Christian Perspective

Encouragement

 
 

Christian Perspective


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

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A big welcome to all those who participated in the Estes special!
We hope these newsletters will be a blessing to you.

Update: New Math Book and Blog

New Book!New Math Book - This year has brought some changes to our house, one of them being the completion of Revealing Arithmetic--a more-than-200-full-sized-page manual offering ideas and inspiration for teaching basic arithmetic (counting through exponents) from a biblical worldview. I can't tell you how excited and grateful I felt when it went off to the printer...it's been a long, but blessed journey! Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement along the way! If you'd like to learn more about the book or purchase a copy, it's now in our online store.

Math Blog - Now that the book is finished, I have been blogging much more faithfully according to a tentative
schedule)
, sharing ideas and resources on teaching math biblically. If you'd like to receive a notification of each new post, please click here to sign up.

Other Blog Posts - I've also had the opportunity to blog a few times on the Virginia Homeschool Blog about some things the Lord was showing our family on having a mission and goal--you can read them using the links below.

A New Year's Thought - Keeping Focused on the Mission
Keeping Focused on the Mission (Part 2)

May the knowledge that our Good Shepherd never makes a mistake comfort your hearts and bring you joy and peace as you embark upon this new year.

In Christ,

Katherine


Thought: What's Filling Our Minds?

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Colossians 3:16-17

I was discouraged and feeling slightly overwhelmed. My thoughts were filled with things I needed to get done, and with people and situations I wanted to change.

I was miserable. Why? Because I had such an awful circumstance or because there was so much to do? No! Because I was focused on me! God calls us to let His Word dwell in us and to walk giving thanks and praising His name. But how could I be meditating on His Word and praising Him if my mind was filled with my own thoughts?

What's filling our minds makes a big difference! We have a choice to let our thoughts be filled with fear, self-focus, bitterness, etc., or to choose to focus them above life's trials and put them on the Lord and His love.

"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice...Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."  Philippians 4:4, 6-8


Story: Lift Up Your Eyes!

This story is one told in J.R. Miller's Unto the Hills: A Meditation on the One Hundred and Twenty-First Psalm (1899 - available on Google Books). I first read the story in a Grace Gems newsletter, and appreciated it so much I wanted to share it with you all.

A story is told of a man who one day in his youth found a gold coin on the street. Ever after this he kept his yes on the ground as he walked, watching for coins. During a long lifetime he found a goodly number of pieces of gold and silver, but meanwhile he never saw the flowers, the plants, and the trees which grew in such wondrous beauty everywhere; he never saw the hills, the mountains, the sweet valleys, the picturesque landscapes; he never saw the blue sky. To him this fair world meant only a dusty road, dreary and unbeautiful, merely a place in which to look for coins.

This really is the story of the life of thousands of men. They never lift their eyes off the earth. They live only to gather money, to add field to field, to scheme for power or to find pleasure. Or, if their quest be a little higher, it is still only for earthly things. They never lift up their eyes to the hills. There is no blue sky in their picture. They cherish no heavenly visions. They are without God in the world.

We grow in the direction in which our eyes habitually turn. We become like that on which we look much and intently. We were created to look up.

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." Colossians 3:1


Homeschool Tip: Ground Zero - Setting Goals

- Cris Loop

At the beginning of this year I found myself touring the Pentagon looking at "ground zero," not just literally, but spiritually as well. For one of the first times in my life, I began thinking about a family mission and goals. Somehow, walking the hallways of each of the branches of our military and seeing the displays of both successful and failed past missions spoke to me of the importance not only of setting godly goals, but also of building a plan to carry them out.

It seemed obvious from the displays that missions with clearly defined plans were more successful than those in which the mission was not so clearly defined. Vietnam was the biggest example of this--the lack of a clear mission had hampered operations. I began wondering if our homeschooling endeavors could suffer from not having a clearly defined mission--and if a clearly defined mission could have a huge impact on how we educate our children? I believe it could.

Looking back, I can see how, while I had an overall mission of fulfilling the charge God had given me with my children and training them to know and love Him, I did not always keep that mission in the forefront of my life. Nor did I always have clear attainable goals that would lead me towards that overall mission. As a result, days (and years) were not used as effectively as they could have been toward reaching my mission.

As you enter the New Year, why not take a moment and examine your mission, ask God for attainable goals, and develop a plan to reach them? If my observations from the halls of the Pentagon are accurate, you will be one step closer to a successful mission. I'll be praying for you as I take my own advice and work with my husband to set our family mission and goals for 2010.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." Proverbs 29:18


Hymn/Poem: Casting Your Care Upon Him

- James L. Black. Found in Living Hymns for Use in the Sabbath School, Christian Endeavor Meetings, the Church and Home. Compiled by John Wanamaker. Published in Philadelphia by John J. Hood, 1890.

Child of God, be not discouraged,
Cast thy burden on the Lord;
With a cheerful, loving spirit
Read and trust his gracious word.

Refrain: Casting all your care upon him,
When your skies with clouds are dim,
You will find the promise true,
Jesus careth, Jesus careth still for you.

O'er the dark and troubled waters,
Tho' you oft may stem the tide,
Not alone you brave the tempest,--
He is there your Friend and Guide.

Child of God, no power can harm you,
Naught of ill your soul molest
Casting all your care on Jesus,
In his arms you safely rest.

Soon your eyes with joy will see him,
Soon your feet will press the shore,
Where the saints redeemed are waiting,
And the storms of life are o'er.


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.