Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spiritual Life Emphasis Week Spring 2009

This has been an amazing week with our guest author and SLEW speaker, Mr. Paul Young, author of The Shack. When I read his book this summer, I appreciated it and thought he'd make an interesting speaker. I never imagined the way this week would unfold.

As the week wrapped up in Friday's chapel, the Spirit moved among us in a way I have never seen in my thirteen years at CHCA. Others who have been here longer than me reported nothing similar in their memories either. As long as I can remember, students, teachers, administrators, and parents have been praying for Jesus to work powerfully in this community. We were fortunate to be present in a powerful and memorable moment.

Many questions were being asked Friday afternoon--what happened, why, what does it all mean? For what purpose? My most honest answer to each of those questions is: I'm not sure. God ever surprises. Who can know the Lord's ways or purposes? One thing I do know is that Jesus does not follow simple formulas. Authentic moments like Friday morning cannot be conjured up or duplicated by human efforts or planning. For some reason, the Spirit chose to move among us. But spiritual highs are not an end in themselves. How do we continue what God has begun?

Here are a few observations that I found significant. Each of you will have others from your experience and vantage points. There is nothing authoritative about the following. This is only what struck me as I've lived the experience, heard many other accounts, and reflected over the weekend.
  • Paul Young's authenticity, humility, compassion, and loving interest in everyone he meets are contagious.
  • Our facades limit our connections with each other and limit the level of true community we can have among us.
  • When we draw close to God and the Spirit moves among us, we seem to draw closer to each other as well.
  • Praying for each other has the potential of unspeakable power.
  • Many in our community are hurting.
  • Many referred to this as the most spiritually dynamic moment of their lives.
  • The underclassmen are willing to listen to God and step out in faith.
  • Seniors want the end of their years here to matter for something more.
  • While the date for Young was booked in August, the timing for our community seemed perfect...God is involved in the details of our lives!
  • Performance does not make God love us more.
  • Love, forgiveness, and relationship can change the future of our lives and of our school.

This list could go on and on. I have been emotional all week as I've seen God at work in my life and in the lives of those around me. Jesus is healing hearts and lives. He is mending broken relationships. The Spirit is opening our eyes to the messes in each of our shacks. My prayer is that this is only a beginning. May each of us listen for the voice of God. May we see Him at work in our lives. May we love each other.

I've never looked forward to a week at school more than I do right now. I can't wait to see what God will do next!

Welcome to the Blog!

Welcome to my newest blog. If you are wondering why I'm taking on this venture, it is to combat one of my greatest frustrations in the transition from classroom teacher to principal. As a teacher, I was constantly communicating with students--about a hundred a day in class. Through teaching, discussion, conversation, and written comments on papers, I was constantly sharing ideas and thoughts with students. Misconceptions were quickly fixed, dialogue was on-going. In this position, students and parents alike are often left to guess about what's going on or why things happen. I chat briefly with students passing in the hall, a parent in a meeting or a phonecall. But rarely do I get to speak broadly about matters of importance, cast vision for the future, or share what I see happening around here from my point of view. So this will be an attempt to connect and share in a new way.