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Discerning Idols Cover pic - Version 2 [General News, Idols]

April 20, 2016 – Have you ever wondered why it seems so hard to merge your joyful, peaceful, praising faith life with your messy, sometimes frustrating everyday life? Have you ever wished you could help someone who was hurting, by pointing them to God in a way that made a difference? Eight years ago, Discerning Idols was just a chapter in “God Empowered Wife,” but I decided it should be a separate book. Little did I realize it would be a longer one! The first edition was a limited, test run for two conferences, so don’t worry that you somehow missed it. This new, expanded second edition has 60 more pages of the true stories you love so much that make the teaching come to life. With situations ranging from simple challenges of married life to traumatic life crises, depression, even death of a loved one you will get to see how God moves in surprising and miraculous ways in the lives of those whose heart is turned to Him.  Complete with very practical tools to learn how to identify the idols of your heart and help others do the same—all  from a biblical counseling perspective. I love this book, whether on its own or as the perfect companion to the God Empowered Wife. My small groups here got the first copies, and I am officially releasing it at the Hearts at Home conference this weekend. As soon as it is up on the website in a week or two and available on Amazon after that, ‘ll let you know!



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dreamstime_s_47557978 Karen, When you announced the small group study last year, my friend was really on fire about God Empowered Wife. I was skeptical at first. I knew it had blessed her. But I wasn’t really sure it was going to help me. After all I thought things like – I wasn’t the leader in our home – I was the submissive one – my husband was the boss…at least these were my thoughts. But she was so excited about it that I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try! My marriage had always struggled but I always blamed it on my husbands history of having been raised by a very abusive stepmother. All our problems stemmed from this – I thought – it was all his problems – not mine. But I liked the name “God Empowered Wife”. I at least knew I needed to be one of those! Read More and Comment

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A Facebook post from Kristin Atwood: “Just finished reading “The God Empowered Wife” tonight and wow, it is an amazing study! If you consider yourself to be a take charge type of girl I highly recommend this study! It really helped me a lot….I didn’t realize quite how poorly I was doing in the submission department until I read this. I didn’t do it with a group, just by myself, but I took 4-5 weeks with it, thinking through each time I read, and tried to act upon the challenges she presented. It was definitely challenging! Giving my husband moments of leadership and practicing submission wasn’t always easy, especially as we are starting the process of building a house together! But really, what better time to do this? And it really is freeing, and wonderful, to see how it is changing not only me but him too! Read More and Comment


Miracle Baby

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    A note from Marien: Karen, I have some big news. I was diagnosed to have polyps on my uterus and thus not able to have any more children. I was going to have a surgery, but we had some problems with the insurance company and I had to suspend the surgery for the time being.

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dreamstime_m_26254254      Homeschooling has become so popular in our state that most people don’t realize just thirty years ago, parents were being arrested and put in jail for it, and their children taken away. . .  as in Germany today.

In the waning years of the 1980’s, though not a believer yet, I wrote a bill I felt balanced the concerns of  both sides of the issue; and young son in tow, lobbied various state legislators at the capital to bring it to the floor. There was favorable discussion, but that same week, judicial decisions in Texas began to favor homeschooling parents and a bill was no longer necessary.

Now, after almost three decades of parental rights and legalized homeschooling, it is easy to think it could never become illegal again. However, the demand on the left to seize control over what our children think and believe–particularly children of Christian parents–is growing, with some calling Christian education a form of child abuse. The  Fall 2014 implementation of what is called “Common Core” at school districts around the country (45 states) may seem unrelated if your child isn’t in public school, but the next step will be to either require Common Core of homeschoolers, or attempts to shut down homeschooling altogether. I’ve always been amazed at how, when a person’s own party is in power, they think of “the government” as some magical, all-good, all-wise living entity, when it is really nothing more than other human beings who are just as full of sinfulness and foolishness as we ourselves . . . but with power.

Requiring Common Core of homeschooling parents may seem cumbersome but unexceptional. The  problem with this is that the foundational material used in Common Core is based on a worldview completely and wholly at odds with American exceptionalism and Christian values (as you will read below and in other articles.) Interestingly, this update shares that college entrance exams and SAT’s are now being rewritten by a person key to Common Core, in order to reward and test positively for that worldview. Read More and Comment

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© Mirsad Mehulic | Dreamstime Stock Photos

      One of the most difficult topics today is the pressing issue of how to love someone whose values contradict our own, and how to respond as Christians. Sometimes that is easy. I can love a drunk without buying him/her a bottle of liquor; love a gossiper, without encouraging her to gossip; love the glutton, without calling gluttony good; love a divorcee, without rejoicing and celebrating divorce; love someone of another faith, without accepting their theology.  Yet, in every generation, there are one or more groups of people who define love as explicitly approving their sin as good or godly, celebrating it with them, or denying our own faith and values. When we go along, we are exhibiting man’s love–not God’s love–in the effort to make ourselves or others feel loved. Overlooking sin is one thing. Calling sin as though it were not is serious business.

We long to be loving AND we long to honor God’s Word; however,  we are becoming increasingly confused by how to do both when they seem to contradict one another. Some argue that because we are by nature hypocrites, we should just love. Others say that because God’s Word is true, we should just honor His Word.  He says to do both–and that is what we must do–but we cannot do it in our own strength.

As in everything else, we must lay our selves before God displaying our desire to love others and our desire to honor His Word and, without knowing how to do that, then go forth and do both by His wisdom and power alone–moment by moment. When we try to anticipate in advance what that looks like we are relying on our own logic and end up falling to one side of the other of the narrow way–either celebrating sin in order to be loving, or being unloving in order to honor God’s Word. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind. The second is to love one another. So let us ask Jesus to help us be more loving . . . cognizant of our own failings and weakness and hypocrisy…without denying God’s Word. Read More and Comment

Share Button      Karen, I feel I was saved years ago, but I don’t think I really go it until about 2 months ago. I FINALLY understand how I can rest in Christ for everything I need – approval, acceptance, security, protection – and that I received all of that before I did ANYTHING to obey, but my obedience NOW is because I’ve been accepted, not to gain acceptance. 

I’m sure His allowing me to have a baby sped up this process!  The feelings of being out of control having a toddler who is almost 2, praise God, can be overwhelming… Well it used to be.  I use the term ‘used to’ for just about all other areas in my daughter’s life but one area I still holding on to and am asking for your help/verification based on my awakened and rebirthed understanding of the Gospel: my daughter is a picky eater.. for whatever reason…Her tastes change so it’s hard to figure out.  I’ve gotten so much advice, done so much research, and tried to evaluate everything, I’m getting confused. Here’s what bothers me:  I say I’m a Christ follower, but now that numerous people have labeled my daughter – even me (said guiltily)- I feel tied to the world and how to remedy the situation.  I can’t help but think I’m falling into the idol trap with her eating . . .

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dreamstime_xs_17216191 [Your Letters, Parenting]

“Hey Karen, I haven’t written you much in the way of God Empowered Parenting moments in a long time . . . so, Just wanted to share an experience I had with Sam recently with you.  Lately I have noticed that I’ve been using guilt tactics with both my kids for disobedience . . . some in very minor ways, others in major ways. Well, it finally came out when I came into the room while Sam and Claire were both watching a “Minecraft” video on youtube. (In case you aren’t familiar with Minecraft, it is a video game where they create houses and other structures out of blocks, sort of like a virtual lego experience.) Well, Sam has been getting ideas of how to build things from watching videos that people post.

Normally I am ok with this as we have discussed his parameters of content, i.e., no bad language or crude remarks, etc. He knows to turn the sound off too.  When I came into the room, they both jumped up, and nick quickly shut the computer. The looks on their faces said it all. Read More and Comment


12 Weeks

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 August 23, 2013 

I found this beautiful life-size model of a 12 week old infant in the womb, sculpted by Donna Lee (,and ordered one for showing and sharing as the opportunity arises to help someone visualize a baby in the womb. When she arrived today, I held her near my belly to get a sense of proportion and remembering being pregnant (the time I had an abortion and the time I had my son), I marveled at this miracle of God, of one human being inside another. [there is no further text, but to comment click “Read More” below]

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2011-nov-dec-magazineAugust 14, 2013 [Living Faith] (by Leslie Ludy): “I believe the majority of American Christians today are far too careless toward darkness and evil. Pop-culture floods our minds and senses with things that are not of God. But for most of us, the glamorized sin that surrounds us is not strange and jarring. It’s normal and accepted. In fact, we go out of our way to enjoy and participate in it. We spend a huge amount of our time and money on it. We allow it to capture our mind, emotions, and attention; then we wonder why our lives are filled with fear, anxiety, defeat, and depression.

Take, for instance, the book series and movie, Twilight. Lots of Christian movie review websites praise Twilight as a wholesome love story. Youth pastors and Christian influencers alike have lauded it as a harmless and even edifying flick, a sweet and artistically portrayed love story that doesn’t show graphic images of the vampires “doing their vampire thing.” But is there really such a thing as a pure, wholesome and God-honoring vampire movie?  Read More and Comment


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