"You are not here by mistake.  God looked down through all of time, saw you, and said, 'Yes, they are the ones I want to usher in the last days." — Karen Jensen

When You Don't Know What to Do

When it comes to getting God’s direction for your life, it’s best not to get in a hurry. Sometimes after you’ve prayed and sought God about a decision, you might feel like you still don’t have any idea what to do. Ever been there? I have.

There can be any number of reasons that you still don’t know what to do. It could be because the time is just not right yet for something you feel led to do—some other things may need to happen before you step out into God’s next direction for your life.

So if you’ve prayed, sought God, asked questions, checked with mentors, and done your research but you still aren’t sure what to do, don’t do anything yet.

There, I said it. And I know it might not sound like much help, but I promise, waiting won’t hurt. The plan that God has for you today will still be the plan He has for you tomorrow. You won’t get left behind if you wait for His timing.

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Poor Me!

If you’ve been alive longer than 15 minutes, you’ve probably had something horrible happen to you. I’m pretty sure we all have.

And I’m sorry. I wish bad things didn’t happen, and I wish it hadn’t happened to you. Part of me wants to wrap you in cotton and bubble wrap and keep you safe in a closet so nothing else can hurt you.

But really – what kind of life is that?

No, as long as you’re alive on this planet, there are going to be troubles and trials and bumps and bruises. Even Jesus told us, “In the world you will have tribulation…” (John 16:33). Thankfully, He followed that statement up with, “…but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” That’s good news!

It’s easy, though, to feel sorry for ourselves in the midst of adversity and painful events, isn’t it. In fact, self-pity can be our automatic reaction to trouble unless we know how to recognize and stop it. “Poor me!” can easily become our habitual thought.

But here’s what I’ve learned: I can’t have faith and self-pity at the same time. So it’s time to shut down the pity party and rise up in faith! Because faith is what I need in order to come out the other side of any trouble (1 John 5:4).

So how do we rise above self-pity and get into faith when awful circumstances come our way? Here are two steps...

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God, Which Way Should I Go?

When I first moved to Minneapolis, anytime I drove my car I never knew where I was or where I was going. I had to depend completely on the navigation system to get absolutely anywhere – seriously, I couldn’t even get to the grocery store without it.

I felt pretty stupid around my husband and all the other Minneapolis natives who knew their way around everywhere they went. But really, if you’re new, you’re new, right? How could I know where to go if I’d never been there before?

Well, if you think about it, it’s the same way with our lives. I mean, we can make plans to head in a certain direction, but none of us have been to the future. We might know which direction we want to go, but we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, because we’ve never been there before.

But there’s good news…

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What I Learned After My Husband Died

When I was 37 years old, my husband Brent (also 37) was four years into pastoring a church we had pioneered in Boise, Idaho. But on the evening of New Year’s Day 1997, Brent went to bed before me, and by the time I got there about an hour later he had suddenly and inexplicably died. I called 911, but he was never revived.

As you can imagine, my life and the lives of my young sons (age 12 and 13 at the time) changed drastically after that. I went on to pastor the church by myself, and the boys grew up without a dad. 

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4 Things I Learned From a Modern Day Christmas Story

Recently, I got an excited voice mail message from an old friend. She said, “Karen! Something happened to me today, and I felt like I really should tell you about it. Call me!”

In my author life, sometimes I have to screen calls (like when I’m writing) and I don’t always get to answer back as quickly as I’d like, but who could resist a message like that? Needless to say, I called her right back as soon as I heard it.

And she proceeded to tell me the most wonderful story…

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Why My Kids Never Believed in Santa

I’m not a killjoy. If you love Santa, believe in Santa, and want to perpetuate the myth that a jolly fat man dressed in red comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve to leave presents (at every house in the world, all at the same time) I am not here to take all that away from you. I promise.

It’s just that sometimes I meet young Christian parents who aren’t sure about it all. Should we tell our kids that Santa isn’t real, and ruin all the fun?  Or should we just go along with it, following the traditions that many of us grew up with. I mean, what does it hurt, right?

If you’re a die-hard Santa fan, you can stop reading right now and go read a story about him to your kids– it’s okay, really. We’re still friends, and I love you.

But if you’ve wondered or wavered or wondered about this particular topic, I have some thoughts to share with you. 

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Coffee with Karen - It's Not Too Late

Today, I'm excited to introduce to you my new video series called Coffee with Karen! I'll be discussing some of my blog and book themes on each episode, and I trust these few minutes will be a source of encouragement and blessing to you. So grab a cup of coffee and let's chat!

On today's episode, we're discussing the blog topic It's Not Too Late from a few weeks ago. One of the devil’s favorite lies is to tell us “If something were going to happen, it would have happened already by now.” But we can't let discouragement set in! God still has a plan for us, and His plan is always on time. It's never too late with Him!

Learn more about God's timing on my first episode of Coffee with Karen here

 

 

If You've Goofed Up, Read This!

Have you ever blown it big time? Made a wrong decision in your life? Gone the wrong direction? I think we all have.  So…what then? Are you stuck with it, destined to pay for your mistake forever?

I meet a lot of people who are living by that old saying, “You made this bed, now you have to lie in it.” But I can’t find that in the Bible anywhere! Nowhere does God say, “Too bad you made that wrong decision—now you’re disqualified; it’s over for you.”

No! In fact, I see lots of examples in the Bible of God giving second chances. I read in Ephesians 2:4 that He is rich in mercy and loves you greatly! He’s more than willing to give you another chance.

So what should you do if you’ve made a wrong decision?

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It's Not Too Late

One of the devil’s favorite lies is to tell you that it’s too late for what you’ve been believing, or for something great to happen in your life.

He says things like you’ve blown it too many times, you’ve taken too long to decide, you’ve missed the opportunity, or if it was going to happen it would’ve happened by now. He tells you it’s over--you’re off the track for good.

But the devil is a liar! The good news is that God doesn’t change His mind about you--either as His covenant child or about your divine destiny. 

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10 Bible Verses About Protection

There’s plenty to be afraid of in today’s world, isn’t there? Just a glance at the news can mess with your mind. It’s easy to worry about your or your loved ones safety.

But if you’re a Christian, remember that you are not of this world and you have inside information – INSIDE THE BIBLE.

God promises protection and safety for us! Our part is simply to soak our spirit in His promises of protection, instead of believing what we see and hear all around us on a daily basis. That is the fight of faith – to believe what God says in the face of what we see in the natural. It takes spiritual effort.

In an effort to help you focus in on God’s promises and bolster your faith in His protection, here are 10 Bible verses to read and meditate whenever you’re tempted to be afraid:

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When God Says No

Here’s the deal. God always answers yes to His promises. When you find it in the Bible, it’s a done deal. He is faithful to perform His Word, make no mistake about it (Jeremiah 1:12, Isaiah 55:11).

But when it comes to seeking His day-to-day plan for our lives – making decisions based on His specific direction for us -- it’s a good thing sometimes if He says no! He loves me, and if I'm going in the wrong direction, I want to listen to Him if He says, “No, don’t go that way!” Don’t you?

Our heavenly Father only has our best interest at heart – we can trust Him (Proverbs 3:5,6). He wants to lead and guide us into the best possible outcome. He knows our future, and when we ask Him, He will tell us yes or no which way to go. His “no” can be protection for us!

So why do we sometimes do what He tells us not do?  Why do we sometimes ignore His “no’s.” I just want to go on record as saying we shouldn’t! Seriously…things go so much better when we listen and obey if God says no.

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Keeping Your Focus

I recently heard someone say that “focus is the new IQ.” We have so many things coming at us in a day that sometimes it’s hard to focus on one thing and be productive. It’s so easy to let distractions keep us from our purpose. 

I remember watching a track and field event one time and seeing two runners who were neck and neck toward the end of a race. Just as they approached the finish line, the runner who was barely in the lead turned his head to glance at the other runner. I suppose he wanted to see how close his competitor was.

In that millisecond, he slowed his stride and lost the race. He hadn’t realized the other runner was only inches behind him. His purpose was to win the race, but when he took his focus off the finish line to look back, he lost the edge.

There is something to learn from that runner. First, run your own race. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. The race the other runner is running isn’t your race. He isn’t called to do what you’re called to do, and vice versa. If you get distracted by someone else’s race, you’ll lose your focus and it may cost you, like it cost that runner.

The second point to learn is that you can’t take your eyes off of the finish line. There are many things—good and bad—that will come along every minute to compete for your attention. Stay focused.

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