0098_MillerGreetings from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palms Springs.

Have you had your eyes examined lately? The last time my eyes were examined, I felt tense having that puff of air come toward my eye to test for glaucoma. I knew it was coming and the longer I waited for it, the more tense I became. I knew it wouldn’t hurt me, but it still scared me. I wanted to push the machine away and protect my eye.

Do you feel like your eye is one of the most sensitive parts of your body that you want to protect? I do. It just feels so scary and dangerous to have anyone pointing something close to my eyes. There’s an automatic reflex that says, “Get away! I will protect my eyes!”
Do you know that God feels the same way about you? He will protect you just like you and I want to protect our eyes. How do I know? That truth is found in Zechariah 2:8. You’ve heard the verse before: “for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye–” (NIV). But maybe you’re like me. I didn’t really understand what it meant.

In this verse, the word “apple” refers to the pupil which is the opening of the eye allowing rays to reach the retina. It is the tenderest, most vulnerable part of the eye. The slightest injury can bring huge problems, the worst being blindness. No wonder God has designed us to instinctively protect our eye. He knows the consequences are serious.

The NLT words it this way: “For he said, ‘Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession.'”

Clarke’s Commentary offers this fascinating insight:

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Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Hi, I’m Kathy Collard Miller greeting you from the desert near Palm Springs in Southern California. But don’t worry, it’s a dry heat! Today let’s talk about two women in the Bible: Rebekah and Rahab.

God loves women! Not only did He create us, He features women in the Bible. He uses women for His purposes and glory. God values us and yet is honest about revealing the biblical women’s sins and mistakes.

We all have been convinced we know best for ourselves or others, yet God hasn’t gotten the memo. In the case of Rebekah, she actually received the memo from God that He would pass along the inheritance to her favored son, Jacob—not the older brother as usual. But the plan seems to be going awry so she puts in her two cents worth to the point even Jacob is worried. What does Rebekah do? Assure her son to trust her plan to manipulate God—well, not exactly in those words but that’s her intent.

What a mistake. Instead of trusting God’s sovereignty, that He is in control and can fulfill His plans, she connives …. well, let’s just call it what it is…she schemes to fulfill God’s will—her way. She just couldn’t trust God to fulfill His plan. As a result, she pays the price of never seeing her beloved son again.

In total contrast, Rahab is a woman without any previous knowledge of Jehovah God and yet depends upon His sovereignty.

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0098_Miller

Greetings from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs.

Many years ago as the mother of a strong-willed toddler and a newborn, I didn’t want to be “just” a mother. I wanted to be out ministering to the world. I hated my husband, Larry, who seemed oblivious to my needs. I continually complained about his neglect and the thankless job of raising children. In time, I learned to choose contentment in three primary areas: problems, possessions, and people.

Problems
Complaining about our circumstances stems from a discontented heart. This isn’t a new attitude. In Exodus 15 through 17, the Israelites complained about the lack of water and food. Then when God provided both, they complained abut the type of food they received.

On the other hand, Joseph is an example of a contented person. He trusted God even though he was sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, forgotten by those he’d helped, and seemingly ignored by God (Gen. 39).

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Kathy Collard Miller

Greetings from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs.

When Larry and I had been married for seven years, we were completely disillusioned with each other. I couldn’t understand why Larry didn’t love me anymore. He certainly was far from being the Prince Charming I’d married. Oh Lord, what’s wrong with him? I moaned. I thought we were going to have a perfect marriage because You brought us together. But now we’re such strangers, we might as well be divorced. If only he wouldn’t work two jobs and fly planes as a hobby, we could be happy.

One morning Larry announced he was flying to San Jose for the day. I quickly suggested, “I’ll get the kids ready and we’ll go with you…”

Larry interrupted me. “Kathy, you can’t go. I rented a two-seater plane and I’ve already asked Joe to go with me.”

“But Larry, we never see you. Can’t you stay home just this once?”

“Kathy, I’ve explained I’m working all those hours to secure our financial future. You just don’t appreciate all I’m doing for this family.”

My face grew hot with fury. “Money isn’t helping me cope with these kids!” I snapped. “Darcy makes me so angry sometimes.”

“Kathy, that’s just typical motherhood blues. You’ll be fine. See you later.”

Larry walked away down the hall as I felt like screaming, “Why don’t you love me anymore?”

He walked through the laundry room into the garage, closing the laundry room door behind him. I was eating an apple and before I realized it, I hurled the half eaten apple toward the closing door. The apple shattered on impact and red and white apple pieces flew throughout the laundry room adhering to the ceiling and the walls. I whirled around and marched into my bedroom, dropping to kneel beside my bed. “Lord, make that plane crash! I don’t care if he ever comes home again.”

Larry’s plane didn’t crash, but I felt as if my life had crashed…crashed into a pit of uncontrollable anger and depression. My manipulation and nagging totally failed. During the following many months, the pieces of apple remained adhered to the walls and ceiling of my laundry room and then began rotting. I saw them as a memorial to the rotten marriage I believed God could not or would not change.

One day months later, I sensed God say to me in my heart, “Tell Larry you love him.” I was shocked to hear God’s prodding. I didn’t love Larry and I believed he hated me—so I wasn’t about to give Larry ammunition against me. After all, if he heard those three little words, “I love you,” that I hadn’t said or thought for over two years, he might think I was approving of his negligence. I flatly refused.

God persistently repeated the message and I adamantly refused again! Then I sensed the Holy Spirit giving a different message: “Then think it the next time you see Larry.”

OK. If he doesn’t hear me then he can’t use it against me. Then I’ll do it, even if it’s not true.0036_Miller

That evening, Larry returned from a flying trip and as he walked down the hall toward me, I stared at him, gulped, and thought, “I love you…” and then after a pause, I added, “but I don’t really.” Although I was obeying God, I still couldn’t believe it was true.

But the most amazing thing happened. By making that choice to love Larry and as I continued to make loving choices, more loving feelings took over. I also recognized I’d been holding Larry responsible for my happiness. Larry couldn’t meet all my needs—only God could. My perspective was corrected when I realized I couldn’t change Larry, I could only change myself as I surrendered to God.

Then I went into the laundry room and washed off those rotting apple pieces. I no longer needed a memorial to my rotten marriage. Symbolically, I washed the rotten attitudes off my heart and mind and began to trust God with my marriage and my life.

In time, Larry noticed that I wasn’t as angry and demanding of him and agreed to go on a couples retreat with me, which God used as a turning point in our marriage. That was in 1978 and soon we’ll celebrate over 45 years of marriage. We are best friends and tell each other several times a day how much we love each other. We are committed to choosing the best for each other. I’ll never forget those rotting apple pieces because now I enjoy a laundry room free from them, just like my heart is free from bitterness and anger.

 

 

 

Kathy’s latest book is a women’s Bible study book for groups and individuals. It’s Choices of the Heart: Daughters of the King Bible study series, published by Elk Lake Publishing. Choices of the Heart has 10 lessons, each one contrasting two women of the Bible on different topics like God’s sovereignty, trusting God, and others.

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0083_MillerGreetings from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs.

What’s in a name? Ask the clerk at the Los Angeles Superior Court, where, for a fee and the cost of filing a legal advertisement, anyone over the age of 18 can have his name changed.

A newspaper article published years ago gave some examples of the name changes. Georgia Ricotta wanted her name changed. After all, who would want to be identified with a cheese? Her new name? Anna Novelli. “I picked my last name from a TV series,” the new Anna says. Read More →

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