“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38
Ready or not, Christmas is almost upon us. ‘Tis the season for joy and goodwill for most people of the world, but especially for those of us who are believers in Christ. It is up to Christians to remember and promote the real “reason for the season”: the birth of our Savior, and the peace which knowing Him brings. Christmas should be a time of peace for the believer; however, we often fall prey to the worldly view of Christmas — all about giving and receiving — which competes with and pushes us away from the peace which we so desperately need, and which only He can provide.
Hillcrest is working to keep the proper focus on Christmas by sponsoring two giving projects — one among Lower School students, and another in the Upper School — for children who may not otherwise have any gifts to open on Christmas morning.
The Lower School has already fulfilled the needs for their Giving Tree — wow! However, we still need Upper School students to bring a bag of candy and 5 one-dollar toys in order to fill stockings for approximately 80 needy children (between the ages of 3 and 10) who live in the metro area. The deadline for these items is Thursday by 8:30 AM. Parents, please encourage your children to get involved and to make a difference in some child’s life. It truly is better to give than to receive!
The Hillcrest family as a whole is greatly blessed; most of us have health, a home, family, friends, and food in great abundance. And more often than not, we have an attitude of thanksgiving, recognizing that God has given us so much more than we deserve. Sometimes though, in the midst of daily obligations and trials, we forget, and we focus more on the few things that are wrong than on all that is right in our lives.
Those of us who work with children are no exception; we are prone to complaining about the difficult tasks of teaching and counseling and guiding young minds. However, in the midst of a much-needed break from this hard work, the administration, faculty, and staff of HCS want to express how we thankful we are for the almost-daily opportunity to love and teach your children. Thank you, parents and guardians, for entrusting us with your most priceless treasure.
Today during a special chapel program in the gym, students, teachers, and parents recognized Hillcrest’s top athletes from fall sports: softball, volleyball, and football. Congratulations to each of the following:
Senior Kaitlyn McBride is a relative newcomer to Hillcrest’s halls, having attended for only 3 years. However, it did not take her long at all to make new friends and fit in as a Hillcrest Cougar; Kaitlyn is a member of the National Honor Society, plays tennis and volleyball, serves as a basketball statistician, and she plays clarinet in the One Spirit One Sound band. In fact, if she were asked by someone considering transfering to HCS, she would tell that person, “HCS is an amazing school, academically and spiritually. When I got here, I knew no one, but I was immediately welcomed with open arms. After a few weeks at HCS, I already felt like I was family.”
Family and friends are important parts of Kaitlyn’s life. When she is not busy with one of several school-related activities, McBride enjoys spending time with her mom, hanging out with friends, and watching a lot of Netflix. The theme of family also plays a significant role in her favorite memory from her time at HCS: winning first overall/best band at the Copiah Marching Band Festival three years in a row as part of the band family. Kaitlyn states, “After all of the hard work, sweat, tears, bug bites and sunburns… it felt amazing. #3-peat!”
Matthew 6:34 is Kaitlyn’s favorite Bible verse: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” This, she says, is a constant reminder that God is in control, and her worries should be left at His feet. Those words will, no doubt, help guide her in the future as well, since after graduation Kaitlyn plans to attend the University of Mississippi and take on the demanding field of pharmacy. Finally, her advice to her peers and to lower classmen as she prepares to leave Hillcrest is, “Follow your dreams, but get an education first. Stay close to God, and don’t be afraid to be yourself.”
It’s always a joy when former students pay a visit to their “old” teachers and school to share memories, but it’s a special blessing when alumni return in order to share their love of the Lord and their life experiences with current Hillcrest students. Chandler Key — HCS Class of 2014 and Hall of Fame member — is in his third year of study at Mississippi College, majoring in Christian Studies with a focus in Ministry. He also has recently taken the job of youth minister/director at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Byram. Chandler returned to Hillcrest’s Upper School today to speak during Chapel; his message was a reminder to students, faculty, and staff that all believers have access to God all the time, due to the sacrifice of his son Jesus. Our responsibility, then, is to spend time with Him, not just as part of a community, but one-on-one in prayer and Bible study.
Christians also have a responsibility to care for others when we see a need. Proverbs 14:31 states, “Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him.” To this end, Hillcrest will be sponsoring Christmas giving projects — one among elementary students, and the another in the Upper School — to help children who may not otherwise have any gifts to open on Christmas morning. Upper School students who want to participate should bring a bag of candy and 5 one-dollar toys. These items will fill stockings for approximately 80 needy children (between the ages of 3 and 10) who live in the metro area. The deadline to bring items is Thursday, December 1st. The Lower School is sponsoring a “Giving Tree.” Elementary parents, please ask your children to share what they know about this service project, and detailed messages were sent today on Notify.
Hillcrest families have always been generous to those who are in need, and no doubt, we will once again meet (or surpass) our giving goals to help metro-area children have a Merry Christmas too.