Senior year of high school. It’s overwhelming. It’s exciting and frightening all at once. It’s the quiet before the storm of the unknown. If you are nearing graduation (that is, in your last year of high school), I believe you can relate. Quite possibly, you know the feeling all too well.
Constantly in this modern world we are pushed in this direction, pulled in that one. The opinions of others’ have turned into the commands that leave us confused and scared.
Yet, in the midst of the loudness, there is a soft whisper. You hear it. But, you’re so busy with school, and life, and trying to plan your own future that you ignore this voice. His voice. ‘Rest. In. Me.’
Rest. In. God.
We are reminded that God commands us to rest in Him. Not to earn rest somehow by doing ‘enough’ for Him (Ephesians 2:8-9). Rest is acknowledging that you are not in control and that God is. To rest in Him is to trust in Him. He has predestined your journey. He knows your every thought. He has your entire life cradled in the palm of His hand. In fact, He has the entire universe cradled in the palm of His hand! Every ripple of the ocean, every shining star, every microscopic molecule.
Written by Precious Greaves
My trip to Africa was more than just hopping on a few planes and changing time zones. It was more than months of planning and prayer. It even surpassed the initial culture shock and extreme disorientation for a few days while my body and mind started to adjust. My trip to Africa was beyond me and my reactions, and I was blessed to be a witness and a small tool for God to use. I saw Him move in a foreign land, and within my heart. My trip to Africa was more poetic than words could summarize, more beautiful than a human being could describe, and an experience I will never forget.
How can I even start to describe what music means to me!
I love listening to music, I love talking about music. Let’s just say I love everything about music!! Whether I am singing, playing music on the piano, or just being crazy and dancing around the front room with a great Newsboys song blaring through the speakers. Once you get me started talking about Christian music, it's not easy to turn me off.
Before I became interested in Contemporary Christian music, however, my thoughts on that subject were quite different. I thought, ‘Oh, it is good music, just too slow and a little too preachy.’
I couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Yes, there are songs that are slow- but that's great! Sometimes you want a slow, hand raising, spiritual song. There are songs that I guess could be deemed preachy, but some people need that, and those songs are awesome just as they are.
My first real eye opener was listening to the Newsboys song God's not Dead.
Written by Faye L.
A little, dark stable cave, lowly and full of pungent, animal smells. A peasant girl of Nazareth, lulling her infant to sleep. A calloused, plain carpenter, struck with awe over this little babe and the young mother. Such a strange beginning for God’s own Son! And yet, the brightest star of all shone above this cave and its residents, shouting out to the world, “O come, let us adore Him!”
Who am I? I am the day of celebration. Celebration of and to a King. I am the day of light, the most beautiful song in the universe. I am the day on which the humble remember and the faithful worship.
Written by Faye L.
If I were to think back to when I began listening to music, I would have to go back to when I was two, three, four years or so old. I was nothing if not predictable: Veggie Tales™ CDs and Disney’s The Jungle Book soundtrack. Over and over and over again. I could pride myself in knowing all the lyrics to Want to be Like You. And Veggie Tales™? Well, I couldn’t live without those genius-created ditties! Even today, Belly Button brings a tear to my eye. No, seriously. I continue to love Veggie Tales™ ‘till this day.
Though I’ve always enjoyed music, aside from my Veggie Tales™ and Jungle Book days, I’ve really never been that into music. I had never (and have never) played a single instrument… though, MAYBE one day I will consider the banjo or ukulele!
More recently, my good friend, who is a huge Newsboys fan, recommended listening to K-Love radio. I had always heard varied opinions on K-Love, so I was more or less expecting to find boring, secular Christian music. However, I knew if my friend was listening to the station, it had to be fairly good! Never the less, I was surprised to find myself enjoying the Christian Contemporary music… and encouraged.
When I was in seventh grade, I was convinced that I desperately wanted to go out to highschool. All my friends were planning on attending different schools; they would all have school football teams to cheer for, and school events to attend. I was annoyed when my mother kept saying “No, I don’t think public school is for you.”
But public school wasn’t for me. And boy am I terribly glad that my mother didn’t listen to seventh-grade me. Having experienced four years of homeschooling in highschool, I now realize that it was an excellent decision to stay homeschooled for my final years. I have had the chance to do extracurricular activities, babysit, serve, go on field trips, and take a sick day without worrying how it will affect my grades. I have had much more time to develop the skills that I want to learn, instead of being stuck for eight hours a day wasting time on things that I don’t really care to know about.
I salute all those who have made it through traditional school with flying colors. Hearing about all the homework and the stressful schedule just makes me nervous. But I know that homeschooling was perfect for me, and I also know that it has prepared me for the world of college. I am confident and ready to experience homework, teachers and deadlines for the first time.
"Do you like being home schooled" is a loaded topic for me. It seems as though everything in my life is connected to my education. My friends, opportunities, the way I see myself and other revolve around that one aspect of my life. Now, as a high school senior who has been home educated throughout his school years, I've come to really enjoy my experience. It hasn't always been that way, however, I can still remember feeling socially, mentally and physically inadequate in contrast to traditionally schooled peers. I felt like they met a standard of what a preteen should look like. On the other hand, I felt like I didn't belong in the "insanely talented and knowledgeable homeschooler" category, either, As I'm quickly approaching my high school graduation, I feel like I'm finally starting to understand what makes home schooling so exceptional. For me, it's individuality. Having a learning experience built around the notion that I'm unique has been an enormous help.
Everyone views homeschoolers differently. There are those you meet at 10am in the grocery store who state subtly yet judgmentally, “Why, aren’t you supposed to be in school? Is there a holiday I don’t know about?” There are those distant friends and family members you only met once when you were two, who ask, “Where do you go to school?” When you or your parents answer timidly that your homeschooled, they respond, “Oh, I love homeschooling! If only I could etc. etc. I would homeschool my kids!” Then there are those who hate homeschoolers. And still, there are those who believe homeschooling moms and their daughters wear only simple blouses that don’t let an inch of skin show, long denim skirts, and sneakers, while the fathers and their boys always wear khaki colored Dockers and polo shirts. Which…err… is kind of true.
I’ve not always been homeschooled. I was first sent to a small, private Lutheran preschool (okay, maybe that doesn’t count!), and then I went to public school Kindergarten for one year. My older brother was struggling terribly in Kindergarten and 1st grade, and was the reason for my parents’ homeschool career. I must admit, I loved this new idea- this thought- of being homeschooled. I never knew such a thing existed. And of course, my older brother was doing it, so I was extremely excited about this concept.
So, I went to a private Christian School all the way from pre-k to 8th grade. I graduated and by the grace of God, I got accepted to Lane Tech College Prep, one of the top high schools in the state. Going to Lane was a HUGE switch from my tiny Christian school to a 4,000+ populated high school that was completely secular. Again, by the wonderful grace of God, I learned how to make friends and show respect to people from all types of back grounds, religions, and cultures. Going to a different school didn't mean that I wasn't the same introverted Christian girl, but I tried my best to never pass up an opportunity to learn something new, and or share something with others. Lane Tech was filled with tough work, and constant competition. In a way, it was very stressful, but it was stress that pushed and motivated you to want to succeed and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
I have enjoyed being homeschooled my whole life. When I was four we joined a Christian homeschool group that meets once a week. I feel that being surrounded by supportive, Christian friends has really been a blessing and the classes have been a fun addition to my everyday homework.
Being homeschooled has especially given me a lot of time to spend with my family. With my Mom as the teacher and my sister as my classmate we enjoy studying together and going on field trips. Sometimes a break from homework could mean my sister and I making a mini movie or a bake off in the kitchen. Everyday is different. When Dad comes home we are usually finished with homework and we can spend the rest of the evening together.
by Kayla Rundquist
You’ve probably seen many a classic teen flick. The one where the nerdy girl gets a fantastic makeover and walks into her high school dance with a chorus of angels singing behind her. And that one unreachable hot guy turns and suddenly realizes that she’s the most beautiful girl in school. If you haven’t seen something like that, you might live under a rock. As someone who has seen plenty of these, I have noticed that there is one common factor in all of these movies. It comes in various shapes, but with stereotypes intact, it is always there. It is the moment where the kindly fairy godmother takes off the nerdy girl’s prescription glasses and says: “You have such pretty eyes.” Like she didn’t have pretty eyes before the glasses came off.