Dear Ones,
Hope you had a great weekend. Al has a cough and cold so we had church at home yesterday; he is feeling some better now and we are thankful. Such times helps us remember to be grateful for our health and to pray for those who are suffering and live in chronic pain. Today I made egg dishes and food prep. studied, and went to my exercise class. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
How well do we know ourselves and how willing are we to learn more about what lies buried within our hearts?  It would be great if we were always flowing in the transformation process, and becoming more of who God created us to be. But we must admit we are not totally aware of how we need to change and are often blind to our faults. When we ask the Lord to remake us more like Him, we may be surprised at the people He uses to help us see what things need to change in our lives. We then have to be honest with ourselves to know if we are really open to change. 
 I read of how Francis Fenelon was a mentor and guide to a person asking for spiritual direction. He told him that God often uses someone who confronts us with the wrong they see in our lives and how we respond shows if we are serious about letting Him work in our lives. If we are deeply offended, then we know God has touched a sore spot and we need humility to admit that we are not all put together and need His help to fix what is wrong. It shows we are not dead in that area of our life. We don’t need to resist and protest that the person was harsh and insensitive, but rather thankfulness for what has been exposed.  We need to admit our failures and trust that He will cut out of our life what we have been hanging onto. Perhaps someone has spread rumors about us, and utter lies and we have no way of correcting what has been said. We can get upset and angry or we can realize that what God is after is for us to surrender our reputation. If we hang on to it, we will become bitter at the words spoken against us. But if we lay our reputation before him, He will cut away that which has become an idle, and we don’t have to be busy protecting it any longer. We won’t feel pain if we are dead to self in that area. When we get all ruffled, we know we are not completely dead. 
The battle goes on throughout our life between our flesh and the spirit. As Paul said in Gal. 5:16-17a (The Message).” My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feel the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.” He exhorts them to be led by the Spirit and not to be dominated by our flesh nature.  God will give us grace to surrender our flesh and to live in freedom of the Spirit.
Challenge for today: The next time you feel offended, seek to know what isn’t dead within and surrender it.  
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy