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: July 2022 (Page 1 of 3)

July 30, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend with time to get refreshed. It is another beautiful sunny day. This morning I cleaned the apt, made egg dishes, veggie stir-fry… and shortly am going to dip yogurt covered raspberries in hot chocolate. Emoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Technology has changed us, perhaps all of us, and robs us of our time and attention. We get so distracted that we find it hard to even give space and time to feed our souls. People don’t feel more connected but rather isolated as a result of digital media. I hear young people talk about a good friend, and yet they have never met the person and had any face- to- face interaction. Even adults can be with family in a restaurant and no one is talking but everyone is on their phone and maybe texting to a casual acquaintance or gaming. This all leaves our interior life wanting and affects how we think and what we do and how we view ourselves.
   Many people who loved to read and write now surf the web instead and makes for more shallow thinking. Some have even checked into rehab for digital addiction, and gone through withdrawal. 
   If we become hooked on modern technology, we have no time or space left for our souls as we become so distracted in numerous ways. Maybe instead we need to go for a walk out in nature or read a book, or exercise self-awareness and learn to feed our souls. Instead of digital stimuli to shape what we do, we ask the Holy spirit to guide and direct us. Or we may carve out space for times of quiet and silence and make room for the Lord to direct our hearts. We also join with other believers in face-to-face fellowship and absorb biblical teaching that feeds our souls.
  Let us not give modern technology control over us, but rather be open to let the Holy Spirit direct and feed our souls. May our focus be on the Lord without distractions that rob us of a rich life.As it says in Psalm 39:7, “And now, Lord, what do I expectantly wait: My hope (my confident expectation) is in You.”
  Challenge for today: For part of the day, put your phone aside and instead listen for the Lord to speak.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

 

July 29, 2022

Dear Ones,
  Hope you are enjoying this lovely sunny day! Today is party day again for all the Birthdays here in July and we are going to get the cake from Costco when it opens; I hope to make a big pot of chicken soup between setting up. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Decisions aren’t always easy to make and we can vacillate back and forth and find ourselves getting stressed. Our soul needs to be centered in Jesus so that when decisions need to be made, we choose to do however it is that the Lord directs. We are in such a situation right now as we have invitations to  two special occasions that happen to fall on the same weekend and in different parts of the country. We have to choose one! Of course this decision is nothing compared to life altering decisions like a deciding on a life mate or medical treatment that can prolong our days etc.
  Juliet Canha, minister and counselor, writes about how important it is to not be double-minded but that our soul is centered in the Lord. James warns us in James 4:7-8 to “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” If our soul lacks a center, we are like the wave of the sea that goes back and forth.  We are vulnerable and try to do what we think others want us to do and so we waver back and forth. Rather than being dependent on God, we try to be in control of our own lives and so we find our identity in externals; we end up defining ourselves by our accomplishments, appearance and titles etc. which can be quickly lost.
  But our souls need to be centered on God with singleness of heart that our one desire is for Him.  Then it doesn’t matter if others agree with our decisions or not for our desire is only to please the Lord. He is the one to whom we will have to give account some day and it is His pleasure that we desire.
  Challenge for today: Decide this day that the Lord be the center of your life and live in dependency on Him.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

 

July 28, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful day. We had an fun time yesterday at the lake and saw some relatives and friends that we hadn’t seen for a long while. Today I made cookies as I was all out of them, and went down for donuts and this afternoon we have Bible Study here. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  I came back from working at Share and Care yesterday and told Al what an amazing fun morning I had. Both my daughter and I worked downstairs of the thrift store, opening bags full of surprises, never knowing what we will find. We could find something brand new with the price tags still on or it could be so old that it has to be discarded. Each bag Is a mystery and I love it. Most things are used but have some wear left In them. On this particular day a friend working there found a dress and said it looked just like me, and I went home with it and the cost was only $1. Another friend took me upstairs to the 3rd floor and helped me find just the item I needed for an upcoming wedding. She wanted me to try on several dresses but none of them were my size or my particular style. However, I came home with just what I needed and also a very thankful heart.
  I compared it to my spiritual life as the I go to the Word each day for the Lord to give me what I need. Sometimes it is a particular scripture that I have read before but I discover it is just what I need for the circumstances I will encounter, much like the used clothes. Other times I go to the Word and there’s a verse that jumps out and speaks to me in a brand-new way; I never thought of it quite like that before and reminds me of the new lace top with the price still on it. Sometimes the Lord has someone give me a verse that is fitting for a situation I am in, just like the blue dress…it’s perfect. Other times people may take a verse out of context to fit their preference or point of view, reminding me of the friend who thought I should try on dresses that were not my size or style. But the Lord is the One who knows exactly what we need and when we need it and will supply it according to His riches. As it says in Phil. 4:19 (God’s Word), “My God will richly fill your every need in a glorious way through Christ Jesus.”
   He tells us we don’t need to stress about what we will eat or drink or wear, for He knows and will provide.
Challenge for today: Give the Lord your needs each day and ask Him to provide in His way and in His timing for He knows!
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

     

July 27, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you awake to an amazing day! We are going to the cabin early this morning  and stopping on the way to see a friend. I plan to work a bit at Share and Care and then spend some time by the water to clean up the beach. Hope to have some hot games of scrabble with the grandsons too. Joe and Paul will be moving into their apt in Richfield so won’t see them for a while.
    Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Don’t we wish others viewed us as the Lord sees us? When we receive Jesus into our lives and ask forgiveness for all our sins and failures, He sees us as perfect, beautiful, radiant and a reflector of His glory. Can we truly believe it?
   Too often we believe what man says about us which isn’t always complimentary to say the least. Man may tell us we are a disgrace, a failure, and will never amount to anything. It’s true that we may fail at some things we try, but God sees us differently when our hearts are open to Him. We are not worthless, and any hopeless words from the enemy are not a match for God’s words of promise. We must decide whose perspective we want to believe…the negative words others may say about us or the positive, praise worthy words the God of the universe says about us.
  I was reading today from Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Always, and she writes of the Lord’s delight in us and His love for us as if we were already perfect. He rejoices with us as it says in Zephaniah 3:17 (Amplified), “The Lord your God is in your midst of you, a mighty Savior (Who saves)! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest (in silent satisfaction) and in His love He will be silent and make no mention (of past sins, or even recall them); He will exult over you with singing.”
   When we know God is for us, we don’t need to listen and fume over the negative words others may say. Even when we feel fearful in challenging situations, we can have confidence that God is cheering us on, giving us the power to do what is needed and go in His strength.
    Let us see ourselves through the lens of His love and grace, and not through the microscope of others that may have given up on us. As Sarah Young says, God sees us as we are now and as we will be in heaven. He knows where we need to change and will help us work on those things now; but He also sees us from the heavenly perspective as He loves us as if we were already perfect. That is the best news and may we celebrate His love for us and be reflectors of His glory, even as we are in the midst of being transformed.
   Challenge for today: Spend some time meditating on Zephaniah 3:17
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy          

July 26, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you wake to awareness of the Lord’s presence. The question today is have you had a time when you were suddenly aware that the Lord was so present in your circumstance and trying to teach you something? Hopefully we have all had those times and they are not forgotten. Today is Chocolate Raspberry day and baking cookies etc.; then later this afternoon Ann and Lars are coming for an early supper and we will be having the fresh peach pie for dessert!  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  How alert are we to recognize Jesus’ presence in our lives? Do we know His voice when He speaks to us in so many varied ways and are we able to see how He at work in our daily lives; or like so many, do we just chalk it up to coincidence?
   I was reading the story of the two disciples on their way to Emmaus today and how they didn’t recognize Jesus on the road. It wasn’t until Jesus broke the bread that their eyes were opened to know it was Him. Then they remembered and said to each other,” Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?”
  I have paid attention to this story all through my growing up years as I went to Bible Camp called Emmaus. It was my favorite time of the year and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. It was at that camp that I committed my life to the Lord and began a life long journey wanting to know Him more intimately.
  But do we always recognize His presence in our lives? Probably not. Sometimes we are unsure of His voice and follow the advice of others that seem to have louder voices. Or maybe we are in a difficult situation and we wonder where God is, even though He is in the midst of it and trying to teach us and get our attention.
  Maybe we are a lot like the disciples on the road who couldn’t see the obvious and failed to recognize Jesus in their grief. We might want to pray daily to see Jesus in our present circumstances and listen for His voice as we read the Word and also hear Him as He speaks through others or what we may be studying at the time. God has so many ways to let us know He is right there with us, walking on the road together.
  Challenge for the day: Enjoy Jesus’ presence in your day and listen to what He is saying to you.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

