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April 2013 Archives

Printable Issue 2536  Today is Monday, April 1st, 2013; Karen's Korner #2536
A couple of your responses to the question in the last 'korner', what makes it "Good" Friday? (Thanks for all the responses which I received!)
 
From Robert:  'Because it is the day that Christ's death washed away our sins.'
 
From Val and Loren:  'We googled 'good' and found that it can also mean 'holy'.
 
So what adjectives would you use to describe Easter?
 
 
"But when they (three women) arrived
they looked up and saw that the stone--
a very heavy one--
was already moved away and the entrance was open!
So they entered the tomb--
and there on the right sat a young man clothed in white.
The women were startled,but the angel said,
'Don't be so surprised.
Aren't you looking for Jesus, the Nazarene who was crucified?
He isn't here!
He has come back to life!'"
~ Mark 16:1-6 LB
 
***
Printable Issue 2537  Today is Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2537
From Max Lucado:
 
He Dismissed the Crowd
 
A world of insight is hidden in four words in Matthew 14:22: “He dismissed the crowd.”  This wasn’t just any crowd that Jesus dismissed.  This was a multitude with a mission. They’d followed Jesus around the sea.  They’d heard Him teach.  They’d seen Him heal.  And they were ready to make Him King.

No one would turn down an opportunity to minister to thousands of people—right?  Jesus did.  He dismissed the crowd!  Why?

Matthew 14:23 says, After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.”

Jesus said no to the important in order to say yes to the vital!  It wasn’t a selfish decision.  It was a deliberate choice to honor priorities.

If Jesus thought it necessary to say no to the demands of the crowds in order to pray—don’t you think you and I should to?

***

Printable Issue 2538  Today is Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2538

Peter Heals a Crippled Beggar

Acts 3:1-11 (NLT)

Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.

Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.

All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.

*

Bible Commentary:  The lame beggar asked for money, but Peter gave him something much better--the use of his legs. We often ask God to solve a small problem, but He wants to give us a new life and help for ALL our problems. When we ask God for help, He may say, "I've got something even better for you." Ask God for what you want, but don't be surprised when He gives you what you really NEED.

***

Printable Issue 2539  Today is Thursday, April 4th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2539
Something emailed to me by Shirley Choat and written by Larry Sydow, as we turn to spring and then summer:
 
 Psalm 2:11 — Happy are all who take refuge in him.

"Summer rains always seemed to be rare in the heat of haying season when I was growing up. The weather report’s '50% chance' of rain usually translated into 'not a chance'. However, occasionally we were surprised by the unpredicted and unexpected. Dad and I went out to pick up the last load of hay bales from a field south of the home place. When we left, the temperature was close to 100 (it felt like 150), there was not a trace of a breeze, and there was only a trace of a cloud in the southwest. We were just about loaded when the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, and rain and hail began pelting us.

"Dad hefted a bale over his head with one hand, pulled me under it with the other and yelled, 'under the wagon!' Using the bale as an umbrella, we both scurried under the protective cover of the hay wagon. We sat watching and talking until the clouds gave up their tantrum and passed on by. There is something neat and beautiful about the smell of fresh alfalfa and rain cleansing the skies, watering the thirsty ground. When I’m out in the country, the whiff of fresh-cut alfalfa or the aroma of rain in the air brings happy, nostalgic memories to the surface.

"From the time our souls get a whiff of the baptismal waters, our Father encourages us to take shelter under His protective 'wings'. Though we may be pummeled by hail storms of this world’s weapons, God’s promised protection is always with us. Why not tuck yourself under God’s grace today?

"I'll walk this day in faith, dear LORD, no foe, no storms I'll fear; But trusting in Your precious Word I'm safe, for You are near."

"Protective Father, shield us from the storms that pommel and beat us down. Send Your angels of mercy to walk with us and encourage us when our confidence grows thin. Give us the wisdom to take refuge in Your strength when ours seems weak. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen."

***



 
Printable Issue 2540  Today is Friday, April 5th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2540
Last night well-known pastor, author, Christian radio and television personality Dr. David Jeremiah and his ministry hosted a free event in Minneapolis. A couple of friends had tickets to go. Did they have room for me to ride with and extra tickets? They did; four us went.
 
The message Dr. Jeremiah gave to the nearly-filled auditorium was "GOD LOVES YOU; always has------always will!" That was the whole emphasis of the entire evening - printed materials which we were all given; his latest book title, CDs; DVDs; yard signs; wrist bracelets; and t-shirts which were on sale. The enormous letters on the three big screens at the front of their stage:  "GOD LOVES YOU!"
 
I took some notes on what he had to tell us, but I am only sharing a portion of what he had to say:
 
Dr. Jeremiah said the Bible is just filled with His love for all of us and He 'loves telling us'. If that is true, why are we collectively and individually as a society in the mess that we are in? Satan loves to manipulate God's message and make us believe that message isn't true!
 
Sometimes things happen in our lives and we question:  "Why did this evil thing come into my/our lives?" or we say to ourselves, "If you really loved God, you would never have done.......!" God never promised us that all evil things would be kept away from us. Nor did He promise that we would 'do' everything right.
 
But we can count on the fact that God is always the same; God's love for people continues------after we make mistakes-----some of them horrible. Then he started his list of some of the well-known 'mistake-makers':  Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter, Paul. God loves us not because of who we are or what we do, but who he is:  A Loving Heavenly Father.
 
He said earthly fathers sometimes give up their children when they go astray; but God never will. God, however, is not a permissive 'Father' either; look back at the list from the Bible. God disciplined them, on their way to improved behavior. Correction was necessary. Adam and Eve were moved out of the Garden of Eden, but God's love and care for them continued. Moses wasn't allowed into the promised land because he didn't do what God had told him. But God never failed to love and care for him.
 
The message continued but it was filled with Biblical examples of the 'big heart' of God and just how much He loves us.
 
Not new news, but because of human natures and our 'mixed up and confused world', sometimes we forget. And need to be reminded..often!
Printable Issue 2541  Today is Monday, April 8th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2541
Something today from Max Lucado:
 
The Holy Spirit
 
If I were to ask you to describe your heavenly Father, you’d give me a response.  If I were to ask you to tell me what Jesus did for you, you’d likely give a cogent answer.  But if I were to ask about the role of the Holy Spirit in your life. . .?  Eyes would duck.  Throats would be cleared.

John 14:17 says, “The world cannot accept him, because it does not see him or know him.  But you know him, because he lives with you and he will be in you.”

What does the Spirit do? Scripture says He comforts the saved.  He convicts the lost.  He conveys the truth.  Have you ever been convicted? Ever sensed a stab of sorrow for your actions? Understood a new truth?  Then you’ve been touched by the Holy Spirit.

What do you know?  He’s been working in your life already.

****

Printable Issue 2542  Today is Tuesday, April 9th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2542
A very popular devotional book for 'everyday of the year' is titled "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. While I have had it for awhile, I just began reading it. Each day's stands on its own; I don't feel like reading it like a text book, rather to savor each day for what I have read. Each day has included a Bible reference or two to look up. I will include today's but confess:  I haven't looked them up as of yet:
 
Romans 8:38-39
Exodus 33:14
 
I am pretty sure today's (April 9) won't be the last one I use for a 'korner':
 
YOU ARE MINE FOR ALL TIME;
nothing can separate you from My Love.
Since I have invested My very Life in you,
be well assured that I will also take care of you.
When your mind goes into neutral and your thoughts flow freely,
you tend to feel anxious and alone.
Your focus becomes problem solving.
To get your mind back into gear,
just turn toward Me,
bringing yourself and your problems into My Presence.
 
Many problems vanish instantly in the Light of My Love,
because your realize you are never alone.
Other problems may remain,
but they become secondary to knowing Me
and rejoicing in the relationship I so freely offer you.
Each moment you can choose to practice My Presence
or to practice the presence of problems.
 
***
Printable Issue 2543  Today is Wednesday, April 10th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2543
"Stop your anger!
Turn off your wrath.
Don't fret and worry--
it only leads to harm.
For the wicked shall be destroyed,
but those who trust the Lord
shall be given every blessing."
~ Psalm 37:8 & 9 LB
 
Bible Commentary:  "Anger and worry are two of the most destructive emotions. They reveal a lack of faith that God is in control. We should not fret and worry, instead, we should trust in the Lord. When you dwell on your problems, you will become anxious and angry. But if you concentrate on God and his goodness, you will find peace. Where do you focus your attention?"
 
 
Lord, when things come my way that make me angry or want to worry, will you help me? To trust You? To focus on You? I'm going to need your help. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
 
 
Printable Issue 2544  Today is Thursday, April 11th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2544
Information we used for discussion at Sunday's Sunday School class:
 

It’s in the news:  Same sex relationships.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ON THESE RELATIONSHIPS?

Leviticus 18:22:  "Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin."

Commentary:There are several other abominations, or wicked things. listed near this verse - marrying close relatives; having sex with someone else's wife; burning children; having sex with animals. These practices were quite common to pagan religions and it is easy to see why God dealt harshly with those who began to follow them. Such practices are not only a source of disease; more important, they are extremely disruptive to family and social life. They reveal a low regard for the value of oneself and of others. Society today takes some of these practices lightly, even trying to make them acceptable. But they are sin in God's eyes. If you consider them acceptable, you are not judging by God's standards.”

 

Romans 1:24-29:  "So God let them go ahead into every sort of sex sin, and do whatever they wanted to--yes, vile and sinful things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they prayed to the things God made, but wouldn't obey the blessed God who made these things.

“That is why God let go of them and let them do all these evil things, so that even their women turned against God's natural plan for them and indulged in sex sin with each other. And the men, instead of having a normal sex relationship with women, burned with lust for each other, men doing shameful things with other men, as a result, getting paid within their own souls with the penalty they so richly deserved.

“So it was that when they gave God up and would not even acknowledge him, God gave them up to doing everything their evil minds could think of. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness and sin, of greed and hate, envy, murder, fighting, lying, bitterness, and gossip."

Commentary:Homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Scripture. It is considered an acceptable practice by many in our world today--even in some churches. Many homosexuals believe that their desires are normal and that they have a right to express them. But God does not obligate nor encourage us to fulfill all of our desires (even normal ones). Those desires that violate his laws are wrong and are to be avoided.

“If you have this desire, you can and must resist acting upon it. Consciously avoid places or activities you know will kindle temptations of this kind. Don't underestimate the power of Satan to tempt you nor the potential for serious harm if you yield to these temptations. Remember God can and will forgive sexual sins just as he forgives other sins. Surrender yourself to the grace and mercy of God, asking him to show you the way out of sin and into the light of his freedom and his love. Prayer, Bible study, and strong Christian fellowship in a Bible-believing church can help you to gain strength to resist these powerful temptations. If you are already deeply involved in this sin, you may need to seek help from a trustworthy professional pastoral counselor.”

 

I Corinthians 6:9-11:   "Don't you know that those doing such things have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who live immoral lives, who are idol worshippers, adulterers, or homosexuals--will have not share in his Kingdom. Neither will thieves or greedy peopled, drunkards, slanderers, or robbers. There was a time when some of you were just like that but now your sins are washed away, and you are set apart for God, and he has accepted you because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God has done for you."

Commentary:  "Paul is describing characteristics of unbelievers. He doesn't mean that adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, or greedy people are automatically and irrevocably excluded from heaven. Christians come from all backgrounds, including these. They may still struggle with evil desires, but they should not continue in these practices. Paul clearly states that even those who sin in these ways can have their lives changed by Christ. However, those who say they are Christians but persist in these practices with no remorse should re-evaluate their lives to see if they truly believe in Christ.

“In a permissive society, it is easy for Christians to overlook and accept immoral behavior (sexual sins, greed, drunkenness, gossip, etc.) because it is so widespread. Although it surrounds us, we cannot take part in it of condone it in any way. Staying away from generally accepted sin is difficult, but it is no harder for us than it was for the Corinthian people. God expects his followers in any age to have high standards.”

 

I Timothy 1:8 -11:  "Those laws are good when used as God intended. But they were not made for us, whom God has saved; they are for sinners who hate God, have rebellious hearts, curse and swear, attack their father and mothers, and murder. Yes, these laws are made to identify as sinners all who are immoral and impure:  homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, and all others who do things that contradict the glorious Good News of our blessed God, whose messenger I am (written to Timothy by Paul).”

Commentary:   “There are those who attempt to legitimize homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle. Even some Christians say people have a right to choose how they want to live. But the Bible specifically calls homosexual behavior sin. We must be careful, however, to condemn only the practice; not the people. People who commit homosexual acts are not to be feared, ridiculed, or hated. They can be forgiven and their lives can be transformed. The church should be a haven of forgiveness and healing for homosexuals without compromising its stance against homosexual behavior.”
 
***
Printable Issue 2545  Today is Friday, April 12th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2545
Last weekend my friend gave me a copy of "Chicken Soup for Gardener's Soul"; most people are familiar with the numerous Chicken Soup books. Along with the couple of page submissions by various writers in each submission, there are also single thought sayings which kick off a story or section. Here are a few of them, perfect for our coming planting season:
 
"He who plants a garden plants happiness."
~ Chinese Proverb
 
*
 
"You don't have a garden just for yourself.
You have it to share."
~ Augusta Carter
 
*
 
"Wishing to be friends is quick work,
but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit."
~ Aristotle
 
*
 
"Treat a person as he is,
and he will remain as he is.
Treat him as he could be,
and he will become what he should be."
~ Jimmy Johnson
 
*
 
"Love is a fruit in season at all times
and within reach of every hand.
~ Mother Teresa
 
*
 
"Like people,
plants respond to extra attention."
~ H. Peter Loewer
 
*
 
"Anything which grows is always more beautiful
to look at than anything which is built."
~ Lin Yu Tang
 
*
 
"Gardens are our link with the divine."
~ William Howard Adams
 
****
Printable Issue 2546  Today is Monday, April 15th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2546
"Jesus answered,
I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father
except through me."
~ John 14:6
 
When going through the channels yesterday, I heard a portion of what a well-known Christian speaker had to say about this Bible verse. He related what his favorite summertime speaker used to tell whenever people would say, "I don't believe that Jesus is the 'only way to heaven. There are lots of roads that all lead the same place'.
 
He said his friend would say, "I believe what the Bible tells me. Physically, there is only way that all of us get here." While we have lots of breakthroughs in medical science, there is still only one way that we can arrive here on planet earth....through a mother.
 
"What makes us so think that there is more than one way that we can get to the next life?"
 
God, the Creator of the Universe, makes the rules!
 
    ****
Printable Issue 2547  Today is Tuesday, April 16th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2547
It happened again yesterday!
 
Monday started like any other day; it was bright. Runners lined up to run the Boston Marathon; many completed the race. Winners were named. A terrorist attack came later in the race - leaving three dead; nearly 150 injured; and thousands running for their lives.
 
Now what?
 
Listening this morning to Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist on a news talk show, he answered the question which might be asked by the more than two dozen marathon runners and/or spectators who now have a missing limb because of the attack.
 
"Continue to run the race," he said. "Pair up with someone else to champion your run. Pair up with me! But continue to run"
 
Ablow did not dismiss the extent of their injuries. "Now these runners may have to dig a little deeper," he said. "But the spirit that made them marathon runners continues. Each one can continue to run the race; each one can continue to compete and win!"
 
His words made me think about each one of us.
 
Sometimes we are derailed by natural disasters. Our homes are destroyed by a tornado. Sometimes a family member or friend betrays us. Now what? And the list goes on.....
 
The very familiar 23rd Psalm begins with these words:  "The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want". I like my Living Bible version even better:  "Because The Lord is My Shepherd, I have everything I need" (vs.1).
 
'Everything I need' whether my money lasts long enough each month or not. Whether my family dynamics are what I want or not. Whether my job situation is good or bad. Whether our country says to take down that 'Jesus picture' which has hung in a school lobby for a dozen decades or not.....
 
Like the Boston Marathon runners and fans; our situations may not be what we want. But according to Dr. Ablow, we may need to 'dig a little deeper'. But we can continue to run our races........with or without all the limbs we had...........yesterday!
Printable Issue 2548  Today is Wednesday, April 17th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2548
A 'Max Lucado' for the day:
 
Let God Love You

'When my girls were little, I’d come home, shout their names and watch them run to me with extended arms and squealing voices.  For the next few moments we’d roll on the floor, gobble bellies, and tickle tummies and laugh and play. We delighted in each other’s presence. They made no requests of me, with the exception of, “Let’s play, Daddy. And I made no demands of them except, “Don’t hit daddy with the hammer.”  My kids let me love them.

'But suppose they’d approached me as we often approach God. “Hey, Dad, glad you’re home.  Here’s what I want!”  “Whoa,” I would have to say.  “Why don’t you just climb up on Daddy’s lap and let me tell you how much I love you?”  Ever thought God might want to do the same with you?  How long since you let God love you?

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”

~ (I John 3:1)

****

Printable Issue 2549  Today is Thursday, April 18th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2549
It's supposed to rain today and be chilly!
 
It rained yesterday. We have had more than four inches of rain in the past week or so.
 
The weather forecast for our part of Iowa looks like we might have rain six of the next seven days. It's cooler than normal too.
 
Remember last year when we didn't have enough water, hardly ever? Drought was always on our minds, lips, and in the news.
 
Some 'educated economists and weather people' would tell us how many years it might take to 'refill' our water reservoirs and sub-soil. We listened.
 
Several days ago I heard that only a small percentage of Iowa now is being termed 'drought' or 'needing rain'.
 
Doesn't it just amaze us what 'God can do' in just no time!?
 
Only He controls the sunshine and the rain.
 
Man?? We can't do very much but patiently wait.
 
Now we are ready for spring with its warmth and a drier spell.
 
God is in control of that too. We can count on it coming.
 
Praise God!!
 
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise God, all creatures here below;
praise Him above,
ye heavenly host;
praise Father,
Son,
and Holy Ghost.
Amen.
(Ken Thomas, 1674)
 
Printable Issue 2550  Today is Friday, April 19th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2550
One day last week I included four things the Bible says on same-sex relationships plus comments on the published Bible comments on the same verses. The topic is in the news more and more. People have definite opinions 'for' and 'against'.
 
I decided before I emailed it that I would include whatever responses to that Karen's Korner, in an upcoming one. I was surprised I didn't receive more comments than I did. Included below are first names only, as I have not asked for, nor received approval from, anyone to forward their comments. (One comment I didn't use a first name as it is unique enough readers may figure out who wrote the response).
 
Karen's Korners are sent to more than 600 computers daily, so just because you might recognize a first name, it doesn't mean it is from someone who lives in our immediate area.
 
In the order which I received them:
 
 
From Mona:  "Thank you for sharing Biblical passages on this subject."
 
From Angie:  "Please remove me from your Karen's Korner listing."
 
From Connie:  "Thanks for sending this information. I read through all the passages and am delighted to know where to go regarding homosexuality. This seems to be such a problem in our society today. Makes me sad." (Connie mentioned that the Timothy portion should have said, 'written to Timothy by Paul'. I had added that note in parenthesis for the ease of reading by our Sunday School class and it was wrong.)
 
From Peggy:  ""In a permissive society, it is easy for Christians to ...accept...because it is so widespread. Last night on "Bill O'Reilly." one commentator stated that he is tired of all the gay news these days. We are besieged with a one-sided message. You have given us documentation from the Word of God."
 
From Chris:  "Thanks for this."
 
From Judy:  "I praise God and ask him to bless your column and for your having the strength to print this one. Bless you."
 
From Sharon:  "I am so glad to see this e-mail...by quoting from the Bible."
 
From Karen:  "I knew there were some things in the Bible about homosexual relationships. But I would never have known where to find them."
 
From a farming neighbor friend:  "This was an exceptionally good 'Karens Korner' and I wanted you to know I printed a paper copy to keep in my Bible. I also liked at the end,  that we continue to extend the Saving Grace of Jesus to all sinners no matter what the sin. I am like the Apostle Paul 'Chief of Sinners' and I know how Jesus changed my life and how far He has brought me!"

Printable Issue 2551  Today is Monday, April 22nd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2551
Maybe it's the age; maybe it's being a female. It isn't uncommon for me and some friends with whom I chat........we can't sleep through the night. Seems we still get enough sleep; just not hours in a row!
 
Here is a Bible verse and commentary which mentions that:
 
"I lie awake at night thinking of you--
of how you have helped me--
and how I rejoice through the night
beneath the protecting shadow
of your wings."
~ Psalm 63:6 LB
 
Bible Commentary:
"A cure for sleepless nights is to turn our thoughts to God.
There are many reasons we can't sleep--
illness, stress, worry--
but sleepless nights can be turned into quiet times
of reflection and worship.
Use them to review how God has guided
and helped you."
 
***
 
Printable Issue 2552  Today is Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2552
A weekly morsel from Max Lucado:
 
How Can I Know?

Some say, “I have doubts—lots of them.  What I want to know is, how can I know I’m truly saved?”

You can know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life! Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

First, confess that Jesus is Lord.  Say it out loud or quietly in your heart—just believe that Jesus was resurrected.  He’s not in the grave.  He’s God in the flesh, with power over death! Confess.  Believe.  You will have salvation!

But remember what the verse doesn’t say!  Live perfectly. Can’t do it.  Impossible. Just confess and believe.   Romans 8:1 says, Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

****

Printable Issue 2553  Today is Thursday, April 25th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2553
(Sorry for no 'korner' yesterday, we were installing new carpet in our living/dining room and our computer was disconnected!)
 
 
As we approach our May National Day of Prayer (a week from today - Thursday, May 2; learn if there is a local or small group prayer group and attend if your schedule allows. Many people from across our nation praying together!), something reproduced in "fresh Encounter:  experiencing God's power for spiritual awakening".
 
 
It is Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of a National Fast Day, August 12, 1861, when our nation was in the beginning stages of the Civil War;
 
"The Civil War, culminating years of turmoil, was the most devastating crisis the United States had ever faced. The issue of slavery was intensely divisive. Because the Industrial Age created unprecedented wealth, pursuing money and pleasure became a consuming passion. Churches were in decline. Public morality had descended to shocking levels. The outbreak of the Civil War ushered in unimaginable devastation. Families were ripped apart. Hundreds of thousands of America's young men were slaughtered. The government sought answers to how and why something so cataclysmic could happen within their nation. Ultimately, both houses of Congress issued a proclamation, signed by Abraham Lincoln, for a national day of prayer on August 12, 1861.
 
"As you read the proclamation, consider its applicability to our present day:
 
"Whereas a joint committee of both Houses of Congress has waited on the President of the United States and requested him to 'recommend a day of public humiliation, prayer, and fasting, to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnities, and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God'...
 
"It is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisements; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray, with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offenses.....
 
"When our own beloved Country, once by the blessing of God, united, prosperous, and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war; it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him, and to pray for His mercy....
 
"Therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of humiliation, prayer, and fasting for all the people of the nation."
 
****
Printable Issue 2554  Today is Friday, April 26th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2554
Hope you enjoy this 'prayer' included in "Chicken Soup for the Soul for the Gardener's Soul". It's fun to read 'chicken soup' books and ones like them as you really don't devour them like a novel. Instead you taste them a few pages at a time, when you have a handful of extra minutes.
 
"Prayer of a Gardening Mother"
 
Dear God, give me the strength to grow a garden.
 
Give me the perseverance to find a portion of dirt in my backyard that's free from old popsicle sticks and sand toys, out of range of the swing set, and not used as a tricycle parking lot or a soccer field.
 
Give me the courage to face the fact that the crate of bulbs that took six weeks to be delivered and three hours of the backbreaking labor to plant, can be dug up in five minutes by a two-year-old with a spoon.
 
Guide me through the backyard over plastic toys irrigation systems and wire mesh to unravel the dog from the watering hose for the fifteenth time.
 
Help me accept that everything in my garden is either expensive, high maintenance or unpronounceable, and the only thing that looks the same as it did in the mail-order catalog is the dirt.
 
Grant me patience when my daughter waters all of the bulbs with apple juice because 'they look thirsty'.
 
Give me the strength to remain silent when my husband puts pans of beer throughout the garden to get rid of the snails.
 
In your infinite wisdom, show me how to turn off the drip irrigation system that has been on since sometime in mid-March.
 
Grant me serenity when my son presents me with a bouquet of freshly pulled daffodils crammed into an old plastic sand bucket---and the ability to smile when he tries to put them back.
 
Comfort me when all of the beer pans in the garden are empty---and the dog is staggering around the backyard trying to do the limbo with low branches on the apple tree.
 
And if I ask too much, God, just give me the foresight to know that no matter what I do, by the end of the summer the flowers will be run over by plastic roller skates, the gardening stakes will be used for goal posts, and the fertile soil will, once again, be filled with old popsicle sticks and sand toys---and I wouldn't have it any other way.
 
~ Debbie Farmer
 
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Printable Issue 2555  Today is Saturday, April 27th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2555
(A Saturday 'korner' because of none on Wednesday.)
 
Today's entry in "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young; devotions for every day of the year. Each one is like God talking to each reader, as if He has a message for us. It is a popular 365-day listing of individual thoughts; something that can be read over and over again:
 
"COME TO ME with empty hands and an open heart, ready to receive abundant blessings.
I know the depth and breadth of your neediness.
Your life-path has been difficult,
draining you of strength.
Come to Me for nurture.
Let Me fill you up with My Presence.
I in you,
and you in me.
 
"My Power flows most freely into weak ones
aware of their need of Me.
Faltering steps of dependence are
not a lack of faith;
they are links to My Presence."
 
JOHN 17:20-23; ISAIAH 40:29-31
 
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Printable Issue 2556  Today is Monday, April 29th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2556
A 'Max Lucado' to begin the week.
 
I have a friend who said to me last week, "There's just so much suffering!"
 
Chances are pretty good if you aren't 'suffering', you know someone pretty close to you who is!
 
Suffering with Dignity
 
This question has been asked of me: “It breaks my heart to see patients who pray every day for miracles, and still they suffer. What do I tell them?”

The last years of my dad’s life were scarred by ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It took him from a healthy mechanic to a bed-ridden paralytic. He lost his voice and his muscles. But he never lost his faith. It wasn’t so much what he said, but more what he didn’t say. Never outwardly angry or bitter, Jack Lucado suffered with dignity.

After my dad’s funeral, a man told me it was because of my dad’s example that he became a Jesus follower. I’ve wondered, did God orchestrate my father’s illness for that very reason? Knowing the value God places on one soul—I wouldn’t be surprised. And imaging the splendor of heaven, I know my dad is not complaining!

“Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.”

(I Peter 1:6-7)

*****

Printable Issue 2557  Today is Tuesday, April 30th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2557
This is something which I shared at our Marys & Marthas meeting last week. If you are really young, copy it and save it for later.
 
Now for the rest of us:  it is for us who are turning the pages of the calendar. And I might be more interested in this topic, as I add another year on Friday.......and continue my march on into the life of a senior citizen!
 
"I will keep on expecting you to help me.
I praise you more and more.
I cannot count the times
when you have faithfully rescued me from danger.
I will tell everyone how good you are,
and of your constant daily care.
I walk in the strength of the Lord God.
I tell everyone that you alone are just and good.
O God,
you have helped me from my earliest childhood--
and I have constantly testified to others of the wonderful things you do.
And now that I am old and gray,
don't forsake me.
Give me time to tell this new generation
(and their children too)
about all you mighty miracles."
~ Psalm 71:14-18 LB
 
Bible Commentary:
"Solomon wrote that the glory of old people is their experience
(Proverbs 20:29).
A person is never too old to serve God,
never too old to pray.
Though age may stop us from certain physical activities,
it need not end our desire to tell others
(especially children)
about all we have seen God do
in the many years we've lived."
 
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