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September 2012 Archives

Printable Issue 2396  Today is Monday, September 3rd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2396
This is the latest from Max Lucado; it tells about praying for the United States as we come into the election season. The Republican National Convention is over; the Democrats have their convention this week.
 
Lucado is calling us to pray, not for one political party nor one presidential candidate. But for our nation.
 
At the bottom, you can sign up on his website to do that. You can/can't do that part. Praying won't hurt any of us::
 
40 Days of Prayer for the United States
 
The temperature is high. The fires are raging. Cool heads are scarce. And I’m not talking about the summer heat.

It’s election time; a sophisticated version of Braveheart warfare. One party stands on the ridge to the right, the enemy  glares at them from the left. Brace yourselves for an onslaught of angry advertisements, tacky conversations, and a season of name-calling and finger-pointing. It’s easy to get cynical.

It’s better to grow prayerful.

I’ve been looking for the Bible verse that tells me to criticize the government. I haven’t found it. But I did come across this level-headed instruction:

“First, I tell you to pray for all people, asking God for what they need and being thankful to him. Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to know the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4 NCV)

The Apostle Paul wants young Timothy to lead the church in a godly fashion. His first command? “pray for all people.” The flagship assignment of the church is prayer. Feed the hungry? Counsel the confused? Teach the lost? Absolutely. But first, we pray. The primary activity of a local church is intercession and worship.

Specifically, we “pray for rulers and for all who have authority….” This includes our president, vice-president, all elected and appointed officials.  We ask God to use them to facilitate a haven of quiet and peace where worship can abound.  We pray so that “…we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God.”

Remarkable. A peaceful society depends upon the prayers of the church. If we do not have a peaceful society–where worship and respect for God can flourish–what is the solution? Better government policy? A different president? New Congress? No, the first solution is a praying church.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray…then I will hear from heaven.” (II Chronicles 7:14 NIV)

Let’s take this prayer responsibility seriously. Would you join me in Forty Days of Prayer for our nation? We will begin on September 28 and conclude on election day, November 6.  To be counted among those who are praying, simply sign your name to the pledge on our website for 40 Days of Prayer for the USA. . (Karen's Note:  I tried to check this web site out before including it here, but couldn't make it work. I also looked around on his website and couldn't find if/how to sign up!)

By God’s grace, our prayers will prompt showers of blessings that will cool our heated country.

Printable Issue 2397  Today is Tuesday, September 4th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2397
Something written by John Meyer, 1989 Clarion-Goldfield graduate in the same class with our daughter Jamie and emailed to us by him several days ago with some other information:
 
 
"I wrote this in 2007 while we were in Kosovo. At the time, I was thinking of the people in the mountains that our squad visited and helped. The people in Kosovo didn’t have life nearly as good as we do and they faced a lot of challenges. But I especially remember those people out in the mountains by themselves and how little they had. At times in Kosovo, I really questioned our purpose and what good we were doing. But when we took that family in the mountains the food, blankets, clothes, basic supplies, and toys......you could feel the difference we made to them. You could see the joy and thanks in their eyes. I am proud to say I was part of our squad and that we got to do that for those people."
 

 

Forgotten

 

Can you see the pain in my eyes?

Can you see why I cry?

Poverty, distress, disease

bring me down upon my knees.

Why all this pain?

It comes crashing down like an endless rain.

I have no future, no job, no joy.

Worst of all nothing to promise my little girl or boy.

Can you feel the pain in my eyes?

Can you feel why I cry?

Will your concern for me even last a breath?

Or will it be gone; forgotten, like a stray dog’s death.

 

**

 

 

 

Printable Issue 2398  Today is Wednesday, September 5th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2398
 Since it is he first week in September, there probably isn't a school left in the nation which hasn't started back for the 2012-13 school year.

 Our daughter Jamie told of our granddaughter Molly's conversation with a first-grade classmate. Molly is a petite one.

 The classmate said to Molly, "You are the only one who didn't grow over the summer."

 Molly's reply, "I did too grow. My mom told me!"

 How many times do we have someone tell us something about ourselves which is not to our liking? Or the worst conversation of all is the one that we have in our minds when the 'evil one' plants some distorted truth into our thinking. About the things we can't. Didn't. Shouldn't.

 We need to respond to those 'didn'ts' with, "I can too. My Heavenly Father told me!"

 Here is only one response from the 'One Who Loves and Cares For Our Every Need':

 "For God has not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and of a strong mind." 

~ II Timothy 1:7 GNT

Next time we think we don't have the ability, we need to check with God to see what He says about us.

 We have power. We have love. We have a strong mind. We are not a afraid.

 God told us!

 Like Molly, all we have to do is believe it!

Printable Issue 2399  Today is Thursday, September 6th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2399
Something emailed to me several days ago by my long-time school friend Cindy Schubert. It is from a daily devotional which she receives. Part of the reason it may have touched Cindy is that she was a now-retired elementary school music teacher.
 

Reflection 
 
Today's Reading: Isaiah 3-5; 2 Timothy 1   

Text for this reflection:
2 Timothy 1 

 
Are you a messenger of good news? I knew a church secretary that was a long time ago. Her name was Frances Downing, and she was a messenger of the good news in a way that greatly changed my life. When I was in high school, the Methodist church I grew up in allowed me to practice on their organ, and nearly every day Frances was there to let me in the church. She believed in me and nourished my gifts as I learned to play the organ. She may not have called herself a messenger of good news, because she was just being helpful, but she was for me as she helped sow musical seeds that would grow and grow. She made a difference that changed my life forever.

None of us can know when simply helping someone for a moment may change that person for a lifetime. One comment, one action, may be all it takes. You don't have to be Paul to be a messenger of God. Any of us can be a messenger or teacher of the good news. Anyone of us can change someone else's life and make it better.

           
Dear God, help me be a tool for change to make someone else's life better. Help me to say an encouraging word, help me to take a stand for change, help me to put into actions deeds that will make a difference in someone's life. Help me to learn from other messengers of good news how to make your kingdom come, your will be done. Amen.


Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

***
       

Printable Issue 2400  Today is Friday, September 7th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2400
Wow! Another milestone! Note the number this morning - #2400!
 
Here we go.....thanks for giving me 2400 opportunities to share:  thoughts, Bible verses/commentaries, writings by others and writings by YOU! God is and has been very good.......always!!
 
A note that I want to make sure that you read:  Jim and I are on vacation for parts of three weeks. So there will be NO Karen's Korners until Monday, October 1.
 
"O God, in mercy bless us;
let your face beam with joy
as you look down at us.
 
Send us around the world with the news
of your saving power and your eternal plan for all mankind.
How everyone throughout the earth
will praise the Lord!
 
How glad the nations will be,
singing for joy because you are their King
and will give true justice to their people!
 
Praise God, O world!
May all the peoples of the earth give thanks to you.
For the earth has yielded abundant harvests.
God, even earth give thanks to you.
 
For the earth has yielded abundant harvests.
God, even our own God, will bless us.
And peoples from remotest lands will worship him.
~ Psalm 67
 
 
Bible Commentary:
This psalm surely speaks of the fulfillment of the Great Commission,
as Jesus commanded that the message of God's Good News
be taken to all nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
Count yourself among that great crowd of believers worldwide
who know the Savior,
praise him for his Good News,
and share that gospel until there is an abundant harvest.
 
****
Printable Issue 2401  Today is Monday, September 17th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2401
Due to a short-term illness in our family......we didn't go on our much anticipated bus tour.
 
So we are here!
 
In light of all the turmoil in the world, economies and what may or may not be happening in our individual lives, I liked this particular Psalm #73 (LB). The theme is, quote: 'temporary prosperity of the wicked and the lasting rewards of the righteous. We are to live holy lives and trust God for our future rewards'.
 
"How good God is Israel--
to those whose hearts are pure.
But as for me,
I came so close to the edge of the cliff!
My feet were slipping and I was almost gone.
For I was envious of the prosperity of the proud and wicked.
Yes, all through life their road is smooth!
They grow sleek and fat.
They aren't always in trouble and plagues with problems like everyone else,
so their pride sparkles like a jeweled necklace,
and their clothing is woven in cruelty!
These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for!
They scoff at God and threaten his people.
How proudly they speak!
They boast against the very heavens,
and their words strut through the earth.
 
And so God's people are dismayed and confused,
and drink it all in.
'Does God realize what is going on?'
they ask.
'Look at these men of arrogance;
they never have to lift a finger---
theirs is a life of ease;
and all the time their riches multiply.'
 
Have I been wasting my time?
Why take the trouble to be pure?
All I get out of it is trouble and woe---
every day and all day long!
If I had really said that,
I would have been a traitor to your people.
Yet it is so hard to explain it---
this prosperity of those who hate the Lord.
Then on day I went into God's sanctuary to meditate,
and thought about the future of these evil men.
What a slippery path they are on---
suddenly God will send them sliding over the edge of the cliff
and down to their destruction;
an instant end to all their happiness,
an eternity of terror.
Their present life is only a dream!
They will awaken to the truth as one awakens from a dream of things that never really were!
 
When I saw this,
what turmoil filled my heart!
I saw myself so stupid and so ignorant;
I must seem like an animal to you, O God.
But even so, you love me!
You are holding my right hand!
You will keep on guiding me all my life with your wisdom and counsel;
and afterwards receive me into the glories of heaven!
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And I desire no one on earth as much as you!
My health fails;
my spirits droop,
yet God remains!
He is the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever!
 
But those refusing to worship God will perish,
for he destroys those serving other gods.
 
But as for me,
I get as close to him as I can!
I have chosen him
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful ways he rescues me.
 
*
Bible Commentary:
There are two themes winding through these verses:
the wicked prosperous, leaving faithful people wondering why they bother to be good;
the wealth of the wicked looks so inviting that faithful people may wish they could trade places.
But these two themes come to unexpected ends, for the wealth of the wicked suddenly stops at that great gulf separating this life and the next, and the rewards of the good suddenly take on eternal value.
What seemed like wealth is not waste,
and what seemed worthless now lasts forever.
Don't be tempted to wish you could trade places with evil people to get wealth.
One day they will wish they could trade places with you and have your eternal wealth.
 
Don't let your life's goals be as unreal as a dream and awaken too late
to the fact that you missed the reality of God's truth:
Happiness and hope can be a reality,
but only when they are based on God, not on riches.
Because the reality is in God, we should get as close to him as we can
in order to be realistic about life.
 
***
Printable Issue 2402  Today is Tuesday, September 18th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2402
Sometimes I am moving through the channels and arrive in the middle of a program. Such was the case on Sunday morning. I landed listening to James Merritt. Can't tell you the exact topic, but I liked what I caught of several headings. Since most of us have something which is happening to us for which we would change if we could...struggles with health, loss of a loved one, money, family relationships, employment are but a few, here are his 'catchy sentences' for us to take with us today:
 
 
"Life's greatest lessons
are learned during
Life's greatest struggles."
 
*
 
"When the tough gets going,
God gets going."
 
*
 
"God who has never lost a battle
stands with you."
 
***
Printable Issue 2403  Today is Wednesday, September 19th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2403
A Max Lucado for the day:
 

A Godly Touch

The power of a godly touch. Have you known it? The doctor who treated you, or the teacher who dried your tears? Was there a hand holding yours at a funeral? Haven't we know the power of a godly touch? Can't we offer the same?

Some of you use your hands to pray for the sick. If you aren’t touching them personally, you’re writing notes, calling, baking pies.  You’ve learned the power of a touch.

But others tend to forget. Our hearts are good; it’s just that our memories are bad. We forget how significant one touch can be.

We fear saying the wrong thing, or using the wrong tone or acting the wrong way. So rather than do it incorrectly, we do nothing at all.

Aren’t we glad Jesus didn’t make the same mistake? Jesus touched the untouchables of the world. Will you do the same?

Printable Issue 2404  Today is Thursday, September 20th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2404
Something emailed to me by Al and Mary Tesdahl. It is titled "For Your Blessing! Good Food For Thought":
 
 
Me:  God, can I ask you a question?
 
God:  Sure.
 
Me:   Promise you won't get mad.
 
God:  I promise.
 
Me:  Why did you let so much happen to me today?
 
God:  What do you mean?
 
Me:  Well, I woke up late.
 
God:  Yes. Okay.
 
Me:  At lunch they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait.
 
God:  Hmmmmmmm.
 
Me:  On my way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call.
 
God:  All right.
 
Me:  And on top of it all, when I got home I just wanted to soak my feet in my new foot massager and relax. But it wouldn't work!! Nothing went right today! Why did you do that??!!
 
God:  Let me see, the Death Angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to Battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.
 
Me (humbled):  OH.....
 
God:  I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit if you were on the road.
 
