Psalm 13:5-6 But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.
It’s almost June and of course June is about finishing well, closing the school year, and about graduating our WCS Class of 2021 on to the next phase of their life. The Psalmist here teaches us a beautiful truth: remembering releases rejoicing.
To worship God is to tell Him we believe Him for who He says He is. Who is God to you? What stories do you have to tell about answered prayers or his continued presence in your life? What do you remember about God’s goodness? Favourite Bible stories provide remembrance and examples of God’s faithfulness and grace. Share those stories. And share your stories. Ask grandparents about their stories. Every day we’re faced with choices to either acknowledge and proclaim God as the great and merciful God He declares Himself to be—or instead to deny Him. If we can’t bring ourselves to trust that He is full of mercy, then perhaps, at least in part, we’re implying that He does not care and is not merciful. There is actually no middle ground. He either is the all-powerful, all loving God His word declares Him to be—or He is not.
Psalm 78:1-4 My people, listen to my teaching. Pay attention to what I say.
I will open my mouth and tell a story. I will speak about things that were hidden.
They happened a long time ago. Our people who lived before us have told us about them.
We won’t hide them from our children. We will tell them to those who live after us.
We will tell them what the Lord has done that is worthy of praise.
We will talk about his power and the wonderful things he has done.
Remember and praise.
Carol Verbeek, Principal
Over the weekend I came across some pictures of birthday celebrations of my own children. Last week one of my students reminded the grade 3 class that it will be her birthday on Tuesday, May 25th which is today. Happy birthday! Who doesn’t like birthdays? Who doesn’t like to celebrate with balloons, decorations, cake, candles, gifts, and loved ones?
The Christian Church just celebrated its birthday this past Sunday on the day that is called Pentecost. Pentecost wasn’t a new celebration to the Jews living during the times of the Old and New Testament, as it was initially known as a Feast of Weeks to celebrate the “firstfruits” of the wheat harvest, and followed 50 days after the Passover (or for Christians 50 days after Easter). Just like the wine and bread took a new significance when Jesus died on the cross, Pentecost took on a new significance. It became the birthday for the Church. The “firstfruits” of the Church were gathered and heard the Apostle Peter’s preaching as the Holy Spirit came and filled the disciples as was promised by Jesus when he ascended. You can read that story in Acts 2.
Check out these seventeen ways that the Spirit helps us, especially the last point: http://www.westhillscc.com/
I don’t know about you, but there’s something about the lengthening of the days and spring sunshine that just makes me itch to get my fingers in some soil. The month of May means pulling out my wheelbarrow and getting back in touch with the earth. Yes, I have farming in my background, perhaps in my blood? The new green of a winter wheat or rye field brings me joy. The smell of cut grass or fresh hay stops me in my tracks. Coffee, sunshine and garden centres in combination make me think of heaven.
Green thumb or not, really, so much of life is about growing and moving forward. Whether nurturing plants or students, guiding a school and a staff, living in a family or in a faith community, we are on a growth journey. Storms, wind, rain and sunshine come in abundance or sometimes not. Conditions change and we navigate, moving forward. I plant seeds and expect sprouts. I plant seedlings and expect them to grow. But I also expect setbacks: slugs, hungry rabbits, lack of rain. As a co-worker with you in God’s service, I pray God’s strength and blessings for each of you as you plant, actually or figuratively, in all the areas of your life.
I love this Bible passage (and wonder what the apostle Paul’s experience was with food production/gardening). It comes to mind often in my discussions and thinking at WCS:
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 NIV
Carol Verbeek, Principal
Patience in waiting. Wait. Aren’t patience and waiting the same thing? Please be patient as I explain the difference: One definition of patience is: “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” Waiting is defined as “the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.” There is a difference if you look closely: patience highlights the act of having self-control, whereas waiting highlights a delay of any sort of action.
I’ve found myself needing a lot of patience in my waiting; namely: waiting for this pandemic to end... or, at least to have a very minimal impact on my life. It’s difficult to do all that is required in order to keep my neighbour healthy. It’s difficult to follow the rules set out by our government when it becomes an inconvenience or annoyance to me. But when I read the news and think about why these new rules are in place; and what God says about loving our neighbours, it should be a no-brainer for me. Yet, it’s still difficult! In these times of waiting, and when stamina is needed to end well, I find myself needing to turn to God and to His word for encouragement/wisdom. I pray that everyone would be blessed with an extra measure of patience in their waiting as we (hopefully) begin to see the end of this pandemic.
Luke 10:27: And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Axel Hiemstra, Grade 5
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth ... the breastplate of righteousness... with your feet fitted … the shield of faith … the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit...
Vs18: And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Take a look at verse 18 again. Did you catch it? First you’ve been commanded to put on the various pieces of armour (makes me think about all the instructions and training this year about how to put on and take off PPE...) The armour is physical and concrete. You put it on and you can take it off. It’s a conscious decision to protect and defend. Take a stand! Stand firm.
But not without prayer. Paul directs us three times in one verse to pray. Pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers and keep on praying. The whole process and the fight need to be bathed in, surrounded by prayer, infused with prayer.
Many of us leave home in the morning forgetting that we are in a spiritual battle. It's no wonder we can become overwhelmed or overcome by the trials and temptations we face. When you understand the idea of putting on the armor of God, it changes how you start your day; it strengthens your resolve to focus on and serve Jesus whole-heartedly no matter what comes your way.
Pray in the morning as a way to mindfully put on all of the armor of God. By doing so, you will be inviting the Holy Spirit to empower you, to help, to comfort, and be your strength.
(Sources: NIV, thelife.com/armor-of-god )
Carol Verbeek, Principal