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 169)

Auguest 15, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you had a wonderful weekend! We enjoyed yesterday at our son-in-law’s church and celebration of his ordination, and later picnic, swimming, sauna and tubing with family. I made cookies this morning and went to my exercise class.
 I just got word that my friend from childhood, Helen, died early this morning. Please pray for her husband Jim,who is a pastor, and his family. She was loved by so many! 
Devotions from Judy’s  heart
“Whisper a prayer in the morning, whisper a prayer at noon, whisper a prayer in the evening, to keep your heart in tune.” That is a chorus I sang as a young girl and was encouraged to tell God my needs. The second verse goes, “God answers prayer in the morning, God answers prayer at noon, God answers prayer in the evening, to keep your heart in tune.” Prayer is so important in the life of Christians and we are reminded to pray without ceasing, Prayer is powerful as it says in James 5:16(NRSV), “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” We might ask then, why aren’t my prayers always answered?
  Jesus hears us when we pray but the answers come in many ways. Of course, we love when our prayers are answered immediately and we see God’s hand in it. On Saturday I had such an experience as I was concerned for my friend in Assisted Living. Each August she goes to the Art Fair that is outside and right next door to where she lives. Since she is legally blind and wheelchair bound, it is hard for her to shop. The past couple years Al and I just happened to be going through her town when the sale was on and I helped her shop for the many presents she desires to give to those working where she lives. Well, this year she just had gifts for her son’s family left to find but I couldn’t get there for the sale; I was concerned for her going up and down an incline to actually get to the sale and then trying to find gifts when she sees so little. So, I prayed and prayed that God would send help to her in some way, and when I went to see her yesterday, I was so astonished at how God answered. Just as she was about ready to go down the incline for the sale, one of the vendors asked if she needed help. He was a total stranger and had his own booth to watch but saw she was in need. He not only helped her down the slope but took her all over for the sale and found the perfect gift for her son’s family. Instead of individual gifts, the big gift that took all her money, was for the whole family. Afterwards the kind man helped her up the incline and took her all the way back to Assisted Living. I could hardly believe the specific answer to prayer and she and I spent time in prayer yesterday and thanked the Lord.
  As we know God doesn’t always answer yes for sometimes what we ask for would not be good for us. There are times we are to wait, and we need patience for the time is not right yet. But one thing we do know He hears our prayers and will answer according to His perfect will.
   Challenge for today: Give the Lord a need you have and thank Him that He hears and the answer is on its way.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy

August 13, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying the weekend! This morning I cleaned our apartment, met in the library with a friend, and did food prep for our picnic at the lake tomorrow after church. We look forward to having family time together.  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
The Lord wants to be an intricate part of our lives and not just on the periphery. When we belong to Him, He wants all of us and to walk in harmony with His will for us. The closer we walk with Him and obey, the more we will be attuned to His voice and have an expectancy for what we will encounter in our day.  Life becomes exciting and full and we will have moments when we just know it is the Lord and He uses whoever He chooses to meet needs in our lives and to bless us.
  Last Sunday on our way to church, I reminded Al that he needed to get someone to trade Sundays for serving donuts and coffee after our church service. He was assigned to serve this Sunday but we planned to go the church where our son-in-law is pastor; plus they would be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Leif’s ordination and we didn’t want to miss. But just as we got in the door of our church, a member came towards Al and motioned for him to go aside as he had a favor he wanted to ask him. Of course, you know what it was! He wanted to trade Sundays with Al as he couldn’t fulfill his assignment either. So, they both went to the kitchen and fixed the calendar so each of them could do what they needed to do.
   The next day, I was talking with a friend in our apt complex and God chose her to meet a need I had for another friend who I often visit in Assisted living. My friend here no longer had any use of what she had ordered on Amazon and it was the answer to the need of my other friend. I’m sure as you go over your day, you might find several instances where you know the Lord’s hand was evident and realize He is concerned even about the smallest things in your life.
   Like professor James Smith said, “The Christian faith is not primarily about belief and practices; it is primarily about what kind of people Christians become.” Is it our desire to draw closer to the Lord that He increases in our lives and we decrease?  Smith goes on to say there is a deep longing in our souls to be wanted, loved, and connected to God for our true self is hidden in the Lord. As it says in Col. 3:3(God’s Word), “You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”  The Holy Spirit wants to make Jesus so real to us that we feel loved and see His hand throughout our day and hear even His whispers, letting us know how loved we are.
  Challenge for today: Ask the Holy Spirit to shape and form you more like Jesus and that He is most important in your life.  
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

