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January 2013 Archives

Printable Issue 2477  Today is Tuesday, January 1st, 2013; Karen's Korner #2477
Happy New Year!
 
A short thought for the first day of 2013. I always believed until a few years ago that “Joy to the World” was a Christmas song. But now I know that it is a story of the Lord coming to earth to rule and reign over this world. Today, tomorrow and for forever.
 
JOY TO THE WORLD
(Isaac Watts, 1674 - 1748)

 

 

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;

Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare him room,

And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing,

And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

 

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns;

Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains

Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

 

 No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make his blessings flow

Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found,

Far as, far as the curse is found.

  

He rules the world with truth and grace,

And makes the nations prove The glories of his righteousness,

And wonders of his love, And wonders of his love,

And wonders, wonders of his love.

 

Amen.
 
***
Printable Issue 2478  Today is Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2478
A few sayings/thoughts from the small book titled "Thinking of You", part one:
 
"Never forget that you are not alone.
God is with you, helping and guiding.
He is the companion who never fails,
the friend whose love comforts and strengthens.
Have faith, and He will do everything for you."
~ AUROBINDO
 
*
 
"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is
like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.
The consciousness of loving and being loved
bring a warmth and richness to life
that nothing else can bring."
~ Oscar Wilde
 
*
 
"Trust God from the bottom
of your heart."
~ Proverbs 3:5 MSG
*
 
"You can trust God right now to supply all
your needs for today.
And if your needs are more tomorrow,
His supply will be greater also."
 
*
 
"Every experience God gives us,
every person He puts into our lives
is the perfect preparation for the future
that only He can see."
~ Corrie Ten Boom
 
*
 
"Dear Father,
thank you for watching over me,
for meeting all my needs.
Amen."
 
*
 
"If you keep a smile tucked away
in your heart, it's easy to keep one on your face."
~ UNKNOWN
 
*
 
" One filled with joy preaches without preaching."
~ MOTHER TERESA
 
*
 
"True happiness comes when we stop
complaining about all the troubles
we have and offer thanks for all the
troubles we don't have."
~ UNKNOWN
 
*
 
"Whoever is happy will make others happy, too."
~ Anne Frank
 
****
 
Printable Issue 2479  Today is Thursday, January 3rd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2479
From a bookmark by Joyce Meyer & her ministries:
 
God's Promise
 
"Remember this --
a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop.
But the one who plants generously
will get a generous crop."
 
~ 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NLT)
 
*
 
"When you have a need,
go invest in someone else.
 
God will meet your needs,
when you get your mind off of yourself
and decide to go be a blessing."
 
~ Joyce
 
***
Printable Issue 2480  Today is Friday, January 4th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2480
Something from Max Lucado for the day. It's not for 'other people'; it's for me:
 
 
Pigeonholing
 

Life is so much easier if we can put labels on people!  Pigeonholing permits us to wash our hands and leave.

“Oh I know him—he’s an alcoholic.

“She’s a liberal Democrat.”

“He’s divorced.”

Categorizing others creates distance and gives us a convenient exit strategy for avoiding involvement.  Jesus took an entirely different approach.  He was all about including people.

John 1:14 says, The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”

Jesus touched lepers and loved foreigners. His Facebook page included the likes of Matthew the IRS agent, and some floozy he met at Simon’s house.  Jesus set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave.  He became human!

Jesus sends this message: Don’t call any person common.  Don’t call any person unfit! Every person matters to God.

***

Printable Issue 2481  Today is Monday, January 7th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2481
Our Sunday School class yesterday, looked at 'prayers and praises' in the Bible, specifically a couple of chapters in Psalms.
 
"I lift you high in praise,
my God, O my King!
and I'll bless your name into eternity.

I'll bless you every day,
and keep it up from now to eternity."
~ Psalm 145:1 (The Message)
 

 

We read all of Psalm 145, plus we have the 'assignment' of reading the next five chapters of Psalms as well (146 - 150). That is YOUR assignment as well. Read each one, one at a time. So you/we can let the praises sink in. Then we looked at the commentary on those five short chapters (from 6 - 20 verses each!)

 

 Bible Commentary: 

 

Each of these chapters begins with the words "Hallelujah" or "Praise the Lord".

 

They show us where, why, and how to praise God. What does praise do?

 

* Praise takes our minds of our problems and shortcomings, and focuses them on God;

* Praise takes us from individual meditation to corporate worship;

* Praise causes us to consider and appreciate God's character;
* Praise takes our perspective from the earthly to the heavenly.
 
Thank You, God, for teaching us about praise and thankfulness, whether anything in our lives changes today or not.
 
**
Printable Issue 2482  Today is Tuesday, January 8th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2482
A few more sayings/thoughts from the small book titled "Thinking of You", part two:
 
"Happiness is a habit; cultivate it."
~ Elbert Hubbard
 
*
 
"Whatsoever is lovely.......
think about such things."
~ Philippians 4:8 NIV
 
*
 
"Let me be joy!
Be Hope!
Let my life sing!"
~ Mary Carolyn Davies
 
*
 
"The less I pray, the harder it gets.
the more I pray, the better it gets."
~ Martin Luther
 
*
 
"What happens when we live God's way?
He brings gifts into our lives, much the same
way that fruit appears in an orchard.
~ Galatians 5:22 MSG

*
 
"Wake each morning with a sense of hope.
God has amazing things in store for you.
And He does all things well."
 
*
 
"A new life begins with us with every second.
Let us go forward joyously to meet it.
We must press on, whether we will or no,
and we shall walk better with our eyes before us
than with them ever behind."
~ Jerome K. Jerome
 
*
 
"When things seem empty,
I wish you abundant life."
 
*
 
"For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
~ Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
 
"

"Spend time each day conversing with God.
He'll bless you for it."
 
***
Printable Issue 2483  Today is Wednesday, January 9th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2483
Some 'good news' from Max Lucado, giving us a 'future and a hope':
 
Tailor-made
 
Lucille Ball said the secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.  It’s hard to lie about the obvious.  When you’re young you make a lot of faces in the mirror.  When you’re old the mirror gets even.

Growing older.  Aging.  We laugh about it and we groan about it.  We resist it, but we can’t stop it.  And with the chuckles and wrinkles come some serious thoughts and questions about what happens when we die.

God is doing what any father would do.  He’s providing a better place for us.  A place to rest.  A place He has prepared for us.  Heaven isn’t mass-produced; it’s tailor-made. We must trust God.  We must trust not only that He does what is best, but that He knows what’s ahead.

This world wears like a borrowed shirt. Heaven will fit like one tailor-made!

***

Printable Issue 2484  Today is Thursday, January 10th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2484
 
Something written and emailed to us by Wilma Gamblin at Christmas. She and her husband lived in Clarion nearly a decade ago, where he served as pastor of our local Nazarene Church(
 
"Our 34-year-old son, Keith Daniel Gamblin, Sr. went to be with the Lord
on Good Friday, April 9, 2004,  twelve hours after being injured at work. 
He was preparing to complete his education to enter full-time ministry
with his wife, Jodie and five children, ages 4 to 14."
 
 
SUBMISSION
 
Through our tears we submit to YOUR will, FATHER.
YOU did not ask us to choose.
With empty arms and aching hearts, we say,
“Not our will, but YOURS, LORD.”
 
Though we cannot see YOUR plan,
We know we are in the palm of YOUR  Almighty hand.
Our precious loved one is entrusted
To YOUR loving care.
 
Because of who YOU are, we are secure and know
YOU are working YOUR higher way.
‘YOUR ways are higher than our ways,’
And we submit to YOUR way.
 
WE praise you, FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT!
We exalt the Name of JESUS.
YOU are all-wise, all-powerful and everywhere.
We bless YOUR name, JESUS!  YOU are GOD!!
 
~ Wilma Campbell Gamblin
(written on August 23, 2004)
 
***
Printable Issue 2485  Today is Friday, January 11th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2485
One verse taken from Proverbs; like so much of what is written in the Bible:  it isn't for 'those other guys', but me (and probably you?):
 
"When there is moral rot with a nation,
its government topples easily;
but with honest, sensible leaders
there is stability."
~ Proverbs 28:2 (LB)
 
Bible Commentary:
One person's selfishness quickly affects others.
 
A selfish employee who steals from his company impairs efficiency.
A selfish driver who drinks before taking the wheel makes the state highways unsafe.
A selfish spouse who has an adulterous affair often breaks up several families.
When enough people live for themselves with little concern for how their actions affect others,
the resulting moral rot can topple an entire nation.
 
Are you part of the problem.......
or the solution?
 
***
 
Printable Issue 2486  Today is Monday, January 14th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2486
You might be/have been a 'fan' of Justin Bieber. Elvis. President Obama. Or former President George W. Bush.
 
Chances are 'really good' that not one of us is their 'friends'.
 
In the book "Not a Fan", written by Kyle Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, he makes the distinction of being a 'fan of Jesus' and a 'friend of Jesus'.
 
He might ask, "which one are you? Does your life reflect what you believe?"
 
In a short excerpt:
 
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdome of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name
and in your name drive out demons
and in your name perform many miracles?'
Then I will them plainly, 'I never knew you....."
 
~ Matthew 7:21-23
 
"In verse 21, we read, 'Not everyone who says......but only he who does......' Jesus makes a distinction between fans and followers by contrasting the word 'says' with the word 'does'. We live at a time when we have become increasingly comfortable with separating what we say we believe with how we live. We have convinced ourselves that our beliefs are sincere even if they have no impact on how we live. Let me gave you a few examples of that mentality.
 
"If I did a survey and asked Americans, 'Do you believe it's important to eat right and exercise?' most all of them would say, 'Yes, I believe that'. American overwhelmingly say their health is important. But the most popular food at state fairs is a bacon cheeseburger with a bun made out of two Krisply Kreme donuts. You're charged extra if you want chocolate-covered bacon.'
 
"Here's another example:  When you were growing up your dad might have said something like, 'I believe in the importance of family. Nothing is more important to me than my family.' But he never made it to your recitals or your games. He was consumed with work and always on the phone. And he may have said, 'I believe family matters most,' but his actions revealed a different belief.
 
"We are saved by God's grace when we believe in Jesus and put our faith in him, but biblical belief is more than something we confess with our mouths; it is something we confess with our lives.
 
"So a fan may say 'Lord, Lord', but a fan doesn't live 'Lord, Lord'......."
 
 
FAN or FRIEND???
 
Printable Issue 2487  Today is Tuesday, January 15th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2487
Add to our 'weekly diet' of Max Lucado:
 
God Sees Value

Alicia only weighs 22 pounds and is much shorter than children her age.  She suffers from progeria—a genetic aging disease that strikes one child in 8-million.  She’s bald.  Her hearing is bad.  Her stamina is that of an old person.  And she’s only ten.

Mostly, she’s patient with the constant curiosity.  But at times it gets to be too much for her mother and she lashes out.  Who could blame her?  Such is the nature of parental love—a love regardless of imperfections.  Not because the parent is blind.  Just the opposite.  They see vividly.  She sees Alicia’s inability as clearly as anyone.  But she also sees Alicia’s value.

So does God!   God sees us with the eyes of a Father.  He sees our defects, errors, and blemishes.  But He also sees our value.  Each human being is a treasure.  A source of joy!

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things."

~ Mark 6:34

***

Printable Issue 2488  Today is Wednesday, January 16th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2488
 
This morning when I woke up, this Bible verse came into my mind, which it does some days:
 
"This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it."
~ Psalm 118:24
 
Bible Commentary:  There are days when the last thing we want to do is rejoice. Our mood is down, our situation out of hand; our sorrow or guilt overwhelming. We can relate to the writers of psalms who often felt this way. But no matter how low the psalmists got, they were always honest with God about how they felt. And as they talked to God, their prayers ended in praise. When you don't feel like rejoicing, tell God how you feel. You will find that God will give you a reason to rejoice.
 
***
 
We start the day by rejoicing about the day ahead. And we don't know what the day is going to bring. Like everything connected with God, we rejoice by 'faith' of what the day is going to be like. We might enjoy what happens today. Good opportunity to rejoice. Something happens we don't care much about? Rejoicing and thank God in advance will help us to deal with the 'bad' thing; He'll be there as we go through it!
 
Rather than being depressed or afraid, let God help us set the stage for 'rejoicing and being glad'.
 
"Thank you, God, for making today. Thank you for being part of it! We are here to rejoice and be glad."
 
It's another good day as God made it and is a part of it!!
Printable Issue 2489  Today is Thursday, January 17th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2489
Something prepared by Shirley Choat and forwarded to some of her 'readers'; written by Larry L. Sydow:
 
 
 Jeremiah 1:9 — The Lord said to (Jeremiah), "Now I have put my words in your mouth."

"One of the advantages of country school for me was as much what I overheard as what I actually studied. From kindergarten on I overheard all of the lessons of all the other classes. In the earlier years much of what I heard was over my head. As I matured my ability to understand what I heard increased.

"One subject which defied my understanding was the outlining of sentences in English. I rebelled against even learning it for several weeks, flunked the test, declared the subject, 'stupid'. It took a special 'after school' session with the teacher (not my idea - but hers!) when it finally sank in. Once what I heard sank in, outlining became one of my favorite things to do.

"In our first English test in high school a couple of years later, it all paid off.

"Listening again and again to the Word of the Lord can have the same growing experience for those with ears to hear - both individuals and churches. There may be those themes and subjects which our rebellious nature doesn’t want to hear. There may even be subjects which fly in the face of tradition or 'the way we always did it'. At those times we may need to let the Spirit speak to us through the Word, and open ourselves to hearing what the Spirit says so that we may 'eat from the tree of life', instead of the bushes of the world, and speak with the voice we are given. It takes practice, but it is worth it. How well are you able to listen to what the Spirit has to say?

"Whatever you're doing for Jesus today,be sure to keep at it, don't stop or delay;

if you are discouraged, don't give up our place, for God will sustain you by His matchless grace.

 

PRAYER:

"Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on us each time we hear Your Word. Speak to our hearts, especially when our minds interfere or rebel. Guide us in learning Your lessons Your way so that when we come into Your presence, we know Your language. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen."

***
Printable Issue 2490  Today is Friday, January 18th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2490
It was late summer last year when Jim and I made the decision to participate in a 17-day bus trip to northeast United States and up into Canada. We made our deposit and later paid the entire balance, ready for our trip in mid-September.
 
The day before we were to travel, Jim got a day-long case of what doctors determined was a stomach virus. We couldn't travel. No problem. Travelers with our bank-sponsored trip, require all of us to purchase insurance to cover such cases.
 
After filling in needed paperwork, we waited to be compensated for the 'trip we couldn't take'..
 
In a couple of months, we received a letter from the insurance company stating that 'we should have gotten ourselves to the east coast' several days after Jim started feeling better. They were compensating us for one day of the trip. Our checks were enclosed.
 
I was furious! We had paid for 17 days; we were getting a one-day refund!
 
I let people at our local bank know what I thought. What I said didn't match some of the thoughts rattling in my mind. I was making plans. And they weren't all nice ones.
 
The next day I talked with officials at the corporate headquarters. The president of the company saw to it that we were compensated for the entire amount, while the bank and Jim and I waited for, and worked with the insurance company, to return the money.
 
The matter, since,  has been completely settled by the insurance company as well.
 
But the morning after we had been given a check, I wanted to return to our local bank to tell them that the matter, as far we were concerned, was handled.
 
One bank employee, who had I probably tongue-lased the most, said, "Karen, I couldn't understand why you didn't believe we would handle the matter?"
 
I couldn't believe how angry I had gotten either.
 
Since, I have thought again and again, "How often do I do that to God?"
 
I wonder how often He asks, "Karen, I can't believe you didn't believe me." "I can't believe you didn't trust me this time." "Why can't you trust me after all these many times I have taken care of you."
 
I continually need help. Not only when I don't get the financial compensation I thought I needed, when I needed it! Lots of things........daily!
 
 
Jesus said, "Anything is possible if you have faith."
The father (with a demon-possessed son) instantly replied,
"I do have faith;
oh, help me to have more!"
~ Mark 9:23 - 24 LB
 
Heavenly Father, like the father in the Bible verse above, I need to have more faith. Help me to believe You and trust You more.........maybe just for today. Amen.
 
Printable Issue 2491  Today is Monday, January 21st, 2013; Karen's Korner #2491
Something from Max Lucado this morning:
 
 
Our Feet in His Hands

“Jesus poured water into a bowl and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel wrapped around Him.”

(John 13:5)

We say, “No!  Don’t wash their feet, Jesus.  Tell them to wash Yours!”  Do we object because we don’t want to see God washing feet?  Or do we object because we don’t want to do the same?

Logic says, “Put up your fists.”  Jesus says, “Fill up the basin.” Logic says, “She doesn’t deserve it.” Jesus says, “You’re right, but you don’t, either.”

I don’t understand how God can be so kind to us, but he is.  He kneels before us, takes our dirty feet in his hands, and washes them.  Not from our dirt, but from our sins.  And the cleansing isn’t just a gesture; it’s a necessity.  We cannot cleanse our own filth.  We cannot remove our own sin.  Our feet must be in His hands.

Would you let him wash your feet today?

*****

Printable Issue 2492  Today is Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2492
Installment #2 (and last!) from the book "Not a Fan" by Kyle Idleman (teen edition).Theme of the book is that people need to be 'followers of Jesus': 'friends of Jesus'. Not His 'fans':
 
 
"It's only by dying to ourselves that we truly find life. When we finally let go of our lives, we find real life in Christ. Those of you who have experienced this, understand what Jesus is saying. For some of the fans, none of this makes sense. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 1:18, Paul wrote;
 
'For the message of the cross is foolishness
to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved,
it is the power of God.'
 
"One version puts it this way, 'The message of the cross doesn't make sense............'  (CEV). Dying to yourself doesn't make sense for the fan, but the follower understands that dying is the secret of really living. That's why we sing about the wonderful cross.
 
"The cross that represented defeat----
for a follower it is an image of victory.
 
"The cross that represented guilt----
for a follower it is an image of grace.
 
"The cross that represented condemnation----
for a follower it is an image of freedom.
 
"The cross that represented pain and suffering----
for a follower it is an image of healing and hope.
 
"The cross that represented death----
for a follower it is an image of life.
 
"The cross may not be attractive----
but for a follower it is beautiful.
 
"Taking up a cross and dying to myself sounds like torture. We think that such a decision would make us miserable. Is that what it means to follow Jesus? We wake up every morning and commit to misery. But when we die to ourselves and completely surrender to Him, there is a surprising side effect to dying;  we discover true life. In a twist of irony, we find that giving up our lives gives us the life we so desperately wanted all along."
 
****
 
 
Printable Issue 2493  Today is Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2493
A daily devotional sent to me several weeks ago by Cindy Schubert. The narrative was pretty popular as a 'pass-along' awhile ago. Maybe you have read it before; maybe not:
 
"Therefore, brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the
coming of the Lord. Consider the farmer who waits patiently for the coming of
rain in the fall and spring, looking forward to the precious fruit of the earth. You
also must wait patiently, strengthening your resolve, because the coming of the Lord is near.
 
"Don't complain about each other, brothers and sisters, so that you won't be judged.
Look! The judge is standing at the door!
Brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord as an
example of patient resolve and steadfastness. Look at how we honor those who have
practiced endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job. And you have seen what
the Lord has accomplished, for the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

"Most important, my brothers and sisters, never make a solemn pledge--neither by
heaven nor earth, nor by anything else. Instead, speak with a simple, 'Yes' or 'No,'
or else you may fall under judgment."
 
~ James 5:7-12 (CEB)

A story about impatience:

Two boats met head-on in a shipping channel at night. Boat 1 flashed Boat 2: "We  are on a collision course. Turn your boat 10 degrees north."

Boat 2 signaled back: "Yes, we are on a collision course. Turn your boat 10 degrees south."

Boat 1 signaled again: "I am an admiral in Her Majesty's Navy; I am telling you to turn your craft 10 degrees north."

Boat 2 flashed back immediately: "And I am a seaman 2nd class, and I am telling you to turn your boat 10 degrees south."
 
By this time the admiral, losing his patience, furiously signaled back: "I repeat! I am an admiral in Her Majesty's Navy and I command you to turn 10 degrees north. I am in a battleship!"
And the second boat returned a signal that said: "And I am commanding you to turn your boat 10 degrees south. I am in a lighthouse."


Lord, deliver me from impatience that clouds my seeing.
Grant to me the heart of  the farmer,
waiting patiently for the precious crop from the earth.
Amen.

~ Written by Calum I. MacLeod
 
***
Printable Issue 2494  Today is Thursday, January 24th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2494
"And what is that God has said?
That He has given us eternal life,
and that this life is in His Son.
So whoever has God's Son has life;
whoever does not have the Son, does not have life.
 
"I have written this to you who believe in the Son of God
so that you may know you have eternal life."
~ 1 John 5:11-13 LB
 
Bible Commentary:  "Whoever believes in God's Son has eternal life. He is all you need. You don't need to wait, because eternal life begins today. You don't need to work for it, because it is already yours. You don't need to worry, because you have been given eternal life by God himself, and it is guaranteed.
 
"Some people hope the will be given eternal life. John says we can know we have it. Our certainty is based on God's promise that He has given us eternal life through His Son. This is true whether you feel close to God or distant from Him. Eternal life is not based on feelings, but on facts. You can know you have eternal life if you believe God's truth. If you lack assurance as to whether you are a Christian, ask yourself if you have honestly committed your life to Him as your Savior and Lord. If so, you know by faith that you are indeed a child of God."
 
***
Printable Issue 2495  Today is Friday, January 25th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2495
A couple of tasty spiritual morsels from Mother Teresa:
 
"God will never, never, never let us down
if we have faith and put our trust in Him.
He will always look after us.
So we must cleave to Jesus.
Our whole life must simply be woven in Jesus."
 
*
 
"I hope the day will come when
Christians may become the carriers
of God's love to everyone."
*
 
"Our joy will be complete
if we remain in His love---
for His love is personal,
intimate, real, living, delicate,
faithful love."
 
*
 
"Your vocation, as well as mine,
can be summed up this way:
to belong to Jesus,
to love with conviction that nothing
and no one can ever separate us
from the love of Christ."

***
 
Printable Issue 2496  Today is Monday, January 28th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2496
Most times we get holiday greetings at Christmas time. Several days ago we received a 'Christmas' letter, designated for January 2013 from Ann Bloomquist who lived in Clarion at one time.
 
Her note started off with some quotes and then she told how those words were impacting her life, before she told about her two children and seven grandchildren.
 
Here is what she mailed:
 
"Come to Me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed.
A close walk with Me in a life of continual newness.
Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year.
 
Instead, seek My Face with an open mind,
knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind.
As you focus your thoughts of Me,
be aware that I am fully attentive to you.
 
I see you with a steady eye,
because My attention span is infinite.
I know and understand you completely;
My thoughts embrace you in everlasting Love.
 
I also know the plans to give you hope and a future.
Give yourself fully to this adventure of increasing attentiveness to My Presence."
 
~ Taken from 'Jesus Calling' by Sarah Young
 
**
 
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--
His good, pleasing and perfect will."
~ Romans 12:2
 
**
 
"For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
~ Jeremiah 29:11
 
***
Printable Issue 2497  Today is Tuesday, January 29th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2497
 
(Today is our older daughter's birthday; happy birthday, Jamie!)
 
By now you can probably get the idea that I like Max Lucado. It is easy to see why he is a best-selling Christian author. He makes God's Word and living the Christian life seem do-able and enjoyable. Something you don't want to live without.
 
Here is one of his 'installments':
 
Holiness in a Bathrobe

What you may see in the mirror as morning disaster is, in reality, a morning miracle. Holiness in a bathrobe!  When God sees us, He also sees Christ. He sees perfection!  Not perfection earned by us, mind you, but perfection paid for by Him.

Scripture says:  “For God caused Christ, who Himself knew nothing of sin, actually to be sin for our sakes, so that in Christ we might be made good with the goodness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

You are absolutely perfect. In Christ, you are flawless.Without defect. Unrivaled. Undeserved yet unreserved perfection. No wonder heaven applauds when you wake up!  A masterpiece has stirred.

Go ahead, get dressed, shave, comb the hair. Do it for yourself.  For the sake of your image.  Do it to keep your job. But don’t do it for God.  He’s already seen you as you really are. And in His book, you’re perfect.

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Printable Issue 2498  Today is Wednesday, January 30th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2498
These couple of Bible verses seem sort of appropriate as our area and most of the midwest still struggles with drought. I have marked in the margin of my Bible "during an early spring drought - May 15, 1989". If we can choose between 'drought' and  being 'well watered', I'll choose the watering:
 
"The Lord says:
Cursed is the man who puts his trust in mortal man
and turns his heart away from God.
He is like a stunted shrub in the desert,
with no hope for the future;
he lives on the salt-encrusted plains in the barren wilderness,
good times pass him by forever.
 
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
and has made the Lord his hope and confidence.
He is like a tree planted along a riverbank,,
with its roots reaching deep into the water---
a tree not bothered by the heat
nor worried by long months of drought.
Its leaves stay green and it goes right on producing all its luscious fruit."
~ Jeremiah 17:7 - 8 LB
 
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Bible Commentary:  "God makes it clear why we sin -- it is a matter of the heart; our hearts have been inclined toward sin from the time we were born. But we can still choose whether or not to continue in sin. Either we can yield to specific temptation, or we can ask God to help us resist temptation when it comes."
 
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Printable Issue 2499  Today is Thursday, January 31st, 2013; Karen's Korner #2499
Something emailed to me by my Uncle Bud (real name Paul) from Tennessee; it is a "Rest of The Story", in the fashion of Paul Harvey:
 
Jesse the Chicken Plucker
A Dreamer and His Dream
 
Jesse was a chicken plucker. That's right.
He hated his job.
He stood on a line in a chicken factory and spent his days.
pulling the feathers off dead chickens so the rest of us wouldn't have to.

It wasn't much of a job.
But at the time, Jesse didn't think he was much of a person.
His father was a brute of a man.
His dad was actually thought to be mentally ill and treated Jesse rough all of his life.
Jesse's older brother wasn't much better.
He was always picking on Jesse and beating him up.
Yes, Jesse grew up in a very rough home in West Virginia.
Life was anything but easy.and he thought life didn't hold much hope for him.

That's why he was standing in this chicken line,
Doing a job that darn few people wanted.
In addition to all the rough treatment at home, it seems that Jesse was always sick.
Sometimes it was real physical illness, but way too often it was all in his head.
He was a small child, skinny and meek.
That sure didn't help the situation any.

When he started to school, he was the object of every bully on the playground.
He was a hypochondriac of the first order.
For Jesse, tomorrow was not always something he looked forward to.
But, he had dreams. He wanted to be a ventriloquist.
He found books on ventriloquism.
He practiced with sock puppets and saved his hard earned dollars until
he could get a real ventriloquist dummy.

When he got old enough, he joined the military and even though many of
his hypochondriac symptoms persisted, the military did recognize his talents
and put him in the entertainment corps.

That was when his world changed. He gained confidence.
He found that he had a talent for making people laugh,
And laugh so hard they often had tears in their eyes.
Yes, little Jesse had found himself.

You know, folks, the history books are full of people who overcame a handicap
to go on and make a success of themselves, but Jesse is one of the few I know of who didn't overcome it.
Instead he used his paranoia to make a million dollars,
and become one of the best-loved characters of all time in doing it!

Yes, that little paranoid hypochondriac, who transferred his nervousness into a
successful career, still holds the record for the most Emmy's given in a single category.
The wonderful, gifted, talented, and nervous comedian who brought us
Barney Fife was Jesse Don Knotts!

NOW YOU KNOW, "THE REST OF THE STORY"

There is a street named for him and his statue in Morgantown,
West Virginia, his place of birth.

Jesse Donald "Don" Knotts
 (July 21, 1924 – February 24, 2006)
 
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