Me:  (ashamed):  Oh!
 
God:  The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn't want you to catch what they have. I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.
 
Me (embarrassed):  Ok.
 
God:  Your phone was dead because the person that was calling you was going to give false witness about what you said on that call. I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.
 
Me (softly):  I see God.
 
God:  Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in you house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.
 
Me: I am sorry, God.
 
God:  Don't be sorry, just learn to trust me.....in all things, the good and the bad.
 
Me: I will trust you.
 
God:  And don't doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your plan.
 
Me:  I won't God. And let me just tell you, God, thank you for everything today.
 
God:  You are welcome, child. It was just another day being your God. I love looking after my children.
 
                ~ Elfreda Saylor & Carolyn Johnson
 
 
Printable Issue 2405  Today is Friday, September 21st, 2012; Karen's Korner #2405
Have a great fall weekend!
 
 
Taken from Life Application Bible:
"A song to sing on the Lord's Day.
Be thankful and faithful every day."
 
 
"It is good to say,
'Thank you for your kindness,'
and every evening rejoice in all faithfulness.
 
Sing his praises, accompanied by music from the harp and lute and lyre.
You have done so much for me, O Lord.
No wonder I am glad!
I sing for joy.
 
O Lord, what miracles you do!
and how deep are your thoughts!"
 
~ Psalm 91:1 - 5
 
**
Bible Commentary:
 
During the Thanksgiving holiday,
we focus on our blessings and express our gratitude to God for them.
But thanks should be on our lips daily.
We can never say thank you enough to
parents, friends, leaders, and especially to God.
When thanksgiving becomes an integral part of your life,
you will find that your attitude toward life will change.
You will become more positive gracious, loving, and humble.
 
****
Printable Issue 2406  Today is Monday, September 24th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2406
This year all three of the Champion kids, our grandchildren, are in school. Luke is in third grade and Molly is in first. Noah enjoys four-year-old pre-school three mornings each week.
 
The older two started mid-week in August. Noah started his Monday, Wednesday, and Friday routine the next week.
 
It was after his first week of studies that he started to mention to his mom that 'he didn't learn so good'. Jamie said he had said it more than once.
 
She asked, "Noah, why do you say that? You know your colors. You know your numbers and the alphabet." Noah continued to mention his learning difficulties. Jamie continued to pry.
 
Eventually she got from him:  He had been to school for one whole week..........and he still couldn't read!
 
Jamie told him, "Honey, do you know that Molly and Luke, when they were four, they couldn't read either."
 
"They couldn't!" Noah said. He probably believed that they had always had that ability.
 
 
I wonder how often we 'beat ourselves up' for something we don't know about God. About the Bible. Maybe Bible history. Or how God works in our lives. How He takes care of our every need.
 
Like Jamie, sometimes God reminds us who HE is. And for us to not be too focused on who WE ARE NOT and what WE DO NOT KNOW! And He certainly doesn't want to spend too much time focused on 'what our sisters and brothers in Christ' know and do, that we do not! He only wants a growing relationship one-on-one with Him.
 
He is there to take care of us morning, noon, and night! Whether we are Bible scholars or whether we 'can read' and know everything or not!
 
 
Dear Father God, thank You that You are the God of all of us. That you love us! Take care us every minute of every day! You are the great I AM. You are there to encourage us and to remind us who we are.......and even better, who You are! We are Your Children and we can lean on You and learn from you. Thank You. Amen.
Printable Issue 2407  Today is Tuesday, September 25th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2407

A dose today of Max Lucado:

You Are His

God's grace defines you!

Society labels you like a can on an assembly line. Stupid.  Unproductive. Slow learner.  Fast talker.  Quitter.  But as grace infiltrates, criticism disintegrates. You know you aren’t who they say you are.

You are who God says you are:  “spiritually alive.” Heavenly positioned, “seated with him in the heavenly realms.”  “One with Jesus Christ.”

Of course, not all labels are negative.  Some people regard you as clever, successful. But it doesn’t compare with being “seated with him in the heavenly realms!”  God creates the Christian’s resume!

Grace defines who you are.  The parent you can’t please is as mistaken as the doting uncle you can’t disappoint.

Listen, God wrote your story.  He cast you in his drama. You hang as God’s work of art, a testimony in his gallery of grace.

According to Him, you are His.  Period.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”  Ephesians 2:6.

***

Printable Issue 2408  Today is Wednesday, September 26th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2408
"Sing a song to the Lord!
Sing it everywhere around the world!
Sing out his praises!
Bless his name.
Each day tell someone that He saves.
 
Publish His glorious acts throughout the earth.
Tell everyon about the amazing things He does.
For the Lord is great beyond description,
and greatly to be praised.
 
Worship only Him among the gods!"
~ Psalm 96:1-4 LB
 
**
 
Bible Commentary:
"If we believe God is great,
we cannot help but tell others about him.
God has chosen to use us to 'publish' his glorious acts throughout the earth'.
Praise for our great God overflows from his creation
and should overflow from our lips.
How well are you, am I, doing at telling others about God."
 
****
Printable Issue 2409  Today is Thursday, September 27th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2409
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh."
~ Genesis 2:24 NKJV
 
Isn't it amazing that God did all of His 'creating of the universe' in the first chapter of the first book of the Bible? And then in the second chapter, he creates Adam and Eve and puts His 'favorite two people' together into a marriage relationship?
 
It's His plan and it continues to work today........when He is a part of it!
 
 
Today is the Welds' anniversary. Jim and I were married 43 years ago today!
 
We were married for five years when he was diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Two years after that he had his first bypass surgery. He had just turned 37; I was 30. At that time, a surgery which is pretty common today, was concerned almost experimental. After his test, it was determined that 'Jim was not a candidate for the surgery'.
 
We were devastated; Jim especially. He was very sick. How would I take care of our young children, who were then 5 and 3, without him, he wondered.
 
At that time, I was tumbling through the Psalms and tripped over these words, which seemed to be just for me, for us:
 
"I want you to trust Me in your times of trouble,
so I can rescue you
and you can give Me glory."
~ Psalm 50:15 LB
 
That next morning, Jim and I prayed for "God's will to be done". We had no idea what that 'will' looked like.
 
Several days later the Chief of Staff of the coronary department 'just happened to look' at Jim's test results and told Jim that he would like to 'try' surgery with no promises of a positive outcome.
 
It is pretty obvious that outcome that it was a good one. Here we are many surgeries, doctors care, and prescriptions later, but Jim is still alive and enjoying a degree of health and life.
 
The one thing that Jim and I celebrate is that we didn't plead and beg God 'for only ten more years' or 'until the girls both graduated from high school'. We would have shortened what 'God's will' for our lives would have been.
 
God is good. And has good plans for us all of the time. Better than we could ever hope for, plan, believe!
 
Happy anniversary, Jim!!
Printable Issue 2410  Today is Friday, September 28th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2410
Being organized by Max Lucado, best-selling Christian writer. There is a lot for which to pray for our election. Among other things, employment opportunities, mounting debts, and what is happening the middle east. If you live in/near Clarion, Iowa, there is an ecumenical, non-partisan organized '40 Days of Prayer'. Email me if you'd like to know what church/organization is hosting a daily event each week.
 
Are you committed to pray for the USA?  Please join us for 40 Days of Prayer, September 28-November 4

 

In God We Trust…or Do We?

The appeal came from Rev. M.R. Watson. He addressed his letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, dated it November 13, 1861, and made this appeal:

 Dear Sir:  

You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances.  One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked.   I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.

The Reverend went on to request that God’s name be permanently affixed to American currency.  Radical request, wouldn’t you agree?  That the government remind the populace, via the imprinted message, to trust not in the coin but in the Creator?

Yet, appropriate request, don’t you think? The tendency of the heart is to worship what we make. What better place to place God’s name than on a coin?

The Secretary of the Treasury agreed.  He instructed the creation of a God-centered motto. On November 20, 1861, he wrote, “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God.”  It took some time. The words endured some tweaking, but in 1864, In God We Trust first appeared on the two-cent coin.

The next time you look at a coin, consider the words and ask yourself this question, “Do we still?”  Do we still trust in God?  Do we, as a nation, trust God to protect, provide, guide, and direct us?

It’s hard to give an unqualified yes. We seem to trust in everything except God:  weapons, Wall Street, education…but God?

Yet, it’s not too late to change. To all nations God gives this promise:  “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14).

What a promise.  The healing of the land begins with the prayers of the people.  Do we desire God’s favor and blessing? 

Then let us pray.

***