Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! It is a sunny day today and no more snow, at least for now. I just finished making egg dishes and stir fry and later this afternoon Ann may come.  At noon we are going to the funeral of a pastor’s wife who lived only two apartments down the hall from us. Her husband preceded her in going home to be with the Lord and now they are reunited. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   I think we would all admit that at times we have talked too much and often our words have gotten us in trouble. We read in scripture how our tongue needs to be bridled as it is restless and has the power of death and life. King David must have recognized how hard it is to tame our tongues as he prayed in Psalm 141:3 (SV), “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
   I recently read about sacred silence in John Michael Talbot’s book and he writes that unless we have something helpful to say, it is better to remain quiet. In fact, it is a sign of wisdom when we know when to speak and when to be silent. He shares the discipline of Abba Pambo who carried a pebble in his mouth for 3 years in order to learn the gift of silence.
   Al and I have been to monasteries where silence is practiced, and even as we ate, no words were spoken. It is quite a change from the constant noise of chatter, TV going, and phones ringing. It’s a nice change and gives time to think and ponder. Even if we aren’t speaking out loud but rather using our smartphone, we are still talking constantly to others. Studies show that today a person lasts only 30 seconds of inactivity before reaching for their phone! I think that much of it is meaningless and often the person being texted has never had a face-to-face encounter with the other.
  But even when we are not on our phones or talking to others, our own minds can be busy with constant thoughts. I find that when I take time to just sit and listen to the Lord, my thoughts can still be jumping from one thing to another. Silence is not easy and like Talbot said we need to hear the space between the notes in the music of our lives. “You have to hear not only the words but also the silence between the words to hear God’s word.” Let us have times of silence both inwardly and outwardly.
  Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to guard your words and to speak only as directed. 
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy