Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

When God Whispered “I love you” December 22, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 11:31 am

          This week we continue our advent celebration.  Each week, four prior to Christmas Eve, we gather to light a candle and consider the coming of our savior.  It is a wonderful time to stop in the midst of the season and truly focus on the reason for all the wonderful merriment of Christmas.  This week we celebrate His LOVE for us.

          Have you heard the one about the man who never told his wife he loved her?  “I told you I loved you on our wedding day” he said “I’ll let you know if that ever changes” .   This is the kind of line that is only funny as long as it is not true.   I can’t fathom a spouse who would be content with just one profession of love.  Whether it is confirmation of something we believed or affirmation of what we know,  being told “I love you” is a treasured thing.   

          Once when I was complaining to my very patient hubby that I felt he did not provide me with enough verbal affirmation he replied, “But I am thinking it all the time!”   I realize I am beyond blessed to have a husband who  loves me as he does, but I still needed to HEAR it from him. 

          I will never forget attending the funeral for a young boy who died in a tragic accident.   As I came up to my friend, the grief stricken father, to offer my condolences he startled me by his passionate greeting.  Taking both my shoulders by his hands, he practically shook me as he looked in my eyes and said, “Tell your kids you love them every day, any day, all the time.”   To be honest, at that time, I thought I was pretty good at letting my kids know who much I love them…but that day and ever since I have tried to be better about sharing my love with them.

          There is something thrilling about being told you are loved.  Not just that fleeting “Love you” we sometimes utter  as we leave or get off the phone, but the look in the eyes and say with all earnest, “You need to know, I love you”.   It’s as if we were created to be loved and to love others.

          God, our creator, knows our every need.  He knows our need for this affirming/confirming love.  When it comes to loving us, God is consistently and constantly telling us He loves us is so many ways.

          He tells us He loves us in the beauty of His creation.  Crisp white snow, endless rolling ocean waves, purple and orange setting suns and flower filled fields all shout “I love you.”  The laughter of children, the wisdom of the elderly and the comfort of friendships are reflections of His love for us. 

      At Christmas, we celebrate the greatest proclamation of His love for us.

 “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins.”   ( 1John 4:9&10)

In the stillness of the night, on a musty mound of hay, in a stable meant for livestock our heavenly Father whispered, “I love you” to the world as Mary brought forth her newborn son and laid him in a manger.

Merry Christmas to us all!

 

All is Calm…. December 14, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 9:51 pm

This week we continue our advent celebration.  Each week, four prior to Christmas Eve, we gather to light a candle and consider the coming of our savior.  It is a wonderful time to stop in the midst of the season and truly focus on the reason for all the wonderful merriment of Christmas.  This day we consider PEACE.

          Silent night, holy night, all is CALM…..”calm” is not the way I would describe today.  As I began my day I looked forward to wrapping gifts, running a few errands and preparing to welcome our daughter home from college.  It has not gone quite as planned. 

          It began with a mid morning call from my mother that started with her letting me know a dear great aunt had passed away.  She was 92.  It was not entirely unexpected, but I am sad for the loss her family will feel this Christmas season.  Then my mom led into the second reason for her call.

           It is never good when someone says “First of all, I am not hurt…”.  The conversation ended with her telling me about her being in a small fender bender.  She had had a very traumatic day, but all was okay and no one injured.  Though it was clearly not a big deal, it was still very unsettling as I considered all the “what if’s” that inevitably run through one’s mind.  I am thankful for God’s protection and provision.

          By noon, I was feeling like my day was back on track.  I finished my errands and headed home to wrap gifts and make dinner for a family in need at our church.  My calm erupted into chaos with a simple phone call.  My daughter’s car was acting up and the dreaded “stop engine” light was the bearer of bad news.  The next 5 hours were filled with prayer, phone calls trying to trouble shoot the situation, AAA towing her almost an hour away to the nearest city with a mechanic, realization the car would not be fixed in a day, securing a rental car, all while trying to keep my daughter form an absolute meltdown of understandable proportions.  This, not surprisingly, resulted in 12 burnt cookies, and half a casserole dish dumped in the oven…confirmation that I am not good at multi tasking.

         It is almost 10pm.  Half a casserole and another batch of cookies finally made it’s way to  it’s destiantion.   I called my mom to be sure she was still okay and feeling the need to be in contact with her once more.  As for my daughter, well she is back on the road heading home.  It is almost “calm” in the house.  

         As I fianlly sat down at last to write this post I had to laugh.  There, in my notes for this day, I had written a familiar verse. 

Phil. 4:6&7  Be anxious for nothing. Instead through prayer and thanksgiving let your request be made known to God, and a peace which passes all understanding will be made known unto you.

          Today for advent, we stop and consider the PEACE of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  The peace He gives us is beyond “all understanding.”  It is beyond our comprehension because we seek a peace that comes from things being calm or all right.  What He gives us is a peace in the midst of the chaos, when things may be less than all right.  He gives us a peace that is the result of being forgiven and out from under the burden of our sin.  Being reconciled with God we no longer walk alone.

2 Cor. 5:19-21  …God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting thier sins against them, and He has comitted to us the word of rconciliation….He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him…

          His peace is not a life without storms, struggles, or complexity.  It is a life lived knowing that in ALL things, He is sovereign, and He will bring us through All things for His glory.  The birth, life, death and resurrection of our savior enables us to be reconciled with God, no longer separated from Him by our sin. 

 Peace is the journey around obstacles, over mountains, under burdens and into depths all the while knowing we are not alone. 

 

 

 

 

 

No Ordinary Turtle December 8, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 12:38 am

This week we continue our advent celebration.  Each week, four prior to Christmas Eve, we gather to light a candle and consider the coming of our savior.  It is a wonderful time to stop in the midst of the season and truly focus on the reason for all the wonderful merriment of Christmas.  This week is JOY.

          My kids are old and my Christmas’s are forever changed.  Now that the kids are 21 & 24 Christmas is not the same.  No more squeals as they rush to the tree Christmas morning and find the new bike Santa left.  Oh, they will get nice things and they will be thankful, but there is just something delightful that is the result of a child receiving their perfect gift.

          One year our son asked Santa for a turtle.  Inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle craze, he asked for a real live turtle.  It was one of the few things he specifically asked Santa for, so I set about trying ot make his “dream come true”.  At first it may sound like a simple, even inexpensive, gift request…but it is not. 

         In the summer and spring, box turtles could be easily found in the nearby woods, but mid winter was NOT a good time to go turtle hunting.   I scoured every pet shop in town for a turtle.  Here’s a tid bit of information that may surprise you as it did me…it is not legal to sell a turtle less than 4 in diameter due to the high instance of salmonella in juvenile species.   As a result, many pet shops did not sell turtles.  I eventually found one pet shop offering a live turtle for sell.  Not your average box turtle, it was some special kind from Japan and super expensive!  I did want to fulfill my son’s Christmas request, but not enough to pay that much for a fancy turtle.

         It took three weeks, numerous phone calls and an hour-long drive before I found a shop that could sell me a box turtle.  That simple box turtle, which ordinarily I could have found free in our back yard, cost me over twenty dollars and a tremendous amount of time and effort.  It was worth it all when our son came down the stairs Christmas morning and found his requested turtle in an aquarium under the tree.  He named him Michelangelo.

          I wanted to let our son know how difficult it had been to get him this gift.  I wanted him to know how much it cost in terms of time and money.  I wanted him to understand the cost meant this was no ordinary box turtle.

        The reality was that he would not have understood the cost.  While he was old enough to have a grasp of certain matters of money, he was not old enough to understand the price of time and effort.  Just locating a live turtle in December was a small miracle.  This turtle cost much more than the price paid at the pet shop.  I knew he could not comprehend the cost, but I relished the joy in my son’s eyes when he saw the turtle under the tree.

           This week of advent we stop to consider the joy of our Savior’s birth.  The birth of Jesus would eventually lead to His death and resurrection.  Through Him we are given the greatest gift of all, grace.  We are given unearned favor and forgivness for our sin.  It is God’s gift to all people.  It is a gift whose cost we cannot comprehend.  It is a gift that is the seed of joy in every believer’s heart.

          Ephesians 2:4-8  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us together with Christ, …for by grace you have been saved through faith.

This is the news of great joy, that we are saved by His grace and mercy and have the hope of eternal life and forgiveness of our sins through our savior Jesus Christ, a gift with a cost we cannot comprehend!

Luke 2:10  And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of a great JOY which shall be for ALL the people…