I read the story of blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52) for the umpteenth time in my life a couple of weeks ago, and something new clicked. As those who spend regular time in Scripture over a sustained period of time can attest, this is a common occurrence. The familiar finds a way of becoming pleasantly unfamiliar again and again.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children… Proverbs 13:22
Stories are powerful. They have a unique way of speaking to us and shaping who we are. Stories are indeed a means of discipleship. That is why I believe storytelling is essential to the flourishing of marriages and families. I have found this to be increasingly true in my own life as I have grown from boy to man and from to husband to father.
I have spent countless hours poolside while my kids received swimming lessons. It takes a serious amount of time to teach five kids to swim. But I willingly committed my time and energy to this purpose because, to put it bluntly, you cannot breathe under water.
Choosing a school for one’s child rarely begins with questions of life and death. When our family settled on Coram Deo for our daughter’s middle and high school years, our decision was based on the combination of rigorous academics and Christ-centered pedagogy offered here. Veteran parents who’ve invested in a broad range of diverse educational options with our older children, we saw in CDA a special blend of intellectual excellence and spiritual integrity.
The 2018-19 school year at Coram Deo Academy is halfway over, and we are all probably settled into our schedules by now. For some, it’s a well-oiled machine after several years of tweaking, but others are embarking on this journey for the first time. We all have something to learn each year.
"The teacher quickly corrected the group, but with gentle encouragement reassured the group, “Don’t get discouraged, you are all special in the Lord’s eyes.” The class uses this mantra to support one another when they make mistakes, and this has even spilled over to our home. When I asked my daughter if she had taken her laundry upstairs, after several requests, she replied, “No mom, but don’t forget I am special in the Lord’s eyes.”
The late Pope John Paul II once said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” Wow! What an insightfully true – and humbling – statement made by a man who poured his life into spreading God’s love and teaching us about the beauty of the human family. As a mom or dad just trying to get through the craziness of each day, we oftentimes forget that our little group is truly a reflection of God’s design for humanity. This is where love is shared, norms are taught, foundations are laid, and, most importantly, our faith is handed on and lived. The family truly is the Domestic Church.
Coram Deo Academy is a place where Christians from different churches can come and learn and grow in Christ together. It is my first schooling experience where knowledge of Christ is connected with everyday learning. We not only learn how to use algebra, but how to use algebra for the glory of God.
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV)
Most of you have probably heard this verse. You may have even used it recently to encourage a friend. Have you ever pondered how God’s Word does not return void? How it accomplishes what He pleases and why it prospers? Come ponder with me as I share my contemplations.
Throughout this series I hope you have seen glimpses of why the Nicene Creed has been used in Christian worship for over a millennium. It is beautifully composed, and in it we affirm things about the Triune God that ought to lead us to praise.
As I mentioned last week, part of the point of reciting a Creed regularly is to engrain the truths presented in the creed into your mind, body, and soul.
So far in this series, we have explored why Creeds matter and why CDA has chosen the Nicene Creed to be our statement of faith. We have participated in a bird’s-eye overview of the history of the Creed, and have hopefully explained some of its more tricky phrases.
"I believe the Lord used those “as we go” conversations spurred on and supported by his school and church curriculum. These moments happen in our car through conversations about Genesis creation, about why we celebrate Christmas and Easter, singing the Apostle’s Creed (over and over, Track 7, if you’re us), talking about what we see out the window in God’s great big world. These is our efforts at making disciples as we go."
"The Body of Christ is made up of all God’s faithful, both living and dead, from all of human history. Catholic means that you an I actually belong to the same Church—we make up the One Body of Christ—and so do Christians across the world, and so do those who have died and entered into glory."
"I feared that classical education wouldn’t provide the practical skills needed for future success. In listening to Mr. Jordan’s recent lecture, his explanation resonated with my heart as he emphasized the focus on who you will become versus what you can do, with the goal of Christlike wisdom and virtue."
The fall of 2018 brought record rainfall to North Texas and hurricanes to Florida and North Carolina. Roads became rivers, homes were flooded, and thousands of people were evacuated. Stories of dramatic high water rescues filled the news.
Stories of water rescues also fill the pages of Scripture. Noah and his family float safely in an ark on waters that bring both judgment and cleansing to the earth. Moses is cradled unharmed in a basket on the Nile. He later delivers God’s people by parting the Red Sea and crossing on dry land through waters which bring death to the Egyptians. The prophet Jonah survives three days in the sea carried in the belly of a great fish. These stories point to the ultimate rescue provided by Jesus Christ, and the waters of judgment and cleansing foreshadow Christian baptism.
"With this great gift comes a great responsibility. God has given us at Coram Deo an immense opportunity to carry out His plan for us. It is our job to properly use the tools he has given us in this great working environment. But what does that mean? Although we often fall short, we must do everything with God in mind and for His glory. One of the best examples of this at CDA is how Mrs. Bowen leads the band. She always reminds us that we are playing our music to glorify God. Whether we are winning awards, putting on concerts, or having fun playing music, she reminds us that glorifying Him is the emphasis."
"In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the Apostle Paul writes, " All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." The word in the Greek for "inspired" literally means "God breathed," and this concept of "breath" is closely tied to the Holy Spirit."
"The language of procession “from the Father” is meant to recall the statement on the Son who is “begotten of the Father” and who is therefore “God from God.” Because he is from the Father, though not after the Father, he is of one essence with the Father."
"Walking into the first day of kindergarten at Coram Deo with Joshua, with his baby sister in my arms, I prayed, “Lord, my desire is to have one lifelong friend for my son out of this Coram Deo experience.” I imagined Josh and a friend living incredible adventures in business (we are entrepreneurs!), or in the mission field doing amazing things to advance God’s kingdom."
"As we bring our children up through this model of education, we are working with them toward achieving independence. We want them to be self-motivated, focused, and responsible for their work. But this doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process. Office hours has been a part of that process for our family."
In the Nicene Creed, following the Scriptures, the Spirit is the “the giver of life.” Christians receive more than physical existence; they share the high privilege and calling to be “temples of the Holy Spirit.” One of the most used prayers in the history of Christianity, O Heavenly King, reminds us of our need and desire for the “giver of life.”
"Truly, the heart and character of our children is what we are really after. Anyone can eventually learn the subject matter, but rare is the child who has been educated in the presence of God at school and at home. Rare is the young man or woman who displays the character, wisdom, and passion for the things of God that radiate His glorious light into a dark and dying world."
As we reflect on the first few weeks of school, take a moment to find peace and comfort in God’s words. Know God walks beside you, and He encourages you to find humor and resilience as you muddle through your new academic routine.
"The Scriptures corroborate that Christ did in fact die, and Scripture also makes plain the fact that Christ rose from the dead. Not only did he visit the Apostles, but verse 6 tells us that there were over five hundred more witnesses to his resurrected body."
This week is one of the most exciting times of the year at CDA and we’re happy to hear from our 2014 CDA graduate Abbi Koons.
She recently graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois this summer and is a 5th grade teacher who teaches reading comprehension and spelling at Liberty Christian School in Argyle, Texas.
"If Christ is not fully God then he cannot bear the weight of the wrath of God, as no created being could. Only God can take the wrath of God, and only a man could be a substitution to truly cover the cost of sin. The blood of animals could only ever cover, not remove (Heb 10:4). The Father and the Son must share equally in divinity and thus Arius and his lesser divinity of Christ falls short."
"This experience encouraged us to help others in their own suffering. It taught Everett a major life lesson: what it looks like to love others as we would love ourselves. It showed him great compassion, faith, community, and the comfort and power of prayer."
The Nicene Creed is carefully framed. As it transitions from its statement that the Creator of all things is the one God we know as Father, it begins a new sentence. “We believe in...” but now the object switches from “one God” to “one Lord.” It is no longer God’s title, but his name, “I Am.” This is a subtle way to signal that we are still dealing with the one God known through the Old Testament Scriptures, but that this God is not just “the Father,” but also “Jesus Christ, the only Son of God.”
"We are lucky to be at a school that values Christ and family as much as Coram Deo does. Our decision to try this previously unknown model was one of the best moves we’ve made as a family" - The Womack Family
"CDA has also influenced my faith. This school has given me the opportunity to understand how God fits in with the rest of the world. We learn how God has a place in math, science, history, English, Latin, sewing, and even athletics, because He is the one who created all these things. My faith and understanding have grown because of the amazing Bible classes I have been taking at CDA since kindergarten. CDA also helps me understand other religions, their beliefs, and what they are lacking, which makes it easier me to spread the gospel and helps me understand what God offers others through my faith."
"When I first came to this school, I was worried, as I feared not being able to make any new friends. But then on the first day of class, my fear vanished as I met other guys that introduced themselves to me and welcomed me to Coram Deo. I met other friends through extracurricular activities, such as basketball and choir. I found people at CDA who were unashamed to live out their walk with Christ, and that encouraged me in my faith, allowing me to live it out in confidence."
"Mission trips and outreach have always seemed to play a big role in my life. Through my church, family, and Coram Deo, God has truly opened my eyes to how big His world is and His call to share His love with others."
Before we explore the particulars of the Nicene Creed, I think it is worth addressing some of the potential objections to the use of an Ancient Creed as a statement of faith in the 21st century. And, since we often recite and memorize the Nicene Creed in our classrooms and campus devotions, we may as well address some potential objections to regularly reciting a Creed as well.
"Coram Deo also has emphasized shaping culture for the glory of God. One way this is accomplished is through History classes that teach the story of cultures with their distinctive characteristics. While I was on my trip to Kenya, my studies of African culture in World History and Art History enabled me to better serve the Kenyans and appreciate their beautiful culture."
In the early decades of the 4th century, pastors from the British Isles to India gathered together in the city of Nicaea for what would become one of the most impactful meetings in Christian history. The Church and the world had changed dramatically in the decades leading up to this moment. Christianity had grown from a small persecuted sect of Judaism primarily found in the Ancient Near-eastern city of Jerusalem to a global phenomenon that eventually became the official religion of the Roman Empire. All of this took place in the span of less than three hundred years.
My academic career at Coram Deo Academy began six years ago in the first grade at the Dallas Campus. Over the years I have learned many important lessons. I have grown spiritually, academically, emotionally, and physically, all while being challenged and mentored by my loving teachers. Slowly over time, Coram Deo has been shaping me into a young man with Christian values.
Two Coram Deo Academy students joined over 1500 students who capped off their summer vacation by attending the National Junior Classical League National Convention at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio from July 23rd to the 27th.
I was in my first play when I was about 4 or 5 years old. It was the stage adaptation of Finding Nemo where my brother played Nemo, my sister played Nemo’s mom, and I was the only baby sea turtle with a line. From there stemmed my love of theatre and acting.
On May 13th, 2016 I stood in a choir room beneath the stage at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church with a group of over forty students who were about to graduate from our Flower Mound campus. We read through Psalm 121 together, just as we had done every day during their Senior Theology II course that year. Then we prayed together, and I shared with them a traditional Irish blessing. (I’m not Irish, but the blessing is beautiful.)
Tomorrow evening is our 2017 CDA Homecoming game and we’re happy to hear from CDA 2017 graduate Kate Radovich. She’s currently a freshman at the University Of Alabamawhere she is studying mechanical engineering and minoring in biology.
This week is one of the most exciting times of the year at CDA and we’re happy to hear from our 2017 CDA graduate John Newton. He’s currently a freshman at MacAlester College where he is studying Economics and participating as a Defensive End and Nose Guard on their football team.
"I still remember stepping onto the field for the first time at seven years old. The field felt enormous and I seemed so small in comparison. Soon I realized it was just a great, big, open field of opportunity." - Senior Student Athlete, Lauren Moses
Thank you for those who came out to help us celebrate on Friday, March 24! We were thankful to the Lord for clearing the rain just in time for our ceremony to begin! What a gracious and generous God we have!
This is our 2nd year at CDA and it is a tremendous blessing to our family. CDA desires “to train the next generation of ethical servant leaders and wise thinkers who will shape culture for the glory of God.” We have observed CDA to be a school that excels at their mission and we thank God for it.
CDA Student Ryan Vosburg shares his story of how he kept working hard at a young age and quickly saw the effects of his practice. His motivation to improve helped him to become successful in a sport he loves.
The Guthries, one of our Flower Mound families, shares their story of how they were embraced by the CDA community and why it was encouraging to witness the truths of the Bible demonstrated though CDA's teachers and students.
Ever since CDA student Caleb Johnson was able to walk he's always loved anything sports related. In fact the first word he ever spoke was “ball." Find out how participating in sports has helped shape and develop his character.
Student Hannah-Beth Kline shares her story on why the true value of drama (theater) lies not within the script or the praise of the audience, but in how it refines us as individuals, as a family, and as Christians.
Today, we hear from CDA graduate Gill Lipton. After graduating with the Class of 2013, Gill began his studies in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M with aspirations to become an automotive engineer. He’s currently participating in a fall internship in Charlotte, North Carolina with Joe Gibbs Racing, the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup champions.
As homecoming week continues, we’ll hear from CDA 2014 graduate Grace McClure. Grace is in her junior year as a McDermott Scholar at the University of Texas at Dallas where she studies Cognitive Science with a focus on education methods and curriculum design. She is currently studying abroad at University Nord in Levanger, Norway.
Commitment is not easy when you're trying something new, but it can be difficult when you're balancing obligations at a young age. Student Emma Dwyer tells her story of how work hard and commitment has helped shape her life.
Monday night, just before the first presidential debate, I had the privilege to have dinner with two Coram Deo Academy alumni, Michael Sobolik and Lauren Devoll. Both of these graduates are working on Capitol Hill and have very important jobs especially during this political season.
Coram Deo is a special place to develop students as servant leaders, but sometimes there can be misconceptions on why CDA encourages families to be present in their child's life. The Wilson family from our Dallas campus helps us understand why being present can change your family's life everyday.
Davis Henley, a sophomore student athlete currently participating in basketball. He discussed the lessons he has learned by playing sports: mental toughness, leadership, and selflessness.
"My dad always tell me before games to “Play Big.” Even though I might be shorter than a lot of other players, if I have the right mindset and play with the confidence and toughness of someone who is 6’7, then I can play a great game."
Ben Kuykendall, a 2016 graduate of CDA HS at Flower Mound, was recently interviewed by Bob Weir of the Cross Timbers Gazette. Hear how Ben plans to use music as a medium to bring others to Christ. Ben also discusses the benefits of a small school and the importance of recognizing the gifts and talents that you have are a blessing for God meant to be used for His purposes.
Mrs. Paula “Polly” Dwyer, the Flower Mound Campus Administrator and Logic/High School Director for Coram Deo Academy, was awarded the TPSMEA Distinguished Administrator of the Year on January 30, 2016.
As you can see from the excerpt of the nomination that was submitted by our Band Director, Elizabeth Bowen, it is an award well deserved:
How integrity, leadership and selflessness each play a valuable role in one's life is illustrated by senior student athlete, Aaron Southerland. It's a powerful yet personal story of how sports at Coram Deo shapes our future world leaders.
This week, our Friday sewing class met on campus to make sanitary supplies and cloth diapers for clinics in Uganda. Several of our students and their parents came to fold, cut, sew and pack bags to send overseas. Thank you to Mrs. Shelley Lessert, our sewing teacher, who organized this event, and to all who came to volunteer their time and skills to minister to those God loves!
The influence of senior student athlete Kayleigh Moore's softball coaches and her ability to listen to their insight as helped her understand the importance of why sports matter at Coram Deo. Find out why.
CDA artists Mary Perrone and Hope Morriss recently competed in the Visaul Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) art competition and both received the highest rating for their works. Hope Morriss also received the honor of having her work selected to move on to the State Meet in April. Congratulations to these young artists!