It’s Thanksgiving season!
Mr. V has been reminding the Grammar School students all week that we should give thanks always for all things, and this means thanksgiving is not just for one day or one week of the year. For Christians giving thanks is both a discipline to be practiced each day – indeed, at all times – and a beautiful virtue with which to adorn our lives. This morning in Morning Assembly here is what I shared with the students and teachers.
It’s sad that at Thanksgiving each year there are many people who give thanks but don’t know to whom or to what they are returning thanks. But it’s not so for us. As children of God we know that when we give thanks, we are thanking God Almighty, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Triune God who has revealed Himself in His Word.
So when we give thanks, we thank God the Creator. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge,” declares Psalm 19:1-2. Consider how perfectly God created the earth. The earth is about 93 million miles from the sun, but if it were slightly closer or slightly further our planet would be too cold or too hot to support life. The earth’s axis tilts at 23.5 degrees, but if it were only slightly different the seasons would freeze out or burn up all life. Liquid water, tides, magnetic field, chlorophyll, gravity – it’s all a miracle! Every day and night, every changing leaf, every vibrant sunset, every sublime mountain vista, every insect (well, most insects), we should be thanking God for the wonder of His amazing creation that shows forth the power and wisdom and glory of His handiwork.
When we give thanks, we thank God the Father. Jesus taught us in the Gospel of Matthew, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (7:7-11). God’s Fatherly care surrounds us. When we eat at our feasts, enjoy the company of family and friends, worship without fear of enemies arresting us, receive answers to prayer, rest in comfortable homes, and take advantage of technological wonders of which previous generations could not have even dreamed, we should direct our constant thanks to God, who in His Fatherly care gives boundlessly – simply because He is good and delights in giving
good gifts to His children.
And finally, when we give thanks, we give thanks to God the Redeemer. St. Paul wrote, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). All of God’s gifts are yes and amen in Christ Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection is the true gift that secures all good things for us, His children. He is the One who redeems our lives from the pit and crowns us with love and compassion (Ps 103:4).
It is indeed the season of thanks. Thank you, parents, for your commitment to Regents Academy. Thank you for the trust you invest in us with the precious gift of your children. I thank God for the mission and the people of Regents Academy.
Give thanks … always for all things!
The 9th grade Omnibus class and their teacher, Mrs. Lauren Lawrence, have been reading Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, the record of the experiences of the early Pilgrims and of the founding of Plymouth Colony.
The class took a trip to Lake Naconiche, where they re-enacted the colonists’ journey and learned firsthand what it was like to be a Pilgrim.
Here is a brief recap of the day’s events, from Mrs. Lawrence.
Bradford (Katelyn) journaled the day’s events, starting with our expedition of “sailing” to America via the Golden Eagle, aka the Mayflower (or Regents’ school bus). Before setting off on the windy sea, our elder Brewster (Susannah) gave a sentimental speech about why we decided to depart all we have ever known for a different land. Then we fell under Captain Standish’s (Elijah’s) command, as captain of the Golden Eagle, who guided us on the rough and windy seas and eventually lead us to find beaver. We then partook in a feast where Squanto (Gabe) served us all our Thanksgiving meal and then taught us about the local flora and fauna. Robinson (Quint) gave an endearing sermon that sparked genuine conversation amongst us all. However, because of the fall of man, there can never be a sinless and perfect colony and thus the pilgrims had a crook among them, Weston (Haylee), who swindled the colonists throughout their exploration.
And only one student fell in the lake! (We’ll leave it to you to guess who it was…)
Regents Academy is pleased to announce that senior Abby Powers, daughter of Derek and Suzanne Powers, has been selected as this year’s Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Good Citizen. This award recognizes and rewards individuals who possess the qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism in their homes, schools, and community. Nominated by her teachers and selected by the administration, Abby exemplifies these qualities in her daily interactions not only with her fellow students and teachers but with all of the students and teachers on the KPrep through 12th grade campus.
Abby now has the opportunity to compete for the DAR Good Citizen Scholarship and will also be recognized at the DAR Awards luncheon in the spring.
Regents Academy was very glad to welcome several veterans to campus for a Veterans Day assembly honoring them for their service and thanking God for the blessing of brave men and women who sacrifice to protect our freedom and prosperity. The assembly was led by the 6th grade class and their teacher Mrs. Mary Austin, along with several strings players from the Regents Upper School. Afterward, the 6th graders hosted the veterans for a grab-and-go breakfast.
We are so very thankful for all the brave men and women who have served our nation!
We are utterly reliant on the grace of God in Christ, from when we wake up in the morning till when we lay our heads on the pillow and at all points in between. Please join me in this prayer called “The Grace of the Cross” from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers.
The radical grace given through the cross of Christ is truly our only help.
O My Saviour,
I thank thee from the depths of my being
for thy wondrous grace and love
in bearing my sin in thine own body on the tree.
May thy cross be to me
as the tree that sweetens my bitter Marahs,
as the rod that blossoms with life and beauty,
as the brazen serpent that calls forth
the look of faith.
By thy cross crucify my every sin;
Use it to increase my intimacy with thyself;
Make it the ground of all my comfort,
the liveliness of all my duties,
the sum of all thy gospel promises,
the comfort of all my afflictions,
the vigour of my love, thankfulness, graces,
the very essence of my religion;
And by it give me that rest without rest,
the rest of ceaseless praise.
O my Lord and Saviour,
Thou hast also appointed a cross for me
to take up and carry,
a cross before thou givest me a crown.
Thou hast appointed it to be my portion,
but self-love hates it,
carnal reason is unreconciled to it;
without the grace of patience I cannot bear it,
walk with it, profit by it.
O blessed cross, what mercies dost thou bring
Thou art only esteemed hateful by my rebel will,
heavy because I shirk thy load.
Teach me, gracious Lord and Saviour,
that with my cross thou sendest promised grace
so that I may bear it patiently,
that my cross is thy yoke which is easy,
and thy burden which is light.
Many thanks to Regents dads Michael Liebrum and Russell DonCarlos for leading the Robotics Club. The club meets after school every other Thursday throughout the school year.
TMEA (Texas Music Educator’s Association) All-Region Orchestra is an event that takes place every year across the state of Texas. Our region, Region 4/21, encompasses more than 20 counties and includes the school districts of Tyler and Longview. Each year students learn music and audition in October. If selected at this audition, students go on to perform in December. The clinic and concert is a two-day event, all day Friday and Saturday, when these students get together for the first time and rehearse the music with an expert, guest conductor. Then, Saturday evening, the students perform the music for family, friends, teachers, or whoever wants to come.
Regents Academy is proud to announce that all seven of our students who auditioned were selected and will be performing with the All-Region Orchestra on December 7th in Longview!
Pictured above: Mason Baker (10th grade), double bass; Cate Baker (8th grade), viola; Shelby Rotramel (11th grade), violin; Gracie Lyn Harman (6th grade), violin; Haylee Harman (9th grade), violin; Hayley McBroom (11th grade), violin; Ashlynn McBroom (11th grade), violin
We are very proud of our hardworking and talented musicians!
Regents Academy has been blessed with fantastic playground equipment, and now we are excited to add a gaga pit for students to enjoy. Students, both young and old, have been having a great time playing gaga ball during PE and recess, especially with the sunshine we’ve been enjoying.
Many thanks to Gregg and Angie Nichols for their wonderful donation!
I want to take a moment and remind you, parents, of something that, all too often, we need reminders about: if an issue comes up between you and a teacher or another parent, the right thing to do is either to cover it in love or else go to the person directly and deal with it. The option that we too often take is to carry the issue to a third party who can’t do anything about it and air it out, complain about it, and stir the pot. I’m talking about gossip, and I want to urge you to resist the temptation to engage in it. Instead, let’s follow God’s Word and be peacemakers.
Here is an outstanding article called “How to Shut Down Gossip” by Erik Raymond from the Gospel Coalition website. It is excellent counsel for us all.
How to Shut Down Gossip
by Erik Raymond
It seems that sometimes we deal with sin in the church with the same approach that the government deals with terrorism: It is impossible to remove it completely so we just kind of have to accept it and do our best to keep people safe.
Buttressed up against this common practice is the biblical teaching that sin is devastating. Let’s not forget that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), the price paid for redemption from sin is death (Rom. 5:6), the reality for the a believer is that they are dead to sin (Rom. 6:11), and the ongoing priority for Christians is to put sin to death (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5; Heb. 12:1-2). This includes all sin. Every. Single. One.
Gossip in Spiritual No Man’s Land
Gossip is one sin that seems to fall in the spiritual “No-Man’s Land” between passivity and vigilance. But this should not be. Gossip is the RPG that blasts holes in the fabric of the church. The way I see it every time someone gossips they injure at least 3 people: the one speaking, the one hearing, and the one being gossiped about. Add to this that gossip is usually not a one time deal but rather involves multiple conversations, we can quickly see how this is the Devil’s Ponzi scheme for getting rich on disunity and providing quick returns to those seeking to gratify the flesh.
Gossip is Bad, and Deep Down We Know It
Let’s be honest; we know what gossip is. It is speaking about someone in a way that defames, dishonors or otherwise hurts their character. Sometimes it is subtle, like grumbling about someone, and other times it is loud, like ranting about someone. Further, sometimes the content of what is said is true other times it is not. Either way, the person hearing does not need to know the information, they don’t benefit from it. And, most times it is not actionable; they are are not going to go and help the person, instead they are just going to tuck away the information for selfish use.
