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 22, 2011

Ups and Downs

First Published August 22, 2011

Hebrews 4:14
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

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To sum it all up, it was a “down” weekend. On Friday due to my lack of planning and laziness, I messed up. On Saturday I was uncomfortable in the hot weather and was a grouch. On Sunday I got my feelings hurt and questioned my worth. Monday was a holiday and again I spent a lot of time and money because I didn’t plan ahead.

Now notice the pronoun that described my weekend. “I” is a very selfish word sometimes. But, here “I” am the one that needs to turn my downs into ups.

“I” went to the Lord in prayer and made a commitment to be a diligent manager of my time. “I” prayed that I could be mindful of the weather and stay hydrated. “I” prayed for the person who hurt my pride and asked that I never question my worth, because God’s love makes me important. Finally, I prayed that my faith does not waiver, but that during this down time, I grow stronger and closer to my God who made the universe.

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Oh God, squelch my feelings of insignificance. Give me wisdom to plan, and help me to pay attention to my health. Most of all Lord, please nurture my faith in you through your son Jesus Christ. Despite my down days, you are always there to comfort and to heal, just as he comforted and healed. In his name, amen.

Matthew 5:3
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Copyright 2011, Karen Vaughn

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Function Machine

First Published August 3, 2011

Proverbs 11:27
Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.
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Okay everyone, it’s that time again! Let’s get ready for math lesson #772! If you have already had algebra (whether you liked it or not), just sit on your hands for a spell so you don’t spend your time waving frantically that you know the answer!

Mathematical rules known as functions have a special property that when a value is inserted into the function, one and only one value results. For instance let x be the input variable and y be the output variable. Given function y = x times x , if x = 5 then y = 25. Now, consider x = y times y and x = 25 is the input, then y could equal 5 or -5. This is not a function.

The set of all legal input values of a function is called the domain. And the set of output values from the domain is called the range. Sometimes this concept is illustrated by the “Function Machine,” a fictitious contraption commonly drawn on the chalk-board.

To change the range of a function, you must change the domain (make exceptions) or change the function. In life, we all have to deal with bad things. Whether we encounter sins inflicted upon us or produce our own sins, trials are out there. The “domain” of life will not change. We get sick and we made wrong choices. What can change is how we handle bad things. We may choose a “function” that reflects the influence of God’s grace, or we may choose a “function” that leads to more sin and prevents others from seeing God’s glory and love.

The special “function” I’m talking about is Jesus Christ. Living life through him changes the range from misery to peace, hope, and joy.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
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Dear Lord, I am here. I am asking. I am seeking. I am knocking. Please let Christ be the function in my life. In his name, amen.

Copyright 2011, Karen Vaughn