This last weekend we had the opportunity to bring the season of holidays in with the traditional downtown parade. The streets were lined people young and old wearing coats, scarves and gloves. It was a very cold night, music was in the air and I was there with my family. My youngest daughter was actually in the parade so we waited for her thirty seconds of fame as she performed to Jingle Bell Rock.
After the parade, everyone gathered downtown in the stage area of the Civic Center. There we would be entertained by music and dance.
They had a group of children there who arranged themselves on the stage, wearing Santa hats and Jingle Bells. They were adorned with smiles and glitter. They sang a few songs from their school program which had some songs that we were not familiar with. While they sang there were people handing out papers with the lyrics of a few songs that we all could sing together. Silent Night, God Rest Ye merry Gentlemen and Jingle Bells were the song titles. But as we began to sing with the group I began to realize that the words in the songs had been altered to suit the “unbelievers” or what I like to call Grinches of Christmas. It was not a good way to start off the night but instead of the altered words, I sang the original from my heart loudly and proclaimed my faith in Jesus Christ. It was after the songs they had the lighting of the tree. It was pitiful. In the center of the yard was an average size tree adorned with just a few bulbs and maybe one or two strands of light. The mayor said his thing and light up the tree. I expected this grand lighting ceremony. What a let down. The friends we were with vowed that next year she was going to be on the tree committee to show our city how it was to be done.
It saddens me to see how Christians are being ridiculed because of their religious beliefs. If it was not for the birth of our Savior, there would not be a Christmas at all and so many people are failing to recognize that.
So this year, I am putting those people in their places and I am proudly proclaiming that Christ is Born on Christmas Day. And when I say Merry Christmas, I mean it with all my heart. My lights shine for God and the birth of his Son. I want my light to shine every day for all to see. Not just at CHRISTmas.
So to my friends and family…Merry CHRISTmas and Happy New Year. May your festivities be filled with the memories of the birth of Christ our Savior.
Many years ago, I remember my oldest daughter Meghan, came to me with a big announcement that her sister was being disobedient to us. She went on to tell me that what her sister was doing was a big No-No in our house. It was so long ago that I for got what the exact circumstance was but I do however remember the outcome. Meghan had convinced me that her sister needed a spanking. Ok, I got up and went into the room to give Kayla the spanking but something happened.
Meghan had a change of heart, so she proceeded to tell me that she loved her sister so much that she was willing to take the spanking for her sister. This put me in quite a predicament. She knew what she was doing need was wrong but she did not want her sister to suffer. Wow, this was BIG.
Does this remind you of something? How about Jesus taking on the debt of the world in sin for you. A sinner.
I am overwhelmed thinking that my little girl had just shown me Grace.
Christ died for our sins. As christians we plug away doing our daily chores and such so much that we loose the big picture. Christ died so that my sins may be forgiven.
Lord, thank you for your gift of grace. Thank you for using things in our daily lives to show us your power. Help me to be the best person that you want of me. Use me to touch others near and far for your work.
I Must say that I have watched the 5 episodes and I have found that is it a refreshing story that is well written and is clean for our youth of today to view. It has a great message and about the importance of organ donation and I love how the lead actress talks to her Jesus. That is the way I see my self talking to my Jesus on a daily basis.
Please take a few moments to review the interview and view the series. It will warm your heart.
AUTHOR’S INTERVIEW: STEFNE MILLER
How did the Salvaged web series come about?
I was working with Director, Paul Morrell on a movie adaptation of my third novel, Collision
. We had just completed the screenplay and were about to move in to the next phase, when I told him about an idea I had for Salvaged. I’d always believed that it would make a great teen drama series – either on television, straight to DVD or web streaming. He loved the idea and was interested in doing it. Within days, a friend that I mentioned it to, offered to pay to have a pilot/proof of concept reel developed. Less than a month later, I was in LA holding a casting call. Two weeks later, a cast and crew of 25 were in a rented house, shooting for five days. We decided to take the pilot episode and also release it as a web series so that we could introduce people to the story, characters and our quality of work. We believe that this can only help both the Salvaged and Collision projects.
What is the big goal?
The big picture goal is that a network or distributor would pick up the series. I’ve already written the scripts for eight 45 minute episodes or what could easily be turned in to a mini-series.
Who are you hoping to reach with this series?
Salvaged, the web series is based on my first novel by the same name. It is a young adult Christian fiction novel that was able to transcend the lines of Christian fiction and also move into the secular market. Salvaged was first picked up in the mainstream young adult fiction blogging world and the reviews and ratings landed me on the Goodreads.com Reader’s Choice Awards finalist list for Debut Author of 2010. I am hoping that Salvaged will continue to reach out into various audiences and present them with a powerful story that has the ability to impact lives – no matter the way in which they receive it (book, web series, tv show, etc).
When does the series come out?
There are six episodes. The first was released on September 25th. The remaining episodes will release every Wednesday at 8 am (CST) through October 30th.
Where can viewers find the episodes?
Salvaged has it’s own YouTube channel at: youtube.com/salvagedseries. The episodes will stay on the Salvaged YouTube channel for viewers to watch far into the future.
Where can we find out more about the series and the book?
You can also learn more about the series on the official Salvaged web site at salvagedseries.com. You can read an except of the first chapter ofSalvaged, the book, at my web site, stefnemiller.com, or purchase a copy online or at your local bookstores.
What are more ways we can get involved in the Salvaged Series blog tour?
- Post a comment on the Facebook page for this book tour – CLICK HERE
- Join the Salvaged Series Blog Tour & watch new episodes – CLICK TO TWEET
- Watch the weekly episodes on the Salvaged YouTube channel … Post comments and give thumbs up – CLICK HERE
God is so good. And he shows up in the craziest places.
I am a volunteer for Kids Connection. This is a bible based mission that touches the lives of children in the public school district. Once a week we come together for games, crafts, dancing, music and a big lesson on the goodness of Jesus.
This past week was one out of sorts because the children I normally have were there but I had three extra that had never been in my group. We had gone outside and played the games to wind the kids down, we fed them snacks and gave them water to drink. Simple little things that make a huge impact in the life of kindergardener or first grader.
There was a lesson taught about how God made each of them. In a child’s eye, this is good stuff.
They were hungry for the lesson and very intuitive. They listened with big opened ears about how God, our Creator, knows how many hairs are on their heads and that each child has a fingerprint that makes them unique. After the lesson they kids come to my table were I have markers and paper for coloring. I have play dough and candy. We all sit at this table and come together to talk about the lesson they just learned.
There were two little boys, with the biggest brown eyes wearing cowboy boots. They were twins. God opened a window of opportunity. These little boys went on to tell me that there mother had left them alone one night. Someone broke into their house with a gun and the little guys were upstairs hiding under the bathroom sink, wishing there cousins were with them. They were silent and the intruders left. The police came and one little guy said he hid for ten hours. Now, I don’t know if the story was true or not but at that moment, I was able to tell these kids about a Jesus and a God who loves them with all his heart that he took the time to stay with those boys and keep them safe. They looked back at me with with open eyes and hearts and they just knew that God saved them that night. I am sure of it. It was a divine moment.
One I will remember for a long time
God is so good.
Everyone has something that they love or covet a bit more than anything else. For those of you who know me, I happen to have a strong liking for the band Bon Jovi and especially for John himself.
The band has been together for years and through the years John has managed to be faithful to his wife and family. He married his high school sweet heart. He and the band have also done a lot to give back to their community. Habitat for humanity and Food for the Soul are two that I think have impacted people the most. The guys have managed to stay humble and grounded which makes me like them that much more. John coaches his kids sports teams, Tito is a painter and the money he makes on his art goes to charity. They are just wonderful people.
Over the years, I have managed to collect many of the band’s paraphernalia. I have a leather jacket that is signed by the band and the money I paid for the jacket went to Habitat for humanity. I have autographed photos, drum sticks, guitar picks and first edition rolling stone covers. That’s 30 years of collecting. All of these things have been in boxes tucked away under my bed and in my closet. Until last month that is.
My oldest daughter left for college in August and with her went all of her bedroom stuff. Which left me with an empty room to decorate. So, I dug out the boxes of my goodies and decorated the room Bon Jovi style. My husband calls it the shrine, but I look at it as a way to show off my collection.
This morning, my devotion was all about things that we make idols in our lives. My mind went to my collection. Is it an idol? I know that we are not supposed to waste our energy on worshiping these things. But, I guess I do. I was convicted. Did I take the stuff down and put them away? No. But God did use this to real me in and realign my thinking on this.
It is so easy to let things of the world come in and claim their stake on our lives. They slowly take over and push out things of God and soon we have lost focus. Our thinking is blurred and we find ourselves justifying why we do the things we do.
God says, “worship me only, I am the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, dwelling in unapproachable light.” Today I lay aside my idols and worship my King, my Lord and my friend, Jesus.
I am one of those people who deal with their stress in the middle of the night. I wake up worrying about everything. I am sure you don’t understand why would someone who is so faithful in believing that God is control, has a control issue. But that is me in a nutshell.
It always seems that at 3:18 I wake up with worry. My husband grumbles at me and my faithful dog, Ginger, who never leaves my side, grumbles too.
I have had a lot of stress lately. And it seems that when it rains it pours. The people in Colorado and Mexico are literally living it out but here in Denise land, its been flooded.
My youngest daughter had to have oral surgery to retrieve an impacted incisor in her maxillary sinus, my mother had eye surgery because of a pending blindness, and today my middle daughter had to had an endoscopy and colonoscopy. As if that was not enough my faithful friend Ginger, jumped off the couch damaging her ACL. Oh, lets throw in my husband coming down with a fever for spice.
Last night I pick up Abby from dance and on our way home she shuts off the radio. Usually it is blaring loudly with Taylor Swift, or some hip hop number. Tonight she gets in the car and wants silence. We roll the windows down in the car and gaze at the beautiful full moon. It was just coming up on the horizen and it was bright and brilliant. We were in awe of God’s display of the Moon.
On that car ride I felt a blanket of peace come over me like I have never felt. It was heavy,heavy, heavanly peace. That’s all I can explain it as. To peaceful to sleep apparently. I actually had a difficult time going to sleep. What is wrong with me? God, the Creator of the world gave me peace and I can’t sleep.
Tonight, I am going to have a glass of wine or two. Watch television and rest.
It seems that everywhere you look, there are people struggling.
In Colorado there is flooding, in New Jersey there is a fire, in Washington D.C. there is a shooter on the roof. In our homes, we have no money to pay bills, someone is sick or needing surgery, needing a reliable car, suffering a loss…
In this I can rejoice. Yes, I said it rejoice because I know that God uses these times when we are down, crying out, suffering, hurting and looking for help that God can come in and sweep us off our feet. He can be the strongest in those times. That thought amazes me.
We can be at the very lowest place in our lives, when we are just about to feel hopeless and He steps in. He uses people to speak to us, songs to minister to us and He speaks loudly in a whisper, “My Grace is enough”.
Does that not just rock your world. It should because every day He is doing it and people are coming back from darkness that most of us never knew.
I am Grateful for a God like that.