Christian Perspective

"Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." Psalm 105:4

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Content:

Update
Thought
Story
Homeschool Tip
Hymn/Poem 
 

Update: Trip and Website

Thank you all for upholding my recent trip to Thailand in your prayers. God truly oversaw every detail—from finding us places to eat to bringing us (and all our baggage) safely there and back through all the foreign airports. He graciously used the various events that happened to teach us and to remind us of His finished work.

I’m just now getting caught back up on things back here. Over the last several months, I have been working on adding a few new features to our website. There is now a math page that gives tips and book reviews. The outline for our Homeschooling: God is Sufficient CD (including the scripture references) is now online. I also recently added (under the About Us section) a description of several workshops that I am offering as the Lord opens up the opportunity.

I appreciate your continued prayers that God would help us look to Him daily, remembering that HE is abundantly sufficient.

Resting in His faithfulness,

Katherine

Thought: Setting Our Minds

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1,2

While my body mechanically paid attention to the conversation around me, my heart was not in it. I had set my heart on doing something else that evening and was having a hard time accepting this change in plans. Consequently, I’m afraid I failed to see the eternal opportunity in the conversation before me.

It is easy to set our minds—our thoughts, focus, and priorities—on something other than Christ and eternity. We so quickly get focused on our situation or plans. We tend to worry about what we are doing or saying. We often make reforming our actions, or being more patient and kind, our goal. Or perhaps we frequently fret over the people we love, especially when we see them making the wrong choices.

No matter how noble some of the things that distract us may seem, they are all the wrong things to set our minds and hearts upon. Our hearts and minds need set on Christ and on eternity. Instead of focusing on our plans or situations, how much better it would be to surrender and delight in the task God sends our way each moment, recognizing in each interruption an eternal opportunity. Instead of trying to reform ourselves or worry about what others think of us, how much more blessed it is to make knowing Christ our goal and to rest in His finished work. Instead of bearing the burden of others on our shoulders, how freeing it is to let God carry that burden for us.

This month, let’s ask God to help us set our hearts and minds on Him alone. May we daily choose to look to Him and to bask in His love.

Story: Remaining Focused


Julian took a deep breath. Her time to skate had finally arrived. Soon would come her first (and hardest) jumping pass. If she could only make it through that…

The music started, and Julian’s program began. As Julian headed into the dreaded jumping pass, her mind carefully reviewed each step. She did not want to make a mistake here. For a few seconds, she was oblivious to everything else around her. Her entire being was completely consumed with the task before her. Up in the air she went…

And down on one foot she came! A broad smile crossed Julian’s face. She had done it! After solidly landing a few more jumps, Julian relaxed. She began to listen to the audience’s cheering. Her mind began to think about other things while her body moved mechanically through the program.

The touch of the cold, unyielding ice against her bottom brought her sharply back to her present task. To her horror, Julian realized that she had fallen.

Although Julian pulled her body up from the ice, she could not seem to rally her mind. She kept lecturing herself for having fallen on such an easy jump. Not surprisingly, she made several other errors during the remaining minutes of the program.

By the time Julian stepped off the ice, tears threatened to fall down her cheeks. She poured out the whole story into her coach’s sympathetic ears.

Julian’s coach wisely said nothing at the moment. But later, he asked her what she thought happened.

Julian shook her head. “I-I don’t know. I was doing so well that I guess I didn’t think I needed to keep focusing so hard. Then I did so poorly, I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about my mistake.”

Her coach sighed and shook his gray head. “Oh, Julian, every second counts. It doesn’t matter how well or how poorly you did previously. You have to skate moment by moment. In the future, let the past rest when you skate. Continually remain focused.”

“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28

“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” Galatians 5:7

Homeschool Tip: Olympic Training

--By Cris Loop

Watching the Olympics this month got me to thinking about the similarities of athletic training to home-school training. After all, we as parents are our children’s God-ordained trainers. We are training our children, not just for an earthly competition, but for eternity. We have a much higher, more eternal goal than an Olympic Gold. We want our children to know God and learn to live and walk in His Righteousness.

Think about the training the Olympic coaches put their athletes through. Training is typically costly, time consuming, constant, and consistent, not only for the athlete, but also for the coach. It shapes and impacts every area of life. The dedication and cost these coaches and athletes are willing to make to reach an Olympic Gold is both incredible and convicting. Are we that dedicated and committed in raising our children to know Christ?

Too often we get sidetracked in our training. It is so easy for us to fill our days with everything but what really counts. Soon we are either so busy doing various activities or else so worried about our children’s academics that we have lost sight of the goal toward which all our training should center: knowing Christ.

Character development is yet another aspect in which we get easily distracted. It is our natural tendency to focus on correcting behavior rather than truly training our children’s hearts. Intent on making them into well-mannered children, we too often entirely lose sight of our real goal (knowing Christ). Instead, we seem to settle for the earthly goal of socially acceptable children. God is much more concerned with whether our children know Him and are trusting Him than whether they say “please” and “thank you.” But are we?

We constantly need to reexamine what we are doing with our children to make sure we haven’t gotten sidetracked from the goal. My prayer for you this month is that you would pause and ask yourself, Am I really focused on knowing Christ and pointing my children to Him, or have other goals absorbed my time, energy, and interest?

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Hymn/Poem: My Prayer

Oh, Lord, my King, my Master, my Savior,
I want to set my heart on things above.
Teach me to cling constantly to your unchanging love.

Oh, Lord, you know how easily I get distracted,
By my own foolish purposes and plans.
Teach me to leave everything in your loving hands.

Oh, Lord, you know the burden I so often feel,
For those whom my heart holds dear.
I lay this burden at your feet, giving you every fear.

Oh, Lord, you know how often I try to change myself
And how I forget that my best effort is but loss.
Please remind me again that you finished the work on the cross!

Oh, Lord, my Rock, my Deliverer, my Shepherd,
May I keep my eyes on you this day,
Make yourself my only goal—for this, dear Lord, I humbly pray. Amen.

Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, © 2006.  Scripture taken from the NIV Bible. 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 or sign up on our website, www.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.