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August 2010 Archives

Printable Issue 1876  Today is Monday, August 2nd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1876
This is taken from "Sparkling Gems from the Greek" by Rick Renner; the book has 365 word studies for every day of the year. Each day Renner looks at several Bible verses and expands on their meaning, defining a word or two in Greek. Much of his ministry took place in Russia.
In part, this is his writing for July 29:
He tells of a time when 'the city where we lived was in political upheaval. This chaotic situation was so terrible that a bomb was detonated just a two-minute walking distance from our apartment! We could feel our building shake as a bomb exploded. It seemed as if each day was bringing new problems to the nation and more threats to our ministry....."
He said that 'logic' told them to 'pull back! Protect yourself! Stop until the heat is off!'. But God told him/them to 'keep pressing forward! Don't let up for a minute! This is a perfect opportunity for the Gospel message to be spread even further!'
Renner continued, "Right in the middle of all that chaos, we watched as God poured out His grace on us. Although it was a dangerous and difficult time, it was also a glorious moment to be serving in the Kingdom of God! God began to do marvelous new things in the nation where we lived. In that troublesome hour, people were open and hungry to know more about the things of God. They wanted answers and were willing to listen. As a result, people were saved; spiritual darkness was pushed back in people's lives, and the Gospel was spread further than ever before! As God moved mightly in the nation, that very dark, precarous moment became a spiritually bright time as many were led into the Kingdom of God."
He goes on to define some words from Romans 5:20 and adds his own interpretation to these words:
"For wherever sin exists in abundance and is multiplying and constantly expanding,
that is precisely the time and place
where grace is poured out in a far greater,
surpassing quantity."
We don't have anyone landing bombs within a two-minute walk of where we live. But does it seem like there is a lot of chaos swirling around us?  Oil spills; terrorism; wars; less-than-the best economic news; maybe a unwanted health diagnosis of a family member of friend .....??
Here could be an opportunity to have 'God's grace poured out in a far greater quantity', according to Renner.
Renner's prayer for today:
"Lord, I thank You for pouring out Your grace in difficult, chaotic times. When sin abounds and darkness tries to reign, that is always when You reach out to seek and to save. Forgive me for giving way to fear and for thinking of retreating at this key moment when You are wanting to make a strategic advance. I choose to push away all my fears and to believe that You are going to do something miraculous to save the day! Let Your grace flow, Lord -- pour it on! Please shine Your light in this hour of darkness!
I pray this in Jesus' name!"
Renner's confession for today (which could be ours):
"I confess that God's grace is poured out mightly to drive back the forces of darkness during times of difficulty and chaos. God uses these dark moments as opportunities to pour out His grace and to show others who He is! The world may reel in fear and uncertainty, but God is always near. I declare by faith that God will reveal His power and intervene with His grace to bring the solution for this difficult hour!
I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!
Printable Issue 1877  Today is Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1877
Something emailed to me by a friend.
Is it little wonder that Abraham Lincoln* was one of the most well-loved presidents of our country? Some saying attributed to him:
"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

"You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

"You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
"You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

"You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.

"You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

Once you encourage others to become more than they are, help them to focus on what they can do for others. When people start to look outside themselves and focus on the positive difference they can make, almost everything changes for the better.
"Lord, helps us to reach out to others. Help us to know when to give another person a hand out and when to give a hand up. Help us to celebrate those who have ideas, means, and strength. Help us not to look down on those who have difficulties. And most of all, let us look to You to know when to speak up for someone or some cause and when to shut up; when to give and when to refrain from giving. Like everything in life, we are going to need Your help. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
* I didn't verify this on Snopes. If Abraham Lincoln didn't say or pen these thoughts. someone did and they make sense.
Printable Issue 1878  Today is Wednesday, August 4th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1878
Maybe you have gotten the idea that I am spending some time reading through the book of Proverbs; which I am! Some of the thoughts just sort of catch my attention.
Today's is about money and wealth. As we collectively struggle with our national and world economy, jobs, investments, and the things which money can buy, it becomes more to the front of our news and thinking than maybe any of us would like for it to be.
"The rich think their wealth protects them;
   they imagine themselves safe behind it."
~ Proverbs 18:11 (The Message)
Bible Commentary:
"Money cannot provide safety--
there is too many ways for it to lose its power.
The government may cease to back it;
thieves may steal it;
inflation may rob it of all its value.
But God never loses his power.
He is always dependable.
Where do you place your hope for safety--
on uncertain wealth
or on God who is always faithful?
Printable Issue 1879  Today is Thursday, August 5th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1879
Taken from "Daily Guideposts 1985"; February, Friday 8 installment:
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
      I look to you for protection.
   I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
      until the danger passes by.
~ Psalm 57:1
"I want to tell you about a painting I came across several years ago in an art gallery. If I am in inner turmoil, just the thought of that painting has an instant calming effect on me--and it might help you, too, should you have to face a time of trouble.
"The picture is of a shepherd in a boat that is overcrowded with sheep. The surrounding sea is choppy and rough, and a dense fog is closing in. But the expression on the shepherd's face is one of complete serenity, and he rows with a sure and even stroke. The sheep are standing perfectly still, every eye steadily focused on the shepherd. Not one sheep turns to look at the dangerous waters that threaten imminent disaster. If only one of them moves, the boat would surely capsize.

"Yet this is a picture that tells of absolute trust in the midst of the unutterable peril.
"I thought the painting was beautiful and I studied it for a long time, but when I went closer and saw the title, I was overwhelmed. I understand the real strength of the shepherd, his drastic action and the trust of the flock. The title of the painting is:
"Changing Pastures."
"Father, when the course of my life seems uncertain
and I come to a turning point,
I will remember that because You love me,
You are merely moving to a safer pasture."
~ Marion Bond West
Printable Issue 1880  Today is Friday, August 6th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1880
I like to plant and grow flowers. Each year they grow in a half-dozen small flower beds in our yard and near our house.
For the past few years, I have enjoyed including gladiolas in one flower bed. While the rains and winds have been difficult to keep flower beds weed free and looking nice, weather has been extremely hard on tall glads as they come into bloom. Each flower and stalk is tending to lop over as they begin to bloom. They just aren't able to withstand the wind, the driving rains, and the softer ground which adds to the problem.
But it deosnt't have to be a problem:  I just go out and cut them off and bring the salmon, yellow, white and purple blooms into our house.
A week ago Monday, I had a bouquet of the tall blooms and I decided to share them with others as I did my errands uptown. I had about twenty of the stems.
"I'll share some and bring the rest home," I thought.
As I ran around making deliberate stops, I would give two to each person or couple.
Must have had too many friends! I didn't have any left for me when I returned home!
No problem!
In just a few days, I had another batch ready for me to harvest:  salmon, yellow, white, and purple!
That is when God planted this thought, "This is how My Kingdom works. You give. You share. I will see to it that you have even more! You will have enough."
The Bible talks about 'giving' often. Give away 10%; you'll have enough leftover for yourself. Doesn't seem to make much sense, but it's God's garden where resources grow.
Sort of like my gladiolas...
Printable Issue 1881  Today is Monday, August 9th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1881
Want to know more about planting gladiolas?
I learned some more things after Friday's Karen's Korner from Mel Voss who lives in Belmond:
"You should plant them 7 to 8 inches deep. Planting them closer together (only several inches apart) and deeper gives a little more stability and you don't need as much room or can plant more bulbs.Take it from a man whose father raised gladiolas for a business near St. Anne, IL where hundreds of areas of glads were raised."
And Steve Watne thought "Rick Warren and I were on the same page" with our thoughts from Friday's writings:

"Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly.  And whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV)

This is the principle of Sowing and Reaping. Every farmer knows this.  A farmer has four sacks of seed in his barn and he looks at his barren field.  He doesn't start griping -- "There's no crop!  I wish there was a crop!"  He just goes out and starts planting seed, it reproduces and he gets more than he had when he started.  Do four sacks of seed produce four sacks of seed?  No. Far more than that. They multiply a hundredfold. 

No farmer in his right mind would say, "I can't afford to plant, to sow. This is all the seed I've got, only four sacks of it. Therefore I'm just going to hold on to the seed."  The only way he's going to get anything out of it is by giving it away. He's got to plant it. If he holds on to it, that's all he's got. But if he gives it away, it multiplies. 

That is true with your money. It's true with everything in your life. It seems illogical that when you have a need, you need to give. That's why it requires faith.  God says "My ways are not your ways." Why did God set it up that way? Because God is a giver. He is the most generous giver in the universe and God wants you to learn to be like Him. 

"God so loved the world that He gave.." (John 3:16 NIV) God wants you to learn to be generous. If you don't learn to give, if you're stingy, miserly, always worrying about what you've got rather than giving it away, you'll never be like Christ.

Jesus said, "Give and it will be given unto you.  And the measure you use to give out will be the measure which God uses to give back to you." (Luke 6:38) 

We like to say, "Lord, when all my needs are met, then I'll give away."  God says, "No, when you give away, then all your needs will be met." Why?  It requires faith. 

"God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times having all that you need you will abound in every good work."  (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV) If that verse is really true, what does that leave to worry about? 

It doesn't leave anything to worry about.

Printable Issue 1882  Today is Tuesday, August 10th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1882
One entry from the book "Chicken Soup for the Soul for Grandparents":
Raising My Sights
"My six-year-old granddaughter, Caitlynd, and I stopped at a Tim Horton's donut shop for a blueberry muffin. As we were going out the door, a young teenage boy was coming in.
"This young man had no hair on the sides of his head and a tuft of blue spiked hair on top of it. One of his nostrils was piereced, and attached to the hoop that ran through the hole was a chain that draped across his face and attached to ring he was wearing in his ear. He held a skateboard under one arm and basketball under the other.
"Ciatlynd, who was walking ahead of me, stopped in her tracks when she saw the teen. I thought he'd scared the dickens out of her, and she'd frozen on the spot.
"I was wrong.
"My Grandangel backed up against the door and opened it as wide as it would go. Now I was face to face with the young man. I stepped and let him pass. His response was a gracious, 'Thank you very much.'
"On our way to the car, I commended Ciatlynd for her manners in holding open the door for the young man. She didn't seem to be troubled by his appearance, but I wanted to make sure. If a grandmother's talk about freedom of self-expression and allowing people their differences was in order. I wanted to be ready.
"As it turned out, the person who needed the talk was me.
"The only thing Caitlynd noticed about the teen was the fact that his arms were full. 'He woulda had a hard time to open the door.'
"I saw the partially shaved head, the tuft of spiked hair, the piercings, and the chain. She saw a person carrying something under each arm and heading toward a closed door.
"In the future, I hope to get down on her level and raise my sights."
~ Terri McPherson
Printable Issue 1883  Today is Wednesday, August 11th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1883
(We will be gone for several days; expect Thursday and Friday Karen's Korners on Saturday and Sunday this week!)
Several short sayings and thoughts:
"The Lord's blessing is our greatest wealth.
All our work adds nothing to it!"
~ Proverbs 10:22

"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.
It is not attained through self-gratification
but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."
Helen Keller
"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you,
they're supposed to help you discover who you are."
~ Bernice Johnson Reagan
""Better to lose count while naming your blessings
than to lose your blessings by counting your troubles."
~ Maltbie D. Babcock
"Why be discouraged and sad?
Hope in God!
~ Proverbs 42:5
Printable Issue 1884  Today is Saturday, August 14th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1884
Back after a few days away!
Something emailed to me by Shirley Choat more than six months ago:

Christians assemble at church to worship .They concentrate their thoughts on God, ascribe honor to Him. Sometimes, however, the atmosphere of reverence that should accompany their worship is hindered by the chatter that precedes the service.
Roger Palms wrote, "Every church has two people, one who can't hear and one who can't whisper, and they always sit next to each other.
 "Give to the LORD the glory due His name.
Bring an offering and come before Him;
worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness."
1 Chronicles 16:29
Go to church to worship,
not whisper.
To commune,
not criticize.
Printable Issue 1885  Today is Sunday, August 15th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1885
It is Sunday; not my normal day for a Karen's Korner. We are back from Des Moines after doing a couple of things while we were there for parts of four days.
Thursday was the day given to me by my friends when they nominated me for one of ten IOWANS OF THE DAY. Each year the Blue Ribbon Foundation takes applications for people who have been an active volunteer in his/her particular community. I was honored by their nomination and the committee's selection.
I learned that there have been ten award winners every year, since the Iowan of the Day award began in 1997. Winners come from ten districts, with one winner honored each day.
Some of the gifts given were an overnight stay at the Marriott Hotel, use of the Iowan of the Day golf cart for the day, four grandstand tickets, and $200 to spend by each recipient at the fair on 'their day'.
It was fun to spend the time with Jim, daughter Jamie and grandkids, running around the fair. Seeing and doing. Trying to avoid as much of the heat of the day as possible.
We needed to drink water; lots of water.
That's when we developed our plan:  we would buy bottled water for us. And another six bottles for other hot and thirsty people who came up to a particular bottled water booth to get a drink. And we would give an oversized bottle to them.
Luke, now 6, had the most fun telling people 'that grandma was Iowan of the Day and the fair had given her some money and because she (I) had been blessed, we were blessing them.'
We had so much fun doing it once, that we did it another time later in the day!
God tells us if we are blessed, we are to share that blessing with others. Not only did we have the fun of doing that, we had the privilege of showing Luke (and Molly and Noah) how much fun it is and how it works.
Will they remember the principle when they are 16 and 26 and 46?
No guarantees, but it won't be because we didn't attempt to show them!
I am, and have been, blessed by others and by God........and I know it!
Printable Issue 1886  Today is Monday, August 16th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1886
Sent to me in mid-March by Allan Holland; I reread it yesterday. It's a good one for 'thought':
Wanna Borrow A Jack?
One day I went to a lawyer friend for advice.
"I'm in real trouble" I said. "My neighbors across the road are going on vacation for a month; and instead of boarding their dogs they are going to keep them locked up and a woman is coming to feed them, if she doesn't forget. Meanwhile they'll be lonely and bark all day and howl all night, and I won't be able
to sleep.  I'll either have to call the SPCA to haul them away or I'll go berserk and go over there and shoot them and then when my neighbors return, they'll go berserk and come over and shoot me."
My lawyer patted back a delicate yawn. "Let me tell you a story," he said. "And don't stop me if you've heard it because it will do you good to hear it again."
"A fellow was speeding down a country road late at night and BANG! went a tire. He got out and looked but he had no jack.
"Then he said to himself. 'Well, I'll just walk to the nearest farmhouse and borrow a jack.'  He saw a light in the distance and said, 'Well, I'm in luck; the farmer's up. I'll just knock on the door and say I'm in trouble, would you please lend me a jack?  And he'll say, why sure, neighbor, help yourself, but bring it back.'
"He walked on a little farther and the light went out so he said to himself, 'Now he's gone to bed, and he'll be annoyed because I'm bothering him so he'll probably want some money for his jack. And I'll say, all right, it isn't very neighborly but I'll give you a quarter. And he'll say, do you think you can get me out of bed in the
middle of the night and then offer me a quarter? Give me a dollar or get yourself a jack somewhere else.'
"By the time he got to the farmhouse the fellow had worked himself into a lather. He turned into the gate and muttered. 'A dollar!  All right, I'll give you a dollar. But not a cent more!  A poor devil has an accident and all he needs is a jack. You probably won't let me have one no matter what I give you. That's the kind of guy you are.'
"Which brought him to the door and he knocked angrily, loudly. The farmer stuck his head out the window above the door and hollered down, 'Who's there?  What do you want?'  The fellow stopped pounding on the door and yelled up, 'You and your stupid jack!  You know what you can do with it!'"
When I stopped laughing, I started thinking, and I said, "Is that what I've been doing?"
"Right," he said, "and you'd be surprised how many people come to a lawyer for advice, and instead of calmly stating the facts, start building up a big imaginary fight; what he'll say to his partner, what she'll say to her husband, or how they'll tell the Old Man off about his will. So I tell them the story about the jack and they cool off.
"The next time I hear from them, one tells me that the partner was glad to meet him halfway; the gal says she can't understand it, her husband was so reasonable she thought she must have gotten somebody else on the phone; the relatives found out the Old Man had already been asking a lawyer how he could give
everything to them before he died, to save them inheritance tax."
I thought, "How true!  Most of us go through life bumping into obstacles we could easily bypass; spoiling for a fight and lashing out in blind rages at fancied wrongs and imaginary foes.
"And we don't even realize what we are doing until someone startles us one day with a vivid word like a lightning flash on a dark night."
Well, the other night I was driving home from the city. I was late for dinner and I hadn't phoned my wife. As I crawled along in a line of cars, I became more and more frustrated and angry. I'll tell her I was caught in the heavy weekend traffic and she'll say, "Why didn't you phone me before you left town?"
Then I'll say, "What difference does it make anyway, I'm here!"
And she'll say, "Yes, and I'm here, too, and I've been here all day waiting to hear from you!"  And I'll say, "I suppose I haven't anything else to do but call you up every hour on the hour and make like a lovebird!"  And she'll say, "You mean like a wolf, but you wouldn't be calling me!"
By this time I am turning into the drive and I am plenty steamed up.
As I jumped out and slammed the car door, my wife flung open the window upstairs.
"All right!" I shouted up to her, "Say it!"
"I will," she cooed softly.  "Wanna borrow a jack?"
~J.P. McEvoy~
Printable Issue 1887  Today is Tuesday, August 17th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1887
"A constant dripping on a rainy day
and a cranky woman are much alike!
You can no more stop her complaints
than you can stop the wind
or hold anything with oil-slick hands."
~ Proverbs 27:15,16
Bible Commentary:
"Nagging, a steady stream of unwanted advice, is a form of torture.
People nag because they think they're not getting their message through,
but nagging hinders communication more than it helps.
When tempted to engage in the destructive habit,
stop and examine your motives.
Are you more concerned about yourself--
getting your way, being right--
than about the person you are pretending to help?
If you are truly concerned about other people,
is there a more effective way to get through to them?
Surprise them with words of love,
and see what happens.
Printable Issue 1888  Today is Wednesday, August 18th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1888
A daily thought by Joel and Victoria Osteen:

The Light Will Come Bursting In

"Light shines in the darkness for the godly…"
(Psalms 112:4a, NL)

Everyone goes through times in life that seem dark or heavy. You may be going through something right now, and you don’t see how it could ever work out. You don’t have the funds. The problems look insurmountable. But if you will stay breakthrough–minded and focused on what God can do, His Word promises that the light will come bursting in. Notice, it’s not going to trickle in. It’s not going to barely get there. No, like a flood, like the breaking forth of waters, it will come bursting in. That means, suddenly, things will change in your favor.

When things seem dark, don't start complaining.  Don't get negative and sour. Remember, God likes to do things suddenly. Keep reminding yourself that the light is about to come bursting in! It may be today, may be tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. But know this: your breakthrough is on the way!

Father in heaven, I choose to focus on You. I know that as I keep my heart and mind fixed on You that Your light will drive out every bit of darkness in my way. Thank You for directing my steps and keeping me close to You. I love You so much! In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Printable Issue 1889  Today is Thursday, August 19th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1889
"This is the day that the Lord has made let us all rejoice and be glad in it!" from Psalm 118:24
This year I have been reading "Sparkling Gems from the Greek", every day Rick Renner has an inspirational thought and then word definitions of Bible verse(s) surrounding the verse(s).
I really liked the writing from August 16 and I am going to share a portion of it with readers this morning.*
Look at What You've Been Given In Jesus Christ!
"You have been given so much in Jesus Christ! You have no legitimate reason for failing to be an awesome success in life, because you have so much going for you! In fact, you have much more going for you than you could possibly imagine. Today let me encourage you with just a few things you've been given in Jesus Christ!
"John 1:12 says, 'But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the Sons of God, even to them who believe on His name.' This verse reveals that you received divine power the day you became a child of God. The day you chose to make Jesus your Lord and Savior is the day He delegated to you the power and authority to become a child of God. Think of it -- at the moment of decision, all the power, authority, and divine influence that is resident within the mighty name of Jesus Christ came to live on the inside of you!
"So rather than complain that you're weak and nothing special, it's time to start laying claim to what is stored up inside you! The same explosive, dynamic, phenomenal authority and power that resides within Jesus has now been delegated to reside in you!
"As that wasn't enough, II Corinthians 5:17 declares, 'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' This verse says you're a brand-new creature, if you are in Christ Jesus. The new you is superior to the old you! In fact, you are so new that this verse calls you a new 'creature'. (The word creature comes from the word creation.) When God created the universe, he used no existing materials or old elements to make it. Everything in creation was newly made. Now that same word is used to describe what happened to you the day you were saved. Everything about you is new! You're not an amended, corrected, improved version of what you used to be. You are an absolutely brand-new creation! You are completely detached from the person you once were before Christ.
"Psalm 103:12 tells you how far your old ways have been removed from you:  'As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.' When Jesus Christ came into your life, He created you to be free from the past, free from the negative effects of your family, and liberated from all former hang-ups--in short, a brand-new creature!
"So stop laying claims to your family's genetic problems, inheritable sicknesses, dysfunctional behavior, disorders, hang-ups, curses, or any other negative thing that was a part of your life before Christ. This old person no longer exists. He is dead. You are brand new.
"But wait -- there's so much more that you hae been given in Jesus Christ! For instance, Ephesians 2:10 says, 'For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus....' In this writing by Paul, he says emphatically that on the day you were saved, God put forth His most powerful and creative effort to make you new. Once God was finished making you new, you became a masterpiece, skillfully and artfully created in Christ Jesus. There's nothing cheap about you at all! God's creative, artistic, intelligent genius went into your making!
"Look how much you've been given in Jesus Christ! Don't you think its time to stop moaning about how dumb, stupid, ugly, or untalented you 'feel' compared to others? Those 'feelings' are all lies. Some of that may have been true before you were born again, but none of it is true of you now that you are in Christ. God turned you into something spectacular. That's who you are now! So lay claim to your new identity. Adjust your thinking and talking to reflect who you really are!"
"Lord, forgive me for being so negative and for talking so badly about myself after You have given me so much! I have no excuse for accepting defeat or low self-esteem as a way of life because You have made me totally new! Help me renew my mind to the truth about who You have made me to be, and help me guard the words of my mouth so that instead of speaking evil of myself, I affirm the truth about who I am in Christ."
"I confess that the day I was born again, I received the dynamic, explosive power of God into my life. That power removed my old nature and made me a brand-new creature! Nothing from the old me continues to exists, for I am completely brand new. When God made me, He put forth His finest creative powers, and I now live on this earth as a masterpiece of His grace. God has made me into something quite spectacular!
"I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!"
* This information has been edited for brevity of reading. The Greek definitions of several words have been omitted. If you would like to read the entire piece, please request it and I will type it and email it to you. It may take me several days to get to it, but stay tuned, I will do it, if you ask!
Printable Issue 1890  Today is Friday, August 20th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1890
In case you can't tell, I am spending some time charging through the book of Proverbs.
Today's verse caught me eye. Who among us hasn't had something to say about 'government', at least at some level. Then we learn the real truth:  the 'government' is US!
"When there is moral rot within a nation,
its government topples easily;
but with honest, sensible leaders
there is stability."
~ Proverbs 18:2
Bible Commentary:
One person's selfishness quickly affects others.
A selfish employee who steals from his company impairs its efficiency.
A selfish driver who drinks before taking the wheel makes the state's highways unsafe.
A selfish spouse who has an adulterous affair often breaks up several families.
When enough people live for themselves with little concern for how their actions affect others,
the resulting moral rot can topple an entire nation.
Are you part of the problem....
Or the solution?
Printable Issue 1891  Today is Monday, August 23rd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1891
We stayed overnight on Friday night in the Minneapolis area with one of my sister's. On Saturday morning, we met another sister and her husband at the Steele County fair in Owatonna. It is a big one. One of the notes which was included in our day's events and activities said their annual attendance is around 250,000 in the fair's six day run.
Nice county fair with lots of things to see and do.
In one of the commercial exhibit halls, there was a booth manned by members of the Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Owatonna. We noticed on a table at the center of the booth were some stacks of books, labeled 'free - one per customer'.
It seemed like a good come-on-in to me.
But then we noticed:  every book in their booth was free with the same admonition:  'free-one per customer'.
Soft cover books. Hard bound ones. Some CDs and DVDs. Maybe not every best selling book or author but many current, wonderful selections by well-known writers.
We spent some time looking before making our selection.
I asked one of the men working in the booth, "How do you do this? Give so many away?"
"We have a benefactor(s) who purchases them," he said.
What a fantastic outreach to fairgoers! Who knows how many people stop by for their free book!
Inside of each book were a couple of messages:  a sticker saysi "Compliments of Cornersone Evangelical Free Church"; a small flyer telling about the church, its philosophy, and weekly schedule; and an admonition for us to 'pass this book along to others'.
Haven't read mine yet; plan on passing it along!
Sounds like Christianity, doesn't it?
Jesus gave His life; we can accept His free gift......or walk by!
If we accept what He offers, He only asks for one thing:  pass it on.....
Printable Issue 1892  Today is Tuesday, August 24th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1892
Today is the first day of school for the Clarion-Goldfield & Dows School districts. And it is/was the first day of school in most area schools within the last week or next week.
The Karen's Korner for today was emailed to me one year ago at about this time from Shirley Choat. It talks about teachers and today we think about the 'paid' and 'staff' types, but don't discount yourself from the role of 'teacher' as well. If you teach Sunday School, lead a 4-H or scout troop, are a faithful friend, neighbor, or relative to some 'learning' young person', congratulation you are a 'teacher':
   The role of the teacher remains the highest calling of a free people. To the teacher, America entrusts her most precious resource, her children; and ask that they be prepared, in all their glorious diversity, to face the rigors of individual participation in a democratic society.
      ~ By Shirley Hufstedler
    O Merciful Father, I hurt today for those whose bodies aching with the horrendous pain of drug or any other addiction. I lift them up to You, LORD. Just as You delivered Your people from slavery thousands of years ago, deliver Your children today from the bondage of addictions and drugs. Send teachers to spot the first signs of it in the children and help the parents to deal with it. Draw them into Yourself, LORD, for You have the power to set them free. In Jesus' name. Amen
Printable Issue 1893  Today is Wednesday, August 25th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1893
Okay, I'll admit it! I have been discouraged, confused. Lots of things swirling around our world and my world as of late.
Too many illnesses. More changes in families than I like. What about the economy, jobs, and dollar status of people in my/our lives. Good grief even neighboring Galt (population 30) is making the national news. How is that going to affect people who I know and care about?
Just this morning it seemed God said to me, "Something good is going to happen today!"
It's an adventure! I wonder what it is?
Even if nothing 'good' happens, God is still in control. Not much ever changes in His World. His is very well ordered. The sun and moon will arrive right on time. The seasons will change as scheduled. Is God upset and confused by anything He sees? I doubt it.
Time for me to take a deep breath and rest in Him who has taken care of me/us before. He will do it again today......and tomorrow.....
"Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need." - Psalm 23:1
"Forgive me, Lord, you have given me everything I need. Sometimes my lists of 'wants' gets in the way of your 'wants' for my life."
Printable Issue 1894  Today is Thursday, August 26th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1894
Today's Korner is written by Billy Graham, taken from "Just As I Am".
"I never go to see important people--or anyone else--without having the deep realization that I am--first and foremost--an ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of lords. From the moment I enter the room, I am thinking about how I can get the conversation around to the Gospel. We may discuss a dozen peripheral things first, but I am always thinking of ways I can share Christ and His message of hope with them. I make every effort to be sensitive to their position and their viewpoint, but I rarely leave without attempting to explain the meaning of the Gospel unless God clearly indicates to me that it is not the right time for this person. No one has ever rebuffed me or refused to listen to me."
Printable Issue 1895  Today is Friday, August 27th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1895
My sister who worked in an office for a plumbing and heating store would tell if she made a mistake, she would spend time beating herself up verbally and mentally. Her boss. who also owned the company. would calm her down by saying (more than once over twenty years), "Jan, we do lots of things right. We do lots of things right. Sometimes we make a mistake and those we correct and move on."
What do we think of when we think of the past? Do we remember good times? The times we did 'something right' or do we focus on when we 'made a mistake' or 'something bad happened to us'?
From Joel and Victoria Osteen:

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


"When you think about your past, what events do you remember? What memories do you allow to play over and over in your mind? In the Old Testament, they had what they called memorial stones. These were used to remind the people about the good things God did in their lives. We need to remind ourselves today to focus on our victories. Sure, we´ve all had setbacks, but when you meditate on your disappointments and failures, it only drains you of valuable energy. It steals your confidence and joy. But when you focus on your victories, it builds your strength and confidence. It feeds your faith. It gives you a reason to give God praise. Praise catches God´s attention. He inhabits the praises of His people. And when God shows up on the scene, every enemy must flee!

"I encourage you to get into the habit of focusing on your victories. Remember, every good and perfect gift comes from Him. As you praise and thank Him for His favor and victory in your life, He´ll open up supernatural doors for you to move forward into the abundant life He has for you!"

Father in heaven, thank You for Your faithfulness in my life. I release every hurt from the past and choose to focus on my victories. I bless and praise You today for showing me Your goodness In Jesus´ Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1896  Today is Monday, August 30th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1896
Change is everywhere. I don't have to look any farther than our immediate family members to witness changes this year. Changes in our world. Changes in our country. Changes in our churches. Changes in our community. Changes with friends and their families. Some changes we like; many we don't.
Thanks be to God:  His world never changes. We can count on Him and His promises to us!
"Fear not;
for I am with you.
Do not be dismayed.
I am your God.
I will strengthen you;
I will help you.
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."
~Isaiah 41:10
Bible Commentary:  "All believers are God's chosen people and all share the responsibility of representing Him to the world. God will one day bring all His faithful people together. We need not fear because
1) God's presence is with us;
2) God has established a relationship with us;
3) God's assurance of strength, help, and victory over sin and death is certain.
Printable Issue 1897  Today is Tuesday, August 31st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1897
Around the south and west sides of our house, we have an overhang and underneath are white rocks, edged with bricks. There is black plastic under the rocks and I have a handful of pots with blooming plants in each one.
Even with the plastic, now and then a weed sprouts through the rocks. Several times each summer I take my trusty squeeze bottle and 'Round Up' any weeds that I see.
Several days ago I noticed two marigolds poking their heads through the rocks. They are probably a couple of inches tall.
As I looked at them, I thought, "There has to be a message here."
I didn't plant them. They shouldn't be able to sprout, grow, or thrive.
They are in the 'wrong' place and are probably technically 'weeds'. But I can't pull them out. I want to let them grow. Will they bloom before frost of fall comes? I don't know.
Tell me what is the message to you? Growing in spite of adversity?
I have some thoughts. What are yours!??