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October 2014 Archives

Printable Issue 2913  Today is Wednesday, October 1st, 2014; Karen's Korner #2913

Readers can probably tell that I enjoy reading Sarah's Young's "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence" daily writings. I haven't read what she penned for today; this is yesterday's which I really liked:

"I am perpetually with you, taking care of you. That is the most important fact of your existence. I am not limited by time or space; My Presence with you is a forever promise. You need not fear the future, for I am already there. When you make that quantum leap into eternity, you will find Me awaiting you in heaven, Your future is in My hands; I release it to you day by day, moment by moment. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow.

"I want you to live this day abundantly, seeing all there is to see, doing all there is to do. Don't be distracted by future concerns. Leave them to Me! Each day of life is a glorious gift, but so few people know how to live within the confines of today. Much of their energy for abundant living spills over the time line into tomorrow's worries or past regrets. Their remaining energy is sufficient only for limping through the day, not for living it to the full. I am training you to keep your focus on My Presence in the present. This is how to receive abundant Life, which flows freely from My throne of grace."

Taken from Matthew 6:14; John 10:10; James 4:13 - 15.


Printable Issue 2914  Today is Thursday, October 2nd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2914

Something sent to us by an email friend Shirley Choat; written by Pastor Sydow. A couple of the verses below talk about 'fearing God'. Fear doesn't mean to tremble because Someone plans to hurt us; rather 'fear of God', mean standing back in awe of Someone who loves us and wants to take care of us completely

"Christ Jesus has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel."

2 Timothy 1:10b


"Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in His Commandments."

Psalm 112:1


"Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God."

I Peter 2:17


"Either they hated her or they loved her. There was no in-between. Miss Robinson was a teacher to be reckoned with either way. She could be as sweet as pie, but as tough as nails! When we walked into school the very first day, she made it abundantly clear.

"The first thing she told us was that we could be friends or enemies, and we didn't want her for an enemy. She was right! One of the 'big kids' learned the hard way one day. The spit-wad whizzed past my ear on its way to the black board. The splat brought ominous silence. Miss Robinson slowly got up from the desk, walked to the black board to examine the wet missile, then turned and stared at us. Time stood still until she had examined every face. Then she walked to the back, made Ronnie stand up and empty his pockets. The look on her face was enough to kill. Ronnie was wise enough not to argue, and did as he was told. The sling shot was confiscated.

"He lost all recesses and stayed after school every day that week, washing the black boards and sweeping the floor on his hands and knees. (It was several years later before I saw another slingshot at school).

"Miss Robinson was not mean-spirited. In fact, by the end of the year, Ronnie had a crush on her."

"Our God is an awesome God who demands our obedient attention. He loves us with an everlasting love and wants us to love Him in return. There is no in-between. Either we love God or we hate God. Either we obey His commandments or we suffer the consequences. Knowing that God loves you, wants the best for you, and wants our love returned, how will you respond to His Love?"

"At times I take Your Love for me for granted, Dear Lord. There are also times when I think You don't care how I act. Forgive me. I pray that all my actions may be one of love for You. I pray You may see how much I love You by how I act toward others. This I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen."



Printable Issue 2915  Today is Friday, October 3rd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2915

Because of some of the health issues of our family recently, I received two emails yesterday from friends which I really liked and want to share with you today. Both are 'pass-alongs':

From Caye Chelesvig:

"Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit's wishes....."

~ Ephesians 6:18


"Talking with God about anything and everything gives us a sense of belonging, of being cared for by Someone Who is on our side and Who is all-powerful. While there are times when we need to be very diligent, focused, and set apart as we pray, we do not have to wait until we are in a church, or until we have a specific amount of time, before we pray.

"The best way to be 'unceasing in prayer' is to live a though God is constantly paying attention to us, because He is."


The second one was from Judy Kirstein; the email listed thirty different names for Jesus. I will share some of the information another day, but this is the closing line:

"Jesus has so many titles because He fulfills all our needs. Wherever you are in life, whatever you need, He's got it covered.

