May 2015 Student Newsletter

Words from the Director

Russell Haffner

School Director: Russell Haffner

“Knowledge will bring you the opportunity to make a difference.” These words were spoken by distinguished nursing educator, Claire Mintzer Fagin (RN, Ph.D, FAAN and author of Essays on Nursing Leadership). In the world of health care the help one receives is often determined by the knowledge of the care givers. The more they know the better they are able to help. The question for those of us who are students of the Bible is, "Are we helping those around us with the knowledge we have gained from the study of God's word?" We can truly make a difference in the world by first applying what we have gained from God's word to our lives and then sharing that new found knowledge with others.

In James 1:19-22 we find, "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."

James begins his discussion of the application of truth by saying we must be "swift to hear." This means we must be eager to learn God's truth if we ever expect to reach the point of applying it to our own lives. We cannot live as we should if we refuse to listen to God's commands.

James also explains that in applying God's word to our lives we must "lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness." In other words we must be willing to make the necessary changes in our lives to please God. We will not be able to become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) if we refuse to give-up our old sinful habits (Ephesians 4:22).

The passage also tells us that we must "receive with meekness the implanted word." A meek reception of God's word is always required for one's submission to God's will. Our desire is for the word of God to rule in our hearts and in our lives. God's word must have the final say in all that we do and teach. Paul said in Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

If we are willing to do these things which James teaches we can be "doers of the word, and not hearers only." And when we are doers of the word we will be able to help those around us. Each one of us has a personal sphere of influence. We touch and shape the lives of those we come in contact with every day by our words and actions. It is a wonderful blessing to be able to make a difference in our world. Let us make sure we use our newly gained Bible knowledge to make a difference by helping others.

Words of Encouragement

The WVBS Online Bible School is composed of a great community of Bible students from all over the world. We have students from various cultures and 104 different countries. At the time of this writing there are over 5,800 students enrolled in the school. Of that number over 3,760 are Auditing the classes, over 1,000 are Informal Students, and over 1,040 are Formal Students. As you can see there are many others like you who desire to learn God’s word. You are part of an impressive and growing student body.

You may have noticed we have added to the school website a map which shows the cities around the world where we have students. The points only represent the city of a student and not a precise location. The map does not have any specific information about our students. At present the Auditing Students are not included on the map, so this means that even though you may not see a red dot in a certain country that does not mean we do not have a student from that country studying in the school. As a student of the school you are part of a worldwide quest for greater Bible knowledge.

How to Study as an Online Student

You may be wondering how you can get the most benefit from your online education. Taking online courses is a new and unique experience for many students. Allow me to offer a few suggestions to assist you in your studies.

  • I would first recommend that you try to create a consistent scheduled time to watch the online video classes. You will need to be disciplined in your efforts to successfully proceed through the 45 courses of the school.
  • As you are watching the videos you should also try to ensure that the displayed image is large enough for you to read any of the graphics which may appear in the presentation. The graphics are often very helpful in highlighting certain crucial points of the lesson.
  • The next tip may appear over simplistic, but I think it is also important for you to provide yourself with a comfortable venue to view the lessons. The length of some of the videos may become problematic if you are in an uncomfortable setting.
  • I would also suggest that as you progress through the courses you stay organized. This has always applied when attending a geographically located school but it is especially important when it comes to an online education. You may need to create for yourself a virtual office. This would be defined as a consistent workspace with all things needed for your study close at hand.

Perhaps these suggestions will help you to get the greatest benefit possible from the school.