Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a great weekend. Today I will be cleaning and then we will be getting ready for our trip to North Carolina. We plan to leave about 4 a.m. on Monday and we are excited as it has been some time since we have been with Mark’s family. Appreciate prayers for our safety and health as we travel.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Our grandson just had a birthday recently and got his first smart phone and the joy on his face says it all. There are guidelines put down by his parents so as not to let the phone be a substitute for actual spoken words and communication face to face. Sadly, people don’t talk aloud much anymore but just text one another; and we might have guessed that there has never been so much loneliness. Phones are good but not as a substitute for heart to heart communicating. It may be surprising to just look around your own home to see if family is really sharing with one another or if is quiet because everyone is simply texting others or gaming on their phones.
  Our phones can also have an effect on our relationship with the Lord if we spend more time on them than talking to Him. Author Emily Rose Massey writes about how important it is to stay connected with the Lord and shares from I Thes. 5:16-18 as Paul gives some final words to the church in Thessalonica, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God.” It’s important to stay in constant communication with the Lord, and it builds faith in us and trust, and a heart of thanksgiving. I want to share a prayer Emily wrote to help us put our technology in its rightful place, so as to not neglect the Lord and those around us.
“Father God,
  There can be such a blessing that comes from technology and being able to connect with other people all over the world in a moment. But this blessing can also become a major distraction from something so much better, staying connected to You. Lord, I repent for neglecting to keep our communication a top priority and allowing an electronic device to become a hindrance to the spiritual discipline of prayer. You call us to never cease from praying, meaning that we should be continually looking to You every moment of the day. I lift my gaze to You, knowing that is where my help comes from. I lift up my voice to You, knowing that You incline Your ear to me as Your child.       Thank You, Jesus, for making a way for me to have a relationship with my Heavenly Father. May I never take that relationship for granted? Help me by Your grace and the power of the Spirit to remember to keep prayer a daily, moment-by-moment lifeline to my Heavenly Father.
In Jesus’ name, amen. 
Challenge for today: Pray this prayer and ask the Lord to help you stay connected with Him and others around you.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy