The Inspection

The Inspection

Do you have any traditions in your home? Oh! I mean, more than just what you do at Christmas, or Thanksgiving? I mean the subtle things that happen and you may not even realize it. These things come from who you are deep inside and often from your habits and the standard of which you were raised.

 

We have one of those at our house, it is now in the 3rd generation in our family. ,You see,  my father-in-law Trammel Miller was an amazing contractor and his standards were so high all that worked for him called him the “piano man”,  because if you tune pianos you have to be a perfectionist and that is exactly what Trammel was.

 

Thus, when he came to our home, after Jeff and I were first married,  if there was something that was not maintained to Trammels standard, he would give Jeff that,  “I am disappointed with you son” Look. The look may be followed by a few intriguing questions of exactly why it wasn’t this taken care of up to the “Trammel Miller Standard” .

 

The funny thing is, there was no handbook that told my husband that this inspection would come, no official notice was sent ahead of time, verbal or otherwise. My husband just knew, if his dad was coming over to visit,  he would rush around, getting those last minute honey do list items I had for him done. Sometimes he would go back over and check what he had done,  to assure it met the expectation of Trammel Miller.

 

And even funnier thing today, is that Lee Miller now does the same thing his father did,  all those years ago when we were first married. Trammel is now celebrating his anniversary of being in heaven 4 years this month, and we all know he is running the construction crew of angels,  who are building our mansions in heaven, because that is just Trammel Miller, and God needed Trammel up there because of his perfectionism.

 

See when we now call our son to let him know we will be visiting, his family in Tulsa, it isn’t uncommon to hear Lee tell his dad. “Well, I’ve got to go so, I can get done before you get here to make sure I pass inspection when you come. ” We often laugh about it as a family but the premise is the same.

 

You see there as been a standard set that my sons automatically knows their father expects of them and that got me thinking, isn’t that just like our Heavenly Father?

 

There is a standard that has been set by our Heavenly Father who will soon be coming to visit,  and if we don’t meet that inspection, we are not gonna pass, and we won’t make it to heaven.

 

The difference is, we have been given a handbook with every detail we need to know of what He expects and it is called the bible. We have even been given a family to help us understand what He expects and that is called the church. God has even sent a helper called the Holy Spirit to help us while we are here on earth to help us choose to do the right thing.

 

So the bottom line is,  we have no excuse for not following the directions, God has laid out for us. Everyone of us can pass the inspection that is coming, but it is up to us.  

 

My boys could not care, what their father thinks when he comes to visit. They could ignore standards they have been raised with and choose to walk away from. But they realize their father loves them and wants the best for them. They know, their dad would give his life for them and only expects these things,  because he wants the best for them and believes in them and loves them. Because of their fathers age, he has more knowledge and wisdom then they do and can often tell how things are going to turn out, because he has had the same problems, been in the same situations, and doesn’t want his kids to go through what he has been through.

 

The same is with our Heavenly Father. God loves you and He wants the best for you. He has given us all the tools we need. The question is, are you using them? Will you pass the inspection with your Heavenly Father when He comes? Take the tools He has given us and use them. Don’t hesitate to ask your Heavenly Father for help. After all, that is what a good good Father does!

 

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Clean Dirt

Clean Dirt

I don’t know about your house,  but it has never mattered what home I have lived in or what brand of dishwasher is in that house.  On occasion, someone in my family has pulled something out of that dishwasher that, had just been ran, that still had some piece of food left on it, to which my family member will say something to this effect “The dishes are still dirty” and I will reply “ It is clean dirt, it has been washed” We will usually laugh and then wash the item by hand.

 

You know that little scenario got me thinking. How many of us think like that in our own life. We think the little bit of dirt in our life, is “clean dirt”,  after all we are good people. We don’t mean harm to anyone and are just doing the best we can. We justify what we see in our lives often times, all the while condemning what we see in others.

 

But the truth is,  what we think about ourselves or others really doesn’t matter, it is what God thinks that really matters. In fact,  His word is the ultimate authority. The question is how well do you know God’s word? God’s word is His son’s dying wishes for our life. Just think about it, the creator of the Universe left you a letter,  with directions He wants you to follow.

 

Oh! I know some people say “I have tried to read the bible, but I just don’t understand it” to which I would reply “That is why we have churches and bible studies” It is important that each of us read those true stories in the bible. Those are lesson we can learn through others lives that have lived before us. We also see Jesus as He walked this earth and can learn from His stories as well.

 

One thing we all need to remember, past the 10 commandments, there is 1 commandment we all must follow,  in fact Jesus said it was more important than any other, and that is found in Luke 10:27  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

 

You know if you love someone with all your heart, and I mean REALLY love, then you want to please them, but there is no way to please God if we don’t know what His word says. So how about this week you do 2 things, take just 5 minutes and start reading the Psalms and Proverbs each day in the bible, then throughout your day,  show that love Jesus talked about in Luke to those around you.

 

Because if we don’t do these things, then can we really say we have surrendered our life to Him?  It’s really like saying you’re clean dirt when you don’t. We all know that doesn’t make any sense in anyone’s book,  and the fact is, we can’t wash ourselves on our own or by what we do. God’s love is unconditional and His grace is free ,but it is only when we receive that unconditional love that we realize how much He loves us,  and in turn wants to give that love back to Him, by living a life for Him and sharing that love with others. So let’s stop trying to hand wash our lives in our own ways and follow what the Jesus says.

10, 2 and 4 Baby

10, 2 and 4 Baby

I have always been a night owl and hated going to bed. I think it is because I was afraid I would miss something. I remember my mom used  to call me her 10, 2 and 4 baby because I would wake up at 10pm, 2am and 4am. I think I finally wore my parents down because, by the time I got to be a teenager  my father made me a deal and told me that as long as I got up the first time he called me in the morning. I could stay up as long as I wanted at night. So as soon as I would hear my dad call my name in the morning I would jump up out of the bed as quickly as possible calling back to him “ I am up! I am up!” just so he would know that I was up,  and I wouldn’t have to go to bed early the next night.

 

I will never forget one night, as a teenager, my parents let me have one of my friends spend the night. About 2am we decided we were hungry so we started cooking. Of, course my parents had long been in the bed but I didn’t think they would mind. So, my friend and I looked in the refrigerator and discussed what were were going to have and we debated about eggs, but went with something else. I don’t remember what we decided, but whatever it was must’ve started smelling good, because my dad showed up from the other end of the house, in the kitchen half asleep and as he opened the door to the hallway that  separated the kitchen/family room from the rest of the house, he hollered out at us “ I am gonna break you from sucking eggs” and with that my friend and I looked at each other and said “ I thought we decided not to have eggs?” as we burst into laughter my dad turned around and went back to bed. I still believe to this day he must of been talking and walking in his sleep.

 

Of course, it was a weekend,  so I didn’t have to get up early the next day. But that didn’t stop me from making sure when my dad did call, I was right out of the bed as soon as I heard his voice the next Monday when it was time to go back to school.

 

All that got me thinking, Do you have your ear tuned in listening for your Heavenly Father’s voice? Are you looking for His return and ready to go as soon as He calls?  The bible tells us that Jesus will return one day to take us to heaven, but He will only be taking those who are looking and living for Him. The bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ESV

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

 

I don’t know about you,  but I want to always be ready to go when the Lord returns. I want to be listening for His voice. Just like I was listening for my father’s voice when I woke up every in the mornings. I wanted to be ready and not late because I knew if I missed it, there would be a consequence to pay. Just as there will be if we miss Jesus return.

 

But how do we make sure we won’t miss HIs return? Well, Romans 3:23  tells us that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”It is as simple as A,B,C  Admit that you are a sinner, (Romans 10:9-10) Believe in Jesus Christ and Commit your life to Him. start, going to a bible believing church, start making Him a part of your everyday life, by talking to Him in prayer and letting Him talk to you through His word.

 

It is only when we know, Christ then we will know His voice. We can’t hear Him if we don’t know His voice. I knew my daddy’s voice and I listened for it. We need to listen for our Heavenly Father’s voice so not only when He calls us to heaven, but every day He talks to us too and has a plan for our life and that plan is more than give your life to Him and go to Heaven.

 

There is something He has planned for us everyday. He wants us to be a part of our everyday life and has a mission for us here on earth before He comes back. For some it is to love others that can’t be loved, for some it is to give more to help others, for others, it is to make a difference in someone else’s life. We won’t know what He has in store for us until we get to know Him and we can’t get to know Him until we surrender our lives to Him and choose to follow after Him.

 

See, I knew  my daddy I spent time with my daddy, and I did everything I could to please my daddy. So, the question is, do we do the same for our Heavenly Father, If you haven’t I highly suggest that you do because you don’t want to miss His voice when He calls you to come to heaven. I think you want your answer to Christ to be the same as mine to my dad “ I am up! I am up!”

” I Need to Go to the Bathroom, Get a Drink of Water and Blow my Nose!”

” I Need to Go to the Bathroom, Get a Drink of Water and Blow my Nose!”

Every family has their routines, anytime you have a family larger than 2 people, and you are planning on going together to an event somewhere, if someone asked anyone in that family, they could probably tell you which one, is going to be ready early, which family member is going to be late, and which one will be heading the group and getting everyone out the door.

 

When my children were at home, I have been known to begin a countdown about 30 minutes out. Now, of course I would have given the family plenty of warning well in advance before that , sometimes even days, but when it comes down to about an hour out, I would start mentioning  to my kids what they need to start doing to be ready, and about 30 minutes before we need to leave, my voice gets a little louder as I start walking around checking on where everyone is and how much longer it will be before they will be ready.

Then about 10-15 minutes out, I am going to start hollering out as I walk down the hall. “10 minutes, 10 minutes we are leaving in 10 Minutes”  which is the sign to my children and husband they better be getting their last minute things on and start heading for the car, then “5 minutes, 5 minutes we are leaving in 5 minutes” at this point my family knows they better be finding their shoes and start getting in the car, because if there is one thing I can’t stand, it is being late. I think it is disrespectful to the people who planned the event where ever we are going and personally, I believe in the old adage, “If you are 5 minutes early you are on time, and if you are on time you are late”, even if that means I arrive somewhere and sit in the car for 5 or 10 minutes before going in. That doesn’t bother me, in fact I kind of like the opportunity to not be rushed and just take a deep breath before going in somewhere,  instead of rushing in somewhere all disheveled .

My whole anxiety about being late probably stems from my mother. No, not that she ever cared about being on time, it didn’t matter how much notice we would give my mom about what time we were leaving.  It never failed, when the time came for us to walk out the door, She would say ”Okay, wait just a minute, I need to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, and blow my nose.” I lived at home for 18 years before I moved out, and cared for her another 23 or so years before she died and it never failed the story was still the same every time except as she grew older, it took longer for her to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water and blow her nose,  the older she got the later we were. That is why I started telling her we needed to be where ever we were going 30 minutes before we actually had to leave, because I knew if I didn’t we would of been even later than we were. In fact momma was known for being late so often, that my father used to say we are going to bring her casket in 30 minutes late, just to keep up her tradition when she dies. (we didn’t by the way but it was tempting)

You know this got me thinking, my mom is a lot like a lot of people today. They have been warned that Jesus is coming back, they have been told that they need to live their life for Him so they will be ready to go,  but they procrastinate and don’t do it, just like my mom procrastinated getting ready to go somewhere. They are all busy just doing what they want to do, when they want to do it. Not concerning themselves, with anything but what they want. They can even see the warning signs that the bible tells us about, similar to me hollering out to the children and giving them the 5 and 10 minute warning, they ignore all the signs of the crazy weather, the brother hating brother, the world being more and more like Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:26-30) , and all the issues happening in Israel.

All these are signs that Jesus is coming back again, to get His children,  just like He said he would in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ESV “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” He also warned us “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matthew 25:13) Now I am not naming any dates or times because I know the bible says “ No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.: (Matthew 24:36) But doesn’t that verse alone tell us that we need to be ready because it could be any moment and He tells us in Luke “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Luke 12:40)

My mom always had an excuse why she was late, she always justified her reason, but when we stand before God excuses won’t matter He has given us ample notice. With many opportunities to get it right. It is time we stop making excuses.God isn’t looking for perfect people to come to Him, He is looking for people who are watching and waiting for His return.

Many times people think they need to clean up their act before they come to Him. But God told us in His word.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

God wants us with all our baggage disheveled mess we are in. He calls us daily to come to Him. The question is, will we come? Because the 5 minute warning call is about to come and unlike I did for my mother, God hasn’t given us an extra 30 minute cushion. Once He calls come to get us, that is it. There is no one let in late to heaven. We may get by down here with going to places in our own time frame, but we have no control of when Jesus will return to take His children home.

So won’t you get ready today? To make sure you are ready, all you need to do, is as simple as A, B, C,  Admit that you are a sinner, Believe in Jesus Christ and Commit your life to Him. start, going to a bible believing church, start making Him a part of your everyday life, by talking to Him in prayer and letting Him talk to you through His word.

That is what that scripture is talking about, If we will come to Him, and follow Him as 2 oxen in a Yoke, one more experienced than the other,we will learn from Him and we’ll find rest for our souls, And we won’t miss the most important event of our life, Heaven!

Mimi & Poppy Camp!

Mimi & Poppy Camp!

Well this past weekend was a special one. We had all three of our grands visiting us for a little less than 72 hours. We called it Mimi & Poppy Camp and we had all kinds of scheduled activities for them. It all started off the moment we picked them up with Road Trip Bingo, and each time they won, Mimi gave them a prize, then there was the sing-a-longs on the way to our house too. We sung to the top of our lungs some of our favorite songs. When we finally made it back to our house, I had special snacks in the refrigerator in the basement that was just for them. The basement in their playroom. Being the Event Planner that I am, I had the next day filled with field trips, pool time and games, golf cart rides then ending the evening with a movie, and popcorn in our PJ’s and that was followed by some object lessons for the devotions Jeff and I had planned.

 

During one of our nights object lesson, we had the kids put together a puzzle backwards, looking at the gray side, not the picture side. Jeff explained that, is like our life sometimes, each thing that happens to us in life, is like a piece of a puzzle and God is putting each piece together because He as the perfect plan for us and although sometimes we can’t understand it and we can’t see what He is trying to do. We have to trust Him even when we don’t understand what is going on.  Jeff had one of them read Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plan to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” We can trust God even when we can’t see what is going on because He has a plan and it is for your good.

 

I think the highlight of the weekend for me though, was when we met their parents back in Wichita and instead of being excited to go home, they said “Quick Mimi!!, Take us back to your house, we don’t want to go home!!” Of course they were happy to see their parents too. But I have to say, my heart was so happy when they begged to stay with me. I felt I must had succeeded in making them feel special enough to want to come back. As, I sat reflecting on the weekend. I remembered my own Grandma. She always made me feel so special.

 

I remember when she took me into her kitchen one day, and showed me where in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator, at the back she had hidden the cans of root beer she had bought just for me. She told me “Now, This is our little secret, we won’t tell your cousins about this, this is just for you” She made me feel so special that day, it was like I was her most favorite person in the whole world. My grandma was a woman would loved the Lord and certainly showed me that love.

 

All this got me thinking, what if we made every person we came in contact with feel as special as my grandma made me feel and hopefully I made my grands feel. You know one of the other things we talked about with our grands was that we were made in God’s image. We had the kids take modeling clay and create and image of themselves out of it.  We talked about how they look like their parents.. We read in Genesis that God created us, how because we’re made in God’s image and we are suppose to act like Him and when people see us, they should see Jesus in us. .

 

We talked about how God sent His only son to die on the cross for us so that we could have life eternally and live with Him in heaven one day. I don’t know about you but someone dying for me, seems like a pretty special act. There is in fact no greater gift to give, than for someone to lay down their life for us. I know if someone died for me I would be forever grateful and anytime they would ask me anything I would do my best to accommodate them anyway I could.

 

We’ll it’s like that with Christ isn’t it? He gave His life for us, and out of pure gratification we need to follow what He asks us to do and one of those things is to reflect Him. In His time here on earth He showed unconditional love to all no matter their social status or how familiar He was with them.  

 

I have to admit. I struggle with this I am often socially awkward in new situations with people I don’t know, and although I appear to be an outgoing person, sometimes in those situations. I can also appear aloof and maybe even snobbish when I don’t mean to be. I am striving to really be the type of person that everyone feels welcomed and loved by. I not only want my grandchildren to feel special when they walk away from me but everyone I come in contact with.

 

I believe we see Jesus doing this throughout His time here on earth and God calls us to do the same. But things like this don’t happen without an intentional commitment to make it happen. It is so easy to slip back into the our old habits if we aren’t intentional everyday.  

 

Oh! And apparently, I was not the only one grandma loved, and wanted to make feel special.  As my cousins and I sat around the funeral home, after our grandma passed away. All of the sudden one of my cousins speaks up and says. “Well, I know Grandma loved me more because she hid my favorite candy in the bread box for me” and another spoke up and you guessed it, Grandma had hidden something special for them too, She led everyone of her grandchildren, to  all to believe we were the ones she loved the most.

 

So, how about we all be like my Grandma Northcutt this week. Let’s make sure everyone we come in contact with feels like they are the most important person in the world to you! Let’s reflect God’s Love.  Whether it be the person you meet on the street or the coworker you see everyday. Smile, shake their hand, or give them an encouraging word or complement. Let the love of Jesus and all the gratitude you feel towards Him be reflected in all that we do!

I Wish I had Her Life……..

I Wish I had Her Life……..

Well for the first time,  it happened to me I have heard other people talk about doing it, but the other day it happened to me…. I was scrolling through facebook and saw a friend of mine and thought, “ I wish I had her life!” and as soon as I thought it, it was as if the Lord said to me. You don’t know the tears she has cried.

 

Have you ever just looked at someone else’s life, and thought…. “I want their life! They never seem to have any problems, their world is perfect” Well, first off what you need to remember is, Their life is not without worries, or chaos, they cry at night when they go to bed or worry about their family just like you do. Why? BECAUSE WE ALL HAVE PROBLEMS and it doesn’t matter how big your problems are, when it is your problem it is HUGE to you.   

 

Often times, we look at someone else’s life and think,  “The grass is greener over there”, and if we only knew what their water bill cost to get it that way, we might reconsider our “Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”  philosophy.

 

But why is it that some people never act like they have any problems while others lives seem to be consumed with them? Well, I think some people have learned the secret.                       
They have just chosen NOT to post their struggles and complaints all over the inter web and or be Negative Nancy when you see them on the street. Perhaps they choose to take their concerns to God as we all need to do.                                                                                          

 

Satan wants us to be so focus on ourselves that we can’t see the issues of everyone else around us. See that way, we can’t follow what God’s word says to do, but I can assure you. There is someone out their that has a problem bigger than yours.

 

I’ll never forget their was a season in my life where I felt very alone, Okay, there have been many of those seasons. But this particular season there was one particular person whose job responsibility in my mind,  should of been to check on me, and she didn’t.

 

I can remember thinking, why isn’t she reaching out to me? Why isn’t she calling and checking on me? I remember thinking maybe I should call her and then I rejected that idea in my head because it wasn’t my job to check on her, it was her job to check on me! At least that is what I justified in my head and why I begin to allow myself to be offended. Which was then snowballed by the fact that I was alone. I soon became so self absorbed I was only focused on myself and my problems.

 

Then about 3 or so years later, I heard that she had been personally dealing with some similar situations I had been almost at the very same time. It was at that point that it hit me! I was so focused on myself I had not even considered she might have been going through something herself, and if I had reached out to her as I had thought about, perhaps we could of helped each other. In fact maybe her struggle was greater than mine. I will never forget how horrible I felt.

 

I will never again get offended when someone doesn’t call me over an extended period of time and just assume they are being rude or mad at me. No! Now my first thought is, I wonder if they are going through something? I think “ I better check on them!”

 

Through the grace of God I had made it through that season of life and that little lesson has kept me from drawing into myself so much.

 

See I had allowed Satan to use my struggles to distract me from reaching out to someone else. I had been so focused on myself I wasn’t even looking at someone else or thinking of anyone else.

 

All too often we fall into our own pit of self pity and discouragement. Often in a hole we dig ourselves because we refuse to look up from ourselves and look at others.  

 

It has been said by doctors and psychologist that the best thing a person who is depressed or in emotional need can do,is reach out and help someone else. But all to often we get sucked down into a self-center pit that quickly spirals out of control.

 

In times like this, we need to remember what 1 Thess 5:11 says, Therefore encourage one another and build each other up….. In this passage Paul is giving us final instructions for the days before the Lord’s return. He tells us to not forget to hold on to faith, hope and love because that is our salvation from our troubles. Paul, urges us to encourage one another in faith, hope and love. He warns us that, some are going to be in darkness, or deceived and he tells us not to be sucked into that path but hold fast to what we know and to encourage one another in that!

 

So this week, as you go about your day be sure to look outside yourself. Don’t be deceived and sucked into the idea it is all about you. If we look hard enough there is always someone who has problems bigger than you do. Find someone who needs an encouraging word. Be someone else’s miracle, while you are still looking for your own.  God’s word clearly calls us to encourage one another because when realize the only real hope we have is in our faith and trust in the Lord. We won’t be seeking consolement from everyone else, because we will be too focused being the hands and feet of the one who has given so much for us, Jesus Christ.