It is Team Member Tuesday and we are recognizing Sharon Bond. She has been at MCA for 9 years and she is currently teaching 5th Grade Language Arts. Mrs. Bond says she loves the story of Esther and is especially drawn to Esther 4:14 - "You might keep quiet at this time. Then someone will have to help and save the Jews. But you and your father's family will all die. And who knows, you may have been chosen queen for such a time as this." She says this reminds her that we are all in particular places at specific times in our lives and we have choices to make (quite often, very difficult ones) that impact us as well as those around us and how important it is to make decisions according to God's purpose. We asked Mrs. Bond why she enjoys teaching at MCA and this is what she said:
“There are so many reasons why I enjoy teaching at MCA and it's difficult to narrow it down. Probably, one of the main reasons is because of our focus and mission - which does not change with new studies or trends. I love the fact that at any time during the day, if someone is in need, they can be ministered to, loved on, and further supported. I like being able to share amazing truths and aspects of God and His creation with my students - and point them out in our studies, making them aware of His greatness. I love the genuine willingness to serve from students, parents, teachers, & administration that can be seen all around campus. And I could go on ...”
There are many reasons why we love Mrs. Bond! She is such a blessing to our students, families, and staff. Thank you for all that you do Mrs. Bond!
“They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Mark 14:32-34
Most of us have heard the old saying “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” What does it mean? The phrase gives the image of a camel so laden down with stuff on its back that one more little straw will break its back. We use that phrase to demonstrate how overwhelmed and pressured that we can feel sometimes from the demands of life. Sometimes we feel this pressure because of things we cannot control that creep into our lives and sometimes we feel the pressure because of bad choices we make. Regardless of the reason, we still feel the pressure and as a result life can get real hard.
When that pressure comes, it is our natural tendency to try and fix the issues on our own. I believe that God is directing us to a different approach in how we address these times. I am convinced that God wants to break us of that dependence on ourselves and bring us to the point where we totally depend on Him. This is called the principle of brokenness.
I would define brokenness as “the process whereby God crushes all our self-dependence and in its place substitutes a complete dependence on God and God alone in every area of our lives.” I am grateful that we serve a God who understands brokenness and endured it as well. In Mark 14:32-34, the Bible tells us that Jesus, on the night before He was to go the cross, went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray because of the pressure and difficulties He would face in the coming day. That passage tells us that He “was deeply troubled and distressed” knowing all that He would endure in the coming hours.
What’s interesting is that the Garden of Gethsemane sits next to an olive grove called the Mount of Olives. What is even better is that the word Gethsemane literally means “olive press.” The olive press was used to pulverize olives in order to make olive oil. Jesus found himself in the “olive press” being broken so that He would find the peace and direction He needed to do the will of His Father. Our Lord understands the difficult times we endure because He endured them and conquered them. That night in the garden, He came to the point where He said to God the Father “not my will but yours be done.”
Jesus was demonstrating for us how to totally rely on God and God alone for even the darkest hours that life may bring us. I pray that God will use these verses to bring you peace and comfort today as you face the difficulties of life. I also pray that each of us will seek daily to place our total dependence on God and God alone for every area of our lives.
It is Team Member Tuesday and we are recognizing Rose Kirnan. Mrs. Kirnan has been at MCA for 8 years and she is currently teaching history and science. Her favorite Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 2:2 – “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” We asked Mrs. Kirnan why she enjoys teaching at MCA and this is what she said:
“I have been truly blessed to be able to teach and minister to students at Metrolina Christian Academy. I love being able to integrate the subjects I teach everyday with truths from God's Word. It brings me great joy to be able to pray with students and their families as they share their needs and prayer requests. I am also thankful for the opportunity to work alongside a fantastic group of administrators, educators, and other school staff as we lovingly lead and equip students for kingdom living.”
We love Mrs. Kirnan and appreciate all she does each day at MCA!
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.”- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I was captivated a couple of years ago when Nik Wallenda walked across the Grand Canyon on a tight wire. I was nervous the whole time he was on that wire. He took each and every step so carefully and ultimately arrived at the other end safely. I knew his family had a long tradition of doing this sort of thing successfully so at some level I think I had faith that he could make the walk safely.
The faith that I had in Wallenda being successful is not an example of me placing my faith in Nik Wallenda. A firsthand faith would be me believing in him so much that I would get in a wheelbarrow and allow him to push me across the tight wire as he walked it. It is the same principle as believing an airplane can fly but placing my faith in that airplane involves me getting on board for a flight.
Life can be very challenging and treacherous. As Christians, we are commanded in Proverbs “to trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding.” It is human nature to want to be able to see what lies ahead and be able to make decisions with certainty. However, that is just not the way that life happens. Nor is it the way God designed for us to live. God wants to bring us, as His children, to the place that we wholly trust Him one step at a time.
We operate with a divided heart when we rely on ourselves and then only run to God when the bottom falls out. God would rather us totally depend on Him for each step we take. Why shouldn’t we rely on Him? When you think about it, He is completely trustworthy. I have seen Him come through so many times in my life. You and I have seen His faithfulness firsthand. That begs the question, why would we not wholly trust Him?
We are never going to be able to see everything that lies on the road ahead. We must take life one step at a time. As I look back on Nik Wallenda’s walk, he took each step that day very carefully and prayerfully. I was blown away by how he prayed, praised, and trusted God as he crossed the Grand Canyon. What a life lesson for all of us! I am convinced that this is how God wants us to approach our lives each and every step.
What do you have your faith in today? Are you praying, praising, and trusting God each and every step we take? There is no need for us to live unsettled or divided lives. We can find true hope and confidence for living in a completely faithful and trustworthy God.
Hebrews 11:1 declares: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” My prayer is that we would have the kind of faith in God that we trust Him completely even when we cannot see what the future holds.
Today we are recognizing Kathy Flowe for Team Member Tuesday. Mrs. Flowe has been at MCA for 15 years and is currently teaching 8th grade history. Her favorite Bible verse is Hebrews 11:6 – “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and the He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” We asked Mrs. Flowe why she enjoys teaching at MCA and this is what she said:
“Working at Metrolina has been a true blessing for me. The one thing that stands out to me is the community of family. When one hurts we all hurt, when one grieves we all grieve, when one rejoices we all rejoice. I am continually encouraged by the team of teachers I work with. I know when I am in need, I have prayer WARRIORS close by that will come to my rescue. Teaching middle school at MCA is a privilege and an honor I hold dear to my heart.”
We feel grateful to have Mrs. Flowe teaching at MCA and appreciate her heart for her students. Thank you Mrs. Flowe for all you do!
“These were his instructions to them: “You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart.” 2 Chronicles 19:9
When my girls were little and a storm would arise at night, they would inevitably bring their sleeping bag to our bedroom and want to sleep beside our bed. They would ask us to hold their hand while they fell asleep as an extra measure of security. Those simple measures would provide them with the comfort needed to be able to fall asleep. The truth is that we all, regardless of age, are fearful of certain things. Even the word fear can cause issues at times.
However, there is one area of life where fear is a good thing. The Bible speaks often of the “fear of the Lord.” The fear of the Lord is not the same as the fears I mentioned above. Instead, it is a healthy respect, awe, and reverence for God. Fearing God is to recognize, respect, admire, and worship the one true God. He alone deserves to be worshipped and I am convinced that it is a fear that could change our lives for the better.
2 Chronicles 19:9 tells us to “always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart.” In this verse, the word always does indeed mean always. We are to daily and moment by moment revere, respect, and worship God and God alone. A lot of times our lives are so cluttered with other priorities that our relationship with God is moved off of its rightful place.
We can become divided in our affections if we are not careful. The verse above is commanding us to be faithful to God and to have an undivided heart. Charles Spurgeon once said: “that our greatest desire should be to have all our life-floods poured into one channel and to have that channel directed toward the Lord alone.”
We need a fear of the Lord that directs us to have an undivided heart towards God and God alone. That is the healthiest of all fears that we can have. In fact, Ecclesiastes 8:12 tells us:
“Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him.” This verse tells us that having a fear of the Lord will make things “well” for our lives or, in other words, a blessing for our lives.
Brian Doercksen wrote a song entitled “Undivided Heart” that describes what an undivided heart looks like.
“Give me an undivided heart
That I may fear your name
Give me an undivided heart
No other gods, No other love,
No other gods before you”
May we have such a healthy fear of God that we have no other love before Him!
“Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:23
If you are like me, there are a lot of things or events in life that we wish we could do over. We believe in our heart of hearts that we will do better if we were given the chance. In a casual round of golf, you can take a mulligan or an opportunity to hit again if you hit a bad shot. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a mulligan for things in life we want to do better?
The good news is that God gives us something better each day of our lives. Lamentations 3:23 tells us because of God’s great faithfulness we receive new mercies from Him every day. Each day, God delivers a new set of mercy to our lives. He is faithful and does not miss a day.
1 John 1:9 tells us that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us.” God stands ready each and every day to wipe our slate clean and fellowship with us in an intimate personal relationship. People will normally start over and make resolutions at the beginning of each year but God gives us that opportunity every day.
As humans, we are going to fail and make mistakes but God is so faithful to pick us up each time we fall. Beyond failing, we are also unfaithful at times in so many areas of our life but He never is unfaithful. I love Psalm 115:1 and how it describes this.
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.”
I am sure that there are some who are reading this who are very discouraged about how things may be going right now. I pray that Lamentations 3:23 will encourage your heart. I pray that it will remind you that we serve a merciful and loving God who wants to give you the mercy you need for whatever you are facing today!
Let’s give Him all the glory as Psalm 115:1 says for His “unfailing love and faithfulness.”