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: April 2023 (Page 1 of 3)

Neon Deion

I am old enough to remember “Neon Deion” Sanders from his days as one of the most dynamic and entertaining players in the NFL. He was all about himself, his abilities, and his fame. He could out-talk and out-strut most anyone and then go play with the best in football. But after his NFL playing days, he made a commitment to the Lord. This became evident in how he conducted himself as a college football coach.  Recently he was hired as the new football coach for the University of Colorado. One of his first moves was to put his squad on notice. 

“One thing I don’t condone is disrespect to a woman,” he told his new team, which was assembled in a theater on the Boulder campus. Standing before a line of female students, the new coach was blunt with his team.  “So when you pass by these beautiful young women, I don’t know if they grace you to call them by their name or their title,” he told them. “You find out. Be courteous, be gracious, and be polite.”

“If there’s any dysfunction, obstruction with your girlfriend, fiancée, or whoever, with any abuse, that’s it, it’s over,” Sanders told the team. “Don’t call me, don’t have your momma call me, don’t call Rick (Colorado’s Athletic Director). It’s a wrap.  You understand that?  [We’re] gonna respect our women wholeheartedly.”  It’s inevitable that Deion Sanders’ standards and policies will be put to the test.  But the coach once said, “Whenever you make a promise, you have a responsibility to that promise.”

I admire the coach for what he started to institute as he began his coaching tenure at Colorado.  I hope that he can be a “father” figure to his players.  It will be quite a task to corral and shepherd hormonally charged young men, who live in a sensually charged culture, with 24-hour access to pornography, and with young college woman who want to date a football player. 

Most of all I admire “Neon-Deion” for being willing to swim against the stream of contemporary culture.  When it comes to sex, we have Paul’s understanding of how we lose touch with reality.  “They’re lost touch not only with God but with reality itself.  They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion” (Eph. 4: 18-19 – Message). 

I can almost hear the coach talking with his team of young males, “Listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words.  Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her.  Don’t wander down her wayward path. For she has been the ruin of many; numerous men have been her victims. Her house is the road to the grave.  Her bedroom is the den of death” (Prov. 7:24-27).  These are strong and direct words that need to be told to young men with a “tiger in their tank.” 

For all the men reading this blog, this comes as a reminder: 1) Admit you have a “tiger in your tank.” Don’t fool yourself and those near you.  2) Admit you need God to cleanse your soul, and to give you a deep desire to know Him.  3) Set an example as a man who has eyes only for his wife.  Beware of the “roaming eye.” 

Paul gives us this advice: “Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.  Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God” (I Thess. 4:3-5 – Message).  Find a brother to talk with about your tiger.


April 29, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying the weekend. We will be heading out to Remer this morning as Al has the funeral for a friend who was in our Remer church. Al also did his wife’s funeral not that long ago and now they together with the Lord. 
We leave early Monday morning for North Carolina to see our son’s family and would appreciate prayers for safety and health. We are so excited to go and I’m sure our grandsons have grown alot since we last saw them.  
 Devotions from Judy’ s heart
  Are we enjoying the Lord and waiting for the big day when we will be ushered into glory? All of us need to  live with a vision of eternity and let go of the earthly ties that bind us to this world. We are told in I John 2:15-17 (Message), “Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.”  We are in this world for such a short time when we think of eternity, and if we get so wrapped up in the world we will miss out on the joy of the  love of our Father.
  Our Bible study group here at Northern Lakes is made up people that are in their 60’s to all the way up to one man who is 94! Those who are in the upper age, especially seem to live more in the light of eternity and to enjoy each day. Most have found that the world doesn’t satisfy, and the hope of heaven seems more close and real. Titles don’t matter, but rather belonging to the Lord and looking forward to what is next to come. Another translation for I John says that the world is passing away but the person who does what God wants lives forever.
  We need to guard our hearts from letting the world and all it’s fleshly desires take over. It can affect our attitudes, our actions, our desires and we miss out on all that the Lord has for us. Let us not be earth bound but heaven bound and remember Jesus’ prayer before He left this earth that he said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
Challenge for today: Let go of those things that distract you from the Lord.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

April 28, 2023

Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! Hope you have a time to get refreshed. Today is Birthday Day here at Northern Lakes so Al and I will be going to Costco when it opens to get the cake. I hope to get the apt. cleaned and soup made and some packing done too. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
    If we are honest, we all long for deep relationships where we feel unconditionally loved and understood. Yet within each of us there will always be a certain sense of loneliness when we realize that no one else is exactly like us, or will fully understand us for we are one of a kind. I am reading a book called True Companions by Kelly Flanagan who is a clinical Psychologist, and he writes how we were created with loneliness and in many ways, we are to befriend that sense for it is part of our humanity and helps us to desire to connect. In fact, it is unhuman to be unlonely for then we would have no need for companionship with others.
    But it does not matter if we have numerous friends, there is still a lone place in each of us that is unknowable to others. Flanagan writes that even though we share 99.9% of our DNA with others we have 3 million different ways we are unique. No other person sees the world around us exactly like we do and we are in essence alone on the inside. When we befriend that loneliness, we go below the surface and become who we were meant to be. In fact, our capacity for love grows when we go to a quiet place below the surface and become present to ourselves and to the Lord. We can be real with Him and rest in the quiet of His presence. Only He can completely relate to our uniqueness for He created us. When we open ourselves to the Lord, whether others are around us or if we are isolated, we know that He is with us as our constant companion.
  I was reading from Psalm 89 today and verses 15-17 (God’s Word) spoke to me. “Blessed are the people who know how to praise you. They walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They find joy in your name all day long. They are joyful in your righteousness because you are the glory of their strength.” In those times we are alone, we are not really alone, for they can be the richest times; for the Lord is our constant companion and our joy and strength is in Him who knows us in completeness.
Challenge for today: Spend some alone time with the Lord and share your heart with Him.  
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy


April 27, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you will have a joy-filled day! It is very foggy out my window today and can hardly see the trees and service road. I am doing food prep and right now the house is full of bacon aroma. Al went to Men’s group and later will lead Bible Study. It’s Donut day too!! 
Devotions from Judy’s hear
   How do we wake up each morning? Do we anticipate a busy stressful day or one that is full of joy for all the Lord has waiting for us? I read this morning from Isaiah 61:10(NKJV), “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” What caught attention was that even ahead of time in our day, we can choose to be joyful. Rather than focus on possible problems in our busy day, we can embrace the day with joy, for we know the Lord has things under His control, and we are clothed in His righteousness.
   Where we put our focus is so important. When we think negative thoughts, it is like we get wrapped in a dark cloud and we miss that sweet fellowship with the Lord. But when we wake up with anticipation of the good things the Lord has for us, our hearts are joyful and full of light. The Message translation of Isaiah 61:10a says, “I will sing for joy in God; explode in praise from deep in my soul!”
   Don’t we all want to live life fully, embracing what the Lord has for us? We have only to think of Psalm 23 what David prayed, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life..” The Lord is so gracious and good to us, and He pours out His mercy on us. If we want to live fully, let us have grateful hearts and think on what is true, honorable, gracious, good, lovely and worthy of praise. Let us not waste our time on negative, stressful thoughts that cause us to shrink back, but enter each day with anticipation and explode with joy in the Lord. 
Challenge for today: Spend a few moments just thanking the Lord and give Him your day.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy


April 26, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope your day is filled with peace and joy. It looks to be a beautiful sunny day! The house is filled with aroma as I just finished baking choc chip cookies. Soon I am going to my exercise class and then to crafts and tonight to Bible Study.
Devotions from Judy’s hart
  We are told in scripture to be watchful and to be aware for we are all in danger of backsliding in our faith if we do not stay alert spiritually. Most of the time it happens gradually and then one day we realize that we have grown cold in our love for the Lord and we feel distant. When did that happen? Not all at once but slowly we compromised, we spent less time in the Word and shortened our time listening to Him; we got spiritually sleepy.
  We are exhorted to be watchful and Paul says in I Cor. 16:13 (Message), “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.” That doesn’t sound like someone that is falling asleep spiritually.
   Recently, I had a sinus problem and gradually felt worse, especially after being outdoors with so much blowing in the air. I did my usual work but was lagging in energy as my head hurt, and I couldn’t wait to take a nap each day. But after what seemed like a long time of many days doing healthful things etc., I woke up yesterday and my sinuses didn’t hurt and I had no headache! I couldn’t believe it and felt like it was too good to be true. I told Al and all day long I kept thanking the Lord. I realized I had forgotten what it was like to feel good, and the head pain had been my new normal. But now I felt great and it was wonderful!  
  My thoughts went to our spiritual lives for we can be out of sorts with the Lord and slowly move farther away from him. It seems to happen gradually and all of a sudden, we realize we aren’t experiencing the joy of His presence any more. We go through the motions, as I did my usual work, but we lack love and passion for Him. But then when we repent and ask for His forgiveness and grace, it’s like everything changes. We are filled with joy and love and our outlook on our day changes. I think I went around the apartment smiling as I felt so good and was so grateful that my head no longer hurt.
  Let us be watchful and resolute, and as Paul warns us, be alert and not fall sleep spiritually!
Challenge for today: Note when your joy and love wane and spend some time with the Lord!

April 25, 2023


Dear Ones,
 Hope you have an exciting day! I woke up without a sinus headache and it feels wonderful as it has been almost 3 weeks. I just keep thanking the Lord. The house is full of aroma as I made Al cookies, a veggie stir fry. and sweet potatoe rounds. Soon I am going to Aldi’s!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Would we say of our life that it is routine and boring or is it rather exciting and full of adventure? Or it could be that we think it is somewhere in between. We can probably remember as children telling our parents we were bored and needed something to do and have fun. Where we live, I have also had a few adults say that they are bored in their apartments but one way they can remedy that is by socializing in our community room.
  John Michael Talbot lives much of his life in routine of the monastery or quietness of his hermitage but that doesn’t mean it is boring. Even if we are people of routine, that can in many ways give us comfortable form to rest in, so that we can then go forth and discover new things. The choice is ours. Maybe you are reading this and feel bored with your job, tired of your mate, or even sleepy much of the time, lacking direction. John Michael may say to you, It could be God is calling you to go deeper with Him or maybe He has a new ministry in store for you.
  We need to break out of boredom and not be overcome by sleepiness or try to fill our spiritual hunger with food. If we give in to boredom, we may be tempted by things that are distractions and catch us in the snare of what the world offers.
  What can we do? Sometimes we just need to get physically busy and produce something. I might bake something new or help someone in need. Other times we may study scripture or pray in a new way, like while walking in the woods and taking in the fresh wonder of creation around us. We might sing as we go about our work or sit by a lake and write our deepest thoughts. It could be we find that we discover God is leading us into a new way of serving Him..
    Let us not get apathetic or lose our zest for life in the Lord. His mercies are new every day and we can be expectant for what He has for us, if our hearts are open and we are not stuck in the quicksand of boredom. Paul said in II Cor. 5:17 (God’s Word), “Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.”
Challenge for today: Do something new today that you have not done before to express your love for God.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy


April 24, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you had a good weekend. Thank you for prayers as we had a safe trip back from KS and a wonderful time there. This is a full week and then next Monday we plan to leave for N.C. to see Mark’s family. I just made egg dishes and shortly we will leave for the Doctor appointments as we have our annual physicals this morning. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   On our trip to our son Kurt’s, I read the book by Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaugen, “Jesus Revolution”.  Al and I saw the movie first at our nearby theater and it was especially meaningful as we lived during the time of revival back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. We had a front sat to observing the hippies, the drug culture etc. and later experienced revival among the youth in the church Al was the youth pastor. Al was not a likely candidate to lead the youth in affluent Edina, MN. as he was from the north woods of Michigan with no prior youth experience. But when God moves, He often uses the most unlikely people to demonstrate His power and mercy. The youth met at our parsonage and mushroomed from a half dozen kids to over 100 in our lower level twice a week.   
  A few key signs were mentioned in Jesus Revolution book and maybe we are all hopefully looking for those signs on the horizon today as more than ever we need a Revolution. To start with God uses unlikely people and sometimes they are as surprised as others that God would use them in such a way. Their hearts burn within to share Him with others and His Word pierces hearts and brings conviction of sin. Lives are radically changed as there is renunciation of sin an outpouring of love and care for others. Joy seems to just overflow and people join together to worship, confess sins, pray together and share His love.
   Today we need such a revolution and it is happening at Asbury in Kentucky and other campuses. We must have an openness to the Holy Spirit, for if we think we are already good, we will lose our ability to receive His love and power. But when we know our need and want more of Him, He will pour out His Spirit in ways that surprise us. As the song goes, “Come, Holy Spirit, I need you/ Come, sweet Spirit, I pray/ Come in your strength and your power/ Come in your own gentle way.”
   Let us open ourselves daily to the Holy Spirit to revive our hearts and to bring healing and love, power and joy.
Challenge for today: Pray the words of the song and be open to let the Holy Spirit fill you anew.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy

Lost Boys

Author Rollo Tomassi recently discussed with Dr. Phil how an entire generation of “lost boys” (young men) are neglected and demonized for being males. Dr. Phil asked Tomassi, “What do you mean when you say media celebrates masculinity as equally acting feminine?”  Tomassi responded, “…The only time that the mainstream media will ever celebrate masculinity is when you see The Rock in a tutu… Whenever you see men behaving conventionally feminine, that’s when the media decides to celebrate them… yet when a guy is acting in a conventionally masculine way, we do not celebrate that. They find some way to demonize that.” 

Tomassi went on, saying, “We have a generation of what we call “lost boys” right now. They don’t have a father figure; they don’t have any guidance – whether it’s masculinity or much else for that matter.”  Men seem to be “sedated” by society via escapism through alcohol, pornography, and video games because their lives are miserable.  Men have a hard time asserting their identities in a society that often seems to demonize masculinity itself.”  

“Deaths of despair” are more common because “society has so few mechanisms or institutions that are looking out for the welfare of men as a distinct group.”  Tomassi adds, “We constantly harp on the fact that men… don’t have close friends, don’t have the same network that women do… and then we put the blame for their mental health back on them by saying ‘its toxic masculinity.’”  

Tomassi had an insightful observation that any male who watches football could appreciate: “If women were killing themselves at four times the rate that men are, you would have a dedicated month and the NFL would change their uniforms to pink or something else so that we would have some sort of female suicide prevention month. But we don’t see that right now, because we blame it on toxic masculinity.” 

As a male who is past 80, having worked on the integration of his masculine soul for over forty years, and who is now living as a male in a terribly confused culture, I happen to enjoy watching both pro and college football. It’s a form of relaxation. And yes, I confess that it helps me escape the real world.  Some men take football too seriously, and it almost borders on idolatry. But I try to monitor myself so it remains a pastime and doesn’t become an obsession. 

I wonder if there aren’t men who quietly resent an intrusive influence of the feminine into what has traditionally been a man’s world. The phrase “C’mon man” expresses the commitment to brotherhood.  Men (like women) love competition and teamwork within their gender.  Men (like women) work and sweat to finish strong and come out victorious. But the phrase “I love ya, man,” says even more. NFL Films shared a clip on how often that phrase is shared among pro football players. The feminine voice seems a little alien, however, adding nuances that don’t necessarily understand the masculine soul.  Masculinity may not always be wholesome, but it is not “toxic.”  Don’t demonize their brotherhood.  

Men learn to be a man from other men. What we need desperately in our culture are “male mothers”  – men who have integrated their masculine souls (Richard Rohr). They have a healthy sense of their own masculine but have also integrated the feminine. They are not threatened by strong women but confidently express a healthy masculine presence that is both tough and tender. These men know the value of Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”






























April 22, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a great weekend.  We are packing up to leave for home tomorrow and had a wonderful time celebrating Lily’s graduation. We had a scrumptious meal and games and prizes and gifts. I am sending this early as we will be leaving at 6:30 am. tomorrow and Kurt is riding with us as far as Ames, Iowa, where he is looking at a truck for Grant. Appreciate prayers for a safe trip.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   How many things do we do, maybe even subconsciously, to be noticed by others? Our ego loves to have others think that we are sacrificially serving and showing kindnesses to others and somehow it will make our lives feel more validated. That only shows our pride has gotten the better of us when we need to be praised all the time, and neglect to give the glory to God.
   When we make a show of what we do for others, we already have our reward for Jesus said in his sermon on the Mount that we are not do our deeds to be seen by men, but rather in secret for then our Father will reward us. (Matt.6:1-4)
   What do we do when others praise us for something we have done? We need to give the glory to the Lord, even though we may not say it out loud. That doesn’t mean we should shun words of affirmation but when we are humble we don’t feel the need to be praised….we feel free to just be… be whatever we need to be for others. Our well-being doesn’t depend on their affirmations to us, for we are already at peace as we experience God’s hand of blessings on us. We can also rejoice when others are honored and not have hard feelings.
   Our personhood is found in the Lord and we need to see ourselves as God sees us. We don’t need constant praise from others when we are secure in His love. We are worth a lot to God that He should give His son to die for us. How could we be more greatly loved?! The more we are dead to self, the more we are free to live for Him.  And with that in mind, we can desire to live fully for him each day of our lives, just as if it is our last day.  Like Paul said in Eph. 3:19-20, “I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.”
   Challenge for today: Live fully for the Lord and others as if it was your last day on earth.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy 


April 21, 2023

Dear Ones,
  Happy Weekend to you! Thank you for prayers as we as we made it safely to Olathe, KS through lots of rain and wind. When we got here it was still windy but sunny. We went to Lily’s game and that was such a treat for us to see her play. They lost their first game in over time. Emoji Today we are going to be celebrating her graduation early and she wanted to celebrate here at home with her favorite meal, rather than a restaurant, and then we’ll have a couple games, gifts etc. Tomorrow we head back home and will be leaving Kurt off in Iowa to pick up a truck for Grant! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  God’s time is perfect! He is never too late or too early, but exactly on the right time. Jesus didn’t go by public opinion of what time was best, but was very sensitive to His Father’s timing and was obedient in every way. When we think of Jesus’ good friends, Mary and Martha, they must have thought Jesus was a little tardy, for if he had come earlier, their brother Lazarus would not have died. But Jesus stayed longer where He was ministering to others so that more glory would go to His Father. It had been 4 days, which people considered the time that the soul had left the body, so there was not a question that Lazarus was truly dead. But when Jesus called him forth, there was no doubt in the people’s minds that Jesus had done the miraculous and raised him from the dead. So many believed as a result.
   I also read today an Old Testament example of Joshua who received specific instructions from God as to his timing when they went into battle at Ai. God told him to set an ambush and part of the fighting men to lie outside the city and stay alert for his signal to be given. Joshua and the other men would be a decoy and lure the men from Ai out of the city, pretending they were fleeing from them. But at the exact time Joshua stretched his sword towards Ai, the troops in ambush came out of hiding and went into Ai and set it on fire, just as they were instructed. The timing was perfect and the men from Ai were surrounded and killed. Timing was everything.
   Do we know what it is like to be on God’s time? Or do we just plan our own lives for what is convenient and comfortable, and maybe even what seems necessary without thought of His will. If we are on God’s time, we may have to take a detour from our present plans and go with His plan but when we do, we experience the joy of obedience.  Perhaps the bottom line is do we trust Him enough to go His way and to be on His time schedule. As the Psalmist said in Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in His Word I hope;” Let us wait for His timing and His plan and follow.
  Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to help you know His timing and for patience to wait. 
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy
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