Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Message from Brandon Harris, Development & Head Football Coach

Ever felt like you were facing a situation and the stakes were extremely high? Felt like there was no way out of the situation; maybe it was a friendship, financial, something involving a family member or friend? Back taxes? Legal issues? A home you need to sell or buy? God can get you out of any situation no matter how bleak and turn your challenges (enemy) into victory for his glory!

Acts 12: 1-11

1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. 4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. 5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

Friday, December 16, 2011

Message from Alicia Galindo, Human Resource Manager

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
– Psalm 16:11 (NIV)

Sometimes we can get bogged down when we look at our surroundings and the situations we are in. Know that our Lord wants to fill us with joy (The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength) and though nothing may be easy on this earth, our hope is in eternal salvation. Now that is joy unspeakable….Have a blessed day!

(Taken from "The Word of the Day" by Tom Nannarone)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Message from Joe Frost, Director of Technology

Matthew 14:20-33

They all ate...and they took up twelve baskets full of...leftovers. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Immediately, He (Jesus) made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side while He dismissed the crowds.

After He had dismissed them, He went alone to pray...and the boat was a long way from land being beaten by the waves.

In the fourth watch of the night, nearly morning, He came to them walking on the sea...and they were terrified. But Jesus immediately said to them do not be afraid, it is I.

Peter replied, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." And Jesus simply said, "Come."

Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind he was afraid and as he began to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."

And Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him saying "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"


Jesus just fed well over five thousand people with a small basket of fish & a side order of bread.

And if His crew didn't get it passing out the food, they had to when the 12 of them picked up 12 baskets of leftovers - yup, there's something different about Jesus...

So, after dinner Jesus sends the 12 ahead of Him to the other side of the sea so He can say good night to the crowd and go off for a few minutes of alone time, to pray.

Nobody asks how Jesus will get there, no doubt they expect a boat, so when they see Him, barely, in the dark, walking on the wind tossed, white capped sea they think He's a ghost and just like at any good horror movie they all begin to scream.

Sure, they just witnessed Jesus perform the miracle with fish & chips, but this is hours later, it's still pretty dark outside, it feels like a storm is coming, they can barely keep their eyes open and suddenly this guy comes along side the boat walking on water, yeah it's okay to scream.

After they settle down a bit, Peter thinks it's pretty cool to walk on water and Jesus grants his request by letting him walk on water too, but remember it's still cold, dark, wet, and windy.

Peter steps out of the boat and doesn't sink, but that doesn't mean he's not getting drenched by the wind and waves and probably the second time he gets slapped in the face & eyes by the stinging spray he starts thinking maybe he should get back in the boat - and then he realizes the water has begun climbing over his feet and up his legs...he's sinking, and he starts to scream again.

But, remember, he's a fisherman. He can swim, but instead he screams to Jesus, "Lord, save me." And though there's much to be said in Peter's choice to ask Jesus for help rather than stripping and swimming, it's Jesus' response that stands out, "Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him" and lifted Peter out of the water and they got into the boat.

Jesus reached out and GRABBED Peter and kept him on top of the water until they got into the boat.

Jesus didn't have to grab Peter, but He did.

Jesus didn't have to spend hours saying good night to the crowd after dinner either... but He did. He cares. He's relational.

And, like Peter (and the other 11), even though Jesus may perform miracles in front of us or for us we too may still doubt, slip, sink, get frustrated... And then we hear that song, read that verse, feel that peace, and realize He cares enough to reach out and take hold of us, lift us up, and set us back in the boat, with HIM.

He cares. Trust Him.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Message from Laura Furedy, Preschool Director

Gold, Fur and Common Sense

My husband and I had been happily married (most of the time) for five years but hadn't been blessed with a baby. I decided to do some serious praying and promised God that if he would give us a child, I would be a perfect mother, love it with all my heart and raise it with His word as my guide.

God answered my prayers and blessed us with a son.
The next year God blessed us with another son.
The following year, He blessed us with yet another son.
The year after that we were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we'd been blessed right into poverty. We now had four children, and the oldest was only four years old. I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it. As a minister once told me, "If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella."
I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs.

I was off to a good start. God had entrusted me with four children and I didn't want to disappoint Him.
I tried to be patient the day the children smashed two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks.

I tried to be understanding...
when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs.
When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog, I tried to see the humor rather than the mess.

In spite of changing over twenty-five thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children. While I couldn't keep my promise to be a perfect mother - I didn't even come close...

I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God.
I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God, and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to "wash up" Jesus, too. Something was lost in the translation when I explained that God gave us everlasting life, and m y son thought it was generous of God to give us his "last wife."

My proudest moment came during the children's Christmas pageant. My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man.

This was their moment to shine.
My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line, "We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes." But he was nervous and said, "The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes." My four-year-old "Mary" said, "That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly. That's dirty, rotten clothes."
A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost her left wing.

I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced down the aisle crying, "Mama-mama." Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back upand held it tightly as the wise men arrived. My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced, "We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts of gold, common sense and fur."
The congregation dissolved into laughter, and the pageant got a standing ovation.

"I've never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one," laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes. "For the rest of my life, I'll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense and fur."
"My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest blessing," I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Message from Irma Flores, Elementary Teacher

Acts 8:8 And there was great JOY in that city.

Bah! Humbug! I caught myself being a “Scrooge” as I thought of all I had to do for Christmas and how time goes quickly and so on. As I prayed and studied my Scripture for that day, the Lord redirected my thoughts and helped me change my attitude.

In Acts where the early church is growing, I noticed many “greats”.
“great power” (the apostles had)
Great grace (on all that heard)
Great wonders (Stephen did)
Great lamentation (over Stephen’s death)
Great persecution
And Great JOY!

Because of the persecution, the people were scattered abroad and went everywhere preaching the Gospel. Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ to them and they believed. There was great JOY in that city.

Praise God that we have great JOY here as we present the Gospel in our classes and especially now at Christmas. Phoenix Christian is bringing great JOY to our city of Phoenix. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Message from Angie Dickerson, Admin. Assistant to Principal

It was an unwelcomed interruption to the day of many tasks. A student who was mourning the loss of a loved one showed up at my office door. “Lord,” I thought, “I don’t have time to deal with this right now. I have A, B, C and D to finish. I don’t know what to say, what to do.” But here the student was at my door, crying and very distraught.

I asked the Lord to give me the wisdom to comfort this hurting child. I prayed aloud for comfort for this child and offered a few words of wisdom. Mostly I just stood there and handed out Kleenex as needed. A few hugs and back pats later, and the student was ready to go back to class.

As the day progressed and I finished my tasks, it struck me that in God’s economy my “interruption” was probably the most important part of the day for Him. I was here, I was available, and He gave me the words to say. But even more than that – He gave me the opportunity to minister to this child. Me! – the cranky lady trying to get her “things” done! Me! – the one who didn’t want to be bothered!

I felt humbled. I knew it was a prompting to start seeing things from a more eternal perspective. The little moments – maybe even the things we disregard in our rush through each day – are the blessings God gives us.

We don’t have to go very far to do the Lord’s work. He has us all right here at PC and offers us opportunities each day to minister to the students, the parents and our co-workers. What a total blessing for all of us.

Thank you, Lord, for using us to comfort, guide, support, encourage and walk alongside those you put in our path each day! Amen

Friday, December 9, 2011

Message from Keith deLaet, High School Teacher

Keep it simple. That’s my vow this Christmas. Of course it has started out a little bit rough with a trip to the Emergency Room and a Kidney Stone procedure with a complication. Upon further reflection, now feeling better, I believe that the experience has just added to the resolve that birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is meant to be observed in simplicity. The fact that He entered the world in the manner in which He did, simply, and the fact that Mary and Joseph were people of simple means really drives this home, at least for me. So this year, I’m dusting off my simple list which is provided below, in hopes that in a quiet moment, or a simple gesture, or an inexpensive way, we all can have a magnificent moment in the presence of Jesus!

Merry Christmas!
Keith de Laet

12 HOLIDAY FAMILY & DEVOTIONAL IDEAS (using the 12 Days of Christmas)
1. Open an advent calendar
2. Spread out your holiday gift giving
3. View holiday specials together and have a group discussion.
4. Donate to the Thrift Shop.
5. Pick an Angel Tree gift
6. Bake and wrap gifts for others, talk about why these people are important.
7. Make an event out of decorating for the holidays
8. Visit free light displays, the electrical parade, etc.
9. Emphasize family meals
10. Attend at least one Christmas church service
11. Have a family wrapping party
12. Establish a holiday tradition – May I suggest watching or reading Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Message from Margaret Crotts, First Grade Teacher

“ I will thank you Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled WITH JOY because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.”
Psalm 9 : 1-2

Teaching should be a joyful experience, but every teacher knows that some days are so busy and so hurried that JOY seems a distant promise. It is not. Every day, we can claim the spiritual abundance and JOY that God promises for our lives….and we should.

C.H. Spurgeon said: “Rejoicing is clearly a spiritual command. To ignore it is disobedience”. We are called by our Creator to live abundantly, prayerfully, and joyfully. To do otherwise is to squander His gifts.

Today let JOY be evident in every aspect of your life, including life inside the classroom. Today, JOYFULLY let your words and deeds be a testimony to Christ’s love and to His grace.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Message from Bruce Consier, Athletic Director


"Life has to be lived forwards but it can only be understood backwards."
- Søren Kierkegaard

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, And he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

"Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?" Job 12:12 (NIV)

If we could walk backwards through life, so many times of doubt and questioning would be erased from our path. But sadly, we would have missed those desperate moments of trusting in the Lord, and clinging to him for guidance.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Message from Jim Callahan, High School Teacher

Then Pilate said to him,” So you are a king?” Jesus answered him, “You say that I am king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice. Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” John 18:37-38 ESV

There are times when it is easy to think that truth relativism is a 20th century invention. This is not the case. Pilates’ question “What is truth?” shows this. Normally, when people ask the question that Pilate asked, they do so because they believe that truth is ultimately person relative --- your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth, or that no person is able to know for sure what the really truth is. If this view of truth is the is the truth (please notice the consistency problem here), then anyone who claims to witness to the truth is either simply expressing their own opinion which has no more or less value than anyone else’s, or is completely mistaken in thinking that they know something that cannot possibly be known. I have had students at PC that are truth relativists and an alarming number at that. I suspect that some of you also have had students of this kind. Our ministry to these students must focus on the reality that Jesus is the truth. We must all provide a sound apologetic for the claims of Jesus Christ that he is the truth, that he has come to witness to the truth and that everyone “who is of the truth” listens to Him.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Message from Yvonne Calderon, Junior High Teacher

I heard this song a few years ago. This song became my favorite song to play at Christmas. I think the band Go FIsh says it best.

Turn up your speakers and enjoy.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Message from Karen Boyce, Business Manager

If not already, schedules are about to be very hectic with holiday festivities. As I pull out the ornaments and tinsel, I also pull out one of my favorite Bible verses, “Be still and know that I am God.”~ Psalms 46:10. You can emphasize each word of this verse and it has a different impact on your heart.

BE still and know that I am God.

Be STILL and know that I am God.

Be still and KNOW that I am God

Be still and know that “I” am God.

Be still and know that I am GOD!

Psalms 46:10 has been my partner through a lot of circumstances. There are times that I need to do nothing more than to just exist as His child. Oftentimes, I need to interrupt my daily agenda and simply exist in His presence. When my own means exhaust me, I need His divine wisdom. For Him to remind us that HE is God, I need to remember that HE is the Almighty. And, always, I just need to stop long enough to remember His awesome power. To just say the name “God” brings His authority and humility to me.

Some people assign stillness with a negative connotation - as weak or disheartened. However, being still does not restrict my mobility. Rather, being still is a command that requires me to take courage in divine dependence rather than my own self. I can be still because of what I know about God. His command for me to be still forces realization that I am finite and then humble myself to His infiniteness. He provides me a controlled composure in my chaos.

So during this season, I pray for spiritual serenity - the kind that God gives despite our circumstances. Spiritual calm does not come from peace, but a steady deep reflection of how God intervenes in the midst of circumstances. In Romans 15:4, I find hope. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”

As a little girl, I remember going to church and my mother telling me “Sit Still!” My teachers told me the same thing in the classroom. I did not like those words. I did not have time for stillness. Now, sometimes I think God tells me to “Sit Still!” That command I have learned to obey. I pray for opportunities to be still and learn more about the infinite God that I love and who loves me

May each of you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas season and find some time to be still.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Message from Lisa Blake, Counselor

Our little miracle growing inside me is certainly continuing to surprise us! I definitely do not use the word "miracle" flippantly. Most of you know, but perhaps many may not know that Jeff and I have struggled to conceive. I know, it's surprising! We're on our 5th pregnancy but REALLY! It took over a year with Brooklynne, we tried at least 9 months for the next baby that we lost, we tried over a year and 1/2 for T.J. and 2+ years for Annie. So you must understand our utter SHOCK when we discovered that I was pregnant this summer (a little over 2 months since Annie's birth). Once the shock wore off (it took a little while), I remembered that Jeff and I had just talked about still wanting one more and hoping/praying for God's will in our family. So with our little miracle baby growing inside me, we began our new journey feeling both overwhelmed and utterly amazed at HIS plan for our family.

With each and every day that passes, I question if I have enough love to give a husband and four little ones. Especially after a day of changing half of dozen diapers, running upstairs 20+ times 7months pregnant with a 16 lb baby on my hips and a four year old that just cannot seem to figure out the whole "getting dressed" thing. Hoping to have the house picked-up, dinner hot and ready, and a joyous spirit when Jeff and Brooklynne arrive, I scurry around finding myself growing more and more reluctant about this miracle baby growing inside me. Do I have enough love to give?

So I search my heart and I search Christ's heart. I think He's revealed something to me that most of you have probably already discovered. I do NOT have enough love to give! There is absolutely no way I can pour myself out over and over and over - there's just not enough to go around. BUT His love is abundant, overflowing, MORE than enough.

I know, the 23rd Psalms is so over done but I've really spent some time recently meditating on this chapter. So here's the Message version which I love for it's visual depiction.

God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

4 Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I'm not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd's crook
makes me feel secure.

5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

6 Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I'm back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.

"My cup brims with blessing" or my cup overflows...I LOVE THIS! As I rest in HIS presence and experience HIS abundant love, my cup cannot help but overflow into the lives of Jeff, Brooklynne, T.J., Annie, and our little miracle baby.

As our journey continues to take some twists and turns, Jeff and I thank you for covering us with prayers. Our words cannot express our deep gratitude and love for this community.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Message from Jeff Blake, High School Teacher

Psalm 100 (the Message, a paraphrase of scripture)
A Thanksgiving Psalm

1-2 On your feet now—applaud GOD! Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.

3 Know this: GOD is God, and God, GOD.
He made us; we didn't make him.
We're his people, his well-tended sheep.

4 Enter with the password: "Thank you!"
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

Lisa and I enjoyed a time of celebration of God’s provision over Thanksgiving! And in that I have taken some time alone with God to recognize that giving thanks is a discipline—and one I am not good at (in the meditation of my own heart).

Over the years, our extended family has been exceedingly gracious to my immediate family with money, gifts of service, and devotion. Yet, in my own heart I experience shame (which is not from God). Privately I struggle with the need to do it all on my own. Privately I struggle with the perception that other’s assistance to me is a sign of my weakness.

And in this place, I objectively know that all good things flow from God and my dependence upon my Creator is total. God is the Provider. In my experience family is a tool the Provider uses. And so here I am in this place of paradox and learning. God simply will provide how He sees fit—the conduit is not up to me. The Provider is in charge.

And in this reflection, another tool by which our Provider uses is our school community.

Did you know . . .?

Our elementary students have provided a TON of plastic bags and egg cartons to a food ministry in Mexico and border communities.

Our elementary students provided nearly 30 shoe box gifts to Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.

Our junior and senior high students will again spread out in our community to provide just short of 1,000 hours of community service on Friday, December 2.

Some of our junior and senior high students are raising money to support Invisible Children’s endeavor to end the abuse of children soldiers in the civil wars which grip Uganda. Some of our senior high students have contacted members of Congress to pledge their concern for this injustice.

On Thursday, December 8—62 needy students from MC Cash Elementary school will be bused to our campus for an evening of crafts, dinner, Santa, hayrides, and God’s love from our JH and SH students.

Our junior and senior high students have collected nearly 300 pairs of shoes in support of Mr. Harmon’s ministry to children living in poverty.

My point is that my Thanksgiving was not laden with laughter—but interpersonal embarrassment as I am coming to grip with my own needs. Psalm 100 is a powerful reminder of celebration! We are the body of Christ. Guided by the Spirit we have an opportunity to serve and give our lives away to each other and most of all—God!

Father, this day I choose to make my self more at home in your chosen means of Provision! Thank you! That is my “password” this day. Thank you that you provide in your own way! May each gift of provision be an opportunity for myself and others to be ever more at home with You.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Message from Sonya Berges, JH/SH Teacher

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,”
Ephesians 3:20

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8: 38 & 39

I have a brother who has been diagnosed as SMI – severely mentally ill. The past two months have been a roller coaster in my world watching him deteriorate one more time and unraveling the consequences of adult abuse toward our mom. While the situation has at times felt overwhelming and surreal, I have never before felt God’s presence and peace as profoundly as I have over these weeks.

So many situations have presented themselves where I didn’t know how or what to pray for yet God opened doors, closed them and worked ahead, behind and around us. His protection and provision have been nothing short of a miracle. My past doubts about whether God was real, if he loved me or listened to me have been silenced. As I’ve read, journaled and prayed through this time, I see God’s fingerprints all over this. It has been a difficult but beautiful testimony to a very real God who loves us so much.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving, I pray that you too will see God show up in amazing ways in your personal circumstances. Hopefully they aren’t as dramatic as mine. God Bless!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Message from Roger Bemis, Band Teacher

"Come on everyone! Let's gather round the turkey and sing Jingle Bells. Does everyone have their sleigh bells ready?"

Jingle Bells, originally titled "One Horse Open Sleigh"
Author James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893) wrote the song in 1857. This song was meant for a Thanksgiving program at a church in Savannah, Georgia where Pierpont was organist. The song was so well accepted that it was again sung on Christmas day and since then became one of the most popular Christmas carols.

What do you have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving?
I share the following to simply provide a different perspective on this Thanksgiving.

We, as Americans have a lot to be thankful for. When I was deployed to Iraq as a video broadcaster, the units I was doing stories on visited schools to give out basic school supplies, like coloring books, crayons, pencils, noteboooks, backpacks, perhaps a little food, sometimes desks, maybe some clothes and of course, soccer balls. I saw and shot footage of school children sitting in a room, two or three to a small benchlike seat, eagerly waiting to learn from a teacher who only had a chalkboard to teach from.

The rooms didn't have heat. For "air-conditioning", they might of had a ceiling fan, but I'm not sure the ones I saw worked. They probably opened a window, but sometimes that wasn't necessary; the windows were already broken. The walls were bare and the paint was chipped. Their dilapidated state had nothing to do with the war. These schools were the norm; especially in rural areas.

When voices in America cry out asking for 'more money for education', they should think about what they already have, for they are already richly blessed. There is nothing wrong with wanting the best for our kids. Broken windows and leaky roofs need to be fixed, but there needs to be balance between need and want. "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Philippians 4:12

I know that those of us here at PCUS are very thankful for what we have. Of course, we all struggle with balancing need and want. That's normal, but God will provide exactly what we need. "And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8

If nothing else, we should be thankful that we have the freedom to ask, and the freedom to pray for what we believe is the best for our children.

So I guess, at the end of the day, you have the freedom to decide whether or not to be thankful that you're not singing Jingle Bells as the Thanksgiving meal is set on the table. ;-)...And if you do break into song as you set the table on Thursday, I'll never tell anyone it was Jingle Bells.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. Psalm 95:2

Interesting Fact: On December 16, 1965, astronauts aboard Gemini 6, Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford, played a prank on Mission Control. They said they saw some kind of UFO stating that the pilot was "wearing a red suit." They then played "Jingle Bells" on a harmonica backed by sleigh bells. They are considered the first musical instruments to be played in space!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Message from Roxanne Anderson, Bookkeeper

I'd like to encourage all of you with this quote from Dan Julian. He's one of our substitute teachers and he spoke in chapel this last week. Dan and his wife, Anna, pastor a small in church in Mayer, AZ. The Lord has also called them to be missionaries in Spain (www.juliansabroad.com). Dan was writing on Facebook about his experience speaking in chapel when he gave our students this great compliment.

"The kids at PCHS are remarkable and encouraging--the church has a lot to look forward to." - Dan Julian

These words are very encouraging to me. As one who doesn't have a lot of interaction with our students, it's so easy to get bogged down in the task of the job without seeing much evidence of how our service is paying off in the lives of our students. This gives me hope. It is indeed evidence of what I hope for each day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Message from Phil Adams, Principal

This is a blog post from my daughter, Karen, last week. Sometimes our children amaze us. By way of background, she miscarried three times in the last year, with the second one, Lily, dying at 20 weeks. -- Phil

Rough Week

Okay, this is not an easy week. It is a pretty rough week actually. I knew it wouldn't be an easy week, so I had expectations of being emotional and having rough days. I was completely right, and to be honest I just can't wait for it to be over.

When I found out I was pregnant with Lily, one of my first thoughts was "When am I due?". I whipped out my phone to find out. They have websites for this, you just Google "Due Date Calculator," type in the requested information, and boom! Your due date. When the page popped up that said, "Congratulations! Your baby is due on November 10th!" My jaw dropped. What?! How cool! My baby was due on my birthday? What are the odds? How fun!

But I also was hit with the reality that this pregnancy wasn't guaranteed to end happily. If something were to go wrong, my birthday would definitely be tainted, not only this next one, but all the ones after that. "Let's just hope that doesn't happen," I thought.

And for the first half of my pregnancy, nothing did happen. I was finally in a place of believing that my birthday might not be the most fun I've ever had (either giving birth or recovering from it), but it was sure to be extra special.

Alas, things did not work out how I had hoped. The fear that my birthday would forever be tainted with crushed hopes has been realized, and this week leading up to my birthday has been difficult. Every day I think of how this is just not how I wanted to spend these days. I wanted to be great with child, wondering if she'd be born on my actual birthday or the arguably cooler date of 11-11-11. I am in a constant state of bad mood, forcing myself to smile but inwardly feeling very gypped. When people ask me what I want for my birthday, I swallow the urge to say, "A baby". When people ask me what I want to do for my birthday, I think, "Honestly? I want to crawl into bed and cry all day." But I don't, and I think it is wise that my sister and friends have filled that day to the brim with activity so that I won't have a single moment to be alone with my thoughts.

I have known other grieving mamas who have talked about having certain dates that are particularly difficult to get through. Always the anniversary of the death. Always the birth day. Always the due date (if lost in pregnancy). Sometimes, just another Monday, when the gaping hole your child left for some reason seems particularly noticeable.

I miss Lily every day. I think of her birth day often. I think of that Horrible Day when we found out she had died. I think so often of what could have been, and what life would be like had she lived. But this week, this coming hard day, these days are worse than normal because it is a stark reminder of what isn't happening. I'm not packing my bag. I'm not having my last day at work. I'm not preparing the nursery. I'm not second guessing our name choice. I'm not washing Jake and Eisley's Big Brother and Big Sister T-Shirts. I'm not excited and nervous and happy and scared and thrilled. It's just another week in November. And it isn't any fun.

This is so not where I thought I would be this week. Though Josh and I are happy and excited about our decision to adopt, we are still grieving. We will be for years to come, forever probably. But this week, this week we are grieving hard. I am grieving hard. I am feeling sad and bitter and angry and sad again. My husband is enduring living with an extra-sensitive wife, my kids are putting up with mommy's irritability. Even my blog entry "Adoption Education..." had a bit of a touchy edge to it this week (of which I hope I didn't offend...I made a few adjustments because Josh pointed out my tone was a little more confrontational than I probably wanted to be). I have been short with family, stuck my foot in my mouth more than once with friends, and have not been the most fun person to be around. I'm in a general bad mood and am thankful for friends and family that are understanding and loving and patient.

I am especially thankful that I have a God who is putting up with my bad mood. I have spent many a car ride venting to Him this week. I have questioned and cried and inwardly given Him the cold shoulder. Why Lord, would you have my due date be my birthday? What's that about? It's not enough to take my daughter but you also have to ruin my birthday too? And while we're on the subject, did she have to be born on Father's Day? I mean seriously, why don't you just strike our house with lightning on Christmas and frost this cupcake?

I vent, I cry, I vent, I clench my teeth and say nothing. I apologize. I get mad again. But I know He can handle it. He knew this would be a hard week. He has not forgotten. And He comforts. I am fully confident that without my personal relationship with Jesus, I would be so far off the deep end that no amount of prescription drugs could retrieve me. Where do people go with this kind of grief when they don't have God to turn to? What do you do with that much anger and confusion and sadness? Because let me tell you, being a Christian does not give you an immunity idol to use in life. You still experience all kinds of difficult and awful and horrible things. Having a relationship with Jesus does not make your life perfect. It only gives you hope when it isn't. And it isn't.

I have a treasure chest that my mom gave me after a very, very difficult time in my life (arguably even more so than losing Lily). It is filled to the brim with scraps of paper with verses written on them. They were written by many people that love me, and they all have themes of hope, comfort, and triumph in tragedy. I had that chest opened every day after she gave it to me. Many days after my first miscarriage. Most days after Lily died. Every day this week.

My favorite verse, if forced to pick, is Psalm 34:18. "The Lord is close to the broken hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Awesome promises. Promises I have seen Him keep. I think it is important to point out here that the verse does not say, "The Lord prevents all broken hearts and never allows His children to have crushed spirits." He acknowledges that bad things happen. He knows we will have struggles and trials and broken hearts and crushed spirits. He does not pretend your life will be void of pain and difficulty. He flat out says "In this life you will have trials"! That's a given! But He does not leave us hanging. He does not let us go through this alone. He promises to be close to us during those times.

Before I lost Lily, one of my greatest fears (and I had actually thought about this, because I am a woman and that's what we do) was having to give birth to a baby I knew was dead. I had heard of it happening, knew women who had done it, and I thought to myself, "Impossible. I could not physically do that. I would have to be knocked out, put under, medicated into oblivion. There is just no way I could do it." When one of your greatest fears is realized, it is a surreal thing. Suddenly it wasn't just a sad story I had heard. I was living it. I was being forced to deal with it. And God met me where I was at. He gave me the strength I could never have imagined existed. I was broken hearted. I was crushed. And He was close. And He saved me. Just like He promised.

I am not having a good week. I am hurting, I am sad, I am angry, I am confused, and God is so close to me that I can feel Him. That's the trade off. I truly believe that people who experience pain on the deepest of levels also have experienced the Lord on the deepest of levels. We have seen a side of Him that not everyone gets to see. We have experienced miraculous comfort and peace that not everyone gets to experience. Would I trade all of that for a life with Lily? Probably. But that's the mommy in me talking.

I am still sincerely grateful for the deepened relationship I have with God because of my broken heart. I take comfort in His promises, especially in the one that gives me an eternity with my babies. Until then, I endure. I breath in and I breath out, I hope, and I look forward to the day when there is no such thing as rough weeks

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Message from Jim Wolfe, High School Teacher

Christ is the Light of the World

"I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12)

Here is an excerpt of a devotional by Nigel Lee that I read last week that comes from a scientific point of view. I hope you will enjoy it.

Einstein among others showed that light consists of "particles" called photons that have energy (but no mass). However, light has many wave-like properties such as refraction (seen, for example, when light bends through a prism). Of course, light enables us to see, and the wavelength at which light radiates determines what color we see. And light (sunlight) enables plants to undergo photosynthesis, which is essential to life (plant, animal, and human) on Earth. From a physical standpoint, then, light is absolute, mysterious, sight-enabling, life-giving, and -- without a doubt -- wondrous!

From a spiritual standpoint, the Light of the World -- Christ -- is equally wondrous. Christ is the Light who forms the absolute standard that discerns the thoughts and intentions of the hearts of men. Christ is the Light who is mysterious (1 Tim. 3:16), dual in nature, both human and divine. Christ is the Light who illuminates the spiritual darkness of this world, forcing those who do not know Him to flee back into the shadows and yet enabling those who DO know Him to see and to understand the things of God. And Christ is the Light who gives us eternal life, for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In the world we live in today, with so many uncertainties and so much evil, Christ is the only answer to the questions of life. Let us turn to Christ, the Light of the World.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Message from Jan Wolfe, Art Teacher

Lamentations is an old book, with fitting advice for today’s society. In chapter 3 verse 17 it states “My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is, so I say ‘my endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.’”

This echoes the pain and hopelessness that many people are feeling across our nation today. We have to continue reading to find the encouragement to go on. In verse 21 the author continues “But then I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion’; says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”

Tomorrow is a new morning. Renew your hearts and hope with the steadfast love of the Lord and his never ceasing mercies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Message from Connie Williams, Library Media Technology K-12

I love the fact that I have a God who cares so deeply for me and desires to guide me through life like no other can.

Being the youngest of 8, I have had a lot of ‘guides’ growing up! Most of the time they had my best interest at heart or at least those of our family’s, but other times, not so much…at least when it went against what I wanted ;). But, I also grew up in a family that loved God above all else and lived with that perspective, so I knew whom to run to for my ultimate guide. As I grew into adult hood, and choices were of deeper consequences, I knew to run to God first and then listen to others, but always filter it through His Word. I’ve grown to feel sorry for those who don’t have the peace of knowing God and therefore forfeit the ultimate Guide through lives ups and downs.

We’ll be enjoying a new member to our family soon, as our oldest son marries a darling girl he met in college! It has been encouraging to Greg and me, as they ask advice but then state they will be praying about it and see what God wants them to do! How awesome is that to know they both have the ultimate Guide through life!

Psalm 25:4-5 Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

The cool thing is, He will show me His way, He will teach me his path and He will guide me in truth because He is my God and my hope! How awesome is that!!

What an inspiration to read His word, meditate, and worship Him, and as a result, get to know our faithful, trustworthy Guide!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Message from Amber Walker, Counselor

I read this devotional and it really hit home for me. Enjoy!

My Daily Bread:
Autumn is hunting season here in Michigan. For a few weeks every year, licensed hunters are allowed to go out into the woods and hunt for various species of wildlife. Some hunters build elaborate tree stands high above the ground where they sit quietly for hours waiting for a deer to wander within rifle range.

When I think of hunters who are so patient when it comes to waiting for deer, I think of how impatient we can be when we have to wait for God. We often equate “wait” with “waste.” If we’re waiting for something (or someone), we think we are doing nothing, which, in an accomplishment-crazed culture, seems like a waste of time.

But waiting serves many purposes. In particular, it proves our faith. Those whose faith is weak are often the first to give up waiting, while those with the strongest faith are willing to wait indefinitely.

When we read the Christmas story in Luke 2, we learn of two people who proved their faith by their willingness to wait. Simeon and Anna waited long, but their time wasn’t wasted; it put them in a place where they could witness the coming of Messiah (vv.22-38).

Not receiving an immediate answer to prayer is no reason to give up faith.

Not ours to know the reason why
Unanswered is our prayer,
But ours to wait for God’s own time
To lift the cross we bear. —Anon.

Waiting for God is never a waste of time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Message from Carol Vandernaalt, Registrar

“[For] it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good
purpose.” Philippians 2:13 (NIV 1984)

I took a sip of coffee and grimaced as I peered into the cup. Everything looked like it should, but the coffee wasn’t sweet. Yet I remembered tearing open the little yellow packets and sprinkling the sweet crystals over the surface of the caramel colored liquid. Then I realized that—while I had added the sugar—I had never stirred it into the coffee. Without that stirring action, the sugar couldn’t work all the way through.

I do this with my faith as well. I add all the necessary ingredients. I’ve got my Bible, my devotion subscription, my godly friends, my church, my special quiet time journal, my praise and worship songs, my verses memorized. If you looked at me, you’d say it’s all there.

But I’d rather avoid the stirring up part, truth be told. I’d tell you that I know it’s good for me. I’d tell you that it’s not good to stay in one place. I’d tell you that you should submit to God and let Him stir you up and that I’d be glad to pray for you during that process. But me? No. Just leave me alone. Let me sit. I’d rather look okay and be comfortable than be stirred up and reach my full potential.

Have you ever had those feelings?

Maybe today you’re feeling stirred up. Your finances or your job or your marriage or your children or your friendships or your dreams feel like a cyclone is swirling through them, leaving you unsettled and unstable. You might be wondering why God is letting this happen, why He’s forgotten you. Not thinking that it just might be His hand doing the stirring. He’s using those swirling forces to reach all the parts of you that He wants to get to. As today’s verse reminds us, He works in you to accomplish His purpose for you. As you are stirred up in life, thank God that He loves you enough to not let you get stuck, to not leave you bitter. The elements are there—and that’s important—but it’s in the stirring that we become all that He has in mind.

-Proverbs 31 Ministries Devotion

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Message from Tara Poovey, Assistant Athletic Director

Face to Face
Taken from Os Hillman

“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” 2 John 12

It is easy to fire off a letter to someone in this age of electronic communication because of its expediency. In business we call this being efficient. However, there are times when nothing but a face-to-face meeting is the appropriate means of communication. We know that verbal skills are a very small portion of communication. Body language, voice tone, and our expressions make up the majority of our overall communication. This cannot be seen through a letter or electronic medium.
John knew that being face to face with those he ministered to was important. And for John, it meant some major trouble to get from one place to another. It wasn’t as simple as getting into a car or hopping onto an airplane. John’s desire and determination to visit and talk face to face reinforces the importance of one-on-one personal communication.

I once had to confront a businessman about some problems we were having in a business deal. He lived in another town. The negotiations had stalled to some degree. I could have attempted to solve the problem over the phone. But I realized the serious nature of the issues required a face-to-face meeting. I drove two hours to his office and met with him face to face. It meant all the difference. It demonstrated to my friend I was serious enough about solving the problem to take a day to come see him. It also showed I valued him and he was worth the effort. This resulted in him giving greater emphasis to the issue.

Next time a situation arises that requires more focused communication, consider whether the situation requires a personal visit. You may find this will be the key to resolving issues that otherwise might end in a stalemate.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Message from Barb Tomb, Admin. Assistant to Superintendent

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! Psalm 89:15
I know that with all my heart that when I sing praises to God, something is happening in heaven, because my spirit gets relief, my emotions change from negative to positive, my mind feels inspired to think more wisely, my heart is guarded from the pain I might otherwise experience, my physical body relaxes and I’m drawn into God’s presence knowing His loving arms are wrapped around me in His safe and secure protection.
Make a habit of praising God throughout your day and just see if it doesn’t soothe your spirit’s dryness with the oil of joy. Don’t make it a one-time morning or bedtime deal. And don’t wait until you get an answer to your prayers or a blessing from God before you praise Him. God is good all the time, and we need to praise Him all the time – whether or not we feel like it.
When our kids were all growing up, Dave used to tell them over and over, “You can’t always control how you feel, but you can control how you act.” To this day, our family repeats this statement time and time again as we seek to praise God all the time.
- excerpts taken from Joy for the Journey

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Message from Carol Stines, International Department

> From one pumpkin to another!!!!!!!
> A woman was asked by a coworker,
> 'What is it like to be a Christian?'
> The coworker replied, 'It is like being a pumpkin.'
> God picks you from the patch, brings you in,
> and washes all the dirt off of you.
> Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.
> He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed.
> Then He carves you a new smiling face and
> puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.'

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Message from Dan Stauffer, Jr/Sr High Math Teacher

"When I think of God's goodness to me and my family, I reflect back to a difficult experience that began on July 4, 2000. At the time I was living with my wife and two children in a remote part of Africa, just beginning a translation of the Bible for the Songhai people. On that particular Tuesday afternoon my wife lost her ability to respond and communicate clearly; she had contracted malaria. Being thousands of miles from a modern hospital this was quite frightening. What could I do? God had the right people in place, and I was able to arrange an evacuation flight to the capital city (2 days away by car, but only a 3-hour flight). Of course, I "knew" for sure that we would return to our home within a couple of weeks and pick up our ministry where we had left off. However, the doctors in the capital were very concerned. This was not an ordinary case of malaria. It was, in fact, cerebral malaria. Bad news: most people who contract such a severe case of cerebral malaria do not survive. It was evident that the medical help in the capital was not good enough, so we were encouraged to evacuate to Paris. The corporate jet rented to us for this special evacuation belonged to the president of a neighboring country. It carried the whole family to France. A few days later as my wife lay in the hospital dying from parasites in her blood, I received the news that the cost of our evacuation flight had exceeded the insurance by thirty thousand dollars. What could I do? I was losing my wife, and I was tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Again God had the right people in place. The doctors did their work with fantastic skill, and my wife made a full recovery--incredible! Many people who heard about our evacuation debt wanted to contribute and make sure that it would not be a burden to us. Within two to three months we owed nothing--incredible!

God answered our prayers in the way we had hoped. However, today I still have to ask myself: what if I had lost my wife? What if I had worked for years to pay off the debt I had incurred? My life over the past eleven years would have been a lot different. It seems I would have been so devastated. I need to remind myself that even if God had not used the doctors to heal my wife and blessed me with contributions from faithful supporters to meet my financial need He always leads me through what is ultimately best for my life. In spite of my lack of understanding, God always does what is right--He never makes mistakes. That's the assurance I want to face the experiences I have in my life...experiences that seem to turn out right and those that I think should have had a different conclusion."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Message from Mark Ruiz, Fifth Grade Teacher

Knowing your Students

"He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbor: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace." Proverbs 11:12

Why does a person despise his neighbor? He lacks wisdom and understanding of his neighbor. Lack of knowledge about another often leads to unwise and unjust criticism.

A wise teacher knows his/her students. They don’t just know their names, but also knows them. The teacher knows their home life, knows their strengths and weaknesses, the teacher also knows their likes and dislikes, and he/she knows their capabilities and those areas in which they struggle. This knowledge causes the teacher to refrain from criticism or unrealistic expectations.

The unwise teacher may know these facts, but doesn’t take them into account when dealing with the student. Though the teacher may only despise the ways of the student, the student may think the teacher despises him.

Do you know the background of your students--- their home situations ( are the parents unsaved, is she/he being raised by grandparents, are the parents divorced)? Do you know their hot buttons that which will encourage them to give 100%? Do you relate to their interests ( sports, cars, art, music, etc.) and encourage them, and do you use these as illustrations in teaching? Do you seek to understand why they are always late, why they don’t do their homework, or why their mind wanders in class? Perhaps a family fight the night before kept them up until midnight.

It's easy to despise problem students, but the wise teacher will take the time to get to know and understand why they behave as they do.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Message from Jamie Ross, Kindergarten Teacher

“Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.”
Psalm 17:8 NAS

I had something different in mind, but my mother emailed a treasure to me that I want ever so much to share with you:

‘Excuse me, Are you Jesus?’

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table, which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.

ALL BUT ONE!!!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.
He was glad he did.

The sixteen-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her; no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, “Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?” She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, “I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.”

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, “Mister…” He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, “Are you Jesus?”

He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul; “Are you Jesus?” Do people mistake you for Jesus? That’s our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.

If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.

You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked up you and me on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.
Author-Doug Lawrence

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Message from Michele Reyman, Cafeteria Manager

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Trees have specific season for dormancy – a time when the tree appears to be inactive and not growing. This season of rest comes immediately prior to a season of rapid and accelerated growth. During dormancy, the cells and tissues within the tree are being repaired and built up. This activity is invisible to the eye.

Dormancy is one of the most important periods in the life cycle of the tree. It is how a tree becomes fit for the later demands of adding new wood to its structure and bearing its fruit.

The benefits of dormancy apply to people as well. There is a mistaken notion that to be effective we must always be active. But people also have seasons in their lives when God is preparing them for what lies ahead.

Not knowing the future ourselves, we often have to come to a deep trust in God during times when nothing seems to be happening in our lives. Inactivity must not be equated with non-productivity – God has to work in our hearts to prepare us for our destiny.

We need to humble ourselves before Him and realize we didn’t create ourselves. We can’t know fully what it is we will need in our future. Dormant times call for us to wait on the Lord and trust Him to do his work in our hearts. We can rest assured He is preparing us for something great, in His timing and according to His purpose.

As a Christian, I have seasons as well. There are many times I feel like a tree in dormancy. I put my faith in the Lord to work in me and strengthen me to become strong and fruitful, as the tree.

(Selection taken from “Tea Time with God”)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Message from Janet Preston, Bookkeeper

My daughter has been struggling for the last two years with anxiety and a mood disorder. She sometimes wonders why God allowed this to happen to her, but she never questions his faithfulness to her. She has been my inspiration and God is using her to teach me new things. She wrote this poem and I wanted to share it with all of you.

How Can You Love Me?
By Abby Preston

How can a girl like me,
Be loved so deep and dearly?

My daughter do not think such,
For you know that I love you very much.

But I mess up in every way,
I mess up differently every day.

I know of all the sins you have done,
But you'll always be my little one.

I do not deserve your love,
Or your care from high above.

My son died for you,
To show you that my love is true.

Please forgive me of my sins,
That are piled up in bins and bins.

My girl since day one you have been,
Loved by me and forgiven.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Message from Kristin Ornoski, Development

As I planned for my devotion I came across one of my favorite devotion books “When I’m on My Knees” and found something that I needed to be reminded of. I hope that it gives you comfort and peace as well! Have a Blessed and Fantastic Day!!

Through Life’s Changes

Thank You, Father, for always being with me, not only now but for eternity. You were here before the earth and galaxies were formed. I marvel at how You have no beginning or end.

Life changes through the years, but You do not. You remain the same yesterday, today, and through all the tomorrows to come. Even though You never change, You perceive every season of my life. Thank You, Lord, for taking time to know everything about me and for caring for my insignificant (yet important to me) needs.

Everything that is good and perfect comes from You, O Lord and Creator. How great are Your fullness and wonder. You shine on my life day and night with no shadow of turning away. Thank You for keeping the promises You gave in Your Word. You never forsake, You never fail. You are truth, You are life.

When I go through life’s changes, I sometimes find myself getting way off base. But you snatch me from destructive situations. Thank You for being here. At times I can’t see why things happen the way they do. But You know, and You are still here. Thank You for being patient with me. Thank You for how Your compassion and love never fail.

I’m growing in my walk with You. Because of all You teach me, I’m learning to give my joys, my worries, my disappointments, my goals, and dreams. They are all in Your sure hands. Lord, You are first now in everything I do and plan.

What a comfort to know You will live forever and ever, and that I can always be with You. You have promised to always be my God, and keep me Your child. Through eternity, I cling to You, the Rock of my salvation. I shall never fear, for You are with me. You are first, last, always, my God and my dearest Friend.

By Anita Corrine Donhue

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Message from Andi O'Dell, Junior High Teacher

Keep going; don’t quit…

This is a portion of the book, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, by Chuck Swindoll.

Paderewski, the famous composer-pianist, was scheduled to perform at a great concert hall in America. Present in the audience that evening was a mother with her fidgety nine-year-old son. Weary of waiting, he squirmed constantly in his seat. His mother was hoping the concert would encourage her son to practice the piano more.

As she turned to talk with friends, her son could not stay seated any longer. He slipped away from her side, strangely drawn to the ebony concert grand on the huge, brightly lit stage. Without much notice from the sophisticated audience, the boy sat down at the stool, staring wide-eyed at the black and white keys. He placed his small, trembling fingers in the right location and began to play “chopsticks.” The roar of the crowd was hushed as hundreds of frowning faces turned in his direction. Irritated, they began to shout:

“Get that boy away from there!”
“Who’d bring a kid that young in here?”
“Somebody stop him!”

Backstage, the master overheard the sounds out front and quickly put together in his mind what was happening. Hurriedly, he grabbed his coat and rushed toward the stage. Without one word of announcement he stooped over behind the boy, reached around both sides, and began to improvise a countermelody to harmonize with and enhance “chopsticks.” As the two of them played together, Paderewski kept whispering in the boy’s ear:
Keep going. Don’t quit, son. Keep on playing…don’t stop…don’t quit.

And so it is with us. We work on our “projects” which seem about as significant as “chopsticks” in a concert hall. And about the time we are ready to give it up. Along comes the Master, who leans over and whispers:
Now keep going; don’t quit. Keep on…don’t stop; don’t quit, as He improvises on our behalf, providing just the right touch at just the right moment.

Therefore…be steadfast, immovable…your toil is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).

May we all feel God’s “right touch” at just the right moment!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Message from Judy Nunez, Admin. Assistant Elementary Campus

Investing in the Future…

“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Matthew 6:20

We have been entrusted with resources---time, ability, opportunity---and we decide how to use them. Our challenge is to see those resources as an opportunity to invest long-term. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” is how Jesus put it in Matthew 6:20. Those protected treasures cannot be destroyed not taken away, Jesus assures us.

Think of your resources: talent, time, knowledge. These are temporal and limited. But if you invest them with an eye toward eternity, these temporary things can have enduring impact. What is your focus? Now or forever? Invest in the future. It will not only have an eternal impact, but it will also change the way you view life each day.
The richest people on earth are those who invest their lives in heaven.

----Taken from Our Daily Bread

Thank you for investing your lives in the students at Phoenix Christian …you will be richly rewarded.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Message from Karla Mungillo, Third Grade Teacher

James 1:19

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Before saying something that you may regret remember this: T-H-I-N-K

T ---- Are the words I'm about to speak TRUE

H---- Are the words HELPFUL


N---Are my words NECESSARY

K---Are my words KIND

Sometimes opening your mouth can ruin everything (Prov. 13:3) So before saying anything make sure they will help the other person. The only way to get closer to others is by loving them with tender hearts (1 Peter 3:8) and we can do this by getting closer to God. Sometimes words are just not necessary! Maybe all someone needs is a hug (and a starbucks) which would say more to that person than your words ever could.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Message from Margarita Llanes, Spanish Teacher

On Happiness

Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm
and our intelligence aglow. Work without joy
shall be as nothing. Resolve to keep happy,
and your joy and you shall form an invincible
host against difficulties.

The reason why God permitted me to lose both
sight and hearing seems clear now-that through
me He might cleave a rock, unbroken before and let
quickening streams flow through other lives deso-
late as my own once was. I am content.

Helen Keller, 1967.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Message from Lois Leader, High School Teacher

I am going to use my blog space to make a shameless pitch (some pun intended) for a hymnal that is well worth owning. Actually, the term “Psalter” would be better. The title is “The Book of Psalms for Singing” and it is published by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. The Psalms are set to familiar hymn tunes and are easy to memorize through music. This is not really surprising, since their purpose was originally to be sung.

Here is a sample of Psalm 46 set to the tune of “A Mighty Fortress is our God”:

God is our refuge and our strength,
A present help in our distress.
We will not therefore be afraid
Tho’ all the earth should be removed.
Tho’ mountains great be hurled
Into the ocean’s depths,
Tho’ seas may roar and foam,
And billows shake the shore,
Tho’ mountains tremble at their power.

As a side note, this particular Psalm is a blast to sign! Anyway, I highly recommend this Psalter as a devotional tool. It is, of course, available on Amazon.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Message from Monique Lara, Preschool Teacher

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

~ Proverbs 3:5, 6

I believe that when we live life and we live for the Lord. Truly how does anyone go by their own understandings if they always end up right back to the Lord for help? We have to put our full trust in The Lord, without him our path ways would be dark and lost. I know each and every day, whether good or bad he is there to lift my spirit and give me comfort inside. We should never forget to thank Him for all his blessings he sends our way. The Lord is Good! He has always guided and will always guide us into His pathway to find the Strength, Trust, Happiness, and Love we all seek.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

~ Romans 8:28

Monday, October 3, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

“Sometimes what we need to cure our fat egos is a strong dose of God:

• Long before a certain visionary ‘discovered’ the earth was round, God sat enthroned above the circle of the earth.
• Long before men were so ‘enlightened,’ God formed the light and the darkness.
• Long before the first billion dollars was invested in exploring space, God’s own hands stretched out the heavens.
• Long before there was a ‘beginning,’ God had already planned the end.

Like Peter on the mount of transfiguration, we’re so caught up in the tabernacles we want to build that we sometimes miss a fresh revelation of God’s glory right before our eyes.” Beth Moore in Breaking Free

This paragraph caught my eye and, in reality, my heart. I was moved by the words of Isaiah 46:9.

“I am God, and there is no other.
I am God, and there is none like me”

Here’s what is so moving to me: this warning from God to get a proper perspective on His character and position brings both clarity of God’s awesome power and comfort through the knowledge of that same great power.

In the times when I get “too big for my britches” and try to do things my way – I need this reminder that this world and this universe is all about the One and Only Jehovah God. Life is all about Him. He is, deservedly so, the Center of the Universe.

But when life and circumstances and the rest flow over us – there is no god greater than our God. We have need of nothing greater than His power and His love.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Message from Darren Johnson, Development Director

“No Fear”

But Moses protested again, 'Look, they won't believe me! They won't do what I tell them. They'll just say, "The LORD never appeared to you."
Exodus 4:1

I think at this point Moses, just like us, was worried about results.

He tells the Lord, "They won't believe me! They won't do what I tell them."

Sometimes we are afraid to step out and do what God calls us to do for fear of failing, or fear of looking like a failure. It is important that we do not become discouraged from stepping out on the adventure God is calling us to. All that we are responsible for is being obedient. The results are God's department!

When Moses worried about results, God referred him to that staff in his hand. God was saying there will be many who will believe when they see what I am doing through you “That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee” Exodus 4:5

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Message from Gretchen Janes, Admissions & Development

Psalm 96:1-3

Sing to GOD a brand-new song. He's made a world of wonders!

He rolled up his sleeves,
He set things right.
2 God made history with salvation,
He showed the world what he could do.
3 He remembered to love us, a bonus
To his dear family, Israel—indefatigable love.

The whole earth comes to attention.
Look—God's work of salvation!

Psalm 149:1-3
Hallelujah! Sing to GOD a brand-new song,
praise him in the company of all who love him.
Let all Israel celebrate their Sovereign Creator,
Zion's children exult in their King.
Let them praise his name in dance;
strike up the band and make great music!
And why? Because GOD delights in his people,
festoons plain folk with salvation garlands

I was blessed with a ticket this past weekend to attend Women of Faith! Patsy Clairmont’s first message spoke to me in a big way. She simply said, “Be still or you may miss the words to your new song!” I don’t want to miss out!

How sad to miss out on your custom song for the day! Every day a new song is written just for each of us. We need to be still and ask Him every morning for the words. Just be still!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Message from Gena Horn, Technolgy & Operations Assistant

Faith--is the Pierless Bridge Supporting what We see Unto the Scene that We do not." -- Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

Blind Faith
One day when a man was skiing in Colorado, he saw some people wearing red vests with the words BLIND SKIER. He thought, "I have a hard enough time skiing with two good eyes, how can they ski successfully with none?" The answer was - they had a guide whose instructions they totally trusted and followed! As the guide skied beside them, he'd tap his ski poles together and assure them he was there. Then he'd say, "Go right! Turn left! Stop! Slow! Skier coming up on your right!"

What a picture. Life is like skiing downhill blind. We can't see even 5 seconds into the future. We can't see the struggles to come or all the other skiers who might run into us, or over us. And those fears are heightened when we recall how often we've been blindsided by circumstances we didn't see coming. Humanly speaking it leaves the strongest of us feeling vulnerable. And that's when we must place our confidence in the God who never changes and never fails. Here's what He has to say to you today: "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths. I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them" (Is 42:16 N1V).

What is it that gets you through the unfamiliar places, the dark places, and the rough places in life? Faith and trust in God's Word .. In God's rock-solid promise: "I will guide [you]... I will not forsake ...As with "trust," faith involves a concept of future events or outcomes. His assurance is all you need! We can say, "Scio Cui Credidi" ..the words -- taken from the first letter of Paul to Timothy -- meaning "I know him in whom I have believed."

From Clear Vision Bible Studies

Friday, September 23, 2011

Message from Jay Hendricks, High School Teacher

Galatians 6:9,10 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

While visiting my mother just this week, Mary and I met the Hospice of the Valley chaplain who has been ministering to both my mother and father for the past few months. His name is Keith Voss, and it turns out that not only is he a graduate of Phoenix Christian, but he was a friend of my sister’s when she was a student here. He told us that his experience in chorale at PC instilled in him a love for music but also gave him the confidence to use this gift in his ministry on a regular basis. Just as teachers at Phoenix Christian have been a blessing to him, he has passed that blessing on to others till it has come full circle. At the proper time, his ministry is a blessing to Mary and I, two teachers at PC.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Message from Mary Hendricks, Fourth Grade Teacher

Time Passing and New Seasons Emerging

The seasons have always been a delight and a blessing to me from early childhood to the present day. I loved the springtime in the Midwest when the snow and ice melted and the warm winds blew away cloudy, dreary days. Easter bonnets, white shoes, gloves, and purses were a sign of spring days. Kites flying high above the trees while birds build new nests for their hatchlings, were sure signs that spring was around the next gentle rain shower.

Warm summer days with long bike rides to the candy store and my brother’s evening baseball game cut short with tornado warnings. Hurrying to the nearest basement to find protection from flying pieces of the neighbor’s garage made summer memories never to be forgotten.

Red, yellow, orange, and brown edged leaves, with wet Halloween trick-or-treaters bring vivid fall memories along with the youth group hayrides, holding hands, and lots of sneezing.

Ice cold Chicago snowstorms where you found yourself shoveling out of the front door, which meant a snow day! Sliding down hills as fast as your sled could go, as fingers and toes were too numb to wiggle.

Now I think of seasons more as time passing in my walk with the Lord. Now many past days blend together closing certain chapters, and writing new pages in the seasons of my life.

Ecclesiastes 3

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

As I have read the book, Too Busy Not to Pray, I have considered other areas of life where we seem to find ourselves too busy to enjoy each new season.
I have been reflecting on these experiences and I challenge you to think of a few of your own.

Do we find ourselves. . .

Too busy not to rest.

Too busy not to heal.

Too busy not to build new relationships.

Too busy not to listen to our spouses, children, or grandchildren’s joys or sorrows.

Too busy not to live life with Christ, to it’s greatest potential.

Too busy not to leave this world for Heaven.

Too busy not to mourn for those we are losing or have lost in the past.

Too busy not to cry or share our deepest emotions with those we love.


Let’s continue to find time to pray and to walk as close to the Lord as we can get in this world.

Then we will truly be ready for the DAYS OF REJOICING YET TO COME.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Message from Colleen Helman, High School Teacher

Am I Praying or Multi-Tasking?

During a recent conversation with friends about Bill Hybels’ book, Too Busy to Pray, the discussion turned to whether or not a person should have a special place to pray and spend time with God. The point was raised that we can pray anywhere, at anytime. No special place is needed when praying. Each of us can talk to God while we are driving to work, walking the dog, fixing dinner, creating a continual conversation with God throughout the day.

It occurred to me that, while I do pray all the way through the day, I have often neglected to find a planned, set-aside time that is His alone, with no interruptions. I am great at multi-tasking and doing many things at once. It is a valuable skill in our culture, a sign of being able to accomplish much in a short amount of time. I have let that become a substitute, at times, for uninterrupted time with God.

As empty-nesters, we cherish the times when our children come by to see my husband and me. Whenever Melissa or Jonathan are in the house, I want to have some time to sit down, in my favorite room, and talk with one of them without the interruptions from cell phones, computers or television. I don’t want to compete with those things. I cherish a face to face conversation, for five or ten minutes, as they tell me about what is happening in their lives.

I have often asked God to be content with my distracted prayers that are mixed with the everyday things that I need to get done while I talk with Him. Of course there is a great blessing and value in continuous prayer during the day, in addition to the intimate, one-on-one time with the Father. I want the uninterrupted time with Him to be a highly-prized part of my day.

Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God.
Psalm 146: 3-5 NIV

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Message from Brandon Harris, Head Football Coach

A few weeks ago in prayer I had a recollection of this passage of scripture. I think as I sit in admin meetings, work to rebuild our football program this word resonated with me. Then one of my assistant coaches read this same scripture and sent it to me via text. That's confirmation in my mind. PC we should expect a new thing, something greater then we can even think or imagine.

Isaiah 43: 18-21

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honor me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Message from Harold Harmon, High School Teacher

This was an amazing weekend for our bimonthly trip to Mexico. Because of sizable contributions made by my daughter’s church and some amazing back-to-school sales on school supplies (or course we had to go back over and over because of the limits imposed) we were able to purchase two full size six burner propane stoves for two of our families, hand out over two hundred filled backpacks, almost a hundred pairs of shoes, and bags and bags of clothing to families we had never reached before. That is addition to the normal $2000 food distribution that our organization hands out every month. God is richly blessing our efforts in Mexico. The sad part, however, is that we are only reaching a drop in the ocean of need that engulfs the entire country!

As we were looking back and honoring those who perished in 2001, my mind went back to one of the greatest honors that I have been given. In 2008, Sandy and I went as chaperones with Northwest’s choir to New York City. The choir sang at West Point and some other remarkable places. However, we practiced each day at a 100+ year old chapel across the way from ground zero. The chapel had been miraculously saved from destruction because it is surrounded by very large trees. It became the staging area for assisting the wounded and feeding the firefighters and policemen in the aftermath of the destruction that took place. In that chapel Amazing Grace had been played every day since 9/11 and had been played by some very famous people that had come in just for that purpose. The day I was there, I was honored to be the one that played Amazing Grace on the piano as all that were there stood in reverence. I will never forget that experience.

God is an awesome God. It occurred to me the other day that nothing occurs to God. He doesn’t get wiser with age and He is never taken by surprise. When we look at the poverty and destruction around us, the natural response sometimes is to wonder if maybe God is on vacation and is unaware or unmoved by our struggles. We have to remember that God is in control and His ways are higher than our ways. Our obligation is to trust and enlarge the family until He comes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Message from Alicia Galindo, Human Resources Manager

Romans 15:4 (NIV)

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

When times are tough, how do you overcome discouragement? God knew we would need spiritual encouragement to keep going. He offers us encouragement and inspiration through His Word. Through biographies of men and women who walked with God, journals of spiritual leaders, records of God’s work through the ages, messages from prophets and teachers, not to mention the life and teachings of Jesus.

If your strength is lagging, lacking, little or low…Ask God to strengthen you through His Word today!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Message from Laura Furedy, Preschool Director

Fan Your Flame

Zeal is simply another word for passion. Too many people today have lost their passion and enthusiasm for life. They've lost their fire.

Friend, God wants you to live with passion! You weren't meant to live a stagnant, ordinary life. You serve an extraordinary God, and you are called to be a reflection of Him.

The truth is, most of life can be very routine. We have to work to keep things fresh. We have to put forth effort to stay passionate about our jobs, relationships, and our walk with the Lord. I believe every day we need to stir ourselves up. Just like the apostle Paul told Timothy, today I'm telling you to "fan your flame!" In other words, don't let the fire go out. Stay passionate about your life so you can move forward and embrace the dreams God has placed within you!

Joel Osteen

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Message from Joe Frost, Director of Technology & Operations

Matthew-9:18-35 ...a woman who had suffered...for 12 years...said to herself, "if only I touch his [Jesus'] garment, I will be made well" [and she was]. [A ruler's daughter had died]...and when Jesus came to the ruler's house...he [Jesus] went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose...two blind men followed him [Jesus] crying aloud, "Have mercy on us"...Then he touched their eyes...And their eyes were opened...A demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him [Jesus]...And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke...And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching...and proclaiming the gospel...and healing every disease and every affliction...Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."


Jesus is hanging out with some new friends at dinner when suddenly all ministry breaks loose. Dinner is officially over...

Some guy without an invitation crashes the group begging Jesus to come revive his daughter that just died - okay, good reason to disrupt the dinner party - and they head out.

While he's on the way some lady grabs just the edge of his jacket and Jesus catches her, but instead of telling her to back off he tells her that her faith has healed her.

Finally, they arrive at the first guy's house and there's a crowd, but these people laugh at him instead of listen, so he just goes inside, takes the dead girl's hand as if to arouse her from sleep and she gets right up. I sure wish I could have seen her dad's face when she came running out to see him!

No sooner does he leave the girl with her dad when a couple blind guys come begging Jesus to heal them. So he touches their eyes and tells them according to their faith they're healed.

And just when you think it's time for a break, another crowd brings a really scary guy to him that they say has a demon and can't talk. So, Jesus gets rid of the demon and the guy starts talking. I'm sure he said thanks in there somewhere, but remember this guy hasn't talked for a while...

This reads like it's just another day in the life of Jesus. He eats. He hangs out with friends. His schedule is flexible. He prioritizes ministry over partying. He heals a lot of people. He doesn't react when people laugh at him or make mean accusations.

And HE challenges us not just to pray that HE sends out workers to do the same - HE challenges us to follow HIM and BE THE WORKERS that do the same...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Message from Irma Flores, Second Grade Teacher

My devotion comes from Numbers 27:1-4 which tells of the daughters of Zelophedad.

Since only sons inherited property under Hebrew law, Zelophedad's family would not have land in the Promised Land. So the daughters approached Moses, Eleazar the priest, the princes and all the congregation and spoke for their father who did not join the company of Korah in rebellion. They requested an inheritance in their father's name since he had no son. Moses brought the matter to the Lord and He showed favor in what they had requested. The daughters weren't looking for personal gain but were wanting to preserve their family line which God valued. God gave them an inheritance and thus made a change in the Hebrew law. I am impressed at the courage of these daughters to approach their leader and a large group, and also their loyalty to their family. They spoke up and were able to change Hebrew law to benefit daughters, too. I pray for myself to improve my courage, to make changes to benefit others, and to be loyal to my family and my family in Christ. May your daughters also be a blessing to you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Message from Angie Dickerson, Admin. Assistant to Principal

An encouraging word for us here at PC to press on!

A while back, during some time with the Lord I read three sentences about clear-headed leadership that really blessed me. I pass them on to you in the hope that you will clearly hear a word of encouragement from our Lord Jesus.

Pass this on to Christian leaders you know who could use a word of encouragement:

"You are in the line of battle, and crisis is at hand. To falter a moment would be to imperil some holy interest. Other lives would be harmed by your pausing, holy interests would suffer, should your hands be folded." (Streams in the Desert, March 11).

The apostle Paul moved on, through difficulties, disappointments, troubles and suffering. He refused to be stopped in his call and in his work for the Lord. He had a determination to press on, no matter what!

"I PRESS ON so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12, NASB

"I PRESS ON toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14, NASB

"LET US PRESS ON to maturity." Hebrews 6:1, NASB

It’s not time to kick back and play, or to relax or be diverted from our devotion to Christ and His Church. Press on! Press on! Press on! Jesus is praying for you, His Spirit is empowering you! We’ll be going home soon!

"But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ Jesus grasped me. . . . But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the hour of my high calling by God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12b-14, Phillips Translation

-Taken from GRACE Mail, 8/23/2011, Calvary Community Church

Friday, September 9, 2011

Message from Keith deLaet, High School Teacher

The Power of Understanding God Given Gifts

A few years ago, Yahoo Answers was asked. “I know there are famous people throughout history who were rebellious, troublesome kids, always being sent to the principal’s office, but have grown into respectable citizens; actors, writers, presidents, etc. Can anyone think of a few?

This is the Best Answer - Chosen by Voters: There are many. Consider Alexander Graham Bell, George Burns, Jim Carrey, Prince Charles, Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill, Bill Cosby, Salvadore Dali, Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry Ford, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Ernest Hemingway, Dustin Hoffman, Magic Johnson, John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, Eleanor Roosevelt, Steven Spielberg, Henry Winkler and Robin Williams to name a few.

Some of those names may come as a surprise, but certainly many do not. As I thought about this dynamic in today’s world, I could not help but think of Joseph. He is given the gift of interpreting dreams, but in his youth he lacks wisdom and maturity in the use of the gift:

Genesis 37:5-8 5Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. 6He said to them, "Hear this dream that I have dreamed: 7Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold,(A) my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and(B) bowed down to my sheaf." 8His brothers said to him, "Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?" So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

As he matures, Joseph uses his gift with more wisdom. Genesis 41:17-41 17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Behold,(A) in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. 18Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, 20And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, 21but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. 22I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. 23Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And(B) I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me."

25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also(D) seven years of famine. 33Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land[a] of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. 35And(J) let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, 39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40(L) You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command.[c] Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you."

Certainly Joseph’s early choices were frustrating to their many, but what would have happened if he had been disciplined in a way that stifled the spiritual gifts and he viewed the use of the gifts as wrong? As Parents, we must affirm God’s gifts and encourage their use in God honoring ways, moving our children from immaturity to maturity and from irresponsibility to responsibility. This will require prayer, submission to God, and a personal awareness as to what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives as well as the lives of our children.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Message from Margaret Crotts, First Grade Teacher

Good News?

I’m not very accustomed to getting or hearing
good news. The stories that headline the news-
paper or the 6 o’clock news don’t typically tell
good news. It’s usually just the opposite. The
market fell? Wars or rumors of wars? Washington
gridlock? No rain? 116 degree temperatures?

I find myself not expecting good news. Mr. Koan
calls an unexpected staff meeting and the first
thing I think about is NOT “good news”!

However, the other day when I went to the mailbox I
found two pieces of good news! A refund check I
certainly wasn’t expecting and a credit on an
account that I didn’t realize was coming! Must be a

The best thing we can do with genuinely good news
is to receive it, and the best news I’ve ever heard is

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith
into this grace in which we stand.”
Romans 5:1-2

Doesn’t that sound too good to be true? It’s not. The
Gospel is not too good to be true. Not even close!