Tag Archives: Chapel

Social Media and Parenting

Great post here from Pippa Davies (@pippadavies & her personal blog), our Heritage Christian Learning Commons lead Cybrarian. I too saw The Fifth Estate’s program on CBC and knew I wanted to share and comment on it. Pippa, you beat me to it – so I’m just echoing your thoughts.
I did lead 3 chapels on the Amanda Todd tragedy last year. I remember it being a very sobering few weeks for our students and for our school. Again, this is why I feel led to echo and share what Pippa has written.
I trust you will enjoy her words as much as I did. Paul



facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

This past week I  watched a very sad indictment of the “Sextortion of Amanda Todd” being aired on CBC The Fifth Estate, to commemorate the anniversary of Amanda’s death.  I was horrified to hear how twelve and thirteen year old teens are sharing lewd images of themselves on group blogging and webcam sites.  I was even more than horrified to see how online predators could take advantage of such students,  and blackmail them into sharing more revealing images.  This tragedy exemplifies some insidious dangers inherent with image sharing sites,  such as SnapChat and Instagram, and with private chat rooms.   Media literacy is not the topic on display, and images provoke more than just fear, or isolation, they can provoke students to suicide.

This brought to mind many ways as parents we need to be involved in our students’ “online time”?


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…005 – 10 healed, 1 says thanks – luke17…

This audio is from our High School Chapel on Thursday, October 3rd when I had the pleasure of sharing from Luke 17.  This is the account where Jesus heals ten men with leprosy.

One leper awakens to the grace that he has been given by Jesus…and returns with thanksgiving…

Download Audio HERE

I describe how lepers in Bible times were considered outcasts – unfit to be with any human.  In all regards, lepers were considered to be ‘dead’.  But, just like these lepers had a dreaded skin decease called physical leprosy, we have a dreaded spiritual decease called spiritual leprosy – sin.

Yet, the message of this account is that while Jesus’ grace is sufficient enough to commune with physical lepers…His grace is also sufficient to deal with our sin and to call us to relationship with Him.

Lord, help me understand your grace…


…004 – days after the first easter – john 21…

For many of us, Easter brings many memories and family traditions.  Mine are full of ham, chocolate egg hunts, and having a special family breakfast with coloured eggs.

This year though, similarly at Christmas, my wife and I are realizing that we are now defining and instigating our traditions for our young family.

My wife has started that by baking Paska.  Here is a picture of her work.  Isn’t it great!

Easter Sweet Bread

Easter Sweet Bread

But, as I reflect on Easter I cannot help but think how ‘easy’ I have it.  I mean, I take Easter for granted…I take Jesus’ death and resurrection for granted…I take those first few days after the first Easter for granted.  John 21:1-14 helps me consider what it might have been like for those disciples days after that first Easter.

Download the audio from this chapel for your computer or mobile device, or listen below.

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…003 – who’s your standard?…

As you look into your own heart & character, what do you hold as your standard?  Do you look around to those you respect?  Or to those you are simply aware of?  Or do you look to something greater than yourself?

At chapel this past week I shared on the passage from Luke 6 where Jesus uses the analogy of a tree being known by its fruit – that a good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit.  Although analogies cannot be used to generate a 100% of the time policy or expectation, they do speak to the general case.  It is commonly accepted that Jesus is drawing parallels between the tree and one’s heart, and the fruit and one’s words & behaviours.  The conclusion of the text offers the following words that need little explanation:

out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks

Download the audio from this chapel for your computer or mobile device, or listen below.

Each one of us must decide who we want to become.  It has been said that we will hit what we aim for.  So, I simply ask the questions, ‘What are you aiming for?  What is your standard?”

Do you look around to see others…to compare your own actions relative to what other people hold as true?  Or do you hold to something greater?  Do you have an example to model yourself after?

Teenagers, like each one of us, are in such a tough situation with these questions.  They experience the ups and downs of friendships and peer-pressure and identity and purpose.  They can be ostracized for their beliefs when they may contradict the accepted norm.  Yet, to be true to themselves they must remain congruent.  A teacher on our staff often says, “when you hang out with fish, you smell like fish.”  So true – we all have such power to influence those around us.

Another colleague often referred to GIGO: garbage in – garbage out.  We must be disciplined & diligent regarding what we choose to put into our minds & body.  This is a great statement on the key verse of this post, out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, because it reminds us that our heart is key to our attitude and actions.

Like this picture helps me see, it is below the surface that produces the results.

So, how do we train our hearts?  The Bible is clear that we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), and that we are to look to Jesus as our example (Philippians 2).  We must start with the right input before we can expect the right output.

So, who is your standard?  In your heart, what is driving your motivations and behaviours?

…Amanda Todd pt 3 – student open mic…

It is one thing to have staff sharing at chapel; it is another to have students talking to each other.

The past two weeks I have shared on very heavy topics. So I felt a ‘check-in’ was needed. This was confirmed when two students at separate times came to ask if we could have an open mic at chapel.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I love sharing at chapel. I love having our HCS Chaplain, Josiah Bitgood, share at chapel. I love having our teachers share at chapel. But, there’s something inside me that happens when students share at chapel…I just love this even more. When students get up in front of their peers sharing at chapel it is a moment where I can see discipleship in action, where I can see spiritual impact among our students, where I can see evidence of God’s work in the lives of our kids. These are powerful times.

This week I did not use audio to record what was shared. But, I did take point-form notes. I would like to offer them here as evidence that things said the past two weeks at chapel had hit home, and that there is true space needed for students to talk to students.

  • Our lead Science teacher and Christian Studies 12 teacher, Mr. Patrick Hayden, was the first on the mic to say that just as he takes a physical shower each morning to feel clean, he pumps the Christian music in his classroom each morning as a spiritual shower. It’s a clean start to the day. He reminded students that his classroom door is always open for students wanting to spend time listening to music in the mornings before school.

The rest of these are from students:

  • Gr 11: Girls, respect yourself – if you don’t, how will other people respect you? Make positive choices. Guys, respect the ladies! Give respect to earn respect.
  • Gr 12: In the morning…stop and pray – thank God for everything you can think of. Two weapons we have: word of God & prayer.
  • Gr 12: [Spent time explaining the spiritual difference between] Authority Vs. Power.
  • Gr 10: Think before you speak – words are really hurtful.
  • Gr 11: Amanda Todd is a reminder of what I went through…even at a Christian school. Just because this is a Christian school doesn’t mean that people aren’t hurting.
  • Gr 11: It really hurts to be bullied, not being respected. No one deserve that. Wow – people here at this school actually care for me, smile at me, include me. I know God loves me here.
  • Gr 11: I recently hurt someone…twice. I’m funny, but my words made someone frown. I’m sorry _(student name)_. [Hug] I forgive you. I should have said something that blessed someone else, that made them think about God. Words are so meaningful.
  • Gr 9: Public apology to another Gr 9 student. Don’t be mean to people.
  • Gr 9: Getting hurt – you can choose to hold on to it…or you can choose to let it go. Don’t even worry about it.
  • Gr 11: Words – they are for encouragement, too!
  • Gr 7: I’ve been bullied.
  • Gr 10: I’ve been a jerk. Like Band of Brothers and comrades, we must stand together.
  • Gr 12: With respect to the Amanda Todd situation, I picture a big house, during an earthquake, shaking. Then I picture, like a cartoon, the house falling down but the door remaining upright. So, you can either walk in the door and pretend nothing has happened. Or, you could yell and scream, “It’s going down, we’re all going down with the ship!” Or, you can rebuild it…learning about the situation – continually learning from past events. KEY: We must actively remember these things…or we will forget…out of sight, out of mind.

Thank you, students, for your thoughts and vulnerability as you shared. I pray we all have the grace to listen.