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September 2013 Archives

Printable Issue 2641  Today is Monday, September 2nd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2641
September! Wow!!
 
Since it is Labor Day, I chose to look at 'labor' and 'work' in the Bible. Depending on the many translations, sometimes the words are used interchangeably. Sometimes God just blesses us, but more times I believe He blesses are work and increases our efforts in profound ways:
 
"My work was to plant the seed in your hearts,
and Apollos' work was to water it,
but it was God, not we,
who made the garden grow in your hearts.
The person who does the planting and watering isn't very important,
but God is important because he is the one who makes things grow."
~ I Corinthians 3:6 - 7
 
Bible Commentary:   "God's work in the world involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities. There are no superstars in this task, only team members performing their own special roles. We become useful members of God's team by setting aside the desire to receive glory for what we do. The praise that comes from people is comparatively worthless; invaluable approval comes from God."
 
***
Printable Issue 2642  Today is Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2642
Second installment of five from a 'travel-style book' written by Dr. David Jeremiah titled "Discover Paradise:  A Guidebook to Heaven, Your True Home".
 
The small book with lots of colored graphics and fun sub-headings has one section titled "Five Reasons Why Heaven Will Be Exciting":
 
1.  God is Exciting.
2.  We will be Exciting.
3.  Our Friends will be Exciting.
4.  Our Work will be Exciting.
5.  Heaven will Fulfill Our Longings.
 
*
2. We will be Exciting!
 
"Behold, I (show) you a mystery.
We shall not all sleep, but WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED--
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised incorruptible,
and WE SHALL BE CHANGED."
~ I Corinthians 15:51, 52
 
"Twice in that verse, what does it say about us? We're going to be changed.
 
"For our citizenship is in heaven,
from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ,
who will TRANSFORM OUR LOWLY BODY
that it may be conformed to His glorious body,
according to the working by which He is able eve to subdue
all things to Himself."
~ Philippians 3:21, 22
 
"Heaven will not be boring because we will not be boring. Like the Lord, we will be exciting. When we get to Heaven, all of the reasons that we are boring now will be gone--reshaped into a perfect resurrection body. No matter how boring we might have been on this earth, there won't be one moment of boredom in our hearts when we get there."
 
***
Printable Issue 2643  Today is Wednesday, September 4th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2643
A weekly dose from Max (Lucado):
 
His Perpetual Presence
 
When God led the children of Israel through the wilderness, he didn’t just appear once a day and then abandon them. The pillar of fire was present all night; the cloud was present all day. Our God never leaves us!

Matthew 28:20 holds the promise of Jesus, “I will be with you always.” Our faith takes a quantum leap when we understand the perpetual presence of the Father. Our Jehovah is the fire of our night and the cloud of our day. He never leaves us!

Heaven knows no difference between Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon. God longs to speak as clearly in the workplace as he does in the sanctuary. He longs to be worshiped when we sit at the dinner table, not just when we come to his communion table.

You may go days without thinking of him, but there’s never a moment he’s not thinking of you!

***

Printable Issue 2644  Today is Thursday, September 5th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2644
Our weekly Bible trivia quiz; good luck!
 
!) In what town did Mary and Martha live?
 
2) What did Zacchaeus give to the poor?
 
3) What did Jesus turn into wine?
 
 
Today's installment from Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling; Enjoying Peace in His Presence", devotions for every day of the year:
 
"I am Your Best Friend, as well as your King.
Walk hand in hand with Me through Your life.
Together we will face whatever each day brings:
pleasures,
hardships,
adventures,
disappointments.
Nothing is wasted when it is shared with Me.
I can bring beauty out of the ashes of lost dreams.
I can glean Joy out of sorrow,
Peace out of adversity.
Only a Friend who is also the King of kings
could accomplish this divine alchemy.
There is no other like Me!
 
The friendship I offer you is practical and down-to-earth,
yet it is saturated with heavenly Glory.
Living in My Presence means living in two realms simultaneously;
the visible world and unseen, eternal reality.
I have equipped you to stay conscious of Me
while walking along dusty, earthbound paths.
 
***
Answers:
 
!) Bethany; 2) Half his possessions; 3) Water
Printable Issue 2645  Today is Friday, September 6th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2645
"What a glorious Lord!
He who daily bears our burdens also gives us our salvation.
He frees us!
He rescues us from death.
But He will crush His enemies,
for the refuse to leave their guilty, stubborn ways."
~ Psalms 68:19,20
 
Bible Commentary:  God frees his people and crushes his enemies. Salvation is freedom from sin and death. Those who refuse to turn to God will be crushed by sin and death. They will be trapped by the sin they loved and destroyed by the death they feared. How much better it is for those who love God and fear the consequences of sin.
 
Each day, we must deal with our share of earthly burdens. As we face these burdens, the Lord is there to help us bear them. Each morning, praise God for the strength he will send you today. It is as sure as the sunrise.
 
****
Printable Issue 2646  Today is Monday, September 9th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2646
This is something that I read in my Bible this a.m. It is meant specifically for a couple of people who I know are facing some personal trials today........and for those I have no idea who have needs:
 
"Afterwards God spoke to Abram (who later became Abraham)
in a vision,
and this is what He told him:
'Don't be fearful, Abram,
for I will defend you.
And I will give you great blessings."
~ Genesis 15:1
 
Bible Commentary:  "God told Abram not to be afraid. Why would Abram be afraid? Perhaps he feared revenge from the kings he had just defeated (plus Abram hadn't always don't everything right....). God then gave Abram two good reasons for courage:  1) he promised to defend Abram and be at his side during difficulties, and 2) he promised to give Abram 'great blessings'. When you fear what lies ahead, remember God won't desert you in the difficult times and has promised you great blessings."
 
Commentary a few verses later says (in part), Abram had been demonstrating "his faith through his actions, but it was his faith, not actions that made Abram right with God.......A right relationship is based on faith---the confidence that God is who he says he is and does what he says he will do. Our right actions follow naturally as a by-product."
Printable Issue 2647  Today is Tuesday, September 10th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2647
Readers of Karen's Korner can tell when I like something. I am really enjoying the 'devotions for every day of the year' "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.
 
This is today's:
 
"I am always available to you.
Once you have trusted Me as your Savior,
I never distance Myself from you.
Sometimes you may feel distant from Me.
Recognize that as feeling;
do not con confuse it with reality.
The Bible is full of My promises to be with you always.
As I assured Jacob,
when he was journeying away from home into unknown places.
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.
My last recorded promise to My followers was:
Surely I am with you always, to be very end of the age.
Let these assurances of My continual Presence fill you with Joy and Peace.
No matter what you may lose in this life,
you can never lose your relationship with Me.
 
Several Bible verses Young included to read:
 
ISAIAH 54:10; GENESES 28:15; MATTHEW 28:20
 
***
Printable Issue 2648  Today is Wednesday, September 11th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2648
Okay, here is your weekly Bible Trivia Quiz (which some Karen's Korners readers are enjoying!):
 
1) How many days and nights was Jonah inside the big fish?
 
2) Jesus performed many miracles. One time he fed 5,000 men with how many loaves of bread and how many fish?
 
3) Who baptized Jesus Christ in the Jordan River?
 
***
 
Want a heart-warmer for the day?
 
As I was chatting on the phone yesterday morning, my sister Jan told of an infant baptism in their church on Sunday morning.
 
The pastor had asked the couple to retell their 'story'.
 
The twosome had long wanted to have a baby; to no avail. When she finally became pregnant, the family was thrilled.
 
Then their joy came crashing down when she had a miscarriage.
 
After a visit to the doctor, he told her, "You are still pregnant!"
 
How could that be?
 
The doctor said that she must have been pregnant with twins; now there was one!
 
On Sunday morning, they were baptizing Sophie Faith, as they celebrate their gift from God!
 
Praise God who brings miracles into our lives many days and in many ways!!
 
***
 
Answers: 1) Three: 2) Five loaves and two fish: 3) John the Baptist.
Printable Issue 2649  Today is Thursday, September 12th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2649
A dose of Max Lucado for the week:
 
He's Been There
 
Whatever you are facing, Jesus knows how you feel!  He’s been there.

Several years ago, twenty-thousand of us ran through the streets of San Antonio raising money for breast cancer research. Most of us ran out of kindness, a few ran in memory of a loved one, others in honor of a cancer survivor. We ran for different reasons.

But no runner was more passionate than the woman I spotted. A bandana covered her bald head, and dark circles shadowed her eyes.  She had cancer. While we ran out of kindness, she ran out of conviction. She knows how cancer victims feel.  She’s been there.

So has Jesus.  Scripture says, He is able—to run to the cry of those who’re being tempted and tested and tried. When you turn to Him for help, Jesus runs to you to help. Why?  Because he knows how you feel. He’s been there! (Hebrews 4:15).

Whatever you are facing, Jesus knows how you feel!  He’s been there.

Several years ago, twenty-thousand of us ran through the streets of San Antonio raising money for breast cancer research. Most of us ran out of kindness, a few ran in memory of a loved one, others in honor of a cancer survivor. We ran for different reasons.

But no runner was more passionate than the woman I spotted. A bandana covered her bald head, and dark circles shadowed her eyes.  She had cancer. While we ran out of kindness, she ran out of conviction. She knows how cancer victims feel.  She’s been there.

So has Jesus.  Scripture says, He is able—to run to the cry of those who’re being tempted and tested and tried. When you turn to Him for help, Jesus runs to you to help. Why?  Because he knows how you feel. He’s been there! (Hebrews 4:15).

***

Printable Issue 2650  Today is Friday, September 13th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2650
Our church's Sunday School begins again for the fall season on Sunday. The adult Sunday School class which I teach will be looking at some verses in Proverbs.
 
Here is one of them:
 
"Telling lies about someone is as harmful as hitting him with an axe,
or wounding him with a sword,
or shooting him with a sharp arrow."
~ Proverbs 25:18
 
                            
Bible Commentary:  "Lying is vicious. Its effects can be as permanent as those of a stab wound. The next time you are tempted to pass on a bit of gossip, imagine yourself striking the victim of your remarks with an axe. This image may shock you into silence."
 
***
Printable Issue 2651  Today is Monday, September 16th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2651
Third installment of five from a 'travel-style book' written by Dr. David Jeremiah titled "Discover Paradise:  A Guidebook to Heaven, Your True Home".
 
The small book with lots of colored graphics and fun sub-headings has one section titled "Five Reasons Why Heaven Will Be Exciting":
 
1.  God is Exciting.
2.  We will be Exciting.
3.  Our Friends will be Exciting.
4.  Our Work will be Exciting.
5.  Heaven will Fulfill Our Longings.
 
*
3. Our Friends will be Exciting (in part)!
 
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem,
to an innumerable company of angels,
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven,
to God the Judge of all,
to the spirits of just men made perfect."
~ Hebrews 12:22, 23
 
"As far as God is concerned, we are already seated with Christ in the heavenlies, and these are the people who whom we will spend all of eternity. It's pretty impressive to be on this guest list, is it not?
 
* We're going to spend eternity with all of the justified people made perfect; those are all of the Old Testament saints.
* We're going to spend eternity with the people who are of the firstborn; those are the church, the New Testament saints.
" We're going to spend eternity with the angels.
* We're going to spend eternity with God.
 
"We're going to spend eternity with all of those who have been justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. Just as we will be changed when we are resurrected, so also will everyone else have been changed.
 
"In Heaven it'll be total openness to one another with no fear of reprisal, because we will God's people made over, new, perfectly compatible with on another and able for the first time ever to enjoy that kind of intimate fellowship that we all long for in our hearts. Here we have a few moments like that, but in Heave that's the way it's going to be forever.
 
"One of the exciting things about Heaven will be the unlimited opportunity to fellowship with people of the various ages of history. When we're living together in Heaven, we can become fast friends with people we've only read about in books. People like David, Joseph, and Daniel. We'll walk along the streets of gold and say, "Oh, there's Joseph," and we'll share some angel food cake with Naomi. We can cultivate relationships with Paul the Apostle and John the Beloved. We will be able to personally thank C.S. Lewis, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Andrew Murray, A.W. Tozer, and others who have inspired our faith.
 
"Heaven's going to be such an incredible time of unlimited fellowship with people who have lived in all ages. We're going to live together in community and be able to fellowship with one another forever and ever. And as great as all of this is, it pales into insignificance when it is compared to being in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us."
 
********
 
 
Printable Issue 2652  Today is Tuesday, September 17th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2652
Sometimes we can learn a lot from others in our lives. I thank God for some of my friends who are, at times, "God to me" with their actions and/or words.
 
Something from Max Lucado for the day:
 
Give Him A Pretzel

Years ago I was traveling with my daughter, Jenna.  When I realized she and I weren’t seated together,  I asked the fellow sitting next to her to swap seats with me.  Surely he’ll understand, I thought.  He didn’t.  I was left separated from my 12 year old on a long transatlantic flight.

I began plotting how I’d trip him if he dared walk to the restroom during the flight. I turned to intimidate him with a snarl and saw, much to my surprise, Jenna offering him a pretzel. What?  My daughter was fraternizing with the enemy! As if the pretzel were an olive branch, he accepted her gift and they both leaned their seats back and dozed off.

I learned the lesson God had used my daughter to teach me. All of us are here by grace and, at some point, all of us have to share some grace. So the next time you find yourself next to a questionable character, don’t give him a hard time—give him a pretzel!

****

Printable Issue 2653  Today is Wednesday, September 18th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2653
An email forwarded to us by a friend, a few months ago:
 
 
Someone has written these beautiful words. Read and try to understand the deep meaning of each.
 
They are like the 10 commandments to follow in life all the time:
 
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 so large and the rear view mirror 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; 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 2654  Today is Thursday, September 19th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2654
 
Ready for this week's Bible Quiz?
 
 
1) When Jesus was about two years old, an angel appeared to Joseph, telling him to flee with Mary and the child to what country?
 
2) What were the three gifts given by the Wise Man?
 
3) Whom did God call on to part the Red Sea?
 
 
A couple of verses from Psalm 91; this one was a favorite of Jim's Aunt Jessie, who recently passed away. She was the last aunt/uncle on Jim's side of the family.
 
If you have the time, it might be a fun to read the entire chapter - 16 verses.
 
"For the Lord says,
'Because he loves me, I will rescue him;
I will make him great because he trusts in my name.
When he calls on me, I will answer;
I will be with him in trouble, and rescue him, and honor him.
I will satisfy him with a full life and give him my salvation.'"
~ Psalm 91:14 - 16 (LB)
 
Sometimes I mark in my Bible margins any of 'thoughts' I might have on a verse or two. I have two markings on these verses:
 
* "We are designed for GREATNESS!"
 
* "I will always be rescued from every situation." - 5/22/88.
 
****
 
 
Answers: 1) Egypt;  2) Gold, frankincense, and myrrh;  3) Moses
Printable Issue 2655  Today is Friday, September 20th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2655
My sister Jan came down to Clarion mid-morning on Tuesday. Our goal was lunch together, frequenting several businesses, but #1:  play Bingo at a seniors' event put on by our local bank. Because the bank has several locations, she and I both bank at the same one.
 
Early in the afternoon, we played the game for about an hour. Neither of us won any of the games. But we enjoyed lunch together with all of the participants afterwards.
 
As we were leaving, Jan thanked another Jan (bank employee) for putting on a nice party.
 
"It's my job!" said banker Jan.
 
"I know but it was really fun," said my sister.
 
As we walked to the car, sister Jan said, "I like to thank people when I get a senior discount. Or when a business sends/gives us a coupon which I use later. And I especially like to thank grocery store employees who deal with me when I use several food coupons (she is coupon clipper)."
 
I had never thought of thanking employees or businesses when they offer coupons or discounts.
 
Think I am going to do that in the future; might surprise a few people. Like Jan does.
 
Bible says, "Always be thankful."
 
The more ways we find 'to be thankful', the more our happiness and joy. Not to mention our soaring mental health......and that of people with whom we come in contact.
Printable Issue 2656  Today is Monday, September 23rd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2656
Something email to me as a pass-along from Shirley Choat:
 
 
This Is Good! 
 
I heard the story about a king in Africa who had a close friend that he had grown up with. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"
 
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!."
 
To which the king replied, "No, this is NOT good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
 
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took them to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb.
 
Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way. As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right" he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this."
 
"No," his friend replied, "this is good!"
 
"What do you mean, 'this is good!' How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year."
 
"If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you." 
 
****

 
Printable Issue 2657  Today is Tuesday, September 24th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2657
This was a daily email from Max Lucado one day last week. I thought it was really good. Lucado is the best selling Christian author of all time. So does that mean that he and has family have any struggles that 'normal' people have? He's not afraid to tell you the 'truth':
 
 
God's Presence

Depression can buckle the knees of the best of us, and a pastor’s wife is no exception. Years ago my wife, Denalyn, battled depression. Every day was gray.  Her life was loud and busy—two kids in elementary school, a third in kindergarten, and a husband who didn’t know how to get off the airplane and stay home.

The days took their toll. But Denalyn was never one to play games. On a given Sunday when the depression was suffocating, she armed herself with honesty and went to church. If people ask me how I’m doing, I’m going to tell them. She answered each, “How are you” with a candid, “Not well. I’m depressed. Will you pray for me?”  Casual chats became long conversations. Brief hellos became heartfelt moments of ministry. She found God’s presence amidst God’s people! He’s waiting on you, my friend. And He will get you through this!

***

Printable Issue 2658  Today is Wednesday, September 25th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2658
Fourth installment of five from a 'travel-style book' written by Dr. David Jeremiah titled "Discover Paradise:  A Guidebook to Heaven, Your True Home".
 
The small book with lots of colored graphics and fun sub-headings has one section titled "Five Reasons Why Heaven Will Be Exciting":
 
1.  God is Exciting.
2.  We will be Exciting.
3.  Our Friends will be Exciting.
4.  Our Work will be Exciting.
5.  Heaven will Fulfill Our Longings.
 
*
4. Our Work will be Exciting (in part)!
 
"When we get to Heaven, we're going to be the servants of the living God. Servants work. They have an occupation. They have responsibility. What is God going to say when we get to Heaven? He's not going to say to us, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. Take the rest of eternity off.' He's going to say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant......enter into.........' Into what? 'Enter into the joy of your Lord' (Matthew 25:21). Why? 'You were faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things.' God's got something for us to do.
 
Over and over, the book of Revelation repeats this thought of serving in Heaven (I am including two of them):
 
"Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple." (Revelation 7:15)
 
"Then a voice came from the throne saying, 'Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!" (Revelation 19:5)
 
We Will Hear God Say, You're Hired!
 
...."throughout eternity, we know that God has a great plan for every one of us to be wonderfully, happily, excitedly, and unboringly employed in serving Him. All of us will be serving in the fullest expression of the capacity God has given us and the giftedness He has put within us. However that works out in your life or in mine, we will discover it........
 
........"Everything we do, every ounce of energy we expend in our work in Heaven will last forever and ever. Forever and ever it will be a blessing and encouragement to all those who see it. When a legacy? Our work won't be boring; it will be exciting!"
 
***
Printable Issue 2659  Today is Thursday, September 26th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2659
Our weekly installment of Bible Quiz questions and answers:
 
 
1)  How many commandments did God give to Moses?
 
2)  In which book of the Bible will you find the story of Adam and Eve?
 
3)  How old was Abraham when his wife Sarah gave birth to their son Isaac?
 
**
 
"Oh, come, let us sing to the Lord!
Give a joyous shout in honor of the Rock of our salvation!
Come before him with thankful hearts.
Let us sing him psalms of praise.
For the Lord is a great God,
the great King of all gods.
He controls the formation of the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains,
all are his.
He made the sea and formed the land;
the too are his.
Come, kneel before the Lord our Maker,
for he is our God.
We are his sheep and he is our Shepherd.
Oh, that you would hear him calling you today
and come to him!"
 
**
 
Thank you, Lord, that we can sing praises to You, our Rock. We praise You that you controlled the forming of our universe and You remain in control. Thank You that we can call ourselves sheep of your pastures with You, as our Shepherd. Help us to listen to Your voice today and to thank and praise You, regardless of our situation. In Jesus Name. Amen.
 
***
Answers:
 
1)  10;  2)  Genesis:  3)  100 years old
Printable Issue 2660  Today is Friday, September 27th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2660
Something emailed to me by Tiffany Cramer; it had a graphic with it but they don't always do well sent in large emails. The pastor certainly looked his part:
 
 
Church Members Mistreat Homeless Man in Church Unaware it is Their Pastor in Disguise

Pastor Jeremiah Steepek transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning.

He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him.

He asked people for change to buy food – no one in the church gave him change.

He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit in the back.

He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.

As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such.

When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation.

“We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation.

The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with all eyes on him.

He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment then he recited,

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame.

He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?”

He then dismissed service until next week.

Following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ should be more than just talk. It ought to be a lifestyle that others around you can love about you and share in.

***

Printable Issue 2661  Today is Monday, September 30th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2661
Last week, I was reminded how rich I am. And how blessed!
 
In case you have forgotten, you too are very rich and blessed!
 
Fanny and Martha, missionaries from Zimbabwe, spent the week at our church and with our Clarion community.
 
Maybe without knowing it, they reminded all of us.
 
A week ago Sunday at worship service, we were asked, as we are every week, if we had anything for which we wanted to praise God.
 
Martha raised her hand and said, "I want to thank God for electricity which is not interrupted and for running water!" They stayed from Saturday to Saturday in the lower level of our newer church office building. Their accommodations were in our youth room area, nice but certainly not the Hilton Hotel.
 
When was the last time we thanked God for electricity and running water?
 
Zimbabwe currently has 80% unemployment, down for a higher number of nearly 90%!
 
During the week, I heard Martha more than once thank God for our country, which she referred to as the "Mother Country of All the Nations". "What your do around the world matters to a third world county like ours," she said. "What your country stands for or does in a country like Syria makes a difference to us in Zimbabwe."
 
Early in the week, she told a small group of women about the need for new and used underwear for the women and girls in Zimbabwe. "We sometimes have nice clothing to wear but not the bras and panties," Martha said. "A young girl might wear a dress or skirt to church and not sit correctly and we can see that she isn't wearing panties. She doesn't know that her inexperience may help to cause someone to rape her."
 
We could mail/ship items to them, but there would be shipping costs from here, but in Zimbabwe there is also a fee imposed when they pick them up. One time a container cost them more than $500 in shipping/receiving fees; more than the value of contents of the box they were receiving!
 
When they are in the U.S., the couple takes as many things home with them as they can - for themselves and for their mission work. We put out the S.O.S. to Marys & Marthas (ecumenical group of women) for underwear (aka 'Under Wonder' drive), beginning on Tuesday but things had to be to the church office by Friday/Saturday when they would be leaving). Our goal:  50 items.
 
We collected well over 500!
 
A handful of gals rolled and packed two large suitcases with all of the 'wonderful undies', some were new; others not. As we worked, Fanny told us that we needed to take the new ones out of their plastic wrappers. If we did not, the officials, as they'd come back into their country, would believe that they were bringing them back to sell and there would be fees to pay. As we worked, we learned that before they return to Africa, Fanny and Martha will repack the items and intermingle them with their clothing to help authorities know that they are not for sale, but for use in their ministry.
 
Please pray they will be able to convince government employees these items and others, which they will be bringing to their home and delivering to people, are not for sale and need not have additional delivery fees when they return home in November.
 
God has richly blessed America over two centuries. Collectively, we must continue to worship Him and share what He has done and can do in the lives of all of us and the lives of others.
 
Martha thanked us for continuing to bring Christ to her country. "Your ancestors, people from New Zealand and Australia and others brought Christianity to Zimbabwe. And for that we continue to thank and bless you."
 
We are not perfect people. Our country is not perfect. We know that we are an 'exceptional' people, not because of anything we have done. Everyone is equal under God's watchful eye. We are exceptional, because the framers of our country did something no other country on earth had ever done before:  set us free as individuals, to each develop our talents and God-given abilities. They did not want us governed by a King, Dictator, or some other ruler from on high. In turn, we use, and have used, that individual freedom to help others, like our unknown friends in Zimbabwe.
 
Today is a good day to celebrate how 'rich' we all are. To celebrate the United States of America:  yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And to celebrate and bless God for His goodness and mercy, not only on us, but peoples from around the world.
 
Thank You, God, for all You have done and will continue to do through each one of us! Continue to bless us, regardless of where we live, the color of our skin, or the dollars in our bank account! We thank You for our enormous blessings which we too often take for granted! Thank You for reminding us of our vast wealth, through Fanny and Martha. In Jesus' Name. Amen.