Tag Archives: christianity

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

AdvancED Results

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A little over a year ago we began praying about taking Central Christian Academy through the AdvancED accreditation process. Our current accreditation expires in June of 2015 and if we wanted to change accreditation agencies, now was the time. We had been accredited through ACSI and attended a conference where ACSI was encouraging their schools to gain AdvancED accreditation along with their ACSI accreditation. For a small school like Central Christian Academy, having both did not seem cost effective, since each carry their own yearly fee. As I prayed over the decision, God sent different administrators and spiritual leaders into my path that guided the decision to go directly through AdvancED. I presented the decisions to the school advisory board, who voted to move ahead with the process. It all began in July of 2014. We submitted the application and were scheduled a readiness visit for August of 2014. Typically the process that a school goes through between their readiness visit and receiving accreditation takes two years. We knew that we needed to complete the process in just nine months, so we set out to do the impossible. After all, we believed this is what God had asked us to do and in Him all things are possible. The task was not been an easy one, it completely took the Lord’s strength and guidance all year.  There were times when we questioned if we had made the right decision. We saw easier paths that tempted us. We were tempted to quit along the way. However, we encouraged one another, saw God provide strength to some who built up others. When time arrived for the team to evaluate CCA, we were prepared and ready to see Him work. Below is a ten minute show of the presentation we gave to the team. They spent a couple days reading through our reports and examining our evidences. The most exciting thing for us however, was seeing God work through our students as they confidently shared their faith in Jesus with the visiting team members. AdvancED is a network of 32,000 institutions serving 20 million students worldwide. AdvancED evaluates three areas of a school.   The scores we received were a testament to the work God does through CCA too.

1. Impact of teaching and learning The External Review Team examined student performance results; instructional quality; learner and family engagement; support services for student learning; curriculum quality and efficacy; and college and career readiness data.

 

CCA’s Scores

AdvancED’s Network Average

     Teaching and Learning Impact

283.33

274.14

Our scores for the domains in this area were:

Domains

CCA

National Average

Equitable Learning Environment

2.78

2.68

High Expectations Environment

3.09

2.81

Supportive Learning Environment

3.42

3.05

Active Learning Environment

3.13

2.95

Progress Monitoring and Feedback Environment

2.86

2.76

Well-Managed Learning Environment

3.16

3.11

Digital Learning Environment

2.27

1.88

 

 

  2. Capacity of leadership The External Review Team examined institutional purpose and direction, governance and leadership effectiveness; stakeholder engagement, improvement capacity and results.

 

CCA’s score

AdvancED’s Network Average

     Leadership Capacity

343.18

296.08

 

 

3. Use of resources The External Review Team examined allocation and use of resources; equity of resource distribution to need; level and sustainability of resources; long range capital and resource planning effectiveness.

 

CCA’s score

AdvancED’s Network Average

     Resource Utilization

314.29

286.32

 

Our overall scores are something we praise God for!

CCA’s Score

AdvancED’s Network Average

Overall Score

305.77

282.79

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.

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!

 

 

From the Principal’s Office …. School Security

principal-officeSchool Security
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In light of the Tragedy that happened last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, we are evaluating our own security procedures. Parents put their trust in us each day to keep their children safe. We have never taken that responsibility lightly. We do have lock-down and emergency procedures in place and will practice them even more.
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This tragedy took place at a time when our students were preparing their Christmas program about the Gifts of Hope, Wisdom, Love, and Joy. This was a program that we wrote as a school based on what we have learned about a security beyond our life on this earth.
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Our students began the program with Adam and Eve and the realization that our world is in need of The Gift of HOPE. It explains how tragedy and suffering happen today.
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Romans 8:18-20, 22-24
8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time … 8:19 For the creation is eagerly awaiting the revelation of God’s children, 8:20 because the creation has become subject to futility, though not by anything it did. The one who subjected it did so in the certainty. 8:22 For we know that all the rest of creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time. 8:23 However, not only the creation, but we who have the first fruits of the Spirit also groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 8:24 For we were saved with this hope in mind.

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The second scene of our program had the magi tell us about how important it is that we open The Gift of WISDOM. This wisdom is what we want each of our students to find. We live among some very wise people. In fact, in light of this tragedy, many will offer their wisdom of the situation. This gift, however, is not to understand the evil, but to become wise enough that we recognize Jesus Christ is the savior that redeems us from it (vs.23).
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The third gift of our program was The Gift of LOVE. Knowing Jesus is our savior is not enough. We must realize that He became that gift because He loved us so much that he allowed himself to be put to death on a cross and then rose again from the grave.
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John 3:16
3:16 For God so loved the World that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

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This gift must be opened by each of us. God has given each of the choice to receive His love. All it takes is to believe it and confess it. When we confess and ask God to save us, we receive this gift and it is ours forever.
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Romans 10:9-10
10:9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10:10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.

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The final gift in our program was The Gift of JOY. It is interesting that when the Bible speaks of having joy, it does so in the midst of tragedies. Does something like what happened in CT rob us of our joy? What began at Christmas to save our sinful world, and was then conquered at the cross and the empty tomb, lives inside us today.
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Phillipians 1:4-6
1:4 I always pray with joy in my every prayer for all of you 1:5 because of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 1:6 For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

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What security can we offer at CCA? Beyond the safety measures that we will keep in place and evaluate regularly, we promise to offer your children the security of an eternal life. And that eternity does not begin after their life on earth. It is a life that begins as soon as we put our hope in Christ, gain the wisdom of how He died to save us, and realize how much He loves us. It is a secure life that we can live with JOY.

The Creation – as retold by Janice Green

creation cover (2)
Today I have the blessing of sharing you with a children’s book titled Creation. This book is the Biblical story of Creation retold by Janice Green
Janice is a retired teacher / librarian. Her ability to connect with kids shows in her writing. In a time when people (even Christians) embrace evolution as truth, it is refreshing to find a book that stays true to the scripture and the literal description of How God created the earth. Janice understands that our student’s beliefs will be challenged by the secular world and she knows the importance of giving a child a strong reliable authority of God’s word.
A difficult task in writing children’s stories about the Bible is that children will see the stories as fictional. Janice explains that the Biblical account is not to be looked at as a myth. She takes a student through each day of His miraculous works. Each page includes verses from scripture and thought provoking questions for children to discuss.
The pictures in her book are the best part. Janice is also a quilter and the pictures in her book are quilt squares (hexagons) that she used to create one of her many Bible quilts. Parents are given instructions in how to create a quilt with their own children. I love the way Janice has taken the story of creation and made into a tangible quilt and story book that students can interact with.

If Only I had a Green Nose

green nose

Today at Central Christian Academy, we had green noses. (Well, at least the cool people had them) Or so we thought. The teachers had green noses and we invited any student who thought they might be cool enough to wear a green nose too. Almost all the students chose to get one. Many of our students didn’t come and get one at first. Then when more and more students in their class got them, they gave in and followed too.
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Then at chapel we read the book If Only I had a Green Nose by Max Lucado. It is another story about Punchinello, the puppet. In the story Punchinello really doesn’t want a green nose, but he finally gives in to the peer pressure and gets one.
After he does though, the Wemmicks (the other puppets) decide green noses are not cool anymore and they all begin to repaint their noses to another color. This continues and becomes exhausting to Punchinello. He realizes that he just wants to be exactly how Eli (His maker) made him.
In Chapel we then talked about how we should be proud of how God made us. It is easy to give into peer pressure and want to be like everybody else. But God made each of us unique and thinks we are special and beautiful the way we are. We can keep trying but we will never feel that we “fit in” with the world. And, that is perfectly ok. God will always help us to be the person He created us to be.
It hurt a bit for Punchinello to let Eli sand the paint of his wooden nose. Sometimes it hurts a little when God has to “sand off” the worldly stuff we’ve added to our lives too. But, He will and in the end we are so much happier being exactly who God wants us to be.

This book is available in our school library or can be purchased here:

My Life Interrupted

jonahThis coming Tuesday (March 29), I will begin leading the Bible study by Priscilla Shirer titled, Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted.

I was searching for a new study to do with our moms and teachers and a friend recommended this one to me.  I first wondered if God had more for me to gain from the very familiar story of Jonah. Then I realized that I am definitely living an interrupted life.

To be perfectly honest with each of you, it is one area I still struggle with when I get alone with God. That is because CCA and becoming the principal there is an interruption to where I thought my life was headed as an author.  I’ve had to make huge sacrifices with my own life goals and plans to successfully do the job at CCA. I knew that going into it. However, it is still a stronghold that Satan likes to work on in my life when I get discouraged with the many pressures of my job. I have learned just in the first few days of the study that being principal at CCA is not an “interruption” to God’s plan for my life but a “divine intervention”.   

I am very excited to work through this study with the teachers and parents at our school. I know God has a lot more to tell me.

We will meet each Tuesday in Room 26 at 3:30

Central Christian Academy

1200 Hodges Ferry Rd

Portsmouth, VA 23701

 

The schedule will be as follows.

March 29 – Session 1

April 5 – Session 2

April 12 – Session 3

…(Easter Break)

April 26 – Session 4

May 3 – Session 5

May 10 – Session 6

May 17 – Session 7 and Review

 

I hope you can join us.

What Every Christian Should Know About Jewish People

What Every Christian shoudlWhat Every Christian Should Know About Jewish People

by Sheryl Young

If you’re like me. You don’t know a lot of people who are Jewish. And those of your friends that are, you probably avoid the topic of faith with them. You know that they are God’s chosen people, that Jesus himself was a Jew, and that their people never accepted Jesus as the Messiah. But beyond that, you don’t know how to explain to a Jewish person how they’ve misunderstood the Gospel. Since Little Pot’s story only speaks of the potter and the clay – which is an Old testament parable of our relationship with God, many Jewish schools and people love my book.  Not until they meet me and engage in conversation do they realize that I view the potter to be Christ as well as God the Father. That’s why I was excited when I found Sheryl’s book,

What Every Christian Should Know About Jewish People“.

In this book Sheryl answers questions like:

Why is it imperative for every Christian to gain a fresh, love-filled perspective toward the Jewish people today?

What makes a person consider him or herself Jewish?

Do Jewish people really need to be “converted”?

Sheryl photo 1When Sheryl’s husband gave his life to Jesus, she thought, “How can I, a girl from a Jewish family, be married to a Christian?” She set out to prove the Gospel wrong. But the moment she really studied the Old Testament and dared to compare it with the New, everything changed. She fell in love with “Yeshua,” saw her Jewish heritage with new appreciative eyes, and realized the two could fit perfectly together.

Sheryl has been a “Jewish believer in Jesus” since 1987. She wrote this book for Christians to answer the many questions Christians have asked her over the years about Judaism, the Jewish peoples’ culture, faith, and why Jewish people are hesitant to accept the Gospel message of Christ as their true Messiah.

I am so thankful this book is out there. It isn’t enough for Jewish people to know about the potter of the old testament and not accept Christ as their Messiah. They can never become Fruit Pots like Little Pot and bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit otherwise.

Sheryl’s been freelance writing professionally since 1997. Her work has been seen in the Tampa Tribune, St. Pete Times and Florida Baptist Witness Newspapers; Light & Life, Today’s Christian Woman and Better Nutrition Magazines; “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” Vista Sunday School Curriculum, NewChristianVoices.com and most currently as Staff Writer for The Underground Online Christian Magazine.

Find details about How to Order “What Every Christian Should Know about the Jewish People” at her Blog, http://20-20faithsight.blogspot.com. It is available (online only) at LifewayStores.com, Amazon.com and most other bookselling websites.