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Working on a home improvement project has been tough for me. I could do work on the ceiling and walls, but I know I really should start at the bottom. And that is something I have been waiting on until a needed part arrives. It is tough waiting, but I know if I do other things and then there is a problem at the floor level it will get messy and complicated really quickly. So I have to be patient.
This year we are working with children on the process of building up. In particular, we want the brotherhood and sisterhood in classrooms and play fields to be one filled with encouragement and helpfulness. But with kids, just like all other stages of life, asking for something requires some preliminary work. You might call this starting at the bottom.
So, before we expect children to bless each other with kind words and encouraging thoughts, we need to help them understand why we do this. We need to help them understand how to do this. We need to help them understand that it is not all about them and that we encourage and build up even if we feel we are not “getting something” in return. You see, being an encourager is not a natural thing for us human beings. Seeing the positive and pointing it out is not always our forte.
So we have to be patient as the Word of God and the wonderful news of His grace fills the lives of these children and gives them the why and the how of building up. But God is good. And He will work His work in our lives and the lives of those around us if we are patient, and persistent.
In His Children’s Service, Robert C. Boyd
Almost daily I hear a staff member whose actions, concerns or comments reflect the fact that we have an almost overwhelming responsibility serving children.
We are not only responsible for their physical well-being on campus, even though that alone is enormous. We are also responsible, partnering with parents, for their academic growth, their social maturing, and their spiritual formation. This is daunting!
Maybe this phrase rings a bell. It was the tag line of a long running program called “The Wide World of Sports.” And it is still referenced today to describe what happens in all sorts of life events.
Having a winner and others who do not win is part of life. And it is a difficult lesson for young people to learn.
The Harvard Grant Study is the longest longitudinal study in history. It was a study of 268 mentally healthy college sophomores at Harvard, between 1939-1944. It was done alongside the Glueck Study (1940-1945) of 456 disadvantaged youths in Boston. The studies tracked the lives of these students over the decades and continues to this day, although few are still alive. The goal was to discover patterns for what fostered
Sometimes we get the order of things mixed up.
Recently someone contended to me that if Adam and Eve had not sinned, then they would have never had children. This seemed to imply that children were a punishment for sinful behavior. While it may seem like that some mornings before school, that would not be accurate.
The fact is that God’s command to Adam and Eve to be “fruitful and multiply” was part of God’s perfect plan before a serpent and piece of fruit contributed to messing things up.
After student-led advent services and SPLS school musical performances, one comment from observers is very common. People are amazed at children who are so confident in front of a large group of people. They sing with confidence. They speak with confidence. They act with confidence.
Where does this confidence come from? In most cases, we just expect children to do hard things like speaking in front of people. It is really not treated as a big deal. It is just what we do at SPLS.
Second, I think we give kids the opportunity early and often. Kids lead chapel worship. Kids present plays in class. Kids sing and play solos in music class. Kids read aloud to peers, to younger students, and even to therapy dogs! They lead prayers and present classroom devotions.
Have you ever wondered, “Oh, great. What do I do with this kid now?”
A dad shared his story. His simple rule about driving was: “Feel free to drive as long as it doesn’t cause a problem for anyone on the planet.”
His son, Justin, missed curfew.
That is the inside joke about the 2017-2018 school year. And it has nothing to do with catchy tunes, baggy pants, or dance moves.
It does have to do with a lowly German monk nailing (Get it? Nailing? Hammer time?) some questions and concerns to the door of the church in Wittenberg. I guess the bulletin board was full.
It happened in 1517. Yes, that was five hundred years ago. Kind of a big anniversary.
What those questions started changed the face of the Christian faith and Western civilization. And it still changes things for people seeking the truth about God, about the work of His Son Jesus Christ, and about the Holy Spirit. It still changes things for those simply seeking a way to be right with God while they are fully aware of their personal shortcomings.
Kids coming in through the middle school gate probably cringe on Monday mornings. They know I might ask them what they did on the weekend. As you might imagine, they often shrug and say “nothing.” That’s a common middle school response. I will then mime the actions of someone using a video game controller. More often than not they sheepishly nod, confirming what I suspected.
Seeing that pattern, the following article, from leadership development expert Time Elmore, struck home. (And, of course, I am glad he was not talking about school as a prison.)