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July 2008 Archives

Printable Issue 1347  Today is Tuesday, July 1st, 2008; Karen's Korner #1347
I am having fun as Wright County's "Hawk-Eye" reporter for the new "OUR IOWA" magazine. Recently all the county reporters met with Roy Reiman and the staff for a picnic. Roy has launched multiple magazines and has written a book titled "I Could Write a Book". Each of us received one of his autobiographies. In it, he has multiple sayings, which are his favorites.
 
There are so many good ones I might have to make another Karen's Korner from them another day:
 
 
"The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money."
 
"One person with courage is a majority."
 
"Many would like to move mountains, but few are willing to work on small hills."
 
"If you want to feel rich, count all the things money can't buy."
 
"People who are busy rowing seldom rock with boat."
 
"Some people treat religion like a spare tire--they never use it except in an emergency."
 
"Others will follow your footsteps quicker than your advice."
 
"Good things take time. Great things happen all at once."
 
"If you let your children grow without trimming their buds, don't expect many blossoms."
 
"It's important to make someone happy every day....even if it's yourself."
 
~~
Printable Issue 1348  Today is Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1348
When people share a thought or a pass along email with me, I like to acknowledge their names. This one I liked, but I can't recall who sent it to me. My apology to that person:

"Releasing Our Regrets"

"People who cover over their sins will not prosper.
But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy." (Proverbs 28:13, NLT)

How often do you play the "if only" game?

  If only I had it to do over.

  If only I had listened sooner.

  If only I could erase the past.

  If only I could forgive myself.

Because no one is perfect, we all have regrets. We've all made bad choices, said foolish things, wasted time, and hurt ourselves and others. How do you release those regrets? Here are some strategies that don't work:

WE BURY THEM. Burying the past doesn't work. Like creatures from a horror movie, unresolved regrets come back to haunt us over and over. Minimizing ("It wasn't a big deal"), rationalizing ("Everyone does it"), and compromising (lowering your standards) are ways we try to bury our regrets.

WE BLAME OTHERS. This tactic is as old as Adam and Eve. When Adam sinned, he took it like a man -- he blamed his wife! We use blame to balance out our guilt.

WE BEAT OURSELVES. We try to pay for our guilt unconsciously through illness, depression, setting ourselves up for failure, and other forms of self-punishment. The problem with beating up on yourself is this: your conscience never knows when to stop! Many spend their entire lives in self-condemnation.

What does God want me to do with my regrets?

  Admit my guilt -- Own up to it. Don't make excuses. The Bible says, "People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy" (Proverbs 28:13 NLT).

  Accept Christ's forgiveness -- He's waiting to clean your slate. Ask him to clear your conscience, and then remember "there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1 NLT).

  Forgive yourself and focus on the future -- "Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert" (Isaiah 43:18-19 HCSB).
 
****
Printable Issue 1349  Today is Thursday, July 3rd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1349
A person doesn't have to be in church or Sunday School very long until he/she hears about Jesus' first miracle at the wedding in Cana and his turning large jars of water into wine, after the guests' supply ran out.
 
If you want to look at the whole story, check it out in John 2:1 - 12; like Paul Harvey says, "You'll get the rest of the story", if you do!.
 
A portion, in verses 4 and 5, tells of Jesus' mother informing Him of the problem and her follow up to the servants:
 
"I can't help you now," Jesus said. "It isn't yet my time for miracles."
 
But his mother told the servants, "Do whatever he tells you to."
 
My Bible commentary on these short verses, in part:
 
"Mary was probably not asking Jesus to do a miracle but to help with this major dilemma and find some wine for the guests. Jesus answer to Mary is difficult to understand, but maybe that is the point. Although Mary did not understand what Jesus was going to do, she trusted him to do the right thing. Those who believe in Jesus but run into situations they cannot understand must continue to trust that he will work in the best way.
 
"Mary submitted to Jesus' way of doing things. She recognized that Jesus was more than her human son - he was the Son of God. When we bring our problesm to Christ, we may think we know how he should take care of them. But he may have a completely different plan. Like Mary, we should submit and allow him to deal with the problem as he sees best."
Printable Issue 1350  Today is Friday, July 4th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1350
Happy 4th of July !
 
America
 
My country, 'tis of thee,
sweet landof liberty,
of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!
 
My native country, thee,
land of the noble free,
thy name I love:
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills,
like that above.
 
Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees,
sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break,
the sound prolong.
 
Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty,
to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might,
great God, our King.
 
~~ by Samuel Smith, 1832
 
****
Printable Issue 1351  Today is Monday, July 7th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1351
I always like it when readers respond to some writing or thought; this is something forwarded to me by Melanie Maasdam regarding Karen's Korner #1347 about "Releasing Our Regrets". She gives credit to its author Chris Tiegreen:
 

“God never asked us to check the rearview mirror in order to lament about our shortcomings. We confessed when we came to Jesus that we were sinful failures, and He saved us. It’s time to move forward”.

"Philippians 3: 13 & 14. ….… Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Printable Issue 1352  Today is Tuesday, July 8th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1352
This is shared by former Clarion resident Deb (Mechem) Lange who now resides with her family in Colorado. In various versions, children tell what they know about the Bible. They tend to tell what adults would have a hard time making up.
 
The Children's Bible in a Nutshell
(through the eyes of a child!)
 
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible
says 'The Lord thy God is one', but I think He must be a lot older than that.
 
Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did. Then God made the world.
 
He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars. Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.
 
Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something. 
 
One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.
 
After Noah, came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.
 
Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharoah after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.
 
God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include:  don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor's stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more:  Humor thy farther and thy mother.
 
One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guys to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.
 
After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a sling shot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.
 
After Solomon there was a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.
 
After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn, too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I was.')
During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and Democrats. Jesus had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.
 
Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.
 
Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.
 

  

Printable Issue 1353  Today is Wednesday, July 9th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1353
An email writing by popular Christian writer Max Lucado: 

The Blacksmith's Shop

by Max Lucado

In the shop of a blacksmith, there are three types of tools. There are tools on the junk pile:
outdated, broken, dull, rusty.
They sit in the cobwebbed corner, useless to their master, oblivious to their calling.

There are tools on the anvil: melted down, molten hot, moldable, changeable. They lie on the anvil, being shaped by their master, accepting their calling.

There are tools of usefulness: sharpened, primed, defined, mobileThey lie ready in the blacksmith’s tool chest, available to their master, fulfilling their calling.

Some people lie useless:  lives broken, talents wasting, fires quenched, dreams dashed. They are tossed in with the scrap iron, in desperate need of repair, with no notion of purpose.

Others lie on the anvil:  hearts open, hungry to change, wounds healing, visions clearingThey welcome the painful pounding of the blacksmith’s hammer, longing to be rebuilt, begging to be called.

Others lie in their Master’s hands: well tuned, uncompromising, polished, productive. They respond to their Master’s forearm, demanding nothing, surrendering all.

We are all somewhere in the blacksmith’s shop. We are either on the scrap pile, in the Master’s hands on the anvil, or in the tool chest. (Some of us have been in all three.)

From the shelves to the workbench, from the water to the fire…I’m sure that somewhere you will see yourself.

Paul spoke of becoming “an instrument for noble purposes.” And what a becoming it is! The rubbish pile of broken tools, the anvil of recasting, the hands of the Master- it’s a simultaneously joyful and painful voyage.

And for you who make the journey—who leave the heap and enter the fire, dare to be pounded on God’s anvil, and doggedly seek to discover your own purpose—take courage, for you await the privilege of being called “God’s chosen instruments.”

Printable Issue 1354  Today is Thursday, July 10th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1354
I needed to make something for a family potluck over the fourth of July holiday. Angel food cake might be good. I had recently purchased a boxed mix. When I ripped open the package, I discovered it was a 'two step' mix; not the quicker and easier 'one step'.
 
Yuk! It's easier to make the one envelope, one step cake. For just a second, I thought about taking the mix back to the grocery store. But it's a seven-mile trip. Oh well, start reading the directions and get to work, I thought.
 
As I whipped the egg whites until they were stiff, I couldn't help but think about life in general. Sometimes we get something that we didn't have on our 'to do' list. Our job is to keep on mixing and baking!
 
Next, I poured in the flour packet and stirred it in as directed. Hmm, looking pretty good.
 
And the finished product? I think it might be better with a little more body and texture than the one I would have chosen had I read closer.
 
Sometimes life hands us something that we would 'just as soon return to the store' if we had our choice. Maybe we don't have the choice; can't have a 'do over'.
 
Give the situation to God; He can make delicious 'cake' out of something we didn't think we would like.
 
Father God, teach me. Guide me. Help me to be thankful when things come into my life, I would change if I could. Remind me to give everything to You. You can make something good out of things we falsely believe we won't like. Thank You for being the conductor, organizer, and creator of every life situation. In the name of Your Son Jesus who made something good out of every situation He encountered. Amen.
Printable Issue 1355  Today is Friday, July 11th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1355
One of my favorite devotional writers is the team of Joel and Victoria Osteen. I like to save my favorites of the daily devotional writings which I receive from them. I have trouble not saving them all!
 
Here is one that I liked; it may not be relevant for everyone, but someone who reads it today is going to need it and feel like it is written just for them:
 

He Is Attentive to Your Prayers

 “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), and His ears are attentive to their prayer…” (I Peter 3:12 AMP).

 
Do you ever wonder if the Lord hears your prayers? There is Good News today—this verse promises that He is attentive to the prayers of the righteous! If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and have asked Him to cleanse you of your past sins, then you are righteous by the blood of Jesus. God longs to show Himself strong on your behalf. Your prayers open the door for Him to move in your life. You can be sure that He is attentive and listening for your prayers. Keep standing, keep believing, and keep praying knowing that God is on your side. He hears you. He’s working behind the scenes and orchestrating things in your favor. Thank Him today for listening. Thank Him for making you righteous. As you stand in faith, you will see God move in your life. Don’t shrink back—move forward in confidence knowing that the eyes of the Lord are upon you, and He is attentive to your prayers!
 
 
Heavenly Father, thank You for making me righteous. Thank You for making me clean and new. Thank You for hearing my prayers today. I cast my cares and burdens on You knowing that You are working in my life today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1356  Today is Monday, July 14th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1356
(I will be at church camp from early this a.m. until later on Wednesday, Early Karen's Korner today, no KK tomorrow, late edition on Wednesday, and a KK on Saturday to make my five for the week!)
 
I had a 'to do' list made of things I needed to have done since I am going to be gone to church camp the first part of the week: hoe and weed a couple of my flower gardens was on the list. I had done a pretty good job of weeding the week before but hadn't paid too much attention to them since.
 
Saturday morning:  Weatherwise, it appeared to be the day to do any garden work. If I wait until I get home the later part of the week, some of the grasses would be almost impossible to pull out!  I couldn't afford to have the weeds get too big of a foothold.
 
As I pulled and whacked, I knew that if I thought I had more time, I would procrastinate........do only one small garden at a time, delay doing more until the next day. It is pretty hard to hoe wet soil, so I continued.
 
While I worked, I thought about my life and the lives others. Do we wait to do things because 'we probably have more time'? Do we 'allow little weeds' to grow into 'bigger weeds', making them much more difficult to 'hoe or pull  out'? Eventually weeds can be so big that if they are pulled, they nearly uproot the flowers or vegetables we want to have growing in our gardens.
 
Father in Heaven, thank You that You are the Master Gardener. Help me to see myself as You see me. Help me to remember how happy You are with me and how much You love and care for me and for each of Your children. I ask You to show me where the 'weeds' in my life are. Thank You that as we work in each of the gardens of our lives, not only will You show us the necessary 'weeding', You help with the weeding process. You tell us that 'we can do all things through You who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). We don't have to do anything alone. Thank You. Amen.
Printable Issue 1357  Today is Wednesday, July 16th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1357
Taken from a bookmark by Anne Graham Lotz of "Just Give Me Jesus" fame:
 
He guards the young.
He seeks the stray.
He finds the lost.
He guides the faithful.
He rights the wronged.
He avenges the abused.
He defends the weak.
He comforts the oppressed.
He welcomes the prodigal.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the dirty.
He beautifies the barren.
He restores the failure.
He mends the broken.
He blesses the poor.
He fills the empty.
He clothes the naked.
He satisfies the hungry.
He elevates the humble.
He forgives the sinner.
He raises the dead!
 
JUST GIVE ME JESUS!!
Printable Issue 1358  Today is Thursday, July 17th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1358
I received this devotional from JoAnne Schleck last month and liked it, but I put it in a file and just re-read it a day or so ago. The message is just as good, maybe even better a month later, as we continue to clean up places damaged by flooding. If it doesn't relate much to you, maybe you can forward it to a friend who has had difficulty with more water than they needed or wanted::
 
Through The Waters

June 17, 2008

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. Isaiah 43:2a

The brooks have become streams; the streams have been turned to creeks; the creeks are being transformed into rivers, and the rivers are covering homes and farms and cities. Much of the Midwest is flooded, and forecasters say the rivers will stay above flood stage into July.

This devotion is being written primarily for those of you who must stand helpless and watch a flood do damage, possibly permanent damage to your possessions, to your future and to your life. It is also written for anyone who feels helpless before life's surging setbacks.

At this moment, you may be asking, "Why?" You may be wondering, "What have I done to deserve this? It's like God doesn't care."

The answer to your questions can be found in the book of Isaiah. There the Lord says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you."

Understand, the Lord didn't say the waters won't come; He only promises those waters won't have the last word in your life. God doesn't say the rivers won't rise, but He does assure His believing children the torrents cannot overwhelm those who rely and believe in His love.

The same grace which was shown to us in the Bethlehem manger, on Calvary's cross and at Jesus' empty tomb remains with us right now. True, it may be hard to see, but it is there and will bring you through the waters.

Now, I realize that those words are easily spoken by someone whose house is high and dry. That's why, if you doubt me, I encourage you to listen to people who have been where you are now. In April 1997, residents of Grand Forks, North Dakota,. had to abandon their things to a rising river. Record snowfalls and record temperatures made for record flooding.

After the waters subsided the people began the laborious process of cleanup. That's when the people showed their faith the Lord was still with them. On signs, they let others know the Savior had brought them through the waters.

One home put out a placard that read: "BASEMENT APARTMENT, $10 A MONTH, INDOOR POOL...," Another said, "WE KNOW WE'RE BLESSED--PLEASE PRAY FOR RAIN WHERE PEOPLE NEED IT MORE." One said, "The LORD HAS TOLD US WE ARE NOT WHAT WE OWN."

We aren't what we own. What we are is people who have been redeemed by the Savior. The life of God's Son is what we're worth and no flood can wash that away.


THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for being there when I feel alone, my thanks. For helping me see what I am really worth, my gratitude. For showing me this is not the end, my everlasting appreciation. In Your Name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1359  Today is Friday, July 18th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1359
From a little booklet given to me by Gretta Bauman titled "A Thousand Things Went Right Today!" by Ilan Shamir and Kirs Baldwin:
 
The sun came up!
The flowers bloomed!
The car started and hummed with ease!
My elbow bent!
I walked, I breathed!
The door opened flawlessly!
 
Sure, a few things went amiss, awry!
And some days more than others....
Yet thousands of things are going well!
 
The birds sang!
The cat purred!
Special friends were happy to see me!
You are one of the VERY BEST things!
 
Thanks for ALL you do!
And for who you are!
 
Yes, A thousand things went right today!
They went right yesterday...
And they will go right tomorrow!!
 
***
Printable Issue 1360  Today is Saturday, July 19th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1360
(Filling in on Saturday for the day I missed for camp on Tuesday!)
 
The debate rages over who created the world, when, and how. Probably will continue as long as there is a world.
 
Remember the story from your childhood world history lessons of Christopher Columbus going to the King and Queen of Spain and explaining to them his theory of how the world might be round, not flat? Pretty radical thinking of the time!
 
I wonder if Columbus got some of his thoughts from the Bible? 
 
"He (God) sits enthroned above the circle of the earth......." (Isaiah 40:22)?
 
I wonder what people before some of Columbus' voyages thought that Bible verse meant?
 
I wonder how many more things are written in the Bible which are as true as the 'circle of the earth', but seem to be impossible or untrue to us today?
 
Later verses (28 - 31) on that same chapter of Isaiah have some remarkable encouragement for us:
 
"The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
 
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
 
He gives strength to the weary,
and increases the power of the weak.
 
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
 
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
 
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
 
~~
Printable Issue 1361  Today is Monday, July 21st, 2008; Karen's Korner #1361
Here is a good message from Joel and Victoria Osteen to begin your week:
 

Bring Out the Best

 

“Love is kind” (I Corinthians 13:4)

One translation of this simple verse says that, “Love looks for a way to be constructive.” In other words, love looks for ways to improve someone else’s life. Love brings out the best in other people. Don’t just get up in the morning thinking about yourself or how you can make your own life better. Think about how you can make someone else’s life better. Ask yourself, “Who can I encourage today?” “Who can I build up?” You have something to offer those around you that no one else can give. Someone in your life needs your encouragement. Someone in your life needs to know that you believe in them. I believe God will hold us responsible for the people He’s put in our lives. He’s counting on us to bring out the best in our family and friends. Are you improving the lives of those around you? Are you giving them confidence? Ask the Lord to give you creative ways to encourage those around you. As you sow seeds of encouragement and bring out the best in others, God will send people along your path that will build you up so that you can move forward into the blessing He has in store for you.

Father God, thank You for loving me. Thank You for believing in me and always building me up. I ask that You show me creative ways to encourage and build up the people around me. Help me be an example Your love today and always. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1362  Today is Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1362
My last week camp experience was cut short by a virus which swept through the camp and the campers; the likes people who have been invovled with the program for more than 30 years, had never seen.
 
But in that short time, I had the opportunity to meet people who I would like to briefly introduce to you:
 
There was lean, dark-skinned Rigel, who was born in India and left by the side of the road when he was two; to either be picked up by another famiy or to die. Someone came by! He was adopted and now lives with his family in southern Minnesota. Rigel was attending the fifth and sixth grade camp with his cousin who lives in Iowa.
 
Nancy was helping with the camp and was attending with her great-grandson. She has partial custody of him with her daughter (his grandma). Neither could assume full-custody when his single-parent mom was killed in an auto accident when this young camper was nearly nine months old.
 
Craig also was a camp helper; attending with his youngest of four children. Craig is currently pastoring two small churches and is on his way to Bible college in Moberly, Missouri this fall to get formal training; something Craig himself couldn't have imagined a dozen years ago......when alcohol was center stage of his life. While his life had taken lots of twists and turns, it really turned after he found that his wife had been embezzling church funds. Craig believed he had to turn her in the church leadership. His actions, and hers, resulted in his becoming the product of a divorce and assuming full custody of his children.
 
In my brief time at camp, I had to admire - not the life stories - but the redeeming nature of Jesus. People were there who needed to be adopted; sometimes into a physical family and other times into God's forever family. They were there because they needed another dose of God's Love. They were there because their lives were tattered and torn and needed to be restored. They were there because when life makes no sense, God says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6). They were there because they had 'found' something and they wanted to share it with someone special in each of their lives.
 
They were there because when life makes no sense; sometimes God is the only thing that makes any sense and He picks each of us up from along side of the road of life, dusts us off, reminds how much He loves us, and tells us, "There now, you can go again; just hold on to my hand. Let's go!"
Printable Issue 1363  Today is Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1363
Thanks for the response to my yesterday's Karen's Korner observations!
 
In sort of the same light, I would like to share a couple of the first verses of Isaiah 61, which were quoted by Jesus in Luke; as these words of prophecy were telling of Him. If you have the time, read even more of the verses in the chapter; they are good ones:
 
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor
and the day of vegeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion--
 
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair,
 
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
 
~~  Isaiah 61:1 - 3
 
***
Printable Issue 1364  Today is Thursday, July 24th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1364
This is today's daily devotional email from Shirley Choat. It is something I have been thinking about some lately:  God is so good at blessing us that we sometimes almost demand that He keep it up!
 
What about the times when we get somethng different than we want or think we should have? What about the time we are asked to give up something or someone we love or some material possession? Would we still be praising God? Would we still believe God is enough?
 
 
"I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, my LORD."
~~ Philippians 3:8
 
   Who ever heard of being glad to lose? We would rather rejoice in a winning team or personal gain.
 
   Paul found all joy in losing all he had so that Christ could have the victory in his life. He makes a list of the items he lost.
* Born into the Jewish faith, he was circumcised on the eighth day.
* He was of pure Hebrew ancestry.
* His family spoke Hebrew.
* As a Pharisee he earned respect by his careful use of the Law.
* His zeal for the Law of Moses led him to persecute the church.
* In terms of Pharisaic law he was blameless.
* He could build his confidence on the works of his flesh.
 
   All this changed when Paul met Jesus on the Damascus road.
 
* He knew Jesus to be Savior from sin by His redeeming life and death.
*He knew Jesus as LORD of his life who had forgiven him his grievous sins.
*All the honor he earned as a Pharisee he gives up as loss for the Christ he now knows.
 
   We may find it hard to lose everything for Christ. We clutch our material treasures with a firm grip. We hesitate to give up claim to our own worthiness. We pride ourselves in earning applause from the crowd.
 
     The true joy of life becomes ours when we count everything in life as loss because we know the worth of Christ, who gives Himself to us.
 
We think we have what matters most
Of what this life can give;
But when we yield it all to Christ,
We've just begun to live.
 
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:  When we have nothing left but Christ, we find that Christ is enough.
Printable Issue 1365  Today is Friday, July 25th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1365
Gretta Bauman enjoys reading things and then sharing them with me. I get the pleasure of passing a handful of them on to you!
 
Gretta gave me photocopies of several bookmarks, complete with some sayings. They are written by Ilan, but I can't make out the last name:
 
Advice from a Butterfly
 
Let Your True Colors Show
Get Out of Your Cocoon
Take Yourself Lightly
 
Look for the Sweetness in Life
Take Time to Smell the Flowers!
Catch a Breeze!
 
 
Advice from a Mountain
 
Reach New Heights
There is Beauty as far as the eye can see
Be Uplifting
 
Get to the Point
Enjoy the View!
 
***
 
 
And in an email from Gretta, something titled "Thoughts, thoughts, and more thoughts....."; probably not sound, hard facts........a bit of humor (a portion of the list):
 

* The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

* The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

* He who hesitates is probably right. 

* There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt .

* Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

* When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

Printable Issue 1366  Today is Monday, July 28th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1366
It was nine years ago today that our younger daughter Merry was killed in a car accident. One week before she died, she had emailed us this pass along. I only had saved about nine of her many emails, so I know that I have forwarded it another time.
 
At the bottom, it says to pass it along and return it to the one who sent it. I am not much of one to do that. I don't know if I sent it back to Merry or not.
 
As a salute, in her memory:
 
 " THE LITTLE GIRL IN THE PARK "

 There was this little girl one day sitting in the park.
 Everyone passed and never stopped to see why she looked so sad.
 Dressed in a worn pink dress, bare foot and dirty, the girl just
 sat and watched the people go by.

 She never tried to speak, she never said a word.

 Many people passed, but never did one person stop.  Just so
 happens  the next day I decided to go back to the park, in
 curiosity, to see if the little girl would still be there. Right
 in the very spot as she was yesterday she sat perched on high,
 with the saddest look in her eyes.

 Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little
 girl. For as we all know a park full of strange people is not a
 place for young children to play alone.

 As I got closer I could see the back of the little girl's dress
 was obscenely shaped. I figured that was a reason the people
 just passed by and made no effort to help.  Having deformities
 was a low blow to our society and, "heaven help you" if you make
 a step toward assisting someone who is different.

 As I got closer the little girl slightly lowered her eyes to
 avoid my intent stare. As I approached her, I could see the
 obscene shape of her back more clearly. It was grotesquely
 shaped in a humped over form.

 I smiled to let her know it was okay, I was there to help, to
 talk. I sat down beside her and opened with a simple "Hello".

 The little girl acted shocked and stammered a "Hi" after a long
 stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back. We
 talked till darkness fell and the park was completely empty.
 Everyone was gone and we at once were alone.

 I asked the girl why she was so sad.  The little girl looked at
 me and with a sad face said, "Because I'm different." I
 immediately said, "That you are!" and smiled. The little girl
 acted even sadder, she said, "I know."

 "Little girl," I said, "You remind me of an angel, sweet and
 innocent."

 She looked at me and smiled, slowly she got to her feet and
 said, "Really?"

 "Yes ma'am, you're like a little guardian angel sent to watch
 over all those people walking by."

 She shook her head yes and smiled, with that she spread her
 wings and said, "I'm your guardian angel, "with a twinkle in her
 eye.

 I was speechless...sure I was seeing things.  She said, "For
 once you thought of someone other than yourself, my job here is
 done."  I jumped to my feet and said, "Wait, so why did no one
 stop to help an angel?"

 She looked at me and smiled, "You're the only one that could see
 me, you believe, it's in your heart." And she was gone.

 And with that my life was changed dramatically.

 So, when you think you're all you have, remember, your angel is
 always watching over you. Pass this to everyone that means
 anything at all  to you... make sure you send it back to the
 person that sent it to you, to let  them know you're glad they
 care about you... like the story says, we all need someone.
 Every one of your friends is an angel in their own way.
 
***
Printable Issue 1367  Today is Tuesday, July 29th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1367
A short pass-along email from my sister Jill which she sent us yesterday:
 
"When God leads you to the edge of the cliff,
trust Him fully and let go,
only one of two things will happen,
 either He'll catch you when you fall,
or He'll teach you how to fly!
The power of one sentence! God is going to shift things around for you today 
and let things work in your favor."
 

It make me think of the Bible verses:
 
"He gives power to the tired and worn out,
and strength to the weak.
Even the youths shall be exhausted,
and the young men will all give up.
But they that wait upon 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 40:29 - 31 (LB)
 
**
Printable Issue 1368  Today is Wednesday, July 30th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1368
An email forwarded to me from Alice Hiles:
 

GODʼS ACCURACY

 

God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs.  For example, the

eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days; those of the canary in 14 days;

those of the barnyard hen in 21 days.  The eggs of ducks and geese hatch

in 28 days; those of the mallard in 35 days.  The eggs of the parrot and

the ostrich hatch in 42 days.  (Notice, they are all divisible by seven).

The lives of each of you may be ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way

for His glory, if you will only entrust Him with your life. If you try

to regulate your own life, it will only be a mess and a failure. Only

the One Who made the brain and the heart can successfully guide them

to a profitable end.

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant. The four legs of this

great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped

is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too

large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so

that it can rise from the ground easily. The horse rises from the ground

on its two front legs first. A cow rises from the ground with its two

hind legs first. How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as

well as in the number of grains. Each watermelon has an even number of

strips on the rind. Each orange has an even number of segments. Each

ear of corn has an even number of rows. Each stalk of wheat has an even

number of grains. Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even

number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an

even number and the next row an odd number. The waves of the sea roll in

on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather. All grains

are found in even numbers on the stalks, and the Lord specified

thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and a hundredfold - all even numbers.

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during

the day, so that Linneus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a

conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature,

he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and

those that were closed!

Thus the Lord in His wonderful grace can arrange the life that is

entrusted to His care in such a way that it will carry out His purposes

and plans, and will be fragrant with His presence. Only the God-planned

life is successful. Only the life given over to the care of the Lord is

safe.

 

* Auther unknown

 

~~

Printable Issue 1369  Today is Thursday, July 31st, 2008; Karen's Korner #1369
For the last few years, Jim and I have belonged to the EVERGREEN CLUB. We call it a poor man's bed and breakfast for senior citizens. We subscribe to a listing, giving us names and addresses of places where we can stay as we travel. We offer the same service to other Evergreen Club readers.
 
Last night, we had the privilege of hosting Carol from Arkansas who is on her way to visit friends in Minnesota. Like always we share stories from our lives.She with us; us with her.
 
Today is the day that her son, Joe, was killed in an auto accident at the age of 19. To add to Carol's life story, her other son, Matthew, lost his life at the age of three to a rare childhood illness. Life has a way of twisting and turning if we live long enough.
 
In the short time we have known Carol, we are finding that she not only survives; she thrives.
 
Because it is the anniversary date of her son's death, she decided to share with us a confirmation assignment of his from 1983, when he was 13 years old:
 
ETERNITY
 
On a dreary day in October, the sky opened up to the heavens. I sat and wondered why I was going to leave this earth of old dusty undergrowth. This covered everything on or near me. I was perhaps dead, unknown yet. All my life I was afraid of this time. Not even today would make an exception. My questions: Why me? How come today? Would I ever know? Why?
 
All this I could not answer. Even the true fact of how my death came I will never know.
 
The light that broke the black of smog shocked me so. I cannot begin to explain. Many a time life flashed before me, but in different ways. One time on eagle's set of wings. Another life just stopped. But now I could not handle it. It shown at me so as to say I was done, through, finished for the last "true" time.
 
I felt a whisp of air above me. All that possesed me was blown away. Forever. A new being was created. One that now will be taught the ways of life. Can it be LIFE taught man to be of mercy to the Almighty? Can it be said we are of a lesser quality also can we be even thought of being an imperfect soul? He will judge. Today for me.
 
As I am lifted by His caressing hand only to be hung in the luminous haze. As I ascend into the heavens, a voice speaks, "Will you serve the Almighty forever? Can you be trusted?" Then as I go to answer, a heart of loves pours red. Many a thought of hatred passed through. I cannot hold to His gripping hand over the majesty of below's powerful gust. My only hope is to confess all I have done wrong, to be granted my choice of places to go.
 
Overwhelmed, I have been appointed to the Eternal Home. I enter in a great procession of joy down a golden road lined by rejoicing souls. I look to my left, there sits a great gold cross enhanced with diamonds and other ravishing jewels. To my right, The Almighty and His everloving Son. Now, I understand the procession. I am now officially in his Majesty's temple house FOREVER.
 
~ Joe Beavers