Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Message from Phil Adams, Principal JH/SH & Central Elementary

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

“Help us to let go of the present we worked so hard for, the present we asked you for, so that we may embrace a new and better future. Prepare us to accept some chaos in the short run in order to make things better in the long run, to take resources that could feed our present strengths and current welfare and risk them on an uncertain future.

“Help us to move fast enough to reach our best future in time for it to matter, but let us move wisely enough that we can all stay together.”

From Leadership Prayers, by Richard Kriegbaum

How amazing is it that the Creator of the universe has a plan -- just for you, just for me, just for Phoenix Christian.

Message from Jim Wolfe, High School Teacher

Bible Object Lesson
Using a Barrel Net to Catch Fish

If you have never seen a barrel net before, they are a very interesting device for catching fish. The opening at one end is very large and the smell of the enclosed bait entices the fish into the net. The net then has two funnels into which the fish enter, but cannot go back out.
Actually there is one small way out of the net. The fish though are so busy trying every which way to get out once they are caught that the opening is oblivious to them. They stay caught in the net.

This is a wonderful illustration of how Satan entices us into sin. It doesn't look very threatening and the bait is so attractive. Once we are caught in the net of sin though, there is only one way out - that is Jesus. We can try other ways, but there is only one out of sin's trap. Through him!

Matthew 7:13-14: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

John 14:6: "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40)

Boy, I needed these verses today. I’ve had a few fitful nights of late, tossing and turning on my bed. I’ve been thinking about the challenges which lie before me, which lie before us, here at PCUS and I’ve spent some early morning hours trying to come up with solutions. I’ve spent that time also trying not lose heart…because those solutions are not coming to mind as fast as I want.

I have to admit there have been some times during my 17 years as head-of-school I’ve wanted to go ‘screaming into the night’. I’ve wanted to cry out to God “I can’t do it; I can’t take it; I won’t do it! I don’t want this responsibility!”

As I form those thoughts, God patiently but firmly says to me “Exactly! You can’t…you won’t…because this is not your school and it is not your responsibility. Now sit down, just ponder on Me, and then watch Me work. And if you want to know what I’m capable of…look up.

“Look at the sky at night. All those galaxies – I know each star by name. I named them, Jim, I placed them in orbit, and I keep them there. The moon, the sun…those are My handiwork too. I made them all, established their orbit, and keep them aligned.

“And that is not all, son. I did it all…from nothing; nothing! And I did it so you can see the path before you – not just your physical path but the path of leadership – this calling I’ve given you as husband, as father, as administrator. The path is illuminated…and it leads to me.

“So, quit your striving; quit relying on your own understanding, your own experience. Your hope is not in you…it is in Me. And I am big enough to handle it. Just look up!”

Message from Connie Williams, Librarian/Computer Teacher

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he, who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give things to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good, and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

I love this time of year! Extra time with family and friends; focusing on what we are thankful for and then what gift would bring delight to a loved one! I’ve made it a habit to begin the fall season focusing on this passage in Psalms. The upbeat theme of shouting for joy, worshipping with gladness, not with ‘one more thing to do-ness’, and relishing in the fact that I am a child of God’s, compels me to enter this season with a grateful heart. It is a privilege to be called one of His. This inspires me to live with a grateful attitude through this busy season and to look at each person He allows me to interact with, whether they are family, friend, or the check out person, as a creation of our mighty God and I get to represent the Holy one to them!

I came across this quote by the English novelist Taylor Caldwell, “This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone.” Now that’s a lot to shout for joy about! What a promise we have, because we are His!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Message from Donn Start, West Campus Principal

Most of us have a favorite Bible verse that seems to stick to us like peanut butter. Here are a couple of my favorites that I am pleased to share with you on this day before Thanksgiving.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise His name.

Best wishes to each of you on a Christ-filled Thanksgiving weekend!

Message from Amber Walker, Counselor


Psalm 50:23 (NLT)But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.
If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”
Psalm 92:1(NLT) It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NLT) Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer,[a] able to tread upon the heights.

The blessing of a spirit of gratitude is a new outlook on life. Thankfulness changes the way you look at your circumstances. Complaining connects you to unhappiness- gratitude and praise connect you to the source of real joy. When you make thanksgiving a regular part of your life, you stay focused on what God has done and continues to do for you. Expressing gratitude for God’s help is a form of worship. When you give thanks to God, you honor and praise him for what he has done in your life, in the lives of others, in the church, and in the world. Similarly, you honor others when you give thanks to them and respect them for who they are and what they have done. This attitude of gratitude prevents you from expecting others to serve you and allows you to enjoy whatever blessings come your way. An attitude of thankfulness not only brings blessings to your life, but it also blesses others with appreciation and honor.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Devotional from Divine Moments: Everyday Inspiration from God’s Word

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Message from Phil Adams, Principal JH/SH & Central Elementary

Then Job answered the LORD and said:
"I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
'Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.'
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes."

Job 42:1-6 English Standard Version

Beginning with chapter 38, God interrupted Job and the advice he was being given by his friends. God proceeded to ask a series of not-so-rhetorical questions. In chapter 42 we see Job’s response. It sounds like God got Job’s attention. He first admits that God is omnipotent. Then he answers God’s question about the darkened counsel by admitting that he, Job, was the one without understanding. Notice that he did not blame his friends. Then Job admits that this interrogation by God had the intended effect. Hearing and seeing God for who He really is had the inevitable effect of making Job recognize his puniness and sinfulness, and forcing him to repent. Job knew about God. He did not know God. Note that God did not accuse Job of a particular sin. Job simply did not measure up to who God is or what He demands: perfection.

Thank you, God that you have provided the perfection you require through your Son.

Message from Carol Vandernaalt, Central Campus Registrar

"And My God will meet all (my) your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus". Phil 4:19 NIV

I have had stops and starts in building my relationship with my God….I mess up, I let Him down, and I don't always spend time with Him or trust Him the way I know I should. Sometimes this is because I am trying to force the relationship and steer it in the direction I want it to go. That does not work, and it only leads to frustration.

However, each time I come to my God to ask forgiveness, He forgives me. Each time I ask my God for help and guidance, He is always there for me. I know that He hears me time and again, and He continually expresses His love and grace for me. I often wonder what people do without God….I can't imagine!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

My Dear Colleagues and Friends,

1 Praise the LORD.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
6 The LORD sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the LORD with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp.
8 He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.
10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
11 the LORD delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147

OK, now go back and read it again. I can’t think of a better way to start this week of Thanksgiving than with Psalm 147. It is chocked full, like a turkey full of dressing, with vivid and poignant reminders of God’s power to protect, of God’s pleasure in providing, of God’s worth of our worship.

Do you really want to be the cause of God’s delight – to be the one who puts a smile on His face - then be the one who fears (reveres) Him, be the one puts his hope in Him.

Go ahead and take God at His Word when He says “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, when He says “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

Go ahead and trust Him for the ‘bread’ you need this day and for the grace you need for the next. And let’s not forget to thank Him.

PS: Don’t forget to join with the PCUS community in a Prayer, Praise and Worship Service tonight at 7:00pm in the Light and Life Sanctuary.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Message from Bruce Consier, Athletic Director

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.”
-Psalm 46:10

A few weeks ago as I was pondering what else I had to get done in the busyness of my life, I found this saying:
“One word of caution, when you are overly busy your spirit gets empty..
Always giving out and that leads to downfalls. So, stay connected to HIM in every way you can.”

I have since made a poster of this saying and put it up on my wall, bulletin board and read it daily.
These past few years, I have been absolutely non-stop. I believe God has used many different things to get my attention.

Sometimes in life, God has to get our attention to remind us that HE is God. It may be an injury, sickness or just about anything that HE will use to have us slow down, or maybe for us to stop and wait on HIM.

Some of my best times in the past few months has been in our administration meeting as we sit quietly during prayer time. In that quiet time I slow myself down and think about how God is in control.

So if in your busyness of life - take a moment- turn off the lights, radio, TV and just sit quietly. In that time God will fill our spirit.

Message from Barb Tomb, Admin. Assistant to Superintendent

Please pray this prayer with me today…

O, gracious and loving Father,
express Yourself in me this day
in your winsome and compelling way
That all who I am with and blessed to walk beside
will feel your love and the fresh Breath of creation pouring through me.

May the expressions of my mouth and mind, my heart and hue unfold in gracious love and redeeming embrace that all may know You, Giver of life….yet Life,
Giver of love….yet Love,
Giver of peace….yet Peace.
In the name of the One who walked among us, died for us, and lives in us,

-written by Dave Tomb
Worship Pastor at Community Church of Joy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Message from Donna Thornton, West Campus Art

As we approach the Thanksgiving season, hopefully we ponder what we are thankful for. One thing that seems to be close to the top of everyone's list is friendship. People recognize the importance of friends. One great friendship in the Bible was that of David and Jonathan. They had a bond that we all desire. What was it that made it so special? Two things: First, Jonathan "took great delight" in David. (I Samuel 19:1) To me this is saying I should "take great delight" in my friends. People with similar abilites, interests, and people who also have a deep faith in God are those who would make a friendship like the one between David and Jonathan. Secondly, and more importantly, was the covenant they had before the Lord. This addresses trust.

I have had many friendships in life, and I am so very thankful for all of them. Have any of these friendships ever reached the plateau of that of David and Jonathan? Yes! I think of my high school friend, Deanna, my teacher friend of 35 years, Janice, my church friend, Peggy, I would trust these with my life. They are there through thick and thin, they know all about me and still love me, and that is a covenant kind of friendship. Of all my friends though, there is one that stands far above the others, and that is my friendship with Jesus. I walk and talk with HIm daily. He's there when no one else is available, he knows every evil thing I ever did, and he forgave me, washed me white as snow, and give me the best advice. I take "great delight" in Him and we have a covenant. There is no better friend. I wish that all could know Him. This is what I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Message from Renee Trapp, Business Manager


“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

The love of God is the key to trusting Him enough to let Him “do it.” Do what? Everything! Absolutely everything. The joy of responding to God’s love for us comes in the partnership He offers us in overcoming our difficulties. We are not alone in them. He partners with us by providing the wisdom and strength—and even abstinence from those life issues that threaten to derail us. In our love for Him, in our trust of Him, we receive from Him all we are not. This is what it means to “let Him do it.” He invites us to climb off the treadmill of self-effort and rule keeping.

God plays the major role while we rest in who He is and what He has done and in the knowledge that we were, are, and will always be the focus of His love. And that powerful love is what brings us from death to life.
(Faith for a Lifetime: Daily Inspirations for Women of Faith by Marilyn Meberg)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

I have a friend who recently had the opportunity to visit Rome. Of all of the attractions that he saw, his visit to the Catacombs, the ancient caverns that wind beneath the streets of Rome, impressed him the most. These were the same caverns where some of the first Christians hid from the Roman soldiers who would take them to their execution for believing in Christ. Here he saw the carvings in the walls of the ancient symbols of their faith - like the cross and the sign of the fish. And here in the walls, they buried loved ones who had been torn to pieces by the lions in the Coliseum all because they would not renounce Christ for Caesar.

The way of Jesus that we claim to walk today was, indeed, very expensive for those first Christians. In parts of the world today, following Jesus remains a risky choice for followers who may suffer or even die for the name of Jesus. And staying passionate cost Jesus everything. So who am I - who are we - that we should get off so cheap?

Jesus made it clear that those committed to Him could expect to make sacrifices each day. in Luke 9:23, He says, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me." Notice, He didn't say, "Take up your comfortable couch and follow Me." Somewhere we've gotten the twisted idea that following Jesus just means going to church on Sundays, believing His beliefs, throwing a little money His way, and maybe enduring being called a couple of names because of Him. If the price tag gets much higher, we may start to feel sorry for ourselves, to pull back from being a passionate Christian.

I am writing this Phoenix Christian blog to remind myself that I am here today because of some special disciples who refused to quit, no matter what the cost. Because of a Savior who refused to pull back, even when it meant the agony and humiliation of a cross.

Hymn writer, Isaac Watts, nailed it when he stated in the hymn Am I a Soldier at the Cross?: "Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease, when others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas?"

Thank you to every Phoenix Christian staff member who makes genuine sacrifices as they live their lives to educate children for Jesus. I continue to be impressed with Phoenix Christian teachers and staff and feel blessed to be a member of this special Christian school team.

Message from Carol Stines, Director of International Students

We recently celebrated Veteran’s Day. Both of my parents were veterans. My mother was in the Army Air Corp before they had women in the Air Force. My father was in the Air Force. After my father passed away (I had just turned 16), my mother re-married. My step father had been a veteran also. He was all over the globe – Japan, the south Pacific then Europe. My husband’s twin brother also served. He was in Vietnam.

We recently had a fantastic sermon on how we are in Christ. We don’t invite Christ into our lives; we become in Christ. There’s a big difference. For many Christians, inviting Christ into our lives means opening a part of our lives and “letting” Christ be there. That is not what we are supposed to do. We are to enter into Christ. When a person is in the military, it is not just a part of their lives, they are in the military. We can’t have Christ be a part of our lives, either. We need to be in Christ.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Message from Phil Adams, Principal JH/SH & Central Elementary

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man;

I will question you, and you make it known to me.
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Job 38:1-4 English Standard Version

It’s a bit jarring to hear sarcasm coming from God Himself. It was probably pretty jarring to Job to have it directed at him. The best way to understand these verses is to read the 37 chapters preceding it. We know well the story of Job and the counsel of his “miserable comforters”. His friends, his wife, and Job himself thought they understood fully what was at issue. What they did not know about was the back story contained in the first two chapters. If they had only been aware of God’s purpose (which he apparently never did reveal), I bet the whole narrative would have been very different. And yet God did not see fit to inform Job of the reasons behind what was happening to him. Was Job’s situation unique? Is he the only one with a back story that serves to explain all that happens? My guess is probably not. God doesn’t give us any more information as to the why of our circumstances than he gave Job.
Why can’t I just trust the One who was there when the foundation of the earth was laid?

Message from Ryan Stephens, Junior High Teacher

1 Samuel 1-3 develops an antithesis between Eli the High Priest, and a boy named Samuel. We are told that Eli had two wicked sons who served as priests. These evil sons regularly desecrated the Tabernacle by “showing contempt for the offerings” and even engaged in sexual activity on the holy site. What’s worse, Eli knew full well of his son’s evil and did nothing about it. A prophet warned Eli that judgment would come upon Eli and his family, yet still Eli did not rebuke them.

Meanwhile, the boy Samuel, raised by Eli in the Tabernacle, received his first word from the Lord. The Lord instructed Samuel to tell Eli that Eli would soon die for his failure to obey God’s warning and restrain his sons. Can you imagine! Samuel’s first message from God is to tell his adopted father that judgment has come on him! Samuel had two options: lie and tell Eli that God said nothing, or, faithfully give Eli the word from God. What a moment of truth for the boy! Samuel stayed up all night worried and afraid, how could he possibly give this message to a man he has grown up trying to imitate?

The next morning, Samuel, though afraid, courageously gave Eli the message. This moment marked Samuel out as a man who “let none of God’s words fall to the ground.” What an awesome way to get your name in the Bible!

The contrast is clear: Eli, the High Priest was too afraid of his sons to stand up for God’s word and rebuke them. Samuel, just a boy, honored God’s word even though it meant giving a message of pain. From that day on what God said to Samuel, Samuel did, no matter the cost.

In our world today we are faced with the same choice. Do we boldly stand for God’s word even if to do so may be socially unacceptable?” For example, how many churches in the face of social pressure ignore God’s word in teaching that homosexuality is acceptable to God? Or, maybe closer to home, do we let God’s words fall to the ground simply by not engaging in God’s word to begin with?

May we be people, who like Samuel do not “shrink back from declaring the whole council of God” (Acts 20:27) and never “let any of God’s words fall to the ground.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

18-19 Watch this: God's eye is on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love.
He's ready to come to their rescue in bad times;
in lean times he keeps body and soul together.

20-22 We're depending on God; he's everything we need.
What's more, our hearts brim with joy
since we've taken for our own his holy name.
Love us, God, with all you've got — that's what we're depending on. Psalm 33:18-22 (The Message)

These verses, like so many in God’s Word, are packed with messages for us: messages of hope, messages which reveal God’s character, and messages which put perspective on our circumstances.

As our world seems to grow more and more uncertain (economy, politics, acts of terrorism, etc) this Psalm once more directs our rattled brain back to an unrattled God. Verse 19 tells us “He is ready” to come to our rescue, He will hold us together.

Verse 20 reminds us on Whom we have placed our ultimate and total trust – “We’re depending on God.” He has indeed placed us in a favored position as residents of the USA; He has blessed us with wisdom and strength and creativity to work and earn an income, but in the end our dependence is not on stuff, not on strength, and not on systems of government set up by man. Our dependence is in God – creator and sustainer of the universe.

Think on that, and we can help but become filled to the brim with joy (verse 21). If your joy is not complete this morning, it can be. Reflect on the character and promises of God, Jehovah God, in whom you’ve placed your trust, and smile knowing He watches over with an unblinking eye and with a heart which adores you. Blessings!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Message from Joe Frost Director of Technology & Operations

1Peter-5:8-9 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experience by your brotherhood throughout the world.


Some of us know by personal experience that evil can be a powerful, strength draining, deceitful, temptingly attractive adversary that wants nothing more than to fill our minds with lies, drag us down, and consume our lives by any method possible; sex, drugs, depression, suicide, success, power... whatever it takes to keep us from having or growing up in a relationship with our God of Love.

Don't be deceived, but be ever on your guard. When, not if, but when evil approaches we must decide in an instant to confront it or avoid it altogether so as to maintain - by His Grace - our daily Christian lives.

We must know where we stand so we don't fall for just anything. We must know we're not alone and can obtain help and encouragement from others in the Body of Christ that are experiencing the same kinds of issues.

We must know what we claim to believe, being firm in our faith so we can resist our adversary the devil.

And we can know... Know that Jesus has already won the battle. And we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

In His Strength...through Him there is victory!

Message from Nancy Smith, Development Office

“Woe to me! I cried, “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the king. The Lord Almighty.” Is 6:5

Have you seen God lately? I am not asking if He has seen you, because he sees everything, but have you seen God? Is our reaction like Isaiah’s or do we view seeing God as we view a passing car?

When we truly see God, He overshadows everything; “His train fills the temple”! When we see God, we are truly humbled and we realize that, along with everyone else in this world, we are not deserving of his grace and mercy. We realize that we are a people of “unclean lips”! When we see God, we must realize that only when the world (and specifically those close to each of us) see Him, will their eyes be opened to see who God is. Pray for those around you to see God in this way.

I need to see God today. When I spend time in God’s Word, I see Him. My anxious heart is revived and rested and my sinful nature is exposed when I do not. Think about it: We are never tired of seeing those we love. How can God ever be tired of seeing us come into his throne room again to see Him. Thank you, Jesus!

“Be Thou my Vision, O Lord O 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. High King of Heaven, after victory won, May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun! Heart of my own heart, what-ever be fall, still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.”

Help me to keep seeing you, Lord. Thank you for changing me by seeing you in the first place.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Message from Darren Johnson, Development Director

I thank my God every time I remember you." - Philippians 1:3

It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month in 1918 when the world celebrated as a treaty was signed ending what was to be "the war to end all wars" - World War I.

One year later, on what came to be known as Armistice Day, Americans came together to remember and honor the sacrifices of the men and women who served during the war. Soldiers who survived the war marched in parades and were honored by speeches and ceremonies recognizing their contribution to peace throughout the world.

Congress declared Armistice Day a national holiday in 1938. By this time, with unrest in much of the world, Americans realized World War I would not be the last war. After the Second World War, Armistice Day continued to be observed. In 1954, Congress changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day to include veterans of all United States wars.
Today, Americans honor the service and sacrifice of our armed forces in the past as well as the present on Veterans Day. The official, national ceremony takes place at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. A color guard representing all the branches of the military executes "Present Arms" at the tomb, a Presidential wreath is placed on the graves, and a bugler plays "taps."

God Bless America
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
May we take time today to honor those who have served our country. God bless our Veterans and may God bless America.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

And the Lord said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent (of bronze) and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.
— Numbers 21:8

In Numbers 21, we see that when the Israelites were out in the wilderness, they were dying in large numbers because of a plague of snakes that had come upon them as a result of their sin. Moses went and fell down before God and worshiped Him. He turned his attention immediately to God, not to himself or anyone else, to solve the problem. It seems that throughout the Bible when people had a problem, they worshiped. At least the ones who were victorious did. They didn't worry—they worshiped.

How about our approach to problem solving? - Do we worry or worship? Moses sought God about how to handle the snakes. He didn't make his own plan and ask God to bless it; he didn't try to reason out an answer, nor did he worry—he worshiped. His action brought a favorable response from God.

Biblical scholars tell us that the pole with the bronze serpent on it represented the cross and Jesus taking our sin upon Himself on it. The message is still the same today: "Look and live." Look at Jesus, at what He has done, not at ourselves and what we think that we can do. The answer to our problems, whatever they may be, is not to worry, but to worship.

Blessings to each of you on a terrific week of worshiping with God. .

Message from Mark Ruiz, 5th Grade Central Elementary

Wisdom in Speech

Honey is good- and good for you- a rare combination! Generally, if it’s good for you, it isn’t good. If it tastes like cardboard, then it’s good for you. Thus honey is used in the Bible as the supreme symbol of the Word of God. David exclaimed, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth” (Ps. 119:103). In another Psalm he stated that His Word was sweeter than honey and the honeycomb (Ps. 19:10). Like honey, God’s Word is both good and good for you.

So are pleasant words. They are both “sweet to the soul and health to the bones”. Do we realize the power of our words? We can both kill and give life with the tongue. A wrong word can destroy a child for life, while pleasant words can give spiritual health. We must be sure our words are saturated with His honey.

But what are pleasant words? When they are words of counsel, sympathy, or encouragement, they are medicinal and sweet. “But much more are the pleasant words of God both sweet and wholesome”.

If you would be satisfied and spiritually healthy, then drink deeply of God’s honey. We must go to class each day, like Samson, eating our honeycomb (Judges 14:8-9); like Jonathan, revived (1 Sam. 14:27)

Pleasure and healing flow from the man who is full of God’s Word. Let your words be “honey” for your students.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Message from Phil Adams, Principal JH/SH & Central Elementary

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.

Proverbs 3:11-12, New International Version

This is a verse we adults like to toss out there to our students or children now and then. Even if we don’t come right out and say it, we may think it. The problem is, God’s word is directed at the reader, not the person the reader has in mind. Daily I am confronted with how God tenderly, yet firmly chastens me. It may be a word from a colleague, friend, or family member. It may be seeing the results of what I have said or done play out in someone else’s life. It may be that voice that reminds me of how I could have responded better to someone else’s lack of tact or even outright rudeness. For each of us it is different. James tells us that God’s goal for us is perfection, or completeness. Most often my agenda falls far short of God’s. Maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain – that’s me. But with God, he loves us too much to allow us to remain static. My desire is to not only allow God to mold me into the person I should be, but to also give God the freedom to rebuke or chasten as He sees fit when my cooperation with His agenda is less than it should be.

Message from Jamie Ross, Kdg. Teacher Central Campus

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NAS)

I certainly have been reminded of the preceding verse this past month.

My husband broke his ankle. Suddenly it wasn’t the two of us taking care of our grand daughter any more, it was just me. He had previously taken the day shift and I would take over when I returned from school. He would stay up until 10:00 pm when our daughter came from work to take her home. The only quiet time in our house is when I awaken at 4:30 am. I’m the type of person who longs for time to contemplate and reflect.

I let a lot of people down: Hailey’s Sunday school class at church, my mother & her husband in Illinois, my daughter and her husband, my son and his wife in Nebraska & the list goes on and on.

A great deal of good came from this situation. I gained a new appreciation for my husband, a fresh appreciation for time spent with our grand daughter, Hailey and Hailey’s other grand parents started helping more.

When I went to pick up Hailey from her Great Grandma Barb’s house, I heard the words coming out of my mouth that made me stop short: “I’m so sorry that I’m running late. I pride myself on being dependable.” There it is! Just who did I think made me dependable in the first place? Where does any good thing I do come from? Am I not God’s vessel?

Boy oh boy, my pride went before my husband’s fall.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
(The Grandmother’s NIV Bible)

I have a new appreciation for these quick energy verses:

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him, to God the Father.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” Colossians 3:17 and 23 (NAS)

I was relieved to read the following verses from my Grandmother’s NIT devotional Bible: “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-9

When I was a child, we would gather at my grandparents McKenzie’s often. My brother and cousins enjoyed playing together in the basement. My mother, grandmother and aunt worked in the kitchen making sandwiches for my grandfather and uncle who were watching the Minnesota Vikings game on television. I had the best seat in the house as I went upstairs to talk and listen to my bed ridden arthritic, great grandfather. He was so precious! He looked like Abraham Lincoln.

I’m reminded of a song I used to hear on the Old Time Gospel Hour that Maude Aimee Humbard sang:

I didn’t come here to ask you for anything.
I just came to talk with you, Lord.
You’ve answered a million prayers or more that I forgot to thank you for.
I just came to talk with you Lord.
Maybe tomorrow, there’ll be trouble and sorrow and a thousand teardrops may fall.
But until I face tomorrow’s task, I have no special favor to ask.
I just came to talk with you Lord.

As we enter this season of thanksgiving and reflection, let’s remember to do it with all of our hearts.

“I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Thy name forever.”
Psalms 86:12 (NAS)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

Ephesians 2:8-12 (New International Version)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

When the pastor on Sunday mentioned this passage my mind drifted to the dear faculty and staff of Phoenix Christian. The first phrase that stuck out to me was “God’s handiwork”. How awesome is it to understand that we are God’s handwork: as marvelous and wondrous as nature and more valuable to Him than the stars and galaxies He spoke into existence. Nature and the cosmos may ‘reflect’ God’s creativity and character but we, you and I, are ‘made in His image’. He specifically chose us to bear His image: not stones and trees or even galaxies…but little ‘ole you and me.

So, created in his image we are specifically designed to ‘do good works’ – His good works. Our works don’t save us but rather they are the fulfillment of what we are meant to be and to do. ‘In advance’ of time and space and creation God ordained that you and I would co-labor at PCUS to do His good works here. He could have placed you anywhere, but He chose for us a Christian school in Central and West Phoenix because He knew He would bring to our path 570+ students who this year He intends to bless and equip through us.

And if at times, like me, you feel insufficient for the task, stop and reflect on His grace, which is enough to save and sustain, and reflect on the fact you are right where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what He intends for this time in your life.

Have a great day and enjoy your divine assignment!

Message from Rita Rodriguez, West Valley 4th Grade Teacher

I have been reading the book called 31 Days of Power by: Ruth and Warren Myers. I am going to share a piece from it with you:

“You are my perfect Refuge, though the worst may come upon me—distress, grief, slander, even persecution. I’m so glad that You’re my Deliverer when Satan conspires against me, directly or through people, seeking to destroy me emotionally, spiritually, even physically. I take my stand against him in Jesus’ name. I trust in you, for You are my God; my times are in your hand, not in the hand of any enemy, visible or invisible. My destiny is under Your control, not Satan’s. I count on You to deliver in both current and future attacks. My eyes are continually toward You, for You will pluck my feet out of the net. These words are powerful words that we can pray.”

Their inspiration in writing this is from:
Psalm 31:16-14
14 But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from my enemies
and from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.

Psalm 25:15
15 My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.

I can know that no matter what comes our way in life, today, tomorrow, whenever, I can remember to trust in our Powerful God who lets His face shine upon us, who delivers us from the enemy, and who gives us His unfailing love. Have a wonderful, power-filled day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Message from Renee Trapp, Business Manager


A Psalm for the Stressed
Psalm 46: 1-11
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

3 Thoughts on God’s Strength through Stress:
1) God’s Strength is immediately available.
Our trials are not superficial or irrelevant. These trials are vehicles of grace that God uses to bring us growth.
2) God’s Power is overpowering!
God’s power is a tent that can stretch over any stress. Nothing is bigger than the power of God.
3) God’s Power is not dependent on our help.
The stresses of life are designed to make us climb into His arms and to force us to depend on Him.

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

May you seek God’s strength to help you through the stresses of your life.

(Excerpts taken from Three Steps Forward Two Steps Back: Persevering through Pressure by Charles R. Swindoll)

Message from Michele Reyman, Cafeteria Manager Central Campus

Exodus 35:35 Version: NIV

He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers-all of them master craftsmen and designers.

At an early age, I realized that I had domestic skills, such as sewing and cooking. My favorite courses in school were home economics and wood shop. As I aged, my skills grew stronger, and my path to employment was obvious. I worked numerous jobs in the food industry, from waitress, to cook, to management. But, it wasn't until my children attended school at Phoenix Christian, that I understood the skills given to me were a way for me to use them in service to the Lord. Now that I am back at Phoenix Christian, I am able to once again use my blessings to perform the many tasks it takes to run a food service program, from purchasing, to preparing, and all the steps in between. And the most important part of all is serving the final product. We are all called to serve, and I am thankful that my skills allow me to do that.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, and honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life.
— Romans 2:7

The wisdom of Proverbs 8:34 states: “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.” Many people seem to jump from one thing to another, when what they need is wisdom and consistency.

It is important to keep on keeping on—doing what we know is right, even if it sometimes seems that we are the only ones doing it! God is on our side and He has already written the end of the Book. Those who obey Him will ultimately win! For it is promised in Romans 8:31 “…If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Even in the midst of life’s chaotic and sometimes stressful moments, I simply encourage each of us to keep on doing what is right in God’s eyes while we keep our own eyes fixed upon the love of Jesus.

Blessings to you on a spectacular Christ-filled day.

Message from Jennifer Pellish, Junior High Teacher

Proverbs 25:11 (Contemporary English Version)
11The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver.

One of the things that my husband and I miss most about having younger children is the frequent malaprop. However, our ten-year old son recently provided some unexpected humor for us. After pulling out the small white paper from his fortune cookie, he inquisitively asked, “What does preposterous mean?” I explained that it was similar in meaning to ridiculous or absurd which drew a confused look on his face. Then he confessed, “Mom, my fortune says that my life will be preposterous!”

Words. The wrong word at the wrong time can be either humorous or disastrous. However, the right word at the right time, according to Proverbs, “is like precious gold set in silver.” With our words, we have the power to kill and destroy or to heal and bless.

I challenge myself as I challenge you today to choose words that will be “like precious gold set in silver.”

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Message from Shannon Palmer, Admin. Assistant West Valley

Psalm 150

Let Everything Praise the LORD

1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!

2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!

4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

Psalm 150 is one of my favorite passages of scripture. It is easy to praise the Lord when things are going well. The challenge for me is to remember to praise the Lord when things are a bit stressed and busy. When I pray, I always try to make it a point to thank God for His goodness and blessings in my life. When I put away the cares and problems of the day and focus on Gods goodness, I realize just how much God deserves our praise. Take some time today and give God praise!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Message from Debbie Klem, PCUS Board Chair

This is the 3rd in a three part series from our Board Chair, Mrs. Debbie Klem, from the devotions shared with the Board in August 2010.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29

Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." Luke 18:27

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

I know we do have the mindset of being dependent on God. But, this was a new way of reinforcing that dependence and trust for me. God tells us, “Do not be afraid”. We need to have full confidence in God as the multiplier of our faith and our sacrifice. In the story of the servants one difference between the servants was the way they spelled “F-A-I-T-H.” The first two spelled it “T-R-U-S-T” and “R-I-S-K.” (The first bought and sold in the market and doubled his five talents. The second invested the talents and also doubled the two he was given.) This risk was not blind trust, but trust in God. The third servant spelled “F-E-A-R” – the fear of losing the little he had.

We know that each of us have received certain gifts from God and those things tend to come easily to us, but God often stretches us just outside of that giftedness so that we have to trust Him to multiply our weakness to return His strength. I can easily feel that I don’t bring much to the table of this Board to offer in service. I don’t feel that I’m a leader, I’m not very charismatic, I don’t know affluent donors for the school, I’m seriously lacking public speaking skills. And when I hear myself saying these things, it rings reminiscent in my ears of Moses’ responses to God. God assures Moses that He will be with him and then He asks Moses the question, “Moses, what is that in your hand?” All that was in Moses’ hand was a staff, but that simple staff once multiplied by God’s power equaled many miracles.

We’ve got great work ahead of us and I personally feel inadequate to accomplish the task. I’d like to challenge each of us to admit where we feel like we are not able to accomplish what we need to. Let’s take these areas, admit them to God and then simply offer them to him in exchange for what he will do personally and corporately.

What I am is God’s gift to me, but what I do with that gift is my gift to Him. I would like us to hold to the vision of becoming a school of excellence. The greatest threat to the Kingdom of God is a passionless people. Let’s approach our tasks on this Board with the passion that comes from seeing him take our weakness and change it. We are not dependent on outside resources, we are dependent on God. Let’s claim His promises, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak,” “What is impossible with men is possible with God” and “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s strength may rest on me.”
Is. 40:29, Luke 18:27, 2 Cor. 12:9

Message form Andi O'Dell, Junior High Teacher

I’ve started reading a book, Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. The title of the first chapter made me wonder if this book was something other that what I thought it was. It states boldly, “Stop Praying”. The challenge is to not rush into God’s presence with words, but to take a long, hard look at Him. (If you have a few minutes, check out “The Awe Factor of God” at www.crazylovebook.com.) It makes me feel insignificant when I realize God’s power in creating our universe; most of which has not been observable until Hubble telescope took the pictures.

Psalm 19:1-4 speaks of God’s creation declaring His glory, reflecting who He is, and what He is like. The book states some interesting fact about God’s amazing details. Did you know that a caterpillar has 228 separate and distinct muscles in its head? The average elm tree has 6 million leaves, there are hundreds of different types of bananas, and there can be 3,000 different species of trees within one square mile in the Amazon jungle.

God’s creation and diversity is not to be ignored or merely tolerated. He is God, who instructs us to worship and fear Him. Sometimes the world has so many distractions for us that we forget to love Him. When we don’t make an effort to keep that “awe factor” alive, we forget that He is worthy to be worshipped and loved. Here are a few reminders…

- God is holy. His perfect holiness cannot be explained with our words. We worship a God we cannot exaggerate!

- God is eternal. Not being able to understand this is frustrating. We can’t limit God to what we are able to comprehend.

- God is all knowing. It’s incredible to think that God CHOOSES to know all the little details about each of us. (Good or bad!)

- God is all-powerful. Everything was created by Him and for Him. Col. 1:16. God isn’t obligated to explain His actions to us; because He is God.

- God is fair and just. God is the only Being who is good, and the standards are set by Him. He hates sin; enough to send His Son to be tortured, mocked, and beaten because of our sin.

God is truly amazing. Take time to stand in awe before Him, whose tremendous worth becomes more evident as we see our own puny selves in comparison.

Rev. 4:8 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!”

Rev. 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.