Welcome to 'While I Ponder with Karlene'
Much of what you’ll read here is my story. Woven in are moments and memories—thoughts and convictions—faith and encouragement. Some of it is my heart on a page (or screen), but I pray you see yourself inside the stories, as well. If not, then I have somehow missed the mark.
One thing to know about me is I was bred, born, and raised in church. It is true and not a negative reflection.
In the early years of life, all I really knew was how to be a church girl. Born to parents who were pastors, church planters, and full-time evangelists during my childhood, church-life really was our life. In the occasional newsletter, you may read more about this and some of what it was like, for me, growing up in church ministry.
To be honest, there were times I wished I was anything but a preacher’s daughter. During the early college years, I had my first experience with a life somewhat separated from regular, consistent church involvement. It felt both weird and wonderful—like I was finally able to make my own decisions.
After we married, my husband and I made the decision to be more fully committed to God, and His church. Over the years, I taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, worked in the nursery, served in women’s ministry, sang on the worship team, planned Christmas and Easter productions, and more. It was a beautiful, full life lived among people of like faith—and truly an extension of our family.
Along the way, I have encountered all the pieces of church life—the good and the bad, joy and disappointment, unity and misunderstanding. I have experienced both the highs of spiritual adulation, and the valley of despair. And, yes, there have been moments when I have questioned my faith. I can truthfully say, though, that I never considered walking away from God.
While earning a graduate degree in ministry, it became apparent I could talk about church with the best of them. The challenge, for me, was that my life as a church girl had not prepared me well to reach non-believers. I also discovered I had a lot to learn about my Christian brothers and sisters from theological backgrounds different from mine. Today, I am glad to call many of them close friends (both the non-believers and those whose theology differs from mine).
Over the past fifteen years, my work with a Christian nonprofit has taken me around the world. My experiences in various cultures reveals different methods of ministry than I am used to. The sounds of their worship are not the same as in most churches here at home. What I can tell you, though, is that God’s Church is alive and well, here on earth!
Right now, I wish we were sitting across the table from each other, a cup of coffee or tea in hand. I’d probably say something like, “Well, I’m talking way too much. Tell me about your life.”
Since we’re held to this digital means of communication, I’ll just say that I’d love to have you join our community here. My goal in writing is always to share a bit of encouragement along the way, regardless of the current title or topic. I often weave in a brief lesson from Scripture, and try to apply it to this life we are living.
Whether you subscribe, or if you go, may you know the peace of Christ, friend.
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