Wednesday, December 29

John Piper - Christian Womanhood

Hey friends, this is a great four minute video from John Piper on Christian Womanhood.

 Some key points-
A woman in Christ knows her bible, knows her God, and gains strength from hoping in God.
She laughs
She is fearless
She is not naive of the things to come
She is aware of suffering

Some things to think about as the new year begins.
What do you think?
Pin It!

Tuesday, December 28

A First Snowy Christmas

This Christmas was very unique. For the first time I can ever remember it snowed on Christmas day.  It never snows in the south so to have it snow on Christmas day was unbelievable- a real delight! Here are a few pics. Enjoy!


Snow that accumulated in a 24 hour period on the deck railing. Not much but a little. Truly an unexpected gift at Christmas.

Pin It!

The World's Joy

Hi friends! I have had a much needed break from blogging but not by my own choice. I am currently recovering from a nasty sinusitis. Yep, during Christmas I was ill. Couldn't taste a thing on Christmas day. Ughh! And I didn't feel like opening my computer one bit and I didn't!!!!!

I had taken this picture right before Christmas and was going to blog about it but it didn't happen. Thought it was too good to pass by so here are some thoughts about it.

Webster's Dictionary says this about the noun joy: "the emotion evoked by well being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: DELIGHT.
The verb joy says this: To experience great pleasure or delight.

So the McDonald's bag goes along with the noun definition of joy- the McCafe coffee is what I want to possess and it will bring me the emotion of joy when I taste the "magic little beans." Right! Well kind of but not really. This is how the world thinks of joy. Yes, there are many things I "enjoy" in life. I enjoy a cup of coffee, a new haircut, time with my family and friends, and a nice warm bowl of comfort food .But the joy that a believer possesses is way better than the worldly definition of joy. Think about it, the coffee I drink from McDonald's becomes empty. Then I need more of it. So it leads me to an endless trek on possessing things I desire. A joy that is unattainable because it has to be possessed over and over again.

The Greek word for joy is Chara  and it usually comes after a great sorrow. Holman's Key Bible Words says this, "The great sorrow heightens the sense of happiness." (pg. 314) A stark contrast to the world right!

Joy in Jesus is forever. It doesn't have to be refilled. But it does have to be treasured. Because the world doesn't have this kind of joy they look for things to make them 'happy' that give them 'delight' only to find they never fill. They need more.

I am reminded of the scene in "Narnia" when Peter ( I think that was his name) is welcomed into the Snow Queens sleigh where she offers him "Turkish Delights." His eyes dance at the sight of them. He takes a bite and eats them- all of them. He is not satisfied by one. There the desire to have them again begins. His desire to possess them again leads him to sneak into the Queen's castle where he falls into a trap. He then finds the Turkish delights don't bring him delight. They enslave him. His desire to possess them leads him to become enslaved by the Queen.

That's the joy of the things of this world. Things we desire to possess only leave our hearts hungry.... aching for more. They never fill. They can even enslave us. The new shirt gets old. The delectable meal gets eaten. The dream vacation comes to an end. But the joy of Jesus is forever. Always there. Always with us.
Praise God for His forever joy!
Pin It!

Wednesday, December 22

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 22- God with Us

Design Elements by
I love the fact that God is "with us." Matthew 1:22-24 says,
 "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife."

The cross reference to Immanuel is Isaiah 7: 14 says, "
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

God promised through the writings of the prophet Isaiah that Mary would be a virgin and give birth to a son called Immanuel- God WITH US. Don't you love that! I treasure it! It's easy to overlook this familiar name of Jesus- God with us.I love that Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus except the fact they were to obey God. God orchestrated it all. Down to every detail.

Mary surrendered her body to God to carry and give birth to Jesus. Joseph obeyed God and took Mary to be his wife despite the reality that she was with child. The shepherds saw the star and heard the angels declare the birth of Jesus and went and found Jesus in a manger. And of course, the wise men brought gifts to Jesus and heeded the Holy Spirit by not traveling back to Herod who was plotting to kill Jesus (unknown to them).

Friend, treasure the truth that God is with us.
With us each and every day.
With us forever.

With us when we're at home, doing laundry, when we are spending time with our children. He is with us at work when we have difficult people to deal with and challenges to overcome. God is with us when we are experiencing financial difficulties, waiting for a new job, and when we are waiting for a doctor's report. God is with us when our families are experiencing tension and decisions have to be made, with us when we are unsure of the next step in life.
With us.

And because God is with us, we cannot be shaken. We might wobble a little, but never can be shaken.

2 Chronicles 32:8
"With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said."

Psalm 46:7
"The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."

Genesis 28:14-16 says "Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
I could go on and on about how many times the bible mentions God is with us but the treasure for us to hold close to our heart this Christmas is that God is WITH US!

Rejoice friends! Rejoice that God is with us. It's worth celebrating!

Pin It!

Monday, December 20

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 20-Happy Birthday Jesus Cake

I forgot to tell you that we had the kids bring a gift to Jesus- money for Lottie Moon's Christmas offering that goes to foreign missions. We raised more than $75 dollars the night of the party. What could be a better gift to Jesus than to give back to His work around the world. Teaching our children how to give to missions begins when they are young. (I believe the earlier the better.)

Did you know the goal for 2010 is 175 million dollars. That is a lot of money! We can help reach the goal by giving to Lottie Moon Christmas offering. You and I can get in on building God's kingdom when we give. If we can't go, we can still give. Did you see the unreached people groups....that's a lot of people who still haven't heard about the saving power of Jesus Christ. We also can pray for these people groups if we don't know about them. We can pray for opened doors to reach these people and for the money to go to where it needs to go so these people groups may be reached.

To read more about who Lottie Moon was, click on this link on the International Mission Board's website.

It's Monday and as usual I am praying for you all today!
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. "James 1:17-19 
Pin It!

Sunday, December 19

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 18- Happy Birthday Jesus Party

(design elements by

I've had good reason to be away from Joy Treasure this weekend. As I am writing this post my feet are still throbbing because we've been going, going, and going. One of the ways to celebrate the joy of Christ is to make much of Him at Christmas. To make Jesus the focus of the Christmas season, you don't have to do anything elaborate. Throw a Happy Birthday Jesus Party! Make Him the focus of the celebration. Lead kids and adults to remember why we celebrate "Christmas."
Our Sunday School class had a bday party for Jesus on Saturday night. As I was washing my hair a few weeks ago, (which for some reason a lot of good ideas come to me when I wash my hair!!!!) the idea came to me. I was remembering how I used to go play games, eat pizza, and hear the Christmas story at my home church when I was a little girl.  Those are memorable times to me even now-they are just as vivid to me today as they were then. I wanted to teach my son that Jesus is why we celebrate Christmas. I was going to make a cake with him and then I thought, "why don't we all have a party together with our class and celebrate Jesus!" We ended up having almost fifty people from our class come and the kids had such a great time. Thank you God for opening my eyes to a simple way we all can make Jesus the focus of our Christmas season! 
This cardboard house from Hobby Lobby was a big hit. Inside the house are a few kids hiding!
This was a fun activity that kept some of the kids occupied while waiting for the food.

 We had let the kids play, then ate pizza, and read the Christmas story from the Jesus Storybook Bible.

After we the Christmas story, we had Birthday Cake. (I will post a picture of the cake later.)
To end the night, we had a hayride. Just a couple of bales of hay in the back of my husband's truck. It was a huge hit!The kids loved the entire night.
Here is the empty plate to show for the piece of cake I ate! yum yum.

I had this idea to make a shepherd's pouch as a party favor holder for candy. Here is how they turned out:
I am not a seamstress but this is so easy. Just buy felt sheets and fold in half. Cut the shape of your palm. Sew together. Then make two holes at the top and place wireless chenille stem through the holes and tie.

The night was a success because the focus was on Jesus. This was the first Happy Birthday Jesus party so I have lots of ideas for next years party, but my prayer is that every year we throw a Happy Birthday Jesus party, more children will come and be a part of the celebration. I pray they will remember Jesus' birthday and that they would treasure Jesus more and more each Christmas.

You can do this with your children too. Hope you enjoyed our party!
Pin It!

Thursday, December 16

My top five favorite Christmas Recipes

This post is just for fun. No deep thought whatsoever! It's about one of my favorite topics too- FOOD!
I will post a few of my favorite recipes before Christmas. When you see these sweet little deer picture, that means its another recipe that's been posted to the blog.

 Okay. So here is my first recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Drain green beans. Pour beans into a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with garlic salt. (I like to actually put them in a bowl first and coat them with garlic salt.Then I pour them into baking dish.) In a separate bowl, mix sour cream and soup. Spread over green beans in baking dish. Cut cheese into thin slices and place on top of the soup mixture. Take 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers and crush them in a bowl. Melt butter and pour over crackers and stir to get butter on all pieces of the cracker. Spread buttered ritz crackers over the top of the casserole.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees until hot, about 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.
(Recipe comes from The Cotton Country Collection pg. 187- by Mrs. Steve Nichols)

This recipe is great because it doesn't use the fried onions which a lot of people might not like. Also it's not soupy. You can actually taste the green beans!
Pin It!

Wednesday, December 15

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 16- Giving Around the World

One of the ways I keep Christ in Christmas is by giving to Operation Christmas Child. So many children in the world need to know Jesus. I look forward to giving to the mission project each year. It's more than giving toys, it's an opportunity to share Christ.

Operation Christmas Child comes under the umbrella of Samaritan's Purse headed by Dr. Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham. His heart to continue the message of hope through Jesus around the world is inspiring. Although I am unable to go to the places where the shoe boxes are sent, I can still fill one and send it.  You simply fill a shoebox or plastic container with toys and essential items like toothpaste, t-shirts, and socks and then take it to one of the drop off places. This year, Operation Christmas Child has something new called "Build-A-Box." If you don't have time to go and get a box you can go online and make one. They are $35. Here is direct link to build a box. You simply click on the age of the child, what you want to fill the box with and then pay.

Last, these are pictures from Sudan of children receiving Christmas shoe boxes. The pictures will penetrate your heart. Click below to see the Sudanese children and their boxes. Unforgettable.

We have more than we can ever imagine in our country. The best thing we can do with our money is to give to building God's kingdom. Opportunities are all around us. I am in no way affiliated with Samaritan's Purse. I just wanted to share with you how this mission project continues to bless my heart each year. Pray you will get involved with this great organization if you haven't already contributed.

Pin It!

Keeping Christ in Christmas - Dec. 15- Pondering Bethlehem

(Design elements by

I don’t know what it’s like to physically travel to a city to be counted for a census. Here in America, we send in our paperwork to be counted and that’s it. It’s simple. But it wasn't that simple for Joseph and Mary. They had to physically go to Bethlehem (Luke 2:4).
As far as I can tell through some research, the mileage from Galilee to Bethlehem was around 70-100 miles (A three-four days journey). Today we don't consider the difficulty of traveling by horse or donkey through rugged terrain. We're so used to getting in our car and traveling down the road to our destination. We miss grasping part of the birth of Christ because we don't understand the rugged terrain Mary had to endure on her way to Bethlehem.

"According to Roman law, all country people were to be registered in their 'own city'- meaning thereby the town to which the village or place, where they were born. In so doing, the 'house and lineage' were marked. According to the Jewish mode of registration, the people would have been enrolled in tribes, families or clans, and the house of their fathers."(The life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim, pg 129) Jesus' birth was distinctly noted through the recording of the census.

Old Testament Prophecy Announced: 
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans[ of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2)

Old Testament Prophecy Fulfilled:
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’[ ” (Matthew 2:5-6)

 “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,..”
(Luke 2:4-6)

As I ponder the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem, I stand in awe of how perfect the scriptures are in that what God promised in the OT came to fruition in the NT. Friends, God is a God of promise. He can be trusted. His word is true. He doesn’t lie. The bible is proof of that.
This Christmas season I thank God for proving through history that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and that his family was from the line of David. Our King has come and one day will come again.  

Pin It!

Monday, December 13

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 12- Singing About Jesus with Others

One of the things I look forward to every December is singing with the choir at my church. We sang three services this morning and had around 150 members singing praises to Jesus how awesome it was! I wish you all could've been there! We got started early at 7:20am. Had to put our choir robes on and find a seat! Warmed up our voices and then headed upstairs to the sanctuary to sing.

Some of my fellow 1st soprano’s!

                         Ready to praise Jesus!

I always love this Poinsettia tree in the foyer of my church. Wanted to share it with you today. Isn't is gorgeous!

Singing with other believers every Christmas is another way I keep Christ in Christmas. This was my 22nd year to sing Christmas music in a church choir. I'm not counting the preschool years! (He He!) I'm so thankful I get to praise Jesus with other believers in one accord. I can't imagine Christmas without singing in choir. All of us together in one accord worshipping the LORD.......... makes me think of heaven.
Pin It!

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 13- Ideas for Celebrating Jesus

This design comes from
I really love some of these ideas from Focus on the Family website. Let’s face it we ALL are looking for more ways to make much of Jesus at Christmastime. What we do or don’t do IS remembered by our children. Let’s not grow complacent with the Christmas season but continue to seek out more ways to lift up the name of Jesus. They will be impacted and we will too! Blessings to all you who continue to follow Joy Treasure! I am praying for you today!
Please feel free to share how YOU are making much of Jesus this Christmas. I would love to post your ideas to Joy Treasure.
So don’t be shy.share!
Pin It!

Saturday, December 11

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 11- Meditating on God's Truth in Christmas Carols

I still remember the first time I could sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” all the way through in the church service when I was a child. I was so excited to sing through the whole song and be able to keep up with all the words. Every Christmas, I enjoyed watching the Charlie Brown Christmas program because "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" was the hymn the Peanuts Gang sang at the end of the program. (This is the picture of the peanuts gang singing the famous hymn.)
I got to meditating on some of the lyrics of the Christmas Hymn today. It's more than a great Christmas Hymn to sing. It's God's truth word by word. How it warms my heart when I hear the song played over the speakers in the mall or in a store. I sometimes stop and pray while the song is playing that someone in the store would hear the words and that their heart would be opened to hearing about Jesus.
One of my favorite phrases in the song is, "Life and Light to all He brings.."
What does scripture tell us about this phrase?
  • Psalm 56:13
    "For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life."
  • Proverbs 8:35
    "For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD."
  • John 11:25
    "Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;..."
    The life of Christ brings us favor with God. His light shines on a clear stable path for us to walk on while we're here on earth. And the life of Christ carries us away from eternal death. Christmas is more than the story of the manger. It is the story of God, the ever lasting, self-existent one - who always was and always will be that humbled Himself and made Himself nothing- a tiny helpless babe to come and live among a sinful people and bring life and light back to our dark hearts forever. He came to bring us back into a right relationship with God. He didn't leave us in the dark.   
                                                                                 So who wrote "Hark the Herald Angels sing?" This is Charles Wesley. He wrote the hymn. Did you know he and John Wesley were brothers? The founded the Methodist denomination. In fact, Charles, seen here in the picture is #18 of 19 children. It is said that he wrote close to 6,000 hymns in his lifetime. Can you imagine! Wow! One of the other hymns he wrote that I love is "Come thou Long Expected Jesus." It's another of my favorites.
AS you go about your day, one of the ways you can take the old Christmas hymns (that seem SO FAMILIAR!!!!) and make them more special is to glean a phrase and meditate on it throughout the day, the week. Look up scripture to it, pray over it and Give God praise for writing truth through these hymn writers.

To read more about the original "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" go to Christianity Today in the link below. I think you will find it very interesting.

Love you friends. Praying you are remembering Christ everyday during this Christmas season! He is WHY we celebrate!

Life and Light!

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing: From Wesley to Our Hymnals Christianity Today A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction
Pin It!

Thursday, December 9

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 10- Creating a Manger Scene

So I thought I would share with you my manger scene. I am so excited about it because I took what I had and didn’t spend any money on it. YAY!!! It was all things I had in my home.  
I thought I would get a little creative this year and what I came up with was a manger scene I absolutely cherish- so does my family! Hope you enjoy it and can consider ways you too can make a manger scene in your home to remember the birth of Jesus- Our Redeemer.!

When my son was born, one of my friends gave me the coolest gift for his first Christmas. It was these blocks. They were handmade. I LOVED it. Each year the manger blocks have been in my son’s room, but this year he said I could share it so we did. He loves looking at it every morning when he walks downstairs.

I was trying to elevate the angel so I used one of my candle pedestals to elevate the angel above Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.

The Three Wise men!!!! And the donkey.

I think its coming together! The manger needs a sky background.

Let's see what I have?

I can paint a background with a leftover canvas I have in my art studio!

Waaaalah!!!! I Love it! It’s what I want to remember every day of the Christmas Season- to place my thoughts on the birth of Jesus and what it means to my life!

Pin It!

Wednesday, December 8

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 8- Caring for Others

In Luke 10:29-36 Jesus answers the question about what true caring looks like— what it means to care for your neighbor.

“But he desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?"

I don’t like to post a lot of videos on Joy Treasure unless they meet three criteria. They have to:

1. Get me thinking deeper about an issue

2. Inspire me to move in a different direction

3. Lead me to stop and worship God through a spoken word or song

4. And….of course NOT be cheesy

This video passed my test and cut to the core of my heart. You’ll find out why mid-way through it. In case you have forgotten there was genocide in Rwanda here are some statistics of the aftermath that will leave you feeling overwhelmed, heartbroken and angry.

o Over the course of 100 days from April 6 to July 16 2004, an estimated 800,000 to 1 million Tutsis and some moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide.1 A recent report has estimated the number to be close to 2 million.2

o During this period of terrible slaughter, more than 6 men, women and children were murdered every minute of every hour of every day. This brutally efficient killing was maintained for more than 3 months.3

o There are between 300,000 to 400,000 survivors of the genocide.4

o Between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped during the 100 days of genocide.5 Up to 20,000 children were born to women as a result of rape.6

o More than 67% of women who were raped in 1994 during the genocide were infected with HIV and AIDS.7 In many cases, this resulted from a systematic and planned use of rape by HIV+ men as a weapon of genocide.8

o There are 10 times as many widows than widowers – almost 50,000 widows of the genocide.9

o Nearly 100,000 survivors are aged between 14 and 21, of which 60,000 are categorised as very vulnerable.10

o 75,000 of survivors were orphaned as a result of the genocide.11

o Of those that survived the genocide over half the children stopped their schooling, because of poverty.12
(I am not supporting any website nor am I encouraging you to give to any website. I leave this link to give credit to where I found these statistics.)

Staggering Statistics aren't they. A couple of things touched me in this video. Did you see the young fellow on his wooden scooter? The smile on his face shined as bright as the sun didn’t it! We have all the scooters we need here in America….some of our children have more than one. Yet he didn't have a Toys R Us to go and buy one, he had to make it.

Sarah says in her song, “we can’t erase it.” I think she is talking about the genocide. You and I can’t erase what people have been through but we can care for others. We can pray for others. We can extend our hand to others. She goes on to say, “Their pain has changed her.” Pain changes us. Other’s pain changes us. Christ’s pain changed us forever. We live in a world that likes to push other’s pain to the wayside like the Samaritan. Listen friends, I don’t know where you are reading this from or who God has placed in your path, but you can make a difference for Christ in another person’s life. It might be a sacrifice of time, money, and other resources but don’t hesitate to help. Don’t miss the opportunity to be the vessel God can use to touch another’s heart. Don't let the busyness of Christmas keep you from SEEING those in need around you.
Pin It!

Tuesday, December 7

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 7- Keep Praying for Your Friends and Family

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom." Isaiah 40:28
 Everyone has friends and family who don't know Jesus. It's easy to grow weary in praying for them to come to salvation through Christ. Prayer after prayer you see no fruit of the prayers prayed. You see no change of heart.Your flesh is impatient and frustrated but The Spirit inside you says, "keep praying."  So you do.

I had been thinking about this lately and was determined to pray daily for those I know who don't know Jesus. I heard a great program this evening on Moody radio about the greatest gift at Christmas-reaching your family for Christ. Pastor Arni Jacobson wrote a book which identifies Five keys with biblical references to continue praying for them. I haven't read his book, but I did hear his entire interview on Haven today and found what he had to say about prayer to be quite encouraging.
Click on the link below and read Pastor Jacobson's references to praying for lost hearts.

My favorite of his five keys was #5, "Believe in the depths of your heart your family will come to know Christ."

I think that is where we grow weary the most- in believing God- that HE can save our friends and family. It is not up to us to save, we are supposed to share God's truth. God brings salvation.

Many of you will be seeing relatives at Christmas.You'll be reminded of those members who don't know Jesus over a Christmas meal or during a Christmas Eve gathering. Sometimes it can put a damper on your Christmas day because of the way you hear they are living their lives. Your heart is burdened, and you become frustrated because you see no change in their heart. Don't grow weary. Take the burden to the ONE who never grows weary!  Instead of becoming frustrated and sad, PRAY. Thank God for reminding you about the friend or family member who is lost or backslidden. Pray silently for the member while you eat Christmas dinner. Look for opportunities to talk with them when you gather together. Follow up with them after the Christmas season is over with a card. Tell them you are praying for them.

And keep praying.

Just keep praying!

Pin It!

Monday, December 6

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 6- Thoughts about Santa Claus

A friend of mine was talking about this article a few days ago. I went on John Piper's website,, and read it. Very good thoughts about Santa. Some I haven't really thought about. Would LOVE to know what you, the readers of Joy Treasure think about what Noel Piper has to say about Santa Claus.

Thinking About Santa: "Thinking About Santa from the Desiring God blog."
Pin It!

Saturday, December 4

Keeping Christ in Christmas-Dec. 4-Light of the World

Everyone likes Christmas lights- especially when they are hung outside. To gaze at their brilliant beauty sparkle into the December nights warms the hearts of all ages. Strings of lights from town halls, to department stores, city streets and homes remind me of the night the light of the world was welcomed from the heavenly place into the humble manger. Oh, to be in that manger, to see baby Jesus light up the hearts of his earthly father and mother on that glorious night. What Mary must have been pondering in her heart as she gazed upon God in the flesh in her arms.

One of the questions I've been pondering is, "Why do I hang lights outside my home every Christmas?' Is it just for fun, to make my house look good, or does it remind me of the greatest light that ever came into this world- Jesus? You may think I am over thinking these blog posts and even Christmas, but am I?  Are we really preparing our hearts to worship Jesus this Christmas season or are we blending in like everyone else?

This weekend I hope to be hanging Christmas lights around our front door. The reason lights aren't up is because we have a new front door. The door needs one more coat of black paint and if weather permits, we'll be done and can then hang the Christmas lights up. But to answer my question, I hang lights for all three reasons. They are fun, my house looks inviting at Christmas, but most of all they remind me that the light of Jesus came to bring light to a dark world.

John 8:12 says,"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

So as you hang lights outside, see lights while you are driving, or at home gazing at the lights on your tree; take time to thank Jesus for shedding His light in your heart and for the light of His Holy word. Praise God! He has not left us without His light.

Pin It!

Friday, December 3

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Day 3-The Attitude of Christ

Christmas is the time of year when people come out in droves. It seems getting around from one destination to the next can become a huge dilemma. Long lines, slow workers,traffic all can make a person's attitude, should I say it?....... 'testy.' It's easy to let the craziness and busyness inside and outside a store rub off on how you respond to people. Just this week I was at ToysRUs and saw a lady in the line come up and yell at one of the workers behind the counter about how long it took them to answer her question. She said, "I've been waiting for like ten minutes and you people need to take care of what I asked for." She looked frazzled. Both her babies were crying. Actually, they were both screaming.....loud. At first I thought, "I can't believe she was so rude to the workers." Then, as I watched her push her buggy full of two babies screaming back to the checkout counter, I realized that could have easily have been me. It could have been my attitude that was pushed to the brink. But it wasn't. I was standing there waiting in line patiently, not in a hurry, and my husband and son were at home. Then, I thought, "she is frazzled. she is frustrated. she is furious." Why does Christmas sometimes bring out the worst in us? The items are just toys that will break, get lost and become forgotten. Why do we let ourselves become frazzled during the Christmas season over petty things. 
Christmas is more than that.

Philippians 2:5-6 says, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant...."

Earlier that afternoon in ToysRUs, I too had asked for help. No one came. I waited a few minutes and figured they were busy. I decided to go up front and pay for my purchases and wait to ask a question while at the checkout. My questions were answered. Problem solved. No screaming, no sighing, no yelling. It hit me that God was pleased at how I responded. While we are out shopping, eating, and enjoying friends, our attitude matters and people are watching. The way we can bless and minister to those who are working in the retail and restaurants is to be kind, not rude. To share the light of Christ in our hearts when we say "hello" and "thank you" or "have a nice evening." This too is how we keep Christ in keeping the attitude of Christ.

Pin It!

Thursday, December 2

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Day 2- The Peace of Jesus

Peace on Earth. That's what everyone wants. But there is no peace on earth. The only way we can have true peace while living on this earth is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. It's His peace that we are given when we are called into a relationship with Him.
Jesus said,
A common phrase you'll hear every Christmas is "peace on earth."It pops up in news stories, songs, and movies.  I remember having to sing the song, "Let there be Peace on Earth" as a child in grade school. There's a phrase in the song that says, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." The intention of the phrase is to encourage ownership of being a peacemaker and letting peace come to earth through one person at a time. That's all fine and good but in reality, we are sinful people. We can't sustain peace on our own. That's why we need Jesus. The world's idea of peace is found in all kinds of other things but Jesus. Look at how peace is skewed in the world:

 Freedom from desire leads to inner peace.  - Lao Tse 

A smile is the beginning of peace.

Nobody can bring you peace but yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nobody can bring peace to our hearts but Jesus. Only through His peace can we seek to bring peace to our relationships, workplace, and communities. Everything else will be a striving that is unusustainable.This Christmas as a believer remember Colossians 3:15 which says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."

We were called to peace. Let the peace of Jesus rule in your heart this Christmas.
Pin It!

Wednesday, December 1

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 1.

How do you keep Christ in Christmas? That's the question I asked myself recently. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the worldliness of the season that Christmas can come, go and be gone. I don't want it to be that way. I want to see Jesus this Christmas. I want to be mindful of Him in each day. So here's what I decided to do on Joy Treasure this December. I'm going to write about how I am seeking to keep Christ at the center of the season.

For my first post, I want to talk about why it's important to celebrate Advent.What does it do for you, for your family to make it a part of your Christmas season? Being a good ole' Southern Baptist, I didn't grow up celebrating advent nor did I know what it meant. In my present church, we light a candle each Sunday in December. This was my first introduction to the advent season and every year, I look forward to observing it with my church family every Sunday.

Advent is simply preparing your heart for for Christmas. It's reflecting on Christ each Sunday and the days in between until Christmas morning.

What does the word 'advent' mean? Where did the word originate from?

The most important arrival the world has ever known was the arrival of Jesus, "Emmanuel, God with us." Advent celebrates the first "coming" of Christ,  the first arrival of our Savior and LORD more than 2000 years ago. But it's also an anticipation of His second coming too. It's a time to prepare our hearts to remember His coming but also to expectantly await His second coming. So it's looking back and a looking forward at all Christ has done for us through salvation. It's more than observing a few weeks on the calendar. It's a mindset. An attitude. A way of living. I want to be continually considering the coming of Christ as I go about my daily routine of keeping house, running errands, raising children, growing a marriage, etc. I want to be thinking about the life-light Jesus brought into a dark world. To think about how He lights up my little world each new day.

I could talk about more of the history of Advent today but I'm not. I want us to think about the word "come." Christ has come. He will come again. He came for us, (sinners against God) to live, die, be buried and rise again so we could know eternal life.  Are we coming close to Him in our daily living?

Advent officially in 2010 has already begun this past Sunday. But I won't be starting it in my home until this coming Sunday Dec. 5th. My church will start it this Sunday as well. So I'll be following along with them.
Verses for the first Sunday of Advent are:
  • Isaiah 2:1-5
  • Psalm 122
  • Romans 13:11-14
  • Matthew 24:36-44

Here are some truths I am pondering from the passages above during the first week of Advent.
  • I want to come to the Holy word to be taught by God and walk in His paths.
Isaiah 2:3 " Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,  to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”
  • I will be continually focusing my heart to praise God and place Him as my focus each day.
Psalm 122:1, 4 "I rejoiced with those who said to me,  “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” That is where the tribes go up— the tribes of the LORD— to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel.
  • I don't want to walk through the Christian life asleep going through the motions. I want to please God and not my flesh.
 "And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh."
                                                                                                                 Romans 13:11-14
  • I will keep watching for my Savior each day, for no one knows the hour He will come.
"Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Matthew 24:44
Focusing on Advent helps place Christ back in Christmas by being deliberate to acknowledge Him first instead of thinking about the worldliness of the season. It helps your marriage by placing the focus on Christ instead of selfish desires. It reminds both spouses that Christ is the center of your marriage. It helps your parenting by teaching your children, by example, that Jesus means everything to your family and that Christ is Christmas.
How are you keeping Christ in Christmas this year? I want to hear from you!

Let's be deliberate and not lose sight of the greatest gift we ever to be received by mankind. Let's keep Christ in Christmas!

Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...