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November 2007 Archives

Printable Issue 1179  Today is Thursday, November 1st, 2007; Karen's Korner #1179
I don't know about your world, but it seems like my world can get sort of 'cloudy'. If it isn't my immediate family, it is people who I care about. Concerns which have crossed my path this week:  health issues for several; survival of a special newborn baby; heartache surrounding use of drugs; hospitalizations; family relationships.
 
According to Joel Osteen's email daily devotional from July, there are 'brigher days ahead'. Some of our unanswered questions will produce just the answer we are looking forward to; others may not turn out the way that we choose or anticipate. But left to be looked at from God's Light, there are always brighter days ahead for everything.
 
And there is always more we can learn about knowing God and leaning on Him:
 

Brighter Days Ahead

“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day” (Proverbs 4:18, NLT).

"Are you facing a situation that seems dark today? As a believer, God promises that your path will shine brighter and brighter as you seek His Truth and righteousness in every situation. What is righteousness? Righteousness is simply being in "right standing" with God. Being in "right standing" with God is about submitting your life to Him. It's about obeying His commands and seeking His plan for your life on a daily basis. God wants to be involved in every detail of your life. It pleases Him when you come to Him. It pleases Him when you study your Bible and talk to Him in prayer. And just as the increasing light of the sun helps you see better in the natural, the increasing light of God's Word will guide you in every decision you have to make. No matter what you may be facing today, take time to ask the Lord to shine His light on your thoughts. Ask Him to confirm His plan for your today. Ask Him to shine the light of His Word in your heart so that you can clearly see the next step to take. As you continue pursing His Truth and Righteousness, you will experience more of His blessings and live the life of abundance that He has in store for you!"

God, I know that You have a wonderful plan and purpose for me. I want to be in "right standing" with You today. Show me your ways and teach me to walk righteously before you. Shine your light in my heart and give me strength and wisdom to pursue the path You have in-store for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1180  Today is Friday, November 2nd, 2007; Karen's Korner #1180
Our church friends' son, Nate and wife Libbey, were thrilled to learn their second child would be born on November 8th.
 
It was about month four of the pregnancy that doctors told them the baby would be special, and if left to carry it full term, the baby would likely live less than 12 hours.
 
Abortion was not an option for Nate and Libbey. She would carry the baby full term.
 
Little Eve was born last Wednesday, October 24.The earlier reports were confirmed. With some special surgeries and life support techniques, she lived for a full week and died yesterday.....one week after her birth.
 
While the family mourns the loss, they are happy they chose what they believe God wanted them to do.
 
As Paul Harvey would say "the rest of the story" is that little Eve was an organ donor. The only part of her imperfection dealt with her head and brain; the rest of her little body was perfect.
 
Someone, or maybe several someones, are the thrilled recipients!
 
Makes me think of God and how He gave His Son's life for us. We take it, even though we have done nothing to deserve our 'new leases on life'.
 
What does God expect from us? He wants us to give our lives (or portions of it) to others.
 
If we give, we will get! And someone else gets what we gave; and then they give! God knew the gifts would go on and on!! Our job is to not break the chain.
 
What are you going to give to someone else today? It might not be your organs, but you have something that someone else is "dying" without!
 
Thank you, God, that Eve lived and died, so that we might learn from her and her family. God, we ask that you show us what we possess that we could share with someone with a need, which only we can supply. Help us to start a chain reaction of love and care which our world so badly needs.  Thank you for showing us the way when you gave us your son, Jesus, who gave us new lives, if we but accept it. When we do, we like, baby Eve, receive a life that lasts forever. Amen.
Printable Issue 1181  Today is Monday, November 5th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1181

When Mindy Sawyer and her church friends traveled to Brazil on a short-term mission trip this summer, each individual was required to read the book “STOP DATING THE CHURCH: fall in love with the family of God” by Joshua Harris, before they traveled.

 

It is a small book of 128 pages, but it packs a huge punch. When Harris writes about 'the church', he is not referring to one building, nor one denomination.

 

In the next few weeks, I am going to share a few of the highlights with Karen's Korner readers.

 

 

Church daters are: 1)  me-centered; 2) independent; 3) critical.

 

God has something better for you and me than dating the church. His church was the vehicle Jesus chose to take his message to every generation. There is enough power in the church to accomplish this goal in one generation; that generation just as well be ours.

 

If we are not committed to the church, everyone gets cheated: 1) yourself; 2) the church community; 3) your world. Every one of six billion souls today will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. We need to help as many people as we can to hear the Good News of the Gospel.

 

Not only, as Christians, are we saved; He has invited us to participate in His master plan of redeeming people for His glory. It’s our duty, calling, privilege. The church is God’s greenhouse.

 

It is at church that we learn to love God and others. We are strengthened and transformed. It is here that we learn to pray, worship, and serve. It is the best place to start over; to grow, and to change for the glory of God.
Printable Issue 1182  Today is Tuesday, November 6th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1182
It amazes me and makes me thankful for the number of people who email me something; sometimes with a note saying, "This might make a good Karen's Korner sometime."
 
Here is something forwarded to me by Dorothy Riekens, written by her friend Teresa:
 

HE LOVES YOU---AND ALWAYS WILL
 
Someone cares and always will
The world forgets but God loves you still
 
You cannot go beyond His love
No matter what you're guilty of---
For God forgives until the end
He is your faithful, loyal friend
 
And though you try to hide your face
There is no shelter any place
That can escape His watchful eye
For on the earth and in the sky
 
He's ever present and always their
To take you in His tender care
And bind the wounds and mend the breaks
When all the world around forsakes
 
Someone cares and loves you still
And God is the Someone who always will.
 
Have a blessed day. 
With Love and prayers,
 Teresa
 
~~
Printable Issue 1183  Today is Wednesday, November 7th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1183
Taken from a study book, "Secrets of the Secret Place" by Bob Sorge, which I am just finishing with a group of gals in Clarion. It's a heavy study about praying (secret place); if I got 2% of it I will be happy. But 2% of something is better than zero, isn't it?
 
(It is in part; several words I have altered to ease your reading. Taken from a chapter teaching us how to spend more time learning to love Jesus):
 
"God gave His only Son, and Jesus died an excruciating death, all for love. The central reason for this whole thing between God and man is love! He didn't die to enlist your strength in His army; He already has all the power He needs to vanquish every foe. He didn't die for you because He was lonely and looking for companionship, for He is surrounded in glory by multiplied millions of creatures. He didn't die for you because He was bored and had nothing better to do.
 
"He died for one all-encompassing reason, that He might show you the graciuosness of His glorious love, and in turn reap the extravagant affections of each one of us who love Him. He did it all for love.
 
"So today, start your prayer time (secret place) by loving Jesus. Your requests can wait; your Bible studying can wait; your praying for others can wait. Before anything else, give your love to God. Let Him know that love is the great motivator of your heart.
 
"I'm here, Father, because I love You. You are the center of my universe. I worship You and reverence Your name. I enjoy being with You."
 
 
Printable Issue 1184  Today is Thursday, November 8th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1184

A daily devotional email from Joel and Victoria Osteen from one day in May of this year. Enjoy!

Don't Let Your Hope be Stolen

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

"The enemy has a goal for your life. He wants to steal your hope and joy, he wants to make you so discouraged that you just quit and give it all up. He knows that if you get discouraged and down, you will eventually settle for less than the best, and less than what God wants from you. The right attitude and mindset will prepare you for your miracle, but that can't happen if you're down and discouraged. God may take His time to accomplish what He wants to do in your life, but you can't lose heart and allow the enemy to claim victory. God will allow everything to pass as He sees fit. Your job is to have an attitude of expectancy. The rest is up to God!"

God, I know that Your timing is not always my timing. With Your help, I want to hold on to my hope and joy today as I wait for Your answer. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Printable Issue 1185  Today is Friday, November 9th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1185
Praise the Lord,
you angels of his:
praise his glory and his strength.
Praise him for his majestic glory,
the glory of his name.
Come before him clothed in sacred garments.
 
The voice of the Lord echoes from the clouds.
The God of glory thunders through the skies.
So powerful is his voice;
so full of majesty.
 
It breaks down the cedars.
It splits the giant trees of Lebanon.
It shakes Mount Lebanon and Mount Sirion.
They leap and skip before him like young calves!
 
The voice of the Lord thunders through the lightning.
It resounds through the deserts and shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord spins and topples the might oaks.
It strips the forest bare.
They whirl and sway beneath the blast.
 
But in his temple all are praising,
"Glory, glory to the Lord."
 
At the Flood, the Lord showed his control of all creatin.
Now he continues to unveil his power.
He will give his people strength.
He will bless them with peace.
 
~~ Psalm 29
 
**
 
Commentary:  Throught history, God has revealed his power through mighty miracles over nature, such as the great Flood. He promises to continue to reveal his power. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to all who believe. When you feel weak and limited, remember that God can give you strength. The power that controls creation and raises the dead is available to you.
Printable Issue 1186  Today is Monday, November 12th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1186

A couple more highlights from the book:

 

“STOP DATING THE CHURCH: fall in love with the family of God”

By Joshua Harris

 

If we can see the church as God does, we learn the church matters to Him more than we realize and He calls and expects us to be a part of it. If Jesus loves the church, we should love it also. We might become disillusioned by the church, but Jesus will not and will never give up on it.

 

Each of us in a brick, needed together, to build the building. One brick by itself is just that a brick, not much good to anyone or anything. But when we build together as the church....a church....our church. We become everything God wants us to be.

 

The local congregation does best at showing non-Christian neighbors that the new life made available through Jesus’ death on the cross is also the foundation of society. Together we can trust in, worship, and live for Jesus Christ. Here people care for one another, forgive one another, serve one another. We need to live differently than non-Christians. We need to do everything possible to keep our lights shining in a dark world.

 

The longer we are Christians we know that we can’t live the Christian life on our own! God has ordained that much of His grace flows through others. Hebrews 10:25 (in part):  "Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now...."  We need others; pastors need to encourage us, help us apply God’s Word to our lives, and to help us see our sins.

We need to worship together. It strengthens us and glorifies God in ways nothing else can. Many of us claim to be Christians but aren’t living a new life.

 

We need to know that we now walk in the light, not darkness. I John 1:7 (in part): "...if we are living in the light of God's presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other....."

 

~~

 

Printable Issue 1187  Today is Tuesday, November 13th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1187
Our M & Ms group along with our local VFW, did a fundraiser at our local pizza place for wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital last week. The project didn't take all of the M & Ms, but we were able to use eight people, who deserved to be thanked for their efforts.
 
Today I wrote out the post cards to those who helped with the fundraising work. Once I get them addressed, I like to put them in alphabetical order. It helps me when I grab the phone book and look up addresses.
 
Nola Waddingham helped; hers would be toward the bottom of the stack. But wait! She doesn't live in Clarion. She works for the Clarion Public Library. Instead of her being toward the bottom of the stack, she got moved up to the top near the A, B, Cs as I looked for the library's address.
 
My last name is Weld. I zoomed up the alphabet when I married Jim, from Z and Zirbel.
 
But who do I work for? Who does Nola work for? Jesus Christ! He and his name zips us from the bottom of the stack or near it, to the top of the pile.
 
Remember who you are in Christ; not last, not bottom, not an also-ran.
 
But First, Top, Winner, Victorious!
 
Matthew 19: 30: "....and some who are last now will be first then."
 
Thank You for all of Your promises to us, God!
Printable Issue 1188  Today is Wednesday, November 14th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1188
As we get closer to the Thanksgiving holiday, we tend to focus more on family, our immediate family and our extended families.
 
Joel and Victoria Osteen's email daily devotional makes me think of being a part of God's forever family.
 

You Are Chosen

“As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” (John 15:19)

"Being chosen for something feels good. Being a part of something that is greater and bigger than yourself makes you feel wanted, needed and accepted. God has chosen you to be His child and share in the blessings of His family. You are special because you have been personally and individually chosen by God to be His representative and witness in this world. You are important and needed right where you are, so go out and live today like a chosen child of God."

