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May 2016 Archives

Printable Issue 3301  Today is Monday, May 2nd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3301

Something written by Corrie ten Boom and taken from "Each New Day":


For Our Salvation, Not Our Discussion

"The riches of the Bible are ours, but people continue to argue over interpretation. For those who have not yet accepted the Savior Jesus Christ, and who are therefore lost, it is the same as having your house on fire, and the having to listen to the firemen argue about which hose to use!

"Who are you to criticize the servant of somebody else, especially when that Somebody Else is God? It is to his own Master that he gives, or fails to give, satisfactory service. And don't doubt that satisfaction, for God is well able to transform men into servants who are satisfactory."

Romans 14:3 - 4 Phillips

*

"Lord, we know it is not our place to decide who is right and who is wrong in any matter. Your promises are there for our salvation, not for our discussion."

****



Printable Issue 3302  Today is Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3302

Today is my 'day'; birthday #70! Who knew it was going to go by so fast?

I had someone ask me a number of months ago, if I should have an Open House to celebrate.

No, I said, I decided to celebrate wherever I was for a month; some days before and some after. I am headed for a birthday breakfast in a few minutes. I will give you on update on what I did/had in a couple more weeks.

On Sunday, our Sunday School class, "Sunday Times" surprised me with a party. Jayne Hanning led the way and started by using my initials to describe me and others as well! I had never had that done to me, nor have I don't it to anyone else. But I liked it and may share her idea with others at another time.

From Jayne on my birthday:

KAREN

K - Kindness - "Be kind to each other...." - Ephesians 4:32a.

A - Always - "Always give thanks in everything......." - Ephesians 5:20a.

R - Rejoice - "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice." - Philippians 4:4.

E - Everlasting Life - "For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." - John 3:16.

N - Never - "I will never, never leave you nor forsake you. " - Hebrews 13:5.

Thanks, Jayne. I am going to have a good day; hope you do as well!


Printable Issue 3303  Today is Wednesday, May 4th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3303

My sister shares a quarterly daily inspirational thoughts, "Portals of Prayer," with me now and then. I pick it up and read it......now and then.

Today is such a day; here is today's written by George T. Zoebl:


Ask

"My youngest son used to ask for things in a roundabout way. He'd look longingly at the cookies and say, 'I know we can't have one of those.' Silly child. He couldn't very well know the answer until he asked, could he? Sometimes, I would have said no. But sometimes, I would have said yes. And I would have had such fun giving him his treat. But because he would not ask, both of us were robbed of that joy.

"I wonder what things we don't have because we choose not to ask. I start a prayerful plea, but then I stop myself, deciding that God doesn't want to bother Himself with such small matters. I wait for the blessings He has in store without thinking to be polite enough to ask for them. What, I wonder, is my Father waiting to give me? What is He waiting for me to ask?

"Our foolishness and our pride keep us from taking all things to God. And yet, He continues to bring all things to us. He showers us with blessings unasked for and provides our every need despite our reluctant voices. In love, He did not wait to send His Son, but asked Him to die that we might live. In him, through Him, and because of Him and what He gives, our joy in full."

"Father, give me today all that I truly need."

***


Printable Issue 3304  Today is Thursday, May 5th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3304

Today is set "National Day of Prayer" set annually in our country since the early 1950s. Most people believe that there are many things we don't like in our world, in our country, maybe in our own families. Pray can't hurt; maybe can even change the course of some things.

There are events organized in many places around our nation. If you know of one in your area and you have the time, consider attending. Even if it is something you don't normally do. Or pray for our world or our corner of it with your family, a friend......or by yourself.

Here is Max Lucado's email thought for today:

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

"I have a question for you on this National Day of Prayer! How BOLD are your prayers? As John Wesley crossed the Atlantic, he was reading in his cabin, and became aware of heavy winds knocking the ship off course. He responded in prayer and a colleague wrote it down.

"'Almighty and everlasting God...Thou holdest the winds in they fists and sittest upon the water floods...command those winds and these waves that they obey Thee. Take us speedily and safely to the haven whither we would go.'

"On deck his colleague found calm winds and the ship on course. Wesley made no mention of the answered prayer. His friend wrote, 'So fully did he expect to be heard that he took it for granted he was heard.'

"How bold are YOUR prayers?

***

Printable Issue 3305  Today is Friday, May 6th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3305

Something from Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence" (written as if Jesus is talking with us). There is something written for every day. This one is tomorrow's, as we work into the weekend:

"If you learn to trust Me---really trust Me---with your whole being, then nothing can separate you from My Peace. Everything you endure can be put to good use by allowing it to train you in trusting Me. This is how you foil the works of evil, growing in grace through the very adversity that was meant to harm you. Joseph was a prime example of this divine reversal, declaring to his brothers, 'You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.'

"Do not fear what this day, or any day, may bring your way. Concentrate on trusting Me and on doing what needs to be done. Relax in My sovereignty, remembering that I go before you, as well as with you, into each day. Fear no evil, for I can bring good out of every situation you will ever encounter."

Words taken from Generis 50:20 NASB; Psalm 23:4

***

Printable Issue 3306  Today is Monday, May 9th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3306

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Something sent to me by our Australian daughter; probably due in part to my recent birthday:


Secret of Living Well & Longer:

* Eat Half;

* Walk Double;

* Laugh Triple;

* And Love without Measure!

~ Tibetan Proverb

*

Whether we do all of them or not, one or two of them will make a difference!



Printable Issue 3307  Today is Tuesday, May 10th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3307

"And what is it that God has said?

That He has given us eternal life, and that this life is in His Son.

So whoever has God's Son has life; whoever does not have the Son does not have life."

~ I John 5:11 & 12 LAB

*

*Bible Commentary: "Whoever believes in God's Son has eternal life. He is all you need. You don't need to wait, because eternal life begins today. You don't need to work for it, because it is already yours. You don't need to worry, because you have been given eternal life by God himself, and it is guaranteed."

***

Printable Issue 3308  Today is Wednesday, May 11th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3308

Tools in Satan's Tool Kit

"How do we explain our stubborn hearts and conniving ways? How do we explain Auschwitz, human trafficking, abuse? If I were the devil, I'd want you to feel attacked by an indefinable force. If I were the devil, I'd keep my name out of it.

"But God doesn't let the devil get away with this. He tells us his name:  splitter, a divider, a wedge driver. Don't fault the plunging economy or a raging dictator for your anxiety. They are simply tools in Satan's tool kit. We can't understand God's narrative without understanding Satan's strategy. Scripture says, 'the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil' (1 John 3:8).

"God calls the devil by name and promises to defeat him. So, be assured, his days are numbered.

~ By Max Lucado

***

Printable Issue 3309  Today is Thursday, May 12th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3309

Several mornings ago, I was watching a television promotional, making viewers aware of the crisis of a third world country. Young children were in a dilemma:  being thirsty, or drinking impure water from streams near where they live.

They were drinking the polluted water, causing health problems. Maybe premature deaths of the young people.

After making viewers aware, the Christian outreach was attempting to attract givers to add resources to allow the ministry to dig wells to be able to provide clean drinking water to a number of various villages.

As I watched, I couldn't help but think of the 'natural resource' which was 'under their feet'. Everyone was attracted to the water they could see, but the 'life giving, pure water' was right there, it just needs to be brought to the surface, to add to their healthy lives!

I wonder if this is true of our lives. We look at what is on the 'surface'. Sometimes we are attracted to what we see, think, or feel.........at first glance! But if we dig down a little deeper, we 'mine', a 'stream' of clean, refreshing water?

"And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in Him. May your roots god down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love, and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His Love really is, and to experience the love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God Himself."

~ Ephesians 3:17 - 19 LAB

Printable Issue 3310  Today is Friday, May 13th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3310

We all have thoughts, things we have said or done in our past. Here is a 'God Thought' gave me a few days ago:

"Don't be enslaved by your past;

don't be afraid of your future."

*

Plus a few thoughts from an "Everlasting Love" flip calendar, to take us into the weekend:


"God is not the author of confusion.  He likes to write happy endings."

*

"Don't give up now. If God has brought you this far, He won't leave you.

Will you try? Will you give Him a chance?"

*

"Wherever you go, God is always there."

*

"You have the right to be less than perfect."


***


Printable Issue 3311  Today is Monday, May 16th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3311

"A true friend is always loyal,

and a brother is born to help in time of need."

~ Proverbs 17:17 LAB

*

Bible Commentary: "What king of friend are you? There is a vast difference between knowing someone well and being a true friend. The greatest evidence of genuine friendship is loyalty---being available to help in times of distress or personal struggles. Too many people are fair-weather friends. They stick around when the friendship helps them, and leave when they're not getting anything out of the relationship. Think of your friends and assess your loyalty to them. Be kind of true friend the Bible encourages."

****


Printable Issue 3312  Today is Tuesday, May 17th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3312

Something written by Corrie ten Boom from "Each New Day":


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.


"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 3313  Today is Wednesday, May 18th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3313

Forgiveness-An Act of Worship

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

~ Luke 23:34 NIV

"If Jesus forgave those who nailed Him to the Cross, and if God forgives you and me, how can you withhold your forgiveness from someone else? How can you withhold your forgiveness from yourself? If God says, 'I forgive you,' who are you to say, 'Thank You, God, but I can't forgive myself'? Are your standards higher than His? Are you more righteous than He is? If God says, 'I forgive you', then the only appropriate response is to say, 'God, thank You. I don't deserve it, but I accept it. And to express my gratitude, I, in turn,, forgive that person who has sinned against me.'

"We forgive others, not because they deserve it, but because He deserves it! The only reason we have to forgive is that He commands us to, and our obedience gives us opportunity to say to Him, 'Thank You for forgiving me. I love You.' Our forgiveness of others then becomes an act of worship that we would not enter into except for Who He is and for the overwhelming debt of love we owe Him."

~ written by Anne Graham Lotz

***



Printable Issue 3314  Today is Thursday, May 19th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3314

As we move closer to Memorial Day and away from our annual National Day of Prayer, here is something spoken by Ronald Reagan in August 1984 at an ecumenical prayer breakfast in Dallas, Texas:


"We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief, to apply moral teaching to public question.

"I submit to you that the tolerant society is open to and encouraging of all religions. And this does not weaken us; it strengthens us.....

"Without God, there is no virtue, because there is not prompting of the conscience. Without God, we're mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

~ Taken from the book "In God We Still Trust

By Dr. Richard G. Lee

***

Printable Issue 3315  Today is Friday, May 20th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3315

This is graduation at our school and a number of neighboring schools. Some had graduations last week; others are set for upcoming weeks.

As I reflected on the 2016 graduates, I remember May of my senior year with my own pending graduation.

I was walking from the girls' locker room out on to an athletic field for a physical education class; all the girls garbed in our 'beautiful' green one-pieced short outfits which we were all required to wear.

I idly said to some of the girls with whom I was walking, "I can't believe how much I don't know. I thought I would have learned more than this before I graduated from high school."

Our P.E. teacher, walking with another group of girls just ahead of me, turned and said, "Congratulations! Knowledge is one thing, but the beginning of wisdom is recognizing what you still don't know!"

Lots of years have passed since that day. I have taken college classes, been involved in short-term classes, Bible studies, and one-time topic classes. Who knew where technology was going to take all of us?

In that time, I have gained lots more knowledge on a variety of topics. One thing I know no more than even then:  there is sure a lot of things I don't know much about. The more I know, the more I know that I don't know. Taking the words of my high school instructor: I must be pretty wise by now!

The Bible has lots to say about 'wisdom'. The book of Proverbs is packed with them! If you have the chance, the first handful of chapters in the book has lots to say about it!

Here are a couple:

"How does a man become wise? The first step is to trust and reverence the Lord. (1:7)"

"For wisdom and truth will enter the very center of your being, filling your life with joy. (2:10)"

"Don't be sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality. (3:7,8)"

***

Printable Issue 3316  Today is Monday, May 23rd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3316

Because of cold, rain, and often times, too much wind, I have been slow in finishing to plant my gardens this year. I am more of a flower gardener, than a vegetable one.

Friday, I was finalizing the rim of a circular garden in front of my farm home. I was looking for alyssum. The first place where I shopped, I found four of the small starter plant boxes. They weren't the greatest looking; pretty small. But I bought them anyway, not knowing what else I might find as I shopped.

The second garden spot had big beautiful, flowing ones. I should have bought them all here, I thought. I purchased another half dozen boxes. And planted them that afternoon.

Then came sun that started to beat down, with more like summer temperatures. And winds! If it is windy in town, it is a gale in the country!

I brought the new fledgling plants as much water as I could but would it be enough?

Last night and this morning, I couldn't help but notice which plants are 'weathering the storm' the best. You guessed it........the smaller, more be bedraggled ones!

Made me stop and think one more time:  how often do I/we run past the plain and ordinary people and things in our lives; on my/our way to the bigger, brighter......maybe more beautiful!

I read in a Bible commentary this morning:  "People tend to admire three qualities in others:  beauty, power, and riches."

Dear Lord, thank you for everything in your creation, including people! Forgive me when I do! Your 'sight' is so much better than mine. You see things so much differently than I do. One more thing I need your help with! In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 3317  Today is Tuesday, May 24th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3317

"Don't Hurry; Don't Scurry" was an email inspirational thought sent to my computer yesterday by Max Lucado!

I like being busy and doing lots of things! But once in awhile, I get into a 'hurry and scurry' mode; which I am right now. I might add:  'don't hurry, scurry......or worry!' I don't like it!

God has to remind me not only who I am, but Whose I am! This one hit the spot for me:


Don't Hurry; Don't Scurry!

"You don't have to hurry or scurry! The Spirit-led life does not panic--it trusts. In Ephesians 1:19-20, the Apostle Paul reminds us that 'God's power is very great for us who believe. That power is the same as the great strength God used to raise Christ from the dead and put him at his right side in the heavenly world.'

"The same hand that pushed the rock from the tomb can shove away your doubt. The same power that stirred the still heart of Christ can stir your flagging faith. The same strength that put Satan on his heels can, and will defeat Satan in your life. Just keep the power supply open. Who knows, you may soon hear people asking, 'What's gotten into you?' You see, as God's story becomes our story, his power becomes our power."

***



Printable Issue 3318  Today is Wednesday, May 25th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3318

"I pray that you will that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to those who believe in him. It is that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right had in heaven far above any king or ruler or dictator or leader."

~ Ephesians 1:19 - 20 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Having been raised from the dead, Christ is now the supreme head of the church, the ultimate authority over the world. Christ is the Messiah, God's anointed One, the One Israel longed for, the One who would set their broken world right. As Christians, we can be confident that God has won the final victory and is in control of everything. We need not fear any dictator, nation, death, or Satan himself. The contract has been signed and sealed; we are waiting just a short while for delivery. Paul wrote in Romans that 'nothing can separate us from God and his love'."

**


Printable Issue 3319  Today is Thursday, May 26th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3319

It's official! Twenty birthday 'parties' and forty days later, I am officially done celebrating my 70th birthday!

The 'real day' is May 3, but we began the 'celebration' in mid-April, with a dozen of our weekly coffee gals deep cleaning our gym bleachers, getting ready for prom, spring concerts, and graduation ceremonies. That followed up a couple of weeks later with my buying their 'coffee break' on a Wednesday morning.

Some 'parties' were given by others:  more than a dozen friends had 'potluck snacks' at a friend's lake home. I was preparing to bring bars for our Sunday School class one Sunday, but the class hosted a 'surprise party' instead. Several times a friend would take me and another friend or two out for lunch.

Most 'parties' were just where I was, but labeled a 'party'. Several from our church went to a church camp clean up one Saturday morning; I brought a cake to add to the lunch (No, not the professional done kind; just one baked and frosted by me!). A handful of gals went to a tour a ministry in a neighboring town; I bought lunch. My sisters and I get together annually for our spring/summer birthdays. Normally it is Dutch treat; my treat this year!

But four-year-old, Junior Salazar said it best. I had invited our mission committee out for lunch following Sunday worship, having our mission meeting after. Beef roast with potatoes and carrots tossed in to bake while we were at church services; making lettuce salad when we all arrived home, and peanut butter cookies which I pulled out of my freezer for dessert. "This isn't a birthday party," Junior said. "You have to have cake!"

But fun! God is so good. I think He likes it when we have JOY; no matter whether things are going the way we'd like them to go or not! Whether we 'feel' like it all the time or not! No matter whether we are eating 'cake' or not!

"Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again REJOICE!" (Philippians 4:4)




 

Printable Issue 3320  Today is Friday, May 27th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3320

Memorial Day weekend; officially celebrated on Monday!

Time to remember.

Memorial Day was first celebrated on May 30, 1868. It was observed by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers; more than 600,000 soldiers were lost during the five-year struggle. After World War I, Memorial Day was changed from honoring civil war dead to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

In 1968, the National holiday was changed to the last Monday of May each year.

Along with remembering those lost in wars, we now use the day to remember friends and family members who we have lost.

It is a great day, weekend to remember; whether by a parade, a Memorial Day service, or a visit to a local cemetery.

We are allowed to live the lives we live, because of others who have gone before us.

Thank God for His Love and Care, with and through others!

Printable Issue 3321  Today is Monday, May 30th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3321

Like many churches yesterday, I am sure, we sang several meaningful patriotic songs at worship.

One was "America the Beautiful". So I did a bit of research this morning on the tune penned by Katharine Lee Bates in 1904, with music written by Samuel A. Ward.

Our hymnal had three verses. One version I found had eight!

I am including the words with four verses:

America the Beautiful

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

For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain!

America! America! God shed his grace on thee

And crown they good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!


O beautiful for pilgrim feet, whose stern impassioned stress,

A thoroughfare of freedom beat, across the wilderness!

America! America! God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law!


O beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife.

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

America! America! May God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine!


O beautiful for patriot dream, that sees beyond the years,

Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears!

America! America! God shed his grace on thee.

And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!

****


 


Printable Issue 3322  Today is Tuesday, May 31st, 2016; Karen's Korner #3322

It happened again.

Our daughter called last night to let me know that a friend of hers had committed suicide. Mom with a couple of kids.

My sister's daughter has a friend whose husband took his own life shortly after they were married.

It happens all too often! But why? Hard to get inside the head of someone who mistakenly may believe the world would be a better place without them.

Makes me think of the movie "It's A Wonderful Life", the popular classic starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. George Bailey had fallen on hard times; nothing was going right. He drove his car in such a way to cause an accident. Then a bump on his head and visit from an angel named Clarence, changed everything.

From then on George was shown what the world would have looked like without him. The impact that he had on others in his life! George had the opportunity to see what a 'wonderful life' he had after all.

Who among us hasn't done some stupid things; at least said or thought some stuff that isn't worth thinking or saying?

But we must remember at all times:  God loves us; His Son Jesus died for us; and the Holy Spirit lives within each of us so we can live the lives we were called to live. Praise be to God!

"So now there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

"See how very much our Heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called His Children." (I John 3:1)