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A fictional being with superpowers? An athlete, musician or actress? Maybe a grandpa, or aunt or even you?
That is all great.
Do they have the chance to hear about ordinary, everyday people who make a difference? Regular Joes and Janes who impact people’s lives by their words, their actions, or their love?
A longtime St. Paul Lutheran Church member passed away this week. But he was no Easter, Christmas, wedding, and funeral member. He was faithful and committed and involved. Numerous folks have told me that this man was the very first to greet them when they visited St. Paul Lutheran for the first time. Others recall his genuine care for them, or his generosity, or his sense of humor, or his deep love for the Lord and the Lord’s work. They would recall his joy in life, his pride in his family, his deep love and respect for his dear wife. Others would report on his leadership in the congregation, in the community and in our Florida-Georgia District.
We often see our Savior as peaceful and kind. Truly, Jesus exemplified God’s love for us in His acts of care and in His self-sacrifice. But He did not flee from conflict. He took a stand, holding fast to God’s commands and instructions. And in the end it led Him to the cross. For that we are forever grateful.
We, here at St. Paul Lutheran School, are not looking for trouble either. In fact, peace and tranquility are lovely things.
We had an awesome first chapel this past Wednesday. We heard from God’s Word. We prayed. We sang. We clapped in rhythm (still working on that one).
But something may not occur to everyone the first day you look out at 350 chapel attendees.
Some of these kids have never said a creed (a statement of belief) out loud before. Some may never have heard the Newsboys’ song “We Believe” and do not know how to sing along or if they are part of the “we”. Some may even come from a heritage where all of this is new and strange.
At SPLS we make it clear. We are a Christian school and everything we do will reflect this fact.
But we are also unique in that we gladly welcome students who do not have a Christian “pedigree” like a note from a pastor or a Christian church home.
So we are aware that we will be gently teaching, and coaching, and explaining, and encouraging to all the new and returning students so each one will understand what we believe. And we pray these precious young people join us in this life changing, eternity bound belief.
In His Children’s (and they are ALL His children) Service, Robert C. Boyd
Our school year theme (see the signs all over campus) is a celebration marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. This landmark series of events has had huge impact on the expression of Christian faith around the world and also marks a tremendous modernizing shift in Western civilization.
– Imagine not be able to read the scriptures in English (or whatever your native language may be)
– Imagine not being able to speak directly to God through prayer, but being told you had to rely on religious leaders to do it for you
– Imagine living under the burden of believing that you were not doing enough to earn God’s love and acceptance
– Imagine fear, rather than love, being the motivator for making life choices
All year long we will talk about what we believe. And what we believe about God; about Jesus, our Savior; about the Holy Spirit; about the Bible; and so on, guides us to what we believe about children, and families, and learning, and growth, and attitude, and so much more.
Join us on the We Believe journey this year.
In His Children’s Service,
Robert C. Boyd
We do not get asked directly as often as we would think. We would expect to be asked because we work with children. We would really expect to be asked because this is a faith based ministry. But we do not very often get asked what we believe.
Would you notice if a child’s reporting on a challenge included a change in wording?
Take the example of a child forgetting to bring a field trip permission slip to school. Would you notice if instead of the child saying “My mom didn’t give it to me,” the child said, “I have a problem. I forgot to put it in my bag.”
Would you notice if, instead of the child saying, “Dad, go back home, get the slip, and bring it to school.” The child said, “I know I forgot the slip, dad. Could you come into school while I print it off and have you sign it?” or “I know it was my fault and I cannot go on the trip. I will remember next time.”
It is interesting how something generally good or neutral can quickly turn into something questionable or negative.
It is interesting how attempts by schools to be accommodating and open to new ideas can lead to privileges becoming entitlements and understanding becoming license for going overboard.
Fidget spinners, the new craze on school campus across the country, are a perfect example.
I recently was reminded of something. I publish a weekly faculty meeting agenda for teachers, PK-8th. In the midst of some heavy praise for a hard-working, diligent faculty, I had also included the following:
What is our basic expectation of staff?
Do your job.
Live as a person of faith; imperfect, but repentant and growing.
Build positive relationships.
Pretty simply said. Harder to do. But fair.
Afterwards some teachers asked if there was a concern they were not doing their job. Of course, if there were concerns, I would not first address it cryptically in a staff agenda. So, the answer was, “No, you are doing great.”
I did not get the chance to lead chapel for our 2 year olds this week as I thought I would. So you are stuck hearing my planned message…. without the actual fun we would have had with the Easter eggs.
Those little plastic Easter eggs are everywhere on the SPLS campus. Mr. Nick Moss, our Director of Christian Education loves them. We fill them for Parker Street Ministries as our annual March Chapel offering.
Any child who interacts with other humans will experience hurts. It could be a conflict with a sibling. It could be through a heated exchange with an exasperated parent. And it could be with a classmate, a teammate, a neighborhood friend, or a cousin. It is almost equally likely that a child will be the one handing out a dose of pain. Helping our children involves recognizing at any given time our child could be the “hurter” or the “hurtee.” (Yes, I just made that word up.)