God, thank You for blessing me and making me a part of Your family. Strengthen me each day as I serve Your team! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1189  Today is Thursday, November 15th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1189
A daily devotional email from Shirley Choat:
 
  "Call to Me and I will answer you,
and will tell you great and hidden things
which you have not known."
~~Jeremiah 33:3
 
  Many people are humbugged into believing too little than are humbugged into believing too much.
 
  This is true of people's attitude toward prayer. Most of us believe and expect too little. Christians in Jerusalem prayed fervently for the deliverance of Peter from prison. Yet when Peter, miraculously liberated, stood in front of the door of the very home in which they were praying, they did not at first believe it.
 
  We pray the LORD'S Prayer with great regularity. How much of it do we really expect to be answered? On Sunday morning, we as a congregation unite in a prayer which embraces many needs. How much of it do we really ask for?
 
  What would happen if every member of our churches prayed that God would give him/her a large measure of the Holy Spirit, and that God would richly bless our pastors, teachers, Sunday schools, mission workers, church and state officers?
 
  God Himself gives the answer. He says, "I will show you great and mighty things which you have not known."
 
   THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:  Prayer is not conquering God's reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.
Printable Issue 1190  Today is Friday, November 16th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1190
A few weeks ago Mark Young who served our church as its pastor for a number of years, forwarded me an email writing by his wife Audrey who is also a pastor.
 
Mark and Audrey had just returned from a vacation in Texas to visit kids and grandkids. Audrey penned her congregation about her fears that Jordan, now 8, but more so for Angel, age 4, now remembering her.
 
"We had a game we played when they lived near us in north Iowa," Audrey wrote. "She was only two. The family would usually be at our Clear Lake home already eating lunch by the time I returned from Sunday worship in Lake Mills.When they heard my car, the kids would hide from Grammie Audrey...but when I opened the door, it was always Angel who cam running with arms wide open callin my name. She was too excited to see me, to wait even though it was supposed to be a hide and seek game.
 
"When we stepped into the waiting area at the airport, I was looking down to watch my step in the stair and I heard Angel's voice. She came running with arms wide open. I told Mark that I got in that moment what I came to Texas for! The rest woudl be frosting on the cake!"
 
"Later, I couldn’t help but think of all the times I have opportunity to run with such joy and abandon to Jesus’ loving and waiting arms. Yet, I get up and go into my day, with just a passing prayer and short devotional.  I don’t always pause to get his full hug back; like my agenda is more important than his!  Duh on me!  I hope you are better at that than I am, because if you are like me, we are depriving ourselves from the greatest love there is."

"Jesus’ love, better than a grandparents’, is so loving, kind, generous, forgiving."

~~

 

 

Printable Issue 1191  Today is Monday, November 19th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1191

This is my third and final installment of my book report on:

 

“STOP DATING THE CHURCH: fall in love with the family of God”

By Joshua Harris

Salvation must include a changed life. You need other Christians to help you learn. You need other Christians you can love. We need His generous love. 

 

Commit yourself to a local group of saved sinners. Try to love through. Not for three months; not for six months. Do it for years!

 

Problems in the church aren’t the biggest obstacles. The biggest problem is us!! Going away is easy; know what is harder…..to stay!

 

We need to:

  • Join a local church;
  • Lay down our selfish desires;
  • Consider others more important than yourself;
  • Humble yourself;
  • Acknowledge that you need other Christians;
  • Invite them into your life;
  • Stop complaining about what’s wrong with the church;
  • Become part of the solution;
  • It’s simple and life changing.  

It might not be a best-selling memoir, but it’s a story God loves to read!!

 

Throughout history, the church has been central to God’s purpose; it must be central to our lives. We must have a passion for the church and its people.

 

We all have a club which is our passion. What is yours? What do you think about, talk about, dream about? What do you give your time to without complaint? What do you find your identity in? What are you willing to sacrifice for? Are our priorities wrong or out of step?

 

We need to rescue Sunday.

  • Prepare for Sunday. Get rid of harmful attitudes, throw out bad habits; leave behind old assumptions; and take practical steps to change the way we go to church;
  • See Sunday as belonging to God; something sacred and essential. Don’t let it become routine. Build our week around Sunday.
  • Get our hearts and minds ready for Sunday. Focus on God in you mind.
  • Prepare your heart. Don’t become spiritually lazy. Read Psalm 19 before coming to church and Sunday School. Praise God for what you will hear and learn BEFORE you get to church.
  • Walking into church, remember you are gathering with God’s people to worship God. He will present the Holy Spirit. At the service, remember you are not here to be entertained, nor are you part of the audience – you are part of a congregation standing before an Audience of ONE. It doesn’t matter how you feel or how good a singer you are, focus on the person to whom you worship or sing.
  • Be careful how you hear. It is God who is talking with you. Our responsibility is to listen. The burden of Sunday morning is not on the preacher to perform, but on the congregation to listen.
  • We need to be on the lookout for God and for His people. Talk with others after church. Sunday should be a day we enjoy God’s glory to the fullest.
  • Listening isn’t enough; we need to apply it. We need action.
  • Next Sunday during morning worship, look around and remind ourselves:  "These are my blood-bought brothers and sisters in Christ. We are His church, His people. We are here this morning to proclaim His work in our lives. We are here to give witness to the world of His great love and power and glory."

 Each Sunday we need to repeat Psalm 122:1: “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”

 

Are we church daters or are we married to the church?

 

We should love what Jesus loves. If you love Jesus, simply love His Church. Your true calling is caring about what Jesus cares about.

 

 

Printable Issue 1192  Today is Tuesday, November 20th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1192

I got this pass-along email from Diana Barron last week with the question, "Have you seen this before?' I hadn't. It is a little longer than some korners. If you have the time to read it through to the end, I think you will enjoy it:

 

MAGNOLIAS

By Edna Ellison

 

 

I spent the week before my daughter's June wedding running last-minute trips to the caterer, florist, tuxedo shop, and the church about forty miles away. As happy as I was that Patsy was marrying a good Christian young man, I felt laden with responsibilities as I watched my budget dwindle. . . so many details, so many bills, and so little time.

 

My son Jack was away at college, but he said he would be there to walk his younger sister down the aisle, taking the place of his dad who had died a few years before. He teased Patsy, saying he'd wanted to give her away since she was about three years old!

 

To save money, I gathered blossoms from several friends who had large magnolia trees. Their luscious, creamy-white blooms and slick green leaves would make beautiful arrangements against the rich dark wood inside the church.

 

After the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, we banked the podium area and choir loft with magnolias. As we left just before midnight, I felt tired but satisfied this would be the best wedding any bride had ever had! The music, the ceremony, the reception - and especially the flowers - would be remembered for years.

 

The big day arrived - the busiest day of my life - and while her bridesmaids helped Patsy to dress, her fiancé Tim, walked with me to the sanctuary to do a final check. When we opened the door and felt a rush of hot air, I almost fainted; and then I saw them - all the beautiful white flowers were black. Funeral black. An electrical storm during the night had knocked out the air conditioning system, and on that hot summer day, the flowers had wilted and died.

 

I panicked, knowing I didn't have time to drive back to our hometown, gather more flowers, and return in time for the wedding.

 

Tim turned to me. "Edna, can you get more flowers? I'll throw away these dead ones and put fresh flowers in these arrangements."

 

I mumbled, "Sure," as he be-bopped down the hall to put on his cuff links.

 

Alone in the large sanctuary, I looked up at the dark wooden beams in the arched ceiling. "Lord," I prayed, "please help me. I don't know anyone in this town.. Help me find someone willing to give me flowers - in a hurry!" I scurried out praying for four things: the blessing of white magnolias, courage to find them in an unfamiliar yard, safety from any dog that may bite my leg, and a nice person who would not get out a shotgun when I asked to cut his tree to shreds.

 

As I left the church, I saw magnolia trees in the distance. I approached a house . . no dog in sight. I knocked on the door and an older man answered. So far so good . . . no shotgun. When I stated my plea the man beamed, "I'd be happy to!"

 

He climbed a stepladder and cut large boughs and handed them down to me. Minutes later, as I lifted the last armload into my car trunk, I said, "Sir, you've made the mother of a bride happy today."

 

"No, Ma'am," he said. "You don't understand what's happening here."

 

"What?" I asked.

