From Mr. Chad Eigsti, CCS Campus Pastor:
Jesus is our GREATEST HERO . . .
From Dr. Mark Reed, CCS Board of Trustees Vice-Chairman:
Maintaining the Eternal Perspective
He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart,
yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (ESV)
If the recent COVID-19 outbreak has done anything, it has changed our perspectives. It has brought us a little closer to understanding the true reality that we are in a fragile, temporary world.
Death is a curse, and we all long for life. However, where do we turn for that life?
“Yet, though we long for life, we do not turn to the living God to find it.” — quoted from Dr. David Strain, Pastor, Jackson, Mississippi.
Left to myself, I would be living life for all the world, all the time, with the end goal of personal glorification only to end in emptiness, sadness, and despair. My heart is humbled to the core when I realize how God’s indwelling power of the Holy Spirit has been working inside me to call me to life in Christ. It is there that things begin to make sense. It is there that the emptiness and holes in life are filled.
God is eternal. Think about that. He is the self-existent, infinite, all-powerful Creator of EVERYTHING. Our salvation, found in Christ alone, is eternal. The world and everything else is temporary.
My prayer for the CCS community— seek and abide in Christ, read His Word, and listen to the Holy Spirit fill your mind and heart as you read the special revelation of God. All life is in the Gospel. All life is in Christ. Know the Gospel and seek what it says to your heart, and embrace what the Holy Spirit reveals through the words of Holy Scripture.
May our perspectives be eternal as we progress through the ongoing worldly/cultural crisis; but, more importantly, I pray that our perspectives remain steadfast in the eternal understanding of God’s calling for our lives in Christ.
Dr. Mark Reed
CCS Board of Trustees Vice-Chairman
Husband of Abby and father of Nathan and Tyler
From Lori Willems, CCS Class of 1979:
I remember the first day I stepped foot into the hallways at what was then called Central Christian High School back in the fall of 1975. I was scared to death. I had been in a fairly large public school all my life. I had no idea what I was getting in to, but I knew my older siblings had loved CCHS. I can honestly say, from day one, my experience has been nothing short of amazing. That first day, I remember coming home and thinking to myself, “WOW, I really feel like I matter to other people. I think they all really like me and care about me.”
Besides the wonderful biblical training I received, I built lifelong Godly friendships that I will always cherish. Now, all three of our children have attended Christian School, and we are so blessed to have four of our grandchildren attending CCS. Thanks be to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Thank You for sending Your one and only Son to die on the cross for my sins and the hope of eternal life that brings us. I thank You so much for Central Christian School. Thank You that I had the opportunity to attend school in a Christian environment. I don’t think we realize what a privilege it is to have a school like CCS in our community. Father, I pray that the students and staff of this school will experience Your love in profound and astounding ways. Help the students and staff at CCS to be on guard and stand firm in the faith and be men and women of great courage. We love You so much. In His precious name, Amen.
Lori Willems, CCS Class of 1979 Alumna
Wife of Russ Willems, CCS Class of 1978 Alumnus
Grandparents of CCS students and parents of former CCS students
From Blake Gillen, Equipping Pastor at Grace Bible Church:
Christ our Righteousness
Years ago, a pastor asked an important question. He said, "If the plan of redemption was for Jesus to die on the cross, then why didn't God the Father send His Son to earth on a Friday to die and then rise again? Why couldn't Jesus just come from heaven on Friday and die for sin? If the cross was Jesus' primary purpose in coming, why did He have to be born in Bethlehem and be taken to Egypt as a baby and grow up in Nazareth and spend three years ministering before being nailed to a cross?" The pastor who asked that question provided the answer. He said, "Jesus had to live a perfect life so that God could credit His perfect obedience to you." The righteousness a holy God demands is the righteousness Christ provides.
I want us to think about our Savior's one perfect life. Look at John 8:29. In John 8, Jesus makes some amazing claims about who He is. He claims to be the light of the world in John 8:12 and says that those who follow Him will not walk in darkness. He claims to be the great I Am in John 8:24 and says that if you don't believe in Him as He really is, you will die in your sins. Then in John 8:29, Jesus makes two more amazing claims. Read John 8:29 with me. Jesus tells some unbelieving Jews in John 8:29, "And He who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” In John 8:29, Jesus claims to be sent by God the Father and Jesus says that He always does the things that are pleasing to Him.
Sometimes when we use the word always, always doesn't mean always. But John 8:29 is different. When Jesus said that He always does what pleases the Father, always means always. Jesus came to do what has never been done. Jesus came on a mission from heaven to do the Father's will. He came to live a perfect life. What brought ultimate pleasure to God was Christ's willingness to do His will no matter what the cost might be.
Philippians 2:8 reminds us, "And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. "Jesus, God the Son, obeyed God the Father to the point of death on the cross. Jesus came to fulfill all righteousness. This is the reminder we need every day. The perfect righteousness a holy God demands is the perfect righteousness a holy God provides. Jesus obeyed the law for us in His life and died to absorb the curse of the law on the cross. He fulfilled all righteousness. Now, Jesus is our righteousness.
John Bunyan’s words echo through the ages and remain a heartwarming corrective and refreshment to us. In a book called Grace Abounding he writes: “One day as I was passing into the field, this sentence fell upon my soul: ‘Thy righteousness is in heaven.’ And with the eyes of my soul, I saw Jesus at the Father’s right hand. ‘There,’ I said, ‘is my righteousness!’ So that wherever I was or whatever I was doing, God could not say to me, ‘Where is your righteousness?’ For it is always right before Him. I saw that it is not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness is Christ. Now my chains fell off indeed. My temptations fled away, and I lived sweetly at peace with God. Now I could look from myself to Him and could reckon that all my character was like the coins a rich man carries in his pocket when all his gold is safe in a trunk at home. Oh, I saw that my gold was indeed in a trunk at home, in Christ my Lord. Now Christ was all: my righteousness, sanctification, redemption.”
Can you identify with that story? If you've truly turned from your sin to trust in the Savior, right now, by virtue of the love and obedience of Jesus, your righteousness is in heaven. Why? Because 1 Corinthians 1:30 says that God made Christ to be our righteousness so that we would boast in the Lord. Friend, look away from your imperfect performance to the perfect performance of your Savior. Jesus never sinned so that His obedience could be transferred to your account before a holy God. Jesus came to do the will of the Father for us. He came to do what we fail to do every single day so that He could go to the cross and offer a final sacrifice for sin for all time. His perfect righteousness is now our perfect righteousness. Wow!
Even as Christians we need to preach the gospel to our own hearts every single day and make sure we are always looking to Christ for our acceptance with God. Ephesians 2:18 shows us how to approach God, "For through Him (Christ) we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father."
Let's do three things in light of these glorious truths:
- Praise God for supplying our perfect righteousness through Christ.
- Pray for at least one person who still needs this righteousness.
- Plan a time to talk to someone about their need for Christ and God's provision.
Equipping Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Hutchinson
Husband of Brianna and father of Addison, Molly, and Cooper
From Pam Regehr, CCS Fundraising and Development Committee Member:
This morning, I awoke to a scene straight out of a Folgers commercial. The birds were chirping. The morning sun was shining brightly through the kitchen window. The aroma of freshly-brewed coffee was in the air. I had an entire hour to prepare for an important video Webex with my employer. I should mention that “video” in our new work-from-home environment means “please get dressed and comb your hair.”
I loaded the morning dishes, hit start, and 15 seconds into my first cup of coffee, I heard sounds no fully functioning dishwasher should make. At the same time, my CCS student walked into the kitchen with a disappearing cursor. The dog started barking while my second shift husband was trying to sleep. I missed a call from my mother. A team member was texting for help. And, then it happened. I received a message from my employer, “Webex has been moved up. See you in 15 minutes.”
As trivial as that 120 seconds of crazy seems now, I hit the pause button, and I prayed—not that the Lord would change my morning, but that the Lord would change me so that I might find and accept joy, and even humor, in my situation. Jesus tells us that we will have troubles in this world. It is inevitable. But, if we’re anchored to our circumstances instead of Him, we will surely falter when they do.
Heavenly Father, please strengthen our hearts, and remind us to encourage one another when the troubles of life start to overwhelm us. Please guard our hearts and give us the strength to rise up each day and fight against the struggles which seek to weigh us down. We acknowledge that our hope is not in our circumstances. Our hope is not even in the hoped-for answers to our prayers. But our hope is in You and Your Word, that You will sustain us and give us wisdom in the midst of our trials.
Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
CCS Fundraising and Development Committee member
Former member of the CCS Board of Trustees
Wife of Larry and mother of Gage
From Don Nies, CCS Industrial Arts Instructor:
My blind great-great grandmother from Germany, along with her 16-year-old son, homesteaded the Nies family farm in 1885 which is still there today near Ashley, North Dakota. Friends were always welcome in their sod house, and weekly church services were held in it until 1897 when a church was built on their land.
The Nies Family Homestead in North Dakota (1885 – present)
Five generations later, I was born and raised on our family farm. The church built on the farm was still there, and from birth, I was in church whenever its doors were open. While attending a week of evangelistic revival services in 1956, I asked the Lord to forgive me of my sins and save me. I know I received Christ as Savior and Lord that night. When I was in high school, I felt the Lord dealing with me again. It was then that I received assurance of my salvation and dedicated my life to His service. I will be eternally grateful to my family and friends who prayed and encouraged me then and today. Prayer warriors are important!
During my senior year of high school, a teacher, in whose class I struggled, told me in front of the whole class that I probably shouldn’t even think of going to college (something you shouldn’t tell a stubborn German because they will try to prove you wrong!) I’ve had many other times of discouragement and doubt over the years, but God is good. He has been and will continue to be faithful.
After high school graduation, I wanted to attend a Christian college in Canada, but we found out that the University of North Dakota (UND) was opening a branch in the nearby town of Ellendale. UND had excellent manual arts classes which happened to be my favorite classes in high school, and since the UND Branch was close enough for me to work weekends on the farm, I decided to give it a try.
I met my wife, Priscilla, at college, and we’ve been married over 53 years. Priscilla started college a year after me, but by taking summer school classes, she graduated with me in only three years. We received our bachelors teaching degrees before the Branch location closed due to its main building burning down in a fire. Looking back, I can again see that we have a great God!
Priscilla and I started our teaching careers in Ipswich, South Dakota. After teaching in a public school for nine years, we both were moved to seek the Lord’s direction for our future, and we began to pursue missions instead of teaching. In the summer of 1978, through a long chain of events, God led us to teach and train future local and foreign missionary students at Central Christian School in Hutchinson, Kansas, our new mission field.
One of my greatest rewards in my 52 years of teaching has been seeing students go from “I can't do that!” to “Nothing is impossible when God is in it!” I have also found God’s Word, the Bible, to be practical, relevant, current, and foundational in teaching and in life.
My favorite Bible verses and life verses have always been John 3:16–17.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
CCS Industrial Arts Instructor and Maintenance Director
Husband of Priscilla and father of CCS alumni Greg Nies and Jennifer Schroeder
From Sharon Kauffman, CCS Preschool and Child Care Center Director:
Some of my fondest memories from childhood are being with friends in our small community. We rode bikes to each other’s houses, went horseback riding, hung out in haylofts, played Kick the Can in the dark, went swimming in the sandpit in summer, and ice skating on the ponds in winter. We also went sledding behind a tractor in true Kansas fashion! I attended church with the same people that I went to school with. I knew everyone in our small town, and no matter where I went, I felt welcome and safe. As I grew older and experienced life in different places, I realized how truly blessed I was to grow up in that community. I believe God calls us to be in community with each other in a way that offers God’s love, joy, and peace to those around us.
Prayer: God, fill us with your Spirit. Let us rest in Your abundant love and peace.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.
Romans 15:5 (NIV)
CCS Preschool and Child Care Center Director
CCS Class of 1985 Alumna
Wife of Kenneth and mother of Kaylah, Haley, and Maddison
From Jim Doerksen, CCS Alumni Director:
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
That last word consist, means to hold together, “. . . and in Him all things hold together.”
Have you ever wondered why, if the earth is spinning at some incredible speed, we do not just fly off into space? We call it gravity. Why, if within the atom, the proton, neutron, and electron are spinning at incredible speeds, are they not just blown apart? It is because Jesus Christ is holding ALL things together by the Word of His power! This is an every day miracle!
Considering the wonders of natural creation should lead us into a deep reverence and awe of Almighty God. What is man that You are mindful of him?
Heav’n above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green! Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen: Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, Flowers with deeper beauties shine. Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.
(Lyrics from the hymn I am His, and He is Mine.)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that I have the assurance that I am Yours and You are mine! Help me to see You in each every day miracle that happens around me. Help me to have a heart of compassion for those Christless eyes who have never seen. I acknowledge Your sovereignty, and I am so grateful that nothing is out of Your control. I bow before You in worship and adoration.
CCS Alumni Director
CCS Class of 1967 Alumnus
Husband of Karen Doerksen
From Staci Unruh, CCS Literacy Services Director:
When I think of special times of prayer in my life, I’m reminded of fifteen years ago, when our youngest son Tatro was born. He was born with a heart defect, and we spent the first three weeks of his life at Children’s Mercy where he had open-heart surgery.
During those difficult days, we had an overwhelming sense of peace that everything would be okay. Not that everything would be just as we hoped it would be, but that regardless of the outcome, everything would be okay. God held us tight in the palm of His hand, and although it was an incredibly hard time, we experienced the peace that passes all understanding as well as an outpouring of love from our dear family and friends.
Psalm 61 was our prayer during those challenging days: “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah. For You have heard my vows, O God; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name. Increase the days of the king's life, his years for many generations. May he be enthroned in God's presence forever; appoint Your love and faithfulness to protect him. Then will I ever sing praise to Your name and fulfill my vows day after day.”
This time of COVID-19 is another challenging time for many of us. A record number of people have lost their jobs or are unsure of future employment. Many have loved ones who are sick or who will become sick. Children are suddenly home 24/7 and are missing their friends and familiar routines. It’s a great comfort to me that God already knows about all of this. Our cries are no surprise to Him—He knows all about it, and He will sustain us. As we are told in Isaiah 46:4, He has made us, He will carry us, and He will
May we look for ways to provide encouragement and support to those around us when we can. And on days when we feel like we can’t—when we feel like we’ve come to the end of what we can give—may we cling to the Rock that is higher than us all and rest in the grace and peace that only He can provide.
CCS Literacy Services Director
CCS Class of 1993 Alumna
Wife of Justin and mother of Nation, Cayden, and Tatro
From Alvin Kroeker, Past CCS Board of Trustees Chairman:
BIRTH AND REBIRTH
Birth and rebirth, these two have become a vivid reality in recent months. With our human birth has come a profound desire to survive. We only need to look around and see how far we as humans living in community are willing to change our lifestyles and give up privileges in order to survive. In stating this, I am not saying the attitude (desire) is wrong. I believe that God has created the human race with the desire to survive and adapt so we will be available to be caretakers of His world.
Now let us consider what happens in rebirth; not only do we still possess the intense desire to survive physically, but along with that we are instructed by Jesus that we are to develop an attitude of SERVICE. We ask what does that service look like? To some it comes as a calling to serve God at a specific time and for specific purpose as in the story of Esther, found in the Book of Esther in the Old Testament. To others, and by far the majority, it is a calling to serve God in our daily walks of life, including our interactions at our jobs, in our community, in our families, and wherever our daily lives take us.
We need to be paying close attention to God’s call to serve Him, especially during this coronavirus pandemic. Six months ago, we would have said it would be unlikely that an unprecedented and most difficult event such as this could even happen.
So, let us take seriously God’s call to service. How can we be a positive influence through our faith and not be a contributor to the fear that seems to be paralyzing so many in our communities, while at the same time being vigilant about our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around us?
PRAYER: Oh, Lord, we ask that You would place within our hearts a pure desire to serve in difficult times like these. We are aware that You said times like these would come, but help us to cling to the promise You have given that You will walk beside us and give us strength to be victorious through our Faith in You.
I Chronicles 7:14 – If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
II Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Romans 8:18 – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Past CCS Board of Trustees Chairman
CCS Class of 1958 alumnus
Husband of Jan and father of CCS alumni Susan and Kathy
From Angela Huck, CCS Music Instructor:
Before moving to Hutchinson, we lived in southwestern Kansas where my husband pastored a wonderful congregation. The church had a nice facility that was large enough to host a community kids club once a week, as well as have thriving Sunday services for adults, teens, and children. I volunteered everywhere, and I loved being a part of ministry to all ages.
But there came a time when God helped me realize that “ministry” was getting between Him and me. He gently called me back to Himself, and in the eleven years since that time, He has reminded me of this verse from Isaiah 30:15, “In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength.”
This is a beautiful call to us as Christians! Our ministries to our families and friends should begin from a repentant, restful heart that is quietly trusting in our strong Savior!
Prayer: Lord, I pray that our ministries would grow from a heart that is fully trusting in Your strength! You are the only Savior, and we raise our repentant, restful hearts to You and quietly trust in You alone.
CCS Music Instructor
Wife of Nick Huck and mother of Tim and Abby
From Judy Parsons, CCS Elementary Principal:
I grew up in a Christian family, the oldest of six daughters, and accepted Christ when I was quite young. I would like to say that I lived a life past that point with my eyes firmly fastened on Jesus, but that wasn’t the case. I somehow developed the idea that religion was just a set of rules, and God was stern and ready to punish when I didn’t get them all right. The loss of our home to a fire and my mother to an unexpected death within just months of each other brought with it the question of what my family had done wrong and why God was angry with us. Dad, in his grief, made hasty decisions he would later come to regret, but his absence during this time, not physically, but certainly emotionally, had lasting effects on my five sisters and me. As for me, I married at age 17, right out of high school, to a non-Christian young man and spent many years in my own personal wilderness, wandering unfamiliar and even dangerous paths. But, while I wandered, lost, insecure, trying to find success for my young family and all the while grasping at thin air, God had not lost me.
Without force or coercion, God patiently waited for me to return to Him. When my wanderings finally brought me back to Him, on my knees, He showed His love, forgiveness, and acceptance in tangible ways. He set me back on the right path, provided the right church, and I started regularly taking my children. Eventually, largely due to the friendly visits of my new pastor, my husband started attending with us, and he soon gave his heart to the Lord. I quit a full-time job in manufacturing and started college, first at HCC, then Sterling College. As part of a Bible class, while studying covenants, I made a serious covenant with God that if He would make it possible for me to get my teaching degree, I would use that education wherever He placed me.
I began my career teaching in public school, believing that God wanted and needed Christian teachers there, and I retired after 25 years. During those years, my husband passed away, so I continued my education, receiving a Master’s Degree in School Leadership, but not feeling the call to leave the classroom. Eventually God brought a new man into my life, so just a few months after my retirement, I went with my new husband to his 50-year reunion at Central Christian and realized that God might have a place for me at CCS. In many respects, God has saved the best for last in my life. Mine has not been a straight path. It has certainly been a crooked one, but in the end, it is the right one, and I thank God every day for His leading me on it.
On my calendar for April, a verse is shown, “Ask . . . where the good way is and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls” which is part of Jeremiah 6:16 (NKJV). God has certainly provided that rest for me, and I know that whatever else life brings, God will be right beside me. He won’t stop loving or taking care of me. I have His assurance.
My prayer is this: Thank you, God, for Your unfailing love, for calling us back to You in spite of ourselves. Remind us to seek You above all else. May we always trust in Your divine wisdom and walk joyfully the path You have laid out before us, knowing that it is the only one that will bring us rest. Amen!
CCS Elementary Principal
Wife of CCS alum Richard Parsons, Class of 1965
From Chad Eigsti, CCS Campus Pastor:
What is a synonym for boy? You think about your answer to that question while I explain mine.
Now that our family is navigating e-learning together, and my wife and I are adjusting to working from home, I have noticed an increase of one particular item in our house: dirt. The weather is getting warmer, and the itch to get outside is one that must now be scratched. So, my three young men (a.k.a. boys) are building forts, riding bicycles, digging holes in the ground for no particular reason, because, after all, that’s what shovels are for, right? They are using their imagination and building kingdoms and conquering the bad guys. So, with this increase in time at home, and with all the conquering that must be done, my wife and I have noticed an increase in, you guessed it, dirt. There is dirt in their hair, socks, pants pockets, ears, and pretty much everywhere but outside. So, my synonym for boy is. . .adventure.
