Archive for ‘BCS Blog’

Take the Screen-Free Challenge

Posted on: April 26th, 2019

Did you know April 29 – May 5, 2019 is Screen-Free Week? Sometimes telling kids it’s time to unplug just for a few hours will elicit groans and complaints of “I’m bored” or “There’s nothing to do!”  Imagine trying it as a family for a whole week! If you’re up for the challenge, this list of screen-free activities can help your family power through.

Ticket to Ride board game

1. Bring out the board games.  A few family-friendly favorites are: Codenames, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Pictionary, and Scrabble. Invite friends over for a board game night or afternoon.

2. Work on a puzzle.  Set out a puzzle and the family will naturally congregate around it to work on it. Local toy stores have great puzzles, and you can swap with other families when you’re done!

3. Read a book as a family. Have your kids take turns reading aloud. Ask your child to tell you their favorite part or something they learned.  Watch the movie afterward (after screen-free week of course!) and discuss the difference.

4. Design an obstacle course. Get creative and set up a challenging course in the backyard or in the basement. Then everyone gets to take a turn trying it out!

5. Family Fitness Fun. Set up a circuit training workout with a few stations and get healthy together.  

washing a car

6. Wash and clean the family vehicles. Put everyone to work cleaning under the seats, vacuuming the mats, washing the windows, and even cleaning the vents and crevices with a toothbrush and cotton swabs.  Use all the loose change you’ll find to buy some ice cream to celebrate a job well done! Break out the sidewalk chalk. Draw a hopscotch or foursquare on the driveway with chalk and have some fun. For the littles, draw out a race track for toy cars.

7. Wide Word of Sports. Grab a basketball and shoot hoops or kick a soccer ball around.  Set a goal of 10 free throws in a row, or dribbling a certain distance in 30 seconds. Have relay races. Play tee ball or kickball.

8. Perfect your frisbee toss or try frisbee golf.  Milwaukee County has several Disc Golf courses. You can find courses in New Berlin and Sussex, too.

9. Get organized. Organize a drawer or cabinet each day.  Teach your kids to fold like Mari Kondo and let them loose! Sort through your toys, books or clothes and find 5 items each family member could donate or sell.

10. Do a family walk or bike ride. Cruise through your neighborhood or on a local trail. You could pray for the people in the homes you pass, pick up litter, or play a game of “I Spy.”

girl coloring with sidewalk chalk outside

11. Break out the sidewalk chalk. Draw a hopscotch or foursquare on the driveway with chalk and have some fun. For the littles, draw out a race track for toy cars.

12. Make a recipe or meal together.  Check out the BCS Cookbook for lots of ideas! (On sale in the BCS office for $3 each!) Get adventurous and explore the cuisine of a different culture. Bake some cookies and share them with a neighbor.

13. Support your local team. Find a local sporting event like high school or college baseball, softball or soccer and go cheer on the local team.

14. Build an epic fort. Get over the mess, and go all out! You can encourage the kids to read in the fort with flashlights, have a picnic in it, and even have a family sleepover in it!

15. Clean up the yard. Head outside to your yard or help a neighbor. Pick up sticks, pull weeds, or plant some flowers or herbs if it’s warm enough.

children playing on playground equipment

16. Visit a different park or playground every day.  Have your kids rate their favorites.

17. Be a food critic.  Sample the different frozen custard stands in our area and vote on your family’s favorites.

18. Learn a new skill.  Learn to crochet, make a friendship bracelet, or try your hand at painting or drawing.

19. Write it down. Decorate cards and write notes of encouragement to friends and family. Take it a step further and find out if you could correspond with missionaries from your church, or send cards to a local long term care facility.

20. Make a summer bucket list. Have everyone brainstorm activities to do and places to visit and have the kids write them down.  Hang the list on the fridge and have fun checking things off the list together all summer long.

Baltimore Oriole on a bird feeder

21. Go bird watching.  Check out a book on local birds and study up. Set up some feeders in your yard or find a spot with lots of activity and record the birds you see.  See if you can identify different bird calls and songs.

22. Have a dance party.  Put on some family-friendly music and let loose together! Show them your best embarrassing parent dance moves or attempt to “floss.” That will get you some eye rolls, for sure.

23. Commit a random act of kindness each day.  Plan out what you’re going to do and then execute it together as a family.  Reflect on how it made you feel and talk about why why kindness is cool.

24. Let your voice be heard. Have your kids research an issue they’re passionate about and help them write a letter to their local representative or a company you’d like to see make a change.

25. Build something.  Make a planter for your patio or a window box for an herb garden.  Find a fun project, plan it, shop for the materials, and complete it together.

If you’d like to learn more about Brookfield Christian School, contact us. We’d love to meet you and learn more about you!  Campus visits are available by appointment. 

Finish Strong: 3 Ways to Finish the School Year Well

Posted on: April 22nd, 2019

Summer is just around the corner, but we’ve got a few weeks of school left! Getting back into the groove after Spring Break can be a challenge, but we have a few tips for finishing the school year strong.

boy running on a track

1. Pray for perseverance. Hebrews declares, “…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (v1b-2a). Ask Jesus to fill your child and the school teachers with His perseverance and strength, determination and will. Encourage your child to finish every task to the best of their ability, as onto the Lord — including school!  Pray this for yourself as well. Use His wisdom to display perseverance in your home. Be mindful to every task you start — from sweeping the floor or folding the laundry, to carrying out a conversation (or consequence). Vocalize when the task you take on is difficult. Use the moment to pray aloud for Holy Spirit help and make sure your child hears and understands God wants us to finish what we start and gives us the strength to do so. 

planner open on a desk with a vase of flowers

2. Keep your schedule regardless of warm weather. It’s easy to slip into a loosened routine when the weather gets nice. Homework time is moved to dinner time. Dinner time is moved to bed time, and so on. And while we all desire flexibility in our home, keeping with your daily schedule will show your child the importance of prioritizing school over other activities.  

students in a classroom writing in notebooks

3. Keep kids focused on school. Keep asking your kids about their school day, their homework, their teachers, their friends, their projects. Show you are interested and they will be, too. Resist overlapping summertime classes and activities with the end of the year, and avoid talking too much about summertime vacations and plans. These distractions could quickly change their focus from end-of-the-year tests to Disney World daydreams.  While warmer weather and the countdown to summer is enticing to anyone, remind your child (and yourselves) to finish strong what you start. Because, after all, isn’t it at the end of the race where you run the fastest?

If you’d like to learn more about Brookfield Christian School, contact us. We’d love to meet you and learn more about you!  Campus visits are available by appointment. 

Caring for Creation: Earth Day Activities For Families

Posted on: April 19th, 2019

One of the BCS throughlines (ways we incorporate our faith into everyday learning) is “Stewardship: Developing and Caring for God’s World.”  At BCS, we are always having conversations about how we can do better as a school in this regard. Students are encouraged to use reusable lunch bags and bring their own refillable water bottles to school. We have recycling containers in each classroom, and have shifted from paper copies of many forms, newsletters and our school directory to online versions. Our students pick up litter from the school grounds and the surrounding property. There is always more we can do.

Are you consciously caring for creation at home? Talk it through as a family, and brainstorm ways you can do better, too. Here are a few suggestions for ways to get your family on board with being good stewards of creation:

farmer's market scene with fresh herbs for sale

1. Shop local.  Visit your local farmer’s market, purchase from a local farmer, and try sourcing a product locally instead of ordering online.

2. Eliminate styrofoam and reduce single-use plastics. You can do this at home and at work. Use a reusable water bottle and a ditch the paper bags for lunch for a reusable lunch box or bag instead. Try beeswax wraps and reusable containers instead of plastic wrap and storage bags. Avoid buying individually-wrapped convenience foods when possible.

3. Conserve water.  Turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth, shorten your showers, etc.

photo of a compost bin in a yard

4. Create a compost pile or set up a compost bin.  Learn what can be composted and what can’t. Give your kids the task of tending the compost, and then use the “black gold” to fertilize your plants when it’s ready.

5. Set up a home recycling station. You can do it in the kitchen, the mudroom or garage.  Kids can help crush cans or break down boxes to reduce the amount of space recycled items take up.

6. Use reusable shopping bags. Make sure you have reusable shopping bags in the car and remember to use them!  You can buy nice bags that fold up and can be stored in or snapped onto a purse or backpack. Talk with your kids about ways you can reduce packaging when you’re shopping.

7. Work together on an earth-friendly craft.  Make a seed ball from recycled paper – these would make fun gifts!  Make a bug hotel for creepy crawly creatures. Make a butterfly feeder and put it near a window so you can watch for winged friends to stop by.

purple coneflowers with a yellow and black butterfly perched on one of them, and bumble bees on one flower and buzzing near another one

8. Plant a garden. Use native plants, and plants that attract bees and butterflies. Plant some herbs or vegetables you can use in your kitchen to avoid going to the store to purchase. There’s nothing better than adding homegrown herbs to finish a dish!

9. Set up a rain barrel or create a rain garden.  Learn more here or visit the Retzer Nature Center where you can learn about water conservation and purchase a rain barrel.

10. Clean up! Do a trash pick-up in your local park or around your neighborhood. Observe what you’re seeing, and talk about ways you can reduce waste.

These are just a few ways to get started. Research local conservation efforts around you, and find ways you can make a difference!

If you’d like to learn more about Brookfield Christian School, contact us. We’d love to meet you and learn more about you!  Campus visits are available by appointment. 


Spring Break “Staycation” Inspiration

Posted on: April 7th, 2019

Sticking around for Spring Break this year?  We’ve got a few suggestions for things you can do in the Milwaukee area.  Bonus points for wearing your BCS spirit wear while you explore our great city!

A view of the front of the Milwaukee Public Market.

Go ride The Hop street car!  Park by the Milwaukee Public Market, and then board the street car at the stop right across the street on St. Paul.  Get off and explore the area, or stay on and take the round trip back. Then enjoy lunch or a treat at the market or at one of the many restaurants in the Third Ward.  If the weather is cooperating, you can take a stroll down the RiverWalk (if you’re willing to walk a little bit, you can find the Bronze Fonz and Gertie the Duck for photo ops!).

A photo of the Milwaukee Art Museum with the "wings" open.

Visit one of our awesome museums. Check out the Domes, the Harley Davidson Museum, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Discovery World, the Milwaukee Art Museum, or the Milwaukee Public Museum. You can talk with your kids about our through line of “Creativity: Exploring and Creating Beauty.” You might even want to work on creating a gallery of their artwork at home!

Take a tour. You can take a free or low cost tour of the Jelly Belly Factory in Pleasant Prairie (and maybe do some outlet shopping), visit the 88.9 Radio Station and enjoy some Stone Creek Coffee afterward, check out the Clock Shadow Creamery, the Harley Davidson Powertrain Operations tour, or explore the city’s Skywalk system with the walking tour.

A man and a girl hiking in the woods at Lion's Den Gorge in Wisconsin.

Take a hike!  Check out the Seven Bridges Trail, Lion’s Den Gorge, Lapham Peak, or take a day trip to Devil’s Lake. A simple Google search for family-friendly hikes in Milwaukee will provide lots of great options. Enjoy God’s creation and ask your kids about how we can be good stewards of it.

Photo of the green, yellow and orange terrace chairs at the MemorialUnion Terrace in Madison, WI.

Get in the car and go!  Take a day trip to Madison and check out the Bucky statues around town, enjoy Babcock Hall ice cream at Babcock Hall or the Memorial Union Terrace (bonus: giant iconic terrace chair photo op in BCS spirit wear), visit the Children’s Museum, and enjoy some Stella’s cheesy bread at the Dane County Farmer’s Market. Visit Green Bay and take a stadium tour and explore the developing area nearby. Go to the Dells and enjoy a water park. Visit the Bean in Chicago for your spirit wear pic, then explore the amazing Maggie Daly Park.  You might even be able to talk the kids into some shopping on the Magnificent Mile.

There are literally hundreds of other great ideas if you do a Google search of “Milwaukee staycations.”  Enjoy the opportunities we have for family fun all around us!

If you’d like to learn more about Brookfield Christian School, contact us. We’d love to meet you and learn more about you!  Campus visits are available by appointment.

BCS Middle School Teacher Named Herb Kohl Educational Foundation 2019 Teacher Fellow

Posted on: March 7th, 2019
Photo of Mrs. Marci Bigler, English & Language Arts Teacher at BCS
Mrs. Marci Bigler

We are thrilled to announce that Mrs. Marci Bigler, our Middle School English and Language Arts teacher, has been named a Herb Kohl Educational Foundation 2019 Teacher Fellow!  Nominated by her peers, Mrs. Bigler was one of 100 Wisconsin K-12 teachers selected for this honor (and one of only 14 private school teachers selected).  She will be recognized at a regional reception later this spring. Marci says, ““It is such an honor to partner with wonderful families as well as work alongside of a staff as amazing, dedicated, and talented as the team at BCS.”

“The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program was established by Herb Kohl, philanthropist and businessman, in 1990. To date the foundation has awarded $17.8 million to Wisconsin educators, principals, students, and schools. ‘Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation. I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students, teachers, and principals and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future,’ Kohl said.” Click here to read the full press release.

Mrs. Bigler began teaching middle school English and Language Arts at BCS in the Fall of 2017. Since then, she has inspired students to think deeply about their reading and writing and cheers them on both inside and outside of her classroom. This past summer she assembled an impressive library of books in her classroom geared specifically toward middle schoolers. Before joining the staff at BCS, Mrs. Bigler was a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at UW-Milwaukee and served as a member of the BCS board. She currently serves as a faculty representative on the Education Committee.  

Please join us in congratulating Mrs. Bigler on her achievement. We are blessed to have her on staff. Her hard work and dedication to her students and craft are representative of the faculty and staff at BCS.  

For more information on Brookfield Christian School, contact us at admissions@brookfieldchristian.org or call (262) 782-4722.

You’re Invited: Parent Education Night

Posted on: March 1st, 2019

Parents from BCS and our local community are invited to our Parent Education Night: “Protecting the Hearts and Minds of Our Kids.” Join us on April 2 from 6:30-8:30pm in the BCS cafeteria (enter through the office doors under the blue awning).

We will have experts on hand to talk about some serious but important topics including anxiety, suicide prevention and sex trafficking. We will talk about empowering parents with tools to recognize warning signs, ways to help our students, and more. There will be time for Q & A at the end of the presentation.

We will be joined by Emmy Myers from Lacey’s Hope Project Inc. Emmy is a survivor of sex trafficking and she is involved in educating and bringing awareness of sex trafficking to schools, police departments, churches, etc. in addition to education she will she will be speaking to how kids who may suffer from depression, anxiety, etc. could become a target and warning signs to look for.

Leah Rolando of Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee will also be joining us. She works with kids who suffer from depression, anxiety, have suicidal tendencies. She will be able to talk about warning signs, give parents tools to help their kids if needed, etc.

Please join us, and invite a friend!

For more information about Brookfield Christian School, contact us at admissions@brookfieldchristian.org or call (262) 782-4722.

Blessing Bags

Posted on: December 24th, 2018

The mission of Brookfield Christian School is to offer a Christ-centered education that prepares students to learn, to lead, and to serve faithfully in God’s world.  Throughout the year,  we provide opportunities for students to serve with their fellow classmates.

students posing with blessing bags

Before Christmas break, the first grade class took on a service project to impact our local homeless community, collecting items and making “blessing bags” filled with essential items to be distributed to those in need.   The students took ownership of the project and were excited to see how their efforts made a difference. The first graders began by making signs to hang in the hallways of BCS advertising their plan and goal.

The class collected and sorted items for 2 weeks and then assembled the blessing bags. Their 5th grade buddies from Mr.Vander Vliet’s class helped. The students formed an assembly line with students stationed around the room filling the bags with a particular item, while others walked around with a gallon sized storage bag collecting each item, and still others packing the finished bags into boxes. It didn’t take long for the class to make up 80 blessing bags!

assembling blessing bags

The 1st grade students also wrote cards to go in the bags. They wrote very sweet and heartfelt messages. The class has been been praying for the homeless and that their bags would truly be a blessing to whomever received them. Along with the 80 bags for the homeless, they also collected a box of basic necessities including extra items leftover, 2 boxes filled with baby and children’s clothes and necessities, a box of hats, scarves, gloves, and socks for men and women, a garbage bag full of blankets, and a garbage bag full of coats.

boxes of donated supplies

After completing the project the kids reflected on what they had learned. Here are some of their responses:

“Even though we are young, we can be an example.”

“It took a lot of teamwork and getting others to help us to make it work and help more homeless people.”

“People who live close by need help, not just people in far away places.”

“Giving and serving is fun and it makes you feel good.”

“I am thankful God used us to help others. He knows what everyone needs”

1st graders and 5th graders making blessing bags

The assembled blessing bags and supplies will be handed out to the homeless living on the streets in Milwaukee. The class partnered with a former BCS teacher who initiated a donation drive to help the homeless community this Christmas.  She and a group of family, friends, and church members will deliver the supplies along with the other donations she has received. Not only will the bags and winter clothes and blankets be given out, but time will be given to talk with the homeless people, hear their story, and pray with them (if they would like). After handing out supplies, remaining items will be delivered to the Hope Center in Waukesha.

Thank you to everyone who made a contribution. It was a joy to see the first graders get so excited to serve!

 

Want to learn more about Brookfield Christian School? Contact us to schedule a visit or to receive more information. 

Beyond the Bulletin Board

Posted on: September 20th, 2018

At the start of every school year, I enjoy walking around the school, looking at the hallways and poking my head into classrooms as teachers prepare, and seeing the fresh, creative ideas they have used to decorate their rooms and make them a welcoming learning environment.  Often, many teachers take the theme for the year and turn it into a bulletin board or use another concept that they would like to emphasize and make it the focal point of a visual display. This year is no different. The theme for this year, “Stand Up and Be the Example,” is prevalent on many walls as are other ideas centered around our value as unique individuals loved by God.

Yet what makes our education different from others is not simply words and ideas placed on walls.  Instead, we take the words off the walls and make them part of an intentional effort to connect our faith directly with our learning.  Weaving our throughlines, ten faith “connection points,” into our teaching and learning discussions and activities enables us to integrate faith more seamlessly into our content areas.

BCS Faith Throughlines

Learning

Discerning and Applying Knowledge

Imagining Possibilities

Seeking Wisdom

Exploring and Creating Beauty

Leading

Cultivating Community

Pursuing Justice

Restoring Relationships

Serving

Caring for Creation

Serving Others

Worshipping God

These faith throughlines serve as a reminder of what we are truly trying to teach our students as we encourage them to look at life through the lens of faith as Christians.  When done well, students realize that learning about math, science, social studies, language, or any of the other subject areas, is more than just learning for the sake of learning.  The knowledge and insights gained are not separate or implemented in isolation from our faith. Rather, students understand that what they learn is to be used to further God’s kingdom and that they are called to be difference makers in his world.

As we go through this and every school year, our goal for our students is that they will internalize and embody this concept of making our faith a living, active, connected faith that impacts our everyday lives and the community and world in which we live.

 

To learn more about Brookfield Christian School or to schedule a visit, contact us at admissions@brookfieldchristian.org

“Watch One, Do One, Teach One”

Posted on: June 23rd, 2018

Commencement Address Speaker

We were blessed to have one of our alumni, also a parent of one of our 2018 graduates, deliver the commencement address this year.  We’re sharing a part of her advice to our 8th graders as they head out to learn, to lead and to serve faithfully in God’s world:

“You may or may not know, but BCS has lots of traditions – which I personally love. Many of my friends tease me about my long and varied list of traditions in our house.  And because of this, I find great joy watching my own children do many of the things I did as a student here. Some things have changed over the years, the enrollment, the school colors, even the name….but the core of BCS remains the same. Founded in faith, teaching God’s Word. 

During your time here, you have been challenged to learn, to lead and to serve. This is more than just a tag line for the school. It is a great foundation for your life.  It’s time to take those principles into the next chapter! Never stop learning. Look for the ways God has prepared for you to lead. Live a life of service.  This reminds me of a phrase used in medical training: “Watch one, do one, teach one.”   

The first phase of learning to do a new skill is watching someone who has mastered that skill. This is not an inactive, sit back and watch. This takes concentration, a willingness to learn, not being afraid to ask questions. I believe that much of your time at BCS has been a phase of “watch one.” You have been “watching” your teachers for years now, taking in all the knowledge they are working to pass on. You have learned your days of the week from Mrs. Bylsma. You learned to read from Mrs. Patch, cursive handwriting from Mrs. Otten, and world history from Mr. Dekker.

But you have also learned how to pray, how to study the Bible, how to be a reading buddy, how to stand without moving in the wax museum, how to give speeches, how to resolve conflict, how to encourage others.   You have had the opportunity to “Build Each Other Up,” to learn what it means to be part of the “Body of Christ,” and how to “Grow in Grace.” You have been blessed with parents, teachers, small group leaders, and coaches who have prayed for you, encouraged you, and instructed you in these things.

BCS has prepared you well for the next phase: “Do one.” It is important to know that in the medical field the “do one” phase is done under supervision.  The instructor who had you watch their procedure, now supervises you as you do the procedure.  You are not left on your own yet. You are still side by side with someone who has more skill, more knowledge, more training. So has been your experience at BCS.  Your parents, other parents, teachers, principal, coaches – they have been there to lead, guide and cheer you on as you put your knowledge into practice and do one.

You’ve learned about unity in Christ and then practiced the “doing” in your unity groups.  Watch one, do one.  You’ve watched and learned about leadership and you’ve practiced the “do one” phase in the classroom and on student council.  You were a little buddy once, looking up to the big kids. Then, you yourself became the big buddy and little ones were looking up to you and watching you.  Watch one, do one.

You have been taught about the importance of service and then you have gone outside these walls and packed food for Feed My Starving Children. You’ve collected and sorted shoes at Soles for Jesus, and this year you picked 2500 pounds of vegetables to help feed Milwaukee’s hungry and homeless.  Watch one, do one. All the while, being surrounded by “supervisors,” resources and encouragers.

Now comes the exciting and scary phase: “Teach one.”  It’s your turn to take all that you have experienced, all that you have learned, and share it!   Share the knowledge, gifts and talents that have been nurtured in you with others.  You are headed out into the world where you will have more autonomy, more responsibility and will be making more decisions on your own – decisions that have bigger impact and consequences. Remember that every decision, every friendship, every conversation is an opportunity to represent God.

I’d like to offer a couple practical ways to represent God, lead by example and teach one: 

Be truthtellers.  Proverbs 12:22 says “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy.” Lying is the way of the world and often the easy way out. Resist the urge to make yourself look better or avoid consequences by lying. Lying hurts friendships and destroys trust. Instead, choose honesty even when it’s difficult. Lead by example. Speak truth and in doing so you teach one.

Take ownership.  Accept responsibility for your mistakes.  News flash: You will make mistakes. (We all do). You may lose your cool on the field or court, you may make a bad decision in the moment, you may post something on social media that you regret, or you may inadvertently find yourself in a bad situation because you went along with the crowd. I challenge you to own it. Don’t lie to yourself or others. It makes it worse. The Bible says in Proverbs 28:13 that “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Others are watching how you deal with mistakes. When you accept responsibility you represent God well.  Remember! Representing God does NOT mean pretending you never make a mistake. Showing others how to own it in the hard times and then choosing better next time is a wonderful example of God’s grace and goodness.  And in it you teach one.

Be men and women of integrity.  Having integrity means a person has a moral compass that does not waiver. It literally means having a “wholeness” of character that is undivided.  Just as an integer is a whole number with no fractions. And for my kids that try to convince me that they’ll never need math, there’s some math you can use!

Base your moral standard on God’s Word and not what is right in the world’s eyes. That may change from year to year. But God’s truth never waivers, and the best way to know this is to know God’s Word!  

As a mother of a young man,  I’d like to say to the boys tonight: The world is full of examples of men who lie, who are arrogant, who do anything to win at all costs.  Men who treat and speak of women with no respect.  Men who are afraid to speak out and stand up for what’s right.  DO NOT BE ONE OF THEM.  Instead, lead by example and choose honesty, choose kindness, and speak the truth in love. Stand strong, be humble, choose your words and actions carefully.  I Corinthians 15:58 says,  “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”

To the girls: As a fellow woman, I encourage you to be woman of excellent character. Use all that God has given you for His purposes.  Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourselves to others which can cause us to put people down to  make ourselves feel better. Your identity is in Christ.  Build others up and be generous. Watch your tongue and your choose your words carefully. Resist gossip. Be bold in your witness of Christ!

When you leave BCS, you may no longer be surrounded by teachers who watch over you or “supervise” your spiritual growth. In fact, you may be headed into circumstances that will challenge your faith. I will encourage you to find friends who share your love for God and strengthen those friendships.  You can rely on one another, find common ground, accountability and encouragement there.

Choosing to live a life of integrity may come at a cost. You may risk losing a friendship or risk being labeled judgmental, narrow minded or weird for standing up for what is right or for telling others what you believe.  This phase of “teach one” may bring on fear of rejection, ridicule or of being left out.  I love the song that says “for every fear, there is an empty grave, for the Lord our God has overcome.” God took on all our fears and He buried them in the grave and He has overcome! You can trade your fear and put your trust in a God who promises to always be with you in every situation.  He will never ask you to do these hard things without providing His power and grace.

Living your life full on for Christ will be a decision you will never regret.  It is a life of fulfillment and purpose. It may not be easy, but God is with you always. And there is great blessing even in the hard times because God is faithful. The most important thing to remember is that He loves you. You are actively pursued by God who loves you so deeply and He desires to have an ever-growing relationship with you. And even with our mistakes or when it’s hard or challenging, I pray that truth compels you to want to make good decisions, to live a life of integrity and purpose and to point others to Jesus.  

WATCH ONE. DO ONE. TEACH ONE.  

This is a lifelong process, but look at all these people here tonight!  They are all in your corner and are praying for you and cheering you on as you step out in faith. No matter how many years you’ve been here, you know that this community of believers is something special.  Your families have become family to us. We will be forever grateful for our time here and the friendships we have made.

You are leaving this place and entering the next chapter, and I am so excited to see all the ways you will grow and serve God in the future. You are just a wonderful group of young men and women, and I am privileged to have watched you grow over all these years.  

Congratulations to you on your graduation!  Love you all.

Thank You.”

Class of 2018

 

To learn more about Brookfield Christian School or to schedule a visit, contact us at admissions@brookfieldchristian.org

Greatness in the Mundane

Posted on: May 1st, 2018

This post was originally shared by our talented Middle School Language Arts teacher in our weekly staff gathering on Mondays as a devotional and then adapted to share on our blog.  

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the mundane rhythms of life.  Maybe it’s because it’s April and I’m “teacher-tired” – everyone in this room knows what I mean when I say “teacher-tired” –  it’s that bone-tired weariness that goes beyond the reach of sleep.

Maybe it’s because Wisconsin decided to hold off on spring for far too long this year, and because of the seasonal “boycott,” UW-Milwaukee’s baseball team (and their handsome coach who happens to be my husband) has had to play 33-straight games on the road.  That is, thirty-three and counting…there are 4 more road games this week.

Whatever the reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about the mundane things of life – the daily tasks that glue our lives together hour by hour: the laundry and the shopping and the meal prep and the running of kids to and fro, the tedious but important stuff that we work out behind the scenes before we step onto the stages of our classrooms, the countless hours making comments on papers that may (or may not) be read while also posting grades and returning emails in timely fashion. Because of the repetition – the redundancy – of the daily grind, these mundane tasks often become a kind of white noise in our lives.  And if we let it, it can drown out a holy chorus that speaks to the beauty and greatness that God can create in the midst of the mundane.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes living in the spin cycle of the mundane make me feel like I’m missing out on some bigger “Kingdom Work”…something greater, something bigger, something more.  But, as author Ann Voskamp asks, “what if living a life of greatness for God is not about doing a few great things, but instead it’s about living a life of holy redundancy—showing up faithfully day after day in the seemingly little things? What if our greatest investments are faithfully raising our family, building a God-honoring career, cultivating a healthy heart, and developing strong relationships?”

In his book, Dream Big, Think Small, author and pastor Jeff Manion shares what he has observed through his thirty steady and consistent years of ministry, which is this: the remarkable life is built by taking a thousand unremarkable steps.   

He shares, “As believers, we want our lives to count.  We long to do great things for the kingdom of God.  However, greatness is rarely achieved by doing great things, but instead by doing good things repetitively.

The tragedy is that, while waiting for great opportunities to come along, we miss out on a parade of good opportunities that march steadily by. Goodness is largely ignored because it seems too common, too mundane, too everyday.

Consider the way this plays out in the example of a small community.  A town mourns the death of three teenagers killed in a car accident.

Tragedy struck with screeching tires and twisting metal. The horrific news sweeps through the high school with the devastating shock of a tsunami. Bouquets and handwritten notes form a spontaneous memorial at the intersection where the cars collided. Tragedy strikes.  Conversely, goodness rarely ‘strikes.’ It arrives on the stage with little drama.

In the same community that experienced the awful accident, a devoted coach painstakingly builds a cross-country program for middle school girls. For a dozen seasons, she forges diligence, teamwork, and confidence. While some of these girls are the products of affirming, encouraging homes, others will remember their seventh-grade cross-country coach as “the first person who believed in me.”

And then, twenty years pass.  Ask a thirty-three-year-old woman from that community what influences impacted her while she was growing up. Reflecting for a moment, she answers, ‘The Accident’ and ‘The Coach.’

But recall that ‘The Accident’ and ‘The Coach’ arrived at different speeds and in radically different ways.  Tragedy strikes. Goodness grows slowly.  The snail’s pace at which goodness travels will require extreme devotion to the journey.

Goodness demands staying power. The question is whether we will summon the requisite endurance for a slow, faithful, consistent outpouring of love.

I believe this is why Paul urged an early community of Jesus’ followers with these words from Galatians 6:9: ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’”

Paul speaks to the issue of weariness because a life of goodness can be tedious and redundant and absolutely overflowing with the mundane.  Manion adds, “It involves bringing ourselves again and again, often to the same tasks and often to the same people. The repetition takes something out of us. It drains our energy. Paul was writing here of a kind of weariness (maybe even “teacher-tired”) that leads to calling it quits.  But he also reminds us that we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.”

“If I’m honest, I wish Paul had selected a different metaphor. Perhaps something with a little more speed, and decidedly quicker results. But, no, Paul went with farming. Because you can’t rush a harvest. You plow, you plant, and you wait.  And this is not a mistake: I believe the farming image can radically adjust our expectations. Sometimes a life of positive impact is about as interesting as watching a garden grow.”

And there it is: Goodness grows slowly.  It arrives through the repeated kindness of the diligent faithful.  It arrives quietly, traveling the slow path of devoted love.

As Manion gently reminds us, we must “dream big, but think small,” we must toil with the slow process that yields a harvest. Day by day, through one loving act after another, we have an opportunity to grow a life of greatness.  Through one more paper comment. Through one more load of laundry. Through one more trip to the grocery store.  Through one more, and then another, and then another. We have the opportunity to grow a life of greatness. We just have to keep showing up and planting.  We have to keep keeping on…even in – no, especially in – the mundane.

 

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