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.

Friday, October 09, 2015


First Published September 3, 2014

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

My flight lesson was cancelled due to weather (Southern Californian June-Gloom). So, I did some errands, had lunch with my hubby, crocheted some, did some Sudoku puzzles, did some yard work, watched some reruns with my daughter, did a load of laundry, fixed dinner, caught up (almost) with my Bible reading, and yakked on the phone. Ready to sleep and almost in Dreamland, I faintly heard my hubby Jeff ask if I paid a bill that day as I had promised. What? Oh NOOOOOO!

It was too late. There would be a penalty for a late payment. What was done (or not done) was done.
The wonderful thing about Jehovah God is that through his son Jesus, we are forgiven for our sins. Still, here on earth, we are expected to pay retribution for errors. I think the wrong approach is to expect to be forgiven from earthly victims of our mistakes. Instead, accept the consequences and ask the Lord to help you get through your punishment. That’s were God’s work is most evident in our lives.

Lord, I’m so sorry that I forgot about the bill. I am nervous about the consequences of my error. Please engulf me with your Spirit to erase my fears, yet also give me strength to face to penalty. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Jeff called the billing company. As it turned out, this bill was due during the weekend, and they had a grace period that allowed me to get the bill paid for without penalty on Monday.
Today’s verse is one of my favorites. Through God’s plan, I am renewed. I can have a spiritual do-over in my relationship with the Father. “And” He gives me strength to get through the earthly consequences of my actions. If you know the familiar tune paired with this scripture, I encourage you to sing it to someone today. Let them know what it means daily to have Jesus as your Savior.

Copyright 2014 by Karen Vaughn

Lost: The Five C's

First Published August 15, 2014

With the incredible amount of technology available today, pilots can still get lost. Equipment failure, unfamiliar terrain, disorientation, clouds and mist, and human error are all ways that can contribute to a pilot getting lost. The acronym to help remember a wise procedure for getting found is called the “Five C’s.”

Psalms 46:10
Cease striving and know that I am God.

CALM – Realize that you are not going in the correct direction. Be Still. You are lost, but you know what to do…
Proverbs 3:7
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

CLIMB – Get to a better vantage point so you can see the situation.
Matthew 6:9
“Pray, then, in this way: “Our Father who is in heaven, Hollowed be Your name.”

COMMUNICATE – Transmit who you are (plane identifier) and last known position to ATC (Air Traffic Control).
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

CONFESS – Admit your predicament.
Mark 8:34
…And (He) said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

COMPLY – Follow the instructions from the air traffic authority.
Thank you Lord, acronyms and mnemonic devices help me to remember your wisdom. I pray they are much more than just cute little sayings; that when I become lost, they will help me physically and spiritually to become found again.

Copyright 2014 by Karen Vaughn


                                                      First Published June 16, 2014 
Proverbs 4:2 
For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction. 

I was up early to get ready for work and took a peek into the back yard.  Oh no, the water was left on all night. I gasped and ran downstairs and out the back door.  The faucet was stuck full on, so I deduced that my son Reuben thought he had turned the water off. Being in a rush to help with future situations, I scribbled a note and tacked it on his bedroom door: 

“FYI: Lefty Loosey; Righty Tighty 

Late that night when Reuben got home, I asked if he got my message.  “Sure.  I didn’t understand what it meant!” 

Ever since I started to read my first Bible given to me as a little girl by my mother, I have encountered verses that confound me.  It seemed like the more I studied the Scriptures, the more confused I became.  It took time, God’s time, for me to understand some (and I emphasize SOME) of the Scriptures.  But still, it would be nice to have a user’s manual for the Bible! 

“Well, it means that to loosen or turn on a faucet, go left. To tighten or turn it off, go right.”  “Okay, whatever.” 

You’d think that being in the education business I’d know what it takes to understand the written word. But when it comes to the Bible, God has his own ideas.  So sometimes I have to have the scripture thrown directly at me in the form of a life lesson to understand it. Or maybe I’ll never understand it. 
“I was giving you a mnemonic device to help you remember how to turn off the water. You left it on last night and the patio got flooded.”  “Ohhh. Why didn’t you just say so?” 

Lord, I know your ways are not my ways.  But your teaching is good and just.  Your Bible is what I can trust to live by.  I try to listen, study, pray, and learn.  But, it’s tough sometimes to understand you.  Please help me be patient and to open my eyes wide when the time is right.   
Why didn’t I just say so?  Because MY lesson hadn’t yet been learned. The next night I left the water running and flooded the pool! 

Let us continue to seek answers; continue to pray; continue to live God’s wisdom; and continue to learn.
Copyright 2014 by Karen Vaughn