September 5, 2018

Source: MEI Head of Schools Blog

I have a personal plan for spiritual health and growth for the 2018/2019 school year.  I shared this with the MEI Staff on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 and invited them to join me if they felt inspired to do so. I’d like to invite you to do the same.

The big question I have
What will make this the best year ever and maximize the potential that MEI has as a school and organization? We always will hire the most qualified people, but that’s not enough for MEI to be all that God has intended for us.  We need people who are also passionate about Jesus.

I plan to grow my passion for Jesus in the following ways:


Offer all of me to Jesus (Romans 12:1-2)
It turns out that the worship that God is after is from the heart and displayed in the way in which I live out my life.  Because of the mercy I have experienced from God, I choose to, very intentionally, offer my whole life to him.  This is displayed in my thought life, what I do with my spare time, and what I choose to feed my soul with. The ‘pattern of this world’ is encroaching on all our doorsteps in a big way these days and it is enticing us all to compromise and conform. My choice is to allow God to change the way I see my life to align with His priorities for me; a supernatural transformation.

Bring an attitude of humility (Philippians 2:1-11)
A prideful Vijay stinks. I want to present the humble one that looks a bit more like Jesus. He was willing to become human, and not just that, He was willing to die for all humans, and not just that, He was willing to die a horrible death on the cross at the hands of His creation.  Why?  That we might be saved from our sins.  My choice is to humble my heart before this amazing God and function in a way that pleases Him.  I actually like the humble Vijay!

Cultivate a repentant heart (1 John 1:9)
Imagine a world in which people actually forgave each other. As a society or individuals, we certainly don’t forgive easily.  Forgiveness isn’t easy because usually it involves hurt and damage.  Sometimes we won’t forgive celebrities because we have judged them to be horrible people because they [insert infraction here].  Then why would God forgive us?  Me?  Because He loves me.  He loves you.  All that is required is that I would confess my sin, not justify or rationalize my sin, but confess.  Admit my wrong before God. The promise of God is that He will forgive and cleanse me.  Wow.  I want to repent often of that which burns inside of me in the absence of God’s leading.

Be the Spirt-filled version of me (Galatians 5:16-26)
The option in front of each of us is a) To be led by our human desires, or b) To be led by the Spirit of God.  The first leads to a whole bunch of icky stuff that I don’t want in my mind, life, home, or workplace. The second results in some seriously incredible stuff that I can’t accomplish on my own strength: a loving Vijay (when it’s tough to be loving), a patient Vijay (when it’s easy to lose my cool), a joyful Vijay (when it’s easier to be grumpy), a peaceful Vijay (when it’s easier to stress), etc. My choice is to Walk by the Spirit, be Led by the Spirit, Live by the Spirit, and Keep in step with the Spirit of God.

Be prepared to share my story (John 4:39-42)
I absolutely love the story of Jesus meeting the woman by the well in Samaria.  Jesus said a few powerful words to her that changed… everything. Her response was to go and tell people about Jesus.  As a result, many in her town accepted and believed in Jesus.  She likely wasn’t a theological powerhouse or superstar speaker.  She was like you and me.  If God could use her, surely He can use me! If only I would share my story and lead them to Jesus.

Give Thanks (Psalm 34:1-9)
I want to sound something like this: “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm‬ ‭34:1-4‬). My plan is to thank God for 10 – 15 things on the way to work every morning.  I can choose to stew on something or complain about something else.  The reality is that I have SO much to be thankful for.  I choose to bless the Lord and let His praises roll off my lips regularly!

Give all the glory to God (Psalm 115:1)
We serve a living and all-powerful God.  He’s not a fake.  He’s the real thing!  Whatever good comes from my life, my family, and my work, I want to give all the glory to God.  If I go to Him for help before, when it’s a success I will deflect praise to Him.  I sang in a group called White Chocolate when I was freshly out of high school.  Whenever people praised us, we would look at each other and say ‘Ka Ching’ and angle our hands as to deflect the praise to God.  Ka-Ching!  To God be all the glory.

So, will you join me?
Our students are depending on us! If we all move closer to being more and more like Jesus, we will see God do some seriously, amazingly, and ridiculously awesome things through us and through our school community; of this I am 100% confident.
May God bless you this year!!!

Vijay Manuel
MEI Head of Schools