from the headmaster


Thanking God the Creator, Father and Redeemer

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!

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The Grace of the Cross

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

    with thee!

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.

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How to Shut Down Gossip

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.

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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.

Conclusion

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.

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Ending the Homework Hassle

This week we asked many of you to fill out a homework survey, and we received quite a few responses. Thank you, parents, for your feedback. We are working through these responses now so we can use them to improve our academic program. Teachers plan assignments in order to accomplish curricular goals as effectively and efficiently as possible, but we often need input to get it right. 

The school has to do its part to get homework right, but parents have to work hard to get it right, too. Homework for many families is a struggle and a source of conflict and aggravation. I have a suggestion for you, parents. 

The best advice I have seen about how to help your children become independent learners who manage their assignments and homework for themselves is the book Ending the Homework Hassle by psychologist John Rosemond. Please read it!

If our school had the resources, I’d order a copy for every Regents family and send it to you today. 

Rosemond describes the nightly homework hassle for many families: it’s “The Great Homework Hunt” followed by “Parenting by Helicopter” and the child’s act of “Duh, I’m Dumb,” culminating in “The Homework Marathon” and ultimately “We’re a Bunch of Bananas,” during which both parents and child have meltdowns and wail in frustration and fury. What can end the frustration and put a stop to the hassle? It’s up to the parents, writes Rosemond, to “stop being responsible for Billy’s homework and let Billy be responsible for it on his lonesome,” to go from being a “parent-participant” to being a “parent-consultant.” In fact, the child’s responsibility is the first of the Seven Hidden Values of Homework. The others include autonomyperseverancetime managementinitiativeself-reliance, and resourcefulness. Don’t you want your children to embody these values as personal virtues?

With humor, insight, and realism, Rosemond helps parents think through both how to put an end to homework as a titanic struggle, a “never-ending, self-defeating, viciously circular trap,” and also to instill in your children the virtues needed to grow into independent learners.

But the author makes one thing quite clear: it’s up to parents to make the changes that are needed and to set the priorities in the home. Every parent can gain wisdom from John Rosemond’s book, and it’s well worth the time and effort to read it and put its principles into practice. I highly recommend it.

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Rigorous Training of the Mind

I want to share with you an eloquent article by Pastor John Piper in which he argues for the rigorous training of the mind in our children so that they will be able to read the Bible with understanding. Pastor Piper does not mention classical Christian education directly, but he doesn’t have to. 


A Compelling Reason for Rigorous Training of the Mind:
Thoughts on the Significance of Reading

by John Piper

I was reading and meditating on the book of Hebrews recently, when it hit me forcefully that a basic and compelling reason for education—the rigorous training of the mind—is so that a person can read the Bible with understanding.

This sounds too obvious to be useful or compelling. But that’s just because we take the preciousness of reading so for granted; or, even more, because we appreciate so little the kind of thinking that a complex Bible passage requires of us.

The book of Hebrews, for example, is an intellectually challenging argument from Old Testament texts. The points that the author makes hang on biblical observations that come only from rigorous reading, not light skimming. And the understanding of these Old Testament interpretations in the text of Hebrews requires rigorous thought and mental effort. The same could be said for the extended argumentation of Romans and Galatians and the other books of the Bible.

This is an overwhelming argument for giving our children a disciplined and rigorous training in how to think an author’s thoughts after him from a text—especially a biblical text. An alphabet must be learned, as well as vocabulary, grammar, syntax, the rudiments of logic, and the way meaning is imparted through sustained connections of sentences and paragraphs.

The reason Christians have always planted schools where they have planted churches is because we are a people of THE BOOK. It is true that THE BOOK will never have its proper effect without prayer and the Holy Spirit. It is not a textbook to be debated; it is a fountain for spiritual thirst, and food for the soul, and a revelation of God, and a living power, and a two-edged sword. But none of this changes the fact: apart from the discipline of reading, the Bible is as powerless as paper. Someone might have to read it for you; but without reading, the meaning and the power of it are locked up.

Is it not remarkable how often Jesus settled great issues with a reference to reading? For example, in the issue of the Sabbath he said, “Have you not read what David did?” (Matthew 12:3). In the issue of divorce and remarriage he said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?” (Matthew 19:4). In the issue of true worship and praise he said, “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes you have prepared praise for yourself’?” (Matthew 21:16). In the issue of the resurrection he said, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’?” (Matthew 21:42). And to the lawyer who queried him about eternal life he said, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” (Luke 10:26).

The apostle Paul also gave reading a great place in the life of the church. For example, he said to the Corinthians, “We write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end” (2 Corinthians 1:13). To the Ephesians he said, “When you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:3). To the Colossians he said, “When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16). Reading the letters of Paul was so important that he commands it with an oath: “I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren” (1 Thessalonians 5:27).

The ability to read does not come intuitively. It must be taught. And learning to read with understanding is a life-long labor. The implications for Christians are immense. Education of the mind in the rigorous discipline of thoughtful reading is a primary goal of school. The church of Jesus is debilitated when his people are lulled into thinking that it is humble or democratic or relevant to give a merely practical education that does not involve the rigorous training of the mind to think hard and to construe meaning from difficult texts.

