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March 2013 Archives

Printable Issue 2515  Today is Friday, March 1st, 2013; Karen's Korner #2515
 
As one of our Christmas gifts from our Australian daughter, Karen and her family, they sent a spiral calendar/diary which includes some of their 2013 family activities for us to follow with them.
 
Each week's page has 'words of wisdom/information'. Here are a handful of good ones:
 
"Be yourself.
Everyone else is taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
 
*
 
"Did you know that
about 19 million people have
the same birthday as you?
 
*
 
"You miss 100% of the
shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretsky
 
*
 
"What happens is not as important
as how you react to what happens.
~ Ellen Glasgow
 
*
 
"Children seldom misquote you.
In fact, they usually repeat word for word
what you shouldn't have said."
~ Author unknown
 
*
 
"Insanity:
doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results."
~ Albert Einstein
 
*
 
"Be a yardstick of quality.
Some people aren't used to
an environment where excellence is expected."
~ Steve Jobs
 
*
 
"A day without sunshine is like,
you know,
night."
~ Steve Martin
 
*
 
"As long as you're going to be thinking anyway,
think BIG."
~ Donald Trump
 
***
Printable Issue 2516  Today is Monday, March 4th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2516
Taken from "The Lookout" magazine, Sunday, March 3 edition:
 
The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life poll
found that Christianity is the religion with the most followers worldwide.
Thirty-two percent of the world's population, or 2.2 billion people are Christians.
Islam carried 23 percent of the population,
followed by Hinduism at 15 percent
and Buddhism at 7 percent.
 
According to the poll, half of the world's Christians are Catholics,
while 37 percent identify themselves as Protestant.
 
The largest share of Christians live in the United States at 11 percent,
followed by Brazil at 8 percent, Mexico at 5 percent,
Russia at 5 percent, and the Philippines at 4 percent.
 
Christians made up the majority of Europe, North America,
Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Hindu and Buddhists were found mostly in the Asia-Pacific region,
while Muslims dominated the Middle East region.
 
***
Printable Issue 2517  Today is Tuesday, March 5th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2517
A pass along email, sent to me several months ago by a friend. Enjoy!
 
 
Layman's 10 Commandments
    
  1]
  Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in  trouble,
but it is a "steering wheel"  that directs the right path throughout.
 
  2]
  Why is a car's WINDSHIELD is so large & the Rear view Mirror is so small?
Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, Look ahead and move on.
 
  3]
  Friendship is like a BOOK.
It takes a few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.
   

4]
All things in life are temporary. 
If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever.
If going wrong, don't worry, they can't last long either.
 
  5]
Old Friends are Gold!
New Friends are Diamond!
If you get a Diamond, don't forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond,
you always need a Base of Gold!
 
  6]
  Often when we lose hope and think this is the end,
GOD smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a bend, not the end!
 
  7]
  When GOD solves your problems,
you have faith in HIS abilities;
when GOD doesn't solve your problems
HE has faith in your abilities.
 
  8]
  A blind person asked St. Anthony,
"Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?"
He replied: "Yes, losing your vision!" 
 
 
9]
When you pray for others,
God listens to you and blesses them,
and sometimes, when you are safe and happy,
remember that someone has prayed for you.
 
  10]
WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES,
it takes away today's PEACE.
 
**
Printable Issue 2518  Today is Wednesday, March 6th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2518
Something written by Max Lucado:
We are God's Idea
 
Why does a mother love her newborn child?  Because the baby is hers?  Even more so… because the baby is her!  Her blood.  Her flesh. Her hope.  Her legacy.  It doesn’t bother her that the baby gives nothing.  She knows a newborn is helpless, weak.  She knows babies don’t ask to come into this world.  And God knows we didn’t either.

We are God’s idea.  We are His.  His face.  His eyes.  His hands.  Look deeply into the face of every human being on earth, and you will see His likeness.  Though some appear to be distant relatives, they are not. We are, incredibly, the body of Christ.  And though we may not act like our Father, there is no greater truth than this:  We are His.  Unalterably.  He loves us.  Undyingly.

And Scripture says, “not height nor depth, not any other created thing…nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.”  (Romans 8:39)

I’d be a fool not to believe Him.

***

Printable Issue 2519  Today is Thursday, March 7th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2519
We are midway through our church Bible Study on Philippians. One of the parts of the study is a word search on a handful of words in the verses we happen to be looking at for the week.
 
Last night's study included the word "salvation". What is the dictionary definition? Always several definitions; a couple of them are:
 
"person or thing that saves or rescues; a saving or being saved".
 
But what really caught and held my attention was the word immediately before salvation:  "salvage":
 
"the saving of any goods, etc. from destruction or waste;
to save or rescue from shipwreck, fire, flood, etc."
 
Most of us have driven by 'salvage yards' where old, wrecked motor vehicles are piled up.
 
Are we like those cars and trucks? Life has a way of adding 'dents' and 'break downs' until we are in the salvage yard of life?
 
God has a plan for 'salvation' which leads ultimately to eternal life.
 
Heavenly Father, You are an awesome God! Always with a plan to rescue us! You knew we would wind up on the 'scrap heap of life' without You. Thank You for Your salvation, saving grace. We accept Your gift of 'rescue'. What joy floods our souls! In Jesus' Name whose death on a cross made this all possible. Amen.
Printable Issue 2520  Today is Friday, March 8th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2520
Some of the list of quotes by Will Rogers (if you don't know who he is, google him in the internet); forwarded to me by Jim Bossard:
 
THE WISDOM of WILL ROGERS
 
Good judgment come from experience,
and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
 
~
 
If you're ridin' ahead of the herd,
take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.
 
~
 
If you get to think' you're a person of some influence,
try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
 
 
Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
 
~
 
If you find yourselves in a hole,
the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
 
~
 
When you're throwin' your weight around,
be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.
 
~
 
The quickest way to double your money
is to fold it over
and put it back in your pocket.
 
~
 
Never miss a good chance to shut up.
 
***
 
 

Printable Issue 2521  Today is Monday, March 11th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2521
Taken from a small brochure published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (and something that our Sunday School class looked at together yesterday)- "How to Pray for Our Leaders". We are to pray for our leaders, the ones who we voted for and believe. Those who we don't care as much about. What about praying for those who aren't elected, but hired: our school officials; our state, federal, county, city employees. Maybe our church leaders. You get the idea.:
 
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions,
prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people --
for kings and all those in authority...."
- I Timothy 2: 1
 
~
 
"Show proper respect to everyone...
fear God, honor the emperor"
~ I Peter 2:17
 
~
 
"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities,
for there is no authority that except that which God established.
The authorities that exist have been established by God."
~ Romans 13:1
 
**
You can pray using words and thoughts from Scripture:
 
* Help (our president or any leader at any level)
to accept wise counsel. (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22)
 
* Teach (name) to trust in You. (Psalm 21:7)
 
* Protect (name) from the influence of the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
 
* Give (name) discretion, foresight, and
understanding in making decisions. (I Chronicles 22:12)
 
*Generously answer his/her prayer for wisdom. (James 1:5)
 
* Pour out Your Spirit on his/her leadership. (Proverbs 1:23)
 
"* Deliver (name) from opinions contrary to Your Word. (Psalm 119:105)
 
* Protect (name) from harm, and bless
and protect his/her family. (Psalm 21:11; Ezra 6:10)
 
* Enable (name) to carry out his/her duties with humility
toward You and toward others. (I Peter 5:5)
 
* Bless (name) with strength, endurance, and stamina. (I Chronicles 16:11; Isaiah 40:31)
 
* Equip (name) to act according to Your will
and to make choices pleasing to You. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
 
* Give (name) the courage to do the right thing
even when urged to do the wrong thing. (Proverbs 2:11-15)
 
*Give (name) a tender heart of compassion toward
those he/she leads and serves (Colossians 3:12)
 
***
 
 
Printable Issue 2522  Today is Tuesday, March 12th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2522
From best-selling Christian author Max Lucado:
 
God's Best Idea

"Grace is God¡¯s best idea.  Rather than tell us to change, he creates the change!  Do we clean up so God can accept us?  No, he accepts us and begins cleaning us up.  His dream isn¡¯t just to get you into heaven, but to get heaven into you. Can¡¯t forgive your enemy?  Can¡¯t face tomorrow? Can¡¯t forgive your past?  Christ can.  Forgiven people, forgive people.  Deep sighs of relief happen when grace happens.  We still stumble aplenty, but we despair seldom.  Grace changes everything!  To be saved by grace is to be saved by Christ¡ªnot by an idea, doctrine, or church membership, but by Jesus Himself. I have no tips on how to get grace. Truth is, we don¡¯t get grace. But it sure can get us!  If you wonder whether God can do something with the mess of your life, then grace is what you need."

¡°Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen. (Ephesians 3:20)¡å

***

Printable Issue 2523  Today is Wednesday, March 13th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2523

Psalm 100 (NIV)

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

***

Printable Issue 2524  Today is Thursday, March 14th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2524
We celebrate today with Roman Catholics across the world in the announcement of a new pope to lead their denomination - Pope Francis.
 
In their honor, I am sharing some quotes from probably the most recognizable Catholic in the last century - Mother Teresa, taken from a perpetual flip calendar titled "Heart of Joy":
 
Christians need to learn to forgive.
How do we learn to forgive?
By knowing that we too need to be forgiven.
 
*
 
Prayer unites us with Christ.
Simply open your hearts to him.
Also, simply accept what he sends you.
With a big smile, generously give him what he asks of you.
God will do the rest,
never fear.
 
*
 
The cross will be for us as it was for Christ:
proof of the greatest love.
 
*
 
Jesus gives me the opportunity to feed him
by feeding those who are hungry;
to clothe him by clothing those who are naked;
to heal him by caring for those who are sick;
and to offer him shelter by housing those who
are homeless and unwanted.
 
*
 
Today more than ever, we need to pray
for the light to know the will of God,
for the love to accept the will of God,
for the way to do the will of God.
 
***
Printable Issue 2525  Today is Friday, March 15th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2525
A day or so ago I saw on television a coach with his team middle schoolers as they huddled and cheered their victory over their opponents.
 
As the coach congratulated them, he reminded them that 'they were good because of their willingness to working together as a team'.
 
Then he asked the team members to pray with him, thanking God for their individual abilities and for His allowing them to work as a unit.
 
It made me think about us Christians, followers of Christ; we might be able to do some things on our own. But as a team whether in our work, our church, our prayer group, our community, we become 'strong in the Lord'.
 
God, thank You that You have allowed us to be part of Your forever team. Lead us. Guide us. You tell us that 'victory is ours'. Help us to take the 'field' of life; in Your Name. Amen.
Printable Issue 2526  Today is Monday, March 18th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2526
If you live in Iowa, you probably have heard of "Live Healthy Iowa", which has as many Iowans as possible participating a list of ways to live more healthy:  improving eating habits, weight loss, more physical fitness.
 
I am on a team organized by a handful of church members to be more active and keep track of the number of minutes team members walk, exercise, do physical activity around the house, like added housework chores.
 
Our minister's wife/church secretary also organized a listing for anyone in our church who wants to be more 'spiritually fit'. It contains a dozen Bible verses for us to potentially learn; younger kids have a simplified list.
 
Could our adult Sunday School class who ranges in age from teens to the nineties memorize them?
 
We embarked. We say them. Repeat them. Read them. Maybe work on them during the week between Sundays.Then we recite them to a noted 'listener' - together.
 
As someone in the mid-sixties, I wasn't sure I could pound anything into my head and make it stay! While it might be taking longer than when I was much younger, it is working......
 
The Lord's Prayer is on our list and is familiar to most, but the one we are learning has several changed words (i.e. debts/debtors vs. trespasses/trespass) which are denomination recites at times. Not so rote. Makes us think.
 
Right now we are attempting to learn The Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount); I have never memorized them!
 
So here are a couple; on our 'learned list'. These will be Karen Weld's translation (as I am not going to look them up to verify):
 
"Jesus answered, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
~ John 14:6
 
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called Sons of God."
~ Matthew 5:9
 
Know what the biggest thing about learning/memorizing some thing like this?
 
Thinking/believing we can!!
 
Can you do it? Like us how about trying it??
Printable Issue 2527  Today is Tuesday, March 19th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2527
As we march closer and closer to Easter, some reasons why Jesus came to earth, lived and died:  FOR US!
 
Christ - The Hope of Glory

The wasted years of life.  The poor choices of life.  God answers the mess of life with one word:  grace! We talk as though we understand the term.  But do we really understand it? Here¡¯s my hunch:  we¡¯ve settled for wimpy grace. It politely occupies a phrase in a hymn, fits nicely on a church sign.  Never causes trouble or demands a response.  When asked, ¡°Do you believe in grace?¡±¡ªwho could say no?

Ah, but grace is huge!  Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.  When grace happens, it¡¯s not a nice compliment from God we receive but a new heart. Give your heart to Christ, and he returns the favor. When grace happens, Christ enters.  ¡°Christ in you, the hope of glory!¡± 

¡°To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.   Colossians 1:27¡å

***

Printable Issue 2528  Today is Wednesday, March 20th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2528
Happy Spring! As we turn the page to the new season, we don't have to 'wonder' if it will arrive. We know that Creation and its Creator can be counted on for 'things' to be 'well ordered'. We can count on spring arriving today, just as its is forecast and planned!
 
 
"The heavens are telling the glory of God;
they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship.
Day and night they keep on telling about God.
Without a sound or word,
silent in the skies,
their message reaches out to all the world.
The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it
and moves out across the skies
as radiant as bridegroom going to his wedding,
or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race!
The sun crosses the heavens from end to end,
and nothing can hide from its heat.
~ Psalm 19:1 - 6 LB
 
Bible Commentary:  We are surrounded by fantastic displays of God's craftsmanship--the heavens give dramatic evidence of his existence, his power, his love, his care. To say that the universe happened by chance is absurd--its intricacy and dependability give proof of a personally involved Creator. As you look at God's craftsmanship in nature and the heavens, thank Him for such magnificent beauty and the truth it reveals about the Creator.
 
The apostle Paul referred to this psalm when he explained that everyone knows about God because his existence and power are proclaimed by nature. This does not cancel the need for missions because the message of God's salvation must still be told to the ends of the earth. However, people everywhere should already believe in a loving Creator by just looking at the evidence of nature around them. The saddest and most hopeless people are those who say there is no God.
 
****
Printable Issue 2529  Today is Thursday, March 21st, 2013; Karen's Korner #2529
Something shared with me by Shirley Choat:
 
 Ephesians 1:3 — "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places."

"Many were the times when I envied my city cousins. They could go swimming when they wanted. They could play ball whenever they felt like it. It seemed as if the list could go on and on. I believed that, until I spent a week with them and discovered how limited they really were.

"They didn’t have any decent jungles, castles, or wildernesses to explore. They had to get permission from everyone to enter castles and forts. They didn’t have a single mountain or shark-infested river to cross. After one week, I realized just how fortunate I really was. I had it all, and then some!

"Those of us who have a good relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, have that same advantage. There may be other things out there that look more glamorous or glitzy, but we have the real thing. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing from here to eternity! We may grow accustomed and callous to what we have, but when we realize what we do have, we can rejoice and be glad in it.

"Our jungles and mountains, castles and alligator ponds may seem terrifying at times, but God has blessed us with His presence in Jesus, whose rod and staff guide us and guard us, if we invite Him to join us for the journey. If you’re not happy with your journey, stop forcing your way on your own, and let Christ lead. You’ll never be bored again!!!"

"While passing through the wilderness, full of temptations and distress, what comfort does the thought afford, our steps are ordered by the LORD." 

"God of exciting adventures, open our eyes to the wonders of excitement through which our paths take us. Walk with us to guide us and protect us. Help us appreciate the joy of the journey on which You are taking us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen."

****



Printable Issue 2530  Today is Friday, March 22nd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2530
The story of 'Palm Sunday' can be found in all four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
 
Here is John's version:

Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hail to the King of Israel!”

Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said:  “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem.]
Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.”

His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him.

Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it. That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign.

~ John 12:12-18 (NLT)

***

Printable Issue 2531  Today is Monday, March 25th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2531
Yesterday I heard these statistics on a morning news talk show:
 
79% of Americans call themselves 'spiritual'.
 
41% of Americans will attend a church service of any kind this Easter weekend.
 
I repeated those findings to our Sunday School class yesterday.
 
The discussion took us to those who say, 'I don't have to go to church to be a Christian'; we talked about the church and the influence it has on us individually and collectively:  'to learn, to care, to share, to worship.'.
 
Herb, 93, who is the first to arrive at Sunday School and church each week (his only exception is illness or weather cancellation, both of which are rare for him), said, "I figure Jesus goes with me every where I go during the week. On Sundays He invites me to visit Him at His House. This is where I want to be. It's the least I can do"
 
Lots of ways and lots of days to worship this Easter week. Maybe Herb's words can encourage us to one or more of them!
Printable Issue 2532  Today is Tuesday, March 26th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2532
Like some of you, each day I get an email inspirational thought from Max Lucado. Today's was especially good for Easter week:
 
ETERNAL CHOICES
 
God gives eternal choices, and these choices have eternal consequences.

Isn’t this the reminder of Calvary’s trio?  Ever wonder why there were two crosses next to Christ?  Why not six or ten?  Ever wonder why Jesus was in the center?  Could it be the two crosses on the hill symbolize one of God’s greatest gifts?  The gift of choice. The two criminals were convicted by the same system.  Condemned to death.  Equally close to the same Jesus.  But one changed and one did not.

You’ve made some bad choices in life, haven’t you?  You look back and you say, “If only I could make up for those bad choices.”  You can.  When one thief on the cross prayed, Jesus loved him enough to save him.  When the other mocked, Jesus loved him enough to let him.  He allowed him the choice. And he does the same for you and me.

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

~ Luke 23:42-43

***

Printable Issue 2533  Today is Wednesday, March 27th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2533
Our family just received our April/May edition of the OUR IOWA magazine for which I am a Hawk-eye reporter on behalf of Wright County.
 
Rather than have empty margins on the pages' edges, many of them contain "Side Notes"; quotes and sayings are published vertically on them.
 
Here are handful of this time's copy:
 
"The day the Lord created hope
is possibly the same day
He created spring."

*
 
"It's always too early to quit."
~ Norman Vincent Peale
 
*
 
"A life is not important
except in the impact it has on other lives.
~ Jackie Robinson
 
*
 
"A friend is someone who strengthens you with prayers,
blesses you with love
and encourages you with hope."
 
*
 
"It takes hands to build a house,
but only hearts can build a home."
 
*
 
"A man is know by the
company he avoids."
 
*
 
"The art of planting a seed
is an act of faith."
 
*
 
"Be faithful in small things,
because it is in them that your strength lies.
 ~ Mother Teresa
 
*
 
"One who looks for a friend
without faults
will have none."
 
****
Printable Issue 2534  Today is Thursday, March 28th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2534
Into the Easter season on "Maundy Thursday":
 
"As they were eating,
Jesus took bread and asked God's blessing on it
and broke it in pieces
and gave it to his disciples
and said,
'Eat it--this is my body.'
 
Then he took the cup of wine
and gave thanks to God for it
and gave it to them;
and they all drank from it.
And he said to them,
'This is my blood, poured out for many,
sealing the new agreement between God and man."
~ Mark 14:22 - 24 LB
 
Bible Commentary:  This meal is called the Lord's Supper, Communion and/or Eucharist, which is still celebrated in worship services today. Jesus and his disciples ate a meal, sang Psalms, and read Scriptures and prayed. Then Jesus took two traditional parts of the Passover meal, the passing of bread and the drinking of wine, and gave them new meaning as his body and blood. He used the bread and wine to explain the significance of what he was about to do on the cross.
 
***
Printable Issue 2535  Today is Friday, March 29th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2535
Today is "Good Friday". A couple of days ago my husband Jim asked, "Why do you suppose it's called 'good'?"
 
Don't know if my response was right or not, but I said, "Like everything God does, sometimes things happen which seem 'bad', it is only on the way to God's 'best'."
 
Do you have other responses to his question?
 
"About noon, darkness fell across the entire land,
lasting until three o'clock that afternoon.
 
"Then Jesus called out with a loud voice,
'Eli, Eli lama sabachthani?'
('My God, my God, why have you deserted me?')
 
"Some of the people standing there thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah.
So one man ran and got a sponge and filled it with sour wine and held it up on a stick.
 
"'Let's see if Elijah will come and take him down!' he said.
 
"Then Jesus uttered another loud cry, and dismissed his spirit.
 
"And the curtain in the Temple was split apart from top to bottom.
 
"When the Roman officer standing beside his cross saw how he dismissed his spirit,
he exclaimed, 'Truly, this was the Son of God!'"
 
~ Mark 15:33-39 (LB)
 
Bible Commentary:  A heavy veil hung in front of the Temple room called the Holy of Holies, a place reserved by God for himself. Symbolically, the veil separated the holy God from sinful mankind. The room was entered only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, by the High Priest, as he made a sacrifice to gain forgiveness for the sins of all the people. When Jesus died, the veil was split in two, showing that his death for our sins had opened up the way for us to approach our Holy God.
 
***