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, November 14, 2011


First Published October 17, 2011
John 3:3
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you,
no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

I’m certain that this statement from Jesus has perplexed people from the time he uttered it and even today. Many of his words remain a mystery, but today’s verse I believe may have a parallel example in our everyday world.

I recently attended the California premiere of Illustra Media's production of Metamorphosis (http://illustramedia.com/), the intriguing documentary about the mystery of the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies. I was thrilled to be in the auditorium for two reasons. First, when I was very young, I wrote a report on the Monarch Butterfly and was proud of my third grade brilliance and artwork. Also, I was curious to see how Illustra's Lad Allen and Jerry Harned would reveal God's handiwork in this amazing process.

I was not disappointed on either count. Flashbacks of my neatly handwritten report confirmed the eloquent images and general information about the life of butterflies, particularly the Monarch. And the arguments supporting a creative maker who designed such a wondrous event as metamorphosis were equally solid and beautifully presented. I praised God for the ability for Man today to unlock many of these secrets that once remained silent.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!

What did Paul mean when he said in Christ we are a new creation? Think of the many contrasts between the old life of the caterpillar and the new life of the butterfly. The caterpillar has limited mobility and constantly eats. The new butterfly has the ability of flight, multi-sensory antennae, long legs, and compound eyes, not to mention the beautiful wings.

After the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, the old self is gone. It is no longer a caterpillar. It’s as if it was born anew. I think Paul was saying that believing in Christ is as wonderful as the butterfly’s metamorphosis. Our new life is so different from the old one, that it is as if we were born again as new creatures. Wow!

Romans 6:4
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,
we too may live a new life.

Copyright 2011 Karen Vaughn

Profit Margins

First Published October 31, 2011

My father was a businessman. Over his lifetime he owned several businesses including the grocery store in which I grew up. I learned a lot from working in the family store, observing how my parents ran the business, and how they interacted with people. My father told me often that there are two ways people remain rich in the business world. They spend less than they make, or they make more than they spend.

It is very true that our life in Christ is not a business. Grace and love from God the Father through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus are contrary to our Western business sense. However, since we are familiar with the notion of making and spending money, we will see how business and finance terms relate to an enriched spiritual life.

First we must remember that our God is Lord over everything, and He is creator of both the spiritually rich and the spiritually poor.

Proverbs 22:2
Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.

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Material things will not last, but your good character is a perpetual gift.

Proverbs 22:1
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

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Put God first in your life and you will profit with valuable treasure: salvation.

Isaiah 33:6
He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

Proverbs 22:4
Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.

Here’s an enriched adage: People grow spiritually rich in life by giving of themselves that which God abundantly supplies: salvation, wisdom, knowledge, and good character.

Copyright 2011 Karen Vaughn