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June 2010 Archives

Printable Issue 1832  Today is Tuesday, June 1st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1832
A daily devotional written and emailed by Joel and Victoria Osteen:

He Still Opens Doors

“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close.” (Revelation 3:8, NLT).

God is ready to present you with new opportunities. He wants to open new doors before you. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world around you, in the economy, the housing industry, or with job reports; God’s Word still remains true. He rewards the people who seek after Him. He’s not the least bit concerned about how He’s going to supply your needs. There is no recession in heaven. He has His eye on you, and He still opens doors that no one can shut! In an instant, He can bring the right people into your life, the right opportunities, and the right resources to take you to a new level.

But in order to go to a higher level, you have to have a higher way of thinking. You can’t stay focused on what’s happening in the natural nor allow worry and fear to fill your thoughts. Remember, God’s ways are higher than our ways. He is working on your behalf behind the scenes in the supernatural realm. Choose to keep an attitude of faith and expectancy. As you do, you’ll move forward through the open doors of blessing God has prepared for you.

Father in heaven, I bless Your holy name. Thank You for opening doors for me that no one can close. Fill me with Your peace and joy today as I wait on You. In Jesus’ Name Amen.

Printable Issue 1833  Today is Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1833

Psalm 27:1-5 

(New International Version)


 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
       whom shall I fear?
       The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
       of whom shall I be afraid?

 2 When evil men advance against me
       to devour my flesh, 
       when my enemies and my foes attack me,
       they will stumble and fall.

 3 Though an army besiege me,
       my heart will not fear;
       though war break out against me,
       even then will I be confident.

 4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
       this is what I seek:
       that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
       all the days of my life,
       to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
       and to seek him in his temple.

 5 For in the day of trouble
       he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
       he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
       and set me high upon a rock

Bible Commentary:  Fear is a dark shadow that envelops us and ultimately imprisons us within ourselves. Each of us has been a prisoner of fear at one time or another --fear of rejection, misunderstanding, uncertainity, sickness, or even death. But fear can be counquered by the bright liberating light of the Lord who brings salvation. If you want to dispel the darnkess of fear in your life, remember with the psalm writer, "the Lord is my light and my salvation."

Printable Issue 1834  Today is Thursday, June 3rd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1834
Several thoughts and verses taken from the 2" x 3" book titled "QUIET TIMES Uplifting Thoughts for Women" (guys, you can read them and enjoy them as well!). While it is a little book, it is chucked full of wonderful thoughts. I will use some more of them in the future:
"That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life
in all goodliness and reverence."
- ITimothy 2:2
What happens when we find the time to be quiet and listen?
God's wisdom looms larger and our problems shrink.
We must redecide daily to go to a quiet place
where we can talk with God
and meditate on His Word.
"By pride comes only contention.
But with the well-advised
is wisdom."
- Proverbs 13:10
Pride exaggerates our strengths
and denies our weaknesses.
Love, however, frees us to be realistic
about our strengths and honest about our weaknesses.
Love is the effective--and healing--
antidote to pride.
"Even a child is known by his deeds.
Whether what he does is pure and right."
~ Proverbs 20:11
Whether our adolescents are failing in school,
abusing drugs, or simply breaking rules,
the most important thing we can do for them
is allow them to accept responsibility for
their actions.
Printable Issue 1835  Today is Friday, June 4th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1835
Just for fun I googled (www.google.com) the questions:  "How does God feel about me?" "How does God think about me?" 
Wow! was there a bunch of things I could look through or read. Did I read them all? Of course not. But the ones I caught briefly were great.
Having a bad day? Or bad thoughts? Ask google, what God and His people might say about or to you.
Here is one entry that I'd like to share with readers this morning:

How does God feel about me? *

by Max Lucado

A few years back, we had a banner year at our house. Our third daughter learned how to swim. That meant that three could walk. Three could swim. And two out of the three had the training wheels off their bikes. With each achievement they have delightedly pointed out, “Look, Dad, I can do it on my own.” My wife, Denalyn, and I have applauded and celebrated each accomplishment our daughters have made. Their maturity and mobility is good and necessary, but I hope they never get to the point where they are too grown up to call their daddy.

