In a passage of scripture I read this past week, the writer compels the hearers/readers to “incline your ears” to the Word of God (Ps. 78:1 NASB). As I was thinking about this in the context of hearing and responding to God’s voice, I realized two things: (1) God is always speaking to us, and (2) there are some specific things we have to do to put ourselves in the best position to hear God’s voice.
One of those things is taking time to just stop. This week, many of our normal routines have been put on pause for student conferences. So the idea of stopping has been on my mind. I have been asking myself, "How often do we miss out on God’s voice in our lives because we didn’t stop long enough to hear it?" Stopping in our culture is an incredibly hard thing to do.
God is showing me, however, that when we take time to stop and incline our ears by directing our attention to God, we discover that God has been speaking to us all along; we just haven’t stopped long enough to listen.
My prayer as we head into the seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas is that we would continue to find ways to stop and incline our ears to hear God’s voice in our lives.
November 7th, 2019
By Joshua Stines
Have you ever experienced the frustration of being misunderstood? Anniah Smith, a 10th grade A.S.L. student at CCS, was asked to consider this reality when she participated in a class activity given to her by her A.S.L. teacher.
“The goal of this activity was to drive home empathy not for the sake of pity, but for understanding,” said Katie Bohall, CCS Senior High American Sign Language teacher.
By participating in “Silent Friday,” A.S.L. students were asked to live a whole day exploring the challenges that members of the Deaf community have to face on a regular basis."
“I felt ostracized” said Smith. “There were times when I had to get creative in communicating. A few times even, I was misunderstood. But I couldn’t stand up for myself since I couldn’t talk. Overall, this experience challenged me to be more empathetic to people in the Deaf community.”
Sometimes it takes us living other people’s circumstances before we can begin to empathize with them.
Blessings to you and your family this week as you celebrate Veteran's Day.
October 31st, 2019
by Joshua Stines
In our study of Meditation, students were given the option to select one of four options that caused them to think and reflect on God and His goodness.
Natasha Williams, a Senior at CCS, selected Meditatio Creatio, a leisurely walk or a hike that encouraged students to stop and notice God’s beautiful handiwork (Psalm 104:24). Partly through the walk, “purpose” is what came to mind for Natasha.
“I was able to reflect on the fact that God made the world and everything in it for a specific purpose” she wrote in her journal. “He made the trees and the plants, and the slugs and birds, and us. He made humans for a specific purpose and that is to spread the word about God.”
Blessings to you as you stop and take notice. My hope is that through the process you not only hear God’s voice, but you also find that cougar!
October 24th, 2019
By Joshua Stines
Who would ever allow their younger sibling to pie them in the face? Grayson Daniels, a student at Frederickson Elementary School, agreed to it for a very specific reason.
"For my feet to faith project, I chose Step by Step Ministries” said Grayson. Step by Step of Puyallup, WA, seeks to empower young mothers by providing them with everything from baby supplies to education on childbirth and emotional wellness.
Grayson posted a video on social media in which he committed himself to a pie in the face by his younger sister if he met his fundraising goal of $100. The end result?
Grayson raised $760 and, of course, a pie in the face. “I would do it all over again,” he said. “And I hope to get more people involved next year.”
I hope that everyone connected to our Elementary Schools this week enjoyed Grandparents Day. We will see you this Saturday for the Homecoming Game at Sunset Stadium. And I hope you catch the Cougar!
Making Heaven Crowded
Heaven is a big place! But that hasn’t stopped Carly Heltsley and Heidi Zetterberg from doing all they can to pack it full.
“Through our women’s small group, we want our ladies to feel a fire inside of them that whoever they come in contact with will know the love of Christ," Heltsley said. "We want to make Heaven crowded.”
Above you will see pictures of their small group for their upperclassman (11th and 12th grade women). They meet once a week and are currently studying the book of Ruth. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through our small groups.
The Power of God's Love
October 10th, 2019
By Joshua Stines
Have you ever been so deeply impacted by the love that someone shared with you that it literally changed your life? Doris Wang, a student from China who is part of the International Program led by Darlene Kasper, knows exactly what this is like.
“I felt Jesus’ love for me when I got here,” she said. “Everyone of my teachers, including Mrs. Kasper, has been so kind and supportive of me. I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Below is a video of Doris on the day she was baptized. In addition to Sarah Parker, the Youth Leader at Bethany Baptist Church, Doris partially credit’s the love of the teachers at Cascade for influencing her in her decision to get baptized. Above all, Doris’ testimony is evidence of what love can do.
Each week, I travel to each of our elementary campuses to teach 4 sixth-grade classes. We are using the Character Strong Curriculum, which focuses on the development of positive character traits and leadership. Above you will find pictures of each of my classes. I am so excited to see what God will do in and through us during out time together!
In addition to being at each of the elementary campuses this year, I have the privilege of teaching two Spiritual Disciplines classes for our high school seniors. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to not only learn about each of the disciplines, but also put them into practice. Hopefully, you will get a chance to hear from them and their experiences over the course of this school year.
Stay tuned for next week as I introduce to you my groups at each of the elementary campuses. Until then, don't we have an awesome group of students to begin the school year with? I can’t wait to see what God has planned!
"What does Soccer and Spiritual Formation have in common? As it turns out, quite a bit.
Jubal McDaniel, elementary Athletic Coordinator and High School Soccer Coach, showcases above how his students were able to memorize and recite passages of scripture from this year’s Summer Thrive Program.
“We showed the students that by focusing on dribbling,” McDaniel said, “we press on towards our soccer goal. We then taught the importance of working hard both on and off the field and what it means to pursue Jesus as our ultimate goal. After giving the lesson, we gave the students one day to memorize the scripture verse.”
The end result is the movie above.
Scripture memorization can be incorporated in a variety of small ways. The end result, however, always has an eternal impact!”
"We expected God to do great things,” assistant Coach De Leon responded, when asked about what happened at this year’s Wenatchee football camp. Under the spiritual guidance of head coach Devin Snyder, the football staff prepped their students to receive more than simply football training.
"As the week went on, we began to see barriers break down. Students began to request prayer and we saw God move in a mighty way,” said De Leon.
The end result? Six students and one coach got baptized in the Wenatchee river.
It all started with expecting God to do great things. Expecting from God could be the very thing that transforms a seemingly ordinary event into a supernatural one. It sure did for Coach Snyder and the football team.