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August 2016 Archives

Printable Issue 3366  Today is Monday, August 1st, 2016; Karen's Korner #3366

Thanks to so many of you who responded to the Thursday Karen's Korner reflecting on the day that Merry passed away.

Now and then, thoughts pass through my mind of things I would like to tell Merry and/or Jim. Things that have changed since I last had the opportunity to talk with them:  changes or some new things in the lives of family members or friends; changes in our home or farming........trees coming down or being planted; getting the house shingled last year, something Jim wanted done. Always, anything connected with music which Merry would have loved knowing.

But my next thought always goes to them and what they have and are experiencing. I would probably have the opportunity to speak about 'my' list for maybe ten seconds!

Their experiences in heaven would out pace anything that I could tell:  beautiful surroundings, new bodies which will never hurt or wear out; all days and no nights; heavenly music,(which Merry would love); no more tears, fears, hate, wars; no more need for faith, as like the disciples of the Bible, they would be in the presence of Jesus.

And the list goes on......and their list lasts for eternity!

Some of the things we learn about heaven can make us want to go home.........in His Time!


"Look, the home of God is now among men, and he will live with them and they will be his people; yes, God himself will be among them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever."

~ Revelation 21:3 & 4 LAB

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Printable Issue 3367  Today is Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3367

"Your steadfast love, O Lord, is as great as all the heavens.

Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.

Your justice is as sold as God's mountains.

Your decisions are as full of wisdom as the oceans are with water.

You are concerned for men and animals alike.

How precious is your constant love, O God!

All humanity takes refuge in the shadow of your wings."

~ Psalm 36:5 - 7 LAB

*

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

***

Printable Issue 3368  Today is Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3368

(Sorry this is so late; went to Nebraska for parts of two days to visit a friend there!)


"Bring Me the sacrifice of your time:  a most precious commodity. In this action-addicted world, few of My children take time to sit quietly in My Presence. But for those who do, blessings flow like streams of living water. I, the One from whom all blessings flow, am also blessed by our time together. This is a deep mystery; do not try to fashion it. Instead, glorify Me by delighting in Me. Enjoy Me now and forever!"

~ By Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence"

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Printable Issue 3369  Today is Thursday, August 4th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3369

As many flower gardeners know, right now flowers are getting to their peak for the growing season. And we are enjoying them.

I have about 150 petunias lining both sides of my sidewalk leading up to my home. Pinks, whites, purples; really a multitude of colors! They are flourishing. Once again this morning as I watered them, I couldn't help but notice three blank spots where, for some reason, those had died out. Two of them are right together so it leaves a bigger 'hole'.

I have a choice:  do I focus on the three missing blooms; or enjoy the growing and towering other petunias......lots of them?

Sort of like our lives. While it is probably good to assess some of our shortcomings, I don't know if it is helpful to obsess about them. Instead should we spent some time each day, focusing on the beautiful 'flowers' we are the process of becoming, because of who we are and Whose we are?

"So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus."

~ Romans 8:1 LAB

Bible Commentary (in part):  "Without Jesus we would have no hope at all. But thank God! He has declared us not guilty and has offered us freedom from sin and power to do His will."

***

Printable Issue 3370  Today is Friday, August 5th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3370

Do you/we see lots of hurts, medical needs, and unhappiness everywhere I/we look? The world seems to be 'falling apart'; maybe not everywhere but 'bad' things certainly pop up here and there all over.

Here is something written by Anne Graham Lotz and emailed to readers. I liked her words and perspective; I hope that you do too:


The Greatness of God's Power

"All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was that was made."

~ John 1:3 NKJV

*

"God created:

atoms and angels and ants,

crocodiles and chiggers and clouds,

elephants and eagles and electrons,

orchids and onions and octopuses,

frogs and feathers and sea foam,

diamonds and dust and dinosaurs,

raindrops and sweat drops,

dewdrops and blood drops,

and me! And you!!"

"The greatness of His power to create and design and form and mold and make and build and arrange defies the limits of our imagination. And since He created everything, there is nothing beyond His power to fix or mend or heal or restore!"

***




Printable Issue 3371  Today is Monday, August 8th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3371

"Because of what Christ has done, we have become gifts to God that He delights in, for as part of God's sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be His; all things happen just as He decided long ago."

~ Ephesians 1:11 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "What delight youngsters display when given a special gift. Joy radiates from their eyes, spreading across their faces in big, happy smiles. As adults, we rarely experience such pure delight. Yet we ourselves are gifts that inspire and infinitely higher and greater delight in the heart of God. He accepts us with joy because of what Christ did for us. When you feel that your life isn't worth much to anyone, remember that you are a special gift in God's eyes, a precious present that bring Him great joy.

"God has offered salvation to the world just as He planned to do long ago. God is sovereign; He is in charge; He is in charge. When our lives seem chaotic, we need to rest in this truth:  Jesus is Lord and God is in control. His purpose to save us cannot be thwarted, no matter what evil Satan may bring."

***


Printable Issue 3372  Today is Tuesday, August 9th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3372



Your Father's Here

written by Max Lucado


"When my daughters were small, they would occasionally cry out in the middle of the night. The wind would brush a branch against a window. They'd hear a noise on the street. They would shout, 'Daddy!' I would do what all daddies do----tell their mother! Just kidding. I'd walk down the hall and step into their room. When I did, the atmosphere changed. Strange noises......odd sounds? They didn't matter. Daddy was here.

"You need to know this:  your Father is here. Here as the Commander. Here with his heavenly hosts. This is the promise God gives you. He is with you. 'He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything' (Ephesians 1:22). All authority has been given to him. He needs only lift a finger, and thousands upon thousands of mighty angels will respond to his call."

***

Printable Issue 3373  Today is Wednesday, August 10th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3373

In the past few days, I have 'dead headed' some of my flowers in a handful of pots and planters I have had around the perimeter of my home.

It is getting later in the growing season and some blooms are in their final stages. But if I cut off the ones which have 'done their thing', a remarkable transformation begins to take place:  new blooms begin. And the plant flowers bloom again!

Since each plant is 'pre-programmed' to live, bloom, flower, and make seeds, the process is interrupted. And it tries another time.

I want to be like that plant. Having my declining 'bloom's picked off so I can 'go' again.

Dear Father in Heaven, help me...help us.......to welcome times in our lives when we'd just as soon not be disturbed, to allow You to pick off some blooms. And especially as we get to later decades of our lives, we want to continue to bloom and grow in You and Your Love. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 3374  Today is Thursday, August 11th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3374

As many 'korner' readers know, I belong to an ecumenical group in our community known as the Marys & Marthas (aka M & Ms) for short.

We meet monthly to congratulate people who have had good things happen to them; send notes to those with illnesses and surgeries; give out a handful of blessings bags to some for no particular reason. Some notes will include a gift card from some local business, as our funds permit.

In July, in light of some police officers in varying communities being injured or killed as they serve, we decided to send notes to four groups of officers, thanking them for their service and for protecting us and the people they serve.

One went to our local police department; another to our county's law enforcement officials; to Des Moines police staff; and a final one to the Dallas police.

At our meeting several nights ago, a gal whose name was on the return address, read a letter from the Des Moines Police Chief:

"Thank you so much for your thoughtful appreciation card for the officers and civilian employees of the Des Moines Police Department.

"The recent violence against law enforcement in Dallas and Baton Rouge makes us appreciate the community support law enforcement officers receive in Des Moines and throughout the state. Everyone in our organization was honored by your recognition. It is extremely gratifying for our employees to know that the public supports us. We are very lucky in Des Moines to have long-established relationships between law enforcement, citizens, and community groups from all races, religions, and walks of life. We will continue to work with those groups to listen and understand each other and resolve issues in a safe and reasonable way.

"Thanks again for this gesture of support for the Des Moines Police Department. Your card was distributed to all DMPD employees, and it was a real morale booster. Thanks you for taking the time to express your support for us."

~ Signed:   Wingert

Dana Wingert, Chief of Police

*

Our goal was to bless them with a simple note, signed by a couple dozen of us in July. And we were bless in August by their note back.

Why can't we continue thanking law enforcement officials? Cities? Counties? Highway Patrol? Pick someone and tell them thank you!

Let the blessings continue....

Printable Issue 3375  Today is Friday, August 12th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3375

I had the opportunity to help with counties' 4-H entries at the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday. I couldn't believe all of the activity on the fairgrounds. There were so many people, trucks, set up equipment, it was almost like the fair was already in progress, it was so busy.

When we'd stop to think about it, of course, there would need to be all that work.......getting ready for the big days, beginning several days later.

Fairgoers just show up and enjoy what has been for them in advance.

It made me think about heaven. Jesus says, 'I am going to prepare a place for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am." (John 14:2 & 3 LAB)

Like those awaiting us to come to the state fair, Jesus is planning for our coming to His 'forever home'. The Bible Commentary says, "We can look forward to eternal life because Jesus has promised it to all who believe in Him. Although the details of eternity are unknown, we need not fear, because Jesus is preparing for us and will spend eternity with us."

So our job? Believe in Jesus and His promises. And get ready for a future with Him..........for eternity!

Printable Issue 3376  Today is Monday, August 15th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3376

"If you give to the poor,

your needs will be supplied!

But a curse upon those who close their eyes to poverty."

~ Proverb 28:27 LAB

*

Bible Commentary: "God wants us to identify with the needy, not ignore them. The second part of the proverb could be restated, 'A blessing to those who open their eyes to human need.' If we help others when they are in trouble, they will be open to do whatever they can to return the favor (see Proverbs 11:24, 25). Paul promises that God will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19); he does this through other people. What can we do today to help God supply someone's need?

***



Printable Issue 3377  Today is Tuesday, August 16th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3377

Adopted into God's Family

"To accept God's grace is to accept God's offer to be adopted into his family! Your identity isn't your possessions, talents or accomplishments. Nor are you defined by your deficiencies or dumb choices. You are God's child. You get to call him, 'Papa'. And Paul says in the Scriptures that you ' may approach God with freedom and confidence' (Ephesians 3:12). The adoption is horizontal as well as vertical. You're included in the forever family. Dividing walls of hostility are broken down, and community is created on the basis of a common Father. Instant family worldwide!

"Trust God's verdict. If God loves you, you must be worth loving! If he wants you in his kingdom, then you must be worth having. God's grace requires you---to change your attitude about yourself and take sides with God about any feelings of rejection you have!

~ Max Lucado


Printable Issue 3378  Today is Wednesday, August 17th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3378

Yesterday morning I was listening to Christian radio and heard a story worthy of being repeated. I wasn't sure of my facts so I called Jay Rudolph, newsperson for the station, and he sent me the story which had been included at one time in USA Today.

I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.


Brenda Jones, 69, had been on a list waiting for a liver transplant for a year. The call came; Brenda and family went to the hospital after learning she was a match. While waiting for the processing, she met Abigail Flores, 23. Doctors believed Flores had at most 24 hours to live.

After talking more, Jones learned that the liver meant for her, was also a match for the recently married, Flores. "In my heart, I wouldn't have been able to live with the liver if I had let this little girl die," Jones said. "And I still had more time.........I would have been a very selfish person." She then put herself back on the 'waiting list'.

The surgery for Flores was a success.

If that wasn't the best part, here is the even better part:   Jones was able to get a liver transplant a few days later. Another liver had become available. Both women are now recovering from their transplant surgeries. Even spending some time together sharing a hospital room.

"If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be sitting right here, right now," Flores said. "I thank God for her each and every day."

***

Printable Issue 3379  Today is Thursday, August 18th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3379

Today's entry by Sarah Young from her daily thoughts "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence":


"Expect to encounter adversity in your life, remembering that you live in a deeply fallen world. Stop trying to find a way to circumvent difficulties. The main problem with an easy life is that it masks your need for Me. When you became a Christian, I infused My very Life into you, empowering you to live on a supernatural plane by depending on Me.

"Anticipate coming face to face with impossibilities:  situations totally beyond your ability to handle. This awareness of your inadequacy is not something you should try to evade. It is precisely where I want you---the best to encounter Me in My Glory and Power. When you see armies of problems marching toward you, cry out to Me! Allow Me to fight for you. Watch Me working on your behalf, as you rest in the shadow of My Almighty Presence."

~ Taken from Revelation 19:1; Psalm 91:1

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Printable Issue 3380  Today is Friday, August 19th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3380

A couple of rambling thoughts:


The last number of years I have participated in the 10-week Live Healthy Iowa Wellness Challenge, held annually beginning in the late winter.

As participants, we receive t-shirts. This year's has stamped on the front:  HEALTH in large letters, with the definition:  (noun) 'the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit'.

We work hard on eating right, getting good medical care; maybe exercising. But that is just part of it. What do we do to add to sound minds or spirits?

It's a daily trip for our 'bodies, minds, and spirits'.

*

Listening briefly to a Christian broadcast on television yesterday, a young man being interviewed said, "Christians need to be the chocolate chips in the cookies of life."

What did he mean? He said that when cookie dough is mixed, tasters can no longer tell the eggs from the sugar; nor the flour from the flavorings.

But chocolate chips are different. While the chips are mixed in, they remain 'chips'. And when they are put into the oven, they don't melt.

We are to be part of the world; part of the mix. But we need to remain who we are and Whose we are.

*

Here is a short Bible verse to add to our 'minds and spirits' and help us remain steadfast 'chocolate chips', taking us into the weekend:

"Thank the Lord for all the glorious things He does; proclaim them to the nations. Sing His praises and tell everyone about His miracles. Glory in the Lord; O worshipers of God, rejoice."

~ Psalm 105:1 - 3 LAB

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Printable Issue 3381  Today is Monday, August 22nd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3381

Radical Love


"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

~ John 15:13 NIV


"We love others:

* who make us feel good,

* who do things for us,

* whom we like.

"In essence, our first concern is for our own well-being and having our own needs met, and we love others in proportion to the extent they fulfill those purposes. Our second concern is that others respond positively to our overtures; if they don't, we refuse to continue to love them. But Jesus outlined a radically different kind of love - a love that puts the needs and well-being of others before our own to the extent we would sacrifice our time, our energy, our money, and our thoughts in order to demonstrate it. We are to demonstrate it to others whom we may not like or with whom we may be incompatible or who respond negatively or who may never do anything for us in return! Now that's radical!"

~ written by Anne Graham Lotz

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Printable Issue 3382  Today is Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3382

(Please note that there will be NO Karen's Korners for the next week, as I will be away from my computer.)

"For the wages of sin is death,

but the FREE GIFT of God is eternal life

through Jesus Christ our Lord."

~ Romans 6:23 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Each of two masters pays with his own kind of currency. The currency of sin is death. Christ's currency is eternal life --- the life with God that begins on earth and continues forever with God."

*

God, thank You for how much You love us. More love than we deserve, can hope for, but we plan to enjoy it...........just for today! Thank You for your FREE gift of eternal life......part of our today and Your forever plans for each of us!

*


Printable Issue 3383  Today is Wednesday, August 31st, 2016; Karen's Korner #3383

(Back after a week away!)

Yesterday my sister and I were walking up to a restaurant for lunch and we read this sign:

Today's Special.......

And so is Tomorrow!

**

"How frail is man, how few his days, how full of trouble!"

~ Job 14:1 LAB

Bible Commentary:  "Life is brief and full of trouble. Job laments in his closing remarks:  sickness, loneliness, disappointment, and death cause him to say that life is not fair. Still, he clings to the one truth that also gives hope to us --- resurrection. God's solution to an unfair world is to guarantee life with him forever. No matter how unfair our present world seems, God offers the hope of being in His presence eternally."

***