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Seeing God through Mathematics
By Krista Greer, High School Math Teacher
Blog post for February 2024

 

Math shows the characteristics of God in ways that no other subject matter can. For example, God’s infiniteness. Most people have an understanding of being infinitely large; make a large number, add a zero, and it’s even bigger. And you can keep adding zeros. However, most people don’t think about the fact that between any two numbers are the same infinite number of numbers. For example, between 0.1 and 0.2, between 0.001 and 0.002, etc… …mind blown, infinite in every direction! The fingerprint of God!

There are mathematical sequences in nature all around us. One of the most famous is the Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13, 21… Can you find the pattern? Look at the following spiral. Most spirals in nature follow this same sequence. God is the creator and his designs are everywhere: sunflowers, pine cones, broccoli, and the human body to name a few. This sequence is also called the golden ratio.

We can also discuss irrational numbers, numbers that never end and never repeat, like pi, 3.14159…, used with circles and e 2.71828…, also found in nature. God has no beginning or end.

We could also look at imaginary numbers, the square root of -1, which seems impossible but exists in physics and is used in fractals. (Fractals are used to make digital images realistic.) God exists in a way that seems impossible to understand, but math gives us a glimpse.
 

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Starting Off on the Right Foot!
By Guest Author: Christine Hughes, 5/6th grade teacher                                                                        

Back to school can be daunting and overwhelming for some students and parents, but
there is no need to be caught in that web. My pigeon pair are all grown up and established in their careers, but I can flash back to those early elementary years when I did feel the weight that September brought, in addition to the many hats I was trying to juggle! I can sit back now, with a smile on my face, and reminisce on what I did, and what I would change if I could go back in time!


Create a peaceful environment at home where your children feel safe, loved, and cared
for. Home should be a haven which can be a springboard for kids to do well in school. I believe that obeying the command given in Proverbs 3:5-6 is a good first step in establishing the tone for the school year, by allowing the Lord to direct our paths by trusting Him explicitly. Make time for family devotions and prayer regularly with the children, to strengthen familial ties and foster unity. Encourage your children to make time for God every day. A prayer list generated by the kids is a good way to see answered prayer and growth in their lives.


Physical needs should also be a priority for a successful school year. 1 Timothy 4:8 says
that “physical training is of some value.” Adequate sleep (10-11 hours), a healthy diet, and
physical exercise are integral parts of keeping stress at bay and functioning well in school. Look for a healthy balance between curricular and extra-curricular activities in order to avoid burnout. Planning ahead and organizing can make for easy mornings, and smooth transitions.

 Finally, motivate your child to stay flexible and face difficulties with faith and courage. When they fall, encourage them to get up, try again, and constructively solve their problems. They are not alone. God’s promises are trustworthy. (Isaiah 41:10) I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. There is no reason to fear; you are not alone. God has been there for every tear and every
sorrow (Psalm 56:8) and He will strengthen your heart and help you back to your feet, no matter where He finds you today.
 

 

What Kind of Swimmer Are You?

July 2, 2023  
By Guest author: Renee Smith,  Middle/High School English teacher

Summer is the time for swimming! What kind of swimmer are you? Do you enter the water incrementally? First, you test the water temp with your toes, then bit by bit enter the pool, all the while wondering if you should turn back? Or do you jump right in, regardless of the consequences?

Pool time often reminds me of a quote by missionary Lilias Trotter—but before I share it, let me introduce you to this exceptional woman.

Lilias Trotter (1853-1928) was born in England and raised in wealth and privilege. She was a self-taught artist, whose talent quickly came to the attention of the art world. (One famous critic, John Ruskin, called her “England’s greatest living artist.”) Along with art, Lilias felt drawn to the things of God. In her early twenties, she and her mother experienced the
teaching of American preacher, Dwight L. Moody, when they volunteered at his revival meetings.

Although many encouraged her to pursue an artist’s life, Lilias believed she could not embrace “painting and continue still to ‘seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.’” She found local mission work to do through the YWCA and other such organizations and eventually felt a call to foreign missions.

On her 34th birthday, Lilias applied to the North African Mission but was rejected because a heart condition kept her from passing the physical exam. Because she could support herself, Lilias and two other financially independent women (unusual for that time period) made preparations to go to the mission field on their own and work alongside the established mission organizations.

Upon arriving in Algiers, Lilias wrote, "Three of us stood there, looking at our battle-field, none of us fit to pass a doctor [physical] for any [missionary] society, not knowing a soul in the place, or a sentence of Arabic or a clue for beginning work on untouched ground; we only knew we had to come. Truly if God needed weakness, He had it!"

Lilias and her friends spent the next forty years sharing the Gospel with Islamic women and children, seeing many converts follow Christ in spite of banishment, punishment, and even death. The three women founded a mission, which eventually grew to encompass thirty workers, and Lilias wrote several books.

During her entire time of service, Lilias’s health was so poor that she divided each year between months working in Algiers and months recuperating in England. Of her life, she wrote, “I am seeing more and more that we begin to learn what it is to walk by faith when we learn to spread out all that is against us: all our physical weakness, loss of mental power, spiritual inability—all that is against us inwardly and outwardly—as sails to the wind and expect them to be vehicles for the power of Christ to rest upon us.

By now, you’re wondering how Lilias Trotter’s bio leads back to swimming. Here’s the relevant quote from her journal:

“‘I am come into deep waters’ took on a new meaning this morning. It started with perplexing matters concerning the future. Then it dawned
that shallow waters were a place where you can neither sink nor swim, but in deep waters, it is one or the other . . .

Swimming is the intense, most strenuous form of motion—all of you is involved in it—and every inch of you is in abandonment of rest upon the water that bears you up.”

In other words, swimming engages nearly every muscle group in our bodies, yet the entire endeavor would be impossible were it not for the water holding us up.

What a great metaphor for living the Christian life!

We must put our “faith” muscles to work—studying and memorizing Scripture, sharing the Gospel, serving others, etcetera. Yet we accomplish nothing for eternity unless empowered by the Holy Spirit that lives within us.

So I ask again, what kind of swimmer are you? Do you dangle your feet in the water or stick to the shallow end of the pool? Or are you ready to jump right into the deep end for the adventure of a lifetime?

***To learn more about Lilias Trotter, I encourage you to check out her biography, read one of her books, or watch the 2015 documentary written by Laura Waters Hinson and featuring Michelle Dockery and John Rhys-Davies.

A Passion for the Impossible by Miriam Huffman Rockness. Amazon

Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper: https://www.desiringgod.org/books/faithful-women-and-their-extraordinary-god

A Blossom in the Desert: Reflections of Faith in the Art and Writings of Lilias Trotter by Lilias Trotter & Miriam Huffman Rockness. Amazon 

Parables of the Cross by Lilias Trotter. Amazon 

Many Beautiful Things. Documentary available on YouTube & Amazon 

 

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Whom Shall I Fear?

October 18, 2022
By Guest author: Carol DeSha, 1/2nd grade teacher

Our world bombards us with messages on every side. Is there a sickness, an economy worry, a war,
financial concerns, or just the unknown of the future? These situations can turn to fear and anxiety.

My life verse, the one I read that opened the door to salvation for me, is Psalm 27:1
“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life of whom
shall I be afraid? “ The answer being nothing or no one.

On a cold January morning I spoke on this in our teacher morning devotions. It went something like this
using a fear of flying illustration. When we board a plane for a flight, we turn over the responsibility for
the safety of the trip to the pilot. Many things may happen to you on the flight. You could spill your
coffee on your pants, trip and twist your ankle on the way to the bathroom, or hit your head on the
overhead compartment getting back to your seat. But these are small in comparison to the security you
had traveling 20,000 miles plus in the air at 2,000 miles per hour. So it is with every fear and situation in
our lives, even the worst. Standing with God is the only safe and secure place to be, no matter what may
happen in our broken world.

I was reminded how the Lord has sustained me through many dark and deep waters. That day I also felt
the Lord telling me to hold fast this verse and remember His goodness not matter what might befall. I
thought of my husband, my children and my father. A few days later on my way home from school I was
in an auto accident. When my world came crashing down, this verse rushed into my mind. I need to not
fear, but cry out to the Lord, my light and my salvation.

A few years have gone by and I still suffer with effects of the accident. My body has not returned to its
former state. But through all this, the Lord is the stronghold of my life. So when the world tries to fill us
with fear or difficult times come to us. Remember Him who upholds us, Jesus who is our light and our
salvation. There is no one to fear.

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"One perk of being a small school is that we are not only a school community but a family. This family has never failed to encourage each other in bad times, laugh with each other in the good times, and push each other to become better... Yes, this school has brought me great memories, amazing friends, academic knowledge, life lessons, and much much more, but the most important thing is how it aided me in making my faith my own."
~ Jennifer Puhalski, Salutatorian, ULCS '20