by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
There has been an explosion of young families interested in placing their children in our Preschool and Kindergarten programs the past few years. As I interview these families, often with even younger children in tow, I am reminded of that particular season in my life. Nothing can compare to the blessing of a new baby in your home and the privileged responsibility of taking care of them. In contrast, just about nothing can also compare to the sacrifice required in changing diapers, wiping faces, and experiencing sleepless nights. If that season is long past for you, but you are still interested in sacrifice, I have an opportunity for you... volunteer at next year’s Middle School and High School Retreats!
The past two weeks, over 120 Crosshill secondary students experienced off-campus overnight retreats at nearby Camp Tapawingo. The teachers and parents who led the event did indeed sacrifice much, including sleepless nights, wiping faces, but thankfully no diapers were involved. Yet they would all agree that the commitment was well worth it. Unity in the student body greatly increased, and students experienced personal sacrifice themselves as focus was placed on being a worshipper in spirit and truth.
Throughout the Old Testament, every description of worship surrounded the offering of a sacrifice. In the New Testament, worship still requires a sacrifice. We are called to “present our bodies as a living sacrifice….which is our spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1). More specifically, we should “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:15-16).
As students and leaders discussed and meditated on these truths, the meaning of true worship of sacrifice came into clearer focus. So often worship can become about us and what makes us comfortable or brings pleasure to us. But true worship has its focus entirely on God and it is not reserved to any single reserved moment in time like the Old Testament sacrificial worship. As living sacrifices, worship is connected to our breath and can be constant, both public and private.
The school’s character program is as much about worship as it is about character. Becoming “transformed” as “Image-bearers” is not simply an end in itself. The ongoing process is worship itself. At the heart of character is choosing to love God and to love others. Doing good often requires sacrifice, and these small and large acts of sacrifice are pleasing to God. Whether at your place of work, or in your child’s bedroom, or serving in your community, school, or church, a heart of being a living sacrifice is an act of worship. I am so grateful for the sacrifice of Crosshill parents and teachers committed to the discipleship of this next generation.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
I am a big fan of living in this current age of technology and information. On a practical note, I enjoy the comforts and access to knowledge that is currently so accessible. Theologically, it is a beautiful reminder of the dominion mandate God gave Adam and Eve in the garden to rule over His creation and subdue it (Genesis 1:28). Ever since that charge, humankind has consistently used discoveries and mental applications in an attempt to make God’s creation as close as possible to what it was intended to be. From the minute amounts of minerals needed in a remote control, to the systemized software language used to operate it, God’s created world and His created man and woman have been at work fulfilling this command.
And boy have I been at work in my home! Growing up, it seemed like my dad focused his efforts on changing light bulbs, greasing squeaky doors, and kicking appliances to get them up and running. Today’s demands are much different (humor me for a moment). How many individual components are part of an automatic icemaker? How expensive does printer ink really need to be? And why do printers keep downloading new updates so that the knock-off cheap ink won’t work? Why does my Windows PC keep upgrading against my wishes? How come the file formats for my wife’s Apple laptop don’t want to function on any other device? Speaking of devices, how difficult can it be to simply add minutes to my daughter’s emergency flip phone? Why do phone chargers grow legs and hide themselves at the most inconvenient times? Why do my children’s Kindles always stop working in the middle of a football game I am watching?
I’m sure we all have our own struggles with new technology, but when the dust settles, I am grateful for the convenience of 21st century living. But just as culture has evolved, so must our parenting. Consider the phrase, “left to their own devices.” The meaning of this statement describes a situation where a person has no supervision and is in control of their own schemes. This is a helpful warning that can be applied to our parenting. How much time do we leave our children with their own devices? How much control do we relinquish and give to still maturing children as we look for a convenient way to keep the kids entertained?
Some studies indicate that children average as many as seven hours of screen time a day on their devices. As parents, we are charged to “train a child up in the way that he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). When we are unavailable to actively train our children, we should carefully select partners who will train them consistent with our desires. This is the foundation of the relationship between the home and school at Crosshill. What kind of training are the devices in our children’s hands providing them? While I will eagerly research online the best way to keep my smartphone from dialing 9-1-1 accidentally (help please), of even greater importance is fully researching the training my child is receiving from their devices. If that training does not agree with the discipleship training God’s word expects of my parenting, then I should step in and provide the appropriate boundaries. Pluggedin.com is an excellent website sponsored by Focus on the Family to give parents a headstart in parenting children of this generation. Now if only there was a website that would program my garage door opener!
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
by Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal
I am love, love, loving this month’s character trait “initiative”! I spotted it in our students on the first day, where several immediately befriended new students during class, at recess, as well as in the lunchroom without being prompted. I observed this character trait on our new soccer field where high school sophomores, juniors and seniors were enthusiastically leading the freshman, quickly assimilating them into the team. These are a few examples that may seem on the smallish type level, yet to those on the the receiving end of the loving-kindness, it was huge!
1 John 3:18 says “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Initiative is a valuable tool to help us love and serve others. It’s not too difficult to recognize what needs to be done, yet a lot of times the action piece is where we run into trouble. It often takes courage to leave our comfort zones and set aside any “fear of man” or issues of inconvenience to step up as part of the solution. When God reveals a need initiative drives us, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit will we know with confidence the right action to take. That action may simply be a small kindness, a call to prayer, or committing to being part of a long term, life-changing solution. In the process of meeting needs, initiative isn’t about speed or jumping in, it’s about obediently taking action according to God’s timing, and His perfect will.
We at Crosshill are richly blessed to be sharing life with an incredible number of families who exemplify godly initiative. Several are families who recognized the need for the redeeming love of Jesus in other countries, and faithfully served in Missions. Others have taken the initiative to meet the needs of the homeless, or open their godly homes to foster kids in our city. They infuse our community with amazing testimonies of the possibilities waiting for us when we take the initiative to be a part of what God is doing all over the world, and where we live.
God is providing our children with opportunities to stretch and grow in initiative right where they are in their spiritual walk. With enough guidance and encouragement, they will become disciples who confidently and consistently do what is right, faithfully serve one another, and proclaim the gospel without hesitation.
May our eyes be continually open to loving and serving others.
– Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal