Happy weekend to you! Seems like the air is better today and not so smokey. Yea! I got some egg dishes made and am making chicken soup now. I began preparing for our July Birthday party and Al and I went to Costco and got the cake. Soon we will go downstairs and celebrate! I have a funny booby prize for it too!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
At Bible study yesterday, were just finishing up sharing about Jesus with the woman at the well receiving living water, when one of the residents here at Northern Living came through the door and joined us. He had just come from the doctor and was holding the written report that he got from his doctor that was not good news. I helped him read the medical terms but the bottom line was he had cancer in two places, and one being the return of cancer in his bowel. His response was not hopelessness for he remarked that he was in God’s hands and ready to go; if God wanted to take him soon, that was alright for he was the Lord’s. At the close of class Al sat by him and we joined him in prayer for this friend’s healing in however God would do it.
When we know the Lord, we can rest that our lives are in His hands. I was mindful of this as I read from Psalm 39 today which David wrote. In verses 4-5 (God’s Word) he says, “Teach me, O Lord, about the end of my life. Teach me about the number of days I have left so that I may know how temporary my life is. Indeed, you have made the length of my days only a few inches. My life span is nothing compared to yours.”
Life is short so why do we spend so much time and energy on things that will pass away? Even if we amass a large fortune, we can’t take it with us and it is left behind to those who may squander it. Since we don’t know when our life is over, we also must guard against putting things off. We might ask ourselves today that if we knew we had only 6 months to live, how would live differently? Would we let others know in very tangible ways how much we love them? Would we share Jesus with those who don’t yet know Him?
David goes on to say in verse 7, “And now, Lord, what am I waiting for? My hope is in you.”
Like the song goes, “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus Christ, my righteousness…when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.” He is our hope, our solid Rock, and anything else is sinking sand.
Challenge for today: Spend some time thinking of your preparation for eternity.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy
Judy and I have developed the rewarding habit of walking the Paul Bunyan Trail each day. It is built on an old railroad bed that takes us into the woods, giving us a real sense of being with the Lord in nature. We are blessed as we share these little journeys together. God has given me a wonderful soulmate to walk with through life together.
Often we meet new people on our walks. In particular, one man (David) has become a new friend to me. David has been going through some significant trials over the past year. But his experience has “awakened” a fresh, new openness to the work of God in his own heart. What a joy it is to meet a man whose “spiritual receiver” is pointed upward, not bent inward or toward things below.
The metaphor “On the Trail” came to me while writing a note to David. In him, I have found – on the trail – a male spiritual companion. This reminds me of the early church. As believers increased and became more visible in the culture, they became known as “the way.” We read in Acts 19:9, “…Some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the way.” Later we are told, “About that time there arose a great disturbance about the way (19:23).” Paul in his preaching, further acknowledged, “I persecuted the followers of this way to their death” (Acts 22:4).
Men, I hope you have other brothers on the trail with you, with their spiritual antennas open to the Lord, who are walking in “the way.” Men tend to be Lone Rangers when it comes to the spiritual life. But I must warn you: don’t become a casualty in the coming days.
You could very well become wounded warrior – or worse yet, missing in action, taken out by the enemy of your soul. You are going to need support to stand firm in the spiritual battle that is coming. Paul exhorts us, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the evil day comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Eph. 6:13).
Be vigilant: don’t be taken out by wounds to your soul. Our enemy works in the hidden life of the soul; in those areas of our inner being buried out of sight because we find them hard to manage. Our spiritual self-improvement projects will not bring healing to these wounds of the soul. Men need each other to fight this hidden battle. The enemy wants to isolate men by enticing them to live life superficially.
Just for example, how do men deal with pornography? This curse on our culture is “taking out” a lot of men. Their thought lives and imaginations have crippled the vitality and light of their witness. They live in shame and frustration, while pretending to be clean, pure and upright before the Lord. These men need other warriors who can help with mending their “broken” and “fractured” hearts. Beyond that, it could be lustful thoughts, anger, unforgiveness, baggage from the past, whatever… So find a soulful man, a brother in the Lord who is strong and courageous enough to fight the inner battles with you.
As David, my friend said, “Imagine no lifeline wandering in spiritual darkness, sinking in a runaway ship, no one to pray for you. God, thank you for bringing a spiritual counselor, whose faith and knowledge opens closed doors. A light at night whose finest day is yet unknown.” Thank you, Lord, for my new soulmate.
Challenge for today: Acknowledge God’s hand and timing throughout your day and give thanks for His blessings in your life.
Blessings on your weekend and Prayers and love, Judy