under the age of 11 that she has helped homeschool. Assistant to the online campus pastor at her church, where she led people 2 and 3 times her age. That is my success.

And my youngest son, Who is growing into an amazing adult. Passing all his classes last semester, the hardest working teenager I know.  The kid with a heart as big as he is, who will always be my protector, I know God is going to use him in a mighty way, more then just behind the pulpit, he will use him to share His love with others in so many ways. His life is already a testimony and the way he has chosen to live his life.  That is my success.

Then there is the up and coming grands, oh what will the future hold for them? I do not know. But, with each of their success it is my success. Because I am confident that because I

Have poured myself into my children, therefore when they pour themselves into their children it is part of me pouring into the grands. Whether my kids choose to teach them similar values and traditions or they choose to go in a totally different way, either of those choices reflect what I have taught them.

Has our lives been perfect, No. Do we fight and argue, Yes. But I am thrilled to know when I look in the eyes of each of my family members, I get to see a love for Christ and a desire to serve Him with so much passion that I know it runs to the core of who they are and for that, I am very thankful. Because what good would it of been for us to win the whole world for Jesus and lose our own children’s souls?

Do I think we are home free and I don’t have to worry about my children any longer? Not for one minute! I pray for them regularly, the older they get the more prayers they need and the more I worry about them. And if somewhere along the way any of them find that they have made a turn forgetting what they learned, on their journey in this relationship with God. I know that He is forever standing there with His arms outstretched, waiting for them to come home. Because they know, that all I expect of them is to be there! (Heaven) Because none of their successes matter if they aren’t.

But I do trust in the one that gave them to me and I have chosen to believe that He will honor the choices I have made in raising them and because I thoroughly believe, I did what He asked me to do,  to the best of my ability and so I have no regrets as I tip over the half a century mark, and I am thankful, that I still only feel like I am 29 on most days!

What is yet to come, is up to us! The 10th Anniversary of the EF-5 Tornado that hit Greensburg KS.

What is yet to come, is up to us! The 10th Anniversary of the EF-5 Tornado that hit Greensburg KS.

On May 4th 2017, The City of Greensburg KS, will celebrate it’s ability to rebuild this community and honor those who lost their lives in the EF-5 Tornado that destroyed almost the whole town in 2007.
I did not live here then, I have only had the privilege of living here for the past 4 yrs. I have to say when we first came to Greensburg and saw all that had been done to rebuild this community it excited us. The thought of being a part of this community that had a vision and wanted to do something was inspiring to my husband and I. We realize, it was no small task to do all that has been done to rebuild. Although, Jeff and I have done a lot of research to get to know what and where this community has come from. We are confident that nothing we have read or saw compares to what the people in this community has come through. There is no words for the pain and the struggles that this community has went through and overcome.

But in all our research, it actually got me to thinking, When I drive around in our community now, The empty lots I am sure, remind some of lost dreams, the un-repaired homes still yet standing, represents the hopelessness that some must have felt and possibly still feel today even 10 yrs later. Then you look down other streets and you see new buildings and up and coming progress.

Looking at the aftermath of the tornado reminds me of a life rebuilt by Christ. Often times by our choice to live for ourselves, our life can be reduced to ruins, but when we give our lives to Christ and truly choose to follow Him. We can see Him restore what satan has stolen. But then there is some so-called Christians who, have accepted Christ and believe in Him. But, they don’t want to get “too crazy” about it. To them it is just good enough, to show up for church every now and then so, they can check that off their list of things to do for the week and feel better about themselves.

The next steps for Greensburg is a lot like any follower of Christ. We all have a choice. When we choose to believe in Christ, we can choose to continue to grow in Him or we can stay right where we are. I think of staying where we are in Christ, as just buying “fire insurance”. We know God just enough to stay out of hell but we never get to know Him well enough to live an abundant life that God calls us to. (John 10:10) In my mind the next steps for the City of Greensburg is like a person who has a choice. It can choose to be like the one who has chosen to believe in Christ and be satisfied where we are, or we can do what God has called to do and continue to grow and rebuild and invite others to join us in the process. In essence we can choose to live an abundant life or buy fire insurance and be satisfied with good enough.

Are we willing to simply be content with where we are because I don’t think that is what the founding fathers who helped build this city had in mind. I don’t think the men who broke there backs, and gave their lives to have the world’s largest hand dug well here, thought, “Oh! that’s good enough, and this is all we need.” Those men who hand dug that, 109 ft deep and 32 ft wide well, went above and beyond the call of duty and why?? So people all over the area would come to Greensburg. Because they wanted to see a city built, because they knew bringing water to a city back then would bring people and fuel the railroad. They wanted to see a city built so badly, that at one point they stole a post office to assure we had a zip code. They were willing to do whatever it took to see this city built and grow.

I believe the people who have stayed behind after the tornado, to see this town re-build are no less commented to seeing this town go forward.

The bible talks about a Well, In John 4 it is the story of the Samaritan Women at Jacob’s well, when Jesus ask the woman to bring water to Him to drink. The woman was surprised because at that time, the Jews didn’t even talk to the Samaritan’s let alone ask them to bring them a drink. But Jesus did, he went out of the norm, He step out of what was acceptable to do at that time because He wasn’t concerned with what others thought, He wasn’t concerned with who she was, He was concerned with her heart and where she would spend eternity. He knew she needed more than the water from the well, that she was drawing water from, He knew she needed the living water and He was that living water. The water from which she would never thirst again.

In Mark 16 God calls us to go into ALL the world and share His love with others. And let me tell you that in this day and age all the world is at our back door, the question is will we let them in? Will we allow them to come into our Christ loving community,? Perhaps, the bigger question is, will we provide opportunities for them to come, so we can reach out to them? Or will we choose to rather “not associate ” with people that aren’t exactly like us. Some might be different from what we are use to, just like the difference between the Samaritans, and Jews back then. Our founding fathers who had hopes and dreams for this community, but there is no greater dream than the one by our Heavenly Father. But if we choose to do nothing, if we choose to be satisfied with what we have done and just maintain the status quo. Then we are no different then the follower of Christ that simply chooses to buy the fire insurance, instead of living the abundant life that God has called us to live.

We live in a great country where we are free to talk about God and even pray right in public without fear of being put in jail or killed. We now have people who live in this country who are from those countries where we send missionaries to risk their lives to tell them about God, and yet often times, we refuse to reach out to people who are not just like us. Perhaps, because of fear or what others will think, or just because they are different and we don’t really want them here anyway? But, let me pose to you a question here, ” What if God has allowed those people to come to America, so we could tell them about Him, without fear or retribution for sharing our faith? Do we care for their heart and where they might spend eternity, like Jesus did with the woman at the well? Are we willing to give them the living water, so that they will never thirst again?

And if we are going to be all that God has called us to be, we cant stop now. People from all over the world come to see this Big Well. But what if Greensburg in the next 10 years became less known for a hole of water and known more for the living water,of what God is doing in this town! More of what God wants to see. If we want to honor our Heavenly Father we can’t stop now. Yes, we have worked hard and many are tired but we cannot stop until the Lord comes back. This is bigger than our own comfort, it is about the lost souls who are in danger of living eternity in hell.

We stand at another crossroads on this anniversary like this community did 10 years ago as you met in tents, deciding who would stay and see this city rebuild,. Today we can choose to stay right where we are. just like the follower of Christ who only buys fire insurance unwilling to change their ways or we can choose, the abundant life that God has promised for us all. Will we be satisfied with what we have here in our own little world we have created or does our heart break at the thought of anyone, missing out on that abundant life and drinking from the well, that they will never thirst from again? Because, I believe, if we refuse to open more opportunities in our city for all nations and all cultures to come, then we are not only missing out on continuing what our founding fathers started, but more importantly, we are refusing to do what God has called us to do and that is to, tell the world about Him.

Over the last 10 yrs the eyes of the world, have been upon us, but I am only worried about one set of eyes and that’s the eyes of the Heavenly Father’s. My heart breaks for what His heart breaks for and that is seeing any soul lost without Him. What will we do in the next 10 yrs for Him? It only takes one person to get it started. Let’s be all we can be for Him and share this abundant life we have with others!

My Friend’s Story By January Lare

My friend posted this, the other day and I thought it was so inspiring I had to share it!

I have had a wicked case of the stomach flu since Thursday afternoon, but that’s not the point, so stick with me here. This is about what this most recent illness has taught me…I’m gonna preach, so here goes.

During the beginning of this sickness, there was a moment where I threw up so violently that I peed my pants. (Keep reading, trusted friends and curious acquaintances. By now you all know how transparent I am!)
My husband, without saying a word, quietly grabbed some cleaning supplies and towels and knelt down to clean up all the disgusting things that just escaped my body. I was mortified and, trembling, I cried, “Get away! Don’t touch any of it! Stay back!” But he just kept leaning in to take care of me, his bride. All I could think was, “How did our marriage become this unsexy, unromantic thing? Surely, he must see me as gross and undesirable now.” But God whispered to me in that moment. “No, Child. He sees you as I do right now. Helpless, weak, vulnerable, and in desperate need of My love. Accept this gift. He is loving you with My love in this moment.”

As we move toward the Easter season and begin reflecting on what Jesus did for us at Calvary, I am reminded of another act of servant leadership that Jesus displayed.

Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. In this culture, people walked everywhere, alongside livestock, and their feet were a source of shame, as they were beyond filthy and disgusting. Feet were to be hidden under long cloaks and covered up, not put on display. But Jesus did not come to be “hip” and “cool” and “politically correct.” He did not care about what society viewed as acceptable behavior. He did not come to entertain us with miracles. He came to show us something new: servant leadership. He took a basin of water and a towel and quietly knelt down at the feet of his closest followers and washed their dirty, muddy, callused feet. I’m sure, like me with my illness, the disciples were all like, “No! Don’t touch me! I’m so gross! If you see how gross I am you won’t want me anymore!” But Jesus served them in this intimate and loving way to show them that IN ORDER TO TRULY LEAD, YOU MUST FIRST BE WILLING TO SERVE.

As a former manager in the business world, and now teacher and mother, my leadership philosophy is and has always been “never ask anyone to do something you are not willing to do yourself.” Think about it. If you are a leader, do you place yourself above others in order to be elevated in status and importance? Would YOU want to serve under your leadership? Would YOU want to be a child in your house or a student in your classroom? How do YOU make people who serve under you FEEL?

But I am challenging myself, and you, Christ following friends, to take this a little bit further by asking every day, “Whose feet can I wash today? Who will you place in front of me today, Lord, that desperately needs Your love in the middle of their ugly? Where will you use this leadership influence THAT YOU’VE ENTRUSTED TO ME (because, let’s face it, if God didn’t allow you to be in this position of leadership, you wouldn’t be there and neither would I) to serve others and not myself today?”

Humble us, Lord. Humble our hearts, humble our nation. Humble our church and community leaders. Humble our president. Humble our husbands and wives and parents to serve each other in love – your love. Amen.

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:14-17

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin

Just do it!!

Just do it!!

Conversations at my house today…….. I was giving my daughter some directions of how I thought she should handle a certain situation, to which she responded “Don’t you think I know that Mom?”  To which I responded  “Well if you knew that, then I assumed you would have done it already but you haven’t done it yet,  So, No! I don’t!

See, I believe when you know something to do, you should do it, In fact, I believe that is what God thinks too since He tells us in James “17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17 (NKJV)

Since when did we become a generation of people who know to do good but don’t do it ? Since when did we become a generation that knows to do right but doesn’t do it?  Why is it that all the sudden it has become okay to be complacent, with just a wait and see kind of attitude? If we want to be true followers of Christ we have to stop being governed by our appetites, feelings and or our wants.  We must be governed by God’s word. And God’s word says”  23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. Colossians 3:23 (NKJV)” 

I understand there are times that we have to be patient and wait but there other times and more often than not, we should just simply need to do. Do what we know is right, do what is expected of us and in most cases go above and beyond what is expected of us. Just as we would, if God Himself, was sitting there watching us. Because you know what? He is!!! If we are suppose to be at work at 7am, be there 5 min early. If we have a report due don’t wait till the last minute to write it. If we know someone is ill, don’t wait for someone else to call on them. But all to often, it is too easy for us to sit around and wait for “someone else to do it” or when we get “comfortable enough” or when we “feel like it”.

I sure am glad God didn’t wait till He felt like it, to go to the cross.  I believe that’s what the Bible talks about when He says to take up the cross and follow me.  Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do and I’m not talking super spiritual things either, I’m talking day-to-day life things that make us responsible. Things that make us respectable. Those are the kind of things we need to be considering in our everyday lives. Those are the kind of things that make our witness reputable. So what are you going to do today? Are you going to do what you know is right to do or you just going to wait around until you feel like it?

And by the way…. My daughter did what she knew was right! I love that Girl!!

 

So close we can’t see

You know being raised in a ministers home and now being married to a minister, I have lived all over the country and each place my husband and I have lived, we have always made a point to get out and learn about the community. We always go see the sights. Sometimes we will just get in the car and drive, then stop in at the first little place we come up on and check it out,  we have been known to spend  the whole day just walking through a town and visiting every business. One of our favorite things to do is check out the local restaurants so we can experience the local cuisine, we may all be american’s, but there is definitely a difference in how and what we eat. From the seafood and down home cooking of the south to the fresh beef, sandwich spread and sauerkraut of the mid-west. One of our favorite things to do is go to those little, as some would say “hole in the wall” restaurants and experience the atmosphere of the community. Another fun thing that we feel helps us learn about our new community is check out the local museums and tourist locations in the area just to help us experience what others who have lived here for years or maybe even all their lives, already know.

