Dear Ones,
Happy weekend! Nice to have it a little cooler and will make our walk more enjoyable today. I baked cookies on a stick and we went to pick up meat from a rancher. Then Al and I went out to celebrate our 56th anniversary with a yummy steak dinner. God has blessed us so much and we give Him thanks. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Lately I have been getting scriptures on the importance of giving, not just for the receiver, but for the good of our own hearts. Today I read from Psalm 112:5-6 (ESV) where it says, “It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.” We need to give generously to the poor, not only because they need it, but for ourselves to be spiritually healthy. It is good to ponder how much we have been given from the Lord, virtually everything; and remember that when we give to others it is only a fraction of sharing all that we possess. We have been given so much! Whatever we do for the poor we do for the Lord, and He is in the poor. Ronald Rolheiser writes that how we treat the poor is how we treat God. One day He will judge us if we fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, clothed the poor and visited those in prison.  One of my favorite places to give is to missions and particularly to give money so wells can be dug in areas where they have only dirty rivers with water not fit to drink.  A whole community is changed when they have a well to get fresh water. Another important place for our gifts to make a difference is for missionaries who serve the Lord in foreign lands and try to exist on such limited incomes. We will never run out of things to support when our hearts are opened wide to the needs of others. My cousin and her daughter and son-in-law who began the walk across America were treated well by total strangers who gave them meals, sometimes shelter, and other times just a glass of cold water when they were hot and thirsty. When we are generous and joyfully give what we have, we won’t get polluted by wealth or close our hearts to others in need. But even those who are very rich must still remember it was not their own power and ability that gave them so much. It was the Lord who gave the strength to produce all the wealth. Deut. 8:17 says, “If you start thinking to yourselves, ‘I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!’—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today.”  Let us not hoard the gifts God has given us and give out of our abundance, but also out of our own need.
Challenge for today: Give something in secret to one who is struggling and in need.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy