Category: Falcon Flyer

Phil-Mont’s Falcon Flyer is the news behind the news. The interesting highlights of school life at Phil-Mont Christian Academy.

Can You Handle the Truth? (1/3)

Educational Options: The Topic We’d Rather Avoid

Donald Beebe, Head of School & Louis Prontnicki, Board President

The question of educational choice—homeschool, public school, charter school or Christian school—is a topic that is too hot for many pastors to handle. It can divide believers and cause people to feel abandoned or betrayed. Bloggers have launched attacks and counterattacks over this controversial issue, and all the different supporters have their own stories of success for their children. Many Christian leaders and parents simply avoid speaking about schooling options, or avoid making polarizing statements about it, so that everyone can continue doing what is right in their own eyes. But for the sake of our children and for the greater glory of God, isn’t it time we bring this matter out of the closet and ask ourselves, “What does God have to say about how we educate our children?” Personal experiences (your own or your children’s), your child’s educational needs, supporting quotes from important Christian leaders, and a host of financial, social, and missional reasons all may be factors in our how we choose to educate our children, but the bottom line has to be “What sayeth the Lord?” We encourage Christian leaders and congregations to debate this issue, with grace, thoughtfulness, listening ears, willing minds, and affirming fellowship, so that each one of us can say with clarity and conviction: “This is what I believe the Word of God says about this matter, and that’s why I am stepping out in faith this way.”

foundation header

So let’s look at two of those key passages of scripture, beginning with Deuteronomy 6:4–9.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (ESV)

Here we see that believing parents are commanded to inculcate the Lord’s words into their children. We are diligently and persistently to teach and pass on the Lord’s teachings to our sons and daughters. This is to be done in the home and outside of the home, so that every conversation and every setting becomes an opportunity for pointing children to the wonders of God’s wisdom and God’s ways. Rev. Brian Schwertley, in his paper, The Necessity of an Explicitly Christian Education, writes that “Scripture … requires the true Christian faith to be integrated into every area of life. Every subject under the sun … must be taught from a distinctly Christian perspective. Deuteronomy tells fathers that every part of every day and in every place there must be a discussion of the LORD and His word. If God requires theological discussion at home, outside in the garden or park, in the supermarket, in the car or even at the ball park, then certainly He requires a discussion of God and His ways during the many hours of education at school.” He goes on to say that “God’s Word simply assumes that there are no areas of life that are neutral or purely secular. According to Deuteronomy 6, the purpose and goal of education is love and obedience to God. The parents are not merely training children to make money but to be faithful to the covenant. The central command of Scripture is to love God with the whole heart. That is the chief reason why theology is to permeate all other subjects … [so] how can public schools promote the greatest commandment when they purposely keep God away from children’s minds?” In view of this, we must ask ourselves: “What is the best way to obey this principle today? Which educational option will provide the maximum amount of impressing God’s Word upon the hearts and minds of my children?” Don’t settle for a minimum amount of inculcating God’s truth into your children’s impressionable minds and hearts; go for the maximum amount!

The other important passage is Ephesians 6:4.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Fathers (and mothers) have the primary responsibility to model and to teach godly faith and behavior to their children. The Greek word for “discipline” has the idea of training by discipline and correction, for the expressed purpose of learning obedience in the ways of the Lord. The word is used eight times in Hebrews 12:5–11, as it describes how the Lord trains us. This method of training includes love as the motivation; it uses rebuking, correcting, and hardships as some of its methods; and it is all done for the purpose of growing in God’s holiness, that we might obey God in faith. The Greek word for “instruction” literally means “to put into the mind,” and this translates into God charging parents to impress God’s Word into their children through a comprehensive strategy of verbal instruction in the Scriptures, so that their memory banks and thought patterns are infused and implanted with how God thinks. So again, we must ask ourselves: “What is the best way to carry out Eph. 6:4 today? How can parents get the maximum amount of God’s words and God’s ways into their children’s minds and hearts? What is the best setting for creating the kind of loving discipline and nurturing instruction for our children which God uses with us? machen quoteAnd if parents delegate any part of this responsibility, which kind of teachers and what type of educational setting would best accomplish this duty?” These are the kinds of questions parents must ask—and answer—before deciding where to send their sons and daughters to school. Consider the words of J. Gresham Machen, the founder of Westminster Theological Seminary: “A Christian boy or girl can learn mathematics, for example, from a teacher who is not a Christian; and truth is truth however learned. But while truth is truth however learned, the bearings of truth, the meaning of truth, the purpose of truth, even in the sphere of mathematics, seem entirely different to the Christian from that which they seem to the non-Christian; and that is why a truly Christian education is possible only when Christian convictions underlie not a part, but all of the curriculum of the school. True learning and true piety go hand in hand, and Christianity embraces the whole of life—those are great central convictions that underlie the Christian School.”

As the head of school and the board president, we would like to hear from you and engage with you on this crucial topic. We will be providing further thoughts in upcoming Signet issues, and on Phil-Mont’s website.

Sports Awards – Lee DeHeer, Senior Testimony

Phil-Mont Varsity Soccer

Lee DeHeer, Class of 2015, Varsity Boys Soccer Co-Captain

Soccer is my sport, but I must admit, I did not come into the 2014 soccer season anticipating it to be one for the record books.  Before even showing up for the very first day of pre-season, I knew we were going to have a lot of young players on our team and we would face many opponents who were bigger, stronger and more seasoned than us.  As it turns out we won very few games. Many would believe it was not a season to be proud of, many would say It was not a successful one, but I guess that depends on your definition of success.

When we think of that word, “success”, all too often images of trophies, ribbons, awards and newspaper headlines come to mind.  We think of honor and glory, promotions and wealth.  We think of fulfilling our dreams and accomplishing our goals.  We think of scoring more points than the other guy and winning more games.

Phil-Mont Varsity Soccer

The varsity guys jog to the crowd-filled sideline to thank their fans after home games.

As a goalie, I have a unique perspective while playing the game.  Standing back there, rarely venturing outside the 18, I can watch the game as it plays out.  I see the touches, the passes, the fouls, the shots, the bad calls, the good calls; all the action is before me with nothing but the opponents’ objective behind me.  There is nothing quite like it.  The waiting, the watching, the calculating, knowing you are the last line of defense.  It is both thrilling and agonizing.

Phil-Mont Varsity Soccer

Ethan Steiger defends the ball away

From here, I got to watch my teammates perform all season long.  Many of our games resulted in a loss.   Some of those games were close and some were not.  I watched them play their hearts out game after game. Even when we were down more goals than we could ever come back from, they played with the same determination and hustle that a team fighting for the win would play with.  I saw Matt Smith covered in dust, sweat, grass stains and goose poop, as a result of being thrown to the ground by opponents, many times not seen by the ref, jump back to his feet ready to do it all over again.  I saw Ethan Steiger, sprint back with everything he had in him in an attempt to stop an opposing striker from scoring, or throwing himself in front of one of the husky Faith Christian players, knowing the end result might not feel very good.  I knew every teammate standing on the field with me had my back. They played through injuries, bad calls, and intentional fouls.  Yes, I watched tempers flare up, I saw a few angry looks cast this way and that, but what stood out was the passion, the grit, and the class.  As a unit they gave everything they had until the referee blew his whistle three times to signal the game was over. They never gave up.

They taught me a new meaning to the word success.  They taught me that life doesn’t always look like a winning season.  Life is sometimes hard.  Sometimes our opponent is bigger and stronger than us.  Sometimes one more minute of giving it everything you’ve got seems like it might just about kill you.  So what’s the point really?  Why should we give it our all?  Why not just hang up the towel when we know we have no chance of winning?  It doesn’t change the outcome.  We still walk away from the game exhausted and aching with our heads hanging and our hearts sore.  We gave it our all and we lost… today.  But today, we were in training.  We were strengthening and developing muscles of a different kind, building character and perseverance and hope.  And God promises that hope will not disappoint us.

