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October 2011 Archives

Printable Issue 2166  Today is Monday, October 3rd, 2011; Karen's Korner #2166
On Thursday last week, Karen's Korner contained a handful of quotes from various people.
 
One of them caught my sister Amy's attention. She fought a battle with breast cancer 19 years ago and WON! Next year she is following in my footsteps when she enrolls in Medicare.
 
Here is a reminder of what the saying was and then her response to it:
 
"When a friend is in trouble,
don't annoy him/her by asking
if there is anything you could do.
Think up something appropriate to do
and do it!"
 
~ Edgar Watson Howe
 
**
"How true!

"When I was undergoing Chemotherapy, a lot of friends and family would say, 'Let us know if there is anything we can do for you'. These same people often stopped by with food, including a lot of cookies for our kids. But I never asked them to 'do' anything. And they were doing their best to help. 

"But one friend will always stand out in my memory.  he called one Tuesday morning, said 'put the coffee pot on, and I will stop over soon – if that is OK'.  I told her it was. What I did not know was she would be bringing her vacuum cleaner, dust mop and rags. On Sunday I had said how hard it was to have enough energy to clean the house. I would not have thought to ask her or anyone else to come and clean for me. But she was listening and heard a need she could meet for our family during this time.  Every two weeks for months on Tuesday (her day off) she would come and 'do a little cleaning' for about an hour. What a gift!"

 
Printable Issue 2167  Today is Tuesday, October 4th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2167
Each Sunday one church leader gives a communion meditation before our weekly communion.
 
Dean Kluss offered God's words of wisdom this past Sunday. He began by reminding us that last spring he had used a kernel of corn as his illustration of sowing and planting. He told us that fall was his favorite time of the year and how easy it is to see God's handiwork everywhere we look, in this season.
 
As he held up the kernel of corn in his right hand, he lifted up a golden-ripe, lengthy ear of corn in his left hand saying, "From that kernel a few months ago, here we are today!"
 
The kernel and the ear of corn received a round of applause from the congregation.
 
Maybe you had to have been there.
 
It was a moving illustration!
 
 
Dear Father in Heaven, may we never take anything from Your Hand or from any season of the year for granted. Thank You for our many, many blessings. Thank You that You are the Lord of the Planting, Growing, and Harvest. Open our eyes so that we may see You more and more clearly in our every day lives. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
 
 
Printable Issue 2168  Today is Wednesday, October 5th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2168
 
At our Sunday School class on Sunday, our discussion took us to the first part of Psalm 2; where it talks about 'God laughing'. What would make God laugh?
 
Seems God laughs at the 'puny plans of people' and nations who believe they can turn their back on God.
 
Any countries in the world who think that today?
 
"What fools the nations are to rage against the Lord!
How strange that men should try to outwit God!
For a summit conference of the nations has been called
to plot against the Lord and his Messiah,
Christ the King.
'Come, let us break his chains,'
they say,
'and free ourselves from all this slavery to God.'
 
But God in heaven merely laughs!
He is amused by all their puny plans.
And then in fierce fury he rebukes them
and fills them with fear.
~ Psalm 2:1 - 5 LB
 
Bible Commentary:  People often think they will be free if they can get away from God. Yet we all inevitably serve somebody or something, whether a human king, the wishes of friends, or our own selfish desires. Just as a fish is not free when it leaves the water and a tree is not free when it leaves the soil, we are not free when we leave the Lord. The one sure rule to freedom is wholeheartedly serving God the Creator. He can set you free to be who he created you to be.
 
God laughs, not at the nations, but at their confused thoughts about power. It is the kind of laughter which a father has with his preschool son who boasts of outrunning his father or conquering him in a wrestling match. The father knows the boundaries of power of his little boy, and God knows the boundaries of power of the nations. If you must choose to put your confidence in God or the nations, choose God!
 
****
Printable Issue 2169  Today is Thursday, October 6th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2169
A pass-along email from a friend, complete with graphics, titled "Be Attitudes". This is half of the list; another Karen's Korner will have the other half: My hope is that one of the "Be" list will stick in our minds today:
 
  •  Be understanding to your perceived enemies.
  • Be loyal to your friends.
  • Be strong enough to face the world each day.
  • Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.
  • Be generous to those who need your help.
  • Be teachable to show maturity.
  • Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.
  • Be foolish enough to believe in miracles.
  • Be willing to share your joys.
  • Be willing to share the sorrows of others.
  •  
    **
    Printable Issue 2170  Today is Friday, October 7th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2170
    Today's korner is something written and emailed by Joel and Victoria Osteen. They talk about God turning every adversity into something good.
     
    We heard an illustration of that yesterday at Clarion's 84th Union Aid. This annual event finds all of our community church ladies' groups meeting together for a salad luncheon and a selected program. Speaker Kelly Kirstein talked about a middle school ecumenical girls' group which she began in our community nearly two years ago (CHICKS - Christ's Hands Influences Confidence Kindness Self-Control), after she had spent five months in bed, waiting the safe arrival of the couple's third child:
     
     

    He Has Good Things in Store

    "Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life…"
    (Psalm 23:6, AMP)

    "God has a plan to take every adversity, every hardship you go through and use it–not to beat you down and make your life miserable. No, God's dream is to take that difficulty and supernaturally turn it around and use it to bring you good. He will use those tough times to bring you out stronger, more mature, and prepared for promotion! Goodness, mercy, and unfailing love are God's plan for you!

    "You may not understand everything that's going on in your life right now, but I encourage you to keep your head held high. Know that God is working in your life. Keep being faithful. Keep doing the right thing knowing that in the end God is going to turn things around in your favor. If God is for you, who can be against you? No one. Greater is the One who is in you than anyone who can be against you. No matter what's going on around you today, you can put your shoulders back and put a smile on your face because God has good things in store for your future!

    "Father in heaven, thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness in my life. Thank You for all You've done for me in my past and for what You are preparing for my future. Help me keep my eyes on You. Help me stand strong in You and look for Your goodness all the days of my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

    Printable Issue 2171  Today is Monday, October 10th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2171
     
    A daily inspirational thought written by Jon Walker and forwarded by Rick Warren of "Purpose Driven Life" fame. Thanks to Steve Watne for forwarding the message to me:
     

    Risky Obedience Comes With A God-Guarantee
    by Jon Walker

     

    “Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of.” (Luke 19:26 MSG)

    "Risks of faith require us to take Step 1 before we see Step 2. God uses risks, large and small, to stretch us into a life of faith. The irony is that if we concentrate on the risks instead of God’s faithfulness, we fail to understand that the greater risk is remaining independent of God.

    "If we believe what we say we believe, then regardless of what we are able to see on the other side of a faith-related risk, the reality is that God is there. What may appear to be a no-guarantee situation actually comes with the greatest guarantee of all — a God-guarantee — that he is working everything out (Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11).

    • With a God-guarantee, you can enter into the risky obedience of attempting things that are impossible unless God gives you his strength to do them.
    • With a God-guarantee, you can enter into the risky obedience of loving other believers so deeply and richly that you prove to the world that you are filled with God’s inexhaustible love.
    • With a God-guarantee, you can enter into the risky obedience of loving your seemingly unlovable neighbors, just as God loved you even when you appeared unlovable.
    • With a God-guarantee, you can enter into the risky obedience of changing your priorities to match God’s priorities, in faith sacrificing what you cannot keep for the things that can never be taken away.
    • With a God-guarantee, you can enter into the risky obedience of telling others about Jesus and teaching them how to faithfully follow him (Matthew 28:19–20).

    "God guarantees you will succeed when you take the risks of faith he asks you to take. What step of faith have you delayed because you’ve been uncertain about God’s guarantee?

    "Give God permission to clear any obstacles in your life that keep you from trusting his promise (that, in itself, is a risk that requires faith, isn’t it?)."

    ***** 

    Printable Issue 2172  Today is Tuesday, October 11th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2172
    Some words of wisdom from Mother Teresa:
     
    "A joyful heart is like
    a sunshine of God's love."
     
    ~
     
    "We must know that we have been created for greater things,
    not just to be a number in the world,
    not just to go for diplomas and degrees,
    this work and that work.
    We have been created in order
    to love and to be loved."
     
    ~
     
    "The fruit of Silence is Prayer.
    The fruit of Prayer is Faith.
    The fruit of Faith is Love.
    The fruit of Love is Service.
    The fruit of Service is Peace."
     
    ~
     
    "Whatever you do, even if you help somebody cross the road,
    you do it to Jesus.
    Even if you give somebody a glass of water,
    you do it to Jesus.
    Such a simple little teaching,
    but it is so important."
     
    ~
     
    "Our works of charity are nothing but the overflow
    of our love for God from within.
    Therefore the one who is most united
    to Him loves her neighbor most."
     
    ~
     
    "Kindness has converted more people
    than zeal, science, or eloquence."
     
    ~
     
    ""God will never, never, never let us down
    if we have faith and put our trust in Him.
    He will always look after us.
    So we must cleave to Jesus.
    Our whole life must simply be woven into Jesus."
     
    ****
    Printable Issue 2173  Today is Wednesday, October 12th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2173
    "Let all the joys of the godly well up in praise to the Lord, for it is right to praise Him. Play joyous melodies of praise upon the lyre and on the harp. Compose new songs of praise to Him, accompanied skillfully on the harp; sing joyfully.
     
    "For all God's words are right, and everything he does is worthy of our trust. He loves whatever is just and good; the earth is filled with His tender love. He merely spoke, and the heavens were formed, and all the galaxies of stars. He made the oceans, pouring them into His vast reservoirs.
     
    "Let everyone in all the world--men, women, and children--fear the Lord and stand in awe of Him. For when He but spoke, the world began! It appeared at His command! And with a breath He can scatter the plans of all the nations who oppose Him, but His own plan stands forever. His intentions are the same for every generation.
     
    "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people He has chosen as His own."
                ~ Psalm 33:1-12 LB
     
     
    Bible Commentary:  A person's words are measured by the quality of his or her character. If your friends trust what you say, it is becasue they trust you. If you trust what God says, it is because you trust him to be the God he claims to be. If you doubt his words, you doubt the integrity of God himself. If you believe God is truly God, then believe what he says!
     
    All God's words are true and trustworthy. The Bible is reliable because unlike people, God does not lie, forget, change his words, or leave his promises unfulfilled. We can trust the Bible because it contains the words of a holy, trustworthy, and unchangeable God.
    Printable Issue 2174  Today is Thursday, October 13th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2174

    Our church family has just embarked on a 31-week journey of "The Story"; it is the entire Bible written in story form and in chronological order. Last week we looked at creation, Adam & Eve, and Noah.

    This week it is about Abraham and his profile in faith. A footnote on the definition of faith;  'complete trust. True faith is much deeper than mere intellectual agreement with certain facts--it affects the desires of one's heart.'

    Abraham had three times when God told him about what was going to happen to Abraham and his family in the future. And by 'faith' Abraham believed God and acted on it:

    * when he left his present home to go to an unknown place; he was 75 years old;

    * when God promised Abraham a son, as an heir to all God had given him; he was 99 years old;

    * when God asked Abraham to sacrifice that son Isaac; 14 year later, which turned out to be a test of Abraham's faith. Isaac's life was spared.

    Several faith implications include: faith is always based on the Promise of God.......we are to trust God to be who He says He is and to do what He says He will do; God can be trusted with our most precious 'possessions'.

    Faith is required 'before' we know the outcome!

    Dear Father in Heaven, we need more faith! We want to trust You more and believe You more often! You are supernatural and we are so human! Help!! Amen.

    Printable Issue 2175  Today is Friday, October 14th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2175
    "Everyone was trying to touch Him (Jesus),
    for when they did healing power
    went out from Him
    and they were cured."
     
    ~ LUKE 6:19 LB
     
    ~
     
    Bible Commentary:
     
    Once Jesus' healing power became known,
    crowds gathered just to touch Him.
     
    For many, He had become a symbol of good fortune,
    a lucky charm,
    or a country magician.
     
    Instead of desiring God's pardon and love,
    they only wanted physical healing
    or a chance to see spectacular events.
     
    Some people still see God as a cosmic magician,
    and prayer only as a way to ease their pain
    or get him to do His tricks.
     
    But God is not a magician--
    He is the Master.
     
    Prayer is not away for us to control Him;
    it is a way for us to put ourselves under His Control.
     
    ***
    Printable Issue 2176  Today is Monday, October 17th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2176
    Who hasn't walked into grocery stores, discount stores, flower shops at the beginning of each fall and walked past a sea of blooming fall mums? They beckon to be purchased by unsuspecting potential customers.
     
    I bought one early in September; a golden, bronze one. For a few weeks, it graced our kitchen table and next our front step. Then the blooms began to fade. It looked like something which needed to be tossed out.
     
    Instead, I gave it a haircut; cutting back all the dead flowers. And I continued to water the fall plant.
     
    A few more weeks passed and new buds started to pop up from under the leaves. Now day by day, it is beginning to bloom again. Beautiful bronze-colored flowers; not quite full bloom. But if the weather stays away from frost, I believe it will have as many flowers as when it sat at our local discount store, begging for my purchase.
     
    If the weather starts to chase it, I think I will move it inside!
     
    Makes me think about us. Do we sometimes bloom? Then some situations and circumstances, cause us to lose our flowering potential? Do we sometimes feel like we are 'being clipped' by life?
     
    But hang on, if that has happened to us, it might be a short amount of time until we bloom again.
     
    And if it doesn't happen to be in this life, as a Christian, we can count on a 'flowering role' in the next one!!
     
    Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for the beauty that You give to each one of us in Your flower garden of life. Help us not to lose our focus or hope, when life tosses us some things that we don't like nor can handle without You. Thank You that everything put into Your hands is restored and regrown. We like being part of Your plans. Thank You for giving us hope and help for the day. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
    Printable Issue 2177  Today is Tuesday, October 18th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2177
    The last half of a pass-along email (I sent the first half a week or so ago) which was titled the "Be Attitudes"; hers included graphics:
     
    * Be a leader when you see a path others have missed;
    * Be a follower when you are surrounded by the mists of uncertainty;
    * Be first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds;
    * Be last to criticize a colleague who fails;
    * Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.
     
    * Be sure of your final destination, in case you are going the wrong way;
    * Be willing to change your negative attitude;
    * Be loving to those who love you;
    * Be loving to those who do not love you; they may change;
    * Above all, be yourself.
     
    ***
    Printable Issue 2178  Today is Wednesday, October 19th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2178
    One Bible verse from 2 Kings; a message from God to King Hezekiah via the prophet Isaiah:
     
    "A remnant of my people shall
    become strong in Jerusalem.
    The Lord is eager to cause this to happen."
    2 Kings 19:31 LB
     
    ~
     
    Bible Commentary on this verse:
    "As long as a tiny spark remains,
    a fire can be rekindled and fanned into a roaring blaze.
    Similarly, if just the smallest remnant of true believers retains the spark of faith,
    God can rebuild it into a strong nation.
    And if only a glimmer of faith remains in a heart,
    God can use it to restore blazing faith in that believer.
    If you feel that only a spark of faith remains in you,
    ask God to use it to rekindle
    a blazing fire of commitment to Him.
     
    ***
    Printable Issue 2179  Today is Thursday, October 20th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2179
    An article written and published in a senior citizens' magazine recently. It is by Christine Williams of Carmel Valley, California:
     
    "I watched my 90-year-old mother-in-law live on $19,000 a year for the past 30 years, in California. How did she do it? She was fond of saying, 'It's the little things.' For example, she used only one paper napkin for all three meals, neatly folding it and tucking it under the corner of the microwave after breakfast and lunch. She reused gift bags. Nothing useful was thrown out. Coupons, of course, were meticulously cut and redeemed.
     
    "She used only flat sheets on her bed, so she could rotate them and wash only one a week. That way she kept her washing down to two loads a week.
     
    "She lived without the expense of a car. Her apartment was within two miles of her work and grocery store, so she could walk.
     
    "She never had a credit card.
     
    "Wilma was a giver of time and financial help. At church, she volunteered, tithed, and made monthly contributions to several missionaries. She gave Christmas gifts to her three children, 12 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. Without fail, at Easter, Halloween, and Valentine's Day each great-grandchild received a card with a dollar enclosed. She remembered our birthdays with checks, too.
     
    "I believe that it was in giving that she received. As she continued to touch others' lives and was willing to do without, she was blessed until the end with the ability to live frugally but fully.
     
    "One of her favorite quotes was, 'It's not how much we have, but how well we live, that brings happiness." It worked for her!"
    Printable Issue 2180  Today is Friday, October 21st, 2011; Karen's Korner #2180
    A couple of short thoughts I have had in the last couple of days:
     
     
    Yesterday I pulled up the petunias which have graced the sidewalk up to our farm home all this summer. You should have seen them; they were beautiful! The mixed white and shades of purple plants bloomed their heart out from mid-May until yesterday. Five months of enjoyment! While they had become leggy, they were still escaping some of the chiller temperatures.
     
    As I loaded the greens into the yard cart, I thought of the weeks of enjoyment and that I was going to miss their beauty. I thought of their 'term' and then I likened them to our lives. They, like us, are temporary in our 'usefulness'. But after winter comes spring and another whack at growing and blooming.
     
    Life is not a straight line; but a circle. It keeps on rolling ahead.
     
    Today is a good day to move ahead; sharing God's beauty with those we meet and see.
     
    **
     
    Another thing which happened to me yesterday was an opportunity to witness on a Christian television station a speaker and a worship service different from the way I normally think or worship.
     
    Then I spent some time thinking about different denominations, beliefs, and styles of worship.
     
    Some worship services are loud. Some are more reserved. Some are centers of learning. Others are deep in meaning. Some are more entertaining.
     
    I am sure all of us have experienced quite a variety.
     
    The profound thought that I had, "It isn't the 'HOW'; it is the 'WHO' we should be interested in!"
     
    I might not believe exactly like you. You might not worship exactly like I do.
     
    We need to remember our worship is about the "WHO"; and that makes us all alike!!
     
    ***
     
    Thank You, God, for always showing us the way; Your way! Everywhere we look, You are there - guarding and guiding. Teaching and loving. Thank You for that kind of care! Thank You for blessing me and for other people who are a blessing to me. May I be a blessing to someone else today. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
    Printable Issue 2181  Today is Monday, October 24th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2181
    Our church study continues as we take an overall look of the Bible, in our book "The Study". This week's portion is about Joseph as depicted in Genesis chapters 37 - 46. How he went from being a slave to becoming a deputy pharaoh. How he went from the favorite son of twelve brothers; to slave; to prisoner; to second in command in Egypt.
     
    His life story is a parallel of the life of Jesus (taken from notes from "The Study"):
     

    "Short story of Joseph's life:  He was the favored son of his father. His father sent him to his brothers who rejected him. He was taken to Egypt to avoid being killed. He was sold for the price of a slave and then was falsely accused. He was condemned between two prisoners. His suffering eventually led him to a place of prominence and honor, and his brothers bowed their knees to him at last. In the end, he had suffered much but knew that all he'd endured was to save the lives of those he loved.

     

    "Story of Jesus' life:  He was the favored son of his father. His father sent him to his brothers who rejected him. He was taken to Egypt to avoid being killed. He was sold for the price of a slave and then was falsely accused. He was condemned between two prisoners. His suffering eventually led him to a place of prominence and honor, and his brothers bowed their knees to him at last. In the end, he had suffered much but knew that all he'd endured was to save the lives of those he loved.

     

     

    "Both are a story of grace, forgiveness, and redemption; it is unmistakable. It's almost like God can barely stand to keep the secret:  His ways are indeed mysterious and unfathomable but it's hard to miss the desire of God as our Father to let us in on what He's been up to. Joseph's life nearly gives the whole thing away. Joseph said, 'It was to save lives that God sent me. God sent me to preserve for you a remnant on earth and save your lives by a great deliverance. It was not you who sent me here, but God. You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.'"
     
    ***