Friday, April 29, 2011

Message from Gretchen Janes, Central Campus Preschool Teacher

The Patience of the Saints by Mary Wilder Tileston
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.
--PSALMS 37:7

Is it the Lord that shuts me in?
Then I can bear to wait!
No place so dark, no place so poor,
So strong and fast no prisoning door,
Though walled by grievous fate,
But out of it goes fair and broad
An unseen pathway, straight to God,
By which I mount to Thee.


We cannot be useless while we are doing and suffering God's will, whatever it may be found to be. And we can always do that. If we are bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit, we are not useless. And we can always do that. If we are increasing in the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, we are not useless. And we can always do that. While we pray we cannot be useless. And we can always do that. God will always find us a work to do, a niche to fill, a place to serve, nay, even a soul to save, when it is His will, and not ours, that we desire to do; and if it should please Him that we should sit still for the rest of our lives, doing nothing else but waiting on Him, and waiting for Him, why should we complain? Here is the patience of the saints.


I have another tidbit from my early Valentine Dove candy wrappers:

If nobody is perfect, then you must be nobody!

Indulge in the moments that matter most!

Live every day up to your expectations, not others.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Message from Donn Start, West Valley Principal

One thing used to puzzle me very much about the children of Israel. They saw the miracles Moses performed. They witnessed the ten plagues that destroyed crops, animals, and firstborn sons and yet never touched any of them in the land of Goshen. They stood at the Red Sea and watched the waters part, and later looked back to see the Egyptians drown. They experienced miracle after miracle for 40 years.

I used to ask: Why didn't they believe? They personally watched signs and miracles take place, but they remained unbelievers. One day as I discussed this passage with a small group of believers, the answer became obvious. We don't understand God through natural eyes or human reasoning. We understand God only when we're aided by the Holy Spirit. Those Israelites in the wilderness saw miracles, but they never experienced God. They saw the miracles at work, but they never grasped God Himself.

Paul’s message found in I Corinthians 2:7-10 tells us that God has prepared us - those who believe and obey - spiritual realities through the Holy Spirit. As long as we look only at events and facts but see nothing behind them, we don't have the right eyes to see the Lord at work.

That's where Satan works best. He tries to keep us blind so that we don't recognize the Spirit of God at work. For example, in a worship service, someone prays for a woman who is in great pain and she's healed. Those with eyes to see immediately praise the Lord. Those who are still held by the devil's cunning lies say, "Oh, it was all psychosomatic. There was nothing really wrong with her."

I learned long ago that it does little good to argue with the spiritually blind and try to convince them to see God at work. Until the Holy Spirit enlightens them, they can never grasp the power of God at work in human lives. Only those who have been enlightened by the power of the Holy Spirit can truly grasp spiritual realities. To those who love Him and believe, God reveals spiritual truths. He assures those who have understanding that the Holy Spirit is at work.

My prayer is that God will continue to enlighten me in every way. That He will enable me to see Him in every area of my life and so that I can continually rejoice in His presence. I wish that for each of you too.

Message from Dave Huss, High School Teacher

When Sylvia and I were married in 1967, we planned to immediately do our part in fulfilling Gen. 1:28 - to 'multiply and replenish the earth'. I had for years wanted 5 sons. I envisioned five tall strapping basketball players surrounding me, their father-coach. All my wife had to do was cooperate and provide the sons. Months passed, however, and no children, not even a pregnancy. After 2 yrs. the doctors informed us that we would never bear natural children.

Following the death of that vision, God showed his grace to us in another way. In 1970, through an adoption agency in our state, we took delivery on a little 4 week old boy- an unwanted child- whom Sylvia and I wanted very much. We named him Daniel ( God is my Judge). In the subsequent years the Lord has continually shown us that the Judge of all the earth did right in allowing us to shape this life for His glory.

Our desire was for son #2 to arrive within a year of Danny. Shortly after Danny's birth, however, our state passed legislation legalizing abortion. Suddenly, hundreds of adoptive parents, including us, had to wait for years to adopt a child, as thousands of unborn children were denied life. When our infant son finally arrived, we named him Michael, (Who is like God?) for who but God can prevail upon the spirit of a woman to give an unwanted child life? or time the birth of a precious son?

Two years later, the Lord brought us a living jewel. Having repented of my plan for all male children, we adopted a 5month old Korean girl, whom we named Rebekah. Though her natural mother abandoned her, God had chosen her before the foundation of the world. She, at an early age received the adoption that comes by and says 'Abba', (Daddy) to our God.

About 2 yrs. after Becky arrived, some very unusual and certainly God-directed circumstances brought to us three-month old twin girls- Guatemalan Indians. We named them Ruth and Rachel. They come from a background of poverty, but are now richly enjoyed by Sylvia and me as they enjoy life and spiritual treasure of faith in our Lord Jesus.

Our 6th child, Joel ( Jehovah is God), a Mexican American, came home to us in 1980 as 2 month old. Joel was a rejected child, with a parental background perhaps as undesirable as anyone can imagine. Joel, however, was chosen to fill a place of tremendous worth in our family.

Our 7th child, Gabriel (Man of God) came as 19 month old from a poor Haitian orphanage. His life came very close to ending as an small infant in Haiti, but God preserved him for His purposes.

A year later, 1985, an adoption agency called and said,' We know you have 7, but we have a little mixed race baby here who needs a home. Can you fit one more in?' In spite of very difficult financial and logistical straits, God gave us great peace to bring Nathaniel (Gift of God) on board.

We have been continually thankful for the 8 fold blessing on our family which has now been multiplied and replenished with 15 (this summer 16) grand children. I remember looking down the supper table before any of the kids left home reflecting on two things:

First, Sylvia and I are deeply grateful to 7 women, each from a distant place, who chose life for their offspring, when they could have chosen otherwise. Above that, we still give thanks to the Spirit of God, who directed the path of each child to our home.

And then I often think of the words of Isaiah 25:6 picturing the lavish banquet God promises to host for all peoples on Mount Zion. At family gatherings (over 30 people now) the Lord allows me, in very small measure, to experience the deep joy the Father will have on that day, looking down the banquet table at his children he has chosen from all over the world.

He is the One who sustains the fatherless, who sets the lonely in families. He provides the Spirit of adoption and gives parents joy as they see their children walk in Truth.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Message from Renee Trapp, Business Manager



“Jesus took my place on the cross to give me a place in heaven.” [unknown]

“…death was not Jesus’ penalty; it was His destiny.
It was not His lot in life; it was His mission.
It was not His unavoidable fate;
It was His purpose statement for coming to earth that first Christmas:
‘Born to die.’” [Bill Crowder, The Path of Passion]

“No one [Jesus] ever deserved suffering less, yet received so much…no one has ever had a greater right to retaliate, but used it less…no one has ever borne so much injustice with so little vengeance.” [John Piper]


“Christ is risen! With this victorious cry, the gospel has passed through the lands. The message of the cross is at the same time a message of resurrection. [Acts 1:22, 2:32] In this lies its invincibility.” [Eric Sauer]

“Easter says you can put truth in the grave, but it won’t stay there.” [Clarence W. Hall]

“The cross is the victory, the resurrection is the triumph…The resurrection is the public display of the victory, the triumph of the crucified one.” [Eric Sauer]

“The tomb of Christ is famous because of what it DOES NOT CONTAIN.” [Sam Morris]

“Christianity begins where religion ends…with the resurrection.” [Herbert Booth Smith]

Message from Gena Horn, Technology Assistant

Watch Your Countenance by Joyce Meyer

And the Lord said to Moses, Say to Aaron and his sons, This is the way you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them, The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).

—Numbers 6:22-26

Jesus' countenance was changed on the mountain as He was transfigured. Our countenance is simply the way we look. It refers to our face. In the church today, we need to be concerned about our countenance. One of the bless¬ings that was pronounced upon God's people was that God's face would shine upon them and that He would lift up His countenance upon them.

When the world looks at us, they need to see something about us that is different from them. They can't read our minds or see into our hearts, so our countenance is the only way we can show them that we have something they do not have but really want and need. I believe we look better when we worship God. Worship puts a smile on our face. It is very hard to keep a scowl on our face while we are being thankful, praising, and worshiping God.
If we regularly do these things, our countenance will carry His presence, not the expression of inner frustration and turmoil. Christians are supposed to be joyful people who walk in love. We must ask ourselves, "Would people know that I am a Christian by looking at my countenance most of the time?"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
  dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the LORD,
  and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD;
  trust in him, and he will act.

Psalm 37:3-5 English Standard Version

Trust, delight, commit. That is our part. The doing, that’s God’s part. Many have missed the point of verse 4. Delighting comes first. That changes me from the inside, all the while God implanting His desires into me, forcing out my own. God’s will then becomes mine. He wants to fulfill His purposes in me, and He will. How liberating to know that allowing God to have full sway in me will – must produce God’s perfect will. So many of our students struggle with finding God’s will for their lives. Didn’t we when we were young? Perhaps some of us still do. Here is the formula.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

I normally eschew songs with lots of repetition, but Chris Tomlin’s songs tend to be the exception. The song below, “Our God Is Greater” really strikes a cord with me. I think it touches me because it forces me to take my eyes off me. Way too often my focus is on me – it may be securing my own comfort one day; the next it might be focusing on how I will figure out the solution and do it in my own strength.

This song, through its repetition, drives home the point that “OUR GOD” is our answer; “OUR GOD” is to be our focus. I count no less than 70 times that phrase “OUR GOD” is used. As I listen, God’s all-sufficient nature comes pounding through the song. And I like it: I like having a God who is greater…stronger… higher than every other. It’s all capped off by Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us.”

My brothers and sisters of PC, no matter what you face; no matter the height of the ‘mountain’ nor the dark and gloom of the ‘night’…OUR GOD IS GREATER.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

Our God Is Greater
By Chris Tomlin

Water You turned into wine
Open the eyes of the blind
There’s no one like You
None like You
Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s no one like You
None like You

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…

Into the darkness you shining
Out of the ashes we Rise
There’s no One like You
None like You.

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
What can stand against?

Message from Mary Hendricks, Fourth Grade Teacher Central Campus

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 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.” Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)

“Love overcomes every obstacle, prevails over every enemy, though often in humble, surprising ways, when circumstances seem to me and those around me insurmountable. – Lord of love, help me to see difficulties as you see them, through your conquering, overcoming love, and act compassion and confidence.” – Sarah Hornsby, Love is…

Each of us began our walk with the Lord believing that life would bring certain challenges and that Christ would give us the strength and faith to carry us through. It didn’t take any of us very long to realize that this walk could sometimes bring struggles and some hardships we never anticipated. We could open our hearts and share those difficult times from the past. Then we could share unexpected obstacles many of our community are battling as we read this today. Sarah Hornsby prays these words, “when circumstances seem to me and those around me insurmountable” as she asks for God’s conquering and overcoming love in our lives. Those who walk beside our Risen Lord through these times know that He does give us the power, strength, and the endurance to meet every challenge that comes our way.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Message from Colleen Helman, High School Teacher

Three guys were tried for crimes against humanity.

Two guys committed crimes.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys were given government trials.
Two guys had fair trials.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys were whipped and beaten
Two guys had it coming.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys were given crosses to carry.
Two guys earned their crosses
One guy didn’t.

Three guys were mocked and spit at along the way.
Two guys cursed and spit back.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys were nailed to crosses.
Two guys resisted
One guy didn’t.

Three guys agonized over their abandonment.
Two guys had reason to be abandoned.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys talked while hanging on their crosses.
Two guys argued.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys knew death was coming.
Two guys resisted
One guy didn’t.

Three guys died on three crosses.

Three days later.
Two guys remained in their graves.
One guy didn’t.

But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

He is alive! He is alive, indeed!
May your Easter be blessed.

From You’re Grounded for LIFE! by Joey O’Connor

Monday, April 18, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’ Mathew 6:5-13

No other passage in scripture reveals in such straightforward fashion how to pray:

• Pray regularly. Jesus said “When you pray…,” not “If you pray…”.
• Pray privately. God is not impressed by public displays of piety.
• Pray sincerely. God is not interested in formulas. He wants to hear what is on our hearts.
• Pray specifically. Take the prayer we call the Lord’s Prayer as a model.

And the best news of all is that the advice Jesus offered his disciples two thousand years ago applies to all of us still today.

From Bill Hybel’s book Too Busy NOT To Pray

I have to tell you, PC colleagues. This book has radically impacted me and I look forward to all of us digesting this book next year in our devotions together and as individuals. It is such a blessing to have your prayers; please know you are in mine as well. Jim

Message from Alicia Galindo, Human Resources Manager

Where do you see yourself in the story of Jesus feeding thousands with just a few fish and loaves of bread? Are you part of the hungry crowd? Are you one of the disciples, helpless to know what to do, then amazed at seeing Jesus’ solution? Are you the little boy, having brought enough for yourself, willingly offering what you have? Or do you relate to Jesus, asking God to bless and multiply limited resources to care for needy people? Offer yourself to serve others. Ask God to use you to make a difference.

Romans 6:13 “Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God”.

(Taken from Online-Devotions: Day 94 “Lead Like Jesus”)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Message from Bruce Consier, Athletic Director

Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

-- Romans 13:7

Wouldn't it be nice for God to let us off the hook at tax time?

But he is calling us to his character, to be good, honest, and holy. In a world that is fallen and needs redemption, we must learn to live in it as God's children, but not possessed by it. So we honor our responsibilities and commitments to others because in doing so, we honor our Father.

Message from Laura Furedy, Preschool Director

“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

(Psalm 90:12, NIV)

Sometimes our days can be so full and busy that we forget how fragile life really is. It’s easy to allow little things to creep in and steal our peace and joy. Maybe something doesn’t go our way or someone says something upsetting. Even traffic can cause us to lose focus if we let it. We have to remember that each day is a gift. If we choose to focus on what’s wrong, we’ll miss the beauty that each day has to offer.

I encourage you today; don’t let the precious moments of life pass you by. Don’t wait for holidays and birthdays to show people that you care. Remember, each day is unique and irreplaceable. You have been given time that can be invested or wasted; hours that can be used or misused. That’s why the psalmist prayed to God, “Teach us to number our days.” He was saying, “Teach us to value every moment we’ve been given.” As you daily keep a proper perspective, you’ll gain a heart of wisdom. You’ll draw closer to God and experience the full blessing that He has for you each and every day!

Joel Osteen

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Message from Renee Trapp, Business Manager


“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

As I wrap up the last 2 months of my ten years at Phoenix Christian, I feel like I am finishing a race. A race that began when Tanner was just in the 3rd grade (and now here he is soon graduating.) A race that started in 2001, when PC was just a JH and SH. A race that added the complexity of a merge with two elementary schools and a preschool. A race that added the dimension of a west side elementary school. A race that felt the stress of a severe economic downturn. A race that seemed to continually change its rules and directions.

However, throughout the past ten years, God has been faithful. He has been right by my side encouraging me and strengthening me as I have been running (and some of you may say literally.) I thank Him for the promise: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Soon I will be passing the proverbial baton to my successor, Karen Boyce. I pray that God will prepare her even now for the work ahead and for the challenging race ahead.

May God bless you as you run your race at PC. I pray you will be strengthened and keep the faith.

Message from Irma Flores, Central Campus 2nd Grade Teacher

2 Corinthians 12:9

"And he said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

I thank the Lord Jesus for allowing problems, illness and other calamaties that might enter our ordinary life. He reminds me that they are divinely permitted so I might see His grace and that the power of Christ may be seen. Thank the Lord for smooth days, no problems, everybody gets along. Then here comes a bump in the road, sometimes a big bump and I fret. The Lord gave me this verse so that I may rest on His ever present grace. I am thankful that when I feel weak or feel failure or I just didn't reach the mark, that His strength will hold me up and give me courage. There is peace and trust. Someone once said that the bumps are what you climb on.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

“If a person does not pray about everything, he/she will be worried about most things.”

--Author unknown

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and grief's to bear!
What a privilege to carry,
Everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry,
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Perhaps no other hymn has ministered so much comfort and consolation as this simple but meaningful message of hope and cheer. Written by Joseph Scriven in 1857, What a Friend We Have in Jesus was never intended to be published. In fact, Scriven wrote the poem and included it with a letter of comfort to his ailing mother who lived thousands of miles away. The poem was intended to always remind her of a never-failing heavenly Friend.

May you take comfort in knowing that 150+ years later, Scrivens’ poem still speaks the truth and its promises are available to every one of us. Praise the Lord that all of us can have Jesus as our very special friend.

Message from Angie Dickerson, Assistant to Principal, Phil Adams

AMAZING! I had noted several times throughout the year that the 2 passages for the same day on the PC Devotional Blog were either complimentary messages or messages that confirmed each others thoughts. I mentioned this AMAZING fact to Gena Horn who is the dear saint who publishes the Devotional Blog here at PC. She let me in on something else AMAZING she has had the privilege of watching happen throughout the year while preparing the devotions to be published.

Not only do the 2 messages that come from 2 different individuals who can be from up to 3 separate campuses, but some of the messages are submitted weeks in advance! AMAZING how God works, isn’t it?

An example of God’s handiwork was last Tuesday, 4/6, with Dr. Adams from the central campus and Nancy Cook from the west valley campus submitted passages that not only confirmed each other, but actually used the same bible verse! Now that makes a person pause and say – “Hey, this must be important! God is sending it to us twice in the same day!”

God is still moving and using his Word to guide us, comfort us, encourage us and save us!

Isaiah 40:8

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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

Phoenix Christian Unified Schools can trace its roots to the fall of 1912, after the Weed family had traveled west from Kansas, settling in what is now Peoria, AZ. At that time the Weeds established a school, called Old Paths Bible School. The school was located near 73rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road. It continued on for many years at that location and under the name of Old Paths. The school continued on, showing slow growth, and in 1947, it was decided that the name should be changed to Old Paths Christian High School. The plan at that time was to build on that location. It soon became apparent that the Peoria campus was not strategically located and that a new location should be explored. A temporary home was selected on the grounds of Capitol Christian Church at 110 N. 16th Ave. On May 2nd, 1949, Old Paths Bible School became Phoenix Christian High School (Building For Life, Harold Buckner).

Thus says the LORD:

“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
Jeremiah 6:16 New King James Version

As you pray for our school, ask God to put a desire in our hearts to walk in the “old paths”.

Message from Bob Denson, JH Teacher

26 Guards

Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and then just put it on a list and said, "I'll pray for them later?" Or, has anyone ever called you and said, "I need you to pray for me, I have this need?" Read this story - may it change the way that you think about prayer and also the way you pray. You will be blessed by this.

-- Author unknown

A missionary on furlough told this story while visiting his home church in Michigan. "While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point.

On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital. Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord.

I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.

Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, "Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards. At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, "No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone."

At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story: "On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?" The men who had met together to pray that day stood up.

The missionary wasn't concerned with who they were, he was too busy counting how many men he saw. There were 26.


This story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in mysterious ways. If you ever hear such prodding, go along with it

Monday, April 11, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

“Lord, behold, HE WHOM YOU LOVE is sick”.

“This sickness is not unto death, but FOR THE GLORY OF GOD.”

(John 11:2-3, emphasis added)

Amazing how prepping for a 4-year-olds class can drive home a deep and comforting truth.

Our story this week for the Children’s Church at DSCC was the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. “Ho-hum…yada, yada…same old, same ol…wait; not so fast.”

This is not some fairy tale or flannel graph story to be glossed over before we dash to snack time and then the playground. God left hidden in plain sight a truth about His ways: sometimes those He love fall sick, sometimes they die…AND IT IS ALL GOOD!

You may be yelling “Wait, that’s not fair” or “But I don’t want to die; I don’t even want to be uncomfortable or unloved.”

OK, so I was the one saying those things; maybe you just thought them. I don’t want my life disrupted, uncomfortable, an endless string of challenges. I want to live until I’m 85; maybe 90, 95 would be nice, and enjoy a nice retirement income.

But I’m focusing on my circumstances, just like Mary and Martha were in the story. Hard to miss the fact that their brother was dead, but they (and all too often we) let the noise of our circumstances drown out God’s still small voice…“My child, I love you.”

The passage tells us Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus (v.5) but then tells us he delayed two days before leaving for Bethany. He knew this episode, painful as it appeared at the time, had a divine beginning (v.4) and a divine ending (vs. 40, 42).

As I sat on the floor Sunday night surrounded by squirmy 4s and 5s, I had to thank God for reminding me that NOTHING I face escapes His loving attention (Mathew 10:29-31) and EVERYTHING that happens “…work together for good to those who love God.” (Romans 8:28)

Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus; Jesus loves me. He loves you too. Never doubt that and never forget it.

Message from Keith deLaet, High School Teacher

We have been looking through the book of Jeremiah during Bible class this past week and a few things have really stood out to me. We know that Jeremiah was the prophet in Judah who was calling the people to repent and turn from sin just prior to the fall of Judah to Babylon. Therefore Jeremiah was the last warning signal that the people would receive. That means there was not a whole lot of time left when Jeremiah was told by God to:

2 "Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD. 3Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. (Jeremiah 7:2-3).

Jeremiah is told to stand in the doorway and proclaim the word of God just after God tells him to:

1Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
    look and take note!
Search her squares to see
    if you can find a man,
one who does justice
   and seeks truth,
that I may pardon her. (Jeremiah 5:1)

The fact that the Babylonians became God’s tool to discipline Judah tells me, at least, that Jeremiah wasn’t able to find anyone who loved justice and truth. A sad commentary on Jerusalem, the one city on earth that should have been the most committed to God.

As I put this into terms for us today, I actually see two things that get me excited. First of all, prophets were called by God to be counter-cultural. That’s part of what made them prophets. God gave them each a huge Stop Sign to hold up in front of the people, pointing out the conclusions of sinful living. As Christian educators, we get to work in a similar way. Each of us uses the context of our contact with students and families to point out the damage of sin and the benefits of a God pleasing life.

Second, we are called to be the people who do justice and seek truth, and as such we should be easy to find. As we live that out personally, I pray that we instill a love for justice and truth in the lives of our students and therefore make sure that the light of God’s justice will be carried forward by the next generation. That, I believe, is part of the rich legacy of Phoenix Christian.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Message from Joe Frost, Director of Technology & Operations

Matthew-3:1-17 In those days John the Baptist came preaching... [he] wore a garment of camel's hair... and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him...confessing their sins... Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. And when Jesus was baptized. [John] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on [Jesus] and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."


It's time. He senses it and wanders out of the desert to the river. He strips off the poverty driven cave man attire of Camel hair, washes up, redresses, grabs some honey with only a few bee stings for the trouble, a few locusts to dip and he's ready.

He's not really sure what he's getting himself into, but he remains steadfast with what he thinks God has told him to do, baptize with water, and so he makes himself comfortable by the Jordan River and settles in to see how God will do this, out here, in the wilderness, alone.

He waits and prays and naps and before long his prayers are answered, they're coming. In fact, they're coming from all over & not just from the neighborhood. They come from all over that region. It's time.

Now, nearly screaming so everyone can hear him over the rushing water and noise of the masses he fulfills Isaiah's prophecy by telling all to repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. In fact, he seems especially passionate on the repentance part when he addresses the local religious guys... telling them (emphatically) to produce fruit in keeping with repentance!

Suddenly, almost as if on cue, there's a lull in the noise and it happens, through the crowd comes the one of whom John speaks. Jesus has arrived to be baptized by him. Retreating a few steps, John is overwhelmed and tries to dissuade Jesus saying that it's he that needs to be baptized by Jesus. Yet, Jesus gently replies, it's okay John, baptize me and this will fulfill all righteousness. And just like any proud father, enjoying the Son's moment of accomplishment, etched forever in time, God's voice is heard over the crowd, "yup, that's my boy."

Well, okay so the voice didn't say - and what you're doing is pretty awesome too John, but at least, this really unique guy, you know, someone like you and me, an average guy with a terrible wardrobe that likes junk food and probably needs a shower, is used by God to baptize His only begotten Son, Jesus.

It wasn't about what John wore, ate, or what he smelled like, he just shared the Word as he knew it with others and did what he believed God wanted him to do.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Message from Margaret Crotts, Central Campus 1st Grade

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37

“What should have happened did.” That statement was made by Paul “Bear” Bryant, former head football coach at the University of Alabama, when he was asked about a loss against a team they were expected to beat. Applying that to more than a sporting event made me chew on that idea. If we believe that God controls our course in life and has our best intentions at heart as he does so, then “What should have happened did.” Add to that the truth that we were never alone, never abandoned. Our omnipresent God says My beloved child, I was there. I held you although you could not see my arms. I caught each tear that fell. You were never alone.

I know what you are thinking. There are some situations that you would be justified in asking, “How can you possibly say what should have happened did?” The answer would simply be that being set free from the past means accepting what is true, not mulling over or dwelling on what we wish were true. We must make peace with what was or is if we are going to be able to let go and move forward. So I encourage you to let go of that past – your “what should have been” – and embrace your “what is” and “what can be”. Truth is powerful, at times it is heartbreaking, but ultimately it will deliver you.

When the valley is deep
When the mountain is steep
When the body is weary
When we stumble and fall

When the choices are hard
When we’re battered and scarred
When we’ve spent our resources
When we’ve given our all

In Jesus’ name, we press on
In Jesus’ name, we press on
Dear Lord, with the prize
Clear before our eyes
We find the strength to press on.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? Matthew 5:13

If no one else can sense godliness in our lives then why, exactly, are we here? Today brings a great opportunity for each of us to demonstrate our faith in God for others to see. Let’s be encouraged by His promise to keep watch over us in difficult times, and seek His strength, provision and guidance in all that we do. If we do that, it will show. That will not only make a real difference for us ... but also to others around us.

I pray that God will give us an opening today to be the "seasoning" for someone else to "taste godliness" in their lives.

Message from Marc Cram, High School Teacher

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Can I tell you it is hard to wait! For me, I've been waiting 15 years for a girlfriend and God has provided! Recently God has provided a godly woman that I have the privilege of entering into a relationship with, for me this is very exciting. The whole process of waiting on God is definitely a difficult process. I've gone through highs and lows and wondered if God was ever going to provided that special someone for me, and after years of waiting He has! It is an exciting time for me and I can't wait to see what He will do with this relationship.

So the whole point of this wonderful story is to wait on the Lord. It is hard to wait, and you can get disheartened while waiting, I know I did. But the Lord will provide, He says He will. Trust in that and hold firm to your faith in Him. He will give you what you need.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

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

Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

Matthew 25:34-40 English Standard Version

Back in the day, the “Social Gospel” was used as a pejorative. And yet, Jesus cares about the physical well being of His brothers. We should too. Of course, the answer to man’s deepest need is not clothing, water, food, or companionship. We know from elsewhere in scripture that the “living water” has more value in the long run than the physical kind. And yet, how often do we pass on opportunities to be a blessing as unto the Lord because a person’s heart seems not ready to accept Christ? I am proud of the response many of our junior high and high school students have shown to the Streetlight Ministry and the Invisible Children. I believe our churches, families, and society will be in good hands.

Message from Nancy Cook, Bookkeeper

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:33-35

We're all familiar with the popular saying, "WWJD" short for "What Would Jesus Do?" It has become a familiar mantra to guide us in Christian living. Perhaps more convicting, however, would be to contemplate WWWD. What would WE do if we were in the presence of Jesus? Would we say the same things? Would we act the same way? Would we engage in the same behavior?

We, not unlike the apostles, feel ashamed when we recall some of our thoughts and actions. Perhaps our aspirations, at times, are self-centered and less than glorifying to God. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in our own busyness and our own struggles, forgetting to put others before ourselves.

In 1 Peter 4:10, Jesus teaches us that it is better to serve than to be served.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others. 1 Peter 4:10

He also tells us in Matthew 25:35-40 that whatever we do for our Christian brothers and sisters who are in need, we are actually doing for Him. Now that is something awesome to ponder!

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matt 25:37,40

Serving Jesus involves serving those in need and blessing others as we are blessed. Right here in our Phoenix Christian family, there are numerous opportunities to serve one another and minister to the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of our community. Prayer, words of encouragement, and practical help (meals, hospitality, clothing, financial giving) are some ways we can bless others, serve Jesus, and be blessed. WWWD in the presence of Jesus?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

Brian VanderHaak is a dear friend and colleague in Christian education. He is the Headmaster of the Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ) located in Tokyo. He and his staff have been in the center of earthquake activities the past few weeks. He shared with me this devotional prepared for his staff last week, and I am pleased to share with you Brian’s insight and words of truth. Jim

My dear brothers and sisters,

We are all yearning for "this" to be over. But this situation is not only not over, but the not knowing when it will be over grinds on our nerves and sensibilities. And I am not really sure what I mean by over anyway. How will we define that? A rebuilt Japan? Our emotions in order? No more disasters in our lives?

Last night the seniors experienced a major earthquake where they are staying in Thailand. So much for being thankful that they wouldn't need to be here tensing, as we do, every time we feel the slightest vibration. Why do I continue to be surprised that the world is an unsettled place? And in so many more ways than tectonic plates shifting. As I reflect on the moments of shock and surprise in my life I see an endless string of assassinations, natural disasters, riots, natural disasters, war, terrorist acts, natural disasters...

What about my 53 years experience has led me to believe that the stasis of my life is one of tranquility or some kind of "normality"? I have to think it is because there is so much beauty, love, peace and blessed assurance surrounding us, even in this fallen world, that I keep lulling myself into feeling secure with my physical, material life. Then WHAM! Only the spiritual part of my life is on solid ground.

Early on in this current crisis a dear friend, Nate Gibson's mother, posted this verse from Haggai 2 in her blog with a moving commentary about living on unsettled soil wherever we are:

6 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.

Once more, in a little while. But the text doesn't stop there:

7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come,

Wait for it:

and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

We can anticipate no "over" here on earth. This life, for all its delights, remains a veil of tears. But notice that God does intend to fill this house with Glory! He will reclaim those things we superficially consider wealth. And this glory, in this new, unrecognizable place, will be much greater than anything we can imagine. And we will be granted peace - the Lord Almighty declares it. Finally. Completely. Blessed assurance.

Yours in Him,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Message from Bruce Consier, Athletic Director

Guilt is concerned with the past.

Worry is concern about the future.
Contentment enjoys the present.

In Hebrews it says that , "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday , today and forever."

Since I am in Christ I can be content - why feel guilt for the things I have not done well or why worry about things I cannot control.

I am content because I am doing the work of Jesus Christ.

Message from Jim Callahan, High School Teacher

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. Matthew 7:28-29 English Standard Version.

How encouraging it is in this day of relativism, skepticism and pragmatism to know that our Lord and Savior is one who has taught us with authority. Jesus has spoken to us today in the Scriptures with the self-attesting authority of the living and true God. We need not accept the words of Jesus because they agree with our government, the latest findings of the most respect scientific journals, and/or the consensus of scholars in our community. We must accept his teachings because in him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We must accept his teachings because he is the one who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. We must accept his teachings because he is the creator, owner and sustainer of all things. Jesus Christ is the one who has the unqualified right to tells us what to believe and do. He is our sovereign Lord and as such we must not just hear his words but also be very careful to put them all into practice.