I regularly enjoy weekend trips to the Oregon Coast to slip away from the weekly routine and be refreshed in an often stunning landscape. Especially during the winter, the Oregon beaches are in constant change. With the seasonal “king tides” and constant storms, familiar beaches are often transformed into new and unique landscapes. I often question what were the forces that created those changes and the new beauty I observe.
Jesus’ disciples were constantly doing the same thing during His 3-year ministry. As they attempted to understand the Messiah and figure out the Kingdom of God, they questioned the causes behind their circumstances. One day as they were walking with Jesus and saw a man blind from birth, they asked “Who sinned that this man was born blind? Him or his parents?” (John 9)
Like many of us often do, they were asking the wrong question. The lens in which they viewed the situation was not through the knowledge of an eternal Creator but through their own limited constructs. They brought human assumptions which prevented them from understanding the will of God. In their attempt to understand the calamity that this man experienced, they only considered two possible causes.
Fortunately, Jesus was able to set them straight. He said, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him?” The disciples were asking if the answer to their question was “a” or “b”, while Jesus provided the truth of the matter with option “c”. The true reason was that God’s glory might be revealed.
In this season, there are calamities afflicting each of us. As disciples of Jesus we also ask “Why”, but often with assumptions that limit a correct Christian worldview. Blindness is certainly a significant hardship. Yet how might the disciples, much less the blind man, have experienced the situation if they understood how God actively works through challenging circumstances for His glory. How encouraging to know that the current hardships we face are filled with opportunity for God’s glory to be manifested through Jesus living through us!
We know that God is not the author of the sin that exists in this world. Everything that is broken is a result of the adversary, the devil, the deceiver of the whole world. But through the gospel God allows us to walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Just as Jesus’ disciples continued to grow in their understanding of the Kingdom of God, may we do the same. The next time you find yourself walking on an Oregon coast beach be reminded of the power of God to use all things for His glory!
by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
A commonly referenced rule is that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert or master of a skill. That would probably explain my woeful ping pong play, my inconsistent homemade pizza dough crust, and certain household chores I just can’t seem to do right (well, that is another story). It also explains the importance of ongoing training for lead disciplers and teachers as their responsibilities seem increasingly complex and diverse.
As a Crosshill community, we have now passed 100,000 hours of on-campus activity for the 20-21 school year. I suppose we could now claim that we collectively have mastered how to flourish as a discipleship school during this global pandemic. Based on the reports from students, parents, and teachers, as well as the smiles on so many faces, I would admit some truth to this claim. But as we have all experienced, flourishing during a global pandemic is less about mastering a skill and more about making constant minor adjustments.
When the nation of Israel experienced their 70-year captivity in Babylon, God instructed the exiles to build houses, plant gardens, and even marry and increase in number. Despite the suffering of their circumstances, God had a clear plan for peace and prosperity according to His metrics. The adjustments made by the Jews did not compromise their commitment to God, but rather confirmed their faithfulness by meeting His expectations.
As our campus enters into the next 100,000 hours of discipleship activities during this global pandemic, and our families collectively log even more hours, may we keep in mind what God expects of us. Through prayerful reflection, may we consider what instructions He has for us during this season, just as He did for the exiled Israelites. While I’m sure God expects me to soon master Sourdough Breadmaking, I know He has instructions for my mind and soul and feet as well.
by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
I have many memories of my dad taking me along with him for trips to the local garbage dump or making me assist him in changing the oil in all of our household vehicles. My mother and I would read books together for hours at a time, and I spent a year in her 2nd-grade class as her special student. A large portion of my parents’ influence on my development occurred during circumstances that placed us in a sustained and captive presence with one another. God himself is the author of this discipleship process inherent to parenting. Regarding His truths, God directed the nation of Israel to “talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut. 6:7).
One of the hidden benefits of the last 6 months is time. With less opportunity for activity outside the home, most family units have been unable to escape each other’s presence. Many of us are spending more time at home together “sitting” and “lying down.” While I rarely see families “walking along the road”, we are once again spending plenty of time together in our cars getting to and from school. These times should be full of learning new things and enjoying God’s creation. I myself still occasionally take a trip to the dump and always change my own oil (with my son), and enjoy a good Louis L’Amour book now and then.
But of even greater value were my observations of my parents during those consistent moments together. I learned about kindness, respect, and integrity, both through watching my parents interact with others and through deliberate small teaching moments. I had a front-row seat to mistakes and their fallen nature, but also acts of humility, honesty, and forgiveness. Their influence not only impacted my siblings and I, but also our friends who tagged along.
As you drive your children (and their friends) to and from school, consider how to be deliberate in applying the truths of God through your actions and words. Consider how to maximize any margin in your schedules by keeping your children by your side and being present in their activities in the home. Thank you for trusting us to do the same while your children are on our campus.
by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
We have all been on the giving or receiving end of being called the wrong name. For my entire childhood I allowed my optometrist to call me “Allen” because I was too embarrassed to correct him. I allowed a colleague from another school to call me “Mr. Kroger” for a time simply because I preferred it. Many of our CCS elementary students call me “Mrs. K.” when I bump into them on campus. Why do they do that? Is it because I have the same sparkling personality and beautiful hair as our Elementary Director who shares the same last name?
There are 2 main reasons we call someone the wrong name. The first case is that we simply forget or misremember, especially those who we don’t know very well. But what about those who are close to us? Our brain often grabs the wrong name from a bucket of people we have previously put in a convenient category. For example, when a frustrated parent attempts to chastise one of their children in an emotional moment, they often will run through the list of every sibling (and pets) before landing on the correct name. So while our brains may be malfunctioning in the moment, we are applying logic by choosing a name from a similar family category. At least that’s what I tell myself when students consistently call me Mrs. K!
Disciples are called to become like Christ for the glory of God. One process of discipleship training is renewing the mind through the truths of God and His character. We want our children to think as God would think. As they respond to the challenges of each day, their minds will instinctively lean on the information that has been fed to their brains. We know that the enemy is actively working to squeeze lies into our children’s understanding. The role of family, church, and school is to systematically and deliberately integrate the truths of God into how they view the world around them.
We should constantly observe and reflect on the buckets of information our children access. Are these buckets supporting or trivializing God’s truths? We should have high expectations for our children, and hold those same high expectations for ourselves. But perfection is not necessarily the goal. Jesus already took care of that for us. If we as parents cannot perfectly apply the names of those close to us, we do not need to necessarily expect our students to perfectly apply all of God’s truths. But while we may forget names at times, we know the person well. In the same way, we want our children to know the personhood of the triune God well and always default to His truths.