Dear Ones,
Hope you had a great weekend. We enjoyed the beautiful wedding of Taylor and Ethan even though it turned out to be quite cool. We also had a picnic after church yesterday with lots of relatives and more time to catch up. Even the bride and groom came for a short time!Emoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  We walk the trail most days with our friends, and we refer to our time together as church of the Paul Bunyan trail. What seems to be come to attention most often is that simple scripture that He must increase and I must decrease. It’s another way of saying that our old self must continually die with Christ daily and the new person resurrected as God created us to be. Those words are easy to write but not always easy to practice.
   Life is not all about us, but about the Lord and His kingdom. When we give up and no longer hang onto our own lives, we gain a full life of joy. But if we hold onto our lives and refuse to decrease then our life is wasted, and we miss God’s call. John Michael Talbot writes, after a decade in a monastic community, that he felt like a ragdoll with all its stuffing knocked out; the stuffing was his ego and letting go of his own agendas, ideas, projects and people. But he ended up saying that when we allow our old selves to be trampled, then the new self in Christ can come forth. Simply put it means embracing the cross…not our will, not our way but His way.
  The more we die to self the less we care what others think of us but rather if we are doing what God is asking of us. He does not force surrender, for it is our choice. I must confess, sadly there are times I resist by my objections, at first at least, and even though I may end up doing it, I miss much of the blessing the Lord had intended for me. As Jesus said in John 15:14, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” Maybe we all have trouble with the whatever when we have to embrace the cross and it is not what we want but what He wants. But if we desire to be His close friend, we need to be careful to listen and then quick to obey. Let us keep saying yes to the Lord for then we will experience life at the fullest as we become a new creation!
Challenge for today: Embrace the cross daily and say yes, yes, yes to the Lord.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy