Christian Perspective

Encouragement

October 2004




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This month's:

Update:Promised One Devotional Available
Thought:Continually Surrounded 
Story: Held Securely
Fitting In

Update: Promised One Devotional Available


Our advent devotional, Jesus--The Promised One, is now available. Check out our website for more information or to order. Note: If you are planning on ordering a copy, you may want to do so quickly as quantities are limited.



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Thought: Continually Surrounded

I have been thinking a lot this month about the fact that God controls and allows every detail of my life. Nothing happens without His knowledge and approval.

Every day, little changes in schedule or small irritations occur. Everyday, we can choose to let these obstacles upset us, or we can rest in the knowledge that God lovingly ordained them as small irritants to help us look to and rely on Him. For example, we can grumble about the frustrating traffic jam that is keeping us from getting somewhere on time, or we can remember that God knows about our deadlines and view the time sitting in traffic as an opportunity to pray. We can complain, or we can rejoice.

This month, may we allow the knowledge that we are continually surrounded by God's unfailing love to permeate our lives and chase away our complaints and fears.

"The LORD's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!" Psalm 32:10, 11



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Story: Held Securely


Amy Peterson eagerly jumped out of the car. They were finally in the mountains and ready for their picnic lunch!

The entire time she helped her mother unload the car and lay out the picnic lunch, Amy could hardly keep her eyes off the nearby mountain stream. The stream was hardly more than a trickle of gently moving water, but Amy loved watching it. She loved looking into its crystal clear reflection and listening to its gentle, rhythmic hum.

Amy's father noticed her attentive interest in the water. After they had finished eating, he offered to take Amy into the stream.

Amy's eyes grew wide. Go out into the stream? Suddenly the gentle stream looked like a roaring river to her. She eyed the moving water with suspicion.

Mr. Peterson hastened to allay his daughter's fears. "Don't worry. It's perfectly safe. Besides, I will hold your hands. The water won't be able to hurt you. You can trust me."

Amy thought hard for a minute before she finally put her little hand into her father's and followed him down to the water's edge. Mr. Peterson lifted Amy into his strong arms and waded into the middle of the stream. "Now I'm going to let you float on your back," he explained. "I will hold both your hands. Just lie on your back, like that. That's it. You're floating now."

Amy felt terrified as she felt the cold water around her. She shut her eyes and clenched her mouth, too scared to look or speak.

The water began to gently pull Amy's legs toward the side of the stream. Amy panicked and began flailing her arms and legs.

"Amy, stop panicking!" Mr. Peterson must have shouted these words ten times before Amy finally heard them. "Calm down," Mr. Peterson continued. "You aren't going anywhere. Don't forget, I'm holding your hands. The water can pull at your legs, but it can't take you anywhere unless I let it."

Amy stopped flailing when she finally understood her father's words. Her father wouldn't let anything happen to her. She felt quite confident that he was strong enough to stand against the water's pull. She could feel his tight grip on her arm, and suddenly she knew she'd be okay. Her father wouldn't ever let go.

Slowly, Amy relaxed her tense muscles. If her father held her safely, she didn't need to worry. She began to enjoy the feeling of the water rushing around her, bouncing her gently up and down. A giggle even escaped her. This was really quite fun! The same pull of the stream that once frightened her now made her smile. She knew the water couldn't dislodge her father. She was safe in His arms.

While human fathers are fallible, our Heavenly Father never will. May we relax and rest in His hands amid the swirl and changes of this life.

"God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.'" Hebrews 13:5b, 6a

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Homeschool Tip: Fitting In

One of the number one questions our family got asked when people discovered we were homeschooling was: How will your children "fit in"? While smiling to myself, I typically explained that I didn't really want my children to "fit in" with the culture. Yet I'll confess, there were times when I wondered about whether I was giving my children normal opportunities. At some point or another, I think we all want to fit in (and have our children fit in) with those around us--to be "normal".

We continually need to remember that our citizenship is not here on this earth. We are citizens of heaven. Instead of trying to "fit in", shouldn't we be asking God to transform our old, worldly way of thinking to His Heavenly way? Why would we want to fit into this world anyway? Hasn't God left us here so that we might be representatives of our true country--Heaven? How can we represent God and His kingdom if we are busy trying to fit into a world opposed to God?

This month, ask God to let His thoughts and ideas permeate your thinking. Quit worrying about giving your children what the world says they need. Instead, ask God to show you His perspective on educating them. Make knowing Him your goal, whether or not it "fits in".

--By Cris Loop


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Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, Copyright 2004. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the NIV. Feel free to pass these e-mails along to others in whole or part (please include a link to our website when you do). If you do not regularly receive Christian Perspective's monthly e-mails and updates and would like to receive them, please send your e-mail address to info@christianperspective.net If you would like to be removed from the e-mail list, simply let us know, and we will promptly remove you. We'd always love to hear from you. Drop us a line sometime and share with us your thoughts and suggestions.