At our most recent assembly, alumna Dolita Snyder came in to talk to the students about her journey from Credo high school student to wife, mother, and unit clerk. Her path was not always easy or consistent; she took on a few different jobs (good and bad) before finally discovering the career God had planned for her. It was clear throughout all of the various experiences though, that God was with her on her path, and that each experience was an opportunity for growth. Christ has always been the constant for her, just as He is for us all, and every choice we make should keep Him at the center.
Dolita left the students with a few tips on how to live an active Christian life as they prepare for and eventually enter the working world.
- Be a support and encouragement to one another!
- Talk to God! You are important to Him, and He must be the most important to you.
- Stay flexible! Your path might not always be clear, and it might even hurt sometimes, but when you stay obedient to God, He will provide.
- Stay humble! Be thankful for what you have, and remember who has given it all to you.
- Discuss your expectations for post-secondary education and/or work.
- How important is it to know exactly what you want to do with your life by the time you graduate high school?
- When things don’t go quite how you expect them to, how do you react? If your reaction is negative, what are some practical things you could do to train yourself to react more positively?
Our recent assembly started with Mr. VanderHorst playing part of the well-loved song Africa, by Toto. Everyone listening enjoyed the music and there were smiles on many faces. This soon changed when Mr. VanderHorst proceeded to play a version of the same song, except this time the music was offbeat and the vocals were off-key. Immediately, those listening started to cringe and beg for it to stop.
So how does this connect to our lives as Christians? Mr. VanderHorst explained that the more he listened to this horrible remix, the less repulsive it became; in fact, he almost started to enjoy it! Sin is like that. At first, we might be repulsed by it, but as we become more familiar with it, we start to hate it less. We get used to sin, and get comfortable with it.
Next, we talked about frogs. Apparently, scientists sometimes boil frogs to kill them before dissection. If they were to just plop them into boiling water though, the frogs would recognize the danger and jump out. Instead, the frogs are placed in cold water and as the heat is slowly turned up, the frog doesn’t realize what’s happening and stays put, until it eventually dies.
Again, we need to connect this analogy to sin. When obvious sins threaten to slam into us, we are more likely to recognize it and jump out of the way. The devil, knowing this, works slowly and gently, easing us into sin and gradually making us comfortable with it before we eventually end up dead. Mr. VanderHorst shared an example from his experience at BCIT. He had made friends with some non-Christians who used God’s name in vain and he hadn’t said anything to stop them. Some months later, he was singing Psalm 32 in church and was convicted by the words of that psalm. He knew he had to speak up!
In conclusion, we were reminded that sin is not something to embrace, but something to run from, to flee from! Whenever you hear Africa, by Toto, use it as a reminder. Remember the awesome reality that when we run from sin, we are not running blindly, rather, we are running into the arms of a loving Saviour.
- How did you feel, listening to the offbeat, off-key version of Africa? Does sin ever make you feel that way?
- Think about some of the little sins that you may have gotten comfortable with. In what ways might Satan be slowly ‘turning the heat up’ in your life?
- What are some practical ways you can flee from sin? What does that really look like in your life? Be specific!
Africa (original): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTQbiNvZqaY
Offbeat/Off-key version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwNGR792Ifk
Mrs. Bredenhof began her talk about the school dress code with an explanation of why Credo has a dress code in the first place. It is not a measure of modesty, rather, its purpose is to outline what is appropriate in the particular setting we find ourselves in—school.
When we talk about modesty, there are a couple of key points we need to remember. First of all, if a guy struggles with disrespectful thoughts towards a girl, that’s on him. We cannot shift the blame onto girls for this. Girls, that doesn’t make it okay to dress immodestly! We need to consider what the Bible says about modesty. Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:9 that we should wear ‘respectable apparel’, and Peter says in 1 Peter 3:4 that we must put on ‘a gentle and quiet spirit’. Jesus described himself in this way, when he said that he is ‘gentle and humble in heart’ (Matthew 11:29). The world tells us to value external beauty, but God tells us to value internal beauty. Outward modesty will flow out of pure inner motives.
Getting to back to the dress code, Mrs. Bredenhof outlined a number of different dress codes that exist in various jobs and cultures throughout our world (e.g. a construction worker’s dress code is very different from a waiter’s). Credo’s dress code is a result of parental expectations and is a pretty standard school dress code. There are certain things we take a hard line on, and others that we have some flexibility with, where discretion is needed. Sometimes it’s difficult to find appropriate clothing that fits the dress code (e.g. shorts for girls), but with a little extra effort, it really is possible! Some people may disagree with certain elements of the dress code, but with a wide range of opinions out there, it’s impossible to please everyone and so a peaceable balance must be sought. Should leggings be banned? Should hats be allowed? As a community, we will likely never be in total agreement about things like this. Instead, let’s all aim to be respectful in the way we dress and understand that living in community involved working together towards reasonable compromise.
- Do you understand why the school has a dress code? Do you agree with those reasons?
- Parents: If you work out of the home, what are the dress expectations at your place of employment?
- What do you like about the dress code? Are there things about the dress code you would like to see changed? Why?
- How do you feel about school uniforms?
- We are constantly bombarded with images of immodesty and worldly ‘ideals’. How does that affect you?
- What does it mean to have ‘a gentle and quiet spirit’ (1 Peter 3:4)?
We are now a full week into the new school year and have just had our second school assembly, where Mr. de Haan discussed our theme text in some detail. Throughout this year, we hope to send out emails following our school assemblies that give parents a summary of what was said, and provide some discussion questions or talking points that you can use at home to follow up on the theme of the assembly. Talk about them as you sit around the dinner table, or as you drive your child home from soccer practice. Many excellent topics are discussed and we would love to see that the conversations on these important issues are continuing beyond the assembly hall!
As previously mentioned, this week’s assembly was led by Mr. de Haan on the topic of 1 Timothy 4:12: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” We heard how we are called by God to be examples to those around us (a student could even be an example to a teacher!) and that we are to conduct ourselves well as ambassadors of Christ’s name. We don’t want others to criticize Christ because of choices we’ve made!
A clear point was also made about expectations. Often, adult expectations for teenagers are too low; we excuse bad behavior because of “youth”. We should never be lowering the bar for our young people. Instead, let’s set them an example by aiming high for both them and ourselves! This is our challenge, as the adults in their lives. Want the same things from your teenagers that God wants from them.
Specific mention was made of the first item in the list Paul mentions: speech. Though crude speech is not a noticeably large problem in our school, we all know that this can be a struggle at times. Students were encouraged to think about the way that they speak around their friends, as opposed to how they speak around parents and teachers. Are they ever hypocritical in this? They were also encouraged to be brave and to speak up when a friend is using inappropriate language, and were applauded for the uplifting, supportive speech we do often hear.
Discussion Questions/Talking Points:
1. How does 1 Timothy 4:12 apply to you personally? How can you be an example for others (classmates, teachers, siblings, parents)?
2. Do you feel as though adults have low expectations for you? Are you able to use the “I’m just a teenager, what do you expect??” excuse, and get away with more than you probably should?
3. How would you like adults to view you? What kinds of expectations do you think they should set for you?
4. What kinds of expectations do you set for yourselves?
5. Do you notice an issue with bad language in your friends group? In your class? What about the language being used on social media, or in text messages? If you feel this is an issue, what is your part in it?
Thanks to Kayla VanderHorst for creating this assembly summary!
Thanks to Kayla VanderHorst for creating this assembly summary!