Category Archives: Family

What America Wants in Our Next President (Abigail Mathis)

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This past August I had the opportunity to go to the Alabama RedState event, which is a gathering of many Republican supporters in one of the southern or “red” states. What made this particular event especially exciting, though, was that many of the Republican presidential candidates gave a speech. As I sat through many of the speeches, I felt I learned much about what the people at this event felt were necessary qualities in our next president. Generally, everyone cheered when the candidate spoke on how much of a conservative, pro-life, Christian Republican they were. The cheers were louder when the candidate would claim that they were best equipped to balance the budget of our country. But what I found most effective in a speech was optimism.

When a candidate would stand up on the platform and passionately speak about how America can still be fixed, the crowd would go insane. Once the possibility of greatness was brought up, the effect on the crowd was more than just the regular excitement, the energy became electric. So based on the most applause and cheers from the audience, confidence in America is the most important quality in our future president. But confidence is not just something that conservatives want in the future president, it is something that all Americans crave. Americans need something to hold onto, and the next president should be someone who can invoke confidence into this country.

From Death to Life (Will Green)

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Growing up in a Christian family, I had the mentality that I had it all together. I had always known and been taught that God has a deep love for me and that he wants me to be a part of his family. However, I continued in the life I wanted and shut Christ out.

In the summer of 2007, I was a part of a Briarwood soccer camp, and my coach asked us to say a prayer alongside of him if we wanted to become a Christian. So feeling guilty, I prayed a prayer with no real affection or meaning to my relationship with God. Over the next six years of my life, I professed Christ as ruler of my life, but inside I was empty and hopeless, separated from Christ by my sin.

In the summer of 2013, I attended a Student Life camp with my church at Shocco Springs. It was at this camp that God came to me in my sin. For the first time in my life, I felt the presence of an almighty and saving God. I now have hope in Christ and strive to be more like Him in all that I do.

Paul writes in Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (ESV). If you accept Christ into your life, you are proclaiming to the world that Christ is worth more than anything this world can offer. You live your life trusting that God will provide and that he is all you will ever need.

So let us sense the urgency of eternity. Christ is coming back, and the world around us is dying. Let the Westminster family be more than just another private school; let us be light in the midst of a dark world.

History That Inspires

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At times, high school can feel endless. It seems as if all the hard work we put it will never amount to anything. There are days when we all feel one step away from giving up completely. What keeps us holding on? The answer is different for everyone. For some, it is their hobbies; for others, it may be the people they love. For me, it is stories. There is something inspiring about hearing about other people’s victories. My grandfather’s story about Waldamur Andreason is one of my favorites.

Lisa Andreasen

Lisa Andreasen outside the Waldamur farm in Nebraska

Waldamur Andreasen is my great-great grandfather. He grew up in Stege, Denmark with a loving family, but that all changed when his mother passed away. It was like a fairy tale. In a matter of months, his father had been remarried to a vicious woman. Waldamur knew his new stepmother had no warm feelings for him, but he could not have guessed the degree to which this woman would alter his life. 

That day Waldamur had been to town on an errand. When he returned home, he found his father and stepmother waiting for him in their tidy living room. His father announced that Waldamur would be moving to America with their neighbors the Jacobsens. The young boy was horrified. He was only sixteen; how could he be expected to make a life for himself alone in another country? He started to plead with his fat, but was stopped by his stern response, “It has already been decided, son. You leave in the morning.” When he saw his stepmother’s smug smile, Waldamur knew that he had been defeated.

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Waldamur Andreasen’s original immigration papers

A month later, Waldamur arrived in New York City with the Jacobsen family. The plan was for him to remain in the city while the Jacobsens would be traveling to Nebraska to start a family farm. The idea of being on his own had ceased to frighten Waldamur, but now he was afraid of something else–losing Lisa Jacobsen.

During the trip, the two had developed strong feelings for one another; so much so that Waldamurhad promised to marry Lisa one day. Now, that seemed unlikely, if not impossible. But just before the family left, Waldamur once again promised to find Lisa as soon as he made enough money for a farm.

After a year of struggling to survive in the big city, Waldamur went to Nebraska. There he was able to acquire a farm and fulfill his promise to Lisa. But their troubles were not yet over. Their lives continued to be filled with struggle and hardship. But they persevered, and because of their hard work the Andreasen family would thrive for many generations after them.

In Philippians 3:14 Paul writes, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Stories like Waldamur’s inspire me to follow Paul’s example. As far as I know, Waldamur was not a Christian, but his story of hope still points me back to Christ and inspires me to press on. 

How much do you know about past generations in your family? Who are the people responsible for bringing you to your current place in life? Consider looking it up. The stories you uncover may be just what you need to keep going.