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May 2014 Archives

Printable Issue 2804  Today is Thursday, May 1st, 2014; Karen's Korner #2804

Yesterday's entry from Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence", the yearly flip-calendar with 365 entries as if 'Jesus' is talking with us, based on a Bible verse or two:

"When some basic need is lacking--time, energy, money--consider yourself blessed. Your very lack is an opportunity to latch onto Me in unashamed dependence. When you begin a day with inadequate resources, you must concentrate your efforts on the present moment. This is where you are meant to live--in the present; it is the place where I always await you. Awareness of your inadequacy is a rich blessing, training you to rely wholeheartedly on Me.

"The truth is that self-sufficiency is a myth perpetuated by pride and temporary success. Health and wealth can disappear instantly, as can life itself. Rejoice in your insufficiency, knowing that My Power is made perfect in weakness."

Read James 1:2,3 & 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)


Printable Issue 2805  Today is Friday, May 2nd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2805

Tomorrow is my birthday! We begin the celebrating today! Yesterday I heard this Kathy Troccoli song on Christian radio, it talks about 'go light YOUR candle', not 'light A candle'. Are we asked to light THE world? No, just OUR world.

Birthdays are a perfect time to light candles; being part of God's forever family is a perfect time to light our candles EVERYDAY:


There is a candle in every soul

Some brightly burning, some dark and cold

There is a Spirit who brings fire

Ignites a candle and makes His home

Carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn

Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle, and go light your world

Take your candle, and go light your world

Frustrated brother, see how he's tried to

Light his own candle, some other way

See now your sister, she's been robbed and lied to

Still holds a candle without a flame

Carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn

Hold out your candle, for all to see it

Take your candle, and go light your world

Take your candle, and go light your world

We are a family whose hearts are blazing

So let's raise our candles and light up the sky

Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus

Make us a beacon in darkest times

Carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor

Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle, and go light your world

Carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn

Hold out your candle, for all to see it

Take your candle, and go light your world

Take your candle, and go light your world


Printable Issue 2806  Today is Monday, May 5th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2806

A couple of verses from Psalm 139; the chapter is written by David. The theme:  "God is all-seeing, all-knowing, all-holy, all-present. God knows us. God is with us, and His greatest gift is to allow us to know Him."

 If you have the time today or in the next few days, read the whole chapter (23 verses). It has a lot to say about how God views you/us

In case you need a good kick-off to your week (who doesn't!):

"How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly!

I can't even count the how many times a day your thoughts turn towards m.

And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!"

~ Psalm 139:17, 18 LAB

Bible Commentary: "When someone you love is thinking about you all the time, it comforts you. God is concerned to keep us from failing and to catch us if we fall. If he thinks abut us this much, shouldn't we find time to think about him each day?"

Thank you, God, for who You are and how much You think of, and love, us!


Printable Issue 2807  Today is Tuesday, May 6th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2807

Installment #2 of 3, beginning last week from "Who I Am In Christ", adapted from 'Victory Over Darkness' by Neil Anderson. Anderson wrote, "The more you reaffirm your identity in Christ, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity":


* God will never stop doing good to me - Jeremiah 32:40, 41

* I am free forever from condemnation - Romans 8:1

* I am assured all things work together for good - Romans 8:28

* I am free from any condemning charges made against me - Romans 8:31

* I am a citizen of heaven - Philippians 3:20

* Christ, the hope of glory, lives in me - Colossians 1:27

* I cannot be separated from the love of God - Romans 8:35

* I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me - I John 5:18

* I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God - 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22

* Greater is He that is in me that he that is in the world - 1 John 4:4


Printable Issue 2808  Today is Wednesday, May 7th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2808

We heard some good news this past weekend, which I wanted to share.

Like a number of Americans, I am a registered bone marrow donor and have been for more than a decade. My nephew is also on the list.

But unlike me, he was notified about a year ago that he was one of three positive matches for a '34-year-old single mother'. Was he interested in fulfilling his pledge? He said he was, and thinking it was 'no big deal', wasn't going to mention it to others.

He had one big problem. I call him a 'minimalist' (someone who restricts himself to a certain diet; doesn't own a car - choosing instead to use metro mass transit, riding his bike or using shoe leather). He told the hospital of his plans to bike to and from the medical facility. "No, you have to have a driver," the nurse told him.

So now my sister was involved, "Mom, I am going to need a driver. Can you help me?"

Of course she would.

My sister was sharing his good news, as he had heard from the national registry recently - a year later that mom is now doing well because of his generosity.

While Kent believes it is 'no big deal', we couldn't be more proud of his gift. To think he was one of three in a nation of more than 300 million! It boggles the mind!

I realize that not all of us are registered bone marrow donors, but........

It makes me think of all of us:  what kinds of things are we exposed to each day for which we are the only 'donor'? It might not be a gift like Kent's, and it may/may not be physical. It could be a financial or spiritual gift. It might be as simple as a phone call to an elderly friend or relative who has a limited number of others in their life.

It might be something for which you falsely believe, like Kent, 'is no being deal'. But to that other person in your world, it might mean everything.

Just ask a single mom who needed something for which Kent was 'one in a million'!

Printable Issue 2809  Today is Thursday, May 8th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2809

A quick dose of 'Max Lucado' this morning:


"Look around you! Rather than shocking the globe with an occasional demonstration of deity, God has opted to display his power daily. Proverbially. Pounding waves. Prism-cast colors. Birth, death, life. We're surrounded by miracles. God is throwing testimonies at us like fireworks, each one exploding, 'God is! God is!'

"The Psalmist marveled at such holy handiwork. 'Where can I go from your Spirit?' he questioned with delight. 'Where can I go from your presence?' (Psalm 139:7).

"We wonder, with so many miraculous testimonies around us, how we could escape God. But somehow we do. We live in an art gallery of divine creativity, and yet are content to gaze only at the carpet.

"The next time you hear a baby laugh, take note as His Majesty whispers over so gently, 'I'm here!'"


Printable Issue 2810  Today is Friday, May 9th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2810

Shortcomings! We all have them. No one needs to remind us; we tend to remind ourselves often enough.

What about our ministers and other church leaders? They have shortcomings as well; they don't need to be told often either. Here is what the Bible says we could/should do:

"Honor the officers of your church

who work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong.

Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love,

because they are straining to help you.

And remember, no quarreling among yourselves."

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13 LAB

Bible Commentary:  "Think of your pastor and other church leaders. How can you honor them? Express your appreciation, tell them how you have been helped by their leadership and teaching, and thank them for their ministry in your life. If you say nothing, how will they know where you stand? Remember, they need and deserve your support and love expressed in practical ways."


Printable Issue 2811  Today is Monday, May 12th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2811

Yesterday we celebrated Mothers' Day and moms of all ages!

This is the first year, we five sisters celebrated without our mother. The good news is that four of us are marching through our sixties; even our 'tag-along sister' who was born when our parents were both 41, is fifty-plus. Lots of years to have had mom in our lives. But I reflected on a couple 'mom memories':

* Having five kids and not always a pocketful of money, dental work and clothes were a priority for us kids. Sometimes dentist appointments were skipped by mom and dad for lack of resources. Back in the day when people wore dress coats for Sundays, mom remodeled hers several times over the dozen plus years she wore hers, rather than get a new one!

* Because we were spread over 17 years and with the last two sisters separated by a half-dozen years or more, I can recall seeing mom browning chicken, mashing potatoes, and baking pies for Sunday dinners with a 'young one' riding on her hip.

* If the March of Dimes or American Cancer Society drive envelope needed to be taken around the neighborhood, it was a pretty good bet, it would be mom who would do it.

Lot of other ones, but you know how they come back to you!

Do you have mom memories you'd like to share with Karen's Korner readers? Email me short thoughts and I will share them later in the week.

Moms need to be celebrated and appreciated every day of every year!

"Her children stand and bless her; so does her husband.

He praises her with these words:

'There are many fine women in the world,

but you are the best of them all!'"

~ PROVERBS 31:28, 29


Printable Issue 2812  Today is Tuesday, May 13th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2812

Third installment of three, "Who I Am In Christ", adapted from 'Victory Over Darkness' by Neil Anderson: "The more you reaffirm your identity in Christ, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity."

First one:  "I Am Accepted"; second one:  "I Am Secure"; and finally: "I Am Significant".


* I am God's temple - I Corinthians 3:16

* I am a new creation - 2 Corinthians 5:17

* I am God's workmanship - Ephesians 2:10

* I am the aroma of Christ - 2 Corinthians 2:14

* I am the salt and light of the world - Matthew 5:16

* I am chosen and appointed to bear fruit - John 15:16

* I can approach Christ with freedom and confidence - Ephesians 3:12

* I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me - Philippians 4:13

* I am the branch of the true vine and a channel of life - John 15:5

* I am raised and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms - Ephesians 2:6


Printable Issue 2813  Today is Wednesday, May 14th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2813

"If you belong to the Lord, reverence Him;

for everyone who does this has everything he needs.

Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,

but those of us who reverence the Lord

will never lack any good thing."

~ Psalm 39:9, 10 LAB


Bible Commentary:   "'Those of us who reverence the Lord will never lack any good thing.' At first, we may question the truth of this statement because we lack many 'good things'. This is not a blanket promise that all Christians will be rich. Instead, this is David's observation of God's goodness--all those who call upon God in their need will be answered, sometimes in unexpected ways.

"Remember, our deepest needs are spiritual. While many Christians have more than enough spiritual nourishment to live a life for God, many others face unbearable poverty and hardship. David was saying that to have God is to have all that one needs. God is enough.

"If you feel you don't have everything you need, ask 1) Is this really a need? 2) Is this really good for me? 3) Is this the best time for me to have what I desire? Even if you answer all three yes, God may allow you to go without to help you grow more dependent on Him. WE may need to learn that we need Him more than those things."


Printable Issue 2814  Today is Thursday, May 15th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2814

Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence", has thoughts for every day of the year. Some days when I read what she has written, I think, "That's nice."

Other times, I think, "Wow! I need that today!" Today is one of those days:

"Spending time alone with Me is essential for your well-being. It is not a luxury or an option; it is a necessity. Therefore, do not feel guilty about taking time to be with Me. Remember that Satan is the accuser of believers. He delights in heaping guilt feelings upon you, especially when you are enjoying My Presence. When you feel Satan's arrows of accusation, you are probably on the right track. Use your shield of faith to protect yourself from him. Talk with Me about what you are experiencing, and ask Me to show you the way forward. 'Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.' 'Come near to Me, and I will come near to you.'

Verses Young features:  Revelation 12:10; Ephesians 6:16; James 4:7-8


Printable Issue 2815  Today is Friday, May 16th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2815

A recap from my Mothers' Day comments on Monday. I asked readers to respond something about their own moms. Here is what they wrote (in part):

* Mary Ann - "I remember seeing my Mother sitting in the rocker and singing hymns from the hymn book. She had a beautiful sweet voice when she sang."

* Rosemary - "One memory I have is of my mom when I was a senior in high school. I wasn't the easiest to fit and, of course, I wanted to be stylish. My mom made my prom dress. It was a black taffeta and tulle with a jacket. I can still see her sitting and sewing rhinestones all over the overlay tulle skirt."

* Uncle Bud - "My mother was a great prayer warrior and a wonderful mother. I look at her picture in my bedroom every day and thank God for a Christian mother." (This would be my grandmother; mom & her brother Bud were two of 15 children. Grandma was killed in an auto accident about 60 years ago. The legacy of Mothers continue forever....).

* Nancy - "My mom died eight years ago after over 90 years of life! She endured many 'untimely' losses, could be tough on the outside, but had a good heart for others, teaching us through each life experience. One children's Christmas program at our church in the 1950s, a poor neighbor who had lost his wife, was left with a house full of older children and an elementary daughter my age. One year my mother gave both of us baths, did our hair, and put us both in all new underclothes, pretty dresses, and shoes, ready for the long-practiced, and anticipated evening."

* Jane - "Mon always got me to piano lessons for six or seven years. It was a busy time on the farm and money was tight. But we would make the 9 - 10 mile trip to town every week. Now at 74, I am once again playing piano at a home in Fort Dodge for their worship services. What a joy to play the beautiful hymns to enjoy for myself and for others."

* Carrie - "For many years, mom wouldn't go to church because she'd have to mop floors and whatever while we were all gone. But it was a great day when she came to know the Lord! She and I had many days of growing in the Lord together. The last good visit I had with mom was before she went to live in the nursing home. She assured me she was going to heaven when she'd pass on. She told me that every night she'd pray for her kids and grandkids."


Printable Issue 2816  Today is Monday, May 19th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2816

"God's laws are perfect.

They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light.

God's laws are pure, eternal, just.

They are more desirable than gold.

They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb.

For they warn us away from harm and give success to those who obey them."

~ Psalm 19:7 - 11 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "When we think of the Law, we often think of something that keeps us from having fun. But here we see the opposite---laws that free us, protect us, make us wise, and bring joy and light. That's because God's laws are guidelines and lights on our path, rather than chains on our hands and feet. They point at harm and warn us, then point at success and guide us.


Printable Issue 2817  Today is Tuesday, May 20th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2817

People who travel our out-of-the way rural road near where we live, know that I spend some time picking up junk in the ditches when I walk. It's a hobby of mine especially in the spring when the ditch grass is short and garbage is a particular big eyesore. I glean them at least a mile or two each direction from our farm home.

Last weekend as I drove toward Clarion, there it was:  ten to dozen redeemable cans newly dumped along the edge of the roadway about 1/2 mile away from us. I didn't have time to get them then, but I determined in the next day or two, I'd walk that direction with a garbage bag and pick them up.

I did! On Sunday afternoon.

But as I approached the area, to my surprise they were already gone!

Could have been anyone who gathered them. But my mind wandered to the people who live one-half mile south of us. The family includes two upper elementary students and two younger elementary kids. On Saturday, mom was driving their pick up passed our house and the older boy and girl, bailed out of the vehicle to walk home from where we live, to talk and walk our dog, Rocky, back to their place. Mom has commented in the past how she gets a kick out of watching me glean the neighborhood of refuse.

If not them, someone did!

Without thinking about it, I tend to be a 'role model' for neighborhood 'ditch junk removal'.

We are all role models for others, whether we want to be or not; whether we do 'good' things' or 'bad'.

Let's ask God to help us as we live our everyday lives, to be the kind of people He would have us to be. When we know others and are watching. And times we have no idea anyone is paying attention.

"Don't hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see,

so that they will praise your heavenly Father."

~ Matthew 5:14 LAB


Printable Issue 2818  Today is Wednesday, May 21st, 2014; Karen's Korner #2818

Something from Max Lucado, taken from his book "You'll Get Through This":

We Don't Like to Wait

"We don't like to wait. We're the giddy-up generation. We frown at the person who takes eleven items to the ten-item express checkout. We drum our fingers while the microwave heats our coffee. 'Come on, come on.' We really don't like to wait!

"Look around you. Do you realize where we sit? This planet is God's waiting room. The young couple? Waiting to get pregnant. They guy with the briefcase? Waiting for work. Working on God to give or to help. Waiting on God to come. The land of waiting. And you? Are you waiting in God's waiting room?

"You may be infertile or inactive, in limbo, in between jobs or in search of a house, spouse, health, or help. Here's what you need to know. While you wait, God works! God never twiddles His thumbs. He never stops. Just because you're idle, don't assume God is. Trust Him. In the right time, you'll get through this."


Printable Issue 2819  Today is Thursday, May 22nd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2819

Over the course of three weeks, Karen's Korners featured three listings of about a dozen Bible verse locations each, taken from "Who I Am In Christ" by Neil Anderson:  "I Am Accepted"; "I Am Secure"; "I Am Significant".

Tucked under the "I Am Secure" was 'Romans 8:1'; the verse says, "So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus."

Good news for each of us!

But within the last week, I have been thinking, 'if I am not condemned by God', what am I doing to pass that favor along to others?

Sometimes my thoughts wander:  "They shouldn't spend their money for.......t"; "No wonder he's sick; he shouldn't have......."; "What kind of a mother would.........?"; "If she was my child I'd....."

Don't we all have these kinds of random thoughts? I want to recognize mine sooner, eliminate, or change them. If God can give me His kind gift, I want to pass it along to others.

Dear Father God, thank you for not condemning me for the things for which I deserve to be condemned. Will you help me to pass the favor on to others who belong to You? Help me to change my 'quick to judge thoughts' to a prayer for that person or people. Thoughts sometimes come quickly; I am going to need your help. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 2820  Today is Friday, May 23rd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2820

It's Memorial Day weekend.

What percent of the U.S. population has been, or currently are, in the military?

Eight (8 %) percent. Which means many, many of us have not served or may barely know anyone who, is, or have served.

Personally, I have about a dozen in my family who are veterans:  a dad, some uncles, a  husband, a brother-in-law, a nephew.

But Memorial Day is more than honoring veterans. It is an time to honor those who gave their lives in service to our nation. Fortunately, for our family, while these relatives served, none were killed in action.

I do know people who lost a son or brother; and we remember!

God bless each person who was killed; each family; every military person - serving currently and in the past.

Here are the words to "God Bless America" by Irving Berlin, copyrighted 1938, 1939, as the world looked like it was embarking on war - which indeed happened:

God Bless America

"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea

Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free.

Let us all be grateful for a land so fair

As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

"God Bless America,

Land that I love.

Stand beside her, and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam

God bless America, my home sweet home."

Father God, like Irving Berlin, we ask you to bless America. Forgive us for the times, we turn our backs on You and Your Truth. It is not You who loses when we choose to do that, but us! Help us to turn and return to You as a nation. You created us and know us better than we know ourselves. You are our future and our hope. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Printable Issue 2821  Today is Monday, May 26th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2821

Today is Memorial Day and it's a good time to remember.

It is a U.S. federal holiday; set aside to remember the men and women who died while serving in our country's armed forces. It is a holiday celebrated every year on the last Monday of May and was formerly known as Decoration Day. It originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the countless Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in military service.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

(Taken from information in Wikipedia).

Lord, we thank You for people willing to serve and die on our behalf to protect is from outside foes and defend our way of life, our freedoms which we have come to enjoy and take for granted. Thank You for the way that You have protected those who serve and have served; and have given us victory over those wanting to harm us. Help us to use our freedoms and our lives to worship You, to serve You, and to share Your gift of Eternal Freedom with others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Printable Issue 2822  Today is Tuesday, May 27th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2822

First six verses of Psalm 61, with the theme.  "Prayer for security and assurance. Wherever we are, we can trust God will be there to answer our cries for help." Author is David, as he tries to escape several foes:

"O God, listen to me! Hear my prayer!

For wherever I am, though far away at the ends of the earth,

I will cry to you for help.

When my heart is faint and overwhelmed,

lead me to the mighty, towering Rock of safety.

For you are my refuge, a high tower where my enemies can never reach me.

I shall live forever in your tabernacle; oh, to be safe beneath the shelter of your wings!

For you have heard my vows, O God, to praise you every day,

and you have given me the blessings you reserve for those who reverence your name.

You will give me added years of life, as rich and full as those of many generations,

all packed into one."


Bible Commentary:   "David continually praised God through both the good and difficult times of his life. He made commitment to praise God every day which showed his reverence for God. Do you find something to praise God for each day? As you do, you will find your heart elevated from daily distractions to lasting confidence."


Printable Issue 2823  Today is Wednesday, May 28th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2823

Just for fun. OUR IOWA magazines always have 'side notes':  single sentences in some of its outside margins, vertically. Here are a few of them from the June/July issue:

"Make sure your footprints don't make the mark of a heel."

"Remember your yesterdays, dream your tomorrows, live your todays."

"A friend is someone who reaches for your hand but touches your heart."

"There are many chances in life to keep your mouth shut. Take advantage of everyone of them."

"Homework--the work you do that no one notices until you don't do it."

"In the face of uncertainty, there is nothing wrong with hope."

"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."            

 ~ Ben Franklin

"I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage."  ~ Erma Bombeck

"A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend."


Printable Issue 2824  Today is Thursday, May 29th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2824

Something from today's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young:


"I AM WITH YOU, watching over you constantly. I am Emmanuel (God with you); My Presence enfolds you in radiant Love. Nothing, including the brightest blessings and the darkest trials, can separate you from Me. Some of My children fine Me more readily during dark times, when difficulties force them to depend on Me. Others feel closer to Me when their lives are filled with good things. They respond with thanksgiving and praise, thus opening wide the door of My Presence.


"I know precisely what you need to draw nearer to Me. Go through each day looking for what I have prepared for you. Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs. When you view your life this way, the most reasonable response is to be thankful. Do not reject any of My gifts; find Me in every situation."


Read Matthew 1:23; Colossians 2:6-7.

Printable Issue 2825  Today is Friday, May 30th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2825

Something from Psalm, chapter 62; first half of the chapter earlier this week. This is the last half - 6 verses:


"My protection and success come from God alone. He is my refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust him all the time. Pour out your longings before him, for he can help! The greatest of men, or the lowest -- both alike are nothing in his sight. They weigh less than air on scales.


"Don't become rich by extortion and robbery; if your riches increase, don't be proud. God has said it many times, that power belongs to him (and also, O Lord, steadfast love belongs to you.) He rewards each one of us according to what our works deserve."


~ Psalm 62:7 - 12 LAB



Bible Commentary:  "When we weight people on the scales of importance, certain things such as wealth, honor, power, or prestige add immeasurably to a person's importance in our eyes. But God cancels out all of these things so that all people are weighed equally in his eyes. What, then, can tilt the scales when God weighs us? The work we do for him. Wealth, honor, power, or prestige add nothing to our 'weight' in God's eyes, but the faithful work we do for him has eternal value."