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WCA High School Chapel

Sep 22 2016

a few times a year, I am asked to be the chapel speaker for the oldest students at Windham Christian Academy, where I am the head teacher of the middle school.  Today was my first of four,scheduled high school chapels at which I will speak this year.  I always enjoy these times with the high school kids, most of whom have been in my middle school program when they were young.

i prayed a good bit about what to speak about, and I was reminded of a conversation with a local pastor.  He once said that, when called on to lead a devotional, the best ideas often come from what you've been studying in your own personal Bible reading.  That seemed to make sense for today's service, so I proceeded from there.

lately, I have spent a lot of time in Psalms as well as the Sermon on the Mount.  I've been focusing on these passages because I've really wanted to take on my struggle with anxiety.  The Psalms, of course, are all about emotion- not just anxiety, but the full range including joy, despair, anger, doubt.  "Like the journal of a middle school girl" as I told the high schoolers today.  Jesus' famous sermon in Matthew 5 -7 has a portion in which he tells his disciples not to worry.  (Admittedly, this is a small part of a lengthy sermon that was meant to be heard/ read as one comprehensive passage, but I digress.)

so as I spoke to the teens about my battle with anxiety, and what scripture says on the topic, I could tell I chose the right topic.  The message clearly connected with many of the kids and some of the staff as well.  I assured them that I wouldn't cheapen the struggles any of them had with worry by promising God would make it all better after the first two minute prayer they offered up.  I shared about the times I was victorious over worry, like being able to actually sleep on a plane all the way from Paraguay to Panama.  But I also shared about the battles.  I pointed out scriptures that teach us to take our thoughts captive, and to think about hopeful things, but I also told them that, for me at least, it's easy to think about the negative things, but takes work to think on thePositive.

anxiety is the number one health problem for American teens today, and I know we have students who struggle with it.  Afterwards, I was told that one high schooler was starting a petition that I be the chapel speaker all year.  Flattering, yes.  Going to be taken seriously by the administration, no.  But I am already looking forward to the next time I get to speak in their chapel service.

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

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