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July 2009 Archives

Printable Issue 1603  Today is Wednesday, July 1st, 2009; Karen's Korner #1603
A couple of sentences from the Bible; who can beat God's words which are many times short, complete and to the point?
 
"For who do you know that really knows YOU,
knows your heart?
And even if they did,
is there anything they would discover in you
that you could take credit for?
 
Isn't everything you HAVE
and everything you ARE
sheer gifts from God?
 
So what's the point of all this comparing
and competing?
 
You already have all you need.
You already have more access to God than you can handle...
You're sitting on top of the world -
at least God's world -
and we're right there,
sitting alongside you!
 
~ I Corinthians 4:7 - 8
written by the Apostle Paul
 
**
 
The 'we' Paul was referring to was Apollos and himself.
What a mental picture:
You, me, our friends, relatives, Paul, Apollos...
All sitting on top of God's world.....
Regardless of our situation and circumstances!!
 
**
Printable Issue 1604  Today is Thursday, July 2nd, 2009; Karen's Korner #1604
I have been thinking a lot about the shooting tragedy which occurred in Parkersburg a week ago last Wednesday.
 
For any Karen's Korner readers outside of Iowa or who may not have heard otherwise: Long-time football coach Ed Thomas, who has had one of the most successful careers in high school history and who currently has four of his former players currently playing in the NFL, was shot and killed by Mark Becker, a 24-year-old and former player.
 
The town of less than 2,000 residents and the state of Iowa are in shock and mourning at such a senseless tragedy. More than 2500 people attended Coach Thomas' funeral a couple of days ago.
 
People nationwide are 'there' for the Thomas family.
 
But my mind has been focused the past few days on the Becker family. What about them? I don't know much about their family. But I know the both families attend the same church. Probably live in the Parkersburg area as well.
 
What must mom and dad, grandparents, any siblings be thinking, feeling, and doing in light of what a son, grandson, or brother has done?
 
I know our family story is different but I would like to share something which has happened to us.
 
My sister has a son who lived with a gal for several years. They had a baby but the relationship did not survive. For a period of time my nephew and the child's mom shared custody of the baby. Then it became child support and weekend visits for Tom and his young daughter.
 
The arrangement continued until the daughter became a pre-teen. Tom was invited to the doctor's office where the physician announced that there was no biological way that the daughter could be his child. His rare blood type and hers made it 100% impossible for him to be her father.
 
After a series of court hearings and legal wranglings, Tom was rendered completely out of her young life.
 
Knowing the tragedy of us losing our daughter Merry, my sister told me a few weeks or months later, "When you lost Merry, you had all kinds of people around you. They were there for you and you could lean on them. You had a cemetery where you could go."
 
Jan continued, "I just lost my granddaughter. I don't have any of those things. Where does this grandmother go to grieve?"
 
The Parkersburg story and our story aren't the same.
 
But it is similar. Two families are grieving. One family is probably receiving more support than the other.
 
Let's pray for both of them......
Printable Issue 1605  Today is Friday, July 3rd, 2009; Karen's Korner #1605
Taken from "An Invitation to PRAYER to Mothers (could be Fathers too!):
 
JOY
 
"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in
My love, just as I have kept
My Father's commandments and abide in His
love. These things I have spoken to you, that My
joy may remain in you,
and that your joy may be full."
 
~ John 15:10 - 11
 
**
 
Father, the joy that You give me is so wonderful. Help me to live in such a way that Your joy will remain in my heart and life every day. Fill me to overflowing that I may tell everyone of Your never-ending love and praise You for all the gifts of mercy and grace Your so generously give me. Amen.
 
***
Printable Issue 1606  Today is Monday, July 6th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1606
 
Last Friday's inspirational thought from Joel and Victoria Osteen; as we celebrate(d) Independence Day. We need to celebrate 'freedom' every day; not just on a 'holiday':
 

Celebrate Your Freedom

"You have been set free from sin…"
(Romans 6:18, NIV)

This weekend, we celebrate Independence Day in America. July 4, 1776 was the day America declared independence from Britain, but the battle for freedom went on until 1783—seven years later. Even though the people declared their freedom in 1776, they had to stand and fight for many years before the British would accept and recognized the United States of America.

In the same way, we have to declare our freedom and determine to stand against the opposing forces in our lives. We have to declare our freedom from addiction, poverty, sickness, and lack. We have to stand and fight until we fully experience that freedom and peace that God has promised.

I love what the early colonists did once they signed the Declaration of Independence. They read it out loud in public. They published it in the newspaper. They spread the word. They continued to declare and celebrate even though they were in the midst of the battle.

Whatever battle you may be facing today, declare that you are free. Declare that you are an overcomer. Celebrate the victory that is on its way! As you stand strong and celebrate your freedom, you will experience His victory and true freedom all the days of your life!

Heavenly Father, thank You for setting me free in every area of my life. I declare today that nothing can hold me back. I declare that I am free from sickness, poverty, lack, and addiction. I declare that You have set me free and thank You for freedom in every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1607  Today is Tuesday, July 7th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1607
Praise to God
 
You are a great God.
Your character is holy.
Your truth is absolute.
Your strength is unending.
Your discipline is fair.
 
You are a great God.
The mountain of your knowledge has no peak.
The ocean of your love has no shore.
The fabric of your fidelity has no tear.
The rock of your word has no crack.
 
You are a great God.
Your patience surprises us.
Your beauty stuns us.
Your love stirs us.
 
You are a great God.
Your provisions are abundant for our needs.
Your light is adequate for our path.
Your grace is sufficient for our sins.
 
You are a great God.
We even declare with reluctant words, your plan is perfect.
You are never early, never late.
Never tardy, never quick.
You sent your Son in the fullness of time and will return at the consummation of time.
Your plan is perfect.
Bewildering.
Puzzling.
Troubling.
But perfect.....
 
~ Max Lucado
From 'He Reminded Us of You"
(A Prayer for a Friend)
 
***
Printable Issue 1608  Today is Wednesday, July 8th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1608
An email forwarded to me from Collette Conner:
 
United we Stand, Divide we Fall!
 
Ten years ago, a tornado leveled Carbondale Assembly of God in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With help from the community, Carbondale bounced back, and today, they are passing on the blessing. Under the vision and direction of Jeff Walker, Carbondale's youth pastor, the congregation gives one AG church a renovated youth building each
year.

Entering the third year of this mission's makeover program, Walker felt the Lord leading Carbondale to do more. He contacted the Oklahoma District office and requested their help in locating a church in need of a total renovation.

After prayerfully considering numerous applications and a few on-site visits, Turley Assembly of God, located just fifteen minutes away, was chosen for the complete church makeover. According to Turley AG's pastor, J.J. Jennings, the congregation was meeting in a 50-year-old building, and they simply did not have the money or
means to update.

Although there was surprise and excitement on learning they had been chosen, Jennings admits that the congregation was a little apprehensive handing over the keys. "Many were nervous beforehand; we just didn't know what they were going to do," he says.

Jennings and the Turley AG congregation handed the keys over to Carbondale on Thursday, May 28. A host of volunteers laid 900 square feet of tile, ripped out walls and carpet, put up new drywall, painted and brought in new furniture before returning the keys on Wednesday, June 3. However, the blessing did not stop with renovations to the physical church building. Carbondale also gifted the Turley AG youth group with a youth pastor, and have committed to pay his salary for one year.

After revealing the new facilities, previous feelings of apprehension were completely gone. "Everyone was in awe.  Many of the ladies kept saying how beautiful it all was," shares Jennings, "We had some of our people crying because of how blessed they felt."

Jennings is excited about how the makeover will help the congregation, not only inside the church walls, but in reaching outside. This past Saturday, just ten days after the renovation, Turley Assembly of God opened up its newly renovated doors and hosted an open house for the community. Amazingly, a parade was already scheduled to pass right in front of the church the same day. Turley AG took advantage of the face time by offering free hot dogs and handing out flyers to those passing by.

"No one knew we were having a parade," Jennings comments on the convenient timing, "God just works things out." Approximately 45 people came through the open house, and more than half of that number had never attended the church before. Jennings reports that several of those visitors attended Sunday services the next day.

Walker hopes other churches will latch onto this vision of renovation and take it to their own communities, no matter how big or small they are. He explains that even a little bit of paint, clean gutters, and a mowed lawn can make a huge difference.

"I would just challenge other churches to look outside the box, find other churches that are in need, and stretch out their hand to help. Too many times we work against each other instead of with and for one another," shares Walker, "It's not about numbers, but about  sharing the love of Christ."
Printable Issue 1609  Today is Thursday, July 9th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1609
Some of a collection of sayings by patriots, presidents, past world leaders:
 
***
 
"Freedom is an open window through which pours the sunlight of the
human spirit and human dignity. With the preservation of these moral
and spiritual qualities and with God's grace will come further
greatness for our country."

-- President Herbert Hoover
 
**
 
Tis not in numbers but in unity that our great strength lies.
 
~ Thomas Paine
 
**
 
"We have been called to heal wounds,
To unite what has fallen apart,
And to bring home those who have lost their way.
 
~~ St. Francis of Assissi
 
**
"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich,
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by citing class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
 
~~ Abraham Lincoln
 
**
 
There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is.
 
~~ Albert Einstein
 
**
 
All the best to you from
the Master, Jesus Christ.
 
~~ Closing a letter to Philemon (and to each of us today!)
by Paul, The Message Bible
 
 
****
Printable Issue 1610  Today is Friday, July 10th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1610
Most Americans can sing our National Anthem, first verse. But what are the words to the other verses? Francis Scott Key addressed our dependency on "God who is our trust" in the last verse:
 

The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814



Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
 
****





Printable Issue 1611  Today is Monday, July 13th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1611
A daily inspirational thought emailed to me by Steve Watne and written by Rick Warren:
 
Be Yourself with God
 
"When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask Him" (Matthew 6:7-8 TEV).
 
God created you and so He wants you to be the real you. By being authentic when you speak to God, you worship Him as your Creator.

For years I copied the prayers of other people. I noticed they used certain words and even a special tone of voice. I imitated all the religious clichés: "Lead, guide, and direct us, O Lord." "Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies." "Bless the gift and the giver."

In New Testament times, prayers were wordy, meaningless rituals. There was no spontaneity, no genuineness. But Jesus says don't get caught up in ritual prayer. You don't have to use fancy language. You can't impress God with fancy language, and you shouldn't be trying to impress other people, either.

I love to hear new Christians pray; there's no pious pomposity. They haven't learned the clichés yet. They just say, "Hi, God. It's me." That's how you make contact with God. You just talk with your heavenly Father about what's on your mind. Just pray your heart. Reveal yourself.

Imagine I walked in the door one evening and my kids said: "O, almighty procreator of our family. How wonderful thou art, who sovereignly deposits our allowance to us. Oh, the majesty of thy wonderful self! We beseech thee to come eat dinner with us." I'd check their temperatures to see if they were sick! I don't want to hear that. I want them to say, "Hey! Dad's home. Good to see you, Pop!"

I'm not saying to be flippant in prayer, but that's how you make contact with God. You just talk with him in a genuine and heartfelt way.

Printable Issue 1612  Today is Tuesday, July 14th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1612
I received this 'good' pass-along email from someone; it needed a little computer TLC before I could make it a Karen's Korner. Some way I lost who sent it to me in the process. Whoever you are, thanks!
 
                                                         Embracing Imperfection
 

"When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite!  

When I got Up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said: 'Baby, I love burned toast.'  

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, 'Debbie, your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides-a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!'

 

You know, life is full of imperfect things.....and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook.  

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.  

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of GOD.

 

Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where burnt toast isn't a deal-breaker!

 

By the Grace of God, when I can forgive other’s imperfections, it becomes easier for me to forgive my own!

Printable Issue 1613  Today is Wednesday, July 15th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1613
 
This is something written by Christine Lousias, former Clarion resident, who recently returned from a short mission trip to Equador. Some of the group worked building structures; others worked to help build relationships:
 
 

One of the many things that got started in Carabuela was the building of the outside foundation and walls of a structure. I’ve never built a building before let alone by hand. One thing that has been running through my mind is how similar building walls are to how the Body of Christ interacts with each other.

 

The first phase of the building was to actually start below ground. A trench was cut in order to set footings for the walls. Our footing as Christians starts when we proclaim Jesus as the Lord over our lives.  Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He is the groundwork in our walk. He is the anchor that holds the whole thing together.

 

Then we put rocks in the trench. They were inlaid individually in cement. Hundreds of rocks, at the time it almost seemed like thousands.  In our spiritual walk, even though we are individuals working to build a relationship with our Savior, we are still called to act in the kind of unity that binds together with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him we are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Eph 2:21-22)

 

Then there were the 1200 bricks we used to actually form the walls. Each brick alone was just a brick. But when we laid the bricks side by side, it became a fortress, a structure of unified strength. But there was something else.  The bricks couldn’t stand alone. There was mortar in between. The mortar didn’t have to be perfect, but there had to be enough so that no light showed through and that when it dried, and shrunk, it still performed its duty as glue that held the bricks in place. For us, the Word of God and prayer is our mortar.  If a chunk falls out of us or we need guidance, we open the Word of God and fix the section of our life that is falling away from the strength of the whole. Prayers solidify us to each other and to God. These things help to prepare us for works of service, so that we may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of  Christ. (Ephesians 4:12-13)

 

Of all the things that made the most impact on me the whole trip was when one of our young people came to share what the Lord showed her in His Word. She wanted to share, but she also had a ton of questions. There was a hunger in her that she didn’t know how to satisfy by herself. She was just a brick alone.  hen she came into or room, she was placed next to two other bricks and then there was the mortar of God’s Word and prayer that was shared that cemented those three bricks together. It was the start of something bigger: more than the beginning of a structural building that was started in Ecuador, it was the start of the building on the foundation of Christ and His Kingdom right here within this church family melding two different generations together for His Glory.

 

Our young people need the knowledge that we have learned in our Christian walk.  Share it! 
 
Father God, thank You for sending a 16 year old girl to remind me of the passion that I once had for You. Ignite that fire in me again!  Amen.
Printable Issue 1614  Today is Thursday, July 16th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1614
Anything in our lives we can't fix? World peace? Economies? Job losses? Health matters? Ever feel like things in your life or people around you are spinning out of control?
 
Some things aren't made for us to handle. But God can! He has answers for this life and the one that is coming.....
 
This is a daily email from Joel and Victoria Osteen, sent a couple of days ago:
 

What Moves God

"And when He saw their faith… "
(Luke 5:20, KJV )

Do you know what moves the hand of God? This may surprise you, but God is not moved by complaining and self-pity. He’s not even moved by our needs. Yes, He is concerned about our needs, and yes, He wants to meet our needs, but we have to do our part and invite Him to work in our lives by exercising our faith.

When Jesus walked the earth, oftentimes right before He healed someone, the Bible says something like this, "When He saw their faith…" And so I ask you today, can God see your faith?

When God sees you doing everything you can to get well; when He sees you getting to work a little earlier because you really want that promotion; when He sees you bypass the cookie jar because you’ve been believing to lose weight; when He sees you bite your tongue to keep the peace in your house; when He sees you help others when you really need more help than they do; when God sees your faith, that’s when extraordinary things will begin to happen. Faith opens the door for God to move, so demonstrate your faith today and watch the hand of God move in every area of your life!

Father in heaven, thank You for the gift of faith. I choose today to exercise my faith and invite You to move on my behalf. Keep me close to You, search my heart and remove anything that is displeasing to You. I bless You today and always. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1615  Today is Friday, July 17th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1615
A couple of Bible verses and short thoughts; enjoy the summer and the weekend:
 
***
"This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!
~ Psalms 118:24
 
***
A week ago I called my mom just to chat.
"I can't talk long; Gertrude is coming by to pick me up," she said.
They were on their way to church late that afternoon
to help decorate for Bible School this week.
Mom is 90; her friend is 91.
A variety of ages were helping with the set up.
Neither of them seemed to think they were too old to contribute!
 
"All things (people?) work together for good to those who love God and are fitting into His plans."
 
~Romans 8:28
 
***
"Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world
as much as adversity has."
 
~ Rev. Billy Graham
 
***
 
OUR WORLD:
Sometimes unkind and unfair;
Sometimes creeking and groaning!
 
GOD'S WORLD:
Always rock solid;
Safe and secure!
 
Jesus said,
"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows;
but cheer up, for I have overcome the world."
 
~ John 16:33
 
***
Printable Issue 1616  Today is Monday, July 20th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1616
From Max Lucado's "The Great House of God":
 
Teach Us to Pray
 
Our Father
Thank You for Adopting me
into Your family.
 
who is
Thank you, my Lord,
for being a God of the present tense;
my Jehovah-jireh (the God who provides),
my Jehovah-raah (the caring Shepherd),
my Jehovah-shalom (the Lord of peace),
my Jehovah-rophe (the God who heals),
and my Jehovah-nissi (Lord, my banner).
 
in heaven,
Your workshop of creation reminds me:
If you can make the skies,
you can make sense out of my struggles.
 
Hallowed by they name.
Be holy in my heart.
You are a 'cut above' all else.
Enable me to set my sights on you.
 
Thy kingdom come,
Come kingdom!
Be present, Lord Jesus!
Have free reign in every corner of my life.
 
Thy will be done,
Reveal your heart to me, dear Father.
Show me my role in your passion.
 
On earth as it is in heaven.
Thank you that you
silence heaven to hear my prayer.
 
Give us this day our daily bread.
I accept your portion for my life today.
I surrender my concerns regarding my well-being.
 
Forgive us our debts,
I thank you for the roof of grace over my head,
bound together with the timbers and nails of Calvary.
There is nothing I can do to earn or add to your mercy.
I confess my sins to you.
 
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
Treat me, Father, as I treat others.
 
Lead us not into temptation,
Let my small hand be engulfed in yours.
Hold me lest I fall.
 
Our Father....give us.....forgive us.....lead us
Let your kindness be on all your church.
I pray especially for ministers near
and missionaries far away.
 
Thine - not mine - is the kingdom,
I lay my plans at your feet.
 
Thine - not mine - is the power,
I come to you for strength.
 
Thine - not mine - is the glory.
I give you all the credit.
 
Forever, Amen.
 
****
Printable Issue 1617  Today is Tuesday, July 21st, 2009; Karen's Korner #1617
Something good forwarded to me by Clarissa Johnson. God does as well 'keeping' men. Thanks, Clarissa:
 
Am I a 'Kept' Woman?

You see, there were a few times when I thought I would lose my mind,
But GOD 'kept' me sane. (Isaiah 26:3)
 
There were times when I thought I could no longer go on,
But the LORD'kept' me moving. (Genesis 28:15)

At times, I've wanted to lash out at those whom I felt had done me wrong,
But the LORD 'kept' my mouth shut. (Psalm 13)

Sometimes, I think the money just isn't enough,
But GOD has helped me to keep the lights on, the water on,
the car payment paid, the house mortgage paid, food in the refrigerator,
clothes on our backs, etc.., (Matthew 6:25 -34)

When I thought I would fall, HE 'kept' me up.
When I thought I was weak, HE 'kept' me strong! (I Peter 5:7; Matthew 11:28-30)

I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you hear me!
I'm blessed to be ' kept'

Do you know a 'kept' woman?
If so pass it on to her to remind her of the fact that she is 'Kept'

I'm 'Kept' by the Love and Grace of God!
 
**
Printable Issue 1618  Today is Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009; Karen's Korner #1618
Sometimes when things seem out of control, it is nice to know that God is in control. From Joel and Victoria Osteen:
 
 

The Next Chapter

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed"
(Psalm 139:16, NLT)

Did you know that God has already recorded every part of your life from the beginning to the end? He knows every disappointment, every loss, every challenge; and the good news is that your story ends in victory! God has written out a plan to bless and prosper you. Your final chapter concludes with you fulfilling your God-given destiny. Here’s the key: when you go through a disappointment, when you go through a loss, don’t stop on that page in your life. You’ve got to decide to keep moving forward. There’s another chapter in front of you, but you’ve got to be willing to take the next step.

Sometimes, we get so focused on what didn’t work out that we stay stuck, reliving the disappointment. If that’s you, recognize that you’ve been on that page long enough. It’s time to let it go and turn the page to the new chapter God has in store. You may not understand, it may not have been fair, but remember, the next chapter is full of blessing, full of favor, and full of victory! Make the decision to let go of the old so you can move forward into the abundant life God has in store for you!

Heavenly Father, thank You for the good plan You have for me. Today, I lay aside the disappointments of the past knowing that You have blessing in store for my future. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1619  Today is Thursday, July 23rd, 2009; Karen's Korner #1619
Portions of Psalm 19 from the New Living Translation, just for today:
 

1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
      The skies display his craftsmanship.
 2 Day after day they continue to speak;
      night after night they make him known.
 3 They speak without a sound or word;
      their voice is never heard.
 4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
      and their words to all the world.

  7 The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
      reviving the soul.
   The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
      making wise the simple.
 8 The commandments of the Lord are right,
      bringing joy to the heart.
   The commands of the Lord are clear,
      giving insight for living.
 9 Reverence for the Lord is pure,
      lasting forever.
   The laws of the Lord are true;
      each one is fair.
 10 They are more desirable than gold,
      even the finest gold.
   

 12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
      Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
      Don’t let them control me.
   Then I will be free of guilt
      and innocent of great sin.

 14 May the words of my mouth
      and the meditation of my heart
   be pleasing to you,
      O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

***

Printable Issue 1620  Today is Friday, July 24th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1620
We are faced with lots of challenges and opportunities that require 'wise' choices, but how do we make them?
 
If we have accepted Jesus into our lives, His Holy Spirit resides in each one of us as believers. Don't hesitate to ask "Holy Spirit, what should I do in this situation?" "What do you think about what that other person just say about/to me?"
 
Not all right answers come from His Spirit replying with an answer to your mind. Good answers come from lots of places. But sometimes they come into your thoughts.
 
The next task is to DO the right thing!
 
***
My father taught me,
   “Take my words to heart.
      Follow my commands, and you will live.
 Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
      Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
 Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you.
      Love her, and she will guard you.
 
~ Proverbs 4:4 - 6
 
**
 
The blessing of wisdom is a precious gift that You have given me, Lord. Reveal the wisdom that comes only from Your Spirit. Teach me to be sensitive to Your Word, and give me an understanding of Your plans for my life. Help me to share Your wisdom with each of my children, and lead me to influence others for Your glory. Amen.
 
(taken from 'An Invitation to PRAYER for Mothers')
 
***
 
 
 
Printable Issue 1621  Today is Monday, July 27th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1621
One afternoon the middle of last week, I had three helpers working with me to paint/repaint some spots on our barn doors. The barn badly needs to be reshingled; something that we have decided not to do because of the expense and the fact the barn is no longer used for much. It will be taken down some time in the not too distant future. Still some of the white doors need some repair and repaint in the interim to keep our farm buildings from looking like an abandoned farmstead.
 
Helpers included two of our grandchildren - Luke, five, and Molly, three; and a 12-year-old from church who was needing to work out some of his expenses for an upcoming short term mission trip. We successfully painted for parts of two hours.
 
Yesterday afternoon I was able to finish the one door which was left after our efforts, a handful of days earlier.
 
Guess what?
 
I think that I was able to paint about as much without the 'help' as I was with it. None of the three had any painting experience. My job was to help them to learn what I know, from someone else teaching me and life experiences after that.
 
If I wouldn't have explained to them how to paint boards and give them the opportunity to practice (on something that doesn't require 'great' painters!), how would they learn? They wouldn't have the fun of learning. I wouldn't have the opportunity to teach. We wouldn't have the experiences of working together on the project.
 
Made me think about how much 'instruction', 'working together', 'experiences' God has/wants for us as His Children. I think He could probably be able to 'teach' others a lot better, faster, more clearly........than He can using us.
 
But that isn't His point! He wants to teach us, lead us, guide us, show us His way of sharing and caring for others. He wants us to experience what it is like to 'know what He knows', even if it is just a small glimpse. He wants us to enjoy our relationship with Him and to share with and care for others. Think of it:  He wants us to be part of His plan!
 
What a creative and wonderful God, You are, Father God! Thank You for making all of us part of Your overall plan! What a risk taker You are! I can't understand why You would choose us, use us, but You do. And for that I am grateful. Bless my efforts; bless our efforts today as we share some of what You have taught us with others. In the Name of Your Son Jesus, Amen.
Printable Issue 1622  Today is Tuesday, July 28th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1622
Today is the tenth anniversary of Merry's death; the Karen's Korner is a repeat of one that I emailed in 2003. It is the sixth and final entry of a series of memories surrounding the time of her death; thoughts I didn't want to forget so I wrote them down and shared them in Karen's Korner at that time.
 
Thanks for allowing me to share; one more time:
 
Today is Tuesday, June 17th, 2003; Karen's Korner #72

("....when Merry died.....part 6")

 

From November to July, prior to Merry’s car accident, the Welds had been in the hospital six times – Merry had five surgeries to repair her shunt; Jim had an emergency heart surgery. The Welds were in lots of people’s prayers.

 

At the time, I was 53 years old. Over the years, we had had numerous hospitalizations….and everybody got well and came home from the hospital each time. I had never lost any siblings. My mom and dad were still alive and well. God had always answered my prayers, seemingly the way that I wanted them.

 

So where was God this time? Why didn’t He answer our prayers?

 

It seemed like God was showing me that in the past, I had asked God to jump into the Welds’ box, to do things MY way, and His answers were the kinds of answers that I wanted.

 

I was in the process of writing my third devotional booklet and I had chosen the title: "God’s Love is Higher, Deeper and Wider". I knew the words were from some place in the Bible. Pretty big book. Sometimes I can’t recall where stuff is found in it. And the Bible always teaches me many new things.

 

It seemed like God was showing me that the Weld’s box and its sides had collapsed. Now we were part of a bigger box……..His box. And that box was so big it still included Merry!

 

Several weeks after Merry’s death, I was reading in Ephesians, where it was talking about the magnitude of God’s love. Chapter 3, verses 18 and 19 say: "..and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should…..how LONG, how WIDE, how DEEP, and how HIGH…..His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it!"

 

God’s love, care, and protection isn’t three dimensional…it has so many dimensions………High, Deep, Long, and Wide. No matter where life might take us, we can’t escape it. And that life isn’t just for this earth. It continues far, far off into a time and a distance we can’t fathom…….today and into eternity!!

Printable Issue 1623  Today is Wednesday, July 29th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1623
Something written by Pastor Rick Warren and forwarded to me by Steve Watne a few weeks ago:
 
How God Builds Your Faith:  Difficulty
 
"This means tremendous joy to you, I know, even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold" (1 Peter 1:6-7 PH).
 
 
In order to build your faith, God will give you a dream, then He'll urge you to make a decision, but then He'll allow a delay, because in the delay He matures you and prepares you for what is to come.

The truth is you'll have difficulties while God delays. This isn't because He doesn't care about you or that He's forgotten your circumstances; rather, it's one of the ways He pushes you toward the deep end of faith.

As God delays, you'll face two types of difficulties: circumstances and critics. This is a natural part of life. God designed it this way because He knows we grow stronger when facing adversity and opposition.

When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the desert toward the Promised Land, he had one problem after another. First there was no water. Then there was no food. Then there were a bunch of complainers. Then there were poisonous snakes. Moses was doing what God wanted him to do, but he still had problems.

David was anointed king, and then for the next several years he was hunted down by Saul. Joseph had a dream of becoming a ruler, yet he was sold into slavery and thrown into prison on a false charge where he languished, forgotten. Imagine the difficulties Noah had building a floating zoo!

The Bible says that when Moses died, Joshua was appointed the new leader. Moses led the people across the desert and then Joshua led them into the Promised Land. Did he get the easy part? The Bible says that when the Israelites entered the Promised Land there were giants in the land. Even in the Promised Land there were problems!

God does this because He is building our faith and character. When we finally come to a place where the difficulties become so bad, where we've reached our limit, where we've tried everything and exhausted all our options, it is then that God begins a mighty work through us: "I know, even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold" (1 Peter 1:6-7 PH).
Printable Issue 1624  Today is Thursday, July 30th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1624
(No Karen's Korner tomorrow as I will be gone for several days!)

 

When We Practice Real Love

I John 3:18 - 24


My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.


 And friends, once that's taken care of and we're no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we're bold and free before God! We're able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we're doing what he said, doing what pleases him. Again, this is God's command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.


***