Christian Perspective

Encouragement

 
 

Christian Perspective


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

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Update: Maryland, El Paso, Pennsylvania, and Virginia Conventions

Just a quick reminder--we'll be at the Maryland homeschool convention (MACHE) on April 17 and 18; the El Paso, Texas, homeschool convention on April 23-25; and the Pennsylvania homeschool convention (CHAP) on May 7-9. We'll be helping at the Virginia homeschool convention (HEAV) on June 11-13, but won't be exhibiting. If you're at any of these conventions, please stop by and say hello!

Thank you for your prayers as we prepare for the conferences and continue to work on the final stages of the math book.

May you all have a blessed springtime!

In Christ,

Katherine


Easter Bible StudyStarts in Less Than a Week!

With Palm Sunday less than a week away, we wanted to include a quick note about Jesus--The Life-Giver, a devotional for Easter week designed to help the whole family prepare together and reflect on the new life we have in Christ. It's meaningful, fun, and exciting--children make their own flower gardens while they listen!

If you already have a copy, don't forget to start it next Sunday! If you don't have one, they're available for purchase on our website for $7.99.

Easter Bible Study - Flowers

"Katherine Loop designed a pre-Easter study, Jesus: The Life Giver, that is absolutely wonderful! What I loved most is that it wasn't a study of Passion Week, but a look at the heart of the One who is passionate for our hearts." - Deborah Lembach. Read more on the As We Walk blog. Picture to left, also from the blog, shows a flower garden made using the instructions in the e-book.

Read more about this Easter Bible study and download your copy for just $7.99.


Thought: Dealing with What's Deep Down
Have you ever noticed how messes tend to migrate to areas of the house no one sees? Drawers, basements, and attics tend to collect things and become messes, even when the rest of the house looks beautiful. And, while cleaning up those messes, we tend to block the passageways of our house.

While tackling a few of these "hidden messes" recently, I got to thinking about the hidden messes that find their way deep down into our hearts--fear, anger, and pride that, instead of dealing with, we allow to stay and fester. Our hearts can get as blocked as the passageways in our houses (how quickly "stuff" collects!), hampering areas of our life and service.

But there's good news. We don't have to live with blocked heart passageways. In Christ Jesus, we have been set free from sin--even those deeply rooted problems we have struggled with for years. Jesus has already given us His new nature--we just get to choose if we'll live in the freedom that is ours.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 (KJV)

Jamie Lash tells a story of slaves after the Civil War. Even though they were freed after the war ended, it took time for the news of their freedom to travel to everyone. For some time, many slaves, though free, were not experiencing freedom because they didn't realize they'd been freed.*

As you see "messes" in your life this month, remember, if you're in Christ Jesus, you've been set free. You don't have to live like a slave. But, much like we have to be willing to toss or rearrange the stuff clogging passageways in our homes, we do have to be willing to part with the anger, bitterness, and pride in our hearts. Rather than settling for surface cleaning and passageways that get clear for a time, we can surrender and let God deal with what's deep down.

*See "How Sin Is Overcome: Part 1," available for online listening at http://www.lifegivingwords.com/Freedom-in-Christ.htm.


Story: Too Afraid to Walk

Jeremy pulled on the coffee table, determined to pull his tiny body upright. He had been watching the big people around him walk around for a long time now, and he wanted to walk too.

There, now he was standing. If he could just take a step...

Jeremy pulled his foot back quickly. He didn't want to fall!

Months passed. Over and over again, Jeremy would think about walking, only to change his mind because of his fear of falling. He wanted to do it right and not make any mistakes. What would his daddy think of him if he fell? And what about other people--what would they think of him?

Meanwhile, Jeremy's father patiently loved him and encouraged him to take a step. Day after day, Mr. Jones reminded his son he loved him unconditionally. Ever so gradually, Jeremy learned he had nothing to fear. His daddy loved him because he was his son, not because he did things right. And with his daddy's love, what did it matter what others thought of his not walking perfectly?

One day, Jeremy was finally ready to learn to walk. He kept disappointing himself by falling...and falling. But it was okay. His father wasn't upset with him for falling. His arms were always there to catch him. And his love remained unchanged.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 (KJV)


Homeschool Tip: "Stuck" in the Basement

- Cris Loop

Have you ever had a project that you were working on and working on and working on? For one reason or another, "things" were not moving forward. Sometimes it appeared you made progress, but you quickly ended up back where you began or ended worse than you were when you started! You tried something different each time to help you not go back to chaos, but it didn't last. Maybe you were stuck like I was on getting my basement to be useable space. I'd been working on getting my basement useable for at least five years.

This past week, I had a "basement breakthrough." I am amazed at how quick and easy it was to get unstuck with a willing heart and the loving help of a friend who has a gift for bringing order out of chaos. I discovered my little quick fixes to try and clean things up were creating more of a mess and keeping me from success. I had started to clean up areas but never completed them. Without dealing with the root causes of the problem, I had continued to keep creating more of a mess. Without a vision of where or how to go, and without structure to build from, things continued to pile up and be unusable. I had done surface organizing for years while ignoring the real problem.

In homeschooling, child training, and life, we tend to get stuck just like I did in my basement. Not knowing what to do with children when certain issues keep coming up over and over--whether they are academic or character issues--can be more frustrating than an unusable basement.

But we don't have to stay stuck. We can abandon our surface fixes and ask the Lord to show us the real issues and help us deal with them, much like my organizer friend helped me see and deal with the root issues of my basement. We can let God give us His vision and work out in us the things that need changed to bring His order into our homes.

Of course, facing the real problem and not just doing surface organizing isn't exactly easy, nor does it happen overnight. My basement is still in progress--it will take a lot of work to get it to where I want it to go. Our lives are constantly in progress too. But we don't have to remain stuck! I can see where I am going in my basement now, and I am willing to deal with the real mess and the heart/character issues that created the mess.

Moms, do you have a clear vision for your family, children, and homeschool? Or are you stuck? Unsure what to do with that struggling child or how to handle that situation? If you're feeling stuck and unsure how to get yourself unstuck, start by abandoning any surface fixes you might be doing and get to the real issues. Ask God for a willing heart and the courage to face your root issues so you can get unstuck. I can promise you, He will send you the help you need when you are willing and ready to listen. He has already provided in His Word the vision and the structure to bless you in your homeschooling! He longs and waits to help you.

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psalm 127:1 (KJV)


Hymn/Poem: Take My Life and Let It Be

- Frances R. Havergal, 1874. You can listen to the music at
http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Take_My_Life_and_Let_It_Be/.

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee;
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise;
Take my intellect and use
Every pow'r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.


Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, 2009. Where marked Cris Loop, articles written by Christina Loop, 2009. Feel free to forward these e-mails in their entirety and to reprint/share articles by Katherine or Cris Loop within these e-mails (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.