J.R. Miller on Godly Character

Photo by Annie Pliego


We ought to seek to gather in this world — treasure that we can carry with us through death’s gates, and into the eternal world.

We should strive to build into our lives — qualities that shall endure… Yet there are things — virtues, fruits of character, graces — which men do carry with them out of this world. What a man IS — he carries with him into the eternal world. Money and rank and pleasures and earthly gains — he leaves behind him; but his character, he takes with him into eternity!

This suggests at once, the importance of character and character-building. Character is not what a man professes to be — but what he really IS, as God sees him.

A man may not be as good as his reputation. A good reputation may hide an evil heart and life. Reputation is not character. Reputation is what a man’s neighbors and friends think of him; character is what the man IS.

Christ’s character is the model, the ideal, for every Christian life.

We are to be altogether like Him; therefore all of life’s aiming and striving should be towards Christ’s blessed beauty. His image we find in the Gospels. We can look at it every day. We can study it in its details, as we follow our Lord in His life among men, in all the variations of experience through which He passed.

We cannot merely dream ourselves into godly manhood or womanhood; we must forge for ourselves, with sweat and anguish, the beautiful visions of Christ-likeness which we find on the Gospel pages! It will cost us self-discipline, oftentimes anguish, as we must deny ourselves, and cut off the things we love.

SELF must be crucified.

It is not easy to become a godly man, a Christlike man.


Character is a process of growth. It is like fruit—it requires time to ripen. Different kinds of fruits come to ripeness at different seasons; some in the early summer, some later, and some only in the autumn. It is so with Christian lives—they ripen at different seasons. There are those who seem to grow into sweetness in early years, then those who reach their best in the mid years, and many who only in the autumn of old age come into mellow ripeness.

All of life is a season of character-growing! We are left in this world, not so much for what we may do here, for the things we may make—as that we ourselves may grow into the beauty of mature Christian character. In the midst of all our occupations and struggles, all our doing of tasks, all our longings and desires, all our experiences of every kind—there is a work going on in us—which is quite as important as anything we are doing with our mind or with our hands.


The object of life—is to learn to live. We are at school here, and shall always be at school, until we are dismissed from earth’s classes to be promoted into heaven! It is a pity if we do not learn our lessons. It is a pity if we grow no gentler, no kindlier, no more thoughtful, no more unselfish, no sweeter in spirit, no less worldly, if the peace of our heart is not deepened—as the years pass over us.


Old age should be the true harvest time of the years. Life should grow more and more beautiful, unto the end. It should increase in knowledge, in wisdom, in all the graces of the Spirit, in all the sweetness of love, in all that is Christlike. Aged Christian people, should be like trees in the autumn, their branches full of ripe fruit to feed the hunger of those who live about them.


We have but one life to live; we pass through this world but once. We should so live—that every step shall be a step onward and upward. We should strive to be victorious over every evil influence. We should seek to gather good and enrichment of character, from every experience, making our progress ever from more to more. Wherever we go—we should try to leave a blessing, something which will sweeten another life or start a new song or an impulse of cheer or helpfulness in another heart. Then our very memory, when we are gone—will be an abiding blessing in the world.

 Soli Deo Gloria


*These quotes were taken from J.R. Miller’s articles: The Ripening of Character and What is it for You to Be a Christian?


Saturday’s Seven -Our Favorite Breakfast Cake and Some Book Recommendations-

My friend Hollie is sharing today on her blog a list of seven things –happenings– in her family, I decided I will jump in and share the Saturday’s Seven around here…

1. Today is one of those quiet, slow Saturdays in which we had breakfast at noon.

2. Talking about breakfasts, a favorite breakfast cake in our home comes from Alexandra’s kitchen: Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake. Note that I always double the recipe and we eat it all during the weekend. I also like to make scrambled eggs with pesto,  or with goat cheese and herbs, or chives and cream cheese, or even with sun-dried tomatoes and grated manchego cheese. Bacon or breakfast sausages on the side are most welcome.

Coffee, of course, is always ready when the sun starts to come in through our windows.

3. I have been enjoying the new blog that some of my friends started a while ago. It is called Out of the Ordinary, I would like to encourage you to subscribe to it and read it on a regular basis. There is so much that I have to learn from God-fearing, Word-loving women like them.

4. It is really sad to see how many young evangelical women are embracing feminism. Some of my friends and I have been seeing this problem in our different countries, which tells us that it is an issue that we need to be ready to address no matter where we live. Feminism is a disease that is creeping into the church and we need to stand firm against it.

I just finished reading Women, Slaves, and the Gender Debate: A Complementarian Response to the Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic by Reaoch. This is a book that you don’t just read, it is a book that you study. You need to sit down with a notebook, a pen, and your Bible. I recommend this book to those women  who really want to understand the gender debate and are willing to go deeper.

This week I started reading, The Feminist Mistake by Kassian, I will perhaps, write a review (only if time permits it). Some other books on this topic that are highly recommended are:  God’s Good Design: What the Bible Really Says About Men and Women by Claire SmithWhat’s The Difference: Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible by John Piper, and Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World by McCulley.


5. A wonderful book for children that I am loving is Wise Words: Family Stories that Bring the Proverbs to Life.  The description says (and I agree),

“In the tradition of Grimm’s fairytales, Peter Leithart has produced a wonderful collection of whimsical, yet meaningful, bedtime stories. The characters in each story are as varied as the biblical proverbs they reveal. Meet a chatty squirrel with a secret, or find out what happens when you run up against the Ministry of Nasty Smells. Sure to delight children ages five and up, but no promises they’ll be asleep by the time the story’s over.”

6. I can’t believe I am already on day 52 of my photography challenge “100 Days of Books.” It has been so much fun!  Many of you have been visiting me there… Thank you!

7. I am thinking about having someone redesigning my blog. I have an idea in my mind that I know you all will love. Sometimes changing the look of a place is good, don’t you think? We’ll see if it happens soon.

Happy Weekend, my friends!



@ The Dermer Family

>On Imperfections, Cracks and the Gospel -P2R week 5-


“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.” Philippians 1: 27- 30 ESV

I repeat these words several times a day, it’s week 5 of the P2R project; and I just can’t do it fluently. I stop and see my imperfections, the cracks in my own life. I not always live my days, my minutes worthy of the gospel of Christ. The Holy Spirit reminds me of some hidden sins in my heart (some of omission). The light of the Word pierces into those corners of my life where darkness has found a place; God grants me the gift of repentance and darkness is overcome. Sanctification is a gift from God; the Father has not only called us to be His own and justified us; but He is working in us day by day; His Light piercing the darkness in our hearts. This is the Gospel, good news for sinners who repent and believe in Him who on the Cross conquered death. (And here I would add… If you don’t read your Bible, if you don’t expose your soul to the Light, how would you expect to grow in Him?)

What are those words that come next? “…It has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake”  Why they can’t be found in a “Book of Promises”?

At the table I tell my children and my Beloved, with a lump on my throat, “I have never suffered for the gospel… I pray, O how I pray, that if such a day comes to me; I will be joyful, and count it as a blessing, as gift granted by God.”

I mutter all the words in chapter one; and I can clearly see that the only way for me, for you, to count every trial, every suffering as a gift from God is to live beyond the time line in which we are bound. We must live with our eyes fixed on Jesus; longing to be with Him…“for that is far better”, far better than anything this world could offer us; far better than anything we could have ever imagined!

Under His Sun and by His grace,

Read my friend Anne’s reflections on her memory project here.
and listen to Aaron recite chapter one here.
Be encouraged, dear friend, you can start today! Read about P2R here.

This post is linked to the photography {word} prompt at Three.

>Changes Can Be Beautiful -thoughts on homeschooling-

>Changes come into our lives every year, every day; changes do come and we must have eyes to see the beauty they bring.

We have been homeschooling our children for 10 years now and several changes have happened along the way. Today while I was enjoying teaching my little one, I saw from afar my oldest children taking their online classes and thought of these changes and how much they used to scare me when I  thought about them 10 years ago and how the Lord has faithfully removed them  and has helped me see the beauty in each one of them.

I want to write this post to encourage those families who are today where we were 10 years ago. These words are for you:

Don’t fear the changes; God is faithful indeed!

Choosing curriculum seems like an titanic task; there are  too many options, actually, too many great  options; but you want to know a little secret I have learned along the way? When I did not know of all those great options out there and I prepared my classes from scratch; we learned a lot, had a blast and built great memories. My almost 17  years old son still likes to see his old binder with all his notes and drawings; my 14 yo son remembers everything we did together… My daughter recalls every single project we made together… they still love to talk today about all the books we enjoyed together.

And then the day came when I saw all those great and different options and I wanted to use them all, so I bought some resources that we never used, and returned some others that were not as nice as they sounded. So here is the secret…

Don’t try to change what is already working for you today. 

No matter how wonderful the rest of the options seem to be, take a deep breath, and if what you are doing with your kids is already working, then don’t change to try something else.

Some of the things that used to scare this mama who struggles so much with Math and has survived  all these years using the “rule of three” for every single math problem in her life, were the ones you can easily imagine, “What are we going to do with Algebra, and Science and Logic?”  My kids grew and changes came and the day arrived when we were ready to tackle those; what did we do then?

The Lord walked ahead of us, and the Lord brought to our lives (literally) something we did not know about… a way out to all our fears through such season of changes: A great online school with lots of friends included and teachers that have influenced our children to live godly lives.

Yes, this is a greater miracle than what you might think because, just in case you have forgotten, we live in Mexico and are Mexicans! And here, in our country, very few families homeschool their children and we don’t have Christian schools either. So changes did come and the Lord gave us a way to walk through them and also gave us eyes to see the beauty in them.

Alteration… yes, that word that my fiends at three chose for the photo play this week has me thinking…

We have had to alter our initial plans several times; it never occurred to us the option of an online school for example, but through each change, we have seen how the Lord has always been ahead of us preparing  the doorways we would need to walk through.

So, my friend, if you are to change anything this year in your homeschool, be sure you don’t change just to have the other option that seems super great if what you are doing is working in your family; but at the same time know that changes will definitely come, sooner or later, without you even noticing them; and when they come remember that the Lord has been walking ahead. He is our faithful Father.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

 Lord, teach us to see that changes can be beautiful!

Note: The second picture on this post is “playing” at You Capture. 
This week’s theme is “Doorways”


>"Brumous" -a Photo Play-

>I have missed the last two photo plays over at my friends’ place; but I did not want to miss play along this time.

The theme is Brumous and it was fun to play along mostly because my husband was behind me teaching me how to do this. I love him so much!

I took these pictures this morning just to play along.

Tonight I will come back with “Brumous at Night” (just can’t resist it!)

Journeying under His sun and by His grace,