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November 2012 Archives

Printable Issue 2434  Today is Thursday, November 1st, 2012; Karen's Korner #2434
Taken from a newsletter I received recently:
 
"You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,
for their cunning is in vain."
~ Psalm 119:18 (ESV)
By Dan Puumala
 
"When we reject God's law, we 'go astray'. We invent, devise or make up 'cunning' in our own laws, seeking to do what we consider fair and just. All of us desire justice, though many cannot admit that God's laws are altogether just, right and good. So what happens when man's law are followed rather than God's?
 
"If a nation is not guided by God, the people will lose self-control, but the nation that obeys God's law will be happy."
Proverbs 29:18 ESV.
 
"As this is an election year and in light of our American history and our being a nation of Christians, I think these thoughts are timely. I was taught in school that 'the American experiment' was an ambitious attempt to determine whether self-government could work. In the history of the world it had never happened, although the idea of democracy dates back to ancient Greece. The peoples of the world were always ruled by kings and despots. Up until July 4, 1776, there had bee no long-term successful rule by the people themselves, i.e. self-government.
 
"The warning here in Proverbs 29 instructs that self-rule (self-control in the ESV) will go away when the basis for it is not founded on what God says (His Law). In other words, when God's law is cast aside, others' rules proliferate (someone will take control in a power void!) and self-control is lost. Are we not, in the first quarter of the 21st Century, seeing a proliferation of laws in this country? No matter how many laws we create, they're useless, as the Psalmist points out. Once we have rejected God's laws, we WILL lose self-control, which is to say, our self-government. The American experiment will die, again proving the fallible and rebellious narcissism of sinful man. I am not attempting here an endorsement of a political ideology, but rather to restore honor to God's law in the hearts of our people. If we honor the Word of God......if we listen and obey...we will possess self-control...as individuals and as a nation!
 
*****
Printable Issue 2435  Today is Friday, November 2nd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2435
This is yesterday's Max Lucado. email. Never do I share two of his writings in one week, but this one really shared what is on the hearts and minds of so many in our country and around our world, with the after affects of our brutal Hurricane Sandy.
 

Like many of you, I have spent the last few hours with an eye on the television screen. The devastation is stunning. Many questions are circling. “How long will this last?” “How extensive is the damage?” “Will the storm have an impact on the Presidential election?”

There is a more fundamental question that is surfacing; not on the newscasts, but in the hearts of victims and viewers. “Where is God in this storm?”

The disciples of Jesus asked an identical question. “Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side….He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now, when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.” (Mt. 14:22-24)

What we have seen off America’s eastern coast, the disciples saw on the Galilean Sea. Tall, angry waves. Their fishing boat bounced and spun on the white-tops. The sky rumbled above them, the water churned beneath them. And I wonder if they asked, “Where is Jesus? He told us to get into the boat. Now we are alone in the storm? Where is he?”

The answer? Praying. “He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.” Jesus made intercession His priority. Did He know about the storm? Could He feel the winds? And see the thunder? No doubt. When He sensed the danger, He chose to pray.

He still does. He offers unending intercession on our behalf. He is “in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.” (Rom. 8:34) He prays us through the storm. And, at the right moment, He meets us in the storm.

“…Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.” (Mt. 14:25) Jesus became the answer to His own prayer. He entered the turbulent world of His friends and reached out to them.

He is doing the same at this very moment. Through the steady hands of first responders. The compassion of physicians. The kindness of neighbors. The generosity of people like you. We see only a small portion of His activity. But we know this: He still steps into the super-storms of life.

This is a turbulent time for our country. Struggling economy. International conflicts. A divided electorate. And now, an unprecedented storm. Jesus met the disciples in the midst of their storm. Let’s ask Him to walk into the middle of ours.

***
Printable Issue 2436  Today is Monday, November 5th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2436
Two verses which we read together and were used as part of our sermon in church yesterday. I thought they were good ones:
 
"See what kind of love the Father
has given to us,
that we should be called children of God;
and so we are.
The reason why the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are
God's children now,
and what we will be has not yet appeared;
but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,
because we shall see him as he is.
~ I John 3:1,2 (ESV)
 
Bible Commentary:  As believers, our self-worth is based on the fact that God loves us and calls us his children. We are his children now, not just sometime in the distant future. Knowing that we are his children encourages us to live as Jesus did.
 
The Christian life is a process of becoming more and more Christlike. This process will not be complete until we see him face to face, but knowing that it is our ultimate goal should motivate us to live more and more like Christ each day.
 
***
Printable Issue 2437  Today is Tuesday, November 6th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2437
Today is Election Day; take the time to VOTE!
 
This is a good day to read (or re-read) the words to the patriotic song "America":
 
America the Beautiful
Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward
 

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

***

Printable Issue 2438  Today is Wednesday, November 7th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2438
The story below was written by Vicki Miner from Manly, Iowa and was published in Monday's Mason City Globe Gazette. All of us have hearts and minds which go out to the people who are victims of Hurricane Sandy. What happened here is on a small scale of what needs to be done totally. But it provides a relief to one group of residents on the East Coast. It is also a subtle reminder of what an individual or several small groups can do, which might be impossible for what any level of government can do in that same amount of time:
 
One step triggers relief effort
 
It always starts with that first step.

A phone call at 9:31 a.m. Wednesday to a friend of a friend (the director of Orchard Group in New York City) who was coordinating efforts of churches along the East Coast (and some from the Midwest) to gather generators, gasoline, flashlights, batteries, blankets, water and food to distribute where they are needed most — evacuation centers, shelters and housing complexes with high populations of seniors.

At 7:30 a.m. the next day, Hands 4 Hope, a local disaster relief organization, left Mason City with a truck carrying seven generators and 60 gallons of gas.

By 8 a.m. Thursday, a 15-passenger van with the seats removed (donated by Pritchard Auto) sat in the Hy-Vee parking lot ready to accept donations of the listed supplies. It would leave for NYC when full — floor to ceiling.

That was accomplished by 2:30 p.m. because of the generosity of this community. Its driver and passenger were on the road by 3 p.m. They drove straight through and arrived in Manhattan at 10:35 a.m. Friday, just over 49 hours later.

The efforts of many volunteers were needed to accomplish this great feat, but it started with that one person at Mason City Church of Christ who was bold enough to pray big and trust God to accomplish great things. I feel so blessed to be a part of this small but mighty church that steps out in faith, time after time, and sees God do his work through us.

Printable Issue 2439  Today is Thursday, November 8th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2439
Our weekly 'tasting sample' of Max Lucado:
 
JUST ROW

It’s one thing to suffer for doing wrong. Something else entirely to suffer for doing right. But it happens. And when the storm bursts, it washes away the naïve assumption that if I do what is right, I will never suffer.

Just ask the faithful couple whose crib is empty. Just ask the business person whose honest work was rewarded with runaway inflation.  Just ask the student who took a stand for the truth and got mocked.

And like the disciples in the boat, they wonder, “Why the storm, and where is Jesus?” (John 6:19)

It’s bad enough to be in the storm, but to be in the storm alone? So where does that leave us? It’s simple. We do what the disciples did.  We row the boat. Oh there are moments of glamour, days of celebration. But we also have our share of baloney sandwiches. And to have the first we must endure the second. We row the boat.

God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them.”

(Luke 18:7)

***

Printable Issue 2440  Today is Friday, November 9th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2440
A daily writing that my friend Cindy shared with me several months ago and I have the privilege of passing it along to you.
 
Reflection 
Let my whole being bless the Lord . . .

A few weeks ago, I was waiting for the 147 bus north, to make my way home after a particularly long day. The skies were gray all afternoon but never did pour out rain. I was glad to see the bus pull up, almost empty. I was exhausted. After two stops, I saw a mother board, holding the hand of her young son. He insisted, very vocally as they made their way down the aisle, that they sit in the seats that move back and forth when the accordion center articulates at each turn. "It's very important," he explained to his mother.

As the bus made its way along Michigan Avenue, it never really filled, but many people boarded and many got off. With any shuffle of a passenger past this young boy--still eager and always looking ahead to see when a turn would approach so the seats would move--he would greet the person with a boisterous "Hello!"or "Have a good evening!" He changed the greeting each time and pulled each person's attention--and smile.

I couldn't help but chuckle at this amazing little boy--so excited to communicate with everyone and spread his joy. Over the rather long run, the boy must have greeted fifty or so people. When it came to his stop and the doors opened, he turned to me, smiled wide enough to show an impossible number of teeth, and said, "Goodnight! Have a great day tomorrow!"

And I did.

. . . Let my whole being bless the Lord!
       
Lord, thank you for your magnificent splendors! Help me to remember, like the psalmist, to spread these joys to all people, no matter how familiar. Help me to remember to thank you again and again for what you've created for your children. And most of all, help me to remember you are there always, in everyone and everything. Amen.


Written by Ryan Loeckel

 

***

Printable Issue 2441  Today is Sunday, November 11th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2441
As we celebrate Veteran's Day, a soldier's prayer and the words to our National Anthem........all four verses!

A Soldier's Prayer

God our Father,
Help me to remain true to my ideals
during my service to my country.
Help me be what is in America,
the land of the free.
May I realize that I represent
what our country stands for.
My uniform is a symbol of duty and valor
both in peace and in war.
I take up arms to defend what all Americans hold dear:
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Grant me the strength to live according to these ideals,
the courage of my convictions,
and the resolve to endure whatever dangers threaten.
With you at our side I fear no evil
and resist every enemy,
secure in the knowledge
that you hold me in the palm of your hand.
Amen.

**

The Star Spangled Banner

In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem, Defense of Fort McHenry.
The poem was later put to the tune of (John Stafford Smith's song) The Anacreontic Song,
modified somewhat, and retitled The Star Spangled Banner.
Congress proclaimed The Star Spangled Banner the U.S. National Anthem in 1931.
 

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

***

Printable Issue 2442  Today is Tuesday, November 13th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2442
One more Veteran's Day-type Karen's Korner with a salute to America and its heritage.
 
At church on Sunday, Bob Stephenson introduced our worship service with a veterans' salute. He is our county's American Legion Commander. Below are several of his comments:
 

In 1776 with an American hard won battle for freedom behind them, the people of our country wanted a national flag that would symbolize not only their independence, but their spirit of unity. The Continental Congress responded by passing the first Flag Act, which established the first official flag for our nation.
It stated,  "Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field."

The significance of the colors was defined thus. 

White, signifies purity and innocence.

Red, hardness and valor.

Blue, vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

**

"I pledge of Allegiance to the flag of
the United States of America and to the Republic
for which it stands, one nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all."

***
 
As Stephenson stood between the American flag and the Christian flag, he said he had a chaplain who told soldiers, “The two flags:  The Christian flag is for Jesus Christ who gave his life that we would have life. The American flag is for our county that freed us to have the right to freedom of religion and to be governed by a government of the people. We cannot have one without the other.”
 
"I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag,
and to the Savior, for whose kingdom it stands.
One Saviour, crucified, risen and coming again,
with life and liberty for all who believe."
 
****

Printable Issue 2443  Today is Wednesday, November 14th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2443
Last week for parts of six days, our area has had the pleasure of hosting Jacob & Jaynie Michael who are missionaries to Mozambique AFRICA, a country which is poorer yet than Haiti.
 
I asked Jaynie to share some of her thoughts with Karen's Korner readers. She has chosen to share the 'greatness of Our God' and some facts she finds fascinating:
 
This is Awesome! Praise the Lord!
How Great is our God!!!
Our Creator and Redeemer . . .
do we THINK about it ???
 
*
 
God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs.. . . . .
For example:
-the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
-those of the canary in 14 days;
-those of the barnyard hen in 21 days;
-eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
-those of the mallard in 35 days;
-The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by seven, the number of days in a week!)
 
*

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant. The four legs of
this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other
quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body,
too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so
that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first. A cow rises
from the ground with its two hind legs first. How wise the Lord is in all
His works of creation!

*

God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as
well as in the number of grains.

-Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind.
-Each orange has an even number of segments.
-Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
-Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
-Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas,
and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the
next row an odd number.

-The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all
kinds of weather.
-All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks, and the Lord
specified thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundred fold all even numbers.
 
*

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times
during the day. Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had
a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and
temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were
open and those that were closed!
 
*

The lives of each of you may be ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way
for His glory, if you will only entrust Him with your life. If you try to
regulate your own life, it will only be a mess and a failure. Only the One
Who made the brain and the heart can successfully guide them to a profitable
end.
 
*

I HOPE YOU FIND THIS AS FASCINATING AS I DID.
May God Bless You In Ways
You Never Even Dreamed.
 
*

It has been said of The Bible,
When you carry "the Bible",
Satan has a headache,
when you open it, he collapses,
when he sees you reading it, he loses his strength,
AND when you stand on the Word of God,
Satan cannot exercise His power to control you! 
 
****
Printable Issue 2444  Today is Thursday, November 15th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2444
(Today is the day our family celebrates my mom's 94th birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!)
 
From Max Lucado:
 
Satan's Condemnation
 
Satan’s condemnation brings no repentance or resolve, just regret!

Satan has one aim:  steal your peace, kill your dreams, and destroy your future.

He’s deputized people to peddle his poison.  Friends dredge up your past. Preachers proclaim all guilt and no grace.  And parents, oh, your parents.  They own a travel agency that specializes in guilt trips.  “Why can’t you grow up?”  “When are you going to make me proud?”

But he will not have the last word!  Jesus has acted on your behalf.  Jesus Christ rises to your defense.

Hebrews 10:21 urges:  “. . .let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, because we have been made free from a guilty conscience.”

Not just for our past mistakes but also for our future ones.  Behold the fruit of grace: saved by God, raised by God, seated with God!

Gifted, equipped, and commissioned!

***

Printable Issue 2445  Today is Friday, November 16th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2445
"This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe!
I can never be lost to your Spirit!
I can never get away from my God!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there.
If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
your strength will support me.
If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me.
For even darkness cannot hide from God;
to you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are both alike to you."
~Psalm 139:6 - 12 LB
 
**
Printable Issue 2446  Today is Monday, November 19th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2446
Taken from the introduction to the Bible book of Proverbs:
 
"Knowledge is good, but there is a vast difference between knowledge (having the facts),
and wisdom (applying facts to life).
We may amass knowledge,
but without wisdom,
our knowledge is useless.
We must learn how to live what we know."
 
*
"How does a man become wise?
The first step is to trust
and reverence the Lord!"
~ Proverbs 1:7 LB
 
*
Bible Commentary:  "In this age of information, knowledge is plentiful, but wisdom is scarce. Wisdom means far more than simply knowing a lot. It is the basic attitude that affects every aspect of life. The first step to wisdom is to trust and respect God. Faith in God should be the foundation for your understanding of the world, your attitudes, and your actions. Trust in God and he will make you truly wise."
Printable Issue 2447  Today is Tuesday, November 20th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2447
Something from Max Lucado this morning:
 
In The Storm

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming!  One second perched peacefully.  The next—whoosh—sucked into the vacuum cleaner hose!  The bird owner turned off the vacuum, opened the bag. There was Chippie—still alive, but stunned!   Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore.  Blown over, sucked in, it’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.

Can you relate?   Most of us can. One minute you’re seated in familiar territory, a song on your lips, then. . .the rejection letter arrives.  The doctor calls.  The divorce papers are delivered.   You’re sucked into a black cavern of doubts.  Left with a long night of fear and a long list of questions.  Jesus knows we’re in a storm.  Why doesn’t he come?

The same voice that stilled the rage on the Sea of Galilee can still the storm in your world.   Be assured—He is closer than you’ve ever dreamed!

Psalm 145:18 says “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

***

Printable Issue 2448  Today is Wednesday, November 21st, 2012; Karen's Korner #2448
Happy Thanksgiving! A greeting from CBN founder Pat Robertson:
 
Overflowing With Thankfulness
By Pastor and Author Pat Robertson
(in part)

Thanksgiving! What a wonderful time of year! Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I look forward to crisp autumn temperatures, the vibrant colored leaves, and the warmth of family and friends gathering to celebrate.

As Americans, many of us will be sitting down to tables overflowing with favorite family foods this Thanksgiving. But, did you know the Bible tells us that something else should be overflowing as well? Colossians 2:7 puts it this way:

Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving to God for all He has done.

Perhaps you are facing this season with a heavy heart and are wondering “How can I be overflowing with thanks?”

We  know that many people in our country are suffering. Like many of you, we continue in committed prayer for our nation; praying for the future of America and her people.

Perhaps you are among those who are in need economically, physically or spiritually. Whatever your burden–I have a special message for you today:

You are deeply loved by God.

Colossians goes on to tell us that God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Jesus, and that through Christ’s death on the cross we have been completely made right with God the Father.

The Bible tells us that though we were once God’s enemies, we who have trusted in Jesus as our Savior are now His friends. He has made you holy and blameless—in fact, the Bible says you stand before God without a single fault!

My dear friend, if you will allow that truth to take residence in your heart and mind, your life will be transformed.

You have nothing to fear. The God of heaven and earth calls you His friend, His child, His precious possession, His treasure, His bride. Now that’s a reason to be thankful!

I hope you will make it a tradition to spend time this Thanksgiving letting your thanks overflow to God for all He has done.

***

Printable Issue 2449  Today is Thursday, November 22nd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2449
If I have read this before or included it as Karen's Korner in the past, I can't recall it. No matter; it is a good one. Emailed to me by my sister Jill; check the date - 1863 - right in the middle of the Civil War:
 

Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

***

 

 

 

Printable Issue 2450  Today is Friday, November 23rd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2450
Something sent yesterday from Max Lucado; perfect for today - the day after Thanksgiving:
 
 
JOYS OF THE FEAST

The Thanksgiving meal is over.  My legs are propped up on the hearth.  I have every intention of dozing off very soon. The turkey’s been attacked.  The giblet gravy has been gobbled. The table is clear. The kids are napping.  And the family’s content.  Yesterday’s challenges in the trip getting here were lost in today’s joy.

That’s what Paul meant in 2nd Corinthians when he talked of our light and momentary troubles.  God never said the journey would be easy, but He did say the arrival would be worthwhile.  Remember this:  God may not do what you want, but He will do what is right—and best.  He is the Father of forward motion.

Trust Him. He will get you home.  And the trials of the trip will be lost in the joys of the feast.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m a bit tired from the journey and it feels good to rest.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17”

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Printable Issue 2451  Today is Monday, November 26th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2451
Yesterday I caught a portion of a television program with Dr. David Jeremiah, a pretty well-known author and preacher of Shadow Mountain Church in California. He generally has a solid, easy to understand Christian message and delivery style.
 
His topic was Thanksgiving and the things for which we are thankful. But what do we do with the things we aren't so sure about?? What do we do about the new health diagnosis? The foreclosed house? The broken relationship which we can't repair?
 
Dr. Jeremiah used the illustration of something the late Charles Colson once said:
"There are two tiers of thankfulness. Secondary and primary."
 
My secondary list this year might be: 
"I am thankful for my family, for many friends, for the community in which I live,
for our church family, for a good harvest in spite of our area's drought,
for more than adequate amounts of food to eat and our home."
 
All wonderful things, but check the list. All of them can change. Or be gone. Here today and gone tomorrow.......maybe!
 
Then there is the primary list: 
 "I am thankful for God, who He is. His Holy Spirit.
for the way that He controls the universe.
That every part of nature is well-ordered.
That He is our Savior and our Friend.
That I am called His Child.
That He will never leave us, nor forsake us."
 
All wonderful things; here today......and here tomorrow!
 
Both lists could be much longer!
If we keep our eyes on our Primary List,
He will help us to keep a proper prospective on our Secondary List!
 
"Thank you, God, for making me, and keeping me, thankful!
Not just on Thanksgiving, but everyday!"
 
Printable Issue 2452  Today is Tuesday, November 27th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2452
Here is a simple Bible verse which I sometimes allow to rattle around in my mind when I want to be afraid, discouraged, or sad about something  that might be happening in my life:
 
"Heart, body, and soul are filled with joy."
~ Psalm 16:9
 
Commentary:   "David (writer) found the secret to joy.
True joy is deeper than happiness;
 joy can be felt even in the midst of, and spite of one's deepest troubles.
Happiness is temporary because it is based on external circumstances,
but joy is lasting because it is based on God's presence within us.
As you contemplate His daily presence,
you will find contentment.
Don't base your life on circumstances,
but on God."
 
***
Printable Issue 2453  Today is Wednesday, November 28th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2453
A dose of Max Lucado for the morning. He talks about Jesus 'healing ALL the sick'; that's what He did while He was here on earth. But what about today? Does Jesus still 'heal' everyone? We have prayed for people. Sometimes they are healed. Sometimes they die. So what does that mean? It means that God takes care of ALL of His Children.....either in this life and in this world. Or in the next one.
 
Either way, Christians win!
 
Read what Lucado wrote and my thoughts. Agree or disagree? Let me know your thoughts.
 
 
A Love That Never Fails

You’re under the gun at work?  You’ve got more to do than is humanly possible?

Your teenagers won’t listen?  Your employees give you blank stares when you assign tasks?  Believe me—Jesus knows how you feel!  When you struggle, Jesus listens.  When you question, he hears.  He loves you with a love that never fails.

Have you noticed God doesn’t ask you to prove that you’ll put your salary to good use?  Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t give you only that which you remember to thank him for?  Has it been a while since you thanked God for your spleen?   Me too.  But I still have one!

Matthew writes that Jesus healed the sick. Not some of the sick. Not the righteous among the sick. Not the deserving among the sick.  But  “the sick.”   Matthew 14:36 says “People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.”

God loves you. He values you. And He paid a great price for you!

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Printable Issue 2454  Today is Thursday, November 29th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2454
Some comments back from Karen's Korner readers to yesterday's writing and "Jesus healing ALL the sick".
 
What happens when we pray for our loved one and they die? Or don't get the healing we are asking God for?
 
Here are several of your comments (using only first names, as I have not asked permission to use what was written):
 
From Joanne: "I try to thank God every day for this and that and especially for my legs and feet as my old body is wearing out!  But, He still gives me the strength to carry on!  He is unbelievable and awesome!!  As far as His love goes, I've been pondering on that lately and just can't figure it out - it's just way out beyond my fathomable reach! "
 
From Judy:  "This reminds me of what (sister-in-law, died quite young) once said to me as she was struggling with cancer.  'It’s a win-win situation for me.  Whether I am healed or go to Heaven.'  It was really hard for me to accept her death as I had prayed and believed she would be healed.  That is the first time I could remember that God chose to love her in Heaven instead of answering my prayers. I struggled with His answer, but in my head I know His Way is always right."
 
From Marilyn:  "I had a hard time understanding this when (husband) was sick for 11 years. There seemed to be little healings along the way and then when he was fighting for his life the healing wasn’t there. I know that he is completely healed today but it sure wasn’t the healing that I wanted for him."
 
From Judy #2:  "I agree with this statement, however I still sometimes question why? in (son's, died unexpectedly while in college) case.  I can only believe he was needed elsewhere.  I guess I am better off not questioning and just believe."
 
Several agreed with just a one or two word comment.
 
All of us know of people who were/are healed and continue to live in this world. We have our prayers answered exactly as we requested.
 
Other times that is not the case.
 
We believe in God who COULD heal everyone on this earth ALL THE TIME! Because of our love for them, we would NEVER pray for them to die and go to heaven. I think that is how it should be.
 
But that is not God's ultimate plan......ultimate good news! He has a better plan and a better place! Do you ever think about death as God's ultimate gift.....for His Children, for all believers?? How cruel would it be for us/our loved ones to live sick.........forever? God, in His wisdom, gives us an escape hatch to BETTER!
 
His Plan.......always moving ahead....from good to better. And from better to BEST!
 
From Donna:  "If He chooses, He can heal our illnesses, but if He chooses NOT to, and we die, that is His choice. Like you said, 'Either way, we win!'  He is still our Savior, Redeemer Shepherd and Friend and that NEVER changes!"
We know and worship a God who heals ALL of us: ALL the time.........sometimes in this life......other times to the home which he is preparing for us, for eternity! And brand new bodies (better than the one Joanne is referring to above!).
 
He knows ultimately what is best. He is all seeing and all knowing!
 
Praise be to God. Thank You for my belief; help my unbelief and lack of understanding of Your BIG, and BIGGER plans!

 
 
 
 

Printable Issue 2455  Today is Friday, November 30th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2455
Something emailed to me yesterday by Caye Chelesvig. It says it is true, hope so!
 
 
This beats any Super Bowl victory. It is a true story.
 
Inmate Football 

There was an unusual high school football game played in Grapevine, Texas .The game was between Grapevine Faith Academy and the Gainesville State School .Faith is a Christian school and Gainesville State School is located within a maximum security correction facility. 

Gainesville State School has 14 players. They play every game on the road. Their record was 0-8. They've only scored twice. Their 14 players are teenagers who have been convicted of crimes ranging from drugs to assault to robbery. Most had families who had disowned them. They wore outdated, used shoulder pads and helmets. Faith Academy was 7-2. They had 70 players, 11 coaches, and the latest equipment. 

Chris Hogan, the head coach at Faith Academy , knew the Gainesville team would have no fans and it would be no contest, so he thought, "What if half of our fans and half of our cheerleaders, for one night only, cheered for the other team?" He sent out an email to the faithful asking them to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send," Hogan wrote. "You're just as valuable as any other person on the planet." 

Some folks were confused and thought he was nuts. One player said, "Coach, why are we doing this?" Hogan said, "Imagine you don't have a home life, no one to love you, no one pulling for you. Imagine that everyone pretty much had given up on you. Now, imagine what it would feel like and mean to you for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you." 

The idea took root. On the night of the game, imagine the surprise of those 14 players when they took the field and there was a banner the cheerleaders had made for them to crash through. The visitors' stands were full. The cheerleaders were leading cheers for them. The fans were calling them by their names. Isaiah, the quarterback-middle linebacker said, "I never in my life thought I would hear parents cheering to tackle and hit their kid. Most of the time, when we come out, people are afraid of us. You can see it in their eyes, but these people are yelling for us. They knew our names." 

Faith won the game, and after the game the teams gathered at the 50-yard line to pray. That's when Isaiah, the teenage convict-quarterback surprised everybody and asked if he could pray. he prayed, "Lord, I don't know what just happened so I don't know how or who to say thank you to, but I never knew there were so many people in the world who cared about us." On the way back to the bus, under guard, each one of the players was handed a burger, fries, a coke, candy, a Bible, and an encouraging letter from the players from Faith Academy ... 

What an incredible act of Christian witness, kindness and goodness that was. Proverbs 11:17 says, "Your own soul is nourished when you are kind." Proverbs 3:27 says, "Do not withhold good when it is in your power to act." 

Be kind to someone this week. Be kind to every person you meet. You might be amazed at what God will do with a simple act of kindness.