Rise Up and Pray

As we approach a new calendar year, it is a time when we reflect on what has happened and anticipate what might happened.  As Christians we should be learning from our past and enthusiastically looking to the future.  Our God controls it, but he asks us to do our part.  One vital part is to pray.

Therefore, I would like to challenge all of us to follow God’s model for groups of people (in the Biblical example it is the nation of Israel) to restore His full favor. 2 Chronicles 7:14: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” We are initiating a campaign called Rise Up Maranatha that will commence with a month of prayer and fasting in following God’s model.

So in January, we will be sending out a prayer calendar to remind you to pray for important things coming up for Maranatha. I ask that you pray faithfully. That you encourage others to pray. That you humble yourself and that you make sure you are right before our Lord (as we see the benefits of the prayers of a righteous man in James 5:16) and seek God’s favor for Maranatha.

As you begin to pray, please use these challenging trends to guide your prayers:

  • Each of us, and collectively as a school, are tempted to turn our faces from our Lord so that we don’t trust Him for providence, guidance and fulfillment. This limits our optimism and belief that God can provide in spite of current circumstances.
  • Our consciences become dull and allow the world’s perspective on the morals and attractions to distract us so that we are not focused our Lord and what He loves
  • Parents and kids to lose focus of God’s desire for education: Deuteronomy 11:19-21 and Ephesians 6:4. Our focus for education should be who is the best partner to train them for life and service to our Lord. Other important reasons are scholastic excellence, co-curricular excellence, social connections, etc.
  • Leadership, faculty and staff to become complacent and not seek fresh, creative means of helping our students excel spiritually, academically, socially and through our co-curricular activities.

I am excited for the future of Maranatha, I pray that you will want to be part of that future in as many ways as God enables you. If we can’t get motivated and excited to train up our young people to love and serve our Lord and be prepared to defend and share their faith with others, than we need to do a heart check. I plan to stoke those fires over the coming weeks as I share plans of things we want to do to improve the attractiveness of our school to current and prospective students/families, improve the ability to grow the effectiveness and reach of the school and improve the ability to reward faculty when they excel in teaching our students.

Looking to God our Provider

Optimism

I have been serving in my current capacity at the school now for 2 1/2 months.  During that time I have many reasons to rejoice and praise God for how He is working in our midst.  His provision has been wonderful to behold from close range.  At the same time, I have had first hand encounters with challenges, messy situations, and opportunities for improvement.  As Dr. Daugherty and I began to draft a budget for next year, I am also seeing the limits of that budget to address areas of significant need across our school.  If I were to focus only on the challenges, I could get overwhelmed or be filled with despair.  However God continually reminds me that He is soverign and my duty is to be obedient, pursuing holiness and a relationship with Him.  I am to be diligent in applying the intellect, experience and skills that He has given me and team here at Maranatha, but at the same time fully rely on Him to provide and direct.  When my diligence is in balance with my faith, I am at peace and full of optimism.  God is bigger than our economy!  From Him emanates all life – everything!  And if we can not have confidence in Him to provide individually and in our school, then we shouldn’t have faith in anything.

So as we continue on in this Christmas season and look forward to the New Year, let us be filled with optimism for what the Lord will do through our school to further His agenda.  Let us also be diligent to do all that He has enabled us to do to be part of the ministry of Maranatha.  Are you being diligent?

  • In teaching your kids in the ways of God as the school partners with you to do so
  • In giving of your time to help the school as we help you in raising your children to be servants for our Lord
  • In giving of your treasure to the ministry of Maranatha so that your giving to your treasure in heaven
  • In praying for God’s hand to be clearly evident at Maranatha in providing resources, battling the enemy, in providing wisdom

Would you join the faithful who are giving generously to the school of their time and treasure?  We need God to work through you in providing resources as we head into the very important marketing season that starts in January.  Our leadership team and our marketing team is busy preparing:

  • we have a new billboard
  • we have a new plan for welcoming prospects
  • we have a new plan of engaging our Family (faculty, staff, students and parents) in our marketing
  • we are working diligently on our web site..
  • we are working a plan to raise funds to hire key personnel that will change our culture, aspirations, and quality

We are excited and optimistic that God has prepared the hearts of many to join our family.  Will you be the agent that connects those families to our ministry?  We need students, so we need you to be the evangelists that connect us to those families.  We will be communicating our tactics and plans soon, but use this time with family and friends to share your excitement for Maranatha.  God is at work.  Let’s join Him!

Isn’t Basketball Fun!

I certainly had an entertaining and emotional time on Friday.  Our JV boys, Varsity girls and Varsity boys traveled to Van Horn high school in Independence, Missouri on Friday.  I always enjoy watching the boys play, and Coach Hackathorn certainly is developing a winning team with the boys.  His team took on an athletic and ever increasingly challenging team and won convincingly.

If you will indulge me, I would like to celebrate my girls.  We faced a team with an extremely talented girl.  She played for the national team for her country in Eurpoe this past summer.  But since Van Horn did not have much of a supporting cast, we tried some new things to exploit our advantages.  I am not here to discuss the strategy but the maturity of our team.  My upper classmen led the way in setting the example for adjusting on the fly.  We threw out all our offenses and defenses and took advantage of what was given to us.  Isn’t that a wonderful skill to have in life.  Many times we are faced with situations that we were not prepared for.  Therefore we must draw from our experiences and training and come up with new solutions.  Our girls did so wonderfully.  In addition, we had a player get hurt pretty badly very late in the game.  It shook us all up.  However, in the face of that adversity, the girls rallied and in the last 2 minutes of the game after their team mate was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a leg injury, they pulled out a dramatic 2 point win.

It was fun to see some of the girls mature before my eyes and for others to get tested in the heat of the battle.  All will come out better people and basketball players because of it if they will take time to meditate on the lessons and adapt accordingly.

By the way Mollie, I am proud of the confidence with which you stepped into that 3 pointer with 6 seconds to go!

If you haven’t come out to see out teams this year and cheer them on to success, this Friday is our last home game before Christmas, so come on out!

It’s Clean and Organized!

Thanks to a bunch of people who responded to the call to help in cleaning up and organizing the two large storage areas available at school.  What a transformation!  On Saturday we filled a 40 cubit feet large dumpster to 3/4 capacity with “stuff”.  That all came from the upstairs room at the west end of the gym and from the garage on the north side of the North Campus.  We had so much stuff going down the stairs from the “Upper Room” that we built a slide and had fun watching various items slither their way down the slide.

On Monday, in came the “Organizers”.  These were the ladies from MAP.  And boy did the purge and organize.  We finished filling up the dumpster and made a home for all the remaining stuff on the shelves.  In addition they made labels so that any future additional items will be able to find their home.  Well, maybe we should call it a temporary shelter.  If anything stays there longer than a year without use, it will get moved on to a place for donation or into another dumpster.  🙂

I should have had everyone sign in so that I could thank them individually here, but I didn’t.  So you know who you are and I thank you!  The school will be thanking you for months to come as we can move things out of sight to reduce the tendency for clutter when you have so much stuff.  Plus we will be able to quickly get to things when we need them.

Huge success!  Thanks so much.  I love it when a family works together to accomplish a task like this.