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April 2012 Archives

Printable Issue 2286  Today is Monday, April 2nd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2286
Iowa Governor Branstad's administration has as one of its goals ‘to make Iowa the healthiest state in the union'. They have set upon objectives to make that happen. Last year, they encouraged as many Iowans as they could to all ‘walk a mile’, working to set a Guinness Book of World’s Record for the most people all walking at the same time.  We exceeded that collective goal.

 

Today is the day (April 2) when they are encouraging all Iowans (the rest of you can do it too)  to ‘Laugh Out Loud”, as doctors find that laughter contributes to good emotional and physical health.
 
With that in mind, I am including a pass-along email which I received last week from my sister Amy; I forwarded to a handful of my friends. Now you all get it:
 
 

"Several days ago as I left a meeting at our church,  I desperately gave myself a personal TSA pat down.   I was looking for my keys.  They were not in my pockets.  A quick search in the meeting room revealed nothing.

 "Suddenly I realized, I must have left them in the car.  Frantically,  I headed for the parking lot.  My wife has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition.  My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them.  Her theory is that the car will be stolen.  As I burst through the doors of the church,  I came to a terrifying conclusion. Her theory was right.  The parking lot was empty.

 "I immediately called the police.  I gave them my location,  confessed that I had left my keys in the car,  and that it had been stolen.  Then I made the most difficult call of all,  "Honey,"  I stammered.  I always call her "honey" in times like these.  'I left my keys in the car,  and it has been stolen.'

 "There was a period of silence.  I thought the call had been dropped,  but then I heard her voice.   'Idiot',  she barked,  'I dropped you off!'

"Now it was my time to be silent.  Embarrassed,  I said,  'Well,  come and get me.'   She retorted,  'I will,  as soon as I convince this policeman I have not stolen your car.'

 "Yep, it's getting like that.  The golden years."

Printable Issue 2287  Today is Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2287
A couple more 'daily installments' from a week-long pamphlet of writings by Billy Graham as we prepare for Easter Sunday; the short thoughts are titled "VICTORY:  Preparing for Resurrection Sunday":
 
 
"As we gaze on the confused and frustrated world, this Scripture comes to mind: 'For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe' (I Corinthians 1:21). The idea of our world being saved by Christ on the cross was foolishness to the proud and boastful Corinthians of the Apostle Paul's time, who thought that the wisdom of the world was vested in them. And there are many people like them today. But how different it is for those of us who in simple faith know Christ and Him crucified. For us, as the apostle wrote, the cross of Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
 
"We have been saved by His grace and mercy. We do not deserve it, we did not pay for it, we did not work for it. It has been given to us as a gift. It is by the work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross--and by His resurrection--that we can claim any right to the great Kingdom that is yet to come.
 
"When others look at you, do they see the hope
that you have in Christ,
both for this life and for eternity?"
 
***
 
"Who looks forward to turning on the news these days? All we seem to hear about are problems. People are losing jobs and savings. A person can get depressed listening to it all, and many people are fearful. If you are facing hardship during these tough times, my heart goes out to you. Life isn't always fair or easy. You may feel you do not know where to turn. But one of the Bible's greatest truths is this:  God never abandons us when life becomes difficult. He is always with us and wants to help us, even when things seem to be going wrong. He does not guarantee to reverse every misfortune, but if Christ lives in our hearts, we have His promise that nothing 'in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Romans 8:39). What a guarantee! Instead of being fearful about the future, this Easter we can trust and believe that God is working a purpose in our lives. We can have hope!
 
"Despite troubles and bad news,
are you able to rejoice in the Gospel--
the Good News of your
salvation in Christ Jesus?"
 
******
Printable Issue 2288  Today is Wednesday, April 4th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2288
A couple of verses from Acts as Peter began some of his preaching and teaching:
 
"O men of Israel, listen!
God publicly endorsed Jesus of Nazareth
by doing tremendous miracles through him,
as you well know.
But God, following his prearranged plan,
let you use the Roman government
to nail him to the cross and murder him.
Then God released him from the horrors of death
and brought him back to life again,
for death could not keep this man within its grip."
~ Acts 2:22-24 (LB)
 
~
Bible Commentary:
"Peter began with a public proclamation of the resurrection
at a time when it could be verified by many witnesses.
This was a powerful statement because many of the people listening
to Peter's words were in Jerusalem 50 days earlier at Passover
and may have seen or heard about the crucifixion
of this 'greatest teacher.'
Jesus resurrection was the ultimate sign
that what he said about himself was true.
Without the resurrection,
we would have no reason to believe in Jesus."
 
****
Printable Issue 2289  Today is Thursday, April 5th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2289
Today is Maundy Thursday; tomorrow is Good Friday and Easter Sunday is coming!
 
A couple of good daily emails from Max Lucado.
 
We think about today and tomorrow; God works on forever.
 
 

Trust the Cross

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."

Hebrews 10:22

My dog Salty knows he isn’t supposed to get into the trash. But let the house be human free, and the dark side of Salty takes over. If there’s food in a trash can, the temptation is too great!

That’s what happened the other day.  I got mad, but I got over it. I cleaned up the mess and forgot about it. 

Salty didn’t!  He kept his distance. When I finally saw him, his tail was between his legs, his ears dropping. He thinks I’m mad at him.  He doesn’t know I’ve already dealt with his mistake.

Somewhere, sometime, you got tangled in garbage…and you’ve been avoiding God.  You wonder if you could ever feel close to God again.  he message of his torn flesh on the cross is—you can

The door is open.  Don’t trust your conscience.  Trust the cross.  You’re welcome in God’s presence!

 

***

Eternal Choices

Then (the thief) said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”  Luke 23:42-44

Isn’t this the reminder of Calvary’s trio?  Ever wonder why there were two crosses next to Christ? Why not six or ten?  Ever wonder why Jesus was in the center? Could it be the two crosses on the hill symbolize one of God’s greatest gifts? The gift of choice.

The two criminals were convicted by the same system. Condemned to the same death. Equally close to the same Jesus. But one changed!

You’ve made some bad choices in life, haven’t you? You look back and you say, “If only I could make up for those bad choices. You can! 

When one thief on the cross prayed, Jesus loved him enough to save him.  When the other mocked, Jesus loved him enough to let him. He allowed him the choice.

He does the same for you!

***

Printable Issue 2290  Today is Friday, April 6th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2290
A couple more comments by Billy Graham from a small, brief publication titled "VICTORY Preparing for Resurrection Sunday":
 
GOOD FRIDAY
Read:  I Corinthians 15:44 - 49
 
"Good Friday celebrates the day our Lord died for our sins on the cross. I have often sat by the hour and tried to imagine the agony and suffering He went through because of our sins. At one point He said from the cross, 'It is finished' (John 19:30). He meant that God had accepted His work on the cross as the penalty for our sins. Christ's death on our behalf is the reason God can forgive us and still be just. And His death teaches us the depth and breadth that there should be in our forgiveness of one another. While that holy Friday was tremendous, it was only a prelude to Sunday morning when He was raised from the dead. Godly women had come to see His tomb, but angels made the glorious announcement. 'He is risen!' (Luke 24:6). His resurrection guaranteed that we, too, will be raised, if we are believers and obeyers of His Word."
 
"As you celebrate the truth that Jesus came from Heaven to redeem you,
are you reflecting His likeness to those around you?"
 
~~
 
SATURDAY
Read:  I Corinthians 15:50 - 54
 
"From Genesis to Revelation, we are warned that 'it is later than you think'. Paul writes to Christians in Romans 13:11-12: 'The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.'
 
"There are millions of people around the world who do not have peace at this moment because they have never found the secret of peace. Some of them may have riches today as a result of greed and covetousness; but their souls are lean, their hearts are cold toward God, their consciences are dulled, and their minds are blinded. They need to know that there is a God of marvelous love who sent His Son Jesus Christ to this world. And as a demonstration of His mercy, Christ---who is the Prince of Peace----went to the cross to make a way for peace between God and mankind.
 
"Are you living in the reality of Jesus' victory over death?
In what tangible ways can you share that victory
with others so that they, too, can have life?"
 
~~~~
Printable Issue 2291  Today is Monday, April 9th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2291
Final installment of the Billy Graham pamphlet "VICTORY  Preparing for Resurrection Sunday", an eight-day devotional for the Easter season. The publication does not say when it was written by the aging evangelist. The well-known Graham was born on November 7, 1918 and will be 94 on his next birthday:
 
Resurrection Sunday
Reading for Easter Sunday - I Corinthians 15:55 - 58
 
"Easter is a season of great gladness for those who know Christ. But for those who are without 'the light of the knowledge of God's glory' (2 Corinthians 4:6), there is nothing to rejoice over.
 
"Jesus left us with the great hope and certainty that He is going to return to bring a new Heaven and a new earth where, we are told, there will be no more sorrow, trouble, or death for those who have believed and followed Him. There will be trouble, sorrow, and suffering for those who have neglected or rejected Him. As Christians, our great task is to obey the command to tell the whole world about Christ crucified, buried, yet risen again. My prayer for you during this season of the year, when we meditate on our Savior's great sacrifice for us on the cross, is that you will be filled with great peace and hope, because 'He is risen!'. That is the Good News.
 
"As you follow Christ, are you obeying His command
to tell others that He is risen indeed?"
 
***
Printable Issue 2292  Today is Tuesday, April 10th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2292
On Saturday, March 31 we were invited to celebrate with other friends, a wedding of Tammy and Paul who were married on a beach in Florida the end of January.
 
Tammy and her family lived in Clarion for a handful of years in the late 1980s and 1990s. Both Tammy and her sister graduated from our local school at that time. For the past couple of decades, she has been successfully employed by a couple of businesses and organizations, in and near Des Moines.
 
Now that she and Paul had decided to be married, they opted for a 'non-traditional' marriage and reception.
 
As guests took their places at the breakfast buffet celebration, we were each treated to a sea-foam- green card, tied with a brown ribbon and laced a small starfish. Inside each of us read these words:
 
 
With much thought and consideration,
we have chosen a special way to say
thank you
for sharing our wedding celebration.
 
We have made a donation to
 
HEIFER INTERNATIONAL
 
Flocks of chickens are being donated in your honor.
 
In 2007, we traveled to Kenya and had a life-changing experience.
We worked with orphans in Africa
and wanted to take this opportunity to give back to them.
 
Thanks for sharing in this gift
and for your love and support.
 
Paul & Tammy
 
Do we believe that every wedding/reception should do what Paul and Tammy did?  NO!
 
Do Jim and I think that Paul and Tammy did something 'special' on their special day, as they shared it with us their special way? WE DO! We were blessed, as well as a group of African orphans.
 
Thanks, Paul and Tammy, for helping to create a wonderful memory for us all!
Printable Issue 2293  Today is Wednesday, April 11th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2293
This is one short Bible verse from the book of Acts. It is written about Paul and Silas who were put in jail for healing a demon-possessed girl. Some of the people and leaders didn't like it. So the two were jailed:
 
"Around midnight,
as Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to the Lord~~
and the other prisoners were listening..."
Acts 16:25 LB
 
Bible Commentary:
"Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten, whipped
and placed in stocks in the inner dungeon.
Despite this dismal situation,
they praised God,
praying and singing as the other prisoners listened.
No matter what our circumstances,
we should praise God.
Others may come to Christ
because of our example."

****
Printable Issue 2294  Today is Thursday, April 12th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2294
A couple of Max Lucado's to start your day; one's about joy and the other is about love. Can it get any better than that:
 

God’s Joy

“I have said these things to you that my joy may be in you.”  John 15:11 RSV

"Think about God’s joy. What can cloud it? What can quench it? . . . Is God ever in a bad mood because of bad weather? Does God get ruffled over long lines or traffic jams? Does God ever refuse to rotate the earth because his feelings are hurt?

No. His is a joy which consequences cannot quench. His is a peace which circumstances cannot steal."

 

***

No Matter What

“Nothing above us, nothing below us, not anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.”  Romans 8:39

"No matter what you do, no matter how far you fall, no matter how ugly you become, God has a relentless, undying, unfathomable, unquenchable love from which you cannot be separated. Ever!"

 

******

Printable Issue 2295  Today is Friday, April 13th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2295
 
A couple of writings by a budding area writer who wishes to remain anonymous:
 
"My Bible is my confusion solution.
When my mind is obscured with world versus spirit,
I know where to go for my decision making.
I open my Bible and read it until
I hear it...
Answers and treasures, waiting inside for the taking."
 
**
 
"Thank You, Lord, for blessing us with this beautiful day.
Please give us guidance so we can be beautiful, Your way.
Bestow us with Your Love.
Fill our lives with love from above.
Keep us loving and kind towards our fellow man.
Help us share Your Light and uplift men from darkness, when we can.
Help us guide them to the pathway to You.
Help us show them the doorway that they can go through."
 
~ Just M.E.
 
***
Printable Issue 2296  Today is Monday, April 16th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2296
Something written by Joel and Victoria Osteen; it talks about sowing and watering seeds. Perfect for our spring growing season:
 

Watering Your Seed

"Bless our God, O peoples, give Him grateful thanks and make the voice of His praise be heard"
(Psalm 66:8, AMP)

"Do you know why praise is so important? When you give God praise, you are putting yourself in a position of power. You are connecting with Him and strengthening what is happening to you spiritually. You are watering the seeds of destiny He has placed on the inside of you.

"If you are believing God for something specific, all throughout the day just thank Him that the answer is on the way. 'Father, thank You for my new job.' 'Thank You for restoring my marriage.' 'Thank You for healing my body.'  When you live with an attitude of thanksgiving, you are putting your faith to work and activating God's supernatural power in your life. You are making progress toward seeing those promises fulfilled.

'"Make the decision today to water those seeds of destiny with praise and thanksgiving. Put God first and acknowledge Him in everything you do. Soon, you'll see those promises take root, and it won't be long before they flourish into the abundant harvest the Lord has prepared for you!"

"Heavenly Father, I choose to bless You and give You thanks. You alone are worthy of my praise. You alone are faithful and just. I trust You today with everything that I am, knowing that You have good things in store for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

***

Printable Issue 2297  Today is Tuesday, April 17th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2297
A couple of independent thoughts for today's 'korner':
 
Taken from the April newsletter sent to us by Jacob & Jaynie Michael who are missionaries in Mozambique, Africa:
 

"If Christ is risen,

nothing else matters.

And if Christ is not risen—

nothing else matters."

~ Jaroslav Pelikan

***

After a meeting on Saturday morning, Mary and Al Tesdahl chatted briefly with me. Mary was donning a dark shirt with a single word stamped on it. The word in sort of an 'old world' script said:

Saint

But, according to Mary, if you tip the shirt over, it says:

Sinner

That's what becoming a Christian does for us:  it tips things in our lives on its head! It isn't all about us. It's all about Him. It's all about whose we are and what He has in mind for us to become.

"He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west."

~ Psalm 103:12 LB

***

 

Printable Issue 2298  Today is Wednesday, April 18th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2298
"Listen to me,
all who hope for deliverance,
who seek the Lord!
Consider the quarry from which you were mined,
the rock from which you were cut!
 
Yes, think about your ancestors Abraham and Sarah,
from whom you came.
You worry at being so small and few,
but Abraham was only one when I called him.
But when I blessed him,
he became a great nation."
~ Isaiah 51:1-2 LB
 
**
Bible Commentary:
"The faithful remnant felt alone because they were few.
But God reminded them of their ancestors,
the source of their spiritual heritage--
Abraham and Sarah.
Abraham was only one person,
but much came from his faithfulness.
If the faithful few would remain faithful,
even more could come from them
 
If we Christians,
even a faithful few,
remain faithful,
think what God can do through us!"
 
**
Today I am one of five people who are flying to Washington D.C. The community of Clarion, led by the Marys and Marthas (M & Ms), worked together on/near Make a Difference Day (Saturday, October 22, 2011) to 'make a difference'. We entered a total of 173 reports, with over 1200 volunteers, doing more than 2,200 hours of volunteer work. Each year, Make a Difference Day organizers recognize ten national winners. We are one of the ten! We are a small town. Some of our volunteer work was 'only one' making a couple of pies and taking them to several neighbors. Or a couple of people raked the lawns for someone else. But we 'were faithful' and God has chosen 'to work through us' and recognize us for our collective efforts. Not only are we recognized, we will be bringing $10,000 back to our community to share with others!
 
(There will no regular Karen's Korners on Thursday and Friday! Each day I send Karen's Korners two different ways. I may send one through the Karen's Korner web site while we are gone: www.karens-korner.com . Some of you will get them; others of you, check the web site. I will send that korner to you from my computer when I get home on Sunday afternoon. I also will email a Karen's Korner on Sunday afternoon to make 'five for the week'!)
Printable Issue 2299  Today is Friday, April 20th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2299

God is Always the Same

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows". 

~ James 1:17

"God will always be the same!  No one else will. 

"Lovers call you today and scorn you tomorrow. Companies follow pay raises with pink slips. Friends applaud you when you drive a classic and dismiss you when you drive a dud. 

"Not God.  God is always the same.  James 1:17 says, 'With God, there is no variation or shadow due to change.'¯ 

"Catch God in a bad mood?  Won't happen. Can your fear exhaust his grace? A sardine will swallow the Atlantic first. Do you think he's given up on you?  Wrong!  Did he not make a promise to you?  What he says he will do, he does.  What he promises, he makes come true.  God is not a human being, and he will not lie.

"God is never sullen or sour, sulking or stressed.  His strength, truth, ways, and love never change.  He is the same yesterday and today and forever!"

**

(Sent from a hotel computer in Washington D.C.; what I received had some garbled junk with it. Hopefully it sends well. Look for Karen's Korner #2300 on Sunday after we return home!)

Printable Issue 2300  Today is Sunday, April 22nd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2300
Wow! Another milestone of Karen's Korners - 2300; think of it!
 
This is an appropriate time to celebrate after just arriving home from our adventures in Washington D.C. and 'making a difference'!
 
While we were honored to be part of an elite group of national winners, we learned of others who made a 'difference' in big and small ways. Finding a need and then working to fill it.
 
A group of about a dozen Girl Scouts and their leaders from Kentucky handmade 450 greeting cards, using proceeds from their annual cookie sales. They then delivered them to elderly people in their community, working to create and establish long-term relationships.
 
A church in New York thought that some community residents might not have enough resources to keep their properties in good repair and appearance so they created a 'tool library' so individuals and families could 'check out' tools which they used only rarely.
 
An eight-year-old Texas gal liked to volunteer at a local animal shelter but didn't like it when she learned what happens to dogs and cats which couldn't be adopted. She set up a entry on facebook called "Pennies for Pets" and started toward her goal of raising awareness and $2,500 for their local Animal Rescue League, early in October. The 'real day' of Saturday, October 22 (Make A Difference Day is always the fourth Saturday of October), she spent seven hours collecting 'pennies' at a local WalMart store and when all of her efforts were done she had contributions of  $2,750 to help rescue pets needing a new home.
 
The single honoree of the "All Star" program (individuals/groups who have previously been awarded nationally) was a young man from the Atlantic coast. Once again this year, he decided to take young underprivileged groups of kids fishing, thus helping them learn the sport of fishing and how to contribute to their families' being able to feed themselves, both now and in the future.
 
And the list went on, but you get the idea. Not entirely impossible or difficult. To learn even more, check out the web site:  www.makeadifferenceday.com .
 
As I said before we left, Clarion's entry was unique, as the Marys & Marthas of which I am a part, partnered with 24 groups, businesses and organizations. Each group or individual did what they wanted to do to 'make a difference' and we submitted the entry together with more than 1200 people participating and working over 2,200 hours in the few days surrounding the last fall's event.
 
Now we have $10,000 to reinvest in people, organizations and non-profit groups. Monday begins our quest to do that. We have a list:  more than fifty entities will be given a share of our 'wealth', directly helping about 200 people and indirectly, it will help or touch hundreds, maybe a thousand or more.
 
It's a 'God thing'. He knows about seeds and plants; sowing, planting, and reaping a harvest.
Printable Issue 2301  Today is Monday, April 23rd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2301
I am sorry that I am now sending as many Max Lucado's daily devotional emails as I am, but they are so good! Not long. Not heavy. Not difficult to understand. And probably just right for the day.
 
This is today's:
 

God is For You

“I have written your name on my hand!

~ Isaiah 49:16” 

 

Romans 8:31 asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Indulge me a moment. Four words in this verse deserve your attention.  God is for us.

Say it out loud.  God is for us.

Repeat it, emphasizing each word.  Come on, you’re not in that big of a hurry.

God is for us!  GOD IS FOR YOU.

Your parents may have forgotten you, your teachers may have neglected you, your siblings may be ashamed of you; but within reach of your prayers is the maker of the oceans.  God!

God is for you!  If he had a calendar, your birthday would be circled.  If there’s a tree in heaven, he’s carved your name in the bark. 

Isaiah 49:16 says, “I have written your name on my hand!”  No one can defeat you.  You are protected.  God is for you!

***

 
 
Printable Issue 2302  Today is Tuesday, April 24th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2302
"Oh, what a wonderful God we have!
How great are his wisdom and knowledge and riches!
How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and methods!
 
For who among us can know the mind of the Lord?
Who knows enough to be his counselor and guide?
And who could ever offer to the Lord enough to induce him to act?
 
For everything comes from God alone.
Everything lives by his power,
and everything is for his glory.
 
To him be glory evermore.
 
~ Romans 11:33-35 LB
 
***
Printable Issue 2303  Today is Wednesday, April 25th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2303
"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!'

   "'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'”

~ Luke 10:38-42 NIV

***

Most Karen's Korner readers know that I am part of ecumenical group of Christian women known as 'Marys and Marthas'. Five us traveled to Washington D.C. to receive our community's national award; we were listed for our leadership efforts as 'Marys and Marthas'. At our table for the award luncheon was a pastor and his wife who were also award winners.

The question from the Albany, New York pastor to us was, "So who was doing the right thing? Mary and Martha?"

"They both were was my response to his questions," I replied.

An inspired thought I had several years ago, don't know if I am right or not:  "Mary was doing the right thing, sitting at Jesus' feet. Martha was doing the right thing, making food or other guest preparations. The mistake that Martha made was when she started to whine to Jesus about what her sister wasn't doing. She began to compare herself to Mary."

"We make the same mistakes," I told him, "when we remind Jesus about the better job or family that someone else has. Why didn't I get her looks or his abilities?"

Jesus doesn't want us looking around. He doesn't want us comparing ourselves or our situations with others. He wants us to 'look at and toward Him'. If we do that, we thrive and survive. If we look around, we get into trouble.

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your help and Your care. Thank You that I don't need to look around at others and compare my situation. I am human; like Martha I want to remind You what I see. Help me look at and to You. You have taken care of me, and us, in the past. Today is no exception. Thank You for Your love, for the future plans You have for my life. In Your Name, Amen.

 

Printable Issue 2304  Today is Thursday, April 26th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2304
"What, after all, is Apollos?
And what is Paul?
Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. "
~ I Corinthians 3:5 - 9 NIV
(Written by Paul)
 
**
In this planting and growing season, it is a good Bible verse for today!
 
We have a bleeding heart which I planted a number of years ago. With the early spring, it bloomed early. And then it froze and frosted. There goes the foliage and the flowers. Would it thrive and survive? Yesterday I see that the foliage is starting to regrow. Didn't get killed.
 
All I did was plant it those few years ago. I don't water it. Can't make a difference in the weather patterns.
 
God takes care of all the rest!
 
Same with our 'sowing seeds' of God's love toward others. We might be the 'sowers'. Or our jobs might be to water someone else's plantings.
 
But the growing in our lives and those of our friends, families, and neighbors.......is God's job!
 
Time to get out our seeds and spades to do our part!
Printable Issue 2305  Today is Friday, April 27th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2305
A glance at this week's local newspaper and readers see a half-dozen local businesses with bridal registries; next weekend looks like people could attend nearly that many open bridal and baby showers!
 
I plan to take in a couple. One of my gifts is going to be a spiral, flip calendar titled "365 Best-Kept Marriage Secrets"; and since we are never too old to learn, here are a handful:
 
"Seven things needed for a happy home:
faith, love, honesty, acceptance,
forgiveness, tradition, and humor."
March 20
 
*
 
"One key to the success of a happy marriage
is that each spouse truly believes:
'I am the lucky one.'"
March 31
 
*
 
"Ultimately, God should be in control of each area
of your marriage and life together.
If you've been in control
and have not let Him rule in your lives,
identify where you need to change
and how you can do it."
August 14
 
*
 
"Nothing can build the esteem of a husband
like the voice of his wife praising him.
October 17
 
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"Never take your spouse for granted.
Remember, he or she is a gift from
the Father and of great value to Him."
November 13
 
*
 
"The righteous cry out,
and the LORD hears them;
He delivers them from all their troubles."
Psalm 34:17 NIV
December 14
 
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Printable Issue 2306  Today is Monday, April 30th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2306
A devotional email sent to me a few days ago by a school friend Cindy Schubert:
 
1 Samuel 17:38-40 CEB:
"Then Saul dressed David in his own gear, putting a coat of armor on him
and a bronze helmet on his head. David strapped his sword on over the armor,
but he couldn't walk around well because he'd never tried it before. 
'I can't walk in this,' David told Saul, 
'because I've never tried it before.'
  So he took them off.
He then grabbed his staff and chose five smooth stones from the  streambed.
He put them in the pocket of his shepherd's bag
and with  sling in hand went out to the Philistine."

"With good reason, the David and Goliath story is so well known that it has become a cultural trope. Who can resist the underdog--a boy who was able to defeat a foe most considered invincible? We cherish these types of stories because they defy all the odds. We want to know how such things could happen when our own experiences tell us otherwise.

"David prevailed because God was on his side, of course, but this small excerpt shows David's success was due to more than just God's favor. David was successful because he stayed true to who he was. Rather than accept the armor and disguise himself behind someone else's idea of power, David boldly trusts his background as a shepherd to be enough.

"The eighteenth-century rabbi Zusya once remarked,  'In the world to come, God will not ask me why I was not more like Moses. God will ask me why I was not more like Zusya.' We have each been uniquely gifted by God, but sometimes those gifts are disguised beneath the armor the world prescribes for us. Perhaps we should take a cue from David and let our true selves show--we just may find that who
we are is exactly what is needed."

"God, I give you thanks for creating me uniquely.
Help me to resist the temptation
to be something other than who you created me to be
--to instead know that my gifts
are exactly what is needed to make a difference in this world.
Amen."
 
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