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Saturday, December 19, 2015

5 Tips For A Joyful Christmas

Joy to the world                                                 
The Lord has come
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart 
Prepare Him room 
And heaven and nature sing (repeat x 2)

Since the Christmas season began, I've sung the above words in church a few times, and ever so often I would find myself humming or singing the song. Needless to say, it's one of my favorite Christmas carols and is quite popular at this time of year. But even though I sing the song, I'm aware that there is not much joy in our world today. For many people Christmas is the saddest and loneliest time of the year. And if you live anywhere on planet earth, you know there are dozens of other reasons for the lack of joy.
So rather than depressing you by telling you what you already know, I've come up with some tips to help you experience some joy this Christmas. 

1. Spend time with the Lord. Yes, I know you pray and read your Bible daily, but at Christmas time we may find ourselves so engulfed in our preparations we may neglect spending some quiet time with God. Don't let this happen. The psalmist said, "In thy presence is fullness of joy ..." Psalm 16: 11.

2. Slow down. This may seem almost impossible, but guess what? You don't have to kill yourself trying to have everything perfect; neither do you have to attend every function to which you are invited; neither do you have to overspend in an attempt to buy gifts for everyone. 

3. Spend time with friends and family. Make it fun, leisurely and stress free. Invite someone who may be alone over for dinner. If you are fortunate to have older relatives around, have them relate stories about "the good old days." They love to do that, and the young people will benefit from a little history lesson.Watch a movie like this one that everyone can enjoy.

4. Share your faith. Don't be afraid to say, "Merry Christmas," to store clerks, co-workers and strangers you meet in the mall. You never know, it may spark some conversation about our Savior.

5. Sing. Yes, sing some Christmas carols. Find a radio station that plays them or go to You Tube where you'll find modern as well as old-fashioned ones. You cannot remain sad when you sing. 

You may be able to think of other ways to infuse some joy into your Christmas, or maybe you have some family traditions that are special to you. Why not share them in the comments box below? And do have a blessed and joyful Christmas. 

Enjoy this video of Whitney Houston and the Georgia Mass Choir singing Joy To The World. 

Friday, December 04, 2015

Don't Worry!

This heading is part of a popular song title of yesteryear, Don't Worry, Be Happy. In light of recent happenings in America and around the world we can't be happy, but we can certainly not worry if our eyes are fixed on God.  
Psalm 42: 5, 11 and 43: 5 say, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance." KJV

The AMP version says,  Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become restless and disturbed within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.

The ERV version:  Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I tell myself, “Wait for God’s help! You will again be able to praise him, your God, the one who will save you.” 

The NIV version: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Jesus Himself said,  "When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21: 28).

The only way we can survive this terrible period we are going through is to trust in the Lord, stay close to Him, study His Word, and don't worry.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones and those who were injured in this latest tragedy. God has not forgotten you.