Saturday, 24 December 2011

We're staying awake for the greatest gift

It’s Christmas and there’s a celebratory air at school. There are yummy snacks, a Christmas quiz and the Hallelujah Chorus in Grade 10 science. In the hallways, there are fuzzy elf slippers, hot chocolate and candy canes, and Santa himself has been spotted several times.

At this week’s chapel, spiritual life director Mr. Gord Park shared a story about his childhood memory of waiting for Santa, and the panic two little boys experienced when they realized that they might not get any presents if Santa knew they were still awake.

In contrast, Jesus tells us to stay awake, said Mr. Park, to be ready for his arrival. For us, falling asleep might mean “being focused on all the presents, or all the work that has to be done before the family gathering takes place, or being in church at the right time,” he said.

Those may be important things, he said, but there’s the danger that we lose sight of the real gift: that Jesus came “just for you,” to give us peace and the understanding that God is with us.

“The key is to stay awake, to see the Christ child in the eyes of your friends, and your brothers and sisters,” Mr. Park said.

“Stay awake. Don’t miss that.”

Here are some photos from the day, which included the choir and praise team at chapel, along with many renditions of “Happy Birthday” for Mrs. V – including some in other languages and with choreography! See more photos on Facebook.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Creative Cafe 2011

We had a fantastic night at Creative Cafe! Thank you to all the family members, friends and guests who packed the house and celebrated God's gifts of creativity with us. And thank you to all the students who drew, painted, sang, sculpted, played, baked and served! You are amazing and your talent is inspiring!

See more photos on Facebook at

Monday, 12 December 2011

Talking about sex

“This is not a talk about how important it is to hang on to your virginity or how far is too far, or watch out for herpes,” students were told at this morning’s chapel.

But Woodrow Dixon, a seminarian at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, told Smithville Christian High School students that it’s important for Christians to talk about sex because the rest of the world is.

Teenagers are being bombarded with messages about sex by the media, movies, TV, pornography or “that girl or that guy,” Dixon said. But those are often “warped messages” that distort “God’s gift of sexuality.”

“Our God knows how to be human,” Dixon said, “and God is in no way glorified when we don’t talk about sex. If we don’t talk about it as a community of faith, we end up believing what we hear from the media, or what feels good at the time.”

Dixon based his message on Proverbs 7, which is a father teaching his son about lust – something that Christians are often silent about or outraged about.

“There is nothing we so elegantly explain away or so zealously hide as our lust,” he told students.

But God has clear instructions for our sexuality, he said.

“God’s message is simple,” he said. “Have sex with your spouse. Period.”

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, he said. It’s normal for teenagers to ask “Why?”
“Why is it so hard to wait until I am married?
“Why is it so hard to be satisfied with one person?
“Why is God not sending me someone?”

Dixon said it can seem like God is asking too much, or that God doesn’t care. In contrast, sex has “crazy power to consume culture, or consume people, to destroy human lives or destroy careers. You see it in the papers all the time.”

“The law of God is like a fence in a dangerous land,” he said. If you venture outside of that fence “you will end up destroyed.”

Sex outside of God’s plan is about power, he told students. It’s about our need to matter to someone or to have control over someone. “It’s powerful and debilitating and thrilling and always destructive. It’s one of the ways the human heart apart from God has gone insane.”

Sex has a powerful grasp of us because humans are driven by their need to matter to someone, he said. But when you have sex outside of marriage “you are using someone else, or you are being used by someone else, and part of you gets hurt. It’s the part of you that needs to be protected in order for sex to be good,” he said. “Sex needs a commitment like marriage in order to be good.”

Dixon offered hope and encouragement to the students.

“If you struggle with God and with sex more than you like to talk about, you are not alone,” he told them. “And God is not far away from you.

“If our God is big enough to hold the weight of the world on his shoulders, if our God is big enough to suffer all the weight of a broken world, then our God is big enough for me,” he said.

“And the good news is our God is enough for this day, this hour, this moment. God knows exactly how you need to be loved and his spirit is sweet and real and good, and it is enough.”

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

What are we doing now?

The Junior and Senior Girls Volleyball seasons are underway, and so are Junior and Senior Boys Basketball. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute gameday results.

Members of the ski club are praying for snow.

Students in Mr. Vanderlinde's Grade 9 Shop class are building longboards.

Mrs. VandenDool's Grade 9 Geography class is getting ready to do some primary research - surveying students in other Smithville schools on their use of and need for trails and sidewalks. The Smithville Christian students are working with the consultants hired by the Township of West Lincoln as part of the creation of a trails and corridors master plan. We're excited to be able to participate in such a meaningful way and to bless our community with a plan that will direct spending priorities and serve us for many years.

Here are the consultants from the GSP Group explaining the study to the Geography students.

Check Facebook for more amazing photos from the Sr. Boys Volleyball trip to OFSAA on Manitoulin Island.

Here are some recent photos of Mr. Bender's Grade 12 English students developing, testing and marketing games.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Being culture-changing champions

At this morning’s chapel, students were challenged to become the champions that God has called them to be.

Paul Dunk of The Gideons International told students that they need to stop worrying about what they are going to do, and start focusing on what they are going to be.

“And the beauty of it is you get to be that person right now,” said Dunk, sharing three keys from the life of David, who was anointed to be king when he was just a boy.

Although David went back to tending sheep after his anointing by the prophet Samuel, “he was being very kingly” in the way he dealt with Goliath, with persecution by Saul and with the rag-tag group of “losers” who eventually became his “mighty men,” said Dunk.

“Make no mistake, he did it for the money and for the girl,” said Dunk, but there were three principles that David followed that apply to us today.

1) Choose your perspective. David had to deal with some rotten circumstances, but he didn’t give up or get discouraged. He chose to live his life through the filter of God’s word, said Dunk.

“We are getting it backwards when we use the circumstances of life to be the filter for God’s word, instead of letting God’s word be the filter for the circumstances of life,” he said. “It’s why you’ve got to read it, or life is going to choose your perspective for you.”

2) Relate to your life with vision. David’s first followers were 400 men who were distressed, in debt or discontented, he said. David would have failed if he had let himself be influenced by them. Instead, “he turned those chumps into champions” by following God’s vision for his life.

“If you are in the cave, I am going to encourage you today to fall in love with this,” he said, holding up a Bible, “and relate to your life with vision.

“The problem with our generation is that we don’t read it,” he said, much like we click “accept” to “terms and conditions” when we’re downloading something from a website without actually reading the fine print. “I am not saying people don’t hurt us,” said Dunk. “I am saying we get to choose. When God gave David an army, it didn’t look like an army, but these guys did amazing things because the word of God transformed David and what was in him, got out of him.”

3) Look for wisdom, not agreement. Students need to ask “What does God want me to do, not what can I get people to agree with me to do,” Dunk said. That means they need to turn to mentors, parents and teachers, not their friends.

“Your friends are great, but they don’t have wisdom,” said Dunk. Friends offer agreement because “they are in the same zone as you are in.” Instead, you need “leadership from experience.” Whether it’s gossip, pornography, drugs, alcohol, whatever, “if you are stuck in a swamp, you need someone who is not stuck to help you out.”

Dunk gave each of the students a copy of the New Testament but said it wasn’t for them. “This is an opportunity for you to take it out of your hand and give it to someone who does not know God. Hopefully, a year from now it will be gone and you’ll get in touch with me and I’ll hook you up.”

Dunk gave examples of how the word of God had changed lives of prostitutes and murderers, and how the Gideons’ desire is for people “to love God, love his ways, and bring his ways to everything we do.

“Gideons care about one thing,” he said. “Giving out the word of God. Because we believe God’s word changes lives. And if you can get God’s word into their hands, God can get it into their hearts.”

To read more about the work of the Gideons, visit

We were also blessed by members of the Praise Team who led us in worship with "Hosanna," "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and "Mighty to Save."

Friday, 25 November 2011

Fourth place!

Congratulations to the Sr. Boys Volleyball team at OFSAA in Manitoulin Island with a fantastic fourth place finish! For tournament details, visit the OFSAA website at


Sr. Boys Undefeated!

The Sr. Boys Volleyball team remains undefeated at OFSAA, winning both games against St. Thomas Aquinas this morning, 25-14 and 25-17. Next game at 11:30 against Espanola. It will be streamed from the OFSAA website at

Thursday, 24 November 2011


They're miles away but close in our hearts! The Sr. Boys Volleyball team is on Manitoulin Island this weekend, competing at OFSAA.
They won their first game this morning against TDChristian 25-17 and 25-18! Some of the games are being live-streamed, so we were able to watch.

The next game is not being streamed, so you'll have to follow us on Twitter for instant updates:

Here's some info about the tournament from the Manitoulin Expositor.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

You are great! We are so glad you are here!

This week’s chapel was on the topic of our theme for the school year: Encouragement, which is taken from Hebrew’s 3:13 “Encourage one another daily.”

Mr. Gord Park, our spiritual life director, said sometimes encouragement is simply a case of cheerleading. It’s turning to someone and saying, “You are great, I am so glad you are here!” But encouragement is also counsel: offering good, Godly advice.

He talked about the times we have “mountaintop” or “lightning bolt” experiences – when we tangibly sense the presence of God in our lives, such as during worship, at a retreat, at a convention, or participating in a service project. But there are also times when we don’t feel God’s presence, he said. That’s when we have to remember that God calls us to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).

When there are times that we make mistakes or that we are confronted with the mistakes of others, Mr. Park said we have to “keep short accounts.”

“That’s grace,” Mr. Park said, which Christians must be able to both give and receive. “But you have to have the guts and the courage and the honesty to be in a place where you are good with God.”

Finally, Mr. Park said we have to share, because “whatever God gives you is to give away to someone else. Every gift, every opportunity, every revelation you receive is to bless and encourage someone else.”

He used the example of the Sea of Galilee, which flows out into the Jordan Valley, giving life. In contrast, the Dead Sea doesn’t flow out and it does not give life. “Something happens to you when you share, you grow in your faith,” he said.

Mr. Park said some of the best conversations we can ever have with each other are the ones about God. “When God becomes part of the conversation, what a blessing it becomes.”

At our chapel today we also heard a presentation about Rose City Kids from Lynette Andree Wierenga (Class of 2003) who explained the goals and impact of this powerful Welland ministry. She said over 400 children and their families are being blessed by the Saturday program, the home visits, the tutoring and the leadership training that Rose City Kids is able to provide. She said Rose City Kids feeds the children physically, emotionally and spiritually, and its goal is to teach the children important life truths.

“We want each one to know Jesus loves you, there is a plan for you, you can dream big, God knows your name,” she said.

Lynette said demographic research reveals Welland has high unemployment, high poverty and high household debt, and these factors put incredible stress on parents and families.

She said one way in which Rose City Kids blesses its participants is through its personalized Christmas boxes, which over 150 Smithville Christian High School students are filling. She said one mother was overwhelmed when she realized that her child was known by name by an anonymous donor who would be choosing gifts and praying for her daughter.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for filling these boxes,” Lynette said, also inviting students to consider volunteering for one of the programs.

The chapel also featured worship led by one of our student praise teams. Thank you to Mariah, Katelyn, Rachael, Caleb, Hayden, Kaleb, Tyler, Alex and Fayth for sharing your gifts of music and song.

Visit the Rose City Kids website by clicking here.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Sr. Boys Volleyball Tournament

Our thanks to the organizers, players and fans who made the Sr. Boys Volleyball Tournament such a success. What terrific volleyball action!
Here are a few photos from the day, including Mr. Breukelman in Indonesia, who took in the tournament via Skype!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

We Remember.

At the Remembrance Day Chapel this week:

The Praise Team led us in worship.

Mr. Robb explained the history and meaning of Remembrance Day, and told us why we remember: "It's important to remember what God has done for us so we cherish our faith and it's important to remember the awesome blessings we enjoy in this country." See Deuteronomy 6:12 and Deuteronomy 8:19.

Students shared stories of four Christians from Burma, Ecuador, India and North Korea who don't live in freedom.

We listened to Anthony Hutchcroft sing "In Flanders Fields."

We observed a minute of silence and saw a slide show of war images.

We sang our National Anthem.

And Student Council introduced the T-shirts for this year's theme: Live Out Loud. We are thankful for the freedom to worship and to attend a Christian school where we can live our faith out loud. Praise God!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Super Heroes!

The halls are full of caped crusaders today.
We also had a talent show at lunch. Congratulations to the winner, Hayden!

See more pictures on Facebook.