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May 2008 Archives

Printable Issue 1304  Today is Thursday, May 1st, 2008; Karen's Korner #1304
Today is National Day of Prayer; organized annually by Shirley Dobson, wife of Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. It is set each year for the first Thursday of May.
 
This is today's email thought from Joel Osteen, which I thought was appropriate. I'd guess most of us have no idea the power of prayer. If we did, we would probably pray togther more often:
 
The Power of Two

Two are better than one… If one falls down, his friend can help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

"God likes two together. The Bible says in Matthew 18 that there is power when two or more pray in agreement. One can put a thousand to flight, but two can put ten thousand to flight! Where there are two or more gathered in His name, God is there. And just like Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs of two to fulfill their mission, God will send a friend or partner to come along side you to help you fulfill your life’s mission. You may not see that special friend or partner right now; but remember, you are never alone because you and God are a majority. Why don’t you step out and be that friend that someone needs today. Is there someone in your life that you can reach out to and offer encouragement and support? Can you be that friend that helps someone when they fall? Sometimes a simple phone call or note of encouragement is all it takes. Be willing to support your friends. Get behind their dreams and encourage them to press forward. As you sow those seeds of hope and faith, God will bring people in your life to encourage you, too, and you’ll move forward in victory all the days of your life."

Father God, thank You for the privilege to come before Your throne. Thank You for empowering me by Your Spirit. I ask that You show me ways to be a blessing and encouragement to the people around me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1305  Today is Friday, May 2nd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1305
A daily devotional email sent to me last October by Shirley Choat:
 
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13
 
"We must remember that it it not in any easy or self-indulgent life that Christ will lead us to greatness. The easy life leads not upward, but downward. Heaven always is above us, and we must ever be looking up toward it. There are some people who always avoid costly things, and that which requires self-denial, self-restraint or sacrifice. But toil and hardship show us the only way to nobleness. Greatness comes not by having a mossy path made for you through the meadow, but by being sent to cut out a roadway by your own hands. Are you going to reach the mountain splendors?
 
"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men and women. Do not pray for tasks equal to your power. Pray for powers equal to your taks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.
 
       Be strong, we are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
      We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.
      Shun not the struggle; face it. 'Tis God's gift.
 
      Be strong, it matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
      How hard the battle goes, the day how long,
      Faint not, fight on, tomorrow comes the song.
 
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - Stand up, speak out, and bravely pray, in God's name.
Printable Issue 1306  Today is Monday, May 5th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1306
A well-known children's Sunday School song, verse one, two and three; for the little kid in all of us. Sometimes we need to be reminded:
 
Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little one to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong.
 
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so.
 
Jesus loves me still today
Walking with me on my way
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.
 
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so.
 
Jesus loves me this I know
As He did so long ago
Taking children on His knew
Saying let them come to me.
 
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so.
 
~~
Printable Issue 1307  Today is Tuesday, May 6th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1307
Last weekend was our annual Sister Slumber Party (there are five of us!). As we walked around the streets of Amana, Amy (sister #3 who is a year younger than I am) sometimes would have to sit down to rest her hip.
 
On Christmas eve of 2000, their house burned. While standing in the street watching the firemen work and with all of the excitement, Amy collapsed. They temporarily forgot the house and worked to revive Amy. While scurrying to load her into a rescue vehicle, they dropped her off the rescue board. Thus she has some after affects of the 'non-secured' rescue attempts.
 
Occasionally, she has someone say to her, "You should have sued them."
 
Amy's response, "Why would I sue them? They saved my life!"
 
Do you have something going on in your life which you know only God can fix? Did you pray for the rescue of a loved one only to have your prayers go unanswered? Or not answered the way you believe was the 'right' one? Are our thoughts tangled in the fact that, if we could, we would sue Jesus for neglect in 'dropping us on the street of life' or for His non-attention?
 
Maybe we are like Amy, grateful with our thoughts of thankfulness to God, regardless of our prayed outcomes and the grateful words, "He saved my life!"
 
Dear Father God, thank You for Your love and care and saving grace. Thank You that You have rescued us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. And many times physically. Forgive us for any time we have not been rescued physically in the way we would have chosen. Help us to remember Your words to us that 'all things work together for good to those who love You'. Thank You for saving our lives. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1308  Today is Wednesday, May 7th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1308
From Max Lucado's book "The Gift for all people", chapter titled LEAVING THE PORCH LIGHT ON:
 
"He's waiting for you. God is standing on the porch of heaven, expectantly hoping, searching the horizon for a glimpse of his child. You're the one God is seeking.
 
"God is the waiting Father, the caring Shepherd in search of his lamb. His legs are scratched, his feet are sore, and his eyes are burning. He scales the cliffs and traverses the fields. He explores the caves. He cups his hands to his mouth and calls into the canyon.
 
"He is the Housewife in search of the lost coin. No matter that he has nine others; he won't rest until he has found the tenth. He searches the house. He moves furniture. He pulls up rugs. He cleans out the shelves. All other tasks can wait. Only one matters----the coin of great value to him. He owns it. He will not stop until he finds it.
 
"The coin he seeks is you.
 
"God is the Father pacing the porch. His eyes are wide with his quest. His heart is heavy. He seeks his prodigal. He searches the horizon, yearning for the familiar figure, the recognizable gait. His concern is the son who wears his name, the child who bears his image. You.
 
"He wants you home.
 
"God wants you to be free of yesterday's guilt. He wants you free of today's fears. He wants you free of tomorrow's grave. Sin, fear, and death. These are the mountains he has moved by the power of the cross. These are the prayers he will answer through the gift of his love.
 
"The message is simple: God gave up his Son in order to rescue all his sons and daughters. To bring his children home. He's listening for your answer."
Printable Issue 1309  Today is Thursday, May 8th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1309
A couple of sayings from Christian best selling author Barbara Johnson's "Every Time I Get My Act Together The Curtain Comes Down!" flip calendar. Some of her best for Mothers' Day week:
 
** Adolescence is the awkward age when a child is too old to say something cute and too young to say something sensible.
 
** Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he/she is really in trouble.
 
** The joy of motherhood:  What a woman experiences when all the children are finally in bed.
 
** Just when a woman thinks her work is done, she becomes a grandmother.
 
** The handwriting on the wall means that the grandchildren have found the crayons.
 
** Motherhood:  If it was going to be easy, it never would have started with something called labor.
 
** On Mother's Day, I think moms should be able to wake up and say to themselves: I'm not just a housewife, I'm a domestic goddess!
Printable Issue 1310  Today is Friday, May 9th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1310
Some special Bible verses selected and printed in "God's Guilidng Touch for Mothers"; for moms at Mothers' Day:
 
GOD'S PLAN IS FOR MOTHERS TO COME TO HIM IN PRAYER:
 
"Let us therefore come boldly
to the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and
find grace to help in time of need."
~ HEBREWS 4:16
 
**
 
GOD TEACHES MOTHERS TO WALK IN HIS WORD BY PRAYING FOR HIS WILL:
 
"Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything
by prayer and supplication,
with thanksgiving, let your
requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:6-7
 
**
 
GOD WALKS WITH MOTHERS THROUGHT HEARTACHE:
 
"The Lord will
guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail."
~ Isaiah 58:11
 
GOD DELIGHTS IN MOTHERS WHO ARE SEEKING HIM:
 
"O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek you;
My soul thirsts for you;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water."
~ Psalm 63:1
 
**
 
GOD WALKS WITH MOTHERS THROUGH FAILURE:
 
"Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit
the righteous to be moved."
~ Psalm 55:22
 
**
"Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things."
~ I Corinthians 13:7
 
 
****
Printable Issue 1311  Today is Monday, May 12th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1311
A couple more Bible verse entries from "God's Guilding Touch for Mothers", as we walk away from celebrating Mothers' Day on Sunday:
 
GOD WALKS WITH MOTHERS THROUGH IMPATIENCE:
 
"But those who wait
on the Lord
shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up
with wings like eagles,
they shall run and
not be weary,
they shall walk and
not faint."
~~ Isaiah 40:31
 
**
 
GOD ENCOURAGES EACH MOTHER TO PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER:
 
"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him,
that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask,
we know that we have the petitions
that we have asked of Him."
~~ I John 5:14 - 15
 
**
 
GOD COMFORTS MOTHERS AS THEY LEARN TO CALL ON HIM:
 
"I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
~~ Psalm 4:8
 
**
 
"The angel of the Lord encamps
all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them."
~~ Psalm 34:7
 
** 
 
"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.'"
~~ Psalm 91:1-2
 
****
Printable Issue 1312  Today is Tuesday, May 13th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1312
Rather than traditional Christmas gifts, Jim and I gave Jamie and family; Ed and family an overnight stay at a motel complete with swimming pool. The first time it worked into everyone's schedule was this past weekend. Because we had a four-year-old, a two-year-old, a one-year-old, and two under one, we opted for a Des Moines motel with a zero entry pool and a maximum depth of 18 inches. It had water which was a couple of ticks cooler than a bath tub.
 
Even though it is shallow, our petite 2 1/2 year old Molly could barely reach the bottom when walking through the deepest part of the pool area. Getting water in her eyes or getting her headed ducked under the water was one big NO! It took her awhile to realize where the six inch portion was versus the eighteen inch.
 
Each time she would venture farther from the edge, I would walk with her saying, "deeper, deeper, deeper". Most of the time she would hang on to my hand as she ventured further with the water now lapping up to her chin as she marched forward. She wasn't afraid because I held her hand or I was right there to grab her as if she would mis-step.
 
I began to ask myself if God sometimes asks me to walk out into the ponds of life, farther and farther. Does He say "deeper, deeper, deeper"? And do I keep walking. All the time either holding His hand or watching for His eyes and face to make sure He will rescue me should I lose my footing and go down into the water of life's struggles?
 
Do I trust Him, like Molly trusted me? Or do I turn back toward the ankle deep water? Never venturing into the future He has intended for me?
 
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for being my guide and for holding my hand; not just through the storms of life, but every day. Help me to trust You more and believe that You will rescue me from every situation which life might throw me. Thank You that you don't want me to be afraid and that You want me to keep on marching 'deeper, deeper, deeper'. In the Name of Your Son who makes the walk possible. Amen.
Printable Issue 1313  Today is Wednesday, May 14th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1313
I received this from one of the Mechems, mom or daughter, who lived at one time in Iowa and now reside in Colorado. It is really good; maybe longer than some Karen's Korners. If time is short today, hang on to until a day you have some extra 'needs'.
 
Lessons in Life By Columnist Regina Brett
 
"To celebrate growing older, I once 
wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column 
I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's 
an update:"

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.


