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: January 2013 (Page 1 of 4)

Feb. 1st

Devotions from Judy’s heart
Our son just got progressive tri-focal glasses so now he can read menus etc. I also have reading glasses even though I don’t need glasses for driving, watching t.v. etc.  I have to admit that I am “blind” to reading a map, even my Bible, without my reading glasses  In a spiritual sense we all have blindness but often we are not aware of how blind we are. It is so easy to see farther away at the sin in someone else rather than close up of our own sin!  We can quickly see the speck in our neighbor’s eye rather than the log that is in our own eye. ( Matt. 7). So we need to honestly allow the spirit to reveal areas we need to change and humbly accept however God reveals it to us.
It may be easier when God shows us through scripture or a loving brother or sister, something that needs to change, but sometimes he uses even our “enemies” to challenge us to change. But however He does it, it is out of His heart of love and He desires that we become like Him.

Jan. 31st

Devotions from Judy’s heart
It’s been said that one picture is worth a 1,000 words. I found that true as a picture was put on Facebook of our friend, Grace, up and walking with the aid of a walker after her knee replacement yesterday. My heart just sang as I saw how well she was doing and the picture was proof of it. The Lord gives us so many pictures and symbols that are worth more than 1,000 words.  A vivid picture comes to mind of Luke 15 where the lost sheep is found and there is so much rejoicing. I’m sure we have seen pictures of our loving Shepherd carrying that lost lamb, and felt His arms of love enfolding us when we have lost our way.  Or when our life seems so stormy and out of control and we see with hope-filled hearts, the Lord raising His hand to calm our storm. God speaks to us in so many ways, and let us be still and let Him minister to our hearts. Just seeing a cross can be a reminder of the depth of His love that sacrificed all and lets us know how much we are loved.

Jan. 30th

Devotions from Judy’s heart
On Sunday Al and I served sweet rolls, caramel rolls, banana bread, and choc chip cookies on a stick for coffee time at church. My what a response! The first man to see the treats helped us carry them in from the parking lot, and there were so many words of thanks….A couple people sampled everything! It made me want to serve again soon! I thought of it in a spiritual sense how it must please the Lord when we get excited over His blessings to us and express thanks in the little and big things He sends our way..  “Lord, this sunset is awesome…I just want to sit here with you and enjoy it!”. Or “Lord your timing is perfect as this e-mail came at the time I needed to hear those words of affirmation!” etc. etc. Our lives should overflow with gratitude as His children.  Ann Voscamp said,” Gratitude is what births trust…”It’s only when you live the prayer of thanksgiving that you live the power of trusting God.”  Let us count our blessings and in the process we will find God can be counted on!!  Yes!

Jan. 29th

Devotions from Judy’s heart
On Saturdays we talk to Ann’s family on Skype, and last Saturday I was in the process of baking sweet rolls when we talked. Because I have baked lots of rolls in my life time, I can tell by the aroma when they are about ready to come out of the oven. I got a whiff and sure enough, I went and looked and each time they were done.
I have often
thought of the sense of smell as spiritual discernment…sniffing out what really is! Discernment is needed more than ever as our values and convictions are getting tested in our culture today. We need discernment constantly since we are all vulnerable to getting “hoodwinked”. Something can sound and look good but may not be at all. In Eph. 5 we are told “Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” Let us not be naive and taken in by the false, but let us ask Him to give us discerning hearts.

Jan. 28th

Devotions from Judy’s heart
Lately it seems like everything I have been reading is all about the importance of thankfulness. It isn’t that thankfulness is dependent on our circumstances but more due to the condition of our hearts. It is a spiritual discipline and takes practice and more practice but changes the way we see things. We may still be in a difficult time but light dawns when we can see from His perspective. This morning I woke up to the moon streaming in our window and was as if someone turned the light on and everything looked so different from the usual darkness when I get up. The room was the same only now it looked different with so much light.  In Sarah Young’s book it says,  “You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I will give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances). As we practice His presence, the light streams into our hearts and we see deeper and beyond our circumstance. It can help us be grateful and say with the Psalmist ( Ps. 118:1), “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He good: for His steadfast love endures forever!!” Some day we may see that our most difficult circumstances were the very times we grew the most and brought us closer to Him.

Jan. 26th

Devotions from Judy’s heart
Lately I have enjoyed working at Share and Care and finding things that people need. I love it! And my heart rejoices as I wash things up and pack and put them in the mail. Someone else might find this a chore or nuisance but it gives me energy. In our epistle lesson for this week (I Cor. 12), there are so many different parts to the Body of Christ and each one needs to do what they were designed for. When we are serving Christ in our own unique way in the Body, it give deep down joy! Let us be aware when we have energy for a certain thing and let it be acknowledged as God’s gift for us to use for the Body.  But let’s not expect someone next to us to feel the same way as their gift may be entirely different. But we are all serving Him and there is Unity in the Body when we are each doing the very thing we were called to do. Let us be faithful in that and bring glory to Him, who is our head!

Jan. 25th

Devotions from Judy’s heart
On my computer I can get get connected by either a password or my fingerprint. Sometimes when I put my finger over a little lighted space, my computer opens up immediately. Other times I press my finger over and over again and nothing happens so I resort to using my password.  I thought of how sometimes when we are in prayer there seems to be such an instant connection and awareness of His presence. At other times we wonder, Lord are you here and do you hear me?  We may have to use our password of Faith and trust that even though we may not “feel” His nearness, yet He is with us and so ready to speak and to listen to our hearts. He says ” Before they call, I will answer; while they are yet speaking,I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24

Jan. 24th

Devotions from Judy’s heart
Today I struggled with finding a pr of shoes that I could wear to work at Share and Care and ended up with sandals. Just yesterday I noticed there was blood on the basement floor and I wondered where was it coming from.  I had been downstairs earlier with bare feet and didn’t give it a thought that I had nicked the top of my little toe on the wood stove hearth earlier. I had blood all over my slipper etc and I never knew I was hurt. It made me think of how we need to be quiet before the Lord and let Him minister to our hearts.  We don’t know the depth of our hurts and are surprised at times when tears come to our eyes or we have feelings of abandonment or loss etc. In our minds something that happened in the past is over, but maybe not! It can still be like my sore toe that is not yet healed.  Even the healing process can’t be hurried up or forced to happen. We can only give ourselves to Him who understands fully and is our Healer. It is much like opening the door and inviting Him in to our inner sanctuary and giving Him permission to pour out His healing love on us, for however long it takes.  I haven’t been able to walk on these cold days as my boots hurt too much but in time I will be on my prayer walks again!

Lance Armstrong & The Ride

I have been thinking of the tragic story of Lance Armstrong  and the lessons his story can teach men.  As many of you know, he granted Oprah Winfrey a two hour interview, in which he talked of his “fall from grace.”  Armstrong, who overcame cancer and won seven Tour de France titles, which make him one of the most successful athletes in the world, confessed to Winfrey that he had been using illegal performance enhancing drugs his entire career.  He admitted that he had falsely accused people of lying when they suggested that he had been doping, and that he had been taking the exact substances the U.S. Anti-doping Agency accused of him of using.  After finally losing the legal battle against the ADA last year, Armstrong was stripped of all his Tour de France titles, he was banned from the sport for life, and has lost millions in sponsorship deals.  That is quite a public fall from grace.

In his interview with Oprah he admitted that he had lost his way.  “I just think it was about the ride and losing myself, getting caught up in that, and doing all those things along the way that enabled that”   he said.  “The ultimate crime is the betrayal of those people that supported me and believed in me.”  In my opinion, as I watched the second interview, Armstrong was the most vulnerable when he had to tell his 13 year old son,  “Don’t defend me anymore. Don’t.” While others might focus on whether he was fully repentant or not, I want to focus on what he called “the ride.”

As men we all can get caught up in our own “ride to success.”  While it might not be as dramatic and slick as that of Armstrong, we as men, have that built in competitive nature that drives us to be successful in the eyes of others.  We hate failure, disappointment and especially a well-placed rebuke to our vision of success.  Let me say to you men from painful personal experience as a “professional Holy Man” who wanted desperately to be seen as “good” that your ego hates reality.  The ego is an impostor and a usurper.  While we need substantial ego strength to navigate life, the ego is not to be the CEO of our life.  It was never meant to be in charge.  It can not handle reality. The man with a big ego will get more brittle and eventually crack, under the pressure to face reality.   Lance Armstrong, when he was caught, finally began to crack.  I believe the interview, was a means for him to begin to face reality, by share a little of who he really is.  He admitted he had a long ways to go, in facing his inner demons.  His whole life was a lie.

Men, don’t let your ego help you avoid reality, causing your life to be a lie.  Your “ride”  will leads you away from reality.  Reality is the truth of who we really are before God: remember – the good, the bad and the ugly.  God loves you right there in your reality, with all its darkness and shame. Don’t pretend.  Listen to your spirit.  Allow the Spirit of God to fill you with his love and light.  Allow your soul to be open and surrendered to the Spirit of God. Allow Jesus, who loves you deeply, to take you by the hand and bring you home, like the prodigal, coming home to his father.  The son came home in all his shame and sorrow.  But is was finally home, to where he belonged.  This is ultimate reality –  being at home with God.

I confess the truth about myself is that I am: 1) A forgiven sinner 2) a sinner who is beloved and 3) one who is being transformed by the Spirit of Jesus.  This confession, both private and public,  has brought me authenticity and freedom to simply be me.  Men, I invite you to let Jesus into those frightened, insecure places in your soul.  Acknowledge to yourself and to God, that you no longer desire your ego to be the CEO of your ride. My sense is that there are men reading this blog, that need to surrender to the real CEO, who is Jesus working in our spirit and soul, helping you to become who you always were meant to be.  So give up your ride, and surrender to the one who knows you and love you unconditionally.

Jan. 23rd

Devotions from Judy’s heart
Good things that are carried to extreme may no longer be good!  That is evident when someone sits next to you that is “bathed” in perfume..a  little perfume can go a long way and too much is sickening! Recently a good friend said she would play scrabble on line with me and she started games and more games until there was about 20! We laughed about it and decided when we finished them we would go to only 3 or so as we don’t have time for an overload of them.  We can apply this spiritually too as  truth carried to extreme  truth is no longer truth. There is evidence of this in churches who focus on one particular issue and can go off on a tangent.  Let us be careful that we are balanced and not carried to extremes! As it says in II Tim. 2:15 we should not be ashamed if we present ourselves to God as one approved, “rightfully handling the word of truth.”

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