Monday, March 25, 2013

Holy Week...

I don't think we spend much thought on what took place in Jesus’ life during Holy Week, but I thought it was worth our visit.

As many of you know, this past Sunday was Palm Sunday, the day that represents Jesus’ triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem.

Mark 11:8-10 (ESV)
8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”

But, let’s step back a moment and look at something Jesus knew and foretold to His disciples before that triumphant entry that day.

Mark 10:32-34 (ESV)
32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”

Jesus was not deceived by the cheers of the people. He knew that the same crowd that was cheering Him now would be yelling, “Crucify Him!” several days from then. Amazing the power of influence of a crowd, isn't it. Hmmm . . .  I wonder if we have ever been part of such a crowd.

Monday has Jesus in the temple chasing off the moneychangers from His Father's house. Are we so faithful to make sure our temple, the Father's house, is void of the things of evil?

Tuesday and Wednesday, Jesus continued to go to the temple and teach His Father's truths.

Thursday, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet and celebrated the Passover meal with them. It was at this time that He implemented the sacraments. After the Passover meal, Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. It was there that He was arrested by the temple guards and taken to the Jewish court of the Sanhedrin.

Friday morning, Jesus was taken to the Roman courts before Pontius Pilate and Herod Antipas who sent Him back to the Jewish courts. Roman soldiers took Him to Golgotha where He was crucified.

Saturday, Jesus rested in the tomb while His disciples observed the Sabbath.

Sunday  . . . He has Risen!!!!

I love to look at Jesus’ journey in the home stretch of His physical life on this earth. He was never moved to stop doing what the Father told Him to do when He sent Him here on earth. He continued to obey up to the very end of His physical life to exalt the Name of His Father and to bring Him glory! May we be reminded to not be moved by our circumstances away from the purposes that God has given us to bring Him glory in our daily journey!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Who knew...

Last Friday I woke up not feeling well. I know my body and knew it was not just a normal “not feeling well.” So I contacted the doctor, and on my way to discipleship with the girls, I got some medication. I have to be honest and say I'm sure I was of no use to them that day and left early to just come home and go to bed. I actually remained there for the entire weekend and Monday. My mom seems to think all my issues started when I mowed the yard without wearing a mask. In fact, she has reminded me of it more than once over the past few days, like moms do! All that is to say, I'm wearing the mask when I mow from now on even if that wasn't the cause! Ha, ha, ha, ha! Ok, so maybe you get a little cranky when you don't feel well.

As I write this blog today, two women who are precious to me have become mothers this week. One of those moms is our friend and new intern here at Pure Joy International. Sara and her precious husband brought little Caleb into this world this week, and it was an incredible birth! The second of those moms is our friend and Pure Joy International board member. Even though both became moms this week, their stories are incredibly different. Our intern and her husband are a young couple, and this is their first child. Our board member and her husband are not as young a couple (smile). In fact, she and her husband were just getting prepared to have an empty nest pretty soon. They have two boys and two girls with the last girl soon to graduate. Last week our sweet Ruthie (board member) received some overwhelming news that a dear friend of theirs who had been battling breast cancer for the third time around was not going to overcome the cancer this time. She had six months to live. The other part of this story is that the friend with cancer had adopted a little girl 10 years ago. Who would take this little 10 year old? Ruthie believed she and her family were to take her. She and her husband, even though he had been out of the country, agreed along with their children to take the little girl to be part of their family.

Ruthie's dear friend did not have six months. She passed away this past weekend. Ruthie and her husband are new parents again to a healthy 10 year old. Our first mom prepared for nine months for that little guy to step out into this world. Our second mom has been preparing for well over 20 years with her four kids for this little one. Two moms, two stories, same God!!

Please remember to pray for both of these moms and their families. Please pray extra for the little 10 year old to not just adjust to a new environment (and praise God she already loves and knows Ruthie and her family). But, pray for her as she, as a 10-year-old girl, walks through the grieving process.

The Belize team is ready to go. Linda booked our tickets today!!! Belize, here we come! We had two more missionary women sign up this week. Everything is on track so far. Please remember to pray for the team as we get down to details now. Pray that more missionary women will hear about this opportunity and will register. And, as always, please pray about giving to support the missionary women who will be attending.

Love you guys!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Life . . .
As we walked into our Perspectives class this week, one of the ladies asked me how my week had been. As I began to share with her, it sounded like blah, blah, blah in my own head. At that point, I just stopped and said, "Life.” Life is what happened to me this past week, the same thing that happens to each and every one of us daily! Life happens.  
Sometimes it happens in great ways, or sometimes it happens in not so great ways. For instance:

Not Great
The strawberry waffle I had for breakfast with whipped cream
My mom not feeling good
Seeing the smile of a baby first thing in the morning
Changing a dirty diaper
Friends that make your heart smile
People that make you crazy

You get my point. And while I'm at it, may I say to you after counseling people for 30 years, "Don't be deceived into thinking you wished your life was like so and so’s because they are probably wishing they had yours!" All that to say is that we are all doing "life" and sometimes it is better than at other times.
The thing that separates those who are continuing forward in life from those who aren't is simply this: JESUS! He is in us, for us, and, above all, He is "Real LIFE.” This world is NOT our home and we are truly just passing through. We are aliens, the Word tells us! So, when it's great, wonderful, joyful; or when it’s tough, hard, or discouraging, never lose sight of the truth that we are just passing through, and we want to take as many people with us as possible along the way! Thank You, Jesus!

Belize . . .

The Belize Team is rising up for all that God has for us next month in Belize! Once again, we are seeing God move on behalf of the team members and the missionaries who will be in attendance.

Here is an email I received from Meleah, one of our precious team members from Dominican Republic who will be joining us to give you an example of what God’s up to:


I wanted to let you know how the Lord has continued to confirm that I am being obedient in going to Belize. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about raising support since I am a missionary that lives on 100% support. So, I was wondering where the additional $2000 would come from while not using any of our regular monthly support. The first time I touched base about this with Patty she said she had already received $300 towards my need. I was amazed because I hadn't even sent out a request yet. I sent a request out via email to our supporters on Friday. Within one hour, I had someone email me and say they would give $2000. I literally sat there with my mouth hanging open in awe of Him. His faithfulness never ceases to amaze me. I knew I had to let others be encouraged through this blessing so I sent out a 2nd email to my supporters and put a message on Facebook describing His faithfulness to His children. Since then, several people have told me they were so encouraged because they were in a financial situation as well and that this was a great display of how He will provide in His timing. So, Belize here I come.

In Awe of Him,

We had three more missionaries sign up this past week, bringing our total to 11. We still have room for 39 missionary women. Please pray for others to hear about the retreat and for God to make provision for them to get to and from the retreat site. While we pay for their 4 day, 3 night hotel, meals, and materials, we do not pay for their travel to and from. If you are reading this and know a missionary who needs to be there, then please . . .  by all means . . .  pray for her travel expenses to be provided. God hears those prayers the same as He heard Meleah’s.

Love you guys!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What's Your Name Again?

I hope this blog finds everyone having had a good weekend. I spent this past weekend at a retreat center in Bethany, Louisiana ministering to a great group of women who were from Central Baptist Church, Texarkana, Arkansas. Sweet time!!!

This morning while driving my mom to a doctor’s appointment, we noticed a state trooper had pulled someone over. (No, it wasn't me this time!) When we got to the car, I noticed that the trooper was probably a neighbor of ours. I said to my mom, “I think that was (blank).” I mean my mind went blank! Then I started running around in my mind searching for his name because it was in there . . . somewhere! It was almost on the tip of my tongue for Pete’s sake!! Time elapsed, but I was still trying to find it and spit it out! Finally, it came to me, and I shouted, “Brigham Jones!!!!!” Of course, my mom says, "What?" Because she had already left the world I was in five minutes ago!! You know, as I grow older I don't know if it's ok to still blame that on chemo treatments or on aging. I'm going with chemo until further notice!! Ha! Ha!

Belize is coming upon us sooner than I can even imagine! I have a major prayer request for all of you out there who know missionary women who are working in the Central American area who could benefit from 4 days and 3 nights of time provided to them at no cost, to refuel and get balanced again for their journey on the field. Get the word to them to go online and register. For those who aren't comfortable making the drive to Belize City, Belize on their own, pray that they will road trip with several other missionary women from their areas who could use a retreat. If you have a contact in that area, let me know. We so want to get the word out to them about this retreat!!

Praying you have a great week!