July 2022 Archives
Today is Friday, July 1st, 2022; Karen's Korner #4695|
"The Lord is my fort where I can enter and be safe; no one can follow me in and slay me. He is a rugged mountain where I hide; he is my Savior, a rock where none can reach me, and a tower of safety. He is my shield. He is like the strong horn of a mighty fighting bull. All I need to do is cry to him---oh, praise the Lord---and I am saved from all my enemies!
~ Psalm 18:2 & 3 LAB
Bible Commentary: "God's protection of his people is limitless and can take many forms. David characterized God's care with six military symbols.
"God is like:
1) a fort or place of safety where the enemy can't follow;
2) a rugged mountain full of hiding places,
3) a rock that can't be penetrated by any who would harm us;
4) a tower high above our enemies,
5) a shield that comes between us and harm,
6) a horn to scare the enemy away or to warn us if he comes too close.
"If we need protection, look to God."
Today is Monday, July 4th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4696|
In our church yesterday, we sang a verse or two from our hymnals in three songs, a medley under the banner "One Nation, Under God": "My Country, 'Tis of Thee"; "America the Beautiful"; and "God of Our Fathers".
As we celebrate the 4th of July, here is the four stanzas of the lesser known "God of Our Fathers":(Written by Daniel C. Roberts; a National Hymn).
"God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor thru the skies,
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.
"Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast:
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide, and Stay,
They Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.
"From war's alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our eversure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.
"Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to neverending day;
Fill all our lives with love, and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine!
Today is Tuesday, July 5th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4697|
"Ask, and you will be given what you ask for;
Seek, and you will find;
Knock and the door will be opened.
For everyone who asks, receives.
Anyone who seeks finds.
If only you will knock,
the door will open."
~ Matthew 7:7 & 8 LAB (Jesus teaching)
Bible Commentary: "Jesus tells us to persist in pursuing God. People often give up after a few halfhearted efforts and conclude that God cannot be found. But knowing God takes effort and Jesus assures us that our efforts will be rewarded. We are not to give up our efforts to seek God. We are to continue to ask Him for more knowledge, patience, wisdom, love, and understanding. He will give them to us."
Today is Wednesday, July 6th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4698|
Taken from OUR IOWA calendar for 2022.
Some cute, funny, or words of wisdom.
"Usually the best way to get the last word
"A recent study showed women carrying
a little extra weight
live longer than men
who mention it."
travel the road to success
without a flat tire
is like a
are more satisfying
than seeing your
teenagers of their
"A smile is an
to improve your looks."
"The world needs more warm hearts
and fewer hot
"The best classroom in the world
is at the feet of an
Today is Thursday, July 7th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4699|
Good morning! A dose of God's love for the day. Taken once again from "100 Things God Loves About You"; simple reminders for when you need them the most by Tama Fortner.
God Loves to Hear Your Praises.
"Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago."
~ Isaiah 25:1
"Birdsong in spring. The gentle sound of falling rain. A child's innocent laughter. There are so many beautiful sounds in this world, but there is none more beautiful to God than the sound of your praises.
"Lord, you are my God....
you have done wonderful things.
"There is none like you.......
you alone are God.
(Psalm 86:8, 10)
"Sing His praises our loud. Whisper them softly. Repeat them over and over. They're His most favorite sounds in the world!
Today is Friday, July 8th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4700|
Another milestone; one that ends in '00' - #4700! Thanks for allowing me 'invade' your computers most weekdays!
Here are three verses from Proverbs. Lots of wisdom and tips for living throughout its 31 chapters.
"The godly pray for those
who long to kill them."
(verse 29:10 LAB)
Bible Commentary: "Proverbs is full of short characterizations that, put together, give us a picture of what it means to be a godly - God-like - person. This one parallels Jesus' counsel to pray for our enemies. Few acts are harder to do, that is why godliness is rare. Measured by his standard, are we like God?"
"Don't refuse to accept criticism;
get all the help you can."
(verse 23:12 LAB)
Bible Commentary: "The world is full of people who think they know everything. They don't want to be instructed, and they think it show weakness to learn from others. They are wrong. Listening to others is a sign of wisdom, not weakness. Refusing to learn from others can be a great mistake. It can cause a person who could have been successful to fall flat on his/her face."
"The rich man thinks of his wealth
as an impregnable defense,
a high wall of safety.
What a dreamer!"
(verse 18:11 LAB)
Bible Commentary: Money cannot provide safety---there are too many ways for it to lose its power. The government may cease to back it; thieves may steal it; inflation may rob it of all value. But God never loses His power. He is always dependable. Where do we place our hope for safety---on uncertain wealth or on God who is always faithful."
Today is Monday, July 11th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4701|
"Jesus heals the blind and mute" is the sub-heading from Matthew 9:27 - 34. Verse 30 says, "And suddenly they could see! Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about it....."
Why would He not want others to know about something so wonderful? My Bible commentary on the verse says, "Jesus told the people to keep quiet about His healings because His purpose was not to be known only as a miracle worker. He healed because He had compassion on people, but He also wanted to bring spiritual healing to a sin-sick world."
There is healing outside of 'physical'. There is also mental, emotional, and spiritual. While Jesus can heal us every way, His main purpose in coming was our spiritual healing. He wanted everyone to come to Him for 'healing' that would lead us to his 'forever' home. Heaven!
Thank You, Jesus, that You always see a bigger picture than we do. Help us. Heal us. Lead us. Guide us. We want to know You in every area of our lives. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
Today is Tuesday, July 12th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4702|
Our worship leader at church Sunday kicked off our service by reading Psalm 150, the final chapter in the book. It is a 'closing hymn of praise'.
God asks us to praise Him. God wins because He deserves our praise. And if we do that, we are the winners, Since God designed and created us, something good happens to us when we praise Him.
We can never praise Him too much.
Yes, praise the Lord!
Praise Him in His Temple,
and in the heavens He made with mighty power.
Praise Him for His mighty works.
Praise His unequaled greatness.
Praise Him with the trumpet
and with lute and harp.
Praise Him with the drums and dancing.
Praise Him with stringed instruments and horns.
Praise Him with the cymbals,
yes, loud clanging cymbals.
Let everything alive give praises to the Lord!
YOU praise !
~ Psalm 150 LAB
Today is Wednesday, July 13th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4703|
Taken from "365 Days of Prayer for Women" by Stephanie Sample. They are all good. This one was for July 3.
WHILE I WAIT
"Now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be call their God for He has prepared a city for them."
~ Hebrews 11:16 NKJV
"Father in heaven, I long for the day you establish your kingdom here. Everything good about the world---love, beauty peace---will only get better, and everything dark will be gone. An end to sickness, addiction, and death can't come soon enough. You can't come soon enough. I know you're preparing a place for me; I can't wait to see it. While I wait, Lord, let me give and receive love, create and experience beauty, inspire and dwell in peace. Help me satisfy my longing for heaven by improving the earth. Allow me, Father, know you as well as I can and to show you to others. As I wait for your kingdom to come to earth, let your Spirit come to my heart."
ARE WE EXCITED ABOUT GOD'S COMING KINGDOM?
Today is Thursday, July 14th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4704|
Yesterday's inspirational thought by Max Lucado.
WHY MARY MAGDALENE
"Jesus had just ripped the gates of hell off their hinges. He’d just yanked the fangs out of Satan’s mouth. He’d just turned BC into AD! Jesus was the undisputed King of the universe, and what was his first act? To whom did he go? To Mary Magdalene, the weeping, heartbroken woman who once had seven demons. Why her? Perhaps to send this message to all the heavyhearted people: 'Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning' (Psalm 30:5 NLT).
"The greatest news in the world is not that God made the world but that God loves the world, and he loves you my friend. You have never lived one unloved day. God loves you, and because he does, you can be assured that joy will come. It came to Mary Magdalene, and it will come to you. Joy comes with the morning."
Today is Friday, July 15th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4705|
Chad Chapman in his communion meditation
at Sunday's worship service, took us into his adventure of owning a first
car or two. Sometimes 'used' is a pretty open word; 'really used' could
be used to describe some of our first vehicles
Chapman told us that his vehicle needing alignment, but lacked extra
funds while in college. He asked, "Have you ever been out of
alignment? Not that kind that needs a chiropractor. The kind where we
feel like everything is going wrong. Messing up all the time."
"Have we gotten off of God's true and trusted path?" he asked.
"We need the help of God with our own realignment. Who else
would we go to?" The best part - we return to the Person who aligned
us when we were brand new - new parts - no charge. God designed us, He is
the ultimate mechanic.
Chapman concluded, "The book of Joel 2:13 says, 'Return to the
Lord your God. For He is gracious and compassionate. Slow to anger,
abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.' The verse tells
us that no matter how far we swerve from His path, He is always right
there with love, slow to anger, compassionate and relenting of evil. We
need Him, the ultimate mechanic, free of charge. We just have to accept
Today is Monday, July 18th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4706|
Long[-time Clarion resident Jane Clemsen passed away several weeks ago. The 92 year-old was a member of our church. Her funeral was last week at a care facility in Fort Dodge where she had resided for the last ten years of her life.|
Her granddaughter and son-in-law, Libby and Nate Hellenga and family joined Jane's celebration of life. Seeing them reminded me of their family's story of about a decade ago.
The young family was ready to welcome child #2. Their oldest, Hannah, was two years old at the time. A routine visit to their doctor was anything but routine. An ultrasound brought the devastating news that the baby Libby was carrying didn't have a brain.
The doctor advised them to have an abortion as the baby she was carrying couldn't survive outside the womb.
This is not a story for or against abortion rather one family's journey. Libby and Nate made the heart wrenching decision to not abort the child. But rather to carry the baby through to term.
The fateful day arrived when the baby made its entrance into the world. Family members journeyed to Iowa City to welcome the less-than-perfect child. I can recall our friend, grandma Hellenga, saying, "It was so much easier to have two-year-old Hannah toddling around at the hospital, oblivious to our heartbreak."
Several days passed when a medical staff person said, "Has your family ever considered your baby being an organ donor? She is obsoletely perfect outside of having no brain!"
No they hadn't!
Eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, skin were all available for others waiting for a transplant!
There was a purpose for the life of the several-days-old child. No one without a brain can survive long. Baby Eve was no exception!
At Jane's funeral, the Nate and Libby Hellenga family led those of us in attendance in singing two hymns. Hannah, now a young teen, joined mom and dad in their singing. As did her four other younger siblings. With a gap between her and sibling number two, where Eve would have been!
Today is Tuesday, July 19th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4707|
Another dose of God's Love, taken from "!00 Things God Loves About You"; simple reminders for when you need them most. We always need to be reminded of His Love for us. Sometimes life slugs us enough, we forget By Tama Fortner.
GOD LOVES THE WAY YOU SMILE
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit."
~ Proverbs 15:13
"A goofy grin or a shy little smile. Beaming from ear to ear. Whatever your style, your smile is one of your most beautiful features. Because it isn't really about lips or teeth or rosy cheeks. It's about being so full of the love and joy and hope and kindness of the Lord that you simply can't hold it in. You've just got to share it with the world....with a great big grin!
"Yes, God loves the way you smile, especially when it's because of Him.
Today is Wednesday, July 20th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4708|
I am part of a gal's ecumenical Bible study group which meets weekly on Wednesday mornings. Last week's topic was on 'perfection'. And how Satan uses the lie to discourage us.|
In our mind's eye, we see things coming out 'perfectly'. The new recipe. The daughter's wedding. A broken relationship not responding to being mended. What happens to us when it doesn't work out in some area of our lives? Maybe daily?
An example for me is the petunias that annually line my farm home sidewalk. This year has been a struggle. Starter plants set out early this spring met with too much heat and high winds. Even with watering them, some didn't make it. So I replanted to fill in. Looked better.
Two weeks ago I woke up to find that five petunias in a row had been eaten off by rabbits overnight. Too late and too hot to replant any now.
I have a choice: only see this year's gaps. Or enjoy the beauty of the ones that are left. I am choosing the latter.
If you visit my home, I hope that you also see the pretty flowers and not the holes!
The Bible has much to say about a lot of things, but 'perfection' doesn't appear to be one of them. Looking to Jesus is.
We don't have to be part of Sunday School or church long before we hear John 3:16, "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."
But the next verse continues (v.17), "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it."
God knew we didn't need anyone to condemn our lack of 'perfection' in this life. Rather we needed Someone to save us. From things in our lives which don't turn out like we planned. From the errors we make. And for a world which is coming.
Today is Thursday, July 21st, 2022; Karen's Korner #4709|
Today's 'korner' is from Psalm 46 in the Living Bible translation. It was printed in the 1970s. The application portion was printed in the mid 1980s. It appears that not much has changed in our world in that time.
"God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble. And so we need not fear even if the world blows up, and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam; let the mountains tremble!"
~ Psalm 46: 1 - 3 LAB
Bible Commentary: "The fear of mountains or cities suddenly crumbling into the sea by a nuclear blast haunts many people today. But the psalmist says that even if the world ends, 'We need not fear!' Even in the face of utter destruction, he expressed a quiet confidence in God's ability to save him. It seems impossible to face the end of the world without fear, but the Bible is clear---God is our refuge even in the face of total destruction. He is not merely a temporary retreat; he is our eternal refuge and can provide strength even in the face of global destruction."
Today is Friday, July 22nd, 2022; Karen's Korner #4710|
Today's inspirational thought by Anne Graham Lotz:
"You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil........"
~ Genesis 2:26 - 17 NIV
"In the first home, the Lord God taught man the difference between right and wrong. Adam needed to know what his boundaries were, what was acceptable to God and what was not.
"Can you imagine the chaos that would result if a multilane highway had no painted markings to give direction to the traffic? Accidents and confusion would be the order of the day. No one complains about or resents the markings because drivers know the painted boundaries exist for their own benefits and safety.
"Today we are surrounded by a generation of people who have grown up living according to their own moral codes, defying the boundaries set by God. As a result, it is a generation with no peace or sense of security. Rather than inhibiting us, moral guidelines free us to live in peace and security. The statistics on crime, divorce, abortion, and suicide give eloquent witness to the danger of living outside God's boundaries, He has drawn the lines -- we need to stay within them!
Today is Monday, July 25th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4711|
Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence" is 365 days of inspirational writings as if Jesus is talking with us, which He does through His Words in the Bible. Yesterday's was a good one (July 24):
"Thankfulness opens the door to My Presence. Though I am always with you, I have gone to great measures to preserve your freedom of choice. I have placed a door between you and Me, and I have empowered you to open or close that door. There are many ways to open it, but a grateful attitude is one of the most effective.
"Thankfulness is built on a substructure of trust. When thankful words stick in your throat, you need to check up on your foundation of trust. When thankfulness flows freely from your heart and lips, let your gratitude draw your close to Me. I want you to learn the art of giving thanks in all circumstances. See how many times you can thank Me daily; this will awaken your awareness to a multitude of blessings. It will also cushion the impact of trials when they come against you. Practice My Presence by practicing the discipline of thankfulness."
~ Taken from Psalm 100:4; I Thessalonians 5:18
Today is Tuesday, July 26th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4712|
"One day some of the Jewish leaders,
including some Pharisees,
came to Jesus asking Him to show them a miracle."
~ Matthew 12:38 LAB
Bible Commentary: "The Pharisees were asking for another miracle, but they had already seen enough miraculous proof to convince them that He was the Messiah. If they would just open their hearts. But they had already decided not to believe in Him, and more miracles would not change that.
"Many people have thought, 'If I could just see a real miracle, then I could really believe in God.' But Jesus' response to the Pharisees applies to us. We have plenty of evidence ---Jesus death, resurrection, and ascension, and centuries of His work in the lives of believers around the world. Instead of looking for additional evidence or miracles, accept what God has already given and move forward. He may use your life as evidence to reach another person."
Today is Wednesday, July 27th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4713|
Okay, dose #56 of "100 Things God Love About You" by Tama Fortner. It doesn't make any difference if we feel like, look like, think like, or believe..........that God loves us. He just does!
GOD LOVES YOUR WORDS
"Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given."
~ Proverbs 25: 11
"You chose the gift so carefully. It's just what he needs. It's just what she's hoping for. You wrapped it in the prettiest package you could find, topped it with a bow, and presented it with a smile. It made her day. It really was just what he needed. The perfect gift. It didn't come from a jewelry store; it cam from your heart. Words gifted like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Words of encouragement, words off life that God loves to hear from your lips."
Today is Thursday, July 28th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4714|
It was 23 years ago today that Merry was killed in a car/semi accident.
I am going to share several things with you. Some, maybe all of them, you may have read or heard before.
I can remember walking through the kitchen of our farm home a number of days after Merry's death, saying idly to God, "This hurts so much it would be better if Merry had never been born."
That thought lasted maybe a second or two because I knew what a lie it was. "And miss 26 years of Merry!" Her life was, and is, something to celebrate!
Merry was a 'pedal to the metal', fast forward gal. Always knew how to have a good time. And had a way of figuring things out.
Here is one:
Merry applied and was interviewed to be on the state 4-H council.
When she got home from the interviews, I asked her it went.
"Good" was her one word response.
"What were some of your questions?" I asked.
One I recall, "If you could be anyone in the world, who would you choose to be?'
She answered, "George H.W. Bush (president at the time)."
"You would like to be president?" I asked.
"No, I'd rather be Garth Brooks. But I knew they wouldn't like that answer." Music was Merry's 'thing'.
She was sixteen and already know 'how to play the game'.
Merry served a term on Iowa's state 4-H council!
"This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it."
~ Psalm 118:24 LAB
Bible Commentary: "There are days when the last thing we want to do is rejoice. Our mood is down, our situation out of hand, our sorrow or guilt overwhelming. We can relate to the writers of the psalms who often felt this way. But no matter how low the psalmists got, they were always honest with God about how they felt. And as they talked to God, their prayers ended in praise. When we don't feel like rejoicing, we are to tell God how we truly feel. We will find that God will give us a reason to rejoice."
Today is Friday, July 29th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4715|
(I will be away from my computer next week. Karen's Korners will return on Monday, August 8.)
Today's inspirational thought from Max Lucado. Gotta love Max!
"Peter could not deny his denial. The empty tomb did not erase the crowing rooster. Christ had returned, but Peter must have wondered, After what I did, would he return for someone like me? Is Peter the only person to do the very thing he swore he’d never do?
"Oh, the volume of our boasting. Oh, the heartbreak of our shame. And the question whether Jesus has a place for folks like us. He answers that question – he invited Peter to breakfast.
"What if Jesus did for you what he did for Peter? He has done exactly that. Jesus issues a tender reminder as he passes the cup: '“Every one of you drink this…This blood is poured out for many to forgive their sins' (Matthew 26:27-28 NCV). 'Every one of you drink this,' he said.
"It feels good to have a place at the table."