Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The sweet fragrance as the Christmas Holidays linger...

As I write this blog I am sitting at my nephew’s home in Victoria, Texas. He and his wife have just delivered their third child. This very moment my sister-in-law is chasing Admiral, the golden retriever, through the house. My nephew is running right behind them telling her “of course he is going to take off running when you open that doorway.” Admiral is back in his room now looking at me as if to say, “What did I do?”. My mom is sitting in the living room – oops, Admiral is trying to make a great escape again but my brother is using his firmest voice to let him know he better get back in that room! As I started to say, my mom is in the living room sitting on the couch holding newborn Landon. Now everyone has made it to the living room where the newborn Landon is crying the sound of a newborn! Braden, his almost 2 year old brother, is running his new Christmas cars across the living room coffee table that is just made for little boys to play on with their toys. My brother, his wife, and my other nephew (twin brother to the first nephew I mentioned) and his girlfriend from San Antonio are all playing video games and eating dessert. My nephew that lives in this house has moved to the kitchen table with me and is on his computer as well. However, secretly he is listening to the football game that is on tonight in the other room because he and his brother are in this major competition with fantasy football. Tonight’s game between the Eagles and Vikings will determine the winner between them. I love the flow of family! When times such as these are going on I fully believe that family is the most awesome unit God created! Husbands, wives, children, nieces, nephews, in-laws, out-laws, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. Ok now 1st nephew is going through the house saying “I need a field goal!” Admiral just got in trouble again and I can truly saying he didn’t do anything! Ha,ha,ha People alert…everyone is shifting! Help!

Hope you all had some special time with your families this Christmas Season!

As I listen to Braden playing and see his little red head pop up over the coffee table every once in awhile and hear everyone cooing over little Landon as well, I am reminded of this Bible truth……”What a difference a child can make”.

My prayer is that if Jesus has not made a difference in your life as of this blog, that He will by this time next Christmas Season.

Love you all,

His,
vickie

Admiral is loose again!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from Pure Joy!


video
Enjoy this Christmas wish from the Board and Staff of Pure Joy International!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just $40...

This morning when I got to the office I stepped next door to check on my friend that has an alteration business. We usually check on each other first thing in the morning and when one of us closes for the evening. As I was standing in her business a gentleman stepped in the door with a rather hurried manner about him, carrying a spray bottle. He immediately asked Ola, my friend, if she was the business owner. When she nodded yes it was like the gates opening at the Kentucky Derby. He was off and running. He could not tell us enough about the miracle powers of the cleaner in his spray bottle. Truly we could not get a word in edge-wise because he was so busy showing us all that this cleaning liquid could do. Now don’t get me wrong. I was totally getting excited about this stuff. In fact, about the time he had me in his corner my client drove up. “Ok, I’d like to talk more with you about this but I have a client waiting. However, I will take your brochure and read it and call you later.” Oh, you can’t, he said. I am leaving for St. Louis when I leave here. “Ok, then come back by when you are back in town.” Not coming back. “Ok, then I’ll take a bottle.” ($1 - I’d be crazy not to!) He then tells me we only sell it by the gallon jug. (Really). “How much for a gallon jug?” Just $40 a jug. (Really!)

Immediately within a millimeter of a second the following thought flashes through my head. If this stuff was real it would be worth the investment to purchase it. But there is no way to check this guy out and he really appears to be in a hurry for a quick buck. For all I know his bottle of cleaner is the real deal for sure and the rest could just be glorified water. So, I quickly acknowledged to him that I didn’t have $40 and went to tend to my client.

As I thought about this later on this morning I thought about how easily people can sell us something that sounds good and even looks good but it is all a deception. Hmmmm, does that story sound familiar.

I can never encourage us enough to BE IN THE WORD OF GOD!!! The ONLY things that will prevent us from being deceived in these latter days are the Word of God and the Holy Spirit!

So beware this time of year for scams! But be even more aware all the time for the enemy to try and deceive daily! He is going to get more cunning in these latter days. KNOW THE TRUTH ….INSIDE AND OUT!

His,
vickie

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monkey see...

Two weekends ago I was helping my sister with a garage sale and a young mom with a 2 ½ to 3 year old daughter walked up. The mom was inside an area looking at some things and the little girl was within her sight but outside looking through a tub of toys, stuffed animals, little dolls, cars, plastic horses, etc. As I watched the little girl I became significantly amused. She would reach into the tub, bring out an item, and turn it over in her hands as if to check all sides top and bottom and then pause a second as if pondering. Then she would either throw it back in the tub as if to say “Nah” or carry it over to my sister to hold for when they checked out. I sat and watched this child go through this process over and over, again totally amused and chuckling at times. But then I realized what a “REAL LIFE” example of what we try to teach new moms and dads this situation provided……. “Young children model after your behaviors, not your words”. When they get older they have enough education to recognize some of your behaviors do not line up with your words. In this case it causes mistrust in the growing child and positions them to not know what to do in certain situations: “what you’ve told them” or “what you do”.

I wonder as we are in the throws of the Christmas season what you are telling them and modeling for them regarding the birth of our Savior. Do they get excited at Christmas because of the birth of Christ or because of the presents and gifts?

Monkey see, Monkey do...

His,
Vickie

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How...

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe In Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14

The Strong’s Greek Dictionary defines the word preacher from that verse as….
kay-roos'-so…Of uncertain affinity; to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel):—preach (-er), proclaim, publish.

This week as we are mindful of being Thankful, we at Pure Joy International Ministry want to salute the men and women all over the world that have taken that verse to heart and are proclaiming the gospel to the ends of the earth!

Thank you Missionaries all over the world for your willingness to go, share, and disciple the Nations!!! May God Bless you in a unique way this Thanksgiving Holiday.

Also, to all of you and yours that pray for this ministry, give on a regular basis, and go! Blessings to you as well!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Ministry Staff of Pure Joy!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dear Moms...

Many months ago a women put an announcement in the church bulletin at Antioch Baptist, my home church. It simply was a request for mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc. to join her on Monday mornings in her home to pray for our families. This time was just prayer for our families, nothing else unless the LORD led us to it. I have missed very few of those mornings. I have also watched the LORD working in the families of those of us that meet.

I could cover this page with God’s faithfulness to answer prayers regarding each of our families that we have been praying about. But let me just say, PRAISE GOD who Is and Is to come!!!!

A dear friend of mine, as well as one of our ladies we like to take overseas as a speaker whenever she is available, began a ministry called Mom’s Day of Prayer. Below is an excerpt from that organization’s New Vision for 2011! Please take time to read it and check out her web site!

Also, we are gearing up for our next Retreat. It will be in Uganda, Africa. Please join us in praying as we work with potential sponsoring churches and all that God would have for the Missionary Women in that area of Africa.

His,
vickie

A New Vision for the Worldwide Mom’s Day of Prayer Ministry for 2011! 47 Saturdays – 47 MDOP Coordinators – 47 Churches. Yes, we are praying that 47 Saturdays in 2011 will have a MDOP on each weekend! The only Saturdays that we are leaving out are January 1st and all the Saturdays in December.

Please visit the MDOP website at http://www.momsdayofprayer.com to sign up or call the MDOP office at 479-452-6215.

As one MDOP attendee said, "I wonder how many of our precious children will be spared from suicide, rape, abortion, sexual misconduct, running away, loneliness, pain, depression, eternity in Hell, drug and alcohol addiction, etc. etc. etc., because of the Mom’s Day of Prayer."

Can you imagine 47 weekends filled with praying women? Sign up now!

Kathy J. Coleman
Mom's Day of Prayer Founder
http://www.momsdayofprayer.com

http://www.letsgetrealmarriages.com
http://www.kathyjcoleman.com

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

His Attributes...

Do not let it be imagined that one must remain silent about one’s feelings of rebellion in order to enter into dialogue with God. Quite the opposite is the truth: it is precisely when one expresses them that a dialogue of truth begins.
PAUL TOURNIER (1898–1986)

We are a strange lot as human beings, aren’t we? I am talking to you and me, the body of Christ! I don’t know when I actually came to the place to “Believe” not just “know” that God knows all, sees all, is all powerful, is incomprehensible and is omnipresent, full of grace, mercy, etc. etc. But getting there was, and continues to be, life changing for me in my walk with God along with learning of all His other attributes.

