Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying this day. It seems like fall now with temperatures dropping. This morning I went downstairs for donuts and then to Aldi’s and this afternoon we have Bible Study. Bill came through his surgery and now has a new kidney. Continue to pray his body will accept this gift and that there will be no rejection. We had a picture sent of him eating breakfast and he looked great! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   We all have need to belong but we don’t always sense we have a place to fit in. But when we know the Lord, we are part of the body of Christ, the Lord being the head. Even though we are now all connected we don’t always feel a deep sense of community and often experience disappointment.  Community takes work and we may have expectations that seem to be unmet.  We can respond by choosing to stay on the fringes and begin looking at other churches; or we can decide to do all we can to become a part of body and also welcome others.
   But it takes effort from all of us to build community and since we are all flawed people, much grace must be extended to one another. We are the family of God and if family then we share life together, for we are brothers and sisters. We spend time getting to know one another, worshiping together, communing together, and helping each other as we go through times of trials and grief.
    We are to reflect Jesus to the world and to be that light on the hill that reflects His glory. Everyone is important and needed to help reach out to those who are lost but also to those hurting within the Body of believers. We are all to take responsibility and not leave everything up to a few more extroverted members. Instead, we need to all be committed to the Lord first and then to one another.
   Small groups have been important in our life as it was a place to share our hearts and struggles too, and to pray for one another. Sometimes small groups met at the church and sometimes in homes but it was a place where we connected with other believers and shared our souls. As we come to know love and have a sense of belonging, we will have love to give to others and help them connect too.
    It is wonderful when community is warm and welcoming but it also important to have moral boundaries and Christian values and principles; it’s a place where we speak truth in love.  I think of it as a gift that is to be treasured. Paul says in Eph 4:15-16, Instead, as we lovingly speak the truth, we grow up completely in our relationship to Christ, who is the head. He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint. As each and every part does its job, he makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
   Challenge for today: Reach out to someone who is on the fringe and needs to know they have a place in the body of Christ. 
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy