Dear ones,
Hope you are having a beautiful day even though it is overcast with some rain! This morning I made a veggie stirfry, studied, and went to my exercise class.  Tonight we have Bible Study with a Max Lacado video series. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
 In our Bible Study we recently studied how the Lord is the Vine and we are the branches and that we need to be attached firmly to the Vine. Apart from the vine we can do nothing! But as we are firmly abiding in the vine, who knows what will take place in us and what fruit will result.
  I am made aware of that when I look out my window as I write. Since we are on second floor, a beautiful tree is at my eye level. Only a short time ago it looked rather dead and with only naked branches. But then came some buds and green leaves and soon will be beautiful blossoms. I have hope because I have seen what it will look like when fully in bloom since we have lived here 3 years now.
  To me it is a picture of what we could be in the Lord. Maybe right now we feel like we are like those dead looking branches but we must not give up hope. When we are connected with the Lord, He wants to make something very beautiful out of our lives. The pinkish colored buds are beginning to unfold and soon there will be big blossoming flowers if we let Him direct our lives. How sad it is when the Lord sees what He created us to become but we settle for so little. We go our own way and never really blossom into the beauty that comes from a close attachment to Him.
   Sometimes our own hearts break when we watch our loved ones go their own way and miss what God has intended for them. We know the potential within them but they never reach it because they detach from the vine.
   We have no idea all that God has for each of our lives and we must stay united with Him and receive the sunshine of His love, the water of His Spirit, and even times of pruning if we are to become those awesome blossoms. As He says in John 15:5 (Message), “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” Let us stay closely connected to Him and live in hopeful expectation of what He will make of our lives. 
  Challenge for today: Confess anything that draws you away from the Lord and spend time in His presence.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy
P.S. Since I wrote this yesterday the tree out my window is in full bloom! So Beautiful!