Thursday, July 30, 2015

Watch Out for Big Brother

My Big Brother
In case you didn’t see it on Facebook, I wanted to make sure that you knew that my older brother, Craig, was appointed by Nathan Deal to be the director of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Commission this week.  Craig has been working in film and video production for his whole career.  He graduated from UGA’s Journalism School and began working for AFLAC in Columbus in their media department.  He started his own company, Craig Miller Productions, shortly thereafter, and moved his family and his business to metro-Atlanta.  Craig focuses on corporate and public film/video production and has developed and maintained several large clients.  Due to my band background, this short video is one of my favorites.  So needless to say, I am very proud of my big brother for what he is accomplished in his business.  But while doing all of this, he managed to take care of his wife, Carolyn, and raise six fantastic kids – four through college and two still finishing up – and four weddings, growing the Miller clan even further.  I love you, Craig.  Thanks for being a great big brother.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Great minds think a life

I just got back from Milwaukee today.  Caroline and I were attending the annual meeting for her company, Northwestern Mutual.  I have been several times, and always leave entertained, well fed and glad that I am a client.  There are also multiple opportunities to be inspired, and one of the speakers this year was Ben Carson.  Dr. Carson is a retired neurosurgeon with some great stories.  He was raised by his mom, who only made it through third grade, but she insisted that all of her kids get an education.  Ben was a below average student with an above average temper. His temper got him into trouble frequently, including a stabbing incident that could have turned out a lot worse than it did. After that incident, he prayed for three hours acknowledging that he could not change himself and could only change through the power of the Holy Spirit.  That started a series of events that were almost inconceivable.  His grades and his temper improved enough to earn him admission to Yale, where he excelled   He took a position at Johns Hopkins and became the youngest major division director at the age of 33.  He was most well-known for performing the first successful separation of twins that were conjoined at the head.  This has to be one of the most moving stories of redemption that I have ever heard.  We were presented with a copy of his book, Think Big, which I cannot wait to read. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Singing In A Truck

Several weeks ago, I ran into Ben Smith at a downtown church.  We were both there for the baptism of children recently born to our family members.  My first memory of Ben was when he and some other friends were singing in the back of a pickup truck at a Friday afternoon pep rally. The pep rally was for a Shiloh High School game where he and my son both attended.  Singing in the back of a pick-up truck wouldn’t be that unusual, except that Ben was singing worship songs to Jesus – and students were singing along with him.   The pick-up truck band developed into a real band called Unhindered and that group made a name for itself by singing at local churches and youth revivals.  The band then gained popularity outside of Atlanta and toured regularly.  Ben is now a worship leader at Bethel Atlanta Church in Tyrone and continues to tour with Unhindered.   I found this video from 2007.  Ben plays the keyboard and leads this song vocally.  He has an immense amount of musical talent, but his real gift is leading people to a God that he loves very much.  I am glad I know him.  If you have a connection to Ben, Unhindered or Bethel, let me know.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Absolutely Nothing

Caroline and I attended a marriage class at Veritas Church when we  were members there.  One of the take-aways from that class was to commit to a date night once a week.  Our date nights aren’t usually very glamorous, but making the commitment for just the two of  us to be together at least once a week has proved to be very important to us.  This week we went to one of our favorite dinner locations, Bonefish Grill – nice meal , but nothing out of the ordinary until the waitress brought our check.  The hostess accompanied her and announced that another couple had paid our bill.  She pointed in the direction that they had been sitting, which was only a couple of tables away.  Part of me was embarrassed for not noticing who was there, but another part of me was glad that my attention had been on Caroline.  The hostess said that they had called me by name, but had instructed her not to tell me who they were.   And they were gone.  So this act of generosity generated much conversation and speculation with the first big question being, “who would have done this?” and the next being “what had I had done to deserve this?”.  The only answer I could come up with was “absolutely nothing.”   The next question was, “who would do this without wanting to be acknowledged or thanked for what they had done?”   Paul said:  “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.”  I  expect whoever paid our check had read that before once or twice.  Praise God for treating me like that every day.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Standing Up

Over the past few weeks, I have noticed even more than usual how the media loves to portray a laissez-faire attitude towards faith and spirituality.  “If it feels good, do it” seems to be  the mantra.  And anyone who wants to take a stand on anything remotely resembling God is not only ignored but sometimes vilified.  Celebrities that are acknowledged followers of Jesus are often quiet, and when they speak out, are relegated to the back of the bus.  In searching for an exception, I remembered this moment when two of my favorite country artists got together for this performance.  The response from those in attendance was amazing to me.