Thursday, October 1, 2020

Happy Birthday Message From Me to You!

Yabba dabba doo!
Just like that, I'm 72!

Oh dear, what shall I do?
With covid-19, I can't even sit in a pew.
Staying safe and dodging the flu,
Not once have I even said , "Achoo!"
Determined this pandemic won't be my Waterloo.
I'm safe at home, but not crying, "Boo hoo!"

Don't fret about me. I am not blue.
Happy times, I've had more than a few.
Grandchildren? I've got way more than two.
They are a fun and crazy crew.
When they arrive, my house is a zoo.
Can you hear them? Moo-o-o-o-o-o-o!

Pumpkin-spice coffee is a good brew
As I ponder God's love for me and for you.
This life is more than just getting through.
As I grow older, eternity is in view.

Heaven is waiting.  Do we have a clue?
 Jesus died for me and for you.
Believe in Him. Yes. He is true.
Repent of your sin. Put on the other shoe.
Jesus becomes your Savior, and your life becomes new.
Salvation for all, the Gentile and Jew.

My prayer as I strive to reach 73,
May all in this world  please get down on your knee.
Ask Jesus to save your soul, is my plea.
Jesus offers Himself as a gift and He's free!
Afterall, I want you to be in Heaven with me. 

Thank you all for your love and support and prayers! Happy Birthday to me!!!


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Fifty Reasons Why We're Still Kissing Fifty Years Later

"So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore what God  has joined together, let no man separate."
Matthew 19:6 NIV

We didn't get it right all of the time. In fact, if you read my books, you'll understand there were times we almost threw our marriage away. I'm so glad we remained true to the vows we spoke through our happy tears fifty years ago. When the hurting tears came, our vows to God and to each other were the glue keeping our frayed marriage together.

As we celebrate our Golden Anniversary, I jotted down fifty ways (in no particular order) we got it right. In  hopes one will touch your heart and bless your marriage, I share them with you.

     1. Read your wedding vows and repeat to each other often.

     2. Go to bed at the same time whenever possible. The late-night pillow talk was precious and sometimes the only time we were alone during a busy day.

     3. Make intimacy a priority.

     4. Our marriage took priority over our children. We cherished our daughters and son and they knew they were loved. They also knew mom and dad loved each other, which brought joy and balance to our family.

     5. Be polite. My husband opened the car door for me when we dated and on our wedding day. He still does today. Those little courtesies mean a lot and speak volumes to our children.

     6. Date frequently. Your children will survive and thrive knowing mommy and daddy are going out just the two of them. Your child's greatest fear is that their parents will divorce. Seeing the two of you leave to enjoy each other may bring tears in the short run, but smiles for a lifetime.

     7. Vacation as a family. When you vacation together, you bond as a family. When another family is included in your plans, the kids bond with the other kids and not with each other or to their parents. An occasional vacation with friends is fun, but not every year.

     8. Overnight as a couple. Dan set as a priority that two weekends a year we get away together. I once said, "We can't afford this." He replied, "It's cheaper than a divorce." Dan was right.

     9. Your friends should never be more important than your spouse.

    10. Serve together at church or in the community. Find something you can do to work as a team.

    11. Discover activities and fun you can enjoy as a couple. I learned to love golf.

    12. Go on dates alone. Don't always go with another couple.

    13. Read Christian books on marriage. 

    14. Keep going to marriage retreats. This can be one of your weekends away.

    15. Your bedroom is your love sanctuary. Keep it clean and tidy and beautiful.

    16. Play romantic music and light candles. Make your home and your bedroom a retreat you both want to escape to.

    17. Do chores together. Raking leaves and shoveling snow is more fun as a twosome or a family.

    18. Seek ways to make each other's life better. Ask yourself What can I do to make my honey happy today.

    19. Celebrate big! Birthdays, Anniversaries, holidays are memory creators and make life fun.

    20. Be flexible. A rigid spouse is not very huggable.

    21. Practice kindness. Please and thank you never grow old. Kind people smile. So, smile. A lot.

    22. Be patient. Spouses and marriages need time to grow up.

    23. Consider your spouse before you consider yourself.

    24. Romance never grows old! Be creative and romantic and fun!

    25. Be content. Be happy with the person you married.

    26. Build your spouse up. Don't push or nag.

    27. Show and tell your spouse they are the most important person in your world.

    28. Plan surprises!

    29. Look nice at home and in bed.

    30. Sit close.

    31. Be present for big events whether a sick bed or a job promotion.

    32. Pray for each other. Pray for your marriage.

    33. Hold on during the bad times.

    34. Disagree, but don't disrespect.

    35. Choose your battles. Let go of the little irritations that don't matter.

    36. Hold hands.

    37. Fight fair. Stick to the subject of the dispute and never attack the person.

    38. Forgive and forget. Remember, we all make mistakes.

    39. Your spouse is not God, so don't expect perfection.

    40. Encourage their dreams.

    41. Avoid immorality of all kinds by watching and reading only uplifting, pro-marriage movies and television.

    42. Choose your friends wisely.

    43. Seek advice and counselling from Bible-believing, Godly pastors and friends.

    44. Remember: This too will pass. What upsets you today may be forgotten tomorrow.

    45. Leave your parents and cleave to your spouse.

    46. Live, act, and speak like a married person. Leave your single life behind.

    47. Don't belittle your spouse in public or private.

    48. Our children knew our marriage bed was where mommy and daddy slept, not them. I know this is controversial, but it was important in our marriage.

    49. Buy a lock for your bedroom door. Especially necessary when living with teens (for their sake and yours!).

    50. Always seek to glorify God in your marriage! Your marriage is not about you, but about God's glory.

I'm so glad we held on to each other when our marriage almost fell apart. Enduring love is the best! 

Happy Anniversary to us! Remembering the splashes of serenity and forgetting the mud and muck, we press on!


Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Night I Fell in Love with Dan Miller

Planning our 50th wedding anniversary, my mind floods with memories and joy. God's purpose for us was so much more than we dreamed or expected fifty years ago. With thanks to God for His Goodness to us all the days of our lives, I share the moments when God's plan was sealed. God must chuckle as He orchestrates the love story in each of our lives.

 Dan was a blind date that didn't go very well. I never stopped talking. He never stopped listening, but he didn't say too much. (I learned later that this is a good quality.) At the time, I figured his silence was an indication of his disappointment in the girl he envisioned when he asked to see me before he had even seen me. (Of course,  in 1970 facebook and internet and cell phones did not exist.) A blind date really was a blind date. 

To my surprise, he asked to see me again. To my greater surprise, I said, "Alright." Date number two was a little worse than date number one.  I pre-decided not to do all the talking, so we pretty much didn't talk. He was a gentleman, I'll give him that credit. He made no attempt to hold my hand or kiss me goodnight. I wondered, Was he a gentleman, or did the thought of touching my hand repulse him? I did not know. We parted after two dates with no invitation for a third and my intent to refuse another encounter if asked. 

The phone call came on Tuesday, "Would you like to go out to dinner and to Ford Theatre to see The Fantasticks?" 

Please understand. I was a young, single girl working at the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. My paychecks came in, and my paychecks went out, mostly for new clothes. Food was not a budget item. So, if a young man asked me out to dinner, I grabbed the opportunity to eat. Plus, theatre was in the deal. Win! Win!

Ninety degrees in April in D.C. is unusual, but that was the weather. Dressed for a special evening, Dan picked me up after work. He wore a wool sports coat and looked quite fine. We dined in an elegant restaurant. Now, I hadn't eaten for two days due to my money mismanagement. I ordered several large items. Dan's eyes were big and his expression unbelief. This night while I was busy eating, Dan did all the talking and his words were kind, funny, and pleasant. 

"Are you ready to go to the play?" He said after our lengthy meal.

"I haven't had dessert!" 

 I'm assuming that's the moment he fell in love with me. I learned later that Dan really likes a girl who can eat! He denies it, but I remember him joking one day and telling someone he married me because I was the only girl who could eat more than him!

We ordered dessert and enjoyed sweet food and conversation.

In 1970 Ford Theatre had not been renovated. The seats were the same as the night President Lincoln was assassinated — small and close together. Ninety degrees outside meant even higher temperatures inside this non-air-conditioned theatre. The heat hit my wool-coat-clad date hard. Drops of sweat beaded on his forehead and proceeded down his face for the rest of the night. 

When we arrived at our reserved seats, our hearts sunk a bit. One seat had a perfect view of the stage. The other seat had a large round column from ceiling to floor directly in front. Without hesitation, Dan moved into the obstructed seat. For the rest of the evening, his legs straddled the column, as his perspiration-soaked head swerved to the right and to the left attempting to catch a glimpse of the play.
Not one word of complaint came from Dan's mouth. In fact, he never even mentioned our seats were bad, or his face was hot, or his date ate too much. His purpose that night was to assure me a lovely evening. Mission complete. He stole my heart, as my mind filled with the thoughts of, this is a quality guy. That thought was sealed when he left me at my door with no kiss or expressed desire to come into my apartment. 

Five weeks later we were engaged. Five months later we wed. Dan lived Philippians 2:3-4 then and he hasn't faltered in fifty years of making my desires more important than his own. When a wife returns that affection, you've got a win-win marriage!

"Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. 
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 
Don't look out only for your own interests, 
but take an interest in others too."

Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT) 

I often say I married Dan because he was the kindest person I've ever met. I said it then. I say it now. With thanksgiving and praise to God who brought two idiots together in love for a lifetime.  


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Fifty Years of Stains Washed Away

Fifty years ago, in a hurry to begin my married life and enjoy our wedding night, I carelessly threw my wedding gown (stained with wedding reception food, mascara dripping tears, and lipstick kisses that missed my cheeks) into a bag. Except for the few times my daughters and granddaughters played bride, the dress remained untouched and the stains stayed intact.

Next week we celebrate our Fiftieth Anniversary. For fifty years we've dreamed of this day and wondered if we would make it alive and/or still married. We are both alive, still married, and rejoicing at the blessing and satisfaction fifty years of marriage brings. An accomplishment we are thrilled to celebrate. Stay together dear ones. Marriage is worth it. 

For years we've discussed how we will celebrate this marriage milestone. "I'll take you anywhere in the world you want to go." Dan would. He loves to travel. But, here we are in a pandemic. Still quarantined due to my cancer and compromised immune system, we sit in Campbell, NY, population 320. Just the two of us sitting on a hill. What a blessing this time has been for us. No interruptions, meetings, deadlines. The pandemic was a gift of time. Time to talk. And pray. Really share about life and our joys and sorrows. We've had conversations we never would have had except we were shut in a house together for months not permitted to leave. I am thankful.

We haven't been in a store or a restaurant (or had a haircut) since February. I'm told to stay home. So I do. But, what about our anniversary? Can't travel. Can't dine out. In my pandemic world filled with "do not's," there are things we can do. Instead of ho-humming it,  Dan and I are planning a party in our home to celebrate with our children and grandchildren. I can't think of a lovelier way to celebrate the blessings of our marriage than with the gifts of family God gave to us. 

Now, back to the dress. I found my wedding dress (complete with stains) still in the same bag 50 years hence. Thinking the wedding dress should be a decoration for our party, I decided to wash it. What does it matter if it falls apart? I'll throw the dress and the veil in the washing machine (gentle cycle). 

Voila! I couldn't believe it! Just like that, all the stains were washed away. The dress and veil looks brand new. 

My first thought: Isn't that like marriage and isn't that like God. Marriage has stains. Ugly words we wish we had never said. A flirtatious wink we wish we could take back. Sin stains our lives, our marriages, our families, our testimonies. Sin stains. But God says, 

"'Come now, let us settle this,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.'" Isaiah 1:18

Just like my wedding dress, we can be cleaned by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Fifty years, 5 years, or 5 minutes of sins in marriage can be washed away in less time than a wash cycle. 

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 

Let Jesus free you from the pandemic of sin. Ask His forgiveness, ask your beloved's forgiveness, turn from your wrong ways and enjoy the beauty of a new life and a fresh start to your marriage. The best anniversary news I could receive is that someone reads this, confesses their sin, and gives their heart and their marriage to Jesus.

Happy 50th Anniversary to us!


Thursday, June 25, 2020

What My Grandson Taught Me About Jesus

If you've heard me speak, you, most likely, remember the lessons my Grandson Garrett taught me about Jesus. These stories have brought hundreds to Christ around the world and across the United States. Thanking God for the words of Jesus,

"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, 
you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. 
Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child
 is the greatest in the kingdom in Heaven."
Matthew 18:3-4

 I share some Garrett stories here. Be blessed.

 Congratulations on your High School graduation, dear Garrett. Your grandma's prayers will always be with you.

May a child splash serenity on your day,


Monday, May 25, 2020

Remembering my Heroes

 Rip Tyrrell and Dan Miller

"I really shouldn't be alive." 

My husband's sad words stirred my heart as we remembered the heroes,
  our friends and relatives who didn't come home from war.

Dan flew in 425 medevac missions in Viet Nam. 
Twenty-five of them while under fire. 
One of them bringing him and the helicopter down into a battle,
 killing some, gravely injuring the rest. 
Dan received a Silver Star for his heroic efforts
 rescuing men throughout the night, 
ignoring his own life-threatening wounds. 

Dan, you didn't die, but you laid down your life for your friends. 
I suspect today they remember you, 
the injured corpsman who carried their bloody bodies to safety.

Dan, you are my hero! And theirs too!

Today we remember the heroes in my life with thanksgiving and praise! 

Rip Tyrrell, 
Dan's friend and Navy buddy, 
 gave his life for his country during a Vietnam medevac mission.
Rip, you are Dan's hero and mine too!

My great great grandfather killed in the Civil War fighting to free slaves. 
Great great grandad, you are my hero!

My Uncle Tom survived the World War II Bataan Death March
to die of starvation in the Philippines.
I can only imagine his determination walking 85 miles in six days
 with only one meal of rice during the entire journey. 
Uncle Tom, you are my hero!

My Uncle Roy escaped from a Japanese prison camp to retire from the U.S. Army. 
What an adventure! We think. 
Most likely, more like a nightmare.
 He rarely spoke of his escape or the prison.
Uncle Roy, you are my hero!

My cousin Bill was one of the last killed in Vietnam when
his helicopter crashed in the final days of war. 
He almost made it home to his wife and son and 
his dear mother, my Aunt Velma,
 who never really got over the pain of her Billy's death. 
So close to home, yet not close enough.
Billy Jr., you are my hero!

"Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one's life for one's friends." 
John 15:13

Thank you dear men and women of the military for your great love and sacrifice. 
We will never forget you on Memorial Day or ever! 
You died heroes!!! 
We salute you!

Remember there is a great cost to our freedom. So thankful.


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Amy Carmichael's Prayer for Children

My heart is heavy for our children and the effects of isolation in a pandemic. Bonding with the family is good, but children need activity. Lots of activity. Boredom brings bad behavior. Not just behavior that annoys, but behavior that harms.

What is a parent to do? Our number one weapon is prayer. In cleaning out files today, I found a prayer by Amy Carmichael. Her words so beautiful, I am sharing with you as we raise our voices to God to hold our children close to His Heart.

Father, hear us, we are praying,

Hear the words our hearts are saying,
We are praying for our children.

Keep them from the power of evil,
From the secret, hidden peril, 
Father,  hear us, for our children.

From the whirlpool that would suck them,
From the treacherous quicksand, pluck them,
Father, hear us, for our children.

From the worldling's hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,
Father, Father,  keep our children.

Through life's troubled waters steer them,
Through life's bitter battle cheer them,
Father, Father, be Thou near them.

Read the language of our longing,
Read the wordless pleadings thronging,
Holy Father, for our children.

And wherever they may bide,
Lead them Home at eventide.

Praying for children today,