May 30 • 3M

Porch Time

One Minute with Marlin

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One minute episodes with Marlin Miller, the founder and publisher of Plain Values magazine.
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Marlin Miller, publisher of Plain Values magazine, and his furry co-publisher Wilbur.

On a recent trip, we spent a few evenings with a wonderful family who buried their nine-year-old only a few years ago. We quickly became friends as we connected on a deep level, sharing the good and the hard as our kids ran and played. As we traveled home, I told Lisa there is a huge part of me wanting to skip all pleasantries in conversation from now on. She gently and wisely reminded me that not all folks are comfortable with jumping right into sharing deep, authentic thoughts and emotions with me. But this is what I long for—the kind of friendships that are built on solid foundations of hope only found in Jesus. My point is this… this life is so short. Why do I want to spend time talking about weather that will change in ten minutes!? A friend recently told me when he meets new folks and the conversation turns to work, he follows it up with this line… “Ok, you’re an engineer, but what do you really do?” I love that because it digs underneath and asks a deeper question to which most folks give a very different answer.

I’m gonna tweak his question a little in certain circumstances… “Ok, but how are you really doing?” Everything we do here at Plain Values is centered around building and living in community. On that note, I feel I owe you an apology. For the last ten years, I have talked about living in community and loving our neighbors. But I haven’t lived it out to its full capacity. So we have been opening our office every third Friday of each month from 1pm to 4pm EST. I do not want to simply talk about living in community, I want to do it. I am so sorry for the many conversations I should have shared with people I didn’t make time for or did not catch the pause or pain in a short answer.

The same friend who buried his daughter a few years ago intentionally lives out his days at a slower pace. He makes time for his friends. I want to live in that pace as often as I can. Another wise friend told me regarding changes in life, often small is big. A small change lived out is bigger than a huge change that lasts for a week or two and then is forgotten. So again, every third Friday afternoon of each month, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm EST, we’re hosting Porch Time at Plain Values. During this time window, you’re invited to stop by, have a cup of coffee or tea, sit on the porch, and just visit for a while. You might meet a few of our team and might even discover their role in building Plain Values every month.

As always, may you find joy in the simple things. This is Marlin with Plain Values magazine. Learn more about our work, and subscribe, at