He Is For You

Without hesitation He is for you. Jesus is ready and willing to step into your life and situation and meet it head on.

On Sunday my husband and SD surrounded me and asked Jesus to heal my arm. I had injured it a couple weeks prior and due to continued use I had been in excruciating pain off and on for a few days. There was no immediate relief in the moment but I thanked God anyway, believing that it would get better in time.

Church has been in our home for quite some time now. Even before the quarantine I had been having church at home during my sabbatical.  Church this Sunday was particularly special. To have my family surround me in the living room was very precious. It has brought us together in multiple ways; beautiful ways.

One gift of quarantine has been the gift of undoing the busy and being able to slow down as we focus more attention to one another. It should always be this way.

I went about the rest of the day, baking, prepping meals and playing games. It did not dawn on me for several hours that I was doing things WITHOUT pain in my arm or my hand. Finally, it hit me! I was pain free and was able to hold a cup in my hand without it falling out of my hand. Praise Jesus! He had healed me and my family were the vessels. Together we celebrated and it caused dialogue for the next day. My SD would ask if the pain was still gone and I’d lift up my coffee cup proudly and declare, “YES”… Leading up to my healing it hurt to even drink coffee with that hand.

As I was thanking the Lord on my own time the thought occured to me how quick God is to join us in every aspect of our lives if we let Him. God never hesitates. Without hesitation He is quick to help, to heal, to forgive, to bless, and to join us wherever we are.

Without hesitation He comes.

Break Free



I was going through a box full of memories and came across this photo. I don’t remember how old I was but I felt feelings of sadness as I looked. You may ask, why? ⁣

When I look at this photo I see a girl who lived life fiercely. I wish I had been kinder to her growing up. I wish I had known that it was okay to not be perfect. As you can tell in this photo one sleeve is puffy while the other is not. This is most likely due to me playing too rough in a dress. I wish I could’ve told her that it was okay to be all girly and school the boys on the playground… That the rips and tears of the lace and ruffles was only a sign of joy and freedom. You can be a girl and still be strong and fierce and even a bit muddy and sweaty.⁣

I wish I could’ve told her that it was okay for people to see her cry… It was okay that she didn’t know how to protect herself but that she had a great, big God that looked out for her and saved her from unimaginable horrors unknown at the time. I wish I could tell her that she had every power and authority given to her over fear and that the night had no hold on her.⁣

But this all is looking back. I have had to walk a path of forgiveness unknown to many and the most healing act was forgiving myself… Loving the girl I was and the woman I have become.⁣

God has done mighty things within me. He has helped me break free from fear, sorrow and chains intended to shut me up and keep me down. ⁣

What do you need to break free from?⁣

Empowered Focus



It is true that what one dwells on can consume them.⁣

I was reminded this morning to dwell on the good, especially the truths of God after hearing a very negative news report. The report hit me in the gut and left me feeling very heavy. It felt like it was an attempt to punch out a bit of hope that I’ve been clinging onto. Instantly when I recognized this occuring I began to remind myself of the truth of God’s goodness. I also decided not to watch or read any news the rest of today.⁣

What we dwell on matters. We can choose to have empowered focus, which leads us to live from hope while raising it’s banner for others to join us. We can choose joy despite our circumstances. Does it take grit? Yes, I think it does. Does it take effort? Yes. We cannot afford to be lazy right now. We must rally together and raise our hope banners high. ⁣

We need each other. Each of us are being secluded but that does not mean that we are alone. In fact, any attempt to segregate, tear apart or cause dissension right now can bring us together. It is my belief that our strength is only growing because of this. ⁣

Empower your focus by dwelling on the good. ⁣

What is one good thing that occured today? How can I pray for you and your family?⁣

You are not alone.⁣

My Favorite Place



Today I needed a change of scenery. I spent some great time in my art studio. When I begin to create in this space I often lose track of time. I get swept up in colors, ideas and feel so alive. ⁣

Joyful worship. When I create I feel close to God. This place becomes a sacred space. New breath enters my lungs. I can hear the birds chirping. Laughter drifts through the window from the neighbor kids. I step into the sun as I add a burst of blue paint. ⁣

Joy spills from my soul onto this canvas. ⁣

I am so grateful for this time. Even though life has stalled and the time frame is uncertain when it will return to “normal”, I have come to a place of acceptance. I accept this slowed pace and the closeness of my family. The time spent in the depths of God’s heart is irreplaceable, where I have no time-frame and no place to go. I can sit with Him all day if I want to or I can paint with Him. This is the new normal that I don’t want to change.⁣

What a gift it is. This is what I choose to focus on… God’s goodness and more of Him in my life. ❤️⁣

Your Suffering Is Over

“You’re suffering is over” (Mark 5:34 NLT)

What would you do to hear those words?

That phrase stood out to me during my daily Bible reading. It penetrated my soul. None of us are immune to pain and suffering. Most of us would have a story to tell. Many of us hide the pain and suffering we are currently enduring. We have become good at cramming it deep inside while we force a smile and tell people we are doing “fine”.

I have become fed up with suffering! I am tired of it. I am tired of seeing it in those I love. I want to confront it. I want to destroy it.

My heart cries for justice!

How would your life change if you believed God could and would end your suffering and the suffering of those you love?

If your answer is still, “He wouldn’t do that for me” then I want to challenge you. What is it that is making you believe he won’t do it? The God I know loves you so much that it is not in his nature to not love. God sent Jesus to end your suffering. He took your suffering. He defeated your suffering.

Yes, there are a lot of things that occur that are unjust and cause our hearts to be ripped in two… but God! But God is for you. He is willing to stop everything like he did in that crowd and recognize your hand reaching out to touch the hem of his garment. He is willing to heal everything that has caused your suffering. He is willing to confront injustice. He slows down, even stops and joins you today when you welcome him.

But you may ask, “why have I had to suffer” or “why have I not seen justice yet”? The answer to these questions are complex and often include an interweaving of many things. Unfortunately our world is full of corruption, and sin causes a rippling affect on everyone whether it was because of your own doing or from others. Man’s ways are unwise. Man’s ways are prideful and arrogant. Laws without God do little to help end justice. Healing is also a process, sometimes taking us on a journey of complete wholeness and holiness rather than an instant quick fix that could leave our soul suffering.

This is not to say healing cannot be instant because Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over” (Mark 5:34 NLT) That was an instant healing! From that day forward her entire life was radically transformed! That is my good God revealing a love unfathomable and never-ending. That is my God bringing justice!

“You’re suffering is over”.

What would your life look like with that one simple yet profound change?

May it be!

No New Years Resolutions!

It seems like the new year always brings others to reflect inward.

This year it hit me hard during my daily reading as I realized how self-absorbed we often can become with new year goals and aspirations. The thought occurred to me how many of us never accomplish what we had hoped to accomplish. We never follow through with our new goals.

How many of us even made promises to God or perhaps told him we would obey and did not follow through? Many of us may have made initial steps but never followed through to completion. If you are one that finished what you started for the new year I applaud you and I am cheering you on with my coffee in hand.

With the holiday mess all around me (I have pieces of gingerbread house sticking to my sleeves as I write), I am challenged to change my own focus. I am not making a New Years goal. In fact I am getting on my knees to ask God for forgiveness for the things I did not follow through on in 2019.

It is humbling to acknowledge my disobedience and lack of follow through. It is humbling to admit to you, dear reader, that I should have followed through with everything but did not in regards to the things I decided to do with God in 2019.

You might be thinking right now, “but Kara lack of follow through on a New Years goal is not bad!”

I disagree, yet God has extended so much grace.

When we are people of honor and obedient to the life we live for God, that means we follow through. I am not talking about weight loss goals but the ones that are a matter of the heart. Yes, outward issues can often reflect what is going on in the soul but it is not bad if you began making changes and are not quite there yet. Matters of the heart are another matter and we often forget that others are dependent on our obedience. One of the ways we rob ourselves and others is by focusing on ourselves, being self-absorbed. There are people who do not even know it but they need you to be present.

For me I can think of one thing I felt the Lord prompting me to complete and here I am ending the year with it incomplete. Did the people I was supposed to be present for know that He loved them in that moment?

“Lord, forgive my disobedience! Forgive me from partnering with fear instead of faith. Help me start the year with my focus on you and loving others. Remove any self-centered focus. Remove any fear of man. Thank you for your grace and mercy on this year and on the one to come. Thank you for valuing obedience and giving grace with my imperfections.”

This year, vote “no” on making any New Years resolutions in protest of the culture it has created. Instead, be obedient in all things. Love others. Let us return to love instead of selfish ambition and pride. Stop being offended all of the time and instead choose the higher road. Seek to understand rather than prove yourself right. Choose joy in all circumstances. Choose to be humble.

How was your 2019? Is there anything incomplete? Were you obedient in all things?

Turn your eyes to Jesus.

Obey.

“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23 ESV

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV

God’s Steady Heartbeat, 2020

There is a steady heartbeat I hear. It is strong. It is steady.

In these moments of serenity I see my God going before me. He sits with me by still waters. He prepares a table amidst my enemies. One word from his lips quiets the accuser.

There is a steady heartbeat I hear.

I know many of us have had a year of heartache and trials. Many have endured through injustices while others have whispered dreams out into the open, hoping this year would be the year of unfolding.

It is the time of year where people wind down. Some cannot wait for the year to end. Others are indifferent or thankful for what is.

Every moment matters to God. There is not one second lost on our behalf or on the behalf of those we love. Now is not the time to settle in or give up. God is a miracle worker and not one moment is forgotten in his hand. These last few weeks are of high importance to him as he works on our dreams and whispered prayers. Or perhaps words have barely formed from our lips as we have wept. God has seen every tear and knows what is written on our heart.

Let us not give up what has yet to happen in 2019. Let us enjoy our favorite holiday beverage (coffee anyone?), sit back and see what God will do. As we pray, as we go to the front lines of intercession, the Lord has made a table amidst it all for us. He has done this for us to learn to enjoy and walk in the victory that is ours even if we have yet to see it.

As this year winds down, enjoy it. Walk from victory into 2020.

There is a steady heartbeat I hear. It is strong. It is steady.

Dog Lessons

This dog sure has given me a lot to keep up with this week! He was digging himself into a hill of mud while barking at the neighbor dog that he could not get to (instant bath even if I had no time for it). Then it was head in a trash can one day, stealing bread out of a bag the next and yesterday it was squeezing himself into the area with cat food and gorging himself.

Yet, he comes back after having done all that and looks at me like this:

Did you know that no matter what, you can come to God like this and ask for help? Too often we rob ourselves of the mercy and forgiveness that is ours when we choose not to go to God anymore. Put pride, stubbornness, guilt… Whatever it may be aside and come back to God. He won’t push you away. He loves you and only has the best in mind for you.

Do not be like my dog though. He will go right back out onto that mud Hill (I had to go get him off a couple times after that muddy incident) and get messy all over again. He will keep trying to get to the trash, head covered in wrappers. He needs to change and those changes come slow because I cannot always be there to guide, offer discipline and teach him new ways.

But God is always there. Yes, there are consequences to our actions but he is not there with a lightning bolt. He is ready to meet us when we are willing to change. He offers mercy and grace despite our lack of understanding or our lack of desire to follow him. He fondly looks upon us when we look up and ask for his forgiveness, his help.

Be Unafraid

When life looks uncertain God is taking care of you. You do not need to be afraid. He has coordinated your victory before you get there.

Raise your head. Set your shoulders straight because of hardships. The enemy views you as a threat. Your worth is immeasurable.

Love is unafraid.

Take more ground rather than retreating back. You are a force to be reckoned with because of God within you. He makes your path straight. You are surrounded by him.

Dear Reader, God has got you.

Be unafraid.

Get Out Of The Way

In our instant gratification type world, the process within our lives can often be a struggle. We doubt our faith. We doubt our actions when results do not occur quickly or within the time frame we might expect. Why are we so quick to doubt or even begin to complain about the process? Are we just whiners? The world does not revolve around us.

I feel that most often we desire results without much work or sacrifice. We think that we must feel a certain way all of the time or that certain things must be in order, otherwise God is not good. Are you kidding me? Have you looked at the life of Jesus? He was outcasted, slandered, ignored, considered crazy, betrayed, lied about, and murdered for other people’s wrongdoing. Do you think that Jesus thought that through all of that, that his Father was not good? Absolutely not!

God is good and he wants to give us good things when we ask him. What we get caught up with is the fact that we often think that we know what is better for us than God does. Too often we want someone else to be blamed for our sin, our apathy and our selfish desires. All of this decreases joy because we are the ones choosing the opposite of it.

My prayer is that it would become normal to ask God to have his mind and desire what he wants, rather than getting caught up in selfishness or pride, thinking that we know best. It can be so easy to cast blame if that is what is normal. In our culture it is normal and has come to be accepted in several large circles. Those in leadership are applauded when they do so.

But do not applaud so quickly. Ones own pride comes at a price. Sin comes with a price. It is too heavy for one to measure.

Let us return once again to repentance. Let us return to asking, seeking and knocking without complaining after “too much time” has passed and you have been outside the door waiting.

God is good. He has the best waiting for you if you get out of the way.