Dear Ones,
Happy Labor Day weekend! Hope you have time to join with others in celebrating. I am packing as we are going to the cabin and stay overnight and go to church at the Lighthouse tomorrow. Al is going to a Fantasy football Draft party and then we will head north. I plan to visit a friend on the way and then this evening we are having a picnic at the Point. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  When I was a child, my siblings and I spent summers at the lake, 200 miles from our busy city life. It was quite different for there was no electricity or running water and the cabin itself rested on pillars. We had many storms and my folks always told us if it got bad, we would all rush outside to the well and go down deep inside. It was comforting words but I doubt we could all fit down in the well, and never once in bad stormy weather was it ever mentioned to do that. While reading a great book by Gem and Alan Fadling, “What Does Your Soul Love”, I just finished a chapter on truth. It spoke to me as I think most of us would say we want to know truth but do we really want to go down deep into the well, to find it?  Maybe we want just want relief from pain we may be experiencing.
  I’m sure we have all believed many lies; it could be about who we are and our worth, about God loving us or seemingly forgetting us, what we imagine people think of us etc. It is easier to hide from the truth but until we face up to it, we will live in pain. But if we fully embrace the truth of God’s love for us and accept ourselves as He does, even with our flaws, we would be forever changed. Instead of protecting ourselves, if we go down into the deep well of truth, we will begin to see things as actually they are and not how we wish them to be. Jesus is the truth and offers to help us live from the inside out. That means no more focusing just on our outward behavior like the Pharisees but living the truth from the inside. They cared most of all how they appeared to others and desired the applause of the people more than devotion to God.
   We also can focus on things about God like Bible studies, mission trips, and spiritual disciplines, and yet neglect our focus on God Himself and letting Him transform us.  We may give the appearance of being close to the Lord and yet not trust Him and experience His grace. It is the Truth that sets us free. (John 8:32) and we must believe the truth of who Jesus is and welcome Him into the deepest parts of our lives. He invites us to discover the truth about ourselves and bring healing if we are willing and not simply wanting quick relief.
  Challenge for today: Ask God to show you ways you are settling for relief rather than going deeper to know truth.
Blessings on your long weekend and prayers and love, Judy