Monthly Archives: December 2014

6 Days Until Christmas – Repeat the Sounding Joy

I am counting the days to Christmas by taking phrases from the beloved Christmas Carol, “Joy to the World” and sharing my thoughts.

Yesterday, I shared how heaven and nature celebrates Christ’s birth through “singing”. Singing is a big deal at Christmastime. There are carols played at department stores. Kids sing in Christmas programs. Radio stations bypass their usual songs and play continuous Christmas music instead. Christmas carolers sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to their neighbors. It’s as if everyone knows that now is the time to “repeat the sounding joy”.

Last night, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Michael W. Smith Christmas concert. Among other songs, he sang his infamous, “Emmanuel”. What a treat to hear it in person rather than just on a Christmas CD. As I was enjoying the performance, I noticed something right in front of the stage. There was a woman interpreting the songs for those who couldn’t hear. My heart became saddened as I realized the beautiful piano music accompanied by a full strings section that I could hear so fully and was enjoying so completely was literally falling on deaf ears. How sad to be in a place where “joy is being repeated” but you cannot experience it like others.

Yet, isn’t that how it is for some people this Christmas? There is joy that they don’t feel due to heartache, loss, depression or a variety of other reasons. They look around and see people enjoying their Christmas and they realize that joy is falling on their deaf ears and dull hearts.

As you go about these next few days until Christmas, I encourage you to open your eyes and look for those who need some joy. Once you’ve spotted them, open your heart and be a person who will “repeat the sounding joy” in ways they can understand.

  • A warm smile
  • Look in their eyes and wish them a “Merry Christmas”
  • A handshake or hug if appropriate
  • A monetary blessing.

God fills us with His joy not so that we will be joy hogs, but so that we will pass it on to others.

In the meantime, while you are waiting for opportunities to bring someone joy, I dare you, in fact I double-dog dare you (whether you are in your car all by yourself or in a crowded department store) sing at the top of your lungs and “repeat the sounding joy”!

Your Friend in Ministry,

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7 Days Until Christmas – Let Heaven and Nature Sing

The day we celebrate the birth of Jesus is one week from today! Now instead of getting worked up about the things you have yet to do, why not change your perspective and focus instead on the opportunity you will have this next week to join in with all heaven and nature to praise God for the perfect gift of His Son.

Can you even imagine the choirs that are in heaven? They must be the most pitch-perfect, glorious sound you could ever hear. I can almost hear their faint song – “Glooooooria, in Excelsis Deo!” Can you? In fact, it seems as if all of heaven and nature want to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Nature sings out with still, peaceful nights and then sings again with fresh fallen snow. I love this picture that I took two years ago on the way to our Christmas Eve service, it is a picture of the beautiful way that “nature sings”.

Christmas Eve

I heard a song this morning, “Heaven Everywhere” by Francesca Battistelli. I have included it for your enjoyment.

Be on the lookout of “heaven and nature” singing these next seven days. We are not the only ones celebrating His birth, they are too.

Your Friend in Ministry,

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8 Days until Christmas – Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

I am using the words to one of my favorite Christmas carol to prepare my heart for Christ’s arrival. The phrase for today, “Let every heart prepare Him room” has always caused me to ponder. How do I prepare room in my heart for Jesus?

At the Posthuma house, we love to decorate our house for Christmas. The kids take turns setting up our Nativity each year (and somehow they always remember who did it last year and whose turn it is this year, thank you very much!)

Nativity

We also normally put up two different Christmas trees. One in our front room that is “Mom’s tree” . . .

Mom's Tree

And one in our family room that is the “Family Tree” . . .

family tree

My son, who loves Christmas (and who I have been known to call my “Christmas Boy”) decided to get in on the action this year and he set up a third smaller tree, that we are calling “Tim’s tree” . . .

It has all his ornaments and he’s asked us to place his presents underneath it. Notice, he even used a “T” ornament his Aunt made him as his tree topper – so cute!

T's tree

In order to “make room” for all of our Christmas decorations, we need to rearrange, and even move some things out of our house. Isn’t that the way we prepare our hearts for Jesus and “make room” for Him as well?

You see, our insides can get full of extra junk that just creeps its way into our hearts. Things like pride, selfishness, jealousy, bitterness, anger, depression, strife, etc. . . Before long, Jesus gets smaller and smaller until we no longer feel His peace or presence in our lives. Christmas is the perfect time to clear out the junk and make room for Jesus once again in our hearts. We want our hearts to be a place where He is welcome and given first priority.

Is your heart prepared for Jesus? Why not pray this prayer with me to make sure He is given His rightful place in our hearts and lives . . .

Dear God, thank You that You came to take up residence in my heart. Please forgive me for any way I have crowded you out and replaced You with _____________________. Remove the junk from my heart and allow me feel your peace and presence once again. Let my heart prepare you room. In Jesus’ Name & for His sake, Amen.

Your Friend in Ministry,

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