Dear Ones,
Hope you have a day filled with His love. Soon we will be going this morning to the cities for the funeral for Leif’s mom. She was ready to go and is spending Christmas in glory and for that we rejoice, but hard for family as she is missed. Another funeral next week for a friend from our church too.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  So often as I read the Word, something really stands out that I want to give more thought and pray over, and let the Holy Spirit search my own heart. As I write to all of you each day, I want it to come from a heart that is in tune with the Lord and not just words. Today I was in Romans 12 which is very familiar but instead of the ESV translation, I read it from the Message. Often it grabs me in its everyday words and brings conviction. Verse 10 to 19 says a lot about loving from the center of our being and not pretending or faking. Since Christmas is a time of being with friends and relatives and groups of people from work etc., maybe this passage is good for all of us as it is full of ways of how to handle ourselves.

  “Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up.  Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. l’ll do the judging,’ says God. I’ll take care of it.’”

  A word to us is that we are not to push our self-importance but be willing to be secondd as we love deeply and show honor to one another. We need to be full of the Spirit as we serve one another as unto the Lord. If someone gets under our skin, we don’t give up but pray harder and exercise patience even as the Lord is patient with us. We are to help provide for their needs and show warm hospitality…not how long are you going to stay?!!! Even if they are sarcastic towards us, bless them and don’t curse them. Share their joy and also their griefs as some will come with heavy hearts. We are to try our best to live in harmony and not be exclusive but include them. Even if they speak against us, let us not respond back or try to get the upper hand…pray for them and leave the judging up to the Lord.  Ask God to show us beauty in them, and to help us get along with them. Let us do our part to live in harmony with one another.

  Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to help you to be a humble, loving, caring servant and to express his love in words and actions.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy