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September 2017 Archives

Printable Issue 3634  Today is Friday, September 1st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3634

Taken from this month's 'Decision; magazine, a publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Something written by Billy Graham and titled, "Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God"; several highlights:

~ 'In the fourth chapter of Hebrews, verse 12, it says,

'For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.'"

*

~  "Today there's a growing movement to do away with the Bible. And if this movement succeeds, anarchy will rule. This generation must face the appalling fact that it's either the Bible or back to the jungles, because that's exactly what will happen."

*

~ "Now the Bible teaches that God loves. All over the world men hunger to know God. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, all the religions of the world, arise from man's searching for God."

*

~ "God has revealed Himself in nature. I look through a telescope and I know there's a God. I look through a microscope and I know there must be a God. He has revealed Himself in HIs Son, Jesus Christ. But we get our knowledge of Christ out of the Bible."

*

~ "Down through the years, the Bible has been ridiculed, burned, refuted, destroyed, but it lives on. It is the anvil that has worn out many hammers. Most books are born, live a few years, then go the way of all the earth; they're forgotten. But not the Bible."

*

~ "The very heart of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the fact that Jesus Christ is God's Son. Take that by faith, that He was born of the Virgin Mary, and that He died on the cross for a special purpose. It wasn't just death because He was put to death by the Romans. You and I put Him to death. I helped because of my sins. The Bible says that God took all of our sins and laid them on Him. And it was my sins, your sins, the whole world nailing Him to the cross. But in that cross a great victory came. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ triumphed over sin and death and the grave and hell and there is hope today-----security, peace, assurance-----in coming to the cross. And receiving Him."

***





Printable Issue 3635  Today is Saturday, September 2nd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3635

When I typed Friday's Karen's Korner, it was #3634. How could that be? Fridays always end in 0 or 5. What was the problem? I looked back to find that I had missed last Friday's, a week ago. And didn't even know it.

So to keep my folder RIGHT? Here is a Saturday one:

"If you will only help me to want your will, then I will follow your laws even more closely."

~ Psalm 119:32 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Our lives are cluttered with rule books, but the authors never come with us to help us follow the rules. But God does. That is the uniqueness of our Bible. God not only provides the rules and guidelines; but comes with us personally each day to help us live according to those rules. Of course, we must invite Him to do this. Do we?"

***


Printable Issue 3636  Today is Monday, September 4th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3636

Happy Labor Day!

As big as the tragedy and mess left by Hurricane Harvey, the great part is seeing the American kind and caring spirit of volunteers, as they step forward. And we are told, that spirit will need to continue for months and even years!

If we were to listen to the news, we would sometimes wonder about 'people'. We tend to cover the bad ones; ignoring the good ones. And there are lots of them.....


Here is one that I would like to share with you this morning:

I had the privilege of writing a story which was printed in our local paper this past week. I interviewed the managers of Clarion's two motels:  Sue Tester at Boulders Inn and Frank and Trudy Teslik with Clarion Hometown Inn. Boulders is our two-year-old motel; Clarion Hometown Inn is 20 years plus. Both managers are warm hearted caring people; quite a difference in the two motels.

The interview prompted my thinking about Frank and Trudy Teslik.

At the end of last summer, it was hot, like July and August has the habit of doing in Iowa!

I had a card which I had purchased from our local high school band. Most businesses are listed with a discount or something free, spurring card holders to use it every month for a year. Last year, there was one 'punch' for a free night's stay at their motel.

I had no plans to use it.

Vi Schnell, at the time 97, and her son, Dan the Can Man (Dan gleans our town for cans and bottles daily; would have been labeled 'special ed' in his school days), were in their hot home!

I asked them if they'd want to have a free stay at Clarion Hometown Inn the next night, if there was a room available.

Yes, they would.

Yes, there was a room available.

I dropped them off for their cooler stay.

The next day, Trudy called me to 'thank me for bringing them to stay there'!

Thank me? All I did was show up with my card for FREE!

What she wanted me to know is that she was going to let them stay another couple of nights, so they'd be more comfortable!


New cards are out for this year. The free stay is no longer on the list. Vi passed away a number of months ago. I had hesitated to say anything of the Tesliks' generosity earlier for fear they might be overwhelmed by others wanting the same treatment.

It was, and is, good news!

Printable Issue 3637  Today is Tuesday, September 5th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3637

I was guest at a Fort Dodge church on Sunday, as I visited a long-time friend and former Clarion resident.

The legacy of Mother Teresa lives on, as the pastor mentioned her in his sermon:

"We are called to be but a small pencil in the hand of God;

writing a love letter to the world."

*

The quote brought me back to a perpetual flip calendar which I hadn't looked at for a couple of months. Here are several of her words taken from "Heart of Joy":

"Christ must be the light that shines through you,

and the people looking at you must see only Jesus.

You have a challenge from Jesus to meet:

He has shed the light, and you will take the light

and lighten every heart you meet."

*

"We should give thanks to God for what He has done in us,

with us,

and through us.

We should thank Him for using us to be His love and mercy."

*****


Printable Issue 3638  Today is Wednesday, September 6th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3638

God Made Visible

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

~ Acts 4:12 NIV

*

"Who do you know who says we can each have our own religion as long as we're sincere? Does that person put a guilt trip on you for what he or she describes as a dogmatic, narrow-minded, intolerant, and exclusive faith? But the Gospel wasn't our idea, was it? Jesus Himself declared, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me' (John 14:6, NIV). We must come to God through Him or we don't come at all. The Bible says emphatically that 'salvation is found in no one else, for there is not other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.' Just the name of Jesus.

"And Who is Jesus? He is God Himself made visible to all. Praise God! You and I are not condemned to live in darkness because He has turned on the Light!

"Praise God for just giving us Jesus!"

~ Anne Graham Lotz

***



Printable Issue 3639  Today is Thursday, September 7th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3639

Something written by Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" from several days ago:


"Seek Me with your whole being. I desire to be found in you, and I orchestra the events in your life with that purpose in mind. When things go well and you are blessed, you can feel Me smiling on you. When you encounter rough patches along your life-journey, trust that My Light is still shining on you. My reasons for allowing these adversities may be shrouded in mystery, but My continual Presence with you is an absolute promise. Seek Me in good times; seek Me in hard times. You will find Me watching over you all the time."

~ Taken from Deuteronomy 4:19; Hebrews 10:23; Psalm 145:20

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Printable Issue 3640  Today is Friday, September 8th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3640

"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

*

I don't memorize much stuff any more. I tell myself that I am 'too old' to do that. But I can; if I try! This is one I just worked on (for more than one day!) and today, I can remember it! It takes more work to get it in there and keep it there than when I was younger but.....

I really like this one: 'always' is trick word in true and false tests. If you read the words 'always' or 'never', chances are pretty good it is false.

Dealing with God is a whole new ball game. He is 'always' a lot of things.

And I liked that His faithfulness goes on and on to generations beyond what we can see today. My Grandma Merwin who was killed in an auto accident when I was like six or seven was a pray-er, according to my mom. No doubt she prayed for us as her grandchildren, ones who were born and she knew; ones yet to be born.

So I am product of some of her prayers, unknown to me.

What a promise and a hope!

Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for who You are and what You are willing to do for each one of us. Thank You that you are 'always good, loving and kind.......regardless of who we are, what we think say or do! Thank You that your faithfulness goes on and on to generations far beyond our viewpoint. Today we want to pray for our children, our grandchildren, our greats and people who have yet to be born. You said your faithfulness would go on and on, and for that we praise and thank You. You can take care of all of them.......and us, better than we can take care of yourselves!

In Jesus' name. Amen.


Printable Issue 3641  Today is Monday, September 11th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3641

I had the opportunity to attend my Merwin cousin reunion on Saturday in Mason City. These are a handful of relatives of my Grandma and Grandpa Merwin, mom's parents. They had fifteen children and 39 grandchildren. Since the family lived in a number of cities and states over the years, I have cousins who I know and others who I only know of.

One cousin to whom I was reintroduced was Scott who now lives in Indiana. Employed as an engineer by a major manufacturing company, he told of his 'experiment' of driving to and from work, a few years ago when gas topped $4 per gallon.

"Because my commute was about twenty minutes, I wondered how much gas and money I might save if I drove slower," he said. "I decided to drive five miles an hour under the speed limit." He said he chose not to ever leave the right lane and allow faster drivers to go around him on the left. If he got behind a semi or some other slower moving vehicle, he would drive even slower.

What did his experiment find after a number of days doing this? "I was surprised that the amount of gas saved wasn't that much. But what I did find, is that I arrived at work more relaxed and able to take on the day." He also said that the amount of time 'spent' going slower:  3 minutes!

I couldn't help but think of how much we want 'peace' in our life. Sometimes we pray and ask God for it. Then what do we do to contribute to that peace?

(Jesus speaking):

''I am leaving you with a gift --

peace of mind and heart!

And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives.'"

~ John 14:27 LAB

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Printable Issue 3642  Today is Tuesday, September 12th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3642

Yesterday we paused, even if briefly following so much hurricane news, to acknowledge 9/11 and the memory of the attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

An off-shoot of the National Day of Prayer in May, is 'Cry Out America', causing people to pause and pray each September 11.

Below is a prayer emailed to anyone who wans to read, or think about, our nation. If it was good for yesterday, it is still good for today:


"Lord, we live in a diverse country with blends of many cultures, faiths, and values. In an age when partisanship seems to pervade all aspects of American life, it seems as though the polarizing of people in the realm of culture and politics only continue to widen, deepen, and become more and more strained.

"Instead of actual discussions about the real issues of our day, there is anger and loud, unyielding opposition. I pray that the power of Your Holy Spirit would move among us and tear down the barriers that divide us. May You breathe upon us and instill on us a desire for unity and agreement through a spirit of mutual respect and brotherly love.

"Forgive us for any discrimination, cynicism, or superior attitudes we may have harbored in our hearts. I ask You to help me own heart to be free to bring peace to others, to work together with others who don't share my perspective and to make a difference in the world. Help me, help us, Father, to be a force for unity and not disharmony.

"Amen."

***

Printable Issue 3643  Today is Wednesday, September 13th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3643

"Protect me as you would the pupil of your eye;

hide me in the shadow of your wings as you hover over me."

~ Psalm 17:8 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "The 'shadow of your wings' is a figure of speech symbolizing God's protection. He guards us just as a mother bird protects her young by covering them with her wings."

*** 

Printable Issue 3644  Today is Thursday, September 14th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3644

In the Bible, Christ promises us a number of things. Our job? Do we believe what we are told? Or don't we?

Grace of Christ

"Guilt sucks the life out of our souls. Grace restores it. No one had more reason to feel the burden of guilt than did the apostle Paul. He had orchestrated the deaths of Christians---and ancient version of a terrorist. Yet, Paul gave his guilt to Jesus, period. He surrendered it to Jesus! As a result he could write, 'I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing. Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us' (Philippians 3:13-14 TLB).

"What would the apostle say to the guilt-ridden? Simply this:  Rejoice in the Lord's mercy. Trust in His ability to forgive. Cast yourself upon the grace of Christ and Christ alone!

~ By Max Lucado

****

Printable Issue 3645  Today is Friday, September 15th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3645

When Jim were married nearly 48 years ago, I gave him my dad's wedding band.

Because both of them were farmers, neither of them wore it for many years. Jim carried it on his key chain.

I like wearing the ring, on a chain, surrounded by gold piece which a jeweler made of my original engagement and wedding rings.

Several days ago, as I was taking the necklace off its hanger, it dropped into a wastebasket below. I dug around through some garbage of tissues, gum rappers, etc., looking to retrieve it. Not too bad of garbage.

As I looked for it, I knew I would be digging in the garbage even if it included coffee grounds, egg shells, and watermelon rinds. It was that valuable to me!

My next thought was:  this is what Jesus does for each of us; regardless of what 'garbage' we may have made of our lives, He is in the middle of the mess.......looking to find us once again. No 'junk' is too disgusting for Him to 'dig'.

We are that valuable to Him! He came to 'seek and save the lost'.

Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for Who You are and what You are willing to do for us:  today and every day! We aren't worthy of that kind of care but we get it. You are a 'good, good Father'! We are blessed. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 3646  Today is Monday, September 18th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3646
Yesterday at church Chad Chapman had something he told for our communion service, which I'd like to share:

Broken Crayons Still Color
~ written by Ruth McKenzier

"Have you ever witnessed young children coloring? At some point, the inevitable will happen where a crayon will break. For some small children, it is heart breaking if it is their favorite color. Nonetheless, you will never see a young child stop coloring forever because one crayon broke. They may fuss, but it is their favorite crayon they'll continue to use that crayon.

"I love the analogy of the broken crayon still coloring. When we get older, we begin to lose our ability to dream, and life begins to break us down, year after year. Eventually, we begin to forget we are beautiful and created to shine. We can still be used for remarkable things when we yield to our Creator who can restore us to fulfillness. It does not matter how we became broken beings, we can still be used for greatness.

"In Psalm 51, King David is writing of his brokenness. At this time, he had sinned and felt the remorse of his actions and was broken hearted. Even in his brokenness, he knew that God could restore him when he repented and sacrificed his broken heart to the Lord, instead of driving him further away. The sacrifices of God can be our broken spirit and through the broken pieces, light can shine through.

"Today, in this moment, your future is brighter. Your broken pieces can be used for more than regret and shame, but instead to inspire and uplift another soul. At the valley, the lowest point, the Lord restores when you hand those broken pieces to Him. Brokenness brings us closer to Christ. Just know this, broken crayons still color."

Chad's Prayer:  "Father God, you know better than anyone else that we are all broken crayons. But we are your broken crayons. We know that you will not simply cast us aside, but utilize our strengths and brokenness to do your works. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen."


Printable Issue 3647  Today is Tuesday, September 19th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3647

Let's see what Sarah Young has to tell readers today, September 19th, in her "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence:

"There is a mighty battle going on for control of your mind. Heaven and earth intersect in your mind; the tugs of both spheres influence your thinking. I created you with the capacity to experience foretastes of heaven. When you shut out the world and focus on My Presence, you can enjoy sitting with Me in heavenly realms. This is an incredible privilege reserved for precious ones who belong to Me and seek My Face. Your greatest strength is your desire to spend time communing with Me. As you concentrate on My, My Spirit fills your mind with Life and Peace.

"The world exerts a downward pull on your thoughts. Media bombard you with greed, lust, and cynicism. When you face these things, pray for protection and discernment. Stay in continual communication with Me whenever you walk through the wastelands of this world. Refuse to worry, because this form of worldliness will weigh you down and block awareness of My Presence. Stay alert, recognizing the battle being waged against your mind. Look forward to an eternity free of strife-free living, reserved for you in heaven."

~ Ephesians 2:6; Psalm 27:8; Romans 8:6; I John 2:15 - 17

***

Printable Issue 3648  Today is Wednesday, September 20th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3648

"What is faith?

It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen.

It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even thought we cannot see it up ahead."

~ Hebrews 11:1 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Two words describe our faith:  confidence and certainty. These two qualities need a secure beginning and ending point. The beginning point of faith is believing in God's character--he IS who he says. The end point is believing in God's promises--he will DO what he says. We believe that God will fulfill his promises even though we don't see those promises materializing NOW---this is true faith."

****


Printable Issue 3649  Today is Thursday, September 21st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3649

A Hero in the Mirror

"A hero could be next door and you wouldn't know it. The fellow who changes the oil in your car could be a hero in overalls! Maybe as he works, he prays, asking God to do with the heart of the driver what he does with the engine. They daycare worker where you drop off the kids? Perhaps her morning prayers include the name of each child and the dream that one of them will change the world.

"I know----those folks don't fit our image of a hero. They are too......well, normal. Give us four stars, titles, and headlines. We seldom see heroes in the making and we seldom recognize heroes, but we would do well to keep our eyes open. Tomorrow's great preacher might be mowing your lawn.

"And the hero who inspires that person might be nearer than you think! Maybe in your mirror!"

~ by Max Lucado

***

Printable Issue 3650  Today is Friday, September 22nd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3650

God's Greater Purpose

"This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."

~ John 11:4 NIV

*

"Why does God let things go from bad to worse for those He loves -- those like me? Like Martha and Mary?

"Yet, consider this:  When Jesus expressed words of encouragement concerning Lazarus' condition. Lazarus had already died! (John 11:4) Was Jesus lying? Was His promise some sort of empty 'hope so'? Was He just toying with Martha and Mary's feelings? NO!! What Jesus said meant.......

that Lazarus' sickness did not have physical death as its ultimate purpose.

that God has a greater purpose than our immediate comfort.

that getting what we want, when we want it, is not always the best for us or glorifying to God.

Would you tell God now, in prayer, that you want what He wants more than what you want? Then trust Him

~ By Anne Graham Lotz

**



Printable Issue 3651  Today is Monday, September 25th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3651

What's right with our country? What's wrong with it?

I was listening to a business program on Saturday morning, as the panel waded in on the issue. They mentioned that since its inception, our nation has been lead by people; both good and flawed. Same way with their decisions, in the past and today.

But they recounted the 'good' things, which we enjoy and which the world has appreciated.

They mentioned that currently the United State gives more than $50 billion in foreign aide to countries around the world annually. Our country patrols the oceans for the safety of everyone, so that countries.....especially those too small to protect themselves.....can have safe water passage.

Corporations in our country invest millions of dollars to make less fortunate people have better lives. They specifically mentioned the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and their work to eradicate malaria in Africa. That is only one.

 Lots of our citizens are hurting due to recent hurricanes. The team voiced how sometimes small factions of people ridicule Christians and people who attend churches. But many of those are the same people who open their wallets with generous gifts. Numbers of them will show up and work to provide help as the clean up continues. Franklin Graham of Samaritan Purse stated early on after Hurricane Harvey that 'volunteers from his organization will be working in the Houston area for the next six years'.

Finally, they mentioned friends and neighbors across our country. Regardless of red states or blue states, political parties or lack of interest in that type of thing, will be 'there' for one another when the need arises.

Which do we want to focus on? What's wrong with us? Our country? Our people? Or? Or? Each one of us gets to choose.

Matthew 19:19 says to 'love your neighbor as yourself". Two people there to love our 'neighbor'.....but also 'ourselves'.

Printable Issue 3652  Today is Tuesday, September 26th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3652

"And because we are His sons, God has sent His Spirit of His Son into our hearts, so now we can rightly speak of God as our dear Father. Now we are no longer slaves, but God's own sons. And since we are His sons, everything He has belongs to us, for that is the way God planned."

~ Galatians 4:4, 5 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:

"Under Roman law, an adopted child was guaranteed all legal rights to his father's property. He was not a second-class son, he was equal to any other sons, biological or adopted, in his father's family.

"As adopted children of God, we share with Jesus all rights to God's resources. As God's heirs, we can claim what He has provided for us---our full identity as His Children."

*

"Thank You, Father, that we can be adopted into your forever family.

We are rich!

In Your Son's Name. Amen."

Printable Issue 3653  Today is Wednesday, September 27th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3653

Today is September 27; it was 1969 when I married Jim Weld on this day.

Not only did we become a 'new' family, I also was welcomed into his extended family. We were blessed to welcome two daughters into our home; along with more extended family members on both sides of the family. Plus hundreds of friends.

In spite of lots of family health issues over the years, Jim and I had the opportunity to celebrate our 45th anniversary before he passed away in October 2014.

So today is a good day to celebrate! Some time today, I look forward to a Skype from our Australian daughter Karen and her family; checking in with other family members; guesting in to a weekly Bible study and coffee with those friends; our church prayer time; taking pizza for lunch for a friend who does day care in her home; going to supper with a couple who will celebrate their anniversary in the next few days; and going to our local theatre with them to enjoy this week's movie.

As I reflected this morning, I couldn't help but think how this is such a good day to celebrate. My next thought:  every day is a good day to celebrate!

Many of us know the Bible verse:  "This is the day which the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!" (Psalm 118:24). Several verses tell us about 'joy'. "Always be joyful" (1Thessalonians 5:16).

God makes all of these possible. My job, our job is whether I/we choose to celebrate.

Praise God!


Printable Issue 3654  Today is Thursday, September 28th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3654

Something vertical published 'side notes' from the current issue of OUR IOWA magazines:


"To achieve the impossible dream,

try going to sleep."

*

"Judge each day not by the harvest you might reap but by the seeds you plant."

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

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"The family that rakes together aches together."

*

"There is a good sermon in the traffic sign:

'Keep Right.'"

*

"Be yourself.

Everyone else is already taken."

*

"What makes greatness is starting something that lives after you."

*

"The road to success is lined with many tempting parking spaces."

*

"Even those with nothing else to give can give encouragement."

***




Printable Issue 3655  Today is Friday, September 29th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3655

Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" is always good; some days tend to hit us better than others.

This is from September 27:

"Relax in My everlasting arms. Your weakness is an opportunity to grow strong in awareness of My almighty Presence. When your energy fails you, do not look inward and lament the lack you find there. Look to Me and My sufficiency:  rejoice in My radiant riches that are available to help you.

"Go gently through this day; leaning on Me and enjoying My Presence. Thank Me for your neediness, which is building trust-bonds between us. If you look back on your journey thus far, you can see that days of extreme weakness have been some of your most precious times. Memories of these days are richly interwoven with golden strands of My intimate Presence."

~ taken from Deuteronomy 31:27; Psalm 27:13 - 14

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