Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying the weekend. It is a gorgeous sunny day! The house has a wonderful aroma since I put in a pork butt roast in the crockpot early this morning and could hardly wait for dinner. Later this afternoon we are going to the Soup Kitchen and help prepare a meal and groceries for those in need. Our church does it once a month. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart 
We all need encouragement and affirmation as we go through life. Somehow, we want to know we make a difference and our time on earth brings glory to God but also blessing to others. When Al and I are out on the Paul Bunyan trail we often walk part of the way with a couple we met who have become our friends. The four of us greet others along the trail who may be walking, on bikes, skateboards, roller blades etc. What we have begun doing is clapping for them when they whiz by and it is fun to see the expressions on their faces. First it is surprise but then they usually break out in a thank-you-smile of acknowledgment. They feel noticed and appreciated as they go on their way. Some even thank us. Affirmation is important, first of all that we know we matter to God, but also that we matter to others. We can go to the Word to read so many words of affirmation from the One who loves us unconditionally. Our voice is heard by Him whenever we call and He even knows our thoughts and our weaknesses too. He gives us positive affirmation as no one else can fully do. He calls us His chosen treasure, His very own, and in Psalm 139 we are told we are remarkably made. He watched all the stages of our life since our conception and calls us His new creation (II Cor. 5:17). He has great plans for us and says in Jer. 29:11(ESV), “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We can also be used to speak words of affirmation into the lives of others that can impact them but we must be sure they are in alignment with scripture. It’s good to receive positive words but the bottom line is that we are totally dependent on the Lord, and not our own strength and gifts. Each day we have a choice if we want to receive God’s affirming words to us and at times, we might want to speak them aloud. Maybe we wake up feeling tired and grouchy but instead we say the affirming words, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Or we feel left out and we can affirm that we are His beloved and He is ours. As we speak His affirming words, we will find He draws us closer to Him in intimacy.
Challenge for today: Take an affirming scripture with you throughout your day.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy