Dear Ones,
Happy weekend! Hoping to get out this morning to get the cake at Costco for our monthly birthday party this afternoon. It is truly a winter wonderland, and Al and I walked in the snow yesterday although we had to go slower. Hope you are enjoying preparations for Christmas.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Today we live in a polarized culture that is full of anger. We see pictures online of angry mobs, road rage, ransacking of stores, and even beating of innocent people that happen to be on the street. Anger seems to be fueled by the media and it makes anger seem normal and justifiable. As Christians we know that there is righteous anger but most of what we see and experience in ourselves is not righteous anger and can be destructive.
   The apostle Paul said, “ Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger, and do not leave room for the devil.” (Eph. 4:26) James also says that our wrath does not accomplish the righteousness of God. (Jas. 1:20) So where does anger come from and what do we do with it? I am reading a chapter in John Michael Talbot’s book on anger and it gets me thinking of my own life. I don’t get angry often but as Al might say, I can get frustrated when watching the news and angry when things are reported falsely.
    Talbot says that anger comes from attaching our ego, and sense of worth, and enjoyment to objects, people, or projects. We have to let go of our old self nature and bring it to the cross in order to get free of anger. Sometimes we may think if we were in a different environment, it would solve our anger issues. One monk thought he could get rid of his anger by moving out of the monastery to a cave; but he discovered that his anger surfaced in getting angry at objects, like his jug of water that tipped over.
  It’s not good just to excuse ourselves when we are angry when corrected, or maybe belittled or injured by others. We must be open to recognize the anger that is in us, and be willing to forgive and let go, so that we may be healed. If we don’t, we will become bitter which results in poisoning us, for then we will fail to recognize the goodness of God. Talbot says the cure is praise of God in accepting and receiving forgiveness
  Let us not hide our anger but deal with it so that no bitter root will spring up in us.
Challenge for today: When thoughts of anger come to mind take it to the cross and let go that you may be healed.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy