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 2021 (Page 1 of 3)

October 30, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying your weekend as the sun is shining and leaves still beautiful. This morning I did food prep, studied and cleaned the apartment. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Our work in life matters and is important not only to us but to God. Sadly today, there are many who do not wish to work and our society is experiencing the ramifications of that. There are signs on restaurants and other establishments asking for patience from the customers, as they don’t have enough help and the wait may be long. In contrast we can probably look back to our own fathers and grandfathers who took pride in hard work and were dependable, doing their jobs well. But today that seems to be lacking and we have forgotten how good it feels to hear the words, “Well done!”
Mark Roberts from Fuller Seminary writes about why we should work and quotes Eph. 4:28 (ESV), “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” Yes, we need to earn a living but we should do it in such a way that it adds goodness to the world. We are all called to do good work and in Greek the last part of verse 28 reads,” Working with their own hands that which is good.” 
It doesn’t matter if we are a homemaker or a CEO of a company, if our job is more hidden or seen in neon lights, we are to do it for the glory of God. It should be honest and one that makes a contribution to the needs in the world.
I remember as a child going to a party for the janitor of our church who was being honored for his hard work. They had a “This is Your Life”, bringing together people from his past whose lives he had touched. I was impressed for when we saw him working around the church, we visualized he was doing it for the Lord.
Robert brings out in his writing how the majority of Jesus time as an adult was working as a craftsman in a small village. He probably built tables and chairs and was faithful to honor His Father by doing good work. I had never thought before of how he did physical work for years in obscurity before his 3 years of public ministry. Likewise, our work matters to our Heavenly Father and also affects others, whether it is seen by the world or only a few. But let us offer our work as an act of worship to the Lord.
Challenge for today: Stop for a moment in your work and tell the Lord you are working for His pleasure!
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

October 29, 2021

Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you and hope you take time to enjoy it!  I made choc covered raspberries and also stir fry to put on cauliflower wraps.Emoji This morning we also went to get the Birthday cake for our Oct. Birthday party at Northern Lakes which will be happening this afternoon.  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
 I was reading a devotional from an old book by Billy Graham, written in 1976, but really seems to describe our country today. He said, “In a decadent society the will to believe, to resist, to contend, to fight, to struggle is gone. In place of this will to resist, there is the desire to conform, to drift, to follow to yield, and to give up. This is what happened to Rome, but it also applies to us. The same conditions that prevailed in Rome prevail in our society. Before Rome fell, her standards were abandoned, the family disintegrated, divorce prevailed, immorality was rampant, and faith was at a low ebb. As Gibbon said, ‘There was much talk of religion but few practiced it.’”
Sadly, that seems true of America as we have lost our way and drifted from God. Many of us have deep concern for our children and grandchildren growing up in such a decadent society. Recently Alex Cravens, a youth Pastor in Arkansas wrote a post that went viral that I will share. 
“Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be.
God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident.
Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God.
Train them up in the authority of His Word.
Teach them to walk in faith knowing that God is in control.
Empower them to know they can change the world.
Every person in all of history has been placed in the time that they were in because of God’s sovereign plan.
He knew Daniel could handle the lions den.
He knew David could handle Goliath.
He knew Esther could handle Haman.
He knew Peter could handle persecution.
He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life. He created them specifically for it!
Don’t be scared for your children, but be honored that God chose YOU to parent the generation that is facing the biggest challenges of our lifetime.
Rise up to the challenge.
Raise Daniels, Davids, Esthers and Peters!
God isn’t scratching His head wondering what He’s going to do with this mess of a world.
He has an army He’s raising up to drive back the darkness and make Him known all over the earth.Don’t let your fear steal the greatness God placed in them. I know it’s hard to imagine them as anything besides our sweet little babies, and we just want to protect them from anything that could ever be hard on them, but they were born for such a time as this.” -Alex Cravens
Challenge for today: Bring a word of encouragement to a young person today.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

October 28, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a peace-filled day! I went to Aldi’s this morning and downstairs for Donut Day. This afternoon is Bible Study and Al is well now and able to lead it. PTL! Our granddaugther Lily’s xray of her hip showed she is healing well and the doctor said she could throw away her crutches.  Thank you for prayers and she is  hopeful she can play soccer in the future. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Fasting is something we hear very little of today, other than those that fast to lose weight. But fasting is not just about abstaining from eating; it can be a time of refraining from other things such as watching TV, social media, from being critical, shopping etc. It is something we do voluntarily in order to draw closer to the Lord, and it also may reveal what things control us. Of course, there are health benefits as well.
I read Catherine Marshall’s words on fasting from criticism, for she felt God telling her that she had been fault finding and judging others. When she fasted, she saw her own character flaw of seeing others through a negative lens. It blocked the work of the Spirit in her own life and she repented as it was revealed.
Moses fasted 40 days for the people of Israel who had worshiped the golden calf so that God would not destroy them. Daniel fasted and Elijah and so many others. Sometimes fasting is a way of seeking guidance or expressing grief; or it could be for seeking forgiveness or overcoming a temptation.
But fasting is not to be done for show; it is not to get puffed up, but rather to be done in secret, that we become conformed more to Christ. Jesus said in Matt. 6:16-18, “And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly, I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” 
When fasting we may become aware of attachments we have or things that have gotten out of balance in our lives. Maybe we have become so over committed with church activities that that we neglect our families or our own time with the Lord. Anything that holds us back from the Lord, needs to go.              
Let us ask the Him how we can include fasting in our lives.
Challenge for today: Fast from one thing that is keeping you from walking closer to the Lord.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

 

October 27, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying this day! Mine started out in a surprising way as we didn’t have any internet until about an hour ago. PTL it is fixed and back on. I went to exercise class this morning and shortly we have craft time here.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Let us never lose hope, no matter what! Discouragement is the opposite of faith and the enemy tries his best to whisper words that will cause us to feel hopeless and discouraged. He wants to get our focus off the Lord and to fill our minds with all the terrible things that could possibly happen. And if we are already in a hard situation, he will tell us it is going to last forever and therefore hopeless. But that is not so!
More than ever today we need hope and the expectancy that good will happen. As followers of the Lord, we have reason to hope because it is based on a person, not our circumstances.
Just a few minutes ago ( 4 a.m.) as I started up my computer, I discovered there is no internet. Really it was working fine when I went to bed last night! But rather than stew about it (for the enemy knows my frustrations over computer problems), I went to my documents to write this; later it can go into my draft when the internet is running again. Just a minor problem.
But there are hard situations we all go through when we have to wait, and we must guard against losing hope. Instead, we can use it as a time to reflect on His promises. I just read in Psalm 119:147 (God’s Word), “I got up before dawn, and I cried out for help. My hope is based on your word.” As we read the Word, it can teach us and encourage us and give us a new way of seeing things. Maybe we struggle to find hope for a loved one to come to the Lord, or for a child to get healed, and so we wait. Just think of David and how long he had to wait. He was anointed King when he was 16 but didn’t become king until he was 30. But he says in Psalm 27:14, “Wait with hope for the Lord. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Yes, wait with hope for the Lord.”  Would we have given up hope if we had to wait that long? God has so much to teach us in our waiting times if our hearts are open.
I love what Paul writes to the Christians in Romans 15:13, “May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in Him. Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Let us not be discouraged but keep hoping, keep believing, and never give up.
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord for faith to live in hope, no matter how long you wait.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

 

October 26, 2021

 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
We miss so much in life when we are full of words and race against the clock with activities. We rush from one thing to another and don’t leave spaces in our day to dial down and be quiet. I was reading what Paul Tournier, a Christian Doctor and counselor, had to say about the importance of silence and meditation. Silence is very important but not an end in itself. It is only a means to come closer to the Lord. In quietness we put ourselves in position to hear God speak but then we wait. Tournier often listened for a whole hour and practiced this spiritual discipline faithfully; there were times he found it difficult and felt he heard nothing. When he was interviewed, he shared how he waits in silence for God to stimulate his thoughts and to renew him. He often asked God to see people and their problems from God’s point of view, not his. During this time of silence, his mind was often flooded with things that needed to be done. But if he hung in there, thoughts might come of something God was asking him to do or to discover his underlying motive.
He said that intellectualism can be a hindrance and we must become like little children and to listen to God’s thoughts. He also cautioned others about imposing their thoughts on others and telling them what God’s will is for them. We cannot know what God’s will is for someone else! They must make their own discoveries. I get uncomfortable when I hear someone say, “Thus says the Lord, you are to quit your job and do such and such etc…” It is important that we hear for ourselves.
Once Tournier was contemplating giving up medicine and to become an evangelist but his wife was not in agreement. He spent months praying about it and listening and it resulted in him not doing either/or but a third way of integrating the psychological with the spiritual. He had patiently waited for God to guide him. God’s way is not always the same as our way, but better than ours.
So let us wait in silence on the Lord daily as it says in Psalm 40, “I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry…and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.”
Let us not rush but quietly and patiently wait in silence to hear Him.
Challenge for today: Spend some time during your day to just quietly listen to the Lord.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

