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April 2006 Archives

Printable Issue 771  Today is Monday, April 3rd, 2006; Karen's Korner #771
Happy April; happy spring! May God richly bless you today!!
 
As you can probably tell, I enjoy the emails which I receive from email minister friend Jeff White (no, I don't know him; never met him; probably never will!). Some of them I hang on to and reread later. Today's I am share with you, I received a couple of days after Thanksgiving:
 
 

God, examine me and know my heart;
test me and know my nervous thoughts.

Psalm 139:23

    

     Nervous thoughts, what are those? 

     Is it like the verse in Mark 9:24, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief?"  We all have those moments of doubt.  We all wonder if God is still there, or even if he was.  At the very least we wonder how he, the creator of the world, can take time out to care about me. 

     Is it like the time my brother blurted something out and then said “Did I say that out loud”?  The thoughts we think are so buried that even God can’t see them.  The thoughts we don’t want to think and need to have purged from our hearts and minds.

     Is it just the whimper in the night, the fear coming to the surface when we feel alone, abandoned?  The times when we just need to be held by someone. 

 Whatever your nervous thoughts are, turn them over to God.  Ask him to examine you, test you and know you.  Pray to him, talk to him, and worship him.  Wherever you are, turn to him.  Jesus can turn a commute into a pilgrimage. You needn’t leave your office or kneel in your kitchen. Just pray where you are. Let the kitchen or the classroom become a chapel. Give God your whispering thoughts.

Printable Issue 772  Today is Tuesday, April 4th, 2006; Karen's Korner #772
As a computer whiz, you have probably gotten this hot email in the past few days:
 
On Wednesday of this week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.
 
Yesterday I was working to send my daily "Karen's Korner". Most of them are sent through my web site, designed by our son-in-law:  www.karens-korner.com . If you ever go the site, on the left side at the bottom, you will see the words "I'm Karen". I can add and subtract lots of information by pressing that icon and entering my password.
 
That is how I send each daily writing. Until yesterday. I pressed the key, entered my password. Nothing happened. It asked for my password again. And again. And again. I typed. And retyped. Carefully. Maybe I was spelling my "word" wrong. Nothing.
 
I would have wondered and worried. I have no idea how to "fix it". But I know the designer of the site. All I would have to do is call Tim and ask him to work on it. Before I made the call, I tried one more thing. Turned off the computer and started it again. This time it worked!
 
After my little task, I got started thinking about God. He is the designer and creator of the universe; down to the creator of each of our lives. He knows how everything "works". So if we can't get things to "work" like we think they are supposed to work; if our lives don't "run" like they should, we need to get in contact with the Designer and Creator and He will make things "work" or "run" like He intended!
 
Thought for the day:  "No need to worry, God can fix it! He specializes in fixing broken things!" 
 
Psalms 23:1: "Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!"
Printable Issue 773  Today is Wednesday, April 5th, 2006; Karen's Korner #773
 This is a short thought sent to me by Kevin Rayner who writes an infrequent writing titled "Off the Church Walls".  Just in case you needed something to remind you to smile or laugh today:
 
Laughter
 
God created the gift of laughter. The Bible includes dozens of humorous situations: smelly shepherds who become kings and deliverers, a disobedient Jonah in the belly of a fish with only two possibilities to get out, a talking donkey, and an army of soldiers walking silently around Jericho.
 
Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us that there is a time to weep and a time to laugh. Jesus himself says, "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh" (Luke 6:21b).
 
When God fulfilled his promise and gave Sarah a son when she was well past the age of child-bearing and her husband, Abraham, was a hundred years old, Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me" (Genesis 21:6).

Ask God to help you look on the light side of your situation this week.
Printable Issue 774  Today is Thursday, April 6th, 2006; Karen's Korner #774
As we approach the Easter holiday, we tend to look back at the events surrounding Jesus' arrest and crucifixion.
 
Matthew 27:15 - 17 says, "Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to realeasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notrorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, 'Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Christ?''
 
Continuing on in Matthew vs. 21 & 22:  "They said, 'Barabbas!' Pilate said to them, 'What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?' They all said to him, ' Let Him be crucified!'"
 
If we have been around church and Sunday School very long, we know the rest of the story. Jesus was crucified; Barabbas was let go. The short heading in my Bible around these about twelve verses says, "Taking the Place of Barabbas".
 
As I read these few verses this morning, I thought, "Barabbas was the first person that Jesus took someone else's place. He took the place of all the rest of us, too! I wonder what Barabbas did his new freedom. Did it change his life or did he return to a life of crime. And what about you and me? Because of Jesus, what are we going to do with our today? Return to our lives of self-centeredness and maybe self-destruction. Or are we going to enjoy new freedoms and new opportunities to live, love, and laugh."
 
Like Barabbas, the choice is ours!
Printable Issue 775  Today is Friday, April 7th, 2006; Karen's Korner #775
A good story as we approach the Easter season; nothing beats love in action:
 
The Easter Bunny
By Beth H. Arbogast

     When I was a little girl, every Sunday my family of six would put on their best clothes and go to Sunday School and then church.  The kids in elementary school would all meet together to sing songs, and then later divide into groups based on their ages.
     One Easter Sunday, all the kids arrived with big eyes and big stories about what the Easter Bunny had brought.  While all of the kids shared their stories with delight, one young boy, whom I shall call Bobby, sat sullenly.  One of the teachers, noticing this, said to him, “And what did the Easter Bunny bring you?”  He replied, “My mom locked the door on accident so the Easter Bunny couldn’t get inside.”
     This sounded like a reasonable idea to all of us kids, so we kept on going with the stories.  My mom knew the true story, though.  Bobby’s mom was a single parent, and she suspected that they just couldn’t afford the Easter Bunny.
     After Sunday school was over, everyone went off to church.  When my dad came to meet us my mom announced that we were going home instead.  At home, she explained that to make Bobby feel better, we were going to pretend to be the Easter Bunny and make a basket of our goodies for him and leave it at church.  We all donated some of our candies to the basket, and headed back up to church.  There, mom unzipped his coat, hung the basket over the hanger, and zipped up the coat and attached a note.

Dear Bobby, 
I’m sorry I missed your house last night.  Happy Easter.
Love, 
The Easter Bunny
Printable Issue 776  Today is Monday, April 10th, 2006; Karen's Korner #776
A Palm Sunday poem shared by Dorothy Riekens:
 
A glorious dawn, Jerusalem awakes as bells ring
From tower and roofs the banners fling
From the slopes of Olivet a King was on the way
As they rejoiced on that blessed Palm Sunday.
 
Many spread their garments; hosannas they sing
And many followed giving praise to their King
Others cut palm leaves and strewed the way
With love they have a blessed Palm Sunday.
 
Today as we enter our church of choice to pray
Let us give thanks for that blessed Palm Sunday
On that day the bells of heaven did ring
Because Jesus Christ was the King of Kings.
 
-- by Glenna M. Baugh
Printable Issue 777  Today is Tuesday, April 11th, 2006; Karen's Korner #777
A couple of short thoughts from my "Mother Theresa Daily Calendar" for this season:
 
*  "Remember that the Passion of Christ ends in the joy of the resurrection of Christ. When you feel in your own heart the suffering of Christ, remember the resurrection has to come, the joy of Easter has to dawn."
 
* "May the joy of the risen Jesus Christ be with you, to bring joy into your very soul. The good God has given himself to us. During his life here on earth, Jesus wanted to share his joy with his apostles, "That my joy may be in you." Joy was the password of the first Christmas. "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say to you, rejoice."
 
* The Cross will be for us as it was for Christ:  proof of the greatest love."
Printable Issue 778  Today is Wednesday, April 12th, 2006; Karen's Korner #778
You gotta love Jeff White and his short thought daily devotionals. Here is one I saved from several months ago. Easter time appropriate:
 

When Jesus was raised from the dead
it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end.

Romans 6:5–6 msg

 

     You Gotta Love it!  “It was the signal of the end of death-as-the-end.”

     God says you’ve won!  Jesus rose and that signals the end of fear of sickness; that signals the end of fear of tribulation; that signals the end of fear of DEATH.  Why, there is no more death, just a time of change.

     Because we know he was raised, we can now believe the rest of the story of Jesus.

Printable Issue 779  Today is Thursday, April 13th, 2006; Karen's Korner #779
I am working on our Sunday School lesson for Sunday. Here is a portion of the Easter story.
 
Matthew 27:45 - 53 says, "That afternoon, the whole earth was covered with darkness for three hours, from noon until three o'clock. About three o'clock, Jesus shouted, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine and put it on a stick and held it up to him to drink. But the rest said, 'Leave him alone. Let's see whether Elijah will come and save him.' Then Jesus shouted out again, dismissed his spirit and died.
 
And look! The curtain secluding the Holiest Place in the Temple was split apart from the top to bottom; and the earth shook, and rocks broke, and tombs opened, and many godly men and women who had died came back to life again. After Jesus' resurrection, they left the cemetery and went to Jerusalem, and appeared to many people there."
 
Bible Commentary - "Christ's death was accompanied by a least four miraculous events:  darkness, the splitting of the curtain in the Temple, an earthquake, and dead people rising from their tombs. Jesus' death, therefore, could not have gone unnoticed. Everyone knew something significant had happened."
 
Karen's Comments - "Anyone but me surprised about the people coming back to life again at the time Jesus died? I have probably read it more than once, but it surprises me. I checked out what the other gospel writers of Luke, Mark, and John wrote. They didn't record that part. Was it because it was starting to become complace around Jesus? Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and a couple of others. Think of it! Dark in mid-day; a curtain torn from top to bottom for no reason, an earthquake, and to top it all of.......dead people walking back to town. Sounds like something too good to be true! They tried to kill Jesus and his friends. Didn't work!
 
And it doesn't work today either! When we touch Jesus, He removes the dying particles and restores our lives. He gives us a new life. Every day; not just on Easter!"
Printable Issue 780  Today is Friday, April 14th, 2006; Karen's Korner #780
It's Good Friday and I don't have to go to a church service if I don't want to!
 
And I don't have to read the Bible, or pray, or help a friend in need!
 
Nobody can make me go to church on Easter or any other day for that matter!
 
I don't have to say nice things, do nice things, or think nice things about anyone else,
 
God doesn't make me!
 
He doesn't tell me I have to do anything!!
 
He only asks!
 
 
Would I accept Him and what His Son did for me on the cross?
 
Will I worship Him?
 
Will I serve Him?
 
Will I serve others?
 
Will I praise Him, praise others?
 
 
My "yes" answers, He blesses and, in turn, blesses me.
 
My "no" answers, He understands and loves me anyway.
 
I miss out and lose God's best!
 
 
But the choice is always mine!!
 
Never commanded or demanded.
 
Only asked!
 
 
~~ Karen Weld
Printable Issue 781  Today is Monday, April 17th, 2006; Karen's Korner #781
 One day after Easter. So now what?
 
We have a cross that sits on our kitchen table during the Easter season. It has two, about one inch sticks, latched together by a leather shoestring. It stands about two feet tall, secured at the base into a piece of weathered wood. Around the base are a handful of varying sized stones and a stem with some long thorns on it. Looks pretty good; makes a statement about the season we have just celebrated.
 
A couple of days ago I noticed a small set of salt and pepper shakers near the "display". My first thought was to move them. "They don't belong there," was my thinking.
 
Then I thought, "Hmm, at the foot of the cross, where everything and everyone belongs. Our toys. Our treasures. Our triumphs. Our tragedies. Our tears. Our talents. Our thoughts. Our temptations. Our tests. Our time. And, yes, my discount store salt and pepper shaker set."
 
"Father God, just because Easter season is over and I will probably put away my cross in a day or two, help me to not move away from the cross. Help me to remain at Your Feet with everything..........all the time. In the Name of Your Son who paid a pretty high price to set us all free. Amen."
Printable Issue 782  Today is Tuesday, April 18th, 2006; Karen's Korner #782
A couple of short thoughts, inset in my "Women of Destiny Bible":
 
***
 
"You have just as much right to step into the presence of God Almighty
as Jesus has."
 
~~ John G. Lake
 
***
 
"Be careful not to allow your mind to dwell much on your weaknesses and unworthiness.
These excessive feelings spring from a root of pride and love for our own
excellence."
 
~~ Madame Jeanne Guyon
 
***
 
"The Lord has not forgotten you. He who counts the stars
will not forget His children. It is as if you were the only
creature He ever fashioned, or the only saint
He ever loved."
 
~~ Charles H. Spurgeon
 
***
Printable Issue 783  Today is Wednesday, April 19th, 2006; Karen's Korner #783

It was fifty years ago yesterday that my grandma passed away. I have written about her before in Karen's Korner. In fact a portion of the story below was a Karen's Korner a few years ago and in one of my earlier printed booklets.

 

I entered this writing in this year's Iowa Mother's writing contest. It was selected to be entered in the national contest in its category. It is pretty long. But if you have the time, you might find it to be of interest. She was one neat, little old lady!

 

GRANDMA BACK

 

Maybe it is because I am now a grandma of two. Or maybe it is because we are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of her death, that I have been thinking about my great-grandma, Catherine Back, a tiny-framed lady with a strong spirit and a determined attitude.

             Because she lived to be ninety-five years old, I remember her too. She died when I was ten. In her later years, she lived in the small town of Fertile, Iowa (pop. 385).  We lived three miles south of town on our family’s farm. Because of her longevity, she was known to most in our community as "Grandma Back". It was fun in elementary school to have other kids talk about "Grandma Back" and silently think, "But she is really MY grandma!"

             Grandma Back and her husband were both born in Denmark, They knew each other and dated in Denmark. He moved to America and two years later she came to this new land of opportunity. They were married and settled near Council Bluffs, Iowa. 

In 1889, their family had grown to include five children -- Mary, eleven; Tade, nine; my grandma Petrea, seven; and two little boys. Grandma Back was to have another baby any day. Just before the baby was born, the Back family contracted the dreadful disease - typhoid fever, for which there was no known cure. Both of the little boys died. The new baby girl, Christina, was born, but six days later her father...my great-grandfather died too.

            Grandma Back was thirty-eight years old, a mother of four---one a brand new baby. She knew of no other relatives or friends in her new country and knew very little English. She had no education in American schools and there were no safety nets provided by the government, such as Social Security, food stamps, or medical care.

             Grandma Petrea used to tell that for the next few years they heated and lived in only one room of their house. They had a few chickens and sold as many of the eggs as they could spare. Petrea and her brother Tade would go to people's homes with their wagon and pick up laundry, which their mother would hand wash in their kitchen sink. She would dry and iron the clothes for the kids to return to their neighborhood owners. She also told that many meals consisted of bread, which they would dunk in tea or coffee.

Grandma Back would sometimes tell her children she couldn't understand why God had allowed all this to happen to their family, but she always had faith that God would show them the way day by day. And He did!

Later some people, who knew the Backs in Denmark, wrote their family a letter asking them to move to Northern Iowa. This couple had no children and they were getting older. They lived on a 40-acre farm, southwest of Fertile, Iowa. If Grandma Back and her children would move in with them and help care for them in their declining years, she would inherit the farm when they died. My Grandma Petrea remembered the joy of the move. Now, her mother could grow vegetables, raise some livestock, milk her cow. The country school was only a half-mile down the road. My grandma would tell that she could remember everyone working hard and that they didn’t have much money, but compared to the few years after her father had died, they felt very well blessed and taken care of.

            I recall how everyone loved Grandma Back! She was always more concerned for others, than she was about herself. In her late sixties, she sold her farm to a grandchild and moved in to a modest home in Fertile. She put her farm sale funds in the Fertile bank, which failed during the depression. It never reopened its doors. Grandma lost all deposits! No matter, she had her house. She had her health. She had her hobbies and abilities to take care of herself and others. She had survived before and she would survive again!

One of her hobbies in her later years was knitting. She had the reputation of knitting enough mittens for everyone in our schools. Once a year the governor’s car could be found in front of her house getting his yearly supply of mittens to share with young people in his life. She also would take old topcoats and men’s suits, cut the material in to strips, and make heavy braided rugs. These were made in the days before the word “recycling” was a household word.

Grandma Back never owned or drove a car; she always walked wherever she went. She would walk the three-mile trek out to our farm home when she was moving through her 80s.

I was seven when my sister, Jill, was born. I can still see Grandma Back, with her wire-rimmed glasses and white-haired bun at the back of her head, coming to our farm home. She was now in her early nineties. She took a bill of some denomination, rolled it up and put it into our new baby’s hand. This was her gift to Jill, as she handed off some of her meager resource to another generation.

Grandma Back had the reputation that she refused to say anything BAD about anyone. If she couldn't think of anything nice to say, she would say nothing at all. Sometimes she would remove herself from negative conversations. The reason, she'd tell, was that God had been so good to her!

In the later few years of her life, Grandma Back suffered from some memory loss. As a young child, I thought, "How could she say that about God? She must have had dementia for a LONG time!"

Life continues to teach me more and as I learn more, I know that Grandma Back wasn't celebrating all the GOOD things that happened to her along the way. Instead, she was ENJOYING a relationship with a God who would take care of her and her situation. Any situation----all of the time!

Even though she’d met with hard circumstances and was alone with her small children in a foreign land with no way to support her family, she never lost confidence in God. She prayed and believed God could help her out of her situation. She was always grateful for the life He had given her on her small farm.  She did it all with hard work, faith, belief, and the help of other family members and friends.  She did it without Social Security and other government programs, doctors, pills, or counselors.

Maybe that is why the Bible calls God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit names like "Great Physician, Healer, Counselor, Father, Bridegroom, . . . . ." There was no one and nothing else on which she could depend. She never remarried, living as a widow for nearly 60 years.

Because of who she was and what she did, Grandma Back’s family continues to keep her memory alive with their stories and memories of a truly remarkable woman. And her legacy continues from one century to the next.

 

Grandma Catherine Back – Born: October 5, 1860

 Died: April 18, 1956

Printable Issue 784  Today is Thursday, April 20th, 2006; Karen's Korner #784
This email was forwarded to me by Shirley Southard. It is appropriate in light of the tax season and our scurrying to mail our taxes the first part of the week.
 
TAXES
 
A tax assesor came one day to a poor Christian to determine the amount of taxes he would have to pay. The following conversation took place:
 
"What property do you possess?" asked the assessor.
 
"I am a very wealthy man," replied the Christain.
 
"List your possessions, please," the assessor instructed.
 
The Christian said, "First, Ihave everlasting life, John 3:16. Second, I have a mansion in heaven, John 14:2. Third, I have the peace that passes all understanding, Philippians 4:7. Fourth, I have joy unspeakable, I Peter 1:8. Fifth, I have divine love which never fails, I Corinthians 13:8. Sixth, I have a faithful wife, Proverbs 31:10. Seventh, I have healthy, happy obedient children, Exodus 20:12. Eighth, I have a true, loyal friend, Proverbs 18:24. Ninth, I have songs in the night, Psalms 42:8. Tenth, I have a crown of life, James 1:12."
 
The tax assessor closed his book, and said, "Truly you are a very rich man, but your property is not subject to taxation."
 
I pray that all of us will have this kind of tax free "wealth".
 
And that you have a blessed rich day.
 
~~
Printable Issue 785  Today is Friday, April 21st, 2006; Karen's Korner #785
A writing shared with me via email this morning by Shirley Choat:
 
The angel said to the woman, "Go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead." Matt. 28:5,7
 
  A Sunday School teacher was introducing a lesson to her class on evangelism. She asked them, "If someone walked into our class today and gave each of you a $100 bill, how many people would you tell?" She was hoping they would answer: "I'd tell everyone."
 
    One student responded."I'd keep quiet as someone might take it away from me."
 
  That's one worry no Christian should ever have about the Good News of Jesus Christ; we don't lose it by sharing it. In fact, the more we share the Gospel, the more we grow in faith.
 
  Just as the angel and the risen Christ directed the women at the open tomb to "go and tell," so we also are to freely share this wondrous news. And what a great story we have to tell: Christ is risen from the dead! He died to pay for the sins of the world. Because He lives, we can be sure of eternal life.
 
  That's still news to the billions in the world today. If someone began giving away $100, or even $10, to everyone at our church, most of us would tell everyone we met. Why then do we hesitate to share the greater Good News of  eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ?
 
 
PRAYER - "LORD, help me to share Your Good News with everyone. Amen."
Printable Issue 786  Today is Monday, April 24th, 2006; Karen's Korner #786
When people forward me things and I use them for Karen's Korner, I generally like to thank the person who did that. But this one, I can't recall where it came from. Like many forwards now, it came complete with backgrounds and background music, but that doesn't work for this format. Picture all of that in your mind:
 
The Beacon on the Hill
A Lighthouse Unto Thy Feet
 
Jesus is a Lighthouse
A Tower in the dark
The one who holds the lantern
A great enduring Spark.
 
Like a flame that burns eternal
He's a Torch, forever true
The One who holds the answers
When I don't know what to do.
 
He's the One who holds the candle
Over angry waves so steep
He's the lifeline that doth save me
In a raging sea, so deep.
 
He's a strong and steady Pilot
An answer to my plea
The One who throws the anchor
When I'm drifting out to sea.
 
He's a brightly shining Beacon
Always steady like a rock
A Fortress when I'm weary
A Harbor on life's dock.
 
Jesus is a Lighthouse
In Him, I will abide
A hand when I am weary
A never ending Tide.
 
~ Marilyn Ferguson
Printable Issue 787  Today is Tuesday, April 25th, 2006; Karen's Korner #787
An email pass around forwarded to me by Dorothy Riekens:
 
"Fizzit, Momma!"
 
A friend of mine recently shared a little "parable in real life" that God sent her several years ago. When her son was quite small, he had a small stuffed gorilla that he wagged around with him EVERYWHERE, and I do mean everywhere he went. She could sometimes sneak it away for a quick laundering during nap time. But heaven help her if her son awoke before his friend "Rilla" was out of the dryer! As such "loveys" will do , Rilla's seams gradually began to weaken and his stuffing began to leak.
 
As she tells it, "Poor old Rilla was in desperate need of some corrective surgery, not to mention a stuffing transplant. One day, John waddled up to me and held up his battered, beloved Rilla and said, 'Mommy, Rilla's broked!' I explained that I would be happy to fix Rilla up, a little new stuffing, some seam reinforcement, and he would be all better again."
 
"John held Rilla out toward me and said, 'Fizzit, Mommy!' But, when I reached down to take the little gorilla in my hands, I found that it had a two-year-old firmly attached to it. As all parents know, a tug-of-war with a two-year-old is frequently a losing proposition, and it ALWAYS is accompanied by loud cries and copious tears. Finally, in exasperation, I said, 'I can't fix it until you let go of it!' And just at that moment, the Spirit of God tapped me on the shoulder, as it were, and I realized that God was waiting for me to let go of several things, too."
 
This is one aspect of Christianity that I suspect will always be a struggle for many of us, "tis not I, but Christ who lives in me." It's so hard for us to get out of His way and let him "fizzit" in His own good time, because we're living in the present moment and He is living in eternity.
 
Waiting on the Lord whether it is for healing, for understanding, or a much needed job, is not an easy task. But, I truly believe it is essential for all of us to be as patient with Him as He is with us.
Printable Issue 788  Today is Wednesday, April 26th, 2006; Karen's Korner #788
I have to confess I am becoming a "techno-geek", of sorts!
 
A couple of months ago we purchased a digital camera. I read the book but didn't understand parts of it. My birthday is next week and my husband, Jim, has already given my a lap top computer (our two sons-in-laws did the research and purchasing, Jim paid the bill!), as his gift to me. Now I have two things I don't know how to use.
 
On Monday afternoon I drove up to Mason City to an "old people's class" on how to use digital cameras. We learned, among other things, how to download our photos. I had taken along my new computer so I would know how to use my own "stuff". When the instructor and her "early twenties" helper came to work with me, I heard words like "WOW!" and "I have never seen a computer like this one before!"
 
I must have something pretty nice! I decided I had better learn what it is I now own! What good will it do me to have nice things and leave them on the shelf or in a box. As soon as I get done typing this note, I am going to play with my camera and computer some more.
 
If I've got it, I want to learn how to use it!
 
It makes me stop and think about my Christian life and faith. God has given me so many things, so many opportunities. But do I really know what it is He has given me? Do I take the time to learn, to play, to work, to share, to enjoy what it is He has "purchased" for me?
 
If I've got it, I just as well use it!
 
Father God, Thank You for all of the gifts which you have given to me and to everyone who is reading this note . Thank You that we possess extra dimensions in this life and the one that is coming. Thank You for Your help, hope, and spirit. Thank You for the plans that you have for each one of us. Help us to continue to learn the new things you have in store for us every day.  In the name of Your Son Jesus who purchased us back with a pretty high price tag. Amen.
Printable Issue 789  Today is Thursday, April 27th, 2006; Karen's Korner #789
 
This Karen's Korner was passed along to me from Lavonne Isenberger:
SOMETIMES...

We must be hurt in order to grow,

We must fail in order to know,

We must lose in order to gain.

Some lessons are learned best only through pain.

SOMETIMES...

Our vision clears only after our eyes are washed with tears.

We have to be broken, so we can be tender,

We are sick so we can rest and think better

  on things more important than work or fun,

We are taken for a trip near death, so we can assess how we've run.

SOMETIMES...

We have to suffer, so we can know God's provision,

We have to feel another's pain, so we can have a sense of mission.

So take heart, if you don't understand today,

Instead of grumbling, ask God what He means to say,

In order to learn you must endure, and learn to see the bigger picture.

In order to grow, you must stand and look beyond the hurt,

Trust in God's loving hand that takes what is Good, and gives what is Best,

And on this blessed thought, rest your anxious heart with all the questions,

God's hand only gives what his loving heart dictates,

SOMETIMES...

The Lord calms the storm,

SOMETIMES...

He lets the storm rage... and calms His child...

Better go through the storm with Him,

Than smooth waters without Him...

Be Blessed by Him today! 
Printable Issue 790  Today is Friday, April 28th, 2006; Karen's Korner #790
This is a daily "Jeff White" from the end of March. I keep some of his treasures and enjoy re-reading them again. This one is for someone who might reading this today and are second guessing themselves or maybe not feeling or thinking thoughts that are as worthy as they should be:
 

He humbled himself and was fully
obedient to God, even when that caused
his death—death on a cross.

Philippians 2:8

 

But I don’t want to witness to strangers.  I don’t’ want to give up pleasures of the world.  God, I want you on my terms!

 

Then we turn our gaze skyward and see the cross and see what the son gave up for us.  And in the distance we see God, waiting. 

 

“God would give up his only Son before he’d give up on you.”