Wednesday, 31 October 2012

What are you pursuing?

Alumnus Lloyd VanOenen (class of 2010) was our chapel speaker today, sharing his post-graduation experiences as a student at the Center for Creative Media in Garden Valley, Texas.
VanOenen said when he started high school "God wasn't really real to me, because I didn't really make him real in my life." But when he was in Grade 11, he attended Teen Mania's Acquire the Fire and "I gave my life to God."

After that, VanOenen said his dream of becoming an actor changed into a desire to serve God.
Instead of focusing on himself, he said he focused on God "because you can't serve God and serve yourself," he said, quoting Matthew 6:24.
"You can't use the money you have to buy those things that make you feel good," VanOenen said. When trying to decide what to do with your life, you have to answer the question: "Who are you striving towards? Yourself or God?"
VanOenen said now that he has completed the two-year course at the Center for Creative Media, he is collaborating with a friend in making a movie.

We were also led in worship by a student praise team, who sang Mighty To Save, Grace Like Rain, and My Redeemer Lives. Scroll down to see photos and to hear the video.

Coming soon: Student Council's Christmas boxes for Rose City Kids. Fill a box and get a free dress-down day.

Here's the video:

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Instant Gratification

Smithville Christian High School's Spiritual Life director Gord Park said he used to have a gym membership, but it didn't work.
"It was taking too long, there weren't any results," he told students at Smithville Christian High School's weekly chapel, patting his stomach.
"Plus, I was stopping for donuts on the way there and the way back."
It's human nature to resist putting in the time it takes to get results, Park said. Playing guitar, joining a sports team, auditioning for the play, doing your school work: none of these things deliver instant gratification.
What's worse, the world is sending us messages about "constant gratification," he said. As a result, none of us likes to wait -- for the vending machine, for an internet connection, for traffic.
But God asks us to take a different approach to life, Park said, one that requires commitment.  "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me," he said, quoting Philippians 3:12. This year's spiritual life theme, Build the Body, requires that kind of commitment, he said. Without the desire to commit to building your body, or to building the body of Christ, it won't happen, he said.
But God gives us the desire to be strong in him. Park said. Philippians 2:13 says " for  it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." 
"We are not perfect yet, but God is giving us the desire, and the very desire to be like him is a gift from him," he said.
"Commitment: is it being faithful to a direction as long as it works for you? Or is it being faithful to a direction, no matter what?" Park asked, issuing a challenge to the students.
"The world is looking for truth," he said. "I challenge you to be a generation committed to faithfulness in God alone."
Park said we have the chance to show hope to those around us, even those who are struggling to overcome mistakes they've made. We all need to know "there is hope someplace," he said.   "It is a lie from the pit of hell that you will forever be defined by a stupid mistake you made when you were young.
"Because the truth is, there is hope," he told students. "Your faithfulness to God speaks volumes to those around you."
The Grade 11 Drama Class presented a short dramatic scene about teamwork and one of our student praise teams led us in worship with "Came To My Rescue," "Desert Song (I Will Bring Praise)" and "Revelation Song (Worthy Is The Lamb)."


Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Imagine having a nickname that identifies who you really are.
Bible and civics teacher Neale Robb told students at today's chapel that his childhood nicknames were "Shorty," "Junior," "Alf" and "Red."
But Robb also told students about a Bible character named Joseph, who ended up with a nickname that identified the kind of person he was.
Joseph was a giving man, who sacrificed his possessions to serve others, said Robb. (Acts 4: 36, 37)
He was also willing to take risks for an outsider who could have hurt him badly. (Acts 9:26,27)
And he was an encourager, who didn't give up on someone just because he had failed once. (Acts 15: 36-40).
That's why Joseph became known as Barnabas, which means "encourager," Robb said.
"He was willing to sacrifice for others, he was willing to befriend the stranger and the outcast," Robb said. "And he was willing to give someone a second chance."
Robb said Barnabas exemplifies this year's student council theme -- Faith in Action -- and he encouraged students to put their faith into action too.
He said they can give money to good causes or they can give their time "to help someone who doesn't seem to have a lot of friends, or who is a bit of an outsider.
"Invite them to eat with you, to join your group, or stop and talk with them for a while," he said. Those kinds of actions will also exemplify this year's spiritual life theme: build up the body.
"Let me challenge each of us to be like Barnabas, the encourager," Robb said.
"Wouldn't it be good to have a nickname like that?"
Robb concluded his message with prayer: "Open our hearts and eyes to see those around us who might need a little encouragement."
Today's chapel also featured praise and worship led by one of the student praise teams.
We sang "Blessed Be Your Name," "Our God," and "I Will Follow."


"It is quite a joy for me to come to chapel each week and be led in worship by one of our student praise teams," said Robb.