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Tag Archive | "Sand Lake United Methodist"

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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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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