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January 2009 Archives

Printable Issue 1479  Today is Thursday, January 1st, 2009; Karen's Korner #1479
Happy New Year!
Usually I do well typing 2009 for the first few days of a new year, until I forget to remember and do something 'automatically'. Then I go back to writing 2008!!
Psalm 138 theme:  "Thanksgiving for answered prayer. God works out His plans for our lives and will bring us through the difficulties we face:

Psalm 138 (New International Version)


 1 I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
       before the "gods" I will sing your praise.

 2 I will bow down toward your holy temple
       and will praise your name
       for your love and your faithfulness,
       for you have exalted above all things
       your name and your word.

 3 When I called, you answered me;
       you made me bold and stouthearted.

 4 May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD,
       when they hear the words of your mouth.

 5 May they sing of the ways of the LORD,
       for the glory of the LORD is great.

 6 Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly,
       but the proud he knows from afar.

 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
       you preserve my life;
       you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes,
       with your right hand you save me.

 8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
       your love, O LORD, endures forever—
       do not abandon the works of your hands.


Printable Issue 1480  Today is Friday, January 2nd, 2009; Karen's Korner #1480
It was 4 o'clock on December 23 that my sister started hearing a blast of sirens coming from every direction! What is happening she thought?
She learned that a 64-unit apartment complex less than a mile from her home was burning; fire trucks and fireman were called in from around the neighboring areas of Burnsville.
"We started to hear in the media that 190 people had been living in those apartments," said Jill, "but all of them had gotten out safely. There were no deaths and no injuries. No one was allowed to go back into their apartments. But they organized metro transit buses to take all of the people to the Burnsville High School."
Jill said she and her daughter Colleen started to go through some of their stash of clothes, finding which they could give away. "We loaded up five garbage bags of clothing items and headed for the Burnsville school," she said. "Because it was in the process of happening, everything was a bit chaotic. News trucks were there. Red Cross and Salvation Army volunteers were on hand, but no food, clothing, or blanket drives had been organized yet."
The Red Cross and Salvation Army volunteers began moving the news trucks to a more obscure location. Someone came to their car window and asked them what they had, clothes was the answer. The unnamed volunteer said the car ahead of them was a family with young children. "They had run to Target and bought 48 toothbrushes and 24 tubes of toothpaste," Jill said. "They offered apologies of not being able to do more, but the kids had thought, 'what are all those people going to do without even being able to brush their teeth?'"
The volunteer said to Jill and Colleen, "Look behind you."
Jill said she could see headlights of at least 25 cars joining the caravan of those wanting to help.
As luck would have it, the Burnsville girls' basketball team was playing a game, so tables could not be set up. "As soon as the game was over the girls became some of the volunteers," Jill said. "The coach called the boys' basketball team to come and help as well. You have to remember now that none of these people are trained volunteers and no organized giving campaign had started."
A neighboring Burger King sent down 250 hamburgers; Cub Foods contributed 500 pieces of chicken.
They learned through the media, organizers were looking for area residents to adopt-a-family until housing could be found and by morning only 30 people didn't have a place to go!
The man/organization/company who owned the apartment complex saw to it that every family unit received $800; their rental deposits; and the rent for the month was returned or given to each apartment dweller. A mega-church in the area started a furniture collection of used furniture. Not only was furniture collected, if anyone in the metro area had used furniture to give, they would send out teams to pick up items and take them to the church.
But the biggest gift of all: an anonymous donor, working through the Wells Fargo Bank, gave $1 million for relief of the 190 former residents. "Each family unit received $17,000," Jill said, "with the instructions that his/her/their identity never be revealed and that the money had to be all distributed by Christmas Eve."
The Burnsville mayor told the media how proud he was of the people of his community. One of the recipients said, "I can't believe the kindness of so many, many people. Especially in a big city where we sometimes claim, we don't even know our neighbors."
Help me answer this question:  "Was this event a tragedy? An inconvenience? Or a Christmas blessing?"
Printable Issue 1481  Today is Monday, January 5th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1481
A letter written for new parents/grandparents coming up in 2009; taken from "A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul":
From the Heart of a Joyous Child
Dear Mommy and Daddy,
I write this letter to you in hopes that you will consider your approach to
parenting me before I arrive.
I am a joyous child.
I thrive on love and respect, order, and consistency.
When I arrive, I will seem very small to you.
Even though I don't look like an adult,
please understand that I am a human being.
Even though I will not speak words to you,
I will know you with my heart.
I will feel all your feelings,
absorb your thoughts.
I will come to know you more than you may know yourself.
Do not be misled by my silence.
I am open, growing and learning more rapidly than you can imagine.
I will make imprints of all that I see, so please give me beauty to rest my eyes upon.
I will record all that I hear,
so please give me sweet music and language that tells me how much I am loved.
Give me silence to rest my ears.
I will absorb all that I feel, so please wrap our life in love.
I am waiting patiently to be with you.
I am so happy to have the opportunity to be alive.
Maybe when you see me you will remember how precious life is too!
~~ Your joyous child
Written by Donna McDermott
Printable Issue 1482  Today is Tuesday, January 6th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1482
Margaret Cramer sent me a Christmas thank you note, written on a Christmas card with this personal note, "I really liked this card and its message". I am sharing what the front cover of the card said:
The best thing to give to your enemy
is forgiveness;
to an opponent,
to a friend,
your heart;
to your child,
a good example;
to a father,
to your mother,
conduct that will make her proud of you;
to yourself,
to all men,
~ Arthur James Balfur
* Per my note:  courteous regard, respect
Printable Issue 1483  Today is Wednesday, January 7th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1483
Taken from "A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul"; something to think about as we move away from Christmas and the gift giving season, plus facing an unstable economy:
Out of a Jam
It was 1933. I had been laid off from my part-time job and could no longer make my contribution to the family larder. Our only income was what Mother could make by doing dressmaking for others. Then Mother was sick for a few weeks and unable to work. The electric company came out and cut off the power when we couldn't pay the bill. Then the gas company cut off the gas. Then the water company. But the Health Department made them turn the water back on for sanitation reasons. The cupboard got very bare. We had a vegetable garden and were able to cook some of its produce on a campfire in the back yard.
Then one day my younger sister came skipping home from scholl saying, "We're supposed to bring something to school tomorrow to give to the poor."
Mother started to blurt out, "I don't know of anyone who is any poorer than we are," when her mother, who was living with us at the time, shushed her with a hand on her arm and a frown.
"Eva," she said, "if you give that child the idea that she is 'poor folks' at her age, she will be 'poor folks' for the rest of her life. There is one jar of that home-made jelly left. She can take that."
Grandmother found some tissue paper and a little bit of pink ribbon with which she wrapped our last jar of jelly, and Sis tripped off to school the next day proudly carring her "gift to the poor". After that, if there ever was a problem in the community, she just natrually assumed that she was supposed to be part of the solution.
~~   Edgar Bledsoe  
Printable Issue 1484  Today is Thursday, January 8th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1484
Now and then I am asked to give a presentation for churches, ladies' groups, or guest days. Over a year ago, I was asked to be one of the speakers at a ladies' district meeting an hour or so southeast of where we live.
After I had agreed to do it, I learned Anne Grahm Lotz, Billy Graham's daughter, was coming to Des Moines for a Friday evening and Saturday speaking tour.
Now I wanted to do both. No matter, a group of us went together on Friday night. I drove to the ladies' meeting, which I had agreed to do, on Saturday morning, before going back to Des Moines to finish up the day, listening to Lotz.
When I got to the ladies' day-long retreat, I learned that the gal who asked me to be part of the morning session, was not able to be there. The people I was talking with barely knew who I was, what I would be doing, nor much about me. The listeners were attentive, but I left quickly to get to Des Moines; and they moved on to the rest of their programming.
I have given programs several dozens of times, but this is the first one where I never received a thank you or a gift. I don't charge a fee for speaking to groups but a gift of money isn't uncommon, especially when I am invited and with higher gas prices which we had several months ago.
I have an idea what happened. Several of the organizers probably thought someone else that taken care of a thank you of some sort.
But I noticed it, because it hadn't happened before.
As I recalled the incident several days ago, I thought about our lack of thankfulness to God. Do we call up God and ask Him for healing of a loved one, a new job for a friend who lost theirs, more bountiful crops or salaries; and then forget to mention how thankful we are for things that have gone the way we asked for them? Are we thankful for things we are given just because He is such a caring Godwho gives us more blessings than we can almost count or of which we can make notice?
I know I am as guilty, as the group of gals who has asked me to speak.
Psalms 92:1 - 4 says:  "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. Sing his praises, accompanied by music from the harp, and lute and lyre. You have done so much for me, O Lord. No wonder I am glad! I sing for joy."
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for who You are and for being our loving and caring Heavenly Father. Forgive us when we forget to say 'thank You'; help us to be aware of your love and care that You have for each one of us. Thank You for today, because You are a part of it. In the Jesus' name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1485  Today is Friday, January 9th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1485
Last night I had a friend ask me a question he read on a coffee cup mug, "If you could do anything and know you can't fail, what would you do?"
Think about it; what is your answer?
Welcome to being a Christian and a part of God's Kingdom! Sure we will have setbacks; experience disasters; and things we don't like. Ultimately, we know the final score and WE WIN!
Here is today's devotional from Joel and Victoria Osteen:

Plan for a Comeback

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…" (II Corinthians 2:14, NKJ).

God promises to always lead us into victory! That means, no matter what you are facing, no matter what’s going on in the world around you, no matter what anybody says, you should always be planning for a comeback! In the middle of that adversity or tough time, start making your list of who you’re going to invite to your victory celebration. You don’t have to wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to celebrate what God is going to do in your life.

Put some action behind your faith. That means if you’re in the hospital, start planning what you’re going to do when you get out. If you lost some money when the stock market went down, start planning your coming-out-of-debt party. When things don’t look good in the natural, remember, we serve a supernatural God. With God leading you into victory, you can always plan for increase. You can plan for restoration. You can plan for a comeback that will make you stronger and better than you ever were before!


Heavenly Father, I give You thanks and praise today for the promise of victory. Give me Your vision for the future so that I can move confidently into the abundant life You have for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1486  Today is Monday, January 12th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1486
A writing from a book I just read:
Important Work
The last to board the plane from Seattle to Dallas were a woman and three children. "Oh, please don't sit next to me," I thought. "I've got so much work to do." But a moment later an eleven-year-old girl and her nine-year-old brother were climbing over me while the woman and a four-year-old boy sat behind. Almost immediately the older children started bickering while the child behind intermittently kicked my seat. Every few minutes, the boy would ask his sister, "Where are we now?" "Shut up!" she'd snap and a new round of squirming and whining would ensue.
"Kids have no concept of important work," I thought, quietly resenting my predicament. Then in my mind a voice as clear as a song simply said, Love them. "These kids are brats, and I've got important work to do," I countered to myself. My inner voice simply replied, Love them, as if they were your children.
Having heard the "Where-are-we-now?" question repeatedly, I turned to the in-flight magazine map, in spite of my important work.
I explained our flight path, dividing it into quarter-hour flight increments and estimated when we would land in Dallas.
Soon they were telling me about their trip to Seattle to their father who was in the hospital. As we talked they asked about flying, navigation, science, and grown up views about life. The time passed quickly and my "important" work was left undone.
As we were preparing to land, I asked how their father was doing now. They grew quiet and the boy simply said, "He died."
"Oh, I'm so sorry."
"Yeah, me too. But it's my littls brother I'm most worried about. He's taking it real hard."
I suddenly realized what we'd really been talking about was the most important work we ever face:  living, loving, and growing in spite of heartbreak. When we said good-bye in Dallas, the boy shook my hand and thanked my for being his 'airline teacher'. And I thanked him for being mine.
~~ Dan S. Bagley
Taken from "A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Printable Issue 1487  Today is Tuesday, January 13th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1487
A couple of quotes and Bible verses from "A Little Bit of God's Wisdom & Wit:
Spiritual investments reap eternal dividends.
"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven....
For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also."
~~ Matthew 6:20-21
Many people mistake our work for our vocation.
Our vocation is the love of Jesus.
~ Mother Teresa
"Anyone who doesn't obey me
doesn't love me.
~~ John 14:24
Let your heart be broken with the
things that break the heart of God.
"This is the kind of fast day I'm after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
cancel debts."
~~ Isaiah 58:6
People are as friendly as you are.
"There are 'friends' who pretend to be friends,
but there is a freind who sticks closer than a brother."
 ~~ Proverbs 18:24
Breathe in God's Spirit,
exhale His love.
"...we feel His warm love everywhere within us
because God has given us the Holy Spirit
to fill our hearts with his love."
 ~~ Romans 5:5
Printable Issue 1488  Today is Wednesday, January 14th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1488
I like it when others write or find a writing which they share with me; sometimes encouraging me to include the writings through Karen's Korner. This is a writing which Colette Connor forwarded to me in December. Enjoy:



Universal Principles of Growth And Increase
Share the Credit
by Mac Hammond

Ronald Reagan was famous for always having a certain sign on his desk, both as Governor of California and as President. It read, "There's no limit to what we can accomplish if no one cares who gets the credit."

One of the most neglected keys to growing an organization is being the kind of leader who is willing to share the glory. This truth is firmly rooted in the Bible. In Proverbs we read: "Let another praise you and not your own mouth." And if you want to see maximum effort and loyalty from those around you, share the credit and do it publicly.

My question of the day for you is, "Are you willing to share the glory with others?"


Printable Issue 1489  Today is Thursday, January 15th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1489
Today's Karen's Korner is Psalm 42 (11 verses) from The Message translation, as we face many potential changes in our individual and/or collective lives.
Several sentences in my Bible Commentary about this chapter: "As the deer depends on water, our lives depend on God. Those who seek Him and long to understand Him find never-ending life. Feeling separated from God, this writer wouldn't rest until his relationship with God had been restored because he knew that his life depended on it.
"Depression is one of the most common emotional ailments. One antidote for depression is to meditate on the record of God's goodness to His people. This will take your mind off the present situation and give hope that it will improve. It focuses your thoughts on God's ability to help you rather than your inability to help yourself. When you feel depressed, take advantage of this this psalm's anti-depressant."

Psalm 42

  A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek;
   I want to drink God,
      deep draughts of God.
   I'm thirsty for God-alive.
   I wonder, "Will I ever make it—
      arrive and drink in God's presence?"
   I'm on a diet of tears—
      tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
   All day long
      people knock at my door,
      "Where is this God of yours?" 

 These are the things I go over and over,
      emptying out the pockets of my life.
   I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,
      right out in front,
   Leading them all,
      eager to arrive and worship,
   Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—
      celebrating, all of us, God's feast! 
 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
      Why are you crying the blues?
   Fix my eyes on God—
      soon I'll be praising again.
   He puts a smile on my face.
      He's my God. 

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
      everything I know of you,
   From Jordan depths to Hermon heights,
      including Mount Mizar.
   Chaos calls to chaos,
      to the tune of whitewater rapids.
   Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers
      crash and crush me.
   Then God promises to love me all day,
      sing songs all through the night!
      My life is God's prayer. 

Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
      "Why did you let me down?
   Why am I walking around in tears,
      harassed by enemies?"
   They're out for the kill, these
      tormentors with their obscenities,
   Taunting day after day,
      "Where is this God of yours?" 

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
      Why are you crying the blues?
   Fix my eyes on God—
      soon I'll be praising again.
   He puts a smile on my face.
      He's my God.
Printable Issue 1490  Today is Friday, January 16th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1490
A couple of short prayers for specfic times from the booklet "Blessings for Home and Hearth", which was given to me as a Christmas gift:
In Gratitude
For food and health and happy days
accept our gratitude and praise.
A Simple Thank You
Thank you for the food we eat
Thank you for the friends we meet
Thank you for our work and play
Thank you God for every day.
Birthday Blessing
Another year has passed it's true
a time to smile and savor
the journey taken
wisdom gained
the setbacks and the pleasure
We thank you God for all of these
Your blessing we will treasure
our times are in your hand, O God,
please look at us with favor
A Wedding Toast
Gracious and loving God
guide this couple
in the newness of marriage
direct them in the ways of gentleness
strengthen their hearts with compassion
And their minds with trust
Bring them contentment
as intimate partners
creative souls
bound together by their promise
and their love
Tomorrow's Promise
May the God of peace and mercy
kindle in us
a love that endures any loss
a hope that promises future good
and a desire to heal
and be healed
Printable Issue 1491  Today is Monday, January 19th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1491
Who can not be impressed by the U S Airways airplane which landed in the Hudson River near New York City, without losing the lives of any of its 155 passengers!
It's some good news we can do nothing but enjoy!
It made me stop and think about what brought that large, large airliner down. They said it was a flock of geese!! A group of little geese nearly destroyed the airplane and the lives of the people who were riding in it.
Does that sometimes happen to us? Some little thing left to fester or not be attended and it can cause our lives to be destroyed?
Some habit? Some addiction? Some broken relationship? Some spending excess? Something that starts out so little becomes something that can destroy us?
Dear Father in Heaven, help us to see ourselves as you see us. We know how much you love each one of us.....warts, bumps, bruises and all. But you also know that we can become more of what you would have us to be:  More like you. Show us. We want to know. Help us in places we can't help ourselves. Love makes all of this possible. Thanks for loving us. Thanks for teaching us. Thanks for showing us the way. In the name of your son, Jesus. Amen.
Printable Issue 1492  Today is Tuesday, January 20th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1492
Today is the historic day when Barack Obama becomes the new president of the United States. While the majority of those who voted chose him, about 47% did not. Below are some thoughts written by Chris Lousias, as she thinks about inauguration day:
Romans 13:1:
 "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities,
for there is no authority except that which God has established.
The authorities that exist have been established by God."


We must submit to God’s design of the line of authority not superiority. What matters is the chain of responsibility not the value of an individual. God is the first line of authority because He is the source of all life.  The real order of business here is to control ourselves to a measure of submission to the rest of the line of authority which is given by God. 


I am going to guess there are a few people who are not happy with the choice of President for this new term of office. The fact of the matter is, the people who are in, are in and we must respect that. We must do what the Bible tells us: Submit ourselves for the Lord's sake (not our sake) to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by [the king] (1 Peter 2). 


It is God who sets up kings and deposes them (Daniel 2). That means we can trust God with what we face before us  It is God's will that if we respect the authority before us, we can silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. In other words, a calm spirit will open up lines of communication and ears will hear and hearts will turn toward the ways of God.  When they hurled their insults at [Jesus], He didn’t retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly and so must we (1 Peter 2).


It is our business to live a life God intended us to live under His supreme authority. We can serve Him by interceding in prayer for the things which we feel may be unfair. Daniel did it and King Nebudchadnezzar in time, praised and exalted and glorified the King of Heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble (Daniel 4).


Praise God that He is in control and tell Him you will work with His choice of authority within the guidelines of God’s Holy Word. Ask that God may give the newly elected and those fulfilling old terms, the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that they may know Him better and that the eyes of their hearts may be enlightened. (Ephesians 1:17,18)

Printable Issue 1493  Today is Wednesday, January 21st, 2009; Karen's Korner #1493
A week or so ago I had the opportunity to talk with Bob Eilerts who lives in Eagle Grove. He is the dad of Aaron Eilerts, the 14-year-old Boy Scout who was killed tragically last June by a tornado at the Little Sioux Boy Scout Camp in western Iowa.
One of the questions Bob asked me, "Did you ever have a dream about Merry after she died?"
Yes, I had some dreams but none like Bob described:
"I drempt I was in Aaron's room looking for something in his closet," Bob said. "I looked over my shoulder and there was Aaron lying on his bed.
"I said to him, 'Hi, Buddy (dad's favorite nickname for his son)! What's up?'
"'Oh, nothing,' was Aaron's reply, "just laying her watching television.'
Aaron's next comment to his dad, "I'm okay, Dad!"
Bob said he next could recall his walking toward Aaron wanting to give him a hug.
Then he woke up.
"His 'okay' was so comforting to me, " Bob said. "I had this good feeling. I felt like he was telling me that he's fine and not to worry about him. That he is in a good place and that he's okay."
God doesn't do all of the same things to all of us. But He has a way of telling each of us what we need, just when we need it!
God is in control; Bob is okay.
As is Aaron!
Printable Issue 1494  Today is Thursday, January 22nd, 2009; Karen's Korner #1494
Funny things kids say from "While Shepherds Washed Their Flocks" by Liz Curtis Higgs:
Cynthia and Greg have different disciplinary styles. He's the softie, she's the tough one. Boone, two, was not happy with his mother's no-nonsense methods and kept calling, "Daddy! Daddy!"
Cynthia said sternly, "Do not say Daddy again."
Boone took a deep breath and tried another approach, "Greg! Greg!"
At Cyndi's house, it's a family rule to ask to be excused from the dinner table before getting up. When her son was five, he asked his daddy for permission to leave the table. His father was involved in coversation and didn't hear the request.
A little impatiently, the boy asked again. His father still did not hear. A third time. Still no response.
In exasperation he looked toward heaven and said, "Jesus, may I please be excused!"
Young Neil's grandfather owned a heating and air-conditioning business, and Neil often heard him say, "Duct tape fixes everything."
When one of his toys broke, Neil headed for the workshop exclaiming, "Grampa, I need that goose tape!"
Suzanne taught her boys that when they played a game, the loser should always congratulate the winner.
Benjamin, three, was soundly beating Jonathan, six, in one round of Uno after another. Finally, Susanne prompted, "Now, Jonathan, what do you say to your brother?"
"Do-do-head," he retorted.
"Jonathan!" Suzanne gasped.
"Uh--that's Spanish for 'congratulations!'"
Printable Issue 1495  Today is Friday, January 23rd, 2009; Karen's Korner #1495
At the end of the year, our church family saluted several of our "Senior Saints". Judy Ofstethun shared some thoughts about her dad with the group. She read something titled,
"Footprints of Discipleship"
Watch a small boy follow his dad through the snow.
He stretches to step where his dad stepped.
Not an easy task.
His small legs extend as far as they can
so his feet can fall in his father's prints.
The father, seeing what the son is doing,
smiles and begins taking shorter stpes,
so the son can follow.
It's a picture of discipleship.
In our faith we follow in someone's steps.
A parent, a teacher, a hero ---
none of us are the first to walk the trail.
All of us have somone we follow.
In our faith we leave footrprints to guide others.
A child, a friend, a recent convert.
None should be left to walk the trail alone.
It's the principle of discipleship.
Judy concluded her comments with, "Thanks, Dad, for being the great example and helping to make us who we are today."
With whom might you want to share the above writing?
Thank You, Jesus, for Your plan of parents, family members, friends who give us steps in which to follow. Thank You, too, that You are the Master Footprint-maker who makes the first set of footprints in which all of us are to step. Thanks for taking smaller steps sometimes so we don't get stuck or lost and for always being there for us, especially all the times we don't deserve Your Love and Your Attention. Amen.
Printable Issue 1496  Today is Monday, January 26th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1496
A couple of writings and several thoughts from the small, coffee table book titled, "Random Acts of Kindness":
"My wife was dying of cancer. There were lots of nonrandom kindnesses in our lives. People who knew us did many ordinary and extraordinary things. But what touched many of us in our community happened early in my wife's struggle. We decided to have a water filtration system installed in our house to take the impurities out of the water. The plumber we contacted installed the system and wouldn't accept any payment. We found out later his father had died of cancer."
"Through our willingness to help others
we can learn to be happy
rather than depressed."
~~ Gerland Jampolsky
"My grandmother was born in Russia at a time of great confusion and instabllity. She emigrated to this country as a young girl and ended up marrying a man who was extraordinarily successful. She could have lived in the fanciest neighborhood and eaten only at the best restaurants; instead she lived in a very modest area and would go to Woolworth's for coffee. In those days, a cup of coffee cost five cents, and whenever my grandmother would buy a cup, she would always leave a five dollar tip. Her explanation was simple:  'They work hard for their money.'"
" Give light, and darkness
will disapper of itself."
~~ Erasmus
"I grew up in what we would now call a dysfunctional family. My parents materially were quite well off, but we lived amidst emotional chaos and confusion in a wealthy suburb of Philadelphia. As with most children, I simply assumed that this was the way it was and that the problems, the undercurrents of anger and hostility, were somehow my fault. One day when I was still very young, after a particularly painful and confusing series of interactions with my parents, our maid took me aside to talk to me.
"She told me that she did not care if it cost her her job, she just could not continue to be a silent observer. She told me that my parents were crazy, that they were acting very badly, and not at all like good loving parents should act toward their children. She told me that I was a good sweet girl and that the situation was not my fault. It must have taken a lot of courage for her to do that. Not only to overcome the natural hesitation to intervene between parents and children, but to take the risk that I would not say something about our talk to my parents. I never did talk about it. It was an incredible gift. Her words gave me the explanation I needed, a way to stop blaming everything on myself."
'I don't know what your destiny will be,
but one thing I do know;
the only ones among you who will be really happy
are those who have sought and found how to serve."
~~ Albert Schweitzer
Printable Issue 1497  Today is Tuesday, January 27th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1497
King James Version, New International Translation, Amplified Bible. There are dozens of translations of the Bible. So which one is right?
According to Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham's daughter), the one which most fits you and your personality. If you want to read the Bible for the first time or you want to venture into a 'different' translation than the one you are most familiar with, go to a Christian book store, ask the clerk where the Bible section is. Pull a few of them off the shelf and open them to about the same part of the Bible. Read a few paragraphs. Lotz says to sit down on the floor and spread a few out and begin to compare. Purchase the one you like the best. Not the one that someone else tell you that you need to be reading.
I have several friends who are 'Bible readers'. Every year or so they purchase a new Bible which is a 'new' traslation to them so the words remain interesting and exciting to them as avid readers.
I did that after Christmas. My mom gave me some money as a Christmas gift so I bought 'The Message' translation of the Bible.
Here is the Lord's Prayer in the King James Version (Matthew 6:9-13), you can't hang around church very long without knowing this one:
 "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

 Give us this day our daily bread.

 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.


So what about The Message Bible? I sort of liked this one, for a change:

" Our Father in heaven,
   Reveal who you are.
   Set the world right;
   Do what's best— as above, so below.
   Keep us alive with three square meals.
   Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
   Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
   You're in charge!
   You can do anything you want!
   You're ablaze in beauty!
      Yes. Yes. Yes. "


Printable Issue 1498  Today is Wednesday, January 28th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1498
I have been reading a small coffee table book titled "Random Acts of Kindness". (Several exerpts from the book on Monday, January 26, Karen's Korner #1496 - www.karens-korner.com ). Most of us are either givers or receivers of these random acts of kindness.
It made me think of a kindness which Jim received years ago from a New York Salvation Army:
He tells the story of being in the Army, taking training in New Jersey. One Sunday late afternoon while he was in New York doing some exploring and seeing the sights, someone stole his billfold.
Not only was Jim left without money, he had no ready identification. A New York native suggested he ask for help at a Salvation Army location nearby, which he did.
The Salvation Army worker walked with him to a bus station to buy his bus ticket back to the Army base. (Jim always believed that was to assure that their money was used for what he told he needed.). The volunteer also gave Jim several dollars for something to eat on the ride.
As Jim turned to thank the Salvation Army person, he asked how he could pay them back.
"Just put some money in a Salvation Army kettle next time you see one," was the response.
That was forty some years ago.
Lots of kettles later, Jim continues to repay the kindness done to him.
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You that You have put into place people and organizations to be Your hands and feet in our world. Thank You that sometimes they become 'You, with skin on', that we can see and touch. Thank You for so many people in my world who do that for me; help me to be Your Servant to others; it helps me and others believe You! In Jesus Name, Amen.
Printable Issue 1499  Today is Thursday, January 29th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1499
Happy Birthday, Jamie (a shout out to our daughter on her day!)
A good daily email devotional from Joel and Victoria Osteen:

Hidden Treasures

"And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name" (Isaiah 45:3, NLT).

Did you know there are treasures hidden on the inside of you? There are gifts, talents, and abilities inside of you that you don’t even know about.  Oftentimes, it´s during seasons of difficulty or darkness that those hidden treasures are revealed to us. When we go through times of adversity, strength arises, new abilities arise, new talents. We are "reinvented" so to speak.

I think about when my father went on to be with the Lord. It was a dark hour for me, but out of that difficulty the Lord revealed hidden treasures on the inside of me that I didn´t even know about. Look at David in the Bible. Before Goliath, he was known as a shepherd boy. But after he conquered Goliath, after he went through that adversity, he was known as a mighty warrior, and eventually, a mighty king.

If you are going through a difficulty today, if you lost your job or a loved one, remember, God still has a purpose for you. He´ll take what the enemy meant for evil, and He’ll turn it around for your good. Keep standing, keep believing, keep hoping because He´s ready to reveal those hidden treasures on the inside of you!

Heavenly Father, I come before You with an open and humble heart. Let Your Word sink deep into my Spirit. I trust You and look for the hidden treasures You have deposited on the inside of me. In Jesus´Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1500  Today is Friday, January 30th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1500
Wow! This is number 1500!
Some people have asked me how I came to begin writing the Karen's Korners (first Monday of March 2003!). I started because I had a handful of things which happened to me when Merry was sick and ultimately died. I was afraid if I didn't write them down and share them, I might forget them eventually.
So I did that over the course of a few months of the first Karen's Korners. There were seven of them.
I have never done this before, but I am going to repeat them over the next year or so on Merry's birthday, anniversary or milestones like this one.
Today is Thursday, March 13th, 2003; Karen's Korner #9:

I am having fun sharing my thoughts, ideas, others' writings, prayers, Bible verses with you. As a mom of a daughter who lived joyfully, and died too young; at times I would like to share with you some of the things God has taught me through her illnesses and death. I would like to title those day's writings:


"....when Merry died....."


It was late in the evening of July 9, 1999, that Ed, Merry's husband, called. "Merry is sicker than I have ever seen her," he said. "You have to come!"


It had been "quite a year" for the Weld family. Merry had her first shunt surgery since she was 12, at Thanksgiving time the year before; surgery #2 was at Christmas. Jim had emergency heart surgery near my birthday in May of 1999. It was serious enough that they wanted the family there, just in case.... Merry had had surgery #3 near Ed and her 4th anniversary, in June; and #4 had been the day before in July 1999. Doctors had not been convinced that the surgery that day had done what they had hoped for. When we left the hospital shortly after noon on July 9th, Merry seemed to be doing okay. And then came Ed's call several hours after we had returned home.....


Every time God was teaching me, to trust Him; to let Him control of things I couldn't control; to always believe; and to live one-day-at-a-time.


Jim and I began to toss a few clothes into a suitcase; tie up a couple of loose ends ratherly quickly; and hop into the car for a nearly three hour drive into the darkness toward Cedar Rapids. We talked some. Other times we rode quietly, not saying too much.


One of those times, I can recall praying. "This is so hard," I silently told God.


And I can recall His response, "No, Karen, it isn't hard. It is impossible."


Then pictures started taking shape in my mind like a clip from a video. I saw that most people like to take a leisurely boat ride down the calm river of life. But the Welds' boat was capsized, and the waters were raging. There was a storm with no end in sight. I was in the water.


God said, "I am not going to throw you a life preserver and I am not going to teach you to swim. I am going to show you how to walk on water!"


"How am I going to do that?" I asked.


"You have to keep your eyes on Me," was His reply. "Don't pay any attention to the water ...to the waves, or the storm. Don't look at My hands. Look only at My eyes, My face, and My heart."


What I saw was Jesus walking slowly toward me on the water, and His eyes were filled with joy. His face had a faint smile, and His heart was filled with love for me and my family. I knew that if I took my eyes off Him, I would be afraid and like Peter, I would see the storm and begin to drown in the impossibility of the pending situation.


I asked God, "How long am I going to have to walk on water?"


"The rest of your life!" He said.


Must have something to do with Jim and Merry's illnesses, I thought.


But I was energized, filled with hope and His power for that supernatural walk, spiritually.


When we got to the hospital, Merry was sicker than I had ever seen her. Her surgeon, who was not on call, came to the hospital to stabilize her. And get her comfortable for surgery #5 the next day. Merry's mom was able to "be there" for Merry and the rest of the family, because my focus was not on the dreaded situation at hand, but on Jesus....who calms storms, ease the fears, and delivers us from situations.


The next day Merry's surgery was successful and another day or two later she was able to return home to resume the things she liked doing the most.


Some might say, "I don't think God talks to people like that any more." Could be.........


A counselor might say, "This can be explained away. You were under a lot of stress." Probably right.........


When I am on my death bed and if I don't have Alzheimer's, I will tell the same story. I can't explain it; I can only describe it...


And Karen was able to continue her walk........one-day-at-a-time..........