Saturday, January 27, 2018

Pure Joy International Annual Board, Staff, and Advisors Retreat…..

What a sweet time of fellowship and prayerful discussion we had last weekend as we continue to look at the plans God has for the ministry of Pure Joy International.

We all need encouragement… and that is at the top of the list of what Pure Joy International is called to do, encourage. But, you can’t give away what you don’t have. So every year we take time away to regroup, breathe, evaluate, and encourage one another.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that healthy leadership makes for a healthy home, family, marriage, ministry, work environment, church, etc. So, we intentionally pull away for several days, so we can slow down, listen, share our hearts, and power back up in Him for the New Year.

Can I encourage those of you that are running on empty whether it is in your marriage, family, church, ministry, work environment, etc? Stop! Step Away! At least long enough to get some oxygen so you can breathe and think more clearly.
I think it is funny in the computer age we have figured out that most times when something is wrong with our computer/technical equipment the first thing people ask us is, “Have you tried unplugging it and then plug it back in?” It has been said that most things work again after being unplugged and plugged back in. I suspect that applies to you and me as well. (smile)

Eastern Europe Team is preparing for our trip. We have a few places open if you are interested in joining the team. Must contact me asap.

Find some time to unplug (solitude), even for a few hours… weekly!


Monday, January 15, 2018

Preparations Underway....

Eastern Europe…..

Pure Joy International is headed to Eastern Europe this spring. The team is in the process of being formed. We have a few places left for team members. If you sense He is tugging at your heart to consider this trip, then contact me immediately at for more information regarding the conference. Registration for non-team members will open in February sometime.

Jesus Is In The Boat……

Matthew 8:23-27 (ESV)
 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.  And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.  And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

This week I just want to take time to encourage all of us to remember, “Jesus Is In
The Boat.” Sometimes when the storms and waves of life come and seem as if they are overcoming us… we, like the disciples, begin to fear.

I highly suspect they tried to handle things themselves as the storm began to grow in intensity, not wanting to bother Jesus and/or believing they could handle the situation themselves. In either case, you can bet their focus was on the storm and waves at first and not on Jesus. When it became more than they could handle they shifted their focus to the Savior.

Isn’t that just like us? We try to handle it ourselves. We don’t want to bother Him with it. We think we should be able to handle it. Like the disciples we know He is there. But we don’t want to bother Him if we think we can handle it. 

Can I encourage you (and myself included) to keep our focus on Him no matter the circumstances in your life? His word clearly tells us in Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Remember Jesus is in the boat. Keep your focus on Him. Not the storms and waves. Have a great week!


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Isaiah 43:18-19

Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV)
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

There are several verses throughout scripture that address leaving the past behind. But why is moving on from the past so hard? I would say most of the time it has to do with unforgiveness. Unforgiveness towards self, someone else…or both. Other times it has to do with an unwillingness to let go of persons, places or things of the past.
This I know. You cannot move forward if you are anchored to the past. Even if those things were good things.

I have heard and/or am aware of many of the reasons we give for unforgiveness and not letting go. Here are some things I’ve learned and been taught along the way:

Hanging on to “unforgiveness”
  • The hurt was too deep and they don't deserve forgiveness.
  • We are unwilling to forgive because the person keeps doing it.
  • The memory of it keeps us from forgiving.
  • We withhold forgiveness because we want the person to suffer/pay.
  • We want the person to say they're sorry, and ask for forgiveness.
  • We are too angry to ever forgive.
Forgiveness is always a gift.  Give people a gift they don’t deserve.
Jesus gave you and me the gift.

Inability to “let go”.  We are all hanging on to something or someone.
  • Is it a person, place or thing?
  • Does hanging on to it make you a better person or worse?
  • Are you hanging on to mistakes you made? Someone else made?
  • Are you hanging on to the memories of what could have been...but isn't?
Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that I don’t understand all the reasons for unforgiveness and not letting go. But, after 35 years of counseling people, of this I am sure … you can’t change the past. And the past can mean years ago, one day ago, and/or a minute ago. Either way, holding on to the past prevents you from living today. It hinders and destroys marriages, families, parent-child relationships, churches, ministries, work environments, etc. It is like poison to the soul (mind, will, and emotions).
So, I challenge us as we step into 2018. Ask God to give you an attitude of “forgiveness.” Give a gift to someone that doesn’t deserve it. And “let go” of anything you are hanging onto from the past that is preventing you from living in the present. Grab hold of God this year and don’t let go!