Tuesday With Karen

Praise Him In The Storm
 Praise Him in the storm, if it toils & rages,
Cling to the One called the Rock of Ages;
His foundation is very safe and secure,
His presence within us forever endures!
 Praise Him in the storm, if raging winds blow,
Call upon His name, wherever you may go;
He always listens if our knee bows in prayer,
Nothing can match His sweet love and care!
Praise Him in the storm, even if teardrops fall,
Remembering always, that He is Lord over all;
Nothing ever happens His grace can’t control,
We’re so wise, to give it all to Him to hold!
Praise Him in the storm, as we seek His face,
In the midst of it all, He gives amazing grace;
The Lord is able to guide & lead us through,
We’ll give His name glory, in all that we do!
6-2-16

 

It’s The Little Things

By Meagan Davis

Contentment

“Are you ready to head back to school?” this has been the dreaded question that I have been asked for the last two weeks. My response with a laugh, “No, not really.” but inside my heart is screaming, “No, I don’t want to go!”

After this summer, I became very discontent with the idea of going back to school. This summer was amazing. I got to coach and play games. I met new people. I gained godly friends. I was saturated with God’s Word day and night. It was easy to do right. I saw God change life after life including my own. And now, back to school. But this is exactly the attitude that will get me in trouble.
In Philippians 4, Paul says this, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, there with to be content.”
I think that we all know what it means to be discontent. We are not satisfied with whatever situation we are in. We could want things; we could want more friends or a dating relationship. We can even want something good, but it’s just not God’s timing right now. Contentment is realizing that I have everything I need in Christ wherever He has me at this point in my life.
For me, this is what I have to apply as I go back to school. Because, in all honesty, I’m just ready to be done! But this is where God wants me right now. I am here to finish what I started. Even though my ministry at school is not the same as the Wilds, I still have a ministry and a responsibility to do all to His glory. It all has to start with this contentment.

God Settles Us

From the Rest Ministries
by Lisa Copen
“The Lord is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. . . He maketh (settles) the barren woman to keep house,and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 113:4,9)
Mother’s Day. It’s a mixed bag of emotions depending on your life experiences. Some people will think of their own mother and her precious role in their lives; others will grieve the mother that is no longer here on earth; and some of you will think of the mother you still have here on earth–but who never fulfilled the role of “mom” in the way you dreamed.
Many women will get precious handmade gifts from their little ones; others will sit along and wait for a phone call from their adult child that never comes.
And still, some women will grieve extra hard this day that they are not celebrating being a mom. Perhaps they have not conceived, or they have lost a child. Some will suffer even more silently as they grieve the abortion they had years ago and imagine how old that child would now be.
I celebrate today as a mother because a very special woman gave me her baby through adoption. She looked me in the eyes and said, “I trust you completely.”
God loves us more than we can even imagine. Ephesians 1:5 says, “Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” Whatever you are feeling today, be it joy or sorrow, know that you have been adopted by God. He loves us in a way that we cannot even fathom. His love is intense, extraordinary, possessive, and wondrous. We are His. You have done nothing so wrong that God will not claim you as His child.
And scripture tells us that “He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.” As a woman who dealt with infertility issues, I can say that we are a pretty emotional bunch. To settle us is no easy task. To use the example of settling a barren woman, tells us that nothing is beyond the Lord’s power, and that He can bring comfort in any circumstances, even the hurting heart of one who longs to nurture a child.

Helping Each Other

By Philip Yancey

“The body of Christ” is a mysterious phrase used more than 30 times in the New Testament. The apostle Paul especially settled on that phrase as an image of the church. After Jesus ascended to heaven, He turned over His mission to flawed and bumbling men and women. He assumed the role of head of the church, leaving the tasks of arms, legs, ears, eyes, and voice to the erratic disciples—and to you and me.

Jesus’ decision to operate as the invisible head of a large body with many parts means that He often relies on us to help one another cope during times of suffering. The apostle Paul must have had something like that in mind when he wrote these words: “ Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” (2 Cor. 1:4–5). And all through his ministry Paul put that principle into practice, taking up collections for famine victims, dispatching assistants to go to troubled areas, acknowledging believers’ gifts as gifts from God Himself.

The phrase “the body of Christ” expresses well what we are called to do: to represent in flesh what Christ is like, especially to those in need.

Dear Lord, thank You for always being faithful to comfort me when I’m hurting. Show me who needs my encouragement today.                        

God’s presence brings us comfort; 

our presence brings others comfort.

Thanksgiving

Psalm 100

1Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Tuesday With Karen

We Thank You, Lord

We thank you, Lord, for being our real Saviour,

For blessing our life with loving grace & favor;

Man has religions with leaders who are dead,

Oh Lord, we choose to worship You instead!

We thank You, Lord, for being God’s only Son,

Perfect & holy, in all things You’ve ever done;

When it came time to die on Calvary’s cross,

You shed Your blood, for no one to be lost!

We thank You, Lord, for Your divine name,

By Your touch, we are never again the same;

You hear our supplications as our voice calls,

Supplying every need, both the great & small!

We thank You, Lord, for giving grace as we live,

For loving us, our shortcomings, You forgive;

You bless us with more than riches can afford,

Most of all, we thank You for being our Lord!

What are you thinking?

Psalm 145:1-5

When everything falls apart, how do you handle it? All of us face circumstances that challenge our peace—and some of these situations are very painful and prolonged. Unless we have purposeful focus, joy fades and hope seems unattainable.

King David experienced extreme hardships, including the profound grief of losing a child and a best friend. And King Saul, for selfish reasons, pursued him in an attempt to take his life. Later, David’s own son led a rebellion against him. As drastic as these trials are, they were just four of the many difficulties he endured. Yet even in times of deep suffering, David found hope and peace in God.

How was his soul sustained when others in similar situations would have drowned in despair? David knew how to meditate. He focused his mind and spirit on God—His character, ways, and will—in order to know the Lord better and to obey Him.

We should followDavid’s example. Our role during difficulty is to set our eyes on our heavenly Father and meditate on His Word. The Psalms document the depth and passion for which the shepherd and soon-to-be king delighted himself in God. By continually pondering the attributes and ways of the Lord, he found solace in the midst of turmoil.

What subjects do you spend most of your day thinking of? Do you have time set aside to dwell solely on the Lord? Perhaps you can remind yourself periodically to bring your attention back to your Creator—one way is to read several of the Psalms and notice how the author turns his heart back to God.

It’s The Little Things

by Meagan Davis

Lessons from a Rotten Apple

Imagine a juicy, beautiful, crimson apple. It looks like the one that the teacher has sitting on her desk. In it’s very essence, it is perfection.

This is what I saw when one of my friends brought an apple to the lunch table, but then she took a bite. Her face was one of shock as she turned the apple around to us. The core of the apple was completely rotten. Immediately, God brought some lessons to my mind that we can learn from this nasty, rotten apple.
1. Looks are deceiving.
From the outside, this apple was beautiful. That’s why my friend even picked it up in the first place! It looked delicious. A lot of times, Satan does this with sin in our lives. He dangles that beautiful red apple in front of your face and enticing you to take just one bite. But as in the story of Snow White, just one bite hurts. Hebrews 11:25 tells us that Moses chose His people instead rather “than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Sin may make you happy for a moment, but that moment won’t last. Just like this apple, the first bite may be good, but when you see sin for what it really is, it will disgust and destroy you.
2. Our looks should not be deceiving.
What’s on the outside should always match the inside. When my friend bit into her apple, she was expecting it to be savory not sour. The outside appearance should have matched the inside. But there are so many times in our lives that this is simply not true. Modern Christians are experts at putting on a show. We have our life on Sunday in front of our church friends, and we have our life the rest of the week in front of coworkers and other companions. Matthew 6 talks about the importance of not being hypocritical in our worship, specifically through giving, prayer, and fasting. This passage stresses that everything we do is not just for an outward show. If you act like a Christian but your inside is rotten, you are not pleasing God because He can see straight through that (1 Samuel 16:7). The heart is the most important part!
3. What’s inside will come out.
Even though the outside of this apple was still beautiful, it wouldn’t be long before the outside matched the inside. Luke 6:45 says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Eventually, what is inside your heart is going to come out. You may be able to keep it hidden for a time, but whatever you believe and think in your heart and mind is going to come out in the way you live. This is why it’s so important for us to make sure that our heart is right. If the heart isn’t right, the outside doesn’t really matter.
4. The problem starts on the inside.
With this apple, the outside looked great, actually perfect. But inside was the real problem. Something caused the core of that apple to slowly rot away, and eventually, the whole apple would be destroyed. When sin first comes into your life, it starts small. You may not even have had a desire to do wrong. But it happened. And slowly, that small problem grows until it’s out of control. James 1:15 talks about the cycle of sin. It starts with lust, that inner desire. Soon, it brings death. This is why the Bible encourages us to run away from sin just like Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife. Stay as far from it as possible.
This is just one example of the little object lessons that God sends our way every day! Be on the lookout for what He wants to teach you! And in the meantime, don’t let your life be like the rotten apple. 

Better Thanksgiving

the story of Miles Standish
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
“Then the sicknes begane to fall sore amongst them,
and the weather so bad …. the Gov/r and cheefe of them,
seeing so many dye, and fall downe sick dayly,
thought it no wisdom to send away the ship….”
Capt. Miles Standish had been much at his wife Rose’s bedside. As much time, that is, as he could spare from stalking game, guarding against savages, and felling trees to construct crude homes on shore.
A bitter wind whistled through chinks and cracks in the Mayflower, anchored in Plymouth harbor that winter of 1620-21. Rose’s chills would turn to uncontrollable shaking. Then just as suddenly, her body would be ablaze with fever. Herbs from the surgeon’s chest did little to relieve her. By spring only five wives remained out of the eighteen who had sailed to Plymouth. Rose was not among them.
Thanksgiving? What was that? The golden dreams of a New World that Miles and Rose had cherished together had evaporated into hollow hopes. And yet that fall Capt. Standish joined other bereaved Pilgrims in the first Thanksgiving celebration.
The real test of thankfulness is whether we can give thanks from the heart for what we do have, despite the wounds and pains of yesterday’s struggles. Ours is not some fair-weather faith, but a resilient trust in in the midst of pain. The Pilgrims lived close to the edge of survival. Perhaps that is why they were so thankful.
How about you? Does your material bounty cause you to neglect thanks? When your clan gathers this Thanksgiving will a prayer of thankfulness be forgotten between moist turkey and pumpkin pie? Will your children see you bow your head to give thanks, or merely ask for another helping of dressing and cranberry sauce?
Children will be watching, you know. And their little faith is being formed by what they see. Your family’s Thanksgiving celebration will instruct them about thankfulness, for good or ill.
Will they see you too wealthy to be thankful? Too independent to need God any more? Too bitter, perhaps? Or will they watch you truly give thanks for God’s blessings on this special day? And maybe as they watch, they’ll catch a hint that mom and dad and grandmother, in spite of painful seasons they have faced, have seen these bitter winters bear fruit in better thanksgiving.
Copyright © 2018, Ralph F. Wilson

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

It Doesn’t Matter

It doesn’t matter what our government proclaims,

Passing horrendous laws, to make ungodliness okay;

Stating we’re no longer a Christian nation,

Does not make God run away from intimidation!

It doesn’t matter how often our nation might change,

Or the many times its morals get rearranged;

Though politicians fear these morals might offend,

We stand as Christians against the sickness of sin!

It doesn’t matter, God will be there forever,

He can’t be abolished, overturned, or severed;

But if our nation continues on its pathway to shame,

Ichabod will slowly become America’s new name!

It doesn’t matter how hard man may justify his ways,

God’s word stands true, & we still need His grace;

He teaches us to live against the vile nature of sin,

To every word God says, we’ll always say “Amen!”