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Tag Archive | "Darryl Miller"

Stone Soup


Pastor Darryl Miller  

Sand Lake UMC, 65 W. Maple, Sand Lake

South Ensley UMC, 13600 Cypress, Ensley Township 

 

You may have heard the story of Stone Soup in one form or another. A poor man or peddler comes into a village and goes door-to-door asking for food. At each house he is turned away with the occupant saying that they only have a small portion of potatoes or carrots or something else, never more than one thing and never much. The man goes to the town square and starts a fire under a pot of water into which he places a stone. As the townsfolk come along and ask what he is doing, he says he is making stone soup. The people offer the small items they all have and soon the whole community is sharing in a pot of wonderful soup made of all their bits. In a way, that is how we take care of each other even today.

We, in the faith community think (for the most part) that this is a good way to do things—together. There are many small churches in the area that do all they can for the community they serve. But when we get together and pool our resources, we can do so much more. And it doesn’t stop there. The same works for individuals.

Churches are asked often to help those who are struggling and what a great blessing it is when a number of individuals who have no ability to give monetarily to a church are willing to give of their time and talents to make a difference for their neighbors in need! So much is accomplished by these wonderful people! We may not have a lot to give, but what we do have can make a huge difference in the lives of our communities.

How often have you heard or said yourself “I’m only one person, what can I do?” The truth is—a lot! None of us knows everything—despite what my uncle claims about himself! But we all know something. I used to work in construction and it took an awful lot of us to put together a building. Electricians, heating people, plumbers, carpenters, and the list goes on. If we had tried to do the job alone, we would never have finished and if we had, well… I’m not sure I’d want to live in it! But all of us together made something that will last a long, long time. The same is true of all of us.

Together we can make a difference that will last a long, long time. Helping those in need in the name of Christ makes a difference in the world. And that is what we are supposed to do. Just remember that when you do something for someone else out of the goodness of your heart and in the name of Christ, you are not alone! God is with you and so are all of us who are brothers and sisters in Him.

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A Special October celebration


Pastor Darryl Miller  

Sand Lake UMC

65 W. Maple, Sand Lake

South Ensley UMC 

13600 Cypress, Ensley Township

 

This month we have a very special day to celebrate. No, I don’t mean Halloween! In October we celebrate the “Children’s Sabbath,” a time to recognize and celebrate our kids as the gift from God that they are. There has been a lot of dispute over the role of children in some churches and how to keep them involved. The old axiom that “Children are the future of the church” is no longer the truth. The real truth is that children are our church. They are here now and are a wonderful part of celebrating our faith. We are instructed several times in God’s word to pass on our faith to each generation. Paul celebrates Timothy’s faith being passed down from Grandmother to Mother to Timothy (2 Timothy 1).

I have personally seen the gruffest man ever smile at the happiness and enthusiasm of a child. They are happy, and eager to learn. It seems to me that we could learn something from them. What would our celebrations of faith look like if we were to be as enthusiastic as a child? Willing to sing and celebrate? Too often I feel that we don’t celebrate our faith enough; it sometimes seems to be a task instead of a joyous celebration. I’ve seen a child have fun for hours with nothing but an empty cardboard box. Shouldn’t we be even happier with a risen Savior? Just something to think about! May God bless your hearts and homes with the joy of a happy child!

 

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The good, the bad, and the grace


Pastor Darryl Miller  

Sand Lake UMC

65 W. Maple, Sand Lake

South Ensley UMC

 13600 Cypress, Ensley Township

 

 

It was a dark and stormy night. Really! We were in one of our most beloved places in creation, our family church camp on Lake Michigan. Usually it is the most relaxing and joyful place. Except this night. I had recently undergone surgery to reattach my bicep and my arm was infected. And so, we found ourselves in the emergency room in Grand Rapids. I was miserable and I’m sure I was lousy company. As we sat in the waiting room, my wife suddenly said that the police were bringing in a man that she recognized. She went to see what was up and was told that he had attempted suicide. When I was settled, she went to talk to the man. She found out that he felt hopeless and wanted to end it. She began to minister to him and before I left the ER, she had convinced him to seek counseling and had helped him to arrange it.

So what does this have to do with you? Good question!

I didn’t want to be where I was. I was miserable and would have rather been just about anywhere other than a hospital. But even there God made himself real. In Romans 8:28 we read: “28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (NKJV). It sounds good, but what does it mean to me? God used a bad situation and made it good. That night, a man’s life was saved! He made himself real to me, my wife, and the man who was struggling so.

The infection was a real thing, and God did not cause it. Could he have stopped it? Yes. So why didn’t he? Because God sees things that we cannot. Had he stopped it, I, and my wife, would not have been there when this man was looking for help. Could God have intervened without us? Absolutely, but he allowed us to be his hands, feet and voice to this man. In Acts 8:26-40, Phillip is told to go into the desert and to run after a man in a chariot. And after his encounter with the man, he is swept away to preach somewhere else. God knows when and where we are needed. And it’s not always where we want to be. Although I am the preacher in the family, it was my wife who provided the needed ministry there. God calls everyone to be ministers, not just people with titles. That seems scary to a lot of people, but God is in control and as long as you let him guide you, you’ll do just fine! Don’t worry about what to say, God will provide the words, and besides, silent presence can be just as important.

The third person in this little story was the man. In his way, he was calling out for help. And faithful to his word, God heard him and answered him. What an awesome God! He hears us wherever we are and whatever we have gotten ourselves into. And he answers!

Unfortunately, we don’t always get to see the good that may come from every situation we find ourselves in. But even if we don’t see these results, that’s a part of faith, knowing that God is there and in control, even when we may not notice Him.

So next time you find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be, keep your eye peeled for God in action, you may be surprised at what you discover!

 

 

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