Dear Ones,
Happy weekend! This is being sent early as we are going to start for home tomorrow morning. We had a fun time at Kurt’s and 5 of us went to Barnes and Noble this morning and then walked a lovely trail in the afternoon and then more fun games. We plan to stop at my brother’s in Eagan on the way home and see their new apartment. We have enjoyed our Thanksgiving time and grateful for family. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   God calls each of us to go deeper with Him. We are not to settle for status quo but to desire to know the Lord in new ways. While going to Kurt’s for Thanksgiving, Al and I talked a lot together as we traveled the miles and he asked me the question of, “How do I know if I love God?” I think we will all have different answers and it got me searching my own heart. I don’t want to be lukewarm but rather to have a passion for the Lord and grow in my love for Him.
   I asked my friend how she knew she loved God, as I saw her shortly after Al asked me the question. We were sharing together at a table in Barnes and Noble, and she responded by answering that we know we love Him if we are have a desire for Him and a heart longing. She expressed how she doesn’t just have devotions to check it off on her to-do list for the day, but because she truly wants to know the Lord better and hear what He has to say to her. She has a longing and a passion. The Lord uses her to counsel and pray for many others as she is so open to the Holy Spirit. She is often awakened at night to pray for specific ones and later given confirmation of their need of prayer for hard circumstances they were dealing with.
  I find warmth in my love for the Lord if I spend time in worship, most often in my private time with Him; not asking for things but rather thanking Him and giving Him praise. It’s good for each of us to have a private place to do that, away from the noise of the world. It can be the corner of a room or a closet, where we shut off other things and can be alone with Him.
  I am reading a book by John Michael Talbot, who shares stories about the desert fathers and mothers, and their lives of giving all to the Lord. We were at his hermitage years ago, a quiet contemplative place where prayer takes place and there are few outer distractions. As Talbot said, many words are not needed to pray but rather an open repentant heart.
  Let us all seek to grow in our love for the Lord and as St. Francis said, “I seek not so much to pray, as to become a prayer.”
Challenge for today: Do something today for God alone, out of love for him.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy