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: December 2012 (page 1 of 3)

Dec. 31st

Devotions from Judy’s heart
When I woke up early yesterday morning I was greeted by the light of the  moon shining in our window and lighting up the woods outside. Instead of the darkness of the night, there was brightness and beauty. I thought of the sad news that we just received of a friend who has terminal cancer and only months to live.  Darkness, yes, deep darkness, but in the midst we know the Lord will give His light to walk with his whole family through this unfamiliar terrain.  At Christmas our Pastor repeated often and had us repeat, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”  In the darkest of times, the light dawns and He walks with us through the night times of our lives. As it says in Isaiah 60:19 that one day, “The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. ” Let us walk in the light of the Lord!!

Dec. 29th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

When I was playing scrabble with my sister-in-law over Christmas I
played a good word in the very place she planned to make a lot of
points. She “moaned” when I played and asked why I had to play there
since I was blocking her great move. But when she looked around the
board, she found another word and used all her letters and made much
more. I thought of how we may think that others around us may be
impeding our progress in our spiritual lives. They are blocking us and
we could be so much more if they were a certain way or did this or that!
  But that is not the case. God can cause us to grow even more in
adverse circumstances if we hang in there and look for the good He will
bring.  Let us not dwell on the behavior of others but see what God is
teaching us through it all.

Dec. 28th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

The day after Christmas my relatives gathered to discuss the future of
the Point. This is land and a cabin that my folks willed to us and is
loved by us all and full of memories.  Each one had opportunity to
speak, from the old to the young. I’m sure we had all been praying
before hand for what to do, and going into the meeting we had no idea
what that was. But God wants us to ask for wisdom and as is says in
Prov. 2:6, “For the Lord gives widom; from His mouth comes knowledge and
understanding”. About half way through the meeting one of the relatives
suddenly spoke up with a plan that seems like the answer and we could
all say “Amen” to.  We discussed it and agreed upon it and will now try
to implement it. We closed the meeting with holding hands in a circle
and praying together. How important it is to ask Him and wait for His
answer and all glory goes to Him!

Dec. 27th

Devotions from Judy’s heart,

Sometimes less is more! Sometimes simple is better! Outside on our
back porch Al hung a single lighted angel that he bought to replace
last years ornament that had “expired”.  It stands out in the night
for the outline of the angel  is all lite up. Now if we had lots of
lights on our back porch or whole house, I doubt you would even
notice the angel. But since it is the only lighted decoration, it
stands out. Why do we “need” so much when a little may be more. 
Years ago at Christmas children received only one main gift and that
gift was cherished. Now they receive so much and still want more to
satisfy their wants, not appreciating any one thing in particular.
On Christmas eve we went to the Lighthouse church and the service
was held in a house that had been made into an office. About 50
people showed up and the service was very simple and yet so
meaningful. There were lots of children and they helped pass out the
candles, bulletins etc. Pastor had a ceramic figure of baby Jesus in
a wooden box and before he unveiled it, he talked all about the
preciousness of the gift. We will all remember the “sermon” as it
was simple and yet profound. Let us not miss the significance of
something simple when we think we “need” more!

Dec. 25th

Devotions from Judy’s heart

  At this special Christmas time, I would like to share a devotional
from Sarah Young’s book, “Jesus Calling”

“I am King of Kings and Lord of Lords, dwelling in dazzlingly bright
light!  I am also your Shepherd, Companion, and Friend- the One who
never lets go of your hand. Worship Me in My holy Majesty; come close to
Me, and rest in My Presence..  You need Me both as God and as man. Only
My Incarnation on the first, long ago Christmas could fulfill   your
neediness. Since I went to such extreme measures to save you from your
sins, you can be assured that I will graciously give you all you need.

Nurture well your trust in Me as Savior, Lord and Friend. I have held
back nothing in My provision for you. I have even deigned to live within
you! Rejoice in all that I have done for you, and My Light will shine
through you to the world.”

May you have a most blessed Christmas and a New Year  lived in
gratitude. Love, Judy

 I may not write again until we are home from our Christmas gathering.

The King has landed

This post is being sent out on Christmas Eve. I am aware that there are young men reading this blog who have young children.  Many of you have done some soul searching with you wives, as you contemplate the events in Newtown.  My burden in this blog is to give each man a renewed sense of hope, especially as we celebrate once again the birth of King Jesus.  We read in I Peter 1:3, “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  Our hope in Jesus is a “living” hope.  Think of hope as “the confident anticipation of a positive future.”  Our hope is confident and living because it is based on the victory and return of King Jesus.  It might not seem like it at times, but the King has landed.

One of my favorite images of Christmas for many years has been based on these words from C.S. Lewis.  I have referenced to it in many Christmas Eve services.  “Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is.  Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”   King Jesus has invaded behind enemy lines.  He invites us into a great campaign of sabotage. As John Stonestreet observed on Breakpoint,  “by ’emptying himself’ of his royal glory, assuming ‘the form of a servant’ (Phil 2:7), and becoming least of all,  God the Son did what all the mightiest kings and emperors of the world could not accomplish with all their armies: He ended the reign of sin, thereby sounding the knell for death and Satan, himself.”

Remember hope means that we are waiting.  But in our waiting, God is accompanying us at the deepest level of our being.  Listen – “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.  If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.   He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God.  That’s why we can be sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (Rom 8:26 – 28 – The Message).

In our waiting for King Jesus return, here are three realities to ponder.   First, we are behind enemy lines.  Our culture is occupied territory.  But we know that King Jesus has already come, having fought the battle for us and won.  He has been giving authority to reign as Lord of history.  As followers of the King we need not fear.  The enemy knows he is defeated. “For the Devil’s come down on you with both feet; he’s had a great fall.  He’s wild and raging with anger; he hasn’t much time and he knows it”  (Rev 12:12 – The Message).  We know victory is assured.  Yes, King Jesus is coming back to claim what is his.

Secondly, at His birth King Jesus came in disguise.  He came as the Lamb of God and in doing so won a complete victory by his sacrificial death of the cross.  But he rose again victorious.  He went back to heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father.  He is now the Lion of Judah.  In Revelation John has a vision in which he saw a scroll, that represented God’s plan for history.  We read, “Do not weep.  See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.  He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Rev 5:5).  His purpose as King will be accomplished when He returns

Thirdly, men, we are on “a great campaign of sabotage.”  I have mentioned previously that we are to be subversive. Therefore, we need to be  courageous and confident. We work against to culture.  It is subtle work, done with loving and humble hearts.  As saboteurs we give our allegiance is to the King of Kings.  “Do not be afraid.  I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:17-18).  Men, lift up your eyes, the King is coming.

Dec. 24th

Devotions from Judy’s  heart
The other day  I went to my neighbors to pick up a pkg left on their steps while they were gone. I had warm mittens on but on the trip home my hands still got cold and numb since I was not moving them. Usually I swing my arms as I power walk but then I was more immobile as I carried the gift. I thought of it in a spiritual sense how when we are not moving in the spirit we get cold and stagnant. We need to be alert and attentive, active and giving out to others or we get cold in our love for the Lord. Sometimes it happens so gradually we don’t even notice how cold our hearts are getting and we become numb. When I got home from my walk I had some hot chicken soup and sat by the stove and warmed up…it was wonderful. When we return to the Lord when our hearts have strayed, how great is the warmth of his love and peace also.

Dec. 22nd

Devotions from Judy's heart
In one of the O.T. readings of the Christmas season we have, "Arise, 
shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon 
you." Isaiah 60:1
During Christmas we are reminded that the Light has come. Jesus came as 
the light and the darkness has not overcome the light.   The other night 
Al went for a walk wearing a device on his head that acted as a 
headlight, enabling him to see in the total darkness. Living as we do in 
the North woods, winter can be a time when we are engulfed in total 
darkness by 5 p.m.  He came back excited that he could now take prayer 
walks in the evening as well as during the day since he had plenty of 
light to see. I just read this prayer today from Daily Texts from Mt 
Carmel Ministries and maybe one for us all:  "Father of lights, I'm 
thankful that the light of Christ is stronger than darkness. In my 
weariness I often lose sight of your light. Whenever darkness threatens 
to overshadow me, reach out to me and fill me with your life, light, and 
love. Today keep me awake and aware of the needs of the others who have 
lost the way." We are children of the Light, let us walk in the light 
and share the Light of Christ.

Dec. 21st

Devotions from Judy’s heart

As you know after waiting over a month my new computer came when I was not at home to receive it. I missed out so made a point to be home the next day when Fed Ex came again.  So often we miss what God is saying to us as we are “not home” in the sense of listening , being so  preoccupied with  other things. It may be that we are  sick or depressed or just overwhelmed with pressures, but we mustn’t let that keep us from being alert to His voice.  I have to pray almost daily to be attentive to hear His voice in my ordinary life. Cardinal Basil Hume said, “Each of us needs an opportunity to be alone, and silent, to find space in the day or in the week, just to reflect and to listen to the voice of God that speaks deep within us. Our search for God is only our response to (God’s) search for us. (God) knocks at our door, but for many people their lives are too preoccupied for them to be able to hear.” God may speak to us through His Word, events, nature, prayer, people, news etc.and may we be attentive and alert to hear!

Dec. 20th

Devotions from Judy’s  heart

It’s hard to believe that a small item like a computer can be a treasure one minute and a frustration beyond words the next. I have also written lately on change and how we grow through it….but it isn’t always fun!  After about 8 years, I have a new computer but it is nothing like my old one. I’m sure one day I will get use to it and love it  but right now that is only in the future tense!  It’s hard to give up the old as everything worked so well and was familiar. Spiritually, the Lord can ask us to give up the old also and to enter into the new He has for us. Sometimes we are like the children of Israel and complain and long for the leeks and garlics of Egypt. But He says in Isaiah 43:18 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing: now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? ” Perhaps at times we must ask for eyes of faith  to perceive that what He is doing now is so much better than the old. Let us be welcome the new things He has for us.

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