Karen

Top Ten Reasons to NOT Do Daily Devotions

May 22, 2019 in Inspirational, Uncategorized

I’ve been working on a new book, one that I also plan to use in speaking to women’s groups and church groups, which I call “Jesus Time.” It’s about the practice of spending a little time with God each morning. I write devotional books, and so I’ve adopted this habit over the years as God continually nudged me to do it. Now I believe it’s the most important thing I do each day.

While working on the book, I was reminded of some excuses I used early on or ones I heard from others about not taking that time with God. I thought I’d share them with you.

You can use them if you’d like, or perhaps you will feel the same nudge I did, to surrender your heart and spend time with the One who loves you more than you can even imagine.

Okay, here we go.

Number 10: I’m just not a morning person! I can’t do anything before my second cup of coffee.

Number 9: Do I look like a holy roller? My family would think I was weird if I did that!

Number 8: I have to get the kids up, make lunches, get everyone off to school, get dressed and then get myself to work. I just can’t add one more thing to my morning routine.

Number 7: I don’t really know how to do devotions. In fact, I’m not sure what they are, and I don’t know much about the Bible.

Number 6: I have to go to the gym first thing in the morning. I’m trying to stay healthy and I can only focus on one thing at a time.

Number 5: I barely have time for myself, so how can I have time for God? I’m sure God knows how busy I am!

Number 4: If it didn’t have to be every day, I might do it. Can you do it once a week or maybe every other week?

Number 3: I’m sure God has better things to do than listen to me whine. I’ll try it when I’m older.

Number 2: I tried doing devotions once, but I just couldn’t do it. It was boring and I fell asleep half the time.

And the Number One reason to NOT do devotions:

I’m afraid to sit down with God all by myself. My life is messy and I’m sure He doesn’t want to spend time with me!

The excuses may vary, but some of these may ring true for you. I’ve also written the Top Ten Reasons to DO Daily Devotions and I will post those soon. If you’re not doing devotions, let me know how I can help. If you are doing them, I’d love to hear a favorite story or two from what I’ve come to call, “Jesus Time.” Blessings to you today.

Karen

A Mom Is Love

May 10, 2019 in Inspirational

What a Great Word for Moms

Happy Mother’s Day

Karen

Stay Calm

May 9, 2019 in Inspirational

What a Great Word
May peace fill your heart and soul.

Karen

God Is Our Help

May 8, 2019 in Inspirational, Uncategorized

As the author of over 115 books, including many devotionals, of which nine are dailies, I feel called to invite more of you to join me in the morning hours and share special time with God. I call the time I spend each morning Jesus time because I always invite Him in to be with me, inspire my heart and guide my steps.

Today I want to reach out to you and give you a devotional moment to start your day. I will post one for each day as often as I can so that we can do this together. I look forward to sharing this special time with you.

Wellspring

Karen

Jesus Time: Turning Up the Light

May 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

As the author of over 115 books, including many devotionals, of which nine are dailies, I feel called to invite more of you to join me in the morning hours and share special time with God. I call the time I spend each morning Jesus time because I always invite Him in to be with me, inspire my heart and guide my steps.

Today I want to reach out to you and give you a devotional moment to start your day. I will post one for each day as often as I can so that we can do this together. I look forward to sharing this special time with you.

Heart-Shaped Life Daily Devotional May 7

Karen

BIG Belief

March 19, 2019 in Inspirational, Uncategorized

This morning as I read an entry from Wellspring, I noted the Scripture from Matthew 9:27-29 where Jesus is talking to two blind men. They have followed Him around with the hope that He will heal their blindness. Jesus asks them plainly if they truly believe that He can do this…do they believe that He can heal them? They say they do believe and so Jesus heals them.

As I reflect on this idea, I can’t help wondering if I have it in me to believe big enough that even my own blindness can be healed. I don’t wonder so much about whether Jesus “can” heal me, but I tend to be less certain about whether He “will” heal me. I suspect if I had been one of those blind men, I would have been able to see better, but more than likely, I would have still needed glasses because I probably wouldn’t believe BIG enough to see perfectly.

So often we are reminded in Scripture to look at what it is we truly believe. Somehow BIG things don’t seem to happen if our belief system is small. Big things require us to step up and put everything we’ve got on the line. They require that we believe that God can do anything. If we surrender our worries and our hopes and our need to be healed of any kind of blindness, seeking to be all that He intends us to be, then He will act in big ways on our behalf. Ah! There’s the problem! We have to have BIG belief and big faith.

Whatever you are believing for today, be brave and have the courage to believe bigger than you’ve ever believed before. Chances are good that you will begin to see many things about your life more clearly, and you may even be healed of some matter of blindness.

Let’s think BIG…no, BIGGER today!

Karen

Christmas Treasures

December 22, 2018 in Inspirational, Uncategorized

Many of us have ornaments, or handmade decorations from our children, or gifts from beloved friends and family that only make an appearance once a year at Christmastime. We treasure those special things and find joy in holding each one as we remove them from their protective wrappers. Seeing them in the sparkling light, a flash of memory brings back the picture of when we first received them. They are treasures that bring joy to our hearts.

Actually, Christmastime is filled with treasures as we sing our favorite carols once again, make grandma’s recipe for sugar cookies, and send love and good wishes to our friends. Silent Night and Away in a Manger bring gentle memories of days gone by, echoing their joy and filling us with peace and with the spirit of the season.

It has always been this way. When a young virgin named Mary first heard the words of the Angel, announcing God’s plan to deliver the world from sin, she pondered those words, treasuring them in her heart, most likely for her entire life. When the shepherds in the field heard angels singing in the night, they were caught in the glory of the moment and determined that they would go to Bethlehem and search for this treasure, the baby in a manger. Of course, the wise scientists of the day had been studying the stars for some time, prepared to follow His star and bring treasures of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Christmas is filled with treasures of the season, but some are only fleeting and disappear like visions of sugarplums. Other treasures, like the gift of God’s Son, will last forever. May you be blessed this Christmas with the treasures that remain in your heart from here to heaven.

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21

Karen

When the Dust Settles

December 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I had the opportunity to do a radio chat with Carmen LaBerge at Connecting Faith.  It was only the second such interview I’ve ever done in my life, and I have to say, I wasn’t particularly good at it.  I definitely need more experience in this arena.  Fortunately, Carmen was brilliant and kept things smoothly on track.

It’s funny that you can know something so well, but stumble over yourself in an effort to share your understanding with others.  As we discussed my new book, What a Great Word, I realized that I had pulled a rather difficult concept to share on the air, over many that I could have explained more easily.  Since the book focuses on one word in Scripture and seeks to offer a more intentional or perhaps new perspective on that word, I offered the word “dust” as an example.  The Scripture says, “Where the Lord goes, there are whirlwinds and storms, and the clouds are the dust beneath his feet.” (Nahum 1:3)

Nahum’s words caused me to think that I should remember that the Presence of God is everywhere.  Much like the dust on my dresser, I may not notice it.  I may simply let it build there.  I may totally miss it if the sun does not clearly bring it back to my attention.  As I reflected on that idea and God’s presence, it occurred to me that though the dust of God’s Presence can swirl around me like a whirlwind, I can choose to not see it.  I can simply ignore Him, though He never goes away.  I can miss His Presence until He shines a light on it in a way that makes it clear that He is still there, still waiting for me to notice.  The idea that I could either realize God is everywhere around me and honor Him for being there, or that I could simply shake off the dust and ignore it, gave me pause.  Today, I choose to look for Him everywhere, knowing that He is always around me, blessing me, and waiting for me to acknowledge His precious Presence.  May His light open your eyes to realize that His love surrounds you, whether you notice or not, like dust in the air!  

Karen

Little Love Notes

December 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

Here’s One for You!

I drove my husband to the airport at 4AM.  He’s an early riser, so I imagine that was not quite as difficult for him as it was for me.  7AM is more my style!  Later that day, as I began to rise and shine, I started finding little love notes…everywhere!  There was one on the coffee pot, one in the silverware drawer, another in the refrigerator, still another on my computer and I suspect there are more yet to be discovered. Sure, it’s a little over the top, but then that’s the gift of love…it always strives to be more than you imagined it could be.  

I’m sharing this with you because I feel fairly certain that in His own way, and with His own hand, God does this all the time. He leaves little love notes everywhere, reminders that He is thinking of us and that He loves us more than we can imagine.  He shows up when we least expect it, answers a prayer we whispered in haste, and goes a little over the top, trying to get His message to resonate with our hearts.  He knows we’re busy. He knows we think that our independence and our intelligence, and our perseverance are the things that get us through the day.  Yes, He gave us those things, but He goes beyond our abilities and capabilities. He inspires a friend to call just when we needed a warm voice. He reminds us of a Scripture, or blesses us with a song that brings us peace. He’s there…still sending you love notes!

Karen

The Good News Angel

October 30, 2018 in Inspirational

Since my new book, What a Great Word, is releasing soon, I thought it might be a good idea to share a few excerpts from it.  The past few weeks have been relatively short of what feels like Good News, so here’s a thought that might bring a little warm light to your day. The word for the day is NEWS!

The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.” Luke 1:19.

These days it’s difficult to put the two words, “good” and “news” side by side. Good news doesn’t seem to stream through the numerous devices we have at our disposal.

But in biblical times, and still today, God tries to get us to hear the good news. He wants us to never forget that despite the mess the world gets itself into, He is still watching everything. He is still in control. Perhaps simply trusting that statement helps us to know that we can indeed receive good news into our hearts.

We can spread the word. We can choose to play the angel and be people who are sent out to speak with others about the good news of God. We can be an ambassador of God’s goodwill, His steadfast love, and His enduring kindness to human beings. We can go before God in our prayer time and in our study of His word and stand close to Him, seeking His guidance on how to create balance in the world; how to give people the good news.

You have a lot of things to do today, and each one is important, but see if you can find a moment to offer good news to someone. Extend a helping hand, offer a prayer, or simply make a connection so they know they are not alone. The world all around you is desperately waiting for something better; they are waiting for good news.

Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special regard to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.  Saint Augustine