Dear Ones,
Hope you have a peace filled weekend! This morning is the celebration of life of our friend who lived in the apartment next to us. We miss her and at the same time rejoice she is now with the Lord. This afternoon we have our monthly birthday party here and then we have a friend coming for the weekend for a time of retreat.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  One night I woke with the song playing in my mind, “I Look Not Back”. Whenever that happens, I often look up the exact words of the song and the author to see what the Lord may be saying to me. I had not been thinking of this song before bedtime, so it came as a surprise.  This song was written by Annie Johnson Flint who was born in 1866 on Christmas eve in N.J. When she was only 3 her mom died when giving birth to her sister; her dad had an incurable disease so willed the children to a Baptist family. Annie’s start in life was not the ideal but she doesn’t focus on the past. It is wise for all of us to leave the past behind with its regrets and mistakes, although learn from it, and focus instead on the One who was with us in our present and will be with us in our future.
  Annie writes, she is not wasting time on sinful things of past but leaving it all with the Lord, who wipes our record clean. She also does not look forward for only God knows what is ahead and will help her, promising to carry her through every trial, bearing her burdens. She goes on to include not looking around her as she could get overcome by fears of the darkness in the world. How true that is also for us today. She also says she is not going to spend her time looking inward either on all her offenses and failures but concludes with the wonderful verse: “But I look up into the face of Jesus, for there my heart can rest, my fears are stilled; and there is joy, and love, and light for darkness, and perfect peace, and ev’ry hope fulfilled.”
  We all have to choose where we will place our focus. We need to sever the cords of our past if we want to live in His peace today. After all, He has forgiven us whatever we have done. If we worry about the future or what is happening around us, we will get anxious and fearful. Or if we are navel gazing, we will only be reminded how we have failed. But if instead we look to the Lord and place our trust in Him, we will abound in peace and light and love. Let us be like Paul who said in Phil 4:13-14, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
  Challenge for today: Let go of your past and trust Him for this day and each day to take care of you.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy