A little bit closer

Enter through the narrow gate, Matthew 7:13, Karen May, Amazing Graces, Bible verse

My husband and I started dating in high school and continued through college. Unfortunately, we were at different colleges that were 700 miles apart. Not nearly close enough for even a weekend visit more than once a semester.

All this in the time before email, cell phones, and Google Hangouts.

I hated the end of any visit that we had. The day would start with most of my attention focused on the time when we had to leave. I hated the distance between us and knowing that it wouldn’t change for another couple years. Even when we lived in the same town and got married, the shadow of this distance loomed over us. It took me months to stop waiting for the time he had to leave for the airport. I treasured every moment with him, and hated to give even one of them up.

I thought of this recently as I thought about my relationship with Jesus. The closer I get to Him, the more Continue reading

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Giving good gifts

Every good thing and every perfect gift comes from above, James 1:17, inspiration, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

Photo by Cathy Heine

I was talking to a friend about shopping for Christmas gifts, and how we could make the process a little less burdensome and commercial. So often, Christmas is really just about the “stuff” that we want.

It turns out that the key to keeping the Christmas spirit in Christmas is really quite simple. Continue reading

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Take a little time

You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

When we apply this to Advent and Christmas, do you get visions of massages, lattes, a fire in the fireplace with a warm blanket on the couch? I love all of these ways to take care of myself, but realized that in Advent, this saying has a completely different meaning.

As I walk out into the world, and as I interact with my family and friends at this time, I hope to bring the gift of Jesus to everyone I meet. In order to do that, I need to be filled with Him in the first place. In order to give anything, I need to have enough to give.

Where can we get enough? Continue reading

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Advent with Mary

Let it be done to me according to your word, Luke 1:38, Mary, Advent, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

Advent is such a beautiful time, and it can be so easily missed with all of the shopping, activities, events, parties, and endless things to do to get ready for Christmas or wrap up the year.

I love to sit with Mary during this time. Somehow, there is a peace about her in every description we read. There is no fear in her questions to the angel Gabriel. There is no hesitation as she accepts this role that she has been given. There is no regret in her going to Elizabeth and serving her. Especially in her service to Elizabeth, Mary gives us Continue reading

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Sneak Peek

Look what just came in! Just in time for you to preview at the St. John Neumann Christmas Market tomorrow. Come get a sneak peek and pre-order your copy for Lent. It’s right around the corner!

Walking Through Holy Week, Karen May, Amayzing Graces, Proofs, pre-sale

St. John Neumann Christmas Market

Saturday, December 2, 2018

5455 Bee Caves Rd., Austin, TX 78746

 

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Wanderings

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

“Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?” (Isaiah 63:17a)

This verse is from the first reading from Advent this weekend. It’s an interesting rant, isn’t it? It’s kind of like the kid who blames his mom for what he did wrong. “Why did you let me do it?”

On the other hand, it is frustrating in those times we think we’re doing pretty well, only to look up and see that we have gotten a little lost. “Why didn’t you let me know that I was going the wrong way?”

It’s easy to focus on the fact that we have strayed or that we are far off from where we want to be, but our focus should actually go in a slightly different direction. None of us is going to be perfect. All of us will stray or get lost at times. The important thing in those times is to remember Continue reading

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Getting Ready for Advent

Christmas tree, Advent, Jesse Tree, Karen May, Amayzing GracesThanksgiving dishes are put away, the leftovers are about half finished, and the Christmas decorations are up. Advent is coming.

I’m really looking forward to this one. I kind of missed the last one.

I’ve been working on my soon-to-be-released Lenten book, Walking Through Holy Week (pre-order now!) for a little over a year, so last Advent and Christmas, I was actually in Lent and Easter mode. I was totally out of sync.

This year, I’m going to be more present. Even so, I have realized that I can’t leave Easter completely behind. Without it, this is just another birthday. Without it, this is just another baby. “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless.” (1Cor 15:17)

Advent really is about more than preparing for Jesus’ birth. Continue reading

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Getting to Know You

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

A long time ago when my faith was basically exploding, I remember praying and asking God how to keep it. I felt so close to Him. I was able to pray in a way that I never had before, and I was discovering new and deeper truths that I had only glimpsed previously. I didn’t want this to fade. I hated the thought of going back to the life of faith I had before. So I asked.

In my heart, I heard Him answer, Continue reading

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Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving dinner table, gratitude, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

Thanksgiving is upon us, and it is time to be grateful. Not that we aren’t grateful any other days, but it’s a good reminder to stop and look around at the blessings that surround us every day.

Of course, I’m thankful for my family and friends, for my general health, for my faith, and for the life that I get to lead. But I’m also thankful for the things that get in my way, because Continue reading

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What is your talent?

For to everyone who has, more will be given, Matthew 25:29, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

“God never gives us more than we can handle.” Isn’t that what everyone says to people who are in a situation they don’t think they can handle?

I thought of that as we listened to the Gospel this week. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells the parable of the talents. Three servants are given various numbers of talents (money) while their master goes away. The distribution is based on their ability.

Sure enough, the one with five trades with them and makes another five. He knows how to work the stock market, and has doubled his money pretty quickly. Same with the one with two talents. But the poor guy with one talent has no idea  Continue reading

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