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.

Category: Sister Judy (Page 1 of 152)

January 20, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are keeping nice and warm. It was -17 this morning and a cold trip to Aldi’s. Glad I can stay in the rest of the day. I have been busy in my kitchen and enjoyed Donut day and this afternoon we have Bible Study here.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
The Lord is always calling us back to Himself, to draw us closer to Him. Perhaps we all find times we seem to wander off on our own, forgetting He is most important and Number One. When we veer off doing our own thing, we sometimes get an abrupt awakening as something happens that jolts us, like sickness or loss of something important to us. We may also run ahead of the Lord and jump into things that He has not fully prepared us for; so, life becomes more difficult than needs to be.
As I was having my devotions, I read how God used Hosea to call the people of Israel back to God, telling them God wanted their steadfast love not sacrifices. He wants our hearts as well, not our busy activity that leaves no time to actually spend moments with Him.
It reminds me of the dad who is always working but leaves no time to actually spend with his family. But the truth is that his family desires his presence more than his gifts. It is much like the little girl who saved up her money to buy some of her daddy’s time. She knew how much he made an hour so saved up enough for a few minutes of his time. When she broke her piggy bank and gave him the money she had, it was a wake-up call for him; he wept and hugged her, as he realized his daughter really craved daddy time with him and he resolved to do so in the future.
Joel also says in Joel 2:12, “Yet even now, declares the Lord, “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’” We can give money, service and gifts to the Lord but He is really after our hearts. Joel goes on to say that God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
Let us not delay any longer but return fully to Him.
Challenge for today: Spend quiet time alone with the Lord and share your heart with Him.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

January 19, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are keeping warm on this cold day! Burrr! This morning I did food prep and went to my exercise class. This afternoon is crafts, a walk and then Bible Study. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
 We’ve all had supernatural interventions in our lives as God is at work, even when we don’t always recognize His hand. When I asked about miracles in your life I was blessed as many  responded and I will share just a few with you that you may also give Him glory. 
My cousin’s wife wrote:
When I was 16 years old, me and my three older siblings (ages 17, 18, and 19) were driving home (to Illinois) from Naples Florida, in early January, after a visit with my grandparents. While still in a southern state, we came upon snowy roads that were very slick. Our car slid off the road and almost fell into a deep ravine, barely hanging on. People stopped to help us right away, even going to find a tow truck to pull us to safety. While waiting for the tow, the bystanders decided it would be safer for us to get out of the car if we could without causing it to fall. The siblings in the front seat had to climb over to the back to be able to get out. We each made it out, the tow truck came pulling the car to safety, no damage to the car and we were on our way again in no time…angels watching over us!  We told our parents about the incident when we arrived home and my mother told us she had felt an urgent need to pray for us at the exact time we were hanging over the ravine.
A good friend from our previous church in Des Moines wrote:
“I’m reminded of a miraculous healing in 1983! Shortly after Josh was born, my hands broke out in wart like sores! It was very unsightly and painful. I would try to hide my hands. I went to the dermatologist and they would try to burn them off, which made them more red and painful. Having a newborn was a challenge as you wash your hands frequently, which irritated them even more! The several weeks of treatment was not working! One Sunday at Redeemer your Husband asked if anyone wanted prayer to come to the altar! I went forward and Denise prayed for my hands to be healed! Praise God, shortly after that prayer, they were completely healed and I did not have to return for further treatment and it has never reoccurred! All Glory to God!!!”
Another friend from our church in Brunswick wrote:
“The first thing that comes to my mind on miracles is of course our little Gibby! Mel and Sam were told that there was very little chance he would survive when she went into labor at just 20 weeks but he didn’t arrive until 34 weeks and Mel was on bedrest the whole time. The Dr couldn’t believe It as he was so close to popping out. We always call him our little miracle boy!! He is now almost 12 years old!!😀”
Another friend wrote, “Our grandson Will born less than 2 lbs. and told his bowels did not connect and now he is 15 years old 6 ft. tall and the picture of strength and health. Drs. told me 7 years ago i would need kidney dialysis in 5 years and the numbers are better today than they were then.”  
There are so many more stories of God’s intervention for He answers the prayers of all who call upon Him. As it says in Deut. 10:21 (Message), “He’s your praise! He’s your God! He did all these tremendous, these staggering things that you saw with your own eyes.”
Challenge for today: Thank the Lord for a miracle in your life and share with another when the opportunity comes. 
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

January 18, 2022

Dear Ones,
 My question today is: When have you seen an example of forgiveness at great cost to the one wounded? 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
A verse from the Bible that is not often quoted and may seem puzzling to some is found in Phil 1:29 (NRSV), “For He has graciously granted to you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but also suffering for Him as well.” Suffering is not something we are exempt from simply because we are a believer. In fact, we are to consider it a privilege and told to stand firm and fearless at such times. In fact, we can be strengthened in our faith if we keep our eyes on the Lord. God may use what we are going through to serve as an example for others and can bring glory to Him. Paul could speak from experience for he endured much suffering for the Lord and forgave those who gave him much grief, imprisoned him, beat him etc.

Today I also read a devotional that just gave me goosebumps as I read it, for it was such an example of forgiveness in intense suffering. Ann Spangler writes of what happened in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania at the Amish school. You probably all remember the incident when Charles Roberts IV killed 5 young students and himself. He left a suicide note expressing his anger at God because his infant daughter died: it would seem he wanted to take it out on young school girls. He let all the boys go but had the girls ages 6 to 13 lie face down on the floor as he tied their ankles with wire and plastic ties. One girl asked to be shot first, hoping he would spare the other ones but he went on to shoot 5 of them before himself. There was blood splattered on all desks and bullet holes and glass everywhere.  Think of the sorrow of those parents who kissed their children good by that morning, never realizing they would not see them alive again. But instead of becoming bitter or seeking vengeance they joined as a community and showed grace and forgiveness. One mom even attended the shooter’s funeral and reached out to his family. She also sent meals and flowers to his widow. It’s hard to even fathom such courage and grace and yet only the Lord can give that.

What have we experienced that was devasting and tempted us to get bitter or desired to get even? May this example of this loving community cause us to remember to forgive at all cost because Jesus paid the price for us.
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to give you a forgiving heart no matter what the cost. 
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy
 

January 17, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  I went to my exercise class this morning and also got a dessert made and egg dishes.
This afternoon Ann is going to give a class on Essential oils on zoom which comes at a good time to help with our immunity.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
How open and welcoming are we to children, especially in our churches. Do we see them as special and important in God’s sight or do we think of them as a distraction, especially during the Sunday morning worship?
Pastor Mark Roberts, from Fuller Seminary writes about welcoming the children to come to the Lord, and how Jesus had concern for them. But Jesus’ disciples must have thought children were bothersome and tried to shoo them away when Jesus was speaking to the crowds. In those days, it was a custom for mothers to bring their children to a rabbi for a blessing, and I imagine that is what happened that day. Jesus had a strong response to his disciples and said in no uncertain terms in Luke 18:15 (NRSV), “Let the children come to me and do not stop the for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.” The Message translation says, “Let these children alone. Don’t get between the and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy.” He goes on to say, “Mark this: Unless you accept Gods’ kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”
If children are important to God’s kingdom, then we should be welcoming to them as well. Maybe we have small children and we take a deep breath on Sunday mornings and hope they behave in church so we don’t receive disgusted looks. But our churches should be the most welcoming place where children feel accepted and loved and cherished.  Sometimes we admit that we are more like the disciples that want to hush them up and to put them aside.
If you are a parent, the most important thing is helping them to know the Lord personally and modeling for them the life of His love. It helps to take them to S.S. and to let them get together with Christian friends, go on mission trips etc.
Even when our kids are grown, we can encourage parents, teach S.S., help with youth functions, greet them at church and show an interest in them, mentor them, be supportive of youth leaders etc.
We can also learn a lot by watching children for they express faith even at a very young age and they can ask us heart searching questions.
One of our friends from a church where Al was interim, is retirement age, but very active with the youth, She gives children sermons, has over 50 kids on Wednesdays for Release Time, does Christmas programs, has the youth help at Nursing homes etc. She feels so blessed that God has given her this ministry.
Let us not forget the children but as Jesus, let us welcome them and learn from them.
Challenge for today: Go out of your way at church to show a child he or she is important.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy

 

 

Januargy 15, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying the weekend. This morning I made Al’s favorite cookies and went shopping and going to do a little more this afternoon before we go for our walk. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
It is good to let others know that they are important and make a difference in our lives. No better time than when they have a birthday and to be able to celebrate that God put them on earth at this time and in this place that touches our lives.

We celebrated our daughter’s birthday yesterday with a meal, cake, gifts and balloons. I had so much joy preparing for the celebration as it is a special occasion. Growing up my birthday and my sibling’s birthdays were recognized and celebrated with a party, and we kept that tradition going with our own kids; Everyone needs to know they matter; they are important to us and life would not be the same without them. At the close of our meal. we told Ann some words that describe her that started with her initials, A, M, E, like analytical, aspiring, meditating, methodical, exciting ,exacting (she is a pharmacist) etc.  Of course, she is all of them and far more. 

Some people are very introverted but even their quiet presence makes a difference. Others may be very extroverted but even they need to be assured that life is merrier with them. We don’t want to be prideful but rather grateful for how God has individually made us and then use our gifts to bring glory to Him.
There are gifts He puts within each of us, and as we serve, those gifts come to light and we find joy in using them to bless others.
Let not the enemy tell any of us, that we don’t matter. Though God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, we are still most important to Him. We are the highest creation, and David said in Psalm 8:4-5 (ESV), “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings, and crowned him with glory and honor.” The fact is, we are important enough to God that he would love us enough to die for each of us.
Maybe today we feel alone and wonder if others really care about us, but let us remember that God our creator, loves us with an everlasting love and cherishes us always and forever!
Challenge for today: Thank the Lord that you matter to Him and ask that you make a difference with your life.  
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

January 14, 2022

Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! Hope you have some time to relax and get refreshed. Today we are having an early  birthday celebration for our daughter Ann. I hope the meal turns out good as it is done in a very hot oven, and last time i made such a meal it set off the fire alarm!! Emoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Our loving Father wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him. The closest thing we may compare it to is two lovers who have eyes only for each other and hold one another in their hearts. We were created to have fellowship with the Lord and to be intimately connected in love to the One who is love.
When we read the Word, it should not be to simply get information and learn more about the Lord, but rather to let our heart be open to love Him. It’s more than cerebral, for our hearts need to be engaged as well. When I was young gal in Nursing school, we were not allowed to get married until the last 6 months of our 3 years of training. That was a long wait for Al and me as we were in love and already knew that we were to be married. Al was a student pastor in a church near Colfax, WI and would preach on weekends and then spent the summers there. That meant very little time for us to be together, besides our studies. We didn’t have cell phones then and every long-distance call cost us money that we had very little of as students. So, in the long summer times, we would write each other every day. Now I wanted to know what Al was doing and all about his day and his work in the church etc. but if his letters were just all informational, I would have been disappointed. Instead, they were filled with expressions of love and I would read his letters over and over again. In many ways we got to know each other more deeply, as we shared what was in our hearts, rather than filling our time going places and doing things.
When we think of our relationship with the Lord, He wants to be our first love. Yes, He wants to hear about our day, but even more He wants us to love Him and draw closer to Him. He says in Deut. 6:4 (ESV), “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your might.”
One of our friends who has a sharp inquisitive mind shares how he is seeing his need to be less rational and to live more with an open heart. Deep emotions have been overflowing as he finds expression and great joy in writing poetry, which has been healing in his life.
We all need to remember to use not only our minds but express with our hearts our love for the Lord and for one another.
Challenge for today. Go for a prayer walk and just unload your heart and express love for the Lord.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

