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November 2017 Archives

Printable Issue 3678  Today is Wednesday, November 1st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3678

"Where among the heathen gods is there a God like you?

Where are their miracles?

All the nations---and You made each one---will come and bow before you, Lord,

and praise Your great and holy name.

For You are great; and do great miracles.

You alone are God."

~ Psalm 86:8 - 10 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "The God of the Bible is unique! He is alive and able to work mighty miracles for those who love Him. All man-created deities are powerless before Him because they are merely inventions of the mind; not living beings. The Lord alone is 'worthy to receive the glory and the honor and the power' (Revelation 4:11). While people around the world believe in many heathen deities, we never have to fear that God is only among many or that we may be worshipping the wrong God. The Lord alone is God."


Printable Issue 3679  Today is Thursday, November 2nd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3679

Something written recently by former Clarion resident and friend Christine Lousias:

Movement Towards

"The simple thing of kindness reflects the life we breed

The Golden Rule of love is the beginning of the seed

Without the eyes of fear, we grasp the beauty of Eden

Transforming colors meld together to flourish in the light

Using courage to stand united to dispel the dark of night

Behold the refuge of contentment settling in our heart

With just one small step from each of us to move forward to the start

Holding strong to compassion, paving the way to freedom

For each and every one."


Printable Issue 3680  Today is Friday, November 3rd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3680

Recently my sister, Jill, moved to Washington from Minnesota where she had resided for most her adult life. She was 'connected' to her neighborhood, her garden club, her church family.

At a 'going away' luncheon put on by her church (Ascension Lutheran), she penned and read this poem. It is written in a similar style to her favorite poet - Dr. Seuss.

A Farewell Poem

By Jill Murray

"In just a few days

Westward I'll go

And in leaving this place

There's a few things I know.

"God brought me to Ascension 11 years ago

With my husband in tow

Times were tougher then

But Ascensionites marched ahead.

As God directed the progress

And the Good Book is read.


"I was privileged and honored

To lead Outreach for four years.

And in that God led us

To do Outreach with less fear.

"To all of you

My sisters and brothers, believers, you are

You've become my extended family

And I will never forget, even from afar.

"Such kindness you've shown me,

My late husband, my daughter

You've lifted me up

With prayers and laugher.

"But now chapter 6 of my life

Is a chapter to write

And off to be Grandma I go

And to my delight.

"Little Raegan was perfect in all ways

Reminds me once again of how God

Creates miracles

In our lives, every single day.

"So I invite you to visit me in my new place

It's a long drive, so if you come

Please bring a suitcase.

"God has much work for you all to do

It's just getting started

People to touch, to know Jesus

Before they've departed.

"So my hope for you all

Is that you'll moved ahead without fear

And God will direct you

To proclaim far and near.

"So, friends, I say 'see you soon'

For it's never goodbye

You within my memories

And Hopefully, I.....

"Will see you all again

Either here or perhaps in the West

My love to you all

To all you, my best.


Printable Issue 3681  Today is Monday, November 6th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3681

Our heads are on swivels. People being run down by a rental truck; mass killing a small Texas church service!

It appears these things will continue. So will the rhetoric of what to do about it. Wicked people and evil is, and has always been, in the world.

If you get the chance, maybe read Psalm 37 today. The introduction in my Bible says, "Trust in the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act. This psalm vividly contrasts the wicked person with the upright

"Stop your anger!

Turn off your wrath.

Don't fret and worry---

it only leads to harm

For the wicked shall be destroyed,

but those who trust the Lord shall be given every blessing."

~ Psalm 37:8 & 9 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "Anger and worry are two of the most destructive emotions. They reveal a lack of trust that God is in control. We should not fret and worry. Instead, we should trust in the Lord. When we dwell on our problems, we will become anxious and angry. But if we concentrate on God and His goodness, we will feel peace. Where do we focus our attention?"


Printable Issue 3682  Today is Tuesday, November 7th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3682

Jesus Knows How You Feel

"Remember when you sought a night's rest and got a colicky baby? Remember when you sought to catch up at the office and got even further behind? And you can add to the list of interruptions sorrow, excitement, and bedlam. Sound familiar? Take comfort---it happened to Jesus too.

