The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Tuesday, February 6, 2024


What a whirlwind! 

You may be surprised to learn, I know I was, that an author has a very hard time finding out how his or her book is selling! It might be different for self-publishers, but my publisher doesn't even keep track of sales until royalty time comes around twice per year. 
I learned in January that 74 copies were sold between the time Epaphras: The Interview was released on September 23rd 2023 and the close of the tracking period at the end of that month. Now I wait for the middle of July to find out about sales from last October thru this March.

In the meantime, I went ahead and hired a professional narrator to bring life to my characters in an audiobook. That item is also available on my page at Amazon.

Also, Epaphras: The Appointment, which is a PREquel, is nearing completion! Not sure, yet, when that will be out.

If you are reading about Epaphras and associated characters, I hope you find the series to be both interesting and encouraging. Please let me know if you are reading, or listening to, Epaphras: The Interview and let me know what you think.

Thank you,

By the way...MILLERWRITES copy is COPYRIGHTED. Why cut and paste when you can simply copy the link?

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

FINALLY! I have finally written--AND PUBLISHED-- the book I introduced here in May of 2011!

"Hello? Hel-lo-o?" Knock knock! "Is anybody out there?"

Well just in case anybody IS out there and reading this blog anymore, especially anyone from oh, over ten years ago, when we were all writing posts and participating in blog challenges and having fun with our writing, I am here today with some exciting news!

In May of 2011 I wrote a series of articles for the May Z to A challenge which included a list of characters for a novel I had in mind. ( Z to A in May of 2011 Introduction ) This year I finally wrote the novel and this week it is published and released and available on Amazon!

(Here is the link to the book on Amazon: EPAPHRAS: THE INTERVIEW.)

I know! I can't believe it either! The book is called EPAPHRAS (EH-puh-fras): The Interview by Mike Miller. It is the first in a series of four that will all feature a modern man named after an ancient Biblical character, who serves his church by leading a small time 'Men's Group.'

A murder mystery and a love story are interwoven throughout the first book.

Here is a link to my new Facebook page called "The Epaphras Series." I hope you check it out!


By the way...MILLERWRITES copy is COPYRIGHTED. Why cut and paste when you can simply copy the link?

Saturday, July 31, 2021


                      Did you see the INTRODUCTION to this A to Z series? Check it out here.

What is a life without memory? "I forgot" is the kind of answer I would give to this question; you'll have to come up with something better than that! But truthfully the real answer is "not much." I say that because I have a memory like a steel...sieve! Some things are caught in it and retained, but so many other things that I thought would be too big to ever be forgotten have slipped through and are, sadly, forgotten. 

I only know this because once in a while my wife or one of our grown kids will bring up a noteworthy event that they are cherishing and I find myself wracking my brain and then maybe conjuring up the bare framework of a figment of a vague image and an obviously dubious "oh yeah" just so they don't think I don't care. How frustrating! More often I get to give out with an authentic "OH YEAH!" and I can rejoice in the shared memory as it comes back to me with corroborating fullness and more details from my perspective of the moment. Now THAT IS satisfying!

Of course there are some days and actions and decisions and words and even periods that I would like to forget about, but that to my detriment. It's not always good to cast such memories away because I might also then discard the important lessons learned from those episodes. By forgetting it all I might lose the repentant heart or the vital course correction, or sacrifice the improved relationship that followed if my hurtful misstep lead to a growth in intimacy. (Without remembering the fights, then the highly esteemed make-up sex would only be remembered as regular-sex, after all!)

Now I had better get to the subject before you remember that I talked about sex!

So in life we either have the joy of remembering everything important and worthy (good and bad) or we suffer the debilitating burden of losing the visions of old as buildings are hidden in a rising fog. I have confidence that in heaven my memories will be perfectly restored just as my aging body will be back in its prime, and then some. The sad and bad memories will be seen under the bright lights of forgiveness and restoration, and God's grace in Jesus will be magnified. No problems there.

But what of memory in hell? Those who reject God for whatever reason they may give would not want to be in His heaven so naturally they will not be forced to go there. They will live forever without Him, in hell. The first reaction to finding oneself in hell would probably be regret. It is not a fitting place to dwell for even the most anti-God zealot simply because it is everything opposite of God; opposite of good.

The regret would be intensified and magnified with every memory the person carries into hell with them. If every memory is restored to the mind of the recalcitrant, as I believe it will be in the eternal mind of the repentant, nothing but pain and sorrow will be brought to mind of those in hell. Their best times in life will now be remembered as obvious evidence of God's grace and the worse memories will only be seen as continual indicators of their own foolishness and sin.

PSALM 34:16
the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017


                       Did you see the INTRODUCTION to this A to Z series? Check it out here.

 Jesus made this declarative statement about his Father, our God:

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Mathew 5:45

QUIET, it seems to me, is like rain and like sunshine. Is the sun good? Or bad? How about rain? Is rain good or bad? I think we can all think of times when both sun and rain can be a great blessing or a terrible curse. Either one can wreak havoc or be a critical life saver. QUIET too can be either/or.

"Getting away from it all" is often an important goal. People sometimes need a break from the business and turmoil of life; from the hubbub and racket of machines and traffic and, yes, people. So a nice quiet place with maybe only a bubbling brook and a little breeze in the trees offers the perfect background music for relaxation and recovery.

But then again, getting closed in alone in a muffled elevator with nothing to hear but the berating thoughts of a guilty conscience can be torturous. Or worse, lying in bed in a dead QUIET house, wide awake and only wishing for some distracting noise or even a mild uproar to stifle the drama going on in your head. (I wonder if studies would show that deaf people tend to keep short accounts with their friends, being sure to quell the voices of guilt and bitterness and jealousy that the rest of us can more readily counter with NOISE.)

In HELL, I suspect, the only QUIET times are of the bad kind. Absolute silence of an unknown duration that does nothing good, but only fosters those haranguing indictments that can not be denied. Not a stillness that lets one "rest in peace" (there will be NONE of that in HELL!) or a quiescent purposeful dormancy, but a bare boned exposure and amplification of every thought.

Out of respect for our standing as independent creatures, made in his image, God only speaks to us in hushed, beseeching tones, and hopes we will listen. He tells us of himself through the magnificence of the material world he created, and waits for the one logical response. He answers our deepest questions in the QUIET form of a book, and only invites us to read about his ways.

One day such quality QUIET times will be unavailable. After a terrible windstorm, an earthquake, and a raging fire, God finally got through to Elijah in a gentle whisper. We should keep our ears perked up for that small QUIET voice of God, for he wants to save us from the forever badgering voices of guilt and shame that will plague those in HELL forever.

For he says,

“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
                                                                                                        2 Corinthians 6:2

By the way...MILLERWRITES copy is COPYRIGHTED. Why cut and paste when you can simply copy the link?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


                    Did you see the INTRODUCTION to this A to Z series? Check it out here.

The number one sin. The first sin. The worst sin. And the polar opposite of perhaps the most foundational virtue, humility. Humility allows one to listen and to receive from God what he says is needed (forgiveness and salvation). PRIDE works in the antagonistic direction. It is diametrically opposed to any consideration of God's perspective. Like "the lust of the eyes" and the "lust of the flesh," the PRIDE OF LIFE originates with the world and only supplants God.

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16

Instead of the Lord's Prayer, here is PRIDE'S prayer:

"Our imaginary friend, who really is nowhere, forgotten be your name. MY kingdom come! MY will be done; here in my house and everywhere I go. You can't give me anything, and I won't give you anything. I will never forgive you for anything, but hold your nonexistent self in contempt instead. Nothing is wrong, so there is no "temptation" to avoid, and I will deliver evil wherever I go."

And it is this spirit that speaks ever louder and more powerfully into the ear and out the mouth of those in HELL.

Psalm 36 speaks to our PRIDE.

1  I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
before their eyes.
2  In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin.
3  The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
they fail to act wisely or do good.
4   Even on their beds they plot evil;
they commit themselves to a sinful course
and do not reject what is wrong.

PS After further analysis, I have concluded that my milk pouring is not all I cracked it up to be.

By the way...MILLERWRITES copy is COPYRIGHTED. Why cut and paste when you can simply copy the link?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


                    Did you see the INTRODUCTION to this A to Z series? Check it out here.

My biggest fear, in writing these posts on HELL, is that the ideas offered and the perspective given are merely an expression of another fallible and foibled person (me). Of course any time anyone opens his or her mouth, or puts ideas out by pen or keyboard, they are taking responsibility for what is expressed. And I do. That's why I am scared. I do not want to be responsible for any misleadings or false teachings or OPINIONS which might misrepresent the truth about God or his order.

Misrepresenting God by the pushing of faulty OPINIONS can readily cause someone to "stumble." Here we see that each of the 3 synoptic Gospel writers share what Jesus had to say about the seriousness of such a mistake.

Matthew 18:6
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Mark 9:42
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.

Luke 17:2
It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of  these little ones to stumble.

Mathew went on in verse 7 to suggest stumbling would indeed happen, and to warn us to be careful with our assertions. "Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!"

This is why I try to reference a voice from The Bible in each post. Please call me out if a thought expressed here is not either backed up directly in Scripture, or easily inferred. Or if my inferences are flawed.

I think we suffer much from pushed OPINIONS. We have a new name for the phenomenon of mere OPINIONS being disguised as established fact: "Fake news." We stumble enough on our own without being mislead or encumbered with anything extra-factual.

But HELL, I think, will be filled only with untruth. Jesus said that he IS truth, so there will be only the opposite in HELL. Only OPINION. Which of course leads only to argument and dissension and bullying and hate. One aspect of HELL will be like being sucked into a Facebook comment thread where absolutely nobody can even present a fact and where no rules of logic can be used (they are too much based on truth). So yeah, like a Facebook comment thread!

What a horrible place to dwell in forever!

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Monday, April 17, 2017


                      Did you see the INTRODUCTION to this A to Z series? Check it out here.

In case you think this post is "all about you," let me set you straight. It's all about ME! 

You may be projecting a sarcastic voice into that last statement of mine, but alas, no. Too often--as in ALWAYS--I approach the day with that very ME-centric attitude. "How will the weather effect ME? today? Will anybody interfere with MY plans today? Nobody better have an accident and be lying there dying on the highway when I am trying to get to Walmart!" That last one may be a stretch (there is always another Walmart in a different direction), but you get the point.

It's bad enough here and now to be so NARCISSISTIC, but can you imagine that tendency growing in power and strengthening in its particularly selfish focus FOREVER? I feel a certain relief when I put someone else over my considerations. But that will never come in HELL. There will be no pause in the self-torment. Like Gollum falling into the molten mountain with that precious ring in his hand, we would go into HELL obsessed with our own vain wishes. Wide-eyed with expectations and desire for self-fulfillment, but only and always being burned by the hot lava of reality engulfing.

It will one day be too late to repent. TODAY is the day of Salvation. Now, let God empower the change from doomed sinner to forgiven and saved sinner with a promised eternity of celebrating Him, and of sharing a beautiful fellowship with the like-minded.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,"  Philippians 2:3

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