Category Archives: Principal’s Office

Sweet Tea and Children

Sweet Tea and Children

Last night at our Parent Orientation, Pastor Tim shared these words of wisdom with our families.

PT

by Rev. Tim Robertson

Teaching children how to live and choose wisely is time consuming and difficult.

We carry cell phones … cell phones have so much potential for good. They also remind us the world around us is full of fear, rejection, hate and uncertainty.

Those experiences and emotions aren’t what we want for our children. Parents work hard to protect their children from those negative influences. Parents work tirelessly to provide the safest environment and carefully select the best adults to train and coach their children.

This isn’t easy … life is hard … and more often than not families are struggling with this world where our children are growing up and experiencing life.

Where do you go to find answers? Where can you bring your children to find unrelenting hope, unconditional acceptance and uncompromising coaching?

The church is your answer.

This is the place adults show up week after week committed to show God’s unconditional love and acceptance to your child.

The church is the place children can learn how to make wise choices and choose friends wisely.

The church is the place where we can laugh and be silly and experience a glimpse of what heaven will be like.

The church is the place where what matters most is where you are going not where you have been and to discover how God is shaping you; not to experience how the world is squeezing you.

You see; there is no other place on this earth like the church. It’s the place your children will love to attend if you give them a reason to come.

For our families that have chosen Central Christian Academy, thank you for allowing us to partner with you regarding your child’s education. The school your child attends is very important and here at CCA our educators have been working tirelessly preparing for you. But, CCA or the school of your choice is only part of the total experience you child needs. It’s the home, the church, and the school.

I love sweet ice tea and it takes three items to have a great glass of tea; water, tea and sugar. When one is missing it doesn’t work.

Home … Church … School … if one is missing; don’t fool yourself, it doesn’t work.

Reflections on the 2015-2016 School Year

inside out little pot

It is the first day of summer and time to relax from all the hard work. Only off one week, however, our staff immediately begins to prepare for the new school year. Before we get there, I want to take some moments to reflect on the last year with you. Our theme was “Inside Out”. We branched off Pixar’s  movie of last summer and asked God to help us understand how the fruit of the Spirit and our emotions work simultaneously and separately.  We have jokingly said that God heard our request and made it one emotional year! I do not think any of us had an idea to how much our insides needed work. Alicia Chloe Britt shared a blog recently that described how Jesus wanted His followers to examine inside-attitudes that guide outside-actions. (Matthew 5.3-12, Luke 6.22) She gave a list of things that hinder our spiritual growth.

  • Pride
  • Resisting brokenness
  • Power without humility
  • Apathy toward righteousness
  • Withholding mercy
  • Impurity
  • Causing division
  • Avoiding suffering

She also gave the following points to guide our reflection of the last year.

For guided reflection…

  1. Change. We all long for it. But we don’t always work for it. Today ask yourself a question: Am I waiting for change to originate from “without” or “within”?
    Personally, I gravitate back to seeking change through my surroundings. Church and school ministries constantly require change. I can spend my entire summer making decisions about change for the next school year without looking inward at what God needs to change in me!
  2. Take a personal inventory at the end of the day: Did you resist brokenness? Did you use power without humility? Were you morally apathetic? Did you withhold mercy? Did you approve of impurity? Did you contribute to division?
    If I am honest there were moments this year when I could say, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes!” I love these questions and the fact that our God is so loving and forgiving that we always have another chance to get things right for Him. I also appreciate a school where we can make mistakes and forgive one another so that we continually grow and change to be more like Christ.
  3. Consider the following scripture and then close your time in prayer:
    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5.3
    Jesus, I ask You to rule in my life.
    I am poor in spirit and in need of You.
    Establish Your kingdom in the realm of my heart.

The 2015-2016 School Year was truly a time when God changed hearts at CCA! We witnessed so many of our saints giving their hearts to Christ and also experienced growth as we further allowed Him to rule in each of our hearts. It is still evident that for Christ to change our school outwardly, He must first change our hearts inwardly.

 

iNsiDE ouT

2015-2016 planner imageThis year at CCA we are examining ourselves (and our school) from the INSIDE OUT! Our theme verse is Romans 12:2. The Message commentary reads this way … “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the INSIDE OUT!”

Pixar’s movie with the same title came out this summer and introduced us to the five main emotions that each of us have on the inside. Emotions are sometimes confused with Fruit. However, emotions are feelings and the Fruit of the Spirit is what grows from us when we allow the Holy Spirit to take control of our emotions. Children sometimes get confused by this, especially because JOY is listed as both an emotion and a part of God’s fruit.

Emotions (Anger, Disgust, Fear, Sadness, and Joy) can lead us to growing fruit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control), or emotions can lead us to sin. It is important to realize that God created us to feel through each emotion and He will use them to transform into what is the good, acceptable, perfect, will of God. –Romans 12:2.

Our saints will be examining each of the five emotions this year and discovering how we can use these feelings to grow the Fruit of the Spirit and not allow them to lead us to sin. 

We will be learning how to propagate too. For Little Pot, propagate means to reproduce fruit in other vessels. For CCA, it means we will be taking the amazing things God does INSIDE of Central Christian Academy … OUT to our community!

Click on the words below to see our talks on each emotion…

ANGER

Planting God’s Word to Grow Relationships

Planting God’s Word to Grow Relationships

(Continuing our fruit growing process)

 

In the last post, we mentioned the humus soil that needs to be in Little Pot … which for each of us represents HUMILITY.

 Bible

Since then, our saints have learned about the seed that needs to take root. The seed is God’s Word. Jesus tells us a parable about good soil and explains that the seed that can grow in the good soil is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)

 

 

 

Before we can move on to the integrity and relationship side of fruit bearing, it is important to always remember that God’s Word is the thing that produces life! So often we try to have integrity and good relationships without reading, hearing, and studying God’s Word. We spent this week talking with our saints about how they can have more of God’s Word in their lives. They agreed that attending AWANA is a great way. Going to Bible Studies, like the Soul Train and Sunday School, will also help them to hear and know God’s Word. The most important thing we can do as a family is read God’s Word together too. Our saints were encouraged to read their Bibles at home with you.

integrity

 

Once the seed or word of God is planted in them, integrity will stem. The next week we learned specifically what integrity is. The stem is straight, and the book of Proverbs tells us all about how being crooked means that they are acting sneaky and trying to get away with doing something that will not show integrity.  (Proverbs 10:9, 11:3, 19:1, 28:6) Crooked people might be successful and can even get rich, but God’s word tells us that honest people are people with integrity. It is better to have integrity and be poor than to be rich. We even compared that to how cheating might help us get better grades, but that having poor grades and being honest is better!

relationships

 

If we act with integrity, we can foster relationships. During this week, we had lessons about what leafs do for a plant. The students knew all about photosynthesis, which means changing something (synthesis) through light (photo). The leaf in our model represents the relationships that we can have with others. We learned that our relationships should change us through God. We listed people that we should have relationships with and gave some very practical ways to keep those relationships Godly or full of light.

Contain Humility

 

 

 

Humility

 

This week our saints are focusing on humility. At CCA we illustrate it with placing dirt into Little Pot.

humility

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Pot-Dawn-Stephens/dp/193398211X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410796644&sr=1-1&keywords=Little+Pot

 

 

Our word humility comes from the Latin word humus. Humus means good soil. We tell our saints that Little Pot wasn’t excited about being filled with dirt. However, dirt is what is needed to grow fruit. Just like humility is necessary for us to grow the fruit of the Spirit.

 

In chapel last week we read several verses about how God feels about humility.

I will bless those who have HUMBLE and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word -Isaiah 66:2

 

Do nothing out or rivalry or conceit

In HUMILITY consider others as more important than yourselves

Everyone should look not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others -Philippians 2:3-4

 

We learned that humility IS NOT

Downplaying or thinking less of yourself

Feeling sorry for yourself

 

And, that humility IS

Knowing the truth about yourself and where you stand with God.

Knowing you can’t do things without God and that you need Him.

Know that God knows you better than you know yourself.

It is saying, “God, I need your help!”

 

It is hard for children to pray for themselves. Often their prayer requests are for others. We ended our chapel by asking each child to put a scoop of soil into Little Pot and pray “Lord, I need your help ___________.” It was precious to hear the requests each of them made for a need of their own.

 

 

And as God always does for me, I can never teach a lesson that isn’t hitting home with me too. While giving this lesson, the teachers and I have been reading a book by Nicole Unice called “She’s Got Issues”.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Shes-Got-Issues-Seriously-Stressed-Out-ebook/dp/B007TWKY8K/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410796037&sr=1-1&keywords=she%27s+got+issues

 

This week it dealt with control. It is no secret to anyone what a control freak I can be. This book, however, put my need for control in the context of my own humility or lack of.  Pray with us as we all work on gaining a deeper understanding of how to be humble.

Our first chapel of the year

 

Friday, we held our first chapel of the year. I love Chapel. It is the time each week that our whole school comes together to worship. This year is extra special because we have a new stage and are able to use the cafeteria. (We have outgrown all other rooms in our school).

The chapel this week focused on Little Pot.

We each shared what we would like to be when we grow up. Then, we discussed that no matter what God allows us to be or hold, He expects us to grow fruit. The coming weeks, we are going to revisit our vision and go over the steps God uses in our lives to grow the fruit of the Spirit through us.

 

Here are some pictures of our first Chapel Time together.

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Time to SHINE

 

CCA teacher presentationThe 2014-2015 School Year has officially begun!

On Tuesday, August 26th, our saints will bust through the doors with smiles and anticipations of all that is to come. One of the main reasons I love education is because each year creates a fresh new start.

This year begins my 5th year at CCA and the 25th year since my first year of teaching. Time really does fly when you are having fun!  

At CCA, we will still continue to strive to be like Little Pot  and bear the fruit of the Spirit every day. http://www.amazon.com/The-Little-Pot-Dawn-Stephens/dp/193398211X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389929790&sr=8-1&keywords=the+little+pot

 

We will also remember the lessons Tea Pot taught in 2012, as we serve others. http://www.lulu.com/shop/dawn-stephens/tea-pot/paperback/product-20960223.html

 

In 2013, we kindled our light with a little clay oil lamp. This year, we are ready for the potter to place up high on a lamp stand, so we can SHINE!

 

I am looking forward to SHINING with the teachers and staff at CCA. They are amazing and I love working alongside of them.

 

We will SHINE with technology! This past summer we added new interactive white boards in every classroom. We will continue to equip each of our saints in kindergarten through sixth grade with their own Kindle Fire too. We also remodeled the front office and added new touch screen computers for check in.

 

We will SHINE with the children’s ministry at Central Baptist Church, Central Station. They will share our classrooms and cafeteria, which now doubles as an assembly area. http://www.discovercentral.org/#/central-station-for-kids

 

We will SHINE as we achieve AdvancED accreditation this year. AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. It was created through a 2006 merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association (NCA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)—and expanded through the 2011 acquisition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). http://www.advanc-ed.org/

 

 2014-15 is going to be an amazing year!

 

 

 

Reflections of 2013 and Expectations for 2014

I love New Years.

It is a great time to reflect and think about choices we’ve made

and what we want to accomplish in the next 365 days.

I’ve been preparing for a new ladies Bible study in January

that begins with the idea of, “What do I want to get out of this”.

That idea can drive you crazy if you try to search for a good reason

to every decision you make each day.

It has me evaluating everything before I do it.

I’ve discovered my life is so busy that I often find myself on auto pilot,

forgetting why I do what I do.

Those of us that are parents or work with children

know just how fast time can go by.

If we don’t strategically set a course for our lives and the children in them,

we miss some great fruit bearing opportunities!

The teachers at CCA set the course every day.

They write and carry out plans that will allow

our saints to reach their fullest potential!

Personally, as I reflect on 2013 and CCA,

I’m still in awe of what God does in my life and in our little school.

This past year didn’t go by without some very big challenges.

We had some staffing changes that discouraged me in many ways.

I probably had more doubts then I have ever had as I went through 2013.

My Moto has often been, “Fake it till you make it!”

(I work hard at faking success).

But, those close to me know when I’m faking, and at CCA,

we’ve become a very close family.

I knew there were some things that I couldn’t fake with the CCA family.

I once again found myself on my knees,

begging God to make something of me and this little Christian school.

I remember telling Him how alone I felt at this job.

I told him I would need some amazing teachers and staff people

by my side to pull off what I felt He wanted me to accomplish.

Then, He basically told me to get out of the way and let Him work.

I wasn’t supposed to accomplish anything. He was.

So once again I thought of Little Pot and emptied myself.

I humbled myself and began to allow God’s Word to take root in me…

I focused on living straight…

I made new relationships…

I gained more knowledge…

And then, God grow fruit through me.

vision (2)

Sounds like our CCA vision – huh?

The vision of CCA is a journey that God takes us on over and over.

Fruit never stops reproducing itself.

Cultivating our lives,

so we can be the vessels that bear His fruit is a challenge every year.

So, what are my expectations of 2014?

Well, simply to live each day with purpose and

continue carrying out the vision of CCA in my own life.

I will humbly plant God’s word into my life,

live with integrity,

foster relationships,

and bloom knowledge.

I’m leaving the fruit bearing up to God.

As I do that,

I am very excited about some specific milestones

that I and the CCA family have ahead of us.

We will prepare to update our accreditation.

Our enrollment is already showing signs of growth for next year.

Two of our teachers will have new additions to their families this summer.

(I’m so excited to share in their lives as they bring new babies into the world.)

In my own household,

My oldest daughter will graduate from college and then marry a great guy.

(I’m very excited to plan the wedding with her!)

My youngest daughter graduates from high school.

Then she’ll follow my second daughter to Liberty University.

(My house will feel empty in 2014)

I am looking forward to spending more time with my husband.

We will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year too.

While I see the plans our family and friends have ahead,

I know God’s plans are what must be done.

The one thing I count on is that He is in control of 2014.

That makes my expectations miraculous and fruitful!

making the little BIG

I have been getting the same message from God in several different venues this past week. I suppose it’s something He wants me to take notice of. It’s a pretty simple concept and one that we shouldn’t need reminding of. But, obviously I’ve needed to hear it, so maybe others do too.

His message is “The little things matter to me! – It’s my job to make them BIG!”

 

 

downloadI first heard it while I was doing a devotional on Ruth. My youngest daughter and I are doing the Kelly Minter, “Living Room Bible Study” on Ruth together. Doing it with my daughter has given me such a great perspective on this woman and the book in the Bible that contains her story. This week’s lesson focused on the kindness of Boaz and it struck me how simple little acts of kindness made such an eternal impact on so many people.

 

 

 

download (1)The second time was when I watched a video by Pete Briscoe called The Bema. It is a dramatization of a man who goes to heaven and stands before the throne of Christ where his life is celebrated. I can’t do justice by explaining how powerful the video is, so I recommend you watch it for yourself. The message that amazed me was how the little things that had no effect on him had an eternal impact on others. Heaven celebrated the littlest action when it was done in the name of Christ, and it struck me how simple little acts of kindness made such an eternal impact on so many lives.

 

 

The third time was watching our friend day video for this week. It was by a family at our school that I invited to church on Friend Day. That took such little effort for me to do and I was basically just doing my job without thinking how it could impact lives. Listening to them tell how being invited by me impacted their lives and knowing now how many lives they are impacting by being at Central absolutely amazes me.

 

 

1377139_10153349199655431_1285784542_nThe fourth venue was on facebook when I came across pictures of 600 children in Leogane, Haiti with coloring books that I had illustrated a few years ago. The opportunity to illustrate that coloring book seemed a simple little task. Now, seeing how many lives are touched by it puts me in awe of a God who can take a simple thing and multiply it into something so wonderful.

 

A little boy had five loafs and two fishes (something very small within his own hands). 1383082_10153349189500431_849884290_nBut, given to Jesus it became a means to reach thousands. I’ve been thinking about the little things that take up my time throughout the day. The principal’s desk at CCA has been covered in papers and a list of things that need to get done. Throughout the day those little tasks get interrupted by children coming in to take plastic fruit for the little ways they show kindness and occasionally by a child who is causing a problem that needs an administrative/parental solution.

 

 

Some days I leave feeling I haven’t accomplished anything of value. Then, I realize every little thing I did wasn’t about bringing value to me. It was to bring value to Christ; and He asks for very little effort. He loves to take the little and make it BIG!

 

 

Kindling the Fire of Learning at CCA

Kindling the Fire of Learning at CCA

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This week we put in another PO for more kindles. This order will supply the last group of kindergarten saints with their own device. I am often asked how we use them.

We use them for reading.

During The Daily Five while the saints “Listen to Reading”, “Read to self”, and “Read with a Buddy”, they do it on their kindles.  We also use them in guided reading groups. Every student has their own account on “A-Z Reading: RAZ Kids”. This account has their own library of books they can read at their level. The teachers can use these books for small guided reading instruction.

We use them for writing.

The saints love to type on their kindles and create their own sentences and stories.

We use them for math.

The saints also use their kindles to complete their math skills. The IXL math program allows them to work at their level and advance at their own pace.

We use them for specific skills and learning centers.

The teachers have each kindle programed to the various apps and activities that each child can use. They are able to look up words and find passages quickly.

We use them for Bible and for chapel.

The saints carry them to Chapel and whenever I ask them to read a verse or talk about something from the Bible, they can easily look up the verse and locate references to share with the group.

As a principal, I LOVE the way our teachers are able to differentiate the activities for each saint at CCA and monitor what each child does. By each saint having their own device, they can work independently and in groups. Here is a look into what I see when I leave the principal’s office and walk into the classrooms:

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