Canaans Rest

Canaan’s Rest represents a quiet place “set apart” for the purpose of hearing God's voice, growing in intimacy with the Lord, and being renewed in soul and spirit.

Month: October 2011 (page 1 of 4)

November 1st

Devotions from Judy’s heart

Who are you?  I am a child of God, Al’s wife, our kid’s mom, a grandma, friend, “nun”, contemplative, etc etc.  When I was together with my childhood friends on Saturday, one of them remarked how nice it was to be able to say whatever we think, and not feel judged or that we have to agree. I’m sure we probably don’t see eye to eye on everything but that is alright. One issue doesn’t define who we are. I notice today, that people can be labeled over one issue. But with my old time friends, they know me through the years and one issue doesn’t define who I am. I think it is important to let others be who they are also, and not label or define them or judge them. It’s important to know the whole person and be accepting.  If we are only with those whom we agree with on everything ( probably impossible), we may not grow balanced but can get off. So let us have big windows through which we view others and receive the whole person …… “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Oct. 31st

Devotions from Judy’s heart for 10-30

In Jer. 29:11 it says, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Yesterday I was together with friends from my grade school days as we have remained friends all these years. We were in youth group together, went to Bible camp together, had slumber parties etc.  We all know the Lord but we did not know back then, what plans the Lord had for each of us. It was so neat to spend almost 7 hours catching up and seeing how God has directed each of our journeys.  This morning I read a prayer from a devotional book from Mt. Carmel ministries and it is my prayer also.  “Lord God, my spirit rejoices that my path and journey are already known by you. Help me to recognize and understand your messages for me so that I can cooperate with your Spirit to fulfill your purposes for my life. Today, help me to “see” where and how your kingdom expands my life within the lives of others. Amen.

Friendships in the Lord are truly a gift from above and has enriched and expanded my life.

Oct. 29th

 

Devotions from Judy’s heart.

All of us have experienced disappointments…sometimes things that were done to us and other times when we have disappointed others as well. On Wed. it was our friend Tom’s birthday and his wife said she had hidden the gift from us for him until that day. I was going over in my mind, what gift? I remember giving him a polo shirt when we were out there last month, but I couldn’t remember leaving behind a gift. So when she gave him the gift on Wed. it was a big disappointment, for it was actually her Christmas gift from us. It was a hot pink sweater that was of no use to him. He even had a picture taken of himself wearing it with a puzzled expression. ( in jest). But how many times are we disappointed and we wonder why someone else gets what we think we deserve? Can we trust that God knows what we need and will give us exactly that in his timing?  James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  Don’t you just love when the Father gives you something unexpectedly and it is just perfect for you?!!  Let us not be disappointed in the meantime but grateful and trustful. (Actually, Tom’s family is giving him a party on Saturday and he will have many gifts, I’m sure.)

Oct. 28th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

This morning I got up earlier than usual to get a fire going in our wood stove. I used a starter and soon the fire was going great. But while I was making blueberry pancakes, I happened to look over at the stove and the fire was almost out. What happened? I opened the damper again and let in the air and soon the fire was going again. In a spiritual sense, so quickly the fire of our love for the Lord can go out and we hardly know when it happened. We need to be watchful and aware so that our love does not go dim as we get caught up in other things… Even good things!  We need to open our hearts continually and let the wind of His Spirit blow fresh air upon us to keep the flame going. Sometimes God uses others in our lives to bring us encouragement so that our flame burns brightly. Other times He may use us to help another be open to the Spirit’s fresh breeze. Paul told Timothy in II Tim 1:6 to “Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you”.

May we not grow cold in our love for Him but give off the warmth of His love to others. Today I sang songs to the Lord all the way to town and I think He smiled even if I don’t have a solo voice.

Oct. 27th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

The other day I went down to the cabin to vacuum it, as Kurt and his friends are coming one last time for this year. I noticed the second-hand vacuum was in bad shape as the bag was duct taped and sagging etc. When I turned it on and tried to vacuum, it wouldn’t pick up a thing…not even the sand granules!  It was worthless. The next day I took the “downstairs vacuum” from our house, and brought it to the cabin and tried again. It picked up everything like a charm. I thought of what we do with our sin… we can try to rationalize it away or confess to someone else for some temporary relief, but it still remains. We didn’t get rid of it. We need the Lord’s forgiveness for only He has the power to take away our sins completely. Why do we settle for “old lousy ways” that don’t work, when He does a complete job? He has promised in Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our sins from us.” He does this because as it says in the preceding verse, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.”   Let us confess our sins to Him for He is faithful and will forgive and cleanse us, and make us new. ( I John 1:9)

Remembering Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs died on Oct 5th at 56.  As I write this blog, his book is hitting the book stores today.  I read a post today on the interview given by his biographer Walter Isaacson on “60 minutes.”  The post talked about some of Jobs’ religious views.  I want to draw attention to two quotes and them make a couple of comments.  The first quote: “Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don’t.  I think it’s 50-50 maybe.  But ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about it more.  And I find myself believing a bit more.  I kind 0f – maybe it’s cause I want to believe in an afterlife.  That when I die, it doesn’t just all disappear.  The wisdom you’ve accumulated.  Somehow it lives on….Yeah, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone. And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.”  The second quote: “I saw my life as-an arc.  And that it would end and compared to that nothing mattered.  You’re born alone, you’re gonna die alone.  And does anything else really matter?  I mean what is it exactly, is it that you have to lose Steve?  There’s nothing.”

God bless the memory of Steve Jobs.  I along with many other Christians have committed him to the mercy of God.  We are all deeply in debt to Jobs for what he has given us.  Yet in these few comments on religion we see that in the end, Jobs is left with some deep questions about the meaning of life.  For all his fame, fortune and genius, Steve Jobs could not find the answer to the basic questions of life.  In the first comment, he equates a relationship to God to that of “an on-off switch.”  Men, never forget, God made you for a loving relationship without himself.  He is passionately desirous that you know his love for you.  Jesus tells us that he came to seek and save those who were lost.  He also said that he came to give us life, life that was abundant.  We live in a personal universe.  The truine God of love, invites us into the “great dance” of everlasting life.  There need not be any doubts about this.  Remember we are not talking about nothing.  God has revealed who he is in Jesus.  Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”  Don’t get you eye off of Jesus.  He makes life real and personal.

As for his second comment, he compares his life to that of “an arc.”  You begin with nothing and you end with nothing.  You die alone.  This is a classic statement of a truly modern man.  One whose life is self-enclosed, self-contained and with the absence of any sense of transcendence.  As “self-made” man who seemed to have it all.  But like some many in our culture, living with a deep emptiness.  Again we were meant to be filled with the life of God.  Jesus died, rose again, and ascended into heaven so that the very presence of God might come and fill our hearts.  He said he would not leave us orphaned, but that he would come.  He compared the life of the Spirit to that of a river. “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 

Men, may the life and death of Steve Jobs be a “wake up” call to any man who is caught in the deadly trap of wanting to be a follower of Jesus but also being pulled into the obit of what the world admires and desires.  Listen to these words from I John 2:15-17 ( The Message). “Don’t love the world’s ways.  Don’t love the world’s goods.  Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father.  Practically everything that goes on in the world – wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important – has nothing to do with the Father.  It just isolates you from him.  The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out – but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.”

Oct. 26th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

In Eph. 6:8 we are told to “Keep alert with all perseverance.”  I have seen perseverance up front as my cousin and her hubby continue to work on their outdoor brick oven.  Just last Sunday when we came from church they were outside in the cold rain laying more brick for many hours. I marveled at their tenacity. If they give up they lose everything. So in order to keep on they must keep their eyes on the goal of a finished oven ready to bake delicious bread. They are intently focused and it makes each row of brick laid a point of victory. We need to be so focused on the Lord and His kingdom, that nothing deters us either. Yes, many times it is difficult like the cold rain but we have so much to look forward to in the future. Sometimes we may even ask the Lord for a whiff of the bread to keep us going. Often He sends us encouragement through others. I sensed gratitude from my cousin when I just came and helped mix cement, and was the Go-Pher for them, while they continued to lay brick. Let us persist and know that what is ahead is well worth the perseverance.   It says in Heb. 10:36 “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”

Oct. 25th

 Devotions from Judy’s heart

One day last week I walked to a friend’s house and just before I turned into her road, Molly, her dog, began, barking. She was outside and saw me coming. Her master tried to restrain her but to no avail. She wanted to greet me and she persisted until he let her go into my waiting arms. She licked me and then frolicked around my legs so I could hardly walk. What a greeting. I wonder sometimes if we are abandoned to the Lord or have we lost our zeal for Him. In Revelation 2, the church in Ephesus had endured patiently but the sad thing was that they had lost their first love. We also can  be busy serving the Lord but lose our zeal for Him. Do you remember that breathless, ecstatic feeling you had when you found the person of your dreams?  No sacrifice was too great for that Love. How much we need to persist and abandon ourselves daily to the Lord, so that nothing can keep us from Him.  Let us not be held back by anything of this world but let ourselves go into the fullness of His love.

Oct. 24th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

Yesterday afternoon I was a “go-pher” again and helped my cousin and hubby work on their outdoor brick oven until dusk. We are all realizing this is going to be a lesson in patience as it is taking much longer than we anticipated. Perseverance is the name of the game!  One thing I am learning is the importance of doing it exactly right.  When you lay brick if you are off on one layer, the next layer above will be off too. The leveler is being used constantly with the laying of each brick. It is also that way in our lives when the foundational things are being laid. If something is off, we my see life from a perspective that is “crooked”.. Often we need to go back to those places and let the Lord heal us and put our “brick “ in properly. When things are in the right placement, life will take on a new and right perspective. Let us allow Him to go to those places and do the necessary changes so that His glory will show forth in our lives.

Oct. 22nd

Devotions from Judy’s heart

Yesterday there was a large group of us at church making Lefse to sell. Russ was in charge and we were all given assignments so that the operation would run smoothly. Each person was important to the whole for if one part of the system was slow or nonfunctioning, the rest would suffer….much like an assembly line. In times past I have done everything from peeling potatoes, ricing them, mixing, rolling, and yesterday I got to fry them on the griddle. I had not done that before and didn’t want to blow it. But I found it wasn’t hard but enjoyable. In the Body of Christ we are given assignments from our Head and it isn’t always the same. But if we get stuck and refuse to do the next thing He assigns we miss out. The Lord sees the whole picture and places us exactly where needed and in His exact timing. The Apostle Paul said he only boasted in regard to the area of influence GOD assigned to him. ( II Cor. 10:13).  Let us remember, God is in charge and we take our assignments from Him.  Then our lives will be exciting for we will experience the new things He has planned for us and know we are important to the whole!

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