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April 2008 Archives

Printable Issue 1282  Today is Tuesday, April 1st, 2008; Karen's Korner #1282
A short chapter from Max Lucado's book "The Gift for all People: Thoughts on God's Great Grace":
 
Right of Righteous?
 
It wasn't right that people spit into the eyes that had wept for them. It wasn't right that soldiers ripped chunks of flesh out of the back of their God. It wasn't right that spikes pierced the hands that formed the earth. And it wasn't right that the Son of God was forced to hear the silence of God.
 
It wasn't right, but it happened.
 
For while Jesus was on the cross, God sat on his hands. He turned his back. He ignored the screams of the innocent.
 
He sat in silence while the sins of the world were placed upon his Son. And he did nothing while a cry a million times bloodier than John's echoed in the black sky: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
 
Was it right? No.
 
Was it fair? No.
 
Was it love? Yes.
 
In a world of injustice, God once and for all tipped the scales in favor of hope. And he did it by sitting on his hands so that we could know the kingdom of God.
Printable Issue 1283  Today is Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1283
Psalms 145
 
Commentary: Sometimes our burdens seem more than we can bear and we wonder how we can go on.
The psalmist stands at this bleak intersection of life's road and points toward the Lord, the great burden-bearer.
 
I will praise you, my God and King,
and bless your name each day and forever.
Great is Jehovah!
Greatly praise him!
 
His greatness is beyond discovery!
Let each generation tell its children what glorious things he does.
I will meditate about your glory, splendor, majesty, and miracles.
Your awe-inspiring deeds shall be on every tongue;
I will proclaim your greatness.
Everyone will tell about how good you are, and sing about your righteousness.
 
Jehovah is kind and merciful, slow to get angry, full of love.
He is good to everyone,
and his compassion is intertwined with everything he does.
All living things shall thank you, Lord,
and your people will bless you.
 
They will talk together about the glory of your kindness
and mention examples of your power.
They will tell about your miracles and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
For your kingdom never ends.
You rule generation after generation.
 
The Lord lifts the fallen and those bent beneath their loads.
The eyes of all mankind look up to you for help;
you give them their food as they need it.
You constantly satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
 
The Lord is fair in everything he does, and full of kindness.
He is close to all who call on him sincerely.
He fulfills the desires of those who reverence and trust him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
He protects all those who love him, but destroys the wicked.
 
I will praise the Lord and call on all men everywhere
to bless his holy name forever and forever.
 
~~ written by David, from the Living Bible
Printable Issue 1284  Today is Thursday, April 3rd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1284
Lucky us! We have missionaries from Mozambique, Africa staying with us for a few days. Jacob and Jaynie Michael are a couple which our church supports monthly. I have asked both of them to write a Karen's Korner or two while they are here in Iowa.
 
Here is an entry from Jacob:
 

Throughout the history of the Christian Church, there have been many revivals. There have been five elements that have been consistent and present in each revival.

 

  1. Godís Word has been stressed. 2 Timothy 3:16,17; John 1:1
  2. Ministry of all Believers.  Ephesians 2: 19-22; Ephesians 4:11-13 & 1 Peter 2: 4,5,9
  3. Prayer.  Luke 11:1 and following; 1 Samuel 1:12
  4. Changed Lives.  1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 5:8-21
  5. Love for each other.  John 13:34,35; 1 John 4:7-16
So if you are praying for the Lord to revive you and your fellowship, these are the areas that you must work on and then God will do His part.
Printable Issue 1285  Today is Friday, April 4th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1285
 
A couple of favorite poems from Colleen Hackley. Some of us may recognize them from a funeral brochure or two. Colleen may attend more than her share of funerals/visitations, as she is employed by a local care center. The people from whom she cares are more than part of Colleen's job; they become her friends.
 
God saw he was getting tired
and a cure was not to be,
So He put His arms around him
and whispered, "Come to Me".
 
With tearful eyes we watched him suffer
and slowly fade away.
Although we loved him dearly,
we could not make him stay.
 
His life was not an easy journey,
with many stops along the way
To give himself to those in need,
so they could make it through the day.
 
He played many roles throughout his life,
husband, grandfather, and friend.
There is such an empty place in our lives
as we see such an important life end.
 
A golden heart has stopped beating,
hard working hands are at rest.
But our sorrow is softened in knowing,
trusting in Christ Jesus, he is blessed.
 
~~ Unknown
 
**
 
I'M FREE
 
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free,
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard His call,
I turned my back and left it all.
 
I could not say another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Taks left undone must stay that way,
I found that place at the close of the day.
 
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things too, I will miss.
 
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunrise of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
 
Perhaps my time seemed all to brief,
Don't lengthen it now to undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.
 
~ Also Unknown
 
***
Printable Issue 1286  Today is Monday, April 7th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1286
 
Equal time from Jaynie Michael, co-partner with husband Jacob as missionaries in Mozambique, Africa and staying witht the Welds until today!
 

My name is Jaynie Michael and I have the blessed opportunity to serve in Kingdom work in Mozambique, Africa.

   Shortly after arriving in Mozambique, I experienced comfort, great compassion, and Godís love and spirit pouring forth from my dear Mozambican sister in Christ, Maria.

   We had traveled two days from our home in order to bring the gospel to about 500 people. Our Landrover reached the greatly swollen banks of the Moloque River. There had been excessive late rains this year and there wasnít any bridge. Passage would be very precarious and perhaps dangerous. We could be swept down river.

   A church leader came from the other side of the river to talk with us and devise a plan. He returned to those waiting on his side of the river to report the situation. As I waited, and stared at the rushing waters before me, I became quite anxious and was gripped by a profound, intense fear. I knew that I couldnít possibly cross the river. While we awaited the reply from those desperately anticipating The Word of Life, my panic reached a heightened state.

   Jacob, my wonderful husband, tried to comfort me to no avail. Fear was written all over my face, silent tears trickled down my cheeks as I attempted to convince myself that I wasnít afraid. I prayed and prayed for courage and peace, but panic still prevailed.

   The message arrived that men were coming to pull the LandRover across with a rope as others pushed it from behind. The Landrover was completely relieved of itís burden of bibles, song books, tents, camping gear, jugs of water, extra fuel andÖ.itís passengers! I had to get out of the Landrover.

   I didnít want to disappoint those who eagerly awaited our arrival, and yet, I just couldnít bring myself to get into a hand hewn canoe that looked as sturdy as parchment paper. In solitude, I fervently prayed, but my inner turmoil hadnít abated and it was time to cross.

   My special, intuitive sister, Maria gently nudged me over to the side and with arm around my shoulder, bowed her head and began speaking in a language that I didnít understand, and yet knew that she had sensed my panic and was praying for me. She stayed by my side until the last canoe crossed with all our belongings and Maria didnít cross until I was safely seated in the canoe.

   No one had spoken a word about my struggles with the river and yet Godís love, comfort, and spirit prevailed across cultural differences, language barriers, and tribal parameters, through Maria. Godís love knows no boundaries!!!

 

John 15:13  No one has greater love than this, that a man (or woman) lay down his life for his friends.

Printable Issue 1287  Today is Tuesday, April 8th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1287
A daily email devotional which I had saved from several months ago by Joel and Victoria Osteen:
 

Hunger For Righteousness

ďBlessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filledĒ (Matthew 5:6, NIV).

"In the natural, what do you do when youíre hungry for something and youíre just not sure what will satisfy you? Maybe you think of something to eat but it doesnít quite hit the spot. Spiritual hunger works the same way. You may feel a restlessness or unsettledness, but you canít quite figure out what will satisfy it. You may try to fill that need with other thingsófood, addictions, peopleóbut only God can fill that hunger. The verse above says that righteousness will fill, or satisfy. When you hunger and thirst for righteousness, Godís way of doing things, you will be spiritually satisfied. But just like you have to take time to eat in the natural, you have to take time to 'eat' or partake of Godís righteousness. Take time everyday and devote it to the Lord with prayer, worship, and the study of His Word. Stay in fellowship with other believers by attending church regularly. As you focus your hunger on Godís righteousness, you will be filled and live satisfied in Him all the days of your life."

"Heavenly Father, thank You for the promise to fill my hunger. I open my heart to You and ask that You draw me by Your Spirit. Teach me to walk in Your ways of righteousness that I may honor and serve You all the days of my life. I bless Your name today. In Jesusí Name. Amen."

Printable Issue 1288  Today is Wednesday, April 9th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1288
Each year for the past eight years, our school's Peer Helpers, middle school students - who work to help the school, community and people - organize a "Senior Night" for grandparents, retirees, and senior citizens. It is a couple of hours when our age group interacts with their age group and us 'oldies' go back to school.
 
Last week was the annual night. Bus rides to and from the event are given. Food is prepared and eaten. Games are played. Classes are offered and selected by us students. Along with the learning, there are lots of prizes given by local merchants, organizations, and individuals. Lots of prizes. It was announced that $3,000 worth of items would be given away. I usually get several of the items.
 
Because we were hosting Jacob and Jaynie Michael from Africa, they went with us to enjoy the festivities. Every place we went, Jaynie won a prize. Jacob won his fair share too. They were having a ball. As was I! But this year, I only had my name or number called once - one small gift certificate. I didn't need anything, but who doesn't enjoy the thrill off winning!
 
When we got home, we each charged through our plastic bags of promotional pads of paper, free pencils, an Iowa map among other things.
 
Then one-by-one, I 'won' a certificate for a free haircut, one chamber gift certificate, then another. Know how I won them? Jacob and Jaynie gave them to us. Know why? They weren't going to be in Clarion long enough to use them all.
 
I couldn't help but think that is how our relationship with God is sometimes. We hope, pray, expect Him to give us what we want, when and where we want it. Directly from the 'number drawn', first hand. Other times, he gives us the same gifts at the hand of a friend, second hand; as they share their bounty with us.
 
Same prizes; same treasured gifts. Just a different mode of delivery. 
 
A number of years ago our minister, Rev. Brockmeyer said, "When you pray, don't always look to the heavens. Sometimes you need to look in your mailbox!"
 
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You that You hear us and answer our prayers. Thank You for all of Your many gifts which You give to each one of us. Help us to enjoy each of those gifts. Help me, help us to recognize each gift which we receive from Your Hand directly and from dozens of other ways. We are blessed! In Jesus Name, Amen.
Printable Issue 1289  Today is Thursday, April 10th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1289
From Max Lucado's book "THE GIFT for all people:  Thoughts on God's Great Grace":
 
Bounteous Grace
 
"God showed his love for us in this way:
Christ died for us while we were still sinners."
~~ Romans 5:8
 
**
 
"And you never again have to wonder who your father is -
you've been adopted by God and therefore an
'heir of God through Christ'."
~~ Galatians 4:7
 
**
 
Ponder the achievement of God.
 
He doesn't condone our sin,
Nor does He compromise His standard.
 
He doesn't ignore our rebellion,
Nor does He relax His demands.
 
Rather than dismiss our sin,
He assumes our sin and, incredibly, sentences Himself.
 
God's holiness is honored.
Our sin is punished.....
And we are redeemed.
 
God does what we cannot do
so we can be what we dare not dream:
 
PERFECT BEFORE GOD.
 
***
Printable Issue 1290  Today is Friday, April 11th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1290
Time for a little religious humor; emailed from Dorothy Riekens yesterday:
 
Reverend Ole was the pastor of the local Norwegian Lutheran Church
and Pastor Sven was the minister of the Swedish Covenant Church across the road.
 
Yesterday they were standing by the road,
pounding a sign into the ground, that read:
'Da End is Near! Turn Yourself Around Now! Before It's Too Late!'
 
As a car sped past them,
the driver leaned out his window and yelled,
 'Leave us alone, you religious nuts!'
From the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splash.
 
Reverend Ole turned to Pastor Sven and asked,
'Do ya tink maybe da sign should yust say
'Bridge Out'??
 
**
 
Pretty cute, don't you think? Regardless of who we are or how old we are, we might be closer to the 'bridge out' sign than we think!
 
Printable Issue 1291  Today is Monday, April 14th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1291
While Jacob and Jaynie Michael, missionaries from Mozambique, Africa, stayed with us for parts of six days, I asked both of them to write a couple of Karen's Korner devotionals to share with all readers. Jacob wrote two; Jaynie wrote one.
 
Here is Jacob's second one. They left for Ohio, their home base, a week ago today and will be in the United States until late in August, doing what they were doing in Clarion, visiting supporting churches each week/weekend:
 

 

Why do we have problems? Jesus said, ďI have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. (Problems) But take heart! I have overcome the world.

 

God allows problems to come into our lives for five basic reasons.

  1. To Correct us!   1 Corinthians 1:5-12
  2. To Inspect us!  John 6:5,6; Acts 5:9;
  3. To Perfect us!  Matthew 5:48; 2 Corinthians 12:9; James 1:3; Philippians 3:12-15
  4. To Direct us!  Acts 16:6-10
  5. To Protect us!  Genesis 50: 20; Romans 8:28
1 Corinthians 10:13:   Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.

 

James 1:2-4:   Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

 

Hebrews 12: 2-3:  ďLet us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.Ē

 

Remember itís not the strongest wind nor the wildest gale that directs the ship,

 but the set of the sail.

 

 

 

Printable Issue 1292  Today is Tuesday, April 15th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1292
Our community has been involved in an "ALPHA" series study for the past eight weeks; the last one will be held this Sunday. An ecumenical Bible study has been great!!
 
This is an exerpt from Session #7 titled "How Does God Guide Us?". There were five points, each using the same introductory letters:
 
1. Commanding Scripture;
2. Compelling Spirit;
3. Common Sense;
4. Counsel of Saints;
5. Circumstantial Signs.
 
There are supporting Bible verses for each of the five points. I would be happy to email you those, if you are interested. Better still, maybe take an ALPHA class, if it is offered in your area!
Printable Issue 1293  Today is Wednesday, April 16th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1293
Today's Karen's Korner are several comments by Luke, our 4-year-old grandson, who stayed overnight with us Monday night. He and his sister left later in the afternoon yesterday:
 
* "Grandma, do you know that God heals bodies?" as he was looking at the band-aid on my toe. "You just have to put a band-aid on something and God does the rest!"
 
* As Luke was adding to table grace at dinner, "Thank you, God, for our food and for taking care of the whole world today."
 
* "Grandma, did you know that God can do zillions of things all at the same time!"
 
And the final memorable one:
 
"Molly (2 1/2 year old sister) and I are new.
Noah (2 month old brother) is brand new.
Grandma, you and grandpa and your friends are old."
 
Figure out to which you group you belong!!
Printable Issue 1294  Today is Thursday, April 17th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1294
As spring unfolds and we move through April, I am sharing a short poem written by "The Poem Lady" :
 
GOD'S PRESENCE
 
" My presence will go with you and I will give you rest."  Exodus 33:14
 
The sky and the stars, the waves and the sea,
The dew on the grass, the leaves on the tree
Are constant reminders
of God and His nearness,
Proclaming His presence with crystal-like clearness--

So how could I think God was far, far away
When I feel Him beside me
every hour of the day,
 
And
I've plenty of reasons to know God's my Friend
And this is one friendship
the time cannot end!
 
Love and prayers,
 Teresa
Printable Issue 1295  Today is Friday, April 18th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1295
 
From Max Lucado's book "The GIFT for all people:  Thoughts on God's Great Grace:
 
Chapter titled "Grasping Grace":
 
"Lord, if it's you," Peter says "Tell me to come to you on the water" - Matthew 14:28.
 
Peter is not testing Jesus; he is pleading with Jesus.
 
Stepping onto a stormy sea is not a move of logic; it is a move of desperation. Peter grabs the edge of the boat. Throws out a leg........follows with the other. Several steps are taken. At the end of the ridge is the glowing face of a never-say-die friend.
 
We do the same, don't we? We come to Christ in an hour of deep need. We abandon the boat of good works. We realize, like Moses, that human strength won't save us. So we look to God in desperation. We realize, like Paul, that all the good works in the world are puny when laid before the Perfect One. We realize, like Peter, that spanning the gap between us and Jesus is a feat too great for our feet.
 
So we beg for help. Hear his voice. And step out in fear, hoping that our little faith will be enough.
 
Faith is not born at the negotiating table where we barter our gifts in exchange for God's goodness. Faith is not an award given to the most learned. It's not a prize given to the most disciplined. It's not a title bequeathed to the most religious.
 
Faith is a desperate dive out of the sinking boat of human effort and prayer that God will be there to pull us out of the water. The apostle Paul wrote about this kind of faith:
 
"For it is by grace you have been save, through faith---and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God----not by works, so that no one can boast" - Ephesians 2:8-9.
 
The supreme force in salvation is God's grace. Not our works. Not our talents. Not our feelings. Not our strength.
 
Grace is God's sudden, calming presence during the stormy seas of our lives. We hear his voice; we take the step. Why? Because we are great sinners and we need a great Savior.
 
We, like Peter, are aware of two facts:  We are going down and God is standing up. So we scramble out. We leave behind the Titanic of self-righteousness and stand on the solid path of God's grace.
 
And, surprisingly, we are able to walk on water. Death is disarmed. Failures are forgivable. Life has real purpose. And God is not only within sight, he is within reach.
Printable Issue 1296  Today is Monday, April 21st, 2008; Karen's Korner #1296
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to be one of the guest speakers at a district ladies' church meeting held in Ackley. When I am asked to do that, I usually take some copies of the devotional booklets I have written and give them away to anyone in attendance who might like a copy.
 
Afterwards a lady came up to me to thank me for my ministry of giving away books, she shared that God had given her a ministry of an item to give away as well. She wanted me to have one of the items.
 
She handed me a small envelope which would be about the size to house a few important keys. In the envelope were two metal discs: one was gold with a smiley face stamped on it; the other was silver with a few words imprinted on it. Both had a small hole punched in them; making them suitable for a key ring.
 
Along with the discs were two poems which she had written and slipped into the small pouch:
 
SMILE
GOD LOVES YOU
 
A smile is something nice to see
It doesn't cost a cent.
A smile is something all your own
It never can be spent.
A smile is welcome anywhere
It does away with frowns.
A smile is good for everyone
To ease life's up and downs.
So smile each day God gives you
Just smile the day away.
Then share a smile with all you meet
Along life's path each day.
And every day when you get up
Thank God for the new day.
And put a smile upon your face
And smile your cares away.
 
~~
 
The Gift
 
Enclosed you will find a little gift,
it is from me to you.
It's just a small stainless steel circle,
engraved with a message true.
 
At the top of this small silver circle,
is a hole for you to use,
So put it on your key chain,
and it you will not lose.
 
Its message can lift you up when you're low,
brighten your spirits when you are sad.
It can bring a smile to any face,
make a heart feel happy and glad.
 
For this small silver spot with a hole at the top,
and the message engraved on its face;
Is a reminder to you that God's love is true,
From His Son, who died your place.
 
So then let us rejoice, let it be our choice,
let us with others His love gladly share.
For, "There is not a spot that God is not
for God is everywhere!"
* Jeremiah 23:24 TLB
 
~~ Maxine Angus
 
****
Printable Issue 1297  Today is Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1297
Last week our daughter Jamie drove up to our house from Des Moines with their three kids: Luke, 4; Molly, 2 1/2; and Noah, 2 months. We had a mission: we were going to visit the multi-cow dairy owned and operated by Jim's sister and husband and their two sons and families which is an hour's drive away.
 
It happened to be one of a few bright sunshiny days so far this spring. What a treat for three city kids (well, at least two; Noah didn't much care!). For more than a couple of hours, Luke and Molly (accompanied by a cousin who wasn't yet in school), made the rounds: watching the cows being milked; to a stall with a newly born calf; stomping in mud and water outside of the milking barn; and to top it all off---a mother cat giving birth to new kittens in a box in the corner of the office!
 
The trip had to be repeated often: "Grandma, now let's go see the cows!" Molly would say, for the at least fourth time!
 
On the way home, Luke made the comment, "Grandma, this is my best day ever!"
 
Yesterday a friend was telling of her perfect weekend with her four kids, traveling to a water park for a couple days. Inside while the weather was inclimate; outside a day or so later for what they had planned.......with sunshine! A great weekend!!
 
I think that is what God has planned for us EVERY DAY! Something new; something exciting; something to give us an opportunity to be amazed or loved or cared for! As I am typing this it is 6:30 in the morning. I don't know what the day holds, but if God is in it, it is bound to be my best day ever.....
 
Dear Father in Heaven, Thank you for waking up my senses and adding to my spiritual dimension every new day. Help me to always see you and the world around me. Help me to never tire, grow weary, or not see You and the joy that is mine! Thank you for the adventure and wonder of this new day. I can't wait to be amazed and thankful! In the name of Jesus who added to our love, joy, peace, and amazement, Amen.
Printable Issue 1298  Today is Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1298
A favorite email daily devotional from Joel and Victoria Osteen. It talks about God's favor, not for someone else but for you, for me:
 

The Favor of God

ďGod earnestly longs to be gracious to you...to have mercy on you and show you His loving-kindnessĒ (Isaiah 30:18).

"God longs to pour out His favor upon you. He wants to remove your burdens so you can enjoy life. He wants you to be free and living each day full of peace. He wants to assist you and give you special advantages every single day. Todayís verse talks about Godís grace, mercy, and loving-kindnessówhich are all part of His favor! When you receive that favor by faith, youíll have tremendous advantage! Godís favor will cause you to be promoted even though you werenít the most qualified. Godís favor will open a door for you that may not open for someone else. Godís favor will bring unexpected blessings from unexpected sources. Activate your faith in this area today by declaring Godís favor in your life. Thank Him for his mercy and loving-kindness. As you expect His favor, God will do unusual and extraordinary things in your life and youíll live the life of victory that God has in store for you! "

Prayer For Today: Father, thank you for your favor on my life today. Thank you for guiding me and reminding me of your presence in everything I do. Give me strength and peace today so that I can live in your victory today. In Jesusí Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1299  Today is Thursday, April 24th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1299
From Max Lucado's book "The GIFT for all people:  Thoughts on God's Great Grace:
 
The chapter title is "With Towel and Basin":
 
"It is almost time for the Jewish Passover Feast.
Jesus knew that it was time for him to leave this world and
go back to the Father. He had always loved those who were his own
in the world, and loved them all the way to the end.......
So during the meal Jesus stood up.....poured water into
a bowl and began to wash the followers' feet.
~~ John 13:1 - 5
 
Behold the gift Jesus gives his followers! He knows what these men are about to do. He knows they are about to perform the vilest act of their lives. By morning they will bury their heads in shame and look down at their feet in disgust. And when they do, he wants them to remember how his knees knelt before them and he washed their feet. He wants them to realize those feet are still clean.
 
Remarkable. He forgave their sin before they even committed it. He offered mercy before they even sought it. Aside from geography and chronology, our story is the same as the disciples'. We weren't in Jerusalem, and we weren't alive that night. But what Jesus did for them he has done for us. He has cleansed us. He has cleansed our hearts from sin.
 
Even more, he is still cleansing us! "We are being cleansed from every sin by the blood of Jesus" (I John 1:7). In other words, we are always being cleansed. The cleansing is not a promise for the future but a reality in the present. Let a speck of dust fall on the soul of a saint, and it is washed away. Let a spot of filth land on the heart of God's child, and the filth is wiped away. Jesus still cleans his disciples' feet. Jesus still washes away stains. Jesus still purifies his people.
 
Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, "I can clean that if you want." And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes our sin.
Printable Issue 1300  Today is Friday, April 25th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1300
Wow! Another milestone; one that ends in '00' - the 1300th Karen's Korner. Beginning one of the first days of March 2003, the five-day-per-week Karen's Korners have walked forward.I didn't have a plan or a goal for how many nor how long; just one 'korner' at a time. They pile up!!
 
The purpose for the beginning was sharing several thoughts that God had brought to my mind and my life after our daughter, Merry, was killed. I didn't want them to escape without writing them down and sharing them!
 
Now I serve as part-time writer, part-time editor, part-time encourager to get others to write and/or share something they have written or seen and enjoyed.
 
Thanks for the trip and the memories! And the help. To God be the glory!
 
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host;
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
AMEN.
Printable Issue 1301  Today is Monday, April 28th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1301
Our school is currently invterviewing candidates for an elementary principal; I am enjoying serving with four other people on the community portion of the interview process.
 
"Wizard" is something shared with us by one of the candidates. While it is probably directed at professional educators, it could be said for anyone working with 'kids':
 
Wizard

by: Keith Harvie
Found in Principal Leadership Ė February 2008

The kids walk in, stroll in, bounce in,
Flounce in, strut in, dance in, and
Finally stagger into my school.

There are even a few who look and act
Like they have been swept up by a
Tornado and dropped in.

Each in his or her own way is following
The yellow brick road to our door in search
Of the Emerald City and the Wizard of Oz.

Some need courage and I support
And believe in them until they believe
In themselves.

Some want a heart and I introduce them
To art, music, theater, and poetry
And let them explore their feelings.

Some are in search of a brain and I
Help them locate theirs and show them
How to use it to the best of their ability.

Some are trying to find a home and I
Give them a safe, secure place to be
With an adult who listens and cares.

I am not really a wizard so I use my
Leadership skills to help my students learn
That the magic is within them, not me.
 
**

Printable Issue 1302  Today is Tuesday, April 29th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1302
"To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
 
You save the humble,
but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
 
You are my lamp, O Lord;
the Lord turns my darkness into light.
 
With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall."
 
~~ 2 Samuel 22:26-30
New International Version
Printable Issue 1303  Today is Wednesday, April 30th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1303
Something shared with me by my long-time friend Sharon Frank. No one is going to 'do' all of them, but something on the list might give each of us 'cause for pause':
 
  CHRISTIAN WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS ...
1. Pray
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say 'No' to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
6. Simplify and declutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.
10. Take one day at a time.

11. Separate worries from concerns . If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety . If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.
12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
17. Get enough rest.
18. Eat right.
19 Get organized so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
22. Every day, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try to pray.
24. Make friends with Godly people.
25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
26.. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good "Thank you, Jesus."
27. Laugh.
28. Laugh some more!
29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can)

31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
32. Sit on your ego.
33 Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36  Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before.
 
GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.
 "If God is for us, who can be against us?"
~~ (Romans 8:31)
 
****