Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

Food for Thought October 27, 2009

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 11:25 am

            I know God has a sense of humor.  I can attest far too often to moments in life where I am pretty sure I could actually hear His holy laughter at His own cleverness in dealing with me.  This last Sunday was just such a moment. 

          It began as a normal Sunday morning.   My husband and I were leading our adult Sunday school class through a study from the book of John.  This day’s lesson followed the first public miracle which Jesus performed.   As a class we read the account of Jesus and His disciples attending a wedding in Cana along with His mother, Mary.  The host of the wedding ran out of wine and Mary asked Jesus to help.  Eventually Jesus would turn water into wine.  One of the discussion questions had us considering what the host of the wedding may have been feeling.  

          It is easy to imagine the burden the host must have felt when he realized he would not be able to honor his guest with his best wine.   Trying to comprehend the emotional need of the moment and the stress felt by the host helps us better appreciate this particular miracle.  It would impact everyone from the servants who did as Jesus commanded and had a firsthand view of His working, to the host and his guest.   It was at this point in the lesson I should have heard God begin to giggle.  I have no doubt that it was at this moment He said to Himself….”Just in case she missed this point, I’ll make it more clear…later tonight when she is not looking for Me, I’ll  bring this point home.”

          Fast forward to later that night…as my husband and I prepare for his men’s Bible study which meets in our home.  It has grown considerably and each Sunday night 10-15 men gather for a shared meal (which they take turns providing) and Bible study.  It was our turn to provide the food.  We discussed the possible turn out.  Class attendance was down considerably that morning due to the flu season, various family members being sick or out of town, so we figured the night’s attendance may also be reduced.   We decided on 4 LARGE pizzas, figuring left over pizza is never a problem.  

          I’m sure as you read this you can predict what happened, but trust me, at the time it was not so evident.   Soon the men began to arrive, and arrive, and arrive, and arrive,….that’s when my husband poked his head around the corner of the room I was in and said these terrifying words, “Teri, there is only one slice of pizza left!” and with that I heard our door swing open as 4 more men joined the gathering.  YIKES!   Don’t get me wrong; we were THRILLED to see so many be able to attend.  But I felt so badly.  They were our honored guest and I couldn’t just say, “oops…sorry, some of you guys will need to sit through the hour long Bible study hungry.”  

         I dove into the arctic depths of my freezer searching for provisions.  I praised God in my heart that a local grocer had put frozen hor d’oeuvres on sale last week, and I that I had stocked up on a few boxes for upcoming events.  As, I loaded up baking sheets with the miniature food items one of the men from class just HAD to say it…. “Hey, didn’t we just learn about this in class today?  So, how does it feel?”    I am sure I would have heard God’s heavenly laughter over His earthly lesson if not for the rather loud laughter rolling through my kitchen from all of us. 

           Let’s just say that after that night, I am not likely to forget the precious implications of Jesus’ first public miracle.  And for the record, real men DO eat quiche.


The Amazing Race October 20, 2009

Filed under: devotionals,life — tlmiller82 @ 4:59 pm

          Last Sunday my husband and I were running late for church.  Okay…I was running late, he was uncharacteristically patiently waiting for me to get out to the car.  I’m not even sure how I managed to get so behind in my getting out the door routine.  It’s not like I had little ones to get ready or anything.  Nope, just me, myself and I, yet one of those three must have been lollygagging because I knew by the time we got to the church I would need to do the “high heel  hurry up”.  The “high heel hurry up” is that walk where you try  to look like you’re not hurrying, but actually you’re attempting to set a land speed record for walking in high heels, up a slanted church sidewalk. 

          My husband and I are fans of the T.V. show The Amazing Race.  For those of you not familiar with it let me explain:  several “teams” of two (sometimes married couples, relatives, best friends or just dating couples) race against each other throughout several days and countries.  They follow clues and guidelines trying to be the first to arrive at each day’s “pit stop”.  Players arriving last each day get eliminated and sent home.  Eventually there will be only two teams left to race toward the final day’s “pit stop” and win the race.  Along the way they must carry out different tasks and overcome challenges. 

 On our way to church that day I  imagined what it would be like if our Sunday mornings had a similar format:

           I can almost hear the announcer/host he narrates the morning and gives  instructions:  “Prepare yourselves for Sunday school & worship.  To do this you must collect all your clothing and be sure it is presentable before putting it on.  Personal hygiene may not be neglected in this leg of the race so be careful to include them in your schedule.  You may run into a roadblock along the way.  The last person to arrive at the final pit stop WILL be eliminated. ”

           The race starts with great team work.  Scott takes out the dog while I fix our coffee.  We settle into our morning preparations for Sunday school class and come to our first road block: we need to print out fliers for the class.  We chose Scott to complete this task.  Fliers in hand and lesson prepared we head upstairs for the next leg of the race.  Once again working in tandem to conquer our hygiene objectives…sinks are shared for teeth brushing and hair fixing.  Again the Voiceover/announcer begins to narrate…  “Each team member must then find acceptable attire and don it before returning downstairs.  Scott gets dressed in record time but Teri has faltered a bit.  Her indecision has cost her team valuable seconds.”  I rush downstairs to Scott, who is patiently waiting at his computer with his second cup of coffee.  The stress of the race is starting to prick my nerve endings.   I am surprised at my own tone as I squeal out, “Get the Bibles! Get the Sunday school bag, don’t just sit there, you could have had the car loaded up by now!” (good for television, bad for marriage).  Finally we’re in the car….wait did we get the phones?  Did you get the gift we’re supposed to bring?  What time is it? Do you have lotion in the car?….tension builds as the car clock moves close to the start of Sunday school.  Again the announcer/voiceover can be heard: “team Miller has is currently in danger of elimination, will they be able to pull it together and arrive in time?” dramatic pause ….

          When we pull into the church parking lot,  I can envision us flinging open our car doors, just as the contestants do in the show, and running to the finish.   I am slower in my heels and I motion Scott to move ahead… “Don’t wait for me, keep going I’ll catch up!”…of course he waits, the good teammates always do.  Running hand in hand we would rush to the finish mat, only in my head instead of the show’s host there to greet us, our Pastor will stand with his Bible in his hand and announce, “Teri and Scott, you’re the last team to arrive…I’m sorry to say, you have been eliminated.”  

          How wonderful it is to remember that THIS is not the race of life.    The race we are called to run is one that is a marathon.  Keeping moving forward is more important than when you finish and finishing is the final prize. 

I like knowing that God is not standing on a big mat waiting for me to get to Him so he can tell me I’m too late….instead God waits for me to come to Him and rejoices with me when I arrive at His feet.


Looking for Things Not Lost October 13, 2009

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 9:53 am

          The other day I got out of my car after a shopping trip and began to look for my cell phone.  Calm digging through my purse soon escalated to panicked thoughts of the possible places I could have left it.  I was upside down in the car, craning my neck to see into the dark crevice beneath my seat  when the person I was talking to on my cell phone asked what I was doing.  I’ll give you a minute to figure that out…..Yep, I had the phone to my ear all the while I was searching for it!  I know you’re laughing, but I also know you have probably done something like it yourself.  I have numerous friends who make a habit of placing their reading glasses atop  their head so they will have easy access to them.  Inevitably they will spend considerable time searching  for them until someone points out they have them on their head.  I once had a coworker who approached me one day looking very frazzled.  She had a pair of reading glasses on her head and one set  hung around her neck on chain.  She had a habit of using her tightly rolled hair bun as a pencil holder and she had at least 4 writing utensils radiating from the top of her hair this day.  “What’s wrong?” I asked.  “I can’t find my pen or glasses and I have so much work to do!”  she replied.  It’s easy to find ourselves looking for things not lost!         

           We’ve been learning about the Holy Spirit in Sunday school.  It is startling to think how much I did not know about something so important to believers.  Oh sure,  I have always known it was part of the “Trinity”….Father, Son, Holy Spirit.  Funny though, in my southern Baptist upbringing I tended to think of the trinity as a listing in order of importance.  I heard so much about God and Jesus and very little about the Holy Spirit.  I knew the scriptures told that God sent the Holy Spirit to be with us after Christ (God in the flesh) was taken up to heaven following his resurrection.   Jesus tells us in John 16:7  “…., it is to your advantage that I go away;  if I do not go away,  the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”   I also got that the Holy Spirit was not tangible/physical.  But even with this understanding I was missing some key aspects.  I think the biggest gap in my understanding was that I thought the Holy Spirit came and went in our lives depending on us.

          I used to think that we became “filled” with the Holy Spirit when we read the Bible faithfully, obeyed God, did our best, really sought Him or needed Him.   But the Holy Spirit is a part of every believer’s life. 

1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God…”

Ephesians 1:13 “…Having believed, you were marked with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”

          Scripture after scripture revealed a new truth to me…the Holy Spirit I had desired to be filled with WAS filling me!  I was just not recognizing His presence.  I was too busy seeking Him to realize He was with me, enabling and empowering me, waiting for me to rely on His strength in my weakness, wanting me to rest in His peace.  I was looking for something not lost!

                  When we discover our reading glasses are not lost, we stop searching and start using.  We simply move them into position and everything before us changes. 


Who is Charlie Brown? October 6, 2009

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 8:17 am

         We are studying the book of Luke in our community Bible study.  This means that in the crisp month of October we are reading very non ”Octobery” passages.  It just seems odd to be reading about the birth of Jesus anytime besides December.  I know,  I know… the Bible is for ALL seasons in life.  Of course I am finding and understanding new truths each time we gather to read and discuss the Word, but seriously, our scripture memory verse this week was Luke 2:11.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

          We went over it as a group and the leader encouraged us to memorize each week’s key verse.  “No problem there,” I quipped to the lady sitting next to me, “learned that one from Charlie Brown.”   Come on, that was kind of funny right?  I mean, who of us hasn’t heard the sweet voice of Linus uttering these lines in the Charlie Brown Christmas special over the years?   I was flabbergasted (always wanted to use that word in print) by her response of, “Who is Charlie Brown?”

          Who is Charlie Brown?!  Who is Charlie Brown?!  I did not even attempt to hide my flabbergatsedness (spell check doesn’t have a “suggested” spelling for this word, but it is still the best way to describe my demeanor during this conversation).   In her defense I did make that reference totally out of context.  I mean, it is October and Christmas specials are not even being advertised on TV yet. She probably wished she had just smiled and nodded at me instead of saying, “Who is Charlie Brown?”   I felt compelled to make sure she knew what I meant.  I didn’t want her to think I was nuts.  I reminded her of the popular cartoon special and prodded her memory with “you know, the Christmas special with Linus and Charlie Brown?”   “Ooooh!” She quietly exclaimed when she finally “got” my comment.  This entire verbal transaction took place in hushed tones, while the leader was speaking, and lasted only minutes, but this morning I find it is one of the more memorable lessons of that night.

         What if someone had never heard of Charlie Brown?  Let’s face it, it is not life changing.  Ones exposure to Charlie Brown does not create a great impact on a life lived. (Unless, like me, you find it helps you memorize some of the Bible)  Yet I found myself startled at the idea that someone had not heard of him.  Big deal right?  In comparison, how “flabbergasted” should I be when I consider those who have not heard of or met my Savior? 

         Just as I assume EVERYONE has at least heard of Charlie Brown, sometimes we assume we are surrounded by people who have at least heard of Jesus.  Our church has been focused on missions this last month.  In addition to meeting the physical needs of others we are challenged to remember the need to share the good news of the hope for redemption we have in Jesus Christ.  I know that includes the mission field of my neighborhood, but I don’t think I really thought about the likelihood that God has allowed someone to enter my sphere of influence who knows nothing of Him or His love.  I was seriously determined to make sure the lady beside in Bible study knew who Charlie Brown was, I should be even more so determined to make sure those in my life Know who Jesus and how much God loves us.