August 12, 2022

Dear Ones,
   Happy Weekend to you! It rained all morning and everything looks so fresh. I’m sure those at the lake are disappointed and hoping it will clear up soon. This morning I did food prep and made stroganoff and egg dishes etc.  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   Do we value the presence of the Lord above everything else? That was a question that Juliet Canha asked in her book and maybe we need to ask ourselves. Do we really practice the presence of the Lord throughout our day?
   I have always been impressed by the Brother Lawrence, a monk, who worked in the kitchen but talked to the Lord all through his day. He prayed short prayers and focused on the Lord even as he washed pots and pans etc. I want to live that way, more and more, and just share my day communing with the Lord. Too often I am thinking of what comes next and not being present in the moment to enjoy whatever He brings into my day.
   Recently our friend David, who we walk on the trail with each day, wrote a poem of how he has discovered peace of mind as he seeks to live in the present with the Lord. His wife has Alzheimer’s and he writes that he doesn’t want to be disturbed by his circumstances but to observe the unfolding of life as God intended. He goes on to say that we need to make space for peace to begin and silence to surface which requires us to be present at the moment.
   We can all have deep inner peace knowing the Lord is with us in everything that touches our lives. David said that the past couple years of his journey he has had to face significant headwinds but the Lord has held him closer and given him peace as He turns his headwinds into tailwinds! I love that picture of how those difficult things that we face, can become the very things that spur us on and make us stronger. Think of how many more miles our cars can go on a gallon of gas when we have a tailwind! 
    Like King David said in Psalm 16:11 that it is in His presence that we experience fullness of joy. Let us walk closely with the Lord daily and experience His peace as we become more aware of His presence.
Challenge for today: Talk to the Lord as you go through your day and thank Him that He is right there with you.  
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

August 11, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful day. Thankful for the gorgeous days for Mark’s family at the cabin. This morning I made Oh Henry bars and had Donut Day here. This afternoon we have Bible Study and tonight the Women’s Bible Study.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Let’s not waste away our lives but let them count for the Lord and leave a mark behind for those who come after us. We are all on a spiritual journey and we are to honor the Lord in how we live that one day He will say to us, “Well done!”
   All who know Him are called to be a salt and light in our dark world. We are to be His witnesses and to point others to Him. It’s important to live by His word and lead by example. That means standing in truth with integrity and being a mouth piece for Him. It’s not about us, for it is all about relying on Him and letting Him use us. In fact, when we follow Him closely, others may make fun of us, and speak evil of us, but they did the same when Jesus walked this earth, for they didn’t want their deeds of darkness to be exposed.
   But we are called to be His witnesses and to do deeds of kindness; the Lord takes notice of, even a cup of cold water given in His name. That is something to remember when we bring a meal to someone who is sick, or help find work for one whose job has been eliminated. Mother Teresa was one that expressed her love for the Lord in acts of mercy. She said, “Little things with great love impact God more than big things with little love.”  Are we doing acts of kindness because of our love for the Lord, or for others to see and make mention of it?
   I think of a couple we know who don’t toot their horns but volunteer when needs come to their attention. It could be teaching VBS and S.S., ushering, helping clean up trees by the church after a storm, fixing things for those who are housebound, serving in the kitchen and always quick to make coffee etc. They don’t make a big splash of what they are doing so others will see, but God notices even the littlest things. 
   As Jesus said in Matt. 10:42 (Amplified), “And whoever gives to one of these little ones (these who are humble in rank or influence) even a cup of cold water to drink because he is my disciple, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.”
  Challenge for today: Do a small deed of kindness today with much love.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

  

August 10, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a great day. This morning I made bars and went to Aldi’s and to my exercise class. Today is Al’s birthday and he  preached this morning and has Bible Study tonight. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  When we know the Lord, there is always more…He has more love to give us than we can possibly receive, more promises from His word that we can ever claim, more wisdom than we can put to practice etc. He is infinite while we are finite and we will never run out of all that He has waiting for us. Our hearts need to be open and receptive and ready for all that He has.
  Yesterday the Lord certainly put the icing on the cake for Al’s special day! Al and I went to Duluth to celebrate his birthday a day early. The weather was perfect as it was sunny and warm when we arrived at 9 am and walked the waterfront of Lake Superior. (No need for even a jacket) We browsed in the many shops, and chose a Mexican restaurant for lunch where we had a good conversation with a lovely waitress who we encouraged as she is preparing to be a RN. Then off to Barnes and Noble where Al had time to browse some more and actually spent some time reading his book while I shopped at the mall for his gift. On the way home we were remarking what a wonderful time we had when all of a sudden, while going through Crosby, Al’s eyes spotted a small Bible Bookstore on Main Street called Restoration; he quickly parked the car and in we went with just enough time to shop before closing time. He was amazed at all the books, even some used ones and free ones. Al found a book by an author he likes and we got some gifts for others, and encouraged and prayed for the owner. When we left, I thought, Lord you certainly know what will make Al happy on his birthday and the timing was perfect.
  When we got home there was a message on our answering machine to meet a friend here in our library and she had a gift waiting for me too. It seems God always has more to give.
  But more important than the tangible gifts are the gifts of His love and His mercy and grace. They never, ever, run out and there is always more to cover us when we mess up. As Paul said in II Cor. 9:8 (Message), “God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.” He goes on to write of God’s extravagance with us for He always has more so we can not only praise Him, but also that we can share with others.
  Challenge for today: Spend some time thanking the Lord for His generosity with you and pass on to with others. 
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

 

August 9, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope  you wake to a glorious day. You are getting this early today as we are going to Duluth to spend some time by the water front and I’m quite sure a trip to Barnes and Noble and other shopping. It is Al’s birthday tomorrow and we are celebrating today since he will be doing a service tomorrow at Assisted Living. We also did some celebrating with the couple we walk with yesterday!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Jesus is to be our first love and we are not to give priority to other things before Him. If that is the desire of our hearts, we will want to live in awareness of His presence each day, pray, read the Word, and seek to serve him and others. And when His love is our priority, it will help us when we face difficult situations and enable us to respond in love to others.
   Every day we get tested in our love for other people and especially those that differ from us and seem to irritate us. Anger may surge between us and it blocks His love from being expressed. But what do we do with our anger?
   I am reading Michael Casey’s take on that, and he warns us not to go all the way with anger. When someone does something hurtful to us, we may want to reciprocate and inflict pain on them but it is best to recognize the feeling, and build a wall around that impulse until we have calmed down. Then we can deal with it and determine if we have over reacted or if we feel like a victim as old memories are dredged up.
   But we are not to prolong our anger and store it up, or it becomes like cancer. It eats away at us and even surfaces when we are in our prayer times. If we choose to rehearse what they did to us over and over again, we become resentful and robbed of our peace. Some can remember even minor things done to them 30 years ago. We must make the choice to forgive and put the memory away. That begins in our will and is not always easy.  Sometimes we may also need to give them breathing room for a while.
  Casey says that whether we are the giver of the hurt or the receiver of someone else’s anger, we should resolve to do our best to restore the relationship. We need to be humble and accept our part and to ask forgiveness of the other, not give the silent treatment or a storm of our anger. It doesn’t matter who is mostly wrong but only that we own our part and ask forgiveness. Jesus gives us the command in Matthew 5:44, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” That’s right, we actually pray for them and then leave it with the Lord as to how to settle things. If there is no love, then there is a blockage in us and we are failing to put the Lord first in our lives. He wants us to love all people for He is love.
  Challenge for today: Be aware when you become selective with His love and exclude others, and seek instead to love all.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

August 8, 2022

Dear Ones
Hope you had a wonderful weekend. We enjoyed having Mark’s family here and now they are enjoying time at the Silver Chateau! This morning I did food prep and made a casserole and went to my exercise class. We are meeting our walking friends this afternoon. Tomorrow we plan to go to Duluth, as Al wants to celebrate his birthday a day early, since he is preaching on his birthday.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   Sometimes it pays to wait! It’s hard to be patient but there are rewards if we learn endurance and wait in trust that the Lord has things under His control. Sometimes we need to just be still and quiet our souls to become aware of what God is saying or teaching us in times of waiting.
  Recently Al and I went to Culvers one hot afternoon for ice cream. There were a lot of young people working and after we gave our order and were given an order number. we waited for our waffle cones filled with red raspberry frozen custard. Al and I conversed for a while and after about 20 minutes we asked one of the young workers to check on our order. Nothing happened and we waited some more. An older worker came by and we told her we still hadn’t gotten our cones and she asked if we had ordered a meal. No just cones. She said a blue order number was given us which meant we ordered a meal; Since we had not ordered that, our frozen custard would never have made it to our table as the order went to the cook; it rather needed to be a white order number, so she corrected the mistake of the young man who took our order. In no time at all after that we got our cones, but not only that, she gave us a pint of red raspberry custard to take home with us because of our wait. Was the wait worth it? You bet! 
   There are times in our lives that we can’t figure out what the holdup is as we pray and wait and wait some more. It could be that the Lord wants to straighten some things out in our own lives and it is a wakeup call. Just like when we finally asked a seasoned worker, she was able to tell us right away what the problem was. God puts others in our lives, mentors and pastors etc., that can help us when we feel stuck and so we can move on.
   But let us not get impatient or anxious in our waiting times, but seek to slow down our minds and remove distractions and focus on the Lord. David said in Psalm 37:7 (ESV), “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” 
Challenge for today: Be open to the Holy Spirit to teach you in the waiting times and keep your focus on the Lord.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy
  

August 6, 2022

Dear Ones,
  Hope you are enjoying the weekend. We woke to rain today and we hope it will clear as Mark’s family from North Carolina is coming  here for lunch and to see our place and go to the Silver Chateau, which has been radically changed since the storm nearly demolished it a few years ago. Can’t wait to see famiily!!!!!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   A question we might ask ourselves each day is: Have we grown lax in pursuing the Lord?
  Jesus wants us to live in closeness to Him and be teachable and to listen for His voice. He tells us to be on guard against the enemy who will throw lies at us to keep us off balance and to trip us up. He may do this subtly by telling us we are worthless, that God won’t love us if we mess up, or that He can’t forgive us for something from our past. But if we place those whispers against scripture, we will know for certain that those are lies.
   Recently I wore a white capris to our monthly Birthday party here at Northern Living. The thought ran through my mind that I hope I wouldn’t spill on them but since it was not choc cake this month, I should be fine. But I was not fine. While hurrying to put on another big pot of coffee, I took the hot grounds out and some dripped right down my capris. I didn’t see it at first as it was congested by the counter, but someone pointed out that I had coffee drips all down my pants. Nothing I could do then and they all wondered, as I did, if my capris were ruined. Later as I followed directions for stain removal that I found online, I also wondered if it was fruitless but kept on in faith. Much to my surprise the spots all came out and it was like my capris were brand new again. I was left feeling so grateful and praised the Lord.
   To me it was a visual picture of the enemy telling lies that we have done something so horrible that we are ruined for life and that there is no fix. But of course, that is not true. The Lord knows we are going to mess up plenty but He has given us the way to be forgiven and made new. We are to confess our sins and He is faithful and will forgive us and cleanse us. As it says in Isaiah 1:18 (Amplified), “Though your sins are like scarlet they shall be white as snow; thought they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.” Just like my white capris, we are restored and made new, as if we had never sinned.
   Let us walk close to the Lord so we may hear His voice of mercy and grace, and give no heed to the enemy’s lies
   Challenge for today: Pursue the Lord and ask for discernment to recognize the lies of the enemy.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

 

August 5, 2022

Dear Ones,
Happy Weekend! Hope you have time for some rest and renewal. This morning I made some s.f. cinnamon raisen bread and cleaned the apartment. This afternoon I have an idea that we will be going to Culver’s for ice cream! EmojiTomorrow morning our son’s family from North Carolina is coming and we can hardly wait.  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   If we are honest with ourselves, we probably all realize that there are things in our lives that need to go…get cut away! They may have been okay when we were baby Christians but now the Lord is seeking to mature us. The Holy Spirit will show us, in His timing, what we may not have been able to see before.
  Recently we were with a friend who had just had cataract surgery the day before. He looked different that day as he no longer needed glasses. But he said that everything seemed so bright that he at times had to wear sunglasses in the house. That was a change from prior times of having to click on more lights when he spent time reading. Because he underwent surgery, he had a different outlook. I’m quite sure he now saw more clearly our wrinkles and imperfections, as well as his own, since he had sharper sight that he lacked before.
   That’s how it is when the Holy Spirit touches our hearts and shows us our need to have sinful things removed from our lives. When we agree and give permission, the Great Physician removes those sinful reactions, prideful attitudes, etc. out of us, so they no longer hold any power over us. It results that we see things in a new way, and truth has such clarity that it is like a bright light.
   In this day when everything around us is getting darker, the Lord is purifying His Bride. Paul says in Eph. 5:27 (KJV), “That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Since He is coming for a bride without spot and wrinkle, that means we all need to undergo the transformation process. Just as our friend, was willing to have the surgery, are we willing to let go of anything that stands between us and God?
  Let us be quick to agree with the Spirit of truth when He shines His light in those hidden areas of our hearts, and let Him do the necessary surgery.
  Challenge for today: Allow the Holy Spirit free reign to expose those things that need to come into the light and remove them.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

 

August 4, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying your day. This morning I went downstairs for donuts, made parfaits and took a friend to the Dollar store. This afternoon we have Bible Study and a walk and then a birthday celebration.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   It’s what is inside that counts not what is simply visible to our eyes! Our spirit within us is most important for it is through the Spirit that we are connect with the Lord, much like a branch is attached to the vine. 
   We love the couple we walk the trail with each day, but Vicky is gradually declining since she has Alzheimer’s. She was a wonderful Doctor but can no longer practice and is not able to carry on conversations. But she has a beautiful soul and continues to exude love with a radiant smile. Now it is hard to say good bye to our loved ones when they die, but it is also very difficult to lose them gradually as in the case of Alzheimer’s. Tomorrow is Vicky’s 67th birthday but today we are going to have a simple celebration in our courtyard with chocolate parfaits and chocolate chip cookies on a stick with coffee.
   While shopping one day I came upon a figurine of a tall lovely woman dressed in blue and looking very regal.  I was impressed to buy it as I thought of Vicky’s beautiful blue eyes, and her sweet smile.  It was symbolic to me of what Vicky once was outwardly as dignified and queenly with a warm smile. We are to always remember her that way even on the days in the future when she may not be able to remember her name or can no longer dress herself. The true person seems hidden but she is there deep inside where only a few will find her.
   I outwardly lost my mom the same way but I kept going back in my heart and mind to who she really was. We would visit her each week and pray for her and remember the person we loved was still there inside.    
  Some of us may be dealing with loved ones who are sick and not able to function as they use to. May we see the real person inside of them just as Jesus does and give them the love and respect and honor that they are so worthy of. Paul said in Rom 5:5, “For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” Let us receive His self-giving love so that we can freely love others for who they are.
   Challenge for today: Show love in a tangible way to someone who others may overlook.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

 

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