Karen Bouchard Events

Want to hear Karen speak in your town? Great! In fact, you can help make it happen. Let’s start by getting one of Karen’s books and a Speaking Information Packet to whoever is in charge of planning events for your church, company, or community. (Who knows? Maybe it’s you!)

Continue reading to complete a simple form and get an Information Packet into the hands of the right folks!

Continue reading “Karen Bouchard Events”

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A Dog, a Hobbit, and a Prayer

We named our dog Samwise after you-know-who. They even look alike, don’t you agree? Plus, they are both so beautifully loyal. I love everything about the role of Sam in The Lord of the Rings, but I want to tell you my very favorite quote from Sam–and quite possibly one of my favorite lines from both the movie and book.It’s when Frodo is about done-in and Sam, desperate to help but unable to relieve his friend of his burden, cries, “Come on, Mr. Frodo! I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!”

And while Frodo carries his burden, Sam carries Frodo, and together they get to where they need to go.

And every time I watch the movie (dozens, now) or read the book (once and counting) and get to that line, I think of… well… us. The body of believers.

How I wish we could simply take each other’s burdens and cast them away.

Oh, sometimes we can do alot. Sometimes there are burdens (like a financial need, for example) that we can ease or even eliminate for each other.

But lots of burdens aren’t so easily dismissed. And then we have the glorious opportunity to carry each other. Praying together. Crying together. Laughing together. Trusting God together. And it matters. A lot.

Would it be irreverant of me to ask Jesus every now and then if I can be Samwise to someone’s Frodo, and who that someone might be, and how I can carry them for a spell?

I don’t want to be irreverent. The thing I actually want is to be like Christ, and to be His hands and arms to people around me, loving them in beautiful, tangible ways. I’m not comparing Sam to Christ, not by a long shot.

But somehow the image of one tattered, dirty, tearstreaked Samwise struggling to lift his best friend is an image that hits home for me.

And if the Lord can use the image of a scruffy, loyal hobbit (or my own scruffy loyal canine) to remind me to work a little harder to make a difference in the lives of those around me, I think that’s a doggone good thing.

They Couldn’t Read a Word of This Book … and It Still Changed Their Lives

Recently I heard a testimony at church, and the way I think about the Word of God will never be the same.

Zane Stoddard shared this story about something that happened when he and his wife, Jan, were missionaries in India several years ago.

One evening they were teaching in a house church in a small village. Around thirty-five people had crowded into a ten by fifteen-foot room and were sitting packed closely together on the floor to hear Zane teach from the Word of God.

As Zane was wrapping up his sermon, a man burst into the room. Not to be deterred, he walked toward Zane, stepping over bodies and around knees and ankles and legs as people tried in vain to scoot out of his way.

After pushing his way to the front of the room, the man squeezed into a spot a few feet in front of Zane.

The man had caused such a commotion that returning to the final words of his sermon seemed pointless to Zane. Instead, he looked at his translator and asked, “What is wrong with this man? Is he drunk?”

The translator spoke for a moment with the strange visitor, then shook his head. “No, but he used to be.” Continue reading “They Couldn’t Read a Word of This Book … and It Still Changed Their Lives”

Wisdom, Love, & Quirkiness Personified: Ronald Gene Scalf Eulogy

A couple of years ago my dad decided to start writing his memoirs. And this is how he began…

“On September 20, 1932, I was born in the back bedroom of my grandparents’ house just outside the little town of Corbin, Kentucky.

Dad-and-Papaw.jpg

“My dad was making about $16 a week hauling coal and hay. New houses cost about $6500, and bread was 7 cents a loaf.

“I can’t tell you too much about the first 3 years of my life except for one story that was told to me. When my grandfather, the Reverend John Thomas Lanham, would come home from his day job as a switchman on the L&N Railroad, he would get on the floor and let me ride on his back like a pony. Continue reading “Wisdom, Love, & Quirkiness Personified: Ronald Gene Scalf Eulogy”

An Update on My Dad (OR “Girls, Your Father is as High as a Kite”)

It was hard to decide on a title for this post. The choices are just too rich.

But before I tell you about the marijuana, I have a question:

Who are we, really?

I’m not asking what we’re like when we’re feeling composed and in charge and we can pretty much act any way we choose. I’m talking about the very core of us, the part that shows up …

…When we’re tired or grumpy.

…When we’re running late and we’ve been stuck in traffic for 45 minutes.

…When we’re already feeling frazzled and someone decides to get on our last nerve.

…When we’re utterly overwhelmed.

…When we’re in chaos or trouble.

…And maybe even when we’re really loopy because we recently had surgery and stopped eating, so doctors gave us pills to make us hungry and those pills happened to be munchie-inducing synthetic marijuana, and we accidentally got really high.

Who are we then?

You can probably guess why I’m asking. Yes, the marijuana thing just happened to my dad. Continue reading “An Update on My Dad (OR “Girls, Your Father is as High as a Kite”)”

What I Discovered About LearningRx and the Hurting Mom-Heart

There’s something about raising children (especially teenagers!) that can put a mom-heart through the ringer.

I’ve rarely longed for anything as much as I’ve longed for my daughters to thrive in every area of life. In their relationships. In their emotions. In their bodies. In their careers and passions. In their thoughts and beliefs.

So when you’ve got a kid who feels unmotivated, frustrated, and stuck, you both feel that pain.

That’s where I found myself six years ago. My daughter Kacie, then 16, was struggling in every area. Previously a good student, Kacie had decided that classes, reading, learning, and especially college were simply beyond her.  She told me she couldn’t remember anything she learned in class anyway, so why even try? She added that she hated school, hated reading, and thought learning was a waste of time.

Her plan was to drop out of school and continue partying with friends who, like her, had given up on their hopes and dreams. Continue reading “What I Discovered About LearningRx and the Hurting Mom-Heart”

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