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, May 28, 2008

Faith Versus Doubting

First Published May 26, 2008

Mark 11:22-24 (NASB)
And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him.’”

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I heard a radio commercial the other day that made fun of the quote, “… people have the power to move mountains.” The announcer mocked that it was a bad thing to actually move a mountain, and that the listener should find it logically better to move a mountain of litter from a beach. The fact that the commercial misquoted the Bible made me painfully aware of two things.

The devil is always at work to slowly and cleverly fill people with doubt. Planted doubt can chip away at our faith. Shaky faith in turn allows doubt to grow and become stronger. This again affects our faith. The root of this downward spiral of emptiness can be attributed in part by a lack of knowing scripture, my second observation.

The commercial’s impact feeds upon the fact that the populous is ignorant of famous Bible quotes. Thus when taken out of context or misquoted, the word of God can seem like bad advice. All who call themselves a child of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ should commit to scripture memorization.

Shamefully, I’m the best example of someone lacking in this area. So, I’ve come up with a rubric for myself for memorizing scripture. First I will choose 12 scripture passages from various parts of my Bible. I will hand write the verse(s) on day one. Then for the next 6 days I will say the verse(s) and reference aloud. By the seventh day, if the passage is not firmly planted in my heart, I will spend another 7 days on it. After I memorize 12 passages I will choose 12 more for my next goal and see how many I memorize before the end of the year.

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Dear Lord God, although I see your handiwork everyday, I sometimes doubt. Through memorizing your word, help me to have steadfast faith that will not waiver, even under outside attacks of doubt. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Copyright 2008 by Karen Vaughn

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mother's Advice

First Published May 9, 2008

Revelation 4:8b (NKJV)
…And day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”

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As the basis for a future article for Mother’s Day, my local newspaper issued a request for readers to send in the best advice they received from their mother. My mother’s advice, I thought, could easily fill a page. However, the best advice she has given me was the above verse for today in the form of the popular hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy” written by Reginald Heber (1783-1826).

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning, our song shall rise to thee;

Holy, Holy, Holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed trinity!

My mother would sing this hymn countless times during my childhood, and I always knew who and what God was: holy, almighty, merciful, strong, infinite, and omniscient. So strong was its influence that this is my favorite hymn and Revelation 4:8b is one of my favorite passages of scripture.

For this Mother’s Day consider remembering or even thanking your mother for the Biblical advice she taught. In giving birth and nurturing children, a mother’s Biblical wisdom is a special blessing from God.

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Oh Lord God Almighty, thank you for my mother’s advice. Her Biblical wisdom is a strong foundation in my life. In thought, words, and deed, help me to be that kind of mother to my children. This I earnestly pray in Jesus’ name, amen.