In our everyday lives, we all have jobs to do. Whether you work out of your home or spend your work days flying around the world, there are certain tools we need to accomplish the tasks we’ve been given. Here at TCA, we are educators. Our tools are classrooms, curriculum, smart boards, computers, etc. And likewise, as believers we have certain tools at our disposal to help us live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God. The trouble is, sometimes our own struggles hinder us from effectively using those tools God has given us.
One of the hardest disciplines to master is the art of self-control. How many times over the course of our lives have we been hindered in our daily walk with Christ by things such as bad habits, a terrible attitude, or a mindset that leads us down a negative path? How often have we promised ourselves that we would do better next time – that we would handle things differently in the future. We all struggle with these things to some extent. We all have moments when we wish we could “undo.”
It’s especially difficult when we feel we’ve been wronged. Or, even worse at times, when someone we love has been wronged. It’s at those times when our worst side can come out. We can say things we regret in a misguided effort to protect ourselves or our loved ones. Yes, self-control is a constant work in progress and giving others the benefit of the doubt can be challenging.
Thankfully, we serve a God who knows our weaknesses. He fully understands our human nature and calls us to rise above it. In the book of Galatians, chapter five, we read, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” And we call these the fruit of the Spirit – the evidence in our lives of Christ living in us. In order to evoke any lasting change within ourselves, we must surrender to God’s ideal for us, allowing the Holy Spirit to move through us and change us. As we give our “rights” over to Him, He will be our advocate. He will be our sword and our shield. He will change us. We will experience that change as we learn to “walk by faith and not by sight.”
What if I told you that Jesus grew up just like we did, or like our kids do? Some of you may question my sanity! And sure times were different then, but hear me out! Luke 2:52 says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” His growth and maturity sure seems to resemble ours. We grow in knowledge and wisdom as we learn. We grow physically, in stature, over the course of our developing years. We are spiritual people, and as we grow in our knowledge of God, our spiritual relationship to Him deepens. And, finally, God created us to be social people, to relate to others in every aspect of life, and we have numerous avenues for that today.
Jesus grew up and matured just like us. So what can we learn to help us, our students, and our families grow into the mature, well-rounded men and women that God created us to be? How can we better prepare our young people for success in life as they live it as citizens of God’s Kingdom?
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
This passage of Scripture is called “The Shema.” In Israel’s history it set the precedent for God’s pattern of personal and spiritual growth. It set the priority of love for God and relationship to Him in the lives of all the people, especially the youth. While its weight rested on the parents for spiritual leadership, their responsibility was not in isolation. They were part of a greater partnership which included the temple leadership or their “church” and the teachers which poured into their students’ lives inside and outside their home. It’s in that partnership together that the youth grew into maturity and in God’s purpose for their lives. It’s that partnership that spurred Jesus’ own personal and spiritual growth.
You and I are given this same partnership for the growth of our children. We have the Church, which should be a source of spiritual growth. We have the family, which should offer a place of unconditional love and security in a world riddled with chaos and uncertainty. In our case, we also have the school, a treasure to offer an education and also help us pursue God’s greater purpose for our lives. These shouldn’t function independently of each other, but should work together in God’s kingdom business to affect our students to become godly men and women.
So, how do you and I, as parents and as teachers, along with the ministers who lead us, impact our students for Christ? Here are a few ideas to challenge us and help us change the world for our kids.
- We must personally be transformed by Christ. Without God’s transforming work in our lives, we contradict the very thing we say we desire for our children. Our hypocrisy doesn’t bring them to God and His purpose; it actually pushes them away. They must see in us a move of God that is continual and growing stronger every day.
- We must prioritize the eternal. Our students’ spiritual lives should be our number one priority. That is the ultimate goal of this partnership God has given, far beyond just an education or temporary success. With so many activities and opportunities vying for their attention, we have to stand strong that their eternal lives matter most.
- We must invest entirely in the partnership. We all have something to contribute, whether that’s time, talent, or treasure. By the investment that we make, the gifts God has given us become instruments of worship to God and change in our homes and in the lives of our students.
At TCA, we want to do our part to invest in the lives of our students, to help them seek and find Christ and follow His leadership in their lives. Would you partner with us to help them grow “in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man”? Let’s come alongside each other and our churches to win the day and impact eternity in their lives. I pray that every TCA family will experience the powerful love of Christ as we partner together in Christ.
I often get this reply when I introduce myself to a TCA family, “Oh, we get emails from you asking for volunteers!” My name is Susie Henning, and I am the Director of Development and Public Relations for TCA. The Office of Development covers fundraising, events, volunteers for events, public relations AND I have all the “free” TCA logo goodies!
I want to thank all of our TCA families who have joined our Corporate Partner program, joined our parent organizations, and those who are already volunteering. God has blessed TCA already in so many ways this year, and it’s not too late to become a Corporate Partner, sponsor the Gift Market, or join one of our parent organizations.
TCA’s fundraising philosophy is “Different by Design.” We do not have a big annual fund “drive” every year, though we do have an annual fund. We have our large dinner and auction, The Legacy Dinner, every other year (save the date for April 4, 2020). Our Parent Teacher Fellowship has one major fundraiser, The Eagle Dash. Our Athletic Booster Club has a chili cook-off, and our Trinity Friends of the Arts supports our Arts programs. I encourage you to join one, or all three groups.
Our annual fund is supported through memberships in our Silver Eagles grandparent organization, our amazing and loyal corporate partners, proceeds from the Turkey in the Ground auction, the Gift Market, and this year, our Legacy Dinner. We also welcome matching company donations, gifts of stock, estate gifts, etc. TCA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization so your donation to TCA is tax-deductible.
- Some of the past projects our annual fund has helped include:
- A New Secondary Art room
- Help with purchasing buses for student transportation
- Improvements to our elementary playground
- Security enhancements across campus
- Tuition assistance for families with unexpected financial challenges
If you’d like to be involved, we also need volunteers for many of our events, so be watching for those emails from me throughout the year. Save the date and be watching for more information on these upcoming events:
- North Texas Giving Day: September 19
- Grandparents Day: October 11
- Homecoming: October 18
- Inaugural Golf Classic: October 19
- The Eagle Dash: October 25
- The Gift Market: November 2
- The Legacy Dinner: April 4, 2020
Thank you for supporting TCA with your time, talents, and treasures. If you have more questions about fundraising at TCA, please do not hesitate to contact me or come by my office in the secondary building!
The school year is off to a great start and life is good at TCA! We take the fact that you entrust us with your children very seriously and work hard to keep them safe.
Please remember that all visitors to the TCA campus must check in at the front reception area of the elementary or secondary building. Guests (anyone other than a staff member or student) must present a valid, state-issued driver’s license each time they check in. Upon check-in, all guests will be issued a red lanyard and ID sticker to be worn throughout their visit. This allows our staff and students to quickly identify guests as a properly screened campus visitor. Before leaving, all guests are to check out in the same office where they checked in and return their lanyard to the office staff. Visitors should never enter the side or back doors of a building (even if a polite and well-intentioned student offers to open it!). Our Raptor screening system also allows us to send out instant alerts to key individuals and groups in the event of an emergency, including local law enforcement. We understand that these minor inconveniences may feel frustrating at times, but your cooperation is appreciated as we seek to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
Several new security cameras were added last year to increase coverage across our campus and we’ve updated the overall functionality of our video surveillance program. Shatterproof film covers many windows and doors on campus, and traffic bollards protect the front of the secondary building.
As always, we have a variety of drills scheduled for fire, severe weather and lock-down scenarios throughout the school year. (Did you know that our students can orderly evacuate our buildings in a fire drill in under 2 minutes? That’s impressive!)
Our highly relational environment enables us to know our students in ways that other schools might not, allowing us to be proactive in terms of identifying and intervening as needed when a child is hurting or in a potentially harmful situation. Most of our teachers have been trained in Mental Health First Aid.
We are always on the look-out for ways to improve our procedures. I recently attended a round table session with Congresswoman Kay Granger and other local school leaders on school safety. I came away encouraged that we do a lot in the way of protecting our students, but also discovered some great ideas to discuss with the TCA administration as we continue to seek ways to improve.
We know that your child’s safety is important to you. It is a top priority for us at TCA too!