​Let Our Words Speak Life


Adolescence is the most impressionable, emotional, and memorable stage of our life. ¹ While the words said to us and the actions done to us there have the ability to haunt us, they can also help us. As Oak Park High School shows, the attitudes and lives of young people can be greatly impacted by a few, genuine statements. It requires no formal permission slip or trophy ceremony.  Every person deserves this kind of love at home and in school. The gift of acknowledgement cultivates kindness, learning, and achievement. Let this serve not only as an example of inspiring youth but also our spouses, co-workers, friends, and neighbors.

At this very moment, pause. Take five minutes to think of someone who you appreciate, respect, and love. Someone who has impacted your day, your character, your path, or your perspective. Then tell them. Eyeball-to-eyeball. Over the phone. Through a handwritten note. We all have the power to encourage others. Choose to express an attitude of gratitude. With consideration, authenticity, and the right timing, you might just impact someone’s life for the better!

  1. http://nymag.com/news/features/high-school-2013-1/

A Back to School Prayer


B2S Prayer

Please join me in a back to school prayer.


I praise you for the gift of knowledge and the freedom to learn. As students return to school and enter college, I pray for their safety. Protect the lives and minds of our youth. May they grow in authenticity and character and live boldly as they discover the paths you have laid out before them. Together, with their parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors, help them expand their thinking beyond the walls of school. Give them the courage to stand up for the bullied and, as painful as it may be, help them also to show love toward bullies.

I lift up parents. Provide them comfort while their kids are away at school and guidance as they help their children navigate new learning and social experiences.

I pray for the administrators and teachers as they set the tone for the year and dedicate time and care to their students. Sustain their commitment and energy throughout the year. May they be encouraged often and reminded of their impact when paperwork and protocol become overwhelming.

Thank you for all of the people who work behind the scenes to keep schools organized, clean, and operational, for those who cook food, drive buses, and volunteer their time. I pray a blessing upon communities everywhere as they gather to build-up our youth for the future.

God, I also pray for the kids who dread returning to school. Protect their hearts. Diminish their stress and anxiety. Remind them of their strengths and uniqueness and that there are always people to go to for help and understanding. Instill within them the confidence that life is worth living, and their value is found in you, Lord.

I pray all of this in the name of Jesus. Amen.