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.