Karen's Devotions

This is a selected collection of my devotions e-published on Daily Devotions, Journey Christian Church, Irvine, California; George Bragg, Editor. To join the mailing list, email George, gbragg@cox.net.

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As a 25+ year homeschooling vet, post-cancer, math prof, mother of five, master's track and field athlete, and certificated private pilot, I have a lot to share about what God has done in my life. In 2000 I began writing devotions as something to try when it seemed like accoustic pianists were becoming an endangered species at church. I have since found great blessings from writing and sharing. God is good.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Published November 21, 2007

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, 8a
We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father…For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth…

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In the days that I taught Kindergarten Sunday school, I recall how difficult it was to guide the children in prayers of thanksgiving. Don’t misunderstand me. It was easy to teach them to use the prayer model “Jesus, THANKS for GIVING me _________.” The hard part was to help them understand that thankfulness is not just saying so. It is also an action of showing so. We are thankful by what we do. But, this is not just difficult for children to learn.

Under the Law of Moses, giving thanks meant offering up sacrifices, the fruits of your labor. Giving thanks was more than lip service. The action of giving thanks came with a cost. And the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ, was made on the cross at a high cost, his life. Now under a completed law of grace, how do we give thanks?

In addition to prayers of thanks (making mention of you in our prayers), we give of our treasures such as time and money (constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love), and we share the good news (the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you).

Though our national day of giving thanks is an excellent time for Christians to unite under this model, believers are called to make it a way of life. So, let’s be imitators of Paul’s inspired wisdom and make thankfulness synonymous with Christianity.

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Lord, we are truly thankful for the blessings you have given us. More so Father, we thank you for your servant Paul’s letter that teaches us how to really be thankful. Please empower us to be thankful through our prayers, labors, and evangelism, that all may glorify you. In Jesus’ name, amen.