Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a great weekend. I made 2 Mexican pies this morning and cleaned the apartment etc. We have been enjoying this mild weather for our walks and know that it won’t be long until we will be bundling up. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   How well do we love? How do we grow in love for God and others?  As I have been reading Todd Hall’s book, The Connected Life, I ask myself those questions. If we are truly loving it means we’re pursuing the good of others and want to connect with them; we desire what is best for them and delight in their well-being.
   That doesn’t mean we give others everything they want but rather what it is in their best interest to have them flourish. We want to give them what they need and is good for them so they may grow and heal and be understood. 
   Todd describes the four loves found in Scripture—Philia (friendship love), Agape love (Divine love), Eros (romantic love), and storge (parental or attachment love). What kind of love we show to another has to do with the type of relationship we have with them and the needs that they have. Each relationship and situation require wisdom to know how to love well and reflect God’s love to them.
   There may be tension between loving those closest to us plus loving those in the broader world. We can get caught up serving the poor but neglecting our own families. When we know the Lord, our love is expressed for the glory of God and we have the power of the Holy Spirit to love even those not naturally easy to love.
   Let us not forget though that we also need to receive love, especially when we are vulnerable and wounded. His love is transforming and we need to open our hearts to receive or we don’t have it to give away. We can also receive by engaging in spiritual practices that may help us open up, grow, and bring about transformation. Hall writes of the importance of reading scripture, practicing mindful awareness, silence etc. so we may draw closer in intimacy with God. As James says In James 4:8 (ESV), Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  
   Challenge for today: Do a new spiritual practice and open yourself up to receive how God wants to bless you. 
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy