Dear Ones,
Hope you wake to a day filled with peace. Al is soon off to men’s group, and I will have donuts waiting for him when he returns as it is Donut Day. After our Bible study here this afternoon, he will be going to the dentist to get a wisdom tooth extracted. Emoji Prayers appreciated!  I am going to make a pot of stew and soon the aroma will fill our apartment.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
 The way we live and interact is a gift to others!  Today there is a great lack of unity as many people in likeminded groups wall themselves off from others that don’t exactly agree with their way of thinking. Gone is the likelihood of influencing others for good as walls are put up around closed groups that are not open to those with other viewpoints.
 The question arises, how can we influence others for the Lord, if we are secluded and not welcoming to others? When we have Bible Study here at Northern Lakes, we come from so many different backgrounds, and Al is careful that we don’t make an issue of infant baptism or modes of communion, or any kind of doctrinal differences. We are one in the Lord and unity is more important than being right in a doctrinal debate.  Paul says to Timothy in II Tim 2:14 to “avoid petty controversy over words, which does not good but upsets and undermines the faith of the hearers.” He goes on to say we are to avoid all empty, vain, and useless, idle) talk, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.
 So much in the Word speaks of the unity of Christ’s Body for we are one family with many different parts. It says in Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider and give attentive continuous care to watching over one another studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities.” We are also told to gather together to encourage and admonish one another for we are of the same spirit. Yes, we are diverse, but we have One who is our common denominator, and unity is found in Him.  Others outside of Christ, may be drawn to Him, just by observing our unity and oneness of spirit.
  Let us let the Holy Spirit guide our conversations and live with openness to others and also humbly receive from them.
Challenge for today: Purposely have conversation with someone of a different viewpoint and be open to what you may learn.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy