Friday, March 20, 2020

Do Not be Anxious About Tomorrow

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."  Matthew 6:33-34

There was a reason for making kids memorize Bible verses in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.  They tend to pop into your head at times like these.  I like this particular pair of verses because it helps put things in perspective, making kingdom work a priority and providing assurance that things are in God's hands.  This is a storm that has brought some unexpected and unusual effects.  It can be stressful to try and respond as best you can when it's not something you anticipated.  Not only have our lives and livelihoods been disrupted, but we are having to take all kinds of precautions to avoid getting sick.

My wife tells a story of a time when she and a neighborhood friend were playing with Barbie dolls in her house in St. Louis when there was a small earthquake.  The dishes in the hutch were rattling, the house was shaking and they were there alone.  She remembered a verse from her childhood Bible training, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you," Psalm 53:3.  Many years later, when we lived in Central Texas, we had to huddle in our downstairs bathroom as a tornado passed literally within yards of our house.  What was she doing?  Sitting on the floor with her blanket, praying the King James version of that verse, "What time I am afraid I will trust in thee.." over and over.

This is a good time for our students to learn and apply some of these verses.  If you want something to give them to memorize this week, give Isaiah 45:18-19 a try this week:

"For thus says the Lord,, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!):  'I am the Lord and there is no other.  I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, 'Seek me in vain.' I the Lord speak the truth.  I declare what is right." 

So we have a God who created this world with intent and purpose.  He is not baffled by a virus.  The medical knowledge necessary to fight the epidemic and keep people as safe as possible is a blessing that he provides.  God reveals himself, not as some dark mystery, but as truth and right.  He is visible and easily recognized by his revealed character, declaring himself to be true and right.  We don't know what's happening, or why, but we can trust God because he declares what is right.

Here's one of my favorites from the New Testament:

"Now in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:37-39.  

And that includes any illness caused by any bacteria or virus.

We would appreciate your prayers for Midwestern Christian Academy.  We have families who have already had their job affected by the shutdowns and there is uncertainty about how long it may be before they can go back to work.  We are committed to serving our students and our families.  MCA is a ministry born out of a vision God provided to the Midwest Bible Church more than sixty years ago.  He has sustained it through many rough times and crises.  It is our responsibility to remain faithful to him by continuing to put our best effort forward on behalf of our students, parents and staff members.  That is exactly what we will do, and God will provide. 

Here's another one of those Sunday School/VBS Bible verses committed to memory and which applies and has a lot of meaning for us at this time.

"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that overcomes the world--our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is God."  I John 5:4-5

Monday, March 2, 2020

MCA Alumni Spotlight: Angelica Sophia Negron

Sophia Negron graduated from eighth grade at MCA in the spring of 2019 and is currently a freshman at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park.  Her sister Sarah is an eighth grader here this year. 

Sophia is an honor student at East Leyden, having earned a 4.0 grade point average so far this school year while taking all honors classes.  According to her father, her current high grades and standing in the ninth grade, as well as her ability to pass the testing necessary to take all of these honors classes, "is because of her time at MCA."  Her academic ability is just part of her experience in high school.  She is also participating in extra curricular activities. 

Sophia has qualified for and will be taking AP classes as a sophomore.  AP stands for "Advanced Placement" and gives students the opportunity to earn a high grade and take the assessment which qualifies them for college credit.  Also, at East Leyden, students who maintain at least a 3.5 GPA receive a scholarship for two years at Triton College.  This is one of the goals toward which Sophia is working. 

We are proud of Sophia and her accomplishments as a freshman at East Leyden as a graduate and good representative of MCA.  Keep watching this e-newsletter, there are more MCA alumni who have stories of top level achievement in high school.