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July 2016 Archives

Printable Issue 3345  Today is Friday, July 1st, 2016; Karen's Korner #3345

On Tuesday morning, I dropped in to Caroline and Herman Heimstra's home where their church holds its weekly prayer times. The two were dressed up, as they celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary.

The two are 91 and 90 respectively, remarrying after both losing spouses to death.

I can recall a couple of years ago being some place where they were, and Caroline saying, "Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary."

Really, was my response. "How long have you two been married?" I asked.

"Seventeen years and ten months," was her answer.

Herman chimed in, "We were so old when we got married (71 and 72), we decided we'd better celebrate each month!"

Tuesday Herman added, "I never thought we see nineteen years together. Six or seven maybe."

"This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it."

~ Psalm 118:24 LAB

So like Herman and Caroline, today is a good day to 'rejoice', or 'celebrate'! Because we have no idea what tomorrow holds! Is it six or seven years maybe. Or an unbelievable 19! Or?

You pick the number!

Printable Issue 3346  Today is Monday, July 4th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3346

Happy 4th of July!

Well, we did it! Iowa finished its marathon Bible reading last night! Our Governor Terry Branstad had signed a proclamation for '80 hours of Bible reading on 99 county courthouses' in the time leading up to Independence Day. Some read 80 hours straight. Our board of supervisors gave readers the right to read, but not through the night.

No problem, organizers just extended the number of days! Dennis and Donna Bailey took up the challenge to organize Wright County readers. From sun up to sun down from Tuesday morning until Sunday night, readers could be found on the courthouse lawn. A huge task! "I felt like if the Lord asked us to do it," said Donna, "He would provide the readers!"

And provide He did! The Baileys estimated nearly 200 county residents volunteered to read at some time during the six-day marathon! While some readers dropped by, reading for fifteen minutes, many would read aloud, consecutive chapters and books for an hour or maybe more. The Baileys, however, were there all 80 plus hours, with set ups, talking with people, encouraging readers, reading themselves to fill in any caps, making new relationships.

 Two forty-hour-work weeks in six days!

So what are their final take-a-ways from God's 'assignment' to them? "It was unbelievable," said Donna. "People were just hungry to do something like this. It made us realize how many good people there are out there. Many comments were made and notes were written to thank our governor for signing this proclamation." She said the task of organizing people to read wasn't as daunting as she first might have thought. "Three phone calls to the right people," Donna said, "turned into many more people being called and asked to participate. The word was passed!"

Dennis said, "Everyone was so positive and grateful. People would come by and ask if they could read or maybe they'd ask us to pray for them. All of it was such a blessing. I have had 3 major life changing experiences:  inviting Jesus into my  life; asking my life to marry me; and agreeing to help organize this event. It is one of the most sensational things in my life."

Their conclusion as they reflect: "We have lots of new meaningful relationships that will continue to touch our lives and hearts," said Donna, "and we have the promise that His words will not come back void."

"..so my Word, I send it out and it always produces fruit.

It shall accomplish all I want it to, and prosper everywhere I send it."

~ Isaiah 55:11 (Living Bible)


So now it is your turn. Were you a 'Bible reader in Wright County or some other county? If you'd like to share your thoughts/experiences, email me. If I receive enough of them, it will be a future Karen's Korner!

Printable Issue 3347  Today is Tuesday, July 5th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3347

God's Way Home

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

~ John 14:6 NIV

"Jesus did not say that He knew the way to heaven; He said that He Himself is the only Way to get there!

"During the Vietnam War, a story was reported about a paratrooper who had been air-dropped into the jungle and couldn't find his way out. A native guide had to be sent into the jungle to find the lost man then lead him safely to his base. The guide became the mans way to safety--his 'way home'.

In the same manner, Jesus is 'God's Guide', heaven-dropped into the world to lead lost sinners safely 'Home'. It stands to reason that if you refuse to acknowledge that you are 'lost', then you will not accept God's Way home. But for those of us who know we have been lost, our overwhelming gratitude for the Guide is enough to compel us to tell others about Him---about the truth of their lost condition and the truth about the Way out."

~by Anne Graham Lotz


Printable Issue 3348  Today is Wednesday, July 6th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3348

Something written by Dr. David Jeremiah.

Know Love, No Fear

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."

~ 1 John 4:18

"Every verse of Scripture was written for a specific purpose and application. Yet so many verses have a broader application as well. Take the apostle John's oft-quoted words in 1 John 4:18, 'Perfect love casts out fear.' John's immediate subject was God's judgment. His point was that those who are secure in God's perfect love have no reason to fear His judgment. So God's love casts out the fear we may have about our sins. God's love in Christ has paid for those sins. The heart that is full of God's love has no room for fear of God's judgment.

"How else might this truth apply? Think of all the time we are tempted to fear. We fear the future---but God's love surrounds us and our future. We fear loving someone who has hurt us---but God's love gives us assurance of His blessings on our obedience. We fear finding our 'place' in life---but God's love assures us we are created and called according to His purposes. The more we rest in the knowledge of God's love, the less fear we will experience in any area of life.

"If you are experiencing fear of any kind, ask God to show you how His Love can take that fear away."

"The chains of love are stronger than the chains of fear."  ~ William Gurnall


Printable Issue 3349  Today is Thursday, July 7th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3349

Any of us living today, at times wonder about 'terrorist attacks'; either here and some place else in the world. But the biggest terrorist attacks we may have are 'fears' inside our own minds; many of which will never become realities.

"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation;

He protects me from danger----whom shall I fear?"

~ Psalm 27:1 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "Fear is a dark shadow that envelops us and ultimately imprisons us within ourselves. Each of us has been a prisoner of fear at one time or another---fear of rejection, misunderstanding, uncertainty, sickness, or even death. But fear can be conquered by the bright liberating light of the Lord who brings salvation. If you want to dispel the darkness of fear in your life, remember with the psalm writer that 'the Lord is my light and my salvation'.


Printable Issue 3350  Today is Friday, July 8th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3350

(First, my apologies to Karen's Korner readers for omitting the Bible verse location in yesterday's post. And thanks to Al Bennett for being the first one to catch the error. It is Psalm 27:1.)

Listening the this morning's news and the tragic shooting of Dallas police officers who were trying to do their jobs last night:  protecting the people in their city. Our thoughts and prayers with everyone involved in the incidents.

This Bible reading today makes us stop and think about God and His care:

"O God my Strength! I will sing praises , for you are my place of safety.

My God is changeless in His Love for me and He will come and help me.

As for me, I will sing each morning about Your power and mercy.

For you have been my high tower of refuge, a place of safety in the day of my distress.

O my Strength, to you I sing my praises: for you are my high tower of safety, my God of mercy."

~ Psalm 59:9 - 17 (in part)


Bible Commentary:  "David (writer of this Psalm) knew that God's love for him was changeless. God's love for all who trust Him is also changeless. When the love of others fails or disappoints us, we can rest in God's changeless love."


Printable Issue 3351  Today is Monday, July 11th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3351

Here we are one week after Iowa's 'Bible Reading Marathon', set for '80 Hours' on Iowa's courthouse. As I promised, some comments by Karen's Korners readers.

** A quick quote from Wilma & Lee Gamblin, former ministers in the Clarion area:  "How wonderful!!! God Bless the USA again!!"

** Peg Bunn who lives in Clarion said, "It was amazing to be a part of this endeavor. God's presence was indeed evident. It was also a blessing to have Neal (son who resides in the Des Moines area) come here to read with us."

** Rosemary Harris, Jim's cousin who resides in southeast Iowa, penned:  "I read too on Saturday morning.....in the rain. But it was an emotional experience. Our little church did very well with volunteers coming forth. I think we extended the days, too, instead of reading through the night. What an example the Governor set forth in proclaiming this event."

** Judy Watne, Clarion resident, said, "My heart was so blessed to be able to read God's Word on the courthouse lawn! It truly was a privilege. I read every day but Wednesday. That was because every slot was filled!! So awesome! My heart was encouraged to see so may people take an interest which showed the Bible to be important to them! It was great to end the time in prayer united together in one Spirit (more than a dozen people came to Wright County Courthouse)! Thankful for our Governor. I pray this is the beginning of something great!"

** From Clarion resident Jo Ann Kramer:  "It was such an honor to be able to read the Bible aloud in this marathon. Thanks to our county supervisors for letting us use the courthouse lawn to proclaim praise to Our Heavenly Father. Thanks to Donna & Dennis Baily (organizers in our county) for their commitment to this project and all the volunteer readers and observers. I believe God is blessing our nation with people who continue to follow His Holy Word. Great things happen when we choose to let God be God in our lives."

After the sad events in our country this past weekend, let's pray that more and more people allow 'God to be God in our/their lives'.

Printable Issue 3352  Today is Tuesday, July 12th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3352

It's so easy in our world of ups and downs; change:  some we like others; we don't, that God really, really loves us! Sometimes hard to remember, but He does! That is enough to 'super power' us for the day:

Your Uniqueness

"When God made you, the angels stood in awe and declared, 'We've never seen one like that before'. And they never will again! You are heaven's first and final attempt at you. You are matchless, unprecedented, and unequaled. Consequently, you can do something no one else can do in a way no one else can. Call it what you wish. A talent. A skill set. A gift. An anointing. A divine spark. An unction. A call.

"Scripture says, 'The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. (1 Corinthians 12:7). Each of us---not some of us, a few of us, or the elite among us. Many people settle for someone else's story and they never find their call. Don't make the same mistake. Your existence isn't accidental. Your skills are not incidental. God has shaped each person in turn! And that includes you!

~ By Max Lucado


Printable Issue 3353  Today is Wednesday, July 13th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3353

Today is our mom and dad's anniversary. They were married in 1943 and celebrated #60 before my dad passed away. And that fact has nothing whatever to do with today's Karen's Korner! It's just a passing memory for me.......

I hope that you like this Karen's Korner as much as I do when I read it first last night and then again this morning. From Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" and her daily "Jesus thoughts" for July 13:

"I WANT YOU TO EXPERIENCE the riches of your salvation, the Joy of being loved constantly and perfectly. You make a practice of judging yourself, based on how you look or behave or feel. If you like what you see in the mirror, you feel a bit more worthy of My Love. When things are going smoothly and your performance seems adequate, you find it easier to believe you are My beloved child. When you feel discouraged, you tend to look inward so you can correct whatever is wrong.

"Instead of trying to 'fix' yourself, fix your gaze on Me, the Lover of your soul. Rather than using your energy to judge yourself, redirect it to praising Me. Remember that I see you clothed in My righteousness, radiant in My perfect Love."

~ Young's thoughts based on Ephesians 2:7-8; Hebrews 3:1; Psalm 34:5


Printable Issue 3354  Today is Thursday, July 14th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3354

"Only a fool would say to himself,

'There is no God.'

And why does he say it?

Because of his wicked heart, his dark and evil deeds.

His life is corroded with sin."

~ Psalm 53:1 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "People may say there is no God in order to cover their sin, to have an excuse to continue in sin, and/or to ignore the Judge in order to avoid the judgment. A 'fool' is not necessarily lacking intelligence; many atheists and unbelievers are highly learned. Fools are people who reject God."


Printable Issue 3355  Today is Friday, July 15th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3355

Our church family and community are grappling with the reality of a recent diagnosis of stage 4 cancer in our friend: Joy Grandgeorge. This 40-year-old mom of two (her youngest will be a fourth grade this fall) has been a leader in both our church and in our community.

So we are collectively caring, hosting or attending fundraisers, and/or pray for Joy, Keith, Jordan, Chelsea.

At a prayer vigil held last week, our minister asked us, as we read our Bibles, to notice how often 'joy' is written in them. And every time we see those words to reflect on this young mother who we care about.

Here are a handful of 'joy' verses:

"I have told you this so that My JOY may be in you and that your JOY may be complete."

~ John 15:11


"Be JOYful in hope; patient in affliction; faithful in prayer."

~ Romans 12:12


"But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control......"

~ Galatians 5:22


"Always be full of JOY in the Lord; I say it again reJOYce!"

~ Philippians 4:4


Printable Issue 3356  Today is Monday, July 18th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3356

In light of what is happening in our world and in our country, here is a Bible verse which I enjoy and take to heart -- often! I have used it before in Karen's Korner but certainly helps me; hope that it helps you!

"Fear not for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God.

I will strengthen you; I will help you.

I will uphold you with my victorous right hand."

~ Isaiah 41:10 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "Now all believers are God's chosen people; we share the responsibility of representing Him to the world. God will one day bring all His faithful people together. We need not fear because: 1) God's presence is with us; 2) God has established a relationship with us; 3) God's assurance of strength, help, and security over us is certain -- now and forever."


Printable Issue 3357  Today is Wednesday, July 20th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3357
Sorry for no Karen's Korner yesterday; computer troubles. It's in the repair shop and I am at the library!

On Sunday, Bob Stephenson shared a communion meditation at worship service at the Lake. I liked it and asked him if I could share the thought with 'korner' readers.

It is something written by Bruce Wilkinson. He had the opportunity to chat with a vineyard owner. The owner mentioned the long hours, working in the vineyards, tending grapes, and watching the fruit as it developed and headed toward harvest.

"New branches have a natural tendency to trail down and grow along the ground," the vineyard owner explained. "But they don't bear fruit down there. When branches grow along the ground, the leaves get coated in dust. When it rains, they get muddy and mildewed. The branches become sick and useless."

"What do you do?" asked Wilkinson. "Cut them off and throw them away?"

"Oh, no!" the owner exclaimed. "The branch is much too valuable for that. We go through the vineyard with a bucket of water looking for those branches. We lift them up and wash them off. Then we wrap them around the trellis or tie them up. Pretty soon they're thriving."

Wilkinson went on the explain his own mental picture of Jesus doing that for each of us:  trailing too near the ground; getting muddy and mildewed; becoming useless. But Jesus comes back to rescue each of because 'we are too valuable to throw away!

We want to praise you, Jesus, for the way that you never abandon us. Never figure we are too unworthy to be rescued or saved. You have amazing grace and love. You have such wonderful plans of using us for Your purposes! We don't deserve so much attention, but You give it to us unconditionally!
Printable Issue 3358  Today is Thursday, July 21st, 2016; Karen's Korner #3358

God's Love Never Fails

"One stumble does not define or break a person. Though you failed, God's love does not. Face your failures with faith in God's goodness.

"He saw this collapse coming. God could see the upcoming mishaps. Still, he tells you what he told Joshua, 'Arise, go...you and all this people, to the land which I am giving' (Joshua 1:2). There is no condition in that covenant. No fine print. No performance language. A God's promised land does not depend on you perfection. It depends on his.

"In God's hands, no defeat is a crushing defeat. Scripture says 'the steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take. If they fall, it isn't fatal, for the Lord holds them with his hand (Psalm 37:23-24). Put your faith in the One who is always faithful."

~ By Max Lucado


Printable Issue 3359  Today is Friday, July 22nd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3359

Something written by Sarah Young, taken from "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence". This one is from yesterday.

"Rest in My Presence when you need refreshment. Resting is not necessarily idleness, as people often perceive it. When you relax in My company, you are demonstrating trust Me. Trust is a rich word, laden with meaning and direction for your life. I want you to lean on, trust, and be confident in Me. When you lean on Me for support, I delight in your trusting confidence.

"Many people turn away from Me when they are exhausted. They associate Me with duty and diligence, so they try to hide from My Presence when they need a break from work. How this saddens Me! As I spoke through My prophet Isaiah:  'In returning to Me and resting in Me you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength.'"


Printable Issue 3360  Today is Saturday, July 23rd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3360

Still no computer; hopefully I will back on track some time next week! A Karen's Korner on Saturday, because I missed on Tuesday!

"'Let's wipe out every trace of God,' they said, and went through the entire country burning down the assembly places where we worshiped."

~ Psalm 74:8 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "When enemy armies defeated Israel, they sacked Jerusalem, trying to wipe out every trace of God. This has often been the response of people who hate God. Today many are trying to erase all traces of God from traditions in our society and subjects taught in our schools. Do what you can to help maintain a Christian influence, but don't become discouraged when others appear to make great strides in eliminating all traces of God, for they cannot eliminate His presence in the lives of believers."


Printable Issue 3361  Today is Monday, July 25th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3361

"What if you actually see the prayer you pray? The prayers being prayed for you? John's vision of heaven in Revelation 8:5, he saw the prayers of the saints ascending with incense into the presence of God. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. Behold the power of prayer. You ask God for help, and bam! You lift your concerns to heaven and turbulence happens!

"Go head. Stand up on behalf o those you love. And, yes, stand up on behalf of those you do not. The quickest way to douse the fire of anger is with a bucket of prayer. Rather than rant, rave, or seek revenge...........pray! Scripture tell us (Luke 23:34) that while hanging on the cross, Jesus interceded for his enemies. Shouldn't we do the same? Pray then wait for the earth to shake."

~ A good one from Max Lucado. Aren't they all?



Printable Issue 3362  Today is Tuesday, July 26th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3362


"One day the apostles said to the Lord,'We need more faith; tell us how to get it.'


"If your faith were only the size of a mustard seed," Jesus answered. 'it would be large enough to uproot that mulberry tree over there and send it hurtling in to the sea! Your command would bring immediate results!'"


~ Luke 17:5 & 6 LAB




Bible Commentary:  "A mustard seed is small, but it is alive and growing. Like this tiny seed, a small amount of genuine faith in God will take root and grow. Almost invisible at first, it will begin to spread, first underground and the visibly. Although each change will be gradual and imperceptible, soon this faith will have produced major results that will uproot and destory competing loyalties. The amoung of faith isn't as important as the right kind of faith---faith in our all-powerful God."


Thank you, God, that we can have faith in You!

You are a big and all-powerful God; and we worship You.

In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Printable Issue 3363  Today is Wednesday, July 27th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3363

In light of some of things swirling around our world, it is nice to know that God and His Kingdom does not change.

Here are a couple of quotes from Mother Teresa. While she has been gone for a number of years and as a follower of Jesus, her words are still today too.

"Each one of us is what he is in the eyes of God."


"Happiness can't be found without prayer."


"We are at Jesus' disposal. If he wants you to be sick in bed, if he want you to proclaim his word in the street, that's all right, everything is all right. We must say 'I belong to You. You can do whatever you like.' And this is our strength and this is the joy of the Lord."


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


"Let's not pray long, drawn-out prayers, but let's pray short ones full of love."


Printable Issue 3364  Today is Thursday, July 28th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3364
Today is July 28. It was 17 years ago today that our younger daughter, Merry, was killed in a car/truck accident.

Our family tends to celebrate days like this and remember. Today is no exception!

It is and has been a good day.

It is nice to reflect on Merry being part of our family for 26 plus years.

It is amazing that God has been able to be our/my companion, guide, and friend for the past 17 years. If we include the 40 years of Jim's heart problems, God has been a 'good friend' for many, many years.

Like a Karen's Korner of a few days ago, I/we have a 'mustard seed' sized faith in a big, big God. That is reason to celebrate right there!!

"I will praise You, my God and King, and bless Your Name each day and forever."

~ Psalm 145:1 LAB


"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His lovingkindness continues forever."

~ Psalm 136:1 LAB

Printable Issue 3365  Today is Sunday, July 31st, 2016; Karen's Korner #3365

A Karen's Korner on Sunday to get in my 'five per week', since I missed one due to computer troubles.

But yeah! my computer is back and working...........for now! And hopefully, a long, long time!

The Keeper

"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word."

~ Hebrews 1:3 NIV


"With His unlimited power, the Living Logos of God not only created all things but even today He still sustains 'all things by His powerful word'. Who do you know who says he doesn't need God? Think about it for a moment!

"Our planet is 93,000,000 miles away from the sun. If the sun was any closer to earth, we would burn up. If it was any farther away from the earth, we would freeze.

"Our planet tilts exactly 23 degrees on its axis, giving us four seasons a year. If it tilted at any other angle, we would have massive continents of ice.

"And Who keeps all this in perfect order? Who keeps Earth from getting sucked into some gigantic black hole, or planets from spinning out of control, or stars from falling from the sky? The answer is none other than the Living Logos of Almighty God. If He can keep the universe in order, He can keep your life and mine in order, too."

~ By Anne Graham Lotz