Governance / Board

Board of Directors

As the AACS governing and policy making body, The Board provides spiritual leadership and direction for AACS. Members work closely with the administration, faculty and staff to advance the school's mission and further the cause of Christian education.

Please e-mail Dan Smith, Board President, to communicate messages with our Board.

Dan Smith, AACS Board President

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Dan Smith, AACS Board President

Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

As a parent of three AACS students, I have experienced, first hand, the blessing that our school is to students and families. I have developed a love for AACS and her faculty, families, and leaders, and desire to help sustain our efforts to partner with parents in the education and discipleship of our children. As an appointed member of our Board, I also offer perspective with the hopes of helping AACS continue to embrace the principles and values upon which she was founded.

What do you do when you are not at AACS?

I serve as an Associate Pastor for Discipleship at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Annapolis. In this role I have the privilege to give oversight to our church's ministry to Men, Women, Youth, and Children - giving more direct leadership to our Men's Ministry.

Tell us about your family.

My wife, Sandy, and I have been married since 1991 and we have three children that are quickly moving toward adulthood. Our eldest son graduated from AACS in 2014 and is attending Eastern University near Philadelphia. Our younger son is a member of the AACS class of 2016, and our daughter is a member of the AACS class of 2018. Our family actively (and at times passionately) participates in Soccer, Lacrosse, and Choral Music programs at AACS.

Where did you grow up?

My childhood was spent primarily in Bowie, Maryland (The "K" Section), where I attended Kenilworth Elementary and Tasker Middle School. After 8th Grade, my family moved to Annapolis. My parents still live in Epping Forest, in the house that was once a summer cottage belonging to my grandparents.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning?

During the school year, the perfect Saturday morning involves sleeping a little later than usual and then chasing our kids to their various athletic activities. In the summertime, it would somehow involve the Severn River and our family.

What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Romans 8:15, 16

It is an amazing thing that someone like me would be welcomed into God's family as his child. He invites me to call Him "Father"! He could not love us more......and He will not love us less.

Kevin Atkinson

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Kevin Atkinson

Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

I’ve been investing in AACS since our kids started. I’ve witnessed and experienced the blessing to our family and so many other students and families.  I’m humbled by the privilege to further serve the students, alumni, families, faculty and administration as an appointed member of the Board.  I desire to bring my business, personal perspectives and experiences to sustain and enhance the partnership with the AACS community - in discipleship and education of our students.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

I own a boutique consulting firm focusing on captive insurance solutions for private companies, which combines my career experiences in finance, risk, wealth management and creative solution development to align with clients’ personal and business goals.  Outside of business, I enjoy time with the family and sometimes may squeak in a game of golf. Much of my time. I am thrilled to be involved with our kids and their friends and just being available.       


Tell us about your family.

My wife, Christy, and I have been married since 1996 and in 1998 moved to Annapolis from Northern Virginia.  We have two children, Garrett and Kelley.  Garrett is a 2017 AACS graduate and is currently pursuing his passion in music production at the Art Institute of Washington in Arlington, Virginia. Kelley started at AACS in sixth grade and is now part of the 2022 class where she is discovering and developing her gifts and talents. We enjoy watching TV shows and playing corn hole together and love when our kids’ friends are routinely over, especially with Garrett’s recording studio in the basement! Maddie, our Westie, tries to stay out of the way of all of the activity!  

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Richmond, Virginia and graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

An early morning mocha coffee sitting outside on a dock on the water or on a beach.  Then heading back to make breakfast for the family with bacon, eggs and french toast.

What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?

I’d say one of my core passages has always been Acts 2:42-47.  “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” 

I’ve always been fascinated with the apparent simplicity of the early church and the picture of the believers being together in such tangible and practical ways.  I so much enjoy just being with folks and hanging out, mentoring, being with and encouraging young people and their families

Steven Boggs

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Steven Boggs

Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

Passion and purpose.  If I can find passion for something, because of its compelling purpose, I am all in.  Having two sets of kids go through AACS with a decade age gap between them, I have the unique perspective of witnessing the positive influence of AACS for a second time including the blessing of the new lower school in Severn.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

I am Law Registrar at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.  In this role, I am responsible for the curriculum and schedule of classes, final exams, grading, record retention, FERPA enforcement, certifying records and graduates and leading the office.  In addition, I serve on a Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) section (Legal Education and Bar Admission) and a MSBA task force (International Law Committee of Business Law).  I am also an elected member of the Staff Senate for the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus.  Finally, I am a licensed attorney in the State of Maryland and Texas (inactive since 2000). 

Tell us about your family.

My wife, Sharon, and I have been married since 1993.  We met at the University of Maryland College Park as undergraduates in the Greek System.  We have four wonderful children.  Our oldest daughter, a 2014 AACS graduate, is studying at UMBC to become a middle school English Teacher.  Our oldest son is a rising senior at AACS most recently known for his role as Gomez Addams in the Addams Family Musical.  Our youngest son is a rising 5th grader at the AACS Lower School in Severn.  Our youngest daughter is a rising 2nd grader at the AACS Lower School in Severn.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the Southgate Community of Anne Arundel County since 1976.  I attended Southgate Elementary, Old Mill North and Old Mill Senior High School having graduated in 1985.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

A perfect Saturday morning would be spent with my family at the National Gallery of Art in DC surrounded by The Voyage of Life paintings of Thomas Cole followed by a meal in the Cascade Café watching the waterfall and cascading lights in the pedestrian tunnel.

What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?

Jeremiah 29:11.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  I remember hearing this read by Dr. Tony Evans at a Promise Keepers Conference and it was a powerful reminder that God is in control and knows His plans on my behalf so it is unnecessary to worry or set my own agenda.

Karen Kelbly Cole

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Karen Kelbly Cole

Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

“Knowing God and gaining His heart for the world” – As parents, educators, the body of Christ – if we can ignite a fire in our children for this pursuit, we will have achieved much. Serving on the AACS Board of Directors affords me the opportunity to contribute to this goal. Our two, now grown daughters attended AACS, K-12, and reaped the benefits of a Christian education. We are forever grateful to God for his generosity to us. It is my prayer that together we may preserve this education option informed by a Christian worldview for future generations.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

I recently retired after many years in the federal government serving credit unions in an accounting and auditing policy role with the federal regulator and insurer of credit unions. Retirement has afforded me time to pursue a variety of interests. I have participated on several church visitation opportunities with seniors in our community. I attend several Bible study focused meetings throughout the week. I have greater opportunities to pursue wellness. I assist my siblings in the financial oversight of a parent. And I have enjoyed serving AACS these last several years on the Board and certain Board committees.

Tell us about your family.

Apart from God’s gift of salvation, my family is God’s greatest blessing to me. Mark and I have been married for over twenty-eight years and have two grown daughters, AACS alumni. We enjoy time together in and around our home, as well as travel to visit extended family throughout the year. Mark and his brother own a residential and commercial excavation company serving contractors and homeowners in Anne Arundel County and the Eastern Shore.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in rural northeastern Ohio in an area rich in agriculture and known for its dairy farming community. I was one of five children, and lived near both sets of grandparents. Extended family and the local church provided a sense of community and a social network that was rich. I came to know God at a small country church where the Bible was taught, and God was worshipped.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

I'm sitting in the sunroom of a cabin by a lake, lingering over breakfast and coffee with my husband Mark as we share our lives and hearts. Mark heads out in his boat to fish, and our daughters and I take a leisurely bike ride exploring local roads and bicycle paths. After our ride, what could be better than a family dip in the lake? Sweet Saturday morning.

What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?

Whenever I read Philippians 2:3-11, I am convicted and humbled and reminded anew of the Gospel.

"Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Kristin DeMarco

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Kristin DeMarco

Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

I have truly been inspired by the amazing teachers and faculty here at AACS. They have cared for and loved my children and provided a wonderful place for them to grow and learn. AACS is a school like no other and I am honored to serve on the board.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

I am a wife and mother of three busy kids! All three of my children attend AACS and have since Kindergarten. I also own a Children’s Boutique in Downtown Annapolis and host Birthday Parties, Etiquette Workshops & tea parties!

Tell us about your family.

My husband Joe and I have been married for 16 years. We have three amazing children and we have one child at each AACS campus this year! Our girls are very busy with ballet – both just auditioned for the Nutcracker and will perform next Christmas Season at Maryland Hall, Bowie and the Lyric. Our son Alexander wants to be a zoologist when he grows up! He just finished a summer internship at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and was asked to return for the Fall Teen Program. He loves animals and knows so much about them. Our family attends Bay Area Community Church and we really enjoy worshiping there. We love to watch Master Chef Jr. as a family and enjoy Friday Night Movie Nights!

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I went to Penn State University and received my degree in Advertising with an emphasis in Public Relations. 

Describe a perfect Saturday morning. 

 Ahh! I have worked at my boutique every Saturday for the past ten years so a perfect Saturday would be one where I didn’t have to work! My favorite thing to do is kayaking or paddleboarding. There is something so peaceful about being on the water and spending time with my family outdoors. So I would wake up late, make the kids pancakes then spend the morning on the water!

Michael Edmonds

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Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

I love the school, all three of my kids graduated from the school after attending 13 years (K-12), and my grandson is now attending the school.  AACS has had a tremendous impact on my family, through the education that has been provided from amazing godly teachers & staff, the community of parents, and the focus on partnering with parents to support my children with their walk with Christ.  AACS has given so much to me, and I hope I can offer my time, treasure, and talents on the board to continue the great work of AACS into the future.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

I work with Chick-fil-A in the Annapolis area, serving my team and guests.  I have been with Chick-fil-A since 1986, becoming the owner in 1992, I love what I do!  I attend Bay Area Community Church and serve on the finance team there and I love time with my family, being a grandparent is amazing!       


Tell us about your family.

My wife Rene’ and I have been married since 1989, I have three adult children in their 20’s, and three grandchildren.  All three of my kids graduated from AACS in ‘11, ‘12, & ‘13, and my oldest grandchild born in 2011, is attending the lower school as AACS.  My granddaughters were born in 2016 and 2017.  


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Huntington, WV.  I left Huntington after graduating High School in 1988, and I have lived in the Annapolis area since 1997.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

Probably sleeping in a little later, having breakfast with my grand babies.  It is one of the busier days for my restaurants so I like to visit one of them for a while.  I may work on a project, I love home improvement, and we try to have family dinner, since everyone is so busy throughout the week. 


What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the well spring of life”. It reminds me of how I need to keep a check on my heart, and I need to keep close to Jesus to do this. 

Warwick Fairfax

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Warwick Fairfax

Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

When I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors of AACS, my first thought was how could I say no to serving when I had kids at the school. At the time I had three kids in the school, each at a different campus. I had already seen the benefits my kids were receiving by being at AACS. They were getting an excellent education combined with a solid grounding in Christian faith. My children’s faith is the most important thing to me, more than their grades, more than their careers. I believe in the mission of our school. I also wanted to use my expertise in leadership and strategic planning to help the school in any way I could.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

I have my own consulting firm specializing in executive coaching in the leadership arena. I love working with leaders to help them crystallize their vision and then have that vision become reality throughout the entire organization. I also write on leadership and have been working on a book on leadership. I have also served as an Elder at Bay Area Community Church.

Tell us about your family.

I have been married for over 25 years and we have three kids, all of whom attended AACS. My oldest son is attending graduate school. My daughter just graduated from college. My younger son just graduated from AACS and will be a freshman in college.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Sydney Australia. I met my wife, an American, in Sydney when she was visiting.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

Spending time with my family is what I love to do, when not working or doing volunteer work with our school or our church. My family loves to play tennis. So playing tennis with them is something that is a lot of fun. We also love going on family vacations and going to new places.

What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?

I have a few favorite Bible passages. One that stands out is 1 John 2:17, "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." The reason this verse is so meaningful to me is that I grew up in a large family newspaper business in Australia. I saw firsthand how money and power do not make you happy. The only thing that truly satisfies is God's love for us and walking in His ways all the days of our lives.

Jim Mackrell

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Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

I have a passion for this school, both in its mission and the environment it produces for children. I wanted to be a part of the Board to ensure that the vision and mission of the school hold true to its foundation of growing a Christ-centered community. I have personally seen how this school has kept our children centered in Christ and has helped grow their faith.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

I am the Practice leader for a national employee benefits firm. Our team helps employers design strategies for their employees and dependents. Outside of work I am either driving our youngest son somewhere or I am working out at our local gym. 

Tell us about your family.

I have been married to the love of my life and girl of my dreams (Laurie) since 1989. We have three sons, all you have attended AACS. Our two oldest recently graduated from AACS while our youngest sons is in the upper school. We also have a dog and two cats to round out our family.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and lived there for the first 33 years of my life.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

A perfect Saturday morning is getting up before everyone and sipping on a hot cup of coffee on a deck in the mountains of Pennsylvania overlooking a still lake. The quietness of that moment gives me great peace. Once that quietness is broken, I love to make pancakes and sausage for everyone as they awake.

What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?

There are so many passages that have offered me great insight and direction. One that comes to mind is James 1: 2-6. "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness..."

This reminds me that we all have trials, but if we look at those trials as an opportunity to strengthen our faith then the trial is manageable. This passage also reminds us to ask God for wisdom and he will give abundantly, provided you ask with faith and without doubt.

David Mitchell

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Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

It is always my desire to support organizations that I believe in and am involved. I certainly believe in AACS and its role as a Christian school. Being on the Board is the best way for me to serve the families, staff, teachers, and especially the kids with the gifts that God has given me. As a Board member I look forward to sharing my knowledge as a business owner, coach, volunteer, and father to help shape the school now and into the future.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

Outside of AACS my wife Kim and I own and manage commercial and industrial real estate in Baltimore City and and Anne Arundel County. In addition we run a nonprofit called Walk The Walk Foundation. WTW supports children and their families who cannot afford some of life's basic needs. Each year WTW also provides school supplies and Christmas gifts and baby products to hundreds of children.

Tell us about your family.

Kim and I have been married for 28 years. We are best friends and enjoy spending much of our time together. We have four children. Our son is a graduate of High Point University and is now married and living in Warrenton, Virginia. We have two daughters in college.  One is at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro and the other is at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  Our youngest is currently a senior at AACS. As a family we enjoy boating and watching the Ravens.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Baltimore City and County. I graduated from Boys' Latin School in Baltimore. I then attended both University of Arizona and University of Maryland.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

A perfect Saturday morning would start with rising early for a run or a long bike ride. I would get back for some quiet time to read and pray before anyone else was up. I would then make breakfast for everyone as they woke, either pancakes or Dad's famous breakfast sandwiches.

What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?

A favorite Bible passage is 1 Peter 4:10. "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." God has given every believer at least one special gift and we are required by God to share those gifts for the benefit of others.

Douglas Powers

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Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

I believe Christian education is paramount - not only to ground our children in a God-centered worldview with a confidence in their faith, but also to strengthen their self-esteem by knowing that their Creator uniquely made them for a special life purpose greater than themselves.  I think AACS’s mission is spot on – to engage our children in excellent education and prepare them to impact the world for Jesus Christ.  Excellence is a high goal since even mediocrity is the enemy of it, but it is achievable in Christ. My desire to serve on the Board is to invest my time and leadership talents and experience to help AACS remain accountable to our mission today and stay on course for the future.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

I recently retired after serving 25 years on active duty as a Naval Officer and am currently working in the private sector as a cybersecurity consultant.  When not working, I can be found and sometimes heard on the sidelines of my children’s sporting events or attending and serving on the safety and security team in my local church.


Tell us about your family.

Kelly and I married in 2001 and are blessed with three children – all highly energetic teenagers at present. Our daughter is at the upper school at AACS with the class of 2020. Our oldest son is also at the upper school, and our youngest son is at the middle school.


Where did you grow up?

With my four brothers in Waldorf, Maryland, about an hour south of Annapolis. 


Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

Waking up well rested without an alarm clock and then enjoying time with my family in a fun or relaxing activity on, in, or nearby some body of water, such as the Severn, Chesapeake, or Atlantic.


What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”  From the small to the big decisions in life, I’ve learned it is best to trust the original, all knowing, and only faultless Navigator.

 

Mark Solsman

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Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

Serving the students, parents, and this great institution is truly a humbling experience. When I was first notified of my nomination I spent days in prayer with the Lord seeking His will. I feel called to serve on the Board of Directors because I enthusiastically support the vision and the direction of the faculty, staff, and administration and I would like to utilize all of my gifts and talents towards helping advance the school's mission and achieve its stated goals through my experience as a leader, an entrepreneur, and a critical thinker.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

Serving the students, parents, and this great institution is truly a humbling experience. When I was first notified of my nomination I spent days in prayer with the Lord seeking His will. I feel called to serve on the Board of Directors because I enthusiastically support the vision and the direction of the faculty, staff, and administration and I would like to utilize all of my gifts and talents towards helping advance the school's mission and achieve its stated goals through my experience as a leader, an entrepreneur, and a critical thinker.


Tell us about your family?

My wife, Kelley, and I have been married since 1996 and together we have been blessed with two children, who have attended AACS since kindergarten.  Our son is a recent graduate of AACS and is now studying at Liberty University in Lynchburg VA.  Our daughter still attends AACS.  Last but not least we have two affectionate Labrador retrievers who think they are human.   
We often look back and reminisce our time with the awesome, God-inspired faculty and staff at the Lower and Middle school campuses.  They really are such special places!   
At the Upper School both of our children fully embraced the “Eagle Experience” to its maximum, participating in 3 seasons of sports, the performing arts, and in the academically challenging environment.  We are blown away by all of the rich opportunities offered in a Biblically-focused, Christ-centered community.  In fact many of our children's role models and mentors were first their coach or director.  We highly recommend you consider taking full advantage of everything this wonderful institution has to offer.

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  I studied at Penn State University in University Park, PA.  However, you can say that I didn’t “grow up” until I moved to Washington, DC by myself where I worked for the Federal Government.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

A perfect Saturday morning for me is any Saturday morning where there are no rehearsals or practices!  More seriously, what makes a perfect Saturday morning for me is when all four of us wake up to the awe of God's beautiful world.   I love the beauty-rich environment of our great nation and cherish time with nature, whether that is on the still waters of the Chesapeake Bay, or in the picturesque mountains of a National Park.  God’s creation is a beautiful place. Take time out to enjoy it.

What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?
 

One of my favorite passages is the Great Commandment found in Matthew 22:37-39. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

To love another is to serve them. When I think of Christ and how He came to earth to serve us and teach us how to love through His example, I am humbled.  These verses are a guide to me when setting my priorities - loving God and serving Him by loving and serving others on this Earth.

Nancy Thomas

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Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

I chose to serve on the Board of Directors because I support the school's mission and I would like to help AACS continue to be an excellent school, keep its values and surpass its current goals. I am a retired educator who worked nearly thirty years in private and public education as a teacher and administrator. I would share my knowledge as a teacher, principal, deacon, parent and grandparent to support the school and insure the future success of AACS.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

When I'm not at AACS, I am active in my community association and at my church, First Baptist Church of Crofton, where I serve as a deacon, a member of the Administrative Board, a Sunday School teacher, and in other capacities. I love to spend time with my family and I am an avid gardener, walker and knitter.

Tell us about your family.

I have two adult daughters, a son-in-law, and a granddaughter...all who live near-by. My granddaughter is in Middle School at AACS and loves it. Maxine, a young golden retriever, completes my family.

Where did you grow up?

I was born, raised and went to college in Connecticut. I grew up on a farm that included fruit orchards and vegetable fields. I moved to Maryland after college to begin my teaching career.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

A perfect Saturday morning would be waking up early, taking a walk with my dog and then working in my garden.

What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?

One of my favorite Bible passages is Joshua 1:9: "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest." Another is Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."