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Last week, the entire campus has been participating in Spiritual Emphasis Week. Our theme verse was Luke 6:45 which says: "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Through this verse we explored what it looks like to speak with good purpose, as well as how what is stored up in our hearts is what we reflect in our speech.
We had activities each morning including small groups, older students teaching lessons to younger students, special speakers, and a special campus-wide quiet time. On Monday evening, parents and staff gathered for a prayer walk and covered the campus and Nashville Christian students in prayer. After the prayer walk, Dr. Walter Surdacki from Lipscomb University joined us to talk about technology and social media usage, the dangers and opportunities presented to our students, and how that relates to our faith.
On Thursday morning, we had an all school chapel time in the gym to hear an inspirational message from Chris Nichols from Crosspoint church. On Friday evening, high school students finished the week by heading off to the Spring Spiritual Retreat. It was a great week of coming together to teach and learn and study God’s word as well as spending time alone reflecting on our theme. To get a student perspective, read junior Dominic Stephens' article about Spiritual Emphasis Week here.
We had the incredible privilege of hearing from Tim Shaw at chapel on Wednesday, September 20th. Tim is a former linebacker for the Tennessee Titans and the brother of Nashville Christian’s strength and conditioning coach, Andrew Shaw. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2014 and has been sharing his story and his faith around the country ever since.
Tim spoke to our kindergarten through 12th graders about how each and every one of us is made in the image of God, and that makes us awesome! He also shared one of his favorite verses, Colossians 3:23, which says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” (NKJV) He encouraged everyone to embrace his or her God-given gifts, to be authentic, and to not worry so much what other people think. It is only important that they be pleasing to God.
Lisa McPherson is another member of the NCS family who has been diagnosed with ALS. Lisa is the wife of NCS boys basketball coach, Mike McPherson. Mike and Lisa have made a strong connection with the Shaw family, and they have encouraged one another through their struggles over the past couple of months.
To help raise funds and awareness for the ALS Association, the NCS football team and many other students, staff and family members will join Tim Shaw and participate in the one-mile Walk to Defeat ALS this Saturday, September 23rd at Lipscomb University. To join team Eagles Against ALS, or to make a donation on their behalf, click on the link below.
February 27th through March 23rd was Spiritual Emphasis Week at Nashville Christian School. Elementary students used a theme of SOAR (Seek God, Obey Him, Attitude of Service, Respond to Him). They kicked off the week with a program from SOAR South, an organization who educates about birds of prey by sharing the birds they have rescued and worked to rehabilitate. The students learned about the different attributes the birds were created with that make them unique and able to thrive in the wild.
Throughout the week, middle school and high school Bible classes taught Bible lessons and prepared skits to share with elementary classes. Students also wrote prayer requests and praises on cards posted in the commons area in the high school and in the main hallway of the middle school. Several classes also be made cards to take to a local nursing home.
We had a week filled will special speakers for all students. High school students enjoyed a special chapel with Christian magician Steve Bargatze who shared his magic along with his powerful testimony in one of our most moving chapels to date.
At the end of the week everyone enjoyed a whole-school chapel lead by Jimmy Hampton. Mr. Hampton is a former NCS campus minister. He taught on walking with Jesus and keeping Him as your companion through times of challenge and times of victory.
On Friday afternoon, high school students left for the Spring Spiritual Retreat. The theme of the retreat was “There Is No BC.” Students were encouraged to look at the Bible in a new light, seeing it as one story that is all about God’s redemptive plan through Jesus. There was also time for fun and relaxation with an intense game of Family Feud, a skit competition, and a few brave souls who zip-lined into the icy cold waters of the lake. Here’s what some of them had to say about the retreat:
“The retreat was very fun. I was a big fan of the food. I really enjoyed the amount of free time we got, and I felt the reflection on the last day brought everyone that went a little closer together. I had a really great time and look forward to going next year.” – Kayli Mothershed
I thought the retreat was enlightening. I was happy with how many people opened up in the end and talked out loud to the group. Finally I loved how much more we worshipped God when we were there.” – Charlie White
“My favorite part of the retreat was when Coach Kayce led the singing in the worship part. Also, on the last day when all the seniors got up and spoke was both moving and inspiring.” – Kylee Boen
“The retreat this year was really fun. I think this year we had a more tight-knit group, and it was all around a great time. The message throughout the whole week was really good because I had never thought of the Bible in that way. I really enjoyed the quiet time and how Mrs. Robinson came up with the whole activity we did. I also really enjoyed doing the skits and getting to impersonate the teachers. I also loved getting to play handball with Coach Brothers and Coach McClary and getting to play cards during free time with them and Mr. Morrison. I just loved getting to hang with them and stuff.” – Bobby Clark
“I went on the retreat, and I had a great time. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with friends and with God. My favorite part was the alone time we got to have after each devotional message, it really helped me think about what we had just learned.” – Warren Hanson
Overall it was a great week for spiritual growth at Nashville Christian School! Here are some additional photos from Spiritual Emphasis Week for you to enjoy!
This year the Elementary Eagles are participating in Small Groups twice a month during the designated Chapel time. From PreK to Fifth grades, the students have been divided into groups of around 12 students. Each teacher hosts the same group each time to foster relationships across grade levels. Today was our first meeting to get to know one another and it has already proven to be a great exercise in leadership for the fifth grade students. They are each paired with a PreK buddy to help during group time. The teachers have preplanned lessons that involve a hands-on activity or demonstration for the group to participate in that aligns with a lesson from the Bible. The groups will share their prayer requests, pray together, and get to know one another.
Doing small groups will be a way to build leadership, develop strong bonds with schoolmates, create a better sense of community, and teachers can build rapport with students in other classes. We are so excited for this new opportunity for our Elementary NCS family to grow spiritually!
Class of 2003 graduate Brandon Hodge spoke to our students today about “sharing life in order to share Christ.” After graduating from MTSU and then finishing his Masters of Divinity with a concentration in International Church Planting, Brandon and his wife Tiffany followed God’s call to Vila do Conde, Portugal.
Vila do Conde is a town of roughly 200,000 people. The city is saturated with Catholic traditions, but with no evangelical church, only about 2% know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Brandon and Tiffany share their lives with the people in their community and invite them to investigate the word of God for themselves. To connect with the people in their community, they do everything from surfing to having conversations over afternoon coffee, or sometimes hosting a cookout or Bible study in their home.
On their website www.reachingportugal.com, Brandon says, “We in fact take this vision from 1 Thessalonians 2:8 in which Paul describes his ministry. ‘Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.’ We are sharing life in order to share Christ.”
Brandon’s ultimate vision is to see a church planted in Vila do Conde where Portuguese nationals are discipled to lead the church. “Our goal is not to become pastors but to train Portuguese to become pastors,” said Brandon.
Brandon and Tiffany are currently back in the United States with their son Zeke raising money to support their mission to Portugal. To learn more about Brandon Hodge, his ministry, and how you can help, go to www.reachingportugal.com.
Yesterday our high school students were wowed by the magic, humor and powerful personal testimony of Stephen Bargatze. Stephen caught their attention with his masterful slight-of-hand and quick wit. He then shared his personal story of overcoming an alcoholic home life as well as a childhood accident that left him with a speech impediment. He warned students against the dangers of drugs and alcohol and talked about the importance of treating others who might be different from you with kindness and respect.
As Director of Student Services Program for the TSSAA, Stephen speaks to thousands of students each year using his magic to speak to today’s youth about the danger of drugs and alcohol. Steven has a unique way of combining humor and magic with impacting messages to motivate audiences. His “Magic With a Message” presentations are not only enlightening but inspirational.