Those are just a few of the Attributes of God that help me to walk in faith! Those particular attributes are the ones that have taught me to not waste my time trying to hide my sins and faults from Him and/or myself. In fact, those truths regarding His Attributes have provided me with the freedom to be honest with myself, God and others concerning my weaknesses and shortcomings

Why? Because . . . .

*when the God of All Creation can look at this lump of clay with all its faults and shortcomings and yet predestine me to be His child before the beginning of time,

*and through His Word continue to instruct me to run to Him for forgiveness of my sins, faults, and short comings as a child runs to a parent for love and security, worth and value,

*and as The Potter molds this clay daily for His Glory and use - whatever that might be,

. . . .then of course I want to dialogue with this Majestic God that is my only hope of eternal salvation in the future and righteousness in this lifetime.

Psalm 103:14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
You’ve heard the saying, “Get the right perspective on God and you’ll get the
right perspective on man.” Remember…He Knows, He Sees, He is all-powerful, and present 24-7. Get honest with yourself so you can get honest with The One that already knows and still LOVES you with an Eternal Love! Run to HIM!

His,
vickie

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

House or Home...

In a Treasury of Bible Illustrations complied by Ted Kyle and John Todd the following story is told….

House or Home

A cute little girl was sitting on top of a pile of luggage in a hotel lobby. Her parents were at the desk registering for their room. A sympathetic lady asked the little girl if they were visiting relatives in the city. “Oh, no,” the girl replied. “We’re going to live at this hotel until we find a house. My Daddy has a new job and we had to sell our house and move.” The lady said, “Oh, it’s too bad you don’t have a home.” To which the girl replied, “Oh we have a home—it’s just that we don’t have a house to put it in.”

Several weeks from now we will be celebrating the tradition of Thanksgiving.
I wonder how many people will be gathering in Houses and how many will be gathering in Homes?

Hmmmmmmm

His,
vickie

Invite someone to your Home for Thanksgiving! Plan now so they don’t feel like they were a last minute thought! The Holy Spirit of God will be glad to give you direction in this! He cares. Matthew 6:25-34

Monday, October 25, 2010

Roses Among Thorns....

This past Wednesday I had the privilege of speaking to an organization called “Roses Among Thorns”. It is a group of women that are Cancer Survivors (or as I like to say, “Overcomers through Christ). They meet every 3rd Wednesday of the month for lunch, fellowship, a guest speaker, fun and discussion of opportunities to minister to others.

One of the most precious things I heard spoken among the group that day was when someone shared with me how they network. They are so mindful of each one’s journey.

Some are just recently diagnosed, some are in treatment, some are Survivors, some are barely hanging on to another month. But this group is so awesome! One of the ladies told me, “Recently she called Linda Dickey, Founder ( http://www.rosesamongthorns.org/ ) and said, “We have a Rose in trouble!” Maybe she just needs a phone call of encouragement, maybe she needs a visit, maybe a surprise, maybe a call, a card, etc. I love that…..We have a Rose in trouble! Can’t you just see everyone rallying to take care of the Rose - that beautiful flower that gives such a magnificent fragrance!

Could we, as believers, have that kind of passion for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ?! Could we realize that it is tough out there in the world as we travel through the day?! Could we recognize that our brothers and sisters are struggling with finances, jobs, marriages, children, etc.?! Yes, some of them are in trouble! Trouble of the soul - the mind, will and emotions. Can we acknowledge “hey” we have a brother or sister in Christ in trouble and then actually rally to make a call of encouragement, send a note, make a visit, buy their lunch, etc.? Maybe it would help if we could see with the eyes of Christ instead of the eyes of our flesh. What if we saw one another as the absolute work of art of the Almighty Creator of the Universe? What if we actually saw our brothers and sisters as genuine works of art, each work the original? God the Artist! Because that is true you know!!! Would we take better care of one another? Hmmmmm

Let’s try this week to become very aware of the original art that God has allowed to be a part of your life and mine. Be willing to call up a friend and say…..”We have a piece of art work in trouble, let’s rally.” Maybe that piece of art is you, your spouse, your children, your job, your parents, etc. Make the call!

His,
vickie

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tulsa Taste of Pure Joy Retreat 2010 Cancelled...

As most of you know Pure Joy stepped out in an adventure these past several months after much prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Our heart was to minister to women in roles of leadership within church staffs. Our deadline for sign-up was Oct. 15, 2010. That was last Friday night. Our threshold for attendance was no less than 50. (Ok, I had this grandiose idea of no more than 350.) I’m like this eternal optimist!

Our final number was 20 ladies registered by the deadline. Now most people would see that as some kind of “did we miss God syndrome?” May I encourage you with a genuine “No” we didn’t miss God. How do you know you might ask? Because we had peace throughout the process. Col. 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart”. The amplified Bible says, “Let the peace of Christ rule like an umpire”. It is either “in” or “out”! There is no I am sort of “in” His will or sort of “out” of His will. You are either in or out! We were “in” throughout the process. So the outcome wasn’t ours but HIS!

God used this to show us that while He is adding some different arms to the ministry it is in regard to overseas not here in the states. This journey was affirmation of the vision He gave in 1999 for Pure Joy International. So Praise God!!!!! However, do not forget that Pure Joy is an inside out ministry and we do work with churches in the U.S. to accomplish the vision.

I want to encourage you to take time to pray about your involvement in Pure Joy International Ministries. I would be honored to come to your church and communities to share about Pure Joy. I enjoy speaking in your Ladies Retreats at your home churches about whatever your theme or desire for a topic is. I love working with leadership and would love to spend time with your women’s leadership ministry. Any way we at Pure Joy can help connect you to Him and the vision He has laid on our heart to minister to our women overseas gives us great Joy!

Keeping Praying, Giving, and Going! And, as we all know, that will be harder and harder to do in these days and the future. But we have a forerunner….JESUS!

Love you all,

His,
vickie

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Deadline Upon Us...

Sign up deadline for the Taste of Pure Joy Retreat in Tulsa, OK November 5-6, 2010 is near. We will stop taking registrations at 11:59 P.M. this Friday Oct. 15th.

Go to http://www.purejoyinternational.org/ for all the information!

His,
vickie

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oxygen...

George M. Adam (1878-1962) made the following statement:
"Encouragement is oxygen to the soul."
On Friday Night, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th till 1:00 p.m., Pure Joy International Retreat Ministries is bringing in the “Oxygen” for Pastors’ Wives, Women’s Ministry Directors, Missions Directors and Women serving in Ministry Staff positions. Women in leadership positions become as discouraged as our men do in their desire to be obedient to God’s leading and teachings.

Our hope is that through Drama, Worship, Signing, Testimonies, Small group, and Fellowship we can give some “Oxygen back to your soul!” It’s time to replenish, girls, before another year goes by!

The team that will be ministering to you is made up of women just like you that know what it is like to be on the front line in ministry this side of the ocean. You will not recognize many, if any, of our names but you will recognize the journey that each of us has traveled along the way and you will recognize the power of the name of JESUS!

Please spread the “OXYGEN”. Make the women in your church that fall into the group for this unique opportunity aware of this weekend and tell them how to register by going to www.purejoyinternational.org and follow the instructions for the Tulsa Retreat on the Home page. Go a step further than that…be willing to sponsor a woman for $35 dollars.

DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS OCT. 15!


His,
vickie

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That's What I'm Talking About...

As my dear friend Donna Rychlik loves to say, “Wooooooooo” and she isn’t calling the “Hogs” either. That is the sound that rises up in her and comes out of that inner spirit when she is Praising our Heavenly Father in all His Fullness.

I had an incredible weekend on the road and just want to thank all of you that kept me in your prayers. The weekend started with my mom and I making our way down to Gainesville, Texas. We hit McAlester, OK and we hit the flea markets. My sweet momma bought me a stash of about eight books. I like to keep my office filled with books I can give to someone if I need to. So a good flea market price will be $1-$3 versus $20-$30 for the same book off the shelf at a Christian Book store. Also, most of them are like new. However, when it comes to me personally getting one, I like the ones that are very old and probably out of print and someone wrote their thoughts and feelings throughout the pages because that is how I read a book as well. I need the Authors to start leaving me a little more writing room! Ha,.ha,ha,ha.

