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February 2016 Archives

Printable Issue 3236  Today is Monday, February 1st, 2016; Karen's Korner #3236

Something from Anne Graham Lotz to start the week:

Blessed Assurance

"Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!"

~ Psalm 144:15 NKJV

"Are you facing the future with eyes wide shut, teeth clenched, body tensed, dreading your tomorrows and what they may hold? Do you feel as though you are standing on the brink of a deep, dark abyss of helplessness and despair, caught up in events involving yourself or your loved ones that are beyond your control? Regardless of what those events may be, no matter your mental or emotional or spiritual state, God's vision of the future can fill you with hope right now.

"You and I can look forward WITH HOPE! because we have the blessed assurance of Heaven, My Father's House!"

***

Printable Issue 3237  Today is Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3237

A week plus ago, my friend Bev Downs lost her mother. It wasn't unexpected mom was 95 years old. The last few years Phyllis began to enter into a world with a foggy memory. But death is still death and there is loss.

At Phyllis' funeral, Bev shared a story of her time surrounding mom's death. "Dad worked for the railroad, we could ride for free on the passenger train that ran between Omaha and Minneapolis with a stop in Clarion," she said. "Beginning when I was about ten, on occasion Mom and I would board the train sometime in the middle of the night and arrive in Minneapolis about 8 in the morning. We  would spend the day. In the evening, board again for the return trip home."

Fast forward to Phyllis' final days, "I was siting with Mom the evening she was  admitted to Hospice," said Bev. "She was resting comfortably , it had been a long day and her nurse encouraged me to go home to get some rest.

As I left the facility, I heard a train whistle in the distance. I can remember saying, 'Mom, get on that train and go.'

Bev continued that the train caused her to stop at the crossing and wait for it to go by. "I hadn't taken my coat off when the nurse called to tell me mom had passed," she said. Upon returning to the facility, the nurse told Bev she had gone in to check on Mom right after Bev had left. Phyllis was gone.

Bev believes the timing was nearly the same as when she released Mom to ' get on the train and go'.
"I believe she got on the train for the first part of her journey to heaven," she said.

Printable Issue 3238  Today is Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3238

Another daily devotional writing from Corrie ten Boom:

LIVE LIKE KINGS AND QUEENS

"'What happens after I say yes to the Lord?'

"Then you may claim all of God's promises in the Bible. Your sins, your worries, your life---you may cast them all on him.

"'I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.'"

JOHN 10:10 KJV

**

 "Lord, forgive us that too often we live as beggars when we are children of the King of kings and immeasurably rich."

Printable Issue 3239  Today is Thursday, February 4th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3239

CERTAIN VICTORY

"it's time to declare war on the pestilence that goes by the name, 'I can't'. It attacks our self-control with 'I can't keep a job' and it attacks our marriages with 'I can't forgive'. It even attacks our faith with 'I can't believe God cares for me'.

"Had Joshua mumbled those words, who would've blamed him? Joshua 1:1 begins with bad news, 'Moses, my servant is dead'. To lose Moses was to lose the cause. Imagine the dismay, the grief, the fear! And yet, God told Joshua, 'Moses is dead. Now, therefore, arise.' Moses may be dead, but God is alive! Even so, Joshua had reason to say, 'I can't'. Moses was dead. And the Canaanites ate folks like the Israelites for breakfast! But Joshua never declared defeat. God gave him reason for faith. Victory was certain because the victory was God's!

"The same is true for you."

~ Max Lucado

***


Printable Issue 3240  Today is Friday, February 5th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3240

Something published in "Portals of Prayer:; in a back edition:

ALL THROUGH CHRIST

"Our life as children of God is not always a bed of roses. In this sinful world, we are daily under attack by Satan. We and our loved ones get ill, become hospitalized, and receive unexpected news from the doctor. What can we do when the problems of life attack us or our loved ones? How can we cope with all our troubles? Let us always week to remember that coping with problems ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us! What is the power behind us? Faith in Jesus Christ as the Great Physician of both body and soul! That is the confidence of faith, a faith that clings to Jesus Christ and enables us to go on with our daily life, no matter what the circumstances may be!

"Faith in Christ as our personal Savior from sin and the Lord of our life enables us in and through Christ to know that 'for those who love God all things work together for good' (Romans 8:28).

"Although we do not always understand His will in our life, we by faith accept it, being convinced that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39)."

**

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

~ Philippians 4:13

*

"Help me, Lord, always to accept Your will for me. Amen."

****


Printable Issue 3241  Today is Monday, February 8th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3241

I spent last week in Florida as part of a 'Sisters' Slumber Party'. It was my sister Jill and two of her sisters-in-law, who are sisters. As you can imagine along with 'doing things', we had lots of time to talk.

One night we were talking and sharing past memories which led to some good laughs. Here is one Kay told about her young daughter. I thought it was so cute that I have submitted to OUR IOWA magazine and its "......Out of the Mouths........":


"Our family worshipped regularly in the Catholic Church. As adults, some of my siblings remained Catholic; others did not. Our family is in the latter category.

"When my father passed away, how would our younger daughter, who adored him, receive his death?

"We were hardly at the wake, when Kristan and her cousin, both nearing five, hand-in-hand, ran up the aisle of the funeral home to 'see grandpa'. Spotting him lying in the casket with rosary beads entwined in his hands, Kristan turned and said in a loud voice, 'All right, who tied up Grandpa?'"

***


Printable Issue 3242  Today is Tuesday, February 9th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3242

Millions of people watched Sunday's Super Bowl. We have heard that the Broncos won, in part, because of their outstanding defense.

Here is something I read this morning and I thought it seemed appropriate given the news:


"He is my strength, my shield from every danger.

I trusted Him, and He helped me.

Joy rises in my heart until I burst out in songs of praise in Him;

and He helped me."

~ Psalm 28:7 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "In the sports world, there is phrase, ' A good defense is a great offense'. In the spiritual battle around us, God is our strength and our shield. He is our defense against all that would harm us. If we trust in Him, He will certainly defend us from the vicious attacks of our enemies."

**


Printable Issue 3243  Today is Wednesday, February 10th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3243

""Here's what you need to know!"

"Here's what you need to know about the walls of Jericho. They were immense. They wrapped around the city like a suit of armor. Here's what you need to know about Jericho's inhabitants. They were ferocious and barbaric. They withstood all sieges and repelled all invaders. Until the day Joshua showed up. Until the day his army marched in. Until the day everything shook. Until mighty Jericho crumbled.

"But here's what you need to know about Joshua. He didn't bring the walls down. The shaking, quaking of the thick, impervious walls? God did that for him. And God will do that for you! Your Jericho is your fear, your anger, your bitterness, your guilt  about the past. It stand between you and your Glory Days. And its walls must fall! Life will always bring challenges. But God will always give strength to face them."

~ By Max Lucado

***

Printable Issue 3244  Today is Thursday, February 11th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3244

Today's writing from Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence":


"My Peace is like a shaft of golden Light shining on you continuously. During days of bright sunshine, it may blend in with your surroundings. On darker days, My Peace stands out in sharp contrast to your circumstances. See times of darkness as opportunities for My Light to shine in transcendent splendor. I am training you to practice Peace that overpowers darkness. Collaborate with Me in this training. DO NOT GROW WEARY OR LOSE HEART."

~ Taken from John 1:4-5 (AMP); Hebrews 12:3

**

Printable Issue 3245  Today is Friday, February 12th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3245

Sunday is Valentine's Day! We have all kinds of messages of LOVE and how to show it, express, give something to someone whom we love.

Nothing or no one speaks of LOVE like the Bible, God, Jesus does! And this is the kind of love that outlasts this life, our emotions, any gifts or cards we can get and send to one another.

 I looked at a web site and there are nearly 700 verses in the Bible which address LOVE. Some are very familiar (I didn't read them all!); others are more obscure. Here a handful:


"See how very much our Heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called His Children."

~ 1 John 3: 1

*

"May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand....how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or really fully know or understand it."

~ Ephesians 3: 18 & 19

*

"And He knows the number of hairs on your head! Never fear, you are far more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows."

~ Luke 12:7

*

"For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it!"

~ John 3:16 & 17

***


Printable Issue 3246  Today is Monday, February 15th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3246

Something written and sent as an email devotional by Anne Graham Lotz. I thought it was extra good:

THE WONDERFUL SOMEONE

"It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto 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.

"Helper:  One Who furnished 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 you life? If you belong to Jesus, you do have that wonderful Someone. You have the Holy Spirit."

******



Printable Issue 3247  Today is Tuesday, February 16th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3247

For the last several weeks, this part of Iowa has been plagued with 'weekly storms'. I missed the first one which cancelled school for two days, when I was in Florida. Last week on Monday; another storm; no school. It was blowing enough this past Sunday, that I didn't leave my farm home.

And then the wind dies down. Or the snow stops. As quickly, as we are 'stalled', it becomes nice weather again! And away we go!!

Isn't it sort of like life? Storms come. Storms go!

It was probably in May last year when we had a number of 'not-so-nice' days. Some of them were really windy! "Is there any nice weather any more?" I thought.

So for the rest of the year, I marked on the calendar. "Nice day." "Rainy!" or whatever. My tally: about 40 'bad days'. Eighty or so 'so-so' days. And nearly double that of 'nice days'! Many more 'good' days than 'bad'.

Sort of like life. Storms will come and go but the GOOD far outweigh the bad. So for those of us in Iowa, hang on spring is coming!

"He calms the storm and stills the waves."

~ Psalm 107:29

*

Bible Commentary:  "Sometimes we feel as though all is hopeless. But trouble can lead us to depend on God as we cry to Him for help. When He saves us, we will praise Him for the good He has done. Then we understand that God can bring good out of troubles because our afflictions strengthen our faith."

***


Printable Issue 3248  Today is Wednesday, February 17th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3248

Lots of you enjoy the 365-day writings by Sarah Young in her "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence". I do too; this isn't today's but February 14th, Valentine's Day, as if Jesus is talking with us:

"Give yourself fully to the adventure of today. Walk boldly along the path of Life, relying on your ever-present Companion. You have every reason to be confident, because My Presence accompanies you all the days of your life----and onward into eternity. Do not give in to fear or worry, those robbers of abundant living. Trust Me enough to face problems as they come, rather than trying to anticipate them. Fix your eyes on Me, the Author and Perfecter of your faith, and many difficulties on the road ahead will vanish before you reach them. Whenever you start to feel afraid, remember that I am holding you by your right hand. Nothing can separate you from My Presence!"

~ Hebrews 12:2; Isaiah 41:13

****

Printable Issue 3249  Today is Thursday, February 18th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3249

As I have mentioned several times, I am a Bible 'reader'; not a Bible 'scholar'. I believe the words and trust in God's blessings. I don't always know the backgrounds of people and places; don't know the names today of cities or countries written in the Bible.

I especially enjoy reading chapters and verses in Psalms. Sometimes I make a chart and begin marking off chapters I have read; not in order - randomly. Seems like Psalms 119 is one that I ten to leave toward the end. Not because I don't like it, but because it is so long:  176 verses!

But I do the end of list so I began to read it; then I remember, I really like it!

Here is a familiar and often quoted verse:

"Your word is a lamp to my feet

and a light to my path."

~ Psalm 119:105 NIV

*

Bible Commentary on that verse:  "A walk in the woods at night makes it obvious that a light is necessary to prevent one from tripping over tree roots or falling in holes. In this life, we walk through a dark forest of evil in a world that has turned its back on God. But the Bible can be our light to show us the way ahead so we won't stumble as we walk. It reveals the entangling roots of false values and philosophies. Study the Bible so you can see your way clear enough to stay on the right path."

****

Printable Issue 3250  Today is Friday, February 19th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3250

A 'gem' from Corrie ten Boom's "Each New Day":

"The Gem You Can Find Everywhere"

"The Bible is indestructible. Voltaire expected that within fifty years of his lifetime there would not be one Bible in the world. His house is nota distribution center for Bibles in many languages.

'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."

~ Mark 13:31 RSV

"Such a treasure will never fade or dim. It will be available for our children's children. We thank You for this precious legacy, Father."

***


Printable Issue 3251  Today is Monday, February 22nd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3251

Something I received the end of last week from Anne Graham Lotz, as I receive her daily inspirational thoughts emails. I really liked being able to 'crawl up into daddy's lap.:


Call Him 'Abba'

"You received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba,' Father.'

~ Romans 8:15 NIV

*

"What make you and me think we can do without a personal prayer life? It's through prayer that we come into a personal, intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.

"Do you long to have a closer relationship with God, but you don't feel worthy? Are you convinced you are a nobody and therefore would never be accepted, much less welcomed, into His presence?

"Praise God! Our entrance into His presence is not based on our own worthiness, but on the worthiness of Jesus Christ! When we enter God's presence in Jesus' name, we are as accepted by God as Jesus is, because God counts us as His own dear children!

"Jesus invites you and me, in His name, to come into His Father's presence through prayer, crawl up into His lap by faith, put our head on His shoulder of strength, feel His loving arms of protection around us, call Him 'Abba' Daddy, and pour out our hearts to Him."

****




Printable Issue 3252  Today is Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3252

"O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

You know when I sit or stand.

When far away you know my every thought.

You chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest.

Every moment, you know where I am.

You know what I am going to say before I even say it.

You both precede and follow me,

and place your hand of blessing on my head."

~ Psalm 139:1 - 5 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Sometimes we don't let people get to know us completely because we are afraid they will discover something about us they won't like. But God already knows everything about us and still accepts and loves us. God cares about us so much that he numbers the hairs on our heads (Matthew10:30). He is with us through every situation, in every trial----protecting, loving, guiding. He knows us completely."

****


Printable Issue 3253  Today is Wednesday, February 24th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3253

Can't go wrong with a "Max Lucado". If this one isn't for you today, it might be for someone in your world:


Handling the Tough Times

"How do you handle your tough times? When you are tired of trying, tired of forgiving, tired of hard weeks or hard-headed people---how do you manage your dark days? With a bottle of pills? Alcohol? A day at the spa? Many opt for such treatments. So many, in fact, we assume they reenergize that said life. But do they? They may numb the pain, but do they remove it? We like sheep follow each other over the edge, falling headlong into bars, binges, and bed. Is there a solution? Indeed there is!

"Be quick to pray. Talk to Christ who invites, 'Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life' (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus says, 'I will show you how to take areal rest.' God who is never downcast, never tires of your down days! Just go to Him!"

****

Printable Issue 3254  Today is Thursday, February 25th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3254

The other day I had a $10 off coupon. But where did I put it? I started to retrace my steps and my thinking.

Then I remembered. I had put it in my right coat pocket.

I didn't go there to look. I had put it there, so it still had to be there.

When I put my coat on, it was there.

Sort of like God's Holy Spirit. Neither God nor us have to go looking for it. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God packs His Holy Spirit in us...........whether we feel like it; act like it or not. We just have to recall who we are. Whose we are. And what we possess!


"God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His Love."

~ Romans 5:5b LB

*

"Haven't you yet learned that your body is the home of Holy Spirit God gave you, and that He lives within you?"

~ I Corinthians 6:19 LB

*

Thank You, God, for the gift of the Holy Spirit. And all of the other gifts which You have given to each of us as believers in You. Amen.

*****


Printable Issue 3255  Today is Friday, February 26th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3255

Sorry this is delayed today. Have a great weekend!

Another entry from Corrie ten Boom's "Each New Day", 365 reflections to Strength Your Faith":


The View From Above

"Keep looking up and kneeling down. Then you can keep looking down from the position of Jesus' victory over your problems. He is willing to make you more than conqueror.

Look around and be distressed.

Look within and be depressed.

Look at Jesus and be at rest.

"In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
~ Romans 8:37 RSV

"Thank you, Lord Jesus, that we can look at you through faith and that you are the author and finisher of our faith. Hallelujah!:

***



Printable Issue 3256  Today is Monday, February 29th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3256

"Long ago, before He made the world,

God chose us to be His very own,

through what Christ would do for us;

He decided then to make us holy in His Eyes,

without a single fault---

we who stand before Him covered with His Love.

His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into Him own family

by sending Jesus Christ to die for us.

And He did this because He wanted to!"

~ Ephesians 3:3 - 5 LAB

*

Bible Commentary on these verses:  "Paul said, 'God chose us,' to emphasize that salvation depends totally on God. We are not saved because we deserve it, but because God is gracious and freely gives it. We did not influence God's decision to save us; He did it according to His plan. Thus there is no way to take credit for our salvation, or to find room for pride. The mystery of salvation originated in the timeless mind of God long before we existed. It is hard to understand how God could accept us, but because of Christ we are holy and blameless in His eyes. God chose you and me, and when we belong to Him through Jesus Christ, He looks at us as if we have never sinned."

******