Monday, February 28, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

Sometimes…we just need a deposit in our “Dearly Loved” account.

I would bet that each of us at times (can you say daily?) find it hard to love someone in our world of daily living. It could be that demanding boss; it could be the annoying kid who is never quite prepared and always needs a little more time and attention than I’ve got to spare; it could be the ‘helicopter’ parent who hovers over and questions every aspect of what goes on in the classroom; maybe it is the spouse who has just grown annoying; maybe it is…you fill in the blank.

I’m learning in my morning devotions the importance of making a deposit of God’s love into the ‘bank account’ of our lives; that way we have the reserves to love as we’ve been loved by God. So here goes:

1 John 3:1

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 4:10

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Deuteronomy 7:9

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.

John 13:34

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 13:1

Jesus loved them to the end.

John 14:23

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

John 15:9

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

Joel 2:13

Come back to the Lord your God, because He is kind and shows mercy. He doesn’t become angry quickly, and He has great love.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Message from Sharon Leary, West Campus 2nd Grade Teacher

There was a man who had dreamed of going on a cruise. He had this desire for many years. As a young boy, he watched the ships from a distance and purposed in his heart that someday he would be the one on the ship. When he shared his dream with others, they laughed at him, saying cruises were not for people like him; they were for the fancy, rich people. Determined not to lose hope, the young man kept his dream alive in his heart. For many years, the man planned and saved, and finally, he had just enough money to purchase his ticket. It cost everything he had, but he knew it was worth it. Now his dream would be fulfilled. With anticipation and joy, the man carefully packed his bag.

When the day of his departure arrived, he headed to the docks, filled with excitement. As the man boarded the ship, he realized how big it was up close! He looked at the marvelous grandeur around him and marveled that he was actually on the ship that he had dreamed about as a child. Upon entering the grand foyer, the captain shook his hand in a warm greeting. All the years of scrimping and saving . . . and now here he was. The man experienced a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Every morning the man went out to the deck to breathe in the fresh sea air. He watched the children running and laughing, enjoying the happy looks on their faces. He saw couples strolling hand in hand and thought that maybe someday that would be him and his love. He lounged on the deck, feeling the gentle breeze on his face. As the man explored the ship each day, he saw tables laden with delicious food and other delicacies . . . more food than anyone could ever eat. Then, as he had each day since he had arrived, he went back to his room to eat the peanut butter and crackers he had so carefully packed. He refused to feel envy or pity, but reminded himself just being on the cruise was a great accomplishment for him.

In the evenings, the man watched as the other passengers, decked out in their best clothing, headed to the fancy dinners, shows, and other nighttime entertainment. One day he would join them in the festivities . . . Then, the man would head back to his cabin and enjoy the solitude, eating his peanut butter and crackers once again. He spent much of the cruise doing the same thing, still feeling satisfied and thankful, but with a growing desire in his heart for more.

On the last day, the man packed up his few belongings and headed up to see the ship dock. As he was about to depart, there was the captain, smiling and shaking hands, saying his last goodbyes to the passengers. When he saw the man, he said to him, “Sir, I’ve been looking for you. I was hoping to see you on Captain’s Night. I had reserved a place for you at my table. I thought maybe I’d catch a glimpse of you enjoying one of the shows or singing in the karaoke lounge. Then there was the midnight buffet and the other exciting activities . . . Where were you?”

A little embarrassed, the man replied, “I had saved only enough money to purchase my ticket on the cruise. I had nothing left for the extra things. But I am hoping to do all of that someday.”

With a sad look in his eyes, the captain replied, “Sir, I’m so sorry. Did you not know that your ticket entitled you to everything on the ship? The dinners, the shows, the activities . . . it was all available to you.”

How sad it must be for the King of Glory to see His children missing out on so many of His benefits, especially when they came at so high a price. I pray that we will live like children of the King in the Kingdom of God and not settle for the crumbs of the world. I pray that we will walk in the power and authority we have been given as believers. We are BLESSED!!!

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah

Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:

Psalm 116:12 What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Message from Renee Trapp, Business Manager


“God is sheer mercy and grace;
Not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
Nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
Nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as the heaven is over the earth,
So strong is His love to those who fear Him.”
(Psalm 103:8-11 MSG)

Don’t blame suffering in the world on the anger of God. He’s not mad; he didn’t mess up. Follow our troubles to their headwaters, and you won’t find an angry or befuddled God. But you will find a sovereign God.

Your pain has a purpose. Your problems, struggles, heartaches, and hassles cooperate toward one end—the glory of God. “Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory” (Psalm 50:15 NLT)

Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God’s glory? Have you “been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29)?

Here is a clue. Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? What you request and what you receive aren’t matching up? Don’t think God is not listening. Indeed he is. He may have higher plans.

Here is another clue. Are people strengthened by your struggles? Do we feel that we have a small faith if our prayers for healing, for example, are not answered? Well, your struggle may not be about you. Your faith in the face of suffering cranks up the volume of God’s song. How we deal with our struggles can be a reflection of the glory of God for others.

May God give us a different perspective when we struggle—that we may be struggling for God’s glory! May God bless you in a mighty way today.

(Excerpts taken from It’s Not About Me by Max Lucado)

Message from Mark Ruiz, Central 5th Grade Teacher

“For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6

Christian teachers know they need wisdom. Every day we are molding the lives and affecting the souls of precious children, the handiwork of God. We know we will stand before Him and give an account of how we affected their lives. Yet children differ in their backgrounds, home situations, and personal characteristics. How can we wisely deal with each one? The wisest man who ever lived (Solomon) tells us how to gain such wisdom. The answer? Go to the source of wisdom! “The Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

Years earlier, Solomon was given the privilege of choosing a gift from God. Solomon chose wisdom, and his request was granted. Thus, Solomon passes his secret to us in this proverb. It was not Solomon who was wise but the God who gave him wisdom. If we would have the wisdom of Solomon we must go to the same source as Solomon.

Solomon asked for wisdom, perhaps this was the wisest thing he ever did. We need wisdom every day. Perhaps the wisest thing we will ever do is to ask God daily for the wisdom to deal with each child and each situation we will face that day.

Asking for wisdom is a humbling experience because it is an admission that we don’t have all the answers and that the Lord alone is our sufficiency.

Right now, humbly ask God for wisdom for this day, and make it a daily habit.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

My soul yearns for You [O Lord] in the night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You earnestly; for [only] when Your judgments are in the earth will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God).

— Isaiah 26:9

If we are hungry enough, we will get something to eat. And if we can’t eat before we leave home, we will go to a drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant. Or we will call a place that delivers food to bring us something to eat. If we are hungry enough for God, we will find a way into His presence. We should be so hungry for the presence of God that we absolutely will not go out of our house until we have spent some time with Him.

I tell students that even though they may be rushed in the morning, eating a healthy breakfast is a critical first step for a successful day. Likewise, to be spiritually fed, is also critical beginning for a successful day. The bottom line is - don’t skip a healthy breakfast and don’t skip a healthy few minutes with the Lord before you begin your busy day.

Blessings to each of you on a Christ-filled day.

Message from Jamie Ross, Central Kindergarten Teacher

On Friday, January 28th, Mr. Koan shared his vision for our students:

Let them fail.
Let them learn.
Let them dream.
Let them soar.

Wow, three of those are easy, but letting them fail is very difficult. As parents, grandparents and teachers, we naturally do everything we can to gear children toward success. Oft times we may even go so far as to manipulate situations in the child’s favor. Let’s face it: it’s easier. It’s easier to excuse a child to use the bathroom during a time when you know that he’ll squawk and interrupt a guest speaker or pipe up and down that it isn’t fair that he wasn’t chosen to lead in some activity. Sure, things run more smoothly in the classroom, but is such avoidance truly nurturing for that particular child, and for that matter: the rest of the class? My answer is: no! This practice will only teach the children to avoid rather than to deal with matters at hand.

I had the most precious conversation with my son the other day. He stopped listening to me when he was in the fifth grade. Now he’s 25, married and living in Nebraska. He graduated from PC about seven years ago. I’ve been sitting on some things to speak with him about since he was a nonlistening teenager. I prayed and prayed but the time was still not right and I wasn’t feeling the love to speak the truth in.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

I chose to use tough love. It was tough for me and tough for him, but I received the payoff in our telephone conversation.

We laid all our cards out on the table and had a real heart to heart talk.

He said: “Ma, I’m learning to listen to my wife. I can’t believe how much she is like you. She sets aside money from our paychecks for every little thing. The other day I wanted to buy something and she said that if I spent that money, we wouldn’t be able to pay a certain bill. I’m really sorry for being such a pain, Ma. When you made me get a job to pay for the extras at school, like my football uniform and gas for the car when I was dating, I just thought you were stingy. You said if she’s worth her salt, she’ll have more respect for you. I’m listening now, Ma!”

I don’t know if he’s practicing the first fruits of tithing, but I’m happy that he and Teresa are practicing good stewardship.

Wow! That conversation is so precious to me. It’s contained in the deepest recesses of my heart.

I thought back on how tough life was for my own mother in raising my brother and me. She made so many sacrifices that we didn’t know about. Other people took credit for the wonderful things that she did. I remember saying thank you, but not with full knowledge of how very difficult life was for her.

Next to Jesus, my mother is my best friend.

The Bible passage on our west PC wall rings so true:

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

So don’t lose heart!

Precious Jesus: still & always my refuge,

Help us to be an extension of you. Help us not to grow weary in our vocations. Help our students to understand that it is not their right but rather their privilege to attend PC. Thank you for the high, unfathomable cost that you paid for our redemption!

In Your holy name. Amen

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

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

A hymn has been stuck in my head.

My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be Thine, and Thine alone;
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
Lord, let in me Thy will be done.


Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

I’m tired of sin, footsore and weary,
The darksome path hath dreary grown;
But now a light has ris’n to cheer me;
I find in Thee my Star, my Sun.

Thy precious will, O conqu’ring Savior,
Doth now embrace and compass me;
All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul, a prisoned bird set free.

Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What pow’r from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God’s will my home.

With me, this is not a prayer said once and for all, but daily, or even more often. Sweet will of God, still fold me closer, till I am wholly lost in thee.

Message from Rita Rodriquez, 4th Grade Teacher West Campus

Dear friends and colleagues,

Over the past several weeks I have had people, including my own son, express a feeling of wanting to know God’s will in their lives for certain situations. So I chose this devotional from Charles Stanley that I believe expresses an answer to this age old question of “How can I know God’s will for my life?”

This is from a devotional book called The Savior’s Touch, by Charles Stanley

“One of the most common questions I am asked is, “How can I know God’s will for my life?” Many times there is a great deal of anxiety in the voice of the one asking. Understandably so. It is discouraging when we don’t know what direction God wants us to take.

It is unfortunate that so many Christians are paralyzed by the question of God’s will. Many feel that until they know absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, exactly what God wants them to do, they don’t dare make a move. But that is not the model we find in Scripture. In fact just the opposite is true.

Paul is a good example. He knew God’s will for his life—that he should preach the gospel. So he took off to do just that. The implication of what happened in Acts 16 is that Paul did not get specific direction from the Lord. And when he didn’t, he simply did what he thought was best for him to do. Apparently Paul heard that Bithynia needed the gospel; so he headed out in that direction. But God had another plan for Paul and blocked the way.

If you don’t know God’s specific will for your life, chances are it is because he has not revealed it to you. In the meantime you are free to begin moving in whatever direction you feel is appropriate. If you make a wrong choice, God will stop you just as he stopped the apostle Paul. God never intended for us to be paralyzed by his silence. There is enough general guidance in his Word to get us on our way. As long as we are unsure of the specifics in life, we are free to make what we consider the best decision to be—again, knowing that he can step in at any time and change our direction.

Has your search for the “perfect” will of God left you in a holding pattern? Maybe it’s time to make a move. Don’t be afraid to do what you feel is best. For within the plan God has designed for each of us, he has included a measure of freedom as well.”

Acts 16:7 “When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.”

Closing prayer:

Heavenly Father, you are the God who knows my fears and frustrations concerning the future. I confess that often I get anxious about your timing. Beginning today I am choosing to trust you to reveal everything I need to know at the perfect time. For now I will do what I feel is best. Through this process I am trusting you to stop me should I begin to move in the wrong direction or in the right direction at the wrong time. Thank you for the freedom to think and decided for myself as well as the promise of guidance. Lead me to a perfect balance of the two. Amen.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Message from Bruce Consier, Athletic Director

Cherokee Right of Passage by Duane Silver

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the
blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.
Perfect example of how God is always there with us.

Message from Michele Reyman, Central Cafeteria Manager

~~~Ye washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. ~~~

1 Corinthians 6:11

Most of us are familiar with parsley, those springs of greenery that give color to our dinner plates in restaurants. Parsley is sometimes used as a lush bedding for salad bars, or as a garnish on pasta dishes and bowls of soup.

For the most part, parsley seems decorative --- a pretty splash of green to brighten the culinary scene. Few of us ever eat the parsley made available to us, or even think to try it. And yet that is why parsley was originally provided. It was intended to be eaten in small quantities ----a few leaves consumed as the final bite from the plate. For what purpose?

Parsley is a food known to gourmets' as a "palate cleanser." Eating it removes the lingering taste of foods just eaten to allow a person to experience more fully the new tastes of the next course. Parsley erases the old and makes way for the new! In fact, after a bit of parsley, most people find it difficult even to recall vividly the flavor of the foods previously eaten. Another interesting fact about parsley is that if you look closely at a clump of it, you will make an amazing discovery. Like clover, parsley is a " Trinity" plant. Each time a stem divides into stalks or leaves, it divides into three parts. What a wonderful spiritual analogy we have in parsley! For surely it is our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who cleanse us from the dust, dirt, and evil grime of the world, and prepare us for the beautiful new world which Jesus called the Kingdom of Heaven. God is the one who has the capacity to remove all the memories of sorrow and pain and replace them with overflowing joy and hope for the future!

Take another look at your world today! What other lessons does the Lord have for you to learn about his creative wonders? You can be assured: His entire creation points toward Him and to the glorious plan He has for you as His child.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Message from Jennifer Pellish, Junior High Teacher

Each year, I have the privilege of reading JONI with my 7th graders. As familiar as I am with her story, each time I read it I am challenged anew. What an incredible testimony to the grace of God! It also reminds me that we are all called to suffering, but suffering comes in various shapes and sizes.

This passage from 2 Corinthians reminds me not only of Joni, but how we all should approach suffering: (The Message)

7-10Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.

My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Message from Darren Johnson, Development Director

"They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage. Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, 'Don't mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.' For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. …'Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!' And the Levites, too, quieted the people, telling them, 'Hush! Don't weep! For this is a sacred day.' So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God's words and understood them." Nehemiah 8:9, 10-12

When these people heard the Word of God, it had a profound impact on their lives. They were grieved by the sin they saw when they looked at the Word of God. Sometimes when you read the Word of God, it shows you the sin that needs to be dealt with in your life. The neat thing about the Bible is that it does this in a gracious way. The Bible will point out your sin, but it doesn't say that God hates you; it says God loves you, and because He loves you, you should want to turn from these bad things and stop living this way. Change your way.

In order for us to grow, we have to understand the Word and be in the Word. In order for revival to happen in our lives, the Word of God has to be predominant in our lives. If the flames of out spiritual life are dying out, we need to get in the Word. If our spiritual life is weakening, we need to get in the Word!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus


Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. Philippians 2:6, 7

Being appreciated is a wonderful reward for your efforts in showing kindness to others. Serving people is an essential aspect of living your faith, but what if your good works are unappreciated? It's nice to be valued by loved ones or co-workers, but it's more important to remember who you are truly serving. Learn to imitate Christ by looking to your Heavenly Father for approval rather than others.

Today, do something unexpected that will relieve stress for your spouse, a parent, or a friend. Clean the kitchen, wash another’s car, or babysit someone else’s kids -- expecting nothing in return.

Excerpt from a recent Dr. Randy Carlson daily devotion

Message from Shannon Palmer, WV Admin. Assistant

As we acknowledge the week with Valentine’s Day, I thought I would talk about true meaning of love. More songs have been written about love than any other topic. Love has inspired some of the world’s best and worst poetry. It has set on fire and broken countless hearts throughout history. Many things are proclaimed about love, yet the final word on the topic comes from the bible. Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit, gives the most beautiful “Ode to Love”.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

In this passage, the Greek word for love “agape”, describes a love that is based on the intentional choice of the one who loves, rather than the worthiness of the one who is loved. This kind of love goes against our natural human tendency. It is a giving, selfless, expect nothing in return kind of love. This kind of love means we determine what is best for another person instead of ourselves. This describes the kind of love God shows to us. Have a great week and remember to demonstrate the “true” meaning of love to others.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

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

Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die." Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin."

Exodus 20:18-20 English Standard Version

In this passage we are told not to fear, but then are told of the benefit of fear. The first kind of fear – an emotion rooted in a belief that we may be harmed in some way is different than the second kind. This fear is a reverence or awe of God. This is the fear we are to have. This is the fear we are to live our lives by and the kind we teach to our children.