The issue of earning a living is not nearly so important as whether the next generation has direct access to the meaning of the Word of God. We need an education that puts the highest premium under God on knowing the meaning of God’s Book, and growing in the abilities that will unlock its riches for a lifetime. It would be better to starve for lack of food than to fail to grasp the meaning of the book of Romans. Lord, let us not fail the next generation!

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The Value of Memorizing Scripture

Each month at Regents Academy students memorize passages from the Bible and then recite them before their classmates. Why are we using valuable time and effort to memorize Scripture? Here are some thoughts (and these are things that I have shared in the past – but I thought that they are worth putting before us again).

First, we memorize Scripture because we are a Christian school. A school can, of course, be a Christian school without a Bible memorization program, but on the other hand, would you expect a school that is not Christian to memorize God’s Word? Psalm 1 teaches us that God blesses the man who does not “walk in the counsel of the ungodly” but instead delights in His law and “in His law he meditates day and night.” The psalmist said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps 119:11). St. Paul reminded Timothy that he had known the Holy Scriptures since his childhood, and he had grown wise in salvation as a result (2 Tim 3:15). In the early centuries of the church, prospective church leaders were often required to memorize all 150 psalms. There are tremendous spiritual benefits to hiding God’s Word in our minds and hearts. We are better able to listen to God and trust in Him while meditating on His promises and commands that have been hidden away in our minds and hearts.

Memorizing Scripture accords well with the methodology of classical education. In the grammar phase of the Trivium students memorize large volumes of information: spelling rules, history facts, multiplication tables, as well as lots of names, dates, and places. Young children, of course, don’t understand the significance of all that they are memorizing, but we teach it to them over and over again until it is rote, and then later that knowledge will be developed as their ability to understand grows. Likewise, children may not understand all that they are called upon to memorize when they learn Bible passages. But as we place God’s words in their hearts and minds, it affects them nonetheless and is tucked away safely for later days when it will be understood better. Older students in the logic and rhetoric schools, with their greater capacity for understanding, receive great benefit from memorizing the Bible as they consider what it means and how it connects to their lives.

The Bible is a basic text required for cultural fluency. In fact, we might say that it is THE text for cultural fluency. Not only is it impossible to read and understand Shakespeare or Milton or Austen or Eliot without knowing the Bible. It is also impossible to understand our times without knowing the Bible. Students are given instant access to the language, ideas, and doctrines of the Bible when they memorize it – and that is invaluable for students to make a difference in our culture for Christ.

Bible memorization also helps develop recitation skills. Students at Regents Academy recite a lot: Latin conjugations, poems, prayers, memorized pieces, history facts. As students grow up through the Trivium, they are trained to recite and speak to audiences with confidence and poise, with a strong voice, and with rhetorical skill. Memorized Bible passages, then, are another training tool in preparing students to be persuasive, winsome public speakers. Francis Bacon famously asserted that “Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.” We might add that recitation maketh an eloquent man.

Finally, I can say from my own experience that a school-sponsored Scripture memorization program provides accountability. Busyness, distractions, and laziness keep me from making Bible memorization a priority. But with the Bible being consistently placed in my mind at school, I can call on that knowledge and be better equipped to trust Christ.

I encourage us all to see the value of memorizing the Bible, to memorize the Bible along with our children, and to thank the Lord for yet another gift He has given us through classical Christian education at Regents Academy.

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Fighting tanks with rifles?

I want to share a passage with you from Dorothy Sayers’s seminal lecture “The Lost Tools of Learning.” Delivered at Oxford in 1947, her lecture has been reprinted as an essay that has had enormous influence on thinking Christians interested in giving their children an excellent education. But don’t think of her lecture as a dry narration of Medieval history or a nerdy recital of educational techno-speak. 

Mrs. Sayers’ lecture was more akin to a prophetic paradigm-buster. One paradigm she tackles is that of teaching subjects. She attacks the modern, progressive assumption that education must be compartmentalized into vacuum-sealed subjects that are taught independently and that leave students unprepared to think and to learn on their own. Her words are quite incisive and thought-provoking:

For we let our young men and women go out unarmed, in a day when armor was never so necessary. By teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words. They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects. We who were scandalized in 1940 when men were sent to fight armored tanks with rifles, are not scandalized when young men and women are sent into the world to fight massed propaganda with a smattering of “subjects”; and when whole classes and whole nations become hypnotized by the arts of the spell binder, we have the impudence to be astonished. We dole out lip-service to the importance of education–lip- service and, just occasionally, a little grant of money; we postpone the school-leaving age, and plan to build bigger and better schools; the teachers slave conscientiously in and out of school hours; and yet, as I believe, all this devoted effort is largely frustrated, because we have lost the tools of learning, and in their absence can only make a botched and piecemeal job of it. 

Is Mrs. Sayers right? Do we leave our children unprotected in battle when we deprive them of the ability to think and learn? How much better is it to teach students the tools of learning? 

