Thursday, March 2, 2023

Planes and Avocados …

Monday, I flew out of Little Rock, Arkansas early to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to complete my Global Entry Pass as we start to travel overseas again.  It was the closes place I could get in for an interview before we leave the country for Portugal.

It was a strange feeling being back on a plane again.  The last time I was on a plane was when we traveled to San Paulo, Brazil to minister to missionaries in that part of the world.  I had forgotten how crazy it can be in airport settings.   But it also brought the sweet excitement that starts taking place as the team closes in on our departure out of the country.   Hard to believe we are a little less than two months away for boarding planes to Lisbon, Portugal.

Please continue to pray for the missionaries that will be attending, the team that is going, details that continue to need to be taken care of before we leave.  As many of you already know from experience, the spiritual warfare that takes place before a team is headed out of the country to minister to others is intense.  We appreciate all your prayers.

Another thing I have missed is people watching in the airports.  And I also, love the things you can learn.  For example, today I was riding the tram from one terminal to another and the older couple sitting across from me were joyfully sharing some things they had learned on their vacation.  I never really caught where they had spent the vacation, but it obviously brought then great joy.  Anyway, they had spent some time with a young man that grows avocados.  They were surprised to learn that while some avocados can look great on the outside and even nice when you cut them open, if they are not grown in good soil there is no flavor to them. Their discussion immediately triggered in me a trip we had taken to Senegal Africa.   I will never forget the first meal we went to in the evening.  They had an incredible spread of fresh fruit, strawberries, watermelon, berries, etc.  It was so inviting, with brilliant colors, fresh looking when cut open, etc.  My taste buds were jumping in my mouth waiting to bite into that fruit.  Especially the watermelon.   I will be honest and say I put some extra on my plate.  When I took the first bite, I honestly could not reconcile what was going on in my mouth with what was going on in my brain at that moment.  I immediately took a bite of all the fruit I had put on my plate.  Same outcome.  No taste at all.  Absolutely bland.  I would be lying if I told you I was not disappointed because I was.  Talking about having expectations that didn’t get met!

Stop and think for a minute of the number of times just today that your expectations didn’t get met.   Something as ridiculous as you ordered a burger and they got your order wrong, your spouse said they would pick up some bread for dinner, but they forgot, your friend said they would pick you up at 9 a.m. and it is now 9:15 a.m.   If we consider the times throughout the day we get frustrated with others it we might be surprised to see how often it is tied into what we expected as an outcome.  Don’t hear me wrong.  I’m not saying all expectations are wrong!!  I’m just saying look at where frivolous expectation could be tripping you up in your daily walk. 

Saw this quote that is rather amusing because there may be a little more truth to it than we like.  “My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21.  Everything since then has been a bonus.”

Oh, and by the way regarding both the avocado farmer and the fruit that was bland.  Both needed soil that had more nutrients in it.  As the couple on the tram explained, they needed to be fertilizing the soil much more.  The same would be true of the fruit I told you about.

Kind of like some of us.  Maybe we could use a little Word fertilizer to make sure what you see on the outside really permeates through our being.  Just saying…




Thursday, February 16, 2023

Stay Strong in The LORD…


This week unlike many of the weeks over the past year I have heard the voice of so many struggling with the things they see around them in this world.  The horizontal will always drag us down.  Yes, we live in this world but never forget we are sojourner's in this world.  It is not our home.  Takes some time to read these word from Psalms 37.

He Will Not Forsake His Saints

   Fret not yourself because of evildoers;

be not envious of wrongdoers!

   For they will soon fade like the grass

and wither like the green herb.

   Trust in the Lord, and do good;

dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

   Delight yourself in the Lord,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

   Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him, and he will act.

   He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,

and your justice as the noonday.

   Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;

fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,

over the man who carries out evil devices!

   Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!

Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

   For the evildoers shall be cut off,

but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

10    In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;

though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.

11    But the meek shall inherit the land

and delight themselves in abundant peace.

12    The wicked plots against the righteous

and gnashes his teeth at him,

13    but the Lord laughs at the wicked,

for he sees that his day is coming.

14    The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows

to bring down the poor and needy,

to slay those whose way is upright;

15    their sword shall enter their own heart,

and their bows shall be broken.

16    Better is the little that the righteous has

than the abundance of many wicked.

17    For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,

but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18    The Lord knows the days of the blameless,

and their heritage will remain forever;

19    they are not put to shame in evil times;

in the days of famine they have abundance.

20    But the wicked will perish;

the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures;

they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

21    The wicked borrows but does not pay back,

but the righteous is generous and gives;

22    for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land,

but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23    The steps of a man are established by the Lord,

when he delights in his way;

24    though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,

for the Lord upholds his hand.

25    I have been young, and now am old,

yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken

or his children begging for bread.

26    He is ever lending generously,

and his children become a blessing.

27    Turn away from evil and do good;

so shall you dwell forever.

28    For the Lord loves justice;

he will not forsake his saints.

       They are preserved forever,

but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

29    The righteous shall inherit the land

and dwell upon it forever.

30    The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,

and his tongue speaks justice.

31    The law of his God is in his heart;

his steps do not slip.

32    The wicked watches for the righteous

and seeks to put him to death.

33    The Lord will not abandon him to his power

or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34    Wait for the Lord and keep his way,

and he will exalt you to inherit the land;

you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35    I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,

spreading himself like a green laurel tree.

36    But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;

though I sought him, he could not be found.

37    Mark the blameless and behold the upright,

for there is a future for the man of peace.

38    But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;

the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39    The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;

he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.

40    The Lord helps them and delivers them;

he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,

because they take refuge in him.

His, Vickie

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Portugal Retreat 2023


We are excited and sad at the same time to share with you that registration for Lisbon, Portugal is officially closed as of today.  Several of you made it on the waiting list and we will certainly let you know if anyone has to drop out between now and the last week of March.

All our missionary women have been sponsored for this conference and the Portugal Team is meeting weekly to pray for each one of you along with many others that are praying for you as we prepare to leave the country. If you are a missionary that is registered to attend the retreat and have more questions please contact me at .

We have had lots of sleet and ice around our part of the U.S. the last two days but thanks to zoom we have continued to keep our prayer times going for the retreat.  What a great use of technology to be used for His Glory.

For those of you that may not have made it into our Portugal Retreat we are currently making plans for a retreat in the Republic of Georgia (the country) in October of this year.  Keep an eye on web site for more information in the months ahead.

If your church or you are interested in how you can be a part of the October retreat through prayer, going, giving and gifting please contact me at .

Praying that you have a blessed week whatever part of the world you are in faithfully serving our LORD.




Let the place of secret prayer become to me the most beloved spot on earth.

                                                                                     - Andrew Murray

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Sometimes you just have to laugh…


So, last night I was told by my 10-year-old great nephew you never listen to me. First, let’s discuss that word never which is considered an exaggerated word.  However, it does seem to make children and adults wear it like some form of empowerment badge to get a point across along with the words always and forever. Stop and think about how many times you use those words in a sentence with your spouse, kids and family and it will make you laugh.

Before I go any further let me clarify something very important that is difficult for all of us to sort out at times.  The difference between the word hears and listen. To hear is to physically experience the sense of sound.  As one’s ear and brain are capable of processing sound waves, one can hear.  To listen is to deliberately apply the ability to hear.  One who listens is thinking about what is heard, what it means, how to respond, and whether to continue to listen/pay attention.

Now, back to the scene from last night. (smile) My great nephew was trying to convince me to allow him to stay up later because he has been home sick with strep throat and can’t go to school.  I explained to him that because he has been sick he really needs the rest. I don’t need to tell you how he felt about that. Ha,ha,ha, I did allow for some extra time beyond his normal school bedtime, which of course was not enough.  Thus, the rant of you never listen to me. I thought, hey this is a good opportunity to plant a little seed of wisdom in his heart.  I said, May I share something with you? He conceded even though he didn’t want to listen. Ha,ha,ha   I said, I hear you and I’m listening to you. What I’m not doing is agreeing with you. So, just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I’m not listening. Well, I left the room with him continuing to say you are not listening to me.  Knowing that seed probably isn’t going to take root. Ha, ha, ha

But this morning as I thought back over our interaction I almost had to laugh out loud.  Heck, we live in a society today that functions in that same mentality.  If I don’t agree with you or see it the same way you do, then supposedly I am not listening, narrow minded, judgmental, critical, mean and an awful person.  Be prepared to be told those things more and more in the days ahead as we await HIS coming. Because if you choose to stand for Truth that means you are out of the majority and in the boat of the minority. There are going to be many more things we don’t agree with in the future!

So, maybe the next time someone tells you “you’re not listening” consider if that is true or is it that you just don’t agree with them. 




P.S. We have seven spots still open for the Portugal 2023 Retreat.  Make sure to let your overseas missionary women know about it.  Go to  click on Here on that page and get more information and the registration form. Dates are April 26-29, 2023

Friday, December 30, 2022

“He who keeps the treasure bears the care”

As I was spending time in prayer about the blog and several other things this week, God orchestrated me in the most interesting way through a back door of some old files to a blog I had written in 2014. Wow! Almost 9 years ago. I am sharing a portion of it with you again because I believe God shared it with me again. In this day and time where life is getting more difficult (God’s word makes it clear in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 it will) I sensed this blog was one of those things that was worth resharing. Enjoy but seriously ponder as well. The following is a paraphrased version of an article by John McKonkey.

There once was a man that inherited a diamond at the death of a relative. Turns out the diamond was absolutely priceless. The man carried it with him where-ever he went to protect it and keep it safe. After some time, the man begins to get paranoid about someone taking the diamond from him, mugging him on the street. So, he started to go out less and less and stayed home more and more.

Eventually, he begins to think about what if someone breaks into my house and steals the diamond. So, he put up the most expensive home protections system you could buy. By now the man had few friends, he never went out. One day his good friend came to his house and announced, We are going out, get your diamond. The man reluctantly followed the man to the vehicle. Once in the car the man's friend proceeded to drive him directly to a very nice bank. They walked into the bank with the man with the diamond following his friend through all the doors and rooms until they reached a nice size vault. The friend said, I purchased this for you. It is yours to keep your diamond in. Absolutely no-one can get in here once we close the door today except you. I want you to leave your diamond here. You can come see it anytime you choose. The man finally agreed after much fretting and the two of them left the bank. Every day for weeks the man would go check on the diamond and each time it was there. Slowly he began to go every other day, then only twice a week, then only once a week until finally he went weeks without checking on the diamond. He finally reached the place to check on it whenever he felt like it which was not much because he knew where it was and that it was safe. Thus, the quote.... "He who keeps the treasure bears the care.”  

When I finished that article, I realized that God was saying to me, Vickie I know that your family is your earthly treasure. And you stay concerned for them a lot. But you cannot bear the care anymore. It is too much. It keeps you from having the life I intended for you to have. It was like the LORD said, give me those treasures I can bear the care!

 So, I ask you today. Are you holding on to your treasures? Because if you are, you bear the care! Let go and let Him have the treasure and bear the care because He can! And yes, it is a process. A continual process I can promise you! And yes, you will want to go back and forth to the vault. But the most important question is, have you placed your treasures in the vault (GOD) to start with?

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.




 Blessings as you step into the New Year 2023


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Lisbon, Portugal…

In April of 2020 we were schedule to do a Pure Joy International Retreat in Lisbon, Portugal.  The team was ready to go, the missionary women on the field were ready to attend.  Then Covid-19 hit, and we had to cancel the retreat. 

It is with great excitement that we the staff of Pure Joy International share with you, the retreat has been rescheduled for April 26-29, 2023. We have done our best to try and contact everyone that had been previously registered for the 2020 retreat to confirm their spot if they wished to reclaim it.  Those deadlines have now passed with 13 open spots opened-up.  If you are interested in attending the retreat, please click Here and fill out the registration form.  It will be first come first serve.  We will go to a waiting list if needed.  If you have questions, contact me at

You may also sign up from our Website home page at

Wishing each and everyone of you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! 



Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Christmas 2022…


Greetings to all our Pure Joy international family and friends near and far.  It is with great joy that we join you in the celebration of our Lord and Savior this Christmas Season.

Many of you have asked about when we will be traveling again overseas.  Well, the answer is starting in April of 2023.   We will be traveling to Lisbon, Portugal to make good on our plans to go there in April of 2020.  Covid had a different plan at the time.  However, the retreat has been rescheduled for April 26-29, 2023.  We have done our best to contact each lady that registered for the original retreat in 2020.   If you were registered and didn’t receive an email from us, please contact me at    We still have some open spots and they will open up next week to missionary women serving outside their country of origin with a sending church or mission organization.  You will just need to go to our web Home page next week and follow the instructions to register. 

There is lots going on at Pure Joy International and I will be sharing that with you in our next blog, it’s exciting you won’t want to miss it.

In the meantime,

                                                       Merry Christmas From:

     The Staff, Board, and Advisors of Pure Joy

International Retreat Ministry, Inc