Thursday, June 30, 2016

Streams in the Desert....

If you have never had a copy of the devotional book, Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman, it is a must for your bookshelf.  This week I want to share something that was in one of the daily readings titled “I Heard a Still Voice”.  
I Heard a Still Voice
Job 4:16 - There was silence, and I heard a still voice
A score of years ago, a friend placed in my hand a book called True Peace. It was an old mediaeval message, and it had but one thought—that God was waiting in the depths of my being to talk to me if I would only get still enough to hear His voice.

I thought this would be a very easy matter, and so began to get still. But I had no sooner commenced than a perfect pandemonium of voices reached my ears, a thousand clamoring notes from without and within, until I could hear nothing but their noise and din.

Some were my own voices, my own questions, some my very prayers. Others were suggestions of the tempter and the voices from the world’s turmoil.

In every direction I was pulled and pushed and greeted with noisy acclamations and unspeakable unrest. It seemed necessary for me to listen to some of them and to answer some of them; but God said, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Then came the conflict of thoughts for tomorrow, and its duties and cares; but God said, “Be still.”

And as I listened, and slowly learned to obey, and shut my ears to every sound, I found after a while that when the other voices ceased, or I ceased to hear them, there was a still small voice in the depths of my being that began to speak with an inexpressible tenderness, power and comfort.

As I listened, it became to me the voice of prayer, the voice of wisdom, the voice of duty, and I did not need to think so hard, or pray so hard, or trust so hard; but that “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit in my heart was God’s prayer in my secret soul, was God’s answer to all my questions, was God’s life and strength for soul and body, and became the substance of all knowledge, and all prayer and all blessing: for it was the living GOD Himself as my life, my all.

It is thus that our spirit drinks in the life of our risen Lord, and we go forth to life’s conflicts and duties like a flower that has drunk in, through the shades of night, the cool and crystal drops of dew. But as dew never falls on a stormy night, so the dews of His grace never come to the restless soul. —A. B.

35 sponsored for SE Asia with 15 To Go!
P.S.   Thanks to your continued listening to God and obedience we have 35 missionary women sponsored with only 15 to go! I love watching God bring in the resources for these missionaries. God, thank you for your faithfulness to your vision and the ministry of Pure Joy International to minister to our missionary women on the field internationally. Help us to always walk by faith and not by sight regarding the world around us! Bless those that partner with us in prayer, gifting, giving, and going!

Love You Friends,  (Have you heard His voice lately?)


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Vomited upon the dry land..... And update on Conference in Asia

Jonah 2:10 (ESV)
10 And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.

Now isn’t that an interesting lead-in for us as we open the weekly blog. Not necessarily a good word picture (ha,ha,ha) but something that might cause you to go “whattttt?”

Well, let’s back up a little and lay a quick foundation for our topic today.

Jonah is a prophet sent by the LORD to the city of Nineveh to preach a message of repentance. But, because of fear (Nineveh was an enemy of Israel) and pride, he didn’t really want God to save his enemies; Jonah ran from God to avoid his mission. As we all know he boards a ship headed to Tarshish across the sea in the opposite direction. He makes his way down into the lowest parts of the ship and goes fast asleep. Of course, all heck is breaking loose up above him and strong winds blowing so hard as to almost break up the ship. The crew is crying out to god (theirs) and throwing all the cargo overboard trying to save the ship. Finally, the captain goes below and says, “Wake up, sleeper, and call upon your God perhaps your God will consider us that we may not perish.” They then cast lots and it falls on Jonah. He finally comes clean and admits that all this craziness is his fault, he had already told them was running from the LORD. He instructs them to throw him over board as the way to save them and the ship. Immediately, the sea is calmed and the crew calls upon God and makes sacrifices to Him and takes vows. God was using Jonah to draw men to him even in his disobedience. God had also provided a Great Whale to swallow Jonah up for 3 days and 3 nights.
Now get this picture so far........Here is one of God’s children being disobedient to God’s direction and plans for his life. Hello, remind you of anyone you know sometimes, like maybe ourselves? Jonah Chapter 2 is the discourse of his time in the whale’s belly. Please take time to read it. But for space sake let me summarize....

Jonah has already admitted to the captain and crew, “yeah this is my fault because God said ‘go right’ and I wanted to go left instead,” if you will. Now he is in the belly of the whale crying out to God describing his situation because all of a sudden he is experiencing what it means to have that separation from God’s intimacy. He says (and I paraphrase), “I cried out to God in my affliction from the depths of hell, the bottom of the sea and He was listening.” Jonah hears and feels the movement of the billows and waves pass over the whale. He feels hopeless. I want you to picture this; the man is inside a whale’s stomach along with sea weed, and every kind of marine substance which that whale was picking up along the way. It was all being digested in stomach acids, etc. Blahaaa!! Not a good thing, as we would say. However, it was a God thing because it was exactly what was needed to bring Jonah to his senses. To recognize that he should never put his trust in anything but God alone.
Today my questions are these....
  1. Are you running from God? Has He told you to go right and you decided to go left and trust your own ways?
  2. Has going your own way put others in jeopardy? 
  3. Has going your own way caused you to be encompassed with darkness, tangled in a web of disobedience, dimming the light of Christ in you? Stealing your very life away as you are surrounded by other dead things with no life to them.
It is time to call out to God! It is time to get honest, bare your soul, He already knows! He is just waiting to have you vomited out of the belly of your whale on to dry ground. Then you can pick up your feet and go right instead of left! Notice, once on dry ground, God gave the same direction to Jonah that he was given before. Only this time Jonah was obedient. 
My sweet friends, He has work for you and I to do. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
If you are in the belly of a whale, pray for God to vomit you out on dry ground. And then be obedient to what he has called you to.
We have 31 missionary women sponsored for Southeast Asia with only 19 left to sponsor. God is soooooo working on their behalf. I love it!! Continue to pray for God to move on people’s hearts towards giving. Also, the team for Southeast Asia is solidified and we actually bought our tickets today! Thank you, Father, for the team you have in position to go minster to the frontline soldiers for such a time as this. I will be giving you more specific prayers to be praying in the days ahead.

Love you all Bunches,


Monday, June 13, 2016

Donald Trump .... And an update on the Conferences....

First let me start with a disclaimer... This is not about politics! So now that we have settled that issue, I would ask you to give some healthy consideration to what I am about to share.

Thursday morning when I got out of bed I had taken no more than two steps when out of nowhere an image of Donald Trump floated through my mind. Yes, it was a scary thought for so early in the morning. Ha Ha Ha Ha. Almost as quickly, his statement, "I'm building a wall" came through my mind. Why I am having these kinds of thoughts at 5:30 in the morning, I don't know. Then the following flooded my mind...

Donald Trump does not want to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of America and/or to keep Americans out of Mexico. He wants to build the wall to ensure people will enter into our country the only legal way, and take the appropriate steps to become legal citizens of the U.S. of America if they so desire … at which time they have all the privileges and rights of citizenship. At that point, my thoughts shifted to a Spiritual parallel regarding Donald Trump’s wall.

Bible believing Christians are often accused of building walls, because we believe there is only one way to heaven and it is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe it because God's Word tells us that over and over (See verses below).  You don't get to enter heaven by good works, by going to church, by reading your Bible, by praying every day, giving money to churches and many other things someone might believe are ways to heaven. This becomes a wall to many people when we reiterate that God’s Word tells us that we enter heaven through salvation, and salvation is through Jesus Christ the Son of God, alone. We aren’t putting up walls. We are standing steadfast on God’s Word because we want our family members, relatives, friends, peers, and the world to know that God’s Word tells us that He would have it that all men be saved. But, you have to come according to His Word. You can’t go over, under, or around. You have to come the only way according to His Word and Truths, if you are going to have citizenship in heaven.

To all of the missionaries on the frontlines internationally, nationally, statewide, and locally do not let the shouts of the crowd as they condemn, discourage, lie, and attack your faith keep you from standing strong on the truth and principals of God’s infallible Word. Our voices may be the very ones God uses to someday bring those voices to the truth that “No man comes to the Father (in Heaven) except through Jesus Christ His Son.”

John 3:16 (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 14:6 (ESV)

6 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, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Romans 10:9 (ESV)

9  because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
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.
Romans 6:23 (ESV)

23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Update on the Conferences.....

Southeast Asia is full with a wait list started and we have another “M” sponsored! So only 23 more women to sponsor! Thank you all so much as you continue to give and pray on behalf of these ladies. Pray for us as we will be booking our flights this Friday for the Southeast Asia trip. We are in trying times and we are very aware of that as we prepare to go encourage those on the frontlines. Please pray that God will give us favor as we prepare to go.

Registration for Guanajuato, Mexico opened two weeks ago. We still have plenty of room. So, pay it forward if you have been a part of a Pure Joy International Conference and let women/families that are serving internationally in Mexico and surrounding countries know about this opportunity for women.

Love you all,


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hold Fast! Also, Mexico Registration opened up .....

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Have you ever had a promise from God? I’m being personal right now. I mean has God through the power of the Holy Spirit, Prayer, His Word, and the counsel of a godly man or woman spoken to you so clearly regarding an issue you have been dealing with that the peace of Christ has flooded your soul? And while you are caught right smack dab in the middle of a raging storm, your hope in His peace and promised faithfulness keeps you from wavering. Yes, you may be tattered and torn like a flag that has weathered many storms and winds but you stand firm because of His peace and promised faithfulness. If so, Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! That kind of peace cannot be moved by circumstances, words of others and or lies from the enemy. Instead it increases our faith, moves us to more dependence on Him, and humbles our hearts to repentance that we may extend more grace to others.

Recently, I sent this to a precious friend from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional series. May it encourage you if you are in need of encouragement today.

You may fear that the Lord has passed you by, but it is not so: he who counts the stars, and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting his own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature he ever made, or the only saint he ever loved.  Approach him and be at peace.   Morning and Evening (Evening Feb. 24)

Southeast Asia is a couple of missionaries short of 50, so please remind your friends we still have a couple of openings. Also, we continue to have 25 missionary women sponsored and need 25 more covered.

We have opened up registration for Mexico in November. We have 12 women already registered.  God is opening up the opportunity and much needed time of refreshing for these ladies in Mexico and Asia. Please continue to pray for the teams going, giving, gifting, and praying. Remember to designate which trip you are giving towards when you give. Otherwise, we will put it towards Asia until that is fully funded.
Love you all,