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Tag Archive | "Pastor Darryl Miller"

Give thanks


Pastor Darryl Miller       

Sand Lake & South Ensley United Methodist Churches 

616-636-5659

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18: Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (Common English Bible).

Having just gone through the Thanksgiving holiday, and now diving headlong into the Christmas season, I was wondering the other day how many of us get so wound up in these busy times that the true meanings of the celebrations have been set aside.

When I was a child we had big family gatherings around the holidays and there was always the dreaded “lets all share what we are thankful for” announcement from one of the aunts. This usually meant that at least a half hour would be used up as there was usually a huge gathering of relatives. And it also usually meant that someone miscalculated the cooking time on something and that they were trying to delay so that everything could finish cooking without us noticing how late dinner was being served. But even after we shared together as a group, I had one aunt that called all the kids to her after dinner and asked them individually what they were thankful for. I remember the first time she asked, I apparently said the wrong things because she told me she was disappointed in me. So I was coached by my cousins. There were three things we had to say that we were thankful for: family, our Savior, and for a bonus point, her. So I grew up thinking that when I thought of what I was thankful for I had to say what whoever was asking wanted to hear. This made my childhood much simpler but it took a long time to understand the problem with this.

Today I am happy to say that I still worry about what someone else thinks about what I am thankful for. But now it’s God. However, here’s the twist—my aunt heard what she wanted and accepted it; but God can see into our hearts so there is no just saying what we think he wants to hear. We must be truly thankful if we tell God that we are. And lets face it—sometimes it can be hard. In mid October, I spent eight days in the hospital, mostly because of a medication I must take after a kidney transplant that hid the symptoms of a serious infection in my gall bladder. They couldn’t find what was wrong. Was I thankful? Well, sort of. When I think of Paul being thankful for being in prison because he was able to create a new ministry, my reasons seem to fall short, but God thinks differently from the world. The truth is that I was bored out of my mind. But I began to meditate and pray throughout the day and I found myself growing closer to God. I was able to see how I had allowed myself to be drawn into a crazy busy schedule and how that had pushed God aside, despite believing that I was doing God’s work. And I was thankful that I was drawn closer to God and the pain was relieved. So it was actually a good thing. Would I have preferred that God used a different way? Absolutely. But then again I probably wouldn’t have listened.

So what is it that you are thankful for? Even the hard times are a time of learning and drawing closer to God. That is why we need to be thankful for them as well as the good. Have a wonderful Christmas and if you have any questions, visit a church near you, we would love to see you!

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Why we should lie every day


Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake/South Ensley United Methodist churches 

616-636-5659

This may seem like a strange thing for a preacher to encourage you to do. But I think that it is important to the Christian life. Paul gives the Phillipians some great advice: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

One of the benefits of following this advice is that we can focus all of our thoughts away from the trials and tribulations of the world, and the turmoil that may be going on in our lives. When we focus on God and the things that He is a part of, we don’t have time to focus on those tempting things that we know that we shouldn’t. We can check on a neighbor and a person or two who may need some help. We can call someone who may just want to talk to someone. And we can turn our thoughts away from the television and the worries that invade our minds and concentrate on having a conversation with God. We can hear the birds singing and see the trees and flowers around us.

And when the day is done, we can lie. 

We can lie without guilt because we didn’t do the things that would push us away from God. We can lie with peace because we spent the day serving God’s people and staying in constant communication with God. We can lie in prayer because the weight of the world and all of its pressures have been lifted from our shoulders and we have been set free from them, clearing our minds so that a pure conversation with our Lord is possible. And we can lie in rest because we have done a good job in God’s eyes and He will provide the rest that we need. 

It is a wonderful thing to be able to lie at the end of the day and to feel that sense of God’s warmth. Not because we have earned it but because God desires to give it to us. How we live our days reflects our gratitude for God’s wonderful grace and love. And when we are immersed in His grace and love we can lie down each night in peace. 

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The one important truth


Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake/South Ensley United Methodist churches 

616-636-5659

 

Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction (NIV).

April 29 was a “fifth Sunday.” Four times a year we have five Sundays in a month. Several years ago, a woman came to me after services and asked if I would answer some questions for her. I said that I would be glad to and she proceeded to ask about the symbols around the church, the reason for the colors of the cloths and many more questions. It was at this time I realized that I had been neglecting one of my responsibilities as a pastor. I had not been explaining the symbols and the meaning of the various articles and traditions around the church. From that began “Question Sunday.” When there is a fifth Sunday, the people that I serve submit any questions that they have and I do my best to answer them. The questions have ranged from simple curiosity to scriptural thoughts. I have been told by many of the congregations that they really look forward to these days and that they get a lot from them. The truth is that I enjoy them as well. I love to learn and the bible challenges us to study the word, not just to read it. And often I am asked a question that opens up a new line of thought for me.

But as much fun as these days are I always end the day with a reminder. The one truth that we all need to understand is that, as stated in John 3:16, “God loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life” (paraphrased).

Understanding the sacrifice of Jesus for us, and understanding that it was an act of unconditional love, is the most important knowledge that we can have. And the best thing to do with knowledge is to share it. God loves you. Jesus loves you. This is the truth. Share it with the world!

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Tools of the trade


Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake/South Ensley United Methodist churches 

616-636-5659

 

“Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you are to be” (2 Thessalonians 1:2, The Message).

“He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him?” (Romans 8:32, Common English Bible)

Although I am (all too quickly) approaching the age of 60, I am, for the first time, reading the book: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Like many, I have seen the movie countless times but the book is immensely different from the movie. What stands out to me almost immediately is the obvious fact that the thing that each character wants, they already have—brains, a heart, and courage. Each demonstrates these attributes repeatedly on their journey. There is a good lesson in this for all of us. 

Sometimes God calls us to a place or a work that we are—to be blunt—afraid of. We doubt if we have the skills needed for the job or if we will be able to make a difference in a place that we are not familiar with. Sometimes, when we turn away from the task without trying, we miss the tremendous blessing that we would receive in return for following God’s direction.

Do not let this happen! God does not ask of us things that we are not able to do. In addition, we will be able to do these things because God is with us. He knows what we need and He provides us with all of this and more. 

Sure, it can be scary going into an unfamiliar place or starting a ministry with unfamiliar people. However, if this is what God has called you to do then the first step is to completely trust in Him. It is not always easy because our emotions, fear and doubt are very powerful. Remember that God is infinitely more powerful than our fears. Most importantly, He will not ask us to do something or go somewhere without honoring His promise to be with us. 

Trust in God no matter where He puts us and the blessing to your life will be far greater than we could have imagined.

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CLARENCE L. MILLER


Clarence L. “Moose” Miller age 80 of Sand Lake, died Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at his home. Mr. Miller was born January 26, 1937 in Detroit, Michigan the son of Roy and Catherine (Newville) Miller. He graduated from Montrose High School and was a member of their Football Hall of Fame. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 – 58 and retired from AC Delco in Flint after 32 years of service. Moose enjoyed fishing, hunting, golfing, camping and cooking. Surviving are his wife, Maxine (Frey); children, Ron (Julie) Miller, Lyle (Brian) Miller; stepchildren, Colette Bergman, Dolores (John) Nagelhout, Kevin (Joann) Parker; 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, 3 brothers and 1 sister. The family will receive friends Thursday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Friday 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be held Friday at 10:00 a.m. Pastor Darryl Miller officiating. Private family interment Crandall Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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So the Bible is wrong again…


Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake/South Ensley United Methodist churches 

616-636-5659

 

A month or so ago, a news article showed up in the national papers. The article, titled New DNA results disprove the Bible, told of an archeologist who found remains of a Canaanite that were around four thousand years old. The DNA from the remains was compared to people living in Lebanon today and they were found to be a match. In the Bible, God told Joshua to kill every living thing in Canaan. According to the DNA test, this could not have happened so the bible must be wrong. Well…we already know it did not happen—not because of DNA results but because the Bible says so. At the end of the book of Joshua, God tells him that he is old and he has only started the task. In fact there is a list of the areas that were not yet conquered in the book of Judges, which include Lebanon. Also in the book of Judges, an angel scolds the people for not obeying the command to destroy all the peoples of this area. Therefore, in reality the DNA results actually prove that the Bible is correct. You just have to read it all and not just the part that says what you want it to say.

I find it interesting that two thousand years ago Jesus intimidated the leaders of His time because He had a power and an authority that they did not understand. However, they should have because it came from the God that they claimed to represent. Now two thousand years later Jesus is still intimidating people because of the same reasons. He has power and authority that many do not understand and do not want to understand. The good news is that we who know Him do not need to be intimidated by Him; instead we get to celebrate with Him. Repeatedly the Bible is proven true. Archeology and other sciences show the truth in God’s word. The best proof of His word is the transformed lives that we experience in Him. If you don’t know Him then you should get to know Him. You will understand the peace and love that the world just cannot seem to understand, because it comes from a place that the world rejects but believers know and experience. Visit a local church and see for yourself!

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God sightings


Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake/South Ensley United Methodist churches 

616-636-5659

 

Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (KJV).

Several years ago, we began to use a certain publisher’s vacation bible school material. One of the things we did every day was to share “God sightings”—times that we experienced the presence of God each day. Since then we have begun to use the term almost constantly. It is a good way to stop and look at how God reveals Himself to us in our lives.

Some people write God off when something good happens and this is a shame. Why should we only give God recognition when something bad happens? A tornado, a flood, a hurricane happens and what does the television reporter and the insurance agent say? It was an “act of God.” However, when there is a nice sunny day, they do not say the same thing, do they? They may not but we certainly should.

I challenge you to take a minute each night and look back on your day. Did God make Himself real to you somehow? That truck that almost hit you but missed? The unexpected check that came in the mail just when it was needed? Or how about a beautiful sunset or sunrise? Or a bird singing outside your window just as you sat down to worry about tomorrow? Or a call from a friend? God reveals Himself in lots of ways; the trick is to not miss them.

We are so wrapped up in our worries and our schedules we miss out on God being the loving God that He is. And that is a great loss. See what ways you can experience God this week and make it a daily habit. I think that you will be surprised how often God is letting you know that He is there and that He loves you. Check out your local church and see how He reveals Himself to your neighbors; you may find that He is much more active in your life than you ever thought!

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On being different


Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake/South Ensley United Methodist churches 

616-636-5659

 

Acts 10:34-35 Common English Bible: “34 Peter said, “I really am learning that God doesn’t show partiality to one group of people over another. 35 Rather, in every nation, whoever worships him and does what is right is acceptable to him”.

One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein: “Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live out the rest of its life believing that it is stupid.” This is a profound statement and it is very relevant today. Far too many people compare themselves to others and judge their worth by that comparison. You have probably heard it before. “I could never sing as well as she does or I wish I could play piano like he does. He is such a great speaker; I could never speak like that.” And so on. The truth is that if you could sing, play, or speak as well as those others, you would not be able to offer your talents; you would just be a copy of those others. God made us all different, and that is a great thing!

The bible tells us that we are all different parts of One Body and that the different parts work together to glorify God. This tells us how important it is to be aware that God made you the way you are for a reason. We all have different experiences and abilities. When we come together, we can do so much more than if we worked alone. For example: I play bass guitar but do not sing. That alone would get boring fast, but if we add a guitar player, a drummer, and some who are good at singing, soon we are making worshipful music together. By being a team of people with different abilities, we can build a community. We do the same with the community of believers. By using our different experiences and our different abilities, we can share God with lots of different people.

You may think that you do not have talents or abilities but if you allow others to help you discover them, you will be surprised. The best part is that God made you that way for a purpose. More than once, I have asked members of our churches to take on a task and they hesitated, saying that they were not qualified or able to do what would be required of them. However, as they grew into the job, it became clear that they had a real talent in that area and they excelled in it.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Be the person that God made you to be and be that person for God.

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Pastor’s leader dog passes away


Pastor Darryl Miller and his leader dog, Rowdy.

Pastor Darryl Miller and his leader dog, Rowdy.

By Judy Reed

In early January, we did a story about Pastor Darryl Miller and his leader dog, Rowdy. Miller, who is legally blind, is pastor at both South Ensley United Methodist Church and Sand Lake United Methodist. Rowdy, an 11-year-old black lab who was Miller’s faithful companion and seeing eye dog, needed surgery to fix a fistula—a hole in the roof of his mouth—and the Sand Lake United Methodist women was holding a fundraising event on January 14 to help pay the mounting medical bills. He had already undergone five surgeries, but the hole had not healed due to an infection in his jawbone. Once they discovered it, he was put on antibiotics, and they hoped the next surgery would help the dog to finally heal.

Unfortunately, Rowdy did not survive the surgery, and died on January 30.

“Rowdy had been on heavy duty antibiotics for nearly three months trying to get the infection which had prevented the previous surgeries from being successful under control,” explained Miller. “During the last week before the surgery he had a hard time trying to eat and he got weak. He did not make it through the surgery, and it was probably a blessing, as we discovered that the infection had spread into the skull around his left eye socket.”

Rowdy’s death has been hard on Miller. “Even three weeks later I find myself reaching down beside my chair both at home and at the churches to pet him,” he said. “We were together the last nine years and only were separated for about ten days.”

But he is not the only one who misses him. “It has been truly amazing to see how many lives he touched,” remarked Miller. “From young people who knew him from district youth group eight or nine years ago, to the newest members of our churches. We all miss him a lot.”

The Post asked Miller what his plans for the future were. Since he had relied on Rowdy to help get him where he needed to go, would he get another dog? “At first I didn’t plan to get another dog. It was very hard watching such a close friend struggle for the past eight months,” he explained. “But after a couple weeks, I realized just how much I depended on him and have decided to begin the process to get another leader dog.”

Rowdy was trained at the Leader dog school in Rochester, Michigan—a school founded by the Lions Club, and that’s where Miller will apply for another dog. There is no charge for the guide dog.

Miller is grateful to all those who have supported him during this time. “Thank you so much for all your prayers and donations for my Leader Dog Rowdy. My family and I along with our church families want to thank you for your love and help,” he said.

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Thank You


We would like to extend our gratitude and thankfulness to all who participated in the fundraiser for my Leader Dog, Rowdy. The response was overwhelming and so heartwarming. Our small communities are such special places to live and worship. A very special thanks to the United Methodist Women of the Sand Lake United Methodist church as well. We are blessed and humbled by your love.

Thank You, Pastor Darryl Miller, Rowdy & Family.

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