Dear Ones,
Hope you have been enjoying the Holiday. We had a wonderful time at the lake over the weekend, and God worked the timing of everything so perfectly. We also enjoyed going to the Lighthouse yesterday and 7 of us went from family. This morning I did some catch up and made 2 spaghetti pies and a meat loaf etc. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
When we returned home yesterday, from our time with family at the lake, it was with full hearts.  I felt content and blessed and thankful for all that the Lord has given me in my life. So many relatives gathered together to swim, sauna, coffee, picnic, share, pray, laugh and love. Al and I stayed at our family’s comfortable cabin we call the Silver Chateau that is so near the water’s edge and best of all, with indoor plumbing. We slept in a little later in the morning, awakening to the sound of birds singing their wake-up song. We had time to get to know my nephew that we had never met before, and for most of the family never knew existed. He was welcomed in with open arms and hearts by all. We had times of deep sharing and prayer and other times of hilarious laughter as we reminisced. All of this was a gift of God’s grace and we must not take for granted the blessings of each day.
The apostle Paul was a grateful person and thanked the Lord for his numerous blessings of salvation, of the faith of his followers, of strength given him to preach the Good News, of the love of the saints etc.; but he was also thankful for the trials and persecution he received that God used to further the gospel and gave him grace to endure. In his final word to the Thessalonians when he writes to them in I Thess. 5:16-18 (ESV) he says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 
It is easier to rejoice and give thanks in the setting I experienced over the weekend, but we are also to give thanks even in adverse circumstances. When we go through a hard time, we aren’t necessarily aware at the time of the good God plans to work through our circumstance, but He always deserves our thanks for who He is. With each and every trial we face, He promises to walk with us through it and  gives us strength and endurance. So let us be people of faith who give thanks in all circumstances from hearts that over flow with gratitude.
Challenge for today: Spend some time just thanking the Lord for your present circumstances. 
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy