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Eulogy for Mrs. Phyllis Miller

Written and Delivered by Dr. G. Ted Taylor
February 19, 2011

Charles and Phyllis Miller: A Lifetime Partnership

The date was January 3, 1964 and the place was the First Alliance Church in Orlando, Florida. Charles and Phyllis had never laid eyes on each other until this day but neither one of them was supposed to be at this church on this particular Sunday. When Charles saw Phyllis for the very first time, he said she was "stunning."


She had on a black and white dress with hat and gloves to match.There were a lot more boys in this church than girls and Charles knew if he was going to get to meet her he had to be quick. He who hesitates is lost applies here. The assembly time was over and Charles made his move. Don't ask him what the assembly was about because he doesn't have a clue. He had other things on his mind--you know...Outreach! Charles asked Phyllis to go to the College and Career Class and she accepted. For the younger generation here this is what searching for a mate looked like before eHarmony.

Charles got her first name and couldn't believe she was still in high school and only a junior. Before the end of worship service, Charles was able to get her phone number and the name of her home church. Don't ask Charles what the sermon was about...he doesn't have a clue. He found out that Fairview Shores Baptist Church was her home church. He decided to check Fairview out that night... he had heard good things about it. Yeah, sure!

Of course, they had to wait to get married until Phyllis finished high school but in August 1966 they both said, "'Til death do us part" and folks, they meant it! This partnership lasted 44 years and 6 months, and they never went to bed mad. They loved living life together. They built 3 houses and remodeled two more together. That takes a strong marriage for sure. Charles said Phyllis was his wife, his lover, and his best friend.

Phyllis Miller: A Sacred Partnership

When Phyllis made commitments, she took them seriously. Her commitment to Jesus as her Savior never wavered, even in the midst of two years of pain. Phyllis was a Christ-follower, not just a believer. I have been preaching out of John and one of the services was Jesus' encounter of the woman at the well in Samaria. Phyllis discovered the "living water" that Jesus taught about and it was from a well that never ran dry. Her commitment to Christ was serious, evidenced in her lifetime partnership with Charles and her sacred partnership with Jesus.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
I liked this passage because it records the different seasons in one's life. "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to mend.

She found time to mend. Phyllis loved sewing and her hand-stitched quilts won awards. She found time to plant. Phyllis loved to garden and this year alone canned 680 quarts of vegetables. She found time to shoot guns. Phyllis was an excellent marksman. One time she had Charles drive a roofing nail into a fence post fifty feet away and she drove the nail in with one shot from a .22 rifle. While living in Florida she carried a .38 caliber pistol everywhere she went.

Phyllis could have done fine in the wild, wild west or on Survivor with all your clothes on. She was resilient and could take care of herself in the wild, wild west, or in the wild, wild south--Orlando.

The Scriptures say there is a time to die. Hebrews 9:27 says,
"It is appointed unto men once to die, and then judgment." Death is more certain than birth. Regardless of how it comes, regardless of when it comes, regardless of the age or circumstances, death is the hardest experience that we ever have to deal with. When Phyllis died suddenly last Saturday morning, it caught all of us by surprise, but God is never caught by surprise.
There is a time to die and also a time to weep. We come with feelings of loss and grief. Jesus modeled for us that grief was a natural part of death. Your tears are an expression of the love you feel in your heart. Jesus wept. It's a healthy thing to weep. Grief always hits, if not now then later. "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4). Let the death of Phyllis Miller draw you closer to Jesus today. The Scriptures say that believers are to grieve, but not to grieve as those who have no hope. We do not weep because of eternal separation, but of temporary separation. There is a time to weep and a time to mourn.

Revelation 1:3-4 says that we can have hope of eternal life with Christ. He will dwell with them and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and the former things have passed away.

Charles and Phyllis have always believed the Bible from "in" to "amen." In the last year she read through the Bible completely three different times. Would you be willing to read through the Bible in 2011 and remember Phyllis' commitment to the Word of God as you read? Tell someone today about your commitment to read through the Bible this year.

Let me close with these words from Charles about their lifetime partnership:
"I'm going to need to learn how to live all over again now. I'm heartbroken today but I know without any doubt that Phyllis is running, breathing freely, and is reunited with her mom and dad, her grandparents, and for the first time I'm sure she has met my mother."

"The only peace I have is that Phyllis is with Christ now and I'll be with her again when God calls me home! Phyllis never wanted wealth and now she's walking on streets of gold and enjoying the light of the universe. Good-bye, Love. I will see you soon."
The legacy of Phyllis Miller revolves around her commitments: a lifetime partnership with Charles and a Sacred Partnership to Jesus as her Savior. May her legacy challenge each of us to be more, love more, and give more to Jesus than ever before!

PLAN OF SALVATION...HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN

Before you were born, God wanted you to know Him personally. He chose to show you how much He loves you. But to accept His offer, you need to know the ABC's of Salvation.

A - ADMIT to God you're a sinner: Sin is refusing to acknowledge God's authority over your life. Everyone sins. The results of sin is spiritual death or eternal separation from God when you die. Repent; turn away from your sin and toward God. (See Acts 3:19; Romans 3:23; 6:23)

B - BELIEVE in Jesus Christ as God's Son and accept Jesus' gift of forgiveness from sin. Jesus took the penalty for your sin by dying on the cross because you could not meet God's requirement for a perfect sacrifice for your sins. (See John 3:16)

C - CONFESS to God your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. As Lord, Jesus has earned the right to be obeyed as a sheep obeys his shepherd. (See Romans 10:9-10, 13; I John 1:9)

You may pray a prayer similar to this:
Dear God, I know that You love me. I admit I am a sinner. Please forgive me for my sin. I place my faith in Jesus as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen."
If you sincerely asked Jesus to be your Savior, tell a pastor or another Christian about your decision. Show your faith in Christ by asking a Bible-believing church for baptism by immersion. (See Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41).

Phyllis Miller (1948-2011)

She was born Friday, April 9, 1948, in Connersville, IN. She was the daughter of the late Marvin C. and Esther Baxter McNutt. She died Saturday, February 12, 2011, in Columbia, Adair Co., KY, at the age of 62 years, 10 months, and 3 days. She was a member of Columbia Baptist Church and a former secretary.

Survivors include the following:
  • Her husband: Charles Miller of Columbia, KY
  • Two sons: Jason Miller of Orlando, FL, and Jarrett Miller of Columbia, KY
  • One daughter: Tina Miller of Montana
  • One brother: Jerry McNutt of Orlando, FL
  • One sister: Judy Rudd of Winter Garden, FL
  • Five grandchildren
Written and Delivered by Dr. G. Ted Taylor
February 19, 2011

A complete obituary can be found at Phyllis Miller (1948-2011)


This story was posted on 2011-02-21 12:40:34
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