American Idle

I have a confession to make. Our family likes to watch American Idol. While I can’t endorse everything about the show and its past seasons, we have fond memories of some of the highlights. Like when Mandisa signaled “I’m believing God” and all Beth Moore Believing God readers or Bible study participants knew what she was doing. Or when Bo Bice sang out “How far is heaven?” Or this season, when the entire cast belted out Shout to the Lord before millions of viewers! Our home erupted with our own shouting!

We are spilt as to who we wanted to win this season. The boys like David Cook, who is still in the top two. Kenzie liked Jason with his dredlocks and Brooke with her folksy, wholesome charm. (And her spunk as she stood up to Simon who predicted that Hollywood would corrupt her strong morals.) My husband Todd works afternoons so he’s never actually seen the show. For me, it was a toss up between Brooke–who was eliminated a few weeks ago and David Archuleta–the fresh-faced teen, who still remains.

While I do have trouble with the name—I’d much prefer American Star or something of the sort—I love seeing these unknown singers compete over the weeks improving their performance skills and attempting to fulfill their lifelong dream. It makes me smile.

However, in the Bible, idols are nothing to smile about. Over and over again we are warned to have nothing to do with them. We are neither to make them with our hands nor to form them in our hearts. While the children of Israel may have had trouble with the former, being tempted to fashion golden calves and such, more often we modern day believers struggle with the latter. We set up secret, hidden idols. Idols in our hearts.

An idol is anything that we put in the place of God in our lives. It may be the attention of others, or money or material possessions. For some it is their career or their athletic ability. Others are addicted to television, romance novels or the Internet. With me it was food. (click here to see my 700 Club interview on Pat’s Skinny Wednesday)

I was idle for too many years about my idol. I sported too much weight on my female frame. I consumed too many calories and burned too few to boot! The result? I was sick and tired. Weak and miserable. But for years I refuse to take action. I sat idly by and it was killing me. Literally. When my cholesterol level skyrocketed over 300 and the chest pains became more frequent, I finally took action. God was ready and willing, as He had always been, to meet my every need. He daily supplied the strength. He lifted me up when I failed. Over 10 months and100 pounds later, food was finally put back into proper perspective in my life.


Me in August 2005, crushing my hubby!



And me……10 months later!!!!

It wasn’t hard for others to see that I had an issue with gluttony. But other secret idols of the heart can be more evasive. While handmade idols of world religions are easy to spot, these secret idols of the heart are not always so. Sometimes only we know they exist. So we procrastinate. We say, “Perhaps I’ll start tomorrow. Or next Monday. Or next month.” Before we know it, we can count the years we have devoted to our idols. Idle, wasted time.

Just as we are sometimes the only ones who know our idols exist, we are the only ones that, by God’s grace and through His power, can tear them down. We must stop being idle. Action is required. Just as a marathon runner takes one step at a time, we must too.

Are you ready to begin? The sound of an idol breaking is a beautiful one to God’s ears.

Hey…and while we are on the subject, my friend and fellow Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker Marybeth has made a request of me and I’d like to know if anyone else would be interested. She wants me to host a blog discussion about my weightloss—how I got started, how I kept motivated, what scriptures I memorized, what I ate, how I worked exercise into my mommy schedule, how maintenance is going, etc… These are items I certainly can discuss with her over the phone, but I would consider hosting a week long forum on it here if others are interested. After all, shorts and tank top season is just around the corner here in the Midwest! If you would be curious about this topic, would you leave a comment on this post stating so? Thanks!!!!

Idol-bashing blessings,



  1. Instead of serving a veggie tray, have fun with it.
    After some time they should get used to eating
    these foods and eat them without any trouble.

    Meal time goes smoothly if less of a deal is made over the

  2. Thank you Karen, for sharing your story and for the before/after pictures. Your Weight Loss Wednesday words will be part of my daily reading starting today!

  3. Karen I have tried every diet in the world and would always
    gain it back. For the first time in my life I have lost 40 lbs and
    seem to be losing on a slow rate of speed. I beleive it is due to
    the fact of Ive been seeking God like never before. Reading his
    word and did my first Beth Moore Bible Study. It seems like he
    has touch me knowing my inter hurt of my weight gain. I too
    use to beg God to help me, but I always failed. Seem like when I decided to put God first in my life instead everything else than things started happening for me. I was just trying to
    get my heart in the riight place and along with it, God started taking my cravings away, not that the devil still tempts me and I do. cheat alittle but never enough to gain. I still have 60 lbs to lose but I wasn’t seeking weight loss at the time, only my closer walk with God and within the journey, he has blessed me with not craving food like I always have. Now instead of eating a whole piece, I eat a couple of bites.
    NOW the struggle with exercise is where I stand. My life is so
    full, I have to fight to just get my face on the floor with God,
    BUT I DO. Yes, I would love to hear scripture you read and things you ate and all about the temptations you went through and how you handled them. Thank you for your testimony. God Bless You

  4. This has been a God thing that I came across your story. I would like to hear more. Thank you for being so willing to share with us.

  5. yes please I have been batteling with 10 kilos for years now and cant get rid of it. I do love food especially chocolates. but i sit in front of a computer for 8 hours a day 2 hours in the car and then i am home swamped with my to babies. I hardly have time to think or make any supper so often i make the worst thing pasta at night because it is the quickest.
    Also dr says i am very depressed due to the fact that my husband was also laid off and now works odd jobs and the babies are constantly sick, i feel i have no time to myself either and hubby and are total strangers to one another now.

  6. I have a question that is probably not the most pleasant to answer. I too have lost a bit of weight, but nothing compared to you. I am also 53 years old, so older than you. My question is…what did you do about the flab left after the weight loss? No amount of exercise seems to get rid of the flabby neck, tummy and arms, and I cannot afford, nor would want to endure…surgical removal!!! HELP!!!

  7. Karen,
    I have viewed your CD and greatly admire your accomplishment with your weight. I still need more. What you ate, what kept you motivated to exercise and any tips. I just stumbled on to this late but am very interested.
    In Him,

  8. Wow Karen!
    I read your testimony today and I thought for a moment you were talking about me. I too am in my early 40’s and have struggled with my weight for the past 10 years. I now struggle with health issues that I know are a result of my weight gain . I have prayed over and over again for God to give me discipline in this area of my life. I think the hardest thing for me has been the shame I feel around my friends and can’t help but feel that my husband (who is in great shape and the sweetest man on earth) might be embarrassed to be seen with me. I’m sick and tired of living this way… Your “American Idle” devotion, pierced my soul this morning. Thank you for your words of encouragement today. I feel like today is a new beginning for me and I look forward to laying down this Idol that has controlled my life for the past decade!

  9. What a testimony!!! I want to read more. I have been fluffy for years, and feel terrible. I need to just lay this idol of mine down for good. Would love to hear more on your journey- what a blessing your testimony was to me. If you could do it, I can, too!!! Please pray for me. Thanks for sharing your story.

  10. Hi Karen,
    I love the way that you are so authentic and share your truth, which so many of us can relate to! I would love for you to begin a blog regarding the weight loss struggles / victory. I need to loose about 25 pounds and only 5 feet tall so it appears even more on my small frame. This sounds great! Love the idea, and the idea of the support, and practial tips of what you did.
    Blessings upon blessings to you,

  11. I am battling gluttony. I have all my life, but activity and diets have balanced my physical appearance to mask the idol issue at heart. In 2006 my son unexpectedly died before his third birthday, and I was 4 months pregnant. I had another baby December 2007. These past 2 years have left me 80 pounds overweight and no longer able to hide the consequences of gluttony. In January, the LORD encouraged me to blog my journey towards wellness ( . I have been blessed by your testimony, and have been in prayer about how to implement the “weigh and pray” support groups you suggested. God’s grace has been abundant, but I am struggling much. 20 pounds removed, and 55 to go! I would LOVE to hear your tips, and most excitedly the scriptures! With Blessings and thanks, Darci

  12. I attend the Hearts at Home conferences and every one of your workshops have made a PROFOUND impact on my life. PLEASE share your wisdom in this area of your life with us as well!!

  13. I would love to read more about your weight loss. I need to take off 70+ pounds and would be grateful for any advice and encouragement. God bless you!!!

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