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October 2010 Archives

Printable Issue 1920  Today is Friday, October 1st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1920
This was a 'funeral week' for us in Clarion. One elderly lady from our church on Monday morning; another Clarion lady in her early 80s on Tuesday morning. As luck would have it, they were buried nearly beside one another in our local cemetery.
 
Standing at the burial and listening to the minister saying his parting words on Tuesday, there were tears and sadness amongst family and friends. But not with four-month-old, Elliott! He caught the eye of a gray-haired lady standing next to me. He started his baby 'dialogue' with her: bouncy eyes and lots of smiles. He was safe in dad's arms and his world was safe and sure.
 
Our two-and-a half-year-old grandson Noah knows more than Elliott, I am sure, with his added life experiences. He doesn't have many cares either. His has a 'charmed life' of a mom and dad, two older siblings. I doubt he spends much time at night laying awake, worrying about where he's going to be living tomorrow; if he is going to have enough to eat and wear. He has a few more experiences than Elliott, but he trusts the people who are taking care of him.
 
Add on lots of years and decades. Who do we trust? What do we believe?
 
God wants us to be like Elliott and Noah:  safe in the arms of our Heavenly Father; trusting in Him to take care of our daily needs; smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts because we don't have any fear of what is going to happen to us next. We will be taken care of!
 
Heavenly Father, thank You that I don't have to look any farther than yesterday to see that You always take care of me. My memories reach over decades of times when You guarded and guided the things that have come my/our direction. Thank You for that love and care, so just for today I want to be like Elliott and Noah; safely tucked into Your arms and smiling at the world around me.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1921  Today is Monday, October 11th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1921

Our faith must be an active faith.

We not only need faith toward God to provide our needs,

but to provide the needs of others.

 
Though I know not what awaits me,

What the future has in store,

Yet I know the LORD is faithful,

For I've proved Him oft before.

 

~ Forwarded to me by Shirley Choat

 

**
Printable Issue 1922  Today is Tuesday, October 12th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1922
Taken from a book I read while we were away for a few days by Max Lucado titled "Come Thirsty":
 
 
"From the file entitled, 'It Ain't Gonna Happen,' I pull and pose this suggestion. Let's make Christ's command a federal law. Everyone has to make God's love his or her home. Let it herewith be stated and hereby declared:
 
No person may walk out into the world to begin the day
until he or she has stood beneath the cross to receive God's love.
 
"Cabbies. Presidents. Preachers. Tooth pullers and truck drivers. All required to linger at the fountain of his favor until all thirst is gone. I mean a can't-drink-another-drop satisfaction. All hearts hydrous. Then, and only then, are they permitted to enter the interstates, biology labs, classrooms, and boardrooms of the world.
 
"Don't you ache for the change we'd see? Less honking and locking horns, more hugging and helping kids. We'd pass fewer judgments and more compliments. Forgiveness would skyrocket. How could you refuse to give a second chance when God has made your life one big mulligan? Doctors would replace sedative prescriptions with Scripture meditation:  Six times an hour reflect on God's promise: 'I have loved with an everlasting love' (Jeremiah 31:3 NAASB). And can't you hear the newscast? 'Since the implementation of the love law, divorce rates have dropped, cases of runaway children have plummeted, and Republicans and Democrats have disbanded their parties and decided to work together.'
 
"Wild idea? I agree. God's love can't be legislated, but it can be chosen. Choose it, won't you? For the sake of your heart. For the sake of your home. For Christ's sake, and yours, choose it. The prayer is as powerful as it is simple:  'Lord, I receive your love. Nothing can separate me from your love.'"
Printable Issue 1923  Today is Wednesday, October 13th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1923
Our trip away was a 'part of eight days' cruise on the Danube River, touching and seeing the sights of four European countries:  Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia.
 
We began our flight from here on Saturday and arrived in Munich, Germany on Sunday. We rode by bus to Passau, Germany where we were to board our cruise boat, docked on the edge of the city. We arrived several hours before we could check into our rooms, so we hired a taxi, together with another couple we had just met, to the town of Passau, for a few hours of self-guided touring.
 
And that is where Jim lost (had it stolen?) his billfold. Our searches turned up nothing.
 
Not only did he lose his money (we travel with some money, not lots of it), he lost his driver's license, ATM card, and a credit card. We cancelled the credit card, knew that no one else could use our ATM card without a PIN number, and Jim has since gone to our courthouse to get a duplicate driver's license.
 
As we were going through some of our security checks in Munich, Germany and Chicago, I couldn't help but think, "The only identity Jim has is his passport and if that isn't enough, how will he get back into the United States?"
 
Fortunately, the passport was enough.
 
What would have happened if Jim didn't have a passport either? No one would know who he is/was. It wouldn't make any difference that we have lived in our same house for the past forty years and his family has been here for more than one hundred. It wouldn't help that Jim is an honest, upright U.S. citizen who has worked hard, paid his bills on time, and most generally 'does the right things'.
 
The countries of the world would not know who he is; even our country wouldn't know without proper paperwork.
 
Makes me think about heaven and who God is and isn't going to let in.
 
Matthew 7:21-23 (Jesus is teaching):  "Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you, depart from me, you evildoers.'"
 
So who does get a 'passport to heaven', if people who did good things don't?
 
God wants us to tell him that we don't have the power nor the credentials to get in by ourselves. He wants to say NO to our self-centered, selfish ways and accept His ways and His love as our 'ticket into heaven'. Once we do that, He issues His passport of love, forgiveness, and eternity.
 
Dear Father in Heaven, we accept Your plan for our lives and our future. We confess that we not only don't always do everything right, we aren't able to live the lives You have planned for each one of us. Forgive us for our shortcomings. Grant us Your goodness and mercy. We accept Your love for our lives. You tell us You want so much more for us. And that includes heaven. Thank You that we can now call You Father and You call us Your Children. In Jesus' name who validated the passport for each one of us, Amen.
Printable Issue 1924  Today is Thursday, October 14th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1924
 
Today's Korner is taken from "Sparkling Gems from the Greek" by Rick Renner, 365 Greek word studies for every day of the year. This one is from the October 9th entry; it is about five pages long. You are getting four paragraphs and a Bible verse:
 
"Husbands, likewise, dwell with them (wives) with understanding,
giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel,
and as being heirs together of the grace of life,
that your prayers may not be hindered."
~ I Peter 3:7 (NKJV)
 
"Peter exhorts husbands to treat their wives with special care; he makes one statement that unfortunately is often misunderstood. He tells husbands that they are to give honor to the wife as the 'weaker vessel'.
 
"The word 'weaker' does not mean inferior or substandard. This is the Greek word asthenes, which actually carries the idea of something that is fragile and of great value, like priceless, beautiful hand-painted porcelain vase that must be treated with supreme care. Furthermore, the word 'vessel' is from the Greek skeuos, which presents the idea of a vase or treasure so rare and valuable that it should be treasured, cherished, highly prized, and handled with special care.
 
"Unfortunately, many men treat their wives like a bucket that is to be thrown under the kitchen sink or used in the barn to milk the cows! They don't comprehend that their relationship with their wife is the most precious relationship that exists in their lives.
 
"Because a wife is so vital to the life of the husband, he should treat her like she is important. She is to be given a place of high honor in his life, as if she were a fragile and priceless vessel. She deserves a place of distinction and should know without a doubt that her husband views her as precious, valuable in his life."
 
***
 
You might be thinking, "Great, Karen, but what if my husband doesn't know that or do that?"
 
He might never think that way or treat you like something to be treasured.
 
Or what if you don't have a husband?
 
Just remember what God thinks about you! So how are you going to think about yourself?
Printable Issue 1925  Today is Friday, October 15th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1925

Psalm 67

A song.
 1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
       and make his face shine upon us, 
     
 2 that your ways may be known on earth,
       your salvation among all nations.

 3 May the peoples praise you, O God;
       may all the peoples praise you.

 4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
       for you rule the peoples justly
       and guide the nations of the earth. 
      
 5 May the peoples praise you, O God;
       may all the peoples praise you.

 6 Then the land will yield its harvest,
       and God, our God, will bless us. 

 7 God will bless us,
       and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

***

Printable Issue 1926  Today is Monday, October 18th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1926
 
Gasing up the car one day last week as I was getting ready  to help another person, a fleeting thought passed through my mind, "Why is it my turn again to help someone else?"
 
Some times people appreciate what you do for them; other times maybe not.
 
And then I remembered, "I might have more time, talent, and/or resources than someone else. Maybe this other person. And that might be why it is 'my turn again."
 
And maybe that is why I was given some of those resources in the first place.
 
 
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You that You don't keep score on how many times you have helped me and continue to help me. You never think 'why is it my turn again?' You just reach out from your vast reservoir and give and give and give. Thank You for being so generous; and the greatest:  You gave up Your Son as a redeeming gift for each one of us. You knew we might just fritter away such a wonderful gift. You gave anyway. Help me to be even a small fraction of that kind of gift-giver; and to cheerfully give in abundance. In Your Son's Name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1927  Today is Tuesday, October 19th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1927
The best thing about being away from home on a Sunday and being a guest in some other church is that we see something outside of our 'normal' sphere.
 
That's what happened to me, as I guested at church service with several of my friends.
 
One of the things stuffed into the church bulletin was a yellow sheet titled "Taking Faith Home", encouraging people to spend even a few minutes each day reading several Bible verses  This week's was on being "persistent in prayer".
 
This one was today's:
 

Luke 22:39-46 (New International Version)

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
 39Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." 41He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

 45When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46"Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

***

And if you want to experiment wit the rest of the week's 'persistent prayer' readings:

Wednesday: Matthew 15:21 - 28

Thursday:   James 5:13 - 18

Friday:  Genesis 18:16 - 33

Saturday:  Psalm 57

Sunday:  Luke 18:9 - 14

***

Printable Issue 1928  Today is Wednesday, October 20th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1928
Something shared with me by Shirley Choat about a year ago:
 
ALREADY AM
By: Joseph J. Mazzella

     When I was a teenager, I was in a group of students who took a trip to
Pittsburgh. Being a country boy, I found it exciting just being in such a big
City. While most of the students headed for the mall, I decided to tour
The streets alone. It was almost Christmastime and the store windows were
Filled with beautiful displays, full of joy and delight. I bought several cinnamon
Sticks to ward off the chill and spent a while just walking and looking at the
Sights.

     At some point, however, the stores became less and less and the bars
Became more and more. I realized I had crossed into a not so good section of
Town. I saw a small bus stop and decided to sit and take a rest before walking
Back.
 
The bus stop was just in front of a grocery store and before long an old
Woman in a tattered coat came out. She was carrying two large bags in one
Hand. Her other hand held a cane that steadied her slow, shaky walk. Her young,
Dark-haired granddaughter clutched her coat as they made their way to the
Bench. I smiled at them both and we joked and laughed for a bit about how cold
It was before the bus pulled up.
 
When it arrived, I picked up the old ladyís bags
And carried them up the steps. Then I helped her cherub faced granddaughter up
Them, while her grandma slowly climbed on behind us. I pulled out my last
Cinnamon stick and gave it to the sweet girl, while her grandma smiled her thanks
To me.
 
I got off the bus and looked up to the window where the little, curly-haired
Child of God was waving goodbye to me. Then I started back to meet the other
Students, a little warmer at heart if not in body.
 
 As I was turning the corner, though,
A voice called out from an alley. "Hey man! Want to get high?"
 
I smiled without
Looking over and said, "No thanks. I already am."

     No drug in the world can ever match the high that comes from one kind act, one
Shared laugh, one second of giving love, or one moment of making God smile.
Kindness is Heavenís high.
 
***
Printable Issue 1929  Today is Thursday, October 21st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1929
Looking at a verse from Hebrews and a commentary on the same verse.
 
But in my margins I have written, "In an imperfect world, we must never forget just how much God loves us." - October 21, 2010. And, "We are perfect in God's sight." - February 2, 1999.
 
"For by that one sacrifice (Jesus dying on the cross),
He made forever perfect in the sight of God
all those whom he is making holy."
~ Hebrews 10:14
 
**
 
Bible Commentary:  "We have been made perfect (complete in Christ), but we are being made holy. Through his death and resurrection. Christ once for all made his believers perfect in God's sight. A the same time, he is making them holy in their daily pilgrimage here. We should not be surprised, ashamed, or shocked that we still need work. God is not finished with us. We can encourage the growth process by obeying Christ, by appropriating the values of the Bible in all area of our lives, and by accepting the forgiveness Christ provides."
 
***
Printable Issue 1930  Today is Friday, October 22nd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1930
"Dear brothers,
what's the use of saying that you have faith
and are Christians,
if you aren't proving it by helping others?
Will that kind of faith save anyone?
If you have a friend who is in need of food and clothing,
and you say to him,
'Well, good-bye and God bless you;
stay warm and eat hearty,'
and then don't give him clothes or good,
what good does that do?"
 ~ James 2:14-16 (LB)
 
**
 
If you read newspapers and periodicals, chances are pretty good that you have heard of Make a Difference Day. It is held the fourth Saturday of each October. It is an opportunity to 'make a difference' in your community and the lives of the people who live in your world.
 
Clarion's Marys and Marthas (M & Ms, for short) has organized some events and activities in our community for the past nine years, including this one. This year our efforts are billed as "GOOD NEIGHBOR DAYS". We are working on projects on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - October 22, 23, 24.
 
Some of us in our community will be doing 'nice' things for others (phone calls, stopping by a shut in, taking someone out for lunch, etc.) . Some things we will do together (food pantry drive, baby items collected, items for our local humane society, working together at our local park).
 
Whatever is done, we will keep track and send it to the National office for their recording of number of volunteers and what was accomplished (number of hours worked, number of items collected, etc.).
 
Want to do something for Make a Difference Day? Write it down and email it to me and I will compile the list.
As you can see, it doesn't have to be hard, heavy, or expensive. No one can complain that they are too young or too old to do something to 'make a difference' and to 'be a good neighbor'.
 
Not only will that kindness be rewarding to you, it will be rewarding to the person who receives the blessing fom you........and God can be glorified as we seek to do what it is He would have us to do!
Printable Issue 1931  Today is Monday, October 25th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1931
As those who read Karen's Korners regularly, you know that Jim and I traveled to Europe for an eight-day river boat cruise on the Danube and that Jim lost his billfold the first day we were in Passau, Germany.
 
We did the things we were supposed to do:  told the captain of the cruise boat, he called the Passau police should anyone turn in a missing billfold, and we cancelled our credit cards.
 
I remember telling Jim that I was going to pray 'that his billfold would be returned with his missing money, or that it would be returned with all of his important items in it but no money. If that wasn't God's will, that whoever was the recipient of the missing dollars would need them more than we did.'
 
When picking letters out of our mail box on Thursday afternoon last week, there was a large gold envelope from the U.S. Consulate with a letter in German from the Passau police, another letter from the U.S. government stating of a 'found wallet' plus a lising of its contents, and Jim's billfold.........with all of his missing money being returned.
 
I couldn't believe it. I had to call Jim and tell him our good news!
 
After tucking our new knowledge into my thought processes, I began to realize that sometimes I am too cynical about the 'world' and people in. Maybe without knowing, I (we) get trapped into believing too much of our news.
 
Is there bad news out there? Yes, all of the time.
 
Are there bad people the world over? Sure, we can't believe what some people can do to themselves and to others.
 
But Jim's missing billfold being returned a half-a-world away - complete with its contents, made me remember that 5, maybe 10% of the people of our world are 'bad' people.
 
The other 90 - 95% are wonderful, law-abiding citizens with a moral code of care and compassion. And the Welds are the recipients of that belief.
 
Dear God in Heaven, thank You that You protect us, just like You protected Jim's wallet. Thank You that there are people around the world and in every country who care for others, more than they care for themselves; and that they do the 'right thing'. Bless the person who returned Jim's billfold and its contents; a person who we will probably never know by name. And thank You for people everywhere and who are reading Karen's Korner today, that they may be as blessed as we are, in so many ways. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1932  Today is Tuesday, October 26th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1932
Sometimes I like to read obscure parts of the Bible. Last night I read the 'entire' book of Haggai (you ought to try it, it is a total of two chapters, 38 verses!).
 
Haggai, the author and a prophet, learned from God that he was to tell the people living in Jerusalem, to rebuild the Temple. God had given the Jews the assignment to finish the building when they returned from captivity. After 15 years, they still had not completed it. They were more concerned about building their homes and lives. Haggai told them to get their priorities straight.
 
God spoke to the people through Haggai, when he told them, "You plant much but harvest little. You have scarely enough to eat and drink, and not enough clothes to keep you warm. Your income disappears, as though you were putting it into pockets filled with holes (1:6)."
 
My Bible commentary on this verse: "Because the people had not given God first place in their lives, their material possessions did not satisfy. They concentrated on building and beautifying their own homes, but God's blessing was withheld because they no longer put Him in first place."
 
Doesn't sound like us today, does it?  
 
God's messages from yesterday can read like this morning's newspaper.....
 
"....because of God's warning through his messenger Haggai, the people began rebuilding the Temple just 23 days later!"
 
"....as the foundation of the Lord's Temple is finished, and from this day onward, I will bless you. Notice, I am giving you this promise now before you have even begun to rebuild the Temple structure, and before you have harvested your grain, and before the grapes and figs and pomegranates and olived have produced their next crops: From this day I will bless you." (2:18,19)
 
Again from my commentary, "The people built the Temple foundation, and immediately God blessed them. He did not wait for the project to be completed. God often sends his blessing with our first few steps. He is eager to bless us!"
 
In the final verse of Haggai, God says, "I have specially chosen you!" (2:23)
 
Bible commentary, "Such a proclamation is ours as well.....each of us has been chosen by God . The truth should make us see our value in God's eyes and motivate us to work for Him. When you feel down, remind yourself that 'God has chosen me!"
 
****
Printable Issue 1933  Today is Wednesday, October 27th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1933
Emailed to me yesterday by a traveling friend Mary Ann Howe:
 
CHURCH IN THE WEEDS

Just two little boys walking down this dusty lane...
They came upon this old white house...
With broken window panes

The paint was faded, the shine was gone...
The grass had grown so high...
Still they made their little feet,
Go see what was inside.

They opened up the squeaky door and then it came to light...
This must have been an old church house... Once upon a time.

Dirty, dusty wooden pews... A pulpit that still stood....
A Bible lay upon it... Though the pages weren't too good..

An offering plate and song books too... Were lying on the floor.
They must have left this old church fast... The day they closed these doors.

And over in the corner... A piano was still there,
It must have played a pretty tune... But I guess nobody cared.

So little Bill looked up at Tommy... And Tommy looked at Bill...
Why don't we clean this old church up, and get these old pews filled?'

They took a rag and wiped the dust... To try and make things shine...
And then they took the offering plate... And put in it their last dime.

They took a broom and swept the floor... And picked up broken glass...
They got it all so nice and neat... And then they mowed the grass.

They lifted up the old church sign... And stood it by a tree....
Right down by that old dirt road where everyone could see.

They ran back home, to find Daddy gone but their Momma was inside..
Just to find her hurt again... Where Daddy had made her cry.

'Don't cry Momma, wipe those tears,' Little Bill and Tommy smiled...
'Cause we have a big surprise for you... Just down the road a mile.'

Hand in hand they tugged at her, until they made her run....
'What is it Bill, Oh Tommy, just what have you two kids done?'

And then they came upon the house... Once hidden by the weeds...
And there it stood a country church... Just like it used to be.

'But what is it, Mother? What's with your tears?
We thought this would bring you joy.'
'Yes, but hush kids now and listen close...
My two sweet precious boys.'

They both got quiet and stood real still... For the words they heard so true...
Was Daddy praying in the church... With his head bowed on the pew.

'Forgive me Lord! Forgive me Lord! Though I'm not worthy of Your love...
Shine down on this sinner man, sweet Salvation from above.'

'For I've been out in the world, you know... Living my life all wrong...
Until I came upon this church; the place where I belong.'

'I never noticed it before... All those times I passed it up...
I guess I wasn't looking, Lord.... Or maybe I was drunk..'

'Bless oh Lord, yes, bless oh Lord.... The one who made me see..
This little church that used to hide.... Behind all those tall weeds.'

And then he raised his head and stood... With his hands high in the air...
To find two dirty, tear-faced boys.... With Momma standing there.

They ran up to him, hugged him tight... As their tears fell on the floor.
'Don't worry kids; I'm not the Dad, the one you've known before.'

Things are different for us now... So keep on those pretty smiles..
And let's go gather people in... To walk down these church aisles.'

Then Bill looked up at Tommy... And Tommy looked at Bill...
'Come on brother, let's get to work... To get these old pews filled.'

'For we need no special blessing.. For cleaning up this church....
'cause, God gave us back our Daddy... And that's more than gold is worth.'

Sunday morning, pews all filled and smiles on every face...
Especially two little country boys... The ones who found this place.

Though it was hid back in the weeds... And so far out of sight...
Nothing's ever hard to find if you're walking toward God's light.

1-John 1:7:  'we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have
fellowship with one another . . . .'

IN GOD WE STILL TRUST
 
***
 
 


Printable Issue 1934  Today is Thursday, October 28th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1934
Beginning to read a portion of the book of Judges which has as its purpose "to show that God's judgment against sin is certain; and his forgiveness and restoration to a relationship with Him is just a certain for those who repent..."
 
A side-by-side chart tucked into chapter three shows the comparision between worship of God and worshiping idols (some of us remember The Ten Commandments movie and the golden calf which people 'worshipped' and we don't do that. But there are many other things which hold our undivided attention - maybe cable television, cell phone use, run to accumulate more dollars - you fill in the blank - you fill in your blank.)
 
Worshiping God:
* long-range benefits;
* gratification postponed;
* morality required;
* high ethical standards demanded;
* unseen God worshiped;
* unselfishness expected;
* strict religious practices maintained;
* changed life demanded;
* ethical standard expected;
* concern for others taught.
 
Worshiping idols:
* short-range benefits;
* self-gratification immediate;
* sensuality approved;
* low ethical standards tolerated;
* visible deities worshiped;
*selfishness condoned;
* religious practices loosely regulated;
* changed life not demanded;
* compromise and cooperation practiced;
* no concern for others expected.
 
"The temptation to follow false gods because of short-term benefits, good feelings, easy 'rules' or convenience is always present. But the benefits are deceptive because the gods are false. We worship God because He is the one and only true God."
 
****
Printable Issue 1935  Today is Friday, October 29th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1935
Today's Korner was emailed to me last week by Curtis Trulson with the remark 'for your Marys & Marthas'.
 
You don't have to be a reader of Karen's Korner very long to know that I am part of an ecumenical group of Christian gals locally called the 'Marys & Marthas'; sometimes referred to as M & Ms for short.
 
This is a daily writing by Max Lucado. 
 
Live to Please God
 
"Teach me how to live to please you, because you are my God."

~ Psalm 143:8, The Message

If God has called you to be a Martha, then serve!  Remind the rest of us that there is evangelism in feeding the poor and there is worship in nursing the sick.

If God has called you to be a Mary, then worship!  Remind the rest of us that we donít have to be busy to be holy.  Urge us with your example to put down our clipboards and megaphones and be quiet in worship.

****