Christian Perspective

Encouragement

 
 

Christian Perspective


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

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Greetings from Snow-Covered Northern Virginia!

We've been enjoying an extra bonus of snow this winter, and are thankful we were all able to make it home safely from various trips we were on before the big storm came. We hope each of you has been having a blessed--and warm--winter.

A big welcome to all our new subscribers! We hope these newsletters will be a blessing to you. Please don't ever hesitate to contact us if we can assist you in any way.

Homeschool convention season is almost here! If you're at the 27th Annual Virginia Homeschool Convention (HEAV) (Richmond, VA) or the Maryland homeschool convention (MACHE), please be sure to stop by our booth--we'd love to meet you/see you again! My mom and I are also available to do workshops for smaller groups within a few hour's drive of Northern Virginia. You can find out more details here.

May the knowledge that He knows every sparrow that falls comfort your hearts today and always!

In Christ,

Katherine

Easter DevotionalP.S. If you're looking for a meaningful way to prepare for Easter as a family, I'd encourage you to check out our Easter devotional, Jesus--the Life-Giver. The week-long devotional e-book explores the life Jesus's death and resurrection bring us--and includes a fun "flower garden" for the children to make. There's more information on our website. Families have shared with us how much they've enjoyed this simple and fun way to explore God's truths together.


Thought: Amazing Reality

I quickly turned the pages, eager to watch the main character come out of the bondage of self-imposed religion into the freedom of God's truths. The book, like others I'd been reading lately, was set in the Middle Ages, and the main character was trying desperately to find peace and joy by his own works--praying to the saints, bowing before relics, and making a pilgrimage. He kept trying and trying and looked so holy to those around him, but in his heart he knew he was still desperately wicked and not at peace.

The book caused me to remember back to my own attempts to make myself righteous. I hadn't struggled with praying to saints or relics--I knew to pray to Christ Jesus and trust His sacrifice. But in my own way, I was still trying to become a good Christian on my own--to somehow make myself what a Christian should be. Outwardly, I looked good, but in my heart I knew there must be more.

The amazing reality of the gospel is that it's not about us at all! Christ Jesus has finished the work for our salvation. His love is completely unmerited--there's nothing we can do to make Him love us more or less!

There's a tremendous freedom in coming empty-handed to the cross. In admitting we have nothing and letting Him give us His righteousness.

Today, take a moment to ponder the gospel and Christ's sacrifice. Remember back to when you first heard of His salvation. Then choose to live today the same way you were saved--coming empty handed to the cross and rejoicing in Christ's righteousness.

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Colossians 2:13-15

"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:" Colossians 2:6


Story: Living in His Love

Anna could not contain her joy and delight. The prince loved her! She reached down and fondly touched the love letter he had sent her, which told of the enormous ransom he'd paid on her behalf to purchase her for himself. Such love defied her understanding.

The knowledge of the prince's love put a sparkle in each task Anna undertook. As she washed the dishes, she would remind herself of portions from the prince's letter. Slowly, his love was changing her. The things that used to worry or upset her could not touch her now--after all, she belonged to the prince and would soon be taken to his castle. What did these petty problems matter?

And what did it matter what people thought of her? The prince loved her--loved her unconditionally--and had paid a ransom for her. She had been a slave, and had lived her whole life cursing and despising the king and his prince. Yet the prince had bestowed his love upon her anyway, and had paid a huge ransom to redeem her from her self-imposed slavery.

The more Anna got to know her prince, the more she grew amazed at his love, and the more she longed to tell others of his love. How could she keep such love to herself?

This joy and peace continued for quite some time. Gradually, though, something began to change. Anna stopped thinking about her prince's love as much. She began thinking more about herself and the daily tasks of life. She grew more irritable--and discouraged. You see, she wanted to live like a good bride-to-be, and she knew she should be joyful and loving to those around her. So she got busy trying to be joyful and to love others, but kept ending in miserable failure.

Anna still read the prince's love letters, but rather than pondering his love while reading, she began pondering how she ought to behave and act to please her prince. Her focus changed, and she began trying to manufacture her own joy, love, and peace, rather than letting them flow out of the realization of her prince's love.

One day while scrubbing a tarnished pot, the engagement ring on her finger caught Anna's eyes. She touched it, remembering how happy she'd felt when she had first opened and received the prince's gift, slipping the ring on her finger as a seal of his love.

The ring brought with it the remembrance of the prince and his unconditional love for her despite her having nothing loveable. As Anna pondered anew her prince's love, she realized how foolish she had been. She'd let so many cares rob her of the joy of living in his love!

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:35-37


Homeschool Tip: Ruled by God's Love

- Cris Loop

This month, I have been amazed by God's unconditional love. I saw it in God's dealings with the Israelites despite their grumbling, in His faithfulness to Zechariah in the midst of his questioning heart, and in His love poured out on David in the Psalms. Everywhere I turned, God's love and faithfulness seemed to be like a neon light screaming at me, so I wasn't too surprised when Katherine's story also had this theme.

There are a lot of aspects of God's love to speak on, but the one that seems to keep coming back to me is how God's love puts a sparkle in our lives and changes us--when we let it. And when we let His love transform us, it can also make a difference in the lives of those around us. Just think, each day you have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your children by letting your heart be ruled by God's love.

The Lord began convicting me of how little I was really trusting Him and expressing His love to those around me. Guess that is why I noticed His love and faithfulness and found such comfort in the accounts of the Israelites, Zechariah, and David. Each one did not "get it right," yet God didn't cut them off or take away His promises; instead, He showered them with His unconditional love. The Israelites eventually entered the Promised Land, Zechariah became the father of John the Baptist, and David was called a man after God's own heart.

This month, my prayer for you is to allow God's love to rule you so that it spills over to your family. As you go throughout the day, ponder His love for you. If He shows you areas you are allowing the cares of this world choke His truth, give them to Him. Let the knowledge of God's love put a sparkle in all you do!

"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
John 17:22-23


New Section! Tidbits on Math from a Christian Perspective

Each week, I've been posting a new blog post about an aspect of math, with a focus on teaching math from a biblical perspective and seeing His hand in math. If you like, you can sign up to receive an e-mail of the posts here. Below are links to the most recent posts.
- Katherine

Resource Week - Free Practical Math Lessons
Lessons from the Life of Johannes Kepler
Musings on Algebra
The Golden Ratio
Free Digitized 1800 and 1900 Math Books


Hymn/Poem: In Heavenly Love Abiding

- Anna L. Warin, 1850. Found in The Hymnal (Philadelphia: The Trustees of The Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1902), 527.

In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear,
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He tak[eth],
And I will walk with Him.

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
Where the dark clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure,
The path to life is free;
My Saviour has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.


Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, 2010. Where marked Cris Loop, articles written by Christina Loop, 2010. 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.