Dear Ones,
Hope you have a great weekend. Yesterday we had a day of many emotions as we went from a celebration of life for our neighbor to our monthly Birthday party and to having a friend come for a weekend retreat. Today we will be enjoying time together and some time also in quiet to listen.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   I was reading along today in my devotions from the book of Philippians in the Message translation and Paul was summing up his letter to the Christians and said in Phil 4:4, “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them.”
   What would happen if we truly celebrated God all day long and were aware of His presence with us in all our circumstances. We might think we are exempt from rejoicing during our day if it is a day full of struggles, deadlines and busyness. But think of Paul writing this from a dirty uncomfortable prison, telling us to rejoice in all our circumstances and be gentle with others. We are to be joyous in the Lord even when our circumstances don’t dictate that but rather because our hearts are joined to the Lord. I doubt Paul would feel sympathetic to the guards in the natural, but the Holy Spirit helped him and helps each of us to be kind and considerate to others, no matter who they are. I recently saw on Facebook a man who was angry and put a basket of garbage on his neighbor’s steps and rang his bell. When neighbor saw the mess, he didn’t retaliate but filled the basket with many fresh apples and slowly walked next door, assisted by his cane, and put it on his steps. What a message that sent.
 We might first ask how do I celebrate God all day? We might start by turning off our phone for a short time and get quiet enough to hear His still small voice above all the other distractions. My word for this year was to go deeper with the Lord and I find that the more my focus is on Him during the day and less on myself that His presence seems closer. We might want to talk aloud to Him and sing to Him or whisper a prayer in the midst of our work. We might say it is like taking our best friend with us wherever we go and not leaving Him behind….in fact, we are to let Him lead us. If we can’t take Him some place with us, then we shouldn’t be there either. If He prompts us to do something for others and we do it, we will sense His pleasure and so will the person. It could be as simple as texting someone that you are thinking of them and praying for them, or even offering coffee to someone who needs a lift.
   To revel in the Lord, means to show joy and celebration and be jubilant and happy. What a witness that is to others, like it must have been to Paul’s jailer. May we go about our day, rejoicing in Him who is Lord of our circumstances.
  Challenge for today: Celebrate the Lord today in a new way.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy