Monthly Archives: September 2015

Unleashing God’s Power at ECS

compressed Gods-Power-Is-Amazing-copyOne of my favorite Scriptures is Ephesians 3:14-21. I have read it over and over again. I have prayed it over and over again for my daughters to experience God’s love in this way. I have prayed it over and over again for lost people who are dear to me and need to open their hearts to Jesus. I’ve had it posted on our refrigerator for years.

However when these verses were the focus of the sermon at my home church recently, it was like I was reading them for the first time. Don’t you just love how God continues to teach us and reveal Himself to us in a new way through verses we have read so many times?

When our pastor read the word “power” in these verses it felt like the word jumped right off the page! Within these 8 verses, the word “power” is used three times. How can I have read these verses SO MANY times and skimmed right over “power” three times? Take a journey with me and read Ephesians 3: 14-21:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Wow! I hope you feel as much encouragement as I do knowing that Christ empowers us when His work is within each of us. He also tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” We should not shy away from boldly bringing our prayer requests before God!

Now think about how we can apply Ephesians 3:14-21 to what His power can do through us collectively at Evansville Christian School as the body of Christ. Read again with me…

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen Evansville Christian School with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that Evansville Christian School, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that Evansville Christian School may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within Evansville Christian School, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Prayer cards are being sent home with students every month to guide families into unity through prayer for the high school. Prayer Walks led by ECS parents once a week at the site of the high school. A Women’s Bible Study takes place every Wednesday morning led by an ECS mom. After this week’s Elementary Chapel, students will receive a prayer card to reflect on throughout the month about what they learned at Chapel. These efforts don’t even include the daily prayer and reading of the Bible that is woven throughout every single day in every single grade at ECS. The Holy Spirit is moving at ECS!

Every student. Every parent. Every teacher. Every staff member. Think about what amazing things Christ can accomplish for His Kingdom when His power is at work among each and every one of us at ECS. Let’s not be timid in bringing our requests to Him so we can see His almighty power make an impact on our world through our ECS community!

Blessings,

Krista Decker, Director of Admissions & Marketing

Is the Grass Always Greener?

greener

In 2010 my wife and I moved back to Evansville, Indiana, after 12 years of being away. We moved into a home that was great for us as a married couple with two young boys—four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a playroom, a bonus room—and it was a great price! After about a year of living there, Kim and I found ourselves rumbling. What began as gratefulness to the Lord for providing above and beyond our needs turned into entitlement issues. “Isn’t this amazing?” became “I wish we had _____________.” “We have four bedrooms!” faded into “Our master bedroom is too small.”

In 2013 we moved into what Kim described as her dream home: a really old home with a lot of character (in fact, it’s the oldest wood-framed home in Evansville, built in 1827!). Lo and behold, after two years of living there we saw pictures of another, newly renovated old home, and they became the seed for displeasure in our “dream” home. And so became the realization that of one of the most commonly stated phrases of all time is also one of greatest lies ever told: The grass is not always greener on the other side.

When families make the decision to enroll their children in a Christian school, it is much more of a commitment than a decision. The commitment comes with financial obligations. It comes with expectations that things will be better or that the school will fix something. When the inevitable moment comes that challenges the original vision of the perfect union between education, family, and Jesus, all those obligations and expectations get thrown on the scale, and your family then steps back to measure weather this is all worth it. You can hear the conversations now (and perhaps you’ve even had them yourself): “I bet if our kids were at a different school, I wouldn’t be dealing with this!” “Our kids could get a lot more opportunities for athletics at a bigger school, and I wouldn’t be paying tuition!” “My kids need more “real world” experiences, and they could get that if they weren’t in a Christian school.” Man. Those are some real-deal conversations that can frustrate families and strain relationships.

But would a new school really fix the problems? I have found that “new” rarely provides any solution that is deeper than superficial, whether with marriage, friends, or school. How, then, does a family keep its commitment to Christian education fresh and alive? Perhaps the following guidelines can help craft some perspective.

Recognize that the “grass is greener” mentality exists. Andy Stanley, in his book Deep and Wide (2012) says, “time in erodes awareness of,” (139). In other words, the more time an individual spends in or connected to something or someone, the more at risk that individual is of failing to see its value. Again, think marriage. “Time in” and cultural messages like “Life’s short. Get a divorce.” simply seed the heart issue that anything else is better than what a person currently has. Christian education is no different. Time in can indeed erode awareness of. There has to be a recognition that this mentality thrives in a consumer driven, materialistic society such as ours.

Know your family mission. When you can expressly state what you desire your family to stand for, making and keeping commitments toward that mission is much easier. For example, one aspect of our family’s mission is to be brave and intentional in response to God’s Word. For us, that means we want our boys to be trained up not only in the Word of God, but also in having a view of the world that is seen through the lens of the Gospel. We want, as a family, to be ready to intentionally respond to God’s Word in our hearts, our relationships, and our community. The best way for our boys to experience this core and expressly stated value of our family is to have them in a Bible based, educationally challenging school. When times and relationships between our family and our experience at school become challenging, we can easily go back to what we know is a core value for our family and gain perspective on our frustration. Finding resolution is more important than cutting ties, because we understand our family’s mission.

If you feel like your grass is struggling, be a grass waterer! False expectations are so hard to manage, but so easy to be deceived by. Everyone has heard, “The grass is greener on the other side,” but few truly understand the following (author unknown) response: “You may think the grass is greener on the other side, but if you take the time to water your own grass, it would be just as green.” Instead of looking for how a Christian school isn’t meeting every need, what if your family looked for where you could plug in and create better opportunities and experiences for others? Is that not the model Jesus designed? Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 1:3–6, “ I thank my God in all my remembrance of you . . . because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Paul saw that Christ intended His Church body to have a lasting partnership, one of commitment that He would bring to fruition. So instead of looking to how others might fulfill our needs, let us look to the Father and ask Him how we might fulfill the needs of others who are right in front of us!

The Allens still live in our “dream” home. It’s that kind of dream that needs continual maintenance, and there is always a project happening. But again, that’s the reality of living in a broken world that is patiently awaiting the return of its Savior. I think we’ll stay.

In Service,

Allen sig

Michael W. Allen
Head of School
Evansville Christian School

Reference
Stanley, Andy. 2012. Deep and Wide: Creating churches unchurched people love to attend. Michigan: Zondervan.

A Living Example

superhero Jax3Indulge me for a moment, while I tell you about my grandchildren (yes I’m one of those grandparents)! I’m a grandmother of two amazing little people, Jax and Lane – they call me “Mimmy” to be exact. I must say it is the favorite thing I’ve ever done!

My grandson is four and like a lot of little boys, he is mesmerized by super heroes, so I am “learning to appreciate” Spiderman, Captain America, and all those other guys. Honestly, in our conversations I am always striving to talk to him about the super heroes that are already in his life, like his mommy and daddy, or his teacher. When we talk about the heroes in the Bible, I know I am competing with his ideas about “super heroes”. My granddaughter is younger, so she thinks her brother is a super hero!

The time I spend with my grandkids is a priority and maybe a little selfish on my part. I believe God has called me to serve Him by providing a spiritual legacy for my children and grandchildren. It has also been an honor to pass on a spiritual heritage to the students I have taught over the years as a teacher and a principal. More than anything, that is how I want to be remembered – as one who prayed for them, set a Godly example for them, encouraged them, and pointed them to Jesus.

On a recent weekend visit at my daughter’s church, the pastor spoke on God’s example for us on how we should pray (Matthew 6:9-13) saying, “We don’t need more experts, we need more examples”. The Bible is full of examples of how to live abundantly, how to walk with God, and how to serve Him. Hebrews 11 provides an inspiring look at heroes of the faith. May we be bold and look for opportunities to live as a worthy example!

On Friday, September 18, Evansville Christian School will host Grandparents’ Day at our three campuses, our busiest and most enjoyable day of the year. Students invite their grandparents, parents, or other very important person to join them at school for special programs and receptions. The interaction among generations is priceless. Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, or you just have the opportunity to build into the lives of the next generation, you have the privilege of being an example for how to love God and love people.

Now, if you’d like to see pictures of my grandkids……

In Service,

Susie Masterson
Elementary/Intermediate School Principal