July 2011 Archives
Today is Friday, July 1st, 2011; Karen's Korner #2100|
Another milestone - #2100!
The reason that I started Karen's Korners a number of years ago (March 2003) was because I had had several such profound thoughts surrounding the time that Merry was sick and ultimately died. I didn't want to forget them and I also wanted to share what I thought God had given me. It doesn't happen to me very often but sometimes when I have a very positive thought in the middle of what could or should be a very negative time; I call them "God Thoughts".
So in honor of this '00' milestone and to recognize Merry's birthday (June 1); she and Ed's anniversary (June 17), and to recall the day of her death (July 28), below is third in a series of seven of those thought that I had and was Karen's Korner #30:
Karen's Korner #30:
".....when Merry died..." (third in a series)
Merry's car accident was on Wednesday. The visitation at the funeral home was Sunday night. The funeral was on Monday morning.
Even though this was the most terrible thing I had ever experienced in my 50-plus years, I had chosen not to turn my back on God. I knew that this was going to be an impossibility for me to handle and I knew that I was going to get through it only with "extra special" help. I had two choices to be mad at Him, which would result in my turning my back on Light and walking in darkness; or I could walk toward Him and His Love, which would result in illumination of my future path.
I told God I couldn't possibly make it without His Help. It was going to be too difficult.
I learned that if a person makes that kind of choice in the darkest of hours, God will speak within our thoughts, emotions, and spirits.
I can recall two thoughts which were too outstanding to be my own.
The first one was at the funeral home. Because of Merry's young age (26), her activity level and involvement in the lives of lots of people in several communities, and Clarion being our hometown for more years than the Welds can count, people came to the visitation for hours. Merry's husband, Ed, had let us know that he wanted to be last person to leave the funeral home. We wanted to honor and respect that request.
As I was leaving the funeral home, I reached out to touch the knob of the back door and this is the thought that God gave me: "You raised Merry, you educated her, you loved her, and you returned her to Me, what more could any mother want!"
The second thought, both of which I term profound in the midst of loss and grief, was as we were leaving the funeral services. The Weld family attended, and were all members of, the Methodist Church in Clarion for the growing up years of both Jamie and Merry. Jim and I began attending the Church of Christ, near the time of Merry's high school graduation. The funeral would have been at the Church of Christ, but there was a street replacement project on the north side of the church. Not nearly enough places for people to park.
The decision was made for the funeral service to be at the Methodist Church. More parking. Bigger sanctuary. Even though Ed and Merry were active in the church near Amana, Merry was still a member of the Clarion Methodist Church.
As we were dismissed to leave the church, the Eastern Iowa Brass Band was playing a final hymn. One of the band members was also a pallbearer, so we stood at the back of the church and waited for Steve to come down from the balcony where the band was playing.
Standing there, the Thought came, "When you and Jim carried Merry into this church for the first time, she wasn't perfect. (She was born with a birth defect and had already had shunt surgery by the time she was six weeks old.) And now her friends are carrying her out of the church. For the first time in her existence, she is perfect!"
And I knew that Merry was loved and cared for, because I was!
........and we drove to the cemetery.....
Today is Monday, July 4th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2101|
Happy 4th of July!
Taken from my 365-daily devotional book titled "In God We Still Trust" by Dr. Richard G. Lee:
Celebrating the Fourth of July
"And there was very great gladness."
~ Nehemiah 8:17
"Erma Bombeck, one of America's most popular humorists in the second half of the twentieth century, wrote these words:
'You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every
July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the
White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics
where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad get 'iffy', and the
flies die from happiness. You may thing you have overeaten,
but it is patriotism.'
"Dear God, please put the love of God and country in my heart like never before.
Make my heart overflow with concern for the well-being of my fellow citizens.
May I make a difference in my circle of influence as
I pledge my allegiance to this great land."
"Psalm 85:9 (KJV) says this:
'Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him;
that glory may dwell in our land.'
God promises that if we hold Him high in awe,
He will dwell with us.
When you think about it, glory means magnificence, beauty,
grandeur, and splendor.
Doesn't that sound like fireworks, celebrations, and joy?
God has blessed this nation ...
let's celebrate her birth!"
Today is Tuesday, July 5th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2102|
A writing shared by Shirley Choat:
"I will lift up my eyes." Psalm 121:1
A woman who did a lot of research at home began to have difficulty with her vision, so she went to see the eye doctor.
After a thorough exam, he said, "Your eyes are extremely tired and they need rest."
"But that's impossible,my work requires that I use them all the time."
After thinking for a moment, he said, "Do you have any wide views of the countryside from your home?"
"Yes, she answered, from the front porch I can see the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains."
The specialist replied, "The next time your eyes get tired, gaze steadily at the mountains for 10 to 20 minutes. The far look will rest your eyes,."
What is true in the physical realm is also true in the spiritual. When the psalm writer said, "I will lift up my eyes to the hills", he was referring to the hills of Jerusalem, the city of God. He recognized his need to look to God for the care and protection that would clam his anxious heart.
The eyes of the soul grow tired from focusing on our problems. But if we turn our attention to the far horizon of God's providence and love, we gain a new perspective. Only then do we experience the rest we so desperately need."
The problems that we face each day
Can seem too much to bear
Until we turn our eyes to Christ
And trust His tender care.
Today is Wednesday, July 6th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2103|
Something forwarded to me by Steve Watne:
You're Not Alone
by Jon Walker
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith …” Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
What do you do when you feel like giving up? Everyone has that moment where they’ve been struggling with something – maybe a health issue, a broken relationship, financial problems, or depression – and they start to wonder if they have the strength to keep going because they just can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
If you find yourself at that point today, I want to share some encouragement with you from Hebrews 12 and give you a powerful reason to keep on keeping on.
Hebrews 11 is the “faith chapter” that tells us about great people of the faith – Abraham, Moses, David and many others. They’re stories are sources of encouragement in and of themselves. But a phrase that starts off the first verse of the next chapter is what I want to focus on. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith ”
What Paul is saying is that you don’t want to give up because heaven is watching and cheering for you. That’s encouraging news!
You have an audience. Nothing you do is private. Nothing you have ever done has been hidden from heaven. God sees it all. As Job says, “He sees everything I do, and every step I take” (Job 31:4 LB). And Jesus tells us, “Every hair on your head has been counted” (Luke 12:7 GW). God knows every detail of your life. He watches every breath you take; there are no secrets in your life.
And it’s not just God who’s watching. Abraham, Jacob, Moses and all the other saints are there as well.
How is this encouraging? When you start to get discouraged, remember that people who have gone through much worse circumstances than you are watching to see how well you’re enduring.
When you feel like giving up, remember that people are watching you and offering you encouragement through their life stories of faith.
Today is Thursday, July 7th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2104|
There is nothing like Psalms to set our hearts and minds above what is happening to us at our present time.
Psalms 146 - 150 are five of those chapters and verses.
Bible Commentary for those verses: "These last five psalms overflow with praise. Each begins with 'hallelujah' or 'praise the Lord'. They show us where, why, and how to praise God. What does praise do?
1) Praise takes our minds of our problems and shortcomings,
and focuses on God;
2) Praise takes us from individual meditation to corporate worship;
3) Praise causes us to consider and appreciate God's character;
4) Praise takes our perspective from the earthly to the heavenly."
Psalm 146 (GNT)
"Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, my soul!
I will praise him as long as I live;
I will sing to my God all my life.
Don't put your trust in human leaders;
no human being can save you.
When they die, they return to the dust;
on that day all their plans come to an end.
Happy are those who have the God of Jacob to help them
and who depend on the Lord their God,
the Creator of heaven, earth, and sea,
and all that is in them.
He always keeps his promises;
he judges in favor of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free
and gives sight to the blind.
He lifts those who have fallen;
he loves his righteous people.
He protects the strangers who live in our land;
he helps widows and orphans,
but takes the wicked to their ruin.
The Lord is king forever.
Your God, O Zion (Jerusalem), will reign for all time.
Praise the Lord!"
Today is Friday, July 8th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2105|
Today's Karen's Korner is taken from an email newsletter written by David Cameron. His grandfather was a minister in Clarion a number of years, so David came to our church asking for our support to help him be an intern missionary to Russia.
While David is a recent college graduate, he is not your 'typical' 22-year-old. His life took several detours before coming back to some of his childhood values and teaching. He is in his mid-twenties.
Along with telling some of his monthly work, he also shared some of His Thoughts::
"Having so fond an affection for you,
we were well pleased to impart to you not only the Gospel of God
but also our own lives,
because you had become very dear to us."
- 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Ever since I boarded the plane to come here, this question has been rolling around in my mind, "What does it really mean to be a missionary?" It really has stuck with me and has given me a clearer picture on what it means to be a missionary.
First, it highlights every Christian's mission from God, to tell people the good news, and secondly, as I see what it takes to be a missionary, I think it highlights the mindset that every Christian needs to have. And what is that? Sharing your life with others, seeing others as worthy to invest our time.
Ill never forget, the second time that I went to Russia. Valodya, the worship leader at the Church in Orenburg came up to me one night and said, "Thank you for your service, I can see that this is not a vacation for you because you came back again."
I was taken aback by his words, they meant a lot to me, but also contained great truth. People are willing to share the Gospel, but are we also willing to share our lives as well? That can be the toughest part sometimes. That's when it gets dirty, frustrations come.... Don't give up! By sharing the Gospel, along with your life, your time, your resources, you never know the impact that you are making. We may think that the situation is impossible, but you may well be the only picture of Jesus some people have in their lives and what they see in you will reflect on how they think of Jesus.
I don't think location has anything to do with being a missionary, but loving God and loving people, sharing the Gospel as well as sharing your life, is the mark of a missionary.
Today is Monday, July 11th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2106|
A couple of verses taken from Numbers 6:22-26, asking for God's blessing on the people of Israel, but meant for us today as well. Taken from Life Application Bible translation:
"Now the Lord said to Moses,
"Tell Aaron and his sons that they are to give this special blessing
to the people of Israel:
'May the Lord bless and protect you;
may the Lord's face radiate with joy
because of you;
may he be gracious to you,
show you his favor,
and give you peace.'
Bible Commentary: A blessing was one way of asking for God's divine favor to rest upon others. The ancient blessing in these verses helps us understand what a blessing was supposed to do.
Its five parts conveyed hope that God would:
1) bless and protect;
2) radiate with joy (be pleased) because of us;
3) be gracious (merciful and compassionate) to us;
4) show favor to us;
5) give us peace.
When you ask God to bless others or yourself, you are asking him to do these five things. The blessing you offer will not only help the one receiving it; it will also demonstrate love, encourage others and provide a model of caring to those who watch.
Dear Father in Heaven, I ask your special blessing on each reader of Karen's Korner this morning. I ask for your protection and that your face might shine on each of us and give us the joy and peace that only you can give. May we experience your love and favor in everything we think, say, and do today. In Jesus' Name we ask this. Amen.
Today is Tuesday, July 12th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2107|
A pass-along email of 'Top 10 most inspirational sayings'; forwarded to me last week by Florine Swanson:
10. "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
- Mother Teresa
9. "Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart."
- Elizabeth Andrew
8. "A bone to the dog is not charity.
Charity is the bone shared with the dog,
when you are just as hungry as the dog."
- Jack London
7. "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention."
- Oscar Wilde
6. "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
- Mark Twain
5. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
- Dr. Seuss
4. "Everybody can be great.
Because anybody can serve.
You don't have to have a college degree to serve.
You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve...
You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.
You only need a heart full of grace.
A soul generated by love."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
3. "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands.
You need to be able to throw something back."
- Maya Angelou
2. "We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give."
- Winston Churchill
1. "How wonderful it is
that nobody need wait a single moment
before starting to improve the world."
- Anne Frank
Today is Wednesday, July 13th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2108|
Today is Thursday, July 14th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2109|
Two things forwarded to me yesterday. First is something shared by my first cousin Marilyn Jackson:
Read at least the first two lines!
Never thought of it before!
Jesus died over 2000 years ago.
Nobody has ever referred to him as the late Jesus Christ,
Not even the heathens.
Nowhere in history.
Nowhere has He EVER been referred in the past tense!
He is the Living God!
When Jesus died on the cross,
He was thinking of You.
"May God Smile at you Today!"
The second one was forwarded to me by Beth Severson; rarely, if ever, do I send a web site in a Karen's Korner.
An exception is today! Keep watching!
Today is Friday, July 15th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2110|
This weekend is Iowa Games when people of all ages do lots of different types of 'Olympic kinds' of events. Big difference between the Olympics and Iowa Games: organizers are looking for participation, not necessarily being the 'best'.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned in a korner that I was going to 'run' a couple of events in track and field in my 'age group'. So I have been running to be sure I can actually get around the track in the events for which I signed up.
Probably 8 - 10 days ago, one morning I had a left knee that began to hurt. The next day, it was my right ankle.
"Oh, brother," I thought, "after I had told everyone what I was going to be doing!" What would happen if 'I couldn't do it! The achy twinges didn't last long but I began to think: was I mentioning what I am doing because I am thankful and blessed? Or was there an element of 'pride' because 'I can' and there are some others who I know who can't?
I wasn't sure.
What happens when I am busy thanking God for relatively good health? What about others who don't have that? Do I/we cause others to be envious or jealous?
And there are so many other things: What about if you have the job of your dreams? And I am looking but can't find one? I have something that you can only dream about? Or the other way around? Is one of us 'blessed' and the other 'unblessed'?
This is a Karen's Korner that I am not going to draw the conclusion as to the 'right/good' answers. What are your answers? God's answers? Let me know and I will share them in an upcoming 'korner'.
One thing for which I am aware: the weather forecast for Iowa in the next few days - VERY HOT!
Wish all of us who are participating, luck! God's protection!
Message on the marquee
Webster City Church of Christ recently:
"Under the same management
For more than 2000 years."
Today is Monday, July 18th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2111|
Several general comments to Friday's Karen's Korner and my meanderings of running in the Iowa Games and sharing my thoughts: was I sharing a blessing, thankfulness or a feeling of pride?
One comment: "We learn at a young age that we are all blessed. Some in one area; others in another. We need to learn to be 'thankful for all thiings' and share the blessings of what others have which may or may not."
Another: "We are blessed by God. We need to celebrate those blessings whether they are ours, or someone else's."
One from Wendy Weidemann: "God has given all of us free will. It is for all of us to realize that nothing comes to us without coming through him. God doesn’t listen to one prayer or give one blessing at a time. He answers all prayers; but it may not always be the answer that we are hoping for. Winning the lottery vs finding meaningful employment. Healing vs lack or limited suffering. Healthy children vs strength to care for a child with a disability. His blessings are all around us and they are for everyone."
Now an update from the Iowa Games later on Saturday afternoon. As probably everyone knows, "it is/was HOT!" Driving to Ames, our car thermometer bounced between 86 and 89 degrees. Walking across the black track to get our registration information with our daughter, Jamie, she and I could feel the heat bouncing back to us.
We didn't have participants or others questioning whether we should be there. We only heard, "Drink lots of water!"
Normally, I am not much of a 'sweat-er'. I was entered in the 100, 200, and 400 meter races. Jamie in the 1500, 400, and 200. We ran and did pretty well, when compared to our personal normals and considering the temperature.
The longer we were outside and the more we ran around, it seemed like we didn't notice the HOT!
Did I sweat? Yes, everything I was wearing was wet.
So my 'God-designed' cooling system (and everyone else's) was working. Helping us to be able to cope with adverse weather conditions.
When I crawled back into our van at 7:30 p.m., the temperature was still 91 degrees and the humidity? I don't know - high!
So Jamie and I made a mother-daughter memory, because we chose to and we celebrated another day 'blessed by God!'
Today is Tuesday, July 19th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2112|
Something I read recently in Numbers; it is talking about the people who had been miraculously led out of Egypt by Moses earlier. Some of what was written and the Bible commentary made me stop and think about our government and its leaders as they talk, debate, and struggle with monetary decisions. And we American people??:
"Then all the people began weeping aloud,
and they carried on all night.
'We wish we had died in Egypt,"
'or even here in the wilderness,
rather than be taken into this country ahead of us.
Jehovah will kill us there,
and our wives and little ones will become slaves.
Let's get out of here and return to Egypt!'
The idea swept the camp
'Let's elect a leader to take us back to Egypt!'
- Numbers 14:1 - 4 LAB
Bible Commentary: When the chorus of despair went up, everyone joined in. Losing their perspective, the people became caught up in the emotion of the moment, forgetting what they knew about the character of God. What if the people had spent as much energy moving forward as they did moving back? The Promised Land would have been conquered much sooner and with less effort. When a cry of despair goes up around you, consider the larger perspective before you join in. You probably have better things to do with your energy.
Father in Heaven, we confess that the United States has troubles. Help each one of us to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Help us to remember that our ultimate trust is in You and not in governments and their leaders. Show us the way; Your way. In Jesus' Name we pray these things. Amen.
Today is Wednesday, July 20th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2113|
Taken from a day's entry "In God We Still Trust", 365-day devotional by Dr. Richard G. Lee; this one is for July 20:
Communion on the Moon
"I am the vine."
~ Jesus speaking in John 15:5
"The first lunar landing occurred on July 20, 1969, and Buzz Aldrin was the lunar module pilot on the Apollo 11 space mission. He was also the second person to set foot on the moon, descending the module after Neil Armstrong.
"Aldrin had taken with him a tiny Communion kit, given him by his church. So, that morning, he radioed, 'Houston, this is Eagle...I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening.......to contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way.'
"During the radio blackout, Aldrin took the Communion elements and read John 15:5: 'I am vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.' Aldrin had been asked to not read the verse publicly because of the legal challenge against NASA already brought by famed atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair after the Genesis account of creation was read during the Apollo 8 mission.
"Incredible! The first thing this American patriot did when he arrived on the moon was worship God!"
"Holy God, as I look to the heavens today I acknowledge that You are the Creator
of heaven and earth, and for this,
I give You thanks.
May I---like Buzz Aldrin---
be quick to recognize opportunities
to remember and
to acknowledge You
and Your greatness."
"'Take, eat, this is My body which is broken for you'
(I Corinthians 11:24)---
these were Jesus' instructions
at the Last Supper,
and Buzz Aldrin took Him literally---
and to the moon!
Jesus' body broken for us!
The promises are implicit in such love
and are indescribable!"
Today is Thursday, July 21st, 2011; Karen's Korner #2114|
(Please note that Friday's Karen's Korner will be emailed on Sunday, July 24 as I will be away with other church members on a short-term mission trip. Might lend itself to more "Karen's Korners"!)
Several days ago I received this writing from Dorothy Wilmot, written by her daughter Deb. Dorothy & Owen were our church's pastor family several decades ago. Recently we reconnected with the family when their grandson, David Cameron, came to our church seeking support of his missionary internship.
Enjoy Deb's jottings:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
~~ Ephesians 3:20-21
"You may already know that my son, David Cameron, is in the middle of a five-month missionary internship to Ukraine and Russia. Friday, July 15th, David was to leave Kiev by train and travel 39 hours straight through to Orenburg, Russia. There would be no interpreter, no traveling companion of any kind. As this date approached, and I heard nothing from David, I became very troubled. I thought about the stark reality of what a target my handsome American college student son would be to a pick-pocket . . . or worse.
"And why was David even doing such a thing? Back in April, when plans were being made and airline tickets were purchased, it would have cost an additional $1,000 for David to fly from Ukraine to Russia versus riding the train. When you are being supported entirely by the generosity of others, you don’t buy the airplane ticket. You buy the train ticket. So—this mother began to pray. All day Friday and Saturday as I did all my 'normal' tasks, I kept sending up sentence prayers for David and his safety. I thought of all the times God had sent his mighty warrior angels to protect his people in ancient times. I knew the Lord of the Heavenly Armies could protect my son as well, so I kept praying. Still no word from David.
"Sunday morning at worship, a woman from RUSSIA gave her testimony! God, you are so awesome! I spoke with her afterwards. I told her my son was doing mission work in Russia. I told her how much I was missing my son and what it meant to me to hear how her life as an atheist in Russia was and about the change she now experienced because of the hope of Jesus Christ. She told me repeatedly in her wonderful Russian accent that my son had a 'God-job' and that this is the best time ever to reach Russians for Jesus Christ. I was filled with a peace that David was going to make it to Orenburg safely. God had a plan, and God wouldn’t let anything happen to David. (I still kept on praying, however . . .)
"This morning (Tuesday) at 2:57 AM David called, 'Hi mom.You won’t believe what happened. We checked at the last minute and I was able to get a plane ticket that was $300 less than my train fare would have cost! I’m at the airport now. Love you, Mom!'
"The only thing I asked God for was to protect my son during the long, lonely train ride of 39 hours. He did 'immeasurably more; than that! David was able to take a plane and make the trip in less than five hours! To God be the glory!"
A true story about prayer from a “mom of a missionary”,
~ Deb Anderson
Today is Sunday, July 24th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2115|
(Back after 3 days away on a short-term mission trip!)
From Joel & Victoria Osteen:
"Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has delivered from the hand of the adversary."
(Psalm 107:2, AMP)
Notice this verse doesn't say "Let the redeemed of the Lord think so. Let the redeemed believe so." Of course it's important to think right, and it's important to believe right, but something supernatural happens when we declare something out loud. And, you don't even have to say it to anyone else, you can just say it to yourself–driving to work or in the shower, you can say, "The economy may be low, but I am blessed. I am prosperous. I will lend and not borrow." "I may have had some setbacks, but I know those setbacks are a setup for a comeback!This is still going to be my best year so far. The favor of God is turning things around."
You are prophesying your future. When you say what the Lord has done for you, when you declare that you are redeemed, you are opening the door for God to move on your behalf. The Scripture tells us that He watches over His Word to perform it. When you declare His Word, when you speak His promises, He is faithful to fulfill them and lead you into victory all the days of your life!
Father in heaven, thank You for delivering me and setting me free. I will declare Your goodness. I will declare Your promises. I will declare Your favor so that I can live the good life You have prepared for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Today is Monday, July 25th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2116|
(New International Reader's Version)
"Praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord all my life.
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Don't put your trust in human leaders.
Don't trust in people. They can't save you.
When they die, they return to the ground.
On that very day their plans are bound to fail.
Blessed are those who depend on the God of Jacob for help.
Blessed are those who put their hope in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth and the ocean.
He made everything in them.
The Lord remains faithful forever.
He stands up for those who are beaten down.
He gives food to hungry people.
The Lord sets prisoners free.
The Lord gives sight to those who are blind.
The Lord lifts up those who feel helpless.
The Lord loves those who do what is right.
The Lord watches over the outsiders who live in our land.
He takes good care of children whose fathers have died.
He also takes good care of widows.
But he causes evil people to fail
in everything they do.
The Lord rules forever.
The God of Zion will rule for all time to come.
Praise the Lord."
Today is Tuesday, July 26th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2117|
"For four busy and heartbreaking years
I have tried to be pastor, parent, and brother to American servicemen and women.
With my own eyes
I have seen hundreds become children of God
and begin living for Christ in the most difficult surroundings.
I have also seen hundreds of men and women
disintegrate in body, mind, and soul on the very brink of hell.
We stand helplessly by and watch with horror and amazement
as men and women and officers sell themselves
to hell and drag their companions with them.
My pity goes out to all such, and indeed, any person needs pity
as he faces these evil days without God.
There are no more tears left in my heart to shed for these men and women.
There is only a dread ache which grows steadily more intense
as I see the faces of those without spiritual hope.
~ James Bryant, former Army chaplain
Today is Wednesday, July 27th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2118|
As you know, I was gone for a few days last week and had a brief interruption in sending out Karen's Korners.
For the fourth time in as many years, a delegation of eighteen people associated with the Clarion Church of Christ became 'short-term missionaries' for parts of 3-days, 2 nights from July 21 - 23. The purpose of the trips, which have now gone each direction from Clarion, is to work, to learn, to serve, and to have fun together as the group represents Jesus Christ to our world. Part of the time was spent on and near the Mississippi River.
First stop on Thursday morning was the church's camp near Bristow where the group planted a flowering tree in memory of former church member and C-G classmate 17-year-old Tori Westfall, killed several months ago in an auto accident. We also worked on camp clean up, getting ready for another group of weekly campers. In the afternoon, our traveling band represented Clarion in the town of Guttenberg: a portion working with the activity director of the local care center; another group scraping and painting bleachers and picnic tables in a sports park; and the final group scraping and sealing the deck at the welcome center.
Friday morning, we worked in Dubuque. Our time was spent at a downtown rescue mission. Some worked with those readying the noon meal. Others worked at two levels of the used clothing and furniture store. The afternoon was spent with volunteers doing a number of tasks at Camp Albrecht of the Midwest, a special need camp located just outside of Dubuque, along with learning more about the camp
Saturday morning, our group began retracing our steps back toward Clarion, stopping at River's Edge Christian Church. The largest portion of our group spent time mulching with wood chips around trees on the church grounds. Our smaller group worked packing boxes of food for senior citizens at the Northeast Iowa Food Pantry which had been requested by Hardin County
And there was eating, having fun, and bonding as a group thrown in!
Did we change the world? Probably not.
Did we impact the worlds where we traveled, visited, and worked for 2 - 3 hours at each stop? Without a doubt.
I like the saying by Mother Teresa, "If you can't feed 100 people, feed one!"
That is how we together, change the world.
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for being our Director and Guide. Thank You for allowing us to seize these golden opportunities. Bless the people with whom we came in contact and served. And bless each member of our 'short-term' mission team; plus others reading this Karen's Korner, as they each one serves You in so many different ways. May we continue to listen to You and to do Your Will. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
"The more lowly your service to others,
the greater you are.
To be the greatest,
be a servant."
- Jesus speaking in Matthew 23:11
Today is Thursday, July 28th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2119|
Something forwarded to me by a friend; it was complete with music and graphics:
LIVE ONE DAY AT A TIME
The most useless thing to do.....
The greatest joy....
The greatest loss...
LOSS OF SELF-RESPECT
The most satisfying work....
The ugliest personality trait...
The most endangered species...
The greatest 'shot in the arm'...
The greatest problem to overcome.....
The most effective sleeping pill.....
PEACE OF MIND
The most crippling disease....
The most powerful force of life...
The most dangerous pariah....
The world's most incredible computer.....
The worst thing to be without....
The deadliest weapon........
The two most power-filled words...
The greatest asset...
The most worthless emotion.....
The most prized possession....
The most beautiful attire...
The most powerful choice of communication....
The most contagious spirit.....
The most important thing in life.....
Today is Friday, July 29th, 2011; Karen's Korner #2120|
Something that King David wrote (sang) as praise to God; taken from 2 Samuel chapter 22. These are a few of the verses. Praise does something to us; we must be designed for praise and thankfulness! No matter what is happening to us; no matter how we feel or think, praise changes things or changes us! If you have the time, the whole chapter continues for 55 verses! You might enjoy continuing the reading:
2 Samuel 22:1 - 7 (NIRV)
David sang the words of this song to the Lord.
He sang them when the Lord saved him from the powerful hand of all of his enemies and of Saul.
"The Lord is my rock and my fort. He is the One who saves me.
My God is my rock. I go to him for safety.
He is like a shield to me. He's the power that saves me.
He's my place of safety. I go to him for help. He's my Savior.
He saves me from those who want to hurt me.
I call out to the Lord. He is worthy of praise.
He saves me from my enemies.
The waves of death were all around me.
A destroying flood swept over me.
The ropes of the grave were tight around me.
Death set its trap in front of me.
When I was in trouble I called out to the Lord.
I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice.
My cry for help reached his ears.