What’s Love Got To Do With It?

 Recovery  Comments Off on What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Jul 272015

Recently, I had the opportunity to stay a couple of nights at a hotel. The hotel was older, needed some repairs, and the WiFi didn’t work very well. But other than these minor issues, we had an enjoyable stay.

The fellow who ran the front desk’s name was Henry for our purposes. At first, while checking in, Henry seemed a little snappy. But after further interactions with him, he proved to be rather friendly.

Toward the end of our stay, I had the chance to sit down with Henry and to chat with him for a little while.


The following is Henry’s story:

“Henry was from a large family, having fifteen brothers and sisters, with their dad being a pastor. Needless to say, Henry grew up in the church. At age fifteen, Henry came out of the closet, so to speak, as being gay. He said he had known since age six that he was gay. He was immediately rejected and ostracized by his family. Henry knew that his lifestyle was wrong in the eyes of God. After he would fall to his vice, he would hate himself and to kill the pain, he turned to alcohol.

One day while driving under the influence, he was in an accident that resulted in the death of a young boy. This served to further ostracize him from his family and the church. In fact, he even received a letter from a major church denomination barring him from ever stepping foot in one of their churches again – ever.

Eleven years ago, Henry got a job at the hotel and has lived there on the premises ever since. Four of his brothers live nearby and have not once come to visit him at his new found home. Since Henry knew he couldn’t escape from God, he asked Him to stay on one side of the hotel and he would stay on the other.

Then, about six years ago, the unthinkable happened. The family who lost their son as the result of Henry’s drunk driving came to the hotel. The mother and father insisted that Henry hold their newborn son. At first Henry could not believe it, but they persisted and told Henry that they had forgiven him for killing their other son. Finally, Henry held their newborn son. The family has since brought their new son back to visit Henry from time-to-time.

Henry told me that he would never set foot in a church again for the rest of his life. But he also told me that he had seen more of God’s grace in that hotel than he has seen anywhere else. He said that just being able to face people from behind the front desk was truly a miracle.”

The fact that this is a true story shatters my heart. Where was the love of Henry’s family and the church? Where was the help that he so desperately needed? Why do Christians and the church consider homosexuality as the unforgivable sin when the Bible clearly teaches that it is not? Why do liars, thieves, the heterosexually immoral, and others get a pass but gays do not? Where is the old adage, “We need to love the sinner but hate the sin”?

The Bible teaches us to love not in word, but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18) and we should not just say we love but we should truly love. Perhaps if Henry had received the love and help that he needed from his family and the church, he would not have had to turn to alcohol and thus not been responsible for the boy’s death?

Does Biblical love mean that we as Christians need to learn to accept sin? No, not at all. But it does mean that we should truly love the person and do our very best to get them the help that they need.

What if his family and the church had taken a vastly different approach? Rather than rejecting and ostracizing him, what if they had attempted to understand him and tried to help him? What if they had started a Christ-based recovery group for gays and ex-gays? What if they would have continued to dialogue with him and invited him to their family gatherings? What if Christ’s love, not acceptance of his sin, but real love, had been displayed to Henry?

Thankfully, the grace of God still won out in his story. The hard, real forgiveness that that family chose, displayed Christ’s love to Henry like no one else in his family or church had. Because of that family’s choice, Henry was given hope. Hope that God is love, that He is good, and that He forgives. Hope that there are good people in the world who do care about him. Hope that with God’s help, the help of his counselors, and AA, he can continue to fight the good fight.

Henry told me that he has lived a celibate lifestyle for the last eleven years. Every morning he wakes up and asks God for strength to not fall. Then at night, he thanks God for the day. Sounds a bit like someone I know very well.



His son,

Gary Lee Millner

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The Truth About Porn

 Recovery  Comments Off on The Truth About Porn
Feb 132014

I was disturbed by what Meygn Kelly said about porn on the O’Reilly Factor about two weeks ago. She essentially said that there was nothing wrong with human sexuality and that millions of people were watching porn. So, what could possibly be wrong with it?


I go into great detail about the dangers of pornography in our book, Slaying Life’s Dragons and Beasts, but for our purposes here, I want to mention just one. And that is pornography, much like the drug marijuana, is a gateway. It leads to other more dangerous sins, much like marijuana can lead to other more dangerous drugs.

The serial killer Ted Bundy’s life is a perfect example of this. Ted did a final interview with Dr. James Dobson on the day before he was executed. The following is a snippet of that interview:

JCD: For the record, you are guilty of killing many women and girls.

Ted: Yes, that’s true.

JCD: How did it happen? Take me back. What are the antecedents of the behavior that we’ve seen? You were raised in what you consider to be a healthy home. You were not physically, sexually or emotionally abused.

Ted: No. And that’s part of the tragedy of this whole situation. I grew up in a wonderful home with two dedicated and loving parents, as one of 5 brothers and sisters. We, as children, were the focus of my parent’s lives. We regularly attended church. My parents did not drink or smoke or gamble. There was no physical abuse or fighting in the home. I’m not saying it was “Leave it to Beaver”, but it was a fine, solid Christian home. I hope no one will try to take the easy way out of this and accuse my family of contributing to this. I know, and I’m trying to tell you as honestly as I know how, what happened.

As a young boy of 12 or 13, I encountered, outside the home, in the local grocery and drug stores, softcore pornography. Young boys explore the sideways and byways of their neighborhoods, and in our neighborhood, people would dump the garbage. From time to time, we would come across books of a harder nature – more graphic. This also included detective magazines, etc., and I want to emphasize this. The most damaging kind of pornography – and I’m talking from hard, real, personal experience – is that that involves violence and sexual violence. The wedding of those two forces – as I know only too well – brings about behavior that is too terrible to describe.

Ted did this final interview with Dr. James Dobson for one reason and one reason alone: “He felt he owed it to society to warn of the dangers of hard-core pornography and to explain how it had led him to murder so many innocent women and girls.”

Right now, you are probably saying, “Well, he was a worst case scenario, and that could never happen to me.” The truth is that this could happen to any one of us. We are all capable of the most horrific kinds of evil. Just look at many of the main characters in the Bible. David committed adultery and was responsible for having an innocent man killed. Moses killed a man. Paul oversaw the stoning of Stephen. I could go on.

The scripture says in Jeremiah 17:9-10:

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

Of course, everyone who looks at pornography is not going to turn out to be a serial killer, just like everyone who smokes marijuana is not going to turn to cocaine or heroin. Nevertheless, the truth is that many who start out with softcore pornography will end up craving hardcore pornography, bestiality, or worse.

For many, the seemingly innocent play area of pornography will be a gateway that leads them to far worse sins than they had previously thought they were capable of committing.


His son,

Gary Lee Millner

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How We Treat Our Wives or How Should Christian Men Treat Their Wives

 Marriage  Comments Off on How We Treat Our Wives or How Should Christian Men Treat Their Wives
Jan 182014

The Bible has a lot to say about how we treat our wives. It says we should love them as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25), that we should live with them in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7), that we should not be harsh with them (Colossians 3:19), and I could go on. and. on.

It also gives a warning for those you fail to treat their wives well, that their prayers may be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).

So the question becomes, how are we as Christian men treating our wives?


Unfortunately, in my experiences, the answer to this question is probably “not very well.”

I must admit that I didn’t treat my wife as well as I should have in the first ten years or so of our marriage. And I definitely reaped what I sowed. By the grace of God, our marriage is now improving dramatically after seventeen years, but the first ten were definitely less than ideal.


I’ve seen this pattern in other Christian marriages as well, even among men who hold leadership positions in the church. It. is. sad.

Why do we treat our wives this way?

Well, for me, I didn’t intentionally set out to make my wife’s life a living hell – it just kinda happened that way. I was selfish, didn’t really have any social skills or life skills, and carried addictions and many other hurts and hangups into our marriage. Not to mention the fact that our personalities and ways of “doing life” didn’t sync up. We were total opposites.

As a result, arguing and fighting came natural for us. I was immature and wanted things my way.

What did I learn from this and how did I start treating my wife better?

I started to learn that the little things didn’t really matter that much… the color we painted the wall, whether we ate Italian or Chinese food, etc, etc, etc. If it wasn’t something that I had convictions about and was really important to me, then I let her have it her way. It just wasn’t worth arguing about. Our unity was the important thing.

I learned that my words were important. I learned that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21) is a true statement. I am not the best with words anyway, and when I tired, it’s even worse. So, if I need to have an important conversation with Joanne, it’s better to wait until I’m well rested so that I will be more careful in choosing my words. With that said, even when I’m exhausted I need to be more careful when choosing my words. Because they have the power to give life, uplift, and encourage, or the power to bring death, destruction, and discouragement.

In addition, I became knowledgeable of the fact that the Bible was true once again… shocker I know: “There is a time for everything… a time to be silent and a time to speak…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7).


Sometimes my wife just wanted to be heard. She didn’t want me to fix her problem or give her advice. She just wanted me to listen and try to be understanding. Especially after a long day at work or when she had just come in the door, she just wanted to vent. Sometimes, that’s all any of us really need, a listening and understanding ear. Someone to share our lives with, who won’t judge us or condemn us, but someone just to affirm that are we are important, that we matter and our lives matter, because we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Christ.

What about you? What have you learned that has helped you to treat your spouse better?


His son,

Gary Lee Millner

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How To Speed Up Your WordPress

 WordPress  Comments Off on How To Speed Up Your WordPress
Jan 102014

You might say, why should I care if my WordPress site is fast or not? One reason is because of the impatience of visitors. If I click a link in Google and it takes more than a couple of seconds to load, then I will probably cancel that page and click another faster loading page. Another reason is because Google now uses site speed as a metric to determine where your site appears in it’s web search rankings.

wordpress speed

I knew that my WordPress site was turtle slow, but I didn’t really know what to do about it. So, I dove in head first (as usual), researched the topic to death, and then implemented my findings.

  • The first thing that I learned was that I needed a caching plugin. The two most popular are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. I chose the later and turned on the Page, Database, Object, and Browser Caches. Doing this alone significantly sped up my site.
  • The next thing that I learned was that I needed a Content Delivery Network (CDN). I was unaware but I was already using a CDN, JetPack‘s Photon CDN for my images. BTW, if you’re not using JetPack, you are missing out on many wonderful features.

The two most popular full blown CDN’s are CloudFlare and Incapsula. I chose the former. Initially, I set it up through my hosting provider’s Control Panel.  I later found out that because I wanted to advertise garyleemillner.com instead of www.garyleemillner.com that it would be better to use CloudFlare’s DNS servers. So, I deleted my initial Control Panel setup and set it up directly from CloudFlare.com.

  • The third thing that I found out was that, other than the aforementioned plugins above, there are certain other plugins that are must-have’s when it comes to site speed. They are as follows:

Use Google Libraries – Allows your site to use common javascript libraries from Google’s AJAX Libraries CDN, rather than from WordPress’s own copies. | By Jason Penney | Visit plugin site

WP-Optimize – This plugin helps you to keep your database clean by removing post revisions and spams in a blaze. Additionally it allows you to run optimize command on your WordPress core tables (use with caution). | By Ruhani Rabin | Visit plugin site

WP Smush.it – Reduce image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress. | By WPMU DEV | Visit plugin site [Note: There are other plugins similar to WP Smush.it that may work just as well.]

  • The next thing that you should do is test your site’s speed with one or more of the following online tools and correct the findings where possible:




Google PageSpeed Insights

If you follow the above recommendations you should be well on your way to a very speedy WordPress site.

P.S. I would love to hear from you. Please comment below and tell me what you have done to speed up your WordPress site.

His son,

Gary Lee Millner

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Recommended WordPress Plugins

 WordPress  Comments Off on Recommended WordPress Plugins
Dec 312013

There are numerous WordPress plugins available to accomplish any given task. It takes a finite (seemingly infinite) amount of time to do the research on each individual plugin to attempt to figure out which are the best to use. That’s why I put together this listing. This will give the beginning… even the more advanced… WordPress users a much-needed time savings.

recommended wordpress plugins

Before we dive into the plugin list, I want to share with you what I believe to be perhaps the BEST FREE WordPress theme available. It is called Suffusion. It is touted as “the Best, Most Versatile and Totally Free WordPress Theme.” I would tend to agree. The numerous options that this theme allows are somewhat overwhelming at first. However, if you will take the time to learn the well described and well documented options, this may be the ONLY theme that you will ever need for as many websites as you manage. And, the creator of this theme, Sayontan Sinha, provides quick and accurate support via the support forum if you have a question.

Without further ado, here is my recommended FREE WordPress plugin list:

AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget – Help your visitor promote your site! The AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget allows any visitor to bookmark your site easily with many popular services. Sign up for an AddThis.com account to see how your visitors are sharing your content–which services they’re using for sharing, which content is shared the most, and more. It’s all free–even the pretty charts and graphs. | By The AddThis Team

Akismet – Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep. | By Automattic

Anthologize – This plugin can be used to transform your blog content into an eBook, which can be offered to your blog subscribers for FREE. | By One Week | One Tool

BackWPup – WordPress Backup Plugin | By Inpsyde GmbH

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget – Adds a WYSIWYG widget based on the standard TinyMCE WordPress visual editor | By Black Studio

Broken Link Checker – Checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found. | By Janis Elsts

Disable Comments – Allows administrators to globally disable comments on their site. Comments can be disabled according to post type. | By Samir Shah

Facebook Comments – Facebook comments can be annoying to set up. This plugin makes it simple to add the Facebook comments system to your WordPress site without any hassle. You can also insert the comment box as a shortcode into any post, page or template and use your own settings for each time you do it! | By Alex Moss

Follow Button for Jetpack – Adds a floating follow button to Jetpack Powered sites.The same follow button which appears on WP.COM blogs. Use Follow Plugin if your blog isn’t powered by Jetpack. | By TheAdityaJain

GigPress – Provides a database for entering, managing, and displaying speaking engagements. It is a great option for speakers and artists.  | By Derek Hogue

Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog. | By Arne Brachhold

iQ Block Country – Block visitors from visiting your website and backend website based on which country their IP address is from. The Maxmind GeoIP lite database is used for looking up from which country an IP address is from. | By Pascal

Jetpack by WordPress.com – Bring the power of the WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress. Jetpack enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users. | By Automattic

Page Links To – Allows you to point WordPress pages or posts to a URL of your choosing. Good for setting up navigational links to non-WP sections of your site or to off-site resources. | By Mark Jaquith

SEO Friendly Images – Automatically adds alt and title attributes to all your images. Improves traffic from search results and makes them W3C/xHTML valid as well. | By Vladimir Prelovac

ShareThis – Let your visitors share a post/page with others. Supports e-mail and posting to social bookmarking sites. | By Kalpak Shah@ShareThis

Social Media Widget – Adds links to all of your social media and sharing site profiles. Tons of icons come in 3 sizes, 4 icon styles, and 4 animations. | By Blink Web Effects

Suffusion Shortcodes – This plugin is an add-on to the Suffusion WordPress Theme. Suffusion offers you a lot of shortcodes, but if you move away from Suffusion, your content might not display properly due to the missing shortcodes. This plugin will ensure that the shortcodes are available even if you decide not to use Suffusion. | By Sayontan Sinha

Ultimate TinyMCE – Beef up your visual tinymce editor with a plethora of advanced options. | By Josh Lobe

W3 Total Cache – The highest rated and most complete WordPress performance plugin. Dramatically improve the speed and user experience of your site. Add browser, page, object and database caching as well as minify and content delivery network (CDN) to WordPress. | By Frederick Townes

Wordfence Security – Anti-virus and Firewall security plugin for WordPress. | By Mark Maunder

WordPress Importer – Import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags and more from a WordPress export file. | By wordpressdotorg

WordPress Notification Bar – Global Notification Bar for WordPress. | By SeedProd

WordPress SEO – The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more. | By Joost de Valk

WP-TopBar –  Create MULTIPLE TopBars that will be shown at the top of your website. TopBars are selected by a variety of options – includes scheduler, custom PHP, custom CSS and more! | By Bob Goetz

Wysija Newsletters – Create and send newsletters. Import and manage your lists. Add subscription forms in widgets, articles and pages. Wysija is a freemium plugin updated regularly with new features. | By Wysija


His son,

Gary Lee Millner

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