Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Have you ever felt like God has simply abandoned you? Maybe you were going through a really hard time or facing a devastating illness. Did you feel all alone? When you sit back and look at the natural disasters, the wars, and the suffering of innocent children, do you ever question why God allows these things to happen? I must admit, that we all seek answers at times, especially when it comes to the hard questions in life. The Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament, give us just one thing to say when confronted with the misery of this real world: Jesus.

I’ve been watching a video series about the Gospels in which Dr. Jono Linebaugh from Knox Theological Seminary explains it this way:

The name “Jesus” contains a story of a real human life that includes the pain of childbirth, the death of friends and loved ones, tears, and real suffering. The suffering that Jesus bore was physical, as He was beaten, had a crown of thorns placed on His head, was pierced with a spear, and as he experienced suffocation. It also included massive emotional suffering, as was described when Jesus prayed right before He was betrayed that if it were at all possible, could God find a different way to save mankind. Jesus also ultimately experienced the most profound spiritual suffering that anyone has ever experienced when He cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

We may say something like that in moments of doubt. We may even feel like that. The difference is that Jesus was forsaken by God. When all the sins of the world were transferred to Him as He died on the cross, the righteous God could not even look upon His Son. He had to turn His back to Him. God’s plan was that Jesus would experience that reality so that we never would or should or even could. When bad things happen on this earth, God has not forsaken us. He is right there in the middle of it, comforting us.

For right now, the world is still experiencing the consequences of sin; but God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth. The Apostle John describes it like this: “’Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’” (Revelation 21:3-4)

This is the wonderful hope of those who believe.  As we celebrate this Easter season, remember that God gave His One and Only Son to die in our place so that we might never have to experience separation from Him again.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.

Parent Survey Results

Thank you to the 124 people who responded to our Parent Survey this year. In 2016, we had 92 respond, so this was a nice increase. There was no great variance in the average scores between the two surveys. In 2018, the scores tended to be either .1 higher or lower than in 2016 on a 4-point scale. We once again scored really well in all areas. For example, the four components of our mission statement all came in higher than a 3, which means that our families either agree or completely agree that we are meeting our goals as a school. Communication scored 3.4, and the school’s environment scored a 3.4. This means that you either agreed or completely agreed with statements about those topics. The overall elementary program scored 3.4, middle school 3.2 and high school 3.2. These are all out of 4, which means you scored the school between good and excellent.

This year we added the question about whether you would recommend ICSV to other parents. 98% said you would, and many comments stated that you already have! Word of mouth is by far the best way for us to recruit new families to the school. Thank you.

When asked about our greatest facility needs, the top four were gymnasium, sports field, science labs, and auditorium. 13% of you said that you would be interested in serving on a facilities committee. Be assured that we are in agreement about our facility needs.

When asked to comment about changes you’ve seen in your students, the following descriptive words were used: maturity, self-confidence, generosity, humility, friendly, polite, social, courteous, happy, strong in Christian faith, prayerful, studious, less anxious, God-fearing, motivated, relaxed, sensitive, respectful, and obedient.

The Parent Survey is always a great encouragement to staff and faculty. Here are some of your comments:

  • [ICSV is] an educational institution with a balanced academic environment, providing students with the necessary knowledge, as well as good moral values.
  • ICSV does not only focus on academic excellence in educating our children, but also incorporates Christian values and standards in the overall curriculum. This helps to strengthen the moral character of the students.
  • I like ICSV because you feel like you are in a small family where everybody loves each other and helps others.
  • [My children] are never stressed or under pressure. When they return from school, they are happy. They talk and sing about Jesus, and they love the Word of God.
  • Our child absolutely loves going to school each day, which is completely contrary to the school she was in previously. This can certainly be attributed to the care and sensitivity of both the teachers and staff and to the school curriculum and positive environment.

It is our sincere privilege to partner with you in the education of your children. Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your input.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.

Three Important Birthdays this Week!

This coming week there are three very important people in my life who are celebrating a birthday. On Monday, my daughter-in-law, Joy, has a birthday. She married my oldest son, and she kind of reminds me of myself. When Dan was in college he started asking me questions about where I had grown up on Long Island, just outside of New York City. He had never shown any interest in it before, so I was a bit surprised. It turns out that he ended up marrying a girl who lived near where I grew up. She’s a short, feisty New Yorker who loves to talk and to spend time with friends. Dan is your quiet type more like his father, so Joy brings out the best in him.

Then on Tuesday, my father would have celebrated his 101st birthday if he were still alive. I adored my father. He raised me with unconditional love as a wonderful example of our Heavenly Father. He always made me feel like I could do anything, and he supported me in all that I did. I remember once when he endured a lengthy choral concert that was entirely in Latin just so that he could be there for me. Every time I hear the benediction at church it reminds of my dad standing in the pulpit of our church each Sunday.

Then on Friday, my college roommate and the maid-of-honor at my wedding, is turning 60. I cannot even comprehend how the years have passed so quickly. It seems that just yesterday we were running through the halls of the school and having dinner together in the dining hall. We once stayed up most of the night studying for a Fine Arts exam. We had to memorize the names of the paintings and castles based just on their pictures. By 2:00 am we were laughing hysterically and having a great time. Even though we haven’t lived near each other for almost 40 years, Sue is still a good friend.

So as I think of all the wonderful people that God has brought into my life over the years, I am so very thankful that He has blessed me with dear friends, supportive parents, and happy memories. Most of all, I am thankful for the assurance that even though I don’t get to be with them for their birthdays, I will get to spend eternity with them in Heaven, as they have all professed faith in Jesus Christ.

This weekend, be sure to spend some time with those you love. You’ll be making a memory that will last a lifetime.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.

Winter Olympics

I love watching the Olympics. I am totally amazed with what the human body is capable of doing. When I see the ice skaters jumping and spinning, I can’t even comprehend what it takes to be able to do that. When watching, I tend to focus on how happy the winners are. After all, the Olympics are where dreams come true.

This year I really enjoyed seeing the American Women’s Ice Hockey team take gold and watching Shaun White come back as one of the oldest snowboarders to get gold again after not winning a medal in 2014. But at the same time, I watched skiers fall and lose all chances of a medal. I saw others crumble under the pressure and make mistakes like they never made at any other competition. Of the almost 3000 participants, only 307 medals were awarded. Most countries did not win any at all.

So why do they work so hard for years for an event that takes just minutes? I’ve heard them say that they really love their sport. Others stay with it because they have something to prove to themselves or to the world. They risk injury, forego education, and endure time away from family. It takes a steady focus on the goal in mind in order to keep going.

Is this not how we are supposed to live – with eternity as our focus? Should we not live today for what really matters – for what is most important? The Apostle Paul equates the Christian life to running a race. In Acts 20:24 he says, “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Then In I Corinthians 9:24-25 he says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

What is that crown that he mentions? The Bible tells us that when we stand before God we will be given crowns for the works that we have done in the Spirit. Then we will lay these crowns at Jesus’ feet knowing that we could never have won them without Him. So just like the athletes are excited to represent their country and bring home their medals, we are earning rewards to bring to our ultimate home in heaven. And just like for the Olympic athletes, It will all be worth it.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.