Monday, September 24, 2012

Message from Karen Boyce, Chief Financial Officer

The Amazing Race

I love themes. They provide context, metaphor, imagery and vision. This is such a fun theme for our all of us to share together. I’m anxious to see how this theme takes hold and changes lives during this year, start to finish.

Have you ever been part of a pit crew? Win or lose, it is exhilarating! I learned this first hand when I married into a boat racing family. Seemed like the perfect fit being that I am extremely competitive. However, in order to even be considered part of the crew, I had to learn to turn wrenches, understand engine mechanics, identify when our motor ran lean or rich, and proudly wear the team uniform. It was all worth it. The best part was laboring together as a crew and the anticipation of a race. It was often months of preparation for the thrill of nine seconds to the quarter-mile finish line. If we lost, we took away great memories. If we won, we took away a trophy but the richness of the experience was even greater.

In racing, its not how you start the race but how you finish the race. The biggest hope and blessing we as Christians have is that we know how the race really ends. We may not know the journey of getting there – the failures, cost, manual labor, restarts, pit stops, repairs – but we know the glory that awaits on the other side of the finish line. The best part is we can bring others alongside so they too are able to experience God’s glory. Working in Christian education allows passion to meet purpose resulting in changing the lives of our students and their families.
I see the administration, faculty and staff of PC as the pit crew working together for our students experiencing both Christ and individual success. Each student here has their own race ahead of them. We all hold tools that help fine-tune their performance or lack thereof. We find areas of weakness that need strengthening and training for endurance. In various ways, we each play a part as the pit crew in preparing students for their race.

One of my favorite race quotes is “Happiness is being in the pits!” There’s no place I’d rather be, literally or metaphorically!

Have a blessed week in the pits.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Message from Lisa Blake, Head Counselor

So let's just say being a mother of 4 is certainly the greatest challenge of my life! This last weekend felt like an episode of Nanny 911 except I didn't have the Super Nanny flying in to save the day. After a long trying day on Sunday, I escaped out to the front porch to try to find my way back to sanity.  As I let out a deep sigh, I found myself reflecting on the "centering" prayer that Jeff taught that very Sunday morning at Joy. "Be still and know that I am God." So I began with Be Still. Why is this so hard for us? I ask this question to my kids all of the time. Why can't you just be still? I'm sure that's what God's asking us.  Why can't  you just "be" Lisa? I want you to be still with me Lisa. I want you to be with me Lisa. I want you to be still and know Lisa. I want you to be still and know Lisa that I am. I want you to be still and know that I am God Lisa. Be still when you're trying to make dinner and you have two little ones crying for your attention. I Am God! Be still when you look at that stack of 50 essays to grade. I Am God! Be still when you hear the news you've always dreaded. I Am God! Be still when you're head is pounding, you're back is aching, you're stomach churning. I Am God! Be still be still be still. I wonder how many more times I 'll need to hear that before it becomes second nature. It's almost as if we cannot really KNOW God until we are still. I often reflect on my grandfather's last few months. With his memory failing and his body deteriorating, I imagine him in his stillness and can't help but believe that He was in this powerful communion with His God. 

The funny thing is even just sitting here for these few minutes tonight "being still" I find myself breathing more deeply, experiencing the peace that can only be found when we rest in the truth that He Is God!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Message from Jeff Blake, Jr/Sr High Principal

Brian McClaren, in his book Finding Our Way: The Return of the Ancient Practices, quotes this wonderful little song by Carrie Newcomber:

holy is the dish and drain
the soap and sink, and the cup and plate
and the warm wool socks, and the cold white tile
showerheads and good dry towels
and frying eggs sound like psalms
with bits of salt measured in my palm
it’s all a part of a sacrament
as holy as a day is spent

holy is the busy street
and cars that boom with passion’s beat
and the check out girl, counting change
and the hands that shook my hands today
and hymns of geese fly overhead
and spread their wings like their parents did
blessed be the dog, that runs in her sleep
to chase some wild and elusive thing

Find more similar lyrics on holy is the familiar room
and quiet moments in the afternoon
and folding sheets like folding hands
to pray as only laundry can
I’m letting go of all my fear
like autumn leaves made of earth and air
for the summer came and the summer went
as holy as a day is spent

holy is the place I stand
to give whatever small good I can
and the empty page, and the open book
redemption everywhere i look
unknowingly we slow our pace
in the shade of unexpected grace
and with grateful smiles and sad lament
as holy as a day is spent

and morning light sings “providence”
as holy as a day is spent

McLaren’s point in highlighting the song is very simple.  We are to move each day closer to a discipline of “faithing our practices” (p. 184).   And by that we are to learn spiritual intimacy in the simple routines of day. 

This morning and this moment, there is a simple beauty in the back and forth questions and answers between Lisa, my wife, and Brooklynne, my daughter—as Lisa fills lunch boxes. In their dialogue, I hear simple expressions of love and intimacy, which flow from our Creator’s passion for relationship.  And by the way, I can also celebrate the cooing of my youngest upstairs anticipating his day.

Take a moment today to “faith your practices.”  Brother Lawrence once remarked that he could sense God’s presence while doing the dishes as much while taking the Eucharist.  May we sense God’s presence in our empty and full classrooms, the wet grass after an evening of rain, the laughter from the play ground, and the fellowship we enjoy from each other.