Friday, February 24, 2012

Put your running shoes on...

The race has begun for the Dominican Republic (DR) Retreat in May. Saturday we were able to solidify our location for the retreat. It is going to be a nice resort area just outside the capital city of Santa Domingo.

We opened registration for the missionary women this week on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. As of this writing on Thursday afternoon (the very next day), we have 16 missionary women already signed up! We are so excited that the word is getting out. One way is that many missionary women around the world who have been to a Pure Joy retreat are paying it forward by telling their missionary friends in the DR and surrounding areas about this retreat. Way to go ladies!!

Prayer time for the DR ladies has begun. The team is starting to come together, and that is so exciting as well! I will write you a couple of team stories next week. One of them is for sure worth a great laugh. Please continue to pray for others who are in the valley of decision, as we will have to lock in flight information soon. Pray God will give them total clarity in their decision.

Talk about running, this week I have pretty much been meeting myself coming and going. In fact, this blog isn’t even the one I started on Monday of this week. It was too serious and my brain couldn’t finish it. You know you have crossed over into just a tad bit of overload when you are watching a young 7 month-old baby in her stationary entertainer (apparatus they sit in with play toys anchored all around it) and you are coveting her carefree, no responsibility, somebody hold me, change me, feed me, and water me life. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! The only sad part about that is she will never remember this time in her life, and someday she will be looking at a 7 month-old in a stationary entertainer coveting the same thing. Ha, ha, ha! Isn’t it true!

So, enjoy your weekend which will most likely be almost over by the time you read this post.

Love you all much!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

First things first then a "covenant"...

First let me share with you that we have 11 of our 50 missionary spots sponsored so far for the Dominican Republic (DR)! Praise God from whom all blessing flow!  Keep that support for the DR coming in as God moves on your hearts! Nothing is more exciting than to watch God bring in the resources for each one of the trips! I have to say watching His hand move is so totally awesome! Keep praying!!! We still have some team slots open. If you are interested, contact me.

Today when I was reading through my Chronological One Year Bible, there were a couple of verses from Exodus 34:10-26 that hung on my heart. Before I share the verses with you, I want to put them in context. These verses come following chapters 32-33 where the children of Israel made a golden calf because of their impatience with Moses being gone so long on Mt. Sinai, Moses return and the smashing of the tablet, Moses asking the children of Israel to decide who was on the Lord's side, and Moses asking for God’s forgiveness and mercy for the sin of God’s people.

By the time we get to chapter 34, Moses has been instructed by God to cut/chisel stones and engrave them with the covenant God made with him before. Moses then went to the top of Mt. Sinai again and it was here that God’s glory passed before Moses. God then began to speak again the truths of the covenant to Moses in Chapter 34:10-26.

Now my heart hanger verses...34:12,15...

12Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. (ESV)

15lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice... (ESV)

I like The Message Bible translation on these because they are relational. 

12Stay vigilant. Don’t let down your guard lest you make covenant with the people who live in the land that you are entering and they trip you up. (TMSG)

15Be careful that you don’t make a covenant with the people who live in the land and take up with their sex-and-religion life, join them in meals at their altars... (TMSG)

The word that stuck out to me in those verses was "covenant." Don’t make a covenant with the people who live in the land. 

A covenant is also translated as a contract or agreement between two parties.

God was saying to the children of Israel that He did not want them making a covenant, a contract or agreement with the people He would be driving out of the land. He knew if the children of Israel did so, it would position them to worship false gods.

Can I ask you something today?  Who have you positioned yourself with?  Has doing so put you in a place where you are now worshiping false gods? Has money become your god? Has position and power become your god? Has your business become your God? Has power of influence become your god? Has a person become your god? Has an area of lust of the flesh, eyes and/or pride of life become your god?

Have you entered into a land and made a covenant with the people God isn’t fighting for but is actually removing from the land? If you have … RUN to God just like Moses did. Confess your sin. Receive His grace, mercy, and love. Let Him reveal Himself to you again.  He wants to! But, He is a gentleman. He will not bust your door down, but He is patiently waiting.

I love you guys…Thank you for loving and supporting Pure Joy!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

You Gotta Love the Word of God...

Do you ever just kiss your Bible? I do! Not in front of anyone (well, maybe that isn’t true because I have before). But, have you ever wanted too? Because if you haven’t ever kissed your Bible or wanted to, then I have to question NOT your salvation, but your maturity in the LORD. Ha, ha! That is an oxymoron isn’t it…kissing your Bible and maturity. Seriously, though. I was thinking of all the verses and stories and situations in the scriptures that God brings to my mind, those that absolutely can change my whole perspective on things and give encouragement when I’m dealing with or going through something or counseling someone or a family.
This morning as I sit here asking the LORD what to share with you this week (what you need to hear), I found myself reviewing my week. I actually started chuckling out loud to myself and have been sitting here with a stupid grin on my face for about 30 min.

My last few days have been a little crazy. I have had to deal with some issues that, like they would you, wear me out and make me want to pull my hair out. Yesterday I wanted to pull other people’s hair out! Ha, ha, ha! Oh, and there are several stories in scripture regarding hair issues, so I’m ok and encouraged! Ha, ha, ha!

Also, we are having siding put on our house and the workers have been hammering from light to dawn for the past five days. On top of that, the cat has a thyroid problem and is all emotional and crying pretty much nonstop. Hammer – Cat, Hammer – Cat...No stop it! What am I thinking.

Anyway, I remind myself that Noah was on the ark with the pounding of rain non-stop for 40 days and nights and more than one cat whining around. So, I’m good!

I did get away from my home corner office with windows (cubby hole in my mom’s bedroom) and went to Patty and Kenny’s (friends) to work in their conference room on Monday all day. It was nice. Remember Jesus had places He went to rest.

But, above all else, I just flat love Jesus, and He makes me smile. And the Word of God keeps me grounded! So, if you are not kissing your Bible, you are probably not reading your Bible. Because if you are really reading and catching the truths of His Word then you are probably madly in love with Him! And you probably have kissed it once at least. Come on admit it!! Don’t be afraid that people just might find lip prints on your Bible instead of dust (smile).

Starting next week, we will begin meeting weekly for prayer time for our Dominican Republic trip in May. So please join us the next four months as we pray for the women who will register, the resources to sponsor each missionary, the team that God will put together to go, etc. Our theme is Endless Love, and our verse is Psalms 103:12

"As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

Love you guys!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Home from Alabama...

Left last week for Albertville, Alabama where Pure Joy had the great privilege of being a part of First Baptist Church Albertville’s first mission’s conference ever. I must sing the praises of those precious folks in that church! They absolutely did an incredible job of putting the conference together. The hospitality from the homes we stayed in to the conference itself was top notch. It was so awesome to be around other missionaries who came in for the conference. Of course I was in ‘hog’ heaven (woooooo pig razorbacks) hanging out with my people group: missionaries. I was able to make two contacts for trips next year in 2013. We are looking at Ghana, Africa and Belize Central America. So, as you read this, hide those places in your heart. Let me know if God is speaking to you about going! I also had the chance to speak to several different Sunday school departments in different homes. The people were receptive and loving as could be! There was a dear retired pastor at my second house who wanted to know if anything good could come out of Arkansas! Ha, ha! They take their football serious!!

The thing I loved about my time in Albertville is the church family was actively involved during the entire weekend. They were in attendance when opportunities were available for them to meet with us (the missionaries). I am confident that I will be seeing several of the women from the church sitting across from me someday as we are headed overseas somewhere. Again, great time! Thanks FBC Albertville, AL if you are reading this!

Well, we are in the process this week of locking in our hotel/resort area for the Dominican Republic retreat in May of this year. We still have some team slots open if you are interested, but you need to be getting in touch with me pretty soon if you feel like God is putting it on your heart to join us. Also, start praying for all the details of the trip and begin the process of praying for the support to come in for the missionaries who will be in attendance. We already have our first missionary paid for. So don’t just sit back and watch God move on behalf of these ladies, but also be a part of it! If you can’t go but are interested in how your church can do some of the little detail things that make a big difference, then get in touch with me as well.

I want to close with this one thought for the week. Randy Gaither, one of the missionary men who spoke to us during the Sunday services made this comment:

“Every morning I get up and stand at attention and say ‘LORD,
Randy Gaither reporting for service today!’”

You may read that and say, “I can do that.” But, I would challenge you. Yes, anyone can stand up and say those words, but can you really MEAN THEM? Will YOU really report for service or will your lips just show up? Hmmm think about it.

Love you all so much, and I covet your prayers as God is stretching us for His Glory!!