Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

Celebrating the birth of our HOPE November 29, 2011

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 8:48 pm

          This week we begin 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.  These next four devotion entries will center on the advent themes of Hope, Joy, Peace and Love.  This week we consider HOPE.

          I forget what year it was, all I recall is that I was young and my dad was deployed overseas.  My mom had taken my sister and I to see our grandma and family members in Illinois.  It was a long ago and my entire thought process has long since been lost to time, but for some reason I had conjured an expectation in my wee little head on the way to grandma’s house.  I had begun to hope that my dad was going to surprise us and be there when we arrived.(This was long before images of military  dad’s and mom’s returning to surprise their families appeared on YouTube or even on television.)  To this day, I am not sure why I ever thought this could happen. 

          So certain was I that upon entering the house I took one quick glimpse at the man before me and ran to him and wrapped my arms around his legs and shouted “dad!”.  While my memory of this day has sadly grown cloudy, I do recall some things with great clarity.  I remember a shocking silence.  I remember allowing my eyes to truly focus on whose legs I then held.  I remember seeing the sad; tear filled eyes of my dear Uncle Max and becoming aware of my mistake.  I was horrified.  I was embarrassed first because I had mistaken my Uncle Max for my dad, although they have always looked a lot alike.  Secondly, I was embarrassed that I had even allowed myself to hope my dad would surprise me.  My Uncle Max would later tell me that he never wished he was my dad any more than at that moment.

I have known misplaced hope.

          I  am now the proud parent of a 25yr old.  Yep, as of November 27th my “baby” boy is officially a quarter of a century old!  Not sure where the time went, but I am sure it did not go uncelebrated.  Since Steven was born on Thanksgiving Day, his birthday has always been on or near this special holiday.  It is easy to celebrate each year of his life with thanksgiving.  We had hoped to start our family.  The day we found he was expected was both a relief and terrifying. 

I have known Hope fulfilled.

          I often joke about being “hopeless” when it comes to certain things.  My husband could clearly argue that I am hopeless when it comes to retaining information that is in any way technical.  I have been described as hopeless when my daughter has attempts to increase my fashion sense.  Just today, my son was trying to help me throw out some clutter so, as he so kindly put it, “I would not end up on an episode of Hoarders.”  It is safe to say he too thinks I am a bit hopeless.

I have felt hopeless.

We are not strangers to hope.  Maybe this finds you celebrating a hope fulfilled or struggling with misplaced hope.  Perhaps this holiday season finds satan burdening you with feelings of hopelessness. 


          Today, as we celebrate the first day of advent and light the candle of HOPE, let us remember the hope for forgiveness and redemption His birth brought to us all.

We celebrate the birth of our Savior because it is through His birth, life, death and resurrection, we have the hope of forgiveness of our sins and eternity in heaven!

“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for us appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing and regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that by being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  Titus 3:4-7










Safe Inside the Wake November 11, 2011

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 12:12 pm

          This last week we went on a bit of an adventure.  My hubby and I took our boat, a 48ft Silverton called Miller Time(for our name not the beer), from Virginia to Charleston, South Carolina.  We rode her down through the Inner Coastal Waterway(the ICW).  The ICW runs the entire length of the East coast allowing boaters to navigate all the way to south Florida without needing to venture into the ocean.  We intend to travel to South Florida and the Bahamas in 2012, so we figured taking Miller time part way for the winter would be a good idea.  We will also be able to visit with our daughter, she is in college in Charleston.  I will be setting up a blog soon that will recount the days of this latest trip as well as journal the remainder of our journey to Bahamas in 2012.  I will post the link here when I get it set up.

          We have met some great folks along this leg of the journey and I can’t wait to tell you more about them.  We have also learned numerous valuable lessons.  At the start of our trip we had the fortune of being able to follow along with two other boats and their more experienced captains.  It was helpful to have someone leading the way.  The last two days of the trip, we were on our own.  No longer able to simply follow the crowd, we felt a surge of excitement and trepidation for what was ahead.  My diligent captain had everything planned and plotted and we were ready for the day’s challenges.  Most of the trip would be uneventful, the weather was perfect, the scenery breathtaking and only a bridge or two to fit under(more about bridges in the blog from the trip).  There was only one issue we felt a bit uneasy about, The Rock Pile.

          The ICW was literally cut into the earth by the Corp of Engineers.   The waterway varies in width and depth.  While it is surprisingly deep, there are places where it is narrow making single file passage a must.  Most of the ground around and below is a soft sand or clay.  Boats that venture beyond the marked channel may find themselves stuck.  The Rock Pile is not so kind.  For 5 miles the ICW is nothing but unforgiving rock boarding one of its more narrow passages.  We had been encouraged to proceed with caution and perhaps find a commercial boat or experienced captain to follow.

          As we approached the section we dreaded most, we could hear chatter on our VHF radio of other boats in the area.  Since so many boats are heading the same direction this time of year we often saw the same boats from time to time, or perhaps stayed at the same marina.  After a while you become familiar with your fellow ICW travelers.  We recognized the hailing call of one such boat, 70ft Lazarus(fancy boat) named Touch the Sun.  We knew the captain was experienced with the ICW.  We could tell from the radio chatter they were not far behind us.  We slowed and waited for them to catch up.   When we had them in sight we radioed them and requested to follow them through the Rock Pile.  “No problem captain,” came his response, “when I pass you, just get inside my wake and you will be fine.”

          Boats create wakes as they pass through water.  The bigger boat is, usually the larger the wake.  Speed and boat hull shape also effect wake size.  Wakes can be very dangerous.  Wakes flow out at angles from the boat’s bow creating waves that can damage shorelines, rock smaller boats or send sailboats into a chaotic roll.  Being outside the wake means you will most likely find yourself rocking and rolling over a rather large wave, but inside the wake(just behind the boat) it is calm.  Touch the Sun’s invite to fall into his wake was much appreciated.

          We had to keep up our speed to stay tight behind him.  The further we got into the Rock Pile the more grateful I was for their leadership.  Dark and menacing, the rocky ledge stretched out towards our boat like a mob of fans trying to touch a rock star.   The wake and waves created by Touch the Sun crashed against the shore and sprayed water in the air much like the waves on the rocky shores of the north Atlantic.   As long as we stayed tucked inside his wake, we knew we would not hit the rocks.  We knew that wherever they found safe passage we would also find safe passage.   When we finally got beyond the Rock Pile we breathed a sigh of relief.  The remainder of the trip held no greater anxiety and we comfortably found our way to the marina in Charleston.

          We are enjoying a relaxing morning here in South Carolina.  After getting up and underway at dawn for the last five days, it is nice to just sit and ease into the day.  As I think about all the lessons learned along the way here, I cannot stop dwelling on Touch the Sun’s captain’s reassuring radio transmission, “When I pass you, get inside my wake and you will be fine.”    We did, and we were.  It was not always easy to stay in his wake as my hubby/captain will attest, but knowing they had passed before us gave us the confidence to keep going and assurance that we would pass safely.

          Today we honor our veterans, many who have gone before us to create a safe passage for us.  I also think the numerous people God has placed in my life who have created a wake in which I can find confidence and assurance.  Our journeys may not always be easy, but today I am thanking God for all the wakes in which I now safely travel.

 Following a long list of God’s faithful in Hebrews 11, Hebrew 12:1 refers to some of those who have created wakes before us as a “cloud of witnesses”….

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”



His Abundance November 1, 2011

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 6:00 pm

          I have a morning coffee routine that includes lots of splenda and creamer in my coffee in addition to a generous pile of Redi Whip floating atop my morning mug.  The other morning as I was fixing my coffee I realized I was out of Redi Whip and  grumbled enough for my hubby to notice.  “I forgot I ran out Redi Whip last night”.  “Oh” he said, “I was wondering why you put so little on my apple crisp.”    There was a bit of a dead silence as I tried to make sense of his comment.  What?!?!  Was I hearing correctly?  Did he just let me know he thought I did not give him enough on his dessert last might?    From his point of view, he saw a small portion of apple crisp and a miniscule dollop of Redi Whip topping and perhaps felt somewhat disappointed. 

           HERE is the reality:  When preparing him a bowl of apple crisp, left over from the night before, I realized there was only enough left for one serving…so I made it for HIM.  When I went to top it with whipped cream I discovered it too was running low, so…even though I knew it meant no special coffee in the morning, I emptied the contents onto his dessert.  Talk about LOVE…I would sacrifice Redi Whip for only the man I love( or maybe visiting family members, maybe).  I thought I had made quite a small sacrifice and munched on dry popcorn while he seemed to enjoy his special treat.  I had given him abundance, he didn’t notice.

          What I thought was a huge treat and special love offering, he saw as “nice” but not meeting his expectations.  After making certain he clearly understood “why” he had only a little of Redi Whip on his dessert, and hopefully instilling a little more appreciation for my efforts,  I began to feel a bit convicted myself.

          My dear hubby had no idea of what a special dessert he had been given, because he did not know about the sacrifice of the giver.  It is all too easy for us to forget what a wonderful life we have through the sacrifice of our God.  How often do I look at what God has done in my life or given me, and because I had a different expectation, I missed the true treasure He lovingly gave me.  I am not referring to financial gifts, but rather a prayer not answered as I had desired, a delayed response, or at times a path I was sent on when I had expected something different.  How often do we look at what is before us and because we cannot fathom the enormity of the grace with which all things are given, we miss the joy that comes with knowing the giver.  God gives us abundance, do we see it?

“Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to

be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

 Phil. 4:11