Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

Broken and Breathtaking! August 30, 2011

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 3:59 pm

          As I walked along the sandy shore, I was startled to see a rather large shell protruding after a retreating wave.   Intact seashells rarely, if ever make it all the way up the Chesapeake River and James River without being tumbled into fractions of their former selves.  The only survivors tend to be local clams, oysters and a variety of small snails.

          A pretty pink scalloped rim rose from the water’s edge and I hurriedly picked it up fully expecting to hold a palm-sized treasure, but it was only a portion of the whole yet once more.  As I looked at the slice of shell in my hand, I could easily see what it must have looked like at one time.  On one side deep grooves funneled to its base in colors fading from dark pink to cream, the other side was smooth and white.  I felt a bit sad.  I realized I was missing seeing what it was or could have been.   The broken bit in my hand seemed so discarded; even I did not feel compelled to keep it for any particular reason.  It was not really worthy of display or collection.  I tossed it back to the water’s edge and watched as the next few waves once again buried its brokenness below the sand.

          I began to walk along the beach once more, eyes now searching for a possible shell that had survived the journey to this shore.  Along the water’s edge, there was a thick trail of shattered shells, dumped unceremoniously with each ebb and flow.  As the tide retreated, the narrow pile of shells remained, marking the highest point of the day’s tide.  That is when I noticed something more beautiful than any unbroken shell I have ever found. 

         The sun’s setting rays illuminated the long line of shells at my feet.  The shards of broken shells glistened in the sand like pastel confetti!  The shell sections of various sizes, color, and shape all mingled to form a breathtaking banner along the shore.  I had been so intent on finding a whole shell that I nearly missed the whole view!

          I bent to scoop up a fist full of shell pieces.  I examined the crumbled remains in my hand, many too small to imagine what they once looked like, and yet together they were a colorful mosaic.  They may have been beautiful at one time, or maybe going to be beautiful, before they were whittled away by time and life, but now they are once again a beautiful sight.

          Let us not be discouraged if time and life have whittled us down from what we once were, or hoped to be.  Yes, it is sad that we may have lost a bit of ourselves along the way, but God in His love and grace has a plan for us.  We may be broken, no longer whole, but through His love and grace, we are part of the WHOLE of His creation, and that is truly breathtaking.

 “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 alive together with Christ(by grace you have been saved)….in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”   Ephesians 2:4-7

Believer, broken or whole, together we are a breathtaking, eternal display of God’s amazing grace!



A Lucy Lesson August 17, 2011

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 7:55 am

         The grandpuppy came
to visit the other day. Lucy, our sons almost 2 yr old Weimeriner , is a little
on the rambunctious side. Okay, okay, for those who have met her, she is A LOT
on the rambunctious side. She is almost 50 pounds of energy, built like a
gazelle, clumsy like a toddler, with light green eyes that convey a false

While Lucy is basically a good
dog, she is still all puppy and has been known to cause a great bit of trouble.
Her tall, lanky frame enables her to reach table and countertops with lightning
fast ease. We “Lucy proof” the house whenever she comes to visit; breakable
things are put away; all foodstuffs and possible poisonous stuff are tucked far
from her reach.

Perhaps the most important
aspect of “Lucy proofing” is hiding all of Hughie’s stuffed toys. Hughie is our
little Yorkshire terrier. He has just a couple of favorite dog toys, both of
which are stuffed objects not designed for the rough chewing/playing of a
larger dog. Bunny, little bear, and green man are usually tossed into a secure
place prior to her entry into the house…unfortunately green man did not make it
this time. I walked into the living room to find snow white tufts of stuffing
floating about Lucy as the lifeless green man dangled from her mouth. Upon
hearing my scolding tone, she looked up at me with her pastel green eyes, beat
her tail feverishly against the floor and then proceeded to happily bring me
the now limp dog toy as if to show me what a great job she had done at
conquering it. Sigh.

Later that night, after Lucy
had returned home, I was putting away all the dog toys and decided it was time
to discard the shell of what was once a vibrant puffy green man. I looked at
his now open seams, threads dangled from all the edges and one appendage hung
precariously by a thin strip of fabric. Funny, I have felt like this little
green man at times. I know what it is like to be “de-stuffed.”

No, I do not mean literally
of course, but I do know the feeling of having all that seems to fill my life
and make me happy, vibrant and active, simply float away like tufts of
stuffing. Too often I let circumstances or people rob me of the joy that God
has given me. I forget He fills me with His Holy Spirit and that He is reason
for all that is my life. When this happens, like the now floppy green man, I
lose my form. I allow myself to become ineffective as I struggle to define who
I am.

The good news is that, unlike
the green man, my stuffing can be restored. When I turn to my God, look to His
Word, and remember His promises, He is faithful always. He restores my joy
every day, forgives me of all my sin, and loves me with a love that is beyond
comprehension. Without Him I am nothing more than an empty shell, with Him I am
“stuffed” with all kinds of hope, grace and possibility.  I hope this week you find yourself
sufficiently stuffed with the Holy Spirit!

“…We pray
that you’ll live well for

the Master, making Him
proud of you as you work in His orchard. As you learn more and more how God
works, you

will learn how to do your
work. We pray

that you’ll have strength
to stick it out over the long haul-not the grim

strength of gritting your
teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the

and spills over into joy,
thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to

take part in everything
bright and beautiful He has for us.”


(The Message)


May I Clean Your Glasses for You? August 2, 2011

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 2:48 pm

          It was HOT.  The little lap pool at the marina we were staying at was filled with people bobbing up and down in its 4ft depths.  As we hunkered into the cool water to escape the heat of the day, conversations and introductions flowed easily with our fellow marina guests.  One of my favorite things about boating is all the people you meet and the stories they have to share.  I was taking in one such story when I heard the strangest thing from across the pool.

           “May I clean your glasses for you?”  I thought I heard the young man ask.  I was not the only one startled and perplexed.  A bit of a nervous giggle could be heard as someone asked him if he was serious.  Yes, indeed this young man was serious and he had a wipe and glass cleaner in hand to prove it.  Imagine that!  One of the marina’s dock attendants was squatting down at the pools edge offering to simply clean glasses. This was possibly the nicest/oddest service I have ever seen offered at any establishment.

          One pool guest tentatively handed him her sunglasses.  He quickly sprayed, wiped, and returned them to her.  As he made his way around the pool, many were taking him up on his kind offer.  When he came to me, I politely declined.  I was wearing my reading glasses and enjoying a good book by the pool,  and felt I did not need them cleaned.  I quickly regretted my choice.

          My daughter gave him her sunglasses next.  I think she was a bit embarrassed to have someone wait on her for such a small need,  that is until she put the cleaned glasses back on. “Wow, what a difference!” she exclaimed.  That’s when I started noticing everyone one in the pool talking about how much better they could see and laughing at the realization they had been looking through such dirty lenses.  Sea salt, sweat, and suntan lotion probably coated most of our glasses.  As others around me marveled at their new “outlook” on life, I was suddenly keenly aware of the various smudges and streaks that hampered my vision.

          What kept me from experiencing greater clarity?  Maybe I was in denial about my need to have my glasses cleaned.   Had I grown accustomed to reading through my filthy lenses, unable to perceive the need?  Maybe I was just too unprepared for the offer.  Having never heard someone offer to clean my glasses ever before, was I too slow to process and respond appropriately?  Maybe I was too prideful.   Why should I let someone else clean my glasses when I am perfectly capable to take care of such things on my own?  Sometimes I think I respond to God in a simialr fashion.

        I once heard someone describe coming to know God’s forgiveness and grace as “having a veil pulled back.”   Have I allowed the burden of my sins to obscure my view?  God’s grace is sufficient and His forgiveness complete, yet sometimes we walk around with guilt and shame, unable to see all God has in store for us.

         There was a popular song years ago called “My Father’s Eyes” which spoke of the desire to see the world and those around us the way God sees them.   Do I see others as He sees them, with grace and compassion?  Have I allowed life’s circumstance to form a distorting barrier over my eyes, making it difficult to recognize what is Truth?

          As I write this, I am straining through reading glasses that once again need cleaning.  I am thinking how much easier typing will be after I remove a few persistent smudges.  How much easier would life be if I asked God for such clarity?  While wiping the oily film from my lenses I ask God to help me see His will for my life.  I ask Him to help me see those around me as He would.   I ask Him to remove the things that cloud my vision.  I want to see Him.

“But whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away…”

2Corinthians 3:16

Each time we don a pair of reading or sunglasses may we be
reminded, God is asking, “May I clean your glasses for you?”