Thursday, June 5, 2014

We Were Made To Complete One Another...not compete with one another.

I saw this picture and it really spoke to my heart. All of these women putting their hands and fingers together in order to create a picture, a message of love. Every day I pray that God's daughters will begin to see that we were created to complete one another and not compete with one another. What a different world this could be if we would put our hands and fingers together and work together, beyond our denominational church walls, and reach out to one another, and others, in the name of Christ. If we could do that we, too, would be creating a beautiful picture, a hopeful message of love! So the next time you are tempted to compare yourself to another sister in Christ, or you are tempted to gossip, or judge, or criticize another, save this picture in your memory and resist the temptation. We are more powerful for the Kingdom together!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Life Can Be Confusing To Me

Sometimes life thoroughly confuses me. There are so many young adults who do amazing, and unselfish, things for humanity but receive no media coverage and no "tweets" from The First Lady. Thousands of men and women dedicate their lives in service for the country and many have given the ultimate sacrifice for others and the cause of freedom, yet their names are not mentioned and videos of "why" t...hey do it are never shared on the internet and there is no "official congratulations" from The President of the U.S. on their "courage and bravery". Yes, sometimes this life thoroughly confuses me.

 It would seem that perhaps we have our priorities a little screwed up. Since when did someone's sexual orientation become such an achievement? I suppose some would say the reason that former University of Mo. football player, and NFL draft recruit, Michael Sam is getting such attention is because it is an "equal rights" issue, but I don't think so. If that were truly the case, and we were truly concerned with the equal rights of others, we would see the same kind of attention given to those with special needs, wounded warriors, those with mental illness, the elderly or the unborn. Truly these are the ones that could use some encouragement and assistance. Yes, sometimes this life thoroughly confuses me and even makes me sad.

I doubt we will ever see a picture of the young football player who has given his heart to Jesus and accepted Him as His Savior on ESPN. We probably won't ever see a group of reporters standing outside of the hospital doors waiting to talk to the single mother who decided to keep her unborn child. Nor will any of the young people living on college campuses who have decided to "wait until marriage" receive a presidential tweet or congratulations for their "courage and bravery".

 Yes, this life can be very confusing, especially to those who look for the "good" according to The Word of God. Yet, we should stay encouraged and encourage one another in the faith. Jesus warned us that these things would come to pass and He told us not to fear. There will be trouble in this world, but He has overcome the world, and those that live for Him, according to His principles, shall be saved and overcome as well.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fruit? Anyone?

While waiting in the checkout line at the store with my groceries, the woman in front of me looked into my cart and began explaining to me how I could do better in caring for myself and family by being more selective in the foods I purchased and prepared. I politely listened to everything she was saying, and even agreed with her on a few things.

When the cashier finished scanning her groceries, she asked the woman, "is there anything else?" The woman responded, "Yeah, I'll take a couple of packs of Marlboro Lights." Say whaaaa? Seriously? She just reprimanded me for not buying my family Multi-Grain Eggos and Goat's Milk because it is healthier, and she is buying and smoking cigarettes?


On my way to my car I sort of chuckled to myself about all that had just happened, thinking, "Wow, I certainly don't believe anything she told me about healthy living now. That was just crazy!" Then this thought "hit me"....that must be how non-believers feel about Christians who talk a lot about Jesus, but their lives look nothing like Jesus. They must feel just as I did, thinking to themselves, "what hypocrites!"

This experience brought Matthew 7:15-20 to my mind...
15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

To deceive ourselves into thinking we are taking care of our health by buying and eating fruit, AND smoking cigarettes, is a lie.

To deceive ourselves into thinking we are taking care of our spiritual health by talking about "God's fruit", but not, "producing any" is equally a lie.

People do pay attention and know the difference.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Today, I have been spending some time in my Bible and my eyes fell upon John 4 and Jesus meeting the woman at the well. It is a story many of us have heard and many pastors have preached about. Today as I read the story again my eyes kept going back to the word "well". I decided to do a quick definition search on-line for the word. Some definitions included: "a deep hole or shaft" ; " a container, or reservoir" ; "an abundant source or open space" ; "an enclosed space for receiving or holding something".

I then went back to my Bible and read the story again. As I am sure you know, God has a plan and a meaning for everything. It was not by chance that Jesus met "this woman" at a "well". It was not by accident that their conversation revealed her past and current situation, in regard to her husbands, or her live-in boy friend. Obviously, this woman was very troubled and was looking and longing for something more, although she really had no idea what it was she needed in order to complete her and bring her the kind of life she truly longed for.

Suddenly, the word "well" jumped off the page again to me. THAT'S IT! God KNEW her hurt was so deep, so buried in a hole inside of her heart that He sent Jesus to meet her at the "well". The way Jesus spoke to her "well" , her "situation", He showed her that He knew and understood her need for something else, something that was life-giving and eternally satisfying. He told her how she could fill up that "reservoir", that "container" , with a "living water" that would refresh her soul and bring her new life! The deep well of hurt, confusion and disappointment could be healed and should could instead have an "abundance" of peace, hope, joy and love for eternity!

John 4:25 & 26 records the conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well and her accepting Him as the Messiah. At that moment her heart changed. She went back to her village and told the people, "Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out. Do you think this could be the Messiah?" And they went to see for themselves.

The Bible goes on to record how MANY of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to Him because of THIS woman's witness. They asked Jesus to stay longer so Jesus stayed an extra two days. Alot more people entrusted their lives to him when they heard what He had to say. They said to the woman, "We're no longer taking this on your say-so. We've heard it for ourselves and know it for sure. He's the Savior of the world!"

All of this brought me to my own "well" experience. I had been married five times, and the man I was living with then, was not yet my husband. I had been looking for something, someone, to fill the "deep well" of hurt and disappointment in my own life. I had become an outcast because of my choices, I was alone. But Jesus met me right where I was and in a little church in Quincy, Il., the pastor preached a message that I knew was Christ talking directly to me. It convinced me that He did know me, inside and out, and it was time I knew Him.

What is the "deep well" of hurt in your life that is holding you back from experiencing His complete hope, peace, joy and love?

What does your heart "hold or contain"? Is it anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, or fear? Do these things need to be replaced with an "abundance of Jesus, The Messiah?"

God does not do anything with it having a purpose or meaning. A little word like "well" really got my attention today.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
it is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and hath shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
even so, it is well with my soul.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Where Does Your Hope Come From?

Do you need to be reminded today of where your hope comes from? Think about King David. Finding himself surrounded by thousands of soldiers led by his own rebellious son, Absalom, David could have despaired. Instead of thinking that ever...everyone was against him, however, he remembered that God was FOR him. Psalm 3:1-3 declares his hope in God: O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, "God will never rescue him!" But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high. David wrote Psalm 3 while he was fleeing, running away from, Absalom. With his own son turning against him, David seemed to be surrounded by enemies. Those on every side expressed pessimism concerning the outcome, no one though David could do anything, they doubted God could save him. Certainly David could have become utterly discouraged and without hope.

Yet he confidently wrote that God would protect him, destroy his enemies, and restore him to his rightful place on the throne. David had no idea how it would happen, or when, he was devastated politically, physically and emotionally. But he knew who was in charge of his life and his destiny. David's hope rested no on his abilities or the strength of this armies but on his sovereign God!

Many times we spend our lives running around hiding, fearful, upset about the past, anxious about the future and worried about today. We need top remember that God is our shield too! Trust Him. Put our full hope in Him, and He WILL meet our needs and give us the confidence and strength we need in this life in order to live victoriously now and in eternity with Him.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Being Happily Depressed!

I was diagnosed with clinical depression many years ago. When I speak I like to tell ladies I am the happiest depressed person you will find! LOL When it comes to my situation I do have to take a medicine that helps with the chemical balance. However, I also make a choice every day, sometimes minute by minute, how I am going to react to things. When reading the Bible I am always encouraged because David received God's healing from depression. In Psalm 30:11, he praises God for turning his sorrow and grief into joy! God's Word can bring joy into the midst of distress. He encourages us in Psalm 119:143 to turn to God and His Word for healing and comfort. Revelation 21:3-4 holds words of promise for those who feel hopeless about their emotional state. The apostle John describes a place where there will be no death, pain, sorrow, crying or depression. Believers will enjoy eternity in this perfect place with God forever! So when it comes to my depression I allow the Lord to work through my doctor and the medication I take. I take one pill in the morning and I take as many verses from the Word of God as needed throughout my day. That is a prescription I can live this life victoriously with!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

From Glory to Glory ... That Is His Promise To Me!


It was time for my "annual" doctor's exam yesterday. So I bravely marched myself into the exam room and patiently waited for the doctor's arrival. As I sat on the exam table, all around me, at eye level were pictures of brand new babies. So sweet, innocent and absolutely adorable. I carefully studied each one's little face and found myself imagining what each little life might become.

By the time the doctor entered the room I had a few tears streaming down my face. She quickly asked me, "what's wrong, Karen?" I told her that at my age, and stage of life, it is bittersweet to sit in an exam room like this one. It serves only as a reminder to me that my "baby days" are a distant memory and my "babies" are now all grown and living their own lives. I will never again experience the intense joy of finding out I was pregnant, nor will I ever experience that miraculous moment of feeling my baby kick for the very first time inside of me. All of that is now over. I told her that it might be worth considering a special exam room for the woman of my age group, a room that doesn't have baby photos covering every inch of painted wall space, but instead perhaps it would be nice to place some pictures of some accomplished and beautiful “older women” on the wall, or maybe some inspiring quotes? My doctor was very empathetic and agreed that would “be nice”, but after all, she is only in her mid 30’s and she has not experienced what I, and so many others, have experienced yet.

On my drive home from my appointment I was thinking about how we, women, transition from child into teenager. Teenager into a young woman. A young woman into a middle-aged woman, and finally, a middle-aged woman into an old woman. Each transition brings with it new joys but each transition also brings with it new challenges and obstacles to overcome. Yet transitioning into each new “season of life” is as normal as a beautiful butterfly taking off from one flower and floating through the air and landing on the next.

As I am now transitioning into my final “flight” there are days I do find it difficult. Yet there are days I also find it incredibly satisfying and I rejoice in seeing the “fruit of my labor” in watching my sons and their families grow and thrive. There is a peace that comes with this last transition, a peace that I know comes from heaven. A calmness that in my heart I know is the voice of my Savior telling me to continue on because the race is not over yet, my time has not yet come and there is still much to do for the Kingdom. There is also a gentle reminder to me that I had forgotten one “final transition” …the transition from “old woman” to “glory”!

So, lesson learned today….1: celebrations from my youth are to be remembered and cherished, but there are many more celebrations to take place with family and friends. 2: God is with us through each season of our lives and He is very kind in showing us how to “transition” season to season gracefully. 3: it ain’t over until it’s over, so don’t give up, you are not finished yet. Life (and your body) may look different today then it did yesterday but different isn’t bad. We are just beautiful butterflies floating from one flower to another! 4: "You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you. Song of Songs 4:7