Psalm 119:105


Friday, December 20, 2013

Advent Prayer, Choirs, Christmas Chapel


Tuesday: All students went to the gym. After a reading from Isaiah 9, the lights were dimmed and students were challenged to spend time in quiet prayer and reflection. There is something special and spiritually powerful when so many high school students take this time seriously. God was at work!

Thursday: The four high school choirs sang Christmas music from their recent concert. Freshmen Girls Choir, Varsity Choir, Chamber Choir and Concert Chorale all sang. The video below includes highlights from Monday's concert.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAPEL The middle school orchestra played a prelude and led us in the singing of two Christmas carols. The freshmen girls choir sang. We were treated to a beautriful trio of Silent Night by three middle school girls (see photo below). Then Mr. Wiener read the famous story, The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry.


High School. Tuesday and Thursday: Oliver Hersey

Middle School: Ashley Tameling

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chapel Band, Persecuted Church, Advent Prayer


Tuesday: The chapel band led worship with an acoustic set. Mr. Mitchell shared a devotion on worship. It is easy to treat worship as just another thing we are supposed to do. We must remember who God is and the the extreme blessing of being able to worship such a great and glorious God.

Thursday: Like the middle school last week, the high school had a time of learning about, remembering and praying for the persecuted church around the world. The videos below are professionally done and deeply thought-provoking. The first is a music video, the second is a story about a persectued North Korean woman, and the third is about how we can respond.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAPEL: Advent Prayer Chapel. After some singing and Scripture reading from Isaiah, students were challenged to pray. Students prayed on their own, in small groups, or participated in "prayer stations". They could write down prayer requests and/or pray for what was written down. They could also journal or draw. The picture below was drawn by one of the students.


High School. Tuesday: Advent prayer in the gym. Thursday: Choir & Christmas singing

Middle School: Orchestra & a special Christmas story

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hymn Sing, Lindloff Family, Persecuted Church


Tuesday: We had chapel in the sanctuary of Faith Christian Reformed Church (just across the street). We sang 5 hymns that have withstood the test of time: All Creatures of Our God and King, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Amazing Grace, Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine, & the Doxology. Special thanks to Donna Erdman on the organ, Jan Slinkman on the piano, and Faith CRC. We were treated to a organ/piano prelude and postlude as well. The video below includes part of the prelude.

Thursday: Mr. Lindoff let us catch a glimpse of how his family observes advent: darkness and light, a candle, songs, a story with wooden figures and prayer. His story was about the return of Jesus. Not only did daddy/Mr. Lindloff keep his children's attention, we all were listening carefully! Besides being interesting and very cute with his children there, this chapel was a worshipful way to reflect on the true meaning of advent.


The chapel focused on the persecuted church. Through video, a quiz and prayer, we not only learned more, but also gained a greater heart for suffering Christians around the world. The first thing that persecuted Christians ask for is that we remember them and pray for them. This was the goal of the chapel. The picture below is of the four students who led in prayer. Thanks Manny, Kate, Olivia and Josh!

BONUS VIDEO from the elementary school chapel this past Friday, featuring the 5th & 6th grade choir along with the freshmen girls choir.


High School. Tuesday: Student-led chapel band, Thursday: The persecuted church

Middle School: Advent prayer

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, November 30, 2013



Tuesday: Chapel began with a 4 minute video about passing kindness along. Jason & Jaszmine read a few verses from Psalm 103. Then we had an open mic time where students were invited to share what they were thankful for. This chapel is always a wonderful expression of thanksgiving and Christian community.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAPEL: We had an extended singing time with Mr. Gesch leading on the guitar. We saw a PowerPoint that Sophia made about Typhoon Haiyan. The proceeds from the middle school soup lunch are going to aid those in need in the Philippines. Six students read from parts of Psalm 103 & 107. We then had an open mic to share thanks. It was very touching to hear from so many students.

Thanksgiving Photos

The pictures below are of a "Thanksgiving Tree". It was done as an expression of thanks to God in the Thanksgiving service of the church I attend.


High School. Tuesday: Hymn Sing at Faith CRC. Thursday: Lindloff Family Advent Devotion

Middle School: Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Boys & Girls, Louis Dooley


Thursday: Girls only had chapel in the auditorium. The speaker was Shelia Downer, mother of BreAnna (11th). All the guys were on the bleachers in the gym with Mr. Davidson. Mrs. Downer spoke with the girls about accepting who they are in Christ. They should not listen to the voices of the world telling them what they should look like or how they should act. Mr. Davidson spoke about the prophet Daniel to illustrate how the boys need to live with Integrity, Courage, and Conviction.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAPEL Louis Dooley was our speaker. He grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois. In high school he delved into the world of drugs and criminal activity. At the young age of 19, he faced a lengthy prison sentence. He spoke of his commitment to Jesus and challenged the students to live for Jesus. Louis has been out of prison for 4 years now and works for a prison ministry. The middle schoolers loved the talk! If you need a speaker, let me know.


High School Tuesday: Thanksgiving Chapel

Middle School: Thanksgiving Chapel

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Small Groups, Fall Play, Mr Glover & 4 Seniors


Tuesday: This was our 3rd small group chapel of the year. The groups read from Isaiah 40. Two of the questions asked were "what are some reasons we do not trust in God more?" and "what are ways we can help build trust in God?". The short video includes the opening prayer and my "deep thought" for the day.

Thursday: We saw a scene from the high school play, The Man Who Came to Dinner (performances on Nov. 21, 22, 23). It is very funny! In reference to the play and God's Word, Mr. Lindloff then spoke about how we, as Christians, should treat people who are...well...difficult.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAPEL: Mr. Glover, Timothy's high school director of athletics & performance, and 4 high school athletes (Conner, Nate, Jenna, Sarah) shared in an informal question and answer time. Some of the questions that Mr. Glover asked the students were "what was a middle school sports highlight?", "what is the value of being a part of a Christian team?", and "what are some spiritual exercises that strengthen your faith?".


High School. Thursday only: surprise! Check back next week to read about it.

Middle School: Special speaker, Louis Dooley

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Friday, November 8, 2013

Who Do You Follow?


Tuesday: Both chapels ended with students scattered all throughout the auditorium. They were challenged to pray about the condition of their heart and how they are following Jesus. Below are two must-see videos. One video was made by a couple of senior girls and put together by Abigail. It includes a few Timothy teachers. Watch all 5 minutes. One of the funniest videos ever shown in chapel. The skit that led to the prayer-time was recorded. Sorry for the poor quality, but the skit is great! The rhyming is first-rate!


High School. Tuesday: Small Groups. Thursday: you'll soon find out

Middle School: Mr. Glover and 4 TCHS athletes

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Chapel Band & 2 Young Guys


Tuesday: The all-student chapel band led us in worship. Enjoy the video from one of their songs.

Thursday: Wade Urig spoke on the depth of our sin and the overwhelming, overflowing grace of God through Jesus Christ. Using a black and red bucket he explained the hopeful truths from Ephesians 2. Wade is a recent Wheaton College grad and is currently a pastoral intern at Pathway Community Church in Elmhurst.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAPEL Anthony Kasper came to share his testimony and point us to Jesus. By explaining the power of God's grace through difficult circumstances growing up and some tense situations as an adult, Anthony encouraged students to be faithful disciples of Jesus. Currently, Anthony works for a Christian organization that promotes education and church planting in Rwanda. Thanks to Mr. Vander Bill for suggesting our speaker!


High School. Tuesday: Student-led Chapel

Middle School: Led by high school students (same as the high school chapel)

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wheaton Chorale & Vander Stelt


Tuesday: The acclaimed Wheaton College Women's Chorale led chapel. Their repertoire included songs that glorified God, were spirited and had lots of variety. Timothy Alum, Liz Powers, was a member!


Bryce Vander Stelt, youth director from Faith Christian Reformed Church, gave us a challenging talk, based on God's Word and sprinkled with some funny stories. What voices do we listen to when we make decisions? How well do we listen to God's way for our lives?


High School. Tuesday: Chapel Band, Thursday: Wade Urig

Middle School: Anthony Kasper

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Kuyper College, Small Groups & Pete Stearns


Monday: The Kuyper College choir/worship band's goal was to lead us in worship, not simply perform. Our time together was punctuated by hymns, contemporary songs, choir numbers, Scripture readings and responsive readings. This special chapel was 40 minutes on Monday afternoon.

Thursday: Small Groups. Once again all students met in small groups, based on grade and gender, with student leaders. The theme was stress and included reading from Psalm 23.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAPEL On Thursday we welcomed our speaker, Pete Stearns. Pete is the middle school youth pastor at Christ Church of Oak Brook. Often we feel like our looks, abilities and personalities are not enough. But Pete clearly explained from the book of Ephesians that in Jesus Christ we are "more than enough"!


High School. Tuesday: Wheaton College Chorale

Middle School: Bryce Vander Stelt, from Faith CRC

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chapel Band, Prayer, Middle Schoolers' Shirts

Tuesday: First time this year for the chapel band to lead us in worship! Students moved toward the front, and the all-student band led us in five songs. What a blessing!
Thursday: Mr. Wiener directed our thoughts to stress and led us to Jesus' words from Matthew 11: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Then for 10 minutes the lights were turned out, some soft music played, and we prayed in silence. It was a holy time. Chapel concluded with students reading from Proverbs 3 and Romans 8.
Mr. Wiener led a talk based on messages on students' shirts. What spiritual principles can be gleaned from the shirts? Check out the presentation to see the shirts and Bible verses: click here.

High School. Monday afternoon: Kuyper College Worship Band. Thursday: Small Groups
Middle School: Thursday this week, Pete Stearns from CCOB
Location: Timothy Christian Schools

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Small Groups, Kyle Alt & Following Jesus


Tuesday: The entire high school was split into small groups according to grade and gender. There were two student leaders in each group with a teacher & meeting location assigned to each group. The numbers: 30 small groups and 60 leaders with about 12 students in each group. In addition to each student doing some sharing about themselves, the groups reflected on the words from Philippians 4 about the peace of God.

Thursday: Kyle Alt, youth minister from the Christian Church of Clarendon Hills, spoke on following Jesus. He drove home the point by showing a clip from the movie, Karate Kid, that got everyone's attention. Kyle challenged us to trust in God & his plan and to carefully evaluate who we are really following in life, the world or Jesus. Jesus' way is the best way!

MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAPEL: Mr. Wiener spoke about following Jesus from Matthew 4. The two main points:

  • Keep your eyes on Jesus by reading from God's Word everyday.
  • Obey Jesus even when it is not the most popular thing to do.


High School. Tuesday: Student Chapel Band. Thursday: Prayer

Middle School: What students' shirts are saying

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, September 28, 2013

1st Graders and the Shoe Drive Challenge


The 1st graders joined us for chapel. We sang together, and Mr. Wiener told a story about how you are beautiful when you do what God has made you to do. The characters of the story were from the Octoberfest set: Ollie the purple Octopus, Perry the Parrot, and Sheila the Shark, to name a few. The 1st graders led us in the Lord's Prayer.


Timothy mom, Tammi Loerop, along with her daughter, Lexi, led chapel. They talked about their summer missions trip to Haiti. As a result of the trip, Tammi felt a burden to keep helping the people there. She joined with the Shoeman Water Project. Shoes are collected and sold very inexpensively in places like Haiti. The money from the shoes goes to providing clean water for communities. Through Tammi's efforts, she has already collected over 5000 pairs of shoes. Now it is our turn: bring shoes to TCMS or TCHS. We are collecting shoes all next week to be a blessing to others in Jesus' name. More details on the shoe drive can be found on Timothy's homepage:


High School. Tuesday: Small Groups. Thursday: Youth Pastor, Kyle Alt, from Christian Church of Clarendon Hills.

Middle School: "Following Jesus" (Mr. Wiener speaking)

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Missions & Boven


Tuesday: More students shared about summer trips and how God worked in them and through them. For the first time, a York High School student came to share with Timothy students about their missions trip. One student went to Ethiopia. She shared with conviction and made a moving 3 1/2 minute video.

Thursday: An appreciated and well-received yearly tradition is Mr. Boven's chapel. He challenged us to think about our twice weekly chapels as a sabbath practice. With his engaging style, he drove home the importance of our chapel time.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAPEL This chapel featured Taylor at the piano and a duet by Keyoni and Majesty. We saw a PowerPoint of summer pictures submitted by students. Then many 7th and 8th graders came to the stage and briefly shared a spiritual highlight of their summers. Responses ranged from being in awe of God's creation, to spiritual growth at summer camp to strength God gave through difficult times.


High School. Tuesday: Special chapel with the 1st graders. Thursday: Tammi Loerop and the shoe drive.

Middle School (on Thursday this week): Tammi Loerop and the shoe drive.

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Birdsongs & Stories of Summer Adventure


Tuesday: We were treated to an extended chapel by the Birdsong family, all the way from Tennessee. Their family formed a full band and treated us with their musical gifts & led us in worship. If you would like to learn more about them, check out their Facebook page: click here.

Thursday: Students shared about their summer youth group trips. They told stories of serving, being a witness and growing in their faith. We heard from Bethel OPC, Faith CRC, Christian Church of Clarendon Hills, and Nathan P.'s summer as a camp counselor.


Mrs. Sytsma invited students to join the weekly lunch-time prayer group. Then a few teachers finished up sharing about summer highlights and their faith: Dr. Hoeksema, Mr. VanderBill, Mr. Peterson, and Mr. Wiener


High School: Tuesday–More sharing about summer youth trips. Thursday–Mr. Boven!

Middle School: Students take center stage and help lead this chapel.

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Summer Teacher Pictures (plus ES chapel video)

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (K-3) CHAPEL on Friday: I have never included the elementary school on this blog. But this Friday I was invited to speak to the children on "following Jesus". The talk included some fun impromptu skits with me and volunteer first & second graders. I have included a video of some of their singing. To hear hundreds of children singing out in worship is truly a beautiful experience.


Thursday only this week: We had our yearly "guess the teacher" photo contest. Student Council was split into 4 teams. They had to guess which teacher went with what photo. We had two rounds of four teachers each. After students guessed, the teachers had an opportunity to share how God worked in their lives this summer.

Can you guess? Which photo goes with Rink, David, Pelt, Songer?


Wednesday: We started by Dr. Hoeksema going over chapel expectations. The points were reinforced by the teachers acting out the wrong way and then the right way to behave. This was one of the more hilarious times in chapel! We also guessed teachers from summer pictures. Students were invited to stand to vote for a teacher and photo. In this chapel, while each teacher shared, we saw more of their pictures from the summer.

Which photo goes with Ridder, Grit, VanderBill?


High School: Special chapel on chapel on Tuesday. The family singing group, the Birdsongs, will be with us for an end of the school day, extended chapel. Thursday: students will be sharing about summer youth trips.

Middle School: Some more teachers will be sharing about their summer and God's work in their lives.

Location: Timothy Christian Schools


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Welcome School Year 2103-14!


Monday: On the first day of school, Mr. Mitchell led the chapel. After allowing students to ask a few questions about himself, he spoke a challenging message about following Jesus. He asked how we use the question "what if...?" Most importantly, how would this school year be different if we all asked ourselves every day "what if...I sacrificially followed Jesus?"

Thursday: Chapel again centered on the theme of "following Jesus". Students were asked on the spot what they follow in life. We sang the Chris Tomlin song, I Will Follow. We heard from God's Word: Luke 9:18-25. We had a prayer time about following Jesus. During prayer, rocks were placed at the foot of the cross to represent each grade, teachers and staff.


We sang a couple songs with Mr. Gesch leading on the guitar. We had a mixer activity where 8th graders had to introduce themselves to the 7th graders and try to find the 7th graders with dollar bills. The theme of the chapel guessed it, Following Jesus. As you can see from the video, the middle school students are excited about chapel this year!

Location: Timothy Christian School


Tuesday, August 20, 2013


What motivates you in your walk with God? The other day I surprised at how my faith was strengthened by reading Exodus. After reading, my desire to live a holy life to the glory of God was more on FIRE. Our view of God can often be too small. We need to tremble more, feel the heat, be humbled by power.

Exodus 24:15-17, When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming FIRE on top of the mountain.


Monday, August 5, 2013

To all incoming 9th through 12th TCHS students

If you have a tree picture from this summer with you in the picture, you need to send it to me by this Saturday, the 10th. You could win the prize of picking your chapel seat for the year! Email your picture to



Sunday, August 4, 2013

What Gets Your Attention?

So everyday I take my d-o-g for walks. We both enjoy it but for different reasons. I like to look at the trees and just enjoy being outside. While Mia, the dog, likes to be outside, she has other interests. She loves the sights and smells of other dogs. The more the better. In fact she is laser-focused. Boy, she perks up and even walks with a little swag when another dog is near. And as I look up at the trees, Mia is busy looking down, checking out all the "fabulous" dog odors in the grass. She is never distracted from her "other dog" focus.

This may sound odd to you, but my dog's focus has challenged me to be more attentive to God. I want to natually focus. We were created to be perfectly attentive to God. I want to truly live within God's gracious invitation to live with an awareness of his presence.

So what gets your attention? What hurts your attentiveness toward God? Is living for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, front and center?

Hebrews 12:1-2, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bearing Fruit & the Hazards of Summer

There are several hybrid pear trees that do not produce pears. They are popular trees because they do not grow too tall, have a nice shape, produce beautiful spring flowers and are not messy with pears falling to the ground. Well at the park by my house this type of pear tree has lots of mini-trees growing from the roots of the "mother tree." Several of the smaller trees, or rather shoots growing up from the ground, are actually producing pears. Despite the hybrid quality of the main tree, there is still a genetic propensity to grow fruit.

This got me thinking about fruit in our lives. Are you producing spiritual fruit in your life this summer? Summer can be a hazardous time, spiritually. A different schedule and the lack of accountability can lead to sin. Everyday we must fix our eyes, our attention, our affection on Jesus.

John 15:4-5, Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

P.S. for incoming Timothy Students: remember to send me a cool tree picture with you in it from this summer. Email it to

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Already?!!

I can't believe that June is over already! I have some thoughts as we start July:

1. THE BIBLE: I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but are you reading the Bible on a daily basis? With all the different voices we hear in life, it is essential to regularly be in God's Word if we want to grow in faith. We need to hear from God. Psalm 19

2. PRAYER: When you need prayer, who do you ask to pray for you? We all need to people to pray for us. Too often, we do not reach out for prayer support.

3. A STORY: I went to Colorado Challenge last week (had about 300 youth & a bunch of Timothy students were there as well). We did lots of great activities like rappelling, white water rafting, high ropes course, paint-balling, and more. The speaker was former TC Bible teacher, Jeff Klein. As he shared in the leaders' meeting one morning, I was impressed that I should ask him to pray for me, especially since we both have the Timothy connection. Afterwards, I talked with him and then I asked him to pray for me–that I would be the Bible teacher God wanted me to be. The prayer was one of those special moments. I was overwhelmed with a sense of God's presence and power during the prayer. By the end of the prayer time, my vision was blurred but my heart was strengthened. Who can you ask to pray for you?

Me with a beautiful Ponderosa Pine

On top of Pike's Peak with some friends!


Saturday, June 8, 2013


WARNING: When one changes daily routines, like in summertime or getting a new job or going on vacation, daily Bible reading can suffer. What is your Bible reading plan and who is going to keep you accountable?

WHAT DO YOU REFLECT? I thought about this when I went downtown with Timothy seniors recently. We saw what is probably the most famous "mirror" in America: Cloud Gate, better known as the Bean. It reflects the crowds of people, Chicago buildings, the sky. What does your life reflect? Do you reflect the light of Jesus Christ?

Ephesians 5:8-10, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord."

Location: Millennium Park, Chicago