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March 2003 Archives

Printable Issue 1  Today is Monday, March 3rd, 2003; Karen's Korner #1

Many (maybe most of you!) who get pass around e-mail messages have probably gotten one in the past month about the "3-3-03" thing and the fact that it won't happen again for another thousand years!

 

Remember as a kid, your math classes and studying about 2 with the little 2 by its side (2 squared) or 3 with the little 3 ( 3 x 3 x 3), etc. As we got farther into math, it was maybe 6 to the "eighth power" (6 times 6, eight times, in case we forgot what we learned in math!)

 

Well, today could be a day of 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x ?????

Because of the pending world situation, we are asked to pray for 3 minutes at 3:03 p.m. (if you miss that time, it will be 3:03 in some other time zone in the world later!) Three is significant to Christians, because we believe in the Trinity - God, Jesus, Holy Spirit.

 

One e-mail added: Jeremiah 33:3 (notice the 3's!) - "Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know!"

 

Grab your calculator--by my count we have included 10 - 3's here; start with 3, multiple by 3. Take that answer times 3 and do it 10 times ( 3 to the 10th power!). By my calculation, the answer is 59,049!

Want to add one more 3 to the equation (equals 177,147!), at 3 o'clock today find youirself two more people to pray with you for 3 minutes. That's my goal for today!

Printable Issue 2  Today is Tuesday, March 4th, 2003; Karen's Korner #2

One of Jessie Shupe's favorite Bible verses Ė

 

I Corinthians 2:9 - "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind can conceive what God has prepared for those who love Him."

 

Another Bible translation says it this way -

"That is what is meant by the Scriptures which say that no mere man has ever seen, heard or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord."

 

If God explained with great detail what He has planned for our futures in the next life, I am not sure He would be able to talk any of us into staying around in this world much longer!

 

Hope you have a wonderful day!!

Printable Issue 3  Today is Wednesday, March 5th, 2003; Karen's Korner #3

I like to collect some of the short thoughts which I see in/on things I read. Sometimes I have a short thought which I write down. If I write booklet #5 (it will be titled "Always Be Thankful"), some of them will be published in it.

Here a couple which might be included:

 

When confronted with a Goliath-sized problem, which way do you respond: "He's too big to hit" or, like David, "He's too big to miss." Ė Unknown

 

No matter what we think or how we feel; Jesus and His Love for us always remains the same! - Karen Weld

Printable Issue 4  Today is Thursday, March 6th, 2003; Karen's Korner #4

Our birthday group of 12 gals celebrate one another's birthdays. Our baby, Nancy, turned 50 in December. The oldest ones begin turning the page to 60 in the next couple of years. We like being together. We don't like the thoughts of aging, getting sick, and ultimately dying. Donna passed away of cancer a couple of years ago.

 

Somebody is going to be next. I hope it isn't me. I have things to do, people to meet, places to go yet.

I don't want to die, as one in the middle. I don't want to watch more of my friends pass away, but I still may have these things I want to get done.

 

And I don't want to be the last one, or the next to last one to die, either. I don't want to be one of these people that live beyond the normal number of years. I don't want to be warehoused in some institution for years on end! I don't want the memory of all of my other 11 friends and I am the one remaining........to celebrate some high, high number of years alone.

Thanks be to God, who takes care of all of those kinds of timings. I don't have to decide which numbers are best for

me or for them. He is in charge! He takes care of our living one day at a time........He takes care of those of us who die and He takes care of those of us who are left over!

 

Sounds like a plan to me! My job is to go with the flow and enjoy the trip and the scenery, no matter which turns the roads might take........praise be to God for making the plans, which include forever!

Printable Issue 5  Today is Friday, March 7th, 2003; Karen's Korner #5

Wrote the following last week after our recent trip to Florida; used the thought at "What's for Supper?" at the Clarion Church of Christ last night.......

Picking up Seashells

Written on March 3, 2003

 

On our recent vacation to Florida, my husband Jim and I spent a part of a day picking up seashells on a small island just off the west coast. Some places there were more shells than sand.

 

"Shelling", as the sport is known, was fun. At first, my eyes trained on the "perfect" shells. Didnít want anything out of the ordinary. Certain sizes. Mostly white. Didnít want any that were broken. It wasnít long before I was bored with the same old shells. My eyes began to search for "unique" ones. Black ones. Nearly see-through shells. Pearly white shells. A one-of-a-kind shell appears to have another dozen smaller shells "growing" into the fabric of the larger, host shell. I added the only starfish I spotted, to my bagged collection.

 

As I searched and picked up the sea treasures, I began to think of God and how he must see each of us. We may believe that He looks for only "perfect" ones: people who are all like those next to them.

I wonder if the opposite is true? Does He like those who stand up for what they believe, even if it is different than most others? What about those of us who arenít as pretty, smart, or with some physical imperfections?

 

When He comes to reclaim us as His Own, will we be amazed when He walks by those we assume should be picked up first, and picks us? He first chose us before we were born. Next, we have chosen Him, which makes us unique, special, perfect in His eyes! We are ready to be a part of his bagged collection, which He takes home with Him as souvenirs, for all of eternity.

Printable Issue 6  Today is Monday, March 10th, 2003; Karen's Korner #6

Short thoughts:

 

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"Were there no God, we would be in this glorious world with grateful hearts and no one to thank." - Christina Rossetti

(Taken from a daily calendar, dated March 10)

 

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"Trust in God and do something." -- Mary Lyon

 

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"Beginning is easy; continuing is hard." - Japanese Proverb

 

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Nancy Hall says, "I read one that now is taped on my refrigerator":

"Coincidence is just God's way of remaining anonymous!"

 

*********************************************************************************************

Have a great day!

Printable Issue 7  Today is Tuesday, March 11th, 2003; Karen's Korner #7

"O God, I nibble at the corners of self-discipline.

I want to take time to be holy but the clock strikes me

Into fevered pitch.

I want to grow but the ground is not always ready for

Planting.

I want to be your child but my many selves keep loyalty and

Love split into pieces.

I want to be a good citizen but it take strength to

Hold up great attitudes.

O God, donít let me lean on excuses until the light fades

Within me. I would not want to go out on the road of life

With a dim flashlight.

Amen"

- Taken from prayers to pray without really trying

Printable Issue 8  Today is Wednesday, March 12th, 2003; Karen's Korner #8

Jeffie And Grandpa

Jeffie was in his playpen and he was crying. Tears were rolling down his
little cheeks, his face was red as it could be. He was crying, and he
looked pitiful in his little baseball T-shirt and a diaper.

Then Jeffie's Grandpa entered the room; Jeffie's little face lit up when
he saw his Grandpa! He immediately reached out his little arms in
supplication and said "Out Pa Pa out."

What is a Grandpa to do? How can someone resist that?

So Grandpa went over to the playpen, he bent over. He reached down to
lift his little buddy from captivity and distress . . .

Just then "Law and Order" walked into the room.
Momma said "Jeffie, you stay right there! I'm punishing you because you
have been naughty! Dad, leave Jeffie alone!"

What is a Grandpa to do?

Grandpa backs off and is thinking, "I can't just pick up a book and read
it with Jeffie here. He would think I was uncaring and distant. I can't
leave the room because he would feel like I have abandoned him."

What is a Grandpa to do?

But you know what? Love always finds a way. Since Grandpa couldn't take
Jeffie out of the playpen, Grandpa climbed in with Jeffie!

Grandpa said "If you are in the playpen buddy, I'm in the playpen too.
What are you in for? What is your sentence?"

Having Grandpa join him in his "prison cell" brought Jeffie great
comfort and joy. In the midst of his captivity, Jeffie no longer felt so
alone.

What Jeffie's Grandpa did is also a picture of what Jesus Christ did for
us when He came to Earth as a baby.

God the Father yearned to reach down into our "playpen of captivity" and
pull us out. He could not . . . because of our disobedience . . .
because of our sin. What did God do?

God climbed into our "playpen" with us!

When Jesus Christ entered into our "playpen of captivity," He took the
sin and disobedience that should have been ours alone, releasing us from
our captivity . . . allowing us the opportunity to experience the
fullness of life God has for us!

The message is simple, clear and personal: God with us . . . He loves
you so much He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ!

-- Author Unknown

Printable Issue 9  Today is Thursday, March 13th, 2003; Karen's Korner #9

I am having fun sharing my thoughts, ideas, others' writings, prayers, Bible verses with you. As a mom of a daughter who lived joyfully, and died too young; at times I would like to share with you some of the things God has taught me through her illnesses and death. I would like to title those day's writings:

 

"....when Merry died....."

 

It was late in the evening of July 9, 1999, that Ed, Merry's husband, called. "Merry is sicker than I have ever seen her," he said. "You have to come!"

 

It had been "quite a year" for the Weld family. Merry had her first shunt surgery since she was 12, at Thanksgiving time the year before; surgery #2 was at Christmas. Jim had emergency heart surgery near my birthday in May of 1999. It was serious enough that they wanted the family there, just in case.... Merry had had surgery #3 near Ed and her 4th anniversary, in June; and #4 had been the day before in July 1999. Doctors had not been convinced that the surgery that day had done what they had hoped for. When we left the hospital shortly after noon on July 9th, Merry seemed to be doing okay. And then came Ed's call several hours after we had returned home.....

 

Every time God was teaching me, to trust Him; to let Him control of things I couldn't control; to always believe; and to live one-day-at-a-time.

 

Jim and I began to toss a few clothes into a suitcase; tie up a couple of loose ends ratherly quickly; and hop into the car for a nearly three hour drive into the darkness toward Cedar Rapids. We talked some. Other times we rode quietly, not saying too much.

 

One of those times, I can recall praying. "This is so hard," I silently told God.

 

And I can recall His response, "No, Karen, it isn't hard. It is impossible."

 

Then pictures started taking shape in my mind like a clip from a video. I saw that most people like to take a leisurely boat ride down the calm river of life. But the Welds' boat was capsized, and the waters were raging. There was a storm with no end in sight. I was in the water.

 

God said, "I am not going to throw you a life preserver and I am not going to teach you to swim. I am going to show you how to walk on water!"

 

"How am I going to do that?" I asked.

 

"You have to keep your eyes on Me," was His reply. "Don't pay any attention to the water ...to the waves, or the storm. Don't look at My hands. Look only at My eyes, My face, and My heart."

 

What I saw was Jesus walking slowly toward me on the water, and His eyes were filled with joy. His face had a faint smile, and His heart was filled with love for me and my family. I knew that if I took my eyes off Him, I would be afraid and like Peter, I would see the storm and begin to drowned in the impossibility of the pending situation.

I asked God, "How long am I going to have to walk on water?"

 

"The rest of your life!" He said.

 

Must have something to do with Jim and Merry's illnesses, I thought.

 

But I was energized, filled with hope and His power for that supernatural walk spiritually.

 

When we got to the hospital, Merry was sicker than I had ever seen her. Her surgeon, who was not on call, came to the hospital to stabilize her. And get her comfortable for surgery #5 the next day. Merry's mom was able to "be there" for Merry and the rest of the family, because my focus was not on the dreaded situation at hand, but on Jesus....who calms storms, ease the fears, and delivers us from situations.

 

The next day Merry's surgery was successful and another day later she was able to return home to resume the things she liked doing the most.

 

Some might say, "I don't think God talks to people like that any more." Could be.........

A counselor might say, "This can be explained away. You were under a lot of stress." Probably right.........

When I am on my death bed and if I don't have Alzheimer's, I will tell the same story. I can't explain it; I can only describe it...

 

And Karen was able to continue her walk........one-day-at-a-time..........
Printable Issue 10  Today is Friday, March 14th, 2003; Karen's Korner #10

This is something I wrote last fall. It will probably be included in another devotional booklet, if I decide to print another one in the future ---

 

Cracked Eggs

September 4, 2002

 

Recently I hard-boiled some eggs. Three I used for potato salad. The others, I would use in a couple more days; maybe for tuna salad sandwiches.

 

When the time came to make the sandwiches, I grabbed the two leftover eggs and begin cracking, peeling, and chopping. When I got to egg number two, the egg had cracked during the boiling process. Some of the inside was stuck to the outside shell. Worse, too much time had passed. It was spoiled. It looked bad and smelled worse! I couldnít use it. It needed to be thrown away.

 

It seemed like God was showing me that this is how we are. We begin as "good eggs". Our shells arenít cracked or broken. But too much time passes and the cracks of genetics, outside influences, and our own poor choices begin to show up. Eventually we are not only broken, we begin to spoil. What can be done with "rotting, spoiled people"?

 

That is why Jesus came into the world. He knew we would need Someone to save us from spoiling. He died to save us from becoming "rotten and unusable". He said if we would ask Him, we would be "remade". We could become new eggs with no cracks, no spoilage, and totally usable for this life and suitable for the world that is coming ahead. We have no more ability to build new shells around ourselves, than my egg had to make a new shell around itself.

As His "new eggs", our shells are protected on a daily basis. Jesus personally sees to it that cracks are sealed up and the fruit on the inside of us is fresh and usable for His purposes.

 

When we leave this life and sit before Godís throne and our "egg" from this life is reviewed, are we usable for His "tuna salad sandwiches and potato salad purposes" for eternity?

 

Or does God have to do what I did with my second eggÖtoss it out because there isnít much that even He can do with a rotten egg?

Printable Issue 11  Today is Monday, March 17th, 2003; Karen's Korner #11

Collecting short thoughts is almost like collecting good friends:

 

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True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost. Ė Charles Caleb Colton

 

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"Having it too good is often the enemy of spiritual growth!" Ė from Tim Plattís sermon on 3/16/03

 

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Stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead tell you storm, how big your God is! - Mr. Mom internet writing

 

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"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot have to gain what he cannot lose!" - From Nancy Hall's collection

 

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"Prayer is the key to heaven; but Faith unlocks the door!" - From Jessie Shupe's collection

 

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Too bad that all the people who know how to run the

country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair. -- George Burns

Printable Issue 12  Today is Tuesday, March 18th, 2003; Karen's Korner #12

Dear Lord,

 

Thanks for the wonderful March day you gave us yesterday!

 

When I drove to and from town in the middle of the day, I saw four beautiful snow geese enjoying the water and basking in the sun on a pond in our farm field. They were so beautiful I decided to take their picture.

 

No film.

 

No matter. I would take a bike ride to be near the birds as I took a mental photograph of them.

 

Biking north on our country wasn't a problem. It was as I turned to ride west, when I began to struggle. That gravel road is a newer grade and more highly traveled. There is a lot more loose gravel and it is a lot harder to pedal to keep the bike moving and upright.

 

I had to make a choice: Do I go back home and ride on a smoother path? Or do I keep pedaling, even if it is a more difficult ride?

 

I chose to keep pedaling west, because I knew the geese were ahead of me. I wanted to spend some time enjoying their presence in my world, sitting along the side of the road soaking up some of the wonderful day You had given to us.

 

I thought about You and how much our lives compare to my ride. Like a mom in labor working to deliver a new baby,

we know that sometimes difficult journies produce wonderful results, after a brief ride we would just as soon not take. Sometimes we have to struggle with finances, relationships, losses, and other "loose gravel" on the road of life. But we keep on pedaling, because we know these brief worldly inconveniences don't last. And we have the promise of beautiful snow geese and warm sunshiny days ahead........and those days are going to last forever!

 

Help me to never turn back so I can travel on easier roads. Help me always look toward You and the plans you have for me, even if the journey seems difficult ahead of me at times.

 

In the name of Your Son who came to show us that every life journey is possible and left behind His Spirit to take the ride with us,

 

Amen.

------

 

 Arlene Lockwood e-mailed this message in a pass-around e-mail, which I wanted to share with you:

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.

Protect them as they protect us. Bless them

and their families for the selfless acts they

perform for us in our time of need. I ask this

in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Amen."

Printable Issue 13  Today is Wednesday, March 19th, 2003; Karen's Korner #13

In the information which it typed below, it talks about "the church". It could mean "churches" in general; or "my church; your church" in particular:

"The Joy of Harmonious Relationships"

 

Psalms 133:1 (LB): How wonderful it is, how pleasant, when brothers (& sisters!) live in harmony!

 

Taken from my Bible Commentary: David (writer of this Psalm) stated that harmony is pleasant, precious, and refreshing. Unfortunately, harmony does not abound in the church as it should. People disagree and cause division over unimportant issues. Some seem to delight in causing tension by discrediting others. Harmony is important because:

 

it makes us a positive example to the world and helps draw others to us;

it helps us function as a body of believers as God meant us to, giving us a foretaste of heaven;

it is renewing and revitalizing because there is less tension to sap our energy.

Living in harmony does not mean we will agree on everything; there will be many opinions just as there are many notes in a harmonious chord of music. But we agree on our purpose in life Ė to work together for God. Our outward expression of unity should reveal our inward unity of purpose.

Printable Issue 14  Today is Thursday, March 20th, 2003; Karen's Korner #14

I am forwarding to you something I wrote last month. I hope that you enjoy it!

 

Everything or Nothing!

 

 

February 10, 2003

 

Have you ever noticed how we like things to stay the same? How we donít like to make changes? And the older we get the worse we are? We donít like it when the children graduate and leave home. We like it better when our best friends stay in our neighborhood and donít leave to take different jobs in other communities. We prefer the doctor to tell us that all is well with us or our loved one. We donít like a surprising or shocking medical diagnosis.

 

Everything changes in "our" kingdom! Our job status changes. Sometimes people let us down. People we thought we could trust, we find out too late have taken advantage of us. Our physical and mental abilities escape us as we age. People we love die. Someone drives a plane or two into the World Trade Center.

 

Godís kingdom isnít like ours. It never changes. He doesnít change. His universe is well ordered. Nothing is left for chance. Seasons always follow one after the other. Our bodies only run if ever piece is in proper working order. One thing out of sorts, and we are sick or need medical attention to put it back on track.

 

God made us. He loves us. He takes care of us. Nothing can change His mind. Once we ask to be adopted into His Royal Family Ė we are a part of it Ė from now and throughout eternity. Doesnít matter what unlovely thing we might say or do. Or what obscure thoughts we might have. God doesnít change.

 

On which kingdom should we hook our hope, our today, our future? On one that changes constantly? Or on one that never changes? One that ends tragically? Or one that never ends? One that goes whichever direction the wind might blow? Or one that is built on a Solid Rock that cannot be moved by any situation or circumstance?

 

There is a choice, which each one of us can make Ė which one will you choose?

Printable Issue 15  Today is Friday, March 21st, 2003; Karen's Korner #15

I wanted to share with you a short Bible verse I happened to read yesterday morning. It made me think of the war which we have just begun. .While people may disagree with the way the Iraqi situation is being handled, no one believes that Saddam Hussein is a fair and just leader of his country. The news said several days ago that 2/3 of the American people have close friends or family involved in the conflict. So many of us have someone whom we are close to, actiive in the military right now:

 

Psalms 5: 6 - 11:

 

"Lord, lead me as you promised me you would; otherwise my enemies will conquer me. Tell me clearly what to do, which way to turn. For they cannot speak one truthful word. Their hearts are filled to the brim with wickedness. Their suggestions are full of the stench of sin and death. Their tongues are filled with flatteries to gain their wicked ends. O God, hold them responsible. Catch them in their own traps; let them fall beneath the weight of their own transgressions, for they rebel against you.

 

But make everyone rejoice who puts his trust in you. Keep them shouting for joy because you are defending them. Fill all who love you with your happiness. For you bless godly man, O Lord; you protect him with your shield of love."

 

Bible Commentary:  When David was in trouble because of lies against him, he prayed confident that God's love would not only console him, but defend and shield him. We often make the mistake of thinking of love only in terms of gentleness. But God's love is stronger than any evil we might face.

Printable Issue 16  Today is Monday, March 24th, 2003; Karen's Korner #16

More from my collection of short thoughts:

 

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Do not have your concert first and tune your instruments afterward. Begin the day with God! Ė from an internet writing

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Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. Ė Charles Dickens

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The only lasting treasure is spiritual; the only perfect freedom is serving God. Ė "Words from the Heart by Deborah Zook

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Donít feel badly about what you donít know or donít do; celebrate what you do know and what you do do! Ė Karen Weld

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The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. - Victor Hugo

Printable Issue 17  Today is Tuesday, March 25th, 2003; Karen's Korner #17

..."when Merry died".....*

 

It had been a summer unlike any other I had experienced. Hospitalizations for both Merry and Jim. Each time they recovered quickly. Each time we believed surgeries to be successful. We had made travel plans to go to Europe, but changed our minds until Merry's condition appeared to be settled down.

 

We decided to travel to Wisconsin, stay overnight, enjoy the Mississippi, catch up with Jim's niece and family, and come back home the next day.

 

It was while we were at Deb's house that Jim and I replied to Ed's message, left on her phone recorder to recall him. His one sentence said it all, "Merry was killed late this afternoon in a car accident." That was all the details we heard, asked, or knew. We hurried around their home trying to figure out the quickest way to Amana.

 

Jim seemed to be able to take in the reality of what was happening. This new reality had a hard time settling in for me.

 

Maybe we should try to find a charter flight back to Iowa? Getting "home" as soon as possible was the goal. Getting in the car and driving seemed to be the best plan.

 

As much as we wanted to get to Amana, it was as we drove through Cedar Rapids and passed the hospital and Merry's "home-away-from-home" too many times that summer, that I felt like I wanted everything to go into slow motion. The closer we got to Amana and Merry and Ed's apartment, I wanted things to go even slower. Not getting there would somehow make the reality of the situation disappear!

 

Now it was late into the evening, only Jamie and Ed were there. Talk. Tears. Plans were beginning to take shape. Would anyone be able to sleep? Surprisingly, after tossing and turning----all four us slept.

 

Early the next morning, Jamie and I took to the streets of Amana to walk. The morning was bright, clear, and still. All the normal sounds which take place inside my head were strangely quiet - the thoughts, the running internal dialogue had been silenced. It was if I had, too, had died: emotionally, intellectually, mentally, maybe even physically. I can recall telling several friends in the upcoming few days that I felt like a part of me had died.......and then I knew: "it (she) had!"

 

There was only one thing in my life still standing: the spiritual part of me. And that part remained strong and tall. All of the things that I had been taught for years in Sunday School and church; all the things I said I believed.........seemed absolutely real. For the first time in my life, I knew that all of that stuff was true!

 

Normally, I question things........now, not only did I not have any answers; my questions had also stopped.

 

This was not the time to turn my back on God.......He was going to be my only anwer! He would be my strength.

 

Some might ask, "How did you/do you know?" I just knew. I guess it is called faith. I had a choice. I have a choice! Believing or not believing. Life, and certainly death, don't make much sense without it.

 

God seemed unbelievably real to me. Heaven was no longer something to be talked about. It had become a real place, where real people now lived....not only old people who had lived a long and fruitful life, but young people with energy, talents, and an enthusiasm for life which they wanted to share with others....

 

I knew I was loved. I knew He was taking care of Merry. And I knew that He was taking care of me.

 

I was entering a new phase of my life.........trusting God.......one day, one minute, one step at a time.........

 

* I continually add people on to my Karen's Korner e-mail list. Several weeks ago I said that I would occasionally write my thoughts, at the time "...when Merry died..."

Printable Issue 18  Today is Wednesday, March 26th, 2003; Karen's Korner #18

A favorite "pass around e-mail":

Jeffie And Grandpa

 

Jeffie was in his playpen and he was crying. Tears were rolling down his
little cheeks, his face was red as it could be. He was crying, and he
looked pitiful in his little baseball T-shirt and a diaper.

Then Jeffie's Grandpa entered the room; Jeffie's little face lit up when
he saw his Grandpa! He immediately reached out his little arms in
supplication and said "Out Pa Pa out."

What is a Grandpa to do? How can someone resist that?

So Grandpa went over to the playpen, he bent over. He reached down to
lift his little buddy from captivity and distress . . .

Just then "Law and Order" walked into the room.
Momma said "Jeffie, you stay right there! I'm punishing you because you
have been naughty! Dad, leave Jeffie alone!"

What is a Grandpa to do?

Grandpa backs off and is thinking, "I can't just pick up a book and read
it with Jeffie here. He would think I was uncaring and distant. I can't
leave the room because he would feel like I have abandoned him."

What is a Grandpa to do?

But you know what? Love always finds a way. Since Grandpa couldn't take
Jeffie out of the playpen, Grandpa climbed in with Jeffie!

Grandpa said "If you are in the playpen buddy, I'm in the playpen too.
What are you in for? What is your sentence?"

Having Grandpa join him in his "prison cell" brought Jeffie great
comfort and joy. In the midst of his captivity, Jeffie no longer felt so
alone.

What Jeffie's Grandpa did is also a picture of what Jesus Christ did for
us when He came to Earth as a baby.

God the Father yearned to reach down into our "playpen of captivity" and
pull us out. He could not . . . because of our disobedience . . .
because of our sin. What did God do?

God climbed into our "playpen" with us!

When Jesus Christ entered into our "playpen of captivity," He took the
sin and disobedience that should have been ours alone, releasing us from
our captivity . . . allowing us the opportunity to experience the
fullness of life God has for us!

The message is simple, clear and personal: God with us . . . He loves
you so much He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ!

-- Author Unknown

Printable Issue 19  Today is Thursday, March 27th, 2003; Karen's Korner #19

When Clarion's native son Jeff Hobbie, now a missionary in Africa, was home this summer, he told of "praying portions of the Bible and personalizing it". In light of the current war, soldiers fighting, and Americans here at home who are concerned for the friends and family who are overseas, I would like to share my version of this technique from portions of Psams 86:

 

"Bend down and hear our prayer, O Lord, and answer us, for we are deep in trouble. Protect us from death..save us for we are serving you and trusting you...O God, hear our urgent cry. We call to you whenever trouble strikes and you will help us.

...tell us where you want us to go and we will go there. May every fiber of our beings unite in reverance to your name. With all our hearts we will praise you...

 

....O God, proud and insolent men defy us; violent, godless men are trying to kill us. But you are merciful and gentle, Lord........so look down in pity and grant strength to your servants and save us. Send us signs of your favor. When those who hate us see these signs, they will lose face because you help and comfort us."
Printable Issue 20  Today is Friday, March 28th, 2003; Karen's Korner #20

NEVER LOOK BACK

 

Never look back at the wrong youíve done,

Because that wrong you canít undo.

Just look ahead at the goodness of God

And He will bring joy to you.

 

Never look back at failures youíve had,

Because they probably werenít failures at all.

Just realize you are made in the image of God.

Like a mountain you will stand tall.

 

 

Never look back at what you should have done.

On these thoughts your mind you should rid.

Just ask God to guide you, day to day.

Then, you can proudly say what you did.

 

Never look back at moments of pain,

Because the only one that will hurt is you.

Just keep your mind on the love of God

And watch your gray skies turn blue.

 

Never look back at material lost,

Because nothing material ever lasts.

But, the things that God will give to you Ö

Nothing material can surpass.

 

Never look back for what no longer exists,

Because you wonít find it anywhere.

Just keep your eyes on the love of God.

Look around you. It is always there

 

.By Rev. Brown (taken from the internet)

Printable Issue 21  Today is Monday, March 31st, 2003; Karen's Korner #21

Below is a Letter to the Editor that I am writing which I am taking to our local newspaper this morning:

 

The discussion of whether the United States should be handling the Iraq situation the way that we are, will no doubt continue as long as we have history. Like the rest of us, I have been watching the battle with rapt attention in the past days. We are aware of battles, conflicts, injuries, casualities. We see groups of people who cheer the war; and those who protest against it.

 

I have more than a casual interest in this war. My nephew, Kent, is serving with the Marines in the Kuwait/Iraq area. As I watch the anti-war groups in the U.S. and abroad, I am dismayed. I certainly understand their right. But I have a right, too. It concerns me that when soldiers like Kent return from the Persian Gulf area, that the protesters might be on hand to spit in Kent's and other soldiers' eyes; and I would watch the action on television and would be outraged.

 

So I made a decision early last week: if Kent could serve to perserve some of the ideals of freedom - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; I would do something positive to support our troops each day. It might be something little, but I would do it.

 

On Friday, I decided to I write a note to Kent and thank him for enlisting in the military and serving us in this way. How proud I am of what he and young people like him are doing on our behalf!

 

On Saturday, I started to think of all the others who have done the same things in the past, so I can walk with my friend and listen to airplanes overhead, knowing they aren't interested in shooting at us. We are thinking of going to the fields this spring; we worry about prices and the weather; not whether are families will be slaughtered by unruly leaders.

 

Later in the afternoon, Jim and I drove to see my mom and dad near Fertile. For the first time in my life, I thanked my aging dad for giving up about three years of his life fighting with his friends in World War II. Some of his time as part of the Battle of the Bulge military operation. The same guy who I saw cry once in the first 20 years of my life, was brought to tears.

 

On the way back home, I thanked Jim for enlisting in the Army and serving for three years, mostly in Panama. Doing that for me and for Americans everywhere.

 

Late Sunday evening, I made one more call to Ken'ts dad. I wanted to thank my brother-in-law, Keith, for serving in the Army during the Vietnam War. His service was in Germany. When I talked to him, he commented, "I never agreed to serve for a thank you. I served because it had to be done. I went because I love this country."

 

Since military service has always been apart of my life and background, the Welds have usually been people who attend Memorial Day services held annually at the school. But have I thanked people, individuals for their service?

 

The purpose of this writing is to do that: "Thanks to all of you - young and old; men and women; peace time and conflict time - for serving all of us as you have over a number of years. You do not deserve the protests; you deserve our praise and thanks!"