Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Message from David Callahan, High School Teacher

Work in Line with the Gospel

There is only one way to deal with the sin that remains and the death we deserve, and it isn’t found at the top of any corporate ladder, or in the size of a 401K, or in the number of people reporting to you, or even in how happy you are in your job. Only God can address the needs nested deep in our weaknesses, insecurities, fears, and failures. Success could never address what we all really need most. Only the gospel will save us — even those who believe success in this life might save them.

We all try to earn love. For many of us, it started in preschool trying to please Mom and Dad with another picture for the fridge. Then it was cultivated in the competition of middle-school classrooms, and confirmed in the grades and awards of high school. In college, for the first time, we were identified by our major — our future job. And then four years later, after our first paycheck, we’re already fighting society’s desire to define us by where we work, who works for us, and how much we make. It all looks like work, but it’s really worship. It wears the responsible nametag of provision, but it’s really the frantic, promiscuous search for redemption.

Again, Keller writes:
God is not on a leash, he cannot be bought or appeased. The gods of religion can be controlled. If we offer them hard work and devotion, then they are beholden to us. However, God cannot be approached like that. Whatever he gives us is a gift of grace. (85)
God will never be won through work. He loves to save, but he will not rescue those who believe they’ve earned it. Grace is the only currency he trades in. Everything else we might offer him is as Monopoly money in his hands. He refuses to love and affirm you like a cosmic CEO, because he’s not “served by human hands, as though he needed anything” (Acts 17:25).

To be clear, success is not a curse. It becomes a curse when it quietly becomes your savior. God prospers the work of our hands in all kinds of ways for his glory. But it is not his method of making you his, and it’s certainly not meant to make much of you. Success is a servant of sovereign Grace, the only means by which anyone is saved.

The Lethal Drug in Your Dream Job
The Lethal Drug in Your Dream Job | Desiring God
Why do you want the job you do? Success is a subtle, but deadly god in America. But unlike the typical career path in our country, our God only trades in the currency of grace. We’ve been accepted and loved long before we clock in on Monday.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Message from Yvonne Calderon, Elementary Principal

The world says, "You can't do it."
Jesus says, "You can do everything in me."

The world says, "I don't know you or even care about you."
Jesus says, "I love you more than you ever know."

The world says, "I will love you if you give me something I want."
Jesus says, "I will love you with nothing in return."

The world says, "I love you for now."
Jesus says, "I love you until the eternity."

The world says, "You are not rich, not good looking... You are nothing."
Jesus says, "You mean everything to Me."

The world says, “Wow, I am too busy to go to church.
Jesus says, “Come to me”

The world says, “Who has time to read their bible”
The bible says, “ Seek ye first the kingdom of God”

The world says, “Sleep in – who needs devotional time.”
The bible says, “Jesus arose early and went to pray”

I have learned to tune out the world and tune into to the Bible!
We need to set a good example for our students.
We need to be in church on Sunday.
We need to attend a Bible study (more than Wednesday at school).

The world says, “My teacher doesn’t care”
PC teachers say, “I love you so much, you are in my daily prayers!”

Monday, October 6, 2014

Message from Rebecca Buys, Middle School Teacher

Don’t pray for patience.

I know what you are thinking, “WHAT? You teach middle school, shouldn’t that be a constant prayer in your life?” No, don’t pray for patience because “ask and ye shall receive.”  ;) Do you know what strings are attached to a prayer for patience? Lots of situations that are supposed to teach you patience.

I think most of us can agree, that the process of learning patience is not easy! I don’t want to have to experience frustrating circumstances (or maybe students) that make my day more difficult, but along the way are supposed to help me learn patience. I just want to have it.  Of course, this isn’t the way it works because Jesus is the greatest teacher, and teachers know that students need practice! So, we are given situations that are going to help us to practice patience.

I recently read a friend’s blog in which she said that she had come up with a new prayer, instead of just praying for patience, pray for perspective.

“Lord, please give me better perspective.

Perspective that will help me to see the world through Your eyes.

Perspective tells me what is important. Perspective tells me to be grateful for what I have, and who, and what is right in front of me.

Perspective tells me that even when I don’t feel like a patient person, I can be at peace with the knowledge that my day and all of its happenings are in God’s hands. Perspective, most importantly, tells me that my life is not about me.

Praying for perspective is allowing me to be more understanding and more gracious, because I see how my Savior is the greatest example of those things and I need his Spirit to work in me to mold me to be more like him.

So as I experience those daily grind circumstances that are teaching me patience, but are also driving me crazy, I need to pray for perspective. Perspective that keeps my eyes and my heart focused not on myself, but on Christ and on those He has entrusted into my care. 

So I pray for perspective that reminds me of God's clear will for my life: to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Message from Jan Wolfe, Art Teacher

Test score driven curriculum scares me a bit.  I hear my family members, who teach in the public sector, complain about having to constantly teach to a test.  Salaries are tied into how their students perform. So I approached our faculty in-service with a bit of fear as we addressed test scores.  I then realized that test scores can help us better teach our students OUR curriculum.  We don’t have to change what we teach, just adjust how we teach it for our students who have low scores.  I then began to wonder, what if God gave a standardized test?  What would my scores look like?  Would I have areas that I need additional teaching, and re-teaching?  What would my scores in compassion, or faith, or helping others look like?  Would I be low in talking to others about Jesus?  If I were his only student, would Jesus get a raise?   

Fortunately, God doesn’t do standardized tests.  He just gives a final exam at the end called judgment.  That in some ways is even scarier, as we don’t have a baseline score to tell us how we are doing.  That’s why God gave us his Holy Spirit to help us develop a baseline and work on improving.  That’s something I can do, is try to tune in better to the ‘teacher’ that God has given us here on earth.  I would like to think that when I meet my maker, that he will not only say ‘well done’, but also, thanks to you I got a raise.

Acts 1:4 
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Monday, September 22, 2014

Message from Karen Boyce, Chief Operating Officer

Two of the most powerful words are yes and no.

My yes or my no regulates how I set my schedule.

How I set my schedule determines how I live my life. 

How I live my life determines how I spend my soul.

When I think about my decisions in light of spending my soul, it gives gravity to choosing these two words more wisely.

Each and every thing I say yes it sets the pace of my life.

An overwhelmed schedule leads to an underwhelmed soul — a soul with a full calendar but no time to really engage in life.  A stressful pace in life often leads to a stressful place in life. 

However, Matthew 3:17 reassures us of God’s goodness as His child: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” At that point, Jesus had not yet performed any miracles, led the masses or gone to the cross.  God was pleased with Jesus before accomplishments.  Christ’s love for His child was established just in His being.  Romans 6:4 assures us that “… just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  The new life is our unique identity, wrapped in the love of Christ.  The new life enables us to seek God for what and who we have the ability to say yes and no to.  We have the ability to say no in order to be available for a divine yes.  But, unlike Christ, we forget. We often let others, our guilt and our assumed obligations define our identity, who we are, or what we spend our schedule and soul doing.  Social media often offers a great area of comparison to keep us motivated to striving.  Our lives then become filled with so much activity that the only way to keep up with it all is to rush.  It becomes so easy to start chasing the wrong desire, making our life to look more like others.  It is exhausting just talking about it. 

Rather, I am God’s child.  Wouldn’t it be so much better to demonstrate God’s best for me with my schedule and within my soul?

God’s best for me means engaging with life and the people in it.

God’s best for me means noticing divine invitations and understanding my freedom to say yes and to say no. 

I must underwhelm my schedule so God has room to overwhelm my soul.

Christ is well pleased because of whose I am, not because of what I do.  He is well pleased because of an unfathomable, unconditional love that’s not earned, but simply given.  Yes! Today I will unwrap the gift of His love, embrace it, and lean into His guidance for any other opportunity I am given to say yes or no. 

Excerpts and quotes from Proverbs 31, Lysa TerKeurst.