February 2007

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


Update: Easter Devotional, Math Book, and Prayer Request

I hardly know where to begin on the update this month. So much has happened/is happening that I’d like to share with you and ask you to keep in prayer.

For one thing, we decided to completely redo our Easter devotional, Jesus—the Life-Giver, to focus on the new life Jesus brought us through His death, burial, and resurrection. The new devotional shares many of the lessons the Lord has been teaching us lately. It’s available for pre-sale now and should be shipping out within the next few weeks.

We also just got a whole new batch of Beyond Numbers books delivered from the printer. With a new cover and nicer print, it’s now available again for sale (it had been backordered for a time).

On the prayer request side, I would like to ask for your prayers on several fronts. As I’ve shared before, we’re trying to work on a follow-on math book to Beyond Numbers that parents can use to help their children teach math. Please pray that the Lord will continue to provide the time and ideas for this project and above all help us to leave it in His hands and not our own—He has and continues to be so faithful!

I would also like your prayers for a trip to Spain I will be taking from March 20th-29th. I will be accompanying Sandra Lovelace, an international consultant with HSLDA, and meeting with a group of national families near Madrid who plan to start homeschooling their children this fall. Please pray for the travel logistics and above all for our hearts to remain focused on Him in everything.

May God bless each one of you and enable you to see the many blessings He is pouring into each one of your lives.

By His grace alone,

Katherine Loop

End of Winter Sale—40% off Beyond Numbers, New Devotional Packs, and More!

We’d like to give you all a chance to take advantage of our newly reprinted book, Beyond Numbers, so we are offering it for 40% off starting March 1st. This is a great time to buy a copy to give to a friend or relative. Simply input code BN400307 when you go to check out to receive the discount.

Plus, the first ten orders of any product submitted after 7:00 am March 1st will receive a free homeschooling CD. CD will not show up in the shopping cart, but will be added upon processing.

--Sale ends March 8th--

In addition to the above sale, we’ve also decided to put together “friendship packs” to make it more affordable for you to give a devotional kit to a friend. When you buy two of the same devotional set, you will receive the second one at 35% off! (Discount does not apply to additional child activities.)

Don't forget to check out our newly rewritten Easter devotional, Jesus: The Life-Giver!


Thought: Blessings In Disguise

The meat line at the grocery store had taken forever. Then, of course, I had chosen the longest check out line. And now I was on a one lane road driving behind someone who believed in going five miles under the speed limit.

My first impulse was to feel frustrated at these delays, but then I remembered that I had asked the Lord to help me see everything that happened to me that day as a blessing in disguise from Him. I suddenly realized that God was in charge of grocery store lines and slow drivers. And if He was planning my day, I had nothing to feel upset about. Perhaps He wanted me to take this extra time driving to pray.

A few minutes later, I received a phone call from my brother. He needed a ride home from the university, which I just happened to be passing as we spoke. As I made a quick right and picked him up, I realized that had I not had all those annoying delays on my way home, I wouldn’t have been right there to pick up my brother. All those delays had really been blessings in disguise.

I know a lot of times we cannot see the blessing behind life’s irritations so clearly. Sometimes the blessing God has hidden for us is a blessing of learning to trust Him and delight in Him even when everything goes wrong. Yet the truth is that God is always personally overseeing and ordering our steps and days, working out all things for our eternal good. Everything that happens to us—including each petty annoyance and obstacle we encounter—is really a blessing from our Heavenly Father.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.” Psalm 37:23 NKJ

 “Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.”    Psalm 119:91

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Next time you feel tempted to complain or get frustrated at something, stop and remember that this annoyance has been permitted by God Himself—the God who never makes a mistake. Choose to view everything that happens to you as a blessing in disguise.

Story: Another Box?

“Not again,” Sarah muttered as she made her way to the front door. This was now the second afternoon in a row that she’d been interrupted from something important by the doorbell. Yesterday, it had been a neighbor with an old box to give her. Who would it be today?

Sarah was a bit surprised to find no one at the door at all. Only another old box. Sarah grumbled to herself about being disturbed for nothing as she grabbed the box and tossed it down the basement with the other one. As she turned to head back upstairs, she felt something under her feet. She tried to steady herself, but she could feel herself falling…

Sarah landed to the floor with a loud thud. That had sure hurt.

“I’m sorry, Sarah, I didn’t mean to trip you,” the cheery voice came from Sarah’s younger brother Benjamin. “I put that box there so it would get taken downstairs with the other ones.”

Another box, thought Sarah as she stood to her feet. And what was her brother thinking, putting it in the middle of the floor like that?

“Why don’t you open the box, Sarah, and see what’s inside?” Benjamin asked.

“Because I’m sure it’s nothing,” Sarah replied back in a tired voice. She had tried to open one of the other boxes she’d received earlier that day, but hadn’t seen anything inside except brown paper packaging. Another package she had attempted to open had given her painful splinters. She was quite confident that these boxes didn’t contain anything important.

Sarah hurried through the streets. She simply had to get her errand done. Why did it seem that everyone was out to hinder her?

First Mrs. Adams had met her and handed her—of all things—an old box! “I thought you might want this,” she had said.

Sarah couldn’t understand it. Why did she keep getting these old boxes everywhere and from everyone? Sarah had politely accepted the box and headed back to the house to store it in the basement with the others. Then she had hurried back outside to go on her errand, only to trip over yet another old box lying on her front lawn!

Things just proceeded from bad to worse. Everywhere she went, she kept tripping over old boxes and cartons of all sizes, shapes, and colors. She gave up trying to store them in the basement and began simply ignoring them as best as she could. She really wished she could make them all disappear.

Sarah didn’t think she could take any more. She’d been tripping over boxes now all week, and she was completely exhausted and frustrated, not to mention badly banged up from all her falls. So she finally did what she should have done from the beginning—sought out her father and poured into his ever-listening ears all her troubles.

Sarah’s father listened with never-ending patience as she poured out all her complaints. “And so you see, Father,” Sarah finished, “I really just don’t know what to do! I want to be happy and rejoice in the tasks you’ve given me to do each day, but I don’t see how to do that with all these boxes everywhere. It seems like everyone I meet wants to put a box in my way.”

Sarah’s father lifted her chin and looked into her teary eyes. “My dear daughter, did you never think of the fact that all those boxes might really be gifts someone was trying to send you?”

Sarah looked at her father in surprise. “Gifts? But they looked so ugly, and when I opened one of them it just had a bunch of brown paper…”

“But, Sarah, buried deep within that brown paper was a special gift just for you. You just didn’t look deep enough. I happen to know that each one of those boxes of which you complain contained a carefully chosen gift designed especially for you.”

Sarah gasped. “You don’t mean, Father, that those boxes were really from you? And that they contained something special?”

“Yes, child, that’s exactly what I mean. Those people who kept putting those boxes in your way and seemed bent on annoying you were but messengers I had chosen to try to get you to notice the gifts I’ve been trying to give you.”

Sarah could scarcely believe it. All those boxes of which she had complained were really gifts from her father! All those people who kept annoying and delaying her were really bringing her precious treasures from her father! And she had missed them. Why, she complained about her father’s gifts, ignoring some and tossing others in the basement like a box of rubbish! How that must have hurt her father’s heart! How could she have been so foolish? She thought of all the joy that could have been hers had she viewed those boxes as gifts from her Father! “Oh, Father, I’m so sorry. Can you ever forgive me?” Sarah whispered.

Sarah’s father smiled, and he drew from his pocket an old, brown box. “Open this,” he instructed.

Sarah carefully opened the box. Inside was a picture of a cross with the words “forgiveness” written in what appeared to be blood. “My child, forgiveness is one of my gifts to you. You have missed out on the joy of seeing the many gifts I sent you each day this week, but you can begin afresh right now.”

A broad grin crossed Sarah’s face for the first time this week. A few minutes later she left her father’s office, eager to discover the gifts her father had in store for her. She hadn’t gone far before she tripped over something…

Splat. Sarah was on the floor once again. Her first inclination was to grumble and threaten to find whoever put something in the middle of the hallway, but then she caught sight of her father standing in the doorway. She leaped up with excitement. Who put this old box here didn’t really matter—it was a gift from her father! Oh, when would she learn to rejoice in His gifts instead of complain?

Homeschool Tip: ALL Things

--By Cris Loop

Things don’t always go according to our plans in a homeschool day, do they? It doesn’t take much to throw off our schedule, no matter how carefully we pray and plan. A knock on the door, a phone call, sickness, arguing, unpleasant family interactions, a little one’s needs, uncooperative spirits, plumbing problems, meal preparations, appliance failures, etc—all sorts of interruptions can keep us from our plans. And sometimes these interruptions blossom into major irritations. 

Interruptions can really discourage us if we let them. But we don’t have to let these interruptions dishearten us. We have a choice to respond in truth instead, remembering that God has allowed these things into our lives for a purpose and that nothing touches us without first be sifted through our Lord’s hands.

Next time things don’t go your way and you are thinking, “Ahhh…not this!” try to remember the truth that God works all things together according to His purpose and that no plans of His can be thwarted. Believe it or not, your response to these irritations is a very important part of home education.  When you acknowledge the Lord, He can teach you and your children through these interruptions. God is waiting to speak to you in all things—not just the pleasant things. These irritations are part of His curriculum plan ☺.

Hymn/Poem: My Times Are In They Hand

--By W. F. Lloyd. 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.

My times are in thy hand,
My God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul,
I leave entirely to thy care.

My times are in thy hand,
Whatever they may be;
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
As best may seem to thee.

My times are in thy hand,
Why should I doubt or fear?
My father's hand will never cause
His child a needless tear.

My times are in thy hand,
Jesus, the crucified!
The hand my cruel sins had pierced
Is now my guard and guide.

My times are in thy hand;
I'll always trust in thee;
And, after death, at thy right hand
I shall forever be.

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 emails 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, Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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