Reading the Word of God is a practice we as Christians try to do faithfully. At times this may be difficult, especially when our lives are so busy. A common excuse is “Not enough time.” As we are in lockdown there should be more opportunities to spend reading God’s word. There is an acronym PRESS that I came across that helps me to focus.
Prayer - Before going to God’s word, we should always pray. What do you pray for? Anything really. Sing his praises, ask for wisdom on how to analyze the passage you are about to read.
Read - Read through the scripture at least twice. Highlight any words or phrases that stand out to you. Journal about any questions or emotions you have as you read this passage.
Examine - Think about the following questions. “What do I need to know about God, myself and others?” “What do I need to change in my thoughts, attitudes, or actions?” What do I need to do in obedience to God’s leading?”
Summarize - Write down the main points or summarize what God is saying to you.
Share - Who would benefit from hearing your thoughts? Maybe a Christian brother or sister needs to be encouraged. Maybe a neighbour or coworker would benefit from hearing.
Pretty simple, right? Simple yet powerful. I hope this Bible study method provides you with some tools to help you study God’s word.
Mrs. J. Hickey
We have just come out of the Advent season, a season that marks a period of waiting - remembering the waiting for the Saviour’s coming, and waiting for the anticipated return of Jesus to make all things new. We find ourselves in many waiting situations these days, whether that be for curbside pick-up, in the Zoom waiting room, waiting for appointments, for news of new measures, for notice of return to in-person learning. We ask each other what school, work, public health will be like after the pandemic while we wait for it to run its course. We say we ‘can’t wait’ to have students back in the school again. Or ‘can’t wait’ for things to return to normal. In John 10, Jesus speaks to his audience using examples of sheep and shepherding to convey his message. His listeners are not understanding, not ‘getting’ the message, so Jesus tries another approach. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” says Jesus. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus comes to bring life to His people. Jesus is in direct contrast to the thief. He provides. The thief steals. Steals joy, contentment, faith, confidence. There is much living to be done in the waiting. Do not let waiting steal life from you. Life does not pause: words need to be spoken, work needs to be done, decisions need to be made, rest needs to be taken, good news needs to be shared, moments need to be celebrated. From a Bible commentary, “The Greek word for ‘abundance,’ perissos, has a mathematical meaning and generally denotes a surplus…The abundant life is above all the contented life, in which our contentment is based upon the fact that God is equal to every emergency and is able to supply all our needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus” (Boice, commentary). Abundant life isn’t an especially long life. Abundant life isn’t an easy, comfortable life. Abundant life is a life of satisfaction and contentment in Jesus. He provides more than we can imagine.
- Carol Verbeek
(Resources: enduringword.com/commentary, Bible ESV)
Greetings from the WCS Library. Books surround me here as I write this. There are words, words and more words. Since I love reading words, sometimes I try to imagine how they are put together so skillfully by any author. Words fascinate me and where they came from fascinates me even more. Last week I read about a proficient “word scientist,” an American writer known as an “aphorist.” I had to check that specific occupation out a couple of times! This writer named Cooley Madson just loved words and greatly debated the weight of their meaning. It seems obvious that words can cause people great joy and hope or great sadness and mistrust (Isn’t that a current theme in our world, right now). As a writer, he felt that his goal in life was to write witty aphorisms, a “terse, quick, memorable statement of a general truth or principle. Here are a few he came up with:
“Reading Gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are.” (Very timely!)
“Creativity makes a leap, then it looks to see where it is.”
Here is another one: “There are three different rules for reading, thinking, and for talking. Writing blends all three of them.”
I just thought I would share the words of this aphorist. The greatest example we have of words that bring life are those from Jesus Christ. His words in the Bible are full of life, hope, and joy. Especially in this challenging time, and any time, may we bring others words that bring life.
Marion Dieleman, Librarian
Here we are in a brand new year - with brand new opportunities to learn more about God, about the world, about the people around us, and about ourselves. We have a God who loves us - a God who makes and keeps his promises to us and to the world. We’ve just come through the celebrations of Christmas - Jesus’ birthday - and reminders that all of those prophecies and teachings in the Old Testament Bible really did come true.
What does God have in store for us this year? What will happen this year in our families, in our community, in world events? We have come through a rough year and though life continues to be unsettled, we can be assured that good things are happening and will happen - that we will be blessed. We also know that disappointing, sad and hurtful things will happen. Our school theme this year is “STAND FIRM”. The words of 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be on your guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love” continue to be so relevant and inspiring.
In everything, we will keep praising God, encouraging each other, and praying for those in our community - those who know Jesus and those who don’t. We will pray that God will also use us to do his work - to love and serve others. We will stand firm in our faith in our Lord.
Last year is past, but not forgotten. Take what wisdom you’ve gathered last year, learn from it, and keep growing in knowledge and in understanding and in wisdom. May God bless you and guide you as you walk with Him in 2021.
Carol Verbeek, Principal