Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mountain Top Experience….

This past weekend we had our Annual Pure Joy Board, Advisors, Staff and Spouses Retreat. We held it in a location we have lovingly named “God’s Mountain”. We have met in that location for the past 3 years. It is awesome! And to our friends who allow us to use their home to retreat annually, words are not enough!! Thank you for giving in so many ways!!

I’m so thankful for that mountain top experience because we needed to be refreshed and rejuvenated ourselves as a ministry staff… especially since we opened registration Monday for the Italy retreat and we have already had 30 women sign up as of this writing and it is growing by the minute! Yea, God!!

Also due to the location of the retreat we are increasing sponsorship per missionary to $600 instead of $500. We have looked at several locations. Either they are not in a safe area of Naples or the conference rooms are too small, which we deal with often in foreign countries. Most of our time together is spent in the conference room so it is important for it to be very conducive to what we hope God will accomplish through us while we are there. So, if God is moving on your heart to give, please give. You can donate on line or by sending your check in the mail.

I want to give you a challenge I gave our Board, Advisors, and Staff along with a journal. (Sorry, you are on your own for the journal.) The challenge was to watch for God to do AMAZING things this year. Make sure and write ONLY the AMAZING things God does this year. Do not use it for a grocery list. Ha, ha, ha. Next year when we come back together they were all instructed to bring their journals with them and share. Maybe you could send us some of your journal entries at the end of the year.

By the way, “amazing” is defined by Webster as great surprise or wonder. That is what we desire to do every time we leave the country to go minister to a new group of missionary women. We want them to be amazed by HIM. Hopefully, Pure Joy brings that to the field on all our trips. In Mongolia He did that through a gift someone provided from home for one of the missionary women. Who would have thought Cheez-its could be so amazing!


Please pray for the Italy team as we prepare for our departure in April. Lots of details need to be taken care of and missionaries need to be sponsored.

Love you all…

His,
Vickie

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Hearty Salute….

This past week I was blessed with an opportunity to sit down with a pastor from a local body of believers in another area of our state. As we began to visit about Pure Joy International he shared with me that he and his wife had served on the field in Venezuela in South America. He went on to explain that so many men in ministry do not recognize what their wives carry in the area of responsibility on the field. He shared how he was gone much of the time as a church planter, how hard decisions were regarding schooling for the kids, etc. As I showed him the videos from a couple of our trips where the missionary women shared what Pure Joy meant to them and how refreshing it was and how needed it was he said, “We men don’t get it.” I appreciated his heart. And I appreciate the hearts of the men that do get it. Many times women have showed up at a retreat because their husbands have told them, “You have to go, you need this.” And I appreciate this pastor that gets it now and recognizes other men in ministry need to get it. Thank you pastor!

Today I just wanted to give a hearty salute to our missionary men on the field that have supported your wives in taking time to come to a Pure Joy Retreat. Thank you that you recognized the need and we are prayerful that you benefited from it as well as your family.
Registration will open up for the Italy later this week. Again if you have missionary friends in that part of the world please tell them to keep a watch on the web site Home page www.purejoyinternational.org.

video

Click here to view video.


Have a Blessed week…

His,
Vickie

Monday, January 12, 2015

Italy is coming up quickly...

Well, we are off and running again. Naples, Italy, is on our schedule for our next retreat for missionary women, April 22-25, 2015. We are presently in the process of negotiating with a hotel and the team is already tentatively full with a waiting list. We haven’t opened up registration yet and this is the first time I am sharing about the retreat publicly. If in reading this you believe you are supposed to be on this team, please contact me and get on the team member waiting list. Having said all of that, would you please be prayerful concerning potential team members who are making a decision regarding this trip? Pray their hearts are pure before Him in seeking direction about going. Italy sounds so romantic to a woman. And, yes, we can be deceived in our hearts about motives for a trip. As always, we just want God’s team for this group of women, at this time, and in this location of the world.  

If you have a missionary friend who is located in that part of the world, please get the word out that registration will be opening on-line at www.purejoyinternational.org very soon. Keep a watch on our web page for the registration link and announcement.

We are two weeks into our new year. I have to share something with you that is sooooo funny to me. My little great nephew is 2 ½ years old at present. Last year his picture on Santa’s lap looked like he was auditioning for a role in a children’s version of Scrooge. Let’s just say we weren’t running out making copies of that picture. This year ran a close second on the picture taking. He just couldn’t quite handle the guy in the big red suit and white beard thing. He did get that it is Jesus’ birthday but then again he likes to sing "Happy Birthday" on a daily basis to whatever name rolls up on his little brain. While we were looking forward to him at least enjoying his gifts a little more this year, that too fell short as he was sick during the holidays for a substantial amount of time. HOWEVER, the one thing that has stuck with him this Christmas is the movie Polar Express or as he calls it, The Color Express.” We don’t know how he got that name but he is locked into it. It took us forever to figure out what he was asking for the second day after he had seen the movie. He has (really, we have) watched it many times since then and literally this past weekend he got all excited about Christmas. He wants to know if he is getting presents (so much for what we all got him for Christmas, ha,ha,ha), loves the reindeers, the train (All aboard!), dancing with the serving of chocolate to the passengers, and any other time there is an opportunity to get us to dance with him. Yes, I think he might be able to come up with a smile if he was having his picture with Santa now.  

Why did I share this? I want to encourage you...We all have people in our lives who we want to understand the excitement and joy of knowing and living for Jesus. Sometimes just when we think they are there, it turns out to be not such a good picture. Don’t give up! You never know when that moment is going to click in them and they are going to finally get excited about Jesus. There may be a few bad pictures along the way, but don’t lose hope!

Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
 
Love you all,

His,
Vickie

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015.......

Well, here we are - another year before us. Remember when a year seemed like eternity? Of course we were only 7 or 8 then. Ha,ha,ha,ha. In all seriousness growing up we got to spend the summers with my grandparents on the farm. Those 3 months were awesome and it seemed like they lasted forever!! The older I got the time seemed shorter. Much shorter. I know those of you that are over 8 years of age reading this understand. Ha,ha,ha

Time is an interesting thing, isn’t it? It can seem like forever, or go by so fast you can’t believe it, or be just right. I’m thinking most of us aren’t experiencing the ‘just right’ part. Hmmmmm

So, what causes time to feel like it is moving slower than we want or faster than we want? Why does one person seem to get everything accomplished they desire during a day and another is stressed out of their mind with a lack of time issue? We all know this truth…..we all get 24 hours in a day. So what’s the difference?

I’m thinking that my answer will be taken flippantly by many as “oh yeah, I know that.” But, seriously, we may know it in our heads but we don’t believe it in our hearts. But, here it is….
It is the object of our Trust. You know God’s word tells us in Isaiah 26:3 -

Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Just think with me for a minute on this verse. It says in essence… God does keep in perfect peace those who have committed to focus on him, because they trust Him. Now let’s apply that to our day. This morning you woke up... What was the first thing on your mind? Was it God? Was there even a thought towards Him? Like “good morning, Father”? Like “thank you that your mercies are new every day”? Like “I exalt Your Name today, LORD”? Like “this is going to be a crazy day and I need you to guide me through it”? I think you get the picture. I would say most times we wake up with thoughts like “what time is it”? We hit the snooze button a few times. We start thinking, “I have to get the kids up, dressed, to school, work, or homeschool…the house, laundry, work deadlines, bible studies,” etc., etc. NONE of which are bad things. But, when we start out without a thought toward Him we are, without thinking about it, putting our trust in ourselves to accomplish all those things during the day. We leave Him out and we have no peace because our focus isn’t in resting in Him and His plan for our day but is on ourselves and others and the expectations we have placed upon ourselves and/or others to perform a certain way. Thus, time becomes a sub-focus because things are moving slower than we want or faster than we want and now our anxiety level grows and our self-condemnation of what we did or didn’t do in that 24 our period takes over. We lay our heads down at night exhausted, feeling like we missed something, frustrated with self and others and all the other junk we do when we are driven by the flesh.    

I love a term my sweet friend Iva May uses in her W3 discipleship material for women when she references the verse from Titus 2 about the older women training up the younger women. After giving a word study on admonish or train, she concludes with this statement: 

"She (the older woman) is to train the younger women to think sanely or with a saved mind; in a word, to be disciplined."

Girls (and guys reading this), when we “Keep our mind stayed on Him (trust Him)” from the moment we open our eyes until we close them daily, we will have perfect peace. Does that mean your day will be circumstance free of crazy stuff? No. It just means when our mind is stayed on Him and we trust Him and not ourselves, we think sanely and/or with a saved mind when we deal with the day. BIG DIFFERENCE!! Peace and time do have a cause and effect relationship so may I encourage us to keep your mind stayed on Him

His,
Vickie