Archive for February, 2014
by Isaac Bowen, HCA Junior
When food is canned, it often loses its appeal. When God is canned, our desire to pursue him often lessens.
The case for God has been packaged so many times that it has become streamlined and commercialized, so much so that Christ has become something to be accepted, rather than someone to love. Regardless, many Christians seem much more comfortable with a distant, packaged, and thankfully less life changing God. For the occasional believer who finds that he is not comfortable with a distant God, the question remains: Are we willing to let God out of the box? If we continue to keep God at a distance, locked into a compartment of our days and minds, if we treat Him as a concept instead of a person, a theory instead of reality, we risk losing out on God altogether.
Too often we try to contact God by putting Him under the microscope instead of by talking to Him. As Tozer said, “We have almost forgotten that God is a person, and as such, can be cultivated as any person can. Many theologians, as well as myself if I am honest, have committed the grave error of putting God on the philosophical dissecting table, attempting to follow Him by learning about Him one morsel at a time. Those who attempt to do so always fail. As C.S. Lewis said of Aslan, “He Is not a tame lion.” So we must be careful to not limit God. The entirety of life, when lived to the full, consists of finding out more about God, and one can only learn from God the personality, not God the concept. This is true, and so also is the fact that, as Tozer states “The man who has God for his treasure has all things in one.” Clearly, God is a person we must be desperate to know.
We may, as we grow and mature in our faith, learn to desire God, but far too often we fulfill this desire 20 minutes every day and ignore it for the other 23 hours 40 minutes of the day. It shall come as no surprise, then, that many use God more as an insurance clause, as someone to cry out to only in times of trouble. Rather God should be present in all our thoughts and actions. Unfortunately, we all struggle to include God in the “normal” of our everyday lives. We even keep God apart from what we watch and listen to. Is it a wonder that God can seem distant? I am not saying every activity should be church related. No one has the stamina for that. Rather, as Tozer points out, we simply must kick the nasty “habit of dividing our lives into two areas, the sacred and the secular.” As Jesus is our example in so many things, so He is, as Tozer exhibits, our example in this, “The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our perfect example, and He knew no divided life.” Recognizing that Jesus’ life was unified, yet he spend most of His live being a normal carpenter, and probably even played some primitive form of soccer as a kid.
In the famous musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” a poor Jewish milkman struggles to hold on to his traditions while the times around him change. His struggle is shown to be a king to being a fiddler on the roof, as fiddling on a roof is a giant, dangerous balancing act which could end with the fiddler falling off the roof. Similarly, many Christians today have been “fiddling on the roof” as they try to compromise with God and the world. Sooner or later, we will lose our balance and fall off in either the direction of the world or God. If we fall in to the world; we will break. If we fall into God, He will catch us in His loving arms, we will finally know him personally, and we will find fulfillment.
by Michael Cuckler, HCA Head Administrator
“The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” Psalm 37:31
Families enroll at Heritage for a number of reasons. Increasingly, families commit to Christian education out of the realization that their children need an environment that honors their individuality and that prioritizes the unique way in which God made them. They want an educational home and family where the faculty, the administration, and the students submit to the power of Scripture as the pre-eminent voice in their lives. Heritage Christian Academy is that home; we are that family.
On a daily basis, we must wade through the myriad of voices in our hearts and heads. No matter how well-meaning those voices may be they frequently serve to divert our attention away from the spiritual and toward the temporal. The world’s voice would push to have our lives consumed with sports, music practice, and homework rather than Christ-like character, spiritual formation, and Biblical reasoning. These voices can easily pervade every area of our thinking. Therefore, it is imperative that all areas of knowledge are founded on and surrounded with God’s Word. God’s Word establishes purpose and quiets the voices of men.
Man was not created to pursue personal advancement, success, or achievement. He was created to live for the pleasure and purpose of the King (Gen. 1:27; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11). The goals of an academic institution must be aligned to the eternal purpose of man’s existence. Our world, even in Biblical circles, can have this motivation completely upside down. It is so easy to begin with the world’s view of accomplishment and try to fit God in or tack Him on as an after-thought. God’s Word brings clarity to the internal conflict that parents so frequently wrestle with as it relates to motivation and life goals for our children. As a parent, I have caught myself desiring to surround my children with opportunities that will make their adult life more comfortable. A “comfortable” life should never be our motivation. The reality is that an uncomfortable life may very likely be the calling of our Savior on their lives (Matt. 5:10,12; 2 Tim. 3:12). The motivation must be to surround our children with the Biblical understanding of life’s purpose and God’s provision that they may proclaim, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
Scripture is clear that the key to this life of undaunted pursuit is found in our time spent in His Word (II Timothy 3:16,17). There is no greater written or oral word to speak into our children’s lives than that found in the Word of God. It clarifies voices, strengthens our weaknesses, directs our going out and our coming in, reminding us what truly matters in this short life. Seek His Word, seek Him, and your world, I dare say the entire world will never be the same. John Wesley said, “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth.” I would take it as far as to say: Give God one. God can do unbelievable things with even just one. That is why Heritage exists: for even just one.
by Elizabeth Kouma, HCA Alumna & Spanish Teacher
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and as the date has drawn closer I have paused often to think about the love story that God has been weaving together for me. I reflect often on Jarod, my husband of six months and the great blessing he has been to me. I have been immensely blessed by the ‘stewardship in action’ demonstrated by my husband, Jarod Kouma.
First, Jarod practiced stewardship over is heart. Jarod has been growing in wisdom for many years, and he knew that he eventually wanted to get married to a godly woman and date her in an honorable way. So in his teen years, Jarod started accessing resources that encouraged godly dating and a Bible-based approach to what he should be looking for in a woman. In those formative years, he realized what was important and what wasn’t. Jarod has a habit (which I have grown to appreciate and duplicate) of doing tons of research on most things he plans to invest time, energy, or money into. Treadmills. Vacuums. Work boots. Camping gear. This area of life was absolutely no exception. He researched via counsel with youth leaders and Christian books, articles, and websites. What he did not do was consult culture. He knew what it would say, “Find someone attractive that you’re drawn to, someone that always makes you feel good.” He sought something more. Then as he accumulated his research, he (being the very organized man that he is) compiled a list of dozens and dozens of questions that he wanted to ask a young woman that he was dating to see if the things he was seeking in a wife were present in her. This blessed me in our relationship because it made for very purposeful dates and time together. We were able to tell relatively quickly that we had core beliefs and goals and attitudes in mind.
Second, Jarod practiced stewardship over his mind. Jarod knew that there is evidence and fruit that comes from a woman who is seeking after the Lord. There were a number of things that were valuable to him, and one that stuck out most to me was his desire to find a modest woman. This was particularly valuable to me because that was an area of my life in which God had done some major work not too long before. It wasn’t until my junior or senior year in college that I began to see the value of choosing modesty. I went to Heritage and had no qualms with the dress code, but perhaps took for granted its noble purpose. When I got to CSU and started studying art my first year (in, as you might guess, a particularly liberal part of an already liberal campus), modesty wasn’t a huge priority. I was more concerned about feeling comfortable, even if an arguably unnecessary amount of skin was showing. I wasn’t particularly immodest, I just thought to myself, “It’s just not a big deal.” But God began to do a work in my heart the next few years as I began to do some reading of my own by one challenging and compelling Christian female author in particular who reminded me that it is honorable for a woman to demonstrate tact in her clothing choices, to look out for the needs of her brothers in Christ, and to put modesty above comfort or her own “right” to wear what she wants. So on our second date, I asked Jarod what it was that compelled him to ask me out, a girl he didn’t know very well. He said that 1. It was because of some key similarities we realized we had and 2. Because I was modest. That spoke volumes to me about his character, and I was so glad that he had taken note of something which was valuable to me.
Last, Jarod practiced stewardship of me. I know it may sound crazy to the students when I share this with them, but one of the things that I appreciate and respect most about Jarod was the fact that he established good boundaries for us in our relationship. While we dated, until there was commitment (aka engagement), he would be faithful to treat me like a friend and sister in Christ. So we put limits on our physical, emotional, and spiritual closeness. I laughed but wholeheartedly agreed with him that we would refrain from using the “L” word with each other (I love you, i.e.), and even though he enjoys giving his family members shoulder rubs, we would refrain from that (among other things), so we could focus on the Lord and on getting to know each other and not on a frenzy of feelings. He kept me so safe in our relationship. And at the end of that season, I joyfully looked back and praised God for a shame-free, guilt-free dating experience, which was not the case in all my former relationships that were marred by selfishness. He also demonstrated humbling Christ-likeness in offering unreserved forgiveness and love after we got engaged when I shared those past relationships with him.
In conclusion, Jarod has long been a good steward of his heart and mind. More recently, he has also been a good steward of me, and for all of this and more I am extremely thankful. He is certainly not perfect, but I would certainly encourage young, godly men to start stewarding their hearts and minds like my beloved did.
by Tim Hoffman, HCA College Counselor
It is never too early to start thinking about college. The Fall is a good time to begin the process. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a college.
1. Plan of study/major
Consider these questions: What are your passions and strengths? What subject(s) do you excel at and enjoy studying? Is there a dream job/profession you want to pursue? These questions may help narrow down a few majors to consider. Students that are unsure or undecided could consider talking with a career counselor or taking a career assessment test. A good resource is: http://www.collegeincolorado.org.
2. Type of college
There are thousands of colleges. How do you narrow down a list of colleges to apply to? Consider these areas: Majors, Location (in-state or out of state? In a city, suburb, or rural area?), Size (large, medium, or small?), Environment (does it match your values? What clubs/organizations can you be involved in? Will you be living on campus? What activities (fine arts, sports, etc.) do they provide?), Study abroad programs, Public or private school, Cost, and is it a Two year or four year school? Picking out what is important from these areas and what schools match your criteria can help you narrow your choices.
A good GPA will give you a better chance of getting accepted and it may even earn you scholarships. Most schools require a six semester transcript to help them determine if you have met their admission requirements. They also want to see you finish strong. So, don’t slack off as a senior!
4. Admission requirements
Colleges are looking for well-rounded students that fit their culture and they also want students who will make them better. They consider good grades, community involvement, challenging classes (such as AP), strong ACT/SAT scores, and well-written, thoughtful essays in their decisions.
Visiting campuses can help you experience life as a student there. Take advantage of college visit days or schedule your own visit. Don’t just talk with the admissions office; talk also with current students and professors to hear how they feel about the school. The inside scoop could help you in your decision.
College is expensive and an investment. Save for college as soon as possible. Get a part time job to help pay for tuition, living expenses, and books. Financial aid is usually available but may only cover a portion.
College is a big decision. A college experience trains students for a career, and will allow them to make more independent choices and decisions. You will develop life-long friends and may even meet your future spouse. Start now in seeking God’s wisdom for choosing a school that is right for you. God wants what is best for you, and I believe He will reveal that as you seek Him in this decision.
Choosing a college can be exciting and scary. These steps can help students enjoy the process and feel confident about their decision. If you questions about this process, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.