In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God lived in a box (the ark of the covenant). But God said, 'That's not good enough, I have to be closer to my people.' So in His new covenant, He put His Spirit IN US! — Karen Jensen
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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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!
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?
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.
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:
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.
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.
It seems like I always have a phone or an ipad or a laptop or a TV screen in front of my face, all with the possibility of calls and notifications and binge watching and dings for emails and texts.
Yikes, there is so much vying for our attention these days. Sometimes I feel like my brain is turning to mush because my thoughts get interrupted so many times in a day! I get scattered, and I feel as though I can’t accomplish anything worthwhile. Is it just me?
One day I was having “that kind of a day” when I happened to read the blog of a friend of mine. Along with being in ministry, he is an entrepreneur and an inventor and he told the story of how one time he had invented a product that was almost perfect. But in order to get it produced he had to tweak a couple things, and he had to do it fast or lose the opportunity to get his invention produced in mass quantities.
The problem was, he wasn’t quite sure what to tweak. He’d done the best he could, but he was stuck. I could totally identify.
My friend, Jamie Jones, has a new book coming out tomorrow (Sept. 27) called, “Rich for Good.” This girl knows what she’s talking about!
By the time Jamie was in her 30s, she had gone from having to pray for toothpaste, to becoming a millionaire. Her book is not only about the "how" and the "why" she did it, but how the whys make all the difference. It gives you the 10 tried and true spiritual practices that Jamie and her husband used in their own life.
You will love Jamie's raw and honest approach to the financial freedom that happens when prosperity partners with purpose. You’ll want to get the book -- go to http://www.richforgood.org/ Here's just a sample excerpt:
Have you ever lost something precious to you? A loved one, a relationship, a business, a beloved article, a ton of money, a dream? And have you wondered if you could ever get your equilibrium back? I have. And that makes me think of Job in the Bible.
The book of Job can seem pretty depressing. It’s all about suffering! And really -- who wants to suffer, or talk about suffering? Nobody!
But the story of Job is a perfect example of God restoring someone after trouble hits. At a glance, it seems like a book about decrease, but it’s really a book of increase and restoration!
There are lots of good things to say about Job. First, the Bible says, “[Job] was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). He had seven sons and three daughters, and his estate was substantial. Job 1:3 says, “This man was the greatest of all the people of the East.”
So wait….here’s a guy we might want to know more about.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about perspective, and it has occurred to me that no matter what’s going on around us today, we are just one God-perspective away from things looking good!
Because there are a lot of ways to look any given circumstance, aren’t there. Maybe you’re in the middle of a challenging one right now, and you feel trapped – like there’s no way out. You’ve been over it a million times in your head, and you just can’t find the answer.
Well, that’s one way to look at it. That’s one perspective.
But I have encouraging news for you today – there’s another way to look at your situation: God’s way. And as you might guess, His way is a way of victory. He sees a way out. He sees you coming out on top of this situation by faith – to Him, the situation is looking good!
Did you know that God wants your marriage to be great? It’s true! He actually created marriage to be wonderful – to be a little slice of heaven on earth.
There’s so much to say about marriage, and I’m not an expert – but I’ve learned some things over time, and I’ve counseled a lot of marriages. I’ve found out that just because a couple says “I do” there’s no lifetime guarantee of joy and happiness.
Having a good marriage takes effort. Most married couples I know want to have a good marriage, but they don’t always know how. Here are 3 keys I’ve found that work...
If you’re like me, you know what the Great Commission says: Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). You’ve probably heard some great pastors, evangelists and missionaries tell you how they’re doing it, and how you should do it to.
But let’s get real -- have you ever felt overwhelmed by the idea of this commission? Or ummm…even a little bit guilty when you hear about it, thinking you’re not doing your part? (Just keep smiling and no one will know it’s you).
I have some great news – it’s not as hard as you think! You don’t have to buy an airline ticket (although you could) or move to a foreign country (although you could do that too). As my guest blogger and former student, Ronnie Elliott, explains, God has a plan in place to fulfill the Great Commission and every Christian (including you!) really can play an active part in it (it’s probably not what you think). Read on to find out how!
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