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October 2005 Archives

Printable Issue 646  Today is Monday, October 3rd, 2005; Karen's Korner #646
Two thoughts about recent hurricanes in southern United States
 
#1 --
 
Psalms 93:3,4 says,
 
"The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
The floods have lifted up ther voice;
The floods lift up their waves.
 
The Lord on high is mightier
Than the noise of many waters,
Than the mighty waves of the sea."
 
As powerful as the storms were in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas, it says that "the Lord is mightier still". Pretty mighty storms; our God is mightier. I like that kind of God; that kind of protection and power!
 
#2 --
 
An email forwarded from Jim's cousin, Anelas Greene who lives in Florida, written by Mike Dowdy. Like any forwarded message, there is always a chance the story is bogus. I'd like to think it is a true one:
 
 
I just returned from New Jersey. While en route there, I was stuck in traffic on Interstate 81, just below the Virgiia state line in Bristol, Tennesse, due a traffic accident with a fatality involved. This accident involved a truck hauling a hazardous material load that developed a leak, which meant that we weren't going anywhere for several hours.
 
After being told by the Tennessee state troopers that we would be sitting still until the clean up was completed, I set my brakes on the truck and got our to stretch my legs. Other truck drivers did the same, and at one point there were 5 of us standing there by my truck, complaining.

Sitting right beside me in the left lane, were two elderly people in a Silverado pick up truck, which was loaded quite well. The man, (Joe), lowered his window and asked what was going on regarding the traffic situation.

Soon we were all talking with this couple. I mentioned that if I had known about this, I would have bought something to drink, (water), for I was becoming thirsty. The lady, (Anna), said that they had plenty of water, and sodas in the cooler in the bed of the truck, and offered everyone present something. While she was back there, she said that she had plenty of tuna salad made up, and asked if we would be interested in a sandwich.

After some urging from Joe, we agreed to a sandwich. While Anna was making the sandwiches on the tailgate of the truck, she was singing like a songbird. To be close to 70, (I guess), she had a remarkable voice.

When she finished making the sandwiches, and putting everything up, Joe raised the tailgate of the truck to close it. I noticed a Mississippi license plate on it. I inquired as to what part of Mississippi they were from. Joe said Biloxi. Knowing that Biloxi had been ravaged also by hurricane Katrina, I asked if they sustained any damage. Joe said that they lost everything but what they had on and what was in the pickup. All of us drivers tried unsuccessfully to pay them for their drinks and the sandwiches. They would have nothing to do with it.

Joe said that their son was living around Harrisonburg, Virginia and that they were going there. He was in the real estate business and that there was a home that became open, and that they were going to start all over there. Staring over at their age would not be easy.

I will soon be 48 years old, and I have to say that I have never eaten a tuna sandwich with side orders of reality and humility. These people lost everything except the pictures, important documents, and some clothes. Joe had managed to get their antique heirloom grandfathers clock into the bed of the truck and Anna got her china and silverware, but that was all. These wonderful people lost practically everything they owned and still would not accept any money for their food and drinks. Joe said that "it was better to give than it is to receive."

They sought refuge behind a block wall that he had built years ago, and they watched their belongings and their home dissappear in the winds of Hurricane Katrina. Joe said that during all this he had one hand holding onto Anna and the other holding on to God. Their truck and themselves came out of Katrina unscathed.

As I stated before, Anna was singing a song while making the sandwiched. The song is titled "I know who holds tomorrow," an old gospel song. She knew every word, and was quite a gifted singer of it. Have you ever heard it?

The chorus of this song is, " Many things, about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand."

There is no doubt, in my mind, who was holding both their hands. I know there have been many, many email that have circulated over the years about things that will touch your heart, but this one I personally was involved in.

Forget all of the politics that the news is striving on, and think about people just like Joe and Anna. If you can, help out with the victims relief funds.

If you cannot, at least offer a prayer for everyone.

Mike Dowdy,
Hartselle, Alabama
Printable Issue 647  Today is Tuesday, October 4th, 2005; Karen's Korner #647
Late this spring following a meeting in her home, Kim Lee and her mother Judy Watne gave all of us who had participated, a copy of the "Women of Destiny" Bible. Besides the regular Bible text, Women of Destiny Bibles have inset quotes, letters written especially to its women readers, and heroes of the Christian faith over the centuries.
 
One featured woman was Susanna Wesley. Most people have a bit of background on her: mother of Charles (writer of nearly 2,000 hymns and poems) and John (founder of the Methodist Church). I know that I have read about her in the past, but sometimes I can't recall what I have read.
 
Here is a brief sketch of the boxed inset about Susanna in this Bible:
 
Susanna, one of 25 children, was raised in the Church of England, but became a devout Puritan. She married Samuel Wesley, who traveled extensively as a representative of the Church of England, leaving her at home alone much of the time to bear and raise their 19 children (nine who died before the age of 2). Along with their large family, the Wesleys dealt with their home burning to the ground twice.
 
But Susanna was an overcomer, she was determined to keep the worship of God in the forefront of her home. Since there were no Sunday evening services at church, she began reading and discussing sermons with her children. These discussions evolved into meetings where more than 200 people packed her house to hear her speak--in an era when women were to keep silent in the church, weren't allowed to vote, and were often no better than servants.
 
While dealing with a large family and tragedy, Susanna made sure her children received the best education and upbringing possible, instructing them in Hebrew and Greek, while teaching all the children to read and memorize Bible verses as soon as they could dress themselves.
 
I think Susanna can be a role model for all of us as women (and while we are at it, men):  to do what we do, whatever it is with great love, and determination. We may believe that we are only impacting our familiy..........but in the case of Susana Wesley (and probably all of us to some degree!).......we are in turn, impacting the world.
 
The final line in this Bible inset said, "Susanna served to give the world a peek at the godly strength a woman can possess and the powerful, lasting influence she can effect for the kingdom of God."
 
May the same thing be said of each of us........just for today!!
Printable Issue 648  Today is Wednesday, October 5th, 2005; Karen's Korner #648
A daily devotional from email friend pastor Jeff White:
 
Our days on earth are like a shadow.
-- I Chronicles 29:15 niv
He who “lives forever” has placed himself at the head of a band of pilgrims who mutter, “How long, O Lord? How long?” (Psalm 89:46 niv).
“How long must I endure this sickness?”
“How long must I endure this spouse?”
“How long must I endure this paycheck?”
Do you really want God to answer? He could, you know. He could answer in terms of the here and now with time increments we know. “Two more years on the illness.” “The rest of your life in the marriage.” “Ten more years for the bills.”
But he seldom does that. He usually opts to measure the here and now against the there and then. And when you compare this life to that life, this life isn't very long.
Printable Issue 649  Today is Thursday, October 6th, 2005; Karen's Korner #649

Prayer:

Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for being You and for taking care of all of us, as a dad takes care of His Children. Thank You for all of your blessings. Help each of us to be more like You, just for today. May we be a blessing to everyone we meet. May they see Jesus on our faces, in our hearts, and from the activities that they see us do. And Father, help me to return the favor to everyone in I meet. I want to see Jesus in them. Help me to dismiss negative or judgemental thoughts of others. Help to see myself and others, like you see us. What a God! Thanks for being You and thanks for adding to and changing each one of us into different people than we can be and become on our own.

I'm planning on having a good day today, because of You!

Amen

Printable Issue 650  Today is Friday, October 7th, 2005; Karen's Korner #650
(There will no Karen's Korners for the upcoming week. Jim and I are traveling to Canada for a few days to see several of the cities there! KK #651 will be sent on Monday, October 17; see you then!)
 
Yesterday I went to Clarion's ecumenical Union Ladies' Aid to listen to long-time friend, Sue Freund tell about her recent short-term mission trip to Africa. On Saturday, Jim and I went to Minneapolis to attend the wedding of her son, Matt, in the late afternoon there. Under a month ago, nine other friends and I helped to put on a couple's shower for Matt and his now wife, Crystal. I wanted to do all three of those things; I felt compelled to do it.
 
Know why? Because Sue would do and has done the same things for me! When she was asked to help make some flowers for both of our daughters' weddings, Sue shared her time and talents and did them. While I was county 4-H visual arts project leader and we organized some craft-type workshops for the youth involved in those projects, I would call Sue and she would agree to be a presenter. When our kids were younger and in middle and high school, if I would ask Sue and her husband, Bob, to serve as youth sponsors, they would do it!
 
I know that if I have something that I want done which Sue has the time and talent for, she will help me out. It is pretty hard to not to serve, work with, enjoy the company of a friend like Sue.
 
It makes me think of our relationship with God. Once we recognize the way that He is always there for us, makes such a tremendous impact on our daily lives, gives a bigger dose of grace and mercy than we could ever deserve........we want to do some things to show Him how much He means to us.
 
God is always there for each one of us..loving and taking care of us; can we do any less than return a meager portion back to Him?
Printable Issue 651  Today is Monday, October 17th, 2005; Karen's Korner #651
Jim and I are back after parts of eight days in Canada; seeing the sights in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto. I don't want to impress everyone with the fact that we never miss church; that isn't true. But when we travel, our best memories are oten that of being a guest with some church family somewhere. On Sunday morning, I said to Jim, "I'd like to go to church this morning if we can find one." Sometimes schedules don't match and we don't find one that will work.
 
Do you believe in "God things"? I think what happened to us could qualify!
 
We were traveling from Kingston, Ontario to Quebec. We knew that church time would be some time between 9 and 11. In several small towns, we were too early. So we kept moving. In one bigger town, the church we went by had finished about 25 minutes earlier. Time was starting to get away from us. If we couldn't find a church service at 11 a.m., it would be too late. We were on the outskirts of Ottawa and we spotted a fairly new building on the opposite side of the four-lane highway. It was about 20 minutes until 11. It looked like there were people going in rather than coming out. We would try it! Down the highway, over the over-pass and back to the building. Kanata Wesleyan Church. Two church services - one at 9 and a second one at 11. We were just in time!!
 
When we travel, neither Jim nor I overly dresses up. We dress for all day. He had worn colored jeans and a sport shirt. I had on colored jeans, a turtle neck and sweatshirt. I have lots of sweatshirts, packed 4 for our trip. Might be colder in Canada. I wore the one I had bought when we traveled to New Zealand in February; it says "New Zealand" on the front.
 
It was a good worship service, pretty contemporary. Lots of singing; praise band and song leaders. Overhead projector with messages and songs. After a bit, we were to greet one another. About 350 in that worship service. When we turned to greet the people directly behind us, the older couple said, "New Zealand? Have you traveled their recently?"
 
In February was our response.
 
"We just got back from there," Harriet said. "We haven't been in church here for five weeks. This is our first Sunday back!"
 
Later in the worship service, Jim decided to venture out to our car to get a handful of my latest books to share with Harriet and Derek and with the "visitors' booth" at the back of the sanctuary. Derek, who was one of the ushers, followed him out to the car, chatting as they walked. "Would you like to have lunch with my wife and me?" he asked.
 
Sure, we had to eat anyway. After worship services, Harriet jumps in the car with Jim and me. Hard to find the best eating places in a town of 500,000. Derek meets us at the right place in their vehicle.
 
As we ate, we shared about a lot of different things. Our love for travel was one of them.
 
If you'd like to meet our new friend, Derek, watch "The Price is Right" on Monday, November 21. They had decided since they were traveling through Los Angeles to and from Australia/New Zealand, they just as well get tickets for the show. He was the seventh guy called to "come on down", but didn't bid right to get up on stage. Look for Derek from Ottawa, Canada.
 
Just the right church at the right time? Lively church with lots of worship and praise? Why had I worn that particular sweatshirt? We were sitting right ahead of someone who just returned from New Zealand? With lots of similar interests? Who just happened to want to take us out for lunch? And who is going to be on internationsl television within a month?
 
It's got to be a "God thing"; you just as well be part of a "God thing", too.......tune in!
Printable Issue 652  Today is Tuesday, October 18th, 2005; Karen's Korner #652
Sometimes somebody tells us something and we think, "Wow! I didn't know that!"
 
Here is something I read yesterday; it's in my new Women of Destiny Bible.......as a foreward to the book of Isaiah.......written by Marilyn Hickey:
 
"In the Book Isaiah, we find a 'miniature Bible'. The first division has 39 chapters---the number of Old Testament books--and it emphasizes judgment. The second division has 27 chapters--the number of New Testament books--and it stresses grace..."
 
I knew the Bible has 66 books. And I guess I knew that Isaiah had 66 chapters. But I never realized how each was divided. Does anybody but me think that the numbers and the divisions aren't just an accident?
 
Like yesterday, I think it must be another "God thing"!
Printable Issue 653  Today is Wednesday, October 19th, 2005; Karen's Korner #653
 Another devotional writing from pastor Jeff White; as you can tell I like his writing style and thoughts:
 
Don’t get angry.
Don’t be upset; it only leads to trouble.
Psalm 37:8
      Anger. It’s easy to define: the noise of the soul. Anger. The unseen irritant of the heart. Anger. The relentless invader of silence.…
The louder it gets the more desperate we become.…
Some of you are thinking … you don’t have any idea how hard my life has been. And you’re right, I don’t. But I have a very clear idea how miserable your future will be unless you deal with your anger.
X-ray the world of the vengeful and behold the tumor of bitterness: black, menacing, malignant. Carcinoma of the spirit. Its fatal fibers creep around the edge of the heart and ravage it. Yesterday you can’t alter, but your reaction to yesterday you can. The past you cannot change, but your response to your past you can.
Printable Issue 654  Today is Thursday, October 20th, 2005; Karen's Korner #654
Everyone in our Sunday School class gets the opportunity to share a couple of highlights of their week with the rest of the group before we get to our lesson. Last Sunday, Judy said, "I am a new grandma!" And went on to comment about how amazing babies are, "When you look at a perfect newborn baby, how can you not believe in God!"
 
What's the big deal? She's not a new, new grandma; this one is #4 for her. And she is the biological mom of 5!!
 
But isn't it amazing, whether we are parents or grandparents; farther distance of a relative or a good friend of a family.....every birth, every baby is a GREAT BIG DEAL. Another one of God's miracles!!
 
And the miracles don't stop with the birth. I watch our grandson Luke (now 20 months) charging around making comments about his world. Having little hands that can move mountains, compared to a few months ago. I think, "Isn't that amazing!"
 
And I watch granddaughter, Molly (now 2 months), wondering if she will be doing "Luke things" in another year and a half. "Could she learn all that stuff in that amount of time?" I think. And she will.
 
I watch another 2 1/2 year old and wonder, "Will Luke be able to do and know all of that stuff in another 6 - 8 months?" And he will!
 
Amazing is the only word for it!
 
I wonder if God looks at us with the same kind of paternal (maternal) eyes and thinks, "Amazing!"
 
I think He does, because He is our Heavenly Father. He can love us and be amazed by us, even more than we can for our other family members and friends!
 
Psalms 139:17 & 18 simply states, "How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can't even count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking about me!"
 
Amazing; simply amazing!!
Printable Issue 655  Today is Friday, October 21st, 2005; Karen's Korner #655
 
I hope that all of you have a great weekend. Here are a couple of short humorous thoughts, which some of you have shared with me, to take you into the weekend:
 
** James (age 4) was listening to a Bible story. His dad read:  "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt."  Concerned, James asked, "What happend to the flea?"
 
** Who has greater contentment, a man with seven children or a man with $7 million?
Answer: The man with seven children, because he doesn't want any more.
(My apologies to several readers who have seven or more children!)
 
