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