Monday, December 2, 2013

"Count Your Many Blessings" (re-post) @kingfishercrossing

Trying again. Yesterday blogspot wouldn't let me in to finish posting.

    When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
    When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
    Count your many blessings name them one by one,
    And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
        Count your blessings, name them one by one;
        Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
        Count your blessings, name them one by one,
            And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

    Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
    Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
    Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
    And you will be singing as the days go by.
          Count your blessings, name them one by one;
          Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
         Count your blessings, name them one by one,
            And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Johnson Oatman, Jr.  1897

For more verses, and the tune to this hymn, see

Are you tempest-tossed, or burdened with a load of care?
(Or maybe today everything is going okay.)
What blessings are you counting today?

This post is shared with Laura Boggess

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Pattern in Lace


A piece of tossed string,
Flung onto a business mail envelope
That I’d just ripped inside-out.
This combo was to be the subject for a photo
Which might be transformed into some sort of artwork.
Alas, the photo turned out blurred!
Error, mistake – my whole idea a silly thing.

Ah, but a corner of the string
Did become a sort of “bling”.
Lace.  Who would have guessed it?
Not woven into lace by a hand or machine,
But made through graphic manipulation,
An interesting thing!

Motif, design, deco, or whimsy, or fling:
I created a piece of designy art.
God’s work in me is like that –
Intricate, wonderful, with unexpected outcome.
Do I have such a pattern in lace, in my life?
Oh, Creator of All, to you Lord God,
A tribute of joyous praise I sing.

copyright 2013 by Marilee Miller

This post is shared with Laura Boggess, The Wellspring

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Part of God's Family

A Part of God’s Family

She sent me a sack of red apples,
By way of her obliging son,
Beautiful shining crisp crimsons
From heavily-laden tree in her yard.

And I sent back, by her son,
Some books I’d wanted to give
For oh, so long a time, but
Just never got around to the delivery.

We hear so much these days
About the need for “being in community”.
But some of us have difficulty
Getting together physically, even one on one.

Sometimes, in our need, we cling
To our simple joy as part of the
Worldwide church, God’s family.
Letting that thought comfort us in our walk.

And then sometimes, God moves
Mysteriously, and “in community”
We are joined together in spirit and in life
By real kindness shown through a third party.

All Glory to the Lord, no matter how, or what!
Community comes in many flavors;
And we’re all a part of God’s family.  Blessed thought!

(c) 2013 by Marilee Miller

This post is shared with Laura Boggess'  "Playdates with God"

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Little-known Fact from US History

The Opinion Pages of the N Y Times relates a little-known incident from the US Civil War.

During the Civil War, the Northern army blockaded ports in Southern States, stopping commercial shipping.  The South didn’t have the means to build large ships that could become an effective navy.  So.  the Rebs sent raiders to sea, scuttling or torching ships that turned out to be American, and capturing vessels and trying to bribe crews of other nations to work for the South (to be paid by the Confederates after they won the war.) 

The Confederacy also secretly purchased European ships to re-outfit as warships.  One little-known story concerns such a vessel that had been berthed in England.  Newly converted and renamed, the Shenandoah sailed to the Bering Strait (off the coast of Alaska) under orders to destroy whaling ships that originated from New England, thus damaging the Northern economy.

Eventually the Shenandoah ended up circumnavigating the earth.  However, while still at sea, the captain learned that the Civil War had ended, and General Lee had surrendered, months before the Shenandoah had destroyed 21 Union ships in the Bering Sea.  The crew was guilty of  “maritime piracy”.

See  by Tom Chaffin

(This review of the article is by Marilee Miller)

This incident suggests to me that I need to be in constant communication with Christ, my Leader.  I desire to do his will.  I want to live a godly life.  But it would be easy for me to think I knew what He wanted from me, and then charge ahead with my own plans.  When I continually give "all of me" to Him, may He equip me to be conformed to Christ's image.  Then I won't be guilty of failing to enter in to the process of becoming part of the Kingdom of God.

This post is shared with Laura Boggess, Playdates with God


Wednesday, September 25, 2013



This is another "what is it?" photo. It was supposed to show a white cat. But she moved as I was clicking the shutter – so I captured only a mysterious bag, or amorphous blob. And the summer-sere grass isn’t lovely to look at.
Guess it’s time to play! I can’t reproduce the missing cat. However, my graphics program and my imagination can create a rock in front of a field of lavender flowers. Or a scruffy hill in storm-threat weather. Or a headland (bluff) against a vivid sky. All the hidden colors, surprisingly, emerge from the same set of shapes.
I am "hidden in Christ Jesus". I don’t always know if, or how, others see me. Maybe as not so beautiful. Maybe as a mystery? Sometimes I don’t even know who I really am! Yet how I praise God that in his eyes, I’m not an oddish bag lady or amorphous blob. I don’t even wear summer-sere! He sees my colors of faith and hope in him. And his glory both enhances my imagination, and brings out the hidden beauty in me.
"For I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto him against that day."
"I know whom I have believed in, and am persuaded that he is able, to keep that which I’ve committed unto him, against that day" [of his return, or the day when I at last behold him face to face].

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Right Choice


Even a blah photo of a mundane tree branch holds the possibility of becoming an arresting artwork.


The Right Choice

I read about a 19th century British missionary who felt called to go to Africa with the intent of becoming a martyr for Christ.  (Sorry, I can’t remember the man’s name.)  His wife accompanied him.  The account didn’t say whether she, too, believed in a call to martyrdom, or if she merely went along because it was her wifely duty.

But Africa was a rigorous mission field in those days.  Alas, after their arrival and hard toil, the woman had some sort of a nervous breakdown.  The missionary was compelled to return with her to London.  As I recall the story, she didn’t recover her faculties.

The would-be missionary’s dream of serving the Lord “gloriously” was thwarted.  When things didn’t happen just as he expected, he turned against God, spending his remaining years in bitterness.

How tragic!  God allowed him a different type of martyrdom -- a chance to show forth his trust in God despite adversity. 

How many lives might he have touched, had he submitted quietly and humbly to God’s course of direction!  Might a gentle love for his wife have helped restore her mind?  Who else might he have comforted?  Who might have seen an ordinary sort of godly Christian life that was actually noble and fine? 

What a shame that he settled for humiliation, when he might have acquired humility.  If he “let patience have its perfect work”, perhaps his ministry where he was, in London, could have been more effective than any witness to Africans.  But he chose to serve a fallen idol of self-direction.  He nursed a grudge against God.

When I’m feeling low in spirits, when life seems impossible and implacable and harsh and maybe a bit hopeless, and I wish I could just go “home to Jesus” where there are no tears or heartaches or broken dreams, may I “let patience have its way”.  May my brokenness and sorrow bring me closer, nearer to my Lord God.  May I opt not to think of myself as a blah photo or a cast off tree branch, but as one firmly grafted in to the Tree of Life.  In his time, in his way, he can make me an arresting artwork to show his glory and grace.  That is the right choice for me.

images and text (c) 2013 by Marilee Miller

This post is shared with Laura Boggess, Playdates with God



Monday, July 15, 2013

Tender Shoots

.   photos and text (c) 2013 by Marilee Miller

Oh Dear Lord God,

Reach forth with your lovingkindness, as if with arms holding tenderly your children here on this earth.  We  are all so much in need of you!  May we reach outward, and upward, toward you, who are our life, our guide, the shaper of our personalities, character, and nature.  May all of us (the ones who call you by name and believe that they know you, and the ones, also, who say they don’t need Other Help beyond themselves and human hands) grow as tender shoots flourishing in your Sonshine.  Have mercy on us.  Help us all to be fashioned into the persons you desire us to be, “conformed to Christ.” 

