[This blog entry is Part 1 of a two part series. For Part 2, please click here.]

I’m writing this series of blog entries not because I particularly like airing my “dirty laundry,” but because the Bible says that we overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11) and because if they help just one person then isn’t it worth it?

Celebrate Recovery Testimony

Hi, my name is Gary, I’m a grateful Christian in recovery from anxiety, depression, lust, shame, self-hatred, anger towards God and people, unforgiveness, and the list is seemingly endless.

I was a shy, introverted child who was basically a “mama’s boy”.  No one taught me self-esteem or social skills or any life skills for that matter.  I did not learn them at home, at church, or at school.  I was left alone to figure them out for myself.

Perhaps the most damaging event occurred in middle school and came from someone whom I thought to be a friend.  This girl, all of a sudden, seemingly out of the blue, called me “ugly”.  I thought that we had a pretty good relationship up until that point, but apparently I was wrong.  Perhaps she was just having a bad day.  I did not respond to this insult but instead just quietly took it to heart believing that it was truth.

This was how I handled these kinds of situations.  I wouldn’t fire back any choice words or try to initiate a fight, but rather I would just take whatever abuse was given and ponder it in my heart asking, “Could this be true?”  Unfortunately, the answer that I concluded was almost always an overwhelming “Yes”.  I never discussed these events with anyone.  I suppose I thought that I was alone in these situations and that no one could understand me or help me.

Sadly, these situations continued throughout high school.  Specifically, I was called “ugly” several more times in high school.  Even once by my own uncle.  This just served to reinforce the apparent truth behind these statements.

The idea that I was ugly just devastated me.  I felt rejected, unacceptable, worthless, useless, powerless, and hopeless.  I already had severe acne and was very self-conscious.  This was all I needed.  The icing on the cake.  The precipitating factor that would drive me over the edge.

In an effort to ease my pain, I turned to many bad, self-destructive, and addictive behaviors.

### The above text was taken from our new book #SlayingLifesDragonsandBeasts and sanitized to make it more appropriate for this blog. ###

[For Part 2, please click here.]


In a world where “fine” is the standard answer as to how one is doing, Stephen’s book is refreshingly open, honest, and real. In his wonderful book, “101 – A Marriage & Family Success Story,” Stephen speaks of God’s faithfulness and restorative power even in the midst of separation and divorce.

101 - A Marriage & Family Success Story

Even though God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), it does not scare Him or limit His miracle working power in any way. Although Stephen and Cynthia had been divorced for eight years, God was able to keep them abstinent (a miracle in and of itself), and restore their marriage so that they were remarried.

This book is a testimony to the love and power of God to work in our lives regardless of our circumstances. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). In other words, He does not play favorites. What He did in Stephen and Cynthia’s lives, He can do in yours.

All-in-all, “101 – A Marriage & Family Success Story” is a great short read and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs victory and hope for their marriage.

Dear Father,

Thank you for the myriad of miracles that you perform everyday in our lives – You give life and breath to all mankind. Thank you for the way that you have worked mightily in Stephen’s life and in his family. My prayer is that you would have mercy on everyone who reads this review, and if they are willing to humble themselves and seek (ask) you according to your will, please give them the miracles that they so desire.

In Jesus’ name,


I would love to hear from you! If God has restored your marriage, please leave a comment below. How did He accomplish this? What steps did He require you to take (if any)?

I want to start by saying that my heart goes out to the families of everyone who was killed, maimed, or otherwise hurt in any way as a result of this horrific act of terrorism. I have been praying and will continue to pray for you.

Disclaimer:  This post is not meant to rationalize, excuse, or otherwise dismiss the awful acts of terrorism that were committed. It is only an attempt to provide a line of thinking from a Christian perspective that may have been largely overlooked.

The one thing that struck me was the following statement by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber who was killed early Friday, “I Don’t Have A Single American Friend.”

Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, 8, held a call for peace at a school event last year. He ended up dying a victim of violence.

Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, 8, held a call for peace at a school event last year. He ended up dying a victim of terrorism.

Why was that? Was it because he failed to reach out to other Americans and to offer himself friendly? Or was it because we American’s failed to reach out to him and to offer ourselves friendly, perhaps because of our prejudices against foreigners? I suspect it was probably a combination of the two.

What does the Bible say about how we should treat foreigners? Let’s take a look at some of the scripture.

You must not wrong a foreigner nor oppress him, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.
Exodus 22:21, NETBible

When a foreigner resides with you in your land, you must not oppress him. The foreigner who resides with you must be to you like a native citizen among you; so you must love him as yourself, because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God
Leviticus 19: 33-34, NETBible

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who is unbiased and takes no bribe, who justly treats the orphan and widow, and who loves resident foreigners, giving them food and clothing. So you must love the resident foreigner because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 10:17-19, NETBible

The Lord says, “Do what is just and right. Deliver those who have been robbed from those who oppress them. Do not exploit or mistreat foreigners who live in your land, children who have no fathers, or widows. Do not kill innocent people in this land.”
Jeremiah 22:3, NETBible

The above scripture says that we as Christians are supposed to love foreigners as ourselves, give them food and clothing, and that we should not wrong, oppress, exploit, or mistreat them.

What if Tamerlan would have reached out to an American for friendship? Or, better yet, what if American Christians would have reached out to him in love? I suspect that the outcome would (could) have been quite different. Perhaps, we would have never known the name “Tamerlan Tsarnaev.”

I’m as guilty of this as the next person. Perhaps I don’t reach out to foreigners as much as I should because of the natural barriers: linguistic, religious, cultural, and etc. Or perhaps I wasn’t aware of the scripture that speaks to this (I can’t have this excuse now!).

Whatever the reason, let us push past these barriers and reach out to the foreigners in our country in love, because, who knows, perhaps we can help prevent the next terrorist attack by doing this.

Dear Father,

Please forgive us for our prejudices and other wrong thoughts and feelings toward foreigners.  Please help us to see them as You do, as human beings that You love just as much as You love us. Help us to remember that our ancestors were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. Most of all, help us to remember that is it Your will for us to love foreigners as we love ourselves.

In Jesus’ mighty name we pray,


I would love to hear from you. Please post a comment below and I will respond to as many as I can.

I want to start by saying that my heart goes out to Kay, Rick, and the whole Warren family. I cannot fathom the unimaginable pain and loss they must be feeling right now due to the death of their son Matthew. My son’s name is also Matthew, and I cannot imagine having to do life without him. My prayer is that God would bring comfort and peace to the whole Warren family.

I listened to the “Choose Joy” audio book that is written and read aloud by Kay Warren.

Choose JoyIn this book, Kay is very open and honest about her inner life and struggle to find joy. She is real and transparent about many of the situations and circumstances that she has gone through in her life. She makes herself vulnerable so that others may identify with her and learn how to choose joy in their lives.

One of my biggest takeaways from this book is Kay’s definition of joy:

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.”

Choosing joy is about trusting God in everything. Trusting Him with what we’re afraid of, with what we don’t understand, with our futures, and with everything in between.  This reminds me of the Prayer for Serenity:

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
—Reinhold Niebuhr

Choosing joy is about knowing that God is in control and that in the end we will be with Him forever in heaven and everything will be wonderful. There will be no more crying or pain or death or grief or suffering. The former things will be left behind, forgotten, and the new order of things in heaven will begin and remain forever!

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” – Revelation 21:3-5 NLT

“Choose Joy” by Kay Warren is a wonderful book about choosing to trust God in all the circumstances and situations of life. It is definitely worth the read or listen.

I would love to hear from you. Have you read this book? How has it helped you to choose joy in your life? What else (books or other) has helped you choose the parallel train track of joy versus the track of sorrow in your life?

I was sick this passed week. I picked up a common cold that was going around my place of employment. It wasn’t the flu but it was about as bad (I suppose) as a common cold gets – whole body aching. I had spent the last 2-3 days at a distance from my family since I didn’t want them to catch it. So, I was feeling a bit lonely and perhaps a bit isolated.

Then, my son, Matthew, created a “Get Well Card” for me:

Dad, I Love You

“Dad, I love you. And you know that I would do anything for you.”

This really touched my heart. My son not only took the time to make me a custom “Get Well Card,” but he also loves me so much that he would do anything for me. Wow!

So, I started thinking… Isn’t this what God says to me? “Son, I love you. And you know that I would do anything for you.” In fact, He did do anything for me. He took my sin upon Himself and hung on a tree and died. And rose again so that I might live, both now and forevermore with Him in heaven.

“Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” — Romans 8:32-34 NLT

But what if we, as people who have grown up in church, have been desensitized to the message of the Cross? What then? What if the walls that we have erected have not only protected us from harm but have also kept us from giving and receiving love as we should? What if life’s pains, obstacles, and addictions have somehow numbed us to fully receiving God’s love?

Is there still hope for us?

I submit to you that there is still hope for us.

Dear Father God,

We come to you in the name of Jesus, the only way that we can come to you. Thank you for loving us so much. So, much that you would send your only son to die for us so that we could have our relationship and friendship with you restored.

We confess that this life and world have blinded us to your great love for us. We pray right now that your Holy Spirit would give us a fresh revelation of your love for us. We pray that all walls keeping your love out would be broken down. We pray that your love for us would be so real that it would transform us. That it would change our very lives and reveal the new creations that we already are.

In Jesus’ mighty, matchless name we pray,


In part 1 of this topic, we talked about how WordPress.com is a viable option for folks who want a blog or website that is professional looking, yet easy enough to build and maintain themselves.

However, a WordPress.com site does have it’s limitations. For example, additional plugins and widgets are not supported. So, if you want to add, say drop caps to your blog, you cannot do this with a WordPress.com blog.

You can purchase a premium theme or customize the design of your current theme for a price. However, because of how the WordPress.com platform works, you are still limited in what you can do.


Enter WordPress.org. With WordPress.org, the software is free but you have to find a web host to install it on. Thus, the initial setup is a little more complicated than a WordPress.com site and the web hosting will cost you a little money, but the flexibility that you get is priceless.

You now have the ability to load any of the numerous WordPress plugins (including widgets) that are available and you have free access to many fully customizable themes that are not available on WordPress.com. And Google Analytics is fully supported. You can even monetize your site if you like.

Michael Hyatt has an article called, “How to Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less.” Both he and WordPress.org recommends Bluehost.com to host your site.

I recently migrated from a WordPress.com site to a WordPress.org self-hosted site. I followed Michael’s instructions linked above and was able to get the WordPress.org software installed in a short period of time! It was literally a one-click install and I never had to touch a server’s desktop!

Migrating my blog posts over to my new site was as easy as clicking Tools > Export > Download Export File on my old site’s admin page, installing the WordPress Importer plugin on my new site, and then clicking Tools > Import > WordPress on my new site’s admin page.

Migrating my email subscribers was straightforward as well. First, I had to make sure that Jetpack was installed on my new site, which is also a one-click install.  Next, I had to contact WordPress.com support and ask them to migrate my email subscribers over from my old site to my new site. I also posted a request in the WordPress.com forums. I think the post in the forums sped up the process.

I chose the Suffusion theme. It is touted as “the Best, Most Versatile and Totally Free WordPress Theme,” and I would tend to agree. The number of options that this theme allows is quite impressive, if not overwhelming at first. Getting your theme (site) to look the way that you want it to is perhaps the most challenging part of the process.

The last step that I had to take was to edit my website’s DNS nameservers. I simply logged into my old WordPress.com site’s admin page, selected Store > Domains, and under “Domain Administration” selected “Make changes to DNS.” I then set a new password and clicked “Save password.” Next, I copied my customer number to my PC’s clipboard and clicked “Manage Your Domains.”

It was here that I changed my nameservers to the following:



After 24-48 hours, all website requests for my domain garyleemillner.com were directed to my new site over at bluehost.com

All-in-all, the WordPress.com to WordPress.org migration went very smoothly.

I would love to hear from you. Have you always wanted a website but have been afraid of taking the leap? Do you have a website that is a pain to update or manage? Do you have website hosting horror stories?

Today’s the BIG day. It’s 03-05-2013 and the official release day of our book, Slaying Life’s Dragons and Beasts – A Practical, Biblical Guide to Overcoming Life’s Pains, Obstacles, and Addictions.

Official Release of Slaying Life's Dragons and Beasts

I want to say a BIG “thank you” to everyone who has helped to make this day possible. My prayer is that God would use this book to help many people overcome the pains, obstacles, and addictions that have held them in bondage for so long.

May we all find the true freedom that can only be found in Christ.

Ordering locations


1. http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62024-672-6

2. http://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Lifes-Dragons-Beasts-Millner/dp/1620246724

3. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/slaying-lifes-dragons-and-beasts-gary-lee-millner/1114173566


1. http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62024-672-6

2. http://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Lifes-Dragons-Beasts-ebook/dp/B00AWU9YFU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

3. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/slaying-lifes-dragons-and-beasts-gary-lee-millner/1114173566


We just upgraded our website / blog to a self-hosted WordPress site!

Current WordPress.com followers will only see new posts in the Reader. They will not receive email updates unless they subscribe to receive those on our new site.

If you can see this message, then you are a WordPress.com follower. 

If you would like to continue to receive email updates, then please head on over to our new site, garyleemillner.com, and sign up (the website URL is the same).

Thank you for following this site and we look forward to interacting with you in the future.

May God Richly Bless You,

Gary L. Millner

With the age of the internet (e.g. websites, social networks, and blogging) booming, being online and connected is now more important than ever.

Christian authors, leaders, bloggers, and generally anyone who wants to reach the world with the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ, have a unique opportunity to reach billions of people online (over a billion people on Facebook alone!).

A website or blog has the potential to reach people 24/7/365. Your site works for you even while you sleep. If the world uses the internet for their purposes, shouldn’t we as Christians also take advantage of this wonderful tool for the Kingdom of God?

I started out when the only applications available to help build websites were basically just glorified text editors. You were responsible for writing the HTML code yourself. WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) wasn’t coined yet, at least as far as I know. Creating a website from scratch was a hard road, real hard.

Create Maintain WordPress Website Blog Easy Way

I experimented with creating websites in the early days of the internet but I never really got very far because of the complexity of building them from raw HTML code and the further pain of having to maintain them.

On one occasion, I remember building a website using a free template that I had downloaded. The website looked very nice and used Java script. I was proud of it. The only problem was, since I didn’t understand Java scripting, it was extremely difficult for me to create any additional content and make the website look like I wanted it to look. Thus, I quickly became discouraged and never finished it.

When the age of blogging began, I experimented with different blogging platforms (mainly Google’s Blogger.com but perhaps one or two other platforms). Blogging platforms offered a nice alternative to a full-blown website. I found them very easy to build and maintain and the nice part was that you didn’t have to understand HTML code.

However, the problem was that they looked, well, like a blog, and not a website. Even with the myriad of themes that were available, none looked professional enough to call your homepage.

Enter WordPress.com. I was first exposed to WordPress through a pastor friend’s website. His website was a WordPress.com blog but there was something different about it – it looked very professional. I also noticed that his website did not have the standard xyz.blogging_platform.com naming convention. His website was in this format:  his_name.com. I was quite impressed.

It wasn’t long after this that I decided to give the whole blog/website thing another try. I signed up with WordPress.com and garyleemillner.wordpress.com was born.

I found that WordPress.com made the domain name registration process very easy and even included this functionality within their web-based blog administration software. All I had to do was enter some information, click through a couple of screens, pay $17.00, and before I knew it, I had officially registered garyleemillner.com as a domain name for a year.

I now had a very professional looking blog/website that was relatively easy to build and maintain. I was a happy camper.

I have used my new site for several years now and have been extremely happy with it.

WordPress.com is a viable option for folks who want a blog or website that is professional looking, yet easy enough to build and maintain themselves.