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Vacation is coming … But not yet

Summer vacation is coming. The change of pace. Carefree days. But not yet. So, in anticipation, here’s a little taste.

“The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

 

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

 

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.


TAPPS State Winners

Regents Academy’s high school TAPPS Academic & Art Competition team placed third from among 24 teams at the state competition in Waco in April.

Several students placed in their events including:

back row (from left): Luke Riley – 2nd-Persuasive Speaking; Ethan Fairley – 1st-Number Sense, 3rd-Mathematics; Nathan Landrum – 8th-Social Studies; Skyler Houser – 8th-Ready Writing; Jess Hill – 2nd-Duet Acting; Skeeter Gilbreath – 2nd-Duet Acting, 1st-Fashion Design/Textile Arts/Jewelry Design; Evan Muir – 1st – Prose Interpretation
front row (from left): Liane Muir – 7th-Duet Acting, 5th-Spelling; Sydney Bryant; Caroline Alders – 2nd-Literary Criticism; Abby Powers – 3rd-Fashion Design/Textile Arts/Jewelry Design, 5th-black & white photography, 7th & 8th-color photography, HM-Seek & Sketch (color); Leah Vermillion – 7th Literary Criticism; Lindley Bryant – 1st Spelling, 2nd-Social Studies, 7th-Duet Acting, Top Academic Points Student.Great job, students! 


Senior Thesis Presentation and Defense 2018

Congratulations to the Regents seniors for successfully defending their 2018 Senior Theses!

The Senior Thesis offers students a culminating opportunity to expand critical thinking, research, and rhetorical abilities by preparing, presenting, and defending a substantive argument on a scholarly, debatable question. Students are expected to prepare a paper as formal evidence of learning and skill acquired at Regents Academy. As such, the paper is the most lengthy and most carefully documented essay written so far; students research, discuss, and write their theses throughout their senior year.

There are five stages in the completion of the senior thesis: first, students select and do preliminary research on a topic to be proposed to the thesis teacher; second, students work with the thesis teacher to develop an outline and perform further research on the approved topic; third, students write the thesis in a series of drafts that are reviewed by the teacher in preparation for an essay that adequately defends a position on the issues relevant to a chosen topic; fourth, students carefully prepare a final draft of the essay; and fifth, students present and defend the completed essay before faculty and invited guests at the Senior Thesis Presentation and Defense.


Hope For Today, Because Of Tomorrow

A good word from Paul David Tripp – “Hope For Today, Because Of Tomorrow.”

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When you woke up this morning, what gave you hope? Maybe a better way of asking the same question is: When you woke up this morning, where did you look for security?

For many well-intentioned followers of Jesus, we have mistakenly built our houses of hope on sinking sand. Without even knowing it, we load all our hope for life onto our spouse, children, career, house, retirement account, social status, or ministry calling.

Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with appreciating people, possessions, or positions. But these temporal things were never designed to be a source of hope. To hope in temporal things is to hope in what I cannot control and what is not guaranteed to me.

I think you can predict where I’m going with this: When we live with eternity in view, we find an unshakable hope for this sin-shattered world.

But wait: There’s a life-changing difference between understanding this conceptually and embracing it practically. I have found that many of us have sectioned this truth in the “theologically interesting but basically irrelevant” area of our Christianity. Eternity sounds nice, but it doesn’t make much of a difference in our everyday life.

So, once again, I would invite you to meditate on eternity. If you live with Tomorrow in view, it will change everything about the way you invest your life Today.

Listen to the saints who have passed over to the other side. They don’t talk about the wonderful temporal pleasures they experienced on earth. As fitting as it is to be thankful for all these things, they now have a crystal-clear sense of what is most important.

They summarize it with one sentence: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:10b)

Now in eternity, they have their values right. And through the gift of Scripture, we are given a glimpse of what they consider central so we don’t have to wait until we join them Tomorrow to get our values right Today.

But let’s confess: Much of our existence is a frenetic attempt to build a paradise in a broken world. The house is never quite right. The kids never seem to measure up. Our spouse is never quite able to please us. Our friends are never quite loyal enough. The finances are never quite secure enough. We can’t even meet our own expectations for ourselves!

No wonder we’re frustrated, discouraged, and exhausted! We’re trying to find hope in a physical world that is terribly broken by sin.

Someday, you and I will be on the other side. In the meantime, will you ask people, circumstances, and things to do what they were never designed to do? Are there ways in which you look to this fallen world to become your personal paradise?

Or, will you find hope for Today because of Tomorrow? Are you eavesdropping on eternity and letting Forever shape your values on earth? Are you resting in the promise that Christ will put all his enemies under his feet?

If our faith makes no sense without eternity – “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Corinthians 15:19) – then we ought to remind ourselves and others to live with it in view every day!


The Great Work of God: Rain

As I sit at my desk this afternoon gazing out the window, watching the rain put me in mind of an article I recalled reading a few years back by John Piper. And as I reread it, I determined to share it with you, Regents parents, because it reminds us of two great themes that we simply can’t meditate on too much or too often: the greatness of God and the necessity of thankfulness. So I hope you are stirred to worship and gratitude as you read Dr. Piper’s words and consider “The Great Work of God: Rain.”

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“But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God; Who does great and unsearchable things, Wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth, And sends water on the fields.” (Job 5:8-10)

If you said to someone: “My God does great and unsearchable things; He does wonders without number,” and they responded, “Really? Like what?” would you say, “Rain”?

When I read these verses recently I felt like I did when I heard the lyrics to a Sonny and Cher song in 1969: “I’d live for you. I’d die for you. I’d even climb the mountain high for you.” Even? I would die for you. I would even climb a high mountain for you? The song was good for a joke. Or a good illustration of bad poetry. Not much else.

But Job is not joking. “God does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number.” He gives rain on the earth.” In Job’s mind, rain really is one of the great, unsearchable wonders that God does. So when I read this a few weeks ago, I resolved not to treat it as meaningless pop musical lyrics. I decided to have a conversation with myself (=meditation).

Is rain a great and unsearchable wonder wrought by God? Picture yourself as a farmer in the Near East, far from any lake or stream. A few wells keep the family and animals supplied with water. But if the crops are to grow and the family is to be fed from month to month, water has to come on the fields from another source. From where?

Well, the sky. The sky? Water will come out of the clear blue sky? Well, not exactly. Water will have to be carried in the sky from the Mediterranean Sea, over several hundred miles and then be poured out from the sky onto the fields. Carried? How much does it weigh? Well, if one inch of rain falls on one square mile of farmland during the night, that would be 27,878,400 cubic feet of water, which is 206,300,160 gallons, which is 1,650,501,280 pounds of water.

That’s heavy. So how does it get up in the sky and stay up there if it’s so heavy? Well, it gets up there by evaporation. Really? That’s a nice word. What’s it mean? It means that the water sort of stops being water for a while so it can go up and not down. I see. Then how does it get down? Well, condensation happens. What’s that? The water starts becoming water again by gathering around little dust particles between .00001 and .0001 centimeters wide. That’s small.

What about the salt? Salt? Yes, the Mediterranean Sea is salt water. That would kill the crops. What about the salt? Well, the salt has to be taken out. Oh. So the sky picks up a billion pounds of water from the sea and takes out the salt and then carries it for three hundred miles and then dumps it on the farm?

Well it doesn’t dump it. If it dumped a billion pounds of water on the farm, the wheat would be crushed. So the sky dribbles the billion pounds water down in little drops. And they have to be big enough to fall for one mile or so without evaporating, and small enough to keep from crushing the wheat stalks.

How do all these microscopic specks of water that weigh a billion pounds get heavy enough to fall (if that’s the way to ask the question)? Well, it’s called coalescence. What’s that? It means the specks of water start bumping into each other and join up and get bigger. And when they are big enough, they fall. Just like that? Well, not exactly, because they would just bounce off each other instead of joining up, if there were no electric field present. What? Never mind. Take my word for it.

I think, instead, I will just take Job’s word for it. I still don’t see why drops ever get to the ground, because if they start falling as soon as they are heavier than air, they would be too small not to evaporate on the way down, but if they wait to come down, what holds them up till they are big enough not to evaporate? Yes, I am sure there is a name for that too. But I am satisfied now that, by any name, this is a great and unsearchable thing that God has done. I think I should be thankful – lots more thankful than I am.