September 2009 Archives
Today is Tuesday, September 1st, 2009; Karen's Korner #1647|
Last week our grandson, Luke stayed overnight with us before he started kindergarten later in the week. One of the things which we did was clean some of our dining room windows. While I was on a step ladder, Luke spent a few minutes stomping over a few of the bricks which edge one of our gardens.
"Luke, don't knock the bricks over," I said.
"But, Grandma, some of them are tipping over already," was Luke's response.
"Well, we need to set them all back up straighter," I said.
How is Luke going to know what the right thing to do is, if someone doesn't tell him?
While we were on our short mission trip to Minneapolis with our church a month ago, we went to a Twins baseball game the second night.
Driving back from the stadium to the Christian community center where we were staying, we had to travel near Hennipin Avenue.
It was Saturday night and we started to see neon lights saying such things as, "Open 24 hours"; "Women, women, women!" and "XXX".
I said to Alex who is now in fourth grade "Wow, Alex, better close your eyes! Don't look! This stuff is pretty hard on ten-year-old eyes!"
Then I clarified myself, "Hey, maybe I better shut my eyes too! I don't think 63 year olds should look either!"
We were just having fun, but I wanted him to know that it wasn't just for him. Maybe what could be happening in some of those places wouldn't be the best for young people or older ones as well.
I can recall when our daughters were moving through the elementary years and there would be something on a movie, documentary, or television show that didn't agree with my/our values or morals.
I would tell them what I/we thought.
If I didn't say what our thoughts were/are, how would they know?
I can't recall telling them what they should think or believe.
As they grew up, they would make up their own minds on what they would do and think.
I was always amazed that they chose more closely to what we thought/believed than I would have deemed possible in our changing culture
If you have an opportunity to mention to someone what you think/believe on something you value or on some issue, seize the chance to tell them.
How else are they going to know?
Or will we let the media do our job?
If I don't tell Luke what is right/wrong; good/bad, maybe he will be stomping bricks over on our front yard a dozen years from now....
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for the difference You make in each one of our lives. You tell us things we can and can't do, not because You are a mean Dad, but because You know what is best for us and because You love us so much. Help us to share Your love and care with others, especially the younger ones in our lives. Teach us, teach me to know what to say and when to say it. Show me when I should speak up and when I should shut up. We need more of You and Your ways in our changing world. In the Name of Your Son Jesus, Amen.
Today is Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009; Karen's Korner #1648|
(Please note that this will be the last Karen's Korner until Thursday, September 10 as we will be gone for a few days!)
From Joel and Victoria Osteen:
Keep Walking Through
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…”
Everyone faces challenges and difficulties in life. If you are going through a valley today, know that you are not alone. God is with you! He is working behind the scenes on your behalf, and He will carry you through. Remember, your challenges didn’t come to stay, they came to pass. Don’t get stuck in the valley by allowing your setbacks to become the focus of your life. Jesus endured the pain of the cross for the joy that was set before Him, and when you focus on your victory, you will be able to keep walking through that valley! Shake off bitterness and self-pity today and be determined to press forward. With God on your side, no weapon formed against you shall prosper. As you keep an attitude of faith and expectancy, your challenges will become easier, and you will move forward and live the life of victory the Lord has in store for you.
Father in heaven, thank You for Your faithfulness to me. Thank You for giving me strength during the difficult times. I trust that You are with me today and choose to focus on the victory You have in store. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Today is Thursday, September 10th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1649|
Back after a few days away; sorry that the date of our return was typed wrong on the last Karen's Korner. This is our intended return date!
Today is a good day to praise God (they all can be, the choice is up to us!!):
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Today is Friday, September 11th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1650|
Remembering eight years ago on 9/11/01 - innocent lives lost, families who still mourn and remember, heroes who helped save countless lives of others.
This came into my email box early this a.m. from Shirley Choat:
On December 18, 2001,
President George W. Bush signed an amendment of the U.S. Code
designating September 11th as "Patriot Day".
On the anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11,
let us join together to show that we will not forget those innocent peope
who lost their lives that morning --
the passengers, the pilots, the people
working at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Let us join together to show our appreciation
for the brave firefighters, police officers and EMT personnel,
many who lost their lives trying to help others.
To show our remembrance, our strength, our resolve and our love of our country, l
et's join together again to show we have not forgotten.
Fly the Flag of the United States at half-staff from sunrise to sunset.
Hold appropriate programs and activities.
Light some candles in the evening.
Observe a moment of silence,
and pray to forgive our enemies as Jesus taught us to do.
this day in history, men used terror to harm us and create fear in us.
You, however, were there in the midst of it all, showing the good and the brave;
brave fire-fighters, police officers, and passengers on the airplanes
who gave their lives to save others.
The greatest love of all. Some may remember this day as a day of terror,
but I remember it as a day of bravery.
Thank You, LORD that what man meant for evil, You used for good.
We thank You!
* Editor's Note: 'Cry Out America' asks that groups across the U.S. meet at their county courthouses at noon today to pray for our country; to celebrate our past and to look forward to our future. Wright County, Iowa will meet in the lower level of our courthouse building. If you have the time, join us for even a portion of the prayer time. If you don't live in or near Wright County or don't know of an organized event in your county, grab a friend or two and head for your courthouse lawn and pray or sing a patriotic song or two together!.
Today is Monday, September 14th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1651|
Sometimes Jim will ask me, "Where is ??? found in the Bible?"
If I don't know, I tell him, "Jim, it is a pretty big book!"
While I have read it and been in a number of studies, it is a Book of surprises and treasures. Readers can always find new things they didn't catch the first time or a number of times for that matter.
Here is an example which I bumped into last week. It is in II Kings, Chapter 13.
It is telling about prophets Elijah and Elisha.
Elijah, the most famous and dramatic of Israel's prophets, restored a dead child to his mother. He didn't die but was taken to heaven in whirlwind.*
Elisha was Elijah's successor and was a very effective prophet of God to Israel.*
Both men had extremely close relationships with God.
Verses 20 & 21:*
"So Elisha died and was buried. In those days bandit gangs of Moabites used to invade the land each spring. Once some men who were burying a friend spied these maurders so they hastily threw his body into the tomb of Elisha. And as soon as the body touched Elisha's bones, the dead man revived and jumped to his feet."
"Elisha was dead, but his good influence remained, even causing miracles. This demonstrated that Elisha was indeed a prophet of God. It also attested to God's power---no heathen idol ever raised anyone from the dead."
Wow! Sound like it could be true?
Add it to the list of Jesus performing miracles; His miracle birth and His miracle death and resurrection!
Whether you believe it or not is up to you.
It is a matter of faith and God allows us to decide.
Praise be to God!
* Taken from Life Application Living Bible.
Today is Tuesday, September 15th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1652|
On Sunday afternoon, we spent some time in Des Moines with our daughter Jamie and her family. The Iowa weather remains beautiful, so among other things we headed for a park. It works well for three young grandchildren!
As I walked toward the playground equipment, I decided to kick off my sandals. The pea-gravel wouldn't work well with sandals, I thought.
It was but part of a minute until four-year-old Molly was sitting on the grassy boundary, taking of her shoes and socks. Five-and-a-half-year-old Luke followed suit and did the same thing.
"You can leave your socks and shoes on," instructed mom.
"No," they said, "we are doing the same thing that grandma does!"
Their shoes would have worked better for their play area than mine would have.
But it made me think about two things: first, how important it is to be a good role model to sets of smaller, younger eyes. They tend to do what we do: good or bad. It didn't make any difference why I was doing what I did. They were only doing what they saw someone else do.
My second thought was: "I hope they watch when it comes to adding Jesus to their lives; that they can see how important He is to me." Jesus' love and care is beyond measure; I want them to have what I have and more.
Everything about the Christian life makes us better than we can be on our own.
Best part: unlike my relationship with Luke, Molly, and Noah; our relationships with our Heavenly Father are for forever.
They come with an eternal life-time guarantee!
Dear Father in Heaven, I pray today for our grandchildren everywhere that we might make You known to them. Show us. Teach us. We want to love them as You love them. You give us Your Spirit that we might pass You along to others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Today is Wednesday, September 16th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1653|
I want to call today's Karen's Korner "Better than I Deserve".
Last night I went for a walk after supper. As I looked at the crops and how fast they are getting ready to be harvest, and how they are reporting that yields may be some of the highest in history, I couldn't help but marvel at both the readiness and the yield potentials. It has been a sometimes wet and sometimes chilly summer. How could we be so fortunate to have such good crops with warm, drying days in September! Both are better than I deserve....
I went on to think about lots of 'better than I deserve' thoughts:
* I have lots of family and friends, caring relationships far better than I deserve....
* Over the years I have had small health watches now and then, none materializing into anything worthy of report and at sixty-plus I have health and wellness which is better than I deserve....
* I have never known hunger or want. I live in a vintage farm home which is been in our family for better than a century. I have not concerned myself with safety issues. Some people have known them their whole life. My living and lifestyle is better than I deserve....
