Everyone has a favorite dish or recipe especially at this time of year. Some love eggnog. Others enjoy pecan pie. A neighbor of mine makes 500 homemade ravioli every year for her extended family. My oldest loves stromboli and caesar salad. So what is the tradition or favorite dish at your house?

Today I’d like to share with you a favorite recipe of mine. I found it this morning in a very old “cook” book known as the Bible. As we come to the end of the 3rd week of Advent which typically focuses on Joy, I know we can all use some secret ingredients to cook some up.

This week has been especially difficult for our country in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut and our focus may have been elsewhere. I, too, have struggled and have had challenges, believe me.

But as I read my Bible this morning, I came across some encouraging words that I wanted to share with you. In Phillipians 4 verses 4-9, Paul gives us some concrete steps on how to maintain our joy so here is the Lord’s recipe for Joy:

1. Fill your hearts with the joy of the Lord by remembering that your name is written in the Book of Life.
2. Be considerate in all you do.
3. Add a hefty dose of prayer about everything.
4. Mix well until you feel peace simmering within.
5. Remove any seeds of anxiety, stress, negativity, anger, or unforgiveness.
6. Mix in thoughts of what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.
7. Sprinkle in excellence and praise.

Here is the most important part of the recipe: keep putting into practice all you have learned and remember everything the Lord has done for you in YOUR life. Then you will have both Peace and Joy!

Hope these simple steps help you to maintain and grow your joy this season. Until next time, keep looking up!

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