October 25, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you had a great weekend. Al has a cough and cold so we had church at home yesterday; he is feeling some better now and we are thankful. Such times helps us remember to be grateful for our health and to pray for those who are suffering and live in chronic pain. Today I made egg dishes and food prep. studied, and went to my exercise class. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
How well do we know ourselves and how willing are we to learn more about what lies buried within our hearts?  It would be great if we were always flowing in the transformation process, and becoming more of who God created us to be. But we must admit we are not totally aware of how we need to change and are often blind to our faults. When we ask the Lord to remake us more like Him, we may be surprised at the people He uses to help us see what things need to change in our lives. We then have to be honest with ourselves to know if we are really open to change. 
 I read of how Francis Fenelon was a mentor and guide to a person asking for spiritual direction. He told him that God often uses someone who confronts us with the wrong they see in our lives and how we respond shows if we are serious about letting Him work in our lives. If we are deeply offended, then we know God has touched a sore spot and we need humility to admit that we are not all put together and need His help to fix what is wrong. It shows we are not dead in that area of our life. We don’t need to resist and protest that the person was harsh and insensitive, but rather thankfulness for what has been exposed.  We need to admit our failures and trust that He will cut out of our life what we have been hanging onto. Perhaps someone has spread rumors about us, and utter lies and we have no way of correcting what has been said. We can get upset and angry or we can realize that what God is after is for us to surrender our reputation. If we hang on to it, we will become bitter at the words spoken against us. But if we lay our reputation before him, He will cut away that which has become an idle, and we don’t have to be busy protecting it any longer. We won’t feel pain if we are dead to self in that area. When we get all ruffled, we know we are not completely dead. 
The battle goes on throughout our life between our flesh and the spirit. As Paul said in Gal. 5:16-17a (The Message).” My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feel the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.” He exhorts them to be led by the Spirit and not to be dominated by our flesh nature.  God will give us grace to surrender our flesh and to live in freedom of the Spirit.
Challenge for today: The next time you feel offended, seek to know what isn’t dead within and surrender it.  
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy

October 23, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying the weekend. I worked at church all morning as we are having Teen Challenge choir coming tomorrow and then feeding them and their families and our own congregation.Emoji Now I am busy in my own kitchen baking  chicken and making soup etc. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
I’m sure we’ve all been around bitter people and it’s not uplifting to sit in their negative atmosphere that seems to fill the space around them. But all of us are challenged in our own lives when people do hurtful things to us or say untruths about us, and how we respond. We have a choice whether we ruminate over it and grow bitter, or whether we are able to let it go and move forward.
Even at weddings, I love to hear a couple say they have found their soul friend and they pledge their lives to love one another until death due them part; but I also wonder how long it will be before their soul friend irritates them and they get hurt and angry. We all will have conflicts and how we deal with them is so important.
Early in our marriage, Al and I had times when we were rather silent with each other; you know, those times of hurt or anger. We didn’t have shouting matches but we tried to carry on life without addressing each other and giving the silent treatment. Gradually, we resolved the issues but if left undone, it could turn into bitterness and resentments. Through the years we have found it is best to admit our failures, ask forgiveness for our part in it, and pray together as we resume life together again.
Paul says to the church in Ephesians 4:31-32 (God’s Word), “Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing, and hatred. Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ.”
We may not feel like we harbor bitterness but what if we act cold towards another and secretly wish to get even with him. What about hoping they experience pain the same way they have caused us pain. Or maybe every time we think of what they have done to us our own joy disappears. Those are signs that let us know we need to forgive.
No matter what is done to us, or who is most at fault, let us not grow bitter but with God’s help forgive and move forward.
Challenge for today: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to any person in your life that you need to forgive, and then forgive from your heart.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy 

October 22, 2021

Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! Enjoy the beautiful colors before the snow comes! This morning I studied, did food prep and cleaned the apartment. This afternoon, I think I will put away summer clothes! Emoji 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
One day, we will all die, unless the Lord comes again first and takes us to be with Him. When we leave this earth, we leave our family and friends behind but hopefully we also leave a Godly heritage. That is far more important than land or gold and can influence generations to come.
Last Sunday our pastor gave a children’s sermon about passing on the baton as in the 4×4 meter relay race at the Olympics. He had 3 children practice running and passing the baton on to the next person in line. Of course, the race can be lost when the transfer is not smooth and sometimes the baton is even dropped! How sad that is when we think of it in the spiritual sense.
Al and I were blessed when we went to see our grandsons and heard them say their memory verses for school and saw their curriculum.  They are being taught not only at home, but in their Christian school, what it means to be a follower of the Lord. Like my cousin put on Facebook recently, “If we don’t teach our children who God is, someone else will teach them everything that isn’t.” It’s appalling to discover what is being taught in our schools and even in some churches today
We can’t leave the most important teaching up to others, but to teach and live out a life for the Lord. I saw this example in my home growing up; our day started out with family devotions around the table before going off to school. My parents had rules for us kids, but they walked out what they believed and that witness is what remains with us.
When Moses spoke to the Israelites, he told them they would be blessed in the Promise land if they loved the Lord and walked in His ways. In Deut. 30:19b-20 (ESV) he says, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days..”
Let us not drop the baton, but run with it, pass it on to our children so they can pass it on to their children and the generations to come.
Challenge for today: Pray for your family and use opportunities to share the Lord with them.
Blessings on your weekend  and prayers and love, Judy

 

 

October 21, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a great day. I woke up to a beautiful full moon shining in my window! This morning I made cherry cheesecake  and porkchops with apples. Also went to Aldi’s and downstairs for Donut day. Emoji This afternoon is Bible Study here at the apartments. There are as many men, and often more men than the women that come! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
No one is too broken to be beyond God’s grace to reshape and make new. He can take us, just like the potter, and form us into a new pot for the Lord’s use. We should never give up on others or ourselves but believe that God can take are marred lives and brokenness of our past and shape us into something very beautiful. But we have to repent of the things that keep us from God and be willing to  yield to Him, letting His hand remove those things. God told the prophet Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house and he saw how the clay pot that the potter worked on was spoiled but that he reworked it into another vessel. God said in Jeremiah18:5 (ESV), “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done?”
We have a choice if we will be willing to lay aside our stubbornness, our pride and ego, and be willing to be reshaped on the Potter’s wheel. If we yield to His hand, we become like spiritual clay that the Lord will shape perfectly for the very purposes He has for our lives.
We must remember our role as we are not the potter! We are simply ordinary clay without rights to choose what shape we are designed for. It is whatever pleases the potter and we stay on the wheel as long as He chooses. I’m sure we all have had times when the wheel seems to be going fast, and we want to get off and be in control again. But we need to trust the Potter that He knows what He is doing and it is in His timing, that He will take us off the wheel.
Let us see this whole process as a time of opportunity to grow and to be prepared for how He wants our clay pot to be of service for Him.
Challenge for today: Don’t resist the Potter’s hand but let Him shape you into the beautiful pot He has designed.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

 

October 20, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a good day full of sunshine, even though outwardly it’s suppose to rain here soon. This morning I made Al’s favorite cookies while he was at his men’s group. I did other food prep and went to exercise class; this afternoon is Crafts and then tonight is Bible Study. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Perhaps we all have times when we pray the Lord’s prayer in haste and after the “Amen” realize we have not been focused on what we were praying. But if we slow down and pray the words meaningfully, our hearts will be drawn closer to the Lord. What a powerful prayer it is that Jesus taught His disciples when they asked the simple question, “teach us to pray.” Jesus could have given a whole series of talks on prayer but he simply prays a prayer that teaches them and all of us how to pray. 
 Richard Foster shares some reflective thoughts that Simone Weil wrote about the Lord’s prayer, as she experienced hard times under the Nazi occupation of her French homeland. For her it must have been most difficult to pray forgiveness of her debtors after all she saw and experienced.
Simone reminds us that God is our Father and all we have and are comes from Him. We belong to Him and don’t have to search for Him for He searches for us. His name is holy and holiness itself, and we can’t increase or diminish it but only acknowledge it.
When we pray that His kingdom, we are really asking our souls be completely filled with the Holy Spirit, as we invite Him to quench our spiritual longing.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven is really saying that everything that has happened is in conformity with God’s will and also all that will happen in the future. We do this not because everything has been good in our eyes but God has permitted it and He is good. Then we put aside all other desires for the sake of our greater desire for eternal life.
When we pray Give us this day our daily bread, we acknowledge that Jesus is our bread of life and we must consent to let Him enter in. He will not force His way and we have to daily choose, even as we ask for daily food.
Praying, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, is not always easy for we are renouncing our claim to anything owed to us or wrongs done to us; it includes all our expectations and rights, but also asking Him to wipe out the evil in us.
When we pray lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil we are humbly admitting that we need His help so that we do not yield to the temptations before us. We ask for deliverance at such times when we are weak.
Let us often pray this powerful prayer that Jesus taught us with meaning and sincerity. I often sing it to Him when I am alone in the car.
Challenge for today: Pause as you pray after each petition of the Lord’s prayer and listen for His response.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy
« Older posts

© 2022 Canaan's Rest

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