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Students at Delaware County Christian School: a co-ed, independent, interdenominational college prep Christian school near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Inside the Christian School is a series of reflections on aspects of Christian school education. Head of School, Steve Dill and members of the Delaware County Christian School (DC) Community contribute posts to the blog. Readers are encouraged to email authors of the posts with feedback. The content of the writing often uses DC as the example, but hopefully these thoughts also apply to Christian schools throughout the world. God has used Christian schools to shape thousands of believers in the past, and we believe He will continue to use these schools to make significant “kingdom impact” for years to come. 

National Honor Society - Scholarship

Each spring, Delaware County Christian School inducts juniors and seniors into the National Honor Society. The four focus areas of NHS are Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character. At the induction ceremony, four current members of the DC Chapter of NHS are chosen to speak about one of these areas as a challenge to the new members. Below is Caroline Wu's (class of 2011) speech on scholarship.

Knowledge. What is knowledge? Knowledge is an understanding of the world around us—how things work, why they work. It’s an understanding of the past, the present, and their implications for the future. In short, knowledge is learning the truths of reality.

Sometimes, knowledge comes to us. Most of the time, however, we have to seek it. There’s an African proverb that says that “Knowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.” As students, one important way we discover knowledge is by immersing ourselves in academics. Now we all may not necessarily enjoy coming to school every day, but who said the pursuit of knowledge doesn’t take effort? And that’s what scholarship looks like. Good scholarship means being diligent in your studies. It’s paying attention in class whether or not the lesson interests you. It means handing in assignments on time and studying for exams. Not only that, but having good scholarship means managing your time wisely and learning to balance academics in your schedule, planning ahead, seeking out help when you need it, putting forth your best effort in work, and making your studies a priority and not leaving them until the last minute.

So why is good scholarship necessary for pursuing knowledge? Proverbs 1:7 says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”. I believe this has two major implications for us as Christians. First, we have an academic stewardship. In Matthew 25 Jesus tells the parable of the Talents. The servants who were entrusted with more talents went to work while their master was away. When the master returned, they appeared before him with more talents. As we can gather from this story, more is expected of those to whom much has been given. God has blessed us with capable, functioning minds that we are expected to use. He’s also given us a Christian education. It is our responsibility to invest in these resources. Exercise and develop your minds to the most of your abilities.

Second, fulfillment of our stewardships as students brings glory to God. Science, Math, the Arts & Humanities—they’re all created by God. They’re worth learning about because they each reveal the glory of our Creator in unique ways. So I urge you, when you study each of these subjects, remember that you learn a little more about God through each one. As you pursue knowledge through academics, a little extra effort now may go a long way in the future. And sometimes colleges or employers won’t always recognize the hard work you put into your endeavors, but God will, and that’s what really counts in the end. Strive for excellence in scholarship as a living testimony to Christ’s glory, so that one day you will be able to hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Posted by dc-connect in Academics, Students, Learning, Christian Perspective on Thursday July 28, 2011 at 11:00AM
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National Honor Society - Character

Each spring, Delaware County Christian School inducts juniors and seniors into the National Honor Society. The four focus areas of NHS are Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character. At the induction ceremony, four current members of the DC Chapter of NHS are chosen to speak about one of these areas as a challenge to the new members. Below is Jordan Sbraccia's (class of 2011) speech on character.

As I considered how to define character I found a lot of answers. One of my friends said “character is what you do when no one is looking.” I remembered one of my coaches saying that character is what you do when pressure and emotions run high in a game. The National Honor Society defines character as the product of constant striving to make right choices while demonstrating respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship in all actions. I think all of these definitions are correct and illustrate the complexity of character because character is a daily work of God in our lives. In other words, the attributes included in these definitions are the products of a lifelong process by which God shapes us into the men and women He wants us to be.

The Bible is full of men and women whom God shaped in order to glorify Him. The two men that most exemplify character to me in the Bible are Joseph and Daniel. When we first encounter Joseph in Genesis he is a proud, self-centered little boy. He brags to his brothers about his dreams in which he is a great ruler over them. Through years of trials and disappointments God will take Joseph and mold him to become the great ruler of his dreams by developing his character. First, he is sold as a slave by his brothers to travelers on their way to Egypt. While in Egypt he proves himself worthy of being trusted with the belongings of a wealthy man. His character is then tested by his master’s wife. The story is familiar and Joseph showed character by fleeing from sin even when no one was looking. As a result he is unjustly accused and thrown in prison, forgotten and alone with an indefinite sentence. He could have easily given in to despair and his emotions could have caused him to forget God. The Lord was still at work shaping his character, however, and allowed him to persevere in daily responsibility and trustworthiness so that he was promoted above the other prisoners. Finally, during the seven-year famine he rose to second in command and was put in charge of the food supply. His character was so great that in Genesis 41:57 it says that, “all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph.” He was given responsibility for the food supply of the whole world because he proved himself trustworthy with that incredible job. He cared for the people that came to buy grain. He was fair with them, and literally he was the greatest citizen in Egypt. When his brothers came to buy grain he did not hold a grudge against them, but loved them because he was able to see how God had worked through the trials of his life to make him a great leader.

Daniel is another powerful example. As a young man in Babylon God instilled in him strength of character that allowed him to resist the temptations of the secular culture in which he lived. When Daniel first began his training in Babylon he resolved not to defile himself by eating Nebuchadnezzar’s meat and drinking his wine. Instead he chose to honor God by taking care of his body, eating only vegetables and drinking only water. Later in Daniel’s life, during the reign of King Darius, praying to God was outlawed with the punishment of death. This put tremendous pressure on Daniel to conform to the idolatry of society. He did not conform but rather made the daily choice to honor God by praying.

As an NHS member I would challenge you to follow the models of Joseph and Daniel in two ways. First, allow God to shape your character and form you into a great leader just as He did in the life of Joseph. God is putting you in a position of leadership in this school community. Other students will look to you and your character will reflect God’s attributes and encourage them to act in the same way. Second, stand firm in your character. NHS is not an end in itself. In one year you will be graduating from DC and moving into the secular world of college. Let the character you develop during your service as an NHS member provide a firm foundation for your conduct. Daniel was a young man, maybe even our age, when he was shipped off to Babylon, yet he was able to remain faithful to the character God had built in him despite the temptations and threats of those who hated God. In conclusion, I want to again challenge you to let your membership in the National Honor Society be only the beginning of a lifelong process by which God will shape your character and cause you to reflect His glory.

Posted by dc-connect in Students, Learning, Christian Perspective on Friday July 15, 2011 at 08:46PM
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