Joyska's Journal: May 2005

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Leviticus and Numbers

In my reading today, as I stayed at home nursing this crazy infection, I read the book of Leviticus and half of Numbers. These are normally difficult books to read through, especially when you start out with a head ache! The amazing thing though, was that I found myself engaged in the dialogue between God and his chosen people. Over and over again it says "And God spoke to Moses..." or "and they did all that God had commanded them through Moses". Then there is that cool story where Moses basically goes to God and says (paraphrasing of course) Give me a break! You have given me ALL these people to care for, all they do is complain, and you want me to give them meat? And how is that supposed to work?!?!

God in his kindness and wisdom, gives him 70 men who are given the same priviledge of God's glory on them. That is how Moses was distinguished... he carried God's glory, and the Lord gave that same honour (to a different degree of course) to the leadership that he placed around Moses and Aaron. God's glory came with the job!

And then the story of the Levites rising up against Moses and Aaron, basically saying (again paraphrasing) who made you so special? To which of course, God resoundly makes clear that it is GOD who made them special! And the earth opens up and swallowed those who disagreed. There was no guessing or messing with God back then. He interacted so closely with the Israelites SO THAT THEY WOULD KNOW that He was their God. It fascinates me that God still desires for us to know that He is our God.

The law he lays out in Leviticus, the order he sets up in Numbers, all speak of a God whose heart was to lead a people that were holy as he is holy. The laws where never expected to be met perfectly, but there was sacrifices and atonements that could be made, because God desired and STILL desires a perfect people.

I'm not sure where this is all going in my head, but I know that God is again showing me that being in relationship with him is more than believing he is real and that he died for my sin. That is the starting place, not the end, and he longs for me to be like him. Holy.
Joyska at 7:57 PM

Monday, May 30, 2005

Back in Kansas City... with a full blown SINUS INFECTION! YUCK!! I feel like I got hit by one of the thousands of semis we passed on the road. Today has been better now that I am on antibiotics and Tylenol. I left the house today anyway.

It is good to be home though. I know this is where I am supposed to be and I know that there are many things for me to learn and do here. I met with Tracy today and we were talking about the Prayer Ground (1-5 year olds) and where we want to see things go from here. I love that the heart is recognising how important this age is to the greater picture. We were even envisioning where these kids would be in 10 years, and I couldn't help envisioning children who recognize the voice of the Lord and are unafraid to speak it.

So from my foggy head there is cool thoughts, cool ideas, and pain. Not a great combination, but every day I get better!

Soon it will all be clear again...
Joyska at 6:39 PM

Friday, May 27, 2005

Becky Tales

Last night I went with Cheryl Janzen to pick up Becky Johnson from the airport. I forgot how much the three of us laugh when we are together. My stomach muscles got their workout for sure!

Becky told us many stories of her adventures in England... like reading "the Tadpoles promise" to a room of young children. If you haven't read the book, let's just say it can leave a room full of children traumitized, while every adult is dieing laughing!

My favourite story of the night revolved around a young man who swore that he admired Becky a lot, but that he didn't feel that "weak in the knees" feeling or "the fire in the belly"... Becky wonders if she should just kick him in the knees... "weak n the knees YET??? No? HOW BOUT NOW!!! or punch him in the stomach.... that fire in your belly? You feel that now? That's internal bleeding baby!!!"

I like Becky...
Joyska at 9:46 AM

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

2 days left...

It's near the end of my visit to Winnipeg. We head back on Saturday and I'm back with the kids Sunday morning. It's been so good being here in Manitoba again (however I got my first mosquito bite today, ,so it is time to head home... hehehe). I have been so blessed in this trip with seeing and "coffeeing" with so many people, catching up on all the pregnancy news (which I swear there has to be something in the water around here!), telling IHOP stories, hearing the heart and vision of the people here, and missing the day to friendships.

It's also been a couple of weeks confirming that I am where I am supposed to be right now. Just talking about IHOP, what I am learning, what God is doing in me there, and what he is doing overall, confirms for me that it is (for however long God says it is) my home, and my place in the bigger picture. I wasn't questioning or doubting that, but it sure is a good thing to confirm~!

So tomorrow, I will visit with as many as I can, Friday I will do the same, then Night watch at WCV, and then back in the vehicle for another short 14 hour drive. Please pray for an easy BORDER CROSSING... for Pam especially... pray for no interrigations, and no suspicion.
Joyska at 9:47 PM

Monday, May 23, 2005

My little Simeon has been sick since I got here. He is so cute, but has a nastly little cough that was diagnosed as Broncitus. Today I woke up with a stuffy head and a sore throat. If it were anyone other than this adorable little boy who sneezed and coughed on me, I would be complaining a little more. But I look at the chubby little face that grins when he says my name, and how can I be angry. Besides, what's a little cold among friends?

Okay, so technically he is not "MY" little Simeon. He belongs to Deanna and Deyan who have graciously welcomed me into their home. But he is on my desktop, on my wall at home, and well the most talked about little boy, that in some ways, he has to be least a little... right?

SO, long weekend. Got stood up, and just chillin!

Have a great one... I'll go drink something hot and lay down now. AH-AH-AH- CHOOOOOO...(do that three times in a row minimum and you know what I sound like!)
Joyska at 10:51 AM

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Joe and Mo... no matter what!

i'm headlong into my reading of Exodus. Of course the next major story recorded in scripture after Joseph is Moses. It says in Exodus 1:8 "Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph." Isn't that kind of like the Americans saying, there arose a president in the USA who did not know Abe Lincoln? I mean, come on, Joseph saved (through the hand of God of course) all of Egypt, Canaan and the known world! If the king had known of Joseph, and the family of Israel would history read differently?

It's kind of a mute point in that it DIDN'T happen that way, and God's hand and purpose was in all of it, but it surprised me that such an important and fantastic story could be so easily forgotten by the Egyptian king.

Anyway as a result of the kings ignorance, the story of Moses unfolds in a hostile kingdom toward the Israelites. And again, an Israelite is in power amongst Pharoah and his family. Moses was raised as a prince of Egypt. He is also raised by his mother in the formative years. When he kills an Egyptian, he flees and is a shepherd for forty years. THEN God calls him up into leading His people out of Egypt.

It leaves me again, with such an awe of God's soveriegnty and of his ways in which he prepares us. Joseph had much to be angry about, he chose to remain faithful. Moses had amazing opportunity and education, status, and wealth... and he lost it all...and still chose (reluctantly... but still said yes) to lead God's people to the promise land. It's not our circumstances that God is looking at... it's our heart response to those circumstances. It's standing when the testing comes. It's going low when
I have the right to protest... it's trusting God's greater journey over my limited view of the road.

Who knows what greatness God has planned for those whose hearts say "yes"... no matter what comes.
Joyska at 1:37 PM

Thursday, May 19, 2005

13 years of wondering

I've been reading the story of Joseph today, inbetween my many meetings with friends. I read most of it this afternoon... what hit me was that Joseph was thrown into the pit when he was seventeen. He went before Pharoah to interpret the dreams when he was thirty. 13 years of wondering why he was where he was, 13 years of trusting that God's hand was stronger, 13 years of remaining faithful to following his God with his whole heart. God prospered him in every circumstance, but they were horrible circumstances to begin with, yet, Joseph chose to stay true to his God.

Amazing, and yet, does God call us to any less?

13 years ago I was 20. I was in college, was working in the inner city of Grand Rapids, MI, and was a very different person. The last 13 years have shaped me and made me ready for what he is doing in me today. Joseph showed himself worthy, not that he didn't make mistakes, but that his heart always said yes to trusting God... even when and especially when he didn't understand. He was left for 2 years in jail AFTER he interpreted the Bakers dream... and yet it was all in God's timing and somehow Joseph knew to trust that. God used him to literally save the known world during the famine.

13 years. I get restless after 3 weeks of difficult circumstances! Always something to aspire too!

Anyway, if you are in Winnipeg, and still want to connect, my days are filling fast! Call me!
Joyska at 5:44 PM

Monday, May 16, 2005

In the Beginning

I had a professor in college who used to put jokes as extracredit marks on his exams. For example, I remember one that said, "how do you know that God likes baseball? Answer: because of the phrase in the big inning!" Lame I know, but good for a couple points on an exam.

That however is not the point of this blog. I began reading Genesis this morning. This will be my third time through the old testament in a year. I switched versions and am now reading the NKJV. I like it a lot. I was reading through the creation account and was reminded of one of the things I have learned since being in Kansas City. Every creation was SPOKEN into being... except man. It says in Genesis 2:7 "and the Lord God FORMED man of the dust of the ground and BREATHED into his nostrils the breathe of life and man became a living being."

The saying "Eternity stepped into time" rocks me. He stepped into time by breathing into us. His very hand formed man. His very breath fills our frame. Without his hand and his breath we are dust...

Humbling. and profound.

I felt once, that the Lord said to me "I weep at your self assessment". I think this is part of the reason. He breathed into me life, he formed me with his hands... and I complain about what I look like, or I don't like something about who I am...etc. and it makes him weep.

This is part of the reason that I am turning my heart to follow him wholeheartedly. He formed me with his very hand and he breathed HIS breath into me. There is no other source of my life... there is no other reason to live...

Let his breath fill your frame again today...
Joyska at 6:22 PM

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I'm here! BRRR!

It was 90 degrees F a few days before I left Kansas City... It is currently 4 degrees C (38 F) in Winnipeg. That is a bit of a shocker to the system. They say it will warm up to 14 C today (58 F) but we shall see.

One of my greatest joys is being with kids. This morning I woke up to the wonderful sound of Deanna and Deyan's little Simeon. He was sitting on the floor reading his books, pointing to the animals, making animal noises, and saying "girl, boy, and baby" as he looked at the pictures of people.

I came out of my room, said good morning Simba, and he looked up, smiled and offered me a book. I sat down with him, he crawled into my lap, and we read together for at least 3 books. I am always amazed when a child takes me into their heart. It is a privlege and honour and I love it!

The ride down to Winnipeg was good, each stop a little colder, but uneventful. Even the lady at the border was nice to us! Pam dropped me off in Winnipeg and she went on to Brandon.

I'm heading to church here shortly and am excited to see everyone again. It's only been 3 months, but it feels like a lot longer!

Have a good day, and you will whether you know it or not! (to quote a professor I know!)
Joyska at 7:24 AM

Thursday, May 12, 2005

prayers answered and the "LIFE" tape

Thank you to all who were praying for my dad! He had some tests on his heart and they were expecting to find some blockages, but he was given the all clear on his arteries today! The response all around is our prayers were answered! Thank you!

Here in KC, we are in the midst of 21 day fast for LIFE. This is a little different than a typical fast because it includes a "silent siege" at the largest abortion clinic in Kansas City. I went yesterday and it was one of the most sobering experiences of my life. There were about 100 of us in a single line around the clinic and all of us had a red piece of tape on our mouths that had the word "life" written across it. I was around the back of the clinic and didn't see women going in, but it was sobering to stand there praying for life and protection of the unborn not 500 feet from where abortions were taking place. The siege will continue until May 28 from 8 am to 8 pm.

While I was there, a business man from the building across the street came (dressed in his business suit) and asked what was going on. One of the spokesman told him what we were doing, and the man came and joined us on the line. It actually was very cool. There was also a lady there who is with IHOP and she is 7 months pregnant and a mom of four boys. She was standing on the line with us as well with LIFE tape on her mouth and on her belly. The boys were with her there as well. It was a powerful and profound statement.

This silent siege is something that I am proud and humbled to be a part of.

I will try to post some pictures before I go back to Winnipeg in 2 sleeps! I'm hoping to spend a couple of hours there tomorrow.

See ya all soon! (at least those of you in Winnipeg!)
Joyska at 7:36 PM

Monday, May 09, 2005

baseball in KC

We heard the familiar sound of the ball hitting the plastic bat! (Plastic bat?!?!) Yep. I looked out our window and there was 4 young men playing baseball, Kansas City IHOP missionary style. The home plate was a lawn chair (in which you had to sit in to be safe) the bat and ball were plastic, and my favourite was the outfield catchers mitt was a fishing net. They played for hours and were hilarious. (Complete with wierd runs).

Anyway, the temperature is definitely perfect for baseball. They are predicting 90 degrees tomorrow. I hope I can take some of that with me up North to Winnipeg! I head home for a couple of weeks in 5 sleeps!

On another note, please pray for my dad. He is having some tests (nothing super serious)this week. Please pray for complete healing. Thanks! Prayer is the only thing that is going to make a difference!

Take care, and enjoy the spring!
Joyska at 4:25 PM

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

mmm....caffiene filled anything!

My head is hurting. I am detoxing off of caffiene. Bad, sad timing with the conference, but oh so needed.

I hope there is much good things... much good? I am so lost without caffiene! I meant there is much that IS good here. The GBF is almost over and the conference starts tomorrow. I'm happy about that. It's gonna be a good one!

I'll fill in more of my life later,maybe even throw in some pictures or something!

Have a day!
Joyska at 2:26 PM

Monday, May 02, 2005

Well it is conference week again. That makes three since I have been here. This month is the Pastors/Leaders conference where there will be anywhere from 350-500 Pastor types descending on the mission base. This is the smallest one in regards to the children, but none the less there are abour 40-50 kids that will be in our equipping center during the conference. It is a little crazy, because there are three sessions a day, we are with the kids a lot... whether it is 10 kids, or 30 kids.

It is also again the Global Bridegroom Fast(GBF) here at IHOP. So... lots of prayer...little food. :) It's really good and helpful.

Looking forward to going home for a couple of weeks. I head to Winnipeg on the 14th of May and return the 27th. If you are in Winnipeg, and want to connect, let me know!

Bless ya!
Joyska at 3:29 PM