Occasionally, I have days like anyone else and get a little discouraged with things that are going on. I was having one of those weeks like that this week. It is easy sometimes to think that we as Christians should be immune to disappointments and discouraging events when in reality we are not. I ran across a great quote the other day that reminded me of this when it said: "Expecting the world to like you because you're a good person is like expecting the bull not to charge because you're a vegetarian."
An even greater reminder of what is really important and just how blessed I am came in chapel yesterday. I cannot begin to describe to you what an awesome sight it was to see so many of our students on their face before God crying out to Him for a deeper walk and many who cried out for God to save them for the first time.
God reminded me of a great truth found in 1 Corinthians 4:20 that declares "For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." Through chapel and that verse God reminded me that at our most discouraging times He shows up and gives us a display of His magnificent power in our lives.
I am so grateful to God to be able to have chapel inside the school day. For the entire fifteen years that I have been at Metrolina, I have been privileged to see God move so mightily in our chapels and for that I give Him the praise and glory. This is truly an area that makes Metrolina a very distinctive and blessed place. Christian education is an eternal investment in the lives of our kids.
On another note, I wanted to give you a quick update on our technology plan. We have spent the fall equipping many of our classrooms with new digital projectors and document cameras to enhance the tools our teachers have for integrating technology into the classroom. We will begin shortly to equip our campus with Wi-Fi throughout to prepare for the introduction of an iPad environment. The iPad environment will also enhance the tools our teachers have in the classroom with things like video mirroring.
After the Wi-Fi installation is complete we will begin to acquire mobile iPad labs to use from kindergarten through high school. We are already looking at which applications we will introduce into our curriculum. From there, we will probably in January of 2014 introduce an e-textbook environment to at least our 9th and 10th graders. I wanted to provide this update so that you can be kept up to date on how important technology integration is at MCA.
I had the privilege yesterday of watching an incredible debate as part of a debate class which is one of our new high school electives. As I sat through the debate, the Lord reminded me of the tremendous freedoms we have in a Christian school to not only debate critical ideas and topics of the day but also to be able to do so using God's Word as the source for all truth.
So often people in the community ask me, "What makes Metrolina distinctive?" My answer is always this:
We do not run or hide from the world but rather we embrace and pursue the mind of Christ.
We prepare young people for the kingdom of heaven and the marketplace of ideas.
We emphasize Christ-centeredness in a very self-centered world.
We focus on spiritual formation in addition to the intellectual development of a student.
- We do not deemphasize academics but rather we offer a fast paced, college preparatory program that enables our students to score significantly above the national average.
Indeed, I thank God daily for the freedom to tell our students that Jesus matters and makes all the difference in our lives. I am also grateful for the freedom to teach students a Biblical worldview. By that, we have the freedom to help instill in our students the ability to make all of the decisions of life through the lens of the Bible. We so need in our world today a generation of believers who live their lives with a Biblical worldview.
Finally, Operation Care (our annual canned food drive) is underway and we are off to a great start in collecting food. As you recall from the letter I sent home a few weeks ago, the food drive runs from November 12th through December 7th. Collection barrels are located in the Lower School office and the Upper School office.
Last year, the church and school collected over $165,000 worth of food for those in need in our community and the needs are even greater this year. Would you pray about picking up a few extra cans at the grocery store to donate each week of the campaign? There is no greater way to show our community that we love them and that Jesus matters than by meeting the most critical needs around us.
Thank you for your all that you do to make our school distinctly Christian!
Kingdom parenting sometimes requires following paths that can be very difficult. One of those areas that can be very difficult for us as parents is to realize sometimes we need to allow our children to fail. God's Word teaches that trials and tribulations enhance not only our spiritual foundation but our children's as well.
James 1:2-3 tells us "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." Hebrews 12:11 also declares that "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peacable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
These verses remind us clearly that trials and tribulations do indeed build upon our spiritual foundation and bring fruit to our lives. It is a natural instinct for us as parents to want to intervene and end all troubles that come our children's way but sometimes we need to let the trying of their faith have its complete work. No trial or failure is joyful but God promises that as we let them run their course and trust Him then He stands prepared to do something great in our lives afterwards.
As my kids have grown up, it was hard to see them encounter a trial or fail at something. Those times broke my heart and I wanted to fix it all. When I have followed James 1 and 1Peter 1 and not tried to fix it all but love them through it, I have seen God bring about real fruit in their lives following these trials or failures. I pray these verses will be a blessing to you today as you seek God's best for your children.
Finally, I really enjoyed seeing our middle and high school bands perform Monday night. We are truly blessed to have such wonderfully talented musicians in our school!
One look at the calendar and it reminds me the holidays are fast approaching. I sat back last night and wondered where in the world 2012 went. As I thought about all that has transpired in 2012, God reminded me of His goodness and His sovereignty in our lives.
In my quiet time this morning, God directed me to Psalm 57 and the hope that it provides. After reading this passage, I felt led to share it with you this morning. Psalm 57 is written concerning a time in David's life where he is stressed and quite discouraged about the events of his life. In Psalm 57, David finds an oasis in a cave at a place named Engedi. There in that quiet refuge David finds hope and strength for the difficult times he is facing.
Psalm 57 declares:"Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by. I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me."
This passage reminds me that with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of my life there does not have to be chaos in my life. Sure there are problems, disappointments, and stress but I can rest in the promise that He is in control of my circumstances and the events of my life. I can trust the God that this passage declares "accomplishes all things for me."
One of the great promises of this passage that I pray all of us will see is that in God you and I can find hope until the storm passes by. My prayer this morning is that God will use this passage to encourage someone in our school family who finds themselves in the midst of a storm.