* I have a wealth that makes my lifestyle comfortable and has given me the opportunity to share some of what I have with others. The poorest person in America is still richer than a majority of the world's population, statistics tell us. I have so much more than anything for which I could have hoped; it is better than I deserve....
* All of us have been given special interests and talents. A couple of mine are organizational, leadership, and communication skills; each of them are better than I deserve....
* I live in a free country where I have lots of opportunities and liberties. Some are not as fortunate as what I experience . They are better than I deserve....
* I have a background of Christian people who over the years have taught me about Jesus and His Love and Care for me. It changes me and makes me better than I deserve....
Don't get me wrong my life isn't perfect. I don't always behave as I could or should. The country where I live has its fair share of problems. But I feel so blessed and have a life which is better than I deserve....
And when things are going 'right or good', I sometimes think, "It can't get any better than this!", God gently reminds me that this life with some of its aches, pains, and troubles is just the beginning. He has a better place and plan coming for my eternity. One more time: it is far better than I deserve....
Today is Thursday, September 17th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1654|
From Joel and Victoria Osteen:
“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.
So choose life in order that you may live…”
God desires that you live in blessing in every area of your life. He’s given promises in His Word and has established a plan for you to live in total victory. He promises to give you the answers, but you have to be the one to decide to obey His voice. You have the final choice, so choose life and blessing! Every time you choose to obey the Word of God, you are choosing blessing. When you put God first in your life; when you walk in love towards others even when it’s difficult, you are choosing blessing. When you turn away from ungodly influences and when you give to others, God will pour out His blessing on you in return. Start today and do what you know to do. Obey His word and His blessing will overtake you! You’ll rise higher and higher and live the abundant life He has for you.
Father in heaven, today I choose life. I choose blessing by obeying Your Word. Keep me close to You so that I can honor You in all I say and do. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Today is Friday, September 18th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1655|
Here are another few verses from 2 Kings; this time from chapter 20.
Two things I/we have to know/remember: God answers prayers and He can do the impossible.
Our job is to believe!
2 Kings 20:1-11 (The Message)
Some time later Hezekiah became deathly sick. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz paid him a visit and said, "Put your affairs in order; you're about to die—you haven't long to live."
Hezekiah turned from Isaiah and faced God, praying:
'Remember, O God, who I am, what I've done! I've lived an honest life before you, My heart's been true and steady, I've lived to please you; lived for your approval. '
And then the tears flowed. Hezekiah wept.
Isaiah, leaving, was not halfway across the courtyard when the word of God stopped him: "Go back and tell Hezekiah, prince of my people, 'God's word, Hezekiah! From the God of your ancestor David: I've listened to your prayer and I've observed your tears. I'm going to heal you. In three days you will walk on your own legs into The Temple of God. I've just added fifteen years to your life; I'm saving you from the king of Assyria, and I'm covering this city with my shield—for my sake and my servant David's sake.'"
Isaiah then said, "Prepare a plaster of figs."
They prepared the plaster, applied it to the boil, and Hezekiah was on his way to recovery.
Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "How do I know whether this is of God and not just the fig plaster? What confirming sign is there that God is healing me and that in three days I'll walk into The Temple of God on my own legs?"
"This will be your sign from God," said Isaiah, "that God is doing what he said he'd do: Do you want the shadow to advance ten degrees on the sundial or go back ten degrees? You choose."
Hezekiah said, "It would be easy to make the sun's shadow advance ten degrees. Make it go back ten degrees."
So Isaiah called out in prayer to God, and the shadow went back ten degrees on Ahaz's sundial.
... and the rest of the story: Hezekiah lived fifteen more years. Just as God had promised!
Today is Monday, September 21st, 2009; Karen's Korner #1656|
Some highlights from the "Let's Get Motivated" seminar held in Des Moines last Thursday. Quotes from several of the speakers:
"You can get anything you want,
if you help others get what they want."
"Putting your family first
will you give you home court advantage."
* Zig Ziglar
"Your past does not define you.
It is the actions which you make or take today which determine your present and future.
Get past your past."
* Tamara Lowe, co-founder of the LGM Seminars
Former drug dealer/addict with an eighth grade education.
"Always look ahead.
Every age has new phases, new dreams, and new opportunities."
"There is greatness in every generation. There is no greater generation
than the GIs who are now serving our country."
* General Colin Powell
"America has the gears of a changing democracy.
Popular or unpopular decisions, our country's leaders are decent men (women)
trying to do the best they can with the information and wisdom which
each one has."
* Laura Bush, former first lady
"You can do it!
You can win!
You can be successful!
What is your IT?
Call out what turns you on.
Then get into it!
Get acquainted with it!
Take charge of it.
Learn how to sweat and work.
Learn how to accept failures and setbacks.
And keep it simple.
* Terry Bradshaw, NFL Hall of Fame
Former quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers
"Cut the word 'impossible' out of your vocabulary and dictionary.
Replace it with 'possible'!
Dream a new dream;
rebirth an old dream.
All things are possible.
Believe it, dream it.
Tackle the impossible.
You can do it with God.
It is He who gives you that dream.
Together with God, you can make those dreams, realities!
* Dr. Robert Schuller
Today is Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009; Karen's Korner #1657|
A month or so, Jim bought a nearly twenty year old Mustang convertible; something we didn't need just something fun to own.
But it had a problem: we couldn't keep the battery up. Even after buying a new battery.
It was okay if we drove it every day. But if it was left in the shed for a few days, it wouldn't start. It was pretty hard to drive because we didn't know how reliable it might be.
Then one night we left the car outside. Jim glanced out the kitchen window to see that there is a small light on the rearview mirror. He could see that it was on. He trekked out to the car and found the switch to turn off the light.
The car starts and runs well now.
As I was cleaning some of the car's windows a few days ago, I thought about us and our Christian lives. When we accept Jesus into our lives, He gives us His Spirit: a new, fully-chaged battery. Now we are equipped for anything. He tells us that 'we can do all things' (Philippians 4:13) with that new battery.
But what light switches do we have left 'on' which keep running down our batteries?
Is it something from our past which brings back unwanted memories? Could it be unnecessary concerns about the future? Is a relationship we would like to be something that it is not? It could be anything. Sometimes it is something for which we are not even fully aware. But we wind up with dead batteries just the same.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as Your Children, we are made to 'run' successful, joy-free lives. Show us the places where are 'batteries' are being drained today. Make us aware of You and not the 'other stuff' that is trying to 'drain us'. Recharge us. Refocus our thoughts and minds on you whenever we are distracted by life's 'draining' moments. Thank You that You make it possible through Your Son Jesus. Amen.
Today is Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009; Karen's Korner #1658|
Jim and I had the privilege of sponsoring the gospel quartet "JOURNEY BOUND", as part of our community's Festival in the Park two-day celebration, in memory of our daughter Merry. They were enjoyed by all of us who attended.
Taken from their CD "He'll Never Let You Go", song #8. I don't know who the writer of the song is:
"He's Still Waiting By The Well"
Jesus' feet were growing weary
as He journeyed on His way.
So He rested at a well side,
a comfort in the heat of day.
There He waited for a woman
black with sin and bound for hell.
When she arrived, He plainly told her,
"What you need is not in the well!"
And He's still waiting by the well.
And He's holding out His hand.
If you drink His living water,
you won't have to thirst again.
He's still waiting by the wellside,
knowing you'll be passing by.
So take advantage of the moment
He's not gone
He's still waiting by the well
Are you tired of being thirsty?
Even though you've had your fill
of the water the world gives
doesn't leave your longing still.
Well, there's good news about the wellside.
The woman's voice rings loud and clear.
She says, this man changed her forever,
if you need hope,
you can find it here.
repeated two times.
Today is Thursday, September 24th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1659|
Something from Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life" writings:
Every Nation: Shift From Local to Global Thinking
"Send us around the world with the news of Your saving power and Your eternal plan for all mankind".(Psalm 67:2 LB).
God is a global God. He has always cared about the entire world. "God so loved the world..." (John 3:16 NIV). From the beginning He has wanted family members from every nation He created. The Bible says, "From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and He decided when and where every nation would be" (Acts 17:26 CEV).
God has done all this, so that we will look for Him and reach out and find Him.
Much of the world already thinks globally. The largest media and business conglomerates are all multi-national. Our lives are increasingly intertwined with those in other nations as we share fashions, entertainment, music, sports, and even fast foods. Probably most of the clothes you're wearing and much of what you ate today was produced in another country.
We're more connected than we realize and God can use that connectedness as a means for us to fulfill His Great Commission. Jesus gave us a pattern for such involvement: "...You will tell everyone about Me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world" (Acts 1:8 CEV).
His followers are to reach out to their community (Jerusalem), to their country (Judea), to other cultures (Samaria) and to other nations (everywhere in the world). Note that our commission is simultaneous, not sequential.
We are called to be on mission to all four groups in some way. How would you identify these groups in your community? What nations do you believe God has called you to serve in some form?
Today is Friday, September 25th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1660|
I have a wonderful opportunity this morning.
A small number of individuals in our Marys & Marthas (ecumenical group in Clarion, also known as M & Ms); makes personal sized quilts and afghans which are given to people going through some crisis; many times health issues.
The "Warm Thought" blankets have a typed accompanying prayer, penned to each one. The one I am giving doesn't have the 'normal' one.
One other time I was asked to be the giver of one of the blankets and I didn't have the note.
Below is something which was typed and included then and will be included with the one I deliver today. As a disclaimer, I have never made one of the more than 200 which have been made and given in the past four years. I salute those who faithfully make them:
Warm Thought Blanket
What is a Warm Thought Blanket?
It is one made by some unknown friend in the Clarion area: one of our Marys and Marthas (M & Ms). As she stitches, knits, ties, or crochets, she has agreed to pray for you without knowing who would be the recipient of her work.
As you rest or sleep wrapped up in the blanket, may you stay warm and comfortable. But also be comforted by God’s Love and His Warmth for you.
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
~~ Psalm 121
Today is Monday, September 28th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1661|
Some short thoughts from a variety of sources:
Most Americans marry just once, according to new Census data. The survey of three million households shows 76% of those who have ever been married have married only once.
Nearly 20% have been married twice, and 5 % have been married three or more times.
The Census also reported that the average U.S. marriage lasts 18.2 years.
~ Taken from Focus on the Family's CITIZEN LINK
'Every man is either making a mark or leaving a scar. We need to make sure we leave the mark God desires.'
Freddie Scott, former NFL football player, talking about dads
"Love makes the world go around ~
Laughter keeps you from jumping off!
"If God is your co-pilot,
maybe you should consider switching seats?!!
- Gretta Bauman shared both thoughts at a recent M & Ms meeting
"God gives you grace to live with Him in Heaven, but also give you grace to live for Him here on earth.
-- Dr. James Merritt
Almighty God, You are so good. You have again helped me. No matter how many times I stumble and fall, You are always there waiting to help be back up. How wonderful is Your patience towards me, never letting me go. Today I will turn from my negative thoughts and focus on the amazing promises You have for me. In Jesus' name. Amen
- Shirley Choat
Today is Tuesday, September 29th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1662|
A couple more short thoughts:
HOW TO RAISE SUCCESSFUL & HAPPY CHILDREN
* Sit down and eat with your family a minimum of 5 times per week
* Attend a religious service as a family weekly
* Check on your children's homework
* Demand the truth from all family members
* Go on a trip as a family one week per year
(Leave blackberries and cell phones at home!)
* Children should each participate in one team sport/activity
~ Frank Luntz, national poll/survey taker
our week would be:
Sinday, Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday,
Thirstday, Fightday & Shatterday.
~ email forwarded from Judy Watne
Dear Father in Heaven, Thank You that You make us new every day. Thank You that You love us and care for us. Thank You that we don't have to 'do' this life without you. Be with us; help us; direct us.......just today! In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Today is Wednesday, September 30th, 2009; Karen's Korner #1663|
Several decades ago Owen Wilmot was the minister in the church where we currently attend. His wife, Dorothy, emailed me something which was forwarded to her by daughter, Deb.
God's Wonderful Creation
“By the Grace of God, I am what I am” I Cor. 15:10
Foods and How They Amaze Us
God provided Mankind with all things including the following amazing foods. These are best and more powerful when eaten raw. God even left us great clues as to what foods help what part of our body!
In a sliced carrot, we see the pupil, iris and radiating lines that look just like the human eye. Science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.
A tomato has four chambers and is red just like the human heart. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopene and good for the heart and blood.
Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell. Research shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.
A walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.
Kidney beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and look like the human kidneys.
Celery, Bok Choy and Rhubarb are examples of those that look like bones. These foods specifically target bond strength. Bones are 23% sodium and so are these foods These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body. If your body does not have enough sodium, it pulls it from the bones.
Avocadoes, egg plants and pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods but modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them.
Figs are food of seeds and hang in two when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers.
Sweet potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.
Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.
Oranges, grapefruits and other citrus fruits look just the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.
Onions look like the body’s cells. Today’s research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.
Lord, You remind us daily of the wonders all around us as well as the wonders of the human body. Help us to slow down in our daily rushing around, to strive for a quiet mind that we might truly appreciate all You have given us. Help us to be good stewards of Your creation. Amen.