Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Upon Us……

I was recently reading an old Calvin and Hobbs funnies newspaper clip about New Year’s Resolutions. Calvin was upset with Hobbs’ obvious insinuation that Calvin had made a New Year’s Resolution - to which Calvin responded defensively with an overall attitude of “I’m perfect- what’s to change”.   

We all probably know some people that see themselves that way! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha But, truthfully you cannot be a follower of Christ and not recognize the need to grow daily in our likeness of Him which is part of the journey.

I spoke with a precious young man this past week that has lots of things on his heart and plate.
I loved something that he said, which is so true. “Well, no matter what I do there are going to be consequences.” Absolutely, I responded to him. For every choice you make there is a consequence, maybe good and maybe bad, but there will be one or two or three or…….

That is why many years ago I made a decision to choose to seek after the LORD in all things. All things, yes! Is it hard? Yes! Do I fail at it? Yes! Do I just want to give up sometimes? Yes! Would the world’s way of handling life, emotions, thoughts, words, behaviors/actions, etc. be easier? Yes, temporarily. But aren’t you tired of watching and living with the consequences of how the world does things that impact your life? Yes! Why would we want to contribute to that?

As we step into a new year I want to encourage you to hide these verses in your heart! Memorize them!  

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith!” And remember this, He endured the cross, because of the joy set before Him. He knew where He was headed! Precious ones….we know where we are headed!

If you are going to make one New Year’s Resolution that will lead to major changes and good consequences when it is all said and done, choose to look up and become more like Him in 2015.  

Love you all and I am praying for a Blessed and Growing in Him New Year for us all!


Monday, December 22, 2014


A couple of weeks ago I was playing with my 2 ½  year old great nephew in the living room floor. He is kind of a hat fanatic as long as it isn’t the hat you need him to put on for the cold weather outside. He likes to put on pans, and cups, bowls, books and anything else he can balance on his head, which he then identifies as, “look at my hat”. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that he found great joy in balancing an empty popcorn can from Walmart on top of his head at just the right angle to stay long enough for me to capture a precious picture moment. Seriously, we are talking it sat there on his head all of 2 seconds. But, isn’t it sweet when the timing of something is perfect and it wasn’t planned. Don’t get me wrong I plan lots of pictures for the little guy to be in but they don’t work out so well. Ha,ha,ha

OK, so no that isn’t my 2 ½ year old nephew but you get the idea. 

In a few days, Christmas Eve and Christmas day will be upon many of us. And I suspect lots of planning has gone in to it for many of us. Trying to figure who is going to be where, when, and what gifts will be opened at what house. What is meant to be a joyful, peaceable, and exciting time of celebration and good will towards man can so easily be lost in the middle of the chaos of it all.

My point: Keep those hearts, ears, and eyes open because you never know when that perfect timing of something not planned takes place right in front of you and it is priceless! 

Two thousand years ago, that moment happened not according to man’s plans but God’s plans. And the amazing thing is, if you will open your hearts, ears, and eyes you can still experience the sweetness of the birth of Christ in your own life. It is a priceless moment when that takes place!

We at Pure Joy International want to wish you and yours a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and A HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Joy of Moving in our Spiritual Gifting…

The week of December 1 -7 was a pretty fun week for me. While I didn’t have a voice most of it, I did experience the joy of moving in my spiritual gifting. I had two opportunities to share with women about Pure Joy at Christmas dinners: one in Olive Branch, Mississippi, and the other at my home church.

The tables were decorated so beautifully. I am including a very small sampling of tables but maybe you can see some others in the background of some of the pictures. 

Something very exciting took place in my heart that week. I was reminded of the joy of moving in our spiritual gifting. Those two speaking events allowed me to spend time sharing the message God would have me bring to those women specifically, along with sharing about Pure Joy and my people group: missionary women. If you really want to see me experiencing some joy, it is when I’m exhorting my people group or talking about them!

I’m not sure what any of the women got out of those two meetings but I know God reaffirmed in me the joy of moving in the gifting He has given me: to encourage and exhort people in their walks with God by being in the Word and applying the Word to their lives daily.
I want to encourage you in your walk with God. Please if you are not growing in your walk with God get in the Word. Yes, God gives us others to encourage us and feed us regarding His Word but honestly you better know how to feed yourself because most of the people around you are probably starving. Also, you can’t afford to eat out all the time! And you can’t afford not to eat if you are going to withstand the struggles of this world! It isn’t going to get easier! Don’t be deceived! As believers we need to be in the Word and we need each other!
I pray you know and are reminded of the joy of moving in the gifting He has given you so you may experience the joy of His presence!

Love you all,


Monday, December 8, 2014

Did you know …..

As, we head into the Christmas season I am always mindful of families. Maybe because the counselor part of me knows that Christmas can be the best and/or hardest time for people. Very few people fall into the in-between category. It is either the best or hardest time. The best …it means seeing family that you only see this one time of the year, kids and grandkids, cooking and baking together, traditions, laughing, joy, silliness, ballgames, etc., and for sure pecan pie!  The hardest….missing loved ones that passed this past year, broken and wounded relationships among parents and children, grandkids, siblings, and others, financial stressors, divorce and loneliness, un-forgiveness, bitterness, depression, etc.  

The best or the hardest time? While you cannot control anyone and/or many of the circumstances around you this Christmas season, remember this ….. you have a choice about your response and attitude towards those people and circumstances. It is my prayer that whether you are headed into the best time of the year or the hardest time that Jesus will be at the root of your response and attitude. The song below is a reminder that He is our All in All. 


Mary Did You Know?
By Mark Lowry

Mary did you know that your baby boy would someday walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh, Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the Lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I Am.
                               Jesus Makes a Difference