Christian Perspective

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

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In This Newsletter:

  • Christmastime Is Here--Free Gingerbread Stable Download and More
  • Thought: Taking Time to Listen
  • Deep, Meaningful, and Fun Bible Study for December
  • Story: Play by Play
  • Homeschool Tip: Missed Opportunities
  • Tidbits on Math--From a Christian Perspective
  • Hymn/Poem: O Lord, Thy Perfect Word

Christmastime Is Here--Free Gingerbread Stable Download and More

We hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving! As we turn the corner into December, we have just a couple of announcements.

Free Gingerbread Stable Download - This Thursday, November 29, Homeschool Freebie of the Day will be featuring an instructional booklet we put together on how to make gingerbread stables--a fun and meaningful twist on the classic gingerbread houses. The download includes the patterns and a gingerbread recipe--we hope you enjoy!

Upcoming Online Radio Interview - Thursday, December 13, at 3:45 p.m. C.S.T., we will be interviewed on "Marnie's Friends Radio Talk" on the Gingerbread Stables (which you'll be able to download then as well). Feel free to join in live or to listen to the recording afterwards. (And we'd appreciate your prayers for a blessed, God-honoring interview.)

New Review: Jesus--The Promised One (Now's the Time to Order!)- Amy Blevins recently reviewed our Christmas devotional on her blog. She writes: "The little books are my favorite part. Each page has specific directions for the child to color, paste, or draw something onto the page which will help them remember the day's story." If you're looking for a deep, meaningful, yet fun way to keep in God's Word together this December, take a moment to check out the devotional. It comes as both a physical copy and an e-book. Now's the time to order your copy if you plan to use it this year.

May the peace of Christ rule in our hearts and minds this Christmas season.

By His Grace,

Katherine


Thought: Taking Time to Listen

Life gets busy--especially in today's society, and especially this time of year. A few weeks back, I took on a temporary part-time position and discovered that my days suddenly got very, very full.

I was being stretched. I was out in the world a lot, being inundated with secular music and messages on every hand. If ever I needed time in God's Word, it was then.

Yet what happened? The busyness resulted in shortened Bible times. I didn't mean to shorten them, it just happened, ever so subtly. And ever so subtly, I was feeling worn-out and discouraged, and I was no longer taking advantage of opportunities to share the Lord or serve those around me. Now wonder! I was like an athlete running a race who, rather than eating and drinking extra to combat the energy he was expending, instead ate and drank less than usual!

Dear reader, I know this is a busy of year, with a lot going on. But the busier life gets, the more we need time in God's Word. How will we be able to listen to His voice, to encourage those around us with His truths, and to share Him with the lost if we are not filling ourselves with His Word--if we are not taking time to listen to His truth?

"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments." Psalm 119:130,131

But how do we find time? The answer to that may be different for each one of us. I know it's been different for me at different points in life. Just as we make time to eat, though, we can make the time for God's Word, as it is just as vital as a good meal. At the same time, just because you don't have time for a Thanksgiving feast in God's Word, don't miss out on having a spiritual dinner! One way or another, spend time with your Heavenly Father, seeking His thoughts and truths from His Word--His precious love letter to you.


Christmas DevotionalDeep, Meaningful, and Fun Bible Study for December

This short devotional will take you and your family on a journey through the Bible, tracing God's plan of redemption from the beginning of time through to Jesus's birth, death, and resurrection. Children can make their own little books, making it something every member of the family can get something out of and enjoy.

Now's the time to order your copy--the devotional is designed to start December 1! (Available as both an e-book and physical copy.)

Note: If you would like to use the devotional but finances would keep you from ordering, please let us know. We have a limited number of discounted or complimentary copies available.


Story: Play by Play

Andy raced down the field, reaching up after the basketball. He knew exactly what he was doing--or so he thought. He had read that cutting to the right like this was the right move to make. Yet to his surprise, he saw the basketball sail past him to the left. He had missed the opportunity he'd been waiting for…again.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The other players had all filed out of the locker room long ago. Only Andy sat, his head buried in his hands, defeat written in his posture, even if he hid the despair in his eyes and face.

Andy heard his name called--he recognized that voice. It was the voice of a fellow player--Tony. "Hey, Tony," Andy mumbled, struggling to collect himself. "I thought you'd left with the others."

Tony gave one of his broad grins. "And so I did--but I realized you weren't with us and came back. You okay?"

Andy started to nod, then shook his head. "Not really. I just don't understand. I keep messing up. I just wish I knew where to be when."

"Sounds to me like you need to talk with the coach," Tony replied with a knowing smile. "He'll fix you up right quick. Say, I think he's in there."

Andy followed Tony's finger, which pointed to their coach's office, located just off the locker room. "Now?" he whispered.

Tony grinned again. "There's no time like the present." With that, Tony patted Andy good-naturedly on the shoulder and headed back outside.

Andy knew his friend was right. He needed to talk with the coach. It had been too long since they'd had a really good talk.

To Andy's surprise, the coach guessed his frustrations and articulated them clearer than even he could. "Andy," he explained, "you want to know what you're supposed to do all the time. You want me to lay out for you a game plan for the rest of your career--a rule you can follow about where to be when. Today, for instance, you copied what you had seen another player do in a game, and thought you'd be able to catch the ball."

"But the game doesn't work that way. I call the plays one at a time, play by play. Our strategy against one team will be entirely different than against another. And what I want you to do will be different too, although never outside of the bounds of the rulebook. Andy," the coach paused and looked straight into Andy's eyes, "it's your job to read and know what is in the playbook; more importantly, though, you need to listen. The entire game tonight, I was calling out directions--I told you the plays we were running as you needed to know--but your mind was too filled with trying to figure out what to do on your own, and looking at your mistakes, to  listen. There's no formula you can follow out there on the court--you just need to listen play by play."

As the coach's words sank in, a weight fell of Andy's shoulders. It was the coach's job to figure out who needed to be where! It was his job just to listen--and obey.


Homeschool Tip: Missed Opportunities

- Cris Loop

How many opportunities do we miss everyday? A recent experience while traveling has got me pondering that question--and asking God to help me listen more to Him in the moment so I won't miss the opportunities He brings.

Last week while my husband and I were traveling, I got in a friendly conversation with a woman at one of the rest stops. Now I had just finished reading a book on witnessing, and as I got in the car, I was reminded that meeting this woman was an opportunity to share Jesus. I wished I had thought to bring eternity into the conversation so that I could have shared the Lord or planted a seed. At that point, all I could do was pray.

Six hours later, after lunch and a few more stops, my husband pulled over to yet another rest stop. As I walked into the rest room, I was shocked as the same woman I had met earlier that day came out of one of the stalls! This time we greeted each other like old friends, excited that we would meet again so unexpectedly so many hours later. When she asked where I was going it would have been so easy to say, "I'm going to Virginia right now, but my final destination is heaven, how about you?" Or when she said how nice and strange it was to see me--I could have said, "I wonder if this is not a divine appointment. Can I ask you if you know where you are going to spend eternity?" But, even though I had prayed for her, I was so caught up in the moment I didn't think to say any of that until I was back in the car. I missed yet another opportunity.

In short, I realized I miss a lot of opportunities all the time, with my children and with those around me. God tells us to be prepared in season and out of season--we never know when an opportunity will come up!

"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:5-7

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:1-3


Tidbits on Math--From a Christian Perspective

Here is the most recent post from the Math from a Christian Perspective Blog.

Review: Make It Real Volume 2 -And a 25%-Off Coupon Code at Make It Real Learning
Some time ago, I reviewed Make It Real Activity Library, Volume 1. Recently, they released a volume 2. Volume 2 is very similar to volume 1; once again, I appreciated how the series, designed as a curriculum supplement, provides numerous, stand-alone, real-world application problems for students. The series does not claim to be Christian, so Christian parents/teachers will want to discuss some of the lessons with their students, examining how we interpret the results or topic in a biblical worldview. Again, please see my previous review for more thoughts, as well as for a 25%-off coupon code good on all of the publisher's products through the end of 2012.
Note: I received a free copy of this product to review. See my review policy disclosure.

Math Curriculum in Progress
For those of you wondering if I disappeared, I’m still here, and I am still actively looking at math. My math time has just been consumed with working on a middle-school math curriculum that will both firm up arithmetic/the foundations and give students a biblical worldview on geometry, algebra, and upper-level math...(Read more.)


Hymn/Poem: O Lord, Thy Perfect Word

- By Anne Steele, 1760. Found in Edwin Francis Hatfield, The Church Hymn Book: For the Worship of God (NP: A. B. Kidder's Typography, 1872), p. 220, #358. Viewable online at Google Books.

Father of mercies! in thy word,
What endless glory shines!
For ever be thy name adored,
For these celestial lines.

Here, the Redeemer's welcome voice
Spreads heavenly peace around;
And life, and everlasting joys
Attend the blissful sound.

Oh! may these heavenly pages be
My ever dear delight;
And still new beauties may I see,
And still increasing light.
Divine Instructor, gracious Lord!


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.