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: November 2011 (page 1 of 3)

Dec. 1st

Devotions from Judy’s heart

I’m sure we have all said, “He is so nice and doesn’t deserve that!”  I have thought many times what if God gave us what we deserved. Oh my! It would not be all the wonderful blessings we have been given but rather our due for every unkind thought and action etc. Today Kurt was telling us about his trip up here yesterday and how he got on the road at 3;30 am. . He was praying as he drove along and asking the Lord to just bless his time.. He was so excited to get here that he was speeding as he went through Kansas City. He was stopped by a patrol man and quickly admitted that he was guilty. He told the officer  that he was so excited about his fishing trip to MN. that he was going much faster than he should have been going. The officer asked him where in MN and Kurt showed him pictures on his i-phone of the cabin, sauna, big fish etc. Fortunately the officer was also a fisherman and has fished in Walker, only 25 minutes away from here. Kurt never got a ticket or a warning, even though he deserved it. I’m sure he is full of gratitude. What about us? Do we realize all the grace given us?   I’m so glad God doesn’t give us what we deserve.  It brings to mind the song about “Marvelous grace of our living Lord, Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt…..God’s grace that is greater than all our sin.” Let us walk in gratitude and grace.

November 30th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

While on our last trip we saw a gorgeous home set up against the mountains. In front of it was an old weather beaten building that was about to fall down. I wondered why they didn’t just demolish it as it blocked the view of the new house. Did this old building become an attachment for the owners of the new house? Were they unable to let go of it?  It spoiled the beauty of their present house and limited their vision. Do we hang on to things in our own lives so that they become idols that we don’t want to let go of? Is our vision for Him and His kingdom limited?  How important it is to let go of anything that hinders us in relation to the Lord. In I Thess. 1:9 Paul is commending the people for their faith and turning from their idols to serve the Lord. We need to let go of anything that hinders us from our relationship with Him…what we gain far exceeds hanging on to those idols!!

November 29th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” Gen. 15:13 The Lord has promised to lead and guide us and our part is to follow.  I have been reading about the children of Israel lately and how frustrating it must have been for Moses as they so often didn’t follow the instructions given. Plus he had to put up with all their grumbling too!!
We have done a lot of traveling these past 2 weeks and there were times when we were headed in the wrong direction and had to turn around and go back where we got off. Sometimes we weren’t paying enough attention and other times the road wasn’t clearly marked. Spiritually, we have been given the Bible as our road map and when we aren’t in the Word we sometimes have to go back to the place we got off and begin again. We loved going on back roads less traveled on our trip and often that meant steep upgrades and hairpin turns. As I looked over the side, it was often straight down with no shoulder space. Sometimes it seems like we are living on the edge and we have to hang on tightly. Then when the Lord brings us out into a spacious place again, it is appreciated even more. But the journey is exciting if we let the Lord lead us. “You have made known to me the path of life. You will flood me with joy in your presence. Ps. 16:18   There are so many promises and instructions for our life if we will follow

November 28th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

 While we were on our way home Friday, we stopped at a Culvers for lunch. A family came in with 4 adorable little children ( probably around 2, 4, 6 years old and a baby) and we never heard one word from their booth. The parents were deaf and the children were using sign language. They were so well behaved and their actions spoke louder than any words. The love between them all was so evident. Al gave them the high sign when we left to show them how impressed we were with their family. What about us? What kind of a witness would we have if we couldn’t speak?James 1:19 says we should be quick to hear but slow to speak!  Would our actions be enough to cause others to see Christ? Do we live what we speak? Mother Teresa said that we should witness to others but use words only when necessary. A prayer from my morning devotions yesterday says it well. “Let my gratitude be shown in gentleness and loving kindness to others. May they see in my actions the love and compassion of Jesus. I regret that I have not always reflected this love. Make me your loving witness to those I met today. Amen.”

November 26th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

As we came home today from our trip, my knees were a little sore from running up and down stairs as I played many games of “Fire” with the grandkids. My chins and elbow were scraped from tripping on the cement while playing basketball and HORSE.  Am I sorry I did those things? No! It’s part of entering into their world rather than being a spectator.  These bumps and bruises happen to be my own fault. But in our spiritual lives we have a choice of sitting on the sidelines or entering in and living boldly. We may also get hurts and bumps along the way, but how much better to live life fully.  In Rom. 12:11 it says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”  Let us enter into all of life with zeal.

Novemeber 25th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

We have been enjoying so much beauty as we have traveled a lot lately, especially last week in the mountains.  I read from Ps. 98: 4 & 8  “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music…let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy.”  What a picture of His marvelous creation before our eyes! We haven’t wanted to do a lot of traveling before sunrise or after dark, as we were afraid we would miss something. ( Today was an exception) I thought of how important it is to walk in the light or we miss so much in the spiritual sense. It says in I Peter 2:9 that we were ” called out of darkness into His marvelous light.”  When we choose to stay in the dark, we miss the closeness and intimacy of His presence, His guidance in our daily walk, and close fellowship with other Christians. One of my favorite verses that was also my confirmation verse is from I John 1:7, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. And the blood of Jesus, His son, cleanses us from all sin.”  Let us come out of the dark and walk in the light and enjoy fellowship with Him and with others, rejoicing in all He has made.

November 24th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below.” Every day is a day to live in gratitude and praise. The black Pastor at the S.C. Base Chapel church said we should wake each day being so thankful we are alive and entering another day to praise Him. Each day is a gift and if we enter it with thanksgiving our spirit will be renewed and we will catch the blessings sent our way. How important it is keep our hearts open Every time we close our heart and put on a protective layer, we also shut out what the Lord means for our good.  Each day as we awaken, let us greet the day with Him as our focus and with hearts of praise.

“ Because  you love is better than life, my lips will glorify you….My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” Ps. 63:3 & 5

November 23rd

Devotions from Judy’s heart

In Jer. 17:10 it says the Lord searches the heart and examines the mind. Yesterday I went on my own search too and it was to find all the dust balls in the house. It is something I like to do for Brenda as neither of us likes to dust.  I cleaned the baseboards and low areas, but with a stool I was able to clean cupboards above the frig, high shelves, etc. She had just the right solution in a squirt bottle for me to use too.  Now when company comes, they may not know how clean it is in these places, but Brenda does and it feels good.  In our own lives we all have lots of dust and areas that need constant attention. Sometimes we don’t know when all this “dust” appeared but it just does in our day to day lives. We need constant cleansing in our hearts for our hearts want to deceive us. In fact, they would much rather that we paid attention to some one else’s “dust balls” than our own. Just like I wrote about last month, when I all of a sudden I saw the ceiling fan and the area around it that was so dirty.  The Lord wants to search us and daily cleanse us. In Ps. 139:23 -24 it says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” That was written by a man who had committed adultery and murder, but who let the Lord cleanse his heart.The Lord has the perfect cleansing solution too, for His blood shed for us paid the price. Let us allow Him the freedom to search us and bring wholeness and healing.

The Spiral of Silence

Charles Colson discusses in a recent blog on an experiment that shows how easy it is to make people go against what they believe to be true.  This is how he described the experiments.  “One of the experiments involved wine-tasting, in which participants evaluate both the wine and one another’s wine-tasting skills.  The participants were given three samples of wine.  In reality, all three samples were from the same bottle.  One had even been tainted with vinger.  Before they delivered their evaluation, they listened to other participants, who were plants, who praised the vinegar-laced wine as the best.  Half of the participants went against their own taste buds and joined in praising the vinegary concoction.”

Colson goes on, “Even more interesting is what happened next.  Another participant, who was also a plant, told the truth about the wines.  But when it came time for the participants to evaluate each other, some of them were permitted to do so confidentially, and the others had to do so publicly.  The ones who gave their evaluations confidentially praised the truth-teller.  But those who had to evaluate the truth-teller publicly actually turned on him and gave him low marks.”  The researchers described this as “false enforcement”   – “The public enforcement of a norm that is not privately endorsed.” 

The norm was upheld not by popularity nor its validity.  It was upheld by their desire to “avoid a negative social judgment from one’s peers.”  Wanting to avoid “a negative social judgment” has been called the “spiral of silence.”  Colson’s conclusion: “….out of a desire to avoid reprisal or isolation, people go along with what they think is the popular opinion – even if they object to that opinion personally.  Instead of voicing their objections, they remain silent.”

I thought it was important enough to quote Charles Colson rather extensively on the blog.  I personally have a great deal of respect for what Colson does in helping followers of Jesus to think through the profound social issues we face in post-modern and post-Christian America.  Living in a pluralistic culture can be challenging for us men.  I was convicted reading his post, when I reflected on the times that I have remained silent about what I really believe, for fear of being in the minority or not being accepted. Listen to Peter’s exhortation to us in I Peter 3:15-16 from The Message. “Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master.  Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.  Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick.”

I find that asking for discernment in knowing when to speak up and what to say is important.  I don’t want to be offensive and pushy, but I also want to be true to my convictions.  Men, in our day there is significant voices that are trying to quiet a clear witness of the gospel.  It is actually intimidation.  The present cultural climate will continue to militate against a clear witness of the truth.   But the darker the conditions, the more that the light of the gospel is needed.  Here is some encouragement from our Lord. “When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family.  There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate!  But don’t quit.  Don’t cave in.  It is all well worth it in the end.  Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.”

November 22nd

Devotions from Judy’s heart

We were smothered with hugs and xxx yesterday as the kids came from school and we were here waiting. After the birthday party at supper time, Paige and Lily prepared a musical program for us, which included dancing, playing of a Recorder etc. We had to buy tickets and conform to all the rules of the theater. It all was going so well, but Grant felt left out so did his own thing on the side. He would jump off a chair and throw his football through a basketball hoop and wait for us to clap for him. He was not going to be outdone by his sisters! I thought of the scripture in Gal. 6:21 where it tells us not to compare ourselves with others. Each of us is so precious to the Lord and He does not show favoritism. Isn’t that wonderful to know that He lavishes His love on each of us the same and delights in us?  I know that we delight in the grandkids, and this is only a small way in which He delights in us. In Zeph 3:17 we are reminded of this. “The Lord your God is with you…. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” Let us go about out day with the realization that He rejoices and sings over us, since we bring delight to Him.

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