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April 2010 Archives

Printable Issue 1789  Today is Thursday, April 1st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1789
Taken from the April/May 2010 edition of the OUR IOWA MAGAZINE. Each edition has some 'side notes', in the white space on the edges of each page.
 
Here are a couple of them:
 
"Faith is taking the first step
even when you don't see the whole staircase."
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
 
**
 
"Esteem is worth more than celebrity,
respect is worth more than renown,
and honor is more than fame."
 
**
 
"Time spent in getting even
would be better spent in getting ahead."
 
**
 
"About the only thing that comes to us without effort
is old age."
 
**
 
"Nothing in the world can take the place of
persistence and determination."
~ Calvin Coolidge
 
**
 
"Leave nothing for tomorrow
which can be done today."
~ Abraham Lincoln
 
**
 
"A child can ask questions
that a wise man cannot answer."
 
***
Printable Issue 1790  Today is Friday, April 2nd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1790
Happy Good Friday!
 
We have just had a series of three sermons at church as we look toward Easter. The first was "words"; second "witness" and last Sunday "wisdom".
 
Here are the seven statements Jesus made from the cross; His words:
 
1) "When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing
nearby, he said to his mother, 'Dear woman, here is your son,' and to the
disciple, 'Here is your mother.' From that time on, this disciple took her
into his home."
~ John 19:26, 27
 
Jesus is settling matters with his family.
He is putting things in order for those left behind.
 
2) "Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'
And they divided up his clothes by casting lots."
~ Luke 23:34
 
He knew the people were unaware of what was really going on.
 
3) "Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth,
today you will be with me in paradise.'"
~Luke 23:43
 
4) "About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'"
~ Matthew 27:46
 
5) "Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture
would be fulfilled,
Jesus said, 'I am thirsty.'"
~ John 19:28
 
6) "When he had received the drink,
Jesus said, 'It is finished.'
With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
~ John 19: 30
 
7) "Jesus called out with a loud voice,
'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.'
When he had said this, he breathed his last."
~ Luke 23:46
 
His trust in the Lord is an act of personal abandonment.
 
God is His refuge, our refuge.
 
He remains the same, now and forever.
 
***
Printable Issue 1791  Today is Monday, April 5th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1791
When Jesus was walking on this earth, He made lots of promises and predictions. Many times the people listening either didn't believe Him or couldn't understand what He meant.
 
Here is one:
 
"Remember what I told you---
I am going away,
but I will come back to you again.
 
If you really love me,
you will be very happy for me;
for now I can go to the Father,
who is greater than I am.
 
I have told you these things
before they happen
so that when they do,
you will believe in me."
 
~ John 14:28 & 29
 
**
 
Jesus knew the plan for His Life;
He shared it with others.
 
Then He lived it; it happened!
 
He makes promises and predictions.
And carries them out.
 
Like everything that happened at Easter!
 
Our job?
To listen and believe!
 
***
Printable Issue 1792  Today is Tuesday, April 6th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1792
THE POWER OF PRAYER
By Corrie ten Boom,
from Each New Day (Revell, 19771)
 
"Prayer is such an important power. In the concentration camp, seven hundred of us lived in a room built for two hundred people. We were all dirty, nervous, and tense. One day a horrible fight broke out amonst the prisoners. Betsie (her sister) began to pray aloud. It was as if a storm laid down, until at last all was quiet. Then Betsie said, 'Thank you, Father.' A tired old woman was used by the Lord to save the situation for seven hundred fellow prisoners through her prayers.
 
There may be days of darkness and distress,
When sin has power to tempt, and care to press.
Yet in the darkest day I will not fear,
For 'midst the shadows, You will still be near.
Thank You, Lord Jesus."
 
~~
Printable Issue 1793  Today is Wednesday, April 7th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1793
Yesterday was the memorial service of a church friend, Lynn Blankenship. She would have been 53 in June. Lynn had a physical condition that rendered her a prisoner of her own body, unable to walk, talk, or have much use of her hands. She has been a resident of our local care facility since she was 21.
 
But it was Lynn's ability to communicate (using eye signals) and her spirit (which was filled with joy and thanksgiving) that rendered her 'popular' enough to fill the care center dining room for her service yesterday, as we sang and participated in a service of her making.
 
One of the songs Lynn chose for her service was "Jesus Loves Me":
 
Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.
 
CHORUS:
Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.
 
Jesus loves me, He who died, Heaven's gate to open wide.
He will wash away my sin, let His little child come in.
 
CHORUS
 
Jesus loves me, He will stay, close beside me all the way.
He's prepared a home for me, and some day His face I'll see.
 
CHORUS
 
~~
Lynn also included a poem she had written nearly 20 years earlier:
 
SOMEDAY WHEN I AM FREE
 
When I die and meet Jesus,
It will be beautiful.
 
No more tears of pain.
No more earthly body functions.
 
I will have wings to watch,
As my body gets torn apart and tested.
 
It will feel so good.
Not to be jailed by my body.
 
Most people with my disease are retarded.
God gave my mind.
 
He guides me through each day.
 
~~
 
Our final hymn was "I'll Fly Away":
 
Some glad morning when this life is o'er, I'll fly away.
To a home on God's celestial shore, I'll fly away.
 
CHORUS
I'll fly away, O glory, I'll fly away.
When I die, hallelujah by and by
I'll fly away.
 
When the shadows of this life have gone, I'll fly away
Like a bird from prison bars has flown, I'll fly away.
 
CHORUS
 
Just a few more weary days and then, I'll fly away
To a land where joys shall never end, I'll fly away.
 
CHORUS
 
~~
 
Then we (friends, care center residents and staff) took our helium balloons and launched them from the front stoop of the place she'd called home for more than thirty years.
 
Per Lynn's request.
 
Lynn is set free!
Printable Issue 1794  Today is Thursday, April 8th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1794
Forwarded to me by Tiffany Cramer, a little longer but very good, if your time allows you to read all of it:
 
THE RICH FAMILY IN CHURCH
By Eddie Ogan
 
I'll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12,and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money.
 
By 1946 my older sisters were married and my brothers had left home. A month before Easter the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.
 
When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn't listen to the radio, we'd save money on that month's electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1.
 
We made $20 on pot holders. That month was one of the best of our lives.
 
Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we'd sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.
 
The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change.
 
We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before.
 
That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn't care that we wouldn't have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering.
 
We could hardly wait to get to church! On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn't own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn't seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet.
 
But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt rich.
 
When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us kids put in a $20.
 
As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes! Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn't say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills.
 
Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn't talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash. We kids had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn't have our Mom and Dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the spoon or the fork that night.
 
We had two knifes that we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn't have a lot of things that other people had, but I'd never thought we were poor.
 
That Easter day I found out we were. The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn't like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed--I didn't even want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor!
 
I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew that we were poor. I decided that I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time. We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn't know. We'd never known we were poor. We didn't want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn't talk on the way.
 
Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, "Can't we all sacrifice to help these poor people?" We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week.
 
Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering.
 
When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn't expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, "You must have some rich people in this church."
 
Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that "little over $100."
 
We were the rich family in the church! Hadn't the missionary said so? From that day on I've never been poor again. I've always remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus!
 
 
Printable Issue 1795  Today is Friday, April 9th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1795
One week after GOOD FRIDAY; today is another 'good Friday'. They are all good with God in our lives and Jesus in our hearts and minds:
 

Psalm 93 - NIV

 The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty;
       the LORD is robed in majesty
       and is armed with strength.
       The world is firmly established;
       it cannot be moved.

Your throne was established long ago;
       you are from all eternity.

 The seas have lifted up, O LORD,
       the seas have lifted up their voice;
       the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.

 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
       mightier than the breakers of the sea—
       the LORD on high is mighty.

Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house
       for endless days, O LORD.

***

Printable Issue 1796  Today is Monday, April 12th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1796
A daily email devotional written by minister Jeff White. I enjoyed his writings and emails until his pastor duties expanded and he wasn't able to continue his email writings.
 
This one was sent a handful of years ago:
 

I will ask the Father, and he will
give you another Helper to be with you
forever—the Spirit of truth.

John 14:16–17

 

I am king of my domain.  I am totally self-sufficient.  I make a good living.  I, I, I, I, ...We have all thought this way in the past.  You may not have verbalized it, but you’ve thought it. 

 

The reality is that we need help.  We can not carry the burden of this life without God’s help.  We need to remember that and turn to him.  NO, not when things go wrong, before they go wrong.  We need to turn first to God and to ourselves second.




Printable Issue 1797  Today is Tuesday, April 13th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1797
Two weeks ago today fifty-two year-old Lynn Blankenship passed away; last Tuesday was her memorial service at our local care center where she had lived for the past thirty-two years. While not many parts of her physical body worked, she was forever grateful that she had her mind. She chose to be joyful.
 
As a tribute to Lynn, I researched the words 'joy', 'joyful', and 'rejoice' on a web site (www.biblegateway.com) for a couple of things in which I was involved this past weekend. Here is a portion of what I found:
 

JOY

When I typed in the word search for JOY, there were 242 matches; 27 joyful; 156 matches of rejoice. God must want us to be filled with JOY; enjoying His JOY!

 

Here are a few of the verses:

 

Psalm 16:11
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

 

Psalm 19:8
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

 

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

James 1:2
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

1 Thessalonians 5:16
Always be full of joy in the Lord.....

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

 

Psalm 34:2
My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

 

Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

 

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
 
***
Printable Issue 1798  Today is Wednesday, April 14th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1798
The Value of Relationships
 
"A relationship. It has more power than any nuclear bomb and more potential than any promising seed... What matters most in life is not the ladders we climb or what ownings we accumulate. What matters most is a relationship.
 
"What steps are you taking to protect your 'possessions'? What measure are you using to ensure that your relationships are strong and healthy? What are you doing to solidify the bridges between you and those in your world?
 
"Many wealthy people have died paupers because they gave their lives to things and not to people. And many paupers have left this earth in contentment because they loved their neighbors."
 
~ Max Lucado
From ON THE ANVIL
Printable Issue 1799  Today is Thursday, April 15th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1799
Today's Karen's Korner is a heartfelt note emailed to us yesterday by John and Zaba Crozier from Poland.
 
The world is shocked and in mourning for their loss of nearly 100 Polish people killed in a plane crash several days ago; those killed include the Polish president and his wife.
 
John was born in Africa and raised in the United States, including a dozen years in Clarion, Iowa. He has served as a missionary in Poland for more than a decade. He met and married his Polish-born wife while serving there. The couple has three young children who have dual U.S. and Poland citizenships.
 
From the Croziers:
 
 

There can be little question in the hearts and minds of 38 million citizens of Poland that life, as they have known it, came to an abrupt and bitter end on the 10th of April, 2010 at 8:56 am in the fog of a military airfield near Smolensk, Russia.  On that day, a horrific plane crash killed all 96 passengers on board, including the Polish presidential couple and many other top ranking government officials and statesmen. 

 

A week of national mourning has been instated as citizens attempt to deal with what can only be described as the worst tragedy of its kind ever.  Average citizens are fumbling with questions of why as they pour out onto the streets to pay homage to some of the most well-known political figures in Poland-- lives taken too abruptly for words to describe.  Ironically, the victims were on their way to honor the memory of 22,000 Polish officers brutally murdered by the Russians in the forests of Katyn during World War II.


Thinking about the events of the last few days, I was reminded of a story Tolstoy wrote of a desperately sick king who, on the verge of death, gathered his council in order to hear their advice about finding a cure.  At a loss for words, one of them finally proposed that if they could find a happy man they could take the shirt off his back and bring it back to the king who, upon putting it on, might regain his health.  Thinking it a good idea, the king sent emissaries far and wide in search of a content and satisfied man.  It soon became apparent that the king's dictate wasn't as simple as they had thought.  You see, if they found a rich man, he was most likely unhealthy.  If they came upon a healthy man, he was most likely poor.  If they met a rich and healthy man, it seemed that he had a difficult wife or unruly children. Finally, one night the king's own son was passing by a poor little hut when he heard: "Now, God be praised, I have finished my work, I have eaten my fill, and I can lie down and sleep!  What more could I want?" Rejoicing at his good luck, the son sent men to get the shirt of an obviously satisfied man.  Upon opening the door, they were surprised to find that the happy man was so poor that he had no shirt at all.  (Fables & Fairy Tales, Leo Tolstoy)


It seems that an inordinate amount of our time is spent searching for a cure to a sickness we can't even really grasp. In times of great loss and seemingly senseless death, we are reminded of our search to find a cure or a 'shirt' to cover our terribly fragile lives.  


Paul, no stranger to death and hardship, gathered his thoughts and wrote about the mystery of life's end this way:


"For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality." Not wanting his Corinthian hearers to wander, he repeats himself making his point only too clear.  "When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true; "Death has been swallowed up in victory."  


Easter, in all her incredulity and foolishness, comes as Paul's answer to man's greatest sickness--the grave. Death, swallowed up in the victory of Christ's rising from the grave stands as an event that, if true, changes everything about life as we know it. The search for a shirt that will 'clothe' us in immortality speaks loudly and clearly in the middle of the tragedy that at present lies heavy on the hearts of Polish citizens.    

It is our hope that the reality of the resurrection will provide real and lasting comfort for so many touched by the loss of the last few days. It is our hope that working with PROeM (name of their ministry) in creating a context for educating, loving, and encouraging children and their parents will ultimately change the face of Poland. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and notes of solidarity on behalf of the 38 million Polish citizens dealing with such a terrible tragedy. 

With hope,

John and Zaba

Printable Issue 1800  Today is Friday, April 16th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1800
Another milestone - Karen's Korner #1800! I like to stop and pay attention to these mile markers. Thanks for allowing me to come into your home via computer each weekday. It is great to hear from you, to share what you have written or read. I enjoy reading, writing, and sharing what I have written or found.
 
Many of you have let me know you enjoy some of the 'korners'. I know that I am the one who has benefitted the most by what I have found or had the opportunity to share.
 
Have a nice spring weekend!
 
"The Lord himself is my inheritance, my prize.
He is my food and drink,
my highest joy!
 
He guards all that is mine.
He sees that I am given pleasant brooks
and meadows as my share!
 
What a wonderful inheritance!
I will bless the Lord who counsels me;
he gives me wisdom in the night.
He tells me what to do.
 
I am always thinking of the Lord;
and because he is so near,
I never need to stumble or to fall.
 
My heart, body, and soul are filled with joy."
 
~ Psalms 16:5 - 9
Life Application Bible
 
***
Printable Issue 1801  Today is Monday, April 19th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1801
On Friday afternoon, Jim and I received a phone call from Carl, now nearly 23 and living in Florida. We hadn't heard from him for several years. He called to update us on what is happening to him and his brother, David, who just turned 21 and also lives nearby him. (Names changed to protect their privacy).
 
We got to know the twosome nearly ten years ago when we were foster 'grandparents'. We had kids stay with us who were in the foster care program, for several days....maybe up to a week at a time, to give the 'real' foster parents a break.
 
At that time, they were in our area living with Grandma and Grandpa because dad wasn't on the scene and mom was having some troubles. They were in seventh and sixth grades respectively.The tug-of-war over where they were going to live continued until mom got control again and they moved to Pennsylvania. It seemed like not much good had or was going to happen to two lost young boys.
 
Carl had called several years ago. Both had quit school; he needed money to keep him out of jail. Grandpa, who still lived locally, said that wouldn't be a good idea as Carl was making some poor choices.
 
And then there was Friday!
 
He called again to let us know that he thought of us often and the fun that he and his brother had had at our home on more than one occasion. He recalled fun times in our old barn, at a family 4th of July, in our woods. We had taken them with us to the Pella Tulip Festival one day; overnight another time to Dyersville to see the Field of Dreams and several other sights that direction in eastern Iowa.
 
Because they had gone to church and Sunday School with us a handful of times, they let us know that they would go 'every Sunday' if someone would come pick them up. We live seven miles southeast of town; they lived seven miles the opposite direction. Another family, who lived even farther from Clarion that same direction, agreed to pick the boys up each week on their way to and from church.
 
That same summer they attended our church camp. Because of their close ages, the brothers went to the same camp week. The church paid a portion of their expenses. Some church people came up with the rest. While at camp, they made the decision to follow Jesus and were baptized back at church the next Sunday with grandma and grandpa in attendance.
 
Fast forward to today: 
 
Carl and David both now have their GEDs. Carl, nearly 23, wants to start welding school, which takes 40 weeks. David, just turned 21,  is employed at a Taco Bell and wants to begin their management classes; his girlfriend is assistant manger of the same Taco Bell.
 
Carl said, "I tell my girlfiend (who is in college) all the time about all of the good times we had back in Clarion. I have so many good memories. I just had to call to tell you how much I love all of you back there......"
 
I don't recall that any of us did that much; but it was making a difference for two young boys who didn't have too many good things happening to them. We were doing what we believed God wanted us to do; and God was and is doing the rest.....
 
In church today, Pastor Warren quoted a Bible verse from Matthew, "whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me...."
 
We wouldn't have known how much of an impact Jim and I plus a handful of church people made on these two seemingly lost boys, if Carl hadn't have called.
 
I recognize that one phone call doesn't a lifetime make, but the impact is still the same.....
 
Who knows what each of you as readers, is doing or has done to make a difference in the lives of similar young people?
 
It may be bigger than you think!
Printable Issue 1802  Today is Tuesday, April 20th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1802
Below is a portion our Sunday School lesson from Sunday. It is taken from I Thessalonians chapter 5, verses 11 - 23. You don't have to check back to the Bible to see what it 'really says', most of it is exactly what Paul (writer of the book) said, in his short sentences.
 
The information is taken from a chart in the Life Application Bible. We learn that when we encourage others, we too become encouraged. I challenge each reader and myself to go through the list and decide to do one thing today.
 
 

Checklist for Encouragers:

 

The command to ‘encourage others’ is found throughout the Bible. In this section, Paul gives many specific examples of how we can encourage others.

 

  • Build each other up. (vs. 11) Point out to someone a quality you appreciate in him or her.
  • Give honor to leaders. (vs.12) Look for ways to cooperate.
  • Think highly of leaders. (vs.13) Withhold your next critical comment about those in positions of responsibility.
  • Give wholehearted love. (vs. 13) Say ‘thank you’ to your leaders for their efforts.
  • Avoid quarreling. (vs.13) Search for ways to get along with others.
  • Warn the lazy. (vs. 14) Challenge someone to join you in a project.
  • Comfort the frightened. (vs. 14) Encourage those who are frightened by reminding them of God’s promises.
  • Tenderly care for the weak. (vs. 14) Support those who are weak by loving them and praying for them.
  • Practice patience. (vs. 14) Think of a situation that tries your patience and plan ahead of time how you can stay calm.
  • Resist revenge. (vs.15) Instead of planning to get even with those who mistreat you; do good to them.
  • Be joyful. (vs. 16) Remember that even in the midst of turmoil, God is in control.
  • Pray continuously. (vs.17) God is always with you—talk to him.
  • Be thankful. (vs. 18) Make a list of all the gifts God has given you, giving thanks for each one.
  • Do not smother the Holy Spirit. (vs.19) Cooperate with the Spirit the next time he prompts you to participate in a Christian meeting.
  • Do not scoff at those who prophesy. (vs.20) Receive God’s word from those who speak for him.
  • Keep away from evil. (vs. 22) Avoid situations where you will be drawn into temptation.
  • Count on God’s constant help. (vs.23) Realize that the Christian life is to be lived not in our own strength, but through God’s power.
***

 

Printable Issue 1803  Today is Wednesday, April 21st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1803
Something written and emailed by Shirley Choat:
 
 ".....  and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." John 10:4,5

  Picture sheep straining to hear one certain voice among others. Upon identifying that voice they are now willing to move out of the safety of their night quarters and gather around their shepherd.
 
  The sheep will never follow a stranger. Now we know by painful experience that human beings do not all follow Jesus and some consider His voice an irritant, an intrusion. So how can we say, "His sheep follow Him because they know His voice?" Many parents have raised their children to be God fearing, only to watch them take a path in life which veers away from the LORD Jesus and His flock.
 
  Sheep are not all equally strong; they can get lost and scatter hither and yon, wounded, sick and weak. He does not reject them for that reason but actually gives more attention to them and also care for them more diligently than He does for the others who have no faults And for all this we can do nothing at all but only lend our ears, hear, and with thanksgiving receive the inexpressible treasure, and learn to know the voice of our Shepherd, follow Him, and avoid the voice of the stranger.
 
This is a blessed life, not anxious to see far in front, nor careful about the next step, not eager to choose the path, nor weighted with the heavy responsibilities of the future, but quietly following  behind the Shepherd, one step at a time. HE GOES BEFORE! And therefore all is well.
 
"God is in every tomorrow,
Therefore I live for today,
Certain of finding at sunrise,
Guidance and strength for the way;
Power for each moment of weakness,
Hope for each moment of pain,
Comfort for every sorrow,
Sunshine and joy after rain."
 
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - The Lamb who died to save us is also the Shepherd who lives to lead us.
Printable Issue 1804  Today is Thursday, April 22nd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1804
People don't have to be around kids' books or Sunday School very long until they know about Jonah and the 'big fish'. Here is Jonah's prayer:
 
JONAH 2:2 - 9 (NLT):
 
 “I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble,
      and he answered me.
   I called to you from the land of the dead,
      and Lord, you heard me!
 You threw me into the ocean depths,
      and I sank down to the heart of the sea.
   The mighty waters engulfed me;
      I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves.
 Then I said, ‘O Lord, you have driven me from your presence.
      Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’

 “I sank beneath the waves,
      and the waters closed over me.
      Seaweed wrapped itself around my head.
 I sank down to the very roots of the mountains.
      I was imprisoned in the earth,
      whose gates lock shut forever.
   But you, O Lord my God,
      snatched me from the jaws of death!
 As my life was slipping away,
      I remembered the Lord.
   And my earnest prayer went out to you
      in your holy Temple.
 Those who worship false gods
      turn their backs on all God’s mercies.
 But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise,
      and I will fulfill all my vows.
      For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.”

**

When and where did Jonah offer his prayer?  It says in verse one, "Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish!

My Bible commentary on introducing this chapter says, "This is a prayer of thanksgiving, not a prayer for deliverance. Jonah was simply thankful he had not been drowned. He was delivered in a most spectacular way and was overwhelmed that he had escaped death. Even from inside the fish, Jonah's prayer was heard by God. We can pray anywhere and any time, and God will hear us. Your sin is never too great; your predicament never too difficult for God!"

And what happened next to Jonah? The last verse of the chapter:

 "Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach."

~~~

Printable Issue 1805  Today is Friday, April 23rd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1805
Most readers of Karen's Korner know that I used to received daily inspirational thoughts from Jeff White, a minister based out of Wisconsin. Then his duties didn't allow him time for the emails. Never met Jeff but I always enjoyed his thoughts. I saved several of them; I still have two left which I will share with all of you sometime in the future.
 
 

The Lord will always lead you.

Isaiah 58:11

 

    Have you ever felt left out, let down, or ignored?  We all have.  It’s a human trait to both feel that way, or to be the reason that someone else feels that way.

 

    Our Lord is not human and doesn’t share our traits.  He will always be there.  Better yet, he will always be leading the way.  Not following, not pushing... Leading.



Printable Issue 1806  Today is Monday, April 26th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1806
Last week I went to my friend's home to get some of her freshly dug perenniel flowers. Miriam needed her garden thinned; I wanted some of the plants she was transplanting.
 
Several spades full of about six different varieties of flowers made their way back to our farm home and to my existing flower beds. I had been given instructions, "Divide this one into two pieces. And that one into four."
 
Some were easier to untangle their root systems than others; some were down right impossible to pull apart. In fact, one clump, I couldn't pull apart successfully. I planted the whole 'group' together.
 
As I tried to untangle them, I thought of our relationships:  with our families, our friends, our church group, with God.
 
Are we so intertwined that if some power or force (in the flowers' case:  ME) tries to pull us apart, it isn't possible because our roots are so steadfast, entangled, deep? As we grow and grow together, let's hope and pray that is the case in all situations.
 
Ephesians 3:17b says,  “May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love.”
Printable Issue 1807  Today is Tuesday, April 27th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1807
Undoubtedly you have seen some of these little 2" x 3" books which are chocked full of sayings, in spite of their small size.
 
Here are a few morsels from a tiny book titiled, "Angels of Friendship":
 
 
"To have a good friend is one of the highest delights of life;
to be a good friend is one of the noblest
and most difficult undertakings."
ANONYMOUS
 
~
 
"Keep on loving each other as brothers.
Do not forget to entertain strangers,
for by so doing some people have
entertained angels without knowing it.
Remember those in prison as if you
were their fellow prisoners,
and those who are mistreated
as if you yourselves were suffering."
HEBREWS 13:1 - 3
 
~
 
"He who has no enemy
has no friend."
PROVERB 
 
~
 
"Make new friends,
But keep the old
One is silver
The other is gold."
ANONYMOUS
 
~
 
"Your friend is the person
who knows all about you
and still likes you."
ELBERT HUBBARD
 
~~
Printable Issue 1808  Today is Wednesday, April 28th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1808
Right now I am in a study group with a handful of gals, looking at the book of Philippians. Four chapters with these four headings:
 
Joy in suffering
Joy in serving
Joy in believing
Joy in giving
 
This week's topic is taken from Philippians, chapter two. One verse, #3 says:
 
"Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others.
Be humble;
thinking of others as better than yourself."
 
What does that mean?
 
My Bible commentary on that one verse says, "Being humble means having a true perspective on ourselves. It does not mean that we should put ourselves down. We see that we are sinners, saved only by God's grace but we are saved and therefore have great worth in God's Kingdom. We should place oursevles in his hands to be used as he wants in order to spread his Word and share his love with others."
 
 
Thank You, Jesus, for that I have great worth because of the talents you gave me at my birth. Thank You that because You are in my life I can grow, develop, and become all of the things You have always known I can and could become. Thank You that You have done that for every person in my life and in my world and in 'the' world. You have done it 'for the least of these':  all of us. We praise You. Amen.
Printable Issue 1809  Today is Thursday, April 29th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1809
Taken again from a Bible study book, in which I am currently involved:
 
Divine Servanthood
~ Richard Foster:  A Celebration of Discipline
 
As the cross is the sign of submission, so the towel is the sign of service. When Jesus gathered His disciples for the Last Supper they were having trouble over who was the greatest. This was no new issue for them. "And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest" (Luke 9:46). Whenever there is trouble over who is the greatest there is trouble over who is the least. That is the crux of the matter for us, isn't it? Most of us know we will never be the greatest; just don't let us be the least.
 
Gathered at the Passover feast, the disciples were keenly aware that someone needed to wash the others' feet. The problem was that the only people who washed feet were the least. So there they sat, feet caked with dirt. It was such a sore point that they were not even going to talk about it. No one wanted to be considered the least. Then Jesus took a towl and a basin and so redefined greatness.
Printable Issue 1810  Today is Friday, April 30th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1810
Something from Joel and Victoria Osteen:
 

He Teaches the Way

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you" (Psalm 32:8)

 

"Do you need direction in your life today? Maybe you are facing an important decision in your job, at home, or in your relationships. Know this: God, Himself, will teach you what you should do. He promises to show you the path you should take. He's watching over you and giving you advice every step of the way. See, God's not just concerned with the goal, or end result. It's not just about getting you from point "A" to point "B." He is with you every step of the way during the entire process. He wants to see your character develop and mature. Most times, our growth in life happens when circumstances seem to be the most uncertain. Those uncertain times cause us to rely more on God. No matter how uncertain things may seem, God still has His eye on you. He's making sure you make the right choices. He's working with you to shape your character and attitude. Remember, He's promised to never leave you or forsake you. You may not always know the answer right away, but He's instructing you and teaching you and leading you into blessing all the days of your life."

 

"Father in heaven, thank You for teaching and guiding me and giving me direction in my life. I receive Your counsel today. Help me to be more like You. In Jesus' name, Amen."