by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
Before I transitioned from teaching to full-time Christian school administration, I would spend my 3 months of summer working jobs in the construction industry. My summer employment not only kept food on the table, but also taught me valuable skills that have stayed with me to this day. Framing, siding, roofing, concrete, and painting are all trades I have minor experience in doing. But perhaps the greatest skills learned during those summers helped me to develop into a mature man of God.
On one of the first days on a new job, we were doing a fairly basic concrete pour for a new patio. My job was simply muscling the wheelbarrow from the concrete truck to the framed patio with fresh “mud”. My boss had handed me a hard hat to wear, but of course I laid it to the side because my “many years of experience” (and fashion sense) knew better. By about the tenth trip of transporting wet concrete in the wheelbarrow, I failed to duck under the chute on the concrete truck and smacked my skull with a thud. Within minutes I literally had an egg-sized welt to accompany a splitting headache in my brain ...which soon was wisely sitting under a hard hat for the rest of the pour.
Pride is a natural part of our sinful human nature and it can often get us into a lot of trouble. But thankfully, pride is not a natural part of the spirit that lives inside of us through Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul writes, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, and I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11). This verse describes the process of discipleship training as one matures from a state of selfish pride to one of surrender to the wisdom that comes from above.
School is such a strategic place for this maturation process to take place. At each grade level, childish ways of the mind, body, and spirit are identified and corrected and improved. Proverbs makes it clear how the fool thinks they know everything, while wisdom is found in listening to others. But this process can often be a painful process for the student, parent, and teacher. Just as it took a lump on my head to figure out that I didn’t always know what was best for me, it requires surrendered humility at every stage of our lives to listen, reflect, and change as God desires.
In John 21, the resurrected Christ instructs his disciples to throw their fishing net on the other side of the boat, despite no success in their prior trip. Even though they did not recognize him as Jesus, the disciples simply obeyed and reaped the rewards of a net full of fish. If the disciples can put into practice the wisdom of a stranger, how much more can we surrender to His wisdom as we clearly know Him and know His people. While the occasional “bump on the head” may be necessary, pray that our community of students, teachers, and parents daily make our ears attentive to His wisdom.
Don't Be Scammed
by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
An odd thing happened a couple of months ago at our Parent-Teacher Conferences. I was standing in our cafeteria visiting with one of our Crosshill families among a dozen teachers and several other families in the large meeting place. Almost in unison, several fellow teachers all glanced across the room in my direction, first with a look of confusion and then with a look of humor. As I finished my conversation and walked back to my teacher station, several teachers approached with their laptops in tow. They eagerly shared an email on their screen revealing how a scammer had just emailed them pretending to be me in an effort to build trust and eventually ask for money. The email was easily a fraud as the email signature did not even have our school name spelled correctly. Additionally, the body of the email simply asked, “What are you doing right now?” My fellow colleagues got a kick out of the ultimate fail of sending the probing email when we were all in the same room!
The apostle Peter reveals that the “devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8b). Jesus describes there are those in the world who behave as “the thief [who] comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10a). The apostle Paul explains the spiritual battle we face and to be aware of “the flaming darts of the evil one” (Ephesians 6).
My fellow colleagues quickly realized that the source of the impersonating email was not me. They are familiar with my communication style and my signature. And since they literally walk with me daily, they were able to double-check the counterfeit by simply comparing it to the original. Our children are approached almost daily by the schemes of the devil. He “was a murderer [scammer] from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
The discipleship training we provide as parents and teachers prepares our children to identify the attack of the scammer. In order to identify what is false, they must know what is truth. Make your children aware of these differences over breakfast, when driving around town, as you listen to the radio, as you watch TV, and before bedtime (Deuteronomy 6:7). CCS teachers receive dozens of emails from me each month, so a random fake is easily identified. But if the proportion were reversed, deception would follow. In the same way, may we ensure our children receive regular communication from the Good Shepherd, so they can easily filter out the lies of the world.
More than a Game
by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
I am a big fan of games, whether they are around a kitchen table or a physical activity. While they may carry limited meaning in and of themselves, they are excellent at revealing character and providing training in Godliness. Take the popular game GaGa Ball (a variation of Dodgeball in an octagon). When I play and get squarely hit by the ball, I am out and immediately exit the playing area. But if I am only “nicked” by the ball and nobody notices, my initial response in the flesh is to quickly look around and determine if others have noticed. If my survey reveals nothing, there is the temptation to simply continue my play. If nobody saw it, did it really happen? Isn’t it OK unless I get caught?
Paul writes to Timothy, “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Godliness may be best defined as Devotion in Action. As Christians, so often we know more than we do. The heart is most reflected by what we show, not by what we know. In that moment of playing GaGa Ball, I get to choose to allow God to truly reign on the throne of my life, or for my selfish desires to maintain me on the throne. I get to choose to either sow to please the flesh and ultimately reap destruction, or sow to please the Spirit and ultimately reap eternal life.
This is what makes games so much more than simple play. For children especially, they help define truth and sin, or the proverbial right and wrong. They highlight deficiencies in character such as love, kindness, patience, and forgiveness. But they also teach so much about grace and the eternal nature and divine power of God and salvation through His son Jesus Christ.
Even as an adult, I am constantly reminded that I continue to be in process as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The rules don’t help make us more Godly, but they may help us understand where need growth. Whether GaGa ball or making an entertainment selection, when I put myself first over God, my flesh tightens its hold on my heart. But when I choose to demonstrate devotion in action, something releases inside of me providing the freedom from the bondage of sin Jesus came to provide.