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Welcome, Ms. Jenna Herrington!

Regents Academy is very glad to welcome Ms. Jenna Herrington to its faculty for the 2019-20 school year.

Originally from North Carolina, Ms. Herrington is a graduate of Belhaven University and holds a bachelor’s degree in English. She will be teaching Omnibus and Writing in the Logic School. We are sad to say goodbye to our beloved teacher, Mrs. Sherry Wiggins, but we know that students will enjoy getting to know Ms. Herrington as their new teacher.

Welcome to Regents, Ms. Herrington!

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Welcome, Ms. Emma Terrell!

Regents Academy is glad to welcome Ms. Emma Terrell as its new Athletic Director for the 2019-20 school year. Ms. Terrell is certainly no stranger to our school. A member of the graduating class of 2017, her mother Katrina teaches 4th grade, and her siblings are students at Regents.

We are sad to say goodbye to Jenay Harman, who served as the Regents Athletic Director for the last several years, but we are happy that she is still a part of the school family.

Welcome to the Regents staff, Emma!

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Welcome, Ms. Lina Burklin!

Regents Academy is glad to welcome Ms. Lina Burklin to its faculty for the 2019-20 school year.

A native of Longview, Ms. Burklin comes to Regents after teaching middle school for 8 years at Sakeji Mission School in Zambia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from LeTourneau University and is a gifted pianist. Ms. Burklin will be teaching Omnibus 1 (Antiquity 1), 7th grade science, and Government.

Ms. Burklin is a talented teacher who loves to learn, and we welcome her!

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“Education ought everywhere to be religious education”

As Christians we all confess, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” Indeed, He is Lord of all. Therefore, He is Lord of our businesses and our homes and our parenting and every other domain. “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet” (1 Cor 15:25). We, as Christian parents, must submit to this truth in our own hearts and lives, and then we must parent and educate our children in light of the reality that Christ is Lord of all.

The Lordship of Christ has ramifications for everything in life, and most certainly for how we educate our children. There is no neutral ground. There is no religious/nonreligious divide, despite the insistence of secularists of various stripes. 

E. Ray Moore from the Exodus Mandate says it well:

Timothy Dwight, President of Yale University from 1795 to 1817, said about the importance of a thoroughly Christian education, “Education ought everywhere to be religious education . . . parents are bound to employ no instructors who will not instruct their children religiously. To commit our children to the care of irreligious people is to commit lambs to the superintendency of wolves.” All education has a religious character as it is inescapably based upon views, articulated or not, related to the nature of God, man and the world. Neutrality in education is impossible.

Let’s stay committed to “a thoroughly Christian education,” as those who follow Christ as Lord in all of life.

Lord, give us grace to be faithful to you. Amen.

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Three Phases of Growth and Three Hymns of the Faith

As we instruct students in our school’s curriculum, Regents teachers also seeking to train them in the formation of godly character. Character is formed in the process of becoming who we are uniquely designed to be: reflections of God. We are not simply seeking to educate young minds; we are seeking to be instruments in God’s hands as He transforms them into the likeness of Christ, who is wisdom and virtue personified.

As a school, there are three major phases in this formative process that correspond to the Trivium. They correspond conceptually to three well-loved hymns.

Grammar School: Trust and Obey

First, we want to establish trusting relationships with children so that they experience the blessings of what it means to trust and obey those in authority. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) We interpret this to mean that God desires us to initiate the trust of our students by loving them with Christ-like love. As our students respond to the loving leadership of their teachers, they will begin to reap the blessings of obedience and training in wisdom. Ultimately, we are seeking to raise up a generation of leaders who are equipped to lead confidently and with grace. We believe that this means we must first establish a trusting relationship with them, and secondly, we must encourage and equip students in how to live out that trust through obedience and acceptance of personal responsibility. “To be happy in Jesus, is to trust and obey.”

Logic School: Be Thou My Vision

Rather than defining the world by their own standards, we desire for our students to define the world and their view of it by God’s Word. A worldview is the lens by which we view the world. A Christian worldview allows us to view the world with a redemptive focus so that we can respond compassionately and boldly. By teaching our students formal logic and debate starting in logic school, we are seeking to train the way they listen and respond. We want them to be increasingly aware of when words and actions are contradictory, not because we want students to “call others out” but because we want them to be equipped to defend truth. Jesus said that the first contradiction we should be concerned about is with our own words and actions. “Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true Word.”

Rhetoric School: Onward Christian Soldiers

As our students mature, we want them to be equipped and empowered to make a difference. The world does not need smarter students; it needs servant leaders. We intentionally give our high school students increasing freedom, voice, and responsibility (Eph. 4:13-16). In doing this they begin to see themselves as contributors to our school’s culture rather than viewing themselves as consumers. Serving others, self-denial, and wise stewardship, we believe, are the starting points for biblical leadership. We desire that our students would view themselves as soldiers for the Lord “with the cross of Jesus going on before.”

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Chesterton on the Resurrection of our Lord

G. K. Chesterton had this to say about Easter in his book The Everlasting Man:

On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away.  In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night.  What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but of the dawn.

So Happy New Year, friends. I hope as you walk with the Gardener in the dawn of this coming year you experience the rich blessings of knowing Him and making Him known.

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!

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2019 4-H Officers

A hearty congratulations to the newly elected Regents Academy 4-H Club officers for 2019-2020.

Pictured above (left to right) are Sydney Cunyus, Secretary; Abby Powers, President; Caroline Alders, Parliamentarian; Ethan Fairley, Vice President; and Clayton Terrell, Treasurer.

This great group of student leaders will carry on a tradition of excellent leadership of the Regents 4-H Club. Great job, students!

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Some Basic Principles

Consider these wise words from the Circe Institute on the purpose of classical education and its relation to God’s grace:

Purpose: The purpose of Classical Education is to cultivate virtue and wisdom. The classical Christian does not ask, “What can I do with this learning?” but “What will this learning do to me?” The ultimate end of Classical Christian education is to enable the student (disciple) to better know, glorify, and enjoy God. Since we are able to know things with which we have a common nature, the more we are like God the better we can know Him. A student gives glory to God when he is like Him. Our enjoyment of God is derived from our ability to see Him and to see His handiwork.

Grace: In a Christian school, learning is not an end in itself.  Instead, the classical Christian teacher asks God to use his teaching, dispositions, and actions as an instrument in His hand to cultivate the students’ souls toward holiness.  In this sense, learning can be a means of grace.

What a beautiful picture of education. What a powerful tool to shape our children for Christ.

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Are You #Blessed?

Our community of families has been and is being blessed by our great God. Blessings, all around and abundant. Recently I enjoyed reading an article about blessings by freelance writer and blogger Vaneetha Rendall Risner. The article, which appeared at Desiring God, was a timely reminder for me, and I hope it helps you think more clearly and biblically about God’s blessings in your life. Are you #Blessed?

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What Does It Really Mean to Be #Blessed?

Feeling blessed is in vogue.

A quick look at Facebook and Twitter shows how many people today feel #blessed. In our social-media world, saying you’re blessed can be a way of boasting while trying to sound humble.

College scholarship? #Blessed. Unexpected raise? #Blessed. Wonderful family? #Blessed.

As Christians we use that term too, of course. We pray God will bless our family. We attribute our undeserved gifts to “God’s blessings.” We talk about ministries being blessed. But what does it really mean? How should we understand the blessing of God?

The Good Life

For believers, is the blessed life synonymous with the successful life? Is it the Christian version of the good life? A loving marriage, obedient children, a vibrant ministry, a healthy body, a successful career, trusted friends, financial abundance — if these are the characteristics of a blessed life, then having all of them should translate into an extraordinarily blessed life.

But does it? If someone had all those things, would they be extraordinarily blessed?

Rather than turning to God, they might feel self-sufficient and proud. Perhaps a bit smug and self-righteous. After all, their hard work would be yielding good fruit.

Moreover, they wouldn’t need to cry out to God for deliverance; everything would already be perfect. They wouldn’t need to trust God; they could trust in themselves. They wouldn’t need God to fill them; they would already be satisfied.

God’s Richest Blessings

My desire for God is greatly fueled by my need. And it is in the areas of loss where I feel my need most intensely. Unmet desires keep me on my knees. Deepen my prayer life. Make me ransack the Bible for God’s promises.

Earthly blessings are temporary; they can all be taken away. Job’s blessings all disappeared in one fateful day. I, too, had a comfortable life that was stripped away within a span of weeks. My marriage dissolved. My children rebelled. My health spiraled downward. My family fell apart. My dreams were shattered.

And yet, in the midst of those painful events, I experienced God’s richest blessings. A stronger faith than I had experienced before. A deeper love than I had ever known. A more intimate walk than I could explain. My trials grounded my faith in ways that prosperity and abundance never could.

While my trials were not blessings in themselves, they were channels for them. As Laura Story asks in her song “Blessings,” “What if your blessings come through rain drops? What if trials of this life — the rain, the storms, the hardest nights — are your mercies in disguise?”

This revolutionary idea of blessing is also firmly established in Scripture.

The Common Thread

One translation of the New Testament (ESV) has 112 references with the words bless, blessing, or blessed, none of which connects blessing to material prosperity. Consider these passages:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit. . . . Blessed are those who mourn. . . . Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake . . . Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:3–4, 10–11)

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28)

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven. (Romans 4:7; quoting Psalm 32:1)

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial. (James 1:12)

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. . . . Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 14:13, 19:9)

There is no hint of material prosperity or perfect circumstances in any New Testament reference. On the contrary, blessing is typically connected with either poverty and trial or the spiritual benefits of being joined by faith to Jesus.

According to the Key-Word Study Bible, “The Greek word translated blessed in these passages is makarioi which means to be fully satisfied. It refers to those receiving God’s favor, regardless of the circumstances” (emphasis added).

What is blessing, then? Scripture shows that blessing is anything God gives that makes us fully satisfied in him. Anything that draws us closer to Jesus. Anything that helps us relinquish the temporal and hold on more tightly to the eternal. And often it is the struggles and trials, the aching disappointments and the unfulfilled longings that best enable us to do that.

Truly Blessed

Pain and loss transform us. While they sometimes unravel us, they can also push us to a deeper life with God than we ever thought possible. They make us rest in God alone. Not what we can do or achieve for him. And not what he can do or achieve for us.

In pain and loss, we long for Presence. We long to know that God is for us and with us and in us. Great families, financial wealth, and good health are all wonderful gifts we can thank God for, but they are not his greatest blessings. They may make us delight, not in God, but in his gifts.

God’s greatest blessing always rests in God himself. When we have that, we are truly #blessed.

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Texas Outdoor Writer’s Association Winners

Congratulations to our Regents Academy students, who won ALL of the awards in this year’s Texas Outdoor Writer’s Association (TOWA) youth essay contest! 

Once again, the students were asked to write about a favorite outdoor experience. They were judged from other entries in their division from around the state. In the middle school (6th-8th grade) division, eighth graders swept the division with Katelynn Anderson winning first place (and a new laptop computer!), Ella Li placing second, and Joseph Pratt placing third. In the high school (9th-12th grades) division, tenth graders dominated with Lilly Hook winning first place (and a new laptop computer) and Leah Vermillion placing second. A third place winner in this division was not announced by TOWA this year. 

Hearty congratulations and many thanks to Mrs. Sherry Wiggins for overseeing her eighth grade students’ entries and for keeping all the students on track with the contest deadline.

Pictured, from left, are Katelyn Anderson, Ella Li, Joseph Pratt, Headmaster David Bryant, Leah Vermillion, and Lilly Hook.

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