Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic hosts proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem…
Joy. We hope to see this in the smiles of happy shoppers passing us by in the malls. We hope to see this on the faces of our family members when we come home at night. We hope to see this joy shining on the faces of children on Christmas morning…and yet, the key word in all of those observances is hope. We hope to see joy…but do we always see it?
Joy is not happiness, rather joy is a feeling and as such, joy is also a choice. Joy is a feeling of cheerfulness – of a merry spirit – yet it is not happiness. So how do we cultivate joy in our lives around this season when we can be harried, frustrated and having communication issues with loved ones?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the things we bloggers post about? They are our struggles. They are our fears. They are our trials and our successes. They are our lives. So when I talk about the struggle with finding joy? This is my struggle, my trial, my fear. How do I find joy in daily life?
I find joy in the knowledge that God created me with purpose. Just like He planned for that little baby to be born in a manger so many years ago – God created you and me with a purpose. And that purpose is where the joy comes in. The joy starts to grow when we pursue His purpose in our daily lives knowing that He is the true and complete source of our happiness. Joy is the knowledge that while we have imperfect circumstances here on earth, our actions are working an eternal weight of glory in the Kingdom…the Kingdom that began in Bethlehem.
The list of internet finds this week have to do with purpose, with joy and with the birth of a baby born in a manger…the news which we can truly sing with great heart “joyful all ye nations rise…”
The last Christmas album featured on the “Friday Morning’s” post for 2016 was really hard to choose! But I went with this one because while the album is full of traditional music, there are also fantastic tweaks to each song – my personal favorite is “This is War (God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman).” Give it a listen and see which one is your favorite!
As referenced below, Richard Paul Evans is one of my favorite authors for a good Christmas read and the beginning of his success was this small book The Christmas Box. If you have a few extra moments this holiday I recommend pulling it up via your Kindle or even picking it off your shelves if you’ve read it before…the reminders of the true hope of the Season : The love of a Savior.
It’s the Christmas Season and if you’re a reader you’ve probably come across Evans’ “The Christmas Box.” The book is a melancholy sort, with a beautiful ending and an abundance of tears throughout…if you’re anything like me that is! Anyway, the other day I logged onto YouTube in the hopes of finding an audiobook version of this to listen to at work and I found this amazing keynote by Evans from 2013. While not new, the content of this speech is absolutely beautiful. So, just to peak your interest in listening…let your takeaway be to always use the phrase Te Voglio Bene.
*…and on to a few links for the week