Christian Perspective

Encouragement

 
 

Christian Perspective

Goals


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

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Update: A Big Welcome!

Welcome to all of you who joined this list at the Maryland, El Paso, and Pennsylvania conventions! It was SUCH a blessing to get to meet you and talk with many of you. We'd love to hear from you from time to time, so please don't ever hesitate to write! If you reply to these e-mails, the messages come directly to my mom and me.

These past few months have been quite busy--as you may have guessed since you never received an April newsletter. BUT...at least this May one is coming out while it's still May (although barely!).

Thank you all for your continued prayers for us. For the next few weeks, we'll be focusing on preparing for the HEAV Virginia Homeschool Convention on June 11-13. If you live in or near Virginia, I do hope you'll be able to come! It's always a very powerful, encouraging event. This year especially, there seem to be a lot of relevant workshops that address the root issues and offer help and encouragement.

I imagine things are busy for many of you, too, as you finish up the school year and begin the summer. Don't forget amidst it all to still your heart and remember your Redeemer, His might, and His unending love.

In His Care,

Katherine


Thought: Losing Sight of the Goal

If someone were to ask you what your goal in life is, what would you say? I think most of us would reply our goal is to know and serve Christ.

But if someone were to look at our lives, what would they conclude our goals are? Our real goals come out in how we live. And it's all too easy to lose sight of what really matters and to simply be consumed by "life."

I recently read a historical fiction book about a young lady who came to know the Lord in the middle of persecution. Her courage and joy when faced with prison and death--and her single desire to share the Lord with everyone she met--convicted me. I wanted to live that way too!

Yet as the week progressed and "life" set in, I found myself getting lost amid the things I was doing. God brought Hebrews 12:1-3 (KJV) to my mind:

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."

Looking unto Jesus...I hadn't been doing that. I'd been looking at myself and what I needed to do. I'd been waking up in the morning thinking of what needed accomplished rather than excited to see what the Lord would unfold. I'd been worrying about deadlines rather than trusting the Lord with all the details.

Next time you find yourself just going through life, stop and ask yourself what race you're running. Have other goals, even good ones, blocked your eyes from Christ? Are you keeping in His Word and taking all your worries and cares to Him in prayer, acknowledging that He has them in His hands?

Don't let anything keep you from knowing and seeing Christ!


Story: Consumed by the Wrong Goal

"I'll buy that," Abbey declared without a moment's hesitation. It didn't matter that she was out of money. And it didn't mater that she already had a stack of property twice as large as everyone else's. She would buy that railroad.

You see, Abbey had a goal. She wanted to own as many Monopoly properties as possible. Somehow, she'd equated owning property with success...and she was determined to be successful.

As the game progressed, people began asking her to trade. But she refused. No one could make her a trade that didn't diminish the number of properties she possessed. Besides, she'd spent so much money buying property, she didn't have any left to spare on hotels, so why bother to trade for a monopoly?

Abbey prided herself on how well she was doing. She had FAR more properties than anyone else on the board! And she had a steady, albeit tiny, income coming in from her investments. Surely no one else had a chance, did they?

Imagine Abbey's surprise when, after other players traded for a monopoly, she found herself faced with steep rents she couldn't afford to pay. She mortgaged one property after another before finally declaring bankruptcy, despite having the most number of properties on the board.

It wasn't until hours later that Abbey finally saw her mistake clearly. She'd been pursuing the wrong goal! Monopoly isn't about the number of properties you get as much as the monopolies you acquire. She'd mortgaged and plotted and planned to get those properties, and for what? What did they matter now? It had all been in vain. She'd been consumed by the wrong goal.

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ," Philippians 3:8 (KJV)


Homeschool Tip: Examining Your Goals

- Cris Loop

Goals? Everyone around me seems to be talking about them! : ) And for good reason. Goals affect us whether or not we think we have them, and whether or not we consciously put them on paper.

Years ago, I had a goal to raise my children to know and love God. Yet in practice, I wasn't living like I believed this goal. I was trying to make my children excel in academics and life--to make them be "good" people. Yes, they learned scripture--lots of it, but just learning scripture was not really enough to reach my goal.

I had a good goal--but I didn't know how to reach it. I didn't have a clue how to raise my children to love God!

I'm grateful God brought an older woman into my life who showed me that, first and foremost, I needed to know and love God, not just intellectually, but in the very core of my being. As I trusted His love and began to read His Word, not just to learn more about Him, but to actually hear His voice, I would be training my children too.

I had to (and still have to!) repent of the other goals I'd unconsciously adopted, and listen as God showed me changes that needed made in our homeschooling. When all was said and done, I didn't want to look back on these years and discover I'd wasted them on all the wrong goals.

As school comes to a close and summer begins, take some quiet time to examine your goals for your children. Is what you're doing matching those goals? Are there any changes that need to be made? If you find you've been sidetracked, repent and thank God for His forgiveness. Remember, each day is brand new! Above all else, seek Him with your whole heart yourself. Read His Word and reflect on His love. Let Him become the goal in all you do.


Hymn/Poem: What Think Ye of Christ?

- John Newton, author of "Amazing Grace." Based on Matthew 22:42. Taken from Olney Hymns, a collection of many of Newton's works available to view online for free at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/newton/olneyhymns.toc.html.

What think you of Christ? is the test
To try both your state and your scheme;
You cannot be right in the rest,
Unless you think rightly of him.
As Jesus appears in your view,
As he is beloved or not;
So God is disposed to you,
And mercy or wrath are your lot.

Some take him a creature to be,
A man, or an angel at most;
Sure these have not feelings like me,
Nor know themselves wretched and lost:
So guilty, so helpless, am I,
I durst not confide in his blood,
Nor on his protection rely,
Unless I were sure he is God.

Some call him a Savior, in word,
But mix their own works with his plan;
And hope he his help will afford,
When they have done all that they can:
If doings prove rather too light
(A little, they own, they may fail)
They purpose to make up full weight,
By casting his name in the scale.

Some style him the pearl of great price,
And say he's the fountain of joys;
Yet feed upon folly and vice,
And cleave to the world and its toys:
Like Judas, the Savior they kiss,
And, while they salute him, betray;
Ah! what will profession like this
Avail in his terrible day?

If asked what of JESUS I think?
Though still my best thoughts are but poor;
I say, he's my meat and my drink,
My life, and my strength, and my store,
My Shepherd, my Husband, my Friend,
My Savior from sin and from thrall;
My hope from beginning to end,
My Portion, my LORD, and my All.


Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, İ 2009. Where marked Cris Loop, articles written by Christina Loop, İ 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.