Monday, March 10, 2014
"The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not the moments of self-satisfaction, but self-forgetfulness. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and contemplating your own greatness is pathological. At such moments we are made for a magnificent joy that comes from outside ourselves."
― John Piper, Don't Waste Your Life
John Piper is one of my favorite Christian authors. The above quote stuck with me as I thought of those experiences that I did not matter, where it was not about me; the moment was all about God. The day my son was born, I did not matter; I was totally mesmerized by this gift that God had given me. This perfect little person that He had entrusted to me. The first time I went to Scotland I was surrounded by God's creation. The beautiful countryside and tranquil beaches gave me peace and I did not matter. Sometime these moments last hours and sometimes they are brief. When you catch a glimpse of the sun just before it sets and the sun's orange glow stops all thoughts for just a moment and all you see is the glory of God. It didn't last long, but you did not matter in that moment.
I was recently reminded of how precious these God moments are to me when my friends in Scotland posted about being able to see the Northern Lights. I thought about how amazing that must have been and how they must have faded into a state of utter awe with God. I know that they were not self-satisfied, but in a state of self-forgetfulness. I desire to have more times where I forget about me and take the time to see only God, be engulfed in His glory and captivated by His love.
Posted by Phoenix Christian Preparatory School at 9:24 AM
Monday, March 3, 2014
I pray the meditation of Days of Praise will bless your life like it did mine.
The Importance of Reading
“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, and to teaching.” (1Timothy 4:13)
In this video age, Christians are in grave danger of forgetting the importance of reading. The word translated “reading” in this verse is the Greek angnosis, a compound word meaning essentially “renew knowledge.” A sermon or lecture is knowledge heard, an educational film or video is knowledge seen; but reading is knowledge that can be read, rehearsed, reviewed, and renewed again and again, until fully and securely learned. In fact, it is necessary for students to take notes, even when hearing a sermon or seeing a film, if they expect to retain any knowledge received by such a means.
The importance of reading is also pointed out by the verb used in the verse. “Give attendance” means, literally, “continue steadfastly.” Reading and studying the Scriptures are especially necessary for a fruitful Christian ministry. To do this requires steadfast continuance in the study, not only of the Bible, but also of other sound literature as well. A truly effective and influential Christian is an informed Christian, armed with facts and sound counsel, prepared and capable both in his own professional field of practice and in his spiritual service as a Christian witness. The conscientious Christian must never cease to study and to grow in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. Days of Praise, February 13, 2014.
Posted by Phoenix Christian Preparatory School at 7:56 AM
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
A number of years ago I taught math at a small Christian school where I also served as a 4th/5th grade homeroom teacher. In that position I was able to share my love of fantasy literature with the students. I ran afoul, however, of one family that believed any kind of fantasy was ungodly. I was never able to convince them otherwise, but the experience did cause me to examine fantasy in the light of Scripture.
J. R. R. Tolkien considered writing fantasy to be an act of sub-creation. God is the creator and made the primary world. We are sub-creators and enjoy making secondary worlds. It is a way in which we reflect God’s image.
Fantasy is not nostalgia for the past or for childhood; it is humanity’s longing for its own past and childhood before the Fall. Fantasy is not so much a desire to escape, but to return. It is a symptom of our sense of separation and longing for reunion.
Fantasy often involves struggle in darkness and then a happy ending. Tolkien called this process a eucatastrophe, or good catastrophe. Beyond all hope there is a sudden joyous turn of events. The birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of human history. It fulfilled in creation humanity’s longing for reunion and consolation.
Tolkien said of the Gospel, “Man on earth is doomed to defeat, but that is only as far as man can see. There is hope beyond the earth. This story is supreme, because it is true.”
“There among the black clouds high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” The Return of the King
Oh, visit the earth, ask her to join the dance! Deck her out in spring showers, fill the God-River with living water. Paint the wheat fields golden. Creation was made for this! Drench the plowed fields, soak the dirt clods With rainfall as harrow and rake bring her to blossom and fruit. Snow-crown the peaks with splendor, scatter rose petals down your paths, All through the wild meadows, rose petals. Set the hills to dancing, Dress the canyon walls with live sheep, a drape of flax across the valleys. Let them shout, and shout, and shout! Oh, oh, let them sing!
Posted by Phoenix Christian Preparatory School at 8:06 AM
Monday, January 27, 2014
One of our favorite hymns is “Be Thou My Vision.”
The words to the song were actually written as a prayer in the sixth century by Dallan Forgaill an Irish Monk and poet. It was translated into English and put to music in the early twentieth century. The message of the hymn is clear; by keeping Christ in sight and by focusing our attention on him, we become more like him. As a part of the Phoenix Christian community, we all strive to keep Christ in focus and share this vision with our students and so that this can be their prayer as well.
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
1 John 3:2-3 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Posted by Phoenix Christian Preparatory School at 8:30 AM