March 2007

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

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Reminder: Easter Devotional

Easter is right around the corner! Our newly rewritten devotional, Jesus: The Life-Giver, starts April 1st (Palm Sunday)! The devotional allows the whole family to prepare for Easter by focusing in a fun and meaningful way on the life Jesus brought us through His death and resurrection.

Visit http://www.christianperspective.net/products/lifegiver.aspx for more information.

 

Thought: Living Like a Lily

 

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! Luke 12:25-28

The Lord has been recalling this verse to my mind frequently this week. In the midst of working on several projects, getting ready for a trip to Spain, and making future plans, there have been many times when I have felt overwhelmed or anxious. God has been using the lilies to remind me that He simply wants me to leave all these burdens at His feet and delight in what each day brings.

Lilies don't labor or spin. They don't waste their days worrying about what they will or will not do tomorrow. They just diligently grow where God has placed them. And God Himself clothes them with splendor next to which Solomon cannot even compare!

We don't have to waste our time worrying about tomorrow or fretting over decisions. When we're working on something, we don't have to wonder if we should be doing something else. We don't have to think about the other things we would like to be doing. We can rejoice and put our complete heart into whatever task is before us, knowing that God Himself is overseeing our days and holds both the present and the future safely in His hands.

When you feel your heart tempted to grow overwhelmed by either the present or the future, I'd encourage you to stop and remind yourself that God Himself is orchestrating your days. Surrender to His control and simply delight in what God has given you today. Let's not miss out this month on the joy of living like a lily.

Story: It's All Been Planned

Emma couldn't sleep. She kept worrying about her plans for Friday. Should they have spaghetti, tacos, chicken, or something else for dinner? It had to be something they could make quickly because of their other plans. Yet it had to be something nice, too, because they had company coming for dinner.

The next morning, Emma stumbled out of bed. Dark circles testified to her restless night's sleep.

"Whatever happened to you?" her father asked when she entered the kitchen.

"I was up trying to figure out what we would have for dinner Friday," Emma replied.

Emma's father looked at her compassionately. "I'm sorry you had such a restless night. But you can stop worrying. I ordered in pizza for Friday weeks ago. It will arrive just when we need it--at 6:00 sharp."

Emma could hardly believe her ears. "You mean all that time I spent worrying...for nothing? You'd already taken care of everything?" Emma asked incredulously.

Emma's father nodded. "Yes, I took care of it as soon as I asked the Jones family to come for dinner."

"You asked Jones family?" Emma had been under the impression that the Jones family had sort of just invited themselves over for dinner.

Emma's father smiled. "Yes, dear, I prompted Mrs. Jones to ask you if she could come over."

Emma shook her head. Her father had been in charge all along, and she hadn't realized it!

"Father, I just have one more question."

"Yes?"

"Well, I don't know what we should do on Friday with the Jones family. I've been trying to figure it out all week, but-" Emma's voice trailed off as she remembered all her fruitless efforts to make plans.

Emma's father smiled as he bestowed a kiss on her forehead. "Stop worrying, my dear. I have it all planned. Just enjoy today and wait to see what I have in store for Friday."

"But don't I need to do anything?"

Emma's father nodded. "Oh, yes, there are a lot of things you will need to do. But you need to start by just being my little girl. Be diligent with the tasks I have given you today and let me worry about the future, okay?"

Emma nodded. She had learned her lesson. She didn't need to worry. Her father had her future all planned and would reveal it in His perfect time.

Homeschool Tip: Delight in Each Minute

--By Cris and Katherine Loop

As my mother and I walked into the mall yesterday, we talked about some of the adjustments she had to go through after we graduated. "I had to start remembering where my own car was parked," she said with a smile as we reminisced about how my brother used to keep track of those sort of details for her.

I know sometimes it may seem like homeschooling will never end--that you will never finish teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. But I'd encourage you this month to delight in this season of life that God has given you. Don't waste the present by wishing for the future that will come soon enough all on its own. Know that the time you have now with your children is preciously short--make it a time that you can look back on with joy knowing you delighted in every minute.

Hymn/Poem: O Love Divine

--Author Unknown . 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.

O love divine, how sweet thou art!
When shall I find my willing heart
All taken up by thee?
I thirst, I faint, I die to prove
The greatness of redeeming love,
The love of Christ to me.

Stronger his love than death or hell;
Its riches are unsearchable;
The first-born sons of light
Desire in vain its depths to see;
They cannot reach the mystery,
The length, the breadth, the height.

God only knows the love of God;
O that it now were shed abroad
In this poor stony heart!
For love I sigh, for love I pine;
This only portion, Lord, be mine;
Be mine this better part.

O that I could forever sit
With Mary at the Master's feet!
Be this my happy choice;
My only care, delight, and bliss,
My joy, my heaven on earth, be this,
To hear the Bridegroom's voice.

O that I could, with favored John,
Recline my weary head upon
The dear Redeemer's breast!
From care, and sin, and sorrow free,
Give me, O Lord, to find in thee
My everlasting rest.

 

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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.