July 25, 2025

Dear Ones,
Hope you had a wonderful weekend. It’s another beautiful day and cooler so is perfect for our walks on the trail. I did food prep and made a fresh peach pie this morning and went to Aldi’s and my exercise class. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   Recently my cousin sent me a quote from St. John Paul ll that had touched her and also spoke to me. He said, “What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And without the love of Jesus, everything is useless.”
   Once we experience Christ’s love ourselves, we want to share Him with others that they may also come to know the love of the One who brings meaning to life. That may take place when having coffee with a colleague as an opening comes in the conversation, or we might share about Him with a stranger we meet. It is important not to pass up opportunities to share the most important life changing news.
   Sometimes we express our love for Him by going on short term mission trips as we did in Des Moines which resulted in several becoming fulltime missionaries. A team of adults from our present church recently returned from Alaska and one of them shared about their experience yesterday at our Sunday service. Another friend wrote that teens from her church also went on a mission to Alaska and what impressed me was that they wanted to give back to the congregation that helped made it possible. This team did the entire church service yesterday and related their experiences; I was able to watch it on online last night and was so blessed. Eight youth went and one gave the sermon, another shared about their work experience, two gave the children’s sermon, some led in the liturgy and 6 of them helped give communion. They also did a meal for the church as a thank you for praying for them and giving them financial support. I was so impressed with that response of gratitude.
    Jesus wants to use all of us, from the youngest to the oldest to share His love. There are times He even uses the voice of a little child singing Jesus Loves Me to touch the heart of someone who has never experienced God’s love. May our hearts be open and ready to share the Lord wherever we are and as Paul said in Romans 1:16 (Message), “It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts Him…”
   Challenge for today: Ask the Holy Spirit to open doors for you to share Jesus with others.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy

 

A New Pentecost

By God’s grace I have become more ecumenical as I have matured.  Early on, I learned to see beyond the institutional challenges of the Roman Catholic Church, finding and embracing the rich spiritual streams in its long history.  It all started for me when I met and enjoyed rich, deep fellowship with some Catholic Charismatics.  It continued as I became acquainted with the deep spiritual life found in such people as St. John of the Cross and Bernard of Clairvaux.  So, in this blog, I share two recent articles that could very well be addressed to any evangelical church.  

First, from Ralph Martin’s blog at Renewal Ministries.  I have followed Ralph for years, and believe he has a proven prophetic ministry.  In 1975 at a conference in Rome, he gave this prophecy: “Because I love you, I want to show you what I’m doing in the world today.  I want to prepare you for what is to come.  Days of darkness are coming on the world – days of tribulation.  I will lead you into the desert.  I will strip you of everything that you depend on now, so you depend just on me.”

God is preparing his people for the days to come.  We are to heed the warning.  Days of darkness and tribulation are coming upon us.  We will find ourselves in a spiritual desert.  What we have depended on will be removed.  Through all this the church will be purified. 

Another prophecy that has stood the test of time is from Fr. Mike Scanlan, who spoke these words back in 1980: “What I have not accomplished in my blessings and gifts, I will accomplish by my judgment and my purification.”  Today the Lord is exposing the worldliness in the church.  We are being called to repent. 

Quoting two Catholic brothers who have prophetic ministries might cause some to question my discernment – or to even cry “Heresy!”  Trust me – these are true servants of the Lord.  Their words are for the whole church.  God is allowing tribulation, darkness and pruning to take place.  God is forming a holy, purified church that will speak the truth and shine as a beacon in the days to come.  Don’t be surprised by tribulation. 

Yet another Catholic testimony is from retired Archbishop Charles J. Chaput:  “We need a new Pentecost.”  Speaking to the graduates of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, the Archbishop lamented the religious life of the church as “a malleable, vanilla kind of religion that can be used to justify almost any ugly idea or behavior that needs a moral gloss.”  He spoke of American Catholic life as “the temptation to accommodate, to compromise, to get along and fit in – and then feel good about it.”   Tolerance is placed above “genuine love, justice, and charity, because it seems so much more peaceful to manage differences that way.”

In the Archbishop’s view, the church has “abandoned who we really are. In one word – “holy” which means “other than” or “different from.”  So, his challenge is for “a church rooted in holiness [and] parishes on fire with faith.  He dares to say “we need priests who will spark a new, Pentecostal fire from every vocation and form of discipleship in the Church.”  “We need a new Pentecost,” he declared.  “Remember that.  Give your life to that.” 

Wow.  This retired archbishop is preaching like a Pentecostal preacher to Catholic seminarians.  Oh, that we would have ears to hear the passion and conviction in his words.  We do need a “new Pentecost.”  Be open to the work of his Spirit in your heart. 

 