We are always excited to share what we have learned with our present congregation where we are living.  Excitedly and almost proudly we share our recently new found knowledge and more often than not we are met with a “deer in headlights” kind of looks, even from prominent people in the community who should be aware of what is going on in their town and surrounding areas.  It seems to us more often then not, people who have lived in the same town for a long-time tend not to really actually know about the area they live. They are content to be in their own little world, mainly their home and work, without ever experiencing all that is available to them. They are so close they don’t even see what they have at their disposal.

This got me thinking……….

It seems to me that most people fall into the trap of just living their life, unconcerned about everything around them and all that it has to offer, or better yet, what they could offer to it. They have what some would call tunnel vision and I am not just talking about restaurants and museums I am talking about. The needs of others, or the very need in our own soul to grown deeper in a relationship with Christ. Perhaps we were raised in church and it is “just what you do” instead of it “being who you are” perhaps people know you go to church but they don’t see the loving, forgiving spirit that God gives us everyday,  in you. Often, we are so consumed with our daily to-do lists just to survive, we are forgetting what God has really called us to do. Oh! I have heard all my life, excuses like “Well, it’s just not in my nature to talk to people about God, I am not as out going as you” or “Its not my personality to raise my hands or clap in church” and you know I have really thought about this, and it was like the Lord said to me one day “They are right” “It is not their nature to do those things, because sin is the root of our nature.” It is only when we follow Christ we learn to die to our self and in the same way we turn away from sin, we also have to choose to turn and do the right thing. Even if that means we have to step outside our comfort zone. Because truth is our comfort zone is probably more on the selfish side then it is on the Godly side.

See God cares enough that He not only knows all the good places to eat in town, but He also knows your favorite food. 🙂 Seriously though, He does knows every hair on your head and knew every time you would say or do something to hurt Him and yet He still gave His life for you. He wasn’t inward focused but He was outward driven, driven so much that even though He did not want to hang on a cross where nails would be hammered into his feet and hands, where He would be stripped naked and beaten for you and me, even though He didn’t “feel” like going through all that, He did it anyway for you and me. (see Matt 26:39 & Luke 22:42 ) He loved us enough! He cared for us enough! That He left the comforts and home of heaven above and gave His life for you and me. So don’t you think you and I can step out of our comfort zone, can’t we look beyond ourselves, get involved in our community, reach out to our neighbors that live around us and most importantly, give Him ALL the praise and glory He deserves?Let’s not be so close, that we can’t see what is right in front of us.

This is what we do…..

This is what we do…..


Today I did something I did not want to do, it something I dreaded because in one since it makes me face the hard reality that, there but for the grace of God goes I. In some ways I now feel guilty that I have, what they will now not. But it is what we do.  As we pulled into the parking lot tears began to run down my face as I saw line after line of cars parked of people who had come to do the same as I, I knew, this is what we do, we do it because we are all in this army, we are all in the same battle and when one hurts we all hurt, when one is in pain we all are in pain, because that is what we do, I don’t have to know them well to know that if I were in the same situation american-20406_1920I would want those who I call friends whether distant, acquaintances, or good, I would want them with me, and as line after line of the cars lined up and we all got out to do what we do, our solemn and respectful demeanor told it all. As I looked around to see there were others who are warriors like me, in this battle that came to do the same because that is what we do, we support each other, we come along side each other when others are in need. I don’t have to have been to their house or even know this person we have come to honor today I only have to know that his parents are in the same war I serve in, it is a war against the evil one and although we have not traveled the same path, our paths are the same, my heart breaks over what their heart breaks over, and my heart rejoices over what theirs rejoices for, because that is what we do. And when we entered the church it was plain to see there were many other soldiers in this war like me, who had come to do the same as me, because this is what we do. In war you never leave a soldier behind, you never abandon your comrades. No matter the cost, no matter the price. Because that is what we do. I am proud to be in this army of warriors who come along side our broken, wounded and just wore out. Because this is what we do. The commander today reminded us in Ecclesiastics 7:2 that this is all of our destiny (unless The Lord should return first) then he asked us one thing, What will they say about you?  As I pondered what my answer would be I have to say it is ……………… I hope they remember, This is what I do!