Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Religion • Personal Note to my Faithfull Readers

ANTIOCH 10/1/16—Early this evening, another spectacular California sunset threw it’s arms around the state. From my backyard patio, shielded from the outside world by a rustic wooden plank fence, I watched God’s brilliant light show. Majestically, the retiring sun burst against the gathering clouds, bouncing its golden rays across a royal blue infinity.

Soothed by gentle caresses of rustling breezes, I felt exhilarated. My body became light, freed from stress, as I allowed myself to become totally absorbed in these fleeting moments of beauty. I wanted to reach up and touch the liquid clouds that had formed across the vast sky, so arranged, with such grandeur, that it seemed that the very Hand of God had finger-painted space itself, intermingling the colors of clouds and reflected sunlight into a giant oil that could never be framed.

It was to be there only for a little while, not to be taken for granted, but grasped fully with every conscious sense while it existed, until the glow dimmed and slipped away. When darkness settled in it’s place, I felt no sadness or regrets.

I had relished it thoroughly while it existed, appreciating and savoring every moment while it was in my presence. It had taken its planned and logical course. And I knew that the next of God’s exquisite gifts was on its way.

This has carried me through some serious health problems along with other challenges but accompanied by true joy, for The Joy of The Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10. Tomorrow morning, we are moving to another state at God’s direction.

Chaplains Will Bryns, Colonel Timothy Vaughn Sr; his Son Tim Vaughn Jr; Ron Partain, Dennis Guinta and Tom Graham were a Godsend as they assisted, using all their strength to move our belongings out of the place we called home for 22 years. And they did the heavy lifting while maneuvering our furniture and belongings into the two moving vans. That was real grunt work, but it came with good cheer and happy conversations. We could not have done it without them. We are so very grateful.

The ministries founded by this writer, including the Chaplain training program, continues with Chaplain Priscilla Stanley heading up that function.This past Sunday Evening at His Presence Worship Center, 21 chaplains she had trained received their certification in a very colorful service. The prison ministry being put together, will be taken over by Chaplain Carson Curcini

We are grateful for the many great friendships that were established during our 30 years in California. We thank God for this experience and the people whom we were privileged to get to know. This was all for a season that has now come to a close. Unlike Abraham, we do know where we are going even though we have no idea what God has in store for us. But with Him directing, we can be certain that it will be a totally satisfying experience.

We will still be in touch through my columns and website. Both will continue as always. In any case, we bid California farewell as we say Hello to our new assignment.

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