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Move Mountains

An alumnus asked me at our recent Homecoming Alumni Dinner if I ever imagined in 1976 the amazing campus Mount Paran Christian School has become almost 50 years after the school’s inception. The 1988 alumnus, representing our first graduating class, commented on the vast programs, the beautiful campus and buildings, and the record enrollment after briefly reflecting on our humble beginnings. “Did you ever see all of this in our future?” he asked me. Clearly, the answer was "no." 

 
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GOD IS THE WAY-MAKER

Did I and the community of faith believe God could remove obstacles to our growth? Yes. Have we been confident God has protected and advanced the mission of His school that has been unapologetically committed to His mission? Yes. But, could any of us have foreseen what the alumnus was marveling about that cool fall night? Never! 

“Oh, ye of little faith,” I said to and of myself, but, importantly, my weakness in faith and of those who joined me in the early days of the school did not hinder God from moving mountains to make this place what He had intended it to be from day one. Not only did God give us the name MOUNT Paran Christian School, but he also provided a way for His school to be nestled at the foothills of Kennesaw Mountain. Our name, our location, but, more importantly, our story is a testament to and a reminder of God’s ability and willingness to MOVE MOUNTAINS! 

 
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Matthew 17:20 reminds us of this truth: “Truly I tell you, if you have the faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” I’m reminded Jesus told his disciples that the smallest bit of faith can move mountain-sized obstacles. This faith, I have learned, is not an attempt by me to muster up the will or the power to make it happen. This faith comes from trusting in God and His will, not mine.

 

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THROUGH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

God has MOVED MOUNTAINS at MPCS . . .

 . . . By opening the door to move from the church site to a plot of land that resembles a mountain retreat in the middle of a suburban landscape;

. . . By equipping students with the tools to removing stumbling blocks to academic achievements over the generations;

. . . By sustaining the dream of many families who saw a hill too big to climb when faced with a tuition beyond what they knew to be their human reach;

. . . By setting the stage for first-class arts and athletic facilities and programs and being able to watch students move to new heights in their God-given gifts and talents;

 . . . By bringing together a group of the most dedicated Christ-honoring professionals to instill in our children the seed of faith that it takes to move spiritual, academic, and societal hurdles; and 

. . . By breaking the curse of sin and opening the Word of Truth to those under our care who now can be assured they don’t walk the valleys or the mountaintops alone. 

 

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The stories are too numerous to count, the impact too great to measure. The lesson is not complete, however, without a reflection on 1 Corinthians 13:2b, which states, “. . . If I have the faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” God has moved many mountains to bring us to where we are today. For that we stand amazed and grateful. Our calling is to have the faith of that mustard seed while knowing and loving everyone who begins their path up their personal mountain at MPCS. They will know if we are His disciples if we love one another. May we be faithful to the cause; we are confident God is faithful to His.

 
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HIGHER GROUND

I am reminded of a hymn I sang often as a child. While the whole song is moving and worthy of note, I reflect on the sixth verse of this hymn which captures the ultimate aim of trusting in the Lord to move us to Higher Ground.


"Lord lead me up the mountain side,
I dare not climb without my Guide;
And, heaven gained, I’ll gaze around,
with grateful heart from higher ground.
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground."

 

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Dr. David Tilley is the Interim Head of School at Mount Paran Christian School.  He led the school with visionary and tireless leadership from 1984-1988 and again from 2004 until his retirement in 2018.  A nationally respected Christian independent school leader, Dr. Tilley received dual degrees in political science and education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Georgia State University, and a doctorate in Leadership Studies from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has served students in grades PK-12 in public and private education, in both the classroom and administration, as well leading at the collegiate level.

 

Want to learn more about how God is moving mountains at Mount Paran Christian School? Click here to watch the video!

 

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