About five years ago, the decision was made to increase the writing required in all classes at Summit Christian Academy. With a core value of igniting leadership, we thought, “What if our faculty led in this?” We could have each one of them write a devotion, put them all together in a book, and get it published. Our teachers would have the satisfaction and credibility of leading the writing effort by being published authors themselves.
The teachers all got excited and took it a step further. They said they’d love to do it but asked if the proceeds could go toward tuition assistance so more kids could come to our school. The topic was simple: write the things that teachers would like to tell parents in a parent-teacher conference. With that topic, Devoted Parent: Devotions from Christian Teachers to Parents was born. It is now available through Amazon in paperback; a Kindle version and an audio version will soon be available.
So what’s next? The faculty of Summit Christian Academy has a big goal. A series is already in the works. Our prayer is that it will be the “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” Christian-school style!
And with that prayer comes many more students receiving scholarships so that they may be impacted by the ministry of Christian education. Our prayer comes from Ephesians 3:20: “To Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think…be the glory.”
An excerpted devotional, from Devoted Parent: Devotions from Christian Teachers to Parents:
“Little by Little”
And the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. (Deuteronomy 7:22, NIV)
But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. (Exodus 23:29–30, NIV)
God has our back, just like He did the children of Israel. In our minds, we know that, but do we really believe it in our hearts? Both accounts of this story state that God promises the children of Israel that He will drive out their enemies as they go into the Promised Land. The Lord is making it clear that it is His battle, not theirs. But look how He is going to do it: Little by little, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for them.
We often pray for God’s blessing in our lives as well as His protection and intervention on our behalf. Scripture is full of assurance that God does want to both bless and protect us. But often we have a problem with the way God works. We either want it now, as I am sure the children of Israel did when they had to wander in the wilderness for forty years, or we do not trust Him with our hopes and dreams.
These verses identify a life principle that we need to understand and teach to our children: God is all-knowing and all-loving. He wants the best for us and will give us only what we are ready to handle. Little by little. He knows that with each step, we will face a different enemy, another obstacle, a new set of problems. But each victory builds our faith and prepares us to face the next situation.
I think of David. He knew at a young age that he was to be king. What he did not know was that there would be many years before it happened. Those years were spent in preparation and fighting the enemies that could prevent success as king. I think of Esther. God had a plan to use Esther to save His people and used difficulties in her life to get her ready “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
We must have patience. Little by little, we will overcome.
Dear Lord, I know You have my world in Your hands. Thank You for going before me to fight the battles. I know victory is assured. Help me have Your patience that I may trust in Your perfect timing. – Linda Harrelson, Head of School
About the Author
Linda Harrelson came into the field of education as a business owner. In 1999, she couldn’t shake the calling to apply as head of school to Summit Christian Academy (SCA) located in the Kansas City, Missouri, area. She sold her businesses, earned her master’s in educational administration and began her tenure at SCA. Under her leadership, the school has established partnerships with 180 churches, has grown from 200 to over 800 students, purchased land and built a 36-acre campus, and added a comprehensive high school program offering 70 dual credit hours. Modeling the SCA core value of igniting leadership, Linda serves on several boards, including ACSI, and as a leader in civic organizations. Last February, she was named a 2018 Icon of Education, a prestigious award honoring Kansas and Missouri leaders from colleges, universities, and K–12 school districts. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.