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.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Complete Set

First Published August 23, 2010

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-
This is your spiritual act of worship.
Romans 12:1

When Jeff and I married, I had registered for a very nice Nortake © china set. Since most of our friends were also poor “starving students,” we received two pieces of the pattern. This was a very incomplete set.

Years later Jeff purchased me a Mikasa © set called Dresden Rose for 12 places. We could use more serving pieces, so over the Internet, little by little, we created a fuller set. Once in a while a piece would break, so we would look for a replacement. Sometimes we would find something new such as dessert bowls.

After reading today’s verse you may be asking, “How do I present myself to God?” From the time we are born into Christ we strive to enrich our spiritual life. We accept Him as our Lord and Savior and receive the Holy Spirit, like a beginner’s set of fine china. As we grow and mature through triumphs and trials, we add to our set. This now is a finer, richer set.

Different areas of our life may be out of balance (temptation, lying, slothfulness, etc.) and we may have more teacups than saucers! But we have the assurance that we may lean on God through His Son to provide a way to Christ likeness, hence closer to Him. We present ourselves to Him via attributes as listed in Galatians 5:22, the Fruit of the Spirit.

If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, your “china” is incomplete, today confess your sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you are a child of the Lord, then meditate on broadening your beautiful china set. Pray that He may lead you to a more fulfilled life pleasing to Him!

Almighty God, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit I received upon accepting Jesus as my Savior. Through him, may my life be a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to you. I praise your Name. Amen

Copyright 2010 by Karen Vaughn

Friday, August 06, 2010

To's and For's

First Published August 6, 2010

Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord. Psalm 102:17-19

My daughter Jennifer is in the mist of writing her dissertation for a Ph.D. in History. Some of her research involves reading personal diaries and letters of people who lived during the early 1900’s. When she has had the privilege of transcribing famous large letter collections, she comments that she learns much more than the economic conditions of that time. She learns about life on a personal level. She gains wisdom and appreciation for people of the past. Yet, the letters were not written to her.

The richness of the Bible is part of its wonder. It is so full of life lesson, that some spend an entire lifetime in deep (and I mean really deep) study of the scriptures. But we, nor they, can fully understand the inspired words. This does not mean we give up on study. We do, however, need to have a proper initial orientation in interpreting the words of the Bible: The To’s and For’s.

We need to determine to and for whom Bible books and letters were written. First we start with the earthly author. In some cases, as in Hebrews, authorship may be up for debate. But for many books, the author is known. Now we need to look at the intended audience. Was the writing and account for future generations? Was the writing for a specific person? Once these are established we now read in the context of the author and the audience. What are the truths we gain from this reference? Now, what can be learned today from this verse or passage based on this “to and for” context?

When we begin to study with a proper perspective, we will learn and grow in the glory of Jesus Christ. Today, let’s strive to studying our Bible first with this concept in mind.


Dear Lord, I want to learn what the Bible truly says. Please help me to remember to and for whom the scriptures were originally written. Let me gain insight and understanding when I study from this prospective. In Jesus’ name I ask, amen.

Copyright 2010 Karen Vaughn