Dear Ones,
Hope you will have a good day and aware of God’s presence with you. I am sending this out early today as I will be gone all day to help serve at our  women’s district gathering at church. Al is going to come at the end to help us clean up. Tomorrow we are going to the cities to see my favorite aunt who is slipping away and soon to be with the Lord. Her family is gathering around her and would appreciate prayers as we say our good byes. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
So often when we read the Word, we are given the invitation to go deeper and to give ourselves away. If we respond to the invitation, we find our eyes are opened and our minds and hearts get stretched, and we come to experience a deeper compassion for others. When I was reading Ronald Rolheiser’s book, Sacred Fire, he takes several stories from the Bible where Jesus extends the invitation to us; if we say Yes to it, He will bring us into a deeper maturity. The first story he uses is in Luke 24 when Jesus is on the road to Emmaus with two disciples and they were quite discouraged at the time. Jesus had been crucified, but they didn’t recognize Him after He had been resurrected. They felt downcast and had lost hope as they walked 7 miles away from Jerusalem towards Emmaus. Rolheiser says Jerusalem represents for Luke the faith dream of the disciples, the place where Jesus died, and the church. Emmaus is like the escape, a place of worldly consolation. When the disciples tell their sad story of the crucifixion, Jesus plays naïve and listens to their explanation. Then he takes them from where they are at and helps them integrate their way of seeing things into a vision of faith. Humiliation of the cross is hard for all of us to grasp, and many times we go through the process of crucifixion and resurrection when our hopes seem dashed. How we see God and the church at such times turns many to walk away from the church and lose faith. But when we walk towards the place of consolation, Jesus comes to us in a new deeper way and will help us turn around and go back to Jerusalem. Just like the disciples who said to each other in Luke 24:32 ( God’s Word), “Weren’t we excited when He talked with us on the road and opened up the meaning of the Scriptures for us?” They hurried back to tell the news after Jesus broke the bread and offered it to them and their eyes were opened. It’s important how we recognize Jesus when He comes to us in new ways. We need to have our eyes opened and not have a closed mind set. Jesus doesn’t come to us in only one way that we may have perceived Him as a child. But sometimes we have to let go of our set ways and then receive Him in a deeper way.
Challenge for today: Be open to the new ways the Lord comes to you and go deeper.  
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy