Karen

Thankful for Each New Day

November 18, 2019 in Inspirational

This is an adapted excerpt from a book I did a while ago called Thankful. I thought it might serve us well as we head into the traditional holiday of Thanksgiving. The book is still available on Amazon if you’re interested.

This is “be happy” week! With each sunrise, you have a reason to thank God for your life and for the good things you enjoy. The psalmist in Psalm 106 reminded us that one reason to be happy is simply because God is good. Not only is God good, but He is faithful and His faithfulness will go on forever. Imagine that! No matter what you do, how far off the path you stray, how many times you don’t get it right, God is good and faithful and His love for you just keeps going on.

Each morning when you rise and you’re able to get out of bed, you should be grinning from ear to ear, just thinking about those warm covers and blissful dreams. As you go through the day, pay close attention to all the little things you can do that make your day fulfilling. You might be amazed to realize how talented and resourceful you are.

By the day’s end, if you’re in the habit of counting your blessings, you may find it difficult to stop counting. You’ve been blessed beyond measure. You’ve been provided for, loved, entertained, challenged, renewed, and blessed in more ways than you can count…literally. As you give God thanks for those things that make your life worthwhile, you might want to put in some additional praise for those things that are so ordinary to you that you don’t notice them, at least until you can’t do them any more. If you’ve ever broken a limb, or sprained a muscle, you know what I mean.

It’s possible that you could count your blessings well into the night and fall asleep in the pursuit of remembering each one. If so, then this Thanksgiving you’ll have lots of reasons to give praise as the family gathers to pray once more. John Blanchard was once asked how often we should seek God’s face. He answered by saying, “How often do we need to see God’s face, hear his voice, feel his touch, know his power? The answer to all those questions is the same. Every day!”

Open your heart with sweet thanks and praise for the gifts God has given you.

Karen

Attempt the Impossible!

November 13, 2019 in Inspirational, Uncategorized

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

            Hebrews 11:6, NIV

F.B. Meyer, British theologian and Baptist preacher wrote, “We never test the resources of God until we attempt the impossible.”

If you do a quick survey of your life, how many times would you be able to note that you “attempted the impossible?”  Perhaps you took a few chances or did some things that were a bit risky, but how often did you have to rely solely on God to move forward? How often would the people around you have thought you were just a bit crazy because what you wanted to do was virtually impossible from their view?

Since we know it doesn’t serve God well for us to stick with the small things, the mundane, the ones that we can do easily, then we must challenge ourselves to seek those things that we know we could not do on our own. If we attempted those things in our humanness, we would fail miserably. The only hope we would have then is if God intervened, stepped up to the plate with us and helped us develop our swing. Only then would we see the ball, the object of our hopes and dreams go sailing high in the sky, over the outfield and on to the victory win.

The challenge ahead of you then is not to simply wonder what is still possible, but to actively seek God’s help to do those things that have been unavailable to you in the past. Seek His help. Have faith in all that He can do.  Impossible things will happen.

Prayer

Lord of the Possible,

Help me to reach higher than I ever have before. Help me to be truly unsatisfied with the commonplace and the ordinary, those things that I can do with my eyes closed and without thinking twice. Help me step up and step out in faith in bigger ways than I’ve ever tried before, totally trusting You for the outcome. I ask this in the name of Jesus.  Amen

adapted from my upcoming book, “It’s Still Possible!

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!