Mrs. Sarrell’s kindergarten class witnessed the important role of our brave Pensacola fireman last week. With wide eyes and inquisitive minds, the little ones learned all about fire trucks and fire hoses. They saw the heavy protective equipment the firemen wear and heard about the courageous actions these people perform each day. They even learned a little first aid along the way! Our guests enjoyed some homemade treats prepared by the Kindergarten class and after a sunny day outside, the children marched inside wearing their new red firemen hats!
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Under the great leadership of Coach Phil Smith and alumnus parent Coach Shannon Parsley, our gentlemen Knights beat top rival Central Christian. It was an incredible match of intensity and skill in the regional tournament played in Fort Walton Beach. This exciting victory took them to the final four tournament for the first time since 2014. The Knights played Aletheia Christian in an exciting game last Thursday, outplaying them in time of possession, but coming up short on goals for a loss in the first round. The final match was played Saturday morning against Santa Rosa Christian, which proved victorious and ultimately placed our Knights 3rd overall in the Conference. Congratulations to our fine young men on a season well played! Great job!
It was a week of firsts for Trinitas Volleyball! The Lady Knights found themselves victorious at the Regional Tournament played in Fort Walton Beach. Defeating both Calvary Christian and West Florida Baptist, for the first time in Trinitas athletic history, these ladies hold the title of Regional Champions! The Knights made history yet again by winning the first game of the championship tournament against Christian Collegiate to advance to the final game where they played a very worthy opponent, Bayshore Christian School. The Knights stood valiantly against their rival and claimed the title of 2nd place in the 2017 Panhandle Christian Conference! These athletes have been training since summer and have spent countless hours conditioning, practicing, and preparing. Thank you to all of our parents and friends for their support, and a huge thank you to Coaches John Strickler, Holly Mattmuller, and Joy Cowart for their time and hard work preparing these ladies for victory. Job well done, ladies. Go Knights!!
All Conference Winners were announced at the Regional Tournament held at Calvary Christian School. On the Varsity Volleyball team, Miss Jillian Todd, Miss Emma Todd, Miss Alex Johnson, and Miss Mekenzie Petersen were selected as outstanding players in their field and honored with this prestigious award. On our Soccer team, Master Tucker Gregg, our team Captain, and Master Adam Strickler were awarded the coveted medal as well. These athletes represented Trinitas well and stood out as exceptional in their sport. Congratulations to all who were recognized!
A Trinitas board member sent me an interesting article recently, entitled “When Knights Surrender Their Swords, Beasts Will Devour Maidens.” The author, Paul Bois, has written hundreds of articles expositing the Christian perspective on a host of political and social issues. I haven’t read them all, but this one had a solid message.
The subject of the article was this Weinstein fellow who is in so much hot water recently for taking advantage of young women in the movie business. I have little to add to that conversation, but I do want to comment on Bois’s theme. Reduced to its essence, his assertion is that this sort of thing is happening in our society because we allow it. Indeed, quite a few men have admitted they’ve known what Weinstein was doing for years. It appears they kept their mouths shut about it, not because they thought it was an okay thing for Weinstein to do, but because they were afraid speaking out would hurt their careers. These would-be knights surrendered their swords to save their careers, and the beast Weinstein devoured the maidens while the unarmed and emasculated knights watched on, complicit.
Now, before we skewer these guys—and don’t get me wrong, they need a good skewering, but before we do, let’s examine ourselves shall we? In the words of the Anti-Weinstein, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at [them] first.” In what ways have we kept our mouths shut or looked the other way to preserve peace or pocketbook? I doubt anyone reading this knows Mr. Weinstein, but other situations come up frequently in our own lives that present us with the choice of standing for right at some risk, or keeping quiet and remaining comfortable and safe. Francis Schaffer, whom I reference frequently on this issue, put forth the idea that Americans have become enslaved to peace and affluence and that we will do little to jeopardize it. That stings. Is Schaffer right though? Have we become sellouts? Have we surrendered our swords for the comfort of the enemy’s dining hall?
Proverbs 21:3 says, “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” One of the things we hope to do at Trinitas is help our students see that they serve a great Master who is a Righteous and Just Judge, and that they are to be like Him. That is why it is important for Trinitas to graduate students who take up the cause of the widow and the orphan and the poor and the needy and the weak and the defenseless and the oppressed. We hope to graduate students who do righteousness and justice even when it costs them something. Putting the cause of Christ before peace and affluence sounds dangerous to American parents—I know because I am one—but it is exactly what we are called to do. At Trinitas we are working to make sure we don’t graduate unarmed knights or knights who surrender their swords.
Mr. Ron Gilley
Last week during Morning Meeting our theme was “Direct My Steps According to Your Word.” All week we read passages that spoke of God’s great desire to see His people living according to His word. On Friday I told the students I used to know a preacher who had a habit of saying, “If you think all there is to the Christian life is getting saved and baptized, then as soon as you get saved and baptized we should take you out behind the church and shoot you.” This was his crude way of saying to the congregation that Jesus hadn’t saved them to sit around and wait for the rapture or the second coming or whatever comes next. They weren’t saved for death, but for life.
That message the preacher thought so important for his congregation is also important for Trinitas students. That’s why we talk so much at Trinitas about what it means to be obedient to God’s word. When we are converted, we are changed. God, through the power of His Holy Spirit changes our hearts. Our eyes are opened to truths we never before were able to acknowledge, our hearts are suddenly oriented toward things we once shunned. For the first time ever, we want to read and study God’s word, spend time in prayer, gather with His people in worship, love people we don’t even know. But still there is more.
A heart changed through conversion is a heart open to more change, a heart in desperate need of more change. And that is why our Morning Meeting theme last week was “Direct My Steps According to Your Word.” God has given us instructions for living life in this world and those instructions are to be found in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Scriptures. To be a Christian who isolates himself from this powerful change agent is a half-baked Christian at best. We aim to saturate the Trinitas culture with the Word. We start Morning Meeting with it, we start our day in the classroom with it, we memorize it, we sing it, we study it, we encourage and correct with it. Our desire is that God’s word would change us, further orient our loves, cause us to replace sinful desires and wants with God’s will for us.
The world should see something different in God’s people, something undeniable. We are not dead, zombie-like, pitiable creatures. We are saved to live an abundant life the unconverted world cannot imagine. And that abundant life should be so appealing to those on the outside that they cannot help but ask us to tell them what is different, why we have such spring in our step. We are saved for life, the life God calls us to in His word. Let us take it in, be changed by it, and live.
Mr. Ron Gilley
Our Kindergarten class recently learned about Fort McHenry with Mrs. Sarrell. They erected a lego and block replica of the fort and even reenacted the American victory at the Battle of Baltimore. With bombs made from toilet paper they were able to get an authentic feel for the dramatic battle scene that took place during the War of 1812. Immediately after this battle, Francis Scott Key wrote our beloved national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. If you look closely, you can see Old Glory in the center of the table (fort).
Beneath the Surface
A quality that is disappearing from the world is the ability to see and understand what lies beneath the surface of an issue. People seem increasingly content to swallow headlines hook, line, and sinker as if the story could be no deeper than the tallest letters in bold print. This sort of naivety is the very thing that makes a people easily manipulated or even oppressed.
People in other ages have also been naïve, but the current naivety is unique in that we seem to be willing to remain naïve. Modern conveniences are also enabling and supercharging the naivety of the current age. Why are we content to believe superficial, surface level sound bites without going to the trouble to look deeper, to get the back story, to do some fact checking like the Bereans of old? Francis Schaeffer in his classic How Should We Then Live says that Americans in particular are rarely interested in doing anything that disrupts our “peace and affluence”; in other words, if it disrupts our lives or costs us anything, we might just ignore it.
It takes some doing to get beneath the surface of an issue; it takes work. What we learn might be troubling, might disrupt our peace. What we find beneath the surface might require a response, and that response might cost us something. In short it is easier to remain ignorant, to continue being entertained by the screens illuminating our faces and isolating our humanity than it is to do a little digging, a little thinking, and make some kind of commitment or take some kind of action.
I recently heard a couple of radio interviews I thought good examples of just how naïve Americans in particular have become. Both of the interviews were based on issues that might be labeled “political.” I am not taking a position on either side of either issue. I want only to use the examples to demonstrate a point.
In the first example, the guest on a radio show confessed that most Americans are actually against gun control. “What can we do to change that?” asked the interviewer. “We have to convince them that their children aren’t safe,” responded the guest who was an editor at a prominent magazine. The editor went on to say that this is exactly how “we” convinced so many people to stop smoking: by making them think their children were unsafe when exposed to cigarette smoke. He boldly proclaimed that “we” have to make people think their children are unsafe if there is a gun around.
Whether we are for or against gun control is not the issue here. The issue is that this editor is convinced that he and his colleagues (“we”) can make a better choice for the American people than the people can make for themselves. Forget about making a well informed argument and letting the people decide what is right for them; rather, his remarks imply that the media has to find a way to spin the issue that manipulates people into doing what they think people should do. Sadly, when people fail to do a little investigating of their own—when they do not look beneath the surface—they may be susceptible to such manipulation.
The second interview was more about knowing how the people who represent our interests in government are making decisions. There were two representatives being interviewed, one D and one R, about a new artificial intelligence committee in the US House of Representatives. They were lauding the lives that self-driving cars will save. The interviewer cautioned that there would still be some fatal accidents and that the public might argue that human drivers could have avoided such accidents. One of the representatives dismissed that notion with the quick assertion that we would simply settle such accidents with lawsuits, as if lawsuits were as simple and fun as a cup of tea. Again, no matter what an American may think about self-driving cars, to learn that our representatives are making big, important decisions with the assumption that lawsuits are a good tool for cleaning up any messes their decisions may create is eye opening at least. Here again, people will have to look beneath the surface of this issue (and others) to find out to what extent lawsuits are considered an acceptable solution by our representatives in government. The headline will not tell that part of the story.
Education is not a savior. Jesus in the only Savior and is, in fact, the answer to every question—not just Sunday School questions. Our Heavenly Father gave us brains, however, so our remaining willfully naïve or ignorant on important issues is not an option. One of the primary goals of a classical education is to produce thinking students, students who will look beneath the surface. The Trinitas Vision expresses this classical school’s desire to produce students who “think clearly and listen carefully … are well prepared in all situations, possessing both information and the knowledge of how to use it … equipped with and understanding the tools of learning.” While these qualities will not save our students, they will make them people who will look beneath the surface of issues, and who will cry foul! when someone needs to stand up and cry foul! They will be the kind of people who right ships as they make the world a dangerous place for manipulators and oppressors. No, education does not save—only Jesus can do that—but solid, classically educated people who look beneath the surface just might save us…a future of oppression.
Mr. Ron Gilley
The foot bone connected to the leg bone, the leg bone connected to the knee bone, the knee bone connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone connected to the back bone, the back bone connected to the neck bone, the neck bone connected to the head bone; Oh hear the word of the Lord! The kindergarten class learned the shape and names of the bones in the human skeleton today with a little help from our Seniors. Cutting, pasting and hands on assembly helped the young ones enjoy learning the beauty of the human frame and some sweet time with the “big kids”.
Any winning game is preceded by lots of good preparations. Our volleyball and soccer teams have done just that these last two weeks! With a great deal of kindness and generosity on behalf of the devoted parents, each team has enjoyed a special lunch complete with delicious food and the wonderful company of their coaches. Thank you parents, coaches, and players for making this athletic season at Trinitas such a memorable time for everyone! Go Knights!