Monday, June 30, 2014

Christmas in July....

Our family decided to do Christmas in July this year so we could all be together. We have not all been together since our last Christmas with everyone present 5 years ago. My brother, Dickie, and my sister-in-law (Melba) arrived Friday afternoon around 3 p.m. with their Boxer (Walker) that is still not even a year old but looks like a miniature pony. (Yes to answer your thoughts...... the little boys have tried to ride "Walker").

At around 5:30 or 6 p.m.  my niece, Krysta, arrived with her husband, Will, and five boys  ......... Nate-2, Jake-5, Sam-8, Drew-10, and Bryce-12. Oh, I forgot to tell you we already had one 2 year old (Braxton) at our house that belongs to my niece, Jamie. So when we laid our heads down that evening we had 12 people living in a house on the lake that my mom and her husband (deceased) had built as a retirement home for two. (Getting this picture - ha, ha).

Saturday morning my mom, Melba, and Krysta went to the airport to pick up my other niece, Priscilla, and her husband, Sasson. By the time they got back to the house my nephew, Justin, had arrived and/or came in just after them (who can remember all this..) with his wife, Haley, and their 3 boys and little girl...Keaton 3 mo., Teagan-19 mo. (Yes, the only girl so you can imagine), Landon-3, and Braden-5.

Sunday afternoon Jacob arrived with Courtney, his wife (they are newlyweds of just over a year). And last but not least my god-son flies in Tuesday evening. That gives us a grand total of 22 people sleeping in a house built for two. Of course my sister, Becky, is there but sleeps at her house around the corner from us. And lots of extended family - cousins, aunts, uncles, etc, float in and out. Yesterday we had a big fish fry at Melba's brother’s house in Russellville, AR. I couldn't even count all those numbers by the time we added all our numbers to it! ARE YOU GETTING THIS PICTURE - seriously! HA,HA,HA

We cleaned our garage out so we could turn it into an extra room. We did the same 5 years ago and put some make shift carpet down. This year we left pavement so all the little ones could ride their tricycles in there. My aunt Myrna donated a box springs and mattress, my cousin Shawn donated his Travel-All, Melba's brother donated his pop up, and we have cots and blow up mattress. It is sooooo wild! At night the adults turn the garage into their mini game room and play every board game and card game you can think about. My niece, Krysta, is very much into oils of biblical times and how we can use them to address health issues. I'm spell bound by the cost of some of the oil!! The little boys are out in Kayaks and fishing off the bank before half the adults are even stirring. You can tell the kids that have grown up in West Texas. They have no fear. Of course not, they are used to rattlesnakes and wild animals sharing the land with them.  

Today, they all left to go up north to do a float trip and stay with Melba's sister, Delba, and Mike, her husband. They will be back tomorrow evening. I laugh as I think what it is like around our house this past 3 days as they moved in to set up for their stay with us and as they packed to go tonight. I can't help but think about Moses moving the Israelites across the wilderness. There they were grumbling about having no meat to eat.   

Numbers 11:4
"Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, ‘Oh that we had meat to eat!’”

Having meat to eat wasn't our issue at all. Praise the LORD. Our issue was where do you put all this food and stuff? Which also shows God’s provision for the children of Israel.... He gave them what they needed at the time. I doubt they were carrying a bunch of refrigerators with them.

I finally understand and have so much more insight into why God gave them clothes and shoes that didn't wear out! Can you even imagine the Israelites having to decide what to pack each time they moved? But because of God's provision for the clothes and shoes a conversation probably looked like this....
“So, what are you wearing tomorrow when we pull out, Krysta? Kyrsta's response for 40 years... "I think I'll wear what I had on yesterday.”  (smile)

Deuteronomy 29:5 (ESV)
"I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet."

In summary, we are having a sweet time and it's fun to just pull up a chair and watch all the interactions and the kids playing, fishing, etc. I know when the week is over that everyone will go back to their real worlds but my prayer is that this week will stick with them and me and it will become more of our real world than the fast pace of this world. Seriously, STOP and take time for your family. God will honor that! We still have until Saturday together as a family.... pray for fun, patience, and a continued sweet spirit among us.  

Continue to pray for Burkina Faso. It is only 2 and 1/2 months away! Wow! It will be so wild watching God work in that time span to meet all the needs from His riches in Glory! Be sensitive as He leads you to give.  

Love you all....


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chicago Illinois...

Just pulled back in last night from Chicago. Penny (PJ Media staff) and I took a road trip to Waters Edge Bible Church, located in West Chicago. Our purpose there was three-fold. First, and most importantly, I believe God wanted Pure Joy International in that part of the U.S. This was the first time for us to be that far north sharing about the ministry. I can't wait to see what all God is up to with that!! Secondly, we had the opportunity to share with four different churches that came together under one roof to learn about Pure Joy International and how they could become involved. And thirdly, we were able to spend time with Lindsay (the pastor’s wife) from Waters Edge Bible Church as she will be traveling with us to Tanzania in November this year as part of our team to share with the missionary women there. The turn out from the churches was awesome and the spirit of those that attended, so sweet. We had every age represented from young to older. (smile) Please pray God will speak clearly to those in attendance about how He would want them involved with Pure Joy International in the days and years ahead. Here are some pictures from our time together.  

Please continue to pray for Burkina Faso. There are lots of things to get done before we leave the country in September. Please pray for the hotel, the team, the missionary women that will attend, the schedule, the gifts, giving, and what God wants to accomplish for His Glory!

Today I want to leave you with a thought to ponder. Matthew Henry made this comment in his commentaries. I was in Hebrews 3 today. It just danced off the page to me because of the simple but profound truth of it. Here it is: "If once we allow ourselves to distrust God, we may soon desert Him."

Are you on the edge of desertion? Think about it. Have you allowed yourself to distrust God over a situation, a trial, a wound from someone, a loss of a loved one or a child, loss of a job, health issues, financial struggles, marriage problems, fear, etc., etc. If that is you no matter your circumstances, STOP! The enemy has carried you to the edge of a cliff. Don't take another step without confessing your sin of distrust. 1 John 1:9 (ESV) "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Then in simple faith ask God to place your feet back on solid ground. 

Love you all and pray for you as I write this blog....



Monday, June 16, 2014

Burkina Faso .....

You know I just like saying Burkina Faso. It is like the song from the Lion King "Hakuna Matata". It's catchy. When I tell people we are going to Burkina Faso in September they always ask, "Where is that? I've never heard of it." Well, let me share with you a little about Burkina Faso from a web site. In the next couple of weeks as we open up on-line registration for our missionary women there and in surrounding countries I will ask them to share some things with us about being there. Burkina Faso is slightly larger than Colorado, Burkina Faso, formerly known as Upper Volta, is a landlocked country in West Africa. Its neighbors are Cote d'lvoire, Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, and Ghana. The country consists of extensive plains, low hills, high savannas, and a desert area in the north.

According to ACEI    
  1. Capital of Burkina Faso is Ouagadougou. Written as “Wogodogo” in the Mòoré dialect, it literally means “You are welcome here at home with us”.
  2. It is located south of the Sahara Desert.
  3. It was formerly known as Upper Volta, and adopted its current name after it gained its independence from France August 5, 1960.
  4. The official language is French, since Burkina Faso was colonized by France. Other languages spoken include Mòoré, Gourma, Fulfulde, Dioula, Tamasheq.
  5. Nationality: Burkinabe.
  6. Burkina Faso has a population of 16.3 million.
  7. The Mossi is the largest ethnic group in Burkina Faso.
  8. Want to speak a little Mòoré? “Yam Kibaré?” (How are you?) And your response: “Laafi Bala, La Yamba?” (I am fine and you?)
  9. Gold is Burkina Faso’s main export, followed by cotton and animal products. Burkina Faso is Africa’s largest producer of cotton. In 2010, almost 80% of the cotton planted in Burkina Faso was grown from genetically modified seeds. Burkina is second only to South Africa as Africa’s largest producer of biotech crops (100% of it cotton), and had the world’s second-fastest growing acreage of biotech crops after Australia. The Monsanto Company remains a major partner in this endeavor. (Source: U.S. Department of State
  10. Limited Brands/Victoria’s Secret is looking to expand the quantity, and improve the quality and value, of organic cotton it has imported from Burkina since 2009 (currently only 1% of the market), as well as to improve significantly the livelihoods of the primarily women farmers. (This is interesting, given the information noted in #9.)
  11. Most food in Burkina Faso comes with sauce. Staple foods are sorghum, millet, rice, maize, peanuts, potatoes, bean, yams and okra.
  12. About 80% of the population relies on subsistence agriculture.
  13. Popular sports in Burkina Faso are: soccer, handball, cycling, basketball and boxing.
  14. Burkina Faso is home to 60 different ethnic groups, each with their own variety of folk music.
  15. Burkina Faso is a leader in African art and culture and hosts the largest craft market in Africa.
  16. The Bobo, one of the ethnic groups in Burkina Faso make large butterfly masks, painted in stripes of red, white and black, which are used to invoke the deity Do in fertility ceremonies. The Mossi are known for their antelope masks. The Lobi carve wood.
  17. 60% of the population is Muslim, while 19% is Catholic, 15% are Animists, and 5% are Protestants.
  18. Burkina Faso is prone to severe droughts. Burkina Faso suffered droughts in the early 1970s and the early 1980s.
  19. The school week runs from Monday through Saturday. Schooling is in theory free and compulsory until the age of 16. According to UNICEF, only 81% of students reach the 5th grade.
  20. The University of Ouagadougou founded in 1974, was the country’s first institution of higher education. The Polytechnic University in Bobo-Diolasso was opened in 1995. The University of Koudougou was founded in 2005, replacing the former “Ecole Normal Superieur de Koudougou.”

So, hope that gives you a little insight. Please go to the web and read all about Burkina Faso by just typing in the name. In the meantime please pray as the team goes to work in preparations for the trip. We have a couple of spaces still open if you believe God is directing you to be on board with us. Email me at Also, it is time to start giving to help sponsor the women that will be attending this retreat. It takes $500 to sponsor a missionary woman to attend for 4 days, 3 nights free of charge to her. Please consider giving towards the sponsorship of these ladies because it is worth every penny to see them restored back to the relationship with God, husband (if married), family, ministry, etc. If you can't sponsor a missionary please give. Remember God's word tells us in so many ways, “the least will be the most". Give what you can and He makes the difference! Amen!

Love you all,


Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Well, my dear ones, I have been on quite the little journey the past 10 days!  This 'morning' I finally woke up and knew that I was on my way to getting well!  Praise the LORD!  Seriously, I have been down since Sunday night a week ago.  Yes, I went to the doctor, which is why come Saturday of this past weekend I thought I might just keep a speaking engagement to a church not so far from home.  That all went well until in the middle of it my left ear just went crazy and I felt like I was speaking out of a tin can.  The visit with the ladies was wonderful!!  They were so precious and really do see their church getting on board with helping with gifting and praying and one of their ladies is traveling to Tanzania with us!  God is good!  By the time I got back home however, I had some shooting pains going through my ear.  So not pretty.  Got back in to a different doctor yesterday (you take whoever will see you when you walk in) and he for sure did me right!  He told me I should start feeling better today and he was right.  I'm up and putting in half a day at the office.  Pain is gone; pressure will be there for a while due to serious inner ear infection from allergy driven stuff.  I'm just so thankful.  And thank all of you for your comments to me during the week when I didn't feel like posting last week.  You are kind.

You know when you are laid up for awhile that can be good or bad.  In my case it just means lots of thinking if I’m not asleep or praying, which is good.  So, this weekend several from our church headed to Peru for a medical missions trip.  When I thought of them and have been praying for them I think of how the people in other countries live with pain and disease as part of their daily lives.  They live above it yet it is steadily and slowly taking their lives away.  I am so thankful for those that go and minister to needs in places where you have to keep your focus on what God has equipped you for right in front of you because you would otherwise wonder what is the point - it seems too overwhelming.

This summer our missionaries will be receiving help from many stateside missions trips by local churches that make this part of their summer ministry programs.  Pray for the missionaries as they help coordinate plans for the teams and for the teams to be sensitive to what the local missionaries know are the real needs of the people versus our agendas.  Also pray for people that are traveling in this capacity for the first time. Pray God will speak clearly to their hearts about why He has them on this journey.  (I am praying very much for one of my friends in Peru to hear a special word from the LORD while she is giving of herself to the locals!)   

We also have one of our Pure Joy staff and her church, which is one of our partnering churches, headed to Guatemala to do work in several orphanages and children's feeding centers there.    They are traveling with Manna Worldwide.  Please keep them in your prayers as well.

My dear ones, .... please know that missions are happening all around us from the back door to the ends of the earth!  As His children we are responsible to be a part of it on some level.  He will show you!  But you have to be looking for Him.  God passes us by on so many opportunities not because He didn't provide it but because we were too busy with our personal lives to see the kingdom opportunity!  Get involved in kingdom work - it is good for the soul!!!

Love you all....


Thought for the week:  "Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible." — C.T. Studd  
Translated He wants Faith Walkers!!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

No official Blog this week...

Greetings all,

Please forgive me for not posting a blog this week. I have been seriously under the weather since Sunday night. Please pray for my health to clear up. I have already had to cancel several meetings.

Also, remember our contact person is on the ground in Burkina Faso. Pray we can get into the hotel we are looking at.

Hope you are all having a blessed week!