God feels the same way about us.

Other times we don’t feel independent; we feel insignificant. We think, “Sure, Mary can take her problems to Jesus. She’s his mother. He doesn’t want to hear my problems. I don’t want to trouble him with my messes.”

If that is your thought, may I share with you a favorite verse of mine? I like it so much I wrote it on the first page of my Bible.

“Because he delights in me, he saved me.” (Ps. 18:19)

And you thought he saved you because of your decency. You thought he saved you because of your good works or good attitude or good looks. Sorry. If that were the case, your salvation would be lost when your voice went south or your works got weak. There are many reasons God saves you: to bring glory to himself, to appease his justice, to demonstrate his sovereignty. But one of the sweetest reasons God saved you is because he is fond of you. He likes having you around. He thinks you are the best thing to come down the pike in quite awhile. “As a man rejoices over his new wife, so your God will rejoice over you.” (Isaiah. 62:5)

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. And the Christmas gift he sent you in Bethlehem? Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you.

* Taken from 'A Gentle Thunder'

Printable Issue 1836  Today is Monday, June 7th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1836
Our friend, Byron (Lefty) Hofmeister died this weekend. It wasn't unexpectedly. He had been ill for a number of weeks. Lefty was our school's superintendent for a number of years before he retired and continued to reside in Clarion. I had the privilege of serving a term on the school board during his tenure. It was a time when our school was having declining enrollment, a loss of funds, and a very limited way at that time to vote in new money.
Lefty was a master at stretching the dollars and saving money wherever he could. More than once I heard him say, "If money needs to be saved, you can hold my salary this year."
As he aged, he became legally blind. But Lefty maintained a somewhat active lifestyle, keeping his membership in a local golf course. Other people would drive him to the course, chauffer him in his golf cart around the course as they would golf together. I had the privilege of doing that several times each summer up until a couple of years ago.
We made a good team, as we did a two-person best shot:  he couldn't see and I couldn't golf. (He was a very good athlete. In spite of the fact his sight was limited, he could still golf pretty well!). We had scores in the high 40s or low 50s for nine holes as a team, which I didn't think was too bad considering.
He was always appreciative of people doing that and so many other things for, and with, him. He rarely had bad things to say about others. He was a good friend to our family.
Knowing of his pending death and as I was driving down several streets in Clarion several days ago, my mind began calling attention to residences where 'unwanted changes' had come in the not to distant past.
The man who lives on the right hasn't lost his wife that long ago, so he continues to adjust. Oh, here's another person, a woman, who lost her husband. This family is adjusting to a cancer diagnosis. A few houses later is a family who is trying to overcome a job loss. Two more with either medical diagnoses or a family death within the last couple of years.
It felt like death and destruction was everywhere.
So where is God in all this?
He gently reminded me that He is right where He always is:  caring, comforting, saving.
He doesn't like all the death, destruction, and hurt any better than we do, so He sent His Son to heal and save every hurt, illness, and to restore life.
We always have hope; we always have help! It is as close as our asking for it!
"But our citizenship is in heaven.
And we eagerly await a Savior from there,
the Lord Jesus Christ,
who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control,
will transform our lowly bodies
so that they will be like his glorious body.
~ Phiippians 3:20,21 (NIV)
Thank You, God, that you make everything new, good, and right!
There are no tragedies in Your Kingdom and for that we praise You!
Printable Issue 1837  Today is Tuesday, June 8th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1837
A poem/prayer forwarded to me by my cousin Marilyn:
The Knots Prayer
Dear God,
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots, the do nots
that I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots,
may nots,
might nots, that may find
a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.
And most of all,
Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all of the 'am nots'
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough.
~ Author Known to God
Printable Issue 1838  Today is Wednesday, June 9th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1838
Our church supports a number of missionaries, as do most churches. One of ours is Jacob and Jaynie Michael who minister to people in Mozambique, Africa.
One of their projects started in 2003 was called the '7 x 7' cattle projects. The Michaels contacted their supporters at that time, asking for funds to purchase six beef heifers and one bull for each church. After prayerful consideration, the animals were given to thirteen selected churches to help develop real wealth.
The recipients' repayment was to give another church, in the future, the 'first fruits' - six heifers and one bull, to keep the gifts going. After the repayment, they were no longer obligated to anyone for their 'herd'.
From the Michaels' June newsletter, they write, "After seven years, we would like to report that all thirteen projects have been successful, but that is not the case." It seems eight areas have discontinued the project:  in one area all the cattle died; another the people ate them; and the remaining areas the churches sold them and the money was used by the churches.
But the five remaining projects continue to grow and prosper. One church area was visited by the governor of the province as a good example for the Mozambique people to follow. Not only did they complete the requirements of passing along the seven cattle, they have decided to 'bless others by their blessings' by starting two new projects on their own. And one of those 'blessings' have given away their next seven animals as a 'third generation' project. The other four have met their 'one time gift' obligatios.
What was the one contributing fact in those which failed? According to Jacob, the number one reason was that the leaders were arguing and not working together. "It seemed to be a lack of leadership and a vision for the future."
As I read their story, I couldn't help but think of churches, in general:  some thrive, others do not. Could it be at times we 'don't work together'.......'have a lack of leadership'........'no vision for the future'.......?
"Finally, all of you,
live in harmony with one another;
be sympathetic,
love as brothers,
be compassionate and humble."
~ I Peter 3:8
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for the plans You have for each of us; for all of us. We know what you want us to do; help us to do it. Forgive for the times we want our own way. Help us to work together in all kinds of ways to further Your Kingdom and to better the lives of everyone we meet. When we do that, we will be better for it! In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Printable Issue 1839  Today is Thursday, June 10th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1839

Psalm 34: 1- 10

    1I will bless the LORD at all times;
         His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
    2My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
         The humble will hear it and rejoice. 

    3O magnify the LORD with me,
         And let us exalt His name together.
    4I sought the LORD, and He answered me,
         And delivered me from all my fears. 

    5They looked to Him and were radiant,
         And their faces will never be ashamed.
    6This poor man cried, and )the LORD heard him
         And saved him out of all his troubles.

    7The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him,
         And rescues them.
    8O taste and see that the LORD is good;
         How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
    9O fear the LORD, you His saints;
         For to those who fear Him there is no want.
    10The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
         But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.
Printable Issue 1840  Today is Friday, June 11th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1840
Something emailed to me a number of months ago by Shirley Choat:

Work is the true elixir of life.
The busiest man is the happiest man.
Excellence in any art or profession is attained only by hard and persistent work.
Never believe that you are perfect.
When a man imagines, even after years of striving, that he has attained perfection, his decline begins.
(By Sir Theodore Martin)
   O LORD, thank You, for work! I will not go hungry or cold. You, who made me, have not forgotten me. I belong to You. You care for me as a shepherd cares for his sheep. Therefore, I will work with all my might, for You, O LORD, my God, Praise the LORD. I Jesus' name.  Amen.  Psalm 100:3.
Thank You, God, that You're our Father,
Shepherd, Guardian, Guide, and Stay;
How we praise You for the blessings
You bestow on us each day!
Printable Issue 1841  Today is Monday, June 14th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1841
Clarion had a nice celebration this weekend; in spite of some soggy weather. Every year we have our Festival in the Park - a two-day celebration on Saturday and Sunday, the second weekend in June. And every five years for the past twenty years, we have included a Teddy Bear Reunion in the Heartland - a four-day convention of teddy bear artists and collectors from lots of states and countries.
I had the honor of being the Grand Marshal for this year's parade.
To help me celebrate, our daughter Jamie and three grandchildren came up to ride with 'grandma'.
Luke, now six, got to stay overnight a couple of more nights; he goes home this afternoon.
I recall back to another time when he stayed with us. I had a meeting uptown. Grandpa and Luke ate lunch with me at our meeting and then they went home. I was coming an hour or so later.
When I arrived at home, Grandpa had fallen asleep and two-year-old Luke had found a red marker. We had red everywhere: toys, his body, some pillows (which I threw away), some furniture (which I was able to clean off), a new couch cushion from the furniture store (we bought the couch, the furniture store was able to clean off the cushion). Everyone survived....
But now when Grandpa takes Noah, Luke's brother who is now two, home with him for a few minutes;  Luke, yesterday........I find myself wondering, questioning, "Will Noah be okay?" "Luke should be all right, shouldn't he?"
When I have those kinds of times, it seems like God has a response.
Yesterday was one of those times. God seemed to say to me, "Look at all of the things I trust YOU with. I trust you with MY children (lots of them....) and I trust you to take care of MY WORLD..."
Made me stop and think, "How can God trust ME so much?"
Like Jim, I sometimes 'fall asleep on the job'.
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for the way that You trust me and treat me with so many valuable and wonderful possessions. I am not worthy. Help me! Show me! And help me to trust other people in my world when they are 'left in charge'. Thank You for taking care of all of the things we don't and can't. You are so, so good to each one of us. Amen.
Printable Issue 1842  Today is Tuesday, June 15th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1842
Something emailed to me yesterday by a friend Joann Huff:
Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now is it His Word.
Once His gift I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.
Once 'twas painful trying, Now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost!
Once 'twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast.
Once 'twas constant drifting, Now my anchor's cast.
Once 'twas busy planning, Now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring, Now He has the care:
Once 'twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking, Now 'tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me;
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.
Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He's mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine;
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored Safe within the vail.
~ Albert B. Simpson
Printable Issue 1843  Today is Wednesday, June 16th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1843
Installment #2 from "QUIET TIMES: Uplifting Thoughts for Women" (and men....):
"Too much garbage in our mind
can push out all of the good things
God wants to give us.
Let's determine that today, with God's help,
we will begin to make wise
choices about what to do with
the garbage that fills our minds."
"Our offenses and sins weigh
us down, and we are wasting
away because of them."
~ Ezekiel 33:10 (NIV)
"Often we hear easy, flippant
praise to God's goodness.
But God never promised us a rose garden;
He just promised His presence.
But His presence--His mercy and truth--
is what can carry us through the bad times."
"All the paths of the Lord
are mercy and truth.
To such as keep his covenant
and His testimonies."
~ Psalm 25:10
"When I set goals I think of small steps
that will help me reach that goal.
Small steps are better than no steps.
If you take a few small steps
every day you'll be at your destination sooner
than you think."
"The steps of a good man
are ordered by the Lord.
And He delights in his way."
~ Psalme 37:23
"Turning over our controlling
tendencies to God can be a daily relief.
Admitting we are powerless and that we need help
from Jesus Christ
places our lives in perspective."
"Gad has spoken once.....
That power belongs to God.
~ Psalm 62:11
Printable Issue 1844  Today is Thursday, June 17th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1844
A couple of verses from a Psalm about growing older. Who among us isn't older today than we were yesterday?*

Psalm 71:18-21 (NIV)

 "Even when I am old and gray,
       do not forsake me, O God,
       till I declare your power to the next generation,
       your might to all who are to come.

 Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God,
       you who have done great things.
       Who, O God, is like you?

 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
       you will restore my life again;
       from the depths of the earth
       you will again bring me up.

 You will increase my honor
       and comfort me once again."

Bible Commentary:  Solomon (writer of this Psalm) wrote that the glory of old people is their experience (Proverbs 20:29). A person is never too old to serve God, never too old to pray. Though age may stop us from certain physical activities, it need not end our desire to tell others (especially children, grandchildren) about all we have seen God do in the many years we have lived.

* There is no correlation between this KK and the fact that my 'younger' sister turns 63 today. Happy Birthday, Amy!

Printable Issue 1845  Today is Friday, June 18th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1845
As most Karen's Korner readers know, I belong to an ecumenical group of gals known as the "Marys & Marthas". Because of that, we have looked at the Bible verses about these two sisters more than an occasional time or two:
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way,
he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.
She came to him and asked,
"Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?
Tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered,
"you are worried and upset about many things,
but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better,
and it will not be taken away from her."
(Luke 10:38-42 NIV)
I had always believed that Mary was doing the right thing; Martha was doing the wrong thing.
But while reading these verses a few years ago, I began to believe that maybe the 'wrong' thing that Martha was doing was 'whining' about her lot in life to Jesus, as compared to Mary.
There may have been nothing wrong with one worshipping Jesus and one preparing for Jesus' presence in their home.
Martha may have made her mistake when she came to Jesus saying, "Look at my sister.....she is.......she isn't....she doesn't......she can't......"
Made me think about us.
How often do we 'whine' to Jesus about our lot in life:   our lack of money, social position, unhappiness with our employment, our family members and/or our relationships with them...as compared with others in our life.
If we want to have good mental and spiritual health, God wants us to remind Him and ourselves of our thankfulness of what we currently have. He may enjoy hearing our requests for a number of things, but not our whines of what we don't have as compared to another person or group of people who possess something we do not currently have.
Dear Jesus, thank You for Mary and Martha and the Marys and Marthas in our lives. We are like them. Sometimes we praise; sometimes we whine. Forgive us; help us. You want to give us the desires of our hearts. But You also want us to keep our eyes on You and not on the people and their circumstances which are around us. We ask You and trust You. Amen.
Printable Issue 1846  Today is Monday, June 21st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1846
In light of Fathers' Day weekend, I thought this was a good writing by Joel and Victoria Osteen:

Father to the Fatherless


A scripture verse:

“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy” (Psalm 68:5).

And a thought


So many people today carry hurt and insecurity because they didn't have a relationship with their earthly father the way God intended. But no matter how you were raised or where you are in life today, you do have a wonderful Father, and you were born with a purpose and a destiny. God prmises to meet all your needs, and He is the Father to the fatherless and defender of widows!

Every morning when you get up, look up toward the heavens and just imagine that your Heavenly Father is smiling down on you. He loves you. He believes in you. He will guide and protect you. He will never leave you. You are His most prized possession. He has you in the palm of His hand. As you open your heart and allow Him to heal you with His love, He’ll meet every need that you have. Choose forgiveness and allow Him to strengthen and empower you to fulfill the wonderful destiny He has in store for you!

Prayer for Today:

Father in heaven, thank You for choosing me as Your own. I open my heart to You today and ask that You fill me with Your peace, love, and forgiveness as I follow Your ways. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 


Printable Issue 1847  Today is Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1847
(Anyone but me thinks this spring/summer is going fast? June 22 already....wow!!)
This is something forwarded to me by Deanna (Stoakes) Watters.
Had I seen it or read it before? I thought that I had. I checked my Karen's Korner web site (www.karens-korner.com and typed in the word 'carpenter' in the search box).  Yes, I sent it out on April 14, 2005 - #524.
Seems like a good idea to share again. It finishes up a little differently this time. I thought if Deanna enjoyed it; maybe other readers would as well:
A Carpenter

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work.  He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, "This is your house... my gift to you." 

The carpenter was shocked!   What a shame!   If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built.   If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.

But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board or erect a wall.  Someone once said, "Life is a do-it-yourself project."  Your attitude, and the choices you make today help build the "house" you will live in tomorrow. 

Therefore, build wisely!

- Author Unknown

"Great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds.  Your eyes are open to all the ways of men; you reward everyone according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve." Jeremiah 32:19

No matter what your situation may be, positive or negative, continue to hold fast and be strong in your will to do good versus evil.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  Galatians 6:9

"This is a trustworthy saying.  And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in GOD      may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is GOOD. These things are excellent and profitable.    Titus 3:8


Printable Issue 1848  Today is Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1848
Our church sermon on Sunday was probably somewhat normal for most church-goers:  part of it was talking about fathers, as we celebrated Father's Day. That was about half of the two 20-minute topics.
Then Pastor Warren switched briefly to a handful of verses taken from I Thessalonians 5; together we looked in depth at each verse.
"...Always be joyful.
Always keep on praying.
No matter what happens, always be thankful....."
(vs. 16 - 18a)
Among other questions, he asked, "What do you believe is God's will for your life? Do you know what His will for you is?"
"....for this is God's will
for you who belong to Christ Jesus...."
(vs. 18b)
Sometimes we question, "What does God want me to do? Go to a mission field? Give money to.....? Reach out to some person? Serve on this committee? Move to?....."
Our minister said these verses spell it out:  God's will is for us to pray, be joyful and thankful.
Pretty simple, isn't it?
If, as Christians, we are more joyful, thankful, and prayerful than the masses, others will notice the difference God makes in our lives.
Not joyful when everything is going right:  just joyful. Not thankful when we have things we like....just thankful. Not only praying when everything else fails.......just prayerful.
That shopping list can keep us pretty busy!
So how are we going to do this? When there are oil spills? Economy downs? Wars? Bad diagnoses?
With God's help and through His Spirit.
We can't; He can!
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You that You give us joy; You give us more thankful hearts; You help us to pray as You want. Like all the gifts which You give to us, thank You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Printable Issue 1849  Today is Thursday, June 24th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1849
Ever wonder what is happening to our world?
We have political correctness. One person is offended about something and the rest of the majority has to step aside for their thoughts and rights. Something that has stood the test of time is now said to be 'out of date'. Right is said to be wrong; wrong is said to be right.
Lamentations is a short book of the Old Testament where the writer (Jeremiah), laments the decisions people have made and now they are suffering the consequences of their decisions and actions.
It says in my LIfe Application Bible that the purpose of Jeremiah writing Lamentations was "to teach people that to disobery God is to invite disaster and to show that God suffers when His people suffer."
One verse struck a cord when I read it recently:
"He wove my sins into ropes to hitch me to a yoke of slavery.
He sapped my strength and gave me to my enemies;
I am helpless in their hands."
- Lamentations 1:14
..and then the commentary on this verse:
"At first, sin seems to offer freedom.
But the liberty to do anything we want
gradually becomes a decision to do everything.
Then we become captive to sin.
Freedom from sin's captivity,
comes only from God.
He gives us freedom,
not to do anything we want,
but to do what He knows is best for us.
Strange as it may seem,
true freedom comes in obeying God.
following His guidance so that we can receive
His best!
Printable Issue 1850  Today is Friday, June 25th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1850
This is a Karen's Korner which I'd like readers to write.
In the past few days, Clarion and Wright County have been in the news. We were the recipients of lots of wild weather in the night on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Lots of water. Extended power outages has meant more damage than ever anticipated to homes, especially basements and any lower level living items.
Not knowing the extent of our area's damaged areas, I had written about our Sunday's church sermon in the Wednesday morning Karen's Korner.
".....always keep on praying.....alway be thankful.....always be full of joy...." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
In the middle of soggy carpets, loss of family photo albums, and damaged basement walls, are we still full of joy?
What do we have to be thankful for? Anything?
Can we pray? Or are we mad at God for any things we may have lost or have to endure?
Got any thoughts?
I'd like to have you share them. And I will pass some of them along to Karen's Korner readers in the next edition.
Printable Issue 1851  Today is Monday, June 28th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1851
Some thankful responses from Karen's Korner readers, as our area faces too much rain, too much water, too much damage from both!
How can God expect us to be 'always be thankful'? Does He know something we don't?
From Curtis Trulson:  "I haven't dealt with the water but over the last three years especially through seizures and brain suregery, the song I found the greatest was from Casting Crowns:  "Praise You in the Storm"  It talks about how God is WHO He IS no matter where we are.  God is so good that even when things look bad, we can always see through the storm."
Comments heard and shared by Sally Woodley:  "I was just talking to a friend.  On Wednesday with a wet basement and no electricity yet, she kept a doctor's appointment and got test results back - no cancer.  She told her husband,  'Yes, we're dealing with a lot of mess at home, but at least we're not having to schedule chemo or radiation treatments.'
Another comment I heard, 'No loss of life.'
Another, 'I may have water, but at least I still have walls.'"
From Mindy Sawyer (in part): "I have been pretty blessed to only have 2 - 3 inches of water in my basement.  Was I upset that the BRAND NEW CARPET & SUBFLOOR that I had just installed in my basement for my daycare biz was soaked through & through?  Yep.  BUT.... I was VERY thankful that my furnace, washer/dryer, hot water heater and furniture were spared!  I had the opportunity to have some of my clients that were less fortunate than myself get a hot shower, wash clothes if they needed to and enjoy the central air......
My heart is saddened as I watch my neighbor down the street suffer much more of a loss!
I'm thankful that my mom and dad watch over me, but I'm even MORE THANKFUL that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ watches over me more!
"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." - Philiippians 4:13"
A nice 'thankful' list from Tiffany Cramer: I am thankful that:

It happened (storm, too much rain) a little on Saturday
      so we had already started to move things around before the major water came in.
It happened Wednesday morning and not Thursday when no one was at home.
Dad had just fixed our carpet cleaner to suck up water.
That only things were lost.  Things can be replaced, people can not.
That we have the strength to clean up the small mess the water left behind.
That we still have clean water to drink, and can use the water for cleaning.
That we have screens on the windows to keep mosquitoes out.
That the electricity was out for less than a day.
That God is still in control.
I was able to sleep in a bed last night and not worry about my home being invaded or destroyed during the night.
I live in a country where I can pray and I can gather together with others freely to pray.
I have a car that I can trust to start if I need to head to higher ground.
I know my family is safe.
From Dorothy Balder (Albert Lea, Minnesota): "God works in mysteries ways  It's an old saying...Last Thursday evening our area was stricken by three cells of tornadoes. Many farmsteads were completely destroyed. One woman was killed, and her husband lies in a hospital in Rochester...Fields  of corn and beans were beaten into the ground...BUT God stepped in and rallied those who escaped the horror of that evening...there has been an outpouring of love, generousity and hard work that is unbelievable! The Holy Spirit has touched our hearts here.  Thank you Father."
From Alice Hiles:  "We were not promised a perfect life, just life in Him that fills us with HIS joy and peace.  I know it's hard to be thankful in the tough times, but because He lives, we can face tomorrow and the tomorrow after that! Through it all, God is with us all the way if we invite Him."
From Jacob Michael (missionary in Mozambique, Africa, who I am sure has seen more suffering and destruction than our loss from water and flooding):
"We must never forget that Father is with us in all our trials. Not just as a causal observer but suffering right along with us and He knows all our aches and pains. " 

"Phillipians 2:13: "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."


Printable Issue 1852  Today is Tuesday, June 29th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1852
A couple of verses from Psalm 139; the theme of the chapter is "God is all-seeing, all-knowing, all-present. God knows us. God is with us, and his greatest gift is to allow us to know him."
Sometimes I write notes in the margins of my Bible. This one I wrote a number of years ago:  "Even problems are opportunities to God!"
How many 'opportunities' do you have in your life today?

Psalm 139

 1 O LORD, you have searched me
       and you know me.

 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
       you perceive my thoughts from afar.

 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
       you are familiar with all my ways.

 4 Before a word is on my tongue
       you know it completely, O LORD.

 5 You hem me in—behind and before;
       you have laid your hand upon me.

 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
       too lofty for me to attain.

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
       Where can I flee from your presence?

 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
       if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
       if I settle on the far side of the sea,

 10 even there your hand will guide me,
       your right hand will hold me fast.

 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
       and the light become night around me,"

 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.


Printable Issue 1853  Today is Wednesday, June 30th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1853
Ever feel you could be a better 'pray-er'; I know I never feel that I have 'arrived' in that department. I know that I don't take advantage of everything I could have from our Heavenly Father's rich storehouse, where resources are never depleted.
Below are some "Quotes of Others" concerning prayer. The writing accompanying this listing said, "that these will encourage you to pursue prayer in an increased fashion and watch the Father do what only He can do":
"God can pick sense out of a confused prayer."
Richard Sibbes
"The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that fetched the angel."
—Thomas Watson

"Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God."

—Oswald Chambers


"I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day."

—Abraham Lincoln


"You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed."

—John Bunyan, an imprisoned pastor who wrote The Pilgrim's Progress