What CHRISTmas means to me…

Over the years I have discovered that Christmas is one of those things that means something a little different to everyone – even people who celebrate for essentially the same reason.

Obviously I cannot list all of those reasons because… well… 7.3 billion + people… But I’m going to list some of the general reasons. I have a point – I promise.

To some, Christmas is a very serious season – meant to be revered, solemn, quiet, still… Some of these people may decorate a tree, where others want nothing to do with trees because they feel so commercial.

To some, Christmas is all about the fun – meant for sleigh riding, snowball fights, ripping into wrapping paper and hanging out with friends. You’ll find that most of these people decorate a tree, bake tons of cookies, shop endlessly and watch every Christmas special they can. I did say most though… there are always exceptions.

To some, Christmas is just about family – baking together, making one of a kind gifts, doing a secret Santa drawing so you can really personalize and pour all your energy into that one perfect gift, and of course… traveling to visit family.

 

But where do I fall? What does Christmas mean to me?

Well, I am – like so many others – one of a kind.

I cherish CHRISTmas because of what the holiday originally stood for – the birth of our Lord and Savior; JESUS CHRIST! And there is reverence in holding this dear.

I value my family during this time – because without JESUS’ sacrifice and Saving Grace, would any of us be here now?

And of course, I focus on having fun with my family – because I believe it is what JESUS would want me to do this time of year… in reality… every time of year. JESUS blessed me with my two children – two little miracles all my own – and I intend to do everything I can to show them how rare and precious they are; not just to me but to their Heavenly Father as well.

We will watch Christmas specials that focus on all these things; A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Nativity Story, Christmas comes to Canaan, etc… because the most important thing about Christmas isn’t the tree… or the presents… or the food… or the movies you watch… or even the people you watch with… it’s remembering WHY all of that is important – because JESUS gave his LIFE to save us and HE deserves ALL THE PRAISE for blessing us this season and every other!

GOD BLESS YOU!

MERRY CHRISTmas!

Christmas 2015 Name

 

©Rachel L Miller 2015

Let’s Get Real – Grateful!

Today is my birthday… and I am ever so much more grateful today than I was yesterday…

Yesterday I was feeling a bit melancholy. I tend to be introspective this time of year and the devil takes advantage of that to hit me hard with some things that I normally don’t even think about.

He loves to drag me down and he loves to lie to me and tell me… probably the same things he tells a lot of people… I’m not special. I’m not loved. I’m not worth anything. I’m not truly saved… the list goes on and on but you get the idea.

Thankfully, I was reminded this morning – by a friend’s recent blog post – that I have SOOOOOOOOOOO many things to be thankful for!

I have an amazing family who loves me, puts up with me, takes care of me, and tells me regularly… that they cannot live without me!

I have wonderful friends, both online and in real life, who tell me how talented and brilliant I am and how they cannot wait to see what God has in store for my gifts!

I have unbelievable talent that God has blessed me with – me… the girl who’s not special. Well, I’m not – but God obviously has some special plans for me!

I have the best, sweetest, most precious blessings of children – who love me despite my faults and shortcomings, who tell me they like me fat, like me even when I get fussy, hug me even when I lose my temper or patience, and cannot stand to be away from me even for the short time it takes to go pick up dinner and bring home.

I have had thirty-six years of blessing and love and patience from my heavenly father; who stood by me even when I turned my back on him, lifted me up even when I chose to lay in the ditch, and carried me through the storms I stumbled my own way into!

I am so very amazingly, unbelievably, incredibly, spectacularly BLESSED!

 

I am Grateful and I am Thankful and I am in AWE! And I hope you’ll join me!

 

GOD BLESS YOU!

~ Rachel

♬ HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! ♬

 

© Rachel L Miller 2015

Waiting for God to send my Prince Charming…

image

All my life I have been laughed at and berated for being a “hopeless romantic” and I am so thrilled to find out, all these years later, that THEY were wrong, not me!

I have been extolling the virtues of courtship these many weeks and I thought I should give you a bit of an idea why I care so much for it…

From the crib we are taught conflicting “truths” about love, romance and marriage. And I, for one, am sick of it. I am positively thrilled to have discovered the actual truth! And I am so glad I can now pass on that truth to my sweet little Princess.

Little girls grow up watching Disney movies, television shows and “chick flicks” that are all about romance and happy endings. Then, when it comes time for us to consider dating or marriage, we’re told that the movies and shows we grew up loving are just fairy tales. Life and love don’t really work that way…

image

Happily ever after is not a Fairytale – it is a choice.Tweet this!
 

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” Ephesians 5:25

That one verse says it all, ladies. A husband is supposed to love his wife in the same way Christ loved AND loves the church! HE [Christ] loved the church [us] so much that he died for us.

Not in the “I’m jumping in front of the bullet” or “I’m pushing you out of the way of the speeding car” way but in a planned, pre-ordained, destined way that HE knew from before the beginning of time HE was going to do.

Now that is love.

image

In fact, it is a love that we, as mere mortals, cannot possibly understand. And this is most likely the reason we misuse, abuse and misinterpret love so often. We don’t understand what it means to love someone that much. How could we really?

We think in terms of years or maybe even decades. We could not possibly look at time the same way God does. Otherwise the concept of eternity would not be the puzzle it is for so many of us.

So how did I come to this truth so suddenly? I mean, I must have heard that verse read at least a dozen times through the years. I’ve read the verse myself multiple times. So why didn’t I get it?

I blame conditioning.

image

We are conditioned by society to believe that the relationships we want deep in our hearts and souls are no more than fairy tales. Our friends, family, teachers in school, ministers at church, doctors, counselors (the list goes on and on) tell us not to expect this sort of love from a relationship in reality.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t listen to any more “helpful” advice.

Read your bible and pray. Ask your parents to pray. Ask your friends to pray. Pray for yourself and for your future spouse.

Don’t date. Give courting a try.

Think it sounds old-fashioned or crazy? Ask yourself what the most popular form of “dating” is today? Group dating is the “new” way to date! It’s safer. It’s more fun. It’s the easiest way to get your friends to approve of a guy or girl you think you are interested in. This is a form of courting.

Courthsip IS the answer - post header JPG
 

Courting really is the most intelligent dating form. You have a chance to get to know a person and you have people backing you up, opinion-wise BEFORE you get your emotions and hormones involved.
 

Sick of dating? Give courtship a try.Tweet this!
 

Broken hearts are not fun… not for anyone. And courtship is the best way to avoid a broken heart, shattered dreams and divorce.

God did not design us to fall in and out of love over and over again. He did not design us to be abused or taken advantage of. Our hearts are the most vulnerable to deception. That is why we must guard them so fiercely. Our emotions and hormones are willing accomplices in that deception. This is why it is so important to make relationship decisions with prayer and council first.

Young women: God wants you to be with a man who will love you – as he loves you, a man who will care for you and show you just how special you are to him, and a man who will cherish you – because you are precious and rare.

image

Don’t rush Love – wait on God’s timing.Tweet this!
 

Don’t settle for any less than what you deserve! Hold out for that white knight! You’ll be glad you did!

God Bless You!

© Rachel L. Miller 2015

Every Life is Beautiful!

 

The other night I did what Mercys do… A LOT.

I bawled, and bawled, and bawled until you would have thought I had no tears left. But here I sit, and just the memory of the movie has tears in my eyes… again.

 

 

My mother tells me that I watched this movie when it first came out. And I’m sure I did but at that point in time, I was struggling to finish my manuscript so I honestly don’t remember ever watching it.

However… this time, I sat down with the family and we ALL watched the movie. And my spiritual gift of Mercy turned the water works on pretty early in the viewing.

WOW!

Just WOW!

WHAT A POWERFUL MESSAGE!

 

 

If you have not watched this movie, you really should.

And you should be aware – if you have ever considered abortion, gone through with an abortion, been the victim of a failed abortion or even just known someone who has attempted or had an abortion – this will hit so very close to home for you!

But it is a movie WORTH watching!

 

 

This movie gives us a look at abortion through the eyes of someone we would NEVER expect. The message is powerful and life-changing.

I know it has changed me.

I was PRO-LIFE before I watched the movie but after watching this movie, there is a new level to the determination to spread the word about how important it is for every woman to be AWARE of what they are contemplating in that situation!

 

 

It’s not my place to tell another woman what to do with her body – but what is so often missed is this:

If a woman is pregnant… even a few days pregnant… IT IS NOT ONLY HER BODY that she is doing something with!

When that test turns pink or the little plus appears, YOU are already responsible for another LIFE!

That BABY is a PERSON! And that precious, sweet, innocent BABY has no say what is happening to THEIR body!

 

 

And more than a few BABIES who are aborted EVERY DAY are GIRLS! They don’t EVER get the chance to DECIDE what happens to THEIR BODY!

Once the woman involved understands that she is talking about a HUMAN BEING and NOT tissue – whatever she decides to do is totally UP TO HER! It is between HER and GOD!

And THAT is the message we need to get across!

 

 

Blowing up abortion clinics doesn’t help because then everyone is dead.

Killing the doctors who perform abortions is no good either because there will always be someone else to step in.

EDUCATION and PRAYER are the only things that are EVER going to do any good!

 

 

So PRAY with me! And do ALL that you can to SPREAD THE TRUTH!

God Bless You!

© Rachel L. Miller 2015

 

Lost in translation: Natural living, Going Green & … Xmas

 

Around this time of year we tend to hear a lot of arguing alongside the ringing of so many bells and it’s not hard to figure out why…

We have become lost – not necesarily lost as in we need to be saved – but lost in that we have lost sight of what is important, the big picture, the goal of our very lives.

We stress about “going green”.

But why?

Do we worry… honestly… that God – the God who “… made the stars also.” is unable to keep our planet from being destroyed? Do we truly believe that we have the power to destroy anything that God created – and has a very specific plan for?

Do we do it because we want to be good stewards?

The Bible charges us to be good stewards of what God has given us – so it follows that some of us might actually be recycling and trying to “save the planet” just because we are trying to be good stewards of this planet God has allowed us to live on temporarily.

But I think that most of us who feel a desperate need to “go green” (yes, even Christians) do so because they are following the crowd. They are doing what their parents did or what their friends are doing or what society has hammered away at them – telling them that it is their duty to the planet!

 

Before you get mad, please keep reading. I am not knocking the concept. It is a good thing to be a  good steward. And we should certainly teach our children to do everything they can to take proper care of the things God has entrusted to our care while on this Earth… but we do tend to take it a bit too far – not all of us, but certainly too many of us. We are lost… caught up in the tidal wave, swept along in the wake of environmentalism.

In the grand scheme of life, in the history of this tiny planet, this little 6,000 year old planet – we really won’t make much of a dent either way.

 

The same could be said of “living naturally”.

I read articles and cartoons and rants every day about the devastating effects of irradiation, pest controls and hormone therapy on the food we eat.

You can’t even buy regular honey at the store anymore without running the risk of getting honey made by bees that have been fed high fructose corn syrup. Now it’s not technically in the honey so they don’t have to tell you about it – but it is in the bee’s food so any mother who ever nursed her baby after having coffee or spicy food can tell you – it is in the honey!

But again – in our tiny blip of a life on this planet that is rapidly spinning through our vast Universe – does it really make such a tremendous impact? Is it truly more important than so many other things that can make for a better day-to-day life with our families?

 

And now… the thing that started this article in my mind – the great debate! CHRISTmas vs Xmas…

The person who wrote that article made the point that X in the original Greek actually symbolizes Christ. So technically speaking, when someone says “Xmas” – they’re really saying CHRISTmas… right?

Does it matter and… is that really the point?

Does it matter? Well let’s see…

If even one person thinks that you are saying Xmas to erase CHRIST from Christmas – then YES! It matters very much! You are presenting that person with the perspective that you don’t care to keep CHRIST in Christmas! In their mind, you are taking Christ out of Christmas!

No, we can’t really control other people’s perspective but we can do small things to help with the amount of confusion we may or may not cause in our own day to day journey.

And really, if you knew saying Xmas was going to keep even one person from being saved or having a blessed Christmas, would you ever allow the words to slip between your lips?

So is it really that point? Yes, I think it is very much the point.

Too many of us have lost sight of what the point is in this life!

We are not here to have as much fun as we can, collect the most stuff and make the most money!

We are here to be a light – a bright shining beacon for God! We are here to live out our lives – to the best of our ability – like Jesus’ life!

We are here to help show the other lost people – the ones who do need to be saved – the path, the way, the answer!

How can we do that if we look no different from the world we are trying so desperately to rise above?

How can we do that if we are lost ourselves?