As I looked out at the student body during the first chapel of the new school year, I was struck by two things. First, thirty-five more students than we had last year looks and feels like it might as well be one hundred! Our chapel is close to capacity and it felt, for a moment, overwhelming. Second, as I scanned the faces, I realized that there must have been about sixty faces that were totally new to Cornerstone. Adding a classroom, bringing in a new group of Kindergartners, and filling the seats of students that have moved away makes for a lot of new Cornerstone Lions! The question each year is, will the new students adapt to Cornerstone's culture of love, integrity, opportunity, nobility, and strength (our LIONS values) or will our culture be weakened by having one-third of our student body come from other schools?
My message to all students was the same message we preach every year -- you, the students, get to decide what kind of school Cornerstone will be. Using the story of Joshua from the Bible where he implores the Israelites to "decide this day whom you will serve," I encouraged each student to decide, this day, what kind of school Cornerstone would be. Will it be a school where students love and encourage one another or a school that bullies, belittles, and puts self first? Will it be a school where students will respond positively to correction or a school where authority is questioned and ignored? Will it be a school where the students and staff love one another, or will it be a school where animosity and distrust reign and where discipline is enforced through punishment?
Joshua made the choice clear when he said, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." He was saying to the Israelites, you can follow the false Gods and idols if you want, but we will serve the one true God! I am so thankful that after two weeks, our students are already embracing a vision for Cornerstone where love wins and God reigns. My prayer is that each day our students will awaken with the thought, "as for me and my school, we will serve the Lord!”