Dear Ones,
Hope you have a good day and are not getting buried in snow. We hear the cities may get up to 18″ the next few days and we will get a possible get 3″to 5″. I plan to go to my exercise class today and later crafts and Lenten supper and service. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   We are in a new season of the church year and Sunday Al and I changed the paraments on the church altar to the color purple with a crown of thorns embroidered into the cloth. A beautiful reminder that is the Lenten season and a time to reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection.
   Lent is a very old practice and varies a great deal among Christians but this time is especially meant to help us become more aware of our need for the Lord. Some years I fast and give up something, like desserts; but the giving up of a particular enjoyable thing or action is not what is most important but rather time spent to focus more on the Lord. As it says in James 4:8 (God’s Word), “Come close to God and He will come close to you.”
    Lent is a time of preparation reminding us of what Jesus went through for us on the cross to save us. Hopefully, we use this time to draw closer to Him and know Him in deeper ways and experience His grace and mercy. In many churches ashes are put on foreheads of the people in the sign of the cross symbolizing repentance and a time of cleansing and renewal.
   At our particular church we have a soup supper and fellowship before a Wednesday night service. Each week Pastor or a different person will be speaking on the various aspects of Jesus journey to the cross. We can get ho hum about Jesus’ death as we have heard the story many times over our life time, but Lent is a time to refocus and remember.
    Maybe this Lenten season, we need to do something new, perhaps a particular spiritual discipline; or go on a weekend retreat, or just go for a walk out in nature and reflect on what Jesus did for us. Let us not just go through the motions but ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to go deeper with the Lord and to experience Him anew and receive from Him all that He wants to pour into our hearts.
Then it won’t be long until we will be celebrating His amazing resurrection with such gratitude and joy.
  Challenge for today: Ask the Lord how He would have you celebrate this Easter season in a new way with a fresh awareness of His sacrifice for you.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy