March 2011 Archives
Today is Tuesday, March 1st, 2011; Karen's Korner #2022|
When any of us decide to travel some place, chances are pretty good that we will get some travel brochures to help us better know where we are going and be able to take advantage of the wonderful things we might be able to see and do.
Such is a small 'travel-style' book (124 pages) which I purchased a while ago, written by Dr. David Jeremiah titled "Discovering Paradise: A Guide to Heaven, Our True Home"*.
Dr. Jeremiah tells numerous things about heaven and what it looks like physically and geographically. He tells:.:
* what we are we going to look like:
- We will literally be in a brand new resurrection body;
- We will completely leave behind every wrinkle, illness, and every part of our bodies which are not perfect;
- We will physically become like Jesus.
* what awaits us when we make the Trip of a Lifetime:
- gleaming new homes with a comprehensive everlasting warranty;
- friends and family who are known for their love, joy, and celebration;
- management and staff who make sure your every need is fulfilled;
- glory bright days and highest quality of life;
- life without night, sadness, sickness, or death.
* what are we going to be doing (quotes from the book):
"Some people say or think, 'What am I going to do for eternity? Heaven might be boring.' The truth is that God offers us much more than a tedious existence among boring people. Heaven will be more exciting than a roller coaster, more celebratory than Times Square on New Year’s Eve, more heartwarming than a newborn baby, and all the fun will be open 24/7 for eternity."
* Heaven will not be boring because God is not boring;
* Heaven will not be boring because we are not boring;
* Our friends will be exciting;
" In Heaven, there will be total openness;
* Our work will be exciting;
* It will be the place that you have always longed for!
In John 14:6,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
One of the questions that Dr. Jeremiah asks, "Have you made your reservation?"
* (I have a lot more of what God has for each one 'who is getting ready to make the trip of a lifetime',
in summary for your reading enjoyment,
just email and ask me for it.
If you would like to get a copy of your own book, contact a Christian book store or
contact Dr. Jeremiah at 1-800-947-1993
or P.O. Box 3838, San Diego, California 92163
to check for its availability.)
Today is Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011; Karen's Korner #2023|
Theme: Be thankful and faithful every day!
It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night,
On an instrument of ten strings,
On the lute,
And on the harp,
With harmonious sound.
For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.
O LORD, how great are Your works!
Your thoughts are very deep.
A senseless man does not know,
Nor does a fool understand this.
When the wicked spring up like grass,
And when all the workers of iniquity flourish,
It is that they may be destroyed forever.
But You, LORD, are on high forevermore.
For behold, Your enemies, O LORD,
For behold, Your enemies shall perish;
All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox;
I have been anointed with fresh oil.
My eye also has seen my desire on my enemies;
My ears hear my desire on the wicked
Who rise up against me.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Today is Thursday, March 3rd, 2011; Karen's Korner #2024|
This is something that Shirley Choat emailed in a daily email she writes; sent about two years ago near the Lenten season. It seems that no matter what is happening in THE world or OUR world, we have things we would like to see changed. Jesus tells us to not be troubled or afraid; He will take care of THINGS and US:
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me."
~ John 14:1
There are so many troubles in every part of our lives. We know that Job was right: "Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward." Troubles in the family, work and in church. The very disciples to whom these words were addressed were to be weighted down with distressing troubles on that very night. What, then, does our Savior mean?
Look at the words closely. "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me..In my Father's house are many mansions...I go to prepare a place for you," Then in verse 27 of the same Chapter, "Peace I leave with you, the peace I give isn't fragile like the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid."
Our Savior knew what troubles awaited His children, but He gave them something that would lift them to a heavenly peace. He promised that He would always be at their side. He promised He would at last take them unto Himself into the house of many mansions. This makes the heart quiet and peaceful. One thing we have that is stronger than all troubles: that we become stronger through trouble by our faith in the Savior. He still gives His own peace to the troubled heart. He still whispers into believing hearts: "Fear not, only believe."
Today, we can focus on the troubles in the world and in our lives, or we can focus on the victory we have in Christ because His death was followed by His resurrection. This wonderful fact gives new meaning to His words, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33.
A troubled heart, a wearied mind
Are burdens hard to bear;
A lack of peace, a heavy load
Are lifted by God's care.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - When we keep our mind on God, God gives us peace of mind.
Today is Friday, March 4th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2025|
One day's entry from "In God We STILL Trust" by Dr. Richard G. Lee, a 365-day devotional. (Are you getting the picture that I am enjoying this book? Get ready for more entries in the days ahead!):
CHOOSING CHRIST OR CHAOS?
"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's"
~ Mark 12:17
"Peter Marshall, the chaplain of the U.S. Senate (1947-1949), issued a call for Americans to honor God:
'The choice before us in plain: Christ or chaos, conviction or compromise,
discipline or disintegration. I am rather tired of hearing about
our rights and privileges as American citizens.
The time has come--it is now--when we ought to hear
about our duties and responsibilities of our citizenship.
America's future depends upon her accepting and
demonstrating God's government.'"
"Father, enable me to know and then to do my civic duty. I pray that, first, I will make my home a sanctuary for my family members. Help me to also make my neighborhood a better place for those who are hurting, lonely, and needing help. Use my efforts, Lord, to help improve my city and my state."
"Read the amazing promise of Deuteronomy 28:1-2: 'Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.' God promises that if we make the right choices, if we live according to His Word, we will know blessing, not chaos."
Today is Monday, March 7th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2026|
Yesterday was our church's annual mission prayer breakfast. We get information from each of the missions and outreaches which we support for which they request prayer. Not only do we pray for them one time, a prayer brochure is made up for us to keep during the upcoming year.
Our minister spoke briefly about missions and missionaries at our worship time as well. In a variety of ways, we all are missionaries as we give, pray, invite, or reach out with God's love to our next door neighbor or an unknown friend from around the world.
"Then the Lord said to Moses,
"See, I have appointed you as my ambassador to Pharaoh...."
~ Exodus 7:1
Bible Commentary: "God called Moses his ambassador. An ambassador represents another country, another type of people, and often another point of view. We are each God's ambassador -- representing to the world that Christians are a different people with a different lifestyle. Much of the world knows nothing about God except what it sees in the lives of God's people. What kind of God would they think you represent? Taking note of how you come across to others gives you a good indication of how well you are representing God."
Thank You, God, for all of the opportunities You give to each of us every day to represent You to 'our' world and 'the' world. Today I (we) want to celebrate the things I (we) have done to represent You; bring to mind some of those ways. We want to celebrate You and celebrate who we are as Your ambassadors. Help each of us to be aware of what it is You would have us do and then help us to do it! In the Name of Jesus who goes with us as we reach out to others; Amen.
Today is Tuesday, March 8th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2027|
Some sayings taken from a flip calendar titled "Special Angels (aka as 'Friends')":
"Wherever we are,
it is our friends that help
to make our world."
"When you share a friend's burden,
both shall walk a little taller."
"A friend who listens is like being carried
on the wings of angels."
"A good friend is someone who
without being disagreeable."
""For some, being angelic is easy --
as long as no one ruffles their feathers."
"It takes a long time
to grow an old friend."
"Two jewels of an angel:
giving and forgiving."
Today is Wednesday, March 9th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2028|
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season.
Ash Wednesday (seven Wednesdays before Easter, or 40 days, not counting Sundays) is like knowing the definition of a word: you know but you don't know? Doing some research on the internet, I found this information from Dr. Richard P. Bucher:
"Ash Wednesday is the name given to the first day of the season of Lent, in which the Pastor applies ashes to the foreheads of Christians to signify an inner repentance.
"It probably dates from at least the 8th Century, and is taken from both the Old and New Testaments that 'the men who repented of their sins bestrewed themselves with ashes and clothed their bodies with sackcloth. Now let us do this at the beginning of our Lent that we strew ashes upon our heads to signify that we ought to repent of our sins during the Lenten fast'.
"In the typical Ash Wednesday observance, Christians are invited to the altar to receive the imposition of ashes, prior to receiving the holy Supper. The Pastor applies ashes in the shape of the cross on the forehead of each, while speaking the words, 'For dust you are and to dust you shall return' (Genesis 3:19). This is what God spoke to Adam and Eve after they had eaten of the forbidden fruit and fallen into sin. These words indicated to our first parents the bitterest fruit of their sin, namely death. In the context of the Ash Wednesday imposition of ashes, they remind each participant of their sinfulness and mortality, and, thus, their need to repent and get right with God before it is too late. The cross reminds each person of the good news that through Jesus Christ crucified there is forgiveness for all sins, all guilt, and all punishment.
"Many Christians choose to leave the ashes on their forehead for the remainder of the day, not to be showy and boastful (see Matthew 6:16-18). Rather, they do it as a witness that all people are sinners in need of repentance AND that through Jesus all sins are forgiven through faith.
"While the words 'Ash Wednesday' are never mentioned in the Bible, the rite of ashes is heartily recommended to the Christian as a grand opportunity for repentance and spiritual renewal. A blessed Ash Wednesday observance to all."
(*In part, I do not know who Dr.Richard P. Bucher is.)
Today is Thursday, March 10th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2029|
This morning as I was thinking about people in my life and world, I was idly praying, "God, it just seems there are so many people in trouble." Then He gently reminded me, "We are all in trouble without Him."
Here is a Joel and Victoria Osteen thought for the day:
He Makes Up the Difference
“…for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength)” (II Corinthians 12:10, AMP).
"No matter what weakness you think you may have, no matter what inadequacies or setbacks you’ve encountered, God wants to give you His divine strength. He wants to make up the difference and put you further ahead than you ever thought possible. One time in the Old Testament, God simply multiplied the sound of four men’s footsteps and caused them to sound like a mighty army. When their enemies heard them, they took off running. There were thousands of enemy troops running for their lives, scared to death, thinking they were being attacked by a massive army when in fact it was just four people! What happened? God made up the difference.
:Friend, God can make you seem bigger than you really are. He can make you look more powerful. He knows how to multiply your influence, multiply your strength, your talent and your income. You don’t have to figure it all out; all you have to do is put your trust in Him. If you will release your faith for a supernatural year and wake up every day expecting God’s far and beyond favor, then you’re going to see God show up and make the difference in every area of your life!
"Heavenly Father, today I commit every area of my life to You. I trust that You will make up the difference and supply everything I need to fulfill Your purposes in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen."
Today is Friday, March 11th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2030|
With so much unrest and difference of opinion, both in America and around the world; enjoy one more entry from "In God We STILL Trust" by Dr. Richard G. Lee:
Fulfilling Our Responsibilities
"In those days there was no king in Israel,
everyone did what was right in his own eyes."
~ JUDGES 21:25
"U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recalls that when he was growing up, his grandfather taught him some important foundational lessons about the connection between personal responsibility and liberty: 'What my grandfather believed was that people have their responsibilities and that if they are left alone to fulfill their responsibilities, that is freedom...Honesty and responsibility, those are the things (my grandfather) taught.'
"Justice Thomas added that in today's society, there is not enough emphasis on the responsibilities of all Americans to live in such a way that will maintain and protect the foundations of freedom. 'Too many conversations today have to do with rights and wants,' he noted. 'There is not enough talk about responsibilities and duties.'
"The book of Judges offers a graphic demonstration of the consequences of such self-seeking behavior among the citizens of a nation--and of the need for personal and collective humility, repentance, and steadfast faith in God if a nation is to run back to righteousness."
"Lord God, I pray that America, the land that I do love,
will turn once again toward You.
Help us see the need for repentance and restoration to righteousness,
and begin this work today in my own heart."
"'If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves,
and pray and seek My Face,
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin
and heal their land.'"
~ (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Today is Monday, March 14th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2031|
I was on my way to town to run a few errands on Friday afternoon.and stacked a few things that I would need to take with me to complete those tasks .
I had four envelopes to put into the mail; a card to take with me to a memorial service; a check to pay our property taxes at the courthouse; plus take along my yellow tablet list and my black annual calendar book.
Driving out of the yard, I put the envelopes into our mailbox. I picked up a friend as we attend a brief memorial service together. After the service, I attempt to grab for the property tax check.....no check!
I looked under our van seats; no check.
Maybe I left it on our kitchen table or computer desk. I finished my other errands before returning home.
Check couldn't be found. I called the post office; maybe I made a mistake when I put the four envelopes into our farm home mailbox. No, they hadn't seen anything extra, returned after the drivers finished their rural routes.
Where could the missing check be?
I racked my brain for answers; tried not to be overly concerned. If I left it somewhere, maybe that other someone would give us a call.
When meeting Jim for a quick early supper uptown before going another place together, he casually mentioned, "Where were you this afternoon? I tried to call you a time or two at home and then on your cell phone. I didn't want you to worry. I found the tax check on the floor of the kitchen and took it to the county treasurer's office to pay the taxes."
Whew! The lost was found and everything had been taken care of; I had nothing for which to be concerned!!
Made me think of God and how He never wants us to be worried or afraid. He wants us to know that He has everything under control.
I wonder if now and then, He'd love to say to each one of us, "Where have you been? I have answers to your cares and worries. I have taken care of your every need!"
And when we hear His voice, we can relax. We have nothing for which to be filled with a care of any kind!
"Trust the Lord completely;
don't ever trust yourself.
In everything you do,
put God first,
and He will direct you
and crown your efforts with success."
~ Proverbs 3: 5,6
Heavenly Father, Thank You for being such a good 'dad'. Thank You for never leaving us alone; thank You for helping us and showing us the way; Your Way! Forgive us for all the times that we think we can do it, figure things out on our own. Thank You that You know what is best for us. Thank You for Your tender, loving care. And thank You for Your Son Jesus, Amen.
Today is Tuesday, March 15th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2032|
Today's Karen's Korner is as timely as the daily newspaper; it was forwarded to me this morning by Shirley Choat and written by Pastor Ken Klaus of the Lutheran Hour Ministries:
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling."
~ Psalm 46:1-3
"Last Friday, off the coast of Honshu, Japan, the earth gave a shrug of its shoulders.
"Just as if he had been there, the Psalmist reports what happened next: the earth gave way, the mountains were moved, the waters roared and foamed.
"In a few seconds over 10,000 were dead... the safest and most secure nuclear reactors went off line... people were made homeless... others were evacuated... tens of thousands had no water, food, or power. As the aftershocks continued, the shocked people of Japan, along with the rest of the world, began to ask questions.
"Maybe you've heard those questions. Maybe you've asked them.
Questions like 'How could such a thing happen' and 'Where was the God of love in this catastrophe?'
"The first question, the one about 'how' is being answered in a number of ways by a number of groups. Scientists answer the question when they explain the moving, rubbing, bumping, and scraping of the plates on the earth's crust. The Japanese government answers the question when it shares: 'For decades, we have planned for earthquakes. Because of those plans the destruction and death count was not worse. Even so, no government can fully prepare for an earthquake of this magnitude.'
"The second question, the one concerning the presence of God, that is one He answers Himself.
"He says, 'I am waiting patiently for the people of the world to realize I am here, ready, eager to provide comfort, help, peace, hope, and salvation to all who will be turned to Me. In a world which is regularly shaken by the results of sin, I am constant, committed to being your Refuge and Strength.'
"Indeed, 2,000 years ago, when God's Son substituted Himself and sacrificed His life on the cross so we might have eternal life, the earth was shaken. (Matthew 27:51) The earth was rocked once again when, three days later, the Savior conquered sin, Satan, and death with His rising from the grave. (Matthew 28:2)
"Through Jesus' death and resurrection, the great Triune God has given evidence that nothing... nothing in all creation... can separate believers from His love. That is what the earthquaked people of Japan need to know. That is what people whose personal worlds are being rocked need to remember.
"Indeed, we all need to know, believe, and trust: God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in time of trouble."
"When driven and tossed by life's fiercest of storms,
Our strength all depleted and spent,
We rest in the strength of our Savior and God,
Whose help in that hour is sent."
"THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, when the forces of sin, Satan, and death shake my world, may I realize that You are my Refuge and Strength. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, I have been and will continue to be delivered and be given Your peace which passes human understanding. Today I offer my thanks for these gifts in the name of Him Who is my Help both now and forevermore. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
Today is Wednesday, March 16th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2033|
Today (and everyday) is a good day to tell God 'thank you':
Thank you, God:
* for one more day of Your love and care;
* for thinking of me (us) more often than I (we) think of You;
* for your well-ordered world.
This past week I have been introduced to two new babies.
Your creation and craftsmanship overwhelms me.
* for the return of spring. We don't have to concern ourselves whether or not
spring will return. We can count on Your order;
* for friends and family members;
for their love, care, and concern for me, our family, and others.
* for the plans You have for each one of us;
* for the life we have here on this earth
and for the world which is coming;
* and for so many other things which I can
continue to count as I (we) enjoy the rest of the day.
Regardless of what is happening in our lives,
the lives of our family;
God reminds us to be thankful.
It is for His glory
and our mental and spiritual health.
"....always be thankful......"
I Thessalonians 5: 18
Today is Thursday, March 17th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2034|
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
About every American owns at least one Bible; many have multiple ones. Most Bible readers have a 'favorite'. Some people believe that a Bible should bear no marks; others have their Bibles marked up with notes, multiple colors from various highlighters. To each his/her own.
I am some place in the middle. Now and then I make a note and date it, if something touches me or maybe something which I am doing or focusing on at the time, causes me to pause.
Reading a couple of verses from Psalm 36 yesterday, I read a couple of notes in the margin.
One comment was from 30 years ago this month. The note says, "Taking Superintendent's recommendations, deciding to terminate six teachers; 3/18/81." I was serving on the local school board. Our district had declining enrollments, not enough money, and budgets which had to be balanced. As board members, we were being asked to lay off some staff members which would not be needed in the school year ahead. Hard decisions.
Another note from 10/84, in the same area, "As I am concerned for people and their money." I have no idea who or what I was concerned about; might even have included us!
I felt like those notes could have been relevant for today: schools/governments without bulging budgets and people in my world/our worlds and our concerns for stretching their/our dollars over mounting expenses.
God is still God 25 or 30 years later:
"Your steadfast love, O Lord,
is as great as all the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your justice is as solid as God's mountains.
Your decisions are as full of wisdom
as the oceans are with water.
You are concerned for men and animals alike.
How precious is your constant love, O God!
All humanity takes refuge in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them with blessings from your own table
and let them drink from your rivers of delight.
For you are the Fountain of life;
our light is from your Light.
Pour out your unfailing love on those who know you!
Never stop giving your blessings to those who long to do your will.
Today is Friday, March 18th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2035|
(There will be no Karen's Korners for the next two weeks, as Jim & I plan to be gone. The next Karen's Korner will be emailed on Monday, April 4.)
Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day; wearing green is sort of expected. I don't have much 'green' in my wardrobe. Probably 25 years ago, Jim's mom gave me a two-piece, dark-green pant suit, I suppose you would call. Slacks are about like jogging pants; very comfortable. Very green!
My hardest decision: do I or don't I decide to wear it for the day.
Same thing happens to me when we invite people to our home for lunch or dinner. The two hardest parts: what am I going to have for a menu? Who will we invite? And picking up the telephone and inviting someone.
Making the food and cleaning up our home is easy in comparison.
Doing is easier for me than deciding and calling!
Same for you??
Let's keep choosing: to wear, to invite, and to call others. God will be blessed. So will we; so will others!
"Continue to love each other with true brotherly love.
Don't forget to be kind to strangers,
for some who have done this have
entertained angels without realizing it!"
~ Hebrews 13:1, 2