“So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.” 1 Timothy 3:2
The craziness and pace of this life can get us off track so often and keep us from focusing on what really matters in this life. At Metrolina, we have set apart some key values that we really believe matter to us and to our families. Over the next few weeks, I want to share those values in my articles under the cover of “What Matters.”
This week I want to focus on our testimony and why it matters. Webster defines testimony as “proof or evidence that something exists or is true”. In the context of us as Christians, are we living in such a way that others know that we belong to Christ?
I love the truth and the challenge of 1 Timothy 3:2 above. Paul instructs us to live “above reproach” or in such a way that others would not question our walk with God. He goes on to tell us how we can do that by being faithful to our spouse, exercising self-control, living wisely, and having a good reputation.
One of the biggest issues that society has with Christians is that so often Christians live hypocritical lifestyles. Paul is challenging us to live above that standard and present a testimony that Jesus matters and makes a difference in our lives. A.W. Tozier once said: “The world is waiting to hear an authentic voice, a voice from God.”
My desire for my life is that I would protect at all costs my testimony for Jesus Christ. I personally do not want to bring shame to His name. Instead, my desire is to make Him famous! I want others to see the difference in me that Jesus makes. One group in particular I want to see that in my life is my children. My heart has always been to live out the Christian faith and model for them an exemplary Christian testimony so that they too would be motivated to do the same.
The greatest joys that I have experienced in this lifetime is when I have been faithful and God has used that to impact others. The world desperately needs to see authentic Christians living above reproach and bringing honor and glory to the Lord.
C.S. Lewis once said: “We must show our Christian colors if we are to be true to Jesus Christ.” Our testimony matters to a world that is watching. We as believers need to ask ourselves regularly what colors are we exhibiting in our daily walk. Would others know that Jesus is the priority relationship of our lives? Would others see the love of Christ in our lives!
I pray that each of us will take time in the coming weeks to ask ourselves what really matters to us!
The digital world that our kids are learning and growing up in is incredibly exciting. Through technology, kids have access to new tools, to an incredible range of resources, and to stimulating opportunities to participate in novel ways. At the same time, parenting kids who are immersed in so many different technologies and apps can be daunting.
Students have extraordinary opportunities with technology and yet face some very real potential pitfalls with technology. All of these issues underscore the need for students to learn and for us as a school to teach digital literacy and digital citizenship skills to our students.
In the coming weeks, Metrolina will begin to teach a new Digital Citizenship Curriculum from Common Sense Media to our students that will help them to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world. These 21st century skills are essential for students to harness the full potential of technology for learning.
The curriculum will examine privacy, security, digital footprint, reputation, communication, information literacy, internet safety, relationships, and so much more in a very age appropriate way. As well, we will be providing a lot of resources for you as parents to use in helping your students navigate the digital world.
These resources will include helpful articles, family tip sheets, and talking points for you to use with your students. Metrolina is committed as a school to partnering with you through this initiative to help you prepare your students to use technology safely and responsibly.
We live in such a fast paced world in which technology is changing the way we live, work, and play. As parents and educators, we must be vigilant to protect and educate our children. God’s Word provides us with a lot of reminders of this responsibility. Two great examples of this are found in 1 Thessalonians 5:6 and Proverbs 4:23.
“So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.”1 Thessalonians 5:6
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23
My prayer is that God will use our efforts in the classroom and our partnership with families to make an eternal difference in how our children will approach technology in the coming years. I look forward to all that God is going to do in the days ahead. Thank you parents for your support!
“Have you no respect for me? Why don’t you tremble in my presence? I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set.” Jeremiah 5:22
The world feels so out of control at times. It seems that everywhere we look we see violence, hatred, and uncertainty. During these times, it can become easy to let fear consume us, panic control us, and even look for answers in the wrong places.
One such wrong place for answers is in our government. Politicians promise to bring order and prosperity and we can begin to hope that a particular candidate or ideology will solve our problems. Do not misunderstand me about this, we should be concerned about our government and choosing the right candidates. However, I am convinced that our problems will never be solved by government without first seeing a spiritual awakening amongst God’s people.
To avoid panic, fear, and wrong answers we need to be reminded of the truth found in Jeremiah 5:22. First, we must set our eyes, our hopes, and our future on Him and not the uncertainties that surround us. Our God is bigger and more powerful than anything or anyone of this world. As this verse declares, our God is so powerful that He controls even the boundaries of how far the waves can go towards the shore.
We must remember that the mess and problems of this world do not catch God by surprise. God desires for us as His people to live completely trusting and looking to Him for all our answers and direction. If we will begin to focus on who our God is, then we can begin to release the fears and panic areas that can consume us.
Next, God desires that we follow His method for dealing with the mess that our world is in today rather than panicking and letting fear control us. His methodology is best described in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
This verse tells us that revival is the key to changing this world. Neither the White House nor Congress, regardless of who is in office, will ever change America the way God desires. Instead, God calls for the church house (you and me) to humble themselves, pray, repent, and turn from our evil ways and then He will hear and change our land.
It sounds pretty simple. What is keeping you and me from following God’s methodology in 2 Chronicles 7:14? I pray that revival might begin with you and me! Let’s give our world a real reason not to panic!
I can be a little stubborn. Once I determine something in my heart and mind, I do not like to give up or quit. Sometimes I do this to my own detriment. A great example of this came this summer when my family went to Disney World on vacation. As usual, Orlando was extremely hot in June. Late one afternoon, I began to feel unwell after being in the heat for several hours. However, I was determined to do it all and get my money’s worth regardless of how I felt. That refusal to give up led me to ride a roller coaster that I had no business getting on with the way I felt. After that ride, I began to pay the price of my stubbornness and refusal to quit by feeling completely awful.
Most times though, refusing to quit or give up is a good thing. We need more people who will see their commitments through and live up to what they have promised to do. I am so grateful today that we serve a God who never gives quits. I love how Psalm 86:15 describes this quality of God when it says:
“But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit.
That verse is so rich with great truths about God that should give us a renewed hope. I am sure that there are people who will read this blog who are struggling with the idea that they have let God down in some way. Regardless of the way that you feel today, this verse reminds us that God has never given up on us. God loves us immensely and is patient with us.
We all hear many sermons that remind us of things that we need to do or change. We need those sermons and devotions. However, I think it is also time that we hear more of God’s character, love, and commitment to us.
I hope that you will be reminded through this verse that no matter what you have done, no matter how far you have fallen away from God, or no matter what Satan whispers in your ear that God still loves you more than you can ever imagine and He will not give up on you.
With that truth in mind of how God loves us, I pray that we will begin to love others the same way. Our world needs to see Christians, who will be tender and kind, immense in love toward others, and refusing to quit making a difference in the lives of others.
We have seen enough hate and violence in our world. Can you imagine what might happen if we as followers of Jesus Christ would truly begin to love others as Christ loved us? The world is not only ready for that type of love but is also crying out for it.
I pray that we will begin to live our lives with the love described in Psalm 86:15 and refuse to give up on a world that desperately needs Jesus!
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8
The craziness and busyness of life can sometimes cause us to make certain things a whole lot more important than they really are. What I mean by this is that we can get so worked up about some things that we think are problems and then miss what is truly important.
When I got too consumed with things that did not matter it always seemed that God would send me a reminder of what is truly important. Over the summer, I was in Orlando, Florida when the young toddler was snatched and killed by the alligator at Disney. God reminded me through that tragedy to celebrate every moment of every day with the ones that I love and not to focus on all the things that this world would have me to chase.
If we are going to make our lives count, we must recommit ourselves on a regular basis to what really matters. The Apostle Paul does just that in Philippians 3:8 when he says that nothing else matters when compared to the value of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord.
I believe we all need to stop and consider on a frequent basis what we really boast about in our lives. Is it our jobs, our hobbies, our net worth, or anything other than knowing God that consumes us? For an honest appraisal of this, maybe we should ask our children. What would our children say really matters to us? The answer to this question will determine what really matters to us.
Dr. James Merritt once said: “The culture of a person, family, or society is determined by what is celebrated and what is disciplined.” What do you celebrate today? What do you spend time disciplining or preparing yourself for?
My heart’s desire is that I would celebrate and champion knowing Christ above all else in my life. I want my family to see this in me. I want to celebrate that very same thing in my children. One of my greatest memories as a child was to watch my dad each day reading and studying his Bible. I saw him discipline himself in the practice of getting to know God above all else. I also saw the fruit of him knowing God in the way he loved and raised me.
By his daily example, I saw what mattered the most to him. Not long before he passed, he sent me a card that I have kept to this day in which he celebrated me for pursuing God as my priority. That card still reminds me to this day that, just as Paul said in Philippians 3:8, everything else outside of knowing God is not what matters.
I pray that God will speak to each of you through this verse and remind us all of what really matters!