Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a joy filled day! I just finished scrubbing and making cherry cheesecake pie and we are having friends over this afternoon. It looks to be a beautiful sunny day and we love our walks on the trail. Emoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  When I was growing up, my mom had the whole family memorize scripture as we sat around the table to eat and have family devotions. One scripture that I remember well was from Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it will accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” I can’t say we all knew the depth of the meaning of each verse we learned, but it was getting into the soil of our hearts and hopefully taking root. Just this last weekend we also had a friend come for retreat and he knows hundreds and hundreds of Bible verses and even in his 60’s continues to memorize scriptures.                                  
  I have known it is important to be in the Word but recently I listened to Bishop Robert Barron who preached on how God Speaks and Are You Listening. When God speaks to us through His word, the question is are we receiving it. He shared how God’s word is creative and affects and changes things, and we can’t read it without being changed. That thought really struck me, as I don’t always go away excited about some nugget I just read; but His Word is like a seed that will bear fruit in us as we water and cultivate it and let it grow in us. Of course, we need to come with an open heart and not be like seed that fell on hard ground and is snatched away by the enemy, or the one on rocky soil that falls away when persecution comes, or the one that is choked out by distractions of the world.         
  Even when we not consciously aware, His Word is growing in us in ways we may not always see.  His Word is so powerful and creative, and brings change in us. As the seed grows, we become more loving, more generous, more alive etc. In the Message translation verse 11 says, “So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.”                                                                                   May we listen as He speaks and cultivate the seed He plants in us.
Challenge for today: Read the Word today with open ears and heart and be ready for change!  
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy