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July 2017 Archives

Printable Issue 3591  Today is Monday, July 3rd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3591

As we celebrate the 4th of July over the past few days, we think of 'freedom'.

There is no freedom on this earth that matches 'freedom in Jesus'; the kind which can never be taken away from us:

"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

~ Words spoken by Jesus in John 8:32

*

Bible Commentary:  "Jesus himself is the truth that sets us free. He is the source of truth, the perfect standard of what is right. He frees us from the consequences of sin, from self-deception, and from deception by Satan. He shows us clearly the way to eternal life with God. Thus Jesus does not give us freedom to do what we want, but freedom to follow God. As we seek to live for God, Jesus' perfect truth frees us to be all that God meant us to be."

***


Printable Issue 3592  Today is Tuesday, July 4th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3592

Happy 4th of July!

Something emailed to me by Shirley Choat:

"That evening they brought to Jesus many who were possessed with demons;

and He cast out the spirits with the word and cured all who were sick."

~ Matthews 8:16

*

"On this day, when we celebrate America's independence, it is good for us to remember our own dependence on God. When we hurt, God hurts with us. When we mourn, God weeps with us. As we grow up, we strive to be independent, much like the Israelites did in their four hundred years as slaves in Egypt. The sad thing is that declaring our independence too often includes independence from our relationship with God.

"The prophets warned against making treaties with foreign rulers because it meant relying on them instead of their Creator. Is there a nation or an individual who has God's ability to create? To give life? To heal? Jesus came that we might have wholeness and Life. He alone can give us that gift. To be independent of a slave master or a foreign enemy is one thing. To be independent of God, the One who gave us life and all that we are and all that we have or ever will---that is another matter.

"Just because many people live as if they were totally independent of God, doesn't mean they won't have to face the consequences. How much do you value your independence as well as your total dependence on God? Let us give thanks for our nation's independence and, at the same time, thank God that we are dependent on Him."

*

"Thank you Lord, for many things:  my country, the freedom to serve and worship You; and freedom from sin. Forgive me for those many times I try to have independence from You, when I go my own way and do my own thing. I know that I am truly dependent on You for my very being. Amen."

***

Printable Issue 3593  Today is Wednesday, July 5th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3593

Something written by Max Lucado. He talks about 'untruths' told to us in our past. If it didn't happen to you or me, we all know someone in our lives who experienced it.


God's Power Transforms Us!

"Family pain is often the deepest pain because it was inflicted so early, and because it involves people who should have been trustworthy. You were too young to process the mistreatment. You didn't know how to defend yourself. Besides the perpetrators of your pain were so large. Your dad, mom, uncle, big brother---they towered over you, usually in size, always in rank. When they judged you falsely, you believed them.

"All the time you've been operating on faulty data. You're stupid.......slow......dumb......like your daddy! Decades later these voice of defeat still echo in your subconscious. But they don't have to! Let God transform you into a new person by changing they way you think, and the words of Romans 12:2. And 1 Corinthians 13:11 adds to let Him replace thinking with mature truth!

"You are not who they said you were. You are God's child!"

***



Printable Issue 3594  Today is Thursday, July 6th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3594

Test takers in the world know this truth:  when taking a true and false test, nearly every time words like 'always'; 'never', 'all'....means the statement is probably false.

"I will never let you down."

"I know you will always be there for me."

"All ____________ (fill in the blank) are bad people. (Or nice people!)"

Now matter how much we might mean it, everything in this life changes. Or we let people down. They let us down. We let ourselves down.

But God can make those kinds of statements to us:

"For the Lord is always good.

 He is always loving and kind,

and his faithfulness goes on and on to each succeeding generation."

~ Psalm 100: 5 LAB

*

"For God has said, 'I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.'"

~ Hebrews 13:5 LAB

***



Printable Issue 3595  Today is Friday, July 7th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3595

Bible readers, like me. usually have a version of the Bible which they enjoy the most. Karen's Korner readers know that mine is a Life Application Bible given to me a number of years ago by my Aunt Helen. This is the Living Bible translation with 'helps' at the bottom of each page, telling about the setting of the writers or some other insight. It was printed in 1968; the Biblical words.....written thousands of years ago.

But it can read like today's newspaper!

Micah chapter 5 tells about Bethlehem, not Jerusalem, being the birthplace of a King. And his prophecy came true.

Later in verse 10, the writer says, ".....I will destroy all the weapons you depend on."

The Bible Commentary on that verse, it says, "When God rules in his eternal kingdom, our strength will not be found in military might but in God's almighty power. He will destroy all the weapons that people use for security. There will be no need for armies, because God will rule in the heart of every person. Our hearts should be not be ruled by fear of invasion or nuclear attack. Our confidence should be in God."

We hear a lot in the news about wars, armies, terrorism, nuclear weapons. It has been on the minds of many for 50 years when my Bible was published.

Or maybe thousands of years.

Printable Issue 3596  Today is Monday, July 10th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3596

In March, our church family embarked on collecting change in water bottles. Sunday School classes are doing it; sometimes small group members dig into their pockets for whatever coins they might have. We keep track of it. Turn the amounts into to dollar bills now and then and put them in the offering plate. Money is addressed to an organization digging water wells in third world countries.

Several international ministries of which I am aware do this. The particular one tells that every well provides clean water for 1,000 people at a cost of $4,800. They break it down so that every $4.80 purchases clean water for one person for life.

We celebrated yesterday going over the '100' mark of providing clean water to that many people. Not a lot, but it is to those 100!

This is what I told those in attendance:

"God blesses those who are kind to the poor. He helps them out of their troubles."

~ Psalm 41:01 TLB

*

*Did you catch that? God doesn't say that He 'blesses the poor'; He say 'He blesses those who are KIND to the poor'.

*

All of us are blessed who put even a quarter in one the water bottles! First, we must think of those who are less fortunate than we are. And then we need to act. Opportunities abound.

*

Father God, help us to not dismiss even the smallest thing we do for others. We want to share in Your Kingdom work. Thank You for Your promises and Your delivery on them to us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

***


Printable Issue 3597  Today is Tuesday, July 11th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3597

Today's Max Lucado daily inspirational thought.

Maybe it is my age, but it seems that there is becoming a rash of people who are dying who are 'younger than we'd like'. Seems we don't 'mind,' or get used to, people who die in their 80s and 90s, but we are 'shocked' by those who die unexpectedly in their 50s and 60s:


A Reunion is Coming

"The word good-bye. This word may be the challenge of your life. How does a person get through raging loneliness, strength-draining grief? The rest of the world has moved on and you ache to do the same. Take heart. God has served notice. All farewells are on the clock.

"1 Thessalonians 4:16 begins, 'The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God's trumpet blast! He will come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we'll be walking on air. And there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. Reassure one another with these words!' (MSG)

"Revelation 21:4 promises He will wipe every tear from our eyes. Isn't this our hope? God has promised a restoration of all things. All things-----and that includes yours!

****


Printable Issue 3598  Today is Wednesday, July 12th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3598

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


"Whenever you feel distant from Me, whisper My Name in loving trust. This simple prayer can restore your awareness of My Presence.

"My Name is constantly abused in the world, where people use it as a curse word. This verbal assault reaches all the way to heaven; every word is heard and recorded. When you trustingly whisper My Name, My aching ears are soothed. The grating rancor of the world's blasphemies cannot compare with a trusting child's utterance:  'JESUS'. The power of My Name to bless both you and Me is beyond your understanding."

~Taken from Acts 4:12; John 16:24

**

Printable Issue 3599  Today is Thursday, July 13th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3599

According to God's Purpose


"In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
~ Romans 8:28 NIV

*

"Romans 8:28 says, 'In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.' In other words, when you are in the purpose, or will, of God, everything that comes into your life can work for your good. You may immediately question how the pregnancy of your unmarried daughter can work for your good, or how your terminal illness can be for your good. If, by 'good', Romans 8:28 meant your comfort, convenience, health, wealth, prosperity, pleasure, or happiness, we would all question it! But your ultimate good is conformity to the image of Jesus Christ. And when you are in God's will --- 'called according to his purpose'---everything God allows into your life is used by Him to make you like Christ.

"Everything!"

~ By Anne Graham Lotz

***



Printable Issue 3600  Today is Friday, July 14th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3600

"How dare you tell me, 'Flee to the mountains for safety,' when I am trusting in the Lord?

For the wicked have strung their bows, drawn their arrows tight against the bowstrings, and aimed from ambush at the people of God.

'Law and order have collapsed,' we are told. 'What can the righteous do but flee?'

"But the Lord is still in his holy temple; he still rules from heaven. He closely watches everything that happens here on earth."

~ Psalm 11:1-4 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "David's (writer) faith stood in dramatic contrast to the fear of his advisors. Faith in God keeps us from losing hope and helps us resist fear. David's advisors were afraid because they saw only frightening circumstances. David was comforted and optimistic because he knew God was greater than anything his enemies could bring against him."

***

Printable Issue 3601  Today is Monday, July 17th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3601

Max Lucado is a popular writer because what he writes is so easy to read and understand. This one talks about giving thanks.......not just at Thanksgiving time!


Give Thanks

"Some things just weren't made to coexist. Long-tailed cats and rocking chairs? Bulls in china shop? Not a good idea. Blessings and bitterness? That mixture doesn't go over well with God. Combine heavenly kindness with early ingratitude and expect a sour concoction. Perhaps you've sampled it. Gratitude doesn't come naturally. Self-pity does. Bellyaches do. Grumbles and mumbles----no one has to remind us to offer them Yet they don't mix well with the kindness we've been given.

"Gratitude gets us through the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God's accomplishments. To rehearse His accomplishments is to discover His heart. Gratitude always leaves us looking at God and away from dread. So practice gratitude! As Ephesians 5:20 puts it, 'Give thank for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.'"

***

Printable Issue 3602  Today is Tuesday, July 18th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3602

Many of you have, and read, Sarah Young's "JESUS CALLING:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence"; thoughts are always good.

I have to confess that I don't get around to reading them every day. No matter. They are good whatever day they may, or may not be read.

This is today's:

"I am nearer than you think, richly present in all your moments. You are connected to Me by Love-bonds that nothing can sever. However, you may sometimes feel alone, because your union with Me is invisible. Ask Me to open your eyes, so that you can find Me everywhere. The more aware you are of My Presence, the safer you feel. This is not some sort of escape from reality; it is turning in to ultimate reality. I am far more Real than the world you can see, hear, and touch. Faith is the confirmation of things we do  not see and the conviction of their reality, perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses."

~ Taken from Acts 17:17-28; Hebrews 11:1 (ASP)

***


Printable Issue 3603  Today is Wednesday, July 19th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3603

Our crops this spring/summer have looked good; still do. But we need rain. Yesterday weather forecasters said there was 80% chance of rain. No rain.

Will we get some today? Or in the near future?

I have marked in the margin of my Bible near Ecclesiastes chapter 7, "harder farm economic times in 1982". And we are still here!

The underlined verse is:

"Enjoy prosperity whenever you can,

and when hard times strike,

realize that God gives one as well as the other---

so that everyone will realize that nothing is certain in this life."

~ Ecclesiastes 7:14 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "God allows both adversity and prosperity to come to all. He blends them in our lives in such a way that we can't predict the future or count on human wisdom and power. In prosperous times, we love to give ourselves the credit. Then in adversity, we tend to blame God without thanking Him for the good that comes out of it. When life appears certain and controllable, don't let pride make you to comfortable or God may allow adversity to drive you back to Him. When life seems uncertain and uncontrollable, don't despair----God is in control and will bring good results out of tough times."

***

Printable Issue 3604  Today is Thursday, July 20th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3604

Some of the things happening in our nation and world, we like. Other things we don't care much about.

I went to a leadership summit in Des Moines on Saturday. Among other presenters was Kellyanne Conway, who serves as a counselor to President Trump. She didn't give a speech but was asked questions by her interviewer.

She was asked to give her list of things for which we could consider praying, thinking of our country. Here is her 'non-political' listing:

Pray for:

* our nation as a whole;

* our government and its officials, those elected or unelected, regardless of their political affiliations;

* that we would be more humble and kind;

* for additional prosperity and safety;

* us to be more fearful of God;

* that we might be less suspicious of one another;

* that we might disagree on policies but not on people and personalities;

* for additional wisdom which only comes from God.

*

Sometimes we get too caught up on what we want and dismiss others; how they think and in what they believe. Regardless of our political views, I am sure most of us can pray for the health and healing of both Representative Steve Scalise who still recovers from a gun shot wound and for Senator John McCain as he struggles with his new brain cancer diagnosis.

Thank You, God, that You are bigger than each of us and can take care of every individual and every care. You are the great I AM!

Printable Issue 3605  Today is Friday, July 21st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3605

Because we are pretty dry here, there are lots of opportunities to water gardens! Watering doesn't match rains, but it helps.

One time a few days ago, the water in my hose stopped. I tried to trace the lack of water flow back down the hose. I couldn't find any kinks. Oh, no, not a water well problem!

One more look and I found the problem. It was a kink, only hidden from first glances. Undo the kink; water began to flow.

Dear Father in Heaven, thank You that Your 'living water' flows continually.

It's the kinks in our lives that cause us problems.

And we can't 'undo' them without Your help of finding them and then straightening our paths.

We are needy and vulnerable; we need help every day!

And then........here comes the water of 'love, life, hope, help, peace, joy' just to name a few.

Thank You for being our Forever Friend.

Amen.

**

Printable Issue 3606  Today is Monday, July 24th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3606

Yesterday's Sarah Young and her "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence". It must be a God-thing' as Chad, who presented our communion thought, talked about 'light' as well:


"I am the Light of the World. Men crawl through their lives cursing the darkness, but all the while I am shining brightly. I desire each of My followers to be a Light-bearer. The Holy Spirit who lives in you can shine from your face, making Me visible to people all around you. Ask My Spirit to live through you, as you wend your way through this day. Hold My hand in joyful trust, for I never leave your side. The Light of My Presence is shining upon you. Brighten up the world by reflecting who I AM."

~ Taken from John 8:12; Matthew 5:14 - 16; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Exodus 3:14

**

Printable Issue 3607  Today is Tuesday, July 25th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3607

A couple of 'holy humor' emailed to me by my Uncle Bud, who is a retired pastor and lives in Tennessee:

*

Did Noah fish?

"A Sunday school teacher asked, 'Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark?" 'No,' replied Johnny. 'How could he, with just two worms.'"

*

The Lord is my Shepherd

"A Sunday school teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible - Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Rick was excited about the task - but he just couldn't remember the Psalm.

"After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, 'The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know.'"

*

Being Thankful

"A Rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy, 'So your mother says prayers  for you each night? That's very commendable. What does she say?'

"The little boy replied, 'Thank God he's in bed!'"

*

All Men/All Girls

"When my daughter, Kelli, said her bedtime prayers, she would bless every family member, every friend, and every animal (current and past). For several week, after we had finished the nightly prayer, Kelli would say, 'And all girls,' This soon became part of her nighty routine to include this closing. My curiosity got the best of me and I asked her, "Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls?;

"Her response, 'Because everybody always finish their prayers by saying, 'All Men"!"

***

 

Printable Issue 3608  Today is Wednesday, July 26th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3608

"How great is the Lord!

His power is absolute!

His understanding is unlimited!"

~ Psalm 147:5 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Sometimes we feel as if we don't understand ourselves---what we want, how we feel, what's wrong with us, or what we should do about it. But God's understanding is unlimited and therefore He understands us fully. If we feel troubled and don't understand ourselves, we need to remember that God understands us perfectly. We need to take our minds of ourselves and focus on God. Strive to become more and more like Him. The more we learn about God and His ways, the better we understand ourselves."

***


Printable Issue 3609  Today is Thursday, July 27th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3609

Jesus, A Friend for Life

By Max Lucado

"I spent too much of a high school summer working in the oil field. We donned gas masks, waded into ankle deep, contaminated mire. My mom burned my work clothes. The stink stunk! Yours can do the same. Linger too long in the stench of your hurt, and you'll smell like the toxin you despise.

"The better option? Join with David as he announces, 'The Lord lives. Blessed be my Rock. It is God who avenges me. He delivers me from my enemies. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O God!' (Psalm 18:45-49). Wander daily through the gallery of God's goodness. Catalog His kindnesses. Look at what you have. Let Jesus be the friend you need. Talk to Him. Spare no details. Disclose your fear and describe your dread. You just found a friend for life in Jesus Christ. What could be better than that?"

**

Printable Issue 3610  Today is Friday, July 28th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3610

Today is July 28; it was eighteen years ago that our younger daughter Merry was killed in a vehicle accident.

I have a book of "Merry Memories", written by all kinds of people who knew Merry throughout her short 26 years. A common theme of multiple writers was: 'always a smile'; 'enjoying whatever she was doing', 'there for people'. She was busy; spending lots of time thinking and being with 'others'.

Merry was a sender of pass-along emails; so many that I had deleted a number of them. But I had nine about the time she died. Here is one; which I have used before (there weren't that many!):


"A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill.

In the room of 200, he asked, 'Who would like this $20 bill?'

Hands went up. He said, 'I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.'

He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, 'Who still want it?'

Still the hands were up in the air.

'Well,' he replied, 'What if I do this?'

And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.

He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty.

'Now who still wants it?'

Still the hands went into the air.

'My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. but no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your values in God's eyes. To Him, dirty, or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him.

*

Psalm 17:8 states that God will keep us, 'as the apple of His eye.'

THOUGHT: 

"The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or what we are but by WHOSE WE ARE!" You are Special. So have a great day!"

**







Printable Issue 3611  Today is Monday, July 31st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3611

Thanks to some Karen's Korner readers who responded to Friday's post of one of Merry's pass-along emails.

So how does a mom; any mom or parent, respond to or live way the death of a child?

I wanted to share a couple of thoughts from my personal experiences

It is a day-to-day thing.

It is a God-thing. He knew these kinds of things would happen to some of us. And like always, He has answers for us in advance.

Most of the time it is words in the Bible. Sometimes it is in a thought. Or the words from others.

All of us have to remember 'who' we are. But also "Whose" we are!

A handful of helpful Bible verses for me:

"Why be discouraged and sad? Hope in God!"   ~ Psalm 42:5

"God is my refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble."    ~ Psalm 46:1

"Always be joyful......always be thankful."      ~ I Thessalonians 5:16 & 18

"I want you to trust Me in your times of trouble for I will rescue you and you will give my glory."     ~ Psalm 50:15

 "When the Holy Spirit (given to each of us when we believe) controls our lives He will produce: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control...."          ~ Galatians 5:22 &23

Living successfully for the past 18 years without Merry has never been about Karen Weld. It has been about leaning on Him. Learning from Him. God never said we would 'feel' certain ways all the time. He told us to be thankful. He told us to trust. He told us to believe what we can't see.

And when I don't do it. Or don't want to. I ask Him to help.

That is where the 'joy' comes in!