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 128)

April 17, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful sunny weekend! Kurt and Jeff stopped by this morning. We have been doing some packing and excited to be on our way to N.C tomorrow afternoon. We will spend the first night in the cities with good friends and then the third night we will spend at my brother’s in Indiana and hope to get to our son’s on Thursday. Appreciate prayers for a safe and healthy journey. I will e-mail as I am able. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Do we sometime feel like we are running on empty? It is often evident when we get frustrated and short tempered in responding to people around us. But just like a car can’t run on an empty gas tank, we cannot either and we need to just let the Lord fill us afresh; this is not a once and for all process, but a something needed on a continual basis. When we dial down and are shown our true condition, we know we cannot change on our own for we need the Holy Spirit to do His work in our hearts. Sometimes it is as if the Lord takes the blinders off of our eyes and lets us see our selfishness, our impure motives, our pride etc. There is no point to make excuses or blame someone else or we will remain in our present messy condition; but instead, if we agree with the Holy Spirit and let Him strip us of all that puts distance between us and the Lord, we will come into a new freedom and fullness. But that means we have to relinquish control and let Him do the work in us, His way. We have no idea how He will bring it about, but that is where trust comes in. We must believe that He has our best in mind and loves us unconditionally. God’s intention towards us is always good! Then as we obey the Holy Spirit’s promptings, we become sensitive and more aware of God’s presence. We will find that the emptiness of our heart gets filled and we begin to engage with others out of our fullness rather than our emptiness and need. Nothing else will fill us like God’s love and His love transforms us as it brings healing to all those empty places within. Like the song goes, “Fill my cup, Lord; I lift it up Lord. Come and quench this thirst of my soul. Bread of heaven, feed me ‘til I want no more. Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.” I Cor. 15:58 (Message) says, “With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation.”
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to come into those broken places and heal and fill you with His love.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

April 16, 2021

Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! The sun is shining and it seems spring is here after all. I just finished making a couple spaghetti pies and a stir fry veggie dish and cleaned the apartment. Then the news came that Gen went home to the Lord early this morning. I was awakened at 3 a.m. to pray for her and family and wondered at the time if it was her homecoming time; we rejoice that she is now with the Lord and no more pain but also sadness as we will miss her. She was a bright light for Jesus and so full of love and kindness. Please pray for her family as she leaves behind a husband, a teenage daughter and son, parents and two sisters and so many who loved her. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Sometimes we may be very specific in telling the Lord what our need is or a desire we have. But when we do that, often times we may be settling for less than what He wants to give us. I couldn’t help but think of that when I read today about the lame beggar who laid at the Gate Beautiful of the temple entrance. He was hoping for alms, as people passed by to go to prayer, but he got so much more. Our pastor had the children act this out on Easter Sunday in his children’s sermon. Just before the service began, two strong men carried a teen up to the front of the church and laid him on the steps to the altar and put a tin can in his hand. The many children were given alms and held palm branches as they marched around the church. When they came to the teen, each one dropped their alms in the can, and we could hear the loud clink. Then Peter (pastor) came by and when asked for alms told the beggar, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” (Acts 3:6) The boy was slowly helped to his feet and when he realized he could walk, he began jumping and leaping and running around. So much jubilation for all of them.  He got so much more than alms. Do you suppose when we ask the Lord for something, He has much more in mind? He could have something better than we can even imagine. I remember once asking for prayer at an evangelistic meeting, that my sinuses would be healed. The Lord answered but not in the way I expected as He healed my eyes and I no longer needed contacts or glasses. I never even mentioned my eyes but how happy I was for good sight. Maybe we pray for a son to get out of jail and the Lord says for us to wait a little longer as He has more…He wants to free him from sin and give him a whole new life. When we pray, let us have believing hearts but let us not limit how God will answer us. Along  with so many of you, we gave been praying for healing for our friend Gen who has been suffering with pain from cancer in her abdomen. We know God could have healed her of cancer and we desired that, but instead He gave her total healing by ushering her to glory. No more pain or trouble breathing, for now she will have a new body and is in the presence of our Healer, himself. Let us always pray in faith and let the answers come through Him who loves us and knows best.
Challenge for today: Give your requests to God and receive His answers with assurance that He has your best in mind.  
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

April 14, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a good day. This  morning I made 2 Mexican pies and went to my exercise class. This afternoon we are going to a farewell coffee for one of the residents here and then Kurt and Bo are stopping in on their way to the cabin. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
What a change as I look out my window. The ground that was just starting to green up days ago is now covered with a blanket of fresh snow. Everything has changed and just overnight. It was a reminder to me of the difference it makes when we ask forgiveness and our sins are covered over by the blood of Jesus; the result is that we are forgiven and given a white robe to wear that covers us completely. I don’t think I can ever get over how amazing that is! What a transformation! It’s just as Peter spoke in Act. 3:19 (ESV), “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” When we really know in our hearts that we are forgiven it is the most wondrous feeling and like we are given a new lease on life. But sometimes we come with deep wounds that need healing and although we are forgiven and have forgiven the one who hurt us, we have a hard time to experience those times of refreshing. I am reading Stephen Seamands’ book, Wounds that Heal, and he writes about how we are not alone in our suffering when we have been hurt, abused, and rejected by those closest to us. The Lord understands as He experienced excruciating pain and suffering and was rejected Himself; He knows what we have been through and is ready and willing to heal our wounds. If we carry deep wounds from childhood, it affects how we see ourselves and also how we perceive others. We all desire acceptance and affirmation but for some that was not given and may be sought later in life in other unacceptable ways. One child of an alcoholic mother was constantly verbally abused and told she was no good. She felt she could never be loveable and her unhealed rejection left her with feelings of bitterness and inferiority rather than celebrating being a beloved child of God. Another woman had been sexually abused by her father as a child. She was making progress in her healing but later as an adult her father raped her again and she was devastated. Her pastor brought her into the sanctuary and had her look at the cross and told her that the cross was the place she would know the truth about herself. Jesus loved her enough to die for her. She rejected Satan’s lie that she was worthless and left the sanctuary a healed person who knew her worth. Jesus invites us to give Him the hurtful words we have endured, the abuses, the rejections and will bear the brunt of them, for it is by His wounds we are healed.
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to show you any lies of Satan you have believed about yourself and take them to the cross and set free
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

 

 

April 13, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying the day. I am looking out on a white landscape as it has been snowing all morning! Hoping Spring will spring forth soon! This morning I did food prep and made cookies for Al and choc covered raspberries.
This afternoon we have friends coming for coffee! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Have you found that when you want to just be quiet before the Lord that your mind is busy with many thoughts? We want to rest in the Lord but our mind is overactive and hard to focus on Him. We get so distracted that we don’t settle into the peace that the Lord has for us. I have an idea that many of us have that problem. We must remember that it is with our heart that we come to really know the Lord and not by our wordy prayers and lofty thoughts. Rather than talk and try to figure things out with our minds, we need to dial down and listen and let His Spirit speak to our spirit. Ruth Barton writes that “We must let go of everything our mind is holding on to in order to receive the revelation that comes from beyond ourselves.” We may not want to admit it but our minds are limited and when we finally let go, we can receive from God. Like it says in Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God.” Barton said the Be still in the Hebrew is translated, “Let go of your grip.” It is like letting our minds go and settle into our hearts, the place where God dwells. I read today that our heart circulates about two thousand gallons of blood each day and creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles a day. It is equivalent to the moon in back in a lifetime. The heart is amazing but if it doesn’t function well, our whole body shuts down. We need healthy hearts and not to neglect them, especially in a spiritual sense. The right diet can slash our risk of cardiovascular disease by 80%, so we must feed on the right things. But after I have my devotions and read the Word, the best thing I can do is just sit in quietness and receive. When I jump into my day before listening carefully, I miss that precious time of hearing and just experiencing Him. We all need to be still and hush from figuring everything out with our minds and make it a priority to be quiet and listen to our hearts.
Challenge for today: Quiet yourself and sit in His presence and just receive.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

April 12, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you had a good weekend! We had more rain but the sun may make it out soon. This morning I wrote letters and went to Aldi’s and my exercise class. Then I had good news that a friend that moved away is coming for coffee shortly. It will be fun to catch up!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Sometimes we think little things won’t make much difference but they do. Maybe we begin to compromise just a bit, and before we know it, we find our lives distanced from the Lord. God has a path for each of us to be on and it is best not to walk as close to the edge as we can without falling off, but rather to walk down the middle and enjoy the journey. The enemy is always trying to work on us to veer off just a little as he knows it will be easier for us to get on a slippery slope and off the path entirely. We must guard against taking our eyes off the Lord and getting distracted by the world. Maybe we are enamored by flattery and we compromise a bit to fit in. Or at work, we take liberties that are not right and it becomes easier next time. One thing leads to another and we find our time with the Lord diminished, we neglect reading the Word, and we soon withdraw from fellowship. At first it seemed like something small but soon we have a toll to pay. Instead of seeing how close to the edge of the path we can go, David says in Psalm 16:8-9a (God’s Word), “I always keep the Lord in front of me. When He is at my side, I cannot be moved. That is why my heart is glad and my soul rejoices.”  He goes on to say in verse 11 “You make the path of life known to me. Complete joy is in your presence. Pleasures are by your side forever.” What a difference when we purpose not to compromise or get side tracked. We commit to staying on the path God has for us. It is a narrow path less traveled but leads to life.  When we spend time with Him and in His word, we have a sense of peace and rest within and know that we are in a safe and secure place. We need to always set the Lord before us and keep Him in our sight. Then we are not moved by obstacles or storms in life but can rest in the knowledge that He is right by our side. Let us stay firm and calm and walk on the path He has set for us.
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to show you when you are getting off the path and get back on quickly.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy

 

April 10, 2021

Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! The sky is still overcast and we look forward to seeing the sun soon! The house is full of aroma as I made a big pot of stew this morning; also made egg dishes and wrote letters.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Today is my mom’s birthday and she would have been 102, but died at the age of 88. As I think of her life, I praise the Lord that I was blessed to have a godly mother who lived what she believed. I woke up today wondering what she would have to say to me if she were here on earth now. I know that she would be appalled by the lack of respect, the absence of truth spoken and lived out, the depletion of love, and the selfish concern of so many. Mom was giving and not one to complain; she wasn’t focused on herself and always spoke truth even if was not popular to the ears of the hearers. I think if she were here, she would tell me not to compromise and to live out and embrace truth. In II Tim 3:15 (God’s Word) ,the apostle Paul writes to his spiritual son, Timothy, when he thought his life was coming to an end, “Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker who isn’t ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly” In the next chapter Paul also tells him to “continue in what you have learned and found to be true.” In other words, she would tell me to stand firm in my faith and live and speak truth without compromise. If it is in the Bible, it is truth! She was so faithful to read her Bible every day and she would remind me to not neglect the word but to memorize it and hide it in my heart. Mom prayed much and she might tell me how important it is to pray about everything and not to worry whatever is happening in the world. God is in control and to commit everything to Him daily! Mom had a burden for those who didn’t know the Lord, and I think she would tell me to reach out and let my light shine and point others to the Lord. Time is short and to use every opportunity each day. She didn’t hesitate to go to the Work House with a group from church and shared the Lord with women who were incarcerated. I’m sure she would tell me to be generous and to give to the poor, the unsuspecting, the missionaries etc. Most importantly she might tell me how important it is to love all and to love well; also, not to get offended but to forgive quickly. I would be happy if one day my kids could say that their mom would have these same things to say to them and that she tried to live what she believed.
Challenge for today: Live in love and truth that you may be an example to those around you.
Blessings on your weekend. Prayers and love, Judy

April 9, 2021

Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! It is still raining out and things are looking greener. Yesterday a friend took me out for lunch while Al was gone to the cities. Good fellowship! Today I cleaned, went to the Dollar Store and this afternoon we are having new friends here for coffee. They moved in just a short time ago.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
We have probably all experienced times when our expectations were not fulfilled and our dreams shattered; it was painful and disappointing and we were left with questions. Then way down the line in the future, we see how God was moving us into His perfect plan and our own immediate dreams did not fit that. It was actually a blessing that God intervened when He did. Not long ago, I got an e-mail from a heart broken young gal who experienced a breakup with her boyfriend, crushing her long-term dream. It is painful now but some day she may know that God has a better plan for her life and she will see it unfolding before her. I was reading what Pastor Delano Sheffield had to say about how Thomas’s expectations were shattered when Jesus died. Thomas probably thought that Jesus would bring them freedom from the oppressive rule of Rome and now his leader and friend was dead. His hopes were dashed and even after he got the good news about Jesus being alive, he couldn’t believe it at first. It says in John 20:25 (Amplified), “So the other disciples kept telling him, We have seen the Lord! But he said to them, Unless I see in his hands the marks made by the nails and put my finger into the nail prints, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe (it).”  But Jesus arrives 8 days later and shows him the holes in his hands and side and Thomas responds with, “My Lord and my God!”.  Thomas got his wish and Jesus fulfills his expectation. What kind of dreams do we have? Are we disappointed they have not been fulfilled yet? It is not wrong to have dreams and to hold on to them as we are reminded of God’s great power to bring them about. But we are also to hold them loosely if it doesn’t line up with His divine will. Let us respond with grace and with the faith that the Lord is bringing about His perfect will and that is always best.
Challenge for today: Give your dreams and expectations to the Lord in hopeful trust.
Blessings on your weekend. Prayers and love, Judy

April 8, 2021

 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Sometimes the best thing is to wait. Sometimes we may not know what to do and we jump ahead and really mess things up. When Jesus spoke to his disciples after His resurrection, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. I’m sure they must have had questions but they obeyed and gathered together in an upper room and waited. Good thing they did what Jesus asked of them and spent time praying and didn’t run ahead before they received the Holy Spirit. If they had gone out in their own power, they would have quickly become discouraged and probably given up. But after waiting 10 days after Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit suddenly came like the rush of the wind and tongues of fire and filled them, and they began to speak in different languages. What an awesome experience and time of purifying and empowering them to go and be His witnesses. Peter stood up and began preaching and 3,000 people were saved and baptized that day. Those that knew him as a fisherman must have recognized it could only be the power of God!  From that day on, the disciples went forth and preached and taught and healed; the message reached beyond Jerusalem out to the world. We can say wow, we wish we were present at that time, but that same Holy Spirit power is available to all who know the Lord. Too often we don’t wait for the Holy Spirit to instruct us and we run ahead before He has readied the hearts of others. Our part is to surrender and ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with His power to enable us to do what God wants in our lives and through us. He also begins the work of changing us from the inside out to become more like the Lord. In the days to come, I believe it is going to be harder for all of us as Christians and we will experience persecution. Our need will be great for the Holy Spirit power. Let us be like Peter who quoted David in Acts 2:28 (The Message), “I saw God before me for all time. Nothing can shake me; He’s right by my side. I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you’ll never dump me in Hades; I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining, sun-joy all around.”
Challenge for today: Ask for a fresh inflowing of the Holy Spirit and wait for His timing before launching out. 
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

April 7, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying the day. We are having a good steady rain and just what is needed. Al had his men’s Soul Care group this morning and I made choc chip cookies and went to my exercise class. This afternoon we will be walking inside, I’m sure.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
I think we can all attest to the fact that forgiveness doesn’t come easy.  Sometimes we want to return hurt to the person who wounded us, and let them feel what we have experienced, but that is not God’s way. Our part is to forgive the person and then let God be our vindicator. I don’t know if I have realized before, but after Jesus’ resurrection when He appeared to the disciples who were hiding behind closed doors, He speaks peace to them. He then breathes on them the Holy Spirit and He said in John 20:23 (NRSV), “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” The disciples didn’t have power to forgive sins, only Jesus, but they were now given the wonderful privileged of telling others about Him and that their sins could be forgiven. We also have the honor to pronounce His forgiveness of sins to others! When Al and I go walking, we often confess our sins and then after the confession, the other of us says, “In the name of Jesus, you are forgiven!” Those are such wonderful and freeing words to our ears. Whatever sin we have done is now cast into the sea of forgetfulness; if it is us who have been wounded, we can speak those words to the one who hurt us and put them into God’s hand. The disciples had just received the Holy Spirit who gave them, and gives us, the power to forgive others. We can’t do that in our own power and we need His strength to do that.  When someone has wounded us, rather than hang on to the hurt, we can lift a prayer that the Holy Spirit would help us to let go and to forgive that person. The Lord is the One who will right the wrong, not us. How we forgive others is an indicator of our own fellowship with the Lord. Do we hold grudges and have unforgiving hearts; then we have forgotten how much God has forgiven us. Let us ask His Holy Spirit to breathe afresh on our hearts, empower us to share Him with others, and to forgive as we have been forgiven.
Challenge for today: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal all those whom you have not forgiven, and give you grace to grant them forgiveness.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

 

April 6, 2021

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying another beautiful spring day! I made salmon today (and set off the fire alarm for a minute!), and made choc bars and egg dishes. Al and I went downstairs for coffee and choc covered raspberries and celebration for the winner of the brackets and the one who got the booby prize. Emoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Sometimes we just know it is the Lord! No doubts! Something happens and we see God’s hand and we know it is Him! One of our friends recently e-mailed me that she had a God incidence and was excited. They wanted to sell one of their cars and her husband listed it. Only 10 minutes later they got a call and it is sold and to guess who? It was their former realtor, a young couple from church. The wife had totaled her car in December and wanted to replace it with a car like her parents had, which just happened to be the same as our friends. Only 10 minutes and their car was sold! Our friend wrote that she learned a new word that day and it was a God incidence! Perhaps we can all think of times like that when we don’t feel like it is a co-incidence but definitely the Lord. I was reading for my devotions today about John who had such an experience. We remember that after Jesus rose from the dead, He revealed Himself to His disciples and others. Peter announced he was going to go fishing and a half dozen other disciples present said they were also going to go with him, including John. They caught nothing all night so must have been discouraged. All of a sudden, they hear a voice from shore telling them to fish on the other side of the boat and to see what would happen. They didn’t recognize who it was but followed His advice; and all of a sudden so many fish filled their nets that they couldn’t pull it all in. John knew right away that it was a God incident and in John 21:7 (NRSV) it says, “That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’” He knew it was not just a coincidence! When Peter heard the news, he couldn’t wait and quickly put on his outer tunic and sprang into the sea to see Jesus. Jesus had breakfast waiting for all of them and after they had eaten Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved Him; that was the same number of times Peter denied Jesus. The God incident changed the disciples lives as they now had a new commission and instead of fishermen wanting to catch fish, they were now to be evangelists who wanted to catch souls. John recognized Jesus first but in sharing it, the rest of them also knew. Let us be like John who points others to the Lord and when God incidents occur, let us respond as John and Peter and the other disciples did.
Challenge for today: Recall a God incidence in your life and share with someone.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy
« Older posts

© 2021 Canaan's Rest

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