August 2006 Archives
Today is Tuesday, August 1st, 2006; Karen's Korner #857|
Written by Shirley Choat, who pens daily inspirational thoughts, and emails them to family and friends:
"Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him to help you do it and He will!
~~ Psalms 37:5
Finding people to trust is difficult, if not impossible, in this world. Even new names that appear in your email. You question them and wonder how they got there. But finding new Christian friends is a blessing.
But even best friends fail to keep your secrets, Spouses have affairs, children turn against parents and parents against children. Even a person pleading for help at our door may be a thief.
It was no different in Bible times. Peter denied Christ; Judas betrayed Him. The believers feared the Jews. The disciples did not believe the women's message that Christ had risen from the dead and Thomas doubted.
In this world there is only One whom we can trust without doubt and without reservation; only One who is always with us; only One who loved us enough to die on the cross for us. Yes, in Christ, our gracious God fulfilled His promise of a Savior from sin and death. Therefore we can be sure of Him and sure of eternal life through faith in Him.
Trust and rest when all around thee puts thy faith to sorest test;
Let no fear or foe confound thee, wait for God and trust and rest.
Trust and rest with heart abiding, like a birdling in its nest,
underneath His feathers hiding, fold thy wings and trust and rest.
PRAYER - "I will commit my way, O LORD, to You.
Today is Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006; Karen's Korner #858|
I have a battery powered toothbrush to brush my teeth. I have had it for a long time. I don't know that I had ever changed the batteries. Since I only use it for a few minutes each time I brush my teeth, I suppose it doesn't take too much energy.
I noticed a couple of days ago it didn't have the 'pep' I thought it used to have. "I'll change the batteries some day when it quits," I thought.
It didn't quit; it just had less zip!
I decided to change the batteries anyway. Wow! I can't believe how the toothbrush operates now. I have no idea when it started to run down!
Sometimes I wonder if our lives are like my toothbrush, we keep on running but in reality our 'batteries' have lost their charge. Do our spirits start to droop, but we keep on going anyway? I need God to restore my spirit each day. I want to ask for His Spirit to be added on to my own feeble spirit. I look to Him for guiding words and help for whatever my day might bring. I am going to ask that His Spriit might be united with your spirit, just for today! So that we might be recharged for the new day ahead.
"So I pray for you, that God who gives you hope will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. I pray that God will help you overflow with hope in him through the Holy Spirit's power within you."
-- I Corinthians 15:13
Today is Thursday, August 3rd, 2006; Karen's Korner #859|
This Karen's Korner was written by Abigail Swartz - 9th grader in Eldora-New Providence school system - 14 years old. I got it last year from her grandmother. It is appropriate for the season, as we enjoy our homegrown sweet corn:
"Corn Corn Everywhere"
On the counter
in my hair
what will I do
corn on me and
corn on you
on the floor
coming in the door
in a pot
Corn, Oh ouch
Now I will stop
And risk being lazy
for if I don't
Then I'll go crazy
the day is done
Now wasn't that
So much fun
There's more you say!
I think I'll come back
Today is Friday, August 4th, 2006; Karen's Korner #860|
Forwarded to me by Shirley Choat:
The Death of a Church
A new minister in a small Oklahoma town spent the first four days desperately calling on the membership, begging them to come to his first service. He failed!
He placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that as the church as dead, it was his duty to give it a decent Christian burial. The funeral would be held the following Sunday afternoon, the notice said.
Morbidly curious, the whole town turned out. In front of the pulpit, they saw a high coffin, smothered in flowers. The minister read and delivered the eulogy. He then invited his congregation to step forward and pay their respects to the dearly beloved who had departed.
The long line filed by. Each mourner peeped into the coffin and then turned away with a guilty, sheepish look. For in the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror.
Everyone saw themselves!
~~ Author unknown
Today is Monday, August 7th, 2006; Karen's Korner #861|
Here is a devotional written by Rev. Jeff White and emailed to his readership in March:
Pray for all people, asking God for
what they need and being thankful to him.
1 Timothy 2:1
I’m helpless and it’s hopeless. Think about it, I can’t feed all the hungry. I can’t help all the homeless, I can’t heal the sick, I can’t stop the dying from dying. What good am I?
The Holy Spirit says, in II Corinthians 1:11, “you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.”
Thanks be to God that I’m not helpless, I’m powerful.
"If you can't feed a hundred people,
then feed one."
~~ Mother Teresa
Today is Tuesday, August 8th, 2006; Karen's Korner #862|
Several thoughts and quotes:
** "Make all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can."
~~ John Wesley
** "Misery might love company; but joy deserves a crowd!
~~ Joni Eareckson Tada
** "The one things I want from God, the thing I seek most of all, is the prvilege of meditating in His Temple, living in His presence every day of my life, delighting in His incomparable perfections and glory. There I'll be when troubles come. He will hide me. He will set me on a high rock out of reach of all my enemies. Then I will bring Him sacrifices and sing His praises with much joy."
~~ Psalms 27:4 - 6
** "Zero (health issues, family problems, money difficulties, etc.) is not such a bad place to be if you are looking to God. If something 'bad' happens to you in that realm, don't rely on your own strength, rely on God! Trust Him!"
~~ Bayless Conley
** "Each time he said, 'No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.' Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am; I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ's power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities. Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite happy about 'the thorn', and about insults and hardships, persecutions and difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong--the less I have, the more I depend on Him."
~~ Paul in his letter to the Corinthian people (II Corinthians 12:9 - 10
Today is Wednesday, August 9th, 2006; Karen's Korner #863|
Bored with hanging around the house, Jessica moved off the couch and looked for her mom. She found her sorting laundry in the basement. "Mom, remember when we used to spend the day downtown and we'd find fun ways to help others?"
Her mom nodded and smiled. "Yeah, it used to be great spending the day with you and spreading Christ's love. What do you say we get out of the house and spend the afternoon doing someting like that again? After all summer is almost over, and you will back in school soon."
Jessica and her mom pooled their spare change and grabbed some supplies before leaving. They parked near the bus station and walked along the tree-lined streets offering to pay bus fare for travelers. They washed car windows for people at the gas station, too.
"Mom, I think God would be pleased with how we spent our day. I'm just sorry we didn't do this sooner. I forgot how great it feels to help others."
GALATIANS 5:13 -- "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature: rather, serve one another in love."
Today is Thursday, August 10th, 2006; Karen's Korner #864|
This korner is taken from a daily devotional book by Max Lucado titled "Grace for the Moment". It is the August 10th entry and talks about prayers by parents. I know that I was prayed for by one grandma and probably both. I wonder if part of my decisions, thinking, and beliefs are a product of those prayers?
Do we pray enough for our children and grandchildren today? Even if we haven't been very faithful "pray-ers" in the past, today might be a good day to begin.
A Parent's Precious Prayers
"All your children will be taught by the Lord.
and they will have much peace."
~~ Isaiah 54:13
"Never underestimate the ponderings of a Christian parent. Never underestimate the power that comes when a parent pleads with God behalf of a child. Who knows how many prayers are being answered right now because of the faithful ponderings of a parent ten or twenty years ago? God listens to thoughtful parents.
Praying for our children is a noble task. If what we are doing in this fast-paced society, is taking us away from prayer time for our children, we're doing too much. There is nothing more special, more precious than time that a parent spends struggling and pondering with God on behalf of a child."
Today is Friday, August 11th, 2006; Karen's Korner #865|
This is a Karen's Korner written by Shirley Choat and forwarded to me as part of Shirley's daily devotional emails:
" A wise man controls his temper. He knows that anger causes mistakes."
~~ Proverbs 14:29
Remember the expression, "cool as a cucumber?" I read in my husband's Farm Journal magazine some time ago that a cucumber is cooler in the center but only when the cucumber is attached to the vine. While the refreshing sap flowed into it, it remained cool, but when it became detached from the vine it heated up.
After reading this, the text of this lesson came to mind. Spiritual stability, victory over the flesh, being cool under pressure is only possible by constantly abiding in the Vine and drawing all our strength from Him, John 15:10.
O LORD, remove all fretfulness,
from anger set us free;
You are the Vine,
and we the branches;
we draw our strength from Thee.
PRAY - "LORD, help us keep in touch with the Spirit through Your Word and prayer today. Help me to keep cool under fire and not get burned up in the heat of the battle. Amen."
Today is Monday, August 14th, 2006; Karen's Korner #866|
(Sorry this is late today, just got home from the Iowa State Fair!)
Taken from "Women of Destiny Bible":
In 'The Hippopotamus Postman', Jospeh Ozawa tells an unforgettable story. Joe dreams of appearing before God. He assumes the most appropriate thing would be to start apologizing so he says, "God, forgive me for not praying enough." God replies, "Praying is important, but it is not the most important thing." Joseph thinks for a moment and says, "Well, I apologize for being selfish." God says, "Being selfless is good, but it is not the most important thing." Joseph mournfully mounts apology after apology. He apologizes for not giving more to the poor, for not having enough faith. God keeps saying the same thing. "That's important, but it's not the most important thing." It was getting pretty annoying.
Final Joseph thinks of the ultimate apology. "I am sorry, God. I wasn't very nice to my wife." God, of course, likes men to be nice to their wives. But again says, "That's important but it's not the most important thing."
God was frustrating Joe. He finally whines like a little spoiled child, "What do you want from me anyway?"
God replies, "When you appear before Me the final time, I will only have one question to ask of you: Did you learn to receive my love?"
~~ written by Fawn Parish
(She concludes the writing by penning,
"Have you learned to receive His love?
Your answer determines your joy.")
"The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."
~~ Zephaniah 3:17
Today is Tuesday, August 15th, 2006; Karen's Korner #867|
A good devotional thought by Jeff White:
"We all have wandered away like sheep;
each of us has gone his own way.
~~ Isaiah 53:6
I have a Border Collie. Every fiber of his being speaks to breeding. He is a product of his genetics. He is designed to herd sheep and even his play reflects his life’s purpose. Left on their own.sheep wander mindlessly until they are lost or eaten by wolves. The border collie is bred to keep them together in the safety of the flock.
We are much like sheep. On our own, we wander mindlessly away from God, seeking our own desires. God provided his word, through the Holy Spirit, to help keep us in the safety of the flock.
Even though we choose, how could a loving God send people to hell?!?
People do not go to hell. Sinners do. The rebellious do.The self-centered do.
So how could a loving God send people to hell? He doesn’t. He simply honors the choice of sinners who have wandered from the flock.
Today is Wednesday, August 16th, 2006; Karen's Korner #868|
Last week when I was at our daughter and son-in-law's house, our grandson Luke asked his dad to play the board game Candyland with him. At 2 1/2 years old, there is still some things about the game Luke has yet to learn.
Most of you probably remember that time-tested game where you turn over cards which reveal a color. Players move their gingerbread men to the right color. The object of the game is to be the first to the top of the board and reach candy land.
Luke knows about the playing pieces. He knows which colored guy is his. He knows to take turns. He knows to match the colors and move "one blue" space or "two blue" spaces; or whatever card he has drawin reveals.
As the game progressed with Luke and dad, Luke started to move his red gingerbread man back down the path rather than ahead. Dad started to explain that he needed to move ahead. Luke protested, "No, this way!" Dad again explained what direction the guys needed to face and why they were going the direction that they were going.
A few minutes later, Luke had to come running to say, "Grandma, I won!"
I don't know if he knows what winning means either. But people in Luke's life will continue to tell him and eventually, he will understand.
Makes me think about God and our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Sometimes we move down the road of life pretty well. But sometimes, like Luke, we think it doesn't make any difference whether we move ahead two blue spaces or back two blue spaces. We need Someone showing us the way; Someone who knows the rules and directions; Someone who knows about victory and how to win at the game of life, and the game that leads us into the next life.
Like Luke, as we listen, we will learn, and know!
Thank You God for being our Heavenly Father and
for the rules You have given to succesfully win at the game of life.
Thank You for being our Teacher, Guide, and Friend.
Today is Thursday, August 17th, 2006; Karen's Korner #869|
This is a pass along email that I received last year about this time from LaVonne Isenberger:
"HOW MUCH DADDY?"
The man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door.
"Daddy, may I ask you a question?"
"Yeah, sure, what is it?" replied the man."
"Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?"
"That's none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?" the man said angrily.
"I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?" pleaded the little boy.
"If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour."
"Oh," the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, "Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?"
The father was furious. "If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you're being so selfish. I work long, hard hours everyday and don't have time for such childish games."
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy's questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money. After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00, and he really didn't ask for money very often.
The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door. "Are you asleep son?" he asked.
"No daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy.
"I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier," said the man. "It's been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here's that $10.00 you asked for."
The little boy sat straight up, beaming. "Oh, thank you daddy!" he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled bills. The man, seeing the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.
"Why did you want more money if you already had some?" the father grumbled.
"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied. "Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?"
Today is Friday, August 18th, 2006; Karen's Korner #870|
Something I caught as I "surfed" through the television channels by some evangelist. Since I was passing through, I didn't catch the name:
It is said or thought at times by many of us as we face a dilemma or crisis situation. We pray and plead and beg God for an answer.
We might say, "God, can't you see the misery? The need for an answer to my need or needs of others? How can you be so powerful and yet you do nothing?
God responds simply, "I didn't do nothing. I created you, didn't I?"
Today is Monday, August 21st, 2006; Karen's Korner #871|
"For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish
but have everlasting life."
~~ John 3:16
This well-known Bible verse is expanded on in comments by Judy Radachy in the "Women of Destiny Bible". Here is a portion of her writings:
"God loves you so much that if you had been the only person on the planet, He still would have sent His only Son, Jesus, to be born of a virgin, live a sacrificial life of reaching out to others, and then make the ultimate sacrifice of hanging on a cross for your sins. Sin, our own selfish choices, separates us from God. It's sin, not God, that causes wars and that causes children to die of starvation. God is a loving Father and desires to have a relationship with us each individually. But He will never force His way in to anyone's life. He is a gentleman. He merely stands at the door of our hearts and gently knocks. He never karate-chops the door down, but patiently waits for our response.
"God has taken the first two steps toward us: He loved, and He gave His only Son. Now we have to take one step to Him--to 'believe' which is not just a mental assent, but a relying on, trusting in, putting all our confidence in the God of the universe. He promises that, if we allow Him to come into the living room, the basement, the bedroom, all the dirty closets of our lives, He will not only clean the houe, but He will redecorate it, too. He will also give us an eternal insurance policy. What a deal!
"Do you want that new life while living on this earth--to know you will have eternal life, after you die? All you need to do is confess, 'Jesus, I have sinned and messed up my life at times. I need Your forgiveness.' Than ask Him, 'Jesus, will you come into my life and clean house? And will You give me the assurance that I will have eternal life with You in heaven when I die?'
"He is waiting. In fact, He's been waiting all your life--all of the time--for this moment!"
Today is Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006; Karen's Korner #872|
An email forward from Dorothy Riekens:
The Most Powerful Book in America
They lie on the table side by side
The Holy Bible and the TV guide.
One is well worn and cherished with pride.
Not the Bible, but the TV guide.
One is used daily to help folks decide.
No, not the Bible, but the TV guide.
As the pages are turned, what shall they see.
Oh, what does it matter, turn on the TV.
Then confusion reigns, they can't all agree
On what they should watch on the old TV.
So they open the book in which they confide,
No, not the Bible, but the TV guide.
The Word of God is seldom read,
Maybe a verse as they fall into bed.
Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be;
Not from reading the Bible, from watching TV.
So then back to the table side by side,
Lie the Holy Bible and the TV guide.
No time for prayer, no time for the Word,
The plan of Salvation is seldom heard.
But forgiveness of sin, so full and free,
Is found in the Bible, not on TV.
Choose which book will rule your family.
~The author is unknown~
Today is Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006; Karen's Korner #873|
I received this poem from a friend a couple of months ago with the note, "You probably have seen this 100 times." I know that I have read it before, but I wasn't sure whether I had shared it in a Karen's Korner previously. I did a word search on the web site and I don't see it there.
So enjoy it for the first time, or the second time if I am wrong:
One day, one friend asked another,
"How is it that you are always so happy?
You have so much energy,
and you never seem to get down."
With her eyes smiling, she said,
"I know the Secret!"
"What secret is that?"
To which she replied,
"I'll tell you all about it,
but you have to promise to
share the Secret with others."
"The Secret is this:
The questioner's first thought was,
I have learned there is little I can do
in my life that will make me truly happy.
I must depend on God to make
me happy and to meet my needs.
When a need arises in my life,
I have to trust God to supply
according to HIS riches.
I have learned most of the time
I don't need half of what I think I do.
He has never let me down.
Since I learned that 'Secret', I am happy."
"That's too simple!"
But upon reflecting over her own life
she recalled how she thought a bigger house
would make her happy, but it didn't!
She thought a better paying job
would make her happy, but it hadn't.
When did she realize her greatest happiness?
Sitting on the floor with her grandchildren,
playing games, eating pizza or reading a story,
a simple gift from God.
Now you know it too!
We can't depend on people to make us happy.
Only GOD in His infinite wisdom can do that.
And now I pass the Secret on to you!
So once you get it, what will you do?
YOU have to tell someone the Secret, too!
That GOD in His wisdom will take care of YOU!
But it's not really a secret...
We just have to believe it and do it...
Really trust God!
Today is Thursday, August 24th, 2006; Karen's Korner #874|
There are a lot of things which are important in our lives as Christians. It is important that we read the Bible and pray. That we go to church on Sunday, attend some Bible study groups, read the newest publications of Christian books, and/or listen Christian radio, music, or television programs.
But I think there is one thing that is above all the rest: "What is it that we believe?" It is easy to say that we believe what Jesus tells us and what God has for us when:
** the bills are all paid;
** when the family is well;
** when the vehicles are running like they should;
** if all of our family members are doing what we would like for them to be doing;
** we have the jobs of our dream;
** the church is running on all cylinders;
** there hasn't been an untimely death for awhile;
** our prayers have all been answered like we liked.
What happens to us when:
** there is more month than money;
** we are waiting for the medical tests to return;
** we aren't sure of our loved ones will ever again attend church;
or accept Jesus into their lives;
** when our job has just been terminated;
** the death wasn't what we expected;
** our prayers look like they are falling on deaf ears?
That is the times that the devil whispers in one ear, "Nothing will ever change!"; "It won't work out!"; "Your prayer will never be answered!"
The Holy Spirit will whisper into your other ear, "What do you believe?"
That's when we have a choice.......even when we don't have the answer, the money, the job, the improved health situation, or some other dream!!
Jesus said to him,
"If you can believe,
all things are possible to him who believes."
~~ Mark 9:23
"Father God, help us to believe. We know, we learn, we read.
Now help us to do it!
When fear and fright want to overtake us;
when we don't know the answer or the outcome.
You want us to believe You
and we can't seem to trust You on our own strength,
so give us Your strength, guidance, and power
to believe when we don't know the answers or what is going to happen next.
Through the power of Your Spirit
which resides in each one of us believers in You,
Today is Friday, August 25th, 2006; Karen's Korner #875|
A couple of short thoughts:
The first two were forwarded to me by Al Bennettt:
** "Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you,
Jesus Christ and the American G. I.
"One died for your soul, the other for your freedom."
** "Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them,
but you know they are always there."
** "Let us put an end, once for all,
to the discussion of what a good man should be --
and be one."
-- Marcus Aurelius
"Gratitude is the fairest blossom
which springs from the soul."
-- Hosea Ballou
"If you want to pray better,
you must pray more."
~~ Mother Teresa
"Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me,
bless His holy name."
~~ Psalm 103:1
Today is Monday, August 28th, 2006; Karen's Korner #876|
For the past few weeks, I have been reading "Grace for the Moment" by Max Lucado. The cover of the book tells that it contains "Inspirational Thoughts for Each Day of the Year". I have chosen to read a handful at a time, so I will finish it faster than the directed 365 days.
The book contains snippets from lots of the dozens of books which Lucado has authored. Because I like how he thinks and writes, some will more than likely show up in Karen's Korners in the upcoming few months.
Today's writing begins the book and isn't listed as any one day. I liked it and hope that it kicks off a good week for you:
By Max Lucado
It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.
In a few minutes the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.
For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is not that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose.
I CHOOSE LOVE
No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I CHOOSE JOY
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical....the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I CHOOSE PEACE
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I CHOOSE PATIENCE
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignements, I will face them with joy and courage.
I CHOOSE KINDNESS
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I CHOOSE GOODNESS
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
I CHOOSE FAITHFULNESS
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father is not coming home.
I CHOOSE GENTLENESS
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I CHOOSE SELF-CONTROL
I am a spiritual being.......After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only with joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self control.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To those I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when this day is done. I will place my head on my pillow and rest.
~~ Taken from Lucado's book
"When God Whispers Your Name"
Today is Tuesday, August 29th, 2006; Karen's Korner #877|
I received this from Chris Lousias on the 4th of July; lots of kinds of freedoms. One kind is internal freedom, which in turn gives us many of the other kinds of freedom.
Chris adapted this from a booklet by Warren W. Wiersbe "What to Wear to War":
Conquering the External, Internal and Infernal Enemy:
Praying on the Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-13 --- 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
The Girdle of Truth: "Father, as we prepare for our day, help us to pull things together. Help us to prepare our minds and hearts for today’s battles. With Your help Father, we can eliminate any thoughts or habits that would hinder our walk with You. Give us the conviction of life that leads us in the right direction."
The Breastplate of Righteousness: "Heavenly King, You who are the Most Righteous, guide us today so we may have righteousness in our words, in our walk, in our motives, and in everything we say and do. Help us to depend on of the righteousness of God through our faith in Jesus Christ because we can not stand alone against the evil one."
The Shoes of Peace: "God, thank You for the firm footing we have to stand on through the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ and the Salvation He offers us with that Truth. Help us to be unmoved and inflexible and firmly stand on that unchanging Gospel and enable us to tell others about You because of the faith oe have in You."
The Shield of Faith: "Father, we relinquish all authority to You so that we will not rely on ourselves and our knowledge, but Father, we put all our trust in You to give us the victory that will overcome Satan and his forces."
The Helmet of Salvation: "Father, as we don the helmet of salvation, help us to secure our faith that it will protect our minds from the attack of the Enemy. Help us to emulate the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ as we go about our daily agenda."
The Sword of the Spirit: "Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the Holy Spirit who guides us as we read the Word daily. Thank You for the Helper who unveils understanding of Your Word and helps us to know what it teaches us. Mostly Father, give us the strength and courage to obey what we read, as we live our lives to Glorify You and do Your will."
"We pray this in Honor of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen."
Today is Wednesday, August 30th, 2006; Karen's Korner #878|
I received this yesterday from Jeanne Russell. The typing was blue in color. When I highlighted it, it would not change to black. I had a choice of retyping it so that it would be black, or leaving it blue. It's blue! Hope you enjoy the story and its message:
One day I decided to quit...
I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality. I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.
"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"
His answer surprised me."Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"
"Yes", I replied.
"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them," God said. "I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
"In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed.
But I did not quit on the bamboo," He said.
"In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed," He said. "But I would not quit. In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit. Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just six months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle."
He said to me. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots. I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you. Don't compare yourself to others. The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern . Yet, they both make the forest beautiful."
"Your time will come, " God said to me. "You will rise high! "
How high should I rise?" I asked.
"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.
"As high as it can? " I questioned.
" Yes," He said. "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."
I left the forest and bring back this story. I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you.
He will never give up on you. Never regret a day in your life. Good days give you happiness. Bad days give you experiences. Both are essential to life.
Keep going... Happiness keeps you sweet; trials keep you strong; sorrows keep you human; failures keep you humble; successes keep you glowing; but only God keeps you going!
Today is Thursday, August 31st, 2006; Karen's Korner #879|
I am going to tell you one more highlight of my “100 meter race” with the Iowa Games this summer held in Ames.
As most of you know who read Karen’s Korners regularly, I decided to enter for the first competitive race in my life, as a new 60-year-old in the “old people’s category”.
I didn’t know until I got there that I was only woman in the race in that age bracket. So I knew providing I didn’t fall off the track or complete the race, I would win the Gold Medal.
But people do not run races alone. They are paired up with others to run their races. The timers sort out winners based on times.
I was paired with three gals who were in the 45 – 49 year old bracket. There were no entries in the 50 – 54 age group. Two in the 55 – 59 year old category. And then me.
I stood at the starting line, hoping not to make too big of fool out of myself. Watching as everyone else but me (lane #1) and one of the two in the 55 – 59 age bracket (lane #2) get ready to use their starting blocks. I couldn’t use starting blocks. I wouldn’t know how.
How was a going to concentrate and make my mind sort of settle down and focus on something. I listened to God’s suggestion in my mind, “I will just keep saying, ‘thank you, Jesus!’ as I ran.
The gun sounded and off we all ran.
“Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!” I thought as I ran.
Out the side of my eye, I noticed the younger gals running quickly ahead of me. I noticed the gal in lane #2, I was already ahead of her. I noticed that I was beginning to catch up with, and run ahead of the other ’older’ gal, who had started quicker out of the starting blocks.
I gave up thinking, “Thank you, Jesus!”
Now I was beginning to think, “Wow! I must be pretty good!”
When the short race was completed, I had no idea of any of our times. I had never been clocked before. As I checked the final status, I noticed that I had indeed run faster than the gal in lane #2, but the other “older gal” and I had exactly the same times.
“Hmm, how could that be?” I thought. “I know I was ahead of her.”
And then I knew: not only did I not know how to start, I also did not know how to finish. I was slowing down some before the race was completely over.
Jim said to me, “You are going to need to learn how to run through.”
Of course that makes sense. I am sure that I hadn’t done it in the race, nor had I been ‘running through’ as I practiced.
I thought about me and other Christians. Do we start out running the races of our lives pretty well?
I was doing pretty well when I thought of, and kept my eyes on, Jesus. But when I started to look around and compare myself with other people, I started to lose my focus.
And what about finishing our lives? Are we going to finish strong? And run through?
I am sure there is someone who is reading this that is thinking, “My health doesn’t allow me to run any longer. I am well into my senior years now and there isn’t as much that I can do any more.”
But are you running through to the finish line? Are we complaining about our lot in life? And that it isn’t turning out like we like? Or are we like a friend, who has a new medical diagnosis, but says, “I am so happy that I have had 75 years of good health”?
Do you praise God for your life and what happens to you…..even if there isn’t enough money or everyone in your family isn’t behaving like you’d like.
You and I are to run the race, with our eyes on Jesus, never slowing down on the track until we zoom past the finish line. And God? He will take care of the results of our race!
Best part is…if we keep our eyes on Him…..we all win….every time!