Monday, May 13, 2013

Message from Jim & Jan Wolfe, High School Biology and Art

This year has been a year of mountain top highs and valley lows.
From the amazing birth of our first grandchild, to the passing of a loved peer.

We thank God for our mountain top experiences.  They help us see our way across the valleys and helps us to anticipate what is to come. Things begin to make sense and we have an understanding of the way God wants us to go.  It is a wonderful time of focusing on allowing the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and enjoy the majestic views of the valley below.

Likewise, we need to thank God for those valley experiences.  The valley is where we can be fruitful and grow as well.  The valley is where crops are planted because they cannot grow in the thin soils of the mountain top.  True, we can't see as far in the valley.  But, it is in the valley that the people live their lives with all of its challenges, hurts and pain.
Jesus lived on a mountain top.  He didn't stay there.  He allowed himself to descend to the valley to be with a people who are hurting and doing their best to make it back up to the mountain top. 

"In Matthew 17:1 Peter wanted to stay on top of the mountain and build a tabernacle after the transfiguration of Jesus. Peter didn't understand that mountain top experiences are not stopping places. They are starting points. "*
The birth of our grandson was a wonderful day, but it is just the first of many days in the life of a child.  We will have many more mountain top experiences with him and others that may come along.  Connie's passing was a low valley experience for us, but it is an everlasting time of mountain top experience for her as she delights in spending every day with Jesus.  May we too strive to enjoy not only the highlights of our lives, but the low spots as well.  Jesus is with us every step of the way and can bring us joy regardless of where we are in our walk with Him.

* Tammy Darling, Evangel Magazine May 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Message from Carol Stines, Director of International Programs

It’s sort of strange to think about, but I’ve already decided what I would like written on my gravestone – or on a plaque on my ashes.  Here are the words:

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

This is the final stanza from ‘How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” by Stuart Townend.

Stuart says he wanted to tell the story of Christ from the Father’s point of view – what it cost Him to give His son - that’s what the first two stanza’s are about.  Next Stuart talks of his complicity in what happened – that it was his sin that held Christ there – upon the cross.  Lastly are two stanzas that are from a personal perspective on what Christ has done for us.

Songs really draw me closer to the Lord.  I am so thankful for Christian song writers. When you sing a song, really think about what you are saying.