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September 2004 Archives

Printable Issue 363  Today is Wednesday, September 1st, 2004; Karen's Korner #363

I like the fact that so many people send me emails that I have the privilege of sharing with Karen's Korner readers. This one was sent to me a few weeks ago by Pam Winter. It was forwarded to her by her mom:



Ever wonder about the abbreviation A.S.A.P.? Generally we think of it in
terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. Maybe if we think of this
abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find a new way to deal
with those rough days along the way.

There's work to do, deadlines to meet;
You've got no time to spare,
But as you hurry and scurry-

In the midst of family chaos,
"Quality time" is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest-

It may seem like your worries
Are more than you can bear.
Slow down and take a breather-

God knows how stressful life is;
He wants to ease our cares,
And He'll respond to all your needs

Printable Issue 364  Today is Thursday, September 2nd, 2004; Karen's Korner #364

This is yesterday's Chicken Soup for the Soul email. With school in its beginning stages, I thought that it is appropriate for school teachers, but also for Sunday School teachers, moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas. It is especially good for moms and dads who just sent off their first child to college, or their last child off to school:

The First Day of School
By Christine Pisera Naman

It was the first day of school, the first hour to be exact, and I sat at my desk in the front of the room surveying the class before me.  The motley crew of five-year-olds scattered in front of me created this year's kindergarten class.  The names and faces change from year to year.  They are boys and girls, tall and short, plump and thin.  They are blonde and brunette (one is always a redhead).  Their hair is short and long.  Their uniforms are neatly pressed and wrinkled.  They come bearing supplies (everything but the kitchen sink) as well as empty-handed.  They are always very different from, yet very similar to, last year's class and very different from, yet very similar to, one another.  However, although each comes in a unique outer wrapping, inside they are all five-year-olds.  And I have found five-year-olds to be a very good thing.

They sat before me, each coloring a paper caterpillar with their name printed on it.  This was one of my favorite "getting to know you" activities.  I have found through the years that there is nothing children enjoy more than seeing their name anywhere and everywhere.  Printed big, bright and bold.  They enjoy it; they are flattered and proud.  "If my name is here, I must belong here," their eyes seem to say.

I studied them with interest noting how uniquely they approached the task assigned to them.  Some sat straight and tall coloring perfectly and confidently inside of the lines as if they were modeling for a Norman Rockwell painting.  While others looked more like one of the Little Rascals, slouching, wielding each crayon wildly like a sword.

I rose from my desk and walked around the room offering encouragement through positive words and gentle touches on the shoulder.  "These are simply the most beautiful caterpillars I have ever seen," I gushed.

As I continued to weave in and out of the desks, a clamor from the hallway drew my attention.  Another class was passing by my doorway on their way to gym.  I did a double take as I realized it was not just any class but my kindergarten class from last year, this year's first-graders.  I paused and watched as they scampered by, some of them waving.  They had outgrown me.  My heart melted and a lump formed in my throat as I watched them.  A flood of memories washed over me.  How they had grown!  They had stumbled in last year so young, so insecure with wide eyes and cowering shoulders.  And throughout the year they had grown, and by June their eyes became sure and their shoulders straight.  As the line of children dwindled, the flood of memories dried leaving just a drop in the corner of my eye.  I sighed and wiped the tear away with a quick hand.

"Teacher?"  My thoughts were interrupted.  Last year disappeared.

"Teacher?" persisted a voice from a straight and tall, inside-of-the-lines colorer in the front row.  "If we are caterpillars now," she asked with her blonde ponytail bobbing, "will we be butterflies when kindergarten is over?"

I smiled at her as she tilted her head to admire her perfectly crayoned caterpillar.  "Yes, Lauren," I said, reading her name off the page.  Her eyes darted to mine at the sound of her name.  She smiled and blushed, surprised that I knew it.

"Yes," I said again, smiling to myself enjoying the irony of the thought.  I savored the image in my head for a moment longer, then as fast as the last first-grader flew by my door I said, "Yes, I believe you will be."

And with that, I somehow had a new understanding of the work set before me for the next ten months - nurturing wiggling little caterpillars into beautiful baby butterflies.
Printable Issue 365  Today is Friday, September 3rd, 2004; Karen's Korner #365
Note the number of Karen's Korners which have been shared - 365! So let's celebrate one year's worth of my writings, thoughts, others' writings, and "hot" pass around emails. In reality, it has been a year and a half, when we take into account weekends and some vacations tossed in. At any rate, thanks for the comments back from you and your willingness to share writings which you have found of interest!!

Praise belongs to God.........today and every day!!

Psalms 62: 1: "I stand silently before the Lord, waiting for Him to rescue me. For salvation comes from Him alone.

2: "Yes, He alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense, and fortress. Why then should I be tense with fear when trouble comes?"

(Verse #2 must be pretty important, because #6 is exactly the same!)

7 & 8: "My protection and success come from God alone. He is my refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust Him all the time."

Commentary: Prayer can release our tensions in times of emotional stress. Trusting God to be our Rock, rescuer, defense, and fortress changes our entire outlook on life. No longer are we held captive by hurtful treatment from friends, relatives or situations, but are released to follow an unchanging God, our Rock and fortress.

"Thank you, God, for being our Rock, our fortress, our defense, our help, Thank you for our futures and our hope. Amen
Printable Issue 366  Today is Monday, September 6th, 2004; Karen's Korner #366
Happy Labor Day!!

A pass around forwarded to me by Arlene Lockwood:

Three things:

Three things in life that, once gone, never come back -
Time, Words & Opportunity

Three things in life that may never be lost -
Peace, Hope & Honesty.

Three things in life that are most valuable -
Love, Self-confidence & Friends

Three things in life that are never certain -
Dreams, Success & Fortune

Three things that make a man -
Hard work, Sincerity & Commitment

Three things in life that can destroy a man -
Wine, Pride & Anger

Three things that are truly constant -

Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Printable Issue 367  Today is Tuesday, September 7th, 2004; Karen's Korner #367
Sometimes when I sit down to read the newspaper, our inside-and-outside dog, Lady, who weighs about 18 pounds, jumps right into the middle of what I am doing or reading. She looks at me, as if to say, "I need your attention. I need you to talk to me. I need you to pet me and touch me." And I respond for a bit, before she jumps off my lap.........goes on her merry way or lays back down on the floor.

I often think, "Too bad people don't do that. Then they wouldn't feel or be neglected. They would always have enough."

This is a pass along that I received a couple of weeks ago with that sort of theme:

A Hug for Your Thoughts
By Brenda Nixon

"Mom, you're always on the computer!" Laura grumbled.

"No, I'm not," I defended.

"Every day I come home from school you're working on the computer."

"Well, at least I'm here for you!"

My daughter, Laura, at twelve years old, was right. Day after day, in my home office, I would stare into space as my hands typed out the thoughts of a presentation or of research completed for an article. It seemed that my work as a writer and speaker cemented my fingers to the keyboard and my mind to valuable ideas. What Laura did not realize was that during her day away, I'd also be doing a load of laundry, answering incoming phone calls, cleaning up dirty dishes, crunching an editor's deadline, sorting the family mail, networking and marketing my speaking service. It was only around three in the afternoon that I'd finally collapse at my desk for a few precious moments of deep thought. Then she'd come in from school.

I prided myself on being available to my children. After all, I am a speaker on child behavior and parenting. But Laura's observation stung my conscience. Her perception of me must have been of a mom who was available but unapproachable. Hardly the image I wanted to project. My relationship with my children is more important than any other career.

"Laura," I called, "come here a minute."

Out of her bedroom, Laura strolled down the hall to my doorway. I had decided to have her alert me when I was obsessed with work. I wanted her to have the power to let me know when she thought I was being aloof.

"So you think I'm preoccupied?" I asked.

"Most of the time," came her honest reply.

After I explained my full schedule and the fact that I chose to office from home to be accessible to her and her sister, I offered Laura this compromise.

"Whenever you feel I'm ignoring you or you need my attention, I want you to hug me," I said. "Just come up and give me a little hug, and that'll be our signal that you need me."

Years later we still have that unspoken sign. I've become much more sensitive to my daughters' comings and goings. And on the days I'm not, Laura gives me a little squeeze to remind me of the real reason I work from home.
Printable Issue 368  Today is Wednesday, September 8th, 2004; Karen's Korner #368
I took a piece of steak out of the freezer a number of days ago. I was going to cut it up and make stir fry. But the weekend we spent too much time going other places and we haven't eaten it yet.

Today isn't a good day. The meat won't get eaten today either. But I had better get it cooked pretty soon or it will spoil.

While I was doing dishes this morning, I cut up the meat and browned it. Ready to make stir fry in a day or two. At least the spoiling process is stopped. Meat can be preserved by cooking, freezing, canning, or drying/salting.

As the meat cooked, I thought, "The same things happens to us and our lives. We are born and we live, but because we are 'fresh meat', we tend to spoil. And there is nothing we can do to stop it."

Except for Jesus.......He can keep us from "spoiling". We are "preserved" for a purpose: His purpose! To do what He would do, if He were here! To love, as He would love! To care, as He would care! To live, as He would live!

The difference between us and my meat: we have to "ask" to be preserved. Jesus will do the rest!! Some of us He cooks. Some of us He freezes. Some of us pressure cooks. And others are salted and dried. All usable for differing purposes.

And the "preserving" process doesn't last for just this life. We are "cured" for life on in to eternity. And for living a life that never ends!!

Printable Issue 369  Today is Thursday, September 9th, 2004; Karen's Korner #369
Another one of Joel Osteen's "thoughts for victorious living". It is titled "Expect God's Best":

Those who wait for the Lord, who expect, look for, and hope in Him shall renew their strength........." Isaiah 40:31

What are you expecting in life--good things? Bad things? Big things? Little things? Anything at all? God wants you to get your hopes up! The Bible says, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for." One definition of hope is confident expectancy. Did you know you can't even have faith if you don't first have hope?

Your expectactations set the limits for your life. If you never expect anything good, you're never giong to receive anything good. If you don't expect things to get better, then nothing will get better. God promises to meet you at your level of expectancy. That's why Jesus said in Matthew 9:29: "According to your faith be it done unto you." One translation simply says, "Have what your faith expects."

Start expecting to overcome every challenge you face and for God to meet all of your needs! Live every day of your life filled with anticipation that God is going to bless you abundantly above and beyond your wildest dreams!

Prayer for Today:

"Dear Father, thank You for Your hand of blessing on my life. Today I purpose in my heart to raise my level of expectancy and hope in You. Thank You for putting Your desires in my heart and bringing them to pass in my life."
Printable Issue 370  Today is Friday, September 10th, 2004; Karen's Korner #370
I have put in a request to our two sons-in-law for my Christmas present. Since they are both in the world of computers, I have asked for a "Karen's Korner" web site. The computer site would archive all of my Karen's Korners since the first ones in March 2003.
Like any wish list; hard to tell if I will get it or not. But just for fun last night, I typed in the letters:  www.karenskorner.com  Would I get anything?
There were two entries on my listing. One was for some sort of recipe. The other one had a poem:
A Touch of His Love
God gave us a special taste of Paradise,
When He walked with us through a beautiful garden
Filled with magnificient wonders;
Mysteriously created by the soft,
whispered touch of His generous love.
Isn't it amazing out of all the topics that could be found in a "Karen's Korner", it just happens to be a "religious" writing.
Want one more amazing thing?  It is signed by the author. No last name is given:
Karan Sue
Different spelling of Karen.
But my name is Karen Sue.
Printable Issue 371  Today is Monday, September 13th, 2004; Karen's Korner #371
Yesterday our Sunday School class started an eight-week series on "Becoming a Contagious Christian".

As an illustration to begin the class, I used this thought:

"Why did Dick Cheney spend part of his afternoon last Monday for Labor Day at the city park in Clear Lake, where there was only 900 people? And he and George Bush need millions and millions of votes to retain the presidency?"

"And why did Theresa Heinz-Kerry spend time for tea with several dozen friends in Mason City the day she got sick, campaigning for her husband and John Edwards? When they, too, are looking for millions and millions of votes to become the country's top leadership team?"

"They made the visits because each of them and their campaigns know that 900 X 1, or X 2, or X 3, eventually makes up the millions and millions which they need to be elected."

"Jesus knew the same thing about how to reach the world with His message of love and hope and peace and power and, and..... And He knews that every gift He was going to get to His children was going to last for forever. He did it by investing about three years of His time here on earth in 12 people. And if those people reached only 12 others, He would have an additional 144........and if each of those 144 reached out to only 12 others, they would have an additional 1728 believers, making a total of 1884 people enjoying more love and a new found freedom, in not a very long time."

We were encouraged by the study to look around our world of influence and see who is not now part of God's family. Or who has been disillusioned by people who claimed to provide a message of hope and help, but abused or rejected people in some way. Each of us were asked to begin thinking of several who we would like to spend eternity with in heaven. That's easy.......everybody I see, talk with, or email Karen's Korners.......

God's plan for the future looks pretty exciting to me........the kind of future and kind of gifts that aren't temporary!! Spread the word!!
Printable Issue 372  Today is Tuesday, September 14th, 2004; Karen's Korner #372
Last night we had our annual "secret sister" party, where we learn who is our "sisters" are. We also pick out who are "new" sisters are for the upcoming year.
I learned that our minister's wife, Katrina, had been my "sister" last year.  Among other little gifts, she gave me a refrigerator magnet with the title "10 things God wants you to remember."
Here is the list:
  •  I will give you rest.
  •  I will bless you.
  •  I will not fail you.
  •  I will strengthen you.
  •  I will provide for you.
  •  I will answer you.
  •  I will be with you.
  •  I believe in you.
  •  I am with you.
  •  I love you.
Most of us who have hung around Sunday School or church very long might think, "I know that!"
But like telling or hearing a dad, a mom, a child, a spouse, a grandchild say, "I love you; I believe in you"..........somehow we can never hear it or say it often enough!
Printable Issue 373  Today is Wednesday, September 15th, 2004; Karen's Korner #373
Our grandson, Luke, was here on the weekend. He is seven months old now. Could that be possible? And he is growing fast....bigger every time we see him! Seems like he is doing things faster than our two girls did. Or have I fogotten over time?
Several teeth came in about a month ago without much fanfare. Luke couldn't sit up one day and started sitting up without tipping over the next day. He sees and grabs everything. Every kind of food which comes past him, he is enjoying.
Don't know how he compares with others in his peer group. Doesn't matter. He gets to sop up the unconditional love of his mom and dad, grandparents; probably a few others in his world. Hasn't done much to deserve the attention. Luke just eats, sleeps, enjoys and interacts with his surroundings.
As I watch him, I think, "God feels the same way about me, as I feel about Luke!" I haven't done much to deserve His unconditional love. He doesn't compare me with any of His other children. He just loves me!! My job is to eat, grow and enjoy my surroundings.
God thinks the same about you! Eat, sleep, grow, and enjoy your surroundings.......
With that kind of thought, enjoy the day........and the adulation (to praise greatly) of Your Heavenly Father!!
Printable Issue 374  Today is Thursday, September 16th, 2004; Karen's Korner #374
A good writing from an email "Chicken Soup for the Soul":
Food for Thought
By Carol McAdoo Rehme

Heart failure had robbed her of her husband and now macular degeneration was stealing her eyesight and osteoporosis was plundering her body.

I worried about my elderly neighbor's loneliness and her diet. Lack of appetite and motivation kept Gwen from cooking. More than a quiet street separated the two of us. Her life had been derailed while mine was a locomotive on a fast track as I raised a house full of kids and maintained a demanding time schedule to match. So I turned to Koy, our little redheaded caboose, for help.

"Do you think you can carry these muffins over to Mrs. Potter's?"

"I fink I can," he nodded.

With me watching from our front door and Gwen waiting at hers, three-year-old Koy cautiously crossed the street, carrying the plate of fragrant goodies. And so began their long relationship.

"I fink Grandma Potter needs me," he would say. Or, "Don't you fink Grandma Potter wants some of those cookies?" And, "I fink Grandma Potter likes cupcakes." Then off he would go – thoughtfully bearing a plate of this or a zip-locked bag of that – always taking time to settle in for a nice little talk.

Well, Koy talked; Gwen listened. A lonely last child; a lonesome lost widow.

Those regular visits continued through the years, sometimes at her invitation and other times at his instigation. As his age, sensitivity, and care-giving expertise grew, Koy did more than take food. He ran her errands, did light chores, and drove her to doctor appointments. On prom night, he and his date even dashed through the rain ... to model their finery before an admiring Grandma Potter.

Finally, as we stood – arm-in-arm – in the street waving Koy off to college, Gwen turned to me.

"I'm certainly going to miss that young man and his visits. You know, when he was little, he rarely came empty-handed."

I nodded agreement, remembering all the baking I used to do.

"But, when you didn't send something, our little Koy must have raided the pantry." She winked. "No matter what, he always took good care of me."

"What do you mean?"

"Over he would come, his pocket filled with raisins, pretzels, popcorn, or even Cheerios. Whatever he could scavenge."

I laughed in motherly embarrassment. "Oh, good grief." I could just imagine grubby little boy hands and fists full of crumbs. "What did you do?"

"Why, I got out a serving plate," she smiled at the memory. "I watched as he proudly piled his offerings on the kitchen table. Then ... well ... then the two of us sat down and ate them – pocket lint and all."

Printable Issue 375  Today is Friday, September 17th, 2004; Karen's Korner #375
One more of Joel Osteen's "thoughts for victorious living"; there are 30 in this little booklet. I have shared several of them in the past few weeks, and will probably share a couple of more of them before I put the booklet away:
#20 is titled "Live a Balanced Life"
...they have made me a keeper of vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept....(Song of Solomon 1:6)
    Are there areas of your life that are not "kept" because you are taking care of everyone else?  If you're always on the go, constantly working and never take time for yourself, you will end up stressed out and overwhelmed, and you won't be able to enjoy life the way that God intended. Living a balanced live brings peace, joy and health.
    The person speaking in the Song of Solomon was good at taking care of everyone else -- his family, his friends, his work. He made sure everyone else was happy, but in doing that, he neglected to take care of himself. Are you living like that today? Do you spend all your time on other people, but not any on yourself? Eventually you will burn out. Decide today to begin investing in yourself. Take time to relax and rejuvenate yourself. When you are refreshed emotionally, physically, and spiritually, you are able to give to others more effectively. As you bring balance to your life, you will begin to enjoy every day to the fullest -- just the way God intended!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me the wisdom to make right choices and bring blaance in my life. I make the decision to put You first in all that I do. I purpose to take time to invest in myself so that I may be more effective in sharing and giving to others. Amen.
Printable Issue 376  Today is Monday, September 20th, 2004; Karen's Korner #376

One more of a few of Joel Osteen's "thoughts for victorious living".  Hope you enjoy it!

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over..."  (Luke 6:38)

God wants you to be happy! He wants you to live a satisfied life. Jesus said, "I have come that you might have and enjoy life, and have it to the full -- until it overflows!" A major key to enjoying life is that we live to give.

True happiness and true fulfillment come when you give of your life in some way to others. God promises to multiply back to you what you give. When you step out in faith, you open a door for God's hand of blessing to move on your behalf. It's the simple principle of sowing and reaping.

God has a specific plan for every one of our lives. His plan involves reaching out and touching other people with His love, mercy, and compassion. Ask the Lord to show you how you can share His love with others by giving of your time, your talents, and your resources today.


"Dear Father, thank You for the precious opportunity to share Your love and compassion with others today. I know that as I step out to give myself, You will use me to be a blessing to others. Thank You for Your goodness and mercy, which follow me all the days of my life.  Amen.

Printable Issue 377  Today is Tuesday, September 21st, 2004; Karen's Korner #377

Today is a good day, so I decided to share one whole chapter of the Psalms - #100.

Hey, it is only five verses:

1 - "Shout with joy before the Lord, O earth!

2 - "Obey Him gladly; come before Him singing with joy.

3 - Try to realize what this means -- the Lord is God! He made us -- we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.

4 - Go through His open gates with great thanksgiving; enter His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name.

5 - For the Lord is always good. He is always loving and kind, and His faithfulness goes on and one to each succeeding generation.

(I am experiencing some computer problems, hopefully I can have them fixed in the next few days!!)

Printable Issue 378  Today is Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004; Karen's Korner #378

This is something written by Ricky Hunley. I am sure some of you know who he is; unfortunately I don't:

I grew up poor -- living in the projects with six brothers, three sisters, a varying assortment of foster kids, my father, and a wonderful mother, Scarlette Hunley. We had little money and few worldly goods, but plenty of love and attention. I was happy and energetic. I understood that no matter how poor a person was, they could still afford a dream.

My dream was athletics. By the time I was sixteen, I could crush a baseball, throw a ninety-per-hour fastball and hit anything that moved on the football field. I was also lucky:  My high school coach was Ollie Jarvis, who not only believed in me, but taught me how to believe in myself. He taught me the difference between having a dream and showing conviction. One particular incident with Coach Jarvis changed my life forever.

It was the summer between my junior and senior years, and a friend recommended me for a summer job. This meant a chance for money in my pocket - cash for dates with girls, certainly, money for a new bike and new clothes, and the start of savings for a house for my mother. The prospect of a summer job was enticing, and I wanted to jump at the opportunity.

Then I realized I would have to give up summer baseball to handle the work schedule, and that meant I would have to tell Coach Jarvis I wouldn't be playing. I was dreading this, spurring myself with the advice my mother preached to us:  "If you make your bed, you have to lie in it."

When I told Coach Jrvis, he was as mad as I expected him to be. "You have your whole life to work," he said. "Your playing days are limited. You can't afford to waste them."

I stood before him with my head hanging, trying to think of the words that would explain to him why my dream of buying my mom a house and having money in my pocket was worth facing his disappointment in me.

"How much are you going to make at this job, son?" he demanded.

"Three twenty-five an hour," I replied.

"Well," he asked, "is $3.25 an hour the price of a dream?"

That question, the plainness of it, laid bare for me the difference between wanting something right now and having a goal. I dedicated myself to sports that summer, and within the year I was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates to play rookie-league ball, and offered a $20,000 contract. I already had a football scholarship to the University of Arizona, which led me to an education, two consensus selections as All-American linebacker and being chosen seventh overall in the first round of the NFL draft. I signed with the Denver Broncos in 1984 for $1.7 million, and bought my mother the house of my dreams.

Printable Issue 379  Today is Thursday, September 23rd, 2004; Karen's Korner #379

Today I am going to share three short thoughts by Mother Theresa from a daily calendar which I have on my bedroom dresser:

*  the first one is from September 16 (Tim & Jamie's 4th anniversary date) -

"God loves people and provides for them. They are more important to Him than the lilies of the field and the sparrows."


* the second one is for today's date - September 23 -

"Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our brothers and sisters scattered throughout the entire world, who live and die in poverty and hunger. Through the service of our hands, give them their daily bread; and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy."


* the third one is for our 35th anniversary coming up - September 27 -

"What is important is that you are holding on, that you have got a grip on Christ and He will not let your hand go."

(Please continue to bear with me as I continue to work through some computer difficulties!)


Printable Issue 380  Today is Friday, September 24th, 2004; Karen's Korner #380

This is something which I received this week, written by Wilma Gamblin. For those of you who live in or near Clarion, she and her husband lived in Clarion for a handful of years while her husband was the pastor of the Nazarene Church here.

Several comments by Wilma and then her writing:

Our 34 year old son, Keith Daniel Gamblin, Sr. went to be with the Lord on Good Friday, 4-9-2004, twelve hours after being injured at work. He was preparing to complete his education to enter full-time ministry with his wife Jodie and five children, ages 4 to 14.



Through our tears we submit to YOUR will, FATHER.

YOU did not ask us to choose.

With empty arms and aching hearts, we say,

“Not our will, but YOURS, LORD.”

Though we cannot see YOUR plan,

We know we are in the palm of YOUR Almighty hand.

Our precious loved one is entrusted

To YOUR loving care.

Because of who YOU are, we are secure and know

YOU are working YOUR higher way.

‘YOUR ways are higher than our ways,’

And we submit to YOUR way.

WE praise you, FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT!

We exalt the Name of JESUS.

YOU are all-wise, all-powerful and everywhere.

We bless YOUR name, JESUS! YOU are GOD!!

(Written 8-23-04) 


Printable Issue 381  Today is Monday, September 27th, 2004; Karen's Korner #381

This is Jim and my anniversary - #35!

Our friends, Margaret and Dan Cramer and family, gave us a ceramic cross plaque with this message written it:

How to be an 'UPPITY Christian'.........

*  Keep UP your faith,

*  Stand UP for your beliefs,

*  Lift UP your heart in prayer,

*  Give UP your life for God,

*  Wise UP by reading His word,

*  Ease UP on criticism of others,

*  Face UP to your own weaknesses,

*  Bear UP your neighbor in need,

*  Lighten UP - God is in control,

*  Open Up to the love around and within you.

Thanks, Margaret, Dan, Tiffany, and Allison, for helping us celebrate our day!!


Printable Issue 382  Today is Tuesday, September 28th, 2004; Karen's Korner #382

Yesterday I told everyone that it was our anniversary. While Jim and I have a strong, stable relationship. Few of us would have one that could quite compare to the couple described in this short story, which I received a couple of weeks ago. And I am enjoying sharing it with you:


The Nickel Story
By Hana Haatainen Caye

"Hey, Red, you owe me a nickel!"

Susan had bumped Frank while he was playing pinball in the bar where she waitressed.  A red light flashed TILT and the game was over.  Reaching into her apron pocket, Susan pulled out a nickel and flicked it to him, then went back to her work.

"I'm going to marry her someday," Frank told the bartender confidently.

"Sure you are!" he laughed.  "She's been here a long time, and I've never known her to even go out on a date.  Good luck!"  Frank rubbed the nickel between his fingers, knowing it was his lucky charm.

Susan had made a life for herself as a young widow and a single mother.  The last thing she was thinking of was complicating her life with a new man.

But Frank's lucky charm worked - Susan knocked his socks off and stole Frank's heart on their first date.  Soon he had not only won her heart, but her daughter's heart as well.

There were many hard times after their wedding.  Frank was a military man who was shipped overseas, leaving Susan in the single-mother role once again.  Another daughter kept her busy, and both daughters adored their daddy.  The years passed by quickly.

Frank loved to tell the nickel story to anyone who would listen.  His eyes sparkled as he spoke of his love for Susan.  This was a man who truly loved his wife.

Their fiftieth wedding anniversary was a special day.  Frank contacted me to do a floral arrangement for the church and a corsage for his bride.  They renewed their vows on that Sunday morning following the worship service.  Our band surprised them as they walked down the aisle by singing "their" song, "The Sunny Side of the Street."  Their walk became a dance as Frank twirled Susan down the aisle.  What a celebration!  It was a joy to be in their presence.

Soon after this wonderful day, Frank got sick.  He offered everyone a smile and continued to glow with his love of Susan.  Frank was never one to complain.  Having a strong faith, Frank knew he would be with the Lord soon.  After a few long months of suffering, he died.

All the seats at the funeral home were taken as we gathered to honor the memory of this dear friend.  We were all inspired by him in our own ways.  The minister spoke of Frank with such love and respect.  We laughed, and our hearts were warmed as he shared memories of this special man.  And then he told the nickel story.  He said that Frank had called him a week or so before he died and asked to see him.  While they visited, Frank took out his lucky charm.  He had held on to that nickel for all of these years.

"Frank told me to keep this for him," the minister said as he reached into his pocket and walked over to Susan.  "He wanted me to give it to you today and to tell you to hold onto it.  He'll be waiting for you at the pinball machine."

Printable Issue 383  Today is Wednesday, September 29th, 2004; Karen's Korner #383

Here are a couple of cute, short writings -- about what else "kids".. Enjoy them and enjoy the crisp fall day!

Day Care Curriculum

A college student with a young child was pleased when her
daughter became eligible to attend the day care center at
the University. The director of the day care gave the
mother a tour of the facilities. To assure herself of the
center's high standards, the young mother asked about the

"Well," said the director, eyes twinkling, "today we are
studying the children's favorite philosopher: Play-Doh."


Two of a Kind
By Paula Ferrato

I work at home, so my four-year-old twin daughters, Maggie and Katie, are used to seeing me operate a computer and fax machine. One afternoon I was watching them have fun on our indoor playset's small slide. Maggie proceeded to go down headfirst, giggling that she was "faxing" herself. Not to be outdone, Katie stood at the top of the slide and shouted, "Here comes page two!"

Printable Issue 384  Today is Thursday, September 30th, 2004; Karen's Korner #384

One more time, I have a "Thought for Victorious Living" from Joel Osteen. I will email this one and maybe another one next week; then that will be it. The title of this one is "Be Joyful Always". When you read this you might think, "But that isn't possible. When we don't know what might happen to us next." 

Joy is a gift that we possess because we are His Children....it isn't something we necessarily feel at all times. After Merry was killed, I can recall remembering who I was a Christian and what I possessed. "Joy" was one of them........no matter what........at all times.

From Joel:


For the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

In Psalms, David said, "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth." At all times means in the good times as well as the tough times. The Bible tells us to stay full of joy no matter what we are facing.

The joy of the Lord is our source of strength and the enemy knows it. He knows that if he can get you down and discouraged, before long, you will be weak and feeble and he'll be able to easily defeat you.

When you are full of joy and have a good attitude, you keep yourself strong. That positive attitude of faith paves the way for God to work miracles in your life--it paves the way for God to turn your situation around!

Decide today to have a good attitude. Keep yourself full of His joy by meditating on the goodness and promises of God. Be full of joy of the Lord! You'll soon experience supernatural strength and discover the victorious life God has planned for you!


PRAYER:  "Dear Father, thank You for filling my life with joy. Thank You that I am blessed and cannot be cursed. Thank You that in all things You cause me to triumph. Thank You for your strength within me that comes from that joy. I bless You today and rejoice in Your goodness. Amen.