 

"You see, my wife of sixty-seven years died on Monday. On Tuesday I received friends at the funeral home, and on Wednesday. He paused. I saw tears welling up in his eyes. "On Wednesday I buried her." He looked away. "On Thursday most of my out-of-town relatives went back home, and on Friday - yesterday - my children left.

 

I nodded.

 

"This morning," he continued, "I was sitting in my den crying out loud. I miss her so much. For the last sixteen years, as her health got worse, she needed me. But now nobody needs me. This morning I cried, "Who needs an eighty-six-year-old wore-out man? Nobody! I began to cry louder." "Nobody needs me!" About that time, you knocked, and said, "Sir, I need you."

 

I stood with my mouth open.

 

He asked, "Are you an angel? The way the light shone around your head into my dark living room . ."

 

I assured him I was no angel.

 

He smiled. "Do you know what I was thinking when I handed you those magnolias?"

 

"No."

 

"I decided I'm needed. My flowers are needed. Why, I might have a flower ministry! I could give them to everyone! Some caskets at the funeral home have no flowers. People need flowers at times like that and I have lots of them. They're all over the backyard! I can give them to hospitals, churches - all sorts of places. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to serve the Lord until the day He calls me home!"

 

I drove back to the church, filled with wonder. On Patsy's wedding day, if anyone had asked me to encourage someone who was hurting, I would have said, "Forget it! It's my only daughter's wedding, for goodness' sake! There is no way I can minister to anyone today." But God found a way through dead flowers." Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

 

Blessed are those who give without remembering....and receive without forgetting.

Printable Issue 1193  Today is Wednesday, November 21st, 2007; Karen's Korner #1193
Another Karen's Korner reader, turning writer: this thought is from Mindy Sawyer who lives in Clarion:
 
"Just recently I went to Sears and purchased a brand new 42" HD Plasma television set. My reasoning for this was all my other television sets were either given to me or they had just quit working.
 
"One day as I was trying to figure out how to play a DVD on my teenage son's Playstation 2, I found myself on my knees--in front of the huge 42" screen!!
 
"I got to thinking, 'How often do I get on my knees in worship and prayer to my Savior?  Would this be considered Idol worship?  What was God thinking at that particular moment as I struggled to push the play button?'
 
"UGH!
 
"Later on that day I prayed and asked for forgiveness, and also thanked God for His divine revelation in my life--even if it seemed like it was a small one!"
Printable Issue 1194  Today is Thursday, November 22nd, 2007; Karen's Korner #1194
Happy Thanksgiving!
 
This writing was passed along to me by Dorothy Riekens several weeks ago:
 
Count your blessings instead of your crosses.
Count your gains instead of your losses.
 
Count your joys instead of your woes.
Count your friends instead of your foes.
 
Count your smiles instead of your tears.
Count your courage instead of your fears.
 
Count your full years instead of your lean.
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
 
Count your health instead of your wealth.
Count on God instead of yourself.
 
"In everything
give thanks
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus."
 
~ I Thessalonians 5:18
 
**
 
And a Thanksgiving Prayer I received this morning from Shirley Choat:
 

A Thanksgiving Prayer

"O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Amen."

~~

Printable Issue 1195  Today is Friday, November 23rd, 2007; Karen's Korner #1195
While Thanksgiving Day is behind us for 2007, our thankfulness shouldn't be.
 
This is a writing Sherri O'Brien shared with me last Sunday at Sunday School and something which will be part of our Sunday School class this Sunday:
 

ALWAYS BE THANKFUL

 

Thank you, God, for everything –

The big things and the small,

For ‘every good gift comes from God’ –

The giver of them all –

 

And all too often we accept

Without any thanks or praise

The gifts God sends as blessings

Each day in many ways,

 

And so at this Thanksgiving Time

We offer up a prayer,

To thank you, God, for giving us

A lot more than our share….

 

First, thank you for the little things

That often come our way,

The things we take for granted

But don’t mention when we pray,

 

The unexpected courtesy,

The thoughtful, kindly deed,

A hand reached out to help us

In the time of sudden need…

 

Oh, make us more aware, dear God,

Of little daily graces

That come to us with ‘sweet surprises’

From never-dreamed of places –

 

Then, thank you for the ‘MIRACLES’

We are much too blind to see,

And give us new awareness

Of our many gifts from Thee,

 

And help us to remember

That the KEY to LIFE and LIVING

Is to make each prayer a PRAYER OF THANKS

And every day THANKSGIVING.

 

~ Helen Stiner Rice

 

**
Printable Issue 1196  Today is Monday, November 26th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1196
One more 'thankful' message; this one from Friday's Joel and Victoria Osteen:
 
THANKFUL FOR THE KINGDOM

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).

"Thank God, we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken! The kingdom is simply God's system. It's His way of doing things. The Bible tells us that His kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. In God's kingdom, when you give, it shall be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. In God's kingdom, you can have an abundance of peace and prosperity in your spirit, mind, and body no matter what's happening around you. And just like the verse says, His kingdom cannot be shaken! That means, if the stock market goes down, God's kingdom is still strong. If the housing market goes down, God's kingdom is still strong. If gas prices go up, God's kingdom is still strong! You can live in God's kingdom that cannot be shaken--no matter what's happening here on earth.. Begin to thank God today for His kingdom. Thank Him for His system of blessing in every area of your life. As you obey His Word and worship Him with a grateful attitude, you will see His hand of blessing and walk in the abundant life He has for you!"

PRAYER:  "Heavenly Father, thank You for the kingdom. Thank You for Your system of blessing in my life. I open my heart to You and ask that You reveal Your truth to me so that I can live to please You all the days of my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

Printable Issue 1197  Today is Tuesday, November 27th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1197
Because of the Christmas holiday ahead, I would like to include at least one Christmas 'korner' each week.
 
Just before Christmas last year someone sent me this email forward. Some of these stories aren't true and people go to www.snopes.com to make sure. I thought about doing that, but I didn't. I don't care if it is a true story or a hoax. If you check it out and it isn't true, don't email me or tell me. I'd choose to believe in this miracle of Christmas:
 
A Very Heart Warming Story!

Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl.
 
"Who is this?" asked Santa, smiling. "Your friend?" Your sister?
 
"Yes, Santa," he replied. "My sister, Sarah, who is very sick," he said sadly.
 
Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue.
 
"She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!" the child exclaimed. "She misses you!"
 
Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy's face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas. When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.
 
"What is it?" Santa asked warmly.
 
"Well, I know it's really too much to ask you, Santa, but ..." the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa's elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors. "The girl in the photograph .. my granddaughter .. well, you see ..she has leukemia and isn't expected to make it even through the holidays," she said through tear-filled eyes. "Is there any way, Santa ... any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That's all she's asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa."
 
Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do. Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do. "What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying," he thought with a sinking heart, "this is the least I can do."
 
When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked the assistant location manager how to get to Children's Hospital. "Why?" Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.
 
Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah's grandmother earlier that day. "C'mon .... I'll take you there," Rick said softly. Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall. Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed. The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl's brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah's mother stood by the bed,  gently pushing Sarah's thin hair off her forehead. And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah's aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah. a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, "Ho, ho, ho!"
 
"Santa!" shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him, IV tubes in tact. Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son -- nine years old -- gazed up at him with wonder and excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears. Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah's face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room.
 
As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa's shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering "thank you" as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes. Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she'd been a very good girl that year.
 
As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl's mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah's bed, holding hands. Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels.
 
"Oh, yes, Santa ... I do!" she exclaimed.
 
"Well, I'm going to ask that angels watch over you," he said. Laying one hand on the child's head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her.  And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing softly, "Silent Night, Holy Night - all is calm, all is bright."
 
The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all. 
 
When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah's frail, small hands in his own. "Now, Sarah," he said authoritatively, "you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!" He knew it was risky proclaiming that, to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he "had" to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could -- not dolls or games or toys -- but the gift of HOPE.
 
"Yes, Santa!" Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright.
 
He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room. Out in the hall, the minute Santa's eyes met Rick's, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed. Sarah's mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa's side to thank him.
 
"My only child is the same age as Sarah," he explained quietly. "This is the least I could do." They nodded with understanding and hugged him.
 