July 23, 2022

Dear Ones,
Happy weekend! It’s a rainy day but we need the moisture. This morning I cleaned the apartment and made brownies and did food prep. This afternoon I hope to get to Kohls as I never got there yesterday; Al had other things planned, including Culver’s ice cream!Emoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   Sometimes we say trendy expressions without really thinking through what they mean and if they are entirely true. I was reading an article on Crosswalk.that Cindi McMenamen (Pastors wife, teacher and author of many books} wrote about trendy phrases that may mislead more than help others.
   Take the expression of “Make space for God,” In our busy lives, that sounds good at first that we carve out a place for him but does God want just a corner or small space in our lives?  Or is the Lord wanting the whole of our lives? He gave us life and breath and died for us, and He wants all of us, not just a small space in our lives.
   Take the expression, “Lean into the Lord”, and it gives us the impression of a half of an embrace. If we lean into someone, the other person does the hugging or puts his arm around us. Just leaning means we are not fully committed and the Lord wants us to jump in all the way. In Jeremiah 29:13(ESV), “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” The Lord wants all of us with full dependency on Him.
   Another expression we hear all the time is, “Love yourself!”. It is true we need to love ourselves but when Jesus gives the command to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, He said we are to love others as much as ourselves. We have no trouble thinking of ourselves first, as seen even in small children who want their own way, but He wants us to first let Him love us and then we will have love for ourselves and others.
   The other phrase that Cindi mentions is “Let’s dive deeper into scripture.” Often the preacher or speaker just means he is looking deeper into another translation or commentary, and that leaves us often still wading in shallow water. When we go deeper, we are willing to go beyond the basics and are challenged to wrestle with deeper truths. It may mean changing our thinking of what we learned as children but we are open to the meat that the Lord has waiting for us.
   Let us keep our hearts open to the Lord, giving Him full control of our lives, and hunger to go deeper with Him!
Challenge for today: Give the Lord your all and surrender any parts of your life that you have held back.
Blessings on  your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

 

July 22, 2022

Dear Ones,
    Happy weekend to you! Hope you can enjoy some leisure time. This morning I made cinnamon raisen bread and went to the Dollar store. This afternoon I hope to get to Kohl’s before our walk. It is another beautiful sunny day. Emoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
    What do we do when our hearts are so full of gratitude and thanks? Hopefully we pause and give praise to the One who made it all possible! I’m sure all of us have given a gift to family members and friends and never received an acknowledgment that they got it, much less a thank you. (Likely we are guilty ourselves) But we are left wondering if we should keep giving when there is no sign of appreciation. If we are honest, how often do we pray for something and when the answer comes, we are filled with joy but neglect to first give thanks to the Lord who has brought all things together for the answer.
   Recently, I have been noticing how many specific prayers have been answered and often in record time. One day when I went to visit a friend in Assisted Living, she shared several special needs she had and we held hands and prayed over them. The very next time I came to see her, I asked her about those requests; as she shared, we realized that the Lord had responded to every single need and answered above what we imagined. We were filled with awe and thanks.
   Lately, I personally have prayed more specifically over situations and I am amazed by His answers that has left me with the awareness that it is truly all the Lord. Sometimes it is going into a situation where it is a matter of timing; when I leave I am aware that the Lord orchestrated it all so everything was accomplished in the exact amount of time. I praise Him with my heart full of thanksgiving! Other times I am not even aware of a need, and yet the answer comes before He lets me know the need.
    I want to encourage all of us to pray about specific things throughout our day If you are a doctor or nurse, pray before seeing each patient; if you are in business and making a presentation, ask God to speak boldly and clearly through you; or if you are a mom with an impossible looking schedule, ask Him to take charge and direct you. Praying also with our children teaches them that God is concerned about everything in our lives and then remember to give thanks when the answers come. One of our loved ones often e-mails early in the morning with requests for prayers and later we hear how the Lord answered and praise comes from all of us back to the Lord.
   As it says in I Thess. 5:18 (NKJV), “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Challenge for today: Pray for something specific that is on your heart and be sure to give thanks when the answer arrives.
May you have a wonderful weekend and prayers and love, Judy

  

July 21, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful day. This morning I made more cookies on as stick for Sunday morning coffee time and went downstairs for donuts. I went for a much needed trip to Aldi’s and this afternoon we have Bible here.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  There it popped up again and this time by Chelsey De Matteis on Crosswalk. I don’t know how many times as we walk the Paul Bunyan with David and Vickie, that we have all shared about the verse from John 3:30, “He must increase and we must decrease.” Although it was the words of John the Baptist, it words we are called to live by every day.
   We probably can’t say we jump up and down with joy when we are in the process of decreasing; maybe we were passed over for a job that we feel we were more qualified for, or our efforts were ignored while someone else gets the credit. You can add many scenarios but it still may sting at the time. That is a sign we are not dead in that area of dying to self and we need to surrender it. That is not easy to decrease and be humbled but it is the Jesus way.
  Chelsey writes that because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we are offered the gift of grace and mercy and an eternity with Him. But we are also called to pick up our cross and follow Him and that involves being emptied of self so there is more room for the Lord; as we decrease in our lives, we soak up His goodness and love and all the many blessings He has for us. He calls us to love Him more than anyone or anything and to point others to Him. Like the song goes:
        “I have been crucified with Christ
         It is no longer I who lives
         But Christ lives in me
         I have a second chance at life
         My future’s open wide
         I know Christ lives in me.”
  Perhaps we need reminders often of decreasing so that we can experience increase in the Lord as we await an eternity with Him.
  Challenge for today: Thank the Lord when you are decreasing and open yourself up to all that He wants to fill you with.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

 

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