Joy of the Lord

The Joy of the Lord is my strength, Inspirational quote, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

“The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

I’ve never heard this like I did a couple days ago. I have been battling a health issue for the last few months. Delays in getting into doctors, long waits to see if something works, no energy, feeling horrible, not sure what is going on, dealing with anxiety, and by the way, my daughter has been struggling, too.

Heavy.

At one point, I had a friend who would ask me how I was doing, and week after week, I would have to tell her, “Not well.”

Then one week, I realized that even with all of this going on, even with all of this uncertainty and lack of help, God was everywhere in it. Continue reading

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Blowing through the doubt

Faith the size of a mustard seed, inspiration, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

Don’t you wonder if Jesus ever gets tired of our doubts and failures? It doesn’t matter how long you’ve believed, or how strong your belief is, there will be times that you just can’t believe. There will be times that you just can’t do it right.

That’s why I love the apostles. They were right there with Jesus, seeing what He did, hearing His explanations when there were none for the general public, and listening to His teachings every day. They were even there when He rose from the dead. They got a personal visit to show that this whole thing was real. How do they react? Let’s see: Continue reading

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In Process

God's not finished with me yet, Inspirational Quote, Amayzing Graces, Karen May

I think I have shared this before, but I just found it again. We are all works in progress. We are all unfinished. I am grateful that God is never done with me or with you. Have a blessed and peaceful day.

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet, it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability – and that it may take a very long time.

Continue reading

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Blessed or not?

You are blessed, Amayzing Graces, Karen May, Inspiration

I like blessings, don’t you? We are promised blessings in the Bible, aren’t we? Jesus has a whole thing about them on the Sermon on the Mount.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. (Matthew 5:3-12a)

As we heard these in church recently, I noticed something about these blessings. Continue reading

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Want to be a Saint?

Every Saint has a past, Karen May, Amayzing Graces, Inspiration

I would say that most of us don’t think we can or even want to be saints. Doesn’t being a saint mean suffering, praying all the time, levitating, working miracles, and generally being perfect? Who among us could live up to that?

We forget that a saint is not just limited to the ones declared by the Catholic Church. A saint is simply someone who is in heaven with God. The ones we know about are the powerhouse Saints. They are the ones that make it pretty clear that they are in heaven. The rest of them Continue reading

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Ritual and Relationship

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

We all have our rituals. Little things that we do to put ourselves in order. Wearing a certain shirt or socks for a competition or performance. The place we sit at the table for dinner. The way we get ready for the day.

In our faith it is the same. We have rote prayers, structure to our worship, methods to our spirituality.

These aren’t bad things, and I would even say that they are good things. Our personal rituals give us comfort and predictability. But there is an added thing that can’t be missed. Continue reading

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What does your God look like?

The Annunciation stained glass, Karen May, Amayzing Graces, inspirational blog

What kind of God do you have?

Convenience store God? One that provides a little rest as you travel on your own journey? You might stop to go to the bathroom, grab some gas, and even a snack to give you a lift as you continue on your merry way without Him?

Buffet God? One that has lots of options to choose from, and you just pick your favorites? Don’t like the fish? Go for the roast beef. Don’t like beets? You can leave them. Really, you could just go straight to the dessert table. Continue reading

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Exposed

Ephesians 5:13 Everything exposed by the light becomes visible, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

I’ve always found it odd and infuriating that victims of sexual assault are typically left with feelings of guilt, shame, and unworthiness. If your house is robbed, there is trauma and fear, but there is generally no guilt or shame. The person who is in the wrong is the one who broke into the house. Not the homeowner. It would be ludicrous to even suggest such a thing.

Yet, whenever I hear the stories of abuse and assault victims, I’ve continually been astounded at how they pick up the guilt and the shame. The person who was assaulted somehow has been made “less than.” How does that work?

As our feeds are filling with “me, too” I pray that we can change Continue reading

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What do we desire?

John 1:5, The light shines in the darkness, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

I heard a reflection that Eve’s eating the apple was actually a good thing. It’s what made us human. It went on to describe life without the fall. Adam wouldn’t toil in the ground, food would just grow around him, and he would be content. Eve would have no pain in childbirth. She would be content every day.

So far, I don’t see how we’re better off.

But the reflection continued Continue reading

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The Gift of Today

This is the day that the Lord has made, Amayzing Graces, Karen May,

It’s easy to say we are blessed when we get the job we wanted, when we’re healthy and happy, and when we avoid tragedy that brushed close enough to feel.

But on those days when we don’t get the job, we aren’t healthy, we aren’t happy, and the tragedy hit us head on, how can we possibly say that we are blessed?

We look to Scripture. Specifically, Psalm 118:24.

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

It doesn’t say, “This is the great day that the Lord has made,” or “This good day is the one that the Lord has made.” It says only that this day was made by the Lord. Each and every day. We are called to rejoice, no matter what it looks like.

Of course, we should rejoice Continue reading

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