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August 2012 Archives

Printable Issue 2373  Today is Wednesday, August 1st, 2012; Karen's Korner #2373
Our 'weekly dose' of Max Lucado; a couple of good thoughts:

Don’t focus so much on what you love to do that you neglect what needs to be done.  A 3:00 a.m diaper change fits in very few sweet spots!  Visiting your sick neighbor might not come naturally to you.  Still, the sick need to be encouraged, garages need sweeping, and diapers need changing.

The world needs servants. People like Jesus, who “did not come to be served, but to serve.”  Jesus chose remote Nazareth over center-stage Jerusalem, his dad’s carpentry shop over a marble-columned palace, and three decades of anonymity over a life of popularity.  Jesus selected prayer over sleep, the wilderness over the Jordan. 

I’d have gone with angels.  I’d have built my apostle team out of Gabriel and Michael.  Not Jesus. He picked people!  When they feared the storm, he stilled it.When they had no food for the multitude, he provided it. 

Jesus came to serve!  So should we.




Christ In You


“No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.”  John 3:5, NLT

When you believe in Christ, Christ works a miracle in you. “When you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 1:13, NLT). 

You are permanently purified and empowered by God himself. The message of Jesus to the religious person is simple: It’s not what you do. It’s what I do. I have moved in. And in time you can say with Paul, “I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20, NLT).



Printable Issue 2374  Today is Thursday, August 2nd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2374
(Note: there will be NO Karen's Korner tomorrow, as I will be gone for a few days. Look for the fifth one of this week on Sunday, August 5!)
Yesterday when I stopped in to our local convenience store to pay for gas, a guy just behind me had a couple of items and a lottery ticket.
"Are you are winner?" I asked.
"I don't know," he said. "I am going to have her (cashier) check.
He didn't know if he was a winner or not.
As a Christian, you don't have to wonder if you are a 'winner' or not. You are; God ensures it!
Sometimes we don't look like it; act like it; feel like it; or maybe think like it. No matter. You and I are 'WINNERS'.
"Overwhelming victory is ours
through Christ Jesus
who loved us enough
to die for us."
~ Romans 8:37
Welcome to the winners' circle; just for today......and tomorrow.....and, well,,,,,,,on in to infinity!!
Printable Issue 2375  Today is Sunday, August 5th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2375
On Sunday to make up for the one missed on Friday!
Several sayings which could give us 'cause for pause':
Printed on a cloth bag which our friend Tricia purchased for four others of us
who traveled to Washington D.C. together in April to receive our National Make a Difference Day award:
"One person can make a difference and everyone should try."
~ John F. Kennedy
"And having thus chosen our course, without guile, and with pure purpose,
let us renew our trust in God,
and go forward without fear, and with manly hearts."
~ Abraham Lincoln
--July 4, 1861 Message to Congress
A portion from a radio message by Dr. David Jeremiah
to which I was listening one day last week.
Since I was in the middle of the broadcast and driving down the road,
I don't have exact quotes.
He was talking about people today 'wishing that they lived in a different,
maybe better time' in our world and culture.
"I tire listening to those comments," Jeremiah said.
"God could have dropped you into any time in history.
It could have been during the Renaissance or any other time,
but he chose you to be alive TODAY!
So thank God that you are alive to
'be a light in an ever darkening world'.
"We act as though comfort and luxury
were the chief requirements in life,
when all we need to make us really happy
is something to be enthusiastic about." 
~ Charles Kingsley
Printable Issue 2376  Today is Monday, August 6th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2376
Something written and forward to me, a number of months ago by Shirley Choat:
The angel said to the woman, "Go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead."
~ Matthew 28:5,7
  A Sunday School teacher was introducing a lesson to her class on evangelism. She ask them, "If someone walked into our class today and gave each of you a $100 bill, how many people would you tell?" She was hoping they would answer: "I'd tell everyone. One student responded."I'd keep quiet as someone might take it away from me."
  That's one worry no Christian should ever have about the Good News of Jesus Christ; we don't lose it by sharing it. In fact, the more we share the Gospel, the more we grow in faith.
  Just as the angel and the risen Christ directed the women at the open tomb to "go and tell," so we also are to freely share this wondrous news. And what a great story we have to tell: Christ is risen from the dead! He died to pay for the sins of the world. Because He lives, we can be sure of eternal life.
That's still news to the billions in the world today. If someone began giving away $100 or even $10 to everyone at our church, most of us would tell everyone we met. Why then do we hesitate to share the greater Good News of  eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ?
LORD, help me to share Your Good News with everyone.
Printable Issue 2377  Today is Tuesday, August 7th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2377
"I waited patiently for God to help me;
then he listened and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair;
out from the bog and the mire,
and set my feet on a hard, firm path
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
of praises to our God.
Now many will hear of the glorious things he did for me,
and stand in awe before the Lord,
and put their trust in him."
~ Psalm 40:1-3 LB
Bible Commentary:
Waiting for God to help us is not easy,
but David (writer of Psalms) received four benefits from waiting on God:
1) God lifted him out of his despair;
2) God set his feet on firm ground;
3) God steadied his walk;
4) God gave him a new purpose.
Often blessings cannot be received unless we go through the trial of waiting.
Printable Issue 2378  Today is Wednesday, August 8th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2378
A couple of good Max Lucado 'God' thoughts:

If your Father is God and you have a problem on your hands, what do you do?  Scripture tells us what to do.

Is your problem too large?  Ephesians 3:20 says, “God is able to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Is your need too great?  2 Corinthians 9:8 reminds us, “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance.”

Is your temptation too severe?  Hebrews 2:18 says, “God is able to help us when we are being tested.”

Is your future too frightening?  Jude 24 tells us, “God is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.”

Make these verses part of your daily diet.  God is able to accomplish, provide, help, save, keep, subdue.  He is able to do what you can’t.  Go to Him!


God is Enough

Let’s face it–anxiety or worry have no advantages!  They ruin our health, rob us of joy, and change nothing!  Our day stands no chance against the terrorists of the Land of Anxiety.

But Christ offers a worry-bazooka.  Remember how He taught us to pray?  “Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11”  This simple sentence unveils God’s provision plan:  live one day at a time.

Worry gives small problems big shadows.  Corrie ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.”   And Romans 8:28 affirms: “Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Most anxiety stems, not from what we need, but from what we want.  Philippians 4:4 says, “delight yourselves in the Lord, yes, find your joy in Him at all times!”

If God is enough, you’ll always have enough!


Printable Issue 2379  Today is Thursday, August 9th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2379
For a second week in a row, there will be no Karen's Korner tomorrow, as we will be gone. Look for #5 on Sunday!
In our mailbox a couple of days ago was a book titled "Billy Graham in Quotes". We didn't order it but it was there! The nearly 400 page book has 116 different 'topics of quotes'.
Here are a couple on "AGE"; if you aren't old now, you will be!
"Listen to Me.....
Even to your old age,
I am He,
and even to gray hairs I will carry you!
~ Isaiah 46:3 - 4 NKJV
"Many people plan financially for retirement--
but not spiritually and emotionally."
"Old age is Satan's last chance
to blow us off course."
"God isn't finished with you when you retire!
When we know Christ,
we never retire from His service."
"Ask God to help you reflect Christ as you grow older,
instead of turning sour or grumpy."
"Life has its share of joys and laughter---
but we also know life's road is often very rough.
Temptations assail us;
people disappoint us;
illness and age weaken us;
tragedies and sorrows ambush us;
evil and injustice overpower us.
Life is hard---
but God is good,
and heaven is real!"
Printable Issue 2380  Today is Sunday, August 12th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2380
The front of our church bulletin for today:
I love Jesus
He first loved me!
"We love Him,
because He first loved us."
~ I John 4:19
Printable Issue 2381  Today is Monday, August 13th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2381
Drought is a word which U.S. citizens have been hearing a lot about for the past few months. Few midwest states have escaped it.
Where we live here in north central Iowa is no exception. Some people have been able to snag a few more showers than others; some places have better soil types than others.
In five plus weeks, we had at best two showers which couldn't register in a rain gauge. More days than normal over 100 degrees. How could our field corn and soybeans possibly survive?
But survive they did!
Are we looking at a bumper crop? I don't think anyone is facing that possibility.
A week ago Sunday was the first time my husband walked a few rows into the field to pull off a 'better than average' ear of corn. What would it look like when the husks were peeled back?
We found a perfectly-shaped ear which was a little shorter than normal and a little smaller around. But row after row of filled-in kernels of the maturing yellow stuff.
I couldn't believe my eyes. I showed it to our extension crop specialist who did a calculation using that one sample (if that would be any indication to what else is in the field, which it probably isn't), could yield as high as 140 bushels per acre.
I call it a miracle from all it has been through! This is a crop which has probably been prayed for more than most years!
Could this analogy apply to our lives? Are we sometimes planted where we don't want to be? Are the sun and heat beating down on us? Do we think we are going to die? Unsure what our lives can produce, if anything?? But when we give ourselves to be cared for by Our Creator does He do a miracle in them? When the husks are stripped back has He produced a harvest in our lives, which even we can't believe??
To you today:  You are a miracle! Because you are firmly planted in His good soil, being watered by His love and cultivated by His care.
"But we delight in doing
everything God wants us to,
and day and night we are always
meditating on His laws
and are thinking about ways to follow Him more closely.
We are like trees along a river bank
bearing luscious fruit each season without fail.
Our leaves shall never wither,
and all we do shall prosper.
~ Psalm 1:2 -3 (My translation)
Father God, we are so blessed beyond our ability to see, feel or believe. Thank You for taking such good care of us, every day and every way! Thank You for the plans you have for us today and every day. Amen.
Printable Issue 2382  Today is Tuesday, August 14th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2382
A dose of a couple of Max Lucado thoughts for the day:

Why anyone would pester Hannah Lake is beyond me.  If her sweet face doesn;t de-starch your shirt, her cherubic voice will.  But a grade school bully tried to stir some trouble.  Intimidation.  Pressure.  But Hannah didn't fold.  In the end, it was her faith that pulled her through!

The older student warned Hannah, Any day now I'm coming after you. Hannah didn't flinch or cry.  She simply informed the perpetrator about the facts: Do whatever you need to do, she explained.  Just know this:  God is on my side.Last word has it that no more threats have been made!

Elementary school bullies don't await you.  But job transfers and fair-weather friends do.  Challenges pockmark the pathway of your life.  Where do you find energy to face them?

God never promises the absence of distress.  But he does promise the assuring presence of his Holy Spirit.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9


God is the Great Giver

Accumulation of wealth is a popular defense against fear.  Since we fear losing our jobs, health care, or retirement benefits, we amass possessions, thinking the more we have, the safer we are!

If there were no God, stuff-trusting would be the only appropriate response to an uncertain future.  But there is a God.  And this God does not want his children to trust money. He responded to the folly of the rich man with the words,  Do not worry about your life. Do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.

God is the great giver who ggives us richly all things to enjoy. He is the great provider.  The fount of every blessing.  Absolutely generous and utterly dependable.

The resounding message of Scripture is clear.  God owns it all.  God shares it all.



Printable Issue 2383  Today is Wednesday, August 15th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2383
In the last few days, Billy Graham has again been in the news with his recent hospitalization. Are there any nearly 94-year-olds who would garner such attention?
Again a few quotes from "Billy Graham in Quotes" under the umbrella of 'America':
"Come here and listen, O nations of the earth.
Let the world and everything in it hear My words."
~ Isaiah 34:1
"America has probably been the most successful experiment in history.
The American Dream was a glorious attempt.
It was built on a religious foundation.
Its earliest concepts came from Holy Scripture."
"We have so many battles going on in America today
that we should be a people of prayer.
Our government needs prayer.
Our leaders need prayer.
Our schools need prayer.
Our youth need our prayers.
Our families need our prayers.
"God honored and blessed America
as few nations in history.
However, in recent years
the nation has been moving away from its religious heritage."
"Our nation grew strong in an era when moral standards
were emphasized, and it will grow weak when we
condone that which we once condemned."
"America is said to have the highest per capita
boredom of any spot on earth!
We know that because we have the greatest variety and greatest
artificial amusements of any country.
People have become so empty that they
can't even entertain themselves!"
"The great flaw in the American economic
system has finally been revealed:
an unrealistic faith in the power of prosperity
rather than in the ultimate power
and benevolence of God."
Printable Issue 2384  Today is Thursday, August 16th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2384
An email forward recently from Roxie Richard:

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner. In their rush to catch the plane home, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples.

Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they almost all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.

ALL BUT ONE! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.

He was glad he did.

The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one to care for her plight..

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl,"Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did."

"Are you okay?"
She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly."

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, "Mister....."
He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, "Are you Jesus?"

He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"

"Do people mistake you for Jesus?

That's our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace. If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.

You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Printable Issue 2385  Today is Friday, August 17th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2385
This is Psalm chapter 103; "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty" song was written from its words:
Psalm 103 NLT
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.

 He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness
    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He revealed his character to Moses
    and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,

    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.

He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.

The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
    he remembers we are only dust.

Our days on earth are like grass;
    like wildflowers, we bloom and die.

The wind blows, and we are gone—
    as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
    with those who fear him.

His salvation extends to the children’s children
of those who are faithful to his covenant,
    of those who obey his commandments!

The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
    from there he rules over everything.

Praise the Lord, you angels,
    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
    listening for each of his commands.

Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
    who serve him and do his will!
Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord.


Bible Commentary:

David's praise (writer of this Psalm) focused on God's glorious acts. It is easy to complain about life, but David's list gives us plenty for which to praise God--His love,forgiveness, salvation, kindness, mercy, justice, patience, tenderness--we receive all of these without deserving any of them. No matter how difficult your life's journey, you can always count your blessings--past, present, and future. When you feel like you have nothing for which to praise God, read David's list!


Printable Issue 2386  Today is Monday, August 20th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2386
Yesterday at church, Dana Langfitt shared a thought with the congregation before communion and the offering. He used a writing for yesterday's date from the devotional book by Sarah Young titled: "Jesus Calling":
"I continually call you to closeness with Me.
I know the depth and breadth of you need for Me.
I can read the emptiness of your thoughts when they wander away from Me.
I offer rest for your soul,
as well as refreshment for your mind and body.
As you increasingly find fulfillment in Me,
other pleasures become less important.
Knowing Me intimately is like having a private wellspring of joy within you.
The spring flows freely from My throne of grace,
so your joy is independent of circumstances.
Waiting in My Presence keeps you connected to Me,
aware of all that I offer you.
If you feel any deficiency, you need to refocus your attention on Me.
This is how you trust Me in the moments of your life."
~ Psalm 131:2; Psalm 21:6; Psalm 37:7
Printable Issue 2387  Today is Tuesday, August 21st, 2012; Karen's Korner #2387
A couple of doses of Max Lucado for the day:

God is the Great Giver

Accumulation of wealth is a popular defense against fear.  Since we fear losing our jobs, health care, or retirement benefits, we amass possessions, thinking the more we have, the safer we are!

If there were no God, ‘stuff-trusting’ would be the only appropriate response to an uncertain future.  But there is a God.  And this God does not want his children to trust money.  He responded to the folly of the rich man with the words,  “Do not worry about your life…Do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.”

God is the great giver who “gives us richly all things to enjoy.”  He is the great provider.  The fount of every blessing.  Absolutely generous and utterly dependable.

The resounding message of Scripture is clear.  God owns it all.  God shares it all.

Trust him–not stuff!


The Power of the Good News

“Do the work of telling the Good News.”  2 Timothy 4:5

For every hero in the spotlight, there are dozens in the shadows. They don’t get press. They don’t draw crowds. They don’t even write books! . . .

Behind a rock slide is a pebble. And a revival can begin with one sermon . . .

Tomorrow’s Spurgeon might be mowing your lawn. And the hero who inspires him might be nearer than you think. He might be in your mirror.


Printable Issue 2388  Today is Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2388
Iowa's magazine, OUR IOWA, has 'side notes', vertically printed in the outside margins of many pages.
Here are a couple of them from the August/September issue:
"There are two ways of spreading light -
to be a candle
or the mirror that reflects it."
~ Edith Wharton
"A person without a sense of humor
is like a wagon without springs -
jolted by every pebble in the road!"
~ Henry Ward Beecher
"There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though
everything is a miracle."
~ Albert Einstein
"While earning your daily bread,
be sure you share a slice
with those less fortunate."
"The greatest part of our happiness
depends on our dispositions
and not on our circumstances."
~ Martha Washington
"Kneeling in prayer is the best exercise."
Printable Issue 2389  Today is Thursday, August 23rd, 2012; Karen's Korner #2389
I recently received a Summer Newsletter from Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham's daughter, with AnGeL Ministries. This is what her cover letter was in part:
"During my last message in India, delivered to approximately 10,000 people, I succumbed to the heat and exhaustion, and had to leave the pulpit while the presiding host led in worship, then prayer. God strengthened me to stand back up in the pulpit and finish the message.
"But supernatural strength is needed not only for major, public assignments, but also for the minor, private ones as well. Fixing dinner for my husband when I don't feel like eating. Welcoming my grandchildren when I don't feel like playing. Doing laundry and dishes when I don't fell like getting out of bed. Answering the phone when I don't feel like talking. Writing emails, blogs, devotionals, radio scripts, and this newsletter when I don't feel like working.
"I've discovered that the secret is just to get up and do it. His strength is there! And it gets done! Like the man with the withered hand, when Jesus told him to stretch it forth, he obeyed.....and found he could! Like the paralyzed man lying on the pallet for 38 years, when Jesus told him to get up and walk, he obeyed.....and found he could!! Because He gives strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak. (Isaiah 40:29)
"This AnGeL may be weak and wobbly; but I am boasting in my infirmities, knowing I have experienced God's supernatural strength in the realm of the miraculous, enabling me to do His bidding inside and outside of the home, in private, and in public. I know by experience that God's power reaches its peak when I am at my weakest point...."
Printable Issue 2390  Today is Friday, August 24th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2390
Just this morning I have been zooming around in I John; my Bible has three bold sub-headings:  God is Light; God is Love; God is Life.
The past couple of days I have been thinking a lot about how much people mean to me. And if I tell them often enough how much I appreciate and love them...........for all they do and say?
Some of you are in groups which I lead........and you willingly follow. Some of you make wonderful comments some days on something that is shared through Karen's Korner. Some of you are people who are just 'there for me'.......over and over again.
You become 'God' to me on some of those days, in some of those situations and with some of your words.
I can remember in the days and weeks following Merry's death, the one thing that I had to tell people in 'my world' over and over gain, was how much I loved them.
I wasn't sure that I had told Merry enough.
I had to tell them.
Hopefully, since this is a blanket email, my words aren't hollow but "I love you all....what you say.......what you do.....who you are!"
....and hopefully, my actions speak louder than my words!
I know I don't love you like God loves you!
He's consistent; I am not!!
"Little children, let us stop just saying we love people;
let us really love them;
and show it by our actions."
~ I John 3:18 LB
Printable Issue 2391  Today is Monday, August 27th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2391
A couple more entries from the Billy Graham book of "Quotes" by him over the years.
From the back cover of the book, it was noted: at the age of ninety-two (he will be 94 in November), he was interviewed by a well-known television reporter. With all of the problems swirling around our communities, states, nation and world, Graham said, "I have a tremendous amount of hope for the future because of Jesus Christ."
His quotes under the category of "HAPPINESS".
"He who heeds the word wisely will find good...happy is he."
"Happiness is a choice,
but grief is a certainty."
"The 'do it yourself' rage is spreading everywhere
and people are being told that to be happy
all they have to do is think 'happy thoughts.'
Such thoughts might cheer us,
but they will never change us."
"We say,
'Happy are the clever, for they shall inherit the admiration of their friends.'
'Happy are the aggressive, for they shall inherit a career.'
'Happy are the rich, for they shall inherit a world of friends, and a house full of modern gadgets.'
Jesus said, 'Happy are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth' (Matthew 5:5).
If we want the secret to happiness...'meekness' might be a basic key."
"My wife and I were invited to have lunch with one of the wealthiest
men in the world. He was seventy-five years old.
Tears cam down his cheeks. 'I am the most miserable man in the world,'
he said. 'I have everything anyone could ever want. If I want to go anywhere,
I have my own yacht or private plane.
But down inside, I'm miserable and empty.'
Shortly after, I met another man who
preached in a small church nearby.
He was vivacious and full of life,
and he told us,
'I don't have a penny to my name,
but I'm the happiest man in the world.'"
Printable Issue 2392  Today is Tuesday, August 28th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2392
As you know, I enjoy daily emails from Max Lucado, the best-selling Christian writer in America. Usually I put them in my 'hold' box and share them or re-read them in the days and weeks ahead. But yesterday's and today's were too good to hold. Like all of his writings, Lucado doesn't say much profound. Just so practical, understandable, and great for the day:

Value is now measured by two criteria: appearance and performance.  Where does that leave the ugly or uneducated?  Where hope does that offer the unborn child? The aged?  The handicapped? Not much at all. We become nameless numbers on mislaid lists.

This is man’s value system.  But it is not God’s.  His plan is much brighter.  In God’s book man is heading somewhere.  He has an amazing destiny.

We’re being prepared to walk down the church aisle and become the bride of Jesus. We’re going to live with him.  Share the throne with him. We count.  We’re valuable.

Jesus’ love does not depend on what we do for him. If there was anything that Jesus wanted everyone to understand it was this: A person is worth something simply because he is a person. That’s why Jesus treated people the way he did.

You have value simply because you are!


Jesus Honors You
You are valuable just because you exist!

Remember that the next time some trickster tries to hand a bargain basement price tag on your self-worth.

Just think about the way Jesus honors you—and smile!  I do.  I smile because I know I don’t deserve a love like that.  None of us do.

When you get right down to it, any contribution any of us makes is pretty puny. All of us, even the purest of us, deserve heaven about as much as that crook on the cross did.

It makes me smile to think there’s a grinning thief walking the golden streets of heaven who knows more about grace than a thousand theologians.

No one else would have given the thief on the cross a prayer. But in the end that is all he had. And in the end, that is all it took!

No wonder they call Jesus the Savior.  


Printable Issue 2393  Today is Wednesday, August 29th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2393
This is the first year that Clarion-Goldfield graduate Knuton Severson is attending Iowa State University. He is fine young man from a fine rural family. He is a better-than-average athlete who enjoyed baseball, football and wrestling while he was in our local school. He was an outstanding leader and a hard worker. Always believed that 'good things' were going to happen to each team in which he was participating.
The taller-than-six-foot Severson was an avid wrestler, being on the high school team as one of the heavier weights, as a freshman. He lost much more often than he won his first year.
Between his freshman and sophomore year, his mom, Knuton, and a number of others of us were on a short-term mission trip to Minneapolis. I had the opportunity to ask the budding athlete his assessment of the wrestling team's chances for the coming season. "Great," said the bright-eyed young man of his team and coaches, "we might be able to get six or seven us to state this coming year!" I loved his enthusiasm; he included himself on the list.
I watched him wrestle the next season; he won about half of his matches. The team didn't do as well as Severson envisioned either.
But that didn't dissuade this young athlete. There was another year coming!
Knuton made it to the state tournament as a junior; took another bigger group of his teammates with him to the state tournament in his senior year, as they were on the hunt for the top spot in the state in our school size.
Same thing in football........our team had the opportunity to make it to the state playoffs. "We are going to be good this year," Severson had said. They had a better-than-average season in baseball, a favorite sport of Knuton. The Clarion Cowboys had the fun of knocking off a state ranked team in the semi-finals, and lost by a couple of runs in their quest to make it to the state baseball tourney.
So now comes Iowa State; Knuton wasn't recruited by any team to play college football this year. He decided to 'walk-on' with another forty-plus talented young athletes at his new school. Only ten would make the cut.
He was hopeful.....worked hard.....listened......learned.
Last weekend the Cyclones made their decision, Knuton would be on their team for the 2012 year!
He is and was a 'never-give-up' guy! Seems like 'can't' isn't in his head's dictionary!
He is an example for all of us.
God tells to remember that "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!" (Philippians 4:13).
Whether we 'make the team', 'defeat our foes', or 'win the game', God helps us to WIN in all things through His Strength. Not ours!!
Printable Issue 2394  Today is Thursday, August 30th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2394
A quick follow-up note to yesterday's Karen's Korner featuring ISU freshman Knuton Severson. Beth, Knuton's mom, emailed me her gratitude on such nice words about their son. She told about Knuton talking at length over the last couple of years about his interest in getting a tattoo. Parents and grandparents aren't as interested in the body decor, as are the younger members of our society. Beth and her husband, Troy, have held Knuton's decision at arm's length.
But now as a young adult and much more on-his-own, Knuton has confided of his plans:  a tattoo on his rib cage featuring a Bible and cross with this Bible reference:  Philippians 4:13 ("I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.")
Same verse to which I referred in yesterday's Karen's Korner!
Who knew?
God knew and knows! It's a God-thing!!
Now for today's Karen's Korner:
"Don't act like the people who make horoscopes
and try to read their fate and future in the stars!
Don't be frightened by predictions such as theirs,
for it is all a pack of lies!
Their ways are futile and foolish.
They cut down a tree and carve an idol,
and decorate it with gold and silver and fasten it securely in place with hammer and nails,
so that it won't fall over,
and there stands their god-like a helpless scarecrow in a garden!
It cannot speak, and it must be carried,
for it cannot walk.
Don't be afraid of such a god for it can neither harm not help,
nor do you any good."
~ Jeremiah 10:2 - 5 LB
Bible Commentary:
"Everyone would like to know the future.
Decisions would be easier,
failures avoided,
and success assured.
The people of Judah wanted to know the future too,
and they tried to discern it in horoscopes.
Jeremiah's response applies today.
God made the stars that people consult.
No one will discover the future in made-up charts of God's stars.
But God, who promises to guide you,
knows your future and will be with you all the way.
He may not reveal your future to you,
but he will walk with you as the future unfolds.
Don't trust the stars:
trust the One who made the stars.
Printable Issue 2395  Today is Friday, August 31st, 2012; Karen's Korner #2395
A short thought from Joel and Victoria Osteen:

Trust over Fear

"Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe"
(Proverbs 29:25, NIV)

Fear is one of the enemy's favorite tools to keep us from going forward in our lives. As soon as we make a decision to step out in faith and do what God is telling us to do, immediately the enemy will bring fear. He'll put thoughts in your mind like, "What if I fail? What will others think? Maybe I don't have what it takes." He'll do his best to use fear to try to convince you to shrink back and just stay right where you are.

The Bible tells us that fear is a spirit. It affects your emotions. But when you choose to put your trust in the Lord, no matter how you are feeling, you are combating fear.

Today, I encourage you, don't allow fear to trap you and hold you back. Instead, take a step of faith knowing that God is on your side. He is for you and with you, leading and guiding you in the path of victory all the days of your life!

"Heavenly Father, I choose to put my trust in You. I choose to press forward and overcome fear. I believe You have my best interest at heart and know that You are leading me in the paths of righteousness all the days of my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen."