SPN Enters Into Discussions with CEAI/LIFT

on Thursday, May 12, 2016 Posted in Stories, Happenings, School Partnership Network

Over the last two months, SPN has entered into ongoing discussion with leaders of the Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) and Lasting Impact For Teachers (LIFT) about possible collaborative efforts in the Greater Portland area. Ultimately, we would like to work together to host 1-3 gatherings once each year. These gatherings would be made up of Christian teachers, administrators, office staff, and others working in both public and private schools. The purpose will be to build relationships and encourage those who faithfully serve our children.

Mike Hicks is retiring as a high school math teacher at the end of the year in Bakersfield, California. He has become actively involved in leading such gatherings for the past three years in Southern California. He recently came to Oregon to sit down with Larry Whittlesey from SPN to discuss bringing this type of event to our area. While here he was able to attend the an annual Luis Palau Association event celebrating local and international Gospel movements, and left more convinced than ever that we CEAI & LIFT are perfect partners for SPN!

As a teacher in a public classroom, Mike sees himself as a "Quiet Warrior." To learn more about Mike and the developing collaborative partnership with CEAI/LIFT, check out an article Mike wrote about his role > > >

Quiet Warriors

Mike Hicks (Director of LIFT America: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

A few summer ago I sat on the porch of my parent's farm house in Oregon enjoying a quiet morning with my Bible and journal. I was pondering the words that a friend spoke while praying for me a couple days before. In that prayer he referred to me as a "quiet warrior." I've been thinking a lot about

that comment and asking myself the question, "What does a quiet warrior look like? What does that mean?"

I have observed over the years many Christians (and have probably been one myself at times) who were so "loud and proud" about their faith that their Christianity was unbecoming. Others I've known have been so opinionated and vocal that they cause people to feel uncomfortable and wary around them. Still others have been aggressive and pugnacious; seemingly enjoying a good fight, argument or debate over just about any controversial issue or theological position. For them, verbal sparring is an invigorating exercise, but in the end the exchange is usually divisive rather than unifying, and people get injured, rather than healed.

So what is a quiet warrior? Is it someone who lacks courage, or is afraid to take a position and hold the line on what is right and true? Is it someone who lets evil triumph while they sit idly by in silence, afraid to create conflict or offend? Surely Christians are to be people of principle... people with backbone who are not afraid to fight the good fight, but I'm beginning to see a different picture of a warrior these days. I'm seeing an image of a person who humbly listens and courageously obeys. One who frequently sits quietly with the Lord in prayer, not necessarily talking prayer, but watchful, listening prayer, and when the Holy Spirit speaks...when He gives instruction and guidance, they respond, "Yes Lord, I'll go...I'll do...I'll speak!"

I love what Mary spoke to the servants at the wedding in Canaan when they ran out of wine. She directed them to Jesus and said, "Whatever he tells you to do...do it." (John 2:5) I'm starting to see that courageous obedience doesn't always require aggressiveness or strapping on a sword to arm for battle, but often just a simple quiet action, or softly spoken word.

Consider Daniel. It took great courage for him to refuse the Kings edict and continue honoring God through prayer at his window. He didn't rant and scream, "NO! I won't follow that law. I'll protest...I'll sue!" Instead, he simply stayed faithful and continued to bow in his apartment and pray.

Sometimes courage looks like honoring God, even when you're told it's not allowed.

Consider Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, the three Hebrews that got thrown in the fiery furnace. When ordered to fall down and worship the image of the King they didn't argue, engage in a heated debate or threaten a lawsuit; they simply refused to participate.

Sometimes courage looks like standing up, when others are bowing down to what is false.

Consider David; stirred to action by an arrogant giant, whose public defiance paralyzed a nation. Though the Philistine was powerful and imposing, he grabbed his leather sling and a handful stones (familiar, everyday tools) and confronted the giant.

Sometimes courage looks like going alone to do what no one else will do.

Perhaps the greatest demonstration of courage came from Jesus himself when, in an act of unselfishness, willingly laid down His life for those He cared about.

Sometimes courage looks like denying ourselves in order to meet the needs of others.

As I try to wrap my mind around what a quiet warrior looks like, an image is starting to immerge. I'm seeing a humble person, whose demeanor is respectful and gentle, and yet a person who is strong, confident and determined, with an uncompromising resolve to do what is right.

I confess, I feel far from being that kind of warrior, but I'm encouraged that someone saw a little of it in me a few summers ago. It makes me question, "What is the difference between the 'loud' and 'quiet' warriors in the body of Christ today?" And which am I?

I'm beginning to see that loud warriors often defend a cause, while quiet warriors serve a King. I don't think the Lord needs people to defend Him, but He is looking for followers who will humbly listen...and courageously obey.

O Lord, help me become that kind of warrior.