Friday, September 24, 2010

Thank God For Teachers

"Train up a child on the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

One morning last month I had the privilege of bringing a word of encouragement to the whole staff of the Kalamazoo Christian School Association during one of their preparation days for the new school year. Well, ever since then, I've been thinking about the value teachers play in our lives. They play such an important role in shaping our lives, and their efforts can last a lifetime.

Personally, I'll be forever grateful to Dale Hanson who was my senior high graphics arts teacher. He saw something in me, and I'm not even sure what it was. But God used him to help me believe in myself when I was lost and out of focus. The sad thing is, I never did thank him. Do you have similar story? I bet all of us can remember a teacher who took the time to make us feel special, or helped to point us in the right direction.

So I just want to give a shout out to all you teachers out there. Whether you're teaching in a public, private, parochial or Christian school—or even in the home—your work is valuable; it's important, and even though at times it may not look like it, you are making a difference.

I would like to particularly thank the teachers at Kalamazoo Christian School who have helped our kids in so many ways. They describe Christian education as a stool that has three legs: church, home and school. We couldn't agree more. Beth and I are forever grateful for the solid Christian worldview that our kids received there, and hold onto today. As pastors, we did our best to model our values and our faith at home and at the church. But having the kids attend a school that reinforced our faith in Jesus Christ was huge for them and us. Even though it cost a bundle to send them to a private school, it was worth every dime.

But here's the other benefit from that experience. Attending a Christian school helped our kids decide to attend a Christian college. Our daughter, Meghan, graduated last May from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. Our daughter, Annie, and son, Luke, both attend Spring Arbor University near Jackson. Both are excellent schools, both helping students maintain a Christian worldview as they continue their educations. I don't have to tell you that life at a secular college is quite a bit different than at a Christian college. The other night we went down to Spring Arbor to watch Annie play volleyball and after the game, both Annie and Luke were going to go to a worship service at 10:00pm with Ron Kopicko, the school chaplain. Given the choice of seeing your kids head to a worship night rather than out to the club would make any parent appreciate the place.

So, here's to you, teachers, wherever you are. We appreciate your hearts to help our kids and for making such a positive difference in this world!

In Him-


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