It is a common response in our community of Christians to say to someone, “I’ll pray for you” to a person’s trial or difficulty. Some of us who do this may have a different response from our current culture when we offer to pray. We may feel “shamed” into silence because prayer is insinuated to be wasteful, insignificant, or not really doing anything. You may be told or it is suggested that prayer is a meaningless promise.
As Christians, we believe in the power of prayer and know it is our first responsive action. We have unshakable confidence in its power and effectiveness.
“There is nothing trite, nothing minimal about “I’ll pray for you.” To say, “I’ll pray for you” is to say, “I will speak with the Author and Creator of all things. He’s my Father and invites me to come to Him any time. I will speak to Him about those things. I will plead His promises. I will speak to the one Being in all the universe Who has all knowledge and all power and Who is perfectly good, and I will ask Him to help, to intercede, to grant joy and peace and meaning.”
Reflections from the writings and quotes of Tim Challies.
Scripture often refers to God, the Almighty, as our shield (Gen. 15:1; Ps. 5:12; Prov. 30:5), and we must keep this in mind as we consider Paul’s call for us to take up the shield of faith. Roman shields, depending on the type, could protect a good portion of the body especially in the Roman phalanx formation. Soldiers would stand shoulder to shoulder in files several ranks deep with interlocking shields and weapons ready. The shield protects as a defensive measure, but does a lot more than take blows from arrows and weapons. The typical Roman shield could also be offensive and push back against the enemy.
How do we see this in terms of faith?
God is our Commander in Chief giving us our war strategy. He is telling us how to conduct ourselves in battle. The shield of faith doesn’t lose hope, it doesn’t give up and it doesn’t quit. The shield of faith believes God and takes Him at His Word—no matter what the situation looks like. This heavy shield can withstand the impact of fiery strikes. We hold onto our faith like a shield. We have to deliberately choose faith in all circumstances. Faith cannot only protect us from the blows of the devil, it can help us push back against him. Second, we can extinguish arrows that Satan sends our way. Not only can faith handle the impact of them, but it extinguish false ideas and doubt. Third, when we band with other Christians, in phalanx formation, it strengthens our faith. Although God won’t shield us from tragedy or loss, he can provide us faith when we need it most.
Carol Verbeek, Principal
In the earliest words of Scripture, God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth” (Genesis 1:26 MSG).
Embedded in these words is the most wonderful of promises: God made us to reflect his image...
Sin has distorted this image, but it has not destroyed it. Our moral purity has been tainted. Our intellect is polluted by foolish ideas. We have fallen prey to the elixir of self-promotion rather than God-promotion. The image of God is sometimes difficult to discern. But do not think for a moment that God has rescinded his promise or altered his plan. He still creates people in his image to bear his likeness and reflect his glory.
Pop psychology is wrong when it tells you to look inside yourself and find your value. The magazines are wrong when they suggest you are only as good as you are thin, muscular, pimple-free, or perfumed. The movies mislead you when they imply that your value increases as your stamina, intelligence, or net worth does. Religious leaders lie when they urge you to grade your significance according to your church attendance, self-discipline, or spirituality.
According to the Bible you are good simply because God made you in his image. Period. He cherishes you because you bear a semblance to him. And you will only be satisfied when you engage in your role as an image-bearer of God. Such was the view of King David. “As for me, I will see your face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied when I awake in your likeness” (Psalm 17:15)."
Elizabeth Martin, Music Teacher
Have you ever created a time capsule, or were part of an event that opened a time capsule? If you could create a time capsule for March 2021 and have it opened 50 years later, what would those in the future mostly see? A mask, perhaps? Whoever signed up to be a student or teacher during a pandemic? Life can be difficult at times, but it doesn’t take much to dig into other events that would have been challenging for various reasons. What was life like for the Israelites being enslaved in Egypt? What a conundrum for Joseph as he found himself in a pit or thrown into jail years later for a crime he didn’t commit! What was life like for David running away from a king who wanted nothing more than to kill him? What about life as an Israelite wandering in the desert for 40 years? I am sure the characters involved in these situations were looking forward to the future, to a time when their present difficult situation would be over.
It has been about a year now since the Government of Ontario announced that there would be no in-class sessions for students for the remainder of the school year of 2020. And it has been about a month since the announcement to postpone Spring Break until April. Everyone is trying to make the best of the situation we find ourselves in. It is for this reason that the grade 7 class is calling next week Stay-cation Week and has planned that students come to school in destination t-shirt, or flip flops (with socks), or sunglasses, or sun hat, and a picture of a vacation spot. Let’s enjoy the at-school-March-Break next week and participate in Stay-cation Week. And when there is opportunity in the future for a real vacation, my hope is that you will savour the moment of that vacation with your family.
The first piece of armour Paul discusses is the belt of truth. In Ephesians 6:14, he says, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” Of all of the pieces of the armour of God, you may be wondering why Paul started with the belt. We think of a belt as simply to hold up pants. However, for a Roman soldier, this thick belt did a lot more. It held all the most important weapons at a soldier’s disposal, as well as equipment, ropes, and food rations. A Roman’s belt also had strips of armour hanging from it to protect the lower portions of the body. If a soldier did not have this thick belt secured correctly, if it went crooked, he wagered his own life on the battlefield. Think of it, without a belt, they could not carry a weapon!
So, why does Paul associate the belt of a soldier with truth? For Christians, God’s Word is truth, and it serves as our foundation. The world we live in teaches that truth is what we make it—that good and bad are relative and that there are no absolutes, only equally valid opinions. But the Bible teaches that truth is God's Word— and that there are eternal and unchangeable absolutes, uninfluenced by opinions. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” If our beliefs are not rooted in God’s Word, we cannot expect to fight battles for Christ.
Just as a belt is worn close to the body, we should hold God’s truth close to us and allow it to surround us. When we remain in His Word, we can distinguish what is true from what is untrue. Keep that belt secure! Know and use God’s truth!
Mrs. Verbeek, Principal
Mrs. Verbeek, Principal