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.

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September 4, 2023

Dear Ones,
Happy Labor Day! Hope you take time to celebrate. We are home now after a fun time at the lake. We enjoyed a wiener roast with about 20 relatives one evening, went to our former church and dinner at Ann’s afterwards, and then headed home when the thermometer reached 100 degrees! 
I am making egg dishes and cookies and then we are going for our walk on the trail early before it heats up again. Emoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Happy Labor Day to you! Perhaps today each of us will give some thought to the work we do and also rest on this national Holiday from our work. This morning I read about what Mark Roberts of Fuller Seminary writes about work beginning with how God was the first worker in creating the heavens and the earth and all that is in it, including us…and it was all good! God worked 6 days but then on the seventh day He rested from His work. He left us a great rhythm for us to follow also.

Work is good but like my mom use to say, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!’ We need balance in our lives or we will actually get exhausted, bored, and less sharp when we work continuously. We can thank the Lord for the ways we experience His goodness in our work but then also take some time off from the constant pressures and to relax and play.

I thought I would share with you the prayer that Roberts gave for today:

“Gracious God, thank you for what we learn about work from Genesis. Thank you for being the first worker. Thank you for doing good work. Thank you for creating us in your image. Thank you for creating us to be workers and for giving us good work to do. Thank you for resting on the seventh day, giving us the gift of sabbath.

Help me, I pray, to see how I experience goodness in my work. Teach me to take delight in this and to give you thanks.

Help me also, Lord, to see where my work falls short of what you intended from the beginning. May I be committed to doing all I can to help those with whom I work to be treated as beings created in your image, starting with my colleagues and direct reports. 

In the classic words of St. Ignatius, when it comes to my work, ‘Grant, Lord, that all my intentions, actions, and operations be directed purely to your praise and your service.’ Amen.”

Challenge for today: Thank the Lord for the gift of work and find a new way to relax and rest. 

July 19, 2023

Dear Ones,                                                                                                                                                   
 Hope you have a wonderful day! The apartment is full of aroma as I just finished making more cookies on a stick and egg dishes. Soon I am going to Aldi’s and my exercise class. Then tonight is Bible study at church.                                                                                                                                           
   Devotions from Judy’s heart                                                                                                                       
  As followers of Jesus, the telltale sign we belong to Him is to live a life of love. Our greatest joy is found in knowing God loves us and it should be evidenced in the lives we live.  We can do all sorts of sacrificial things for the Lord, but as it says in I Cor. 13, that if we don’t do it out of love, it is useless and accounts for nothing, nada!  Like Paul says in verse 3 that if we give away everything we have, but don’t have love, we gain nothing! But if we do it with love our actions will cause others to be blessed and bring glory to the Lord. So let us pay careful attention to our attitude in giving.     
  I was reading in the book, “Reclaiming Love”, and Ajith Fernando writes of ways we often give even sacrificially but yet without love. Perhaps we will see ourself in what he has to say. We might be like the one who gives for merit and to earn favor, with the expectation to prosper and reap more in return. That is not love! Or maybe we give out of a sense of duty and obligation, that is not love. We do the right thing in helping others but with a judgmental spirit towards them. We can’t call that love. Or maybe we give without identifying with the very ones we serve, making the other feeling inferior by our attitude. Not love either!  Or are we giving at times to avoid getting involved? It seems easier to give our finances than to actually spend time helping someone learn how to budget and live within their means etc. Fernando also says we shouldn’t give for recognition from others, like having our name on a pew or a plaque on a building. Or giving with a competitive spirit to outgive someone else. Is that love?  There are also times, we are not to give even though asked. Just as a child demanding something and getting his way if he cries loud enough, there are times it is more loving to withhold for their own good. That is love.                                               
  We must remember that all that we have is from the Lord and it belongs to Him and we should willingly give to others as He directs us. We can never ever repay the debt of love we owe the Lord for He gave everything for us.                                                                                                                                     Challenge for today: Ask the Lord how and when you should give and let it be motivated by His love.                                                                                                                                      
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy


June 19, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you had a wonderful weekend and if you are a father, that you had a blessed Father’s Day. Our sons all called yesterday and tomorrow Al and I are going to Duluth for the day to celebrate both Father’s Day and our Anniversary. EmojiEmoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  For Father’s Day I wrote a devotional to fathers as we all had a father; one that may have been very good or could be one that failed. I read an article on by Lynette Kittle who wrote to fathers who know they missed the mark. Sadly, we are getting to be a fatherless culture as there are an estimated 24.7 million children under 18 that have no father in the home. It seems like the role of father is being devalued and men are not stepping up to the plate. They may feel that they don’t make a difference in the life of their child or maybe mom has chosen to be a single parent and shut out dad. Some fathers abused their kids, ignored them or abandoned them altogether. Many did not show affection or give affirmation and are ashamed. Even if they have regrets, they may not know how to restore the relationship.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One day the children will need to forgive them. Kittle gives a prayer for them to pray to help them forgive their dads. Part of the prayer is: “Dear Father, Help me, Father, to forgive my father for his failures and shortcomings and how he hurt and disappointed me. I also ask you to help him to receive forgiveness for his falling short in my life. Soften his heart, Lord, to turn towards You and receive forgiveness. Let us both walk in the forgiveness You give to us. Help me forgive him for his failures in my life and help my father to find forgiveness for how he failed me. Pour out your love over us, O Lord, to bring healing and reconciliation into our relationship. Help me to recover from the wounds of the past and to be willing to open my heart to forgive my dad for the past. Strengthen both of us to move forward to restore our broken relationship. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”  If you are reading this and your father failed you, it is important that you forgive. May you also know that you have a Heavenly Father that is for you, will never abandon you and loves you most of all. David said in Psalm 68:5 that “God is a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows.”
Challenge for today: Forgive your father for any failures and then thank the Lord that He is your perfect Father and cares for you.   
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy                                                                                                              

June 3, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying this weekend. I just cleaned the apartment and made veggie stir fry and porkchops. We hear that storms may be coming this afternoon. We pray next Saturday may be beautiful as my niece’s daughter Taylor is getting married by the lake! Emoji 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   Do we really enjoy the life that God has given us? I was reading a devotional by Joyce Meyer and she shared how we are not to live life blandly by just working and accomplishing, but not really embracing our life. We were meant to enjoy our lives. It particularly struck me as I had just told Al the day before how much I enjoyed the life God gave me and was glad I was born in this era, married to him who I love, living in this apartment complex, able to live a contemplative life, cooking for a man who is willing to try anything I make, children and grandchildren who I love etc. etc. I am glad each day I awaken that I can enjoy life! Joyce quoted Eccl 2:24, “There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and make himself enjoy good in his labor. Even this, I have seen, is from the hand of God.”
  I think it is God’s will that we all enjoy the life God has given us. It is not based on great circumstances, comforts, and what we have, but more of our heart attitude. Our joy is in the Lord, and both the little and big things are part of His big picture for our lives. I love when I see His hand, meeting a simple desire even before I have spoken about it or prayed about it. Just this week I was sitting on the sofa and as I looked at the wall behind the two big chairs, I thought we really should get a new picture; the one on display we’ve had for years. Not a day later, I went down to the room by the elevator where free things are put, and there was a large-framed picture with flowers etc. and had all the colors present in our living room. It blended in with the chairs, rug and sofa. It couldn’t be more perfect, and I felt the Lord smiling for only he knew!
  Of course, not everything in our life is enjoyable as we have struggles, sickness, problems of all kinds but that should not stop us from enjoying the Lord. He is with us every moment and He is present to help us through each difficult thing in our day. Lately, I have prayed lots about my computer, my jaw, and questioned Him why we had to turn around from our trip to N.C. to see family. I don’t know the answers, but I know I can trust Him and enjoy life in the meantime. Let us not get stuck by our circumstances and let it dictate our heart attitude, but choose to enjoy every day with Him!
Challenge for today: Make a decision to enjoy your life and thank the Lord He has you right where you to be. 
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

April 7, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you will have a wonderful and blessed Easter weekend!  I happen to be sick and just getting up today. Hoping for a miracle so we can spend Easter at the Lake with Ann’s family. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Today is Good Friday and somehow it seems to be misnamed at first glance for it was a dark day when Jesus died. In fact, it was physically dark from noon until 3 p.m as Jesus was on the cross dying. When Jesus said, “Father into Your hands I commit my Spirit, and died, the curtain in the temple was torn in two, the earth shook and tombs of many of the saints were opened and they were raised to life.
  I remember as a young girl being at the lake when a terrible storm hit. We barely made it to the cabin from swimming and then it got dark as night. The wind blew violently, many trees were uprooted and rain was even blown into the cabin by the window frames. We wondered if the cabin would get blown away and with us in it. I can just imagine the fear the disciples must have had during the darkness that fell when Jesus was dying. There went their hope of Jesus rescuing them; and of His followers, only the women and John were with Jesus in his last hours on earth. It seemed like the darkest time ever, and they must have wondered if their lives were also in danger. Jesus died but just as my family was saved from the terrible storm and the sun came out again, Jesus came alive again on Easter morning and that which was darkest is now the brightest light for all of us who trust in Him. We have hope and a future with Him if we believe in Him, and ask forgiveness. Yes, this is Good Friday, for He took our sin and shame and paid the penalty for our sins. Like Paul said in II Cor 5:21 (ESV), “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”                                                                                                                  
  Jesus loved us that much that He was willing to die for us, let us open our hearts to receive Him and live for Him all our days.
Challenge for today: May we not only receive Him ourselves but share the wonderful news with others.
Blessings on your Easter weekend and prayers and love, Judy

March 13, 2023

Dear Ones,
Hope you had a good weekend with 9″ of new snow! It was nice to be able to stay inside. This morning I did food prep and soon going to Aldi’s and my exercise class. I have errands to do this afternoon as Al will have the car tomorrow.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  I believe often we learn the most from those who can’t give back; like when we find ourselves doing something out of love for the Lord and not for any payback we may get. Jesus said in Matt. 5:8, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” When our actions are without thought of being noticed or what good will come to us, but simply for the Lord, we are drawn closer to Him and see Him through eyes of love.
   Recently, I read a story by Rebecca Manley Pippert as she tells the story of a young nurse who was caring for a patient, Eileen, who had no control over her body and unconscious due to a cerebral aneurysm. She had to turn her every hour and feed her through a stomach tube etc. and another nurse told her that you just have to detach yourself emotionally from the whole situation.
  But the student nurse decided she to treat her kindly and talked to her, sang to her and even brought her little gifts. On Thanksgiving she told her, “I was in a cruddy mood this morning, Eileen, because it was suppose to be my day off. But now that I’m here, I’m glad. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss seeing you on Thanksgiving Day. Do you know this is Thanksgiving?”
  The phone rang then and when the nurse turned toward Eileen she noticed she was shaking and crying and it was the first emotion she had showed. It changed the attitude of all the staff towards her for they now knew she heard and understood. And it changed the young nurse as she said she might not otherwise have known what it is like to give to someone who can’t give back.
  This story struck me especially as my cousin’s granddaughter died last week and Jensyn was only 6 years old. She had never walked or talked or fed herself and her rare condition was such that she had to have constant care. She spent as much time in the hospital as she did at home. But she was loved dearly by her parents and 7 siblings and relatives and friends. I think perhaps she also taught all those around her about selfless giving to those who can’t give back. I know I have been touched each time I have observed the loving care her family gave her.
   Challenge for today: Reflect on, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and, with the help of God, I will do!  (Everette Hale)
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy

December 15, 2022

Dear Ones,
Oh the snow out my window today…so beautiful and so welcome if you don’t have to go somewhere. Some brave person went and got the donuts early this morning and tomorrow we hope we can get to Costco for the birthday cake. I have made 2 batches of cookies this morning and this afternoon we have Bible Study.  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
How good are we at offering forgiveness to others? Perhaps that is the most precious gift we can give them. We may be often hindered in forgiving others by not seeing our own sins but instead judging theirs.  The Greek word of forgiveness is aphiemi and means to let go to divorce, leave, or send forth. We let go of the need to judge or punish and instead we offer forgiveness. That includes forgiving even before the other person is sorry or desires to reconcile.
   The longer I know the Lord, the more I see my need for mercy and forgiveness. Often during the day, I lift a prayer confessing my sin of that moment or a sin from long ago and ask for forgiveness. I like to then thank the Lord that He has forgiven me as the enemy likes to bring old things up; instead of chastising myself that I didn’t respond differently etc., I like to thank the Lord for His forgiveness and that my sin is now drowned in the depth of the sea! We have the wonderful promise that as we acknowledge our sins, that He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrong doing. (I John 1:9) A good verse to memorize in our arsenal against the enemy!
  I love John Michael Talbot’s picture of forgiveness. He said forgiveness is like a constant fall of rain from God and we are like cups lying upside down. God’s rain of forgiveness and love continues to fall but we can only benefit from it if we turn our cups right side up and let them be filled. Otherwise, we cannot receive, for we lack repentance.
   We must also be quick to forgive others and Talbot mentions that they should be able to sense forgiveness by looking into our eyes of love rather than the scorn of judgement. When we don’t forgive it binds us up, and them, and sometimes even a whole church or community.
   Let us all ask the Lord for humility to see our own sins and not judge others but to show the precious gift of mercy.
Challenge for today: When we see the sin of others be quick to say, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
Blessings on this snowy day and prayers and love, Judy


November 19, 2022

Dear Ones
Hope you are having a good weekend. It is a cold day so may be walking in the underground as we did yesterday. This morning I cleaned our apartment and hope to shop this afternoon. We are having our Thanksgiving service tomorrow night and having lots of pies afterwards. Al can hardly wait!!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   Where are the people of integrity today? There is so much falsehood and twisting of the truth to fit agendas that we don’t know what to believe or who to believe. But that should not be so if we are a child of God, He calls us to be truthful, to be honorable, and to have a pure heart, not to be false.
   Purity is important to God for it is mentioned many times in the Bible. Of course, only the Lord is pure, faultless, and without any contamination. But God wants us to be like Him and reflect His image; He wants us to also have pure hearts that seek to know Him intimately. In His Sermon on the Mount, He told us that blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Matt. 5:8) God is so holy that we can only come before Him in Jesus’ righteousness. As it says in II Cor. 5:21 (ESV), “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
   The truth is we can’t live pure lives on our own but only come to Jesus in faith and ask forgiveness and cleansing. Then we are washed clean and the Lord looks at us as if we have never sinned…that means all of the sins we have ever committed and remembers them no more. Wow!
   When the word purity comes up, we often think first of chastity, refraining from premarital sex, even though the culture is saying anything goes. And if married, purity would mean not cheating but keeping ourselves only for our mate. It is God’s will that we honor Him with our bodies and that includes our thought life, our speech and our actions as well. In I Peter 1: 22 we are told to “Love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” It is helpful to spend time in the Word together and to pray together and to put the Lord first and others second and selves last. The world’s way of thinking of yourself first, doesn’t work as we see the mess our culture is in. Let us remember David’s words in Psalm 24:6-8, “Who shall ascent the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessings from the Lord and righteousness from the God of His salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.” Let us be people of integrity with hearts of purity that shine out in the darkness of our world.
Challenge for today: Put God first in your life and ask Him for a pure heart like His.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

November 18, 2022

Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! Today is party day here and soon we will be going to Costco to get the Birthday cake. I am also going to make soup. Yesterday’s Bible study group was special in many ways as we spent the time singing and sharing and praying. We all come from different backgrounds but our common denominator is the Lord. I think most had tears in our eyes too as we sang songs that perhaps were sung at services for our loved ones etc. It was a very blessed time and gathering together makes us stronger.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Connect! Connect! The enemy is always trying to divide us but the Lord would have us connect and unite. Satan knows there is great power when Christians are united in Spirit and he does everything he can to cause division. He wants to separate us! But may we not fall prey to his tactics.
   So much today is virtual but let us not lose the importance of being physically present. In Heb. 10:24-25 (God’s Word) it says, “We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.”
  The Message translation says we should be inventive in ways we can encourage love and help others out, not avoiding actually worshiping together so we can spur one another on.
  We need one another and all of us can use to know that others are standing with us. Al and I meet regularly with another couple to pray together and we go away each time feeling refreshed and strengthened. All of us need the encouragement of others standing with us in faith, and it gives us hope; then when the answers come, we can also rejoice together and give thanks to the Lord. It seems our own hearts are made lighter when we also bring encouragement to others.
  Let us gather with other believers to worship together, pray together, laugh together and unit as one in the Lord. More than ever before we also need to meet together and pray for our nation, that we would be humble and pray and seek God’s face and turn from wicked ways, so that the Lord will hear and forgive us and heal our land.
   May we not live our Christian lives in isolation and separation but use every opportunity to connect with other believers in faith and hope.
Challenge for today: Find new ways to spend quality time with other believers.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy

February 26, 2022

Dear Ones,
Hope you are having an enjoyable weekend. Al is better now but it is going to take longer for me as I didn’t get sick right away like he did. I’m not doing a lot of work so am getting lazy! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
What is the first thing we do upon waking from a long night’s sleep? Is it to groan and quickly fill our mind with all the things we need to accomplish during the day; or is it to greet the Lord and thank Him for a night of rest and a new day before us, full of promise and of course, His presence.
I smiled when I read what my cousin e-mailed me about their dog Buddy who is a Golden Doddle and looks just like our grand-dog, Cali! Both of them are so friendly and like to greet everyone. Buddy recently returned from a month-long trip with my cousin and her husband who traveled with another couple and pulled their Teardrop camper, Every morning, right after they got up, Buddy wanted to go to their friends’ camper to greet them; he wouldn’t do anything until he had done that. When a yellow bandanna was put in their window, it meant they were ready for Buddy to come and say good morning; afterwards he came back all set for the day.
I was immediately reminded of how it pleases the Lord when our first thoughts of the day are on Him and we have his promise in Ex. 33:14 (ESV), “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Perhaps children find it easier to just trust that the Lord is with them and  not to worry about what the day holds.
We just returned from visiting our grandsons in North Carolina and our hearts were so blessed by how they are growing in the Lord. One night I had prepared slips of paper with instructions and put them inside plastic eggs. We went around the table and each one of us had to do whatever was written on the slip of paper in our egg. Lots of laughter as compliments were given to someone on their right, or a song sung by someone on their left etc. When we finished our grandsons, asked if they could write the instructions and went away to do so. I though oh boy, we are going to be running around the house or doing strenuous feats but we were so pleasantly surprised. John Mark is only 12 and one of his slips he wrote said to give 3 Bible verses by heart and tell how they impact your life. He happened to get that one and proceeded to share the importance of following the Lord etc. Tears came to my eyes to see one so young who is so wise in the ways of the Lord. A.J who is only 8 rattled off all the books of the Bible as his brother and mom did push-ups. Both have so many scriptures stored up in their hearts.
How wonderful to start the day with the Lord and then to rehearse His promises throughout the day when we need them.
Challenge for today: Before you step out of bed, greet the Lord and give your day to Him.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy


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