Have you read Charlotte’s Web? Maybe you have watched the film. It is a simple story of a barn full of animals and a little girl. There are many lessons to be realised throughout the narrative but the final act of Charlotte the Spider to save Wilbur the Pig is when she pronounces him humble. Wilbur has nothing that can be measured in a quantitative way to rank him above anyone else. And it is this very humility that is seen by everyone as special.
In April our focus is that the Miller Family is Humble. Really it should be, “the Miller Family attempts to be humble”. I’m glad that we are a family unit and the members of the family can help remind each other to be humble.
Today I read Psalm 131. It is a short Psalm which I encourage you to read. It talks about the fact that I haven’t done any miracles or anything great. So I won’t look down on others or be proud. I will be calm and quiet like a mother with her baby.
The greatest reminder to continually aim for humility is the fact that we are children of God only through Jesus. There is no action I can perform or quality I possess that would cause God to choose me. I have no station, status or pedigree that makes me better than anyone else in God’s eyes. The fact that I am a child of God because of Jesus is a comfort and a reminder. I am comforted knowing that I need only trust instead of perform. I am reminded that I am not above any other person.
Oh God, may I remember this truth every day!MARIE'S CORNER
Jonny Peace is 4 months old already. He really enjoyed meeting his Kiwi grandparents a few weeks ago and Mama enjoyed being able to sit down for a cup of tea every day during his bath time. I’ve enjoyed the ups and downs of living away from home for 6 years, but am starting to feel the pull to be near family now that I have a baby. It doesn’t look like we’ll be moving back there any time soon, but we are all really looking forward to a visit later this week and introducing him to his American fan club. Come to think of it, Jonny has quite a few people eager to meet him on most continents!UKRAINE
Next week is Easter in Ukraine. I always enjoyed Easter when I was there. As a church family we routinely got up early and had a small service by a fire on a cliff overlooking the river waiting for the sun to rise. As the sun came out people would call out, “Christ is Risen!” and reply, “In Truth He has Risen!” This would become a greeting around town for the following week.
Ukraine as a country, and more so my friends, continue to be upon my heart. Read Dan’s thoughts here to get a close-up view of what is happening as well as some thoughts to ponder for perspective and Christ-like reaction.
Our family do hope to be able to be in Ukraine to visit friends next year during their summer. Pray that this will be possible.LIFE IN THE BIG SMOKE
We have had a busy month. My parents came for a visit. It was great for Jonny to meet them and vice versa. They certainly enjoyed doting on him as well as helping with washing the dishes and washing the baby (but not together).
I turned 42.
Term 1 has come to an end. I am thoroughly enjoying the class and would ask you to pray that I continue to help mould these children into who God wants them to be.
We had a special dedication of Jonny at church at the end of March. Please continue to pray with us throughout his life that we would raise him to know and love God. Pray that God’s Spirit works strongly in his life. We do pray that little Jonathan Peace Miller will grow to become a man of peace in a tumultuous world.
This week we are heading to San Diego for just under 2 weeks. Jonny will get to meet his American rellies as well as find out all about international travel (maybe his parents will find out something new about international travel!). We look forward to celebrating with Marie’s sister Spring as she and Patrick get married.PRAYER AND PRAISE
Pray that God would continually keep us humble before him
Pray – for us to have wisdom as parents
Continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and around the world
Praise God for a good first term at school
Pray that Jonny would grow to know and love God with all his heart
Pray for Spring and Patrick – their wedding and marriageTHANKS TO
Our friends who came to celebrate Jonny’s dedication with us.AttachmentSize 201504 JAM April 2015.pdf288.5 KB
I love March! I remember when I was living in Ukraine, and I thought March was an ugly month. The snow was old and dirty. The roads were muddy and slippery. The weather was cold and dull while the demeanour of the populace was abrupt and gloomy. Yet March whispered a promise, “winter is almost done, and spring will soon follow.”
I also love March because it’s my birthday!
And I also love March because this month we celebrate that the Miller Family is free. I love freedom. What pictures do you see when you hear the word "free"? Freedom that can be truly celebrated actually has parameters. The boundary is God. Life with God is an adventure! When as a family we live freely following the adventures God offers then we enjoy life together. Have you ever thought about that? Those three words convey so much.
I wish for all my friends to be free. Join the adventure of journeying with God. The entry point is Jesus, the one who said, “If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) Then live! Live your life in community. And “enjoy the moment” (Ben Clark).MARIE'S CORNER
Marie is busy looking after the baby and cooking muffins so will be back next month.UKRAINE
The Ukrainian hryvna has gone into a spin. When I lived there it was 5 to the dollar and slipped to 8 to the dollar after the GFC. It has now burst out to 26 to the dollar and last week was above 30. Along with conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the economy is as bad as it has been in decades and the future is anything but certain.
I challenge you with two responses:
1. Pray. Pray that while people are in despair materially and physically it will cause them to reflect spiritually and to be drawn to the Saviour who brings peace and freedom.
