Dear Ones,
Thank you for your prayers. We are having a wonderful trip so far. We especially enjoyed seeing my aunt on the way yesterday and she seemed better. She talked about the miracles in her life and as always she was thinking of others. We had a time of prayer together too and we went  away blessed. We traveled nearly 500 miles  here to Coralville, Iowa where we spent the night at our favorite motel. This Marriott boarders on the woods so we had a long walk and then I had a good swim in the pool all alone. Great for prayer time too. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
What does it really mean when Jesus says in Mark 12:30-31(NRSV) “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength? The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  How do we love God completely and also others as we care for ourselves? We can’t carry out this command by will power but only by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. In Ronald Rolheiser’s book, Scared Fire, he asks us to picture a mansion with 30 rooms, but we give the Lord only 27 of them as we want to hold back 3 of them for ourselves. God patiently waits as He wants to inhabit all of them, for the deepest joy is found when we are willing to give up all.  Is it easy? No! The rich young ruler couldn’t do it and went away sad. Rolheizer uses the example of Jesus mother, Mary, who didn’t hold anything back. She had great faith and when the angel came to her to tell her she would be pregnant by the Holy Spirit, she just said, “Be it according to your will.” The cost of the misunderstanding she would experience from others did not hinder her from giving her all. It also says she pondered all that the angel told her. In Hebrew ponder means to hold and transform tension so as not to give it back in kind. Mary stood under the cross and was silent. She didn’t try to stop the crucifixion or protest its unfairness but stood there in strength. Her silence and strength spoke a powerful message and she chose not to get caught up in hatred and bitterness of others but radiated forgiveness. Yes, there are times to protest but there are also times that protests aren’t helpful and we need to stand under the cross and refuse to pass on the bitterness. Rolheizer admonishes us not to let the energy of an angry crowd flow through us and become the basis for our actions. Sometimes we are called to ponder and carry the tension within us and respond as Mary did if we want to help take the darkness out of the world. Jesus took in hatred of others, and transformed it and gave back love and forgiveness. Let us also love well!
Challenge for today: Be like a filter that takes what is negative around you and give back only what is good and pure.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy