Dear Ones,
I am sending out tomorrow’s devotion tonight as we will be on the road very early tomorrow and traveling to Olathe, Kansas. We are going to Kurt’s and want to be there in time to go to our granddaughter Lily’s soccer game. Looking forward to a weekend of catching up. Appreciate prayer for safe travels. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Isn’t it uplifting to be around people that are encouraging and upbeat, especially if we are going through a time of struggle? We don’t need to hear more bad news or enlarging of our present difficult situations but rather words that will lift us up out of our funk. Some people seem to just have a ready word on their lips to bring encouragement to us and others.
  Of course, God is always ready to encourage us if we turn to Him. I was reading this morning from II Thess. 2:16-17 (God’s Word), “God our Father loves us and by his kindness gave us everlasting encouragement and good hope. Together with our Lord Jesus Christ, may He encourage and strengthen you to do and say everything that is good.” God promises to help us and to encourage us and to put a fresh heart in us. He gives us strength and hope even in the darkest of times. Paul is writing to a church in Thessalonica that is facing persecution, false teachers, worldliness etc. so he wants to encourage them to stand firm and be strong. He compliments them and tells them what they doing well and he thanks the Lord for how they show love for one another etc. He also tells them not to get weary and that he is always praying for them, which must have lifted their hearts. But he doesn’t hesitate to also ask that they pray for him as he shares God’s word.  
   We all need encouragement at times and God may use many different avenues to bring encouragement to us. Sometimes it is a word from the sermon we hear, or a scripture we read that seems to just stand out to us. It could be an e-mail that is sent to us or a song that we hear as we go to work. It may be a word that a friend shares, without even knowing we have a need. Encouragement may flood us when we are sitting in a place of beauty like in a star -studded sky at night or looking up to the grandeur of the mountains. There are times when I  question the Lord if I should keep writing and then a word of encouragement comes from someone I don’t even know.
  But let us also remember to encourage others like our pastor, church leaders, family members, care givers, and even the cashiers at the check-out. We never know who needs a word that day to give them hope.
   Challenge for today: Ask the Holy Spirit to fill your mouth with words that will be uplifting to others.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy