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May 2010 Archives

Printable Issue 1811  Today is Monday, May 3rd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1811
Today is my birthday! Here is something that Jeanne Russell emailed me a number of weeks ago. It is titled "10 Commandments for Those Over 40"! (I know that you are surprised that I am more than 40....).
 
If you'd like the entire email with graphics and music, ask me:
 
10 Commandments for those over 40
 
1. Focus on enjoying people;
not indulging in or accumulating material things.
 
2. Plan to spend part of what you have saved.
Travel if you can afford it.....
 
3. Live in the here and now;
not in yesterday or tomorrow.
It is only today that you can handle.
Yesterday is gone; tomorrow may not happen.
 
4. Enjoy your grandchildren,
but don't be their full-time baby sitter.
Let your children raise their own offspring.
 
5. Accept physical weaknesses, sickness,
and other physical pain.
It is part of the aging process.
Enjoy whatever your health can allow.
 
6. Enjoy what you are and what you have
right now.
Stop working hard for what you don't have...
 
7.Just enjoy your life, your spouse,
your children, your grandchildren,
and your friends.
People truly love you
for who you are.
 
8. Forgive and accept fogiveness.
Forgive yourself and forgive others.
Enjoy peace of mind and peace of heart.
 
9. Befriend death.
It is a natural part of the life cycle.
Don't be afraid of it.
Death is the beginning of a new and better life.
So prepare yourself, not for death
but for that new life with the Almighty.
 
10. Be at peace with Your Creator.
for He is all you have when you
leave this life.
 
***
Printable Issue 1812  Today is Tuesday, May 4th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1812
Since it is Mother's Day week, this is something that Pam Winter read at church last Mother's Day.
 
I liked it and kept it to share; for moms - you, yours, and others!
 
Mother's Prayer

Dear Lord,

today we pray for mothers--
our own mothers, and mothers everywhere,
who have made such a major contribution
to the good qualities we have,

sometimes through genetics,
more often through great effort and patient instruction,
and who have done their best
to gently polish away our rough edges.

Lord, please bless our mothers
for the endless hours of time they spent
and the boundless energy they invested in us.

Bless our mothers for their sacrifices on our behalf
as they often gave up or deferred their own dreams
so that we could have ours.

Bless our mothers for always being there for us,
for being the person we know we can turn to
when we need comfort, encouragement, or just a hug.

Bless our mothers for making a home for us
where we could feel safe, where we felt we belonged.

Most of all, Lord,
bless our mothers for their unconditional love,
for loving us no matter what,
and for frequently showing love
in ways that make us feel valued and cherished.

Lord, please bless our mothers mightily.
Strengthen them, soothe them,
wrap them in Your infinite love
and shower them with blessings
too numerous to count, too magnificent to describe.

We love them, admire them, respect them,
and we wish that You would give them back
many times the good they gave to us.
In Jesus' name we pray; Amen.

By Joanna Fuchs
 
**
Printable Issue 1813  Today is Wednesday, May 5th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1813
Karen's Korner for today was written and sent to me by a good friend Chris Lousias, while she lived in Clarion. It was labeld 'possible devotional'; don't know why I didn't use it before. It is more than three years old. Funny how God's words and His Kingdom stay powerful, no matter how things around us may change:
 

A Promise We Can Trust In.

 

Psalm 9:10
"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you."

 

I walk to work.  I leave before seven a.m. while it is still dark.  Across the street from me lives one of the local sheriffs.  Today as I left, he was also leaving.  I could only see his silhouette because his back was to the porch light.

 

The picture he portrayed was one of the Wild West with both arms out to the side and his hands relaxed, spread open and ready to draw his weapon on the count of three.  I realized that he was probably taught to be constantly on guard.  He doesn’t know who I am and for all he knew I could have posed a threat.  In his job, he has been predisposed to not trusting anyone.

 

As each of us grows in our relationship with Christ, we learn to become predisposed to trusting in Him.  Through God’s Word, we are constantly told that His promises are true and all we need to do is come to Him. 

 

When I first came to Christ, I was leery.  Throughout my life, I had constantly been humiliated, demeaned and disappointed by the people who were supposed to encourage me.  It is easy to see how my trust in people became guarded and distant.  Naturally, this distrust doesn’t dissolve easily. 

 

I have come to know that once you accept Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit that dwells in you, melts the ice and dismantles the concrete wall of your heart.  The closer you come in your relationship with God, the more He wraps His love around you.  When you cry out to God, He is there for you.  I have experienced this time and again.  Because I believe in His Word and because He has never left me in my time of need, I have now become accustomed to going to Him and finding the relief He has promised.  I have been taught and trained to trust again.  He has promised me eternal life and He has not given me any reason to doubt that.

 

2 Peter 3:13
"But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness."

 

"God,You are the LORD of righteousness and Your Word is true.  I pray that all those who come to You will experience the joy of Your love and comfort.  I pray that those who are hurting and have been deceived by the evils of this world find the peace You offer through Your Son.  Father, Comforter, and Protector we praise You and honor You for all You have done for us.  In You Son’s name we pray, Amen."
 
**
(Tomorrow is National Day of Prayer. If you are in the Clarion area, join the Prayer Breakfast at the Clarion Public Library at 7 a.m. If that doesn't fit your schedule, find one that might by checking the web site www.nationaldayofprayer.org . There are nearly 50 spots listed in Iowa alone! Clarion's was submitted but is not included.....)
Printable Issue 1814  Today is Thursday, May 6th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1814
Today is this year's celebrated National Day of Prayer: May 6. It is the 59th such observance on the first part of May. The theme title is "Prayer for Such a Time as This!" And the chosen Bible verse is:
 
“The Lord is good; a refuge in times of trouble.

He cares for those who trust Him.”

~ Nahum 1:7

 

For our local prayer breakfast, we have researched who leaders are for our nation, our state of Iowa, for Wright County, for Clarion, for the Clarion-Goldfield School district, and for our local spiritual leadership. If you would like any or all of this list, I would be happy to 'cut and paste' it for you to have.

 

Here is a portion of the list of our nation's leaders for your reference: 

 

For Our National Leaders:

·         President Barack Obama

·         Vice-President Joe Biden

·         Attorney General – Eric Holder

·         Secretary of State – Hillary Clinton

·         Secretary of Defense – Robert Gates

·         Secretary of Homeland Security – Janet Napolitano

·         Secretary of Treasury – Timothy Geithner

·         Secretary of Energy – Steven Chu

·         Secretary of Education – Anne Duncan

·         Secretary of Interior – Ken Salazar

·         Secretary of Agriculture – Tom Vilsack

·         Secretary of Labor – Hilda Soles

 

 

Dear Lord, we thank You for today and for the opportunity to stop as a nation to acknowledge You and Your faithfulness to our country. We confess that as a nation, we have not always been faithful to You, forgive us. We need Your love, Your care, Your mercy, Your direction. Thank You for making all things new. Lead us, guide us, protect us. We acknowledge that Your ways are higher than ours. Thank You that through You and Your Holy Word, we have a future and a hope. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1815  Today is Friday, May 7th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1815
Sunday is Mother's Day; good day to honor mothers everywhere.
 
I am in one of the fortunate categories who still has her mom. Mine will be 92 in November. She still lives alone, moving to an apartment in Clear Lake shortly after my dad died seven years ago.
 
Last week when we visited her for a few minutes, she gave me a baby blanket to give to our son-in-law Ed (our daughter Merry's husband) and his wife Heather who will have a new baby at the end of the month. This is #23 which she has made for family members in the past number of years. She uses two pieces of baby fabric print which she binds and ties. They are big and nice for use for youngsters past their baby days; her work continues to be very good in spite of her advancing age.
 
So good are her sewing skills yet that her church family has purchase multiple yards of fabric to make simple dresses for Haiti girls. Kit Zirbel (mom) will head the committee, giving the group her sewing expertise.
 
Mom had a tough life financially, living through the depression as one of fifteen kids. She learned life and survival skills not only during that time, but also some of the 'less" times during World War II.
 
And then came five kids of her own. I am #2. I can recall her remodeling her dresscoat a couple of times to make it more 'up-to-date' so she could continue to wear it for more than a decade. Growing kids needed other clothes more.
 
Both she and my dad would sometimes forego their own six-month dental check ups so that we kids could have ours, if money didn't go far enough.
 
Is my mom perfect? No, not even close. But for these and many other memories, I am thankful for her and for her continued care of all of us. Her love was and is demonstrated by her actions and sacrifices for others.
 
Are we to love our parents, our moms because they have always done everything right?
 
No, because God knows/knew that wouldn't be possible for them, nor for us now as mothers and fathers. We are to love and honor them because He tells we are to do that:
 
Deuteronomy 5:16:
"Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
 
When we 'honor' and love our fathers and mothers, everyone wins!
 
I love you, Mom!
 
Now your turn, share a couple of sentences of thoughts or memories of your mother. I will read them; maybe even share them with others...
Printable Issue 1816  Today is Monday, May 10th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1816
A couple more reflections on Mothers' Day as we move away from yesterday.
 
From the front of Sunday's church bulletin:
 
"Being a mother is a gift
too great to comprehend.

Having a mother is a blessing
too beautiful for words."
 
"Every good gift
and every perfect gift is from above,
and comes down from the Father."
~ James 1:17
 
**
 
Highlights shared by readers of Karen's Korner (ranging in age from 40s - 80s) from my Friday sharing about my mother, they wrote about their moms:
 
** From Donna Dunlap: She remembers her mom 'going with the flow'. "It couldn't have been easy; raising the family during those 'depression years'.......paying the doctor with a chcken or other foods.........I also will always remember that she NEVER had one bad word to say about our Dad."
 
** From Alice Espe: "My mother ironed shirts for junior college boys and for my Dad and three brothers who had to wear white starched shirts for meat cutting and for restaurant work.......I feel her love every time I iron."
 
** From Mary Ann Howe:  "My mother was a very quiet person who did not say bad things about people; if she did she said it in a way that didn't sound at all negative......She worked hard on the farm being a farmer's wife and mother. It wasn't until I was an adult that I appreciated her beautiful qualities of who she was."
 
** From Lois Lesher:  Lois penned some words in 1980 for a Women's Federated State Contest, about mothers and Mother's Day, (in part):  "She was a loving and patient person, never forcing me along life's path, but gently urging, she guided me through a maze of experiences, helping me to choose the right over the wrong. She gave unselfishly.....her aim was to serve others....."
 
** From Deb Lange: "I can't begin to list all of things for which I love and am thankful about me mom." Deb said one that comes to mind is her mom wanting a horse as a little girl: that dream came true for mom when Deb was under school age. They bought "Lassie" from a neighbor and since they didn't own a trailer or have any way to haul animals, "they had to ride the horse home." And the love of horses continues for the whole family....more than 40 years for Deb!
 
** From Judy Rumley:  "I miss and think about my mother every day." Judy never knew her father as he died before she was born. She also lost her only sibling, John, thirteen years ago. "I say to those who still have their parents to be good and forgiving of them every day," she wrote.
 
** From Pat Holtapp;  Pat wrote that her father died during World War II and that her mother had been 'head of the household' for three years prior to that, as he was gone in service to our country. "She was 4' 10" tall, and always wore high heels. She farmed 120 acres......in heels. She walked beans, gardened, and walked to the top of bleachers for our son's football games.......in heels. And she always wore a dress! She believed strongly that women did not wear slacks!.....Mom taught us to be faithful to family and friends, work hard, and be honest. To be proud of our heritage, our country, of Iowa, and our Kinsey farm land. She taught us to seek knowledge.....surrounded by books....reading to each/all of us every night for much of my at home years..."
 
** From Jerry Temeyer:  His mother was #4 of 12; having ten children of her own. "She loved the outdoors, working with livestock, and had to go to work outside of the home after she completed eighth grade..... She always seemed to be doing things for the family:  a big garden, sewing and mending; getting us ready for church; leading the rosary during lent. And oh, she loved to fish. She, along with Kathy (deceased wife), are great inspirations to me.....to 'Love one another'."
Printable Issue 1817  Today is Tuesday, May 11th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1817
People can't tune in to the news very long until we hear about struggles with money:  governments from around the world; local leaderships; families; and individuals. This is what this portion of the Bible says to address such issues:
 

Psalm 30:6-12 (New Living Translation)

 6 When I was prosperous, I said,
      “Nothing can stop me now!”
 7 Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain.
      Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.

 8 I cried out to you, O Lord.
      I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
 9 “What will you gain if I die,
      if I sink into the grave?
   Can my dust praise you?
      Can it tell of your faithfulness?
 10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
      Help me, O Lord.”

 11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
      You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
 12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
      O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

***

Bible Commentary:  Prosperity had made David (writer of this Psalm) feel invincible. Although he knew his riches and power had come from God, they had gone to his head, making him proud. Wealth, power, and fame have an intoxicating effect on people, making them feel self-reliant, self-secure, and independent of God. But this is a false security that is easily shattered. Don't be trapped by the false security of prosperity. Depend on God for your security and you won't be shaken when wordly posessions disappear.

Printable Issue 1818  Today is Wednesday, May 12th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1818
A daily email devotional sent to me a few years ago by minister Jeff White:
 

Jesus wept.  So the Jews were saying,

 "See how He loved him!"

~ John 11:35-36

 

Everybody knows this, the shortest verse in the Bible.  “Jesus Wept”.  Short but powerful.  We know the story is about his friend who died, but Jesus knew he was going to raise him from the dead, so why cry?  Let me give you three possibilities to think on through your day.  If you want to tell me which (or even add a possibility) please do so. 

 

He cried because:

 

1)      The anguish he caused Mary and Martha by not coming prior to Lazarus’ death and healing him.  A friend doesn’t wait 4 days when he is called for help.

2)      Because he knew Lazarus was in paradise and didn’t want to call him back to earth.

3)      Because he knew the Jews would plot to kill Lazarus from then on and his life would be really difficult.

4)      Because he was in the shadow of the cross at Lazarus’ home.  He was less than two miles from Golgotha and the Garden of Gethsemane and the death of Lazarus just drove home what he himself was going to have to go through in a very short time.

 

At the very least he cried because he loves us so much that he feels our pain as strongly as we feel it.



Yours in Christ
Jeff White
Printable Issue 1819  Today is Thursday, May 13th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1819
This is a writing by Rick Renner, from his book "Sparkling Gems from the Greek"; each day has a writing and then defining one word from the Greek. This is in part and doesn't include the defining word; it is a great thought:
 
Rejuvenated by the Spirit of God!
 
"Recently I was thinking of the pressures and stresses that affect so many people's lives. Peope live their lives in their cars as they spend endless hours on expressways each day. They take their kids back and forth to school and to sport events; they go to church functions, to the grocery store, and back and forth to work. This constant movement puts a lot of stress on the mind and the body. Yet there seems to be no option but to constantly try to keep up with the hectic pace!
 
"Then you finally get home in the evening, you can't really rest. After all, the bills must be paid, the house must be maintained; the yard needs mowing; dishes need washing; dinner needs to be cooked; groceries have to be put away; the children need special attention and discipline. Walking through the door of the house at the end of the work day does not mean your work is finished. You have switched to a different kind of work.
 
"Then there are still church responsibilities. You want to be faithful to your church and serve in as many areas as possible. Church is important and should be treated as such. But often you have expended so much energy on all the other important matters of life that when you finally get around to church, you feel exhausted and unmotivated. This makes you feel guilty and even condemned for not being more excited about serving the Lord in a practical way at church. But it isn't really a question of desire; it's a question of energy. Already your body and mind have almost been pushed to the brink!
 
"Then there are family responsibilities......"
 
"How about your friendship responsibilities....."
 
"Don't forget your financial challenges and pressures......"
 
"One of Satan's greatest weapons is discouragement, and he knows exactly when to use it. He waits until you are tired, weak, and susceptible to his lies. Then he hits you hard in your emoitions, trying to tell you that you are accomplishing nothing valuable in life......"
 
MY PRAYER TODAY
 
"Lord, I admit that I need a fresh surge of supernatural power in my life right now. I ask You to release the resurrection power of Jesus Christ that resides in my spirit. Let it flow up into my body and mind so I can be rejuvenated and recharged with enough power to fulfill all the responsibilitiess and duties that lie before me. I know that in my own strength, I can't do everything that is required to me in the days ahead. But I also know that with Your supernatural power working in me, I will be able to do everything You have asked me to do! I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen."
 
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
 
"I confess that God's Spirit is quickening my mortal flesh and rejuvenating me with enough strength to fulfill all the duties and responsibilities that lie ahead of me. I am not weak. I am not tired. I am refreshed. I am strengthened. I am filled with power. Because the Holy Spirit dwells in my there is not a single moment when I don't have everything that I need! I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!"
 
***
Printable Issue 1820  Today is Friday, May 14th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1820
"Fix your thoughts on what is
true
and good
and right.
 
Think about things that are
pure
and lovely,
and dwell on the fine, good things in others.
 
Think about all you can praise God for
and be glad about it."
 
~ Philippians 4:8,9
 
If we are to think about all of these positive and good things in a world or our personal lives which may not be positive, how are going to do it? Looks one more thing I/we are going to have to ask God to help us with. He knows that thinking about such things will make us happier and more content.
 
God, when I want to focus on things that I don't like, help me to bring to the front of my mind all the good, right things for which I can think and be thankful. Help me to focus on good in people in my world and to praise You. Today is another day in which to be glad; thank you. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1821  Today is Monday, May 17th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1821
For the past few years, the Marys & Marthas (M & Ms, an ecumenical group of gals which Karen's Korners' readers hear about from time to time) purchase a handful of aquatic center passes for individuals and families in our community, as we head into the summer season.
 
This is the first year the M & Ms are asking potential recipients to pay a small portion of the fee, as well. Among other things, it stretches our limited funds over more people. In telling of our decision to educators and civic leaders who are instructed in these types of things, they have been suportive of our change.
 
"We learn it is important people are given the opportunity to contribute what they can (money or time),." said one person.
 
Another said, "Great, they will be given a sense of responsibility and not entitlement."
 
It seems that in our haste to help others, at times, we can teach people to not help themselves. Or maybe to wait for others to 'give them' more and more.
 
I had an experience which caused me to pause several weeks ago:
 
My friend, Miriam, called and asked me if I wanted several perenniel flowers which needed to be transplanted from her bulging flower beds.
 
"Sure," I said.
 
I came home with four different varieties of plants with instructions: 
 
"Divide this clump into two plantings". "This one into four parts....."
 
Set them out I did.
 
But then came high winds and dry weather.
 
If I would have paid $3.99 for this flower and $6 for that one, I would have been out there with my watering can and maybe a hoe. But I wasn't! They hadn't cost my anything. And I knew where there was more. I couldn't believe how I was reacting to the flowers and the weather.
 
And then I knew:  many of the things for which we have need or for our enjoyment, needs to 'cost' us something for us to most appreciate it.
 
While we enjoy giving and getting gifts, we need to be careful that we don't foster an unneccessary and unhealthy dependency by ourselves and by others.
 
The Bible teaches the principle of allowing people to help themselves to the extent that they can:
 
" 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.' "
~ Leviticus 23:22
Printable Issue 1822  Today is Tuesday, May 18th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1822
This is something that Jim's sister Mel emailed a couple of weeks ago. It was especially meaningful to them as there are people in their community related to those in a tragic auto accident near Des Moines about the same time, claiming the lives of two young children. I recall that someone ran a stop sign:
 
THE DOLL

I was walking around in a WalMart store, when I saw a Cashier hand this little boy some money back. The boy couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old..

The Cashier said, 'I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll.'

Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him: ''Granny, are you sure I don't have enough money?''

The old lady replied: ''You know that you don't have enough money to buy this doll, my dear.''

Then she asked him to stay there for just five minutes while she went to look around. She left quickly.

The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand..

Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to.

'It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for Christmas. She was sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her.'

I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus would bring it to her after all, and not to worry.

But he replied to me sadly. 'No, Santa Claus can't bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.'

His eyes were so sad while saying this.. 'My Sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister.''

My heart nearly stopped.

The little boy looked up at me and said: 'I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.' Then he showed me a very nice photo of himself. He was laughing. He then told me 'I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won't forget me.'

'I love my mommy and I wish she didn't have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.'
Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. 'Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll!''

OK',  he said, 'I hope I do have enough.' I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money..

The little boy said: 'Thank you God for giving me enough money!'

Then he looked at me and added, 'I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give it to my sister. He heard me!''

'I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God for too much.. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose.''

'My mommy loves white roses.'

A few minutes later, the old lady returned and I left with my basket.

I finished my shopping in a totally different state of mind from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind.
Then I remembered a local news paper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl.

The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma.

Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the news paper that the young woman had passed away. I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was for people to see and make last wishes before her burial. She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest.

I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed for ever.. The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine.

And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

Printable Issue 1823  Today is Wednesday, May 19th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1823
This is an email inspirational thought email to me around Thanksgiving, written by Shirley Choat. But as Christians, 'every day' can be 'thanks giving' day:
 
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger or sword?--
No in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, angels, demons, present, future, powers, height, death, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD."
~ Romans 8:35-39
 
    When we express our gratitude to God, it's easy to emphasize material prosperity and the qualities of life that are wonderful to have but easy to lose. Good health is a great blessing, but it could be gone tomorrow. Into the most loving families and friendships, death intrudes when we least expect it. Our tables may be loaded with food tomorrow and wondering about our next meal.
 
     How about taking a new approach to giving thanks today? Instead of focusing on the traditional areas of food, family, and friends, let's thank God for what we cannot lose. This text is a great place to begin. After considering the difficulties and calamities that can strip away the externals from our lives, Paul concluded that none of them shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our LORD" God's love is unfailing, unceasing, unchanging and unconquerable.
 
     And remember, as believers we are united with Him. We are inseparable. Our union with Christ assures us of our freedom from condemnation.
 
He'll not let my soul be lost,
Christ will hold me fast;
Bought by Him at such a cost,
He will hold me fast.
 
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - Because Christ lives in us now, we will live with Him forever.
 
***
Printable Issue 1824  Today is Thursday, May 20th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1824
Several items taken from a small perpetual flip calendar "Special Angel":
 
A friend is like an angel
who holds on to you
after others have let go.
 
**
 
Friendship is the only cement
that will hold the world together.
 
**
 
There is no better exercise for the heart
than reaching down and lifting someone up.
 
**
 
When you are discouraged,
a friend comes to you
without being asked.
 
**
 
Don't be afraid to strive to be first -
first to nod,
first to smile,
first to speak,
and
first to forgive
 
***
Printable Issue 1825  Today is Friday, May 21st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1825
The most destructive habit........................Worry
The greatest joy..................................Giving
The greatest loss...............Loss of self-respect
The most satisfying work..................Helping others
The ugliest personality trait..................Selfishness
The most endangered species........Dedicated leaders
Our greatest natural resource....................Our youth
The greatest "shot in the arm"...........Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome......................Fear
The most effective sleeping pill.........Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease................Excuses
The most powerful force in life......................Love
The most dangerous pariah......................A gossiper
The world's most incredible computer.......The brain
The worst thing to be without....................... Hope
The deadliest weapon...........................The tongue
The two most power-filled words................."I Can"
The greatest asset.............................Faith
The most worthless emotion......................Self-pity
The most beautiful attire.........................SMILE!
The most prized possession.................... Integrity
The most powerful channel of communication.......Prayer
The most contagious spirit....................Enthusiasm

~Author unknown~
 
***
Printable Issue 1826  Today is Monday, May 24th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1826
For my birthday a year ago, a couple of friends bought me a book by Rick Renner titled "Sparkling Gems from the Greek". It is a 'every day of the year study book' looking at words, using their Greek origins. It is more than 1,000 pages.
 
I have to admit, I didn't begin reading it right away. I don't pick up that size book very often! When I started reading it, I am enjoying the 'every day' thought:  two or three pages a day, I can handle.
 
Today's thought (in part) sort of reconfirmed my last Monday's thought about 'helping people some, but not doing it all for them':
 
It's Time for You To Become Responsible!
 
"For every man shall bear his own burden."
~ Galatians 6:5
 
"When Denise and I were first married and were just getting started in the ministry, our heart was to help people who were in need. Word of our efforts to help people soon spread throughout our city, and it seemed like there was always a long line of people approaching us to request help for all kinds of needs. Some of the needs were serious and legitimate, but soon we recognized that some people just wanted to take advantage of our good will.
 
"That latter category included those who didn't want to get a job. These people had myriads of excuses for why they couldn't go to work, and they came up with fantastic reasons to explain why everyone else should be paying their bills. At first, Denise and I didn't realize that we were the newest gullible victims they had discovered to help them freeload. But after a while we looked at each other and said, 'Wait a minute! These people aren't serious. They're just looking for someonese to pay their bills so they can get a free ride in life!'
 
Renner went on to compare Galatians 6, verse 2 against verse 5 in the Greek language, as to when help should be given and when it should not. Then he continued:
 
"You see, there is a certain amount of responsiibility we are required to carry by ourselves. For instance, no one can do our work for us, and not one can make our decisions for us. Our bills are our responsibility to pay; our children are ours to raise; our dog is ours to feed; our yard is ours to mow; and our kitchen is ours to clean.
 
"If you haven't discovered it yet, let me inform you that there are many freeloaders in the Body of Christ who would love to shirk these responsibilities and find someone else to do everything for them....if you know someone who shirks responsibilities, it's time for you to start helping that person accept responsibility for his/her own life. If you know someone who is freeloading on the goodwill of others, God may want to use you to tell him/her to stop it!'
 
"People like that need to grow up and act like adults! So make sure that you don't empower and prolong their irresponsible exitstence by giving them everything they ask for. Saying no may be hard for you to do, but doing it a couple of times will help them realize they have lost their free ride, awaken them to reality, and thus put them on the right track!
 
"It is very important that you think soberly about these things. Your actions are so important because your response will either help or hurt people. If they have sincere needs that they cannot overcome alone, you need to pray about what God wants you to do to help them. But if your analysis of the situation reveals that they are needy because they won't do what is necessary to fix the problem, it maybe God's will that you tell them no....."
 
MY PRAYER TODAY
 
"Lord, what I have read today is very hard for me personally. I know some people who need to grow up and start taking on more responsibilities of life. I must admit that I've gone to their rescue too many times and that I've probably enabled them to continue their wrong behavior and inappropriate lifestyle. Saying no is so hard for me to do, but I am asking You to help me stop empowering them to keep living irresponsibly as they have been doing. Holy Spirit, please give me Your mind and Your power, and help me to do what is right on this issue. I pray this in Jesus' Name. Amen."
 
MY CONFESSION TODAY
 
"I confess that I have the mind of Christ to help me know when I am to help and when I am to say no. The Holy Spirit speaks to my heart and shows me what to do in every situation. God's Spirit advises me about what I should do. I am obedient to Him and am NOT led by my emotions. I declare this by faith in Jesus' Name.
 
***
Printable Issue 1827  Today is Tuesday, May 25th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1827

Psalm 70 (NLB) - written by David

This is an urgent prayer for help.
It can be your prayer when you're short of time and long in need.
 
Please, God, rescue me!
      Come quickly, Lord, and help me.
 May those who try to kill me
      be humiliated and put to shame.

   May those who take delight in my trouble
      be turned back in disgrace.
Let them be horrified by their shame,
      for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
 But may all who search for you
      be filled with joy and gladness in you.
   May those who love your salvation
      repeatedly shout, “God is great!”
 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
      please hurry to my aid, O God.
   You are my helper and my savior;
      O Lord, do not delay.
 
***
Bible Commentary:  When others disappoint us, we feel empty, as though a vital part of ourselves has been stolen. When others break the trust we have placed in them, they break us and leave us like cracked, dry cisterns. At those dry, empty moments, we must join the psalm writer in begging God to rush to our aid. He alone can fill the empty, dry cisterns of our lives with his joys (vs. 4). With the psalm writer, we cry out, "O Lord, don't delay."
 
Even in this moment of panic, praise was not forgotten. Praise is so important because it helps us remember who God is. Often our prayers are filled with requests for ourselves and others, and we forget to thank God for what he has done and to worship him for who he is. Don't take God for granted and treat him as a vending machine. Even in the midst of fear, David praised God.
 
***
 
A couple of words from Sunday's sermon:
 
"When we work, we work.
When we pray, God works!"
 
***
Printable Issue 1828  Today is Wednesday, May 26th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1828
A couple thoughts as I was planting my final flowers yesterday morning.
 
I should have or could have planted them much earlier, but how?
 
Earlier in the month, I had purchased some flats of flowers. Then the forecast came; in a few days it would be cold - very cold. So I left them in our machine shed for a few more days. Glad I did; some thermometers in our area registered as low as 31 degrees.
 
Then I planted what I had after it warmed up.
 
Bought some more. These sat in our shed. First avoiding, rain. Then higher temperatures. But the last few days, we had wind.....lots and lots of wind! Every day I hid out in our house. Not planting flowers; waiting for a 'nicer day'.
 
Yesterday was that day, so I finished setting out the balance of the flowers for my gardens this season.
 
So what happened while I did my transplanting early in the morning?
 
Mosquitoes!
 
I had to swat a few while I worked.
 
Made me think:  "If we wait for perfect conditions, we may not get anything done!"
 
If something is worth doing, keep the plans and keep the thoughts. And then begin:  begin the new study or class; begin the fitness regime or better eating habit; pursue the new relationship; just begin! Not because of.....in spite of!
 
My second momentary experience, as I was on my hands and knees was when Jim walked by. As a farmer, he has done more planting than I ever have.
 
He simply stepped on each side of a couple of petunias. "It's better if the soil is pushed down a little more," he said.

I've planted lots of flowers in the past, but I don't think I have ever really pushed the loose soil down around each plant as firmly as he did or I did with the balance of each transplant yesterday.
 
I'll let you know if it works better or not, but it made sense to me.
 
Does that ever happen to us and our lives when we are transplanted into a new situation? Does God ever allow the 'soil of our lives' to be tamped down a little tighter? Tighter than we believe needed? But it could allow us to have a more effective growth spurt?
 
"Be glad for ALL God is planning for you.
Be patient in trouble,
and prayerful ALWAYS."
~ Romans 12:12
 
Dear Lord, thank You for Your teaching us; for guiding us; for being with us always. Help us, help me, to be prayer always...no matter what happens. May we recognize Your Hand of blessing always. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1829  Today is Thursday, May 27th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1829
It's somebody's birthday; somewhere today, and tomorrow.....
 
Tuesday, June 1 is our daughter Merry's birth day; she would have been 37.
 
Today a friend and I are taking another friend, Bev, to a tea room for her birthday, which is tomorrow.
 
On Monday, our son-in-law Ed (Merry's husband) and his wife Heather had a new baby, Hannah Katherine;
she is welcomed by her three-year-old sister, Eva.
 
 
For my birthday, Judy Weir gave me a book of sayings titled, "A Birthday Celebration:  I'm so glad God made You!"
 
Some sayings taken from that book for the people listed above and everyone else on their big 'day':
 
 
There is something in every season, in every day,
to celebrate with thanksgiving.
~ Gloria Gaither
 
**
 
Every day we live is a pricelss gift of God,
loaded with possibilities
to learn something new;
to gain fresh insights.
~ Dale Evans Rogers
 
**
 
Grace means God accepts me just as I am.
He does not require or insist that I measure up to someone else's standard of performance.
He loves me completely, thoroughly, and perfectly.
There's nothing I can do to add or detract from that love.
~ Mary Graham
 
**
 
God will never, never, never let us down
if we have faith and put our trust in Him.
He will always look after us.
~ Mother Teresa
 
**
 
Time is a precious gift of God;
so precious that it's only given to us
moment by moment.
~ Amelia Barr
 
**
 
I wish you all the joy that you can wish.
~ William Shakespeare
 
**
 
He is first, and He is last!
And we are gathered up in between,
as in great arms of eternal lovingkindness.
~ Amy Carmichael
 
***
Printable Issue 1830  Today is Friday, May 28th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1830
A salute to several of those who serve and served our country with courage and bravery, as we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend::
 
* On Monday (May 24) at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, 94 year-old Edward Stevens was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry, while serving during World War II.

In June 1944, then Lt. Stevens was a B-17 pilot. He and his crew of 10 were on a mission over France when their plane was hit 151 times by anti-aircraft fire. Three of the plane's four engines failed and Stevens tried to maneuver the plane safely out of enemy territory. He successfully navigated the English Channel but could not fly the damaged plane high enough to avoid the white cliffs of Dover that tower some 300 feet above the water. In a split-second decision, he headed for the beach at the base of the cliffs. The cockpit snapped from the fuselage upon landing, but all on board survived.

Stevens remained humble through the presentation."I don't know why I should get this special medal," Stevens said after it was pinned to his shirt.
 
** In San Antonio, Texas on Tuesday, May 18th, Sgt. Jospeh L. Lollino received the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart, serving as an Army medic'during a firefight in Afghanistan..He retrieved and treated five casualties when his convoy was ambushed June 20, 2008. He drove his armored Humvee through enemy machine-gun and small-arms fire to reach the disabled vehicle, returned fire with his weapon, extracted the casualties from the vehicle and began treatment.

Despite shrapnel in his upper arm, Lollino treated four soldiers with shrapnel wounds to the neck, legs, arms and shoulder, plus a case of smoke inhalation. He loaded them into another vehicle and continued treatment as they escaped the four-kilometer-long ambush.

When Lollino received his award, he said simply, "I just wanted to do my job, fix the guys and make sure no one died, Everybody's got a family we all want to get back to."
 
** On March 18th of this year, retired Army Chief Warrant Office Phillip Daniel O'Donnell recived the Bronze Star in Arlington, Illinois for actions he took some forty years earlier as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.

O'Donnell, who turns 70 in August, was cited for his performance as a helicopter pilot flying gun support in 1970 and 1971. Despite many adversities, he performed his duties which contributed to many successful accomplishments for the United States Army mission and for the Republic of Vietnam


"This a very emotional day," said O'Donnell after receiving the medal. "I have lung cancer (he experienced agent orange while serving in Vienam) so that makes it even more special. I don't have many days left."*
 
 
For the efforts of these three gentlemen, and hundreds and thousands of others who have served and continue to serve our country to keep the United States safe and free, we salute these brave men and women!
 
As we have heard or read on bumper stickers, "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!" It comes with a high price tag!
 
May God bless all of our service people; we ask for God's continued blessings on America and its future!
 
* Information taken from a U.S. military website.
Printable Issue 1831  Today is Monday, May 31st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1831
Happy Memorial Day! I usually don't do web sites for Karen's Korners, but I received this one overnight and really liked it as we celebrate and remember:
 

From the third graders of Tussing Elementary, Colonial Heights, Virginia.

Click your mouse here:    Tussing Elementary

 

The words to "My Country 'Tis of Thee", as a tribute to soldiers who have fought, served, and died for our country:

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!
       My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
***