Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

Great Expectations December 4, 2020

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 11:41 am
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Each week, four leading up to Christmas, we pause to remember the birth of our Savior.  In some households a candle is lit for each of the advent themes. These days we live aboard a boat, so instead we will “turn on” a flameless candle as we consider the first advent theme, HOPE.

I errantly thought my family was normal growing up.  The first hint that perhaps, just perhaps, we were not normal took place my first Christmas with the hubby and his family.  You see, in my family, gift giving came hand in hand with an intense build of expectation.  Great care and effort went into camouflaging each gift below our tree.  My sister and I would shake and examine each box with our name for days leading up to the grand opening.   My sister was particularly good at guessing what hid beneath mom’s elaborate ribbons and bows.  My mom took pride in being able to fool us.  A box that rattled when shook could be a toy, but it could also be a sweater with a bag of dried beans.  A large box could contain a much smaller gift and a small box could hold a note telling us to look in the garage for a bigger item.  We loved this guessing game.  Having expectations and laughing at our surprise with each opened gift was part of Christmas.

 I was traveling with my then fiancé to have Christmas with his mom and sister.  I had gotten my betrothed a sports jacket, complete with stylish elbow patches.(this was the 80’s after all)  I assumed he would try valiantly to guess what I’d gotten him…so I rolled it up tightly, placed in an extra-long and narrow box and added a brick in the bottom of the box to really throw him off.  I was significantly pleased with myself.  When it came time to load up the car he unceremoniously heaved it into the vehicle with the rest of our things.  We toted that heavy, awkward box from Florida to Virginia and he never tried to guess its contents, not once!   

No doubt he, and my future in-laws, were perplexed when at last he opened the gift.  Oh, he loved the jacket, but he could not PHATHOM why I used an outsized box and included a brick.  They were kind, not judgmental, but it was hard to miss the head tilt that accompanies confusion…and that friends was the first of many times we would discover our differences over 36yrs of marriage.

As a child, my Christmases were filled with expectations culminating in the “big reveal” on Christmas day.  I was never disappointed.  I may have been surprised by the contents, but I was always delighted with the gifts.  This year as I look forward to the celebration of the birth of Christ, I am thinking of expectations.

God’s people were waiting for help.  Prophecy had told of the arrival of one who would save them all.  They had expectations.  They waited for a Messiah to save them from their enemies, yet ultimately man’s greatest enemy is sin.   While many looked for a worldly savior, God sent His son to be the savior of the world. How confusing it must have been when their hope for salvation did not arrive wrapped in triumphant pageantry, political powers or leading a mighty army.  Instead, this gift came wrapped in cloth, lying in a manger, devoid of so much as a bow.  The packaging may have been unexpected, but the gift exceeded the expectations of man.

We may be tempted to set our expectation and hope in the pretty packaging of things/people, but salvation does not come from the world.  Salvation came TO the world in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God.  He is our HOPE, our expectation, assurance of forgiveness, peace in chaos, comfort amidst stiving and joy even as sorrow flows.  This week as we look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ…

“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13


Bucket Dropping January 12, 2016

Filed under: Christianity,devotionals,humor,life — tlmiller82 @ 3:05 pm
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“Drop YOUR bucket.”  I’m not sure how to describe it, but I heard God utter those words. It was not a shout, or even a command, it was more like a whisper that bounced around my head, my heart, and my soul.


I found myself reading the account in scriptures of a woman from Samaria.  John, chapter 4, recounts the event.  Jesus stops by a well to rest.  His disciples have gone into the city to buy food.  As He is resting a woman comes to the well with her bucket.  A lot happens in these verses, so here is a far less than definitive overview of events:

  • Jesus asks for water(since she has a bucket and all), she expresses her shock that He, a JEW, would ask that of her, a Samaritan.(seems Jews did not think much of the Samaritans).


  • Jesus goes on to engage her in conversation concerning everything from her scandalous marriage record (5 exes and currently cohabitating, yet unmarried, to another man) to where one should worship and whom.


  • Jesus lets her know He is fully aware of her life choices (and still considers her worthy of His time and effort), He also declares to her that He is the Messiah she and her people have been waiting for, “I who speak to you am He..” vs26.


  • The next thing you know, she drops her bucket and heads back into town.

“So the woman left her water pot and went into the city…”  She told  the men in the city, “Come, see a man who told me all the things I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?”


I can’t shake the image of her water bucket, carelessly left behind.  It is no small thing.  She had a plan for her day.  Her visit to the well was intentional.  She planned to collect water to meet her needs…but Jesus had other plans…better plans.  His plans did not require her bucket.  Instead the bucket, evidence of what she once thought was of most importance, probably laid on its side, collecting windblown sand.


Her encounter with Christ compelled her to abandon her bucket.  If this truly was the Messiah, as she was inclined to believe, then she had more important things to do.  She left her bucket and went to tell others about this man.  They followed her back to the well.


“And from that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified…”vs39


“Drop Your bucket” There, again…creeping into my thoughts.  “I have a bucket?” I asked myself. (and yes, I actually asked myself this out loud and am thankful no one else was around)


I do have a bucket.  I have a plan.  I have expectations for my life and the lives of those around me.  I am intentionally trying to meet my needs and the needs of others.  My hands hold on, white knuckled even, to ideas, hopes and dreams… “Drop your bucket” 


His plans for me do not require fulfillment of my ideas, hopes and dreams.  His plan requires me to drop them aside, like the discarded bucket at the well.


So, 2016…this is me, dropping my bucket and looking to God for His direction, provision and purpose.

If you have not met my Jesus yet, I want to invite you to come “back to the well” with me.  I have some stuff to share with you about Him!


NASCAR December 2, 2014

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 5:27 pm
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    This is the first week of Advent. Each week, four leading up to Christmas, we pause in remembrance of the birth of our Savior. In some households a candle will be lit in recognition of each of  the Advent themes. This week we light the candle of HOPE.

       I was simply driving around town running a few errands when I received the first message. It came in the form of a faded bumper sticker on the car in front of me. “God is My Copilot”, it proclaimed. I looked at the empty passenger seat beside me and considered the importance those words. I would not want to go anywhere in life without God near me. He is my copilot too. I decided I needed to be more aware of God’s presence in my life.


The second message came as I continued on my way to grocery store. I was bobbing my head to country tunes when Carrie Underwood blared from my speakers. I was immediately caught up in the emotion of her song and soon found myself crooning along with her… “Jesus Take The Wheel…..” I sang it with passion, although not even close to being in tune. The words stirred my heart. I realized I did not want God to just be my copilot, I want Him to be my PILOT! I want Him to have the “wheel” of my life.


My errands were completed, and I was on my way home, when a third message came to me from a very unusual source. I am not a NASCAR fan, but I think God may be. I was pushing the radio buttons absentmindedly, just trying to find something interesting to listen to, when I stopped briefly on a station discussing NASCAR. I did not hear all of the discussion, but my mind stuck on something they mentioned in passing. In reference to a recent race they commented, “His SPOTTER could have done a better job for him there.”   A “spotter”, what is that?


As if the guys on the radio heard my question, they proceeded to explain that a spotter is an actual position on a NASCAR driver’s team. It is the person who sits in an observation section high above the raceway.   Apparently the drivers have limited ability to view their surroundings as they hurtle around the oval track. They cannot move their heads around very easily and therefore rely on spotters to give them the bigger picture. From their vantage point the spotters can radio to the drivers and alert them to accidents, proximity of other racers as well as giving them tips for maneuvering based on the location of the other cars.   I changed my mind. I don’t want God to just be my copilot or pilot…I want God to be my SPOTTER!


Yep, God used a bumper sticker, Carrie Underwood and NASCAR to “drive” the lesson home. (Great pun right?) As I finally pulled into my driveway after running my errands, I bowed my head and prayed.


“God, my hope and trust is in You alone. You are more than qualified to be my copilot, pilot and spotter in this journey of life. I want to fully and faithfully follow You.”

        As we enter into this Christmas season and celebrate the birth of Christ, I find myself especially mindful of who God is in my life. His birth, life, death and resurrection are the reason for my every HOPE. Through Him I know forgiveness and grace. In Him I find direction. Without Him I would be hopelessly lost in every way.

That little baby we sing about in a manger….yep, He is my copilot, pilot and spotter….He is my Hope.

“Rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1Peter 1:13


A Very Big But August 21, 2014

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 10:05 am
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In my life the word “but” is usually a dreaded addition to any sentence. It is often found in phrases that seem to set me up, then knock me down.

“You get a lollipop, BUT the shot will hurt a little”

“Sure you can skip brushing your teeth, BUT eventually you will lose them all”

“Go ahead and do what you want, BUT don’t say I did not warn you”

“Enjoy that second ice cream scoop, BUT plan on having to work it off later.”

“I will loan you my car, BUT you will need to put gas in it.”

“We appreciate your enthusiasm, BUT you really can’t sing”

“I’d like to help you, BUT (insert any activity you can think of to avoid helping)”


This list could go on, BUT I am certain you get the idea. It is rare that the word “but” in a phrase could bring me peace. Last Sunday our pastor referenced a scripture in which the word “but” not only overwhelmed me with peace, but it has brought me to my knees in prayer since then. This very BIG, very important “BUT” reminded me that no matter what I feel is pressing on me, discouraging me, tempting me or frightening me, my God has conquered it all.


” These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, BUT take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  

I have a plaque hanging in my kitchen…it reminds me each day to “Don’t tell God how big your storm is, tell the storm how big your God is”  It sits beside our coffee maker, I see it every morning (several times even), yet I still manage to forget we are not victims, but victorious in Christ Jesus. Too often I let the storms/tribulations in life, or in the lives of those I love, overwhelm me.


Each day, online news feeds and television programs assault us with the truth of worldwide tribulations. People are struggling, hurting, fighting and dying. It is hard to not feel an overwhelming sense of fear for the future……BUT, consider Who holds our future and take courage!


Maybe for you today, “tribulation” is nothing more than a coworker who is unkind, an unhealthy relationship, or an overwhelming task.   Maybe you understand “tribulation” to be a loss of a loved one.   “Tribulation” could be a medical crisis, an emotional valley, or uncertain future. Sometimes our “tribulations” are the result of our own choices, consequences God allows to come into our lives. Sometimes they are the natural consequence of the sin nature of our world. Maybe God is allowing a “tribulation” to impact us in order to guide or redirect us…..BUT, take courage…..He has overcome the world!