Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Love is Faithful...

Last week I began a ten week walk through the 10 commandments with us looking at them from the standpoint of the love commands (a message I was exposed to in 1993 by John MacArthur). I encourage you to look back over the blog from last week to refresh your thoughts on the first love command. We looked at it from the perspective of the law and then the love command.

Law……You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3).

Love command……Love is Loyal

As I pondered in my heart this past week about “Love is Loyal” I realized that I had really allowed a lot of junk to creep up onto the throne of God in my life. I hope you took time to think about those things I asked you to look at last week as well. A good ‘throne check’ is healthy throughout the day.

Today, we look at our second commandment from the standpoint of the Law and then the Love command.

Law…..You shall not make any graven image (idol), or bow down before them or serve them (from Exodus 20:4-5).

Love command……Love is Faithful.

Is your love toward God faithful? Is your intimacy with Him and your worship of Him so sincere that you would never consider giving it to another? The children of Israel broke faithfulness with God over and over by worshiping the idols/graven images of the lands they took possession of. What are you worshiping instead of God in your life? Your spouse? Children? Job position? Money? Sports? Religion? A person? Alcohol? Drugs? What are you turning to instead of Him when your life circumstances become overwhelming? There is a saying, “We become like that which we worship.” If we are not becoming like Jesus then we must be worshiping someone or something else. Take a look in the mirror of your heart this week and see what you are looking like.

Pure Joy News…

I spent most of last week in Austin, Texas. It was a sweet time of fellowship but more importantly it was an opportunity to have great fellowship with old friends and new. Richard and Trexa Hilderbrand held a “Shrimp Boil” at their home in Georgetown, TX and I had the chance to update everyone on Pure Joy and the expanded vision God has given us as we go forward into the future. Please pray that the words that were shared will take root in many of the hearts represented that evening and that fruit will abound in the days ahead.

The ladies in the Dominican Republic are talking it up amongst themselves regarding the trip in May. In fact, they are already making plans and networking ways to catch rides with others that live far away from the retreat site.  We have one of our ladies flying in from Costa Rica. Pray that all of the ladies will be able to make the connections they need to be able to share in the transportation to the retreat site.  One of our team members received all her personal support for the trip this past week and is praising God for His provision.  He does provide for that which He calls us to, all the time!

Have a God Week!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Love is Loyal...

In 1993, I heard an audio series taught by John MacArthur on “Walking in Love”, a study he taught his church regarding the Ten Commandments. It grounded me as a baby Christian and has stabilized me throughout my walk with God. He called them “The Love Commands”. That has been almost 19 years ago, but to this day I still teach the principles I learned from that series.
For the next ten weeks I am going to cover one of the commandments per week on this blog. Please join me on the journey that we may all have the common ground of Jesus as we proceed along the way. For some of you this will be nothing new, but for some of you I promise you that you haven’t considered these truths in this fashion.

Let’s begin by clarifying that the 10 Commandments ARE NOT just Old Testament teachings. In fact, let’s look at what the New Testament has to say about the 10 Commandments.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-20:
17. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

We also see Jesus address the 10 Commandments in Mark 12:28-31 from the following passage:

28. And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The most important is, 29. ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 

So, let’s get started. Today we are looking at the first commandment.

You shall have no other gods before meDeut. 5:7 (ESV)

That is how we read that verse from the point of the ‘law’, but now let’s add grace (Jesus) to that truth and we get our first ‘love command’: Love is loyal.

Loyalty is defined as unswerving allegiance. Today, ask yourself if your love toward God is an unswerving allegiance, or ask yourself if you have misplaced that loyalty.

Has a person, money, position, materialism, etc. become the thing you are giving allegiance to instead of God alone? Ask God this week to show you the other gods you are putting before Him. Is He alone on the throne? Are you sitting on the throne? Are you putting others on the throne, etc.? God alone should sit on the throne of our hearts! Some of us need to clear the throne room of ourselves, people and stuff.

Beware of persons and/or things that demand your loyalty instead of pointing you to God!

Dominican Republic News…

We had our first team meeting through Skype this past week since the team members are scattered to and fro. It was really fun and we got a lot accomplished. God is up to some fun things for Dominican so keep praying for all the messages, worship, fun time, relaxation times, the team as we prepare, and resources to come in for sponsorship.

Several team members from Antioch in Conway, AR had a bake sale to raise money for their team member expenses for the trip. It was a sweet time, and they raised a good amount of resources for their expenses.

Women from local churches in OK, TX, and AR are getting on board with some great surprises for the missionaries come May.

Keep wrapping this trip in prayer daily!!!!

Love you all!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Welcome to the Missionaries...

As I write the blog today I am mindful that before the weekend gets here we will have the potential of many of our missionary women who will be joining us in May in the Dominican Republic reading our blog for the first time and onward. To you, our new readers, I welcome you! I encourage you to be excited as you watch God work on your behalf in the weeks to come as we ask our blog readers to pray for you, to give toward sponsorships, and to be a part of other things on your behalf. So, enjoy!

To all of you who read the blog faithfully, greetings as well. Patty and I made a trip to Clarksville, AR Saturday to meet with several women from Stillwell Bible Church. I had met the Pastor’s wife, Debbie Goodman, in January at a monthly meeting of Pastors and their wives at First Baptist Vilonia, AR. It is awesome to watch the opportunities God networks for us to be able to share with women’s groups about Pure Joy International.

We had a wonderful time of fellowship and food at Connie Watkins’ home. I shared with the ladies about Pure Joy and the different ways they could be involved. Patty got us connected so they could watch a video of our Costa Rica trip last year and get a feel for what the missionary women experience when we are there with them. After listening and observing, they asked some questions and have jumped on the opportunity to be involved, and we are glad! You women on the mission field will be too!

We topped out at 50 missionary women on Monday of this week and we have 5 women on the waiting list as of today. Our team is together and we are off and running in the planning and preparing stages of the journey.

Please begin to pray diligently for the financial resources to come in for these ladies. Notice the wording here. Pray for it to come in. Not you send it. Of course if God tells you to give please do. But, I’m saying let’s stir the heart of God to stir the heart of others to somehow, shape or fashion hear about Pure Joy and the Dominican Republic trip and be moved to give toward helping sponsor the missionaries. We (as of this writing) have 13 missionary women sponsored. Yeah God!!! There are 37 more to go. The cost to sponsor a missionary continues to be $500 per missionary for 4 days and 3 nights to pay for all their room and meals and retreat resources. Again it is exciting to watch how God brings it all together: pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar bills, 5 dollar bills, 20 dollar bills, 50 dollar bills and hundred dollar bills. That’s what I’m talking about!!!

The point…it all adds up to our missionary women having time to recharge so they in turn can pass it on to their spouses and children, and in return stay on the field to reach the ‘nations’ all over this world with the Good News of Jesus Christ! Amen!  And isn’t that just the bottom line!!

Love you all a lot!


Psalms 57:9-11
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


"At the LORD’S command they encamped, and at the LORD’S command they set out. They obeyed the LORD’S order, in accordance with his command through Moses" (Numbers 9:23).

If you would take time to read this verse in context starting in Numbers 9:15 and finishing at verse 23, you would become aware of the continued details the LORD is giving Moses to speak to the people of Israel regarding the Tent of the Testimony.

I want to really focus on verse 23 with you this morning. “At the LORD’S command they encamped.” Has the LORD positioned you somewhere? Has He had you encamped in a particular place, a job, a ministry, a business, a community, a relationship, etc.? Is it difficult there? Are you overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious, and/or confused? Don’t miss the next sentence in that verse: “and at the LORD’S command they set out.”

Being overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious, and/or confused isn’t grounds for moving out of the encampment where the LORD has positioned you. It is an opportunity to glean the field while He has you there and to seek and know Him more. In fact, until the LORD commands you to set out, don’t!

Today, we as believers get caught up in one the following:

  • We are in a place/position God never commanded us to be encamped.
  • We are in a place/position God commanded us to be encamped, but when He commanded us to set out from that place/position, we disobey.
  • We are in a place/position God commanded us to be encamped, but we set out without His command.

    You might be saying, “Well, Ms. Vickie, you seem to be on a roll about something today.” Yes, I am. Why? Well, let’s look at the last line in verse 23. “They obeyed the LORD’S order, in accordance with his command through Moses.” “They obeyed the LORD’S order.”

    There is a lot of movement and lack of movement going on in the body of Christ from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top that God hasn’t commanded, but people like to stamp His name on it.

    Our God is and has plainly revealed to us through His word throughout all of scripture that He is a God of order. Without order there is chaos, frustration, anxiety, confusion, fear, insecurity, and on and on. The enemy loves it when we as believers are disobedient to God’s command for us to encamp and/or to set out from the encampment. The enemy loves it because it brings destruction to the pleasures of God. Today as I write this, I ask you, friend, to check your encampment. Has God placed/positioned you there? Then glean the field even in the storms and seek to know Him even more. He knows! Are you in a place/position that He had nothing to do with concerning your encampment? Then pray and ask Him what to do now. Just because we don’t follow His command going in doesn’t excuse us from seeking to see if we need to go out.

    God cares about every detail, and while Leviticus and Numbers drive us crazy with details they are reminders to us that HE is in the details. We say that so flippantly at times, but do you REALLY believe it? Then let’s begin to act like we do believe our Abba by being obedient to HIM!

    It is my prayer that what I have shared this morning exhorts, challenges, and/or convicts us all!

    The missionary women are signing up like crazy for the Dominican Republic trip! Yeah God!!! We have 41 women as of this writing. We still have 9 positions open. Pray that God speaks and the women listen as He places/positions them for this time of encouragement and refreshing! The team is solidifying as well! Amen!

    Now for your part as you journey with us all over the world: Start to pray and ask God if He wants you to be a part of this trip even though you are not leaving the country!

    Contact me at vickie@purejoyinternational.org if you have questions. Also, giving toward the sponsorship of these women is always needed for each trip we take. Give as little or much as HE leads!

    I love you guys and have a wonderful week in HIM!