Today is Friday, March 24th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3520|
It's early for this part of the Easter story. But it is Easter season and time to reflect and remember the good news:
GUARDS ARE POSTED AT THE TOMB
"The next day---at the close of the first day of the Passover ceremonies---the chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate, and told him, 'Sire, that liar once said, 'After three days I will come back to life again.' So we request an order from you sealing the tomb until the third day, to prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he came back to life! If that happens we'll be worse off than we were at first.
"'Use your own Temple police,' Pilate told them. 'They can guard it safely enough.
"So they sealed the stone and posted guards to protect it from intrusion."
~ Mark 27:62 - 66 LAB
Bible Commentary: "The religious leaders took Jesus' resurrection claims more seriously than the disciples did. The disciples don't remember Jesus' teaching about his resurrection, but the religious leaders did. Because of his claims, they were almost as afraid of Jesus after his death as when he was alive. They tried to take every precaution that his body would remain in the tomb.
"Because the tomb was hewn out of rock in the side of a hill, there was only one entrance. The tomb was sealed by stringing a cord across the stone that was rolled over the entrance. The cord was sealed at each end with clay. But the religious leaders took a further precaution, asking the guards be placed at the tomb's entrance. With such precautions, the only way the tomb could be empty would be for Jesus to rise from the dead. The Pharisees failed to understand that no rock, seal, guard, or army could prevent the Son of God from rising again."
Today is Thursday, March 23rd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3519|
Working With God
"It's a wonderful day indeed when we stop working for God and begin working with God! For years I viewed God as a compassionate CEO and my role as his loyal sales representative. He had his office and I had my territory. I could contact him whenever I wished. He encouraged me, rallied behind me, and supported me, but he didn't go with me. At least I didn't think, he did.
Then I read 2 Corinthians 6:1 that says, 'We are God's fellow-workers.' Fellow workers? Co-laborers? God and I work together? Rather than report to God, we work with God. Rather than check in with him and then leave, we check in with him and then follow. We are always in the presence of God. There is never a non-sacred moment! His presence never diminishes. Our awareness of his presence may falter, but the reality of his presence never changes!
~ By Max Lucado
Today is Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3518|
Yesterday my good friend Judy Ahrends passed away.
She was more than a friend. Her husband, Kim, and my husband, Jim, were first cousins. While both of our families lived in Clarion, we saw each other only a handful of times each year. Whenever we had a family reunion (always at our farmstead as the Ahrends family moved here in 1902!), Kim & Judy and family would be here.
In 2012, Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer. And in January 2014, she learned that she had Stage 4 breast cancer and would never be cancer free. At our July family reunion that same year, she was recounting her medical news to family members in attendance.
I loved her openness about what was happening to her. So she and I began "Tuesdays with Judy" shortly after. I'd stop at their family business and we'd go for coffee (really cold soft drinks!) and chat. Usually about an hour.
Judy would talk about her childhood, her family from birth until the present day. She'd tell about meeting Kim and their marriage and work together. She'd tell about her cancer and her future...in this life and in the next. We would just talk. Before she'd jump out of my vehicle and go back to work, we'd say a short prayer and she'd give me a hug.
Early on in our 'talks', I gave her a favorite 'travel book' of mine. It's a short story "Discover Paradise: A Guidebook to Heaven, Your True Home" by Dr. David Jeremiah. He tells about what we can expect when we arrive in heaven:
The book describes a very different existence to the one we have here: Jerusalem, a large (HUGE!) city; pearly gates; streets of gold; no boredom; no diseases; no illness; no death; perfect love; seeing Jesus face-to-face. The first Bible verse quoted in the book says:
"You will show me the path of life.
In Your presence is fullness of joy.
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
~ Psalm 16:11
She showed me how to live; didn't stop working in all that time until the last few months. And how to die; knowing what the future holds for all of us.
The last couple of days were especially hard ones.
But she escaped this life yesterday.
Appropriately it was another "Tuesday with Judy".
Today is Tuesday, March 21st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3517|
First my apologies for multiple Karen's Korners one day last week. I was in Florida visiting my sister and her friend. I was thinking I could keep sending daily 'korners' from there. Since I was using a different computer, I had an operator error (ME!), so I decided not to email any more until I got home.
So now I am back!
Here is one more Guatemala thought; probably the last one from my mission trip there recently.
When we arrived in Guatemala City, a retired school bus came to pick us up at the airport. There were 40-plus of us traveling together so our luggage was tossed on top of the bus which had rails to hold all of it in place.
The same bus picked us up the morning we were leaving to come home. But one of our drivers said he would put all of our luggage on the flat bed of his truck. He would cover it with a tarp and bungee cord it down.
We were going to the airport mid to late afternoon on Friday. All of us were warned of a lot of traffic and congestion. Instead of taking an hour and a half, it took us about three hours. We were stopped often, boxed in many times, as we waited.
As I looked out the bus windows, I was so surprised to see our truck and luggage near as all the time, regardless of the congestion. The driver, another guy riding with him, and one of our 'team' sitting between them in the front seat were always in front of us, beside us, or behind us. "This is so surprising," I thought.
When we got to our hotel and sat down in smaller groups to eat, I mentioned to Kevin (guy in the center of their truck), how surprised I was at their always close proximity.
He said, "My dear, they were serving the bus as our bodyguards!"
Seems that local residents know that sometimes 'not-so-nice' residents see 'gringos' on a bus, sandwiched in traffic and unable to move. They board the vehicle and either go through luggage or frisk vulnerable passengers.
"Hmm," I thought. "I didn't know I was in danger nor that I needed protection. But they knew something that I/we didn't." I always felt safe.
Makes me think of God. How often are we need of protection? And His 'always love and care' so that we can 'feel' safe and be able to walk through life unafraid. We can't make it without His help!
"For He orders His angels to protect you wherever you go. They will steady you with their hands to keep you from stumbling against the rocks on the trail. You can safely meet a lion or step on poisonous snakes, yes, even trample them beneath your feet."
~ Psalm 91:12 & 13 LAB
Today is Monday, March 13th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3516|
One night when we were in Guatemala our leader hand us each a 'You are' card.|
Here was mine but it could be yours:
YOU ARE KIND....
"You are a breath of fresh air to everyone that meets you. The kindness you show to those you love is appreciated beyond what words can express. Know that even when you think no one notices........they do! You have shown kindness to strangers that has given them strength to make it through another day. Your smile to those that feel forgotten and ignored gives strength. God has used your spirit to alter the course of peoples lives and turn generations of their families from a path of destruction to a path of peace. Know in all you do God sees and he is pleased!"
~ taken from www.therevolutionpaper.com
John 14:1: Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me."
Today is Friday, March 10th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3515|
Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence" writing are always good. Here is today's:
"You are mine for all time---and beyond time, into eternity. No power can deny you your inheritance in heaven. I want you to realize how utterly secure you are! Even if you falter as you journey through life, I will never let go of your hand.
"Knowing that your future is absolutely assured can free you to live abundantly today. I have prepared this day for you with the most tender concern and attention to detail. Instead of approaching the day as a blank page that you need to fill up, try living it in a responsive mode: being on the lookout for all that I am doing. This sounds easy but it requires a deep level of trust, based on the knowledge that My way is perfect."
~ written as if Jesus is talking directly to us
Today is Thursday, March 9th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3514|
Our church has ongoing Bible studies for gals but right now we are between study series. Women sign up for the number of weeks as their schedules allow.
So our minister's wife, Kara, invited anyone who wanted to come to watch the movie "Moms' Night Out". About a dozen of us attended.
It was a crazy movie. This is my review without taking notes for accuracy.
The main character mom with three kids; always wanted to be a mother. But was totally stressed out. If the kids made her breakfast in bed, all she saw was the messy kitchen and the potential for salmonella from the counters. Colored drawings on the walls. Being called out of the mega-church worship for something one of the children might be doing in the nursery.
It called for a night out. Along with her long-time friend (who was just learning from pregnancy tests another one might be on the way) and the pastor's wife (who was starting to have issues with her teenage daughter), the threesome embarked.
Then the craziness began. Dressed up for a night on the town and relaxing at an upscale restaurant, ended in disaster over reservation problems. What happens next was a listing that made 'motherhood' look like a picnic in the park. Bowling instead. A lost baby, who was supposed to be sat by the biological dad, but instead was passed from one 'friend' to another, taking the baby through a tattoo parlor. A cop chase. Kid-sitting dads having troubles with their kids. And a portion of their tribe in jail. You get the idea.
As our main mom was sitting in the waiting area of the police station with Bones, the owner of the tattoo parlor, Bones (played by Trace Adkins) made the most incredible comments of the movie: "As a kid, I was brought up in the church. But I walked away from the faith. You guys are the most uptight bunch. Why don't you just be you? And let God do the rest!"
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for being You. Thank You for making each of us into incredible people, fashioned in your image. Forgive us for any times when we try to take too much control of our lives and the life you have intended for us. Thank You that we can rest in the fact that 'you will do the rest'!. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Today is Wednesday, March 8th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3513|
CONFESS AND BELIEVE
"Can we know we are truly saved? The Bible says, 'If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved' (Romans 10:9). Confess and believe......and you will have salvation.
"Catch what the verse does not say: live perfectly, be nice to everyone, don't mess up, always smile---and you will be saved! Can't do it. Impossible. Just confess and believe. Salvation will follow. It's so easy...yet so hard.
"God wants us to know we are saved, for saved people are dangerous people, willing to face off with the world, unafraid of the consequences since we know that, whatever happens, we will have eternal life. 'Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus' (Romans 8:1 NIV). Watch out, world!"
~ By Max Lucado
Today is Tuesday, March 7th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3512|
Another Guatemala installment:
People watching or listening to the news may some time have a false impression that Christianity and churches are dead, dying, or at least having very little impact any longer.
My observations aren't very large but this is what I witnessed.
As we were getting ready to fly home, we arrived at the Guatemala City airport very early in the morning. Some of our team of 42 were wearing various t-shirts from the orphanage/school where we had served for a week plus.
As we were standing in a food line waiting to purchase an Egg McMuffin, behind us were several people wearing 'Carpenters for Christ' t-shirts. The 't' in both 'carpenters and 'Christ' had a big cross intersecting both words. We learned that their team had just completed building a church locally and had dedicated it the day before.
I saw a couple of other colors and kinds of matching shirts of two teams who were in the country doing 'mission work' of one kind or another. Now they were flying home like we were.
We arrived home late on Saturday night.
A 'Catholic cluster' of three churches in our small county periodically sponsors an ecumenical medical mission team to Haiti. They were going to be arriving back home after a week away on Tuesday.
Who knows how many teams had traveled or were traveling to places around the world? That week? Any week?
My conclusion: God is alive and well on planet earth!
"For salvation comes from God. What joys He gives to ALL His people."
~ Psalm 3:8 LAB
Today is Monday, March 6th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3511|
A Bible verse as we ready ourselves for Easter coming:
"But the fact of the matter is that it is best for you that I go away, for if I don't, the Comforter won't come. If I do, he will---for I will send him to you."
~ Jesus speaking to his disciples, John 16:7 LAB
Bible Commentary: "Unless Jesus did what He came to do, there would be no gospel. If He did not die, He could not remove our sins. If He did not die, He could not rise again and defeat death. If He did not go back to the Father, the Holy Spirit would not come. Christ's presence on earth was limited to one place at a time. His leaving meant He could be present to the whole world through the Holy Spirit."