Karen's Korner - Daily Inspirational Stories by Karen Weld
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Printable Issue 3938  Today is Wednesday, December 12th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3938

Immanuel, God with Us!


"In Matthew 1:23, God called himself, 'Immanuel' --- which means, God with us! Not just 'God made us' or 'God thinks about us'. Not just 'God above us'. But God with us. God where we are. He breathed our air and walked this earth. God....with....us!

"Bethlehem was jus the beginning. Jesus has promised a repeat performance. Bethlehem, Act Two. No silent night this time, however. The skies will open, trumpets will blat, and a new kingdom will begin. He will empty the tombs and melt the winter of death. Death, you die! Life, you reign!!

"The manger dares us to believe the best is yet to be. I love Christmas because it reminds us how God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28)."


~ By Max Lucado


***



Printable Issue 3937  Today is Tuesday, December 11th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3937

One day a week or so ago, I decided to make Monster Cookies. Sometimes the cookies are 'monster' sized. Mine were not going to be. But the recipe is definitely a 'monster':  a dozen eggs, eighteen cups of oatmeal. When I began, I used a large mixing bowl to stir together the eggs and sugars. Then came the oatmeal. Now I was using a 'tub', as I had no bowls big enough for the batter.

The oatmeal I had purchased was a large, tall cylinder. When I checked the quantity, it was fifteen cups. Not the eighteen I needed. I hadn't checked the size, as it was large. Now I am the middle of my baking. Do I try to cheat three cups? Or drive to town to buy more oatmeal?

Three cups short is a lot. I decided I'd better make the trek to town. Cookies might not turn out right otherwise.

As I drove, I started to think about cookies and our lives. Recipes only turn out right when you follow the ingredients and directions of someone who has made them before. Same thing with our lives. God has given us the Bible. Not as a list of rules and regulations to make us miserable or uncomfortable. But as a recipe to help our lives and relationships with Him, and with others, turn out like He knows will make us the 'best possible us'.

God, thank You that You didn't just make us and set us out to live life without a 'cookbook' for living the most successful lives possible. You know, and knew, we were going to need help. Your help! Thanks for setting our feet on higher ground; both in this life and the one you have planned which is coming. And thank You for Jesus who showed us the way. Amen.

Printable Issue 3936  Today is Monday, December 10th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3936

This isn't much of a Christmas message but one that could 'last all year'.

It's a couple of verses from Psalm 72: 1 & 2, written by Solomon, asking God to help his son rule the nation justly and wisely:


"O God, help the king to judge as you would,

and help his son to walk in godliness.

Help him to give justice to your people,

even to the poor."

*

Bible Commentary: "What qualities do we want most in our rulers? God desires all who rule under him to walk in godliness, and to be just toward the people. As we think of world leaders today, think how the world would change if they would commit themselves to these two qualities. Perhaps we should commit ourselves to pray that they will!"

**

God, we pray today for ___________ (pick a leader) that he/she might follow You. Help them to look to You for Your wisdom and guidance. They are faced with difficult choices, many on a daily basis. We ask that they seek justice for all people under their rule, including those who follow and worship you and to the poor, who are many times overlooked. Forgive them, and us, when we look the other way rather than seek solutions to real problems and hurting people. Thank You for Your Son Jesus. Amen.


****


Printable Issue 3935  Today is Friday, December 7th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3935

Choosing to Trust


"Do not let your hearts be troubled."

~ John 14:1 NIV

*

"Blessings from Anne Graham Lotz


'Do not let your hearts be troubled' is a command you and I are to obey! Deliberately calming ourselves is a choice we are to make in the face of shocking setbacks,

* catastrophic circumstances,

* abrupt accidents,

* irritating interruptions,

* devastating dissension,

* agonizing addiction,

* frequent failures,

"all of which cause us to be terrified of the consequences and repercussions. In the midst of the swirling, cloying fog of fear, Jesus commands, 'Stop it!'

"How in the world is it possible to obey a command that involves so much of our emotional feelings? Our obedience begins with a choice to stop being afraid, followed by a decision to start trusting God."




Printable Issue 3934  Today is Thursday, December 6th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3934

Today's entry from Sarah Young and her "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence":


"Stay ever so close to Me,

and you will not deviate from the path I have prepared for you.

This is the most efficient way to stay on track;

it is also the most enjoyable way.

Men tend to multiply duties in their observance of religion.

This practice enables them to give Me

money, time, and work without yielding up to Me what I desire the most --

their hearts.

Rules can be observed mechanically.

Once they become habitual,

they can be followed with minimal effort and almost no thought.

These habit-forming rules provide a false sense of security,

lulling the soul into a comatose condition.


"What I search for in My children is an awakened soul

that thrills to the Joy of My Presence!

I created mankind to glorify Me

and enjoy Me forever.

I provide the Joy;

your part is to glorify Me

by living close to Me."


~ Taken from Deuteronomy 6:5; Colossians 3:23; Psalm 16:11

***


Printable Issue 3933  Today is Wednesday, December 5th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3933

Lots of good Christmas emails this time of year.

Something written by Max Lucado;


Christmas is About Jesus


"My dad, a man of few words, told my brother and me, 'Boys, Christmas is about Jesus!' In one of those bedtime, book-time moments, somewhere between the fairy tales and the monkey with the lunch pail, I thought about what he said. I began asking the Christmas questions. And I've been asking them ever since!

"God know what it's like to be a human. When we talk to him about deadlines or tough times, he understands. He's been there. He's been here. Because of Bethlehem, we have a fried in Jesus. Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The child in the cradle became the King on the cross. He doesn't tell us, 'Clean up before you come in.' He offers, 'Come in and I'll clean you up.' It's not our grip on him that matters, but his grip on us! And his grip is sure!"


***

Printable Issue 3932  Today is Tuesday, December 4th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3932

(Some of my 'spotters' didn't receive yesterday's Karen's Korner yesterday. Unsure why. I liked this one well enough to send it again. My apologies if you received #3931!)


In our Sunday School class, we have been studying a series from Genesis. But we decided to take a break over the Christmas season.

In three weeks, we are taking a look at Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Yesterday we looked at the biography of Mary and read a select number of verses from Luke, the first chapter.

Here are a couple of things we talked about.

Mary and her brief profile. The Mother of Jesus. The one human being who was with Jesus from birth to death. Willing to be available to God.

"The birth of Jesus to a virgin is a miracle that many people find hard to believe. These three facts can aid our faith:  1) Luke was a medical doctor, and he knew perfectly well how babies are made. It would have been just as hard for him to believe in a virgin birth as it is for us, and yet he reports it as fact. 2) Luke was a painstaking researcher who based his Gospel on eyewitness accounts. Tradition holds that he talked with Mary about the events in the first two chapters. This is her story, not a fictional invention. 3) Christians and Jews, who worship God as the creator of the universe, should believe He has the power to create a child in a virgin's womb."

As I was flipping through the television channels last night, I caught a couple minutes of Dr. David Jeremiah's comments, which tied in exactly to what our Sunday School class was about. One comment really caught my attention. One more fact. He said, "If anyone could have called off the 'hoax' of a virgin birth, it would have been Mary. While she was watching her Son be brutally beaten and eventually crucified for His claim to be the Son of God, she could have said, 'Stop the whole thing. It's a lie from the beginning!! It wasn't a virgin birth.' But she didn't because she knew the truth!"

So at this season of the year, we celebrate a miracle from beginning to end. And His story can become our story! We are part of it.....if we believe.

Printable Issue 3931  Today is Monday, December 3rd, 2018; Karen's Korner #3931

In our Sunday School class, we have been studying a series from Genesis. But we decided to take a break over the Christmas season.

In three weeks, we are taking a look at Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Yesterday we looked at the biography of Mary and read a select number of verses from Luke, the first chapter.

Here are a couple of things we talked about.

Mary and her brief profile:  The Mother of Jesus. The one human being who was with Jesus from birth to death. Willing to be available to God.

"The birth of Jesus to a virgin is a miracle that many people find hard to believe. These three facts can aid our faith:  1) Luke was a medical doctor, and he knew perfectly well how babies are made. It would have been just as hard for him to believe in a virgin birth as it is for us, and yet he reports it as fact. 2) Luke was a painstaking researcher who based his Gospel on eyewitness accounts. Tradition holds that he talked with Mary about the events in the first two chapters. This is her story, not a fictional invention. 3) Christians and Jews, who worship God as the creator of the universe, should believe He has the power to create a child in a virgin's womb."

As I was flipping through the televisions channels last night, I caught a couple minutes of Dr. David Jeremiah's comments, which tied in exactly to what our Sunday School class was about. One comment really caught my attention. One more fact. He said, "If anyone could have called off the 'hoax' of a virgin birth, it would have been Mary, while she was watching her Son be brutally beaten and eventually crucified for His claims to be the Son of God. She could have said, 'Stop the whole thing. It's a lie from the beginning!! It wasn't a virgin birth.' But she didn't because she knew the truth!'"

So at this season of the year, we celebrate a miracle from beginning to end. And His story can become our story! We are part of it.......if we believe!



Printable Issue 3930  Today is Saturday, December 1st, 2018; Karen's Korner #3930

(One on Saturday to make up for one missed on Tuesday).


"The good man does not escape ALL troubles--

he has them too.

But the Lord helps him in each and every one."

~ Psalm 34:19 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "We often wish that we could escape troubles---the pain of grief, loss, failure, or even the small daily frustrations that constantly wear us down. God promises to be our source of power, courage, and wisdom to help us through our problems. Sometimes He chooses to deliver us from those problems. When trouble strikes, don't get frustrated with God. Instead, we need to thank Him for being by our side."


****


Printable Issue 3929  Today is Friday, November 30th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3929

On a small table in my kitchen, I have three Christmas-scarf-clad polar bears - about 4 inches in height, forming the word JOY by their antics. They stand pretty erect.

But the other day, I don't think I touched the table but some of my activity near it, caused all three small bears to tip over.

As I watched the bears lying on their faces, I thought about us. Does some thing in our lives cause our joy to be 'tipped over' for a time. If we are 'down', how long does it take us to get back up?

Joy must be something pretty important. I checked on www.biblegateway.com and nearly 250 times the word is included.

Is it us in charge of our  'joy'? Or God?

 "Always be JOYFUL" - 1 Thessalonians 5:16. One of the gifts of God's Holy Spirit is 'JOY' - Ephesians 5:22.  "Heart, body, and soul are filled with JOY" - Psalm 16:9.

As Christian, we receive JOY as one of the many gifts given to us by God. Not because of what we have done. Nor how we think. It's a free gift, regardless of how we 'feel'. We 'always' possess that JOY!

If life happens to bump us, and our 'joy' takes a nosedive like my Christmas bears, no matter. We still have our God-given JOY!

Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for the gift of JOY. Sometimes I don't believe it. Nor feel it. Help me. I want to praise with Your Joy, whether I feel like or act like it or not. Your Son was born, lived, and died to give us JOY and whole bunch of other things. So today we are going to praise You. In His Name we pray. Amen.