May 29, 2014 – Cages

Cages. Like the ones that used to be in Cahoon Park in Roswell, New Mexico where I grew up for most of the first ten years of my life. In one, a lion either methodically padded back and forth, back and forth or curled up in a corner and slept. In the other was what seemed to a little boy a HUGE brown bear that, like the lion, either slept or simply swayed back and forth on his four legs as if he had been drugged. Perhaps he had been.

But now and then, even from blocks away where we lived, we could hear the lion give a mighty roar and the bear, a ferocious growl. The power in those sounds ring in my memory and cause me to stop and think. There wasn’t a mate nearby so their guttural sounds wouldn’t have been a mating call. They weren’t in any danger so they weren’t sounding a warning. They were well-fed so they were not in pursuit of prey.

I believed then and believe now that their roars and growls were cries for freedom. They were not where they were created for…the wilds of the jungle or the majesty of the mountains. They groaned and longed to be loosened from their boredom and removed from their gawking, passer-by audiences and set free from the tiny cages in which they felt trapped.

People can be the same. Instead of being free to be all they were destined to be, they are trapped in a cage; a cage of regret or insecurity or domination or routine or just settling for “what is”. Such cages have strong bars made of our past and locked doors made of our fear. And, just to make sure we don’t escape our “keeper” whose name is Doubt allows us out on our chain for just a while, but then always pulls us harshly back into our cage…our prison…our reality.

My hero, the one who set me free, said “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”(Isaiah 61:1)

Now you should know that prayer is not one of my strongest disciplines. But you should also know that I’m praying right now that you will be released and set free. How about today?

David Miller Initials

May 21, 2014 – EPIC – THE big story

Yesterday’s post was entitled “Your BIG Story”. I now know, more than ever before, that in spite of my best efforts to understand life, I simply can’t. There is more than I can imagine or grasp.

But there is a bigger story than just mine (or yours) going on. It is truly Epic in proportion to ours. John Eldredge writes about it in his book by the same name. Here is an excerpt from it. I encourage you to get your own copy (short read, BIG story).

“Walk into any large mall, museum, amusement park, university, or hospital, and you will typically meet at once a very large map with the famous red star and the encouraging words You are here. These maps are offered to visitors as ways to orient themselves to their situation, get some perspective on things. This is the Big Picture. This is where you are in that picture. Hopefully you now know where to go. You have your bearings.

Oh, that we had something like this for our lives. ‘This is the Story in which you have found yourself. Here is how it got started. Here is where it went wrong. Here is what will happen next. Now this—this is the role you’ve been given. If you want to fulfill your destiny, this is what you must do. These are your cues. And here is how things are going to turn out in the end.’

We can. We can discover the Story. Maybe not with perfect clarity, maybe not in the detail that you would like, but in greater clarity than most of us now have, and that would be worth the price of admission. I mean, to have some clarity would be gold right now. Wouldn’t it?”

Want more?  Get your copy of Epic today

David Miller Initials

March 11, 2014 – Jenna Bush Hager…or Mom?

I had the privilege of hearing the 43rd President’s daughter, Jenna, speak last week in our hometown of Lubbock, Texas. She was wonderful…funny, passionate, focused, articulate. At the conclusion of her talk she answered questions from the audience; one of them being “what can I do to make a difference like you have in your young life”?

Understanding that she was born to significant privilege, Jenna gently said…just do what you can do. (Meaning, you don’t have to do something global or Herculean…just do something that you can do to help others).

So what can a lady who will be 92 years young this year do? A widow with the creaks and groans of a body experiencing its 10th decade…a “little” person with no fame or name recognition…a woman without a college education or other formal training? Well, for starters, how about put together a sewing group made up of other “little ladies” and make 100 dresses for me to take to Nicaragua on a medical mission trip next week?  Oh, and as if that’s not enough, she also personally handcrafts all the banners that hang in the different seasons in her church (Lent and Advent are her two favorites I think). And what about those baby blankets made for newborns?  Yep, that’s her and her team, too.  Did I mention the handmade quilts they provide for every member of every family that is in a local transitional homeless program? Well, I should have….

Are you asking yourself yet how you can really make a difference in this old world? Well, you’d better be! You can be like Jenna and serve on an international stage…a fine choice.  Or you can be like Mom and serve outside the glare of the spotlight…another fine choice.  But, please…don’t do nothing.  Instead, just do what you can do. Believe me, it will be enough to make a difference to someone.  Just ask 100 little girls in Central America where they got that new dress they’re wearing!

Thanks, Jenna.  Thanks, Mom.

David Miller Initials