Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

My Heart’s Prayer

Oh God, guide the thoughts that enter my mind,

Cleanse me, so righteousness is what you’ll find;

Place around my life, a hedge of protection,

So I may grow wise as I follow Thy perfection!

Oh God, guide the steps on every path I take,

Keep me close, so I don’t make foolish mistakes;

Lead me with Thy strong, righteous hand,

Cause me to listen when you give a command!

Oh God, guide the desires that live in my heart,

Keep me in Thy will, to never stray or depart;

Teach me obedience in this life as I live,

And when I fail you, please cleanse & forgive!

Oh God, guide my life whenever there’s a need,

Shine in me daily, for others, Thy glory to see;

I pray you’ll be my Teacher, Leader, & Guide,

So people see Thee radiating through my life!

 

Apologetics

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15

Sometimes during an interview a reporter may ask me, “Do you think a Jew without Jesus is lost?” If I say, “Yes,” then I will look like a racist or a bigot. If I say, “No,” then, I have dishonored the Lord Jesus Christ who died for the sins of all people. So, how do I answer? ??I say, “Friend, I believe that one of my own children without Jesus would be lost. It doesn’t matter whether he’s a Jew or a Gentile. You see, God demands absolute perfection and none of us can provide it. That’s why we need the gospel. We need Jesus. We need the righteousness of God that comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Be ready to give an answer when someone ask about your faith. In Bible College this was called “apologetics” comes from the Greek word that means “to give a defense, as in front of a judge.” We are not apologizing for our faith we are defending our faith.

What would you say if someone asked you that question? Ask the Lord to prepare you.

 

 

It’s The Little Things

By Meagan Davis

Turning 21 into a Testimony

Today, I turn 21 years old. So, what’s the big deal about turning 21? In the world’s eyes, now I can not only party, but I’m also allowed to drink alcohol…legally. But here’s the thing with me, I believe that it is wrong to drink because the Bible says so (Prov. 20:1, Eph. 5:18). Many people just don’t understand that. Why would I follow what some book says about drinking? Because it is God’s Word. So now my 21st birthday turns into testimony time. My taking a stand against drinking on my birthday says a great deal about the rest of my life. If I am going to do this, people will notice a difference. Not drinking on my 21st birthday shows people that there is something different, and they may think that I’m weird at first. But then, they can watch all the other areas of your life too. So just taking a stand against alcohol is a small first step. What about my work ethic? My speech? My social life? How will I be different in those areas? If Christ is in me, these areas won’t just be weird. It will be a difference that they don’t understand, but one that they desire to have. Will other people see Jesus? Will they want what I have?
Taking a stand is not just about being weird. It’s about showing Christ in everything I do. His name is in my title – CHRISTian. Will taking a stand be more than just a way to be different? Or will it be showing the testimony of Christ?

Influence

Numbers 30:2 “If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.” 

At a Touchdown Club meeting many years ago, Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant told the following story:

I had just been named the new head coach at Alabama and was off in my old car down in South Alabama recruiting a prospect who was supposed to have been a pretty good player, and I was having trouble finding the place.

Getting hungry, I spied an old cinderblock building with a small sign out front that simply said “Restaurant.” I pull up, go in, and every head in the place turns to stare at me. Seems I’m the only white fella in the place. But the food smelled good, so I skip a table and go up to a cement bar and sit. A big ole man in a tee shirt and cap comes over and says, “What do you need?”

I told him I needed lunch and what did they have today?

He says, “You probably won’t like it here. Today we’re having chitlins, collard greens and black-eyed peas with cornbread. I’ll bet you don’t even know what chitlins are, do you?”(small intestines of hogs prepared as food in the deep South)

I looked him square in the eye and said, “I’m from Arkansas , and I’ve probably eaten a mile of them. Sounds like I’m in the right place.”

They all smiled as he left to serve me up a big plate. When he comes back he says, “You ain’t from around here then?”

I explain I’m the new football coach up in Tuscaloosa at the University and I’m here to find whatever that boy’s name was, and he says, “Yeah I’ve heard of him, he’s supposed to be pretty good.” And he gives me directions to the school so I can meet him and his coach. As I’m paying up to leave, I remember my manners and leave a tip, not too big to be flashy, but a good one, and he told me lunch was on him, but I told him for a lunch that good, I felt I should pay. The big man asked me if I had a photograph or something he could hang up to show I’d been there. I was so new that I didn’t have any yet. It really wasn’t that big a thing back then to be asked for, but I took a napkin and wrote his name and address on it and told him I’d get him one.

I met the kid I was looking for later that afternoon and I don’t remember his name, but do remember I didn’t think much of him when I met him.

I had wasted a day, or so I thought. When I got back to Tuscaloosa late that night, I took that napkin from my shirt pocket and put it under my keys so I wouldn’t forget it. Back then I was excited that anybody would want a picture of me. The next day we found a picture and I wrote on it, “Thanks for the best lunch I’ve ever had.”

Now let’s go a whole buncha years down the road. Now we have black players at Alabama and I’m back down in that part of the country scouting an offensive lineman we sure needed. Y’all remember, (and I forget the name, but it’s not important to the story), well anyway, he’s got two friends going to Auburn and he tells me he’s got his heart set on Auburn too, so I leave empty handed and go on to see some others while I’m down there.

Two days later, I’m in my office in Tuscaloosa and the phone rings and it’s this kid who just turned me down, and he says, “Coach, do you still want me at Alabama ?”

And I said, “Yes I sure do.” And he says OK, he’ll come.

And I say, “Well son, what changed your mind?”

And he said, “When my grandpa found out that I had a chance to play for you and said no, he pitched a fit and told me I wasn’t going nowhere but Alabama, and wasn’t playing for nobody but you. He thinks a lot of you and has ever since y’all met.”

Well, I didn’t know his granddad from Adam’s housecat so I asked him who his granddaddy was and he said, “You probably don’t remember him, but you ate in his restaurant your first year at Alabama and you sent him a picture that he’s had hung in that place ever since. That picture’s his pride and joy and he still tells everybody about the day that Bear Bryant came in and had chitlins with him…”

“My grandpa said that when you left there, he never expected you to remember him or to send him that picture, but you kept your word to him and to Grandpa, that’s everything. He said you could teach me more than football and I had to play for a man like you, so I guess I’m going to.”

I was floored. But I learned that the lessons my mama taught me were always right. It don’t cost nuthin’ to be nice. It don’t cost nuthin’ to do the right thing most of the time, and it costs a lot to lose your good name by breaking your word to someone.

When I went back to sign that boy, I looked up his Grandpa and he’s still running that place, but it looks a lot better now. And he didn’t have chitlins that day, but he had some ribs that would make Dreamland proud. I made sure I posed for a lot of pictures; and don’t think I didn’t leave some new ones for him, too, along with a signed football.

I made it clear to all my assistants to keep this story and these lessons in mind when they’re out on the road. If you remember anything else from me, remember this. It really doesn’t cost anything to be nice, and the rewards can be unimaginable.

Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

Bless The Lord, Oh My Soul

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, He is worthy of much praise,
His righteousness is new in the start of every day;
He heals me when I’m broken, & helps me to stand,
Oh, what a privilege to be lead by His strong hand!
Bless the Lord, oh my soul, He is full of sweet grace,
He is slow to anger, over all my sinful ways;
He knows my frame, remembering I am but dust,
He gives me His love when I give Him my trust!
Bless the Lord, oh my soul, He saved my soul from Hell,
He loads me with benefits, greater than I can tell;
As far as this old earth is from wondrous Heaven,
Is where my sins will go when they are forgiven!
Bless the Lord, oh my soul, He gave me His holy word,
His goodness to me is richer than I deserve;
I bless Him with my voice, His glory I proclaim,
With all that is within me, bless His holy name!

It’s the Little Things

It’s Not Easy

 by Meagan Davis
It’s not easy to get up every morning.
It’s not easy to have your devotions every day.
It’s not easy to pray every day.
It’s not easy to love.
It’s not even easy to serve God consistently.
Why? Your flesh is the enemy. Satan is the enemy. You are fighting an uphill battle. Sin is trying to push you down. It is not natural for us to serve God. It is a choice that we have to make.
Joshua 14:8 says, “Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the Lord my God.” This was Caleb’s testimony. He chose to serve God with his whole heart. When did he make this choice? Maybe it was when he was a child. Maybe it was when he was a teenager. Maybe it was just before his spy mission in Canaan. But it was before he was put into these situations. He chose to serve God wholly and completely? Will you?
I have to warn you though. It’s not easy. But the Bible promises us that it is completely worth it because your uphill battle is already won! Jesus conquered all. He defeated sin, death, and the grave. Will you choose the winning side? Will you serve God wholly and completely today?

Pride

Be Humble And The Lord Will Lift You Up
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10

I was in my son’s house and I saw a plaque in the dining room with this verse. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10) It reminded me of something that happened to me at work several years ago. Some of my co-workers had given me a plaque just like that one, and I put it on my cabinet over my desk. My boss came out one day and gave me credit in front of my co-workers for doing a good job on something. I didn’t say anything to lift myself up, but I could feel the pride swelling up inside. After I turned back around at my desk and took something I needed from the upper shelf, the plaque fell from over the shelf and hit me in the head before it landed on the floor. It was a heavy molded plaque and the fall broke off two or three inches on the corner. It actually hurt when it hit my head, but I was ok. I kept the broken plaque over my desk as a reminder not to let pride rule my heart. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
thanks for lamp to my feet devotions

Tuesday With Karen

God Is Above The Storm

God is above the storm, no matter how hard it might be,

There is no thunder or lightning His eye cannot see;

When we find ourselves in a storm on any day,

God is so good, to pour out His mercy & grace!

God is above the storm, though He may seem far away,

“Peace be still” are words He still knows how to say;

When clouds seem dark, & fierce winds are blowing,

God knows the direction every action is going!

God is above the storm, controlling by His command,

There’s nothing taking place He doesn’t understand;

The wind may blow hard & the waves might roll high,

But nothing happens here that surprises God’s eyes!

God is above the storm, & will forever more be,

Everything that takes place happens under His feet;

So before we start to become worried or distressed,

We need to remember God handles things best!

Lesson learned

Guide Post

“OK, guys,” my 11-year-old son Harrison hugged Corinne and me, “you better get on the road.” His newfound independence at his first summer camp made us smile.

The next evening the phone rang. “Mr. Kidd, this is Betty from Camp Nacome. Harrison slipped off a rock ledge and broke his arm. We’re on our way to the hospital.”

When Corinne and I arrived at the emergency room, Harrison’s first words were, “Dad, do I still get to go back to camp?”

“I’m sorry, son,” the nurse said sympathetically. “You’ll need to go home with your folks and take it easy.”

Harrison’s long-anticipated week at camp was over. On the way home, a very disappointed boy asked, “Why did God let this happen?”

Corinne, a real trouper in her new parenting role, cleared her throat. “I don’t know, Harrison. But maybe God can use it for good.”

As the days went by, Harrison managed to keep a great attitude. He especially enjoyed sporting the many signatures he had collected on his cast. One night at dinner he asked to do the prayer. “God, thank You for letting me break my arm. I don’t know why You didn’t want me to finish camp, but I’m awfully thankful for all the people who love me on my cast.”

I smiled to Corinne as Harrison said, “Amen.” As we dug into our homemade casserole, I was reminded to look for God’s good in a recent disappointment in my own life.

Father, give us the wisdom to turn every affliction into something good.