Wednesday, 21 October 2015

How deep are your roots?

Your ability to withstand tough times or to flourish is directly related to how deeply you’re rooted, students at Smithville Christian High School were told at this week’s chapel.

Building on this year’s spiritual life theme of “Thrive,” Park quoted Jeremiah 17:7-9 and told students they are like trees.

“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water

    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Park said a tree’s roots are important in four ways:
  1. They anchor the tree.
  2. They draw up water.
  3. They store strength for the future.
  4. They promise new life.

A tree’s roots anchor it and give it stability, no matter how strong the winds might blow, Park said, quoting Ephesians 6:13. If you are rooted in your identity in Jesus Christ, “You may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

But God does not force us, he does not pull our roots out of us, he invites us to dig in, Park said. When we are rooted in the Word of God, when we read the Bible, when we worship, when we pray and when we think about him “with purpose and desire, not because we have to, but because we are compelled to, we desire it,” that’s when our roots go deep. Then, when bad things happen, our minds will be able to think about the promises of God because those promises will be an ingrained part of our identity.

In Scripture, water imagery is powerful, Park said, such as the image of Old Testament priests pouring water over the altar, or Jesus offering living water to the Samaritan woman at the well. Just as a tree’s roots will automatically grow towards water, we should also seek out living water, he said. Jesus said “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

A tree with deep roots can survive a drought and so can we survive tough times if we have deep roots, Park said. Spiritual Emphasis Week or an exciting Serve project or a good church service can serve to nourish our faith, but dry times will inevitably come and that’s when we need to have deep roots. “What a blessing it is to have the word of God impacting you every day,” he said, but in addition to experiencing it now, we know that “a day will come that what is getting stored in your roots right now will come back to you when you need it.” When trouble comes, you can pray that God will bring it to mind, “and he will, because he loves you that much.”

New Life
When a neighbour’s landscaping crew cut down a flowering bush on Park’s front lawn by mistake, Park and his wife were devastated, but within a short time, that bush had sent out new shoots and was flourishing again. “At least there is hope for a tree,” Park said, quoting Job 14:7. “If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.”

We all mess up, we say things we shouldn’t say and fail to say or do the things we should do, Park said. It’s like we are chopping off our own branches. But if we are deeply rooted, and especially if we are deeply rooted with each other, like the roots of sequoia trees, we will revive, he said.

How deep are your roots? Are you digging in? Are you going after the water of life?

 * * *

The “Jesus Jammers” student praise team also led in worship with “I Surrender,” “Brokenness Aside,” and “Holding Nothing Back.”
Park said when we thank a praise team with applause we are commending the talent and dedication of the student musicians who are leading us, but we are also thanking God that the words we are singing are true. “We’re not just thanking our praise team, we are thanking God it’s true.”

Friday, 2 October 2015

Christ creates unity in the midst of diversity

This year’s student council theme at Smithville Christian High School is “Unity.”

Based on Ephesians 4:3, the theme encourages each of us to work toward a unity that honours God, said Hailee Boks, a member of student council. That means laying aside our pride and selfishness and honouring each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

“We need to look beyond what sets us apart from each other and look to who calls us together,” Boks said, challenging each person to think of someone who we find difficult and “try to be nice to that person, be kind to them” this week. “Find what is good about that person and hang on to that.”

A student praise team led in worship with “The Stand,” “This is Amazing Grace,” and “Brother.”

This year’s student council leadership is:
Noah Boks, president
Christine Vermeer, secretary
Gemma Ricker, secretary
Brendan Masselink, vice-all
Hailee Boks, media guru
Owen VanHuizen, athletics liaison
Mark Sharobim, activities liaison

Ephesians 4:3 "Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace."

This week's chapel also featured team Welcome Week cheers.

Coming soon, more Welcome Week photos on Facebook! Thank you, student council, for organizing such fun activities!