Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chaos Picture Link...

Some of the people that receive the Blog via email were not able to view the slideshow with the photos mentioned. Here is a link for those photos.

In the future we will post the direct link along with the embeded slideshow.

Pure Joy International
Tech Support/Finance

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Chaos in the Family" Series and a Prayer Request Regarding Prague...

Last week I shared with you that I am starting a series on “Chaos in the Family.” Today, I want us to consider what ‘chaos’ can look like and how it can make us feel. Please click on the slideshow below to see pictures posted on the web from the Joplin, Missouri tornado of 2011, because as many of you know who have been exposed to this type of disaster, there are no words to describe it. (You will need to click the play icon to start the show)

After looking at these pictures, try taking the principal of seeing those pictures and understanding this truth: those pictures are symbolic of what most households in the world look like today. Yes, even the households in the body of Christ. Let me take it another step deeper. Those pictures are symbolic of what many people feel like on the inside, but they work diligently to keep anyone from finding out.

In the next many weeks, we are going to talk about how to get the chaos out of the family system. Today I would ask you to consider Webster’s definition of chaos: “a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.” Please understand chaos limits our ability to communicate, instruct, listen, think, accomplish, learn, grow, etc.

Don’t be willing to settle for chaos! It will make the enemy happy, but it will keep you from living life God’s way!

Prayer Request Regarding Prague…

Please join the Prague team in praying for God’s best regarding the location of our retreat in Prague. We know God sees all and knows exactly where we are to house the women and team for this retreat, so pray that as we seek His face He will speak clearly to us and guide our contact overseas to His perfect place for us.

Several of you have asked if I am feeling better. The answer is a BIG HEARTY, YES!!!

Thank you for your prayers and concern.

Love You Much!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Smiling again...

Well, I am among the living again. Wow! What a crazy two weeks it has been. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. My mouth continues to heal and it will be a process. First of all, I am so thankful for my dentist because he has an incredible heart, and secondly because he is absolutely gifted at what God has called him to do. It is spellbinding to me to watch him at work. He is a teacher by nature and provides the opportunity for his assistants to learn from him as he works. I absolutely praise God for putting this man and his family in my life!

Well, Prague Czech Republic is on the horizon. God is good, and many things are already happening and are in place for this trip. Speakers are locked in and the rest of the team is coming together.

Please begin to pray as we start the journey to our departure from the states October 19th or 20th. Our theme for this trip will be, “Standing in the Gap”. Our verse will be Exodus 17:12 “But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”

Prayer Requests:

1. Pray that God will guide us to the perfect setting in Prague to have this retreat.

2. Pray for the women who are still seeking God to know whether or not they are to be on this Prague Team. Pray they will hear clearly from Him regarding whether they are to go or stay.

3. Pray for the speakers who are going, that even now they will start sitting before the LORD to receive the words God has for this specific group of ladies who will attend.

4. Pray for the women who will be attending. Pray that God will point those who need to be at this retreat to the web site the week we open up registration in July.

5. Pray for our worship leader that she will be sensitive to sit before the LORD and know His counsel regarding the worship for this group of women.

6. Pray for us as we work with airlines to get flights for the team members who are coming from different states. Pray that we have good time transitions between flights.

7. Pray for those that God would have as givers toward this retreat. Many of you have been a part of watching His hand move over and over on behalf of Pure Joy, and you know He does incredible things.

8. Pray for the team members’ prayer groups that will be meeting weekly to pray for this retreat and for the group of women from Prague who will attend.

9. Pray for those missionary women who have been a part of Pure Joy retreats to remember to ‘pay it forward’ by praying and telling their sisters in the Prague area about the upcoming retreat.

Next week I am going to start a series on the home titled, “Stop the Chaos!”

I love you all and can’t wait to start the new journey toward Prague with you!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Where Am I...

That is the kind of question you ask when you come out of a fog. I think I’m just coming out of one. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Life has been quite the journey since returning from Dominican Republic (DR). I got to my house about 12:30 Monday morning after the drive from the airport to Lisa and David’s where my car was and then home. On Monday (like most of the team members) I slept most of the day off and on. (Praise God it was a holiday!) Tuesday I got up and made my drive to Ft. Smith, AR where I put in a full day of counseling each week. I felt fine. Then about half way through my 5 o’clock session I started getting this cough. (I know my clients loved that!) Then by later that evening my throat was feeling pretty raw along with the cough. By the time I got home around 12:45 a.m. I was really sick. I didn’t sleep well, contacted my doctor on Wednesday and started on Z-Pac. I ran a fever off and on during the week and felt terrible, like I had an elephant sitting on my chest most of the week. Monday I still wasn’t feeling well and went back to my doctor. He said my lungs were clear, my chest was clear, etc. Doesn’t that just thrill you when you feel like you have been hit by freight train but they tell you that you are ok! (I wonder how many people have died after being told they were ok!?!) Anyway, I went home and he told me to come back on Thursday. Well, Wednesday morning I woke up at 4:30 with a tooth ache. Not good at all. I had actually felt a little tooth discomfort on the day before and had called my dentist to get in the following week (which would be the week of this blog). By late morning Wednesday it was obvious I would not be waiting until this week to see the dentist, so I called and told him what was going on. He put me on a high powered antibiotic and told me to take pain pills when needed and to come in the next day (this past Thursday). Wednesday night I did not sleep at all due to pain. When I got up Thursday the left side of my face looked like someone had lodged two golf balls in my lower cheek. My niece has lovingly been calling me Alvin (the chipmunk) and gets great joy in doing so! She loves to kiss me on the forehead and walk off saying, “See ya, Alvin.” When we got to the dentist office he could not believe it. He and his nurse did give me a good laugh when they said, “We walked past the waiting room a few times because we knew you were walking in, but we realize now we saw you but didn’t know it was you. So, we were still waiting.” (Thanks for the encouragement! Ha, ha, ha.) I don’t know if you have ever seen the app on the web called “FatBooth”. That is what my face looked like but about three times its size on that one side. My dentist was able to drill a hole through the crown which let pressure off. I continued the high powered antibiotic, and he gave me some pills with a pain ingredient and Advil built into them. Obviously, he can’t work on anything until the infection and swelling are out. So, today (Sunday) I am down to half a golf ball instead of two. The pain is much less but does kick in to some good throbbing if I’m up and around much. I have mastered a shower the past two days (my family appreciates that!). Now here is the totally cool part in all this: As crummy as I feel, as painful as that throbbing can get at times, my heart and spirit for lack of a better word are HAPPY! I think I’m still riding the waves of the glorious time we had in DR with those precious missionary women. And I am thankful!!!
I love it that we constantly hear from our women from retreats from the past 12 years. This past week one of our ladies from Peru caught something that she thought we should be aware of regarding some information. We can’t thank her enough for sending us an email so we could correct a potential problem. It is so cool to watch Pure Joy and missionaries from around the world becoming this awesome family of women encouraging each other!

Please pray as we continue to work out new things on our website to provide our missionary women and supporters with more information that will keep us united in Christ. Excuse the long length of this email but remember I have not been able to really talk for almost five days now without it being uncomfortable. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Also, to our missionary sisters from all the past Pure Joy retreats: This is your opportunity to pay it forward. We will be traveling to Prague Czech Republic in October. Please let any of your missionary friends in that area or the surrounding area who can get there know about the retreat. We will open up registration the middle of July.

Love you all much!

Vickie (a.k.a. Alvin)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Love Is Content...Conclusion of Love Commands

Well, it is time to bring this journey of the Love Commands to a close. Honestly, I could not have planned a better ending to a story…Love is Content. Isn’t that the absolute truth of it all? When we are completely satisfied with Him and really understand, He is enough. Wow! But, before we move on, please remember if you are just joining us, you will want to go back to the blog reading of March 22, 2012 when we started the Love Commands and read forward

Here are the previous commandments we have covered. Remember the first four commandments are about how we should love God (and our spouse if married). The last six are about how we are to love our neighbors and ourselves.

1st Commandment “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:1-3).

Love Command: Love is Loyal

2nd Commandment “You shall not worship idols” (Exodus 20:4).

Love Command: Love is Faithful

3rd Commandment “You shall not take the name of the LORD in vain” (Exodus 20:7).
Love Command: Love is Reverent

4th Commandment “Keep the Sabbath holy” (Exodus 20:8).
Love Command: Love is Intimate

5th Commandment “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12).
Love Command: Love is Respectful

6th Commandment “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
Love Command: Love is Harmless

7th Commandment is “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
Love Command: Love is Pure

8th Commandment “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
Love Command: Love is Selfless

9th Commandment “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).
Love Command: Love is Truthful

10th Commandment “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17).

Love Command: Love Is Content

Is your love toward others content? Are you able to rejoice at their blessings and fortunes or are you constantly wanting what they have and are angry and bitter about what they have? Maybe you think they don’t deserve what they have. Do you think thoughts like “It’s not fair?” Do you compare?

My precious ones, God is not holding out on us! So many scriptures run through my mind right now that relate to this idea of contentment and lack of it. The children of Israel being brought out of slavery and all their complaints along the way come to mind first. Another one is the story of King David when God uses Nathan to rebuke him regarding Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 12:1-15. And the list goes on and on.

All lack of contentment comes back to one thing: a disbelief that God is enough and that what He provides for us is sufficient. I love the passage in the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray when it says, “Give us today our daily bread.” Wow! Do we thank Him for our daily bread? Most people are so busy griping about what they didn’t get yesterday and in the past and what they think they should get in the future that they miss out on what God is doing today. Lack of contentment will cause us to miss His presence in our lives daily!

And how is your contentment toward yourself? Wow! That is a loaded question. Really, when was the last time, if ever, you were content with you? That is a thought to ponder because some of you are killing yourself with expectations God never placed on you. His command is simply this…Love the LORD your God with all your heart, mind, body, and soul. Secondly, love your neighbor as yourself. Hmmmmm, if we are loving our neighbors as ourselves when it comes to contentment, I suspect we are not cutting anyone any slack. Ha, ha, ha!

As we conclude this study on the Love Commands, I encourage you to learn to pray these into your life daily or weekly. Ask God to let your love toward Him and your spouse (if married) to be loyal, faithful, reverent, and intimate. Ask God to let your love toward your neighbor and self to be respectful, harmless, pure, selfless, truthful and content.

Love you all, and have a great week!