February 2011 Archives
Today is Tuesday, February 1st, 2011; Karen's Korner #2002|
Yesterday's Karen's Korner was taken from Matthews 6:25-27. So today's is sort of a 'continuation'.
"So don't be anxious about tomorrow.
God will take care of your tomorrow too.
Live one day at a time.
- Matthew 6: 34 LB
Bible Commentary: Planning for tomorrow is time well spent; worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, and schedules, and trusting God's guidance. When done well, it can help alleviate worry. The worrier is consumed by fear and finds it difficult to trust God. The worrier lets his plans interfere with his relationship with God. Don't let worries about tomorrow affect your relationship with God today.
(Note: Yesterday was Matthew 6:25-27 and today's is verse 34. Your assignment for the day: read verses 28 - 33 to see what the ones sandwiched in between might have to say!)
Today is Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011; Karen's Korner #2003|
|(NOTE: Thanks to several of you who emailed that the Bible verse that I noted yesterday was incorrect. It should have said Matthew 6:34. I apologize for the error. If you would like to read the corrected copy, go to www.karens-korner.com ).
Taken from "In God We Still Trust", a 365-day devotional written by Dr. Richard G. Lee, the February 2 entry:
Faithful to the End
"The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
- John 10:11
"Shortly before 1 a.m. on February 2, 1943, the American transport ship Dorchester was steaming through the icy North Atlantic from Newfoundland toward an American base in Greenland, carrying 902 service men, merchant seamen, and civilian workers when a German torpedo struck the starboard side. The blast killed scores of men, and many more were seriously wounded.
"Through the pandemonium, four Army chaplains--George L. Fox, Methodist; Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed--brought hope to the men struggling to survive. They could be heard encouraging the frightened, praying for the dying, and guiding the disoriented toward the lifeboats.
"Men jumped into lifeboats, overcrowding them to the point of capsizing. Other rafts drifted away before soldiers could get in. As men reached topside, the chaplains began distributing life jackets. When no more were available, the chaplains astonished onlookers, taking off their own and giving them to four frightened young men.
"Then in the darkness, singing and shouting biblical encouragement, the four chaplains linked arms and grasped the railing of the ship as it slipped into the ocean. William Bednar said that, as he floated among dead comrades, 'Their voices.....were the only thing that kept me going.'
"Of the men aboard the Dorchester, 672 died, including the chaplains. Their heroic conduct offered a vision of greatness that stunned America."
"Lord, use me to show others the selflessness of Christian love."
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down ones' life for his friends" (John 15:13).
When we give our lives in service or sacrifice, Jesus calls us 'friend'.
Today is Thursday, February 3rd, 2011; Karen's Korner #2004|
Something written by Joel and Victoria Osteen, telling us to keep on believing. Sometimes God changes our life situations; sometimes He changes us for our situation. Our job is to keep on believing:
He’s Working on Your Behalf
“We know that God will work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
"God is working behind the scenes in your life, today. No matter what you may be facing, no matter what trial you may be going through, God has a plan to turn things around in your favor. Right now, He is working out a plan for your good. Right now, He is orchestrating the right people to come across your path. He is orchestrating the right opportunities to open up to you. You may not see it in the natural, but look with your eyes of faith today.
"Keep standing. Keep believing. Keep hoping. Keep following His Word. Focus on His goodness in your life, knowing that He rewards the people who seek after Him. As you meditate on the faithfulness of God and show your love for Him by following His Word, you will see His plan come to pass. You’ll experience His peace and joy. and you will live in victory all the days of your life!
"Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness in my life. I trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. Give me Your strength and peace today and fill me with Your faith to overcome. In Jesus’ Name. Amen."
Today is Friday, February 4th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2005|
The other day I was filling the water tanks of our humidifier. They are two flat, plastic cylinders that mount on both sides of our water-spewing device. Because of their shapes, it works best for me to fill them in our bathtub.
As one first began to fill, I was hanging on to it with one hand. As more water poured into the container, I had to resort to using both hands. By the time it was filled up, I almost couldn't hold it at all. Felt like I need a third hand!
It made me think of my life. At first, I falsely believe that I can handle it single-handled. As the years pile up and I 'take on more water', I have to hold on for dear life with both hands. Eventually, it feels like a 'three-handed deal'. Which maybe where God wanted me all of the time: asking Him for His assistance!
Father in Heaven, help me not to be so blind as to falsely believe that I can handle things in my life without You. Thank You that I am needy. Thank You that You want to be part of everything I think, say, and do. And because of who You are, I can walk in confidence today, celebrating each step of the way. Thank You that You have everything under control in my life, my family's life, our church family, our community, and our world; sometimes it doesn't look like it! If I but look into Your loving, caring face, like Your disciple Peter, I will be able to 'walk on water' and not be afraid. You can be trusted; help me to believe more today than I did yesterday. In Your Son's Name. Amen.
Today is Monday, February 7th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2006|
This Karen's Korner is meant to be a bit of a 'class'!
I think I have mentioned before a Bible research web site: www.biblegateway.com , which my friend Chris directed me to a number of years ago.
Suppose rattling around in your head is something about Lazarus and you haven't got a clue where anything about him would be found in the Bible. Go to the web site and type in Lazarus in the word search box; up will pop Bible verses about Lazarus (caution there is more than one Lazarus mentioned in the Bible). If you are looking for the word 'love', be prepared for a long list!
Let's suppose that you have a favorite verse or maybe a chapter in the Bible. Type in that Bible reference and be prepared to 'sort through' about 45 different Bible versions; some in languages you might not be able to speak or read.
I am including one today from the very familiar 23rd Psalm; this one from The Message translation; sometimes different words to something we are used to hearing, perks up our listening voices:
A David Psalm
1-3 God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through
I'm not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd's crook
makes me feel secure.
5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
6 Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I'm back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
Today is Tuesday, February 8th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2007|
Taken from "In God We Still Trust", by Dr. Richard G. Lee (It's a 365-day devotional, can you tell that I like it? You will likely get more entries in 2011 because of it!):
The Designer of the Universe
One-time director of NASA and "The Father of the American Space Program", Wernher von Braun stated the following in a May 1974 article:
'One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all.....The better we understand the intricacies of the universe and all it harbors, the more reason we have found to marvel at the inherent design upon which it is based.....
'To be forced to believe only one conclusion--that everything in the universe happened by chance--would violate the very objectivity of science itself......What random process could produce the brains of a man or the system of the human eye...
'(Evolutionists) challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?.....They say they cannot visualize a Designer. Well, can a physicist visualize an electron?....What strange rationale make some physicists accept the inconceivable electron as real while refusing to accept the reality of a Designer on the grounds that they cannot conceive Him?'
All praise to You, Almighty God and Creator of the Universe,
whom the human mind cannot fully comprehend.
It is good to serve an infinite and all-wise God.
Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call to Me, and I will answer you,
and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know."
Accept this invitation to come to know God better.
Today is Wednesday, February 9th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2008|
Yesterday I had to drop some things off at our local care center. It made me think back to our friend Lynn Blankenship who passed away nearly a year ago. Lynn was a 'prisoner of her own body' from a genetic defect. She lived in the care center here from the time she was 21 until she died; she was in her early 50s. She couldn't move much unaided and hadn't talked for years. Her mind was wonderful and could make her thoughts and wishes known, especially to the help who took care of her daily needs.
As I was leaving, I thought, "Lynn, isn't the only one who is a prisoner of their bodies."
Some of us are held prisoner by some addictions. Others of us have problems with decisions which we have made in the past. Maybe we are 'in prison' due to health issues or at times, with irrational or negative thoughts about ourselves, others, or situations in 'our' world or 'the' word.
Many to most of us might be prisoners of some sort, not just Lynn.
Being a Christian has a way of setting us free, regardless of our 'prison'. We might have one (or more) of the things listed above, but that thing or two can be given to God for Him to handle.
And He does!
We can rise above our troubles, our past decisions, our goofy thoughts. God loves to remind us who we are and whose we are (His Children and we are loved by Him).
Like Lynn, who was spiritually set free for all of her years as a Christian, we can be too, in spite of our individual prisons. God enjoys setting us free, emotionally and mentally.
And like Lynn, who is also physically free today in heaven; we can have heaven for which to look forward in the future......total freedom!
"You shall know the truth,
and the truth will set you free."
- John 8:32
"Now there is no condemnation for those who
are in Christ Jesus."
- Romans 8:1
Thank you, Jesus, that You are in the business of setting us free - spiritually, mentally, emotionally - physically, maybe in this life or maybe in the one that is coming. Thank You that You give us a future and a hope. We want You to be in charge of our lives. You do a better job. In Your Name, Amen.
Today is Thursday, February 10th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2009|
Something emailed to me a couple of month's ago by Judy Watne. It is a daily email she receives titled "Girlfriends in God". I am sure 'guys' could enjoy the writing as well:
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."
(Philippians 2:14-16 NIV).
"Sometimes we like what life serves up to us, and sometimes we don't, but most of the time it simply depends on the attitude of the person holding the spoon. Such was the case one evening when I went out to dinner with friends to the Sanitary Fish Market. I know that is a strange name for a seafood restaurant, but it was a great place that everyone frequented in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Since the food was good, I guess it was a nice plus to know that it was sanitary as well.
"One evening, when I was eighteen-years-old, I went out to dinner with three friends. Three of us were Christians and the fourth was not. Larry was very macho and preferred the, 'I'm in control of my destiny' approach to life. But we loved him anyway.
"The three of us Christians usually took a moment to ask a blessing before we had a meal, but we had not eaten in a restaurant with Larry before. He was surprised and embarrassed when we bowed our heads to pray. Larry held his head high and proud as if to say, 'I might be at the same table with these people, but I'm not one of them.'
"All four of us ordered clam chowder as an appetizer. We had the same waitress and same chowder, from the same pot. We three 'holy rollers' (we acquired this name because of a 10-second prayer) dipped our spoons into our bowls and tasted chowder full of tender clams and steamy potatoes.
"Then proud Larry dipped in his spoon to retrieve only broth. 'Why is your chowder full of clams and potatoes,' he demanded, 'and all I've got is broth?'
"Larry was about to call the waitress over and complain when I looked up and said, 'Well, maybe it's because we asked God to bless ours and you didn't.'
"Larry didn't complain to the fine people at the Sanitary, but ate 'crow"' instead.
"It is amazing how God takes a grateful heart and fills it even more! Feeling empty today? Stop and praise God for His goodness. Feeling lonely today? Stop and thank God for His presence. Feeling anxious today? Stop and thank God for His provision.
Dear Lord, so many times I am quick to complain when I haven't even asked You to bless my day. Help me to have an attitude of gratitude and become a woman (or man!) who talks to You regularly, thanks You consistently, and praises You throughout the day.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
~ Written by Sharon Jaynes
Today is Friday, February 11th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2010|
We do things; but God is in control.
Wednesday Karen's Korner was about being imprisoned and a few minutes later Florine Swanson sent me her daily email from Saint of the Day. Here is what she forwarded.
St. Jerome Emiliani
(1481? - 1537)
A careless and irreligious soldier for the city-state of Venice, Jerome was captured in a skirmish at an outpost town and chained in a dungeon. In prison Jerome had a lot of time to think, and he gradually learned how to pray. When he escaped, he returned to Venice where he took charge of the education of his nephews—and began his own studies for the priesthood.
In the years after his ordination, events again called Jerome to a decision and a new lifestyle. Plague and famine swept northern Italy. Jerome began caring for the sick and feeding the hungry at his own expense. While serving the sick and the poor, he soon resolved to devote himself and his property solely to others, particularly to abandoned children. He founded three orphanages, a shelter for penitent prostitutes and a hospital.
Around 1532, Jerome and two other priests established a congregation dedicated to the care of orphans and the education of youth. Jerome died in 1537 from a disease he caught while tending the sick. He was canonized in 1767. In 1928 Pius Xl named him the patron of orphans and abandoned children.
Very often in our lives it seems to take some kind of "imprisonment" to free us from the shackles of our self-centeredness. When we're "caught" in some situation we don't want to be in, we finally come to know the liberating power of Another. Only then can we become another for "the imprisoned" and "the orphaned" all around us.
"'The father of orphans and the defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God gives a home to the forsaken; he leads forth prisoners to prosperity; only rebels remain in the parched land' (Psalm 68).... We should not forget the growing number of persons who are often abandoned by their families and by the community: the old, orphans, the sick and all kinds of people who are rejected…. We must be prepared to take on new functions and new duties in every sector of human activity and especially in the sector of world society, if justice is really to be put into practice. Our action is to be directed above all at those men and nations which, because of various forms of oppression and because of the present character of our society, are silent, indeed voiceless, victims of injustice"
(Justice in the World, 1971 World Synod of Bishops).
Today is Monday, February 14th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2011|
Happy Valentine's Day!
Yesterday Florine Swanson gave me a "Happy Valentine's Day" card, dug out from some 'leftovers' when cleaning out her mom's house. It was a "Prayers for a Valentine" note, created by her mother years ago. There were listed 18 Bible verses centered around 'heart'.
You are getting a portion of that list with the same good wishes as Florine's mother would have given to you:
" I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."
"But if you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul."
"I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. "
Song of Solomon 8:6:
"Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death..."
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,"
(Jesus said): “Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You believe in God; believe also in me.
Today is Tuesday, February 15th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2012|
Always fun to share what others read, like, and forward to me. This is one I received several days ago from Marlene Urban:
A PENCIL MAKER TOLD THE PENCIL
FIVE IMPORTANT LESSONS JUST BEFORE PUTTING IT IN THE BOX :
1.) EVERYTHING YOU DO WILL ALWAYS LEAVE A MARK.
2.) YOU CAN ALWAYS CORRECT THE MISTAKES YOU MAKE.
3.) WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WHAT IS INSIDE OF YOU.
4.) IN LIFE, YOU WILL UNDERGO PAINFUL SHARPENING,
WHICH WILL ONLY MAKE YOU BETTER.
5.) TO BE THE BEST PENCIL, YOU MUST ALLOW YOURSELF
TO BE HELD AND GUIDED BY THE HAND THAT HOLDS YOU.
We all need to be constantly sharpened.
This parable may encourage you to know that you are a special person, with unique God-given talents and abilities.
Only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish.
Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot be changed
and, like the pencil,
always remember that the most important part of who you are,
is what's inside of you.
Today is Wednesday, February 16th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2013|
We received this writing, passed along by Shirley Choat early this morning:
The Presence of His Love
The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he'd told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg.
It had been a year since Susan, thirty-four, became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. Once a fiercely independent woman, Susan now felt condemned by this terrible twist of fate to become a powerless, helpless burden on everyone around her.
"How could this have happened to me?" she would plead, her heart knotted with anger. But no matter how much she cried or ranted or prayed, she knew the painful truth her sight was never going to return. A cloud of depression hung over Susan's once optimistic spirit. Just getting through each day was an exercise in frustration and exhaustion. And all she had to cling to was her husband Mark.
Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all of his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again. Mark's military background had trained him well to deal with sensitive situations, and yet he know this was the most difficult battle he would ever face.
Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city. At first, this comforted Susan and fulfilled Mark's need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task.
Soon, however, Mark realized that this arrangement wasn't working - it was hectic, and costly. Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself. But just the thought of mentioning it to her made him cringe. She was still so fragile, so angry. How would she react?
Just as Mark predicted, Susan was horrified at the idea of taking the bus again. "I'm blind!" she responded bitterly. "How am I supposed to know where I'm going? I feel like you're abandoning me."
Mark's heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He promised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened.
For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all, accompanied Susan to and from work each day. He taught her how to rely on her other senses, specifically her hearing, to determine where she was and how to adapt to her new environment. He helped her befriend the bus drivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat. He made her laugh, even on those not-so-good days when she would trip exiting the bus, or drop her briefcase.
Each morning they made the journey together, and Mark would take a cab back to his office. Although this routine was even more costly and exhausting than the previous one, Mark knew it was only a matter of time before Susan would be able to ride the bus on her own. He believed in her, in the Susan he used to know before she'd lost her sight, who wasn't afraid of any challenge and who would never, ever quit.
Finally, Susan decided that she was ready to try the trip on her own. Monday morning arrived, and before she left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus riding companion, her husband, and her best friend. Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, his love. She said good-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... Each day on her own went perfectly, and Susan had never felt better. She was doing it! She was going to work all by herself!
On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying for her fare to exit the bus, the driver said, "Boy, I sure envy you." Susan wasn't sure if the driver was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who had struggled just to find the courage to live for the past year? Curious, she asked the driver, "Why do you say that you envy me?"
The driver responded, "It must feel so good to be taken care of and protected like you are." Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, and asked again, "What do you mean?"
The driver answered, "You know, every morning for the past week, a fine looking gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the corner watching you when you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely and he watches you until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss, gives you a little salute and walks away. You are one blessed lady."
Tears of happiness poured down Susan's cheeks. For although she couldn't physically see him, she had always felt Mark's presence. She was blessed, so blessed, for he had given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn't need to see to believe - the gift of love that can bring light where there had been darkness.
God watches over us in just the same way. We may not know He is present. We may not be able to see His face, but He is there nonetheless! Be blessed in this thought: "God Loves You - even when you are not looking."
Today is Thursday, February 17th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2014|
Several poems written by Ruth Bell Graham, Billy Graham's wife, and published in "Sitting By My Laughing Fire":
I lay my 'whys'
before Your Cross
in worship kneeling,
my mind too numb
my heart beyond all feeling.
realize that I
in knowing You
don't need a 'why'.
We are told
to wait on You.
there is no time.
My heart implores
upon its knees.
and worry how the world ends!
Pray for the best,
prepare for the worst,
and take whatever God sends.
Today is Friday, February 18th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2015|
This is something written and sent a number of months ago by Joel & Victoria Osteen; it talks about us being forgiven of some of our past mistakes. Nothing is more exciting than being around someone who has made terrible decisions in their life and now knows how much God forgives them; how much Jesus loves them!
Guess that includes all of us!
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9 KJV).
"What comes to your mind when you think of the word “pure”? You might think of a young, innocent child or fresh, fallen snow. It’s interesting that most people don’t immediately think of themselves as pure even though that’s exactly how God sees us once we receive His forgiveness. The scripture says that He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. It doesn’t matter what may have happened in the past, the Bible says that He takes our sins and casts them into the sea of forgetfulness. That means He chooses not to remember them. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see your past mistakes and failures; He sees your future. He sees your gifts and talents. He sees your destiny.
"Oftentimes, the enemy will try to hold us back by reminding us of our past. Whenever you start to feel guilty or condemned, remember this scripture. If you have confessed your sins to the Father and have received His forgiveness, then you have been purified. Let this truth sink down deeply on the inside of you. As you do, you will be strengthened and empowered to rise to new levels so you can enjoy the abundant life He has for you!
"Father in heaven, thank You for Your love and faithfulness. Thank You for Your promise to cleanse and purify me. I surrender every area of my life to You today and invite You to have Your way in me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. "
Today is Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011; Karen's Korner #2016|
Sorry for no Karen's Korner yesterday; my computer was having its 'annual check up' and getting new anti-virus installed!
This was to have been for Presidents' Day yesterday. Today is actually George Washington's birthday, so in celebration, here are ten quotes by as many presidents; taken from "In God We Still Trust" by Dr.Richard G. Lee. Presidents who have honored God and relied on His Word have profoundly impacted our country:
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."
~ Attributed to George Washington, 1st president
"The first and almost only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible.
I speak as a man of the world........and I say to you, 'Search the Scripture'."
~ John Quincy Adams, 6th president
"The book, sir, is the Rock on which our republic rests."
~ Andrew Jackson, 7th president
"In regard for this Great Book, I have this to say,
it is the best gift God has given to man.
all the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book."
~ Abraham Lincoln, 16th president
"If you take out of your statues, your constitution, your family life
all that is taken from the Sacred Book,
what would there be left to bind society together?"
~ Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president
"The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life,
the nature of God, and spiritual nature and needs of men...
America was born a Christian nation.
America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness
which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture."
~ Woodrow Wilson, 28th president
"The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible
that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease
to be practically universal in our country."
~ Calvin Coolidge, 30th president
"We cannot read the history of our rise and developments a nation
without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic.
Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying in precepts,
we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity."
~ Franklin DO. Roosevelt, 32nd president
"The fundamental basis of this nation's laws was given by Moses on the Mount.
The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from
Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul....
If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background,
we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!"
~ Harry S. Truman, 33rd president
"Inside the Bible's pages lie all the answers to all of the problems man has ever known....
The Bible can touch our hearts, order our minds, and refresh our souls."
~ Ronald Reagan, 40th president
"Almighty Father, grant us leaders who serve You by serving this country."
"'The Word of the Lord is proven.'"
Today is Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011; Karen's Korner #2017|
Something written and emailed more than two years ago by Joel and Victoria Osteen. It reads like today's newspaper. There are always numerous things in people's lives we'd like to see be different:
Nothing Can Hold You Back
"The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree…" (Psalm 92:12).
"Have you ever seen a palm tree in the midst of a great storm or hurricane? That tree may be bent so far over that it’s almost touching the ground, but when the wind finally stops, that palm tree bounces right back up. And do you know that while that palm tree is hunched over under the pressure of the storm, it is actually growing stronger?
"The reason God said we’d flourish like a palm tree is because He knew there would be difficult times. He knew things would come against us to try to steal our joy and victory. God said, 'You’re going to be like a palm tree because the storms of life will come, the winds will blow, but you are going to come right back up again stronger than before.' Nothing can hold you back! No weapon formed against you will ever prosper. No matter what’s happening in the world around you, keep standing. Keep praying. Keep believing. Your brightest days are right out in front of you, and God’s plan is to bring you blessing and victory all the days of your life.
"Father in heaven, thank You for making me strong in You. I trust that You are working in my life, even in the midst of the storms. I know You will bring me out stronger, wiser, and better off than ever before. In Jesus’ Name. Amen."
Today is Thursday, February 24th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2018|
We have all heard and read the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people using only five loaves of bread and two fish:
"Then Jesus told the people to sit down on the grass;
and He took the five loaves and two fish,
looked up into the sky and asked God's blessing on the meal;
then broke the loaves apart and gave them to the disciples to place before the people.
And everyone ate until full!
And when the scraps were picked up afterwards,
there were twelve basketfuls left over!
(About 5,000 men were in the crowd that day,
besides all the women and children)."
~ Matthew 14:19-21 LB
Bible Commentary: Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fish to feed over 5,000 people. What he was originally given seemed insufficient, but in his hands it became more than enough. We often feel that our contribution to Jesus is meager, but he can use and multiply whatever we give him, whether it is talent, time, or treasure. It is when we give them to Jesus that our resources are multiplied.
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You that You have given us talent, time, and treasure. Help us to be willing to offer those gifts to You. As we do, we know that You will multiply whatever we have given to unbelievable amounts as we care for others in our world and Your Kingdom. Remind us what You have done in the past, You will do today and in the future. Help us to dare; help us to share; help us to care. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Today is Friday, February 25th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2019|
Something forwarded to me several months ago by Steve Watne. It is written by Rick Warren of "Purpose Driven Life" fame:
"But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today." Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV)
"As you enter your Decade of Destiny, it is important that you trust God with your finances. If you want God to bless you financially, you must remain focused on the truth that he is the source of your finances and he is the one who supplies your needs.
"What does that mean? It means I'm not looking to an employer for my security. I'm not looking to my savings for security. I'm not looking to anyone or anything other than God to supply my needs.
"Let me illustrate it this way: When I turn on the water, I don't really think the water comes from the faucet. I know that the water really comes from a reservoir. It just comes to me through the faucet. In the same way, the income that God wants to give you may come through a job or through something else.
"But the source is God.
"If you trust in a bank account, the bank account can be taken away. If you trust in your savings, you can lose it. The only true security you can have is when you put your trust in God. He is the starting point of your finances. He is the one and only true source of your finances.
"This means you don't need to worry about which faucet he uses to supply your needs. In a sense he says, ''If I turn off one faucet, I can just as easily turn on another. If you lose one job, I can give you another. I am your source, not your job. I am your source, not your bank account.'"
Today is Saturday, February 26th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2020|
(A Karen's Korner on Saturday to make up for no korner on Monday!)
Always fun to have people get me writings that they have enjoyed to share with Karen's Korner readers. Today's was forwarded to me by Bob Ritter. He likes is so well that he cares it on his iPad and said it brings a tear to his eye any time he reads it.
I have seen it before; no matter it is a good one:
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: "When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued, "I believe that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child."
Then he told the following story:
Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?" Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."
Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. His Father watched with a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father's joy at his son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to o the pitcher.The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!" Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball ... the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay"
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third! Shay, run to third!"
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, "Shay, run home! Run home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.
"That day", said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world".
Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making his father so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
Today is Monday, February 28th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2021|
The front of yesterday's church bulletin:
'FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,'
DECLARES THE LORD.
'PLANS TO PROSPER YOU
AND NOT TO HARM YOU,
PLANS TO GIVE YOU HOPE
AND A FUTURE.'
~ JEREMIAH 29:11 (NIV)
My Bible Commentary on this one verse: ""We're all encouraged by a leader who stirs us to move ahead; someone who believes we can do the task he/she has given and who will be with us all the way. God is that kind of leader. He knows the future, and his plans for us are good and full of hope. As long as the God who knows the future provides our agenda and goes with us as we fulfill HIS mission, we can have boundless hope. This does not mean we will be spared pain, suffering, or hardship, but that God will see us through to a glorious conclusion.