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From the West Wing

I recently saw a post that said a lighted candle will cast a shadow on the wall, but there will be no shadow of the flame. There was even a picture of the candle, with no visible shadow. The post suggested the reason there was no shadow was because the flame was the source of light. The post went on to say that the same could be said of God; since He is the Light, there is no shadow or darkness in Him. Now, since this was on the internet, it had to be true, right? Well, I guess the scientist in me needed more information. I decided to do a little more research and I found some interesting facts about candle flames. While it is true that a casual observation of a lighted candle will show a shadow of the candle, but not the flame, there are circumstances, that can be replicated rather easily, that will show the flame’s shadow. It seems that the flame actually does cast a shadow, we just can’t see it under normal circumstances. So, what does that do to the post about the lighted candle that I read? It seemed like such a wonderful way to show one of the attributes of God. What it tells me is that we need to be careful with the illustrations we use. While the whole illustration seems to be a nice thought it simply isn’t factually true. What is true, however, is that without light there is darkness and it is light that dispels the darkness. We don’t open a closet door to let the dark...

From the West Wing

Last evening was our monthly PFT meeting. If you have never attended one of these meetings, I would encourage you to do so. It is such a blessing to experience the love and enthusiasm displayed for our school and child center. Last evening much of the discussion around the table was centered on how we could help beautify the grounds. Many of you have expressed the desire to see improvements on our east playground and we are beginning to research some possibilities of what can be done and how much such improvements might cost. While we realize that potentially the improvements could be quite costly, there was an overwhelming sense of “we can do this.” And I believe we can; or at least with God’s help we can. I have frequently been brought back to our theme verse for this year. “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” I think it is important for us to continually be reminded of these words of Jesus. Over the past few weeks, I have had moments when I have wondered how we would be able to accomplish all that God has set before us this year. In those moments, when I really stop to listen to God, I sometimes wish it were June already and we could be looking back over the year and marveling at how God has done the impossible. But, for right now, it’s only October and most of the year lies before us. For right now, we must hang on to the promise that God will do...

From the West Wing

I recently made the statement that this has been such a crazy school year that I feel as though I have lost complete control of everything. It seems that each day brings a new challenge and I’m never quite sure what is going to happen next. Here’s a small example of what I mean. Yesterday as I was teaching 6th Grade Math, the document camera began taking random pictures. While this is a feature that can be quite useful at times, it is not something that is supposed to happen for no apparent reason. I tried several different things to stop the action, but to no avail. I finally gave up and just wrote on the white board. In teaching it’s called monitoring and adjusting. It seems that I have been doing that a lot lately; monitoring and adjusting that is. It seems that life is going along quite smoothly in one direction when suddenly something happens and everything is turned upside down. I’m sure most of you have experienced the same thing at one time or another. It’s no wonder we feel at times that we have lost control. As I thought more about my dilemma, I was reminded of something I actually read to the students in my morning announcements last week. I have been receiving a daily “Love Note From God” for several years now and I pass them on to the students each morning. Last Monday’s note said this: “I know you Sharilee and I see what you do. Just when you have prepared for all the possibilities, something unexpected pops up and throws things...

The West Wing

Today we have officially been in school for three weeks and we are in the middle of our second full week. By now, the kids are beginning to settle into the “school” routine and I’m sure that as families your schedules are also becoming more routine. Notice I didn’t say easy, or uncluttered, or manageable, just more routine. I’m not sure how some of you ever manage all that you cram into the days of the week, but I know those are choices that are made and somehow we do manage. What I did want to address today is a topic that strikes fear into the hearts of students and parents alike; homework. While I realize there is a debate as to whether or not homework is something that should even be expected, my purpose today is not to enter into that debate, but rather to address how to be the best homework helper. Your role as a parent is to be a consultant. Tell your student you are available as an ally, not an enemy. When fighting starts, learning ends. Their role as a student is to take ownership. Their homework has to be theirs. Tell your students that you are proud of them when they take ownership. Ask them how you can help. This will provide support and encouragement without doing the work for them or pushing them too hard. Never work harder than the student. Ask them if they would like some suggestions. If they tell you they don’t want the help, respect them by backing off. It’s OK if they blow it! Focus on their...

The West Wing

Two weeks ago today we gathered at 8:50 on the east playground to pray for our new school year. There was wonderful excitement in the air. It truly was a wonderful beginning to another school year here at Fairview. This Sunday we will gather once again to pray for our new school year. You may be wondering why we have this event. Perhaps you are asking, “Didn’t we just pray for the school year on the first day?” Allow me to give you a little background. Fairview Christian School is not just a school and Fairview Child Center is not just a child center. Both are major ministries of the Fairview Church. Members of the Fairview Church conceived the idea of sponsoring a Christian school more than forty years ago. That dream became a reality after the congregation was able to purchase and renovate our current building. In the fall of 1985 the first Prekindergarten class began in the basement of John and Lavinia Worthen’s home on Greenlake since the church did not have final occupancy permits in September. That class was eventually moved into the Fairview building and by the next September Fairview school had expanded to include Preschool through grade five. I’m not sure of the exact year that we began having our Convocation service on a Sunday in September during the regular morning worship, but I do know that once we started, it has been an annual event since. Some may ask why we continue this particular tradition. My answer is not original with me, but comes from Mrs. Christensen. We continue because it is a...