** The sermon I think this Mom will never forget:  "Dear Lord," the minister begin with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. "without you, we are but dust."
    He would have continued but at that moment this very obedient daughter, leaned over to her mother and asked quite audibly in her shrill little girl voice, "Mom, what is butt dust!?"
 
** With hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another plus the big earthquake in Pakistan, the quote of the month comes from Jay Leno:
    "Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"
Printable Issue 656  Today is Monday, October 24th, 2005; Karen's Korner #656
Yesterday I put on a denim long-sleeved blouse and denim skirt to wear to church. The outfit called for a rougher piece of jewelry. I thought of the puau cross necklace on a black cord that I had bought in New Zealand last winter.
 
I looked at the jewelry tree where I hang my necklaces. The necklace wasn't there. "Where would it be?" I thought. "Oh, maybe it got knocked off and is behind our chest of drawers."
 
So I got down on my hands and knees and started feeling the carpet behind this piece of furniture. Sure enough, only one piece of jewelry was back there:  the blue puau necklace!
 
    Dear Father in Heaven,most things in my life I want what I want when I want it! Like my necklace yesterday, I want to reach out and grab it!! I don't want to look for it! 
    Thank You, Father, that You give me thoughts of where to look for my answers. Thank You that You might want me to "seek, before I can find" and sometimes being down on my knees might be the only way for me to find the answer to my prayer. In the name of Your Son, who made praying to You possible. Amen.

 

Printable Issue 657  Today is Tuesday, October 25th, 2005; Karen's Korner #657
Ten other gals and I are a part of a birthday celebration group. When it is each of our birthdays, the others take the birthday girl out for dinner at a date, time and place of her choosing. Joan's birthday was last week; Margaret's and Mari's come up in November. We laugh about not being as young as we used to be! The youngest ones are no longer in their 40s and the older ones are starting to turn the page into the 60s.
 
I thought what Jeff White wrote several weeks ago was especially good, no matter how old we are. What a neat reality:
 
I will be the same. Even when your hair has
turned gray, I will take care of you.
    ~~ Isaiah 46:4
    Growing old can be dangerous. The trail is treacherous and the pitfalls are many. One is wise to be prepared. You know it’s coming. It’s not like God kept the process a secret. It’s not like you are blazing a trail as you grow older. It’s not as if no one has ever done it before. Look around you. You have ample opportunity to prepare and ample case studies to consider. If growing old catches you by surprise, don’t blame God. He gave you plenty of warning. He also gave you plenty of advice.
Your last chapters can be your best. Your final song can be your greatest. It could be that all of your life has prepared you for a grand exit. God’s oldest have always been among his choicest.
 
 
Printable Issue 658  Today is Wednesday, October 26th, 2005; Karen's Korner #658
Right now I am in a Bible Study with some gals on Monday nights. Our study book is titled "Experiencing the Holy Spirit" by Larry Keefauver.
 
A couple of sentences from this week's study said, "The only One who has been to our future is God. The devil doesn't know our future. Psychics cannot predict the future. Only God has been there, and only He knows what the future holds....
 
"Many people seem to fear the future. They worry about it, save for it, plan for it, and try to ensure against future calamity...God holds your future safely and securely in His hands. So why are you worried?"
 
And then the writer had us read Matthew 6:27 - 34 which tells about the birds of the air and how they don't, and can't, take care of themselves, but depend solely on God for their daily needs. And how we are so much more valuable to God than the birds or the grassy fields. Why should we worry about what we eat? drink? wear? God knows knows what we need. Talk to Him about it. He will help you to enjoy both the sunshine and the rain that may come your way today. And He will do the same thing tomorrow!
 
Printable Issue 659  Today is Thursday, October 27th, 2005; Karen's Korner #659
A good "Chicken Soup for the Soul" story, in light of the World Series ending and then moving on to wrestling season. Pretty lengthy but worth the read if you have the time:
 
You Make the Difference
By Jack Hannah

     Being told by the second doctor that my career in professional baseball was over was a mule-kick in the gut.  I was coming off my best year in AAA ball, one step from the "big show."  I led the league in most appearances (fifty-two) and had an ERA of 3.30 for the season.  There was talk that I would be called up before the end of the season.  Every day was a day of anticipation and happiness...except for the time I spent with the team doctor and orthopedic specialists.  In those visits, the talk was about "hanging it up."  Two surgeries hadn't fixed the problem in my throwing arm.  I was dependent on more frequent and bigger doses of cortisone.  My twenty-year dream was ending in a blaze of disappointment and self-pity.
     I returned home to Fresno, California, morose and petulant. Linda, my wife of two and one-half years, wasn't fazed by the end of baseball; she only wanted me to be happy again.  She reminded me that God was in charge of our lives, that we had lived wonderful lives thus far by trusting him and we should continue to trust that something better was ahead.  She suggested I apply for a teaching job, asking the question, "Why don't you devote your life to helping young people develop theirs?"
     Noble idea, certainly, but it didn't strike me as equivalent to the excitement of pro ball.  Feeling forced to do something, I applied for the job and got it.
     Still chafing from self-inflicted brooding, I reported to work and, not surprisingly, was asked to coach three sports - football and baseball, in which I was experienced and felt confident, and wrestling, about which I knew zero, zip, zilch.  I might have been able to plead my way out of the wrestling assignment, but I didn't even try.  Feeling glum, I chose to view it as fate twisting on me again, forcing me to "take my medicine."  Only later would I see that God's hand was guiding.
     I knew I couldn't fool the young kids who turned out for the wrestling team.  The greenest one of them knew a ton more about wrestling than I did.  So I told the truth: the school didn't have the money to hire a bona fide wrestling coach; I was it, and I would need their help.
     The boys accepted their plight better than I expected.  They instituted a system in which the better wrestlers taught the newer guys the moves.  My contribution was rounding up a nationally ranked talent, Ed Davies, from a nearby university to assist me, promising him half my pay.
     Between telling them the truth at the start and being willing to split my pay to bring in some help, the team right away showed their appreciation.  We formed a good group - energetic, focused, learning at every turn - but only one wrestler, Alan Katuin, qualified for the biggest match of the season.
     Alan's opponent was Major Edwards, an undefeated, more experienced wrestler from a larger school.  Both were known for their outstanding physical conditioning and overall ability, but Edwards was favored to win by a pin; he was simply more experienced.
     Alan was motivated, intelligent and focused.  Quiet by nature, he seldom spoke during the prematch preparations in the locker room.  Thus, I was surprised when he came to me before the Edwards match.  "Where is Coach Davies?" he asked.
     "He had an emergency," I said, "and won't be able to be here."  Feeling insecure, I added, "But he believes in you, as I do."
     An official poked his head in the locker room.  "Ready?" he said.  "You're up."
     We were ushered into the gymnasium - packed to the rafters, dimly lit, a spotlight keyed on the mat.  My guts turned to ice.  I hadn't felt such a rush of adrenaline since pitching a four-hit shutout against the number-one-ranked USC Trojans in a NCAA regional championship.  The fourteen strikeouts that day didn't mean more than Alan's match today.
     Suddenly, Alan stopped, grabbed my forearm, and in his soft, calm manner said, "Coach, do you think I can win?  Have you got any advice?"
     I stood speechless for what seemed a long time.  "Alan," I said, knowing now was no time to start lying, "you know more about wrestling than I do.  You know that.  But I know your heart.  I believe in you.  If you wrestle as you always have, you can win."
     What ensued was the match of the tournament.  The crowd was in it from the start, making a din, adding to the excitement.  Alan lost three to two.
     I was an emotional wreck.  I felt, as did most of the audience, that the referee had failed to award points to Alan because Edwards, after gaining the lead, wisely employed a tactic known as "stalling."  I felt I should have been able to give Alan some tactical advice that would have helped, but I couldn't.
     As the referee closed the match with the traditional raising of the victor's arm, I felt another mule-kick in the gut.  It didn't subside as I watched Alan go over to Edwards and congratulate him.  The loss could have made Alan bitter, but he showed no resentment, no sour grapes.
     He then walked over to me and said, "Thank you, Coach."  No apology, no excuse; just a firm handshake and the look of a winner in his eyes.  I felt tears welling in mine.  I became afraid I would embarrass him if I showed such strong emotion.
     This was Alan's only defeat of the season.  In the days to come, I watched him closely.  He never brooded.  He was a role model for everyone on the team, including his rookie coach.
     Alan continued to gain both strength and "mat smarts," and became the dominant wrestler in the central section in his senior year.  He went on to Fresno State University, where he continued to impress his opponents and coaches with his exemplary character and superb skills.
     What Alan did that night - extending his hand to me with a sincere "Thank you, Coach," even in a loss— - lit a fire in my belly that still burns today, thirty-three years later.  His example inspired me to commit to coaching, to accept the challenges, as well as the rewards, of making a difference in people's lives.
     The experience transformed my life by showing me the direct impact one can make.  There have been low times, sure, mostly when I let the memory of a lost dream rise up like foul smoke, clouding the view of what I can do to make a difference.  These lapses are short-lived, never close to blowing the flame out.  I just remember Alan Katuin's grace and maturity.
     God brought to me a young man of character whose unerring sense of what is important guided me to healthy living again - a life of giving, of making a difference.
     All I can say, and do say every day, is "Thank you, Linda.  Thank you, Alan.  Thank you, Lord."

Printable Issue 660  Today is Friday, October 28th, 2005; Karen's Korner #660
Remember the childhood game of 'hide and seek'? One guy was it and counted to some number, while the others went to hide?
 
One person was the hunter. All the others were trying hard not to be found. It was a "we versus them" contest. Somebody was the winner; somebody else was the loser and became 'it' for the next game.
 
God has a game of 'hide and seek', which all of us play, too. He is hidden from us and He wants us to seek Him. Big difference in this game, though is that God wants to be found. He even goes out of His way to help us find Him, when we decide to do the 'seeking'.
 
When we get serious about finding God, it is a 'win-win' situation: we wind up ALL winners! What kind of a great game is that!!
 
Jeremiah 29:14 (Living Bible) says:  "Yes, says the Lord, I will be found by you, and I will end your slavery and restore your fortunes, and gather you out of the nations where I sent you and bring you back home again to your own land."
Printable Issue 661  Today is Monday, October 31st, 2005; Karen's Korner #661
 
Saturday was another nice fall day in Iowa. Good day to be outdoors. Our son-in-law, Tim, took our 20-month-old grandson, Luke, outside to play for a little bit. They have a huge city park about 1/2 block north of their home. Every chance he gets, Luke likes to go there. Swinging is his favorite.
 
Tim had decided today would be a good day to walk to the park. Lots of times they take the stroller, so Luke had decided he was going to ride in the jogging stroller to get there.
 
The contest of wills began. Sometimes Luke gets to do what he "suggests". But today dad had made the decision. Luke began to register his "complaint" and proceeded to cry and "have a fit" for about 20 minutes, dad said. "We are either going to walk to the park or we will have to go inside," Tim told Luke. Since Luke chose not to walk, they went back indoors.
 
Tim and Jamie know that they have a nice little boy on their hands, but they also know who they want to "run" the family for the next 17 years and Luke isn't the one that was chosen!!
 
He will get to go to the park another day and sometimes he will even ride there. But not Saturday!
 
Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for the reminder you gave me through Luke. Sometimes not only do I want what I want, when I want it, I also want to get it MY way. Remind me that you are my Heavenly Father and that you always know what is best for me, and that there might be more than one way to "get to the parks" in my life. Forgive me when I have a fit when I don't get my way. Remind me that I don't run the world. It's a job I really don't want, because I don't know and see the whole picture of what is good for me and what isn't! I want what you want for me.........just for today!  Amen.