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December 2011 Archives

Printable Issue 2204  Today is Thursday, December 1st, 2011; Karen's Korner #2204
Last week I included several cute jokes; here is one more (and last!) installment of "365 Clean Jokes" flip-calendar:
 
 
Sunday School teacher:
Now, Charlie, what can you tell me about Goliath?
 
Charlie: Goliath was the man David rocked to sleep.
 
***
 
Passenger:  Are you sure this train stops at San Francisco??
 
Conductor:  If it doesn't, you'll hear an awful splash!
 
***
 
A man was speeding down the highway.
An officer pulled him over and gave him a ticket.
After staring at it, the driver asked,
"When is the raffle?"
 
***
 
Grandma:  Were you a good girl at church today, Missy?
 
Missy:  Yes, I was. When the nice man offered me a whole plate of money,
I said, "No, thank you."
 
***
 
Mom:  Where's your brother?
 
Sam:  Well, if the ice is as thick as he thinks,
he's skating.
But it it's as thin as I think it is,
he's swimming.
 
***
 
Lawyer to defendant:
Do you wish to challenge any of the jury members?
 
Defendant:  Well, I think I could take the guy on the end.
 
***
 
How many missionaries does it take to change a lightbulb?
 
One, and thirty natives to see the light.
 
***
 
Dad:  What happened to your eye?
 
Keith:  I was staring at a ball from afar,
and I was wondering why it was getting bigger and bigger.
Then it hit me.
 
***
 
Swimmer:  Are you sure there aren't any sharks along this beach?
 
Lifeguard:  Oh, yes, I'm sure.
They don't get along well with the alligators!
 
***
 
What did Noah say as he was loading the ark?
 
"Now I herd everything."
 
***
 
Judge:  The last time I saw you,
 I told you I didn't want to ever see you again.
 
Defendant:  I told that to the policeman, but he didn't believe me.
 
***
 
A Sunday School teacher asked her class,
"What did Jesus say about people getting married?
 
Little Johnny quickly answered,
"Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'"
 
****
Printable Issue 2205  Today is Friday, December 2nd, 2011; Karen's Korner #2205
As the head of our church's mission committee, last weekend I started making out Christmas cards for the missionaries which we support for people in our congregation to sign the cards. Signers made some single sentence encouraging comments as they wrote.
 
The cards I chose were two different styles; two different sizes. As I chose this card and that card, I made the mistake of addressing two wrong envelopes for the accompanying cards. Wouldn't you know? The smaller envelopes were addressed for the larger cards. They wouldn't work for the mailing!
 
"Wouldn't be nice if we had an internal clock which would catch us before we made a mistake," I thought. I'd like if 'God would show me what I was going to do wrong, before I did it!'
 
But that isn't how it is done.....
 
God has always used imperfect people. Some with limited abilities; others who have made poor choices - to carry out His Plans.
 
The past few weeks of our church's Bible Study series has looked at some of those characters (taken from our summary):. 

 

"While Moses (had a speech problem), Solomon (didn't always live an exemplar life), and Rahab (known as a prostitute)might not sound like obvious heroes of faith, they are! Rahab became a part of the community of faith by faith. She married Salmon who became the father of Boaz (husband of Ruth). She was the great, great grandmother of King David and in the direct line of Messiah Jesus! She and Ruth (not the right lineage) are both examples of Gentile women of faith. Rahab is listed among the heroes of faith in Hebrews."

 

God's plan has always been to use 'normal people, doing normal things'. He is looking for people who live by faith and are looking to Him for His leading. He wants them to believe and obey.

 

If we could do things as 'perfectly' as we'd like, how could anyone else relate?

 

We can relate to all of these people of the past; people around us today!

 

Imperfect? Flawed? Limited ability?

 

Jump right in!! God can use all of us! Flaws, warts, and all!!!

 
Printable Issue 2206  Today is Monday, December 5th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2206
Some rambling thoughts from this past weekend:
 
 
On Saturday, a group of us slipped and slid to Mason City as we enjoyed our first area snowfall. Our goal was spending a couple of hours ringing bells for Salvation Army, helping them to raise funds for their outreach year ahead.
 
When I took my turn ringing at Hobby Lobby, my fondest memory was the number of times when a family of various ages and sizes would climb out of their car and begin to make their way to the doors of their chosen shopping experience.
 
All of the sudden, a younger elementary student or two from the tribe would see and hear the familiar bell ringing and red kettle. They would turn to mom or grandma and say, "There it is!" Begging for a few coins or a dollar bill to add to the container's contents.
 
What joy to watch one generation teach another younger one to share and care for those 'less fortunate' in our midst!
 
***
 
In our church's study series on Sunday, we learned that Bethlehem, defined means "House of Bread".
 
Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
 
Do you suppose it is any accident He was born there? And that one of His names over the generations has been "The Bread of Life"?
 
***
 
I attended the Christmas Concert performed by the Choralaires, a Clarion-based choral group, on Sunday afternoon. It was their 30th anniversary Christmas concert. Several of the members have participated all thirty years, including the director Karen Strempke and the pianist Jo Anne Olson.
 
To celebrate, the other members of the Choralaires commissioned the writing of a song, based on the favorite Bible verse of Strempke. Members then exchanged some directing and accompanying roles and performed the 'new-to-the-world' tune for the honored and seated two women:
 
"With what shall I come before the LORD,
      And bow myself before the High God?
      Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
      With calves a year old?

       "Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
      Ten thousand rivers of oil?
      Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
      The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

       "He has shown you, O man, what is good;
      And what does the LORD require of you
      But to do justly,
      To love mercy,
      And to walk humbly with your God?"
 
 ~ Micah 6:6-8 (NKJV)
 
***
Printable Issue 2207  Today is Tuesday, December 6th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2207
Forwarded to us by my cousin. It is titled "From the Seat of My Tractor" (in part):
 
Old  Farmer's Advice
 
“Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.”

“A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.”

“Words that soak into your ears are whispered....not yelled.”

“Meanness don't just happen overnight.”

“Forgive your enemies; it messes up their  heads.”

“It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.” 

“You cannot unsay a cruel word.”

“Every path has a few puddles.”

“When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.” 

“The best sermons are lived, not preached.”

“Most of the stuff people worry about, ain't never gonna happen anyway.”

“Don't judge folks by their relatives.
“Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.” 

“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.”

“The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.”

“Always drink upstream from the herd.”

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta  that comes from bad judgment.”

“Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a  whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.”

“If you get to thinkin'  you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog  around.”
“Live simply, love generously, care deeply,
speak kindly, and leave the rest to God.”
****

Printable Issue 2208  Today is Wednesday, December 7th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2208
This writing is taken from our minister's "Words from Warren" in our December church newsletter. While he took it from another's writing, I don't have the acknowledgement as to the writer:
 
 
"It happens every Christmas season. You know what I mean. You say to yourself, 'I'm going to enjoy the holidays this year and not get caught up in the rat race.' But before you know it, you've stepped on the accelerator of life and the pedal stays on the floor right through Christmas morning. Your thoughts are filled with what presents you should buy for him, for her, that aunt, this parent, that child, this friend, your boss. You spend endless hours shopping, sorting, wrapping, cleaning, and cooking.
 
"Then you ask yourself, 'Where did the magic of Christmas go? When did I lose that childlike wonder and whimsical expectation that should accompany the holidays?' Your growing list of responsibilities tightened your schedule and tempered your imagination. Endless waves of worry ended your hopeful heart. In other words, you grew up, gained speed, and gave in to what the world calls the holiday rush. So how do you rediscover Christmas with a childlike passion and an expectant heart? What can you do to uncover the beauty and innocence of the incarnation?
 
" You can renew your belief in what God did two thousand years ago. You can remember that the reason for the season is not pursuing presents or displaying dazzling decorations or even participating in elaborate parties. The purpose for celebrating this wonderful season lies in a divine birth with a heavenly cause. Majesty cam to a manger.
 
"The creator of the universe was cradled in the hands of a carpenter. The Son of the most high was sustained by a mother's milk. Why? Because He wanted to bring you peace.
 
"So slow down your pace and ponder the enormous love that God has for you. Spend less money and more time with those you love. Read the Christmas story and share with loved ones what it means to you. Remember what was said of a virgin girl in need of assurance:   'Blessed is she who has believed.' And so are you."
Printable Issue 2209  Today is Thursday, December 8th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2209
Taken from a daily devotional by Lutheran Hour Ministries (forwarded to me by an email friend):
 
WHAT DETERMINATION!

Isaiah 64:5-9: "There is no one who calls upon Your Name, who rouses himself to take hold of You ...." (Isaiah 64:7a)


Did you do Black Friday a week or so ago? Did you rouse yourself early and stand in line to take advantage of the sales? Some showed their drive and dedication by camping out early. A few even sacrificed Thanksgiving Day with the family to take hold of the greatest bargains.

Could that kind of sacrifice, drive and dedication transform this Christmas for you? Some people invest a tremendous amount of time and energy to accomplish that perfectly polished Christmas, or to have a home that's the envy of all their friends, or to live a life of power and prestige.

But can that kind of drive really transform this Christmas or this life? What can wealth, power and prestige do when our lives are shattered by divorce, economic collapse, tornadoes and fires, or sickness and death? To transform our Christmas and our life itself, for that matter, we need someone who cares about us enough to sacrifice His life for us. We need someone who has the power to overcome all of our problems- including death itself. We need someone who has the drive to see it through to the very end, even when He knows it's going to cost Him His life.

That's what Christmas is all about. The Son of God left His place in heaven to become human and live with us here on earth. He lived a perfect life for us and took our place on the cross, suffering God's wrath for all of our failings. He rose to life again on the third day. When He returns He will raise us from death to live with Him forever.



Mighty Son of God, thank You for saving me by Your life, death and resurrection. Transform me that I may take hold of You and celebrate Your birth with great joy this Christmas. Amen.
 
***
Printable Issue 2210  Today is Friday, December 9th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2210
A Christmas Blessing
 
May Jesus, our Savior, who was born on Christmas Day,
Bless you at this season in a very special way.
May the beauty and the promise of that silent, holy night
Fill your heart with peace and happiness
and make your new year bright.
 
~~ Helen Steiner Rice
 
Printable Issue 2211  Today is Monday, December 12th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2211
In Point Man,
Steve Farrar tells the story of George McCluskey.
 
When McCluskey married and started a family,
he decided to invest one hour a day in prayer,
because he wanted his kids to follow Christ.
After a time, he expanded his prayers to include
his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Every day between 11 a.m. and noon,
he prayed for the next three generations.
 
As the years went by, his two daughters committed their lives to Christ
and married men who went into full-time ministry.
The two couples produced four girls and one boy.
Each of the girls married a minister, and the boy became a pastor.
The first two children born to this generation were both boys.
Upon graduation from high school,
the two cousins chose the same college and became roommates.
During their sophomore year, one boy decided to go into the ministry.
The other didn't.
He undoubtedly felt some pressure to continue the family legacy,
but he chose instead to pursue his interest in psychology.
 
He earned his doctorate and eventually wrote books for parents that became bestsellers.
He started a radio program heard on more than a thousand stations each day.
The man's name--
James Dobson.
Through his prayers,
George McCluskey affected far more than one family.
 
**
 
Whether we know it or not,
we are the product of someone else's prayer or time investment.
Only God knows how our prayers may impact generations to come!
Printable Issue 2212  Today is Tuesday, December 13th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2212
Something shared with me by Pat O'Brien; written and forwarded by the President of Central College In Pella, Iowa:
 

A Quiet Christmas Visit

Christmas is a time for visiting. The Scriptures detail a series of visits that tell the story of ordinary days made extraordinary by the presence of God. Visits from angels bringing startling news and yet comfort as fear is dispelled. Visits to friends and family seeking companionship and acceptance in place of scorn and rejection. Visits of worshippers humbled by the unmistakable power of God to enter in human history with hope for those in need.

As I think back to my childhood, I have a fond memory of visiting. But I never knew her full name. She was just "Grandma Van." From time to time, my Mom would tell me we were visiting Grandma Van as we were running a few errands. She lived in the next town, but not a great distance away. Her home was on a hillside in a neighborhood of modest homes. The house was small and charming-an off-white color with little to distinguish it from others in the area.

Entering her home was like taking a trip into the past. The setting was plain, but arranged in a welcoming fashion as if eager to greet visitors with stories of a life rich with experience and warmed by friendship. Refreshment was always offered, easing conversation as generations far apart would be bridged by a shared interest in the quietness of a moment. It was the simplicity of the visit that made it so appealing.

The Christmas season made this experience special as my assignment was to deliver to Grandma Van a small gift for the holidays. In return, hand-knitted mittens were the reward for a young man willing to do one thing:  spend time. She always made me laugh with stories of her childhood. Invariably the realities of age would come sweeping back as she would say, "All my get-up-and-go got-up-and-went!" In the end, the gift for me was the visit itself. I always felt at peace in her home.

The first visits of Christmas did not occur when it was convenient and carefully planned on a calendar. They were not arranged at times of stillness. The motion of life did not give way to accommodate a heavenly agenda. Yet in the midst of turmoil and confusion, love broke through and ushered peace into the hearts of those who would hear the quiet voice of God speaking words of hope.

We need to be visited today with a renewed hope for tomorrow. As it was for the prophet long ago, there is a voice calling in the wilderness of our lives saying "prepare the way of the Lord." The task for us is to have the grace to receive and welcome one who sometimes seems so distant, but has found a home in our hearts.

Mark L. Putnam

 
Printable Issue 2213  Today is Wednesday, December 14th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2213
Mary's song of praise when she learned she would be giving birth to Jesus, the coming King:
 

Mary’s Song
 
 And Mary said:

   “My soul glorifies the Lord 
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
   of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed, 
 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
   holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
   from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
   he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
   but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
   but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
   remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
   just as he promised our ancestors.”

Luke 1:46-55  (NIV)

**
Bible Commentary:  "When Mary said, 'Generation after generation forever shall call me blest of God', was she being proud? No, she was recognizing and accepting the gift God had given her. If Mary denied her incredible position, she would have been throwing God's blessing back at Him. Pride is refusing to accept God's gifts; humility is accepting them and using them to praise and serve Him. Don't deny your gifts. Thank God for them and use them to His Glory.
 
****
Printable Issue 2214  Today is Thursday, December 15th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2214
 
Something forwarded to me a few days ago from our Montana friend, Judy Gallehon. It talks about a 'redneck', loosely defined as 'someone who may not be overly educated or culturally astute' (minus some graphics):
 
 
You might be a redneck if: It never occurred to you to
be offended by the phrase, 'One nation, under God..'


You might be a redneck if:
You've never protested about seeing
the 10 Commandments posted in public places.


You might be a redneck if
: You still say ' Christmas'
instead of 'Winter Festival.'


You might be a redneck if:
You bow your head when
someone prays.


You might be a redneck if:
You stand and place your
hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem

 
You might be a redneck if: You treat our armed forces
veterans with great respect, and always have.

You might be a redneck if: You know what you believe
and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.


You might be a redneck if
: You respect your elders and
raised your kids to do the same.
 
You might be a redneck if: You'd give your last dollar to
a friend.


You might be a redneck if:
You believe in God & Jesus
and believe that others have the right to
believe in which
ever God they believe in as long as their God does not
tell them to kill anyone who does not believe the same
as they do!!!!!  
 
*****
Printable Issue 2215  Today is Friday, December 16th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2215
 
Message on the front of a Christmas card sent to us by friends:
 
"God sent us a Saviour....."
 
"If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
 
"If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
 
"If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
 
"If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have send us an entertainer.
 
"But our greatest need was forgiveness,
so God sent us a Saviour."
 
~ Roy Lessin
 
***
 
Printable Issue 2216  Today is Monday, December 19th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2216
One of the best-selling Christian authors of all time is Barbara Johnson. Her learned-ability to find joy and humor in life's most tragic situations was classic. She was one of the original set of speakers for Women of Faith, ending her travels when she began to battle cancer in 2001, which took her life in 2007.
 
Below are some of her collections of classic sayings, taken from a perpetual flip-calendar titled "I Don't Suffer From Insanity.......I enjoy every minute of it!":
 
 
Do you know the difference between joy and happiness?
Happiness depends on what is happening around you.
But true joy bubbles up from inside
and is constant regardless of our circumstances.
 
**
 
Thinking will get us to the foot of the mountain.
Faith will get us to the top.
 
**
 
At our age, forget the natural ingredients.
We need all the preservatives we can get!
 
**
 
When we're thinking of ways we can follow Jesus' example
and show servant's heart to those in need,
there's no better gift we can give them
than the hope of heaven!
 
**
 
The church is supposed to be a hospital for sinners,
not a hotel for saints.
 
**
 
Middle age is when you want to see how long your car will last....
instead of how fast it will go!
 
**
 
When we pray in His name,
God has promised to listen
All we have to do is...
do it!
 
**
 
When grief is intensified during the holidays,
you may feel yourself dissolving into a whirlpool of helplessness.
But remember:
While pain is inevitable in this life,
misery is optional.
You still have the choice about how you respond
to the pain that turns your world upside down.
 
****
 
Printable Issue 2217  Today is Tuesday, December 20th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2217
Readers of Karen's Korner know that our church family is in the midst of a 31-week Bible Study, "The Story", looking at the entire Bible and the common thread which 'stitches' things together from beginning to end.
 
Right now we are looking at David, moving forward to some of the prophecies of Isaiah. Why wouldn't we be looking at Jesus and his birth? Shouldn't we be studying that as we come closer to Christmas?
 
Sunday's lesson couldn't have been any more relevant for this time year, as we looked at what Isaiah had to say and what was written down in his predictions. Some of the things we looked at together:
 
* 25% of the Bible is prophecy, of things which are coming in the future;
* Isaiah's ministry was 250 years after David, but 700 years before Jesus;
* Isaiah had some predictions for what would be coming;
* Many, many of those fulfilled by Jesus' birth.
 
Here are a couple of those Bible verses:
 
"...the child shall be born of a virgin.."
~ Isaiah 7:14 LB
 
& then:
 
"Mary asked the angel,
'But how can I have a baby?
I am a virgin.'"
~ Luke 1:34 LB
 
*
 
"The royal line of David will be cut off....
but a new branch will grow from the old root.
And the Sprit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel and might;
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
His delight will be obedience to the Lord.
He will not judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay,
but will defend the poor and the exploited.
He will rule against the wicked who oppress them.
For he will be clothed with fairness and with truth.
~ Isaiah 11:1 - 5 LB
 
& then:
 
"He shall be very great and shall be called the Son of God,
And the Lord God shall give him the throne of his ancestor David.
And he shall reign over Israel forever;
his Kingdom shall never end!"
~ Luke 1:32, 33 LB
 
*
 
The Bible from beginning to end, reads like yesterday's, today's, and tomorrow's newspaper. If prophecies hundreds of years apart, come true; how can people not believe what is written? And what is still coming ahead?
 
Dear Father, thank You that nothing has happened, is happening, nor what will happen today is by accident or out of Your control! Thank You for Your care and Your plans! Thank You for Jesus - past, present, and future!
Thank You that we are part of Your plans! Merry Christmas, Jesus! Amen.
 
***
Printable Issue 2218  Today is Wednesday, December 21st, 2011; Karen's Korner #2218
Something from Joel and Victoria Osteen:
 

Retrain Your Mind

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (changed) by the renewal of your mind…"
(Romans 12:2)

"Many people today don't realize that the reason they're not happy, the reason they're not enjoying life is simply because they've trained their minds in the wrong direction. They've trained their mind to worry. They've trained their mind to complain. They've trained their mind to see the negative. But just as we can form these negative mindsets, we can retrain our minds and form positive mindsets.

"One of the main keys to developing a positive attitude is to learn how to stay grateful. When you stay grateful, you are focusing on what's right rather than what's wrong. This doesn't happen automatically, you have to discipline yourself to focus on the positive. You have to make a conscious effort every single day until a good habit is formed.

"Remember, when you live with an attitude of praise and thanksgiving, you are shielding yourself from the attacks of the enemy. The seeds of discouragement cannot take root in a grateful heart. Neither can bitterness, envy, or strife. When you have a grateful heart, you are strong. You are empowered, and you can confidently enjoy the good life He has prearranged for you!

"Father in heaven, today I surrender my thoughts and mind to You. Help me retrain my thoughts so that they are in line with Your will for my life. I choose to have a positive attitude of faith and expectancy and thank You for empowering me to enjoy the good life You have for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

***

Printable Issue 2219  Today is Thursday, December 22nd, 2011; Karen's Korner #2219
Something forwarded to me by a friend; for the Christmas season. Sorry I don't know the writer of the thoughts:
 
... the mystery that was kept secret for long ages has now been disclosed ....
(Romans 16:25b-26a)


Over our lifetime Christmas is a series of ever-changing mysteries. Our childhood mystery "What's inside the wrapping paper?" becomes "Where did they hide the presents?" becomes "Is this Christmas the right time to give her an engagement ring?" becomes "How will we be able to afford presents for the kids?" becomes "What can I buy someone who already has everything?"

Is there any Christmas mystery left for you? Is there anything about the season that makes you smile in wonder? Does anything still thrill you and a send a shiver down your spine?

There is a mystery-a mystery greater and more wonderful than all the others combined. And that mystery isn't wrapped in colorful paper; it's wrapped in swaddling clothes. It isn't laid under the tree; it's laid to sleep in a manger. It's the Baby born in Bethlehem.

What's so mysterious about that? It's the fact that this Baby is the almighty Son of God, stooping down to become one of His creatures: a mere human. Why would He want to expose Himself to all the hurt and suffering in our crazy world? Why would God be willing to become our substitute and earn our way to heaven by His perfect life, and to suffer and die in our place on the cross?

That is the greatest mystery, a mystery God has revealed to the world. It sends a shiver down your spine to ponder what kind of love moved Him to do all of this for you.


Son of God, Your willingness to be born of a virgin, to share our life and to be our Substitute is an incredible mystery to me. Fill me with wonder, joy and gratitude for Your amazing grace and love. Amen.
 
***
Printable Issue 2220  Today is Friday, December 23rd, 2011; Karen's Korner #2220
"Merry Christmas"
edition of Karen's Korner,
a collection of thoughts and quotes:
 
 
Sign on the local Church of the Nazarene:
 
No Christ;
No Christmas!
 
**
 
Here is an additional thought:
 
Know Christ;
Know Christmas!
 
**
 
A couple of forwarded quotes from my sister Jill via her pastor, Pastor Don, sent out daily during this Christmas week:
 

God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;

the warmth of Christmas, which is love;

the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;

the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;

the belief in Christmas, which is truth;

the all of Christmas, which is Christ.

-- Wilda English

***

It is good to be children sometimes,

and never better than at Christmas,

when its mighty Founder was a Child Himself.

-- Charles Dickens

***

The simple shepherds heard the voice of an angel

and found their Lamb;

the wise men saw the light of a star

and found their Wisdom.

-- Fulton J. Sheen

                                                                                           *****                                                                                               

 
Printable Issue 2221  Today is Monday, December 26th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2221
Something written by our friend Judy Kirstein several days ago, as she shared an observation about her grandson, seven-year-old Cale:
 
"My grandchildren all know it is fine to play with the figures in the Nativity Scene I put out each Christmas. I had set up the stable and statues with the mind set that it should look nice from the living room. So the Wise Men were kind of off to one side and shepherds off to the other. 

"Well, Cale dropped in this morning and made a stop at the Nativity Scene to play awhile.  Later, when I looked back at the scene again, he had placed each figure (including animals) in a circle looking at the Baby Jesus.  

"What a lesson to remember that the reason for Christmas is to focus on the Baby and not on how nice things look in the room."

Printable Issue 2222  Today is Tuesday, December 27th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2222
We hope that your Christmas was a 'merry' one and that your blessings at this time of year, continue throughout the coming year!
 
Something written by popular Christian author Max Lucado and forwarded to me by Patty Paul:
 

He Called His Name Jesus

Joseph … took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

~ Matthew 1:24–25

 

When was the last time you placed God’s plan ahead of your own?

 

“Joseph … took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus” (Matt. 1:24–25).

 

Joseph was literally willing to tank his reputation. And he did.  He traded it in for a pregnant fiancée and an illegitimate son and made the big decision of discipleship. He placed God’s plan ahead of his own.

 

Rather than making a name for himself, he made a home for Christ.  And because he did, a great reward came his way. “He called His name Jesus.”

 

Of all the saints, sinners, prodigals, and preachers who’ve spoken the name, Joseph—a blue-collar, small-town construction worker said it first.

 

Joseph cradled the wrinkled-faced prince of heaven, and with an audience of angels and pigs, whispered, “Jesus—You’ll be called Jesus.” 

 

****

Printable Issue 2223  Today is Wednesday, December 28th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2223
Last night, as I was putting away a couple of gifts away, a surge of sadness swept over me that Christmas was over for another year. Then the next thought rolled in, "No, Christmas isn't ending.......it is just the beginning!"
 
 
A couple of sayings and thoughts shared by others,
as we walk away from Christmas
and onto a New Year.
 
 
"Each of us is an Innkeeper
who decides if there is room for Jesus."
~ Neal A. Maxwell
 
**

"I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. 

We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity

of the whole year. 

As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time

all through the year."

-- David Grayson

**

"When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him and let go,
one of two things will happen,
either He'll catch you when you fall, or He'll teach you how to fly! '
 
The power of one sentence!
 
God is going to shift things around for you today and let things work in your favor.
 
God closes doors no man can open
and God opens doors no man can close...
....Revelations 3:8"
 
**
 
"No one can go back and make a brand new start.
Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." 
~ Carl Bard (1907 - 1978)
 
**
 
 
 

Printable Issue 2224  Today is Thursday, December 29th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2224
Barbara Johnson, Part 2 (first installment last week); first one last week!
 
A recap:  One of the best-selling Christian authors of all time is Barbara Johnson. Her learned-ability to find joy and humor in life's most tragic situations was classic. She was one of the original set of speakers for Women of Faith, ending her travels when she began to battle cancer in 2001, which took her life in 2007.
 
Below are some of her collections of classic sayings, taken from a perpetual flip-calendar titled "I Don't Suffer From Insanity.......I enjoy every minute of it!":
 
 
Let your light shine!
Deliberately choose to look for joy in every step
of your journey through life
and to share it with others.
When you do, you will be blessed with happiness
no matter what your circumstances are.
 
**
 
Two ninety-year-old men, Herb and Herman,
were at the funeral service for another ninety-year-old.
After the benediction, they lingered,
looking at the open casket of the deceased friend.
Finally Herb said to Herman,
"You know it's hardly worth going home."
 
**
 
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you'll never walk alone.
~ Sam Levinson
 
**
 
When God permits His Children to go
through the furnace experiences of our lives.
He keeps His eye on the clock---
and His hand on the thermostat!
 
**
 
I had to give up jogging for my health...
My thighs kept rubbing together
and setting my pantyhose on fire!
 
**
 
Pain in inevitable.
We can't prevent it,
and sometimes we can't stop it once it's started.
But we can choose not to be miserable.
Invite Jesus to come into your fiery furnace with you,
and He will place His loving hands under your
and lift you up into His strong arms of protection.
 
**
 
A LITTLE BOY'S PRAYER:
Dear God,
take care of the whole world.
And please, God, take care of Yourself,
or we're all sunk!!
 
****
Printable Issue 2225  Today is Friday, December 30th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2225
Last Karen's Korner for 2011! Something shared with me a number of months ago; might be a good thought taking us into the new year:
 
 
BLUE ROSE
Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent, and milk. So off I went.
 
I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies, and headed for the check out counter only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen years old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."
 
It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged, and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy; what's your name?"
 
"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my Mommy," he responded proudly.
 
"Wow," I said. "That's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."
 
"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.

"Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"
"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.
 
"You're fifteen, Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."
 
I acknowledged her and continue to talk with Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles, and school. I watched his brown eye dance with excitement because he was the center of someone's attention.

He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.
 
Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him.

 I told her that it had been my pleasure. Then I said something that I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Sprit. "There are plenty of red, yellow and pink roses in God's Garden," I said. "However, blue roses are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a blue rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell the rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God."
 
She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye, she asked, "Who are you?"
 
Without thinking, I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion. But I sure love living in God's garden."
 
She reached and squeezed my hand, saying, "God bless you!"
 
Now I had tears in my eyes!
 
May I suggest that the next time you see a blue rose, don't turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say, "Hello!" Why? Because, by the grace of God, this mother or father could be you. And Denny could be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew.
 
What a difference a moment can mean to that person and their family.
 
~  From an old dandelion!
 
***