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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Genuine Christmas Joy

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  When the JOY of the Lord is in our heart and thoughts, then we’re on the right track for a blessed Christmas season.

            We know that if we’re not careful, we’ll get caught up in the stresses of the holidays and miss the blessings that God has prepared for us.  Let’s think of how we can prevent some of the stress by examining our priorities. Some things we truly can cut out….and other things we can approach a little differently. Let’s take stock of what we really want for our holiday season and do something about it!

            What’s the most important? 

  • The number of Christmas presents under the tree or the quality time spent with our loved ones?
  • Is it the amount of money we spend on gifts and decorations or is it the resources we share to help with a real need in someone’s life?
  • Do we have to “keep up with the Jones” and give our kids the latest gadgets or fads…or do we value more the time with our children, teaching them about the love and JOY of  Jesus (and celebrating His birth)?

When we take the time to get our priorities straight, we can face the holiday with a renewed love for the Lord and we will see Christmas in a different light.  Godly wisdom will help us to see what’s truly important, and we’ll be “too blessed to be stressed”!

      My prayer is that each of our hearts will be focused on genuine Christmas JOY that comes from the birth of a baby named Jesus. And though he was born in a manger more than 2000 years ago, that joy never grows old.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Good News of Great Joy"

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Savor the flavor…and prepare your heart and your thoughts for the beauty of Christmas.

             Christmas is right around the corner.  26 days to be exact! Before the rush begins, let’s determine to make this Christmas season different…in a good way!  Here are three simple suggestions:

1.      Find at least 10 minutes each day to ponder the reason for the season.  There are many good devotional books and Christmas inspirational stories. Of course, the BEST book of all is the Holy Bible. Reading the story of Jesus’ birth never gets old.

2.      Decide to do at least one thing during the Christmas season that would bring joy to someone who is not expecting it! Think about those God has brought into your life who might need a helping hand or is lonely or just needs an expression of love. What a great way to show the JOY of the Jesus by sharing His love with others.

3.      Find a good children’s book that tells the story of the first Christmas and read it to a child or group of children.  Teachers and parents are always looking for volunteers…at school, at church or at home.  What memories you’ll be making for those little ones!  And you will receive a blessing of JOY in return! 

Hopefully, these simple suggestions will spark your creativity and help you to think of new ways to share bits of JOY throughout the holidays.  Don’t get stressed! Instead be BLESSED with the opportunities God places before you.

             As Luke 2: 10 tells us: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.”

Monday, November 28, 2016


            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Drinking a generous portion daily helps to get your heart ready for the holidays!

            Do you look forward to Christmas or do you kinda dread the holidays?  There are several reasons I’ve heard people give as to why they don’t look forward to Christmas.

Reasons such as:

  • Dreading the shopping and…the bills that come afterwards.
  • Some are grieving and say there are too many memories of those who are no longer with us.
  • Others complain that Christmas has become too commercial and people miss the real meaning.
  • And the fact is, we often do get so busy with parties, activities and gatherings that we’re exhausted by the time Christmas Day gets here!

Those are all pretty good reasons and each one holds some truth.  But I’d like to issue a challenge for this upcoming Christmas season:


 Let’s be determined to drink in every drop of joy that comes from celebrating His goodness; bask in the love of God for sending His Son to earth in the form of a newborn baby…knowing that He would sacrifice His very life to save you & me and give us eternal life!

 Isaiah 9:6 says:  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…”

      May we refrain from dreading the holiday season! Let’s celebrate God’s faithfulness and determine to SAVOR the SAVIOR….joyously!