Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight: Harold Miller

Filed in Successful Author Spotlight by on November 12, 2013 1 Comment

How We Get To Heaven, Harold MillerToday’s Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight features Harold Miller, a local hero who has dedicated thirty plus years of his life to service to his community as a firefighter and, for the past ten years, to his church by service to children via the children’s ministry. He has written his first children’s book, How We Get To Heaven, to explain some of the Bible’s most difficult concepts in a way that a child can understand. Harold is a retired firefighter in his home community of Irvington, Alabama, just outside of Mobile, who has dedicated his life to helping others. Whether through his leadership as a firefighter, working his way up to district chief before he retired, or his leadership in the children’s ministry at church, Harold has always lived a life of service. Even as he wrote this book, his heart’s goal was to best serve the children so they could understand just how to get to Heaven. Harold sincerely just wants to get this simple message out to all who need to hear—especially the children.

As I started our conversation, I sensed Harold’s meek demeanor and easy going spirit. When I asked him “What one past experience changed the course of your life?” he responded “When I accepted Jesus. I became a new person. Holy Spirit came into my soul. I don’t let stuff bother me. I have the Fruit of the Spirit in my life. The Lord changed me. There was a time in my life when I didn’t like children too much. But I started helping out with the Awana program with the six year old boys. I did that for about six years. Then I started working with the five year old boys. This is my 11th year working with the Awana program in our church. I have also helped with Vacation Bible School for the past ten years. I like working with the five to six year old age group because their hearts are tender and they listen to you about the Lord. I also work with the local community soccer program. Half the children in the soccer program don’t go to church. I am going to give them the book at the end of the program. There is also a Christmas store that the church does—I am going to give the books away at Christmas. It’s a non-profit. I just turn all the money back into buying more books. Actually, Cari Caryl from Xulon Press was my inspiration to writing my book. She said her girls needed to have answers, simple answers to hard questions in life—for children. That’s why I wrote it—to provide those answers!”

When I asked him “What is your writing method when you started this project?” Harold shared “I sat down and prayed. And each day, I would write the words that I wanted to go in there. I prayed that the Lord would help me with the illustrations also. I prayed about all of it. The Lord worked with me all the way to the end. I just started it and then I came back and did the pictures. They came second. I wrote the words, and then I came back and tried to explain it in an illustration so the kids would understand. The picture of Adam and Eve, with two purple fruit, with a bite in each one, on the ground, with the tree in the background, and it showed Eve had a tear in her eye. I taught myself how to do the illustrations on the computer using a paint program over the period of a year. God showed me how to do it all.”

Sensing Harold’s heart was dedicated to helping the children, I asked him “What is the most important life event you have had?” He reflected for a moment and then quietly stated “When I was saved. I was thirty-three. I was raised catholic. I graduated from a catholic school. I wasn’t happy with the way it was taught. Catholics teach that the church has all the answers and making confession to a man. I asked “why do I need to go to a man as a mediator when I can go to Christ, who is our high priest?” My wife started going to church one day, and I decided to go with her. Heard the Word and bingo! There it was. It changed my life forever. I then headed up a bus ministry for three years. There was never a time when I ever looked back.”

I delved a little deeper when I asked “What message do you want shared by the story of your life?” I could hear the smile come through his quiet voice as he proclaimed “Through Christ we can do all things. If you trust in Him, He will give you the power to do what you trust Him to do. If you get in service for Him, He will give you what you need– to do exactly what He has asked you to do. It’s just that simple!”

At this point, I had a real feel for this man who was just sharing the good news to all who will listen. I asked him “What would you tell others about your relationship with Christ that would inspire them?” He spoke as if he was talking to his firefighters’ squad or to his children in Awana Club when he said “We should put Him first in our lives. He will help us succeed in our lives. He will take care of all that small stuff. I don’t worry about anything anymore. I trust the Lord for all of that. No anxiety over the economy. It doesn’t worry me at all. I am building up some treasure over in Heaven.”

When I asked Harold “What will they write on your gravestone that will sum up your life?” he paused for a moment and with a soft spoken, yet peaceful and calm voice, he replied “He was faithful to the end.  He found the meaning of life.”

Trying to get to know Harold better and share the treasures that were stored up in this quiet giant, I asked “What inspires you?” It was as if he were beaming ear to ear when he announced “Looking at those little children, like little sheep. You are like a parent to them. I have them for a couple of hours at a time. I work with them. I become real tight with the kids. Give them hugs. And they will run up to you and give you a hug on their own. I always pray before meeting with them that they would see Christ in me. We have a lot of kids that just need to be loved. Some have attention deficit disorder and you have to be gentle with them. Learn how to work with them. One little boy always sees me and says “Hello Mr. Harold!” I love that! I found what God wanted me to do. My calling is to be with the children. He gives me the tools. And to be silly for the Lord so I can reach them for the Lord. That’s my calling. That’s my joy in life.”

“Hello Mr. Harold!” That just seemed so fitting for this kind hearted man who lived the scripture that says “suffer the little children to come unto me—for such is the kingdom of Heaven!”

I asked Mr. Harold “What is your theme scripture and why?” He recited “Romans 10:17 – Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

In my final question, I asked him “When you get to Heaven, what do you want to hear The Lord say to you?” Mr. Harold thought for a moment, and with a tearful response, he shared “Well done, good and faithful servant.” He went on to say “That’s all I want to hear. I just want to get in. I don’t care about a big mansion– I just want to get in. It doesn’t really matter how big a place that I stay in. As long as I get to Heaven and see Jesus—that’s all that matters to me!”

As I reflected on our conversation, I thought “Here is this man, who has led firefighters to save lives in his community and now leads children, saving lives in his church!” He truly reflected a lifetime of service: to his community, to his church, to his children, to his Lord.

Mr. Harold—you may not care, but I am sure that there’s a big mansion just waiting for you and all those children you have taught: by your example, by your words, by your hugs, by your life!

Well done indeed!

You can find Harold Miller’s children’s book “How We Get To Heaven” on the Xulon Press Bookstore.

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About the Author ()

Alan P. Scaglione is a writer who reflects on the simple contradictions and complexities to living this ”gift from God” called life. He believes that Life is a journey that, with compassion, a little levity and perspective, we help each other get through. His greatest compliment was being told “you draw pictures with your words!” He has devoted his life to “drawing”…in his poetry, his songs, his weekly “Reflections of Life” blog entries, his monthly SAS articles, his short stories and now, his novels! Alan is an everyday guy who refuses to let circumstances dictate his view to life; he lives an attitude of gratitude and spreads his positive outlook everywhere he goes. His BEST day is a day shared making a memory that will last a lifetime! Please check out Alan’s books “One Unexpected Event – How Would Your Life Change?” and its sequel “One Unexpected Event – Aftermath!” in the Xulon Press bookstore.

Comments (1)

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  1. avatar Barbara L. Vanderstel says:

    Oh my, that story about Harold Miller almost made me cry. He feels so much the way I do. I’ve been loving and teaching my kids in my day-care for 25 years already, and still counting. The way he gives away his books is what I simply love to do also. I want the children to know they must have Jesus Christ in their lives in order to get through everyday. I would certainly like to meet this man sometime as his heart is so tender and yet so strong in the Lord for all those little boys. I pray those children realize what a blessing he is in their lives, and when they grow up, or while they are still growing up, they can be a blessing to others. Praise God we have beautiful people such as this to make such a difference in the young people’s lives. My husband was a fire fighter in Killarney, so we know what an absolute responsibility it is, and you have to be willing to give your life for others. Thanks for sharing this story. You absolutely made my day. God Bless! We need so many more Mr. Harold’s in our lives. Good Job! Mr. Harold Miller
    ~~ Barbara L. Vanderstel

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