Tomorrow…

The bad thing about sweeping clean your past is that, sometimes, you lose things …

About a year ago, I deleted several of my old blogs because I just hadn’t been using them and along with that went a really great post I had written about 9/11.

It’s been more than two years since I’ve even looked at that post so I don’t remember all that I said and that is one of the reasons I have started saving the text from all of my posts now.

I’m not going to imitate that post, I’m not even going to try but I am going to try to do justice to the spirit of it all…

Thirteen years ago – tomorrow, I was standing in the electronics department of Target, trying to figure out what crazy person would make a movie about such an unthinkable event… when I realized it wasn’t a movie preview at all but a REAL NEWS REPORT.

I stood there for probably an hour before I thought to even look away from the screen – and only then because they took a commercial break… which, to be honest, I was shocked they would do that but I guess even news people need a bathroom break now and then.

By that time, the first tower had already gone down (about two minutes after I had started watching, the second tower had been hit) and I was in a state of shock.

My aunt and uncle had been planning a visit to New York… were they even now, trapped in one of the burning towers?

A friend of my mom’s had recently started a job as a flight attendant, working out of New York… had one of those planes been hers?

Someone I went to high school with had moved here from New York and went back frequently to visit family… could he be in one of the towers right this minute?

Your mind, well my mind anyway… can come up with some pretty wild and crazy ideas when under duress and my imagination was working overtime.

I left about the time they started showing closeups tower two… if you don’t know what was going on at that time, I’m not going to be the one to tell you but it was too much for me. Yes I know… to say that something like that could be too much for me when you consider what  was watching at that moment.

I was not alive when President Kennedy was shot. I was very young when Challenger exploded and I really didn’t understand the implications of Operation Desert Storm and all that went with it.

But this… this was something I was watching with my own two eyes on LIVE television and it really hit home for me.

This was an act of war. This was an attack on my country. This was a tragedy of epic proportions. This was an experience that would leave me forever changed, heart-broken, angry for months… Something that would bring tears to my eyes every time I looked at the word September on a calendar, something that would stay with me forever – changing the way I look at everything.

And now, as a mother of two children who were born three years and six years after this unthinkable horror took place, how do I explain to them what that meant to this country? How do I explain to them how horrific the experience was? How do they ever understand the state of the country now… and how is it ever supposed to make sense to them?

Sadly enough, there will be events that happen in their lifetimes that will impact them in the same way as 9/11 changed my own life… it’s just human nature. And, until Jesus comes to take us home, we will continue to see war, cruelty and the inhumane acts of evil men (and women) everywhere.

But as for me and my house, we continue to pray and hope for the day when we no longer have to watch children being mistreated or killed, the day when human beings treat each other with love, the day when we all become one big family and eternity begins.

Until then, we will continue to pray for our country and the people who live in it. We will continue to pray that the amazing words of Jesus reach as many hearts as possible before that last day for so many of us arrives.

God Bless You and Good Day!

©Rachel L Miller 2014

My Journey of Faith | Part 1

MoreGrace I was one of those kids who grew up in church. We may have bounced around from church to church as we moved around but I was almost always in church on Sunday morning. When I was about 8, I went down with some of my friends and “got saved”. That was it. I had no clue just what I had committed myself to but my friends did it and my mom was thrilled so I did it. Over the next 20 years, I went through life making good choices and bad choices. I never questioned the existence of God but I never really understood what it meant to live for him either. So I went along in my life just living.

But sooner or later, living that way – disaster strikes, right?

Well it did. It struck again and again and again actually. Through it all, and I can only imagine it is because God has some tremendous plans for me or one of my kids, God kept a hand on me. There were so many situations I got myself into that could have been so much worse than they were, even fatal. But God kept me safe. And he has blessed me so much more than I could ever deserve. I was told by the doctors that it would take a miracle for me to have children. They were being nice but they really meant it would be impossible. Doctors often think they know everything but it’s obvious they had no idea of God’s plans for me. God planned for me to have children. I’m certain he would have preferred I be married to a good man and in a church at the time but I believe in pre-destination and I believe God uses what he can to achieve his plans. I wasn’t where I needed to be but it was time for my son to be born and then my daughter so God used the circumstances I gave him to bring those two Amazing children into this world. Once I realized I was responsible for the life of another human being, that he was going to be counting on me for everything, I did some hard looking at my life. I changed a lot of things but I still didn’t quite “get” how God fit into it or what I needed to be doing to live FOR HIM. I didn’t “get it” until after my daughter was born (actually about 4 years after she was born). Just over three years ago I finally started to understand God’s place in my life. I’m still nowhere near where he wants me or even where I want to be but I finally feel like I’m on the path he wants me on. I finally feel like I’m going where he wants me to.

I finally feel like I’m on the path God wants me on.

Well, in my journey as a mother, we did try to go to church. We visited many many many churches and we were always met with the same issues. Once the church realized the full extent of my circumstances, we were treated more like lepers than sinners and I did not want my son to grow up in a toxic atmosphere like that so we would try again, and again, and again. We still have not found a church that preaches the Bible without politics getting in the way, where they dress like we do (modestly) and LIVE God’s word (not just on Sunday) and don’t treat us like lepers. But we did find ATI and IBLP and we are so thankful for that! IBLP (the Institute in Basic Life Principles) is a wonderful organization and I think EVERY Christian in this country should support this wonderful organization! They focus on teaching families (Yes, the whole family. Not just the children) about how important the Character of Jesus Christ is for us to LEARN and APPLY in our everyday life. ATI (the Advanced Training Institute) is their division that concentrates on homeschooling.

Do yourself a favor. Check out IBLP and ATI!

They have been a tremendous blessing to our entire family and I do not believe we would be where we are spiritually if we hadn’t found them. We have learned so much from their teaching materials, the conferences we’ve attended and the speakers we heard at those conferences. These people truly “GET” what Jesus was all about and they are such a blessing to us! We attended our first ATI conference last year and it was a wonderful experience. Here we are, sitting in this huge hall, not knowing what to expect and in walks David Gibbs Jr. And if you’ve never heard David Gibbs Jr. speak about God, you are missing out! I highly recommend that everyone find a way to attend an ATI conference at least once! David Gibbs Jr., Tom Harmon, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Otto Koning, Ken Pierpont, Paul and Jenny Speed, Jim Sammons, William J Federer, Doug Small, Dr. Jobe Martin, Chris and Anne Hogan, Jim Schettler and Bill Gothard of course. These men and women really understand God’s love, God’s word and God’s plan for salvation. Listening to these amazing speakers has helped us find God’s plan for our own lives and we might not be where we are today without the amazing experience that conference was for us.

Suffice to say this organization has helped turn our baby steps (a bit faltering at times) into giant leaps on our journey of faith!

If you are not interested in ATI but you think you might want to listen to some of these amazing speakers anyway, they do have MP4s of their messages available in the IBLP store HERE. And you can always check out the Embassy Institute HERE. They even have a few videos you can watch for free (including the first session of IBLPs basic seminar).

1 Corinthians 15:10 (KJV)

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
© Rachel L. Miller 2013