Thursday, March 31, 2022

He’s Coming…

For several weeks I have been asking the LORD, what would you have me share in the next blog? I know some of you ask about weekly blogs. Honestly, I just write one when I am impressed to by the Holy Spirit. There are lots of things out there for you to read and get your hands-on, so I never just write a blog to be able to say I did.

I do want to share with you something I read out of one of my daily devotional books following my prayer time this morning. The reason I am sharing the devotional with you is if you are like me and many others in the body of Christ you are watching the signs of the times. Biblical prophecies are being looked at more closely in this day and time than ever before.

Non-believers should be told the truth of the gospel and how Christ died on the cross for our sins and was buried and rose again defeating death and ascended to His Father in heaven and will come again. Believers should be encouraged to be ready for His Coming. BUT…. do not miss His surprise visits in the here and now?

                                                 

Our Lord’s Surprise Visits 

You also, be ready… - Luke 12:40 

A Christian worker’s greatest need is a readiness to face Jesus Christ at any and every turn. This is not easy, no matter what our experience has been. The battle is not against, sin, difficulties, or circumstances, but against being so absorbed in our service to Jesus Christ that we are not ready to face Jesus Himself at every turn. The greatest need is not facing our beliefs or doctrines, or even facing the question of whether or not we are of any use to Him, but the need is to face Him. 

Jesus rarely comes where we expect Him; He appears where we least expect him, and always in the most illogical situations. The only way a servant can remain true to God is to be ready for the Lord’s surprise visits. The readiness will not be brought about by service, but through intense spiritual reality, expecting Jesus Christ at every turn. This sense of expectation will give our life the attitude of childlike wonder He wants it to have. If we are going to be ready for Jesus Christ, we have to stop being religious. In other words, we must stop using religion as if it were some kind of a lofty lifestyle- we must be spiritually real.

If you are avoiding the call of the religious thinking of today’s world, and instead are “looking unto Jesus, setting your heart on what He wants, and thinking His thoughts, you will be considered impractical and a daydreamer. But when He suddenly appears in the work of the heat of the day, you will be the only one who is ready. You should trust no one, and even ignore the finest saint on earth if he blocks your sight of Jesus Christ.     ... Oswald Chambers


So, I ask us are we ready for the Lord’s surprise visits? Do we expect Jesus Christ at every turn throughout our day? Does our life have the attitude of childlike wonder? What is blocking our sight of Jesus Christ?

 

Love you all, have a wonderful week!

His,  
Vickie



Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Hearing His Voice Above the Noise…

 

War is defined as, “the state of armed conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state.”  War (battle, fighting, conflict, combat) has always existed going back to the beginning of time.

Today, in this present moment of time we are focused on Russia and its attack (war) on Ukraine. We see the consequences this war is having on not just Ukraine but Russia and surrounding countries as well as people all around the world.

Father in Heaven, God that sees all, God that knows all, God that is present and not far away. God that has His hand on the pulse of every child of God.

John 1:12 -13 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

The World looks at what is going on today from a horizontal perspective.

Seeing the world this way causes us to be stuck in a rut. Like a mouse running a maze with no outlets. Changing directions, taking a different path, speeding up, slowing down, stopping to ponder, still provides no way out in and of itself. There are still no outlets to that maze. The response can be frustration, anger, fear, anxiety, depression, withdrawal, hopelessness, and all these things can lead to self-destructive behaviors and or total destruction.  

LORD, help us as your children to see this world from a vertical perspective.

Psalm 123:1 

To you I lift-up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

Psalm 33:18-22

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for thee; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Father God let us find you as our resting place in the middle of all this noise around us, that we your children may hear your voice, make decisions, and take steps accordingly.

My we all recognize that this world is a maze and until you lift us out of it and bring us home, we all will have battles to fight, whether in foreign countries, at home or within our very being. But may we remember we do not war against flesh and blood but against the………spiritual forces of evil. And may we also remember, The Battle Is Not Ours but The LORDS!

And finally, LORD, we at Pure Joy International lift-up the M’s and their families that are serving you in the countries touched by this war. Guide them through your Holy Spirit, shelter them from the enemies hand, get them to safety as they move about. Comfort their families that are living away from them and above all may they look to You for the peace that surpasses all understanding to rule in their hearts. And we pray all these things in the precious Name of Jesus.

 

His,

Vickie

 

 


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Covid 19…

The caption to the left describes my brain for the last two ½ weeks. If you have experienced Covid I do not have to explain that to you. I told my friends it reminds me of when I went through chemo and radiation treatment for cancer the first time. Chemo fog was tough. Well, Covid fog rates right up there. I started running a high fever on Dec. 29th and tested positive at Urgent Care on Dec. 31st. A lot of things have just been a blur since then. The fever was the kicker for me. I just could not get out from under it and could not get my pulse ox above 90-91 until about 4 days ago.

We (my mom who stills says she did not have Covid ha-ha) were blessed to have family members and friends nearby that checked on us every day, provided meals, vitamin’s, prayer, and encouragement. So thankful for His provision through all of you.

 Having shared some of my journey, I wanted to encourage many of you that have had a tough time with Covid and its variants. Obviously, a certain amount of depression can creep up on you during this time because you are isolated and unable to do normal task. The only laundry you are doing is washing your different pairs of pajamas. I got the strength to shower a few times in there, but it was not worth it to be honest. I went 2 weeks without putting on a bit of makeup and if you do not need to wear makeup more power to you, but I care about not scaring my friends, ha ha. But one of my biggest struggles was I had no desire to be in the word I felt so bad and slept a lot. In talking with others of you I know that was something many of you struggled with also.

Fortunately, God’s word that is hidden in my heart became the lifter of my heart during this journey.

John 10:10 tells us the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But He has come that we might have life and live it abundantly.

The enemy loves to attack us when we are struggling. God’s word makes that clear. But God’s word also tells us in…

Roman 8:1 There is therefore no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.

Do you recognize the truth here? If you are feeling condemnation, guilt, depression, etc. from the consequences of Covid and or its variants. That is not coming from our Heavenly Father, it is either you own self-talk, the voice of others, and or the enemy. God does not condemn those are in Christ Jesus. He convicts us through the Holy Spirit in us, but He does not condemn us. When He is speaking to us it is that small gently voice that pricks our hearts.

In short, give yourself a break and get well. Do not overdo. Yes, I am talking to myself and hearing the voice of those around me saying, do not overdo. God knows exactly where we have been, and He has been right there with us.

I am back at the office today for a full day. And yes, I will be ready to put on my pajamas and rest when I get home. But I finally had some sweet time in the word this morning and am so thankful for His faithfulness to us.

 Looking forward ...


His,

Vickie


Friday, December 24, 2021

Truth…

He Came from the Father…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

He is the way to the Father…

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

He is the gift of eternal life from the Father…

For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

 He is our Hope…

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

He came, He is the way, He is the gift, and He is our Hope!

We at Pure Joy International Retreat Ministry encourage you this Christmas weekend to remember to take hold of these simple truths and promises from God as foundational for weathering the storms of this world.    


       Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Pure Joy Staff, Board and Advisors





Monday, December 6, 2021

One Fly…

I suppose that we have all had the experience of having “one fly” buzzing around in our home or office while we are focused on doing something. I do not know about you, but it is amazing to me how quickly that “one fly” can become a “Big” distraction. At first, it is a glance at the fly and you just kind of swish it away and continue with what you were doing. Then there it is again, and you swish it away again, and then again. Now the glance has turned into a gaze, and you start to get a little frustrated. So, you grab something to swat it with, without having to stop what you are doing to find a flyswatter. Of course, most times there is nothing readily available. So, you try to get back to what you were doing. However, that “one fly” just will not give it a rest! Trust me, if you have had this experience, you are fully engaged in my emotions right now. LOL  The result is you end up getting up and going to find a flyswatter, which also, can be a distraction if it is not where it is supposed to be! But now that you have found the flyswatter and your focus had been fully diverted to the fly, it is nowhere to be seen! All of this can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes of your time or more if the lingering effects of not seeing the fly is wearing on you. LOL 

I share this story with you because the enemy (Satan) loves to use distractions in our life’s to effectively draw us away from our intimacy with God. Usually, it is not anything big to start with, but it can be. The enemy uses everyday life, marriage, family, kids, our job, ministry, etc., to distract us from our time with the LORD and get our attention. Once he draws us away, we become prey for the enemy! 

As we go into the rush of Christmas Season with a world already experiencing chaos and full of distractions of all kinds, do not let the enemy lure you away from your intimacy with God. Worship Him, Celebrate His Birth and take every action needed to keep your focus on Him. Bow the knee, stay in the Word, fellowship with other followers of Christ and share the truth and hope of the Gospel with a lost world. 

1 Peter 5:6-9    Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Splat!

His, Vickie



Wednesday, November 24, 2021

We at Pure Joy International Retreat Ministry are thankful for your continual support of this ministry and our desire to continue to minister to our missionary women/families overseas.



     

Blessings,
Pure Joy International Retreat Ministry Board, Advisors and Staff

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Kingdom Work...

 

Last Friday a sister in Christ sent me the following devotional written by Henry Blackaby. It made me think of all the kingdom workers around the world that need to be reminded, “God Cares for You”!

And he said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life." 1 Kings 19:14

Kingdom work can be challenging! You can give everything you have to God’s service and come away exhausted. This is what happened to Elijah. God had just used Elijah to call down fire from heaven in a spectacular display of divine power. But Elijah’s exhilaration was soon replaced by strenuous work followed by death threats, causing him to flee for his life. Now he was alone, exhausted, and discouraged.

Again, God came to Elijah. This time, He came not in fire or in a loud, spectacular way, but in a still, small voice. God’s servant was tired, and God brought him comfort. Elijah’s focus had shifted from God to God’s enemies. He had allowed his circumstances to overwhelm him, leaving him disoriented to God and feeling alone. So, God encouraged him. God provided Elisha for him as a helper, friend, and companion.

God removed Elijah from the activity for a time, so that he could rest and spend time with God. When the nation next saw Elijah, he was rejuvenated and refocused on God and His assignment.

If you are overwhelmed by kingdom work so that your focus is no longer on God but on all that there is to do, let Him comfort you. Listen to His gentle voice. He will encourage you and provide exactly what you need to prepare you for what comes next. If He needs to remove you from your work for a time, He will. He may place a friend or co-laborer beside you to help carry the load. God knows exactly how to encourage you. Let Him do so.

What a powerful truth for those that serve around the world for the Glory of God. Stay strong and carry-on!

 

His,
Vickie