Tuesday, January 29, 2013

God's Mountain...

This past weekend the Ministry Staff, Board of Directors, and Board Advisors made our way to a place we lovingly have named God's Mountain. We gather one time a year for an annual retreat weekend to work, relax, fellowship, and to hear from God regarding our personal lives and the life of Pure Joy International.

This year's time together was wonderful and much was accomplished to continue the momentum of where we believe God is taking us in the years ahead. I want to encourage all of you who read this blog to prayerfully consider giving to this ministry monthly. Don't miss out on the opportunity to help us keep our missionary families on their field of service to reach the world for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God is putting more missionaries on the field daily. They may even be your own family members. This I can promise you: At some point, they will desire an oasis and need one! A place to get away from their daily life circumstances. A place to regroup, get refreshed, be poured into spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. A place where it is safe to seek counsel and empty out their hearts. Help us to increase our time on the field ministering to them by supporting us on a monthly basis.

We are zeroing in on our location and dates sometime late in April for Belize. There is still room for team members so please let me know if you sense that God is pricking your heart about this trip. Thank you to those who are already contacting me.

Patty and I attended our 2nd week of the Perspectives class. Lesson #2 was on exploring God's Purpose for Himself, which is to bring about His greater glory by drawing to Himself the worship of every tribe, language, people, and nation. You realize this doesn't take place unless we who are blessed (saved) become a blessing (instruments of salvation) to others! I love watching these lessons build because God is a God of order!!

And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9

When is the last time you really just worshiped Him for His name’s sake . . . because He alone is God and He is worthy to be praised!! Not just on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, or I have to worship Him but I get to worship Him! He is worthy to be praised and worshiped from our heart and spirit!! Wow! Just think of the last time you really were in a place of worship that was filled with the Spirit, and people really were worshiping Him from the heart and spirit.

This week, today, this minute, take time to worship Him! He is worthy no matter our circumstance! He is worthy for His name’s sake alone!!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Perspectives...On the World Christian Movement

Last night Patty and I began attending “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement”, a semester long course based on God's global purposes from Biblical, historical, cultural and strategic perspectives.

One of the things the instructor encouraged us to take away from the time together was the following:

"I have been blessed to be a blessing to others." We spent much time looking at Genesis 12:1-3.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

As I pondered this last night after arriving home, I thought to myself, "How many of us really see ourselves as blessed?" Last night the instructor asked us to identify some ways we are blessed. When is the last time you REALLY looked at how you are blessed, if ever? I want to challenge you as we were challenged to look at your blessings. Seriously say them out loud. Write them down on paper. Then ask yourself, “Am I passing them on?” Are you blessing others? If you are blessed to have a roof over your head, how do you bless others with that? If you are blessed in the area of teaching, how do you bless others with that? If you are blessed financially, how are you blessing others with that? If you are blessed with a car, how are you blessing others with that? If you are blessed with great joy, how are you blessing others with that? You get the picture.

"I have been blessed to be a blessing to others." When is the last time someone told you that you were a blessing? Hmmmm?

Ok, we are still working with contact people concerning our Belize, Ghana and Mongolia trips. We need lots of prayer for details, for we are not sure what God is up to regarding locations and dates, but we’re willing to wait and see. Please keep praying.


Monday, January 14, 2013

I wonder...

This past weekend I had the great joy of watching my great nephew's first tooth finally burst forth from his baby gums. Seriously, we have been waiting on that tooth to show itself for over three weeks now. It is like, you know it's there, you can see the white spot under the gum, but no cigar! Then poof, there it is!
And yes, his little disposition was just a little fussier at times, even though I suspect from the stories I have heard about teething, we got off easy! But, let us be reminded that was only one tooth and there are 31 more to go! Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Truthfully, I am watching the poor little guy like a hawk for signs of normal development just like all parents do, I'm sure. (He and his mom, my niece, live with us.) Every month I look on line at what he should be doing now, whether it is eating baby food, rolling over, sitting up, etc., etc. And his precious nurse practitioner probably wishes she were not in the Sunday School class I attend!

I share all of that with you this morning because I wonder if we have this kind of excitement about new believers as they begin to develop. I seriously question these days if we in the body of Christ truly care about each other enough to look for signs of normal development in each other. And if we do see something that just isn't right, do we care enough to say something, or do we use the traditional Christian cop out of "Well, I don't want to be judgmental." I'm not talking about judging; I'm talking about loving each other enough to let someone be mad or angry with you for loving them enough to speak truth over them.

Are you getting this? We wouldn't dare let our little ones go on developing abnormally if we have a clue something is wrong and dangerous to their development. We wouldn't let them develop wrongly or die if we could do ANYTHING about it. But, many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are developing wrongly and living as though they were spiritually dead, and we never blink an eye.

Can I encourage you to look to the left and right and ask yourself this question: Are my brothers and sisters in Christ developing normally? Are they growing as a believer? If not, can you encourage them in anything? Are you growing? If not, do you know who to go to for encouragement on the issue?

Jesus wants us to share the Good News of the Gospel so that man might be saved. He also wants us to be followers of His ways and truths. It is not an either/or choice.

I like this quote from Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World: Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything we have.

Jesus however says it best in Luke 9:23-25, 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

Only when we are growing in our walk with the LORD according to His Word and Spirit will we be able to recognize when a brother or sister in Christ is in trouble! If you are a new believer, please find someone to walk beside you in discipleship. If you are a more seasoned believer, then please disciple someone, and if you are an older believer who has never been discipled, then please find someone to disciple you. Seriously, it is time for the body of Christ to grow up!

Please be in prayer as we are trying to work out details for the Belize trip in April. We need your prayers regarding God's best location for us to do the retreat in Belize. We already have the team coming together, several missionary women already sponsored, a contact person, etc. We just need God's direction on the perfect place to house the women.

Love you all so much,


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mom's Day of Prayer...

Today I want to make you aware of an opportunity to get involved in praying for our children. Kathy Coleman, Founder of Mom's Day of Prayer (MDOP), is headed to Washington, D.C. to hold a MDOP on the Capital Grounds 1/19/2013 from 10:00 am to Noon.

It is Kathy's prayer that every state will host a MDOP on the same day. Please visit www.momsdayofprayer.com to see which states are already on board as of this date. If your state or country is not on board follow the instructions on the web site to see what to do to become a part of this important ministry of intercession for our children. What an incredible thing to know that our children all over this world are being prayed for very specifically for a two hour period of time by millions of people. Wow!!! Block off your calendar for 1/19/2013 from 10:00 am to Noon! Share the web site with others!


P.S. I will blog again this week but first please take to heart the information I have shared with you today. You can also follow MDOP on Facebook and Twitter.