advent, christmas, joy

Day 3 – Change Your Life Lyrics – JBA

I love Christmas music!! The glorious melodies, orchestrations, and specific voices that we have come to identify with the music of Christmas are visceral. We hear them and are whisked to a place that, for most of us, is cozy and safe, familiar, and full of wonder. But if I may, I would like to suggest that the familiarity we have with the music overshadows the next level goodness found in the lyrics.

The music soars through our ears and pierces our hearts, but it’s the lyrics that can change our lives.

During the Joy Bringer’s Advent I have chosen specific songs with powerful truths to share with you so that you too can share in my joy.

It begins with one of my least favorite songs. Yup, you read that right.

The Little Drummer Boy

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?
Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

Next to Feliz Navidad, this is my least favorite Christmas song. However, my husband, who isn’t a big Christmas music fan, has been wrecked by this song lately. He cries every time he hears it. Yup, actually cries at The Little Drummer Boy!

So, what is it that gets him?

The little boy approaches Jesus with nothing but his drum. There was nothing flashy about his gift. Was it even a gift? A simple song on his drum. He had nothing else. There was no grand gesture, and yet baby Jesus was pleased.

Often we think we need to be perfect, polished, or have something grand to offer the King. The truth is he simply wants us. When we offer ourselves (and the things we love) to the Lord, He is delighted. We don’t need to make some high and lofty gesture. The little boy loved to play the drum. He didn’t bring gold, he brought himself and his passion.

We don’t have songs about how Jesus was pleased with the gold, frankincense, and myrrh brought by the Wise Men. Not that he wasn’t pleased with those things….but the beautiful and deep truth highlighted in this song is,

what causes God to smile is when we simply bring ourselves to him.

He is worthy of our all – our best.

I pray that during the madness of the season you are able to block out the noise and simply give the King all he wants – you.

You make God smile.



Joy Bringer’s Advent

christmas, joy, Uncategorized

Day 1 – ARRIVAL – Joy Bringer’s Advent

the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.

Confession. I have never known much, nor cared about the season of Advent. I recognize that there are people all over the world that include this in their holiday celebration, but I’ve never really been exposed to it or felt the space in my life to include something else – till now.

With very little searching (I told you, I don’t have much time!), I found that Advent has been celebrated ever since there were only three numbers in the year. While the focus has shifted and traditions vary,

the whole point of the Advent season is to turn our attention, intentionally, to the coming one – the original Joy Bringer, Jesus.

The world had waited for so long.  We needed a savior. We needed the promise fulfilled.  We needed hope, joy, and peace.  We needed the answer to the problem of sin. It was foretold but no one could see it. They thought they knew how it would happen. They looked, but not many had eyes to see. When he came, he brought so much more than they hoped. The season of Advent invites us to pause and recognize some of the gifts that the Christ child brought to the lonely and broken world, and receive them for ourselves today.

Most commonly, the season of Advent is marked by the lighting of five candles, one each Sunday leading up to Christmas, then the final one is lit on Christmas eve. Each candle has a theme and a verse of scripture to meditate on.

  • HOPE – 1st candle  – This first week celebrates the coming Messiah. It’s also traditionally called the Prophecy Candle. It centers around the prophetic declaration, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
  • LOVE – 2nd candle – Our attention is turned to the love that came down at Christmas. In Bethlehem, “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12
  • JOY – 3rd candle – Fear was turned to great joy as the angels delivered the good news. “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:8–11
  • PEACE4th candle –  The favor of God is here and it comes with peace! “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13–14
  • FORGIVENESS5th candle – The good news wasn’t just for the Isrealites, we all have the opportunity to receive freedom from our sin and shame. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

This Christmas I am determined to slow down, pause even, to take in all that the Lord wants to reveal to me. What about you? What are you waiting for in this season of your life? What does your heart long for? As we turn our attention to Him, we can trust that the Lord knows us deeply. As we connect our hearts to the Lord, and to each other, He is faithful to reveal His promises and the good news of great joy brought to us by his son, Jesus.

For the next 24 days I will be reflecting on the Joy of the season in the Joy Bringer’s Advent.

Will you join me?



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