Christian Perspective

Encouragement

 
 

April 2008

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

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Update: Trip Report/Convention Updates

It's good to be back and settling in on this side of the ocean! Thank you to everyone who lifted the trip up in prayer--I both felt and needed your prayer support. It was a very intense, but blessed, trip. Spending the time away and refocusing was a great blessing to me.

My time since I got back on April 16 has been busy but blessed. I had a day to catch my breath before heading out to the Maryland curriculum fair (which, by the way, it was a joy to meet some of you there). We then were blessed with a visit from my aunt, uncle, and cousins. God has been slowly and graciously easing me back into the swing of things : ).

This month will be busy finishing up various tasks and helping prepare for the HEAV (Virginia) homeschool convention. Christian Perspective won't have a booth there this year, but our family will be there helping out in various capacities. If you see us, please stop us and say hello. It's always a blessing to touch base with you.

May your spring be filled with joy and peace as you rest in the knowledge of God's sovereignty.

In Him,

Katherine


Thought: Getting It Right

I wanted to be the best assistant I could be. I wanted to be helpful. I wanted to have the right words to say. I wanted to get it right!

I had fallen into a dangerous trap--and I was carrying burdens I didn't need to bear.

I needed to stop and remember that Jesus died for me because I could never get it all right! I didn't need to carry the burden of trying to make all the right decisions or do all the right things.

If you're feeling the weight of trying to get it all right--of making the right decisions or of doing or saying the right thing--I would encourage you to stop and remember that you are precious to God not because you get it all right, but because He bestowed His love on you. Remember that His love is not based on anything you do or don't do. Remember that, through Jesus, you are already perfect in His eyes. Live your life trusting and looking at Him--not striving to be the perfect Christian in your own or other people's eyes.

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6 (KJV)

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 (KJV)


Story: The Joy of Listening

It was Johnny's turn to play the game. With a little skip, he walked into the center of the circle and allowed his friends to tie a handkerchief around his eyes. The world instantly disappeared into darkness. He couldn't see the beautiful trees or flowers anymore--but he could still hear.

He heard the voices of his friends shouting instructions as they attempted to navigate him through the course. One told him to walk more to the right--another yelled to go left. Johnny felt like he was moving in circles. He was trying so desperately to go in the right direction. Yet it seemed like the more he tried, the more he failed...

Johnny burst into tears. He felt completely disoriented and unsure what to do. He had started so confidently, so sure of himself. Now, he felt like a complete failure.

How he longed for his father! When Johnny had played this game in the past, his father had navigated him through the course. But this time, Johnny hadn't heard his father's voice. Where had his father been?

"Johnny?" he heard a familiar voice whisper tenderly.

Johnny couldn't believe his ears. "Father? Father, is that you?"

"Yes, son, it's me."

"Oh, Father, where have you been?" Johnny cried.

"I've been standing by your side the whole time," Johnny's father replied.

Johnny was perplexed. "Father, if you were right here, why couldn't I hear your voice?"

Johnny's father's voice was filled with tender love as he replied, "Well, Son, you were so worried about getting it right and doing a good job that you couldn't really hear what I had to say. You were more concerned about getting through the course correctly in everyone else's eyes than in listening to my voice."

"But I wanted to get it right for your sake, Father. I wanted to show them all that you had trained me well!" Johnny replied.

His father's response surprised Johnny. "Johnny, don't worry about what others think. Just stop and listen to my voice. Walk forward in joy, enjoying each step you take."

So Johnny wiped his tears and started forward again. At first, he had a hard time tuning out the voice of those around him and focusing on his father's voice. He did care so much about what others thought of him! But gradually, he began to care less and less. He began to relax and enjoy the game, listening to His father's patient instructions. He stopped worrying about getting it right and just started delighting in simply listening!


Home School Tip: Playing to One Audience

- By Cris Loop

Have you ever felt like you couldn't please anyone no matter how hard you were trying to please everyone? Or have you ever worked hard to make someone happy and failed? Just making dinner at my house can be a challenge if I'm trying to please my family's varying tastes. You simply can't please everyone all the time. And sometimes you can't please anyone! Rather than experiencing the joy of being a servant, you end up frustrated, feeling like a failure.

I have good news for you. You don't have to run around madly trying to please everyone. Yes, God calls us to put others first--but He doesn't call us to put our eyes on others. We're to look to Him, to trust Him, and to serve Him.

As a young mom, I used to drive myself crazy trying to look like the perfect mom to everyone around me. My desire to please everyone was blinding me to what I really needed to be doing with my children.

I can't describe the freedom that came when I finally just surrendered what others thought of us. I gave up being the perfect mom and getting it all right. And you know what? I discovered that, as I became real before my children, God could begin to work in their hearts--and mine. Trusting and depending on Him began to replace vainly striving to follow everyone's rules and meet everyone's standards.

My tip to you this month is to remember that you are God's servant. Surrender what others think of you and your children. Give up the "perfect" family dream. Focus instead on getting to know your Master, Father, and dearest Friend. Rest in His unmerited, never-ending love. Walk by His Spirit, leaning on Him and trusting Him to guide your steps--He will!

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 (KJV)

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit... Galatians 5:16a (KJV)


Hymn/Poem: Like a River Glorious

- By Frances R. Havergal. You can view sheet music or listen to the song at http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Like_a_River_Glorious.

Note: This is a hymn that a friend shared with me and sang with me every morning and evening on our recent trip. It's words are wonderful reminders to let the worries and cares go and rest in the "perfect peace and rest" that comes from choosing to surrender our plans and desires to God and resting in the knowledge that He is in charge and we are in the "hollow of His blessed hand."

Like a river glorious is God's perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Refrain:
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, 2008. Where marked Cris Loop, articles written by Christina Loop, © 2008. Feel free to pass these e-mails or articles by Katherine or Cris Loop 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 always enjoy hearing 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 is taken from the King James Version.