Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying this holiday weekend and looks to be a nice sunny day today, but maybe not tomorrow. We are soon leaving for the cabin and stopping on the way to see a friend. My niece and her daughter are coming for coffee when we arrive and then brother and wife are coming for lunch. I am quite sure this afternoon will be swimming and then a picnic supper at the Point. We plan to stay overnight and go to The Lighthouse on Sunday. A full weekend! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Let Freedom reign! As we approach Independence Day celebration, we are reminded of our freedom won, not just of our nation, but of the freedom we have in the Lord. Paul says in Gal. 5:1 (God’s Word), “Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. Therefore, be firm in this freedom and don’t become slaves again.” There was a tremendous cost to Jesus for our freedom but it is not to be spent on ourselves to do whatever we feel like it, whatever makes us happy at the time, but as he goes on to say in verse 13, “You were indeed called to be free, brothers and sisters. Don’t turn this freedom into an excuse for your corrupt nature to express itself. Rather, serve each other through love.” We were meant to love others and to find ways to serve them and win them to the Lord. The Message translation says that is how freedom grows. Paul further goes on to explain that we need to live our lives freely and motivated by the Spirit. We are not meant to live for ourselves but as the Holy Spirit directs us. Then life becomes so liberating and exciting as we let go of self-interest and live for God and to serve others.
If you think about it, aren’t the happiest people you know unselfish and looking for ways to help others? One friend from a church where Al was interim for a while, e-mails me of her joy as she works with the youth. When we were at the church and she was asked to give the children’s sermons, she responded by saying how blessed she was that she had that privilege. (I must admit I was relieved that I would not have to do it!)  She was prepared each Sunday and since then she has become in charge of Sunday school, youth group, VBS etc. She doesn’t consider it a chore but a delight and she gives of herself tirelessly and enthusiastically. It is not “I have to” as I sometimes feel but it is “I get to do this!” What an example she is to me and I’m sure to others too. 
 When we listen to the Holy Spirit and follow with obedience, there is wonderful fruit that is produced in our lives like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. May we all experience the wonderful freedom of going God’s way.
Challenge for today: Set aside your will and ask the Lord to help you freely serve others in love.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and Love, Judy