Our theme in Gainesville, TX was “The Ties that Bind”. They had the whole place decorated in aprons tied together throughout the foyer and sanctuary along with quilts draped over different things. The premise was around missions and how we all are called to bind together to share the Good News! The women were great, the music was great, testimony from a missionary was great, gifts given away were great, the food was great, and the message was just what God wanted shared. Great Evening! Nancy Wright, thanks to you and your ladies at FBC for a special time in the LORD!!

The next morning we headed to Marietta, OK. Their theme was also “The Ties That Bind”. They, too, decorated with aprons. Again missions being the emphasis. Again, music, testimonies, food, gifts given away as well. I would like to stop here and say please pray for Donna and her ladies because they never put the numbers above a hundred in the basket to draw out, which is fine except for those of us who had numbers in the two hundreds! In Arkansas we call that rigging an outcome! I don’t know what they call it in Texas! Ha,hah,a,ha,ha,ha. Anyway, the messages were just what God ordered up and we had a sweet time in the LORD. Thanks to Donna Rychlik and the ladies of FBC, Marietta, OK for a sweet time in the LORD!

Then we made our way to Atoka, OK for an evening event. Now just let me say what we had planned and what God had planned were not the same. However, it was incredible as we followed the leading of the Holy Spirit. The theme was “Daughters of the King”. The ladies were precious, the worship so sweet, the hearts so open. God is about the business of doing a work among the church family there. Ladies in Atoka if you are reading this….thank you for your desire to know His ways more! Get behind your new Women’s Ministry Director and help each other to be successful in the things of the LORD! Amanda Gentry, thank you for keeping up with getting me there! You did good!

The next morning my precious mom, who probably feels like she has been drug all over the country side, and I got up about 4 a.m. and headed back to Arkansas. I made it to Sunday school by 10 but didn’t miss the lesson! In big church we are looking at Nehemiah and Leadership which I love if you know me! Awesome study to get into!
But the grand finish of the day came with the privilege of addressing the GMA girls and their Daddies at the Father Daughter Banquet at our church! Oh, for our Fathers to understand the vital role they play in the hearts of their sons and daughters, such an awesome thing to see those Dads, Grandpas and Uncles show up for those girls!

The icing on the cake was when Helen, a dear sister from Sunday school, and I got to carry a gift basket to a young woman our class has been ministering to. Our drive out into the countryside could have felt futile to some because our young woman never came to the door. However, for me it was grand because I got to spend some time with Helen and know more of her heart!

By the time I got home yesterday I laid down on the couch at about 5 and that is all I remember until this morning when my mom woke me up at 7 saying, “you better get up!” I had an 8:00 client. My mom said she tried to wake me up once but I was so gone to the world she just left me there! Think I needed that rest!

God is good, that’s what I’m saying, and it is a privilege to serve one another in the body of Christ and encourage each other that we may grow in our desire to take the Good News to the poor in spirit! Please don’t forget about our November Retreat in the Tulsa, OK area we have asked you to pray about! Encourage those pastors’ wives, women ministry Directors, and missions directors (if women) and women that serve in a ministry staff position to go on line and sign up! Deadline is Oct. 15th for signup.

His,
vickie

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thinking aloud...

In Drape’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World I saw the following quote:
“A friend is a person with whom I may think aloud. “

Today I would like to think aloud with our Friends of Pure Joy. First, I would like to ask each of you to remember me in your prayers as I prepare to speak in Gainesville, Texas; Marietta, Oklahoma, and Atoka, Oklahoma and my home church to our Father-Daughter banquet this coming weekend. Pray for His word through me, not my own. Pray for hearts to be turned towards Him!

Also, this past week many of you that are Pastor’s Wives, Women’s Ministry Directors , Women serving in a Ministry Staff position and Missions Directors (if a woman) should have received our brochure inviting you to join us November 5th and 6th for a Taste of Pure Joy in the Tulsa, OK area. If you have questions go to our web site www.purejoyinternational.com. The home page tells you how to sign up on line. If you know of any women in your church that serve in one of these leadership positions and could use a time of encouragement and refreshing, tell them about this opportunity.

We will only be able to take the first 350 applicants. After that there will be a waiting list. Don’t miss out on what God has for you!

Take some time this week to draw away to a place with Him. Maybe it’s in your car, bedroom, back porch, den, or bathroom for moms but do draw away!
And as you do, may you know the sweetness of just being with Him!

His,
vickie

Monday, September 13, 2010

Who are these people?

Today in our message our Pastor finished up the book of Colossians with Colossians 4:7-18 Paul’s final greeting to the church at Colossae. He shared with us, “As you read these verses you will be tempted to pass over the important role these sometimes strange names meant to Paul’s journey.” Names such as Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, Justus, Epaphras, Luke, Demas, Nympha, and Archippus.

For instance I love what he said about Tychicus. Tychicus was the pony express before we had the pony express and UPS. Take a minute as you read through these passages to really digest the role each of the men played in the life of Paul and his journey.

Colossians 4:4-18
Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 1And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

Do you have such people in your life? Do you have other believers that come along side you in your journey to rejoice with you , to lament with you, to go through trials with you? Are you that person to someone else?

The Pastor left us with a challenge to ponder…I pass it on to you. From today forward till Jesus comes would it be ok for someone to model their life after yours? Would that life bring Glory to Him?

I want to change gears just a little bit. This week Friends of Pure Joy will be receiving an important email asking your prayers for a very special event that is going to take place in November of 2010. Please read this letter and pray, pray, pray. Also, if you know a pastor’s wife, a women’s ministry director, or a woman serving in a staff position that could benefit from this retreat please send them to the web site to sign up. Just follow the instructions on the home page. www.purejoyinternational.org

Have a great week in the LORD!

His,
vickie

Monday, August 30, 2010

Has Your Life Silenced Your Words...

James 1:22-25 tells us “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.”

Yesterday our Pastor made this statement in passing, “The example (walk) of your life will silence your words” and/or “affirm them”

I wonder how many times in our lives our walk silences our talk. So often in the counseling area I come in contact with those that cannot understand why they need Jesus when they don’t see a difference in the life of so called, ‘believers’ around them.

Are you silencing your talk?

His,
vickie

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Please Remember...

Today, we remember a precious saint that so many of our team members met through trips to Senegal, West Africa. Shirley Nolte was an incredible and loving woman. She has been back in the states many years now sharing her heart and gifts from the LORD with Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro, AR. Recently she was in a car accident that God allowed to be her means of exiting this earth and entering His Presence. Please remember the family during these days as they rejoice in her presence with the LORD and grieve the loss of her presence in this daily world.

What an honor it is for Pure Joy to come to know so many women of all ages that have chosen to follow-Christ to the ends of the world! Shirley is one that has left an imprint on many of our hearts over the years.

We at Pure Joy have an exciting event coming up in the next couple of months. We will be sending out a letter to Friends of Pure Joy in the next couple of weeks. Be watching!

Also, if you have not signed up to be a Friend of Pure Joy go to www.purejoyinternational.org and click Register as a Friend and follow the directions.

As you continue through the week remember the words of Matthew 6:33…

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Jesus is saying that the greatest concern of life is to place our relationship with God first and everything else second. One of the most difficult, yet critical, disciplines of the Christian life is to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into absolute harmony with this teaching of Jesus - Oswald Chambers

His,
Vickie

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

He Named Each One of Them...

This past week many eyes were turned to the heavenlies to observe the meteor showers that were to fill the skies Thursday and Friday nights. My mom’s and my eyes were no exception. I stationed some lawn chairs on top of the garage and we took our seats for the show. As we sat there waiting on the meteor shower with sweat pouring off of us and mosquito’s snacking on our delicate skin (at 11:30 p.m. I might add) we looked up into the night sky and the following verse came to mind from Isaiah 40:26….

Isaiah 40:26 (ESV)
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power not one is missing
.

Isaiah 40:26 (TMS)
Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this?
Who marches this army of stars out each night, counts them off,
calls each by name —so magnificent! So powerful!—
and never overlooks a single one?

Well, my mom and I didn’t see many meteors on Thursday night because we should have been out there at 2:30 a.m. I also camped out on top of the garage on Friday night, too, but this time it was more about being reminded of just how big My God really is!

You ever just needed that! A reminder of just how BIG GOD REALLY IS! Well I have found that flying over the U.S. and Foreign Countries helps me with that and looking up into a starry night. I know we could come up with tons more things that remind us of how BIG GOD is but with a human eye looking across that sky, well, I imagine it something like this………

God: Hey guys, it’s almost time for you. The curtain’s coming down! Darkness is settling in! Come on Sas, Kanis, Max, Hew, Vider, Brook, Joy, Amy, Josh, Hebert, and on and on and on bringing out the Stars - calling them each by name.

Wow! Calling them EACH by name! We have difficulty trying to come up with names for our children. Can you imagine Naming all the Stars! Wow! And better yet…can you imagine Knowing if just one of them is missing? Heck, we can’t even keep up with one kid in Wal-Mart!

And my favorite part of all…..

God: Hey Jet, get out there! You can’t hide from me. You know better than that!

Wow! And if one of them is missing He knows it!! That is so comforting to me! He KNOWS where I am. He Knows where you are.

My previous Pastor used to say, “do you feel like the stars are out of your sky?” Truthfully, I “feel” that way sometimes. But what gives me comfort is I KNOW the God that Knows where they are!

Next time you are down, overwhelmed, discouraged, frustrated, sad, grieved, etc., look up! HE KNOWS YOU BY NAME!

His,
vickie

Monday, August 9, 2010

School Days...

Well, if you have kids ages 5 and up, you have probably felt the crunch of the final preparations before school starts back for the fall.

It is a full sensory experience…

You can ‘See’ it when you pull into the Mall parking lot and can’t find a place to park. You can see it when you get inside the Mall because, “baby, it is a jungle in there!” And what really makes it wild is this time of year is the ONLY time your kids are willing to be seen in public with you because you have the Green Ones and/or some Plastic!

You can ‘Hear’ it in those one liners that go something like this:

“Mom”, I am not wearing that. Nobody my age wears that!
Why can’t I just have the money and pick out my own clothes!
I’ll wear another shirt under it, I promise. (Rightttttt)

You can ‘Smell’ it, which happens to be one of my favorite parts of the back to school shopping. All those hot fresh Annie Pretzels, Cookie Factory and Pizza, Chinese, Ice Cream, Candy store, etc., ....makes you hungry. Oh, wait a minute. We can’t eat that because we have to fit in a size 0.

You can ‘Taste’ it, too. I suggest you start out with a Grande Latte from Starbucks on your way to the Mall and then have a few more cups as you sit and wait for your darlings to come back from shopping with their friend that they just want to go to one store together with. (Righttttt)

And last but not least ‘Touch’. Yeah, touch those clothes and make sure you like them because you are going to be wearing them for a long time. And we don’t want to hear another word about it!!!

And you know you are getting too old to do this any longer when you are happy to go to Wal-Mart, Kohls, J.C. Penny’s, Sears. That last one will date you!

They like stores that sound like other things. For example…

Abercrombie & Fitch - Sounds like a mummy and a bird friendship
Hollister - Sounds like a good Western to me.
American Eagle Outfitters - Sounds like a Boy Scout group for College kids.
Forever 21 - I know some people that act like they might be stuck there.
Wet Seal - Makes me think of scuba diving equipment
Aeropostale - NASA for sure
TJ Maxx - what else but “Get Smart”

Ok, so I’ve had a little fun with you on this blog. But, seriously, do you as a parent invest this amount of time, energy and resources on equipping your child with the things of God that have eternal value? All the above things will pass away… Eternal things will not. Are you preparing them for eternity?

His,
vickie

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Walking...

Margaret Lee Runbeck, an American author (1905-1956), quoted the following:

A man leaves all kinds of footprints when he walks through life. Some you can see, like his children and his house. Others are invisible, like the prints he leaves across other people’s lives: the help he gives them and what he has said—his jokes, gossip that has hurt others, encouragement. A man doesn’t think about it, but everywhere he passes, he leaves some kind of mark.

Lord, as Your children, help us to leave Your mark on the people, places, and things of this world. Let us leave the marks of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another in love and forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven us.

Lord, reveal to us anything at work in our lives that would bring harm to Your name and ministry on this earth through word or deed. As we confess that which You reveal to us, then take it from us that we might be instruments finely tuned for Your Glory, walking in Your strength and ways!

Colossians 3:1-4
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and our life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

His,
Vickie

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Love is...

Sunday morning during the service as our Pastor continued his study through the book of Colossians, he parked on this verse…

Colossians 3:14
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

At one point he made the following statement: "Love is the circulatory system of the Body of Christ." Now whether that came as his own thought or as a quote from someone else, it gives much room for consideration. It is one of those heart hangers for me.

The circulatory system is an organ system that passes nutrients, gases, hormones, blood cells, etc. to and from cells in the body to help fight diseases and help stabilize body temperature and pH to maintain homeostasis (which is the property of a system, either open or closed, that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, constant condition).

As you reflect on information above from a spiritual perspective ask yourself this question:

Is your local Body of Christ healthy? Is Love… flowing in such a way as to fight the lies and deceptions of the enemy? Is Love… flowing in such a way that the body temperature is one of putting others first? Is Love… flowing in such a way that gossip, malice, anger, slander, etc. do not have a chance to grow there?

And here is the bigger question… are you personally part of the healthy part of the circulatory system of your church or part of the disease that has invaded the system?

One thing I know for sure. Apart from Christ there is no way for any of us to be a healthy part of that system. The more we become like Him the more we walk out the truths of His Word, the more we walk out those truths of His Word the more the world sees the Power of the Blood!

His,
vickie

Monday, July 12, 2010

Let Go of the Peanuts...

Our Pastor is taking us through the book of Colossians. He has been parked in Chapter 3 for several weeks. If you recall it has a lot to do with putting off and putting on.

Colossians 3:5-17
5Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Yesterday, he camped out on verse 13 “forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

In the counseling ministry I see many lives that turn sour because of unforgiveness. I see marriages, families, friends, churches and work relationships go under because of unforgiveness. Our pastor gave an illustration of what it is like to hold unforgiveness in our hearts. You may have heard it before but if you haven’t please ponder its meaning…

In countries where they eat monkeys, hunters will hollow out the inside of a coconut shell (just enough for the monkey to get its hand in) and put peanuts down inside. The coconut is tied to something to keep it stationary. Once the monkey puts its hand inside the coconut and grabs the peanuts he is unable to get his hand out because grabbing the peanuts turns his hand into a fist. The monkeys are caught because they WON’T let go of the peanuts.

I give you the same challenge our Pastor gave us as a church. What in your life are you holding on to that keeps you from being available to move forward in your marriage, family, church, etc.? LET GO!!!!!!!

His,
vickie

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Thoughts to ponder on Family...

“The family is the most basic unit of government. As the first community to which a person is attached and the first authority under which a person learns to live, the family establishes society’s most basic values.” CHARLES COLSON (1931–)

DWIGHT LYMAN MOODY (1837–1899) quoted the following… “I believe the family was established long before the church, and my duty is to my family first. I am not to neglect my family.”

I would like for you to look back at what Colson stated in his quote. As the first community to which a person is attached and the first authority under which a person learns to live; the family establishes society’s most basic values.

How many parents have a clue their home environment is the first time a child is exposed to community? Furthermore, how many parents truly understand how they teach, train-up, discipline and exercise authority in the home environment prepares the child to step out into the community of friends, church, school, activities, etc.

If you are the parent of a young child please ponder these truths. If your children are older and/or grown then we can’t go back and train them up. However, we can start speaking these truths into their lives so when they have families of their own, they will consider the consequences of not giving attention to these principles. Oh, the consequences? Look around you.

Deut 6:4-9
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

God had strong words to say about family matters. Shouldn’t we?

His,
vickie

Friday, July 2, 2010

Coming in late...

Greetings in Christ,

I know this is coming in late this week, but I just returned from Springfield, Missouri spending time with my dear friends Jim and Sharon Smith. If you remember, about two or three months ago, I asked you to pray for the Smith family as their son Zac was battling the last stages of cancer. I attached a blog sight for you to go to and hear his testimony. Recently Zac went to be with the Lord. His video is being played all over the world. His mom and dad told me they are amazed at how God is using Zac’s video to reach the lost when it isn’t even an evangelistic video. As I shared with them, we know that God’s Word tells us if the name of Jesus be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him. This video is a testimony of JESUS in the life of a yielded young man! If you didn’t see it, I encourage you to go to youtube.com and type in Zac Smith. Click on the video titled.. “Cancer is the best thing that happened to me”.

Even in his final hours of physical suffering “NOTHING” could turn his eyes way from his Lord and God! Please remember his wife and children, mom and dad, sibling, and grandparents as they continue the joys and battles of this world. May each of us be encouraged to “stand strong in our darkest hour” for the things of Christ Jesus our LORD and Savior.

