Monday, June 17, 2019

Unforced Rhythms of Grace...

A lot has been going on the last couple of weeks with family, extended family and friends in my world. Having said that, I am reminded of a verse that I run to when I am feeling overwhelmed and tired of the craziness of the things of this world. So thankful, that this is not our home and we are aliens passing through. It reminds me that no matter what is going on around me, He cares for me.

May I encourage all of us today? No matter the journey going on around us, whether it’s our journey or others’ journeys, that impact our journey, He cares for you. Look up, and Rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I really like the way “The Message” Bible says it.

Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion (running to false gods – my words)? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Also, wanted to share with you another takeaway from our Quito, Ecuador trip by Linda Roach, our Pure Joy International Staff Consultant...

After 5 years of not traveling with the ministry and only being involved with the preparations for the trips from stateside, I was blessed to be part of the team on this 20th anniversary trip. It was a blessing to see the ministry from the “front lines” and experience it first-hand. I had forgotten how quickly the hearts of God’s children can bond and how special those sisters become in that short time you’re together.

My constant reminder is to always be looking for that person God would have me to connect with. To not wait till someone reaches out to me but take the first step and begin to build a relationship as God leads. We need each other!!!

Continue to pray as we work on preparations for Brazil starting with dates and hotels. Thank you in advance for getting on board with us in prayer!!


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A Lesson from the Walmart Parking Lot….

This past week I made my begrudging trip to our local Wal-Mart store. I am not a big shopper of any kind. I am one of those “get what you need and get out people”, unlike my mom and other family members. I won’t mention your names but you know who you are (ha,ha,ha). You know the people that wander down every aisle for that “just in case” bargain. Anyway, I was in there much longer than I desired, getting groceries and yard supplies, so that should give you a picture of my state of mind. (smile)

And of course, the one day I would really like to go through a checkout line, which have been reduced to a few lanes, because they want you to check out your own groceries, (ugh) it seems everyone wanted to use the lines. So, I head over to the personal checkout lane, my favorite place with a full cart of groceries, ugh!

Oh, did I mention it was their Grand Opening after spending months remodeling and moving things to parts of the store that require you to ask a worker where something is every 3 minutes? Are you capturing my heart disposition at this point? Ha,Ha,Ha.

So, finally I make it out to the parking lot and pull up to the back of my car only to look up and see a Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream container (empty) laying smack dab behind the car next to me in the middle of the road. And for whatever reason (which I came to understand) God magnified its size to seem like it was taking up most of the road, at least in my mind. To which I responded out loud, “I’m not picking that up, it’s not mine!” But there it sat, bigger than Dallas, looking right at me!! So, I headed towards it, complaining, “I’m picking this up even though it’s not mine!” The minute I reached down to pick up the cup, in my spirit I sensed the LORD saying, “Your sins weren’t mine, but I picked them up.”

God has such a sense of humor about how He humbles us, doesn’t He? And how He reminds us of His love for us. What a symbol of love the cross is to our lives as Christians. Never lose sight of that love that picked up (took on) our sins, past, present and future. And, along with that remember, “True love is sacrificial”.

Ok, so I had a few more team members from Ecuador send in their take-away from the trip. Enjoy!

Brenda was a first-time team member with us on this trip. What a blessing she was to me as she provided counseling as well as speaking to issues with children/parents to the missionary women.

Takeaways from Brenda:
Standing on the hill and overlooking the city (we don’t get the chance to do that in the flat lands) God reminded me in a personal way, that He knows every single person out there. He knows the masses and yet, He knows how many hair follicles are on each person’s head. 

Rooming with Linda helped me understand what a Godly woman is like. How joy and peace in the midst of pain only comes from a deep walk with God. Also, how investing in younger women produces fruit unimaginable. 

Also, Julie Kerr one of our staff members that heads up the hospitality side of our ministry, sent me the following…

Here are two of my takeaways for the retreat.
1. Before the retreat I had thought of the theme verse as God calling me to a ministry or service for Him, but it was explained that God is calling me to Himself, to a deeper relationship with Him.
2. My worth in public FOR God is only worth what I am in private WITH God

Hope to hear from more of the team by next week so I can share their takeaways with you as well.

Please pray as we continue to do the initial leg work for our Brazil trip. Specifically, pray for a contact person in the city of Sao Paulo. The person we thought might be able to help us had to decline because of a little one that will be coming into this world about that time. (smile) Also, please begin to pray for all the team members God will put together for this trip, missionary women that He would have attend, and sponsorships for those missionary women. What a “joy” to watch Him at work in this ministry He has called us to.

Have an incredible week!