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July 2010 Archives

Printable Issue 1854  Today is Thursday, July 1st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1854

This is another portion of yesterday's Karen's Korner forwarded to me by a friend.

Desperate situations with no other answer but asking God your questions and to fill your needs. And then God providing!

I have heard my mom tell about similar situations of her family during the Depression:  fifteen kids; no food in the house; their mom (grandma) on her knees asking God to provide.. Then a knock on the door, some food from a neighbor......

I have never been in that situation.

 

Written by Robert and Joyce Ricciardelli:

Here's a story I found from the life of George Mueller: Things looked bleak for the children of George Mueller's orphanage at Ashley Downs in England. It was time for breakfast, and there was no food. A small girl whose father was a close friend of Mueller was visiting in the home. Mueller took her hand and said, "Come and see what our Father will do." In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but there was no money in the home's account.
 
Mueller prayed, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat." Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. "Mr. Mueller," he said, "I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 o'clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is." Mueller thanked him and gave praise to God. Soon, a second knock was heard. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. He said that before the milk spoiled, he would like to give it to the children.
 
Looking at George Mueller's ability to know that Father would provide, makes it very clear that prayer preceded the miracle that was about to happen. Through prayer and revelation George knew that His Father would provide and it activated the faith in others, while preparing the table for the miracle.
 
"Prayer is not pulling God to our will, but the aligning of our will to the will of God." May we all pray like never before in the midst of crisis or blessings and begin to prepare the table for His miracles to appear in our lives and the lives of others, in Jesus name.
 
***
Printable Issue 1855  Today is Friday, July 2nd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1855
Some facts from a web site about the United States Pledge Allegiance:
 

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an oath of loyalty to the national and the republic of the United States, originally composed by Francis Bellamy  in 1892. The Pledge has been modified four times since then, with the most recent change adding the words "under God" in 1954. The Pledge is predominantly sworn by children in public schools in response to state laws requiring the Pledge to be offered. Congressional sessions open with the swearing of the Pledge, as do government meetings at local levels, many organizations' meetings, and sporting events.

The current version of the Pledge of Allegiance reads;

I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America,
and to the republic for which it stands,
one nation under God,
indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.

According to the United States flag code, the Pledge "should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform, men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute"

**

This is a holiday for us to thank our military, past and present, for allowing us to be an independent country with many rights, freedoms, and responsibilities.

Last night we celebrated the 4th with local care center residents and by attending a concert given by the 34th Iowa Army Guard band in Eagle Grove. We have the opportunity to welcome a Clarion hometown boy back from Afghanistan this morning when his unit rolls through town. Tomorrow afternoon we are going to seize the opportunity to see and hear several World War II veterans speak at our local museum. On both Saturday and Sunday, we can spend some time with friends and family...watching parades, worshipping at our church, and eating together and celebrating, because.....

How are you going to celebrate our nation and its independence this weekend? I'd like to hear from you!

God, You have blessed America in the past because we have asked you to and because You are God and You wanted to. Now sometimes we decide to turn our back on You and attempt to 'go it' alone; do things our way. Not choosing 'under God'. Forgive us. Guide us. We confess that there are places where we are lost. We need a Guide. We need Protection. We need to remember who we are and who You are. You are the answer; You are our answer. In the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen

Printable Issue 1856  Today is Monday, July 5th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1856
 
As we continue to celebrate our independence and freedoms today, it is not only our forefathers who set us free but also our Heavenly Father. He has spent from the beginning of creation until now, showing and telling and doing whatever He can to set us free from ourselves and our tendency toward sin....to be all that He has created us to be!
 
Romans 1:18 - 32 describes some of "God's anger at sin":
 
"Since the earliest of times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made,
and have known of his existence and great eternal power.
So they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day.
Yes, they knew about him all right,
but they wouldn't admit it or worship him or even thank him for all his daily care.
And after awhile they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what he wanted them to do.
The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused.
Claiming themselves to be wise without God, they became utter fools instead. (20-22)
 
So God let them go ahead into every sort of sex sin, and do whatever they wanted to--
yes, vile and sinful things with each other's bodies.
Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God,
they deliberately chose to believe lies.
So they prayed to the things God made, but wouldn't obey the blessed God who made these things. (24,25)
 
That is why God let go of them and let them do all these evil things,
so that even their women turned against God's natural plan for them
and indulged in sex sin with each other.
And the men, instead of having a normal sex relationship with women,
burned with lust for each other, men doing shameful things with other men,
and, as a result, getting paid within their own souls with the penalty they so richly deserved. ((26,27)
 
So it was that when they gave God up and would not even acknowledge him,
God gave them up to doing everything their evil minds could think of.
Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness and sin,
of greed and hate, envy, murder,
fighting, lying bitterness, and gossip. (28,29)
**
 
Bible Commentary:  Paul (writer) clearly portrays the inevitable downward spiral into sin. First people reject God; next they make up their own ideas of what a god should be and do; then they fall into sin--sexual sin, greed, hatred, envy, murder, fighting, lying, bitterness, gossip. Finally they grow to hate God and encourage others to do so. God does not cause this steady progression toward evil. Rather, when people reject him, he allows them to live as they choose. Once caught in the downward spiral, no one can pull himself/herself out. Sinners must trust Christ alone to put them on the patch of escape.
 
God's natural plan is God's ideal for his creation. Unfortunately, what comes naturally to human nature is sin. Sin often means not only denying God but also denying the way we are made. When our society says that any sex act is acceptable so long as nobody gets hurt, it is fooling itself. In the long run, sin hurts people--individuals, families, and whole societies.....
 
Homosexuality is strictly forbidden in the Bible (see Leviticus 18:22). It is considered an acceptable practice by many in our world today--even by some churches. Many homosexuals believe that their desires are normal and that they have the right to express them. But God does not obligate nor encourage us to fulfill all of our desires....even normal ones. Those desires violate his laws are wrong and are to be avoided.
 
.....(and there is more in the commentary, which I would be happy to email to you, if you'd like....)
Printable Issue 1857  Today is Tuesday, July 6th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1857
Thoughts from the mini-book "Quiet Times:  Uplifting Thoughts for Women (and Men)" - part 3:
 
"Life is like a coin.
You can spend it any way you want, but you can only spend it once.
The choice of how we spend our time each day
is one of the most important decisions we can make in life."
 
"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, 'You are my God.'
My times are in Your hand."
~ Psalm 31:14, 15
 
**
 
"So many of us feel as if God were distant.
The truth is that He hasn't moved.
He looks at us with eyes of love and compassion--
with no condemnation in His gaze.
Why not bask in the warmth of His love and acceptance today?"
 
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"
~ Romans 8:35
 
**
 
"It took me many years to make this verse mine.
Finally, I acknowledged that I was a unique creation
of the unique God of the universe--a divine original.
God isn't finished with me yet.
But that's OK--I'm not finished either."
 
"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
~Psalm 139:13
 
**
 
"Think about the areas in your life where you are in need of help.
Now relax in the assurance that Jesus' grace will always
be there for you--ready when you need it."
 
"God is able to make all grace abound toward you,
that you....may have an abundance for every good work."
~ II Corinthians 9:8
 
**
 
"Rest is so important for human beings that God made it the basis of
the Fourth Commandment.
When we don't rest, little issues become big issues and problems mount.
That's why our Lord tells us to get some rest."
 
"It is vain for you to rise up early;
To sit up late."
~ Psalm 127:2
 
****
Printable Issue 1858  Today is Wednesday, July 7th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1858
Sometimes Karen's Korner readers have something that hit their 'hot button' and they share something they have read or experienced with me.
 
Such is today's Karen's Korner emailed to me by Cindee Schnekloth:
 

"But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
     My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
For I envied the proud
     when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
     Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
I get nothing but trouble all day long;
     every morning brings me pain.
So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
     But what a difficult task it is!
Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
     and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
Truly, you put them on a slippery path
     and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction."

Psalm 73:2–3, 13–14, 16–18 (NLT)

 

Encouragement for today

The Psalm writer had a problem. He could not understand why the wicked prospered, while he got nothing but trouble for all his attempts to live a godly life. He was only able to gain perspective when he meditated on the issue from God's perspective, when he took the long view. The eternal perspective of God's big and full plan is the only way to make sense out of this life. What issue gnaws at you spiritually? Where can you go in The Bible to get God's eternal perspective on it? Don't forget worship as another avenue to connect with God's perspective.
 
—Diane Eble, author of Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions
Printable Issue 1859  Today is Thursday, July 8th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1859
From Victoria and Joel Osteen; a good thought for the day:
 

Rescued From the Curse 

 

“Christ has rescued us from the curse…” (Galatians 3:13, NLT).

 

I had a lady tell me the other day that she came from a very negative environment.  The people who raised her were constantly putting her down.  She didn’t feel like she measured up to her sister.  She couldn’t seem to keep a good relationship and never got any good breaks.  She finally said, “Joel, my life has been one disappointment after another.  I think these people have literally cursed my future.”  I told her what I’m telling you today, “Before anyone could curse you, God set you up for a life of blessing.  It doesn’t matter what others have said about you; it only matters what God says about you.  But you have to make the decision to agree with what He says about you and declare His truth over your life.

The Bible says that when two or more are in agreement, it shall be done.  Friend, you and God are a majority! Declare today, “I’m a child of The Most High God.  I am blessed and I cannot be cursed.  I’m wearing my crown of favor.  I’ve been equipped with everything I need to succeed in Jesus’ name!”  When you declare what He says about you, you will move forward into the life of blessing He has for you!
 

 

Father in heaven, thank You for setting me up for blessing.  I choose to set my mind on You and declare Your promises over my life.  I thank You for leading me into paths of righteousness.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Printable Issue 1860  Today is Friday, July 9th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1860
"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.
We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon,
instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today."
~~ Quote by Dale Carnegie
 
What happens if today, with all of its trials and unsettling facts, is the best day of the rest of our lives? What happens if a doctor tomorrow or next week or next month tells you/me or a loved one, "I am sorry there is nothing that can be done."?
 
Maybe today with all of its ills and cares is a good day to celebrate, walk with our heads high.......because we are loved and taken care of by our Creator! Not just today but through this life and on to the one that is coming!
 
  And now, LORD,
bless me and keep me;
make Your face to shine upon me and be gracious unto me,
and grant to me Your peace in my going out and my coming in,
in my laying down and in my rising up,
in my labor and in my leisure, in my laughter and in my tears,
until I stand before Jesus in that day in which there is no sunset, and no dawning.
In Jesus' name. Amen
(Numbers 6:24-26) *
 
* Taken in part from an email by Shirley Choat.
Printable Issue 1861  Today is Monday, July 12th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1861

Romans 3:25, 27, 28 (NLT)

"For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past.

 "Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law."

 

Bible Commentary on these verses:  "Most religions prescribe specific duties that must be performed to make a person acceptable to God. Christianity is unique in teaching that the good things we do will not put us right with God. No amount of human achievement or progress in personal development will close the gap betweeen God's moral perfection and our imperfect daily performance. Good deeds are fine, but they will not earn us eternal life. We are saved only by trusting in what God has done for us.

"Why does God save us by faith alone?  1) Faith eliminates human pride; 2) Faith exalts God, not people. 3) Faith makes salvation available to all. 4) Faith admits we can't keep the law or measure up to God's standards---we need help. 5) Faith is based on a relationship with God, not on performance for God.

****

Printable Issue 1862  Today is Tuesday, July 13th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1862
I am having fun right now taking a look at the book of Romans.
 
There is a chart in my LIfe Application Bible showing WHAT WE HAVE AS CHILDREN, taken from Romans 5:8 - 20:
 
As Adam's Children:
 
Ruin
Sin
Death
Separation from God
Disobedience
Judgment
Law
 
As God's Children:
 
Rescue
Righteousness
Eternal life
Relationship with God
Obedience
Deliverance
Grace
 
***

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

~ Romans 5:8 NIT 

****
Printable Issue 1863  Today is Wednesday, July 14th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1863
Is it just me? Or does it seem like there is 'trouble everywhere'?
 
If it is not global or national, it is local with family and friends.
 
Everywhere I look there is trouble. For many it is not just one thing, it is multiple things. And it is not just one or two people, it is several people in my world/life.
 
More than one family is struggling with loss of a loved one, health issues, issues with their house caused by local flooding, and some unemployment or underemployment problems.
 
In the last week, I have heard at least four people say about four different families, "How much is too much?" or "It certainly isn't their turn again?"
 
So what do we do when our plate gets too full? How can God help us?
 
One thing I have found when life kicks us/me around more than I want, is to find a comforting Bible verse and let that resound in my mind and not the issue that is at hand.
 
In 19776, when Jim was facing the possibility of no heart surgery, yet still being ill, God showed me this verse in Psalms (50:15); "I want you to trust me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you and you can give me glory."
 
At the time, our situation looked bleak. We didn't know what our rescue would look like. And here we are 34 years later, Jim with multiple heart surgeries but alive and able to do many things to enjoy his life.
 
But you might say, "Well, I don't know if MY situation will turn out as well as yours!"
 
Go back and read the Bible verse one more time.
 
God gave me the same thought when our daughter Merry was killed eleven years ago next week. This time He rescued me mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
 
God promises us we will always be rescued.
 
I need to be reminded because sometimes I forget. I want instead to worry, be afraid, and be depressed by some depressing situation.
 
Here is another good one to let rattle around in your head:  "God has rescued me from all my troubles, and triumphed over my enemies". - Psalm 54:7
 
God wants us to proclaim His rescue.......before any rescue is on the horizon.
 
Let those thoughts ramble in your mind today -- whenever you (I) want to think otherwise!
Printable Issue 1864  Today is Thursday, July 15th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1864
From "Special Angel", some spiral-bound flip pages of sayings:
 
"A friend is like an angel
who strengthens you with prayers,
blesses you with love
and encourages you with hope."
 
~
 
""When you are discouraged,
a friend comes to you
without being invited."
 
~
 
"It is one of the most beautiful gifts of life
that no one can help a friend
without helping himself/herself.
 
~
 
"A smile from a friend
is a flower in the
buttonhole of life."
 
~
 
"Saints are ordinary people
who do extraordinary things
out of love."
 
~~~
Printable Issue 1865  Today is Friday, July 16th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1865
Setting the record straight..
 
A few months ago, Karen's Korner had the following information which was forwarded to me by a friend. Again last night, another friend forwarded me the same email.
 
It is credited as being penned by 'Tommy Dorsey'.
 
More than one person had commented to me, "I didn't know that Tommy Dorsey (known jazz player) wrote that song.
 
The answer is, "He didn't!"
 
There is Tommy Dorsey and Thomas Dorsey. One was a gospel song writer (black man, known as the Father of Gospel Music) and the other one wasn't. (I knew of the two different men due to Clarion's Gary Brandt; few people know more about music than Gary does. Now you will know as well; thanks to Gary!)
 
 
THE BIRTH OF THE SONG 'PRECIOUS LORD'

Back in 1932, I was a fairly new husband.  My wife, Nettie and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago's south side.  One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn't want to go. Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. But a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis. I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back.

I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram.  I ripped open the envelope.  Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words:  YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.

People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear on the other end was 'Nettie is dead.  Nettie is dead.'

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that same night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart.

For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice.   didn't want to serve Him anymore or write gospel songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.

From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But still I was lost in grief.  Everyone was kind to me, especially one friend. The following Saturday evening he took me up to Maloney's Poro College, a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows.
I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys. Something happened to me then. I felt at peace.   felt as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody, once into my head they just seemed to fall into place: 'Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;  through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light, take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.'
The Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.
And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home..
 
~ Wirtten by Thomas Dorsey
 
~~
Brief biograthies on both men from Wikipedia:
 

Thomas Andrew Dorsey - born on July 1, 1899,  in Georgia and died on January 23, 1993,  in Chicago. He was the music director of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago from 1932 until the late 1970s. His best known composition , "Take My Hand Precious Lord" was performed by Mahalia Jackson and was a favorite of Martin Luther King, Jr. Another popular favorite which he wrote was "Peace in the Valley", a hit for Red Foley in 1951 but also performed by a number of other artists.

Thomas Francis Dorsey (better known as Tommy) - born on November 19, 1905 and died on November 26, 1956.  He was an American jazz trombone player, trujpeter, composer and bandleader of the Big Band Era. He was known as "The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing", due to his smooth-toned trombone playing.

***

Printable Issue 1866  Today is Monday, July 19th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1866
Words to the two most known songs written by Thomas Dorsey. If what I read is correct, he wrote both the words and music:
 

Precious Lord Take My Hand

 by Thomas A. Dorsey

            Precious Lord, take my hand
            Lead me on, let me stand
            I'm tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
            Through the storm, through the night
            Lead me on to the light
            Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
 
            When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
            When my life is almost gone
            Hear my cry, hear my call
            Hold my hand lest I fall
            Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
 
            When the darkness appears and the night draws near
            And the day is past and gone
            At the river I stand
            Guide my feet, hold my hand
            Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
 
            Precious Lord, take my hand
            Lead me on, let me stand
            I'm tired, I’m weak, Lord I’m worn
            Through the storm, through the night
            Lead me on to the light
            Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
***
 
Peace In The Valley
 
By Thomas A. Dorsey
 
Oh well, I'm tired and so weary
But I must go alone
Till the Lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yes
Well the morning's so bright
And the lamp is alight
And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There'll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

Well the bear will be gentle
And the wolves will be tame
And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes
And the beasts from the wild
Shall be lit by a child
And I'll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There'll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me
 
***
Printable Issue 1867  Today is Tuesday, July 20th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1867
For a few years, a few years ago, I received a daily email from Jeff White who is/was a minister in Illinois. Never knew him; never met him. But I liked his writing style and thoughts, which I thought were similar to Max Lucado. I found this one last week, which I had tucked in a computer file folder:
 

God, examine me and know my heart;
test me and know my nervous thoughts.

Psalm 139:23

 

     Nervous thoughts, what are those? 

     Is it like the verse in Mark 9:24, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief"? We all have those moments of doubt. We all wonder if God is still there, or even if he was. At the very least, we wonder how he, the creator of the world, can take time out to care about me. 

     Is it like the time my brother blurted something out and then said “Did I say that out loud”?  The thoughts we think are so buried that even God can’t see them. The thoughts we don’t want to think and need to have purged from our hearts and minds.

     Is it just the whimper in the night, the fear coming to the surface when we feel alone, abandoned?  The times when we just need to be held by someone. 

Whatever your nervous thoughts are, turn them over to God.  Ask him to examine you, test you and know you.  Pray to him, talk to him, and worship him. Wherever you are, turn to him. Jesus can turn a commute into a pilgrimage. You needn’t leave your office or kneel in your kitchen. Just pray where you are. Let the kitchen or the classroom become a chapel. Give God your whispering thoughts.

Printable Issue 1868  Today is Wednesday, July 21st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1868
A short daily devotional email to us earlier this week by Shirley Choat; each one is accompanied by this Bible verse graphic" 
 
" My faith does not rest on the wisdom of men,
But in the Power of God."
~ I Corinthians 2:5
 
Prayer is the most dynamic force available to any human being. Those who have learned to pray have learned to receive things from God, to live in the super-natural, and to be used by God to bless others. Those who have not learned to pray are still living on the natural level and are finding it impossible to accomplish the goals of life that Scripture sets forth.
 
Don't think that you are finished,
Just trust God's love and care;
Delays are not denials;
Persist in faith and prayer.
 
Failure to pray is the line of least persistence.
 
***
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for Your Love, Your Care, Your Concern, Your Saving Grace. Forgive us, help us, lead us, guide us. We come to you with our hurts, our needs, our worries, our love. Be with us today as we work, play, interact with others. Help us to acknowledge You, knowing that You know better than we do in every situation. In Jesus' Name. Amen...
Printable Issue 1869  Today is Saturday, July 24th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1869
"Evil words destroy. Godly skill rebuilds." *
~ Proverbs 11:9
 
Bible Commentary:  Words can be used either as weapons or tools, hurting relationships or building them up. Sadly, it is often easier to destroy than to build, and most people have experienced more destructive words than words which build up. Every person you meet today is either a demolition site or a construction opportunity. Your words will make a difference. Will they be weapons for destruction or tools of construction?
 
* Gone on a short-term mission trip; Thursday - Saturday. Enjoy "Thursday's" today and "Friday's" tomorrow on Sunday!
Printable Issue 1870  Today is Sunday, July 25th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1870
A handful of sayings which was at the bottom of an email I received recently from Marcia Burt:
 
"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.
This makes it hard to plan the day."
-E. B. White 
 
"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."
-Robert Byrne 
 
"Make every day count and live purposefully, live energetically, live completely." 
 
"Pursue the things that make you feel alive!" 
 
"Life is a gift. Live it, enjoy it, celebrate it, and fulfill it!"
Printable Issue 1871  Today is Monday, July 26th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1871
My sister, Jan, is a garage sale fan. One of her favorite purchases is buying daily devotional books, short thought books, or Chicken Soup for the Soul books; books which she can pick up, read a few entries, and lay aside.
 
Recently she handed me a copy of "Daily Guideposts 1985: Spirit Lifting Thoughts for Every Day of the Year". Jan had marked one that had caught her eye. "This one would make a good Karen's Korner," she said.
 
Sunday, May 26
 
"I will hear what God the Lord will speak....."
~ Psalm 85:8
 
"Sometimes I have many things to talk to God about and my prayers become very long. At other times, I don't want to speak at all. I only want to sit quietly, think about Him, listen to Him, and love Him.
 
"At times like that, I know of no prayer better than one of a little boy whose mother asked him what he prayed for.
 
"'I just told God I was here if He needed me,' the boy answered."
 
"Father, I am here. Amen."
 
***
Printable Issue 1872  Today is Tuesday, July 27th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1872
"An empty stable stays clean -
but there is no income
from an empty stable."
~ Proverbs 14:4
 
Bible Commentary on this verse:
"It is good to be clean, but it is better to be useful.
The only way to have a perfect stable is to keep all the animals out.
The only way to keep your life in perfect order is to keep it free of other people.
But if the stable is empty, it is useless;
and if you live only for yourself, your life loses its meaning.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines,
we should serve others,
share the faith,
and work for justice.
Is your life clean, but empty?
Or does it give evidence of serving God wholeheartedly?
Be involved and productive.
 
***
Printable Issue 1873  Today is Wednesday, July 28th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1873
July 28 is the anniversary of our daughter Merry's death; it was eleven years ago today that Merry was killed in a car/truck accident.
 
The biggest reason for my starting to write and share through Karen's Korner was that I had a handful of thoughts and experiences at the time Merry was sick and ultimately died, which I didn't want to lose and wanted to share. I wrote seven of them in the early days of Karen's Korner.
 
For those of you who have been Karen's Korner readers since the start. I apologize for the repeat. For those of you newer to my writings, I hope you enjoy today's.
 
Merry was born with a birth defect that required her to have a shunt inside her head from the time she was six weeks old. From Thanksgiving of 1998 until July of 1999, she had five replacement surgeries. The only other time she had had to have the shunt revised was when she was twelve.
 
 
Today is Tuesday, March 25th, 2003; Karen's Korner #17!

 

..."when Merry died".....*

 

It had been a summer unlike any other I had experienced. Hospitalizations for both Merry and Jim. Each time they recovered quickly. Each time we believed surgeries to be successful. We had made travel plans to go to Europe, but changed our minds until Merry's condition appeared to be settled down.

 

We decided to travel to Wisconsin, stay overnight, enjoy the Mississippi, catch up with Jim's niece and family, and come back home the next day.

 

It was while we were at Deb's house that Jim and I replied to Ed's message, left on her phone recorder to recall him. His one sentence said it all, "Merry was killed late this afternoon in a car accident." That was all the details we heard, asked, or knew. We hurried around their home trying to figure out the quickest way to Amana.

 

Jim seemed to be able to take in the reality of what was happening. This new reality had a hard time settling in for me.

 

Maybe we should try to find a charter flight back to Iowa? Getting "home" as soon as possible was the goal. Getting in the car and driving seemed to be the best plan.

 

As much as we wanted to get to Amana, it was as we drove through Cedar Rapids and passed the hospital and Merry's "home-away-from-home" too many times that summer, that I felt like I wanted everything to go into slow motion. The closer we got to Amana and Merry and Ed's apartment, I wanted things to go even slower. Not getting there would somehow make the reality of the situation disappear!

 

Now it was late into the evening, only Jamie and Ed were there. Talk. Tears. Plans were beginning to take shape. Would anyone be able to sleep? Surprisingly, after tossing and turning----all four us slept.

 

Early the next morning, Jamie and I took to the streets of Amana to walk. The morning was bright, clear, and still. All the normal sounds which take place inside my head were strangely quiet - the thoughts, the running internal dialogue had been silenced. It was if I had, too, had died: emotionally, intellectually, mentally, maybe even physically. I can recall telling several friends in the upcoming few days that I felt like a part of me had died.......and then I knew: "it (she) had!"

 

There was only one thing in my life still standing: the spiritual part of me. And that part remained strong and tall. All of the things that I had been taught for years in Sunday School and church; all the things I said I believed.........seemed absolutely real. For the first time in my life, I knew that all of that stuff was true!

 

Normally, I question things........now, not only did I not have any answers; my questions had also stopped.

 

This was not the time to turn my back on God.......He was going to be my only anwer! He would be my strength.

 

Some might ask, "How did you/do you know?" I just knew. I guess it is called faith. I had a choice. I have a choice! Believing or not believing. Life, and certainly death, don't make much sense without it.

 

God seemed unbelievably real to me. Heaven was no longer something to be talked about. It had become a real place, where real people now lived....not only old people who had lived a long and fruitful life, but young people with energy, talents, and an enthusiasm for life which they wanted to share with others....

 

I knew I was loved. I knew He was taking care of Merry. And I knew that He was taking care of me.

 

I was entering a new phase of my life.........trusting God.......one day, one minute, one step at a time.........

 

* I continually add people on to my Karen's Korner e-mail list. Several weeks ago I said that I would occasionally write my thoughts, at the time "...when Merry died..."

Printable Issue 1874  Today is Thursday, July 29th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1874
I always enjoy it when people email me things which they believe would make a good Karen's Korner.
 
Here is something sent to me by Cindee Schnekloth. It might make a difference in one person's life; just today:
 
"Spouting off before listening to the facts
     is both shameful and foolish."


~ Proverbs 18:13

encouragement for today

"Following this advice will improve all your relationships, as well as your chances of success in any endeavor. Listen well first, ask good questions as needed to get all the facts, and then give advice (if it's called for). You won't look foolish and shameful but will be welcomed and considered wise."
 
—Diane Eble,
author of Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions
Printable Issue 1875  Today is Friday, July 30th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1875
 
Last week seventeen people from our church family embarked on a three-day, two-night mission trip from Thursday through Saturday. There was a mix of adults and young people.
 
The trek included learning and work stops. First was a brief tour of the Grotto at West Bend with work which was to follow of their trimming tree branches and bushes and us picking up the refuse. The work part was thwarted by rain. Then we moved on to our afternoon stop at a homeless shelter in Sioux City. We divided into three work groups:  weeding their vegetable garden; mulching around some pine trees; and sorting items for their outlet store. Following, the 'teams' took turns serving the supper meal to the homeless people and staff.
 
Friday morning was a work and learning stop at the food shelf, where our one-third of our crew made individual sized plastic bags and the balance of us bagged pretzel servings, from large boxes of pretzels. In our allotted time, we were able to ready nearly half of the needed food item for the Sioux City area 'back pack' program which sends 2,000 meals home with needy students on Fridays, to assure the children a 'good meal' over the weekend. Then it was off to a boys' home near Peteson where a portion of our team painted LP tanks, another portion painted a single stall garage, and still another group interacted with the boys living there, by shooting baskets in their gym.
 
Saturday morning we worked in the Okoboji area:  some sorting used bricks at Renew, a non-profit center which sells used and new building items, which would otherwise wind up in landfills. The other portion of our team worked and learned at the new nature center serving the area.
 
Each of our stops included some learning and some working; work was no longer than two hours at any one job. But when you multiple two hours by seventeen, it makes nearly one person's 40-hour work week.
 
Upon returning home, two of our team - sisters who will be eighth and sixth grades this fall told their mother how much fun they had on our trip (which also included some other fun events and activities).
 
Mom complimented them on their participation, saying, "Did you know that you helped to change the world? No one changes the world alone, but together all of us doing what you did the last few days, does change the world. You helped!!"
 
Today could be a good day for all of us to 'change the world'. What one or two hour project can we do today to help positively impact the world in which we live.
 
It's a team effort!