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February 2007 Archives

Printable Issue 989  Today is Thursday, February 1st, 2007; Karen's Korner #989
Wow! February already, seem possible?
An email pass along which I have seen a couple of times before. This one happens to come from Florine Swanson via Monica Staudt.
Not factual, just fun!
From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:

What Equals 100%?  What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?  Ever
wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?  We
have all been in situations where someone wants you to give over 100%.
How about achieving 101%?  What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these



Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%


1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

AND, look how far the love of God will take you

L- O- V- E-O-F-G-O-D

12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:
While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get
you there, it's the Love of God that will put you over the top!  Please
send this to your friends and pray for him/her who sent to you.  You
will be blessed.

Welcome each day as a gift from GOD.
We don't need more to be thankful for --  we just need to be more thankful!
Printable Issue 990  Today is Friday, February 2nd, 2007; Karen's Korner #990
I have had the New York Times bestseller book "Your Best Life Now:  7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential" by Joel Osteen, pastor of one of the largest Protestant churches in the United States, for a number of months. I am not reading it like a novel; instead I read several pages or maybe a chapter and then come back to read some more another day.
A couple of days ago I read this part (page 140):
Joel penned, "Allow me to make some declarations in your life:"
* I declare that you are blessed with God's supernatural wisdom, and you have clear direction in your life.
* I declare that you are blessed with creativity, with courage, with ability, and with abundance.
* I declare that you are blessed with a strong will and with self-control and self-discipline.
* I declare that you are blessed with a great family, with good friends, with good health, and with faith, favor, and fulfillment.
* I declare that you are blessed with success, with supernatural strength, with promotion, and with divine protection.
* I declare that you are blessed with an obedient heart and with a positive outlook on life.
* I declare that any curse that has ever been spoken over you, is broken right now.
* I declare that you are blessed in the city. You are blessed in the country. You are blessed when you go in. You are blessed when you come out.
* I declare that everything you put your hand to do is going to prosper and succeed.
* I declare that you are blessed!
I encourage you to receive these words and to meditate on them; let them sink down deeply into your heart and mind and become a reality in your life. Practice doing something similar with your family. Learn to speak blessings over your life, your friends, your future. Remember a blessing is not a blessing until it is spoken. If you'll do your part and start boldly speaking blessings over your life and the lives of those around you, God will provide everything you need to live the life of abundance He wants you to have." 
Printable Issue 991  Today is Monday, February 5th, 2007; Karen's Korner #991
Today is our grandson Luke's third birthday!
My uncle Bud Merwin emailed me this web site address a few weeks ago. It is titled "my birth verse". When you click on it you select your birth date verse, notice that the chapter and verse is both the month and date of the selected verse: 


Luke's is Ephesians 2:5: NIV
"...alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."


Our daughter Jamie (Luke's mom's) birthday was last week on January 29th:

Colossians 1:29 NIV

"To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me."


My birthdate is May 3:

Matthew 5:3 NIV

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."


At the end of each birthday's verse are these words:

"You are a child of God, His treasured possession. He created you in His own image. He chose the day for you to be born. He has a plan and a purpose for your life. Cherish your birthverse."

What's your birthdate? You might have fun checking yours out!

Printable Issue 992  Today is Tuesday, February 6th, 2007; Karen's Korner #992
A good daily devotional from Jeff White; sometimes we think the problems are so big and the task so large, we fail to begin to do anything:

Plant goodness,
harvest the fruit of loyalty,
plow the new ground of knowledge.

Hosea 10:12


     We are bombarded by radio and television with all the bad in the world.  We get frustrated and overwhelmed with it all.  The concern is that when we get overwhelmed we get inactive.  We believe that the problems are so mountainous that we can not make a difference.

     You CAN make a difference.  Start in your place, whether it be your home, school, office or wherever, just start.  Plant some goodness in the world around you with the intent to make a difference.  Your mindset is that no matter what happens you will be a ray of sunshine in the lives of the overwhelmed.  God promises that if you plant some goodness you will reap some loyalty from those around you.  And; loyalty will provide new ground to spread the seed of the Gospel of Christ.

     Don’t wait for spring, start planting NOW!


Printable Issue 993  Today is Wednesday, February 7th, 2007; Karen's Korner #993

A daily devotional email from Joel and Victoria Osteen:


Do You Have Room for God?

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

~~ Psalm 46:10

    Being fruitful means being productive and excelling in everything you do. When you're fruitful, life isn't a drain, it doesn't wear you out and you don't have to force things to happen. When you confuse fruitfulness with busyness, you can head down a path that wears you out and robs God of His glory. You can be content when you're being fruitful because you know you're living a life that is pleasing to God. A fruitful life blesses others and receives God's blessings in return. This is how God intended your life to be!

    "God, I know that I am often too busy for my own good. Help me to slow down when necessary and even say 'no' to some things so I can give You my best. Thank You for Your love and for designing me to be fruitful! In Jesus' name. Amen."

Printable Issue 994  Today is Thursday, February 8th, 2007; Karen's Korner #994

Greeting from Des Moines!  This is Jamie filling in for my mom, who is on vacation with my dad in Costa Rica on a bank tour out of Mason City.  They will be returning on the 13th.  I'm sure that it's warm there and they are having a great time!!

I usually read the marquis/billboards outside of churches as I drive around Des Moines.  I usually get a chuckle or am reminded about something bigger than myself.

Here is one that I saw last week.

A.S.A.P--Always Say a Prayer

Short and sweet, but memorable!

Have a great day!


Printable Issue 995  Today is Friday, February 9th, 2007; Karen's Korner #995

A writing by Shirley Choat:

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5

  Too often we allow the future to be colored by our present circumstances. We have a tendency to become so absorbed with our current difficulties that we forget God's faithfulness in the past. And in so doing, a future bright with divine promises becomes obscured by doubt and despair. We see only the shadows and forget that behind the clouds the sun is shining in all its glory.
  Sometimes only deep valleys seem to lie ahead in our lives. The gray skies of grief overshadow our days, and our nights are filled with the darkness of trial. But what appears as utter defeat could well be God's process of preparing us for a glorious triumph. So let's trust Him, for "joy cometh in the morning."  When the clouds are lifted, we'll see that victory signals have been there all the time.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - The darker the night, the nearer the dawn.
Printable Issue 996  Today is Monday, February 12th, 2007; Karen's Korner #996

A forward from Bob Hall via Chris Lousias:



The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. 


This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.  This defect has been technically termed “Subsequential Internal Non-Morality,” or commonly known as S. I. N., as it is primarily expressed.


Some other symptoms include:

1.       Loss of direction

2.       Foul vocal emissions

3.       Amnesia of origin

4.       Lack of peace and joy

5.       Selfish or violent behavior

6.       Depression or confusion in the mental component

7.       Fearfulness

8.       Idolatry

9.       Rebellion


The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect.  The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs.  There is no additional fee required. 


The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.  Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.  Next download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.  No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:


1.       Love

2.       Joy

3.       Peace

4.       Patience

5.       Kindness

6.       Goodness

7.       Faithfulness

8.       Gentleness

9.       Self-control


Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E.  (Believers’ Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.   WARNING:  Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to danger and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.  DANGER:  The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility.


Thank you for your attention.



PS.:  Please assist where possible by notifying others of the recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by “knee-mail.”

Printable Issue 997  Today is Tuesday, February 13th, 2007; Karen's Korner #997
I guess I accidentally copied an entire e-mail from my mom. I am embarrased and apologize for this.

I got a good verse sent to me from a friend

"Ah Lord God, Wow you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power; there is nothing too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17.
Printable Issue 998  Today is Wednesday, February 14th, 2007; Karen's Korner #998
Happy Valentine's Day!
We returned home last night after traveling for a week plus with a group from our local bank, visiting the sights and sounds of Costa Rica.
One of our 'adventures' while in Costa Rica was a two hour nature walk in the cloud forest there. We were told that the difference between a cloud forest and a rain forest is the cloud forest is at a higher elevation and, consequently, has lower temperatures than does the hot rain forest.
As we walked, we were told by our guide to not walk as a clumped together group, but to string out a bit. We were to keep our chatter at a minimum and to look at the world around us. If we spotted a bird, animal, spider, we were to alert the rest of the group of our findings, so all could enjoy what we had found.
It was really something special as nearly thirty of us walked in almost silence and listened to the nature sounds around us. To hear the chirping of the birds and to search to find that special hidden animal. We could really hear because of the silence; we could see because we looked.
Jesus told his disciples and in turn tells us that if we look, we will see; if we seek, we will find. Sometimes that takes us opening our eyes and our ears and closing our mouths so that we can really see and hear. He also told us that we are "to go and to tell". If someone spotted a 'holler' monkey, a beautiful bird, or a tarantula spider (they aren't as harmful as we have been told; they are just big and ugly!), we would alert the group to our findings so that all could see that special Costa Rican sighting. We wanted to share what we saw so that others could enjoy our good fortune.
Jesus wants us to do the same with the things that He shows us and gives to us!
The national motto of Costa Rica is "Pura Vida", meaning the "good life". The good life:  what Jesus wanted for His disciples and for all of us! So to you today: may you look, see, find, enjoy the good life. God's hand of blessing on you....just for today! May you experience His love on this special day, Valentine's Day!
Printable Issue 999  Today is Thursday, February 15th, 2007; Karen's Korner #999
I received a number of nice forwarded messages from some of you while we were gone for a few days. I saved several of them for upcoming Karen's Korners.
This one was forwarded to me by Jim Bossard. I liked it. Some pass around emails are hoaxes and I have no idea of this one is true or false. I hope, and assume, this one is a true story:
A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One morning, they were eating breakfast in a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests.

The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn't come over here."  But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.
"Where are you folks from?" he asked in a friendly voice.
"Oklahoma," they answered.
"Great to have you here in Tennessee," the stranger said. "What do you do for a living?"
"I teach at a seminary," he replied.
"Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I've got a really good story for you." And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple. 
The professor groaned and thought to himself, "Great, just what I need--another preacher story!"
The man started, "See that mountain over there?"  (pointing out a  restaurant window). "Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question. 'Hey boy, who's your daddy?' Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question. He would hide at recess and lunchtime from other students. He would avoid going into stores because that question hurt him so much. When he wa about twellve years old, a new preacher came to his church. The lad would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question.
But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast, he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about hm put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, "Son. who's your daddy?" The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the young boy's dreaded question.
The new preacher though, sensed the situation around him and using the discernment only the Holy Spirit could give, said to the scared little boy, "Wait a minute! I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God. Boy, you've got a great inheritance. Go and claim it." With that the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again.
Whenever someone asked him, "Who's your Daddy?" he'd tell them, I'm a child of God!
The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, "Isn't that a great story?" The professor responded that it really was! The man turned to leave and said, "You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me that I was one ot God's children, I probably would never have amounted to anything!" And with that he walked away.
The seminary professor and his wife were stunned!
He called the waitress over and asked her, "Do you know that man who just left that was sitting at our table?"
The waitress grinned and said, "Of course. Everybody here knows him. That's Ben Hooper. He's the former governor of Tennessee!"
Someone in your life today needs a reminder that they are one of God's Children.
You are one of God's Children:  I see the family resemblance!!
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at 
the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
I Samuel 16:7b
Printable Issue 1000  Today is Friday, February 16th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1000
Did you catch it? Today's Karen's Korner is #1000! Wow, think of it one thousand! Five days per week, skipping only a few days or weeks since its inception, the first week of March 2003. It was an idea that God gave me. He had been so generous with his love and care after Merry had been killed, that I had some vivid thoughts and experiences I wanted to write and share. Things I was afraid I would forget if I didn't write them down!
Beginning with a limited number of readers; the numbers have grown! Sometimes I subscribe a few people, asking them if they would enjoy receiving the daily inspirational thoughts. Other times people email me and ask me to subscribe for their mom, friend, daughter. Several of my email names say, "........ friend" or ".........sister-in-law" because I don't know his/her name!
And then a couple of years ago, our son-in-law Tim, thought I could use a web site. So he built one: www.karens-korner.com was born. Every Karen's Korner is listed on it. If you want to look back to issue #1 on March 3, 2003, it is there. If you want to look up a subject title such as dog, friend, love, John, or blessing, you can type up the subject word and find matches of up to 20 items. Some people tell me that they use some of the past writings for sharing with others or for a church program or lesson.
People can subscribe to getting daily Karen's Korners by letting me know or typing in their email address on the web site!
The fun part is the sharing. It is an outlet for me and my writings and thoughts. It is an outlet for sharing your writings. It is a format for passing along favorite emails. It is a way to correspond on a certain topic. For example, on February 5, the topic of Karen's Korner was sharing the web site http://www.mybirthverse.com/ where people put in the desired birth day and month. Tamara EnTin replied, "Our son, Alex, has multiple challenges due to the fact his birth mother used crack and alcohol during her pregnancy with him." Her findings for his birthday - August 18th (8/18):  Romans 8:18 NIV - "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revelared in us." Tamara was blessed, and so are we as the readers!  God works in mysterious ways!
Thanks for sticking with me for all 1,000 writings or for joining in as we journeyed along together! Welcome to the next 1,000!  And to God goes all the praise and glory!
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for Your blessings to Karen's Korner. Thank You for making it bigger, better , and of longer duration than I could have ever envsioned. Thank Your for the all the sharing among the writers and the readers; we are blessed because of You and the plans You have for each one of us. Thank You for Your Spirit which makes all of us Your children and related one to another. I want to celebrate You. I want to celebrate each person who reads these daily thoughts. May they each one know how special they are me and how special they are to You! Thank You for making us Your 'forever friends'. In name of Your Son Jesus. Amen.
Printable Issue 1001  Today is Monday, February 19th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1001
Saturday was Dan Gangestad's funeral, a young man by most standards at 45. He died after a three year struggle with brain cancer. The funeral was a memorable one.
One of the statements by the pastor, Sean Peterson, "We should have three priorities in our life: worship, work and play. Unfortunately too many of us worship our work, work at our play, and play at our worship."
The statement said volumes, I thought.
The night that Dan died, we had Bible study and Chris Lousias, the study leader, read several verses from Revelation as a prayer for Dan. I have it listed below. Fill in the blank for who, if you have someone in mind who you have recently lost:

Revelation 21:1-4: 


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven

and the first earth had passed away,

and there was no longer any sea.

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem,

coming down out of heaven from God,

prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.

They will be his people,

and God himself will be with them and be their God.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,

for the old order of things has passed away." 



Printable Issue 1002  Today is Tuesday, February 20th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1002
At a meeting on Sunday, some incident I hadn't thought of for a long time came to mind and I shared it with the group. I would like to share it with you:
When Merry and Jamie were younger elementary kids, we had several half-grown kittens at our house one summer. I can't remember the names of all of the kittens, so I'll call him 'Skunk', (the name of one of our kittens one time, but I think it is the wrong one for my story!).
As cats and kittens go, one day Skunk turned up missing! The kids were brokem-hearted! After a couple of days, Jamie suggested that we pray for Skunk and maybe God could find Him and send him home! I didn't want to do that. Cats and kittens sometimes wander off. Partially grown cats are sometimes road kill or the victims of another bigger animal. The amount of missing time was starting to become a factor.. "How would praying for Skunk affect Jamie's faith," I thought, "when Skunk doesn't come back?"
"Dear God, please take care of Skunk and send him back to us," either Jamie, Merry, or I prayed on more than one occasion.
I think it was in a day or two, I was out hanging up clothes on the clothes line. I could feel something around my legs. Looking down, there was Skunk! I was worried about Jamie's prayer not being answered. Instead it was me who found joy in picking up Skunk and taking the small animal to find Merry and Jamie. God had answered our prayers exactly as Jamie had wanted. 
"How does praying for Skunk affect Jamie's, Merry's, and my faith when Skunk does come back?" It makes it stronger and it makes a memory!
Too bad I don't use that answer and memory for every occasion in my life. By now I should; unfortunately I don't. But I continue to learn.
Thank you, Jamie! Thank you, God
But Jesus said,
"Let the little children come to me,
and don't prevent them.
of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
~~ Matthew 19:14
Printable Issue 1003  Today is Wednesday, February 21st, 2007; Karen's Korner #1003
Today is the Ash Wednesday; the first day of the Lenten season. Prepare for Jesus to die.......for you! He will defeat death by living again...........for you! Because of Him, you can do and have the same thing........get ready!
I received this via email from several of you right at the first of the year:
The top ten predictions for 2007

1.. The Bible will still have the answers.
2.  Prayer will still work.
3.  The Holy Spirit will still move.
4.  God will still inhabit the praises of his people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6.  There will still be singing of praise.
7.  God will still pour out blessings on his people.
8.  There will still be room at the cross.
9.  Jesus will still love you.
10.Jesus wil still save the lost.
In a world filled with lots and lots of changes, it's nice to know that some things never change!
Printable Issue 1004  Today is Thursday, February 22nd, 2007; Karen's Korner #1004
A pass along email forwarded to me by Bonnie Saxton. The story tells about Beth Moore. If you don't know her, she is a Christian speaker, writer, television personality. Lots of energy and enthusiasm. The story certainly sounds like Beth; a liitle longer than most 'korners'. Hope you have the time to read it:

