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November 2014 Archives

Printable Issue 2936  Today is Monday, November 3rd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2936

Something which I flagged in my Bible a number of months ago:


"My life is no longer than my hand!

My whole lifetime is but a moment to you.

Proud man!

Frail as breath!

A shadow!

And all his busy rushing ends in nothing.

He heaps up riches for someone else to spend.

And so, Lord, my only hope is in you."

~ Psalm 39:5 - 7 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "The brevity of life is a theme throughout the books of Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Christ also spoke about it. It is ironic that people spend so much time securing their lives on earth and spend little or no thought on where they will spend eternity. David realized that amassing riches and busily accomplishing worldly tasks would make no difference in eternity. Few people understand that their only hope is in the Lord."

***


Printable Issue 2937  Today is Tuesday, November 4th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2937

Today is Election Day in the United States of America; do your part and VOTE!


"Some nations boast of armies and weaponry,

but our boast is in the Lord our God.

Those nations will collapse and perish;

we will arise to stand firm and sure!"

~ Psalm 20:7,8 LAB

*

Over more than 200 years of our nation's history, we have been asked to fight and defend our way of life more than one time. We have built up munitions, sent people to fight, and we have won many decisive victories. Was it due only to advance preparations? Or was is due also, in part, to our allegiance to a Higher Power? The Lord who is our God?

We will continue to be a strong nation, only as long as we are governed by Godly people; as long as we are Godly people who will follow our Godly elected officials.


"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,

whose people he has chosen as his own."

~ Psalm 33:12 LAB

***


Printable Issue 2938  Today is Wednesday, November 5th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2938

Thanks to everyone who voted yesterday and hopefully, some of those you voted for were the winners! Let's pray for all of our leaders in our county, state, and federal government as they work 'together' to make positive things happen for all of our citizens.

This is a good writing by Max Lucado:

No Matter What

"The 1989 Armenian earthquake killed thirty thousand people. Moments after the tremor stopped a father raced to an elementary school. As he arrived to nothing but a mass of stones and rubble, he remembered a promise he'd made to his child: 'No matter what happens, I'll always be there for you.' Other parents arrived as he began pulling the rocks. 'It's too late,' they told the man. But the father refused. For thirty six hours - his hands raw, but he refused to quit.

"After thirty-eight wrenching hours, he pulled back a boulder. 'Arman! Arman!' and a voice answered him, 'Dad, it's me.' Then the boy added these priceless words, 'I told the others not to worry. I told them if you were alive, you'd save me, and when you save me, they'd be saved, too. Because you promised, 'No matter what, I'll always be there for you!'"

***

Isn't that good news?

Fortunately, it's true for all of us:  we are caught in the rubble of life and we can't escape. Thanks be to God, who is our Father! He continues to dig, boulder by boulder, to find us and help to set us free. We only need to respond, "Over here! Help me! I want You to save me; save us!"

Amen.





Printable Issue 2939  Today is Thursday, November 6th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2939

"Yes, he alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense and fortress--

why then should I be tense with fear when trouble comes?

My protection and success comes from God alone.

He is my refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me.

O, my people, trust him all the time."

~ Psalm 62:6 - 8 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Prayer can release our tensions in times of emotional stress. Trusting God to be our Rock, rescuer, defense, and fortress changes our entire outlook on life. No longer are we held captive by any situations or circumstances, but are released to follow an unchanging God, our Rock and fortress."

***


Printable Issue 2940  Today is Friday, November 7th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2940

Happy Birthday to Billy Graham who turns 96 today! A radio broadcast reporter said that 'his mind remains strong'.

Like every family, the Graham family tree isn't without troubles and flaws, but isn't it amazing that God has always used 'imperfect people' (like you and me!) to spread His Word and share His Love with others.

Today's Karen's Korner was written and emailed Anne Graham Lotz last week; perfect for taking us into the weekend and opportunities to worship and study:


A Divine Appointment

"Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation."

~ Psalm 62:1 NKJV

"Have you ever considered that you have a divine appointment when you get up early for your quiet time of prayer and meditation on His Word?....That Jesus is patiently, personally waiting to meet with you there?

"Have you ever thought of going to church as a divine appointment?....That Jesus is patiently, personally waiting to meet you there?

"Have you ever thought of the Bible study you belong to as a divine appointment?....That Jesus is patiently, personally waiting to meet you there?

"What a difference it would make in our attitude of expectancy and our habit of consistency if we truly wrapped our hearts around the knowledge that each is a divine appointment that Jesus Himself is waiting to meet with us."

***

Printable Issue 2941  Today is Monday, November 10th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2941

Today I want to share with you some of the favorite Bible verses people shared with me in sympathy cards at the time of Jim's death. If they are meaningful to the writers, they could be meaningful to me and you as readers of Karen's Korners.

People ask me how I am doing and I would have to say remarkably well. I keep discovering reasons why. First I thought it was we had learned to take one day at a time for years and I didn't realize that. The last few days I have a knowing that our life was filled with miracles because I/we had Jim for so many more years than we could have had. And, when we are Christians and the faith which we believe, the 'miracles' never end!

"Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father

and Jesus Christ, our Lord."

~ I Timothy 1:2 KJV

*


"The Lord is my strength and my shield;

My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped."

~ Psalm 28:7 NIV

*

"Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted."

~ Matthew 5:4 NIV

*

"I will not leave you comfortless;

I will come to you."

~ John 14:18

*

"For God has said, 'I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.

That is why we can say without any doubt or fear,

'The Lord is my Helper and I am not afraid of anything that mere man can do to me."

~ Hebrews 13:5b, 6 LAB

*

"I pray that God will help you overflow with hope in him

through the Holy Spirit's power within you."

~ Romans 15:13 LAB

***

Printable Issue 2942  Today is Tuesday, November 11th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2942

Today is Veterans' Day! A time to reflect and remember; a time to 'do' at least one thing to remember and appreciate past and current members of our armed forces.......even if it is something little!

I just heard on the news that some families are 'armed services' families; others are not. During World War II, I think about every family was a 'service' family. In our recent past family history, we are a service family. Because my mom was one of 15 children, at one time I remember her saying that her mom had eight sons and son-in-laws serving in WW II (grandma plus friends, prayed regularly together for their safe return.......and they all did!); my dad was one of those eight. My husband Jim was in the Army, as was my brother-in-law Keith. Keith and Amy's son Kent most recently served in the Marines.

If you have a veterans or service story that you'd like to share, email me!

*

One day last week, my sister Jan called to tell me that her four-year-old great-granddaughter has just learned the Pledge of Allegiance in her pre-school class.

"Grandma, can I say it for you?" she asked.

 

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America

and to the Republic for which it stands

one Nation,

 under God,

with liberty and justice for all."

When she finished, the four-year-old asked, "Did I say 'under God'? That's the important part!"

Maybe she could help teach a few adults who aren't so sure, what her young mind already knows!


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the way that You have blessed and kept our nation for two hundred plus years. Forgive for all the ways that we have wandered away from You as individuals and as a country. We ask that You continue to bless; be our protector and our guide. Your ways are so much better than our ways. In Jesus' Name. Amen.



Printable Issue 2943  Today is Wednesday, November 12th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2943

Something from Max Lucado for today:

A Vision of the Reward

"Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, "We do not lose heart...for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen." Hear what Paul called 'light and momentary'---not what I'd have called them and I think you'll agree. Imprisoned. Beaten. Stoned. Shipwrecked three times. In constant danger. Hungry and thirsty. Light and momentary troubles? How could Paul describe endless trials with that phrase? He tells us. He could see 'an eternal glory that far out-weighs them all.'

And you -- you want to go on, but some days the road seems so long. Let me encourage you with this:  God never said the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worth it!"

***

Printable Issue 2944  Today is Thursday, November 13th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2944

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, one of the biggest lessons God has taught me is to 'be thankful' - in all things/for all things - no matter what, even for those I am not too excited about! I have found that a 'thankful attitude' helps to contribute to good mental health, among other things.

Something from Anne Graham Lotz, a little bit along those lines:


THE CLICKING OF THE PRUNING SHEARS

"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

~ John 15:8 NIV


"The firm 'click' of the Gardener's pruning shears can be heard in our lives when......

* we are confined to a hospital room;

* we are fired from a job;

* we are moved to a new place, surrounded by strangers;

* we are isolated in a new job, surrounded by unbelievers.

"Your purpose, and mine, is to bring glory to God. Jesus reiterated this purpose as He concluded His challenge to the disciples to be fruitful in service. 'This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.'

"You will not bear much fruit unless and until you submit to the cutting and clipping of the Gardener. Therefore, when you resist His 'gardening' in your life, what you are really doing is refusing to glorify God and therefore aborting the very purpose for your existence. Solemn thoughts, aren't they?"

***






Printable Issue 2945  Today is Friday, November 14th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2945

Today is Friday, November 14; Monday is November 17 and would have been Jim's 75th birthday. Jamie is coming up to Clarion and we have plans to celebrate his birthday about six different ways! I'll tell you how in Monday's edition........

Here's a 'Jim':

Not only was he diagnosed with coronary artery disease forty years ago - October 1974. He said he started having a back ache beginning when he was sixteen.......and he was never without that pain!

How often did he mention about his hurt? I maybe heard him say something, in all those years, maybe two dozen times; it was probably even less to his friends. Amazing!

Did I ask him how he was feeling? Rarely; he didn't want to mention it, nor be asked.

He'd say, "If I complained, by now I wouldn't have any friends!"

In the last few years, he said maybe ten times, "I just don't feel good. I hate to complain."

I'd tell him, "You aren't complaining. You are just giving a report."

Lots of things like these 'Jim's' made him easy to love and easy to live with!


"May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts,

be pleasing even to you,

O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer."

~ Psalm 19:4 LB

**

Printable Issue 2946  Today is Monday, November 17th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2946

November 17; Jim was born on this date in 1939. He'd have been 75 years old today!

And Jamie and I have decided to celebrate it. As I write this note, she is one her way from her Des Moines area home to be here in time for coffee with her dad's weekday coffee group.

Here is our celebration list:

* whoever has a birthday at the Pizza Ranch coffee group buys breakfast pizza for the others. It begins at 9 and Jamie will meet me there. We are buying pizza;

* next we bought a cake to take out to the clinic. To celebrate the 'big' day. It is for Dr. Nagel and his staff as a thank you for keeping Jim 'in the game' (and pretty successfully) for at least 25 years;

* we have errands to run, but want to stop at Jim's 'day time' card playing place to drop off a check to buy a single drink for those who stop by to play cards or eat lunch to 'celebrate Jim's birthday';

* because Jim spent so much time there for playing cards, eating a sandwich because he was retired for 20 years, Jamie and I are going to eat lunch at Chappy's early to celebrate THE DAY, Jim's day, and our time together to 'remember';

* Hiz Kidz, a Christian-based ecumenical after school program on Monday's, made sympathy cards for us. As a mentor, I want to tell them 'thanks for their efforts' and remind them that our meeting and learning together, is what life and death are all about. There is life, a good one, after this one is over. And what is a birthday without birthday treats. We'll give one for each of the nearly 70 kids who attend each week.

* A group of guys play cards one evening each week at friends two-stall garage northeast of Clarion. Evenings move around each week, according to schedules. They are playing tonight. The Weld family is furnishing pizza for the players.

We are celebrating Jim's life, lots of good memories, and a day we will remember as long as we can 'remember'.

*

This was last Friday's Max Lucado writing. Maybe it was because of the name 'Jim'; maybe it was because it's as close to Jim's birthday as it was; maybe it is because the story made me think of the kind and gentle nature of Jim, that I liked it.

Here you go:

CRY OUT TO JESUS

"My friend Jim has battled a muscular condition much of his adult life. The atrophy slurs his speech and impairs his walk. But it doesn't diminish his faith or erase his smile.

"One Sunday we asked church members to park in the back lot and leave the closest spots for guests. As I arrived, I saw Jim. He had parked in the distant corner and was walking toward the sanctuary. His life is an example. I pray that God will heal Jim's body. But until He does, God is using Jim to inspire people like me.

"God will do the same with you. He will use your struggle to change others. Or--he may use your struggle to change you! Disease cannot destroy us. And death has lost its sting. Cry out to Jesus in the power of a simple prayer! He will heal you---instantly or gradually or for sure, ultimately!"

***


Printable Issue 2947  Today is Tuesday, November 18th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2947

Okay, here is a report from Jamie and my day, celebrating Jim's birthday yesterday. It was all we could have hoped for and maybe even more, despite the less-than-the-best weather.

Thanks for the number of nice comments we received on our plans.

We made all six stops (Jamie made four before she had to go back to catch up with family commitments). One of the most memorable stops was taking a decorated cake to Dr. Nagel's office and staff members. One of his nurses was excited by the gift and told us, "We used to fight to get to take care of Jim".

"It's my turn!"

"No, you had him last time!"

It was because "he was always so pleasant and nice; usually kidding us about something". Not everyone who is sick is so nice.......and we knew he probably hadn't felt good for years, she said.


It would have been nice if things were different. But as I mentioned in a previous Karen's Korner, we have learned to take one-day-at-a-time..

And yesterday was a good day; because God is part of them all!


"Blessings on all who reverence and trust the Lord---

on all who obey him!

Their reward shall be prosperity and happiness."

~ Psalm 128:1,2 LB

***



Printable Issue 2948  Today is Wednesday, November 19th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2948

"O God, in mercy bless us, let your face beam with joy as you look down at us.

"Send us around the world with the news of your saving power and your eternal plan for all mankind. How everyone throughout the earth will praise the Lord!

"How glad the nations will be, singing for joy because you are their King and will give true justice to their people! Praise God, O world! May all peoples of the earth give thanks to you. For the earth has yielded abundant harvests. God, ever our own God, will bless us. And peoples from remotest lands will worship him."

~ Psalm 67 LB

***

Printable Issue 2949  Today is Thursday, November 20th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2949

For our Sunday School class on Sunday, we are going to look at Bible verses about 'thanks', 'thankful' and 'thanksgiving' as we embark closer to this year's Thanksgiving celebration. There are lots of them!

Here are six of them:

"Come let us sing for joy to the Lord,

let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

~ Psalm 95:1, 2

*

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

~ I Thessalonians 5:18

*

"I will give you thanks for you answered me, you have become my salvation."

~ Psalm 118:21

*

"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift (His Son)."

~ 2 Corinthians 9:15

*

"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

~ Ephesians 5:4

*

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God the Father through him."

~ Colossians 3:17

***

Printable Issue 2950  Today is Friday, November 21st, 2014; Karen's Korner #2950

Just in the process of re-reading "Heaven is for Real", telling about four-year-old Colton Burpo's experiences of being 'in heaven' when he was so ill and near death. Millions of copies of the book, written by his dad, Todd, have been sold and within this past year, a popular movie was made based on the writings.

I hadn't read the book again since I had seen the movie. Chapter after chapter tells of what the young Burpo relayed to his parents over a number of months following his life-changing experiences.

Here is one that I grabbed this morning:

Dad is telling how Colton had a habit of not paying attention to cars: backing out of parking spaces or moving through shopping parking lots.

The excerpt begins with Dad yelling, "COLTON, STOP!"

Seems Colton was paying more attention to his ice cream cone than where he was walking.

 "How many times have we told you, you can do that?"

Dad then noticed a pile of fur nearby. "That's a bunny who was trying to cross the street and didn't make it," he said. "That's what can happen if you run out and a car doesn't see you! You could not only get hurt; you could die!"

"Colton looked up at me and grinned over his cone. "Oh, good!' he said. ' That means, I get to go back to heaven!'"

"I just dropped my head and shook it, exasperated. How do you scare some sense into a child who doesn't fear death?

"Finally, I bent down on one knee and looked at my little boy. 'You're missing the point,' I said. 'This time, I get to heaven first. I'm the dad; you're the kid. Parents go first!'"

***

Printable Issue 2951  Today is Monday, November 24th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2951

This is thanksgiving week; a time to be thankful for so many things.

I am sharing a writing that I received from Anne Graham Lotz last Friday. She talks about losing her grandma, but the difference death makes for believers. Never a 'forever' loss. Think of someone you have lost from your life and the hope that we all have for seeing that loved one again.

It's another 'praise God'!

Grieving - but with Hope

"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope."

~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13 NIV

*

"When I was small, my grandmother lived right across the street from where I lived with my family. Whenever I got sick or just wanted someone to read to me or sew for me or fix me something special to eat, I went across to her house. She taught me, read to me, played with me, fed me, and nursed me. When she died, I felt as if a part of myself had died. To this day, in unguarded moments, I still weep with that yearning, homesick feeling just to hear her voice or to see her smile or to feel her hug.

"Paul says it is all right to grieve, even more than twenty years after her death. But I am not to grieve as one who has no hope, because we believe that the same Jesus Who died on the cross to offer us forgiveness of sin, and the same Jesus Who was raised from the dead to give us eternal life is the same Jesus Who one day will come again!

"And when He comes, 'God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.' When He comes, He will bring my grandmother with Him!"

***



Printable Issue 2952  Today is Tuesday, November 25th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2952

I just received my holiday issue of OUR IOWA magazine, with it was a 2015 Iowa calendar, depicting an Iowa scene for each month.

Each month is accompanied by a noteworthy quote by known Iowan. I am including six of the twelve:


"Fishing is more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers."

~ Herbert Hoover, 31st U.S. President, from West Branch

*

"No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed throughout it."

~ George Washington Carver, studied at both Iowa State University and Simpson College

*

"The time I think I'm too good to listen to someone' opinion, I really need to sit down and evaluate things."

~ Lisa Bluder, University of Iowa women's basketball coach from Cedar Rapids

*

"Talent alone won't make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is:  Are you ready?"

~ Johnny Carson, born in Corning

*

"I believe that in the world we have to be committed people---we are the hands and feet of God."

~ Former Governor and U.S. Senator Harold Hughes from Ida Grove

*

"If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been."

~ Pastor and televangelist Robert Schuller from Alton

***



Printable Issue 2953  Today is Wednesday, November 26th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2953

Yesterday's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young; writings are as if Jesus is talking directly to each of us, based on certain Bible verses:

"Thank Me frequently as you journey through today. This practice makes it possible to 'pray without ceasing', as the apostle Paul taught. If you are serious about learning to pray continually, the best approach is to thank Me in every situation. These thankful prayers provide a solid foundation on which you can build all your other prayers. Moreover, a grateful attitude makes it easier to communicate with Me.

"When your mind is occupied with thinking of Me, you have no time for worrying or complaining. If you practice thankfulness consistently, negative thought patterns will gradually grow weaker and weaker. 'Draw near to Me' with a grateful heart, and My Presence will 'fill you with Joy and Peace'."

*

I Thessalonians 5:16-18; James 4:8; Romans 15:13

***

Printable Issue 2954  Today is Thursday, November 27th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2954

A handful of 'thankful' verses as we celebrate Thanksgiving; Happy Thanksgiving!


"Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name."

~ I Chronicles 29:13

*

"I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving."

~ Psalm 69:13

*

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise, give thanks to him and praise his name."

~ Psalm 100:4

*

"Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

~ Psalm106:1

*

"Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind."

~ Psalm 107:8 (& repeated in verses 15, 21, 31)

*

"I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus."

~ I Corinthians 1:4

***

Printable Issue 2955  Today is Friday, November 28th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2955

"Chicken Soup for the Soul" books have been around for many years now; don't know if they are printing more of them today. Copies can be found in libraries, on book shelves, at garage sales. Some stories touch our hearts more than others; here is one:

You Can Do Anything

By Tina Karratti

"Many years ago, my dad was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition. He was put on permanent disability and was unable to work at a steady job. He would be fine for quite a while, but would then fall suddenly ill and have to be admitted to the hospital.

"He wanted to do something to keep himself busy, so he decided to volunteer at the local children's hospital. My dad loved kids. It was the perfect job for him. He ended up working with the terminally and critically ill children. He would talk to them and play with them and do arts and crafts with them Sometimes, he would lose one of his kids. In certain instances, he would tell the grieving parents of these children that he would soon be with their child in heaven and that he would take care of them until they got there. He would ask the parent if there was a message they would like to send with him for their child.

"My dad's assurances seemed to help parents with their grieving. One of his kids was a girl who had been admitted with a rare disease that paralyzed her from the neck down. I don't know the name of the disease or what the prognosis usually is, but I do know that it was very sad for a girl around eight or nine years old. She couldn't do anything, and she was very depressed. My dad decided to try to help her. He started visiting her in her room, bringing paints, brushes, and paper. He stood the paper up against a backing, put the paintbrush in his mouth and began to paint. He didn't use his hands at all. Only his head would move. He would visit her whenever he could and paint for her. All the while he would tell her, 'See, you can anything you set your mind to.'

"Eventually, she began to paint using her mouth, and she and my dad became friends. Soon after, the little girl was discharged because the doctors felt there was nothing else they could do for her. My dad also left the children's hospital for a little while because he became ill. Sometime later after my dad had recovered and returned to work, he was at the volunteer counter in the lobby of the hospital. He noticed the front doors open. In came the little girl who had been paralyzed, only this time she was walking. She ran straight over to my dad and hugged him really tight. She gave my dad a picture she had done using her hands. At the bottom it read, 'Thank you for helping me walk'.

"My dad would cry every time he told us this story and so would we. He would say sometimes love is more powerful than doctors, and my dad - who died just a few month after the little girl gave him the picture - loved every single child in that hospital."

***