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November 2010 Archives

Printable Issue 1936  Today is Monday, November 1st, 2010; Karen's Korner #1936
From Joel and Victoria Osteen's writings:

Overcoming Difficult Times

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God!"
(Psalm 42:5-6, NIV).


When times get tough, don´t be surprised if you feel a heaviness trying to overwhelm you. Don´t be surprised if you hear negative thoughts telling you, "It´s never going to work out. Things are never going to get better. It´s over. It´s done." When those thoughts come, remember, you have a choice–you don´t have to believe those lies. You don´t have to get on board with your emotions.

In the Bible, David encountered many difficult situations. That spirit of heaviness tried to steal his destiny. He got depressed and discouraged, but do you know what he did? He started talking to himself. He said, "Why are you cast down, oh my soul? Put your hope in the Lord." He was saying, "David, snap out of it! Why are you discouraged? Why have you lost your joy? God is still on the throne, and He still has good things in store." When that heaviness tries to come on you, do what David did. As you put your trust in the Lord and praise Him, He´ll give you His strength and empower you to overcome every obstacle you may face!


Father in heaven, thank You for the strength to overcome the difficult times. I choose to shake off the spirit of heaviness by praising and worshiping You. I bless You today and always. In Jesus´ Name. Amen.


Printable Issue 1937  Today is Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1937
Our two-and-a half year old grandson Noah had a turn to stay and Grandma and Grandpa's house overnight. We met mom and dad and his brother and sister at a restaurant for Sunday brunch in Ames to make the connection.
Since the family was on their way directly from church, five-year-old Molly gave us her colored picture of Baby Moses for our refrigerator.
Six-year-old Luke gave us a much larger sheet of paper with his creation of a ship. On the ship are five portholes, several airplanes or rocket ships (since I didn't ask Luke, I am unsure which they might be), three people, among other details. The caption under his ship (spelled in first grade style as he is learning to read and write), "God's power makes me feel like I am riding on this ship."
Pretty cute for a six-year-old, I thought.
The second thought by his grandma who isn't six, "Same God. God's power makes we feel like I am riding on a ship.......and I don't have to fear or worry about anything because of it."
I might want to question, doubt, and wonder. But God's the Captain of the Ship!"
So regardless of the outcome of today's election. Or how the world economy might go. Or how our health might be for the day, God has the power and the control.....and we are along for the ride.
Thanks, Luke, for reminding me (his picture is too big for our refrigerator; I have it taped to one of our kitchen doors...).
Thanks, God, for that kind of power and care!
Printable Issue 1938  Today is Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1938
Words written by Max Lucado in his book titled "Come Thirsty"; from chapter three "When Grace Goes Deep". He refers to Ephesians 2:4 - 9 (look it up and read it if you have time):
"Look how grace defines us. We are:
* spiritually alive: 'he gave us life' (v. 5);
* heavenly positioned: 'seated with him in the heavenly realms' (v. 6);
* connected to God: 'one with Christ Jesus' (v. 6)
* billboards of mercy: 'examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us' (v. 7)
* honored children: 'God saved you by his special favor' (v. 8)
"Grave defines you. As grace sinks in, earthly labels fade. Society labels you like a can on an assembly line. Stupid. Unproductive. Slow learner. Fast talker. Quitter. Cheapsake. But as grace infiltrates, criticism disintegrates. You know you aren't who they say you are. You are who God says you are. Spiritually alive. Heavenly positioned. Connected to the Father. A billboard of mercy. An honored child.
"Of course, not all labels are negative. Some people regard you as handsome, clever, successful, or efficient. But even a White House office doesn't compare with being 'seated with him in the heavenly realms.' Grace creates the Christian's resume."
Printable Issue 1939  Today is Thursday, November 4th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1939
One of the good things about Bible Study, Sunday School, or a worship service is that sometimes one verse or couple of verses sort of jump off the pages at you as you study/learn/worship together.
That is what happened to me this week.
The lesson took us to the first couple of verses of Luke, chapter 10. Jesus is sending out seventy 'messengers' on his behalf. But as they are about to go, He gives them several instructions. The first one, "Plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out more laborers to help you, for the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few...."
He is telling them, "Ask Me for My help. Ask Me for more people to help you as you go...."
What caught me attention was what the commentary in my Bible had to say on verse 2:  "In Christian service, there are no unemployment lines. God has work enough for everyone. Don't just sit back and watch the others work---look for ways to get in on the harvest."
We hear in the U.S. about unemployment being just under 10%; in God's economy there is no such thing as unemployment. He has given us so much (life, hope, joy, grace, mercy and all the rest) and then there are His fringe benefits (help, peace, love, and a ticket to heaven) which are all out of this world.
What is He asking for His Kingdom?
He is asking us to ask Him for His help and to request more people to help in the harvest.....
,,,,,and after we have done that, we are to GO!!
Printable Issue 1940  Today is Friday, November 5th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1940
Something forwarded to me by my sister Jill yesterday:  a couple of writings in their church newsletter. I may have seen the first one before and maybe even had it as a Karen's Korner at Thanksgiving time. I didn't look back to check. It is good, even if we have read it in the past:


Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

~~ Author Unknown ~~


 All in a Word
By Aileen Fisher

 T for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather.
H for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday.
A for autumn's frosty art, and abundance in the heart.
N for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember.
K for kitchen, kettles' croon, kith and kin expected soon.
S for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that abounds.
That spells ~~~THANKS---for joy in living and a jolly good THANKSGIVING.


Printable Issue 1941  Today is Monday, November 8th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1941
Sometimes when we go to church, the discussion and items on the bulletin are just another bunch of stuff to add to our 'to do' list, which could already be too long.
"Bake a cake." "Take on a new job." "Write a check."
Our week ago Sunday's sermon centered on "His Love" for us. We have to be reminded because sometimes we forget. Psalm 145:7 says to "celebrate God's goodness".
Pastor Warren asked us, "Have we forgotten who we are? Have we forgotten whose we are? Have we forgotten what we have?"
We need to remember how much we are loved by Him. We need to remember that we are God's chosen people. We possess so many things we probably can't count them all:  love for one another; love for ourselves; peace; patience; kindness; gentleness; His grace and mercy. When we are loved, we can return that love to God.
Then he asked us, "But what about the masks we wear? Do we smile and say to one another, when we are asked, 'How are you?' Do we reply, 'I am fine', but go on our miserable way?"
Maybe it is time to begin removing our masks. Love requires transparency. We need to hide less from others. But we don't want other people to see exactly who we are; we don't want God to see exactly who we are.
We were encouraged to tell God of our misery or shortcomings:  to remove the mask. "God knows already anyway. He wants us to reveal our real selves. We are loved regardless."
Romans 8:38:  "Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the LOVE of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
The sermon went on to tell us that if we can risk letting God know, we should be able to risk letting other members of our church family know about us and 'remove those masks'.
"We must learn to forgive one another," said our minister. "We ought to not bear grudges between one another. Instead, we should offer love to one another, even those who don't deserve it. Because we are the body of Christ......and He offered, and offers, His love for us......and we don't deserve it."  Church should become a refuge from the storms of life.
As we go to church weekly to worship, we must be reminded that we are the family of God. We must be able to open up to one another. To celebrate. To take in His Love for us. To share our love for one another.
And then when we get the list:  'to help......to furnish.......to give'; it won't be one more thing on our 'to do' list , it will be something in which we become involved, because of love........
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for reminding us how much You love us, because we know we are miserable, self-centered people. We need Your love to make us into the people You always knew we could be. Help us to pull off our masks to You and to others. Lead us to worship You weekly at a local church. Help us to love others.....and ourselves; they, like we, are hurting and wounded. But because of You, we walk in love and victory. In Jesus' Name, who made Your Love for us possible. Amen.
Printable Issue 1942  Today is Tuesday, November 9th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1942
Something emailed to me about a year ago by Shirley Choat:
The Next time You Find Yourself in an Argument,
Rather than Defend Your Position,
See if You Can See the Other Point of View First
It's interesting to consider that when you disagree with someone, the person you are disagreeing with is every bit as certain of his or her position as you are of yours. Yet we always take sides--ours!  This is our ego's way of refusing to learn anything new.  it's also a habit that creates a lot of unnecessary stress.
The first time I consciously tried the strategy of seeing the other point of view first, I found out something truly wonderful: It didn't hurt, and it brought me closer to the person with whom I was disagreeing.
Suppose a friend says to you, "Liberals (or conservatives) are the major cause of our social problems."  Rather than automatically defending your own position (whatever it is), see if you can learn something new.  Say to your friend, "Tell me why you think that's true." Don't say this with a hidden agenda or in preparation to defend or prove your position, but simply to learn a different point of view. Don't try to correct or make your friend see how he is wrong. Let your friend have the satisfaction of being right.  Practice being a good listener.
Contrary to popular belief, this attitude does not make you weak.t doesn't mean you aren't passionate about your beliefs, or that you're admitting that you're wrong. You're simply trying to see another point of view--you're seeking first to understand. It takes enormous energy to constantly prove a rigid position. On the other hand, it takes no energy to allow someone else to be right. In fact, it's outright energizing.
When you understand other positions and points of view, several wonderful things begin to happen. First, you often learn something new. You expand your horizons. Second, when the person you are talking to feels listened to, he or she will appreciate and respect you far more than when you habitually jump in with your own position. jumping in only makes him or her more determined and defensive. Almost always, if you are softer, the other person with be softer too. It might hot happen right away, but in time, it will. By seeking first to understand, you are putting your love and respect for the person to whom you are speaking above your need to be right. You are practicing a form of unconditional love. A side benefit is that the person you are speaking to may even listen to your point of view. While there is no guarantee that he will listen to you, one thing is guaranteed: If you don't listen, he or she won't. By being the first person to reach out and listen, you stop the spiral of stubbornness.
~Richard Carlson from Don't Sweat the Small  Stuff...
Printable Issue 1943  Today is Wednesday, November 10th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1943

Psalm 91 (NLT)

 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
      will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 2 This I declare about the Lord:
   He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
      he is my God, and I trust him.
 3 For he will rescue you from every trap
      and protect you from deadly disease.
 4 He will cover you with his feathers.
      He will shelter you with his wings.
      His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
      nor the arrow that flies in the day.
 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
      nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
 7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
      though ten thousand are dying around you,
      these evils will not touch you.
 8 Just open your eyes,
      and see how the wicked are punished.

 9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
      if you make the Most High your shelter,
 10 no evil will conquer you;
      no plague will come near your home.
 11 For
he will order his angels
      to protect you wherever you go.
 12 They will hold you up with their hands
      so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
 13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
      you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

 14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
      I will protect those who trust in my name.
 15 When they call on me, I will answer;
      I will be with them in trouble.
      I will rescue and honor them.
 16 I will reward them with a long life
      and give them my salvation.”


Some comments on these verses by Max Lucado in "Come Thirsty":

"These sixteen verses collaborate to evision one image: God as your guardian. See if you can spot the most common word of the psalm (there are sixteen highlights above). Okay, I gave you a good hint, but I don't want you to miss this point:  God offers more than the possibility of protection or the likelihood of protection. Will God guard you? Is the pope Catholic? Your serenity matters to heaven. God's presence encapsulates your life. Separating your from evil is God, your guardian. (the word over and over above? WILL!)

Printable Issue 1944  Today is Thursday, November 11th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1944
Today is Veterans Day; it is a good day to remember how richly God has blessed America over more than 200 years of our existence, and He has used brave men and women to accomplish a portion of that blessing.
We are a 'military' family. Since my mom was one of fifteen children, she had eight brothers and brothers-in-law who served in World War II (including my dad serving in the Army with a portion of his time in the European front); my husband Jim served in the early 60s in Panama; my brother-in-law Keith served later in the 60s in Germany; and his son Kent, my nephew, served in Iraq, waiting in Kuwait for President George W. Bush to give the word 'go before 'going in''.
And I understand my heritage goes back farther to other wars in American history.
To appreciate my famly's handful of men, plus millions of men and women who have served the United States of America so bravely and honorable, we need to say, 'thank you' by some sort of actions today.
How could we do that?
Jim and I are going to eat breatkfast this morning at our local care center. They are inviting veterans to come and eat free with them; non-veterans pay a nominal fee. Later in the morning, I plan to go to our neighboring town for a short Veterans Day celebration put on by the school.
What other ideas could be on our possible 'to do' list to celebrate?
* fly our American flag;
* write a letter to serving soldier;
* or a note to a veteran thanking him/her for their past service;
* how about a note or a call to a family member (moms?) who are concerned about their serving loved one;
* plunk an American flag pin on your lapel on your way to work;
* wear something that is red/white/blue or something that has a flag stamped on it;
* make a contribution to the USO, an upcoming Honor Flight in your community, or some other military support organization;
* or you make the call.....
So how did Veterans Day come to be?
Here is a shortened version from something I found in a computer search:
"Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That's not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America's war dead.

"Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.

"In America, November 11th officially became known as Armistice Day through an act of Congress in 1926. It wasn't until 12 years later, through a similar act that Armistice Day became a national holiday.

"In 1947, Raymond Weeks of Birmingham Alabama, organized a 'Veterans Day' parade on November 11th to honor all of American's veteran for their loyal and dedicated service in World War II (400,000 American soldiers died in WWII).  Shortly thereafter, Kansas Congressman Edward H. Rees introduced legislation to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor all veterans who have served the United States in all wars.

"In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. "

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your gift of love and protection which You have provided for America in the past 200-plus years of our history. Thank You for men and women who have served us in the military, and who continue to serve us today - both here and in foreign lands. Protect them; guide them; and bring them safely back to us and to their families.  We acknowledge them, and You; not only today but every day. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 1945  Today is Friday, November 12th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1945
Today's 'korner' is written by Rick Warren of "Purpose Drive Life" fame; it is daily devotional email which was forwarded to me by Steve Watne.
It is telling about financial security which only God can provide. If you are without a paycheck and maybe without much hope, you might be thinking, "How is God going to make things all better?" or you might think, "Easy for you to say, you haven't had any interruption in your financial comforts."
Either way, we all know that things have the possibility of changing. Are we prepared to trust God with our money? Our future? Our lives?

But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV)

As you enter your Decade of Destiny, it is important that you trust God with your finances. If you want God to bless you financially, you must remain focused on the truth that he is the source of your finances and he is the one who supplies your needs.

What does that mean?  It means I'm not looking to an employer for my security.  I'm not looking to my savings for security.  I'm not looking to anyone or anything other than God to supply my needs.

Let me illustrate it this way: When I turn on the water, I don't really think the water comes from the faucet.  I know that the water really comes from a reservoir. It just comes to me through the faucet. In the same way, the income that God wants to give you may come through a job or through something else.

But the source is God.

If you trust in a bank account, the bank account can be taken away. If you trust in your savings, you can lose it. The only true security you can have is when you put your trust in God. He is the starting point of your finances. He is the one and only true source of your finances.

This means you don't need to worry about which faucet he uses to supply your needs. In a sense he says, 'If I turn off one faucet, I can just as easily turn on another. If you lose one job, I can give you another. I am your source, not your job. I am your source, not your bank account.'


Printable Issue 1946  Today is Monday, November 15th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1946
Sometimes when Christian belivers take a stand, siding with something the Bible says is 'right' or 'wrong'; these people/we are labeled 'judgemental'. Sometimes they/we are merely saying, "We believe......"
"..for in those days,
everyone did whatever he wanted to--
whatever seemed right in his own eyes."
- Judges 17:6
Bible Commentary:  "Attitudes in those days, are remarkably similar to the attitudes that prevail today. But God has given us standards. He has not left our conduct up to us and our opinions. We can avoid conforming to society's prevailing attitudes by taking God's commands seriously and applying them to life. Independence and self-reliance are positive traits, but only within the framework of God's standards.
"Today, as in Micah's day (referenced in the verses around this part of Judges), everyone seems to put his/her own interest first. Time has not changed human nature. Most people still reject God's right way of living. ....Anyone who is not submitted to God will end up doing whatever seems right at the time. This tendency is present in all of us. Drawing closer to God and His Word reminds us of what is really right."
Printable Issue 1947  Today is Tuesday, November 16th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1947
A handful of quotes from Mother Teresa. Her actions spoke so loudly of her love and devotion to Jesus, she didn't need words. But when she spoke, people listened.......and continue to listen:
"We need each other.
Our lives would be empty without each other.
How can we love God and his poor if we do not
love each other with whom we live?"
"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."
"Today, more than ever, we need to pray
for the light to know the will of God,
for the love to accept the will of God,
for the way to do the will of God."
"If you think well of others, you will also
speak well of others and to others.
From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
If your heart is full of love, you will speak of love."
"What we do is less than a drop in the ocean.
But if that drop were missing,
the ocean would be lacking something."
Printable Issue 1948  Today is Wednesday, November 17th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1948
Something emailed to me by Judy Watne; it is a daily email titled "Girlfriends in God". Judy forwards some to others which she enjoys: (this one in part, my editing....). Great news for the thanksgiving season:


The Taste Berry 

Psalm 138:2 "I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name."

Friend to Friend 

Are there times when you don't feel like praising God? Honestly, our feelings are irrelevant when it comes to praising God. Praise is not about us. Praise is all about God. Praise is a deliberate choice and a learned habit that produces contentment and an attitude of gratitude.

Let's pretend for just a moment. Suppose I went to my local bank and tried to cash a personal check for a thousand dollars. I can assure you that when I presented that check to the teller, she would have burst out laughing. She knows what I have in my bank account. Now suppose Bill Gates walked into his bank and presented the teller with a personal check for a thousand dollars. I can assure you that the teller would not burst out laughing. In fact, she would promptly cash that check. She knows what Bill Gates has in his bank account.

When we come to Jesus Christ, all of His promises are credited to our spiritual account. And there is a money-back guarantee on every promise of God. That is why we can praise Him - no matter what.

Praise invites God to take up residence in the middle of whatever mess we are facing.

Praise produces trust in God and strengthens our faith.

In Africa, there is a fruit called the "taste berry" that literally changes a person's taste buds so that everything tastes sweet and pleasant. Sour fruit, even if eaten several hours after the taste berry, becomes sweet and delicious.

Praise is the "taste berry" for every Christian. Praise is more than emotions or spoken words, singing songs or lifting up hands in worship. True praise is the celebration of God, His power, His works and His greatness. Praise is the fruit of a committed heart and the tool of a life completely surrendered to God.

When we are discouraged, praise reminds us that there is hope in God.

When we are afraid, praise reminds us that no matter what happens, God is with us.  

When we are lost, praise reminds us that God has already been where He is leading us. 

When we are confused, praise reminds us that heaven is not in a panic.

Right now, friend, lift up your head and praise your God. He is with you and He is more than enough.

Let's Pray:

Father, I praise You for Your love and Your mercy. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I praise You for sending Jesus to die in my place, to pay for my sin. I praise You for the family and friends You have given me.....Please bless them and fill their hearts with Your presence and Your power as they praise You.

In Jesus' name,



(The prayer above? For Thanksgiving season, try replacing the word 'praise' with 'thank'.)

Printable Issue 1949  Today is Thursday, November 18th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1949
Yesterday was a chance for me to clean up our unfinished basement after using it to fling around cannas that had been dug for the fall. Now, they are boxed and stored for the winter.
It was time to wash things up. As I was pouring water onto the cement floor and washing it with a bucket and broom, I thought, "Someday when Luke and Molly (grandchildren, ages 6 and 5) come to visit, I am going to ask them if they think they can 'push water with a broom'."
Kinda hard to believe that anyone can move water around without a bucket....unless you have done it.
Pushing water with a broom requires the sweeper's power to move the water, faster and with more force....than the water's ability to go wherever it wants. With each brush and the consistency of one swipe after another, water can be moved to the drain.
Made me think about troubles, problems, or things we don't like in our lives. Do we allow negative things to just flow all over in our minds? Or do we get a broom and begin to move those negatives in one direction to eliminate them?
First thing, when we try the 'water experment' is to believe it is possible. We have to partner with God, telling Him that we need His help. With each stroke, He can help us recall that 'we can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13); we have 'no fear....but power, love, and strong mind (I Timothy 1:7), and 'because He is our Shepherd, we have everything we need (Psalm 23:1)'.
Keep sweeping; keep thinking those thoughts.
Move those thoughts that tend to run every which way......down the drain.
And finally remember:  "....overwhelming victory is ours through Christ Jesus who loves us... (Romans 8:37)"
Toss back your shoulders. Hold your head up high. And begin to march.
Victory is yours; victory is ours.
Time to act like it!
Printable Issue 1950  Today is Friday, November 19th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1950
Today's korner is something I received from Joel and Victoria Osteen's a daily inspirational thoughts email more than two years ago. It talks about change. Sometimes there are changes coming our way which we like; others not so much. It isn't so much the change, but how we react to those changes that matters:

Embrace Change

He changes times and seasons.” (Daniel 2:21)

"God is always looking to take us to higher levels. He wants us to grow and increase in every area of life. Change is often a catalyst for growth in our lives. It keeps us from getting stuck in a rut. God will supernaturally open and close doors to keep us on the path toward our destiny. He will “stir us” out of comfortable situations and stretch us because He loves us too much to allow us to live in mediocrity. Just like a mother eagle will stir her young, God will stir His children. Do you know how an eaglet learns to fly? That eagle will take her eaglet to the very highest point—way out of its comfort zone—and then she releases it. As the eaglet falls, the mother swoops down and picks it back up again. She does this over and over until the eaglet spreads its wings and soars through the air. That’s what God wants for you today. He wants you to soar in life! You might feel like that eaglet learning to fly, but know that God is right there with you! He’ll never leave you. Embrace God’s change today, knowing that He is using it to take you up higher so that you can live in victory all the days of your life!

"Dear God, today I open my heart and mind to receive all that You have for me. I trust that You are with me directing my every step. I embrace Your seasons of change and thank You for helping me grow and increase in every area. In Jesus’ Name. Amen."


Printable Issue 1951  Today is Monday, November 22nd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1951
An exerpt from the box "Next Door Savior" by Max Lucado:
"What is the mystery of the gospel? 'Christ in you; the hope of glory' (Colossians 1:27 NIV).
"John was clear, 'Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them' (I John 3:24 NIV).
"Christ grew in Mary until he had to come out. Christ will grow in you until the same occurs. He will come out in your speech, in your actions, in your decisions. Every place you live will be a Bethlehem, and every day you live will be a Christmas. You, like Mary, will deliver Christ into the world.
"God in us! Have we sounded the depth of his promise?

"God was with Adam and Eve, walking with them in the cool of the evening.
"God was with Abraham, even calling the patriarch his friend.
"God was with Moses and the children of Israel.
"But he is in you. You are a modern-day Mary. Even more so. He was a fetus in her, but he is a force in you. He will do what you cannot. Imagine a million dollars being depostied into you checking account. To any observer you look the same, except for the goofy smile, but are you? Not at all! With God in you, you have a million resources that you did not have before!
"Can't stop drinking? Christ can. And he lives within you.
"Can't stop worrying? Christ can. And he lives within you.
"Can't forgive the jerk, forget the past, or forsake your bad habits? Christ can! And he lives within you.
"Like Mary, you and I are indwelt by Christ.
"Find that hard to believe? How much more did Mary? The line beneath her picture in the high school annual did not read, 'Aspires to be the mother of God.' No. No one was more surprised by this miracle than she was."
Father, thank You that you have chosen to reside within us! And thank you that you gave your son, Jesus, to set off that chain reaction of life. In His Name, Amen.
Printable Issue 1952  Today is Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010; Karen's Korner #1952
Something emailed to me recently by Shirley Choat; gives us something for which to be thankful:
What an awesome and orderly God we  have!
 For example:
 -the eggs of the  potato bug hatch in 7 days;
 -those of the canary in 14  days;
 -those of the barnyard hen in 21 days;
 -The eggs  of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
 -those of the mallard in 35  days;
 -The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in
  42 days.
 (Notice, they are all divisible by seven, the
  number of days in a week!)
 God's wisdom is seen in the  making of an
 elephant. The four legs
 of this great  beast all bend forward in the same direction.
 No other
 quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would
 have a  huge body,
too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave  it
 four fulcrums so
 that it can rise from the ground  easily.
 The horse rises from the ground on its two  front
 legs first.
A cow rises from the ground with its  two hind legs first.
How wise the Lord is
 in all His  works of creation!
 God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of
 sections and
 segments, as well as in  the number of grains.
 -Each watermelon has an even  number of stripes
 on the rind.
 -Each orange has an  even number of segments.
 -Each ear of corn has an even number of  rows.
 -Each stalk of wheat has an even number of
 -Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an
 even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row
 has an even number and the next row an odd number.
 -The waves of the sea roll in on shore
 twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.
  All grains are found in even numbers on the
 stalks, and the Lord
 specified thirty fold, sixty fold, and a
  hundredfold - all even numbers.
 God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain
 specified times during the day, so that Linnaeus, the great botanist,
 once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil,
 moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by
 the  flowers that were open and those that were closed!
  Thus the Lord in His wonderful grace can arrange
 the life that is entrusted to His care in such a way that it will
 carry out
 His purposes and plans, and will be fragrant with His  presence.
 The lives of each of you may be ordered by the
 Lord in a beautiful way for His glory, if you will only entrust Him
 with your life.
If you try to regulate your own life, it will only be a mess
 and a failure.
Only the One Who made the brain and the heart can 
 successfully guide them to a profitable end.
 Only the God-planned safe life is successful.
 Only the life given over to the care of  the Lord is fulfilled.
Printable Issue 1953  Today is Wednesday, November 24th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1953
"O give thanks unto the Lord;
for He is good
and His Lovingkindness continues forever."
Psalm 100:1
Our minister started Sunday's sermon with this question:  "Have you ever told your child, 'Say please and __________!?"
The congregation filled in the blank with 'thank you'.
He went on to say, "Maybe it is time for the adults to be reminded to do the same thing."
His message for Thanksgiving was to be thankful and he/we started the list:
God's love
His shield and protection
God's grace and mercy
Our salvation and redemption
That we are no longer lost
His daily provision
We can communicate with Him
For churches and church families
For our home and family members
For physical healing
For each day
For our food, shelter, clothing
For friends
For His care which allows us survive and thrive each day
"...always be thankful,
always be filled with joy,
always keep on praying...
I Thessalonians 5:16 - 18
But what about our list of things we don't care so much about? Loss of a loved one? A broken relationship? Less than the best health? Lack of a job? Not enough material possessions to do what we need for daily living?
Our minister reminded us that our emotions can go everywhere; we can be sad or angry, or.....
But, as Christians, underneath is His unending joy. We can choose to tell God 'thank you' in any situation; knowing that God can either change our situation or change the way we think or feel about our lot in life.
And no matter what is coming our way this Thanksgiving, we know that God is in control. He will take care of us. We know that He has in the past. We have memories.....
And because of that past care, He will be there for us today.
And our future? Taken care of by God!
And for that we can be thankful.
"...give thanks to God...!"
Printable Issue 1954  Today is Thursday, November 25th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1954
Happy Thanksgiving!
Below are the words to the song "We Gather Together"; written more than 400 years ago. They remain forever true.

These words of praise were orig­in­al­ly writ­ten in 1597 to cel­e­brate a Dutch vic­to­ry; it was ar­ranged and trans­lat­ed from Dutch to La­tin by Edward Krinser in 1897 and was translated from German to English by Theodore Baker in 1894.

We Gather Together

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!


Printable Issue 1955  Today is Friday, November 26th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1955
As we begin our mad dash past Thanksgiving on our way through "BLACK FRIDAY" to Christmas, let's spend one more day being thankful:

Psalm 92

 1 It is good to praise the LORD
   and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 proclaiming your love in the morning
   and your faithfulness at night,
3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
   and the melody of the harp.

 4 For you make me glad by your deeds, LORD;
   I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
5 How great are your works, LORD,
   how profound your thoughts!
6 Senseless people do not know,
   fools do not understand,
7 that though the wicked spring up like grass
   and all evildoers flourish,
   they will be destroyed forever.

 8 But you, LORD, are forever exalted.

 9 For surely your enemies, LORD,
   surely your enemies will perish;
   all evildoers will be scattered.
10 You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox;
   fine oils have been poured on me.
11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries;
   my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.

 12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
   they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the LORD,
   they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
   they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The LORD is upright;
   he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”


Printable Issue 1956  Today is Monday, November 29th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1956
I learned something Saturday night when I attended the brass quintet Christmas concert of "Jive for Five", in neighboring Rowan. One of the songs, "It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas", which the group played, was written by none other than Iowa-born and Mason City native Meredith Willson of "Music Man"fame; published in 1951.
For your Christmas pleasure; the words to a familiar song:
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev'rywhere you go
Take a look in the five-and-ten,
Glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in ev'ry store
But the prettiest sight to see
is the holly that will be
On your own front door

A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Barney and Ben
Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jen
And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev'rywhere you go
There's a tree in the Grand Hotel,
One in the park as well
The sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Soon the bells will start
And the thing that will make them ring
Is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart
Printable Issue 1957  Today is Tuesday, November 30th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1957
A good friend's daughter, Tanata La Rue, just tested her hand at writing and publishing her first book titled "Meddling in Murder". It is a fiction story of nearly 300 pages.
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk with Tanata and compliment her work. "I could never do that," I said. "Never written any fiction."
"Sure you can," Tanata replied. "You just have to try it."
Then came the holiday issue of OUR IOWA magazine. For the third year, they have a 'holiday writing' contest. Subscribers are asked to finish a story; using less than 300 words.
Never entered, don't write fiction.
"Okay, here goes," I thought.
When I finished putting computer keys to monitor screen, I had more than 450 words. Then the chopping and editing began. Some time today I am going to email my contest submission.
Know what feels so good? I tackled and completed something I 'could never do'.
I used to tell our kids when they would attempt something new, "You win when you decide to participate or enter!"
From that defintion, I am a 'winner'.
Three writers do win prizes. If I win one of them, I will let you know. Could never win without trying and submitting.
What is on your list of 'nevers'? Never cooked a turkey? Never took a computer class? Never participateded a prayer meeting?
In keeping with Tanata's comments, I'd like to reiterate, "Sure you can!"
God has given us so many abilities and talents. Some used; others laying dormant. Let's tackle something new this Christmas season. It doesn't have to be time-consuming nor physical or mentally draining.
Let me know what 'new' thing you might tackle.
Father in Heaven, thank You for the gifts You have given us. Help us to use them; help us to share them. You know that joy comes from 'nevers' that turn into 'first times'. Let the possible ideas begin to flow in each of our minds. Then help us to act on one of them. In the name of Your Son who made all things new and possible. Amen.