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July 2015 Archives

Printable Issue 3094  Today is Friday, July 3rd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3094

(Glad to be back in touch with my own computer and Karen's Korner friends; spent a few days just outside London with our Australian daughter, Karen, and her family - husband Mick; children Thomas, William, and Emily. Shorter trip to the UK than AU! Great fun; great memories!)

Happy 4th of July weekend!


"Be delighted with the Lord. Then He will give you all your heart's desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Then He will give you all your heart's desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him to help you do it and He will. Your innocence will be clear to everyone. He will vindicate you with the blazing light of justice shining down as from the noonday sun."

~ Psalm 37:4 - 6 LAB

*

Commentary:  "In contrast to evil men and their wicked plots that end in failure, God is loving, faithful, just and wise. His love is great than the heavens; his faithfulness reaches past the clouds; his justice is as solid as a mountain; and his decisions as full of wisdom as the oceans with water. We need not fear evil people because we know God loves us, judges evil, and will care for us throughout eternity."

***


Printable Issue 3095  Today is Saturday, July 4th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3095

Happy 4th of July!

While the United States of America is far from a perfect place, it is a wonderful country in which to reside. It brings things into more focus after being in United Kingdom for about a week. Among other things, we have fought for freedoms for all of our two-hundred-plus years:  for ourselves and for others.

There was still evidence in several places which we visited while I was traveling: where American soldiers stayed during WWII, helping the British stave off the attacks of others who would have enjoyed destroying British chosen lifestyles. My own dad stayed in London for a bit on his way onto the mainland of Europe, to help fight in the Battle of Bulge.

Did we help fight so we could rule others, if and when, we had victory? No, we fought to help preserve their lives and their futures. As well as for others!

Freedom is worth standing up for; fighting for;  and God has chosen to richly bless us, as a people and as a country!


America the Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,

for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plane!

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee, and crowned they good with brotherhood

from sea to shining sea.


O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife,

who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!

America! America!

May God thy gold refine, till all success be nobleness,

and every gain divine.


O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years,

thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears!

America! America!

God mend thine every flaw, confirm they soul in self-control,

thy liberty in law.


~ Katherine Lee Bates, 1904

***


Printable Issue 3096  Today is Monday, July 6th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3096

The Pattern for Discipline


"A faithful man will abound with blessings."

~ Proverbs 28:20 NKJV

"Our society is increasingly becoming undisciplined. We work if we want to, show up on time if we can make it, and see a job through to the finish if we fell like it, all the while complaining about the pay or seeking more lucrative benefits. God worked persistently and consistently every day, all day long, until the job of creating everything was finished. God understands what it's like to begin each day in the morning, go to work, apply yourself to the project at hand, accomplish a portion of the goal day after day until you complete the job satisfactorily. God's weekly work was timely, orderly, precise, neat, thorough, planned, and goal oriented.

"How closely does the way you do your weekly work reflect His?

~ Anne Graham Lotz

***



Printable Issue 3097  Today is Tuesday, July 7th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3097

Today's entry from "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young. I liked yesterday's; today's is really good as well. Young writes as though Jesus/God is speaking to us, using Bible verses to support her writings:


"Trust Me in all your thoughts. I know that some thoughts are unconscious or semiconscious, and I do not hold you responsible for those. But you can direct conscious thoughts much more than you may realize. Practice thinking in certain ways -- trusting Me, thanking Me -- and those thoughts become more natural. Reject negative or sinful thoughts as soon as you become aware of them. Don't try to hide them from Me; confess them and leave them with Me. Go on your way lightheartedly. This method of controlling your thoughts will keep your mind in My Presence and your feet on the path of Peace.

~ Based on Psalm 20:71; I John 1:9; Luke 1:79

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Printable Issue 3098  Today is Wednesday, July 8th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3098

My sister Jill gave me "Portals of Prayer", a quarterly daily devotional published by her church, to take with me on my trip to Europe.

Here is an entry from a month or so ago:

Have You Caught Any Fish?

"Jesus said to them, 'Children, do you have any fish?' They answered Him, 'No.'"

~ John 21:5

"We humans have a tendency to want to do everything ourselves. We don't need any help--we're okay; we can manage. But then, we find ourselves out fishing and catching no fish. We find out we aren't the perfect parents we had hoped to be. We find out that despite our hard work, we are still being laid off. We find out that our best isn't good enough.

"Jesus knows that His baptized children struggle with life in this world. We say the wrong things and do the wrong things, even though we don't want to. We find ourselves at the end of our rope, wondering where next to cast our nets.

"Jesus remains with us even in those moments. He continues to look after us and be with us. He is always with us in His Word, looking after His sheep, helping us to remain in Him. He has saved us from sin and prepares us to inherit eternal life. He was willing to be crucified so that we could be kept safe from the devil, sin, and death. He won't leave us when we are most vulnerable."

"Gracious God, at the end of a long night with no fish, point us to Your Word and the promise of Jesus to be with us always. Amen."

******

Printable Issue 3099  Today is Thursday, July 9th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3099

He Will Be Looking for You

"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

~ John 14:3 NIV


"On the day when Jesus returns, everyone will be looking at Jesus. But have you ever considered where He will be looking? He will be looking for you! He has told us, '...I will come back and take you to be with me...'. His eyes will be searching the crowds of upturned faces, looking for you! While others mourn because His coming brings their judgment, you and I who have been redeeming by His blood will be rejoicing because His coming fulfills all our hopes and dreams!

"Praise God for the deity of Jesus Christ! Praise God for the humanity of Jesus Christ! And praise God for the eternity of Jesus Christ!!

~ Anne Graham Lotz

***

Printable Issue 3100  Today is Friday, July 10th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3100

Yesterday morning I had a short 'to do' list for outside:  water my planter plants; Round-Up a few stray weeds, walk 1/2 mile down our country road south of my farm home, hoe a few weeds out of one of my flower gardens.

I have to confess, I like all of them on my list except hoeing! Be nice if the gardens would look nice and be weed free without any extra attention from me.

As I hoed, I thought, "Same with my life! Wouldn't it be nice of the weeds would take care of themselves?" That doesn't happen either.

Whenever 'weeds' come into my life or into my mind, it takes some work on my part to acknowledge them and then give them to the Master Gardener for removal! Chances are pretty good that some (Most? All?) are too tough for me to remove on my own. I need help. He knows it and only wants me to ask for help with the 'weeding process'.

Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for Your tender loving care as 'transplants' into Your Heavenly Garden. Thank You that You take the time to 'hoe' out the weeds of our lives. It was part of your always and forever plan. You knew before the beginning of time that we are going to need Your help to live the lives You had in mind for each of us. So 'whack away'! today and every day. We need that kind of care! In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 3101  Today is Monday, July 13th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3101

The Wonderful Someone

"It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you."

~ John 16:7 KJV

"The very promise Jesus gave us contains a name for the Holy Spirit that reveals the uniqueness of His nearness in our loneliness. This name, 'Comforter', is equally translated from the Greek text into six other names, each of which describes a slightly different aspect of the Holy Spirit's precious, personal ministry in our lives:

* Comforter:  One Who relieves of mental distress;

* Counselor:  One Who gives advice and manages causes;

* Helper:  One Who furnishes relief or support;

* Intercessor:  One Who acts between parties to reconcile differences;

* Advocate:  One Who pleads the cause of another;

*Strengthener:  One Who causes strength and endurance;

* Standby:  One Who can be always relied upon.

"Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to have Someone with these attributes in your life? If you belong to Jesus, you do have that wonderful Someone. You have the Holy Spirit.

~ Anne Graham Lotz

***




Printable Issue 3102  Today is Tuesday, July 14th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3102

"Do not let this happy trust in the Lord die away, no matter what happens.

Remember your reward!

You need to keep on patiently doing God's will

if you want him to do for you all that he has promised.

~ Hebrews 10:35-36 LAB

*

Commentary:  "The writer encouraged his readers not to shrink back from their faith in times of persecution, but to show by their endurance that their faith was real. Faith means resting in what Christ has done for us in the past, but it also means hoping for what he will do for us in the future."

***

Printable Issue 3103  Today is Wednesday, July 15th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3103

Some words for us to live by and think about for today 'from God', written by Sarah Young's 'Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence'; using verses from the Bible:


"Do not worry about tomorrow! This is not a suggestion, but a command. I divided time into days and nights, so that you would have manageable portions of life to handle. My grace is sufficient for you, but its sufficiency is for only one day at a time. When you worry about the future, you heap day upon day of troubles onto your flimsy frame. You stagger under this heavy load, which I never intended you to carry.

"Throw off this oppressive burden with one quick thrust of trust. Anxious thoughts meander about and crisscross in your brain, but trusting Me brings you directly into My Presence. As you thus affirm your faith, shackles of worry fall off instantly. Enjoy My Presence continually by trusting Me at all times."

Matthew 6:34; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 62:8 (NKJV)

**

Printable Issue 3104  Today is Thursday, July 16th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3104

Something written by Max Lucado and taken from his book "You'll Get Through This". I am thinking this might be a newer book of his. I haven't seen it or read it but some of portions look good. If you aren't going through something personally, chances are pretty good you know someone who is!


OUR REDEEMER

"See the cross on the hill? Can you hear the soldiers pound the nails? Jesus' enemies smirk. 'This time,' Satan whispers. 'This time I will win.' For a sad Friday and a silent Saturday, it appeared he had.

"What Satan intended as the ultimate evil, God used for the ultimate good. God rolled the rock away and Jesus walked out on Sunday morning. And if you look closely, you can Satan scampering from the cemetery with his forked tail between his legs. 'Will I ever win?' he grumbles. No.........he won't!

"Do you believe no evil is beyond God's reach? That He can redeem every pit, including the one in which you find yourself? Trust God. He will get you through this. Will it be easy or quick? I hope so, but it seldom is. Yet, God will make good out of this mess. That's His job.

***


Printable Issue 3105  Today is Friday, July 17th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3105

The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119; hard to plow through in one sitting. But it is filled with 'good stuff':

Here are a couple of verses:

"I am completely discouraged--I lie in dust.

Revive me by your Word.

~ Psalm 119:25 LAB

*

Commentary: "How can God's Word revive us? Our world is full of evil; God's Word revives us with the promise of victory over evil. Our world says we are worthless without certain looks or possessions; God's Word gives us value by telling us that God created us and loves us. Our world is full of discouragement; God's Word encourages us. Our world has no real lasting answers; God's Word gives satisfying answers. Read it and be revived.

**

"If you will only help me to want Your will,

then I will follow your laws even more closely."

~ Psalm 119:32 LAB

*

Commentary:  "Our lives are cluttered with rule books, but the authors never come with us to help us follow the rules. But God does. That is the uniqueness of our Bible. God not only provides the rules and guidelines, but comes with us personally each day to help us live according to those rules. Of course, we must invite him to do this. Do we?

*****


Printable Issue 3106  Today is Monday, July 20th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3106

"This is the day that the Lord has made.

We will rejoice and be glad in it."

~ Psalm 118:24 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "There are days when the last thing we want to do is rejoice. Our mood is down, our situation out of hand, our sorrow or guilt overwhelming. We can relate to the writers of the psalms who often felt that way. But no matter how low the psalmists got, they were always honest with God about how they felt. And as they talked to God, their prayers ended in praise. When we don't feel like rejoicing, tell God how you truly feel. We will find that God will give a reason to rejoice."

*

Dear Father in Heaven, thank You that You have made today for each one of us. We have the choice to rejoice and be glad in it........or not! So we choose to rejoice today, because we want to be glad. You tell us if we do that, no matter what is happening that we like, or don't like, our attitudes and thoughts toward life, and You, will change. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

***


Printable Issue 3107  Today is Tuesday, July 21st, 2015; Karen's Korner #3107

Here is today's Max Lucado, coming into my computer this morning:

A Better Option

"I spent too much of a high school summer working in the oil field. We donned gas masks, waded into ankle deep, contaminated mire. My mom burned my work clothes. The stink stunk!

"Yours can do the same. Linger too long in the stench of your hurt and you'll smell like the toxin you despise. The better option? Join with David as he announces, 'The Lord lives. Blessed be my Rock. It is God who avenges me. He delivers me from my enemies. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O God!' (Psalm 18:46 - 49).

"Wander daily through the gallery of God's goodness. Catalog His kindnesses. Look at what you have. Let Jesus be the friend you need. Talk to Him. Spare no details. Disclose your fear and describe your dread. You just found a friend in Jesus Christ. What could be better than that?"

***

Printable Issue 3108  Today is Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3108

Lots of research tells what people probably already know, whether we think about it or not:  People have a great need to give and receive LOVE.

Often at weddings, and sometimes at funerals, I Corinthians 13 is read; it is referred to as the 'Love Chapter'.

Here are a couple of verses and commentary on them. Just in case you could 'feel' more loved this morning, accept the kind of Love that God gives!


"Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly notice when others do wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost."

~ I Corinthians 13:4 - 7 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Our society confuses love and lust. Unlike lust, God's kind of love is directed outward to others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This love is not natural. It is possible only if God supernaturally help us set aside our own desires and instincts, so we can give love while expecting nothing in return. Thus the closer we come to Christ, the more love we will show to others."

***


Printable Issue 3109  Today is Thursday, July 23rd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3109

Something written by Billy Graham; he talks about the prophet Jeremiah (writer of the Bible book by the same name). Jeremiah mourns the inadequacy and waywardness of a lost world.


"O Lord, I know it is not within the power of man to map his life and plan his course."

~ Jeremiah 10:23

"Experience reveals that we are inadequate. History proves that we are inadequate. The Bible declares that a person is inadequate to save himself. Christ's coming to the world proves the inadequacy of the human race.

"Before I can become strong, I must first realize that I am weak. Before I can become wise, I must first realize that I am foolish. Before I can receive power, I must first confess that I am powerless. I must lament my sins before I can rejoice in a Savior. Blessed are those who mourn their unworthiness, their helplessness, and their inadequacy."

***


Printable Issue 3110  Today is Friday, July 24th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3110

Worry is Worthless

Because God Will Take Care of You

Written by Charles Swindoll


"My soul takes refuge in You, and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by."    ~ Psalm 57:1

"Jesus said that worry is a complete waste of time and energy. Do we go to bed tonight and fret and fuss because we aren't five feet, eleven inches; but we are only five feet, nine inches. When we wake up in the morning, we are still going to be five feet, nine inches..

"Worry will never make us stretch! And it won't solve the anxiety on our minds either.

"Let me be completely candid here. Do you know why we worry? We have a quiet, hidden, love for worry. We enjoy it! When one worry is gone, we replace it with another. There's always a line of worries waiting to get in the door. So as one goes out the back door, we usher in the next one through the front door. We enjoy entertaining them.

"Worries are our mental and emotional companions. But Jesus says, in effect, that they are worthless!

"Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.       ~ Joshua 1:15

"Did you know that worry erases the promises of God from your mind? Jesus implies this when He says,

"O men of little faith. Do not be anxious then saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'with what shall we clothe ourselves?'      ~ Matthew 6:31

"The promise of God is that He will not allow His children to beg for bread. He will care for our needs and that's the promise we can claim. Since He took care of our greatest need at Calvary by giving us Christ, then we can be sure He will take care of everything else He considers important for us."

***




Printable Issue 3111  Today is Monday, July 27th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3111

Our church has eight weeks of special worship services at Lake Cornelia each summer. Bob Stephenson gave the communion meditation at yesterday's. He is working to finish up things connected with Sylvia Douglas' estate. In sorting some of the items, he found this writing amongst some of Sylvia's belongings. It is old, yellowed with time, and nearly unreadable in spots:

HE WAS ONE OF US

He was born as little children are

and live as children do,

So remember that the Saviour

was once a child like you,

And remember that He lived on earth

in the midst of sinful men,

And the problems in the present

existed even then.

He was ridiculed and laughed at

in the same heartbreaking way

That we who fight for justice

are ridiculed today.

He was tempted..........He was hungry

He was lonely.........He was sad.

There's no sorrowful experience

that the Saviour has not had.

And in the end He was betrayed

and even crucified.

For He was truly 'One of Us' --

He lived on earth and died.

So do not heed the skeptics

what are often heard to say,

'What Does God Up In Heaven

Know Of Things We Face Today?'

For our Father up in heaven

is very much aware

Of our failures and shortcomings

and the burdens that we bear,

So whenever you are troubled

put your problems in God's Hand

For He has faced all problems

and He Will Understand.

(No author included in the piece)

***

Printable Issue 3112  Today is Tuesday, July 28th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3112

(My apologies for a couple of typing errors in yesterday's Karen's Korner. I have made the corrections; so if you'd like a 'better' copy, go to www.karens-korner.com . It will be the second one (today's will be first); copy and paste. Or click on the 'printer' icon in the upper right-hand corner!)


It was sixteen years ago today that our younger daughter Merry was killed in a car/truck accident.

I decided to celebrate the week with "Merry Memories". Day #2 was Sunday when I attended the Karl King Band Concert in Fort Dodge. She played in it several years as a high school and college student.

Today is Day #4, indulge a Mom with today's 'Karen's Korner, featuring a couple of "Merry Memories"; (she was 26 years old when she died):


* While she was in high school, she learned that a friend had attempted suicide overnight. Both were in school that next day. Neither of them attended any classes; Merry just wanted to 'be there' for the friend so they spent the day talking;

" As an adult, Merry was a music teacher in the Clear Creek-Amana Schools. She also gave private piano lessons. A mother came to talk with Merry before beginning her third year of lessons. The mother's two children wouldn't be able to take lessons any longer, as she and her husband were going through a divorce and there wouldn't be money for them that fall. Merry told the mom, "I will teach them for free. Kids shouldn't have to suffer for something that isn't their faults."

* Merry was born with a birth defect and had experienced several surgeries the last year of her life. Thus missing a number of school days due to her illness. But when one of her best friends, who was an only child, lost his mom unexpectedly, Merry took a personal day, so that she could be with him.

* Several months before she died, she and I met in Des Moines for some later afternoon shopping. I recall jumping into her car. Merry had spent the earlier part of the day, frequenting some of the quaint shops in Amana picking out special gifts for people in her life. Not because it was a birthday or special occasion, but just because she thought of them. I can still see her hands, rifling through wrapping as she pulled out each treasure, telling about each person and why she picked what she did. Being the 'practical mother', I was thinking about 'saving money' to help she and Ed pay off any of their outstanding bills. Merry was right for being an uncommon friend to each of them!

* The last time she and Ed were at our home she plunked a post card-sized Veggie Tale saying on our farm home refrigerator, featuring two of the characters. On the front it says, "God made you special". And on the back side "....and He Loves You Very Much!" It remains on our refrigerator and will, as long as I have a home and a refrigerator.....even if hardly anyone recalls 'Veggie Tales' another day! The message doesn't change for any of us:  'We are Special. God' Loves Us Very Much!'


The Bible says, "A friend loves at all times" (Proverbs 17:17); and Merry was a good friend!


Printable Issue 3113  Today is Wednesday, July 29th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3113

Thanks for the nice comments and responses which I received from some Karen's Korner readers on yesterday's post!

A Pop Quiz

Written by Max Lucado

"Each day has a pop quiz. And some seasons are final exams. Brutal, sudden pitfalls of stress, sickness, or sadness. What is the purpose of the test? James 1:3 - 4 says, 'For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.'

"God hasn't forgotten you. Just the opposite. He has chosen to train you. The Hebrew verb for 'test' comes from a word that means 'to take a keen look at, to choose'. Dismiss the notion that God does not see your struggle. On the contrary, God is fully engaged. He is the Teacher, we are the students. Trust His training. You'll get through this. He can make something good out of any mess!"

***

Printable Issue 3114  Today is Thursday, July 30th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3114

Something written by Anne Graham Lotz:

Directions for Life

"Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!"

~ Psalm 119:2 NKJV

"God as our Creator has specific directions for our lives. If we live according to His directions, our lives work -- we are blessed, and we experience life the way it was meant to be lived. If we ignore or reject His directions, we do so to our own detriment and experience much less than He intended.

"All around us are:

~ broken homes,

~ broken hearts,

~ broken hopes.

"But God never intended us to be broken. He did not just create you and me, plop us down on Planet Earth and say, 'Happy birthday! Now you can guess your way through life.' Instead He has given us directions, which form a pattern that will prevent breakage of our lives and will help to mend the brokenness already present if we follow them.

"So.....open the Creator's manual for life --- the Bible --- and follow His directions."

***





Printable Issue 3115  Today is Friday, July 31st, 2015; Karen's Korner #3115

Something written by Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence". This one was yesterday's:


"Worship Me in the beauty of holiness. I created beauty to declare the existence of My holy Being. A magnificent rose, a hauntingly glorious sunset, oceanic splendor -- all these things were meant to proclaim My Presence in the world. Most people rush past these proclamations without giving them a second thought. Some people use beauty, especially feminine loveliness, to sell their products.

"How precious are My children who are awed by nature's beauty; this opens them up to My holy Presence. Even before you know Me personally, you responded to My creation with wonder. This is a gift, and it carries responsibility with it. Declare My glorious Being to the world. The whole earth is full of My radiant beauty--My Glory!

~ Taken from Psalm 29:2; Isaiah 6:3

****