Monday, May 20, 2013

On "Doing What You Love"

The same blurred photo as last week's post, can lead to the creating of very different and striking digital art than shown in the earlier set.



There’s so much blogging advice these days on “doing what you love.”  Take risks, dare to break out of the mold of the ordinary.  Stop being so afraid of failure that you don’t even try to reach your dreams.  Live beyond the confines of a quiet, safe, boring-but-maybe-secure life.

The importance of “living a meaningful story in life” may mean quitting a secure job to try out some secret longing with unknown financial rewards.  Or it might be keeping a full time job but adding many extra hours of side-projects.  So often, admonitions tend towards getting up earlier in the morning, or squeezing in extra hours that might be otherwise considered wasted.  But the writers of these, succeeded in fulfilling their passions.  They were strong enough, persistent enough, disciplined enough, and entrepeneurial enough to work more hours and earn enough money to live on while “doing what they love”, which often turns out to be to follow the muse of art, writing, music, or a higher college degree.

It sounds to me more like self-effort when the advice is –“Dare to become all that God created you to be”, or, “don’t settle for mediocre when you can do great things”.  Some of us (including myself), are unable to attain more strength and prowess by using up more hours and more strenuous activities.  The list includes the tired mother of an infant, the man whose education wasn’t complete, the one whose mind is incomplete, the person who ages before their time, or lives with chronic illness or in abject poverty – and many other people.  It’s not necessarily because they’re unwilling to risk or afraid of failure, but that they lack the strength to “do more and more.”

I yearn to write lots of books, and work on wonderful paintings.  I ache to build relationships in “community”.  Oh, I had so many dreams for a creative life.  I wanted to go deep in my walk with God and willingly help others.  But the circumstances of my life have all too often interrupted the way of life I’d hoped to live.  So I’m choosing not to write books.  But I do hope to respond occasionally to the cries of others.  For the sake of my limited health, I do the simpler art of operating a graphics program when I’d rather be making masterpieces with oils on canvas, and teaching others to do the same.

As for me realizing a goal of “becoming all God created me to be”, well, fortunately God is far bigger than my feeble self-effort.  And he’s quite capable of making me all he intended for me to be, all on his own.  I thank him and praise him that I’m still alive, still willing to learn, and still choosing to be hopeful (though I don’t always succeed at this).  

When He greets me as I get to heaven, is he going to ask me if I “created a meaningful story” to add to HIS story?  I don’t think so.  But I do hope he’ll say, “Blessings on you for making an effort to look to Me in spite of every obstacle you’ve endured.  I’ve been your Savior, Helper, Friend, Guide, Comforter, and more.  Enter into My rest.”   And resting in Him, will certainly be “Doing What I Love.”

images and text (c) 2013 by Marilee Miller

This post is shared with Laura Boggess

Monday, May 13, 2013


A melange of objects, photographed just to have a base from which to “play” creatively with my graphics program.  The photo failed.  Blurry.  No matter – there’s just as much chance for an arty makeover.

I come to God bringing my melange of various traits and habits.  I feel a bit like a blurred photo.  But no matter!  God is in the process of giving me a makeover.  I can be full of bright colors and amazing patterns.  I am unique, and stunning, in His sight.  I’m a work in progress.  But one day, I hope to become who He is shaping and coloring me to be.

This post is shared with Laura Boggess

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stirring, Sterling



Is a spoon just a handy kitchen tool,
A stirring stick,
Or a utensil to eat with?

Well, yes, but ah, much more.
It can stir up great concoctions
With delightful tastes
To tantalize the tongue.
Its appearance can seem bit like sterling silver
(even if only forged of stainless steel).

 A clean spoon left after a meal
Might just look like part of the clutter
Left behind on a table. 
But oh, if the light is just right,
If this sometimes mundane object is glimpsed by an artist –
Maybe made part of some re-arrangement --
 Then textures, patterns, designs emerge,
Gloriously pleasing to the eye.

May I be a stirring stick in God’s hands.
Not mundane, but beauty directed by him.
May I feed others his bounty-feast.

My patterns and textures and designs shine out
When the Lord takes this spoon in hand.
Oh, what is he stirring with me,
To beautify his world,
To comfort, cheer, or show others who he is?
God values me!  He says he sees the Christ in me!
May the durable but ordinary steel in me
Be as precious as sterling silver –
Not because of anything I do, but because
He has already given his complete self to me.

(c) 2013 by Marilee Miller

This post is shared with "The Wellspring" Playdates with God

Thursday, May 2, 2013

"God's Favorite Place on Earth"


When Jesus was on earth, many rejected him.  Some of the synagogues, some of the towns, didn’t want him around shaking up their status quo.  But one place Jesus was welcomed, was in the little town of Bethany, not far from Jerusalem, at the home of Mary and Martha and Lazarus. 

Well known inspirational author Frank Viola’s new book, “God’s Favorite Place on Earth”, just released on May 1, 2013.  The next day, May 2, it was ranked as #14 out of all 7 million books on 


As a special promotion, those who purchase the book by May 7 are offered 25 free bonuses – mostly
e-books (written by over 15 Christian authors), but also some mp3 audio or music files.  The offer goes away forever, on May 8.  A word to the wise: Don’t wait till the very last hour to purchase the book, as the bonuses must be individually downloaded.

The author weaves a story, from Lazarus’ viewpoint, of Jesus interacting with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (the one whom Jesus raised from the dead).  Viola claims the message he uncovered while writing this book, changed his life – and that “the story of Jesus in Bethany is so critical for Christians today.”

Below are some statements about the thoughts which may be generated by this book.

“God builds us to break us and beautify us.” @FrankViola

“In our suffering, we want an explanation but Jesus wants to give us a revelation… of HIMSELF.” F. Viola

“All great Christians have been wounded souls.” A. W. Tozer from

“As high as God is going to elevate you is as deep as He digs to lay the foundation.” @FrankViola

“Sometimes the brightest light comes from the darkest places.” From

“What doesn’t destroy you ends up defining you in some significant way.”  From http://bit.1y/13H63du



for ordering information and easy instructions on how to get your 25 free books.