Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller, writing from the beautiful desert near Palm Springs, California.

It’s the New Year and I’m going to have to remember to write down 2017. And along with a new year often come the traditional resolutions. I’d like to encourage you to think a little differently about those. For instance, have you ever said things like:

  • I’ll never get angry again. 
  • I’ll always show love toward that person who is unlovable. 
  • I’ll never be discontent again. 
  • I’ll always be joyful in every circumstance. 
  • I’ll have my devotions every day?

It’s easy to think that such determination will bring us success. We may think that God demands such commitments. But have you noticed that when we can’t follow through, we get discouraged and give up? Even thinking God has given up on us also?

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Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs where it’s finally cooling down. I’m looking forward to our “winter” that is never a winter wonderland, but still wonderful.

Years ago I created an Advent family activity I called, “Box of Blessings.” It helped our family’s thoughts focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Here are the directions to create it.

Wrap a large box with Christmas paper, wrapping the lid separate. Gather 24 visual aids, wrap each one individually, write out tags for each with an object lesson, Scripture and discussion question. (On each tag, write a number indicating the order it should be opened). Place the gifts in the box.

On December 1, open the large gift-wrapped box containing 24 small wrapped gifts, and read the enclosed tag: “Today we are beginning a Christmas project. We will open a different present for the next 24 days to help remind us of God’s most precious gift His Son Jesus.”

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing for your own “Box of Blessings.” If you’d like to receive a full list of the 24 visual aids along with the object lesson, Scripture, and discussion question, reply to this email or email KathyCollardMiller@gmail.com and write “Box of Blessings” in the subject line. I’d love to send it to you.

Gift: Several pieces of any kind of food. READ: Does food always stay the same even after a long time? No, it changes when it gets old, doesn’t it? But Jesus never changes; He is always the same. (Hebrews 13:8) Why do you think it is important that Jesus never changes?

Gift: A heartshaped object. READ: Hearts remind us of love. We love others, but did you know that God loves us even more? (I Corinthians 13:47) How many things about love can we find in these verses? Read More →

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Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Greetings from Kathy Collard Miller in the desert of Southern California where we are finally seeing the end of the heat and welcoming cooler weather.

Driving down a California freeway on a superbly beautiful day of fluffy clouds, I just felt very happy. My happiness pressed my foot against the accelerator as I didn’t see the Highway Patrolman until the red lights from his cruiser caused me to pull over to the side of the road.

He came up to my side of the car and asked me questions. Then I said, “I don’t expect you to not write a ticket but my husband will ask me if I told you that he’s a police officer in Huntington Beach.” I gave Larry’s name.

He didn’t smile as he walked back to his cruiser. I was getting a ticket and deserved it.

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Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs. It may be hot but as we say, “It’s a dry heat.”

Do you want to see Jesus’ compassion and patience in action? It’s in Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler, even though the young man worships his “to-do” list.

In one way or another, we’re all like the rich young ruler of Matthew 19:16-22. We just each have a different sinful strategy to cope with life. The young ruler’s sinful strategy was self-sufficiency through keeping the law and commandments. And when he talked to Jesus, he most likely expected Jesus to suggest he follow those rules for gaining eternal life. And Jesus at first stayed at the level of the Law by challenging him, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (verses 18-19). Evidently the young man thought that was the easy answer on the quiz because he claimed he had done those things.

He had no clue that Jesus was referring to that “to-do” list as a barometer of the heart. This young man’s behavior seemed obedient but evidently, he hadn’t attended the class entitled “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt. 5-7). Because there Jesus explains it’s all about the heart not just the behavior. Jesus in his compassionate way was gently guiding this young man toward truth, even knowing he would walk away.

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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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