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October 2004 Archives

Printable Issue 385  Today is Friday, October 1st, 2004; Karen's Korner #385

First, I must apologize to those of you who I haven't said, "I am sorry!" to individually. I knew that something went wrong yesterday morning, but I had no idea to what extent.......until the notes and calls began coming.  We believe we have things fixed so that it can never happen again. Computer are wonderful, but sometimes one can't help but hate them.

At any rate, I am very, very sorry for what happened. And in light of that and your tired fingers from hitting the delete button, I am going to make this Karen's Korner very short (italics are mine):

 

Psalms 40:17"  "I am poor and weak (and sometimes send dozens and dozens of unwanted emails), yet the Lord is thinking about me right now! O my God, you are my helper. You are my Savior; come quickly, and save me. Please don't delay!"

 

Commentary:  "The leader of your country (whether George W. Bush or John Kerry) probably does not know you by name, let along think about you. But the King of all creation, the Ruler of the universe is thinking about you right now. Allow this truth to bouy your self-esteem. If God always has us in His thoughts, perhaps we could do more to keep Him in our thoughts (Lord, I am thinking about you right now! It is a new day and I am going to neet all the help I can get!!)."

Printable Issue 386  Today is Monday, October 4th, 2004; Karen's Korner #386

This is a daily Chicken Soup for the Soul which I received via email several months ago. I liked it, as it could have lots of different meanings, depending upon what one has lost or given up:

After a While
By Veronica A. Shoffstall
written at age 19

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and
company doesn't mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head
up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult,
not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for
plans.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if
you get too much.
So plant your own garden and decorate your own
soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you
flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure . . .
that you really are strong,
and you really do have worth.
And you learn and you learn . . .
with every good-bye you learn. . . .

 

Printable Issue 387  Today is Tuesday, October 5th, 2004; Karen's Korner #387

Some of you who have read Karen's Korners for awhile probably have discovered that I am not much of an Old Testament buff. Today I am going to type a few verses from 2 Kings 20: 1 - 7. It is a story about Hezekiah and Isaiah. I don't much about these two, but I liked the verses and the commentary:

Hezekiah now became deathly sick, and Isaiah the prophet went to visit him. "Set your affairs in order and prepare to die," Isaiah told him. "The Lord says you won't recover."

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall. "O Lord," he pleaded, "remember how I've always tried to obey you and to please you in everything I do......." Then he broke down and cried.

So before Isaiah left the courtyard, the Lord spoke to him again. "Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people, and tell him that the Lord God of his ancestor David has heard his prayer and seen his tears. I will heal him, and three days from now he will be out of bed and at the Temple! I will add fifteen years to his life and save him and this city from the king of Assyria. And it will all be done for the glory of my own and name and for the sake of my servant David."

Isaiah then instructed Hezekiah to boil some dried figs and make a paste of them and spread it on the boil. And he recovered!

Commentary: "Over a 100-year period of Judah's history. Hezekiah was the only faithful king, but what a difference he made! Because of Hezekiah's faith and prayer, God healed him and saved his city from the Assyrians. You can make a difference, too, even if your faith puts you in the minority. Faith and prayer, if they are sincere and directed toward one true God, can bring about change in any situation.

Printable Issue 388  Today is Wednesday, October 6th, 2004; Karen's Korner #388

This handy little chart is something I received awhile back from Pat Holtapp. I really liked it. Sometimes we forget who we are and all the things which we possess because we are God's Children. I hope that it "sends" in good shape, because it could be good to post on a desk, refrigerator, or put into a favorite book:

A HANDY LITTLE CHART -
God has a positive answer:

YOU SAY GOD SAYS BIBLE VERSES
You say: "It's impossible" God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)
You say: "I'm too tired" God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
You say: "Nobody really loves me" God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 3:34 )
You say: "I can't go on" God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)
You say: "I can't figure things out" God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)
You say: "I can't do it" God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)
You say: "I'm not able" God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)
You say: "It's not worth it" God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28 )
You say: "I can't forgive myself" God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)
You say: "I can't manage" God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)
You say: "I'm afraid" God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)
You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated" God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)
You say: "I'm not smart enough" God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)
You say: "I feel all alone" God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

Printable Issue 389  Today is Thursday, October 7th, 2004; Karen's Korner #389
It is hard to believe but I received this writing nearly four years ago!  I came across it yesterday in my "inbox"; fogetting that I had it! The title of it is "The Test" and came to me from Mr. Mom, a daily email which I received for a few years at that time.  I hope that you enjoy it. It is a little longer than some Karen's Korners. If you don't have time to read it now, set it aside until the timing is right:
 
The Test

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his army uniform,
and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central
Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he
didn't--the girl with the rose.

His interest in her had begun when he visited a secondhand book
store and selected a book that interested him. When he began to browse
the book, however, it was not the words of the book that intrigued him,
but the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a
thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book he
discovered the previous owner's name, Miss Hollis Maynell. It didn't
take long to locate her address--she lived right there in New York
City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to
correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World
War II.

During the next year the two of them grew to know each other through
the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance
was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She
felt that if he really cared about her, it wouldn't matter what she
looked like.

When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled
their first meeting--7:00 p.m. at the Grand Central Station in New
York. "You'll recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose I'll be
wearing on my lapel."

So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he
loved, but whose face he'd never seen. I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell you
what happened:

"A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her
blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were
blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her
pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward
her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As
I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. Going my way,
soldier?' she murmured.

"Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw
Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A
woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She
was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled
shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as
though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet
so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned
me and upheld my own. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was
gentle and sensible; her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle.

"I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small, worn, blue leather
copy of the book that was to identify me to her. This would not be
love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better
than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful.
I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman,
even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my
disappointment.

I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so
glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?'

"The woman's face broadened into a tolerant smile. I don't know what
this is about, son,' she answered, but the young lady in the green suit
who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she
said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should tell you that she is
waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it
was some kind of test!'"

A test is sometimes the only way we can know what's in our hearts.
Knowing we'd need help following him, Jesus taught how we can test our
love for him. He said to his followers, "Whatever you did for one of
the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40).
Do you really love Jesus? You can find out by noticing how you treat
those for whom he died--the poor, the outcast, and the sick. When we
love them, we demonstrate that we truly love God.

By Wayne Rice.

Printable Issue 390  Today is Friday, October 8th, 2004; Karen's Korner #390

Several weeks ago our church ladies were responsible for organizing an area Ladies' Retreat at our church campgrounds. One of the breakout sessions was headed by Jan Taylor. Unfortunately I didn't attend her workshop, as I had other responsibilites at the same time.

But she had some little handouts from her mini-class and I got one. Each 2 x 3 laminated bookmark had a single Bible verse. Mine was from Philippians 2:14. In my Bible this is how it reads:  "In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing..."

On the one that Jan gave out, the same verse was taken from a book titled "This isn't the Life I Signed Up for" by Donna Partow. It says, "I never complain, because I refuse to whistle for the devil."

Pretty good thought to take into the weekend!

Printable Issue 391  Today is Monday, October 11th, 2004; Karen's Korner #391

This is something that I received several months ago, written by Nancy Gibbs. It talks about taking time. We all have busy schedules; some more filled in, daily than others. But our prayer should be, "Lord, help me to find time to spend alone with You today."

Romans 12:12 - "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

 

Communing with Nature
By Nancy B. Gibbs

Almost every morning before I start my day, I make my way to this little park.  Very seldom do I see anyone else there.  It seems that everyone else is too busy running here and there to stop to admire God's beautiful creation.
     
It was quiet at the little pond that morning.  The water was still.  The leaves on the trees were not shivering like usual.  The silence was broken by the ringing of my cellular phone.  The noise startled me.  I jumped and grabbed the telephone wondering who would be calling me that early.
     
"Hi, Mama," my son, Chad, said.  "What are you doing?"
     
"I'm sitting at a little pond across town," I answered.
     
"You're doing what?" he inquired.
     
"I'm spending some quiet time at this perfect little place," I explained.  "I come here almost every morning.  It helps me get my day started on the right track."
     
"You're sitting at a pond communing with nature, while I'm stuck in Atlanta traffic," Chad laughed.  "It must be nice."
     
"It is very nice," I admitted.  "You should try it some time."
     
Chad and I talked until the traffic resumed on his end.  We offered our loving farewells and hung up.
     
My mind took me to a place where I had lived several years earlier.  I was one of those people living every minute of each day in a rat race.  I didn't take the time to commune with nature, spend quiet time with God, or take the time to get in touch with my feelings.  I thought I was happy driving in the fast lane of life.
     
When I think back I realize that I had been afraid of being alone.  I could put on a good show before everyone else, but if I got quiet I was forced to be honest with myself.  I wasn't doing the things that I knew deep in my heart I was supposed to be doing.  God had called me to minister to others through writing and public speaking, but I had ignored His call.  I justified my actions by telling myself that I had to make a living.  I was exactly like everybody else in this world - struggling to make ends meet, while not considering the real reason for my existence.
     
I was afraid to slow down.  If I miss a day at work, I will get too far behind, I reasoned.  Therefore, I worked even when I was sick.  I pushed myself to the limit so many times.  I wondered who I was trying to impress.  Was it my boss or coworkers?  I decided that it was probably me that I was trying to impress.  I had to feel worthy.  I wanted to feel like a dedicated and hard-working employee.  But in the meantime, I denied myself the privilege of really living my life to its fullest.
     
I took a few more minutes to pray.  A few birds landed in the tree beside me.  I smiled as I listened to the songs they were singing.  A squirrel scampered by, but not without stopping to gaze at me.  I glanced at my watch and knew that my quiet time was over.  It was time to start my day.
     
I stood before a group of ladies at a speaking engagement.  "Today is the first day of the rest of your lives," I announced.  "Where will you go from here?"  I shared the story about the pond, my son's remark, and the emotions I felt that morning while communing with nature and God.
     
I encouraged the ladies to slow down, serve God each and every day, and to take some time to pray.  The meeting concluded about an hour later, and I returned to my car.  I felt good.  I was no longer afraid to leave my comfort zone for God's sake.  I was thankful that I gave up the fast lane of life.  I was excited to be doing the things that God created me to do.
     
I drove back to the pond before I returned home from my engagement.  The wind had picked up.  I watched as the ripples in the once still water traveled to the shore.  I realized that the words I share at my speaking engagements can be compared to the ripples in the water.  By spreading the good news to others, they can find the peace and joy that only God and nature can give.

Printable Issue 392  Today is Tuesday, October 12th, 2004; Karen's Korner #392

Today I am going to share for the last time, one of the writings in the booklet, "30 Thoughts for Victorious Living" by Joel Osteen. I have only seen Osteen several times on television. He is a young man, probably under 40, who is now the senior pastor of a church in Houston, Texas. There was a story about him in our daily newspaper several weeks ago. He took over the duties of a church where his dad was a minister in 1999. At the time, Joel had worked in his father's church, but always behind the scenes. He had not been to seminary. At the time of his dad's death, he believed God wanted him to take over his father's role. The church was already good sized, but now it is the largest congregation in the United States.

Here is thought #5:

"Stand Strong During Adversity"

"Put on the full armor of God, so when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.  (Ephesians 6:13)

We all face challenges and difficult times. God doesn't send these storms, but it's in times of difficulty that we grow and become stronger. It is an opportunity to allow God's Word to come alive in your life and see you through to victory. You can't run from evrything that's hard in your life and expect God to deliver you immediately. God uses these challenges to stretch you and enlarge your vision.

Remain faithful during your time of adversity. Make up your mind to serve God no matter what comes against you, and God will honor you. Fight the good fight of faith. Remember, God will not waste anything you go through in life. You are growing.You are maturing. You are being prepared for promotion. Simply remain faithful and fight life through. In due season, in God's appointed time. He will promote you to new levels of victory, and you'll live that abundant life that He has promised you!

"Heavenly Father, thank You for making me strong through adversity. I thank You that because You are faithful to me, I can be faithful to You. Give me Your wisdom to make the right decisions today and the strength to stand no matter what life brings."

Printable Issue 393  Today is Wednesday, October 13th, 2004; Karen's Korner #393
This past weekend we celebrated together at Jim's cousin Rosemary's home, for a Weld Cousin Reunion. Since Rosemary was an English-as-a-second-language teacher, our theme was a Mexican  fiesta, complete with fiesta food and games! Some of the game winners were awarded prizes. I picked out of the "treasure chest" of prizes, a book titled, "God Bless America:  Prayers & Reflections for Our Country".''
 
From the more than 200 pages, I am going to share a couple of the short prayers from well-known leaders:
 
*  "Today, we utter no prayer more fervently than the ancient prayer for peace on Earth." -- Ronald Reagan
 
*  "Only when we have knelt before God, can we stand before men."  -- Anonymous
 
*  "So we pray to Him now for the vision to see our way clearly--to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men--to the achievement of His will to peace on earth." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt
 
*  "When we work, we work. When we pray, God works."  -- J. Hudson Taylor
 
*  "In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers were heard, and they were graciously answered...Have we now forgotten this powerful friend? Or do we no longer need assistance?  I have lived a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth:  'that God governs the affairs of man'. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without his aid?" -- Ben Franklin at the Constitutional Congress, 1787
 
*  " I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for that day." -- Abraham Lincoln
 
*  "Jesus said, 'For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.'" -- Matthew 18:20
 
Printable Issue 394  Today is Thursday, October 14th, 2004; Karen's Korner #394

For the past more than 12 years, Jim's Aunt Jessie Shupe has been the hostess of a weekly Bible study in her home. I have only attended a handful of times. Since Jim is fishing this week and my schedule was free, I attended last night.

The study group begins a study of a book of the Bible and studies it each week until it is completed; then moves on to another book. Right now, they are looking together at the book of Proverbs. Last night's attention focused on Chapter 28. One of the verses was #8:

"Income from exploiting the poor will end up in the hands of someone who pities them." - Proverbs 28:8

My Bible commentary added:  "Through dependence on God in their struggles, the poor develop a richness of spirit that no amount of wealth can provide. The rich man can lose all his material wealth, while no one can take away the poor man's character. Don't be jealous of the rich, money may be all they will ever have."

Look around. Look at your own situation. Maybe you and those around you are wealthier than first glance. Maybe you/they have 'more' than the bank statement shows!! If you possess character, maybe you are the one that others envy for your 'richness'!!

Printable Issue 395  Today is Friday, October 15th, 2004; Karen's Korner #395

As I stated in yesterday's Karen's Korner, Jim and his friend fished in Minnesota most of this week. They got home last evening and had a good time in a "fall environment" (fewer people on the lake, shorter daily hours, etc.).

Maybe because they were fishing or maybe because I liked yesterday's "Chicken Soup for the Soul" email, I decided it was a good one to share today:

On the Road
By Doyle Portela

It was a warm Saturday morning in Montpelier, Idaho.  I had worked all week and was thinking about passing on my much-needed yard work for a day of fishing.  I'd never been to this particular reservoir before, but had always thought about going there.  Some of my customers at the feed store had told me how to get there, but it wasn't what most people would consider an easy trip.

Working around the yard that morning, it wasn't until 2 p.m. that I finally convinced myself I needed to stop and head for the reservoir.  I called my brother-in-law, Ron, and invited him to join me.  I didn't bother to tell him our destination until I picked him up.  He agreed to my unexpected offer, so I threw my equipment into my old blue Jeep and headed over to Ron's place.

"It's way too late to try and find it," he said when I finally announced where we were headed.  But he still went along anyway.

Driving without benefit of a map or exact directions, we drove down the highway until we came to a dirt road, where I turned off.  After another ten miles we finally came to a fork in the road - I simply turned without any hesitation.

"How'd you know which way to turn?" Ron asked.

"I'm not sure," I replied.

That probably reinforced Ron's reluctance as he kept insisting that it was getting way too late to even try and get some fishing in.  Another five miles passed, another fork in the road came, and yet another unhesitant turn didn't help Ron's confidence in me.  He was convinced we were going to get lost.

Finally, at sunset, we crested a small hill and were greeted by the sight of a beautiful reservoir.  With the exception of one little, topless Jeep parked near the water, there was no one else around for miles.  We would have the entire lake to ourselves.

When we approached the other Jeep, a young man happily greeted us.  He was there with his wife and their newborn baby, and their car battery was dead.  They had no matches to build a fire, no coats, and there was only one thin blanket for the baby.  He had been very worried, knowing that his wife and baby wouldn't make it through the night if he had walked out the many miles for help.  And since it was getting dark, he might even have gotten lost.

The young man told us he had just had the Jeep overhauled and was out with his family for the day.  After the battery died, he had decided to stay with his family and simply hope that someone would come along.

Ron and I got out our battery cables and gave his Jeep a jump-start.  He profusely thanked us, and they left for home.

As we watched them drive off, Ron turned to me.  "You still want to fish?"

"No" was all I said.  We got back in our own Jeep and followed them out to make sure they got home safely.

That was over thirty years ago.  I have never returned to that reservoir, and I am not even sure if it's still there.  But there is one thing I am sure about: the Lord answered a father's prayers through my love for fishing.

Printable Issue 396  Today is Monday, October 18th, 2004; Karen's Korner #396

Yesterday our dog, Lady, and I took a walk, down the road heading south of our house. She runs ahead of me, her tail flying as she travels. We have done this many times before. She knows the route.

A few feet from our driveway is our neighbor's drive. Out runs one of the neighbors' dogs - Flash. Most of the time, I lovingly call him "Tubby", due to his rotund build. He will take after Lady, and they will run together. But not until he runs by me! Tubby knows that I will call him endearing names, talk to him a bit, and pet him---rubbing his thick back several times. Once our routine is finished, he can run along and explore with Lady as we walk the mile or two, as the three of us explore the beautiful fall day.

Same thing I need from God today. I visualize me glancing up and seeing Jesus. He has a strong build. His hair is being jostled by the breeze. When he sees me, it looks like love. He gently smiles. I run toward him. He gently tousles my hair and gives me a fatherly pat on the back. He lets me know how much He cares for me, when He says, "I love you, Karen!"

All right!!

Now I can run down the road of life all day today........with my friends, people I bump into, or alone.......knowing that Jesus is walking along with us, with me. Maybe a few steps away as I run. But never out of sight, out of mind, nor away from my hearing ears.......

Same thing He does for each of us. Look and listen.......

Printable Issue 397  Today is Tuesday, October 19th, 2004; Karen's Korner #397

Late last night I received this "pass-along email" from Tim and Shelley Fletcher. I liked it; hope you do too.

I always enjoy it when others share their "stories":

 
A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men
on it were able to swim to a small, deserted island. The two survivors, not
knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other  recourse but to pray
to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more  powerful, they agreed to
divide the territory between them and pray on opposite sides of the island.
 
The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man
saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat
its fruit. The other man's parcel of land remained barren.
 
After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife.
The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was  a woman
who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was
nothing.
 
Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes and more food. The next day,
like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still
had nothing.
 
Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife would
leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the
island.
 
The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second
man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive God's
blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered.
 
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven
booming, "Why are you leaving your companion on the island?"
 
"My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,"
the first man answered. "His prayers were all unanswered and so he does
not deserve anything."
 
"You are mistaken!"  the voice rebuked him. "He had only one prayer, which
I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings."
 
"Tell me," the first man asked the voice, "what did he pray for that I should
owe him anything?"
 
"He prayed that all your prayers be answered."
 
For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but
those of another praying for us.
 
This is too good not to share. My prayer for you today is that all your prayers are answered.

Printable Issue 398  Today is Wednesday, October 20th, 2004; Karen's Korner #398

Here are three thoughts; not connected to one another at all. I just liked them:

* Flattery should be enjoyed like good perfume. Smell it. But don't drink it.  -- Anonymous

 

With the elections coming up, I liked this one. We will have a different face on this person. Whether we are talking about present people, we are voting for in this election.......from president down to more local leaders. Or we think of past leaders:

*  "A politician thinks of the next election -- a statesman
of the next generation."   -- James Freeman Clarke

 

We recently traded "Secret Sisters" at church. Not a very big group, but one that ranges in ages from 13 - 63. I got a small gift Sunday with a computer-typed note included from my 'new sister'. A message for each of us today:

Throughout life,

Our friends are a treasure.

There is no way to measure

Their worth.

And the love and the joys

That they bring us are

Among our many blessings

Here on earth.

Printable Issue 399  Today is Thursday, October 21st, 2004; Karen's Korner #399

I am someone who sticks notes, bookmarks, and who knows what else into my Bible. This morning I came across this scribbled note, "Jesus' life was filled with interruptions", and it lists about ten verses from Matthew chapter 8, all things that happened in the course of one day in Jesus life:

Large crowds followed Him down the hillside (vs. 1) and here comes a leper, who Jesus healed (vs. 2). Next a Roman army captain wanted his paralyzed servant boy healed (vs. 5), and he moved on to Peter's house where Peter's mother-in-law was in bed with a high fever. Jesus took care of that (vs.15). Then several demon-possessed people were brought to Him and they were delivered from their problems with a single word from Jesus (vs. 16). By now the crowds were getting large and He told the disciples to get ready to cross the lake (vs.18). Next, a religious teacher said he wanted to follow Jesus wherever He went (vs.19). And another disciple told Jesus, "When my father is dead, then I will follow you." And Jesus told him to follow Him now (vs. 21,22). He got onto the boat with his disciples and fell asleep, but here comes a terrible storm. The disciples are scared to death; wake up Jesus, shouting, "Lord, save us. We are sinking!" And Jesus calmed the storm and the seas (vs. 24-27). They get to the other side of the lake and Jesus is met by two men with demons in them and Jesus sends their demons into a herd of pigs that rush over a cliff and drowned (vs. 28-33). Now the entire population rushes to Jesus, begging Him to go away and leave them alone (vs. 34). They didn't like His supernatural power and the fact their pigs had been lost.

Two things I think about as I read this story:  first, so we sometimes think are are busy or are having a bad day! Second, it doesn't look like Jesus is ever too busy. So we don't need to hesitate to tell Him what it is we need and want today!!

Printable Issue 400  Today is Friday, October 22nd, 2004; Karen's Korner #400

Today is a day I have been looking forward to. It is Karen's Korner issue #400!  Thanks for sticking with me!!

And I have some good news I want to share. Remember awhile back when I said that I had asked our two computer son-in-laws about building me a web site for my Karen's Korners? Well, today I am giving all of you my new address for it:  www.karens-korner.com  Remember karens (no apostrophe), dash, and korner with a 'k'.

The thought for a web site was theirs, not mine. They have talked about it since last Christmas, and then I started to get interested in the possibility. Jamie's husband, Tim Champion, stepped up to the plate and started playing with it. Since I am no computer guru, I had no idea how many hours it would take.....and it has taken lots of hours! Thanks, Tim!! 

While we was working on it, I had problems with two modems.......and we had a couple of glitches. (Who can forget the 107 Karen's Korner emails in one day!). Now I sending my daily thoughts through my web site; all my addresses are there.

When you go to the site you will find:  the most current copy at the top of the page; every other copy I have ever written (some of the most recent ones list below it; all the others are archived); you will be able to look back at past copies by dates if you remember, or by topic if you want to 'search' (i.e. our dog, Lady; grandson, Luke); people can subscribe or unsubscribe from the site; you have the ability to email me from the web site, and Tim has two links to other web sites.....Google and Luke's (remember that is a 'dad' thing and not a 'grandma' thing).

It isn't done yet either. Some things Tim would like to see on the page:  a photo page where people can get to know the Weld family better........me, Jim, our farm, our dog, other family members; additional links which people might enjoy taking advantage of, and a place where people can become aware of the devotional booklets I have written and how they can get copies. Yesterday Tim wrote me a note saying, "If you have readers who might have their owm web pages and it would be compatible to have your web page linked to theirs, have them let you know. That is how it 'gets out there' and it is picked up by search engines like Google". So if that triggers anyone's thinking, let me know.

Anyway, enjoy!

Dear Father in Heaven,  Thank you for this new opportunity that Tim has given me to share with even more people. You are so wonderful and fun and funny, as you use people like me and like Tim to do Your work. I can't begin to comprehend how you use 'normal' people like us to carry out your plans! Bless everyone who reads these messages and for those who have shared either their original writings or  their favorite pass-alongs since this adventure began. Take good care of each of us over the weekend and bring us safely back together on Monday! In Jesus' name. Amen

Printable Issue 401  Today is Monday, October 25th, 2004; Karen's Korner #401

Do you have any problems needing attention today? Anything weighing sort of heavy in your mind? Someone in your life causing you lots of concern? Maybe Jesus can help you to handle them or to answer your request.

Several verses in the book of Mark, tell about Jesus blessing little children and wanting children to come to Him. He wants us to come to Him like little kids........with our questions, our troubles, our confusion.

Mark 10: 13 - 16:

"Once when some mothers were bringing their children to Jesus to bless them, the disciples shooed them away, telling them not to bother him. But when Jesus saw what was happening he was very much displeased with His disciples and said to them, "Let the children come to me, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as they. Don't send them away! I tell you as seriously as I know how that anyone who refuses to come to God as a little child will never be allowed into His Kingdom." Then he took the children into His arms and placed His hands on their heads and He blessed them."

Commentary:

"Jesus was often criticized for spending too much time with the wrong people -- children, sinners, tax collectors. Some, including the disciples thought Jesus should be spending more time with important leaders and the devout, because this was the way to improve His position. He was God, and He wanted to speak to those who needed Him most. Adults are not as trusting as little children. All children need in order to feel secure is a loving look and gentle touch from someone who cares. Complete intellectual understanding is not one of their requirements. They believe us if they trust us. Jesus said that all must believe in Him with this kind of childlike faith. We should not have to understand all the mysteries of the universe; it should be enough to know that God loves us and provides forgiveness for our sin. This doesn't mean we should be childish or immature, but we should trust God with a child's simplicity and purity.

Printable Issue 402  Today is Tuesday, October 26th, 2004; Karen's Korner #402

Because we are busy people, I think that Karen's Korners should be short. But once in awhile I get something via email that I want to share that is longer. Today's is one of them. If you are too busy to read it now, save it and read it later. And if you are really busy, there is always the delete key!

Sometimes we go through things that we deem "bad" and what "good" could never come out of it. This is an email "Chicken Soup for the Soul"; note the age of the storyteller.

Cookin' in Brooke's Kitchen
By Brooke Harrison, nine
As told by Eryc Stevens

When I was six years old my five-year-old cousin, Juliana, got sick.  My brother and I were in the family room watching television when my mom came in to tell us the bad news.  I wasn't really sure what "cancer" meant, but I could tell it wasn't a good thing.  My parents' faces were full of worry and tears, and that was enough to make me cry, too.

I asked, "Mom, what's the matter with Juliana?  What is cancer?"  My mom told us that Juliana had been diagnosed with ALL leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone.  My brother and I were so frightened, we really didn't even know what to think.

When we went to see Juliana in the hospital, she was lying in bed, and she had all these tubes and things hooked to her.  It was confusing and scary.

As her treatments continued, Juliana seemed to be getting sicker and sicker.  Every time I visited her, she looked different.  The medication she took caused her to gain a lot of weight, and she lost all of her long, beautiful hair.  I couldn't understand what the doctors were doing to her - it seemed like they were making her feel worse - not better.
 
Seeing my cousin in so much pain made me feel like my own heart was aching.  Something needed to be done.  I knew I wanted to help her get better faster, but at six years old, I wasn't sure how I could make a difference - I just knew I had to do something to help my cousin.

One night after we visited Juliana, all the way home I couldn't stop thinking about her.  A hospital can be a very scary, cold place.  I imagined how alone Juliana must have felt lying there during the night.
 
When we got home, I sat down at our kitchen table.  I always liked writing stories and drawing pictures, and I started working at it like I had done so many other nights.  But this night was different - I was thinking about Juliana.  I thought, What if I can sell my drawings?  Then I can give the money to Juliana's doctors to help her get well faster and out of that hospital.
     
When I told my parents, they thought it was a wonderful idea - but then we came up with an even better one.  We would make a cookbook.  I really liked cooking and baking plus writing and drawing - a cookbook had all these things combined.
     
The very next day, I asked all of our family and friends to send me their favorite recipes.  To my surprise, everyone jumped at the chance to help. Mom helped to put everything together.  Grandma typed recipes while I drew pictures that went into different sections of the cookbook.
     
My idea for a small cookbook quickly grew to over one hundred pages.
     
The local skating club paid for the first printing.  We sold almost 300 books in our first week.  I couldn't believe the response.  I felt really good!  I have never felt anything like it before.
     
Now the cookbook, which is called, "Cookin' in Brooke's Kitchen," is in its fourth printing and, because of many requests, I am starting on a second cookbook.  My wish to help my cousin has ended up helping lots of people.  The money from the cookbook has all been donated to the Leukemia Research Fund of Canada.  In fact, enough money has been raised to fund two research fellowships.  I have been lucky enough to meet many leukemia survivors, and lots of them have shared their stories with me.  Hearing their stories made me feel important and like I really have been able to make a difference.
     
Juliana recently turned eight and she is doing great!  I often think back to the times we sat in the hospital making miles of paper chains to pass the time.  We must have decorated most of her hospital wing!  The coolest thing is that she says I am her best friend and favorite cousin.
     
Now that my cousin Juliana is healed, I am too.  The heartache I felt was a part of the love I have for my family.  I'm glad that not only was I able to help heal the pain within my own family, but also to help with what happens to other families, too.  I guess life is all about mixing up the right ingredients - it takes equal parts of love and action to make the world a better place.

Printable Issue 403  Today is Wednesday, October 27th, 2004; Karen's Korner #403

Lots of times a "pass around" email becomes pretty "hot" and round and round it goes. Last week was one of those, when I got a short writing from Emily Harris and again from one other person. I passed it along to a couple of others.

Not only was the writing meaningful, it also had a distinctive colored font and a graphic of a young gal holding her big floppy hat. Those kinds of things don't always "cut and paste" well, so I am retyping it here:

 

While praying one day, a woman asked, "Who are you, Lord?"

And He replied, " I am Love. I am Peace. I am Grace. I am Joy. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light. I am the Comforter. I am Strength. I am Safety. I am Shelter. I am Power. I am the Creator. I am the Beginning and the End. I am the Most High."

The girl with tears in her eyes looked toward heaven and said, "Now I understand. But Lord, Who am I?"

Then God tenderly wiped the tears from her eyes and whispered, "You are mine."

Printable Issue 404  Today is Thursday, October 28th, 2004; Karen's Korner #404
I got this several weeks ago from Shirley Knudsen. It is titled "Saturdays and Marbles"; since the weekend is almost here it is especially good. Gives us something to think about!
 
Saturdays and Marbles
 
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most njoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement ham radio-shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net.  Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles."

I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job.  I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital" he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep a
good perspective on my own priorities."

And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles." "You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. "Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays  that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays."

"I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear."

"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family,and I hope to meet you again here on the band.

This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."
"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.   Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And say, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles...
Printable Issue 405  Today is Friday, October 29th, 2004; Karen's Korner #405
 
Today I am going to share with you something forwarded to me yesterday by Brenda Grummit.
It is titled, "The Most Important Body Part". Have a great weekend!
 

My mother used to ask me: "What is the most important part of the body?"
Through the years I would take a guess at what I thought was the correct answer.

When I was younger, I thought sound was very important to us as
humans, so I said, "My ears, Mommy."
 
She said, "No Many people are deaf. But you keep thinking about it and
I will ask you again soon."
 
Several years passed before she asked me again.  Since making my
first attempt, I had contemplated the correct answer.  So this
time I told her, "Mommy, sight is very important to everybody,
so it must be our eyes. 
 
She looked at me and told me, "You are learning fast, but the answer
is not correct because there are many people who are blind."
 
Stumped again, I continued my quest for knowledge.  Over the
years, Mother asked me a couple more times and always her answer
was, "No, but you are getting smarter every year, my child."
 
Then last year, my grandpa died. Everybody was hurt. Everybody was crying.
even my father cried. I remember that especially because it was only the second time I
saw him cry.  My Mom looked at me when it was our turn to say
our final good-bye to Grandpa. She asked me, "Do you know the most important
body part yet, my dear?"
 
I was shocked when she asked me this now. I always thought this was a game between her and me.
She saw the confusion on my face and told me, "This question is very important.
It shows that you have really lived in your life. For every body part you gave me in the past,
I have told you was wrong and I have given you an example why. But today is the day you need
to learn this important lesson."
She looked down at me as only a mother can. I saw her eyes well up with tears. 
She said, "My dear, the most important body part is your shoulder."
 
I asked, "Is it because it holds up my head?"
She replied, "No, it is because it can hold the head of a friend or a loved one when they cry. Everybody needs a shoulder to cry on sometime in life, my dear. I only hope that you have enough love and friends that you will always have a shoulder to cry on when you need it."
 
Then and there I knew the most important body part is not a selfish one.  It is sympathetic to the pain of others.
People will forget what you said...
People will forget what you did....
But people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.
 
 -- Author Unknown