Dear Ones,
Hope you are staying warm on this cold snowy day. When it is inclement weather I love to clean. I have been cleaning out the freezer and bottom cupboards and drawers in the kitchen this morning.This afternoon we have craft time, and today I’m quite sure we will be walking in the underground.
  Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Our mouths can definitely get us in trouble if we are not careful. Maybe we get frustrated when our plane has been canceled and spout off to someone that has no control over the circumstance; or could be we respond to a rude person with the same kind of negative attitude that they express to us and just let the words fly off of our tongue. Even when we don’t say it out loud verbally, if we respond on Facebook with lots of exclamations and verbiage, it shows we are heated. But is that how followers of Christ should respond or do we choose a better way, one more like the One who is Love?
  Often there is a short space of time after we encounter a difficult situation that we can decide if we are going to respond from our carnal self or if it is going to be from our new nature in Christ. We’d like to say it is all the latter, but if you are like me, there are times we fail. It is good to remember that how we respond can have a profound effect on the other person. Instead of arguing, we can ask them to explain more where they are coming from and seek to understand the whole picture. Or maybe we have to give the person a pass as they have just had a horrendous experience and it is amazing that they are still standing. God may use our more tender response to give them a new perspective and fresh hope. The Jesus way is like Paul said in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
  When we send up a quick prayer, the Lord can lead us to say and do the right thing at the time that can have a profound effect on the situation and on our own hearts. Instead of an angry response, a kind reply could open the door for the person to see things in a clear new way. I caught myself on Christmas day as I was frustrated that it took 2 hours for the receptionist at the front hotel desk to give us a room, even though I had a message on my phone that gave her the information she needed. I wanted to give a curt response, but I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to be patient and just sit with a book as Al and I waited. Later that evening I asked her how she was doing as she had a long shift and looked tired. I hoped I hadn’t made her day frustrating but instead that she saw a flicker of His light.
  Challenge for today: Stop before you speak in an unkind way and be open to how the Lord would have you respond.
Blessings on  your day and prayers and love, Judy