Dear Ones,
  Hope you had a good weekend and also time to be refreshed. We enjoyed time with our retreatant as we shared and prayed and ate together. Our hearts were blessed. This morning is Exercise class and  baking, and later this afternoon we have a Holiday happy hour party here that is really more of a dinner with casseroles etc. 
Sad loss for the Vikings yesterday!! . 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   Joy is an obvious mark of a Christian, at least it should be, for we personally know the Joy Giver. When we know the One who loves us unconditionally and gave His life for us, our joy comes from a deep place. We are containers of His joy and the joy of the Lord is our strength.
  Recently several people in different groups I have been in have shared how happy they are and that they have everything they need. One shared how wonderful each day is as she starts her day with a cup of coffee as she looks out at God’s creation and enjoys the birds and all that He has made. Life is simple and rich. Another one who always seems to wear a smile said how blessed she was and had everything she could possibly need in her life of 90 years. In the same week another related how she finds joy in closeness to the Lord as she talks aloud to Him when going about her day. Her husband has asked at times, who she is talking to! Her heart overflows with joy.  I read today from Genesis 33:11 when Jacob tells his brother who he hasn’t seen for 20 years, “God has dealt graciously with me and I have everything.” He didn’t need anything more for his container was full.
   How about us? Are our hearts full of the joy of the Lord or are we downcast because we want more like someone else has, or we think we need ideal circumstances for joy to bubble up. Joy is found in the person of Jesus and as we know Him intimately, we can live joyously in His presence and spread His joy to others. No one can steal our joy, not negative comments, not stresses or difficult circumstances. Our joy comes from the deep well of knowing the Joy Giver.
  Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to make you a good carrier of His joy.  
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy