It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you to the 2016-2017 school year at ICSV. We had a great turnout at the New Family Orientation yesterday. At least 130 people were here, and that doesn’t include all our staff and faculty who were available to greet everyone. Our high school student ambassadors did a wonderful job of making the new students feel welcomed at our school.
This year our theme is Godly Ambition: Glorify God; Serve Others. Your elementary students should have come home today with a “gold medal,” as we have tied the theme in with this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio. I am always amazed at the amount of time that the athletes put in to train for an event that could last only seconds. I enjoy watching some of them break world records and others who are thrilled simply by being called “an Olympic Athlete” even though they know that they have little chance of winning a medal.
I especially enjoy hearing the national anthems played and watching the emotion that the athletes exhibit, knowing they are there as ambassadors of their own countries. I recently learned that the Judgment (Bema) Seat where Christians receive their rewards in Heaven (II Corinthians 5:9) is the same Greek word for the Olympic platform where the athletes receive their medals. How cool!
During our opening assemblies today, I challenged the students to use the gifts that God has given to them not for personal profit or gain, but to bring glory to God who has freely given them their talents. I explained that they should also use their giftings to serve others, and not themselves. We all should check our motives for why we want to do well in school or on the athletic field. In the book “Virtuous Minds” by Philip Dow, he states, “to the extent that we are good stewards of our God-given gifts, God wants us to enjoy the fruit of our efforts. Everything we do, including the stewardship of our intellectual gifts, needs to be assessed by the extent to which it helps us honor God and serve our neighbor.”
When a former Olympian was asked how the athletes could keep training for so long in order to compete in the Olympics, the response was, “When you walk out on that floor and see the Olympic rings, it’s all worth it.” I would say that “When we walk up to the Bema Seat and see Jesus Christ our Savior sitting there, it will all be worth it.” We will take our rewards and give them back to Him, acknowledging that without Him, we could do nothing. It is only what He has done in and through us that will count for anything in eternity.
This year, we choose to celebrate the gifts that God has given to each of our students. In doing so, we desire to raise up a generation that is thankful for all that they have and that has a desire to glorify God and to serve others in all that they do. Please pray that we would fulfill the mission of the school as we meet the individual needs of each and every student that is enrolled at ICSV this year.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.