Summer Happy Place
by Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal
The sun is back and the lake has been calling to me, reminding me that even Jesus and His disciples took a break from their work, hopped in a boat and “went to a quiet place to get some rest” (Mark 6:31). For me, that quiet place of rest means packing up my tent, my french press coffee maker, and going camping! Early morning hiking adventures, hot afternoons on the lake, and cool evenings by the campfire with family and friends round out a perfect day. No cell phone, computer, or television allowed on the packing list; they only distract from the abundant show of God’s glorious creation.
Camping is my happy place, and whenever I go I make every effort to head off to an area of solitude. Once I find my perfect spot, which is usually next to a creek or sometimes high on a ridge, I become immediately captivated by the wonders before me. I spend hours basking in the creation that surrounds me and enjoying the presence of its majestic creator. Without the usual time constraints and distractions, these quiet times have been profoundly refreshing experiences of prayer, praise and hearing from God. My only concern is having to be mindful of other campers in the area, due to my habit of talking out loud to God (and myself).
God knew that we would be a people who overcommit, over work ourselves, and over do it in many areas of our lives; therefore, He wisely commands us to rest. It’s not a suggestion, it’s paramount to our spiritual and physical health. The concept of rest is so important to Him that He also sets the example “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:1-3.
Perhaps your “happy place” of finding rest and being refreshed in the Lord doesn’t include camping. If not, find wherever that place is, and leave the everyday distractions, stress, and routines of life to set your heart at rest in God’s presence (1 John 3:19). Seek the “times of refreshing” that are only found in the presence of the Lord, and take hold of His promise “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).
Have a blessed summer, and maybe I’ll see you at the lake!
– Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal
by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
Life is full of habits. Some habits are formed deliberately, and other habits might develop more subconsciously. For example, there is very little thinking going on when I slap a painful mosquito that is enjoying a meal on my leg. There is also very little thinking going on when my daughter’s hand instantaneously flies toward my head when I choose to tickle her. Some habits become so ingrained in our being that we often can complete them without being conscious of it (driving for example) and there are habits that have developed over time for various reasons that we want to successfully eliminate.
I enjoy the lesson God taught Balaam in Numbers 22. God was not pleased with Balaam’s desire to curse Israel at the request of the Moabite King Balak, and thus sent an angel to stop Balaam on his journey. Fortunately for Balaam, God had revealed his plan to Balaam’s donkey so that the opposing angel was visible to the donkey. And as any good donkey would do, he changed Balaam’s course three different times to prevent the demise of his master. After being beaten and ridiculed by an angry Balaam, the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth. The donkey questioned Balaam, “Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” The donkey was appealing to the evidence of his past character to defend his actions.
For a brief moment, God revealed through an animal the nature of how character works. Character is not something a person (or occasionally an animal) can possess simply be making a decision. Character is not something that a person can will themselves to consistently demonstrate. Character is a result of habits formed over time. These habits are the result of many small willful decisions about how a person wants to spend their time, and what kind of goals they want to achieve.
Crosshill Christian School students will have 87 days of summer, or as many call it, 87 days of FREEDOM! Over this season of time, students will solidify current habits and create new ones. Even actions of apathy are habit-forming decisions. For many students, summertime provides opportunities for more personal decisions not necessarily dictated by someone in authority over them. The decisions they choose to make on their own have a significant impact on who they will become and the habits that will mold their character.
Students were challenged this week in chapel to make a personal decision to spend time with God each of those 87 days of summer. As parents and teachers it is important to provide instruction and to guide children as they grow into young adults. Yet students who make decisions to spend time with God not because they were asked or required to, but have chosen to because they value it, develop an authentic relationship with God that is lasting.
There are five different reading plans available on the school website that have been shared with the student body. Continue to pray for your children each day that they would combine the instruction and correction they receive from parents, teachers, and pastors, and make independent daily decisions this summer to deepen their relationship with God.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent