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: March 2023 (Page 1 of 4)

March 31, 2023

Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! The snow has stopped and we didn’t get very much. PTL!  I am cleaning and doing food prep as we have company coming this afternoon. I will see if I can send a picture to go with this devotional.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Each day we make many decisions based on if we are going to go God’s way or our own way. I was reading from Deut. 30:19-20 (Message) this morning where Moses exhorted the people to love God and follow His way and they would be blessed and have life and prosperity. If they choose not to, he said it meant death and adversity, but the choice was theirs. His words, “Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to Him, firmly embracing Him. Oh yes, He is life itself, a long life settled on the soil that God, your God, promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
    Our choices not only affect us but also affect our children and grandchildren for scripture also records that whole families were saved at one time. Like the jailer who was guarding the prisoners when Paul and others did not try to escape when the earthquake released the doors of all the prison cells; it resulted in the jailer and his whole household being saved.
   At our weekly Bible study, requests come up for prayers of concern for our children and grandchildren to know the Lord. That is our great desire, and since we are in the 4th quarter of our life, we want to be fruitful, and to share Him with our loved ones. Al mentioned how we all are a container and in it we all have all that we learned in life, our walk with the Lord etc. Some of our containers are rather full and some are getting ready to have beautiful fruit. The picture came to my mind of a lovely plant I recently received from a friend. When he gave it to me, there were no flowers on it yet, but we could see it was getting ready to produce. The next day I had a miniature yellow daffodil that sprang up, and a day or two later I had some purple flowers. Each day I seem to have more and more flowers. The bulbs that were buried long ago are now bursting forth and the result is so beautiful.
   Let us remember that we may not see the fruit of what the Lord has put in our containers right now, but after our kids leave home and even after we are gone, fruit may appear. May we share Him with our loved ones, pray for them, and trust that they will also come to know Him.
Challenge for today: Keep choosing the Lord every day and let Him fill your container and pray it will bear fruit in the lives of others.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

March 30, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you will have a day full of surprises! Al is off to Men’s group at church already and today is Donut day here so I usually have a donut waiting for him when he returns. I am going to bake as we have company tomorrow and this afternoon is Bible Study. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword that can pierce our hearts and point us in the right direction. (Hebrew 4:12) Sometimes it seems like just a word or a verse of scripture stands out to us in a new way and today the whole chapter of Psalm 37 spoke to me. I love the Psalms and David wrote this Psalm when he was old; he tells us to trust in the Lord and be in step with Him and to do good things. From his own experience he says God will act on our behalf and give us the desires of our heart.
  Our part is to open up to the Lord and not to hold anything back, but rather let Him do what needs to be done. David also goes on to say that we need to quiet down before the Lord and let go of our preoccupations and patiently wait for Him… but we are to hope as we wait. That takes faith and confidence in the Lord that He will act in our behalf and in His timing.
    Verse 23 especially stood out to me, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” He is close to us and knows everything about us, even the fine details. That means we need to be flexible and yield to the Lord, even though we may have made plans. He wants to lead us by His Spirit and that can mean that we let go of our plans and move forward on the path He has chosen for us to walk. It means living in the present moment and surrendering to Him for He sees the whole picture and every detail of our life.
  David goes on to tell us to open up before God, keep nothing back; He’ll do whatever needs to be done. He also says we will experience happiness and even if we fall, we will not be down for long as God has a grip on our hand. What a comforting Psalm for it shows us how to live a spacious, free life of victory. Our part is to simply yield to Him and let Him direct every detail of our lives.
Challenge for today: Sit with a Psalm and ask the Lord to speak to your heart.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

March 29, 2023

ear Ones,
Hope your day is full of sunshine! I just finished making cookies for our grandkids and soon going to my exercise class. This afternoon is craft time and then soup supper and Lenten service. Easter is coming soon! A full rich day!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  We are a culture that wants things now and become impatient when we have to wait. We want immediate attention and things done quickly. But that is not always God’s way for often the work He is doing in us now is teaching and preparing us for something in the far-off future.
   Think of Joseph who was a favored child and had hard lessons to learn, who spent time in a pit, later in prison, and then as a prison guard; finally, he was made a ruler of Egypt and second only to Pharaoh after his preparation time. Then there was David who must have learned so much as a shepherd boy alone with his sheep and protecting them with his life against bears and lions. That also must have come in handy when he faced Goliath or was running from Saul.
   We all can think back on our own lives and thank the Lord for things He took us through to prepare us for what He had next for us. When I was a nanny for my aunt’s family, we often had company and I worked side by side with my aunt in preparation. I followed her directions as we worked quickly together and she also had me plan games for the parties. So much of what I learned from her was a help when I became a pastor’s wife and had to entertain and plan parties for the council, youth etc. When we were in the midst of a challenging time in one of our churches, I may have wondered what I was to gain from it; but it was perfect preparation for helping those pastors and wives who came to Canaan’s Rest for healing.
   It’s important we pay attention to what God is teaching us through the circumstances in our lives now and not try to rush through. In fact, we can even be thankful while going through those times; and like Paul said to the Christians in Philippi, may it be also said of us, “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.: (Phil. 1:6).
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to teach you through the circumstances in your life right now.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy


March 28, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a day of comforting peace. I chose today to include a prayer for those who are experiencing so much loss and pain. May we all remember them in our prayers. 
This morning I have 2 Mexican pies made and going to Aldi’s soon. I think Ann will be stopping by for lunch and to pick up our old dresser. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  I’m sure most all of you are aware of the terrible tragedy that took place at the Christian school in Nashville yesterday where 3 students and 3 teachers were killed. How do grade-schoolers and teachers and families deal with all the pain and sorrow that has touched their hearts? I read a prayer this morning by writer and editor, G.Conner Salter, as perhaps it is one that will help us to know how to pray for them and for ourselves when we suffer loss.
  “Lord, a terrible tragedy has struck, and we are again left with pain. Please be with the children at Covenant School. Bring them comfort after this trauma. Give them understanding counselors and kind parents who can ease their pain. Give them the courage to talk about their feelings, so they can grieve and heal.
  We ask that you be with the parents and extended families of the students. So often, in these cases, we either try not to talk about what happened because it seems negative or unspiritual to talk about pain. We are also prone to say careless things to our family members in difficult times. We tell each other to “get over it” when we need to talk about it. We remember past traumas, and that leads us to say or do careless things. Help them to find a better way. Help the parents to see that grief is part of healing and to let their children talk about their pain rather than bottling it up in the name of being positive. Help their extended families to know when it’s right to talk, what to say, and when it’s best to just hold someone and let them cry.
  We ask that you would be with the teachers and administrators at Covenant School. Give them peace and guide them as they learn to support each other. Show them how to be gracious with each other as they respond in different ways to the trauma. Help them to be honest about their fear and seek the help they need in the months ahead. Guide the school as a whole as it decides what direction to take in the coming months—in the discussions with students, with parents, with the media, in all these areas help them to be wise and caring.
  Lord, we are forced each time this happens to remember that this is not a safe world and that you did not tell us it was. You told us that you designed this world to be good, but sin has broken it. Creation itself groans as it craves your return, where all things will be made new, redeemed. As we struggle to understand this pain, remind us that our hope is in something beyond the present. You said, “the kingdom of God is here” when you came as Jesus, but we are still waiting for the kingdom’s fulfillment. As we live in the “already-not-yet” phase, where we know the kingdom is coming but so much is still broken, remind us to hold on to the hope of a better future. Show us how that better future can aid us to provide healing, find joy, and rebuild what’s been broken.”
Challenge for today: Pray this prayer for those affected by this tragedy and for others who are going through loss at this time.
Blessings on  your day and prayers and love, Judy


Defining “Woman”

Cambridge Dictionary has added a new definition for the word “woman,” indicating that the word refers to “an adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth.”  Merriam-Webster also changed the definition of female to include anyone who has “a gender identity that is the opposite of male.”  In other words, biological males are now females if they think they are.  

Fox News commented on the added definition, tweeting, “1984 wasn’t supposed to be a how-to manual.”  This referred to George Orwell’s concept of “Newspeak” where “… government-created language redefines words to control the thoughts and speech of those under the totalitarian rule of Big Brother and The Party.”  Per Fox, the woke movement is seeking to control language, thoughts, and speech.  This is what is happening with the word woman.  

A spokesperson for Cambridge Press noted, “[they] carefully studied usage patterns of the word woman and concluded that this definition is one that learners of English should be aware of to support their understanding of how the language is used.”

In a discussion of the word “woman” in World magazine, Carl Trueman makes a distinction between prescriptive and descriptive meanings for words in dictionaries.  Prescriptive meanings help “to stabilize a word’s meaning by giving formal definitions.”  A descriptive meaning reflects “the way a word is used in various contexts.” Speaking descriptively, Trueman notes that one can describe “a woman trapped in the wrong body…[which] simply reflects the utter confusion about biological sex and gender.”

Beyond this, however, in giving a prescriptive meaning, the dictionary “not only describes conventional usage of the term.  It also prescribes such usage.”  In other words, the dictionary is changing the very meaning of the word “woman.”  Trueman warns: “Words are becoming means of maintaining the power… tools by which the powerful control interpretation.”

Our needed response, notes Trueman, “is to challenge the cultural power structures of which the dictionary is one manifestation.  It’s a power-grab, but neither pure nor simple… What is happening is not a merely semantic game or the demand that we deny reality.  It is the assertion of power.” These words should be a wake-up call, giving every God-fearing man a reason to simply stand confidently in his God-given maleness, while celebrating his opposite in a biological woman. Do this and you defy the power-grab.

I agree with Trueman when he advocates, “For it is in our speech, in our speaking, that the first line of resistance to this power-grab can be mounted.”  We resist this power-grab by simply living out who we were created to be since the beginning of creation.  Nothing has changed. “This is the history of the descendants of Adam.  When God created people, he made them in the likeness of God.  He created them male and female, and he blessed them and called them “human” (Gen. 5:1 NLT).

As mature men in Christ, we can simply stand confidently in our masculinity and our manhood.  “Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth” (Eph. 4:14 NLT).  We are not to live by the definitions of contemporary culture. “Live no longer as the Gentiles [ungodly] do, for they are hopelessly confused” (Eph. 4:17 NLT).  For “they don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways” (Eph. 4:19 NLT). 

Don’t forget!  We are in a spiritual battle (Eph. 6:10-12). 


March 27, 2023

Dear Ones,
  Hope you had a great weekend. We enjoyed our time with our dear friend who was here on retreat. This morning I have been doing food prep and soon going to my exercise class. I need to work out after all we ate over the weekend!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Haven’t we often told the Lord at certain times that we need to hear His voice clearly? Like we really want to know if we are to take a particular position and make a move, or to know if this is the one we are to spend our life with etc.? We may pray and tell the Lord to open the door wide if we are to go through or close it tight so we know for certain that this is not His will for us. But there are times when it seems gray when it is not clear to us and so we wait.
   I read what author, Peyton Garland, had to say about the signs God may use to close doors for our own well-being and to protect us from those things that would hurt us. Rather than trying to break down the door, we need to get in touch with reasons He may have for closing it. First of all, we would know He has shut the door because we are praying for something that violates scripture. He would not tell us to do something against His will and principles. One gal in a prayer group I was in, announced to us one day that God told her to divorce her husband, although no grounds for the divorce. Perhaps she was tired of him or had another guy in mind, but not what God was saying. 
   Peyton says another way to know if the door is shut if all those who we respect like our pastor, mentor or a trusted spiritual friend, give us the same wisdom that we need to let go of our pursuit. God may be telling us through them that this door is closed and we need to move on. If all of them agree and discern this is a no, then we need to listen.
   Another factor could be a gnawing feeling we have. Things may look good and it would be easy to just act on it, but something holds us back. Sometimes I get an intuitive sense that I shouldn’t do something, although I don’t know why. Then later I find that God had something far better for me and I am glad I didn’t go through the previous door. Let us not ignore those gut feelings we have or we may miss God’s best.
   Sometimes we know the door is closed as we lack sleep. Our bodies are tired but our spirit is awake as God is trying to get through to us, bringing conviction. It could be we need to repent and surrender our will for His will and come to know His best. When I look back on my life, I can see how the Lord saved me out of situations that would not have been good for me.
  Lastly, when doors are shut, we need to recall God’s loving nature and character. In our hearts we know that He has more for us and He will open another door of opportunity that is His best. Like the words of the song go, “Have thine own way Lord/ Have thine own way/ Thou art the potter/ I am the clay/ Mold me and make me/ after Thy will/ While I am waiting/ yielded and still.”
Challenge for today: Sing or say the words of the song and tell the Lord you want His best in your life
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy



March 25, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a restful weekend. The sun is shining and looks to be a beautiful day. We have a retreatant here and spent time together sharing last night and this morning he will have some time alone with the Lord. I just delivered breakfast outside his door. We want to leave the day up to however the Holy Spirit leads. 
Devotions from Judy’s  heart
  Whose perspective do we choose in our lives…our own limited perspective or looking from God’s point of view? If we are honest, too often we live life from our small range of vision and fail to view it from His limitless perspective. Wow! Do we ever miss out!
  As I write this devotion, I find it necessary to put on my reading glasses or I would waste time doing a lot of squinting and putting my face close up to my computer screen. Much easier to just put on my glasses and see how clear everything becomes and do my work in half the time. Likewise, when we are bent over in worry, we need to reach for our spiritual glasses that give us the right perspective on things, God’s s perspective. 
   When we go through difficult times and wonder if things will always be this same way, we get stressed and lack hope as are bowed over in worry. But that is because we are looking from our own limited view and not from God’s all expansive panoramic one. The Lord sees and He knows exactly what is happening behind the scenes and may have designed this time in our lives as a character-building experience. As Paul said in Romans 5: 3b-4 (God’s Word); “We know that suffering produces endurance, endurance creates character and character creates confidence.”  The Lord may be using our present circumstance to exercise our faith muscles for He knows it will help in the days ahead.
   Our perspective can also be changed when we rehearse past victories in our lives and remember how the Lord took us through similar trials. I just read today how after the Children of Israel crossed the Jordon River God told them to take 12 stones from the river and erect them on the land where they would spend the night. God told them to do this so they would never forget the miracles He performed for them. We need to recount God’s miracles in our lives as well, so we will have peace in our present trials, knowing God will come through for us.
  Because we are so limited and tend to see things from our small perspective, we need to put on our glasses of faith and trust and wear them all the time!
Challenge for today: When getting anxious and worried, stop and put on your spiritual glasses and go in peace.
Blessing on your weekend and prayers and love,, Judy



March 24, 2023

Dear Ones,
Happy Weekend! Take time to enjoy it! Today is Birthday Party day here and we go to pick up the cake at Costco when it opens. We have a retreatant coming today for the weekend and we look forward to time with him. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   We are told many times in scripture to seek the Lord and to do it continually. Today I read the song that was sung before the ark found in I Chron. 16:11 (ESV), “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles and the judgments He uttered.” We are to search for the Lord daily and remember the amazing things He has done and is doing. He loves when we keep our spiritual eyes open for Him and our antennas up to be alert for signs of His presence.
   We can probably remember times when we are out and about and someone loudly calls our name and says, “Oh _____, so wonderful to see you!”  We are recognized and shown love and appreciation and it gives us joy. I suspect the Lord is pleased when we recognize Him in our day and see His hand at work in our life and circumstances. It must give Him joy also. But it could mean that we have to turn away from things that distract us from knowing Him more intimately. We can get too busy doing things that fill our time and occupy us but have no lasting value.
   During this Lenten season, it is especially good to set apart some time to be still and listen to Him. In solitude, we may hear Him speak to our hearts things that we are deaf to when we are overcome with busyness. He continues to speak to us but are we silent enough and eager to listen to Him. Our Spirit is strengthened in such times alone with the Lord.
   When we read scripture, it should be with the intention of drawing closer to the Lord and hearing Him speak, not just to accumulate knowledge. It is like a deep friendship rather than just a simple acquaintance with Him. I have saved all of Al’s love letters and I remember how I anticipated mail time when we were separated. May we have an open spirit and an anticipation for what the Lord has for us each day! He has so much to give us and as it says in I Peter 5:7b,” For He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
  Challenge for today: Be awake to the presence of God in your life and take some time to quietly listen to His words of love.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy


March 23, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you have an amazing day! Al is going to Men’s Group and then we have friends coming over for coffee this morning that just became grandparents for the first time. I can’t wait to see pictures of their new grandson! Kurt and friends shoveled their way down to the cabin and sauna yesterday and hope to enjoy a few days of fun. We have Bible study this afternoon and a party tomorrow! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  It’s one thing to know a lot of about the Lord and to quote scriptures off the top of our hat, but it’s quite another thing to know Him and to trust the Lord and to have faith in Him. We may go to many Bible studies and gain a lot of knowledge and agree that it is truth, but that isn’t the same as knowing the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
   The Pharisees knew the scriptures well and practiced all the finer points of the laws, but so many missed believing and having faith in Jesus. We can also say we believe and yet we don’t put our trust in the Lord in our daily lives: we live as if we were orphans on our own who have to fend for ourselves. 
  Sometimes we may need to remind ourselves that we are not in charge but our life is in God’s hands, who is worthy of our trust. The Lord is faithful, He is for us, and He is trustworthy! We can rest in Him and know that He loves us and will never ever fail us. 
    I find it helpful to have reminders of His presence so that I will focus on His faithfulness and strength and not my own. I wear a gold ring that was a gift to me, and has the image of Jesus with arms stretched out on the cross. I don’t take it off and it is a reminder to me that I can go to the Lord with everything for He paid the price for me. It is also good to have our homes reflect our faith as we can have pictures on our walls or sayings that cause us to pause and think of the Lord. We might ask ourselves if a stranger came to our home, would they have a clue that we are a Christian family and that Jesus is Lord over our home and family?
  There are so many things in our culture today that vie for our attention. Let us not forget the Lord for as He says in Isaiah 49:16, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” He does not forget us! Let us come to Him in faith and trust Him with all of our hearts.
Challenge for today: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of your life that you are not trusting the Lord and to give you faith to believe.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

March 22, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you have a wonderful day! We got more snow and our son Kurt from KS is on his way to the cabin and stopping in here this afternoon. He will have to dig his way down to the cabin!  This morning I am very busy in the kitchen making things for company coming. I am going to Aldi’s and Exercise class this morning and tonight  is soup supper and Al sharing at the Lenten service. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   God’s good gifts come to us in many kinds of wrappings. We never know just when He will surprise us but whenever His gifts reach us, we need to acknowledge that He is the generous giver and we are the grateful receiver. I like that He varies how He showers blessings as we don’t know when or how He will meet a specific need; but I’m quite sure He is hopeful we will recognize that it is from Him.
   Maybe we have all have shared with the Lord of a need we have and then He prompts someone to be the answer. They send us a gift that is the exact amount of what we needed to pay a bill or they volunteer to do something we are not able to do etc., and we absolutely know it is Him. Other times it is more hidden and we may not find out for some time that He orchestrated it.
  I had such an experience this week as I have looked for a white dresser for over 4 years to go in our bedroom. Some dressers I looked at were too wide or tall or too expensive but I have kept my eye out. We have Salvage Sisters store just inside the mini mall where I go exercise. It is the first store so I pass it twice a week. Unless an employee opens it a few minutes early, I rarely get to shop there as it isn’t open yet. But the times I have checked and a white dresser comes in, it is sold before I can get Al there to look at it with me. But this week the gal opened the door early just as I was buzzing to my class, and I asked her my usual question, “Do you have a white dresser yet?” She surprisingly said yes, they had one that had just came in; and this time it was the perfect size, fancier than I had anticipated and matches my white desk. I loved it! I hoped no one would buy it before Al came with me to look it over. We both knew, this is it! The one! We had it home in no time and our old one that is dark wood will go to our grandsons. I thanked the Lord for if the gal had not opened the store early and I had seen her at the time, I don’t think it would be in our bedroom now. This is just a small thing compared to life changing needs we may have, but big or small gifts are from Him and no matter how they are wrapped they deserve a big thank you to the Lord. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.”
Challenge for today: Give a need that you have to the Lord and watch and wait for His provision and give thanks.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy


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