Regents Academy teaches subjects. But then again, what we are really doing is teaching many ways to understand the same grand Subject – Christ, who is the Source of all knowledge and the One in whom all truth coheres. As students understand Christ’s creation through science, the power of the printed word (given by Him who is the Word) through literature and writing, the structure of language through grammar and Latin, the story of Christ’s world through history, and the nature of mathematics, students are learning how to think Christianly. And on top of that, history is connected to literature, which is connected to grammar, which is connected to logic, which is connected to math, which is connected to history, and on and on it goes. 

Classical education seeks to harness the power of these interconnections and this grand center point in Christ’s Word and unite them under a philosophy of education that teaches students how to learn so that they can be well-equipped to face an often-hostile world with a comprehensive Christian worldview. To do otherwise is to send our children into the world with rifles to face tanks.

Mrs. Sayers referred to being “scandalized in 1940 when men were sent to fight armored tanks with rifles, [but not being] scandalized when young men and women are sent into the world to fight massed propaganda with a smattering of ‘subjects.'” 

I’m generally pro-gun, but when it comes to sending our children into the battle of ideas, I’m not. Instead, let’s teach our children to drive tanks and shoot big cannons. Let’s teach them to think. Let’s train them to be confident in the authority of God’s Word. Let’s prepare them for victory on the battlefield of adulthood. 

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ed-u-ca-tion (n.)

What is education? Let’s hear wise words from the originator of Webster’s Dictionary:

EDUCATION – The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

– Noah Webster’s Dictionary (1828)

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Hands and Feet of the Mission

Each August, about a week before school starts, Regents teachers congregate to prepare for the year. It’s a wonderful week of training, preparation, and fellowship. New teachers get to know the vision of the school and their new friends, and returning teachers prepare to practice their craft for another year. Each August, without fail, several key themes, quotes, and Bible passages are always part of the conversation, serving as reminders of our work as teachers and the distinctive role of a classical Christian teacher.

“The most important thing, therefore, about a classical, Christian education is that faculty members exhibit in themselves the virtues and values that we want to see in our students.  Thus, in the classroom the teacher is the primary text.” (David Hicks)

“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40)

 “The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, which being united to the heavenly grace of faith makes up the highest perfection.” (John Milton)

And then I tell the teachers something like this every year:

You are the hands and feet of our school’s mission. Policies, philosophies, methods, and goals are essential. Facilities are needful and useful. Technology, books, curriculum, lessons, assignments, classwork, and homework enable us to do our job. But without teachers none of these things mean much. The key to fulfilling our mission as a school, which is another way to say being faithful to what God has called us to do, is you. You are the hands and feet of the mission of Regents Academy.

I want you to sense something that our teachers are made to feel very keenly: Regents teachers have a very high calling – that of embodying in themselves those virtues they strive to bring to fruition in their students. Each teacher is his or her own greatest project. They are themselves striving to be lifelong learners who possess the tools of learning and who love to learn about God and His world. Then they invite their students to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and to follow them on their journey. 

Every day your children spend their days with godly, gifted men and women who are passionate for the truth, skilled in the art of teaching, and committed to a classical Christian education. Your children’s teachers love your children, and they work diligently every day to be the hands and feet of our mission to your family, while living out the love of Christ. I feel blessed beyond words to call them friends, colleagues, and fellow workers. 

Please pray for your children’s teachers daily. Ask the Lord to bless them and allow them to be worthy examples, inspirations, and guides for your children. And let me encourage you to love and bless your children’s teachers yourselves also. It makes an eternal difference in their lives and the lives of generations to come.

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“Idiotic” perseverance

May is the season of perseverance.

John Piper shared the following excerpt from the book Passion, by Karl Olsson, who tells a story of remarkable perseverance among the early French Protestants known as Huguenots. If only our perseverance could be regarded as “idiotic” by our generation.

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In the late Seventeenth Century in … southern France, a girl named Marie Durant was brought before the authorities, charged with the Huguenot heresy. She was fourteen years old, bright, attractive, marriageable. She was asked to abjure the Huguenot faith. She was not asked to commit an immoral act, to become a criminal, or even to change the day-to-day quality of her behavior. She was only asked to say, “J’abjure.” No more, no less. She did not comply. Together with thirty other Huguenot women she was put into a tower by the sea…. For thirty-eight years she continued…. And instead of the hated word J’abjure she, together with her fellow martyrs, scratched on the wall of the prison tower the single word Resistez, resist!

The word is still seen and gaped at by tourists on the stone wall at Aigues-Mortes…. We do not understand the terrifying simplicity of a religious commitment which asks nothing of time and gets nothing from time. We can understand a religion which enhances time…. but we cannot understand a faith which is not nourished by the temporal hope that tomorrow things will be better. To sit in a prison room with thirty others and to see the day change into night and summer into autumn, to feel the slow systemic changes within one’s flesh: the drying and wrinkling of the skin, the loss of muscle tone, the stiffening of the joints, the slow stupefaction of the senses—to feel all this and still to persevere seems almost idiotic to a generation which has no capacity to wait and to endure. (pp. 116-117)

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