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June 2006 Archives

Printable Issue 814  Today is Thursday, June 1st, 2006; Karen's Korner #814
 
Today is the day that our daughter Merry was born; she would have been 33. She got to celebrate 26 birthdays with us.
 
As most of you know I saved nine of her last emails to us. On an occasion like this I usually forward one of them to you.  Obviously some time some of the nine will be repeats. I didn't check back to see if I had used this one before or not; it doesn't matter.
 
This is today's Karen's Korner from Merry:
 
PRICELESS
    
      A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked,  "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up.
    He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up.
    He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.
     "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor
 with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.
   "My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him.
      
                          Psalm 17:8 states that God will keep us, "as the apple of His eye."
 
THOUGHT: The worth of our lives come not in what we do or who we are but By WHOSE WE ARE!
      
            You are special. Have a great day!!!
 
Printable Issue 815  Today is Friday, June 2nd, 2006; Karen's Korner #815
  A daily devotional from January from my email pastor friend Jeff White:
 

He is my defender; I will not be defeated.

Psalm 62:6

 

You are broke, your marriage is in shambles, or maybe you are in the hospital …The preacher says “Don’t worry, keep praying and God will handle it”.  Sounds good but what does God really do?

    He fights for us. He steps into the ring and points us to our corner and takes over. “Remain calm; the Lord will fight for you” (Exodus 14:14). 

    Also in James 5:16 we read “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

His job is to fight. Our job is to trust.

Just trust. Not direct. Not question.… Our job is to pray and wait.

Printable Issue 816  Today is Monday, June 5th, 2006; Karen's Korner #816
Driving to church yesterday morning, ahead of me I saw an old school bus painted white. It's new owner is a church family who uses it to pick up people to take them to church activities in a neighboring community.
 
Above the back door is painted the words, "Jesus saves".
 
I couldn't help but think, "Nice starting place. But He does so much more!"
 
Jesus cares. Jesus loves. Jesus gives. Jesus forgives. Jesus shepherds.
Jesus helps. Jesus holds. Jesus remembers. Jesus touches. Jesus hopes.
Jesus seeks. Jesus finds. Jesus understands. Jesus heals. Jesus encourages.
Jesus lives. Jesus says. Jesus believes.........
 
You get the picture. My list isn't complete!!
 
One words sort of says it all: JESUS.......
 
"Thank you, Jesus!"
Printable Issue 817  Today is Tuesday, June 6th, 2006; Karen's Korner #817
When my sisters and I got together a couple of weekends ago for our annual "Sisters' Slumber Party", our oldest sister had several flip daily devotional calendars stashed around her home. I found the "Love for a Lifetime" by Dr. James Dobson especially good.
 
"Take it home with you, " she said.
 
So today, I am going to share a handful of ones I found to be meaningful.
 
* The family was God's idea and He does not make mistakes."
~ Love for a Lifetime, p.22
 
* A happy marriage is like mountain climbing--
the climbers are safe only as long as they are tied securely together.
~Robert W. Burns
 
* It takes three persons to make a satisfying marriage.
A husband, a wife, and God.
Marriage can be a beautiful, deeply satisfying, fulfilling relationship.
But only because God is in it.
~Jack and Carole Mathall
 
* Morality and immorality are not defined by man's changing attitudes and social customs.
They are determined by the God of the universe,
whose timeless standards cannot be ignored with impunity.
~What Wives wish their Husbands knew about Women, p. 142
 
* The Lord won't demand anything of you
which He won't help you implement.
~Emotions can you trust them, p. 104
 
* Every member of the family seeks constant satisfaction
of emotional needs, including the desire for love, social acceptance, and self-respect.
~Dare to Discipline, p. 75
 
* Beware of overcommitment
and physical exhaustion.
~Love for a Lifetime, p. 107
 
* Every one of us as human beings is know and loved by the Creator
apart from every other human on earth.
~The Strong Willed Child, p. 19
 
* Do everything in love.
~I Corinthians 16:14 NIV
Printable Issue 818  Today is Wednesday, June 7th, 2006; Karen's Korner #818
Prayer has to be the most important; least used resource available to us. Prayer is misunderstood. Easy, yet complicated.
 
I must confess that I am not the prayer I would like to be. I get distracted. I don't do it. But I know and have experienced its value.
 
Praying is as easy as A - B - C:
 
Ask - tell God of your needs, wants, desires. He wants to listen to us. He wants us to learn what it is that He wants for us as His Children.
 
Believe - when we ask, God wants us to believe that He will give us the very best answer....for us, for others, for our world, for His Kingdom.
 
Celebrate - (aka as saying thank you!) - God wants us to begin the celebration and thankful process. When? As soon as we ask. Before we see the answer. You might ask, "But how can we do that when we don't know the outcome? My prayer might not be answered like I want. I might not get the job I asked for. My loved one (or me!) might not be healed."
 
When we begin the thankful process, we begin to see things from His perspective. We believe that He does have everything under control. We will get only God's best.....every time. I have never done a statistically study, but much of the time God gives us exactly what we ask for. That is because He loves and cares for us.
 
If we don't get what we asked for, it is because He loves and cares for us. He knows things from a Higher perspective and those answers are better.
 
So Ask away. Believe more. Today is a good day to Celebrate!
 
Dear Jesus, we ask for more faith in You! We ask that You might control our thoughts and minds, and that just for today, we pray more and think of You more often. We believe You for those simple requests and we celebrate the future You have in mind for each one of us. Thank You. Amen.
Printable Issue 819  Today is Thursday, June 8th, 2006; Karen's Korner #819
By now you know that I enjoy the email writings by Illinois Pastor Jeff White. Here is one I saved from April:
 

Come, let’s worship him and bow down.
Let’s kneel before the Lord who made us.

Psalm 95:6

    

     Does your worship ever feel stale.  Many of us want to blame the preacher, “He’s been here two years and it’s time for a change”.  Maybe you blame the song leader, “He leads too many praise songs” or “He doesn’t lead enough praise songs”.  Maybe the one leading the prayer is to blame, too long, too short.  Maybe it’s, maybe it’s, maybe it’s….  Maybe it’s you.?.

     Do you want your worship to be meaningful, fresh, alive and full of power?  Change directions, change from looking inward (navel gazing) to looking upwards. 

     The words to the hymn go “Worthy of riches, blessings and honor, Worthy of wisdom, glory and pow’r!  Worthy of earth and heaven’s thanksgiving, Worthy art Thou, Worthy art Thou!”  He is worthy?

Printable Issue 820  Today is Friday, June 9th, 2006; Karen's Korner #820
I got a note from my nearly 88-year-old mom a couple of days ago. She mentions her early 80s brother, Chaunce, in the note:
 
"He got a special award at the Clear Lake Lion's meeting last Wednesday.........27 years and has never missed a meeting. As they read on and on, it finally dawned on Chaunce that it was him. He was nearly speechless. When he got up to receive it, all he could think of, 'This is usually saved for a funeral.'"
 
Probably true.
 
So today, let's write one person a note, type an email, or give one person a call. Tell them something that is "usually saved for a funeral.'" And don't pick just "old people".
 
We never know how long we have to enjoy special people in our lives~
 
"I thank my God through Jesus for all of you!"
~ Romans 1:8
Printable Issue 821  Today is Monday, June 12th, 2006; Karen's Korner #821
Something to kick off Fathers' Day week.  Quotes from Dr. James Dobson's "Love for a Lifetime" flip calendar - Part II:
 
* A happy marriage takes two essential ingredients...
prayer and determination to work at this relationship.
Marriage cannot be put on autopilot.
~ Jack and Carole Mayhall
 
* We are designed to love God and to love on another.
Deprivation of either function can be devastating.
~ Love for a Lifetime, p. 66
 
* The philosopy of "me first" has the power to blow our world to pieces,
whether applied to marriage, business, or international politicis.
~ Hide or Seek, p. 184
 
 * Marriage and all it involves--
including the promise to continually work at the relationship in good times and bad--
is the ultimate in love between two adults.
~ Edward E. Ford
 
* Be imitators of God,
as beloved children,
and live in love,
as Christ loved us.
~ Ephesians 5:1,2 NRSV
 
* Even in moments in great conflict and discouragement,
divorce is no solution.
It merely substitutes a new set of miseries
for the ones left behind.
~ Love for a Lifetime, p. 207
 
* A man-woman relationship outside of marriage doesn't have the commitment of marriage.
It doesn't have the permanence.
It can never achieve the depth that comes from total sharing,
from working together toward comman goals year after year,
from knowing that you're playing the games for keeps.
~ Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale
 
* You are joined together with peace through the Spirit,
so make every effort to continue together in this way.
~ Ephesians 4:3 NCV
 
 
Printable Issue 822  Today is Tuesday, June 13th, 2006; Karen's Korner #822
Recently the Clarion-Goldfield Schools embarked on a school bond election. A group of people worked to achieve a positivie outcome. And it happened; the vote was successful.
 
Steve Haberman, Middle School Principal, emailed a note to those who had worked on the campaign. It is a partial quote from legendary football coach Vince Lombardi.
 
As you read it, put in place our Christian faith and how God sees what it is we attempt to do to forward His Kingdom here on earth.  We can't quit. The battle is not ours; nor is the victory! We are merely soldiers in the battle. We are not victorious once in awhile; we are victorious!
    **
 
"Winning is not a some-time thing; it's an all-the-time thing. You don't win once in awhile; you don't do things right once in awhile; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.

And in truth, I've never known a man (woman) worth his (her) salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men (women) that really yearns for discipline...

But I firmly believe that in any man's (woman's) finest hour - his (her) greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear - is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he's exhausted on the field of battle - VICTORIOUS!!!!"
 
**
 
"Since future victory is sure,
be strong and steady,
always abounding in the Lord's work,
for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever wasted
as it would be if there were no resurrection."
 
~ I Corinthians 15:58
 
**
Printable Issue 823  Today is Wednesday, June 14th, 2006; Karen's Korner #823
A Chicken Soup for the Soul which I have had in my computer's inbox for a year and a half. Today is the day for it to be a Karen's Korner:
 
Message in a Body
By Kelly L. Stone

Have you completely lost your mind? I asked myself as I walked down the hall to the office of my boss.  In my right hand I clutched the resignation letter I had typed the night before.

No, you haven't, the small part of me that wasn't scared to death whispered back.  Remember what happened a few months ago?

Oh yes, I remembered it well.

I had worked for the same company for over a decade, my dedication and long hours finally paying off when I was promoted to upper management while still young.  I had tons of responsibilities, and there were deadlines and daily crises.  The stacks of paper on my desk grew taller as the weeks passed, and phone calls, faxes and e-mails dominated my life.  I took great pride in my work, and mailed home some business cards to my parents so they could see the title under my name.

One by one, relationships with friends dwindled as I lived and breathed my job.  It had become my whole life, and I gave it 110 percent.  I pumped myself up with caffeine during the day and took over-the-counter sleep aids to fall asleep at night.  I had five kinds of headache remedies and dozens of antacids in my purse as I pushed myself beyond my limits.  I started keeping a pad and pen near my bed so I could take notes during those middle-of-the-night anxiety attacks that started to plague me.

Finally, my body said, No more!  I had taken three days off and planned to go to Florida and soak in the tranquility of sun, ocean and beach, but the morning I was scheduled to leave I couldn't even get up.  My body refused to move.  I was utterly exhausted and drained.  I slept all day, getting up only to eat before collapsing back into bed.  The next day the same thing happened.  I tried to bribe my body by imagining a dazzling mental slide show of our vacation, but my body said, Thanks, but no thanks.  I need to be where I am.

By the third day I was scared.  After forty-eight hours of almost nonstop sleep I was still exhausted and unwilling to move, so I called my doctor, and his office worked me into their schedule.

I lay on the examining table while a technician ran blood tests. I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror and was shocked - an older woman stared back at me. Who are you? I wondered.  She didn't answer.  The doctor came back in and pronounced me the healthiest sick person he had ever seen.  "You have hyperstress," he said, and wrote a prescription.

"What am I supposed to take?" I asked.  In a barely legible scrawl he had written on the pad: "Get a different job."

That day I made a promise to myself: I will carve out time for myself every day.  When the clock says it's 5 p.m., I will leave, no matter what.

The first day back at work I had to force myself to do it, and was actually shocked when the sky didn't fall.  What a revelation!

I started walking my dogs again, trying to pay them back for all the times I'd left them.  I picked up my journal, blew dust off the cover and began writing.  Words came slowly at first, then more freely as my inner voice was finally allowed to speak.  During the next three months it said: quit your job, over and over again.

I'd been working since I was seventeen, part-time to put myself though college, and then full-time immediately after graduation.  Now I had a strong feeling there was a person under all those diplomas and titles who was literally dying to get out.  So, with no firm plans for the future, I gave a thirty-day notice and then spent that month alternating between panic, regret and hysteria.  The real shocker - that I was easily replaceable - came when the company filled my position two weeks after my notice.  The last day on the job I looked into the bathroom mirror and asked: Who are you?

The silence was deafening.

Suddenly, I had no job on which to hang my identity; I was putting all my trust in the great unknown, and I was truly scared.  But there was also a strange, previously unknown faith buoying me up, telling me, Don't be afraid.  Everything will work out.  Believe in yourself!  I clung to that like a frightened child to her mother's hand.

Finally, I was free to embark on my journey of self-discovery.  After a while, I realized I'd never really forgotten who I was - I had just covered it up with work, work and more work.  As I took long, slow walks in the woods, I rediscovered my inner core.  I listened to my body and slept when it was tired, ate when it was hungry.  I reconnected with friends, read dozens of books and wrote in my journal.

That faith did not fail me.  Two months later, a friend heard of a low-stress job and helped me get an interview.  I got the job - and a hefty pay cut as well - but I don't regret it for a second.  That eight-week sabbatical changed my life and taught me that a life without balance isn't worth living - it isn't even livable!  I felt a profound gratefulness to my body for sending me such a clear message.

I had dipped my hand in the well of restoration, and I will never forget it.  I had finally learned to define myself from the inside out, rather than the outside in.

Printable Issue 824  Today is Thursday, June 15th, 2006; Karen's Korner #824
One more story from the book "Inspiring Stories an Angel Might Tell" which I received from friends at my birthday.
 
Special for Fathers' Day.
 
A Father Is........
 
    A father is a person who is forced to endure childbirth without an anesthetic. He growls when he feels good and laughs very loud when he is scared half to death.
    A father never feels entirely worthy of the worship in a child's eyes. He is never quite the hero his daughter thinks. Never quite the man his believes him to be. And this worries him sometimes. So he works too hard to try to smooth the rough places in the road of those of his own who will follow him.
    A father is a person who goes to war sometimse....and would run the other way except that wat is part of an important job in his life, which is making the world better for his child than it has been for him.
    Fathers grow older faster than other people, because they, in other wars, have to stand at the train station and wave goodbye to the uniform that climbs on board.
    And, while mothers cry where it shows, fathers stand and beam...outside....and die inside.
    Fathers are men who give daughtes away to other men who aren't nearly good enough so that they can have children that are smarter than anybody's.
    Farthers fight dragons almost daily. They hurry away from the breakfast table off to the arena, which is sometimes called an office or a workshop.
    There they tacke the dragon with three heads. Weariness, Works, and Monotony. And they never quite win the fight, but they never give up.
    Knights in shining armor; fathers in shiny trousers. There's little difference as they march away each workday.
    And when Father passes away, and after a good rest, he won't just sit on a cloud and wait for the girl he's loved and the children he bore. He'll be busy there too.....repairing the stairs, oiling the gates, improving the streets, smoothing the way.
Printable Issue 825  Today is Friday, June 16th, 2006; Karen's Korner #825
Happy Father's Day weekend! We can mention a lot about fathers. Our earthly fathers can be very loving, kind, caring, and always there for us; some earthly fathers may be less-than-the best and not be around as much as we would like. But God, as our Heavenly Father, is always loving, kind, caring, will never leave us or forsake us, and has plans for each of us and our futures:
 
 
God is who He says He is
God can do what He says He can do
I am who God says I am
I can do all things in Christ
God's Word is alive and active in me.
 
~~ Beth Moore
 
"Thank you, Father, for being the kind of a dad all of us need! Thank you for loving us, for caring for us, for wanting to know us and to help us, and for the plans you have for each one of us today and for forever. In the name of your son Jesus, Amen."
Printable Issue 826  Today is Monday, June 19th, 2006; Karen's Korner #826
Maybe it is because it was Fathers' Day yesterday; maybe it is because I am reading "Chicken Soup for the Soul for Grandparents", that I started to think and remember my Grandpa Zirbel. He was my dad's dad.
 
While there are five of us girls, only the older four of us ever knew Grandpa George. He died before our youngest sister was born; I was in seventh grade.
 
Our family lived on the family farm. Grandma and Grandpa Zirbel built a house in Fertile when my dad returned from World War II. Our two families lived about three miles apart. Grandpa helped my dad with farming during the busier farm seasons.
 
Grandpa came out to our house almost every day. He nearly always wore solid-colored blue overalls. Excitement always mounted when Grandpa came into the driveway or our house. The word would start to pass, "Grandpa's here!" The doors to our house would fly open and we would run out to see grandpa. We could expect lots of things when grandpa would arrive.
 
We met him with great anticipation. He always had "penny candy" stashed in his pockets.He always had his pocket watch stuffed in the front of his bib overalls. Whoever was the smallest could probably be found on his lap, unsnapping his chest pockets, digging out his treasured pocketwatch, and holding the ticking timepiece up to his/her ear and listening to the magic sounds.
 
But the #1 reason we kids would always run:  some of the times, he would give each one of us a dollar bill!  Our Grandma Petrea thought his extravagance was unnecessary. I can remember hearing her say on more than one occasion, "George, you are just going to spoil those girls!"
 
He would smile, chuckle and say, "I know!"
 
A dollar in the 1950s was a lot more than today. That would have been the days when $1 may have been the pay for one hour of work. One dollar was a lot of money and we girls knew it!
 
I can remember hanging on to those dollars for "something special". Our family had one radio:  a pretty good-sized wooden one that sat in either our living or dining room. I had my heart set on a new fangled small, pink plastic one from down at our local hardware store. After about ten "special" visits from Grandpa George, I bought my radio. I loved it and spent many hours listening to it upstairs in my bedroom. It was wonderful. I have no idea what happened to my radio as the years passed. But my memories are as vivid today as they were when I was a kid.
 
I wonder if this is the type of a relationship God wants to have with us "as His Children"? Does He want us to get excited by His Presence often? Does He want us to run to Him? To check His pockets to see what He has for us this time? Does He never worry about us being spoiled? Instead He wants to lavish gifts upon us that we can barely believe are possible? We never know what we are going to get next, because He is so creative, loving, kind, caring? 
Printable Issue 827  Today is Tuesday, June 20th, 2006; Karen's Korner #827
A korner from Jeff White, which he sent out on his daily email devotionals in October last year:
 
What we see will last only a
short time, but what we cannot see
will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:18
    For some of you, the journey has been long. Very long and stormy. In no way do I wish to minimize the difficulties that you have had to face along the way. Some of you have shouldered burdens that few of us could ever carry. You have bid farewell to life-long partners. You have been robbed of life-long dreams. You have been given bodies that can’t sustain your spirit. You have spouses who can’t tolerate your faith. You have bills that outnumber the paychecks and challenges that outweigh the strength.
And you are tired.
It’s hard for you to see the City in the midst of the storms. The desire to pull over to the side of the road and get out entices you. You want to go on, but some days the road seems so long.…
Let me encourage you.… God never said that the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.
Printable Issue 828  Today is Wednesday, June 21st, 2006; Karen's Korner #828
"The Old Paths" was emailed to me by my Uncle Bud, who is retired minister and  lives in Tennessee. You will like all, some, or none of what it says:
THE OLD PATHS
I liked the old paths, when
Moms were at home.
Dads were at work.
Brothers went into the army.
And sisters got married BEFORE having children!

Crime did not pay;
Hard work did;
And people knew the difference.

Moms could cook;
Dads would work;
Children would behave..

Husbands were loving;
Wives were supportive;
And children were polite.

Women wore the jewelry;
And Men wore the pants.
Women looked like ladies;
Men looked like gentlemen;
And children looked decent.

