Dear Ones,
 Happy Holiday weekend! Do you have plans? We are preparing to go to the lake tomorrow morning and stay until Sunday evening, along with many relatives. It looks to be good weather for a wiener roast and swimming and sauna and we enjoy just being by the water. I cleaned the Apt this morning and am doing food prep etc.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   I surmise that we have all been in a bad storm at one time in our lives, where we wondered if we were going to survive. I remember as I child being at the cabin when a storm hit with 100 mph winds and nowhere to go. There was no basement and our once thought-out plan to go down the narrow well, did not seem so favorable to escape to in the rain and wind. So many trees went down but we were safe in the cabin and I’m sure my parents were praying. For some time, I had a great fear of storms but as I grew in my walk with the Lord the fear for storms left and I have peace even when the sky grows black.
    In our Bible Study class, we are studyied Max Lacado’s book, Never Alone, and one of the stories that he writes of is the disciples in the storm. Jesus told them to go across the lake to Capernaum but they encountered a storm on the way that was so fierce that they thought they were going to sink. They rowed 3 or 4 miles in the wind and big waves and must have thought this is it…we aren’t going to survive. But in the midst of it all, Jesus came walking on the water and stilled the storm and said, “It is I: don’t be afraid.” (John 6:20)
   I’m sure none of us would choose the storms that come into our lives and we may even question where is God. We wish they would be over quick or to be spared them all together. However, that is not up to us and they come to us unannounced.
   But instead, we need to welcome the Lord into our storm and let the Lord complete His work in us and strengthen us. He loves us and has given us so many promises to assure us of His presence with us in all situations. Like it says in Isaiah 43:1-3, (Message), “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down…I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior.”
    Let us always, always remember we are not on our own but we have the One who is with us in every storm of life. He waits to hear our cry and comes to enter our situation and speak His words of love and hope. Storms are meant to help develop our character, to teach us, to prepare us for even greater works. May we know we are not alone and respond to His voice. 
   Challenge for today: When the next storm comes into your life, call on the Lord first and listen for His voice.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy