January 2016 Archives
Today is Tuesday, January 5th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3216|
(Home after a few days away - more about that tomorrow. Hope that your new year is off to a good start!)
Run Your Own Race
By Max Lucado
"A little boy named Adam wanted to be like his friend Bobby. Adam loved the way Bobby walked and talked. Bobby wanted to be like Charlie. Something about Charlie's stride intrigued him. Charlie on the other hand, was impressed with Danny. Charlie wanted to look and sound like Danny. Danny, of all things, had a hero as well. He wanted to be just like Adam. So Adam was imitating Bobby, who was imitating Charlie, who was imitating Danny, who was imitating Adam. Turns out all Adam had to do was to be himself.
"Stay in your own lane. Run your own race. Nothing good happens when you compare and compete. God's yardstick for measuring faithfulness is how faithful you are with your own gifts. You are not responsible for the nature of your gift. But you are responsible for how you use it!
Today is Wednesday, January 6th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3217|
If you are around Clarion or watching our comings and goings on facebook pages the past week or so, you know that two of my sisters and I went to California with the goal of working on a couple Rose Bowl floats. We also watched the parade, visited a couple of points of interest, and walked on several beaches.
It was fun!
One of the things which I did was to take some dried flowers with me which our son-in-law Ed had left a couple of months ago on our daughter Merry's grave. I also took some dried roses from Jim's funeral and celebration of life service.
My goal was to toss them in the Pacific Ocean, symbolizing how life 'ebbs and flows' and continues!
That is what I did on Santa Monica beach one of the first days we were there.
I tossed them in and the waves brought them back to the beach! I picked them up and tried again! It took several times before the water took them into the bigger body of the ocean.
It made me stop and think about how God operates. If we give Him our lives, our time, our plans, our thoughts,our loved ones........He many times returns them to us over and over again! We learn that we can trust Him, about His care and His love!
The three of us walked farther down the beach and then returned in part of an hour. The flowers were all gone except for one rose petal! God takes care of us and leaves behind for us His love and a 'rose petal' of good memories!
Today is Thursday, January 7th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3218|
This is something written by Corrie ten Boom, referring to mentally handicapped people. Ever noticed how sometimes they appear happier and less harried than us 'normal' people. They are a blessing to have in our lives.
Speak Simply, Be Simple
"Whenever you come in contact with mentally handicapped people, please tell them that God loves them. They can often enjoy God's love better than people who have problems because of intellectual doubt.
"Has not God made the wisdom of this world to look foolish? For it was after the world in its wisdom had failed to know God, that He is His Wisdom chose to save all who would believe by the 'simplemindness' of the Gospel message."
~ I Corinthians 1:20-21 Phillips
"Lord, give us the courage to speak the truth simply, so all can understand. Some will ridicule our lack of sophisticated thinking, so we will need your courage to remain simple. But we know that your 'foolishness' is wiser than the wisdom of men."
Today is Friday, January 8th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3219|
A New Day is Coming
"This hope that was given to those shepherds on the first Christmas morning is available only to those who believe. To know the pardon, joy, peace, and power that come through Christ, we must personally receive Him by faith. We must humble ourselves and admit our sin and our moral failures. And then by faith we must turn to Him as Savior and Lord.
"From tow momentous events, the birth and death of Jesus, God says to us, 'I love you.' He also says, 'I can forgive you.'
"Queen Victoria once heard a preacher preach on that subject. And she said, 'I wish He would come in my lifetime, so I could lay my crown at His feet.' More than one hundred fifty years ago, a French columnist named Pierre Bercheit said, 'Within a hundred years of physical and chemical science, man will know what the atom is. It is my belief that when science reaches this stage, God will come down to earth with His big ring of keys and will say to humanity, 'Gentlemen, it is closing time.' The Bible teaches that there will be a close to history as we know it. Man will have his last Armageddon. But when it seems that humanity is about to destroy itself, God will intervene. Christ will return."
"I looked, and there before me was a white horse!
It's rider held a bow, and he was given, a crown,
and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest."
~ Revelation 6:2
~ Written & Published by Billy Graham
Today is Saturday, January 9th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3220|
One written and sent on Saturday, as I began writing Karen's Korners on Tuesday this week, after being gone for several days.
So this one is just for fun!
At the beginning of 2015, I decided to keep track of things "I had never done before", as I continue on my aging path of 'growing older'. Is there anything that I haven't done before?
Yes! My list includes more than 50 items!! Some of them, I decided to do. Others just happened and I recorded it. Some were simple. Others took a bit of time to 'complete'.
I'll give you a quick look at several:
* My first one was in January when I attended a funeral of two people. A friend with health issues and in his early 70s passed away and his 'more-than-100-year-old mom' died a handful of hours later;
* I'd never ridden a Segway, so my sister and I rented two for an hour while in Florida in February.
* I hadn't attended a state team dual wrestling tournament. I did with friends, and our school won the championship!
* While our daughter and granddaughter were traveling through Nebraska during spring break, I ate a runza burger at one of its franchises. I'd never heard of them before; you either? It's a beef and cabbage sandwich. Just okay!
* Never walked in Rowan's St. Patrick's Day parade. Small town of under 200, parade of a couple dozen entries and several blocks long.
* Since I am still learning to live alone, there are some tasks which are mine now, which Jim had always done. I had never rewound the string in our weed whacker. I made the decision to have our house re-shingled; never one that large $$. Together Jim and I had made lots larger $$ choices, but I hadn't done it alone.
* Jamie, her family, and I traveled to South Dakota in early June and among other things, walked up on to Crazy Horse's arm.
* I watched the alpaca show at our country fair. It was a new show a couple of year's ago, but I had never attended!
* I kayaked with our grandson Luke at Gray's Lake; he'd done it several times. Not me!
* Because I am getting older, I have a couple of health 'firsts' - never had had my eyes dilated (no, I don't know why!); had some teeth gums stuff done hadn't before, and just before I left for California, I had a kidney stone! (Like I said, "I don't always choose them all!")
* I had never decorated a float for the Rose Bowl parade. And since University of Iowa was playing at the Rose Bowl game, I purchased a Iowa Rose Bowl long-sleeved t-shirt. Never owned any Iowa Hawkeyes (or for that matter ISU clothing) before!
And this year, since I am turning seventy in May, I am starting my list over. The first on my list was watching the Rose Bowl parade on January 1 (my only entry for 2016!).
But here are some on my plans:
* I am going to drive a tractor in one our local parades this summer.
* Since I am turning 70, I am not planning a birthday party. I think, instead I am going to have a 'bunch' of them.
* I am going to drive around our area and pick asparagus. Herb, my 96 year old friend, showed me where about sixteen spots are and I wrote the directions down. In the spring, I'll try to 'hunt' for asparagus on my own!
* I have never done any Black Friday shopping the morning after Thanksgiving; watched a roller derby match; made cheesecake, nor ridden a mule.
And the list continues.
God willing, I have things to do, places to go, and people to see!
How about you? What's on your list for 2016??
Today is Monday, January 11th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3221|
Our worship sermon on Sunday had us flipping back and forth in Mathew and Luke a couple of times each.
While being led toward Matthew 6, I saw this graphic in my Life Application Bible titled: "Seven Reasons Not to Worry"; taken from verses 25 - 34:
* The same God who created life in you can be trusted with the details of your life (25);
* Worrying about the future hampers your efforts for today (26);
* Worrying is more harmful than helpful (27);
* God does not ignore those who depend on him (28 - 30);
* Worry shows a lack of faith and understanding of God (32);
* There are real challenges God wants us to pursue, and worrying keeps us from them (33);
* Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry (34).
Today is Tuesday, January 12th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3222|
Readers can probably tell that I am currently reading "Each New Day" by Corrie ten Boom. It is a 365 day 'reflections to strengthen our faith'. But instead I am reading it more like a book, looking at several at a time. Consequently, I am rarely on the 'right day'.
Today's Karen's Korner is March 23 and talks about forgiveness......of others.......for what others might have done do us......maybe at times, forgiving ourselves.
So let's read what Corrie has to say. And today, it's a day for us to clean the slate .......and walk in freedom. John 8:32 says, "We shall know the truth, and the truth will set us free!"
Fading Effects of Forgiveness
"When we forgive someone, we must not be surprised when old, angry thoughts return to us. The same is true for our confessed sins. We may be tempted, or even fall back, but we have been delivered from our sins, and the temptation will gradually fade from our lives.
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength,
but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape,
that you may be able to endure it."
~ I Corinthians 10:13 RSV
"Holy Spirit, teach us how to receive forgiveness, to forgive others, and to forgive ourselves."
Today is Wednesday, January 13th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3223|
In Max Lucado's new book "before AMEN", he focuses on a simple 'pocket prayer'.
He begins by confessing that 'some people would rather pray than sleep. Why is it that I sleep when I pray?'
I join Max!
So he gives us a simple prayer to 'keep in our pockets':
You are good.
I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help.
In Jesus' name,
Then Lucado expands on the "Father" portion:
Father---Help me see you as my Daddy who cherishes me and holds me through anything and everything.
You are good---You are a loving Dad who knows what is best for me.
I need help---Will you help me have the humble and contrite heart you desire when I talk with you? I confess that my heart isn't always in the right place.
They need help---People all over the world think they have to be a certain type of person or have to say the right words in the right place to pray to you. I pray for protection from the enemy, who wants to rob people of true, intimate conversation with you.
Thank you---Thank you for showing us how to pray and for being a patient Daddy.
In Jesus' name, amen.
Today is Thursday, January 14th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3224|
Something written by Anne Graham Lotz. A good one as we get closer to lots of campaigns and elections. Voting and elections are important but so is Jesus and the extra dimension that He offers to all of us:
Just Think on Jesus!
"He love us and has freed us from our sins by his blood."
~ Revelation 1:5b NIV
"Jesus is the most important Man, not just in our nation, not just on planet earth, but in the entire universe! And He isn't just for four years or eight years, but forever and ever and ever! Furthermore, the most important Man in the universe thinks I am so important, He gave His own life for me! How can I feel depressed by the smallness of my life when the most important Man in the universe died for me, rules over me now, and will one day return for me? In the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am important. I am of value. How can I consider myself anything less?
"Do you feel depressed by the smallness of your life? There is an antidote for feelings of smallness. Just think on Jesus!"
Today is Friday, January 15th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3225|
My favorite Bible is a Life Application one. It was printed in 1971 and given to me by my Aunt Helen around that time.
Today's Karen's Korner talks about 'nuclear blasts'; seems it is something we have been thinking about and threatened by for decades.
"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!"
~ Psalms 46:1 - 3
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 Monday, January 18th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3226|
I had the opportunity on Saturday afternoon to visit my aunt and uncle who live in senior housing in Mason City. Dick will be 95 next week; Ruth will be 94 in March. They celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary in May.
They started to retell the story of son Brian when he was four years old. He was sick with what they thought was the flu for several days. But he wasn't getting better. A trip to the doctor was the next step. "Take two of these and he should be better," or something like that, was what the doctor told them.
Within the next day or two, Brian wasn't any better. So Mom recalled the doctor, "You need to give the medicine more time to work," was the doctors reply. Ruth was insistent, "He is sick!" While doctors have medical degrees, sometimes parents know when things aren't right.
They took Brian in and put him in the hospital. Testing and time was passing. All everyone knew was that he was a very sick little boy. Eventually the doctor told Dick, they believed he didn't have more than two weeks to live!
Christians (and sometimes non-Christians) ask all kinds of people to pray for him/them; it included their church prayer group and other groups. Of course, everyone was asking for Brian to be healed and once again well.
