Friday, April 13, 2018

Cancer is Conflict

My heart aches. 

Such conflict within me.

I awoke to "amazing, phenomenal, unbelievable" blood test results. Those adjectives are the doctors, not mine. Take a look. I rejoice and thank God there is no trace of leukemia in me, so says my blood. Each component is right dab in the middle of standard range. Even so, there is a battle going on in my body. Daily, leukemia rears its ugly head as targeted therapy goes after and kills the cancer cells. Tomorrow these two foes will rise to fight again. So far chemo is winning the conflict. Hallelujah!

So why is my broken heart conflicted?

This morning I also received the news that a dear friend, wife, mother, daughter, writer, and lover of Jesus didn't receive her hoped for test results. Her bone, lung, and brain cancer may soon take her to Heaven. My heart grieves for her sweet family. I know how she feels, as I received bad news a year ago.

Yet, here I am well,
and there she is suffering. 

My mind is in conflict. 

Why her, and not me? 

Why a young mother and not this old woman? 

Those are questions no one can answer. Except God. He has a plan and while we watch His plan unfold, I am praying with all that is within me for Deborah Kessler's health. A big part of me feels her possible death is unfair. I wish I could take her place. And then I remember, there is One Who already did. Because He lives Deborah and I will live forever. Jesus shed His blood and now our blood tests really don't matter. The conflict is over for those who believe in Christ.

Please join me and pray for a miracle.

 Pray for Deborah Kessler's complete healing in the Name of Jesus!

Deborah posted the following on facebook this morning: 
"First, I want to say, it’s all true: Jesus, the Bible, the peace that passes all understanding,... I’m telling you, I’m looking death squarely in the face and “I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed to Him...”
  I know God is in control. For whatever zillion reasons, He is allowing this for my good and His glory. I don’t like it, but in heaven, when I really know why, I will.
Please pray for the miracle. I am hemmed in between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, I can feel the heat of the fiery furnace, And I know that God is able to deliver me from the mouth of the lions.
But after that, please pray for my family. We are having a very difficult time.
It’s time to think of funerals and realities of death but also it’s time to think of living and spring and hope... it is very sad here. We need to laugh.
I am sorry for all of you, my sweet friends and family who are sad. I hate that you’re having to go through this, too. Know that God is helping me through my story... but this really is part of your story too. Let God comfort you and help you through your story that’s still unfolding. I’m praying for you. I’m trusting God. 💙😢💙🙏🏻💙😊💙

Deborah described her feelings on the day she learned of her cancer as "walking under a beam of sunshine that was filling my soul with indescribable peace. His umbrella over me is His steadfast love." She sketched this picture in her journal on that rainy day. Her drawing is the perfect example of what I experienced and what other cancer patients say, The day they learned they had cancer, they had total peace. Thank You God for Your Peace when we walk through the thunderstorms under the umbrella of Your love.   

"All His work is done in faithfulness . . . the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. 
Psalms 33:4-5

Today I planned to write my book's next chapter titled, "The Blessings of Cancer." Hard to write on this day, but I know Deborah would cheer me on with, Don't let satan win this battle. You write the blessings, for we both know the blessings abound for those who know Christ and suffer with cancer. Deborah, I dedicate this day of writing to you and pray your blessings abound as I pray for healing in Jesus Name.

Jesus is our only Splash of Serenity on days of conflict. There is No Other Name by which we are saved. Thank You Lord, the Blessed Controller of all things, including our health and our death, for the glory of God!


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mentoring is not a Suggestion. Mentoring is a Command!

Mentoring! Mentoring! Mentoring! I keep hearing the word "mentoring" at conferences, in conversations, in books, and speaking invitations.

Jayme Hull, author of Face to Face: Discovering How Mentoring Can Change Your Life  interviewed me recently on her podcast. See

Michelle Lazurek asked me to speak on mentoring at Coudersport Alliance Church's Spring banquet.

A month ago I commented on a blog and won Janet Thompson's book Mentoring for All Seasons.

All right God. You have my attention.

Janet Thompson's Mentoring for All Seasons opened my eyes to truth. Titus 2 doesn't encourage us to mentor younger women if we feel like it or we can fit mentoring into our busy days. 

Mentoring isn't a suggestion. 

Mentoring is a command! 

   "These older women must train the younger women 
to love their husbands and their children,
to live wisely and be pure. . . " 
Titus 2:4-5 (NLT)

Please notice the words "must train." Not perhaps train or find time to train or feel qualified to train but "must train."  

We must step up to this task and obey God's command to train the younger women. For if we don't, who will? Social media? Hollywood? satan? They will and they do. 

Let us not sit back trusting God for our Christian sisters and daughters 
while the world equips them with and encourages them towards ungodliness.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and text

Mentoring  for All Seasons  takes the fear out of mentoring as a complete easy-to-understand, fun-to-read mentoring handbook. Janet Thompson walks the reader through every season and possible circumstance of life, making mentoring easy with tips and testimonies, Biblical examples, questions to ask, and resources to use. Thank you Janet Thompson for an excellent resource as well as admonition to reach younger generations for Christ. 

Psst: Did you notice Titus 2 says, "train the younger women to love their husbands"? In Mentoring for All Seasons, Janet Thompson encourages us to sit down with young wives and mentor them in marriage. She recommends We All Married Idiots: Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can as a book that would be fun and easy to  use to mentor wives and those who hope to be wives. Thanks Janet for the shout out. What a sweet surprise!

Splash some serenity on a younger woman and mentor them towards God! You'll feel some of those splashes too. Promise.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Elaine W. Miller Shares Her God Story, Her Marriage, Her Writing Life

What joy to share my God story, the salvation of my marriage, our call to ministry, my call to write, and the miracles God did along the way with my friend Jayme Hull. You can listen to our conversation on Jayme's Face to Face Mentoring Show at

Jayme Hull is a dynamic speaker and passionate mentor who motivates audiences to invest in others through mentoring. The author of Face to Face: Discovering How Mentoring Can Change Your Life, Jayme and I met at Montrose Christian Writer's Conference and immediately connected as kindred spirits. She's fun and fabulous with huge energy and great love for her Lord Jesus Christ.

Learn more about Jayme on her website,

May this interview pour splashes of serenity and floods of hope for your marriage this Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Where is God When Life Hurts?

Yesterday a cancer patient called me wailing, cursing God, and asking,

"Why is God letting this happen?"

Years ago my friend died from a gunshot.

"Where was God when a finger pulled the trigger?" I pleaded for answers from my Pastor.

"You tell me. Where was God?" the minister responded.

"God was there. All the time. He never left her." I answered my question.

Calmed by the truth of God's omnipresence, I felt better, safer, and blessed knowing

 God doesn't leave when life is hard.

We don't have answers to all the "where's" or "why's" of God's plan, but we own truth that on a painful journey 

God is with us.
  He has a plan to use our difficulties for His Glory. 
If we let Him.

How we live, our grouchies, our grumblings, our joys, and our praises are up to us through the power of the Holy Spirit and our will to trust, believe, and obey.

Yesterday my pastor preached on Joseph who wore the coat of many colors. Thrown into a cistern by his brothers, landing in a jail pit because of a false accusation, Joseph may have questioned God's presence and purpose. Instead,

Joseph focused on glorifying God 
because he knew God was with him. 

Genesis 39:21 tell us:

"But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison 
and showed him His faithful love."

What about you? Are you suffering? You are not alone, because God is with you.

Determine to be a Joseph. 
Put on your fanciest robe!
Live life, and shine! 
Trust God has a purpose and a plan for your pain.

From day one of my cancer journey, I resolved to glorify God wherever this trip takes me. And what an amazing road we have been on. Cancer opened highways to a vast audience I would never have met had those ugly cells not reared their heads.

Every person I meet is an opportunity to share God's love
 and His salvation message.
 I have people's ears because I know suffering 
and I understand their pain.  

Like Joseph, I believe:

" . . . It was God who sent me here . . . to preserve your lives." Genesis 45:5 (NIV). 

God sent me on the cancer path to give hope in Jesus Christ 

to audiences filled with questioning cancer patients, nurses, doctors, receptionists, lab techs, and many more. 

"So, it was God who sent me here, not you! . . ." Genesis 45:8 (NIV). 

If was God who puts me in an infusion center every six weeks.

Cancer didn't put me there. God did. 
To be used in a Cancer Center to shine for Christ.

 God placed me as speaker at a quilt retreat filled with women whose lives are unravelled by cancer. 

God placed me in the dentist's chair to share my journey with the hygienist.  

God placed me in the Walmart line to give hope to a bald, chemo-ridden mother of preschoolers 

Every day is an opportunity to share Jesus with a hurting world. 
Before cancer my eyes didn't see the hurting. 
Today I can't pass them by.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.
He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people." 
Genesis 50:20 (NLT).

Cancer intended to harm me, 
but God intended cancer for good
 so He could use me to save the lives of many people.

Where is God when life hurts? 
He's right there with us. 
His plan is to use our suffering to save lives. 
Let Him use you. 

When we get our minds off our afflictions, 
focus on our Lord, 
and realize our pain has a purpose, 
 then life doesn't hurt so much any more.

May God pour splashes of serenity on your suffering as you keep your eyes and thoughts fixed on Jesus,


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

What Really Matters in 2018 — The Condition of My Heart

A peek into my journal lets the secret out. My New Year's Resolutions were different this year. Perhaps it's getting older, perhaps living with cancer, but when I sat to  reflect and write my 2018 resolutions, I chuckled realized my hopes had changed. Gone were my annual lose weight, get organized, exercise goals. Instead, God placed the following in my heart:

My 2018 Resolutions:

To glorify God.

To surrender to Him and His will.

To Trust in the Lord.

To keep my eyes on Jesus.

To die to self and live for Christ.

To be a soldier for Christ.

To share my faith.

To encourage others in their faith.

To live each day to the full.

To not waste time in earthly pursuits.

To praise Him continually.

To pray without ceasing.

To keep the wonder of a child.

To cling to the cross.

To be joyful in affliction.

To shine in the dark.

To hunger and thirst for righteousness.

To love unconditionally.

To live.

 To feel the wind on my face and the grass between my toes.

To not rush through life, but enjoy the expanse of moments.

To smile and bring joy.

To notice children and listen to them.

To love deeply.

To be all Christ created me to be.

To rest in His Arms.

To have no expectations that this world will ever satisfy me.

To live for Christ alone.

At the end of life neither God nor I will care if I lost weight, exercised, or ever got my house in shape. What will matter is the condition of my heart. May our resolutions reflect what God wants us to be instead of what the world entices us to become.

"The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance,
but the LORD looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)

May 2018 be filled with splashes of serenity as we live for Jesus!


Saturday, December 16, 2017

My 2017 Christmas Wish List

"'Don't be Afraid!' he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!'" Luke 2:10

What a shock when I opened our Christmas decorations. Instead of thrown willy nilly into a glad-Christmas-is-over box, each ornament was wrapped with care and love. I realized that because of my cancer diagnosis, I had cherished and packed each trinket in the realization that last Christmas could be my last Christmas.

But God, who ordained the day of my birth and the day of my death, allowed me another year. I'm doing great, my blood counts are normal, I'm still writing and speaking and marveling at the ministry and marriage Dan and I continue to enjoy together. 

". . . Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
 Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
 Psalm 139:16 

Cancer has opened doors I would not have opened on my own. For this, I thank God, embrace the gift and the lessons I wish I had learned sooner.  

Now I realize each day is an ornament not to be thrown into the trash or the I-can't-wait-until-this-day-is-done box. Every moment is treasured as a gently wrapped memory in the ornament box of my mind, for every single breath is a gift placed on my tree of life.

What have I learned on this journey? 

Here's my 2017 Christmas wish list:

I wish I had loved more and judged less. 
Judging people robs me of time and joy. 
None of us know the whole story in anyone's life, even our own.

 I wish I had smiled more because 
smiles make me and the people around me happy.

 I wish I never had a grumpy day. 
Grumpy is a waste of time.

 I wish my eyes and mind had never let in negative, immoral, violent, 
God-dishonoring media that destroys mind and spirit. 
Life is too short to dwell in the garbage. 

I wish I spent every day in the eternal instead of the worry. 
God's got this. 
He's not worried and 
He doesn't need me to worry for Him.

This Christmas I choose to make my wishes reality as I thank God for His abundant and eternal joy gifts to me:

I thank God for a blessed life spent
 cherishing Dan, our children and 12 grandchildren, 
extended family and friends which includes YOU.

I thank God for placing a hunger within me for Himself and His Word. 
Reading the whole Bible multiple times and
 looking to Jesus and His teachings as my moral compass protected me.

I'm thankful our travels gave me a world view of, and love for, all people.

I'm thankful I believe Jesus is my Lord and my Savior, and that 
I surrendered my life to Him for He is true to 
His promise of eternal life in Heaven and abundant life on earth. 
A win/win!!!

I'm thankful I know 
The Baby of Christmas, 
The Teacher in the Temple, 
The Savior on the cross, and 
The Lord Who rose from the dead. 

I'm thankful God tells us to not be afraid because 
He is with us always. 
He holds us in our troubles and 
He never lets go. 
I know because He holds me.

Merry Christmas dear ones. I have every plan to see you next year, but if I don't or you don't, that's good too if we love Jesus.

 Hang your ornaments with care. Each one matters.

Merry Christmas love and lots of Splashes of Serenity in 2018!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Protecting Your Marriage From Sexual Misconduct

When My husband Dan started a secular job over forty years ago, his boss took him aside and whispered the names of women in the office he could have sexually. Dan walked away and kept his eyes, his hands, and his mind on the work he was hired to do.  Never before had the in-your-face wickedness of the world so threatened our marriage. When the office Christmas party invitation arrived on Dan's desk, he was told "Spouses not invited."

"I don't go to parties without my wife." Dan explained to his co-workers and to me. 

We went to the party together. I was the only spouse at a celebration of Christmas which included dinner, dancing, drinking, and too much coziness between co-workers.

The next Christmas we attended the dinner/dance/drink and were happy to see that this time a few others ignored the "No Spouses Invited" rule and brought their mates.

When we take a stand for marriage, others join us. Won't you?

Sexual misconduct can be blatant and it can be subtle. 
A wink of an eye. 
A lingering touch. 
A flirtatious glance. 
A conversation too personal for anyone but your spouse.  

Protecting yourself and your marriage from the damage of sexual misconduct requires setting guidelines for your life and living by them. 

Rev. David Linn, District Superintendent for the Christian and Missionary Alliance, offers the following common sense advice for keeping your marriage bed and your ministry pure (bold emphasis mine):

"1. Avoid all actual sins whether outward or in thought life. This is where the real battle is fought, as Paul wrote: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry” (1 Cor. 10:13-14). Run from it, reveal your struggle to an accountability partner, put barriers in the way, restructure your life pattern, work in larger groups, or whatever necessary. Repent every time you fail and receive forgiveness. No excuses. Don’t ever tell yourself: This little sin really doesn’t matter.

2. Do everything you can in public. Take away the enhanced temptation of private space wherever possible. Hire a carpenter to put windows in church classrooms and office doors. Meet outside or over video chat if that helps. Make your own choices about this. Don’t merely follow what others do.

3. Observe personal space. Approach others with a measure of wise caution and watch for cues about what is comfortable for them. Everyone is different. Adjust as necessary. It doesn’t really matter what is comfortable for you.

 4. Kindly and assertively tell others what you want and do not want. 

5. If you are married, follow the cautions and reservations your spouse expresses about your relationships without hesitation or reservation. Whatever your loved one says goes, even if you do not understand it. You probably won’t. 

6. Respect the holy life patterns of others. Some do not wish to eat out together in twosomes, travel together, or minister together. You and I have no access to the inward history and life of others. It is their prerogative to make those decisions. Love your brothers and sisters by following their wishes without complaint. The expansion of the kingdom of God will not be slowed by wise and holy living.

7. Never let down your guard. Be prepared for temptations to come your way from both non-churched and churched people, both men and women. There is no genuinely safe space on earth. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12)."

 Sexual sin seems to make headlines daily. A few weak moments can destroy your marriage, your family, your ministry, your career, your finances, your children, your children's respect, your children's marriages. etc. etc. etc. 

The cost too high, the pain too deep, the damage irreplaceable.

Dan and I set boundaries for our marriage and we live by them. 

"Marriage should be honored by all, 
and the marriage bed kept pure, 
for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."  
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV) 

Bring splashes of serenity to your marriage by never giving a glance to or thought of another person other than your spouse. Take that stand today. Please. For the glory of God and the honor of  your marriage!

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