My Wish: Christmas Presence for All!

My prayer for all my family and friends this Christmas is for each one to truly experience the peaceful PRESENCE of Christ. May each of you be blessed with TIME to quiet your mind, heart and spirit and encounter the PEACE and JOY all year our Savior brings.

You can experience His presence today – no wrapping, no lines, and no cash or credit cards needed.  This is truly the gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving…

I’m looking forward to just enjoying His presence this Christmas

and I hope you will too.

Where my gift giving capabilities end,

the gift I desire most to give to others is always freely available and is truly priceless.

I love giving gifts to others.  It’s one of my love languages. Obviously, I’m not alone in this.  Especially this time of year, everyone’s in the Christmas spirit and gift giving mode.

However, my giving and my time are limited, but the gift I desire most for others is UNLIMITED AND TIMELESS.

Christmas is not just about gifts and presents or even special times with family and those we have not seen for quite a while.  All these things are good and special and these are a few of my favorite things and the things I love about Christmas too.  Most of all, Christmas is about celebrating the Gift of God’s presence. The gift of God’s presence compares to no other gift or experience I’ve ever received or encountered.  I’m personally realizing this more as time goes on, and especially as family traditions change and keep changing.  This is the one constant that remains and never changes –“…and be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” – Jesus. His presence brings PEACE and JOY and pleasures forevermore!  Even when we are not able to give or receive the exact material gift we were hoping for, our house is not decorator ready, no beautiful family portrait Christmas cards get sent, no memorable family trip gets planned, we can’t even get everyone together for the annual Christmas worship event or holiday meal, etc. (you get the picture) or, on a deeper level – the prayer, hope, or dream we so desire to see fulfilled for a special loved one, family member or friend remains on our “wish” list – the greatest gifts of LOVE, JOY and PEACE from God’s Spirit forever remain. The unconditional and never ending love of God, the supernatural peace that transcends all our surrounding chaos, and the joy of knowing the Savior of the world overrides every unmet expectation, sorrow and loss.

Like numerous others, I always get very sentimental around this time of year – often shedding tears unexpectedly while wrapping gifts or listening to all the beautiful Christmas music.  Christmas stirs up memories of loved ones who will no longer join us at our family celebration – many are now glorying in the presence of Heaven, and some will miss our gathering because of various changes and choices dictated by our earthly situations.

Now, more than ever, I personally treasure God’s presence

 that forever remains with me year after year.

Yes, for many Christmas is just another holiday; but for followers of Christ, Christmas is truly a Holy Day of celebrating the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ the Word made flesh.  We celebrate His birth and worship Him as our mighty Savior and King.

He came as a gentle babe and still gently calls to all today.

Do you hear what I hear?  

Will you believe, not just in Santa Claus,

but in The Christ of Christmas, and receive Him today?

*****

He came as a child and will return as the King of kings.

Light and life to all He brings.

In order to know Him we must come in childlike faith

to receive all the love, grace, forgiveness and healing

of the long ago newborn babe and soon coming King.

As we humbly bow in worship as the wisemen did to honor Him,

we experience MORE JOY

than anything in this world even comes close to offering.

This makes our soul want to sing,

Glory to God in the Highest,”

peace and good will to ALL from our Mighty God and Counselor,

Everlasting Father and

Prince of Peace.

*****

Yes, God brought His present to us as a babe in the manger.  Jesus, The Messiah, “Immanuel – God with us” walked among us as the perfect, sinless son of God, and then sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins.  All who call on Him can be saved forever to live with Him throughout eternity.  You can experience His presence today – no wrapping, no lines, and no cash or credit cards needed.  This is truly the gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving…

I’m looking forward to just enjoying His presence this Christmas and I hope you will too.

JOY TO YOU ALL!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

With Love and Prayerfully,

Joyful Jenny

In His presence is fullness of JOY; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore!

Psalm 16:11

…but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”  Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”  Luke 2:10-14

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

See also:  John 1; Luke 1:78-79: Romans 3:23-28; 5:8; 6:23; 10:9-10
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What Child is This?

He came as a child although He is The King of kings. In order to receive from Him we must come in childlike faith to receive the salvation He brings.

As I reflect on the lyrics to many of our timeless and treasured Christmas songs, I am reminded of the powerful truths penned so many years ago that carry the true Christ-centered message of Christmas. Amidst all the business of the season, the gifts most needed are the peace and joy that knowing and worshiping King Jesus brings.

God’s PRESENCE is the best PRESENT of all! MERRY CHRISTmas!

Sharing one of my favorite renditions of “What Child is This?” by the gloriously gifted artist, Andre’ Bocelli:

I’ve created choreography to this song and repeated sharing it through various dance groups and students since 2009.  I’ve printed the original lyrics below written originally in 1865 and published in 1871 by William Chatterton Dix from Great Britain. Dix was an insurance company manager who suffered a serious illness and depression. During this time, he experienced a spiritual renewal that led him to write several hymns including the timeless and treasured lyrics of “What Child is This?” – lyrics printed below.*

Christmas is all centered around the birth of Christ, God’s greatest gift to the world.  A gift of endless love, amazing grace, and everlasting Truth that brings joy to the heart and sets captives free.  May the presence of His love, peace and JOY be yours not only at Christmas but every day of the year. When you experience the Christ of Christmas, every day can be THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

*What Child is This? (Lyrics written by William Chatterton Dix, 1865)

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

Chorus:

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Two (2) Verses below not recalled often today:

(1 of 2)

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
(2 of 2)

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Repeat Chorus…

…This, this is Christ the King…

Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby;
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Repeat Chorus…

…This, this is Christ The King…

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story wereastonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Luke 2:6-20

JOY LIKE A FOUNTAIN!

Do you have joy like a fountain? Or has your well all dried up? Are you able to follow the Apostle Paul’s advice, “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, keep being joyful…” – my paraphrase of Philippians 3:1.
 
No one likes to take advice from someone who cannot relate to all you may have been through or are currently going through. However, Paul encountered much adversity and suffered many hardships all while serving the Lord, including the following and much more:  being imprisoned, 5 times whipped with 39 lashes, 3 times beaten with rods, robbed, mistreated and misunderstood by his own people and others, experiencing broken friendships, and often not having enough food to eat – AND ALL WHILE FAITHFULLY SERVING GOD!  STILL HIS MESSAGE WAS REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS!
 
 
Do you have joy no matter what is happening to you and/or is going on around you?
 
 
This is one of the messages God has given me in the midst of life’s trials and messiness. Some people think joy is the absence of pain. It’s not. Often, those whose lives are filled with much sorrow and many challenges experience the most joy. In God’s presence is fullness of JOY! (Psalm 16:11)
Jesus told us the things He told us in His Word SO THAT our JOY WOULD OVERFLOW (John 15:11). Paul reminds us to “be joyful in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).  Many have forgotten that it is part of God’s will for us to be continually joyful (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
 
Okay, so I realize even sharing these verses doesn’t automatically make us oh so joyful.
Since I always get this right and do it so well, I’m always bright and cheery Joyful Jenny – haha! NOT! I’m just pressing into God’s grace more and more and desire to obey; and, over the last few years especially, God has been bringing a restoration of joy in my life personally. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) and this is one of the reasons the enemy is after our joy.

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