Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a great day.   We are home now as we left early this morning from Kansas. Enjoyed our time there so much and loved seeing Lily play soccer, shopped, ate outside, and also saw Kurt’s video of family and  the moving of the sauna down the big hill to the lake. It took 3 big pieces of heavy equipment to do it and 5 young men to do it. We originally planned to come home tomorrow and see my brother and wife on the way but they had to go to Milwaukee to help in an emergency.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  We all go through desert times when we feel dry and we may wonder where is God and what is He up to. Will we always feel like this or will things change and will joy bubble up again in our lives? I have good news!  Even when we feel dry and parched like the desert we can flourish again.
  In Isaiah 35: 1-2 it says, “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy… they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.”
  God comes to us in many different ways to encourages us and as it says in verse 10, “everlasting joy will overtake them and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”
   I have been reading what Rev Mark Roberts from Fuller Seminary has been saying about dryness and flourishing. He writes how the Lord brings us out of our despair and dryness and into a time of joy and fruitfulness. He shares about an energetic woman from His church who was so full of love, even though she had experienced lots of grief. She lost a son and all her grandchildren in premature death. But she reached out to others and especially welcomed new people to the church to feel at home. Sometimes she took them out for coffee or invited them into her home. But when she was nearing the 4th quarter of her life, she had physical struggles and was bedridden so she could no longer go to church. She felt very useless and when the Pastor came to see her, she talked of what she could do, even though she had great physical limitations. Suddenly the idea came to her that she could use her phone. Why not call every household in the church and ask how she could pray for them. She used the church directory and made calls every day, much to the appreciation of the members who felt cared for. She was fruitful to the end of her life.
   Maybe we know others who used their desert time to grow. We can also be fruitful and flourish, no matter what our circumstances are. It could even be that God will use us to pray for others who feel like they are in a desert now!
  Challenge for today:  Encourage someone going through a dry time, and pray that they will bloom again.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy