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 25, 2009

Big Blessings of Thankfulness

First Published November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving is one of the most recognized holidays in the United States. People go for huge sales, bake, decorate, visit with friends and family, and …give thanks.

Typically we recap all the wonderful blessings that have transpired over the year along with mentioning the people who have been God’s agents in delivering these blessings. But sometimes it’s worth it to reiterate an ongoing blessing. It’s the type of blessing that borders on a miracle.

When I was pregnant with cancer, many people prayed for me, the baby, Jeff and the girls. Missionary friends Daniel and Beverley put us on their prayer chain, sending out the message to remote tribes in Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). In one communiqué from them we learned that there was a particular lady who had committed my needs to prayer. Daily. For the rest of her life.

I was stunned. A woman thousands of miles away, without a name, separated by countries, separated by language, separated by cultures, separated by generations was praying for me. Somehow she was to be a special person, talking to the Lord, presenting my needs to Him.

And that’s what I remember. This woman’s consistent tiny prayers have grown to become big blessings. Even now, 20 years later, I am deeply thankful for the comfort, strength, and encouragement God gave me through the faithfulness of this lady from the Karen tribe.

Today let us remember the tiny things that turned into big blessings. Was it a smile that helped you gain strength? Was it a phone call that helped you focus on what is good? Was it a card that comforted you? Let the Lord know in a big way that you’ve been blessed. From within let our prayers pour out with huge gratefulness.

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Psalms 92:1-4
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
and to sing praises to Thy name, O most High;
to declare Thy loving-kindness in the morning,
and Thy faithfulness by night,
with the ten-stringed lute, and with the harp;
with resounding music upon the lyre.
Thy Thou, O lord, hast made me glad by what Thou hast done,
I will sing for joy at the works of Thy hands.

Copyright 2009 Karen Vaughn

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Passing the Buck

First Published November 23, 2009

Acts 20:35
In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

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Just the other day I was in line to pay for items at the 99CentOnly Store ®. A little boy in front of me had a few items: a bag of apples, a container of juice, a bag of chips, and a package of cookies. Not realizing he was charged with added tax and CRV (California Redemption Value), he looked genuinely shocked when the checker announced that his bill was well over $4. The boy dug into his pockets with no success and uttered a nervous “uh.” I took out a quarter, handed it to the boy and said, “Only if you help someone else, sometime.” “Okay. Thanks lady,” he replied. Shyly he grabbed his bags and turned one more time my direction with a “Thank you.”

Giving thanks is not just bowing our heads and acknowledging God’s hand in our life. It also means giving as evidence of thankfulness. This attitude allows for blessings to abound. The key here is that giving isn’t necessarily “passing the buck.” We might be called to pass the $10 bucks, pass the sweater, pass the hug, or pass the meal. This Thanksgiving let us pray for a creative and unique way to give thanks. Watch and enjoy.

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Dear Lord, I pray that I can find more ways to give thanks. Help me to discern which direction I need to “pass the buck” that will glorify you. I thank you God for your Son, Jesus who died on the cross. Amen. And, amen.

Copyright 2009 Karen Vaughn