Grace Christian School

Archives - September 2016

Recent Posts

5/15/19 - By Donald M. Larson, PhD
5/1/19 - By Casey Musselman, Dean of High School Students
4/24/19 - By Casey Musselman, Dean of High School Students
4/16/19 - By John Morrison, Former GCS Head of School
4/11/19 - By Abigail Erdman, GCS 7th Grader
4/2/19 - By Robert Brent, GCS Parent
3/25/19 - By Brian Fitzgerald, High School Principal
3/12/19 - By Brian Fitzgerald, High School Principal
3/6/19 - By Brian Fitzgerald, High School Principal
2/27/19 - By Kristen Lihos, Interim Advancement Director

Headmaster's Blog

Archives - September 2016

Coram Deo Revisited

September 29, 2016
By John Morrison

Let’s have some fun with this week’s blog.  In recent pieces, I have been introducing the concept of “coram Deo -- before the face of God,” as the theme underlying our systematic, school-wide Christian worldview integration program.  Read these recent blogs if you have missed them by going to and clicking the “Headmaster’s Blog” under the “About” tab.

Marc Kinder, husband of our elementary/middle school principal Joanne Kinder, composed and wrote the lyrics to our very own GCS “coram Deo” song.  In this week's elementary school chapel, Marc explained the meaning of coram Deo to the students and, along with GCS teacher Larry Barrett, introduced the song to them.  Watch the video above to enjoy his explanation and the song itself.  I have included the lyrics below to help ensure that you don’t miss out on these very relevant words.

We are having fun with this while at the same time helping our students really catch hold of this revolutionary concept of coram Deo!  Thanks, Marc, for your time in writing this song and for sharing it with us.

Enjoy, dear reader!   

Coram Deo by Marc Kinder

Coram Deo! Coram Deo!
Before the face of God I live my days.
In all I do and say, Your name be praised!

You made me for good works in Christ
You planned them before I was formed.
A holy, living sacrifice
That’s why I’ve been reborn!

Coram Deo! Coram Deo!
Before the face of God I live my days.
In all I do and say Your name be praised!

I will follow Your commands Oh, God
Faithful in all my ways.
My heart and soul,  mind and strength
Are for Your glory all of my days!

Coram Deo! Coram Deo!
Before the face of God I live my days.
In all I do and say Your name be praised!

For the glory of Your Name!


If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at

Coram Deo Illustrated

September 21, 2016
By John Morrison

In my last blog, I further explained the goal of our school to immerse our students in the concept of “coram Deo … before the face of God.”  In the short article I featured in that blog, R. C. Sproul explains: “To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God.”  Indeed, this is a revolutionary concept which, when it gets ahold of us, has profound ramifications for every aspect of our lives.

I would like this week to illustrate this concept by sharing a letter from Jonathan Erdman, one of our school parents, who hones in on what we call “the theology of work” as a practical outworking of coram Deo.  The letter is self-explanatory and well worth your time!  Don’t miss this blessing!

I apologize for taking over a year to write this email.  In 2010, I found myself sitting in a McDonald's with my pastor, Larry Trotter, for the first of what would be several breakfast meetings during my internship at North Wake Church in North Carolina.  I looked at Pastor Larry and said something to the effect of, "Pastor Larry, I am so done with this job at Walmart, and I'm ready to jump into ministry."

Pastor Larry smiled, as he usually would when he knew he was about to say something to throw me for a loop, and said, "I want you to think about that.  Think about whether God wants you to remain with Walmart."

And, yes, it threw me for a loop.  That was not exactly what I was wanting to hear at the time. You see, I had graduated from Lynchburg Christian Academy (1999) second in my class, graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies from Liberty University (2004), and completed my Masters in Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary three years prior to this conversation with Pastor Larry.  Yet I was still working for Walmart.  I wasn't getting the connection.

My job was not great at all, but at least it wasn't working at the stores.  I was a Meat/Produce Shipping Manager for a Walmart Grocery Distribution Center in the middle of nowhere North Carolina.  And because work was going badly, I was chomping at the bit to finally sink my teeth into work that really ministry.

I suppose I could sum it all up by telling you that I am still with Walmart.  LOL.  I am the Compliance, Safety, and Asset Protection Operations Manager at the Walmart Regional Distribution Center (how's that for long titles) in Mt. Crawford.  And loving it.

What Pastor Larry challenged me with that day started a major paradigm shift that would completely reshape my perspective, and ultimately direct my life's journey to where we are today.  The internship that our church did was very involved.  It was primarily for seminarians, but others could jump in, too.  It wasn't for credit for me.  Only for guidance, I suppose.  But Larry's assignment for me was to formulate what he referred to as a "Theology of Work."

When I first heard him say this I was somewhat turned off, to be honest.  Probably because I knew it meant remaining at Walmart.  But the more we discussed it, the more excited I became.  So we spent the next three to four months creating an adult Bible study curriculum for the church called, "Your Work Matters to God."  What an incredible blessing it was!

I finally realized, for perhaps the first time, that the work I was doing was just as valuable and important as any church or ministry job.  And actually, in many ways, God was using me in ways he wasn't using my pastors.  He was using me to lead people in their jobs, to put food on peoples' tables at low prices, and he was using me to be a friendly face to some who may not experience anything like that elsewhere.

Since then I have been so excited about this idea of Work and Worship, Theology of Work, whatever you want to call it, that I take advantage of the opportunity anytime it comes up to share my experience and encourage other believers.

