Dear Ones,
Happy Holiday weekend! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a great day with family, a big yummy feast, games, sharing, and the Viking win too. Tomorrow we will be going home again and appreciate prayers for safety. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  We have just celebrated Thanksgiving and sharing those blessings we are thankful for; but every day should be a day we can express thankfulness to the Lord. When we start our day with words of praise and thanks, it seems to color our whole day with a bright outlook on whatever happens during our day. I like to begin my day early and I can see dawn unfolding right out my window as I write. It is a good time to begin giving thanks to our Father who gave us a good night of rest, a warm home, food etc., but also thanks for His peace and joy, and comfort, and grace and on and on. Like the chorus goes, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” Some people choose to thank the Lord with a familiar hymn or sing a song with their own words of thanks and praise.
   I don’t know about you, but I like to give gifts but am also blessed when I know they have been received and valued. But when there is no response returned, it is hard to know if they appreciated what was given and if I should give more. I wonder often if the Lord feels that way about us when we take blessings for granted and don’t bother to express thanks.
    Besides the Lord, it is good to extend thanks to others and let them know they matter and are cared for. It can be something so simple as a card or a text, but it tells the other person, that we think about them and are glad they are in our life. It could also be a stranger that we are prompted to thank. Recently when we were at our hotel, I noticed a man cleaning up after the breakfast and was so diligent and thorough. When I went to get coffee, I thanked him for keeping the place so clean and he responded 2 or 3 times by thanking me for noticing.
   It is good to be intentional in practicing thankfulness so we don’t get distracted, especially by the worldly things that are one day going to fade away. Why not start a thankful journal and record the things you are noticing today. You might put the list on your phone or computer and just keep adding to it. The Apostle Paul says in Eph 5:18 (ESV), “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That covers it all!
Challenge for today: Write down 10 blessings that you are especially grateful for and thank the Lord throughout your day.
Blessings on your weekend  and prayers and love, Judy