Never have there been two more incompatible concepts than sin and the fear of God. When I sin, I may blame it on a variety of things. But one thing I can never claim is that God has changed His mind or His standards. That is because God Himself cannot change. God does not have a standard – He is the standard.

Of all the compelling reasons for the Christian school, this is right near the top: Christian adults teaching children to fear God in every area of their lives. That is what I want (and I believe commanded) for my children and grandchildren. Moral neutrality is about all a parent can hope for in secular education. That concept is foreign to the God of scripture. One of the most important reasons Christian schools exist is to come alongside parents who are scripturally mandated (Deuteronomy 6:1-9) to instill a fear of the Lord in their children. Why fear? Well, aside from the fact that God is entitled to it, it will, as the passage says, keep them from sin.

Message from Andi O'Dell, Junior High Teacher

“Crazy Love” by Francis Chan

I think the second chapter of this book was written for me (or anyone else that worries).

On any given day, I live caught up in myself; my schedule, my to-do list, my problems. I live as though my life will go on forever. I need to be reminded that my life is “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”. James 4:13-14

I am the worrying kind. If there’s a “worst case scenario” that’s what I think I’ll need to deal with. To “rejoice in the Lord always” is a command I need to be reminded of…often!

When I am thinking about my problems---my life, my job---I show that I think the situations are more important than God’s command to always rejoice. It’s like I have a “right” to disobey God because my problems and responsibilities seem so important.

Chan says, “Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.”

“Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.”

This means that I think it is okay to sin and not trust God because the trouble in my life is somehow exceptional.

Life is to be about God and not about me…at all! To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what situation I find myself in, right now, my part is to bring Him glory! The point of my life is to point to Him.

To God be the glory!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Message from Judy Nunez, Central Elementary Admin. Assistant

Lover of God

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with your entire mind.”  Matthew 22:37

In a brief biography of St. Francis of Assisi, G.K. Chesterton begins with a glimpse into the heart of this unique and compassionate man born in the 12th century.  Chesterton writes:  “As St. Francis did not love humanity but men, so he did not love Christianity but Christ…The reader cannot even begin to see the sense of a story that may well seem to him a very wild one, until he understands that to this great mystic his religion was not a thing like a theory but a thing like a love-affair.”

When Jesus was asked to name the greatest command in the Law, He replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with your entire mind.  This is the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37-38).  The questioner wanted to test Jesus, but the Lord answered him with the key element in pleasing God.  First and foremost, our relationship with Him is a matter of the heart.

If we see God as a taskmaster and consider obedience to Him as a burden, then we have joined those of whom the Lord said, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Rev 2:4).

The way of joy is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind.

             By David McCasland from Our Daily Bread.

I pray that day by day my heart may give to Him a deeper love.

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

INTIMACY…With the Almighty

“Jesus didn’t act unless he saw his father act. He didn’t judge until he heard his father judge. No act of deed occurred without his father’s guidance…

Because Jesus could hear what others couldn’t, he acted differently than they did. Remember when everyone was troubled about the man born blind? Jesus wasn’t. He knew that the blindness would reveal God’s power. (John 9:3). Remember when everyone was distraught about Lazarus’ illness? Jesus wasn’t….It was if Jesus could hear what no one else could...Jesus had unbroken communion with his father.

Do you suppose the Father desires the same for us? Absolutely!...God desires the same abiding intimacy with you that He had with his Son.”
            Just Like Jesus, Max Lucado

Don’t ever doubt, no matter who you are, no matter what you have done or where you are in you walk…God is waiting for you at the door.

Matthew 5:12 reads Rejoice and be glad, for you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. That reward is not a lofty title, nor a full bank account nor (in homage to Valentine’s Day) a big box of chocolates. No, our reward is an unending audience with the Creator of the universe; no tears are found in his presence; no goodbyes; no judgment. On the day of our heavenly homecoming we will run to Him, be scooped up in His arms, and know an intimacy unknown on this earth.

Makes you want to ‘go home’ right now…but we can’t. Our work on earth is not done. There are ‘Billy Grahams’ to train here at PCUS: there are ‘Mother Teresas looking to have modeled for them agape love and devotion to God; there are still ‘Abraham Lincolns’ passing into your class ready to learn what it means “…to be on God’s side; for God is always right.” (A. Lincoln, c1862)

No, your work and my work is not done here. But each morning God waits at the door for us to come and respond to His knock. Intimacy awaits…and so too our great reward.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Message from Judy Musgrave, WV Preschool

The New Year…

As you move forward into the New Year, how are you going to interpret the events of the past? What meaning are you going to give to the traumatic moment of your life? What meaning are you going to give to the moment in life when you got rejected, when things didn't work out, when you may have been living your worst nightmare? What meaning are you going to give to not getting what you want?

One of the best and fastest ways to cut cords with your past and jettison yourself into a more compelling future is to give the traumatic events of your past an empowering meaning.

Did these events happen "to you"? Or did they happen "for you"? Are you a victim of your circumstances or are you the powerful co-creator of your life? Did these events make your hopes and dreams impossible or were they lessons? Are you never going to get over it or are you willing to step into the unknown with an even stronger sense of resolve and even MORE open heart? Is life a test or is life a journey?

What new and empowering meaning can you give to the events of your past? How can you flip the script on even the seemingly worst moments of your life and tell a new story about them? What new models of the world are you willing to create that will empower you? What are you waiting for?

Caroline Myss, has been quoted saying "You can get bitter or you can get better." The choice is yours.

Be honest with yourself. Is there a part of you that gets to feel loved by others when you tell a sad story? Is there a part of you that feels more significant because "no one understands you"?

If you choose to become more empowered, you have to let go of these stories from your past and start telling new ones. Start telling stories that say: "I am always loved"; "I am enough"; "All I need is within me now"; "God is for and never against me"; "Hard times are challenges to overcome and show me more of who I really am"; "I am strong".

As you tell more empowering stories, you will be given opportunities to prove to yourself that you truly believe the new story. This is what it means to welcome the challenge! You will become stronger, more loving and life will expand.

So I ask you, my friend, what story are you telling about your part? Are you ready to start telling a new one?

Side note: This was shared with me by a friend who knew some things I had gone through this past year. Yes, I realize we are well into our way writing new stories in our lives. Think about it…for me 2010 I have no regrets only lessons learned. It was a journey God wanted me to walk and I praise Him for it. 2011 I claim as my year of CHANGE!! Change is in the air what do you plan to do with it?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Message from Renee Trapp, Business Manager



Our guest Pastor spoke those words at the beginning of his sermon this past Sunday. He stated that we were there in church because someone, sometime in our life, told us about Jesus. Someone cared enough about us and our salvation to tell us about Jesus and His love for us.

Who was the special someone in your life? Your parents, your Sunday School teacher, or was it your Christian school teacher?

Here at Phoenix Christian we have the wonderful opportunity to speak of Jesus and His love—each and every day. We have students on our campus who need to hear of His love. We have students who are yearning to hear the Gospel message of salvation.

In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus speaks: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We have a great ministry at PC—not only to educate these young men and women in academics, but to teach them about spiritual matters. Our school’s mission statement is worth repeating: “Phoenix Christian Unified Schools, in partnership with the family, equips students to discover and develop their talents and spiritual gifts in order to live a life of service, impacting the world for Christ.”

Each and every faculty/staff member at Phoenix Christian can help make an everlasting impact on a student here. Let’s reflect on this awesome task for a moment. Now…go and serve the Lord!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

Devotional Words of Wisdom from Dr. Randy Carlson

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16

You will find that when you're praying for someone else it's easier to love them. You'll become more patient with them, more sympathetic, and will begin to see this person in a more positive, healthier perspective. The miracle of prayer is that it not only changes those for whom you are praying ... but it changes you, too!

Take time today, to pray for a specific student, or adult, that may present a periodic challenge to you. In the process God will amplify your own compassion for the needs of others.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

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

…But whoever would be great among you must be your servant and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Matthew 20:26-28 English Standard Version

If you want to be encouraged, sit back for a minute and observe the countless instances of the people within the Phoenix Christian community living out this principle. Whether it is student council, PTF, our maintenance crew, the office staff, teachers looking out for each other, older students mentoring younger students, coaches putting in hours upon hours to develop their teams, or parents just doing whatever it takes to see that their kids have a roof over their heads, food to eat, and clothes to wear, then trying to keep up with Power School and keep those kids on track. Servanthood is one of the defining traits of mature Christian faith. Thanks to all of you who live out Christ’s command. May God bless you as you carry on.

Message from Chris Moore, International Department

Believing or Grumbling?

When we look at all the lessons Moses had to learn, I think one experience we can learn a lot from is the one that prevented Moses from entering the earthly promised land. The children of Israel left Egypt 40 years earlier. Most of the original people had died, and only their children and grandchildren remained. Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb were among the remaining few. Sadly, the children of Israel were singing the same grumbling song: ‘Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”(Numbers 20:4-5)

Most of these Israelites had never personally tasted a fig, grape, or pomegranate. They only knew desert life. All they knew about what they were missing was what they learned from their disobedient and grumbling parents. These parents had many stories they could have shared to constantly remind their children of God’s faithfulness. Instead, negative attitudes consumed their hearts. So, tragically, this is what the passed to their children. This is probably what grieved Moses the most as he threw himself facedown before the Lord and asked what to do.

“The Lord said to Moses, “Take your staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to the rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water” (Numbers 20:7-8).

In Exodus 17, God had instructed Moses to strike a rock, and water came out. But this time Moses was to only speak to the rock. God was teaching the people to do what He says, though it makes no sense, and watch Him keep His promises. In Joshua 6, the walls of Jericho fall by the shouts of the people. Therefore, Numbers 20 records a pivotal moment that could have proved to the people that God can use voices – He can bring water from a rock or, as they would later see, tear down walls. But Moses, in his frustration and bad reaction to the peoples’s grumbling, did not obey the Lord. Instead of speaking to the rock, he struck it twice.

The water came, but so did God’s harsh punishment for Moses. “But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them’”(Numbers 20:12).

Am I “remembering” and speaking of all the good God has done and is doing in my life or grumbling about everything. What am I passing on to others? Am I believing God at His word and doing what He’s asking of me or am I tweeking it because it makes more sense my way?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

The disciples “weren’t cut from theological cloth or raised on supernatural milk. But they were an ounce more devoted than they were afraid and, as a result, did some extraordinary things.” (emphasis added)

The Applause of Heaven, Max Lucado

That phrase “an ounce more devoted” has stuck with me, almost haunted me, since I read it a week ago in my morning devotions. Not a boulder more, not a tsunami more, but an ounce more devotion appeared to make the difference with the disciples; well, that and a personal encounter with Jesus.

I am assuming that each of us reading this blog is a child of God and therefore already have encountered Jesus Christ personally. That said I also believe that those of us reading this blog are called to do some extra-ordinary things. Here at PC, we are called to be extraordinarily devoted and faithful in leading these kids to be all that God intends them to be. We’re to be extraordinarily devoted and faithful in pursuing a vision for excellence in Christian education which sets the standard and compels the community to take notice and join us in our “pursuit of excellence.” But by the same token as children of God we are called to be extra-ordinarily devoted and faithful in our day-to-day roles: spouse, parent, employee, volunteer, etc.

We complete and become all that God intends not through some herculean effort but by being at least an ounce more devoted each day to each calling in our lives. Doing that taps us into the limitless power and grace and provision, which is sufficient for each day.

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” Phil. 4:13

“And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. II Cor. 3:4-6

Message from Jonathan Medina, First Grade West Valley Campus

One summer my wife and I and our mission team were building a chapel factory in Guatemala. This was a factory that would produce materials to build pre-fab chapels throughout the country. Needless to say, it was quite a task and our team worked really hard trudging through the mud of this cleared acre of rainforest. We had finally erected the frame of the factory when disaster struck!

A locally hired man was helping by cutting down the tall trees towering over the site. When one tree was cut, it came crashing down on the frame, bringing much of the structure down with it. We were stunned to watch all of our hard work wiped out by one tree. The team’s moral was crushed and many began to question why God would let such a terrible event happen. After all, we were covered by prayer and doing an awesome work for the Kingdom of God in Guatemala!

It turned out that the man who cut down the tree thought for sure we would fire him. There were many Guatemalans looking for work so the workers we had hired could have easily been replaced. Although we were discouraged, we didn’t fire him, but reassured him that we all make mistakes and it really wasn’t his fault.

We eventually finished the factory and had moved our team on to other work in the country. Several days later we heard that those hired men were not Christians and they talked for days about how kind and loving we were during the disaster. This opened a door for the local ministry to share the gospel with these men who became very interested in our Jesus Christ!


After hearing that I thought, if God told us that the tree was going to fall before hand, would we have worked so hard? Would we have tried to avoid the fall? If we had avoided the fall, those men would never have experienced the love of Christ in us in the middle of a tragedy. Sometimes we have to go through stuff, even if we don’t understand why, because God has predestined all things for His glory. Even if it is to show others how we respond to difficult situations.

Gen. 50:20

The New Living Translation

[Joseph saying] You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

James 1:2-4

The Message

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Proverbs 16:33

The Amplified Bible

The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him].

Friday, February 4, 2011

Message from Joe Frost, Director of Technology & Operations

Matthew-4:2-4 after fasting forty days & nights Jesus was hungry and the tempter came and said to Him, If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. Jesus answered, It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.


Many of us have tried dieting, others try skipping a few meals for various reasons, but to go without food for over a month is a choice most of us will never intentionally endure - it just hurts too much.

Jesus was fasting for forty days, hungry, tired and alone a stranger comes to visit Him by the name of Tempter.

Tempter doesn't come on day one, or day twenty one, but somewhere around day forty. Mr. Tempter comes to visit a hungry man and tempts him with food.

HEY, if you're the Son of God, just turn these stones into a couple of loaves of bread, fresh from the oven, warm, soft, tasty, maybe with some butter or goat cheese to go on top.

But no, Jesus doesn't complain or argue. He gets right to the point, IT IS WRITTEN, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every one of God's Words.

Tempter will try the same thing with each of us, when our need, or perceived need is great, whether it's food, power, money, or whatever it takes for us to think we can do it ourselves, depending on our own resources not God's.

Remember, it is written "I can do all things through Christ", not self.

We can try to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps, but nothing will happen unless He wants us to stand.

And that's okay, because sometimes, on our knees... praying, looking up to Him is right where we need to be.

Message from Martha Mabone, West Campus Preschool

What Is A Quiet Time?

Do you know what quiet time is? It is fellowship with a holy God. The reason that some people do not have a quiet time is that they feel uncomfortable. They don't want to look God in the face because there is unconfessed, unrepented sin in their life.

What did Adam do after he sinned and God came walking in the Garden? Adam fled. Before that, Adam had quiet time alone with God, didn't he? They conversed, they communed. It was paradise. But when Adam sinned, he did not want to look God in the face.

When Moses went into God's presence, God said, "Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover He said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." God cannot be in the presence of sin because He is holy.

If you find a reluctancy to go into the presence of God, there may be unconfessed, unrepented sin in your life. Part of your quiet time is to get your heart clean and pure. Each of us needs to take ourselves by the nap of our necks and confess and repent before we come into God's holy presence to fellowship. Psalm 66 verse 18 says, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Message from Darren Johnson, Development Director

"They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage. Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, 'Don't mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.' For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. …'Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!' And the Levites, too, quieted the people, telling them, 'Hush! Don't weep! For this is a sacred day.' So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God's words and understood them." Nehemiah 8:9, 10-12

When these people heard the Word of God, it had a profound impact on their lives. They were grieved by the sin they saw when they looked at the Word of God. Sometimes when you read the Word of God, it shows you the sin that needs to be dealt with in your life. The neat thing about the Bible is that it does this in a gracious way. The Bible will point out your sin, but it doesn't say that God hates you; it says God loves you, and because He loves you, you should want to turn from these bad things and stop living this way. Change your way.

In order for us to grow, we have to understand the Word and be in the Word. In order for revival to happen in our lives, the Word of God has to be predominant in our lives. If the flames of out spiritual life are dying out, we need to get in the Word. If our spiritual life is weakening, we need to get in the Word!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

We are celebrating February as Black History Month. Our teachers have brainstormed many ideas to bring recognition and appreciation to African-Americans who have made significant contributions to our society. It will be an interesting and educational month for our elementary students.

Yet, during Black History Month, the most significant message to all of us is that as Christians our differences do not matter at all. It is the fact that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ that really matters. God loves us all the same, and for us to be Christ-like, we are to do likewise.

Blessings to each of you on a Christ-filled week.

Message from Margarita Llanes, Spanish Teacher

Theme: Fruit of the Spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

My husband’s recent sermons series on the fruit of the Spirit has cause me to yearn for a greater indwelling of God’s Spirit in my life. Today it’s my prayer that each one of you faithful ones will enjoy Him and He will fill, nurture, lead, groom and comfort you daily.

Let the following poem by an unknown author remind us of the wealth we have within us.

Love beyond measure
Selfless and free.
Joy in each moment
Comes only from Thee.

Peace, lasting peace
Through Your infinite love,
Patience and kindness
From Heaven above.

Goodness that’s wrought by
Repentance and tears,
Faithfulness lasting
All through the yers.

Gentleness laced with
Strong self-control
To You, Holy Spirit,
I give heart and soul.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

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

So Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, please." And they came near. And he said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Genesis 45:4-8

We never get tired of wishing life were different. It is not recorded that Joseph ever did so when he was first betrayed by his brothers. And yet he was as human as we are. He had the same frailties and weaknesses common to all of us. When he first met his brothers he was very emotional. Probably a mixture of anger, hurt, and relief that they were alive since the famine had overtaken that region. By the time he spoke to them as their brother he had composed himself and spoke to them as a wise and experienced elder statesman, a “father to Pharaoh”.

He had come to grips with God’s sovereignty over his life and that of the many thousands whose lives were spared because of his wise leadership and counsel. He could not have guessed how significant his life would be when he was in the pit his brothers tossed him in or when he was in the Egyptian prison. What an amazing story. Like most, I tend to whine a lot to God about this or that. God’s plans are so much bigger and grander than my limited vision.

Message from Lois Leader, High School Teacher

Devotions: Humility

I recently did research on the issue of bullying in schools for a class I am taking. My research brought to light some interesting facts about the nature of bullies that I found surprising. Past theories on the cause of bullying have centered on it being a problem with low self-esteem, but recent research is calling that into question. Often bullies have an inflated sense of self-importance, believing they have a right to impose their will on others. They also thrive on recognition and a sense of “fame” among their peers.

These insights caused me to look into what Scripture says about self-image and celebrity. I like to take a theme and examine it through the Old Testament, Gospels and Letters. The following three verses underline a Scriptural view of self-esteem and provide a definite contrast to the view of our culture.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but wisdom is with the humble.

Luke 14:10-11 But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher”; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better then yourselves.

Of course the greatest, and only true role model for Godly self-esteem is Christ: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:6-8