January 13, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying the day. This morning I cleaned the apartment and went to Aldi’s and downstair for coffee and donuts. This afternoon we have our Bible Study here. Tomorrow we are going to celebrate Ann’s birthday early so I am going to do some food prep.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Many of you that receive my e-mails have health problems and are waiting for healing. I hope Rebecca Barlow Jordan’s prayer will express to the Lord much of what is in your heart too.
“God, you know me so well. You created me. You know the number of hairs on my head, and you even know the thoughts conceived in my heart before I ever vocalize them. You’ve told us to come to you and ask for every need of life. You are Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals, and you have the final word on my destiny, the number of years I’ll live and serve you on earth.
I’m coming to you today as your child, longing to hear from you and asking for your divine healing. There’s so much I don’t understand about life. But I do know that with one touch, one word, you can make me whole. Please forgive me of my sins, cleanse me of my unrighteousness, and begin your healing from the inside out.
I don’t always know what your will is Lord, especially in times like now, when I desperately seek your face. I offer you no promises, no bargains, no deals to exchange for my health. I simply bow my heart before you to tell you the desire of my heart: that I want to spend as many years as I can loving you here, loving others, and wanting to become more like you. However you choose to accomplish that is up to you—and okay with me. If you use doctors to provide healing, give them wisdom to know what to do. Regardless of how you accomplish it, the healing you give is always miraculous. And you deserve all the praise.

I absolutely believe you have the power to heal. You demonstrated that on earth, and you still heal in miraculous ways today. Even when my faith is weak, you say it is enough, and my love for you is strong. And I know you already hold my heart and life in your hands. It’s up to you. If I can bring you more glory through healing, then that’s what I ask for. That’s what I desire.

But if your answer is no, or not now, I know that your grace is sufficient for me. Ultimately, I want your will to be my will. I look forward to spending an eternity with you. But Lord, if you have planned still more for me to do here on this earth, I not only need and want your physical healing, Lord, but a thorough, deep-down cleansing and strengthening—a whole-hearted renewal of all that I am. Because all that I am is yours. Use this trial to strengthen me from a “what-if” faith to a “no-matter-what” faith. And no matter what, I choose to honor you and give you glory. In Jesus’s name, Amen. “

Challenge for today: Pray this prayer, giving God glory however He answers. 

January 12, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you enjoy your day and put on LOVE! I am doing some studying and  going to my exercise class this morning. Al is doing a communion service next door this. morning.  Then there is crafts this afternoon, a walk outside, and Bible Study tonight.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Our wardrobes are important in the sense of letting others know who we really are inside, not just when we are dressed up for some special occasion. Now I am a sale hunter and love when I can get things for 90% off especially, but will at times settle for 75%;  but it is not a bargain if I don’t feel like me when I put it on. It may look sophisticated but that is not who I am. I want to go through my closet and give away those things that give the wrong message of who I am inside.
Take for example my black outfits…truthfully, when I dress in black, I look like I am going to a funeral and possibly am the deceased.  Navy blue is fine but black just washes me out. Spiritually black is a reminder to me of my sin and how important it is to get rid of it through repentance and confession.
That has to go out of my closet of my heart!
Next, I need to get rid of all those pastel colors that make me look faded out and like I need a good rest. It reminds me of shame and how I must not let shame rule. Shame says I am no good, I am bad! But it is good to have guilt over things I have done wrong as I can bring those things to the cross and ask forgiveness.  
I doubt I have anything yellow in my closet as it is not a color many people can wear. It makes me think of anxiety and getting hot and sweaty. We are told not to worry but to give all our concerns to the Lord who is more than capable of taking care of our anxious thoughts.
I also can’t wear a fiery orange color but instead a more scarlet red color. That orange reminds me of bitterness and hurts that we have been told not to hang on to. Just today I read from Eph 4:31 (NRSV), “Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice…”  But then what should we put on? After we get rid of those things that don’t befit us as His followers, it goes on to say in verse 32 to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.” We are to dress in rich red colors of love. I know of one Bishop’s wife that has only red clothes in her closet. Everything she has is red! Wouldn’t that be great if our lives were lived daily in His love and this can happen only as are in close relationship with Him who is love…. And of course, we must also get rid of our unbecoming clothes and anything that wars against love. May He Who is in us be evident in the very way we dress.
Challenge for today: Get busy getting rid of clothes that don’t befit you as a child of God.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

January 11, 2022

Devotions from Judy’s heart
How many miracles have we seen lately, those times we know it can only be the Lord? Or are we like so many skeptics that miss out on seeing God’s supernatural activity in our world, thinking miracles don’t happen today?  But they do!! I am reading a book by J.P. Moreland, a professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology. His book, “A simple Guide to Experience Miracles,” is full of faith-building credible stories of miracles that God continues to do today. It says in Psalm 145:11-12 (ESV), “They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.”
As I read stories of God answering prayers, miraculous healing, angels, power over the enemy, and near-death experiences, it increases my expectancy of what the Lord is doing in our midst. I will share a few of these experiences with you that have been documented so that we may embrace the supernatural and tell of His mighty deeds to others. I will start with a simple one told to Moreland by his doctor that showed that God is concerned with the “little things” in our lives. Ashley (doctor’s 10 year-old daughter) had two parakeets and after one of them died, her mom said that they weren’t going to get another now as she hand enough of pets. But Ashley responded by saying she was going to pray and ask God for another. The very next day while she was outside playing, her friends noticed a bird in the tree that was the same color as the one that had died. They asked around and no one had seen a parakeet around the area before. So Ashley happily brought the bird into the house on her finger and told everyone that God had answered her prayer! Some people could say this was a coincidence but not a likely one, and it certainly strengthened the daughter’s belief of God’s love for her and that He hears her prayers.
I can’t resist another miracle story. A professor, Dr. Issler, prayed each day before class for Jason who was in his doctoral studies and needed money for his tuition bill if he was to continue his schooling. Jason and his wife, along with classmates, prayed for provision for the $2117.60 bill due but were confused when no funding arrived. But the next day while Jason’s wife was cleaning her grandmother’s house, she found piles of old letters that her grandma had never sent out. She discovered there were several bank bonds made out in her name which amounted to $2,000. When the bank added the interest, it came to $2117.60, the exact amount needed for tuition. That meant Jason could stay in school and God had answered their prayers to the penny. Jason wept at the miracle God had performed.
God still works miracles today!
Challenge for today: Give attention to miracles that happen around you and give Him praise.
Blessings on your day and prayers and keep warm.  love, Judy

January 10, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you had a great weekend and kept warm.  With -13 yesterday we had less people in church. We also walked in the underground rather than outside. This morning I made choc chip cookies and a birthday cake (with 1 dozen eggs!) and going to my exercise class in a few minutes.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
 We have a loving Heavenly Father who finds so many varied ways to show just how much He cares for us. He often sends people into our lives that meet a specific concern we have, just at the exact time of our need, and we know it is Him. We may even call them an angel for our hearts are filled with so much gratitude.
My husband calls Robert our Archangel for the Lord sent him just at the time we were building our retreat house and needed the lower level finished. We didn’t have the know-how and very limited money at the time, but he came most every weekend, sometimes bringing others, and worked until it was ready for Pastors and wives and other pilgrims to come for times of retreat. He was an angel to us!
As I wrote recently, the Lord sometimes sends an actual angel from above to help us and encourage us at various times. Some of you responded with stories and I would like to share what a dear friend who is now a pastor wrote: 
“I do have an angel story. In May 1985 I was making my usual trip to the laundromat as we had no washer/dryer in our duplex! I asked the Lord to show me if there was someone to share Jesus with.  I met this kind older man and we visited and shared our mutual love for the Lord. We walked out together and he asked if I had kids and we didn’t and he asked if we hoped to and I said yes! Then he told me to put my hand over my womb and he then prayed for me. He gave me his card with his name and phone number on it and his organization he worked for. The very next month I got pregnant and Luke was born 9 months later. I decided to call the gentleman and thank him for praying for me and tell him the good news! When I called the number, they were the organization on the card but they said they have never had an employee there with that name or description!! I am convinced it was an angel!!!  Sometimes when I was teaching classes I would have special evenings where we would spend the time sharing our experiences with angels. It was always such an uplifting time of fellowship!! And so great to hear other people’s encounters!  Truly faith building!”
The Lord comes to us in so many ways, and often in the Bible angels were sent. But whatever way He shows Himself to us, let us remember the words from Zeph. 3:17 (Amplified), “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will renew you in His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” No one loves us more!
Challenge for today: Memorize Zeph.3:17 and let the words speak to your heart.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy
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