Read an Excerpt
A Collection of Joy
By Helen Steiner Rice
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2011 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
A New Year's Meditation
What better time and what better season,
What greater occasion or more wonderful reason
To kneel down in prayer and lift our hands high
To the God of creation, who made earth and sky,
Who sent us His Son to live here among men—
And the message He brought is
as true now as then ...
So at this glad season, when there's joy everywhere,
Let us meet our
Redeemer at the altar of prayer,
Asking Him humbly to bless all of our days
And grant us forgiveness for our erring ways ...
And though we're unworthy, dear Father above,
Accept us today and let us dwell in Thy love
So we may grow stronger upheld by Thy grace,
And with Thy assistance be ready to face
All the temptations that fill every day,
And hold on to our hands when
we stumble and stray ...
And thank You,
dear God, for the year that now ends
And for the great blessing of
loved ones and friends.
Words Can Say So Little
Today is an occasion for compliments and praise
And saying many of the things
we don't say other days.
For often through the passing days
we feel deep down inside
Unspoken thoughts of thankfulness
and fond, admiring pride.
But words can say so little when
the heart is overflowing,
And often those we love the most
just have no way of knowing
The many things the heart conceals
and never can impart,
For words seem so inadequate to
express what's in the heart.
Reason To Celebrate
"Let not your heart be troubled" —
Let not your soul be sad.
Easter is a time of joy
When all hearts should be glad —
Glad to know that Jesus Christ
Made it possible for men
To have their sins forgiven
And, like Him, to live again ...
So at this joyous season
May the wondrous Easter story
Renew our faith so we may be
Partakers of His glory.
Today's Joy Was Born of Yesterday's Sorrow
Who said the darkness of the
night would never turn to day?
Who said the winter's bleakness
would never pass away? Who said the fog would never
lift and let the sunshine through?
Who said the skies, now overcast,
would nevermore be blue?
Why should we ever entertain
these thoughts so dark and grim
And let the brightness of our
minds grow cynical and dim
When we know beyond all questioning
that winter turns to spring
And on the notes of sorrow
new songs are made to sing?
For no one sheds a teardrop
or suffers loss in vain,
For God is always there to
turn our losses into gain ...
And every burden borne today
and every present sorrow
Are but God's happy harbingers
of a joyous, bright tomorrow.
Birthdays Are a Gift from God
Where does time go in its endless flight?
Spring turns to fall and day to night,
And birthdays come and birthdays go,
And where they go we do not know ...
But God, who planned our life on earth
And gave our minds and bodies birth,
And then enclosed a living soul
With heaven as the spirit's goal,
Has given man the gift of choice
To follow that small inner voice
That speaks to us from year to year,
Reminding us we've naught to fear ...
For birthdays are a stepping stone
To endless joys as yet unknown—
So fill each day with happy things,
And may your burdens all take wing
And fly away and leave behind
Great joy of heart and peace of mind ...
For birthdays are the gateway to
An endless life of joy for you
If you but pray from day to day
That He will show you the truth and the way.
Birthdays come and birthdays go
And with them come the thought
Of all the happy memories
The passing years have brought,
And looking back across the years
We come to recognize
That it takes a lot of birthdays
To make us kind and wise,
For growing older only means
The spirit grows serene
And we behold things with our souls
That our eyes have never seen.
For each birthday is a gateway
That leads to a reward,
The rich reward of learning
The true greatness of the Lord.
For a Young Person at Confirmation
When we are confirmed in our faith in the Lord,
Our greatest possession and richest reward
Is knowing that now we are heralds of the King,
Ready His praises and glory to sing ...
And oh, what a privilege to witness for God
And to walk in the way that the dear Savior trod —
Confirmed in the faith that we are
upheld by His hand,
Eager to follow His smallest command,
Secure in the knowledge that though now and then
We're guilty of sins that are common to men,
He freely forgives and understands, too,
And there's nothing—no, nothing
that God cannot do ...
And great is our gladness to serve
Him through others,
For our Father taught us that all men are brothers,
And the people we meet on life's thoroughfares
Are burdened with trouble and sorrow and cares,
And this is the chance we are given each day
To witness for God and to try to obey
His laws and commandments and
to make our Confirmation
A service of joy and a real dedication.
What Is Marriage?
It is sharing and caring,
Giving and forgiving,
Loving and being loved,
Walking hand in hand,
Talking heart to heart,
Seeing through each other's eyes,
And always trusting and believing
And thanking God for each other ...
For love that is shared is a beautiful thing —
It enriches the soul and makes the heart sing.
What Is a Baby?
A baby is a gift of life born of the wonder of love —
A little bit of eternity sent from the Father above,
Giving a new dimension to the love
between husband and wife
And putting an added new meaning
to the wonder and mystery of life.
May we never forget those who sleep 'neath the sod
They helped liberate, by the grace of our God.
We've reached at long last the victor's goal,
But to keep the peace we must conquer the soul.
We have wrestled and vanquished the enemy,
But we enter a new Gethsemane.
The struggle now enters a realm deep within,
And each man has his own private battle to win ...
And the words of Christ ring out in our ears
Amid the tumult of victory cheers,
And the Unknown Soldier pleads to be heard,
And his message is told in Christ's stirring words,
"'Ye must be born again,' or we the slain
Have fought and fallen and died in vain."
Keep us grateful, omnipotent God,
And aware of those sleeping beneath the sod.
Strengthen our bonds with one another
So we may dwell as brother to brother.
Heal the wounds and be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget.
The Priceless Gift of Christmas
Christmas is a heavenly gift that only God can give —
It's ours just for the asking
for as long as we shall live.
It can't be bought or bartered,
it can't be won or sold,
It doesn't cost a penny, and it's worth
far more than gold.
It isn't bright and gleaming for eager eyes to see —
It can't be wrapped in tinsel
or placed beneath a tree....
For the priceless gift of Christmas is meant just for the heart,
And we receive it only
when we become a part
Of the kingdom and the glory which
are ours to freely take,
For God sent the holy Christ child at
Christmas for our sake
So man might come to know Him and
feel His presence near
And see the many miracles performed
when He was here.
And this priceless gift of Christmas is
within the reach of all—
The rich, the poor, the young and old,
the greatest and the small.
So take His priceless gift of love —
reach out and you receive —
And the only payment that God asks
is just that you believe.
The Spirit of Giving
Each year at Christmas, the spirit of giving
Adds joy to the season and gladness to living.
And knowing this happens when Christmas is here,
Why can't we continue throughout the year
To make our lives happy and abundant with living
By following each day the spirit of giving?
The Miracle of Christmas
The wonderment in a small child's eyes,
The ageless awe in the Christmas skies,
The nameless joy that fills the air,
The throngs that kneel in praise and prayer —
These are the things that make us know
That men may come and men may go,
But none will ever find a way
To banish Christ from Christmas Day,
For with each child there's born again
A mystery that baffles men.
The Christmas Story
A star in the sky, an angel's voice
Telling the world—Rejoice! Rejoice!
Shepherds tending their flocks by night,
Falling in awe at this wondrous sight;
Wise men traveling across the lands
To place their gifts in the Christ child's hands;
No room at the inn, so a manger bed
Cradled in radiance the holy babe's head ...
That is the story that's living still
In the hearts of all men.
I Bring You Good Tidings of Great Joy
Glad tidings herald the Christ child's birth —
Joy to the world and peace on earth,
Glory to God ... Let all men rejoice
And hearken once more to the angel's voice.
It matters not who or what you are —
All men can behold the
For the star that shone is shining still
In the hearts of men of peace and goodwill.
It offers the answer to every man's need,
Regardless of color or race or creed ...
So joining together in brotherly love,
Let us worship again our Father above,
And forgetting our own little selfish desires,
May we seek what the star of Christmas inspires.
A Sure Way to a Happy Day
Happiness is something we create in our minds;
It's not something you search for and so seldom find.
It's just waking up and beginning the day
By counting our blessings and kneeling to pray.
It's giving up thoughts that breed discontent
And accepting what comes as a gift heaven-sent.
It's giving up wishing for things we have not
And making the best of whatever we've got.
It's knowing that life is determined for us
And pursuing our tasks without fret, fume, or fuss ...
For it's by completing what God gives us to do
That we find real contentment and happiness, too.
What Is Life?
Life is a sojourn here on earth
Which begins the day God gives us birth.
We enter this world from the great unknown,
And God gives each spirit a form of its own
And endows this form with a heart and a soul
To spur man on to his ultimate goal ...
And through the senses of feeling and seeing,
God makes man into a human being
So he may experience a mortal life
And through this period of smiles and strife
Prepare himself to return as he came,
For birth and death are in essence the same,
For both are fashioned by God's mighty hand,
And while we cannot understand,
We know we are born to die and arise,
For beyond this world in beauty lies
The purpose of living and the ultimate goal
God gives at birth to each seeking soul ...
So enjoy your sojourn on earth and be glad
That God gives you a choice between
good things and bad,
And only be sure that you heed God's voice
Whenever life asks you to make a choice.
Give Lavishly! Live Abundantly
The more you give, the more you get;
The more you laugh, the less you fret.
The more you do unselfishly,
The more you live abundantly.
The more of everything you share,
The more you'll always have to spare.
The more you love, the more you'll find
That life is good and friends are kind,
For only what we give away
Enriches us from day to day.
Giving Is The Key to Living
Every day is a reason for giving
And giving is the key to living ...
So let us give ourselves away
Not just today but every day.
And remember, a kind and thoughtful deed
Or a hand outstretched in a time of need
Is the rarest of gifts, for it is a part
Not of the purse but a loving heart ...
And he who gives of himself will find
True joy of heart and peace of mind.
It's not the things that can be bought
That are life's richest treasures;
It's just the little "heart gifts"
That money cannot measure.
A cheerful smile,
a friendly word, A sympathetic nod,
All priceless little treasures
From the storehouse of our God.
They are the things that can't be bought
With silver or with gold,
For thoughtfulness and kindness
And love are never sold.
They are the priceless things in life
For which no one can pay,
And the giver finds rich recompense
In giving them away.
Take Time to Be Kind
Kindness is a virtue given by the Lord —
It pays dividends in happiness and joy is its reward.
For if you practice kindness in all you say and do,
The Lord will wrap His kindness around
your heart and you.
Be glad that your life has been full and complete;
Be glad that you've tasted the bitter and sweet.
Be glad that you've walked in sunshine and rain;
Be glad that you've felt both pleasure and pain.
Be glad that you've had such a full, happy life;
Be glad for your joy as well as your strife.
Be glad that you've walked with courage each day;
Be glad you've had strength for each step of the way.
Be glad for the comfort that you've found in prayer.
Be glad for God's blessings, His love, and His care.
A little laughter,
a little song,
A little teardrop
When things go wrong,
A little calm
And a little strife,
A little loving —
And that is life.
Where There Is Love
Where there is love the heart is light;
Where there is love the day is bright.
Where there is love there is a song
To help when things are going wrong.
Where there is love there is a smile
To make all things seem more worthwhile.
Where there is love there's a quiet peace,
A tranquil place where turmoils cease.
Love changes darkness into light
And makes the heart take wingless flight.
Oh, blessed are those who walk in love;
They also walk with God above.
Your Life Will Be Blessed If You Look for the Best
It's easy to grow downhearted
when nothing goes your way,
It's easy to be discouraged when
you have a troublesome day,
But trouble is only a challenge
to spur you on to achieve
The best that God has to offer,
if you have the faith to believe!
Inspiration! Meditation! Dedication!
Brighten your day
And lighten your way
And lessen your cares
With daily prayers.
Quiet your mind
And leave tension behind
And find inspiration
In hushed meditation.
If You Meet God in the Morning, He'll Go with You through the Day
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof ...
It speaks of His greatness, it sings of His love.
And each day at dawning I lift my heart high
And raise up my eyes to the infinite sky.
I watch the night vanish as a new day is born,
And I hear the birds sing on the wings of the morn.
I see the dew glisten in crystal-like splendor
While God, with a touch that is gentle and tender,
Wraps up the night and softly tucks it away
And hangs out the sun to herald a new day ...
And so I give thanks and my heart kneels to pray,
"God, keep me and guide me and go with me today. "
Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
Life is a mixture of sunshine and rain,
Good things and bad things, pleasure and pain.
We can't have all sunshine, but it's certainly true
That there's never a cloud the sun
doesn't shine through ...
So always remember, whatever betide you,
The power of God is always beside you ...
And if friends disappoint you and plans go astray
And nothing works out in just the right way,
And you feel you have failed in achieving your goal
And that life wrongly placed you in an unfitting role,
Take heart and stand tall and think who you are,
For God is your Father and no one can bar
Or keep you from reaching your desired success
Or withhold the joy that is yours to possess ...
For with God on your side, it matters not who
Is working to keep life's good things from you,
For you need nothing more than God's
guidance and love
To ensure you the things that you're most worthy of ...
So trust in His wisdom and follow His ways
And be not concerned with the world's empty praise,
But first seek His kingdom and you will possess
The world's greatest of riches,
which is true happiness.
Excerpted from A Collection of Joy by Helen Steiner Rice. Copyright © 2011 Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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