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Michael Giambelluca

Prep's 32nd President

"It's not what we take when we leave this world behind us, it's what we leave behind us when we're gone." - Randy Travis

I hope this Christmas Eve finds you and your families doing well. I intended this message to be sent a few days ago, but in the "busyness" of us preparing to drive to New Orleans for the holidays, etc., this morning was just the way it happened.

The drive from Omaha to New Orleans--with our two recently adopted dogs--was eventful. Most notably, it included driving through an ice storm on Saturday afternoon/evening as we passed through Kansas City and beyond. After having seen at least a dozen vehicles in ditches, we decided it would be best for these two folks to stop for the night in Carthage, Missouri. When we headed out for a full day of driving Sunday morning, we were presented with one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever witnessed--everything in sight sparkling in ice.

Now this Christmas message officially began for me as we passed through the Boston Mountains in northwest Arkansas. Donnamaria, Sammie, and Sadie (our two new dogs) were asleep in the front passenger seat (yes, they are small dogs), and Randy Travis' Three Wooden Crosses started playing on the car radio. The refrain quoted above struck me as having just the message I wanted to share with you this Christmas.

With the focus all too often on the "things" Christmas brings, it is easy to forget what the true meaning of Christmas is. Of course, for us as Christians, that meaning is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. On Christmas Day, we are transported back in time to Jesus born in that stable and lying in that manger, and we marvel at the love God had and has for us.

But for us as Christians, we are called to move beyond that manger to the cross. We are all familiar with the passage, "To whom much is given, much is expected." We have been given a beautiful and powerful faith, but that faith is nothing until we realize the expectation that we are here to serve.

As members of the Prep school community, we are blessed with so much. The gratitude that we have in acknowledging these many blessings translates for us into being leaders at Prep and beyond. Chris Lowney states in his newest book, "Pope Francis, Why He Leads the Way He Leads":

"Leaders have a worldview, not just a me-view; specifically, the world is not here to serve me; I am here to serve the world" (p. 39).

As we enjoy these holidays with family and friends--as we certainly should--may we also be mindful of our true calling as Christians--that we are here to serve the world. As Randy Travis says, "It's not what we take when we leave this world behind us, it's what we leave behind us when we're gone."

May your Christmas and your new year offer each of you many opportunities to leave behind you a trail of good and service in our school community, in our city, and in our world.

Loving and serving Him in all things,

Michael

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April 2014

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