On April 20, 2005, at the Airport in Knoxville, waiting to board the plane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing.  I'd had a marvelous morning with the Lord.  I say this because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you.  You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise.  Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least of which is your ego.
I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier.  His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt.  His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones. The strangest part of him was his hair and nails.  Stringy, gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back.  His fingernails were long, clean but strangely out of place on an old man.
I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I'd just had a Howard Hughes sighting.  Then, I remembered that he was dead.  So this man in the airport...an impersonator maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere? There I sat; trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while, my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him.
Let's admit it.  Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern,and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man.I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall.
I've learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing.
I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind.  "Oh, no, God, please, no." I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven and said, "Don't make me witness to this man.  Not right here and now. Please.  I'll do anything.  Put me on the same plane, but don't make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!"
There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, "Please don't make me witness to this man.  Not now.  I'll do it on the plane."
Then I heard it...  "I don't want you to witness to him.  I want you to brush his hair." The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top.  Do I witness to the man or brush his hair?
No-brainier.  I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, "God,as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I'm on this Lord.  I'm your girl!  You've never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life.  What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed?  I am going to witness to this man."
Again as clearly as I've ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of
my mind.  "That is not what I said, Beth. I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair."
I looked up at God and quipped, "I don't have a hairbrush.  It's in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?" God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: "I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works."  (2 Timothy 3:17)
I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies.  I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely as possible, "Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?"
He looked back at me and said, "What did you say?"
"May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?"
To which he responded in volume ten, "Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that."
At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, "SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?"
At which point every eye in the place darted right at me.  I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Longlocks. Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, "If you really want to."
Are you kidding?  Of course I didn't want to. But God didn't seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, "Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem.  I don't have a hairbrush."  
"I have one in my bag, " he responded.
I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger's old carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing.  I stood up and started brushing the old man's hair.  It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted.  I don't do many things well, but must admit I've had notable experience untangling knotted hair, mothering two little girls.  Like I'd done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull.
A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man's hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared.  There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me.  I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair.  
I know this sounds so strange, but I've never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life.  I believe with all my heart, I - for that few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God.  That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while.  The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God's.
His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's. I slipped the brush back in the bag and went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knees and said, "Sir, do you know my Jesus?"
He said, "Yes, I do."
Well, that figures, I thought.
He explained, "I've known Him since I married my bride.  She wouldn't marry me until I got to know the Savior." 
He said, "You see, the problem is, I haven't seen my bride in months. I've had open-heart surgery, and she's been too ill to come see me.  I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride."
Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we're completely unaware of the significance.  This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in
details only He could have known.  It was a God moment, and I'll never forget it.
Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft.
I still had a few minutes, and as I  gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, "That old man's sitting on the plane, sobbing.  Why did you do that? What made you do that?"
I said, "Do you know Jesus?  He can be the bossiest thing!"
And we got to share.
I learned something about God that day.  He knows if you're exhausted, you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge.  He knows if you're hurting or feeling rejected.  He knows if you're sick or drowning under a wave of temptation.  Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed.  He sees you as an individual.  Tell Him your need!
I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way.  .  .all because I didn't want people to think I was strange. God didn't send me to that old man.  He sent that old man to me.
John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly shouting, "Wow! What a ride!
Thank You, Lord!"
Be Blessed!
Printable Issue 1005  Today is Friday, February 23rd, 2007; Karen's Korner #1005
Today's Karen's Korner is written by Rev. Jeff White, which I saved from one of his daily email devotionals. As we get older, our disicussions tend to sound like Jeff says. As a friend said to a group of us a couple of days ago, "We are a lot closer to the end of our lives than the beginning. We don't have much time left to do what God has planned for us to do." Too true for many Karen's Korner readers.
From Jeff: 

Even when you are old,
I will be the same. Even when your hair has
turned gray, I will take care of you.

Isaiah 46:4


     Age has its pitfalls.  You get up later and go to bed earlier, yet, you sleep less.  Everything creaks and groans.  Conversations sound like medical conventions because they are all centered on who, what, when, and where we are hurting, or who is dying.

     While our bodies continue to change and seem to fall apart, you can continue to count on the God who never changes. 

     Quit worrying about your next doctor's appointment and start looking forward to your next visit with the ultimate physician.

Printable Issue 1006  Today is Monday, February 26th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1006
What is something someone does when it is icy and snowing outside and part of the time the electricity is off inside? That's what happend at the Weld's house part of the day on Saturday! One good possibility when our options are limited is to read a book, which I did and am doing.
Here is an exerpt from one of the books, "Facing Your Giants" by Max Lucado:
(he is talking about David on the run from Saul, how he lies to some of the people he bumps into, he is alone and afraid....David escaped from Gath and holed up in a cave at Adullam where he came to his senses and again chose to follow God.)
"Gath. Wilderness. Adullam. Folly. Loneliness. Restoration."
"David found all three. So did Whit Criswell. This Kentucky native was raised in a Christian home. As a young man, he served as an officer in a Christian church. But he fell into gambling, daily risking his income on baseball games. He lost more than he won and found himself in desperate debt to his bookie. He decided to embezzle funds from the bank where he worked. Welcome to Gath.
"It was only a matter of time until the auditors detected a problem and called for an appointment. Criswell knew he'd been caught. The night before the examination he couldn't sleep. He resolved to take the path of Judas. Leaving his wife a suicide note, he drove outside of Lexington, parked the car, and put the gun to his head. He couldn't pull the trigger, so he took a practice shot out the car window. He pressed the nose of the barrel back on his foehead and mumbled, 'Go ahead and pull the trigger, you no-good slob. This is what you deserve.' But he couldn't do it. The fear that he might go to hell kept him from taking his life.
"Finally, at dawn, he went home, a broken man. His wife had found the note and called the police. She embraced him. The officers handcuffed him and led him away. He was, at once, humiliated and liberated; humiliated to be arrested in front of family and neighbors, but liberated from the chains of mistruth. He didn't have to lie anymore.
"Whit Criswell's Adullam was a prison cell. In it, he came to his senses; he turned back to his faith. Upon release, he plunged into the work of a local church, doing whatever needed to be done.
"Over a period of years, he was added to the staff of the congregation. In 1998 another area church asked him to serve as their senior minister. At this writing, that church is one of Kentucky's fastest growing congregations.
"Another David restored.
"Are you in the wilderness? Crawl into God the way at fugitive would a cave. Find refuge in God's presence.
"Find comfort in his people. Cast your hat in a congregation of folks who are one gift of grace removed from tragedy, addiction, and disaster. Seek community in the church of Adullam."
Printable Issue 1007  Today is Tuesday, February 27th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1007
Most of us can repeat the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray, the Lord's Prayer. How many times is it found in the Bible? Two times.
Chris Lousias researched what the sentences mean from Warren Wiersbe's:  "Be Compassionate", which I used in its entirety in a recent Sunday School class. I am sharing one paragraph of her research; plus both versions of the prayer from Matthew and Luke. I have highlighted in bold, portions that really said volumes to me, as I read it (if you would like the entire two pages of research, email me and I will forward it to you):
:"Why does our Father in Heaven answer prayer?  Not just to meet the needs of His children, but to meet them in such a way that it brings glory to His name.  'Hallowed be thy name.'  When God’s people pray, God’s reputation is at stake.. The way He takes care of His children is a witness to the world that He can be trusted.  Persistence in prayer is not an attempt to change God’s mind (“Thy will be done”) but to get ourselves to the place where He can trust us with an answer. 


Luke 11:2-4 --

 2 He said to them, "When you pray, say: 
   hallowed be your name,
   your kingdom come 
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, 
       for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. 
   And lead us not into temptation.

 Matthew 6:9-13 --

 9 "This, then, is how you should pray: 
   'Our Father in heaven,
   hallowed be your name,
10 y
our kingdom come,
   your will be done
      on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
      as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
   but deliver us from the evil one."

Printable Issue 1008  Today is Wednesday, February 28th, 2007; Karen's Korner #1008
For Lent, our church is studying "40 Days of Community" with Rick Warren. Jim and I are two days into it, so there is a lot about the series we don't know yet. It looks like 'love' is going to be at least one of the themes.....love for not just people we 'feel' like loving.
This inspirational thought by Shirley Choat makes me think of our beginning study work:
"My brothers, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality." -- James 2:1
  God has told us to love others as He loves us, without partiality. But this is not easy, because we find some people especially hard to like. We either ignore them completely, or we try to get away with the kind of bad treatment that was recently given to us.
  We sometimes relate in a similar way to people in our churches who don't fit into our plans. We know they have a right to be there, but we don't want to get involved with them. So we give them a cold shoulder and hope they'll go away.
  This attitude isn't new among Christians. The text today reveals that neglecting the less fortunate has occurred in the church for a long time. There have always been those who are not easy to love. But when we encounter them, we should remember what the Savior did for us. Without regard for His own well being, He came into the world to suffer and die for you and me. I am glad he didn't avoid the price of loving us so much.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The best exercise for the heart is to reach down and help other people up.