2 Corinthians 3:2

You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men. 2 Corinthians 3:2

Friday, March 24, 2023

Please, Let Me Rest


 It’s been a long day, Lord.

My mind to the test.

Please help me pray, Lord.

Can I just rest?

I’m tired beyond words, Lord.

A weight on my chest.

Let hearts be heard, Lord.

Can I just rest?

Rest in your love, Lord.

Like a bird in its nest.

Sleep in your peace, Lord.

Please let me rest.

I can’t carry on, Lord.

With fear in my breast. 

Bring me safe home, Lord

And please let me rest.

Wounded and sore, Lord.

Far from your best. 

I’m walking the floor, Lord.

Can I just rest?

The hours are long, Lord.

Though I know I am blessed. 

I just can’t be strong, Lord.

Can I just rest?

Karen Ogle

September 28, 2021

Unholy Alliances: Pathway To Destruction

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of the sinner, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth its fruit in its season.”

When you were young, growing up, and trying to find your way through life, did your parents ever advise you to choose your friends wisely? Did you ever hear, “Birds of a feather, flock together,” from them or other older role models in your life? I must have heard both at least a hundred times from my mother. If you were like me, you might have rolled your eyes and shrugged it off but truthfully, that advice is based on the biblical principles that God expects all of us to heed. 

1 Thessalonians 5:23 tells us to: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

I’m sure we have all heard cautionary tales about “good” people ending up in serious situations because they were with friends who didn’t really concern themselves with being “good.” Proverbs verse 20:1 is a warning to all followers of God to avoid becoming embroiled in the sins and evil acts of associates.  The conundrum for us, is that we believers are called to go out into the world to share the love of Jesus Christ with nonbelievers. We are also called to witness to believers who may have lost their way from God's narrow path. We are likely to encounter all manner of sin and evil when we seek out the lost and our deceived fellow humans.

We are told to be aware of our friends and to discern whether or not God approves of our association with them, particularly those who may not be a positive influence on our relationship with Him.

Proverbs 20:1 states: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches...” 

We can discern that sometimes our reputation is tarnished by the people with whom we choose to spend time. As long as our own behavior remains above reproach, then it is less likely for us to be accused of wrongdoing, but it’s God’s command that we avoid being tainted by those who continue their ungodly and worldly behavior. We are to separate our lives from those who live in worldly sin, while at the same exemplifying a life patterned after Jesus Christ.

Jesus often spent time and sat at meals with all manner of unbelievers and sinners. Those were the very people He came to save. To reach those lost children of God we must go among them and try to convey the love of the Father to them on a level they can understand. However, we are NOT to participate in whatever schemes, or sinful, immoral acts they may be engaged in. We, believers, are a separate people, a holy nation according to the Bible and we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into any behavior that would be displeasing to God. So, though we reach out to these brothers and sisters to share Jesus with them, we must not sink into sin with them. 

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation...”

As we walk God’s path for us on this earth, we will encounter various other fellow travelers. Some of these will become temporary or permanent parts of our life. Many more will pass on by and we never see them again. Still, others may be deliberately sent to affect changes in us. Of these, it is so important that we understand who sent them, what their motives might be, and whether or not God wants us to open our hearts to a relationship with them. 

How do we know whether the people we encounter are who they claim to be? This is so important in trusting those around us. Not everyone who claims to be a believer will be proven honest. Some might think of themselves as believers but have never been told the proper way to seek God.  They must confess their sins, repent, and ask forgiveness to be saved.  They may not have followed through into forming a personal relationship with Christ. Still others may feel they are saved but when the test of their faith inevitably comes, they turn and walk away. Others may try to deliberately imitate the Christian way of life for their own gain by deceiving others. So, as believers, how do we recognize other real believers? The Bible says we can know them by the fruit they bear.

Matthew 7:15-20

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?”

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”

“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

“Every tree that bringeth forth not good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”

Wherefore by their fruits,  ye shall know them.”

What should we look for in the fruits of the people around us? We watch their actions to see if they align with God’s Word. Does their behavior fall in line with Scripture? How do they treat others, when they think no one is watching? Are they kind, considerate, and thoughtful with others? Or do they seem to be naturally self-centered? How do they react to things that make them angry? Do they exhibit Godly temperance or do they act out violently? The Bible tells us what marks a real believer and the attributes of the spirit living within us: the fruit of the spirit.

Though these precious and important scriptures may seem like a lot to take in, we know that they are vital in maintaining a good relationship with God, while at the same time sharing that relationship with those who are lost and desperately need a relationship with Him. We do not need to be wary or suspicious of every person we meet whether it is a believer or a nonbeliever. However, it is so imperative that we have a line of prayer to God and a knowledge of the Bible to help us see the truth of a person's character. We need to hold firm in our faith and commitment to God. In whatever way we approach these people, we know God goes with us. He will be right there to give us the proper words and the will to resist any temptations that might come from them. In fact, it is best that we do not attempt to go into a faith-sharing situation unless we know God is directing us to do so and we cover our interactions in prayer. He will protect us and guide us as long as we seek Him first and do not plunge ahead on our own.

Dear Father,

We reach out to you and seek your presence as we work among the lost to share the love of Jesus Christ. My prayer is that you will open their hearts to the truth and save them from their sin. I know Lord, that you will protect us from all temptation and strife that may come from our efforts and engagement with lost and hurting souls. I love you, Lord. Please bless the seeds that are sown among the lost. Please nourish them so that they might take root in your kingdom. Direct us in the best way to go into the world and share your message of love and salvation. Go before us, Lord, as we go to the fields to harvest.

In Jesus’ name, 


Karen Butler Ogle

Life in Minor

Each life has ups and downs. Some of the downs seem endless and unfortunately, this is one of those times for me. There has been no great catastrophic event or tragedy. It is just that my physical health has taken a downturn. God is good and I know that even this season will pass eventually. I'm learning to trust in Him to keep me safe but also provide the strength necessary to carry on with my daily responsibilities. I love the Lord with all my heart and I don't know how I could get through the darker moments without him.

Karen Butler Ogle

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Take Up Thy Cross

 Take Up Thy Cross

When I was young and wild

And lost in my sin

I walked in dreary shadows

Where no light had been.

Weary and crying, 

Overcome with dismay.

My face was on the ground

When I heard his voice say:

Take up thy cross, child

And walk on with me.

Don't turn aside, love.

Walk straight on with me.

It wont be much longer

Until we're home free.

Carry your cross, child

And walk home with me.

Sometimes the world seems

Like too much to bear.

I get down at heart and mind

Overburdened with care.

When these trials take me

I remember that day.

When Jesus first came to me

And I heard him say.

Take up thy cross, child

And walk on with me.

Dont turn aside, love.

Walk straight on with me.

It wont be much longer

Until we're home free.

Carry thy cross, child

And walk home with me.

If you live in sin, friend.

And it's brought you to your knees.

Dont look any farther

To find what you need.

Jesus is waiting

For all who are lost.

Cry out to him, friend

And take up thy cross.

Take up thy cross, Child

And walk on with me.

Dont turn aside, love.

Walk straight on with me.

It wont be much longer

Until we're home free.

Carry thy cross, child

And walk home with me.

Karen Butler Ogle

Aug. 2021

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Difficult Day

 I think I have already shared about the health challenges related to my kidneys failing. I don’t intend this blog to become a tribute to my health or rather my lack of health but I feel I need to document my health journey as well. Today was difficult. I had several episodes of dizziness followed by nausea and vomiting. Until my potassium level is back to normal, I will be sick at times. It interferes with my writing but it also feeds my creativity. I wonder if stress and hardship feed anyone else's ability to write and fill the pages with their feelings. It certainly inspires me to get on the blog and put the feelings out of myself where they are more manageable. I do believe also, that if this desire to write is from God then I need to expect that He will allow hardship in my life in order to spur me on. God absolutely knows what He is doing. I love Him so much and want to be useful to the cause of spreading the gospel and also to be an example of the blessings of obedience to God the Father.

Karen Butler Ogle

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

To Potato or Not To Potato?

Sigh. In my case I won’t be potatoing again any time soon. A call from my nephrologist this afternoon informed me that my potassium level is too high. When a person’s kidneys start to fail like mine, they cannot adequately filter potassium and several other nutrients out of the blood stream. So, starting tomorrow, I will be giving up some favorite foods including potatoes. As God would have it, tomorrow is my grocery shopping day so I can refill the pantry with low potassium foods. I am honestly trying to handle the change with grace, but I feel fairly grumpy about it at the moment. I do however, know from whence, cometh my help. God the Father will be right beside me and will help me do what needs to be done to protect my kidneys and my health. It is always a bit of a challenge to start a new chapter in your life journey. I am not alone in my walk, though. God is with me.

Karen Butler Ogle

Refuge In A Name


The first time I had an anxiety or panic attack was a few days after the birth of my first child. I woke from a thin sleep with a horrible sense of doom. Chills ran across my scalp and skin from head to toe. My heart raced and my breathing was short. I felt as if my stomach “dropped” as if I had stepped into an empty space from a high place, like the sudden drop of an elevator. I was absolutely terrified but could discern no reason at all to justify my fear. This panic attack was the first of what became a regular occurrence for me over the next few years and continuing to the present day. Men and women the world over suffer panic attacks every day.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt exposed to imminent harm, even if there was no apparent threat that you could see? Maybe some sense warned you that something was not quite right with your location or that someone around the area was a danger. I think all of us have had uneasy moments like that when a cold touch trickled down our spines and set our senses screaming in alarm. Though we cannot see or always sense things in the spiritual realm, the Bible plainly tells us that a spiritual battle is constantly being fought around us and in our midst.

Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

When we have these moments of alarm or fear, whether the reason is apparent and understandable or invisible and unknown, the solution is the same. We look for safety, a place to hide, or a defender to protect us. All of these can be found in exactly the same place: the Lord God Jehovah. He is our rock, our shelter, our hiding place, and our shield. He is our refuge in any time of stress or trial. 

Psalms 119:114 “You are my hiding place and my shield.”

Psalms 32:7 “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.”

No matter what terrifying entities we encounter during our walk on earth, we have no need to fear. God is bigger than anything that seeks to harm us. He is bigger than any human bully. He is bigger than any hidden demon. He is bigger than any illness. Yes, he is even bigger than the imaginary fear and panic created in our own minds. 

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Some of us who experience anxiety or panic attacks may feel weak, or mentally defective somehow, but the truth is they are most likely spiritual attacks by the enemy. The good news is that no matter the real or imagined danger we are facing, we are not at the mercy of fear or anxiety. We have a hiding place and a shield. We just have to seek it. How do we find it? We call His name. His name is a refuge for all who seek Him. Though we may be unable to find the words to ask for help, all we need to do is call His name: Jesus. Just the name of Jesus has the power to send Satan and every single demon back to hell and away from us. Jesus has already won the battle for us. We just have to believe in Him and his victory on the cross and the power of His name. 

Dear Father,

We worship you for the mighty power of your love and for the loving sacrifice of your son, Jesus. Because of your faithfulness and promises, we know that we never need to fear anything in this world again. You are a strong tower of refuge and a hiding place from the enemy. Calling your name will bring you and a legion of angels. Please help us, Lord to trust you with our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual safety. We love you and need you, Father.

In Jesus’ name,


Karen Butler Ogle

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Price of Idolatry

When we think of idolatry as believers in God who are familiar with scripture, what usually comes to mind is the golden calf the Israelites created. While Moses was on the mountain getting instructions from the real and only One True God, the Chosen people were already showing their faithlessness. We might also remember names like Baal, Moloch and Asherah. These were  false idols who lured God’s elite tribe from his side into peril for their very souls. Truthfully, though, idolatry is what we commit if we put ANYTHING or ANYONE in the highest position of regard in our lives above the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

What the Israelites failed to consider was the potential cost of disobeying God in failing to keep Him first in their lives. For the next 40 years, they wandered, lost in the wilderness and unable to enter the land promised them by God. Like those poor souls so long ago, I failed to take into account personally what my sin cost me later in my life because I forgot that one eminently important commandment:

Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:1

During the years of the 1990s through the 2010s my sole purpose in life was loving and caring for my husband and three children. Everything I did was for love of them and intended to insure their well being and happiness. As my girls grew up and had children of their own, my love and devotion grew to include my grandchildren. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving and caring for family, friends, and everyone else in your life. Love is GOOD. We are commanded to love others as we love ourselves. 

But where was GOD’S place in the midst of that? Did I remember to say thank you for our loving family to the One who gave them to me? What about that perfect high paying job we were blessed with to support our family? Did I prioritize that support over our duties to God and His Church? Did I remember DAILY who was responsible for allowing us to keep that job? What was the absolute first priority in our lives? What or who SHOULD be the absolute priority in any life? I failed God utterly back then.

I came to know Christ as a personal savior and God the Father as my true father at the age of 7. I was baptized at 8. He marked me as His all those years ago. During the years between salvation and now, I wandered and strayed, at times rebelling against Him and knowingly going my own way. He patiently allows us to do this because FORCE is not in His nature.  He requires and deserves obedience and loyalty but does not ask for slavery. So He DID allow me to walk out of His will… for a time. When he is ready to set us back on his path, I learned, it may cause us the devastation of a lifetime. It did when He came to claim me, because let me tell you this… anything we put between us and God the father, He will eventually REMOVE from His way. His intention is not to cause harm  but to lovingly reconcile us to his fellowship. 

In fall of 2012, He came for me and that was the first of my many reckonings. I had abandoned Him and He knew I needed Him desperately. My husband of seventeen years walked away abruptly one evening and filed for divorce. He wasn’t in love with me anymore. I was totally crushed. I lost my home as well as my husband. He was awarded the house in the proceedings. Within a couple of years, during which my disabled son and I struggled to survive, barely keeping ourselves fed and sheltered, both my daughters became estranged from me. They walked away about the same time my son was accused of a crime and was incarcerated and there he still remains.  If we devote our whole self to anything above God the father, we risk losing it. We  risk losing ourselves and everything else we are blessed to have. We risk everything we love.

Am I bitter? For a few years I was so angry with God I refused to pray.  I railed and raged internally. He waited. I walked around denouncing my belief that God loved me. He waited. I refused to pick up a bible and let myself sink into a chasm of despair and self pity. Still, He waited. Eventually I began to see the truth of it all. The truth that my own sin had caused the destruction and I was reaping the devastation of sowing idolatry. The fabric of my family life had been self-contained instead of including God His place at front and center of my heart and my life. He reveals Himself in His timing as we are ready to believe and accept it. I saw my sin and though I will live with the pain of what it cost me for the rest of my life, I am beyond blessed and thankful that He loved me enough to come and get me. I truly believe my family and I will be restored in his timing. Maybe not until heaven but I believe in Him to do it in His own time. Check your heart and your life. Examine your motives. Who or what has the first and most important place? The answer to that may change everything.

Dear Heavenly Father, 

Please search my heart and remove anything from my life that stands in the way of my personal and intimate relationship with you. Please forgive me, Lord, if I have allowed anything large or small to take any of my heart or mind away from You. Please, Lord  bring me back to that first love I had for You on the day I recognized my own sin and Your divine salvation. 

In Jesus name. Amen.

Karen Butler Ogle

His Grace Is Sufficient

 Each human being has his or her own cross to bear. Living in a fallen world exposes us to all manner of heartbreak, sorrow, illness, and tr...