June 2003 Archives
Today is Monday, June 9th, 2003; Karen's Korner #66|
(Back after part of a week of driving across the bottom 1/3 of Iowa. Eating every two hours whether we were hungry or not; meeting up with friends and family along the way........it was a great way to spend a few days!!)
Short thoughts in my file; things I have seen and enjoyed or items which others have shared:
I do beseech you to direct your efforts more to
preparing youth for the path and less to preparing
the path for the youth.
A baby is an angel whose wings decrease
as his legs increase.
"Optimists are right. So are pessimists. It's up to you to choose which
you will be." -- Harvey Mackey
The main dangers in this life are the people who
want to change everything - or nothing.
A small boy stunned his parents when he began to empty his pockets of
nickels, dimes and quarters.
Finally his mother said, "Where did you get all that money?"
"At Sunday school," the boy replied nonchalantly. "They have bowls of it."
Today is Tuesday, June 10th, 2003; Karen's Korner #67|
Yesterday I got this message passed on from Emily Harris; I have read it before. The one Emily forwarded to me had neat little graphics, which I could not copy and paste. The message is still the same……..good!
It reminds us to be more thankful and have shorter lists of things, which we are bombarding God for as "we have to have in order to be happy…."
* If you woke up this morning with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the million who won't survive the week.
* If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 20 million people around the world.
* If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world.
* If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over
your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
* If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and/or spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
* If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare.
* If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
* If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can offer God's healing touch.
* If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world who cannot read anything at all.
* You are so blessed in ways you may never even know!
"Thank you, Jesus, for our many, many blessings! Help me to see them. I don't
want to miss even one!"
Today is Wednesday, June 11th, 2003; Karen's Korner #68|
Yesterday I caught a portion of a speaker on a Christian television program. His topic was talking about change and how much humans dislike it.
I don't know many people who like changes! It takes awhile to adjust to additions to our families, and we do worse with subtractions. Job changes and moving to new locations throw us for loops for awhile. Parents lament their children leaving home after graduations; and don't know what to do with them a few months later when they come home for short stays. Disrupted schedules are to be avoided. Aging, and the changes that are presented to each of us, is a story in itself!
Bottom line: we don't like to change!
This speaker said the reason we don't like change is because we weren't designed for it: when God made Adam and Eve, He wanted "things" to last forever! That was the plan. Only one thing the twosome had to do: keep God #1; they were #2. Dogs, cats, alligators, penguins, etc. were on down the list. Through the power of suggestion, Adam and Eve decided to try being #1 instead.........and that is when change was introduced to all of us.
The good news is that this isn't the end of the story! We can be introduced to a kingdom where things never end, where change is once again excluded. God invites us to make Him #1 again; we can accept or reject that choice! If we say "yes", will we still experience change in this life? Yep! But not in the one that is coming. We are guaranteed a place in the next kingdom; and even the trip from this one to the next one is loaded with more possibilities, if He is #1!
When we no longer demand to be in charge of this life and instead become His Children, we begin to hear words like "unconditional and everlasting love", "eternal life"......... stuff that doesn't change, things that last forever. That's what makes "His story"..... becoming "Our story" so attractive.....
Today is Thursday, June 12th, 2003; Karen's Korner #69|
This was passed on to me from Lisa Kluss; I thought it was good. I hope that you do too!
Seven Wonders of the World
A group of students was asked to list what they
thought were the present "Seven Wonders of the World."
Though there were some disagreements, the following
received the most votes:
1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall
While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one
quiet student hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she
asked the girl if she was having trouble with her
The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite
make up my mind because there were so many."
The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and
maybe we can help."
The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the 'Seven
Wonders of the World' are:
1. to see
2. to hear
3. to touch
4. to taste
5. to feel
6. to laugh
7. and to love."
The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.
The things we overlook as simple, ordinary & take for
granted are truly wondrous!
A gentle reminder - that the most precious things in
life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.
"Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons."
Today is Friday, June 13th, 2003; Karen's Korner #70|
I received this pass-along e-mail from Tim and Shelley Fletcher yesterday; I liked it.
I hope that you enjoy it, too!
Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The
funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an
old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.
"Jack, did you hear me?"
"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought
of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.
"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you
were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side
of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.
"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.
"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make
sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said.
"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in
this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me
things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral,"
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to
Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of
his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.
The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by
to see the old house next door one more time.
Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like
crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.
The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories.
Every picture, every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly.
"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.
"The box is gone," he said.
"What box? " Mom asked.
"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk.
I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd
ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said.
It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack
remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the
Belser family had taken it.
"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I
better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning
home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox.
"Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the
main post office within the next three days," the note read.
Early the next day Jack retrieved the package.
The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred
years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address
caught his attention.
"Mr. Harold Belser" it read.
Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There
inside was the gold box and an envelope.
Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.
"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack
It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the
His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked
the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running
his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover.
Inside he found these words engraved: "Jack, Thanks for your time!
"The thing he valued most...was...my time."
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and
cleared his appointments for the next two days.
"Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.
"I need some time to spend with my son," he said.
"Oh, by the way, Janet...thanks for your time!"
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the
moments that take our breath away."
Have a great day. Oh, and thank you for your time.
Today is Monday, June 16th, 2003; Karen's Korner #71|
More than ten years ago while I was attending some college classes, I took these notes when we had a guest speaker come in to the campus. It was some informal research this speaker had done and I thought was helpful....tips on handling a crisis.
If you aren't dealing with a crisis right now, hang on to the list - put it in your daily diary, family Bible or some other meaningful location - because life is how it is: a crisis is sure to be on all of our horizons in the future:
HOW DO WE SUCCESSFULLY COPE WITH A CRISIS
These six items are a common thread found following interviews with 120 individuals who had successfully survived a major setback in their lives. The research was done by a professor from the University of Minnesota.
Be gentle with yourself - Don’t stay focused on what you could or should have done differently - spent less, worked harder, smoked less, loved more, left 5 minutes earlier;
Spend time with your friends - Make time for friends - good friends - lots and lots of them. They will be the ones who encourage you, love you, accept you through your crisis;
List what you have lost and what you have left - Make a list of both items. Take your time in completing both lists. The list of what you have left will ALWAYS be much longer than what you have lost;
Make plans for the future - Make those plans - even if you are old; even if your money is gone; even if your diagnosis leaves you very little time in the future; even if you are left alone;
Don’t make the problem any bigger than it is - You aren’t the first (or last) to have this happen to you. Others have survived what you are going through. Keep the crisis in perspective;
Face your problem with faith - Faith is a common thread in all the people interviewed who successfully survived their crises. Whatever your faith is in. Whatever you believe. That faith will help to see you through the trouble.
Today is Tuesday, June 17th, 2003; Karen's Korner #72|
("....when Merry died.....part 6")
From November to July, prior to Merry’s car accident, the Welds had been in the hospital six times – Merry had five surgeries to repair her shunt; Jim had an emergency heart surgery. The Welds were in lots of people’s prayers.
At the time, I was 53 years old. Over the years, we had had numerous hospitalizations….and everybody got well and came home from the hospital each time. I had never lost any siblings. My mom and dad were still alive and well. God had always answered my prayers, seemingly the way that I wanted them.
So where was God this time? Why didn’t He answer our prayers?
It seemed like God was showing me that in the past, I had asked God to jump into the Welds’ box, to do things MY way, and His answers were the kinds of answers that I wanted.
I was in the process of writing my third devotional booklet and I had chosen the title: "God’s Love is Higher, Deeper and Wider". I knew the words were from some place in the Bible. Pretty big book. Sometimes I can’t recall where stuff is found in it. And the Bible always teaches me many new things.
It seemed like God was showing me that the Weld’s box and its sides had collapsed. Now we were part of a bigger box……..His box. And that box was so big it still included Merry!
Several weeks after Merry’s death, I was reading in Ephesians, where it was talking about the magnitude of God’s love. Chapter 3, verses 18 and 19 say: "..and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should…..how LONG, how WIDE, how DEEP, and how HIGH…..His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it!"
God’s love, care, and protection isn’t three dimensional…it has so many dimensions………High, Deep, Long, and Wide. No matter where life might take us, we can’t escape it. And that life isn’t just for this earth. It continues far, far off into a time distance we can’t fathom…….eternity!!
Today is Wednesday, June 18th, 2003; Karen's Korner #73|
Several short thoughts:
· For the concert of life, no one receives a program.
· Weeping may endure for a night,
but joy comes in the morning.
· May the Lord grant me a sword and no need to use it.
· If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to
be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to
live without you.
--Winnie the Pooh
* A sunrise is God's way of telling the world to lighten up!
n Roadside church sign
Today is Thursday, June 19th, 2003; Karen's Korner #74|
Clarion had its annual community celebration, Festival in the Park, last weekend. One of the highlights for me was my giving Danny Schnell a framed certificate from Keep America Beautiful for his contribution to "beautifying" Clarion. Danny works every day in Clarion picking up bottles and cans. He takes them home, cleans them up, strips off the pull tabs for contributions to Ronald McDonald House, takes the cans and bottles for refunds at recycling centers, and enjoys the money he gets from his efforts. Clarion is the winner, too, because we have less "junk" lying around town.
Danny didn't know he was getting this award. His family said when he heard his name announced from the stage, he jumped out of his chair and nearly ran on to the stage. In the few days since the Festival, Danny has been showing off is award everywhere he goes. And knowing our town as I do, this won't be the end of Danny's recognition. He will probably receive a number of congratulations cards and notes from others. The local newspaper carried a front page picture and story about Danny in this week's paper. A bank or two usual clips out and mails newspaper clippings to people who are in the news.
In the few days since his good news, I have thought about Danny. During his school days, he would have been in special education classes. Now moving through his 40s, how many years had Danny watched as others - who were able to play sports, do jobs that he wouldn't be able to do, get plaques and recogitions?
Maybe for the first time in his life, the stage was his!
And then I thought about us: how many times have we been picked toward the last when teams were chosen when we were school-aged kids; how many times were we overlooked by the "popular", "more attractive" or "smart" ones; how often were we rejected by after a job interview as a "better" candidate was picked; got the short end of the stick when it came to financial opportunities, or........
Jesus knew that was the way this life was going to be, but He is the great equalizer. He tells us that the first will be last; the last will be first. The weak will be strong. The poor will become rich. Some of the changes are made in this life. Others are saved for a life that is coming. How is He going to that, you might ask. I don't have a clue! All I know is that He spoke and the world come into existence. So He can handle all of us who are last now, but are headed for first another day.
And Danny; well, we'd better step aside, because he will be moving fast.......and he might be just a little closer to the front than we are.....
Today is Friday, June 20th, 2003; Karen's Korner #75|
When we think of life here, today - our physical lives; there are bright spots, but also negatives. Some things we can control; lots of things we can't. We hear words like hate, war, disease, death. Ultimately there is decline for all of us, which we can't change! Bummer.....
But we can add on spirtual; that's when things become brighter and the scales start to tip. And the incline begins!
Thumbing through my Bible, I found six words and definitions in Romans:
ELECTION - God's choice of an individual or group for a specific purpose or destiny.
JUSTIFICATION - God's act of declaring us "not guilty" for our sins.
PROPITIATION/EXPIATION (pretty big words!) - The removal of God's punishment for sin through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
REDEMPTION - Jesus has paid the price so we can go free.
SANCTIFICATION - Becoming more and more like Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit.
GLORIFICATION - The ultimate state of the believer after death when he/she becomes like Christ.
Think of it: we aren't growing old; we are growing up!
Today is Monday, June 23rd, 2003; Karen's Korner #76|
A pass on e-mail from Pat Holtapp; hope you enjoy it!
G U I D A N C E
When I meditated on the word GUIDANCE, I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word.
I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing. When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word GUIDANCE. When I saw "G," I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i." "God, "u" and "i" dance."! God, you, and I dance. This statement is what guidance means to me. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead.
My prayer for you today is that God's blessings and mercies be upon you and your family on this day and everyday. May you abide in Him as He abides in you. Dance together with God, trusting Him to lead and to guide you through each season of your life.
I Hope You Dance !!!!!!!!!!!
Today is Tuesday, June 24th, 2003; Karen's Korner #77|
About a month ago, I misplaced my glasses. I don't wear them all the time, so it isn't uncommom for me to spend some time looking for them. I take them off when I come into the house after driving. I lay them down by my chair after reading something sometimes. And the list goes on....
But this time I couldn't find them. I looked everywhere. No glasses. I decided if I hadn't found them in a week, I would go to the eye doctor's office and get a new pair. While that didn't thrill me, I didn't feel too bad. The glasses were probably 5 or 6 years old. It could have been worse.
In a week, still no glasses. So ordered a new pair. Got them last week. When I left the doctor's office, I told him to send me a bill. I don't have the bill yet, but I am sure they aren't cheap. I'm not as casual about these glasses. I am paying pretty close attention to where they are and where I take them off. I don't want to buy another pair in the near future. They're pretty valuable.
My glasses are laying in front of me on our computer desk as I type this note. And I am thinking, is that how God is with us? We are pretty valuable to Him. He paid a pretty high price for each one of us.
Valuable things like we are, He doesn't want to get lost or laid aside. He can't take a chance on anything happening to us, both today and in our future.
Thank you, God, for all of your love, care, and attention!
Today is Wednesday, June 25th, 2003; Karen's Korner #78|
I was reading in Romans about Paul making a journey to Rome to meet with the people there. A letter he wrote to them in advance, Chapter 1, verses 11 and 12 says, "For I long to visit you so that I can impart to you the faith that will help your church grow strong in the Lord. Then, too, I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours. Each of us will be a blessing to the other."
In my little notes at the bottom of the page talking about these verses say: "Paul prayed for the chance to visit these Christians so that he could encourage them and be encouraged by them.......When Christians gather, everyone should give and receive!"
Ever notice how some people appear to be "givers"; they give and give and give? While others appear to be "takers", they sort of sit and wait for more stuff to come their way?. Maybe we are all supposed to be both.....giving and receiving all of the time. Looking for some kind of collective balance.
Next time we go to church, Sunday School, a small group meeting, maybe we should ask God ahead of time to show us how we can give (might be a gift or note, but might be an opportunity for a kind word, etc.) and ask Him to show us what it is He wants us to receive!
I wonder if all we do is receive or all we do is give, it might cause us to become tired, discouraged, or disappointed. But if we have the balance, we will be encouraged and energized.
Today is Thursday, June 26th, 2003; Karen's Korner #79|
Someone sent me an e-mail titled "Points to Ponder" awhile ago, complete with graphics! I am going to share a handful of them with you:
* Standing in the middle of the road is dangerous;
you will get knocked down by the traffice from both ways.
* To forgive is to set the prisoner free,
and then discover the prisoner was you.
* God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.....
* You'll notice that a turtule only makes progress when it sticks out its neck...
* It isn't difficult to make a mountain out of molehill,
just add a little dirt.
* You have to wonder about humans,
they think God is dead and Elvis is alive!
* If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence,
you can bet the water bill is higher.
* The best wasy to get even is to forget...
* Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.
* Unless you can creat the WHOLE universe in five days.
Then perhaps giving "advice" to God, isn't such a good idea!
Today is Friday, June 27th, 2003; Karen's Korner #80|
Kathy Keeling sent me a note yesterday with this short poem, which was written by her mom's friend. Kathy loves flowers and enjoys working in her garden before heading to work each morning........
God walks in gardens,
Bends over flower beds.
Violets lift shy faces;
Sweet Peas bow their heads.
He lingers near the lilies;
Their fragrance pleases Him.
He strolls among the hollyhocks,
Standing tall and prim.
Wherever there is beauty
Rooted in the sod,
Or flung across the heavens,
There is God.
Today is Monday, June 30th, 2003; Karen's Korner #81|
I recently got this pass around e-mail from both my sister Eileen; and Ron and Al Bennett.
Some of these notes we may have seen before, or maybe not. No matter, it is a good one!
Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This
verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this
statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get
back to the group at their next Bible study. That week, the woman called a
silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything
about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and
let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold
the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were the hottest as
to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot, then she thought
again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of
silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there
in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man
answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he
had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If
the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do
you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered,
"Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it."
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His
eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.
This very moment, someone needs to know that God
is watching over them. Whatever you're (or they're) going through,
you'll (they'll) be a better person in the end.