Monday, February 23, 2015

Welcome ….

Today I just wanted to welcome all the new people who are connecting to this blog site because you have become aware of us through a team member from your church that is going to Italy to minister in April 2015. Some of you have come on board as prayer warriors and have taken the name and bio of a woman and are praying diligently for her these next 2 months. Some of you are working on favorite bags and praying for the details of what goes in that bag. Others of you are giving to help sponsor the women missionaries to be able to attend free of charge to them for 4 days and 3 night. Others of you are meeting the needs by providing some things we believe God has put on our heart to take. It is an awesome thing to watch how God works on behalf of the 50 missionary women coming and the 15 team members. In fact for the fun of it I decided to figure out how many people are involved in preparations for just one trip. Honestly, this is so awesome to even consider!!! Ready? Over 600 people and that is just what I can account for – there may be more with all the details that take place. It is incredible and sooooooooo God that so many would be involved in loving on and ministering to those 50 missionary women who God has called to this retreat at this time, this season in their lives, this location, this team. So, welcome new individuals on board and thank you to those of you who are on the boat with us 24 -7!! I love you guys!! And thank you for understanding the purpose of this ministry to help keep our missionaries/families on the field of service God has called them to!

For those of you tracking the progress on the Italy retreat, we had 2 more missionaries sponsored this past week. Actually, a little over so …22 and the arms of another are sponsored! Ha,a,ha,ha! 

Hope everyone was able to wade through the final week of the ‘filters’ blogs. To summarize it all…

We need to be God centered so our filters are clean. God centeredness means that when chaos in the form of guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, anger, emotional woundedness, secret sin, unforgiveness, etc., etc. comes into our life we immediately pass it through the colander of His Word and truths. This colander only allows what is true and pure to pass through so we can think more clearly and make godly decisions. One of the biggest culprits to clogging our filters is un-forgiveness of things past, present, and future. Jesus knew that when He demonstrated the importance of forgiveness from the cross. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The word ‘forgive’ used here is what is called a continuous verb meaning the Father forgive them past, present, and future, all the time. Jesus extended a gift to them - and to you and me - that none deserved when He paid it all on the cross. Remember, forgiveness is always a gift. Forgiveness does not mean what happened to you is ok. It doesn’t mean you have to be reconciled to someone you have forgiven. It doesn’t mean there are no consequences for the action. It does, however, mean freedom for you from the offender and the ability to demonstrate grace through forgiveness as it was demonstrated to you and me from the cross. 

Love you all - have a God week!!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Thank You ... and Filters Cont'd

Thank you for your patience last week on the blog.  Also, a thank you to Deb, our Public Relations Staff member, for carrying the ball late in the week.  She did give you a good clear picture of where we are for the Italy trip. And I do want you to know we had 1 more missionary sponsored this past week thanks to all of you. So we are up to 20 missionary women sponsored as of today with only 30 more to go.  Keep praying.

Two weeks ago I addressed the issue of ‘Filters’ for the first time.  Today I want to speak to that topic just a little bit more.  Please go back and read the February 3, 2015 blog to make sure you are on the same page with us as we step out today.

On the 3rd I encouraged you in the importance of cleaning your spiritual filter in regard to being available to God and in good service to Him.  This week I want to encourage you in the importance of cleaning your spiritual filter in regard to your spouse, children, family, peers, co-workers, etc.
When our filters are clogged we don’t really see and or hear well.  Information gets distorted and then we act out behaviors based on distorted information.  Last week I gave you three things that can clog our filters:  unconfessed sin, emotional wounds, and unforgiveness.

Let’s take those same three things and see some of the ways they can affect our relationship with others.

* Unconfessed sin……causes us to feel guilt, shame, and fear, which can cause us to hide and or blame others for the struggles in our lives.  Hiding in a relationship can cause us not to allow those we love to get close to us.  It prevents relational intimacy (not meaning the sexual aspect of the relationship) as does blaming others.

1 John (ESV)   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

* Emotional wounds…..can hurt our identity. They can cause us to mistrust others, to have a wrong perspective of self, to have a wrong perspective of others, to isolate, to rebel, to attack others, and all of this leads to communication breakdowns with our relationships at home, work, community, etc.

Psalm 147:3 (ESV)   He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

* Unforgiveness....the sin of unforgiveness probably causes more health problems then we would like to acknowledge.  It eventually takes root at the core of our being and poisons us from the inside out causing a root of bitterness to sprout that clogs every pore of our filters.  Therefore, our ability to see and hear clearly when relating to others is impossible.  Everything gets distorted.  Eventually the bitterness begins to affect all your relationships.

Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV)   For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

I am not even sure where I got the following information that I have had in my counseling files for some time.  I think it came from a peer counselor many years ago.  But not sure of that either.  What I am sure of is why I kept it - because it is a good look at why people withhold forgiveness.  Hope it helps you.

Reasons Why People Won’t Forgive

1. The hurt was too great.
Forgiveness is always a gift; it is never deserved. Read Matt. 18:23-35
When people are unwilling to forgive, they don’t understand the incredible debt that was owed by them and the costly price that God paid for their sins. Their sins cost Jesus everything.

2. They don’t want to forgive because the person keeps doing it.
I Cor. 13:5. Love (God’s agape) keeps no record of wrong. This love spoken of in I Cor. 13 is God’s love (agape) and is forgiving. No one will ever be perfect, but we strive to be better forgivers.

3. Deep hurt – the memory of it keeps one from forgiving.
God can “remember our sin no more”, but unlike God, people may still remember. When Jesus said to forgive 70 times 7, this was referring to the same hurt. Sometimes things happen that are so terrible, the memory of that incident comes back. When a person remembers something he/she has already forgiven, the person must forgive the offender again. (70 times 7).  Read Matthew 18:21-22
People remain in prison from unforgiveness. Every time the memory comes back, forgive.

4. They want the person “to pay”.
Someone who got hurt and didn't forgive tends to attempt payback. Romans 12:19-21. When a person wants someone to pay, he/she may sulk or give the silent treatment. The person who was hurt may believe that if he/she forgives, the offender is “let off the hook”. This is not true; God is the righteous judge and sees all. He will be the ONE to execute judgment or vengeance. Forgiveness is not reconciliation. Reconciliation happens when 1) one takes responsibility for the hurt and 2) the other person forgives. Job 42:7-10. Receive a blessing by praying blessings on those who hurt you.

5. They won’t forgive until the offender says, “I’m sorry”. 
In Luke 23:34,  Jesus offered forgiveness before anyone asked. When people won’t forgive, they drink the poison and get sick. Anger kills love. If a person stays angry, he/she won’t be able to love. In Matthew 18:34, those who refuse to forgive will suffer consequences: they will be turned over to the tormentor (anguish, distress, etc.). Anger avoids love.    Forgiveness avoids anger.

6.  They’re too angry to ever forgive.
Eph. 4:26-32. Don’t go to bed angry, or you’ll give Satan a “toehold” (place of dwelling). Satan is able to put his tent up and his place of influence in your dwelling. 2 Cor. 2:10-11. When a person doesn't forgive, he/she falls into Satan’s trap by taking his bait. Not only does the person who was hurt and unwilling to forgive suffer in his/her heart, but also the person’s family and friends will ultimately suffer and be deviled by a root of bitterness. Heb. 12:15.

                       † Forgiveness is always a gift. Give people a gift they don’t deserve.

Love you all...


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Touching Base ...

Greetings, everyone! Vickie asked me to fill in for her on the blog this week as she is ill. Please pray for her quick recovery. She will be back with you next week to continue her blog about Filters. 

We are thrilled with what God has done to bring the Italy retreat together. We have 50 missionaries registered and more on a waiting list. We have a team of 15 signed up and they are working on preparations already. Please continue to pray for the missionaries as they begin making plans to be with us in Naples April 22 – 25 and for the team as they are taking care of all that must be done before the retreat.

At the time of this writing, we had 19 missionaries sponsored and we are so thankful. Please pray for the 31 missionaries who need to be sponsored at $600 each…and seek how God would have you to get involved with gifting and giving for this retreat. It’s always exciting to watch how God moves on the hearts of people around the world to financially support the retreats!

In Him,

Deb Potter
Pure Joy International
Staff, Public Relations

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Every 3 months or every 3,000 miles I take my car in to have an oil change. While I’m there they always check all the fluids and the air pressure in the tires and clean out the air filter, and when needed, replace the filter with a new one.

A clean air filter is very important for the proper operation of a car. It improves gas mileage, lengthens engine life, lowers emissions, and overall improves the engine performance. However, as an air filter becomes dirty, the capacity for it to filter the air going into the engine is reduced. This causes the engine to not be able to function properly and results in several issues including problems with the emission control system which can foul the spark plugs, etc., etc. You get the picture.

Today I want to challenge us to do a filter check:
  •        Webster’s gives this definition of the word filter: A porous device for removing impurities. 
  •        Webster’s gives this definition of the word impurities; (1) the quality or state of being impure, (2) an unwanted substance that is found in something else and that prevents it from being pure.

I really like that second definition; an unwanted substance that is found in something else and that prevents it from being pure.

I wonder as you read these words today as a believer if there might be some unwanted substance that could be clogging your filter spiritually and preventing you from being available to Him and pure in your service to Him.

What are some things that can cause our spiritual filters to be clogged?   I am listing three that I see at work on a regular basis but there are more and not enough room in one blog. Ha,ha,ha
  •        Unconfessed sin
  •        Emotional wounds
  •        Unforgiveness

God tells us in His word how to clear our filters of these unwanted substances that prevent us from being pure.

  •        1 John (ESV)   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  •         Psalm 147:3 (ESV) He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
  •         Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV) … for if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,   but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespass.

I encourage you to seek God and ask Him to reveal to you any areas in your life that are clogging your spiritual filter.  (smile)

We have 49 missionary women registered for Italy as of this writing (Tuesday night). Keep praying!

Love you all...