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April 2018 Archives

Printable Issue 3766  Today is Monday, April 2nd, 2018; Karen's Korner #3766

"Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone was rolled aside from the entrance.

"She ran and found Simon Peter and me (John, writer) and said, 'They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him.'

"We ran to the tomb to see, I outran Peter and got there first, and stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but I didn't go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went on inside. He also noticed the cloth lying there, while the swath that had covered Jesus' head was rolled up in a bundle and was lying at the side. Then I went in too, and saw, and believed that He had risen---for until then we hadn't realized that the Scriptures said He would come back to life again!"

~ John 20:1-8 LAB


Happy Easter!

Yesterday wasn't just one day. It was a day for the rest of our lives! Jesus wasn't the ONLY one to raise from the dead........He was only the first! As believers in Him, we too raise from death to life. Today and every day. We have new Life because of Him! Today and every day is a 'good day'. And it doesn't stop at death's door. Like it didn't for Jesus.

Our new life continues forever.

What a plan!

What a life!

Printable Issue 3767  Today is Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018; Karen's Korner #3767

As we move away from the celebrations surrounding Easter, here is something written by Max Lucado:


"The cross. Can you turn any direction without seeing one? Engraved on a ring or suspended on a chain? The cross is the universal symbol of Christianity. An odd choice, don't you think?

"It's strange that a tool of torture embodies a movement of hope. Its design couldn't be simpler. One beam horizontal; the other vertical. One reaches out like God's love. The other reaches up as does God's holiness. One represents the width of His love; the other the height of His holiness. The cross is the intersection. The cross is where God forgave His children without lowering His standards.

"God put our sin on His Son and punished it there. Your sins have been place on Jesus. Jesus receives the blow. And since Christ is between you and God, you don't. The sin is punished, but you are safe----safe in the shadow of the cross!"


Printable Issue 3768  Today is Wednesday, April 4th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3768

Changing Your Destiny

"Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

~ Luke 23:43 NIV


"Even in the blackness of hate and evil swirling around the Cross, the love of God broke through like the rays of the sun on a stormy day. That love shone down on the two thieves crucified on each side of Jesus. Their agony and fury boiled over and spewed out in a venom of curses and taunts hurled at Jesus, challenging Him to save Himself and them.

"But one of the thieves grew quieter and quieter, until finally he rebuked his partner in crime, 'We are punished justly.....but this man has done nothing wrong.' And then, in one of the most moving conversion scenes in human history, the thief turned his face toward Jesus and pleaded in humble faith. 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' And Jesus turned his face toward the thief and promised, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.' In the twinkling of an eye, that thief changed his eternal destiny; he passed from death to life."

~ By Anne Graham Lotz


Printable Issue 3769  Today is Thursday, April 5th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3769

Last week at a Bible study group, together we looked at something written by Sarah Jaynes titled "When the Devil Tries to Sneak Up On You". Here is what we looked at in part.

We all know the caricature of Satan as the little guy in the red suit with a pitchfork. We could recognize that, if that is how he 'sneaks up on us'. Instead, he rewinds the tapes of our pasts and knows when to push the 'rewind and play; rewind and play' buttons.

His tape might sound like this: 'You are a failure''; 'You can't do anything right'; 'You are a loser'. And on goes the tapes in our minds of other thoughts. As Jaynes said, "The reason it is so difficult to detect the lies is that they sound just like us."

She went on to say, "Satan knows exactly which lies to whisper in your mind. He has watched you over the years and is well acquainted with your insecurities, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities."

When those 'you' statements in your mind, becomes "I", we know that the devil has succeeded:  'I can't do anything right': 'I am a loser'; 'I am a failure'. Now we are agreeing with him.

Time to shut off the tape in our thoughts and agree with God and what He has to say about us or to us.

The devil says, 'You are condemned'. We say back:  'I am forgiven and free' - "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).

The devil says in our minds, 'You're a loser'. We say, 'I am a conqueror' - "We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:31).

The devil tells us, 'You should feel insecure.'. Our retort:  "Those who fear the Lord are secure." (Proverbs 14:26).

So who do we agree with? The devil? Or God?

"Heavenly Father, help us to detect the lies of the enemy in our lives. Help us to see if any of our thoughts do not line up with Your truth, and then give us the wisdom to reject the lies quickly and completely. In Jesus' Name. Amen."


Printable Issue 3770  Today is Friday, April 6th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3770

Today's entry by Sarah Young in her "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence".

I hope that you have a great weekend.

"Bring Me the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Take nothing for grated, not even the rising sun. Before Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, thankfulness was as natural as breathing. Satan's temptation involved pointing Eve to the one thing that was forbidden her. The garden was filled with luscious, desirable fruits, but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn't have rather than being thankful for the many good things freely available. This negative focus darkened her mind, and she succumbed to temptation.

"When you focus on what you don't have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from Me. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is 'fixed'.

"When you approach Me with thanksgiving, the Light of My Presence pours into you, transforming you through and through. Walk in the Light with Me by practicing the discipline of Thanksgiving."

~ Taken from Psalm 116:17 (NKJV); Genesis 3:2-6; I John 1:7


Printable Issue 3771  Today is Monday, April 9th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3771

Something written by Billy Graham and taken from a "Day by Day" devotional guide:

"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go in to the house of the Lord."

~ Psalm 122:1

"A lot of people get what I call 'Sunday-itis' on Sunday mornings. Do you know what Sunday-itis is? It attacks the victim shortly before breakfast on Sunday morning. It is accompanied by a feeling of weakness and lethargy. Sometimes the victim has a slight headache which is aggravated by the ringing of the church bells in the community. But the disease is or short duration, usually disappearing about noon, when the victim is able to eat a full dinner and play golf in the afternoon. But the symptoms usually appear again about 7:30 Sunday evening (just before evening church services), and then disappear until the next Sunday morning."


"May I always have the gladness that David had, as each Sunday I prepare to worship You in Your house, Heavenly Father."

Printable Issue 3772  Today is Tuesday, April 10th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3772

Lots of bad things happening in our world; sometimes being caused by bad people. We learn about most of them by listening to various forms of media.

But I wonder if there are more good things happening; many times by good people, which are left unreported.

My sister Jan made me aware of Mason City's Youth for Christ group; she sent me a clipping of what they had done. Some readers who live in the Mason City area may know the story better than I do.

The group was recently given The Campus Impact Award, a national recognition which is hard to meet its standards. It hadn't been awarded for several years.

What had their organization done? Most of us in north central Iowa, and maybe beyond, recall hearing of a fiery car crash in Mason City about a year ago.. Five young people died in that early morning accident when their vehicle hit a utility pole. Tragic is probably an understatement.

Their Youth for Christ group raised the funds to pay for all five funerals! "Raising finances for the funerals was a drop in the bucket compared to the emotional support the Youth for Christ team provided for the friends, family, and schoolmates," the article stated.

The Mason City based group meets weekly with about one hundred kids, enlisting numerous volunteer leaders. They meet to 'play games, hear about Jesus, and talk about the hardships of life.......a safe place for our high school students to find someone to pray with, have a volunteer listen about their struggles, or find a source of encouragement rarely found in the world (quoted from this clipping).

It has to be a 'praise God' story; group!!

Printable Issue 3773  Today is Wednesday, April 11th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3773

Here's is today's Max Lucado, in my inbox this morning:

Turn Your Eyes to Jesus

"It does no good to obsess yourself with your trouble. The more you do so, the bigger it grows. Begin with God. Celebrate His goodness. 'Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!' (Philippians 4:4)

"Turn your attention away from the problem, and for a few minutes celebrate God. The more you look to God, the quicker your problem is reduced to its proper size. Listen to the strategy of the psalmist.

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills..

"From whence comes my help?

"My help comes from the Lord,

"Who made heaven and earth.' (Psalm 121:1-2)"

"Do you see the intentionality in those words? 'I will lift up my eyes." You gain nothing by setting your eyes on the problem. You gain everything by setting your eyes on the Lord. If you're sinking, it's because you are looking in the wrong direction!"


Printable Issue 3774  Today is Thursday, April 12th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3774

"It is better to trust the Lord than put confidence in men."

~ Psalm 118:8 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "Pilots put confidence in their planes. Commuters put their confidence in trains, cars, or buses. Each day we must put our confidence in something or someone. If we are willing to trust a plane or car to get us to our destination, are we willing to trust God to guide us here on earth, and to our eternal destination? Do we trust Him more than any human being? If not, why not?


Father God, we trust You, whether we feel like it, act like it, or not! You love us and care for us. We are blessed. Thank You! In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 3775  Today is Friday, April 13th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3775

Some quotable quotes to take us into the weekend.

"God takes our 'mess' and turns it into our 'message'.

~ Joel Osteen


"Friendship fills up all the little ruts in life's roads."


"If you haven't asked the Lord to help you study,

don't ask Him to help you pass the test."


"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't,

you're right."

~ Henry Ford


"Love has to hurt to be true.

"It hurt Jesus to love us.

It truly hurt Him."

~ Mother Teresa


Printable Issue 3776  Today is Monday, April 16th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3776

Something emailed to me by my Uncle Bud, who is a retired Baptist minister and the youngest brother of my mom's. A family of fifteen kids!

Written by Jody Wade:

"Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory."

~ Romans 5:1 NLT


"Faith that is motivated by Jesus Christ and His Finished Work of Calvary, allows us to be made right with God. It's a gift that He bestows upon us; not because of our good works or righteousness, but because we have repented and trusted in the Savior. Joy surely comes in the morning when we have Jesus as the number One spot where He belongs. Be blessed dear brothers and sisters. Be joyful about your relationship with Him; for He desires for us to be a light in this dark world."


Dear Father God, thank You for sending Jesus into our world and lives. Thank You that You traded His safety and security, for us. What kind of love! You are our joy, our peace! Today we are planning to jump for joy! In the Name of Your Son, Amen.

Printable Issue 3777  Today is Tuesday, April 17th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3777

"It is Finished"

 ~ By Ann Graham Lotz

"He said, 'It is finished!' And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.'

~ John 19:30 NKJV

"After nine hours of standing on His feet, after being scourged, slapped, and manhandled, after six hours of hanging on the Cross, the average person would have barely had enough life and breath left to even whisper. But Jesus, the Lamb of God, with life still fully flowing through His body, shouted out in a clear, ringing, triumphant voice, 'It is finished.' The price for our redemption had been paid! The sacrifice for our sin had been made! Sin was forgiven! Guilt was atoned for! Eternal life was now offered! Heaven ha been opened! It is finished!

"You don't have to do more good works than bad works.

"You don't have to go to church every time the door opens.

"You don't have to climb the stairs to some statue.

"You don't have to be religious.

"You don't even have to be good!

"It is finished. Sin is forgivable for everyone! The price has been paid!"

Dear Father God, Thank You for what you have done for each of us. There are so many things which you have done that we cannot do for ourselves. We don't do any list of things because You require it of us. We do these things because of  Your Love! In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Printable Issue 3778  Today is Tuesday, April 17th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3778

"O Lord, from the depths of despair I cry for your help:

Hear me! Answer! Help me!"

~ Psalm 130:1 & 2 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "In depths of despair, the psalm writer cried out to God, 'Hear me! Help me!' Despair makes us feel isolated and distant from God, but this is precisely when we need God most......When we feel overwhelmed by a problem, feeling sorry for ourselves will only increase hopeless feelings, but crying out to God turns our attention to the only one who can really help."


Printable Issue 3779  Today is Thursday, April 19th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3779

I recently received a Bible bookmark from Samaritan's Purse titled "The Gospel Alphabet". Each letter of the alphabet begins a known Bible verse.

I am going to share four of them - A, B, C, D - today (and all of them over the next few weeks):

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

~ Romans 3:23


"Behold The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

~John 1:29b


"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

~ Matthew 11:28


"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you."

~James 4:8a


Printable Issue 3780  Today is Friday, April 20th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3780

Today's Sarah Young: 'Jesus Calling; Enjoying Peace in His Presence'. Many of you have her book or flip calendar. They are all good each day. Some hit home more than others.

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Hear Me saying, 'Peace, be still, to your restless heart. No matter what happens, 'I will never leave you or forsake you'. Let this assurance soak into your mind and heart, until you overflow with Joy, 'Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea', you need not fear!

"The media relentlessly proclaim bad news:  for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A steady diet of their fare will sicken you. Instead of focusing on fickle, ever-changing news broadcasts, tune in to the living Word---'the One who is always the same'. Let Scripture saturate your mind and heart, and you will walk steadily along the path of Life. Even though you don't know what will happen tomorrow, you can be absolutely sure of your ultimate destination. 'I hold you by your right hand, and afterward I will take you into Glory'.


Taken from Mark 4:39 (NKJV); Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 46:2; Psalm 73:23-24

Printable Issue 3781  Today is Monday, April 23rd, 2018; Karen's Korner #3781

I attended a 'Women of Destiny' conference with some over 100 of my closest friends on Saturday here in Clarion. Several very good guests who spoke to the group.

Among other things, we could each pick up a laminated bookmark with a jar of peanut butter and jelly pictured on one side: PBJ!

On the other side of the bookmark were these 3 words, starting with the three letters:  Praying, Believing, and Joy!


"Pray and never give up!"

~ Luke 18:1



"Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven."

~ Matthew 18:19 ESV



"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

~  I Thessalonians 5:16 - 18 ESV


Printable Issue 3782  Today is Tuesday, April 24th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3782

"But I keep right on praying to you, Lord. For now is the time----you are bending down to hear!

You are ready with a plentiful supply of love and kindness.

Now answer my prayer and rescue me as you promised."

~ Psalm 69:13 LAB


Bible Commentary:  "What problems David (writer) faced! He was scoffed at, mocked, insulted, humiliated, and the object of city-wide gossip. But still he prayed. When we are completely beaten down, we are tempted to turn from God, to give up, and to quit trusting Him. When our situation seems hopeless or when we just don't care anymore, we need to determine that no matter how bad things become we will continue to pray. God will hear our prayers and He will rescue us. When others reject us, we need God most. We should not turn from our most faithful friend."


Printable Issue 3783  Today is Wednesday, April 25th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3783

Something written by a favorite Christian writer Max Lucado:

Everything Changes

"In Romans 6:9, the apostle Paul says, 'When Jesus was raised from the dead, it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end,' The resurrection of Jesus is an exploding flare announcing to all sincere seekers that it is safe to believe!

"Because of the resurrection, everything changes. Death changes. It used to be the end, now it is the beginning. The cemetery changes. People once went there to say 'good-bye' but now they go to say 'we'll be together again'. Even the coffin changes. It is no longer a box where we hide bodies, but rather a cocoon in which the body is kept until God sets it free to fly.

"In John 14:3, Jesus says, 'I will come back and take you to be with me!' And to prove that He was serious about this promise, the stone was rolled away and His body was raised from the dead!"


Printable Issue 3784  Today is Thursday, April 26th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3784

Second installment of 'The Gospel Alphabet" by Samaritan's Purse; four letters at a time - today is E, F, G, and H (begins the first word of each sentence):

"Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."

~ Matthew 18:14


"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God."

~ Ephesians 2:8


"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

~ John 3:16


"He that comes to Me---I will never, never reject him (her)."

~ John 6:37B


Printable Issue 3785  Today is Friday, April 27th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3785

I participate in a prayer group or two each week, as do maybe some of you.

Whether we are at church, where one person prays aloud. Or some smaller group, where as many people pray as they wish. There are some pretty good 'pray-ers'. Maybe some not so eloquent.

But I couldn't help but think the other day, I am not sure that God listens as closely to our 'beautiful' or 'not so beautiful' words. It isn't so much what comes out of mouths, but what comes out of hearts!

Which can make us all, great pray-ers......regardless of how we might sound!

"Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord!

Go ahead and do it---everyone, everywhere!"

~ Psalm 100:1 (The Passion translation)


Thank you, God, for giving us Joy, Love, Hope, Peace. And whole lot of other things....In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 3786  Today is Monday, April 30th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3786

Church sermons on Sunday are generally good ones. Some are more memorable than others. Ours yesterday was one of the to 'remember'. Titled was "Identity & Values", second in a series.

We were asked, "Where do we get our value?"

Here is our possible list:  our spouse, our family, as an employee or an employer? What about our looks/body; events; material goods, academic achievements? How about our 'school identity'; our ability on the athletic fields or music/arts buildings? Or social group or maybe our 'facebook' prowess?

Do we determine our value on public opinion? And what others say about us?

But what happens if some of those things disappear? We retire or are fired from the job of our dreams? Sometimes we need to move or worse...someone we love dies. If that is where we find our value, we may become hurt, disillusioned, depressed.

While we were told that enjoying the approval of others or our satisfaction of a job well done, it is at best temporary.

But our value based on God lasts forever!   We are 'children of the Most High God. We are valued by Him. We are made in His Image. We are perfectly and wonderfully made. The Temple of the Holy Spirit resides within each of us. We have been bought with a Price. We have an eternal relationship with the Eternal God.

People may differ in agreeing as to who we are. God doesn't. We don't need to rely on our feelings. We need to focus on who God says we are. And that is a good thing! We are a good thing!

Another great day to celebrate!