Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! Won’t be long until Christmas. Today I hope to do some baking. Any day we may hear a knock on our door to let us know we need to be gone out of our apt while they put in a new floor in our kitchen. Each apt is being done so we are starting to empty out things on the floor of the closets and pantry to get ready. Emoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Christmas is soon coming, and it is a time for giving. People give more at Christmas than other time of the year and seem to be kinder as they remember those who are less fortunate. If our hearts are open, and we refuse to listen to our selfish desires and focus rather on others, something happens in us too…. Something quite beautiful. Becky Weber, a pastor’s wife writes about what we receive in return when we give to others, and that may be more valuable than what we give.

   Giving teaches us things and most importantly that God is faithful, and we can trust Him to meet our needs. We may think that if we give away money or gift items that we may not have enough for ourselves, but I have found that when I give to others, I often get back a bounty. But even when we don’t see returns right away, we read stories of people who were helped as children and later they end up helping the very one who helped them earlier in life and have now fallen into poverty. But above all, we are putting our faith in God who is our provider, and we can depend on Him.

Becky helps us see how easy it is to get so focused on self and the world revolving around us, that we forget about those in need. In fact, we may come to the conclusion that we need more and are never satisfied. But when we give of ourselves, our time, and possessions to bless others we feel more thankful and satisfied. Our eyes get opened that life here on earth is temporary and whatever we have has come from the Lord in the first place. We need to close our ears to what our culture tries to tell us is important and instead give freely to bless others. Jesus gave us His unselfish example of giving all for the glory of His Father, and that was His very life. We become more like Him as we share with others, not only physical gifts but our time and especially the Good News.

We are also reminded that as we give, we see our need for each other and share and receive from others. We are not an island unto ourselves but we may have what someone else is in need of and at other times they provide what we need. We are a family, and we all have gifts to be used for others to benefit them. We don’t have it all together, but together we have it all! Everyone has something to contribute so let us have open hearts to not only give but to receive what the Lord would give us through someone else. As each of us gives we are blessed and become more like Jesus.

Challenge for today: Think of someone who has a need and ask the Lord if He wants you to be blessed by meeting that need.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy