Dear Ones,
Oh the snow out my window today…so beautiful and so welcome if you don’t have to go somewhere. Some brave person went and got the donuts early this morning and tomorrow we hope we can get to Costco for the birthday cake. I have made 2 batches of cookies this morning and this afternoon we have Bible Study.  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
How good are we at offering forgiveness to others? Perhaps that is the most precious gift we can give them. We may be often hindered in forgiving others by not seeing our own sins but instead judging theirs.  The Greek word of forgiveness is aphiemi and means to let go to divorce, leave, or send forth. We let go of the need to judge or punish and instead we offer forgiveness. That includes forgiving even before the other person is sorry or desires to reconcile.
   The longer I know the Lord, the more I see my need for mercy and forgiveness. Often during the day, I lift a prayer confessing my sin of that moment or a sin from long ago and ask for forgiveness. I like to then thank the Lord that He has forgiven me as the enemy likes to bring old things up; instead of chastising myself that I didn’t respond differently etc., I like to thank the Lord for His forgiveness and that my sin is now drowned in the depth of the sea! We have the wonderful promise that as we acknowledge our sins, that He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrong doing. (I John 1:9) A good verse to memorize in our arsenal against the enemy!
  I love John Michael Talbot’s picture of forgiveness. He said forgiveness is like a constant fall of rain from God and we are like cups lying upside down. God’s rain of forgiveness and love continues to fall but we can only benefit from it if we turn our cups right side up and let them be filled. Otherwise, we cannot receive, for we lack repentance.
   We must also be quick to forgive others and Talbot mentions that they should be able to sense forgiveness by looking into our eyes of love rather than the scorn of judgement. When we don’t forgive it binds us up, and them, and sometimes even a whole church or community.
   Let us all ask the Lord for humility to see our own sins and not judge others but to show the precious gift of mercy.
Challenge for today: When we see the sin of others be quick to say, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
Blessings on this snowy day and prayers and love, Judy