Dear Ones,
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  I went to my exercise class this morning and also got a dessert made and egg dishes.
This afternoon Ann is going to give a class on Essential oils on zoom which comes at a good time to help with our immunity.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
How open and welcoming are we to children, especially in our churches. Do we see them as special and important in God’s sight or do we think of them as a distraction, especially during the Sunday morning worship?
Pastor Mark Roberts, from Fuller Seminary writes about welcoming the children to come to the Lord, and how Jesus had concern for them. But Jesus’ disciples must have thought children were bothersome and tried to shoo them away when Jesus was speaking to the crowds. In those days, it was a custom for mothers to bring their children to a rabbi for a blessing, and I imagine that is what happened that day. Jesus had a strong response to his disciples and said in no uncertain terms in Luke 18:15 (NRSV), “Let the children come to me and do not stop the for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.” The Message translation says, “Let these children alone. Don’t get between the and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy.” He goes on to say, “Mark this: Unless you accept Gods’ kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”
If children are important to God’s kingdom, then we should be welcoming to them as well. Maybe we have small children and we take a deep breath on Sunday mornings and hope they behave in church so we don’t receive disgusted looks. But our churches should be the most welcoming place where children feel accepted and loved and cherished.  Sometimes we admit that we are more like the disciples that want to hush them up and to put them aside.
If you are a parent, the most important thing is helping them to know the Lord personally and modeling for them the life of His love. It helps to take them to S.S. and to let them get together with Christian friends, go on mission trips etc.
Even when our kids are grown, we can encourage parents, teach S.S., help with youth functions, greet them at church and show an interest in them, mentor them, be supportive of youth leaders etc.
We can also learn a lot by watching children for they express faith even at a very young age and they can ask us heart searching questions.
One of our friends from a church where Al was interim, is retirement age, but very active with the youth, She gives children sermons, has over 50 kids on Wednesdays for Release Time, does Christmas programs, has the youth help at Nursing homes etc. She feels so blessed that God has given her this ministry.
Let us not forget the children but as Jesus, let us welcome them and learn from them.
Challenge for today: Go out of your way at church to show a child he or she is important.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy