Our Prince Charming

Our Prince Charming

As little girls, we were told tales of a Prince Charming arriving on a white horse to take the girl away to live happily in his beautiful castle.
We heard the story about the girl who kissed the toad, and he turns into Prince Charming.  The reality of the story for many of us is that when kissed Prince Charming, we discovered that he was a TOAD!

We’ve heard it said that love is blind.  Many a bride has stood at the altar to say, “I do.”  After the honeymoon is over, we may discover that Prince Charming is a slob who can never put anything in the right place.  He would rather eat by the light and sound of the television, rather than by candlelight and the sound of pleasant conversation with his bride.  We may discover that Prince Charming sounds just like a locomotive when he snores!

This man who vowed to be faithful and true may desire to spend his free time with his buddies, leaving his bride all alone in a cracker-box sized house that is in dire need of some attention.  The dream of that castle is long forgotten.  He may forget his vows to be true to her, whether it’s by acts of adultery or his lying to her, saying he is working late, when he’s really hanging out with the guys at a sports bar.

This man who seemed so kind and gentle during the engagement suddenly has a fiery temper, which explodes and manifests itself by throwing things, causing them to break.  He not only breaks things like picture frames, and lamps, he breaks her heart with his cruel words.

What happened to the dream of the Prince arriving on a white horse to carry me away?  Was it just a dream?  No, my sister, I assure you that it is not just a dream!  “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.”  Rev. 19:11 “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”  Rev. 19:16 (NIV)

John 14:1-7 assures us that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us and that He will come back to take us to that place.  May I be so bold as to say that I believe the place He where He is going to take us is a castle?  In Rev. 21:18-21, we find more descriptive words about this place where we will be taken.  “The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.  The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone.  The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.  The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl.  The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.”  (NIV)

As if this weren’t enough, we see in Rev. 22:3 that there will be no  curse there.  We won’t ever have to face unfaithfulness there, nor will there be any bitter words, no more hurting hearts, no betrayals, no loneliness, and no shame!

Yes, there really is a Prince Charming for us!  Our Prince is the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Advertisements

The Shemitah That Was and the Shaking to Come

This is a great article, addressing how “uneventful” September has been so far, and where our true focus should be.

The Shemitah that was and the Shaking to Come

Our Husband’s Burden

Our Husband’s Burden

Women who are stay-at-home moms are in a better position to attend Bible studies, watch Christian TV, listen to Christian radio, and spend more time in the Word.  This can help us grow immensely in our walk with the Lord.

A problem arises, however, when we start to think we are more spiritual than our husband because we rarely see him in the Word.  What we fail to realize is that he can’t be in the Word like we can because he is working so hard to provide for the family.  We need to realize that he has a tremendous burden on him in doing that!  It should move us to intercede on his behalf a lot more than we probably do.

We may not be aware of how he may truly be growing in his walk with the Lord as he carries the burden of meeting all of the monthly financial obligations.  There’s the mortgage, the car payment, utility bills, food, and insurance, just to name a few.  That doesn’t even include the extras such as braces or the cost of gymnastics, ballet, soccer, or basketball.  God may be using the weight of the financial burden to really develop your husband’s dependency upon Himself.

I remember hearing a pastor say that a man’s mind is constantly thinking about finances, the bills, and being the sole provider.  When he asked the men in the congregation if he was correct in his assessment, the sanctuary erupted with a chorus of ‘Amen.’

God may be teaching your husband to trust Him, while maintaining a peaceful heart when he hears about more job cuts in his company.  God may be developing his spirituality in the many situations he faces every day.  If he works with the public, he may be learning to extend grace to people in ways that create huge spiritual growth in his life.  God may develop him through the ‘school of hard knocks,’ rather than through the resources that you have at your disposal.

I know that when I became a stay-at-home mom, I grew in ways that I never thought possible.  Yet, at the same time, when I worked full time as a customer service rep, I also had many opportunities to grow in grace while dealing with very upset customers.  When I worked at the hospital, often dealing with families whose loved ones were terminally ill, God used those experiences to help me learn to show mercy and compassion, even while taking care of the paperwork to get their loved one admitted to our unit.  So, you see, God can do wonders in developing your husband’s spiritual walk, even while he is at work.

Our husbands carry a heavy load, knowing that if they don’t provide for their own family, they are worse than an infidel.  (I Timothy 5:8)  That is a huge load to carry, and if we fail to realize how deeply spiritual it is to meet this obligation, we fail to be that crowning glory to our husband. (Proverbs 12:4)  When we bless them, encourage them, and thank them for the wonderful way in which they provide for our family, we speak life to them. (Proverbs 18:21)  When we encourage them, as well as pray for them, we also fulfill the words in Galatians 6:2 where it tells us to carry each other’s burdens.

Do you need to help ‘carry’ his burden?
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

Old Faithful

Old Faithful

The sun rises every morning, and sets every evening.  The waves never cease to crash upon the shore.  A full moon faithfully greets us every month.  Whenever there is a big change in temperature or weather pattern, there will be rain.  Every morning, you can hear the birds singing.  The seasons change without fail.

God shows His faithfulness to us in these things we so easily take for granted.  Looking at our own bodies, we can see our Creator’s faithfulness again.  Our heart beats faithfully, with no help from us.  We breathe automatically.  Every time we eat, our body will digest that food.  Our eyes blink without any help from us.  If we get a cut, our body will heal itself.  Once again, we see that our God is not only a glorious Creator, but He is faithful.

We got Rachel a hamster for her eighth birthday.  Watching that little critter and seeing her personality shining through has given us many laughs.  It’s so fascinating to watch her, trying to figure out what she’s thinking.  (Usually, it’s “How do I get out of this cage?”)  I’ve learned more about God’s faithfulness even through that hamster.  Every night, about the time we get Rachel tucked into bed, and we want to watch something on TV, that little critter will carry some food into her plastic wheel and decide to go for a spin.  So much for watching TV!  It is SO noisy that you have to turn on the closed-captioning to figure out what is being said on the TV.  Yet, God has made this hamster a nocturnal creature, and so every single night, at the same time, she gets up and decides to be active.

The Ancient of Days, who is faithful to do all of these things is faithful to be with you always. (Heb. 13:5) He is faithful to help you to be more than a conqueror in the every day trials of life.  (Rom. 8:37)

If you feel like God isn’t faithful, look around you. Remind yourself of His faithfulness that displays itself daily to all of us.  His mercies are new every morning.  (Lam. 3:23) They are new for you.
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Obstacle Course

Obstacle Course

Do you ever feel like you are running an obstacle course in your walk with the Lord?  I sure have!  Isaiah 57:14 says to remove the obstacles out of the way.  I have had to do that in my own life.

I am an avid reader, but as I have grown in my walk with the Lord, I have had to change what types of books I read.  I found that if I read books that had cuss words in them, chances were high that I would end up reverting to that nasty old habit.  I quickly removed that obstacle from my course.

I have had individuals in my life who were like leeches – always sucking the life out of me.  I removed them from the obstacle course, replacing them with friends who are like iron sharpening iron. (Proverbs 27:17)

Early in my Christian walk, I was deeply convicted to remove soap operas from my course.  They certainly failed to line up with the excellent, virtuous, and praiseworthy things that I was to think upon. (Philippians 4:8)

One of the biggest obstacles in my Christian walk has been my thoughts.  I constantly have to change course, making the choice to renew my mind, rather than focusing on ungodly and unhealthy things. (Romans 12:2)

You can probably think of some obstacles on your own course that need to be removed.  Some of the obstacles may even be good things, but by removing them, it will allow you to have a more excellent course.

What obstacles can you remove today?
© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

My Great Reward

My Great Reward

Proverbs 16:9 says that we may plan our course, but it is the Lord Who determines our steps.  I have found this to be so true in my own life.

As spring approached one year, I began to make a diligent effort to read several books on my bookcase so that when the summer reading club started at our local library, I could indulge in my love for Christian fiction.  My plan was to immerse myself in some fun and relaxing reading, in hopes to win some of the prizes in the reading club.

I also had another plan to read several books on modesty and purity, trying to gauge when I should introduce these books to my daughter.  As I began to leisurely browse these books, I found that every word needed to be savored, some even more than once.  I found myself applying the truths to my own life.  I began to ask myself questions like:
What shows do I watch that compromise purity of thought?
What magazines do I read that threaten my ability to keep my spirit pure?
What books do I have that might not cultivate a pure heart?
What words do I say that show a tainted heart, rather than a pure heart?
What attitudes do I have that show a dirty heart?
What thoughts fill my head that might hinder me from being pure in heart?

Finally, I decided it was time to read some of those fiction books.  Yet, when I started reading one by my favorite author, I noticed that I wasn’t enjoying it.  Fiction suddenly seemed so dry, boring, and lifeless to me.

In my quest to conquer my pile of books, God determined my steps.  He pulled me to a new level of personal holiness.  He determined to draw me near to His heart, bringing me to a new height of intimacy with Him.

No wonder the fiction books do not hold the appeal they once had!  How can anything compare to the King of the Universe?

As for those prizes I had hoped to win from the library, well…..I already won!  God became my exceedingly great reward! (Genesis 15:1)
© 2008, Stacy R. Miller

In case you are interested in the books I read on modesty and purity, here is the list:
And the Bride Wore White by Dannah Gresh
Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty by Dannah Gresh
Sex is Not the Problem (Lust is) by Josh Harris
The Fruit of Her Hands by Nancy Wilson

Multi-Tasking

Multi-Tasking

Early one morning, as I sat down at the computer, the spyware scan started to run its weekly check.  It reminded me that I needed to run the weekly virus scan.  Once I got that up and running, the computer notified me that there were some updates that also needed to be installed, so I started running those as well.

In the midst of multi-tasking on the computer, a weird thing began to happen.  As new emails would appear, I could see an envelope, alerting me to a new piece of mail, but there was a blank space in the spot where it should show ‘sender’ and ‘subject.’  After I finished my multi-tasking, I had to shut down the computer, then restart it so the ‘updates’ would take.

Multi-tasking seems to be the new buzz word for the myriad of activities which keep us busy.  It seems that everywhere you go, you see people who are multi-tasking.  How many times do you see people with a cell phone glued to their ear?  Whether it’s in the car, a restaurant, Walmart, or even the doctor’s office, seeing someone on a cell phone is a common occurrence.  The cycle seems to never end.  We may stop multi-tasking in one area, and immediately start it in another area without giving it a second thought.  It’s so automatic that we don’t ever realize we are doing it.

I believe that we switch to ‘auto-pilot’ so quickly in our multi-tasking that it causes us to end up missing out on a lot of what God may want from us.  Just as I had blank spots showing up in the ‘sender’ and ‘subject’ information in my emails, I do believe that we are allowing a lot of ‘blank spaces’ in our lives, due simply to our aggressive multi-tasking.  Do we have a blank in the spot called prayer?  What about in the space for daily devotions?  Is that spot also empty?  What about following the Holy Spirit’s prompting?  Would it be blank for the last several weeks because we’ve been so consumed with our own agenda that we failed to listen to His calling?

What about the space for showing mercy or giving encouragement to someone who really needs it?  Would we have a blank space there?  Could it be that when we talked to our friend that we were so ‘surface’ in our conversation due to our own heavy schedule that we didn’t even notice the pain in her voice?  What about the place for praying for one another?  Are we so focused on getting home from church and fixing dinner or getting the children to bed, that we neglect to notice the lady who is at her wit’s end and could really benefit from someone who would take three or four minutes to pray with her?

Just as I had to ‘power down’ the computer to get it up and running properly, we all need to take time in our busy lives to ‘power down.’  Turn off the cell phone, turn the ringer down on the home phone, and turn off the answering machine, the computer, and the television.  Put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your front door, and even your bedroom door, if that’s what it takes, but ‘power down’ so that God can minister to you, adding ‘updates’ to you, so that you can function the way HE intended for you to function.
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller