Karen's Korner - Daily Inspirational Stories by Karen Weld
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Printable Issue 5103  Today is Wednesday, April 17th, 2024; Karen's Korner #5103
A writing by Max Lucado and sent to my computer's inbox several weeks ago:

AN ORDINARY LIFE

“God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise” (1 Corinthians 1:27 NLT).


"Invite you to pray with me:

"Loving Father, you made me, so you know very well that I am but dust.  Yet you have called me into your kingdom to serve you at this specific place, at this specific time, for a very specific purpose.

"Despite my ordinariness, I belong to you—and you are anything but ordinary! Help me pour out your grace and compassion upon others that they, too, may experience the richness of your love. Through me, my Father, show others how you can use an ordinary life to bring extraordinary blessing into the world.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.'

***
Printable Issue 5102  Today is Tuesday, April 16th, 2024; Karen's Korner #5102
Something taken from "365 Days of Prayer for Women" by Stephanie Sample. This one is from a couple days ago, April 14:

STILL PROMISED

"'For ( know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

~ Jeremiah 29:11 NIV


"Loving Father, from the moment you dreamed me up and began numbering the hairs on my head, you planned the many blessings you'd rain down on my life. The plans and dreams of an earthly father are just an inkling, a mere glimpse of the hope and promise you hold in your heart, ready to pour into mine. Help me to trust always that your plans are best, that your hope for my life is greater than i can imagine. Help me face boldly, gladly into your plans. I thank you for all you've done for me, and I marvel at the thought of all you still promise  to do. You love me so well, Father!"

"Do you know that God has plans to give you hope and a future?"

****
Printable Issue 5101  Today is Monday, April 15th, 2024; Karen's Korner #5101
Our church family is making its way through the book of 1 John; five chapters. Our minister has asked us to read one chapter each weekday; repeating it each week until we are done with the worship service series.

I read two chapters last week until I forgot to read more. Isn't two chapters better than none?

Here are the first two verses of chapter 2:

"My little children,
I am telling you this so that you will stay
away from sin.
But if you sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. His name is Jesus Christ, the one who is all that is good and who pleases God completely. He is the one who took God's wrath against our sins upon himself, and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins,
and not only ours but all the world's."


~ 1 John 2: 1 & 2 LAB


*
Bible Commentary:  "To people who are feeling guilty and condemned, John offers reassurance. They know they have sinned, and Satan is demanding the death penalty. When we feel this way, we can't give up hope---the best defense attorney in the universe is pleading our case. Jesus Christ, our advocate, is the Judge's Son. He has already suffered our penalty in our place. We can't be tried again for a case that is no longer on the docket. United with Jesus, we are as safe as he is. We don't need to be afraid to ask him to plead our case--he has already won it!

"We sometimes have a difficult time forgiving someone who wrongs u.  Imagine how hard it would be to tell everyone we are willing to forgive no matter what they do! This is what God has done in Jesus. No one, no matter what they have done is beyond hope of forgiveness. All we have to do is turn to Jesus and commit our hearts to him."

***
Printable Issue 5100  Today is Friday, April 12th, 2024; Karen's Korner #5100
Today's writing and in my inbox by Anne Graham Lotz. It reads like Easter morning. If it was good news that Sunday, it remains good news today!

THE TOMB WAS EMPTY!

"Christ died and rose and lived again,
that He might be Lord of both
the dead and the living."

~ Romans 14:9 NKJV

"Early Sunday morning, in the inky blackness before dawn, soldiers stood guard over Christ's tomb. Knowing that to go to sleep on duty was an offense punishable by death, the highly trained unit remained alert. Some may have been rolling dice or stoking the fire to keep warm, but there was no question that all were awake and on duty. Their lives depended on it.

"Suddenly, 'there was a violent earthquake'. If, by chance, the soldiers had been distracted in their night watch, God now had their undivided attention! Almost simultaneously, the predawn darkness was split by a light so brilliant it looked like a laser of lightning! The 'lightning' took the shape of an angel who seemed to reach from heaven to earth. Against the inky blackness of the night the terrifying awesome being fearlessly descended, walked over to the stone that blocked the tomb's entrance, flicked it away as though it were dust, and then sat on it! And the gaping hole where the stone had been, revealed. there was nothing inside the tomb! The tomb was empty!

***

Printable Issue 5099  Today is Thursday, April 11th, 2024; Karen's Korner #5099
Chad Chapman gave us his thoughts during our communion meditation time. I enjoyed what he had to say and asked him if he would share them with Karen's Korner readers:


"Some of you might know this and some might not, Raejean and I bought my parent’s house and have started the remodeling process.  Yes, I’m excited about the end result, but the journey so far has not always been pleasant. I am guessing many, if not all, of you have remodeled something at one time or another.  As I walk through this process, God is showing me similarities between house remodeling and spiritual growth. Here are a few thoughts from these past weeks.

1. You may want to quit before you get to the finished product.

There have been times during these past four-ish weeks when I have wanted to say, “Enough. Let’s just stop here. I can’t take anymore!”

There are times in the Christian life when I am tempted to quit the journey God has me on because it’s too challenging. I begin to question if it’s worth it, and I convince myself that I don’t need to go any further. But if I quit, I miss all that God has in store for me.

2. It’s inconvenient and uncomfortable at times, but the end result is worth it.

Luckily for us we are not living in the mess, we are still in our house for now.  But every time I need a different tool, I must go back to my current home and get it.  Then something comes up there and I need that same tool back at my current home.

Spiritual growth, like remodeling, stretches me and takes me out of my comfort zone. It can be uncomfortable at times, but the process is necessary to experience something far better in the end.

3. It’s not going as quickly as I’d like.

Inevitably in remodeling, the process doesn’t tend to go as scheduled. There’s always a glitch, a delay, something unexpected that comes up, slowing things down. Why can’t it go faster?

In the same way, I want spiritual maturity…today! But spiritual growth doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, and there are delays—delays caused by circumstances out of my control or by my actions. I have to learn patience – with home remodeling and spiritual growth.

4. It gets messy.

In the midst of remodeling, I see debris all over the place that wasn’t there before, or I hadn’t seen before. I can either ignore it and let it build up until I can’t stand it anymore, or I can sweep up the dust daily to keep it from getting out of control.

It’s the same way in my spiritual life. As I grow more like Christ, He will show me “dust” in my life—not to discourage me, but to prompt me to deal with it and confess it. I have to make a choice: clean it up as God shows me sin, or ignore it and let it get out of control.

5. It’s never finished.

When I remodel, it never seems to be finished. There’s always something else that can be done beyond the original goal. So I just keep remodeling…

In the Christian life, we never arrive at spiritual maturity and achieve Christ-likeness while we’re on this earth. There’s always more to be done. Only when we see Him face to face will the spiritual renovation in our lives be done.
 
" Heavenly Father, thank You for being the ultimate builder or even rebuilder in our lives. Thank You for the guidance to constantly keep me growing and moving forward. In Jesus name I pray, Amen."

*****
Printable Issue 5098  Today is Wednesday, April 10th, 2024; Karen's Korner #5098
The assignment for our weekly ecumenical Bible study this morning is to read Matthew 6:25 - 34. It was the first verse (vs.25) which really caught my attention:

"So my (Jesus) counsel is: 'Don't worry about things - food, drink, and clothes. For you already have life and a body -- and they are far more important than what to eat and wear.'"

*
Bible Commentary: "Because of its ill effects. Jesus tells us not to worry about those needs that God promises to supply. How many ill effects are we experiencing? Worry:

1) affects us physically --
making us unable to sleep or eat;

2) causes the object of our worry
to consume our thoughts;

3) disrupts our productivity;

4) negatively affects the way we treat others;

5) reduces our ability to trust in God.

Here is the difference between worry and genuine concern -- worry immobilizes but concern moves us to action."
***

God, one more thing I can't do
without Your help.
Help me when I want to worry!
Amen.
Printable Issue 5097  Today is Tuesday, April 9th, 2024; Karen's Korner #5097
Today's entry from "Jesus Calling' by Sarah Young; written as if Jesus is talking to us. Her words are taken from Romans 8:38 &39 and Exodus 33:14.


"You are Mine for all time,
nothing can separate you from My Love.
Since I have invested My very Life in you,
be well assured that I will also take care of you.
When your mind goes into neutral
and your thoughts flow freely, 
you tend to feel anxious and alone.
Your focus becomes problem solving.
To get your mind back into gear,
just turn toward Me,
bringing yourself
and your problems into My Presence.

"Many problems vanish
instantly in the Light of My Love,
because you realize your are never alone.
Other problems may remain,
but they become secondary
to knowing Me
and rejoicing in the relationship 
I so freely offer you.
Each moment you can choose to 
practice My Presence
or to practice the
presence of problems."

***
Printable Issue 5096  Today is Monday, April 8th, 2024; Karen's Korner #5096
"It is good to say,
'Thank You'
to the Lord,
to sing praises to the God
who is above all gods.

'"Every morning tell Him,
'Thank You for Your kindness.'
and every evening rejoice
in all His faithfulness.
'You have done so much for me,
O Lord.
No wonder I am glad! I sing for joy.'

"O Lord, what miracles You do!
And how deep are Your thoughts!"


~ Psalm 92:1,2,4,5 LAB

*
Bible Commentary:  "During the Thanksgiving holiday, we focus on our blessings and express our gratitude to God for them. But thanks should be on our lips daily. We can never say thank you enough to parents, friends, leaders, and especially to God. When thanksgiving becomes an integral part of our lives, we will find that our attitude toward life will change. We will become more positive, gracious, loving, and humble."

***
Printable Issue 5095  Today is Friday, April 5th, 2024; Karen's Korner #5095
We have just finished the week since Easter when 'love' for us was most evident in Jesus' life, death, burial, and resurrection.

We are stuck with the reality that He loves us. And I have no idea why!!

Another entry from "100 Things God Loves About You" written by Tama Fortner. Number 81:

GOD LOVES WHEN YOU OPEN THE DOOR.


"Here I am! I stand at the door
and knock. If anyone hears my
voice and opens the door, I 
will come in and eat with that
person, and they with me."


~ Revelation 3:20

*
"He stands. He knocks. He waits. But opening the door? That's up to you. Because He will never push it open or break it down. He will never threaten or shout. He will simply knock and wait for you to answer, for you to invite Him in.

"And when you do choose to open that door, the angels in heaven rejoice and your Savior smiles! For one of God's greatest joys is when you open the door."

****

Printable Issue 5094  Today is Thursday, April 4th, 2024; Karen's Korner #5094
The  nation of Israel makes the news headlines
a lot.

"He has made known
His laws and ceremonies of worship 
to Israel
----something He has not done
with any other nation;
they have not known His commands."

~ Psalm 147:19 & 20 LAB

*
Bible Commentary:  "The nation of Israel was special to God because to its people God brought His laws, and through its people He sent His Son, Jesus Christ. Now any individual who follows God is just as special to Him. In fact, the Bible says that the real nation of Israel is not a specific people or geographic place, but the community of all who believe in and obey God."
*

Thank You, God,
that I am -
we are -
special to You!!