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December 2020 Archives

Printable Issue 4352  Today is Tuesday, December 1st, 2020; Karen's Korner #4352
Created for Commitment
 
 
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
 
Genesis 2:15, NIV

"Apart from understanding the work of God in our creation, there is no real meaning to human existence. If there was no Creator, then you are some cosmic accident, having come from nowhere and on your way to nowhere. You are just a nobody with no ultimate accountability or eternal value. Now that’s depressing! Praise God, it’s not true!

"Where are you seeking lasting satisfaction? You may find temporary satisfaction in things and people, but permanent, deep, full satisfaction of your very being is only found in a right relationship with God for Whom you were created.

"Not only is your being created for God, but your doing is created for God also. You and I were created for commitment to serve God. The Garden of Eden was not only a place for man to live, but it was a place for man to serve."

~ by Anne Graham Lotz

***
Printable Issue 4353  Today is Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4353
The holidays are a great time to be together with family and friends. If not this year, in person, via phone or other social media. It is also a time when we have the opportunity to repair broken or strained relationships. Or be reminded about those who we have no contact at all.

Here are a couple of verses from James which could help us stop and think before we speak - with anyone - at any time:


"Dear brothers, don't be too eager to tell others their faults, for we all make many mistakes........if anyone can control his tongue, it proves that he has perfect control over himself in every other way. We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by a small bit in his mouth."

~ James 3:1 a;2b; 3 LAB

*
Bible Commentary: "What we say and what we don't say are both important. Proper speech is not only saying the right words at the right time, but controlling our desire to say what we shouldn't. Examples of wrongly using the tongue include gossiping, putting other down, bragging, manipulating, false teaching, exaggerating, complaining, flattering, and lying. Before we speak, ask, 'Is is true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?"

****
Printable Issue 4354  Today is Thursday, December 3rd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4354
For fun:  OUR IOWA magazine once again has sayings in its Holiday Issue, vertically in its margins. Here is installment #1 of 2:

" Character consists of what you do
on the third and fourth tries."


I

"The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self."
~ Fred Rogers


*

"Some pursue happiness;
others create it.


*

"Every sunrise is a new message from God,
and every sunset His signature."

~ William Arthur Ward

I

"A teacher affects eternity,
he/she can never tell where his/her influence stops."


*

"Trying times are for trying new things."

*  

"You can fall down by yourself, but you need a friend's hand to get up."

I

"A dog owns nothing but is seldom dissatisfied."
~ Irish proverb


***
Printable Issue 4355  Today is Friday, December 4th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4355
Today's inspirational thought by Max Lucado:

CHRISTMAS QUESTIONS

"Let the sleigh bells ring! I love Christmas. Let the carolers sing, the more Santas the merrier! I don’t complain about the crowded shops, I don’t grumble at the jam-packed grocery store. Well…it’s Christmas.

"I love it because someone will ask the Christmas questions. 'What’s the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me?' The questioner may be a soldier stationed far from home. She may be a young mom who, for the first time, holds a child on Christmas Eve. The Christmas season prompts Christmas questions—and answers. 

"Because of Bethlehem, God is always near us, always for us, always in us. We may forget Him, but God will never forget us. He called Himself Immanuel – God with us."

***
Printable Issue 4356  Today is Monday, December 7th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4356
Today is December 7. The news reminded us that 79 years ago was Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor which ushered in U.S. entering into World War II.

My dad served in the U.S. Army, just under four years as part of the conflict. A little under a year of that time he was in Europe, serving in the Battle of the Bulge as a medic.

Right now, I am embarking on getting together memories of his service to give to our granddaughter as one of her Christmas gifts.

Here is one of those memories I received from my sister Jill:

"Grandpa Stanley talked about when the US troops had liberated a concentration camp, he remembered US Army trucks and tanks moving through the area.  The prisoners were so excited that the Americans had liberated them from German oppression that they were pulling soldiers off the trucks and tanks to hug and kiss them!  He and other soldiers had a hard time doing this because the people hadn't had a bath in weeks/months and the smell wasn't good.  But they did hug them!"

Jill helped me to recall that instance too. We couldn't remember where the camp was, as there were more than just a few! Our dad would say he had never been part of so much excitement and joy! What happiness those young men felt! And he was part of it!

"Always be full of joy in the Lord!"
~ Philippians 4:4

*
"Always be joyful. 
Always keep on praying.
No matter what happens,
always be thankful
this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 5:16 - 18

**
Printable Issue 4357  Today is Tuesday, December 8th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4357
Our Sunday School class has embarked on a multiple lesson series from Answers in Genesis.

Our next series of ten weeks has an accompanying poster which I want to put on a fellowship hall wall for a number of weeks:

The Attributes of GOD

OMNIPRESENT
Always present everywhere.

SOVERIGN
In complete control of everything,
does all that He pleases.


GRACIOUS
Gives great gifts to His children
even when they are not deserved.


LOVING
Always wants what is best for His children.

WISE
Does everything perfectly without mistakes.

ETERNAL 
Always was and always will be.

MERCIFUL
Kind to those in misery;
withholds deserved punishment.


INFINTE
Beyond all that we can imagine;
cannot be measured.


HOLY
Cannot sin  and hates all sin.

JUST
Fair according to who He is;
must punish sin.


IMMUTABLE
Will never change.

OMNIPOTENT
All-powerful to do whatever He wants.

FAITHFUL
Will always keep His promises;
does not lie.


INDEPENDENT
Has no need of anything outside Himself.

OMNISCIENT
Knows everything -- past,
present,
future."


***

Printable Issue 4358  Today is Thursday, December 10th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4358







"O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
you are but a small Judean village,
yet you will be the
birthplace of my King
who is alive from everlasting ages past!"


~ Micah 5:2 LAB

*
Bible Commentary:  "The king is Jesus, the Messiah. Micah accurately predicted Christ's birthplace hundreds of years before He was born. The promised eternal king in David's line, who would come to live as a Man, had been alive forever -- 'from everlasting ages past'. Although eternal, He entered human history as the man, Jesus of Nazareth."

***



Printable Issue 4359  Today is Thursday, December 10th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4359

TURN ON THE LIGHT!

 

By Anne Graham Lotz

"The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple."

 Psalm 119:130, NIV

 
"In the beginning there was no dawn to end the night,

no sun to warm the day,

no moonlight reflected in the swirling water,

no horizon,

just a never-ending night!

"God didn’t leave our environment in a murky, dusky twilight. 'God . . . separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called 'night'", (Genesis 1:4,NIV)
.
"While the light described was literal, it has wonderful analogy and personal meaning for you and me, because light in the spiritual sense represents the truth, clarity, spiritual understanding, and discernment we receive from God’s written Word. So . . . read your Bible and turn the Light on!"

***
Printable Issue 4360  Today is Thursday, December 10th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4360
For fun! Installment #2 of 2 from OUR IOWA magazine, Holiday issue. Sayings in the margins of the vertical outside edges:

"If you truly love nature,
you will find beauty everywhere."

~ Vincent Van Gogh

*

"It's never change that's painful.
It's the resistance to change."




"As the sun makes the ice melt,
kindness causes misunderstanding and hostility
to evaporate."

~ Albert Schweitzer


*

"A person who  feels appreciated 
will always do more than is expected."




" Be faithful in small things
because it is in them that your strength lies."

~ Mother Teresa




"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.
In the eyes of a child, they are all 30' tall."


*

"It's Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air."
~ W. T. Ellis

*

"Some people pursue happiness;
others create it."


****
Printable Issue 4361  Today is Monday, December 14th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4361
:Since it is advent, we continue to light candles at church:  Love, Hope, Joy.

This past weekend, I have taken a second look at Todd Burpo's "Heaven is for Real". Watched the movie. Re-read the book.

Many of you probably recall that it is the story of Todd's nearly four-year-old son, Colton, who had emergency appendectomy surgery for a appendix that had ruptured.

After Colton recovered, he began telling of things he 'saw' in heaven:  a sister who wouldn't stop hugging him, telling his dad about 'Pop' who was his dad's grandfather, and sitting on Jesus' lap, among other things. Some stories he was telling, he would have had no other knowledge about.

Taken from the book (p. 105):  "No matter what new tidbit Colton revealed, he had one consistent theme, but talked constantly about, how much Jesus loves the children, I mean constantly.

"He would wake up in the morning and tell me, 'Hey, Dad, Jesus told me to tell you, He really loves the children.'

"Before bed, as I helped him brush his teeth, "Hey, Daddy, don't forget', he'd say, garbling his words through mouthfuls of toothpaste foam, 'Jesus said he really, REALLY loves the children!'"


So that is my Christmas wish for you and all of us, :Jesus said "he really, REALLY  loves the children!" That is all of us! 

How do I know? Colton said that is what Jesus told him!
Printable Issue 4362  Today is Tuesday, December 15th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4362

Tucked in my Life Application Bible near 1 Thessalonians chapter is this graphic:  "Checklist for Encouragers", found in verses 11 - 23. This is installment 1 of 2:

 

Build each other up - verse 5:11 - Point out to someone a quality you appreciate in him or her

Give honor to leaders - verse 5:12 - Look for ways to cooperate

Think highly of leaders - verse 5:13 -  Withhold your next critical comment about those in positions of responsibility

Give wholehearted love - verse 5:13 - Say 'thank you' to your leaders for their efforts

Avoid quarreling - verse 5:13 - Search for ways to get along with others

Warn the lazy - verse 5:14 - Challenge someone to join you in a project

Comfort the frightened - verse 5:14 - Encourage those who are frightened by reminding them of God's promises

Tenderly care for the weak - verse 5:14 - Support those who are weak by loving them and praying for them

Practice patience - verse 5:14 - Think of a situation that tries your patience and plan ahead of time how you can stay calm

*
Dear Father in Heaven, help us to think today of one way we can encourage someone else. Amen.

Printable Issue 4363  Today is Thursday, December 17th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4363
Populated for Heaven 

By Max Lucado

"God has high plans for you and me. He is recruiting for himself a people who will populate heaven. It will be perfect—perfect in splendor, perfect in righteousness. One word describes heaven: perfect! One word describes us: imperfect. So what does God do? Abandon us? Start over? He could, but he loves us too much to do that. Will he populate heaven with rebellious, self-centered citizens? If so, would heaven be heaven?

"Colossians 1:19 says, 'God was pleased for all of himself to live in Christ.' All the love of God was in Jesus. All the strength of God was in Jesus. All the compassion and power and devotion of God were, for a time, in the earthly body of a carpenter. What started in the Bethlehem cradle culminated on the Jerusalem cross, and God did it all to take us home to heaven."
 
****
Printable Issue 4364  Today is Thursday, December 17th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4364
"'Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, but the angel answered them.

'Don't be afraid!' he said. 'I bring you the most joyful news ever announced and it is for everyone! The Savior --- yes, the Messiah, the Lord -- has been born tonight in Bethlehem! How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in the manger!'"


~ Luke 2:9 - 11 LAB

**

 
Bible Commentary:  "The greatest event in history had just happened. The Messiah was born! For ages the Jews had waited for this, and when it finally happened, the announcement came to humble shepherds. The good news about Jesus is that He comes to all, including the plain and the ordinary. He comes to anyone with a heart humble enough to accept Him. Whoever we are, whatever we do, we can have Jesus in our lives. We don't need to think we need extraordinary qualifications -- He accepts us as we are!"
 
***
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Printable Issue 4365  Today is Friday, December 18th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4365

Unconditional Surrender
 By Anne Graham Lotz

"By this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us."

 ~ 1 John 3:24, NKJV

"When the Holy Spirit comes into you at your invitation, you receive as much of Him as you will ever have. You do not get a little bit of Him then and a little bit more at later experiences.

"Since He is a Person, you cannot get Him in pieces. You either have all of the Holy Spirit or you have none of the Holy Spirit. Why is it, then, that He seems to get us in pieces? He comes to us unconditionally, while we surrender to Him conditionally.

"We give Him our Sundays but not our Mondays.

"We give Him our actions but not our attitudes.

"We give Him our relationships but not our reputations.

"We give Him our time but not our thoughts.

"We give Him our burdens but not our bodies.

"We give Him our prayers but not our pleasures.

"We give Him our crises but not our children.

"We give Him our health but not our hearts.

"Would you drop the conditions and give Him all of you?"

***
 
 
Printable Issue 4366  Today is Monday, December 21st, 2020; Karen's Korner #4366
Installment #2 of 2 from I Thessalonians 5:11 - 23 from a 'Checklist for Encouragers':

Resist revenge - verse 15 - Instead of planning to get even with those who mistreat you, do good to them

Be joyful - verse 16 - Remember that even in the midst of turmoil, God is in control

Pray continuously - verse 17 - God is always with you -- talk to Him

Be thankful - verse 18 - Make a list of all the gifts God has given you, giving thanks to God for each one

Do not smother the Holy Spirit - verse 19 - Cooperate with the Spirit the next time he prompts you to participate in a Christian meeting

Do not scoff at those who prophesy - verse 20 - Receive God's word from those who speak for him

Keep away from evil - verse 22 - Avoid situations where you will be drawn into temptation

Count on God's constant help - verse 23 - Realize that the Christian life is to be lived not in our own strength, but through God's power

***
Printable Issue 4367  Today is Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4367
Taken from today's perpetual flip calendar by Sarah Young and her "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence":


"Come to Me, and rest in My Presence. As you ponder the majestic mystery of the Incarnation, relax in My everlasting arms. I am the only Person who was ever sired by the Holy Spirit. This is beyond your understanding. Instead of trying to comprehend My Incarnation intellectually, learn from the example of the wise men. They followed the leading of a spectacular star, then fell down in humble worship when they found Me.

"Praise and worship are the best responses to the wonder of My Being. Sing praises to My holy Name. Gaze at Me in silent adoration. Look for a star of guidance in your own life, and be willing to follow wherever I lead. I am the Light from on high that dawns upon you, to guide you into the way of Peace."

~ Taken from Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Matthew 2:9 - 11 (NKJV); Luke 1:78 - 79 (AMP)

****
Printable Issue 4368  Today is Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4368

"'Don't be afraid!' he said. 'I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior---yes, the Messiah, the Lord---has been born tonight in Bethlehem! How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!'

"Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others---the armies of heaven---praising God.

"'Glory to God in the highest heaven,' they sand, ' and peace on earth for all those pleasing him.'
"

~ Luke 2:10 - 14 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Some of the Jews were waiting for the Messiah to deliver them from Roman rule; others hoped he would deliver them from physical ailments. But Jesus, while healing their illnesses and establishing a spiritual kingdom, delivered them from sin. He outstripped all their expectations. People often set their own agenda for Jesus, and thus expect too little from him. His work is more far-reaching than anyone could imagine. He has paid the price for sin and opened the way to God. He offers us more than superficial political or physical changes---he offers us new hearts which will be ours for eternity."

********
Printable Issue 4369  Today is Friday, December 25th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4369
Several Christmas sayings:


"Christmas is a time of miracles.
The angelic chorus,
lowly shepherds,
a humble manger as the birthplace of deity ---
all are miraculous happenings."

` Kenneth W. Osbeck


*

"Thanks be to God
for His indescribable gift!"
~ 2 Corinthians 9:15 NKJV


*  

"Christ shared in our humanity
so we could share in His divinity."

~Billy Graham


*

"Christmas is just the beginning.
It will go on forever and ever."
~Eugenia Price.


*
"It's your heart that Jesus longs for;
your will to be made His own,
with self on the cross forever,
and Jesus alone on the throne."

~Ruth Bell Grahams's Collected Poems


*

"You, O LORD,
shall endure forever,
and the remembrance of
Your name to all generations."


~ Psalm 102:12

***
Printable Issue 4370  Today is Friday, December 25th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4370
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
 
I came pretty close to not sending a Karen's Korner today! People are busy; I am busy! Generally, I send 'korners' out Monday - Friday. Sometimes I send them out on Saturday, if I have had computer problems, was away from my computer, etc. I could send one out tomorrow.

But my next thought, "No, this is the day we talk about, live for every day of the year. It is the birth of Jesus and we need to celebrate and be reminded!"

So here is today's 'korner', which you might not read until tomorrow. And the words to 'Joy to the World' which you can probably sing or say without reading them.

Anyway "Merry Christmas!"

Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove 
And glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders, wonders of His love


~ taken from Psalm 98
written by Isaac Watts (1674 - 1748)

***
Printable Issue 4371  Today is Monday, December 28th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4371
Yesterday's writing by Anne Graham Lotz:

Created For God

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called Children of God!" `

~ 1 John 3:1 NKJV
*

"C. S. Lewis, in his testimony Surprised by Joy, described his growing awareness of the capacity within himself to respond with joy and delight in such a way that it gave him an insatiable desire for more joy and delight. The things he found so deeply satisfying left him with a craving for more and more satisfaction. He concluded that nothing in this world could ever give him lasting satisfaction, so therefore he must have been created for another world. And C. S. Lewis was right. Our very beings are created for God. We will never experience permanent, personal satisfaction and fulfillment apart from Him because, as Saint Augustine so eloquently stated, 'Our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Thee.'”

*****
Printable Issue 4372  Today is Tuesday, December 29th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4372
As we come into the new year, here it all comes. Set some resolutions. Watch the commercials for fitness equipment or weight loss ideas. We are attracted to them but then reality sets in. Do we follow through?

Here are a couple of thoughts from to Timothy by the writer Paul:

"Don't waste your time arguing over foolish ideas and silly myths and legends. Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit. Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually and practice being a better Christian, because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too."

~ ! Timothy 4:7 & 8, LAB

*
Bible Commentary:  "Are we in shape physically and spiritually? In our society, much emphasis is placed on physical fitness, but Paul declared that spiritual health is even more important than physical health. We must develop our faith through using the abilities God has given us in the service of the church and to others."

Father God, we make all kinds of plans of what we are going to do. And then we get sidetracked and don't do them. The only way for us to get 'fit' physically, emotionally, and spiritually is with Your help. Leading and guidance. So will You help us? Help us to keep our eyes on You and not all the tasks ahead of us. Help us to not be overwhelmed. Help us to see life, this one and the next one, as an adventure! With You in control! In Jesus' Name. Amen.

***
Printable Issue 4373  Today is Wednesday, December 30th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4373
A couple of words we read often in the Bible 'LOVE' and 'FEAR NOT' or 'FEAR'. Maybe they are repeated often because writers knew we needed to be reminded that we are 'loved' and to not 'fear'.

Lots of things can cause us to be afraid:  world situations; the treatment of people unfairly in other countries as well as our own; the pandemic trying to circle the globe; relationships; money difficulties; health problems. Some of them are real; many of them. Other times we can be awakened in the night to some thoughts which may never happen. And the list can be long. We FEAR!

Sometimes we are asked to do things for which we believe we have no talent or ability..

The Bible says, 'For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a strong mind."  (2 Timothy 1:7, Good News Testament).

I know any fears I might have are not from God. Instead He has given me 'power and of love and a strong mind'. Many times when that feeling of fear or thoughts of fear comes my way, I repeat either aloud or in my mind, those words over and over to help combat those fears.

Thank You God for Your promises and words. We need not fear anything now or in the future. Nothing real or for which might cross my mind and the minds of my friends. Amen.
Printable Issue 4374  Today is Thursday, December 31st, 2020; Karen's Korner #4374

FIREWORKS OF LIFE

“He Himself is Our Peace.”

~ Ephesians 2:14

 

“On New Year’s Eve, when high-powered fireworks detonate across cities and towns worldwide, the noise is loud on purpose. By their nature, say manufacturers, flashy fireworks are meant to split the atmosphere, literally. ‘Repeater’ blasts can sound the loudest, especially when exploded near the ground.

“Troubles, too, can boom through our hearts, minds, and homes. The ‘fireworks’ of life—family struggles, relationship problems, work challenges, financial strain, even church division—can feel like explosions, rattling our emotional atmosphere.

“Yet we know the One who lifts us over this uproar. Christ Himself ‘is our peace,’ Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:14. When we abide in His presence, His peace is greater than any disruption, quieting the noise of any worry, hurt, or disunity.

“This would have been powerful assurance to Jews and Gentiles alike. They’d once lived ‘without hope and without God in the world’ (v. 12). Now they faced threats of persecution and internal threats of division. But in Christ, they’d been brought near to Him, and consequently to each other, by His blood. ‘For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility’ (v. 14).

“As we start a new year, with threats of unrest and division ever rumbling on the horizon, let’s turn from life’s noisy trials to seek our ever-present Peace. He quiets the booms, healing us.”

By Patricia Raybon