Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Message from Karla Mungillo, Third Grade Teacher

The Eagle

The eagle has the longest life-span among birds. It can live up to 70 years but to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision.

In its 40's its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serves as food, its long sharp beak becomes bent. Its old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, become stuck to its chest and make it difficult to fly. Then, the eagle is left with only two options: die or go through a painful process of change which lasts 150 days. The process requires that the eagle fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest. There the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out. After plucking it out, the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out its talons. When its new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old aged feathers. And after five months, the eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and lives for 30 more years!

Why is change needed? Many times, in order to survive we have to start a change process. we sometimes need to get rid of old memories, habits, and other past traditions. Only freed from past burdens, can we take advantage of the present. When it rains, most birds head for shelter; the eagle is the only bird that, in order to avoid the rain, starts flying above the clouds………No wonder God wants us to spread our wings and soar with eagles!

Isaiah 43:18 - Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wastelands.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Message from Margarita Llanes, Spanish Teacher

May the words of Tom McGrath encourage your hearts today as it did mine.

“Obey your thirst”
I was reading the account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. It dawned on me that as Jesus asked the woman for something to drink, the story was all about the woman’s thirst. Through the travails of five husbands she had obviously been thirsting for something more than she had found. Jesus told her of a better way to quench her thirst, a way that was eternally satisfying.
I take great comfort in seeing that Jesus is more interested in my thirst that in my sins. Life can encourage me to ignore my thirst- to keep on pushing harder at the many duties involved in being a parent, spouse, worker, neighbor, parishioner, and so forth. Ignoring my thirst is what often leads me to errant ways. I get resentful and angry, confused and empty. Meanwhile, Jesus sits at the well inviting me to pay attention to both my physical needs and my deeper longing for God. He is always ready to give me a long, cool drink of living water.

When the poor and needy seek water, and
There is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel
Will not forsake them. Isaiah 41:17

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Message from Lois Leader, High School Teacher

We often encounter statistics about the percentage of children raised in Christian homes who fall away from the faith in adulthood. Preparing for this Blog, I did an Internet search on the topic and found a consensus that the number is around 85%. That is disturbing, to say the least! On closer examination, however, I found that these statistics were based on reports of individuals in their late teens to early 20s. I was unable to find any data on the percentage of children raised in Christian homes who return to the faith in later adulthood. I have a hunch that percentage will be reassuringly high.

The adolescent years are a time of significant brain development, especially in the frontal lobe areas responsible for self-control, judgment, emotions, and organization. These areas can remain in turmoil through the early 20s. I am not trying to make a case that teenagers should be excused for their poor decision-making, but to say that we who deal with them on a daily basis should persevere in planting the seeds of spiritual growth.

If we read the well-known verse “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6, NIV) carefully, we note the phrase when he is old. We can view our teenagers through the prism of Philippians 1:6 “being confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Monday, January 23, 2012

Message from Monique Lara, Preschool Teacher

Last week I was getting my bible time ready for the week when I came across the story about “a tiny mustard seed”, so I knew my kids would enjoy hearing and learning about it.

Jesus said to his people “Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13 31-32)
It also goes on to explain that Gods kingdom can start small, and his love may only be in one person’s heart, but when his love is shared Gods kingdom grows and grows. Then more people wanted to follow God.

How amazing that the story represents us today, as educators, teachers, and most of all Gods people. We can start off teaching the word of the Lord about how righteous his love can be in their lives, and out of nowhere they do not want to disappoint him or make him sad, they want to keep him smiling. From a tiny child understanding what the story represents it blows me away. So with that keep teaching about his love and sooner then you know it there’s many more for God to love. I love my job!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

Matthew 21:21-22
New International Version (NIV)
21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
(From E.M. Bounds “On Prayer”)

In this passage we have faith and prayer, their possibilities, and powers joined. A fig tree had been blasted to the roots by the word of the Lord Jesus. The power and quickness of the result surprised the disciples. Jesus says to them that it need be no surprise to them for such a difficult work to be done. “If ye have faith” its possibilities to affect will not be confined to the little fig tree, but the gigantic, rock-ribbed, rock-founded mountains can be uprooted and moved into the sea. Prayer is leverage of this great power of faith.

Friends, I think God is calling us to ‘curse fig trees’ and ‘move mountains’. We each have our own fig trees in our lives, and both individually and corporately we have some mountains that need to be moved. I urge you this day to get on to the business God called you to, that is, to “say unto this mountain ‘Be thou removed’” because God intends to and is able to answer that prayer and move mountains.

Christ’s progression was to provide for the disciples a small example of His divine ability first (the tree) and lead them to the mountain moving faith He intended them to embrace.

He has those same intents for us, so let’s get on to the work of moving mountains right here at PC.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Message from Darren Johnson, Development Director

"Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor." Proverbs 18:12

You can never be too small for God to use, but you can be too big. The way up is down. As the Scriptures say, "God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble." James 4:6

Peter had learned quite a lesson on humility. His words are wise: "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you." 1 Peter 5:6

God will use humble-hearted men and women. "Fear of the LORD teaches a person to be wise; humility precedes honor." Proverbs 15:33

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Message from Gretchen Janes, Development Office

I thought I was creative, until I met my husband. Creativity comes so easily for him. When I scrapbook…let me clarify…when I used to scrapbook…it would take me a good amount of time to get something on the page. I just don't "see" readily what possibilities could lie on a blank piece of paper. It takes me awhile to get those creative juices flowing.

In my state of the aging process, I am finally learning to put a different spin on circumstances that arise in my path. What a difference that can make!

The devotional below is not my own words and is a bit lengthy but is worthy of reading if you find yourself stuck in a rut.

When God Hurts Your Feelings

Asking why is perfectly normal. Asking why isn’t
unspiritual. However, if asking this question pushes
us farther from God rather than drawing us closer
to Him, it is the wrong question. Too often, we tend
to question God:

• Why did this happen?
• Why didn’t You stop this, God?
• Why weren’t my prayers answered?
• Why am I alone?
• Why did this happen today of all days?!

In most situations, nothing positive can come
from whatever answer there might be to a why
question. Even if God gave us His reason why,
we would judge Him. And His reasons, from our
limited perspective, would always fall short.
That’s because our flat human perceptions
simply can’t process God’s multidimensional,
eternal reason.

Isaiah 55:8-9: “‘For my thoughts are not your
thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’”
declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher
than the earth, so are my ways higher than your
ways and my thought than your thoughts.’”

If asking the why question doesn’t offer hope, what will?
The what question. In other words: Now that this is my
reality, what am I supposed to do with it? So, when God
hurts your feelings, don’t ask why … ask what? For example,
ask God the following questions:

• What do You want me to do with what has happened?
• What can I learn from this?
• What part of this is for my protection?
• What other opportunities could God be providing?
• What maturity could God be building into me?

For more information, read Chapters 12 – 13 in
Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa
TerKeurst. Visit: www.LysaTerKeurst.com.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Message from Dave Huss, High School Teacher


Jesus said, ‘Except you…..become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Matt. 18:3 . Paul adds ‘…ye have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry ‘Abba’ Father.’ Rom. 8:15.

When our oldest of then 5 adopted children, Danny, was 6 yrs old, we lived in rural North Dakota with three other houses in our mile square section. Our neighbor to the east had one 4 yr old boy who happened to be adopted also. An eighth of a mile to the west on the gravel road was a family with 3 small children, one of whom was also adopted.

One Sunday afternoon, we had invited one of Danny’s Sunday school classmates to spend the day with us. As they were playing downstairs in the basement ( it was winter), I overheard the following conversation:

Classmate to Danny: ‘Do you know that you’re adopted?’

Danny: ‘Yes, I know. Are you adopted?’

Classmate: ‘No.’

Danny: ‘Why not?’

As I reflect on this little conversation, it seems to me to be a microcosm of the great commission the LORD gave us prior to ascending to heaven. The good news is adoption into the family of God is available. Should we not in child-like obedience to Him be continually asking ‘Are you adopted?’ and ‘Why not?’ There’s plenty of room in the family- the old chorus goes. May the Spirit give us the grace help someone, perhaps even in our own classroom, to enter the ‘Family of God’.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Message from Gena Horn, Operations/Technology

To Soar As Eagles

THey say that eagles in flight take no concern for obstacles below. How wonderful it would be to gorget all eartly contraints and challenges and soar high above--carried effortlessly by air currents and refrehing breezes.

There are mornings when you will wake up tired. You will feel how truly eartbound yoiu are and come to the concludsion that your fravity-defying goals are too lofty to hope for.

Take heart troday that GOd never grows tired or weary. He promises to renvew your strength when you wait upon him. And like the powerful, majestic eagle, he will lift you high above the ostacles of earty--and you will soar.

"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

Excerpt from Moments of Peace for the Morning

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Message from Jay Hendricks, High School Teacher

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (Isaiah 40:1)

My grandmother’s favorite devotional was Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman. She read it cover to cover many times, and I’m sure she knew parts of it from memory. The entry for January 11 begins with this verse from Isaiah and goes on to say,

“Store up comfort. This was the prophet's mission. The world is full of comfortless hearts, and ere thou art sufficient for this lofty ministry, thou must be trained. And thy training is costly in the extreme; for, to render it perfect, thou too must pass through the same afflictions as are wringing countless hearts of tears and blood. Thus thy own life becomes the hospital ward where thou art taught the Divine art of comfort.”

We experience difficulties so that we may better understand the difficulties others face. God comforts us so that we in turn may comfort others. Our problems are not pointless, which is important for me to remember as I sit here with my pinched nerve wondering, “why me?”

The devotional ends with this quote and a poem…

“God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.”

They tell me I must bruise
The rose's leaf,
Ere I can keep and use
Its fragrance brief.

They tell me I must break
The skylark's heart,
Ere her cage song will make
The silence start.

They tell me love must bleed,
And friendship weep,
Ere in my deepest need
I touch that deep.

Must it be always so
With precious things?
Must they be bruised and go
With beaten wings?

Ah, yes! by crushing days,
By caging nights, by scar
Of thorn and stony ways,
These blessings are!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Message from Mary Hendricks, Fourth Grade Teacher

We are beginning a new year and each one of us has given some thoughts and prayers to specific areas of our hearts and lives we want to surrender completely to Jesus in 2012.

We are a community of believers who strive to serve our Lord daily, through our ministry here at PCUS. We sometimes may take for granted that we are giving completely, or giving the best we have to give. Perhaps, Joyce Meyers might offer some new insight on “giving freely to others.”

“Give Something Away” by Joyce Meyer from Start Your Day Right Devotions

Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness shall go before Him and shall make His footsteps a way in which to walk.
PSALM 85:12-13

“God is the ultimate Giver. He expects nothing less than for us to follow His example. I challenge you to give away something every day of your life. You may think you won't have anything left if you do that, but if you give as the Lord leads you to do, soon you will receive so much that you will have to figure out where to put it all.

God gives you bread to eat and seed to sow (2 Corinthians 9: 10). Some things that God sends your way are given as seed for you to sow into the lives of others. Ask God to show you what He wants you to give away.”

I can’t begin to imagine the blessings we would receive as a community if each of us gave something to others daily, freely and lovingly.

Sarah Hornsby from Love Is, “Love is Bestowing”

How great is the love the Father has lavished (bestowed KJV) on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1
Love is lavish in giving, bestowing on often unworthy objects the best it has. Love counts the cost but is generous and joyous in giving. Love does not create dependency but enables the beloved to trust increasingly in God’s provision.

Lord of love, You have given me so much. Show me how to share.