Front cover image of What Then Is This Child Going To Be?

 

As this rapidly changing world seems to be spinning out of control at warp speed, we yearn for constants to lend stability to our lives. Historically, society has relied on her schools to promote the values shared by Americans. When Then Is This Child Going To Be?  is a unique look at life from the perspective of a Christian teacher.  Subtitled Lessons from the Classroom, this book presents insights on a wide variety of issues facing our culture and our children.

Steve Hawley offers a collection of stories taken from more than twenty years of chapel talks and devotionals, each illustrating central biblical truths.  As the author blends memories of his childhood with teaching and coaching experiences, family members, students, and players become characters in a twenty-five part essay on the Christian's walk with the Lord.  What connection is there between a 1960's rock song and a little girl in a Honduran village?  Why did a magical high school baseball season turn tragic?  How can a morning in a dentist's chair inspire a lesson on honesty?  The answers are revealed in chapters that stand alone, encouraging a devotional study that will be thought provoking and, perhaps, awaken echoes of your own childhood.

 

 

Steve Hawley and his brother praying before bedtime - circa 1959

 

"My parents were not big on photographs.  There are time gaps in my scrapbook where there might be only one or two pictures per year.  In the majority of my earliest snapshots, Dave is in the picture, too.  (The exact figure is 59% - I used my calculator.)  I suppose that is logical.  Brothers close in age are usually together.  My favorite picture is one taken sometime before we moved to Nebraska when I was four.  Dave and I are kneeling, facedown on our bed, offering our bedtime prayers. It was a moment of peace rarely shared during childhood."

 

 

Sign above WCS girls basketball locker room.

 

"Thirteen years ago, my girls basketball team at Friendship Christian School established a tradition in our program.  An office supply company put the word UNSELFISH on a nameplate and we nailed it to the locker room door.  Whenever we exited, we would reach up and touch UNSELFISH.  It was a simple reminder to put others before self.  It is not easy in life; it is not easy in sports.  Any team is a microcosm of society.  A family or business can be destroyed by selfishness; so can a team.  We have to make sacrifices.  It can be hard sitting on the bench, cheering for the girl playing your position, especially if she is a sophomore and you are a senior.  Our older players taught the younger players our system.  At times, an upperclassman would train a freshman, who had better athletic ability, knowing this ninth-grader would eventually take away her own playing time.  To me, that was the definition of unselfishness. Not everyone can do it.  Not everyone wants to do it.  My favorite part of our elementary basketball camp every summer came when my older players took the campers from third, fourth, and fifth-grade into the locker room to talk about unselfishness.  When they finished, each camper would "touch the door."  Some of the smallest ones could never reach it, so my players would pick them up, allowing them to put their hand on the sign.  It was a beautiful example of being unselfish - lifting others who could never succeed without help. I must have touched that UNSELFISH plate ten thousand times over the years.  It became such a habit that I would reach up and touch a spot on other doors I walked through.  One month ago, we put UNSELFISH up and began the same tradition at Westbury Christian School.  We still forget to touch it sometimes, but that will come.  No habit was ever formed in a day."

 

 

Steve Hawley and friend at worship services in Honduras.

 

"It was Sunday  morning, July 19, 1998  and our mission group was worshiping with   a village congregation in the hills outside Tegucigalpa.  The building lacked what Americans consider essential: padded pews, air-conditioning, carpet, stained glass (or any other kind of glass) and a microphone.  What was not absent was the love of the Lord and the fervor for his work.  I was sitting on the third row with Kathryn Thomas, a fellow mission member and one of my former high school basketball players. In the pew in front of us was a girl about two-years-old wearing a frilly dress with dark hair and dark eyes. Throughout the service, the little girl and I played peek-a-boo, a game which transcends any cultural barrier.  It was not difficult for her to steal my heart.  Why did this child seem so special?  Maybe it was because she was so typical of the wonderful Honduran children we encountered, who possess charm in the middle of poverty and beauty in the face of despair.  After the final "amen," I presented her with a stick of gum and learned from her mother that her name was Rebecca.  Kathryn took our picture together; a sunburned, smiling American holding a solemn Honduran girl, her brown eyes boring into the camera lens.  It was the first picture I looked for when the film was developed."

 

 

Steve Hawley signing autographs as a senior at York High School in his hometown in Nebraska.

 

"No one talked about reunions  when we were in high school. We were eager to get on with the rest of our lives with no thought of looking back.   As we get older, we understand how our childhood shapes us as adults.  Undoubtedly, we tend to edit out the pain, airbrush the flaws, and fast-forward through the heartaches.  Someone has noted that truth and memory are related, but not identical.  Maybe my absence at reunions is reluctance to exchange the comfort of my teenage memories for the reality of adulthood.  At a reunion, "The Way We Were"  becomes The Way We Are.  The present collides gently with the past as we face the prospect of aging.  Does that scare you? It scares me, but less than it used to.  Will I be in the next reunion picture? Your guess is as good as mine, but the odds are improving.  Stay tuned; there may be a sequel.”

 

 

The Kaeser Maze at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

 

"When I am at my parents' home in St. Louis, my favorite attraction (besides Ted Drewes Frozen Custard) is the Missouri Botanical Garden.  The best part of each visit is their maze.  Constructed of bushes roughly seven feet tall, this maze is full of dead ends and wrong turns.  Every time I enter, I get lost and it is several minutes before I find my way out.  To the side of the maze is an observation tower.  Standing on it and looking down into the labyrinth, one can easily see how to navigate the turns and make an escape.  Maybe, in a sense, that is how the Lord views our lives.  Since time is no obstacle to him, he sees us in the maze of life and nudges us one way or opens a door in another direction."  

 

 

 

 

"This book inspires teachers to joyfully embrace all the small daily interactions with students; the "little" things may ultimately change the world, one child at a time."
Pat Simpson, Ed. D
Chair, Department of Education
Abilene Christian University

"Real stories, real people, real lessons from the classroom. A must read for any parent."
Thomas Besso
President and Founder
SolomonSwann International
Houston, Texas

"Reading this book has given me a renewed motivation to strive in helping students and their families who are at risk or in crisis."
Cathy Wood; Social Worker
Liberty Elementary School
Sallisaw, OK 

"Steve Hawley does an excellent job of leading you through some of life's greatest moments! You will find your mission in life through the pages of this book."
Chad J. Hedgepath
Youth Minister
Berry's Chapel Church of Christ
Franklin, Tennessee

"It is heartening to know that there are classrooms where children can still learn moral and spiritual values but even more impressive that they can see these values put into practice by sensitive teachers like Steve Hawley.  I came away from this read encouraged in the belief that fundamental principles of goodness still resonate with today’s youth.  Anyone with an interest in quality education will find this book worthwhile."
Jack McNutt, Retired Chief Executive Officer
Murphy Oil Corporation
El Dorado, Arkansas

"If my clients' parents had read this book, I would be out of business."
Scott Hunt, Attorney at Law
Law Office of Hammitte and Hunt
Hamilton, Alabama

"I have had the wonderful pleasure of reading  What Then Is This Child Going To Be?  I was immediately drawn in because of my childhood days in Nebraska with my three brothers. The stories are heartwarming and the lessons are powerful reminders of ways to influence the vulnerable minds of children. Teaching is best when a teacher develops a relationship with the student and learning is best when a student has a relationship with the teacher. This book demonstrates the power of relationship throughout the teaching and coaching avenues. I pray that many more will read this good work and put it into practice - children will be blessed when they do."
Michael Runcie
Director, Christian Family Services, Inc.
St. Louis Missouri

"For me, the book was a great motivator for the start of the new school year. As teachers and coaches, we sometimes lose that motivation or desire inside us to help young people. This book does such a great job of reminding us why and who we teach. Teachers and coaches would be wise to put this on their reading list. I highly recommend this book to everyone involved in working with and teaching and coaching kids."
Tom Kelsey
Bible Instructor/ Boys Basketball Coach
Greater Atlanta Christian School
Norcross, Georgia

"I greatly enjoyed What Then Is This Child Going To Be?   As a future teacher, I found it very insightful.  The book reminded me of the great responsibility I will have as a teacher but it also made me excited to realize the influence for good that I can have on the lives of my students."
Rachel Nicks
Senior / Education Major
Harding University
Searcy, Arkansas

"The telling of a story has a profound effect. Steve Hawley tells stories that make us listen and think. Sometimes they evoke a chuckle or grin of recognition, and sometimes they bring a lump to the throat or make us sigh with sadness or shared pain. Stories help us remember what is really important in our encounters with one another and certainly in our encounters with "the least of these"- the children in our lives. Steve's stories help us open our eyes to see and our ears to hear things we didn't notice before. The stories in What Then Is This Child Going To Be? convey truths that bring us closer to the real story behind all our little narratives- the battle between good and evil within the heart of every one of us. I commend this book of simple stories that get to the heart of what is real."
Libby Weed
Vice-President of Curriculum/ Elementary Principal
Brentwood Christian School
Austin, Texas

"This is the best book I have ever read; I could not put it down.  What Then Is This Child Going To Be?  is a must read for any teacher at any level and for all Christians."
Susan Sanford
Owner/Operator
Small Treasure Christian Daycare and Preschool
Carbon Hill, Alabama

 

 

While using the web to promote his first book What Then Is This Child Going To Be?, Steve Hawley created a blog at www.stevehawley.blogspot.com that contains daily devotionals featuring reflections on life with Biblical applications. After a year and a half of writing these devotionals, Steve wants to make available these reflections in a printed and bound format. While this work has not yet been named, Steve is working on putting it together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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