Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blessings into the New Year!

As I sit here at my laptop pondering this past year I am full of Praise to our Almighty God! His goodness knows no bounds, His faithfulness is beyond anything my brain can imagine, and His LOVE is so incredible that it overwhelms my heart as I write this blog.

I so desire for others to know HIM! I so desire for others to know the POWER of the Cross! This next year is going to be a very interesting year as we move closer to the return of our Precious LORD and Savior. I want to encourage the body of Christ to Yield to His direction in our lives daily! Take no breaths without Him! Know where He wants you positioned and how He wants to use you to accomplish His good pleasure and will!

Thank you everyone that has partnered with Pure Joy during the year 2008! Whether that partnership came in the form of prayer, finances, going, or just words of encouragement regarding the ministry! I also want to thank all of you that prayerfully seek God about your giving! There are so many opportunities to give into ministries all over this world. There is no excuse not to be apart of what God is up to in these last days. So, I encourage you ….Prayerfully ask God to show you where He would have you giving your resources regarding His plans for 2009. If it is Pure Joy then Praise God! If it is another God centered ministry then Praise God! The point is give! We throw tons of resources away each year on things that have no eternal value! The enemy loves that! This year can we all make a commitment to ask God to show us where to be invested in the eternal kingdom and then be obedient to invest!! Don’t count your investment as just finances! God has gifted each of us to give in different ways!
Again, Thank you each one…you are Pure Joy!

So, Happy New Year my dear ones! May each and every one of us know Him and make Him known in 2009. May you experience His love in a fashion that absolutely leaves you in Awe of His Goodness, Faithfulness, and Love!

One last laugh for the year…… if you read the blog from earlier this week you know the family is home for Christmas. And you know kids do say the funniest things. Such as the catfish story from the earlier blog this week. Well, last night after I got in from the office I was sitting with several family members having a cup of coffee as little 3 year old Sam walked into the kitchen. As he entered the kitchen he was pretty much at eye level with a picture my mom has on the wall of Jesus standing in His long flowing robe, with soft white light kind of radiating from behind Him shoulders up. With the expectancy that only a mom can have that her child is getting ready to make her proud my niece Krysta said to Sam, “Who is that Sam?” To which Sam matter of fact replied as he continued in the direction he was moving, “Luke Skywalker”.

Any questions? Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha


Monday, December 29, 2008

God, Family, Friends...

Sunday we (Patty and I) had the great opportunity to travel to Ridgewood Baptist Church in Forrest City, AR. Patty did the special music for me and I was able to share a word of encouragement to the church family there as well as sharing with them the opportunity to partner with Pure Joy for our up-coming Poland Retreat. The people were so precious and receptive. The Pastor has a great heart to see the world evangelized and for his church family to grow spiritually! I also took time, at the leading of the spirit, to attend a Sunday school class that morning. It was so great to be in that class (Mixed Adult 3) and I asked to be an adopted member as they agreed to commit to pray for me weekly regarding life’s issues. So cool how the body of Christ works!!!! Please continue to pray that God will give Ridgewood clear direction about becoming one of the sponsoring churches for Poland. By the way, you just got to Love Jesus, He is so faithful!!!

Then there is family. Like many of you we had our entire family home for the first time in I can’t even remember. And they have all been staying at my mom’s house (where I live). Did I mention that our house is a house built for two and has been housing 17 people? That would include four boys ages 7, 5, 3, and 3 weeks old, a teenager 14 years old and 11 older people impersonating adults. And did I mention another boy due in Feb of 2009. Just wrap your brain around it all. I would if I still had one! However, the memories that get made are worth every inch of lack of space! For example, this morning my mom and I were at the table having a cup of coffee. I had the 3 week old so mom and dad could rest and in from the garage walks Drew the five year old. He climbs up into Great Granny’s lap after making a trip back to the garage for his ‘Car’s blanket’ Aunt Myrna made him for Christmas. (Oh, by the way…the garage we insulated it and put carpet in it to make it a play room by day and bedroom by night while everyone is here.) Anyway, as we sit there I engaged Drew in the following conversation.
Drew, do you have a pond by your house? “Yes”, he responded, “we catch catfish in it.” “Really”, I said. Do you eat them? “Yes,” he responded. I said, “Well, who cleans the catfish for you to eat?” He promptly responded that he cleans them. “Really”, I said. How do you do that? “With a wash cloth”, he said. Hmmm what was I thinking…of course with a wash cloth? Then I said, “Do you use soap?” To which he promptly and matter of fact informed me, you don’t use soap on catfish! Yeah, I’m thinking…no sense in drying their skin out before you remove it! Ha, ha, ha-ha

And then there are friends, I am so thankful for all the friends God places in my life to encourage me and challenge me and hold me accountable. And friends to laugh with, cry with, and walk out life with daily. Some of my friends got me a GPS system for Christmas (I think they did that because I randomly call them while I’m on the road and say, “Can you tell me where I am?) Anyway, Patty and I used it yesterday for our trip to Ridgewood. The voice on mine is a male British accent. So, I named him, Sir Scott. I wonder how men do with GPS systems since they do not like to ask for directions. I suppose they just see the GPS system as a toy and that makes it OK. Anyway, it was a great gift and now if I can learn how to use it, it will really come in handy. Last night I was trying to read through some instructions. Something I said activated Sir Scott’s voice. It gave everyone quiet a startle but once they realized he would not be staying over they relaxed. Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Three Days and Counting...MERRY CHRISTMAS!

As I write these words this morning I am mindful that many of you have already begun to celebrate your Christmas Holidays with family and friends. The rest of us are preparing for their arrival.

Please take time, even as you read this blog, to be mindful of our missionary women and their families throughout the world! Most of them will be spending their Christmas time in countries with the people groups God has called them to serve. As I asked of you last week, pray that our missionaries will be able to share the Christmas story where it is possible to do so, and for those who are in places where they can't share openly, that God will make a way for His Light to shine this season.

LORD, thank you that you so loved the world that you saw fit to send your Son from His heavenly home, the place we as your children are longing to take up as our dwelling place.
You sent Him into this earth through the power of the Holy Spirit and a virgin. Wow! Only You! Thank you LORD that such a divine entry could not be counterfeited by the enemy! You are an Amazing God!!! Precious Father, we lift up to you our missionaries near and far this day! I ask you to be their Daily Bread! Father give them joy during this season and surprise them with Your Presence! Protect them from the enemy and his lies and deception. LORD, heal their hurts, their concerns, fears, health, families, marriages, anxiety, depression, etc., and LORD for any of them who are in bondage to sin in their lives I pray in the Name Above All Names – JESUS, set them free!

LORD, we pray for those people groups and peoples that do not know you! Those deceived by the darkness the enemy of this world cast across their hearts. OPEN THE EYES OF THEIR HEART! REMOVE THE VEIL! LORD, you called our missionaries to the places you have them, now from this day forward empower them to accomplish the good work you prepared in advance for them to walk in, even to their own amazement!

And to You O LORD will go all the Glory!!!!!

And all these things we ask in the Precious and Most Holy Name of JESUS!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


As I pen this blog this morning I am sitting in front of the pellet burning fireplace in my pajamas, a cup of coffee at my side in a room filled with figurines of Santa Claus, angels, moose, reindeer, stockings hung on the mantle, a staircase woven with greenery and red bows. All of these trimmings indicate Christmas is approaching.

Ok, now I know this blog can't compensate for time, but it has been almost four hours since I wrote that last paragraph. I have shelled pecans, baked spiced pecans, put some corn and bits of pecans out for the squirrels, and enjoyed another couple of chapters out of Dr. David Jeremiah's "What In The World Is Going On?" along with consuming several more cups of coffee. All in all, I would say I'm having a great day and it isn't even 2:00 p.m.!
I think I forgot to mention that we were pretty much iced in around here as of last night.

Funny about these kinds of days, like snow days, we give ourselves permission to relax and enjoy being at home.

Did I say relax? My mom now wants me to search the web for how to clean Venetian Blinds. She is on task with that today and has decided there must be an easier way.

Before I head off in obedience to her request, I want you to know something. The reason my day has been one of peace and contentment, even as I move through it, started this morning by spending time with the REASON FOR THE SEASON! Don't let the hurry and scurry of this time of the year distract you from the very reason we as Christians rejoice over this season! To us a Child was born….And His name was Emmanuel…God With Us!

P.S. Remember our missionary families near and far during this time as well. So many of them are unable to be with their loved ones. Pray for their safety, provision, ministries and the power for them to tell the Christmas Story this year!


Monday, December 8, 2008

Loving Jesus and His Ways...

Greetings all. I have been on the road for the past week in the precious state of Texas. Yes, precious to me because I was born there after all. Then there is Oklahoma the state I cherish, yes cherish, because I was ‘born again’ there. Now, I am in Arkansas and this is real life! Ha,ha,ha,ha

So, it was sweet to be moving about the state of Texas again. Had some sweet times of seeing the hand of God move in the lives of others. Had some sweet time of experiencing His move in my own life. Got to spend two days with some very special young ladies to my heart! When I was on staff at Great Hill Baptist Church in Austin I had the privilege of discipling these young ladies for approx. 3 years. What great joy they bring to my life and bring to His kingdom! Now that I no longer live in Austin a group of us get together every year the first weekend of December and we do Christmas together. We have watched two marriages take place over the years, 4 little angels come into this world, and a fifth is on the way. We do wish Jenny would pick a different time to get pregnant because she is one “BIG” hormone the whole weekend. But we love her anyway!!! So far she has hit 3 out of our 5 years together. Ha,ha,ha. Then we spent a part of our time making sure that Heather didn’t get to close to Jenny or eat or drink after her because Heather always ends up pregnant 1-3 months after Jenny. (Don’t ask). Hmmm, I secretly believe God wanted their children to grow up together. Gaylee, Kelli, Holly and I use to be the sane ones out of the bunch. Then Gaylee went and got herself a little precious four legged child named “Bella.” Bella was as entertaining as any of the children could have been. Yes, like most dogs, she is the boss. Holly allowed her work schedule to interfere with the fun. She allowed job security to keep her from coming this year. Hmmmm, what’s up with that, ha! We missed her. So, that just leaves Kelli and me with any significant amount of sanity. And if you knew either one of us you would know that is a real stretch. But, we had fellowship, fun, tears (ok, lot’s of crying, Jenny), fellowship, food, gifts, heart talks, God talks, etc. I pray that all of you have those friends in your life that are ‘journey’ friends. They are always on the road with you somewhere whether to the left, right, front or behind but always moving toward the goal of His kingdom! And I finished my journey up in Texarkana with the icing on the cake as God allowed me spend some needed and precious time with my friends Rick and Ada. He is so faithful to give us all we need just when we need it!

Remember to pray for Poland. Also, we have several other things on the table that we are praying over that again we cannot share just yet. So, Pray for Pure Joy, Give to Pure Joy, and Go with Pure Joy!!!!

Loving All of You..

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hello from Northeast Arkansas!

Vickie is on the road this morning and has had a busy time getting out of town, so she asked me to write a blog entry for this week.

First of all, let me assure you that Hershey Marie Stotts has been officially enrolled in Obedience Class to begin at the first of January. We all had a major laugh over Vickie chasing her around our neighborhood!

The "church tour" was great and God was in every part of it from the beginning. We'll be planning another one in Central Arkansas in January, so if you are in that area and would like for us to visit with your Missions Pastor, please let us know. Also, a new brochure is available and I would love to send you one or a few for you to share. Email me at

James 1:2 encourages us "Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy."

I was raised with one "cup half full" parent and one "cup half empty" parent. Or I guess I should say one optimist and one pessimist. My dad was always upbeat, smiling and anticipating what was coming next. My mom was a major worrier and was always waiting "for the other shoe to drop". So, my flesh nature can swing either way. As I've grown and experienced life, God has shown me that my cup is always "full" if I choose for it to be. Jeff and I are trying to teach our kids to "choose joy". We try to tell them in the midst of life challenges, big and small, that the enemy can take over and make everything bad if we allow it.

This morning our second son Will, who is 13, was doing some last minute studying for a Science test. Our oldest son Wade, who is 16 and licensed, but can't drive until March because of some new law about waiting six months blah blah blah something or other, was already at school for Bible Study. Melody, who is 8 only in years, and I were in the van waiting for Jeff to finish quizzing Will on Science. And yes, it was past time to be gone. Will runs out of the door holding his 50 pound backpack in front of him and trying to get between my van and Jeff's jeep in the garage, hits the jeep hard with the van door and steps in a Hershey pile (I'm hoping obedience training will help some of that too), puts his backpack in the van runs out to the grass to wipe off the Hershey pile, runs back in the garage and gets in the van and shuts the door. I start to back up and Hershey is behind the van so Jeff runs out in his bare feet (it's cold in NE Arkansas today) and picks up Hershey so we can back out -- and we're on our way - late! As we catch our breath on the fast ride to school, Will looks at me and says, "Mom, isn't that the way it goes?" and begins to list the things that had just happened. And, always the Mom that I am, I said, "and what does the devil want us to do, but get mad and be mad all day" and Will was smiling and nodding his head and we all laughed together. Thank you God for another "opportunity for joy"!

I pray you "Choose Joy" today, especially during this blessed season that reminds us when "Joy" came to the world!

Wendy Stotts

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A good laugh...

Well, where is the camera when someone could be capturing the $10,000 prize winning video. Yes, that is how I would describe the following incident. Just try to picture it all in the video of your mind!

The past five days I have been in the Northeastern corner of Arkansas visiting Churches and talking with Pastors and Missions Pastors to introduce them to Pure Joy. Wendy, our PR person for Pure Joy, had set up the appointments over a five day span. This resulted in me staying with Wendy, Jeff and the kids during that time, which is always a joy to my heart. If you remember several months ago I blogged about their new miniature Dotson or daschund or weenie dog puppy or whatever you call them. In fact we adopted Hershey as our Pure Joy missionary dog and mascot. At that time Wendy informed me that they would be taking Hershey to obedience training school in the next week or two. Mostly because she obviously did not have a clue what her name was because once she went to do her business she didn’t return when summoned. But, hey she was a new puppy and untrained!

Guess What! She is not new anymore but she is still untrained! Picture this… I pull into the Stott’s driveway, there that precious little thing is dancing around on the end of her leash, in mime shouting…ME! ME! ME! So what’s a person to do but pick that precious little thing up and tell her how awful it is for her to be on that leash and not to worry Aunt Vickie is here to let her run free and have fun! Run Free are the two operative words here! That’s right; Ms. where did you get your brains, let Hershey down on the ground without her leash on! Remember the Dick, Jane, and Spot 1st and 2nd grade readers. Well, can we say, See Hershey Run. See Vickie Run. See Hershey Run, Run, Run. See Vickie Run, Run, Run. See Vickie give Hershey a middle name. Yes, a middle name is important for emphasis at times such as these. It sounds much more authoritative to say Hershey Marie Stotts you come here!!!! Than to say here Hershey, here Hershey, come herrrrrr. Of, course the middle name was birthed only after I’d done 10 laps around the neighborhood, in and out of the neighbor’s garages, and talked to her as if she was really listening to a word I might be saying. The thing that made it only that much more of a good laugh was when Wendy stuck her head out of their garage and said, "Oh, you let her off her leash, we haven’t been able to go to dog training yet." Immediately, these words ran through my mind as I chased Hershey Marie Stotts into yet another neighbor’s garage, Really, ya think!!

All kidding aside we accomplished a lot regarding the ministry this past week. We visited with a couple of churches in Wynn, AR and a couple of churches in Forest City, AR. It was really neat to be able to visit with Pastors and lay people that have hearts for Missions. We made several good contacts and are talking to one of the churches about being a partner for our Poland trip in the spring. We also set up our Pure Joy booth at Central Baptist's “The Call” missions emphasis Sunday. The entire 5 days came to an end with several of the team members that went to Venezuela with Pure Joy being able to share at a Women on Missions (WOM) meeting Monday evening. We worshiped Him together, laughed together, gave testimony of His work in our lives through the trip and had a sweet time of fellowship.

As we come to this day before Thanksgiving we at Pure Joy want to tell you how thankful we are for your prayers and support of this ministry. We are totally dependant upon Him in you to come alongside us in all the possible ways to be a part of ministering to our missionary women overseas.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sorry, I've been on the road...

I've been on the road and I am playing catch up in the office today but I will write a blog to go out tomorrow morning to share what God is up to in the ministry!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This past weekend our church sponsored a ‘More Than Married’ marriage workshop. It was exciting to see couples young to old come in the doors Friday night to begin the journey of the weekend. By Saturday afternoon I believe the following quote became a truth to many of the couples: “It is true that love is blind but marriage is definitely an eye-opener.” Our presenters, Charles and Darleen Queener out of North Carolina, were absolutely wonderful folks and gave the couples much needed insight into themselves and their marriage partner.

I personally, was very excited to see so many couples willing to invest in their marriages and their children’s lives. It has been said, many a time and many different ways, “the best gift a mom or dad can give a child is to love each other.” Our children in this world today need role models of people that love and respect one another and that are willing to put others first. If you would like to have something like this in your community or church please visit the following web site for more information.

Did I tell you that it is a lot easier to be a part of a marriage conference when you are single than when you are married! Ha ha! Of course as I shared with the couples…My maker is my Husband (Isaiah 54:5) It is ok for HIM to think HE’S perfect!

Tomorrow we (Wendy Stotts and I) begin a two day ‘church tour’ as Wendy likes to call it. Please be in prayer for us as we share with Missions Pastors and others about partnering with Pure Joy. Pray: (1) God will give the ministry favor, (2) God will allow Wendy and I to be a blessing to those we have the opportunity to meet with the next two days, and (3) The most important thing….that HIS Will Be Done.

And finally, we will be mailing the fall Pure Joy newsletter out in the next couple of weeks. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be visit our web site and sign up as a friend – be sure to fill in your regular mailing address to receive a snail mail copy of our newsletters – they are great tools to use in sharing the ministry of Pure Joy with your family and friends.

Blessings over you,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stay Tuned!

I know some of you are looking for this week's blog - be paitent, I had a very busy Monday but will get it posted later today or early on Wednesday.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


That is the best word to define what was going on in my mind as I headed across I-40 going towards Oklahoma Sunday afternoon. Why ‘dread’? Because I was headed to visit someone we all have such an excitement to visit, the dentist! Now you may be wondering, as have several of my friends, why I drove to an entirely different state to see the dentist when there are many good dentists within miles of me. Well, that isn’t a hard thing to answer for me. Dentist, Hairdresser, Gynecologist all are very significant relationships in the life of a woman! We will drive miles and hours to continue those relationships with someone we trust. And truthfully, how many of us haven’t felt like we were committing an act of betrayal if we allowed ourselves to be convinced by a friend to try a new hairdresser. And a dentist well, if you ever find one you have confidence in….that relationship outlasts most marriages today. Anyway, my dentist and his wife are absolutely incredible! They both love and serve the LORD. They have hearts of gold and love people. Last night when I arrived in Muskogee, Oklahoma I actually stayed with my dentist and his wife awaiting that dreaded appointment this morning. But, they took such good care of me in preparation. Rebecca served up a wonderful dinner and David made a batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch that were to die for. Dentist – Sweets, Sweets – Dentist, hmmmmm. Anyway, I had a great evening with some of Gods saints.

This morning that bliss ended with the first shot! Don’t you hate the shots! Anyway, being the most excellent dentist that he is, David (Dr. Reifsteck) took care of getting me fixed up and back on the road to Arkansas before noon. As I write this blog tonight I am sitting on the couch with one black and blue fat upper lip! Several stitches in the gums and a tad bit of discomfort. But, the good part is because of the dental surgery today by Wednesday I should be well on my way to healing with that tooth. Kind of like how God has to go in and do a little surgery on our hearts at times. Our heart may be a little bruised for a time but at least it is on its way to healing instead of becoming worse.

On Tuesday our Ministry Staff meets all day to pray, listen, and walk out God’s plans for the ministry. Please remember to pray for us. There are many ministries throughout this world that God uses to minister to our missionaries on the field. We just want to be obedient to the part He has called us to.

Don’t forget to be praying for Poland and the missionaries that will be attending that retreat in April/May 2009. Also, continue to pray for the unspoken area that I mentioned last week in my blog.

And as a last little bit of closing humor………for a month I have been putting off having my drivers’ license renewed just out of shear procrastination. Guess what tomorrow is, my birthday, 11-11. Guess what HAS TO BE DONE TOMORROW! Remember who has a fat lip! Can we say….Cheese!

Monday, November 3, 2008

From the Mouth of Babes...

If you keep up with our blog you have probably heard me talk about the 4th-6th grade Sunday School class I help with or have seen them on a blog. There is soooooooo never a dull moment with the kids. Yesterday, I was teaching them about prayer. We were in Matthew 6: 1-13 and I was helping them to break down the verses. In verse 2 when we came to the word ‘hypocrites’ I stopped and asked the class, “Can anyone tell me the definition of the word ‘hypocrite’?” Immediately a hand shot up. Yes, I said. The student stated, “Someone who tells you not to do something and then they do it themselves.” Very good, I responded. Can anyone else give a definition of the word ‘hypocrite’? Immediately, another hand went up. Yes, I said. The student responded, “A democrat.” Now I have to tell you, that was funny I don’t care who you are! I laughed so hard I could hardly regroup.

Of course the kids had NO IDEA why the other teacher and I found such laughter in that moment! Moms and Dads I want to share something with you. Your kids hear you. They watch, listen, and learn from you whether you take responsibility for that or not. When I shared with the parents what had gone on in class they got a good laugh and the realization that ‘little pictures have big ears’. Moms and dads what are you teaching those precious ones God has given you watch-care over? Be still and listen to them some time and find your answer.

In regard to Pure Joy news we are officially full regarding our registrations for the Poland retreat. We actually started a waiting list last week and encourage those interested to go ahead and sign up on the waiting list. Most retreats we end up with people that have come back to the states for some reason or another and we are able to move women off the waiting list to the actually retreat. Our theme for Poland is, “Trust His Word”. The verse is Psalms 119: 11. Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

I ask all of you to start praying for the Poland retreat and the sponsoring churches. Right now we have one sponsoring church. We need 3 more. If your church is interested please contact us and I will be glad to contact you and spend time with you.

Also, wanted to encourage you to be praying for us as we have another trip that we are working out details on. It is being held in an undisclosed area. Your prayers and support are important to us regarding this trip. We have a church that is taking donations towards this trip as a missions project for their women’s ministry in Albuquerque. We are so excited about that because we will not have specific sponsoring churches for this retreat. Therefore we are praying for and counting on donations from you as you feel led. The team will be made up of a very small group of women that have experience traveling with the ministry. I will have Patty put together a estimated cost of the retreat and post it after I have met with our ministry staff next week.

Praying for all of you that you are allowing God to stretch you and be your El Shaddai.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Back From Venezuela

Greetings Bloggers!
We have retruned from our retreat in Venezuela and I wanted to post a video blog for you that I recorded on the last day of the retreat. We were using a new video camera, thanks to Janice, and it has taken Patty a little while to get the video off and posted to YouTube so that we could link it to our blog. Enjoy this little taste of Venezuela for now and be watching for more reports from the retreat soon.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Raising Finances not Food...

Ok just a quick clarification before you watch the clip. I meant to say we are raising funds to support the missionaries that are coming to Venezuela. But it came out raising foods. Actually, we were eating the food to raise the funds! Enjoy the video!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Back in the Blog Business

FYI - you can watch this video in high quality by going to the YouTube web site and clicking on watch in high quality.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vickie On The Road

Greetings followers of Vickie's blog posts!

Just wanted to let you know that she is not skipping out on her duties, but is in South Carolina attending a Global Impact Conference at North Greenville University. I'm sure she will have exciting news to share from the trip when she returns, so keep checking back. Hopefully she will be able to get a blog out to you all by the first part of next week.

In the mean time keep praying for the Venezuela retreat - we are on the count down now and are trusting God to provide every provision needed. If you are not registered as a Friend of Pure Joy please take time to do that on our web page at so that you will receive all the Venezuela news as soon as it becomes available.

Blessings to all

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hello All...

I am trying to not give up writing on the blog just because we have our new little video camera ‘Hoodie Leggs’. However, I’d be telling a lie if I didn’t tell you it would be easy to do! But, setting down to type to you takes a little more discipline so I will keep it in the line up because Abba knows I can always use more discipline in my life.

I am officially off church staff today for the first time in 15 years. Wow! I am so excited to see how God works. I have a Board of Directors over me that leave me with no concern about having a covering. It is so sweet how God provides those things for us single ladies. After all the LORD our God is our Husband. Isaiah 54:5.

It is so funny to realize how much of your brain space is being taken up thinking about people and things in a ministry that you don’t realize until you no longer feel the responsibility for it. Now I can use that space for Pure Joy completely. That should scare somebody! Ha,ha,ha,ha

As you know we are closing in on our Venezuela trip. I pray that all the missionary women there are praying for us as we pray for them. It is always a sweet time for the team as we start getting closer to our departure date. I find myself saying out loud to others, “We’re going to Venezuela!” You kind of have to be here to get the full effect of that! Ha,ha,ha

My summer garden is just about to bite the dust. I have received a few tomatoes and green peppers. The cantaloupes are holding out on me. I may have two or three that make it to a normal size. I have learned that I have my garden in a place that does not get enough sun. It looks right now how I look when I don’t get enough ‘Son’. I think you know what I’m saying.

I want to encourage all of you that turn to this blog site for even a glimpse. Be in the Word daily. Talk with HIM daily. Keep the intimacy in your relationship REAL!!!

Isn’t it the Greatest thing to know that we can have a personal relationship with the One and Only living God!!!!!!! You gotta LOVE THAT!!!!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Exciting Ministry News!!!

Watch the video below for the latest news about how God is taking Pure Joy International Retreat Ministry to a new level.

Monday, August 4, 2008

First Video Blog

On Saturday, Aug. 2, we held our second yardsale to raise funds to support our upcoming mission trip to Venezuela. God was faithful and it was successful despite the HEAT! We have been experiencing temperatures over 100 degrees for several days and Saturday was no exception. Below is a video report on the sale. We hope that adding video to our blogs will be a way to make our blog time with you more personal. Keep praying for Venezuela!


Monday, July 21, 2008

God's Ever So Wonderful Ways...

Wednesday morning of this past week I did something really out of the norm for me. I canceled and rescheduled all my counseling appointments and took the day off to spend with David and Denise Brown the Pastor and his wife from Elko, Nevada. They had come to Arkansas to visit family and friends. We headed out early Wednesday morning and headed to Heber Springs, AR a beautiful area of our state. Denise’s mom and dad live in Heber Springs where their home backs up to beautiful Greer’s Ferry Lake. It is for sure a site to behold and peaceable. I spent the late morning and early afternoon watching children and teens jump from the cliffs into the cool water, the kids riding the inner tube behind the Wave Runner, and two adult women (I wasn’t one of them) standing on the cliffs for 20-30 mins. trying to work up the gumption to make the jump. Now that was entertaining! My little lawn chair under the shade tree provided an excellent real life view of fun at the lake house! I also had the wonderful opportunity to visit with Denise’s mom and dad, Doris and J.C. George. However, the thing I loved the most about the day was God’s wonderful reminder of His touch on this ministry.

As I sat at their food bar enjoying things I should not have been eating I noticed a missionary prayer card lying on the bar. I picked it up and saw the name and that the young girl was a missionary in Venezuela. I said, “You guys, this girl is one of our missionaries that has signed up for the Venezuela trip. How do you know her?” They shared with me that this was their Worship Minister’s daughter at FBC there at Heber Springs. Now I ask you what are those chances. With God as I read once, 1 in 1! How sweet to already have a face to go with the name we have been praying for now well over two months. Truly, His ways NEVER cease to amaze me!

Please remember our ladies in Venezuela and our Team members as the action really starts to take off from this point on! Lot’s of details to take care of between now and Oct.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Please Pray...

Ok, so can we just say that this blogging thing is a major weakness in my life! I’m just not good about it. So, I’ve decided I really don’t understand the principle of it. So, maybe if some of you could write me and give me a motive for this I might become better at it. I am somewhat of the attitude of my friend and board member Kenny which suggested there are only twelve disciples so I should only have to blog 1 time a month which equals 12. What does that have to do with anything, nothing!! Which is why I enjoy Kenny so much! ha,ha

All kidding aside we did have a wonderful time in Nevada and God did some awesome ministry there. We saw several come to know the LORD and to be baptized. We are believing great things for that church in Elko, Nevada.

Things are in full swing for our trip to Venezuela. Now all the details of the trip start happening. For me this is really the absolute fun part because you start really hearing from God and His plans for the ladies there in Venezuela. Please join us in praying for the missionary women there. We will be ministering to women from many different venues. Following is a prayer list of needs:

• Pray for each woman that has registered to attend. Register as a Friend of Pure Joy to obtain the prayer list. (Note: We are not always able to share this information.)
• Pray for their husbands and children that will be left at home as they attend. Pray this also for team members that will leave family behind to go.
• Pray for the ministries the ladies work in to be in order so they are not distracted by that while attending.
• Pray for all the things God would want to speak to us (the team) about their needs during our prayer times.
• Pray for our travel as a team to and fro.
• Pray for the speakers that we will speak only as God has directed each of us.
• Pray for the finances for team members and for sponsorship of the missionary women. It cost $400 to sponsor a woman for this retreat with the ministry actually having to absorb some extra cost because of the economic status of the country. God is faithful and HE has never failed to provide. Are you to be a part of this provision?
• Pray that we will be His testimony to not only those ladies to encourage and refresh them but to the staff of the facility where we are staying.
• Pray, Pray, Pray, and then Pray some more!

Ok, so remember…..encourage me about this blogging thing!!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sanibonani! (Hello in Zulu, one of the eleven official languages in South Africa)

Somehow Vickie has managed to escape her favorite weekly opportunity of writing a blog again! (I can't believe I'm encouraging this sort of behavior!) Patty, this is for you because as I was brushing my teeth this morning, Vickie asks, "HEY! I've got a great idea. What if you write this blog to give me extra time to come up with something of my own?" In my own disapproving way, I ask if it's really in her best interest. And she replies that you (Patty) are expecting something like this.

My name is Sarah Walters. I am in Elko, Nevada with Vickie and the First Baptist Church of Morrilton to work with Shiloh Bible Church. My job this year entails me teaching kids about missions in South Africa as they are encouraged to bring money to buy soccer balls to send to Operation Kid-to-Kid. (Hence the greeting!) This is my third year in Elko with this church.

It's funny how God gets our attention. As some of you know, I (Sarah) used to work at FBC, and God tenderly led me to resign to fulfill his calling in my education. This past semester, during a small group Bible study our topic was GO UNTIL YOU GET A NO! Vickie had already contacted me about the trip to Elko to give me dates, and I knew the topic of Bible study that night was God's affirmation that I was to be on this trip.

Vickie and I are staying with a couple named Deb and Kevin who are just the sweetest people and best hosts. They really know how to make us feel like we have a home away from home. This week, our team (made up of Shiloh Bible Church and FBC Morrilton) is having VBS for the kids of Elko. Last year, our numbers were in the high 30s. This year God has knocked our socks off and by Wednesday has blessed us with 53 kids and we still have two remaining days!

Not only is God moving amongst the children, he is doing a mighty work during our revival services. They are TRUE revival services! Monday night during the service, Vickie felt led of God to share with us that if you are living in the past, you can't live in the present. She also said, if you are living in the future you can't live in the present. God wants us to live in the here and now. He wants us to be aware of what is going on around us right now, not lingering on our mistakes from the past or the "what ifs" of the future. What she didn't know was that Monday morning my Words from God came from Isaiah 43:18- 21. Vs. 18-19 states, "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" God used this verse to prepare my heart for the true revival to begin that night. I witnessed the altar as it became flooded with adults, students, and children, praying and asking God to help them leave things from the past in the past, and to live in the present. Tuesday night was another amazing night as God opened the flood gates of heaven once again as more than 10 people can forward to either pronounce their faith in Christ or another commitment recently made to him.

WOW, GOD! Jesus is so amazing. I am SO THANKFUL for this opportunity to be in Elko with Shiloh Bible Church and FBC Morrilton as we continue to see our Lord move in MIGHTY, MIGHTY ways!!!

So now, you can understand why Vickie hasn't posted yet, and I promise Vickie will post her own blog soon...I will MAKE SURE of it!! :)

Sarah Walters

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yard Sale - NOT My Spiritual Gift!!

Ok, so granted you haven’t had a blog from me in over a week. Yes, Patty has been on me about it but to no avail because my focus has been on this Yard Sale thing. I realize as I type these words there are millions of you out there that absolutely think Yard Sales are the next best thing to grandma and apple pie. And I am happy about that for each of you. But...I don’t see it that way so much.

Truth is I am not a big shopper by nature. I am one of those get in the store get what I need and get out. It is almost as if it is an army maneuver. Along with that mentality therefore comes the inability to really understand the price of things. I get what works and get out!

So, when we decided to do our 1st Annual Pure Joy Yard Sale I did what any one with any working brain cells would do that shops like me……..I found someone else to be the leader of this operation. My precious friend Penny was the perfect person to lead us through this battle. She has been on a mission trip with us and is going with our team to Venezuela. But, most importantly she is a shopper. I’m telling you if shopping could be a spiritual gift that would be one of hers!!! She knows how to bargain shop and she knows the price of things. My mom and several other women came along side her and they began marking that stuff with all these different color dots and white stickers, etc. I am telling you it was a well executed Yard Sale!

Finally, Saturday came and with it the opportunity for us to pray in faith that God would not let one drop of water touch us that day even though we were surrounded by clouds, thunder and lighting and the storm that has fallen upon us hours earlier knocking the electricity out for many. He granted us favor and we had a great turn out and made enough money to support 5 of our missionaries that will be attending the Venezuela retreat in October!

Granted we did have a few wounded warriors when it was all over Saturday because a person can only bend and lift things so many times. But, all made it to worship yesterday with smiles on their faces! I think they may have been wearing masks. Hmmmmm


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Worship beyond compare and being an Optimist….

What a glorious opportunity I had Sunday night as I attended church with my Pastor’s daughter that attends NLR First Assembly of God church. Their Choir and Worship Team took us straight to the throne room of God!! It was a glorious time in the LORD!

Well, today I was accused of being an eternal optimist by my dear friend, Patty. Being the optimist that I am I even took that as a compliment! (chuckle)

A little later on in the day I found this story on the web and couldn’t resist….

Optimist vs. Pessimist

A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom and gloom pessimist.

Just to see what would happen, on the twins' birthday their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist's room he loaded with horse manure.

That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly. "Why are you crying?" the father asked.

"Because my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I'll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken." answered the pessimist twin.

Passing the optimist twin's room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. "What are you so happy about?" he asked.

To which his optimist twin replied, "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"

Now that is what I’m talking about!

However, I am trying to find some balance in my life regarding this optimism. But, that balance usually only last about an hour or so because I believe God wants us to see the good in every situation. Granted it can take me a while to get there some times but He is Faithful and I do get there!

Whether you are in the room with the toys or you are in the room looking for the pony you can be sure of this, “our Abba is with us, don’t miss the opportunity to talk with HIM.

Continue to pray for the Venezuela retreat and the missionaries that will be attending!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lipstick kisses...

Well, I had a ‘first’ requested of me Tuesday evening by a 1st grader. I had made a trip up the road to Jonesboro, AR to meet with some of the ladies going to Venezuela with us in October of this year. As is my custom I spend the night in the home of some very dear ministry friends Jeff and Wendy Stotts, Jeff serves on staff at Central Baptist in Jonesboro, and Wendy, his wife, is going with us on the Venezuela trip. They have three children, Wade, Will, and Melody. Please note that Melody, while the last in the litter, is by far not the least. She would for sure be considered their strong willed child! Ever noticed how sometimes these little darling’s also have this cleverness and wittiness about them that keeps you torn between bringing harm to them or just trying not to let them see you laugh at how clever and witty they are! That would be Melody.

As usual when I arrived in their home Melody made her way to me. We have had a special bond for some time. I always know that from the time I hit the door until she goes to bed I will be Velcro and she will be stuck to me. Tuesday night was no exception. However, when it became bed time she made a very interesting request, “ Ms. Vickie will I see you in the morning? “ Answer, “No honey, I will be up and gone by 5:30 a.m. and you will still be a sleep.” “Well then would you leave a lipstick kiss on my forehand in the morning before you leave?” Hmmmmmmm “Ok” I replied. So, she went to bed with that promise tucked away in her mind. When I spend the night with Jeff and Wendy I get Melody’s room and she gets to sleep with mom and dad. I suspect she does that a lot no matter if someone is using her room or not (chuckle). Ok, making plans to prepare for this event the next morning I went to Jeff and Wendy and said, “Just wanted you to know I will be coming into your room in the morning before I leave to give Melody a lipstick kiss.” When I did this I noticed that they had a blow up mattress beside their bed and Melody was in it. Good, I thought. I can slide in, give her the lipstick kiss and slide out in the morning and not bother them. Jeff and I sat up and visited a while longer and then off to bed I went. At 4:30 a.m. the alarm went off and I got up, getting ready so I can make the 2 ½ - 3 hr. drive to Morrilton. Just before I get ready to walk out the door I put on my lipstick for the task. I made sure it was on good and thick. You know the Lord wants us to do all things with excellence. Why would a lipstick kiss be any different!
So, I opened the door to Jeff and Wendy’s room and it was soooooooo dark I couldn’t see a thing. Since I knew the general area of the blow up mattress from the night before I flipped open my cell phone to get a tad of light and horror of horrors Melody was not there! Of course it only took my brain less than a blink to know that the child was on the bed with mom and dad somewhere! Sooooooooo, I walk to the end of the bed and sure enough there she is, smack dab in the middle of mom and dad in this BIG KING SIZE bed! I ask you, should an almost 54 year old women have this kind of decision to make this early in the morning: Honor the lipstick kiss and for sure wake up both parents because I WILL HAVE to climb onto the bed to reach her or slip out and call it even? Right! Of course you can’t break a lipstick promise! Sooooooooooo, I climbed up in the bed and as I am trying to find her forehead amongst the blond locks of hair, Mom and Dad both are awaken! How stupid can I feel? Pretty stupid! However, I did finally get enough hair out of her face to put a lipstick kiss on her cheek. Mom and Dad smiled as much as you can at an intruder in your bed at that time of morning and I, finally having finished the task, head home. Now the big question is was it worth it? The answer came when later on in the day Wendy called me about some details for our Venezuela trip and also informed me that Melody went to the mirror when she got up to see if I had kept my lipstick kiss promise. Not seeing the lipstick kiss on her forehand she told her mom I hadn’t given her the kiss but then Mom pointed her in the direction of her cheek and there it was.

And there you have it…all is well that ends well! The lipstick kiss is what I call real ministry!

Keep praying for our 50 missionaries that will be attending the Venezuela retreat and the team as it continues to come together.


Monday, May 5, 2008

The two C's in my life ...

As, I pen this blog this morning I am chuckling at myself. The two C’s in my life this weekend have been reminders of my journey with Breast Cancer and my journey with being technically challenged, Computers!

Over the weekend our community had its annual Relay for Life Event at our local High School Track. Many of you Survivors or Over-comers as I like to call us will know what I am talking about because many of your communities do some of the same things.

It started on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. with the opening ceremony of the Survivors and Caretakers taking the first lap around the track, then from that point on someone on our team from FBC Morrilton had to be on the track until 7:00 a. m. Saturday morning. Since, my breast cancer journey in 2006 I will have to say walking that lap stirs up more emotion in me than I can even share. It reminds me of what I went through and it reminds me of my mom (Caregiver) and others that ministered and prayed for me during the time of surgery, Chemo, and radiation. It also, brings home to me those that were taken by the killer (Cancer) and those that are fighting for their lives even as I write this blog. It is a place where you can talk with those that really understand your journey. Many of you, like myself, continue to be on medications such as Tamoxifin for your cancer treatment which brings on a whole other set of issues in the Surviving and Overcoming category. So, this ‘C’ this weekend has again been a reminder.

The second ‘C’ computer stirs up many emotions in me as well. Not good ones I might add. In fact, my words to Patty earlier this morning went something like, “ I have tried everything I know to do (regarding my wireless connection failure). I found my self mostly frustrated because I could not for the life of me get a ‘real person’ on the service repair line. It wasn’t even an option. And please tell me how I can type in their information to resolve the problem by internet when I CAN”T get on the internet!
Is it just me or how hard is that one to figure out? Hmmmm. I might still have some strong feelings going on about it all, still. Anyway, after a little over an hour of trying to figure it out on my own and sensing in me the feelings welling up to want to toss my laptop out on the front lawn (did I mention through the pane glass window). I did the rational thing and called Patty. Shared with her my mind set about the lap top and the window. She offered to come and help. However, the minute I hung up the phone my wireless connection made its appearance. I feel confident that my laptop and the phone company that handles my wireless heard me mention her name and poof it was working!

For the remainder of this day I would like to be reminded of only one ‘C’. Christ Jesus my Savior! That trumps all other ‘C’s!

Speaking of the weekend, the team that went to Costa Rica got together for food, fellowship, sharing and prayer! It was a most wonderful time in the LORD and a great opportunity to continue to see and hear the fruit of Pure Joy in the life of the team and the ladies in Costa Rica. God is soooooo FAITHFUL to HIMSELF!

Please continue to pray for our Venezuela missionaries and the Team that will be going to Venezuela. We have to lock in names and numbers by the end of this week. Pray that the team will be exactly as God desires and that every missionary that God intends to be at this retreat will be there!

Love you all much!


Monday, April 28, 2008

Blog Entries...

Ok, so like I thought I would get a jump on Patty being on me about blogging this week. And unless I hear from her in the next 20 minuets I will have succeeded, because it takes me about that long to figure out what I’m saying here. You know I must admit there are times I envy (yes, I know it is sin, forgive me!) some of my friends that are capable of writing so very well. There are days I am not sure I am communicating well in real life much less in writing! I get tickled at some of my friends that just think blogging is so much fun. That must be a portion in my brain that is missing. The only thing that motivates me (beside Patty giving me the “you need to blog statement and look”) is all of you! I do like talking with you, and sharing with you.

So, speaking of sharing, we are doing a major big garage sale to raise money to help sponsor some of our missionaries that are coming to Venezuela. I want to challenge some of you to have a garage sale and pave the way for a missionary to come to the retreat. And then I would like to hear some of you on this blog sharing what God did through your effort. Pure Joy has scheduled our garage sale for June 14, 2008. And I can promise you we will be blogging about it! Did I tell you I’m not big on garage sales and the like? However, my Mom and my Aunt can leave you in the dust when it comes to a bargain! I actually see women and men take great joy in preparing for garage sales. Hmmmm, guess that portion of my brain is missing too. I better end this blog before we figure out I’m missing my entire mind! Ha,ha,ha,


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Clovis, New Mexico ... Sweet Time

Well, there are not really enough words to say what a sweet time that was had in Clovis. Patty went as my Asst. to keep me out of trouble and do some music I had asked her to do for me during the message. God is always so good to surround me with gifted people where I am weak. Sometimes, I think I must be a total weakling because I have a lot of gifted friends on all fronts!!! As for keeping me out of trouble, that is for sure a God job!!

The theme for the conference was “Get a Job”. As you suspect it was about getting on with the work of the kingdom in the body of Christ. The morning message was “Are you qualified to be a worker in the kingdom”? Hmmmm… good question. We have to have qualifications to work in the secular world. We also talked briefly about what happens when a person gets a job where they aren’t qualified. How does that affect those that work with them, etc.

So, in case you are curious about what those qualifications were, Jesus identified them for us in the Book of John chapter 3:5-6. “Truly, Truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” So physical birth (your mom gave you that no matter the circumstances). Spiritual birth (only God can give you that no matter the circumstances).

In the afternoon message we talked about things that keep us from working in the kingdom. We had fun looking at some of the excuses people come up with in real life about why they aren’t working and or missing work. It is equally as interesting to see why we some aren’t working in the kingdom. We looked at many different angles. We talked of the enemy’s hand to keep us unavailable for work, etc.

As we sought Him together, some became qualified workers, some got free to start showing up for work, some really begin to see that God has a ministry for all of us and I suspect some finally were able to settle the issue that they may be serving in the wrong area and need God to direct them to the right position.

Spiritual Seekers put on this conference and the Team from Clovis headed up by Mati Tharp was absolutely wonderful.

Lot’s of fun with girls that love Jesus! We had a very good praise and worship band. Truthfully, it was an example to the ladies that attended to see the body of Christ working together to minister to them through hospitality, administration, serving, worship, teaching, etc.

Thank you Clovis, New Mexico and all you precious Saints of the LORD for loving on us while we were there. God spoke very boldly to me while we were ministering at the end of the first message. Believe it or not it was to make sure I understood my job position. I got it loud and clear!

Please remember to pray for Venezuela as we have almost 20 missionary women that have signed up for this so far and we are not even close to our dead line for registration. God is so good. If you would like to become a prayer partner and personally be praying for some of these women by name please go to and click on the Register as a Friend button to become a prayer partner.

Well, we continue at our church to do the study by Beth Moore on “Stepping Up”. I tell you it is a great study and it is killing me!! In a good way!! You have to love how God uses others to mold and shape us to be able to minister to others. I’d have to say that this study has for sure been a sculpting knife in my tool box. Praise God again for all of you that use your gifts for the building up and edifying of the body of Christ!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring has sprung ... NOT!

Ok, so I don’t know what is going on where you are but I am suppose to be comfortably wearing Capri’s and sandals, etc. But noooooo… Today, again I had to throw on a turtle neck under my blouse to keep me comfortably warm. And for those of you that can relate the most annoying thing is that you seem to never have a hot flash when it would be convenient for you. It is always when it is convenient for the hot flash. Hmmp. There is something to be said for those places some of you live in where the temperatures steady year round. But, then again you are probably missing the snow, or spring flowers, or something. Figures, doesn’t it.

Things continue to keep coming together for the Venezuela retreat. God is so good to have given us a wonderful contact person on the field there. He has been a blessing in working diligently with our team here to work out details. The dates of the retreat are fixed Oct. 7-9, 2008. Right now we are praying though our days on the front and back of the retreat. It is going to be a pretty tight trip as far as travel. Prayer warriors stay strong in the battle, (yes, battle), because any work that is done at His direction is under attack! Remember, along with others around you, that you are about the business of kingdom work, as I know God is keeping perfect watch care over each pair of eyes reading this blog.

I want to encourage you ladies out there concerning 2009. We have 4 potential retreats coming up. That means the opportunity for many of you to be a part of this ministry through your church is great. Please contact me if you are impressed by God’s leading to be involved in GOING. Send me contact information so we can talk.

Don’t forget to pray for our missionary women stationed all over the world, their marriages, family, health, friendship, needs, and above all else their hearts as they serve our Risen Savior for His Glory and kingdoms’ sake.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Egypt forever in my Heart and Venezuela on the horizon…

Greetings friends of Pure Joy from this small corner of the world.
I apologize for the silence for so long. Truthfully, soon after our trip to Costa Rica I left on a trip to Egypt to minister with a ministry called Rock International that ministers to street children. Ruth McWhite one of our Pure Joy board members accompanied me on the trip so I would not be traveling alone and to bring her expertise to ministering to others as well. I had the privilege of providing some training for some of the nationals that have a heart to work with the street kids. Please remember the nationals in prayer for we have NO clue what they are up against in their journey to reach these kids for Christ. And trust me when I say Christ is their only hope. Christ is our only hope too, but you actually get that when you are among this culture! This is my second week since returning from Egypt and I can gladly say that I am finally beginning to rise up out of the depression that set in on me after my return. I am still gleaning from the LORD things I saw and was exposed to while there. On the brighter side I met some absolutely wonderful people that love our Lord and Savior and are serving Him diligently. Praise God for the opportunities to see Him at work throughout this world!!!

Changing gears ………Calling in all prayer friends:
Details are coming together as we prepare for our next retreat which will be in Venezuela. Please begin to pray as the sponsoring churches, team members, and details begin to unfold on this side. Also, pray for our ladies in Venezuela to hear of this opportunity and register on line at Our theme for Venezuela is “Love Story” The Power of the Cross. Our verse is 1 Cor 1:18, for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Please begin to pray as God brings the speakers for this retreat, the praise and worship team, hospitality persons, activity persons, etc. Pray for all our arrangements in Venezuela to continue to fall in to place and pray that God will give us favor at every turn. Pray about if you are also to help sponsor a missionary to this retreat. Our cost per missionary this trip has gone up $50 dollars due to the economy of the country. Cost per missionary is $400 to provide for their room and board in a nice environment, materials for the conference, gifts, etc. for three days two nights. I encourage you to pray about teaming up with some of your girlfriends and sponsoring a missionary for this trip. See the web site above to learn how to be a part of this ministry through giving.

I am headed to Clovis, New Mexico in a few weeks to minister with a ministry called “Spiritual Seekers”. I have had the opportunity to minister with them in the Oklahoma/Texas area in the past. This will be my first time with the New Mexico girls! Please pray as I continue to prepare messages based on their theme, “Get a Job!!” The topic has to do with the obvious ‘servanthood’ in the body of Christ. Yes, God did prepare in advance those good works He intended us to do. Pray that as a result of our time together the ladies will realize that God is intentional and He has gifted us each for his purposes. Meaning, no one has ever invited me to head up their hospitality ministry! To know me is to know why! However, God does intend for me to have a heart of hospitality. He just doesn’t really want me decorating the table or anything else. He has however taught me many things over the years about hospitality from some of you Martha Stewarts that I really appreciate!

Keep checking the blog for updates on the Venezuela retreat.


Monday, March 3, 2008

God Weekend...

I just returned from a GIC (Global Impact Conference) in Jonesboro, AR. For those of you that don’t know what that is: it is when a church brings in missionaries from the local community, state, nation, and overseas to spend time with their church family and share needs and opportunities for all ages. Many partnerships with local churches and missions organizations take place as a result of this time together. Larry Bailey, the Missions Minister of Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro, does know how to throw a great GIC conference with 9+ years of experience putting them together!

Pure Joy was invited because we are missionaries to the missionaries. Patty, who you all know as our techno person, attended the retreat with me. We spent time with 3 ladies Sunday School Groups there at Central. Friday night we had a meal with them, how many people know that you can’t beat a potluck with a group of women cooking! I truly have to say I personally had to confess sin over the gluttony I participated in. I then was able to share with them for a while about Pure Joy and how they could be a part of what God is doing through Pure Joy. Saturday morning we had breakfast at a wonderful restaurant. Again, I left there confessing sin. Then we went to a fellowship for all missionaries attend the event. While there we made connections for two possible retreats in 2009 one in Jordan and another in Mexico. Believe it or not I left there without the sin of gluttony.

We then attended a luncheon for women. There we heard a wonderful speaker as she encouraged us to be on mission for God. If I had eaten the second Snicker Doodle cookie I would have crossed over into sin but luckily someone else got to it first and took the opportunity for sin away.

We then had the afternoon free, so I took that opportunity to meet with some key people regarding our Venezuela Retreat coming up in Sept or Oct of this year. We had a sweet time of planning and you will be able to see our theme, verse, etc. soon for the Venezuela trip by going to www.purejoyinternational and clicking on Venezuela. Melinda Emerson our graphics design guru is the best!

We then attended a banquet for the church and the missionaries. Walker Moore, Awe Star Ministries, was the speaker and did an awesome job! The rest of the night was free so some of us girls made our way to a very important place in my life…..a coffee shop. In case you don’t know this about me yet, coffee and some blood runs through my veins. They almost had to have me carried out off the coffee plantation when we were in Costa Rica. Just awesome, the smell, the coffee, the chocolate beans, etc.

And then finally Sunday morning the sweetest opportunity was in being able to share with the three ladies classes a word from God and about Pure Joy. Those sweet ladies went together and purchased a HDTV flat screen TV for our ministry to be used at events such as theirs along with extra money left over towards a new laptop for the ministry. The blessings were overwhelming. The most precious thing they gave us was encouragement and hearts for JESUS!! What a Jesus weekend! Thank you ladies of Dorothy Jackson’s, Charlotte Greenwood’s, and Kathy Farley’s Classes at Central Baptist for all you did to encourage our mission with God! Keep praying, giving, going wherever HE calls you to be a part!

We left Central yesterday afternoon with three possible trips on the pages for 2009, Poland, Mexico, and Jordan. Please pray and see if God would have you be a part of any of those trips and please begin to pray as God puts together the team and resources for Venezuela.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Missionary Shares Her Heart...

It is always such affirmation to our ministry when we hear these heart felt words from our missioary sisters following a retreat. I wanted everyone to be able to catch a glimspe of what God did in Costa Rica through reading this email from one of the missionaries that attended the Costa Rica Retreat. Thank you ladies for sharing your stories with His women around the world.

Dear Pure Joy Costa Rica retreat team,
Words can not express my gratitude to you and the Lord for your overwhelming love that was showed during the Pure Joy retreat. When I heard about the retreat I had no expectations. I am a "strong" woman and Ladies' retreats aren't my thing. After checking your web-site and seeing that you weren't a cult, just Baptists, I figured that theologically you would be OK and at least I would get a nice few days at a fancy hotel for free. I didn't have anything to lose so I signed up.

The Lord began working on my heart the minute that you all greeted me when I arrived. You each acted as if you were seeing a long lost friend and now I know why. When you told me that you had been praying for me, I couldn't believe it. How could you be praying for me..a stranger? My heart began to soften.

But you know what....I was still guarded and skeptical. After all, I am a "strong" missionary. Then Vickie gave her testimony and I was blown away. She wasn't a stereotypical Barbie doll Baptist who walked down the isle at an alter call in her church as a child. (Vickie, you may not be a Barbie doll but you are more beautiful than Barbie both inside and out.) I loved the fact that she had lived a real life with real problems and that God met her right where she was. Thank you for being so transparent. It ministered to me and I felt like from that moment on, I could trust you.

Then Marsha spoke. Surprise, surprise. She didn't fit my stereotype either. She had lived the missionary life (which I am sure Barbie could never do) and was also transparent. Well, I guess I wasn't too surprised when Kathy didn't turn out to be Barbie either. In fact, I think that my greatest weakness is just like her...I am too strong. (Kathy, I have never wanted to go on a prayer retreat either and I certainly would have taken a nap on the blanket.) Then Merry Beth spoke. Well, Merry Beth, you almost fooled me, but when you shared from your heart about what happened with your children right before you were going to lead those prayer rallies I knew that you weren't Barbie either becaue she would never have anything but perfect kids. (I think maybe you are a GI Jane disguised in a Barbie
figure!) Amazing, 4 very real women....not plastic Barbie dolls.

I can't tell you how each of you ministered to me with your transparency about your own lives. The deepness of your walk with the Lord was so evident and the Bible truths that you taught blew me away. You are all awesome teachers and public speakers. You qualify to be in a colosium teaching at a convention but instead you came to Costa Rica to minister to us. What a gift from the Lord.

Each of the rest of you had such a vital part in the behind the scenes working of this retreat. You were such a team, each with your specific role that you did so well. Everything was excellently organized and carried out and you pampered us so much. We needed to be loved and we received your outpouring of it. Thank you for all the preparation, prayer and long hours you put in, to minister to us.

For me, more than all the beutiful gifts, the presentation that they were given to us in filled me up. I am so glad that you Martha Stewerts came along. We don't have all those beautiful gift bags, ribbons, bright colors and fru fru here in Costa Rica. Just walking in the rooms and seeing the beautiful presentations on each table, took my breath away. Then there were all the wonderful things inside the bag. I was just longing for some nice lotion like they sell at Bath and Body works. Well, I now have enough lotion for not only myself but for all my friends too!

The last day, when I entered the lunch room and saw all the cards, I got a knot in my throat. I was overwhelmed that there were so many people praying for me, even without knowing me. It just reinforced for me, how much God cares about me. Do you know, that in my pile of cards, there was even a Valentines Day card. That just made me cry out because a few weeks ago I asked our Sunday School class to please send me Valentines Day cards. With e-mail, I rarely get mail anymore and I just so love looking at beautiful cards. I love pink and hearts so I was longing for some of those Valentines Day beauties. And here, the Lord knew and had someone send me one through you.

It was so nice to be on the receiving end for a change. Thank you for all that you did for me at Pure Joy in Costa Rica.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Costa Rica….God Does It Again!!

As I sit here at the Costa Rica Airport waiting for our Team to return to the states I am overwhelmed by God’s continual Faithfulness to Pure Joy International. This retreat, like each retreat, was exactly what God had in store for this group of women. What a beautiful group of missionary women coming together from so many missions organizations.

As with each retreat words cannot possible be enough to reveal the things God accomplished in the lives of the missionary women and this team during the past 7 days. He knows every little detail and the importance of it to our lives. I shared with our team last night during our team briefing that it is amazing to me how God works each specific retreat to His Glory!!! One of the ladies said to me last night, “Surely we are the best team you have ever had?” I laughed and said, “You are the best team for this retreat!” We all had a good laugh from it. Every retreat is different and each team is the best team for that retreat.

I want to thank everyone of you that gave to the Costa Rica Retreat. The one thing that the ladies really acknowledged was that it was very obviously to them that much prayer has gone into our time with them. They cannot believe that so many of you are praying for them. I want to encourage those of you that have been praying for the retreat to write comments on this blog about how praying for the missionary women has affected your life. I have also asked the missionary women to take time to write on the blog to you and share how God used the retreat in their lives, so be watching for that in the weeks to come.

Well, time to board, but just wanted to briefly say to all of you Friends of Pure Joy….THANK YOU FOR LOVING JESUS AND LETTING US IN ON IT!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Room For Three!

Good afternoon bloggers! We are hitting our deadline this Wednesday for any missionary women in the Costa Rica or surrounding area that would like to sign up for Pure Joy’s Costa Rica Retreat for Women Missionaries. Don’t missing this opportunity if you have not signed up yet. We will receive no more registrations after 5:00 on Wednesday afternoon. To register please go to and click on registration.

The Costa Rica Retreat team is absolutely getting more and more excited about what God is up to for this retreat! It is going to be such a sweet time in the LORD, full of encouragement, worship, fellowship, and fun!!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to do a lock-in with our 3rd through 6th graders at my home church. The previous weekend I had the opportunity to minister to a group of women from Paragould, AR. at a ladies retreat on the lake in a wonderful lake house. Funny thing, the women stayed up most of the night just like those kids. So what is it with staying up all night when we get to go to these things? My body is confused about it all!! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha

Both of those events were of great joy to me personally. In fact that group of women in Paragould took up an offering to sponsor one of our missionary women in Costa Rica and then some. At our kids lock-in I had the opportunity to lead a young 11 year old to the LORD! Sweetest thing in the world to watch JESUS capture the heart of a child!!!! While I’m on this subject…when is the last time you shared your testimony with someone? Believe it or not there are people that live and work around us every day that do not know how to enter into that eternal relationship! A testimony is just the thing to spring open the door of conversation. Overcome your own fears and step out in bold faith trusting the Spirit of God to give you the right words at the right time! Remember, God’s timing is perfect and He is the Savior not you and I! We are however responsible to share the Good News!

Just a quick note to finish…I just visited with a 10 year-old that attended the lock-in Friday as well. He informed me that he was saved on Christmas Eve! I wish you could have heard this young mans testimony. Wow! Out of the mouth of babes! Anyway, we talked about baptism today and this Sunday he will follow the LORD in this act of obedience! I share the two stories with you today to remind you, God is at working drawing men, women, and children to Him near and far! We are all missionaries for the kingdom!!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Closing in on Costa Rica

Okay friends, approximately five weeks and counting! Costa Rica is coming into focus as we spend these last five weeks in preparation. Funny about putting together a retreat like this. It reminds me of baking which will make some of you that know me laugh out loud! First you have to decide what kind of cake you want to make. Then you have to go about the business of finding the ingredients for that particular cake because that is what makes it that cake! Next you have to be sure to measure out the right amount of those ingredients as you begin to mix it together and then you spend time stirring it so it can really blend well. Last comes pouring it into a prepared pan and putting it in the oven to cook. Then when it comes out, it looks WONDERFUL (that is a faith statement…ha!) and you put on the final touch of icing and it is ready to be served, savored and enjoyed!!

Having said all of that, I suspect as of today we are in the measuring out the ingredients part of the recipe for our Coast Rica Cake. We meet as a team at Eastside Baptist in Ft. Smith this coming Sunday afternoon to really begin mixing and stirring the ingredients so please be praying for us! Can you imagine 16 women working on one cake! That is a miracle before we ever leave the country!!! Ha…ha!


P.S. We could have baked a just add egg and water cake but Nahhhhh! Our missionary women deserve better than that!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hear a Team Members Heart

Hey Guys, I thought you would enjoy hearing about a ministry that Kathy Coleman, one of our Costa Rica team members is involved in. I asked her to give me some information on here it is.

A Ladies' Retreat is what changed my life! In 1995, I began a walk with God that took me into uncharted territories. As I began to pray with 3 other women after this retreat for God's will in my life, God took me to an article about moms in Brazil who came together to pray for their children. I then felt that God was calling me to start a yearly day of prayer for moms in our city. The first Mom's Day of Prayer was held in Ft. Smith, Arkansas in January 1998. Then in 2004, I felt the call of God to take the MDOP outside of Ft. Smith so it has become a worldwide event. The Mom's Day of Prayer is held the 3rd Saturday of each January across the world. It is with great JOY that I will have the opportunity to share with the ladies in Costa Rica about this movement of God. If you would like further information please visit the MDOP website at

If you have a chance check out her web site! Keep checking the blog we will have more news about the Costa Rica preparations soon.