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June 2017 Archives

Printable Issue 3569  Today is Thursday, June 1st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3569

Today's "Turning Point" by Dr. David Jeremiah:


"Bountiful Feast"

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work."

~ 2 Corinthians 98

"The widow saw a handful of flour and a little oil. Peter saw the crashing waves. Moses and the Israelites saw the sea before them and the Egyptian army rushing toward them. The disciples saw five loaves and two fish. What challenges and circumstances do you see? When we only depend on our eyesight to show us reality, we forget the invisible. We forget God.

"If we could see God, His angels, and His vast reach and power---we would never fear. If we could see His abundance, compassion, and kindness, we would never hoard and give in to thinking there was not enough. Not only has God promised to be with us each day on earth, He has prepared a place for us in heaven. Relaxing into this promise brings peace and contentment. God not only provides the minimum for us but delights in giving us more so that we can share with others. The man who welcomed the children, forgave Peter's denial, and fed the five thousand gently beckons us Himself. We too can have His abundance for every good work."


"Christians have a dual citizenship--on earth and in heaven--and our citizenship in heaven ought to make us better people here on earth."

~ Warren W. Wiersbe

**


Printable Issue 3570  Today is Friday, June 2nd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3570

Sometimes if I use a Bible verse for a Karen's Korner, I mark the # and the date in my Bible's margin.

If something was good for #302 on May 25, 2004, it is probably a good one for today:


"And if, as my representatives, you give even a cup of cold water to a little child,

you will surely be rewarded."

~ Matthew 10:42 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "How much we love God can be measured by how well we treat others. Jesus' example of giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty child is a good model of unselfish service. A child usually can't or won't return a favor. God notices every good deed we do or don't do as if He were the one receiving it. Is there something unselfish we can do for someone else today? Although no one else may see us, it won't go unnoticed by God."

***


Printable Issue 3571  Today is Monday, June 5th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3571

LOVE IS NOT SELFISH

"Forgive me for being the one to tell you but you are infected. You're a victim---a diseased carrier. You have a cause of---brace yourself---selfishness!

"Don't believe me? Do your fingers ever wrap and close around possessions? Do fangs ever flare when you're interrupted or irritated? Any inflammation from patting yourself on the back?

"Listen to the words of James: 'Whenever people are jealous or selfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things' (James 3:16 CEV). Is it any wonder Paul writes, 'Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with  humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.......(Philippians 2:3-4 NASB).

"Looking after your personal interests is proper life management. Doing so to the exclusion of the rest of the world is selfishness. Desire success? Fine. Just don't hurt others in achieving it. Love isn't selfish."

~ By Max Lucado

***


Printable Issue 3572  Today is Tuesday, June 6th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3572

This is a prayer by Anne Graham Lotz, National Day of Prayer Chair for 2017, published in the June issue of "Decision" magazine:

Confessing the Sins of the Nation


* We confess our foolishness of denying You as the one true, living God, our Creator to whom we are accountable, living as though our lives are a cosmic accident with no eternal significance, purpose or meaning.

* We confess we no longer fear You, and thus we have not even the beginning of wisdom with which to handle the vast knowledge we possess.

* We confess to believing that the prosperity of our nation is because we are great, while refusing to acknowledge that all blessings come from Your hand.

* We confess that we depend upon our military might and our weapons systems to protect us from harm and danger, while denying, defying, and ignoring You.

* We confess that we have succumbed to the pressure of pluralism in our desire to be inclusive, so that we honor other gods as though You are just one of many.

* We confess that we have allowed the material blessings You have given us to deceive us into thinking we don't need You.

* We confess that we feel entitled to what someone else has earned instead of taking responsibility for ourselves and families as we trust in You.

* We confess that we live as though material wealth and prosperity will bring happiness.

* We confess our greed that has run up trillions of dollars of national debt.

* We confess our arrogance and pride that has led us to think we are sufficient in ourselves.

* We confess our national addiction to sex, to money, to pleasure, to entertainment, to pornography, to technology, to drugs, to alcohol, to food, to television, to popularity, to ourselves.

* We confess that we have marginalized truth and mainstreamed lies.

* We confess that we have become one nation under many gods, divided and polarized, with license to sin and justice that often does not follow the rule of law.

MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON US.

**

Printable Issue 3573  Today is Wednesday, June 7th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3573

When Jim and I were first married, Alice Moss was a neighbor who lived right across the road from us. She was quite a gardener and really enjoyed her flowers.

I learned from her. Among other things, she told me to pick off the tops of started flowers when I would first transplant them into my garden. I don't like to do that. Usually it means, picking off a really pretty bloom or two.

No, Alice would say, if you leave the flowers as they are, they won't branch out. Instead, they will become one single stem, quite lanky.....easily blown about when the winds come up.

*

"You are a poor specimen if you can't stand the pressure of adversity."

~ Proverbs 24:10 LAB

Bible Commentary:  "Adversity can be useful. It shows us who we really are, what kind of character we have developed. In addition, it helps us grow stronger. When Jeremiah questioned God because of the adversity he faced, the Lord asked how he ever expected to face big challenges if the little ones wearied him. We should not complain about our problems. The adversity we face today is training us to be strong for the more difficult situations we may face in the future."

*

If life is handing us some things we don't care much about, maybe we are being 'pruned' for our lives ahead!



Printable Issue 3574  Today is Thursday, June 8th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3574

Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling.....Enjoying Peace in His Presence" seem to be all good. This is yesterdays:


"I am all around you, like a cocoon of Light. My Presence with you is a promise, independent of your awareness of Me. Many things can block this awareness, but the major culprit is worry. My children tend to accept worry as an inescapable fact of life. However, worry is a form on unbelief; it is anathema to Me.

"Who is in charge of your life? If it is you, then you have good reason to worry. But If it is I, then worry is both unnecessary and counterproductive. When you start to feel anxious about something, relinquish the situation to Me. Back off a bit, redirecting your focus on Me. I will either take care of the problem Myself or show you how to handle it. In this world you will have problems, but you need not lose sight of Me."

~Taken from Luke 12:22-31; John 16:33

**

Printable Issue 3575  Today is Friday, June 9th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3575

His First Choice

~ By Max Lucado


"You are God's child. He saw you, picked you, and placed you! Jesus said, 'You did not choose me. I chose you!.' You are God's child! Replacement or fill-in? Hardly. You are His first choice. The choice wasn't obligatory, required, compulsory, forced, or compelled. He selected you because He wanted to. You are His open, willful, voluntary choice. He walked onto the auction block where you stood, and He proclaimed, 'This child is mine.'

"I Peter 1:19 says, He bought you 'with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot'. You are His child forever. Your struggles will not last forever---but you will. The promise is in 2 Timothy 2:12. 'If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.' Believe it........clutch it......tattoo on the interior of your heart!

"You are God's child!"


Printable Issue 3576  Today is Monday, June 12th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3576

Karen's Korners readers are aware that I tend to pick a book of the Bible randomly. Then move on to another book.

Today I took a second look at the book of Hebrews. We always need to be reminded, because life moves on and we forget.

Here is a portion of the introduction to the first ten chapters of Hebrews:

"God is greater than the angels; than Moses.

Christ is greater than the Old Testament prophets; the new covenant is greater than the old.

Christianity supersedes all other religions and can never be surpassed.

Where can one find anything better than Christ?

Living in Christ is having the best there is in life.

All competing religions are deception or cheap imitations."

*

"Dear Father in Heaven, thank You that You are great! You are big, bigger than any problem we might have in our lives or in our world! I have people in my life who are waiting results of tests; You are bigger, better, greater. We know that regardless of our/others power, position, knowledge, wealth; You are greater. You are worthy of our worship and praise! In Your Son's Name we pray. Amen."

**


Printable Issue 3577  Today is Tuesday, June 13th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3577

As the summer progresses, we have lots of opportunities to do things with kids, now that they are out of school for the year. Camps. Vacations. Short-term programs. Family times. And more.

These are some thoughts emailed to me by Shirley Choat and written by a  pastor friend of hers:

"Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord."

~ Psalm 127:3

*

"Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcome me,

and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not only me but the one who sent me."

~ Mark 9:37

*

"Children can be so noisy, so messy, and so exhausting! They can be a lot of other things too, but chief among those other things is a blessing and a gift. Perhaps because our children were adopted, Sue and I have appreciated the blessing that they are, even more. True, there have been times when we could have 'killed' them and times when they caused a lot of stress. But, those times were all but forgotten in those brief moments when we saw the sparkle of God's love in their eyes.

"If ever you have considered that God lives in a person, check the eyes of a small child or the smile on his/her face. I have, and I know what Jesus means about welcoming HIM. If you are blessed with children, thank God for them, and ask God to show you the best way to guide them into a close relationship with their Lord. If you are not blessed with children, or your children are grown and on their own, why not choose a grandchild (or several) or a child in your child in your church or your neighborhood to secretly adopt? Make a point of smiling and calling him/her by name. Pray for them daily. Drop them encouraging notes. May the child-like faith of children around us inspire us to believe that we are all children of God, in God's eyes!"

*

"Thank you, Heavenly Father, for noisy, messy, and exhausting children. Thank you for the noises that they make during worship and that their parents love them enough to bring them to your house. Help me to see all children as You see them. I lift all of these children up in prayer. In Your Child's Name. Amen."

 ***

Printable Issue 3578  Today is Wednesday, June 14th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3578

"The Lord lifts the fallen, and those bent beneath their loads."

~ Psalm 145:14 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Sometimes our burdens seem more than we can bear and we wonder how we can go on. The psalmist stands at this bleak intersection of life's road and points toward the Lord, the great burden-bearer. God is able to bear our unbearable burdens because he: 1) is great beyond discovery; 2)does glorious things across many generations; 3) is full of glory, splendor, majesty, and miracles; 4) does awe-inspiring deeds; 5) is righteous; 6) is kind, merciful, patient, and loving; 7) reaches out to us with compassion; 8) rules over an unending kingdom; 9) is our source of food, water, and help; 10) is fair in all his dealings and full of kindness; 11) remains close to those who call on him; 12) listens to our cries and sends his protection; 20) if you are bending under a burden and feel that you are about to fall, turn to God for help. He is ready to bear your burden."

(Read all 21 verses of Psalm 145, where this list of promises is taken.)

***


Printable Issue 3579  Today is Thursday, June 15th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3579

"We who have been made holy by Jesus,

now have the same Father he has.

That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call us his brothers."

~ Hebrews 2:11 LAB

*

We may not have been born into the right family, have the right bank account, be the best looking, or the smartest kid in our graduating class. But what a heritage we have! If we but accept Jesus and His dying on the cross for us. We become His 'blood' brothers (sisters!). We can sometimes be ashamed of ourselves for something we have thought, said, or done. But Jesus is never 'ashamed to call us his brothers'. What a heritage!

Praise God!


Printable Issue 3580  Today is Friday, June 16th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3580


More Sponge; Less Rock

"Make God's presence your passion. How? Be more sponge and less rock. Put a rock in the ocean, and what happens? It's surface gets wet. The exterior may change color, but the interior remains untouched. Yet place a sponge in the ocean, and notice the change. It absorbs the water. The ocean penetrates every pore and alters the essence of the sponge. God surrounds us in the same way the Pacific surrounds an ocean floor pebble. He is everywhere---above, below, on all sides.

"We choose our response--rock or sponge? Resist or receive? Everything within you says harden the heart. Run from God, resist God, blame God. But be careful. Hard hearts never heal. Spongy ones do. The Psalm writer determined, 'When I am afraid, I will trust in You.' Open every pore of your soul to God's presence!

~ By Max Lucado

***

Printable Issue 3581  Today is Monday, June 19th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3581

Happy Father's Day; one day late!

This was on the front of our church bulletin yesterday:

"Every Father should remember

that one day his son will follow

HIS EXAMPLE

instead of

HIS ADVICE.

~ Charles Kettering

*

Plus this Bible verse:

"My son, give me your heart,

and let your eyes observe my ways."

~ Proverbs 23:26

**

The words made me think back to when our first grandson was born. While his dad is one of five children, he and Jamie are the parents of the only two boys in his family. I can remember Tim saying that he needed to be sure to make church a priority.

"If dad's don't go to church," I remember him saying, "it will be sometime in their later elementary school days, that it won't be important to his sons to go either."

The Champion family is faithful in their church attendance (like most families, miss some Sundays!). The family now includes a son going into eighth grade; a daughter headed for sixth grade; and son #2 who will be in fourth grade this fall.

**


Printable Issue 3582  Today is Tuesday, June 20th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3582

It's pretty hard not to admire the growing crops as I drive either north or south from my farm home. The corn is looking just beautiful, as it is growing so fast. Pretty, lush, green.

My next thought was, "Who knows? We could get lots of wind and rain. Or a drought could come. What about hail? If we get a lot of rain, there could be drowned out spots (which are common in our area. when that happens. None now!)."

It seems like God moved my thinking on to 'celebrating what I can see today. Thanking Him for His blessing!'

Tomorrow? Who knows?

Got will take care of that, too. Regardless.

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His lovingkindness continues forever."

~ Psalms 136:1 LAB

***


Printable Issue 3583  Today is Wednesday, June 21st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3583

Yesterday's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young:


"I speak to you continually. My nature is to communicate, though not always in words. I fling glorious sunsets across the sky, day after day after day. I speak in the faces and voices of loved ones. I caress you with a gentle breeze that refreshes and delights you. I speak softly in the depths of your spirit, where I have taken up residence.

"You can find Me in each moment, when you have eyes that see and ears that hear. Ask My Spirit to sharpen your spiritual eyesight and hearing. I rejoice each time you discover My Presence. Practice looking and listening for Me during quite intervals. Gradually you will find Me in more and more of your moments. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me above all else."

~ Taken from Psalm 8:1-4;Psalm 19:1-2; I Corinthians 6:19; Jeremiah 29:13

***

Printable Issue 3584  Today is Thursday, June 22nd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3584

"While they were living in Nazareth, John the Baptist began preaching out in the Judean wilderness. His constant theme was, 'Turn from your sins......turn to God......for the Kingdom of Heaven is coming soon."

*

Bible Commentary: "John the Baptist burst on the scene. His theme was 'turn from your sins.....turn to God.' He meant that we must do an about-face......a 180-degree turn....from the kind of self-centeredness that leads to wrong actions such as lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, revenge, abuse, and sexual immorality. Instead, we must follow God's prescribed way of living found in His Word. The first step in turning to God is to admit your sin, as John urged. Then God will receive you and help you live the way He wants you to. Remember that only God can get rid of sin. He doesn't expect us to clean up our lives before we come to Him.

"The Kingdom of Heaven began when God himself entered human history as a man. Today Jesus Christ reigns in the hearts of believers, but the Kingdom of Heaven will not be fully realized until all evil in the world is judged and removed. Christ came to earth first as a suffering servant; he will come again as king and judge to rule over all the earth as victor."

***


Printable Issue 3585  Today is Saturday, June 24th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3585

Away from my computer yesterday, so you get a 'Saturday Karen's Korner!'

This Bible verse is particularly good with Sunday being tomorrow:


"I was glad for the suggestion of going to Jerusalem, to the Temple of the Lord."

~ Psalm 122:1 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Going to God's house can be a chore or a delight. For David (writer of this Psalm), it was a delight. As a pilgrim to one of the three great religious feasts, he was excited to worship with God's people in God's house. We may find worship a chore if we have sin in our lives or if our love for God has cooled. But if we are close to God and enjoy His presence, we will hunger to worship and praise Him. Our attitude toward God will determine our view of worship."

***


Printable Issue 3586  Today is Monday, June 26th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3586

I have learned that being thankful (even for things I don't care much about) adds to my mental health. I think that is the way God designed us because He tells us to 'always be thankful'.


Here are the lead-in lines to the last five chapters of Psalms:

"Praise the Lord! Yes, really praise Him!" (Psalm 146)

"Hallelujah! Yes, praise the Lord! How good it is to sing His praises! How delightful, and how right!" (Psalm 147)

"Praise the Lord, O heavens! Praise Him from the skies!" (Psalm 148)

"Hallelujah! Yes, praise the Lord! Sing Him a new song. Sing His praises, all His people." (Psalm 149)

"Hallelujah! Yes, praise the Lord! Praise Him in His Temple, and in the heavens He made with mighty power." (Psalm 150)

**

Bible Commentary:  "These last five psalms overflow with praise. Each begins with "Hallelujah" or "praise the Lord". They show us where, why, and how to praise God. What does praise do?

~ Praise takes our minds of our problems and shortcomings, and focuses them on God;

~ Praise takes us from individual meditation to corporate worship;

~ Praise causes us to consider and appreciate God's character;

~ Praise takes our perspective from the earthly to the heavenly."

****


Printable Issue 3587  Today is Tuesday, June 27th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3587

A good writing by Anne Graham Lotz:

The God of All Comfort

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.....who comforts us in all our tribulation."

~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV

"Medical studies have proven that worry attacks the central nervous system, the circulatory system, and the digestive system of our bodies. Charles Mayo, of the Mayo Clinic, said, 'You can worry yourself to death, but you cannot worry yourself to a longer life.'

"Noah was exposed to such frightening experiences he could have worried himself to death; after all, he survived the equivalent of a nuclear holocaust. While Sunday school stories conjure up in our minds the picture of Noah as a quaint, folksy, old zookeeper with a plump, rosy-cheeked wife, he was in fact a very strong, courageous man of character and faith who could have been tremendously traumatized by the most violent catastrophe in history.

"Surely Noah knew the paralysis of fear and the total paranoia of worry. But he also knew by experience that the God of the storm is also the God of all comfort, able to calm his fears as he kept his faith in God and his focus on God."

***



Printable Issue 3588  Today is Wednesday, June 28th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3588

God Shapes His Servants

"Compassion matters to God. This is the time for service, not self-centeredness. Cancel the pity party. Love the people God brings to you. This test will be your testimony. Second Corinthians 1:4 reminds us, 'God comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before your know it, He bring us alongside someone else who's going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us' (MSG).

"You didn't sign up for this crash course in single parenting or caring for a disabled spouse, did you? No, God enrolled you. Why? So you can teach others what He has taught you. Rather than say, 'God why?' ask, 'God, what?'

What can I learn from this experience? Your mess can become His message!

~ By Max Lucado

**

Printable Issue 3589  Today is Thursday, June 29th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3589

This Proverb talks about 'unjust tyrants' but it also talks about us as leaders and followers. I had marked in the margin of my Bible - "Saddem Hussein - in 2004":


"The unjust tyrant will reap disaster and his reign of terror shall end."

~ Proverbs 22:8 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Sometimes God intervenes and destroys tyrants. More often, He uses other rulers to overthrow them or their own oppressed people to rebel against them. This proverb is a message of hope to people who must live and work under unjust authoritarian leaders. It is also a warning to those who enjoy ruling with an iron hand. If you are in a position of authority at church, work, or home, remember what happens to tyrants. Leadership through kindness is more effective and longer lasting than leadership by force."

**


Printable Issue 3590  Today is Friday, June 30th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3590

As most of you probably know, I have a flip calendar of writings by Sarah Young and her "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence". I don't always get every day's read, but they are all good. This is yesterday's:


"As you get out of bed in the morning, be aware of My Presence with you. You may not be thinking clearly yet, but I am. Your early morning thoughts tend to be anxious ones until you get connected with Me. Invite Me into your thoughts by whispering My Name. Suddenly your day brightens and feels more user-friendly. You cannot dread the day that is vibrant with My Presence.

"You gain confidence through knowing that I am with you......that you face nothing alone. Anxiety stems from asking the wrong question: 'If such and such happens, can I handle it?' The true question is not whether you can cope with whatever happens, but whether you and I together can handle anything that occurs. It is this you-and-I together factor that give you confidence to face the day cheerfully."

~ taken from Psalm 5:3; Psalm 63:1 (NKJV); Philippians 4:13

***