I declare that “the joy of the Lord is my strength” all of the time. It’s one of those verses I’ve known for as long as I can remember, but when I went to look it up in my Bible the other day I was so surprised to find that it was in the Old Testament. I thought for sure it was going to be in a book like Philippians or Ephesians, sounds like something Paul would say, but it’s found in Nehemiah 8:10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
Nehemiah is addressing a group of weeping people who have been listening to the Ezra read the book of the law of Moses. They weren’t crying because they were bored to tears, they were crying because their hearts had been convicted. They were being made aware of the sin in their life and it was heart breaking to them. I love Nehemiah’s response, “Hey, let’s not beat ourselves up about this. Now we know what is not pleasing to God, so now we can live right! Let’s go celebrate! Let’s be joyful because God is stirring our hearts! The joy of the Lord is our strength!”
And off they went to “eat the fat and drink the sweet,” (I’m guessing my husband will be quoting that from the King James quite often after he reads this.) but they did something I think is pretty notable while preparing their feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, the verse says they shared gifts of food with the people who had nothing prepared. The poor, the fatherless, the widows, strangers, and those who had no food at home.
This is such a special time of year for Christians. Christmas is a sacred day for us. Our tears have been wiped away and we celebrate the baby that was born in a stable, the one that made it possible for us to live right. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus! Instead of weeping we are full of the Joy of the Lord, so we get together and eat the ham and drink the egg nog, but let’s not forget about the people who have nothing prepared.
Is there a way you can bless someone with a meal this Christmas? Invite someone to your Christmas dinner, serve at a soup kitchen, donate to a homeless shelter in your area, or give a family in need a gift card so they can buy groceries. Remember the poor not just in your thoughts and prayers, but with your actions. Share some of the joy that God gave to you by sharing a meal with those who have nothing prepared.
- The joy of the Lord is my strength.
- This Christmas we will celebrate instead of weep because there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
- We will celebrate by eating the fat and drinking the sweet.
- We are blessed so we can bless others.
- Had a very messy but very fun morning making our annual Christmas sugar cookies.
- Gus told me several times while we were making cookies that he had been waiting all year for this.
- Beau got in on the icing action this year and she loved it.
- I was able to capture the little bakers at work on my camera.
- My KitchenAid Mixer.
- Beau decided to roll out all of the toilet paper in my bathroom and dip it in and out of the toilet this morning, while I was cleaning her, Josh cleaned up the bathroom.
- Beau’s American Girl bitty baby arrived today!
- Beautiful weather for an afternoon bike ride around the neighborhood.
- Beau spotted a nativity scene in someones yard and started yelling “baby Jesus” over and over again. She’s got the reason for the season thing down.
- Beau’s 3 in 1 trike.
- The bike that Kathleen & Boaz blessed Gus with.
- My kids can go outside. I saw a picture of a 9 month old whose parents were celebrating his 2nd time outdoors. In 9 months he’s only been outside two times due to a medical condition.
- Beau asks for Cheetos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She doesn’t get them for breakfast, but it’s funny to hear her ask.
- The Very First Noel. Cutest Christmas movie for kids I’ve seen in a long time. I loved it, it made me cry.
- Beau running around with a shirt around her head pretending to be Mary.
- All of Beau’s presents are wrapped and under the tree.
- The pretty wrapping paper we got last year after Christmas.
- I can wrap presents now. When we first got married Josh had to wrap all of our Christmas presents because I didn’t know how to do it.
- I had the exact amount of tape I needed. I sealed the last flap with the last piece of scotch tape in the house.
- Got a lot of work done for KBM while Beau was napping.
- I was getting onto Gus and I just happened to be standing under our mistletoe, so in the middle of me telling him to stop acting so wild he stopped to tell me he needed to kiss me.
- Tasty dinner.
- Christmas music dance party. My kids have some serious moves.
- “Unto Us” by Hillsong.