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May 2015 Archives

Printable Issue 3060  Today is Friday, May 1st, 2015; Karen's Korner #3060

Our daughter Jamie is a runner. She runs often, longer distances; not necessarily fast but steady - mile after mile.

A month or so ago she challenged her 11-year-old son Luke to enter the Drake Relays 'Blue Mile' with her. He didn't think he could run that far. So they began to train a bit. By the time they ran it last week, Luke not only knew he could complete a mile, he knew he could run faster than mom.

I received an excited call from Luke a few minutes after the race, "Grandma, I ran the race in 9 minutes," he said. "But, Grandma, do you know that the Olympic runners can run it in 4 minutes; 5 minutes faster than me?"

I assured him that he will get faster as well, as he legs grow longer and his lungs get bigger. And I told him, "Luke, you aren't competing against anyone but you. Someone will always be faster than you. Now you know how fast you can run and you will keep running faster."

Just this morning, I started think about us as we live our Christian lives. Like Luke, we are to run our races. Not compare ourselves to others who might study more, be involved in more studies or prayer groups, have trusted God 'more, better' in some situation.

Our loving God only wants us to look to Him and serve Him 'our way'. And run the race that He has carved out for each of our lives.

"......let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us."

~ Hebrews 12:1b LAB

***

Printable Issue 3061  Today is Monday, May 4th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3061

On Sunday, April 26, Dean Kluss gave our communion meditation at our church service. He is a farmer south of Clarion, a second career. He served in the United States Navy, retiring after a successful career in the military.

His meditation was titled

"Who's Packing Your Parachute?"

He started his thoughts by naming: 

Parachute Rigger Second Class Michael Schneier; Parachute Rigger Third Class John Hartel; Parachute Rigger Third Class Rebecca Duffy

"On April 17, 1996 - 19 years and 9 days ago - Pilot Ross Slavin and I (Kluss was a Lieutenant in the USN at the time) ejected from our F-14B, after experiencing a flight control malfunction, after patterning at Naval Air Station Oceana.

"It was less than perfect ejection scenario - with the aircraft between 800 - 1200 feet and rolling to the left, approaching 80 degree angle of bank, and at a speed of approximately 200 knots (230 miles per hour). The aircraft impacted in a wooded area on the air base and everyone walked away uninjured.

"Those three individuals (listed above) packed the parachute in my ejection seat, that saved my life that day.

"I tell you this story to get your attention; do I have it?

"Because I want to tell you about Someone who has packed your parachute, Who can save your life, Who loves you when you are unlovable to the world, Whose beautiful creation surrounds us each day.

"John 3:16,17 says: 'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.'

"That son is Jesus Christ....Who died on the cross for our sins.

"John 14:6 says, 'I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'

"So my question to you is:  'Who's Packing Your Parachute?"

***


Printable Issue 3062  Today is Tuesday, May 5th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3062

Go After the Small Drips

"I wonder what formed the Grand Canyon? Maybe a few drips here and there. Slowly more and more water built up. Thunderstorms and lightning.....angry expressions from the sky spilling out in the raging river of the Colorado. A once innocent stream now full of power and purpose. As years go by, the crevasse is dug.

"Our anger builds like the Colorado. Slowly, small things drip, drip, drip down, annoying, irritating, finally enraging. That was mine! Drip. Get out of my way! Drip. Don't tell me what to do! Drip. The pressure and the buildup unleashing a frenzy of anger, pouring out in our words, sweeping away our loved ones, our homes, and our peace.

Don't wait until you have a gushing fire hydrant. Go after the small drips. Address every little irritant with forgiveness and prayer. Do it before your anger digs a canyon in your life!

~ Max Lucado

***



Printable Issue 3063  Today is Wednesday, May 6th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3063

"Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him to act. Don't be envious of evil men who prosper.

"Stop your anger! Turn off your wrath. Don't fret and worry----it only leads to harm. For the wicked shall be destroyed, but those who trust the Lord shall be given every blessing."

~ Psalms 37:7 - 9 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Anger and worry are two of the most destructive emotions. They reveal a lack of faith that God is in control. We should not fret and worry; instead we should trust in the Lord. When you dwell on your problems, you will become anxious and angry. But if you concentrate on God and His goodness, you will find peace. Where do you focus your attention?"

***


Printable Issue 3064  Today is Thursday, May 7th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3064

On Sunday, our church celebrated high school graduates associated with our church family. At lunch, Margaret Cramer talked with and about them. Among other things we looked at a small portion of her 'collection' of sayings.

I am sharing a handful of them with you today:

"Though life may be understood by looking backward, it can be lived only by looking forward."

*

"Many of life's failures are individuals who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

~ John Hagee

*

"The older you get, you discover that ........gratitude is essential."

*

"Feed your faith, and your doubts will starve to death."

*

"I've tried all the machines at the gym, but the only one I keep going back to is the vending machine."

*

Cramer included a number of quotes from Chris Holmes:


"Surround yourself with people who share your vision, but different skill sets."

*

"Find something to celebrate each day. Skipping down the street is optional."

*

"Plant the seed of encouragement in the heart of someone today. It may lie dormant for a season but it will grow and eventually bloom."

*

"If you aren't showing gratitude for what you already have, why do you expect to receive more?"

**

"Do you see what this means - all these veterans cheering us on. It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running - and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in."

~ Hebrews 12:1 - 2 (The Message)

*****


Printable Issue 3065  Today is Friday, May 8th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3065

"Do for others what you want them to do for you."

~ Matthew 7:12 LAB

*

I have been planting cannas at our farm home for more than thirty years. Dig the bulbs in the fall. Plant them in the spring.

For a second spring in a row, I looked at the bulb boxes in my basement last weekend. They are no longer bulbs, but are leftover, gnarled, light-weight stems and roots. No reason to replant them they'd never grow!

What to do?

I decided to call our neighbors, the Woodleys. They tend to be gardeners; maybe they plant them and have more than they need. "No, we used to plant them, but stopped a few year ago," said Gary. "Maybe Phyllis (neighbor) has some."

I called Phyllis. Yes, she had some. Yes, she had planted all she wanted. Yes, she would give me bucket or two. Just stop by later in the afternoon.

I was overjoyed to see a couple of pails of healthy canna bulbs when I arrived at the Zweifel home on Saturday afternoon. I could take what I needed.

"Do you know where I got my cannas a number of years ago?" Phyllis asked.

I had no idea.

"You had too many that year and gave a lot of them away to other people who wanted them!"

Made me think about God's words to 'do to others what we want to be done for us'.

Who knows? We might be given back a supply of canna bulbs, we need to plant in the spring of 2015!


Printable Issue 3066  Today is Monday, May 11th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3066

As you probably guessed, I receive a daily inspirational thought from Max Lucado. This is today's; it's a good one:

The Power of Love

"May I meddle for a moment? What's the one thing separating you from joy? How do you fill in this blank: 'I will be happy when __________?' When I'm healed...........when I'm promoted.................when I'm married .............when I'm single................when I'm rich? With your answer firmly in mind, answer this. If your dream never comes true, if the situation never changes, would you be happy? If not, then you're sleeping in the cold cell of discontent.

"You need to know what you have in your Shepherd. You have a God who hears you, the power of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of heaven ahead of you. If you have the Shepherd, you have grace for every sin, direction for every turn, a candle for every corner, and an anchor for every storm. You have everything, you need!

****

Printable Issue 3067  Today is Tuesday, May 12th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3067


"The Lord is my fort where I can enter and be safe; no one can follow me in and slay me. He is a rugged mountain where I hide; he is my Savior, a rock where non can reach me, and tower of safety. He is my shield. He is like the strong horn of a mighty fighting bull. All I need to do is cry to him----oh, praise the Lord---and I am saved from all my enemies."

~ Psalm 18:2,3 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "God's protection of his people is limitless and can take many forms. David characterized God's care with six military symbols. God is like:

1) a fort or place of safety where the enemy can't follow;

2) a rugged mountain full of hiding places;

3) a rock that can't be penetrated by any who would harm us;

4) a tower high above our enemies;

5) a shield that comes between us and harm;

6) a horn to scare the enemy away or to warn us if he comes too close.

"If you need protection, look to God."

****


Printable Issue 3068  Today is Wednesday, May 13th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3068

Something from yesterday's flip calendar, "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in God's Presence" by Sarah Young. She writes as if Jesus is talking directly to readers:


"Learn to relate to others through My Love rather than Yours. Your human love is ever so limited, full of flaws and manipulation. My loving Presence, which always enfolds you, is available to bless others as well as you. Instead of trying harder to help people through your own paltry supplies, become aware of My unlimited supply, which is accessible to you continually. Let My Love envelop your outreach to other people.

"Many of my precious children have fallen prey to burnout. A better description of their condition might be 'drainout'. Countless interactions with needy people have drained them, without their conscious awareness. You are among these weary ones, who are like wounded soldiers needing  R & R. Take time to rest in the Love-Light of My Presence. I will gradually restore to you the energy that you have lost over the years. Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and you will find rest for your souls.

~ Taken from Exodus 33:14; Matthew 11:28-29

***

Printable Issue 3069  Today is Thursday, May 14th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3069

Something written by John Baker:

From Confession to Redemption

"Then it will be as though I had sprinkled clean water on you, for you will be clean----our filthiness will be washed away......."

~ Ezekiel 36:26

*

"Our neighbor's dog was a sweetheart, and everyone in the neighborhood loved her. But she had a talent for getting out of the yard. One day she managed to escape and was hit by a car, leaving her badly injured and lying in a ditch. We rushed to help her, but as so often happens with injured animals, she lashed out as us, growling, barking, and snapping. The dog's owner wouldn't take no for an answer, though. He pushed past her hostile response and took care of her because he loved her.

"I have had times in my life when I was the one lying in the gutter, broken and hurting. God came to me there and pushed past my angry and hostile reactions because He loves me. In spite of my restless behavior and my foolish protest, He stuck with me, healing, restoring, and changing me.

"God has big plans for me, too big to leave me lying in the gutter, licking my own wounds. He has a plan to get me back on my feet and make me productive for His kingdom. He's given me a new heart and a new spirit, and He'll never give up on me because He loves me.


"Father thank You for picking me up and putting me back on my feet. Thank You for loving me so much that You helped me even when I fought against Your loving care. Amen."

****



Printable Issue 3070  Today is Friday, May 15th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3070

A couple of short thoughts from writings by Mother Teresa: taken from 'Heart of Joy':


"Every human being comes from the hand of God,

and we all know something of God's love for us."

*

"As we admit that we are sinners and we need forgiveness,

then it will be very easy for us to forgive others.

But if we don't admit this, it will be very hard for us to say, 'I forgive you'

no matter who comes to us."

*

"Jesus taught us how to forgive out of love, how to forget out of humility.

Let us be sincere and ask to be forgiven.

Is my love for others so great, so real as to forgive,

not out of duty but out of love?"

****

Printable Issue 3071  Today is Monday, May 18th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3071

The story of Jesus' first miracle:  turning water into wine at a wedding celebration, is recorded in John 2. Here is the last portion of it:


"When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though the servants did), he called the bridegroom over.

"'This is wonderful stuff!' he said. 'You're different from most. Usually a host uses the best wine first, and afterwards, when everyone is full and doesn't care, then he brings out the less expensive brands. But you have kept the best for last!'"

* John 2:9 & 10 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "People look everywhere but to God for excitement and meaning. They somehow expect God to be dull and lifeless. Just as the wine Jesus made was the best, so life in Him is better than life on our own. Why wait until everything else runs out before trying God? Why save the best for last?"

***


Printable Issue 3072  Today is Tuesday, May 19th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3072

Something written by Anne Graham Lotz:

God Is Faithful!

"His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."

~ Lamentations 3:22 -23 NKJV

*

"Three hundred and seventy-one days after the Flood begin, 'God said to Noah, 'Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives' (Genesis 8:15 NIV). We can almost hear the 'Hallelujah Chorus', playing in the background! What a day of rejoicing that must have been! God had been faithful to see him through!

"God has not changed. If He was faithful to watch over Noah and all those within the ark, bringing them safely through the storm. He will do the same for you. Just as He was faithful to preserve Joseph through thirteen years of slavery in Potiphar's house and Pharaoh's prison, just as He was faithful to preserve the little baby Moses floating on the Nile.....God will be faithful to you. Why? Because God is faithful! He cannot be less than Himself! Keep you focus on God's faithfulness and on God's greatness!"

****



Printable Issue 3073  Today is Wednesday, May 20th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3073

I have told this cute story to many of my friends but don't believe I put it in Karen's Korner.

As a contributor to OUR IOWA magazine, I enjoy looking for or hearing things that might be of interest for publication in the periodical. One feature includes cute things kids say; another is church humor.

This one might fit either; cute story my travel friend Mary Ann Howe shared from her grandson:

On the way to church one Sunday, her 5-year-old grandson riding in the backseat of the family vehicle said, "Mom, why do they call church? Church? They should call it t-urch."

Mom inquired,"Why do you say that?"

"Because the buildings all have " Ts " on their roofs."

*

Yesterday I spent some time planting started flowers in a bed which I had partially planted a few days earlier. The newly tilled ground had some quack grass that had firmly re-rooted and needed to be removed. Grass was tall with runner roots.

Father God, help me to be like my quack grass weeds. Hail! Hearty! Refusing to be uprooted. No matter what happens, the plants don't seem to die. They simply send out new runners. I want to be like that. Keep me rooted in You! Vital! Growing! Thriving!

In Jesus' Name. Amen.

***


Printable Issue 3074  Today is Thursday, May 21st, 2015; Karen's Korner #3074

Taken from today's entry by Sarah Young from "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence". Young's writings are as if Jesus is talking to us, taken from specific Bible verses.


"I, the Creator of the Universe, am with you and for you. What more could you need? When you feel some lack, it Is because you are not connecting with Me at a deep level. I offer abundant Life; your part is to trust Me, refusing to worry about anything.

"It is not so much adverse events that make you anxious as it is your thoughts about those events. Your mind engages in efforts to take control of a situation, to bring about the result you desire. Your thoughts close in on the problem like ravenous wolves. Determined to make things go your way, you forget that I am in charge of your life. The only remedy is to switch your focus from the problem to My Presence. Stop all your striving and watch to see what I will do.

"I am the Lord."

*

~ Romans 8:31, 32, Micah 7:7

****

Printable Issue 3075  Today is Friday, May 22nd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3075

Something written by Jefferson Bethke. Sort of follows yesterday's Karen's Korner, but I thought a good one:


"I heard a story awhile back about some friends who went swimming in a river. It was spring, and the glacier runoff had made the river pretty dangerous. Nonetheless one of the guys jumped in, got caught in the current, and was taken to the dangerous part of the rapids. One of his friends on the shore was a lifeguard, and all the other friends looked at him to do something. He just stood there, though, not moving, just staring at his friend. The others began to panic and yell at him and tell him to go save his friend! Still nothing. They looked out into the river and saw their friend struggling desperately.

"In an instant, though, the struggle stopped. He could no longer fight and began to drown. When that happened, the lifeguard jumped in and with a few swift strokes rescued the friend and brought him to shore. With the adrenaline wearing off, the group yelled at the lifeguard, 'Why didn't you jump in earlier? He could've died!'

"He calmly looked at them and said, 'I had to wait until he fully gave up. Unless he stopped fighting, he would have dragged me under and drowned me with him. But the minute he gave up, I could save him.'

"That's what it's like with Jesus. He just wants us to surrender, and when we do, He comes and gets us. The waves might be crashing overhead, but in that moment, when it looks like we might die, His grace scoops us up and brings us life. And because we finally give up, we know it was Him who did all the saving.

"Will you surrender?"

***



Printable Issue 3076  Today is Monday, May 25th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3076

Happy Memorial Day! In honor of the day, something written by Dr. Richard Hill and taken from his "In God We Still Trust":


What We Can Do For Our Country

"So this day shall be to you a memorial"

~ Exodus 12:14 NKJV

*

"In honor of the veterans of the Civil War, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who had been wounded three times during that war, said the following in a Memorial Day Address in 1884.

"'It is now the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return.'

Patriot's Prayer

"The greatest thing I can do for my country, Lord, is to honor You. If I hold You in the highest regard, I will do my civic duty with pleasure. Let me do service to my country and to others with a genuine willingness. Guide me to do those things that will make a difference for You."

Patriot's Promise

"In I Samuel 24:6, David had a perfect opportunity to kill King Saul---who was, after all, out to kill David. But David acknowledged to his men that the king had been anointed by God and that no one should stretch out his hand against him. Also, in 1 Chronicles 16:22, David credited God with commanding,

"Do not touch My anointed ones."

"We must hold our leaders in high regard and pray for them every day.

"Because David honored and respected King Saul, God honored David, and He will keep that promise to us as well."

***






Printable Issue 3077  Today is Tuesday, May 26th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3077


"Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you."

~ I Peter 5:7 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Carrying your worries, stress, and daily struggles by yourself shows that you haven't trusted God fully with your life. It takes humility, however, to recognize that God cares, to admit your need, and to let others in His family help you. Sometimes we think that struggles caused by our own sin and foolishness are not God's problem. But when we turn to Him in repentance, He will bear the weight even of those struggles. Letting God have your worries is active, not passive. Don't submit to circumstances, but to the Lord who controls those circumstances."

****


Printable Issue 3078  Today is Wednesday, May 27th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3078

Change Your Focus and Relax

"Psalm 23:2 says, 'He makes me to lie down in green pastures, leads me beside the still waters.' Note the two pronouns preceding the two verbs. He makes me. He leads me. Who is the active one? Who is in charge? The Shepherd!

"We see the waves of the water rather than the Savior walking through them. We focus on our paltry provisions rather than on the One who can feed five thousand hungry people. Change your focus--and relax! While you're at it, change your schedule and rest! Life can get so loud we forget to shut it down. When David says, 'He makes me lie down in green pastures,' he saying my shepherd makes me lie down in his finished work. His pasture is his gift to us. This is not the pasture you've made. It is a gift from God, and your Shepherd invites you there!"

~ by Max Lucado

**





Printable Issue 3079  Today is Thursday, May 28th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3079

Probably about three weeks ago, I started a half dozen planters with flowers. In a ceramic one, I planted among other flowers, a wave petunia.

It just laid there. Didn't grow. Wasn't very lively looking. But it didn't die. I decided that I wouldn't pull it out until it was dead.

Guess what? In the last few days, it is 'coming back to life'. More vigorous; green color. Starting to pop 'up'. I think it is going to be fine and have a nice spring/summer growing season.


Dear Father God, sometimes I/we are like my flower. Not very lively. Not dead. But not growing. Thank that You don't pull us up by the roots in those times. As Our Gardener, You continue to water and watch. Waiting for the day when we return to our 'peppier, prettier, growing' selves. Thank You for Your Tender, Loving, Care and the plans You have for our futures! In Your Son's Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 3080  Today is Friday, May 29th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3080

Several sayings from "The Irish GET UP and GO Diary - 2015":


Change is inevitable, accept it.

*

Count your blessings -

they will outweigh your troubles."

*

"We didn't lose the game;

we just ran out of time."

~ Vince Lombardi

*

"I have not failed.

I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

~ Thomas Alva Edison

*

"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul

than the way in which it treats its children."

~ Nelson Mandela

*

"Folks are usually about as happy

as they make up their minds to be."

~ Abraham Lincoln

*

"Count your age by friends, not years.

Count your life by smiles, not tears.

~ John Lennon

*

"The joy is in the journey."

~ Proverb

****