Christian Perspective

Encouragement

Christian Perspective

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

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Update: Amazon Reviews

We finally got our items up on Amazon! We'd love to have any of you who have used the products and have an Amazon account get on Amazon and review them.  The easiest way to find them all is to search books for "Katherine Loop."

We also appreciate your continued prayers for our family and for the supplemental math curriculum we are working on (we're about 3/4 of the way through the first draft). The Lord continues to amaze us by His gracious mercy. May His love comfort each of your hearts this month. --The Loops

Thought: Lessons from the Life of Ruth

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see a play on Ruth. It struck me that Ruth isn’t remembered for her mighty deeds or great acts of service. She isn’t remembered for saying the perfect thing or even saying anything profound. In fact, the word “God” is hardly used in the book of Ruth. Yet Ruth’s life has spoken volumes to men and women throughout the ages. Ruth lived the life of a servant—she completely abandoned to God, giving up all hopes she had for a future and “wasting” her life carrying for an elderly, bitter mother-in-law.

Ruth could have lost herself in self-pity. She could have worried about her future. She could have chosen to live life for herself. Instead, she willingly went back to Judea with her mother-in-law, though it seemed she had no future there at all. It was her life of joyful surrender, not her words or great deeds, that encouraged both her mother-in-law and believers throughout the centuries.

The Lord has been using Ruth’s life to remind me of the importance and joy of surrendering to God and living like a servant on a daily basis. The other day, I was making pancakes for my dad with half a heart when it dawned on me that I was missing an opportunity to live in abandonment to God. I needed to stop grumbling in my heart, surrender my other plans, and rejoice in the opportunity to serve even in something as trivial as making pancakes.

Today, I would encourage you to choose to rejoice in what God has given you, even if it seems like a “waste.” View yourself as His servant and the menial tasks before you as heaven-sent opportunities to serve. Give your plans, wishes, and future to God in simple trust and resolve to live today as a servant.

Story: Something Exciting


Alyssa looked around her in awe. Just the other day she had been a homeless girl, living off the streets and begging for each meal. Today she was a princess, living in the palace and surrounded by finery that dazzled her eyes.

Was it all just a dream? No, it couldn’t be just a dream, for in her pocket Alyssa carried a copy of the adoption papers, sealed with the King’s very own signet ring. It was true. The King had adopted her!

Alyssa’s first few days at the palace were simply indescribable. She couldn’t think of anything else except the King and His incredible love. The knowledge that she was a princess brought a smile to her face, and caused her little feet to patter about her days with joy.

When people said nasty things to her (which many of the courtiers did), she simply smiled at them. What did it matter what they thought? The King loved her. When she had to do tasks she didn’t like, she did them with a cheerful heart. After all, she was a child of the King!

Alyssa had one driving passion—to learn everything she could about her new Father, the King. In her eagerness, she managed to learn from everyone, even the grumpy butler and the disgruntled chef. What some people would have viewed as annoyances or mere chores, she viewed as opportunities.

When the maid quit unexpectedly, Alyssa, instead of feeling upset with the maid, thought to herself, “What a wonderful opportunity to do something little for my Father’s people!” She eagerly offered to dust the parlor. As she ran her dust rag over every object in the room, she let the objects themselves teach her about her Father. The little porcelain lamb reminded her of her father’s gentle, shepherd-like care, while the ornate clock reminded her of something she had read somewhere about how the King made all things beautiful in His time.

“Oh, Myra,” Alyssa remarked that evening to her governess. “It seems there’s always something exciting happening here!”

Myra smiled at her little charge. “Oh really? What’s happened today?”

Alyssa smiled. “Why, I got to dust the parlor today! And the maid let me mop the floor. Just think—I had the privilege of helping out in the King’s kitchen! And while I worked, the cook told me stories of the King’s kindness and love. What could be more exciting?”

After only a few weeks at the palace, however, Alyssa’s attitude began to change. She ceased to delight in being the King’s daughter. While she still did everything she possibly could to serve Him, she didn’t do all her tasks with the same joy and delight. She began viewing things as mere chores that needed done. She no longer awoke each morning looking forward to another day in her Father’s house. Her feet no longer pattered everywhere with their old joy and eagerness.

One day Alyssa sank sullenly into one of the velvet backed chairs in her bedroom. She was feeling sorry for herself, and she couldn’t figure out why. She noticed her governess, Myra, standing near by. “Oh, Myra, if only something exciting would happen!”

Myra looked at Alyssa in surprise. Was this the same little girl that just a few weeks ago couldn’t contain her excitement? Her heart filled with compassion. How could she help Alyssa see the truth again? “Alyssa, something exciting is happening,” she said quietly.

“Whatever do you mean?” Alyssa asked, looking up in surprise.

Myra smiled. “Why, there’s the parlor to be dusted and the cook to be helped and…”

“But that’s not exciting!” Alyssa interrupted.

“Oh, but it was! Don’t you remember the joy you once had in every little task? My dear child, you don’t need something exciting to happen, you just need to start rejoicing in the King again and viewing everything as an opportunity.”

Alyssa looked at Myra in surprise. She was right! Her attitude, not her circumstances, needed changed. The King had given her everything she needed if she would but embrace it.

“Thank you, Myra,” she whispered, standing on her tip-toes to give her governess a little kiss before pattering off with a song in her heart once again.

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What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. Galatians 4:15

Homeschool Tip: If Only...

--By Cris Loop

If only I could sleep…if only my youngest would stop crying…if only the baby were potty trained…if only my children could dress themselves…if only the little one could read…if only…if only I had more time…if only my children could do their work independently…if only they were older…if only I had… … .

It’s amazing how often we fool ourselves into thinking that “if only” something were different, we’d be happier.

The other day when I caught myself roaming to the land of “if only” I remembered what I had just read about the Israelites in 1 Corinthian’s 10:10:

“And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.”

Just what had the Israelite’s said when they grumbled? If only!

If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” Exodus 16:2

God called the Israelite’s “if only” complaint grumbling. He took it seriously, killing many.

When you find yourself thinking “if only” (or any other form of disguised complaint), I would encourage you to recognize the thought and, instead of ignoring it or letting it unconsciously affect how you live, reject it and choose to thank God for the situation you have right now. Remember that God has something that He is trying to work out in you right where He has you.

If only . . . . . we would stop complaining!


Hymn/Poem: A Little Talk With Jesus

From Living Hymns, For use in the Sabbath school, Christian Endeavor Meetings, The Church and Home. Compiled by John Wanamaker, assisted by John R. Sweney, Mus. Doc. Philadelphia: John J. Hood, 1024 Arch St. Copyright, 1890, by John J. Hood. Pg. 68

A little talk with Jesus,
How it smoothes the rugged road!
How it seems to help me onward,
When I faint beneath my load;
When my heart is crushed with sorrow,
and my eyes with tears are dim,
There is naught can yield me comfort
Like a little talk with him.

Ah, this is what I'm wanting,
His lovely face to see;
And I'm not afraid to say it,
I know he's wanting me.
He gave his life a ransom,
To make me all his own,
And he'll ne'er forget his promise
To me, his purchased one.

I cannot live without him,
Nor would I if I could;
He is my daily portion,
My medicine and food.
He is altogether lovely;
None can with him compare;
Chiefest among ten thousand,
And fairest of the fair.

So I'll wait a little longer,
Till his appointed time,
and along the upward pathway
My pilgrim feet shall climb.
There, in my Father's dwelling,
Where many mansions be,
I shall sweetly talk with Jesus,
And he will talk with me.

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.netor 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.