Category Archives: Jim Elliot Christian High School

What was, What is and What might have been…

Friday night high school football…there’s nothing quite like it!

Last night I attended an exciting game where two of my worlds collided. The high school where we joyfully invested over a decade of our early years of ministry was playing against the high school that Dan and I were given a vision for starting and have passionately served for the past 14 years!  It is in moments like these that are filled with memories, emotions and reflections on what was, what is and what might have been.

In 1986 as a single young woman, serving as a youth pastor and just months away from becoming “Mrs” Dan Lambdin, the high school that rented our church building was in need of a part-time girls PE teacher.  They had just completed their very first year and were getting an influx of students from another local high school that was merging with them.  I eagerly took the position as it would provide me another opportunity to minister to youth (my passion and calling), it was flexible and convenient to my current position as a youth pastor and it didn’t hurt that I could use the extra cash to pay for my upcoming wedding. Little did I know how much that one decision would dramatically change and shape my life.

It was during that year that I fell in love with the ministry of Christian education!  It was like having youth group everyday.  I could pour into the lives of young people, mentor and disciple them in such a greater and often more effective way than I was able to as a youth pastor, where I often only got to see the kids two times a week for a couple of hours at the most. (and a bonus: the students couldn’t just leave if they got mad at you for something you did or said or if they decided that they were “done” with being a believer….so you actually had the opportunity to walk them through the hard things instead of them disappearing, never to be seen again like what often happened in youth ministry) I soon realized that it was not only the students who I was able to minister to but their entire families as well.  I was excited about the unlimited opportunities to impact others for the Lord through this avenue of Christian education. 

After we were married, Dan decided to go back to school and get his Bachelor Degree in Bible & Theology.  Besides renting out a room in our tiny apartment to pay for his tuition, he became the school janitor to help pay for college.  Before long he was coaching, became the athletic director and was even teaching a class. He too became passionate about the ministry of Christian education and after graduating became a full-time Bible teacher at the school. 

For over a decade we faithfully served the school, giving wholeheartedly of our time, our talent and our treasure.  In fact the positions we held were vast and various (little did we know that God was preparing us to have the experience and tools to actually start a school years later!) Believe it or not we did all of the following jobs during our years at this school:

  • Teachers – Physical Education (we both taught this!), Bible, Typing (yup…those who can’t “do”…teach!), Government(no laughing Class of ’91), Leadership, Journalism & Yearbook
  • Support Staff – Janitor, Secretary, Bus Driver
  • Coaches – Volleyball, Softball, Soccer
  • Advisors – Student Council, Yearbook, School Newspaper, Christian Club, Class Advisors
  • Administration – Athletic Director, Vice Principal, Principal, Dean of Students, Director of Admissions, Director of Student Affairs, Guidance Counselor, Director of Development

Yes, we pretty much did everything. We basically lived at the school. Our children even had a small room off my classroom to play in while we spent many after school hours working. It was our heart, our soul and our passion! And the results were phenomenal!  We saw the school triple in size during that time and the programs, athletics, activities and academics flourished.  We had a very close and united staff who were our dearest friends.  We developed life long relationships with students and families that continue to be strong and steadfast today. (In fact we are now teaching & ministering to many of our former students children!) We saw God move in amazing, miraculous and life changing ways during that season that we affectionately refer to as “the glory years” at BCHS….some of the best times of our lives.

And then the unthinkable happened. On March 6, 1997 I was fired. Dan (along with many other long time staff members) subsequently submitted his resignation.

Without getting into all the murky details that led to that fateful day (suffice to say I had done nothing immoral, illegal or wrong that would be deserving of this termination), it was shocking, heart wrenching and simply unbelievable.  We felt as if everything we held dear was being ripped away from us. We felt betrayed, attacked and abandoned. We grieved deeply and questioned God’s will in it all. We also found ourselves in a desperate situation – instantly going from two incomes to none (with no opportunity for unemployment benefits) with four young children to care for and a home that was partially owned by our former employer, unsure of  God’s will and direction for our lives and dealing with heartache and depression.  It was truly a moment in time that left its indelible mark upon our hearts and lives.

However, this seemingly horrific – trial by fire – in our lives was used by the Lord to burn several principles into our hearts that will not only “stand the test of time” but reap amazing benefits to us, our children and our children’s children as we walk through this life.

God Alone is our Provider

I have written a lot about this paradigm over the years (you can read several posts here) so I am not going to say too much as this could be an entire book.  This one experience was the beginning of a true change in what we really believed about God and His provision. Of course, like most Christians, we said out of our mouths that we trusted the Lord to provide for our needs….but in reality we mostly trusted in our own abilities and actions as well as in others to provide a paycheck. When that was ripped out of our hands and we were left standing with nothing…..but God….we came to the harsh reality of how truly small our faith and trust really was (and I don’t say that proudly).  We worried about losing our home, feeding our kids and having to declare bankruptcy.  We fretted. We stressed.  We cried. We prayed.  And slowly the Lord began to use His Word (see Matthew 6:25-34, Philippians 4:19, Philippians 4:6) to penetrate our unbelieving hearts and change the way we see things and the way we live. 

And we have remained changed!  We have had seasons of prosperity since that day and seasons of poverty and yet we know, that we know, that we know that God IS OUR PROVIDER!  He will meet every need.  He will not forsake us.  Even now as I am looking at the realities of an empty gas tank, an upcoming property tax bill and an unpaid gas & electric statement…I have simply not an ounce of anxiety in my heart or mind because I know who pays my bills and meets my needs.  If simply learning this lesson and having this type of peace was the only lesson we learned from that experience…it would have been well worth it all.

It’s not what happens to you in life…but how you respond that really counts!

I read a quote on facebook the other day that said“Everyone wants to be an overcomer but no one wants anything to overcome”  Ain’t that the truth?  We all admire people who face trials and adversity and come out victorious.  We hear stories about them and our eyes well up with tears. We watch movies about them and wildly cheer them on. We read books about their lives and are inspired to be the same.  And yet when we are faced with challenges, obstacles and trials we shake our fist and look up to heaven and shout (or whine depending on your personality)…”Why me?” Or we get mad, bitter and angry allowing our lives to be ruined by our challenging circumstances.  We admire and aspire to be the overcomer and yet when the very trial that comes our way giving us that opportunity we let it bury us.

It was very easy for us to get angry and to allow bitterness into our hearts.  After all we had been faithful and loyal.  We had served and sacrificed.  We had given up the better part of our youth and helped build a dynamic and successful school only to be cast aside, wronged and betrayed by those we loved and trusted.  Didn’t we have the right to be angry? And there were plenty of people ready to feed that anger.  It was a recipe for disaster. Thankfully we both had a pretty good handle on the scriptures that are very bold at pointing out that there is no place in God’s kingdom for bitterness and unforgiveness. And since we wanted a place in the kingdom both here on earth as well as for eternity we knew we better quickly get it right. 

During this season the Lord taught us that when bad things happen in your life (and they will….you can count on it!), He is not caught by surprise (nope God was not shocked when I was fired) and that He is wanting us to have a right response for His glory!  After spending some much needed time away a few weeks after my termination (I am so grateful for a godly husband who saw me spiraling downward and knew that I needed some alone time with God to “get it together”), the Lord showed me how I was to respond as an overcomer to the trials of life.

  • Give thanks!    Really God?  You want me to thank you for this?  No, Beth I want you to give thanks in this and for that matter in everything!  “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Simple yes…but very hard. He doesn’t tell me I have to “feel” thankful just “be” thankful.  So I began to thank the Lord in the midst of my circumstances.  (and guess what after just a few days of thanking Him…I felt better! hopeful! encouraged!)
  • Forgive fast and often   If you want to be forgiven then you have no option but to forgive. period. end of story.  It’s basic Christianity (you all know the prayer..forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us) Forgiveness is simply releasing someone else from your judgement. You don’t have to “feel” like forgiving them. It is an act of your will.  I release them from my judgement.  One of the things I found with forgiving though is that I can choose to forgive and then I find myself remembering & taking back my forgiveness (I am sooooo not like God)…so the Lord told me to keep forgiving over & over & over.  And you know what?  I have not one ounce of unforgiveness in my heart for those who hurt & betrayed me all those years ago.  Somewhere along the line of forgiving daily it stuck and I truly was able to walk freely in forgiveness!  Since that trial – forgive fast & forgive often has been my goal whenever the Lord gives me the opportunity to be wronged, hurt or betrayed (yup! It is an opportunity to be an overcomer and I seem to get them often)
  • Pray for those who mistreat you   If we all prayed for those who are a “thorn in our side” we would be amazed at the change in our hearts. “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” Matthew 5:44-45 “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:28  Even as I type this I am being reminded of those I should be praying for right now. I hear you Lord! 🙂
  • Sow seeds of kindness & love into their lives  Ok so I forgive them, I am praying for them and now you want me to do something nice for them?  What???  “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them…Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable…“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12:14, 17, 20-21  It was pretty clear to me that if I really wanted to overcome I needed to do acts of kindness to bless those who had hurt me.  I gulped hard and I began to brainstorm what I could do and then despite how hard it was I did them!  I am sure that those simple acts did something profound in my heart as well as opening up avenues for the Lord to bless my life.

It’s True…God really does work everything out for good! 

The scripture often quoted in Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” is not just a “nice” thought…it is truth.   When I think about the end of that era of my life, like I did last night at the football game, with a “what might have been” perspective I actually shudder at the thought of NOT being fired on that day in 1997!

Out of the ashes of that trial by fire came some of the most amazing perfect blessings of my life!

  • The creation of Jim Elliot Christian High School that stands out as a beacon of light for God’s glory.  A place where lives are being impacted for eternity.  A school that two of my daughters have graduated from and two currently attending who have benefited from the amazing staff who have taught, cared for and mentored them as well as given them lifelong Christ honoring friendships.  A place that has provided my husband with his “dream job”…teaching Bible all day and speaking into the lives of young people as the school chaplain.
  • Homeschooling my children!  I can not even begin to imagine how different my life would be if I had not begun to homeschool my children after my termination (my eldest at the time attended the school’s private Christian elementary as a result of the tuition benefit which of course we lost).  My relationship with my kids would be vastly different. My impact and influence on their lives would be vastly different. My children’s relationship with each other would be vastly different. I might even still be a “control freak” and not in recovery!  In short everything would be dramatically different and since I LOVE the way it has played out I shudder to think what we would have all missed out on.
  • Running a successful home business.  I never ever considered working from home. I never knew the freedom and joy of being my own boss.  One of the blessings of my life being turned upside down was running a successful profitable business from my home for over a decade. It was amazing! It was fun! It was fabulous! I did something I loved, got treated to unbelievable incentive trips all over the world with my husband, made friends who will forever be a part of my life and was able to perfect the gift of speaking, writing & motivating others as a result of my business.   I simply cannot imagine my life without this business.

And those are just the really “BIG” life altering things.  There are countless other blessings that our greatest trial has brought into our lives.  I can honestly now say that getting fired was one of the single best moments of my life!  Of course hind sight is 20/20…right?  Now I strive to actually stand on that promise in the midst of the trial knowing that God has a plan and that I will one day be able to look back and see the blessing that it has brought into my life!

If you are currently “walking through the fire” in life may these words encourage you today, build your faith as well as giving you practical and scriptural ways to overcome! One day you too will be on the other side looking at what was, what is and what might have been….and rejoicing in it all!

4 Comments

Filed under Blessings, Endurance, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Life Lessons, Lifes Challenges, Overcoming

Times of Refreshing (part 1)

“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”  Proverbs 11:25

As I write out this ancient proverb I am sitting aboard the Sea Princess with a gentle breeze blowing across my face as the slow rhythmic rocking back and forth of the waves causes me to relax and my body conforms into the lounge chair on the ships deck.  Yes, I am the grateful recipient of some very generous people who chose to bless Dan and me with an Alaskan Cruise in honor of our 25 years together in ministry and marriage!

1986 was a life changing year for us.  It was the year that the Lord brought a man & woman together who both loved the Lord and loved ministering to youth.  It was also the year that we had our first experience with the ministry of full time Christian Education and quickly developed a passion for the amazing opportunity it provided to mentor, disciple, love and impact young people for life.  In less than two years of marriage we knew that we wanted to commit our lives to the ministry of Christian education.  (despite the meager compensation, zero retirement plan, massive amount of work hours and having too many “bosses” – you see as a Christian educator you have to please not only your Principal, but your entire school board and the parents of every student – simply impossible!)

Last summer we organized a multi year reunion (classes of 1985 – 2000)of Brookside Christian High School alumni, the school where we ministered for 11 years before moving on to found Jim Elliot Christian High School.  It was a spectacular weekend of reminiscing, reuniting and remembering!  There was much laughter, love and we even all shed a few tears. I have been to many reunions over my lifetime and this was “hands down” the most real, the most fulfilling and the most joyful of them all.  You see we had something very special during the Brookside Christian High School “glory years” as many refer to them as.
We had:

  • A small tight knit group of under 200 students  each year from a wide variety of families, cultures and backgrounds
  • A group of staff members  who were committed to not merely teaching their subject matter but to pouring out their lives into young people
  • Chapel Services that featured some of the best youth speakers in the country and where students truly “met God” in a way that they had never before experienced
  • A student activity program to rival none other,  that not only created memorable moments to be cherished for a lifetime but built up student leaders, created lifetime bonds of friendship and provided a level of enthusiasm & excitement that made the school “the place to be”.

Not to say that BCHS was perfect…in fact in many ways it was very far from perfection (one of the reasons we chose to create Jim Elliot Christian High School to take our vision of the “perfect” Christian school to the next level) and yet there was something very special about that era and anyone who experienced it will vouch for that.  During those foundational years in our Christian Education experience both Dan and I held a myriad of positions which would ultimately give us the experience and expertise to start a new Christian school years later.  Dan held the positions of janitor (nothing better than to start at the bottom),  Teacher (Bible, Physical Education and even a short stint with US Government…you BCHS students rember that?), Athletic Director, Coach, Counselor, Vice Principal, Principal, Dean of Students and Chaplain.  I began as a Physical Education Teacher who was surprised at being given Typing classes (HA! I “hunt & peck”) but quickly began to pick up other jobs that I have been uniquely gifted to do. I became the Student Activity Director and Leadership Teacher, Yearbook & Journalism Advisor, Guidance Counselor, Admissions Director, Director of Student Affairs and Director of Development. I even spent several summers as the front desk secretary!  While at times
it seemed crazy to take on such a wide and varied number of positions (and even as I typed them all I got a bot exhausted!), the Lord knew that He was preparing us for a very special purpose down the road.  We would have never had the ability to begin a new school without the experience those positions brought, the years of ministering in a Christian school and the numerous BCHS students and families that would support and encourage us in the starting of JECHS.

So even though our time at Brookside ended abruptly and with much angst…we will never regret the experience we received, the lifelong relationships we made and the amazing opportunities we had to impact others. To God be the glory!

During the reunion weekend, our former students presented us with a gift of thanks and appreciation for our 25 years of service in Christian Education.  Apparently they had been emailing folks for several months asking for donations for the Lambdin’s and they ultimately were able to purchase an Alaskan Cruise for us to enjoy.  What a blessing!  While we are unaware of everyone who contributed to this amazing gift, we want to say a HUGE thank you for your generosity and for allowing us to be refreshed in such a wonderful way!  We know that the Lord, who is always true to His word, will indeed refresh you through your generosity to us!

In the next post I will share more about being refreshed, renewed & reenergized!

1 Comment

Filed under Blessings, Callings, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Life at the Lambdins, Marriage

The Best Investment!

Fourteen years ago when Dan and I set out to start a Christian High School in our community one of the first orders of business for our founding board was to name the school. Most Christian schools are named after either the city or community where they reside, a church that sponsors them or after a Christian attribute or tenant  like Faith, Trinity, Grace, Hope, Calvary or Victory.  As we brainstormed these possibilities we decided that it would be fabulous to name the school after a Christian believer who had lived a stellar life of service and love for the Lord.  One of our compelling reasons for going in this direction was in hope that our students would be inspired by the dedicated life of a saint who had gone before them and that they would be challenged to a higher level of devotion to God through learning about their life.  We desired that this person would become a role model, mentor and example that they could follow.

After considering several great men and women of faith, the newly formed school board ultimately chose a missionary martyr named Jim Elliot and we were in wholehearted agreement with this decision!

Jim Elliot, born in 1927, was raised in a strong Christian home with parents who took him to church and read the Bible regularly.  Jim professed faith in Jesus at the age of six and grew up in a home where obedience and honesty were strictly enforced.   During high school he participated in numerous activities, including the school newspaper, the football team, school plays, and the public-speaking club.  His oratorical skills were  lauded—after preparing and delivering a speech in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt hours after his death, a faculty member called it one of the best speeches he had ever heard.

Jim used his speaking ability regularly, always ready at a moment’s notice to discuss Christianity or defend his moral beliefs.  He refused to compromise his convictions and was not afraid to launch into a mini-sermon explaining them.  He went on to Wheaton College, a private Christian college in Illinois, believing that God had led him there.  He saw his time there as an opportunity to grow spiritually, develop discipline, and prepare for future missions work. He did ultimately go to the mission field  in Ecuador along with his wife Elizabeth.  Not content with bringing the gospel to the civilized people of the country, he and his four companions flew into the lands of the savage Auca tribe.  Their first landing ended in a tragic massacre, but out of this seemingly senseless tragedy came the powerful testimony of the call of God on this man’s life that has inspired and challenged numerous people over the years to a closer walk with the Lord.

As our first school year drew to a close in 1999, we created the Jim Elliot Award.  This award was to be the pinnacle award that an Elliot student could achieve and would be given every year to the graduating senior who epitomized the life, character and commitment of Jim Elliot.  A student who like Jim Elliot was committed to their studies, involved in various student activities and community service, an influential leader and most importantly one whose commitment to the Lord was strong and unwavering.  Over the past 12 years this award has been presented to some very outstanding and stellar young people. The 2011 recipient is no exception.

During graduation ceremony on Saturday May 28 the school presented the Jim Elliot Award to….

Ana Martinez

Ana is a beautiful, dynamic, responsible, confident, impressive and simply amazing young lady!  Her accomplishments in high school are vast and include:

  • Four years in leadership on student council including doing an excellent job as Student Body President during this past year
  • Volleyball and Soccer team participation
  • Interact Service Club member throughout high school
  • Christian Character Award Winner for three years
  • Numerous Speech Contest & Oratory Awards
  • Church Volunteer
  • Community Volunteer
  • National Society of High School Scholars
  • Elliot Legacy Award
  • Harvest Christian League Scholar Athlete
  • National Association of Christian School Principals Leadership Award
  • ACSI Distinguished Christian High School Student Award

But most importantly, Ana loves the Lord Jesus with all her heart and has lived a life of faith and been a shining example for others  throughout all of her four years at Jim Elliot.  She will be attending Vanguard University and pursuing God’s will for her life.

In the beginning years of our school, we were  asked by the then guidance counselor, Candy Payne if we would be willing to give a scholarship to go along with this prestigious award since we were the founders of the school and she knew we would “go the distance” with JECHS far into the future, thus insuring that the scholarship would continue.  Although we lived on a very small salary  and had no idea where the money would come from we enthusiastically said…”YES! We would be honored!” And the Lord has provided us with the funds to give this scholarship each and every year since that time.  It is with great excitement, joy and gratitude to the Lord for giving us this opportunity that Dan and I will once again be presenting the award winner, Ana Martinez, with a personal $1,000 scholarship in honor of her becoming the 2011 Jim Elliot Award recipient.  We know that this investment in Ana and her future will pay great dividends in the kingdom of God!  What a blessing it will be to watch the great things that the Lord does in and through her as she follows him.

Could the Lord be nudging you through this post to make an investment in the life of a young person?  Maybe you are being asked to invest of your time in mentoring, teaching or encouraging a young man or woman? Or perhaps you need to consider investing your God-given talents into lives through coaching a youth sports team, tutoring a struggling student in an academic area, being an advisor to a class or club or using your musical, artistic or dramatic talents to inspire young performers?  Or are you be willing to invest of your finances to give a scholarship, help a child attend a camp or go on a missions trip? You may even be called to invest  your time, your talent and your treasure into the lives of young people who are our future leaders, teachers, entrepreneurs, inventors, heroes, public servants, ministers as well as future moms and dads.

I hope you will consider today what type of investment you can make and take the steps needed to make it happen. Believe me, investing in the life of a young person is truly one of the best investments you can ever make! I guarantee it!

Congratulations Ana and may the Lord bless you abundantly as you live for Him!

3 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Jim Elliot Christian High School

Accolades for Amy

Here I am on the eve of my second sweet daughter’s graduation from high school.

In many ways that is not remarkable as millions of families will watch their children and grandchildren march across a stage, field or platform in the upcoming days and weeks to receive that coveted diploma. Yes, she is just one of millions in the global class of 2011.

And it is quite unlike the first born graduate who accomplished this same milestone four years ago. There will be no valedictorian speeches, no honor cords or scholarships awarded her at the ceremony tomorrow. She will be just another one of the graduates in the JECHS class of 2011.

  • Unremarkable?
  • Average?
  • One of many?

NOT!

Amy, while not an academic achiever according to the standard of this world, is an amazing young lady with unique gifts and talents, influential leadership, godly character and a heart for the Lord!  She is remarkable! She is uncommon! She is stellar!

And yet she is in the season of life that I call the “academic” years.  Those years where it seems like most of life is centered around your academic achievements.  You are judged and evaluated by your ability to take tests, your grade point average, your SAT scores, your AP & honors courses, your college acceptance letters and your scholarship awards.  You are continually being asked questions about your academic achievements by relatives, adult mentors, teachers & peers.

Personally, I sailed through this season of life with relative ease. (and it truly is just a season…no one has asked my GPA in the last three decades!)  While I was the least “academically inclined” of my parents four children, I still had giftings in the area of academics and along with my brother & sisters acquired the appropriate amount of academic accolades, achievements & awards.  I was also an “academic snob”.  While I realized that people had various degrees of intellectual ability, I figured that most everyone (with the exception of the most severe disabilities) had the ability to achieve academically if they “put their mind to it”.  This carried into my early years as a teacher as I was appalled by students who came into my classroom as junior highers not being able to spell simple words like paper (papper) or having acquired basic reading skills or understanding of math.  Not that I expected everyone to be “straight A” students, I actually thought most had just not “worked hard enough” or were lazy.

My first born fell right into my line of academic thinking.In addition to being a classic first born overachiever, she spoke in full sentences by year one, began to read at age four and could spell “beautiful” in kindergarten. I am sure in my mind I was “patting myself on the back” for creating such an academic acheiver (which in reality I had precious little to do with it)  Then along came Amy….

She was the sweetest baby ever.  She was calm, good-natured, smiled & slept a lot. (in shocking comparison to her extremely colicky…crying for 9 months straight… elder sister).  We nicknamed her “Sleeping Beauty”.  It didn’t concern us that she was not speaking as early as her sister as we figured this was typical for a second child.  But….when she still was not speaking more than 10-15 coherent words by age four we knew there was some “issues”.  She was diagnosed with serious speech delay and began four years of therapy. Then she was only able to read very short kindergarten readers by age ten. After trying every program known to man to teach her to read we finally found the program (Powerline) and the teacher (the amazing Miss Pam) that worked for her dyslexia. We rejoiced that she was able to read and comprehend novels before going to high school (and went from “I HATE reading” to “Mom, can I read all day?”).

While I was raising Amy (or perhaps she was raising me) I began to change my mindset.  I began to “re-think” the way society sees academics. I began to be very purposeful about teaching Amy that her value did not come from her ability to excel academically (or for that matter athletically, musically, artistically or in outward beauty or wealth…all things the world puts a high value on) but that her value was to be found as a child of God. I also ingrained in her heart & mind that the God who created her had also endowed her with unique gifts and talents to be used for His glory. (“Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.” 1 Peter 4:10)  For her those gifts did not happen to be in the area of academics and yet she would still be required to perform at a certain level to get through this academic season of life.  It is just the way we have set up our society.  (on a side note I find this interesting…what if we required someone to play sports for years and “pass” athletic milestones even if they had no athletic propensity?  Or if we required musical accomplishments from people who were tone-deaf or can’t clap & sing at the same time?) Of course since she was homeschooled, the normal academic pressures of traditional school were not something she had to face.  She had a happy, carefree childhood free from thoughts of – “I’m in the slow group” or “I am dumb” or “What is wrong with me?”.  She learned at her own pace. She discovered her unique gifts and talents and excelled at them. She learned to love the Lord. She developed godly character.  She actually blissfully unaware of any disabilities she had.  As she began to prepare to go to a traditional high school, I spent time reinforcing these values and ideas so that she would be able to get through school without losing her sense of value and purpose. I warned her:

  • She would have to work harder and likely not get as good results as many of those around her
  • That she may stay up half the night studying and still fail the test.
  • That some teachers would be “academic snobs” just as I had once been or think she was lazy or had not studied…just smile and pray for them.
  • This is just a academic season of life and that it has no reflection on her future success and plans
  • That her accolades would need to come from the Lord and the voice in her own head (she spent much of her childhood listening to motivational speakers and memorizing their quotes! It paid off!)

I encouraged her:

  • That God has uniquely gifted her and that she needed to develop those gifts and use them for His glory
  • That she needed to work hard (and thus develop godly character) no matter what the results
  • That it was much smarter to take the areas you are good at and make them great than to take things you are poor at and make them average. (Why spend time trying to take a two to a five when you could take a seven to a ten?)
  • God is in control of your life.  You seek Him, commit your way to Him and live upright, He will accomplish what concerns you and He will lead you in the right path.
  • Never forget your value lies in being a child of God!

And she did just that! It was hard at times. She had moments of disappointment and discouragement…but she pressed on!  As she walks across the stage tomorrow and receives her diploma, this former “academic snob” momma will be

  • rejoicing with her as she celebrates her success!
  • beaming with pride (just as I did with my first grad in ’07) that she is pursuing her God-given gifts and talents, developing godly character and loving the Lord
  • shedding a few bittersweet tears as she ends this season of life

PS – For those Moms of “youngins” who struggle with academic achievement and are concerned (translate worried) about their education and future let me encourage you.  Amy will graduate from high school with a 3.18. She was accepted to five colleges (two on academic probation) even with below average SAT scores and received financial aid & academic scholarships from the colleges (we did giggle with delight when these offers arrived). She will be attending Bethany University in the fall and continue to seek the Lord’s plan  & purpose for her life.  Who would have ever guessed that 10 years ago?  But God…..

9 Comments

Filed under Attitude, College & Career, Determination, Homeschool, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Life Lessons, Lifes Challenges, My "take"

To life! To life! L’chaim!

This week I celebrated my 48th birthday!

L’chaim is a Hebrew word meaning – “to life”  and is used as a toast for many occasions but often celebrating the Jewish New Year and at weddings or times of new beginnings.

This birthday was unique because on September 1, 2010 I not only celebrated another year of my life but it was the first day of a new season and a new beginning of life for me.  For the past three years I have faithfully served in the position of Director of Development for Jim Elliot Christian High School…

  • a school that we founded through God’s divine direction
  • a ministry that I am passionate about
  • a position where I could effectively use my God-given gifts and talents while helping to put food on the table and still be a Mom and the number one influencer to my children

In the spring I was informed by our school board that JECHS would be taking a new direction for development thus eliminating my current position.  It was greatly emphasized that this was in no way a commentary on my job performance or effectiveness which was highly successful and appreciated, just simply a change of direction.

While this took me by surprise, I know that the Lord has a plan for the school as well as for my family and me and that His plan is ALWAYS good!  I trust that the Lord uses leadership to move ministries in the direction He desires. Although, I will greatly miss being involved in the daily life of the school, communicating regularly with the Jim Elliot family and sharing my passion for the school in a public forum, my heart and commitment to this ministry is solid & unwavering! (plus with three girls currently attending, four more kiddos coming up through the ranks, with the youngest graduating in 2027 & a husband who “lives” and breathes this amazing school…I will likely be ever-present.)

So all summer long I knew that the special day that God chose to bring me into this world…September 1…was also the day that I would wake up facing a new season of life.  Dan and I have spent much time in prayer and conversation both together and with a small group of trusted friends & family members seeking wisdom and direction for our future.  

We have been here before – early in our marriage when we chose to both leave full-time youth ministry to have Dan pursue his college degree and then again when he graduated  and we decided to work in Christian education instead of the church ministry that we thought would be our direction. In 1997 we took a major leap of faith when we set out to start a Christian high school from scratch with no personal income and no major financial investors or donors. Then three years ago when we felt led to redirect the use of my gifts and talents away from business pursuits to bring our school to a new level of excellence.

And now we are here…another crossroads in life, another time of change and challenges, another opportunity to step out in faith and see our BIG God – do BIG things!

Here are our Financial Facts

  1. On paper Dan’s Christian school salary along with a small income from my CM business pays for all of our financial obligations (what we have committed funds to – not food & daily living) with a shortfall of $111.
  2. We live a very simple life with little extra’s – no fancy phones, no cable, no new clothes, camping vacation, old vehicles, small home, few home repairs completed, lots of beans & rice – etc…
  3. Of all of our financial obligations the only extra’s we could cut are Netflix(done!), school fees by pulling the girls out of school which we do not feel is God’s will and do not plan to do(while we do not pay tuition as a benefit of Dan’s employment we do pay the fees which with 3 enrolled this year it is a monthly bill that could save us money) and we could re-negotiate with our orthodontist for a lower monthly payment which we will pursue. These things would help alleviate the shortfall. 
  4. Some would argue that we could cut out our extra giving (World Vision, Compassion International, Missionary support) but this does not sit well with our spirit so unless God spoke directly for us to do that we will not.
  5. Our mortgage is less than almost anywhere we would rent so “downsizing” is not really an option to save money (We live in a 1400 square foot home)
  6. What we “on paper” do not have money for and what my compensation took care of is – food, household & personal supplies, gas, saving for yearly bills like car registrations, property taxes, homeowners fees, and all the “little” things that come up, when essential things break down or homeschool expenses.
  7. My income also paid for our “extras” of  life – sports fees, field trips, birthday parties, christmas, senior year extra expenses, baby portraits, gas to visit friends or family, postage, make up, hair cuts, special events, coffee & ice cream – all things that are a bonus but we can live without!

Please do not think that I am complaining because I am not. I have an amazing & blessed life that I love! 

Please do not think that we are disturbed, distressed or distraught because we are not! I simply share these “facts” to give you an idea of one of the areas that we are believing for God to take care of during this next season of life. (not to mention many of you are facing the same challenges and I hope it encourages you to know that you are not alone and increase your faith that God is in control)

Here is our Foundation of Faith

  1. God will provide for all of our needs – “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  Phillipans 4:19
  2. God has a perfect plan – “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
  3. God will give us wisdom – “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
  4. God will use our trials to help others (so if you are troubled about the “wisdom” of our openness this is why – we hope it encourages others) – “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
  5. God is doing a new work in us that will result in great growth & results and we are thrilled!  – “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
  6. God has uniquely and purposefully given us gifts to be used for His purpose in the body. I need to continue to use those gifts for God  – “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13  (also 1  Corinthians 12 & Matthew 25:14-30)

Now about that Future

We believe that God is opening new doors for me to use the gifts and talents He gave me in the areas of speaking and writing to inspire others to live a life of purpose, passion and praise.

I have been speaking and writing for over 25 years as a youth pastor, teacher, businesswoman, blogger and development director. I have been used by God to inspire those around me in many facets of life through interpersonal relationships that I have developed along the way. I know God has also given me the experience and opportunities to grow these gifts.  I take no credit for what God has done. It is all Him! I want to follow His voice and His lead.

So after wrapping up a few details for our school this coming week, I will begin to step out in faith looking to and leaning on the Lord for wisdom, guidance, strength and His divine favor as we start a new work…

Inspire Ministries

living a life of purpose, passion & praise

I hope that through this new ministry that I will be able to speak and write to people of all ages and all walks of life and inspire them to be purposeful & passionate about their:

  • life
  • future
  • relationships
  • calling (vocation or ministry)
  • marriage
  • parenting
  • faith

while also inspiring us all to live a life of praise which includes – a life of gratitude, glorifying to God, a life worthy of praise and commendation.

I hope to use the avenues of conferences, retreats, special events, meetings, conference calls, webinars and church services to speak about these things that God has placed on my heart.  I hope to also write articles, books and increase my blogging to also accomplish this purpose. I hope to be available to continue helping others through my everyday life as well…those “divine” appointments God puts in all of our paths.

I am ready & willing to put my whole heart into this ministry…investing my time and talent.  Dan too will be involved, as he is able, in addition to his awesome ministry to young people at Jim Elliot. (He is a great speaker with many insights on the Word of God, ministering to teens, marriage & parenting) 

We are believing and praying that the Lord will bring us others to partner with us through both their prayers and financial support.  We want those who believe in

  • our message
  • our example
  • our love for others
  • our integrity
  • our ability to communicate effectively

to help us get this ministry going and then keep it growing strong and giving us the freedom to speak wherever God leads us (not only to churches or organizations with large budgets or resources). 

To start up this ministry (paperwork, filing non-profit status, creating a website, mailings, promotional & home office expenses) will take approximately $10,000.  To keep it running we will need to initially raise $4,000 a month. (for example perhaps 200 supporters at $20 per month or  100 at $40 a month)  We know that if this is truly the Lord’s will….that He will provide the resources for us to go out and inspire others through speaking and writing.

As I begin a new year of life and a new season of ministry I am filled with excitement to see what God will do in us and through us. My prayer is that we will –

  • Live a life on the cutting edge!
  • Live a life of extraordinary faith!
  • Live a life surrendered to God!
  • Live a life that inspires others to live a life of purpose, passion & praise!

To Life! To Life! L’Chaim!

P.S.  If you are…

  • interested in partnering with us through prayer and financial support of this new ministry
  • would like to be on the Inspire Ministries mailing list
  • have words of encouragement or wisdom for us in this endevour
  • are interested in having me (or Dan or both of us) coming to speak at your church, group, ministry, conference, retreat or organization and want to start exploring that opportunity

…please leave a comment on this blog or email me at inspire@bethlambdin.net

11 Comments

Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Economics, Faith, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Life at the Lambdins

Life at the Lambdin’s Update

My last post indicated that I was in a bit “over my head” especially with our big annual dinner auction fundraiser at Jim Elliot Christian High School.  Since that post on April 15th…I literally worked ’round the clock on this spectacular event.  And it was fabulous! You can read about it and see photo’s here – Denim, Diamonds & Dreams.

 auction-109

As with all big events like this, the work does not end with the actual event. I continue to wrap things up with a post auction sale, recognition, appreciation, evaluations and follow up.  Then I get to move on to putting out a quarterly newsletter & planning a 10 year all school reunion picnic. No….it never ends….but is so worth it when I see the hundreds of young people positively impacting the world & loving the Lord.

So hopefully I’ll be getting  back to one of my “loves” – blogging – but here is a quick update on life at the Lambdin’s:

  • Daniel’s Birthday – We celebrated Daniel’s 2nd birthday on April 20th. He continues to be such a joy to all of our lives and his hugs and kisses truly bring life to my bones and refreshment to my spirit. I highly recommend everyone having a toddler in their life to love!  dsc_0312
  • The “Boys Bedroom” Makeover– Three of our former students (who I often still call “kids” – even though they are 35) – Carrie Elliot, Rachel Fichtner & Leah Kidger decided to come over one Saturday & do a makeover on Daniel’s (the “boys”) bedroom – painting the walls & dressers and adding cute accessories.  Idsc_0243t was so nice to spend the day with these lovely ladies and to be the recepient of their blessing.  (Now all we need is a few more boys for the boys bedroom!) 

dsc_02371

  • College Grads– My beautiful nieces – Kate & Beth Kirchner graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University last Saturday and we were able to take a quick trip down to celebrate this milestone with them. We are so blessed to have “elder” cousins like these girls and Janessa & Chrisann Meier for our children to look up to.  They are wonderful role models and examples for those coming behind them to follow.  The graduation was beautiful as the campus overlooks the Pacific Ocean (my favorite place in the world!) and the commencement speaker had some great life lessons to share!pepperdine-grad1
  • Adoption Update– Whew!  I know I have been very quiet about our adoption pursuits as of late.  Mostly because there has been nothing to share.  Well here is the latest – the day of the auction (the busiest day of my life) we got a call from the adoption agency that they had a “special needs” baby they wanted us to consider adopting and even though they knew we “wanted” a boy, there was a little girl named Makayla who was born on Daniel’s 2nd birthday for us to consider.  Of course we said unequivocally and without hesitation – YES!(just as we would to any baby we were given by birth).  Well…..we were informed yesterday that Makayla’s Mommy picked another family to raise her.  However that exact day they received a call from the hospital from another transient mother who had decided to choose a family for her child to be raised by….a little girl born on May 2.  So once again we are praying for the Lords perfect plan for this new baby & hoping that we are the chosen ones.  And yes we are still believing for a brother for Daniel but just might have to raise $30,000+ and go to Africa to get a couple orphan boys to love. (10 children sounds like a really great number….of course then there is the thought that it is “cheaper by the dozen” – we are open to whatever God has for us!)
  • Trusting God – We have been given yet another opportunity to put our trust in God as our van had a bit of a mechanical problem that set us back by $700.  Since we don’t have an emergency fund for this type of thing – we spent 2/3 of our food and gas money for the month.  It will be awesome to see how the Lord provides for our needs and a great learning lesson on faith and trust  for our kids. 
  • Coming Up this Month–  We will be observing National Day of Prayer on Thursday with our local community, my National Scrapbook Day celebration is happening on Saturday, of course Mother’s Day is Sunday with my usual requests – a foot massage & clean house (both of which cost nothing!), a planned camping trip over Memorial Weekend (which has been put on hold pending finances), School ends for the high schoolers & Dan the man at the end of the month, Michelle is coming home for the summer after completing her freshman year at The King’s College (wooohooo, can’t wait to have her back home) and I am ending the month by speaking at a Ladies Retreat in Lake Tahoe for Valley Community Church. 

Life & the Lord are good!

2 Comments

Filed under Adoption, Blessings, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Life at the Lambdins

Our 10th graduating class

This past weekend fifty two excited students marched across the platform to receive their diplomas and become the 10th graduating class at Jim Elliot Christian High School.  We now have over 350 alumni who are making a difference in this world after  being trained, taught, discipled and mentored at this exceptional school.

Dan and I are proud to have been a part of the beginning of Jim Elliot and each year as we witness another class graduating our hearts overflow with joy and thanksgiving to God for the great things He is doing in and through these incredible young people. 

 This years class was an awesome example of the kind of sacrificial giving and life of service that we hope to instill in our students.  They were continually giving of their time, talent and resources to bless others.  They volunteered at children’s homes, pregnancy crisis centers, emergency food banks, retirement homes, hospitals, churches, tutoring elementary school students, special olympics to name a few.  They opened up a snack shack during lunch and ran it all year raising over $11,000 for student tuition assistance.  They held a talent show to raise funds for college scholarships for next years senior class.  Several young men spent the entire year helping a handicapped girl learn to ride a bike and roller skate and in the process gave her the confidence to begin to communicate more effectively with everyone around her.  And the list goes on.

One of the best examples of the type of stellar students we have is this –  When I asked the student body president a few months back if he would do me a favor, without hesitation he enthusiastically responded, “Of course!”.  I looked at him and said, “But John, you don’t know what it is I am going to ask you yet.”  To which he replied, “It doesn’t matter what it is Mrs Lambdin, I will do it for you.”  How refreshing!

It is amazing to me that these mere eighteen year olds have often done more to serve and give to others in their four years of high school than many adults have done in a lifetime.  I pray that their legacy of service will touch and inspire others to begin to live a rich life that is centered on God and service rather than self centered pursuits that are ultimately empty and unfulfilling.

Congratulations Jim Elliot Christian High School Class of 2008!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Making a Difference, Service

The thrill of victory!

High school sports – there’s nothing quite like ’em.

I have spent much of my life playing, coaching and now regularly attending high school athletic events.  I was on the swim team and played field hockey in high school (and college too).  As a youth pastor I attended high school sporting events all over the city to cheer on the kids who attended our church. I faithfully sat in the stands almost every Friday night for three years as my fiance and later husband, Dan coached a local high school football team.  When I began to work as a teacher at a Christian High School I got talked into coaching the Varsity Girls Volleyball team (which thankfully my dear darling hubby took over later – and did a far superior job!) and for the past 21 years of working at Christian high schools we have been in the bleachers cheering wildly for countless sporting events.

While I have enjoyed watching my girls (and I am sure all to soon, the boys too) playing youth soccer, swimming on the neighborhood swim team and playing city league softball, I loved going to college football, volleyball and basketball games and I thoroughly enjoy attending a professional baseball game (when we can afford it)….there is still nothing quite like high school sports. 

The emotions run higher – the victories more thrilling and the losses more devastating. The friendships formed often create a bond for life. The fans are more connected to not only the team and the school but to one another as well. The coaches (who get paid very little) are there because they love the kids and they love the game. The entire atmosphere is electrifying.

This past weekend we got to experience yet another exciting high school athletic competition as we attended the softball section finals for our area.  Our beloved Lady Eagles from Jim Elliot were in the championship game for the fifth consecutive year.  Our team was down by one run in the bottom of the seventh with the tying run on second and two outs when the player at bat hit a triple and then ran home to win the game on an overthrow error.  The screams, whistles, wild cheering, hugs, tears of joy, jumping up and down went on for what seemed to be eternity.  Just several feet away, the other bench felt the agony of defeat after being so close to beating this powerhouse team.  The sobbing, down on bended knees, hitting the dirt, consoling in one anothers arms, looks of shock and dismay equaled the emotion of the championship team. For those talented teams, dedicated coaches and devoted fans, it will be a day not too quickly forgotten.

For the vast majority of athletes…that final high school game will be their last time in competitive sports. A few will go on and play in college and then four years later, they too will close that chapter of their lives.  But the lessons learned through athletics will be with them for life! These lessons are some that could benefit our families, our marriages our businesses and our lives.

  • You learn the power in having a positive attitude

Every good coach or trainer will tell you that the athlete who wins is the one who believes he is going to win.  The single best predictor of success when two athletic teams have equal ability and talent is what is in their minds before they compete.  We hear it over and over again…but when will we start being diligent at putting positive things into our heart, mind and spirit.  It is the difference maker!

  • You learn that any team can win on any given day

What a great way to live – knowing that no matter what hand you have been dealt, no matter what the odds, no matter what the gloomy prediction – you can win, you can overcome and you can beat the odds!Unfortunatly this lesson can also work against you – that same softball team that won the championship on Saturday learned this lesson the hard way last year when they lost in an agonizing defeat to their biggest rivals who they had beat decisively several times earlier that same season.  They came in with the a relaxed attitude and a bit lazy, knowing that even if they had a bad game they could easily win the section championship.  They did not play their hardest, they made stupid mistakes, they were a bit arrogant and they were not on the offensive costing them their fourth consecutive section championship and the number one ranking in the state.  You have to live life on purpose, on the offensive and always ready to give it your all.

  • You learn that you must stay focused even under incredible pressure

This perhaps is one of the greatest lessons competitive sports can offer us.  When the pressures of life come, you must not fall apart but remain calm and focused.  With two outs and the team behind by one, the batter up was under an incredible amount of pressure.  If she had concentrated on that pressure instead of being focused on hitting the ball, she most likely would have failed.  In the same way when the third baseman, on the opposing team, was under extreme pressure trying to prevent the winning run from scoring, she lost her focus and overthrew the ball resulting in the game winning run.  How often do we do the same thing when under pressure with often disastrous results. Extreme pressure has destroyed many a marriage, caused businesses to close and contributed to many health ailments and damaged relationships all because we crumbled under the pressure instead of focusing on the fundamentals and keeping a cool head. 

  • You learn that the long hard practices pay off when you win the game

Face it – no one likes to practice.  It is hard work, causes pain, takes lots of time and energy and equires discipline.  It is for the love of the game that people spend hours daily practicing and training.  Yet 90% of an athletes time is spent in practicing and training.  But the 10% is worth it all.  This is not much different than our businesses.  No one loves the hard work, the phone calls, the rejection, the paperwork, the hours spent with seemingly no results….but we all love the pay days, the incentive trips and the rewards of being a business owner.  Our relationships often take lots of hard work, practice and self discipline too.  But what a great reward in the love of a child, a strong solid marriage and life long deep friendships. Almost every area of life takes a large measure of hard work, personal discipline and practice but the rewards are worth it all!

  • You learn that it takes more than individual talent – it takes teamwork

No matter how talented you are – you can’t win on your own.  In order to win a championship, you need a team who will work together towards a goal. A team that is committed to the same end. A team who will support, encourage, challenge and hold each other accountable.  In life, in business, in marriage and family – you need to be a team!  You cannot win on your own.

  • And on a Christian school team you learn that the most important thing is to glorify God!

Last year when the team lost the section championship and this year when they won – the game ending cheer was the same – “Good game (the opponents), thank you officials,  Glory to God!”  The most important thing we can do in our businesses, in our marriage and family life, in our jobs or careers, in our friendships and in our lives is to bring glory to God.  Whether we win or lose, whether we are number one in our field or just barely hanging in there, whether or marriages are strong and healthy or we are struggling to stay together…the most important thing is that we look to glorify the Lord in everything.  We don’t have control over all the circumstances in our lives (and those that we do have control over we need to do something about) but we do have control over our response to the circumstances.  Are you praising or cursing God? Are you calmly trusting His will or panicking and stressing about life? Will you give God glory no matter what the outcome of your current crisis? Is what you are doing glorifying God?

Congratulations Lady Eagles on your fourth Section Championship. May the lessons you have learned during your years as a high school athlete be a foundation for a life of excellence.

1 Comment

Filed under Home Business, Inspiration, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Monday Motivations, Uncategorized

Spring Fling – Picnic in the Park

Here is the flyer for the major fundraiser I am currently working non stop on.  Looks like fun doesn’t it?

We are having a silent and live auction and are looking for any items that we may be able to auction off.  I thought I would throw it out there to all my blog readers – you just never know who might want to donate or who may have a connection that could get us a unique or valuable donation. The school is well worth investing in! (if you want to read many wonderful stories about our students, staff and alumni – check out the Elliot blog www.jechs.wordpress.com.)

Jim Elliot Christian High School is a 501(c) (3) non profit organization. Contributions are tax deductible. 

PS – If you are local and would like to attend – let me know – I have tickets!

Leave a comment

Filed under Jim Elliot Christian High School

And the winner is….

I don’t usually watch the Academy Awards (or any television for that matter), but last night I caught bits and pieces of this grandiose event.

Why is it that I found myself getting misty eyed everytime the award winners got up on stage to accept their award? After all I don’t know these people personally nor have I even seen most of the films honored. (My two personal favorites in 2007 were –

Amazing Grace“Amazing Grace”  and

The Ultimate Gift“The Ultimate Gift”    neither of which received any Oscar nods but are FABULOUS movies that I highly recommend you see on DVD!)

No, my heart was stirred because it is very inspiring and touching to see others earn awards, be honored, or achieve a lifetime dream…..there is something simply magical about it. Perhaps it because we all have dreams and desires in our lives and for a small moment we can imagine accomplishing our goals, winning wonderful awards or achieving a lifetime dream.

Recently I had one of those magical moments where a longtime dream became a reality.  One of my passions is Christian education! I believe the impact that a Christian school and faithful Christian educators has on young people can change the world. I have seen the influence first hand as my husband and I have spent over two decades in this life changing ministry. Because of that I have always dreamed of being able to help provide scholarships for students who did not have the financial means to attend Christian schools yet wanted to be there. 

The one obstacle to this dream was…..money. You see when you are in Christian education, more often than not your salary is…well let’s just say…”great is your reward in heaven!” 🙂

Just two weeks ago at the Jim Elliot Christian High School Founders Gala, my dream became a reality with the introduction of the Dan and Beth Lambdin Scholarship Fund!  I felt just like one of those Academy Award winners as I stood up in front of hundreds of people amidst the glamour and glitz of this fancy affair, dressed to the hilt and received a plaque announcing this fund that I had been dreaming of for years! It was glorious.

Dan and I are beaming after the scholarship fund announcement!

Why is it that many don’t dream at all, others just continue to dream with no results and some actually achieve their greatest dreams and desires? I believe those who dream, believe and achieve have some things in common:

1. They actually have a specific dream.

Those winning Oscars last night had a specific dream of winning that award. They knew that someday they wanted to be taking that coveted Oscar home. I’m sure many of them had actually visualized themselves up there accepting that honor. None of them had vague hopes or fuzzy fantasies. They knew they someday wanted to be at the top of their field and the “proof” of that would be their nomination or winning of an Oscar.

If you are going to achieve your greatest dreams they must be specific and measurable. They can’t be fuzzy or vague. You have to know exactly what you want. Seven years ago at the National convention for my home business (as I was receiving my Senior Directors Chair – another magical moment achieving a dream) we were challenged by the main stage speaker to write down our specific dream.  It was at that moment that I wrote down that I wanted to have a scholarship fund for JECHS students.

 What is your specific dream? (or dreams – if you are anything like me – you have many!) Take that first step and write them down today.

2. They tell others their dream

One of the single best thing you can do to move your dreams closer to reality is to tell others your dream!  While this is so simple, many people do not do it.  They keep their dreams to themselves, afraid of failure or of looking foolish to others. Telling people your dreams – propels you into action, holds you accountable  and helps solidify your belief in that dream!

I have told hundreds of people over many years my dream of having a scholarship fund.

3. They are committed.

No one achieves great things in life without a rock solid commitment to their dreams & desires. Everyone who won an Oscar was committed to their career. How can you tell what it is you are actually committed to in life? One simple formula:

Time = Commitment

Look a where you spend your time and I promise that is where your commitment lies. There is no way you can expect to have a successful business without putting in time (the same is true for your marriage, parenting or anything else you want to have success in.) It’s not that you can’t do ok or even accomplish a measure of success by just being involved in your career BUT you will never “win an Oscar” by just being involved – you must be committed. (my standard analogy here as to the difference between being “involved” or “committed”….a big yummy bacon & egg breakfast takes two animals…a chicken & a pig…the chicken is involved in making the breakfast, the pig is COMMITTED!)

4. They work hard!

Sorry….there is no way around it. Everyone who has accomplished anything great…..works hard. It takes sacrifice, sweat, shortness of breath, stretching out of your comfort zone and pain while you are working towards your goals & dreams. There is no easy road or short cut to rewards. As the popular saying goes – “no pain, no gain”.

5. They involve others in their dream.

Every one of those receiving Oscars thanked others – the people that helped them get to where they were – friends, family, co-workers, agents.  Not one of them attempted to say they did it on their own.  And likewise none of us will accomplish our dreams without the help, input, coaching, training and support of others.

The Dan and Beth Lambdin scholarship fund already has over $6,500 in it thanks to the generosity of others who believe in Christian education and believe in us!  And the scholarship fund will only continue as others join with us in donating money to help young people attend our school.  My personal goal is to provide 10 full scholarships and 20 partial scholarships each year. That translates to $100,000 – which may seem like a lot to you – but if just the folks who read my blog each week decided to contribute something we would be right there!  I keep dreaming BIG! 🙂

6. They stick with it.

Quitting is not an option. They are like super glue – holding fast to their dreams despite what is happening around them. No matter what disappointments, discouragement’s, or road blocks they had to endure, they did not quit. This tenacity and perseverance alone is one of the single most important qualities you can develop in your life to ensure your success!

It took seven years from the time I wrote down my dream of a scholarship fund for it to become a reality.  There were many roadblocks standing in the way, many discouraging days, many detours and times when I just couldn’t see how it was going to happen but I just kept pressing on, believing and working to make the dream a reality.

Are you ready to begin to make your dreams a reality?   

Can’t you picture it? Wouldn’t it be great? Your time to shine & sparkle like the stars!

Decide today what your dream is. Write it down, tell someone (I would love to hear your dream!) – then make the commitment, work hard, involve others & don’t quit! And soon you too will be hearing –

“And the winner is…YOU!”

PS – If you would like join me and contribute to to the new Dan and Beth Lambdin Scholarship Fund to help students attend a fabulous Christian High School and have their lives influenced to go out and positively impact the world – you would bless me beyond measure!  Just click here to donate to this fund!  Or you can send a check to (please specify it is for the Lambdin Scholarship Fund):

Jim Elliot Christian High School

2695 West Vine St

Lodi, CA 95242

You will receive a tax deductible receipt.

Leave a comment

Filed under Goals & Dreams, Home Business, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Monday Motivations

Word for Wednesday – An uncommon life

After yesterdays Tea Time Tuesday exhortation to make the choice to live an “uncommon” life…I am posting my daughter Michelle’s valedictorian speech she gave this past June at JECHS graduation.  I hope it inspires you to live an uncommon life!

Michelle’s Valedictorian Graduation Message

I have been brought up in a home of girls. Not only do I have five sisters, but on my mom’s side of the family there are 14 granddaughters and until just recently there were no grandsons. I know – it is almost unbelievable that after my parents had six girls that this year on April 20 they had a boy! We have always felt unique in being all girls! In fact whenever we go out shopping or to the movies we always wear our crowns and tiaras. We know we are princesses, and now we definitely have a prince – but don’t worry we won’t make him join the tradition of going around in a tiara!

We are all royalty!

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God”

  • We are not orphans…….We are children of the King
  • We are not common……We have blue blood running through our veins
  • We are not peasants……We are royalty!

Yes – We were once commoners, we were once peasants, we were once orphans until we were brought into the King’s palace and made part of His royal family. We have been crowned by the King of Kings!

So welcome kings, queens, princes and princesses to this celebration of the graduating class of 2007.

Now, what is our place in the King’s court? What has been given to us as our royal duty?

The answer is found in the second part of our scripture 1 Peter 2:9. The Message Bible says it this way, “We are God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him – to tell others of the night & day difference He made for us – from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted” and we could add from common to uncommon.We are called to live an uncommon life among the common to show others Christ and make a difference in the world for Him! We are all asked to do God’s work and to tell others about what He has done for us all. He has done so much!

Over 2000 years ago God sent His Son to die for the sin of all mankind. Each of us has sinned, none of us can make it to heaven on our own. We are weak, but the Lord is strong. He came down to earth in the form of a man to make a way for us to know Him and spend eternity in heaven. Most of us know the words, “For God so loved the world He sent His one and only Son” – His name is Jesus.

  • We were not created to live an “average” life for God.
  • We were not made to live a common life, but an uncommon life.
  • We are not here to survive in our world, but to make a profound difference in our world

One of my heroes was most uncommon in his day. William Wilberforce was born the son of a wealthy merchant, and at the young age of 21 became a member of the English parliament. As an adult convert to Christianity, he penned these words in his personal journal, “God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of society.” It was not until after William asked Christ into His life that he knew he had an uncommon life to live. In 1807, the Slave Trade Act led by Wilberforce passed with a vote of 283 to 16.

Amy Carmichael was called to the mission field, she was called to save the lives of women and children. Amy started an orphanage for children on the streets of India. Because of the uncommon life Amy chose to live, her orphanage was a sanctuary to over a thousand children. She served in India without furlough for 55 years.

Just 10 years ago a group of uncommon Christians came together with the dream to start a high school. The vision was to start a discipleship school to train up young people to serve God and make a difference in the world. Jim Elliot Christian High School is a training ground to be uncommon amongst a common world.

The namesake of our school, Jim Elliot, lived with a passion that was uncommon to those around him. God called him to the Auca tribe down in the jungles of Ecuador, a tribe that was yet to be reached with the gospel. It took a man like Jim Elliot and those with him to take on the daunting task of reaching such a fierce tribe.

What will you do to make a difference? Like these men and women what is God calling you to do?

Whether you are 17 or 70 God is calling you to an uncommon life. He has a great adventure for you, a plan to use you to show others how He brought you from the darkness into the light.

Let me assure you that this will not be easy, and you will face many obstacles and much opposition. Some of the opposition will even come from your closest friends and family, maybe even other Christians.

Wilberforce struggled for 20 long years to abolish the slave trade; his health suffered and he faced opposition not only from those against him in Parliament but eventually even from his closest friend and supporter, William Pitt.

Amy Carmichael was not the best candidate for the mission field. From birth she struggled with a disease of the nervous system that caused her much pain and forced her to be on bed rest for long periods of time.

I remember very well the year that Elliot was founded. There were many doubters that this school would ever exist. People commented “It will never happen”, “No one will apply for a school that doesn’t have a building yet!”, and “You will never have enough money”. But, here we are years later and the students sitting before you are the 9th graduating class of Jim Elliot Christian High school.

As God was with these men and women so He is with you. This is His plan for your life and if He is for you than who can be against you.

Graduates, I hope to one day see Jana Wall rescuing orphaned children overseas, Ernie DeLosAngeles touching the lives of young people, and Amanda Collins using her photography skills to show the hunger and need in the world.

As some of you know we also have an ambassador of Christ in our class going to Norway. I can’t wait to hear how Cecilia Hallberg is changing her homeland for the Lord!

I hope that one day my name will be among those responsible for the saving of millions of babies from the atrocity of abortion. Or maybe I will be an investigator with International Justice Mission working to end oppression across the nations.

And so I ask what will you do to make a difference? How will you affect this world to further the kingdom of God? How is God calling you to stand out and be different?

This is not a time of common men; this your time to be uncommon!

 These two ’07 JECHS graduates – Michelle & Jana are already living an uncommon life as they serve in short term missions in Africa!

1 Comment

Filed under Inspiration, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Word for Wednesday

Word for Wednesday – Honor God

“The Lord declares…those who honor Me, I will honor”   I Samuel 3:20

Last Wednesday I shared with you about a young Christian man who was having to trust the Lord’s plan for his life after a potentially season ending football injury (see Word for Wednesday on Sept 19) Well the story continues….

After accepting Gods will for his football season, RJ went to the doctor to see what could be done for his injury.  Amazingly, the doctor cleared him to play, assuring him that although he would experience incredible pain he would not further injure his shoulder.  RJ did play on Saturday in what the newspaper called an “inspirational performance”.  He scored 4 touchdowns and led the Elliot Eagles to their first victory of the season!  But more importantly than that He gave God the glory!

“The doctor said if I could tolerate the pain, I couldn’t hurt it any worse. I will need surgery after the season, but right now I am just thankful to the Lord to be playing again. I give all the glory to God.”
(
Read the rest of the article here)

“The Lord declares…those who honor Me, I will honor”   I Samuel 3:20

RJ has honored the Lord and this week he has been honored by being chosen as “Athlete of the Week” in the Lodi News Sentinel.  (Read story here) When we give God honor & glory, He promises to honor us.  We may not see it as quickly as RJ has, perhaps not even in this life here on earth, but He promises in His word that it will happen.

How are you honoring the Lord with your life?

  • Are you using the gifts, talents & strengths He has blessed you with to bring Him glory? 
  • Do you give Him the credit for your gifts, talents & strengths and all you accomplish because of His blessing? 
  • Do others know that He is held with great distinction, reverence, respect & awe in your life?
  • Do you worship Him?

Let us all strive to live lives that honor the Lord and bring Him glory!

1 Comment

Filed under Inspiration, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Word for Wednesday

Word for Wednesday – Trust in the Lord

“Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him & He will direct your paths”  Proverbs 3:5

We don’t always understand why the Lord does or allows certain things into our lives and yet we often try hard to find the answers to the “WHY” question.  The word clearly says…NOT to look to our own understanding but to TRUST in God and to acknowledge Him. The young man in the following news article is a young Christian who is being challenged to trust God thru disapointing circumstances and in my opinion is passing that challenge with flying colors!

 “Hale is more than a football player to our team, he is the ultimate leader that every team needs to succeed,” Davis said. “But there is more to life than just football. He is a strong young man who loves the Lord. That is the great thing about coaching these guys.”

An avid cowboy and rodeo fan who once had dreams of joining the Professional Bull Riders tour, Hale would settle for his shoulder fully healing and playing collegiate football.

Hale, who is deeply religious, knows that staying healthy, working and being able to support a family is his first priority.

“I want to continue playing football, but maybe my shoulder injury is God’s way of telling me he has something else in mind,” Hale said. “If it doesn’t work out, I would like to settle down with my family and be a pastor of a church.”  Read here for the rest of the story

Keep seeking the Lord R.J. Hale and trust Him with your future. Your testimony here is bringing glory to God. He will direct your future path! 

How about you? Are you trusting the Lord even when things don’t go your way?

Leave a comment

Filed under Endurance, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Word for Wednesday

File under: What was I thinking?

 What was I thinking??

Have you ever muttered those words or had them flash across your brain like a neon light?  I have had a knack for doing a few not so brilliant things in my life where those words were not just said or thought by me, but by many others as well.  A few examples (at the risk of seeming like a big idiot) –

Slicing a 1 inch hole in my knee with a pair of manicure scissors while attempting to cut my toenails. (and I still have the scar to prove it!)

Holding a metal ruler with my mouth while needing two hands to do something else & then banging it on the table….shoving it back into my throat & cutting it severely…….ahhhhhhhhh!! (didn’t Mom always tell you not to put things in your mouth?)

Teaching a high school class a day after my due date while having contractions 3 minutes apart! (my water broke minutes after leaving the class..that would have been a great deterrent to teen pregnancy!)

Deciding I could handle the black triangle ski run (even though I was not an expert skier) and after crashing & tumbling half way down the steep hill…taking off my ski’s and walking the rest of the way down. (To the condesending glances of those riding the ski lift above me)

Ok….that’s enough! (Believe me there are plenty more but I’ll save some of my pride)

Then there are other moments, seasons & decisions in my life that I could have filed under the – “What was I thinking?” category (& certainly everyone else was thinking that!)….however, while they seemed crazy to others & even at times to myself, they were really steps of faith…overlooking the obstacles and realities of my life & seeing the vast potential of the opportunity ahead of me while relying on God to give me the strength to move forward with His supernatural power & wisdom.

The time I signed a “part time” contract (with a part time salary) to do many different full time jobs at the high school where I was employed – guidance counseling, admissions director, student activity director, yearbook & journalism advisor and leadership teacher. (They hired 5 different people when I left!)

What was I thinking?

I often wonder that exact thing but that season of life resulted in a wealth of experience & knowledge that has benefited me greatly in everything I have done since that time.  The relationships I developed during those years with my students, their parents & the staff has enriched my life like none other.  In fact rarely a day goes by where I do not come face to face with the reality of those relationships.  It was a good thing that I wasn’t thinking or I would have missed out on this awesome blessing!

Then there was the time I decided to begin my own home based business at a period in my life when I had four children….whose ages were…. 6, 3, 18 months and a newborn!

What was I thinking?

I wasn’t thinking! (and who is when they are postpartum & have several tiny ones under foot…you don’t have time to think, your brain is in a fog & you are just trying to survive!)  However, that business was and is a huge blessing to my life.  Not only was I able to provide a much needed income for my growing family but I learned to blend my family with my business and we all benefited greatly.  Here eleven years later those children are 17, 14, 131/2, and 11 (and there are three more now – 8, 4 and the baby) – the skills they have developed and the confidence, as well as awesome people skills are a direct result of being involved in Mommy’s business.  I’m glad I didn’t do much thinking about my life situation and obstacles!

Another example is when my dear darling husband and I were facing an unprecedented financial crisis in our lives & we had no income. Instead of taking one of the many job opportunities that came our way, we decided to “live by faith” and start a much needed Christian high school in our area. Other than a handful of people everyone else thought we had lost our minds!

What were we thinking?

We were only thinking of the incredible vision & dream we had of a fabulous, thriving high school that would touch the lives of young people in such a way that they would in turn go out & make a huge and positive impact on the world! And am I ever glad we didn’t do much thinking or perhaps the school (where my husband loves serving as Chaplain, where one daughter has graduated from & is already out impacting the world, another daughter has just begun there & two girls follow close behind in the next few years) may not even exist. I am thankful that we didn’t let our logical thinking process drown out our faith!

What are you thinking about doing?

Is there something looming in front of you that seems bigger than life, impossible or perhaps just too crazy to even try? Does it keep coming to the forefront of your mind but you want to write it off as insane?

Sometimes you need to stop thinking. Sometimes analyzing every side of a situation can paralyze you and keep you from jumping into something that just might be life changing! Sometimes you need to ignore the voices inside your head or around you from others and do something that might be “outside the box”, different, crazy or even impossible to everyone but God.

I find myself once again on the threshold of a “What are you thinking?” moment and getting ready to jump into something that is a bit crazy with obstacles to overcome and realities to deal with.  But I will press forward with Gods strength and power in the hope that when I look back on my life I will rejoice that I didn’t “think” too much but rather jumped in and experienced incredible, life changing  & miraculous things!

What are you thinking about?

2 Comments

Filed under Attitude, Home Business, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Lifes Challenges, Monday Motivations, Time Management

First day of high school – letter to Amy

 Life is flying by…at an increasing speed!

Tomorrow morning my fun loving, beautiful, crazy, blonde baby….my “Amy Girl” will begin her first year of high school. As she opens up her lunch bag she will find this note (along with some homemade cookies!)….may it inspire, encourage & challenge you today in whatever season of life you are speeding thru. (and yes…it will be going into the scrapbook!)

My dearest “Amy Girl”,

dsc_5919.jpg

Today is a milestone!  You are beginning your freshman year at Jim Elliot Christian High School. Ten years ago this week (when you were just a playful, carefree adorable four year old!) your Dad and I set out on a journey that was bigger than anything we could have ever dreamed of accomplishing.  We decided to start a Christian high school that would glorify God, while training & discipling young people to graduate and make a profound difference in the world!

We began with prayer. We asked for wisdom, guidance and Gods blessing on this endeavor.

We surrounded ourselves with people who would inspire, encourage, support & pray for our success!

We knew it was going to cost us our time, our talent & our treasure.  We worked HARD round the clock using the skills & talents we were blessed with & our experience of a combined 20 years in Christian education.  We sacrificed our incomes & job security…stepping out in faith to make this dream a reality.

We faced fear, doubt & discouragement. We were even ridiculed. (Comments like – “It will never happen”, “How do you think you are going to start a high school?”, “No one is going to sign up for a school that doesn’t exist!”, “You’ll never raise enough money”)

We kept the faith and pressed on toward the goal and….

….one year later, on September 2, 1998…the vision became a reality! Jim Elliot Christian High School began their first day of school with 42 students!  It was one stellar day!

Now today …you are joining a student body of over 200 hundred students at a fabulous & successful Christian High School with the dream of graduating in four years with a good education, a strong vibrant faith & a clear direction for Gods plan for your life!  I want to encourage you today to follow the same plan & principles that were instrumental in starting the school you now attend.

Begin with prayer!  Pray for wisdom, guidance & success. Give each & every day, semester & year to God. Know that Dad & I along with all your sisters are praying for you as well.

Surround yourself with positive friends who will encourage, inspire, motivate & support you!  We do become like the company we keep. Choose wisely!  Amy, you are such a shining example of having a positive attitude & seeing things on the bright side of life.  You are always quoting Zig Ziglar or Amanda Gore…this is so impressive for a young person your age. Don’t lose your zest & enthusiasm for life! It is contagious.

If you are going to be successful it will cost you something. Work hard to be everything you were created to be.  This requires sacrifice, self discipline & determination.  Don’t look back with regret & wish you would have done things differently.  Strive for excellence in everything you do.

You will face fear, doubts & discouragement….you may even be ridiculed along the way.  Fight your fears with faith. Drive the doubt away with hope.  Do not give in to discouragement…. keep trying despite what may come your way. Pray for those who ridicule or make fun of you and don’t let others stand in the way of your dreams!

Have faith and press on towards the goal!  We believe in you Amy & know that your four years of high school will be everything you hope & dream of them being and more.  You are a strong leader, smart, talented, athletic, super creative and an incredible actress! peter-pan-096.jpg

You are fun, energetic & enthusiastic! You are kind, compassionate, friendly and loving! You love the Lord & want to please Him in everything. You are my awesome #2 Amy girl (which we both know is the best number! 😉 )

Know that I love you dearly & am so very proud of who you are & who you are going to become during the next four years.  I will miss having you here everyday.

Zoot! Zoot! Zoot!

dsc_0086.jpg

Always,

Mommy

1 Comment

Filed under Attitude, Endurance, Goals & Dreams, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Monday Motivations