Merry Christmas!

Luke 2 (HCSB)
4 And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, 5 to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the lodging place.

8 In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.”

13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people He favors!

15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. 17 After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.

Hope: The Reason We Give

As we become immersed in preparing for and celebrating Christmas, we must never forget that we give gifts because we were given the greatest gift of all — God’s perfect Son came to earth in the form of a man to sacrifice Himself so that we might have eternal life. Sometimes, however, we need reminders about the true “reason for the season” …and sometimes those reminders come from surprising sources, from young minds.

At the start of this school year, HCS sophomore Jessica Bewley traveled with her family and some members of her church to Santa Emelia, Nicaragua, where they worked in medical, dental, and pharmaceutical missions. Recently in her Writing Skills class, Jessica had to write an essay in which she defined a term which is meaningful to her; she wrote about hope and how her definition of it changed as a result of that trip.

Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” The Webster’s Dictionary defines hope as this: to want or to wish for something with a feeling of confident expectation. I do not believe that hope is always a verb, but an idea of light in the midst of darkness. I realized what hope was when I looked in the coffee-colored eyes of a young child in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. I found hope in a poverty-filled village where the thought of hope seemed to be hopeless. Read more

Christmas Mission Projects

“Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.” – Deuteronomy 15:10

This year to share our giving spirit at Christmas time, HCS students and families are being asked to help two very worthwhile charities: Mission Byram and Toys for Tots.

Mission Byram is a service provided by Country Woods Baptist Church; its aim is to minister to the spiritual and physical needs of struggling people in the community through one-on-one biblical counsel, prayer, and physical provision. After receiving counsel, each client is offered the opportunity to shop for food and clothing. Mission Byram is currently ministering to over 500 people per month. For more information, visit the Country Woods Baptist Church website.

Toys for Tots is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps and committed to helping all children experience the joy of Christmas. No child should have to wake up on Christmas morning without a gift. Your support will help touch the lives of many less fortunate children.

We are asking each Hillcrest student to bring one of the following:

1. non-perishable food items in support of Mission Byram

OR

2. new, unwrapped toys in support of Toys for Tots

Please bring items to the front lobby of either the Lower or Upper school by Monday. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Waiting Is Not a Waste of Time

Today during Upper School chapel, our very own Ms. Stovall brought a message about God’s timing. She read the first 14 verses of Jeremiah 29, in which the Israelites are told that they will have to wait in captivity for 70 years before they are able to return to their homeland and receive the blessings God has promised them. Ms. Stovall reminded us that though our human nature is impatient, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness….” – 2 Peter 3:8 – 9.

Ms. Stovall understands this well. For some time now, she has felt the Lord’s leading her to work in international missions. Toward the end of last school year, she took steps to make that happen; however, God has not yet opened those doors for her. And though she does not really know why God is asking her to wait, she knows (and reminded us) that this time is not wasted. God still wants us to work for His glory and to grow in His will and His word while we wait. We cannot know exactly what our futures hold, nor can we force it to unfold on our terms and our timing, but we can trust that the One who holds the future has greater plans for us than we can fathom.

Hillcrest family, please pray for Ms. Stovall as she continues to seek the Lord’s will for her life, and that her time here at HCS will continue to bless everyone whose lives she touches.