Listening with an Open Heart

Written by Mrs Janelle Anderson - Principal

A warm welcome back to all for Semester 2. We will again have a busy term, but the excitement of the new work commencing for the College sports gym and the possibilities it will bring are fantastic, though it will also bring some challenges regarding space and accessibility. This term brings the next phase of our 2019 Foundations concept with the theme of “Profound” being the focus.

As members who journey through our community of learning, each of us is influenced by our involvement. We want to determine if there are essential learnings that are embedded in our mission and vision that stay with each person beyond their years at Faith, and how do they impact on our choices and decisions throughout our life’s journey. Can we find, through our time at Faith, spiritual, social and emotional understandings that will be profoundly significant to our lives?

The activities, events, tours and the myriad of things we do are just the mechanisms and vehicles to attain these profound learnings. This term we will hear from our groups such as Dirranbandi, Vanuatu, Confraternity and our graduating class to capture the essence of the profound impacts these activities have on their lives and the lifelong lessons that have received.

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Our opening verse for the term is from Proverbs 3:5-6

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Knowing that God will always be there for us. Having an understanding that we will only find the way God wants for us if we trust and believe in Him. Because He sees the plans He has for us before we realize them on our own. This does not mean we are inactive, but that we need to allow time for God’s plans to come to fruition sometimes.

 

This means we are all encouraged to submit ourselves to God's direction before making a big personal or other important decision. It means that you submit everything and everyone in your life to the guidance and will of Jesus. That is what it means to acknowledge Him in all ways.

But, that is where our “theology” goes off the tracks. We love to consider God as guide and protector, but we don’t “acknowledge him in all our ways.”

So, maybe you are wondering… what does that even mean? What does it look like to “acknowledge God in all my ways?”

Well, it means exactly what it sounds like. That you, in everything you do, say or think, would lift up and show the character, beauty and glory of Christ in your life.

It means that in the way that you live, you show the character of Jesus. That, in the way you work, you display the integrity of a very hardworking and honest God.

That, in the way you care for your family, you exhibit the Spirit of the God who calls Himself our Father!

It means that you talk like Jesus would talk, that you play sports with God’s glory and your witness for Him in mind.

It means that when you make decisions, you seek out God’s word and the Holy Spirit more than you do your gut, your friends’ opinions, or your own feelings.

A lot of people like to talk about how God is guiding their life, or how the “man upstairs” is keeping an eye out for them… but Biblically speaking, that often isn’t the case. Why? Because they don’t acknowledge Him.

If you want to guarantee God’s protection and guidance in your life, you’ve got to acknowledge Him in it. You’ve got to seek Him, desire Him, and lift Him up, more than your own desires and pride.

During our recent trip to Vanuatu, we were able to see a community that really allowed us to see their reliance on God’s guidance and their faith which is unquestionable. We shared this devotion with them to highlight the importance of our partnership and the wonderful influence they have on those who attend in serving God through our actions:

 

In our Lutheran schools, one of our key learnings is to network and grow in partnership with communities.

In our partnership with you here in Vanuatu, though it is an ocean apart, we honour what we share.

Your friendship

         love

         humour

         humility

and kindness

 

But most important is our relationships with all the students, staff, families and community.

 

You help us to grow and value what we have and to accept that maybe some of our material possessions are not as important as family, friendship and GOD.

 

Through God who guides both our communications to serve our children, so too is our God with all of us when we come together each year.

 

From the Bible, Paul uses a word in his tongue called Koinonia which means fellowship – joining together in a two sided relationship - Iquaramenu and Faith.

 

The spiritual bond we have with you comes from the Gospel which calls us to serve each other.  We can all learn better when we work together.

 

Though, at times our language difference is a barrier, we can overcome this and learn through the challenges.

 

We ask God that we always make the needs of others more important than anything else.

 

Our Bible verse from Philippians 1: Verse 2-5

 

Grace and peace to you from God, our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now.

 

So to all those who have been before, are here this year and will come in the future, we will always be blessed.  You bring us new understandings of ourselves and each other.

 

You make us treasure the beauty of your island.

 

The majesty of your trees.

 

The voice of the volcano

 

And the smile and joy of your faces.

 

Make God’s peace reign over all of you always

 

And our friendship, grow and continue to blossom for many years to come.

 

We pray:

 

Christ has no body but ours, no hands, no feet on earth but ours, yours are the eyes with which He looks with compassion in His world, yours are the feet with which He walks with us to do food, yours are the hands to serve.


And all of us – our hearts and souls to bless this world through our talents and abilities.

 

Please watch over every small child, every growing student and the new and developing adults here at this school – give them the ability to learn and flourish in their mind, body and spirit.


We pray all these things to our communal God

 

Amen

 

Based on our theme this week of listening with an open heart in such a way to find the plans God has for each of us, the Vanuatu partnership opens our eyes to a very different way of life and a truly significant opportunity to serve others so that we can change other people’s lives for the better.