About Joyce Anderson

Joyce is a mother, wife, sister, school teacher, Bulgarian speaker, conservative, lover of good music, social media junky and a two time culinary arts Grand Champion bread baker. She and the family reside in a remote mountain community where great discoveries have been made. When not changing the world, she enjoys the occasional bowl of chips and salsa. She can be found at: http://pinterest.com/TheAtomicMom

Christmas Music: Have You Heard the Story of the Jesus Child?

In the fall of 1988, I was a sophomore in high school. Our choir director, Mr. David Perry, pulled out the Christmas music, and introduced the sophomore choir to a song that was to become one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time, John Rutter’s, “Jesus Child”. It’s an exciting song with a calypso beat. I’ve always imagined the song being a group of friends telling each other about the birth of Christ and as the more people know the story, their joy and excitement for Christ grows.

Here are the lyrics:
Have you heard the story that they’re telling ’bout Bethlehem,
Have you heard the story of the Jesus child?
How he came from heaven and was born in a manger bed?
Mary was his virgin mother pure and mild.

Sing alleluia, brothers, sing alleluja, sisters,
Worship the Jesus child and praise his mother mild.
‘Glory to God’ the angel hosts are singing:
Listen to the story of the Jesus child. Continue reading

Christmas Music: O Come O Come Emmanuel

We learn one of the names of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1: 23, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

In Genesis the Lord speaks to us about His own coming — in other words being our Emmanuel, “And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.”

This promise is repeated in Leviticus 26: 11-12, “Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. ‘I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.”

I love the fact that God came and was with us, and that He will be with us again one day. Continue reading

Avoiding the Christmas Wars

This year I’m not feeling my usual anxiety — I don’t want to say yet, maybe it will come, maybe it won’t. Who knows. I’m glad though that right now, I”m not stressing about the holidays like I usually do. That said, I’ve noticed the same holiday stories creeping into my newsfeeds and those things might give me anxiety!

I’m not linking to any particular story — no one needs clicks from me — but you know what I’m talking about:

“Saying Happy Holidays is More Inclusive than Saying Merry Christmas.”

“Bring Back Merry Christmas!”

“We Only Celebrate Christmas Here!”

“Christian Groups upset over Starbucks Holiday Cup.”

“10 People Trampled on Black Friday at a Flash Toaster Sale”

Arg! You know these headlines. You see them too. Make them stop! Continue reading

Light the World Week One: Give as He Gave

I can hardly believe that we are fast approaching the end of 2018,and we’re here at another holiday season. The last few years of my life and that of my family have seen many changes, new baby, new house, new ward and callings. I keep hoping things will slow down, but they don’t!

In the Church we have a new prophet, and many significant changes to how we “Latter-day Saint”. In April we said goodbye to home and visiting teaching and have been learning to serve in the higher and holier manner of ministering. Over the summer and again in Conference, Pres. Nelson asked the members of the Church to use the full name of the Church as we refer to ourselves and the Church. In October General Conference we were also introduced to the new Come Follow Me program for individuals and families and welcomed (at least everyone I know welcomed it) the change to a 2 hour church meeting schedule. Many new temples have been announced, members of the church are engaged in exciting and necessary good works all over the globe. It is truly an exciting time to be alive.

This year, as in years past, the Church is encouraging members to participate in service over the month of December as part of its “Light the World” initiative. This year December is divided up in to areas of focus for each week. In week one, the theme is, “Give As He Gave”. We are encouraged to pray and think of ways to give to others and the savior gave. Some suggestions that the Church has given are:

1. Share on social media an example of someone in your life that has been an example of Christlike service. Make sure to use the hashtag #LightTheWorld, so others can see your post.

2. Use a Giving Machine, or donate to another global cause.

3. Collect supplies for refugees.

4. Seek out a person from another culture and learn his or her story.

I hope that our readers will be inspired to serve, and then come back and share with us what you did to #LightTheWorld and how it changed you.

Pres. Nelson’s Second Challenge

Pres. Nelson issued four challenges to the sisters in the Saturday night Women’s Session of General Conference. They are:

1. Participate in a 10 day social media fast — removing negative influences from your life, and things that cause you to have impure thoughts.

2. Read the Book of Mormon between now and the end of year (that’s 84 days as of today).

3. Establish a pattern of regular temple attendance. If you’re far from a temple study the standard works and other church materials on temples.

4. Participate fully in Relief Society.

Saturday night and over the course of Sunday, my Facebook feed filled with girlfriends signing off of social media for 10 days. But, let’s not forget the other three parts of the challenge. I wanted to focus first on the Book of Mormon reading challenge — as that is something I can do without having to rearrange life too much. Continue reading