Thursday, March 29, 2018

More Millers

My son, Michael, is 34 years old today, but we are all still celebrating the birth of his fourth child.  Brynn Elizabeth is pictured here with Dad and her two big brothers, Levi and Evan.  That look on Evan's face is priceless.  Brynn's big sister, Nora, had a little fever, so she had to meet her for the first time on FaceTime.  I can't wait to see the whole family together celebrating their first Easter as a family of 6! 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Loving Yourself

Our sermon at church last Sunday, my small group meeting last night, and a book I was reading this morning were all focused on being generous.  OK. OK.  Message delivered!  Being generous was never a part of my nature growing up.  As Whitney sung so beautifully,  "Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all", and I made that my mantra.  Now, over three decades later, while I might not agree with all of those lyrics, I think there is some truth there.  We have to get right with ourselves, before we have much to give.  But more often than not, stepping out in faith to give a small part of what we do have, is just the thing to start getting ourselves right.  And when I say getting ourselves right, I mean recognizing that everything we have is a gift from our creator.  If I can internalize that, it makes it easier for me to let go of those gifts that God has given me to steward.  I am not there yet.  I am nowhere close.  But today, I want to be a little closer than I was yesterday.  Just in case you need a little nostalgia, here is the link.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

In The Heat Of The Battle

I was reading about Joshua this morning in Uprising.  After Moses died, God called Joshua to lead His people to the promised land.  It was known to be a land filled with giants that would stand up against them.  God didn't tell Joshua, "Wait here.  I will clear the way for you and let you know when it is safe to enter."  He said, "Be strong and courageous, for I will be with you."  There are two kinds of courage: the kind that would cause you to run into a burning building to save a child and the kind of courageous that allows you to make the right decision day by day and minute by minute.  The second kind is the one that builds character.  And while it may be less dangerous, it can be much harder.  Paul said in his letter to the Philippians, "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or death.  For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."   We must allow our natural selves to die, so that Christ can live within us.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Family Time

I am blessed to be able to work with my son, Michael, in our real estate business.  I was warned before joining up with him not to let business take over our relationship.  I have to admit that we do talk about work more than anything else, but this week, we took a welcome break to take Michael's oldest son, Evan, up to North Carolina for some late season skiing.  This is Evan's third season skiing, and he didn't want to stop.  I loved spending time with them and hope that a trip like this one will be an annual tradition.  I feel so fortunate that my kids and grandkids are near enough to see them regularly.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Dancing in a Baptist Church?

Our Connect Group at church is studying a book called Uprising by Erwin McManus.   We are about three weeks into it, and I have been drawn to Erwin and his teaching.  I wanted to get some background on his story and found that he was born in El Salvador, raised by his grandparents in Miami, and has worked as a clothes designer and a filmmaker.  He is also the pastor of one of the most successful churches in Los Angeles, Mosaic.  Mosaic is known for its support of the arts in worship, especially music and dance.  Mosaic actually started as the First Southern Baptist Church of East LA.  So how did Erwin end up with a german first name?  I found that answer towards the end of the 20-minute TED talk which makes me want to know Erwin even more.  I hope you can make time for this.  You won't be disappointed.