Thursday, March 31, 2011

Message from Renee Trapp, Business Manager


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

Are you afraid that your faith is too weak? Afraid that God could not possibly accept a faith such as yours—so weak, so wavering, so full of doubts and misgivings?

Then dismiss your fears. God’s salvation is not dependent upon the quality of the faith that receives it. A million dollar check is worth a million dollars whether it is held in the uncertain hand of a kindergartner, in the wavering hand of an invalid, or in the strong, firm grasp of a business manager.

We are not saved because our faith is strong, nor are we lost because our faith is weak. Else we would never know if our faith is strong enough, if we believed deeply enough, or if we trusted firmly enough. No, we are saved because God in His mercy chose us to be His own; we are saved because God in His mercy gave His only begotten Son into death to redeem us.

Upon that fact, and upon that fact alone, we rely. Not upon the strength or weakness of our faith. We ask not: How strong is my faith, but how great is God’s love? Not, how strong is my faith, but how great is Christ’s redemption? God’s love and Christ’s redemption are great enough and strong enough to save even those of weakest faith.

Let us, then, get rid of all doubts and misgivings. Let us thank God that in His mercy He has assured us that even a weak faith saves!

(Excerpts taken from Daily Walk with God: Meditation for Every Day by Herman W. Gockel)

Message from Yvonne Calderon, WV 5th Grade Teacher

I was walking through our neighborhood the other night on our nightly walk and I saw so many lemon trees. I heard that familiar THUD that accompanies a lemon tree. When the fruit is ripe, it falls off the tree with a loud THUD. This reminded me of Julia Bettencourt’s devotion Beneath the Lemon Tree.

We have all heard that phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. However, we have all had a lemon drop in to our lives with a resounding THUD!

You lost your job THUD!
You lost your house THUD!
You were diagnosed with cancer THUD!
You lost a parent THUD!
Your child is ill THUD!

We have all heard the thud in our own lives so many times and we think Now what!!! What does God ask us to do? We can see many examples in the bible of how to handle tough situations.

Esther is a woman I admire. I love that she was willing to be proactive. She was will to go against the customs of the day and risk her life. It took great courage to face a situation like hers!

" will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:16.

When the lemon drops is no time to run and hide!

My favorite comes from Esther 4:14.

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

So, when the lemon drops and makes a resounding THUD in my life, I am going to lean on God and courageously make lemonade!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

I loved this story and hope that it provides encouragement in your day.

I read recently the story of 4 year old Colton Burpo. Several months after a burst appendix nearly cost Colton his life, he “routinely” opened up with his parents about his brush with death and his vivid recollection about his trip to heaven.

Colton shared that while laying unconscious for 17 days in the hospital that angels sang to him, he sat on Jesus’ lap, and he met his curly hair great-grandfather, who he accurately described in detail, even though he had never seen a picture of the man. He also described meeting and hugging a sister in heaven – even though he had no way of knowing that his mother had miscarried two years before he was born. Colton also accurately shared that during surgery he saw his mother talking on the phone in another room and saw his father praying in a small room. While his physical body was laying on the operating table his “out of body presence” was safely seated on Jesus’ lap.

When the reporter asked Colton what heaven looked like, he replied, “Well, there’s a lot of color. There are a lot of people, beautiful music, and a lot of angels.” When interviewed by Kathie Lee Gifford he added that “there are no old people in heaven, nobody wears glasses, and you’re in like your 20s or 30s.”

I don’t know about you, but it brings me joy and I sense God’s presence, every time I see a child laugh. So of course Jesus would calm a frightened child with his love. What an awesome and loving God we serve.

Message from Jeff Blake, High School Teacher

March 7, 1965, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama some six hundred civil rights activists marched in a non-violent protest for voting rights, but were met by the televised brutality of state police with billy clubs, tear gas, and bull whips. Martin Luther King Jr.’s remarks following 1965’s “Bloody Sunday” drive the student of spiritual formation toward the intersect of scripture and transformation. King asserted:

. . . there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they're worth dying for . . . A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true. So we're going to stand up amid horses. We're going to stand up . . . amid the billy-clubs. . . amid police dogs, if they have them. We're going to stand up amid tear gas! (Great American Speeches,)

King’s words are laden with submission laid upon biblical wisdom. His words embody an embrace of scripture. His words are part of the ongoing story of scripture. Henri Nouwen (who turned from prestige of Princeton and Harvard to serve the mentally handicapped), believed the essence of spiritual formation is the ability to respond to God, know God in thought and deed directly. For King and Nouwen, the scriptures assert a life characterized by so much more than a beating heart and air filled lungs. They speak of lives found in the Spirit, the center core of mind, will, and a soul living in submission to righteousness, justice, and truth. The intersection of spirituality, submission, and scripture is life. As Eugene Peterson teaches, King and Nouwen correctly found themselves in the ongoing story of scripture.

Three thousand years before King and Nouwen, the authors of Proverbs proclaimed such truths. One author of Proverbs writes, “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.”(Proverbs 14:12, NRSV) Scripture, such as Proverbs are a means to steer the spiritually formative from self deceptive “right” ways that lead to death. Scripture exists, in part, to guide the spiritually formative from ways of death toward God’s (life filled) wisdom and direction.

In sum, the Proverbs are yet another way God is telling me, “I want to be with you and guide you in the most intimate corners of life: to give life (yet again) abundantly.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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

Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psalm 25:4-10 English Standard Version

From time to time my mind wanders back to when I was the age of some of the kids on our campus. More often than not I am embarrassed with myself for many of the things I said or did. How thankful I am that God does not remember the sins of my youth. He doesn’t even remember the sins of last night. God is so good to us.

Message from Howard Billings, Operations

Pressing on toward the goal,

Phil. 3:13
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

God bless you each day as you follow Him in all that you do.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand

Psalm 33:22
May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Jeremiah 14:22
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.

2 Corinthians 1:10
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,

1 Timothy 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

1 Timothy 4:10
That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

MY HOPE IS BUILT (click on link below to listen)

1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
         o On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
            All other ground is sinking sand,
            All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.

3. His oath, His covenant, His blood,
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.

4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    In Him, my righteousness, alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Message from Joe Frost, Director of Technology & Operations

Matthew-2:1-23 ...after Jesus was born... in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to worship [Jesus]. And being warned in a dream...they another way. Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men...killed all male all that region who were two years old or under...


He was the most popular man in the land. In fact, he was the King - Herod. And something very special was about to happen in the land over which he ruled - Jerusalem.

It started with a baby being born. Soon, Magi, traditionally known as wise men, but many more than three, came from the East. They sought the one who had been born King of the Jews. Herod, however, rather than rejoicing with the pronouncement that a King was born became troubled and whenever the King is troubled, all of Jerusalem was troubled right along with him.

Herod calls together his chief priests and teachers to determine where the Christ is to be born. And they tell him the truth from the writings of the prophet Jeremiah revealing Bethlehem as the location. Again, Herod misses the chance of rejoicing at the birth of the newborn King and sends the Magi secretly off. Not only does he miss the chance to spend time with some really special people like the Magi, but he misses the once in a lifetime opportunity to worship Jesus as an infant.

Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. Herod passes the decree to kill all boys in Bethlehem under two. Then rather than using Herod, God intervenes against him by warning the Magi to leave by a different route and warns Joseph to take his new family away from the danger.

We can only imagine what could have happened differently if Herod had been receptive to what God wanted rather than being so threatened by it that he tried desperately to keep it from happening. We can imagine the incredible party of Jesus being born, rather than in a manger, at the palace with all the Magi, shepherds, and others around. We can imagine rather than the devastation of killing all those babies; all the birthday celebrations. And rather than the flight from a jealous King the blessings and safe passage that might have been the earmarks of the beginning of Jesus' ministry.

Did Herod miss being used by God because he was King - no - not because he was King, but because of his pride. It seems that when he found out he might be replaced he stopped at nothing within his power to prevent it. Even when confronted by the smartest minds and prophecy all pointing toward a new King, he fought it.

God doesn't make mistakes. Seek Him in the daily routines of life; good or bad. We must not let our pride or stubbornness keep us from discerning His will for our lives.

Let's be ready, looking...

Message from Sonya Berges, JH/SH Teacher

I’ve been reading through the New Testament with my church. We started in January and as you can guess by February I was behind. I struggled with several thoughts. Is it ok to simply read through the Bible as if it were any other book? Is it ok to keep reading what I can each day, journaling and reflecting on only a portion of the chapter? Or should I just give up?

I brought it up to God and here’s what I think He said …

Make sure your priorities are in line. If this is a season where significant time for deep study isn’t possible, accept this. Don’t give up but don’t beat yourself up either.

Make sure you ask for wisdom no matter how far you get in reading each day. God can say amazing things in one or two verses.

Keep reflecting and journaling on whatever you read, and whatever God shares in that process.

Keep talking to me. No matter how busy you are, God wants to hear your voice. Just like any other relationship, it can’t grow without communication.

“My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight.”

Proverbs 5:1 (NIV)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Message from Roger Bemis, Band Teacher

In 1864, George F. Root wrote a Civil War song from the perspective of a prisoner of war hoping to be rescued or released with the title Tramp, Tramp, Tramp.

Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching.
Cheer up comrades they will come,
And beneath the starry flag
We shall breathe the air again,
Of the freeland in our own beloved home

In the 1870s, C. Herbert Woolston, changed the lyrics to the song we recognize today as Jesus Loves the Little Children. Interestingly enough, Woolston was Root’s favorite lyricist. It is rumored that Root, the composer of the original Civil War song, was pleased to have a war song turned into something that children could sing.

We are all used to singing the refrain, but there is actually a verse that is rarely if ever sung. In addition, there are alternate versions of the refrain:

Jesus calls the children dear,
“Come to me and never fear,
For I love the little children of the world;
I will take you by the hand,
Lead you to the better land,
For I love the little children of the world.”

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Alternate refrain:
Jesus died for all the children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus died for all the children of the world.

Woolston, the lyricist, is said to have been inspired by Matthew 19:14: Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Perhaps we all can take teaching and inspiration from Matthew 18:4-6: Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

And when you pray...go into your room and shut the door and pray to your not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words... Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, [Your name is holy], Your kingdom come, Your will be done... Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us.... as we also have forgiven... And lead us not into temptation, but deliver is from evil.


We begin our day with prayer and we end our day with prayer as well; "now I lay me down to sleep". We begin our meals and meetings with prayer. We pray for everyone from infants to the elderly. We pray for everything under heaven...

For those of us that embrace a direct approach to life and understand the punch line, "just the facts" we laugh at the idea that anyone would use "many words" to pray rather than just getting to the point. If we're not the type to beat around the bush then we're certainly not going to waste too much time & effort, nor too many words, when praying; there's just too much to do and too little time...

But aside from the obvious no nonsense approach to prayer there seems to be a theme of honoring God the Father when we pray: Our Father - Your Name is Holy - Your Kingdom come - Your will be done. So, perhaps if we prayed more often with an attitude of honoring God - maybe, just maybe our attitudes - even our lives would reflect honoring God more often as well. After all, there really is a connection between prayer and reality right?

Give us today our daily bread AND forgive us - as we also have forgiven.

WOW, forgive us as we forgive? OUCH. Let's hope HE forgives better than we do! Sure, we forgive, but it's SO conditional. We'll pretend to forgive & forget until next time, then we'll get even!

But notice that Jesus is instructing us first to ask for our daily bread and then it's followed by forgiveness. Get strong on what God provides each day and then we'll be able to forgive! And yes, there really is an expectation for us to forgive. And that expectation should drive us to God for His Bread and to our knees to forgive others with all sincerity.

Now, jumping to the last phrase "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" this should be a no-brainer for most of us. God, please don't lead us into temptation, heck we don't need any help, we can screw things up just fine on our own - and when we do - please deliver us from that evil - that pet sin...again, and again...

Jesus role models for us how to pray with His prayer of the ages, "Our Father". He encourages us to get to the point. He exhorts us to forgive, and He reminds us to pray every day for "our daily bread" from His hands...because only He knows what we need every day to Honor God, Get to the Point, Forgive Others, and Sin Less.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

I will cry to God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me.

— Psalm 57:2

The world’s great worship leaders know to come into the presence of God with their entire being, prepared to give thanks and praise. They don’t just roll out of bed, throw water on their face, and run a comb through their hair before leaving for the morning. They know that the anointing comes from sincerely pursuing a loving God with their whole heart.

Likewise, as you and I approach God in the morning, let’s go to Him with a heart full of worship, expressing our awe of Him and grateful for His faithfulness toward us. The Lord promises that He will never forsake us, but will be with us all day long. What a delightful way to begin each day – in the presence of the maker and ruler of the universe!

Blessings to you on a Christ-filled day.

Message from Roxanne Anderson, Bookkeeper

A friend forward me this poem recently. It made me think of what it means for us to be a Christian school. We do want to hold ourselves and our students to a higher standard, to show them what it means to be dead to the desires of this world and alive in Christ. By God's grace, we do this pretty well most of the time. However, that certainly doesn't mean that we, or they, are going to get it right all the time.

When I say that 'I am a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am clean living. I'm whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou, I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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

And Moses said to the people, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."

Exodus 14:13-14 English Standard Version

Silence. Can it really be that simple?

Message from Jan Wolfe, Jr/Sr High Art Teacher

Mark 14:12-16

And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, "Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?" And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, 'The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, Where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us." And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

As I read through scripture I often find myself asking why. Why would a room just happen to be available during one of the busiest Holy days on the Jewish calendar? Did the owner have a last minute cancellation? Did he just not bother to rent the room out that year? It was furnished and ready to go, surely someone had dropped the ball letting this fine room go unclaimed. Of course, this why leads me to others and the whys go on and on! It makes me realize that with Jesus, many of the small miracles we experience are whys with no real answer. The room was available because Jesus had a need. When we have needs, Jesus makes things available for us to meet our needs. We need to remember to thank Jesus for meeting our needs, no matter how small or how large the need was. As we enter this Easter season, look around you and see the many ways Jesus has taken care of our families, our school and our hearts. Remember to praise and thank him, no matter how small the need.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

11 Lord, you are great and powerful.
        You have glory, victory, and honor.
        Everything in heaven and on earth belongs to you.
    The kingdom belongs to you, Lord;
        you are the ruler over everything.
12 Riches and honor come from you.
       You rule everything.
    You have the power and strength
       to make anyone great and strong.
                 (I Chronicles 29:11-12)

When the earth shakes (literally – dateline Sendai Japan), when waters (literal or figurative) inundate and threaten to wash away anything not on high ground, when the earth burns with rebellion against man’s rule or against God’s truth (dateline the entire Middle East), we need to speak out God’s character, such as is declared in Chronicles 29.

If you are alone at your computer now, or even if you’re not, go ahead and read these verses aloud. Say it: Lord, you are great and powerful…You have the power and strength to make anyone great and strong!

Now say it aloud again…Lord you are great…You rule everything. Now one more time, louder…just kidding. I think you get you it. God is awesome, He is bigger than winds and waves and mountains that fall into the sea…and He is powerful enough to make you something very special. Don’t ever wonder if God is at work in you…

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. (Phil. 1:6).

Message from Jim Wolfe, High School Teacher

A small child sat intently listening to his parents discussing God and the Bible. After a time the child asked them a simple question.

If God made everything, who made God?

His parents looked at him and then at each other until finally the father gave him this answer.

Son, a lot of very smart people have asked this question. After all, if everything has a beginning or is made out of something or had a creator, then people think God must have had one too! So, let’s think about it. If someone made God, then you must have a bigger God who made that God . . . and a bigger, bigger God who made that bigger God who made God. . . then a bigger, bigger, bigger God who made the bigger, bigger God who made the bigger God who made God. You see, son, we could go on and on and on. The only thing that makes sense is we have to have the biggest God of all. God—the God of the Bible—is the Creator of everything. Nothing and no one is bigger than Him. He was not created but has always existed. He is the Alpha (beginning) and Omega (end). The Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In the beginning God was already there and He created all things to teach us more about Him and to show us His power, His goodness, and His wisdom.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Message from Bruce Consier, Athletic Director

Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.

-- Psalm 86:6-7

Sometimes there are no immediate answers. We have prayed and cried and tried and gone sleepless and mourned and shouted. Still there are no answers. The days roll by in an agonizing parade of pain. Still there are no answers we can identify. What do we do? We go to the Psalms. We let them raise up our heart's cry. We are honest with the God of the entire universe and yet we can still anticipate mercy from him. We are convinced that in our troubles, he will not only hear us, but he will also care about what is happening in our lives.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Message from Amber Walker, Counselor

Are We There Yet?

Our Daily Bread

If there is any such thing as a universal question, it may be this: Are we there yet? Generations of children have asked it. They have then grown into adults who have to answer the same question when their children ask.

Whenever I read the books of Moses, I wonder how many times he heard that question from the Israelites. Before rescuing them from slavery and leading them out of Egypt, Moses told them that the Lord would lead them to “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Ex. 3:8). He did, but first they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. This was no ordinary wandering, however. They were not lost; they were wandering for a purpose. After 400 years of slavery, the children of Israel needed to have their hearts, souls, and minds reoriented toward God. This was accomplished in the wilderness (Deut. 8:2,15-18), but not before an entire generation died because of their disobedience (Num. 32:13).

In life, it sometimes seems as if we are wandering in circles. We feel lost. We want to ask God, "Are we there yet? How much longer?" At such times, it helps to remember that the journey, not just the destination, is important to God. He uses it to humble us, test us, and show us what is in our hearts.

All God's testings have a purpose-
Someday you will see the light;
All He asks is that you trust Him,
Walk by faith and not by sight. -Zoller

It's the journey, not just the destination, that's important.

Message from Renee Trapp, Business Manager


Here are a variety of problems, difficulties, and challenges that we face in life, along with answers from God’s Word:

Anxiety: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Defeat: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair…” 2 Corinthians 14:33 (NJKV)

Disappointment: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

Fear: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

Impatience: “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

Inadequacy: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

Tiredness: “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

Worry: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Whatever problem, difficulty, or challenge you may be facing today, I pray that you find strength in God’s Word.

May God bless your day—and your Spring Break! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

Our conversations with God are as varied as our personalities, our circumstances, and our questions. Here is a style of prayer used by Guideposts magazine writer, Pam Kidd, that I found fascinating and have enjoyed using myself.

Ms. Kidd suggests using a direct approach when speaking to our Heavenly Father. As part of her morning prayer routine, she begins by centering herself on God, thanking Him for the miracles of His creation. Then she tells God how much she wants to surrender her will to His, and she states her desire to turn over all of her problems to Him.

Next she quietly listens.

“Is there anything You want to tell me, God?” she asks. In the silence, Kidd says, that her mind clears. She often feels a breeze ruffle her hair; a sense of well-being comes upon her.

Next she asks specifically for direction. “Is there anything I can do for you today, Father?” A list forms in her mind of people that she needs to check in on, possible notes to write to those needing encouragement, or other offerings of love and/or assistance. Sometimes more - sometimes less.

That’s Kidd’s style of prayer. Nothing dramatic, just an intentional submission to God’s direction for the day ahead.

Message from Carol Vandernaalt, Central Campus Registrar

Encouragement for Today

Daily Devotions for Women

February 9, 2011

… and she lives happily ever after.

Glynnis Whitwer

“… your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Psalm 139:16 (NIV)

I recently finished a bestselling novel. It was over 1,000 pages, epic in size and story, and consumed me for weeks. A respected acquaintance recommended it, and once committed, I stuck with it to the end … in spite of wanting to quit, often.

By the end of the first chapter, I realized it wasn’t going to be an easy read. The story was set in the middle ages, with uncomfortably real sections. Perhaps I’m a bit sheltered, but it seemed to contain unnecessarily graphic descriptions. Skimming over the uncomfortable spots, I kept reading.

The book ended well, but there were times when I was ready to close the cover, and move on to something happier. The antagonists were just too mean. The plot too painful. The abuse, greed and vindictiveness too ugly to dwell on.

If that book ended badly, I would have been disgruntled at spending weeks of my life on it. On the other hand, I would have been frustrated to quit before finishing. Here’s why.

If I had quit reading at page 245, the story would have seemed hopeless. I might have thought the villains won, or the hero and heroine never reconnected. If I had read a bit further, to say page 576, the story would have ended with justice as an impossible dream, and hatred and revenge as unavoidable and all-consuming parts of life.

But now, after reading the book in its entirety, I can see the amazing story. The plot progressed steadily; there was tension, conflict and eventually resolution. Good did triumph, although not without many bumps along the way.

It got me thinking that our lives are a bit like that. For those of us who have accepted Christ, we will have a happy ending in heaven with God. One way or another, our story will end well. But not every page or chapter in our story is happy.

Today might be page 452 for me. And on page 452 there is conflict and tension. Last year might have been chapter nine. And in chapter nine, the protagonists struggle financially, and wonder why God allowed such pain into their lives. If I only read one page or chapter, I would have a very different view of the story.

Yet the Author of my story has a purpose for every page and chapter in my life. He’s got a story in mind and is building and developing the plot every day. No story is conflict-free. No story is complete without a challenge. Victory is empty without a struggle.

Today, I’m considering my life as a grand story. Good will triumph. The victory will be sweeter because of the struggle. Today is not the story. It’s just page 452. So I will press on, trusting in a loving and creative Author to bring about resolution. You see, I already know the ending – she lives happily ever after.

Dear Lord, I praise You for Your creative and all-powerful nature. In light of the difficulties I’m facing today, I choose to trust You, believing You are writing an epic story in my life. Help me to press on when I want to give up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

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

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
   will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust."

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place —
    the Most High, who is my refuge --
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
   lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
   the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

"Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
   I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
   I will be with him in trouble;
   I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
   and show him my salvation."

Psalm 91 – English Standard Version

Monday, March 7, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

His compassions never fail.
     They are new every morning;

Is regret dragging you down this morning? Perhaps a harsh word which escaped your lips and fell on tender ears? Perhaps it’s the memory of your silent treatment at your spouse? Perhaps you blew it; nobody knows you blew it but you – and that is more than enough to fan the flame of your regret.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness. (Lamentation 3:22-23)

But in Your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for You are a gracious and merciful God. (Nehemiah 9:31)

They shall mount up on wings like eagles.

Feeling the weight of the world today? Run out of money before you run out of month? Was the drive in today more like a ‘motorized grudge match’ than a ‘commute’? Is there a phone call you are expecting, dreading actually, which has you distracted? Perhaps a child – one of your own or one in your class – is wayward and wandering on a path a destruction and you’re at wits end to bring him around?

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles. They shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)

Message from Barb Tomb, Admin. Assistant to Superintendent

You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Psalm 39:5

I was enjoying a few moments of “me” time as I slowly turned through the pages of our family photo album. How fondly I remembered the delightful squeals, silly stories and sweet giggles of our three children and how good it felt to hold them close, dry their tears, and listen to their steady breathing after they drifted off to sleep. Where did that precious time go? I thought the hectic pace of running them around for school and church activities, piano lessons, cheerleading events, track and football would never end. What happened? How soon it was gone!

Had I taken even a single day for granted? Had I allowed life to get so busy or stressed that I missed out on what was really important? James 4:14 reminds me that God gives each of us the same 24 hours each day. He lets us spend them in whatever ways we choose. Will we waste that time or fill it with balance and appreciation, making the most of each day?

As I grow older, I find that time still passes by too swiftly. I want to say, “Wait!” I want to cherish each day and moment, for they will soon be gone, never to be recaptured.

Today, I thank Jesus for enduring the agony of the cross, for dying in my place to earn the forgiveness I need. I know my days on earth are limited and I pray each day that God will help me to make the most of them even as I look forward to spending eternity with my God.

-excerpts taken from Woman of God

Friday, March 4, 2011

Message from Joe Frost, Director of Technology & Operations

Matthew-1:18-25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. ...Joseph, being a just man...resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying...take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit...

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him...


This man was not famous, rich, or a society icon in any way, but was very influential in the raising and caring of the son that would become a king.

Even the son's conception and birth were nothing less than miraculous. Kings far and near were made aware of the birth of this child and some came to pay homage to this child as a newborn. Yet not much is ever heard of the man other than his simple obedience right from the start.

The son is known as an influential speaker to the rulers and religious leaders of the time, yet the man is barely known or spoken about. The son started with little more than a handful of men, whose influence grew to over 5000 men - at one sitting and today is a global icon. The man, well no reference is made that he ever had an audience other than perhaps with his own family.
The man never became popular, but the mom is still spoken about today. She sang songs regarding the child, one memorialized forever in scripture. Even her visiting another relative is recorded, yet the man remained obscure.

Even up to the end of the son's ministry, when he calls out, "it is finished" the mom is said to have been there. We simply don't know if the man was there at all.

The man however - though relatively unknown - is briefly written about and used mightily by God. This man was Joseph and he was called a righteous man and was visited by an angel of God in a dream. In fact, the angel states for all time the lineage from which Joseph descends, "Joseph son of David."

The angel tells him that the child conceived in his wife is from God. And Joseph believes and obeys the command to not divorce her, but take her as his wife and name the child Jesus. Joseph hears and obeys a few more times moving the child and woman to safely avoid Herod's decree to kill the child.

He was never popular and by most standards, even today he remains an unsung hero. But only this one man was used of God to capture the child as it was delivered from the womb, to the breast, and to the manger to rest. Only this man was used of God to clothe, feed, and nurture this God infant. Only this man was used as an earthly father to this heavenly child.

And just like Joseph, we don't have to be popular to be used mightily of God. But perhaps we do need to listen and obey.

Message from Donna Thornton, West/Central Campus Art

Luke 2:52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Last Sunday I was teaching junior church and we were talking about the one passage of Jesus as a boy growing up, the day he got lost. I asked the kids to put the above verse in their own words. So one said, "Jesus got smarter." Another said, "Jesus got taller and stronger." A third child said, "God really liked Him." Lastly, a student said, "People liked him too." I have read this verse many times, but as I read it this time it occurred to me that this verse addresses four areas that the children and the adults who follow Christ should be aware of. Those four areas are: intellectual (smarter), physical (stronger), spiritual (God is pleased), and social (people like us). Jesus was growing in these areas, and we should grow in them too. God wants our best.

How can we as Christians grow intellectually? Sounds to me like we should be using our brains, becoming informed, be well read, get educated, and be speaking from knowledge. Maybe we should be life long learners and know what we are talking about. No matter where we start intellectually there is always room for growth, and I think God wants us to do our best in this area.

How can we as Christians grow physically? Say what? You mean to tell me that God wants us to join LA Fitness? It is possible. Maybe he just wants us to give up being slothful, get active, take a walk, ride our bike, or push the vacuum cleaner. He does not want us to be idle. The commandment to labor 6 days is just as much part of the commandment as to rest on the seventh!

How can we grow spiritually? One way to grow spiritually is to talk to God and read His word. It is equally important to walk according to His teachings and leadings. We all know we need prayer and Bible study, but we also need to listen. What is he telling you? Are you listening?

We also should grow socially. Sometimes Christians think because of their testimony they will lose friends. However, being trustworthy, compassionate, honest, friendly, helpful, kind, and thoughtful are all traits that Christians should cultivate. Will those traits win you friends? Oh, yes. And even if someone withdraws from you because of your testimony, you are often the one who they seek out in time of trouble.

Sometimes the obvious eludes us. I know I need to take this seemingly obvious revelation to heart. I'm going to try to address each of these traits daily.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Message from Darren Johnson, Development Director

"No one can measure the depths of his understanding." Isaiah 40:28

Because we will never be able to measure the depths of God's wisdom and ways, there will be many times when we will not know what God is doing or how He is working in our lives.

The prophet Isaiah doesn't promise understanding, but he does promise strength: "He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless." Isaiah 40:29

You may be worn down and can't understand why this is happening to you right now, but God will strengthen you to go on! God says if you ask Him, He will increase your power. If you lack strength, He will increase your strength.

Message from Carol Stines, Director of International Students

Exodus 31:1- 6

Notice all the I’s…

Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel, son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts …Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you.

The Lord gives us the skill and ability to do what we are to do – here at school and in all areas of our lives. We have only to ask Him and He will enable us. We can ask Him with confidence knowing that He will provide us the skill, ability and knowledge needed for us to solve problems, handle students and teach excellently.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

Practice the Presence of God

Hearing yourself think in a world full of distractions is a problem. Hearing what God would have us think is even harder. How can we create some quiet around and within ourselves in case the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us something?

One expert on that subject is a humble monk who worked in the kitchen of a Parisian monastery in seventeenth-century Paris. His name was Brother Lawrence, and the account of his methods are collected in a book called The Practice of the Presence of God.

As befits a simple man, Brother Lawrence’s technique was simple: He worked to keep his mind focused on God regardless of what he was doing. He talked to God while he did the dishes and praised God when he cleaned the floor. He worshiped God while he was setting the table for dinner and asked God’s blessing while he cleared it. Over time he got to the point where he was constantly aware of God and constantly in communion with Him. “In the noise and clatter of my kitchen,” he said “while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.”

Most of us aren’t as dedicated as Brother Lawrence, but there are easy steps that can move us in his direction. Try taking “minute retreats” whenever a few moments of downtime present themselves during the day. Think of God when you’re stopped at a traffic light, standing in line at the supermarket, or waiting on hold on the telephone. It may be helpful at such moments to say a simple, repetitive prayer. Christians have recited the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”).

The key to practicing the presence of God is directed attention. The more we focus our thoughts on God, the better we will hear Him.

Message from Ryan Stephens, Junior High Teacher

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:12-14

How desperately the church needs to consider these words today! The church is experiencing an all time high in biblical/theological ignorance. As a direct result, the church is a majority of spiritual infants. You see, we cannot claim to love a God we do not know. We get this in human relationships. If you were to ask me about my wife, and I could not tell you basic things about her likes, interests, personality, and so on, how much would you really believe that I love her? Yet, this is the case for most of us when it comes to our relationship with God. We wonder why we remain so spiritually immature and distant from God when we know almost nothing about him.

Mark 12:30 says, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. We tend to be really good at focusing on the loving God with all our hearts part. But when it comes to loving God with our minds, we act as though it is optional. I submit to you that biblically, we cannot claim to love God in our hearts, if we don’t love him with our minds as well. This means getting to know God through the Bible. It means moving on from milk to meat. Let’s put down The Shack, and pick up the Bible. If we knew more about the Bible, we would recognize better the serious theological problems with pop-books like The Shack. Likewise, if Rick Warren is our highest standard of theology, then we have a problem. Rick Warren is great milk, and necessary for babies, but I fear many of us have been babies for some time.

Some suggestions for growing: focused daily meditation and prayer. We must also have daily focused study in God’s word. I would also suggest complementing our bible reading with a solid systematic theology (I would recommend Wayne Grudem’s; top level scholar written for laymen). Individual study is not enough; we need to be in a church with corporate worship and sound Bible teaching (Heb. 10:25). My prayer is that we all have a desire to love God by knowing him; that we learn to crave solid food.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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

“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

John 17:14-21 English Standard Version

Jesus prayed for me. That is an amazing idea to wrap my brain around.

James 5:16 says, “…the prayer of a righteous person has great power...”

None was more righteous than Jesus. His prayer for us had and continues to have great power. I take comfort in that.

Message from Dan Stauffer, JH/SH Math Teacher

"Three years ago my wife and I came to a major turn in the road. We had been missionaries for 18 years (mostly in Africa), and we expected that's what we'd always be. In spite of our ideas, we were led in a different direction. Moving home to Arizona we really didn't know what God had planned, and we have continually needed to say, "Okay, God, what's next?"

As I look at life it is helpful for me to think about a little boy and his dad, who go walking through the forest on a Sunday afternoon. They go up and down on different paths that wind through the wilderness. They cross streams and other difficult passages. After they have twisted and turned through unknown territory for a while, the father turns to his son and says, "Do you know where we are? Do you know how to get home?" The boy replies, "No, I don't know, but I don't have to, because you do!"

I can be prone to setting the agenda for my life--feeling like I need to be in control and know where everything is headed. I don't have to. I need to remind myself that God has a plan. Even if I don't always understand what He is doing, I know He cares about me, He will lead me, and He will take me home.

2 Corinthians 2:14"