Christian Perspective

Encouragement

 
 

Christian Perspective

~ January 2009 Newsletter ~


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

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Devotional ClearanceUpdate: All Physical Devotionals Being Discontinued - Sell-Out Sale - February 10 Deadline
Yes, you read that correctly--we're discontinuing all our physical devotionals and offering them on a sell-out sale from now until February 10. We're hoping the discounted prices will be a blessing to many of you--and that we'll see the kits move from our basement into peoples homes where they can be enjoyed!

For some time now, we've been feeling the need to switch our devotionals into e-books. We know children love the stickers and pens, but putting together the kits is quite labor intensive. Over the past several years, at our customers' request, we've begun converting our devotionals to e-books, and have been encouraged by the response to the e-book format we've received. So once the physical kits we have are gone, we don't plan on making more. We'll continue to offer the e-book versions of the devotionals we have, and seek to add more e-book devotionals as we're able.

In addition, a law has also been enacted confirming this is the time to reduce our inventory. As many of you may already know, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act imposes new lead certification restrictions on ANYTHING designed for children, which would include our devotional kits. The law's interpretation is very confusing and vague, but it looks like it will make it impractical for us to sell the kits, as it's impossible for us to ascertain lead content without expensive testing. So unless the law is amended, we will stop selling our physical kits as of February 10, 2009.

All that to say, if you've been thinking about ordering one of our devotional kits, now's the time! We've priced the devotionals so that you can get the devotional and a child's activity for each child who wants one for just $10 plus shipping. To view and order, please visit our online store. I hope you'll take advantage of the significantly reduced price to buy a copy for next year or pick one up as a gift for a friend or loved one. Above all, I pray you'll be blessed by the message as you reflect on our great God and His plan of redemption. In these times of uncertainty, it is so wonderful to know He sits as King over all (Psalm 103:19)!

In His Care,

Katherine

P.S. If you'd like to read more about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and find out what you can do, there is a helpful post on the Home Educator Association of Virginia's Blog.


Thought: Getting Real
I knew I shouldn't feel overwhelmed like this. The Bible says to "rejoice always." Yet, while I plastered a smile on my face (at least with others), my heart felt like crying or quitting, not rejoicing.

I had the wrong picture. God didn't want me to just pretend things were easy when they weren't--He called me to pour out my heart before Him and cast my burdens on Him.

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psalm 62:8 (KJV)

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22 (KJV)

There's such freedom in being real before God--in coming once again to the foot of the cross. He doesn't expect us to get things right or understand everything perfectly. Jesus came and died in our place to be our righteousness. He urges us to simply come to Him.

As we cast our burdens on Him, we discover the very things that overwhelmed us are really opportunities to practice handing things over to Him. He can show us from there what we need to do--if we're willing to really surrender.

A wise older woman recently reminded me that life often gets overwhelming. It's a part of living in this fallen world. Yet each difficulty or obstacle is but another opportunity to run to our heavenly Father's arms and let Him teach us.


Story: Overwhelmed!

Matt simply loved working in his father's print shop. He loved the smell of ink and the constant hum of the press. He loved helping people with their printing needs. 

But today was not going quite so well. Actually, the whole week had been difficult. The never-ending stream of customers was beginning to affect Matt. Although he had worked hard to be friendly and helpful, underneath his smiles and expressed willingness to take on each new job, he was feeling overwhelmed. He felt like his entire schedule was topsy-turvey, and that every time he finally got his head above water, something else came along that kept him from doing what he had planned.

When one of his biggest customers, Mr. Murray, dropped in and asked for 10,000 brochures by the next day, Matt couldn't stand it any longer. "I just can't do it," he said in a shaky voice that revealed more of his internal struggles than he would have liked. "We're swamped right now."

Something about Matt's tone of voice arrested Mr. Murray's attention. Pushing his spectacles back, he looked carefully at Matt. "Are you okay?"

Matt sank onto his chair, utterly and completely exhausted. "I'm a bit overwhelmed," he admitted. "I've been trying hard not to be. I've been trying to manage the shop well and enjoy my work. But all the joy just seems gone. I don't see any way out of this mess. Every time I get something done, two more projects come in its place."

"I see. Matt, how has your father told you to handle the situation?"

Matt squirmed uncomfortably. While he'd talked to his father about being overwhelmed, he hadn't ever really asked him what to do. He'd either complained about being overwhelmed in a hopeless, "poor me" sort of way, or else pretended he was doing just fine. "I-I'm not sure I've really asked," Matt replied after thinking it through for a moment.

"Well, then, Matt, I'd say you'd better go have a talk with your father. I've known your father for a long time, and I'm quite sure a talk with him is just what you need."

After Mr. Murray left, Matt walked slowly towards the back of the print shop where he knew his father was binding some booklets. To Matt's surprise, his father wasn't surprised or upset at Matt's struggles. "Matt, the work load will often feel overwhelming. Life just gets overwhelming at times, no matter what you do for a living. But you don't have to try to pretend it's easy and handle it all on your own. I love you because you're my son, not because of anything you do. I want you to bring things to me, not try to handle them on your own. When you start feeling overloaded, come and talk with me, okay? Matt," he added after a minute, "Whose print shop is this?"

Matt looked at his father in surprise. "It's your print shop, Father."

"And who is responsible for what gets done or doesn't get done in it?"

"You are, Father. But-but I'm still responsible for getting all these tasks done, aren't I?" Matt was unsure what his father was trying to say.

"Matt, you are responsible for doing what I give you to do, and that's it. You don't have to carry all these other cares--or worry about what the customer's will think. Bring the different projects to me, and I'll show you which ones to take and which ones to let go. Just trust me and enjoy doing what I give you to do." Matt's father smiled broadly at his son, affectionately ruffling his hair.

Matt smiled the first genuine smile he'd had all week. How foolish he had been to try to ignore his cares or handle them on his own instead of taking them to his father!

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)


Homeschool Tip: Wasting Time
- By Cris Loop

Last week, while I was really struggling with life, a dear friend shared one of her favorite sayings: "There is nothing as far away as a minute ago."

There is so much truth to this profound statement and to its application. And whether you are busy or not, you can't take back the time you had a minute ago! You can only change the present.

As I pondered this saying, I realized being busy was not an indication of whether I was wasting time or not. Anytime I am not giving the Lord my time, I am wasting it.

Your children are precious and your time with them is relatively short. You may feel like it will never end right now, but it will--all too soon. You have your children for a season, and the time goes by quickly. Don't waste this precious time. Seek the things of God with and for your children.

This month, make an effort to lay your time and the time you have with your children before the Lord. Let Him show you His priorities. Seek to follow His leading. Then you will not care that a minute ago is far away. You will live knowing you are pleasing the Lord.

P.S. When my friend shared her favorite saying, I did three things: First, I repented. Second, I asked God to make me aware of my "time wasters" and to give me a plan to combat them. Third, I did the toughest of the three: I obeyed!


Hymn/Poem: Come and Dine
- Words by Charles B. Widmeyer, 1907. You can hear the music to the song by visiting http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Come_and_Dine/ and listening to the MIDI file.

Jesus has a table spread
Where the saints of God are fed,
He invites His chosen people, "Come and dine";
With His manna He doth feed
And supplies our every need:
Oh, 'tis sweet to sup with Jesus all the time!

Refrain:
"Come and dine," the Master calleth, "Come and dine";
You may feast at Jesus' table all the time;
He Who fed the multitude, turned the water into wine,
To the hungry calleth now, "Come and dine."

The disciples came to land,
Thus obeying Christ's command,
For the Master called unto them, "Come and dine";
There they found their heart's desire,
Bread and fish upon the fire;
Thus He satisfies the hungry every time.

Soon the Lamb will take His bride
To be ever at His side,
All the host of heaven will assembled be;
Oh, 'twill be a glorious sight,
All the saints in spotless white;
And with Jesus they will feast eternally.


Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, 2009. Where marked Cris Loop, articles written by Christina Loop, 2009. 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 website when you do). Please contact us for information about reprinting articles written by people other than Katherine or Cris Loop so we can put you in contact with the appropriate person to ask for permission.

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Unless otherwise indicated and where marked KJV, Scripture is taken from the King James Version.