Step Out in Faith!

As we approach the halfway point of the first term of a new school year, it is helpful to remember that while Hillcrest prepares our students academically for success in college, above all, this school is committed to being Christ-centered, rooted in unchanging Biblical truths, and to leading students to view life from a Christian perspective.  To this end, chapel services are an essential element of the overall education of all young people who attend HCS, beginning in the lowest levels of the elementary school and extending through their high school graduation.

Growth in character and conduct, rooted in Christian values, are fundamental to the mission of our school; therefore, spiritual life at HCS carries through the classrooms, the playing fields, and the halls every day.  In order to ensure this occurs, God’s Word is introduced at the Lower School level, with an emphasis on living by the behavior principles promoted in the Bible.  This lays the foundation for understanding the Biblical concepts which are taught when our students reach Upper School: discipleship, godly discretion, wisdom and discernment.  However, the ultimate focus of chapel in Upper School is to encourage each student’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Upper School chapel programs typically include devotions and teachings given by faculty or guest speakers, but some of the most meaningful and memorable experiences come from our students themselves.  When their peers share how God is working in their lives, young people feel a greater connection to one another, helping them to realize that they are not alone.

Upper School students are encouraged, if you feel the Lord’s leading, to share your faith during this year’s chapel assemblies.  If you would like to lead in worship, or to pray, or to give your testimony, please talk to Coach Horner.  “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

“God Speaks in the Silence of the Heart”

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” – 1 Timothy 2:1

During today’s first Upper School chapel, students were given the opportunity to pray for our school, for fellow students, and for faculty and staff.  As every person entered the gym, he or she was given an index card and asked to write a burden on it: something from the heart which he or she would give up in prayer.  After a time of worship, everyone went back to the same box into which they had earlier dropped their cards and picked up someone else’s.  Then each went to God in prayer both for the person and the prayer request he or she had taken.  After everyone gathered in the bleachers again, several students voluntarily took up the microphone and prayed aloud before their peers, asking the Lord to bless us throughout this school year.

Equally moving, however, was the fact that a graduate of the Class of 2016, Destiny Perkins, not only joined in today’s chapel experience, but also spoke to the student body about how she misses Hillcrest and the numerous opportunities students here are given to worship.  How blessed we are at HCS to start a new school year with boldly proclaiming God’s love!

Stand Up and Stand Out

In Upper School chapel this morning, Kayla Tate — an 11th-grade cheerleader, and Honor Society and FCA member — shared a message which God has recently put on her heart:  Kayla said she believes that most Christians truly have the desire to live for the Lord, but fears of being rejected or made fun of, as well as expectations about how the world thinks we should live, often prevent our doing as the Bible instructs.  She quoted Psalm 1, verses 1 and 2, which states, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.”  Kayla reminded us that in order to know what God expects, we have to read his Word, pray, and live in such a way that others notice and become curious about what makes us different.  Then, she added, we must claim the boldness offered by the Holy Spirit and actually tell others about Jesus and knowing Him as Lord.

In other words, Kayla asked her fellow Christians to STAND UP AND STAND OUT for their faith.  Finally, she asked those of us who were willing to stand up from our seats and to pledge our intentions to stop being afraid or ashamed and to offer each other support as we live boldly for Christ.

While we are often reminded at Hillcrest how blessed we are to be able to proclaim and worship God freely, that blessing is multiplied when Godly wisdom and Biblical truth come from one so young. Thanks, Kayla, for overcoming your own fears and for encouraging the rest of us to do the same.

Spiritual Emphasis 2017 Wrap-Up

It was a great week in the Upper School as we partcipated in our annual Spiritual Emphasis, with chapel each day and even a movie day and popcorn on Thursday.  Thank you to all of the speakers who shared messages about overcoming fear and finding hope, as well as to current students and alumni who led the student body in worship.  How blessed we are at Hillcrest to be able to learn about, pray to, and praise our Lord and Savior freely!