October 2006 Archives
Today is Monday, October 2nd, 2006; Karen's Korner #901|
I got an email note from Deb Mechem (now Lange) who lives in Colorado. She called Clarion her home until her family moved away when Deb was in ninth grade.
What was on her mind was the high school shooting of the high school girl fom Bailey, Colorado, about 90 minutes from their home.
She typed, "It is so heartbreaking for the parents, students, community and all of us in Colorado to live through something so violent again. No one can say 'that only happens in the big city' anymore. We can't say 'that would never happen in OUR small school or town' either. I have to admit that having a daughter the exact same age as the girl that was killed put a few things in perspective for me:
Ok , so your room is dirty (is that a really big deal?)
Ok, you went over your cell phone minutes (I'll pay the extra $5)
Only got a "B" on your Chemistry test....gee....let me get mad about that now!
You get the idea, the small, petty list could go on and on. And I'm so disappointed in myself that it takes something of this magnitude to get my focus back, priorities set straight....
But my request: Please add this family and community to your prayer chain. I know the results will be HUGE because we know the power of a prayer."
Thanks, Deb, for sharing your heart and your hurt. You are added!!
Today is Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006; Karen's Korner #902|
This is something a friend ripped out a devotional booklet and made sure that Jim and I read. It was dated last Tuesday, September 26 and came from a publication titled "The Beatitudes For Today":
"He said to them in reply, 'My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it."
-- Luke 8:21
Saints who teach us abuot the holiness of the Beatitudes are not once-upon-a-time characters captured only in stained glass and fresco. We have photographs and film on some modern saints. At first we may think of Mother Teresa, who with a holy meekness and a pure heart, was the very embodiment of mercy, and marshalled a Nobel Peace prize.
Yet when we think of Motor Teresa, we often make........mental errors. We many say, "Oh, she must be a saint," as if she had some special holiness gene, some superendowment of saintly ability. This attitude distances us from her and gives us wiggle room not to go and do likewise. But what Mother Teresa did, any one of us could do. She was neither athletically agile nor an intellectual giant. What she did---picking up a sick child, spooning porridge to a hungry man, smiling, asking others to embrace someone with nothing---I am perfectly capable of doing.
If she is a saint, I could be one too.
~~ By James C. Howell
Today is Wednesday, October 4th, 2006; Karen's Korner #903|
Some of the thoughts which I have are wonderful, positive, caring. Others which pass through my mind are not so hot!
An example of one was yesterday morning. Jim said he would take the recyle bin out to the end of the driveway for our early morning pick up.
When I went to get in the car, I saw the yellow plastic bin sitting near the end of our sidewalk, where the truck used to pick up our recyclables.
"Now why would Jim leave the bin there," I thought. "Did he forget that the truck doesn't come in any more. Now it is probably too late. I'll have to bring the junk back into the house and put it out again in two weeks. Maybe Jim set the container down and forgot to take it with him to the end of the drive........."
You know the thoughts.
.........until I picked up the yellow tub. It was empty!
Seems the "pick up gang" had gotten to the end of our drive at exactly the same time that Jim had. So he allowed the guys to dump the items and brought the container back to our sidewalk!
I wonder how many times a day I waste with idle thoughts, which aren't even close to correct. Sometimes about myself. Sometimes about other people or happenings.
I wonder if I sometimes believe God isn't, hasn't, and won't, but He is bringing a positive solution to my every need and care.... in his time.
Negative, jealous, back-biting. We all know the list. We might not send them spilling out of our mouths, but the thoughts....
Dear Father God, forgive me for the less-than-the-best thinking that rattles inside my head. I ask that you do a 'cleaning job' and dump the garbage from my thinking. I bring each idle thought to you. Change them. Seems I don't do a very effective job on my own. Thank You for making me better than I am when left to my own accord. I don't have much to celebrate without Your help. Thank You for directing me and changing my mind for the better...one thought at a time. In Jesus name. Amen.
Today is Thursday, October 5th, 2006; Karen's Korner #904|
This is a "Jeff White" which I received earlier this week. Some of you have asked to be added to his daily email devotional listing. I apologize to those of you who read this a couple of days ago!
It is not our love for God;
it is God’s love for us in sending his Son
to be the way to take away our sins.
1 John 4:10
I preached on James chapter 2 Sunday night. It is a great text on loving everyone as God loves them, as equals. Verse 1 of James 2 says “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism”.
When you go out today, into the world, I want two thoughts on your mind as you decide whether to minister to those you meet:
First, nothing I’ve done earned Christ’s death, it was all God’s love that sent him.
Second, my faith is to be shared not held.
With those things in mind you will never keep silent about the love of God.
Today is Friday, October 6th, 2006; Karen's Korner #905|
Our local congregation supports a missionary family in Poland. John Crozier lived in Clarion during his middle growing up days, graduated from Clarion-Goldfield High School, and was a member of our church family.
Next summer, our church is organizing a short-term Poland mission trip to work with Croziers and their outreach there. While our congregation is by far the largest in town, we have had nearly 40 people in the last six months dream with us about traveling to Poland.
But now reality is beginning to set in and our list is beginning to shrink. For some, it is a matter of saving or raising the needed money to travel for twelve days. For others, it is finding the time to take off and get away.
This morning I couldn't help but think about the difference between being a missionary and being a Christian.
Money? Becoming a Christian is a free.
Time? We have been given eternity.
"The FREE GIFT of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 6:23)
We always knew that those 40 who were dreaming of traveling to Poland was just that.........a dream! But we have enjoyed having everyone dream with us!
Christianity is more than a dream for everyone.
"Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)
Traveling to Poland: some.
Traveling on into eternity: anyone.
Today is Monday, October 9th, 2006; Karen's Korner #906|
Last week, we watched television reports with horror, as we learned a madman shooter had entered an Amish school in Pennsylvania, killing and injuring innocent school children before killing himself.
We ask ourselves, “Why?” And there are no rationale answers forthcoming.
As we watch lines of Amish horses and carriages traveling to cemeteries, we learn of the forgiveness of their families and their asking the killer’s family to attend funeral services with them.
In a get-even and sue-happy society, theirs is a welcome, if not almost unbelievable, response. We know that God offers that kind of forgiveness to each one of us. And we in turn are to offer that kind of forgiveness to others.
In watching my Christian Amish brothers and sisters, theirs is a faith worthy emulating.. Would I do as they have done? Or would I harbor much anger, hate, bitterness, and resentment if I experienced their kind of loss?
What a teaching experience the Amish have been given to the rest of the world!
I know that I have much yet to learn
Today is Tuesday, October 10th, 2006; Karen's Korner #907|
Several short Bible verses to jump-start your day. May one of them rattle in your mind as you go about your day:
* "Be strong in the Lord and in His great power!" -- Ephesians 6:10
* "Your word is a like a lamp for my feet and a light for my path." -- Psalms 119:105
* "What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever." -- II Corinthians 4:18
* "Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'Be of good cheer! It is I, do not be afraid." -- Matthew 14:27
Today is Wednesday, October 11th, 2006; Karen's Korner #908|
This is a writing by MaxLucado from his book "When Christ Comes". Sometimes we need to be reminded. Just this morning a friend wrote about an untimely death of a friend and a funeral they just as soon not have attended yesterday:
"When Jesus was raised from the dead, it wa a signal of the end of death-as-the-end." -- Romans 6:5 - 6
Don't you love that sentence? "It was the signal of the end of death-as-the-end." The resurrection is an exploding flare announcing to all sincere seekers that it is safe to believe. Safe to believe in ultimate justice. Safe to believe in eternal bodies. Safe to believe in heaven as our estate and the earth as its porch. Safe to believe in a time when questions won't keep us awake and pain won't keep us down. Safe to believe in open graves and endless days and genuine praise.
Because we can accept the resurrection story, it is safe to accept the rest of the story.
Today is Thursday, October 12th, 2006; Karen's Korner #909|
This week Jim and I are traveling in Tennessee, seeing the sights and enjoying the people. In the past few days, we have eaten at two buffets (people emphasize a different syllable to that word than we do in Iowa!). Both times we went into a restaurant, and learned that it was also a buffet. We wanted a sandwich, but for 'only a dollar more', we could buy the buffet. Well, okay, we will take the buffet!
Now the treasure hunt begins! We get two plates: one a large oval (for salads) and a smaller circular one (for desserts). Each of the stations has a dinner plate for the main food entrees. There is the tossed salad island and another for all the other salads. One island for hot vegetables and another for the meat dishes. How about one for the casserole-type food items? Another area for the desserts and one against the wall for beverages. And that might not be all of them!
So we take our plates and begin! We probably took more than we want...........or that our bodies need. And we know that Americans have a problem sometimes with bigger appetites and growing bodies!
As I sat down to eat, from plate #3, I thought of God and the spiritual food that He serves up to us. We can take lots of plates of various sizes. Today I want a spoonful of patience and kindness. What about joy and love! I am sure I am going to need a ladle of His grace and mercy. Grab another plate and pile on some forgiveness. The islands of what He has for me are tremendous. I need a spoonful or slice of all of them. Sometimes I need heaping helpings!
Best part is I can't over-indulge. The more I "eat" the better I feel, the more God is glorified, and the more others are loved and cared for!
Today is Friday, October 13th, 2006; Karen's Korner #910|
When we were visiting in the Smoky Mountains, eastern Tennessee, we met Ken and JoAnn Huff. JoAnn was quite interested in Karen's Korners and the 5-day per week emails. "I don't write all of them," I told her. "Many of them are written by others or are favorites of people I meet or people who read them."
She had one she wanted to share, which was a favorite of her mother's:
Symptoms of Inner Peace
An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
A tendency to think and act spontaneously,
rather than on fears based on past experiences.
A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others
and judging other people.
A loss of interest in conflict.
A loss of the ability to worry.
Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
Frequent attacks of smiling.
An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others
as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
Inner Peace is contagious!
Pass it on!!
Today is Monday, October 16th, 2006; Karen's Korner #911|
A few nuggets from the book "Apples of Gold":
** Real friends are those who, when you made a fool of yourself, don't feel you that you've done a permanent job.
** Adolescence is the age at which children stop asking questions because they know all the answers.
** The door to the human heart can be opened only from the inside.
** We like someone because. We love someone although.
** Thrift is a wonderful virtue -- especially in our ancestors.
** A formula for youth: Keep your enthusiasm and forget your birthdays!!
** The worst thing that happens to a man may be the best thing that ever happened to him if he doesn't let it get the best of him.
** God never makes us conscious of our weaknesses except to give us His strength.
Today is Tuesday, October 17th, 2006; Karen's Korner #912|
As we were driving across Tennesse last week, we couldn't help but take note of the number of churches. Lots of churches!
Many had sayings on their marquees outside their churches. I scribbled down several of the best ones:
** "The rotten apple spoils his companion."
** "Jesus built a bridge with two boards and three nails."
** "If you have nothing to be thankful for, thank God anyway. See what happens."
** "We may betray Christ by our silence as well as our speech."
** "Celebrate our fall festival with us. Fall in love with Jesus."
Today is Wednesday, October 18th, 2006; Karen's Korner #913|
Some thoughts shared by Karen's Korner readers. The first one was forwarded to me by Jim's cousin John and his wife Cathy Weld, complete with a beautiful graphic:
Some people no matter how old they get,
never lose their beauty ~
they merely move it from their faces
into their hearts!
And two favorites of Diana Barron's:
"People travel to wonder
at the height of the mountains,
at the huge waves of the seas,
at the long course of the rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motion of the stars,
and yet they pass by themselves without wondering."
Let your thoughts be still for a moment and travel within to the
Isle of You, that incredibly peaceful place inhabited by your Soul.
As your breath eases in and out,
and all the world around you fades away,
you'll find yourself in the most restful, relaxing place on earth.
And the nice thing is, you can go back any time you like.
Today is Thursday, October 19th, 2006; Karen's Korner #914|
For the past several weeks, our Sunday School class has been collecting items to mail to our church's college students who are living away from home. Other church members are adding to our stash of hard candies, cocoa mixes, microwave popcorn packages, etc. Sunday is the day we will be dividing up the items and readying them for sending.
One class member thought tucking in a Bible might be a good idea. We contacted a local Gideon and now have pocket-sized New Testaments with the books of Psalms and Proverbs, to include in our goody boxes.
To direct people who might read the Testaments, there is a "Where to Find Help" word guide printed in the front. Words like "afraid, lonely, sick, thankful".
One of the two listings under "protected" is Psalms 18:1 - 3:
"I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies."
Today is Friday, October 20th, 2006; Karen's Korner #915|
A "Jeff White" daily devotional email to take with you into the weekend:
Their sins and the evil things
they do—I will not remember anymore.
“With one sacrifice he made perfect forever those who are being made holy” - (Hebrews 10:14).
What a concept. With the one sacrifice you are made perfect. Not sinless but perfect. Then God promises to forget forever your sins.
People ask about how long judgment will take; for the Christian, it will take an instant. That’s right, an instant. Why? You have no sins to discuss, God has forgotten and forgiven. The Christians judgment will consist of appearing before God and hearing him say, enter in my good and faithful servant.
Today is Monday, October 23rd, 2006; Karen's Korner #916|
Jim's cousin, Rosemary, took a couple of dozen gals on an adventure with her on Saturday, at a church salad luncheon. She became the "women at the well", as the luncheon's speaker.
Her first person portrayal found Rosemary bustling back from the well to tell all of her friends that she had just talked with the Messiah. She knew it was Him because "He knew all about me, about my five husbands and the man I am living with now is not my husband."
The Samaritan woman continued, "He helped with my jug and my water, but He told me about living water and that I never need to thirst again. He talked with me..........me! .... like He would have talked with anyone else. And I never heard Him speak one word of condemnation!"
Rosemary told the group she had taken her remarks from the book "Bad Girls of the Bible" by Liz Curtis Higgs. The "real story" can be found in John chapter 4.
There were four things Rosemary wanted each of us to know from her story:
* Never be afraid to ask questions; it is worth the risk!
* Not lying isn't the same as telling the truth. The woman tried to tell Jesus only part of her story; He knew all about her!
* Thirst is a gift from God. Don't ignore the thirst, as it might put you into Jesus' path!
* Water is made to be shared, not horded. When this Samaritan woman had the brief encounter with Jesus, she was filled with joy; her heart (and life!) was changed. She knew she would never be the same; she was going to live a new life. She was cared for and loved in a way she had never experienced before. She wanted to share what she now knew!
We are like that woman........needing Jesus' love and attention. We need that kind of encounter, so we can make needed changes in our behaviors, add dimensions and excitement to, what otherwise might be a hum-drum existence. We need that "living water", the kind that doesn't run out...not now, not ever!
Today is a good day to meet Jesus, if not for the first time.......again!
Today is Tuesday, October 24th, 2006; Karen's Korner #917|
A writing by Max Lucado from his book "When God Whispers Your Name":
I will ask the Father, and he will
give you another Helper to be with you
forever--the Spirit of Truth.
-- John 14: 16 & 17
Do-it-yourself Christianity is not much encouragement to the done-in and worn-out.
Self-sanctification holds little hope for the addict.....
At some point we need more than good advice; we need help. Somewhere on this journey home we realize that a fifty-fifty proposition is too little. We need more.....
We need help. Help from the inside out.....Not near us. Not above us. Not around us. But in us. In the part of us we don't even know. In the heart no one else has seen. In the hidden recesses of our being dwells, not an angel, not a philosophy, not a genie, but God.
Today is Wednesday, October 25th, 2006; Karen's Korner #918|
A favorite of Joanne Huff, someone we met while we were traveling in Tennessee:
Should you read the Bible
Both Old and New Testaments, especially the Psalms and the Gospels
Reverently and prayerfully every day,
Should you read the deepest and purest saints and men of God,
Should you faithfully serve the church and participate in the fulness of its life
Despite its endless frailties and imperfections and tribulations,
Should you practice the great art of mental and moral discipline,
And should you seek, with love and expectation and self-giving,
The company of those who do these things,
I guarantee you two things:
First, that you will experience in your own life and being
A taste of what is beautiful and strong and certain and free;
Second, you will develop such a sharpness of vision as to distinguish
The true from the false whenever you come across them.
And both your being and your vision will grant you
Some knowledge of God.
~~ Charles Malik
Today is Thursday, October 26th, 2006; Karen's Korner #919|
This is something that my friend Vicky Boyington wrote and forwarded to me. She wrote it for inclusion in a holiday devotional booklet which will be printed for a church in a neighboring town where her daughter attends. Remember that you will have read it first!
"Often times we get so busy with our daily lives, we don't stop to think of Your Will for us. We hurry to get morning chores done before leaving the house for our place of employment. We don't take the time to listen to loved ones needs.
"At work we plow through our chores, never stopping to listen to our co-workers concerns. We leave work and go to church meetings or service organizations and take care of the business at hand and yet not listening to the needs of the other members. Once again, we go home too tired to listen to our loved ones needs.
"Dear Lord, we are only vessels for Your use. Help us to make the choices that please You. Teach us right from wrong. Show us the pathway to go. Let us serve our brothers and sisters, as Your Son did when He walked on earth. Most of all let us live each day as to serve You for Your glory. Amen."
Today is Friday, October 27th, 2006; Karen's Korner #920|
About six weeks after the terrorist attack of the World Trade Center towers, Jim and I traveled to Bejing, China as part of our local bank's seniors travel club. My younger sister, Eileen, who wasn't and isn't in that age category, traveled with us.
We had signed up for the eight-day trip in the spring, prior to the planes knocking down the New York buildings. We were notified by the travel company, if we were afraid to travel or didn't want to be out of the United States due to the changing environment of the world, we could get our money back and cancel our travel plans.
At the urging of my "little sister", we kept our committed travel plans.
I don't know how full the plane would have been normally, but this November 2001 flight was about 2/3 full. Everyone was there because they wanted to fly; no one made them go. In the nearly 13 hour flight rarely did we hear these comments from travel passengers, but on occasion, someone would remark, "If there are terrorists on this flight, we aren't going down without a fight!" Todd Beamer and his friends flying on the ill-fated flight landing in Pennsylvania had become our new standard of dealing with terrorist attackers. I could envision shoes flying, words being exchanged; who knows what else!
I think that sometimes about myself, when the "negative" thoughts or "bad" things happen in my life. More of what happens to me isn't in the real world; it can be the crazy thoughts in my mind; the ones that will never become realities!
God knew that could and would happen to all of us....sometimes! We need to declare war on those thoughts and happenings. Stomp our feet and exclaim to those "terrorist thoughts which hold us hostage": "We are not going down without a fight!"
Proverbs 46:1 says "God is our refuge and our strength, a very tested help in times of trouble!" The real ones and the ones that just rattle around in our minds!
Today is a good day to celebrate that victory.......even if we don't feel like it, think like it, or act like it! We win again!!
Today is Monday, October 30th, 2006; Karen's Korner #921|
One day last week I saw my friend Gretta Bauman at our local bank. "Oh, I just saw an article in my newest 'Thrivent' magazine," she said. "You have to read it. It is a perfect Karen's Korner!"
It is titled 'Holy Gusts' and 'Daily Freds', with the sub-title 'Spiritual role models are everywhere. We just need to keep our eyes open.'
Richard Binler, writer of the article, began by telling about an obituary he had recently read: "Fred was an unsung hero, a steady worker who did things quietly. Lending a hand to others was nothing new for Fred. He loved people because he knew God loved him." Binler said while we need to thank God for our daily bread, we also need to thank Him for our "daily Freds', the kinds of people that aren't sports heroes or Hollywood icons, but those who move quietly through our lives, inspiring us with goodness, if we only take a moment to let them.
Binler went on to tell about Mr. Gust, who was one of his everyday role models. "Each week when I was growing up, he would always greet my family and share the joy of the Lord at the church where we worshipped," he wrote. "Mr. Gust, to me, was 'Jesus with skin on'." A real "Holy Gust".
A couple of other people in Binler's life were mentioned in the article. He concluded the short piece: "Thanks, Lord, for those Holy Gusts! Thanks for the Daily Freds who quietly inspire us. 'What a friend we have in Jesus' -- and what a Jesus we have in friends."
Today is Tuesday, October 31st, 2006; Karen's Korner #922|
This is a recent daily devotional written by Jeff White. With elections a week from today, it is quite timely. Don't worry it isn't another campaign ad. It speaks about us:
"I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers,
because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have
toward the Lord Jesus and all the saints, and I pray that the
sharing of your faith may become effective…"
~~ Philemon 1:4-6a
President Bush is in a countdown mode now. He has two years remaining in office and this November’s election is probably his most important of the past six years. Why? Well, if the Democrats take control of the House and Senate, then he becomes a “lame duck”. If the Republicans retain control, he has power. This power shift is important for legacy building. A lame duck cannot push through the last minute laws that a President needs to build his legacy.
We too are in a count down mode in our lives. Every minute brings us closer to death. What legacy are you building? Will someone remember you in their prayers as a “Great Christian Example” because of your Love, Faith, and Teaching? Or will you just pass away in time as another “Good Christian” with no legacy to qualify that title?