Tag Archives: joy

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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Preparing for the Holidays, Part 7 – The Day My “Joy” Broke

Last Christmas was one of the most difficult I can remember. The best way to describe it is with one word . . . LACK. There were a few things that were lacking, but the thing that affected me the most was a lack of joy. Thankfully, I had peace, but not joy. I cried a lot and had a hard time handling things as well as I normally do. It was very frustrating and disconcerting for me.

A week before Christmas, I decided enough was enough. I needed to spend some extended time with the Lord in an effort to get my joy back. On my dining room table I had 5 special candles – peace, joy, hope, love & cherish.  I took my “peace” and “joy” candles from the table into my office with me and lit them, hoping that joy would find its way into my heart.

Dining Room Table

Peace

During this quiet time, I prayed, I read the Bible, I poured my heart out to the Lord in the pages of my journal.  After I finished, I was feeling much better.  As I was carrying my candles back to the table the “joy” candle slipped from my hands and smashed to pieces on the floor. That was the perfect illustration of how I felt – like the tiny piece of joy I had just received was smashed to pieces, never to be recovered. I cleaned it up with tears in my eyes and threw it in the trash. Was anything going to turn around and bring joy?

Little did I know that joy was already working its way into my heart. The extended time in God’s presence was filling me with joy, even though outward circumstances seemed to say otherwise.

Yet NOTHING can come against the promises of God’s Word!

Psalm 16:11 tells us “You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” The time I spent with Jesus was restoring my joy, yet the enemy of my soul was trying to tell me my joy was broken and I would never get it back. I had a choice of who I was going to listen to – the truth of God or the lies of the enemy.

That moment was a turning point for me. God was so faithful. He began to restore my joy the very next day. One of our family traditions is to have a Christmas caroling party each year. That morning it began to snow and by the time of the party, we had 3-4 inches. It finally felt like Christmas. Our friends arrived and we walked around the neighborhood, making it a point to go sing to those we knew needed some joy: a woman with an extended illness, a family with a premature baby who were homebound during flu season (they went and got their baby out of bed so that she could hear us singing to her), an old man who lost his wife that year, he had tears in his eyes as he listened to us sing. It was truly a wonderful evening. At one point as we were walking down the road, I looked back and saw groups of 3-4 people walking with their candles glowing; it was such a picturesque sight, like something you would see in a movie.

I found what brings me joy is bringing joy to others. Joy began to overflow rather than be lacking.

Are you lacking joy this season? You can turn that around by:

  1. Spending time in God’s presence, through prayer, reading the Bible, worshipping God through song, etc…  Don’t rush this time, spend as long as it takes to get filled up.
  2. Doing something to bring joy to someone else. No matter how bad things are for you, there is always someone who is worse off. How can you bring a bit of joy to someone else’s pain?

The promise of Psalm 16:11 is that God fills us with joy in His presence. To be filled means – to make full; put as much as can be held into: to occupy to the full capacity: to supply to an extreme degree or plentifully. As you spend time with Him, He will fill you with joy so that joy can brim over to fill someone else who needs it.  Your joy may be broken, but it can be restored.

May God’s joy fill you to overflowing today!

Your Friend in Ministry,

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Bringing Joy to Others

When I was a little girl, I remember seeing a small plaque on the receptionist’s counter of an office. It said this . . .

Joy to Office

This is a funny saying, but how many know it is true? Either our coming or our going can bring joy to others.

This is a Biblical principle which can also found in 2nd Corinthians. In chapter seven, we find Paul and his companions traveling around preaching the gospel. This was no easy task, as they experienced conflicts and fears, oppression and affliction. That is until Titus arrived. This co-laborer brought them much joy! 2nd Corinthians 7:6 says

“But God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us by the arrival of Titus.” –Amplified Bible

God is the One who brings comfort. In fact, another name for the Holy Spirit is the Comforter. Yet, he also encourages us, refreshes us when we are weary and flat out cheers us up when we are down. Make no mistake, He can do this all on His own. That’s the kind of living God we serve. However, you have probably experienced, just like I have, when He uses someone else to be “Jesus with skin on”. A flesh and blood person right before you to give you a hug, tell you a joke, let you know they believe in you and that everything is going to be OK. A “Titus” if you will.

A couple of weeks ago, I was completely overwhelmed by life and ministry. Nothing was going right and I was in a complete funk. I was seeking and trusting God, but day after day went by and I couldn’t seem to break free. Does that ever happen to you?

I finally broke down and called a dear friend who lives out of town and also serves in ministry. I caught her driving in the car and she asked if she could call me after she arrived at her destination. I said, “No problem” and waited for her call. I went about my business and after about 30 minutes I realized she never called me back. I was tempted to get my feelings hurt, (and thought I had every right to since I was in such a fund *smile*) but decided not to get offended and sent her a text instead that said, “Did you forget about me? :)” Within minutes she called back, apologizing for forgetting me. We then proceeded to have a great talk where she listened as I poured out my heart. She encouraged me by giving me words of comfort and encouragement and ended our conversation with prayer. God used her to be a “Titus” to me in that moment. The next morning when I awoke, the fog had lifted and I was ready to move forward in the life and ministry God has called me to.

What about you? Do you have a Titus or two you can call upon when you need encouragement to move forward in the ministry God has called you to? Who are those people? Why not send them a text right now and thank them for their ministry to you. . .

Who can you be a Titus to? Look around you. Who are the women God has called to serve Him in ministry? How can you comfort, encourage, refresh and cheer them on? Why not send them a text right now and let them know you are there for them and believe in them. . .

Let’s be women who bring joy to others by our arrival in their lives!

Your Friend in Ministry,

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