Monday, January 26, 2015

Message from Mary & Jay Hendricks, Elementary & High School Teachers

We found this devotional online at  Somehow it seems to speak to us and our current situation at PC as we seek God’s guidance and strength.

4 Reasons God Allows You To Experience Trials

Sometimes God brings you to the end of your rope so that you might discover his inexhaustible power. We learn this from Paul:
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 ESV
As I reflect on Paul’s words, I see four reasons God allows us to experience trials:
  1. To help us understand and experience his incredible power.
    Paul reminds “God raises the dead.” Implication? There’s nothing going on in your life that is too tough for him.
  2. To remind us that he has delivered us and that he will deliver us again.
    Look back on your life and you can probably remember times when “God came through.” The Christian looks back to look forward. Looking back we remember how God has delivered us, so we look forward in confidence to his help in the days ahead.
  3. To urge us to set our hope on God. 
    The nature of Christian hope is not wishful thinking, but a confident expectation. God wants you to hope in him because you cannot make it without Him!
  4. To remind us that our prayers matter.
    Who do you know who is going through a tough time? Stop and pray for that person right now. Your prayers make a difference. They help the person who is struggling and indirectly they help the people who are blessed through the person you pray for.
If it’s going to be, it’s up to me! Not exactly. God allows trials to come our way to teach us that we cannot make it without him. It’s when we come to the end of our rope that we discover his inexhaustible power.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Message from Harold Harmon, High School Teacher

Psalms 150:  Praise the Lord!  Praise god in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty firmament!  Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him for His excellent greatness!  Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the lute and harp!  Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!  Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals!  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise ye the Lord!

God really does inhabit the praises of His people.  When you praise God, you are recognizing your fallible state in relationship to the infallible creator of the universe.  I find that my praises bring me into a closer relationship with God and it reminds me that everything I have or accomplish is through His guidance and empowerment.  Prayer gives God permission to work on our behalf and is an important element of our prayer life; but praise releases God’s blessings on our life and elevates us into God’s presence.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Message from Margarita Llanes, High School Teacher

This is a season of time when I am most joyful. I want to let the word of God express what is in my heart:

“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.” Psalm 40:5

“You make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts!” Psalm 92: 4-5

You have indeed made “everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

“Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.” Nehemiah 9:5

“I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.”  Psalm 86:12

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17

Monday, December 8, 2014

Message from Keith de Laet, Middle School Teacher

I’m writing this devotion on Friday, December 5, and I will warn you in advance that this probably is not your typical pre-Christmas devotion.  There are a lot of things to look forward to with Christmas and all that it brings, but that isn’t what is on my mind.  I am preoccupied with something else at this point in time, something that probably seems a little odd to other people.  I am preoccupied with the fact that December 7th will fall on a Sunday this year, just as it did in 1941.

Ever since I was in high school, December 7th has had a special fascination for me.  I was in our high school band and every December 7th we would board the bus and head to the state capitol to perform patriotic songs in front of the anchor from the U.S.S. Arizona.  There were speeches, songs, more speeches, testimonies from people who were directly involved, and other such things that really got me to think.  What was it like for those individuals who were, more than likely, looking forward to their own Christmas celebrations, to witness first-hand the radical transition from peace to war?  The world changed in a radical way for the United States that December, and yet Christmas came that December 25th just as it had in the past.  Prayers were certainly different that Christmas and worship may have been more intense, perhaps in some way we were pressing into God with more dedication than usual.

So I have been thinking about that and about just how quickly our plans, ideas, and commitments can be changed by the events of life.  Sometimes our plans come together just like we think they will, and sometimes plans change for better or worse.  To me, that accentuates our need to place ourselves in the unchanging, unwavering hands of God.  Please don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that Jesus came at Christmas and I hold dear everything that means for us as believers.  One of those things I cling to is Jesus’ statement, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  (Matthew 28:20)  There have been many times in my life when that promise was the gift I needed the most.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Message from Carly Bate, Elementary Teacher

I recently spent some time reading 1st and 2nd Kings, along with Deuteronomy. At first it was depressing to read about how all these kings ruled Israel and failed in so many ways. They broke so many of the stipulations God had laid out for his nation in the book of Deuteronomy. Manasseh burnt his son as an offering (2 Kings 21:16); Solomon loved many women, set up an Asherah pole, worshiped an Ammonite god named Milcom, and built a high place for Chemosh, a Moabite god (1 Kings 11); Saul disobeyed God and let Agag live (1 Samuel 15:8). And the list goes on and on. All the kings of Israel failed. Not one of them was perfect.

This led me to reread Revelation where I read about a perfect king (chapter 19) who is called Faithful and True.  He will judge the ungodly and rule with an iron scepter, but he will also make all things new  (chapter 20) and will give his bride, whom he made pure and flawless, a beautiful new city where sin is no longer reigning. He will wipe away every tear, get rid of death, and remove mourning, sadness, and pain.

This brought comfort to me. Even though all the kings failed, God is our eternal king who will some day come back and rule with truth and grace. While we celebrate the Christmas season, we celebrate Jesus’ first coming, but his second coming should also be on our minds. I love the song “Joy to the World” because it captures Jesus’ second coming.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders and wonders of His love

             In the midst of the commercialized craziness, remember Jesus and why he came, but also remember to live a life that is full of daily repentance and obedience to Christ, and that is ready for Jesus’ second coming where he reigns as our perfect, just, loving king.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Message from Carol Stines, Director of International Programs

I love the story in John 9 about the blind man Jesus healed.  I love it because of the connection the healed man made when he realized he’d had a spiritual healing as well as a physical healing.  Verse 25 c has always been one of my favorite…”I was blind, but now I see”.  I also love how he stood up to the Pharisees afterwards.  He even taunted them…I’ve already told you what he (Jesus) did…do you keep asking because you also want to become one of his disciples?”
I contrast this blind man who was healed with the lame man by the pool of Bethesda in John 5.  This man is also miraculously healed by Jesus, but instead of being thankful, he “told on” Jesus.  Verses 15 and 16 say that he told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him whole and therefore the Jews persecuted Jesus.  I don’t understand why he would do that after receiving such an amazing gift.  It’s so easy to ask the Lord for things but then not even show appreciation. 
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, may we be truly thankful – and to the one who deserves our thanks