Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

My Life, His Context April 29, 2014

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 1:12 pm


We moved in September of last year and have been fortunate to meet tons of new and wonderful people. It can be overwhelming. A new neighborhood, new church, new organizations we’re involved in, all mean we have exponentially increased the number of names and faces we wish to recall.   This has also increased the number of embarrassing moments.


I have lost count of the times I confidently walked up to one of the new folks in my life and said ”Hey there (insert wrong name here)”…only to be kindly corrected. Yep, hard to play that one off…”um, yeah, I knew your name was really (insert correct name here), I was just messing around”. Then there are the cringe worthy moments when the person I have incorrectly named does NOT correct me.  They attempt to save me from embarrassment by pretending I did not just misname them. Of course this is worse, since later in the day I may realize my error and have no way of reconciling things. This leads to an inevitable awkward conversation next time we meet, “Hey, sorry I called you by the wrong name all evening long last time we were together”.


I’m getting better, but I still need all my “new” people to be confined to a particular area/group. If I see a new neighbor at the grocery store, I may walk right past them. Whereas, if they were walking down my street, or at a neighborhood gathering, I would know them instantly. If one of the new folks we met through church happens to be dining at the same restaurant, I may not be able to immediately place them.  I need them in context.


This last Sunday our pastor spoke about an event which took place following the resurrection of Jesus. I found myself totally able to relate to the two disciples in this account. In Luke 24:13-35 we find two men on their way to Emmaus, just outside of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation about things like Jesus arriving into Jerusalem to great fanfare, His captivity and torture, crucifixion and burial. It had been a rather eventful week. These guys were so caught up in their conversations they barely noticed when another man joined them on their walk. Jesus Himself began to travel alongside them, but “their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him” vs.16


They even went so far as to sort of make fun of Jesus! In verse 18, after Jesus asked them what they were talking about they replied, “…Are You the ONLY one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” They practically asked Him, “What rock have you been hiding under that you do not know what happened?!”  Pretty ironic right?


.My favorite part is when they realized it was Jesus. You see, like me, they needed context.  “And it came about that when He had reclined at the table with them He took bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him…”vs 30 Yep, walking on a dirt road they did not place Him, but as soon as they saw Him in the familiar position of dinner host and bread breaker it became crystal clear. They even seemed a bit embarrassed and tried to play it off saying, “Where not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road…..?”vs 32     But I get it. Sadly, I get it.  I wonder if I would have recognized Jesus?


It is easy to see Jesus in places like church or among other believers. When I am in crisis and on my knees in desperation and prayer, it is easy to see the hand of God working in my life. But what about the times my God shows up out of context? As I walk through my life I do not want to miss my Jesus. I want to see Him, recognize Him and listen to Him.


I want to expect to see Jesus in any and every part of my life.  His “context” is everywhere and anytime.  Let us continually seek a close relationship with Him, break bread with Him, know Him, through His Word and the Holy Spirit that we may find ourselves always aware of our traveling companion and Lord. 

We will recognize Him when we see Him in CONTEXT, the context of our life.







Once again, Abigail…. April 20, 2014

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 9:24 am

This is an event that forever changed my Easters and I feel lead to share it every year with anyone who will listen. 

Happy Easter my friends, and may you know this day, and all your days, just how much God loves you!

          I’ve lost track of how many years ago it was, yet each Spring I can’t help but recall my introduction to Abigail.  I was a high school science/Bible teacher for a small Christian school at the time. One of my students was a football sized young man named Nick.  He worked for a local farmer who had offered him a young lamb to take home.  Nick’s mom, apparently destined for sainthood, not only allowed him to bring the lamb home, but he got to keep it in his room!  Early that Spring Nick brought photos to share.  To my amazement, there, wedged beside his bed and amid typical teenage squalor, was a carefully built pen, complete with wood rails, chicken wire and hay.  Abigail the lamb had found a perfect home.  Over the next few weeks Nick would have numerous stories to tell of Abigail’s antics.  I couldn’t wait to see her for myself, so I invited Nick to bring her to school one morning.


I ushered my entire class outside and we waited like giddy preschoolers for Abigail’s arrival.  I am certain I will never be able to adequately describe what I saw that day.  I will do my best.  We watched as Nick emerged from his vehicle with Abigail cradled in his big burly arms.  We stood transfixed by the sight of what can only be inadequately referred to as precious”.  Her pure, white coat seemed almost translucent, radiating light under the bright blue, cloudless sky.   Her tiny nose was a perfect, pink velvet triangle perched just above her little pink mouth.    As I placed my hand on her sweet little head she looked at me.  I found myself staring into the depths of clear, brilliant blue eyes.  I realized I had been holding my breath in awe.  We were expecting to see a cute lamb, somewhat off white in color.  I had not considered that, unlike the lambs at the local petting zoo, Abigail had been living in a clean, loving, environment.  After everyone had made Abigail’s acquaintance, Nick left to return her home and we settled back into Bible class.


We soon realized the relevance of Abigail’s visit as we continued our study of Passover.  The original Passover took place when Moses was leading the Israelites out of Egypt.  God instructed them to mark their door post with the blood of a male lamb.  This was to protect them from the final plague which was the death of all first born in any home not so protected. (Exodus 11&12)  The yearly commemoration of this event required the father to select the best, blemish free lamb and set it apart for the Passover…four days prior to the celebration.  My students and I began to consider something quite startling.  There was a good chance that the lamb would have been brought into the house or yard during that time.


This perfect little lamb, probably as precious and sweet as our Abigail, may have clamored under their feet while they did chores, fed out of their hands and shared a living area.  After four days, this lamb, which by now had become even more precious to the family, was to be sacrificed.   Suddenly one can imagine the cries of the children, the quite sob of their mother, the sorrow in the eyes of the father who knows a blood sacrifice is required.   For the first time, since meeting Abigail, we could truly envision the “sacrificial lamb” of the Scriptures.


The continued observance of Passover was a powerful object lesson for generations of Israelites.  Every family member would be reminded not only of God’s protection and provision when He freed them from slavery, but also of the cost…the blood of their most precious lamb.  This Easter we consider the final sacrifice.  Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, perfect and precious beyond description, was sacrificed for our sin.  Many movies and videos have stirred the heart of man as they depict the brutal crucifixion of our Christ, yet none can compare to the vision of Abigail.  As we celebrate our freedom from sin and death through the resurrection of our Lord, let’s never forget the cost.  Praise God His love and grace make us worthy of such a sacrifice!

1 Peter 1:18-19  “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold…but with precious blood, as a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”



UNSTUCK April 8, 2014

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 12:26 pm

I was a new employee for a relocation company. We worked with local apartment communities to set up short term, furnished units. It was my job to meet with apartment managers and convince them to use our furniture rentals. Back then no one had camera phones. I am torn between wishing there was an image and being thankful there is no lingering evidence of this awkward moment.   The event is forever ingrained in my memory regardless.


Because I was still in training, my manager accompanied me to several of my visits to apartment management offices.   One particular apartment community was nestled in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The buildings definitely fit the “old” aspect of Old Town. What were once some sort of row house, were converted into apartments and condos. The management office was on the first floor of the brick, colonial structure.


       As my manager and I entered the dimly lit office the first thing I noticed were the floors. They were beautiful parquet, stained by obvious years of use and moisture. They looked antique and fit nicely with the very traditional burgundy and green hunt club décor, popular for the area and time. I was dressed for success in my black pumps and KELLY green suit jacket and skirt. (It was my “power suit” and yes, SOMEONE should have stopped me from wearing it in public, but that is another story)   I felt confident as I teetered toward the property manager on my high heels and introduced myself.

       Things were going great. I had established a comfortable report with the manager, and was about to begin my sales pitch, when, mid-sentence and stride, I found my foot stuck. Apparently the weathered floors in the office had given way to the spiked heel of my fashionable black pumps. I glanced down in horror. My entire right heel disappeared into a tiny little hole.   I tried to pull my foot up, but it was stuck. I looked up, ready to apologize profusely, when it occurred to me, nobody else in the room knew what happened.   My manager was focused on our prospective client, and the prospective client sat behind a large desk. There I was, one heel firmly planted and unmovable, trying to pretend nothing had happened. I continued to talk and pitch my product and services all while simply pivoting around my stuck heel. When I had finished my pitch, and thankfully before I was going to need to move forward and hand him our material, he received a call and had to step out for a moment.



Here is what you NEVER want to say to your new boss, “PSSST, my foot is stuck in the floor!”   I will never forget the look in her eyes as she surveyed the situation.   I actually saw her various mood changes all within a few seconds….disbelieving, incredulous, and then panicked. I took my foot out of my shoe and she and I both began to frantically tug on it.   It was like scene out of “I Love Lucy”.    I know it was only a few minutes, but it felt like we worked on that stupid shoe for hours. She and I both had worked up a sweat before the heel sprung free. I was barely able to stay upright as the release set me off balance. I quickly put my shoe back on while my boss surveyed the damage. I am embarrassed to admit, our solution to the problem involved pulling a nearby rug over the small hole. The property manager returned just as we were finished with our recovery effort.



You will be happy to hear I have never found myself stuck like that since, but I cannot say I have been “stuck free”.   I have indeed been seemingly, hopelessly, stuck in life… discouraged, adrift.


I may appear to be moving, pivoting in place, but I am not moving forward. I settle instead of seek. I sit instead of search. I become immovable….missing what God has for me, just STUCK.


I have been reminded this last week of a very effective way to become unstuck. PERSPECTIVE. Perspective will sometimes not only un-stick you, it will throw you against the wall and completely realign all you do.


Our dear friend’s  daughter is fighting the final battles against her war with cancer.  After chemo and surgery, they thought she had overcome the devastating tumor that attacked her body. Unexpectedly, it has returned and is not operable.   She and her husband, alongside their family and friends, are courageously facing their continuing journey, treasuring every minute, every day, mindful of each breath.  I see her great smile, hear echoes of the many times we heard her belt out karaoke, her bellowing laughter, quick wit, honesty, faith and passion for life, family and friends and I am humbled.   They now face each day knowing there is not a guaranty of time.  It is not lost on me that none of us face each day with a guaranty of time.


My perspective is rattled to the core.  I am UNSTUCK.

“Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Romans 8:28(MSG)