Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tribute to Mother

Tribute to Mother

Photo taken prior to August 1984:
Mother and her siblings:
Front Row Margaret, Pat, Violet [mom], Pete
Back Row Kenneth, & Wes.
My mother went to be with the Lord on September 14th, 2001 only 3 days post the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.  Earlier I wrote and Blog post entitled, "Valuable Lessons Learned From Dad". I said I'd be writing something about mother and here it is quite late.

My momma was nearly as perfect a mother as you can find.  She was totally dedicated to her Lord and totally dedicated to her children and family. 

When I was poisoned at two years old it was mother who prayed the prayer of faith and the Lord heard her prayers and saved me from certain death, giving me a miraculous, instantaneous recovery.

When I was scared of Santa Claus it was mother that took me to school, showed me the costume, so I would no longer be afraid.

Mother, even though she couldn’t swim, insisted on my learning how to swim, and took me for swimming lessons every summer.  After the fourth summer when I finally put my head under water, I progressed quickly.

Momma was a lady of many talents especially those that impressed kids.  She could make anything.   Mother made or helped us make such things as stilts, toy cars, tractors, kites, games, yo-yos, parachutes, sling shots.  Mother made puppets and many other teaching aids for her Sunday school class. Momma would show us pictures using her pictograph machine (now called opaque projector) and tell the story that went along with them.  Many of the pictures she drew and colored herself.

I loved to have my back tickled and momma would tickle my back.  I would then quickly relax and go to sleep.  Momma would tell me bed time stories and read books to me.

Momma would help me with my 4-H projects.  She was there to rejoice with me when I did well and to sympathize with and encourage me when I didn’t.  Momma had an imagination and would come up with some cool ideas.

When I would misplace my glasses, a book, or something, it was momma who would always say, “Let’s pray about it asking the Lord to help you find it.”  Quite often after the prayer momma or I would go directly to where the lost object was. 

Momma insisted I attend summer church camp, and I went every year for 13 years.  The first year, at 5 years old, I was really too young, but I’m thankful for the financial sacrifice my parents made for my spiritual life.

Momma was there when I wore braces for months to straighten my crooked feet.  She was by my bedside, when I lay in total darkness with bandages over both eyes and tubes over both arms, recovering from surgery to correct my crossed eyes.  She was there to bandage and kiss my sores, patch my trousers, play ball and catch with me. 

I knew I could bring friends home anytime, and momma would have something to eat and a place for them to sleep if necessary. I could also bring pets home anytime and I had some strange ones.

I knew momma would be waiting for me when I got home from school.  She always came to my school programs to hear me do my part, which most time was a very insignificant role.

Momma and I worked alongside each other in the cotton fields.  Momma even made me a cotton sack my size so I could pull cotton bolls too.  We always had a garden.  Momma would help me in the garden, then would take me to town so I could sell the excess produce, door to door.

There are many things I could say about momma but I’ll just sum it up with these final words.  She was my friend, introduced me to Jesus, and instilled in me a love for God, my church and missions.  You see I’m where I am today largely because of the influence of my Godly mother.

Mother on her on her hospital bed, with "milk-leg" (the name in the early '50 now called Thrombophlebitis or Deep Vein Thrombosis) after my delivery.  As she was near death she had a vision that changed her life and the life of her family.  If I got up between 4 - 5:30 am I could find my mother praying and reading the word.  

When dad would be cross about something, mother would never return an unkind or harsh word.  As a young child I so wanted to grow up with the spiritual zeal demonstrated by a godly woman, whom I called momma.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Nancy Jane Sides - 
9th Grade Salutatorian Address  
May 16, 1967

 {Note: a bit of nostalgia as I was spending time going through Nancy journals and saved things I came across this address given to her Owasso OK Jr. High graduating class.  I proofed it a few times and the wording is exactly what she wrote and delivered in 1967.  The photo was from the news paper clipping that she saved.}

            I consider it an honor and a privilege to stand before you as a representative of my class.  These last three years of my education have helped me prepare for the future.  The future will be a challenge to me and all of my classmates.  We must and will conquer all that we possibly can.
            There was a time when men were faced with conquering a wilderness.  That was a real venture in faith and high ideals.  Men were willing to endure hardships because of their convictions.
            Did they leave us anything to conquer?  They never thought that the conditions of life ought to be anything but a challenge.  They did not subscribe to the philosophy that power is the goal of government and pleasure the goal of the people.  Work was honored as a virtue.  With every man on his own they grew up a feeling of equality and the right to self-government.
            They left us everything to conquer!  We must conquer self!  We must be industrious; we must continue to mold our characters by self -reliance, courage, and faith in God.
            We live in a day of crisis!  But not of economic power.  We have potential power!  This is not a crisis of defense.  We have potential strength if God is on our side.
            This is a crisis of the inward spirit of man! Will we as a class have the spirit of greatness?
            Fellow classmate we must dedicate ourselves to freedom and to greatness in our generation.  But we must remember that such a dedication carries with it stern discipline and unavoidable responsibilities.
            It means a challenge to each individual to strive to make the most of his abilities and talents.
            Such a dedication would demand self-reliance and self-discipline.
            John Adams stated that freedom requires that each individual conduct himself so that his life demonstrates the dignity of man and the noble rank men hold among the works of providence.
            This is the meaning of freedom and these are its responsibilities in our time.
            I want to thank all the teachers who have helped instill in each one of us these responsibilities.  I consider it a privilege to stand up to the responsibilities and be a citizen of a free country.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas from the Miller's

Merry Christmas
the Miller's

Some of the Highlights of the year.

Family Photo taken at Gary's Wedding. 
We retired officially at the end of 2016 and were recognized by the church at the General Board meetings in Kansas City for our 27 yeas of work in the Asia Pacific region. There are things that we miss about each of the three countries that we served in; we miss the warm weather (and are thankful for a house with a good heating system in Bethany), some of the different foods are missed but most importantly we miss the relationships that we had with the people.

At the beginning of the year George had two people from Papua New Guinea ask if he would help them get to General Assembly. In June we hosted 12 people at our house and in our church, Western Oaks Church of the Nazarene. The four women stayed in our house and the men slept at the church. They visited and spoke at many different churches in Oklahoma before they left for the road trip to Indianapolis.   (The photo is the delegates on there way to General Assembly and we stopped to visit Nancy's mother who was extremely helpful in organizing their USA trip on 2 previous General Assemblies.)  Also one of these Mrs. Regina Kintak went to be with the Lord a few months after their return to Papau New Guinea.  Regina is standing on right side of Nancy,

At the end of their time in Oklahoma they fixed a meal for our family. Gary invited a young woman to meet his extended family. 

(This photo is Gary's first meeting with his new wife.  Taken at the meal. When our PNG brothers met her one of them commented, "Yumi kisim em nau."  Translated, "Let's get her now.")

The PNG family approved and gave their blessing. Gary and Beth were married in November.


After the General Conventions a friend from the Solomon Islands came to our house to wait for the Assembly to be over. We had a great time visiting with Salome Karibule.

(Photo of our 2 Solomon Island Delegates to General Assembly Salome and Dolasi Baesi)

In November a young woman from the Philippines came to visit with us for about one week. She was here during the time Gary got married and so she saw the way that things are done here in the USA. She loved doing the dishes with warm water. She said it was like having a massage.

( Photo of Cara and her visit.)

Nancy was able to purchase an electric scooter before the General Assembly (thanks to the extra medical/health funds that the church provided upon retirement). Without the scooter it would have been impossible for her to attend the assembly. She managed to remain out of the hospital until October but was admitted a couple of times after that.

News about our kids:
Scott and Gloria: 
Still live in Nevada Texas.  If you remember two years ago on December 26, 2015 their home was destroyed by a tornado.  We were so thankful that all 25 of the family and friends at their home that day were not injured.  This year their home was rebuilt on the same location and it was built with a "safe-room".  They moved back into their rebuilt house in March or April.

They are busy in Scott's medical practice as well as in their church.  Zach, their first born, is a senior at Southern Nazarene University, and is a youth minister at Williams Church of the Nazarene in Bethany, Oklahoma. Geoffrey turned 16 this year and is starting to drive. Geoffrey and Joshua are both very involved with Teen Bible Quizzing on the local and district levels, Gloria also coaches their quiz team.

