Christian Perspective

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

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Note: Welcome, Reviews, & Website

HEAV Convention
A big welcome to those we met at the HEAV Virginia Homeschool Convention in Richmond a few weeks ago! We hope these newsletters will prove a blessing to you. 

Reviews
We were recently reminded of the need to get more reviews for our product listings on
Amazon
, CBD, and our own website. There's nothing like a review to help someone know if the product would be a fit for them. If you've been blessed by any of our material, we would love it if you could take a few minutes to leave a couple lines about the product at the sites above. Thank you in advance for whatever you're able to do. 

Website
We experienced some difficulty with our website in May and the beginning of June, but are happy to report that the website has been moved to a new platform and now appears to be working well. We apologize for any inconvenience our website difficulties may have caused. 

I hope you each are having a blessed and joyful summer in Jesus--our Redeemer, Joy, and Life! 

In His Care, 

Katherine 

Thought: Thinking Clearly 

A recent adverse reaction to some medicine had me feeling dizzy, nauseous, headachy, tired, and otherwise cloudy-headed. It was hard to think clearly or to make intelligent decisions. A fog--similar to a feverish fog--clouded my thinking powers and made it hard to really enjoy life.  

I didn't even realize how bad the mental fog was until it lifted. Once the medicine had finally worked its way out of my system, I was simply amazed at how clearly I could think again. I had forgotten how different the world could look when not viewed through deadened senses.  

That experience got me thinking about things that fog up our spiritual senses. Fear immediately came to mind. When we allow fear into our lives, our thinking gets clouded. Instead of seeing situations from God's point of view, our fears--worries about what others think (or will think), finances, our health, loved ones, our jobs, our school, our homes, etc.--cloud our assessments and rob us of the joy of walking in God's victory. 

The opposite of living in fear is living in fearlessness, or boldness and confidence. I got to thinking about some men in the Bible who lived fearlessly: David; Paul; Daniel; and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Each of them boldly faced their situations because they were confident in God and in His will...and submitted to whatever that was. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had confidence God could save them from the flames, yet they were surrendered to perish if God chose to allow the flames to consume them (Daniel 3).  

On the other hand, the Bible has many examples of men who lived fearfully, such as the man who hid his talent in the ground (Matthew 25:14-28). This man was so afraid of making a mistake and displeasing his master that he wasted even the one talent he had been given. Fear immobilized him. 

We can't overestimate the importance of thinking clearly, both physically and spiritually. This month, let's remember to check ourselves to see if we're surrendered to God's will and confident in His love, care, and leading, or if we're allowing fear to cloud our thinking...and ultimately our actions. 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
 


Story: Changing Perspectives 

This story was partially inspired by "Get Service"--a short video emphasizing the difference the perspective with which we look at others can make. You can view the video on Sermonspice.com. 

Julian hated taking out the trash. Few tasks bothered her as much as this one. Yet like it or not, she couldn't escape the job.  

One evening after taking out the trash, Julian, feeling especially bothered, marched into her father's office and vented her frustration with, "I hate taking out the trash." She went on to elaborate on all the things about taking out the trash she did not like. 

Julian's father listened quietly. Then he slowly reached under his desk and pulled out a small box. "Julian, I have something for you," he explained, opening the box carefully. Inside was a hand-held device Julian had never seen. 

"What is it?" Julian asked in amazement, forgetting all about the trash for a moment. 

"It's an electronic labeler," her father replied. "It will help you view things--including the trash--the way I view them. Just scan whatever task you're frustrated with, and it will pull up my thoughts on the matter. You'll be surprised by what you discover." 

"Wow--thank you, Father," Julian replied, taking the labeler--which looked somewhat like a fancy smart phone--with delight. She could hardly wait to use this new toy! 

What she discovered when she pointed the labeler at the trash can a few minutes later surprised her greatly. The device immediately lit up with a few simple words: "An opportunity to bless and be blessed." 

Julian stared at the words in disbelief...then tried pointing the device at the trash can again. Had she misread it? How could taking out the trash possibly be viewed as an opportunity? 

Once again, the labeler repeated its strange message. Julian's father clearly viewed taking the trash out as a blessing, not a frustration. 

Julian knew her father was much, much wiser than she. Perhaps she should try approaching taking out the trash with a new attitude. 

Changing her attitude proved difficult, but Julian kept reminding herself of her father's label. This is an opportunity. I'm going to be thankful for it, she decided. Oh, but she hated touching everyone's garbage! Couldn't people be more careful... 

Julian stopped her thoughts mid-sentence. Perhaps other people's carelessness was part of her opportunity--an opportunity to bless them! 

As Julian began changing her perspective to align with her father's, a strange thing began happening. A song began replacing the complaining that used to accompany her dreaded task. Ever so slowly--and with many a relapse--the task became not just bearable, but actually enjoyable. Julian learned to delight in blessing others through this mundane service...and unknown to even herself, she was being blessed too. 

Excited about the difference her father's perspective made with taking out the trash, Julian began using her labeler more and more often. One day, Julian decided to try pointing the labeler at herself. She hesitated to even look at the label, afraid of all the things it might say. Would it list her many shortcomings? She could think of a list a mile long. 

To her surprise, though, the labeler read, "My beloved, cherished daughter." 

Julian's heart skipped a beat when she saw those words. The thought that her father looked at her through eyes of love, not judgment, put a sparkle in her step all day. She was cherished. That knowledge made her want to serve her father with ever fiber in her being. 

Slowly yet surely, viewing her circumstances and tasks--as well as herself--as her father viewed them began transforming Julian and changing her actions. She began living more in joy and service. Indeed, life looked so very different when viewed through her father's eyes! 

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 (KJV) 


Homeschool Tip: Gaining a Fresh Perspective

- Cris Loop  

For weeks now, there has been a bird that keeps trying to get into our house. It keeps flying into the window, staying 10-15 seconds, and then flying away. Naturally, I have begun to wonder why this bird is still coming to my window! I wish I knew the answer--but every member of my family has a different thought as to why the bird is still continuing to visit our window, and each has his or her own solution to the situation.  

As I was sharing this strange occurrence with a friend of mine to see if she had any thoughts, I was surprised to find out she was experiencing the same thing with a number of birds on several of her windows. And she had yet another thought as to how to handle the birds. 

This got me to thinking how unique we all are--and how   differently we all view the same thing. How nice it would be to have the labeler Julian had in this month's story in order to know God's perspective on these birds and many other things that puzzle me. As I was thinking about this, it hit me that God has given all of us a labeler--His Word--and paying attention to that Word is something we need to cultivate in our lives and in the lives of our children. God's Word and His Holy Spirit reveal to us God's perspective on everything--and we can by our example instill in our children a habit of seeking God's perspective through His Word.  

This month, I would encourage you to spend some time in God's word seeking His perspective for yourself and for your children. No matter how things went this year, each day you have a new opportunity to seek and embrace God's perspective.  

Update: Since the writing   of this tip, the bird has mysteriously stopped visiting our window, for which we're all very thankful! 


Hymn/Poem: My Times Are in Thy Hand 

--By W. F. Lloyd. 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, number 440.

My times are in thy hand,
My God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul,
I leave entirely to thy care.

My times are in thy hand,
Whatever they may be;
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
As best may seem to thee.

My times are in thy hand,
Why should I doubt or fear?
My father's hand will never cause
His child a needless tear.

My times are in thy hand,
Jesus, the crucified!
The hand my cruel sins had pierced
Is now my guard and guide. 

My times are in thy hand;
I'll always trust in thee;
And, after death, at thy right hand
I shall forever be. 


Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, (C) 2012. Where marked Cris Loop, articles written by Christina Loop, (C) 2012. 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.