Tag Archives: Classical Christian Education

Addition By Subtraction

I wasn’t born in Nebraska. My dad was in the Air Force so we moved around a lot when I was young but we finally settled in Nebraska and I consider it home.  I started attending a public school until my dad made the decision to quit his job and become a Christian school teacher.  I joined the school a year later as a student.  The school was not like Annapolis but I appreciated being taught in a Christian environment.  I participated in junior high band and enjoyed choir.  I acted in One Act and in one of the school plays, Anne of Green Gables.  I was in the pivotal role as “farmhand #2”.  I also played sports.  The sport I excelled in the most was volleyball.  My dad was the assistant girls’ volleyball coach and he was my ride home so, out of boredom, I began playing volleyball.  After high school, I went to a Christian college where I played college volleyball and got a teaching degree.  My first teaching job after graduation was back in Nebraska, where I spent the last 20 years in education.

I was getting better and better jobs but looking back I could see that I was starting to lose sight of what was truly important and a change was needed.  Most people that I talked to about coming to Annapolis did not understand why I would do this.  I had a big house, a good paying job, and I was being successful in my job.  

I used the word “successful”, but what does that mean?  Well, typically, in order to be successful, you must decide what is most important, what is first, set that as a goal, and when you reach that goal, you are successful.  

God made things in a way that there are some things that must be first, and that there are things that must be second, in order to truly glorify God and enjoy Him.  

We live in a world that fights against this and constantly wants to put second things first.  Even more, in our hearts, we crave the second things of life.  What are these second things?  In Matthew 6, Christ says there are two, first, treasures found here on earth and second, anything that we worry about to fulfill our wants, our needs, and our desires.   They could be friendships, good grades, being a good athlete, lots of cool toys, video games, food, getting into a good college, nice clothes, big houses, and money.  These things are not bad in and of themselves, but when they rise to #1 in your life, that is a problem.  Christ puts it this way in the verse that was read earlier, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (first things) and all these things will be added to you (second things).”  Later in that passage, Jesus said to not store up treasures on earth— 

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”

As I looked at myself in the mirror, I had to be honest about what I was treasuring.  It led me to quit my job, sell my house and move my family to Corpus Christi.  It was about seeking a greater treasure, the treasure of God’s kingdom.  Ultimately all this boils down to these questions, what is the first thing in your life?  What do you treasure?  What do you think will make you truly happy?  If you are willing to look at yourself and be truly honest, whatever your heart is chasing after, that will determine the direction of your life.  My challenge to you is this, do not seek after earth bound treasure, but seek first God’s kingdom and you will find that your heart will be happy and at peace with whatever comes second.

Meet the New 2017-2018 Teachers

Each year, God blesses Annapolis with new and wonderful teaching staff who are committed Christian examples, passionate about learning, and love children.  For 2017-2018 we are proud to introduce you to the newest members of the teaching faculty of Annapolis Christian Academy ….

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My Wish for You – A Farewell from Mrs. Pat Kinner

 

As we end the school year with our final chapel today, I want to take the time to share from my heart what my prayers and wishes will be for each of you as I retire this summer.  I am stepping down after being involved in various roles at the school for over 20 years—the last 6 as principal.  It seems only fitting that I take this last opportunity to speak to you in my final chapel talk today and address you as a student body and as individuals who I have come to know and love.

To prepare for this chapel, I looked back over our chapel themes and various talks I have given over the years. I hope that you will remember along with me some of the big ideas I have spoken about over the years.

One of the first series I spoke about in chapel several years ago comes from Eph. 4:32 which says—

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

In chapel that year we sang songs like “ They’ll know we are Christians by our Love.” We talked about how we couldn’t just come up with kindness on our own—but that if we truly know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior—we will be able to show His kindness to others.  We talked about how that kindness would show up on the playground, in PE, and in the way we talk to others.  All of the classes memorized this Bible verse that year, and Mrs. Williams’ class made me a framed copy of that verse that hangs in my office today. As I say farewell to you, my wish for you is that long after I am gone, you will “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

The next year in chapel, we spent the whole year talking about Micah 6:8 which says—

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you, But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

We looked at examples in the Bible of those who do justly (which means doing the right and fair thing) and what it means to love mercy by showing kindness and mercy to others.  Again, we talked about how we treat others by words and actions, both at home and at school.  And we talked about what it means to walk humbly with our God.  We talked about simple actions that demonstrate humility like not having to always have our way, not having to be first in line all the time, and not having to win every game in PE.  We talked about how you don’t have to wait until you are an adult to follow Micah 6:8.  I shared some amazing stories about children who saw people with needs and how they helped others.  And so, as I say farewell to you, my wish for you is that you will ask the Lord to help you to be able to  “do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

The following year, we studied the fruit of the Spirit.  My wish for you as I say goodbye is that you would ask God to develop in you the fruit of His Spirit—that you would experience love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

Last year in chapel, we studied from the book of Proverbs and its emphasis on the fact that we are called to seek wisdom—so that we might be wise men and women, wise boys and girls.  Do you remember our verse from Proverbs last year? It said—

Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom, and in all your getting, get understanding.

We talked about searching for truth and wisdom and how we can find it in several places: by reading God’s word, by listening to our parents and teachers, by following good examples, and by being open to instruction and correction.  The book of Proverbs tell us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” We identified the characteristics of wise people: how they avoid evil, they work hard, they are humble, they control their anger, and they speak carefully.  My wish for you, as I say farewell is that you understand that the purpose in attending a school like Annapolis is not just learning a bunch of facts so you can get good grades.  My wish for you is that you grow to understand that God desires that you become wise.

Annapolis offers many fine programs. The school is known for its strong academic program, and many of you have worked hard this year and done well in.  Many of you have been on the honor roll—some of you for the whole year.  Your parents and teachers and I are proud of you—but please remember that academic achievement is not the most important thing.

Many of you have enjoyed our athletic programs by competing in sports—and we have all cheered on our teams. We have been proud of all of our teams and celebrated their victories—even state championships this year for the older teams. But athletic awards are not the most important achievement.

Some of you have excelled in music and theatre and art.  Maybe you were selected to sing in a solo or you earned a part in our theatre production. Or, perhaps you were especially pleased with some of your art work as it was displayed in our art shows.  Those are all wonderful accomplishments, but they are not the most important thing.

Academics, athletics, the arts—these are all right and fitting as part of a classical and Christian school.   As I close, please know that my true wish for you as you continue at Annapolis Christian Academy and even beyond as you grow into adulthood is that you learn to know God more and more each year. I am not talking about learning about God—in your studies of the Bible in school, in your Bible memory program, and as you attend chapel at school—but that you will really know God. That is my ultimate wish for you.

Please know that I as I retire, I will continue to pray for you.  My prayers will be that you are growing in your knowledge of God—that you are seeking wisdom, that the fruit of the spirit is growing in the gardens of your hearts, that you are learning to do justly, love mercy, and developing humility.  And finally, I will be praying that you are being kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another.

Intellectual Humility : Part 2

In our Easter chapel service, we talked about how Jesus Christ is the perfect example of intellectual character and virtue. We have been talking about the following intellectual character traits all semester:

  • Intellectual courage, which helps you to find the truth and live out that truth.
  • Intellectual honesty is how we use the truth we know. It is the link that goes from our thinking to our actions.
  • Intellectual tenacity is the character of being very determined and persistent in seeking truth and knowledge.
  • Intellectual carefulness involves being patient, diligent, and careful in the search for truth and knowledge.
  • Intellectual humility is seen in those who want to know the truth, and therefore constantly recognize that they, like all people, are sinful and capable of error.

As we continue to talk about humility, let’s look at Proverbs 11:2 which says: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Continue reading

Jesus, the Perfect Example

This semester chapel has been about intellectual character and virtue. We have defined intellectual character as the thought process behind every decision we make. Today we’re going to talk about the greatest example of intellectual character. Not only is He the greatest example of intellectual character, He is also the Savior of the world. Continue reading

Intellectual Humility

In chapel this semester, we have been talking about intellectual character and virtue. Intellectual character involves the thought process behind every decision we make.

We began with intellectual courage, which is the virtue that helps you to find truth and live out that truth. We then discussed intellectual honesty, which demonstrates how we use the truth we know. It is the link that goes from our thinking to our actions. We moved on to intellectual tenacity, which we defined as being very determined and persistent in seeking truth and knowledge. For the last few weeks, we discussed intellectual carefulness, which involves patience, diligence, and carefulness in the search for truth and knowledge.

This week we turn to another virtue, intellectual humility. People who have intellectual humility want to know the truth, so they constantly recognize that they, like all people, are sinful and capable of error. They are humble because they are aware that truth is none of their making, but is God-breathed. Continue reading

Intellectual Carefulness

This semester we are talking about intellectual character and virtues. Intellectual character involves the thought processes behind every decision we make.  We have already spoken about courage, which helps you to search for and live out a life of truth.  We then discussed honesty as a characteristic of how to use the truth we know. Honesty is the link that goes from our thinking to our actions.  We used Abraham Lincoln’s honesty as an example.  And recently, we explored intellectual tenacity—or persistence—in seeking truth and knowledge.

This week we move our series into intellectual carefulness.  Intellectual carefulness is the understanding of being patient, diligent, and careful in the search for truth and knowledge. Basically, as a student, this trait is defined as being careful in your work, making sure you understand what is being taught, and taking the time to do your best!

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Intellectual Tenacity

This semester we have been discussing intellectual character and its virtues. We have defined intellectual character as the thought process behind every decision we make.  We began the semester talking about the intellectual courage to find and live out truth, and continued discussing honesty which comes from knowing the truth. This week we will be talking about intellectual tenacity.  Continue reading

Intellectual Honesty : Part 3

This semester we have been talking about intellectual character and its virtues. Intellectual character involves the thought process behind every decision we make. We began with talking about intellectual courage. Intellectual courage helps you to find the truth and live out that truth. This week we continue our look at intellectual virtues and intellectual honesty. Continue reading