Dear Ones,
  Hope you had a wonderful long holiday weekend! We enjoyed celebrating our friend David’s birthday yesterday and we marvel at how the Lord brought our two couples together over 1/1/2 years ago on the Paul Bunyan trail. This morning  I made Al’s favorite cookies and a veggie stir-fry and went downstairs for choc covered raspberries. This afternoon we are invited to friends for coffee and fellowship. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  God disciplines those who He loves, or He would not really love us. We can be comforted that it is always for our own good and to help us to go the right way. I read today from Heb. 12:6 &11 (ESV), “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives…For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
   While at the lake over the weekend two of my niece’s little girls were playing In the lake, on the dock, and in the woods. I noticed how their parents always kept a careful eye out for them, not to damper their fun but to be sure they were safe.  If they got out of their parent’s sight, they  would immediately be called back that no harm would happen. If they didn’t respond the parent would have to discipline them to help them learn to listen and obey. That is easy to understand for our children but we may not always appreciate when the Lord has to discipline us.
   Our discipline may be painful at times when we are wandering off on our own, and the Lord tries to get our attention. He may use various simple ways at first of calling us back, like a word of scripture that seems to be in neon lights, or a constructive word given by a friend who sees us going on the wrong path. But if those things don’t work and we continue going our own way, He may have to use more costly measures like letting us suffer the consequences of our bad choices. I noticed Gloria’s mom cautioning her as she neared the edge of the steep slope. She listened and obeyed and she turned and went happily on her way exploring. But if she had insisted of her own way, she could have fallen down the steep hill and gotten bruised by the stumps and prickly branches and landed in poison ivy. 
  When we go through painful times, we might ask ourselves if the Lord is getting our attention because we have not responded to His messages of warning. Let us rather be like children who hear the voice of our Father and thank Him for His warning and quickly obey.
Challenge for today: Listen to God’s voice and respond in obedience, knowing He speaks out of love for you.  
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy