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Psalm 126: 3
The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.


At the end of this week, I will celebrate my two-year anniversary of serving as the High School Division Head at Parkview Baptist School.  Just typing that sentence gives me chills because of the great responsibility that comes with the position at an institution like Parkview.  I have learned an incredible amount in my first two years – about the school, about our families, about our students, and about myself as a leader.

As an outsider coming in two years ago, I had a different perspective on our school than many who had been at PBS for a significant amount of time.  I was able to see the overwhelming amount of strengths we brought to the table, as well as seeing clearly the areas that were going to be challenges toward our progress in the future.  I leaned heavily on the wisdom of Dr. Mayes to build trust and celebrate small victories.  I learned from him that change does not have to happen overnight, but building healthy systems will produce the outcomes you are looking for over time.  I am grateful for his confidence and investment in me.

Now that I am enjoying my third year at PBS, it feels like home.  It feels like I have been a part of the PBS family for much longer than I actually have.  I take pride in being an Eagle, and I love our student body.  I am so appreciative of the parents who have reached out and offered their wisdom, advice, and support.  We all desire for PBS to be the best school it can possibly be.  We all have the same goals in mind, and it is exciting to see the progress we are making each and every day.  You have probably heard me say that it is my desire for PBS to be the leading independent school in Louisiana.  I believe we are well on our way to accomplishing that goal.

I was reflecting just a while ago on exactly what it is that I desire for our students at Parkview.  If I had to boil it all down into a few short statements, what would they be?  That is quite a challenge, and encourage you to do the same.  As I narrowed it down, I came up with three statements that I would like to share with you.  As I am given the honor of leading our high school, this is what I desire to accomplish for every student who walks the halls of Parkview Baptist High School:

  1. I want our students to know Christ. Philippians 3:10-11 says, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”  Academic excellence, outstanding athletics, creative fine arts … those are all noble pursuits, but my ultimate desire is for our students to nurture an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
  1. I want our students to feel loved and encouraged. I want every student to have someone investing in them and mentoring them, bringing out the best in each student.  Life is hard, and our students are facing challenges like few of us have ever known.  They need our attention, our investment, our advice, and our direction.  One day soon, they will change the world.
  1. I want our students to be academically challenged. It may not be a popular sentiment nowadays, but I desire for our students to struggle and wrestle with their academic success.  I believe they will rise to whatever standard we set, therefore, I want to set the bar high.  I want them to dream big, work hard, and give every ounce of determination they can muster.  I want them to be risk-takers who are not afraid of failure.  We will always provide the support they need to reach beyond what they ever thought they were capable.  I want them to leave PBS with confidence, a solid work ethic, and a real appreciation for all they were able to accomplish.

This is my heart’s desire.  I hope it’s yours as well.  I want to be a part of the Parkview family for a long time, and I am looking forward to watching the Lord’s plan for PBS continue to unfold. Thank you for partnering with us to invest in the lives of your children.

For His Glory,

Ben D. Haindel

High School Division Head

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“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” — Ronald Reagan

 

Ever since I was a little boy, I have always had a passion for history.  I can remember my excitement in the 4th grade over finding a biography of Daniel Webster in the library and reading about my first hero of history.  A few years later I poured through the pages of Ben Franklin’s autobiography and dreaded when I came to the last page.  I remember my grandparents recounting days of their youth which seemed to be a completely different world than the one in which I grew up.  It’s no wonder I became a Social Studies Education major in college.  I learned that we study the past so that we can have a future.

 

To this day, I am fascinated by the lives of the brave men and women who founded our country and those who dedicated their lives to service so that the next generation could enjoy freedom and prosperity.  I take so much pride in our country, and I look forward to celebrating our nation’s birthday on July 4th each year.  I believe it is so important to instill a love for our country and an unwavering devotion to freedom in our children.  This coming week provides a great opportunity for us as parents to do just that.

 

pledge-of-allegianceWatching the evening news or hearing the latest about the on-going Presidential election can sometimes make us feel hopeless for the future of our nation.  Fortunately, we worship a God who offers hope and grace to us all.  It is comforting to know that He is control and holds us in His mighty hands.

 

I truly hope you and your family are enjoying this summer and have the opportunity to gather with family and friends over this upcoming Fourth of July holiday.  Pray for our nation.  Pray for our leaders.  Pray for our future.

 

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:23

 

 

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“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” – Matthew 14:28

 

Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending 24 hours with the PBS Senior Class of 2016 at the annual Senior Retreat. We took the Seniors to Camp Living Waters in Loranger, LA for an overnight trip of bonding, old-fashioned fun, and spiritual growth. I was excited to have one of my own spiritual mentors lead three sessions of sharing God’s Word with the class.


Our featured speaker, Mark Robert, has the uncanny ability to make me want to become a Christian all over again every time I hear him speak. He is a true man of God, a man of humility and integrity. With his stories about his Uncle Pete, leading his football teammates to Christ at halftime of a ball game, and boldly proclaiming the Gospel with students in a public school classroom, Coach Robert challenged us all to “get out of the boat.”


It has been exactly one year this week that I was appointed High School Division Head of Parkview Baptist School. If you had told me two years ago that I would in Baton Rouge serving at Parkview, I would have told you that you were crazy. I was more than comfortable with my family in my hometown of Mandeville, serving the Lord in my dream job as a Bible teacher at my alma mater. I could not imagine ever wanting to be anywhere else. My plan was to finish my career at that school, and I even proclaimed my burial site under the big oak tree on the playground of the campus.


The Bible says in Proverbs 19:21, Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. I would soon find out the Lord had a different plan for my life.


When I was eight years old, my dad retired from his career as a real-live rocket scientist at the age of 43. With his Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics, he had worked for NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans during the “Space Race” of the ’60s and ’70s. He went on to work at the LSU Medical Center the following decade. In 1973, a neighbor invited my dad to a home Bible study. Through that study, my parents gave their lives to Christ. Once the Lord got a hold of my dad, his relentless desire became sharing the good news of the Gospel with others. He began to enjoy spending his lunch hours at work sharing the Gospel with co-workers more than his job itself. In 1983, he stepped out of the boat and stepped out in faith. My dad gave up a stable paycheck and a comfortable lifestyle and began a ministry of sharing the Gospel with businessmen in the New Orleans area. We had no steady income as we lived by faith, depending upon God’s people to provide our needs. My dad turned 75 a couple weeks ago, and he has not slowed down one bit in his pursuit for the lost.


This example of faith was modeled for me from an early age. I saw the Lord provide for my family time after time, and I am eternally grateful for the influence of my parents and the sacrifices they made to raise me in a Christian home and send me to a Christian school. My faith in Christ is a direct result of their faithfulness.


In May of 2014, the Lord asked me and my family to get out of the boat and step out in faith. He asked me to sacrifice my comfortable lifestyle and my dream job in order to obey Him and trust Him. I was willing and obedient, and the Lord led me and my family to Parkview Baptist School in Baton Rouge. Over the last year and a half, I have watched the glorious unfolding and the riches of His plan come to fruition. It has been an exciting adventure to truly step out in faith. I am humbled daily by His love for me, and it is my heart’s desire to keep my eyes focused on Him.


As you read these words, I pray the Lord is challenging you to step out of the boat. All He asks for is a willing heart and simple obedience to His calling (Isaiah 1:19). The boat ride of life is a lot of fun, but it’s nothing compared to walking on water.


“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. – Matthew 14:29


For His Glory,
Ben D. Haindel
High School Division Head

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The Importance of Wise Counsel

High School Division Head Blog – October 8, 2015

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. …  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. – Romans 13:1,4

Last weekend, I was invited along with my fellow Division Heads to meet with the PBS Board of Directors at their annual Leadership Training Retreat.  This was a unique opportunity for the leaders of each division to give a behind the scenes look at what was happening on the ground level of our day-to-day operations.  We were allotted an hour of time to give a quick presentation, but the Board members ended up giving us four hours of their precious time together.

This may not sound like a very exciting Saturday morning to you, but I wanted to let you know how important this opportunity was to each of the Division Heads and how confident I am in the leadership of our school.

The Bible often speaks about seeking wise counsel:

For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers. – Proverbs 11:14

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. – Proverbs 15:22

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. – Proverbs 19:20-21

As the leader of the high school, it is comforting to know that there are godly men and women setting policy and overseeing the overall operation of our school.  The men and women I encountered on Saturday want nothing but the best for our school.  Egos and selfish ambitions were checked at the door.  Support, strength, and wisdom were offered from beginning to end.

Our Board members sacrifice hours of family time to devote their gifts and abilities toward the mission of our school and the growth  of our students.

I hope you will join me in praying for our leadership.  Along with the commitment to the mission and ministry of Parkview Baptist School that our Board members and Dr. Don Mayes have made, comes the fury of our Lord’s enemy.  When a group of men and women commit to carry the kingdom of Christ out into our community, Satan is not going to sit idly by.  Let us though claim victory in the words of I John 4:4 – … the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

Let me assure you that our school is in good hands.  The future of Parkview Baptist School is bright.  It is my hope and prayer that PBS will continue to be that shining city on a hill to all who pass by.  Pray that our students will be the fruit of the labor of all those who have gone before us to establish and lead PBS to what it has become today.  May our students be a living testament of the opening lines of the book of Psalms:

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on His law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Thank you again to our Board of Directors: Pastor Michael Hardaway, Mike Scott, Huey Beason, Scott Wilfong, Philip Parker, Jennifer Sims, Joe Stansell, Nancy Adcock, Lisa Burt, Jeremy Coco, Cory Matessino, John Bailey,  and Molly Desselle. Please remember to pray for these men and women by name as they make decisions for PBS.

For His Glory,

Ben D. Haindel
High School Division Head

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IMG_2237High School Division Head Blog – August 27, 2015

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Matthew 6:20-21

 

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit my parents back in my hometown of Mandeville.  I am the youngest of three, and we have always been a very close-knit family.  I am grateful for that every day.  It is always a good time to catch up with my parents, and I wish I could visit with them more in the midst of all the busy-ness of life.

 

On this particular visit, my mom took me to the  attic and asked me to look through a few things that were taking up too much space in my parents’ home.  I rummaged through multiple boxes of old notebooks and binders from high school and college.  I actually kept every assignment, quiz, math problem, and note I ever took throughout my high school and college education.  The papers were browned with age, and the work in which I had poured so many exhausting hours was now  a distant memory.  After a fleeting moment of nostalgia, I gave my mom my blessing to throw it all out.  I figured if the Smithsonian has not called by now, I guess they never will.

 

Before I headed back down the stairs, my mom pointed to a large black chest sitting in the corner and asked me to take a look.  She opened up the chest, and to my amazement there were all of my childhood sports trophies in all their glimmering plastic glory.  A flood of memories came rushing into my mind … from the old Harbor Field where I won three baseball league championships as a kid to the now deflated basketball with “Coach’s Award” inscribed upon it.  For a brief moment I went back to “The Glory Days,” in the words of Bruce Springsteen. It was quite a trip down memory lane!

 

But then reality quickly set in.  I was now just staring at a collection of old, dusty plastic memories from the past that I had actually completely forgotten about.  The incredible joy and pride these trophies had once brought me as a youth was now nothing more than a barely audible whisper from my past.  The things that I treasured most and proudly displayed as a kid were now just a fire hazard in my parents’ attic.  For a brief moment I thought about scooping up those trophies in my arms as I envisioned them sitting atop the shelves in my living room for my children to admire. Two problems with that scenario – that precious collection would never make it past the doorstep under my wife’s watchful eye, and besides, I didn’t really have much use for them anyway.

 

 

On the way home that night, I began to reflect upon the “trophies” I have collected in my adult life … the things that are truly important to me now.  While my high school days are still some of the best days of my life, I wouldn’t trade them for one lazy Sunday afternoon with my wife and three girls.  But what has truly become most important to me is my relationship with Jesus Christ.  As the days of my life swiftly pass by, I am realizing more and more how deep and how wide His love is for me. James 4:14  -What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

 

At PBS, we strongly encourage your children to work hard every day so they can move on to college and become successful doctors, lawyers, teachers, community and business leaders.  Those are all noble pursuits.  But when the last grains of sand fall on our lives, the material treasures and accomplishments that we have collected along the way will fall along the wayside.  As Solomon so simply proclaimed, our most noble pursuit on this earth is to know God and enjoy Him forever (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

 

When we understand our eternal purpose, it is only then that we truly realize His great love for us.  We want your children to have great success in all of their endeavors due to the solid education they receive at PBS, but our ultimate goal is to one day have a big PBS Homecoming in Heaven in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  That’s a day I long for, and I pray that is the heart’s desire of each and every one of our PBS Eagles. To Him be the glory.

 

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead…. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:10-11, 14

For His Glory,
Ben D. Haindel
High School Division Head

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