Dear Ones,
Hope you had a wonderful weekend. We are enjoying this gorgeous weather and meeting lots of people on the Paul Bunyan trail. This morning  I made bars and shopped at Aldi’s and went to my Exercise class.  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Is your home overflowing with fruit? I love fruit and make sure we have plenty of it each day as part of our meal and also keep some on the counter to nibble on if we have a hunger attack. But the fruit I am referring to in my question, is the fruit of the Spirit. I wonder if we would be able to say that our homes are overflowing with the fruit of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul said in Gal. 5:22-23 (ESV), “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Does that sound like your home? I read an article by April Motl on Crosswalk and she writes about ways we can cultivate the fruit of the spirit in our family life. Wouldn’t we all like families that are fun, loving, and peaceful, and what can we do to cultivate that? But families are messy and we sin against one another and need the Holy Spirit to help us. April writes that we need to pray for personal awareness to know when we speak or act in opposition to the Lord. When we feel convicted of not acting in harmony with the Holy Spirit, we need to confess it to the Lord and also to own up to our crummy behavior to our family. Al and I do this as we walk and confess the ways we are not so loving and ask for forgiveness of God and each other.  April also recommends processing our emotions with scripture. Maybe we are very angry and we go to the Word and agree with God about our anger; after confession and repentance we can give it up and let go of it. We can also help each other remember who we are in the Lord and position our identity in Him. So much better than the world’s way of finding identity in our achievements and abilities and reputation which will always cause us to need reassurance.  We can also pray to experience God personally. Rather than trying harder to love, it is better to remove the stuff that hinders God in our lives and then let the Holy Spirit do His work through us. We will all run out of kindness and patience on our own, and we need a constant filling of His Spirit. Paul goes on to tell the church in Galatia to live by the spirit and to keep in step with the Spirit. Let us live Jesus in our homes so that beautiful fruit will be displayed and all glory  go to the Lord.
Challenge for today: The next time you offend someone in your family, be the first to make it right.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy