Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)

On Tuesday, the Elementary Studio celebrated Emmry and Sloane for mastering the content necessary to earn their badges and move up to the next level. Rather than time spent in seats as the guide for learners advancing, when heroes at Journey are ready, they take the step to the next level.  And we love to party when they do.

To mark their demonstrations of mastery, Miss Cheryl convened an honor circle for both heroes.  We see Jesus prioritizing “honoring one another” and we practice honor throughout the year.  At Journey, honor includes recognizing the things we are thankful for in the hero, gifts we see in the hero and what we like about the hero. On this day, the heroes gave thanks for Emmry’s gifts and grace in the studio.  They recognized her hard work and her ability to be comfortable as a leader not only in the studio but in the school.  Personally, I find myself relying on Emmry for her insights, young wisdom and great memory for the values of our school.

As the conversation turned to Sloane, heroes valued her ability to focus, her quiet and quirky sense of humor,  her passion for reading and her humble care and listening to others came out during the time of honor.  Toward the end of our time of focusing on Sloane, in the way only a sister could know, Clara spoke up. “Sloane. I think of that Bible verse we learned earlier in the year.  ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ That’s you Sloane.”

The Bible describes this as a prophetic word.  Clara was strengthening and encouraging Sloane.  She applied a Kingdom practice, unprompted, to build up her sister.  Through meditating on Scripture, she was able to bring the Scripture into the exact moment it was called for.

May we all speak words to strengthen, comfort and encourage like Clara.

//Dr. T//

p.s. As heroes are practicing prayer in the Restorative Room, we have set up a prayer email address.  If you have prayer requests that you would like to submit, write to I will edit for length, content and readability while the heroes will intercede on your behalf for your requests.


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‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:22-24)


The ELS heroes are celebrating after solving the mystery of the missing robot, Echo.  For the past six weeks at Journey Academy, they conducted an investigation using fingerprint, hair and footprint analysis, as well as video surveillance, witness interviews and suspect interviews. They were seeking to find what was lost.  And they found it.

To complement our project-based work, our Kingdom time focused on Scriptures like Luke 15 and heroes were invited to use their hero’s notebook to document how they might use the verses on finding on their own hero’s journey of faith.  They discovered the Kingdom practice of celebration all on their own.  Richard Foster helped me to better understand the spiritual significance of celebrating.  Clark suggested to Ms. Sarah, “We should dance.” And dance they did, with all of their might.

After celebrating the skills they employed during their investigation, the heroes had one more “testing opportunity” to show what they have learned.  The exhibition yesterday was an on-line mystery where they had to solve a second “crime” that had been committed at Journey Academy.  They taught their families about the skills they learned and then guided them through the scientific method of hypothesis, data collection, analysis and conclusion using the Exhibition Mystery Guide (1) We invite you to try to view and solve the mystery like the heroes did.

And one other celebration happened today.  In the Journey model of personalized learning, heroes progress at their own pace. Stella’s pace has brought her to the day of transition as she moves from the Early Learning Studio into the Elementary Studio.  You’ll note on her stole, the badges of learning skills and content in which she has demonstrated mastery.  Join Stella and us as we dance with all our might.

Dance With Stella


//Dr. T//

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among us

(by Carter, ELS hero)


The Word became flesh and dwelled among us.  (John 1:14)


The three weeks of this Quest flew by. It has been a time of learning about serving with heroes secretly serving each other and collectively serving Kids’ Food Basket. It has been a time of learning the intricacies of joyful rhythms as the heroes have innovated creative practices like gymnastic percussion (look in the videos). It has been a time of reading Isaiah 9, Luke 2 and John 1 to study the Christmas story. It has been a time of responding to musical worship through art.

And I think the John 1 passage where Jesus made his dwelling among us was an apt description for these three weeks. He came and made His dwelling among us as we served like He did. He came and made His dwelling among us as Ms. Jamie collaborated with heroes to arrange the worship songs. He came and made His dwelling among us as heroes explained to Ms. Kristin about how their art is a response to worship.

The Heroes are excited to share what they’ve learned with you. Check out their exhibition here. 

He is among us; and that’s why we worship.

//Dr. T//

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