Mr. C's Blog

“But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.” Joshua 6:2 

We face many battles in this lifetime that seem unwinnable. It is easy to get discouraged during these times. One thing I know for sure though is that when God has called us to a task that seems impossible or unwinnable, He can be trusted to see it through.

21 years ago, God called me to lead a small, financially struggling, and enrollment deprived school called Metrolina Christian Academy. It was clear to me at the time that God was calling me to be here. It made no sense on paper as this school was in serious trouble. All these years later, I have personally witnessed the faithfulness of God.

So, when I see impossible situations today, I can go back to this time and other times in my life when I have seen God do just what He promised. Having a history with God can help you be confident knowing that the battle is already won. Not a confidence in your self but in God.

I love the praise song “Do It Again” by Elevation Worship. I especially love the portion of the song that says:

“Walking around these walls.  I thought by now they’d fall by now. But you have never failed me yet.
Waiting for change to come. Knowing the battle’s won. For you have never failed me yet.

I believe this song could be about Joshua walking around the walls of Jericho. Joshua had seen God do the impossible throughout his life. He had seen the Red Sea part, manna falling from Heaven, and water pouring from a rock. Now he faced the seemingly impenetrable walls of Jericho.

Once again, he faced the idea of being obedient and being patient in his walk with God. Each day he was obedient walking around a wall that still had not fallen. We too face walls in our lives where God has given us instructions, told us to wait, or told us to trust Him. Yet, we are anxious for those walls to fall.  Like Joshua, will we keep walking even though we don’t see the wall moving? Will you keep moving even though the wall in your life isn’t?

I believe that we need to change our focus. We don’t need to be focused on what hasn’t happened but instead on what has happened. If you have seen God do big things in your life before, He can do it again. We know we can trust God. We can know change is coming. We can know the battle’s won.

Never forget that obedience is our responsibility and the outcome for these situations are His!

Always remember that the struggles of this life can be overwhelming but as a child of God, we win in the end! We can win now with His peace and His plan for our lives! May you be blessed today knowing that you can be confident knowing the battle’s won!

"The father of Godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise.” Proverbs 23:24

I will never forget the days when my children were born. There was so much joy in welcoming them into this world. I will also never forget the first time each said, “daddy”. My heart melted with joy! Watching them grow up, my wife and I experienced a lot of joy in being their parents.

One of the great moments of joy occurred when our children received Christ and it was also a day of joy when I had the privilege to baptize them. However great those days were, none of the above reflect what our greatest joy in being a parent was.

The Bible tells us in Third John 4 what the greatest joy in being a parent is.

There is no greater joy than to know that your children walk in truth.”

The greatest joy for us were the days when it became clear that our children owned their faith. It was not ours or their grandparents, but it was their faith. Indeed, there is no joy like seeing your child own their faith.

I cannot begin to describe to you how much joy floods my heart when I see our girls living the Christian life with a passion and serving the Lord on their own initiative. I realized during these days that it was never my responsibility to figure out what they each are supposed to do in life. My job as their dad was to point them to Jesus and He would then direct their paths.

That joy is also present as we see them seek the Lord for their path in life. It is a pleasure to see Godly wisdom develop in each of their lives. We have been blessed as parents to see our children walk in truth. “There is no greater joy” is a statement I have personally witnessed to be so true.

A few years ago, I let my daughter Katie borrow a copy of the book “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. After she had read it, I came into my office one day to find a note from her. The note said:

 “Are you so appreciative of the marvelous salvation of Jesus Christ that you are your utmost for His highest? Dad, this is a question that I have not been able to get out of my head. I am not sure I am, but I am going to be. God is really working in me!

That note sums up what Karen, my wife,  and I have always desired for our children. There is no greater joy for us as parents than to know that our kids are doing all they can to be their utmost for His Highest!

Good morning Metrolina families!

I hope that each of you had an amazing Christmas break! I am so excited about next week at our school. Next week will be hosting our annual worldview week here at Metrolina! On Wednesday and Thursday our students will be exposed to some amazing speakers who will help them in developing a Biblical worldview.

We have some added bonuses this year for parents on Tuesday, January 7th and Saturday, January 11th. First, MCA is hosting on Tuesday, January 7th at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary a seminar for parents called“A Wake-Up Call- Helping Children Thrive in this Culture.” 

The seminar will be led by Jeff Keaton, the President of Renewanation. Jeff has traveled all over this country speaking at many churches and venues such as the Museum of the Bible providing families with powerful insight on what they need to help their children not only survive in this culture but truly thrive.

This night with Jeff Keaton is so important for parents to be a part of that we will be offering an extra credit quiz grade that will be applied to the second quarter for those students who have at least one parent attend the seminar. We will also have a drawing that night for one free registration fee for 2020-2021.

Also, on Saturday, January 11th, First Baptist Indian Trail is hosting from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. a financial conference led by Chris Brown, former syndicated radio host of “Life, Money, & Hope”. This conference is geared to providing personal finance and saving strategies for you and your family. Chris brings over 20 years of ministry and financial experience and has worked alongside Dave Ramsey for years.  He has been featured on national media outlets such as Fox & Friends; he passionately loves the local church and is also one of our very own. 

You can register for this event at http://www.fbcit.org/financialconference. There is a small charge for this event but Metrolina families attending will be entered into a drawing as we will give away one free registration for 2020-2021 following the event. 

We have committed as a school to be a place that loves our families but also provides resources to help you with all aspects of family life. I look forward to seeing you at these events.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” -2 Corinthians 10:5

Probably the greatest way to protect the hearts of our children is to prepare them by teaching them to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” How in the world do we do that?

It begins by teaching them daily God’s truth. Our children desperately need an intimate knowledge of God’s Word. Proverbs 18:15 tells us that, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”

Our kids must know the truth so that it can set them free from being enslaved by wrong ideas and thoughts. With an intimate knowledge of God’s Word, they can take every thought captive and destroy that which as Paul says, exalts itself against the truth. If you know the truth, you can spot a lie from a long way off.

On the other hand, if our children do not know the truth, this culture could destroy them. Remember Hosea 4:6 that I shared earlier. That verse says: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” None of us would like to see our kids destroyed by this culture for not knowing the truth. Begin now to pray as Paul prayed below, for our children.

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” Philippians 1:9

Not only pray, but also prepare them with some practical tools for facing this culture. I sat in a seminar led by Dr. Jeff Myers, President of Summit Ministries, a few years ago and he shared an incredible set of questions to teach our kids. The following questions will help them to develop discerning minds when they are confronted with different ideas. These questions go to the heart of truth and knowledge according to God’s Word.

  • What do you mean by that?
  • How do you arrive at that conclusion?
  • Why do you find it compelling?
  • How do you know it is true?
  • What is your source?
  • What happens if you are wrong?

Are our kids ready to take every thought captive? What are we waiting for? The goal should be to train our children, so they will be like the ones described in the verse below that knew what to do when confronted with all the ideas of the culture.

“...men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” -1 Chronicles 12:32

I want to be a great example for our students. I want them to see Jesus in me. I want them to know that I love and care for them. More than anything, I want my life to demonstrate to them that living for Jesus makes a difference. I am human and there are times when I fall short of this goal. I know that there have been many times in my life where I have let others down. I do not know about you, but I hate it when I do those things. In fact, I do not do well until I get it right.

When that happens, I do all I can to figure out how to make that right. As well, there are times in our lives that people can let us down and that is to be expected as we all are human. When others let me down, I must forgive and move on, understanding that I am just as capable of falling short.

The great news is that we can always count on God. Hebrews 10:23-24 gives me great encouragement when it declares:

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.  Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”

I love the phrase, “God can be trusted to keep His promise.” When I read this, I am reminded that He has promised so much. He promised eternal life to those who know Him, to never leave or forsake us, an abundant life if we will commit to Him, and so much more!

This verse reminds us to keep our hope fixed on God without wavering. We can do this because we serve a God who can be trusted. I never want to lose the awe of a God who can be trusted to keep His promises. I also want to be the kind of person that people can trust. God help me “to think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works!”

C.S Lewis once said:

 “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”

I can think of no better way to set a great example than to think of ourselves less and others more. Jesus modeled this lifestyle for us while here on earth. Jesus was a true servant leader who focused on meeting the needs of those he leads.

Let’s be a great example for others to follow!

“In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.” 2 Chronicles 31:21

I am an avid sports fan and I love to see a team play hard regardless of talent level. I get frustrated when I watch a team that is not giving an all-out effort in a contest. Similarly, I believe that God expects us to give our best in our daily walk with Him. God desires that we be committed to Him and make Him the top priority relationship of our lives. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 31:21 that Hezekiah “sought God with all his heart and as a result he was very successful.” God has used that verse in my life as a powerful example of what faithfulness should look like.

There are two key phrases in that verse that speak tremendous life lessons to me. First, it says “in all that he did.” In other words, there was a consistent approach to obedience in Hezekiah’s life. I think sometimes we are tempted to think that there are areas of life that do not require us to be as devoted as others. In those areas, we may not always give our best.

Unfortunately for Christians, people are watching us closely to see if we live up to whom we say we are. When we are not giving our all in serving God and obeying Him, we present a poor testimony to those around us. I am afraid this happens all too often for Christians. It is no wonder then that many who are without Christ bemoan the fact that there are too many hypocrites in church. We need to give our all to serving and obeying God.

Second, “Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly.” Hezekiah had an undivided heart towards God. God was indeed the priority relationship of his life. What about us? Is there a consistent approach in our lives towards obedience to God and His Word? Are we seeking Him wholeheartedly? Is there anything in our lives that is crowding out God from being the top priority of our lives? Charles Spurgeon, a great preacher of times past, once said: “That God does not give great harvests to idle men.”

I do not know about you, but I do not want to live my Christian life in a mediocre fashion. I desire to see fruit in my Christian life. I would never want anyone to look at me and say that I am no different than any other Christian who does not live up to the faith. I know that I am not perfect and that I have not arrived, but my desire is to “know Him and to make Him known.”

We started this year with a theme of “All In” and I want us to close the year out with that same idea. There is no greater joy than to serve God with all our heart, soul, and mind and then pass that onto our children. I want to be “All In” when it comes to my relationship with God. I want my life to be one in which God can give a great harvest to.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

During my work career, I have always wanted to know exactly what I was responsible for doing and who my boss was and their expectations. I like to know upfront who is responsible for what. Unfortunately, many times people confuse those roles. Conflict and stress are inevitable when someone tries to do things that are not their responsibility. The same thing can happen to us in our spiritual lives. We begin to get the idea that we are responsible for doing great things for the Kingdom on our own. John 15:5 makes it clear that this was never God’s plan for us.

In that verse, Jesus tells us that that He is the Vine and we are the branches. It is interesting that He uses this analogy of a plant or tree. The vine is part of the tree that provides the nutrients and ingredients necessary to produce fruit. The branches simply bear the fruit.

What Jesus is telling us here is that He alone produces the fruit in our lives. As much as we try, we cannot produce fruit like love, joy, and peace in our lives that will last apart from Him. What then are we responsible for? We are responsible for staying in close relationship to Him.

With John 15:5 in mind, our responsibility is to abide in Jesus. What exactly does that mean? The idea of the vine here is that we must be connected to Him to receive the things necessary for us to produce fruit in our lives. Not only must we maintain the connection, we are also dependent on the vine for our direction, our hope, and our path forward. Also, we must continue to abide in Him for us to stay fruitful for the Kingdom.

All of this is reminding us who is responsible for what. We are not responsible for producing fruit. We are responsible for abiding in Jesus. This means that we are to no longer pursue our agenda for our lives but instead commit the control of our lives to Him. To do this, we must daily cultivate our relationship with Him through prayer and study of His Word.

I love how Frances Chan described this idea when he said: “There are periods that we forget that in the pursuit of fruit, that if we just abide in Him, then fruitfulness is a guarantee.”  May we all find comfort in knowing that Jesus will do in our lives what only He can do if we remain in Him. Because “apart from Him we can do nothing.”

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3 

Sometimes we Southerners use expressions that people outside the South do not understand. One of those phrases we use sometimes is the phrase “I am fixing to.” Translated it means that we are getting ready or prepared to do something.

In this crazy world we live in, I want to do all I can to be ready spiritually for all the issues of life that will come my way. I am convinced that if we are not ready spiritually we will miss out on the peace we all so desperately seek for our lives. I want to be focused and fixated on Him daily.

Isaiah 26:3 above gives us an incredible prescription for finding peace for our lives. In this passage, Isaiah tells us that God will keep “in perfect peace” all those who trust in Him and who are focused or fixated on Him.

As I thought about this idea of placing our trust in God, that is what we as Christians did when we received Christ as Savior and Lord. At that time, He secured our eternal destiny. This is the first step of gaining peace with God as the verse above says. We are secure in Him for eternity. Hebrews 9:12 describes this: “With His own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—He entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.

We are secure in Him and that should bring us peace. The second part of gaining that peace is in being fixated or focused on Him.  I researched the definition of fixed. Webster defines it as “securely placed or fastened.” Once we are saved and in relationship with God, we are to daily place our hope and trust in Him for all the issues of life. He is our anchor that will hold our lives calm and steady regardless of whatever the storms of life may bring us.

 Hebrews 6:18-19 confirms this when it declares: “Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” Hebrews 6:18-19 

He is the only hope that can truly bring us peace. The primary thing we should be “fixing to do”, as the Southern expression says, is to allow our thoughts, our lives, and our hopes to be fixed on God!

“Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” John 13:7

Growing up, I heard my mom say many times “you do not understand what is going on now, but someday you will.” That statement never made sense to me as a child. I wanted to know now why something was happening. Even today, I think we all struggle with why certain things happen to us or people we know. Life does not make sense many times, whether it be in trying to find a career path or trying to understand why a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

In John 13:7, Jesus tells us that even though “you don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” What a great truth and reminder! In Isaiah 55:8, God reminds us “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.”

These verses teach us that God is at work in our lives many times behind the scenes and in a way that is far superior to anything we could think of. I am living proof that God’s plan is a lot better than mine. When I was fresh out of college, I really believed that my career path would solely be about finding the right business career.

It was not long that I was miserable in those business jobs. I began to pray and ask God, “Why do you have me here?” Answers did not come right away, and it appeared I was trapped in something I hated. When I look back on those times, I see now that it was as if God was telling me to hang on and learn all I could where He had me and that someday soon He would reveal to me His plan.

That was exactly what He did. He used the business experience in my life to help prepare me for the role to lead Metrolina. I did not have to wait to long for the Lord to give me that “someday.” He planted me in a role that I went back to school for and used those earlier tools in business to make a difference in ministry. I did not know then, but all these years later I gained an understanding of what God was up to.

What about you? Maybe you are in a place today that you don’t why something is happening in your life. I would remind you that God has His best planned for you if you will trust Him. Especially if you will trust Him to deliver you in His own unique way. I want to leave you with some verses that I pray will give you hope that someday you will understand.

“The Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you.” Deuteronomy 23:14

“The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.” Psalm 34:19 

“Then call on me when you are in trouble and I will rescue you and you will give me glory.” Psalm 50:15

 “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.”  1 Peter 3:10-11

Everyone remembers the key phrase from the Declaration of Independence which says:“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We are blessed to be Americans and live in this great country. I especially love the statement the “pursuit of happiness.” We are free to pursue happiness. In fact, I believe most if not all people long for happiness and to enjoy life.

1 Peter 3:10-11 gives us incredible insight into what enjoying life may look like. That passage tells us if we want to enjoy life and many happy days then we must do a few things. First, we must learn to control our tongue. How do we do that?

I believe that we must stay close to God through the reading of His Word and spending time with Him in prayer. I am convinced that if we make Him the focus of our lives we will be different. His Word will change our focus, or speech, and our conduct. How do I know His Word will change our speech? Look at Hebrews 4:12 and Isaiah 55:11 below.

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” 

“It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” 

Spending time in His Word will keep us from speaking evil and will instead enable us to uplift others with our speech.  1 Peter 3:10-11 also reminds us that we should seek peace with others and “work to maintain it.” Romans 12:18 also instructs us to: “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” 

From this passage, we are taught that to enjoy lie and see many happy days then we are to control our tongue and seek peace with others. As I think about this truth, I see the wisdom in what God could truly do for my life by submitting to this. Most of the problems I encounter are when I do not control my tongue and seek to live in peace. More importantly, this reminds me that finding real joy and happiness begins with me committing my life to God and following His Word. God will honor that kind of lifestyle. 1 Peter 3:12 confirms this when it declares: “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and His ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns His face against those who do evil.”

Rev. Rick Calloway
MCA Head of School

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