Ruth said one day she left the hospital to be home to get lunch for their two older boys. Dick stayed back with Brian. "I was telling God how he HAD to heal Brian," she said. "But God reminded me of the Lord's prayer and asking 'for His Will' to be done. I didn't want to hear that or think about it. But I can remember praying and asking God for His Will. 'But, God, if You want Brian now to be with You, You are going to have to help me'!"
After lunch, she returned to the hospital and found Brian curled up in his dad's arms as nurses were changing the sheets on his bed. Dick had prayed somewhat of a similar prayer. And the first thing Dick said to Ruth, "He's going to be fine!"
Things started to change for all of them. Not knowing what 'fine' would look like. The family was told he had an advanced stage of mono and some of the treatments were beginning to work. The hospital stay last eleven days!
Brian is now 58. He has recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis which some think might be an off-shoot of his four-year-old illness. Maybe not. But you can't discount 50 good years of health and life for Brian.
Even Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead, died! God is the great healer!! We sometimes ask Him for more time. And He many times gives it to us.
But He has an ultimate plan for all of us. And it includes His Home. His Love. His Care. Him serving as our Heavenly Father for eternity! What a plan!
Today is Tuesday, January 19th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3227|
This is today's Max Lucado; delivered into my email box:
Jesus Became Like Us!
"John 1:14 says, 'The Word became flesh and lived among us.' The God of the universe left the glory of heaven and moved into the neighborhood. Our neighborhood! Why? Because He loves to be with the ones he loves!
"There is a remarkable story about a man injured in a fire. While attempting to save his parents, his face was burned and disfigured. He wouldn't let anyone see him, including his wife. When she went to a plastic surgeon for help, the doctor assured her that he could restore her husband's face. But she wasn't there to restore her husband's face. She wanted her face disfigured so she could share in his pain.
"It's the way God feels about us. He took on our face, our disfigurement. He became like us--to show us h far he will go to be with the ones he loves!"
Today is Wednesday, January 20th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3228|
As I was walking down the ag hall of our local high school recently, I spotted this saying on one of the bulletin boards:
"You are setting the banquet table
for the feast you are going to eat
the rest of your life."
I am quite sure the words were meant for teenaged decisions of what to or not to do---about studying, career choices, things which might enhance or destroy their lives.
But I couldn't help but think about us and our Christian faith, whether we feast with Jesus in heaven or not. He has prepared the feast, set the table, and put out the invitation.
Have we sent back in our RSVP or not? Ultimately, it's our decision. Not His!
"...a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed,
'What a privilege it would be to get into the
Kingdom of God!'"
~ Luke 14:15 LB
Today is Thursday, January 21st, 2016; Karen's Korner #3229|
This is a Max Lucado for the day; enjoy!
God Uses Failures
"What was I thinking taking this job? I should have done better. It's all my fault. The voices---you've heard them all. When you lost your job, flunked the exam, or when your marriage went south......when you failed. The voices began to howl, laughing at you. You heard them and you joined them. You disqualified yourself and berated yourself. You sentenced yourself to hard labor in the Leavenworth of poor self-worth. Oh, the voices of failure. Failure finds us all.
"But God's Word is written for failures. It's full of folks who were foul-ups. David was a failure, yet God used him. Jonah was in the belly of a fish and God heard his prayer. Perfect people? No. Perfect messes? You bet! A surprising and welcome discovery of the Bible is this: God uses failure! Miss this truth and you miss your Glory Days. God's grace is greater than your failures."
Today is Friday, January 22nd, 2016; Karen's Korner #3230|
OUR ONE FOUNDATION
"No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."
~ I Corinthians 3:11 NIV
"All around us we see lives collapsing with broken hearts and broken homes and broken hopes -- with shattered minds and shattered emotions and shattered bodies. What has gone wrong? The foundation on which the majority of people are building their lives is cracked and flawed.
"The Bible tells us there is only one foundation for individual or national life that will last, regardless of the crisis or pressure, and it is the foundation of Jesus Christ: 'For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.'
"Jesus Christ never changes (Hebrews 13:8). He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Nothing can ever separate you from His love (Romans 8:35-39). So make sure you are prepared for the storms of life because your life is built on the Solid Foundation of Jesus Christ."
~ By Anne Graham Lotz
Today is Monday, January 25th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3231|
An entry from Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence"; its a 365 flip calendar as if Jesus is talking directly to its readers. Every day is good; this one was yesterday's:
"MY PEACE is the treasure of treasures, the pearl of great price. It is an exquisitely costly gift, both for the Giver and the receiver. I purchased this Peace for you with My blood. You received this gift by trusting Me in the midst of life's storms. If you have the world's peace---everything going your way---you don't seek My unfathomable Peace. Thank Me when things do not go your way, because spiritual blessings come wrapped in trials. Adverse circumstances are normal in a fallen world. Expect them each day. Rejoice in the face of hardship, for I have overcome the world."
~ Words taken from Matthew 13:16; James 1:2; John 16:33
Today is Tuesday, January 26th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3232|
"He fills me with strength and protects me wherever I go.
He gives me the surefootedness of a mountain goat upon the crags.
He leads me safely along the top of the cliffs.
He prepares me for battle and gives me strength to draw an iron bow!"
~ Psalm 18:32 - 34 LAB
Bible Commentary: "God promises to give us strength for life-building challenges and protection from life-threatening troubles. But he doesn't promise to eliminate our troubles. If God promised no rough roads, no mountains to climb, and no battles, we would not grow. But with these life-building challenges, he sends strength to overcome. If he left us alone with life-threatening troubles, we would not survive. But God sends his protection. We need his protection to survive life's impossible threats and his strength to grow as we respond to life's challenging circumstances."
Today is Wednesday, January 27th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3233|
Today's 'korner' is a Max Lucado writing. You can tell he is a favorite of mine. Simple truths that anyone can understand:
God's Gift to Each One of Us
"Call it what you wish. A talent...a skill set...a gift. The terms are different, but the truth is the same. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:7, ' The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.'
"You aren't the only person with your skill. But you are the only person with your version of your skill. You entered the world uniquely equipped. Psalm 139:13-15 describes it as 'knit together, woven together in the dark of the womb, intricately and curiously wrought.'
"Each of us! Not some of us, a few of us, or the elite among us. EACH of us has a beauty that longs to be revealed and released. It is you at your best! When you stand a the intersection of your skill and God's call, you are standing at the corner of Promised Land Avenue and Glory Days Boulevard!
Today is Thursday, January 28th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3234|
Whenever a friend Pam Tate sends out a note, she always includes "Philippians 1:3" in a note at the bottom.
Want to know what that verse says?
"I thank my God every time I remember you."
Pam says friends and their friendship mean so much to her. So she likes to thank God for them!
When life happens to us and if we live long enough, sometimes we have a 'bunch of stuff' in our past. The Tates have had their share; maybe more than their share. With the aging process, she has lost both of her parents. She was one of four; a sister and two brothers have all died. She and her husband are parents of four children; two of them are deceased.
And I am not referring to someone who is in 90s. I am guessing them to be in their 60s (hope I am generous with the age!)
Because of some of her losses, 'friends mean more and more to me!'
So Pam and I want to tell Karen's Korner readers today: "We thank God as we remember you today!"
Today is Friday, January 29th, 2016; Karen's Korner #3235|
I finished reading the book "Each New Day" by Corrie ten Boom. While it is a daily devotional with 365 entries, I read it more like a novel; reading more than one 'each day'. But lucky for me (and you), I have marked some of my favorites and want to share them now and then in the days and weeks ahead.
Here is September 25's entry:
The Greatest Adventure Begins with This
Faith is a:
"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act."
~ Psalm 37:5 RSV
"Lord, we may do wondrous things through trusting in you. Our lives become one continuous adventure, and we know that the safest place in the world is the center of your will."