Nathan and Shannon were married in June 2004 and have 2 lively sons, Josiah and Daniel. They now serve as missionaries with Systematic Asian Leadership Training (SALT) in Hong Kong. They develop and implement effective training opportunities for pastors in Southeast Asia.
Day 1 – Love is S.A.D.
Today’s SLW was a great start to the week, filled with funny stories and meaningful messages. Our speaker Nathan Clifton started off with a bang, telling us about an embarrassing story of him in 5th grade. It did a great job of warming us all up. He then moved on to what we are going to talk about in the week: SAD. The topic for the week is not sad, it is an anagram for love. Love is sacrificial, affectionate, and devoted. He told us of himself in high school and how he put his time into so many meaningless things, but when he looked back, he saw how those things were not worth his time. Love with other people is something that is most definitely worth our time, not butterflies in our stomach or puppy love, but true love with our friends and others. Love that God shows us how to use, love we don’t just have, but we learn to love. If I were you, I would be very excited for a week of awesome stories and many messages to take back! – By Max E. (G8)
Day 2 – The Bible Story
Spiritual life speaker Nathan Clifton started the second day of Spiritual Life week with a brief summary of the Bible’s contents. A story, Mr. Clifton said, of love. He emphasized the times in Israel’s history when God’s chosen people failed to reflect the love and faithfulness God the Father exhibited upon them. God would then discipline them by sending foreign nations to conquer the Israelites. After the Hebrews had been conquered, God usually sent a judge to free them. This cycle ended with the Israelites resorting to pagan religions, which prepared the stage for Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross. This story of grace was the perfect example of God’s eternal love and that we have to show to others. – By Josh S. (G8)
Day 3 Our Identity in Love
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
Wednesday’s chapel was all about how to be a great example of Christians in our communities. Mr. Nathan Clifton explained how when others look at us, our school, and our communities, they should see how Christians are different from other people. Below is the story of the merciful master and the wicked servant from Matthew 18:21-35.
- Jesus said to him, “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven. Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants. When he had begun to reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But because he couldn’t pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’ The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
- “But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii, and he grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
- “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’ He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told to their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him in, and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’ His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him. So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds.”
Nathan talked about how we should show the same love and mercy to one another as Jesus did for us, even when they don’t deserve it. Mercy and love to your neighbor is demonstrated by the story of the Good Samaritan. – By Jessica J. (G7)
Day 4 – The Body of Christ
“Once upon a time there was a tooth…” Mr. Clifton started to get the students into the topic of the day. The story turned out to be about his ability to spray water from his mouth out of his nose. He gave this example of a tooth not wanting to be a tooth to show the students that the body of Christ depends on everyone in it. “If a foot did not want to be a foot and wanted to be a hand then how would we walk?” Mr. Clifton explained. He tried to show the students that our actions can affect the entire body of Christ. He also told the students that without Christ we would dead and now after Jesus has died we all can go and see him anytime. That would make us all priests. He also explains to us that we should consider spurring each other to love which means that we should persuade or even annoy each other enough to get them to love others. – By Gavin S. (G6)
Day 5 – Don’t be Lukewarm
The last day of Spiritual Life Week Mr. Clifton’s final topic was about being a true Christian. He asked, “Is a Christian life complicated, or easy and simple?” and “What are Christians supposed to do?” Revelations 3:15-17 says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Mr. Clifton said that being a Christian is equal to being a Christ follower. If you were a real Christian or a Christ follower, would you trade 1 day in God’s presence or 1000 days in your favorite place? John 15:5 says, “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.” The most important thing is that you should always put God first and make sure you are in Christ. He ended his testimony with; “Love God and follow Him!” and “Do things of Christ because you desire, also connect yourself with Him” – By Liberty H. (G7)