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March 2020 Archives

Printable Issue 4161  Today is Monday, March 9th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4161

(Always good to be gone a few days. Always good to be back home with friends and a normal routine!)

We are studying a lengthy series in our Sunday School class, "Answers in Genesis". So far all Old Testament and how it eventually ties back to the New Testament.

Repeatedly the people do things wrong and God intervenes. But He continues to love and care for His people. He continues 'to do His will' and to 'carry out His plans'. We change; He never changes.

As we listen to the news reports, it is nice to know 'God who is always the same'.

"Yes, He alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense, and fortress. Why should I be tense with fear when trouble comes?"

~ Psalm 62:2 (and repeated in verse 6!)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Rock, our rescuer, defense and fortress. Lead us and guide us. Help us to not be afraid no matter what happens next. You are in control. Help us to look to you! In Jesus' Name. Amen
Printable Issue 4162  Today is Tuesday, March 10th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4162

I get a daily trivia question in my computer's inbox.

Here is one from last week. Every question has four possible choices.

Who holds the NBA record for the most missed shots?

Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal,

Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The right answer is Kobe Bryant with 14,481 misses. It didn't say what percentage that was with the number of shots taken.

All of them have missed a lot of shots. All of them are current or future hall famers..

Kobe was quoted as saying, he'd 'miss 100% of the shots he didn't take!'

What about each of us? Does God give us opportunities every day to do things for His Kingdom but we are 'afraid of the misses'? So we don't even take the 'shot?

Does God say, "Well done may good a faithful servant!" because we were successful at what we did or because we attempted the shot in the first place?
Printable Issue 4163  Today is Wednesday, March 11th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4163

A couple of verses from James, telling about 'enduring trials and temptations'. We generally don't like any trials. Our prayer generally is for God to get us out of it!

"Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete."

~ James 1: 2 - 4 LAB


Bible Commentary: "James doesn't say IF the way is tough, but WHEN it is rough. He assumes we will have trials and that it is possible to profit from them. James tells us to turn hardships into times of learning. Rough times can teach us patience.

"Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. Thank God for promising to be with us in rough times. We need to ask Him to help us, solve the problem or give us the strength to endure it. Then be patient. God will not leave us alone with our problems; He will stay close by and help us to grow."

Printable Issue 4164  Today is Thursday, March 12th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4164

Time for installment #3 of Sharon Jaynes and her 'Equipping Women to Live Fully & Free'.. In an ever changing world and time, it is nice to know the God who doesn't change!

* "I am chosen by God, holy and dearly loved.'
  ~ Colossians 3:12

* "I am hidden with Christ in God."
~ Colossians 3:3

* "I am of a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God to declare the praises of him who called me out of the darkness into his wonderful light."
~ I Peter 2:9, 10

* "I am an alien and stranger in this world."
~ I Peter 2:11

* "I am an enemy of the devil."
~ I Peter 5:8

* "I am forgiven of my sins."
~I John 1:9

"I am now a child of God."
~I John 3:1,2


Printable Issue 4165  Today is Friday, March 13th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4165

Anyone heard of the word coronavirus?
Could cause one to be 'afraid'.

Just for fun, last night I googled (authority on the Bible?), 'how many times does the Bible say 'fear not'. 

Response:  "I haven't counted for myself, but I've heard it said 'fear not' is in the Bible 365 times. They teach, preach, and beseech us ' not to be afraid'.

God must know things in our lives are going to make us fear, at times!

Isaiah 41:10 says, "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 victorious right hand."

The commentary on this verse (in part):  "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; and 3) God's assurance of strength, help, and victory over sin and death."

Dear Heavenly Father, there is always a bunch of things You tell us not to do, like feel afraid, and then we can't do it. So, like everything else, we are going to need Your help. We give our thoughts and feelings to You for Your help and guidance. Today is a day we want to enjoy and celebrate! Thank You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Printable Issue 4166  Today is Monday, March 16th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4166
After I sent out Friday's Karen's Korner and mentioning about the coronavirus, I read Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" entry for March 13.

Hard telling how many years ago this was penned and distributed. It sounded like it was ready for a 'time such as this':

"Learn to live above your circumstances. This requires focused time with Me, the One who overcame the world. Trouble and distress are woven into the very fabric of this perishing world. Only My Life in you can empower you to face this endless flow of problems with good cheer.

"As you sit quietly in My Presence, I shine Peace into your troubled mind and heart. Little by little, you are freed from earthly shackles and lifted up above your circumstances. You gain My perspective on your life, enabling you to distinguish between what is important and what is not. Rest in My Presence, receiving Joy that no one can take away from you."

 ~ Taken from John 16:33; John 16:22 

Printable Issue 4167  Today is Tuesday, March 17th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4167

This morning I was invited a weekly prayer time hosted by a church in Clarion. So I went; there were five of us. Here is synopsis of for what was prayed. Obviously much of it surrounded the COVid-19 virus:

Heavenly Father, we come to you this morning with our joys and concerns. We thank You that You are our Heavenly Father. You never change. You are always there for us when we call on You!

Many are, and will, be afraid. Calm our fears. We want to stop and acknowledge you. Help us to pray for others, to encourage others.

We pray for President Trump and Vice-Presidents Pence, all the others who are in leadership at the national, state, and lower levels of governments. We call upon You  to work through doctors and other medical workers as they search for answers. We pray that we can find rest in You, no matter what happens.

We thank You for peace and quiet in our minds and souls. You tell us in Your Word that 'all things work together for good for those who are called according to Your purposes'. Help us rest in your promises.

Remove our fears of the unknown. We are here because we need Your will in every area of our lives. We love and worship You. Thank You for loving us. You are an amazing God. We thank You that You have taken care of us in the past. You are taking care of us today and You will continue to care for us in the future.

Thank You for being You in the midst of a time we neither like nor understand. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Printable Issue 4168  Today is Wednesday, March 18th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4168

Amidst everything else that is happening to us, let's don't forget about Easter! Jesus has risen from the dead and is back among his people:

"One of the disciples, Thomas, 'The Twin,' was not there at the time with the others. When they kept telling him,'We have seen the Lord,' he replied. 'I won't believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands-----and put my fingers into them------and place my hand into his side.'

"Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them and greeting them.

"Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger into my hands. Put your hand into my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!'

"'My Lord and my God!' said Thomas."

~ John 20:24 - 28 LAB

Bible Commentary:  "Jesus wasn't hard on Thomas for his doubts. Despite his skepticism, Thomas was still loyal to the believers and to Jesus himself. Some need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions and questions lead to answers and the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbornness and stubbornness becomes a lifestyle that doubt harms faith. When you doubt, don't stop there, but let your doubt deepen your faith as you continue to search for the answer."

Printable Issue 4169  Today is Thursday, March 19th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4169

Installment #4 of all the things we possess, as written by Sharon Jaynes' "My New Identity in Christ". Our situations may change but not Jesus and the gifts He has for each of us:

* "I am a temple of God. His Spirit lives in me."  ~ I Corinthians 3:16

* "I am washed, justified, and sanctified through Christ."   ~ ! Corinthians 6:11

* "I am part of Christ's body."  ~ ! Corinthians 12:27

* "I am the fragrance of Christ."    ~ 2 Corinthians 2:15

* "I am a new creation."   ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

* "I am righteous in Christ."  ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

* "I am an ambassador for Christ and a minister of reconciliation."  ~ 2 Corinthians 5:20


Printable Issue 4170  Today is Friday, March 20th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4170

Today's inspirational thought in my inbox this morning from Max Lucado; taken from his book "Anxious for Nothing:  Finding Calm in a Chaotic World":

Rejoice in the Lord Always

"If anyone had a reason to be anxious it was the apostle Paul! Envision an old man as he gazes out the window of a Roman prison. Half-blind, squinting just to read, and awaiting trial before the Roman emperor. His future is as gloomy as his jail cell.

"Yet to read his words, you would think he'd just arrived at a Jamaican beach hotel. His letter to the Philippians bears not a word of fear or complaint. Not one! Instead, he lifts his thanks to God and calls on his readers to do the same 'Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!' (Philippians 4:4)

"Paul's challenge is a decision deeply rooted in the confidence that God exists, that He is in control, and that He is good. Rejoice in the Lord---always! You can't run the world but you can entrust it to God!"


Printable Issue 4171  Today is Monday, March 23rd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4171

"May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you all of His blessings, and great peace of heart and mind."

This is a greeting written by Paul to the church in Corinth (I Corinthians 1:3 LAB), but it could also be our greeting today.

The Bible Commentary on this verse:  "In a world of noise, confusion, and relentless pressures, people long for peace. Many give up the search, thinking it impossible to find, but true peace of heart and mind is available through faith in Jesus Christ."

This is a prayer posted on facebook by Patty Paul, who worked for First Citizens Bank and was the tour guide for many of the bank's senior trips, before she retired. I didn't ask her permission to share it this way, but it was on facebook!

"Dearest Heavenly Father, thank You for all the wonderful Blessings You give us each and every day. LORD thank You for Your Grace and Mercy and Forgiveness You give to us through Your Son Jesus.

"LORD we are facing a very bad disease known to us as COVID-19, I know You know all about it. LORD I'm asking you help us to contain and control  the virus; that you give healing to those who have contracted it; give protection to those who don't . LORD please bring our spirits together, even though we can't come together physically.

"LORD thank You for hearing this and all our prayers. We know we are not worthy but we also know how Loving You are. We know only through You, can we overcome this pandemic.

"We pray this prayer in the Mighty and Glorious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Amen."

Printable Issue 4172  Today is Tuesday, March 24th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4172

Staying connected through technology has been the name of the game since the coronavirus has become a reality in our lives.

A long-time friend Karen Strempke, sent me an email with a couple of sermons I could watch from her church - Hope Lutheran in Des Moines. She directed me to watch the broadcasts from March 8 and 15, which I have.

The first one Pastor Mike talked about what we can do when we don't know what to do:

1) Pray - prayer produces peace;
2) Help - a simple phone call can make a difference;
3) Love - show others that you love and care!

The second one was about prayer. We don't have to be 'good' at it. Or pray like anyone else. No particular prayer posture is required. We just have to do it.

Their closing prayer included:  praying for the researchers and scientists that they may quickly find the cure for this deadly disease; for those in the front lines of medical care that God might protect them and keep them healthy; for the leaders in all levels of government; that the virus might subside in the world, our country, our state, and our counties.

Printable Issue 4173  Today is Wednesday, March 25th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4173

If we are Christians and say we have all the things we do (peace, faith, gentleness:  long list), why do we have to be reminded? Because we live in the 'world' and we tend to forget! So we have the Bible, books, music, sermons, friends, etc. to remind us often of Who we are and Whose we are!

Peace in the Face of Uncertainty

By Max Lucado

"Everything  is being cancelled. The NBA games. The NHL games. March Madness. Broadway plays. Flights. Cruises. Cancellations everywhere!

"But can I tell you the one thing that has not and WILL not be cancelled? God will never cancel his promise to take care of us. Do not interpret the presence of problems as the absence of God. God has promised, 'Never will I never leave you, never will I forsake you'. He is with us. He offers peace in the face of uncertainty, and hope in exchange for heaviness.

"The question on this crisis is simply this, what is God saying to us? Among the answers must be the promise from Matthew 11:28, 'Come to me all of you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.' Turn to Him today."


Printable Issue 4174  Today is Thursday, March 26th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4174

Installment #5 from Sharon Jaynes of her "Equipping Women to Live Fully & Free"

We 'possess' lots of things as gifts from God as His Children. Not some time in the future - NOW!

* "I am a child of God and an heir of God."  ~ Galatians 4:7

* "I am a saint."  ~ Ephesians 1:1

* "I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ."  ~ Ephesians 1:3

* "I am redeemed from the curse of the law."  ~ Galatians 3:13

* "I am adopted into God's family."  ~ Ephesians 1:5

~ "I am redeemed and forgiven through Christ's blood."  ~ Ephesians 1:7

* "I am chosen by God."  ~Ephesians 1:11

* "I am redeemed from the curse of the law."  ~ Galatians 3:13

* "I am sealed by God with the Holy Spirit."  ~ Ephesians 1:13

Printable Issue 4175  Today is Friday, March 27th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4175

Time to focus on Jesus and Easter. We can't let Him get lost in our world's current events!

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are each writer's accounts of what they saw and did during Jesus' life and death. All of them are similar, but each has his own spin on what happened.

I was sharing with a friend recently about an account in Matthew, which I don't think is recorded in the other three, concerning Jesus' death:

"Then Jesus shouted out again, dismissed His spirit, and died.
"And look! The curtain including the Holiest Place in the Temple was split apart from top to bottom; and the earth shook; and rocks broke, and tombs opened, and many godly men and women who had died came back to life again. After Jesus' resurrection, they left the cemetery and went into Jerusalem, and appeared to many people there."
~ Matthew 27:50 - 53 LAB

Bible Commentary on these verses: "Christ's death was accompanied by at least four miraculous events: darkness during the day; the splitting of the curtain in the Temple; an earthquake; and dead people rising from their tombs. Jesus' death, therefore, could not have gone unnoticed. Everyone knew something significant had happened."


What a miracle working God we serve and worship! God, You have GOT THIS!


Printable Issue 4176  Today is Monday, March 30th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4176

A good Bible verse as we spend more and more time in our homes:

"I will try to walk a blameless path, but how I need your help, especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should."

~ Psalm 101: 2  LAB

Bible Commentary:  "Close relationships have much potential for conflict. Our homes can be difficult places in which to live godly lives. Our families usually see us at our worst because we relax and let down our masks of good behavior. Often we do not treat our family members with the same respect and kindness we show to friends and business associates. David (writer) must have experienced this difficulty as he cried to God for help. Since we should want to treat those who are closest to us well, and since we want our lives to be Christian examples for them, pray that God will help you live a blameless life at home."
I have heard it said the most effective prayer to God:  HELP!
Printable Issue 4177  Today is Tuesday, March 31st, 2020; Karen's Korner #4177

United in Praise
By Anne Graham Lotz

"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God."

~ Isiah 61:10 KNJV

"Who is praising Jesus because you are? If your praise---and mine---is interrupted by....

* our circumstances or our complaints;
* our selfishness or our suffering;
* our desires or our depression;
* our indifference or our insistence,
* or by anything at all....

"the light will grow dim in our lives as we sink into the mire of self, and instead of causing other people to praise Him, we will drag them down into the darkness with us.

So would you praise Him? And keep on praising Him! Praise Him for  _____________. You fill in the blank with an attribute of Christ.