2. Sacrifice. How about giving up something from your comfortable life to help families in need. If you would like to know how, please contact me. I can pass on money or I can even pass you on if you have the time and energy and love to help out.LIFE IN THE BIG SMOKE
Life seems to consist of school, Jonny, the weekend, school, Jonny, the weekend. That is rather simplistic. Marie and I are enjoying the time we have together with Jonny each evening and on the weekends. We are slowly getting a good evening and sleeping routine. We are able to have a Bible Study group at our place once a week. We don’t get out to visit others a lot but we welcome you round to our little residence. School is going well. I have begun to click well with my class this year and thank God for them and pray that God allows me to speak positive and awesome truths into their lives. Next week my parents are coming to visit and my Dad is going to come and teach the kids some knot tying and give them a talk about ropes from the Bible.
I also get to turn 21 (again) this month. Come on over and share a coffee with me and help me get fat on some of Marie’s awesome home cooking. Actually playing sport to keep fit is a pastime that seems to be currently eluding me. I have played squash a few times but am needing to do something regularly. From a lounge chair point of view, I am enjoying the Black Caps and hope that maybe this time they can go all the way to the final.PRAYER AND PRAISE
Thank God for the freedom we have in Jesus
Pray for Jonny as he learns the routines of family life
Pray for families in Ukraine who are suffering in many different ways
Pray for the 24 students in my class at PHCS
Thank God that my parents can come and visitTHANKS TO
Marie for all the muffins!AttachmentSize 201503 JAM March 2015.pdf284.57 KB
If you come and visit us in Beecroft, along with the cafe quality latte and amazing assortment of gluten free snacks which you'll be offered, there is a good chance that I will force our wedding album upon you. It's more than a wedding album. My wife has done an amazing job getting photos of us all around the world (a few photos of friends, but really the book features us). Towards the end of the book we have written out our Miller Family Values. I want to focus on one of these for each of the next few JAMs
The Miller Family is hopeful. What springs to mind when you hear the word "hope"? Is it more than just wishful thinking or longing expectancy? The source of our hope is God and his providence. And knowing that he is trustworthy our hope for the future is secure. Hope gives strength. But it can wane if we take our eyes off of God’s provision and direction. It is easy to trust ourselves for a short time and then we find ourselves in trouble and hope vanishes. Keep hope at the forefront of your family by daily looking to God for provision and guidance..MARIE’S CORNER
“Don’t worry, Marie’s friends are really generous, they will get you the things you need” said my friend to her cousin who just arrived in Sydney from detention last week. All you friends from church are giving me a better name than I deserve! I hope that Jesus is also getting a good name from your generosity. Thanks for everything you do; you may not see where all your things go, but they do make a difference.
If you are interested in getting more involved in refugee ministry in Sydney, there is a training coming up on February 14th and 21st. This training is a great way to find out about different ways you can help refugees settle into their new city and also to learn about where refugees come from and how they end up here. Let me know if you want details and I will send you the flyer. On a really practical note, Sydney Refugee Team is looking for some storage space near Carlingford for items of furniture that get donated. If you or someone you know has a half-empty garage on offer, shoot me an email. They also need a few more people to help sort and pack food on Wednesday afternoons.
Jonny is smiling, babbling, hating tummy time, trying to play with his toys, and enjoying long naps in the morning. Life with him is delightful. I definitely don’t miss work yet!UKRAINE
Thank you to those who have been praying for UTSIM, for Sveta, Natasha and all the students in Rzhyshchiv. Continue to pray for the church in Rzhyshchiv that God would add to the number of those being saved and that they would be one.
Can I also implore you to continue to pray for peace? It is easy to give up and not have eyes of faith to see a way forward, but pray for the families of those in the conflict zone, that peace would come to them.LIFE IN THE BIG SMOKE
Can you believe Jonny is more than 2 months old already! What more is there to talk about? Sure I go to work every day. I have 24 more Year 3 children to love, to teach, to pray for. But I love coming home to Jonny. Sure there is laundry and dishes and cooking and cleaning and shopping, but that is nothing compared to the joy of family. Sure my wife hasn't had a decent sleep in two months, but that is . . . well that actually is something. Please pray for Marie as she does an excellent job of Momma to our gorgeous boy.
I'm sure other things happen in life, but really everything else is a blur. Today I walked up the street with Jonny pointing out things we could see while he gazed absentmindedly at the blue sky. I thought how quickly he will grow and change and I want to be able to be there every step. So let the big smoke grind on. I've got more important things to do.Prayer and Praise
· Praise God for the hope we have in Jesus
· Pray that God would be glorified through the refugee ministry
· Pray for peace to come to Ukraine
· Thank God for Jonny Peace and pray that he grows to know the Prince of Peace
· Pray for good sleep to come to the Miller householdThanks
The hundreds of people who have given us baby things for Jonny.AttachmentSize 201501 JAM February 2015.pdf270.4 KB