Today is Friday, August 17th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3865|
(Please note that this will be the last Karen's Korner until Monday, September 3 - Labor Day, as I will be away from my computer until then!)
Several years ago, I learned from an article in OUR IOWA magazine that people could 'garden' in the 'cracks of concrete'. If weeds can grow in those cracks, why note hilled vegetables.
So I have tested the theory on an old feeding floor at our farm home. Some years with success; sometimes not so much.
This year I planted three hills of five vegetables: cantaloupe, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, and watermelon. Only one hill came up of the cantaloupe, cukes, and squash; none of them with much success. Pumpkins had two hills; one vine was big and beautiful but died out. I don't know why. My harvest of those four vegetables aren't very much.
The watermelon seeds produced two hills of vines. Their 'crack' was the most limited. I almost didn't plant them. Too narrow. Couldn't see any dirt. Oh, well, seeds aren't very expensive. Work to grow them is small!
These two hills are the best! Several days ago I counted 14 watermelon. What a bounty!
Is that the same for ourselves? Or people in our world? Us, or maybe a friend or acquaintance? Doesn't look to promising. But who knows? Only God does. He sees possibilities and beauty where we see question marks. Hard to tell what He might do with them; with us, when we place ourselves into His hands.
Want to be 'great' in God's Kingdom? Jesus says, "Anyone who humbles himself as a child, is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven' (Matthew 18:4). The smallest, least becomes the greatest!
Today is Thursday, August 16th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3864|
Yesterday's "Jesus Calling: Finding Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young:
"I am the God of all time, and all that is.
Seek Me not only in the morning quietness but confidently throughout the day.
Do not let unexpected problems distract you from My Presence.
Instead talk with My about everything,
and watch confidently to see what I will do.
"Adversity need not interrupt your communion with Me.
When things go 'wrong', you tend to react as if you're being punished.
Instead of this negative response,
try to view difficulties as blessings in disguise.
Make Me your Refuge by pouring out your heart in Me,
trusting in Me at all times."
~ Psalm 55:17; Psalm 32:6:Psalm 62:8
Today is Wednesday, August 15th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3863|
"Lord, what a variety you have made!
And in wisdom you have made them all!
The earth is full of your riches."
~ Psalm 104:24 LAB
Bible Commentary: "Creation is filled with stunning variety, revealing the rich creativity, goodness, and wisdom of our loving God. As we observe our natural surroundings, we should thank God for His creativity. Let's take a fresh look at people, seeing each one as God's unique creation, each with his or her own special talents, activities, and gifts."
Today is Tuesday, August 14th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3862|
Something written and sent to readers several days ago by Anne Graham Lotz. She talks about her imperfect family'. Billy Graham's family? We are the ones who falsely believe they are 'perfect'; Lotz knows better!
"We eagerly await a Savior....who......will transform our lowly bodies
so that they will be like His glorious body."
~ Philippians 3:20 & 21 NIV
"As wonderful as my loved ones are and as much as I miss them, they are no perfect! And if your loved ones are like mine, your relationship with them on earth has not been perfect either. To think of living forever in the same home with my brother would give one pause! But when we get to Heaven, the joy of seeing our loved ones again is immeasurably increased when we realize that all of us will indeed be perfect! There will be no more....
* disagreements or cross words;
* hurt feelings or misunderstandings;
* neglect or busyness;
* interruptions or rivalry;
* jealousy or pride;
* selfishness or sin of any kind!
There will be nothing at all to mar our full enjoyment of being with our loved ones forever and ever!
Today is Monday, August 13th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3861|
Last Friday morning, our community had the opportunity to celebrate the life of Bob Stephenson. He would have been 83 in a couple of months.
By some standards that would have made him 'old'. Bob never grew old! He had lots of people to serve and things to do!
He was the guy who faithfully opened our church building each Sunday morning: making sure doors were open, lights were on; heat or air-conditioning was set right; and coffee was made. Part of an hour before Sunday morning worship, he would drive to pick up people who were no longer driving, so they, too, could continue to attend church with us.
A weekly, early morning men's group was served by Bob. The afternoon before meetings, he would set coffee timers so that coffee would be ready at 6 a.m. He was the guy who would pick up the donuts at the local convenience store.
And there would be the 'random acts of kindness' to his family, neighbors, and friends. Probably daily. While his health was beginning to decline, his service to others and zest for life, didn't!
Praise? Recognition? He didn't like the attention!
Like all of us, the 'pages' of my life continue to turn. With Bob as my role model, I ask God that I might not 'grow old' either!
Acts 20:24 says, "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord has given me--the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace."
Thank You, God, for giving us Bob to love and to show us Your Ways. Lead and guide each one of us as we seize opportunities to love, serve and enjoy all You have to offer each one of us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Today is Friday, August 10th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3860|
Most people familiar with the Bible at all, knows Ecclesiastes chapter 3 and the first few verses of 'for everything there is a season', written by Solomon.
Here are a couple more verses shortly after:
"So I conclude that, first, there is nothing better for a man than to be happy
and to enjoy himself as long as he can;
and second, that he should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of his labors,
for these are gifts from God.
And I know this, that whatever God does, is final----nothing can be added or taken from it;
God's purpose in this is that man should fear the all-powerful God."
~ Ecclesiastes 3:12 - 14 LAB
Bible Commentary: "The ability to enjoy life is one of God's most excellent gifts to us, although we can abuse it. God wants us to enjoy life. When we have the proper view of God, we discover that real pleasure is not found in what we accumulate, but in enjoying whatever we have as a gift from God.
"What is the purpose of life? It is that we should fear the all-powerful God. Fear does not mean to cringe in terror, but to respect, revere, and stand in awe of God because of who He is. Purpose in life starts with whom we know, not what we know or how good we are. It is impossible to fulfill your God-given purpose unless you fear God and give Him first place in your life."
Today is Thursday, August 9th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3859|
"So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God, who makes things grow."
~ I Corinthians 3:7 NIV
Yesterday's ecumenical women's Bible study was taken from crosswalk.com and written by Kathi Lipp.
It was titled 'friend to friend'. Lipp inquired about our and her New Year's resolutions. How are we coming?
Her list usually looked like this, she said: 'lose twenty pound'; 'read fifty books', 'declutter the whole house', 'grow my business by 20%'.
But after three weeks? You know what happens, or hasn't happened.
"After decades of making goals," she penned, "I've finally come to the realization that I've been doing it all wrong all these years. My goals were always focused on the reward waiting when the huge goal was accomplished. I spent so much time focused on the outcome, the part that I tried to control but couldn't, that I wasn't paying attention to the part I needed to focus on---the small part that was my responsibility. Instead of the final goal, I need to stay focused on the faithful steps I can make."
She said her 'new' focus was instead of 'reading fifty books'; instead 'I will set aside thirty minutes in the evening to read'. Instead of 'losing twenty pounds': say "I will walk 30 minutes in the morning."
"Because when I am focused on the outcome, I miss the One who is making the miracle happen," she said. "I miss God's hand in my life because I am convinced that I am the one who is making things happen."
She continued, "We would love to believe that we have absolute control over how our lives will turn out, but just like those who work the farm, some of us plant the seeds, some of us water, but the final results are up to God and God alone."
thank You for honoring not just the outcomes,
but also the next steps.
Help me to be faithful in everything You have for me,
and to keep my eyes on You.
In Jesus' Name,
Today is Wednesday, August 8th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3858|
"(The women) asked each other,
'Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?'"
~ Mark 16:3 NIV
"The women who had been so faithfully vigilant at the Cross during the long hours of Jesus' suffering returned together first thing Sunday morning to complete the embalming process that Joseph and Nicodemus had hastily done late Friday afternoon.
"Their voices could be heard on the brisk early morning air as they discussed the problem of how they would roll the stone away. They knew it would be impossible for them to accomplish even if all of them pushed together. What stone, what obstacle is ahead of you that you think you can't move or get around, that blocks you from fulfilling your commitment to the Lord? Is it the stone of
* financial limitations?
* practical inexperience?
* physical weakness?
"If we steadfastly cling to our faith in Him, preserving in our commitment with obedience to His direction and call in our lives. He will roll away the stones for us!"
~ By Anne Graham Lotz
Today is Tuesday, August 7th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3857|
Yesterday's "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young:
"When things seem to be going all wrong, stop and affirm your trust in Me.
Calmly bring these matters to Me, and leave them in My capable hands.
Then, simply do the next thing.
Stay in touch with Me through thankful, trusting prayers,
resting in My sovereign control.
Rejoice in Me---exult in the God of your salvation!
As you trust in Me, I make your feet like the feet of a deer.
I enable you to walk and make progress upon your high places of trouble,
suffering, or responsibility."
~ Job 13:15 (NKJV); Psalm 18:33; Habakkuk 3:17 - 19 (AMP)
Today is Monday, August 6th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3856|
"When Jesus arrived at the rabbi's house
and saw the noisy crowds and heard the funeral music,
'Get them out, for the little girl isn't dead;
she is only sleeping.'
Then they all scoffed and sneered at him!
When the crowd was finally outside,
Jesus went in where the little girl was lying
and took her by the hand, and she jumped up
and was all right again!
The report of this wonderful miracle swept the entire countryside."
~ Matthew 9:23 - 26 LAB
Bible Commentary: "The local synagogue rabbi didn't come to Jesus until his daughter was dead ---it was too late for anyone else to help. But Jesus simply went to the girl and raised her! In our lives, Christ can make a difference when it seems too late for anyone else to help. He can bring healing to broken marriages, release from addicting habits, and forgiveness and change in scarred lives. If our situations look hopeless, we need to remember that Christ can do the impossible."