Slaves of Righteousness

Slaves of Righteousness

 

After being a stay-at-home mom for thirteen years, the economic situation required that I reenter the workforce. That was a major culture shock to me! Much to my dismay, I discovered that any topic was opened to discussion. I was appalled by the amount of backbiting I observed.  On top of that, gossip and negativity abounded wherever I went.

 

It is very hard to keep a positive attitude in those kinds of situations. In fact, all too often, it was too easy to join in. However, I soon realized that doing so left a very bitter taste in my spirit.

 

However, in Romans 6:15-18, it is clear that I don’t have to be a slave to sin.  Rather, I can be a slave to righteousness.  It is my choice — I can continue to join in with the gossip and negative conversations at work.  Or, I can choose to be a slave to righteousness and walk away, keeping my integrity intact.  What an encouragement to realize that I do not have to let sin reign in me!

 

© 2011, Stacy R. Miller

 

Merry Christmas!

Do You Smell Like Smoke?

Do You Smell Like Smoke?

 

I detest cigarette smoke. Exposure to it throws me into a huge coughing fit, along with giving me a horrendous headache. The smell bothers me so much that if I am around it for any length of time, I will immediately change clothes and take a shower upon returning home, simply to get that atrocious smell off of me!

 

At different times of our lives, we will all go “through the fire.” As hard as these times of testing are for us, God knows they are ultimately for our good.

 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced a fiery furnace, yet they never wavered in their trust in God. When they came out of the furnace, they didn’t even have the smell of smoke on them.

 

It can be the same with us when we face our own fiery furnace. If we hold tight to God, cling to his promises, and seek to honor him no matter the cost, we also will come through without the smell of smoke on us!

 

© 2014, Stacy R. Miller

 

 

Peace in the Midst of Christmas Chaos

Peace in the Midst of Christmas Chaos

 

Working in a hospital requires that you work some holidays. I usually volunteer to work Christmas Day because we can easily adjust our schedule and celebrate our “Christmas at home” day another day.

 

Last year, I had Christmas Eve off, but my daughter wanted to open gifts on the 23rd since she isn’t a morning person. So on that day, as I headed home from work, I was in a festive mood, ready for our celebration.

 

However, on the way home, traffic was so thick, being that Christmas was only a few days away. People were driving with no regard for their fellow man. One man carelessly pulled out in front of me on a busy highway. Shortly thereafter, another vehicle started to swerve into my lane.

I was still trying to maintain my festive mood and remain peaceful in my spirit.

 

I noticed I only had a half tank of gasoline, so I thought I would do the smart thing and have it filled so we would be set for my trips to work and for a trip to the family gathering on Christmas Day after my shift was done. I scanned my card at the pump, only to get a message of “pump busy.” I had no idea why it was doing that, but didn’t trust it after that, so I waited until it cleared my card info and went to another pump, only to have it do the same thing. My hands were beginning to hurt due to the bitterly cold temperatures.

 

I decided to try another gas station, only to burst a blood vessel when trying to get the gas cap off. Now my hands were really hurting, and my festive mood was beginning to change to a very frustrated one.

 

As I headed for the final stretch home, I came upon someone who must have been having a lover’s quarrel. The car was off to the side of the road. With no warning, she quickly pulled out in front of me, then pulled over again when she caught up with a pedestrian who had just exited her car. Next, he darts out in front of me to get away from her. I slammed on my breaks, and my heart rate is escalating by this time. Of all things, the woman pulled out in front of me again!

 

By this time, not only am I frustrated, but I was desperate to get home. I just wanted to be safely home, in the warmth and comfort of my house, enjoying the presence of my loved ones.

 

Since I remembered hearing that we women often set the tone of our home, I reminded myself that it wasn’t going to be wise to show my frustration when I got home. I quickly said a prayer, asking the Lord to help me to adjust my attitude in the next two minutes before I reached home.

 

Thankfully, He was faithful to help me in my time of need. As I walked in the door, instead of venting my frustration, I voiced how thankful I was to finally be safely home!

 

In the midst of this blessed season, when circumstances around us can be very chaotic, it can help us to find things for which to be thankful, even when our emotions are rather frazzled and stressed.

 

A grateful heart can bring peace and comfort to your spirit in spite of your surroundings.

© 2014, Stacy R. Miller

 

Clothed in Christ

Clothed With Christ

 

Ever since the fateful events of 9-11 and the ensuing economic depression, the world we once knew no longer exists. If we spend too much time watching the news or pondering on our current world, we can spiral downward into a state of depression.

 

In times like these, it is important to remember that we are clothed with Christ. (Galatians 3:27) When fears assail us, Jesus is our peace. When sickness assaults us, we need to remember that He is our healer. When sadness overwhelms us, He is there to comfort us.  When we feel all alone, He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. When we’ve lost our job, He is our provider. When we are weary, we can find our strength in him. When we need direction, we can call upon him for wisdom.

 

What a tremendous blessing to know that when we are clothed with Christ, we truly have everything we need!

 

© 2011, Stacy R. Miller

How God Speaks

How God Speaks

 

One early morning, as I was on my way to work my shift in the emergency room, the Lord revealed something to me that really spoke to my heart.  I was just getting ready to turn into the hospital parking lot when I looked up toward the still-darkened sky on my left.  The moon was peaking through some clouds.  Though it wasn’t a full moon, you could still see the light shining through those clouds.

 

In that familiar, still, quiet voice, the Lord said, “That is how I often speak to my children.  They see clouds all around them as they are going through difficulties.  Through those clouds, I will speak to them, shining my light into their hearts, giving them hope.”
He continued to reveal new images to me regarding how He speaks to His children.  There are times when we go outside on a hot, summer day, where the sun is so bright that it hurts our eyes.  This is similar to the times when we read the Word and a portion of scripture seems to pop off the page, and God reveals something new to use in a very powerful way. 

 

Needless to say, by the time I had parked the car and walked through the doors of the ER, I had a new spring in my step!

© 2012, Stacy R. Miller