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March 2014 Archives

Printable Issue 2766  Today is Monday, March 3rd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2766
A 'Sarah Young' from "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" from several days ago. She always includes Bible verses to back up her thoughts/comments. Thought it was an especially good message:
 
 
"Stop Judging and Evaluating Yourself, for this is not your role. Above all, stop comparing yourself with other people. This produces feelings of pride or inferiority; sometimes, a mixture of both. I lead each of My children along a path that is uniquely tailor-made for him or her.
 
"Don't look for affirmation in the wrong places:  your own evaluation, or those of other people. The only source of real affirmation is My unconditional Love. Many believers perceive Me as an unpleasable Judge, angrily searching out their faults and failures. Nothing could be farther from the truth! I died for your sins, so that I might clothe you in My garments of salvation. This is how I see you:  radiant in My robe of righteousness. When I discipline you, it is never in anger or disgust; it is to prepare you for face-to-Face fellowship with Me throughout eternity. Immerse yourself in My loving Presence. Be receptive to My affirmation, which flows continually from the throne of grace." 
 
Read Luke 6:32; John 1:16-17; Isaiah 61:10; Proverbs 3:11-12
 
***
Printable Issue 2767  Today is Tuesday, March 4th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2767
Most of us are somewhat familiar with Moses and his leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. The story of God parting the Red Sea is well-known. Then the wandering around in the wilderness by millions of people on their way to the Promised Land for 40 years. Were the people happy they were set free? Or not?
 
"The people were soon complaining about all their misfortunes,
and the Lord heard them.
His anger flared out against them because of their complaints,
so the fire of the Lord began destroying those at the far end of the camp.
They screamed to Moses for help,
and when he prayed for them the fire stopped.
Ever after, the area was known as 'The Place of Burning,'
because of the fire the Lord burned among them there."
~ Numbers 11:1 - 5 Life Application Bible
 
Bible Commentary:  "The Israelites complained, and then Moses complained. But God responded positively to Moses and negatively to the rest of the people. Why? The people complained to one another--and nothing was accomplished. Moses took his complaint to God, who can solve any problem.
 
"Many of us are good at complaining to each other. We need to learn to take our problems to the One who can do something about them.
 
"Dissatisfaction comes when our attention shifts from what we have to what we don't have. The people of Israel didn't seem to notice what God was doing---setting them free, making them a nation, giving them a new land--because they were so wrapped up in what God wasn't doing for them. They only remembered the few good times in Egypt, not the brutality of the slavery from which they were being delivered."
 
****
Printable Issue 2768  Today is Wednesday, March 5th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2768
Today is the first day of Lent for the Holy Season; Ash Wednesday!
 
Last night, as we were eating pancakes sponsored by our local ministerial association, a couple across the table from us related a snippet from a sermon preached by their former pastor. He said that usually we think of Lent as a time to 'give up something' Maybe this year, it should be a time to 'add on something'.
 
Or maybe it is a time to choose:  'add on' or 'give up'. As we focus on Him, it is probably always an opportunity 'to do something'! You decide; I need to think about it and decide!
 
A short thought from Max Lucado:
 
Our Memory

There’s a direct correlation between the accuracy of our memory and the effectiveness of our mission.  If we’re not teaching people how to be saved, it’s perhaps because we’ve forgotten the tragedy of being lost. If we’re not teaching the message of forgiveness, it may be because we don’t remember what it was like to be guilty. And if we’re not preaching the cross, it could be that we’ve subconsciously decided that—God forbid—somehow we don’t need it.

In what is perhaps the last letter Paul ever wrote, he begged Timothy not to forget. He urged Timothy to “Remember Jesus Christ—raised from the dead, descended from David.  This is my gospel. . .” (2 Timothy 2:8).

When times get hard, when people don’t listen, when tears come,  when disappointment is your bed partner, when fear pitches its tent in your front yard, when death looms, when shame weighs heavily… always remember Jesus!

****

Printable Issue 2769  Today is Thursday, March 6th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2769
 
Last week we did a handful of Proverb verses; today's is this week's Proverbs, Part 2 of 2 - Life Application Bible:
 
 
"The common bond of rebels is their guilt.
The common bond of godly people is good will."
~ Proverbs 14: 9
*
"Humility and reverence for the Lord
will make you both
wise and honored,"
~ Proverbs 15:33
*
"We can make our plans,
but the final outcome is in God's hands."
~ Proverbs 16:1
*
"Kindness makes a man attractive.
And it is better to be poor
than dishonest."
~ Proverbs 19:22
*
"Since the Lord is directing our steps,
why try to understand everything that
happens along the way?"
~ Proverbs 20:24
 
***
Printable Issue 2770  Today is Friday, March 7th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2770
Taken from "A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul":
 
Rescued
 
"A little girl whose parents had died lived with her grandmother and slept in an upstairs bedroom.
 
"One night there was a fire in the house and the grandmother perished as she was trying to rescue the child. The fire spread quickly, and the first floor of the house was soon engulfed in flames.
 
"Neighbors called the fire department, then stood helplessly by, unable to enter the house because flames blocked all the entrances. The little girl appeared at an upstairs window, crying for help, just as word spread among the crowd that firefighters would be delayed a few minutes because they were all at another fire.
 
"Suddenly, a man appeared with a ladder, put it up against the side of the house and disappeared inside. When he reappeared, he had the little girl in his arms. He delivered the child to the waiting arms below, then disappeared into the night.
 
"An investigation revealed that the child had no living relatives, and weeks later a meeting was held in the town hall to determine who would take the child into their home and bring her up.
 
"A teacher said she would like to raise the child. She pointed out that she could ensure a good education. A farmer offered her an upbringing on his farm. He pointed out that living on a farm was healthy and satisfying. Others spoke, giving their reasons why it was to the child's advantage to live with them.
 
"Finally, the town's richest resident arose and said, 'I can give this child all the advantages that you have mentioned here, plus money, and everything that money can be.'
 
"Throughout all this, the child remained silent, her eyes on the floor.
 
"'Does anyone else want to speak?' asked the meeting chairman. A man came forward from the back of the hall. His gait was slow and he seemed in pain. When he got to the front of the room, he stood directly before the little girl and held out his arms. The crowd gasped. His hand and arms were terribly scarred.
 
:The child cried out, 'This is the man who rescued me!' With a leap, she threw her arms around the man's neck, holding on for dear life, just as she had that fateful night. She buried her face in his shoulder and sobbed for a few minutes. Then she looked up and smiled at him.
 
"'This meeting is adjourned,' said the chairman."
 
~ Author Unknown
 
***
 
Does this story touch you heart like it did mine? As I read it a few months ago, I decided to save it for the season of Lent. Doesn't it make you think of what happens to us? When we stand in the middle of lifes' flames? Jesus climbs up to rescue us from ourselves, our situations, our lives.
 
He carries the scars of His rescue of us each of us.
 
Thank You, Jesus, for the way You care for us; for Your Love; for Your willingness to give Your Life for us. So that we might live! We can never thank You nor praise You enough. Amen.
 
Printable Issue 2771  Today is Monday, March 10th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2771
An "Easter season story" from Max Lucado, telling about Jesus' rising from the dead.
 
Bill O'Reilly, in his best-selling book, "Killing Jesus" (which I term a historical book, not a spiritual one), he states that 'no body has ever been found':
 
What's Left?
 
Skeptics say, “Jesus–back from the dead?  I don’t think so.”  or  ”The resurrection is a lie!”

There have always been skeptics.  People who call Jesus’ resurrection a legend, even a hoax.  But the early followers of Jesus literally proclaimed that he was raised from the dead!  So, is the tomb empty?

There are those who say the disciples took Jesus’ body.  Maybe they staged the whole thing!  But there’s a problem.  Many of those disciples died for their belief – for their proclamation that Jesus was risen.  Would they be willing to die for a lie?

What’s left?  The empty tomb is left.  You don’t have to toss out common sense to believe the resurrection of Jesus.  In fact, it’s just as challenging to disprove the resurrection as to prove it.  He is risen!

“He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee…”  (Luke 24:6).

***

Printable Issue 2772  Today is Tuesday, March 11th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2772
Several days ago, I was watching a Christian broadcast on television by Dr. Charles Stanley. It interested me enough that I scribbled down some of his points (when I say scribbled, it isn't in its entirety, as I can't read all of what I have written!). His topic was 'encouraging one another':
 
"So encourage each other
to build each other up;
just as you are already doing."
~ I Thessalonians 5:11
 
What are some ways we can encourage?
 
We can: 
 
accept, admonish, build up,
comfort, confess sins to one another, encourage,
forgive, greet, be hospitable, be kind,
live in peace, pray, motivate,
serve, be subject to one another,
be tenderhearted.
 
 
What are some ways we can do this?
 
call, text, write a card/letter,
give a serious compliment, pray for, fulfill a need,
give someone time, point to a meaningful Bible verse,
be forgiving, tell someone you love them,
be a good example, listen to them, give someone your full attention,
be patient, cry with them, agree with someone where appropriate,
give a meaningful gift, offer an affirming look,
pass on helpful information, express loyalty,
love them when they least deserve it,
assist them in an area where they feel the least adequate,
say 'amen' to what they may have spoken, be a positive motivator.
 
 
Who needs encouragement?
 
Everyone!
 Even Jesus
 
'Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane,
and he said to them,
“Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him,
and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
Then he said to them,
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.
Stay here and keep watch with me.”'
(Matthew 26:36-38)
 
Christians transformed the Roman Empire by the way that they lived. It was so opposite from what any culture had witnessed before that time. Their encouraging behavior transformed the world. It continues to change and transform ours today!
 
***
Printable Issue 2773  Today is Wednesday, March 12th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2773
Something this a.m. from Max (Lucado):
 
A Clear Vision

The apostle Paul dedicates a paragraph to listing troubles, problems, sufferings, hunger, danger—the very difficulties we hope to escape.  Paul, however, states their value in Romans 8:35-37.  “In all these things we have full victory through God.”

We’d prefer another preposition. We’d opt for “apart from all these things,” or “away from all these things,” or even “without all these things. But Paul says, “in” all these things.

The solution is not to avoid trouble but to change the way we see our troubles. God can correct your vision. He asks, “Who gives a person sight?” then answers, It is I, the Lord.” (Exodus 4:11)  More than one have made the request of the blind man, “Teacher I want to see.” (Mark 10:51)  And more than one have walked away with clear vision.

Who is to say God won’t do the same for you?

***

Printable Issue 2774  Today is Thursday, March 13th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2774
'Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.

'But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

'I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

'Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.

'From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people.'

~ Psalm 3:1-8 NIV

**

Bible Commentary:  "Sometimes life offers little hope, and when hope is gone, only despair remains. When facing problems, trials, suffering, and even death, we may feel like giving up. David ran from his beloved son Absalom who threatened to kill him, knowing there was no hope except in God. When we feel like there is no hope, when life has disappointed us to the point of despair, we also have only one hope. But God is all the hope we need because he promises to be a shield to protect us. When we focus our thoughts on God, our hope is restored."

****

Printable Issue 2775  Today is Friday, March 14th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2775
Last week, I took our dog to the vet for his annual shots and check up. Rocky is about a 20-pound Pug, who lives inside when we are home, and runs around outside when we aren't.
 
As we walked into the vet's office, he 'watered' the tire of one of the vehicles in the parking lot. We sat down to wait our turn with the staff; two other big dogs plus their owners were doing the same. After about ten minutes, Rocky lifted his leg and proceeded to 'pee' on the storage chest in the waiting area. I was shocked! He doesn't do that at our house!!
 
I quickly took him outside where he eliminated some more 'wastes', as we walked for a few minutes.
 
It wasn't long before we were in the office, Rocky getting weighed, two shots, and his monthly 'medicine' supplies, now that spring and summer are upon us. As I was paying our bill, he did 'it' again!!
 
The office staff, once again grabbed a mop and said, "This happens all of the time, so don't be alarmed!"
 
Since Rocky was sniffing and identifying what had come before him, he was just following suit."If they can do it, so can I!" may have been his 'dog-thinking'.
 
I began to reflect on Rocky, but also on us. Do we sometimes 'know' what is right or good? What God would like for us to do and be? But are we tempted to 'do' what we have seen others do before us? Do we simply lift our leg and do what has been done in the past, regardless of what we know to be good, right, true?
 
"I will try to walk a blameless path, but how I need your help,
especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should." 
~ Psalm 101:2 (Life Application Bible)
 
***
 
Printable Issue 2776  Today is Monday, March 17th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2776
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
 
One short Bible verse as we scurry toward Easter:
 
"There is salvation in no one else!
Under all heaven
there is no other name for men
to call upon to save them."
~ Acts 4:12 LAB
*
Bible Commentary:  "Many people react negatively to the fact that there is no other name than that of Jesus to call upon for salvation. Yet this is not something the Church decided; it is the specific teaching of Jesus himself (John 14:6). Christians are to be open-minded on many issues but not on how we are saved from sin.
 
No other religious teacher could die for the sins of the whole human race,
no other religious teacher came to earth as God's only Son;
no other religious teacher rose from the dead.
 
Our focus should be on Jesus, who God offered as a way to have an eternal relationship with himself."
 
***
Printable Issue 2777  Today is Tuesday, March 18th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2777
Who among us hasn't had a song, or part of one, running through our heads?
 
Usually it is one we heard recently on the radio or the last one sung at worship service on Sunday.
 
This morning I had the mid-section of "How Great Thou Art" rattling in my head. Though it is familiar, I looked up the words to the four verses and refrain. It said that it was written by Stuart K. Hine in 1953.
 
Here is an opportunity to read the words to start the morning:
 
HOW GREAT THOU ART
 
O LORD my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made;
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

2.
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze:
3.
And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die - I scarce can take it in:
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:
4.
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home - what joy shall fill my heart!
Then shall I bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God how great Thou art!
***
Printable Issue 2778  Today is Wednesday, March 19th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2778
(Note due to changes in Windows for our computer, we are getting a new one today. So we will be out of commission for a few days; then I need to learn how to operate it! Stay tuned....)
 
Our 'once-a-week' installment from Max Lucado, America's best-selling Christian author:
 
God Surround Us

God surrounds us like the Pacific surrounds an ocean floor pebble. He is everywhere:  above, below, on all sides. We choose our response—rock or sponge? Resist or receive? Everything within you says, harden your heart. Run from God, resist God, blame God.

But be careful.  Hard hearts never heal.  Spongy ones do! Open every pore of your soul to God’s presence.  Here’s how. Lay claim to the nearness of God. He says in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Grip this promise like the parachute it is. Repeat it over and over until it trumps the voices of fear. The Lord God is with you, and He is mighty to save. Cling to His character.  Quarry from your Bible a list of the deep qualities of God and press them into your heart. He is sovereign. You will get through this!

**

Printable Issue 2779  Today is Thursday, March 20th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2779

Good news! I have my computer back; it is new to update what is no longer being backed up in the ever-changing computer world!

I am not going to try to send some ‘normal’ information; this is just to see if things will GO:

How about a good Bible verse for the day?


“Who can free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature?
Thank God!
It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord.
He has set us free.”

~ Romans 7:25


***

Printable Issue 2780  Today is Sunday, March 23rd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2780

A note from Max Lucado on Sunday afternoon, as I couldn't email anything to readers on Friday. I am still having some computer problems, so hopefully you receive something you can read!

JUST HOLD THE BABY

You don’t to lower your standards.  Or saddle a high horse.  Just be
nice.  Normal and nice.  Discipleship is sometimes defined by being
normal!  You don’t have to be weird to follow Jesus.  You don’t have
to stop liking your friends to follow Him.  Just the opposite.  A few
introductions would be nice.  Do you know how to grill a steak?

A woman in a small Arkansas community was a single mom with a frail baby. Her
neighbor would stop by every few days and keep the child so she could do her
shopping.  After some weeks her neighbor shared more than time; she shared
her faith, and the woman followed Christ. The friends of the young mother
objected.  “Do you know what those people teach” they contested.

“Here is what I know,” she told them. “They held my baby.”

I think Jesus likes that kind of answer, don’t you?

***


Printable Issue 2781  Today is Monday, March 24th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2781
(Each Karen's Korner, I email two ways:  one batch from my web site and the
other from my computer. More of the emails are sent via my web site, for which I
am having some sending problems. If today's is as garbled as yesterday's, I will
suspend sending any more until it is fixed. STAY TUNED!)

 

At yesterday's Sunday School class, we looked at a couple of things in
Jesus' life:  the times He reached out and touched people physically; and His
teaching using parables. We looked at one of each of them.

 

The parable we read was from Luke 15:8 - 10 (Life Application Bible):

 

Jesus tells the parable of the lost
coin

 

"Or take another illustration:

A woman has ten valuable silver
coins

and loses one.

Won't she light a lamp and look in every corner
of the house

and sweep every nook and cranny until she finds
it?

And then won't she call in her friends and
neighbors to rejoice with her?

In the same way there is joy in the presence of
the angels of God

when one sinner repents."

 

Commentary: 
Palestinian women received ten silver coins as a wedding
gift. These coins held sentimental value like that of a wedding ring, and to
lose one was extremely distressing. Just as a woman would rejoice at finding her
lost coin or ring, so the angels would rejoice over a repentant sinner. Each
individual is precious to God. He grieves over every loss and rejoices whenever
one of his children is found and brought into his
Kingdom.


We can perhaps understand a God who would forgive
sinners who crawl to him for mercy, but a God who searches for sinners and then
forgives them must have extraordinary love! This Is the kind of love that
prompted Jesus to come to earth to search for lost people and save them. This is
the kind of extraordinary love God has for you. If you feel far from God, don't
despair. He is searching for you!


***