What is this idea called student life?

What is this idea called student life?  What is it going to look like for my child at Denver Christian Schools in the Fall of 2014?  I hope to answer those questions and more on the 23rd.  But I would like to start bringing some clarity to it now.  As the person who has been asked to help shape the student culture for the Preschool through 12th grade students next year at Denver Christian Schools, I have been asking myself those questions and more… a lot.  Although it has been an enjoyable process, it has been challenging too.  But now is the time for you to join me in the conversation.  How, you ask?  Well, being the social media person that I am, I would like to have this conversation both face to face and online.  These conversations would include, students of all ages, parents, community members, teachers, etc.  So… this is your invitation to join me in some brainstorming sessions.  How cool is this going to be!?!  I am sure we will come up more ideas than we can possibly handle but that is ok, that shouldn’t stop us.  Imagine a conversation that starts now, continues through the summer and then moves into next school year.  In order to facilitate this conversation I have created a blog.  My first post is a set of guidelines to direct our conversation.  If I were to cast the net too wide right out of the gate the great parts of the conversation would get lost.  I will do my best to guide and direct us to very meaningful outcomes.  Click here (or paste into your browser) for the blog… http://dcsstudentlife.blogspot.com

The power of a circle… #wearedcs

Yesterday I asked one of our elementary classes and their teachers to join me in the middle school lobby for a conversation about community. We sat in a circle so that all the students were able to easily see one another. There is something powerful about a circle, it gives us a strong sense of community almost right away… I love it. The purpose of the time together (and we’ll have more) was to create, in each one of them, a sense of ownership, a sense of belonging in their community. I tried to stress to them that the health of the group hinges on the social/emotional health of the individual, meaning we have a responsibility to not only our group, but to each individual. Before we started we opened with prayer and then we discussed the guidelines for operating in this circle. Two of the guidelines were “speak from the heart” and “listen from the heart.” The students did a great job of articulating what that meant to them. One of the verses we focused on was John 13:34-35, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” The question, I think, that is generated from this verse is, do your friends know you are a follower of Christ by how you show love for one another? God created us to be in a loving community and we are called to work within that community to meet the individual human desire for love and belonging (part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). For example, when thinking about an “issue” at recess, it is not the teacher’s or my responsibility to “fix the problem” but the communities’ responsibility to resolve the issue in a kind, loving, direct and grace-filled way. Remember, the teachers and I are apart of that community too. Genesis 2:18, says that God created man to be social because He is a social God. The time we spent together with those elementary students was a time spent in community, in relationship and in worship. I continue to pray for each one of our students as they seek to find their place in their community of friends, in their class, in their school, in the neighborhood and in God’s world. I pray the same prayer for each one of you too. God continues to walk along each one of us as we seek to find our place in the Denver Christian community. I shall rest in that fact.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart #wearedcs

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  When I think of leaning on something, I think when I’m at the gym totally breaking down my body (by the way, I LOVE to do that), it feels great when I get to lean on something in between exercises while I’m trying to catch my breath.  I think the same thing happens when we are making really difficult decisions, we look for something solid to lean on.  But the struggle is that when we’re in the moment of having to make difficult decisions it feels like we can trust anyone… not even God.  But the reality is, God absolutely without question knows what’s best for us and he absolutely can be trusted and by the way, he knows what best for us more than we know… that’s for sure!!  Therefore, it is imperative that we trust Him completely.  That doesn’t mean we don’t think carefully, weigh the pros and cons and use our God-given ability to reason throughout the entire process.  That all being said we can’t just rely on ourselves and our own ideas.  We need to seek out the wise people in our lives (I love chatting with people that have so much to offer) and pour ourselves into the Word… amen!!  So first and foremost, pray, pray, pray… again, dive into the Word and use it as the guide it is designed to be and then through that process you will feel God leading you down the path… the path that He made straight.  To God Be The Glory

Isaiah 43:2-3 – Do not cross the river by yourself

Isaiah 43:2-3

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. “For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place.”

As we attempt to cross a river we’re either going to drown or we will somehow survive and even get stronger.  So… what I do know about crossing a river is that if I try and across that raging river all by myself, no ropes, no lifejacket, no support, I’m more likely to drown than I am to survive.  If I have ropes, a lifejacket and support… I like my chances of getting across that river and being stronger.  If I walk through difficult times all by myself, without the Lord, I’m likely to drown.  If I ask the Lord to go with me… I like my chances.  During difficult times, invite the Lord to walk along side you.  Also, during difficult times… pray!!  To God Be The Glory.

Do not be anxious – Philippians 4:6-7

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It seems impossible to be “anxious about nothing,” like truly truly impossible. Seems we have worries around every corner we look. Whether it is for our jobs or in our homes or being anxious about our friendships, ugh. Paul has the perfect advice for us all… TURN THOSE WORRIES INTO PRAYERS. Maybe a goal should be to worry less and pray more? Whenever you feel a worry coming on, pray, my friends, PRAY!!

True peace can not be found by just “thinking more positively” or just having good feelings, it comes from knowing God is in control. We need to rest in the fact that our destiny is set, we are already citizens in Christ’s kingdom… thank goodness!!

My challenge to myself and to all of us is: Let God’s peace guard your heart against anxiety. Seems once we are able to surrender our angst over to God we will be able to truly experience peace.

Let me neither faint nor fear,
Feeling still that You are near,
In the course my Savior trod,
Tending still to You, my God.
—Josiah Conder

http://www.gracegems.org/Mac/tg11.htm

Teller St. Open Houses – rockin’ cool #wearedcs

ImageGoing into the open houses, I was not sure what to expect.  I knew that we had fielded tons of calls and I have been touring families and I have chatted on the phone with lots of potential families, but again, I did not know what to expect.  That being said, the open houses blew me away!  Meeting tons of potentially new Denver Christian families as well as the many current families that came through the building was so powerfully uplifting for me.  As is written in Proverbs 24: 3-4, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”  Could not have said it better myself.  But, we could not have pulled this off without the hours of “blood, sweat and tears” of our Parent Associations. Wow is all I can say!  You truly amaze me with your undying dedication to DCS and I thank God for all of you every day!  It was a great couple of days and you were a huge part of that.  Also, thank you to the teachers who gave up their time to hang out and meet and greet all the people that came through the new building. You were terrific, as usual!  The combination of working the two open houses and enjoying all the conversations about next year with all the people really made the Teller St. campus feel like home, our new home.  Our home that will soon be “filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”  It will soon be a place that will glorify God through learning and play and worship and more.  To God Be The Glory.