Archive for July, 2015

Searching for Renewal

by Michael Cuckler, Head Administrator

Every year the secondary Student Council chooses a theme for the year. After prayer and study of the Word of God, they have chosen for the 2015-2016 school year the Greek word “Anazao.” In its simplest English translation, it means, “Revive, to be restored, or to live again.” They have dreamed of a student body that lives revived in Jesus Christ and that filters thought, speech, and action through the lens of a restored life.

In a world consumed with moral darkness, there is no greater need than for Christians to live “Revived” and to demonstrate the characteristics of a “Restored” life. Our students have seen the emptiness that comes from pursuing a life in any other place than Jesus. This is by far the most crucial message to the church today.   Some of you may have heard of Saeed Abedini. He is an Iranian American Christian pastor who felt the Lord’s calling to return to Iran to preach the gospel. He was imprisoned for preaching the Word of God and establishing underground churches in 2012, and although the US Senate called for his release in May, he continues to suffer at the hands of the Iranian government. In spite of all he has suffered, when given the opportunity to speak a message to American believers, he said, “As an American and as a prisoner for Christ I have spent many hours praying and crying out to God for revival for this great nation. We all hope for the success of our nation and for America to be blessed, but without revival there can be no true success or blessing…I would like to ask you to join me in repenting and praying for revival. Me from inside of these prison walls and you on the outside.” We all want to change the world. We all want our life to mean something. Pastor Abedini hit it right on the head…we need to live “Revived” in Jesus Christ. A revived life is contagious, it will create revival in those it touches; it will create an explosion of repentance and restoration through our community. And it all begins with a few earnest souls on their knees in prayer. This is what our year will be about.

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. ~1 John 5:20

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Summer Fun: Finding Family Movies

by Heather Smith, Communications Manager

Summertime! Lots of sunshine (well, somewhere, I’m sure), fun outside, unscheduled days, and even the occasional family night at the movies. But with movie costs rising – not to mention the cost of purchasing a box of M&Ms – how can you make sure everyone enjoys the movie?

Enter the phrase, “There’s an app for that.” From Apple to Android, there are many apps that can help you evaluate movies before you even set foot in the theater, so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Because who hasn’t gone to a movie based on the enthusiastic recommendation of a friend, and half-way through wondered if you’re seeing the same movie they saw?

Here are three apps to make picking movies out for your kids easier this summer…

1. Plugged In – this app is available in either the iTunes App Store or Google Play for Android. Produced by Focus on the Family, it contains thorough reviews and includes content cautions based on age group.

2. Kids in Mind – this app is available in either the App Store or Android Market. This is the app I use personally use to make movie choices with my preschooler, because the reviews are incredibly detailed. They include complete content lists of anything questionable (i.e., language), so you will not be surprised by a single thing once you pop in the DVD or settle in with your popcorn at the theater.

3. Kids Media App (by Common Sense Media) – available in either the iTunes App Store or Google Play for Android. This app encompasses more than just movies, to include books, TV shows, and more. It gives ratings and reviews, as well as age-appropriate recommendations.

 

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Drawing Biblical Principles in the Classroom

by Nancy Chambers, 5th Grade Teacher

Ever since HCA adopted the Principle Approach as part of our curriculum, I have found the ability of drawing biblical principles an essential part of learning. During the course of a child’s education there are many desired outcomes, but the ability to draw a principle, especially when reading the Bible, is so important throughout life. To me it is the step we take before we make application. A learner finds value in a truth, and not only puts it into action, but internalizes it as part of one’s faith.

A principle is defined in the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary as, “the cause, source, or origin of anything–a constituent part, ground, foundation, and a general truth of something.” In the classroom I define it to the students as a valuable nugget of truth to live by. Another definition I have heard is, “A principle is a truth that’s true for all times and for all purposes.”

The third Governing Principle of the American Christian Education is America’s Heritage of Christian Character: “The image of Christ engraved upon the individual within, bringing dominion and change to his external environment.” Christ promises in John 14:20-21 that He will make known to us everything that the Father wants us to know about Him. When a child has a relationship with Jesus, the primary way that He continually molds the child is through the Holy Spirit speaking to the child through the Bible. The Lord also uses parents, teachers, and other avenues to teach the child. The child will not only see these facts as truth, he will adopt these truths as the basic foundation of his faith.

At HCA, we want the child to see Christ in every subject. Rather than simply tell the child the objective of the lesson at hand, the child must see how the assignment is important to him/her. In fifth grade, there are a variety of ways that I ask the students to practice, or draw principles that are worth remembering. When we are studying the Bible, I might ask the student to study a passage, and then at the conclusion, write a principle to be learned from the passage. Their hands just shoot up, they are so excited to share what the Lord has revealed to them. Sometimes during their morning personal devotions, I will take class time for them to share their personal principles aloud, so that they will experience not only how the Lord uniquely speaks to each one of us, but also through one another. I also teach them how to refine, improve word choice and be more specific.

Another subject that truly lends itself to drawing principles is literature. After I have assigned a chapter to summarize, I will ask the students to end with a life principle. This encourages the student to learn through example. A classic example of this is practiced in the Literary Tea reports. One student wrote in a report on Mary Slessor, a missionary to Calibar, that she learned, “You can always trust in the Lord all the time. In addition, I have learned that even if Jesus does not answer your prayer right away, you need to trust that He will answer it at the right time.”

Whether it is in history, or for the Tea report, we certainly need to draw principles from events and Christians who have served our nation. One student wrote about Robert E. Lee, “God is always there for me and God works for the good of those who love Him. Robert Edward Lee’s life is a great example of how God loves us and how He keeps us safe.”

Another important skill that is taught in the fifth grade is how to defend one’s opinions through essays. When Hailey Auch wrote her award winning essay this year on how she feels when she says The Pledge of Allegiance, she wrote, “Our country has been through a lot, but no matter what we go through God will always protect our country.” Another succinct truth she included is, “The Bible guides us in how to use our freedoms.” Her essay describes her deep appreciation of veterans who have sacrificially protected the freedoms that she values.

Hopefully all of our students will continue to learn how to draw principles that will not only strengthen their faith, but deepen their love for their Savior.

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