Karen's Korner - Daily Inspirational Stories by Karen Weld
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Printable Issue 4802  Today is Tuesday, December 6th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4802
My sister Jill sent me this writing by Vivian Bricker. It lists 5 Reasons why "Jesus Chose Mary (and Chooses Us).

Here is Reason #1:
 
Jesus Chose Mary
Because of Her Obedience

:Mary was a young virgin woman when she was carrying Jesus because it was a divine pregnancy and birth. Since Jesus was born of a virgin, He was not born with a sinful nature. The Lord chose Mary because of her obedience to Him and her willing heart.

"Most of us would be afraid if an angel told us we would be carrying the Lord, yet Mary trusted the angel Gabriel and chose to be brave even though she would face ridicule from her family and friends for being pregnant before marriage. When Gabriel tells Mary she is chosen by God, she rejoices and sings praises to God. Luke 1:46-56  tells us Mary’s song, 

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

"Through Mary’s obedience and the love she had for God, Jesus chose her. While we cannot be dogmatic over the main reason God chose Mary, we can know He had a great purpose behind His selection of Mary. Since Mary loved God and followed Him, this could be one of the reasons she was chosen."

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Printable Issue 4801  Today is Monday, December 5th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4801
On Saturday, a team from our church and community traveled to Mason City to ring bells for Salvation Army. Something we have done for a number of years. There were eighteen of us.

First we eat together at a fast-food restaurant before we divide into teams of 2 - 4 people each. We ring for two hours at six doors. Each team divides again with one or two people ringing together for 30 minutes. Taking a break to shop a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee, or get warmed up (it was a pretty nice day this year!). 

Each team works a total of one hour. Last year Salvation Army organizers let us know that our six doors produced just a bit over $1,700!

No one works too hard or for very long. Some, not all, put a bit of money into their bucket. We hope to make over $1,000 again this year.

As I began to read the book of Titus, I am greeted by these words, "A Good Life.. The good news of salvation is that we can't be saved by living a good life; we are saved only by faith in Jesus Christ. But the gospel transforms people's lives, so that they eventually perform good works. Our service won't save us, but we are save to serve.

"A good life is a witness to the gospel's power. As Christians, we must have commitment and discipline to serve. Are we putting our faith in action by serving others?"
**

Dear God, thank You to You for friends who wanted to serve You and others this way this weekend.
It may not have been a big time commitment,
but everything works together for good.
And our efforts made a difference in
some people's lives.
Bless them and bless us.

In Jesus Name,
AMEN.
Printable Issue 4800  Today is Friday, December 2nd, 2022; Karen's Korner #4800
Today's Max Lucado inspirational thought into people's computers, as we move into the Christmas season.

THE PLACES HE WENT
 
"The God of the Universe was born into the poverty of a peasant and spent his first night in the cow’s feed trough. He left the glory of heaven and moved into our neighborhood. Who could have imagined he would do such a thing?

"What a world he left. Our classiest mansion would be a tree trunk to him. God became a one-celled embryo and entered the womb of Mary. He became like us. Just look at the places he was willing to go: feed troughs, carpentry shops, badlands, and cemeteries. The places he went to reach us show how far he will go to touch us. He loves to be with the ones he loves!"

***
Printable Issue 4799  Today is Thursday, December 1st, 2022; Karen's Korner #4799
Some fun sayings taken from OUR IOWA magazine, Holiday Issue. Side Notes, vertical in the margins of each copy:

"Friendship is a plant
which one must water."
~ German proverb

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"Silence is golden---
unless you have kids,
then silence is suspicious."


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"Joy is not in things;
it is in us."


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"Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps,
if you are not willing to move your feet."


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"Everyone wants to be appreciated,
so if you appreciate someone,
don't keep it a secret."
~ Mary Kay Ash


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"Cats are smarter than dogs.
You can't get eight cats to pull a sled
through the snow."


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Printable Issue 4798  Today is Wednesday, November 30th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4798
Taken from "The World of the End;:  How Jesus' Prophecy Shapes Our Priorities" by Dr. David Jeremiah:


"In many parts of the world, the persecution of Christians now exceeds any period in history. According to Dr. Todd M. Johnson of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, more than seventy million Christians have been martyred throughout history, and more than half of those deaths occurred in the twentieth century. He also estimates one million Christians were killed between 2001 and 2010, and another 900,000 between  2011 and 2020."

God, bless Christians who are living in countries where they are met with potential of persecution. Bless the families who are left after a loved one is martyred.
We are fortunate to live in a country where persecution has not taken place. Thank You for Your care and blessings. Help us to focus on You, should that ever come into our shores in the future.
In Jesus' Name.
Amen.
Printable Issue 4797  Today is Tuesday, November 29th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4797
Thursday - Thanksgiving Day. Friday - Black Friday. Cyber Monday - Monday. Giving Tuesday - Tuesday - today!!

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
"It is more blessed to give than receiver."

~ Acts 20:35 LAB

So today might be a good day to bless someone with a gift. It might be a person, a family, a non-profit outreach group.

It might be a gift of money. A gift wrapped package. A note, letter, or card. It could be an email or a text message.

Let's do it!!

And remember in order to be a blessing by being a gift giver........be willing to be a gracious and thankful 'gift receiver'!

Thank You, God, for being the greatest-giver known to the world! We are blessed! Help us to bless others. Today and every day! Amen.
Printable Issue 4796  Today is Monday, November 28th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4796
"When someone becomes a Christian,
he becomes a brand new person inside.
He is not the same any more.
A new life has begun!"

~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 LAB

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Bible Commentary:  "Christians are brand new people on the insdie. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, and they are not the same any more. We are not reformed, rehabilitated,or reeducated---we are new creations, living in vital union with Christ. We are not merely turning over a new leaf; we are beginning a new life under a new Master."

Father God, as we get older, we hear words like 'elderly'. 'Aging'. But You say that we NEW! So today help us to walk in the Spirit that You intended--as new beings! Thank You for Your making all things new. Including us!. 
In Jesus' Name.
Amen.
Printable Issue 4795  Today is Friday, November 25th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4795
"The Lord makes us strong!
Sing praises!
Sing to Israel's God!

"Sing, accompanies by drums;
pluck the sweet lyre and harp.
Sound the trumpet!
Come to the joyous celebrations 
at full moon, new moon and all the other holidays!
For God has given us these times of joy;
they are scheduled in the laws of Israel."

~ Psalm 81:1 - 4 LAB
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Bible Commentary:  "Israel's holidays reminded the nation of God's great miracles. It was a time of rejoicing and a time to revew one's strength for life's daily struggles. At Christmas, do our toughts revolve around presents for the most part? Is Easter only a warm anticipation of spring, and Thanksgiving only a good meal? Remember the spiritual origins of these special days, and use them as opportunities to worship God for His goodness to each of us, our families, and our nation."

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Printable Issue 4794  Today is Thursday, November 24th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4794
Happy Thanksgiving, God!

You tell us to 'always be thankful, no matter what happens' (! Thessalonians 5:18). You know that being thankful is a big part of our having good mental health.

So today I want to doubly concentrate on things for which I am thankful. 

I am so thankful for family and friends. Thank You for opportunities to spend time with them Thank You for a measure of good health; it makes me so thankful.

I am thankful for my senses:  a nose that works, for eyes that see and ears that hear. I am thankful for a good appetite and food to enjoy.

Thank You for my community and my church family. I am blessed beyond measure. I am thankful for the state of Iowa where I live and for the United States. For being able to live in a country with so many freedoms. Many countries aren't as blessed as we are, and have been for several centuries.

Thank You for the plans You have always had for me, for us. You give us a future and a hope! You don't always answer our prayers like we ask, but Your plans are bigger than ours. Thank You that You promise to 'be with us always' (Matthew 28:12); through the good times and the bad. Thank You for walking with us!

Pretty short list, I know there are millions of more things for which I am grateful. I am going to take a walk now and reflect on more things for which I am thankful. Thank You for walking with me!

In Jesus' Name.
Amen.
Printable Issue 4793  Today is Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022; Karen's Korner #4793
Something sent to my email box earlier this week from Max Lucado, to take us into the Thanksgiving holiday:

With the Ones We Love

"Holiday travel. It isn't easy. Then why do we do it? Why cram the trunks and endure the airports? You know the answer. We have to be with the ones we love. The four-year-old running up the sidewalk into the arms of Grandpa. The cup of coffee with Mom before the rest of the house awakes. That moment when, for the moment, everyone is quiet as we hold hands around the table and thank God for family and friends and pumpkin pie. We love to be with the ones we love.

"May I remind you? So does God. How else do you explain what He did? Between Him and us there was a distance---a great span---and He couldn't bear it. He couldn't stand it. So He did something about it. Philippians 2:7 reminds us, 'He gave up His place with God and made Himself nothing.'"

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