“And because of what Christ did, all… who heard the good news about how to be saved, and trusted Christ, were marked as belonging to Christ by the Holy Spirit, who long ago had been promised to all of us Christians.  His presence within us is God’s guarantee that he really will give us all that he promised, and the Spirit’s seal upon us means that God has already purchased us and that he guarantees to bring us to himself.”  [Eph. 1:14 TLB]

How we rejoice in your tender promises shooting out to each of us who will come to you to find rest, hope, and healing .  Thank you!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

This post is shared with Laura Boggess

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I Want to Know God


digital artwork and text (c) 2013 by Marilee Miller


I want to know God intimately.
I don’t want him to seem distant, far off –
I want his companionship, though
At times this seems an elusive quest.
I want to “feel” his unconditional love,
But my earthly life doesn’t reveal
A model for love that never gives up.
I want to “believe in” – not just state casually,
That Jesus Christ is brother, friend, Helper,
And close-occupier of my heart.
I, along with the whole church,
Am called The Bride of Jesus Christ:
Yet how can I, a finite little person,
Grasp Him being my Bridegroom,
My only Dearest Love?
I want to sense the Holy Spirit’s power
Moving with Shekinah glory in me.
However, I don’t really know how
To magnify, glorify him, or understand
Just how much he delights in me!
So, blessed Lord God, keep me infilled.
Flow your rivers of living water over me.
I want to know you, God; but only you
Are able to introduce the fullness
Of your infinite self to me!

“Even so, Lord Jesus, come.”

He is not elusive,
He is not exclusive,
He does not exclude me,
But holds out his hands
To include me.
His love is inclusive,
Generously-given, and free.

“Thanks be to God, for the unspeakable
gift of Christ Jesus…”

This post is shared with Laura Boggess'  "The Wellspring"

Monday, July 1, 2013


digital art and text (c) 2013 by Marilee Miller


Praise God for our ability to have creative thoughts and actions.
Praise God for his exuberance in creating the universe,
Our earth, and its creatures.
Give him a clap-offering for his imagination and variety.
Lift up our hearts to him for making people,
Diverse in personality and traits, yet united
In being made for his delight and glory.
Praise God for making his children in the image of God himself,
And for breathing into us his bent toward imagination and reason.
Lift up our hands and voices to exult in him,
Who has made us to be artists after the manner of himself.
May we create “little things” with exuberance,
And give thought to showing forth his beauty in our lives.
In so doing, we are glorifying him;
We are pleasing him with worshipful creativity,


This post is shared with Laura Boggess, "The Wellspring"

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Love My...



Comfort granted me in the simplest things.

I love my wonderful kitty.
I love my warm, comfy bed.
I love being able to eat good things,
and waiting until I WANT to eat
instead of meals having to be
on a certain time schedule.
I love bright sunny days
even though I don't get outside much.
I love the quiet nights here,
and the ability to sleep in, some mornings.
For all these things-- and so many more! --
I give thanks to God.
And most of all, I give thanks FOR God,
and for Jesus Christ my Savior.
May my main focus ever rest on him!

This post is shared with Laura Boggess, The Wellspring

Sunday, June 9, 2013


                                                    images (c) 2013 by Marilee Miller



Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days.
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move,
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.
                                   -Frances Ridley Havergal


This post is shared with Laura Boggess, "The Wellspring"


Monday, June 3, 2013

God of Infinite Variety

(The same base photo as in the last 2 posts, but what an infinite variety of  images emerge from my graphics program.)

God of Infinite Variety

God unchanging, God always the same.  Yet he has an infinite variety of beautiful, holy attributes.

God of mercy, God of glory.
God of Love and mystery.
Lord of rescue and salvation,
King of Everything Everywhere.
Tender, kind to those who believe,
Yet stern, holding accountable, those who rebel.

Christ the Savior and the Master,
Son of God with mighty power.
Look upon the forms of God,
Steadfast, unchanging, and yet,
Shows his traits and nature in infinite variety.

“His tender mercy is over all his works, and his will is ever directed toward his children’s good.”

© 2013 by Marilee Miller

This post is shared with Laura Boggess “Playdates with God”