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August 2013 Archives

Printable Issue 2624  Today is Thursday, August 1st, 2013; Karen's Korner #2624
I just finished a journey reading through I Timothy, which is six chapters in length; on a trek though II Timothy, and its four chapters:
Both letters are written by Paul, a giant missionary of the Christian faith to his young friend and sometimes traveling companion, Timothy. But the words ring true to each of us today, who are followers of Jesus. Enjoy each of these blessings today:
"May God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord
shower you with
His kindness,
and peace."
Printable Issue 2625  Today is Friday, August 2nd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2625
In the late winter five years ago, former Clarion resident Neal Bunn, who now resides in the Des Moines area,  brought the ALPHA series back to Clarion after his participation in the multi-week study and the life-changing impact on his life. Most of the time he would come back to Clarion for each Sunday evening's study.
One week his friend and fellow-church-goer Nicole Woodley brought her message to the group instead. Nicole and her husband, Grant (who also was raised in Clarion), are co-pastors in the mega-church where all three now attend.
I penned when Nicole brought this message to us as listeners in my Bible - April 11, 2008. Her five-year-old topic could now be a personal message back to Nicole. The thirty-something mother of three is now in a battle against breast cancer.
Her topic came from II Timothy 2:3 - 7 under the chapter sub-heading "Good soldiers are not afraid to suffer":
"Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ,
just as I do,
and as Christ's soldier do not let yourself become tied up in worldly affairs,
for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army.
Follow the Lord's rules for doing his work,
just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize.
Work hard, like a farmer who gets paid well if he raises a large crop.
Think over these three illustrations,
and may the Lord help you to understand how they apply to you."
Bible Commentary:  "As Timothy (to whom this letter was written by Paul) preached and taught, he would face suffering, but he should be willing to take it. Christian leaders are not the only ones who suffer. Soldiers, athletes, and farmers must discipline themselves and be willing to sacrifice to achieve the results they want. Like soldiers, we have to give up worldly security and endure rigorous discipline. Like athletes, we must train hard and follow the rules. Like farmers, we must work extremely hard. We keep going in spite of suffering because of the thought of victory, the vision of winning, and the hope of harvest. All of our suffering is made worthwhile by our goal of glorifying God, winning people to Christ, and one day living eternally with him."
Let's pray for Nicole and her family, as she concludes her health treatments. As I heard a gal say on a Christian broadcast a couple of days ago:  time for Christians to 'dance on the battlefields'. None of us have to look very far to see or have to participate in a 'battlefield'.  Time to take a second look:  and DANCE!
Printable Issue 2626  Today is Monday, August 5th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2626
A weekly dose of Max Lucado. Few people can say things in any simpler fashion than Max can!
Spend Time with Him

C. S. Lewis wrote: “The moment you wake up each morning your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job of each morning consists in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, letting that other, stronger, larger, quieter life come flowing in.”

Here’s how the psalmist began his day: “Every morning, I tell you what I need, and I wait for your answer” (Psalm 5:3).

Spend time waiting on God. And, at the end of the day, thank God for the good parts. Question him about the hard parts. Seek his mercy.  Seek his strength. And as you close your eyes, take this assurance into your sleep: “He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4).  If you fall asleep as you pray, don’t worry. What better place to doze off than in the arms of your Father.


Printable Issue 2627  Today is Tuesday, August 6th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2627
This is something forward to us by my Uncle Bud in Tennessee. It is a pass along email. Is it a true story? Hope so. It is a good one!
The Power of Kindness
The year was 1863, on a spring day in Northern Pennsylvania. A poor boy was selling goods door-to-door to pay his way through school. He realized he had only a dime left, and that he was hungry. So he decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal, he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry and so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"

"You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."
He said, "Then I thank you from my heart." As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strengthened also. He had been ready to give up and quit. Years later, that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, he went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown, he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day, he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested from the business office to pass the final billing to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally, she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words: "PAID IN FULL WITH ONE GLASS OF MILK..."
* Dr. Howard Kelly was a distinguished physician who, in 1895, founded the Johns Hopkins Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. According to Dr. Kelly's biographer, Audrey Davis, the doctor was on a walking trip through Northern Pennsylvania one spring day when he stopped by a farm house for a drink of water.          
Printable Issue 2628  Today is Wednesday, August 7th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2628
Psalm 112
The advantages of having faith in God.
God guards the minds and actions of those who follow his commands.
Praise the Lord.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
    who find great delight in his commands.

 Their children will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
    and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.

Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
    their righteousness endures forever;
    their horn will be lifted high in honor.

The wicked will see and be vexed,
    they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
    the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.


Printable Issue 2629  Today is Thursday, August 8th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2629
A couple of quotes from Mother Teresa, who continues to give us messages of strength and courage, in spite of the fact she died several years ago.
But first our 'weekly' Bible trivia questions. The handful of people who respond to me with their success in answering questions, generally tell me they get two correct. Good luck:
1) Who was the very first disciple who Jesus called?
2) Which apostle was a doctor?
3) What did Jacob give to his son, Joseph, to show he was his favorite?
"This is the only condition that Christ really places on us:
'Love one another as I have loved you.'
And we know how very well how much he has loved us!
He died for us!
"Everywhere there exists loneliness,
the same deep need to be loved and cared for.
Right in your midst there are those who
suffer because they do not feel wanted or loved.
They experience the anguish of having no
one to call their own. This is real poverty
without a doubt. We need to want
to be someone for those who need us.
"All the gifts of nature and of grace
which you have, you have them from God.
Jesus is the Light
Jesus is the Truth
Jesus is the Life
We too must be:
the Light of Charity
the Truth of Humility
the Life of Sanctity.
Answers:  1) Andrew; 2) Luke; 3) A colorful coat.
Printable Issue 2630  Today is Friday, August 9th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2630
A couple of morsels from "Keepsakes for the Heart":
Beethoven's Gift
" A story is told about Beethoven, a man not known for social grace.
Because of his deafness, he found conversation difficult and humiliating.
When he heard of the death of a friend's son,
Beethoven hurried to the house, overcome with grief.
He had no words of comfort to offer.
But he saw a piano in the room.
For the next half hour he played the piano,
pouring out his emotions in the most eloquent way he could.
When he finished playing, he left.
The friend later remarked that no one else's visit had meant so much."
The Song
"I breathed a song into the air.
It fell to earth
I know not where...
And the song,
from beginning to end,
I found again
In the heart of a friend."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Two Are Better
"Two are better than one
because they have a good
return for their labor.
For if either of them falls,
the other will lift up his companion.
But woe to the one
who falls when there is not
one to lift them up."
~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Printable Issue 2631  Today is Monday, August 12th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2631
Second, and last, entry from "Keepsakes for the Heart". It is a little bit longer than most 'korners', so 'save and read later' if your schedule doesn't permit right now:
Teardrops of Hope
My friend Lauri and I had brought out our kids to the park that day to celebrate my 35th birthday. From a picnic table, we watched them laugh and leap through the playground while we unpacked a basket bulging with sandwiches and cookies.
We toasted our friendship with bottles of mineral water. It was then that I noted Lauri's new drop earrings. In the 13 years I'd known Lauri, she'd always loved drop earrings. I'd seen her wear pair after pair:  threaded crystals cast in blue, strands of colored gemstones, beaded pearls in pastel pink.
"There's a reason why I like drop earring," Lauri told me . She began revealing images of a childhood that changed her forever, a tale of truth and its power to transform.
It was a spring day. Lauri was in sixth grade, and her classroom was cheerfully decorated. Yellow May Day baskets hung suspended on clotheslines above desks, caged hamsters rustled in shredded newspaper and orange marigolds curled over cutoff milk cartons on window shelves.
The teacher, Mrs. Lake, stood in front of the class, her auburn hair flipping onto her shoulders like Jackie Kennedy's, her kind blue eyes sparkling. But it was her drop earrings that Lauri noticed most----golden teardrop strands laced with ivory pearls. "Even from my back-row seat," Lauri recalled, "I could see those earrings gleaming in the sunlight from the windows."
Mrs. Lake reminded the class it was the day set aside for end-of-the-year conferences. Both parents and students would participate in these important progress reports. On the blackboard, an alphabetical schedule assigned 20 minutes for each family.
Lauri's name was at the end of the list. But it didn't matter much. Despite at least one reminder letter mailed home and the phone calls her teacher had made, Lauri knew her parents would not be coming.
Lauri's father was an alcoholic, and that year his drinking had escalated. Many nights Lauri would fall asleep hearing the loud, slurred voice of her father, her mother's sobs, slamming doors, pictures rattling on the wall.
The previous Christmas Lauri and her sister had saved baby-sitting money to buy their dad a shoeshine kit. They had wrapped the gift with red-and-green paper and trimmed it with a gold ribbon curled into a bow. When they gave it to him on Christmas Eve, Lauri watched in stunned silence as he threw it across the living room, breaking it into three pieces. Now Lauri watched all day long as each child was escorted to the door leading into the hallway, where parents would greet their sons and daughters with proud  smiles, pats on the back and sometimes even hugs. The door would close and Lauri would try to distract herself with her assignments. But she couldn't help hearing the muffled voices as parents asked questions, children giggled nervously and Mrs. Lake spoke. Lauri imagined how it might feel to have her parents greet her at the door.
When at last everyone else's name had been called,  Mrs. Lake opened the door and motioned for Lauri. Silently Lauri slipped out into the hallway and sat down on a folding chair. Across from the chair was a desk covered with student files and projects. Curiously she watched as Mrs. Lake looked through the files and smiled.
Embarrassed that her parents had not come, Lauri folded her hand and looked down at the linoleum. Moving her desk chair next to the downcast little girl, Mrs. Lake lifted Lauri's chin so she could make eye contact. "First of all," the teacher said, "I want you to know how much I love you."
Lauri lifted her eyes. In Mrs. Lake's face she saw things she'd rarely seen:  compassion, empathy, tenderness.
"Second," the teacher said, "you need to know it is not your fault that your parents are not here today."
Again Lauri look into Mrs. Lake's face. No one had ever talked to her like this.  No one.
"Third," she went on, "you deserve a conference whether your parents are here or not. You deserve to hear how well you are doing and wonderful I think you are."
In the following minutes, Mrs. Lake held a conference just for Lauri. She showed Lauri her grades. She scanned Lauri's papers and projects, praising her efforts and affirming her strengths. She had even saved a stack of watercolors Lauri had painted.
Lauri didn't know exactly when, but at some point in that conference she heard the voice of hope in her heart. And somewhere a transformation started.
As tears welled in Lauri's eyes, Mrs. Lake's face became misty and hazy-----except for her drop earrings of golden curls and ivory pearls. What were once irritating intruders in oyster shells had been transformed into things of beauty.
It was then that Lauri realized, for the first time in her life, that she was lovable.
As we sat together in a comfortable silence, I thought of all the times Lauri had worn the drop earnings of truth for me.
I, too, had grown up with an alcoholic father, and for years I had buried my childhood stories. But Lauri had met me in a symbolic hallway of empathy. There she helped me see that the shimmering jewel of self-worth is a gift from God that everyone deserves. She showed me that even adulthood is not too late to don the dazzling diamonds of new-found self-esteem.
Jus then the kids ran up and flopped onto the grass to dramatize their hunger. For the rest of the afternoon we wiped spilled milk, praised off-balance somersaults and glided down slides which were much too small for us.
But in the midst of it all, Lauri handed me a small box, a birthday gift wrapped in a red floral paper trimmed with a gold bow.
I opened it. Inside was a pair of drop earnings.
~ Nancy Sulilivan-Geng
Printable Issue 2632  Today is Tuesday, August 13th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2632
Jim and I spent a good day at the Iowa State Fair yesterday. Lots of people; great weather!
When we arrived at the fairgrounds and got our vehicle parked, Jim was busy getting his electric scooter out of the van when he looked down on the ground near the car parked next to us. He spotted a handful of paper money. The carload of gals had just gotten out of their vehicle. Jim reached down to grab the money and hollered out, "Girls, did you lose this money?"
One of the women turned and said, "Oh, my goodness. It's my money for the fair today!"
Jim said he knew there was a $50 bill and maybe a couple of $20s!
I said to him, "Doesn't make any difference what you do the rest of the day, that sure has to make your day! It sure has made hers!!"
In a few minutes we met up with our daughter Jamie and our three grandchildren. We started our trek around the fairgrounds, enjoying the sights and sounds.
One stop was the 4-H building. Our grandkids began enjoying the 'working exhibits' where 4-Hers are showing fair-goers some simple, inexpensive craft or idea. Noah and Luke did three of them; Molly did two. As we started to view some of the 4-H exhibits, Luke said, "Mom, do you have my billfold?"
No, she didn't.
Then he remembered that he had probably left it laying at one of the counters where he was working on some project. Quickly, he ran back and started to scan. He didn't see anything which looked like it. I lagged behind but caught up with him. "Luke," I said, "you may have to ask if someone has seen your billfold. They might have it put back."
Nine-year-old Luke picked the first 4-Hers if they had seen his 'lost treasure containing his $9'. The first gal had it laying under a stack of poster paper and handed it to him.
He was relieved.
As I had started the trip behind him, I briefly began to think about what Jim had done for our 'unknown' friends. Knowing God and how He works, I thought that the chances of Luke finding his loss, was a good one.
And I was right; praise God for the 'big' things and for the 'smaller' ones.
"Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
~ Luke 6:38
Jim gave what wasn't his.
And Luke received what was!
Sometimes small acts and actions cause all of us to celebrate!!
Printable Issue 2633  Today is Wednesday, August 14th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2633
Today's writing by Sarah Young in 'her devotions for every day' book titled "Jesus Calling":
"I am yours for all eternity.
I am the Alpha and Omega:
the One who is and was and is to come.
The world you inhabit is a place of constant changes--
more than your mind can absorb without going into shock.
Even the body you inhabit is changing relentlessly
in spite of modern science's attempts to prolong youth
and life indefinitely.
I, however, am the same yesterday and today and forever.
"Because I never change,
your relationship with Me
provides a  rock-solid foundation for your life.
I will never leave your side.
When you move on from this life to the next,
My Presence beside you will shine brighter with each step.
You have nothing to fear
because I am with you for all times
and throughout eternity."

Printable Issue 2634  Today is Thursday, August 15th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2634
A 'Max Lucado' for the day:
God Calls the Shots

Every time Satan sets out to score for evil, he ends up scoring a point for good.  Consider Paul.  Satan hoped prison would silence his pulpit, and it did, but it also unleashed his pen.  The letters to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians were all written in a jail cell.

Satan is the Colonel Klink of the Bible.  Remember Klink? He was the fall guy for Hogan on the television series, Hogan’s Heroes. Klink supposedly ran a German POW camp during World War 2. Those inside the camp, however, knew better. They knew who really ran the camp:  the prisoners. They listened to Klink’s calls and read his mail. They even gave Klink ideas, all the while using him for their own cause.

Over and over the Bible makes it clear who really runs the earth. Satan may strut and prance, but it is God who calls the shots.


Printable Issue 2635  Today is Friday, August 16th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2635
(No Karen's Korners next week as the Welds plan to be gone; resume on Monday, August 26!)
A Bible quiz to start the day; good luck:
1) How many disciples did Jesus have?
2) Where were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when an angel visited them?
3) How much were Joseph's brothers paid when they sold him?
"What fools the nations are to rage against the Lord!
How strange that men should try to plot against God!
For a summit conference of the nations has been called to
plot against the Lord and his Messiah, Christ the King.
'Come, let us break his chains,' they say,
'and free ourselves from all this slavery to God.'
But God in heaven merely laughs!
He is amused by all their puny plans.
And then in fierce fury
he rebukes them
and fills them with fear."
~ Psalm 2:1 - 5 LB 
Answers: 1) twelve; 2) In a fiery furnace; 3) Twenty shekels
Printable Issue 2636  Today is Monday, August 26th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2636
Here we are; back after a week away; up into northern Minnesota and Manitoba, spending parts of three days in Winnipeg.
Now a dose of Max Lucado for the day:
God Knows More

A young woman wrote to me,  “My boyfriend and I split up.  I applied for a job and was rejected.  Is God even listening to me?

You need to know that God knows more about life than we do! And, yes, He’s listening!  One day, my then six-year old said she wanted me leave the ministry.  “I just really wish you sold snow cones!”  An honest request from an honest heart.  To her the happiest people in the world were the guys who drove the snow-cone trucks. I heard her request, but I didn’t heed it.  Why?  Because I know more about life than she did.

Same with God. God hears our requests.  But His answer isn’t always what we’d like it to be.  Because He knows more about life than we do?  Don’t panic.  Don’t bail out.  Talk to your heavenly Father.  He’s still in control!

“Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.” Philippians 4:6 - 7


Printable Issue 2637  Today is Tuesday, August 27th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2637
While we were gone last week, I had the opportunity to re-read a 'travel-style book' written by Dr. David Jeremiah titled "Discover Paradise:  A Guidebook to Heaven, Your True Home".
The small book with lots of colored graphics and fun sub-headings has one section titled "Five Reasons Why Heaven Will Be Exciting":
1.  God is Exciting.
2.  We will be Exciting.
3.  Our Friends will be Exciting.
4.  Our Work will be Exciting.
5.  Heaven will Fulfill Our Longings.
Over the next few weeks, I send out what each of these headings has to say under them; what Jeremiah shares with his readers:
#1 - God is Exciting!
"You will show me the path of life:
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
~ Psalm 16:11
"When we get to Heaven, we get near to God. At His right hand there are pleasures that go on forever. In His presence are fullness, completeness, and the absolute explosion of joy! Heaven is God's place, and God is not boring. People who talk about God might be boring, but God is the source of all good things----the taste of dessert, the adrenaline rush in our veins, the pleasure of sex, the expressive release of music and art, the laughter of children. God is the most exciting, adventuresome, creative person that we can imagine, multiplied a million times over. It goes off the radar screen. We can't even comprehend a little bit of the excitement that is resident in the Triune God with whom we will spend eternity forever and ever. That's where God is, and He's not boring."
Printable Issue 2638  Today is Wednesday, August 28th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2638
Comments and questions we sometimes say or hear:  " A loving God would never allow people to perish!"
Or "We are not to judge....." That comment may be true, but we may be asked to tell others that 'God does....'.
All of us know that the story of creation begins on page one, chapter one of the Bible in Genesis.
Now we are up to Chapter 6, a few pages into the Bible; already mankind has made poor choices. Leading into the chapter, my Bible says, "Earth was no longer the perfect paradise that God had intended. It is frightening to see how quickly all of humanity forgot about God. Incredibly, in all the world only one man and his family still worshipped God. That man was Noah."
"God said, 'I will blot out from the face of the earth all mankind that I created. Yes, and the animals too, and reptiles and the birds. For I am sorry I made them." But Noah was a pleasure to the Lord......
"....Noah always conducted his affairs according to God's will........Meanwhile, the crime rate was rising rapidly across the earth, and as seen by God, the world was rotten to the core........He told Noah, 'I have decided to destroy all mankind; for the earth is filled with crime because of man'...."
Then he told Noah to build the boat to save his family and the animals. (verses 7 - 15).
Bible Commentary on a portion of those verses:  "Noah got right to work when God told him to build the ark. The other people must have been warned about the coming disaster, but apparently did not expect it to happen. Today things haven't changed much. Each day thousands of people are warned of God's inevitable judgment, yet most of them don't really believe it will happen. Don't expect people to welcome or accept your message of God's coming judgment on sin. Those who don't believe in God will deny his judgment and try to get you to deny Him as well. But remember God's promise to Noah to keep him safe. This can inspire you to trust God for deliverance in the judgment that is sure to come."
Printable Issue 2639  Today is Thursday, August 29th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2639
Bible trivia questions for the week:
1) Which psalm begins with "The Lord is my shepherd?"
2) Where was Joseph taken when his brothers sold him?
3) Which disciple doubted Jesus' resurrection?
Early this spring we planted a new hydrangea near the west side of our farm home. It was beautiful with its huge purple blooms.
Several weeks before our recent trip to Canada, the blooms were dead and dying. Some bent and touching the ground.
Do I trim they off? I couldn't decide. The spring had been wet. Now it is dry. Was the new plant rooted?
Oh, well. I think it needs to be cut back. Which I did.
Now you should see it. It doesn't rival the spring plant, but several new blooms are appearing. Many of the leaves are regrowing and are much greener and healthier looking.
Next time something happens in our lives and to which we are sure God shouldn't be using His pruning shears, think of my plant; maybe yours!
Dear Lord, thank You for the way that You have planned and planted our universe. Some things confuse our normal human thinking. How can cutting back improve plants. Surely exercise will wear out our bodies, not make them healthier. Thank You that Your ways are higher than ours. Help us to learn from You as we watch how our world works. You are the great I AM. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Answers:  1) Psalm 23; 2) Egypt; 3) Thomas.
Printable Issue 2640  Today is Friday, August 30th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2640
"Come, let us break his chains,"
they say,
"and free ourselves from all this slavery to God."
~ Psalm 2:3
Bible Commentary:
"People often think they will be free if they can get away from God.
Yet we all inevitably serve somebody or something,
whether a human king, the wishes of friends, or our own selfish desires.
Just as a fish is not free when it leaves the water
and a tree is not free when it leaves the soil,
we are not free when we leave the Lord.
The one sure route to freedom is wholeheartedly serving God, the Creator.
He can set you free to be who he created you to be.