Archive for October, 2015

Press On

by Brian Ness, Elementary Principal

The elementary students just finished a series of tests in physical education that allow us to see the individual growth and improvement from previous years. How exciting to see God’s handiwork in every corner of our life! The traditional 50 yard dash is always a highlight, as everyone sprints quickly to the finish line. The shuttle run was another quick and painless test, with cheering from our classmates on the sideline. Sit-ups start out easy and then begin to slow us down as we do as many as we can; the good news is we only have one minute to do as many as we can and we can soon be done. The planks, new this year, seemed to be easy at first but tended to be less fun as we continued for as many minutes as we could without touching the ground. Then came our Super Run, so named to get everyone excited about running long distance. Again, we were excited to get started and took off quickly at the sound of the whistle. However, we soon realized this was an event we couldn’t sprint through by ourselves. We needed the encouragement during the middle and end of the run as much as, or more than, the beginning of the race. Students spread out around the track to encourage each other. Students who had already finished jumped back on the track and ran with their friends on their last lap helping them focus on the finish line.

What a great example of our spiritual walk. Often times, we enjoy the beginning and it is easy. As life continues, we start to wear down, forgetting the blessings, peace, grace, mercy and miracles God has shown us. Therefore, let us encourage one another as we each press on toward the goal God has put before us and set an example for each other and the wonderful children he has entrusted to us.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:12-14

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – I Thessalonians 5:11

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Just Kidding

by Joe Packard, Secondary Bible Teacher

Recently in 7th and 8th grade Bible classes we’ve had some fascinating discussion about Proverbs 26:18-19, which states:
Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”

It’s surprising to see something like this in the Bible, such a specific reference to such a common and seemingly modern phrase we use so casually — “Just joking!”. “Just kidding!”, “Just messing around!”, “But I didn’t really mean it!”, “I was only teasing!”, “Just take a joke!”, and “Don’t be so sensitive!” all seem to be fairly appropriate contemporary translations. It’s so second nature for us to unleash all kinds of comments, phrases, and statements flippantly and callously, only to feel the justification to recant or retract them at our own convenience. But God says we are “madmen and madwomen”, like dangerous people running around shooting deadly arrows without giving much thought to direction, target, or ramification. Can you imagine, people running around our hallways at school, launching dangerous and harmful flaming arrows all over the place without caution or consideration for the outcomes? Insanity, right?

Well, your 7th and 8th graders would be the first to admit that this threat to the hallways and the health of our school family and its greater unity is all too common. They’d be the first to admit that from the wisest of seniors to the youngest of pre-K-ers that we could all use a little extra consideration and contemplation of the power of our words. We agree, it’s about as okay for our students to throw out remarks and comments and follow them with “Just kidding!” as it is to run around the school unleashing literal arrows from a literal bow.

The good news is that our words aren’t just potentially devastating agents of destruction (for those who’d be interested we watched a very thought-provoking video on the topic on youtube called “To This Day”; try watching it without being moved deeply and challenged greatly); words are in fact, just as often if not more so in Proverbs, described as God to be INCREDIBLE agents of healing, power, and yes–REVIVAL! So here, for your own consideration and contemplation are some truly PHENOMENAL examples:

Proverbs 12:18 – “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Proverbs 12:25 – “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”
Proverbs 15:1 – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:30 – “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”
Proverbs 16:24 – “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Proverbs 17:22 – “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Let’s strive to be a school and a people that speaks nothing but what would “build others up according to their needs”, understanding that there’s no such thing as a meaningless comment or conversation. Our daily interactions with one another are truly divine opportunities, and we should take great care to not take a single moment for granted. We can change the world, change a life, and ignite and spread the love of Jesus with the words we speak every single day — all in an instant, perhaps for a lifetime.

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God is in Control

by Dawn Cuckler, HCA Math Teacher

As a parent I have moments of frustration at how hard it seems to teach my children certain things. When I was first thinking about being a parent and reading books on how to be a good parent and how to train my children up “in the way they should go,” I determined that as long as I was consistent in my discipline, they would get what I was trying to teach and all would be well. Life has taught me better. There are just things that I can say and teach and shepherd a thousand times, and they still seem to elude my children and my students.

It is at those moments when the Lord gently reminds me of the things He is trying to teach me, and though he has shown me and reminded me and disciplined me I still can’t seem to get them right. Then I think of the moments along the way when something did click. When I got it and it finally stuck, at least for a time. What was it about those moments? How can I reproduce them in my own life and in the lives of my children and students?

I think the answer is clear: I cannot. Those moments were profound because God made them profound. It wasn’t ever what the person said or the way in which they said it. It was always God…and so it will always have to be. If I want change in my life or the life of anyone that I love and care about, I must be on my knees, in prayer: that God would intervene and turn our hearts and minds and wills toward Him. May the Lord give us the strength to do all that we can, and after all of our doing, to trust Him with the outcome!

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.”  ~Jeremiah 24:7

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”   ~Ezekiel 36:26

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