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, October 18, 2010


First Published October 15, 2010

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing,
because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:9

I was feelin’ good! I was on my seventh flying lesson and nearing the end of my preflight check. My instructor, “Junior” had stepped back to let me do everything myself. Yes! I had everything under control! During the check I stepped backwards away from the cockpit door and thunk! I nicely hit the back of my head on an extended flap. (This is a portion of the wing closest to the plane body, which is lowered for take offs and landings). “Are you alright?” Junior asked. “Ah, yeah,” I replied. I truly did not injure anything but my pride. He and I both knew that I simply didn’t look up. I turned back and sneered at the flap ready to vow vengeance.

Yes, I know that this inanimate wing flap was not capable of actually committing evil, but my point is that I wanted to repay it back with something bad. My little episode revealed that I easily harbored resentment and the desire to even up the score. (And I looked mighty silly sneering at the flap!) So, what did I need to do to avoid my hothead reaction?

Today’s verse comes from a whole bunch of issues Peter addresses aimed at giving Christians a practical manner of living in Christ. From a logical (and experience) point of view, if you live by the “eye for an eye” rule, and repay action in kind, you open yourself up to be treated in the same manner. And the verse teaches us that by repaying with blessing, you are inviting a blessing.

I needed to change my attitude and put that change into action. I needed the flap in good condition to safely take off and return back to earth in one piece. The plane would then serve me well if I took good care of it while it was in my charge. So, I made a point to do my preflight checks slowly, as to not miss details. I was no longer side tracked by the thought of my dented pride.

Thus, dealing with my inanimate wing flap helped me see a bigger challenge. Join me today as I continue to strive to break this cycle. I pray that we will all try to turn hurts and evils done to us around by seeing how we can make the situation glorifying to God. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Karen Vaughn

Monday, October 04, 2010

Lessons From the Barbecue Grill

First published September 29, 2010 (Happy Birthday Nina!)

When I was recuperating from knee surgery years ago, I watched lots of cooking shows on the television. One in particular was called Barbecue University with host Steven Raichlen (www.bbqu.net). He showed amazing grilling techniques and tips, making your mouth water more minute by minute. He frequently referred to his Three Essential Rules for Great Grilling. As we are in the thick of summer outdoor cooking, these rules interestingly parallel how we might view doing work for the Kingdom.

1. (Keep it hot) Do you have a burning desire to do what the Lord requires of you? Pray that your fervor to tell others about Christ does not fizzle out. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12:11

2. (Keep it clean) Do you often re-examine your Christian walk? Are there areas in your life that need attention? Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5

3. (Keep it Oiled) Yes oiled! Are you workable, pliable, teachable? So, you aren’t into doing menial work? Well, guess again. Show me your way, O Lord, teach me your paths. Psalm 25:4 Ask the Holy Spirit to open your mind and heart to learn (or re-learn) what the Lord wants of you.
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Thank you Lord, for the simple things that remind me of your will in my life. Help me to be zealous to be under your guidance, in communion with You to know when I stray, and flexible to joyfully do what you want me to do. I pray this in the name of your son, Jesus Christ, amen.

Copyright 2010 Karen Vaughn