During my morning prayer in my office I was feeling overwhelmed and then bam… this hit me… “manna for the day….. Tyler… dude… chill would ya’, I got this!!” My response, “I know, but I’m scared.” So I prayed more about this conversation I had with God. This is what I came up with. Exodus 16. The entire Israelite community set out for the Desert of Sin and all they did was complain. They encountered dangers and huge inconveniences and all they wanted to do was go back to Egypt. Not because Egypt was this great place, but because it was easier, they wanted life to be easier. They lacked total trust and faith in God. Hmm… they could only think of the quickest way to escape the discomfort. By the way, the Israelites were in the perfect place for God to test their faith, it was totally barren and nasty. Denver Christian is in the perfect place to be test as well. Our challenge is to focus on God’s power and the wisdom (manna) that he provides us each and every day. Exodus 16:4, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” Denver Christian is being tested… right now, every day. As we make this move to Teller, we absolutely must trust God by taking baby steps of obedience. It’s like we’re in the pitch black and a spotlight is over our head shining just enough light for us to take one baby step at a time, one step of faith at a time. We have choices, we can freeze and not move and escape or we can have faith and walk, one baby step at a time and trust that God will light our next step. The Israelites were asked to trust and have faith and gather their manna one day at a time and that manna was provided every day. We, as Denver Christian Schools are being asked to trust, we are being asked to gather our manna today, so let’s do it. We must have faith, we must trust that when we wake up tomorrow (and the next day, God willing) we will be able to go out and gather our manna. Join me in this journey… join me in gathering the manna for today. To God Be The Glory.
Ephesians 4:15-16 reads, 15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. As followers of Christ, we are called to be committed to the truth. Our words and our actions should be honest and reflective of Christ’s integrity. Speaking with love can be really tough and can also be very unpleasant. But it is totally necessary if the body of Christ at Denver Christian Schools is going to continue to do Christ’s work in this world. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” as each part does its work… I love that point. With that mutual love among our families and students and teachers and community, the body can and will be healthy for another 100 years. When I exercise I know that blood is flowing through my body and that each ligament and muscle, etc. is doing its part to maintain my body. So as love flows throughout the body of Christ, the health of the body is maintained and the body is ALIVE and well. Each member of the Denver Christian community has a part, has a role in maintaining the health of the body. So I ask myself, am I doing all I can to maintain the health of the Denver Christian Schools body?
Join us TONIGHT. I will be sharing with you about my new role as Director of Student Life for Denver Christian Schools. I will be sharing with you about what we can do now to start to bring our student cultures together as one body in Christ. I will be sharing what I would like to see in chapel program, as well as details regarding our athletics and fine arts programs. Please join me tonight in celebrating what is and what will be, Denver Christian Schools. Also, please remember to join the conversation at dcsstudentlife.blogspot.com. I strongly encourage you to leave comments on the blog too. This allows the conversation to continue. Finally, I ask that you pray tonight and for Shalom in the Denver Christian Schools community.
TIME: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
LOCATION: Highlands Ranch Campus
Peace and harmony in a community is wonderful and necessary. However, the goal needs to be to go beyond peace, and pray for a flourishing community. Harmony and flourishing in our relationship to God… in relationship to others… and ourselves… and nature…. Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff suggest “Shalom” captures it all.
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
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.
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