Tuesday, December 22, 2015

And the winner is.....

Monday night my sister sent me a text at 9:04 p.m. Her exact words were “Oh my gosh, they made a huge mistake on the pageant.” (She had texted me earlier to let me know the Miss Universe pageant was on but my mom and I were too far into a Hallmark movie by then.)

My initial thought was what can go so wrong in a pageant that could be such a big mistake. So I asked, “What happened?” She went on to tell me that the MC announced the winner as Miss Colombia. They crowned her and she actually took the walk down the walkway only to be told by the MC as he addressed her and the audience again, he had made a mistake and Miss Colombia was the first runner up with Miss Philippines being the actual winner of the Miss Universe pageant. She went on to say they took the crown off of Miss Colombia and put it on Miss Philippines. My stomach sank for a second because I could only begin to imagine the awkwardness between the MC and the contestants and the two contestants themselves. Then I saw it on the news a little later and my heart sank again with compassion for both of them caught up in the MC’s human error. I say human error because the MC acknowledged his mistake and even held up the announcement card to the cameras to show the truth of what he was saying regarding his mistake.
Can you just begin to imagine what that would be like to have all the emotions of victory, knowing what you went through to get there, excited that it all was worth it and paid off and then have someone step up just as quickly and say there has been a mistake, you didn’t win? Whew!

Immediately, after seeing that on the news a thought came to me that made my stomach sink even more. There are a lot of people in this world who are being told by the MC of this world (Satan) there are many ways to heaven, pick one. Good works will get you there. Your parents were Christians therefore you are one too by osmosis. Just go to church and read your Bible. Be nice. The difference between the MC of the pageant and the MC of this world (Satan) - the MC of the pageant made a mistake. The MC of this world (Satan) is very intentional about deceiving people.

As we gather our families together this Christmas season with those we love may we be reminded that the Christ Child was sent into this world to defeat the enemy so that you and I could be crowned victorious in Christ, through the shedding of His blood (the perfect Lamb) on behalf of the guilty (sinners) that we may have eternal life. 

Oh, what a terrible thing to stand before the audience of God someday and hear Him say...

Matthew 7:23 (ESV)
‘I never knew you; depart from me…’

God’s word is clear... There is one way to victory and eternal life.

John 14:6-7 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

John 11:25-26 (ESV)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”

My precious ones.  God’s word is clear, it is truth, and it is life changing. I pray that the day we stand before the audience of God we will not be left bewildered as Miss Colombia was Monday night as they removed the crown from her head. But we will rejoice together as we exalt and praise the Most High God!!!

Love You All,

       Merry Christmas to You and your Family!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

He knows You....

Stop! Before you start thinking this is going to be a blog on how God knows and cares about you, it’s not. Even though those things along with many more are true of His Goodness towards us, that isn’t what this blog is about.

This blog is about something that really got my attention this morning (Tuesday) around 5:10 a.m. I was on my way to walk with my walking partner. I turned the radio on to listen to a little praise and worship as I drove to our walking area. Immediately, I was caught up in the middle of a conversation where a man (a believer now) was sharing about how he grew up in Palestine. He ended up joining the Hamas Palestinian Islamist militant group. As he and the talk show host talked, the host asked him how many people he had killed. He stated he didn’t really like to talk about that but he remembered the first time he had ever killed someone and how he felt. The announcer went on to encourage him to discuss how he had actually become trained as a sniper for the militant group. As the man told his story the thing that grabbed my attention was listening to him share how as a sniper he came to know the person (his target) better than they knew themselves. He learned everything about them - their habits, where they worked; where they went; and their friends, family, and schedules.

Then a passage spoken of so often in the church realm came to my mind in a whole other perspective. The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy - John 10:10. Satan and his demons are trained snipers. Wow! They know us better than we know ourselves. They know our habits; where we work; where we go; our friends, family, and schedules; what is coming out of our mouths; lies we believe; things that discourage us; things that cause us to have fear/anxiety; things that cause us to doubt; the people we are leading and or following; our ministries, etc. Like a sniper he and or his demons are just waiting to take us out! 

One might say, “Well great, Vickie, thank you for sharing that with us.” You’re welcome. Because the truth is we do not take seriously enough that we have an enemy who is stalking us daily and wants to destroy us. The good news is that in the spiritual realm we have a better chance of distinguishing the sniper (enemy) than in the physical because God’s Word exposes the workings of him and his demons. The following are just a few of the verses that speak to the identity of our sniper. He is crafty, a deceiver, prowls like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, masquerades as an angel of light, and is a liar.

Genesis 3:1 (ESV)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

2 Corinthians 11:3 (ESV)
 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 (ESV)
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

2 Corinthians 11:3 (ESV)
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

John 8:44-45 (ESV)
 He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

How do we overcome this sniper? John tells us we overcome Satan when “the word of God abides in you”. Jesus cited scripture in Matthew 4:1-10 when the enemy addressed Him in the desert. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, is our only offensive weapon against the enemy.

I say this all the time and I say it again today. My precious sisters in Christ you must be in the WORD! The Word must be in you! There is no other way to Overcome and have Victory in your life!

Love you all,


James 4:7 (ESV)
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Monday, November 30, 2015

To Everyone Who Makes Pure Joy Possible,

Psalm 107:8
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

To the Pure Joy Team:

To the team members who taught, led worship, served in hospitality, shared your hearts; to the ladies groups who made and sent all the goodies, to the donors who gave so we can attend, to all the behind the scenes people. To all of you who make Pure Joy and these retreats/conferences happen: THANK YOU!

I praise God for all of the ways you served the LORD through serving us. I’m so grateful to have had mentors come to invest in our lives and I’m so thankful for the money to pay for our hotel room and amazing food (especially in the midst of a terrible gas shortage) and for all of the cute, special, thoughtful, handmade gifts and the chocolate and snacks, Thank you for time to clear my mind, stop, rest, and hear from the LORD. He has been speaking to us so clearly and moving in our lives and I am so thankful. I’ve had this time to process and pray. I’m thankful for good, quality, time with ladies. Thank you so much again for everything. Everything big and small that you did, did not go unnoticed! Your investment in us means so much and I pray God will greatly multiply your ministry and I know eternity is being impacted by your faithful obedience.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Love in Christ,

One of our Kathmandu Missionary women wrote this Thank You card to the Pure Joy Team of Kathmandu, Nepal. As I have said many time over to all of you that pray, go, give, and gift. You are the team! So, please receive this letter as a personal Thank You to you as well. It truly is the church working together for His kingdom purpose.

I love you all,


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

We at Pure Joy International want to “Thank You” for being a partner with this ministry year round. Whether we are here in the states working on preparation for the next trip and or in another country ministering to our missionary women on their field of service, your prayers, going, gifting and financial support allow us to fulfill the vision of the ministry He has given us.

May God Bless You and Yours this Thanksgiving Season,

The Board, Advisors, and Ministry Staff of Pure Joy International

Monday, November 23, 2015

Day 8, 9, and Home!

I apologize for being behind on the blog but the time went by so fast as the days folded together with our time with the ladies. I believe the last thing I shared with you was that I was getting ready to meet with the single missionaries to just hang out in my room Thursday night. We had a sweet time and lots of laughter. Friday we continued with messages from Iva, Debbie, and a testimony from Meleah. The ladies also shared among themselves about their journey and needs on the field. It is so awesome to watch them minister to one another. Saturday morning we had praise and worship which was awesome and a time for them to share with each other before the close out message. The women were so precious and so full of thanksgiving for all the prayers from you, support for them to attend, and gifts. Below are two portions of a couple of emails we have already received since being home. Remember if you prayed, encouraged one of your church members to be part of the team, supported and/or made gifts for this trip these letters apply to you when they say Kathmandu Team. You are a part of what was accomplished for His Kingdom in Kathmandu.

Dear Vickie and the Kathmandu Team,
I hope you all got home safely and without too much hassle from Kathmandu. It was an amazing 4 days and I feel so encouraged and ‘smiley’ inside! Just what I needed. On the last day of the conference, I woke up singing praise songs in my head which I haven’t done for some time. I feel so blessed and am challenged to rely on God’s promises for me and our family and not try to sort it out my own way. Thank you for all your love and input last week. 

Dear Vickie,
What can I say? I have just returned from the retreat you led in Kathmandu and Thank you - seems so inadequate. Really blew me away. I was quite overwhelmed and really very emotional by the outpouring of love and kindness to us. Seeing the video of those beautiful, faithful women - young and old making precious gifts for us - was just amazing.  To think that folks I do not know have been faithfully praying for me all this time, from so far away. It is just such a demonstration of God's grace to me - totally undeserved and unearned love. I cannot begin to payback or earn it - but just have to humbly say thank you.
Hope those encourage you as much as they do us at Pure Joy International. There will be more that come and I will print as much of each as I can for you in the next couple of weeks. I would ask one more thing of all of us. Keep praying for the missionary women in Kathmandu. Keep praying for all our missionary women throughout the world from all the retreats we have been able to serve our LORD in being a part of in the past, the present, and those we will be able to do in the future of the sake of the kingdom. Amen

Love you all...


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 7 Kathmandu….

As I write these words I am sitting in the sitting area of the hotel with some of the single women that are waiting to go pile up in my room for some special time of discussion regarding being single on the field. They have endured the discussion we have had for married women on the field so this will be their special time.

Today has been awesome. The praise and worship always touches the hearts of the women and is an incredible thing to be a part of. Messages were shared by Deb, Iva and myself today. Pam shared a testimony tonight that was so perfect for these ladies to hear. God is sooooo Good!

We also were exposed to a 5.2 earthquake that took place about an hour north of us. Some of us didn’t even feel the tremor from it, others did. It seems there have well over 450 plus earthquakes since the major quake that did so much devastation in the early spring. Please continue to pray for all the people here as they live with unspoken fear of another big quake.

The missionary women are having a great time and so is the team. Pray we continue to be strong in the LORD as we have 2 days left.

Also, thank you for praying for the hotel staff here. They are doing an incredible job and are the very nicest people and have such great servant hearts.

Keep praying…


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Kathmandu Day 6...

The ladies arrived today!!!! They are so exited to be here! Lots of tears of joy as we worshipped together tonight! Lots of hunger for the word of God!!

They are so precious and I'm in my element when I am with my people group! God is soooo good. They are absolutely spellbound by the gifts so many of you provided.

Keep Praying we've only just begun. We only had one black out that lasted long enough to shut equipment down! Ha ha

I'm confident of my salvation at moments like that!

Love you all...


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Kathmandu Day 5

It is already Tuesday night 11:00 p.m. as I write this. For most of you it is Tuesday morning sometime.

Today we finished up some major preparations for the retreat! The preparation time in the states was so tight that we actually set a ministry record for preparation time! Just less than 3 hours! That is a big thanks to all of you back home in how you packaged your stuff and followed all the directions we asked of you. And a big shout out to the Pure Joy Ministry staff for all you did and are doing to work back and forth with us while here!!

Tomorrow the ladies arrive and I'm smiling like a mule eating briers!! Inside and out!!

Pray as we set up a few minor details in the morning before they arrive just after lunch!

We love the Nepalese people. They are so kind and always smiling, even in the middle of their struggles and hard times.

Continue to pray!

Love you all,


Monday, November 16, 2015

Kathmandu Days 3 and 4....

Yesterday was our first official full day in Kathmandu. Some of the team slept long. Some of the team was up earlier than usual due to new environment.

We had our first Nepalese meal as a team at lunch. It was incredible. Many spices used here. I have not been able to enjoy them yet due to being a little under the weather still. However, believing I will get that chance by end of week. The team went out checking some of the local stores and making plans for gifts to bring some of their family.

This morning the team slept in, had an easy morning and then took off to purchase some of the things they checked out yesterday.

We have had some sweet prayer time, good devotional, and the team is coming together. Please pray for good rest tonight because tomorrow after lunch we begin "retreat mode". We will organize and put together all the wonderful items many of you prepared and donated, as well, prepare our minds and hearts for the arrival of the women Wednesday.

Please pray that God makes a way for all of them to make their arrival to us.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Days 1 and 2 Kathmandu

Friday we all got out of Chicago on time headed to Abu Dhabi airport. We laid over 2 hours there before leaving for Kathmandu. The team was good and tired by the time we got here. There is something about being in an airplane for almost 20 hours that just isn't fun! Ha ha
The praises... 
  • We got here with all our luggage.
  • We are all feeling well. Yes, I'm feeling better for those of you that knew I was sick!
  • The team is going to be just what God had in store for these women. Good bunch of Warriors!!
Please pray we get rest now.
Keep praying!!!
Love You All,

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Kathmandu Has Arrived....

We are pulling our tomorrow morning for Kathmandu. To keep up with us and know how to pray please read the blog daily. I will blog daily from this point until we are back in the country.

Several points of prayer:
  • Please pray for this team that God has called for such a time as this. The warfare the past week has been incredible. Please pray with diligence.
  • They have cancelled all domestic flights out of Kathmandu due to fuel shortage. Pray it doesn’t start to touch the international flights more than it already has. At present, they are giving international flights enough fuel to get to a neighboring country, such as India or China, to fully fuel up to reach the first connecting flight back home.
  • Pray for the missionary women to be able to make it to the retreat as well as there is no fuel being giving in Kathmandu and surrounding areas to even buses or taxi’s much less personal vehicles. ONLY GOD!

Lots to do today so this lets you know we are packed and heading out. Counting on your prayers and very Thankful!!!!



Friday, October 30, 2015

Kathmandu last lap before departure...

I can’t believe I’m saying this today. The team is only two weeks out from leaving the country to head to Kathmandu. We have all 50 missionary women sponsored! Praise God for His Faithfulness and your obedience. Amen! If for some reason you still sense God putting it on your heart to give towards the ministry then please be obedient and give. Money given above and beyond will be put toward the next group of missionary women we minister to in 2016.

Please continue to pray for the fuel shortage in Kathmandu. They are finally getting some of the tankers into the country. However, they are still weeks and weeks out from the fuel shortage compensation reaching the everyday family household. Pray for the women as they are making plans on how to get to the hotel. Pray for God to ‘make a way’ for each and every one of them.

Please continue to pray for the team. Many of us are in the final stages of packing trunks and getting in the final materials we need for the conference. Also, remember you are dealing with women packing ... enough said.  Ha,ha,ha

This past week one of our staff and also a team member for this trip experienced a health issue. While she is doing well it is too soon to let her go out of the country. So please pray for Deb as she recovers and gets back to full strength. Since we don’t want her to feel left out while we are gone we will make sure to keep her plenty busy without leaving the field. Ha,ha,ha,ha 

This morning when I picked my 3 year old great nephew up to go to Little Lambs Day Care he was sporting his Spider-Man outfit for school. Actually, he was cranky because he did not want to wear it. When we got in the car and began our journey to school I looked in the review mirror and said, “Hey Spider-Man” to which he replied, “I’m not Spider Man.  I’m ________  _________  _________”.    Yes, he made it clear to me with his first, middle and last name he was NOT Spider-Man. As I chuckled at him I thought of this truth that I am constantly trying to speak into people’s lives as believers. Don’t let other people dress you. Know that you are a Child of the King and don’t let anyone dress you in something that doesn’t line up with that truth. Our belief in our identity is at the root of freedom or bondage. Understanding your identity in Christ, who He is, what He has done, and His promises, are keys to your freedom and ability to stop allowing yourself, others and the enemy to dress you in things that aren’t true of you. John 1:12-13 makes it clear to me that when I became a believer my identity changed. Are you living that truth out?

John 1:12-13 (ESV)
12  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13  who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Love you all and pray without ceasing!



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kathmandu and I Apologize for the Gap ….

Just want to get you up to date on Kathmandu and help you know how to be praying for the missionaries there and the team as we continue to prepare. First, let me share with you that we have 43 women sponsored as of this writing with only 7 more to go. Praise God again for His faithfulness and your obedience as you journey with us. Thank you for all the churches and individuals who have contributed financially, given gifts, and helped to send someone from your church to be a part of the team. With all that being said we have some a major prayer request…
  • There continues to be a major fuel shortage in the country of Nepal. This past week we gained information that even some of the restaurants are closing down because they do not have the gas they need to cook food and food services are jeopardized because the trucks cannot get fuel to run routes.
  • Pray for us as we keep good communication with our resources on the field so that we can make wise decisions.
  • Pray for the women to have gas resources to get to the retreat.
  • Pray for us as we continue to finalize details. Pray for us to have trunk space we need without having to carry an extra trunk with us.

I apologize for the gap in communication with all of you this past week and a half. We had an unexpected death in our immediate family and it has been a time of family, decisions, details, etc. Many of you know exactly what I’m talking about. It is amazing to me how God uses death to remind us of life here in the present and in eternity. 

I also want to encourage you, my friends near and far, share the gospel. Share it with your family, share it with your friends, and share it with the world. Some day you won’t have the opportunity to share it. Share it before that day comes … ”It will be well with your soul to know you did.” 

Love you all,


 The Short Life of Man
When the gospel was first preached to the Saxons of Northumbria by Paulinus, and King Edwin sat in council with his chiefs and wise men to consult whether they should give up their idols and believe the Lord Jesus Christ, one of the councilors arose and spoke the following words: "In winter, O king, when thou art sitting in thy hall at supper, with a great fire, and thy nobles and commanders around thee, sometimes a little bird flies through the hall, in at one window and out at another. The moment of his passage is sweet to him, for he feels neither cold nor tempest; but it is short, and from the dark winter he vanishes into the dark winter again. Such, O King, seems to me the short life of man; for we know not whence we came or whither we go. If therefore this new doctrine can teach us anything certain, let us embrace it." And so Edwin and his people came out of the dark winter of paganism into the glorious light of the gospel, and became Christians.

From Bible Illustrations Book 3 by Albrecht Dürer