"As my father-in-law sometimes says, 'Jesus picked up His cross and said,

"'Hang on to Me. We're going through.'"


Printable Issue 2916  Today is Monday, October 6th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2916

Here is aninspirational thought by Max Lucado from last Friday. It hit my 'hot button' because it sounded like me. It has a web address and a prayer challenge. I don't normally do web addresses for Karen's Korners but this one is intriguing me. I know from pushing some buttons "Before Amen" is the name of new book written by Lucado, which is being promoted.

I am looking farther. I challenge you to do the same. May or may not be wonderful. I (we?) will see:

A Portable Prayer

"Some people excel in prayer. They are the SEAL Team 6 of intercession. They would rather pray than sleep. Why is it I sleep when I pray? It's not that we don't pray at all. We all pray some. Surveys indicate one in five unbelievers prays daily. Just in case perhaps? When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. He gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer? A quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Could you use the same?

"Father, You are good

I need help. Heal me and forgive me

They need help. Thank you.

In Jesus Name, Amen."

"Let this prayer punctuate your day!

"Here's my challenge for you! Sign on at www.BeforeAmen.com . Every day for four weeks, pray four minutes. Then get ready to connect with God like never before!"


Printable Issue 2917  Today is Tuesday, October 7th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2917

Our oldest sister Jan retired several years ago after being office manager of her local plumbing and heating store for a number of years. It was a 'second career' after being a stay-at-home mom while raising their four children.

As she prepared to retire, often she would get this question, "What are you going to do when you no longer work?" She wasn't sure. She isn't much of joiner for things which happen weekly or monthly.

But as time passed, Jan said she knew 'what she was going to do when she grew up?' She was going to be 'available'.

And she was played the role well! Available to her kids, grandchildren, and/or great-children, as she becomes emergency 'kid sitters'. Helping to tutor a grandson, attending sporting events and music programs. More available than the rest of our siblings to our mom and our uncle, as they moved toward and through their 90s....for visits, rides. taking them to church each week......maybe lunch afterwards! Since she loves garage sales, she is the 'garage sale queen' buying things for a Minneapolis area homeless shelter, delivering sometimes a carload of bargains to it.

Now it is Jim and my turn, as Jim Is becoming more and more needy of care. She and her husband Fred are frequent visitors. Jan volunteers to make lunch, come stay if I need to be gone any time.

She is available.

I wonder if that is what God wants from us. Some He might want to become missionaries or ministers; others He might need to teach a Sunday School class or lead a youth group.

But all of us, He wants to be available to Him. To do His good work. Not just once a month or once a week. But every day and in every way. Might be a good word or a kind deed; even a kind thought.

Dear Jesus, help me as I start, or continue, my new career of being available to You, to do Your good purposes or will in Your world, our world, my world. Show me, or as I heard last week from a friend 'we are hanging on to You and going through together'. Amen.

Printable Issue 2918  Today is Wednesday, October 8th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2918

Something from Anne Graham Lotz to start the day:

A Privileged Position

"You are my friends if you do what I command."

John 15:14 NIV


"What could be a greater privilege than to have Jesus call us His friend? If I told you that the Queen of England was my friend, you would probably snicker. And rightly so. But if the Queen stated that, 'Anne Lotz is my friend,' it would be impressive. It would indicate a relationship based on personal knowledge that she publicly affirmed.

"Jesus did more than say you and I could call Him our friend. He promises He will call us His friends! Now that's impressive. That's a privileged position!"

Printable Issue 2919  Today is Thursday, October 9th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2919

"Later on, after John the Baptist was arrested by King Herod, Jesus went to Galilee to preach God's Good News.

"'At last the time has come!' he announced. "God's Kingdom is near! Turn from your sins and act on this glorious news!'"

~ Mark 1:14, 15 LAB


Bible Commentary:

"What is God's Good News? These first words spoken by Jesus in Mark give the core of his teaching, that the long-awaited Messiah had come to begin God's personal reign on earth. Most of the people who heard the message were oppressed, poor, and without hope. Jesus' words were good news because the offered freedom, blessings, and promise."


Printable Issue 2920  Today is Friday, October 10th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2920

It's Friday, so have a wonderful fall weekend. Something from Max Lucado:

You Are Included

"It's nice to be included. You aren't always. Universities exclude you if you aren't smart enough. Businesses exclude you if you aren't qualified enough, and sadly, some churches exclude you if you aren't good enough. But though they may exclude you, Christ includes you. When asked to describe the width of His love, He stretched one hand to the right and the other hand to the left and had them nailed in that position so you would know He died loving you.

"Surely there has to be a limit to this love. You'd think so, wouldn't you? But David, the adulterer, never found it. Paul, the murderer, never found it. Peter, the liar, never found it. When it came to life, they hit bottom. But when it came to God's love, they never did.

"How wide is God's love? Wide enough for the whole world. And you are included!"


Printable Issue 2921  Today is Monday, October 13th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2921

Lots of Chicken Soup for the Soul books; here is an wonderful entry from one of them:


"One day, a beautiful but very troubled little girl came through the door of my day nursery. From the very beginning, I became captivated by this child who had little but needed so much. I was heartbroken that a four-year-old could suffer such heartache and pain. She born in prison after her mom had used marijuana, crack, and cocaine her entire pregnancy. The little girl was non-verbal and had very little control. I knew her progress would be a mighty battle.

"Whenever somebody approached her, she became violent for long periods and ended up in a fetal position on the floor crying out. I found myself praying for her day in and day out.

"As months rolled on, I began to bond with this child that no one wanted. She and I worked very hard taking one step forward and four steps back. Daily, we sat in the big rocking chair in my office, swaying back and forth, back and forth. During our rocking time, I sang, 'Jesus Loves Me.' She always settled down and became very still at the melody. Though she never spoke, peace seemed to fill her face as she listened to the song.

"One day after a very long battle, I held my special girl to again calm her fears and pain. In silence we rocked back and forth and back and forth, back and forth. The she looked at me with tear-filled eyes and spoke a complete sentence for the first time, 'Sing to me about that Man who loves me.'

"Blinking back tears, I knew the battle had been won."

~ Alicia Hill


Printable Issue 2922  Today is Tuesday, October 14th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2922

A Max Lucado to begin the day:

An Itchy, Scratchy Burlap Sack

"You have a sack. An itchy, scratchy burlap sack! You probably aren't even aware of if, you may not have been told about it, but it was given to you. You needed the sack to carry the rocks, boulders, pebbles. All are unwanted. Some were rocks of rejection. You thought you were good enough for the team, but the coach didn't. The instructor didn't. They and how many others? It doesn't take long before you get a collection of stones. Make a bad choice....get called a few names....get abused. And so the sack gets heavy with stones we don't deserve, along with a few we do.

"How can you have dreams for the future when all your energy is required to shoulder the past? Jesus says He is the solution for weariness of the soul. Go to Him. 'Come to me, all who are weak and burdened, and I will give you rest!" (Matthew11:28) He already knows what your stones are. He's just waiting for you to give Him your sack!"


Printable Issue 2923  Today is Wednesday, October 15th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2923

Several thoughts taken from "Heart of Joy", a perpetual flip calendar, with all sayings by Mother Teresa:'

"A joyful heart is like a sunshine of God's love."


"What is important is that you are holding on, that you have got a grip on Christ and he will not let your hand go."


"Bring Jesus wherever you go."


"All the gifts of nature and grace which you have, you have them from God."


"We may not be able to give much but we can always give the joy that springs from a heart that is in love with God. Joy is very important."


Printable Issue 2924  Today is Thursday, October 16th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2924

As most Karen's Korner readers know, my husband Jim has struggled with health issues much of the summer. Yesterday medical staff determined his need to be moved to hospice for the final leg of his life's journey.


Jim's doctor told us that there are a number of services available through hospice and people can take advantage of any/many/all of them. "You may not need as many of them as some because of your great faith," he said.


As I had time to analyze what he had said, I was unsure of 'my great faith', which is sometimes good; sometimes faltering; sometimes intermittent, I determined, "not great faith, but a GREAT GOD!" He is the one who makes all the difference.


Jim was diagnosed with coronary artery disease, forty years ago this month. So we celebrate all those days, years, and many good memories.....with a God who we sought that 'God's will be done in our lives'; never imaging that he'd have that many good years!


Praise be to God, from who all blessings flow!!

Printable Issue 2925  Today is Friday, October 17th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2925
I'm filling in for my mom today.  This is the day that my dad, Jim, joined Merry in Heaven.  I am sad and comforted that he is in Heaven and is no longer fighting with a body that doesn't work anymore.

Here is a short theme that describes a little bit about my dad.

He was a sharer of his things.  Vehicles, farm equipment/resources and time.  This legacy continues today.  
Dad is an organ donor and he will be able to give some things to others.  Sounds just like him......  I can hear him say, "I'm not using it anymore....."  

My mom and I are sad and tears are flowing.  This is a time for remembering, sharing, loving, laughing and crying.  This time is for those who knew Jim and loved him.  He is already in heaven giving Merry and big hug. 

Thanks be to God who loves us so very much!!

Jamie (Weld) Champion
mom of 3
Lover of life.....even when it's hard
Printable Issue 2926  Today is Monday, October 20th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2926

Do I send Karen's Korner today or not? I couldn't decide. Jim's visitation tonight; funeral tomorrow.

But I received this Anne Graham Lotz inspirational thought in the email yesterday and I thought, "I do!"

It talks about 'love'; earthly love of people or things can be lost or taken from us. God's love is our only constant; that love will see us through:

Finding Love

"We love Him because He first loved us."

I John 4:19 NKJV


"Our world is looking for love. As human beings, we need to love and be loved. But we're looking in all the wrong places. We look for it from:

* a parent,

* a child,

* a spouse,

* a friend.

"But our parents grow old and die, our children grow up and live their own lives, our spouses are too tired or too busy, our friends might be superficial or selfish.

"Who can truly understand the need of the human heart? Who can meet the need of our hearts? Where is love found?

"Love is found in the heart of God."


Printable Issue 2927  Today is Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2927

Sorry that I missed yesterday with all the friends and family surrounding Jim's funeral. I hope that I don't give you too much "Jim stuff" in the next few days and weeks. But Karen's Korner readers know that I enjoy sharing what is happening around me.

Below are the words to the song that was played as everyone left the funeral:

You'll Never Walk Alone

"When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high

And don't be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm, there's a golden sky

And the sweet, silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind

Walk on through the rain

Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your hearts

And you'll never walk alone

You'll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your hearts

And you'll never  walk alone

You'll never walk alone

~Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II


Printable Issue 2928  Today is Thursday, October 23rd, 2014; Karen's Korner #2928

After being diagnosed with coronary artery disease in the fall of 1974, two years later Jim was once again feeling poorly. Our local doctors directed us to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for further testing. His disease was progressing. Tests revealed that heart bypass could be an option.

In 1976, the procedure was relatively new and unheard of by many ("What you are going to stop his heart? Take veins from his legs? Replace them in his heart? And start it up again?"). After some more tests, we were told that Jim was not a candidate for the surgery due to how the disease was positioning itself in his arteries.

For several days, our family lived with this limiting news.

I call myself a 'Bible reader', not a 'Bible scholar'. One morning I was charging through a couple of chapters in Psalms, turned the page from Psalm 49, moving on to chapter 50. And there it was, in italics,

"I want you to trust Me in your times of trouble,

for I will rescue you,

and You will give Me glory."

~ Psalm 50:15 LAB

I literally ran down the street and up to Jim's hospital room. "Jim, I think God is telling us that we are going to be rescued!" We also knew (and know) that God has lots of rescue alternatives and that Jim dying prematurely was one of His options.

It was then that we prayed asking "God's will to be done", in Jim's life and in ours. Not knowing what hat might look like.

A few days later, Dr. Pluth, who was Chief of Staff for Cardiology, 'just happened' to look at Jim's many tests, came into his room and asked if they could 'try the bypass with no guarantees of success'. The surgery was performed about six weeks later; more successful than they had anticipated; getting Jim much improved health and the opportunity to return home and resume farming for the next 20 years!

Looking back on those days, quite a lengthy time ago, we would remark that we were so happy that we didn't plead and beg God "for ten more good years" or "until the kids are gone from home" (the girls were 5 and 3 at the time). We would have missed God's best........38 additional years!

That would have been a number we could have only dreamed about back then. A number only possible from a God who loves handing out the impossible!

Thank You, God, for helping us to trust You. We continue to give You the glory that you so richly deserve. In Jesus' Name. Amen. 

Printable Issue 2929  Today is Friday, October 24th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2929

As I said at church worship services during our praise time on Sunday, it was 40 years ago in October when Jim was first diagnosed with coronary artery disease.

A number of years ago, Chris Lousias typed us a list on the Biblical significance of numbers:  forty is the 'symbol of testing and trial, closing in victory'.

"......the battle is done, the victory has been won....", I said.


Taken from one of our many sympathy cards:


by Emily Matthews

"Some people make a difference just by being who they are.

Their inner light shines bright and touches lives both near and far,

And even when they're gone, they still forever play a part

In the smiles, the priceless moments,

that are treasured in the heart."


Hiz Kidz, an ecumenical group of school students which meet weekly on Mondays during the school year, made sympathy cards for our family last Monday. I have served as a mentor to a small group, beginning my third year; Jim helped the first year.

Many of the cards had similar notes, accompanied with their kindergarten through fifth grade drawings: "sorry for your loss"; "God loves you"; "I am praying for you". Because some of the messages were so similar and because some of the kids are so young, some leader may have written some things on a board for them to copy or be able to spell.

But the best one was from one little girl. The message, "I hope that you had fun while it lasted."

Made me stop and think:  in spite of lots of hospitalizations and illness times, I think we did have fun.

And my message to readers today:  "Are you having fun while it lasts?"


Printable Issue 2930  Today is Sunday, October 26th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2930

I always send 'five Karen's Korners' per week. And since I missed Wednesday, here is one on a Sunday.

Our son-in-law Ed (Merry's husband) sang two songs at Jim's funeral. One we picked as a favorite of Jim's. This is the one that Ed picked:


"Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all;

he is my strength from day to day, without him I would fall.

When I am sad, to him I go, no other one can cheer me so;

when I am sad, he makes me glad, he's my friend.

"Jesus is all the world to me, my friend in trials sore;

I go to him for blessings and he gives them o'er and o'er.

He sends the sunshine and the rain, he sends the harvest's golden grain;

sunshine and rain, harvest of grain, he's my friend.

"Jesus is all the world to me, and true to him I'll be;

O how could I this friend deny, when he's so true to me?

Following him I know I'm right, he watches o'er me day and night;

following him, by day and night, he's my friend.

"Jesus is all the world to me, I want no better friend;

I trust him now, I'll trust him when life's fleeting days shall end.

Beautiful life with such a friend, beautiful life that has no end;

eternal life, eternal joy, he's my friend."

~ Will L. Thompson, 1904


Printable Issue 2931  Today is Monday, October 27th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2931

Yesterday's entry from Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" (I haven't read today's yet; it is probably good too!):

"COME TO ME when you are hurting, and I will soothe your pain. Come to Me when you are joyful, and I will share your Joy, multiplying it many times over. I am All you need, just when you need it. Your deepest desires find fulfillment in Me alone.

"This is the age of self-help. Bookstores with books about 'taking care of number one', making oneself the center of all things. The main goal of those methodologies is to become self-sufficient and confident. You, however, have been called to take a 'road less traveled': continual dependence on Me. True confidence comes from knowing you are complete in My Presence. Everything you need has its counterpart in Me."


Young takes her thoughts from these two Bible verses:

John 15:5:  (Jesus speaking): "Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can't do a thing."

James 1:4:  "So let your patience grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete."


Printable Issue 2932  Today is Tuesday, October 28th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2932

As I mentioned in our Sunday School class on Sunday, Jim was an easy guy to live with:  kind, caring, and generally thinking of others. Because of our age differences (six years) and his health issues, he was always making plans for when I might be left without him.

Just because he is gone and I am left, doesn't make either of us perfect or saints. Both of us are/were far from it! But God saw us through it all and it was good, because of and in spite of us. Several days after Jim's funeral, it began to dawn on me that we have lived 'one day at a time' for years. And day-by-day, most of those days were good ones!

When Merry was first killed, I can remember thinking and saying, "Did she ever know how much I loved her? Did I tell her and show her enough how I thought and felt?" The same thing crosses my mind now for Jim. Did he know?

I am human; I am sure I could have done better, shown more, said more often. One thing I am certain:  being a Christian helps me to be/do better than I would without Him.

"Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him as His Word" are the words to a song that comes to mind; one day by one day. And the best part:  when we trust in Jesus, it is never over! There is more and more to come:  His Love lasts forever and He prepares a place for those we love and care about. For each of us. A place which Jim and Merry now call Home!

Several notes on sympathy cards stated in various ways those sentiments:  "I can just see Jim and Merry now.....the hugs, kisses, and smiles are just beginning......."

It's not over for them; nor is it over for me. Our family. Our friends.

Praise God!

Printable Issue 2933  Today is Wednesday, October 29th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2933

Seems like every writing that I am reading, looks like it is meant for me!

Here is one from Anne Graham Lotz several days ago. What are you going through? What is happening in your life? Might be a good one for you as well:

Suffering is Not Wasted

"Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV

"Is the Potter molding - or remolding - you, using....pressure or problems? stress or suffering? hurt or heartache? illness or injustice? Has He now placed you in the fire so that circumstances are heating up with intensity in your life? Then would you just rust the Potter to know exactly what He is doing?

"For the child of God, suffering is not wasted. It's not an end in itself. Scripture reminds us, 'For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.'

"The spiritual principle is that in some way God uses suffering to transform ordinary, dust-clay people into

vessels that are strong in faith.....

vessels that are fit for His use.....

vessels that display His glory to the watching world.

"So don't waste your sorrow. Trust God!"


Printable Issue 2934  Today is Thursday, October 30th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2934

We are grateful for so many greeting cards of sympathy, words of encouragement, and notes. A number of them have penned in Bible verse which are meaningful to senders and those which people believe would be helpful/of comfort to us.

If they are good for us, might be something you'd be able to use/enjoy in your life:

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped."

~ Psalm 28: 7 NIV


"My your unfailing love be with us, Lord."

~ Psalm 33:22


"May the Lord of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him."

~ Romans 15:13 NIV


"Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

~ Colossians 1:2


"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."

~ 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV


"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

~ Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV


"You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me."

~ Psalm 86:17 NIV


"I am with you and will watch over you......"

~ Genesis 28:15


"I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in my shall never die."

~ John 11:25, 26


Printable Issue 2935  Today is Friday, October 31st, 2014; Karen's Korner #2935

Thanks to any and all of you who have been writing, sending cards, or telling me/us that you are praying for our family.

What a gift!

Max Lucado has a new book titled "Before Amen", as he confesses that he could/should be a better, more frequent prayer. Many of us can relate. He tells us how he has worked to simply remedy the problem and shares what he has been doing and hopes readers might embark on a similar journey:

Recovering Prayer Wimp

"Yes, I'm a prayer wimp--but a recovering prayer wimp. Not where I long to be, but not where I was. Before amen---comes the power of a simple prayer. This simple, easy to remember, pocket-size prayer has become a cherished fried.

"Father, You are good.

I need help. Heal me and forgive me.

They need help.

In Jesus' name, amen."

"Jesus' disciples faced angry waves and a watery grave. You face angry clients, a turbulent economy, raging seas of stress and sorrow. As you begin your morning, 'Father, you are good.' As you commute to work or walk the hallways at school, 'I need help.' As you wait in the grocery line, 'They need help.' Keep this prayer in your pocked as you pass through the day. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and His child."