News, Rumors, and Everything FCS

Wednesday

December 1st, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 11:17 am

FROM THE WEST WING

    December 1, 2010. Wow! Christmas is upon us once again, one of my favorite times of the year. How about you? I know that for many, this time of the year brings with it much stress; so much to do, not enough time to do it. It is so easy to get caught up in that mind set.  We hear the words “Remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season” or “Don’t forget the REAL meaning of Christmas” so often that many times they become so cliché that our response can become “Yeah, yeah, I know. Just give me a few more hours in the day or a few more days in the week and I’ll be happy to remember Jesus this year.”

    But, what if, just what if we really took those words to heart? What if we began to meditate during this time of the year? Allow me to share with you the words of a 19th century carol that Mrs. Lehman shared with the teachers this morning. It truly spoke to me. I’d never heard it before.

  See, amid the winter’s snow, Born for us on earth below,
  See, the tender Lamb appears, Promised from eternal years!
  Hail, thou everblessed morn! Hail, Redemptions’ happy dawn!
  Sing through all Jerusalem: “Christ is born in Bethlehem.

  Lo! Within the manger lies, He who built the starry skies,
  He who throned in height sublime, Sits amid the Cherubim.

  Sacred Infant, all divine, What a tender love was thine
  Thus to come from highest bliss, Down to such a world as this!

  Teach, o teach us, holy Child, By thy face so meek and mild,
  Teach us to resemble thee, In thy sweet humility.
  Hail, thou everblessed morn! Hail, Redemption’s happy dawn!
  Sing through all Jerusalem: “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

    So, at the risk of sounding cliché, let’s slow down this season, let’s remember the reason, let’s meditate on the words of the carols, old and new, and let’s run to Him who has come to set us free.

Wednesday

October 20th, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 9:45 am

FROM THE WEST WING

“I want you to apologize to your brother for breaking his truck.” Ever said anything like that to one of your children? I must admit, I’ve uttered phrases similar to that, not only to my own children, but to countless students over my thirty years in education. It’s one of those things we, as adults, feel is our responsibility to make children apologize for their wrongdoings. Most times, however, I have been disappointed in the result of such a forced apology. More often than not the glib “Sorry” is so insincere that you know the words are only spoken so the offending party can get you off their back and they can return to their play. So, what’s a parent or teacher to do? I read some good advice from a favorite author/lecturer of mine, Dr. Charles Fay. Allow me to pass it on to you for your consideration. Dr. Fay suggests:

1. Forced apologies are rarely sincere apologies.—While I agree that children should apologize when they cause problems, whether they do so with a sincere heart is something we cannot always control. Probably the best way to up the odds is for us to be good models of this in front of our kids. (emphasis mine)

2. Kids should be expected to do something that demonstrates their remorse.—Wise parents (and teachers) say, “Telling him that you are sorry is a great way to start? What can you do to show him that you are sorry?”

3. Younger children typically need some guidance figuring out what they might do to demonstrate their sorrow.—Wise parents (and teachers) also give some options: “Some kids decide to write a nice card. How would that work? Some kids decide to buy a replacement toy with their own money…”

    I like those suggestions, particularly the first one that says as adults we can “up the odds” by being good models in front of our kids. However, for many of us, saying “I’m sorry” is not any easier for us than it is for our kids. I asked myself, how many times have I hurt someone by an unkind remark or thoughtless action? When I do so, is it easier for me to simply justify what I have done or can I admit when I am in the wrong and sincerely apologize? I must admit that apologies have not always come easy for me. Sometimes it’s just easier to say to myself, “so and so just misunderstood” or “I didn’t mean it like that. Why are they so sensitive?” or even worse, “They hurt me first.” Wow, pretty condemning attitudes and certainly not Christ like.

    Thankfully, over the years, I’ve gotten some better at asking for forgiveness. What I still work on is my attitude when doing so. As I sat thinking on these things, I began to pray “Lord, make my attitude like yours. May my words come from a repentant heart. May my actions also be loving and kind.”

Wednesday

October 13th, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 12:23 pm

THE WEST WING

I read the following blog from a friend of mine the other day. It really spoke to me. I hope it speaks to you as well.

A little girl stands on the edge of a swimming pool, a little tentative and yet excited at the same time. While she stands biting a nail, her daddy stands in the water, arms outstretched, urging her to jump in and swim to him. He’s only about 4 feet from the side of the pool. A big smile spreads across her face as she jumps in with a splash and begins paddling her arms and kicking her legs, heading toward her dad. He never takes his eyes off of her but slowly steps back a little farther with out her really noticing. She keeps swimming and he steps back a little more. When she’s had enough and starts to splutter he grabs her just at the right moment and pulls her to himself. They hug, laughing. “Why did you keep moving back, Daddy?” she asks still panting a little but hanging on with arms and legs wrapped around him “I know you could go farther, I was watching and I was right there in case you went under..” Even though it was a little disconcerting, it bolstered the little girl’s confidence in her ability to get to him again the next time. She could do more than she thought she could. Her dad proved he was trustworthy.

I read an interesting supposition in a book the other day; that God answers prayers more readily for new followers/new believers because they are so fresh in their faith and need frequent reassurances to build trust. The author proposed that as we grow and mature God doesn’t answer as quickly because He wants us to seek Him, to press in harder, sometimes even reaching the point of desperation for Him. He knows we can go farther. What do you think? It kind of makes sense and I can say it seems that it’s been that way in my life, on my path. During the last 3-5 years I have felt at times like that little girl, paddling with all my might, looking ahead to my Daddy who keeps stepping back. He still has His arms stretched out toward me but it takes me longer to get to Him and sometimes it seems just as I almost get there, He moves back a little farther.

It’s true I’ve seen God prove his faithfulness many times in my life and that makes it a little easier to keep on swimming. I know a little more securely that He’s always there, that He never takes His eyes off of me and that if I start to go under, He’ll reach out with His big strong arms and grab me just in time.

If you’re swimming, thinking you would have already reached your heavenly Father, that He would have answered your prayer by now, that He would have rescued you or made a way for you, don’t lose hope. He sees you. He loves you and knows you can go just a little farther.

Thanks Mimi.

Wednesday

October 6th, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 10:23 am

FROM THE WEST WING – 10/6

How do you handle life? What I mean is the hard things that life puts in your path; the disappointments, the stress, that irritating coworker, the unanswered prayers. Do you eat? Stop eating? Sleep? Stop sleeping? Are you irritable? Do you become depressed? Withdraw? Say nothing? Say too much? The list could go on and on. And the question was “How DO you handle the hard things in life?” not “How MIGHT you handle them? The fact is that we all have hard things in our lives, granted some more than others, but we all deal with challenges in life at some point. So again, how do you handle life?

When we look into God’s word, He gives some wonderful promises. I will direct your path. I will give you rest. I will give you all you need. I will uphold you. I will keep you from stumbling. Wonderful promises meant to encourage, strengthen and direct. So why is it that we when we face hard situations in our lives these promises do not seem present in how we handle them? On closer examination, these promises all have conditions. Before God gives the promise, He gives the condition. Come to me. Lean on Me. Learn of Me. Trust in Me.

Now, these conditions really don’t seem so hard. In fact, for many of us, when the hard times come, the first place we go is to God. Unfortunately, for many of us, it may be the first time in a LONG time that we have gone to Him. And that’s a problem. We need to realize that in order for the promise to be valid, the condition must be met long before we need the promise. We need to constantly be coming to God, learning of God, leaning on God, trusting God. And the list could go on. We need to be doing these things always. Of course, when life is hard we need to run to God. But, when life is good we also need to run to Him. In fact, it is probably more important to run to Him when life is good. It is in the good times that we really develop the deep relationship with God. It is when we truly learn of Him. It is when He becomes Lord. And then, when the hard times come, the conditions have already been met and the promises are fulfilled by the One we know intimately and fulfilled in abundance.

Wednesday

October 6th, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 10:20 am

FROM THE WEST WING – 9/29

    Ever experienced writer’s block? Maybe it’s been a long time, particularly if you do not write regularly. Perhaps it hasn’t happened to you since the last paper written for your high school senior project or the assignment that was given at the end of freshman English to compose an “original poem”, words that always brought fear to the pit of my stomach. However, this week I seem to be experiencing some writer’s block as I think about my weekly communication for the Eagle News. I even said to Sheila this morning, “I haven’t even started my article. Maybe we could just put ‘Out to Lunch’ in my space this week.” Then I thought I would just tell you of a precious gift I received last week in the form of an email.

    Now, like many of you, my inbox is filled with dozens of emails everyday,  and that’s not even counting the ones that are filtered by my spam blocker. Sometimes, I must confess, I glance over some emails and then either move them to a folder to be read later or simply delete them. But this email caught my eye. It was actually an invitation to receive a special message (OK) every day (What? More email?) sent just to me (So what’s the catch?) from God. (Yep. That’s what it said, “from God”) I read a little more and was intrigued by this special ministry.

    This ministry is maintained by two gentlemen from Canton, Michigan. Each day they send out a special message from “God” to those who are subscribed. It comes usually in the late afternoon. What is so cool about it is the each one is addressed to me. Sometimes it just starts with “Sharilee,” but others have been addressed to “My precious Sharilee” or “Sharilee, my redeemed one.” I like that. The notes are short, usually only two or three sentences. I like that, too. And they’re always signed by God, usually giving one of His names; El Yeshuati – The God of Your Salvation, Adondi Osenu – The Lord Your Maker, or Adonai Elohai – The Lord your God. I really like that.

    So these “Love Notes for God” have been a most wonderful gift. I’m reminded each day that the God of the universe has a special message for me; that the words of the message are to give me encouragement and to draw me to Himself; and the message is signed by God, giving me a glimpse into the power of His name. I’m learning more and more that the Name of the Lord is a strong tower and I can run to it and be safe.

    So, I guess my writer’s block has been overcome, at least for one more week. Thanks, Jen Laible.

Wednesday

October 6th, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 10:13 am

FROM THE WEST WING – 9/22

Today we gathered as a school around the flag pole in our parking lot to join with other Christian students and adults around the country to pray. This event known as “See You at the Pole” was started 20 years ago by a group of teenagers in Burleson, TX who decided to pray for their schools during a discipleship retreat at their church. Two months later, a group of 20,000 teens were challenged to organize prayer groups at their local high schools to pray. On September 12, 1990, 45,000 Christian students at 1,200 high schools in 4 states met at 7:00a to do just that. By 1998 this event had grown to over 3 million participants in all 50 states and 20 countries around the world. God has miraculously used this event to bring students to Christ and change lives. Bible clubs, weekly prayer meetings and other ministries have begun on campuses across our nation where students participated in the “See You at the Pole” event.

    So, why do we participate in this event at Fairview? Our student body consists primarily of students much younger than the typical high school age. And at Fairview, we are not restricted to prayer around our flag pole early in the morning before school starts. So why do we do it? Well, I believe the answer is three-fold. First, I believe it is an excellent avenue to gather once again as a student body to acknowledge that great God we serve and pray for the needs that are before us each day. Second, I believe that it is an opportunity to remind the students gathered that there are Christian students around our country who are not as free to pray publically as we are at Fairview. It is a time to help them realize that there are many who must consciously make a decision to stand up and be counted. Third, I believe that we can use this time to help students stand for their faith in an environment where they will not be ridiculed; and I pray that they will learn to stand on the foundation that is laid for them here as they go from here.

    This year’s theme is REVEAL, based on the Lord’s prayer. Today we gathered, as thousands of others did, and prayed for our school, friends, families, and the world. We asked God to REVEAL Who He is to us. As I was preparing for the event, I was struck by the thought that this year’s “See You at the Pole” theme ties in with our school year theme in a most interesting way. As we learn more and more about the name of God and how he is our strong tower, He will reveal more and more of Himself to us. As He reveals more and more of Himself to us, we will be assured of the safety we can enjoy as we run to Him. In turn, may we learn to stand firm in His mighty power.

Friday

October 1st, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 3:35 pm

FROM THE WEST WING

  “I am saved by grace. Love abounding, mercy found me. I am saved by grace and I have life and it’s only by Your grace.”  Beautiful words from a 2009 Israel Houghton worship song. We sang it last week in our worship service at Fairview, and I’ve been singing it each day since. It’s got a catching tune and it’s fun to play and sing – really fun. But I stopped this morning and repeated the words, just the words, to myself. It has a powerful message. Allow me to break it down for you with some definitions from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Saved – delivered from sin; rescued from danger or harm; preserved or guarded from injury, destruction or loss.

Grace – unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; approval or favor.

Love – unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another as the fatherly concern of God for humankind.

Abounding – to be present in great quantity.

Mercy – compassion or forbearance shown especially to one subject to one’s power; lenient or compassionate treatment.

Found – came upon by searching or effort; a serious attempt.

Life – spiritual existence transcending physical death.

Only – without others or anything further; alone; solely; exclusively

    So, let’s rewrite the song. “I am delivered from sin, rescued from harm and guarded from destruction by the unmerited assistance given by God and therefore I find approval and favor with Him. God’s unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for my good is present in great quantity. God’s compassion and forbearance seriously searched for me, which results in His lenient, compassionate treatment of me. I am delivered from sin, rescued from harm and guarded from destruction by the unmerited assistance given by God; and, therefore, I find approval and favor with Him and I have spiritual existence transcending physical death; and it’s solely and exclusively by God’s unmerited assistance.

Obviously not as catchy and certainly it will NOT fit the tune, but it does broaden my understanding of the meaning of the words. And I, for one, am so thankful for the grace, love and mercy of God that reached out to me when I deserved it the least and gave to me the abundant life.

Thursday

April 15th, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 6:25 am

FROM THE WEST WING

   I trust all of you had a glorious Resurrection Day and a restful Spring Break. It hardly seems possible that Easter was just less than two weeks ago. What is doubly amazing is that we are starting our last quarter of the 2009-2010 school year. From past experience, it will be a blink of an eye and we will be celebrating graduation and the end of another school year.

   Our last quarter, besides going by fast, is filled with many activities. Next week we are doing our yearly standardized testing for the Kindergarten through 8th Grade students. Our Pre-Kindergarten students have already been doing assessments in preparation for next year. There’s lots of assessing and testing going on. It got me to thinking about how God assesses me.

   Matthew 5:48 tells us to “be perfect . . . as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Yikes! That’s huge. How can I ever be perfect? When I’m tested, I’ll never pass. If perfection is the standard, can anyone measure up? Frankly, I believe the answer for all of us has to be a resounding “NO”.

   But wait. There is one who did measure up. There is one who lived a perfect life, even as the heavenly Father is perfect.  That One was Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, the Perfect One. And the Good News is that He took on our imperfections, our sins, and paid the price so that in Him we can be made perfect. What wonderful news that is!

   So as I sit and ponder how I might measure up to God’s assessment, I can rejoice in the knowledge that even though no matter how hard I try, I can never measure up, I can be made perfect through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I can daily put His life into mine, and what God sees is the perfection of Jesus.

Wednesday

March 3rd, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 4:39 pm

FROM THE WEST WING

   “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4. What a beautiful portion of scripture. I have once again been impressed with the grandeur of this place that I have called home for most of my life. The beauty of Mt. Rainer is breathtaking. The ruggedness of the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east is inspiring. The glory of each sunrise and sunset points to the faithfulness of the Creator. How could anyone live in such a place and deny the existence of God? The heavens declare, the skies proclaim, their voice goes out into all the earth! Paul declares in Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” 

    Yet, we all know those who will deny the very existence of God. In fact, we live in a society that at best pays lip service to the reality of God. While I cannot understand this, we shouldn’t be surprised. Paul continues in Romans 1:21 by stating “Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Psalm 14:1 boldly declares “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”

   It is because of this that I am thankful for Fairview Christian School where we can boldly declare, with the heavens, the Glory of God. We can lead our students to the reality of God. We can and do prepare them to live in a society that will often deny God and His Glory.

Wednesday

March 3rd, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 4:37 pm

FROM THE WEST WING

Why send kids to Fairview Christian School? Why send kids to any Christian school?  Why do we, as Fairview Christian School, exist? What’s the big deal? Ever ask yourself those questions? I have. I guess because it’s my job, but are there some basic underlying principles that we should all consider? Permit me to share four common objections to Christian education with some questions and statements to contemplate.

  • “We want our children to be in the ‘real’ world.”  What is the “real” world for Christians?  Is it a world informed by secularism or one dominated by the love, reconciliation, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ?
  • “We don’t want to abandon the public schools.  We want our children to be a witness there.”  Should the youngest members of God’s kingdom be on the front lines, or is it wiser to prepare them much like we would care for young plants in the garden?
  • “We would like to have our children in a Christian school, but we can’t afford it.”  What better stewardship of personal and church finances than to use them for the education of children?  “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7)
  • “The Christian school is hypocritical.”  Christian schools do not claim to be perfect or without their share of sinners any more than churches do.  The difference with the Christian school is the way in which it deals with the sin, how it models restitution and accountability, and how it encourages repentance and restoration.

   Why send kids to Fairview Christian School? My answer is I truly believe that at Fairview Christian School students will receive the best Christ-centered education available. They will be taught to evaluate life from a Biblical Worldview. They will be given the opportunity to follow Christ in all they do. They will be loved and nurtured to become the best that they can be in Christ. I could go on, but I would like to just change my question. Why would you not send kids to Fairview Christian School?