5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their 
journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. E verything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; 
God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get 
busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one 
is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no 
for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. 
Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, 
will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone, everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends 
will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you 
did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, 
we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

~~~
Printable Issue 1314  Today is Thursday, May 15th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1314
Today's Karen's Korner is from Joel and Victoria Osteen titled "Rejoice Always"; it is for you........but also for me...today! 
 
Rejoice Always

"Rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4, NIV).

"Did you know that you can rejoice always? In fact, as believers, we are commanded to rejoice. Rejoicing opens the door for victory in your life. When you rejoice and worship the Lord, you are making a declaration that your God is bigger than your problems! You are making a declaration that you trust Him! Now you may be thinking, 'How can I rejoice if I don’t feel like rejoicing?' Well, that word 'rejoice' in the original Greek is 'chairo' and it is actually a verb, an action word. You can choose to rejoice with your words and with your actions, no matter what you may be feeling. You may have to do what David did in Psalm 103, and actually tell yourself, 'Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me.' When you make the choice to rejoice always, God will pour out His supernatural joy and strength upon you so you can live in victory in every area of your life today! "

Lord, thank You for Your Word today that brings freedom to my soul. I choose to rejoice in You always. I choose to declare Your goodness and faithfulness in all things. I bless Your name today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1315  Today is Friday, May 16th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1315
This is something forwarded to me by Kim Lee written by Kathy Lay:
 
The Faith of a Child
 
"I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God
like a little child will never enter it."
~~ Mark 10:15 (NIV)

On a gorgeous afternoon, my husband was eager to get out and enjoy the woods. The kids are always up for a hike and rushed to put on long sleeves, pants, and rubber boots so they could tromp around with Dad. My young son, Skylar, was bound and determined that he'd be in full camoflage and he found his camo pants with no problem. But his camo shirt wasn't where it was supposed to be. He checked his pants drawer, just in case it had found its way into the wrong spot, but to no avail. Then he did what any self-respecting six-year-old would do....."Moooom!"

I went through the same procedure he'd already been through and even checked his closet in case I'd been really ambitious the day I'd put the shirt away, but it was nowhere to be found. I heaved a big sigh and said, "Buddy, just pick a different shirt. I can't find that one."

That's when my boy, laying comfortably on the floor as he waited for me to search, said, "Can I pray to God and Jesus first, and then we'll look again?"

Okay, here's the part of the story I wish could be different. This is the point I wish I could write that my response was an enthusiastic, "Yes, Skylar! That's exactly what we need to do!" But instead, I actually hesitated, I mean I had just looked through those entire drawers and that shirt was not there. So I ended up softly saying, "Go ahead, Buddy," and biting my tongue so that I didn't add, "but don't be disappointed if we still can't find it."

I watched as my little man of faith rolled to his side, folded his hands, and prayed silently with his precious eyes screwed shut. I said my own little prayer that went something like this:  "God, this could be a faith-breaker for this little boy. Please help us find that shirt!" But I confess I offered it up while already trying to decide how to phrase the lesson when the shirt still wasn't there.

I can imagine Jesus shaking his head, saying to me, "Oh, ye of little faith," and smiling because he was about to astound me. When Skylar said "Amen", the shirt drawer was opened for a third time and....Voila! There was the camo shirt! How had we missed it! Sure it was buried, but I'd dug through the whole drawer. I told Skylar with much ado that Jesus sure did hear his prayer and see his faith. But he simply put on his shirt and said, "Yep, Thanks, Jesus" very matter of factly, but happily. He was not surprised. He expected it all along. And I really hat that I didn't.

Why are we like that sometimes? We know we are to walk by faith, not by sight. We know to ask in expectation, right? Today's scripture illustrates exactly what happened. I didn't approach the throne as a little child and that prevented my entering into a higher realm in my relationship with God. Instead of Skylar's, "Thanks, Jesus, I knew you'd come through" approach--which just added another solid layer to his faith--I was lagging behind, stuefied at what seemed a miracle. My faith increased too, but Skylar was in camaraderie mode and I was just kind of a dumbfounded observer.

 I never want to lose my sense of awe, but I guess I want to move from being surprised when my prayers are answered to simply being appreciative and grateful. Just like a little child.

Dear Lord, Your Word tells us that the love You’ve lavished on us is so great and we are Your children.  Help us come to You with the faith of a child.  Help us to pray in full expectation of Your power being manifested in our lives, so that when we experience it, we marvel at it and appreciate it, but we’re not surprised by it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Printable Issue 1316  Today is Monday, May 19th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1316
Something forwarded to me from Jeanne Russell; appropriate for this time of year as there are many graduates and graduations. We don't like to think of the curves and road blocks; we like to envision only smooth sailng:
 
Philippians 4:13 -- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

   The road to success is not straight.
There is a curve called Failure,
A loop called Confusion,
speed bumps called Friends,
red lights called Enemies,
caution lights called Family.
You will have flats called Jobs.

But, if you have a spare called Determination,
an engine called Perseverance,
insurance called Faith,
a driver called Jesus,
you will make it to a place called Success.
 
~~
Printable Issue 1317  Today is Tuesday, May 20th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1317
Writing out our last graduation card to be mailed for an out-of-state graduate. I came across a bookmark which I have had for awhile; it seemed just right to tuck in the card.
 
Seemed sort of right for me today, too:
 
Don't Quit
 
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit---
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
 
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit---
It's when things go wrong that you must not quit.
 
***
Printable Issue 1318  Today is Wednesday, May 21st, 2008; Karen's Korner #1318
I received this daily devotional this a.m. from Shirley Choat which I really liked. I have altered it just a bit; it was complete with graphics. Ever have a time when your 'believer' gets stuck?
 
"LORD, I believe; help Thou my unbelief. Mark 9:24
 
   Are you dealing with doubt and unbelief? It will not do to conceal feelings of doubt that sometimes well up in our hearts. We should face our doubts squarely. Unresolved difficulties can lead to despair and denial. Doubts prayerfully dealt with can turn to stronger faith.
 
  Here are five steps to firmer faith:
 
     Remember what faith is:  Faith is to know God, not to know everything we should like to know about Him. It is trust in a person, Jesus Christ, through whose cradle and cross we know God.
 
   Recognize total dependence on God:  The cross of His Son demonstrates that "God is faithful". He can be counted on to provide pardon, peace and hope. His Holy Spirit enables us to "take the leap of faith" in Christ.
 
    Contemplate Christ daily: The record of His faithful words and saving acts will grip us tightly and bind us closer to God.
 
    Confess our doubts and failures:  Then commit our whole life to Christ, and accept the assurances of His grace He gives in Word and Sacrament.
 
Resolve to do Christ's will. Let us daily say with Paul, "LORD, what will You have me to do?" We will be so busy doing His will that we will have little time to have doubt. Praying always turns doubt toward faith and away from unbelief.
 
Increase our faith and clear our vision, LORD;
Help us to take You at Your simple word,
No more with cold distrust to bring You grief;
LORD, we believe; help our unbelief.
 
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - Faith is doubt saying its prayers.
 
** Yesterday I had typed the last word on the next to last sentence wrong; it didn't make much sense. Several readers made mention of it. If you would like to read "Don't Quit" correctly, go to www.karens-korner.com and read entry #1317. Sorry!
Printable Issue 1319  Today is Thursday, May 22nd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1319
In more than 1300 Karen's Korners, I don't know if I have ever asked for you to pray for our family specifically before.
 
Today is the day! Our daughter Jamie has been in the hospital since Monday. She started not feeling well last weekend but thought that she had the flu, similar to what her husband Tim had the week before. Her hip area also hurt. But she rationalized that their three-month-old Noah who is growing pretty quickly was the culprit. She believed she had hit her hip with his car seat carrier and that was the cause.
 
When she visited a doctor's office on Sunday afternoon, the diagnosis was cellulitis. The Sunday shot turned into Monday's hospitalization. The antiobiotics aren't doing exactly what doctors want it to be doing. So their search and work continues.
 
So please pray for Jamie and for us!
 
It seems like tonight that God is wanting me (maybe us!) to praise Him and watch for the results. I Thessalonians 5:16 - 18 says: "...always be joyful; always keep on praying; always be thankful; ......"
 
It's a choice.
 
Here's a start for me:
 
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for being our Loving Heavenly Father. Thank You that You are the Great Physician, the Great Healer. Thank You that You give us hope and You give us help. Thank You for the doctors, for medicines, for their care and Yours. Thank You for family and friends.  Thank You for caring about Jamie, Tim, Luke, Molly, and Noah; and for each one of us. Thank You that Your care is for today, tomorrow, and for forever. In the name of Your Son who makes every situation possible. Amen
Printable Issue 1320  Today is Friday, May 23rd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1320
Selected verses from Psalm 145:
 
#3 - Great is Jehovah!
Greatly praise him!
His greatness is beyond discovery!
 
#5 - Your awe-inspiring deeds shall be on every tongue;
I will proclaim your greatness.
 
#7 - Jehovah is kind and merciful,
slow to get angry,
full of love.
 
#8 - He is good to everyone,
and his compassion is intertwined with everything he does.
 
#10 - All living things shall thank you, Lord,
and your people will bless you.
 
#18 - He is close to all who call on him sincerely.
 
#19b - He hears the cries for help and rescues them.
 
#21 - I will praise the Lord and call on all men
everywhere to bless his holy name forever and forever.
 
**
 
Jamie has improved since yesterday;
she called mid-afternoon
telling that her doctor said
she was 'a day ahead of what he thought she would be'.
Good news!
Thanks for praying for her and us!
Printable Issue 1321  Today is Monday, May 26th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1321
A poem forwarded to me by Colleen Hackley, who said, "Use this near Memorial Day, if you would like". Here is a portion of what she forwarded:
 
Just a Simple Soldier
 
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast
And he sat around the Legion telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes everyone. 
 
And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer, for old Bob has passed away
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.
 
No, he won't be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family, quietly going on his way;
And the world won't note his passing; 'tho a soldier died today.
 
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note thier passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.
 
It's so easy to forget them, for it was so long ago
that our Bobs and Jims and Johnnys went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys
Who won for us the freedom that our country now enjoys.
 
He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin
But his presence should remind us, we may need his likes again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
 
If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a sismple headline in the paper that might say:
OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING - FOR A SOLDIER DIED TODAY.
 
                                    ~~   Author Unknown
 
** Thanks to all of you who have inquired and care about our daughter Jamie's progress. Please continue to pray for her and her/our family. She is continues to be in the hospital, on IVs, and makes three steps forward and two steps back in her progress.
 
 
Printable Issue 1322  Today is Tuesday, May 27th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1322
Forwarded to me by Mary & Al Tesdahl, written by Anne Graham Lotz, one of Billy Graham's daughters:

"One year for my birthday, my mother sent me a package wrapped in plain brown paper.  When I opened it, there was a gaudy, multicolored straw basket inside, stuffed with tissue paper.  I tossed out the tissue paper and wondered what in the world I was going to do with the basket.  When I called to thank her, she asked what I thought about what was inside it.  I told her nothing was inside except tissue paper, and I had thrown that out.  She said,'Oh, no, Anne! Inside that tissue paper is your real birthday gift!'"
 
 "What priceless treasure are you in danger of throwing out, simply because of the way it is packaged?  Sometimes God wraps His glory in hard circumstances or ugly obstacles or painful difficulties and it just never occurs to us that within those unwanted, unwelcomed, unexpected, unplanned situations is a fresh revelation of 
Himself.
 
 "Is God trying to pry open the eyes of your heart so He can show you His glory?  Are you so focused on the outer wrappings...the pressure and the problems, the failure and the fatigue, the "what ifs" and the "if onlys" that you are in danger of missing or even throwing away the fresh, personal revelation of Himself that He wants 
to give you?!
 
 "Unwrap the package!  Let go, and look up!  Let Him open the eyes of your heart.  Prayerfully, expectantly, sincerely, open your eyes to Him! "

   "Lord, give us eyes to see you in the midst of our desert, darkness, storm and mountainsized hardship.  Then open our eyes and help us look expectantly for You.  Amen."
Printable Issue 1323  Today is Wednesday, May 28th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1323
Anne Graham Lotz, who came to Des Moines for a two-day revival in April, followed up the sessions with a DVD Bible study series on the book of "Revelation". There are about one hundred seven-week studies being conducted around the state of Iowa as a follow up.
 
Week number four's lesson was held in Clarion night before last; the title was "Hope When You Are Discouraged". The study is on Revelation, a book of the Bible I  find to be confusing and hard to understand.
 
Anne is breaking it down in such a way that it helps me to make sense out of it and learn some important life lessons. Chapter four was this week's study materials. It talked about God being on the throne and Jesus sitting at His right hand, with elders and other creatures sitting around the throne worshipping God.
 
So what does that have to do with us today, if we are discouraged?
 
We can take from the study that Jesus is Supreme as Lord and He is Sufficient as Lamb. No matter our circumstances, Jesus is seated on the throne at the center of the universe--seated in beauty and love. And that there are those who encircle this throne as a court in heaven.
 
Jesus provides security, authority, activity, intensity, purity, and comformity to life.
 
I came to the study discouraged. I didn't like Jamie being sick and in the hospital. I don't want to deal with more illness in the lives of anyone in our family. I want them well and probably not sick in the first place!
 
So what do we do, what do I do, when we get something different than we want?
 
We need to remember who we are; remember Whose we are and defeat those discouraging thoughts which drag us down. We need to do what those surrounding the throne in heaven do and say (from Revelation 4:8, 11 in part):  "Day and night they never stop saying, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.....You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power.......'"
 
Words like that coming out of our mouths, our minds, and  our hearts; words of praise and thanksgiving, whether we feel like it, act like it, or think like it......will begin to defeat any discouragement!
 
Praise be to God!!
Printable Issue 1324  Today is Thursday, May 29th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1324
A Joel and Victoria Osteen email daily devotional from mid-August of last year. Favor - even when it may not look like it or we might not act like it. Even when our house is swept up in a tornado; we will experience God's peace, grace, help!
 
Favor Mentality

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life...” (Psalm 23:6).

"Do you know what goodness is? It’s God’s favor. In the above verse, David was saying, “Favor follows me everywhere I go.” David knew he had an advantage. He knew God would assist him. He knew he could expect preferential treatment. David had this favor mentality. All through the Psalms, he constantly talks about God’s favor. You see, something is going to follow you throughout life. If you go around thinking, “Nothing good ever happens to me. I never get any breaks.” Then you’re going to have defeat, mediocrity, and lack following you around. But if you’ll switch over into this favor mentality and say, “God’s favor gives me an advantage. God’s favor is bringing success. God’s favor is making my crooked places straight...” then you’ll have blessings chasing you down! You’ll walk in promotion! You’ll experience increase! You will be destined for success! Choose to have a avor mentality today so you can enjoy the goodness and mercy God has stored up for you!"

Heavenly Father, thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for showing me your goodness. Thank you for showing me your favor. I accept your promises for me today and let go of every negative thought. Thank you for your peace today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1325  Today is Friday, May 30th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1325
A portion of Psalm 29; makes me think of God's power as we have been experiencing tornadoes and storms the past few days.

Psalm 29

 2 Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;
         Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
         
 3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
         The God of glory thunders; 
                 
 5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars,
         Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
 6 He makes them also skip like a calf,
         
 7 The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.
         
 8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
         
 9 The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth,
         And strips the forests bare;
         And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”
         
 10 The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood,
         And the LORD sits as King forever.
 11 The LORD will give strength to His people;
         The LORD will bless His people with peace.
***
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for Your great power, strength, and might. Thank You that no matter what happens to us, You are enthroned as King forever, that you give us strength, and we are blessed with Your peace. Bless each person who reads this note today; may they be blessed by You. In Jesus name, Amen.
 
* Plans call for Jamie to come home from the hospital on Saturday. Praise God; prayer for her continued healing!