Greg and Wendy:
Greg has, within the past week, accepted an employment with the Oklahoma Science Museum, formerly the Omniplex, a hands-on science museum in OKC .  He will begin this employment after New Years.  His new position will be Director of Education Program.  Wendy is busy with her home school coop and with the kids.  They are actively involved in church and their children are active in Bible Quizzing. Justus also turned 16 and has completed almost all the hours she needs to take her driving test.

Geoffrey and Churie:
Geoffrey and Churie accepted positions this year at the Church of he Nazarene in Woodward, Oklahoma.  Churie is the Children's minister and Geoffrey is the Youth minister.  They have recently put their house located in Bethany Oklahoma on the market.  Geoffrey has been commuting weekly back to Bethany where he still works as a paint contractor with Southern Nazarene University. Their girls are very active in quizzing. At some of the invitational quizzes they will make up a family team. We now have 7 grandchildren in Teen Quizzing.
Raina, their first-born, has had many health challenges during this year.  She was diagnosed a few years ago as type-1 diabetic, but now she has other problems that are not due to the diabetes.  It has been tough on them as it seems doctors are unable to find the cause of her sickness.  Continue to be in prayer for her.

The most exciting or unexpected event in our family this year was the marriage of Gary and Beth. 
Dad and Mom with Gary and Beth

Gary with Best Man Gabe Ward and Groomsmen
Brother Geoffrey; Cousin Seth Sides; & Brother Greg
And the Ring Barrer 'girl' Tessa. 
A family Wedding Tradition, push the bride in
a wheel chair.

Gabe Ward and Gary

Gabe Ward, a MK from PNG who was Gary's best friend, came to be his best man. 

Gary and his family

Beth came with a ready-made family including 2 pre-teen girls, Lillie and Ella, so with this addition it brings our grandchildren count to 14. 

We have enjoyed our retirement this year. We are active in ARMM (Association of Retired Ministers and Missionaries) and the District Prime Time events. Both of us have been working on making old-fashioned Christmas presents. We are enjoying every day that God gives us.

We want to wish you and all you care about a joyous and Christ blessed Christmas.

George and Nancy Miller

Monday, September 25, 2017

The 10 "P" Tests of Actions, Words, and Deeds

10 "P" Tests to Actions, Words, and Deeds[i]

1.   Purity Test - Can I do this to a body where Christ dwells?

1 Cor. 6:19 - Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? (NRSV)

Can I do this without taking my eyes off Jesus?

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit dwells within us.
We should not do anything known to intentionally put our bodies, souls, or minds at risk.

2.   Participation Test - Can I do this and keep my eyes on Jesus?

1 John 2 15-17  - 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

We need to look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.  Heb. 12:2
Love of this World.  What does this tell us about Jealousy?  Following after Cargo?  Etc? 

3.   Polite Test - Will doing this have a good affect on others?

Romans 14:7, 21 - 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself  (NKJV)
21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that will cause your brother or sister to sin.  (NCV)

We should never think that what we do only affects me.  Lots of people are watching us and are influenced by our life. 

4.   Partner Test - Can I invite Christ to do this with me?

Col. 3:17  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Think about this question when you want to do something.  If Christ was here would I be comfortable inviting him along with me.  If you are a Christian that's exactly what you are doing. 

What do we watch on the Internet that would be an embarrassment to us if our spouse (or parent) walked in and saw us.  If we wouldn't invite mom or dad to participate in the activity, how much more embarrassment would come if Jesus was beside us?

5.   Public Test - Will doing this give the appearance of doing right?

1 Thes. 5:21-22 - 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. (KJV)

Are you doing something that appears to be evil?  What does the unsaved think of what you are doing?  What about your family?

6.   Presence Test - Would I be happy if Christ saw me doing this when he returns?

1 John 2:28 -Yes, my dear children, live in him so that when Christ comes back, we can be without fear and not be ashamed in his presence. (NCV)

Christ is coming back and we are to be ready.  John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, saw the vision that is recorded in the Bible (Book of Revelation) and in Rev 22:20 the testimony of the Lord concludes with these words, "Yes, I am coming soon," to which John replies "Amen. Come Lord Jesus."  John was ready and waiting, do we have the same anticipation.

7.   Problem Test - Will this strengthen my relationship with Christ?

Heb 12:1 - We have around us many people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back.  (NCV)

Remove everything that hinders our relationship with Christ.

8.   Proof Test - Is it good for me mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually?

Romans 12:9 - Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; (NRSV)

Love the good, but hate sin.  My mother use to say that God loves the sinner but he hates sin.  We have to distinguish between the sin and the sinner.

9.   Proclamation Test - Will this help my witness for Christ?

Phil 2:15 - Then you will be innocent and without any wrong. You will be God's children without fault. But you are living with crooked and mean people all around you, among whom you shine like stars in the dark world.  (NCV)

Your testimony is important.  How is your witness to those around you?

10.         Peace test - After praying about it can I do it and have peace?

Phil 4:6-7 - 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   (NRSV)

These 10 tests are just guideline to help us determine what is right, good, and wholesome.  This is a guide I use to assist in determining if any given activity, including my conversation, texting, posting, etc. is appropriate for me. 

[i] Used in PNC Chapel 2014-15 SY

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Peace in Chaos

Peace in Chaos

Texts: Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:14, Matthew 5:9, John 14:27, John 16:33
Supporting Scriptures: Romans 12:17-18, James 3:18, Hebrews 12:14-15, Psalms 133

Our God is a God of peace.  Everyone talks about peace.  Another name for Jesus is Prince of Peace.  When the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the Shepherd the Angel said, “Peace on earth.”  Is that true?  Did Jesus birth bring peace on earth? 

After Jesus was born, if you would have been a young mother just delivered your baby and the soldiers came from Herod and took your baby out of your arms and killed him, you would not have thought about peace.  Jesus came into a world of sin.  He came as the deliverer.  He is the peace giver.  He wants us to live in peace. 

Jesus began his first sermon with the blessings.  One of the blessings was Blessed is the Peacemakers for they will be called the Children [Sons & Daughters] of God.

During his last message to his disciples before His death Jesus said, “Peace, I leave with you.”  Then he added, “I do not give as the world gives.  Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”  Then Jesus said toward the end of this message, “I have told you these things, so in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

The question is: How do we have peace in the middle of troubles and confusion?

Illustration:  About Cyclone.
We have cyclones in Solomon Islands.  Now when a cyclone passes through, what happens?  It begins to rain a lot.  The wind picks up and really, really, blows hard.  Tree branches will blow down, even houses can and sometimes do blow away.  Sometimes even very strong, permanent homes can blow away.  We build houses with cyclones in mind.  We use cyclone ties and metal straps and bolts to hold houses together to protect against the cyclone.  The Cyclone turns around and around.  In the very center of the cyclone is what they call the “Eye”.  That is the eye of the storm.  What is it like in the eye?  In the eye it is very calm, and still.  When the cyclone is passing by and the eye is right over where you are for a short period of time you experience peace.

I.              Our Peace is in Jesus.  Not in the World
a.    The World is a stormy place.
                                              i.     We face family crisis.
1.    Spouse problem
2.    Children will not obey and cause you pain
3.    You or someone you know will face sickness or death.
                                             ii.     There are selfish people, who want their own way
                                           iii.     Even Christian Brother and Sisters will oppose you
                                           iv.     Rascals or thieves will break in and steal from you
                                             v.     There will always be people lying to you
                                           vi.     There will be land issues and problems
                                          vii.     There will always be people discouraging you.
                                        viii.     Even some will physically attack you.
                                           ix.     There will even be people attacking your integrity “I thought you were a Christian, but” or “If you were a Christian you wouldn’t act like that.”
b.    That is just within your own surroundings, but when we listen to the news we see what is happening to some people.
                                              i.     Christian Martyrs – More this past century than ever in the history of mankind.  Where is the “Prince of Peace”?  Why doesn’t he protect the Christians?
                                             ii.     It seems like every week there is a terrorist attack somewhere in the world.
                                           iii.     People are fleeing their home and country, living in refugee centers, because of wars and trouble in their homeland.
                                           iv.     Christian mothers in Sudan are having their young children stolen and sold as slaves.  This is happening right now.
                                             v.     Prostitution, sexual perversion, and pornography are on the rise.
                                           vi.     Any Saturday night you could run into many drunks.  People looking for Peace.  They are trying to wash away their troubles. The Casinos and clubs are full of people who want peace, happiness, calm in the midst of the storms of life.  They all desire peace, but are going to the wrong place in search of that peace.
                                          vii.     Some of these things do not make it on the news but they are just as real.
II.            Peace of the World is different from HIS peace.  Jesus is the true Peace Giver.
a.    According to the scriptures the world will only enjoy peace during the millennial rule of Christ.
b.    The World will not have lasting peace before Jesus' return.
c.    Our peace does not depend on what the World does.
d.    Our Peace is in Jesus
                                              i.     At the center of the storm is Jesus.  As at the center of the cyclone is the eye, so is Jesus at the center of the storms.
                                             ii.     Keep our hand in his.
III.          Does that mean we do nothing, but just pray and take everything as it comes?  NO, Definitely NOT.
a.    Peace is active.  We sow seeds of peace.  The Bible says in James 3:18. “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”  Sow peace.  The trouble is we sow trouble.  We sow lying, we call our children names.  We get angry with our husbands.
b.    Peacemaking requires action.  It requires prayer for sure, but it must be followed by action. 
                                              i.     Reconciliation – if you wrong someone.  If you stole something compensate it or pay back.  People will come to church and they will say God has forgiven me why don’t you forgive. 
                                             ii.     Turning the other Cheek {often misquoted as turning is not doing nothing and passively allowing them to hit the other cheek but it is offering the other cheek}
                                           iii.     Not returning evil for evil.
                                           iv.     Confrontation in Love.  Love is not weak.
IV.          Fathers and Mothers you have been blessed - in you arms and home are the future leaders of the world.  You must train those future leaders.   You train in many ways but the most effective is in you demonstration of a consistent life.  Your lifestyle should match your words.  Your children will follow your actions more than your talk.
V.            We are promised troubles, because we live in the World. 
a.    We want to miss the troubles.  How can we live without troubles?  We can’t.  In the Sermon on the Mount right after Jesus said Blessed are the Peacemakers, He said, blessed are you when you are persecuted “(For righteousness sake)”. 
b.    Sometimes we face problems because of our own foolishness and we blame God.   Is persecution a blessing?  Jesus said it is.  Is Jesus a liar?  If not than your persecution should be looked at as a blessing, that is if your persecution is the result of your righteous living.
VI.          Jesus has overcome the world.  This world is passing away, but the Bible says the Word of God will never pass away.  He has overcome the world and He wants you to overcome.  He wants to make you a "child" of peace.

Where is your hope?  Where are you looking for peace and security?  Are you looking to the Gov’t?  UN, NATO, or Overseas?  Your spouse or family?  Or are you looking to Jesus? 

It’s easy for us to say, rest in Jesus.  Or Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  In Hebrews it instructs us to “Pursue peace with everyone and holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”  The Bible also says, “As much as it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  Peace is a command of God.  It is for His followers.  I don’t have a way to make everyone like me.  Thank God my inner Peace does not require all people to like me or agree with me.

Peace is an inner peace and does not depend on the surrounding circumstances.  It’s that inner peace that would allow Jesus from the Cross to say, “Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.”  Then Thomas as he was martyred a short time later repeated the same words.  It was because he had the peace.  We are called to carry the cross of Jesus.  That cross is a sign of suffering but also a sign of peace and victory through death.  The Prince of Peace provides peace for life and peace all the way to heaven.

The storms on the outside are not the most dangerous.  It is the white ants (termites) on the inside.  Our spiritual house can withstand the crises from the outside.  What destroys the Christian is one's attitude.  If you let sour attitudes come in these will destroy you.   Get rid of the 'termites' of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness.  Strengthen your spiritual house by committing to being a man or woman of the Word, of Prayer, and of total devotion to God.  In that way when the crises come against you, you are more equipped to withstand the trials and storms of life.

Psalms 119:165 says: "Great peace have they who love your law and nothing can make them stumble."  [NIV]

by Rev. George Miller