Redeeming the Time

by Mary White, TCS Grammar Academic Director


“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Redeeming the Time

This past week I found myself unexpectedly snowbound in Memphis, Tennessee. I had traveled to the city with my family on a quick trip to introduce my high school daughter to Rhodes College. Ice and snow took the quick out of our trip, but the cold weather gave us warm family time. I am thankful for that. The winter storm also gave me a gentle reminder not to let the tyranny of the urgent keep me from spending time on who or what is truly important. Put another way, it gave me a look at time and how I am spending it.

C.S. Lewis once wrote, ““The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” Time is a commodity which we can’t save. Not using it well then becomes as much of a problem as using it badly. However, the choices for time are vast and varied, and, in many cases, don’t feel like choices at all. How do we sort out what is important and what is not? As Christians, we thankfully can turn to the Lord and His word for those answers. The story of Mary and Martha as told in Luke 10:38-42 is one starting place.

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (ESV).

This makes so much sense and sounds so good. However, the execution is a bit harder. How do we sit at Jesus’ feet when bills need to be paid, work deadlines need to be met, meals need to be prepared, children need to be home-schooled, and errands need to be run? The answer may be as simple and as profound as a daily quiet time.

Sarah Young’s daily devotional book Jesus Calling directly addresses this issue on February 10. It is not a good use of time for me to attempt to paraphrase what she has written so well. So, I am including her short devotional here in its entirety.

“Trust me enough to spend ample time with Me, pushing back the demands of the day. Refuse to feel guilty about something that is so pleasing to Me, the King of the universe. Because I am omnipotent, I am able to bend time and events in your favor. You will find that you can accomplish more in less time, after you have given yourself to Me in rich communion. Also, as you align yourself with My perspective, you can sort out what is important and what is not.

Don’t fall in the trap of being constantly on the go. Many, many things people do in My Name have no value in My kingdom. To avoid doing meaningless works, stay in continual communication with Me. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” ― Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

This takes care of the present and future. However, what about the past?  There is no doubt that time, in the form of past lessons learned, can be a great teacher. The early modern American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “The years teach much the days never know.” However, these lessons learned can be painful and even damaging when sin is involved. In William Shakespeare’s play Richard II, a character laments, “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” All of us have probably felt this type of regret in some way. Can past time be redeemed?

Thankfully, when any needed repentance is present, the answer is “yes.” Joel 2:25a  reads, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (ESV).

With that hope in our hearts and the Lord on our side, we can spend the time we are given today and everyday prayerfully and joyfully. Let us begin.

What Daniel Means to Us

fiery furnaceby Jasmine Holmes, Fifth Grade Humanities

Earlier last year, when I was asked to lead a short devotional at teacher training I had two thoughts: 1) I hate speaking to small rooms of people more than I hate speaking to seas of people, especially when I know them, and I’m going to get serious stage fright (and I did) and, 2) time to whip out an epistle!

Now, there’s nothing wrong with the epistles, but one of my friends challenged me to think outside of my fallback New Testament passages and to dig a little deeper: “After all, don’t you teach ancient times?”

It’s true. In fifth grade, we start around the Babylonian empire and move deep into New Testament times. Sometimes, it’s good for me to step back into Old Testament passages and remind myself that the same God was active “way back then.” And I flipped right open to Daniel.

Finding Ourselves in Daniel

I didn’t jump into end times prophecies. I stayed safely in Daniel 1, with the story of four young Israelites who found themselves in Babylonian captivity and shone as amazing examples of faithfulness and principle in their exile.

The story of Daniel is ever near to homeschoolers and private schoolers alike, as naysayers often use it to contest the sheltered nature of a Christian education: See? These guys were educated in the real world and they survived as great examples!

Our students do have some things in common with Daniel and his companions. As young believers, they, too, are living in exile: this world is not their home (1 Peter 2:11). Because of their Christian education, their environment is a religious training ground. Daniel and his friends lived in a theocracy. And, of course, the same God who Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego served, the God of Israel, and the triune God expressed on earth in the person and work of Christ Jesus, are one and the same (1 Peter 2:4-8; Hebrews 13:8).

Who Daniel Wasn’t and Who He Was

We have to be sure to look at Daniel 1 with the right filter. Daniel isn’t the story of four elementary-age students taking on the world. These men were young adults by the time they went to Babylon. Nor is Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s story merely the story of magic trick in a fiery furnace, or intelligence shown for intelligence’s sake.

Daniel 1 is the story of four youths who had been taught diligently enough to stand before a king (Daniel 1:4). It’s the story of four youths whose faith sustained them enough to be different (Daniel 1:8). It’s the story of four youths whose faithfulness was rewarded by God (this story, the fiery furnace, and the lion’s den) and sustained them to an old age (Daniel’s faithfulness till the end of his life).

What Daniel Means for Us

It would be easy to walk away from Daniel 1 with the wrong idea as educators. Daniel doesn’t mean that if we just teach kids the right thing, they will filter all of their intelligence through their conviction. This can only come from having the very mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2). It doesn’t mean that if we teach kids the right thing, they will face opposition humbly and winsomely (Daniel 1:12). This can only come from having the humility of Christ (Philippians 2). And it doesn’t mean that if we teach kids the right thing, they will be all-around good people. This can only come from the goodness of Christ on their behalf (Ephesians 1).

So is there hope there at all?

So much!

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are often the end goal in my mind as I purpose to be faithful in educating the students the Lord has given me. Those four men are what it looks like when faithful education grows up and encounters trials.

Their story reminds us that education is a means of affirming Christ’s Lordship in a dark and dying world, and a powerful tool to make capable, well-educated young servants of the Most High powerful and effective in their exile. When a Godward education goes hand in hand with the work of the Spirit in a young person’s life, something beautiful happens. Read Daniel 1 today and remind yourself that we are so blessed to be part of that here.

This Education Works!

Today, yesterday, and tomorrow words on blackboard, Time Dr. John Scholl, Logic School Humanities teacher and Rhetoric School Director

When I first began thinking about this article some time ago, I envisioned something like “Updates from the Front,” an article in which I would unveil some of the great comments that my students have made this year. My students have said some wonderful things, sometimes within the context of classroom discussion and sometimes to each other in casual conversation before class started. Of course, they did not know that I was listening, but is it eavesdropping if they are in my room and I can hear them from five yards away? Their statements reveal their hearts and minds, what they love and care about. (None of it is related to romance, theirs or anyone else’s, thank goodness. Even the Elizabeth Bennett discussion did not get caught up on Mr. Darcy.) It is great stuff. I have great students.

But now that I am writing the article, I cannot follow through on the original plan, for two reasons. First, I did not get around to writing down those great quotes until too late, and so I do not have enough of them to fill my article. Second, this article cannot be about the Front, as in the front lines of a battle, because my class is not really on the front lines of education. The main part of the battle occurs at home. Clearly, that must be true at TCS, when students are learning at home three days of the school week. But it is not just true at our school; no matter the school, public or private, one-class day or five-class days, education begins at home. Growing up, I valued my education first and foremost because my parents valued it and taught me to value it. More importantly, the hardest work on my character, the days I behaved the worst, disobeyed the most, and argued the greatest, almost all occurred at home. Granted, my teachers entered the lists too and engaged in the hard fought-battle to shape my character, my mind, and my heart. But my parents did the hardest part of the work.

Actually, that is a little too simplistic. God begins the work and carries it to completion. In the life of the child, the parents are His primary tools, before the teacher or the school. And as I look around at my students, I deeply appreciate that reality. I have great students because God is at work and is strengthening their parents to do a great job.

Thus, I cannot write about the front lines of the educational battle, because the parents are the primary soldiers at the front. They are not there alone. I am there too at times, taking my privileged part, as are and have been many other teachers. But the parents are the main ones engaged.

I want to write then a different sort of article. Every now and then, a parent quotes to me a comment that their child says at home—about loving school or my class or wanting to be a teacher—and I always find it very inspirational. It shows me that some of the things I am trying to do are getting through. I want to return the favor by giving a few pieces of evidence that this whole Christ-centered, classical education works, that it is getting hold of their hearts. Since my students are 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, I am in a great place to make this observation, because I am working with students whose parents have invested in them for many years by giving them this type of education. So here are some samples:

Sample 1:

A quote, during our study of the industrial revolution:

Student A: “Do you know what a telegraph is?”

Student B: “No”

Student A: “I built a model one, once.”

Sample 2:

A paraphrase of comments that I received when I asked students what aspects of history they would like to study as we learned about World Wars 1 and 2.

“Can we study weapons?” “How about the different types of airplanes and their uses, in World War II?” “Can we look at Japan?” (Not the usual favorite, which is Germany.) “Can we study battle tactics, not strategy so much, but tactics?”

Now, you’re probably thinking that most of the comments came from guys. If so, you are wrong. Excepting the question about Japan, all the questions were from girls.

Sample 3:

An event, when I asked students for their favorite psalm.

One student mentioned Psalm 104. I thought it was an unusual choice, so I asked for an explanation. The student launched into an impromptu Bible study of Psalm 104, focusing on verse 21 and including a word study of the use of the term “lion” in the Bible. It was amazingly good; I will never look at that psalm the same way again.

Can you see what is going on in these comments? These students, after years of education, love to learn and are not even slightly embarrassed by it. Of course, this raises the next most important question: how did their classmates respond? Great. They were impressed, awed even, by the study of Psalm 104. They approved the study of weaponry without a single negative joke. In fact, I think I was the only one shocked that one of my quiet, sweet female students wanted to study weapon technology.

I could give plenty more examples, if I had only written them down. For example, one day, a 7th grader eagerly reported that he had just purchased Joseph Ellis’ Founding Brothers—a hefty and intellectual book—for his research paper on one of the Founding Fathers.  During the same project, the history research presentations, my students asked each other insightful questions, mostly unprompted by me, and then clapped for each other.

I hope you can see it. This has very little to do with me. My students’ affections are going in a good direction. Be encouraged, parents! This education works!

All the Right Ingredients

choco pieby Cindy Wu, Communications Coordinator

Cooking up a traditional Thanksgiving feast is always a challenge in my family because of our food sensitivities. Still, for the past several years we’ve been able to pull off a gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, corn-free, sugar-free, soy-free feast with most of the fixin’s…. and it actually tastes good!

This past year, we started eating grain-free. That took the Thanksgiving challenge up a notch. My 6th grader, Charis—the child with most restrictions and an avid recipe book reader—requested a diet-friendly pie. So after an excursion to Whole Foods to search for all the right ingredients, we set to baking the best paleo chocolate cream pie ever.

Thanksgiving morning I busied myself in the kitchen. Unfortunately I had underestimated the amount of time the other dishes would take, and by the time I was ready to start the pie, it was almost mealtime and people were waiting on us. I was tempted to forego the pie but a promise is a promise.

First we tackled the pie crust. It was easier than I had expected. Except that in my haste I forgot to add cocoa powder. Oh well, says Charis, it’s no big deal, Mommy. We move on to the pie filling. I heat up the coconut milk and prepare the gelatin while she beats the eggs. Finally I pour the maple syrup… and out trickles less than ¼ cup (the recipe called for ¾ cup). Oops. We break out in laughter, but I am flustered by the missing ingredients, first in the crust, and now in the filling of the doomed-to-failure pie. Charis, in her characteristically gracious manner, assures me the pie will turn out just fine. We place it in the fridge to set and anxiously wait for the results.

That wasn’t the first time I was short ingredients in a baking recipe. I’m generally fine with substitutions but with baking—especially when trying something new and especially when baking for an audience—I like to get it just right, and that means following the recipe precisely. If I don’t have all the ingredients I worry about the outcome.

The same can be applied to my parenting. In parenting, I often feel like I am lacking the right ingredients to produce the “right” results. I often look for some formula or recipe to tell me how to do it because I’m unsure of my own instincts. Homeschooling, in particular, brings out the insecurities.

About this time of the year, some of us at TCS have got this homeschooling thing under our belts and some of us are wondering if we’ll make it to May. And some of us, if not most of us, are wondering if we have what it takes—if we have the right ingredients—to homeschool.

Homeschooling is a courageous endeavor, a constant learning journey for both children and parents. We may try to look for that perfect recipe to follow but it doesn’t exist. To think we have to abide by a particular plan is a road to frustration and burnout. This impulse is often fueled by comparison or feeling we need to prove ourselves. And while we strive, we are not able to appreciate what we are accomplishing.

I’m thankful for the guidance TCS provides. I’m also thankful that with this hybrid model there is time and flexibility to personalize my homeschooling recipe. Along the way I’m discovering some key ingredients:

Set realistic goals.

Give myself grace.

Give my children grace.

Do my best with the time and resources I have.

Believe God will supply me with what I need.

By the way, the pie turned out just fine. It was a hit, actually. I knew it was missing certain ingredients but it didn’t make for a lesser pie—it became its own thing, a Wu family creation. And Charis loved it. Just as there is more than one way to bake a pie, there is more than one way to homeschool. Ask God for wisdom. Give yourself the grace that God and your kids will readily offer when you don’t think you have what it takes. And stop comparing pies. Savor the one you’re baking.

Groaning Together

groaning prayer

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).

I do find myself groaning more these days. Of course I groan like a sinner, whining about this and that. But I am also experiencing the groaning of the redeemed–good Christian groaning. Paul reminds us that, if all of this is working right, we should be experiencing the prayers of God coming through us. He says these prayers come in the form of groans because they contain sentiments that are difficult to translate into human words. Paul tells us that we are weak and don’t know how to pray… I concede.

In the rare moments when I am able to refrain from my embarrassing man-centered prayer-assault on the Godhead, attempting to fill Him on all the things He needs to know, I am finding something much sweeter. When I desist from the sort of narcissistic prayer that perpetuates the idea that my world is the only significant one, I find something that actually makes me feel whole. And when I just quit talking so much and believe the Spirit of the living God resides within me and is waiting to be acknowledged, I find something that lights me up with joy and passion.

Since Opening Night this year, I’ve been thinking much about the idea of living a life that matches its consummation–the heaven-oriented life. That’s why this prayer-groaning concept is on my heart. I’m inclined to believe that the type of prayer that Paul is referring to in Romans 8 is critical in connecting our earthly existence to our heavenly one.

If we will allow the Holy Spirit to regularly groan within us through our prayers, stirring longing for consummation and fulfillment, then we will think differently about our earthly pursuits. I think these are types of prayers that foster the Godward ache that we so need. This sort of prayer causes our pursuits to be put through the sift of heaven, and we are left with a life much different than what we would have otherwise pursued.  Paul alludes to the fact the the Spirit will override the flesh and cause us to long for what God longs for. The implications of this are a thousand-fold. It won’t just affect big life decisions. It will affect small everyday ones. It will affect attitudes and actions, word choice, emails sent or not sent, thoughts harbored or released, stress increased or deflated, days spent worshiping or despairing, and on and on.

Our little school is getting bigger. It’s also getting older–growing up, if you will. As we progress, there is nothing more important to me than that we would be an educational community who groan for the deepest things of God. I pray that the spirit groaning within us would steer us away from petty things, keep us from being duped by the world’s priorities, and give us courage to seek first the kingdom of God, trusting all else to be added.

This is a call to groan together. Christian, the Spirit of the living God resides within you! You don’t know how to pray, but He does. Let us groan together, seeking the life-giving priorities of Jesus.

Notes from a Teacher’s Journal

by Kate Weise, TCS Grammar School teacher

I have a dream. Actually, I have a lot of little dreams. Sixteen of them, sitting across from me every Monday and Wednesday. Sixteen small image-bearers with unique giftings and challenges. Sixteen pictures of the future.

I have a dream for our school and our city and these children. I dream that we will take to heart Christ’s command to love other people in whatever mundane or exciting way he wishes. That we will read the gospels and the letters as teaching to be obeyed. Jesus said the two greatest commandments are to love God and love other people. In education, we learn to love God with our minds, to discipline our brains to think Christianly, and to position ourselves to be used by God in the kingdom that’s already here—and yet still coming.

As a school, we are

  •         educating children to become lifelong learners.
  •         teaching them to try hard things.
  •         asking them to understand their context in history.
  •         giving them the tools to break down and build good arguments.
  •         helping them learn to communicate effectively both in public and through writing
  •         hiding God’s words in their hearts

Your children are privileged and positioned in a setting that—by the grace of God—when they grow up, allows them to have the power to do much good. Your children will have a quality education. They will have connections. They will have big ​goals​ and the capacity to carry them out because of their education.

​They also have an unprecedented opportunity to enrich our lives through interactions with people from all walks of life because we live in a globalized world in a big city in the 21st century.

Just imagine. You hear this all the time, but we live in one of the most diverse cities in America. We also live in one of the most economically segregated. But there are opportunities all across our city for our children to have their perspectives widened and their lives rounded by interacting with other cultures, other ethnicities, other socio-economic levels, other religions.

Sit a while and dream with me. Dream of a Houston you’d be proud to call your home. What does it look like? What are the characteristics of the people in the city? What does the church look like? What adjectives would you use to describe this Houston?

And then, think: how can we be a part of Christ’s work of reconciliation in our city?

I just want to remind all of us to consider this work of loving other people as a significant part of our work of educating these children.  In the classroom of our lives, their views of what’s important, who defines success, and how to relate to other people are being shaped.

I teach second graders. They are already forming ideas of success and the good life and how the world works. These are the future citizens of Houston. These little men and women will form the backbone of our society. They will shape the culture of our city whether they mean to or not.

And I dare to dream that they will resist the siren calls of the world because I know this to be true: the Kingdom of Heaven is breaking through the torn fabric of this world, and they’ve been invited by the King to join his ranks. But it won’t be an easy fight. They’ll be members of a resistance movement that those in power don’t like. They’ll be following the Servant King, not the Dominating King. Winning everything will look like losing everything.  Life will look like death. True Sanity will look like utter craziness. Will they play a role in being instruments of love and mercy and justice and wisdom and beauty in our city? I pray so. I hope so.

May God give these children a vision for being culture makers in our city–at whatever personal cost to themselves. God give them a vision for following Christ, who though he was equal with God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing. Why? Why? For love.

When graduation day comes, and the last chapter closes on Rhetoric school, I pray that their hearts would be consumed by the love Christ has for them, so consumed that they would count their classical education as valuable only so far as they can use it to lay their lives down to love people as he did.

Combating Privileged Elitism at TCS

Stack of One Hundred Dollar Bills Neil Anderson, Head of School

Last year at Closing Assembly, I felt a deep conviction to steadily and publicly acknowledge that any success we’ve had at TCS comes from God. I firmly believe this school is not a man-made endeavor. Any good that exists in us personally or institutionally comes from our Heavenly Father. The task at hand for all of us is this–in all our ways acknowledge Him.

I have been contemplating our school culture and asking if there are areas which might be hindrances to some of our ultimate goals and I have found my prayer life steadily drawn towards the issue of our wealth.

There are two things that I think we need to get on the table from the outset. I’m hoping for a high level of agreement on these: 1) We are rich; 2) As rich people, our children are spoiled. The spirit of this talk is not one of judgement, but rather humble self-reflection. Listen first to the words of Paul:

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.–1 Timothy 6:17-19 (ESV)

For me, there is no room for debate—I think we are among “rich in the present age.” I don’t think I need to read you the statistics, as most of you have heard them. The American culture in general, and all the more the specific culture at TCS, is one of wealth and abundance. Since we are wealthy, I think most of you will agree with me that being spoiled is somewhat inescapable. We are inherently spoiled because of the culture in which we live. What do we do with this?

In regards to our wealth, I am concerned about stagnation and spoil. I’m concerned about the natural way that things ought to flow—in and out. The very nature of the word spoil has to do with goods unused. When we have an abundance that does not get used, that which is left over spoils. When our children are invested into and there is no outlet for that investment, they spoil. In our lives, where is the potential for spoil and stagnation? Where do life-giving streams become cesspools and sweet aromes become putrid smells? Input without outflow is grounds for spoiling.

The two issues of being rich and spoiled are significant hurdles in at least two of our four goals in the portrait of a TCS graduate. Our administrative team spent some time over the summer reflecting on our end goals. We summarize them this way:

By the grace of God, our graduates will…

  • be able to identify truth, goodness, and beauty and recognize Christ as the source
  • be able to skillfully apply the tools of learning (grammar, logic, rhetoric) to everyday life
  • be wise and virtuous
  • use their education selflessly to further Christ’s Kingdom.

Regarding the last two points, wealth is the major assailant. Wealth is the enemy of virtue in the Scriptures because wealth urges our attention and affection toward the kingdom of the world. So as we ponder this portrait of a TCS graduate, we must consider the effects of wealth and abundance. The biblical charge from Paul in 1 Timothy 6 is this: “Rich people, take heed. Since you are rich, you are admonished to:

  • Know and preach the uncertainty of riches (v. 17a).
  • Constantly point to God as the supplier and enjoy your wealth (v. 17b).
  • Work towards a kingdom “savings.” Store up good works (v. 18a).
  • Give from your abundance of wealth. Avoid stagnant pools (v. 18b).
  • Take hold of what is truly life (v. 19).”

The message that needs to emanate from us is that our abundance of food, clothes, toys, and material possessions is fleeting. Preach the uncertainty of your wealth. Tell your kids not to presume the same abundance will be available tomorrow. All of history is a testimony to this. We are to enjoy what we have, but do so in a way that is cognizant of the fact that God is the supplier. Our focus should be on increasing our wealth in the ways of heaven. Being rich in good works is being rich in heavenly ways (verse 18).  Let’s not neglect our eternal savings account.

There is a monetary cost for a TCS education. Our wealth affords the opportunity to get rich in the first two stages of the trivium—knowledge and understanding. Our wealth provides an opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding at TCS, but it does not buy wisdom. The rhetoric stage, where the outflow begins to surge, is a bit of a litmus. What are we doing with the outflow? Is there even an outflow? There is so much flowing into our children—do they have healthy habits of outflow which began in their grammar school years and continue throughout upper school?

Since we live in abundance, we need to take extra care to make sure there is an outlet for worship, giving, self-sacrifice, and self-denial for our children. We will be working to foster this on a corporate level and we encourage you to be working on it in your homes, to help them find outlets of worship. They can be investing and serving their siblings (older siblings even teaching younger ones some). They can use the arts to find creative ways to bless others. Don’t just teach them how to write a letter, teach them how to write a letter and fill it with content meant to bring joy and hope into someone else’s life. Basically, begin to work with your students on how they can be generous with their education.

I want  to loop this back to the talk at the beginning of the year about the hope of heaven. See verse 19: “Thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” Paul is not saying to flee wealth. He is saying, “Figure out how to be rich in this present age.” Our children need to know material need. They need to know dependence. They need to know they don’t always get what they ask for. The point is not to be insecure or worried about our wealth, nor is it to hesitate in providing abundantly for our children. But we do need to stay awake to the biblical warnings that material wealth is often destructive. We need to equip our children to be ready to cling to Jesus, no matter the circumstances.

Eternity has already begun—do we really believe that life in him is real and everlasting? Are we harnessing what is truly life? My hope is that we, who are materially wealthy, will be rich in heart and rich in the ways of heaven. Take hold NOW of that which is truly life, this eternal, priceless life thread initiated in you by the Holy Spirit.