Dear Ones,
Hope you had a great weekend. I enjoyed going to the baby shower for the mommy who is soon going to have her baby and then can start treatment for her own cancer.Please pray! Today I am doing food prep, making a trip to Aldi’s and then to my exercise class.  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   I was so joyful when my favorite Christian magazine, Just Between Us, came in the mail and I read they had chosen the word Joy as their word for the year. Joy is meant for all of us to experience for it doesn’t depend on our circumstances but is found in the person of Jesus. Joy is different than happiness that depends more on right circumstances and pleasureful things. David said in Psalm 16:11 (God’s Word), “You make the path of life known to me. Complete joy is in your presence. Pleasures are by your side forever.” Because our joy resides in His presence, no matter what happens, we can still experience deep down joy.
  We also know that joy is something we choose and have to keep choosing each day of our lives. As we do, it is acknowledging that we trust Him, even when we don’t know the outcome, for He is in control. Paul was such an example as he was joyful even when in prison and facing trials of many kinds. He tells us also to be joyful always, to never stop praying, and to be thankful. (I Thess. 5)  It helps for us to spend time in His presence as we read the word, listen to praise music, worship, and obey Him.
   To me Joy is like a perfume that draws others to the Lord. When they observe our joy, it is like a pleasing fragrance that they want to experience too. One thing that stands out to me, is that joyful Christians love to serve others around them. They can make work look like fun, for as they are helping others, they experience more of Jesus. Their faith grows and their own souls are fed at the same time. We have a friend who doesn’t make a big deal about serving but she is often found working in the kitchen at church, or teaching Sunday School, or filling in the gaps and doing what may be overlooked by others. She doesn’t call attention to herself but quietly serves and does it for the Lord. Serving is good for all of us and our hearts are enlarged to overflow with more joy in the process. Let us choose joy!
  Challenge for today: Serve the Lord in a new way today, and let His joy effervesce in your soul.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy