Dear Ones,
Hope you had a great weekend! The game was so exciting last night and when the Chiefs won, everyone’s lights came on in the neighborhood and fireworks went off. Lots of jubilation!  We are going to head to Des Moines this mmoring and have lunch with a friend and supper and evening with a group from our former church. Then we will be heading home tomorrow. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Soon it will be Valentine’s Day and we send cards, texts, gifts etc. to those who have touched our hearts in special ways. Many of us have been blessed to find the one we would most like to do life with and love above anyone else in the world. But as wonderful as that is, the condition of our spiritual heart is even more important. We might ask ourselves what is the state of our heart?
  Perhaps all of us can sense when our hearts have become rather cool and not as receptive to the Lord. It seems to happen gradually and then one day we wake up and feel more like a stranger than a lover. We may also notice we aren’t as compassionate with those around us either and it is time to tend the soil of our hearts. The Holy Spirit is only too happy to help us with that and wants to be free to work in us to soften our soil.  
   Jesus spoke to a crowd of people about the soil of our hearts, but not everyone understood the meaning, for their hearts were hardened; but Jesus explained the meaning later to his disciples as they had ready hearts. In Matt 13 Jesus said the seed sown on hard soil is the person who hears the good news but doesn’t take it in and the enemy plucks it out of his heart. The seed on the rocky ground is the one who responds with enthusiasm at first but when troubles come, falls away. The seed that was sown among the thorns is the person who hears at first and then the worries and worldly cares choke it out. But the seed sown on good soil is the one who hears and take it in and produces a harvest. Such a heart is tender and receptive and open. Don’t we want to be like that?
   Maybe we have all four of those soils but at different times in our lives. We know what is like to be cold and lack compassion, be caught up in worldly pursuits, and are stressed with worry; but we also experience times when our hearts are aflame with love for the Lord and others. Soil takes tending and tilling and we need to submit ourselves to the Lord so He can do the deep work that is needed.
  Challenge for today: Pray the words of the song: ”Change my heart, O God, make it ever true; change my heart, O God, May I be like you. You are the Potter, I am the clay; mold me and make me, this is what I pray.”
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy