Christian Perspective

Encouragement

September 2007

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

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Update: Blogs

I have recently had the opportunity to begin blogging! In addition to the math blog up on the Christian Perspective web site (which now has three entries), I have been posting a short homeschooling thought about once a week to the Home Educators Association of Virginia's blog at http://www.heav.org/blog. I thought you all might enjoy some of the posts.

May the remembrance of God's unchanging love and grace brighten your day,

Katherine

Thought: Delighting Instead of Wishing

I wish I had clearer direction of what I should be doing. I wish I was able to get more done today. I wish the house would just stay clean. I wish I wasn’t so tired. I wish others would cooperate with my plans. I wish…

The Lord has been stopping me lately whenever I start to think “I wish” and reminding me that it’s Him, not the things I wish for, that can really satisfy the desires of my heart.

Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4

It’s amazing how, when I choose to stop “wishing” and just start delighting in God, God is able to give me His joy and strength in the midst of the circumstance that a moment before I wished didn’t exist. And when I don’t choose to delight…well, I miss out on the joy that could be mine.

This month, whenever you find yourself thinking “I wish,” stop yourself. Recognize that God has allowed the task/person/situation you’re facing. Choose to delight in Him and His care instead of wishing something (or someone) would change. It’s God, not things changing, that can ultimately satisfy the true desires of our hearts.

Story: The Search for Satisfaction

James looked forlornly at the little block of wood he’d been whittling for hours now. He didn't enjoy woodcarving and fancied that if only he could get this task finished, he’d be happy.

Yet when, awhile later, James put the last finishing touch on his block of wood, he still wasn’t happy. Although he felt a momentary sense of accomplishment, he still felt strangely grumpy. I know, he thought, I just need some time to myself. Then I’ll be happy.

James eagerly headed outside. Soon however, he grew lonely and lethargic. If only I could play with someone, he thought to himself, that would make me happy.

Yet when James' friend came over to play with him the next day, James still didn't feel happy. I really need a new toy train, James thought to himself. James decided to ask his father for a new toy train. Much to his delight, his father took James to the toy store and allowed him to use his leftover birthday money to buy a train. How he loved his new train! But although he loved his train, he still felt hollow and empty inside.

While he was busy playing with his train one afternoon a few days later, James heard a familiar voice calling his name. He looked up to find his father standing over him. “Father! I didn’t see you. How long have you been here?” James asked in surprise.

“I’ve been following you around for several days, calling your name,” James’ father replied with a faint smile. “But I don’t think you were listening until now. James, you haven’t seemed happy lately.” 

James hung his head as he realized that his father know all about his vain search for happiness?

“But,” his father added, “if you will come back to the woodshed and choose to delight in my company while you work on the tasks I give you to do, you will find the joy you seek.”

“Really?” James asked in surprise.

His father nodded. “Really.”

So James followed his father back to the woodshed and picked back up his tools. At first, all his old dislike of woodcarving came over him. Then he looked at his father. Working with this wood was what his father wanted him to do. He would choose to delight in it.

Suddenly, a smile illuminated James' face. His search was over. He had found true satisfaction, not in getting the things or circumstances he wanted, but in working alongside his father.

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. Psalm 5:11

Homeschool Tip: Homeschool Wishes

--By Cris Loop

How many times a day do you find yourself wishing something would change? Do you wish your children were out of diapers, that Johnny would learn his math facts, that Jane would cooperate better, and that Jeremy wouldn’t make so much noise? Wouldn't it be wonderful if every aspect of your homeschooling went according to your master plan?

It’s very easy to get lost in our “wishes,” thereby missing out on the things God has for us within the very things God has placed in our lives. This September, as everyone has been heading back to school, I’ve found myself wishing that I had younger children to homeschool.  I know it may sound crazy to some of you, but I really miss being outside exploring God’s creation and watching my children learn new things. To make things worse, the beautiful weather lately has been beckoning me.  The realization that the days of schooling young children were gone forever has been hitting me hard this year. Oh, how I wished I could go back to those simple times! 

Wait a minute. I don’t need to waste my time wishing for younger children and years gone by. I have a choice: I can feel sorry for myself or I can delight myself in the Lord and this new season of life He has blessed me with. 

Rather than wishing for things that can not happen, I have been making a conscience effort to delight myself in the Lord. As a result, I have been able to see and rejoice in things that previously I would have taken for granted. For example, this past week, God gave me with an afternoon with two precious children! Together, my two new companions and I had the joy of being out in God’s creation learning how to play Frisbee golf.  Not only did we learn how to throw a little piece of plastic, but we also got to know one another and praise the Lord together.  It was such a gift from heaven for me—a reminder that my Father knows what I really need. I recognize now that the ability to go back in time to when my children were young wouldn’t really satisfy the true desire of my heart. Only delighting in God and what He has for me today brings true satisfaction.

I’d encourage you this month to remember that it’s knowing God and delighting in what He has given you today that can really meet those desires of your heart. Don’t fool yourself: Johnny knowing his math facts and Jane cooperating better wouldn’t really bring you the satisfaction you think. If we were to get the things we think we desire, we'd find that there will always be something else that we would wish we could change—unless, of course, we choose to stop wishing and just start delighting in our Lord.

Now please don’t take me wrong. Delighting in the Lord doesn’t mean ignoring the situation or failing to administer disciplinary action. If Jane isn’t cooperating and Jeremy is making too much noise, you may need to examine how you’re dealing with them and training them. But do it from the perspective of, “Lord, thank you for giving me this opportunity to depend on you to show me how to train these children,” instead of from the perspective of, “If only my children would change, my life would be better!” My prayer for you this month is that you would keep your heart bowed before the Lord and delight in being the mom He’s called you to be in whatever situations He brings your way.

Hymn/Poem: Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

--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.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
Oh, what words I hear him say!
Happy place! So near, so precious!
May it find me there each day!
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
I would look upon the past;
For His love has been so gracious,
It has won my heart at last.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
Where can mortal be more blest?
There I lay my sins and sorrows,
And, when weary, find sweet rest.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
There I love to weep and pray,
While I from His fullness gather
Grace and comfort every day.

Bless me, O my Savior! Bless me,
As I sit low at thy feet;
Oh! Look down in love upon me;
Let me see thy face so sweet.
Give me, Lord, the mind of Jesus;
Make me holy as He is:
May I prove I’ve been with Jesus,
Who is all my righteousness!

 

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 web site 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 web site, 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.