Friday, March 22, 2013

Unfolding Miracle

One of our close friends, Cheryl, has been battling cancer for a while.  She had a recent set-back when she lost the use of her legs.  She has been admitted to Shepherd Spinal Center where she is learning how to live from a wheel chair.  Caroline and I went to visit with her last night.  It was my first chance to be inside Shepherd.  We had dinner in the cafeteria, and Cheryl toured us through the facility.  They have a large indoor pool, gymnasium and multiple health and rehab facilities.  I was amazed by the facilities, but Cheryl told us that the real strength of the facility is the staff.  She said that each person she deals with is extremely helpful and encouraging.  I was delighted to hear that they were taking good care of her, but the inspiration for me was all Cheryl.  She has the most amazing attitude towards the disease that has attacked her body.  She gives all credit for her strength to her faith in Jesus and the plans that He has for her.   We are praying for the miracle of complete healing, but for me, the miracle is already unfolding in her life and the spirit of God within her.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

That looks fun - Let me in!

I had fun on Sunday.  My niece and nephew who live in Roswell were having their baby, Maddox, baptized at Peachtree Presbyterian.  After attending contemporary worship services at my churches for the last 20 years or so, I loved watching the organist dancing on the pedals and feeling my pew vibrate from the deep rich tones of the pipe organ instead of my folding chair buzz from the bass guitar connected to the subwoofer under  the stage.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love contemporary worship, but there was something very settling about the structured service and the traditional music.  It took me back to First Presbyterian in Columbus where I was first introduced to Jesus.  Four baby boys were baptized  on Sunday.   The minister did an amazing job of personalizing each baptism with a short explanation of the origins of their given names.  “Maddox is a visionary and it is likely that he will be leading many people.”  Infant baptism is something I haven’t seen in a while.  My recent Baptist and non-denominational churches all prefer full immersion of adults that are making their own decisions to follow Jesus.  The infant baptism is beautiful in that the infants are as close to sinless as they will ever be.  The baptism is a chance for parents, family and the church to express their hope and support for the child as opposed to the  child declaring anything for himself.  It was great to see almost all of my family sitting together and expressing their pledge to support and encourage Maddox.  I love this picture of Maddox because it captures the feeling I had when I was at the baptism.  Maddox kept staring at the water in the baptismal font as if he was thinking, “That looks fun.  Let me in!”  I, for one, am praying he has that chance and hope to be near when he makes his own decision.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Half Marathon in Seaside, FL

Tom Miller suprises his daughter at the race
Several months ago, my daughter Lizzy announced that she was running in a half marathon (13.1 miles) in Seaside, FL.  Apparently some of the people in her small group from church had done it before and were encouraging others in the group to join them.  I haven’t ever run further than 6 miles and Lizzy has never been an avid runner.  She put together a training schedule and worked her way up to 11 miles prior to the race.  Caroline and I were so excited for her that we decided to drive down and surprise her.  We tracked her down amidst the 3000 runners prior to the race with the help of her husband, Trey, and snuck up behind her and surprised her.  The look on her face was worth every bit of the 6 hour drive down and seeing her cross the finish line under her goal time was almost as good.  No revolutionary message here, but I believe it is true that a lot of good things can start in church and the joy of loving a child has to be one of the best feelings in the world.  Oh, and the race raised about $300,000 for the Seaside Elementary School.