People loved the truth,
And hated a lie;
They came to church to get IN,
Not to get OUT!

Hymns sounded Godly;
Sermons sounded helpful;
Rejoicing sounded normal;
And crying sounded sincere.

Cursing was wicked;
Drinking was evil;
and divorce was unthinkable.

The flag was honored;
America was beautiful;
And God was welcome!

We read the Bible in public;
Prayed in school;
And preached from house to house
To be called an American was worth dying for;
To be called a Christian was worth living for;
To be called a traitor was a shame!

Sex was a personal word.
Homosexual was an unheard of word,
And abortion was an illegal word.

Preachers preached because they had a message;
And Christians rejoiced because they had the VICTORY!
Preachers preached from the Bible;
Singers sang from the heart;
And sinners turned to the Lord to be SAVED!

A new birth meant a new life;
Salvation meant a changed life;
Following Christ led to eternal life.

Being a preacher meant you proclaimed the word of God;
Being a deacon meant you would serve the Lord;
Being a Christian meant you would live for Jesus;
And being a sinner meant someone was praying for you!

Laws were based on the Bible;
Homes read the Bible;
And churches taught the Bible.

Preachers were more interested in new converts,
Than new clothes and new cars.
God was worshiped;
Christ was exalted;
and the Holy Spirit was respected.

Church was where you found Christians
on the Lord's day, rather than in the garden,
on the creek bank, on the golf course,
or being entertained somewhere else.

I still like the old paths the best.
 
***
Printable Issue 829  Today is Thursday, June 22nd, 2006; Karen's Korner #829
In my "Women of Destiny Bible", besides the text, there are insets written by women of some life experience, insets telling more about a woman featured in the Bible, sayings by faithful people - past and present, and Bible verses highlighted where a person can fill in his/her name or that of someone he/she cares about.
 
Here are two sayings and one fill-in-the-blank sandwiched among Bible text in Romans 7 and 8:
 
***
 
"The plan of God for your life
is that you should be held captive by His power,
doing that which you in the natural world would never do,
but that which you are forced to do
by the power of the Holy Ghost moving through you."
 
~~ SMITH WIGGLESWORTH
 
***
 
"I clearly recognize that all good is in God alone,
and that in me without Divine Grace, there is nothing but deficiency,
The one sole thing in myself in which I glory,
is that I see in myself nothing in which I can glory."
 
~~ Catherine of Genoa
 
***
 
"We praise You, Father, that there is therefore now no condemnation
for ______________ who is in Christ Jesus,
for______________ does not walk according to the flesh,
but according to the Spirit."
 
~~ From Romans 8:1
 
***
Printable Issue 830  Today is Friday, June 23rd, 2006; Karen's Korner #830
A pass-along email forwarded to me by a friend:
CLAY BALLS
 
    A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.
    They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would thorw the clay balls one at a time out in the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautfil, precious stone!
    Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a smiliar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasures into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!
    It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treausre hidden inside that person.
    There is a treasure in each one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brillant gem begins to shine forth.
    May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendhips because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our  world as God sees them.
Printable Issue 831  Today is Monday, June 26th, 2006; Karen's Korner #831
Over the weekend, we visited the Titanic exhibit at the Des Moines Science Center. Upon entry everyone received a boarding pass, representing someone who was on the ill-fated ship. I was Mrs. John Murray Brown, 59. I had traveled to England for the funeral of my sister.
 
Each "voyager" was to hold on to his/her pass to check the listing at the end of the exhibit. Did we live or did we die?
 
After working our way through the exhibit, we went into the last viewing area which contaied the listing of passengers. Good news! I was on the list!! Our daughter Jamie survived too. My husband Jim didn't make it...
 
As we viewed the lists, Jamie pointed out the numbers of people who lived and died. A greater percent of the First Class passengers lived than the Second Class passengers. The Third Class passengers had a tremendous percentage of casualities. Some of the Third Class survivors reported that the lower class people were even held back from getting onto too few lifeboats, to make sure that the "upper class" passengers survived and the lifeboats were not filled beyond capacities.
 
It's good news that that isn't how God sees us! No matter if we have all kinds of means, looks, abilities, talents; or not so many, He is busy building "Life Boats" to ensure that we survive the passage from this life on to the next. And there will be just the right number of the "Safety Ships". Only one problem, we have to reserve our spot. He won't take anyone who doesn't want to "saved".
 
Just checking:  Have you made your reservation?
 
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing us safe passage and lifeboats as we travel on the sea of this life.  May each of us ask You for Your life-giving aid and believe that You have the power, authority, and ability to give it to us. not only for this life...but for the one that is coming. Forgive us. Accept us. Thank You for allowing us to know You and to be able to be called Your Children. In the name of Your Son Jesus who becomes Our Brother by the Spirit You have provided for us,  Amen.
Printable Issue 832  Today is Tuesday, June 27th, 2006; Karen's Korner #832
Sharing some sayings:
 
"Pretty much all the honest truth-telling
there is in the world
is done by children."
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
**
 
"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself,
and know that everything in life has purpose.
There are no mistakes, no conincidences;
all events are blessings given to us to learn from."
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
 
**
 
"I look forward to being older;
when what you look like becomes less and less an issue
and what you are is the point."
~Susan Sarandon
 
**
 
"To us,
family means putting your arms around each other
and being there."
~ Barbara Bush
 
**
 
"Be open to change, but don't be so open-minded that your brains fall out."
~ author unknown
 
**
 
"Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier."
~ Jean Wasserman McCarty
 
**
 
Printable Issue 833  Today is Wednesday, June 28th, 2006; Karen's Korner #833
While we were in Des Moines last weekend to watch our school's baseball team play a game there, several of us went to a Hope Thrift Store to do some sorting of clothing which had been donated to Hope Ministries.
 
Among other things, they gave us a listing called "8 Ways to Help the Homeless". Here's the list:
 
1.  Never give cash to a homeless person.
2.  Talk to the person with respect.
3.  Recognize that homeless people (and their problems) are not all the same.
4.  Share God's love whenever you can.
5.  Pray for the homeless.
6.  Take precautions for your own safety.
7.  Encourage the homeless to get help through a local mission.
8.  Support your local mission in some manner.
 
Hope Ministries in Des Moines (and I am sure other similar missions in other towns) have "free tickets" which people can give to homeless people rather than money.Tickets can be printed by logging on to their web site:  www.hopeiowa.org . Then you can have the printed cards to carry with you, if you are in Des Moines and encounter someone who could use help. You will have the help at hand! It tells about all of the help available to them through Hope Ministries.
 
Sometimes people want a hand out, but in reality they need a hand up!
Printable Issue 834  Today is Thursday, June 29th, 2006; Karen's Korner #834
"I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
 
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
 
For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by You I can run against a troop.
By my God I can leap over a wall.
As for my God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
 
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your right hand has held me up,
Your gentleness has made me great.
You enlarged my path under me,
So my feet did not slip."
 
~ Psalms 18:1-3; 28 - 30; 35 - 36
Printable Issue 835  Today is Friday, June 30th, 2006; Karen's Korner #835
I play a card game on on our computer called "Spider Solitaire". As I was playing the game yesterday, my cards were really stacking up.
 
"If I could just get a six of hearts," I thought. "I think I could win the game. God, can you get me a six of hearts, so I can win?"
 
I didn't get a six the next time the cards were dealt out. And I didn't get a six the follwing time either. But I got a seven of spades and I could use it. And I got several others which worked. The first thing I knew all of the lines of cards were falling into place.
 
I won!
 
Sometimes when we pray, we tell God what we need, when we need it, and how to go about "winning the game". Sometimes we get things which are different from what we thought. Thank God, He always knows best. Our perspective is always more limited.
 
Bottom line:  As Christians and as His Children, we always win! Even when it sometimes appears otherwise!
 
Romans 8:28 -
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,
who have been called according to His purpose."
 
 
Prayer: "Thank You, God, that you know more than we do; that You take care of things in different ways than we can imagine; and that You love us so much that You think about everything that matters to us. Thank You that You want us to ask You for many, many things. Thanks, too, that You always give us the best answers. Help me, help others. to ask You for things. And help all of us to believe You for just the right response every time. In Jesus' name, Amen.