"You may have trouble believing that. You probably believe Jesus know what it means to endure heavy-duty tragedies. You're no doubt convinced Jesus is acquainted with sorrow and has wrestled with fear. Most people accept that. But can God relate to the hassles and heartaches of my life? Of your life?

"For some reason this is harder to believe. Jesus knows how you feel. His eyes have grown weary. His heart has grown heavy. He had had to climb out of bed with a sore throat. He has been kept awake late and has gotten up early. Jesus knows how you feel!"

~ By Max Lucado


Printable Issue 3683  Today is Wednesday, November 8th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3683

Heavenly Treasure

"Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy,

and where thieves do not break in and steal."

~ Matthew 6:20 NIV

"God is one of our most precious commodities. We hoard gold, we wear gold, we invest in gold, we work hard for more gold -- we love gold! We sacrifice our families, our friends, our reputations, our health -- all so that we can increase our supply of earthly treasures. We want to buy more things.....

so we can dust more things

so we can break more things

so we can get more things

so we can show off more things

`` none of which will last!

"Jesus commanded His disciples not to lay up treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt and where thieves break in and steal, but to lay up treasures in Heaven. I wonder what treasures we will have in Heaven as evidence of our work and witness on earth -- if any?

"While it is said we can take nothing with us to heaven -- we can! We can take somebody else!"

~ By Anne Graham Lotz


Printable Issue 3684  Today is Thursday, November 9th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3684

Harvest season is more than upon us. It is getting closer to a conclusion for the fall season. Corn fields turn into bent-over, empty stalks. Then the earth is turned a bit of black, from heavy tillage equipment.

Yesterday I finished my yard work with help, digging and storing my cannas. Last week I hunted for any onions which I had planted in mid-May. It was a 4' x 4' area between my well house and machine shed. The tiny area started with my hoeing and care. Later it was overcome with weeds and grass. No matter better dig to see what is there.

As I dug, the onions - probably half as many as I had put in the ground from my onion sets bag - were about exactly the same size as what I had put into the ground five months earlier.

Too many weeds, I am pretty sure! Couldn't successfully compete with the other 'wild' plants.

As I dug, I thought about me/us, does the same thing happen to us as Christians? Can't grow successfully due to too much competition with 'weeds'?

Father God in Heaven, will you help us to 'weed' the 'gardens' in our lives? Show us what is crowding out Your best in each one of us. And after we know what we could or should do, will You help us to make the needed changes? Like always, we are going to need Your help! In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 3685  Today is Friday, November 10th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3685

Happy Veterans Day to our military and veterans.

I am planning to do something to celebrate/congratulate them today and the actual day on Saturday! Hope you do too!!

Here is something I received this morning in a 'today's Turning Point written by Dr. David Jeremiah" with a military twist:

Like a Mighty Army

"You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

~ 2 Timothy 2:3


"Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, known as Monty, wrote in his memoirs, 'I have always held the view that an army is not merely a collection of individuals, with so many tanks, guns, machine-guns, etc. The real strength of an army is, and must be, far greater than the sum total of its parts, that extra strength is provided by morale, fighting spirit, mutual confidence between the leaders and the led...and many other intangible spiritual qualities.'

"In many ways, that describes a church. In our narcissistic world, we have to remember church is not about us---our tastes, preferences, desire, comforts, and conveniences. We're in a spiritual battle, and our churches need members who do not seek their own way. WE must keep Christ as our Commander and we must honor one another in gentleness and kindness. Disgruntled church members can damage a congregation's ministry. Rather than being harsh or opinionated, try being humble, gentle, and encouraging. The Church of God is a mighty army with one Commander, marching to the rhythm of His grace."

"We are not divided, all one body we, one in hope, and doctrine, one in charity.

Onward Christian Soldier, marching as to war.

With the cross of Jesus going on before."

~ Sabine Baring-Gould, in 'Onward Christian Soldiers"


Printable Issue 3686  Today is Monday, November 13th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3686

On Saturday, I (and several hundred of my closest friends!) attended an annual Women's Conference near a neighboring community. The theme was "Take Hold:  Let Go! Move Forward! Live Bold". The all day event had as its main guest speaker well-known author Sharon Jaynes.

Today I am sharing a handful of her bullet points from the day's event:

* Let go of our feelings. Take hold of our True Identity.

* We may not feel enough; God says, 'I am!'

* Spot your NOT; Swat that NOT.

* God looks for people who will obey!

* We say, "NO WAY!" God says, "Yah-Weh (Yeah, Way!; Hebrews name for God!)"

* God says He can 'use whatever happens to us' (Romans 8:28). Don't ask God to remove those things; He will 'repurpose' them.

* Our past shapes us......then God sends us!

* Everyone has a story; our stories can be used by God.

* Only God can change our stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

* God isn't interested in making us comfortable. He uses life's situations to make us comfort-ABLE!

* Never compare ourselves with others. Comparison kills our 'calling'.


Printable Issue 3687  Today is Tuesday, November 14th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3687

"Those who love Your laws have great peace of heart and mind and do not stumble."

~ Psalm 119:165 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "Modern society longs for peace of mind. Here is clear-cut instruction on how to realize this in our lives. If we love God and obey His laws, we will have 'great peace of heart and mind'.


Printable Issue 3688  Today is Wednesday, November 15th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3688

My sister Jill who recently moved from Minnesota to Washington to be nearer her daughter and family, was missing family and friends back in Minnesota and Iowa as we approach the holiday season. She hit upon the idea of each day making a list for which she was thankful.

Day #6 she became thankful for honest people.

She had lost her billfold while shopping last Thursday with her daughter and new granddaughter. Colleen couldn't find her coupon pouch. Maybe they had been targets of a pick pocket. On Saturday, Colleen found her coupons at the bottom of the diaper bag.

Okay, it must have been a lost billfold. Jill began the search, retracing her steps and beginning the process of cancel bank and credit cards, and pondering what to do about replacing her Minnesota drivers license.

"On Monday, I got a call from Macy's in the mall," Jill said. "Someone had found my billfold in the parking lot on Friday and turned it into the store. It must have fallen out of my purse while we were trying to load the stroller in the back of the car." Something the twosome isn't really good at yet.

As she drove to the store to retrieve her prized possession, she reflected on the incredible honesty of the person who had found it. "Someone had turned in my wallet with everything intact. Even the cash!" Jill said.

Not only was the 'finder' honest, the Macy's employees went out of their way to find its rightful owner. Everything in her billfold said 'Minnesota' and there was no phone number. Her Macy's credit card had her address; no phone number. By continuing their search through her various cards, eventually they got her number! "When Macy's called and left a message, I was sure it was some Black Friday phone ad. But, lo and behold, they had my billfold! So I have a number of people for which to be thankful!"

If we were to listen to news, we sometimes might be left wondering:  "Are there any honest people out there any more?"

Ask Jill:  "I thank God for honest people!"

Printable Issue 3689  Today is Thursday, November 16th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3689

Our Sunday School lesson last week, lesson #9, titled "The Gospel is Good News" from our lesson booklet "Answers in Genesis" Among other portions, it states 'the good news of the Bible is not just one way among others, rather it is clearly the ONLY way to be reconciled to God'.

'Why is Jesus the only way?'

* "Christ alone was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin and as such, He alone qualifies to be Savior.

(Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38)


* "Christ alone is God incarnate and as such, He alone qualifies to be Savior.

(John 1:1-18; Hebrews 1:1-3; 2:14-18; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Timothy 2:5-6)


* "Christ alone lived a sinless life and as such, He alone qualifies to be Savior.

(2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 7:23-28; 9:13-14; 1 Peter 2:21-24)


* "Christ alone died a penal, substitutionary death and as such, He alone qualifies to be Savior.

(Isaiah 53:4-6; Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21)


* "Christ alone rose from the dead, triumphant over sin and as such He alone qualifies to be Savior."

(Acts 2:22-24; Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8)


~ Taken from Bruce Ware, "Only One Way? The Exclusivity of Jesus Christ and the Gospel


Printable Issue 3690  Today is Friday, November 17th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3690

The Still, Small Voice

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

~ Psalm 23:1 NKJV

"Do you sometimes cry out, as I have, 'God, don't You see my tears? Don't You see my broken heart? God, never mind me, but how can You bear to see the agony of my loved one? God, I know that You care. I just don't understand why You don't intervene in this situation right now. Why don't You do something? And, God, why did you do that?'

"Then, to my heart, I seem to hear His still, small voice whispering, 'Anne, trust Me I know what's best.' And I'm left to wonder why I think I know better than God what's best for me or my loved one."

~ by Anne Graham Lotz


Printable Issue 3691  Today is Monday, November 20th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3691

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

"Leave outcomes up to Me. Follow Me wherever I lead, without worrying about how it will all turn out. Think of your life as an adventure, with Me as your Guide and Companion. Live in the now, concentrating on staying in step with Me. When our path leads to a cliff, be willing to climb it with My help. When we come to a resting place, take time to be refreshed in My Presence. Enjoy the rhythm of life lived close to Me.

"You already know the ultimate destination of your journey:  your entrance into heaven. So keep your focus on the path just before you, leaving outcomes up to Me."

~ Taken from Psalm 27:13-14; Exodus 15:23


Printable Issue 3692  Today is Tuesday, November 21st, 2017; Karen's Korner #3692

"Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others.

Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.

Don't just think of your own affairs, but be interested in others, too,

and in what they are doing."

~ Philippians 2:3 & 4 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "Being humble means having a true perspective on ourselves. It does not mean that we should put ourselves down. We see that we are sinners, saved only by God's grace; but we are saved therefore have great worth in God's Kingdom. We should place ourselves in His hands to be used as He wants in order to spread His Word and share His Love with others."


Printable Issue 3693  Today is Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3693

Last weekend our church denomination hosted an International Conference on Missions at Peoria, Illinois. It was a four-day event. I traveled there with our former minister Tim Platt and his wife for two of the days. We were able to take in two worship sessions, three workshops, and experience about 200 booths promoting missions/ministries around the world.

One hour-long workshop focused on dealing with disasters and was led by International Disaster Emergency Services (www.ides.org,), a Christian organization based in Indiana, which our church supports at a small amount monthly. Individuals add $$ if there is a disaster some place in the world they want to support.

Here a couple of points for the presentation:

* The key to successfully navigating a disaster is to BE PREPARED.

* Know who your disaster coordinator is and what his/her phone number is. (Clarion doesn't have one. We are tied in to our county - Wright County, I learned after I returned home).

* Use that disaster coordinator or some aid organization to learn how you can help, if you have the time to volunteer. Don't just show up some place. Know ahead of time when you are needed and where you are going, before you travel. (i.e. not much could be done in Houston for a week until the water receded).

* Sixty percent (60%) of all goods collected, are never used. There generally are not enough volunteers to distribute a truck load of teddy bears or to sort used clothing, etc. Or to pair up goods with those needing the items.

* Fifty percent (50%) of all injuries connected with a major disaster come after the emergency (glass cuts, stepping on debris, etc.; think about the clothing you might wear!)

* Money is the best gift, but study who you would support with $$ ahead of time, much sure your money is well-invested and you get the best 'bang for our buck'.

Reflecting on 'being prepared for disasters', I thought about our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives. If we live long enough - disasters are on the way. Job losses. Financial reverses. Marriage failures. Broken family relationships. Deaths.

So how do we prepare?

By learning to lean on God to get us through those 'disasters'. If we learn to trust Him in the good times, we will be ready to trust Him in the bad ones.

"Trust the Lord, completely;

don't ever trust yourself.

In everything you do, put God first,

and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success."

~ Proverbs 3:5 & 6 LAB


Printable Issue 3694  Today is Thursday, November 23rd, 2017; Karen's Korner #3694

"Thanks, O God, for boundless mercy

From Thy gracious throne above;

Thanks for every need provided

From they fullness of Thy love!

"Thanks for daily toil and labor

And for rest when shadows fall;

Thanks for love and friend and neighbor

And Thy goodness unto all."

~ August Ludvig Storm, 'Thanks to God'


Printable Issue 3695  Today is Friday, November 24th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3695

Well, it is the day after Thanksgiving. What do we do with the next 364 days? Are we still thankful?

The Bible says, "always be thankful, for this is God's will for you (us!) who belong to Christ Jesus." (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Part of the Bible commentary for the verse:  when 'evil (bad things) strikes, we can still be thankful for who God is and for the good He can bring through the distress'.

Telling God 'thank you' is a choice.

What do I choose to do?

What might you choose to do?

Printable Issue 3696  Today is Monday, November 27th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3696

As Karen's Korner readers know, I have (as many of you do) a perpetual flip calendar by Sarah Young titled "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence", written as if Jesus is talking directly to us and taken from various Bible verses.

I'd like to impress you that I always read it every day; not so. Sometimes I get 'backed up' on what I have read. And sometimes I skip a few days readings to 'catch up' to the right date.

A number of her writings at the end of November are about 'being thankful', as she has no idea where Thanksgiving might land on any given year.

Today's 'korner' is for November 24. As someone who has a number of 'adversities' in my life, I know from experience that what she has written is true:

"Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to 'give thanks for everything'. There is an element of mystery in this transaction. You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings) and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience--at times, blind obedience. To people who don't know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships. Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain.

"Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective. It is this 'Light of My Presence' that removes the sting from adversity."

~ Taken from Ephesians 5:20; Psalm 118:1; Psalm 89:15


Printable Issue 3697  Today is Tuesday, November 28th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3697

First we have Thanksgiving; then it's Black Friday. Next comes Small Business Saturday; and Cyber Monday.

Today? Well, that has become 'Give Back Tuesday'! Could be a good day to give, as is any day.

"For God, who gives seed to the farmer to plant,

and later on, good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant

and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest."

~ 2 Corinthians 9:10 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "God gives us resources to use and invest for Him. Paul (writer) used the illustration of seeds to explain that the resources God gives us are not to be hidden, foolishly devoured, or thrown away, but cultivated in order to produce more crops. When we invest what God has given us in HIs work, He will provide us with even more to give."


Sometimes we falsely believe that 'giving' is only money. Good idea if we have more than enough. But do we have some extra time today to give to others? Time to spend with someone. A chance to 'invest' a good word...in person, via computer, or by a phone call?

Printable Issue 3698  Today is Wednesday, November 29th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3698

God is For You!

"Paul asks the question in Romans 8:31. 'If God is for us, who can be against us?' The question isn't simply, 'Who can be against you?' You could answer that one Who is against you? Disease, inflation, corruption, and exhaustion. Calamities confront us and fears imprison. Were Paul's question, 'Who can be against us?' we could list our foes much easier than we could fight them.

"God is for us. God is for us. God is for us! Your parents may have forgotten you, your teachers may have neglected you, your siblings may be ashamed of you, but within reach of your prayers is the maker of the oceans. God! God is for you. Not may be, not has been, not was....but God is! He is for you. Today. At this hour. At this minute.

As you hear this. He is with you. God is for you!

~ By Max Lucado


Printable Issue 3699  Today is Thursday, November 30th, 2017; Karen's Korner #3699

As Wright County's Hawk-Eye reporter for OUR IOWA magazine, I receive a colorful calendar from them as a Christmas gift.

Here are a couple of fun quotes from famous Iowans' maybe funny sayings. Enjoy:

"The old farmer sez:

'Old age is when you still have something on the ball,

but you're just too tired to bounce it.'"


"I was so naive as a kid, I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing."

~ Johnny Carson, born in Corning, long-time TV host of "Tonight Show".


"There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience."


"Anger is only one letter short of danger."


"Courage is being scared to death......and saddling up anyway."

~ John Wayne, actor and Winterset native


"If your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall."


"The old farmer sez:

'Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?'"


"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."


"Train up a child in the way he or she should go,

and walk there yourself once in a while."


"When you've seen one shopping center,

you've seen a mall."


"I didn't have to make up anything. I simply remembered Mason City as closely as I could."

 ~ Composer Meredith Willson, speaking of River City and his hit musical 'The Music Man'