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May 2006 Archives

Printable Issue 791  Today is Monday, May 1st, 2006; Karen's Korner #791
I received this email from Judy Watne who had gotten it from "a man I met in the Ft. Dodge Correctional Facility. He sends me a devotional everyday. He is now out of prison and really living for Jesus!  Just an awesome Christian!" Judy volunteers sometimes at the facility. It is a pass-along, but really meaningful in light of his past:
 
Psalms 23 (for work):
 
The Lord is my real boss, and I shall not want,
He gives me peace, when chaos is all around me.
He gently reminds me to pray and do all things without murmuring and complaining.
He reminds me that He is my source and not my job.
He restores my sanity every day and guides my decisions that I might honor Him in all that I do.
Even though I face absurd amounts of emails, system crashes, urealisitc deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping co-workers, discrimminating supervisors, and an aging body that doesn't cooperate every morning, I still will not stop!
For He is with me!
His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through.
He raises me up, even when they fail to promote me.
He claims me as His own, even when the company threatens to let me go.
His Faithfulness and Love is better than any bonus check.
His retirement plan beats every 401K there is!
When it's all said and done, I'll be working for Him a whole lot longer and for that,
I BLESS HIS NAME!
Printable Issue 792  Today is Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006; Karen's Korner #792
A good day to praise God for who He is and what He does!
 
"I will proclaim your greatness, my God and King;
I will thank you forever and ever.
Everyday I will thank you;
I will praise you forever and ever.
 
The Lord is great and is to be highly praised;
His greatness is beyond understanding.
 
All your creatures, Lord, will praise you,
And all your people will give you thanks.
They will speak of the glory of your royal power
And tell of your might,
 So that everyone will know your mighty deeds
And the glorious majesty of your kingdeom.
Your rule is eternal and you are King forever.
 
I will always praise the Lord;
Let all His creatures praise His holy name forever."
 
~~ Psalms 145:1-3, 10-13, 21
Printable Issue 793  Today is Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006; Karen's Korner #793
Hey, today is my birthday! It is one that ends in "0" In case you are interested, I am the BIG 6-0!
 
As I was thinking about this day and life in general, I thought, "For most of us our lives are a book divided into four chapters of about 20 years each. Each chapter title begins with the letter L.
 
Chapter 1 -  LEARNING - (0 -20 years) - In this time period, we learn like crazy. If I could learn at the same speed as our grandson Luke, now 2, has learned in his first two years of life, I would be a genius! We go on to learn in our school days and our college years. We are learning!
 
Chapter 2 - LOVING (20 - 40 years ) - We take our life experences to date and share them with others; we fall in love! Sometimes we take a spouse; we add to our family with children, which we care for and love. We have learned from our past to love ourselves. We add more friends to our lives, which adds to our arsenal of love!
 
Chapter 3 - LAUNCHING (40 - 60 years) - We are moving at a more rapid pace through our lives. We launch our children in this phase. We launch into  various phases of our careers, or launch out of positions all together. We learn how to let go of some of things that life has given us in the past number of years.
 
Chapter 4 - LEAVING (60 - 80 years) - Get ready, here it comes! After all we have learned, loved, and launched, now we must get ready for the final chapter and leaving it alll behind! Sounds sort of climatic? The time period is a "downer", only if we don't know where we are going next? Are we making plans for the trip to heaven and a life that doesn't end? If that is the destination plans we have in mind, are we making a collection of those who we want to take with us??!!
 
Dear Father God, thank you for being my teacher! Thank you for making a difference in each chapter of my life as I have learned, loved, launched, and now as I turn the page to leave. Thank you that you are in charge of each of these chapters. Not only have you numbered the hairs on my head, you also have numbered my days. Thank you that you continue to give me tasks to do. Help me continue to add to the collection of people who I am taking with me to my next destination and destiny! Thanks for helping me to celebrate this milestone in my life and the future you have in store for me...and for each one of your children! In Jesus' Name, AMEN.
 
