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September 2008 Archives

Printable Issue 1391  Today is Monday, September 1st, 2008; Karen's Korner #1391
For Labor Day; a pass along email from Lavonne Isenberger:
 
  Life's Tug of War

Life can seem ungrateful ~ and not always kind...
Life can pull at your heartstrings ~ and play with your mind...
Life can be blissful ~ and happy and free...
Life can put beauty ~ in the things that you see...
Life can place challenges ~ right at your feet...
Life can make good ~ of the hardships we meet...
Life can overwhelm you ~ and make your head spin...
Life can reward those ~ determined to win...
Life can be hurtful ~ and not always fair...
Life can surround you ~ with people who care...
Life clearly does offer ~ its Ups and its Downs ...
Life's days can bring you ~ both smiles and frowns...
Life teaches us to take ~ the good with the bad...
Life is a mixture ~ of happy and sad...

SO...

Take the Life that you have ~ and give it your best...
Think positive, be happy ~ let God do the rest...
Take the challenges that life ~ has laid at your feet...
Take pride and be thankful ~ for each one you meet...
To yourself give forgiveness ~ if you stumble and fall...
Take each day that is dealt you ~ and give it your all...
Take the love that you're given ~ and return it with care...
Have faith that when needed ~ it will always be there...
Take time to find the beauty ~ in the things that you see...
Take life's simple pleasures ~ let them set your heart free...
The idea here is simply ~ to even the score...
As you are met and faced with ~ Life's Tug of War.

 
~~



Printable Issue 1392  Today is Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1392
I tend to pray, but not as much as I could or should. Lots of other things crowd that time alone with God; or with others. I don't know why I select so many other things instead.....
 
This is an email from Shirley Choat which she sent last fall:
 
 
"When you pray, enter into the closet, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father, which is in secret and your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you openly."
~~ Matthew 6:6
 
    We can pray anywhere. Peter prayed on the housetop; Paul prayed in prison; Daniel in the lion's den; Jonah in the stomach of the fish. As we hurry to our work this morning... in the factory, routine duties in the office, behind the sales counter.... our hearts can go out to God in true devotion.
 
   But it is well to have a little nook somewhere, a spot especially adapted to prayer. There is help in that, Isaac went out into the field to meditate, Daniel had his place where, upon return from the excitement of political life, he could kneel down and commune with God. Jesus had His mountain peaks where He could have undisturbed fellowship with God in prayer.
 
  We are certainly encouraged to tell our heavenly Father everything that is on our hearts, even things we would not feel free to reveal to our closest friends, like our heartaches, plans, and aspirations. But we are not to do all the talking. A conversation is a two-way communication. In quiet meditation, we ought to let God speak to us in His Word. It is in these moments He will guide and direct us with new thoughts, new impulses, new creative thinking. Our Heavenly Father will reward us openly. To others, it will become evident that we have contact with a dynamic power.
 
      Oh, help me, LORD, to take the time
      To set all else aside,
      That in the secret place of prayer
      I may with You abide.
 
 
~~~
Printable Issue 1393  Today is Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1393
"Oh give thanks to the Lord,
for He is good;
His lovingkindness continues forever."
 
~ Psalm 136:1
 
I am so blessed! All of the time!! Sometimes I feel (and think) more blessed than other times.
 
I am blessed:
 
** when I have opportunities to spend time with our grandchildren;
 
** when I get to pick up dirty socks which my husband has left on the television room floor;
 
** when I work in my gardens, enjoying our farm, flowers, and other beauty;
 
** that I have a measure of good health;
 
** when I have the chance to serve, work, and play with others;
 
** that I have the privilege of living in the country in which I live;
 
......and my list goes on!
 
Now it is your turn! What are some of the things that make you know, feel, or think about how blessed you are?
Let me know and we will turn in it into an upcoming Karen's Korner!
 
We are all so blessed!!
Printable Issue 1394  Today is Thursday, September 4th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1394
Forwarded from Kim Lee, via Rick Warren's 'Purpose Drive Life' email
 
Never Say Amen
by Jon Walker

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. Matthew 26:40 (NIV)

***

Read this devotional as a prayer:

Help me, Lord, to develop a strong prayer life. I know you desire intimacy with me, and you want me to watch with you and pray (Matthew 26:40).

Yet, I never seem to find the time to pray in a deep, fervent, consistent, persistent way. What draws me to my knees the most is when I have a problem, when I want something from you, when I need your help.

I’m flipping through my calendar, stressing with commitments, and you just want to hang out – with me. Help me turn my prayers into conversations with you that keep flowing throughout the day, an on-going communication where I never say “Amen.”

Keep me close to you, no matter what it takes. I’m not sure I really want to pray that; I have bruises and scars from “whatever it takes” discipleship, but, then again, I confess the crush of these moments have taught me to throw myself on the stone before the stone falls on me.

And that has moved me closer to the love that compels my obedience, closer to becoming one with your heart. So, I’m asking that you change me until my deepest want is to be with you.

With this I pray that you will create me worthy of my calling and that your power will fulfill every good purpose you plan for me and energize everything I do in faith.

My prayer is that your life will emerge in my face and in my hands, in my thoughts and in my words. I know your grace will make it so (paraphrase of 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, NIV).

***

Printable Issue 1395  Today is Friday, September 5th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1395
I attended a funeral several days ago of an older lady in our church; the 23rd Psalm was read. We hear it quite often in church; at funerals.
 
Today's Karen's Korner by Joel and Victoria Osteen uses the first couple of verses. Nothing is more attractive than to hear stories of people 'who have restored souls'. Nothing is more exciting than to know that we are recipients of that 'restored soul':
 
 
He Restores Your Soul
 
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul…” (Psalm 23:1-3).
 
God wants to restore your soul! Your soul is your mind, your will, and your emotions. You are a three-part being; you have a spirit - that the part of you that lives for eternity, you have a soul, and you have a body while you are here on eath. Your soul is where the enemy tries to wound you and hold you back. Your soul is where you may have brokenness from the past, or hurts and disappointments. When God restores your soul, He brings His healing power to those broken places. He makes you whole again. And when God restores you, He makes you better off than you were before! I love the picture painted in this verse. Notice that He leads us beside quiet waters. He makes us lie down in green pastures. This is a picture of rest. When we are resting in Him, He is able to do a work in our lives. He is able to bring that restoration. Don’t let the busyness of life keep you going so fast that you don’t stop and rest. Take time to be still before the Lord and meditate on His Word. As you do, He will restore and heal your soul, and you will live the life of victory God has planned for you!
 
Father God, thank You for another day to praise You Thank You for Your plan to lead me into rest so that You can restore my soul. I surrender my brokenness to You and open my heart to receive Your bealing in every area of my life today. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1396  Today is Monday, September 8th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1396
This was something emailed to me by a long-time friend from Montana, Judy Gallehon, including a wonderful photo of a single tree, open spaces, and framed by a sunset and a rainbow:
 
 
As we grow up,
we learn that one person who wasn't supposed to ever let us down
probably will.
 
We will have our hearts broken
probably more than once
and it's harder every time.
 
We'll break hearts too,
so remember how it felt when ours was broken.
 
We'll fight with our best friends.
We'll blame a new love
for things an old one did.
 
We'll cry because time is passing too fast,
and we'll eventually lose someone we love.
 
So we need to
take too many pictures,
laugh too much,
and love like we've never been hurt
because every sixty seconds
we spend upset
is a minute of happiness
we will never get back.
 
DON'T BE AFRAID THAT LIFE WILL END,
BE AFRAID THAT IT WILL NEVER BEGIN!
 
~~
Printable Issue 1397  Today is Tuesday, September 9th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1397
Sharing a few of the responses of 'blessings' that Karen's Korner readers emailed. Originally, I had planned for one Karen's Korner; there will be two - too many for one! And I was going to identify who sent them, but some are similar or the same. And several sent more than one, all the better:
 

I am so blessed...

(written by Karen's Korner readers)

 

.... when I see clusters of red raspberries, bunches of red cherry tomatoes, golden apples, yellow banana peppers, purple plumbs....hanging on branches, just waiting to be picked and eaten.. 

 

... when I get up in the morning, go outside and breathe in the fresh air, and hear the bubbling fountain in the rock garden.

 

.... because my children know Jesus as their Saviour..

 

.....because I can get up everyday to go to work .

 

....  with many, many friends.

 

..... to bake for my  family and church family.

 

......as a widow, I have family who cares about me, and I about them.  

 

...... to be able to share responsibilities in the Lord's house.
 
.......to have my parents, family, spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, children, my job.
 
.... when I go through difficult times.
 
...... to be able to live where I can see the crops and livestock grow, change, develop, and now participate in the harvest of the bouny..
 
.... because God is So -o-o-oo good!!!!
 
~
 
"...give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations."
 
~~Psalms 100:5b,6
 
 
Printable Issue 1398  Today is Wednesday, September 10th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1398
(No Karen's Korner tomorrow, as we will be gone; look for #1399 and #1400 on Friday and Saturday respectively!)
 
We got home from church on Sunday and I began to make dinner. It included peas.
 
When I picked up the can from the cupboard, it felt too light and sloshy. I cut open the can and drained it. Lots of liquid. About three large tablespoons of peas were left in the strainer.
 
What happened? I didn't get what I had wanted!
 
As I looked at my 'less than enough' servings of vegetables, I thought about our lives with Christ or without Him!
 
Without Him, there is some substance. The can might even look good, but there is a lot missing. Bunches of 'stuff' that needs to be poured down the drain.
 
With Him, He adds to the missing ingredients stored in the can. We might look the same on the outside. But the inside is completely changed. Filled up!
 
Thanks be to Him who restores, remakes and refills us!
 
"So you have everything when you have Christ,
and you are filled with God through your union with Christ.
He is the highest Ruler, with authority over every other power."
 
~~ Colossians 2:10
 
**
Printable Issue 1399  Today is Friday, September 12th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1399
Good soldiers are not afraid to suffer
II Timothy 2:1 - 7
Written by Paul
 
"Oh, Timothy, my son,
be strong with the strength Christ Jesus gives you.
For you must teach others those things
you and many others have heard me speak about.
Teach these great truths to trustworthy men who will,
in turn, pass them on to others.
 
Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ,
just as I do,
and as Christ's soldier do not let yourself become tied up in worldly affairs,
for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army.
 
Follow the Lord's rules for doing his work,
just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize.
 
Work hard, like a farmer who gets paid well if he raises a large crop.
Think over these three illustrations, and may the Lord help you to understand how they apply to you."
 
**
Bible commentary:  If the church consistently followed this advice, it would expand geometrically as well-taught believers would teach others and commission them, in turn, to teach still others. Disciples need to be equipped to pass their faith on; our work is not done until new believers are telling others the Good News they have learned.
 
Soldiers, athletes, and farmers all must discipline themselves and be willing to sacrifice to achieve the results they want. Any suffering is made worthwhile by our goal of glorifying God, winning people to Christ, and one day living eternally with Him.
 
~~~
Printable Issue 1400  Today is Saturday, September 13th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1400

Another Karen's Korner milestone; one that ends in '00'! Since Monday, March 3, 2003 , the five-day-per-week korners continue. Thanks for adding to, aiding me, and continuing to read and enjoy them; thanks for the memories and your encouragement to 'keep on, keeping on'! This all part of God's blessings....

 

Part 2 of 'blessings':

 

I am so blessed...

(written by Karen's Korner readers)

 

..... when I'm hanging white sheets on the line and look up to see a blue sky.

 

.... because I have a loving, caring family.  

 

 ...... because we are (going to be) grandparents

 

.....  because I have lived to enjoy my grandchildren

and now, great grandchildren.

 I'm blessed that they will have known me as their grandmother

 and we've shared together.

 

... when our grandchildren get together (they live far apart)

  and really enjoy each other's company.

 

..... because I have (had) wonderful Christian parents 

 

......  for my parents listening to me practice for hours on the piano and

for Mom taking me to piano lessons every week. 

 

... for the enjoyment of being able to grow beautiful flowers.

 

.... because I feel good and have relatively good health as I age.

 

... because we have pets which we enjoy every day.

 

....  to know Karen Weld-as she brings the Word of God each day via e-mail.

Sometimes it's the only time of the day that I really stop and think

about the Lord as I should.

 

.... that I have Karen's Korner readers who share and care that Jesus is an

'Everyday God'!

 

.... because of what Jesus did on the cross for me!!

 

 ..... because I know I will be spending eternity with Jesus. 
I'm blessed!
 
****
 
"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord."
 
~~ Psalm 150:6
 
~~
Printable Issue 1401  Today is Monday, September 15th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1401
Today's Karen's Korner is from a daily email devotional wirtten by Joel and Victoria Osteen, who have a 40,000 membership church in Houston, Texas. I heard Joel being interviewed on the radio in the middle of last week. He was preparing his sermon for Sunday, but didn't know if they would have church or not, due to Hurricane Ike coming into their area. Don't know if Lakewood Church met or not.
 
Let's keep that area and its residents in our prayers as they untangle from the storm of the past few days.
 
This devotional talks about 'favor'; sometimes we learn the most and grow the most when 'storms' come into our lives:
 

Appointed Favor

“For we are God's handiwork, recreated in Christ Jesus, that we may do those good works which God predestined for us, taking paths which He prepared ahead of time, that we should walk in them, living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live” (Ephesians 2:10).

 

God has already prepared paths for you to take in your future! When God laid out the plan for your life, He lined up the right people, the right circumstances, and the right breaks. In your future, He’s already released favor, supernatural opportunities, and divine connections. The breaks you need in life have already been preordained to come across your path. If you will stay in faith and go out each day and be a person of excellence, you’ll walk into these appointments of favor. It will be just as if you stumbled into God’s blessings! When you really understand this principal, you’ll begin to get excited about every single day! You’ll have a spring in your step as you think about what blessing is coming next! It could be today. It could be tomorrow. It could be next week. Keep expecting. Keep believing. Stay focused on the fact that God has already released into your future everything you need to fulfill your destiny. Start declaring seasons of increase over your life. Declare that the favor is on you and opportunities are coming. As you do, you’ll move forward into the favor and blessing God has ordered for you!

 

Heavenly Father, thank You for setting up a good life for me. Thank You for ordering good things for my future. Help me to understand Your goodness more so that I can trust You and follow Your path for me all the days of my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Printable Issue 1402  Today is Tuesday, September 16th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1402
Take from a study book "Preparing for Battle" on battles with Satan by Mark Bubeck; sub-heading 'The Way to Victory' (in part}. Bible verses surrounding the authors comments were taken from Romans 6:
 
 
Either we are slaves to sin and Satan by default,
or we can choose to be slaves of righeousness and Christ.
 
Our flesh demands the 'right to choose'
how we live, what we do,
who we become, where we go,
who we partner with.
 
Choice is touted as the ultimate freedom,
so we always seek to expand the array of choices from which to choose.
From ice cream flavors
to ethics and morality,
our sinful flesh cries out for and demands more and more choice.
 
But infinite choice is not freedom
It is bondage.
It requires ceaseless sifting, examining, debating, weighing, and guessing.
It yields confusion and error.
It weighs on us and slows us down,
diverting our energies and distracting our minds.
In the end, we usually choose wrong solutions.
 
There is only one choice that yields peace -
choosing Christ.
Then, in Him, we can rest and trust and follow.
Who better than God to determine all aspects of our lives?
 
~~
Printable Issue 1403  Today is Wednesday, September 17th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1403
A handful of one-line sayings published in Roy Reiman's book "I Could Write a Book.......". Reiman is the originator of such popular magazines as Farm & Ranch Living, Farm Wife News,Country, and most recently Our Iowa:
 
 
** Slow down - the thing you're rushing to
may not be as important
as the thing you're passing by.
 
** To love and be loved
is to feel the love from both sides.
 
** The good deeds we do
live long after us.
 
** What kind of house you're living in
is less important
than what kind of you
is living in the house.
 
** No matter how much you nurse a grudge,
it won't get better.
 
** If you want to stay youthful,
stay useful.
 
** Nothing lasts forever.....
even your troubles.
 
** People doubt what you say
and believe what you do.
 
** A compliment is
verbal sunshine.
 
** Thank God every morning
you have something to do
which must be done,
whether you like it or not.
 
~~~~
Printable Issue 1404  Today is Thursday, September 18th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1404
Several verses about Jesus appearing behind locked doors to his disciples after His resurrection. Two had seen Jesus and they were telling the others:
 
LUKE 24:36 - 42
 
"And just as they were telling about it,
Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them,
and greeted them.
But the whole group was terribly frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
 
"Why are you frightened?" he asked.
"Why do you doubt that it is really I?
Look at my hands! Look at my feet!
You can see that it is I, myself!
Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost!
For ghosts don't have bodies, as you see that I do!"
 
As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see (the marks of nails),
and showed them (the wounds) his feet.
 
Still they stood there undecided, filled with joy and doubt.
 
Then he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?"
 
They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
and he ate it as they watched!"
 
~~
 
The disciples were both awed and afraid; this Guy they knew, was doing even more amazing things than they could imagine. They couldn't believe what they were hearing and seeing.
 
Jesus appeared in their midst, calmed their fears, and asked them for something as daily as ' getting something to eat'!
 
Is there anything in our lives which causes us concern today? Elections? Economies? Jobs? Health? Relationships? Or?
 
Jesus wants to do for us, what He did for the disciples:  He comes to us and through the voice of His Spirit within us and says, "Trust Me. I have everything under control."
 
Our job? Do what He tells us. Then go get something to eat.......
Printable Issue 1405  Today is Friday, September 19th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1405
A devotional written by college student Kathryn Larmore; her writings and those of twelve other college students are published in a daily devotional book titled, "Faith Prints":
 
Forgive Yourself
 
"So he (Zaacchaeus) ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him (Jesus)."
~ Luke 19:4
 
"Jesus, how could I possibly follow you? If I decided to lead a Christian life, I would surely fail to measure up."
 
"Zac, I have already forgiven your shortcomings. And because I forgive you, you can forgive yourself. Come down from the high tree of alienation from God and other people. God's pardon wipes out the past. The marks of the past may remain, but they become a reminder of redeeming grace. I can raise you to great heights by giving you a new life in me."
Printable Issue 1406  Today is Monday, September 22nd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1406
We had the opportunity to have our three-year-old granddaughter Molly stay with us for the weekend. Typically, we don't have one by himself/herself. So this was a real treat to get to know Molly on her own!
 
Barely three, Molly is petite and a bundle of action and energy. Lots of thoughts and will try to convince you that her way is the best one if she can; filled with sweetness (well, most of the time!).
 
On Saturday, while we were making tiny cookies for several upcoming tea parties in our future, Molly said, "My mom loves me. And I love her!" And then she went back to chopping up the frozen hunks of cookie dough.
 
As we driving to church and Sunday, about two miles from our home, I heard this little voice from the back seat come from out of the silence, "Grandma, I just love you!"
 
"And I love you, Molly. You are grandma's little sweetheart!"
 
Who taught Molly about love and to express it? I'd guess it was probably her mom, dad, and family. She knows what people have told her and shown her. Maybe some of it is something that God just packed into Molly and all of His Children......an inate capacity for giving and receiving love.
 
Makes no difference: we all have a big dimension for love and being loved. It's part of God's plan!! Whether we have done much to deserve it or not, we are loved!
 
Might be a good day to give ourselves a hug!!
 
I John 4:7 - 16 (in part):
 
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God......God showed his love among us.
He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
This is love; not that we loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
 
Dear friends, since God loved us,
we also ought to love one another.......
God is love.
 
~~~
Printable Issue 1407  Today is Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008; Karen's Korner #1407
Taken from the study by Mark Bubeck "Preparing for Battle", as the study looks at the armor God gives 'His soldiers'.
 
One of the pieces of armor is the "Shield of Faith". Faith gives us:
 
F = Forgiveness of sin
A - Assurance of salvation
I = Identification in God's family
T = Triumph over Satan
H = Hope of deliverance
 
***
 
"What is faith?
It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen.
It is the certainity that what we hope for is waiting for us,
even though we cannot see it up ahead."
 
~~ HEBREWS 11:1
 
~~~
Printable Issue 1408  Today is Wednesday, September 24th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1408
An email devotional by Rick Warren of "The Purpose Driven Life:" fame; forwarded to me by Kim Lee::
 
Servants Make Themselves Available
by Rick Warren

No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:4 (NASB)

*** *** *** ***

Real servants make themselves available to serve. Servants don’t fill up their time with other pursuits that could limit their availability. They want to be ready to jump into service when called on.

Much like a soldier, a servant must always be standing by for duty: “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4 NASB).

If you only serve when it’s convenient for you, you’re not a real servant. Real servants do what’s needed, even when it’s inconvenient.

Are you available to God anytime? Can he mess up your plans without you becoming resentful? As a servant, you don’t get to pick and choose when or where you will serve.

Being a servant means giving up the right to control your schedule and allowing God to interrupt it whenever he needs to.

If you will remind yourself at the start of every day that you are God’s servant, interruptions won’t frustrate you as much, because your agenda will be whatever God wants to bring into your life. Servants see interruptions as divine appointments for ministry and are happy for the opportunity to practice serving.

****

Printable Issue 1409  Today is Friday, September 26th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1409
(Sorry for the no Karen's Korner yesterday, I had computer problems. If I can get this one through to you, watch for #5 for the week tomorrow!)
 
Two poems written by Karleen Kos and published in a book titled "FAITH PRINTS". It is a daily devotional written by 13 youth. Karleen is one of the featured writers:
 
GOING PLACES
 
"The God who made the world and everything in it is
the Lord of heaven and earth
and does not live in temples built by hands."
~~ Acts 17:24
 
With the Lord in your life
You can go up the wall,
or down the line,
over your budget,
or under your size,
across the country,
or around the world,
off your rocker,
or on your deathbed,
And He will always be there to help.
 
***
 
WHEN I SEE JESUS
 
"He is not far from each one of us."
~~~ Acts 17:27
 
 
When I see only darkness,
Jesus give light.
 
When I'm stuck on the ground,
Jesus gives flight.
 
If I feel like I'm losing,
Jesus gives gain.
 
If I see only stubble,
Jesus gives grain.
 
When I'm ready to fall,
Jesus gives rope.
 
When my life brings me sorrow,
Jesus gives hope.
 
***
Printable Issue 1410  Today is Saturday, September 27th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1410
One day this week I caught portions of an OPRAH show. It featured Suzie Orman as she talked about money matters in light of our national economy. She talked with people who were making good financial decisions and those who weren't doing so well.
 
As I said, I only caught bits and pieces, but one couple had $95,000 in credit card debt. They mentioned credit card companies, obtaining cards too easy, how hard it was to make payments if interest rates were raised or there were late fees added.
 
Orman stopped their comments and said, "You are not a victim. These are most freeing words: 'I admit (we) made a mistake!'" She said while the things the couple was saying were perhaps true, it wasn't the whole problem. Until they were willing to say they were part of the problem, they couldn't learn from their contribution to it and they would be unable to make the needed changes.
 
So it is with the crisis in our economy! It is time for us to stop saying, "It is the fault of the Congress (past and present), President Bushes, Clinton (or those even farther back), Democrats, Republicans, Wall Street, or Main Street.
 
The Bible says, "Owe no one anything...." (Romans 13:8 RS).
 
As Americans, collectively we are in debt to everyone.
 
And as our Oprah friends were taught, now they (we) have to begin the process of making needed changes to correct our spending and borrowing problems collectively. Unfortunately, if it took them (and us) years to get where we are financially, it won't be fixed quickly for us either.
 
Who is blame for the financial problems of our economy?
 
We all are; I am.
Printable Issue 1411  Today is Monday, September 29th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1411
After a Bible study group last fall, Chris, a classmate, gave everyone a Bible which was written in chronological order, as events happened in history. The Book starts with Genesis and ends with Revelation.It is divided into segments so that the reader can read about fifteen minutes each day and read the entire book in one year.
 
While a person reads a portion of Genesis on January 1st, on January 4th, we are instructed to include a few verses from I Chronicles as well. From January 5th until January 17th, the book invites readers to read the book of Job. At the beginning of each new book of the Bible, it tells why that particular book is set in time where it is.
 
There are 39 books of the Old Testament; 27 books in the New Testament. Obviously, the Old comes before the New. So what stage of the year, does the reader switch from the one to the other? 
 
Yesterday, September 28! Doesn't that surprise you that the Old Testament takes that much of the year (almost nine months) and the New Testament will take only three?
 
Last night I called a former English teacher, Lorraine Young, on how a good novel is written and put together. She said the writer spends the beginning of the book setting the stage and forming the plot, on the way to the climax. "The climax is the high point of the story," she said. "That usually takes 3/4 of the book. Next comes the denouement, or the solution, after the climax. In that portion of the novel or story, the problems are solved rather quickly, before we get to the end of the book."
 
Looks like the Bible is right on target. The stage has been set in the Old Testament in the first 3/4 of the book. Now, I am on my way through the denouement and resolution in the next couple of months ahead, on my way to the end of the story in December.
 
Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, sets the stage for the New Testament by the writer, Malachi. "Watch now," the Lord Almighty declares, "the day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace.....But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out of pasture." (chapter 4:1,2).
 
The number of years between the words of Malachi and the first ones written in the New Testament? (What I read yesterday - Luke, chapter 1)?
 
400 years!!
 
God is never in a hurry!! But He always does what He tells us He is going to do........in His time!
 
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You that You are the great Creator, Ruler, God. Thank You that You allowed Your writers to pen the story of Your Love, Grace, and Future Kingdom. Thank You that You have set the stage for our lives and for our futures; that You gives us Hope and Help, which You have for past generations. You continue to do that for each one who follows You. In the Name of Your Son Jesus who was part of the plan from the beginning. Amen.
Printable Issue 1412  Today is Tuesday, September 30th, 2008; Karen's Korner #1412
Here is something that I have had in a computer file for a long time. It is pretty long for a Karen's Korner, but it is a good one!
 
The Wallet
By Arnold Fine

As I walked home one freezing day, I stumbled on a
wallet someone had lost in the street. I picked it up and
looked inside to find some identification so I could call
the owner. But the wallet contained only three dollars and
a crumpled letter that looked as if it had been in there for years.

The envelope was worn and the only thing that was
legible on it was the return address. I started to open
the letter, hoping to find some clue. Then I saw the
dateline - 1924.
The letter had been written almost sixty years earlier.
It was written in a beautiful feminine handwriting, on
powder-blue stationery with a little flower in the left-
hand corner. It was a "Dear John" letter that told the
recipient, whose name appeared to be Michael, that the
writer could not see him any more because her mother
forbade it. Even so, she wrote that she would always love
him. It was signed Hannah.

It was a beautiful letter, but there was no way,
except for the name Michael, to identify the owner. Maybe
if I called information, the operator could find a phone
listing for the address on the envelope.

"Operator," I began, "this is an unusual request. I'm
trying to find the owner of a wallet that I found. Is
there any way you can tell me if there is a phone number
for an address that was on an envelope in the wallet?"
She suggested I speak with her supervisor, who
hesitated for a moment, then said, "Well, there is a phone
listing at that address, but I can't give you the number."
She said as a courtesy, she would call that number, explain
my story and ask whoever answered if the person wanted her
to connect me.
 
 I waited a few minutes and then the
supervisor was back on the line.
"I have a party who will speak with you."
I asked the woman on the other end of the line if she
knew anyone by the name of Hannah. She gasped. "Oh! We
bought this house from a family who had a daughter named
Hannah. But that was thirty years ago!"

"Would you know where that family could be located now?" I asked.
"I remember that Hannah had to place her mother in a
nursing home some years ago," the woman said. "Maybe if
you got in touch with them, they might be able to track down the daughter."

She gave me the name of the nursing home, and I called
the number. The woman on the phone told me the old lady
had passed away some years ago, but the nursing home did
have a phone number for where the daughter might be living.
I thanked the person at the nursing home and phoned
the number she gave me.
The woman who answered explained
that Hannah herself was now living in a nursing home.
'This whole thing is stupid,' I thought to myself.
'Why am I making such a big deal over finding the owner of
a wallet that has only three dollars and a letter that is
almost sixty years old?'

Nevertheless, I called the nursing home in which
Hannah was supposed to be living, and the man who answered
the phone told me, "Yes, Hannah is staying with us."
Even though it was already 10 P.M., I asked if I could
come by to see her. "Well," he said hesitatingly, "if you
want to take a chance, she might be in the day room
watching television."

I thanked him and drove over to the nursing home. The
night nurse and a guard greeted me at the door. We went up
to the third floor of the large building. In the day room,
the nurse introduced me to Hannah. She was a sweet,
silver-haired old-timer with a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye.
I told her about finding the wallet and showed her the
letter. The second she saw the powder-blue envelope with
that little flower on the left, she took a deep breath and
said, "Young man, this letter was the last contact I ever had with Michael."

She looked away for a moment, deep in thought, and
then said softly, "I loved him very much. But I was only
sixteen at the time and my mother felt I was too young.
Oh, he was so handsome. He looked like Sean Connery, the actor.
"Yes," she continued, "Michael Goldstein was a
wonderful person. If you should find him, tell him I think
of him often. And," she hesitated for a moment, almost
biting her lip, "tell him I still love him. You know," she
said, smiling as tears welled up in her eyes, "I never did
marry. I guess no one ever matched up to Michael..."

I thanked Hannah and said good-bye. I took the
elevator to the first floor and as I stood by the door, the
guard there asked, "Was the old lady able to help you?"
I told him she had given me a lead. "At least I have
a last name. But I think I'll let it go for a while. I
spent almost the whole day trying to find the owner of this wallet."
I had taken out the wallet, which was a simple brown
leather case with red lacing on the side. When the guard
saw it, he said, "Hey, wait a minute! That's Mr.
Goldstein's wallet. I'd know it anywhere with that bright
red lacing. He's always losing that wallet. I must have
found it in the halls at least three times."
"Who's Mr. Goldstein?" I asked, as my hand began to shake.
"He's one of the old-timers on the eighth floor.
That's Mike Goldstein's wallet for sure. He must have lost it on one of his walks."

I thanked the guard and quickly ran back to the
nurse's office. I told her what the guard had said. We
went back to the elevator and got on. I prayed that Mr.
Goldstein would be up.
On the eighth floor, the floor nurse said, "I think
he's still in the day room. He likes to read at night.
He's a darling old man."

We went to the only room that had any lights on, and
there was a man reading a book. The nurse went over to him
and asked if he had lost his wallet. Mr. Goldstein looked
up with surprise, put his hand in his back pocket and said,
"Oh, it is missing!"
"This kind gentleman found a wallet and we wondered if it could be yours."
I handed Mr. Goldstein the wallet, and the second he
saw it, he smiled with relief and said, "Yes, that's it!
It must have dropped out of my pocket this afternoon. I
want to give you a reward."
"No, thank you," I said. "But I have to tell you
something. I read the letter in the hope of finding out
who owned the wallet."
The smile on his face suddenly disappeared. "You read
that letter?"
"Not only did I read it, I think I know where Hannah is."

He suddenly grew pale. "Hannah? You know where she is? How is she?
Is she still as pretty as she was? Please, please tell me," he begged.

"She's fine...just as pretty as when you knew her," I said softly.

The old man smiled with anticipation and asked, "Could
you tell me where she is? I want to call her tomorrow."
He grabbed my hand and said, "You know something, mister?
I was so in love with that girl that when that letter came,
my life literally ended. I never married. I guess I've always loved her."

"Michael," I said, "come with me."
We took the elevator down to the third floor. The
hallways were darkened and only one or two little night
lights lit our way to the day room, where Hannah was sitting alone, watching the television.
The nurse walked over to her.
"Hannah," she said softly, pointing to Michael, who
was waiting with me in the doorway. "Do you know this man?"
She adjusted her glasses, looked for a moment, but
didn't say a word.

Michael said softly, almost in a whisper, "Hannah,
it's Michael. Do you remember me?"

She gasped. "Michael! I don't believe it! Michael!
It's you! My Michael!"

He walked slowly toward her, and they embraced. The
nurse and I left with tears streaming down our faces.
"See," I said. "See how the good Lord works! If it's meant to be, it will be."

About three weeks later, I got a call at my office
from the nursing home. "Can you break away on Sunday to
attend a wedding? Michael and Hannah are going to tie the knot!"

It was a beautiful wedding, with all the people at the
nursing home dressed up to join in the celebration. Hannah
wore a light beige dress and looked beautiful. Michael
wore a dark blue suit and stood tall. They made me their best man.
The hospital gave them their own room, and if you ever
wanted to see a seventy-six-year-old bride and a seventy-
nine-year-old groom acting like two teenagers, you had to see this couple.

A perfect ending for a love affair that had lasted
nearly sixty years.
 
~~