God’s Word has much to say about trusting Him in the midst of all our adventures. Some adventures we choose, such as making tree forts, starting new jobs, or learning a new hobby.
However, I have found that most of life’s adventures are chosen for us by God. For example, He chose to give us e-learning, working from home, and watching our church services online in our homes. What advice would God give us during these adventures?
Psalm 46:1–3 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
These verses remind us of who God is. He is our refuge and strength. Yet, the command comes in verse 10-11, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress”.
Be still. God will forever be exalted among the nations. No adventure will throw Him off course.
In the meantime, trust God in your adventure. And, enjoy all the extra dirt.
Prayer: God, we praise You for Your strength and ability to be our refuge. We confess that your adventures force us to trust You instead of ourselves. We thank You that You give us peace instead of fear. We ask that You would help us to be still and remind our hearts that YOU ARE GOD! Amen.
Campus Pastor and Bible Instructor
Husband of Sondra and father of Luke, Adam, Sawyer, and Evelyn
From Kasey Noggle, CCS Office Manager:
We live in a world today that is BUSY. I am busy, you are busy, and we all are overwhelmed. We may be busy with VERY good things, events, and activities that honor the Lord. At times, our calendars prevent us from family dinners, we say yes to every sport, and we train ourselves to survive. The WORLD around us grows in its demands, and we grow our capacity to keep up. As Christians we are to be good soldiers equipped for the battles we face. We are to SHARE the GOOD NEWS. How can we find that narrow path? How can we find REST?
In Matthew 8:23–27 it reads,
And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep. And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us: we perish.” And He saith unto them, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!”
This is such a great reminder that as the storms whirl around us, we need to be like Jesus, and REST! He is not at all surprised by our circumstances. We CANNOT give to others what we do not possess. I can't share the Word, if I am not IN THE WORD. I can't FIGHT the battles, if I am NOT armored with HIS TRUTH. I can't serve the Lord, if I am not at REST in His arms.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word. We thank You that we can come to You to find REST! Help restore our souls with the peace that passes all understanding. Please keep us on the narrow path that leads to You. Keep our eyes fixed on You, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Help us to trust You in the storm and find our rest in Your loving arms. In Your precious Name, we pray these things. Amen.
Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
CCS Office Manager
Class of 1999 Alumna
Wife of Monty and mother of Kolby, Karter, and Kamilyn
From Susan Penner, CCS First Grade Teacher:
Find Joy in the Little Things
God is in the business of doing BIG miracles, but He also cares about the little things in our lives. Sometimes our lives get so busy that we overlook the little things that happen every day.
I was busy submitting online lessons, taking notes so that I could create videos for my students to watch as they completed their schoolwork. As I threw away another pile of used sticky notes, I looked in the trash and had to smile! God knew my need before I asked! A friend gave me a box of school supplies at the beginning of the school year. She had included a variety of sticky notes of different sizes. I remember thinking back then, WOW! I am set with sticky notes for a long time. Little did I know, that as this virus grew, we would the close school building and move to online teaching. I use sticky notes in my teacher guides to highlight what I want to cover. I use sticky notes filled with my handwritten notes stuck to my computer screen so I can keep my eyes focused on the camera as I teach. I use lots of sticky notes each lesson. But God knew my need, and He fulfilled it before I was even aware that I would need it. God is good!
I urge you to rest and observe the little things that God provides every day. Don’t take them for granted. If He cares about us enough to know how many hairs are on our head, He will care about all things in our lives, even sticky notes!
Prayer: Lord, Your knowledge is so vast. I thank You for acknowledging and taking care of our needs even
before we ask. Your love and care for us is amazing!
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:7 (NIV)
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
CCS First Grade Teacher
CCS Class of 1985 Alumna
Wife of Galen
From Bart Kooiman, CCS Board of Trustees Member:
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone,
forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Mark 11:25–26 (NKJV)
Have you ever had a difficult time forgiving someone? When I was 17 years old, I received a scathing letter from my father rebuking me for my ungrateful and spiteful behavior. For good measure, my earthly father even threw in a rip on a poor performance at a recent wrestling match. Looking back, he was correct in all three cases. He disowned me and withdrew from any relationship for several years. I had all the responses that you might expect. How could my own father not love, care, and help me? I even took the letter to my grandparents to prove that their son was in the wrong. Twentyish years later, I still remember the hurt that his letter caused me. My father and I did make amends shortly before his passing. I believe only through the Spirit was I able to forgive him. I find assurance knowing that my Heavenly Father loves and uses a broken man like me. I share this as testament to Him, not me.
Lord, You are sovereign, the Lord God Almighty. You sent Your Son to pay the ultimate price for my sins. I praise You for Your unfathomable love, grace, and mercy. I am a patchwork of selfish desires and selfless acts. Use Your Spirit to work in my heart to help me forgive others. Forgive me for my trespasses. Continue to bless the CCS ministry, and guide us to be the light that shines towards You! Amen.
Chairman of CCS Fundraising and Development Committee
Chairman of CCS Finance Committee
CCS Board of Trustees Member
Husband of Erin and father of Ryland and Cael
From Kristi Busatti, Director of Marketing and Development
As a little girl growing up in a Baptist church in Oklahoma, I remember singing this song every week in Sunday School and especially during Vacation Bible School: “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart! I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart! Down in my heart to stay!”
I loved that song. It was one of my all-time favorites. And every time I sang it, the message rang true for me. I was full of joy! Real joy, true joy, the Jesus-kind of joy!!!! In those moments in that beautiful Baptist church, I remember not only feeling joyful, but safe, loved, treasured, and most importantly, secure in my salvation and eternal destiny with my sweet Jesus.
I’m a grownup now with two precious children of my own. My heart’s desire is for them to know this JOY—this Jesus-Only-You-kind of JOY—and yes, it is my full desire for our friends of CCS to know this JOY as well. So today, may I encourage you to choose JOY! JOY—Jesus Only You!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today and every day, may we cling to You, our Savior, and choose JOY! Thank you, Jesus, for your JOY!
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NIV)
CCS Director of Marketing and Development
Mother of Lilly and Camden
From Gary and Jan Clark, grandparents of CCS students
Summer was over, school was starting, friends are together again. Routines begin as studies, sports, music, and lunchtime fill our day. Home with family in the evening and then a good night’s sleep. We were in our regular schedules. WHAT HAPPENED?
A world pandemic, school and churches closed, can’t see our friends. Now we have classes that are online. WHAT HAPPENED?
Everything may seem backwards and disrupted right now, but we know the One whose schedule can’t be changed or disrupted. God is in control. God knows all. This time will pass, and we will be back to our regular schedules, but let’s remember how quickly things can change. Our hope is in Christ, not in our schedules.
This is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it. Psalm 118:24
God bless you all,
Gary and Jan Clark, grandparents of CCS students
Gary, HS basketball videographer, and Jan, CCS Board of Trustees member
From Roberto Ibarra, Administrator
One of my fondest memories as a child was hearing our church bus honk its horn on Sunday mornings, letting us boys know that it was time to board and head to church. It was not only the bus ride that I enjoyed, but it was all the people that I met and built relationships with during those 20 plus years that I attended my home church. The love that was shown to me by those men and women from church is what helped me understand the love of Jesus Christ and just how much He really does love me. I still remember coming home for visits during college and having Mr. Williamson come up to me and tell me, "I don't know which Ibarra boy you are, but I want you to know that we pray for you all each and every day." The love and the hope that I felt in knowing that someone cared for me enough to pray for me every day was amazing.
My home church is no longer there, but I still hold on to the memories as well as the lessons I learned. One of those lessons was to pray for others. At Central Christian School, our faculty and staff pray for not just the students of CCS, but also their families and for one another. One of our greatest joys is seeing students light up when they hear they are being prayed for. It also brings a smile to my face because I know what they are feeling—love and hope, two things we all need each and every day.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the men and women You have placed in our lives who have prayed, are praying, and will continue to pray for us. What hope and love that brings to us in knowing that we are cared for enough that someone would take the time to lift us up in prayer. And Father, thank You most of all for your Son Jesus Christ and His example of praying for others which includes us as well. Amen
The Lord delights in those who fear Him,
who put their hope in His unfailing love. Psalm 147:11
Husband of Jolene, father of Raelee, Josie, Adre, and Emilio