August 2007

Trimmers

"Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore." Psalm 105:4

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Update: New Math Blog

I can still hardly believe it, but I've actually begun to blog! This past weekend, the Lord gave me some time to reformat our website (particularly our store) and also to add a math blog to the site. I plan on posting little tidbits about math and the biblical worldview as I'm able. If you have a specific question or issue you would like me to discuss, please get on and mention it in a comment--I could always use ideas. Those of you who have subscribed to our math updates will receive automatic notification of new posts.

Here's the blog's URL:

http://www.christianperspective.net/blog/

Thought: Are We Sitting at His Feet?

I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what. I was trying to serve the Lord and share Him with others. Yet I found myself feeling strangely drained. What had happened to my joy?

One evening, it hit me—I was devoting myself to serving the Lord instead of devoting myself to knowing Him. As a result, I was, like Martha of old, missing out on “that good part.”

"And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, 'Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.'

"And Jesus answered and said unto her, 'Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.'" Luke 10:39-42

This month, don’t let anything, even your desire to serve God, keep you from simply sitting at His feet and getting to know Him. Remember that He wants our hearts and love, not just our service. Although we tend to focus on what we do, God sees into our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). Deep down, are we sitting at His feet, or have we become consumed with other things? Are we consumed with how we can serve God, or with how we can know Him?

Let’s not forget that God has come so that we might have eternal life—that we might know and enjoy Him forever.

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10b

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." John 17:3

Story: The Most Important Thing of All

On his way to work one morning, John noticed that the hedges around his property desperately needed trimmed. The hedges out front, out back, and on both sides of the house all resembled a partially overgrown jungle.

That evening, John headed towards the tool shed and began rummaging through his tools. Let’s see, he’d need his electric trimmer, gloves, a hat, a bag--the list went on and on. After several minutes, John was confident that he had everything he needed.

His arms filled with a wide gamut of tools and supplies, John began heading towards the front hedge. He had mentally decided to start with that hedge, since it had already begun creeping into the driveway. If he only had time to tackle one hedge, that should be the one.

John managed to juggle all his supplies safely through the yard. Upon arriving at the front hedge, he set the tools on the grass down with a sense of accomplishment. He had everything he needed and was ready to begin.

He was just about to turn the trimmer on when his his son David's voice saying, “Daddy, are you planning on trimming that hedge?”

John nodded. “Yes, I am. I have everything I need right here.”

David’s forehead wrinkled into a perplexed expression. “But Daddy, aren’t you forgetting the most important thing?”

John laughed. “The most important thing? The most important thing right now is to get these hedges trimmed.”

David shook his head and smiled. “There’s something more important.”

“Oh? And what’s that?” His father asked.

David pointed to the trimmer. “You need to plug in the trimmer first.”

John shook his head in disbelief. How could he have forgotten the most important thing of all! He couldn’t expect to get anything done without first plugging in the trimmer!

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5

Homeschool Tip: Serving the Lord

--By Cris Loop

"So what are you 'doing' to serve the Lord?"

When this question was thrown to me years ago, I wanted to duck, run, and/or hide!  What did they mean, "What was I 'doing' to serve the Lord?"  I was homeschooling my children!

Just by homeschooling, I was putting my house in order, training my children for God's kingdom, and proclaiming to those around me that God's ways are trustworthy and different from the world’s ways. I was endeavoring to live a quiet, godly life like the Bible urges us to live.

“We urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands.” 1 Thessalonians 4:10b, 11 NKJV

Even so, whenever someone would ask the question, I began asking the Lord to show me if I was really serving Him or myself. I have discovered that it is easy, even while “doing” everything correctly in homeschooling, to end up serving my own ideas or this world’s ideas instead of truly serving God.

I know the people asking me what I was “doing” wanted tangible proof of my service. But God's idea of service is "being."  Of course, on a practical level,  in the midst of "being" we are always making choices on what to "do." But according to the Scriptures, we need our minds transformed to do God’s will (Romans 12). Although we tend to focus on the outside, true service starts on the inside. It can be summarized by knowing, loving, and obeying God. I found that I needed to keep coming back to the Lord to see if I was really doing what I needed to serve the Lord—if I was really coming before Him and surrendering/seeking Him at each turn.

Parents, when someone asks you what you are doing to serve the Lord, stop and examine your heart. Are you continuing in the same Spirit that led you to homeschool? Are you seeking God for His wisdom in His Word on a daily basis and allowing Him to transform your mind so that you CAN serve Him? If so, you don't need to duck, run, or hide! Know that you are serving God, even if you don’t have anything tangible to show for it. However, if you are simply bringing the world's ideas into your home, you might want to go before the Lord and ask Him to make things different.  Ask God to show you the difference--He will!  He longs to change and use us as much as He can!  

My prayer for you this month is that you won't get caught up in or distracted from truly serving God through homeschooling.  Even things we might call "serving the Lord” can distract us if we let them. God has given you a ministry in your home—don’t miss it!  Before the new school year begins, my tip is to evaluate ALL your activities and make sure that you’re not so committed “serving” that you’re missing the greatest ministry God has given you.  Make sure there is time to get to know God so that you CAN serve Him everyday through homeschooling.  

Hymn/Poem: Calm Me, My God

--Author unlisted. Found in Living Hymns for Use in the Sabbath School, Christian Endeavor Meetings, the Church and Home. Compiled by John Wanamaker. Published in Philadelphia by John J. Hood, 1890.

Calm me, my God, and keep me calm:
Let thine outstretched wing
Be like the shade of Elim's palm,
Beside her desert spring.

Yes, keep me calm, though loud and rude
The sounds my ear that greet--
Calm in the closet's solitude,
Calm in the bustling street,--

Calm in the hour of buoyant health,
Calm in the hour of pain:
Calm in my poeverty or wealth,
Calm in my loss or gain,--

Calm in the sufferance of wrong,
Like him who bore my shame;
Calm 'mid the threatening, taunting throng,
Who hate thy holy name.

Calm me, my God, and keep me calm,
Soft resting on thy breast;
Soothe me with holy hymn and psalm,
And bid my spirit rest.

Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, 2007.  Feel free to pass these e-mails or articles that we have written within these e-mails along to others (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.

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Unless otherwise indicated and where marked KJV, scripture taken from the King James Version.

Where marked NKJV, "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."