Life's Questions and Answers (sm)

Life is filled with perplexing questions. And at times, hard to find answers. Let's talk. Maybe we can understand "life" better...together. Join in!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Having Dates With Drama?

It might be difficult to imagine as stylish and shall we say as flamboyant that I am, that I don’t like drama. Drama of ANY kind makes ME…dramatic. And not in an impressive way.

Recent drama sightings from my window are: woman at the grocery store (not me!) can’t decide which kind of canned goods to buy. Indecision not based on price, but appearance. One can “just looked better.” I wanted to remind her she was eating what was on the inside and not the out. Just how many times can you ask your husband “which one?” Just buy the can, please!

Child begging uncontrollably for a bag of cookies in a store; yelling didn’t help, so the little girl turned to her rag-doll phase. Becoming totally lifeless as she lay on the store floor; repeating out loud, over and over, “I want it mommy…I want it Mommy.” I thought let me help you little girl, “STOP IT!”

Cars near my office making doughnuts in the middle of the street. Why move to the curb, no one really wants to go down this street but you, right? “Who, us?” We are just people in cars; we’re here to watch your show!

I wonder what would happen if all of us just “got a grip” and decided for one whole day none of us would live in drama for even a second, nor tolerate it around us.

Imagine, finally getting to see all the things we’ve been missing. Seeing more important issues because the clouds of distraction have dissipated; giving way to the full view.

Being the people that we need to be for God is going to require us to put the brakes on all the squealing of our tires, and turn down our road going straight. All the noise from the screeching may give the impression we are more than we are; but once the smoke clears, what remains?

God needs to close down a number of peoples productions. I could use less curtain calls myself. I have no time for a date with drama; my calendar is full and I am not accepting any new engagements.

To the doughnut people, I would like you to know they are for eating! As entertaining and humorous as it might be, life continues to go by in the fast lane whether your car is driving straight or not. I wouldn’t want anyone to miss life while they are debating how many circles they can make before someone calls the police. By the way, it’s five.

Copyright © 2009 A. Miller
Reproduction, distribution or reprint of this article is prohibited without express written permission of the author, A. Miller.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Invisible Hands ©

Working in a language church these last nineteen years has afforded me many opportunities to reach a wide variety of people in the many stages of their lives with the gospel. The Bible states “…it’s the power of God unto salvation.”

If we are willing to set the captives free through the sharing of the gospel, I hope our faith in Him can lead us to action in reaching those who may never have either crossed our path, or our minds.

Years ago I started talking about the topic of human trafficking. People being forced to not only work long hours in indentured service and forced labor, but men, women and children forced into lives of prostitution.

Many people did not only question what I was saying, they “couldn’t believe that it was happening.” It may be hard for us to get our minds around anyone being forced into prostitution and the sex industry, but it is happening all over the world everyday.

Blaming others for their lifestyle, or punishing them for not being like us or acting as we think they should was not the motto of our Lord Jesus Christ and His message of redemption. And that kind of attitude will not go far if it’s our intention to reach people with that message.

The Bible says “Let those who are free be free indeed.” It’s hard to escape when you’re not the only one holding yourself back. The invisible hands that keep many in bondage have a face and a name even though we can’t see them. It’s this dilemma that is going to have to send us to our knees in prayer for wisdom and help—from a God who has the power to break chains and bring justice. A God whose invisible hands bring visible results, working through His people who are willing to live and pray by faith, and act out the mandate He gave to us all “Go into all the world…”

Human trafficking IS modern day slavery! Let’s make this a household phrase, like “go green” and “recycle,” and let’s make sure people know who we are about, God, and what
we are about, Him, and His message of hope for all people; regardless of circumstance.

© A. Miller 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Is God Listening?"

With recent world events being as they are I’ve heard numerous people ask, “Is God listening?” As valid as this question seems, I think another question that is even more relevant is, “Are WE listening to God?”

We are always on God’s list. With life being so hectic, it is easy for us to think that God is too occupied to be concerned with “What is going on in our lives.” Since He is the One who created all life, I know He is interested in keeping track of all that He is responsible for. His arms are never too short to reach us, and His power never to ineffective or weak to help; and at times to deliver us from any situation.

Through the adversity of war, economic hardship and the calamity of senseless violence; prompted by hatred and sin that pounds the airwaves and floods our brains with doubts and fears—and sometimes anger, God remains. “The rock on which we cling to and the support that keeps us upright.”

We are on His list, is He on ours? Let’s not just make time for God when “tragedy and misfortune visit us.” Let’s visit with Him daily. We can tell Him what we are thinking and He will let us know what He thinks. We will tell Him what’s on our mind and He will show us what is on His. For sure what is on His mind is—loving us. Challenging us to change, all the while loving us to Him.

Is God listening? Yes! Are we?

© A. Miller 2006-2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

What's Keeping You From Growing?

The daily news of economic decline, and a dismal forecast for an unsteady future can make the most hopeful of people entertain thoughts of doubt, and possibly fear.

My harshness is reserved for those who made the decision to “steal” and misuse money that wasn’t theirs—to make a gain for themselves, and to those who continue to “misplace their faith” in money—paper, instead of in the rock, Jesus.

Those who continue in their path un-phased or un-changed by the circumstances around them either have unwavering faith, or haven’t seemed to get the message: God called and He wants us to trust Him over “anything else;” especially when we place our trust in numbers and in people.

I hope that many can finally see that there is a price to pay when there is a “failure in the system,” and the bill for it is usually paid by those with the least to give.

It’s going to take a lot to tend and grow a garden in the New Year. Supplies are short, but our optimism and faith must rise. Not in the assurance of the up and down arrows of the market, but in God, a real God. Many have claimed to be as great as Him but they’re all still dead, while Jesus, His Son, died and rose again.

Our faith in God can never be in short supply. Our faith to know He can rescue us in spite of the circumstances and bring about prosperity in the leanest times.

It could be a year of lack for many. But for those willing to let God take out the doubt in their lives that chokes out faith—expect Him to bring “something out of nothing.” More so, I should say, He will bring something through what His Son already did on the cross for us, and that was to die for our sins.

God’s a gardener. He can remove the weeds of doubt in our lives—while growing a garden that’s lush and viable in spite of a lack of materials, or ideal conditions. Surprising the harshest critic whose own faith leads them not in praise and thanksgiving to a mighty God who can bring provision from lack; but whose own lack of faith leads them further into doubt, and a cycle of spiritual poverty.

Let’s not keep company even one day with suspicion and fear, but live free when we place our concerns in the care of our Father, in whom we trust…there is no other.

© 2008/2009 A. Miller
Reproduction, distribution or reprint of this article is prohibited without express written permission of the author, A. Miller.

Friday, January 09, 2009

"Are You Having Trouble Letting 'Things' Go?"

I know my husband wishes I would just “let things go.” But, I can’t. When something doesn’t seem right to me, I have to say something. Ok, I don’t have to, but I do!

I saw a print ad recently by a woman who I am not really sure what she did, but you have to give her credit for advertising with such confidence. Blazing boldly at the top of her ad was written: “Minister of Integrative Healing.” Ok, if you have to use a dictionary to figure it out you need to re-write the ad.

What is this?! Does anyone really know? Is the secret of her success in the “mystery” of what she does? I don’t think I want to know. To me, it sounds like she’s going to mess with my mind. I have enough challenges there, “thank you, hands off!” I’m sure people who are into this knew exactly what she was talking about.

Amid all these days of confusion and complication what we really need is some plain old common sense, delivered in simplicity. That’s a good time for us to consider the gospel of Jesus Christ; the Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins.

The simple-ness in understanding His message should not confuse us with the seriousness of His actions for us. It wasn’t easy for Him to die in our place; it was something He knew He must do to fulfill the will of the Father, God.

The gospel is not hard for us to understand, or why Jesus did what He did. Let’s reflect on His actions, apply our faith and belief in what He did; asking Him to save us—to be our Savior.

I’m writing my own ad for Jesus:

Jesus, Over Comer Of Death And Sin; Administrator Of New Starts.
Always available to talk to, just do it—He’ll be there.

© 2009 A. Miller
Reproduction, distribution or reprint of this article is prohibited without express written permission of the author, A. Miller.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"Do You Need Someone To Go Home To?"

With the holidays approaching many are thinking about where they’ll spend their time off. Some have numerous options about where that will be; sadly…others will have little or none.

Numerous people around the world not only have little or no food to eat, they have no place to call home.

Needs don’t take a holiday. Either does God, I am glad to say! Let’s reach out to those who have little to eat and no place to stay—all year long. And let’s remember those who when they leave this earth have nothing to go home to.

Christians have something, someone to go home to. Jesus, God’s Son, secured not only a place for us to go when we are no longer here through His death on the cross; He also secured for us a space in that home when we choose to accept Him as Savior.

Salvation is the free gift of eternal life. It’s a gift that is give-able at all times, and its rewards keep giving long after it has been redeemed.

It’s easy for us to picture the comfort of a physical home. It’s not as easy for us to understand the comfort and peace a spiritual home can bring. But God not only provides us a place of spiritual rest, He Himself is that place of spiritual rest.

How about you? Do you need a place to rest? Jesus is a place of refuge, someone to go home to.

© A. Miller 2006-2008
Reproduction, distribution or reprint of this article is prohibited without express written permission of the author, A. Miller

Friday, September 26, 2008

Do You Need The Comfort Of A Savior?

I haven’t bumped into many people who have not seen and heard about the tremendous devastation that has happened in Texas and Louisiana following the aftermath of two major hurricanes.

News of financial destruction has been in the news lately, too. The meltdown in almost every sector in our society is a good reminder “it’s in God we should trust.”

Many people are optimistic of a bounce back, trying a number of “proven tactics” they say will not only shore up our sagging economy, but quell fears of an impending economic depression of global proportions.

You can’t work your way back up to the surface until you stop falling, and at times, hit bottom; to say we have reached that might be premature.

Whatever the future holds we must give into God, and not into fear. Our fears don’t always become realized, but the hope that Jesus, God’s Son provides for us was realized when He died on the cross for our sins.

We never have to fear the future when we know who is holding it, and we know beyond all doubt it has been secured. Jesus has secured our future, and offers us the comfort of a Savior when we choose to not gamble on our present or our future, but place our faith and trust in Him, now.

© 2008 A. Miller
Reproduction, distribution or reprint of this article is prohibited without express written permission of the author, A. Miller.