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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Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

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

For two-and-a-half years, my mother-in-law, Audrey, lived with Larry and I. God used that time to purify our motives and develop greater selflessness. Audrey suffered from Lewy-Body Dementia, which caused her to be paranoid and have delusions and hallucinations. It was a difficult time where we learned to slow down our reactions and work through what was really motivating us.
I, Kathy, remeAudrey & Raphael 323mber one morning Audrey was eating her bran cereal. Every morning I had to soak the cereal in milk for at least thirty minutes to make it soft. But this morning the delusion of her Lewy Body Dementia was “alive.”
She said to me, “There’re rocks in my cereal. I know you’re trying to kill me.”

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Hello from Kathy Collard Miller, here in the Southern California desert.0098_Miller

It was always difficult for my mother to relax and trust God, and even when she was in her 80’s, it seemed like the Lord was still inviting her to trust Him more. My sister and I would say to each other, “You’d think the Lord would stop working on people when they get old enough, but He sure seems to still be working on mom.”

That was true up until the last few days of her life. When it was time for hospice, she moved into my home but didn’t seem to really comprehend that time for her was short. In fact, ten days before she joined

Great-gramma with great-grandson Raphael

Great-gramma with great-grandson Raphael

Jesus in heaven, she complained to me, “Kathy, I just hate lying here and not accomplishing anything. I should be doing something!”

I didn’t quite know what to say except, “Well, mom, you are 89. Maybe it’s time for you to just relax and let me take care of you.” She gave me a half-hearted smile like she wasn’t quite convinced.

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Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in the desert of Southern California0083_Miller

If I were to ask you whether you’re a perfectionist, you’d most likely say “no.” The explanation for saying that? “Well, I don’t get anything perfect! After all, perfectionists reach perfection.”

Would you be shocked if I told you that’s not accurate? Not only is it not accurate but I would almost predict that some perfectionist tendencies are blocking your efficiency and joy in your writing.  Because one definition of a perfectionist is: “A person who takes great pains and passes them on to others.”

Want to know if you have some of those “great pains” or are giving them to others?

Take this perfectionism quiz by keeping track of how many of these statements you relate to:

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