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September 2006 Archives

Printable Issue 880  Today is Friday, September 1st, 2006; Karen's Korner #880
A writing from Shirley Choat:
 
Whosoever will come after me, let him take up his cross, and follow Me. Mark 8:34
 
  There are two kinds of Christians:  believers and disciples. All disciples are believers, but not all believers are disciples. The great majority of believers today seem to be interested only in receiving salvation, while few have caught the vision of taking up their cross daily and following Him in complete dedication.
 
  At the judgment seat of Christ, some believers shall be saved "as by fire" 1 Corinthians 3:15; that is, "by the skin of their teeth"; while others will have an abundant entrance into the kingdom and will be rewarded on the basis of their service.
 
  Are you a disciple, a faithful servant, or only a believer who shall meet the Master empty-handed?
 
  Not at death I shrink or falter,
for my Savior saves me now;
But to meet Him empty-handed,
thoughts of that now cloud by brow.
Printable Issue 881  Today is Monday, September 4th, 2006; Karen's Korner #881
Happy Labor Day Monday!
 
A Bible verse and a saying from an inspirational flip calendar I have on our stove:
 
"There is therefore now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus."
~ Romans 8:1
 
To truly love someone else means to accept him or her as is --
the good with the bad, the strong, along with the weak,
the honest intertwined with the dishonest.
The only way I can do this is by accepting myself,
with no condemnation,
the same way You have accepted me.
 
~~
Printable Issue 882  Today is Tuesday, September 5th, 2006; Karen's Korner #882
Here is a Jeff White daily email devotional from several months ago. I have to confess sometimes I need to be reminded of the "eye transplant" Jeff is talking about here:
 

From this time on, we do not
think of anyone as the world does.

2 Corinthians 5:16

 

Take a look at a newborn baby and what do you see:

      The parents see – wondrous beauty

      The grandparents – the world’s smartest child

      The rest of us – a red, wrinkled, blob that hopefully will get better looking after a few hours.  (Don’t get mad at me, you know it’s true).

 

It is with this same eye that we view the world.  We see rich, poor, fat, thin, beautiful, ugly.  Once you put on Christ, it’s time for an eye transplant.  We must begin to see people as God sees them:

                  Entering through the small gate or the wide gate (Matthew 7:13–14) …

                  Heaven called or hell bound (Mark 16:15–16) .…

 

            It’s time to quit looking at people like the world looks at them and see through God’s eyes.

Printable Issue 883  Today is Wednesday, September 6th, 2006; Karen's Korner #883
This year is a good year for apples. There are lots of them on about everyone's trees. Ours is no exception.
 
One day last week before we picked any off the tree, we picked up the ones on the ground and threw them away. They had been there for quite awhile and were in various stages of rotting.
 
Now we were ready to pick a basketful for ourselves and to share with others. They are nice enough for eating, but lots of people use them for baking and making applesauce as well.
 
Several days later we were ready to pick them again. Since it had only been a few days, I thought the ones on the ground would be good enough to be used. They should be in relatively good shape, at least for baking.
 
There were a few that were fine, but most of them were being devoured by several kinds of bugs. Nearly all of them were being eaten, had bad spots, or holes where the damage was severe. I couldn't believe the level of damage in nearly no time.
 
It made me think about me and how damaged I become when I fall off "God's tree". Left on my own accord, the insects and bugs of this life start their devouring process. I am more than vulnerable; I am eaten alive by "less than the best thoughts and actions".
 
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for the difference You make in my life. I ask that I remain on the branches of Your Love and generous other gifts.......just for today. I don't want the breezes of this life to knock me off the Tree of Life. I confess that left on my own, I begin the rotting process.......I am not as loving and kind as You have in mind. Oh, I might look good, but the thoughts aren't what you would have them be. Change my thinking and actions through Your Spirit which resides within me. Thank you for the good "fruit" you have in mind for each one of us. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, who makes the difference. Amen.  
Printable Issue 884  Today is Thursday, September 7th, 2006; Karen's Korner #884
From Max Lucado's "Grace for the Moment", inspirational year-long book, March 20 entry:
 
"God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all your sins.
He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow."
~~ Colossiand 2:13 - 14
 
All the world religions can be placed in one of the two camps: legalism or grace. Humankind does it or God does it. Salvation as a wage based on deeds done -- or salvation as a gift based on Christ's death.
 
A legalist believes the supreme force behind salvation is you. If you look right, speak right, and belong to the right segment of the right group, you will be saved. The brunt of responsibility doesn't lie within God; it lies within you.
 
The result? The outside sparkles. The talk is good and the step is true. But look closely. Listen carefully. Something is missing. What is it? Joy. What's there? Fear. (That you won't do enough.) Arrogance. (That you have done enough.) Failure. (That you have made a mistake).....
 
Spiritual life is not a human endeavor. It is rooted in and orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. Every spiritual achievement is created and energized by God.
 
    ~~ Originally published in Lucado's book "He Still Moved Stones"
Printable Issue 885  Today is Friday, September 8th, 2006; Karen's Korner #885
For those of you who read Karen's Korners but may not be aware, the Marys & Marthas (ecumneical group of gals) in Clarion have won a National Award for our efforts of organizing lots of volunteers last fall in what we called "60 Days to Make a Difference". We will be getting our "Take Pride in America Award" next Thursday at the U.S. Department of Interior in Washington D.C.
 
Eight of us are traveling to the nation's capitol to receive the award.
 
Part of the honor includes a tour of the White House on Friday morning. Yesterday we received the notification that there are 180 people wanting the tour and only 120 will be allowed. If there were not enough people opting out of the tour, the entire group would have to be cancelled.
 
My response to Lisa with the "Take Pride" office:  "We would like to RSVP that all eight of us would like to have the White House tour. Please let us know whether we are going to be accepted or not. If it would mean cancelling the White House tour entirely, please remove all eight of us from the listing.......so that the others can take the tour. If we are the only ones in the "faith based" category, we would like to 'do as Jesus would do' and think of others who are attending and not ourselves..........and let God take care of the balance of our time in Washington D.C."
 
In a few hours, we had our response from Lisa:  "Karen, Thank you for your Christian response...it is much appreciated.  I wish that others had the same attitude.  I have added yourself and your group to the list to participate in the White House tour. Thanks."  Lisa Young
 
We are excited! We know that it is a "God thing"! Sort of like praying, we let her know exactly what we wanted to have happen, but would accept whatever the needed answer would be!
 
And we are going to the White House!
 
God wants us to be there!
Printable Issue 886  Today is Monday, September 11th, 2006; Karen's Korner #886
Something emailed to me from my uncle Bud Merwin, who is a retired minister and lives in Tennessee:
 
Spiritual Checkup

Examine me, O Lord. — Psalm 26:2

Given a choice, I’d probably not voluntarily visit my doctor for a physical exam. I’m inclined to assume that everything is okay and not bother my doctor about it.

And given a choice, many of us are a little afraid of spiritual checkups as well. After all, if we check our spirit too closely, we might have to change a habit or two. We might need something like an “attitude-ectomy.”

I suggest that we get over our reluctance. With God’s guidance, let’s undergo a spiritual checkup, using Proverbs 4:20-27 as a checklist.

Ears (v.20): Are we hearing God’s Word clearly and with understanding? Are we doing what those words tell us?
Eyes (vv.21,25): Are we keeping our eyes on the teachings that will guide us toward righteousness?
Heart (v.23): Are we protecting our hearts from evil?
Tongue (v.24): Is our mouth clean and pure?
Feet (v.26): Are we walking straight toward God’s truth without wavering?

How did you do on your examination? Are there areas where you need to take action?

Regular checkups will help to restore your spiritual vitality.

A Spiritual Check Up is necessary for Spiritual Good Health!

Dave Branon

****

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
Show me the way that Jesus has trod;
Then I will tell of Your saving grace,
Until the day when I see Your face.

-- Hess

****

Printable Issue 887  Today is Tuesday, September 12th, 2006; Karen's Korner #887
A friend, Miriam Jensen, has a reputation for typing out little sayings and making small gifts for people or as favors for groups of people. Here is a saying she typed and included with a small gift to a group for which she had made decorations:
 
Let Go and Let God!
 
As children bring their broken toys,
with tears for us to mend.
 
I brought my broken dreams to God
because He is my friend.
 
But then instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help with ways that were my own.
 
At last I snatched them back again and cried, "How can you be so slow?"
"My child," He said, "What could I do? You never did let go!"
 
**
Printable Issue 888  Today is Wednesday, September 13th, 2006; Karen's Korner #888
God's words in the Bible, sometimes are just words! Other times they jump off the pages at the reader. It isn't about the words, it is about us and where our minds and hearts are at the time we are reading them! And it is about God's Spirit.....His age-old words.......and His Spirit which resides with in each of us as believers..... touching!
 
Our Sunday School class looked at Psalms 118 on Sunday. Here is a portion of that chapter plus a Bible commentary (from The Living Bible). If a pass-around email is correct, then Psalms 118:8 is the exact center verse of the Bible. I have underlined it below:
 

Psalms 118

Theme:  Confidence in God’s eternal love.

God’s love is unchanging in the midst of changing situations.

This gives us security.

 

Verses 1 &  2:   “Oh, thank the Lord, for he’s so good! His lovingkindness is forever. Let the congregation of Israel praise him with these same words: “His lovingkindness is forever.”

 

Commentary:  “God is not so far away that you cannot reach him. He bends down and listens to your prayers. This writer’s love for the Lord has grown because he had experienced answers to his prayers. If you are discouraged, remember that God is near listening carefully to every prayer and answering each prayer, in order to give you his best.”

 

Verses 5 – 8:  “In my distress I prayed to the Lord and he answered me and rescued me. He is for me! How can I be afraid? What can mere man do to me? The Lord is on my side, he will help me. Let those who hate me beware. It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in men. It is better to take refuge in him than in the mightiest king!”

 

Commentary:  “Pilots put confidence in their planes. Commuters place confidence in trains, cars, and buses. Each day we must put our confidence in something or someone. If you are willing to trust a plane or car to get you to your destination, are you willing to trust God to guide you here on earth and to your eternal destination? Do you trust him more than any human being? If not, why not?
Printable Issue 889  Today is Thursday, September 14th, 2006; Karen's Korner #889
A writing from Jeff White:
 

The Father has loved us so much
that we are called children of God.
And we really are his children.

1 John 3:1

    

    What do you mean you are only a Christian?  You are so much more than that.  You are:

 

An heir of God and a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Eternal, like an angel (Luke 20:36).

A holy priest (1 Peter 2:5),

A treasured possession (Exodus 19:5).

 

But most of all you are God’s son or daughter.  Enjoy your inheritance.

Printable Issue 890  Today is Thursday, September 14th, 2006; Karen's Korner #890
A forwarded email from Jim's sister Melvene:
 
I am Unique!
 
I cannot change the way I am,
I never really try,
God made me different and unique,
I never ask Him why.
 
If I appear peculiar,
There's nothing I can do,
You must accept me as I am,
As I've accepted you.
 
God made a casting of each life,
Then threw the Mold away,
Each child is different from the rest,
Unlike as night from day.
 
So often we will criticize,
The things that others do,
But, do you know, they do not think,
The same as me and you.
 
So God in all his wisdom,
Who knows us all by name,
He didn't want us to be bored,
That's why we're not the same.

 
~Author Unknown~
 
~~
Printable Issue 891  Today is Monday, September 18th, 2006; Karen's Korner #891
Since today is the funeral of a long-time friend Betty Watne, a few years older than I am, this one seems especially good:
 
 
The World's Greatest Need

A little more kindness and a little less greed;
A little more giving and a little less need;
A little more smile and a little less frown;
A little less kicking a man when he's down;
A little more "we" and a little less "I";
A little more laughs and a little less cry'
A little more flowers on the pathway of life;
And fewer on graves at the end of the strife.

C. Austin Miles
Printable Issue 892  Today is Tuesday, September 19th, 2006; Karen's Korner #892

A couple of Bible verses from Psalms 118 and a short commentary to start out our day:

 

Psalms 118: 24 -- This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

 

Verse 24:  Commentary:  “There are days when the last thing we want to do is rejoice. Our mood is down, our situation out of hand, our sorrow or guilt overwhelming. We can relate to the writers of the psalms who often felt this way. But no matter how low the psalmists got, they were always honest with God about how they felt. And as they talked to God, their prayers ended in praise. When you don’t feel like rejoicing, tell God how you truly feel. You will find that God will give you a reason to rejoice.”

 

Psalms 118:25 - 29 --:  “O Lord, please help us. Save us. Give us success. Blessed is the one who is coming, the one sent by the Lord We bless you from the Temple. Jehovah God is our light. I present him my sacrifice upon the altar, for you are my God, and I shall give you this thanks and this praise. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! For his lovingkindness is forever!”
Printable Issue 893  Today is Wednesday, September 20th, 2006; Karen's Korner #893
I received this daily inspirational thought yesterday via Jeff White; he's an email friend who is a minister in Freeport, Illinois. Never met him, so I have no idea his stature. Liked his writing! Sometimes we hear a friend or acquaintance speak negatively, and maybe even humorously, about some human flaw of theirs. We all laugh and begin to load on to that human weakness. I wonder if sometimes that person is really laughing:

 

Do not be bitter or angry or mad.
Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others.

