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February 2014 Archives

Printable Issue 2751  Today is Monday, February 3rd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2751
A good one from Max Lucado (all, at least most, are good from Max!):
 
Wash Each Other's Feet
 
Jesus said to His disciples:  “If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other’s feet” (John 13:14).  It means to kneel as Jesus knelt, touching the grimy parts of the people we’re stuck with; washing away their unkindnesses with kindness.  Or as Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.”

“But Max,” you’re saying, “I’ve done nothing wrong.  I’m not the one who cheated.  I’m not the one who lied. I’m not the guilty party here.” Perhaps you aren’t.  But neither was Jesus.  Don’t we all think we are right?  Hence we wash each other’s feet.  Relationships don’t survive because the guilty are punished but because the innocent are merciful!  Only one was worthy of having his feet washed.  The one worthy of being served, served others.

***
Printable Issue 2752  Today is Tuesday, February 4th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2752
My last response to the 'email change letter', for readers to respond and 'share a favorite Bible verse' and 'send it to the name at the top of the list'.
 
This one is from Mary Ann. She said she liked the entire 23rd Psalm; she didn't send the version she liked the best.
 
Karen's Korner readers know I like the one from the Living Bible, especially verse one! The most well-known introduction is:
"The Lord is My Shepherd,
I shall not want!"
 
But most of us have numerous unfulfilled wants. The Living Bible says:
"Because the Lord is My Shepherd,
I have everything I need!"
Needs and wants? Very different!
 
Here is the entire 23rd Psalm:
 
"Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!
He lets me rest in the meadow grass
and leads my beside the quiet streams.
He gives me new strength.
He helps me to what honors him the most.
Even when walking through the dark valley of death
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me,
guarding, guiding all the way.
You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies.
You have welcomed me as your guest;
blessings overflow!
Your goodness and unfailing kindness
shall be all of my life,
and afterwards I will live with your forever in your home."
Printable Issue 2753  Today is Wednesday, February 5th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2753
A writing shared by Shirley Choat, earlier this year:
 

Point to Ponder: This world is not my home.

 

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. 

For What is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 

2 Corinthians 4:18

 

Question:   

How should the fact that life on earth is just a temporary assignment change the way I am living right now?

 

THOUGHT TO PONDER:

 

"In all my years on the farm we only moved twice, that I remember, and both of the moves were only two miles apart. Home, to me, was where my family was. Even when I went to town to stay with my city grandparents or an aunt and uncle, I was never far from home. When I went away to school, I always had a home to come back to, except the year my parents left the farm and moved to town, but that’s another story! Somewhere in those two moves it must have been impressed on me to always leave the house out of which we were moving, better than we found it.

 

"My dear wife grew up with that same principle, so we have tried to do that with every move we made, sometimes backing out of the house on our knees with a cleaning rag to make certain it would be found spotless. We could not see the people who would follow us, but those unseen saints, I’m certain, appreciated our cleanliness.

 

"Our residence in this world can be seen in much the same way. We have an 'unseen Newer, Better, Home' waiting for us in our Father’s Mansion. This world’s rooms, fields, forests, and beaches are God’s lease to us while we live here, and we’re expected to leave them better than the way we found them. That also goes for the people we meet. Are they more blessed after we have gone than before? How can we make our temporary home, which we can see, better physically and spiritually than we found it, when we leave for our unseen Home in Heaven?"

 

"Let us see this present world for what it really is, a system of inflated values that is rapidly passing away.

O help me, LORD, to look beyond the transient scenes of earth, and give my life, with all its powers, to things of endless worth."

 

(Worldly investments never pay eternal dividends.)

 

 

PRAYER:

 

"Sometimes I start to think that this life is all there is, Heavenly Father, and not just a temporary assignment. Let me see that all You have given me, my possessions, my family and the earth are just mine to have for a little while. Help me to always appreciate the shortness of life and to give loving care to all that surrounds me and to leave it better than the way I found it. I pray this in the name of my Savior. Amen."

 

***

Printable Issue 2754  Today is Thursday, February 6th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2754
I always enjoy it when Karen's Korner readers share something they believe would make a 'good Karen's Korner'. Here is one emailed to me by my cousin Glenys; it was written by her friend Linda:
 
 
Have you ever noticed how one day can be so different from another?  Some days we wake up feeling ready to face whatever the day holds.  The very next day can be the exact opposite as we fear what's ahead and don't know how we are going to cope.  When I look back on one of those harder days, I usually notice that I overlooked a very important part of the day:  taking a few minutes to give the day back to the Lord.
 
    The Bible says, "In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."  This was written by David in Psalm 5:3.  David knew that he needed to put his concerns and requests before the Lord each day and then wait for answers and direction.  According to the Psalm, David's time of day for this was morning. But our God is always ready to hear our concerns, and He waits for us to meet Him anytime of day.  Taking time with Him is the only way we will find His peace, comfort and direction.  It's the only way we will know His will for us.
 
    A day is a gift from God.  We do Him great honor by returning it to Him for use as He see fit.  Only then are we able to live in a way that will fulfill our intended purpose, but most importantly, glorify God!  And God does promise to meet us, as He says in Jeremiah 29:13:  "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
 
***
Printable Issue 2755  Today is Friday, February 7th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2755
"God has given me the wonderful privilege
of telling everyone about this plan of His;
and He has given me
His power and special ability to do it well."
~ Ephesians 3:7 LB
 
Bible Commentary:  "God gave the apostle Paul the ability to share effectively the gospel of Christ. You may not be an apostle or even an evangelist, but God will also give you opportunities to tell others about Christ---and win the opportunity He will provide the ability and courage and power. Whenever an opportunity presents itself, make yourself available to God. As you focus on the other person and his/her needs, God will communicate your caring attitude, and your words will be natural, loving, and compelling.
 
****
Printable Issue 2756  Today is Monday, February 10th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2756
(Note this will be the last Karen's Korner until late on Wednesday, February 19, as we will be away for a few days!)
 
 
Since there will be no Karen's Korner for Valentine's Day, this seems to be appropriate for today from Max Lucado:
 
The State of Your Heart

Luke 6:45 says,  “. . .out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”  That is why the state of the heart is so critical. So what’s the state of your heart?

When your to-do list is too long, do you lose your cool or keep it?  Well, that depends on the state of your heart. When you’re offered gossip marinated in slander, do you turn it down or pass it on? That depends on the state of your heart. Do you see the bag lady as a burden on society or as an opportunity for God?  That too depends on the state of your heart.

No wonder the wise man in Proverbs begs, “Above all else, guard your heart” (Proverbs 4:23). David’s prayer should be ours: “Create in me a pure heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10).

And Jesus’ statement rings true, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

***

Printable Issue 2757  Today is Wednesday, February 19th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2757
(Always good to be gone; and good to come back home!)
 
Something emailed to me but I can't remember from who:
 
The Better Life

“Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together.” (Revelation 3:20 CEV)

You might think you have a good life right now, but if you could have an even better life, wouldn’t you want to know about it?
Unfortunately, what keeps us from grabbing hold of that better life is an irrational sense of self-sufficiency. We think we’re doing fine on our own.

Psalm 10:4 says it like this: “The wicked people are too proud. They do not look for God; there is no room for God in their thoughts” (NCV).

Just like the innkeeper in the first Christmas story (Luke 2), we don’t believe we need more guests. We think we have everything we need. There’s only one problem with that arrogance: You miss the very reason God created you. God made you so that you might have a relationship with him. You’ll never fulfill his purpose for your life, which is far grander and more significant than you ever imagined, unless you are plugged in to God, your true power source.
But the good news is that it’s not too late. You can have a relationship with him no matter what has happened in your past, no matter how many times you’ve rejected him before. God made it so simple that anyone can understand. It’s only three words: Invite him in.

Jesus said, “Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together” (Revelation 3:20 CEV).

Jesus is knocking at your door. Take hold of the better life by letting him into your life. Make him the boss of your life.
It’ll change everything.
 
***
Printable Issue 2758  Today is Thursday, February 20th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2758
"My little children,
I am telling you this so that you will stay away from sin.
But if you sin,
there is someone to plead for you before the Father.
His name is Jesus Christ,
the one who is all that is good and pleases God completely.
He is the one who took God's wrath against our sins upon himself,
and brought us into fellowship with God,
and he is the forgiveness for our sins,
and not only ours but all the world's.
~ 2 John 2:1,2 LB
 
Bible Commentary:  "To people who are feeling guilty and condemned, John (writer) offers reassurance. They know they have sinned and Satan (aka 'the accuser') is demanding the death penalty. When you feel this way, don't give up hope--the best defense attorney in the universe is pleading your case. Jesus Christ, your advocate, is the Judge's Son. He has already suffered your penalty in your place. You can't be tried again for a case that is no longer on the docket. United with Jesus, you are as safe as he is. Don't be afraid to ask him to plead your case--he has already won!
 
****
Printable Issue 2759  Today is Friday, February 21st, 2014; Karen's Korner #2759
Karen's Korner readers come from lots of places. In case you don't live in/near north central Iowa (i.e. Clarion), you may not have any idea how much snow we have had in the last day. It's lots! We lost our electricity mid-afternoon, so we made our way to Clarion and its only motel -- we were the last people to get a room. We have just skidded our way back to our farm home, hoping that county snow plows will be on there way some time soon!
 
Today's 'korner' is a Max Lucado writing from a number of months ago; appropriate as he talks about skiing - making us to continue to think about the Winter Olympics:
 
A New Heart

When you give your heart to Jesus—He returns the favor with a spiritual heart transplant!

When a family lost their 13-year-old daughter in a skiing accident, they decided to donate all her organs to whomever needed them most. Through a set of unusual circumstances they met the heart recipient. They had only one request. As they put the stethoscope to the chest of the woman who’d received the transplant—they heard the still-beating heart of their daughter.

The grace message says that God can hear the beating heart of Jesus Christ—in our hearts, in our lives, in our bodies.   When we give our heart to Jesus He returns the favor.  We have a brand new heart.  What exciting news. What wonderful grace!

***

Printable Issue 2760  Today is Saturday, February 22nd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2760
(On Saturday to catch me up from being on vacation!)
 
While we were gone, I didn't take my Sarah Young "Jesus Calling - Enjoying Peace in His Presence" flip calendar of 365 sayings, as if Jesus were talking with us. This is one from several days ago:
 
"PEACE BE WITH YOU!
Ever since the resurrection,
this has been My watchword to those who yearn for Me.
As you sit quietly,
let My Peace settle over you
and enfold you in My loving Presence.
To provide this radiant Peace for you,
I died a criminal's death.
Receive My Peace abundantly and thankfully.
It is a rare treasure,
dazzling in delicate beauty
yet strong enough to withstand all onslaughts.
Wear My Peace with regal diginity.
It will keep your heart
and mind close to Mine."
 
**
Printable Issue 2761  Today is Monday, February 24th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2761
Some books of the Bible are easy to read and understand; each chapter is a page-turner like a best-selling novel. Other books aren't so easy:  names which are hard to pronounce or historical statistics can cause some readers (like me)  to have my attention, glaze over.  But tucked into every book are nuggets which causes readers to perk up.
 
The book of Numbers is one of those books. At the beginning, lots of facts. But at the end of chapter 6 is a blessing which some churches use often as their benediction:
 
"Now the Lord said to Moses,
'Tell Aaron and his sons that they are to give this special blessing
to the people of Israel:
 
'May the Lord bless you and protect you;
may the Lord's face radiate with joy because of you;
may he be gracious to you;
show you his favor,
and give you peace.'"
~ Numbers 6:24 - 26 LB
 
Bible Commentary:   A blessing was one way of asking for God's divine favor to rest upon others. The ancient blessing in these verses helps us understand what a blessing was supposed to do. Its five parts conveyed hope that God would:
 
1) bless and protect;
2) radiate with joy (be pleased) because of us;
3) be gracious (merciful and compassionate) to us;
4) show favor to us;
5) give us peace.
 
When you ask God to bless others or yourself, you are asking him to do these five things. The blessing you offer will not only help the one receiving it, it will also demonstrate love, encourage others, and provide a model of caring to those who watch.
 
***
 
Read the Bible blessing above one more time this morning;
this is my prayer of blessing to you.......
from God......
for your day today!
Printable Issue 2762  Today is Tuesday, February 25th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2762
Something from Max Lucado for the day. It starts by saying 'parents', but it could also say 'grandparents' or 'adults':
 
A Worship-Hungry Heart

Parents, what are your children and others learning from your worship?  Do they see the same excitement as when you go to a basketball game?  Do they see you prepare for worship as you do for a vacation?  Do they see you hungry to arrive, seeking the face of the Father?  Or are others seeking the face of the Father while you’re seeking the face of your wristwatch?  Do they see you content to leave the way you came?  They are watching.  Believe me.  They are watching.

Do you come to church with a worship-hungry heart?  Our Savior did. May I urge you to be just like Jesus? Prepare your heart for worship. Let God change your face through worship.  Your heartfelt worship is a missionary appeal. Let others hear the passion of your voice as they see the sincerity in your face, and they may be changed.  I know you will be!

***

Printable Issue 2763  Today is Wednesday, February 26th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2763
A couple of random thoughts for the day:
 
 
* While we were in Florida for a few days, we took a couple of toll roads. As one gal took our money, she didn't say, "Thank You." Instead she said, "Have a blessed day!"
    I sort of liked that!
 
* Our church collectively supports a boy from Haiti through World Vision. Sedras will celebrate his birthday on Sunday; he will be 15. I needed to call the international office yesterday. Among other things, I learned that for children to be accepted into the outreach program, they must be attending school and complete their education. World Vision works with them until the young student is 18 - 21 years old, depending on their level of completion.
    The World Vision representative with whom I talked said, "Not only do World Vision 'adoptees' want to help children around the world, we believe that education is the best way for that young person to ultimately help themselves."
 
* Yesterday I had the opportunity to chat for a few minutes with an elderly couple from our community. She said, "Tomorrow is our anniversary!"
    "Really!" I said. "What anniversary are you celebrating?"
    *Sixteen years and seven months," she replied.
    Both he and she had long-time marriages before their spouses passed away.
    Her husband said, "We were both so old when we got married. We thought if we had even 4 or 5 good years of marriage, we would be fortunate, so we decided to celebrate our anniversary every month, not every year."
    Here they are moving swiftly through their 80s with just the nickel-dime health issues of aging. They still have a couple of weekly opportunities for outreach through their local church!
 
* If you are married, look at your calendar. You might have another handful of opportunities to 'celebrate your anniversary' each year!
 
* And don't forget to have 'a blessed day!'
Printable Issue 2764  Today is Thursday, February 27th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2764
Something emailed to me awhile back from my Uncle Bud from Tennessee:
 

      All the negative things we have to say to
  ourselves, God has a positive answer for us!  
 
  When You say, "It's impossible".
  God says: "All things are possible". ( Luke 18:27 )

   When You say, "I'm too tired."
  God says: "I will give you rest". ( Matthew 11:28-20 )

   When You say, "Nobody really loves me".
  God says: "I love you". ( John 3:16 & John 13:34 )

   When You say, "I can't go on."
  God says: "My grace is sufficient." ( 2 Corinthians 12:9 &
  Psalm 91:15 )

   When You say, "I can't figure things out."
  God says: "I will direct your steps." ( Proverbs 3:5-6 )

   When You say, "I can't do it."
  God says: "You can do all things in Me." ( Philippians 4:13 )

   When You say, "It's not worth it."
  God says: "It will be worth it." ( Romans 8:28 )

   When You say, "I can't forgive myself."
  God says: "I forgive you." ( I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

   When You say, "I can't manage."
  God says: "I will supply all your needs." ( Philippians 4:19 )

   When You say, "I'm afraid."
  God says: "I have not given you a spirit of fear." ( 2 Timothy 1:7 )

   When You say, "I'm always worried and frustrated"..
  God says: "Cast all your cares on ME ( 1 Peter 5:7 )

   When You say, "I don't have enough faith."
  God says: "I've given everyone a measure of faith."   
  ( Romans 12:3 )

   When You say, "I'm not smart enough."
  God says: "I give you wisdom." ( 1 Corinthians 1:30 )

   When You say, "I feel all alone."
  God says: "I will never leave you or forsake you."
  ( Hebrews 13:5 )
 
***

Printable Issue 2765  Today is Friday, February 28th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2765
Some verses on 'wisdom' from Proverbs for today's 'korner', all taken from Life Application Bible:
 
"Don't be conceited, sure of your own wisdom.
Instead, trust and reverence the Lord,
and turn your back on evil;
when you do that,
then you will be given renewed health and vitality."
~ Proverbs 3:7,8
*
"The path of the godly leads to life.
So why fear death?"
~ Proverbs 12:28
*
"Despise God's Word and find yourself in trouble.
Obey it and succeed."
~ Proverbs 13:13
*
"When a man is gloomy,
everything seems to go wrong;
when he is cheerful,
everything seems right!"
~ Proverbs 15:15
*
"Where there is ignorance of God,
crime runs wild;
but what a wonderful thing
it is for a nation to know
and keep his laws."
~ Proverbs 29:18
***