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December 2018

It’s Giving Season, So Let's Give... Acceptance?

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It’s Giving Season, So Let's Give... Acceptance?

Hello everyone and Merry Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating the holidays this year.  Seeing as it is the giving season, it’s natural to put our resources together to help out those in need, which is great! In addition to the thoughtful gifts that will be given out this year how about add understanding to the list?

 Allow me to explain; if you’ve noticed the news, media, cultural trends etc., you can see there are people all over from many walks of life. Everywhere you look these days there’s someone that is completely different from everything you know and believe. Although this blend is great, disagreement comes about and often times disrupt peace and common ground. Something such as a difference of political views can easily cause unnecessary strife for many of us.

 In the season of giving I’m asking for us to look at the person next to us and just understand. Everyone is raised differently and grow up to believe differently. Regardless of the difference we should learn to understand and accept. Is a difference of opinion a reason to reject or look down upon one another? God made each and everyone of unique and special on purpose! Could you imagine if we were all made the same and thought the exact same thoughts?

When Jesus showed up at the well that afternoon, he did what was culturally frowned upon. However, when love is the forefront of what we do, there’s not a single difference that can stand in the way. Doing something like this may be unusual for all of us, just as the Samaritan woman was confused as to why Jesus was asking her for water. Fast forward to the end result and we have a woman who’s life is completely changed all because a Man decided to understand and accept her!  Jesus sets such an amazing example here that could shake things up in a powerful in today’s day!

 I don’t know who you cross paths with on a daily basis or who you will meet in the future but instead of focusing on how they may differ focus on embracing them differences and all. We never truly know what someone else is dealing with or what they’ve experienced, so why not build a bridge by choosing to understand and acceptance? What about that classmate that votes for someone different than you or that coworker that didn’t grow up believing in God? Imagine the progress that can be made if we put Jesus’ example into action and choose to accept them for who they are and where they came from? That is The Gospel!

Jeremy Hernandez is a member of the Journey family carrying on the message of faith to young adults searching for God.

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Wrong Destination

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Wrong Destination

My family loves to travel. We would travel as often as we could. I remember taking trips to different parts of the country and across the world growing up. Being an eccentric child, I tended to run ahead of the group on our walking tours. I almost ran off the path through the geysers at Yellowstone park, just to get a closer look at a buffalo. That earned me a good spanking. There was another time we were viewing the gorgeous rainforests in Puerto Rico. We were on our way to view a waterfall so I ran on ahead to get the first look. That spanking was quite memorable too. The one story I want to share with you is before I could remember. Its a story my family often retells at family gatherings.


Being one of three sisters and traveling a lot, my mother always needed someone to help her watch all of us. On this trip, we were traveling with my Tia Betty. We were at an airport and had just deplaned and were transferring onto a new one. My mom suddenly realized that she left something on the previous plane so Tia Betty volunteered herself to go back and get it. Turns out, I followed my Tia without her knowing. She boarded the first plane and retrieved the missing item, then returned to my mother; I did not. I stayed on the plane as it was preparing for departure to an unknown location. My mother asked Tia Betty where I was and she replied, "I thought she was with you and the other girls!" They ran back to the first plane right before it took off and retrieved me who had no idea what had just transpired.


There may be times in life where we knowingly rush ahead when we should be patient and suffer consequences because of our hasty decisions.  There are also times in life that we unknowingly follow the wrong path and end up in a dangerous situation that could completely alter your life. It is crucial for us all to be aware and diligent in our walk with Christ. He is the only way for us all to make it to heaven.

Alejandra Rodriguez Clark is an elementary school teacher and currently resides in McAllen, Texas.

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Sacrifice the Big Stuff

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Sacrifice the Big Stuff

I was made aware, at a very early age, that being a disciple of Christ takes sacrifice. I was told this simple truth by parents, teachers, pastors, and any elderly person I happened to bump into at potlucks. However, I don’t think I ever truly realized what the idea of sacrifice for Christ meant until I had to do it myself.

You see, most of those people who would tell me about everything I had to give up to follow Him all had one thing in common: they told me I had to give up things. Music, movies, food, money, sometimes relationships. So when I started getting to know my savior better, I was extremely startled to find myself changing. It was more than just giving up something I liked. Instead of asking me to throw away certain video games, or spend more time reading scripture, He asked me for me.

Looking back on it now, it’s a little humorous, but at the time, I was honestly pretty scared. I thought I was majorly depressed, none of the things that usually brought me happiness, or at the very least enjoyment, were making me feel anything at all. In fact, I truly didn’t want to do the things that had always been on the top of my list of priorities. I was changing, and in turn so were the things I enjoyed, the things I liked to do, and who I enjoyed doing them with.

This is how all relationships go, you meet someone new, and after spending enough intimate time with them, you start to adopt their mannerisms, their little quirks, and ultimately, their likes and dislikes. The only difference is that with God, you become more like the Creator of the universe, and that comes at a worldly price.

I find that most people focus a lot on the little things that they sacrifice for a relationship with Christ, when in truth, I think the true sacrifice is something much greater, it’s a sacrifice of being. You make the conscious decision to not only give up the things you identify yourself with, but to stop wanting them all together. It’s a sacrifice of identity. A sacrifice many, either don’t understand or aren’t willing to make.

Many people reverse engineer the sacrifice process, and give up all the insignificant things in an attempt to keep from having to sacrifice their identity, and who they are as individuals. They believe the lie that Christ isn’t worth it, that the unique identity he has in store for every one of us is less than the ones we have chosen for ourselves. When in truth, the only fulfilling way to experience this life, is with the identity and purpose God has given us.

The importance of this knowledge comes with action. Because the only way to be an accurate depiction of Christ, the only way to really benefit from His blessings, and the only way to truly “enspire” others, is when you accept the identity Christ has intended for you, and are willing to make the sacrifice that comes with it. A sacrifice of identity. A sacrifice worth making.

Written by Jack Bendall, a student at Chisholm Trail Academy.

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