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Christian Perspective

Encouragement

 
 

May/June 2008

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

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Update: Free Socialization and Math Resources Online

With my upcoming math book currently being examined by a few people for content (please be in prayer for the editing process), I found myself with time to pay a little attention to our website. There is now a page sharing some thoughts and scriptures on socialization, as well as a reorganized math page and several new math blogs. I hope you will find them helpful.

May the remembrance of God's care bring you joy and peace each day!

By His Grace,

Katherine

P.S. Thank you to all those who prayed for us these past few months as we prepared for the Virginia homeschool convention. It was positively amazing to watch the Lord coordinate each detail, and it was a delight to see some of you there!


Thought: He's Orchestrating Each Detail

It always amazes how beautifully all the different sounds of a nicely put together orchestra fit together. If an individual tone of the orchestration were isolated by itself, it would often seem harsh or unnecessary. Yet when mixed together by a skillful composer, the individual notes and sounds become music.

Like a master composer, God knows just how to orchestrate our days much better than we do. I've watched Him orchestrate so many things--delaying company so I could finish something needing to get out, watching over trips and helping me "stumble" across the things I need, arranging special times for me to meet with people, and guiding over a myriad of preparations. There is such a joy and peace in simply sitting back and watching Him unfold the details of our days! Yet it's all too easy to forget that God--not the circumstances or others--is really in charge.

This month, may we live in the peace that comes from sitting back, trusting God, and enjoying as He unfolds each day.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)


Story: The Joy of Trusting

Brittany loved to play her violin. She used to spend hours upon end playing song after song. The part she loved most was practicing with her father. He would adjust her bow or fix her form. In his presence, the notes she played became beautiful music.

One day, a friend asked Brittany if she would play for an event. To her delight, her father liked the idea and helped her select a beautiful arrangement.

Brittany eagerly started working on the piece. But it proved much harder than she had anticipated. Brittany soon found herself practicing every spare minute of the day. She was quickly growing exhausted. Her head hurt dreadfully, and some days she could hardly even concentrate on the music before her. But she just had to practice! The event was getting closer and closer, and these songs had to be learned.

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Brittany couldn't stand it anymore. She'd been practicing for weeks, and still she didn't know how to play this song! The pent up frustration overflowed into a torrent of tears.

At first, Brittany couldn't hear her father's voice because of her own tears and broken complaints about all she'd been given to do and how hard she'd been working. Finally, though, she realized her father was in the room, trying to talk with her. "You can't keep bearing the weight of learning those songs on your own," he was saying.

Brittany didn't quite understand. "But, Father, I simply have to get those songs learned!"

"But you don't have to let those songs burden you. You can choose to let me worry about your progress and the event. I promise to plan your days and make sure you know whatever it is I think you need to know. And right now, I want you to take the afternoon off and go to the park with me."

Brittany hesitated for a moment. Spend a whole afternoon without practicing! That was absurd--she needed to learn her songs! Yet Brittany trusted her father. She headed off to the park with a lighter heart than she'd had in months.

The weeks that followed were amazing. She enjoyed playing and the many other things besides violin her father brought into her day. Her heart was happy and light once more.

Yet there were days when Brittany began worrying about the event again. On those days, she'd chain herself to her violin and miss out on the many other things her father had planned for her.

Other days, Brittany would err the other direction, deciding she didn't need to practice at all. After all, it had been so refreshing when she took time to go to the park with her father! She must just need to take a break again. Her father would then gently remind her that she needed to be diligent to do whatever he assigned--which wasn't always going to the park. Some days, they needed to sit down and practice together, working through the songs measure by measure. She'd find refreshment and peace in following his plan, whatever that happened to be.

Other days, she wasn't always sure what his plan was. But Brittany discovered that during those times she just needed to go about the "next thing" before her with a willing heart, asking her father to redirect her focus if necessary. Quite often, he used people and changes in circumstance to guide her steps. Brittany began delighting in the unexpected surprises in her day that used to annoy her. She was learning that, even in the middle of these busy preparations and unexpected interruptions, each day could be a joy--if she would only choose to sit back and trust her father.

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Brittany could hardly believe it. The event that she'd worked towards so long was finally over! She felt a little at a loss what to do now.

The house needs cleaned, she reasoned. And she set out to clean the house, scrubbing floors and dusting furniture for hours on end. Then she tuned her violin and played a little...and then curled up with a book. Yet Brittany wasn't enjoying her activities. Deep down, she was longing for the excitement and joy she had during those weeks leading up to the event. Life seemed a little boring and empty without it to look forward to.

Eventually Brittany voiced her feelings to her father. "I just wish I knew what was next."

Her father smiled. "I know. You're longing for the joy you had leading up to the event. But you're looking for it in the wrong places."

Brittany looked at her father in surprise. "I am?"

Her father nodded. "It wasn't the event or the busyness that brought you joy--you found joy as you surrendered and trusted me. Brittany, won't you continue to trust me to orchestrate your days? I know the plans I have for you."

A smile crept across Brittany's face as she realized she could continue living in the joy and peace of trusting her father. He knew what would come next, and that was all that mattered.

There was joy in her heart again as she went about her afternoon tasks. She still didn't always know exactly what she should work on, and it was still an adjustment to switch from playing the violin constantly to working on other tasks, but Brittany slowly began to enjoy them as she once again did them alongside her father. She was learning that in the quiet seasons, as well as the busy ones, she could have the joy of trusting her father to orchestrate each detail.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)


Homeschool Tip: We Do Not Know What to Do

So often as parents we simply don't know what to do. How do we help our child in a weak area, or develop his strengths? It seems like we are often clueless.

Many years ago, King Jehoshaphat faced a situation where he didn't know what to do. He was being attacked, and he knew he had no might on his own. So what did he do? He confessed his inability and sought the Lord.

"For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee." 2 Chronicles 20:12b (KJV)

Like King Jehoshaphat, we have no might against the great company coming against us each day. We simply can't handle the situations that arise appropriately on our own. But praise God! We don't have to pretend that we can, nor do we have to get overwhelmed by the situation. We simply need to put our eyes upon God. He IS totally trustworthy, and will show you the way.


Hymn/Poem: Day by Day

- By Karolina W. Sandell-Berg and translated by Andrew L. Skoog. You can view sheet music and listen to the tune at http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Day_by_Day/.

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best--
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

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.

Where marked NIV, "Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (North American Edition). Copyright © 1973 ,1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House."