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Archives - September 2012

Time for Him

September 24, 2012
By Del Dykstra
Photo courtesy of

Recently I heard the phrase “I wish there was more time in each day so I could catch up”.  It got me thinking about how we use our time, and manage our day.

It seems we can always find time for the things we enjoy and find pleasure in. How many of us check our Facebook account or surf the internet each day, and yet spend little or no time in God’s Word? 

There are so many things that distract us and our relationship with the Lord. Think about the people who matter most to you. Deep relationships are not formed by merely thinking about it or intending to spend time with people. Relationships grow by purposely spending time together and sharing. 

It is not different with our spiritual relationship. We need to make time for growing a deeper relationship with God. He knows all that is happening, but wants to hear from us and have us hear from Him. He tells us in His Word to “be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Sometimes, we need to turn off the distractions and be still.

What are your distractions? Laptop, internet, cell phones, sports, television, music, etc.  Let’s make it a priority to today and every day “to be still.”

Success at School - Communication

September 17, 2012
By Laura Eisenga
Success at School - Communication
Photo courtesy of

Communicate Clearly – I believe this is especially important with your child. My children behave better and respond more appropriately when they know what is expected of them and what is going to be happening.

       Example 1:
Son: Mommy, I’m nervous about going to school today.
Mommy: Oh honey, you’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it!
       Example 2:
Daughter: Daddy, I’m nervous about going to school today.
Daddy: Can you tell me why you’re nervous today?
Daughter: Because I have to talk about my book report in front of class today.
Daddy: Oh yes, Daughter! I saw that on your weekly teacher newsletter that you’d be doing that today. The teacher wrote that it is only a 5 minute presentation and that it doesn’t have to be memorized. So just write down a few notes you want to say and read them if you need to. You’re a smart girl, so I know you’ll do well. Make sure and tell me about it tonight after I get home from work!

     I wrote Example 1 from personal experience. These answers of mine are usually when we’re trying to get shoes on, bags packed and get everyone out the door. It’s an understandable answer when you’re rushed, but Example 2 really prepares your child for what’s ahead and how to approach the situation in a prepared way.

Communicate QualityI know, “quality” doesn’t start with a “c” and messes up my alliteration, but I’m going with it. Let your kids know you want and expect them to do their best at everything. Settling for mediocrity doesn’t help anyone.
     God gave each of our children a wonderful set of talents and abilities. Granted, certain children have strengths in music, math or PE. It’s hard not to envy the first chair flute player, the science whiz, or the baseball star. As parents, it’s hard not to compare our kids with other ones.
     When our children recognize their own strengths and the strengths of their friends come from God, they are more accepting of themselves and each other.

Communicate Correctly – This one’s for the parents. At Sunnyside Christian School, we encourage communication to flow following the Matthew 18 principle.
     The Message version of the Bible says it this way, “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love.”
     I encourage you to read the Student and Parent Handbook for more details on the communications policy at SCS. And I want to remind you that our school works best when we try to work as a family. We’re going to have great times and difficulties, experience times of joy and times of frustration. Following a biblical model of communicating our feelings will result in the close-knit community that we desire for our children.

The Parenting Marathon

September 10, 2012
By Dean Wagenaar
Photo courtesy of

The new school year has begun. The marathoners - because the Christian race is not a sprint - have heard the gun and are establishing their stride concerned about the distance, the conditions, the teammates and opponents, all factors in the race. But let’s pause before we pace too far because we need some coaching — sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

As parents one of our tasks is to see clearly so that we can pass on a multigenerational understanding to our children. Here is the challenge I want you to see. I suspect most of us want to prepare the road for our children. We want to fill in every pothole, resurface the bumps and cracks, erect signs, even rubber bumpers, to alleviate any obstacle(s) so no bumps, bruises, or scratches occur.

Do you realize how unrealistic this paradigm is and what this does to our kids? Parents end up living their children’s lives and maturity and responsibility are stunted, if not crushed.

Instead of doctoring the road, we need to prepare our children to deal with what is going to happen on the road and journey that stretches into the future. The path will have obstacles, challenges, diversions. Guess what? That path sounds exactly like life. In fact, IT IS LIFE. 

Parents, we need to prepare our children to face adversity. If we do not, we do them a tremendous disservice in the race of life. We need to quit giving allowances and start instituting commissions. Is this training task easy? Sorry, we don’t raise kids at Staples. No, it is not easy. Not in a broken, sinful world. 

The task is hard because Christian parenting is a difficult, time-consuming marathon. So instead of helicoptoring, give Godly advice, direct with Biblical wisdom, pray with fervor, but realize that small failures are not final if lessons are learned and corrections are made. 

Who knows, but, I think, what may be learned and accomplished will enable our kids to prepare to overcome the next obstacles in the race and, therefore, learn to be young pilgrims on this earthly journey who overcome adversity and place a robust, sincere faith in the truth promises of God.   

In Christ,
Dean Wagenaar

The Faith of Our Children

September 04, 2012
By Del Dykstra
Sunnyside Christian School - Let the Little Children Come to Me
Photo courtesy of

And we’re off! The 2012-13 school year has officially begun. By now most teachers, kids, and parents have settled somewhat in to a routine. Pastor Jelmer Groenewold did a great job at opening chapel challenging us to be rooted in God’s Word, and followers of Christ in all we do.

Our theme for the 2012-13 school year focuses on the Gospel of Mark. Our theme verse is from Mark 10:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

This paints quite a picture of our loving God. He’s a God who loves our children more than we do. He wants to see them succeed, to hear them praise Him, to feel them love Him in return. His Kingdom belongs to them because their faith is new, exciting and fun. Bible stories are new, learning to say prayers all by yourself is exciting, and singing new praise songs is fun!

It is our hope at Sunnyside Christian School that we lead your children to Jesus, that we do not hinder them, but that we encourage them in their new faith. 

Please partner with us this year as we strive to bring the “Kingdom of God” to all the children at SCS.

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