Joyska's Journal: April 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005


Did I get your attention...stop lurking, leave a comment!
Joyska at 8:54 AM

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

To Follow "whole-heartedly"

There has been a challenge that has gone out to those of us here at IHOP. I've heard it said in many ways over the past three monhs and have grabbed a hold of it to some extent... but then, have been quick to let it go.

Yesterday, during the all staff staff meeting, Mike Bickle said it again super clear. He invited us all to do the following:

1.Make a covenant with our eyes (to be vigilent about what we allow our eyes to see)

2.Bridal our tongues (James 3:2-- to be adament that only good and necessary words come out of our mouths... so much is said in a day that is idle talk or harmful --whether gossip, critisism, or vulgar speech)

3.Control our time (the challenge was to be diligent with every hour we have... not ever to waste our time... rest and relaxation is important and needed, but we do way more of it than is necessary... contrary to what society would say...)

4.Control and be faithful with finances ( to really be aware of how we spend our money... and to use it for the furtherance of God's kingdom and plan)

To do these four things will take away a lot of the other issues we deal with. Of course, as I have been looking at this, I have also covenanted to read and study more, to find myself in his presense as often as I can, and to be diligent in all the things that I put my hands to here. Especially as it pertains to the next generation and the inner city.

It's hard, in this format, to express the hugeness of this even here at IHOP. As Christians we want to draw people by grace, and by his mercy, that this stuff borders on legalism, but it isn't. It is a call to a life apart, to be in the world but not of it. When I moved here, I felt a deep need to get rid of all the things that are distractions for me. It wasn't easy, but I knew it was right. And I know it is going to have only good things as a result. This challenge is just taking that a step further. It isn't just youthful zeal, it's in a sense soul survival.

Jonathan Edwards had a set of 70 resolutions as standards for his own life, saying,"Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace, to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake. Remember to read these resolutions every week."

hmm... not a bad idea.
Joyska at 1:41 PM

Monday, April 25, 2005

Here I am, back in the prayer room. Yeah God! My head and heart are turning. I can feel it. There has been a growing longing in me for the presene of my King. I know that that is the place that I need to be found "at the end of the day". Mike Bikle uses that phrase a lot. "At the end of the day" meaning when all is said and done, when it comes down to it, or the most important thing... well for me these days, I think it is finding myself in his presence.

So what does that mean? Does that mean I am only in the prayer room, that it is only vailid if it is done 24/7? Of course not. I am in a unique place where prayer is happening 24/7. I am glad to be here, but I personally am not in the prayer room 24/7. What I notice is that I am almost everywhere BUT in the prayer room.

That is changing. I'm amazed how easy it is to fill my time with so many things. And I have given up a lot of those things that used to fill my time! This is not an easy way to live. I think it is easy to romanticize this place (IHOP-KC). Wow, prayer happening all the time, a direct line to the heavens, etc. I will definitely say that it is easier to find a place to pray here, and that the presence of God is evident in a room where the worship and prayer never stops, but I have to find myself here. That is the hard part. Everything I am doing is good, and I love it, but again, I want to find myself at his feet first.

Right now is a "Worship in the Word" set, where the musicians and singers work through a piece of scripture for 2 hours. They are singing about the beauty of creation and how creation cries out for him. It is really touching my heart, even as I sit here typing. God's heart is so big.. for me. He created the earth in all it's beauty and I am the crown of his creation. You are the crown of his creation!

Yesterday there was an interesting (terrifying) statistic that was given. In 1973 in America the Bald Eagle was put on the endangered species list. It is illegal in America to even own a bald eagle feather. The other law in 1973 that was passed was the right for women to abort babies. The eagle was protected and the crown of his creation was given a death sentence. I know that is a little strong... especially to the Canadian "tolerance" stance it is so well known for, but it is real.

In recognzing our own place in creation, we must see ourselves as beautiful to the creator. I'm not sure how this all fits together, but I know that God is stirring my heart and making me rethink a lot of things. (it's all good!)

Well, I am going to go and do what I came here to do! PRAY!!!
Joyska at 12:14 PM

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Miriam's song

it's 7:00 on a gorgeous Sunday morning. The weather has gotten a little cooler than it has been, and it is nice. I've been putting together my lesson for the kids this morning and am amazed at what God is doing in MY heart.

We are focusing on worship, last week going over the story of Paul and Silas and how we can choose to worship even when things look like there is no way out. This morning we will focus on how worship is an expression of thanksgiving to God, and a declaration of his goodness. We will do that with the story of the crossion of the Red Sea and Miriam's song.

Have you read it lately? (Exodus 15:1-18) I was reading it last night and again this morning. My favourite verse is vs 11: "Who among the gods is like you O LORD? Who is like you-- majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?" and then vs 13 "In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed."

Who is like you O LORD? Your unfailing love leads those you have redeemed...

I am moved by the beauty of that, and by the promise. This is written all in the context of God leading Israel out of Egypt and across the Red Sea ultimately drowning and DESTROYING their enemy. And the wonder today is that He never changes. He does the same thing today... he leads us out of the hard places and destroys our enemies. And He will.

Maybe that is what is striking me today... the faithfulness. He will lead us in and out of hard times, to teach us, to draw us closer to him, to show his faithfulness (in and out of the hard stuff) and to demonstrate his unfailing love for those he has redeemed.

And what then is our response? "Sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea."

My plan is to tell the story of the crossing of the red sea, and then like Miriam, lead the kids in singing and dancing with the tamborines THEY make. I'm praying for his presence to manifest in us as we worship HIM!!!

Have a great Sunday!
Joyska at 5:06 AM

Friday, April 22, 2005

One deck short

First tornadoes, then fire. Yep, the apartment next to me but one story up mysteriously had it's deck start on fire at 5:oo in the morning. I woke up around 3:15am and smelled smoke. Since I am such a huge fan of fire, I decided to investigate. I walked around my apartment checking every possible source of fire, but smelled it mostly in the kitchen and the bathroom (which of course should have clued me in to the fact it was next door!)

Anyway, I went on to my deck, saw nothing, when outside in search of flames, saw nothing, thought I was insane, and went back into the apartment, and went back to bed... (please note, i did not say went back to sleep) About an hour later, I smelled the smoke again. Except it was stronger and I was freaking out.

by 4:50 there was a man pounding on the doors making it very clear that there was indeed a fire in our building and that we needed to evacuate immediately!

Oh joy oh bliss!!
So we watched as the fireman took an axe to the deck. Very exciting. We took some pictures, but have misplaced the camera in all the excitement. Besides, tomorrow we are expecting an earthquake so we will show you the pictures then... after all, isn't that what follows the tornado and fire?
Joyska at 9:31 PM

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Early this evening there was quite the excitement here in KC. There were twisters sighted near the plaza and other areas of KC. The news was (and is) telling us that there are Tornado warnings all over the area and that some areas needed to take shelter. They evacuated the Kansas City International airport and put everybody in the tunnels under the airport for over an hour! How fun would that be...

"Excuse me, maam, where are you heading today?"
"Oh, I'm visiting the lollypop gang, and you?"
"I thought it would be good to check in on the munchkins myself..."
"Looks like we chose the right flight!"

Good grief, if it isn't the minus 40 degrees of Winnipeg, it's the twisters and thunderstorms of Kansas City!

As I was watching the news they showed this crazy weather man in a helicopter that they called the "chase team"... it's straight out of the movie "Twister"! The footage was awesome though. There wasn't an actual Tornado on film, but the sky was this cool greenish yellow colour! Too cool. I love crazy weather!

Hmm... where do I go if there is a Tornado here? I know there is a basement in my apartment, but what about at IHOP or Higher Grounds, or even at FSM???? Maybe, just maybe I should find that out!

Anyway, decided NOT to go to the Thursday EGS tonight. Pam's parents and sister are here and we had a nice late supper. I am now hanging out at Higher Grounds and am MSNing with Kristin. I love MSN!!!

Miss ya all! Looking forward to being back in "the peg" on May 14th for a week or so! hope to see some of you then! i promise not to bring any tornadoes with me!!!
Joyska at 6:27 PM

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

intimacy vs doing the stuff

Do you ever go somewhere, hear something so moving and life changing, and totally draw a blank? I was planning on writing this thrilling, life altering post on what I heard in my Forerunner Foundation class and well... nothing.

Just kidding... with the help of my room mates I have been reinspired! Dana Candler (Deborah Hieberts triplet sister) spoke this morning about intimacy vs bible knowledge. Now before you get your commentaries ready to be thrown at me, let me explain. Her point was that the Pharisees in their day were the experts on the scripture. They knew them inside and out and yet they totally missed his coming. She talked about how important it is to have that deep intimacy -- that "I love you and you love me" time with God too. The knowledge needs to be unto relationship. The knowledge is still essential, it's not all pie in the sky kind of thinking, it is searching out who he is and what he does in relationship to who we are and what he has for us to do.

God's heart is for our heart. He wants all of us, not just our intellect. I have learned so much about God since I have turned my heart to his Word and to consistant reading and study, but it is easy to get stuck there. For what purpose am I learning? Is it to impress you all with my ability to pick things out of scripture at the drop of a word or phrase? Goodness, I hope not! My purpose of gaining knowledge is to know him better and to fall in love with the uncreated one, and to know without doubt his love for me.

There is so much to say after a three hour class filled with passion and truth. I know that there is so much that I need to learn still, but I long for it to be first and foremost about the relationship with my God, not the head knowledge, but the heart.

In the mean time, my goal also has to be to actually find more time to be in his presence. it's easy here to do the stuff (as I have said before) and miss HIM. I'm determined to NOT let that happen...
Joyska at 9:43 PM

Monday, April 18, 2005

heard in a friday night classroom

After a short discussion on what we think the throne of God would look like...
I talked about Jesus coming to rule and reign on the earth for a thousand years... this is the response:

is really going to rain for a thousand only rained 40 days for Noah.

hehehe. I guess I need to use words a little more friendly to 6-8 year old ears!
I love kids!

That started an awesome discussion though on Heaven and what it might be like to live in a time and place where the Just God of Heaven will be the Judge of all the earth. I have so many great discussions with kids, they have a lot to say about things of God. Sometimes I feel like I am at the feet of some very wise prophets as I listen to a dream that they have had, or what they see when they pray, or even what they think about from day to day. I have much to learn!
Joyska at 9:35 PM

Friday, April 15, 2005

prayer time, or prayer life?

it's been another week of doing the stuff. I am finding that there are always people to meet with, there is always something to do, and if there isn't then there is always the prayer room. This, however is my dilemma. What I want to do, is first and foremost be in the prayer room. It is going to happen, as I am shifting around some of my time management strategies. The call to the staff in our last meeting was to continue to find yourself in the prayer room. It was kind of funny to me, that in a place where there are people in the prayer room 24 hours a day, there is a call for more prayer! But i am finding how easy it is to get doing the day to day, even here at the international house of prayer, where that is supposed to be our day to day, can get in the way of praying.

But what I love is that when it is noticed that there is some of that fervor waning, even just a little, the call goes out reminding us of the reason that we are doing the stuff in the first place. My "sacred trust" is that I will find myself in the prayer room 24 hours a week. That is only 12 prayer meetings a week. (roughly 2 a day) That has been a wonderful thing, but it is also easy to say, oh, i'll catch up on it tomorrow.

Let me be clear, I love the environment here and the way they continue to call us to that place of intimacy with God. I love that I can't do what I know God is calling me to here WITHOUT that intimacy from God. So it's a good thing all the way around. It just is a mind bender to move from fitting my prayer time into my life to fitting my time into my prayer life. That is the challenge that I am doing my best to rise to!
Joyska at 10:48 AM

Monday, April 11, 2005

God Told me

It has been a busy weekend with the Isreal Mandate conference. It has been really good too. It is now Monday and I am enjoying my day off as I sit in the Higher Grounds coffee shop catching up on emails and blogs.

I've been reflecting on my time with the kids this past weekend and wanted to share my favourite moment. Sunday morning Pam was teaching the kids about Abraham and Isaac and how Abraham heard the voice of God, and even though it didn't make sense and it was a very hard thing to do, he obeyed God. Keep in mind these are 3,4,and 5 year olds... One of the kids, Chloe, who still isn't 100% sure she wants me around (but also says she likes me better) turns to me and says: Miss Joyska, I think God told me I need to go see my mom.

(NICE TRY CHLOE!!) I smiled and said that I believe that God would speak and say something to her like that, but that there is also an important part of hearing God that is called "timing" We ended up having this great conversation about wanting to not only hear God's voice, but also wanting to hear when we are to move ahead with what he tells us. Then I asked her, "so, Chloe, do you need to go see your mom now?" She giggled, and went to play.

I love having the priviledge of teaching these kids. They are so open and God is speaking to them.

I also had the priviledge of having 5 extra people in my home this weekend. Bev, Nancy Crary, Diane, Ionka, and Cheryl Buhler all came down for a visit of sorts. Bev came down to help Nancy move here last weekend and the rest came to visit and pick up Bev to take her home this past weekend. Did that make sense? yah, I don't think I got it either! Anyway, it was fun to have so many happy smiling faces in our home. You guys rock! We went to Penera Breads on Sunday before they left. I would've taken to JackStacks, but Penera is healthier!!!

Well back to the daily schedule. Pam and i are taken the afternoon to hang out at a bookstore or somewhere quiet. have a great day!
Joyska at 11:11 AM

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Responding to Cindy

Wow, Cindy-lu has some good points to make in the comments of the last post. I want to though just respond with some other thoughts. When I said that I want to pursue meekness, it is in the context of the first definition you mentioned. I want to be one whose attitude is such that I recognize my weakness and not think of myself as something that I am not. That does not, however, mean that I am less than all that God has said I am. The meekness is not about position or standing with God, it's about being willing to be Jesus-like.

Weakness is reality. I do not pursue weakness in the same way I want to pursue meekness. I recognize daily that all my strength has to come from Him. The glory of what Misty sang that night was that God CHOSES the broken, that the meek WILL inherent the earth. (There is a whole context of Mike's teaching on this passage here that is missing in the discussion, by the way) What I know is that the words of John the Baptist are ringing in my head more and more these days "He must become greater and I must become less). There is much talk of a nameless faceless generation that will come and proclaim the glory of God. Is that because they are people who have no worth or place? No WAY! It is because they are proclaiming Jesus and the message is what is remembered, not the person who brings the message.

That is the essence of what I am after. I believe that especially as I work with the children (churched and unchurched) I NEED to have them remember what God speaks to them, not what Joyska taught them.

do you believe that the meek will enherit the earth? do you believe he has chosen the broken? They are questions that will raise different realities in different people. For me the question is still do I believe that he has chosen me, in my weakness, in my littleness, in my limitations...not do I believe it in my head, but do I believe it in my heart. The more I pursue this, the more I can say with confidence... Yes. I must pursue meekness, I have to believe that he choses the broken. To me at this point, it doesn't make sense otherwise, and it is awesome.
Joyska at 9:31 PM

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Do you Believe

I was walking out of the prayer room after Saturday's teaching from Mike Bickle and I heard Misty begin to sing "Do you believe that the meek shall inherit the earth, do you believe I've chosen the broken?" (sung at least 6 times in a row).

I turned to Bev and said, wow, that was profound, and I've been thinking a lot about it since then. Do I believe that all that he said about the meek, about the broken, about his strength being made manifest in my weakness? Do I really believe that?

If I do, (which I always thought I did) than why does it matter whether or not the kids like me? It I do, then why am I so concerned about people seeing weakness in me? If I do, why am I afraid to fail?

If I did believe it, wouldn't I consistantly fall at his feet and welcome his mercy rather than trying desperately to convince myself that I am in control of my world and everyone around me. (I do enjoy having control over the 19 preschoolers in my class on a Sunday morning...hehehe) If I did believe that the meek enherit the earth, wouldn't meekness be a pursuit rather than a perceived weakness. Or if I saw clearly that God choses the weak and the broken, wouldn't I embrace the weak and the broken in myself AND in those around me?

These are not simple questions. It has stirred something in me. It has rattled something deeper. God is perfected in me in my weakness. Do I believe the meek will enherit the earth, do I believe he has chosen the broken? Do you?
Joyska at 10:32 PM

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Three amazing days

Yes, Lanney, it has been 3 days. An amazing three days. I went to my Thursday morning class which is Apostolic Leadership. Lenny LaGuardia teaches this one. Some very deep things were spoken in that class (yes Brian, the email is coming on that) but what was awesome to me was Lenny invited one of the kids in. Her name is Kelsey and she is a young girl who walks in the power of the Spirit. She speaks the word with incredible profound insight, and prays with propheticc accuracy. We talk about the "forerunner" generation around here alot, the generation that Joel spoke of (your sons and daughters will prophesy) and I am seeing it happen here amongst kids like Kelsey. She prayed over our class for a longing to put God first, above everything, that we would recognize his voice and see clearly where he is leading. There was just a sweet presence in the room as she spoke and shared what God is teaching her. It was truly the highlight of my time here so far.

Friday morning was a continuation of Rhonda Calhoun's class on the Song of Solomon. WOW. The intimacy that God desires with his "sister and bride" is incredible. The Jewish custome in that day was that you could be openly affectionate with your sister in a public setting, but not with your wife or fiance'. (See no PDA's!!!! hehehe) Rhonda was saying that he said my sister my bride, to say that he had the freedom to show us affection in both arenas. It s a quick synopsis of what she said, and if you can get a hold of her CD on Jewish bridal customs, it is well worth the $10.00!!

Last night (Friday night) I had the privlege of teaching the 4-8 year olds. It's a wierd age range, but we talked about Jesus as our shepherd and what that means. The kids talked about how a shepherd took care of the sheep, how he looked for the one when it got lost, how he protects the sheep from wild animals, how he talks to the sheep "so they can know his voice" and how the shepherd would stop the rushing waters by putting rocks in the river, creating a calm spot, because sheep won't drink if the current is too fast. (I didn't know that one!) Anyway, as they kept talking I realized they knew this story so well, why was I even trying to teach it? I opened up a book I have that is illustrated by Tim Ladwig (Psalm 23). The kids were mesmerized. It is a book that looks at the 23rd Psalm through the eyse of an inner city child. The kids loved it! Then I asked them to draw a picture of what Jesus being a shepherd meant to them. It was beautiful. One of the kids draw a sheep with a human face. when I asked her about it, she said, "If a shepherd does all that, I want to be a sheep!" (Which of course opened up a great discussion with this young lady about the fact that she is a sheep and that Jesus is the shepherd! Her prayer at the end was great, "Jesus, make me a sheep that is warm and cuddly when you hold me!" LOVE THAT!!!

SO now, here I am in the prayer room, preparing for the Saturday night EGS (Encounter God Service). Nancy and Bev arrived yesterday and are actually crashing in my apartment for the weekend til they get housing sorted out. It's so good to be with friends from the Great White North again!!

Have a great weekend!!!
Joyska at 3:57 PM