Radio stations have started their twenty-five days of joyful Christmas carols. Families are addressing beautiful Christmas cards to loved ones. Delicious recipes are being pulled from kitchen drawers in preparation for baking Christmas cookies. And Christmas trees stand tall for purchase; soon to be decorated in anticipation of Christmas presents ready to surround them.
All these festive activities point to only one blessed extraordinary day, a day which school children and employees alike will be excused from their expected duties–Christmas!
But, dear followers of the True Light of Christmas, do you know there are some folks out there directly trying to snuff the festivities Christians enjoy as we ponder the true meaning of Christmas?
The surest way to turn a good day bad, for yourself and for others, is to spew negative words. In truth, if we often speak negativity, it turns into our norm. I know someone in particular whose conversation overflows with negativity. When I know I’ll be around that person, I approach the event mentally prepared.
Negative words and thoughts are not worthless, they do carry power. They trigger bleak emotion, aggressive action, cause pain, and forbid joy to evolve within you. Negativity does not nurture joy.
Matthew 15:10-11 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
Last week my post—When did “a cross” become “The Cross”?, revealed the true message of The Cross. “Through Jesus’ resurrection—He once was dead then came to life three days later—a cross turned into The Cross!”
“Literally, a crossis itself not power. But, The Cross, the means by which Jesus sacrificed Himself to death and now symbolizes eternal life for Christians-that, dear believers, holds power. It is truth we Christians need to remember daily.”
It was on The Cross that Jesus shared His final words. Often, people are intrigued to know the dying words of someone about to take their last breath. In fact books have been written on this very topic. Famous last words of five well known men include:
While Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth and Mary was still with child, the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, declared a census of the entire Roman empire.
Pregnancy or not, you don’t keep an Emperor waiting! Augustus decided he needed a population count for military and tax reasons. Though Jews were not required to serve in the military, they most definitely were required to pay taxes.
So Joseph took his pregnant fiancee, Mary, and made the seventy mile journey to Bethlehem. He traveled to because men were required to return to their hometown; Joseph was a descendent of King David and Joseph’s family came from Bethlehem.
The word joy appears 218 times in 210 verses of the New International Version of the Bible. God absolutely wants His children to desire, seek, attain, and boldly live in joy!
As a child during vacation Bible school, we often sang the Joy Joy Joy Joy song. I really enjoyed that song because our leaders encouraged us to sing it enthusiastically LOUD.
My memories are vivid—I was always happy and cheerful while we sang that inspiring song. Now as an adult, I totally appreciate going deeper into the meaning of that song, resonating in those unadorned lyrics.
What a blessing to be spending the holidays with my husband, mother, daughter and son-in-law!
Holiday’s past included a wider field of family, but over the years that has changed. Beloved members have passed, some moved out of state, and sadly, we have lost touch with others for various reasons.
However, though our party group has gotten smaller, I have found I have expanded my understanding of the meaning of Christmas.Continue reading →
Jesus Christis the Master of instruction to live a positive life. HisSermon on the Mount, found in Matthew, chapters 5 ,6, and 7, eloquently reveals what is important in life, and how we can grow in the kingdom of heaven.
Two thousand years ago, enormous crowds gathered together on a hillside near Capernaum, as Jesus preached for several days what has become one of His most famous messages.Continue reading →
I am blessed with two different joys in life. My first joy – joy in the Lord, is what blesses me with my second joy – Joy, my daughter. Both joys fill my heart with love and thankfulness, but since the former created of the latter, I’ll acknowledge His joy first. Continue reading →