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.
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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
“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 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.
Going 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.
As Denver Christian Schools begins to think more vertically, in other words, more PreK-12 and 12-PreK, the administrators have been asked to assume different roles next year. As I have planned for my new role as Dean of Student Life, I have become more excited each day. I have thought of all the possible ways in which the Student Life office will be able to impact the lives of all the students at DCS. One of my dreams includes planning for the blending of the students from the three campuses together with the new DC students to form one cohesive DCS student body. Other dreams include making sure that every student is known and is known well by others, I John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.” We will work to develop a cohesive leadership and mentorship program that will allow our students to use their gifts to lead others for the kingdom of God. Another is to bring a PreK-12 feel to our athletic program, our fine arts program, our chapels, conduct and discipline and more. I humbly look forward to this marvelous opportunity to use my gifts to serve God and Denver Christian Schools.
This morning I had the honor and pleasure of sharing devotions with our 8th graders. First of all, what a great group of leaders to have, not only in our middle school, but on this campus. Some of the characteristics that I appreciate about this fine group of young men and women is their diverse interests and that they love the Lord. They enjoy basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, singing, dancing, worshiping in chapel, performing in our musicals and sharing their faith with one another and on and on. With my dad hat on, I can say that I love the way they include my own children in their fun activities, whether it be on the basketball court or in their silly games at recess. That being said, they hit a couple of bumps in their road over the last couple of days (we all hit bumps in our road) and I wanted to try to reset their culture that I love so much. So, I shared a devotion that focused on the hundreds, if not thousands, of choices we make every day. The verses we focused on were Nehemiah 9: 22-37. The devotion pointed us toward choices that we make today will either increase our kingdom or God’s. Today, we will choose to do our will or the Lord’s will. Bottom line, we concentrated on the biggest choice made in our life was that God first chose us to be His. Now, how will we respond? Our closing prayer included, dear God, help us to make choices that please you and allow your kingdom to come… To God be the Glory… Amen.
As we continue to move through the second half of the year, there is a sense of excitement and new life. The students, no doubt, feel it too — I know because I spend a portion of most days at recess with them or hanging out in their classrooms. Denver Christian Schools is at a great point in its 100 year history– we have an unbelievably solid group of truly dedicated families and students who have chosen to invest not only in their student’s academic growth, but also in their spiritual and emotional growth. This investment is of eternal value. The administrators and staff continue to develop a really amazing plan to propel us forward into the next 100 years. Along with the new building, we are pursuing new and extremely exciting additions to our school and programs. As reenrollment time continues for a few more days, I want to encourage each one of you to renew your commitment to Denver Christian Schools for another school year. We serve a faithful God!
Ever since I visited the Teller St. property back in the fall, I have been excited for the future of Denver Christian Schools. Although, I have known from the very beginning that it is a risk and will take a ton of courage on my part, I am still excited. God tells me, “Be strong and very courageous.” An example of great courage in the Bible was Joshua. Joshua was incredible, he faced slavery as well as the experience of entering the promised land. He was a brilliant military strategist and he was very faithful to ask God’s direction in the challenges he faced. I need to do that too. Joshua 1:7-9 states, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Again, God is telling me to be strong and courageous because the task ahead will not be easy. Yeah, no kidding! Plus, right after the Lord said, “Be strong and courageous,” he said, “Don’t forget about my Word.” The Word is our source of strength and courage. The Word empowers us, the community of Denver Christian Schools, to face this challenge… HEAD ON!! And in the Bible, we find not only God’s unbreakable laws, but also his gracious promises. We need the strength that only God can provide. We find that strength in the Bible. And we can find courage in his promised presence too. Please join me in taking this risk, accepting this challenge and being courageous, it’s going to be awesome!! To God Be the Glory! Amen.
God’s Promises – Psalm 145:13b-14 “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” These verses are a reminder of the hope of tomorrow, that God has promised us. Another reminder of the hope for tomorrow is Advent, meaning coming or the arrival of our King of Kings. Advent is often about the nativity, the waiting, a Savior who came to take away our sins. Advent is a season of anticipation, it is a celebration of Christ’s birth. It is the birth of the light into the darkness. It is the lighting of a star in the middle of a dark sky. As I mention last year at this time, another exciting reminder for me, during the Advent season, is the adventure that Denver Christian Schools is embarking on for the next 100 years. I am excited to be on this path that God has placed before us, for tomorrow, for next year and for the years to come. I look forward to continuing down this adventure with you to Teller Street. To God Be the Glory and Merry Christmas.