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April 2016 Archives

Printable Issue 3280  Today is Friday, April 1st, 2016; Karen's Korner #3280

There are books of the Bible which are easier to understand than others. For me, Isaiah is in the category of being more difficult, at least parts of it. You can tell that I am slugging through portions of it right now, as yesterday's Karen's Korner was from Isaiah, as is today's:


"See my servant. whom I uphold; my Chosen One, in whom I delight. I have put my Spirit upon him; he will reveal justice to the nations of the world. He will be gentle---he will not shout nor quarrel in the streets. He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame. He will encourage the fainthearted, those tempted to despair. He will see full justice given to all who have been wronged. He won't be satisfied until truth and righteousness prevail throughout the earth, nor until even distant lands beyond the seas have put their trust in him."

~ Isaiah 42:1 - 4 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "The Chosen One reveals a character of gentleness, encouragement, justice and truth. When we feel broken and bruised, or burned out in our spiritual lives, God won't step on us or toss us aside as useless, but He will gently pick us up. God's loving attributes are desperately needed by mankind today. We can show such sensitivity through God's Spirit to people around us, reflecting God's goodness and honesty to them."

*

Dear Father in Heaven, when we anger, merciless killings, and shouting in the streets, will you remind us that is not Your Way? Your way is gentle and kind; sometimes it appears that isn't working! But You tell us that ultimately it will work and is working! Help us to look to You and Your Ways and not the way of this world. In Your Son's Name. Amen.

***



Printable Issue 3281  Today is Monday, April 4th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3281

I had to have a tooth pulled by a dentist on Friday morning. It had a split root, nothing could be done to fix it. First tooth, I have had one extracted for probably fifty plus years. (I put the tooth under my pillow, nothing has happened to it yet!)

Wow! Talk about a list of things that could happen:  this might happen. If this doesn't happen, do this. Sign this paper with a list of possibilities of what to look for. 'Don't' and 'do' for the next few days! Of course, they are required to do this; they don't want to us not to know all of the possibilities. And if all else failed, I was given the dentist's cell phone number to call over the weekend, if I had needs or questions.

If I didn't have questions or doubts before, they could have flooded my way!

Does that sound like life in general? First, there is a problem, or a potential one; then we run off to the races in our minds of what could happen next if......

God tells us not to worry about anything. Sometimes easier said than done! But then He tells us to 'pray about everything'. And finally to tell Him thank you, even before we see his answers (Philippians 4:6,7).

When those things happen, I start by telling God, "You ask me to not worry, but I confess that I can't even do that. So you are going to have to help me." Then I proceed by telling Him exactly how I would like the issue, problem, worry to turn out - if I were Him. And then I tell Him thank You, even though I can't see the outcome. Or even if it goes a different direction than I'd like.

And then my mind relaxes. If it doesn't, I start over and retell Him my problem.

My tooth? It's fine. I have a gap where the molar came out. Only a couple of things actually happened or I had to do.

God always takes care of 'things'. If that doesn't happen, He takes care of us!

Printable Issue 3282  Today is Tuesday, April 5th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3282

The Wonderful Someone

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

~ John 16:7

*

"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 give 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."

~ By Anne Graham Lotz

***




Printable Issue 3283  Today is Wednesday, April 6th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3283

Today's entry by Sarah Young and her "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence", written as if Jesus is talking to each one of us personally and based on some specific Bible verses:


"Bring Me the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Take nothing for granted, not even the rising sun. Before Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, thankfulness was as natural as breathing. Satan's temptation involved pointing Eve to the one thing that was forbidden her. The garden was filled with luscious, desirable fruits, but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn't have rather than being thankful for the many good things freely available. This negative focus darkened her mind, and she succumbed to temptation.

"When you focus on what you don't have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from Me. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is 'fixed'.

"When you approach Me with thanksgiving, the Light of My Presence pours into you, transforming you through and through. Walk in the Light of Me by practicing the discipline of Thanksgiving."

~ Taken from Psalm 116:17 (NKJV); Genesis 3:2 - 6; I John 1:7

***

Printable Issue 3284  Today is Thursday, April 7th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3284

I had the opportunity to stop in to visit with my aunt and uncle yesterday afternoon. Dick just turned 95 and Ruth recently had a birthday; she is now 94. They will celebrate anniversary #73 next month.

Ruth who was a quite attractive younger woman and still is pretty nice appearing for her advancing age and who has always had quite a quick wit, said, "Growing older wouldn't be so bad, if it wasn't for mirrors!"

**

"Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He saves them.

He calms the storm and stills the waves.

What a blessing is that stillness, as He brings them safely into harbor!

Oh, that these men would praise the Lord for His lovingkindness and for all of His wonderful deeds!

Let them praise Him publicly before the congregation, and before the leaders of the nation."

~ Psalm 107:28 - 32 LAB

*

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 strength our faith."


Printable Issue 3285  Today is Friday, April 8th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3285

For the past few years, I am given an annual flip calendar for that particular year from our Australian daughter, Karen Feeley and her family. The cover sports art work from her older son Tom; today is his tenth birthday. Each week of the 2016 calendar has a 'saying' by some known person.

So in honor of Tom and his day, here are a portion of them:


"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer someone else up."

~ Mark Twain

*

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world."

~ Anne Frank

*

"All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and somebody who believes in them."

~ Earvin (Magic) Johnson

*

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right."

~ Henry Ford

*

"Life is like riding a bicycle:  to keep your balance you must keep moving."

~ Albert Einstein

***

Printable Issue 3286  Today is Monday, April 11th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3286

On a sign outside a church in Iowa City:

"Still under the same management for more than 2000 years!"

**

Who can beat the messages of Max Lucado?

PRAY!

"When a believing person prays---great things happen! You might say, I worry so much about HOW I should pray---I don't get around to actually PRAYING! Exactly!

"If you want to deepen your prayer life---pray! Don't prepare to pray. Just pray. Don't read about prayer. Just pray. Don't attend a lecture on prayer and engage in discussion about prayer. Just pray! James 5:13 says anyone who's having troubles should pray. Anyone who's happy should sing praises! Posture, tone, and place------these are personal matters. Do what works for you. Just don't over-think! In other words, don't be so concerned about wrapping the gift that you never give it! Better to pray awkwardly than not at all.

"And if you feel you should only pray when you're inspired, that's okay! Just see to it that you're inspired every day!

***

Printable Issue 3287  Today is Tuesday, April 12th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3287

"Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious ideal; yet now God declares us 'not guilty' of offending Him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in His kindness freely takes away our sins."

~ Romans 3:23 & 24 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Some sins seem bigger than others because their obvious consequences are much more serious. Murder, for example, seems to us to be worse than hatred, and adultery seems worse than lust. But this does not mean we can get away with some sins and not others. All sin makes us sinners, and all sin cuts us off from our holy God. All sin, therefore, leads to death (because it disqualifies us from the living God), regardless of how great or small it seems. Don't minimize 'little' sins or overrate 'big' sins. They all separate us from God, but they all can be forgiven.

"When a judge in a court of law declares the defendant not guilty, all the charges are removed from his record. Legally, it is as if the person had never been accused. When God forgives our sins, our record is wiped clean. From His perspective, it is as though we had never sinned."

***


Printable Issue 3288  Today is Wednesday, April 13th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3288

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!"

~ by Anne Graham Lotz

**






Printable Issue 3289  Today is Thursday, April 14th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3289

I have a hunch by the time November comes this year, we are all going to be ready to not hear any more about elections.

Here is something written by Corrie ten Boom, who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, and published in "Each New Day" devotional book. It talks about 'voting' and 'elections':


Electing Him

"God is voting for us all the time. The devil is voting against us all the time. The way we vote carries the election.

"Chose you this day whom you will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

~ Joshua 24:15 NKJV

*

"Yes, Lord, I again, or for the first time, choose to be yours. What joy to know that you chose me. I lay my weak hand in your strong hand. Together with you, I am more than conqueror."

***


Printable Issue 3290  Today is Friday, April 15th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3290

Karen's Korner readers know that I enjoy Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence", written as if Jesus is talking directly to us and based on selected Bible verses. Every day is good, but I especially liked yesterday's:

"Heaven is both present and future. As you walk along your life-path holding My hand, you are already in touch with the essence of heaven:  nearness to Me. You can find many hints of heaven along your pathway, because the earth is radiantly alive with My Presence. Shimmering sunshine awakens your heart, gently reminding you of My brilliant Light. Birds and flowers, trees and skies evoke praises to My holy Name. Keep your eyes and ears fully open as you journey with Me.

"At the end of your life-path is an entrance to heaven. Only I know when you will reach that destination, but I am preparing you for it each step of the way. The absolute certainty of your heavenly home give you Peace and Joy, to help you along your journey. You know that you will reach your home in My perfect timing; not one moment too soon or too late. Let the hope of heaven encourage you, as you walk along the path of Life with Me."

~ I Corinthians 15:20-23; Hebrews 6:19

***

Printable Issue 3291  Today is Monday, April 18th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3291

Our Sunday School class yesterday looked at a chapter in John; it was 17. In that chapter Jesus was praying as He was talking to His disciples. Subtitles are "Jesus prays for himself"; "Jesus prays for His disciples"; and "Jesus prays for future believers".

Tom Stuart, Pastor of Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer" then instructs readers on "Praying Like Jesus for Family and Friends", using some of those same words.

If you'd like a one-page copy of the information and eight bullet points that we can pray for our families and friends, I'd be happy to attach a copy to your email request.

But just prior to chapter 17 is this verse - John 16:33:

"I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world."

*

Bible Commentary on this verse:  "Jesus sums up all He has told His disciples on this particular night, tying together many themes. With these final words, He is telling His disciples to take courage. In spite of inevitable struggles they would face, they were not alone. He tells us the same thing. Ultimate victory has already been won!

***


Printable Issue 3292  Today is Tuesday, April 19th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3292

As our calendar turns to May, we think of celebrating mothers on Mothers' Day. Proverbs 31, beginning at verse 10 and to the end of chapter, tells about 'a truly good wife' (could be woman!).

"She finds wool and flax and busily spins it." (v.13)

Our Marys & Marthas has a handful of women who make quilts, afghans, prayer shawls, blankets through "Warm Thought" blankets and "Knit Wits" and they give to babies, people or families in crisis, or just to let them know we care. I deliver several every month. Never stitched a one of them. Many of our 'makers' go unnoticed.

"She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household......plans the day's work...........she is an energetic, a hard worker, and watches for bargains. She works far into the night." (v. 15 - 18)

How many wives and moms juggle the day, getting kids ready for school, maybe getting them off to day care, works hard both at home and at the work place. They need to be appreciate. We need to thank God for the tasks He has given us to do and for the energy to do them. And ask Him to help us!

"She is a woman of strength and dignity, and has no fear of old age." (v. 25)

How many people (women) do we know who continue to do wonderful things, even in their advancing age? If God brings someone to your mind today, take the opportunity to tell them 'thank you'.

"Her children stand and bless her, so does her husband." (v. 28)

This past weekend, Iowa Mothers Association held their annual meeting. Among other things, they picked 'Iowa's Mother of the Year for 2016'. Barbara Wittmer who lives on a dairy farm near Vinton. In her bio, it states, 'in 1980 her youngest son Ed was killed in a farm accident. This led her and her husband Warren to take their first foster child in 1982." Since that time, they have had more than 75 children as part of their family.

"Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn't last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised. Praise her for the many fine things she does. These good deeds of hers shall bring her honor and recognition from people of importance.' (v. 30 & 31)

A couple of comments on these verses include 'it may surprise us to realize that her appearance is never mentioned. Her attractiveness comes entirely from her character'. Also it states, 'the person mentioned in these verses may not be one person but may be a composite portrait of ideal womanhood'.

Congratulations, gals, take a bow today! You have one (or more than one) of these traits. God wants to remind you who you are! And if He wants you to remind someone else today who they are....email them, call them, tell them.....TODAY!!



Printable Issue 3293  Today is Wednesday, April 20th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3293

It happened again this morning.

I had decided to walk about a mile of road ditches near my farm home; half mile one way and half back. I usually start the ditch pick up process earlier in the spring but we have lots of wind. I started my trek south; brisk wind to my back.

Oh, great! I am not going to like the walk north, I thought. Maybe I shouldn't be walking. Maybe there'd be another better day. So my thoughts were sort of grumbly as I walked.

Then I turned around.

 It wasn't as breezy as I thought it would be. And it was more to my side than straight into my face.

Sort of like life. Busy thinking of what things might be like in the future, instead of enjoy the walk at the time.

I can recall during my early years of high school when the United States was involved with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Our grandma was so upset. She had a grandson and granddaughter's husband who were both in the National Guard. She was sure they would be called into active duty and into the unknown future.

Her daughter (mom and mother-in-law to the boys involved) and who had had some serious emotional problems in her early years as a young mom, said, "Oh, Mom, I learned a long time ago to not ruin today by worrying about tomorrow!"

Neither of them were called into active duty.

God tells us to 'be anxious for nothing' (Philippians 4:6).

That goes for today!

Make it a good one!!

Printable Issue 3294  Today is Thursday, April 21st, 2016; Karen's Korner #3294

Ever feel run down or run over by life? Here is a writing by Max Lucado:


Change the Way You Look at Life

"Unnoticed? Neglected? Ignored? Not even close---to how God sees you! If you're feeling unnoticed and under-appreciated, take a look at how God sees you as recorded in 1 Peter 2:9:  'You are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession.' Or how about this description from Isaiah 61:10:  'He has covered me with clothes of salvation and wrapped me with a coat of goodness, like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding, like a bride dressed in jewels.'

"When your self-esteem sags---remember what you're worth! Remember that you were bought with a price, not with something that ruins like gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Christ, the pure and perfect lamb. Remember that!  Meditate on it!  Focus on it!  Allow God's love to change the way you look at -- YOU!

***

Printable Issue 3295  Today is Friday, April 22nd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3295

Yesterday at a Bible study, Sandy Stephenson shared something tucked in a corner of her Bible; she had read it earlier that morning.

It's a good one, authored by Mother Teresa of Calcutta and based on 2 Corinthians 9:6 - 15:

JOY

"Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. One gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ risen.

"This I tell my sisters. This I tell you."

****


Printable Issue 3296  Today is Monday, April 25th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3296

God's Thoughts

~ written by Max Lucado

"God's thoughts are not our thoughts---we aren't even in the same neighborhood! Psalm 92:5 sets the standard! 'Lord you have done such great things! How deep are your thoughts!'

"When we're thinking preserve the body, God is thinking save the soul. When we dream of a pay raise God dreams of raising the dead. We avoid pain, and seek peace while God uses pain to bring peace. I'm going to live before I die, we resolve. But God instructs, Die so you can live. We love what rusts but God loves what endures. We rejoice at our successes, but God rejoices at our confessions.

"We show our children the Nike star with the million-dollar smile and say, 'Be like him!' God points to the crucified carpenter with bloody lips and a torn side and says, 'Be like Christ!'"


Printable Issue 3297  Today is Tuesday, April 26th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3297

We got an assignment in our church sermon on Sunday. We are to read John chapters 14 - 16 and Acts chapters 1 - 5. Our sermons have been on the Holy Spirit. Most of know quite a bit about God and Jesus, but what about the Holy Spirit?

Can't see I have ever had a worship service assignment before. If I have, I don't remember.

So I thought last night I'd embark on it and read John chapter 14.


"Jesus told Thomas, 'I am the Way---yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except by means of me.'"

~ John 14:6 LAB

*

Bible Commentary: "Jesus says He is the ONLY way to God the Father. Some people may argue that this is too narrow. In reality, it is wide enough for the whole world, if the world chooses to accept it. Instead of worrying about how limited it sounds to have only one way, we should be saying, 'Thank you, God, for providing a sure way to get to You.'

"As the Way, He is our path to the Father. As the Truth, He is the reality of all God's promises .As the Life, He joins His divine life to ours, both now and eternally."

***


Printable Issue 3298  Today is Wednesday, April 27th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3298

I did it! I ran a mile in the Great Blue Mile as part of the Drake Relays in Des Moines last night.

Never did that before and I didn't know if I could do it without walking. Running the whole mile was my goal! Because I had never 'run' (jog? some power walkers were faster than me!), that far before, I knew I had to run a slow and steady pace. My time was 14 1/2 minutes.

I knew that I couldn't pay any attention to faster runners or anyone who might pass me. I didn't want to look back at the 'walkers'. Or those with little children. Or pushing strollers.

I had to pay attention to me. And what I knew that I wanted to accomplish. There were several thousand of us. Running east down Grand Avenue, we made the one-half mile mark before we rounded the corner, moving another block or two before heading back west and the finish line. As I got to the half-way mark, I knew that I would keep going at my set pace.

As I ran, I thought about our lives. We aren't supposed to run anyone's race but our own. Everyone there had a different goal:  winning, faster times than the last time they had participated, completing the one mile gig.

The Bible tells us the same thing:  "Let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us." (Hebrews 12:1).

***

Printable Issue 3299  Today is Thursday, April 28th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3299

Margaret, my walking 'buddy' for the past more than twenty years, lost her husband, Harlan, nearly a year ago. Recently their tombstone was placed on the family plot in our local cemetery. It is beautiful! Among other things, engraved on it are these words:  "Children are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3)".

It is more than a epitaph. It is their lives:  six children, eighteen grandchildren (the most recent one less than a month old), Margaret currently serving as our school's middle school counselor -- add on another couple hundred kids!

But the simple Bible verse really had me take a second notice, when the same sentence was repeated by Dr. David Jeremiah in a daily inspirational thought which he sent out several days ago:


Where You'll Find a Future President

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward."

~ Psalm 127:3

*

"Someone said, 'A baby is a small member of the home that makes love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, the bankroll smaller, the home happier, the clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.' Children are a blessing, not a burden. There is joy in children, but children need our love and attention now more than ever.

"If there's a child in your life -- a son or daughter, a grandchild, a niece or nephew, a pupil or student -- let them see Christ in you. They need to see you reading your Bible, praying, memorizing and quoting Scripture, and offering thanks before your meals. They need patience modeled for them, and joy. If possible, they need genuine facetime with you, not just the smartphone version. They need to learn to brush their teeth, read their Bibles, say their prayers, make their beds, and pick up their things. They need to know that church attendance is important, and that tithing is an aspect of worship and stewardship.

"God places children in our lives so we can lead them to Him. Being a parent isn't just a job -- it's a joy!

"If you want to see a future preacher, president, leader, missionary, or hero, just sign up to work in the church nursery. When God gives us children, He gives us the privilege of nurturing the future."

****

Printable Issue 3300  Today is Friday, April 29th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3300

Wow! I just noticed that this 'korner' has a number that ends in '00' - #3300! Thanks for sticking with me and other Karen's Korner readers over a long period of time!

Something written by Anne Graham Lotz. We have to decide what we want to do with what Jesus did for us. Do we accept it and Him? Or reject His offer?


"It is Finished"

"He said, 'it is finished!' And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit."

~ John 19:30 NKJV

"After nine hours of standing on His feet, after being scourged, slapped, and manhandled, after six hours of hanging on the Cross, the average person would have barely had enough life and breath left to even whisper. But Jesus, the Lamb of God, with life fully flowing through His body, shouted out in a clear, ringing, triumphant voice, 'It is finished.' The price for our redemption had been paid! The sacrifice for our sin had been made! Sin was forgiven! Guilt was atoned for! Eternal life was now offered! Heaven has been opened! It is finished!

"You don't have to do more good works than bad works.

"You don't have to go to church every time the door opens.

"You don't have to climb the stairs to some statue.

"You don't have to be religious.

"You don't even have to be good!"

"Sin is forgivable for everyone! The price has been paid!"

****