Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Registration Opens for North East Asia...

If you know me at all you know that I am excited to be able to say registration is open for a retreat in North East Asia!  It is just so fun to see God's hand move on behalf of the missionary women that will attend the retreat and the team come together and churches and individuals get involved in prayer, giving, and gifting.  It is a totally awesome thing.  And the big thing is you just start thinking about the retreat and the women there all the time.  You'll be out and about and think “Wow! That would be something cool for the ladies”  or someone will call you up that has been on a past trip or has sponsored missionaries before and tell you they have a gift they are working on or that they have been given a resource that they want to give to support the retreat.  In fact,  as I'm writing this, I started thinking about how on Instagram, they have a place on there where if you like a picture or video you click on this little heart that says "I like".   (For those of you who don't know what Instagram is.....it is an online photo-sharing, video sharing and social networking service.  Don't worry, I didn't know about it either until this past year and it has been out 3 years and even then I found out from a family of kids!)

So, I started thinking about what are the things I “like” about Pure Joy International.....

Y  I like that someone is working on a gift for a trip 3 months out and praying for the missionary women and the team.  
Y   I like that so many people are involved on a trip without going on the trip.  When we have a team of 15 going, then because of the preparation and things we do, we could have as many as 500 or more people involved that never leave the country, but are a part of the team.
Y  I like that God stretches people to give and to go.  (I have seen so many women on a team that never thought they would ever leave the country)
Y  I like watching God move on behalf of the missionary women and team members and those involved stateside.
Y  I like watching those women be ministered to and knowing that the team ministering to them was handpicked by God to do so.
Y  I like watching God challenge the missionary women and the team and those involved at home to grow more dependent on Him and to trust Him more.
Y  I like watching the workers in hotels overseas and our bus/van drivers recognize there is something different about us.
Y  I like it when a hotel/resort tells us they really enjoyed our group and we can use that as a spring board to start a spiritual conversation with them.
Y  I like that God touches the hearts of missionary women all over the world through the speakers and worship and fellowship to the point of refreshing them to stay the course for the sake of the Gospel!!
Y  I like that I get to serve the LORD being a part of something only He can do.

You get the idea.  I could go on and on!  I'm just thankful I am serving the LORD in a ministry that challenges, convicts, and affirms our growth in HIM!  I can't imagine serving the LORD in a ministry that I am miserable in day in and out.  In fact, unless God has you on hold in that type of situation, I would be taking time to pray, “God show me Your will!”  Sometimes God's will for our lives takes a left and we just continue to move on ahead alone.   I say that because if you aren't in His will, you are on your own with your will.  Therefore, while God is omnipresent, it just means you aren't experiencing His revealed presence.   

Time is short....make sure you are serving God and not yourself and or man apart from Him.

If God is speaking to you about participating in the North East Asia retreat, let me know.

Love you All.....



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

North East Asia and The Empty Cup...

The time is here.  We are finishing up the logistics of our trip to North East Asia this week. Next week we will open up the registration process for the Retreat to missionary women in that area. Please contact vickie@purejoyinternational.org for details.

We also have several spots still open for team members. If you believe God is prompting your heart to join us on this trip please contact me at the email in the previous paragraph for details.

To remind you, our theme is "He Sees" and the verse is from Psalm 33:13 "The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man.” We are so excited about this opportunity and continue to ask each of you to be in much prayer over this trip. God has been very clear about this trip and I love watching Him put the team together knowing what the missionary women need and what the team members need to happen in their lives through this experience.

If you are interested in helping out with prayer, gifts, finances, and gifting but don't know how, please contact me at the email listed above.

There is a common story told in the area of martial arts that goes something like this....

A master was trying to explain something to a student. Now this student was not a brand new student, but a senior student who had learned many things. He had knowledge and experience to draw upon. But each time the master tried to explain something new to the student, the student kept trying to hold it up against his own notions of the way the world is and how it ought to be, and he was unable to see the lessons in what the master was trying to teach him.

Finally, the master poured a full serving of tea into his own cup, and into the cup of the student. Then he told the student he wanted to give to him some of the tea from his own cup. He began pouring tea from his cup into the student's cup, but the student's cup was already full, and all the tea from the master's cup spilled out over the cup onto the surface below.

The student said, "Master, you can't pour anything into my cup until I empty it to make room for what you are trying to give me.", and the master replied "Yes I know." "And I can't give you any new thoughts or ideas or perspectives on life's lessons until you clear out some thoughts that are already teeming in your mind to make room for what I have to teach you." Then the master paused for a brief moment, meeting the student's eyes with his own knowing look and calmly but sternly said: " If you truly seek understanding, then first, empty your cup!"

The student pondered for a moment with a look of absolute bewilderment. Then a look of enlightenment came over him, followed by a smile, and a look of receptiveness. The master started to explain again, and this time the student saw what the master was trying to say.

Is your cup full? Full of you, the World, Life, etc? Empty your cup before Him and let Him fill your cup! We too have a Master who is known as Jesus, Savior, Lamb of God, Bright and Morning Star, Rose of Sharon, The Gate, The Way, Our Hope, Our Refuge, King of Kings, LORD of LORDS, High Priest, etc. "If you truly seek understanding, counsel, knowledge, peace, etc. then first empty your cup and let Him fill it!!

Love you much !! Be praying for NE Asia !!

His, Vickie

Monday, June 10, 2013

I said, "No..." and North East Asia Update

If you have children you certainly recognize the phrase, “I said, ‘No!’”.   It starts coming on about the age of seven to ten months for most children and lasts until you pass away or they do!! Ha, ha, ha!

I have to admit that watching my little great nephew (11 months old) work his way around the house and every piece of furniture in it has been somewhat of a tiring journey recently. But, it has also provided me with much amusing entertainment at times.   How quickly we see the sin nature emerge. We say "no" and he does it anyway.  We say "no" and pop his little hand and he cries and does it again when we look away. Sometimes when he is getting his little hand popped for the second time, I sense a look on his face that says to me, “Auntie Vickie, ‘I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate’".  Romans 7:15 (ESV)  Unfortunately for him, I happen to know  we haven't covered Romans yet in his Little Children's Bible, so he couldn't possibly be mimicking Paul's words at this stage of life.  Pop!

While on that subject, don't you just feel like Paul did at times?  You keep doing things you don't want to do, but the things you hate. In this day and time, I spend a lot of energy with counselee's on the struggles of the Spirit and the Flesh. In fact, I just finished an hour conversation with a college student on the topic. I cannot express enough to young people and adults alike the importance of understanding the role spiritual warfare plays in our life. We cannot ignore it or we will be defeated by it! When you became a believer you joined the army! The army of God.  If there is an army there is an enemy! If there is an enemy, there is a cause.  That cause would be the battle for the souls of men regarding ‘eternal life’ and ‘spiritual growth’. If there is a battle, there will be weapons .......we as believers in Christ MUST be more than ever aware of the truth of God's word from Ephesians 6:10-20

 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

When God as a parent tells us as His children "No, don't do that," He has equipped us to have victory over the struggle through Christ our Salvation, our Righteousness, the Living Word, Faith and Prayer!  Remember, He didn't tell us we wouldn't struggle! He told us we have the Victory!!!!!!

North East Asia Update....

Details are all coming together with North East Asia trip.  We are in process of solidifying the team in the next couple of weeks so please pray for us as we do so.  Our theme for the retreat will be "He Sees" from Psalm 33: 13 "The LORD looks down from heaven; He sees all the children of man"
Again, I ask you to be prayerful before the LORD regarding giving to this trip.  Support of a missionary for this trip is up $100 dollars above our normal need.  So, it takes $600 dollars to sponsor just one missionary to attend the four day, three night conference at no charge to them.   Yes, that is a lot of money. But we serve a really BIG GOD and it all belongs to Him along with this ministry so I know He will do it!  I also know He uses us to accomplish His ways so be obedient to give if He is leading!

Love you All so MUCH.........



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

You Just Can’t Explain God Sometimes...

I am intrigued with the following statement in Scripture from Acts 2:13 (NLT) “But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, ‘They’re just drunk, that’s all!’”  Isn’t that just like us most of the time?  When we can’t explain something we come up with some way to make ourselves feel better about it.  Especially if it makes us feel uncomfortable or out of control.
In case you are not familiar with the passages preceding Acts 2:13, I encourage you to read Acts 2:1-12. In summary, it tells of the day of Pentecost when all the believers were meeting together in one place. Then the Holy Spirit settled on each of them and everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. There were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem.  They heard these disciples from Galilee speaking in their own native languages! They heard them speaking about the wonderful things God had done! God’s word tells us they were amazed and perplexed at this! What can this mean, they asked each other?

I love that God does amazing and perplexing things to make Himself known to us and cause us to ask “what does this mean?” Asking what does this mean usually leads us on a journey to experience His grace whether unto salvation or unto spiritual growth.

I encourage you, if God is up to something in your life, your marriage, your family, your church, your ministry, that you can’t really explain but you know it is the hand of God, don’t let “others in the crowd” (which by the way several commentaries suggest “the crowd” represents the scribes and Pharisees and the chief priests (the religious) that have already resisted the Holy Spirit) discourage you. Stay the course and be amazed!!