Friday, February 26, 2021

Great Week…

 

I cannot believe these words are coming out of my mouth it has been so long!!  But It has been a good week to have a great week!  And that has happened because I have spent most of my week visiting with missionary women overseas!  Recently, our ministry sent out an email to missionary women that have attended our conferences overseas in the past.  You were asked to contact me so I could share with you some ways we believe God is leading us to minister to you on the field even though we are not able to travel for now.  The response has been awesome.  In fact, if you have emailed me already please be patient with me as I am scheduling days and times to visit with each one of you individually.   That is what has made for such a great week!  I have seen faces and heard voices from the past 20 years along with several new ones.   It has been exciting to visit with so many of you from our ‘people group’.  The emails you have sent sharing about your hearts towards Pure Joy International Retreat Ministry and your stories of what is happening where you are right now are so impactful.

Many of you are in second and third lockdowns because of Covid-19.  And for those that are not locked down there is the inability to cross providence lines, country boarders, etc.  It is all so crazy!   So, if you did not get the email sent to missionaries please check your spam and or let me know vickie@purejoyinterntional.org and I will get with you.  But be patient with me. There are a lot of you and one of me.  (smile).

 Along, with the great week there have also been some tough spots in the road that happen for all of us as we are molded and shaped into his image.  But as God is good to always give us what we need at just the right time I came across this quote in a daily reading. 

“God has brought you through before, and He will bring you through again.  Make a decision each day, to choose faith over fear.”

I suspect there are many of us that need to be reminded of that truth. 

·       Those overseas in lockdowns and

·       Those here in the U.S. that have been severely hit by the recent winter storms in the southern part of the U.S.

·       Those of you just going through life and hitting some tough spots in the road.

 The list could go on and on.  Remember, choose Faith!

 

Have a good weekend.

 

His,

Vickie

 


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Paying It Forward…


Jon and Phyllis Moore are long time friends of mine.  I met Phyllis when I started traveling with Great Hills Baptist Retreat Ministry out of Austin, Tx. 

Barbara O’Chester Founder of Great Hills Baptist Retreat Ministry usually allowed Phyllis and I to room together.  We both liked to get up early and do our quite times, so we made good roomies.  By the way we were anything but quite during those times because we liked sharing with each other the things the LORD was showing us.  She and Jon have since been lifelong friends to me. 

 

Recently I received the following email from Jon.  Jon is good to take time to encourage others that serve in ministry.   I wanted to share it with you because; (1) it gives you a link to their ministry www.Christfollowers.com and because it also gives you a way to connect with Jon to capitalize on the quotes that are meaty along the way.  I have never known Jon to just throw you a bone.  The meat always comes with it!  Phyllis will be no disappointment to us ladies as well.  So, contact them if you would like to be encouraged by the depths of older saints.  I will leave one of my favorites from this past week at the bottom with my sign off.  It is from A.W. Tozer.  I am quite sure he was supposed to be my husband but died 10 years after I was born.  Ha,ha,ha.

 

“Hello everyone,

 We trust you are all staying well during these hopefully last months of COVID-19 pandemic!  We personally received our first vaccine shot last week.  As our opportunities for ministry

(as we have always known them) decline, I want to point out two avenues we maintain.  First, we alternate in writing devotionals each month for our web site.  Be sure to click on www.Christfollowers.com and read Jon’s devotional for this month, “Praying for Revival!”

 Secondly, every couple of weeks or so, I (Jon) send out quotes by notable Believers from the past that deal with revival and related subjects.  If you do not currently receive those quotes and would like to receive them, let me know by return email.  IN the meantime, keep on believing the Lord for a God-sized miracle, and keep on praying to that end…

 Multiplied blessings,

Jon & Phyllis Moore”

 

May I encourage you to take advantage of the wisdom of the older saints.  I have received some wise counsel from my friends through the years.

 

His,

Vickie


“The one who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing , but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One.                 A.W. Tozer

          Are you tinkering with your soul?

 


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Darkness…


I am sure we can all remember a time when we have found ourselves in darkness unexpectedly.  That happens to us several times throughout the year.  It happens if the weather is bad, someone hits a utility pole, and or my personal favorite the squirrel that gets caught in the power grid and knocks out the electricity on one whole side of town. If that happens in the daytime not so big a deal regarding light.  But at night when you are suddenly cast unexpectantly into the darkness, not so good.  It is a strange feeling for a moment.  Your brain goes to total overload for just a fraction of a second trying to process, no light, what happen, which gives way to a momentary flinch of fear.  Then you snap out of it. Find your flashlight, candles, lanterns, etc. Then you call the Entergy Company to find out what happened and when you can expect it to be fixed.

Today, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the darkness of this world. And it will not do you any good to call the electric company to find out what happened and when you can expect it be fixed.  Because it is a darkness brought on by evil.  Evil are those things that stand in opposition to Gods Word, Truths, Ways, Will, Commands, etc.

But rejoice my dear friends because Gods Word has given us the tool’s we need to weather the darkness of this present world.  Here are just a couple of powerful verses to hold onto and believe!

Psalm 27:1 (ESV) The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 18:28-30 (ESV) For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

So, the next time the darkness is pressing in on you remember; He is your light and your salvation!

His,

Vickie

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Warning Misdirection…

 

Great magicians perfect two intentional arts that set them apart from other magicians.  The first is the art of misdirection, getting the audience’s attention to focus on an unimportant object or action so nobody notices the important movements happening right before their eyes.  The second is the sly physical manipulation of objects with imperceptible movement, commonly known as sleight of hand.

On Wednesday afternoon January 6, 2021 my sister asked me, “have you seen the news?”  So, I clicked on the news.  Our White House in Washington D.C. was being swarmed.  I seriously could not believe what I was seeing and hearing.  People scaling the walls of the White House, news that a woman had been shot that later died, people vandalizing offices, stealing objects and as I write this today five more died from that day.  But the most serious thing that came to my mind was the epitome of the state of lawlessness of our country symbolized by the disrespect shown to the White House as it was breached.  No matter where your loyalty in politics fall, that was a sad day for our country. 

As I watch all the anger, blame, destruction, and chaos I see the craftiness of the enemy.  Like a great magician creating misdirection, and sleight of hand.  Making sure in the physical that all eyes are drawn to the chaos daily through the media.  Which allows him to continue his path which is to kill, steal, and destroy (see John 10:10).

These things going on in our nation are things we used to see on the evening news regarding foreign nations and would never have believed it would be our nation someday. And yet, here we are.  And you know what?  Many of our missionaries/missionary families serve in foreign countries that live with this type of instability most of the time.

How do they handle it?  Well, they are not perfect by any means.  And they do go through their own times of struggles.  However, their ability to handle it is no different than yours or mine as a believer, it lies in our trust or lack of trust in the Father and His Word.  

 His Word tells us ….

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV)  

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

My friends we are in the last days. The enemy wants you to believe this is something new.  No!  It is misdirection!  The truth is those last days started over 2000 years ago when Jesus was crucified for our sins, was buried, rose again, and ascended to the Father.  And things have steadily become more difficult throughout the ages.  Read that passage again.  Why have the times of difficulty come? Because people will be lovers of self, etc.  Notice that verse started out with lovers of self.  Everything else becomes a consequence of that behavior.

 His Word tells us….

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Have you taken a good look around you lately regarding marriages, families, and specifically at all the finger pointing that has gone on at every level of human existence? The enemy wants you to fight horizontally.  So, you only see through your eyes or the eyes of the distortion of this world.  It is his sleight of hand movement manipulating people through their differences, using the media (one of his greatest tools), encouraging people to turn on one another instead of being able to agree to disagree on the issues. 

Please understand that your spouse, children, family, friends, peers, etc., are not the enemy!  Do not be deceived!!  This is a “spiritual battle” we are in.  You must fight from a vertical position. 

His Word tells us…

Psalm 33:13 (ESV)The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man…

 Proverbs 5:21 (ESV)For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths.

Psalm 18:6 (ESV)In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

Our God sees! He hears!!  Do not be deceived into thinking He does not know what is happening in your life with all the things going on in this world and that He does not care.

Those are lies from the enemy! While we may get tripped up by the misdirection and sleight of hand, He does not!  But may I encourage you to me more mindful of what is going on in the Middle East and Western Europe while keeping your focus on God! The enemy would have you be ignorant of those areas.  And remember…

He is a God that cares for you and a God that will lead you through.  So, look up as we journey through these days of trouble and trials.

Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV) You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.


 His,

Vickie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Breaking Bread Together….

 

Finally, the Pure Joy International Staff was able to break bread together in person in an exclusive location of a dear friend.  It is the first time our ministry staff has been able to meet since January of this year.  Wow!  We have met through Zoom meetings, but it is not the same as being with each other and hearing each other’s hearts.  Time was spent in prayer for each other and for the future of the ministry.  God was so good to guide our hearts into focus and direction for the year ahead.  Having said that let me share a couple of things we are looking at going forward. 

We hope to be able to honor our trip scheduled for Portugal last year in the Spring by projecting a possibility of the Fall of 2021.  Counseling with missionaries overseas and stateside continue via all means possible.  In the meantime, the staff came up with a few good possibilities to keep ministering to our people group (missionary women) in some interesting ways.  First, however, it will require some leg work on our end.  We have set the end of January to get that accomplished.  So, please pray that God will make a way for us to get the information we need to move forward.  Also, pray for the staff, board, and advisors of Pure Joy International and their families.

To those of you that have asked us recently to investigate more ways to minister to you in the middle of all this craziness, keep us in your prayers and look forward to February.  If God allows this to come together it will be awesome!

 

In the meantime, be encouraged from these words of Jesus and the following thoughts.

John 14:27 (ESV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

When is the last time you have been stuck somewhere?  For many of you it was a traffic jam on the way to work today.  For others, it could be having to be quarantined for 5, 10, or 14 days, a job that you cannot afford to leave right now but there is no room to grow, a line at the grocery store, a delayed flight, etc.  The list of things that position us to be stuck at times is endless.  But the one word that accompanies being stuck is always the same “waiting”.

Talk about a word that stirs up a basket full of emotions.  Whew!  Waiting can trigger excitement, anticipation, frustration, anger, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, discouragement, etc.  The list is so long.

As believers we are “waiting” between time (this world) and eternity (timelessness).  Scripture tells us we are sojourners here, aliens, just passing through, this is not our home.  I suspect most believers have really have not thought about that much until this year. But with all the chaos of this world we may be reminding ourselves of that truth as a reminder during the “waiting”.  Now days being a sojourner passing through reminds us of His Sovereignty and this is not our home.

Again, take heart believer in these words from Jesus Himself...

John 14:27 (ESV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

And let us not forget we have a mission while we are sojourning through this world.  Seek first His kingdom and righteousness, serve others, share the gospel, baptize, and make disciples.  So, do not be deceived into living in the horizontal of this world.  Live vertically and keep walking!

His,

Vickie

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thankful for you …

 


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you

As we head into this Thanksgiving Holiday, I want to say how thankful we are here at Pure Joy International for those of you that have continued to give faithfully to the ministry, through prayer, encouragement, and financially. 

Many of you know from your own experience and through your missionary daughters, sons, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends that overseas travel has been deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

We have many missionaries stateside in holding patterns for now.  We also have missionaries still on the ground in different countries, and Covid-19 has affected them, too, regarding ministry on the field.  We have missionaries that have come home for good because of the time lapse of not being able to renew passports, work visas, etc., and the list could go on and on.

All of this to say do not lose sight of our missionaries that God has called to the ministry of missions overseas.  They, too, are walking out the daily journey of how God would have them serve where they are.  So, as we continue to pray for family, friends and loved ones regarding this pandemic please remember to pray for our missionaries near and far.

On another note, the ministry of Pure Joy International has also been interrupted regarding overseas travel.  We highly suspect it will be the fall of 2021 before we are able to leave the country, if then.  In the meantime, we continue to provide counseling for our missionaries overseas and stateside.  We would ask you to pray with us as we seek the LORD on His continued plans for the ministry.  And may I ask you to include all missions’ ministries and organizations that travel internationally in those prayers.  If the consequence of Covid-19 has shown us anything it is that “people need the LORD”.  So much hopelessness among those that do not know Him and hard times, challenges, and difficulties among those that do.

I encourage all of us, keep walking we know the ending!

1 Chronicles 16:11 (ESV)

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! 

 

From: The Staff, Board, and Advisors of Pure Joy International Retreat Ministry

To: You

     “Happy Thanksgiving 2020”