Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)
I’ve heard this ever since I was a little girl in Sunday School. It’s always been just another scripture to me, not holding any more significance than that.
This morning it returned to my spirit. In this specific scripture, Jesus clearly outlines the three keys to living my life as simply and most effectively as I can.
He says He’s the way. That means whatever I want for myself will never come close to what He has in store and it’s only until I let my way go that He’ll begin to work. His way is the best way. Hands down. So follow Him.
He goes on to say He’s the truth. That means He is the standard for the way in which my life is measured against. I am to look to Him for guidance and direction…. which makes it easier for me because now I don’t have to figure everything out on my own. I can simply rest in Him.
Finally, He declares that He is the life. Any other route leads to death. Death isn’t always physical though. It could be the end of something, like a friendship or an idea. Having Him as my source of life ensures I always return to Him for everything. There is nothing and no one in this world that can take Him away from me.
With that said, this scripture is all the clarity I need.
I used to bubble over in excitement for New Year’s Day. For me, it meant a new semester was coming with a new opportunity to start over. However recently, I read an article from author Jon Acuff that mentioned people do not need to wait until a new year begins to work on themselves. I thought this was a great point. Nevertheless, I love to make the ol’ New Year’s Resolutions list.
Below are 3 of my main resolutions for 2017:
1. Learn a language.
This one I’ve been trying to do on my own for a while and I never know which place to go to that I can trust. Google translate is not always the best (Never trust Google, it’s always saying I have cancer). I went to the Half-Priced Book Store and got some pretty decent stuff so I’m very hopeful for this year! I am hopeful this will be the year I can make this dream a reality!
2. Mission Trip!
I have always wanted to attend a mission trip and recently I stumbled across one for Japan that looks great. My friend and I would love to attend this one. Fingers crossed! I pray it works out but if it does not, it is okay. There are always local trips that can fill our time until we get the opportunity to go abroad. Wherever God sends me is cool with me!
3. Prepare for Foster Kids.
This one is jam-packed with excitement (and work!). Some of the items on my to-do list includes: obtaining suitable housing for fostering children, getting my bakery up and running, maintaining a steady cash flow, and completing my final paperwork. I definitely have my work cut out for me but I know it will all be worth it.
I am excited for what 2017 holds and I am so grateful for all the things I learned in 2016.
Happy New Year and I hope you all accomplish your goals as well!
My family does not celebrate Christmas and we just cannot seem to get into the swing of Hanukkah. We do not have Jewish friends that live near us so we tend to get overwhelmed with how to celebrate the holiday.
Millermas started right after we received an eviction notice years ago. At the time, our parents were going through a long divorce. It was certainly a rough time, but it was nice. Our dad was gone, our mom was working, and we watched old Saturday Night Live re-runs with Eddie Murphy. In particular, we watched the episode where his landlord gave him an eviction notice. It was funny to see it and know how not “funny-funny” (ironic?) it was.
Myron was our mom’s fiancé (at the time), which is where we get the “Miller” part of “Millermas”. After about 5 years, we have this unique holiday down to a science:
We eat dinner on December 25th and laze around the house watching classics like Jack Frost and Santa’s Coming to Town (because I like Heat and Cold Miser). We always eat beef pigs-in-a-blanket and Kentucky Pie. The pie is shaped like a cookie. After you take out the nuts and the crust, you’re basically left with a cookie in a pie tin (at least that’s what the recipe boils down to).
We shop on the 26th and take advantage of the Christmas sales. The entire day is spent running from our parents and only meeting up to visit another store or to eat. Afterwards, we come home and split the gifts up so everyone gets time to wrap the presents with Mom. Myron watches the other kids and puts up the decorations.
On the 27th, we trash the beautiful wrapping (the same one we worked so hard on to make neat and beautiful) and get to the good stuff – the present inside. We bask in our gifts, which hopefully include a pair of socks that makes skating across the hardwood floor easier.
This year, we are moving it to the weekend. That way, we can have our entire family together and accommodate everyone’s busy schedule. It is nice to have something that is affordable and is flexible enough as a plan to work in different situations. It really is our favorite thing.
As one year announces its end, another year, 2017, quickly approaches. As usual, many tend to make New Year’s resolutions around this time. Just like others, I have also made mine in anticipation of better days to come. However, I have decided to change things up a bit this time around. I want to commit to simple achievable aspirations for the next few months.
Here is my list of New Year’s Commitments:
First, I commit to smiling more including people on the street, coworkers in the office, family, and friends whenever I meet them. I pledge to have a more positive attitude with those around me. I believe this would make life better and more peaceful in a way that could potentially change lives.
Second, I devote myself to focusing more by setting clear goals. Having a clear vision allows me to remain dedicated and devoted to the ambitions and plans that I have created. In addition, I will strive to surround myself with motivated and optimistic people who can make these tasks easier and more enjoyable.
Finally, in this upcoming year, I pledge to share more. My motto for 2017 is “Sharing is Caring”. I will share my knowledge, skills, and my time as much as possible with those who need it and ask for it. This way, I will contribute to the success of others in addition to my own and win the feeling of satisfaction and achievement from it all.
My plan is to make this New Year as positive as I can through my motivation and cheerfulness in hopes that it blesses others in turn.
Happy New Year everyone and may your days be filled with constructive, cheerful, and gracious moments.
With only five dollars to his name, Jon went to a nearby homeless shelter to spend the night. When he arrived, the mean security guard turned him away because there was no more room. As Jon turned around with giant tears in his eyes, he saw a bright light. As he squinted, he saw a man dressed in white that shone brightly under the dimly lit street lamp.
At first, Jon thought his eyes were playing tricks on him. “Surely that was no God!” he thought as he tried to bring himself to his senses. Jon blinked twice thinking his hunger must have made him hallucinate. However, he realized he was not hallucinating once the stranger stretched his hand toward Jon and called him by name.
He looked around but no one seemed to notice the stranger who stood quietly and shined brightly in their midst. It became obvious to him that he was the only one who could see this person. With curiosity taking the better side of him, Jon boldly approached him. He was determined to know who he was and more importantly, how he knew his name.
“Welcome Jon”, the stranger said in a calm voice with a smile on his face.
Jon could not remember the last time someone said his name. Usually, he was referred to as the homeless guy or the street boy. He also could not recall the last time someone smiled at him and that alone made him feel queasy. He spent many cold nights on the streets if the shelter reached capacity and many days rummaging the trash for makeshift meals. On rare lucky occasions, he would find a job that paid for that day. This allowed him to buy a decent meal. Unfortunately, luck was not on his side nowadays.
“W-who are you? H-how did you know my name?” said Jon. He was unsure if it was the cold that made him stutter or his nerves. “I Am.”That was all the stranger said which left Jon more puzzled.
“He is? He is what or who exactly? Who addresses themselves that way? Doesn’t he have a last name? Where did he come from? How did he know my name? “Jon wondered.
At that moment, Jon did not seem hungry anymore. He was more preoccupied with where this person came from.
“Do not be troubled Jon. I have known you before you were born,” the stranger mentioned calmly. Jon’s eyebrows knitted together because he could not comprehend this information. Weirdly enough, something about him made Jon feel peaceful in his presence.
Jon finally found his voice, though barely audible, and asked, “What do you mean… you know me?” “I’ve watched your every step and I have your name written in the palm of my hands. I won’t forsake you.” “You won’t forsake me? I think it’s already too late for that Mister. I don’t know how you know me but I’ve been forsaken from the time I was born,” Jon said with a broken voice and tears stinging his eyes.
“I’m here to help you Jon.”
Jon’s eyes widened and waited for the stranger to continue.
“I am what you need.” Jon smirked as he said, “You can’t even provide for my needs right now. I need food to eat.” “I am the bread of life.”
Jon raised an eyebrow and continued, “I need a place to rest for the night.” “Come unto me all who are heavy laden and I’ll give you rest.”
Jon was shocked at his reply. He did not fully understand the stranger but he felt the need to keep sharing his problems in hope that a solution would come about. He simply wanted a place to lay his head for the night and prayed this stranger could help him.
“I need a job.” Jon said. “I am the Way.” Feeling defeated, Jon kept silent for a while. He did not have much strength left to continue the conversation in this cold weather. If the stranger had something to offer him, he was willing to take it. If it would keep him warm and sheltered, he was willing to do anything the stranger asked of him. “What do you want from me?” Jon asked in a quivering voice. “I need you to believe Jon. Believe in me. Always believe I will never forsake you. I will always be with you, because I love you Jon. You can meet and talk with me through my book, the Bible. I will always be ready to listen whenever you feel lonely.”
Jon’s face fell and he felt something break within him. He was instantly filled with so much unexplainable peace, joy and comforting emotions. Hearing this stranger say, ‘I love you’ filled Jon’s emptiness and his eyes began to well up with uncontrollable tears. He was not sure who the stranger was but he knew he was more than an angel. When he finally composed himself and looked up, the stranger was gone. Jon noticed another man leave his car and head towards him. “Are you Jon? My name is Sam”, the man said softly.
Jon nodded with tears still swimming in his eyes.
“He said I would find you here and that you needed to find the Way. Will you come with me? I have a place for you to stay tonight and a warm meal that was prepared just for you,” Sam said with loving compassion in his eyes. Jon nodded with gratefulness in his heart. He walked with Sam with the hope of having all he asked but he knew deep down that he needed to believe in the words of the stranger.
For the first time in his life, Jon felt happy about being alive. He knew things would soon change for the better if only he believed.