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June 2020 Archives

Printable Issue 4221  Today is Monday, June 1st, 2020; Karen's Korner #4221

Anybody but me concerned about 'enemies' that we can't see (viruses) and those we can (rioters and looters)?

The Bible always reads like today's newspaper because 'things' we experience don't seem to change over generations.

This is the 'theme' for Psalm 62 which I read this morning:
"Placing all hope in God. Knowing that God is in control allows us to wait patiently for His rescue. True relief does not come when the problem is resolved because more problems are on the way. True relief comes from an enduring hope in God's ultimate salvation. Only then will all trials be resolved".

"I stand silently before the Lord,
waiting for Him to rescue me.
For salvation comes from Him alone.
Yes, He alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense,
and fortress.
Why then should I be tense with fear
when troubles come?"

~ Psalm 62:1 - 3 LAB
(It must be pretty important by David, the writer, as it is repeated again in verses 5 & 6!)


Bible Commentary:   Prayer can release our tensions in times of emotional stress. Trusting God to be our Rock, rescuer, defense, and fortress changes our entire outlook on life. No longer are we held captive by our situation (fears), but are released to follow an unchanging God, our Rock and fortress.


Printable Issue 4222  Today is Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4222
God's Waiting Room

By Max Lucado

"We don't like to wait. We're the giddy-up generation. We frown at the person who takes eleven things to the ten-item express checkout. We drum our fingers while the microwave heats our coffee. 'Come on, come on, come on!' We don't like to wait.

"But look around you. Do you realize where we sit? This planet is God's waiting room. The young couple? Waiting to get pregnant. They guy with the briefcase? Waiting for work. Waiting on God to give, to help. Waiting on God to come. This is the land of waiting.

"And you? Are you in God's waiting room? You may be infertile, or inactive, in limbo between jobs, or in search of a house, spouse, health, or help. Here's what you need to know while you wait, God works. God never twiddles His thumbs. He never stops. Just because you're idle, don't assume God is. Trust Him. In the right time, you'll get through this."

Printable Issue 4223  Today is Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4223
Just for fun some quotes, comments, and puns taken from the Side Notes of the June/July issue of OUR IOWA magazine. The Note are found on the vertical margins in the magazine.

"A perfect summer day is when the sun shining,
the breeze is blowing, the birds and signing,
and the lawn mower is broken."


"What sunshine is to flowers,
smiles are to humanity."


"The best way to cheer yourself up
is to cheer up somebody else."

~ Mark Twain


"Before you flare up at any one's faults,
take time to count to 10 ---
10 of your own."


"There are friendships imprinted in our hearts
that will never be diminished 
by time and distance."


"My grandkids believe I'm the oldest thing in the world.
And after 2 or 3 hours with them,
I believe it too."

~Gene Perret

Printable Issue 4224  Today is Thursday, June 4th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4224
National Day of Prayer, held each year the first Thursday of May, this year on Thursday, May 7, was organized differently this year due to social distancing.

The there:  "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."  ~ Habakkuk 2:14 NIV

:Pray God's Glory Across the Earth" was the title of one of the brochures, asking people to pray for:  church, government, family, education, business, military, and media.

Installment #5, undoubtedly written before churches across our country were asked to close

Let's pray for the CHURCH:

I Kings 8:10 -11 NASB

"Jesus, we pray that Your Presence would be saturated with Your Glory."

"We plead that Your Presence would fill the churches so that people will be drawn into and saturated in the experience of Your Presence in Your Church. That Your Word would be clearly and courageously taught ad obeyed. We pray that our lives will be a faithful testimony of Your Goodness and would be known by our love as we live to give You glory."


* Churches would be houses of prayer; overflowing with prayer throughout its weekly services and in the lives of every believer.

* All Pastors would be deeply rooted in the Word of God and would preach the Word of God with love and courage to guide and shepherd their flock.

* Pastors' marriages and families would be strengthened, appreciated and supported not criticized and exhausted.

* Every believer would understand that they have been called to pray, love, and share the gospel as laborers in the mission field of the places they live,work, learn, worship and play.

(Colossians 2:6 - 8; Ephesians 4:11 & 12)

Printable Issue 4225  Today is Friday, June 5th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4225
As clear as a news article in today's newspaper is Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling Enjoying Peace in His Presence: for June 5:

"Remember You live in a fallen world:  an abnormal world, tainted by sin. Much frustration and failure result from your seeking perfection in this life. There is nothing perfect in this world except Me. That is why closeness to Me satisfies deep yearnings and fills you with Joy.

"I have planted longing for perfection in every human heart. This is a good desire, which I alone can fulfill. But most people ask seek this fulfillment in other people and earthly pleasures or achievements. Thus they create idols, before which they bow down, I will have no other gods before Me! Make Me the deepest desire of your heart. Let Me fulfill your yearning for perfection."

( Exodus 20:3; Psalm 17:4)

Printable Issue 4226  Today is Monday, June 8th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4226

The church which I attend is not hosting Sunday worship services. The last few Sundays I have attended a handful of area churches which are open for worship.

The one attended yesterday, the minister prayed that 'we might be the Light in an ever darkening world. That our Light would shine brighter and might be seen, because of that darkness."

2 Corinthians 4:6 & 7 says,

"For God, who said, 'Let there be light in the darkness,' has made us understand that it is the brightness of His glory that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. But this precious treasure -- the light and power that now shine within us -- is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own."


Printable Issue 4227  Today is Tuesday, June 9th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4227
Installment #2 of Side Notes, in the vertical margins, from the June/July issue of OUR IOWA magazine. Side Notes generally feature quotes, quips, and general humor. This publication had a number of good ones:

"Keep your fears to yourself,
but share your inspiration with others."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson


"Real discipline is when you can pick strawberries
without eating them."


"If we did the things we are capable of,
we would astound ourselves."
~ Thomas Edison


"Many people enjoy cooking --
especially when someone else is doing it!"


"When the solution is simple,
God is answering."

~ Albert Einstein


"If you can't feed one hundred people,
then feed just one."

~ Mother Teresa


Printable Issue 4228  Today is Wednesday, June 10th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4228
A number of years ago, many of us spent time in Bible studies where we all used the same "Good News" Bibles. Think about it:  the Bible is filled with GOOD NEWS! Unlike our 24-hour news cycle titled, "bad news"!

God has all the answers; like no one or nothing else! Here is one thing He knows we should be and do:  "No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."  (1 Thessalonians 5:16 (LAB)

By Max Lucado

"If you feel the world owes you something, brace yourself -- you'll never get reimbursed. Henry Ward Beecher said, 'A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.' The sky's never blue enough, the steak isn't cooked enough, the universe isn't good enough to deserve a human being like you.

"Pursue gratitude. The grateful heart is like a magnet, sweeping over the day, collecting reasons for gratitude. Thank you, God. Your lungs inhale and exhale 11,000 liters of air every day. Thank you, God. For the jam on the toast and the milk on the cereal and the blanket that calms us and the joke that soften us and the warm sun that reminds us of God's love. Gratitude leaves us looking at God and away from the dread. It does to anxiety what morning sun does to valley mist:  it burns it up!

"Thank you, God.
Printable Issue 4229  Today is Thursday, June 11th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4229
Recently I received a three-fold brochure in the mail titled
"From Victory to Victory

The seven exchanges at the CROSS

Christ's finished work on the cross has caused a great exchange in our lives. Meditating on these will build our confidence in what Jesus has done for us:

Exchange our sinfulness for Jesus righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV

Exchange Adam's curse for Abraham's blessed life.
Galatians 3:13 - 14 NASB

Exchange our rejection for Jesus' acceptance.
Isaiah 53:3 NIV

Exchange our sickness for His health.
Isaiah 53:5 NKJV

Exchange our shame for His glory.
Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

Exchange our poverty for His abundance,
2 Corinthians 8:9 NASB

Exchange our death for His life.
Romans 5:12, 17 NIV

Printable Issue 4230  Today is Friday, June 12th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4230
National Day of Prayer, held each year the first Thursday of May, this year on Thursday, May 7, was organized differently this year due to social distancing.

The verse:  "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."  Habakkuk 2:14 NIV

:Pray God's Glory Across the Earth" was the title of one of the brochures, asking people to pray for:  church, government, family, education, business, military, and media.

Installment # 6 of 7, undoubtedly written before the corona virus, protests, and riots.

Let's pray for the  MEDIA!


"Lord, our Creator, we pray that sound, scripts, and screens would be filled with Your glory."

"We pray, praise You, and give You thanks. You gave us the beauty of this world in sunsets and the sea, flowers, mountains, and in every person made in Your image. You give us gifts and talents that we steward for Your glory. Keep our hearts and minds filled with light as we choose the voices we listen to and the images we watch."


* that all of those who work in Hollywood, New York, Atlanta, and on every set, studio, and stage in between, would know that Christ-followers are praying for them;

* that Christ-followers would not be another critic in their lives who seeks to tear them down, but that we would be able to speak truth with love that draws them near to God;

* that the truth and talent given by God and glorifying God Will fill the screens, stages, scripts, stations and songs of our nation.

* that art, entertainment and media would draw people closer to God as the first and consummate artist and Creator and would give God glory for and with their talent."

(1 Corinthians 10:31; Philippians 4:8; Psalm 119:9)


Printable Issue 4231  Today is Monday, June 15th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4231
"I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future He has called you to share.
I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ's have been given to Him!
I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him.
It is the same might power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place on honor at God' right hand in heaven, far far above any other king or ruler or dictator or leader."

~ Ephesian 1:18 - 21 LAB 

Bible Commentary:  "Having been raised from the dead, Christ is now the supreme head of the church, the ultimate authority over the world. Christ is the Messiah, God's anointed One, the One Israel longed for, the One who would set their broken world right. 

"As Christians, we can be confident that God has won the final victory and is in control of everything. We need not fear any dictator, nation, death, or Satan himself. The contract has been signed and sealed, we are waiting just a short while for delivery. Paul says, in Romans 8:37 - 39, that nothing can separate us from God and His Love."

Printable Issue 4232  Today is Tuesday, June 16th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4232
If this isn't something that happened to you, chances are pretty good that you know someone who did.  Written by Max Lucado

Let God Change the Way You Think

"Were your growing up years hard years? Family pain is the deepest pain because it was inflicted so early; it involves people who should have been trustworthy. You were too young to process the mistreatment. You didn't know how to defend yourself. Besides, the perpetrators of your pain were so large. Your dad, mom, uncle, big brother---they towered over you, usually in size, always in rank. When they judged you falsely, you believed them. As a result, you've been operating on faulty data. 'You're stupid, slow, dumb like your daddy, fat like your momma,' and decades later these voices of defeat still echo in our subconscious.

"But they don't have to. Romans 12:2 says, 'Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.' You are God's child, His creation. You'll get through this-----you're a part of His family."

Printable Issue 4233  Today is Wednesday, June 17th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4233
I am reading a small book titled 'Praying Grace:  55 Meditations and Declarations on the Finished Work of Christ".

Here is one (in part):

"Enter HIis gates with thanksgiving, go into His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation."

~ Psalm 100: 4 & 5 NLT

Look Into the Face of Love

"There are many strains of Christianity that seem to delight in portraying God as a fierce, wrathful Judge-King searching for reasons to disqualify His subjects from receiving any of His blessings.......looking for opportunities to dole out punishments.

"Here is wonderful news:  He is, above all, a Father---a good Father----He finds great joy in blessing His children. When we approach the throne as believers, and look into the face of the mighty One, we find nothings but perfect love there.

"It's true. God's wrath against sin has been spent. It was poured out upon His on Son at the cross."

"Father, I thank You that You are love personified and that You delight in blessing me. You have opened the eyes and ears of my spirit and reveal Your goodness to me. So, I enter Your throne room joyfully and with a heart filled with gratitude.

"I declare today that when I look into Your face, I see love acceptance, and kindness there. I worship You. And I make my requests known to You in confidence. You are good. Your unfailing love and unwavering faithfulness continue forever, from generation to generation."

Printable Issue 4234  Today is Thursday, June 18th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4234
Final installment from the National Day of Prayer; #7 of 7 - THE FAMILY!  A very important building block of any culture.

National Day of Prayer, is held each year the first Thursday of May, this year on Thursday, May 7, was organized differently this year due to social distancing.

The verse:  "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."  Habakkuk 2:14 NIV

:Pray God's Glory Across the Earth" was the title of one of the brochures, asking people to pray for:  church, government, family, education, business, military, and media.

Ephesians 3:14 - 19 NASB

"Heavenly Father, we pray that you will extend an expand Your glory through our families as we dwell in You."

"We pray that You strengthen marriages so that husbands and wives would remain faithful to You and to one another. We pray that parents would love and nurture their children spiritually in Your word and ways as well as lovingly providing for their physical, emotional and mental needs."


* that husbands and wives would love and respect one another with faithfulness and ever-growing devotion for one another and God.

* that families would pray, read, and study the Bible, worship, and serve together, building one another up in faith, love, hope, and truth.

* that children would grow up in safe and supportive homes filled with the love and principles of Jesus and that they will respect and love their parents.

* that God would head the wounds of abandonment and abuse; that all people would know that they are loved. May every person live in the abundant life and divine destiny authored and perfected by Jesus.

(Ephesians 5:22-33; Mark 3:25)

Printable Issue 4235  Today is Friday, June 19th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4235
This is taken from our ecumenical Bible study this week. The past couple of months about two dozen of us have met each Wednesday morning via Zoom.

We looked together at "God's Love" written by Kia Stephens. Amazing how we are told repeatedly about how much God loves us but we forget. We live in a rough and tumble society that doesn't feel much like 'love' at times.

Stephens took her thoughts from Genesis chapter 16. Ahram and his wife Sarai had been promised a son by God. Both of them were up in years and not much was happening. They hit upon a plan:  give Abram Sarai's maid servant, Hagar, to bear them the promised child. 

All went pretty well until she was actually pregnant. Sarai was jealous of that new status!  So Sarai beat her and sent her away.

But God sent an angel to be with Hagar. God's love is never lost to Hagar; nor the rest of us.

Here is where our study began:

"1.  We are noticed by God.  He went and found Hagar for her benefit.  He finds us, too.  He may be finding us through a podcast, a YouTube video, the radio, a devotional, a Bible study or His word.  God is relentless in His pursuit of us.
2.  We’re heard by God.  He’s listening to us.  Our every cry, our concerns, our gripes, our prayers.
3.  We’re blessed by God.  Sometimes God will swoop down and save the day and rescue us, but sometimes He will choose to sustain us right where we are, in the pain, in brokenness, in the mess.  Sometimes God will sustain us right there.
4.  We are restored by God. Those painful circumstances that God allows in our lives, He can turn them around for our good.
5.  We are seen by God.  No matter where we find ourselves in life, we can be certain that the God who created the universe sees us.  He loves us and is intimately concerned about every single detail of our life.  Though suffering exists, God’s love is evident in the midst of it."

In case, you forgot: God love YOU and ME today! His imperfect, stumbling, mumbling children!!

Printable Issue 4236  Today is Monday, June 22nd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4236
A couple of Bible verses from Psalm 84, talking about worshiping in the Temple. And the advantages of being in God's presence together.

Good news as we begin to re-open our churches. With various restrictions or ways to worship after being a part for a number of weeks.

"How lovely is your Temple,
O Lord of the armies of heaven.

"How happy are those who can live in your Temple, singing your praises."

~ Psalm 84: 1, 4 LAB

Bible Commentary:   "The writer longed to step outside the bustling world and meet God inside his holy Temple. We can meet God anywhere at any time, but we know that going into a church building helps us step aside from the busy mainstream of life into a place where we can quietly meditate and pray. We find joy, not in the beautiful building, but in the praying, singing, teaching, preaching, and fellowship that take place there."

Thank You, God, for being able to worship together in our churches of choice. Help us not to take that opportunity for granted. Lead and guide us as we choose to sing, pray, worship, and fellowship together this coming week. Thank you, that while our 'how' might change, our 'Who' never changes. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
Printable Issue 4237  Today is Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020; Karen's Korner #4237
God is in this Crisis
By Max Lucado

"Do you recite your woes more naturally than you do heaven’s strength?  No wonder life’s tough.  You’re assuming God isn’t in this crisis.

"Isabel spent her first three and a half years  in a Nicaraguan orphanage.  As with all orphans, her odds of adoption diminished with time.  And then the door slammed on her finger!  Why would God permit this innocent girl to feel even more pain?  

"Might He be calling the attention of Ryan Schnoke sitting in the playroom nearby?  He and his wife had been trying to adopt a child for months.  Ryan walked over, picked her up, and comforted her.  Several months later, Ryan and Christina were close to giving up, and Ryan remembered Isabel.  Little Isabel is growing up now in a happy, healthy home.

"A finger in the door?  God doesn’t manufacture pain, but He certainly puts it to use.  Your crisis?  You’ll get through this!"


Printable Issue 4238  Today is Wednesday, June 24th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4238

Trust Him!
By Anne Graham Lotz

"Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."

 ~ Psalm 37:5, NKJV

"At times our understanding is limited. We simply have to trust our heavenly Father to know best. We have to trust God’s silences and respect God’s mysteries and wait for God’s answers.

"When we pray for the healing of a loved one, and he dies . . .

"When we pray for release from a financial burden, and we go bankrupt . .
"When we pray for reconciliation, and we are handed divorce papers . .
"When we pray for our career, and we get laid off .
. .
"When we pray for protection, and we are robbed . .
"We just have to trust Him.

"Trust Him. Trust Him!"
Printable Issue 4239  Today is Thursday, June 25th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4239
What's not to like from Sarah Young's thoughts written and published in book form, or mine is a daily flip calendar, "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence"?

They are all good; this is today's:

"Open your hands and your heart to receive this day as a precious gift from Me. I begin each day with a sunrise, announcing My radiant Presence. By the time you rise from your bed, I have already prepared the way before you. I eagerly await your first conscious thought. I rejoice when you glance my way.

"Bring Me the gift of thanksgiving, which opens your heart to rich communion with Me. Because I am God, from whom all blessing flow, thankfulness is the best way to draw near Me. Sing praise songs to Me; tell of My wondrous works. Remember that I take great delight in you; I rejoice over you with singing."

~ Taken from Psalm 118:24; Psalm 95:2; Zephaniah 3:17

Printable Issue 4240  Today is Friday, June 26th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4240
Some words of wisdom from Mother Teresa's "Heart of Joy".

Who can't use some of her wisdom and heart today?

"To be able to do something beautiful for God,
we need Jesus.
Each one of us needs to encounter Jesus.
Without Him, we can do nothing."


"We all need to pray, to sacrifice,
to be totally open to God.
Then He can use us as He sees fit."


"Love does not measure;
it just gives."


"We have a great deal of worth in the eyes of God.
I never tire of saying over and over again
that God loves us."


"Lord Jesus, We want to imitate You who told us:
'I am meek and humble of heart.'
We ask You that day, by day, You lead us in this path.
We wish to bring You, dear Christ, to others."


Printable Issue 4241  Today is Monday, June 29th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4241
Psalm 91 was Jim's aunt Jessie Shupe's favorite chapter of the Bible.

Theme:  "God's protection in the midst of danger. God doesn't promise a world free from danger but He does promise His help whenever we face danger.

Verses 1 - 6:  "We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods.

"This I declare that He alone is my refuge, my place of safety, He is my God, and I am trusting Him. For He rescues you from every trap, and protects you for the fatal plague. He will shield you with His wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. Now you don't need to be afraid of the dark any more, nor fear the dangers of the day, nor dread the plagues of darkness, nor disasters in the morning."

Bible Commentary:  "God is a refuge, a shelter when we are afraid. The writer's faith in God as Protector would carry him through all the dangers and fears of life. This should be a picture of our trust---trading all our fears for faith in Him, no matter what kind of fear it may be."

Printable Issue 4242  Today is Tuesday, June 30th, 2020; Karen's Korner #4242
Virus. Pandemic. Spread. Social Distancing. Infected. Quarantine. Vaccine.

Some of us might get it others. Many others probably not. We wait for researchers to get a vaccine to help bring us back to normal.

There is another 'virus' that affects us all. And it starts from the day we are born. It's called 'living in this world'. Some call it 'sin'. Highly contagious. 100% infection rate. 100% death toll.

But God!

God knew what the 'pandemic' would cause and He did something about it: 

"For God loved the world so much that He gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  ~ John 3:16 LB

He knew the infection rate and the destruction it would cause. But here's the trigger, we have to 'believe' so we will 'not perish'. Jesus is the 'vaccine'.

"God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it,
but to save it."  ~ John 3:17 LB

Our question should be:  Have we taken the vaccine (Jesus) to protect ourselves? What about our family? friends? others?

Thank You, Jesus, that we have You as our 'vaccine' and we are free from death and are walking on to eternal life with You!