This months:

Thought: Wheres your faith?
Story: Giving it up or gaining it?
Homeschool Tip: CommunicationIt Starts With Listening
Hymn/Poem: Not me, but He

A Peek At Faith

Faith has become a strangely mysterious concept to many of us. We try to muster it upto somehow make ourselves have faith. Yet half the time we're not even sure what faith is or what it involves.

Good news. We dont have to muster up a mysterious feeling. In fact, as Oswald Chambers said, "Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love*." True faith comes from realizing Gods incredible faithfulness and love.

As we realize His unmovable character, we also realize our own evil, sinful character and place our trustour faithin Gods faithfulness.

Sit back and think about Gods faithfulness and love today. Look at how capable He is of saving, sanctifying, and glorifying you. Then ask yourself: Am I trusting Him? Am I curling up in His arms, confident in His love? Or am I trusting myself? My knowledge? My prayers? My circumstances? Others? Anything in addition to Him?

Prayer: "Lord, help me seereally seeyour incredible faithfulness. Help me realize my own unfaithfulness and stop trusting myself, my plans, and my desires. I want to cling to you alone today. Amen."

*Chambers, Oswald My Utmost for His Highest Journal Barbour and Company, Inc. Uhrichsville, OH, May 8th

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Giving it up or Gaining it?

"Are you ready to plant your seeds, Mary?"

Her mothers question half frightened Mary. Shed been playing with her seeds all day and didnt want to stop. Above all, she didnt want to put her precious seeds into the ground, cover them with dirt, and never see them again. Clutching her seeds tightly, she exclaimed, "I dont want to loose them!"

Marys mother gave her a curious look. Then, after a moment, she gingerly plucked a nearby flower and placed it in Marys hand. "How would you like to have many more flowers like this?" she asked.

Mary squealed with delight, "Oh, Mother, I love flowers! I want lots and lots of them."

"This flower came from a seed just like your seeds," Marys mother explained. "Last year, I put the seed into the ground and watered it. The seed died, but several days later a plant started to grow. And now look at the beautiful flower I have. If I had never given up my seeds, though, I would not have a flower."

Mary finally understood. She unclenched her little fists and declared, "I want to plant my seeds too."

f f f f f f

"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it." Mark 8:35

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Communication--It Starts With Listening

"Hear, O Israel; The LORD our God the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your house and on your gates."

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Our goal as home educators is to communicate Gods truth to our children. However, a lot of times we get so worried about trying to communicate that we forget the key to true communication: a listening heart. "Hear, O Israel" Unless our own heart is in tune with and listening to God, well never be able to correctly communicate His thoughts to our children. So take a few minutes today to stop and listen. Ask the Lord to give you ears to hear and a heart willing to receive from Him.

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Not Me, But He

I strove for many years to conquer sin
And Gods favor somehow win,
But as I stood at the foot of the cross,
I felt all my works were but a loss,
As I heard Gods simple theme telling me,
Not me, but He.

I could not do anything good,
But, praise the Lord, Jesus had and could!
In tears my fears melted away
In light of what Jesus had done for me that day.
My heart picked up the theme,
Not me, but He.

In this theme I must daily live,
And a full ear to its wisdom give.
Many times I try to walk it right,
On my own, and I loose sight
Of the most glorious of themes
Not me, but He.

Oh, may I ever cling to Him
Till Heaven grows bright and earth dims.
Oh, Lord, remind me of my home up there,
Where I shall see Your face so fair.
Help me remember that I cant conquer sin alone
Not me, but Thee!

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Unless otherwise indicated, all articles written and copyrighted by Katherine Loop, 2004. To sign up to receive these free monthly emails each month, please click here.