Phil-Mont Varsity Soccer

DeHeer gives the ball a strong right foot

This year, on August 18th, after a series of tests, doctor’s visits, sleep studies, and crappy hospital food, my neurologist spoke words to me that would forever change my life.  I have an incurable brain disorder.  It is a progressive disorder that will become more and more debilitating over time.  It inflicts emotional and physical chaos on those who have it.  It causes random loss of muscle control that can result in physical collapses at inconvenient moments in embarrassing places.  Among its symptoms are confusion, brain fog and constant debilitating exhaustion.  Doctors and scientific studies report the average person would have to go without sleep for 48-72 hours to begin to have an idea what someone with this disorder feels like on a daily basis.  It is dangerous, it is disabling, it is maddeningly frustrating and though it doesn’t affect the longevity of life, it does leave many with the diagnosis lying on the floor crying, “I give up!”

Many times I have stood in the proverbial goal of life feeling blasted with PK’s, breakaways, free kicks and corners all coming at me in the form of judgment, misunderstanding, frustration, lost friendships, and mistakes on my part; things which often left me on the ground not wanting to get back up. It was in times such as these I felt the arms and hands of my teammates upon me, speaking Ezra 10:4 into my life, “Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.”   It was in times such as these I felt the presence of God and could hear His divine voice yelling from the sideline saying, “I am with you. Get up!”  But I guess that could have just been coach Struck……or maybe even Mr. Goodman.

It doesn’t matter what your disorder is, and we all have one.  There will be times in life when we will want to throw it in, hang it up, bow out, back down, or walk away.  If we are in the practice of fighting until the bitter end, believing so long as we battle to see another day, a better day, really believing that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength, we will be able to endure those unbearable, agonizing moments life will inevitably hurl at us.  We will have the hope and the passion to give it everything we’ve got until God blows that final whistle signaling the end of the game, and we will hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Success is not winning, losing is not failure.  I would like to thank the 2014 varsity soccer team for teaching me this.

(posted by permission from Lee DeHeer, Class of 2015)
Phil-Mont Varsity Soccer team

The team united, regroups at halftime of a hard fought away game

Homecoming – What a Party!

Almost 100 Alumni joined us for Homecoming this year

phil-mont homecoming 2014

The group photo was taken just after the varsity girls victory. Almost 100 alumni made it to some of the festivities during homecoming.

alumni bball game 2014

Phil-Mont’s Basketball stars of yesteryear put on a tireless show of skill and speed. The “old timers” pulled out the victory over the “middle men” and the “young boys”.

Phil-Mont Basketball Update

Follow the Falcons

How proud are we of our varsity basketball teams!!

The boys advanced to the second round of the PA State playoffs, and the girls are still advancing, playing in the semi-final game this Tuesday night.

Congratulations to each player and coach for their continued accomplishment and excellence.

You are all invited to come out to Freedom HS in Bethlehem, PA at 6:00 pm this Tuesday to cheer on our fantastic young lady falcons .

It is an amazing opportunity for Phil-Mont.  Hundreds, probably thousands, of people are becoming aware of the school known as Phil-Mont Christian and we want that to continue so that our athletes, our school, and our God are recognized and honored.

Please do come out an lend your presence and voice to the effort because we need each one – however you are also asked to bear in mind that competitions such as this come with responsibilities as well.

Student athletes are called to prepare, play hard, cooperate in teamwork, and withstand the rigors of competition while playing their game.   These young ladies have done this extremely well and we are so proud of them. They are developing positive Christian traits as they depend on God for their strength.

Fans (students and adults alike) are called to act in a manner that honors our team, our school, and our God.  A guideline to follow is: Be Loud, Be Proud, Be Positive.

  • Cheer well for our team to support them, but do not cheer against the opponents.
  • Inappropriate comments or cheers that harass or are directed toward opposing spectators, players, coaches or officials are not appropriate.
  • Remember that you are a fan, not a player, referee, or coach.
  • Enjoy yourself, your team, your school, and the wonderful opportunities the Lord is providing for us.