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July 2020 Archives

Printable Issue 4243  Today is Wednesday, July 1st, 2020; Karen's Korner #4243
I hope that you enjoy Max Lucado's writings as much as I do. This one he write about 'God Happens' and how God can make good out of evil things which happen to us and around us. I think most of us agree with that. But generally it doesn't happen as fast as we would like!

GOOD HAPPENS

"It's the repeated pattern in Scripture. Evil. God. Good. Evil came to Job. It tempted him and tested him. Job struggled. But God countered. He spoke truth and declared sovereignty. Job, in the end chose God. Satan's prime target became God's star witness and good resulted.

"Evil came to David and he committed adultery. Evil came to Daniel and he as dragged to a foreign land. Evil came to Nehemiah and the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed. But God countered. Because He did, David wrote songs of grace, Daniel ruled in a foreign land, and Nehemiah rebuilt Jerusalem with Babylonian money. Good happened.

"With Jesus, bad became good like night becomes day---regularly, reliably, refreshingly, and redemptively. Evil. God. Good. When God gets in the middle of life---evil becomes good!

****
Printable Issue 4244  Today is Thursday, July 2nd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4244
Most Karen's Korner subscribers know that I am a Bible reader. Not a Bible scholar.

I read a chapter or two in one of the books of the Bible. Then move on to another book. Right now I am read 1 John; five chapters. Chapters one and two:  God is Light. Three and four:  God is Love. Chapter five:  God is Life.

"See how very much our heavenly Father loves us,
for He allows us to be called His children----
think of it----
and we really are!
But since most people don't know God,
naturally they don't understand
that we are His children."

~ 1 John 3:1 LAB

Bible Commentary:  "As believers, our self-worth is based on the fact that God loves us and calls us His children. We are His children, NOW, not just sometime in the distant future. Knowing that we are His children encourages us to live as Jesus did."
***

Printable Issue 4245  Today is Friday, July 3rd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4245

I have been spending some time weeding my flower gardens. Petunias are planted around my utility pole in front of my farm home. Marigolds are along the sides of the sidewalk coming toward my kitchen door. They are really getting pretty and in full bloom this time of the year.

While they are newly weeded, I can spot a sprig of grass or weed here and there. So do I focus on the beauty of the plantings? Or do I pay attention to the weeds which are at a minimum?

I choose the showy flowers.

As we celebrate the 4th of July tomorrow and our country's Independence Day, do we look deeply at the flaws and imperfections of our past and its leaders and heroes? As one writer said, "We are a flawed nation because we have always had flawed people in it. Including us!"

No, I choose to look at the heroes.

In 1939, Irving Berlin wrote 'God Bless America', Think back to that time, It must have appeared there was trouble on every horizon.

Might be a good prayer for
today and this weekend:

"God bless America, land that I love.

Stand beside her and guide her.

Through the night with the light from above.

From the mountains to the prairies, to the ocean white with foam --

God bless America, my home sweet home!"
 

*******

Printable Issue 4246  Today is Monday, July 6th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4246
Anybody but me hate what is happening in and to our country? I used to be a news junky. Now I can't stand to listen to it. This morning I tuned in for 10 minutes before I had to shut it off.

I didn't listen long enough to find out details, but the highlights were about shootings and killings in a handful of major cities. Sad! Innocent people---children---getting killed!

If we weren't pray-ers for our country in the past, today might be a good day!

Dear Father in Heaven, You knew that without You in our lives we would do foolish things. You are the Author of Love and You want us to reflect that Love toward others. Help us. Lead us. Guide us. You are the Only One Who can change our situation. Our hearts are broken. So we look to You! In Jesus' Name. Amen.

***
(This is what I intended to have for today's Karen's Korner)

Taken from July 5th entry of Sarah Young's
'Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence':

"Draw near to Me with a thankful heart, aware that your cup is overflowing with blessings. Gratitude enables you to perceive Me more clearly and to rejoice in our Love relationship. Nothing can separate you from My loving Presence! That is the basis of your security. Whenever you start to feel anxious, remind yourself that your security rests in Me alone, and I am totally trustworthy.

"You will never be in control of your life circumstances, but you can relax and trust in My control. Instead of striving for a predictable, safe lifestyle, seek to know Me in greater depth and breadth. I long to make your life a glorious adventure, but you must stop clinging to old ways. I am always doing something new within My beloved ones. Be on the lookout for all that I have prepared for you."

(Taken from Romans 8:38-39; Psalm 56:3-4; Isaiah 43:19)

*******

Printable Issue 4247  Today is Tuesday, July 7th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4247
Here is a handful of verses from Psalm chapter 103. Written by David; the theme is "God's great love for us. What God does for us tells us what He is really like.

"He forgives all my sins.
He heals me.
He ransoms me from hell.
He surrounds me with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle's.
He gives justice to all who are treated unfairly.
He revealed His will and nature to Moses and the people of Israel.

"He is merciful and tender toward those who don't deserve it;
He is slow to get angry and full of kindness and love.
He never bears a grudge;
nor remains angry forever.
He has not punished us as we deserve for all our sins,
for the mercy toward those who fear and honor Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

"He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west. 
He is like a father to us,
tender and sympathetic to those who reverence Him.
For He knows we are but dust,
and that our days are few and brief,
like grass, like flowers,
blown by the wind and gone forever."

~ Psalm 103:3 - 14 LAB

****
Printable Issue 4248  Today is Wednesday, July 8th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4248
It was the mid-part of June that I discovered two pots of geraniums which I had saved from last fall. They looked pretty pitiful. I wondered if there was any life left in any of them.

What would it hurt to find a spot in a garden to transplant them? Which I did!

I was able to transplant six plants. And I have been watching them.

Now there are three with really nice foliage; one not as nice. Two are still 'sticks'. This morning I noticed that one of the plants is sporting a beginning bloom.

God does the same thing to us, especially as we age. We might not look like much could grow out of what is left. But God transplants us. Adds water and some of His sunshine. Then we experience a re-growth. All part of His Garden!


"Even in old age they will still produce fruit and be vital and green."

~ Psalm 92:14 LAB

****
Printable Issue 4249  Today is Thursday, July 9th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4249

I am reading a book titled "Praying Grace"; 55 Meditations and Declarations on the Finished Work of Christ.

The author David A. Holland tells about the 'seven exchanges' we receive when we accept Christ into our lives.

Installment #1 "Our Sin for His Righteousness":
 

"God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."

~ 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV
 

Holland writes, "The cross is a place of exchange. We come to the cross carrying every cursed and awful thing that befell mankind in the fall. There we lay those things down, then walk away with our arms laden with extraordinary gifts."

"We exchange our sinfulness for Jesus' righteousness ..... Jesus was made to be sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with His righteousness. It is a wonderful trade."

 

"Oh, Father, what an amazing thing it is to know that Jesus took my sin and my sinfulness upon Himself and gave me His perfect, flawless righteousness. Help me, by Your grace, become continually more aware and conscious of this astonishing truth in the deepest recesses of my heart and mind.

"I declare that I've exchanged my sinfulness for His righteousness. Jesus, thank You that You were made to be sin that I might be made righteous. In the process, I have regained the amazing privilege of communion and connectedness to You that my forefather Adam forfeited in the fall."


****

Printable Issue 4250  Today is Friday, July 10th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4250
Have you ever noticed that we are always in the middle of some crisis? If we don't have a big one, we probably have a series of little ones. Or we might have more than one at a time.

Here is today's installment by Max Lucado:


Find God in Your Crisis

"Calamities can leave us off balance and confused.  Consider the crisis of Joseph’s generation as recorded in Genesis Chapter 47.  “Now there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.”  

"Joseph faced a calamity on a global scale. Joseph told his brothers, “God sent me before you to preserve life.  For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.  And God sent me before you.”  Joseph began and ended his crisis with God.

"God preceded the famine.  God would outlive the famine.  How would you describe your crisis? Do you recite your woes more naturally than you do heaven’s strength?  You’re assuming God isn’t in the crisis.  He is.  Even a famine was fair game for God’s purpose!"

***

Printable Issue 4251  Today is Monday, July 13th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4251
Our sermon yesterday was taken from Romans 13:1 - 5. Very timely.

"Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow."

verse 1 & 2
*
As the minister said, "Pray for our leaders at all levels of government, whether you voted for him or her or not." The only exception is if it goes against God's laws which are higher still. (i.d. Daniel who got tossed into the lions den for continuing to pray to His God.)

Sometimes we look around at some countries and wonder how that leader could be 'placed in power by God'. But He is God and we aren't!

"For the policeman does not frighten people who are doing right; but those doing evil will always fear him. So if you don't want to be afraid, keep the laws and you will get along well. The policeman is sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course, you should be afraid, for he will have you punished. He is sent by God for that very purpose."

verses 3 & 4

Bible Commentary on those couple of verses:  "When the police are unjust good people are afraid. In this verse, Paul (writer) is talking about police who are doing their duty. When the police are just, people who are doing right have nothing to fear."

"Obey the laws, then, for two reasons,
first, to keep from being punished,
and second, just because you know you should."

verse 5 (all from LAB)

****
Printable Issue 4252  Today is Tuesday, July 14th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4252

Facing the Future with Hope

 

“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”

Revelation 21:2, NKJV

By Anne Graham Lotz
 
“Exiled to the island of Patmos in the midst of the Aegean Sea, the apostle John knew he would be facing death in the not-too-distant future. This was the very moment in time when God chose to give John a vision of the glory of Jesus Christ!

“This vision included a tantalizing glimpse into Heaven, where one day God Himself will live forever with His people. This glorious vision has been recorded in the final book of the Bible, Revelation, because John was commanded to write down what he saw. The vision was to be not only for his own personal comfort and encouragement but for all people down through the centuries who, when facing daily challenges, extraordinary circumstances, or even when plunging to certain death, could do so with courage and with hope.”
 
Printable Issue 4253  Today is Wednesday, July 15th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4253
"Dear friends,
let us practice loving each other,
for love comes from God
and those who are loving and kind
show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know Him better."

~ 1 John 4:7 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "Everyone believes love is important, but we usually think of it as a feeling. In reality, love is a choice and an action. God is the source of our love; He loved us enough to sacrifice His son for us. Jesus is our example of what it means to love; everything He did in life and death was supremely loving. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to love. God's love always involves a choice and an action, and our love should be like His.

"How well is our love for God displayed; in the choices we make and the actions we take?"

**





Printable Issue 4254  Today is Thursday, July 16th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4254
The second of seven exchanges. What we get at the foot of the cross because of what Jesus did for us!

Taken from 'Praying Grace;  55 Meditations and Declarations on the Finished Work of Christ' by David A. Holland:


OUR CURSE FOR HIS BLESSING

"From the very beginning, God's plan was for His people to live in blessing.

In the Garden of Eden where He settled the very first people was 'a place of abundance, joy, peace, and beauty.' But Adam and Eve rebelled and let loose a horrific curse upon the earth. In place of that blessing:  disease, lack, oppression, misery, strife, and pain suddenly reigned.

"The first Adam released a curse upon the world.......But at the cross, the last Adam, Jesus, turned blessing loose in it place for those willing to humbly receive His offer."

"At the cross, we get to exchange life under Adam's curse for Abraham's life of blessing: the second amazing exchanges we make when we accept God's gracious offer of salvation."

"Father, what a privilege to exchange life under the curse of sin for a life of blessing under the rule of grace. Thank You that You have redeemed me from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for me, in order that in You the blessing of Abraham might come to me. I will not tolerate lingering remnants of curse in my life or household under the false belief that it is Your will for me.

"I declare that I have been to the cross and exchange Adam's curse for Abraham's blessing."


*****
Printable Issue 4255  Today is Friday, July 17th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4255
Yesterday morning I caught part of a Christian broadcast featuring Steve Furtick. His topic was anxiety and being anxious.

His charge to his listening audience was what is the center letter of anxious?


Anxious

Furtick said being anxious normally starts each thought and sentence with 'I'!

But he said to address the issue is also in the word anxious.

What are the last two letters?

Anxious

The resolution to the condition is as close as the letters 'us'. Anxiety is lessened when we can talk about it with a friend, family member, Bible study, Sunday school class, prayer group, attending a worship service.

God doesn't want us to be anxious.

:"Have no anxiety about anything,
but in everything by prayer and petition, 
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds,
in Christ Jesus."

~ Philippians 4:6 & 7 NIV

***

Printable Issue 4256  Today is Monday, July 20th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4256
On Friday night, July 3, a nearby lake was hosting fireworks. The display was to begin at 10 o'clock.

A friend and I drove there about 9:30. The parking lot on the west side of the park, north of the lake, has one entry and exit. We drove in anyway, hoping to find a parking space.

Seeing none, I turned around to drive out.

That is when I saw a young man beginning to gesture us a message that, indeed, we could park, if I would just give him a minute.

He straddled his motorcycle and moved it closer to another vehicle, giving me room to park my full-sized van.

He, a young Hispanic male, didn't have to be so kind to an older white female. Me.

In a world full of 'isms' today, at that moment I didn't see race or sex. Obviously he must not have either.

I was grateful for his kindness to us, as I pulled into our space, and as he waved over his shoulder and walked back to his group of family and friends.
Printable Issue 4257  Today is Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4257





















"God is slow in getting angry, 
but when aroused, His power is incredible,
and He does not easily forgive.
He shows His power in the terrors of the cyclone
and the raging storms;
clouds are billowing dust beneath His feet."
 

~ Nahum 1:3 LAB

 

Bible Commentary: " God is slow to get angry, but when He is ready to punish, even the earth trembles. Often people avoid God because they see evildoers in the world and hypocrites in the church. They don't realize that because God is slow to anger, He gives His true followers time to share His love and truth with evildoers. But judgment will come.God will not allow sin to go unchecked forever. When people wonder why God doesn’t punish evil immediately, help them remember that if He did, none of us would be here. We can all be thankful that God gives people time to turn to Him."
 

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Printable Issue 4258  Today is Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4258
The Bible I read the most and is a favorite is the Life Application Bible published by Tyndale House Publishers. It is the Living Bible with Bible commentaries at the bottom of each page.

It was printed in 1986 but reads like today's newspaper:

"I am completely discouraged---I lie in the dust.
Revive me by your Word.
I told you my plans and you replied.
Now give me your instructions."

~ Psalm 119:25 LAB

*
Bible Commentary:  "How can God's Word revive us? Our world is full of evil; God's Word revives us with the promise of victory over evil. Our world says we are worthless without certain looks or possessions; God's Word gives us value by telling us that God created us and loves us. Our world is full of discouragement; God's Word encourages us. Our world has no real, lasting answers. God's Word give satisfying answers. Read it and be revived."
*******
Printable Issue 4259  Today is Thursday, July 23rd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4259
The third of seven exchanges. What we get at the foot of the cross because of what Jesus did for us!

Taken from 'Praying Grace;  55 Meditations and Declarations on the Finished Work of Christ' by David A. Holland:

OUR REJECTION FOR HIS ACCEPTANCE

"Jesus suffered for our sins, having our sins laid upon Him as He was crucified. He was despised and rejected by His people. He was betrayed and abandoned by His closest friends. But far beyond these cruel blows, as He became sin itself for us. He felt His own Father withdraw His comforting presence.

"Jesus suffered your rejection so you might have His acceptance. You can purpose today to never again fall back into the trap of disqualifying yourself. You can learn to fight for your heart confidence to feed it and strengthen it with God's Word and attach undermining, condemning thoughts with scriptural truth.

"Fly to Him, child of God. Run as fast as your feet can carry you. Know that you are accepted, loved, and unspeakably welcome. Then, with grateful mindfulness of all He has done for your, pour out to Him your requests."


"Father, I have been to the cross and exchanged my rejections for Jesus' acceptance. I stand in grateful wonder that He took on the rejection I deserved so that I could experience the acceptance He deserves. What a wonderful exchange.

"I will maintain and protect the confidence of my heart before You. I will not fall back into the trap of disqualifying myself. I will not casually set aside such a costly and precious gift of Your acceptance. I run to You freely and expectantly, knowing that I am as welcomed and accepted as Your Son."

***
Printable Issue 4260  Today is Friday, July 24th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4260
(On yesterday's Karen's Korner, I failed to put the accompanying Bible verse telling about one of the seven exchanges which happens at the foot of the cross; when we received His (Jesus) acceptance for our rejection:

"He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem."
~ Isaiah 53:3 NIV)

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

"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 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 4261  Today is Monday, July 27th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4261
This week is birthday week for our family:  sister, sister, niece,nephew, niece. Happy birthday Eileen,Jill,Deb, Jim, and Colleen!

No matter what ages we are. Or if this is birthday week or not. We are all getting older. Some of us are farther 'up the ladder' than others.

"I will keep on expecting You to help me.
I praise Your name and more.
I cannot count the times when You have faithfully rescued me from danger.
I will tell everyone how good You are,
and of Your constant, daily care.
I walk in the strength of the Lord God.
I tell everyone that You alone are just and good."


~ Psalm 71:14 - 16 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "As we face the sunset years (not everyone in my birthday list are that old!), we recognize that God has been our constant help in the past. As physical powers wain, we need God even more, and we realize He is still our constant help. We must never despair, but keep on expecting His help no matter how severe our limitations (above list, not there yet!). Hope in Him helps us to keep going, to keep serving Him."
*****
Printable Issue 4262  Today is Tuesday, July 28th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4262

This is the date 21 years ago that our daughter Merry was killed in a car/semi accident.

She was a sender of emails. Some were serious. Others funny. Sometimes crazy. Unfortunately I only saved 9. One is included today. Since there are so few, undoubtedly you have read it before. No matter:
 

From me to you.........
PEACE


Do not undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Do not set your goals by what other people deem important.
Only you know what is best for you.

Do not take for granted the the things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as you would your life,
for without them, life is meaningless.

Do not let you life slip through your fingers by living in the past nor for  the future.
By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Do not give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
It is a fragile thread that binds us to each other.

Do not be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Do not shut love out of your life
by saying it is impossible to find.

The quickest way to receive love is to give love;
The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly.

Do not dismiss your dream.
To be without dreams is to be without hope;
To be without hope is to be without purpose.

Do not run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have been,
but also where you are going.

Life is not a race,
but a journey to be savored each step of the way."

*

A side note for the day:  this year on June 17, it would have been Merry & Ed's 25th wedding anniversary. As Ed has, all twenty-one years since her untimely death, he has made the trip to Clarion to put flowers on her grave and to 'talk with Merry' sometime each calendar year.

Easy to love a guy like that!
 

****