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the Manna | April 2011

Why Educate?

Christ is Risen! Happy Easter

from the Manna and Joy! 102.5

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the Manna | April 2011


16 | School Chart

05 | Signals 07 | On the Air

18 | Featured Schools

Education choices at-a-glance.

Learn more about selected schools in the area.


21 | Epic Fail

08 | Listen Up

22 | Safe at School?

We just don’t know.

10 | Taught of God

Stay in Touch

The lowest points come too soon and too often. What’s the best option?

25 | Education: Friend or Foe?

The true education of a Christian.

Are we really all that smart?

12 | Fight the Power

28 | More to Homework Than Meets the Eye

Whose authority should we question?

The best way around is often through.

Extras 30 | Unfiltered | | April 2011



the Manna | A Publication of Maranatha, Inc. Editor-In-Chief: Debbie Byrd Creative Director: Joe Willey Contributing Writers: Steve Miller, Josh Millwood, Brittney Switala, April Smart, Brent Timmons, Karen Tull Media Client Liaisons: Janet Beckett, Mary Kinnikin

Frequently Asked Questions Who We Are The Manna is published by Maranatha, Inc., a Christcentered ministry called to proclaim the Good News of faith and life in Jesus Christ through various forms of media, as God directs, until He returns. “Maranatha” (mer-a-nath´-a) is an Aramaic word found in I Corinthians 16:22. It is translated, “Our Lord, come!” Joy! 102.5 WOLC is also part of Maranatha, Inc. Its call letters stand for “Watch, Our Lord Cometh.” Maranatha!

Disclaimer Non-ministry advertisers are not required to subscribe to the “Statement of Faith” printed at right; nor are their businesses and products necessarily endorsed by the Manna, Joy! 102.5 WOLC, or Maranatha, Inc., whose viewpoints are not necessarily represented by the opinions or statements of persons interviewed in this magazine; nor are the viewpoints of its advertisers.

Statement of Faith We Believe… that the Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible and authoritative source of Christian doctrine and precept; that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that the only hope for man is to believe in Jesus Christ, the virgin-born Son of God, who died to take upon Himself the punishment for the sin of mankind, and who rose from the dead so that by receiving Him as Savior and Lord, man is redeemed by His blood; that Jesus Christ in person will return to Earth in power and glory; that the Holy Spirit indwells those who have received Christ, for the purpose of enabling them to live righteous and godly lives; and that the Church is the Body of Christ and is comprised of all those who, through belief in Christ, have been spiritually regenerated by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The twin mission of the Church is worldwide evangelization, and nurture and discipline of Christians.

Manna and Joy! 102.5 WOLC P. O. Box 130, Princess Anne, MD 21853 Voice: 410-543-9652 Fax: 410-651-9652 Manna e-mail: Joy! 102.5 e-mail: ©2011 Maranatha, Inc. May not be reproduced without written consent of Maranatha, Inc. Photos: iStockphoto and Big Stock Photo

Maranatha Media | Home of Joy! 102.5 and the Manna

Signals Education There’s some pretty heady reading material out there about Christian Education. Two volumes that are essential to a study of Christian Education is Lois LeBar’s Education that is Christian and a collection of essays entitled A Reader in Christian Education – Foundations and Basic Perspectives as edited by Eugene Gibbs. Both provide good foundations for understanding the process of education and applying educational efforts in a Christian manner and environment. The development of sound critical thinking is vital to any type of education, Christian or secular. LeBar uses insights directly from Scripture to demonstrate how Jesus developed critical thinking skills in his disciples. His parable stories were presented in such a way that each person had to think about the context in which it was presented in order to draw a conclusion from the story. Then, each had to think about how to apply it to his own life situation. Perhaps second only to critical thinking, Jesus focused on relationships. As LeBar puts it, “The One who outlined the curriculum was fully aware that learning is integrally bound up with the environment. The learner is profoundly affected by his or her physical surroundings…(and) the learning is more profoundly affected by the people around him or her than by the physical environment.” LeBar suggests that “knowledge of self is only the prelude to knowledge of salvation.”

There would seem, from a Christian perspective, to be ample argument in favor of Christian education – if it provides an environment where critical thinking is challenged, where relationships are developed, and where each student can discover who they are – in Christ. But if a Christian environment were to stifle critical thinking and limit relationship-building, then a student may be better served in a secular environment where those vital components are nurtured. Finding that balance is the trick, and more often than not, that’s a difficult task in a secular environment where Christ is usually barred at the door and prayer and praise are muffled, if not outright forbidden. Regardless of the environment, Christian or secular, if given the chance to develop the basics critical thinking and an ability to relate to others – each student may then have what it takes to face the world and seek and know Him! Debbie Byrd is General Manager of Maranatha, Inc., a ministry that includes Joy! 102.5 and the Manna. | | April 2011



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On the Air On a Mission Singer-songwriter Jonny Diaz is an artist with a mission – to serve the Body of Christ. And from the very beginning of his music career, his desire has always been to write songs that encourage and entertain, yet challenge fellow believers. His latest album that will release on April 12th (simply titled Jonny Diaz) is a collection of songs that definitely accomplishes that mission. “I attempted to break free from some of the traditional confines of Christian music, but I couldn’t get away from the fact that most of my songs revolve around my relationship with Christ,” Diaz shares. “He is the focus of my life, and I find it impossible to honestly record my emotions and my journey without including Him. The people who truly understand my music share this same kind of relationship with God.” The songs from Jonny Diaz encompass a full range of human emotions – from the heights of love to the depths of grief; from praising God to a cry for those whose lives are broken. Through his music, the Church

receives challenging and encouraging reminders that every broken human life can find redemption in God’s love. Diaz also confronts timely issues in the Church with his writing. “These days we can become immune,” he says, “and we need to be brokenhearted for the poor, to feel their pain the way that Christ feels it.” “Beauty of the Cross” is the first single from the new project and it’s currently in rotation here at Joy! 102.5. “This is the first song I’ve recorded that I haven’t written,” Diaz explains. “The first time I heard it, I was drawn straight to God’s throne in worship. I am not a ‘worship artist,’ but there is something special about this song and I wanted to be a part of it. The great irony and beauty here is that we’re singing about one of the most awful torture devices ever conceived by man, and yet we are calling it ‘beautiful.’ Those of us whose lives have been changed by the sacrifice Jesus made for us at Calvary know exactly why the cross is so beautiful.” Rodney Baylous is Program Director of Joy! 102.5. Visit

Listen Now! Check out our Program Guide at | | April 2011



Listen Up By Karen Tull


hen I was in my early teens and soon to be entering high school, a peer of mine shared with me how she planned to spend the next four years. She said high school was the time to enjoy being young and carefree, that there would be enough to worry about when we’re adults. Basically, she was going to have whatever fun she wanted and not stress about her grades or anything else. Her remarks struck me because they ran counter to everything teachers, guidance counselors, and principals (plus my family) had been stressing. High school, they said, was, in fact, the most important time because those four years would dictate the course of our lives. How well we did would determine what college would accept us, what caliber of education we would then receive, and what kind of job we would ultimately land. It was a sobering viewpoint, but in the end, we could take it or leave it. It was up to us to decide whose counsel we would follow – our own or people who might actually know better. The older we become, the more we realize that we constantly have to make this decision. Who should I listen to? What is right for the situation I’m in? Which choice is the best one? There are three that would very much like to answer that for us: the world, the flesh, and the Devil. They say the best decision is to do what feels right, that we only have one life and we ought to live it as we wish. It’s our life, after all. Don’t

regret anything – just be true to yourself and follow your heart. In many ways, that sounds like appealing advice. Didn’t Shakespeare write, “To thine own self be true”? Didn’t Frank Sinatra sing, “I did it my way”? It’s an alluring mantra indeed. But God says to listen to Him. God? The loudest voices in and outside us rebel at the thought. God is a downer, they say. He makes rules for the sake of rules and doesn’t want you to have fun. Don’t listen to Him, whatever you do. The problem with that is, God has major credentials. For one, well, He’s God. He’s all-powerful and omniscient. He designed and created every living thing, including us. He wrote the book on life, which makes Him supremely and exclusively qualified to advise us on how to live. Even better, God loves what He made and the guidelines He sets forth in Scripture are actually for our benefit…not to stifle us. In fact, God sent His Son to die for all our waywardness so that we might have abundant life. Though we often want to, we simply can’t count on ourselves to know what’s best. Self-help is an oxymoron. Plus, the Bible says the human heart is deceitful. It lies to us. And so, following our feelings and what seems right in the moment only leads us in the wrong direction. The world says there is no black and white in life, just gray matter. God says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7a). The world says choose for yourself. God says, choose Me. | | April 2011


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here’s no doubt that education is a gift, a privilege for which we should be most thankful. Some may argue that a Christian education is an even more precious gift, and perhaps it is. But there’s a difference between a Christian education and the education of a Christian, the latter of which is most precious in the sight of God. When Jesus spoke to the Jews in John, He gave one chief characteristic of someone who has been truly educated in the things of God. According to Jesus, the most educated is not the one who attended the most prestigious religious institution. The most educated is not the most prolific writer nor the most polished speaker. It’s not the one who has memorized the most Scripture or who has the greatest fluency in ancient languages. Those who are truly educated in the things of God all have one thing in common. In John 6:45 Jesus says, “It is written in the prophets, ‘and they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and

learned from the Father, comes to Me.” The main characteristic of an educated believer is one who has learned to go to Jesus. This is the sign that one has heard and learned from the Father; this is the evidence of true education in the things of God: it’s continually going to Christ. However, the Pharisees of Jesus’ day (and the modern day religious folks of our time) could not grasp the simplicity of this heavenly wisdom. To them, education was something far more sophisticated. The Pharisees were the most learned religious scholars of their time. They attended religious schools and ceremonies. They knew the Scriptures. They studied the Scriptures. They memorized the Scriptures. They had received the best that religious education had to offer but they lacked the most foundational principle of one educated in God. In John 5:39 Jesus speaks to the Pharisees and says, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it’s these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”

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For all of their religious knowledge and zeal, most Pharisees refused to come to Jesus. They had learned many things but they had not “heard and learned from the Father.” They went to the Scriptures, they went to the traditions, they went to their religious observances, but they were unwilling to go to Christ and, as a result, missed out on life. This is a chilling thought to consider, particularly in reference to modern Christian education. Certainly most Christian educators would encourage study of the Word of God, as they should. But it’s possible that one could read the Bible, memorize the Bible and study the Bible and miss out on life because they never come to Him. While the Pharisees are a negative illustration of those who refused to come to Him, the disciples serve as a beautiful illustration of those truly educated in the things of God. On the level of earth, the disciples were not the sharpest tools in the shed. Many of them were ordinary fishermen with little or no theological training.

They were coarse, uncultured, unrefined men. But there’s one thing that separated these disciples from their more qualified religious contemporaries and that is found in Acts 4:13. Acts 4:13 says, “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” Apparently it was evident to all that these disciples were untrained and uneducated men by the world’s standards. But for all they lacked, they had enough sense to go to Jesus and that is what made all the difference. This is where the true education of a Christian takes place: it’s spending time with Jesus and nothing more. To be taught of God does not require one to go to seminary, to go Bible school, or even to go to church. It’s about continually going to Jesus and this is where our schooling takes place.

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ow do you teach independence and free-thinking with all of these rules and restrictions? When I was in high school, I would not have been able to put that sentiment into a simple question, but the underlying need for the answer was there. As a teenager, I lived to try and manipulate authority. It wasn’t enough to outright defy authority; that was too easy and everyone else was doing it. My niche was all about getting the teacher or parent to agree with me, making a complete one-eighty from their original stance. And I was good. One time I convinced a secretary to award me with a laminated hall pass based on the fact that I was the editor of the school paper (which was really more of a pamphlet). I didn’t even lie (much) and got to roam the school freely for a few days before the principal got wise. For an April Fools’ Day joke I forged a letter from my parents declaring that our family was moving to Brazil to be missionaries. Tears were shed. Grand speeches were made. Parties were planned. Later on the teachers were too shocked at how far

the joke had gone to actually discipline me. Some of them had already begun putting together a few weeks worth of assignments since I would need to pack and attend Portuguese tutoring with my family. It was mostly harmless testing of the boundaries, but there was an underlying need to rebel. It’s in all of us. It’s called sin. I still fight that urge to manipulate. My wife has forbidden me from ever running for public office because I think she senses the temptation to do whatever it takes would be too great for me to handle. I treasure her insight. School was always easy for me. I was a quick student, which made it very difficult for teachers to occupy my mind enough to prevent me from finding trouble. Some of the teachers I had were exceptional – some could not have cared less. I guess that is true for any profession, but teachers are so much more than just a profession. Aside from parents, teachers wield the most power and responsibility in our young lives. Perhaps the hardest job teachers have is not teaching knowl-



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Fight the Power by Josh Millwood

edge, but rather thinking. I was fortunate to have several teachers throughout my education who were less consumed with grade scores and more concerned with reasoning skills. They wanted me to think for myself (which I took a shine to immediately!). I’m still surprised at how many people willingly give up their right to think for themselves. I understand that it is easier to go through life as a mindless automaton – but what kind of life is that? However, with reasoning comes rebellion. Once you learn to think for yourself, you immediately decide you know better. It’s been that way since the Garden of Eden. Teachers have to walk a delicate balance of showing students how to think for themselves and, at the same time, adhere to a set of rules and regulations established by society (or a school board). Good teachers teach judgment. I don’t know if there is a prerequisite for an education degree called Judgment 101 – but there should be. Without good judgment, knowledge is a dangerous weapon handled by a novice. Parents and

teachers who work together to teach a balance of knowledge and judgment is not a sentiment lost in Norman Rockwell paintings – despite what society might otherwise advocate. So I would like to say thank you to a group of educators who did the impossible with me: taming a wild imagination into a never-ending fuel source for motivation and inspiration. The patience of my parents and a collage of excellent teachers has prepared me for the life I now live. They walked the balance of protecting me from the world and myself while also throwing me into a world of opportunities and hope. Sometimes they had to be the bad guys and tell me no. Sometimes they had to be the hands that pushed me from behind. Other times they walked side by side, teaching me about respect. But here I stand (so to speak). I fought the law and the law taught me a thing or two.

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A Guide to Education School Name


Class Size



Church Affiliation

Calvary Christian Academy



K( 3) - 12th

Aaron M. Coon

Calvary Assembly of God



K( 5) - 12th

Starr Krumm


Central Delaware Christian Academy 80


Pre-K (3) - 8th

Robert Draper




K (4) - 12th

Debbie Whitter

Easton Church of God


No class - Learning Center 13

1st - 12th

William Tull

Crisfield Church of God

9th - 12th

W. Scott Kemerling


Varies by age

Pre-K (2) - 8th

Lucy Dutton

Eagle’s Nest Fellowship Church


6 -20




Beginner Kelley D. Taylor Pre-Professional (Artistic Director) Pre-K (4) - 12th Mike Rohrer


Varies by age

Ages 2 - 6

Impact Church of Fruitland


Ages 1 - 5

Mary Ellen Briggs (Director) Jennifer Moore



Ages 2 - 4

Leslie Stern

St. Luke’s United Methodist




Marie Bonawell



15 or less

K - 12th



Pre-K (3) - 12th

Janice Tomlinson (Elem.), Salisbury Baptist Temple Carlo Leto (Secondary) James T. Fox Independent



Pre-K (2) - 12th

Cheryl Phillips

First Baptist Church of Seaford



Pre-K (3) - 8th

JoAnna Evans




Pre-K (4) - 8th

Candace Farlow

Exmore Baptist Church


Wendy Kemmet


James Kurtz


Rev. Dan Smith


Dover, Delaware

Central Baptist Academy Onley, Virginia Dover, Delaware

Chesapeake Christian School Easton, Maryland

Crisfield Christian Academy Crisfield, Maryland

Delmarva Christian High School 187 Georgetown, Delaware

Eagle’s Nest Christian Academy 518 Milton, Delaware

Footsteps Dance Academy Salisbury, Maryland

Holly Grove Christian School


Westover, Maryland

Just Children Learning Center Fruitland, Maryland

Rainbow Daycare and Preschool 69

Seaford Wesleyan Church

Seaford, Delaware

St. Luke’s School St. Michaels, Maryland

St. Paul on the Shore Hollywood, Maryland

Salisbury Baptist Academy Salisbury, Maryland

Salisbury Christian School Salisbury, Maryland

Seaford Christian Academy Seaford, Delaware

Seaside Christian Academy Ocean City, Maryland

Shore Christian Academy Exmore, Virginia

Snow Hill Christian Nursery School 120 7


6 wks - 3rd (after school) K - 12th



K - 12th



Toddlers - Age 4 Lee Anne Jackson

Snow Hill, Maryland

Snow Hill Mennonite School Snow Hill, Maryland

Wesleyan Christian School Denton, Maryland

Whatcoat Christian Preschool Camden, Delaware




2011 Annual Tuition

Financial Aid After- Curriculum school Care Yes Yes Bob Jones University Press

Phone Number





$1,990 - 2,900







A-Beka, Rosetta Stone


$2,200 - 5,225

Mullti-child Discount No


Accredited Christian Education






Varies by Program



College Preparatory, Advanced Placement, Christ-centered A-Beka, Bob Jones

$45 - $120 monthly, dependent upon level $2,970 - 3,982






Classical Ballet & Pointe, Irish-Step and Contemporary Jazz Various

$125/week (2-Year olds) $110/week (3-year olds) $5,700

Accepts POC


Age Appropriate Pre-School Activities


Accepts POC




$1,200 - 1,875








Sing, Spell, Read, Write





A-Beka, Bob Jones, Saxon


$1,827 - 5,178 (Pre K) $5,794 - 6,144 (Elem. - H.S.) $4,875






Variety of Publishers with Emphasis on Biblical Integration A-Beka, Bob Jones

$4, 350 - 4, 550



A-Beka, Bob Jones










Creative Curriculum





School of Tomorrow ACE


$4,515 - 4,775



A-Beka, Bob Jones, Others


$1,200 - 2,200



Theme-based, Age-appropriate Preschool Curriculum


$2,050 (Preschool) $4,600 (H.S.) $2,500





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Featured Schools Chesapeake Christian School

4065 Disharoon Rd. Eden, Maryland 410-749-8636

Chesapeake Christian School, located in picturesque Easton, Maryland, has been reaching students for Jesus for over 12 years. Striving for academic excellence, our K-4 through 12th grade facility offers the traditional classroom setting with an average teacher-student ratio of 1:15. Additional academics opportunities include independent studies, dual enrollment and internship programs. CCS offers many opportunities to produce well-rounded students with Christian values. We offer programs such as band, choir, handbells, drama, student-led Bible studies, prayer groups and community and global outreach projects. Students also enjoy competing academically with area schools, both private and public. Students have excelled collegiately at institutions such as Penn State, Salisbury

University, Virginia Wesleyan, Houghton, Liberty, Towson, Gumpton Jones Mortuary School of Science and University of Maryland. With the newly constructed state-ofthe-art gymnasium we have a competitive athletic program offering opportunities for those who play soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball. As active members of PACC and ACSI, we balance athletics, academics and spiritual enrichment at an extremely affordable price. For information contact the school at “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth� (2 Timothy 2:15).

Delmarva Christian High School Despite a weak economy, Delmarva

Christian High School in Georgetown, Delaware, continues to experience growth in its seventh year of operation, and has continued to set high standards. With the highest graduation requirements in the state of Delaware and the highest SAT scores in Sussex County, DCHS is committed to preparing students academically, physically, and spiritually to know and to do God’s will for their lives. Striving for excellence, DCHS offers advanced placement courses in all core academic subjects. DCHS students participate in 14 varsity-level interscholastic sports in two state athletic conferences. DCHS athletes have earned Diamond State Athletic and Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship wins along with individual Delaware State champions in track. DCHS students have accumulated thousands of hours of service to the community. Outreach extends to and beyond the local community to include inner-city ministries in Chattanooga and Baltimore, and families rendered homeless after Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. Students have also engaged in mission ministries in Germany, Israel, Jamaica, and Mexico. DCHS is dually accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle State Association, and the Association of Christian Schools International.
 Applications are being received now. For further information visit or call 302-856-4040.

Footsteps Dance Academy Footsteps Dance Academy is Delmarva’s God honoring alternative for professional dance instruction. Located in the E.S. Adkins business center, Salisbury, Footsteps is home of: The Atlantic Youth Ballet and Footsteps Irish Dancers. Founded in 1997, Footsteps is a proven training ground for beginners and the serious, career minded dancer. Several Footsteps alumni are now dancing professionally. Artistic Director Kelley Taylor is fully certified by Dance Masters of America and considered a Master Ballet teacher. The academy offers a comprehensive program of classical ballet and Pointe, Contemporary Jazz and Irish dance. Moms love Footsteps’ outstanding dance classes for children as young as 3. Wholesome music, age appropriate

costumes and choreography and a mature qualified staff ensure your young ballerina is given the best dance education without compromising Christian values. Saturday April 16th Footsteps presents “Mommy & Me & the Fairies of the Forest”. This interactive performance by The Atlantic Youth Ballet will be held at Asbury United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, Salisbury. Show time: 1:00 PM. Enjoy the ballet, fairy face painting, fairy snacks and “fairy” much more! Tickets: $10.00 adult, $7.00 child or “Mommy & Me” pair for just $15.00. For Tickets or more information, call Footsteps today at 410-546-5014

All Cabinets and Floors Our Name Says it All

Holly Grove Christian School Holly Grove Christian School (HGCS), located in Somerset County MD, was established in 1976 and occupies over 50,000 square feet of classroom and eight acres of athletic fields. Holly Grove is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International. We serve families and students in grade Pre-K (4) through 12th grade. Bus service is available from Princess Anne, Crisfield, and Fruitland in MD as well as Parksley and Chincoteague in VA. The Lord has richly blessed HGCS with a staff of over 50 dedicated teachers and professionals that inspire and encourage. Offering a college preparatory curriculum, graduates have been accepted at the Naval Academy, Liberty University, Messiah College, Virginia Tech, New York University, Georgetown University, University of Maryland College Park, Clearwater Christian College, Salisbury University, and Washington College. JV and varsity teams compete in field hockey, soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball and track. Our award winning Honors Choir and Children’s Choir have presented the Gospel in song throughout the region. Each spring the Honors Choir travels as a ministry team on their Spring Tour. “Excellence in Christ-Centered Academics”, that’s HGCS. Applications are accepted year-round; call Robin today at 410-957-0222 or visit our website www.

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Epic Fail By Karen Tull


nce again, we have arrived at the most special time in the Christian calendar – when we reflect upon the death and celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a story I have heard throughout my life, and yet, when I sit down to read it I usually come across something I’ve never before noticed. Sometimes, certain details seem to stand out more than others. Throughout the Gospels, we get to know a little bit about the twelve men who followed Jesus as His disciples. They were His chosen students and first-hand witnesses of His power and majesty. It’s for this reason that we may feel compelled to scratch our heads when we read how these same men could, at times, exhibit such lack of faith in Jesus. Peter is one disciple who definitely had his moments. We read that at the time when Jesus is taken by his captors into the house of the high priest, Peter is outside the building and recognized as being one of His followers. But on three separate occasions, Peter vehemently responds that he doesn’t know Him. Just a short time before, Peter had his feet washed by Jesus. Minutes ago, Peter was sitting with Him at the Passover table, declaring he was ready to follow his Lord to prison and to death. And when Jesus was arrested, Peter drew his sword in His defense. But, in the face of danger and fear, what was said and done moments ago no longer seems to matter. Peter separates himself from his Friend and then weeps when he realizes what he has done…when he sees Jesus looking at him. Later, Jesus is taken away and killed. What Peter did that night could be labeled as “epic fail.”

Perhaps that’s why he’s so relatable. I can think back on my own epic failures when I had to decide between allegiance to myself or to Christ. I’ve made choices and uttered words not pleasing to Him. During prime opportunities to share my faith, I’ve kept silent for fear of rejection. There are many instances that make me want to hang my head and run away like Peter. But there is hope. Three days after the death of Jesus, two women bring spices to His tomb, but they find it open and empty, except for an angel who has important news. “And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you’” (Mark 16:6-7). The angel mentions Peter by name. Peter was one of the disciples, but here, he is singled out. To me, it’s an interesting detail. This news is for Peter, too. Despite his denials, Peter is still one of them. He may be off somewhere hating himself, but Jesus – the One betrayed – is unchanged in his love for Peter. How often does that happen in this life? How can we turn our back on a friend today and expect to have that same friend tomorrow? It’s rare that in the wake of an epic fail we receive epic love, forgiveness, and acceptance in return. I once heard it said that the Lord doesn’t think any differently about us the next morning. Whatever thing we did in the night cannot come between us and the love of Jesus Christ. No matter what, we are always welcomed home. It gives comfort to the Peter in each of us. | | April 2011



Safe at School? By Brittney Switala


prayer request came into the office the other day. It was from a mom requesting prayer for her two young school-age daughters that they would not be influenced by secular teachings and that they would be influential for Jesus Christ – instead of being taken in by the world – at school. There was nothing unusual about this request, except it got me to thinking… school is so much more than what we think of when we hear the word “education”, particularly for a family of faith. I frequently find myself in conversations with other church moms discussing “school” but the conversation rarely revolves around grades, it usually goes down the path of discussing the school environment, the physi-

cal and spiritual “safety” of the students. We all want physical safety for our children. We take great care in selecting healthy lunches to pack for our children, perhaps we go through the carpool line and volunteer occasionally at our children’s schools; but for seven or so hours a day we simply have to trust that our kids are physically safe inside the walls of their school building. I once took my kindergartener to visit a play in the auditorium and was shocked to find a fight going on in the school cafeteria and three police cars in front of the building. These situations make us fear for our children’s wellbeing. April is the anniversary of both the Columbine Massacre

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in Littleton, Colorado and the horrendous 2007 Virginia Tech Shooting. Both of these situations spurred new control laws, fresh discussions about mental health, and better security at schools. But the increased security only serves as a reminder that there is something to be afraid of and little Johnny gets suspended for bringing a pocketknife to cut the apple his loving mom sent him for lunch. The safety that we desire cannot be guaranteed anywherewhether our children are homeschooled or spend the day at private or public school – but prayer can make a difference. In her book The Power of a Praying Parent Stormie OMartian writes, “Being a praying parent doesn’t mean that nothing bad will ever happen to your children or that they will never experience pain. They will, because pain is a part of life in this fallen world. But the Bible assures us that our prayers play a vital part in keeping trouble from them. And when a painful thing does happen, they will be protected in the midst of it so it will be to their betterment and not their destruction.” We all want our children to be morally safe and spiritually strong at school. I went out for ice cream the other night with a good friend. We have the type of relationship where our kids are always at one another’s homes and we speak freely about our children. Anyway, I was telling her we are considering Christian school for my daughter’s middle school years. She told me that she believed too many parents were running from the world (by taking their kids out of public school) instead of living in the world and letting their kids be a light for Jesus. She brought up that we are to be in the world to lead them to Christ- a concept found many places in the Bible including John 17 where Jesus prays, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” At the same time I mentioned, “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). There is a tension there and for years Christian parents have been trying to find that happy medium. From that discussion I was challenged to really probe my heart as to what I believe about children and their role as faith ambassadors in the school. Here are several questions I considered:


• Is a child simply at school to learn? (Is the school a proper place for proselytizing?) • Are elementary schoolaged children even capable of witnessing and is that a role we should place on them? • What if I do not have assurance of my own child’s salvation; do I put him in a different school environment until I am certain of his own spiritual condition? • If my child has a strong, bold personality, would it be better to allow him the opportunity to be a light at public school? What if my Christian child seems easily swayed by the crowd? • What if the Christian school has a bad reputation (for being the last resort for outlaws, or rich snooty students) yet has incredible, Christ-honoring teaching in the classroom? Is this a good place to nurture my child’s faith? • Is our family disobeying the Great Commission if our children do not have interaction with non-Christian children? As a child I grew up in a church with noted “factions” with strong viewpoints on how we should educate our children. One principal of the Christian school thought all good Christians should send their children there. There were the pioneering homeschool family (who homeschooled when homeschooling wasn’t cool) and the public school families who felt their children needed to evangelize students at their schools as well. They were all sincere in their beliefs, but the situation left me frustrated that they wouldn’t see the other’s point of view and consider the remote possibility they were all correct. A child who is not strong in their faith cannot be an ambassador in the public schools because that child has not internalized the Gospel themselves. However, a child who has a strong faith in Jesus Christ can turn the world upside down for Christ in his public school. Children, based on their personalities and learning styles, thrive in different environments. Parents may choose a combination of public, homeschool and Christian school based on their children’s individual personalities and faith journeys. Really, in the end, we all want the same thing… children who grow in faith and passionately serve Jesus Christ.

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Education: Friend or Foe? By April Smart


ife is constantly a learning process. We can allow unfavorable circumstances to taint our view on life or we can choose to make lemonade out of the lemons that life hands to us. Education is the process of learning to attain knowledge and, for the most part, becoming more knowledgeable is a beneficial thing. We have been told throughout our years of state required education that obtaining specific education in a field of work is the primary focus if we are to walk into a good paying career. However, we have truly missed the meaning of life if God is not with us on the road of this journey. Some people may view education as something that increases the imbecility of men, but increasing in knowledge collectively should not be viewed as an abominable entity in itself. It is how you apply what you know that really matters. An officer carries a weapon for his protection and for our protection; if a criminal has a weapon, then it is no longer such a good thing. In Jeremiah 17:9 it says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” The weapon is not really the issue; it is the motive of a person that makes all the difference. We must guard ourselves against the very things that the world validates. Society teaches that we are to desire to become educated and, self-reliant contributing citizens, however it sometimes seems like the most intelligent human beings often rely on their own knowledge and forfeit their opportunity to receive God’s wisdom and guidance in their everyday deci-

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sions, while some people deny His existence altogether. In I Corinthians 1:27, it says that “God chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” The reason that God does this is so that no one may boast in their own abilities. It is ironic that Paul, formerly known as Saul, would write these words. He was one of the most highly educated of all Jesus’ disciples. What Paul thought was right in his own mind was completely wrong. With all the religious zeal he could muster, Paul enthusiastically sought to destroy the lives of Christians. It is thought that he was the one who was there when Stephen was stoned to death. It wasn’t until Paul encountered the Lord on the road to Damascus that he realized God had a plan for his life that was far greater than he had ever imagined. It is better to know God intimately than to have all the education or knowledge in the world. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. We must remember that it was the motivation to have knowledge that drove Adam to disobey God, which broke right relationship with him that caused sin to enter into the world. If we can use education and knowledge to point others closer to the Lord, then we have accomplished something. As it says in Proverbs 11:30 “...he who wins souls is wise.” But if our goal is to use education as a way to make ourselves appear smarter and to receive accolades for our accomplishments, then we have become imbeciles and nothing more. Ultimately, God’s desire is that we know Him intimately; the more of Him that we have, the fewer bragging rights we have.

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ccording to Will Durant, “The greatest question of our time is not communism vs. individualism, not Europe vs. America, not even the East vs. the West; it is whether men can bear to live without God.” The importance of this question impacts us all because it is not simply an intellectual exercise, but a question of life.  If God indeed exists, then it would change everything.  The consequences would be major, and to ignore God, to avoid God, or to reject God could be costly.  But can we really know that God is real?  As it is often framed, such a question means that we are asking for overwhelming evidence or evidence of a particular nature before we feel we can make a judgment.  We may insist that if God were real He would reveal Himself on our terms, whether through science, or the arts, or philosophy.  Yet my response would be that we should defer judgment, hold back our prejudices and our desired terms, and

follow the trail of intimations to where they may lead. Let me lay some foundations. Since the beginning of time until the present, the overwhelming majority of people have believed that God exists.  This is not a compelling argument, but it is nonetheless an occurrence that demands explanation.  What’s more, many scientists and philosophers continue to see overwhelming evidence of design in the natural world.  The complexity, order, and life-sustaining factors are too significant to be answered by chance.  If you watched a movie and were clearly awed by it, but were then told that it just came together by chance, you would scoff at the suggestion!  The beauty, the plot, the detail, and the coherence tell you plainly that an intelligent agent was involved.  As the old song says, “Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could.” Our encounter with nature, life, and the sheer majesty of the universe invites reflection, and often generates a sense of

Can We Know? By Stuart McAllister

awe. Albert Einstein said, “The mathematical precision of the universe reveals the mathematical mind of God.”  The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature— have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that we are without excuse.”  The information and data points to design; the order and creativity suggest a Creator.  And the Scriptures describe a holy and personal being.   But can we know God?  The Psalmist said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  Paul said to the Romans, “It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”  God is not an abstract idea, a philosophical concept, or a proposition.  He is the Lord of life and the Lord of all and can be known to those who will humble themselves. Believing is a starting point for a new, real, and active relationship with the living

God. The God who is seen in creation, hinted at in conscience, revealed in Jesus, testified to by witnesses, and written about in Scripture, can be known practically in the life of the Holy Spirit, given to us by faith and repentance.  Can we know that God is real?  I believe the answer is yes, but on God’s terms, not ours.  And Lord willing, one day we shall see fully, even as we are fully known. Stuart McAllister is vice president of training and special projects at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.   Can We Know? by Stuart McAllister, A Slice of Infinity, No. 2400, orignally printed February 17, 2011 (www.rzim. org). Used by permission of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.


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er judgment of the amount of time needed to complete the assignment was a little off. She was to do some internet research, then write a short paper arguing her position on the assigned topic. Sunday afternoon she sat herself down at the computer. The first problem she encountered was finding the research material. The teacher had given links to suggested sites, but none of them seemed to work. After all, they were strings of characters two lines long— one typographical error and you’re sunk. This is where dad was called in to assist, and he worked with her until all but one of the sites was located. “Are you okay now?” he asked. “Yes, I can go from here,” she replied optimistically. But a couple of hours later, dad was summoned again. There was only one problem with dad assisting—he did not enjoy this type of as©2010:HealthSouth:441521



signment. He would much rather help with her algebra homework. Digging through research and drawing conclusions was not a pleasant endeavor in his way of thinking. He was wearing his attitude on his sleeve when the plea for help came. But then he looked at his daughter. When questioned about the assignment and where she was going with it, she hung her head in bewilderment. Her dejection was evident. She clearly did not know how to continue. As her father witnessed this, his heart immediately softened, and inwardly he cried for his daughter. She was in distress. So, the best he could, the father put his personal dislike of the assignment aside, and he joined his daughter in her pain. The two of them would trudge through this together (and drag her mother into this misery as well). Between the three of them, the

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k Than Meets the Eye By B. A. Timmons assignment was completed by the end of the evening...but it wasn’t perfect (algebra homework would have been perfect). If he could, her father would have completed her assignment in her place; but, she would have learned nothing. He had no choice but to allow her to walk through the difficultly—but she didn’t have to walk alone. Her father would walk with her. He knew exactly what she was experiencing. He could empathize with her completely. His heart ached to see her make it through to the other side. This sentiment could be attributed to the natural man. Don’t fathers naturally have these feelings towards their daughters? For the answer to that, perhaps we should consider the very beginnings of family. The family came into existence long before the first family here on Earth. Ephesians 3:14-15 says, “For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom

every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.” Our earthly families are patterned after the Family of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This Threesome wrote the book on family, and it is this Family that our earthly families were created to reflect. In that light, God must see us much the same way as this earthly father sees his daughter. His heart aches to see us through to the other side. Fortunately for us, He gave us His Spirit and this thing called family, patterned after His own Family. In experiencing his relationship with his daughter, a father gets to experience firsthand the heart and love of God. He senses it flowing out, seemingly without effort. And the daughter gets to experience, firsthand, the heart and love of God toward her. On second thought, maybe the homework turned out perfectly after all.

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In the Name of Jesus – Reflections on Christian Leadership: Henri J.M. Nouwen This is a heartwarming story of a priest who leaves his comfort zone of Christian academia for life in ministry to mentally handicapped individuals. Nouwen writes of the need to abandon desire for relevancy and accomplishment in order to strive for the mind of God. He speaks of the need for goals of downward mobility and vulnerability and the need for servant leadership perspective. With a poignancy in his epilogue that may have fallen short through the book itself, Nouwen sums up all that’s really important in the Christian walk and, in particular, in Christian leadership – relationship with others in Christ.

Celebration of Discipline – The Path to Spiritual Growth: Richard J. Foster The good life of a Christian, what is it? Foster explains that it consists of a balance between God’s provision, where He has placed us and the manner in which we individually express ourselves in Him. It is what writers of the past may have meant when they spoke of a “godly” life, one steeped in Christian discipline. Twelve disciplines are examined – meditation and prayer; fasting; study; simplicity and solitude; submission and service; confession; worship; guidance and celebration. Cautions are offered against legalism, self-righteousness – and even over-emphasis on the disciplines. Powerful insights are provided for those willing to work their way through the pro-

cess. This book should, perhaps, be considered a year’s study companion to the Bible – or more!

Written by the translator of The Message, this book walks through the different components of “discipleship in an instant society.” Using Psalms 120 through 134, the Songs of Ascents, to demonstrate the parallel between today’s discipleship walk and the walk of Hebrew pilgrims as they traveled into Jerusalem for the feasts. It was a long upward walk for many but they spent much of their life on that upward path to honor God. Peterson takes the reader through the various components of discipleship – from repentance to worship, service to perseverance, humility to blessing – in ways that are meaningful and relevant to today’s discipleship walk. These reviews are provided by Maranatha, Inc. staff and contributing writers.

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Eugene Peterson

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The Manna April 2011  

The Digital Magazine Published by Maranatha, Inc.

The Manna April 2011  

The Digital Magazine Published by Maranatha, Inc.