I told his parents that I believe Zac’s greatest ministry is in the days ahead because of what he lived for and left behind, JESUS.

His,
Vickie

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hands off - Don't touch...

Let's see if I can stir some memories in some of your hearts. Remember, growing up, the number of times you heard your mom, dad, or other relative tell you “Hands off – Don’t Touch?” Seriously, how many times have you told your own children, nieces or nephews the same thing? Probably can’t count them all, huh?
You know sometimes we still have that problem as adults. You know when we just want to put our little hands in a pot or just touch it a little even though we know it’s none of our business. Next, thing you know BOOM …..gum on your shoe! I say "gum on your shoe" because all a sudden you are in the middle of something and you don’t even know what it is really all about -- just because you couldn’t leave it alone and not touch it. Then you have to figure a way to get it off of your shoe!

God brought this truth home to me personally about ten years ago as I was out walking one day. You know when you walk, you see things along the road. Of course by this time in my life the “No Littering” laws were strongly honored and people were mindful of them as a whole. However, again as you walk the streets and roads, it is very interesting at times to scan the litter. One day as I was on the front end of my walk I noticed something off in the ditch. For the life of me I could not figure out what it really was, so of course, I reached down, touched it and picked it up to get a better look! It was nothing but trash, metal trash, but yet trash. Here I am with no pocket, convicted not to litter, even though it was litter, and I’m on the front end of my walk. Yes, I carried this metal trash with me until I got home. And it wasn’t as light as a coke can! I wish I could tell you I learned my lesson after that but nooooo. Over the next couple of months I finally got the principle God was trying to teach me. If you pick it up you then have to decide what you are going to do with it, even if it is litter (and not yours).

I was reminded of this today with something one of my clients was journeying through. It is good to be reminded and I am thinking maybe I should have paid them instead of them paying me!

There are so many things we deal with in our lives that God never intended for us to have to handle or touch. But, for whatever reason, we just have to put our hands in the pot and/or touch it. In fact, I suspect we could all live a more lighthearted life with Him if we were willing to let Him handle and touch things!
I think those signs they have in glass shops and antique malls, etc, that say, “DO NOT TOUCH” apply here. OUCH!

Proverbs 17:4
Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander!

His,
vickie

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cultural Christian vs. Biblical Christian ...

In his book, “The Seven Seasons of a Man’s Life”, Patrick M. Morley makes the following observation about himself after a two year self-examination of his life, “I realized I had been living the life of a Cultural Christian, not a Biblical Christian. What I mean is that even though I believed in Jesus, there was nothing exceptional about my lifestyle that would recommend Him to others.”

What a powerful observation. What a question for us to ask ourselves. Do we as a Christian live a lifestyle that would recommend him to others? Hmmmm

For those of you who did and didn’t see the blog last week, I wanted you to see and/or be reminded of what I wrote. I hope you will and/or have considered the question.

This past week I read through a book titled “Seven Deadly Detours”. While I wasn’t in total agreement on everything the authored penned, I most certainly believe his over all premise is true. The book was published back in 1996 but the same basic issues are still on the table. He discussed how we as believers can become so overly involved in issues such as politics, squabbling over prayer in public schools, the homosexual agenda, shutting down abortion clinics, making Jesus a Right Winger, Christian Television, etc. that we are not available to do what He actually asked us to do…… “Share the Good News of the Gospel and Become like Him.” Which way are you moving forward? God’s Way and or are you living a life of Detours?

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 1that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Matthew 28:16-20
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

His,
vickie

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cultural Christian vs. Biblical Christian

In his book, “The Seven Seasons of a Man’s Life”, Patrick M. Morley makes the following observation after a two year self-examination of his life:

“I realized I had been living the life of a Cultural Christian, not a Biblical Christian. What I mean is that even though I believed in Jesus, there was nothing exceptional about my lifestyle that would recommend Him to others.”

What a powerful observation. What a question for us to ask ourselves. Do we as a Christian live a lifestyle that would recommend Him to others? Hmmmm

His,
vickie

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer abounds...

Well, kids are getting out of school everywhere and the summer is kicking into full force. I just finishing praying, even as I type these words, for one of our ministry staff's sons who is in Bobadaugou, Africa with Awestar Ministries . If you don’t know about Awestar Ministries, it is a powerful ministry involving youth sharing the gospel near and far. www.awestar.org Check it out.

Please remember our missionaries on the field during this time of year. Many churches, families, and individuals take June-August to make trips overseas, They come alongside our missionaries to encourage them in local projects to reach the lost of their area. While this is great for the missionaries, it also requires lots of energy to make sure that there is housing, meals, and transportation for so many. Pray for their endurance as teams come and go without much turnaround time.

Also, pray for Pure Joy as we make plans for the 2011. Please pray that God will open wide the door to the areas we are needed the most to bring encouragement and refreshing! Also, we have a new project on the horizon that I will be sharing with you more along the way, so keep watch!

To all you moms out there…..we are praying for you too, as summer takes you places too, camping, swimming, church camps, football camps, cheerleading camps, etc. Maybe there should be a camp for moms at the end of September for you to gain some of your sanity back! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha . . .

Have a blessed week!

His,
vickie

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May Love Abound...

Just got back from speaking to a group of women from Believers Fellowship in Spring, TX. Great time!!! They had their retreat just outside of Houston, TX at a place called Round Top Retreat Center. It was so awesome there! God revealed Himself to us in a mighty way! I appreciated the honesty of the ladies and their love for God and one another!

Recently, in our home group at the church I attend, we were given an assignment to pray the following prayer that Paul prayed regarding the saints at Colossae for each of our group members. We were asked to pray it daily for a week.

Colossians 1:9-14: "And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

A couple of months ago, we had a missionary from overseas in our class and he told us, “When you don’t know what to pray for us please pray this prayer”. It too, was Colossians 1:9-14.

Today, I want to pray that prayer over all missionary women near and far. As you and others who follow the blog read these verses, may you receive the truth of this scripture in your heart as well. May the Holy Spirit speak.

"We at Pure Joy International ask God that you be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (not the wisdom of man and or understanding of man but the spirit), so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (walking with His Word as your plumb line), fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work (experiencing the overflow of abiding in Him) and increasing in the knowledge of God (knowing Him through His Word on-going)."

"May you be strengthened with all power (through the Holy Spirit), according to His Glorious might (His strength not your own), for all endurance and patience (stick to it and wait on His strength don’t run behind or ahead) do this with joy, giving thanks to the Father, (the one who KNOWS), who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light (the One who has equipped you for your journey). He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, (Praise God He has moved us!), in whom we have redemption, (and paid for the whole thing!), the forgiveness of sins. (forever) Amen!"

His,
vickie

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Life and Life ...

Life and Life.....

This past Sunday a precious missionary family and friend to many of us at Pure Joy lost their son Zac to cancer. Zac was an incredible young man, husband, and father. Zac had a view on life that I believe God would have all of His children to have in their hearts. If you do not know Zac's story, please go to "youtube" and type in Zac Smith. Watch "letter to Zac" and "Cancer is the best thing that happened..."

The world says, life happens and then you die. But, Zac KNEW something that all true followers of Christ KNOW. Life happens and then you LIVE!! Amen!!

The following are the words of Zac's wife

My Love.

This is Mandy, Zachary James Smith, went to be with Jesus at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday May 16th. He is no longer in pain. The cancer has lost and Jesus has the victory in all of this. The battle has been won. I know you all loved Zac, and his presence is missed in our home. Please pray for peace and comfort for my family, as we now figure out how to continue his story to the best of our ability. Watch out because those kids of ours, well let’s just say they have a lot of wisdom from Zac in those little heads. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for them.

Death cannot take away what is already His. To God be the glory. Always.

-Mandy

Please remember Zac's family, his wife and children, his mom, dad and sister Stacey in your prayers! May we all learn from his "Faith Walk".

His,
vickie

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Home again...

Wendy, Jessie, Patty and I just arrived back yesterday afternoon from our journey to Nicaragua. What an awesome trip it was indeed! We stayed with a precious family who we have all adopted for our own. We finally got to meet our contact person and her family and adopted them too! We were excited to be able to minister to women from the following ministries:

Caribbean Ministries Association
Missionary Ventures
ABWE
Christian Reformed - CRWM
Food for the Hungry
Netherlands Embassy
Manna Project International
Christ for the City
Young Life
Assemblies of God
Evangelical Fellowship International
Nicaragua Christian Academy
Nehemiah Center - Nicaragua
Three Fold Ministries
Mustard Seed Missions
Evangel Fellowship International
American Nicaraguan School and Various other aid and development organizations in Nicaragua

Something that was a real “Joy” for us was to be able to actually go out and visit some of the missionary women and observe them in their areas of ministry. God is using so many people in so many different ways to accomplish His plan and purposes.

Also, for those of you who Pray, Go and Give to Pure Joy International I want to give you a testimony of how God uses your praying, going, and giving. One of the missionary women themselves gave us a card with a precious note in it and a check that will sponsor a missionary woman to attend our next Pure Joy trip overseas. That act of kindness is so precious to me. One of the desires we have as we travel is that through the ministry of Pure Joy the women will realize the need to minister to one another as well as their people groups.

We love you and I praise God for your faithfulness to Him, His servants and ministries all over the world that spread the Good News of the Gospel and live it out!!

His,
vickie

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Better is One Day...

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. Psalm 84:10

Last night we arrived in Nicaragua. Kathy and Carl met us at the airport to take us to the family, Terri and Steve, that we would be staying with for the next two nights. If these two families are an example of the other missionary women we will be surrounded by for the next many days, then we are truly blessed!

This morning we will be leaving to go into an area where a young mom’s group will be having a study together. Please pray for these moms and the missionary women that work with them. Also, pray for the Retreat for the missionary women. So far we have 81 in attendance from many different missions’ organizations.

This week pray, pray, pray! I am praying that each time you come to a “Red Light or Stop Sign“ this next seven days, God will bring us to your mind and you will lift a prayer for us to Him who is able to do more than we can think or even imagine!

Hmmmmm I’m confident that I smell coffee brewing. Have a great week!

His,
vickie

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nicaragua...

A week from today, a team of four of us will be heading to Nicaragua to minister to Medical/Dental missionary women in that area. This is not a Pure Joy retreat, but several of us from the Pure Joy ministry staff have the privilege of making this trip. Please pray for Jessie Graham, Central Baptist Jonesboro, Wendy Stotts, Pure Joy staff, Patty Shipp, Pure Joy staff and myself Pure Joy staff. Jessie, Wendy, and Patty will lead in worship as I minister from God’s Word. God has impressed upon my heart the theme of “Living As Aliens” from the words of 1 Peter 2:11. I have given the NIV reading and The Message (TMSG) reading as well.

Dear Friends, I urge you as aliens and strangers in this world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. NIV

Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. TMSG

I love that word “cozy” used in the TMSG reading. It is so fitting for what I sense goes on in our lives in the body of Christ today. I think we have gotten “cozy”.

Another way to say that would be “comfortable”. We go to church, worship, get on our prayer lines, go to Bible studies, attend retreats, etc., and we are comfortable with our Christianity. The problem is that following Christ isn’t exactly something I would define as cozy/comfortable. Why?--because truly following Christ means living outside your cozy/comfortable zone. It means putting others first, sharing the Good News of the Gospel, allowing Him through the power of the Holy Spirit to root actions and behaviors out of us that are not in alignment with who we are as Children of God, extending forgiveness to those that have hurt us, and much, much more. It means dying to self! Nothing cozy about that feeling is there?

If you have gotten cozy/comfortable as a believer in this world…”Wake up, Sister!”

"If Christianity has never disturbed us, we have not yet learned what it is."

Sir William Temple (1628–1699)

His,
vickie

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spirit -- Flesh...

Sunday our message in Big Church and our home cell was on Peter and his denial of Christ. I absolutely LOVE Peter! He is so much a reflection of so many of our lives! Here is a guy who loved Jesus to pieces! His heart was incredible for Jesus but his flesh was challenging him continuously.

Remember when He walks on the water. Wow! Talk about a heart for Jesus! He trusts Him, but then his flesh kicks in and he starts thinking like the world. Fear sets in and his thinking changes, “I can’t walk on water, people don’t walk on water” and he begins to sink, but Jesus takes his hand.

What about when he steps out when the army of soldiers come to get Christ from the garden of Gethsemane and he immediately cuts the soldier's ear off. Peter stepped out with his heart for Christ and no thought of what might be done to him in return. But then as they lead Jesus away, his flesh kicks in and he starts thinking like the world and fear sets in and his thinking changes, “what if they find out I was with Him, will they take me too”, then he begins to follow from afar.

All the way up to Peter’s denial of Christ, we see these flashes of heart (Faith) and flesh (Fear) at work in his life. Isn’t that so like us! Our heart wants to be used of God for His glory and so that others might know Him. But, we don’t want the people that we work with or the people next door to think we are too radical. Spirit and Flesh at work.

Peter experienced something --the day He denied Christ and the following days before Christ ascension to heaven-- that I believe set Peter's heart in place in such a way that his Love and Faith in Christ outweighed his Fears and Flesh for the duration of his life on this earth.

These same truths can set our Love and Faith in Christ on solid ground for our daily journey while serving on this earth.

First Truth: Peter saw his sin through the eyes of Christ.

Luke 22:59-62
“Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.


Can you even imagine the eye contact that took place between Jesus and Peter? I can see Christ's eyes full of compassion looking at Peter. He tried to tell Peter, but Peter wouldn’t listen. Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him.

Then Peter, seeing his sin through the eyes of Christ, went out and wept bitterly. When we really see our sin through the eyes of Christ, we experience the same thing that Peter experienced --we want to get away; we can’t stop weeping. That is what happens when we truly experience brokenness. I remember the first time as a believer I truly experienced brokenness because of seeing my sin through His eyes. I felt like my heart was crying and would never stop because I had denied Him by my actions. Yes, when we blatantly sin against Him we are denying who He is in our lives. We feel like a failure and we are of no use to Him any more just as Peter did. But, then comes the …

Second Truth: Forgiveness, He is a God of second chances plus! Peter do you love me?

John 21:15-19
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”


So here Jesus and the disciples are following His resurrection and before his ascension into heaven. Just hanging out having breakfast together. Then he looks at Peter and says, let’s talk. Do you love me? Feed my lambs. Do you love me? Tend my sheep. Do you love me? Feed my sheep.

Can’t you hear Jesus saying, Peter I chose you and asked you to follow me and I would make you a fisher of men. I assured you along the way that you are mine. I told you the enemy wanted to sift you like wheat but I’ve already prayed for you that when you turn back to me, warn others so they don’t make the same mistakes. I even told you that you would deny me those three times but you wouldn’t have it. But, I forgive you. I wasn’t surprised by any of this. Now can we get back to kingdom work? “Follow me”.

Is it time for you to get back to kingdom work? Have you denied Him and allowed the enemy to convince you that you are of no use to Him and the kingdom. Precious one……Ask for the forgiveness promised you. Accept the work of the Cross and “Follow Him”. There is kingdom work to be done!

His,
vickie

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pass the Salt Please...

When was the last time you experienced disappointment because what you thought and what was were two different things? Ever fixed a bowl of your favorite cereal and milk and realize with the first bite the milk is headed south! Yuk! Just ruins the whole breakfast idea. And what about smelling popcorn popping, you take a bite and realize it has been popped in a hot air popper with no salt and butter added. Totally boring!

I suspect that is what Jesus was trying to communicate to us in the passage from

Luke 14:34-35 which reads:

“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Barclay tells us in his commentary on Luke 14:34-35, Jesus is using salt as a symbol of the Christian life. He points out three essential qualities of salt used in Palestine.

1. Salt was used as a preservative
Salt preserves and keeps fresh. Do you live your life daily in such away that it helps others to desire to preserve the things of God over the things of the world?

2. Salt was used as a flavoring
Salt is used in most foods as a flavoring. Do you bring flavor into the life of those around you through your words and deeds? Do others see a joy in you that seasons your life in the middle of conflicts and storms? Do others desire what you have?

3. Salt was used on the land
Salt was used on the land to make all good things grow. Do you live a life around others in such a fashion that it challenges others to grow in the things of the kingdom?

The enemy wants you to lose your ‘saltiness’. Salt Without Taste Is Worthless! Be on guard for the kingdom's sake!

His,
vickie

Monday, April 5, 2010

Three Days...

Don't know about you but I have heard a lot of preaching on Matthew Chapters 27 and 28 these past three days concerning the Resurrection of Christ. I mean I have heard some incredible preaching from Pastors on television, radio, and my home church! I am always amazed at the wisdom that God pours out from His chosen vessels who proclaim His Word. I love how they challenge me to grow!

Not only have I heard the Word on the Resurrection, I have also been keenly aware of experiencing the Resurrection of Christ this weekend. Saturday began with me preparing to take my mom to the airport. She goes to California every year at this time for three weeks to visit my brother and sister in-law. Well, after driving her to Little Rock, Arkansas and dropping her off at the airport, I headed home to spend the afternoon fishing. Okay, I did have to make a baby stop because Patty and Kenny had their little granddaughter Arden in for the weekend along with all their kids. Of course Arden needed me to hold her for a while. I then proceeded to the homefront to settle in for the day. I got three fishing rods, minnows, jigs of every size color and shape, my lawn chair and headed to the boardwalk to fish. We live on a peninsula of the lake. From 12:45 p.m. till 8:15 p.m., I sat out on the lake fishing, watching the clouds, ducks, turtles, bugs, boats, birds, water, fish moving on the lake, sunshine, and all the sounds to go with the environment. It was awesome! God and I together spending the day! Because He Lives I can know Him intimately. He is as real to me as holding that little Arden in my arms. Later in the afternoon, some friends brought their son out to fish with me for a few hours, and even he was just part of the Awesomeness of God! Let me close with the following picture because it truly was HIS grand finale of my day with HIM.


I pray that each one of you who reads this blog KNOWS THE POWER OF THE RISEN LORD IN EVERYDAY LIFE!!! HE LIVES!

His,
vickie

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Heart Hangers" cont'd again...

Sunday afternoon, as I relaxed at home waiting for our evening home group from church to meet, I was watching David Jeremiah on Day Star television. He opened his message with this statement, “What you believe about Heaven will determine how you live today”. So, can I ask you a question? What do you believe about Heaven? Please understand the word ‘believe’ in that sentence. It doesn’t say “What do you know about Heaven?” To know is to have ‘head knowledge’ in the sense that we have the data regarding Heaven. To believe is ‘heart knowledge’ and our lives reflect this knowledge.

We act out what we believe, not what we know!

I love that David Jeremiah is teaching on this subject so intently. I honestly think if we believed half of what we know the Bible says about Heaven, our homes, churches, communities, work environments, etc. would all be different. Think about it!

His,
vickie

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Heart Hangers" cont'd...

I hope some of the rest of you enjoyed the “Heart Hanger” from last week as much as some of the rest of us did. Just remember “Heart Hangers” come at different times for all of us. A “Heart Hanger” for me today may have been one of yours 5 years ago. His timing is always perfect for what we need.

All that said, let me introduce you to the other “Heart Hanger” I had that Sunday. It came from a young man in my home group study group that happened to be preaching our Sunday Evening service. Justin was preaching from John 8:24. The story of the women caught in adultery. He shared 8 points from that text that stood out to him concerning the forgiveness of Christ. I am allowing several of the others to marinate. But this one gave me room for pause…as the verse tells us the woman was caught in the actual act of adultery. Justin’s first point was: “Jesus’ forgiveness was not based on her innocence.” Wow! Do you see this? We don’t mind forgiving people when we believe they are innocent, or we think they didn’t really mean to, or they were a victim of circumstances. But this lady was committing adultery and she knew exactly what she was doing was wrong. Just like you and I have done some things in our lives along the way that we knew were wrong but did them anyway. Just pause a moment and think where you would be if mercy and grace in the form of forgiveness had not been extended to you.

So many times during the week in the counseling process I hear these words, “but I don’t deserve forgiveness for that.” It gives me great joy to say to them, “you’re right you don’t, none of us deserves forgiveness”. You see we live in a world where we watch too many episodes of Law and Order, or Perry Mason reruns, or L.A. Lawyers, or Forensic Files etc., etc., etc. My point is we like to base our forgiveness on the facts presented before us and we determine forgiveness based on innocence. If you are not innocent then you deserve what you get.

Jesus knew the truth about the woman. He knew before they ever told Him why the woman was standing before them. I love how He elicited mercy out of these guys with the following verse: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Hmmmmm, didn’t that just drain the milk out of their bowl of cheerios! Aren’t we quick to want to condemn and slow to forgive others and ourselves. The next time you want to condemn someone ask yourself, “could you throw the first stone?”

All this to say, Jesus’ forgiveness toward you and me isn’t based on our innocence. It is based on His mercy and grace, His shed blood on the cross. Who are we to not humble ourselves and extend it to others and ourselves? He did. Are we greater than God?

His,
vickie

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Heart Hangers"...

Hope each and every one of you had an awesome weekend in the Lord!!!

Sunday was a day of what I call “Heart Hangers” for me. These are moments when God, through His Spirit, drops something in my heart that I can’t get away from meditating on. It just kind of “hangs” there in the spirit. Then I really get it and Wow! “Heart Hangers”, when allowed to marinate, become truths of God's Word that the enemy cannot steal from us -- and they increase our faith walk! At least that has always been true in my life as a believer!

So, the first one came during Sunday School time. You may call them Life Classes, Bible Study hour, Small Groups, etc., anyway, Brother Larry was sharing 10 things Christians believe that aren’t scriptural. One of the ten was “Praise and Worship = music”

I like what the Holman Dictionary says about Worship:

“Worship is a human response to the perceived presence of the divine, a presence which transcends normal human activity and is holy. Thus, Jacob, fleeing away to Haran, perceived the presence of the Lord in a dream while sleeping at “a certain place,” and when he woke from his sleep, he said: Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it! ... How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven Before the dream, the place had only been a stopping place reached by sunset

(Gen. 28:11), but when he awoke it had become a holy place. The holy presence of God had penetrated into ordinary (profane) space in a way which had aroused acute awareness on the part of a human being. The sacred (holy) and profane are united in an experience of worship. The consciousness of holy presence brings forth a response from those who perceived it. The response is worship and may take many forms. The response may be private and intensely personal, in the form of prayers, confessions, silence, and meditative experiences of various sorts.


I also, like a statement Holman’s Dictionary made about Praise:

Praise comes from a Latin word meaning “value” or “price.” Thus, to give praise to God is to proclaim (to speak out) His merit or worth.

I love that because I see that true praise is an action (proclamation) that results from true worship.

Psalm 9
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.


Psalm 43:4
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.


Psalm 63
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.


Now let me tell you that this first “Heart Hanger” is no longer hanging on my heart, but it has actually taken up residence there as I finish typing these words. Why?

I have spent much time looking into this matter since Sunday and could not possibly put all the insight God has given me through study into this blog today.

So what belief system ended up in my heart? Here it is - Worship takes many forms throughout scripture. Most of us already know this. But, true worship only takes place when the Holy penetrates the ordinary and we are left in Awe of Him.

A result of this is true praise. True praise comes in many forms such as singing, lifting of our hands, dance, shouts of joy, and yes even that sound of amen during the service is a proclamation that the Holy has penetrated the ordinary resulting in lips of praise!

May the Living God penetrate your hearts this day and the Holy and the ordinary be united in the experience of Worship! And may your Praise pour forth as a result.

“Worship and Praise” = John 4:24 (Look it up!)

His,
vickie

P.S. Yes there is another “Heart Hanger” but it will have to wait till next week. It is still marinating. ;)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's a TRASH CAN!

Ok, so this morning in my One Year Bible as I was reading the Psalm for today I really started looking at what David had to say in this Psalm. It is Psalm 51. Many of you are probably like me in that you have read it many times, heard messages on it and have taken great hope from David’s cry to the Father because we can so relate. So, when I got to the office, I started pouring over Charles Spurgeon's, "The Treasury of David" regarding this psalm. Wow! Some really powerful insight he has on this. But, before I could transfer any thoughts on this to you, I had clients and lunch and the day started slipping by. My last appointment was a home visit with a precious family. When I got back to the office, I went to unload the trash I had carried in from the house at lunch to put in our dumpster can. The business next door and I share the cost of the trash services.

Well, let me tell you what - somebody had taken our trash dumpster can! I went next door to the ladies and before I could say anything they said, “Someone has taken our trash can”. Ok, so I really just couldn’t even believe it. Please, it is a trash can. I know this doesn’t sound nice but I told the ladies I would like to knock a knot on somebody’s head. Well, while I was whining to Trash Services to get a new trash can, the Word that I had spent so much time on from the Psalm came to my mind, “mercy”. Hmmmmm I could not see why I really needed to have “mercy” on the trash can thief but I know the Holy Spirit brought that word right up in my spirit. So, honestly, for now, I’m going to let the intellectual part of my brain think truth and step out in an attitude of “mercy”. But, I suspect my emotions may take a day or so. Pray I don’t see that trash can in front of anyone’s house or business for at least 24 hours.

His,
vickie

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gold! The best of the best in this World...

Well, I don’t know about you but I spent a lot of time watching the Olympics these past two weeks. I am absolutely in awe of how the athletes train and prepare themselves for the games. What discipline! I can remember some of those days ahhh about 30 years ago in my own life when playing sports.

Did you know that God has made it clear to us that there is something worth more than “Gold” that He would have us all take note of? Listen to these words from Proverbs 3:13-15……

Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom
13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.


Preparation for the Olympians helped many of them reach their goal of “Gold”. I wonder how many of God’s children are determined to reach the highest level of preparation we can function at, as we enter the Heavenly Stadium. Please don’t misunderstand. We enter the gate through the acceptance of the completed work of Jesus Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection. But, the shape we are in as we enter has everything to do with how we have sought His Wisdom through His Word and the Holy Spirit as we run the race on this earth.

May we as your children Lord, discipline ourselves to find wisdom and get understanding from your Word and Holy Spirit as we put our feet on the floor each and everyday! And may we be prepared to enter the Heavenly Stadium carrying the banner of Christ! Amen!

Yesterday, I spend part of the day with a precious missionary friend. I am so reminded of the importance of the ministry of Pure Joy and the friendships it establishes between the women on the field and here at home!

Don’t forget to let me know if you would like for me to come speak to your ladies in your church. I am looking forward to speaking to several church groups in the next several months. Pray for me as God directs me in His Word for those that will be spoken over.

Remember Pure Joy in your prayers, giving and going as always! And I encourage you to pray over all things concerning giving and going whether it is with this ministry or another. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your life!”

His,
vickie

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hey, what's that aroung your neck?

Don’t know if you have teenagers yet and or if you just love jewelry and new fads. I think that there is a secret competition going on in the world to see how many necklaces and arm bracelets one person can get on themselves at one time. Being the optimist I am, the good thing I can see coming out of this fad is that if you are on the 8th story of a burning building and there is a fire you could tie them end to end and escape out the window to ground level. Ha,ha,ha,

Seriously, we women love to adorn ourselves with lovely jewelry for a night out with our husbands or an outing with the girls.

You know God’s Word has instructed us as well regarding the wearing of a particular necklace. It is the necklace of love, kindness, compassion (mercy) and faithfulness (truth).

Proverbs 3:3-4 tells us (NIV)

Let love (mercy) and faithfulness (truth) never leave you;
Bind them around your neck.
Write them on the tablet of your heart
Then you will win favor and a good name
In the sight of God and man


He says bind them around your necks. In other words, don’t take them off! And know this, if mercy and truth are written on your hearts, those around you will see the necklace! Praise God that He graces us for all things! Our part is to YIELD!

Hope everyone is doing well and that you are faithfully sharing our website with others. We met some wonderful women and men this past week while attending an event for some of our missionaries. What a sweet time of meeting so many of you from across the seas and those so near. Can’t wait to see what God does with our contact.

Please remember to pray for one another daily and don’t forget our missionaries near and far as they are obedient to His call on their lives.

Get involved with Missions at your local church! And pray, pray, pray for Pure Joy regarding places of service, teams, giving, and going!

His,
vickie

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Give me some of that!

As a young believer, I can remember the privilege and opportunity I had to travel and speak with Great Hills Retreat ministry. One of the many memorable moments came at an encampment called “Falls Creek” in Oklahoma. Beth Moore was the platform speaker. I remember listening to her that day and thinking that I Wanted Some of What She HAD! Please hear my heart right now. I did not want to be like Beth Moore, God already made her for that. I wanted some of what I saw oozing out of her that day from the platform. I had seen this before oozing from my Spiritual Mom. Quite simply, I wanted Jesus to radiate from my life the way He poured forth from theirs. I wanted to experience that kind of intimacy.

John 15:5-8 (The Message Bible) says:

I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

Are you maturing in your walk with the LORD? Are you abiding in such a way that He is oozing from you in all areas of your life? May the world be able to look at us as believers and say, “Give me some of that”!

Hope everyone is enjoying our new Web design. Thank you to those of you who we have heard from. Please let us hear from more of you and don’t forget to sign up on the blog site to have the blog delivered automatically to your email weekly.

As always, remember Pure Joy International in your prayers as we desire His will in all things.

His,
vickie

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Get your Peanuts and Popcorn Here!!

Ok, just kidding. But, we do have something for you! The NEW WEB SITE is up and running!!! There are a few more tweaks to be made but the new look is easier and much more fun to look at!! Many thanks to Rachael Abanathy, Web Designer, and Patty Shipp, our web guru, for getting things up and going for all of you! There are a few things Patty is still working on after our Ministry Staff meeting, but that won?t take long.

Please take this opportunity to sign up to receive the Blog in your email box automatically each time we put out any new information. Go to the Blog page and sign up!

Also, I want to take time to thank those of you who give small and large portions of your finances each month to the ministry. Your giving allows us to take care of keeping the web site and other ministry tools in place to get the word out about Pure Joy. This week I want to challenge you to forward this blog to at least three to five friends!

Many thanks,

His,
vickie

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Couldn't we have taken a shorter route!

Exodus 13:17

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”


Whew! Have you ever just wanted to give up and go back to your Egypt? I praise God that He does not take us on the shortest route in our journey with Him so that we don’t mistakenly think we don’t need Him or that we did it on our own.

For sure in our walks with Him there have been times for all of us when we would have bailed out if there had been an opportunity. If that has never happened to you then you are either a Baby Christian or have a problem with story telling, (lying).

The next time you ‘feel’ like there is no way out of the battle or circumstance and you want to return to the world (Egypt) to help you, remember, God could have taken you on a shorter route but He loved you enough not to! Look up! And see His Glory as He works on your behalf! Amen!

Well, we are only a week away, at the most, from our new web look! The ministry staff has been looking over options for a month or more. Recently the ministry staff and Board of Directors/Advisors decided on the new style we prefer and have left it up to the Web Designer and Patty to tweak it into shape for next week! So, get excited and ready for the new look! Also, any comments you have about the web design, please share with us by directing those to Patty and she will share them with the staff and me.

Please remember to keep praying for Pure Joy International. Pray for God’s timing for all trips, contacts, supporters, givers, and goers. (hmmmm is that a word?) If it isn’t I have about three people that lovingly don’t have a problem letting me know! Ha,ha,ha

Love you all,

His,
vickie

Monday, January 25, 2010

Deliver us...

Today we finish our look at The Lord’s Prayer. I hope over the last few weeks, more than anything, you have stopped and thought --if the disciples asked Jesus how to pray and He gave them this instruction concerning prayer then we as His disciples should also desire to know what He is saying to us. The last portion of the prayer reminds us that there is an evil one out there and that he is like a roaring lion and we need to pray for God’s help in fighting the battle.

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.


And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.


Before you start thinking that the portion of the verse that says, “And do not lead us into temptation” means that God is capable of tempting us, He is not.

James 1:13-14 tells us: Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death

The key here is the interpretation of the word “temptation”. Modern translators use the definition of the word to mean things such as “testing, proving, trying, struggling, etc.” In other words it is okay and appropriate for us to pray God don’t allow this storm or struggle, etc. to come into our life unless it is your will for our molding and shaping into your image.

Many are the times I have given a testimony about something and then said to the Lord at the same time, God I really don’t want to be tested on this please!

Then the passage goes on to say “but deliver us from the evil one.” Daily that roaring lion comes to steal, kill, and destroy! We have the opportunity to pray to be delivered from his paws, but do we?

Today, have you asked God to deliver you from the schemes of the enemy?

Would you be willing to be let loose in a lion’s cage with no way out? He has made a way out of the lion's den for us. Are you calling on His name daily?

Hope everyone is doing well. Our NEW web look is on the horizon, only weeks away! You won’t want to miss it!

His,
vickie