2019 principal blogs

Sharing God's Word
  Adam Richardson  -  2019-08-21 15:14:11
 
Declare his glory among the nations, His wonders among all people.
(Psalm 96:3)

What a great job our Year 1 students did last Sunday in leading the 9:30am worship service. They sang well, performed the actions with joy and led the prayers and Bible readings with enthusiasm. The readings, in particular, were quite lengthy and the children spoke with clarity and confidence, even adding special emphasis on key parts of the text. The applause they received was well-deserved and I was encouraged that many of our youngest students are so ready, willing and able to lead the ministry of our community by sharing God’s word.
 

Working Together
  Adam Richardson  -  2019-08-15 13:10:50
 
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

Do you ever feel tired when you have to do lots of work yourself? I’m guessing that you do. It’s not how God intended things to be. His plan was that we work together to accomplish the necessary tasks. Of course, working in a community, whether that’s at the office, in a classroom, at home, on a sports team, in a church congregation or in any other group that needs to work together, each person needs to play their part and do it positively for the benefit of everyone. Individually, we are rarely as effective as when we work together, and through cooperation we achieve more for God’s glory. As a school community, we all need to work together for it to be the most effective and productive. By keeping Christ at our centre, we have the best opportunity for ensuring that we live as God’s children and enjoy all the plans that he has for us. 

Reacting Positively
  Adam Richardson  -  2019-08-7 13:48:01
 
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. (Philippians 2:1-2)
This week I am with our Year 6 students in Australia’s capital and witnessed the most positive reaction to a problem at last night’s dinner. One student knocked over a drink and it went all over the meal of the child next to them. Many children - and let’s be honest, many adults too – would react in protest at what had happened. They’d perhaps yell out, become angry or seek some kind of justice. But the boy whose dinner was now somewhat more drinkable, didn’t do that at all. He just came over to the teacher’s table and let us know what had happened. And even more impressive was that he didn’t have any look of anger or hurt across his face or any hint of it in his voice. He just smiled and got on with solving the issue. In my opinion he was living out what Christ meant about loving one another and having patience and kindness with one another. 

Samuel
  Adam Richardson  -  2019-07-31 15:57:32
 
The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up,
and he let none of his words fall to the ground (1 Samuel 3:19)

In this week’s Senior Chapel I spoke about Samuel, one of the final Judges over the Israelites. His mother had trouble bearing children and prayed regularly to God for a son, promising to dedicate him to service within the church if her prayers were answered. In time they were answered and so Hannah gave Samuel to Eli, the priest in Shiloh. As he grew up, Samuel proved to be a great prophet, sharing God’s words and wishes with the people. As his time of being a Judge ended, he appointed Saul as the first King of the Israelites and told him that God’s will was that the Amalekites needed to be completely destroyed. When Saul didn’t do this, Samuel had to take matters into his own hands and he killed the Amalekite king. Understanding that Saul wasn’t following God’s directives, Samuel secretly appointed David as the new King of the Israelites. It was David’s line of succession that Jesus, the King of Kings, came through. Samuel certainly played a significant part in keeping God’s plans on track to provide us with a savior so that he could bring about his New Covenant with the world; a covenant based on love and grace.
 

Celebrating Milestones
  Adam Richardson  -  2019-07-25 15:26:56
 
From him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! (Romans 11:36)

Yesterday we took our whole school 35th anniversary photo to help mark this special point in time within our school’s history. At 25 years we buried a time capsule in the garden next to the office and I wonder if there is even still a computer that can read some of the files stored within it. That’s how quickly things can change in today’s world. At 30 years we created the artwork that used to sit in the church. It contains all the staff and student names from that year and each child contributed to the artworks in some way. I look forward to it reappearing in the hall once the renovations are complete. And this year we have the photo, the launch of our Alumni and the celebration day at the end of this term to help mark the 35 years. As God’s children, he wants us to celebrate together and give thanks for the blessings we receive. Keeping our school Christ-centred has been a key part of our ethos and mission since Day 1 and will continue to be so, as it is one of our main points of difference as a Lutheran school. We are here because of God and for his service. All good that happens is because of him. To God be the glory! 

God's Children
  Adam Richardson  -  2019-07-17 13:36:17
 
“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,” says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:18)

This term our chapels will be focusing on children in the Bible. They are mostly written about people in the Old Testament. However, this morning at Whole School worship, Pastor Paul reminded us that when Jesus’ ministry began, he made it very clear that every person is a child of God. This was contrary to the usual thinking of the time when gods were to be feared and certainly not viewed as our parents. How blessed we are that we are called God’s children and that our heavenly Father wants to be in a close and loving relationship with us.
 

Take Time to Rest
  Adam Richardson  -  2019-06-27 11:08:59
 
Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest in your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.
(Matthew 11:28-30)

There are 2 phrases that I regularly hear around this time of year. The first is that things are busy and the second is that people are needing a rest. It’s not surprising, of course. We have end of financial year matters to deal with, it’s the end of a school term and it’s been about half a year since that Christmas holiday break. We’re also 6 months older than when we started the year – which, I’ve discovered, is a significant factor at my age.

Physical tiredness is easy to see and experience. Running a business, keeping everything on track in the family, and maintaining our careers, hobbies, interests and friendships all take their slice of the “time pie” that has to be managed. Jesus understands tiredness, as he had to escape the crowds from time to time and take a rest. It’s also helpful to remember that all that busyness is not what earns us God’s favour. It’s often admirable work, and often necessary, but God’s gift of salvation – our eternal rest, peace and joy – is a free gift from God. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. Do not be afraid to take some rest over the coming school break. Spend valuable and precious time with family and friends, re-connecting and enjoying each other’s company. And give thanks to God for leading by example when he took a day of rest after his time of work.  

The Way, The Truth and The Life
  Adam Richardson  -  2019-06-20 15:42:53
 
I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Jesus shared this “I Am” statement with his disciples at the Passover meal. Although having seen Jesus’ miracles and heard his teachings firsthand, they still didn’t quite get that Jesus was God himself. That seed of doubt existed in some and others simply couldn’t get their heads around the idea that the Saviour would soon die. We’d likely be exactly the same today. So Jesus points things out one more time – very clearly – “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the only pathway to heaven. Jesus is the ultimate truth about God and his plans for us. Jesus is the only pathway to eternal life. There is nothing else we need to know or can do to change that. 

The Vine and Branches
  Adam Richardson  -  2019-06-12 15:32:59
 
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

The picture of a grape vine was an easy one for Jesus to use, as they were reasonably prominent across the landscape in the time that he lived. Jesus used this image to share about who he is and how we are related to him. Grape vines grow up from the ground in all types of twisted forms and then separate into arms that continue the twisting shapes. From those arms, the smaller, softer branches emerge. However, it’s not always easy to tell where the vine ends and the branch starts. They’re blended together without a clear line of distinction. In the same way, Jesus wants us to be connected to him really closely, as if we are one.

It’s also the case that no branch can have life by itself. Only the vine can do this. The branches need to draw their energy and life from the vine. Without it, they will not survive.
At Easter we see Jesus as the vine, able to rise again to life. We, however, can’t do that. In order to gain eternal life, we need to stay connected to him, just like the branch needs to stay connected to the vine in order to live. Jesus wants us to be joined to him and he provides us with the life-giving energy that we need. If we choose to connect ourselves to Jesus and to remain in him, God promises that we will enjoy all that his heavenly vineyard has to offer us for eternity.

Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, and God the Father is the Owner and Gardener. What a wonderful position for us to be in.
 

The Gate
  Adam Richardson  -  2019-06-5 14:36:12
 
I am telling you the truth: I am the gate for the sheep. All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever comes in by me will be saved; he will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness. (John 10:7-10)
This “I am” statement is made by Jesus after he shares the Parable of the Shepherd in which he explains that the sheep follow the voice of the shepherd who looks after them. The people don’t understand that it’s a story about following the right person to God, so he gives a more direct speech and to make it clear that he is the one they should be following. In the time of this story, shepherds would guide the sheep each night into a pen made with stone walls. The shepherd would sit in the narrow entranceway to ensure that no sheep got out and that no predators got in. Jesus explains that all who wish to enter heaven need to follow him, and that he will protect them. The final words are significant for our school, as they are our motto: Life in all its fullness. At Good News we seek for our students to not only learn and grow in order to have a full earthly life but to also understand the pathway to eternity with God – a life that is truly full of joy.
 

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