Gossip, and its cousins: slander, divisive speech, and deceitful speech are roundly rebuked in the Scriptures (Ps. 101:5; Prov. 6:16-19, 11.13, 20:19; Titus 3:2). Instead of cutting people down with verbal assassinations we are to give words of life and grace (Eph. 4:29).
I don’t think we need to convince people what it is, but, we can bring an awareness of how God feels about it and how destructive it is in the life of the church. We need to know what to do about it. We need to know, how to shut it down.
How To Shut Down Gossip
(1) Refuse it.
The obvious first step to shutting down gossip would have to be to convince people of how God views gossip. We can do this by intentionally putting it before people. We can remind people in sermons, conversations, and prayer of the destructiveness of gossip. This is simply calling attention to it. Instead of being passive (not talking about it) we need to be active, without becoming preoccupied by it.
If this is done faithfully then people will become aware of gossip when it comes to them or perhaps when they find themselves scratching the seemingly insatiable itch to dish up a little sumthin on someone. They will also think twice about vocalizing their grumbling about another person to someone else. If convinced of the vileness of the practice in God’s eyes then they will carefully avoid “gossip-baiting” people. This is the practice when someone thinks that someone else may have some intel on another person or situation. Then they subtly begin talking about it, gently massaging the perimeter of the topic, while waiting to see if the person will take the bait and give up the goods.
What if the church could spot gossip a mile away? What if they hated it? What if they believed the Bible and were convinced that to gossip was to display hatred for God and others? What if they believed that it served to fracture the unity that Jesus bought and the Spirit created? Then they would react like an NBA big man and reject the gossip by swatting it into the 3rd row.
For example, as a pastor someone might come to me and say, ”I need to talk to you about something.” I usually reply, “Something or someone?” If they “someone.” then I say, “Did you talk to ‘someone’ yet?” I redirect them back. I don’t want to hear about someone if that someone hasn’t heard about it first.
This may be different for a laymen. Perhaps someone will come up to you and say, “I am really frustrated with ______ ‘s attitude. They walk around like they own the place. She never says ‘hi’ or even looks at me. What is her deal?” You may be tempted to say, “Yeah. You’re right. I’ve never noticed it but she ignores me too!” But, let me encourage you to think God’s thoughts after him. Reject the gossip. Instead, something like, “Have you talked to her about this? Please don’t drag me into your issues with her. You need to work this out–whatever it is–for the sake of Christ.” This rejects the bait of the complaint and sheds light on the issue.
(2) Rebuke it.
Let’s say someone is talking about another person. They may get started slowly but soon enough they carving up their character like a Thanksgiving turkey. As you get your bearings and manage to interrupt the onslaught, you should says something like, “Brother/sister, you are really speaking negatively about ____ is this even true? This is gossip. Have you even spoken to them about this?”
Go on to show them what the Bible says and how destructive this is. Show them that they are defaming their brother/sister, a child of God. Explain how this assaults God’s plan and harms God’s people. Call the sin of gossip what it is and tell them that they should in fact repent and bear fruit in repentance by controlling their tongue and speaking words of grace. Once we understand the damage of gossip we will become vigilant to ensure that it is expunged from our churches. This means that we will be compelled to have the difficult conversations that call it what it is and demand that our brothers and sisters think God’s thoughts after him, even about gossip.
(3) Redirect it.
There are three aspects of this: first to Christ, second back to the person, and third to others they have gossiped to.
First, redirect people back to Christ. The reason for gossip is because they are believing a lie about God and themselves. Remember, Satan was the first gossiper when he talked trash about God. Show them how Jesus died for their sins, even the sins committed post-conversion. This sin should be a magnet to draw them back to the person and work of Christ for repentance, forgiveness, and refreshing. (In this it should be noted that their issue is not just with another person but Christ. Jesus is Lord of the church; and so they are sinning against him.)
Second, redirect people back to the person. If they have an issue with someone they should go and talk to them. If they have done some damage to the person’s character then they should go and tell the person in humility and ask for their forgiveness. I will often tell the person that I will follow up with them in a week or so to see how the conversation went.
Third, they should also go in humility to the other people they have gossiped to. This closes the loop and reinforces the need to reject the sin of gossip. It reminds, or perhaps educates, those who have been exposed to this sin, of the nature and danger of it.
Gossip is nasty. It is never good and should be despised by all who love Christ and his church. Instead of being passive and tolerating something that is widespread we should be vigilant to remove something that is destructive and vile. Let’s step our game up and, starting with ourselves, work to shut down gossip.