Dear Ones,
  Hope you are having a blessed Christmas weekend. We are leaving this morning for Ann’s and will be stopping on the way at Assisted Living to see a friend. We plan to be home for the candle light Christmas eve service at our church. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  If we were asked if we know that God loves us, most of us may answer yes, of course I do. But in our heart of our hearts, we may doubt that He can love us when we do wrong, and that He can accept us as we are. If we were loved by parents who expressed love no matter how poor or well we did, it will be easier; but often love is conditional. Since we are all flawed, we often pass on to God this same conditional love and as a result we miss the joy of knowing we are loved no matter what. God so loves the world and as it says in John 3:17, “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him,
   God loves us not just when we have good behavior or do spiritual disciplines but even when we are at our worst. This is contrary to the world whose love is based on our appearance, how we perform and how much wealth we have. There will always be others that are prettier, accomplish more and have more money. But God loves us just as we are, so why shouldn’t we love ourselves as He loves us. I am so imperfect and know more each day how much I need His forgiveness and love. But I also have to remember that He loves me just the way I am right now in my broken condition.  Author James Smith gives the example of St. Teresa who was a Carmelite nun and wrote a poem of her experience of God’s love. She reflected on all she had done in her life and was hesitant to draw close to the Lord; She sensed she was not worthy and then wrote, “God showed me His compassion and spoke a divine truth, “I made you, dear, and all I make is perfect. Please come close, for I desire you.”
   Maybe we also need to hear that word today that God made us and we are perfect. Smith says,” We can be perfect in our being, even when not perfect in our doing, because we are made exactly as God intended.
  Our love is fickle as sometimes we love and other times we don’t, but God is love always and wants what is best for us.  His love is complete and it is never-ending and endures forever. He loves us every moment of our day. I never tire of Al telling me he loves me and may we never tire of Jesus expressing His love for us.
Challenge for today: Open your spiritual eyes to see all the many ways God is loving you. 
Blessings on your Christmas and prayers and love, Judy