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March 2004 Archives

Printable Issue 241  Today is Monday, March 1st, 2004; Karen's Korner #241

Did you enjoy the "extra day" yesterday for Leap Year? Our S. S. class had a pizza party for supper last night to celebrate a February with 5 Sundays in it! Do you know how soon that happens again? We asked that question to our class several weeks ago and Denny Bruley brought us the computer answer yesterday...........28 years from now! It has happened in 1920, 1948, 1976 and this year; and it will repeat in 2032, 2060, and 2088. So I have experienced three of them........and at best will experience one more!! How will you (and I) spend our years between now and 2032!?? (For the record, there are no leap years on 1900 nor 2100, because it keeps the times in the years more exact!)


Today we celebrate the first anniversary of Karen's Korners; it was on this date in 2003 that I introduced Karen's Korners to my mailing list and, as they say "the rest is history! Thanks for allowing me to come into your homes for the past 240 notes!!


Thanks, too, for those of you who emailed a short note to tell me that you missed Karen's Korners while we were gone south for nearly two weeks! I appreciate those kind words. One of the things we did while in Houston, Texas, was to see the movie "The Passion of Christ" on opening day, Ash Wednesday afternoon at a 24-plex cinema where the movie was in four the theatres. It was not filled to capacity in the stadium-seating theatre, but many of the evening showings were sold out at 3 p.m. If you haven't seen it, you should. Our minister said it best at church on Sunday, "it is the most outstanding, gruesome, magnificient, and terrible movie I have every seen!"


With thoughts of the Lenten Season, I would like to share this writing which I received from my cousin, Marcia Ingham several months ago:



Story of Three Trees

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."

Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world.  Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."

Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said,"This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a
carpenter," and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

At the second tree the woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree, so I'll take this one", and he cut it down.

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for.

The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark.

The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams. Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to
keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the
top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not
in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.

-- unknown author

Printable Issue 242  Today is Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004; Karen's Korner #242

I received this pass-along note from, I believe, Shirley Southard. Hope that you enjoy it!




Back in 1932 I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie, and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago's Southside. One hot August afterno on I had to go to St. Louis, where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn't want to go. Nettie was in the last month of her pregnancy with our first child. But a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis.

I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lade Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66. However, outside the city, I discovered than in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope. Pasted on the yellow sheet w ere the words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED. People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear on the other end was "Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead."

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart. For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn't want to serve Him any more or write gospel songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in the dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day. I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died. From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him.

But still I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially a friend Professor Frey, who seemed to know what I needed. On the following Saturday evening he took me up to Malone's Piano College, a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys. Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody, the notes and words just seemed to fall into place:

       Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand,

       I am tired, I am weak, I am worn,
       Through the storm, through the night lead me on to the light,
       Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.

The Lord gave me these words and melody. He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power. And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until the day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.



Written by Thomas A. Dorsey

(not to be confused with Tommy Dorsey, they are two different people!)

Printable Issue 243  Today is Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004; Karen's Korner #243

This is something that Jean Lindstrom forwarded to me not long ago:



Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives.

He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her
with rich robes and treated her to the finest of
delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always
showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he
feared that one day she would leave him for another.

He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant and
was always kind, considerate and patient with him.
Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in
her, and she would help him get through the difficult
The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had
made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and
kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife.
Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice
of her!

One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was
short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered,
"I now have four wives with me, but
when I die, I'll be all alone." Thus, he asked the 4th
wife, "I have loved you the most, endowed you with the
finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now
that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me
"No way!", replied the 4th wife, and she walked away
without another word Her answer cut like a sharp
knife right into his heart.

The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved
you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow
me and keep me company?"
"No!", replied the 3rd wife. "Life is too good! When
you die, I'm going to remarry!"

His heart sank and turned cold. He then asked the 2nd
wife, "I have always turned to you for help and you've
always been there for me. When I die, will you follow
me and keep me company?"

"I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!", replied
the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only send you
to your grave."
Her answer came like a bolt of lightning, and the King
was devastated.
Then a voice called out: "I'll leave with you and
follow you no matter where you go." The King looked
up, and there was his first wife. She was so skinny as
she suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly
grieved, the King said "I should have taken much
better care of you when I had the chance!"
In truth, we all have 4 wives in our lives:
Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and
effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave
us when we die.
Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth.
When we die, it will all go to others.
Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how
much they have been there for us, the furthest they
can stay by us is up to the grave.
And our 1st wife is our Soul. Often neglected in
pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world.
However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow
us wherever we go. So cultivate, strengthen and
cherish it now, for it is the only part of us who will
follow us to the throne of God and continue with us
throughout Eternity.

When the world pushes you to your knees......you're in
the perfect position to pray.
Printable Issue 244  Today is Thursday, March 4th, 2004; Karen's Korner #244

I received this note from Pat Holtapp; hope that you enjoy it:




1. Don't force a fit--if something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.

2. When things aren't going so well, take a break. everything will look different when you return.

3. Be sure to look at the big picture. Getting hung up on the little pieces only leads to frustration.

4. Perseverance pays off. Every important puzzle went together bit by bit, piece by piece.

 5. When one spot stops working, move to another. But be sure to come back later (see #4).

6. The creator of the puzzle gave you the picture as a guidebook. Refer to the Creator's guidebook often.

7. Variety is the spice of life. It's the different colors and
patterns that make the puzzle interesting.

8. Working together with friends and family makes any task fun.

9. Establish the border first. Boundaries give a sense of security and order.

10. Don't be afraid to try different combinations. Some matches are surprising.

11. Take time often to celebrate your successes (even little ones).
 12. Anything worth doing takes time and effort. A great puzzle can't be rushed.

13. When you finally reach the last piece, don't be sad. Rejoice in the masterpiece you've made and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
Printable Issue 245  Today is Friday, March 5th, 2004; Karen's Korner #245

When we were kids and went to S.S. and church, chances are pretty good, we heard these words (or learned this Bible verse):


"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." - Psalms 119:105


We have lots of various Bible translations since those days. The Bible I enjoy reading says it this way, "Your words are a flashlight to light the path ahead of me, and keep me from stumbling."


The commentary at the bottom of that same page says, "A walk in the woods at night makes it obvious that a light is necessary to prevent one from tripping over tree roots or falling in holes. In this life, we walk through a dark forest of evil in a world that has turned its back on God. But the Bible can be our light to show us the way ahead so we won't stumble as we walk. It reveals the entangling roots of false values and philosophies. Study the Bible so you can see your way clear enougth to stay on the right path."


Sometimes "bad" things happen to us; sometimes "evil" in the world seems to have the upper hand. And we become lost, confused, discouraged.


God says, "Here I have a flashlight for you. Follow me. You don't need to get tripped up, lost or confused."


I need that kind of leadership. Sometimes I forget to follow!

Printable Issue 246  Today is Monday, March 8th, 2004; Karen's Korner #246

Cheryl Ketelsen received a greeting card with this message on the front and is sharing it for today's Karen's Korner:


        Little Instructions for Happiness


Stay loose-- learn to watch snails.

Make little songs that say "yes".

Make friends with freedom and uncertainty.

Cry during movies.

Giggle with your children.

Swing as high as you can.

Do it for love.

Take lots of naps.

Laugh a lot.

Hug trees.

Write letters.

Celebrate every gorgeous moment.

Read every day.

Do it now.

Listen to those older than you are.

Entertain your inner child.

Believe in magic.


-- JOHN C. FITTS (adapted)

Printable Issue 247  Today is Tuesday, March 9th, 2004; Karen's Korner #247

This is something which I received this past week from Alice Hiles. Many of you have probably seen it before. I have gotten from our son-in-law, Ed; and a Karen's Korner friend, Pat Holtapp, in the past while  also. Every time I read it, I like it better:


Let's Run Through the Rain


A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Wal-Mart.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.


The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in "Mom, let's run through the rain," she said.


"What?" Mom asked.


"Let 's run through the rain!" She repeated.

"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: "Mom, let's run through the rain,"

"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.

"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?

"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!"


The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.


Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.


"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.


And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.


Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.




They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. Take the time to live!!!  Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when you'll need each other -- and don't forget to run in the rain!

Printable Issue 248  Today is Wednesday, March 10th, 2004; Karen's Korner #248

A collection of eight "short thoughts":


 **  "Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person."
         --Mother Teresa


 ** "Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."
          -- Native American Proverb 

** "You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest
     that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the
          -- Jan Glidewell        

 ** "Some things have to be believed to be seen."
          -- Ralph Hodgson


** "Never look down to test the ground before taking  

     your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the

     far horizon will find his right road."
          -- Dag Hammarskjold


 ** "About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age."
          -- Gloria Pitzer 

**   "The world is a dangerous place to live - not

       because of the people who are evil but because of  

       the people who don't do anything about it."

          -- Albert Einstein

Printable Issue 249  Today is Thursday, March 11th, 2004; Karen's Korner #249

Several weeks ago, I was doing some sorting in our store room. Jim's mom was a teacher and a saver. She had lots of books of all kinds. So we have lots of books. No one should ever burn a book, was her theory. But it is time to do something with some of them. So I have been keeping some and giving others to our local thrift shop.......who uses the $$ for their not-for-profit work with handicapped adults.


One of the books that I am keeping was printed in 1880. It's title is "Noah Webster's Common School Dictionary", which was used  as a student dictionary in rural schools.


 We had fun last night at our church weekly community meal, "What's for Supper?" as we looked up some definitions together to see if, or how, they have changed in the past nearly 125 years.


 Here are some of them:


 Football, basketball, and baseball weren't in there, but croquet (an open air game with wooden balls and long-handled mallets) and golf (a game played with a ball and a club) were.


 African-American,  and Hispanic weren't listed, but Negro (a black African, or a descendent of one) was.


 Homosexual and lesbian weren't in there; neither was heterosexual. Gay (cheerful, merry, jovial, fine, showy) was.


 Jazz wasn't in there, but rap (a quick, smart blow) was.


 Man was defined as the human race, or an adult male; woman meant an adult female of the human race. The definitions of sex were distinction between male and female or the second definition:  womankind.


 Abortion definition was "miscarriage".  Pregnant meant "with young; fertile; teeming". Rape was defined as "a seizing by violence; carnal knowledge by force; or a plant of the cabbage family". Several words describing body parts needed for today's sex education classes (i.e. vagina, penis) weren't in there. Could it have been that this was a "student dictionary"?


As I have been reading this old dictionary, I thought of how much things change. How our culture changes and redefines words and their meanings; how many new words come into being.


 And then I thought of the Bible, how it doesn't change. We have many new translations, yet the words, and their meanings, are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. What my grandpa or great-great grandmother may have read, is the same! We can try to change the meaning...........but God stays exactly the same...........and I am grateful for that!!


(If you have words you would like to check out, get me your list. If I get enough of them, it might be a future Karen's Korner !)


Printable Issue 250  Today is Friday, March 12th, 2004; Karen's Korner #250

This is a Chicken Soup for the Soul.....in light of yesterday's terrorist attack in Spain........and U.S. military serving lots of places around the world. I thought this was a good one:


A Flag of Any Size
By Stacy Havlik McAnulty

Frank Havlik leaned against the wet brick of the Seventh Avenue firehouse and lit a filtered Camel. Frank was one of a group of middle-aged fathers and husbands living in Hudson, New York, who unofficially gathered every Saturday to debate and philosophize. Today, conversations drifted from weather to politics to the war.

The war in the summer of 1968 was in Vietnam. Frank's only son, John Martin Havlik, whom they called Marty, had enlisted six months earlier and was serving his first tour in the jungle. Marty's mother had begged him not to go, and his four younger sisters had all cried the day he left home. The family had already lost a neighbor to the conflict thousands of miles away, but Marty was not deterred. He felt it was his duty as an American to help the less fortunate - a sense of duty Frank had instilled in him at an early age. Frank was proud of his son and respected his decision to enlist.

"How's Marty?" asked one of the men.

"He seems to be all right. We just got a letter this week," Frank replied.

Frank had already read the letter a dozen times. In the back of Frank's mind, a constant worry for his son pulled at him, so reading about Marty's exploits, no matter how dangerous, was always comforting. Maybe it was simply knowing Marty was alive and well at the time the letter was written.

Frank abbreviated a story from his son's latest letter for his listeners. "He complains there isn't enough to drink and that it's too damn hot. After being in the swamps for a few weeks, he was issued a few canteens of water to shower with, but he decided to drink it instead."

The men all laughed. Most had known Marty since his baptism.

"I would sure hate to be bunking next to him," one man called out.

"Especially if he smells like his father," another man remarked.

Frank crushed out his cigarette on the sidewalk. His friends could always make him laugh and forget about his worries - at least temporarily.

As the conversation wound down, the men noticed they were not alone on Seventh Avenue. The nice weather had drawn a crowd to the park across the street, where one man, who was probably only a few years older than Marty, carried a megaphone and seemed to be leading the gathering.

"How many more must die?" the man with the megaphone shouted. "What are they dying for?"

Hudson was not a big town. The men often joked, "You'd have to quadruple the population of the town just to fill up Yankee Stadium." But like many American towns that summer, Hudson had its own Vietnam protests.

Frank had seen these types of unscheduled rallies before. They mostly consisted of bored teenagers yelling, singing or praying. There was never any threat of violence. Today, however, looked to be different. Frank did not recognize the man with the megaphone. His tall, lanky body and bright red hair would have been easy to remember. The stranger was new to Hudson but not new to protests. He was an electrifying speaker. Soon the crowd was motivated, yelling to a beat and throwing their fists in the air in unison. Frank could not remember a rally ever being so loud. He felt the hair on his arm raise. Standing where they were - just across the street - the men by the firehouse could not help but watch.

"This country is sending its sons to die," the stranger shouted. The crowd agreed with a chorus of boos and obscenities. At the height of the excitement, the leader grabbed a small American flag that was nearby and pulled it out of the ground. It was the kind of flag people line their driveways with on the Fourth of July or place in honor at a tombstone. It was not the six-foot hand-stitched version of Old Glory, but it was an American flag nonetheless. The man held up the small flag and held a lighter flame near its edge.

None of the men had noticed Frank leave the firehouse. But, suddenly, he was there, next to the lighter-toting protester. Without a moment of hesitation, Frank grabbed the flag out of the stranger's hand.

Frank Havlik, son of a Czech immigrant, veteran of World War II and father of an American soldier serving in Vietnam, did not lecture the young man. He simply took the flag and returned with it to his spot, where he again leaned against the firehouse. He did not want to break up the protest; they were Americans, exercising their rights. Frank only wanted to protect the flag he had fought for in France and that his son was fighting for now, in Vietnam.

The chanting ceased, and the fists were lowered. Eyes darted back and forth between Frank and the red-haired stranger like an audience at Wimbledon. Neither made a move. Five minutes passed before everyone began to realize there would not be a fight. There would not be a martyr - or a bully. A man with long hair from the protesters' group broke the silence with the strum of a guitar. The tense moment passed, replaced by the sound of voices singing antiwar songs. Onlookers began to disperse. The red-haired stranger, no longer the leader, became a participant and joined the peaceful demonstration.

The men at the firehouse resumed their smoking and philosophizing, but no one commented on Frank's actions. Frank held on to the flag; he planned to put it back after the park was empty.

When the singing was done, the would-be flag burner crossed the street and approached the firehouse. The men sitting on the steps started to stand, ready to defend their own, but when they saw the protester's face, they knew his approach was a white flag.

"I would like to put the flag back in the park," was all the young man said.

Frank handed over the small vinyl flag. "Thank you," he replied quietly.

Frank's story spread quickly. A few days later, the Hudson newspaper ran an article about the incident and included a picture of Frank with an American flag. Marty's sister clipped the article and picture and sent them to her brother in Vietnam.

The letter containing the article arrived in early fall. Marty slipped it and a short note out of the envelope. The picture of Frank and the flag immediately caught his attention. He read the article three times in a matter of minutes.

Marty shared the article with a few buddies, who told others, and soon all the soldiers in Marty's company had heard about Marty's father and the flag.

Frank's act was a simple one, but it affected the young soldiers deeply. They had heard many stories of protests and riots in the States. They were even told not to wear their uniform home because of the negative attention it might bring. But the story of Frank saving one small flag made them realize some civilians supported them.

Marty carried the article in his helmet liner with his cigarettes for the remainder of his time in Vietnam. His father was not an articulate or emotional man, but the story reinforced what Marty already knew: Frank was proud of him and would always be behind him.

Printable Issue 251  Today is Monday, March 15th, 2004; Karen's Korner #251

This is something that our daughter, Jamie, forwarded to us in September 1999.....and I recently found in an "old" sent email file. At the time, she was subscribing to a daily email service titled "Mr. Mom".  Hope you enjoy it!


Timely Reminders

1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return, but what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel.

2. Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.


3. Love is when you take away the feeling, the passion, and the romance in a relationship-and find out you still care for that person.


4. A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was never meant to be and you just have to let go.


5. When the door of happiness closes, another opens but oftentimes we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.


6. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.


7. It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives.


8. Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love you back! Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.


9. There are things you'd love to hear that you would never hear from the person whom you would like to hear them from, but don't be so deaf as not to hear it from the one who says it from his heart.


10. Never say goodbye if you still want to try - never give up if you still feel you can go on - never say you don't love a person anymore if you can't let go.


11. Love comes to those who still hope although they've been disappointed- to those who still believe although they've been betrayed, need to love those who still love although they've been hurt before.


12. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone and a day to love someone - but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.


13. Don't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.  Hope you find the one that makes
you smile.


14. There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real. Hope you dream of that special someone.


15. Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.


16. May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy and enough money to buy me gifts.


17. Always put yourself in others shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the person, too.

18. A careless word may kindle strife; a cruel word may wreck a life; a timely word may level stress; a loving word may heal and bless.


19. The beginning of love is to let those we love be just themselves, and not twist them with our own image - otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.


20. The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.


21. Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.

22. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear.

23. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.


24. When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.


25. If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it is yours. If it does not, it was never meant to be.
Printable Issue 252  Today is Tuesday, March 16th, 2004; Karen's Korner #252

Most of you can probably tell that I get a daily Chicken Soup email (6 days a week) titled "A Daily Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul" (if you would like to subscribe to the service, let me know and I will get you the address).


This is one a received several weeks ago. It would be a great one for Mothers' Day........or a good one for today:


Lessons on Napkins
By Caurie Anne Miner

In 1974, my mother was a junior at an all-girls Catholic college in New York. She was an excellent student and wanted to be a special education teacher. But, her dreams of becoming a teacher were interrupted by an unexpected child: her own. My mother became pregnant with me during her junior year of college and left school to marry my father. Yet even though my mother left the field of education formally, she did not leave it entirely.

When I was born, my mother immediately made learning an integral and fun part of my life. Everything we did was a positive learning interaction, whether we were baking cookies or spending the day at the library. I never watched television, not because I was not allowed to, but because it was more fun writing stories with my mom. There was never a lot of money in our home, but with all of the books, laughter and hugs, it was a scarcity I never felt.

When I finally entered a school classroom at age five, I was excited, but terrified. That first day of kindergarten I quietly sat at my desk during snack time and opened my Miss Piggy lunch box. Inside the lunch box I found a note from my mother written on a napkin. The note said that she loved me, that she was proud of me and that I was the best kindergartner in the world! Because of that napkin note I made it through my first day of kindergarten...and many more school days to follow.

There have been many napkin notes since the first one. There were napkin notes in elementary school when I was struggling with math, telling me to "Hang in there, kiddo! You can do it! Don't forget what a great writer you are!" There were napkin notes in junior high school when I was the "new girl" with frizzy hair and pimples, telling me to "Be friendly. Don't be scared. Anyone would be lucky to have you as her best friend!" In high school, when my basketball team was the first team in our school's history to play in a state championship, there were napkin notes telling me, "There is no 'I' in team. You have gotten this far because you know how to share." And, there were even napkin notes sent to me in college and graduate school, far away from my mother's physical touch. Despite the tumultuous changes of college – changing majors, changing boyfriends, changing the way I looked at the world – my one constant was my mother's encouragement, support and teachings, echoed in years of love, commitment and napkin notes.

My nineteen-year-old sister is now a college sophomore. Somewhere in her dorm room, amid her varsity basketball uniform and her nursing books, she has a box of well-read napkin notes hidden, but accessible. At home, my sixteen-year-old sister and nine-year-old brother also have their own private stashes of napkin notes. When they read them I know they feel the same warm surge of confidence that I felt all through my school years.

For Christmas this year, my mother received a book bag, a daily planner, notebooks and a full-tuition college scholarship. These gifts reflected an impending change in her life. After a twenty-five-year hiatus, my forty-four-year-old mother was finally going back to school to earn her degree in teaching. And although I was immensely proud of my mother for following her dreams, I wanted her to know that she didn't need a degree to make her a stellar teacher.

So I also gave her a Christmas gift for school: a lunch bag filled with her favorite foods. She laughed as she opened the lunch bag and took out cans of tuna fish and V-8. Then she pulled out a napkin with writing on it.

As she opened up her "You can do it!" napkin note from me, tears began running down her face. When her eyes met mine, I saw she understood my unspoken message: My mother is – and always has been – a teacher.

Printable Issue 253  Today is Wednesday, March 17th, 2004; Karen's Korner #253

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today's Karen's Korner is a pass-along email from Kevin (or Judy!) Ofstethun:











Many rooms with a master suite

Spacious love

Open floor plan for peace

Large eat-in grace

Fenced in mercy with room for expansion

Son room with a marvelous view of salvation

Pool of milk and honey in the back

Pearly gates in front



The only way to the Father is through the Son



$0.00 - Calvary - Owner financing



Friendly angelic neighbors.

Great family and friends.

Praise the Lord all day and night.



Crown of stars, new luxurious robe and golden slippers with

matching wings.  Bring a friend and get a reward.


For more information, call your local agent or

representative - Name, address and phone number listed below.

NAME: Jesus Christ

ADDRESS: Repent Highway and Streets of Gold

PHONE:  Dial John 3:16

Printable Issue 254  Today is Thursday, March 18th, 2004; Karen's Korner #254

This is something that I received from Janet Disney via Kent and Kelly Kirstein. I thought it was appropriate for the Easter season:


You took my place

One day, a man went to visit a church. He got there early, parked his car, and got out.

Another car pulled up near and the driver got out and said, "I always park there! You took my place!"

The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down.

A young lady from the church approached him and stated, "That's my seat! You took my place!"

The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, "That's where I always sit! You took my place!"

The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still He said nothing.

Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change.  Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet.

Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?"

The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye, "I took your place."
Printable Issue 255  Today is Friday, March 19th, 2004; Karen's Korner #255

This is something which I received several weeks ago. I hope that you have a good weekend and that you enjoy this writing:


**  10 Things God Can't Do  **       
by Maise Sparks

1) God can't get tired.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the  Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.-Isaiah 40:28

2) God can't take on a job he can't handle.
Ah, Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great  power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you.-Jeremiah 32:17

3) God can't be unholy.
And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;  the whole earth is full of his glory!"-Isaiah 6:3

4) God can't be prejudiced.
In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever  fears him and works righteousness is accepted by him. -Acts 10:34-35

5) God can't break a promise.
My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips. -Psalm 89:34

6) God can't remember sins he's chosen to forget.
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I  will not remember your sins.-Isaiah 43:25

7) God can't make a loser.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.- 2 Corinthians 2:14

8) God won't leave you.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the  Lord your God, he is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor  forsake you. -Deuteronomy 31:6

9) God can't stop thinking about you.
How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of  them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;  when I awake, I am still with you.-Psalm 139:17-18

10) God can't stop loving you.
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving  kindness I have drawn you. -Jeremiah 31:3

Printable Issue 256  Today is Monday, March 22nd, 2004; Karen's Korner #256

This is the alphabet passed along from my uncle in Tennessee, who is a retired minister from there:


Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
ntil we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God most high
Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

"I AM Too blessed to be stressed!"

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor.

The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.

Love and peace be with you forever, Amen.

Printable Issue 257  Today is Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004; Karen's Korner #257

Here are two "church humor" stories. The first one is from Jack Burt; I don't know where I got the second one. Enjoy:



Father O'Malley answers the phone; a voice says, "Hello, is this Father O'Malley?"

"It is."

"This is the IRS. Can you help us?"

"I can."

"Do you know a Ted Houlihan?"

"I do."

"Is he a member of your congregation?"

"He is."

"Did he donate $10,000 to the church?"

"He will".



A certain very wealthy man had devoted his entire life to 2 things:   Making gobs of cash, and exercising an extraordinary gift of giving. He'd built buildings for Christian college, funded hospitals overseas, sent out fleets of missionaries singlehandedly. He still had gobs of cash left over.

As he was approaching death, he bargained with God. "God," he says, "I'm coming home soon. I'm 94 now, and I've lived a full life. I just wondered if, just once, you would let a person bring his wealth to heaven. Can I take it with me???"

God replied, "Well, you have been an especially giving person and I can only say 'well done, good and faithful servant' to you. I'l allow it this one time."

The man left instructions to have his wealth converted to gold upon his death and to have it buried with him.

As the man approached the pearly gates, dragging 2 suitcases full of gold bricks, he was welcomed with open arms. As he entered, 2 heavenly bell hops approached to help the man with his belongings. They were mystified at the weight of the suitcases.


After receiving permission to open a suitcase, they looked at the gold, and then looked at the man. "What's this? You get permission to bring stuff to heaven, and you bring pavement??"

Printable Issue 258  Today is Wednesday, March 24th, 2004; Karen's Korner #258

I received this pass-along email from Brenda Grummitt about a month ago and the same one just yesterday from Sherri O'Brien.......time to share it with you.....if you haven't already seen it:


Scars of Life

Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore. His father working in the yard saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could.

Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his father. It was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs.

That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard his screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the alligator. And on his arms, were deep scratches where his father's fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my dad wouldn't let go."

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend,are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way.  But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins and if you have the scars of His love on your arms be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.
Printable Issue 259  Today is Thursday, March 25th, 2004; Karen's Korner #259

This was sent to me by Jack Burt, earlier this week. Because it is Easter season and spring, I thought the story was especially timely: 




An article in National Geographic several years ago provided an interesting picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. 
One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. 
When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but had refused to bandon her babies. Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live. 
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91:4)
Printable Issue 260  Today is Friday, March 26th, 2004; Karen's Korner #260

Last week Clarion had a couple of deaths, which were either unexpected or for someone too young.  And everyone, young or old, has lost someone special in his or her life. 


This is a Chicken Soup for the Soul, I received the first part of the week:


Grieving Time, A Time for Love
By Barbara Bergen

If a loved one has departed,
And left an empty space,
Seek the inner stillness,
Set a slower pace.

Take time to remember,
Allow yourself to cry,
Acknowledge your emotions,
Let sadness pass on by.

Then center in the oneness,
Remember . . . God is here,
Death is but a change in form,
Your loved one is still near.

Treat yourself with kindness,
Allow yourself to feel,
God will do the mending,
And time will help you heal.
Printable Issue 261  Today is Monday, March 29th, 2004; Karen's Korner #261

I received this email from Leon and Mariel Betts several weeks ago. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did:

The Teacup

There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores.

They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their

twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup.

The said, "May we see that? We've never seen one quite so beautiful."

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup
spoke. "You don't understand," it said. "I haven't
always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red
and I was clay. My master took me and rolled me and
patted me over and over and I yelled out, 'Let me alone',

but he only smiled, 'Not yet.'


"Then I was placed on a spinning wheel," the teacup said,

"and suddenly I was spun around and around and around.

"Stop it! I'm getting dizzy?" I screamed. But the master

only nodded and said, 'Not yet'

Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I
wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and
knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening
and I could read his lips and he shook his head,
'Not yet.'

Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I
began to cool. 'There, that's better', I said. And he
brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were terrible.

I thought I would gag. 'Stop it, stop it!' I cried.

He only nodded, 'Not yet.'

Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the
first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would
suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried.
All the time I could see him through the opening nodding
his head saying, 'Not yet.'

Then I knew there wasn't any hope. I would never make it..

 I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me

out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later he handed me

a mirror and I couldn't believe it was me. 'It's beautiful.

I'm beautiful.'

'I want you to remember, then,' he said, 'I know it hurts
to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you
would have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin

around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have

crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in

the oven but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked.

I know the fumes were bad and when I brushed and painted

you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have

hardened; you would not have had any color in your life.

And if I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't

survive for very long because the hardness would not have held.

Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind

when I first began with you.


God knows what He's doing for all of us. He is the potter
and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, so that we

may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good,

pleasing and perfect will.
Printable Issue 262  Today is Tuesday, March 30th, 2004; Karen's Korner #262

Ever have a time when you think you know something and then you jump to a conclusion? This is a Chicken Soup for the Soul where someone thought she knew something, but.....


Visions of Art
By Jeanne Knape

One afternoon I toured an art museum while waiting for my husband to finish a business meeting. I was looking forward to a quiet view of the masterpieces.

A young couple viewing the paintings ahead of me chattered nonstop between themselves. I watched them a moment and decided she was doing all the talking. I admired his patience for putting up with her constant parade of words. Distracted by their noise, I moved on.

I encountered them several times as I moved through the various rooms of art. Each time I heard her constant gush of words, I moved away quickly.

I was standing at the counter of the museum gift shop making a purchase when the couple approached the exit. Before they left, the man reached into his pocket and pulled out a white object. He extended it into a long cane and then tapped his way into the coatroom to get his wife's jacket.

"He's a brave man," the clerk at the counter said. "Most of us would give up if we were blinded at such a young age. During his recovery, he made a vow his life wouldn't change. So, as before, he and his wife come in whenever there's a new art show."

"But what does he get out of the art?" I asked. "He can't see."

"Can't see! You're wrong. He sees a lot. More than you or I do," the clerk said. "His wife describes each painting so he can see it in his head."

I learned something about patience, courage and love that day. I saw the patience of a young wife describing paintings to a person without sight and the courage of a husband who would not allow blindness to alter his life. And I saw the love shared by two people as I watched this couple walk away with their arms intertwined.
Printable Issue 263  Today is Wednesday, March 31st, 2004; Karen's Korner #263

This is a recent email which I received from Doris Chapman: 


From: GOD - The Boss!
Reference: LIFE

This is God.  Today I will be handling All of your problems for you.
I do Not need your help.  So, have a nice day.

I love you.

PS  And, remember....
If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it yourself !! Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box.
I will get to it in MY TIME.
All situations will be resolved,
but in My time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic; Don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work; Think of the man who has been out of work for years.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; Think of the person who has never known what its like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; Think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; Think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; Think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; Remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!

Now, you have a nice day,