February 2015 Archives
Today is Monday, February 2nd, 2015; Karen's Korner #2996|
"So Jesus launched into an extended reply.
'Don't let anyone mislead you,' He said, 'for many will come declaring themselves to be your Messiah, and will lead many astray. And wars will break out near and far, but this is not the signal of the end time.'"
~ Mark 13:5 - 7 LAB
Bible Commentary: "What are the signs of the end times? There have been people in every generation since Christ's resurrection claiming to know exactly when Jesus would return. No one has been right yet, however, because Christ will return on God's timetable, not man's. Jesus predicted that many believers would be misled before his return by false teachers claiming to have revelations from God. In Scripture, the one clear sign of Christ's return is that all mankind will see Him coming in the clouds. In other words, you do not have to wonder whether a certain person is the Messiah or whether these are the 'end times'. When Jesus returns, you will know beyond a doubt. Beware of groups that claim special knowledge of the last days because no one know when this time will be."
Today is Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015; Karen's Korner #2997|
"Hope Among the Wreckage" was the title of Sunday morning's worship message.
The minister started with several photos on the overhead screen showing destruction caused by hurricanes, flooding, and tornadoes. His comment, "Every time there is a major natural disaster, it is followed by the media, non-profit groups, and politicians coming to cover or help with the devastation. They stay for a few hours or maybe even a few days. But the 'disaster' continues for days, weeks, and maybe even years as residents try to clean up and get back to normal."
"While those people or groups can provide some assistance, they can't give what is needed most: HOPE!" he said. It isn't just natural disasters which 'wreck' our lives: relationships are destroyed, marriages crumble, families are pulled apart. There is crime, wars, terrorist attacks, health issues, bodies being drug down by aging or diseases.
God came into the world, along side us; into a world just like ours is today. He was no 'helicopter' man; He lived among us. He saw the injustice, disease, and death. Jesus was the only perfect person ever to live and He righted the wrongs which He witnessed and with whom He interacted.
He offered then, and He offers today: life over death; good over evil; hope over despair. As His followers, we must claim unapologetically what Jesus has to offer the world. If it is at the end of our life or the lives of our loved ones, it is not the end but life is just beginning.
"We must not get pulled away from that faith.....and that hope!" the minister said. "With all the wreckage around us, we must tell others what we see as Christians. We see what others may not be able to see or believe. We have hope!"
Today is Wednesday, February 4th, 2015; Karen's Korner #2998|
Sorry for the delay in emailing today's Karen's Korner. I was away from my computer until now!
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord."
~ Isaiah 55:8
"People love Cinderella stories. They like to hear how someone's dream of success came true. The Jewish people of Jesus' time on earth were no different. They dreamed of a Messiah who'd come and free them from Roman rule and reign over them like King David of old. They recalled how God raised up Moses and freed them from slavery in Egypt. The disciples clung to the dream of another Moses, and when they saw Jesus' miracles, they realized He was even greater than Moses! How their hearts must have thrilled, thinking of their own reward for 'hitching their wagon' to such a Star!
"But those hopes vanished on one dark Friday. And even after the happy ending of Easter Sunday's resurrection, the disciples couldn't give up their dream of a restored political kingdom (Acts 1:6). When our own dreams don't come true in the way we initially hoped and there's no Cinderella storybook ending on the horizon, it's helpful to realize that God has His own vision for each of His children. We may not understand it until we reach our heavenly home, the greatest dream that God could dream for us! It's a dream made into reality by the life Jesus lived for us and the death He died for us imperfect dreamers."
"Dear Father, we place our hopes and dreams on the altar of Your will, as Jesus did. Amen."
~ Taken from a past "Portals of Prayer" devotional and shared with me by my sister Jill.
Today is Thursday, February 5th, 2015; Karen's Korner #2999|
Today is Friday, February 6th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3000|
Wow! This is Karen's Korner #3000!
Who knew when I started sending out these weekday inspirational thoughts (mine & others), Bible verses and what they might mean, and short thoughts, I would get this big of a collection! It started in March 2003! (And every one of them are archived in www.karens-korner.com .)
Thank you to every one of you who read what I type and send daily!
You may think that you are the 'receiver'. But it is me who 'receives', as I read, study, research, share. I would tend not to be so deliberate or focused each day without knowing that a 'Karen's Korner' needed to be sent. I learn so much from you.........and from God....by doing this. I love some of your responses or requests back. I don't get lots of them daily (nor do I expect them!). God knows exactly how many I 'need'; just some......now and then.
And I have learned so much.
As an ongoing reader, you know me and many of my themes:
* God really loves you and me; don't understand why;
* He is faithful and well-ordered in our lives and in the universe;
* Being thankful is the key to life and good mental health, even what may be happening isn't what we like;
* God is willing to instruct us into 'good living', not trying to spoil our lives;
* What He promises us, He will do;
* Living and enjoying one day at a time, is possible. And it adds up to a good life.
* This life isn't the only one for us to enjoy. There is one coming that is better and lasts for eternity!
In looking back at some of my first Karen's Korners, here are a couple of short thoughts from KK #3:
"When confronted with a Goliath-sized problem, which way do you respond:
'He's too big to hit', or like David, 'He's too big to miss'."
"No matter what we think nor how we feel;
Jesus and His Love for us always remains the same!"
~ Karen Weld
Today is Monday, February 9th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3001|
I spent the last week in Florida, staying with a sister who rents a condo near Naples for the month of February. Weather was beautiful and through modern technology, I was able to keep sending Karen's Korner emails!
Back home in Iowa yesterday afternoon, it was 30 - 40 degrees colder! But still nice - 35 degrees when I went to pick up my dog, Rocky. He spent the week being 'dog sat' by some friends of ours.
Rocky was happy to be going home and ran to jump into my van.......wet, muddy feet and all! So I had some paw prints on at least three of our leather seats! Then I remember: I/we have had Rocky because we want to have live with us.....with or without his muddy paws.
Isn't that how it is with anything we choose to love? There is the relationship, which is good. But sometimes we have extra work, additional expenses, maybe even a broken heart! Worth it, because he choose it!
Same thing with God. He knew that we might 'mud' up His universe. But He chose to love us anyway:
"For God loved the
world (you & me!) so much that He gave His only Son
so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
~ John 3:16 LAB
This week is Valentine's week, time to tell or show someone (or something like a dog) how much you care for them!
Muddy footprints and all!
Where is my clean up cloth?
Today is Tuesday, February 10th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3002|
As we barrel through the week toward Valentine's Day this weekend, we take a second look at 'love'.
I checked the word in www.biblegateway.com and there are nearly 700 verses devoted to love, so you know it must be pretty important!
Yesterday's 'korner' I penned about people (or dogs) which might mess up our worlds, but still worthy of our love.
Here is what Jesus said:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar:
'Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.'"
~ Matthew 22:37 - 39 LAB
There are some important truths here: Love God; love others; love yourself.
I'd like to focus on loving ourselves this morning. If God loves us, we need to love us!
If I don't love myself, I don't think I can love other people - my neighbors.
So today take a few minutes and allow God to love you. Tap you on your shoulder. Put His arm around you. Maybe you can climb up into His 'spiritual lap' and just sit there and let Him love you. Agree with Him!
It's a relationship; better than any human one you can have.......because it doesn't end!
Then move together with Him and start to love others. Not just today or this week. But every day.
Today is Wednesday, February 11th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3003|
A few fun sayings from "The Irish Get Up & Go Diary 2015":
"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play,
his labor and his leisure,
his mind and his body,
his love and his religion.
He hardly knows which is which.
He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does,
leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.
To him he's always doing both."
~ James Michener
""Every child come with the message
that God is not yet discouraged of man."
~ Rabindranath Tagore
"It is better to go forward and stumble,
than to sit idle and grumble."
"Everything is okay in the end.
If it's not okay, then it's not the end."
Today is Thursday, February 12th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3004|
Looking at the five chapters of I John with three bold section headings: God Is light; God is love; and God is life.
Doesn't look like He changes His mind on any of them: light, love and life!
Since Valentine's Day is coming on Saturday, here is the introduction to the 'love' part:
"See how very much our heavenly Father loves us,
for He allows us to be called His Children---
think of it ----
and we really are!!
But since most people don't know God,
naturally they don't understand that we are His Children.
Yes, dear friends, we are already God's Children,
and we can't even imagine what it is going to be like later on.
But we do know this,
that when He comes we will be like Him,
as a result of seeing Him as He really is!"
Bible Commentary: "As believers, our self-worth is based on the fact that God loves us and calls us His Children. We are His Children now, not just sometime in the distant future. Knowing that we are His Children encourages us to live as Jesus did."
Today is Friday, February 13th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3005|
Watching and listening to Christian radio, television, or maybe an educational video series, quite often we are introduced to a presenter whose life may not have started off the best. Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore were sexually abused as young girls. Joni Erickson Tada broke her neck in a swimming accident and has been wheelchair bound for decades.
As I think about them and many others in my everyday life who may not have had the best start, but who have chosen to 'follow Jesus', these people have been transformed by the 'love of Jesus'. When God chose them and they choose Him, His Love lifts them higher than any place they could have achieved on their own.
So in celebration of Valentine's Day tomorrow, the lyrics to the song "Love Lifted Me":
"I was sinking deep in sin,
Far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within
Sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea
Heard my despairing cry.
From the waters lifted me
Now safe am I.
"Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me.
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me.
"Souls in danger look above
Jesus completely saves.
He will lift you by his love
Out of the angry waves.
But the master of the sea
Billows His will obey.
He your savior wants to be
Be saved today.
"Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me.
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!"
Today is Monday, February 16th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3006|
Sometimes we wonder why some people do so many things against what we believe God wants and are so successful? They might be movie stars, professional athletes, politicians, or musicians; may make lots of money and do who knows what to others to get it. You know the types!
In Psalms 10, the chapter theme introduction says in part, "Why do the wicked succeed?" While the people we might think about may or may not be 'wicked', they certainly could be categorized as 'self-serving'.
Here is what a couple of the verses say:
"These wicked men, so proud and haughty, seem to think that God is dead. They wouldn't think of looking for Him! Yet there Is success in everything they do, and their enemies fall before them. They do not see your punishment awaiting them. They boast that neither God nor man can ever keep them down---somehow they'll find a way!"
~ Psalm 10:4 - 6 LAB
Commentary: "Some people succeed in everything they do, and they brag that no one, not even God, can keep them down. We may wonder why God allows these people to amass great wealth while they despise Him as they do. But why are we upset when the wicked prosper? Are we angry about the damage they are doing, or just jealous of their success? To answer these questions, we must gain the right perspective on wickedness and wealth. The wicked will surely be punished because God hates evil deeds. Wealth is only temporary and is not a sign of God's approval or a person's life, nor is lack of it a sign of God's disapproval. Don't let wealth or lack of it become your obsession."
Today is Tuesday, February 17th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3007|
Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence", daily flip calendar (or book!) is written as though Jesus is talking to the reader. She uses Bible verses to back up her words.
Every day is a good writing; I especially liked yesterday's. It might not 'speak' to you, but it may, to a friend described in the writing:
"Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to 'be still'. Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again. Some of the greatest works in My Kingdom have been done from sick beds and prison cells. Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for My way in the midst of these very circumstances. Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to Me.
"Quietness and trust enhance your awareness of My Presence with you. Do not despise these simple ways of serving Me. Although you feel cut off from the activity of the world, your quiet trust makes a powerful statement in spiritual realms. My Strength and Power show themselves most effective in weakness."
Zechariah 2:13; Isaiah 30:15; 2 Corinthians 12:9
Today is Wednesday, February 18th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3008|
Today is Ash Wednesday, a day which is 'heartily recommended to those of the Christian faith as a grand opportunity for repentance and spiritual renewal' as we observe Lent on our way to Easter.
Something penned by Billy Graham to kick off the season:
"O LORD my God, You are very great...You who laid the foundations of the earth."
~ Psalm 104:1, 5
"Gods love did not begin at Calvary. Before the morning stars sang together, before the world was baptized with the first light, before the first blades of tender grass peeped out, God was love.
"Turn back to the unwritten pages of countless eons before God spoke this present earth into existence, when the earth was 'without form and void' and the deep, silent darkness of space stood in stark contrast to the brilliance of God's glory and His cherubim and seraphim.
"Even then, God was love. Before the worlds were created, He knew all about us and the need we would have some day for Christ to die for us. So in His love
"He chose us in Him before the creation of the world."
~ Ephesians 1:4"God does not change -- and neither does His love. He loved you before you were born....He loves you now.......and He will love you forever. Will you love Him in return?"
Today is Thursday, February 19th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3009|
We all get some 'pass around' emails. Some we have seen more than once; maybe often! Yesterday I received one from a long-time friend in Montana titled "Nature Never Gives Up". No words, just a dozen or more picturesque photos of: trees with nearly no soil; plants growing up through the cracks in concrete or asphalt; flowers blooming where no flower should be able to grow; and roots sprawling all over looking for something on which to be anchored. (If you'd like me to forward the email, just 'reply' and I will send it to you!)
I couldn't help but think of our lives and how often something comes along to 'crack the concrete' of our daily living. Or we are asked to 'bloom' where we never wanted to be planted. We all know of someone who is doing 'very well' after a devastating accident, causing a big change in his/her lifestyle. The list is as long as our possible thoughts.
But like 'nature', God never gives up in our lives and we can continue to 'grow' and 'bloom' regardless of what can, and does, happen.
Dear Father God, thank You that You make all things possible...even the things we think are impossible at first glance. We can bloom no matter where or what might happen to us because You provide the Sunshine and the Rain to help us grow. You allow our roots to go down deep into the Soil of Your Love. Thank You for being such a wonderful God. Amen.
Today is Friday, February 20th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3010|
"O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
~ St. Francis of Assissi
Today is Monday, February 23rd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3011|
Yesterday's church sermon was taken from Colossians, chapter 3; several verses in the mid-section. Several of the sub-headings in the entire chapter include: 'principles of Christian living' and 'principles for relationships'. All good!
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts of God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
~ Colossians 3:12 - 17 NIV
"Paul offers a strategy to help us live for God day by day:
imitate Christ's merciful, forgiving spirit;
let love guide your life;
let the peace of Christ rule in your heart;
always be thankful;
keep God's Word in you at all times;
do everything as though you were Jesus Christ's representative."
Today is Tuesday, February 24th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3012|
Something written by Max Lucado. It's titled "God Can Use You!". Doesn't that just amaze us?
It never ceases to amaze me how much God loves all of us; some maybe we can understand - they are nice, caring, giving. But He loves the 'not so nice' people - who are mean, selfish, self-centered, steal, murder - you know the list.
It's His Nature to Love. And we are ALL on the list!!
God Can Use You!
"If God chose only righteous people to change the world, you could count them all on one finger - Jesus! Instead He included others in His plan - sinners, the ungodly, the imperfect. God used and uses people to change the world. People! Crooks, creeps, lovers, and liars--He uses them all!
God chose only righteous people to change the world, you could count them all on
one finger—Jesus! Instead he included others in His plan—sinners, the ungodly,
the imperfect. God used and uses people to change the world. People! Crooks,
creeps, lovers, and liars—he uses them all!
"If you ever wonder how God can use you to make a difference in your world, just look at those He has already used, and take heart. No matter who you are or what you've done. God can use you. Because you're imperfect, you can speak of making mistakes. Because you're a sinner, you can speak of forgiveness. God restores the broken and the brittle, then parade them before the world as trophies of His love and strength. And when the world sees the ungodly turn godly, they know God must love them too.
"God can use you, my friend!"
Today is Wednesday, February 25th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3013|
"Praise the Lord, all nations everywhere.
"Praise Him, all peoples of the earth.
"For He loves us very dearly, and His truth endures.
"Praise the Lord."
~ Psalms 117
Yesterday's Dr. David Jeremiah program on Christian radio, focused on 'praise' and 'thanksgiving' and what it does for our mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. "Giving thanks isn't just for one day in November," he said. "Read one chapter in the book of Psalms. Then find at least one thing to praise God when you: look up; look around; and look inside."
I might add: thank God for one thing in your life you 'don't like'.
"Hallelujah! 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! Yes, praise Him!"
~ Psalms 150
Today is Thursday, February 26th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3014|
Today's Karen's Korner is penned by Anne Graham Lotz and is title "Joy in Jesus!"
"Joy" is one of those possessions given as a gift to us a Christians; the list is long (like the gift of eternal life). It has nothing to do with how we 'feel'; it is just 'packed in'....like all the others. So when the day comes when we don't feel 'joyful', remind yourself (and tell God), "Thank You for the gift of JOY!":
JOY IN JESUS!
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
~ Romans 15:13 NKJV
"Joy is supremely different than happiness. Happiness, which is an American's inalienable right to pursue, seems to depend more on circumstances or things or people or feelings. Joy is independent of everything except our relationship with God. Someone has defined joy as peace dancing! And Jesus, with eyes that must have sparkled in anticipation of the blessing that His beloved friends were going to receive, explained, 'I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.' (John 15:11, NIV).
"One of the hallmarks of those who are immersed in a love relationship with Jesus and His Father, which they express through abiding obedience, is joy! Joy in Jesus! Joy in living our lives for Him! Joy is abiding....and obeying! Joy that is complete, with nothing that needs to be added to make it more so."
~ Anne Graham Lotz
Today is Friday, February 27th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3015|
Our Sunday School class is called "Sunday Times" and we briefly study lots of different topics in the course of the S.S. year; sort of like reading the newspaper!
Last week we looked at some of the topics addressed in the 'travel book' by Dr. David Jeremiah titled "Discover Paradise: A Guidebook to Heaven, Your True Home." We will study it one more Sunday.
Here are a couple of highlights and topic headings:
Look forward to:
* GOD who is exciting;
* WE will be exciting;
* OUR FRIENDS will be exciting;
* OUR WORK will be exciting;
* HEAVEN WILL FULFILL OUR LONGINGS.
WHAT DOES HEAVEN LOOK LIKE?
* The Size of the City. The size of New Jerusalem is amazing. It is about fifteen hundred miles wide, fifteen hundred miles long, and fifteen hundred miles high. The size is 'far beyond what we can imagine';
* The Pearly Gates. 'The twelve gates were twelve pearls; each individual gate was one pearl' (Revelation 21:21). What kind of oyster does it take to make one pearl for each gate? God isn't limited to building pearls only by oysters.
* The Foundation of Precious Stones. Read Revelation 21:19,20. Those stones are all of the hues of the rainbow.
* Streets of Gold. 'And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass'. (Revelation 21:21). If we look at pure gold, we know that pure gold is not transparent, it's opaque. You can't see through pure gold, but in heaven.......
*The Lamb is the Light. In New Jerusalem, there will be no light sockets, no lanterns, no lamps. The Bible says that in that city. HE will be the Light and there will be no need for any other light because of the brilliance of the Lord Jesus.
* The River of Life & The Tree of Life. If you want to find the throne of God, all you'll have to do Is follow the river, which flows from the throne. On each side of this river are planted not just the tree, but the trees, of life.