Dear Ones,
   Hope you had a great weekend! We enjoyed church and hearing the guys from Teen Challenge share how God has changed their lives. We had a meal afterwards for them and the congregation and time to hear some of their stories. The afternoon wasn’t quite as great as the Vikings lost!Emoji 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   I have always admired Esther who had a rough start in life but didn’t let that be a hindrance to all that God had for her, which included becoming queen and saving her people. I don’t imagine she had a lot of say over the events in her life for she was an orphan and taken in by an uncle. She probably didn’t have those feminine touches of a caring mom but she must have felt very thankful for an uncle willing to take her in.
   To top it all, Esther was in the foreign land of Persia and had many things against her like being a Jew, displaced, and a woman of that time with no rights. But the Lord saw her and used her in ways that must have surprised even her. She was very beautiful and noticed by the king’s servants and brought into the King’s harem. I don’t know about you, but I would rather be the one wife of a man who loved me, than one of many wives of a king who only saw me on occasion. But Esther had very little to say about her life and was obedient and did all that her uncle told her to do, for she must have loved and respected him as a man who knew God. 
   But even though decisions were made for her she had faith in God and was led by the Lord. The crunch time came when she had to go before King Xerxes and plead for the life of her people.  In doing that she put her life on the line, and if the king didn’t put forth his septer, she would have been killed. But she did a wise thing and called on her Jewish people to fast and pray with her, rather than trying to do it all alone. It resulted that she was given much wisdom to bring down wicked Haman and also to save her people. I wonder how Esther reflected on all that the Lord did through her and I’m sure she was thankful that she listened and obeyed. As it says in Eph. 3:20 (ESV), “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think or imagine, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory…”  
  Let us also be willing to let God use us as He wills and to listen and obey His instructions.
Challenge for today: Whatever you are facing in your life right now, go in His power, and don’t hesitate to ask others to pray.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy