Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018 and Blessed New Year

Merry Christmas &
Blessed New Year
from: George Miller & Miller Clan

My Sweetheart's passing:
This year brought a major change in my life,
along with its challenges, but through it all I experienced divine peace, joy, comfort, and much love. I was able to keep my smile amidst the tears.  Life is not always easy but through the trials I knew God was there walking with me, or probably carrying me.

In January there was not much celebration in recognition of 47 years of life and ministry together. 

Dr Medipali, Nancy's renal doctor
The year began with many trips visiting doctors and we spent more days the first 3 months of the year in the Oklahoma Heart Hospital than we spent at home.  We were optimistic that Nancy was going to be healed or at least her condition would be stabilized.  While in the hospital I basically stayed by her side.  We had home health visits during the few weeks we were home.  She had 3 organs shut down [heart, lungs, and kidneys].  When the kidneys shut down her condition rapidly declined, passing away on March 30, Good Friday.

Before Nancy's passing she was able to talk with her family, telling each grandchild that Grandma would be leaving to be with Jesus and that she was sorry she wouldn't be there to watch them grow up. It was a special time as she talked with each one individually, with exception of Gary's stepdaughters who are with their biological father.

Dr. Sawheny, Nancy's Pulmonary Doctor
Sara went to Dialyses training so she could
assist me with home dialyses
Our daughter Gloria came up and stayed for 3 days or so, and that gave me time to go and get a couple good nights sleep. As I was getting ready to leave on Wednesday night to go to the house, I was standing at the foot of her bed rubbing her feet and telling her  I'd 
Decorated the Grave
 see her in the morning, and Nancy asked me, "George, who is that man standing behind you?"  There was no one there visible to Gloria or I.   I arrived back in the morning Gloria told me that mother asked her, "What all the people were doing around her bed last night?"  Gloria evidently slept through it and mother was coded on Tuesday and so Gloria enquired of the Nurse as to what they had to do with mother and they assured Gloria that mom slept well all night and there was no problem.  So on my return Thursday morning Gloria relayed this story to me, I held Nancy's hand and asked, "Momma did you have some visitors last night?"  She replied by nodding her head, yes.  I then asked who were they? What did they look like?  In her weakened condition she replied in a whisper, "There were 10 or 12, dressed in white, and I think they were all men."  I replied, "Momma, when they come again just go with them."  

Peritenial Dialyses Technician
Nancy, on an earlier admission to the hospital, signed a living will and in her directive she wanted every drastic measure possible to keep her alive.  Maybe as a result of these nighttime visitors she changed her mind and told Gloria and I that she now wanted the tubes, dialyses machine, and everything discontinued. Gloria went and relayed that to the nurse, and the reply was we have her living will on file so to change that we will have to get another one signed.  The nurse came in and asked, "Mrs. Miller, what do you want us to do?" Even though Nancy at this point was so weak she was unable to draw water from a straw, she told them that she wanted all the tubes, keeping her alive, to be removed.  The nurse filled out another living will and brought it for Nancy to sign, but unable to hold a pen, Nancy shook her head, NO. The nurse said who do you want to sign it and she pointed at me.  

All the family was there and, Nancy asked me, "George, did you take your medicine?" "Not yet" I replied as I continued typing on the computer.  Some minutes later, "George, your medicine." "I will sweetheart."  10 or 15 minutes later, "George" as she pointed at my medicine on the table. I took the medicine and then she spoke the last full sentence that I remember as she asked, "Will you be all right without me?"  

Hand made coffin that sons Geoff & Gary made
Our pastor Hardy Powers came to visit and we told stories reminiscing about Nancy and she asked, "Is this my funeral?" There is always something to chuckle about.  Geoffrey and his brother Gary made a casket for their mom (those in attendance at the funeral witnessed this beautiful expression of love from her sons).  It was a beautiful service in remembrance of such a beautiful woman of God and my helpmate. 

Our wedding photo
Nancy and my wedding photo
 Nancy and I stood side by side from the time we married on January 2nd, 1971.  There were financially tough times especially after our daughter was born in Dec the same year, and Nancy then became a stay-at-home mom, putting her education on hold.  She never complained as we skimped, saved, and frugally spent what little money we had.  Following graduation our family moved to Muskogee, OK where I worked for a short time in the laboratory at the VA Hospital.  It was here that we began working in the Caravan Program in our church and we joined the Gideon's International.  At 21 years old (Nancy 20) we were possibly the youngest members of the Gideon’s worldwide. After a short stint in Muskogee we followed the call of God to Carnegie, OK where we served together. I (George) working in the hospital, but wherever I was Nancy was close behind as a supporter. We were busy in the Church of the Nazarene, The Gideon's International, Caravan, children's church pastor, Victory Christian School, and Community Big One Drive.

I returned to the Philippines to attend the college graduation after Nancy's passing. It was an enjoyable experience and a time of healing.  Here are a few of my photos from the trip to the Phillippines.

The day after I departed to the Philippines Sara's (my brother's wife) house burned down by wildfire in western Oklahoma.  It has been enjoyable having her stay here when she is in town.

After Nancy's passing I was kind of a recluse and did not like to get out much, except to church and I went there as often as I found a church door opened (which isn't as much as I would have liked).  I kept myself busy by working on some journals.  One journal is all of our love letters. It was neat reading these as I was reminded again why I chose Nancy to be my wife.  I'm also glad she chose me.  I am working on journals of memories. I have worked some on a quilt that was her 'dream quilt'.  I plan to get it sewed together somehow.  I would like to write a book, all help appreciated, of our life, lessons, and adventures.  What an adventurous life we enjoyed together.  Recently I started going out more. 

I spent time with family.  Wendy and Greg started a Monday night family time where Greg's family and I get together almost every week. Often Gary and Beth along with our Grandson Zach and his fiancĂ© Brookelyn come to this meeting.  Zach and Brookelyn were engaged at Thanksgiving are planning a March 2019 wedding. 

I have enjoyed the Grandkids visiting and even overnighting at my house. Also I have been attending a lot of their Bible Quiz competitions this year.  I have 8 grandkids competing (7 in the teen division and 1 in the Junior division). Five of the teens made it into the top 10 on their districts and I was able to go to Ferguson, MO to witness this quiz. 

Geoff and Churie and Family
Our son Geoffrey and Churie purchased a home on acreage outside of Woodward, where Geoff is youth pastor and Churie children's pastor. 

Baptizing foster daughter

Miller grandkids in their play. 
 I visited a few times. On one visit the grandkids [Geoffrey's and Greg's] were part of a play in town and another time Shawna, their foster daughter was baptized. Remember them in your prayers; they are facing some challenging situations.

Greg/Wendy and family
Greg is education supervisor at the Science Museum. They live in Spencer and Wendy is a homeschool mom and Bible Quiz coach.

Scott/Gloria and family

Gloria and Scott are still in Nevada, TX. Scott is busy with his medical practice and they are part of the Richardson church.  

Gary was baptized this year
Gary and Beth are living in Bethany. They've celebrated 1 year of married life.  Beth is a nurse at Integris and Gary works in maintenance at Southern Plaza, and is running for City Counsel with election the 12th February.

I have enjoyed visiting with extended family this year even though not often enough. Nancy's mother is still living and in relatively good health. I am the only survivor of my birth family.  I've had enjoyable visits with my nieces and nephews.  Sara and Wes have two girls Christina and Sara Jane; both married, Christina to Bert Wagner and Sara Jane to Brian Hau, combined they have 5 children; Luvena Wagner and Gage, Colton, Alexis, & Collin Hau. 

Nancy has two living brothers.  Don and Linda Sides have three married children, Julie and Phillip Jones, Melodie and Ben Booton, and Seth and Fatuma Sides.  Don and Linda have 6 grandchildren Rebecca & Abby Torres, Priscilla Jones, and Anne, Joseph, and Elijah Booton.  
Ben and Melodie's three children & a friend

Aaron, April, and Maysen Sides
Nancy's brother Chris and Sonja Sides, have three children. Melissa, married to Adam Brooks, Aaron to April with one child, a daughter Maysen.  Their third child Glenn is still single.  Aaron is in the army stationed in Houston. This year was the first time Uncle George saw Maysen.  I made up for it this year, seeing her 4 times.  

George with Jeanne, a great Christmas present
NOW FOR THE RECENT, EXCITING NEWS: I am dating a lady from church, Jeanne Martin, who lost her husband a year before Nancy passed. Our first date was December 7 and we definitely feel that God brought us together. The future is in the Lord's hands and we want most of all to be obedient to His sovereign will.

Christmas at the Miller's house:

Birthday cake for 4 yo (in black with hand
over mouth) Born on Christmas Eve.
Minute to win it game

More games

Christmas Blessings and wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year,
Love George

See a view other random photos below.

Homeschool Choir Concert
Homeschool Choir concert

Lori who I helped campaign with. It was fun even though she didn't win, but it was a great race 

David Sebastian (highschool buddy) and wife Shirley
Gordon Johnson, Highschool friend and one of my
groomsmen so for picture of him in his youth see our
wedding photo above.

This year in October celebrated 50th Highschool reunion.  

VBS closing at Woodward Church

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