Printable Issue 794  Today is Thursday, May 4th, 2006; Karen's Korner #794
First of all thanks to all of you who helped me celebrate my birthday in every way yesterday. It was the greatest (I am still 60 today!). The number of cards, notes, e-cards, and email wishes were unbelievable. When I began to get some cards from people who would have had no way of knowing the date and year, I quizzed our daughter Jamie, who finally fessed up that she and her husband Tim (who designed my Karen's Korner web site) were able to use it to email people notice of the day. So thankyou, Jamie and Tim.
 
What was really surprising...I got a handful of birthday cards via snail mail on Saturday and Monday, none on Tuesday, and the mailbox was full yesterday, on the "real day". How can people judge the "right"day of card arrival? Must have been a God thing!
 
As I told friends who surprised me with a birthday breakfast yesterday, and I want to tell you, "Thanks for helping to make me who I am!"
 
Thank you, for who you are, and the difference you make in my life. I hope that I do the same for you.......with my thoughts, words, and deeds! May you be richly blessed.......
 
****
Today is National Day of Prayer. This is a prayer, in part, that my friend, Chris Lousias wrote and emailed to a handful of friends yesterday. I am sharing it, with her permission, in recognition of the celebration:
 

"Lord, we give to You the glory due Your name.  You are the only Righteous One.  Even though we strive for that much righteousness, we always fall short.  But You had mercy on us, You sent Your Son to die so that we may live.  Who can deny that much love?  Thank You, Jesus, for the cross.

 

Help us, Teacher, to put off gossip and to speak truthfully and with encouragement to our neighbors.  We ask for more of You showing in us through patience to influence one another in love.

 

Father God, as this nation walks further and further away from You, sneak in behind us and build up an army of soldiers for Christ so that we may take the enemy by storm from behind.  Let us give You the glory when we win this fight for our nation's teenagers who are being brainwashed and ill advised about the love that You have for them; about the fact that Your love and grace is the only way they can dodge the land mines this world has set for them.

 

I lift up all those who are infirmed Lord, may their faith in You get them through their storms.

 

I pray for our national, state and city leaders.  May they respect the authority You have given them and lead us honestly and under Your will.

Watch over and renew the Church leaders who follow Your will.  Those who don’t, Lord, have mercy on them until they see their errant ways and get back on the narrow path.

 

Keep Your loving hands on the poor, the neglected, the abused, the lonely, the lost until one of Your servants reaches out to them, out of their Christ-like heart and not because they have to.

 

Thank You, thank You, thank You Father Son and Holy Spirit.  I pray this and all the prayers I didn’t “verbalize” in the Name of Jesus, Amen."

Printable Issue 795  Today is Friday, May 5th, 2006; Karen's Korner #795
I received this pass along email from Bev Downs awhile ago. It is titled "The Physics Lesson":
 
A University professor at a well known institution of higher learning challenged his students with this question. "Did God create everything that exists?"

A student bravely replied, "Yes he did!"

"God created everything?" The professor asked.

"Yes sir, he certainly did," the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil. And, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then we can assume God is evil."

The student became quiet and did not answer the professor's hypothetical definition The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "May I ask you a question, professor?"

"Of course", replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"

"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?"
 
The other students snickered at the young man's question.

The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 F) is the total absence of heat;
and all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."

The student continued, "Professor, does darkness exist?"

The professor responded, "Of course it does."

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong, sir. Darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact, we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when
there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"

Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course, as I have already said. We see it everyday. It is in the daily examples of man's inhumanity to man It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist, sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.
Printable Issue 796  Today is Monday, May 8th, 2006; Karen's Korner #796
Do you believe in "seeing the unseen Christ"? Do you think often about "God things"? Do you believe in miracles?
 
When they happen to you, you are overwhelmed, excited, mystified, or shake your head in awe! Even if they have happened a number of times!
 
Want to hear my yesterday's God thing?
 
When we went to Australia and New Zealand, I took along a handful of several of the devotional booklets which I have written and give away. The people who we were traveling with enjoyed the copies and we spent some time during the trip, exchanging "God stories".
 
I have a "it happened to me" program which I have given to a number of churches and groups in the past handful of years. Marlene from northern Iowa, near the Minnesota border, asked if I would give the program to her church gals some time.
 
"Sure, just ask me and I will see if the time works out for me," I said. The date has been set for the June 8. Small country church. She hopes to attract 25 gals to the meeting.
 
In the past month or so, I have been in communication with a gal named Donna. She enjoys receiving Karen's Korners, she wrote. Later she learned that we might know one another from 30 plus years ago. I can't think who she is. So I asked for more details. Among other things, she lives sort of the same direction as Marlene.
 
As Marlene and I made plans for this upcoming meeting, I emailed, "Can I invite Donna to come?"
 
"Of course," was Marlene's reply. "Do you want to invite her or should I?"
 
"No, I can," I said. I had her email address, not the other kind.
 
So here's yesterday's reply from Donna:
 
"That's my church!"
 
She plans to be there.
 
I rest my case: 
 
"It's gotta be a God-thing!"
 
 
 
 
Printable Issue 797  Today is Tuesday, May 9th, 2006; Karen's Korner #797
This is a poem written by Elaine Bergen; it was entered in this year's Iowa Mothers' writing contest. It won its category and was entered in the national contest. I like it when people try their hand at writing what is in their hearts and minds.
 
I saved it for Mother's Day week to share with others:
 
 
                                    Mother's Hands
                                    By Elaine Bergan
 
                                    Mother's hands joined Dad's
                                    When wed long years ago.
                                    Their love brought children to their lives
                                    To nurture and love, as all parents know.
 
                                    Mom's hands were busy
                                    Caring for daily needs
                                    As children grew from babes to teens,
                                    Grateful for every child who succeeds.
 
                                    The years passed swiftly;
                                    The children now grown and married
                                    Mom's hands became grandmother's hands
                                    Enjoying babies once more carried.
 
                                    Mother's hands folded
                                    In prayer each morn and night
                                    Placing family in God's loving care
                                    Seeking guidance for them to do right.
 
                                    Hands, so worn and tired
                                    Now longing for a rest,
                                    Soon death will come as Heaven beckons,
                                    Faithfully trusting God for what's best.
 
                                    Mother's hands lie still
                                    As life on earth is o'er.
                                    But prayers for family still ascend
                                    To the altar beyond Heaven's door.
 
 
 
Printable Issue 798  Today is Wednesday, May 10th, 2006; Karen's Korner #798

This is a pass-along email that I received last week from Diana Barron. It's title is "Love Ya". People were told to pass it along to eight others. In the heading, I couldn't tell how many others Diana had forwarded it to. It only had my name. She had gotten it from Betsy Brown. Betsy had cheated; she forwarded to quite a few more.

Love Ya

One morning you will never wake up,

Do all your friends know you love them?

I was thinking....I could die today, tomorrow or next week,

And I wondered if I had wounds needing to be healed,

Friendships that needed rekindling or three words needing to be said.

Let every one of your friends know you love them,

Even if you think they don't love you back,

you would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do.

And just in case GOD calls me home before I see you again......

I Love ya!!

~~~

When I responded back to Diana, I said, "I love ya, too! And while I am at, I love me, too!"

She typed, "That is one thing that sometimes dismays me by so many Christian people, we have some how learned that it is okay to love others, but not to love ourselves. If we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we need to make sure that we love ourselves first. Then we will be able to love others!"

~~~

Today is a good day to love yourself, love others, love God (not necessarily in that order!); and don't forget to TELL them!!

 

 

 

Printable Issue 799  Today is Thursday, May 11th, 2006; Karen's Korner #799
This "Chicken Soup for the Soul" I have had for awhile and saved it for Mothers' Day week.
 
The World's Worst Mother
By Polly Anne Wise

After mothering me for thirty years, my mom stood in the kitchen of my home and announced these words, "I was the world's worst mother, and I am so sorry." She then proceeded to apologize for all the things that she did wrong in raising me. I realized that she was filled with guilt about the strict rules of her child-raising years, causing me to miss many school dances. She was mortified that she and my father were too poor to afford my high school ring. She was ashamed of herself for punishments that lasted for weeks. She was sad that she tried to choose my friends. My mother went on and on about her mistakes and regrets as tears of pain streamed down her face.

Right at that moment my mom looked so beautiful. I wondered why my entire family, including me, took her for granted. How do you tell your mother all that she is to you? I wanted to tell her that the punishments and strict rules of my childhood have a small spot in my memory in comparison to my recollections of the nights she let me stay up late and bake cookies with her. I kept silent instead of telling her how much it meant that she scraped together the money for my wedding shoes and matching purse. I couldn't swallow the lump in my throat so I could explain all of the millions of ways she makes me feel so special. I should have told my mother, on that day, that of all the people in my life, no one has ever loved me in the unconditional way that she does.

Four years have gone by since the day I didn't tell my mother that her mistakes were tiny molehills, and her love and understanding were big beautiful mountains in my life. But I'm telling her now. Thank you, Mom, and thank you, God, for the world's worst mother.

Printable Issue 800  Today is Friday, May 12th, 2006; Karen's Korner #800
Yippee!! Another milestone in Karen's Korners; today's is number 800! Thanks for allowing me to take you along on my journey which started in March 2003. It was an experiment. I have added many new names to my listing; and taken a handful off!
 
In the past few months, I have had some trouble with people getting Karen's Korners each day. They are sent, but not received by some. My sons-in-law say that it has something to do with servers and some of them trying to filter out messages. Some of mine might be getting caught in the process. If you know of someone who isn't getting them any longer and wonders why, have them contact me and I will send them from my computer and not through my web site.
 
Our son-in-law, Tim, decided more than a year ago that I should have the web site, so he designed one for me and transferred every Karen's Korner up to that time to the site. If you ever would like to look back for some topic, it is possible. Go to the web site:  www.karens-korner.com ; on the right side, there is an area titled "Search my site". Type in the word or words you would like. And the computer will find the topic of your choice, if it exists.
 
Web sites, like everything else connected with computers, are both terrific and terrible! According to Tim, here is some pretty exciting news:  if a person would search for Karens Korner through Google (for someone who can't recall the web address!), the site would be #5 in the thousands of listings under Karens Korner. If a person would include an apostrophe (Karen's Korner), the rank would be #3. If a person asked the Karens Korner question from Yahoo, the web site would be #1.
 
I asked Tim what that meant. He said the rankings are according to the number of hits that web site might be experiencing! Isn't that exciting news?? It isn't me that is doing it. It is all of you. And all of your friends and neighbors.
 
It's another God thing!!
 
We do a little; He wants to bless it and make it much, much bigger!! 
 
"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; His loving kindness continues forever." - Psalms 136:1 

~~~
Printable Issue 801  Today is Monday, May 15th, 2006; Karen's Korner #801
This is a Mother's Day greeting which I received on Saturday via email. It is the first time that I was sent a handful of email greetings from others. I have never sent an email card, but it seems to be getting more popular. And they are fun to get! This particular greeting was complete with a white rose graphic and colored background.
 
Whether you are a mother or not, all of us know that it takes more than one "mother" to help us "grow up". One line in the writing I especially liked; it says something about "mothers and those who have nurtured us and/or influenced our lives in positive ways."
 
We all have lots of "mothers" who do that for us, not only when we are young. But throughout our lives. Thank God, we never grow up completely and are always learning new things:
 
HAPPY  MOTHER'S   DAY

"I thank God when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your mother. "

II Timothy 1:3,5

  At this season of the year, our thoughts turn to the one who gave us birth. Like so many modern customs and practices, "Mother's Day" which is celebrated the second Sunday in May, dates back to a festival derived from the custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. With the coming of Christianity, it soon became a worship of the mother church as a religious, holy day during Lent, when children brought special gifts to their mothers. In the US, official recognition of Mother's Day as given by Congress on May 8, 1914. The white carnation, or rose, signifying sweetness, purity and endurance, was adopted as the emblem.

  Mother's Day is here and though we attach no spiritual significance to it, it is well that we be reminded of the blessings of godly motherhood. This is a day of celebration of love and appreciation for Mothers. Today let us give thanks for our own Mothers and also for those people who have nurtured us and influenced our lives in positive ways.

  Throughout history, the motherly rose is one of honor and respect, so we extend a special blessing to these honored individuals, for they have helped nourish and mold our lives through their loving support and gentle encouragement. The have inspired and guided us to express our God-given talents and abilities.

  How do people know that you are a Mother and wise disciple of Jesus? Do you pray before meals, attend church regularly, wear a cross, carry a Bible? These may be appropriate ways to express faith, but Jesus tells His disciples that there is another crucial distinguishing mark of a true follower of Jesus: "By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34,35.

~~~

  The things in my life that are worthy, were born in my mother's breast;

and breathed into mine by the fragrance of her life by Jesus blest.

~~~

Our thanks, O God, for mothers who show, by word and deed,

commitment to Your will and plan, and Your commandments heed.

Printable Issue 802  Today is Tuesday, May 16th, 2006; Karen's Korner #802
This is something written by Chris Lousias. I like it when some friends, relatives, readers try their hand at writing something or sharing something that they have found to be meaningful to them.
 

The Pilot Car

  

John 12:26:
"Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.

My Father will honor the one who serves me."

 

There you are stuck in construction traffic.  You are late to wherever you are going, so this is not amusing to you.  Finally, traffic is moving toward you and a beat up Chevy Luv swings around and sits at the front of your line.  On the roof of the Luv there is a sign that reads: PILOT CAR FOLLOW ME.

 

Without hesitation, you creep your way behind the pilot car.  As hard as it is not to speed up and try to get around the pilot car you know it is there for your safety and the road crew’s safety.  The pilot car gives direction…it keeps you on the safest path.  It gets you unharmed to your designation.

 

God’s Word is our Pilot Car.  Yet, why is it when we finally find time to read His Word, we manage to speed up and pass the pilot car and find something else to do?  We trade off reading the Word for that Cosmo magazine that we just spent $4.00 on, or playing “just one more hand” of Internet Euchre, or worse yet watching a mindless trashy video just to “zone out” at the end of a hectic day.

 

Don’t you know that the Bible is our safety net?  It directs us on the safe and narrow path that leads to the Shepard’s gate.  The Pilot Car was put in place because it knows the hazards on the road we drive.  It is meant to direct us to that gate safely. 

 

Matthew 7:14:

 “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. “

 

~~~ 

"Glorious Father in Heaven, thank you for sending us the “Pilot Car” that will lead us to Your Kingdom.  I pray that everyone who skimmed over this devotion felt a twinge to put down that Harlequin Romance and pick up Your love letter instead.  I pray that the Holy Spirit that lives in each of us enlightens us to the mysteries of Your Word.  I pray that no one gets detoured on the wide path of this world because it will sadden You and we have saddened You too many times since You created us.  You deserve to receive the Glory that was meant for only You.  I pray this with a bowed head in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ.  Amen"

Printable Issue 803  Today is Wednesday, May 17th, 2006; Karen's Korner #803
I shared two Mothers' Day-type stories last week leading up to Mother's Day. This one will be a second Mother's Day story this week as we walk away from the celebration for this year. It is an email "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and is bound to touch some of you in a very meaningful way:
 
To See You
By Cynthia M. Hamond

     Many say their most painful moments are saying good-bye to those they love.  After watching Cheryl, my daughter-in-law, through the six long months her mother suffered towards death, I think the most painful moments can be in the waiting to say good-bye.
     Cheryl made the two-hour trip over and over to be with her mother.  They spent the long afternoons praying, soothing, comforting, and retelling their shared memories.
     As her mother's pain intensified and more medication was needed to ease her into sedation, Cheryl sat for hours of silent vigil by her mother's bed.
     Each time she kissed her mother before leaving, her mother would tear up and say, "I'm sorry you drove so far and sat for so long and I didn't even wake up to talk with you."
     Cheryl would tell her not to worry, it didn't matter, still her mother felt she had let her down and apologized at each good-bye until the day Cheryl found a way to give her mother the same reassurance her mother had given to her so many times.
     "Mom, do you remember when I made the high school basketball team?"  Cheryl's mother nodded.  "You'd drive so far and sit for so long and I never even left the bench to play.  You waited for me after every game and each time I felt bad and apologized to you for wasting your time."  Cheryl gently took her mother's hand.
     "Do you remember what you would say to me?"
     "I would say I didn't come to see you play, I came to see you."
     "And you meant those words, didn't you."
     "Yes, I really did."
     "Well, now I say the same words to you.  I didn't come to see you talk, I came to see you."
     Her mother understood and smiled as she floated back into sleep.
     Their afternoons together passed quietly into days, weeks, and months.  Their love filled the spaces between their words.  To the last day they ministered to each other in the stillness, love given and received just by seeing each other.
     A love so strong that, even in this deepened silence that followed their last good-bye, Cheryl can still hear her mother's love.

Printable Issue 804  Today is Thursday, May 18th, 2006; Karen's Korner #804
It was a week ago today that we lost a long-time friend, Lois Bernhardt. Lois wasn't shot down in her prime. She was 86, but that doesn't make the loss any simplier.
 
I liked the story the minister told at her funeral. Lois lost her dad when she was seven years old, so her memories of him are limited. He retold how Lois could recall as a small child walking outside one time in the winter and she was so cold from her surrounding elements. Her dad picked her up and buttoned her inside of his warm, fur coat. Lois couldn't recall looking up at his face. Instead she looked out at the world; feeling the warmth and closeness of her dad who, obviously loved her and wanted so much to take good care of her.
 
The minister likened Lois' story to our Heavenly Father and how sometimes life gives us a chill and we might become frightened by our circumstances or life situation. God gently picks us up and holds us to His Chest so we can feel His warm embrace and the warmth of His Heavenly Body next to ours. It isn't His Face that is so important, it is our being able to peer out at the world from our new-found comfort zone.
 
May you feel His Presence with you today; no matter your daily situation.
Printable Issue 805  Today is Monday, May 22nd, 2006; Karen's Korner #805
Yesterday morning I started my ritual of watering the starter plants I had set out a few days before. I kept the small plants in our machine shed for more than a week before I replanted them. First it was too early and cold. Then it was pretty windy at our farm home; not a good time to set out new plants. Finally the weather was right to plant them. Because we could use some rain to get the fledging flowers started, I give each one a cup of water every morning.
 
When it is windy at 6 o'clock in the morning, it will be really windy in the middle of the day. Several of my plants are showing signs of being wind-whipped and may not make it.
 
"Is a cup of water in the morning every day going to be enough?" I thought to myself.
 
Maybe, maybe not. It is what I am going to do every day until it rains. I am going to trust God with my efforts, and with His provision of the wind velocity and the forthcoming rains. I have done what I can do.
 
I thought further about reaching out to my friends, acquaintances, and strangers with God's love. Like my plants, it might be only "a cup of cool water", but it is something.  God knew that if we overanalyzed every small thing we might do to further His Kingdom, we might see it as useless, hopeless, never enough. And we might not start to do even one tiny thing! He will mulitply whatever small thing we do, to make it valuable and larger.
 
Today is another day to give each of my plants a drink of water. And it is a day to give a "drink" (a compliment, a prayer, a helping hand) to those with whom I come in contact. God will take those small efforts and make them grow, multiple, and bloom.
 
"And if, as my representatives, you give even a cup of cold water to a little child, you will surely be rewarded." - Matthew 10 :42 (LB)
 
*This morning I couldn't believe that I hadn't emailed out a Karen's Korner on Friday! But there wasn't one posted on my web site this a.m. No #805 on Friday!! I have missed a day or so here and there, but I always knew that I didn't do it! To come out the week ending in either 0 or 5, I will write an extra one on Saturday!
Printable Issue 806  Today is Monday, May 22nd, 2006; Karen's Korner #806
I received many nice gifts and greetings for my birthday. Two friends, Nancy Erickson and Ella Gangestad, gave me a paperback book titled "Inspiring Stories an Angel Might Tell". One of the items was titled "The Poem"*:
 
THE POEM
 
I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
 
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.
 
All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear.
 
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant dry,
No time to give to suols in need
But at last the time, the time to die.
 
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes,
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.
 
God looked into his book and said
"Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down.....
But never found the time."
~~
*Thanks to several readers I think I found the "Friday problem": most Karen's Korners I email through my web page. Some people can't receive the messages through the web site, so I have another listing which email from my computer. What I most have done is emailed out "my" list on Friday and forgot to send it the second time through the web site. So here is Friday's. And now I am caught up!!
Printable Issue 807  Today is Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006; Karen's Korner #807
This is a forward from Shirley Choat; it was complete with a computer graphic which is always good - but hard to forward without being X'd out:
A Great Recipe
Prescribed by the Great Physician
 
Fold two hands together,
And express a dash of sorrow.
Marinate it overnight,
And work on it tomorrow.

Chop one grudge in tiny pieces,
Add several cups of love.
Dredge with a large sized smile,
Mix with the ingredients above.

Dissolve the hate within you,
By doing a good deed.
Cut in and help your friend,
If he/she should be in need.

Stir in laughter, love and kindness,
From the heart it has to come.
Toss with genuine forgiveness,
And give your friends some.

The amount of people served,
Will depend on you.
It can serve the whole wide world.
If you really want it to!!!
 
~~ author unknown
 
Printable Issue 808  Today is Wednesday, May 24th, 2006; Karen's Korner #808
A devotional by Shirley Choat (in part):
 
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer. 2 Samuel 22:2  
...and the Rock was Christ. 1 Cor. 10:4
 
  Throughout the Bible the LORD is frequently referred to as "The Rock" I looked in my concordance to confirm the fact that there are many references; there are more than would fill this page.
 
  The rock speaks of permanence, of a safe hiding place or a shield. He is the One who shelters us from God's wrath against sin and protects us from the destructive attacks of Satan. In Him our souls can find comfort and a holy hiding place when the storms of life beat down upon us. Grace is the pathway and faith the magnet that draws us into the eternal protection of the fortress of His love.
 
  Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in Thee;
let the water and the blood,
from Thy riven side which flowed,
be of sin and double cure,
save me from its guilt and power.
 
~~
Thank You, LORD, for being our ROCK. Amen
Printable Issue 809  Today is Thursday, May 25th, 2006; Karen's Korner #809

I received this forwarded email from Dorothy Riekens awhile back with this note, "Sometimes I have difficulty with #30 & #31, because I skip over #14!"

36 CHRISTIAN WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS

1. Pray

2. Go to bed on time.

3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4. Say "No" to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health

5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.

7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)

8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.

9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.

10. Take one day at a time.

11. Separate worries from concerns.
If a situation is a concern find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation ... forget it.

12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.,

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.

15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.

16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.

17. Get enough exercise.

18. Eat right.

19. Get organized so everything has its place.

20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

21. Write thoughts and inspirations down.

22. Every day, find time to be alone.

23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.

24. Make friends with Godly people.

25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.

26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good "Thank you, Jesus!"

27. Laugh.

28. Laugh some more!

29. Take your work seriously, but yourself not at all.

30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).

31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

32. Sit on your ego.

33. Talk less; listen more.

34. Slow down.

35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.

36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before.

GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

Printable Issue 810  Today is Friday, May 26th, 2006; Karen's Korner #810
I only have a box or two of starter plants left to set out. I don't like to tackle plantings all at once. Instead I tend to savor the flower planting season.
 
Because it is getting later in the year, some of the started plants have been in their boxes a long time!
 
I attempted to get several of my "box of six" petunias" out of their assigned stalls. They didn't dump out as easily as I had anticipated. As I turned the small plants upside down, I saw the difficulty: the hair-like roots were flowing out of the bottom,  drainage holes. But the real difficulty was the small roots from one flower were intertwined with those of the next flower.
 
Tough to dump them out; they were linked together at the bottom. I could get them apart, but it took some extra effort on my part.
 
As I pulled them apart and squeezed the plastic cubicles, I couldn't help but to think about the strength of families or church congregations. We might feel like we are just a small starter plant. But linked together, arm-in-arm and with God's help, we can defeat any foe, stomp down any obstacle, and step over any fear. 
 
***
 
John 15:11: (Jesus said)...."love one another as much as I love you......."
 
***
 
Psalms 91:2 - 6:  "He (God) alone is my refuge, my place of safety, He is my God, and am trusting Him. For He rescues you from every trap, and protects you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with His wings! They will shelter you. His faithful proimises are your armor. Now you don't need to be afraid of the dark any more, nor fear the dangers of the day, nor dread the plaques of the darkness, nor the disasters of the morning."
 
***
Printable Issue 811  Today is Monday, May 29th, 2006; Karen's Korner #811
This is the day that we celebrate Memorial Day. We remember friends and loved ones who have gone on ahead of us. We salute soldiers and veterans for surrendering a portion of their lives, or giving their lives, to defend us and our country.
 
This is a portion of a quote in an editorial, published in a newspaper on Friday. It was taken from a new book written by former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and presidential speechwriter Wynon C. Hall titled, "Home of the Brave:  Honoring the Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror":
 
"Every morning, in cities all across the world, 2.4 million Americans wake up, put on a uniform, kiss their loved ones goodbye, and head out the door to defend freedom. In exchange, they ask for nothing:  not wealth, not power, not celebrity.......To them, protecting America is a privilege, an honor, a solemn duty that has been passed like a torch from their parents and grandparents before them.
 
"As First Sergeant Justin LeHew told us, "It' all the crosses in Arlington Cemetery. It's all those GIs who died over there with my dad on Omaha Beach. You want your generation to do America justice like that one did....."
 
Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for people who live, fight, and maybe die to defend and protect our freedoms. Bless them, Father. May they bless you with their thoughts, words, and deeds. Help us not to take these people for granted. Help me not to take You and Your blessings to all of us for granted. May my thoughts and actions today, be a blessing to You and to our soldiers, past and present. Help me not to forget. In Your Son's Name, Amen.
Printable Issue 812  Today is Tuesday, May 30th, 2006; Karen's Korner #812
I have a confession to make. I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!
 
On my list of things, I generally do: read something in the Bible, pray, write a Karen's Korner, believe..........
 
I didn't feel like doing any of it!
 
Whenever that happens to me, I start down this thought road. "I should be a better believer. I could be more excited about what the Bible says. I should be more grown up in my faith. God is probably disappointed with me."
 
Then it seems He gently reminds me, that I only His Child. He loves me. He will take care of me. Even when I am out of sorts.
 
Wow! I am chaning my mind!
 
I look at the window and the first thing on my to do list was watering the plants in my flower garden. It has been hot, dry, windy. But this morning there is a gentle rain; God has taken care of it.

One job done and I didn't lift a finger! Thank You, God!!
 
Sometimes I falsely believe that it about Karen.
 
He gently reminds me: It is all about Him!!  Praise God!
 
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus. 
Printable Issue 813  Today is Wednesday, May 31st, 2006; Karen's Korner #813

 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

THOUGHTS TO PONDER**:

Until recently, if I was tired or under a lot of stress, I craved food; but not just any food. I craved sweets, like ice cream or sweet rolls - the gooier the better; and high fat content foods with lots of salt, like honey roasted nuts or chips. I could sit and eat until I couldn’t eat any more, usually giving myself indigestion.

That began to change as I got into a new health program. I drug my feet going in and wasn’t sure anything was doing anything except keeping me from the things I really liked, and making my muscles sore. However, an amazing thing happened the other day that shows that I am making progress, progress I would never have predicted. We went to a buffet for Sunday dinner, and I found myself actually looking for healthy foods, going back for seconds of steamed vegetables, and feeling full enough to consider not eating one of my favorite desserts. (I did eat it, though! I said progress, not miracles!!!)

My physical appetite is a lot like our spiritual appetites. We’ve become so addicted to spiritual junk food and activities that are not healthy for us and our relationship with the Lord, that we don’t realize we have become spiritually flabby and out of shape. The less spiritually healthy we are, the more we crave what is not good for us, and the less fulfilled we feel. Jesus calls us back to a healthy diet of the Spirit, a hunger and thirst for the right way of life, the right direction, plan, and purpose for our lives, not based on the world’s view, but on God’s view.

Once we start on His "diet plan" the cravings for the wrong things will not disappear, but we will be better able to resist them, in favor of the "right" things of His Spirit. May your hunger and thirst for God be satisfied, and may you be truly filled with God’s good things! (lls)

PRAYER

Sometimes I get lazy in my spiritual journey, my Jesus. I turn to TV, a movie, a "good book" or any number of other things. Forgive me and help to reach for something substantial like your book. Give me others that will help me in my study and getting into the "meat" of it. Amen.

**Thoughts to Ponder by Pastor Sydow, Prayer by Pastor Freeman