We Give Thanks

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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.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Where Are They Now? – Chandler Key

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.

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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.

“May Jesus Christ Be Praised!”

Most of the Hillcrest family is aware that after every home football game, the One Spirit One Sound band gathers in a circle in the center of the field and plays what has been referred to by some as “that sad-sounding song.”  Some people have even complained to past band directors, “Why can’t you play something more upbeat? Why does it have to sound like a funeral?”  Many, however, are not aware that the words of the hymn played during the Spirit Chorale, “When Morning Gilds The Skies,” are a near-perfect reflection of Hillcrest Christian School’s mission to operate in a manner worthy of the Lord.

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Recently, Mrs. Monica Fountain, a long-time HCS parent and band booster, wrote the following observations which so accurately explain the reasons this hymn is such an appropriate choice:

One of the long-standing traditions of the One Spirit One Sound Band is the Spirit Circle. This worship moment is centered around the playing of the hymn “When Morning Gilds the Skies” at the close of a performance day. As many churches today prefer praise songs rather than traditional hymns, there is treasure in these hymns which may become increasingly unfamiliar to our youth. The tune of “When Morning Gilds the Skies” is known to our band family, but the words may not be. The original song had 28 stanzas, but most hymnals include only 4. Shown below [the page break] are 16 of those stanzas. Even though the title refers to “morning,” this is a hymn which beautifully carries us through the realities of life with a reminder that in all things, “May Jesus Christ be praised!”  Whether we… are celebrating a success or struggling with a difficult day, no matter the circumstances, we finish our day together in the playing of this hymn in praise of our Lord.

There is also a meaningful relationship between the words and the music. As the melody rises from the beginning of the song, it symbolizes the rising of the morning sun. The melody ends on unusually high notes for a hymn, proclaiming, “May Jesus Christ be praised!”  Whether singing or playing an instrument, these high notes require extra effort to sing or play, which boldly and enthusiastically capture the meaning of this hymn.

May this hymn always hold a special place in our hearts, and may we be mindful of its application to our daily lives. Especially to our Seniors, as you prepare to leave Hillcrest and focus on your future, remember the significance of this hymn and the many blessings God has given us individually and as the One Spirit One Sound Hillcrest Band.

Wherever you go or whatever you do, in all things, “May Jesus Christ be praised!”

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See You at the Pole

Today is national See You at the Pole day, and though Hillcrest is in the midst of a wild and fun Homecoming week, we can never forget that the primary mission of our school is to reach students for Christ while operating in a manner worthy of the Lord.  To that end, HCS Upper School students, faculty, and staff  were invited to participate in a campus prayer walk beginning at 7:15 this morning.

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Prayer warriors met at the cross on the lawn in front of the administrative building for instructions and a time of worship in song.  After that, individuals proceeded to 10 different stations, where there were signs asking them to pray for our school, our families, our cities, our nation, and our world.  At the end of the walk, everyone met in front of the gym to worship again.

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The goal of See You at the Pole is to promote both global unity in Christ and prayer for our generations.  Hillcrest Christian School is committed to that goal as well.

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