Ephesians 4:31

 

     Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.  We’ve all heard the rhyme but who believes it?  Not me!  This comes as no surprise to my friends and family, but I’m a klutz.  I have broken a number of bones in my many misadventures.  Also, there was a time in my life when I weighed well over 300 pounds, so I’ve been the focus of many cruel jokes and snide comments.  Of the two, I’ll take the broken bones.

     Last night we had a time of prayer before evening services.  One sister came in tears because of the comments she has to endure due to her weight.  As we prayed and as we listened to her soft sobs of pain, we all hurt so deeply for her.  So don’t tell us that words can never hurt me!

     Think before you speak for you never know the hurt you could be inflicting.

Printable Issue 894  Today is Thursday, September 21st, 2006; Karen's Korner #894
Today is one of those days! When I got up this morning, my computer wasn't working. Great! How am I going to send Karen's Korner. What about all of the other messages I might want to send and receive today. The computer repair guy is coming this afternoon. So I am here at our public library typing this "korner".

What I had planned to send today will have to wait until another day. As you know, sometimes the thoughts are pass alongs, forwards from some readers, and sometimes mine. So what is today's?

Better ask God to show me. Sometimes when I pray, I visualize God. Seems like He is Father figure; someone sort of above me. Other times,I visualize Jesus. I like to think of Him as a friend, companion, or guide.

Other times I think of the Holy Spirit, which the Bible says (Ephesians 1:13 - 14) resides within us, if we are followers and believers in Christ Jesus. I like that one; not far away. But right inside of me.

"Holy Spirit, what should I say today?"

Here is what I seemed to hear Him say to my mind:

"Tell them that I love them!" (I John 3:1)

"Tell them that I love calling them My Children. And calling each of them by name." (John 1:12)

"Tell them that I enjoy blessing each one of them each day."

"Do what you can, Karen, to pass the blessing that I have given to you to each one of them. Give them my blessing spiritually, verbally, and through the things that you write, as often as you can."

Please consider yourself blessed by God. You are a blessing to me, each one of you, as you encourage me to write, share, and care for others!
Printable Issue 895  Today is Friday, September 22nd, 2006; Karen's Korner #895

About a month ago, I got this email from Chris Lousias. She is a new friend and new to our town. Chris is a person who is excited about being a Christian, as she has been given a new sense of what that word means and describes. She is learning by leaps and bounds; sharing what she is learning with others, and is disappointed when she does something opposite of what she knows to be true.

 

What she wrote she titled "In the Ring with Sin" and I am including part of what she wrote below:

 

"I have been rebellious lately and I can’t understand why. Of course I am remorseful afterward. So this morning I prayed…again...for the Lord to help me to keep the evil one at bay.  I prayed for protection from him because after all why should I follow his ways, he didn’t die for me, Jesus did.  

 

Then it hit me; Jesus died for me and this is the way I treat Him!  What has the evil one ever done for me but make me miserable. Why do we, why do I, do that? God's Word is very simple and clear.  Follow His ways and we will have eternal life. 

 

Galatians 6:8:  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

 

Sin is so powerful.  The only antidote is to keep our eyes on Jesus.  I know this works.  I’ve done it, when I really and truly want to do it, it works.  How do I keep my eyes on Jesus? Pray, Read God's Words in the Bible, Praise God, and Worship Him. It works!

 

Father, because we are ancestors of Adam, we have inherited sin, but Father, we thank you for giving us the cure to our destruction, Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Savior.  His death for our life.  Father, I understand that, but I need You more in my life so that I can live it as well as understand it. I ask for Your Helping Hand to steer me on this path.  Father God, I want what You want for me. Help me to get there and away from the things of this world.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen."
Printable Issue 896  Today is Monday, September 25th, 2006; Karen's Korner #896
A nice email that I received last week from Miriam Jensen; an easy read for busy people:
 
This inspired me today. It is so simple but powerful.

 When I say "good morning" I mean:

 G-od
 O-ffers us His
 O-utstanding
 D-evotion to
M-ake us
 O-bedient and
 R-eady for a
 N-ew day with Him.
 I-nspire others please, and
 N-ever forget
 G-od loves you!


Be Blessed and have a good day!
Printable Issue 897  Today is Tuesday, September 26th, 2006; Karen's Korner #897
Two things from Cathy Jones, who is the mom of our daughter Merry's first college roommate, Krista. During the first month of Merry and Krista's college career, the Jones family lost Krista's only brother. The Jones family has learned to lean on Jesus for His love and comfort. The second item is an "it happened to me" experience. Those are always great to hear or read:
 
  "This is something I found tucked in Mom's Bible. I wish she had dated it so perhaps I could determine what was happening in her life at the time.  Anyway, it comforts me to read it.:
 

A NEW SONG!

 

Praise the Lord!  Sing a new song.

I have found Jesus!

What more can I say -

Be glad!

 

He walks with me always.

I am never alone.

He stands beside me in sorrow and joy.

He is there!

 

He is great!

His love is unfailing -

His compassion, goodness and mercy

Unfailing, too.

 

No, I shall never be alone.

He will be there, and

I shall thank Him always

And praise Him forever.

 

        AMEN

 

~~ written by Wava Sonksen

 

***

 

   "Also something that happened while I was visiting my mother for the last time.  She kind of blinked and

waved her arm in front of her, like you would do if a bug flew at you.  I thought maybe she was in pain and
asked her about it.  She said, 'No pain.  Something just flew at me.' I told her the windows were closed and
there weren't any bugs in the room. 
    Then she said, 'And there's all that fluttering up there,'  and waved her arm and wiggled her fingers and looked toward the ceiling. 
    Then I got it!  I said,  'Mom, God has sent some angel messengers to tell you that they're getting ready for you in Heaven.' 
    She said, 'Oh, OK.'" 
 
~~~
Printable Issue 898  Today is Wednesday, September 27th, 2006; Karen's Korner #898
Today is our 37th anniversary! Who would have thought that was possible? Jim had his first round of heart problems, diagnosed at about this time 32 years ago, with his first bypass surgery in December of 1976 ,30 years ago just before Christmas.
 
Can anyone say, "Wow! What a blessing from God!"??
 
Today is a good day for everyone to celebrate, anniversary or no anniversary......
 
~~
 
This is something that my mom, who will be 88 in November, penned and mailed to me. She said she found it in a book titled "Church Jokes":
 
One little Christian, can't do much it's true,
Brought a friend to Bible Study, then there were two.
 
Two earnest Christians, each won one more.
That doubled the number, then there were four.
 
Four sincere Christians worked early and late.
Each won another, then there were eight.
 
Eight splendid Christians, if they doubled as before,
in just seven Sundays, they'd have 1,024.
 
~~
Printable Issue 899  Today is Thursday, September 28th, 2006; Karen's Korner #899
Several lines from a familiar song as harvest season is in full swing in our area, and as soldiers fight to defend our freedoms and keep us from the antics of terrorists:
 
AMERICA, the BEAUTIFUL
 
O beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain;
for purple mountain majesties
above the fruited plain!
 
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea.
 
O beautiful for heroes proved
in liberating strife,
who more than self their country loved,
and mercy more than life!
 
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
till all success be nobleness,
and every gain divine.
 
O beautiful for patriot dream
that sees beyond the years
thine alabaster cities gleam,
undimmed by human tears!
 
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
confirm thy soul in self contril,
they liberty in law.
 
~~ Katharine Lee Bates, 1904
Printable Issue 900  Today is Friday, September 29th, 2006; Karen's Korner #900
I always like to celebrate these milestones.....#900! Thanks for sticking with me through 900 'korners'. Some of you have been a part of all the writings; others have been added on later!! Thanks for your encouraging words, readership, and adding some of your own writings or favorites which have come your way and which you have forwarded to me!
 
For more half the time, I have been sending the daily emails through the web site which our son-in-law Tim Chapion designed for me. The web address is www.karens-korner.com . Check it out! If you haven't seen it lately, he redesigned the mast head for it. I thought it looked great before; but this one is even better. Thanks, Tim!
 
Hopefully we have all learned and grown together because of "Karen's Korner" and God is glorified for what He can and does do with and for each one of us!! Bottom line is we know more, enjoy more, and will be heading some day for heaven! Won't that be a fun reunion for all of us??
 
**
A couple of short thoughts/sayings:
 
** "May we both always have love to share, health to spare and friends that care!"
             - forwarded by travel friend Shirley Rake
 
** "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only         thing that ever has."
            - Margaret Mead, sent to me by Rhonda Benton
 
** "Love is a fruit, in season at all times and within reach of every hand. Anyone may gather it and not limit is set."
            - Mother Teresa
 
** Jesus said to him, "I am the Way--yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except by means of me."
            - John 14:6