All current school families who will be re-enrolling their students for the 2017-2018 school year are being asked to attend the “Night of Champions,” which will be held on Tuesday, January 10, and Thursday, January 12 in the high school gymnasium from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. Even if you have not RSVPd, please plan to attend one of these two evenings.
These two nights have been set aside to celebrate the remarkable things that are occurring in this community, provide support and training for parents, and to submit pre-enrollment forms for the next school year.
Throughout the fall and early winter months of this school year, we have had record numbers of new parents and students interested in attending Valley Christian Schools for the upcoming school year. While this is great and exciting news for our school community, it also means that our present families, in order to guarantee a spot for their children in the next school year, will need to secure it through pre-enrollment by January 19, 2017. On January 20, all available spots will be open for those presently outside of the Valley Christian Schools community.
Additionally, VCS has established student caps for each of its schools to ensure wise stewardship of our resources. The net effect of these student caps increases the importance associated with securing a spot for your children through the pre-enrollment process that ends on January 19, 2017.
So, plan to attend one of the two “Night of Champion” events to be held on January 10 and January 12. Come prepared to hear the great things God is doing through Valley Christian Schools, receive incredibly important information from Kara Powell, who is one of the premier Christian researchers on today’s students in the country, and pre-enroll your child(ren) for the 2017-2018 school year.
Looking forward to seeing you this week at the “Night of Champions.”
(Return to the Crusader Weekly.)
Happy 2017! The start of a new year provides us an opportunity to consider the trajectory of our lives. Taking some time to affirm what has stimulated growth and to consider what can be altered is wise at the front-end of a calendar year.
While driving and exercising, various podcasts fill and stimulate my thinking and spiritual growth. Over the past couple of weeks, I have found one podcast to be particularly useful as I considered what to more of, better, or differently going into 2017. The podcast is an interview with Bob Goff, author of a book entitled, Love Does.
Bob Goff has created a life of “whimsy,” being a force for good, and bringing the joy of Jesus to each encounter in a day. As you listen to this interview, pay attention to the love, invitations and welcoming nature communicated through words and presence evident as Bob is interviewed.
Moreover, consider what it would take for you to be a force for goodness and to love others well, to simply tell your story of God’s goodness and what it would be like to, “simply give it all away.”
Return to the Crusader Weekly.
"Someone is coming soon who is greater than I, so much greater that I am not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals"(Mark 1: 7).
These words signaled the arrival of the public ministry of Jesus and were spoken by John the Baptist, who was an eccentric fellow whose clothes, it was noted, “were woven from coarse camel hair…and whose diet included locusts and wild honey" (Mark 1: 6). John the Baptist preached to many who went to the wilderness to see and hear him, confess their sins, and to be baptized.
John the Baptist's declaration about the arrival ofthe Messiah would have been easily dismissed, even met with scofing. The crowds understandably would have found it difficult to believe that the Messiah’s coming would be proclaimed through such strange announcements, offered by a rather odd person, living a life in the wilderness. Yet, this is precisely what occurred.
Jesus, the Messiah, started his public ministry soon after John the Baptist baptized him. The fully divine and fully human were embodied in Jesus. John the Baptist acknowledged this, and was deeply humbled by its realization. The Messiah proclaimed by John the Baptist was recognized only by a few. Through the public ministry of Jesus, more followed, and through the death, resurrection, transfiguration, and ascension of Jesus the world has been changed.
During this Christmas season, we proclaim, along with John the Baptist, the wonder of the Messiah, who in all His glory, has come to earth as the perfect embodiment of God.
Indeed, the one who is much greater than us has come!
Valley Christian Schools
The generosity of the VCS community in last spring’s auction provided funding for a shade structure at the middle school. The shade structure was meant to be completed before the 2016 school year, but challenges related to the project have delayed its construction.
After much behind-the-scenes work resolving these issues, we are happy to say the shade structure is moving forward and materials for the structure are on their way to VCMS!
We are excited to bring this valuable addition to the middle school, and look forward to providing updates on the shade structure as it progresses.
Last week we considered the significance of responding with love and empathy during disagreements with your child. Doing this demonstrates to your child that you can care for each other, even in disagreements. Leading with empathy and firmness provides loving boundaries for your child.
There are times when your child will try to lure you into an argument. Instead of getting angry, there are three magic terms I have used often with my children and students: nevertheless, regardless, and even so. These terms agree that your child or student’s feelings are valid, while allowing you to stay firm in your position.
When your child is “pushing it,” being argumentative, or simply trying to challenge your authority, consider responding with these gentle words.
Using these terms in the moment of conflict lets you avoid difficult arguments that drain you emotionally and damage your relationship with your child. These three terms show your child was heard, but that you are going to hold your position instead of arguing about the situation. It’s important for children to know that adults can be loving while firmly holding to the standards they set, and can’t be manipulated into arguments.
Try using these three terms with empathy and watch what happens. I believe you will have fewer arguments and more meaningful conversations with your child, as well as the opportunity for open, honest discussions about your love, concerns, and hopes for them.
Last week I presented ideas from Dan Allender’s book, How Children Raise Parents. Allender noted that in every encounter with an adult, a child asks two subconscious questions: Am I cared for? Can I get my own way? Here is part two:
When you demonstrate to your child that you care for them, you are showing the love, gratitude, acceptance, and belonging that every person--especially your children--need to receive from you.
Finding ways to interact with your child is important when your child wants their own way, but shouldn’t get it. Saying ‘no’ in a loving way becomes critical.
Allender recommends parents and teachers find genuine and authentic ways to encourage, love, and express gratitude to their child before the “moment of crisis.” Positive affirmations let your child know that you do love and care for them.
These positive affirmations allow parents and teachers to stand firm when they don’t support their child or student’s behavior. Saying “no” to your child is healthy: it sets limits, establishes appropriate ways to converse, and provides ethical structure to the child’s life.
This week, when your child tries to pull you into an argument, respond with empathy and see what happens. I think you might be surprised!
Last April at our annual Society meeting, a $9 million capital project for a new event center on our high school campus was approved. We are so grateful to our community for this approval, and have been working hard on the project since then.
Let me take this opportunity to provide an update on the progress thus far:
I will continue to provide updates on this project throughout the planning process. The Valley Christian Schools community has desired a new gymnasium for years, and we are very excited about bringing this new event center to life. We believe it will strengthen our ability to bring academic excellence, artistic accomplishment, and athletic distinction to all students at Valley Christian Schools.
Your continued prayers for the finances and completion of this project are tremendously appreciated.
“In Him we live, and move, and have our being.”
As we begin this school year, our theme verse reminds us that our true identity is found in God. In an age when students and adults alike are struggling with intense questions of personal identity, we read in the book of Acts that our purpose and our very being are found in God.
We believe each student is an image-bearer of God, given unique skills, talents, and abilities. When a student at Valley Christian Schools asks, “Who am I?” The answer is rather simple, but incredibly profound. “You are a child of God, filled with the extraordinary capacity to make a difference in this world.”
Acts 17:28 reminds us that in God’s love, our identity is sealed, for we are made for God’s delight. We are God’s beloved, and in the delight of the Creator “we live and breathe and have our being.”
Author Marianne Williamson wrote, “You are child of God. You playing small does not serve the world…We are meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
May each student, each parent, and each staff member at Valley Christian Schools embrace the reality that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” In so doing, may the glory of God be seen in us, and give others permission to delight in God’s goodness as well.
God is a God of surprises. We know this as we read through scripture. Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers rises to power under Pharaoh and makes himself known to his brothers (Genesis 37- 45). Moses was placed in a basket three months after birth (Exodus 2:1-8) and leads the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt. David the shepherd becomes a tremendous leader, who despite his flawed humanity was noted “as a man after God’s own heart” (I Samuel 13:14). Esther was a woman of stunning beauty who acted with great courage to prohibit the “annihilation of all Jews – young and old” (Esther 3:13). Saul was on the road to Damascus seeking to kill Christ-followers and fell to the ground blinded by a piercing heavenly light, confronted by a cosmic voice asking, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:1-9)"
God surprised me as well. Christian education was not a career path I ever envisioned. As this school year concludes, so does my 33rd year in education. Two decades of these years were spent in a variety of roles in public education including school security guard, high school and middle school teacher, and middle school and high school principal. The last 12 years have been spent in Christian education, with the last two years at Valley Christian Schools.
My journey into Christian education has been a complete surprise for me, but one that has been enriching beyond measure and challenging beyond expectations, filling me with energy and hope for students and families in today’s culture and for tomorrow’s future. There are three reasons for my optimism and renewed energy. I share these reasons with you as an encouragement and rationale for Christian education.
First, we are attempting to cultivate an eternal perspective in and through everything we do at Valley Christian Schools. Our work is in shaping the Christian mind in and through our students. The Christian mind sees all of human life and history framed by a creative, active God. It sees the whole universe sustained by God’s cosmic and unspeakable power and love. It sees this life filled with meaning, and recognizes that one’s gifts, talents, skills, and abilities are God-given to bring justice, wonder, the restoration of beauty, and God’s mercy to the earth (adapted from “The Christian Mind” by Blamires).
Second, we desire for our students to grow in character. This can only be achieved through intimate one-on-one time with God. Hope, love, and meaning to life – the very basis for a Christian dialogue are contained in a relationship with God. This starts first with conversations with God. Then, as an expression of this intimate relationship, conversations with others become reflective of our belonging, confidence, joy, and courage. This is critical in opposition, trials, and challenges to one’s faith. A Christian mind and Christian dialogue will bring a completely different frame of reference to everything it touches: successes, achievements, failures, flaws, joy, suffering, and ordinary life.
Finally, we want, pray for, expect, and anticipate that our students will make a positive difference in the world for Jesus Christ because each student is uniquely crafted by God to do so. We are developing Christian leaders who will participate in the Christian community at Valley Christian Schools, and in turn, will engage in, lead, and take part in a Christian community in the days and years ahead.
Let’s all stay open to God’s surprises as he shapes Christian minds, grows character, and produces Christian leaders who bring an eternal perspective to all of life.
Have a great summer,