One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.
 
"Hi, Santa! Remember me?!"
 
"Of course, I do," Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down after. After all, the secret to being a "good" Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the "only" child in the world at that moment.
 
"You came to see me in the hospital last year!" Santa's jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest.
 
 "Sarah!" he exclaimed. He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy -- much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before. He looked over and saw Sarah's mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.
 
That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus. He had witnessed -- and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about -- this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free.  Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, "Thank you, Father. ' Tis a very, Merry Christmas!"
Printable Issue 1198  Today is Wednesday, November 28th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1198
A couple of short Bible verses, commentary, and comments, taken in part from our Sunday's Sunday School class:
 
"...so encourage each other, to build each other up, just as you are already doing....
honor the officers of your church who work hard among you....."
~~ I Thessalonians 5:11 & 12
 
Commentary in part:    "Look around you. Be sensitive to others need for encouragement and offer supportive words or actions. Think of your pastor and other church leaders. How can you honor them? Express your appreciation, tell them how you have been helped by their leadership and teaching, and thank them for their ministry in your life. If you say nothing, how will they know where you stand? Remember, they need and deserve your support and love expressed in practical ways."
 
Our class members were assigned the task of writing a note of encouragment to someone within our church family who was not at the class that morning. Everyone was given a card and a week to do it! Maybe you can do the same!! An email note is quick, easy, and only a keyboard and click away....
 
As Dean Kluss, class member said, "Encouragement is the only paycheck a volunteer receives!"
Printable Issue 1199  Today is Thursday, November 29th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1199
This is something that I have received more than once as forwards from various people. The last one said, "Could you use this as a Karen's Korner?"
 
Okay, it is a good one. I looked up the various Bible verses. Wouldn't it be great if all of us, all of the time, believed all of the things we are told we have and are? (Hope this sends well!)
 

THE BELL

I KNOW WHO I AM
I am God's child (John
1:12
)
I am Christ's friend (John
15:15
)
I am united with the Lord(1 Cor.
6:17
)
I am bought with a price(1 Cor.
6:19
-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God)(Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ(Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt.5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ(1 Cor
12:27
)
I am free forever from condemnation (
Rom.
8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil.3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom.
8:31
-34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God(2 Cor.5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph.
2:18
)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God(Rom.8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God(2 Cor.1:21-22)
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom.
8: 28
)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit(John
15:16
)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph.
3: 12
)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil.4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15:1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor.
3: 16
). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified(Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship(Eph.
2:10
)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected(Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Col. 1:14). I have been adopted as God's child(Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
who you are!?


"The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn His face toward you
and give you peace."
~~ Numbers 6:24-26

Printable Issue 1200  Today is Friday, November 30th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1200
Wow! Another milesone - 1200 korners! I call myself the editor, reporter, writer, and encourager (as I attempt to get others to try their hand at writing some thought or inspiration he/she might have).
 
Today's Karen's Korner is one of those written by my friend, Mary Tesdahl. This is the first year of Mary's retirement from teaching. A few weeks ago several couples got together to celebrate Mary's new status. One of the small gifts which Mary received was a book of sayings, thoughts, and prayers.
 
"Now this is your assignment," I jokingly said to Mary, "use one of these prayers and write a Karen's Korner!"
 
Not many days later, here came an email from the Tesdahls, with the subject line "homework". I couldn't believe it..her words made me laugh. I enjoyed what Mary had to say, as she covered what we had done as we ate together that night:
 
From Mary:
 
"We were sitting in a restaurant enjoying supper and fellowship with friends when we noticed a peace lily on the counter was totally wilted from lack of water.  At first we thought to just tell the 
employees, but then we thought we had the resources to solve the problem ourselves and poured a glass of our ice water onto the plant and went back to visiting.  Amazingly, it was not long before the plant began to revive. 
 
"How many times do we miss an opportunity to provide the kind word or deed or listening ear, that would revive another individual on their journey through life."
 
"There are so many ways I can be involved in Christian service, what I need most is a willing heart.  Help me never to lose sight of the fact that servanthood is beautiful in your sight and a blessing to others."
 
- Taken from 'Everyday Prayers by Rachel Quillin'