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May 2017 Archives

Printable Issue 3546  Today is Monday, May 1st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3546

A couple of things I gleaned from listening to a Christian radio station yesterday as I drove an hour from my home:

"Worry is dragging the clouds of tomorrow

Over the sunshine of today!"

~ Chuck Swindoll


"The difference between religion and Christianity:

"Religion is spelled DO!

"Christianity is spelled DONE!


When Jesus died on the cross, He said, "It is finished," and bowed His head and dismissed His Spirit." (John 19:30). His death, finished His work here on earth. It was DONE..

But it is just the beginning for His followers!


Printable Issue 3547  Today is Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3547

My sister, Jill, shared these thoughts from her 'Lutheran Witness':

"Some people are sticklers about tithing their income. But tithing includes more than just our money. Are you just as generous in giving your time to the Lord?

"A tenth of our day is just under two and a half hours. When we think of all the things we already cram into our day, it may seem impossible to give that much time to God. The good news is that 2.4 hours doesn't have to be spent all at once and we can make up the balance on weekends when we have more time.

"Here are some things you can do to fill 2.4 hours of your daily time for the Lord:
* study the Bible;
* pray for everyone you can think of;
* call someone who needs to hear from you;
* send an email to let someone know you're thinking of them;
* send a card of love or encouragement;
* fix a meal for a busy person;
* visit shut-ins, those who are ill, or dying;
* take cookies to a new neighbor and introduce yourself;
* listen to someone's problems and give godly advice;
* be a mentor;
* have a friend over for a special lunch.

"Once you make these things a habit, you'll be surprised to find that 2.4 hours just isn't enough time to serve God each day."
Printable Issue 3548  Today is Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3548

Today is my birthday and I have fun plans to celebrate! It includes enjoying a day with no wind and no rain. Plus warm temperatures! (If you don't live in Iowa or the Midwest, it has been more than chilly....)

As I was reflecting this morning, I couldn't help but think of all the JOY that God has given me.....one day by one day! Even when Merry was sick. Even when she passed away. Even with Jim's long-term heart condition and ultimate death. One day at a time.

But after loved ones are gone or someone moves from our area, I, at times, recount things I could have said. Should have done. Shouldn't have said or done.

I want to suspend those thoughts. If they were filled with JOY when they happened, why think of them now?

I need to not only embrace the JOY of today, I want to recall the JOY of all my yesterdays. And begin to celebrate the JOYs of all my tomorrows.

The Bible is full of JOY. A couple that feed my thoughts often:

"Heart, body, and soul are filled with JOY."

~ Psalm 16:9


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

~ Philippians 4:4


Printable Issue 3549  Today is Thursday, May 4th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3549

Thanks for all the good wishes for my birthday yesterday! I am blessed.....

Today is celebrated as our country's National Day of Prayer. I have been asked to be one of those praying at Wright County's Freedom Rock in Dows. We were also asked to write and submit our thoughts to the organizers.

I am sharing with you a couple of paragraphs from that prayer:

Father in Heaven,

We are here today to celebrate YOU; to praise You for being the sovereign leader of our nation since its founding. We praise You for the opportunity to celebrate this National Day of Prayer with other groups like this across the county. We life Your Name, which is the name above all names. Together.

Increase our desire to encourage one another for the cause of Your Kingdom---whether it is our neighbor, a family member, or a penned note---to someone taking a stand for You---whether it be someone we know or someone who we know only because we learn about them in the news.

We bring before You believers in positions of authority to keep them close to You, as we pray for those who are sensitive to You and Your Kingdom. And we bring before You today---those who are hostile to you and our Christian brothers and sisters, who want to do evil of all kinds.

We celebrate what You have done in this country in the past. We celebrate what You are doing today. And we celebrate what You are going to do in the United States in the future.

We bless Your Holy Name.


Printable Issue 3550  Today is Friday, May 5th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3550

Since my birthday post on Wednesday, I have heard from a number of you about JOY.

It was be pretty important! According to biblegateway.com , joy is found in nearly 250 verses in the Bible.

Here are a couple more verses which Karen's Korners readers shared with me:

"Sing to Him a new song, play skillfully;

shout for JOY!"

~ Psalm 33:3


"The JOY of the Lord is your strength."

~ Nehemiah 8:10


"Come, let us sing for JOY to the Lord;

let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation!"

~ Not sure of the Bible reference


Donna Dunlap sent this note:

"I'm reminded of a little chorus I taught to kinds in 'opening exercises' in Sunday School many years ago, when I was helping with that:

"Jesus and others and you...........what a wonderful way to spell JOY!

Jesus and others and you........in the life of each girl and each boy;

'J' is for Jesus ~ let Him have first place;

'O' is for others we meet face to face.

'Y' is for you ~ so in all that you do ~ ~

Put JESUS first and have JOY!!"


Printable Issue 3551  Today is Monday, May 8th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3551

A couple quick short thoughts to start the day and week:

Flipping the channels last night, I caught a comment by a dad (didn't catch his name) who has lost a young child and has written a book about some of his personal life experiences:

"I am looking forward to the future,

because I will have so much more time with her than what I/we did here on earth.

I/we will have her in our lives forever!"


Thoughts from a television broadcast about this time of year in 2012 and penned in my Bible:

"Prayer is the transference of a burden.

Sheep do not carry burdens; the shepherd does.

In prayer, you leave the burden there.

If you still have a burden, all you have done is griped!!


Printable Issue 3552  Today is Tuesday, May 9th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3552

Today's writing from Sarah Young and her "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence":

"Don't be so hard on yourself. I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret. This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration. Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to Me. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design.

"Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride. Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses. Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. Trust Me, and watch to see what I will do."

~ taken from Romans 8:28; Micah 7:7


Printable Issue 3553  Today is Wednesday, May 10th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3553

"For salvation that comes from trusting Christ.....it is at reach within easy reach of each of us. It is as near as our own hearts and mouths.

"For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord, and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God, and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation."

~ Romans 10:8 - 10 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "Have you ever been asked, 'How do I become a Christian?' These verses give you the beautiful answer---salvation is as close as your own heart and mouth. People think it must be a complicated process, but it is not. If they believe in their hearts and say with their mouths that Christ is the risen Lord, they will be saved."


Printable Issue 3554  Today is Thursday, May 11th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3554

Introduction in my Bible to the book of Mark:

"Everyone wants to be a winner. Losers are those who finish any less than first. In direct contrast are the words of Jesus, 'And whoever wants to be greatest of all must be slave of all. For even I, the Messiah, am not here to be served but to help others, and to give my life as a ransom for many'. (10:44,45). Jesus IS the greatest -- God incarnate, our Messiah -- but He entered history as a servant."


Dear Jesus, Thank You for Who You are and for the standard You have set for the rest of us. Thank You that sometimes we are 'winners', but more times we are 'losers' who come in second place or even farther down the list. Thank You that You have done more than called us to be servants, You were a servant first! Help us always to remember who we are but more importantly Whose we are! Lead us. Guide us, as we celebrate You, today and every day. In Your Name. Amen.


Printable Issue 3555  Today is Friday, May 12th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3555

~ By Max Lucado

"Pecking orders area a part of life. The problem with pecking orders is not the order. The problem is the pecking. Just ask the the shortest kid in class. Or the minority family. Or the new person at work. God says that love is no place for pecking orders. It's easy to see why! How can I love others if my eyes are only on me? How can I point to God if I'm pointing at me?

"Scripture says love does not boast, it is not proud (1 Corinthians 13:4). Jesus' solution to man-made caste systems? A change in direction. The Apostle Paul said, 'Regard one another as more important than yourselves' (Philippians 2:3). That's what Jesus did. Your eternal life was more important than His earthly life. Your place in heaven was more important to Him than His place in heaven, so He gave it up so you could come in."

Printable Issue 3556  Today is Monday, May 15th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3556

"Once a leper came and knelt in front of him and begged to be healed. 'If you want to, you can make me well again,' he pled.

"And Jesus, moved with pity, touched him and said, 'I want to! Be healed!'

"Immediately the leprosy was gone---the man was healed!"

~ Mark 1:40 - 42 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "Jewish leaders declared lepers unclean - unfit to participate in any religious or social activity. Because their law said that contact with any unclean person made them unclean too, some even threw rocks at lepers to keep them at a safe distance. But Jesus touched the leper.

"The real value of a person is inside, not outside. Although a person's body may be diseased or deformed, the person inside is no less valuable to God. No person is too disgusting for his touch. In a sense, we are all lepers, because we have all been deformed by the ugliness of sin. But God, by sending his Son Jesus, has touched us, giving us the opportunity to be healed. When you feel repulsed by someone, stop and remember how God feels about that person-------and about you!"


Printable Issue 3557  Today is Tuesday, May 16th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3557

A couple of weeks ago, for a second time, I ran (not fast, but not walking!) at the Grand Blue Mile (one mile) as part of the Drake Relays....with several thousand of my closest friends!

I couldn't help but think about 'how blessed' I am with good health at my age!

Unless I am hit by a falling meteor (or some other untimely event), some day I will have a decline in my health. So then am I 'unblessed'??

Do we equate blessings with good health? materials successes? happy, growing family members? some other things we 'like'?

What about when we get job losses? financial reverses? less-than-the-best health diagnoses? Are those 'un-blessings'?

I think Jesus was telling his disciples about 'His blessings' from the Beatitudes:

"Looking at His disciples, he said:

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

"Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.

"Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

"Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man."

~ taken from Luke 6:20 - 22 NIV

Sometimes when we get things we 'like', we are blessed with God's hand.

Other times when we get things we 'don't like', we are blessed with God's heart

As part of God's Kingdom, everything is doable!

I am blessed (as are you!) today. And we can plan on being blessed by Him tomorrow!!

Printable Issue 3558  Today is Wednesday, May 17th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3558

Today's entry from Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence":

"As you sit quietly in My Presence, remember that I am a God of abundance. I will never run out of resources; My capacity to bless you is unlimited. You live ina world of supply and demand, where necessary things are often scarce. Even if you personally have enough, you see poverty in the world around you. It is impossible for you to comprehend the lavishness of My provisions:  the fullness of My glorious riches.

"Through spending time in My Presence, you gain glimpses of My overflowing vastness. These glimpses are tiny foretastes of what you will experience eternally in heaven. Even now you have access to as much of Me as you have faith to receive. Rejoice in My abundance---living by faith, not by sight."

~ Taken from Philippians 4:19; 2 Corinthians 5:17


Printable Issue 3559  Today is Thursday, May 18th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3559

"in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

~ Genesis 1:1 KJV


"Then the Lord said to Noah, 'Go into the ark you and your whole family.....take with you two of every kind of animal, a male and its mate......"

~ Genesis 7:1 & 2 NIV


Most people are becoming aware of a replica of Noah's Ark and the Creation Museum which are a handful of miles apart in Kentucky. It is becoming a destination for a vacation or a stop on travelers' way to other points of interest.

Several people from the Clarion Church of Christ have put together a short-trip that direction from here in Iowa to Kentucky from Thursday - Sunday, August 10 - 13, and we are inviting you to travel with us, if your schedule allows or if it seems interesting to you.

It should be affordable. Cost is $50 for the round trip, riding on a 15-passenger van; staying for three nights at a motel. Rate is $85 per night which can house up to five people with queen-sized beds complete with a hot breakfast each morning. Two-day tickets (one day at each museum) range in prices of $35 - 60, for children, senior citizens, or adults.

It is about a 10-hour trip from Clarion to our destination. One day out; one day at one museum; another at the other; and then our return trip. Look at a map, we can pick up people along the way. We will be traveling south on I-35 and then east on I-80.

If you'd like more information, let me know and I will direct you to the right person. It will take a $50 payment to secure a seat on the van. All other amounts will be paid when we actually on our trip.

It promises to be an adventure!

Printable Issue 3560  Today is Friday, May 19th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3560


"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

~ Romans 8:18 NKJV

"Bad things do happen to those Jesus loves. But remember this spiritual principle:  Glory follows suffering, and life follows death.

"Miss Audrey Wetherell Johnson was a woman greatly beloved of God. Born in England, educated in Europe, delivered from agnosticism, and transformed by God's grace into a gifted Bible teacher and preacher, she answered God's call to the mission field in China during the 1930s. After years of teaching pastors and church leaders in a theological seminary in Beijing, Miss Johnson was scooped up with other missionaries and placed in a Japanese concentration camp for three years of intolerable and unmentionable suffering. Yet once again we glimpse God's glory when we learn that Miss Johnson was finally released, came to America, and began Bible Study Fellowship, an international ministry that now has approximately one million men and women who use her material and format to God's Word each week.

"If something bad has happened to you, would you look forward to the glory that IS coming?!!

~ Anne Graham Lotz


Printable Issue 3561  Today is Monday, May 22nd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3561

"A man without God is trusting in a spider's web. Everything he counts on WILL collapse."

~ Job 8:14 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "One of man's basic needs is security and people will do almost anything to feel secure. Eventually, however, our money, possessions, knowledge, and relationships will fail or be gone. Only God can give lasting security. What have we trusted for our security? How lasting is it? If we have a secure foundation with God, then feeling of insecurity cannot uproot us."


(No Karen's Korner tomorrow as I will be away from my computer. Wednesday's will be sent later in the day!)

Printable Issue 3562  Today is Wednesday, May 24th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3562

A Deposit of Power

~ written by Max Lucado

"Many Christians view their conversion something like a car wash. You go in a filthy clunker, and you come out with your sins washed away---a cleansed clunker. But conversion is more than a removal of sin. It is a deposit of power! It is as if a brand-new Ferrari engine was mounted in your frame. God removed the old motor that was caked, cracker, and broken with rebellion and evil; and he replaced it with a humming, roaring version of himself.

"The Apostle Paul described it as being 'a new creation, old things have passed away; behold all things have become new' (2 Corinthians 5:17). You are fully equipped. Do you need more energy? You have it. More kindness? It's yours. Hebrews 13:21 promises that God will equip you with all you need for doing His will. Just press the gas pedal. God has given you everything you need for living a godly life!"

Printable Issue 3563  Today is Thursday, May 25th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3563

"Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed."

~ Proverbs 16:3 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "There are different ways to fail to commit our work to the Lord. Some commit their work only superficially. They say the project is being done for the Lord, but in reality they are doing it for themselves. Others tend to give God temporary control of their interests, only to take control back the moment things stop going the way they expect. Still others commit their task fully to the Lord, then put forth no effort themselves. They wonder why they do not experience success. We must maintain a delicate balance:  trusting God as if everything depended on him, while working as if everything depended on us. Think of a specific effort in which you are involved right now. Have you committed it to the Lord?"


Printable Issue 3564  Today is Friday, May 26th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3564

"In a world of unrelenting changes, I am the One who never changes. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Find in Me the stability for which you have yearned.

"I created a beautifully ordered world: one that reflected My perfection. Now, however, the world is under the bondage of sin and evil. Every person on the planet faces gaping jaws of uncertainty. The only antidote to this poisonous threat is drawing closer to Me. In My Presence you can face uncertainty with perfect Peace."

~ By Sarah Young, from "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence"

as if Jesus is talking with us today, May 26; 

taken from Revelation 22:13; John 16:33 (AMP)


Printable Issue 3565  Today is Saturday, May 27th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3565

(A Saturday edition to offset Tuesday when I was away from my computer).

Annually, a number of middle school students locally put on a 'seniors night' when grandparents and retirees return to school for one evening. There are a number of 'class' offerings.

One of the classes was planting a couple of garden seeds and receiving some growing tips. Our class started a couple of flower seeds (I can't recall the kind!), but they could be grown inside or out. After mine started in its pot indoors, I decided to set it outside, not far from my basement door.

The nice 'green plant' didn't do well. It didn't die; it didn't thrive either.

But in the last week, I see that it is really doing well:  not from the top but from regrowth, coming from the roots! It's going to make it and thrive.

Makes me think of us when we are 'rooted' in God's love and life. It isn't so much about us, but about Him!

"Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done."

~ Colossians 2:7 (TLB)


"Thank You, God, for the lives we have in You. Thank You that we can grow because of our 'root system'. You are a good, every day God! We can count You and Your Love for all of us! Amen."

Printable Issue 3566  Today is Monday, May 29th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3566

Happy Memorial Day!

A day to remember those who have fought and died to keep our country free and safe.


Several rattling thoughts for the day:

* Our coins say "In God We Trust";

may that remain true in our nation; let's pray that it becomes more and more of a reality in the lives of all of us!


We also say:

"United States of America";

sometimes it feels more like the Un-tied States--or divided states--of America.

Let's pray that one-by-one we can become more and more 'united!


God has blessed America since its beginning; this Memorial Day, let's ask Him to continue to bless our country in the future:

God Bless America

By Irving Berlin

"God bless America, land that I love

Stand beside her and guide her

Through the night with the light from above.

"From the mountains to the prairies

To the oceans white with foam

God bless America, my home sweet home

God bless America, my home sweet home.


Printable Issue 3567  Today is Tuesday, May 30th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3567

A couple of verses from Psalms chapter 71. It talks about being 'old and gray' (fewer and fewer people get 'gray' any more, even the guys!):

"And now that I am old and gray, don't forsake me.

Give me time to tell this generation (and their children too) about all your mighty miracles.

Your power and goodness, Lord, reach to the highest heavens.

You have done such wonderful things.

Where is there another God like you!"

~ Psalm 71:18 & 19 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "Solomon wrote that the glory of old people is their experience. A person is never too old to serve God, never too old to pray. Though age may stop us from certain physical activities, it need not end our desire to tell others (especially children) about all we have seen God do in the many years we've lived.


Printable Issue 3568  Today is Wednesday, May 31st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3568

Several vertical sidebar sayings from the current issue of OUR IOWA magazine:

"In the game of life, don't stay in the bleachers....get down on the field."


"The easiest habits to break are the ones that are good for you."


"A perfectionist is one who takes great pains and gives them to other people."


"When you're wrong, be willing to change......what you're right, be easy to live with."


"A word of encouragement can make the difference between giving up and going on."


"Today gave a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day."


"Some troubles arise from our wanting our own way; the rest, from getting it."