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May 2018 Archives

Printable Issue 3787  Today is Tuesday, May 1st, 2018; Karen's Korner #3787

"Mercy and truth have met together.

Grim justice and peace have kissed.

Truth rises from the earth and righteousness smiles down from heaven.

Yes, the Lord pours down His blessings on the land and it yields its bountiful crops.

Justice goes before him to make a pathway for his steps."

~ Psalm 85:10-13 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "These characters -- mercy, truth, justice, and peace -- are not opponents who have made a truce, but co-laborers who have joined hands in working together. They are the outflowing of righteousness on the earth."

****


Printable Issue 3788  Today is Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018; Karen's Korner #3788

Disarming Anxiety

~ By Max Lucado


"Your goal is not to know every detail of the future. Your goal is to hold the hand of the One who does, and never ever let go! Jesus tell us rather bluntly. 'Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on' (Matthew 6:25).

"He then gives us two commands.....look and consider. 'Look at the birds of the air' (Matthew 6:26). When we do, they appear happy. They don't appear sleep deprived or lonely. They whistle and soar! He then says, 'Consider the lilies' (Matthew 6:28) . And he adds, 'Even Solomon (the richest king in history), was not arrayed like one of these' (Matthew 6:29).

"How do we disarm anxiety? Stockpile our minds with God thoughts. If birds and flowers fall under the category of God's care, won't he care for us as well?"

Printable Issue 3789  Today is Thursday, May 3rd, 2018; Karen's Korner #3789

Today is a good day; aren't they all?

But it is my birthday! Another good reason to celebrate! What comes to mind today is "the joy of the Lord is my strength!" He makes us stronger than we could ever be on our own....

Another reason to celebrate is that it is our "National Day of Prayer". Rarely do I use something written by the same author two days in a row. But this one by Max Lucado is a good one for the day:


"On this National Day of Prayer let me ask the obvious. If Jesus, the Son of God, the sinless savior of humankind, thought it worthwhile to clear his calendar to pray, wouldn't we be wise to do the same? You may not understand the mystery of prayer. You don't need to. But this much is certain. Actions in heaven begin when someone prays. What an amazing thought! When you speak, Jesus hears. And when Jesus hears, thunder falls. And when thunder falls, the world is changed. All because someone prayed.

"Prayer does not change God's nature, who he is will never be altered. Prayer does, however, impact the flow of history. God has wired his world for power, but he calls on us to flip the switch.".

******


Printable Issue 3790  Today is Friday, May 4th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3790

Pursuing the "Gospel Alphabet" from Samaritan's Purse. Beginning with four letters:  "I, J, K, L":


"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me."

~John 14:6b

*

"Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

~ John 6:29

*

"Knock, and it will be opened to you."

~ Matthew 7:7c

*

"Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth!"

~ Isaiah 12:9b

***

Printable Issue 3791  Today is Monday, May 7th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3791

Since I turned the page to a 'higher number' on my birthday last week, this particular Bible verse caught my eye. It talks about 'sleep in a crisis'. Sometimes as we grow older, we don't need a crisis to not sleep. And all the time we can't sleep, we are reminded that we need 7 - 8 hours of sleep per night!


"Then I lay down and slept in peace and woke up safely,

for the Lord was watching over me."

~ Psalm 3:5

*

Bible Commentary:  "Sleep does not come easily in the midst of a crisis. David (writer) had sleepless nights when his son Absalom rebelled and gathered an army to kill him. But he slept peacefully, even in the midst of rebellion. What made the difference? David cried out to the Lord and the Lord heard him. The assurance of answered prayer brings peace. It is easier to sleep well when we accept with full assurance that God is in Control of circumstances. If we are lying awake at night worrying about circumstances we can't change, we need to ask God to get involved. Then go to sleep!"

*****


Printable Issue 3792  Today is Tuesday, May 8th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3792

As long-time Karen's Korner readers know, there was a group of 15 of us from this area who traveled to the Creation Museum and the Ark replica for a couple of days last summer.

That trip upped our interest in looking deeper into the book of Genesis. From young kids to our adult Sunday School class, we have studied each week this entire year from that book of the Bible. (We are finishing our third booklet of ten lessons each and we are up to Genesis 8. It's going to take us awhile!)

Each of the ten weeks we are given two Bible verses (five weeks for each one) to study and learn; some of us do better with that than others.

We have taken a long hard look at Noah and the Ark. People don't have to be much of Bible scholar to know the story of Noah building the ark because God told him to, and gathering his family and all the animals to save them from the flood that was coming.

For decades, Noah listened to God's instructions on how to build it successfully. While Noah worked, he tried to tell of the coming impending disaster and invited others to 'get on the boat'. He was met with much ridicule, as at that point it had never rained.

It was after Noah, his three sons, and their wives plus the animals were all on the ark. And with rain beginning, that people believed and wanted on the massive structure. But it was too late.

Part of the studies show us how all the Bible fits together from beginning to end. Our Bible verse for the last five weeks before summer break is Jesus speaking in John 10:9, "I am the door, if anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture."

Like in the time of Noah, Jesus is inviting all of us about 'getting on His boat'.

The answer is up to each of us. Do we want on? Or don't we?

Printable Issue 3793  Today is Wednesday, May 9th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3793

I received this fun email yesterday from a friend, reminding me that I am not as young as I used to be (and neither are any of you!). Something written by an unknown author. As we grow older, we need to do all that we are able to do, if our health permits:


"I have always dreaded old age. I cannot imagine anything worse than being old. How awful it must be to have nothing to do all day long but stare at the walls or watch TV. So last week, when the mayor suggested we all celebrate Senior Citizen Week by cheering up a senior citizen. I determined to do just that. I would call on my new neighbor, an elderly retired gentleman, recently widowed, who, I presumed, had moved in with his married daughter because he was too old to take care of himself. I baked a batch of brownies and without bothering to call (some old people cannot hear the phone), I went off to brighten this old guy's day. When I rang the doorbell, this 'old guy' came to the door dressed in tennis shorts and a polo shirt, looking abut as ancient and decrepit as Donny Osmond.

"'I'm sorry I can't invite you in,' he said when I introduced myself, 'but I'm due at the Racquet Club at two. I'm playing in the semifinals today.'

"'Oh, that's all right,' I said. 'I baked you some brownies........'

"'Great!' he interrupted, snatching the box. 'Just what I need for bridge club tomorrow! Thanks so much!'

"'and just thought we'd visit a while, but that's okay, I'll just trot across the street and call on Granny Grady....'

"'Don't bother,' he said, "Gran's not home. I know, I just called to remind her of our date to go dancing tonight. She may be at the beauty shop. She mentioned at breakfast that she had an appointment for a tint job.'

"I called my Mother's cousin (age 83), she was in the hospital.....working in the gift shop.

"I called my aunt (age 74); she was on vacation in China.

"I called my husband's uncle (age 79). I forgot, he was on his honeymoon.

"I still dread old age, now more than ever. I just don't think I'm up to it........."

******

Printable Issue 3794  Today is Thursday, May 10th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3794

Fourth installment of "The Gospel Alphabet" with Bible verses starting with a letter of the alphabet. Four of them:  M,N,O,P !


"My grace is sufficient for you."

~ 2 Corinthians 12:9b

*

"Now is the accepted time, behold,  now is the day of salvation."

~ 2 Corinthians 6:2b

*

"Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your Law."

~ Psalm 119:18

*

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

~ John 14:27

****


Printable Issue 3795  Today is Friday, May 11th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3795

Yesterday's Max Lucado into my email box:


Be Kind To Yourself

"Kindness at home. Kindness in public. Kindness in church and kindness with our enemies. Pretty well covers the gamut, don't you think? Almost. Someone else needs your kindness. Who could that be? Well, it's YOU! Since God is so kind to us, can't we be a little kinder to ourselves?

"'Oh, but you don't know me, Max. You don't know my faults and my thoughts. You don't know the gripes I grumble and the complaints I mumble.' No, I don't, but He does. He knows everything about you, yet He doesn't hold back His kindness to you. Has He, knowing all your secrets, retracted one promise or reclaimed one gift? He forgives your faults, calls you His ambassador, His follower, even His child. In God's book, you are a good thing. Be kind to yourself. God thinks you are worth His kindness. And He's a good judge of character.

****

Printable Issue 3796  Today is Monday, May 14th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3796


God Knows You and Me

"He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust."

~ Psalm 103:14 NIV

*

"God will never expect more than the Holy Spirit will do in and through me if I allow Him the freedom.

"What a blessed relief to be reminded that God knows me. In fact, He knows me so well He understands that apart from Him I can do nothing.

"I don't have to prove myself to God.

"I don't have to worry about disappointing God.

"I don't have to earn His respect.

"I don't have to deserve His blessings.

"I don't have to work hard to be accepted.

"I don't have to produce a quota.

I don't have to be successful.

He created me in the first place. 'He knows how (I) am formed, he remembers that (I) am dust.' I am just a little dust person infused with the very breath of God."

~ By Anne Graham Lotz; taken from today's email devotional

***






Printable Issue 3797  Today is Tuesday, May 15th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3797

"What a wonderful God we have----He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the source of every mercy, and the One who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us

in our hardships and trials.

And why does He do this?

So, that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement,

we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us."

~ 2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "Many think that when God comforts us, our hardships should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him. We must understand that comfort can also means receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our hardships. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. If we are feeling overwhelmed, we need to allow God to comfort us as He can. We need to remember that every trial we endure will later become an opportunity to minster to other people suffering similar hardships."

**


Printable Issue 3798  Today is Wednesday, May 16th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3798

Fifth installment of "The Gospel Alphabet" by Samaritan's Purse. Four letters:  Q, R, S, and T:


"Quicken me according to Thy Word"

~ Psalm 119:154b KJV

*

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."

~ Psalm 27:7a

*

"Seek, and you will find."

~ Matthew 7:7b

*

"The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."

~ I John 1:7b

***


Printable Issue 3799  Today is Thursday, May 17th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3799

A couple of spring storms ago, our neighbors had a huge branch knocked off of their big, old maple tree which  stands stately in their front yard.

As I have been walking passed it for the last number of days, it made me think about Jesus words of branches being 'attached to the vine'. My mind sometimes slips to smaller vines with leaves. But as I view this tree, I see a large tree trunk and big branches.

I don't know of any tree where the branches are larger than the trunk. Even large branches have to be attached to an even larger tree trunk to stay alive and viable.

Jesus says,  "Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can't do a thing." (John 15:5 LAB)

To produce anything of value, we need to stay connected to the 'Tree of Life'.

Printable Issue 3800  Today is Saturday, May 19th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3800

Oops! I forgot to send out Karen's Korner yesterday. Planting starter plants began my day; then I was gone for most of the day. Mid-morning I remembered. And I have to have '5 per week' thus a Saturday one.

Good thing. I liked what Sarah Young penned in her "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" for today:


"I want you to know how safe and secure you are in My Presence. That is a fact, totally independent of your feelings. You are on your way to heaven; nothing can prevent you from reaching that destination. There you will see Me face to Face, and your Joy will be off the charts by any earthly standards. Even now, you are never separated from Me, though you must see Me through eyes of faith. I will walk with you till the end of time, and onward into eternity.


"Although My Presence is a guaranteed promise, that does not necessarily change your feelings. When you forget I am with you, you may experience loneliness or fear. It is through awareness of My Presence that Peace displaces negative feelings. Practice the discipline of walking consciously with Me through each day."


~ Taken from I Corinthians 13:12; Psalm 29:11

***


Printable Issue 3801  Today is Monday, May 21st, 2018; Karen's Korner #3801

Today I am going to a funeral of a friend's mom. She just turned 96 on Friday and had a really 'good go'!

But it doesn't make any difference, there is a sense of loss by her family. She will be missed by them and her friends. Even though we know that it is coming, we would like to have them for more time.

We are built with the desire to never die, but to live forever. God gave us that desire! Because He wants that for us too.

As I heard a speaker say several days ago, we will 'all live forever someplace'. God invites us to spend it with Him; with new bodies which last forever; in a beautiful existence in Paradise.

Not choose his offer? Each will also have bodies which will last forever but these will be 'thrown into the Lake of Fire' (Revelation 20:14). These bodies will also last forever and never burn up.

Doesn't sound like anything in which I want to participate!

But God allows us to choose!!

**

One more funeral story. Another friend wanted me to listen to a You Tube funeral sermon of her California friend, a gal who spent much of her life serving others.

Several main points by her pastor Steve Chappell, which can be good for us as well:

"The definition of 'responsibility':

Our Response

To God's Ability."

*

"Part of each day should be spent

helping someone else."

*

"We are blessed.....

to be a blessing to someone else."

****

Printable Issue 3802  Today is Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018; Karen's Korner #3802

"Praise the Lord, all nations everywhere.

Praise Him, all the peoples of the earth.

For He loves us very dearly, and His truth endures.

Praise the Lord."

~ Psalm 117

*

Bible Commentary:  "This chapter is not only the shortest chapter in the Bible, but is the exact middle chapter. Paul quotes from it (in Romans 15:1) to show that God's salvation is for all people not just Jews."

."*****

Printable Issue 3803  Today is Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018; Karen's Korner #3803

Our long-time friends Ken and Mari Bernhardt lived lives like most of us, with its normal ups and downs. That was until the tail end of January, maybe the first of February.

Within days of each other, Ken had a cerebral brain hemorrhage and Mari was diagnosed with lung cancer, which took her life two months later. Ken continues to recover from his illness. Their children have been phenomenal in their attention and care during the three-plus months.

Below is something which I wrote and shared with several of their family members. I include it today for Karen's Korner readers, with their permission.


On Saint Patrick's Day, I knew that all three of Mari and Ken's kids were busy that day, a well-deserved break after being such attentive kids for both mom and dad. Knowing that Mari had given up driving, I volunteered to take her to see Ken in our local hospital that afternoon, if she wanted. She said yes.

We spent nearly two hours at the hospital. Upon returning home and Mari beginning her climb out of my van, she turned to say, "I have studied the Bible for years. But now I don't know if I am good enough to go to heaven."

I replied, "None of us are good enough. We only have to accept Jesus' invitation to take us there." She continued her climb out of my vehicle.

On Thursday, I was scheduled to take a turn, driving Mari to her radiation treatment in Ames. While I had prayed with her family/friends as we might eat a meal together at our home, I had never 'prayed with Mari'. I decided if God gave me the opportunity, that would change on Thursday.

Wednesday evening, the local Methodist church hosted a simulcast of Lee Strobel, who is most known for his 'Case for Christ' writing. He was introducing his new book, 'Case for Miracles' as he searched the world to find true miracles. Do they still exists today? He found that they do! In the question and answer session, Strobel was asked, "While we know there are miracles, what do you say to people who prayed for miracles but didn't get them?' Strobel's response, "Always pray for a miracle. Believe a miracle. Know that the miracle may be for this life or the one that is coming."

When I went to pick up Mari the next morning, I was recounting that story to her. When we got into the care, I asked her if I could pray with/for her. She said, "Yes". So we prayed for a miracle. God knew and knows what we want/wanted. Can't recall what else I might have said.

We had a really good time together. Talking as we drove. Eating a quick lunch after her treatment. On our trip home, I told her about a book that I love and have shared with people to read who are struggling with life-threatening illnesses, by Dr. David Jeremiah (it is more of a picture book/travel guide) titled, "Discovering Paradise - Heaven - Your True Home". I gave her a copy to take with her.

The next morning as I was between sleep and walking up, it seemed like God said to my mind, "Tell Mari she has a miracle. The miracle is her. Because she belongs to Me!" I was so excited that I texted her (looking back it was sent at 4:30 a.m.!).

In a couple of hours, I got this text from Mari (which I will keep in my phone until I am old!):  "We did have a good time and it ended to be a beautiful day! We got a lot of good talking in! Thanks for the miracle...it's me! (smiley face emoji!)."

And the book? I had some remorse of giving a book to someone so sick. How would she ever read it?

Several days after her funeral (Mari died on April 6), their daughter Rhonda made sure I got it back (Mari's orders!). Could she read the book? Not! But she asked other people to read it to her. Even when she was very, very sick, she'd rouse to say, "Isn't that beautiful?"


Printable Issue 3804  Today is Thursday, May 24th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3804

Installment #6 of "The Gospel Alphabet" by Samaritan's Purse; only three letters - U, V,W (last installment next, final three letters of the alphabet):


"Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,

which is Christ the Lord."

~ Luke 2:11 KJV

*

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth in Me

hath everlasting life."

~ John 6:47 KJV

*

"What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world,

and loses his own soul?"

~ Mark 8:36

*******

Printable Issue 3805  Today is Friday, May 25th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3805

"He reached down from heaven and took me

and drew me out of my great trials.

He rescued me from deep waters."

~ Psalm 18:16 LAB

*


Bible Commentary:  "Our troubles, like deep waters, threaten to drown us. David (writer), helpless and weak, knew that God alone had rescued him from his enemies during times when he was defenseless. How often we wish that God would quickly rescue us out of our troubles. Remember that God can deliver us or help us remain steady as we go through troubles. Either way, His protection is best for us. When we feel drowned by troubles, we need to ask God to help us; hold us steady, and protect us. Iin His care, we are never helpless."

*****


Printable Issue 3806  Today is Monday, May 28th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3806

Today is Memorial Day. A good day to remember. Whether it be an organized community service. A trip to a cemetery. Our a few moments of reflection. Let's do it!


A really short history of it:

"Memorial Day had its beginnings at the end of the Civil War, when the North and South went about commemorating the dead who fell in what remains the bloodiest war in American history. Communities in the North and South organized the first memorial days in 1865, laying flowers on headstones in the months after the war ended. Quickly evolving into an annual tradition, 'Decoration Day' was typically set for early summer. The day eventually became known as Memorial Day and now honors American soldiers killed in all wars and conflicts."

*

While it is good to honor those killed in war and conflict, I don't think it is a bad idea to also honor American soldiers who gave a 'portion' of their lives in service to our country and who returned home to lead 'honorable' lives changed because of what they did as they served all of us in the military.

And in the equation, we can never forget the role God has played in keeping our country safe and free!

It brings to mind two songs  "God, bless America, land that I love" and "America, America! God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea."

 

Printable Issue 3807  Today is Tuesday, May 29th, 2018; Karen's Korner #3807

(No Karen's Korner tomorrow; away from my computer).


Last three alphabet letters from "The Gospel Alphabet":  XYZ, written by Samaritan's Purse:


"EXcept a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

~ John 3:3b KJV

*

"You are not your own. For you were bought with a price."

~ I Corinthians 6:19b-20:a

*

"Zealous for good works."

~ Titus 2:14c

****

Printable Issue 3808  Today is Thursday, May 31st, 2018; Karen's Korner #3808

A good one from Max Lucado:


LIVING LOVED

"The secret to loving is living loved. It's the forgotten first step in relationships. Remember Paul's prayer? 'May your roots go down into the soil of God's marvelous love' (Ephesians 3:17 NLT).

"Many people tell us to love. Only God give us the power to do so. We know what God wants us to do. 'This is what God commands.......that we love each other'. (I John 3:23). But how can we? How can we be kind to those who are unkind to us? How can we love as God loves? By being love. By following the principle:  receive first and love second. God loves you personally.......powerfully.........passionately! He loves you with an unfailing love. Other have promised and failed. But God has promised and succeeded!

***