Dear Ones,
Hope you had a relaxing weekend and kept warm! Thankful for our underground garage as we watched the temperature keep dropping as we went to church yesterday. Today we are going to the funeral of a friend who is now with the Lord and no longer suffering.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  There are so many scriptures on serving and giving to others and I believe it is not only for the other person receiving but our own hearts need to be opened and stretched. So much today is all about me, me, me, and following our hearts of what makes us happy, but something beautiful happens when we put God first, others second and ourselves last. Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return.”

  In our family birthdays have been important as a day to celebrate the honored person as God’s special gift in our lives. We are thankful to the Lord for them and we want to let them know they are loved. When the kids were young, we invited the whole neighborhood of kids to their parties but now it is mostly just family, since we live in a small place. Recently I was getting ready to celebrate Ann’s birthday and had much joy as I blew up balloons, got the meal ready, presents wrapped, and wanted Ann to know how much we love her. When she and Leif came their arms were full, and at first, I thought they were bringing groceries in from their truck so they wouldn’t freeze while we celebrated. But I was wrong, and they said it was all for me. Guess what it was! I couldn’t believe it, but buckets of cards that had been Leif’s mother, who recently died. She was like me and loved to give cards and now I was the recipient of her treasure. I was so blessed and happy that as soon as I cleaned up after the party, I sorted through the many cards, until bedtime. I thanked the Lord over and over for this unexpected gift and thought of Jesus words for truly abundant gifts were poured out upon me in overflowing measure!
May we not hold back when it is in our power to give and serve others, for the Lord is waiting to release abundant gifts to us, but more importantly to open our hearts to Him and to others.

Challenge for today: Don’t hold back when prompted to give or serve and do it out of love for the Lord and others.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy