Karen's Korner - Daily Inspirational Stories by Karen Weld
Browse my Site
Home
Archives
Karen's Guestbook
Search my Site



Karen's Links
Luke (Grandson)
Molly Granddaughter
Noah (Grandson)
Homeless meal ticket

Email


to Karens Korner

rss RSS Feed
Subscribing to Karens Korner will give you a new issue in your Email box almost every day
Powered by Mandriva

Powered by Apache

Powered by MySQL

Powered by PHP

I'm Karen

November 2003 Archives

Printable Issue 166  Today is Monday, November 3rd, 2003; Karen's Korner #166

Yesterday I heard a church television speaker, Dr. James Merritt, say:
"With Christ in our lives, we have:

  • God, as our Father, above us; 
  • Jesus, as our Friend, beside us;
  • the Holy Sprit, as our Force, within us!"

With friends and relatives like that, there isn't too much that is going to come our way today that "WE" can't handle. Not much to be afraid of; never have to worry about being abandoned or alone. Best part of these relationships: they never end! Can't say that about any other relationship which we have!!

I Corinthians 3: 17 says: "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

And where is that Spirit? That freedom?
Above, beside, and within us! What a deal!!

Printable Issue 167  Today is Tuesday, November 4th, 2003; Karen's Korner #167

The following poem was written by a 93 year old lady who wrote four books of poems. Her name was Gertrude Rosenkild, and was a member at the Mason City and Clear Lake Christian Churches. It is shared by Mark Young, who officiated her funeral on Saturday: 

 

 

WHITE PILLOWS

 

Snow white pillows

Upon which I rest -

A head filled with grief and care.

 

They soothe, they cool,

They comfort me

As I close my eyes in prayer.

 

Secure on the pillow

Of perfect faith,

I know that His love will abide.

 

Upheld by the pillow of

Trust - I'm sure

He never will leave my side.

 

 

Oh- blessed rest

On the pillow of love,

Held in the Master's embrace -

 

With nothing to fear,

My soul is content

On the beautiful pillow of Grace.

 

Sleep on and rest

Oh weary heart,

For God - His vigil will keep.

 

On pillows of white,

Through earth's dark night,

He giveth His loved ones sleep.

Printable Issue 168  Today is Wednesday, November 5th, 2003; Karen's Korner #168

Continuing on with my little book titled "LETTERS from HEAVEN: Reassuring Words of God's Love" by J. Jay Sanders. It has 26 pages in this tiny book.......each one centered around a letter of the alphabet.

We have done the letters of A – Q. Today we are finding out what God thinks about us, using the letters of R, S, and T. These are personal notes to each one of us from Him:

 

I'm your Father and I....

Rejoice over our friendship.

 

~~

 

Greater love has no one than this,

That one lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

~~

 

What a friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and griefs to bear.

What a privilege to carry

Everything to god in prayer.

·         Joseph Scriven

 

*****

 

I'm your Father and I.....

See every moment of your life.

 

~~

 

O LORD,

You have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down

And when I rise up;

You understand my thought from afar.

You scrutinize my path and my lying down,

And are intimately acquainted

With all my ways.

Even before there is a word on my tongue,

Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

 

PSALM 139: 1 – 4

 

~~~

 

We’re in his hand,

That mighty Hand

That flung a universe in space,

That guides the sun

And the moon and stars

And holds the planets

In their place.

-         Mrs. M. E. Rae

 

 

*****

 

I'm your Father, and I...

Tell you that My eyes search for you.

 

~~

 

For the eyes of the LORD move

To and fro throughout the earth

That He may strongly support

Those whose heart is completely His.

 

2 CHRONICLES 16:9

 

~~

 

He intently looks for those intent on being

totally surrendered to His lordship.

Printable Issue 169  Today is Thursday, November 6th, 2003; Karen's Korner #169

New blood

 

Whenever the blood drive comes to Clarion and I can work it into our schedule, I sign up as a potential donor. One of the first things to which anyone is subjected is a battery of questions: Where have I traveled? What about my general health? What kinds of relationships have I been involved with in the past certain amount of time?

 

Pretty personal questions, if you ask me. The blood drive technicians want to make sure blood donors have the quality of blood to give to someone who needs it. Blood exchanges are pretty touchy and technical things.

 

If we take "good" blood and add it to someone who has AIDS, the person will still have the disease and will have infected blood.

 

If we have "good" blood and someone gives us his/her blood which is HIV infected, oh, great -- now we have "bad" blood, too. How can we cure much stuff when it looks like there isn't much "good" blood hanging around?

 

Same thing happens in our spiritual world. Babies are born with a less-than-perfect nature; a human nature - they get it from their parents! And then they get more infected with time - from the environment in which they live. Pretty soon we have full blown diseases with infections everywhere. There aren't any cures unless we get transfusions. We need some "good" blood? Where are we going to look?

 

Only one donor - Jesus! He can answer "yes" to all the questions: "are you a suitable candidate to donate blood to this person?" His blood can replace ours. This blood exchange is permanent and eternal.

 

Do you want "old" blood or "new"? "Bad" blood or "good"?

 

All we have to do is ask for the transfusion!

Printable Issue 170  Today is Friday, November 7th, 2003; Karen's Korner #170

Most of us who have email, receive a variety of pass around notes. Here is a cute short one, passed along by Gene Ballantine:

 

After a hardy Oklahoma rainstorm filled all the potholes in the back
alley, a young mother watched her two little boys playing in a water puddle
through her kitchen window.

 

The older of the two, a five year old lad, grabbed his sibling by the back of the head

and shoved his face into the water hole.

 

As the younger boy recovered and stood laughing and dripping, the mother ran to

the back yard in a panic. "Why on Earth did you do that to your little brother?"

she inquired as she shook the older boy in anger.

 

"We were just playing 'church', Mommy" He said. "I was baptizing him like the preacher
did in church yesterday. I said, 'I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the
Son, and in-the-hole-he-goes!'"

 

*****

 

Dear Father in Heaven, Help each of us to be like that little boy. We might not know

the whole story and there might be some things we don't understand. But help us to act on

what we do know and believe, even if we make some mistakes from our limited perspectives.

Thank you that you are our Heavenly Father. Amen.
Printable Issue 171  Today is Monday, November 10th, 2003; Karen's Korner #171

Nice writing that I received quite awhile ago from a daily e-mail called "Mr. Mom".


Written by a young African pastor: It was tacked on the wall of his house, and found after he died as a martyr for his faith!


I AM A CHRISTIAN


I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean
on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice,
hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. l am a disciple of Jesus. l must go till He comes, give till l drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problems recognizing me--my banner will be clear!!!

Printable Issue 172  Today is Tuesday, November 11th, 2003; Karen's Korner #172

It is Veteran's Day in America. Good opportunity to thank someone who is, or has been, in the military!

 

King On The Mountain

 

Remember when you were a kid and played "King on the Mountain" with your siblings or schoolmates? If you were "king", you didn't have time to relax. People came after you all the time and from all directions, to attempt to knock you off that pile of dirt or mound of snow. You would use whatever means you had to keep your domain on top of that heap.

 

I was thinking this morning if we do that as adults, too. Not just once in awhile, but often. Do we use words to knock someone off the top of the hill, just as they are climbing to a new height? Or maybe we are nicer than that and only "think" negative things about others who we don't know, barely know, or worse........someone who should be our friend, and we think an envious or jealous thought about their success or lot in life?

 

Jesus isn't only "King of the Mountain"; He owns the mountain. As the King, He turns every direction to offer a hand up to those who want to share new elevated heights in his/her life. As His Chosen Children, we can enjoy being "king" at the top of the mountain, too. Now, we have a new status! Our job is to look around, bend down, and offer a hand to anyone and everyone else. So that they, too, can be "Kings (& Queens!) on the Mountain." There is plenty of room at the top for everyone.!!

 

Who needs your extended hand of help, hope, or congratulations today?

 

Printable Issue 173  Today is Wednesday, November 12th, 2003; Karen's Korner #173

Continuing on with my little book titled "LETTERS from HEAVEN: Reassuring Words of God's Love" by J. Jay Sanders. It has 26 pages in this tiny book.......each one centered around a letter of the alphabet.

 

We have done the letters of A – T. We are ready to look at the letters of U, V, and W. These are personal notes from God and what He thinks about each one of us:

 

I'm your Father and I....

Understand your weaknesses.

 

~~

 

For we do not have a high priest who cannot

sympathize with our weaknesses,

but One who has been tempted

in all things as we are,

yet without sin.

 

HEBREWS 4:15

 

~~

 

Jesus loves me this I know

for the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to him belong-

They are weak but he is strong.

-         William Beadbury

 

*****

 

I'm your Father and I.....

Value you.

 

~~

 

So, do not fear;

You are more valuable

Than many sparrows.

 

MATTHEW 10:31

 

******

 

Nobody knows what a human is worth.

How do you put a price tag on the cross?

 

*****

 

I'm your Father, and I...

Walk you through the dark times.

 

~~

 

Even though I walk through

The valley of death,

I fear no evil,

For You are with me.

 

PSALM 23:4

 

~~

 

Confidence – "I will fear no evil."

- H. A. Ironside

Printable Issue 174  Today is Thursday, November 13th, 2003; Karen's Korner #174

From a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" daily writing I received a while back:

 

And You Always Will
By LeAnn R. Ralph

I opened the dish-towel drawer for about the sixth
time, hoping the towels had somehow magically appeared.
But of course, the brand-new towels still weren't there.

 

"What did Mom do with them?" I wondered aloud. I knew they
had to be around somewhere because I'd given them to her
for Christmas only a few months ago. Not that the towels
were so terribly important. It's just that when you're
expecting guests, you'd kind of like everything to look
nice. Okay, so maybe I wasn't going to find the dish
towels. But then again, the guests wouldn't arrive until
tomorrow. Plenty of time to worry about dish towels later.
On second thought, maybe I ought to forget about the towels
altogether.

 

My father's niece and her husband didn't seem like the
kind of people who'd leave in a huff because their host
hadn't put out new dish towels. What next? Perhaps I'd
better see if I could lay my hands on Mom's best
tablecloth. A tablecloth was always one of the things my
mother insisted upon when we had company. I went to the
drawer where Mom kept her tablecloths, and sure enough,
there it was. But when I pulled out the hand-embroidered
tablecloth and shook it open, I gasped in dismay. Right in
the middle was a big stain. Now how in the world did Mom's
best tablecloth - the one that had taken her so many months
to finish - end up with a stain? Oh yes, that's right.

We'd all been here for Christmas, and one of my brother's
kids had accidentally knocked over a glass of soda pop.

The sight of her grandchild sobbing with remorse had been
more important than the tablecloth, and Mom had said she
was sure the pop would come out when she washed it.

 

All right, so it looked like I'd have to forget the
tablecloth, too. Maybe I'd be better off attending to the
big things right now, anyway, like vacuuming. Satisfied
that I was finally going to make some progress, I got out
the vacuum cleaner. Except - why did it sound so funny?

And why wasn't it picking up those bits of paper on the
living room carpeting? I pulled out the attachments hose
and flipped the switch again. A-ha. That's why. No
suction. The hose was plugged.

 

Well, of course the hose was plugged. I couldn't find the

new dish towels. Mom's best tablecloth had a big stain.

Why wouldn't the vacuum cleaner hose be plugged?

 

And right then and there, I started to cry. Now what
was I going to do? Would a wire hanger fix the vacuum
cleaner? No new dish towels and no tablecloth was bad
enough, but I absolutely could not let guests come to the
house without vacuuming. I went to my mother's closet,
found a wire hanger and straightened it out. Thirty
minutes later, however, the vacuum cleaner was still
plugged.

 

Where was Dad? I knew he'd gone outside and that,
because it was mid-April, he was probably puttering around
in his garden, but why wasn't he in here when I needed him?

 

After being a farmer for more than fifty years, he could
fix absolutely anything. And besides, I had plenty of
other work to do. Just at that moment, my father came into
the house.

 

"What's wrong?" he asked, noticing my tear-streaked face.

Although it had been years since I called him "Daddy,"
it just sort of slipped out, and along with it came fresh
tears. "Oh, Daddy - I can't find the new dish towels. The
tablecloth has a big stain. The vacuum cleaner is plugged.
And..... and..." I stopped and swallowed hard. "...I miss my
mother."

 

There. I'd said it. And in that instant, the whole world

seemed to stop while Dad drew a deep breath and
let it out slowly. "I know you do," he said. "So do I."

 

You see, only three weeks earlier, my mother was
diagnosed with advanced gallbladder cancer. Mom had died
Saturday night, and this was Monday. My father's niece and
her husband were driving 275 miles to attend the funeral,
and they would be staying at the house.

 

As Dad gazed at me, I noticed how much he seemed to have

aged in the last few weeks. His face was covered with silvery

stubble, too.

 

It was a rare morning when my father didn't shave, but then
again the past couple of days had been far from ordinary.

"And you know what?" Dad continued. "You always will miss
her. In fact, it won't ever go away completely. Not even
when you're as old as I am."

 

After the funeral was over and my father's relatives
had gone home, I found the dish towels. Mom had put them
in her dresser drawer. And with several washings, the
stain finally came out of the tablecloth. Dad had been
able to fix the vacuum cleaner, too.

 

But nothing could fix the fact that my mother was gone.

And now all these years later, I realize Dad was right -

I am always going to miss her.

 

But I've also figured out what else he was trying to
tell me on that April day in 1985 - that missing my mother
keeps her alive in my heart.

Printable Issue 175  Today is Friday, November 14th, 2003; Karen's Korner #175

An email poem received from Pat Holtapp:

 

Subject: World's Greatest Chef


I love the taste of T-bone steak,

Delicious every bite,

But there's nothing like the Word of God,

For my spiritual appetite.

 

The Word of God has milk and meat,

And even ice cream and cake.

Take a slice of the Bread of Life,

And coffee to keep us awake.

 

Open your Bible and turn to Psalms,

For David's famous buffet.

You can drink all the wine of the Word you want,

And still feel fine the next day.

 

There's enough of the Word for everyone,

And no one has to cheat.

The Word of God is a smorgasbord,

So take all you are able to eat.

 

Let's have a little long suffering,

Job gives the recipe.

Patience is the main ingredient,

Self denial is the fee.

 

Wrap that up in temperance,

It may not make much sense,

Cover that with contentment,

Then add some joy for strength.

 

Let's have love for dessert,

Jesus made this dish,

Cream of joy and peace together,

Sift out all selfishness.

 

Add some deeds of righteousness,

Enough to make it sweet.

Humility is the frosting,

That makes the dish complete.

 

Or are you on a diet,

Cause the race seems hard to run.

For a weight losing menu,

Try Hebrews 12 and 1.

 

Are you suffering from malnutrition,

And don't know what to do?

Your spiritual growth seems hindered,

Try Peter 2 and 2.

 

If when every time you battle,

the enemy always wins,

Try some Holy Ghost Protein,

And spiritual vitamins.

 

God's Word can feed millions,

And still have plenty left.

Because the Word of God is Soul Food,

Sent from the World's Greatest CHEF.

 

-- Author Unknown

Printable Issue 176  Today is Monday, November 17th, 2003; Karen's Korner #176

Happy birthday to my husband, Jim!!

 

This is an email that my sister Eileen forwarded to me a while ago. It is a "pass along" which some of you may have received in the past. If you haven't, enjoy. If you have, enjoy it again. I liked sharing it today, only because of the name "Jim" in it:

 

A Special Friend


A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn't shaved in a while.


His shirt was kinda shabby and his coat was worn and frayed,
the man knelt, he bowed his head, then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed, each noon time came this chap,
each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap.

 

Well, the minister's suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear,
He decided to stop the man and ask him, "What are you doing here?"
The old man said, he worked down the road. Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power.


"I stay only moments, see, because the factory is so far away;
as I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kinda what I say:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM CHECKING IN TODAY."

 

The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime.


Time to go, Jim smiled, said "Thanks." He hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar, he'd never done it before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love, and met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim's prayer:


"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKING IN TODAY."

 

Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn't come.
As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some.
At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill.

The hospital staff was worried, but he'd given them a thrill.

The week that Jim was with them, brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious. Changed people, were his reward.
The head nurse couldn't understand why Jim was so glad,
when no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.


The minister stayed by his bed, he voiced the nurse's concern:
No friends came to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn.
Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile;
"the nurse is wrong, she couldn't know, that in here all the while

everyday at noon He's here, a dear friend of mine, you see,

He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP, AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.
ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY, I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY,
AND SO, JIM, THIS IS JESUS CHECKING IN TODAY."

 

~Author Unknown~

Printable Issue 177  Today is Tuesday, November 18th, 2003; Karen's Korner #177

This morning I e-mailed a very good Thanksgiving writing titled "The Blessings of the Thorns", but it lost some place in cyberspace, never to be retrieved. I hope I can find typewritten copy in the next few days to share with you, because it is that good.

 

So when all else fails, what about a joke that I got within the last few minutes from Jim's sister?


A Mule, a Donkey, Or ?

A preacher went to his church office on Monday morning and discovered a
dead mule in the church yard. He called the police.
Since there did not appear to be any foul play, the police referred the
preacher to the health department.

They said since there was no health threat that he should call the
sanitation department.

The sanitation manager said he could not pick up the mule without
authorization from the mayor.

Now the preacher knew the mayor and was not to eager to call him. The
mayor had a bad temper and was generally hard to deal with, but the
preacher called him anyway.

The mayor did not disappoint. He immediately began to rant and rave at the
pastor and finally said, "Why did you call me anyway? Isn't it your job to
bury the dead?"

The preacher paused for a brief prayer and asked the Lord to direct his
response. He was led to say, "Yes, Mayor, it is my job to bury the dead,
but I always like to notify the next of kin first!"

Printable Issue 178  Today is Wednesday, November 19th, 2003; Karen's Korner #178

Finishing my little book titled "LETTERS from HEAVEN: Reassuring Words of God's Love" by J. Jay

Sanders. It has 26 pages in this tiny book.......each one centered around a letter of the alphabet. The last letters for us to look at are letters X, Y, and Z.

 

These are personal notes to each one of us from Him.

I hope that you have enjoyed them, as I have. The common thread is that God really likes us, loves us, wants us to know Him better, and wants us to establish a closer relationship with Him. If I was God, I wouldn't spend much time with Karen........she is so inconsistent and acts out those inconsistencies, cna't be counted on to do the right thing. All that stuff doesn't matter. God is wild about me and enjoys taking care of me and lets me know how much He cares for me.

 

 

He feels the same way about you! What a deal!!

 

I'm your Father and I....

X (Christos – X sometimes represents Christ), anointing your life

With My Power.

 

~~

 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil.

 

PSALM 23:5

 

~

 

anointed sheep do not fear an unanointed enemy.

 

*****

 

I'm your Father and I.....

Yearn to have fellowship with you.

 

~~

 

What we have seen and heard

We proclaim to you also,

So that you too may have

Fellowship with us;

And indeed our fellowship is

With the Father,

And with His Son Jesus Christ.

 

I JOHN 1:3

 

~~

 

to walk with god –

‘tis not too late to join

that holy band

who soared above this sod

of transient things,

of weights, besetting sin,

and feels the mighty pulse

of life with god.

 

*****

 

I'm your Father, and I...

Zealously look to the day that

You come home to be with Me.

 

~~

 

If I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again and receive you to Myself,

That where I am, there you may be also.

 

JOHN 14:3

 

~~

 

"to Christians heaven is

their everlasting home.

The most marvelous thing about it is

That God has prepared it

For those who love him."

-         Matthew Henry

Printable Issue 179  Today is Thursday, November 20th, 2003; Karen's Korner #179

Here is the Karen's Korner, which I "lost" a couple of days ago! It is a real Thanksgiving treasure!!

 

I received in via email last year from Kim Lee. Sundays in church we have the opportunity to recount praises for things which have happened during our week. We share and hear the "good" things which have happened. But what do we do with the "bad" things? And we all have things happening to us which we don't like or would like to change if we could....

 

 

THE BLESSINGS OF THE THORNS


Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed against

a November gust and the florist shop door.

Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth
month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole
that from her.

 

During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She
grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's
company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose holiday visit she
coveted, called saying she could not come for the holiday. Then Sandra's

friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to

maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer.

 

She has no idea what I'm feeling, thought Sandra with a shudder.

Thanksgiving? Thankful for what? She wondered. For a careless
driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her?

For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" The shop clerk's approach
startled her.

"I....I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra.

"For Thanksgiving? Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would
you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the
Thanksgiving "Special?" asked the shop clerk.

 

"I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued.

"Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this thanksgiving?"

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months,
everything that could go wrong has gone wrong."

Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop
clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Just then the shop door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk
said, "Hi, Barbara...let me get your order." She politely excused herself and
walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying
an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses.
Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers.

"Want this in a box?" asked the clerk.

Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke? Who
would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter,
but neither woman laughed.

"Yes, please," Barbara, replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd
think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved
by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she
said as she gently tapped her chest. And she left with her order.

"Uh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uh....she just
left with no flowers!"

"Right, said the clerk, "I cut off the flowers. That's the
Special. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet."

"Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for
that!" exclaimed Sandra.

"Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling much like you
feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little
to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family
business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major
surgery."

"That same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk, "and
for the first time in my life, had just spent the holidays alone.
I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a
debt to allow any travel."

"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.

"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly.
"I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and never
questioned the good things that happened to me, but when bad stuff
hit, did I ever ask questions! It took time for me to learn that dark times are
important. I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it
took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the
Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His
consolation we learn to comfort others."

Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing
her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't
want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."

Just then someone else walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" shouted
the clerk to the balding, rotund man. "My wife sent me in to get our

usual Thanksgiving Special....12 thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed

Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you
mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?"

"No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my wife
and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess,
but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after
problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a
vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from "thorny" times,
and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems.
My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem"
and give thanks for what that problem taught us."

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life," Sandra said.

"It's all too...fresh."

 

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me
that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care

more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown
of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the
thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident,

she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed

thorns, please," she managed to choke out.

"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready
in a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?"

"Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart.
The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled
and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but
maybe you would like to read it first."

 

It read: "My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have
thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns.
Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns.
Show them that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show
me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant."

Praise Him for your roses; thank Him for your thorns!

-- Author Unknown

Printable Issue 180  Today is Friday, November 21st, 2003; Karen's Korner #180

The Welds' email box is going to be a bit emptier in the future, following the death of long-time Clarion resident Gene Ballantine. Gene was a great one to pass around emails he enjoyed. Clarion, and all of his email buddies, will miss him!

 

Something I wrote several days ago. Hope that you enjoy it:

 

Following the recipe

 

Today I decided to mix up a favorite recipe of bar cookies. The ingredients included brown sugar. My bag of sugar was starting to get a little hard - good enough to use, but maybe too hard to get an accurate reading in the measuring cup. "I know what a cup of brown sugar looks like," I thought. "I'll just dump it into the bowl without measuring it."

 

So I started to pour. And the mixer continued to mix. I looked at the bag and the mixture. Now I wasn't sure how much I had put in. That should surely be enough. Well, maybe a little more. But maybe I had put in too much. Boy, I sure hope the cookies turn out okay!

 

That must be the reason for recipes and measuring cups. Hard to get the right mixture without both.

What about our lives? There is a recipe of God's Words to us, complete with measuring cups of His Love, Grace, and Mercy. He tells us how to go about living our lives so that we are the most happy, complete, and filled with joy.

 

But many times, we do with our lives what I did with my brown sugar.........dump and mix. Stop and look. Then we aren't sure what we have., what we are doing or where we are going! Well, maybe we should add a bit more of this and that. Maybe a little bit more. Oh, no, maybe I have done too little or too much. Now, what am I going to do?

 

We need to become empty mixing bowls........ready for God to do the dumping and mixing. He is the only one that knows the recipe for each one of us. He is the one that holds the right-sized measuring utensils. I don't have to worry about Karen Weld being a flop! God's in charge and is the Master Baker to make me turn out just right!

 

And He has another recipe with your name on it!!

Printable Issue 181  Today is Monday, November 24th, 2003; Karen's Korner #181

This is pass around email that is "hot" right now; I have gotten it from three people within the last few days. One is from a wife of career military man; another from a person whose dad served in the military.

If you read it before, "delete". If not, enjoy:

 

Christmas Poem

 

'Twas The Night Before Christmas,

He Lived All Alone,

In A One Bedroom House

Made Of Plaster And Stone.

 

I Had Come Down The Chimney

With Presents To Give,

And To See Just Who

In This Home Did Live.

 

I Looked All About,

A Strange Sight I Did See,

No Tinsel, No Presents,

Not Even A Tree.

 

No Stocking By Mantle,

Just Boots Filled With Sand,

On The Wall Hung Pictures

Of Far Distant Lands.

 

With Medals And Badges,

Awards Of All Kinds,

A Sober Thought

Came Through My Mind.

 

For This House Was Different,

It Was Dark And Dreary,

I Found The Home Of A Soldier,

Once I Could See Clearly.

 

The Soldier Lay Sleeping,

Silent, Alone,

Curled Up On The Floor

In This One Bedroom Home.

 

The Face Was So Gentle,

The Room In Such Disorder,

Not How I Pictured

A United States Soldier.

 

Was This The Hero

Of Whom I'd Just Read?

Curled Up On A Poncho,

The Floor For A Bed?

 

 

I Realized The Families

That I Saw This Night,

Owed Their Lives To These Soldiers

Who Were Willing To Fight.

 

Soon Round The World,

The Children Would Play,

And Grownups Would Celebrate

A Bright Christmas Day.

 

They All Enjoyed Freedom

Each Month Of The Year,

Because Of The Soldiers,

Like The One Lying Here.

 

I Couldn't Help Wonder

How Many Lay Alone,

On A Cold Christmas Eve

In A Land Far From Home.

 

The Very Thought

Brought A Tear To My Eye,

I Dropped To My Knees

And Started To Cry.

 

The Soldier Awakened

And I Heard A Rough Voice,

"Santa Don't Cry,

This Life Is My Choice;

 

I Fight For Freedom,

I Don't Ask For More,

My Life Is My God,

My Country, My Corps."

 

The Soldier Rolled Over

And Drifted To Sleep,

I Couldn't Control It,

I Continued To Weep.

 

I Kept Watch For Hours,

So Silent And Still

And We Both Shivered

From The Cold Night's Chill.

 

I Didn't Want To Leave

On That Cold, Dark, Night,

This Guardian Of Honor

So Willing To Fight.

 

Then The Soldier Rolled Over,

With A Voice Soft And Pure,

Whispered, "Carry On Santa,

It's Christmas Day, All Is Secure."

 

One Look At My Watch,

And I Knew He Was Right.

"Merry Christmas My Friend,

And To All A Good Night."

 

Army Air Force Marines Navy Coast Guard!

 

A Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan wrote this poem.

Printable Issue 182  Today is Tuesday, November 25th, 2003; Karen's Korner #182

A favorite "Chicken Soup for the Soul" email; one which would make us thankful and chucked full of wonderful memories from someone who went through a difficult time:

 

I Will Always Love You
By Suzanne Perry

Like most elementary schools, it was typical to have a
parade of students in and out of the health clinic
throughout the day. We dispensed ice for bumps and
bruises, Band-Aids for cuts, and liberal doses of sympathy
and hugs. As principal, my office was right next door to
the clinic, so I often dropped in to lend a hand and help
out with the hugs. I knew that for some kids, mine might
be the only one they got all day.

One morning I was putting a Band-Aid on a little
girl's scraped knee. Her blonde hair was matted, and I
noticed that she was shivering in her thin little
sleeveless blouse. I found her a warm sweatshirt and
helped her pull it on. "Thanks for taking care of me," she
whispered as she climbed into my lap and snuggled up
against me.

It wasn't long after that when I ran across an
unfamiliar lump under my arm. Cancer, an aggressively
spreading kind, had already invaded thirteen of my lymph
nodes. I pondered whether or not to tell the students
about my diagnosis. The word breast seemed so hard to say
out loud to them, and the word cancer seemed so
frightening. When it became evident that the children were
going to find out one way or another, either the straight
scoop from me or possibly a garbled version from someone
else, I decided to tell them myself. It wasn't easy to get
the words out, but the empathy and concern I saw in their
faces as I explained it to them told me I had made the
right decision. When I gave them a chance to ask
questions, they mostly wanted to know how they could help.

I told them that what I would like best would be their
letters, pictures and prayers. I stood by the gym door as
the children solemnly filed out. My little blonde friend
darted out of line and threw herself into my arms. Then
she stepped back to look up into my face. "Don't be
afraid, Dr. Perry," she said earnestly, "I know you'll be
back because now it's our turn to take care of you."

No one could have ever done a better job. The kids
sent me off to my first chemotherapy session with a
hilarious book of nausea remedies that they had written. A
video of every class in the school singing get-well songs
accompanied me to the next chemotherapy appointment. By
the third visit, the nurses were waiting at the door to
find out what I would bring next. It was a delicate music
box that played "I Will Always Love You."

Even when I went into isolation at the hospital for a
bone marrow transplant, the letters and pictures kept
coming until they covered every wall of my room. Then the
kids traced their hands onto colored paper, cut them out
and glued them together to make a freestanding rainbow of
helping hands. "I feel like I've stepped into Disneyland
every time I walk into this room," my doctor laughed. That
was even before the six-foot apple blossom tree arrived
adorned with messages written on paper apples from the
students and teachers. What healing comfort I found in
being surrounded by these tokens of their caring.

At long last I was well enough to return to work. As
I headed up the road to the school, I was suddenly overcome
by doubts. 'What if the kids have forgotten all about me?
I wondered, What if they don't want a skinny bald
principal? What if . . .' I caught sight of the school
marquee as I rounded the bend. "Welcome Back, Dr. Perry,"
it read. As I drew closer, everywhere I looked were pink
ribbons - ribbons in the windows, tied on the doorknobs,
even up in the trees. The children and staff wore pink
ribbons, too.

My blonde buddy was first in line to greet me.
"You're back, Dr. Perry, you're back!" she called. "See, I
told you we'd take care of you!" As I hugged her tight, in
the back of my mind I faintly heard my music box playing .
. . "I will always love you."

Printable Issue 183  Today is Wednesday, November 26th, 2003; Karen's Korner #183

Thanks for allowing me to share with you something that I wrote yesterday:

Like the Karate Kid

Several days ago we were watching a re-run of one of "The Karate Kid" movies. The "kid’ was lying on a mat, fairly well beaten by his opponent. He went on to tell his Oriental mentor that he could no longer go on because he was too hurt.

 

The older instructor told him not to be afraid of his opponent. "Don’t give in to your fears," he said. "Instead stay focused on the strength which you have from within."

 

God gives us similar instructions for our lives. He tells us to not focus on the problems or situations in which we find ourselves. Instead, He tells us to focus only on Him, and that He will take care of us……..no matter what we are involved with or exposed to. He also left behind for all of us, as His Children, his spirit…….the Holy Spirit, residing within each of us. And we are to focus on that Power.

 

I Timothy 1:7 says: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a strong mind."

 

Or in "Karate Kid" style, God says, "Don’t give in to your fears. Instead stay focused on Me and on the power and strength, which I have put within you."

 

And the rest of the story of the movie is the kid continues to fight, in spite of huge odds, finishes the match, and becomes the victor.

 

Same with us. If we stay the course and focus on that Strength, no matter how beat up we might be by life’s circumstances, we will be the victors. God promises it!

Printable Issue 184  Today is Thursday, November 27th, 2003; Karen's Korner #184

Happy Thanksgiving--a day of remembering things for which to be thankful! 

 

 

Psalms 136:1 says "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His lovingkindness continues forever." 

 

Several Bible commentary thoughts on the verse: "Lovingkindness translated from Hebrew means love, kindness, mercy, and faithfulness. We never have to worry that God will run out of love because His lovingkindness flows from a well that will never run dry."

 

If you can't think of anything else to be thankful for in 2003, remember "His lovingkindness continues forever" -- that's one!!

Printable Issue 185  Today is Friday, November 28th, 2003; Karen's Korner #185

I had something else in mind for today's Karen's Korner, but late last night I received a note from Jason Hults' family. Jason, a good friend and classmate of our daughter Jamie, is a regular guy: 1989 CGHS graduate, teacher and football coach for Villisca High School, is married with a couple of kids, joined the National Guard, is in an activated unit, and is now stationed in Iraq. He will be home for a two-week leave at Christmas and will return for additional duty in Iraq following.

 

Jason wrote his parents and they passed it on to several others yesterday. I read what Jason's dad, Ray, had written: something about some president being in Baghdad and I thought, "President of what?" That was until I turned on the news and learned that President Bush had made a surprise visit and had flown to Iraq to be with the troops on Thanksgiving Day.

 

Whether pro or con war, pro or con Bush, pro or con Republicans or Democrats, I hope that you will enjoy Jason's note to his family and a few of his "friends" who he would have had no idea are reading this!

 

Dear Gina, Family, and Friends;

Happy Thanksgiving from Baghdad, Iraq!!!

I am in Baghdad as I am typing this. We drove up here with 25 trucks
yesterday to load up some vehicles to take back to Kuwait. 2 trucks, myself included,
brought up big 500KV generators. We got here to the BIAP and found out that
all military operations would be shut down for Thanksgiving. So the rest of our
convoy is just sitting around today over at the BIAP (Baghdad International
AirPort).

But, 10 of us brought the 2 trucks with generators, a gun truck (for
security) and a contact truck (maintenance support) to the JTF6 (Joint Task Force 6)
Headquarters which is located downtown Baghdad in the Presidential Palace
compound which you could probably find on a map of the city, or have seen on
the news. We are staying here tonight and will offload tomorrow before joining
up with our convoy to go load.

That's the background. The exciting part is that we ate our Thanksgiving
dinner in the Presidential Palace of the Republican Guards. The dining hall, which
is extravagent with a 20 foot chandelier and marble ceiling to floor and wall
to wall, was awesome. The food was very good as well, with all the traditional
Thanksgiving eats. Afterward, we walked around and took a lot of pictures.
Yes Beem, I took some for you as well!

Another really cool part was when we were waiting in line (Which took about
45 minutes as they were expecting to serve 2500+) was when L. Paul Bremer
stopped and talked to us for a few minutes and wished us a Happy Thanksgiving.

For those not following what is happening over here, he is the US Govt's top
civilian in Iraq, basically the guy running the interim Iraqi Govt. We
thought that was pretty cool. Saw a 2 star General and a 1 star, as well as more
Full Bird Colonels than we could count.

Not exactly the kind of place where an old buck Sergeant wants to be hanging out,

but we had a good time for a few hours anyway. Also had our pictures taken by a

bunch of civilian workers I guess. Talked with people from Australia, Britian,

and had a few American Civilian employees tell us it was good to see a few

soldiers actually taking a break and relaxing for a change.

My codriver, Ben McCurley actually said to me, "Did you ever imagine 3 years
ago that someday you would be eating Thanksgiving dinner in Saddam Hussein's
palace in Bagdad?" I had to say no. It has definetly been an experience.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. Yes, I wish I was there.

Gina, I love you and miss you. Give the kids hugs and kisses for me and
have them give you the same from me!

Love,

Jason