And here we are today.  My children are sitting in classrooms where the school's leadership is focused on educating everyone on this idea that God has a plan for their work, starting right now.  Ashley and I are so thankful for this.  I know this message has become quite long, but hopefully it speaks to my passion on this topic … .

So, in my work today, I am responsible for the safety and well-being of over 750 Walmart employees, and in my position I get to make a huge impact on the culture and work environment of the entire facility.  Pray for me in that regard … .

Thank you for your leadership and how you have interwoven God's truths into the hearts and daily lives of hundreds of young people.  May God continue to bless Grace Christian School, and your leadership.

In Christ,

Jonathan Erdman

Praise the Lord!  May God grant us much success in embedding this concept of coram Deo within our GCS  students!  And thank you, Jonathan, for sharing this powerful testimony with us!

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at

Coram Deo - Before the Face of God

September 14, 2016
By John Morrison
           Graphic from

In last week’s blog, I referenced John Stonestreet’s “Breakpoint Commentary” where he featured Dr. Christian Overman, author of the Worldview Matters worldview integration program in which GCS has been privileged to participate as one of a few pilot schools in the U. S.  We believe this program goes a long way in equipping Christian schools like ours in being far more effective in integrating our Christian worldview into every aspect of our educational program.

Flowing out of this emphasis, we have adopted as a primary theme of our school the Latin phrase “coram Deo -- before the face of God.”  R. C. Sproul states the fundamental idea like this:”To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God.” Sproul adds, “Jesus was every bit as religious when He worked in His father’s carpenter shop as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane.”

Because this is such an revolutionary concept, and because it is at the heart of what we are emphasizing as the distinctive of a GCS education, I would like to encourage my readers to take a few moments to read this excellent, short article by R. C.. Sproul on the meaning of “coram Deo.”  Next week, I will illustrate this concept in even more practical terms by sharing a wonderful letter I received from one of our GCS parents who is practicing this concept of coram Deo!

Read away, and be blessed and challenged!

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at

The Lost Purpose for Learning

September 08, 2016
By John Morrison
           graphic from

I found it quite timely that John Stonestreet at the Colson Center featured Christian Overman, with Worldview Matters, in his September 6 “Breakpoint” commentary.  Dr. Overman, as many of you know, has authored the worldview integration program in which our school has been privileged to participate as one of a few, initial pilot schools in the US.

Instead of my usual blog, I would encourage my readers to digest John’s short commentary(as linked below).  In addition, those interested in better understanding the true nature of Christian education as it stands in stark contrast to secular education should download and read his free ebook entitled “The Lost Purpose for Learning.”

We are deeply appreciative for this excellent program crafted by Dr. Overman along with the practical tools for implementation in the classroom.  This is largely what Christian education should be about!

Parents and others cannot be informed enough about what is at stake with the kind of education we provide our children and youth.  Take some time to digest both Stonestreet’s commentary and Dr. Overman’s excellent “The Lost Purpose for Learning.”

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at

Back to School!

September 02, 2016
By John Morrison


Wow!  Many with whom I have visited in recent days agree that the summer seemed to fly past.  And here we are back in session and (hard for some of us “oldies” to believe) beginning our thirty-seventh year in the history of Grace Christian School!

Thanks to all in our school community -- staff, parents, students, board, and friends -- who have contributed to making this new school year get off to a smooth and safe start!  This, year, we are serving approximately 196 families representing  317 students enrolled in preschool through grade twelve.  

And as Jan Ingram, our board chair, pointed out in our recent parent meetings, God has raised up approximately 100 staff (including coaches and volunteers) to work with our children!  None of us could ever have assembled such a gifted, dedicated team of servants to minister to our families.  Indeed, we can attribute this only to the sovereign grace of God.

All of this is great evidence of the reality of “covenant community,” a theme emphasized in our recent back-to-school parents’ meetings.  Indeed, GCS is a wonderful example of a diverse group of folks coming together to achieve the same goal of providing our children and youth with a Christ-centered education.  This certainly could not happen apart from such a spirit of community.  And it could not happen apart from God’s favor and blessing!

As mentioned above, “covenant community” was the theme of our recent parents’ meetings.  Many thanks to Jan Ingram, our board chair, who coordinated these meetings and enlisted various parents, students, board members, and staff to give short testimonials as to how this GCS “covenant community” has impacted their lives.  And thanks, also, to our parents for the great turn-out for these meetings!  As we face the reality of a mainstream culture increasingly hostile to our Christian faith and values, I believe we will have opportunity to better appreciate just how precious and essential this community dynamic is as we attempt to prepare the next generation to stand for Christ and the cause of His kingdom.

As we get this blog up and running again after the summer “sabbatical,” we will frequently be returning to this covenant community theme.  And I hope you will carefully follow my -- and others’ -- musings in this weekly communication. Much is going on in the larger culture that  directly impacts our families.  We need to stay informed and alert to these many issues, and I trust that you will find these pieces informative.

Let’s be praying for God’s continued and rich blessing upon this school year, that our children and youth, as well as our families, will be mightily impacted for the cause of Christ through the dynamic influence of covenant community as practiced at GCS!

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at



Search by Keyword(s):
(separate multiples with a comma)

Recent Posts

11/21/17 - By John Morrison
11/15/17 - By John Morrison
11/8/17 - By John Morrison


© Cherry+Company SMARTsolution web design powered by FACTS Student Information System, providers of School Site