Joyska's Journal: August 2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Today was filled with ups and downs:

Slept in: good for insomnia, bad for prayer day plans

phone call from winnipeg (thanks Sue) a definite good

phone call from Lenny: not so good (forgot to hand some stuff in to him :( )

staff fast prayer meeting: very good... and so full it was impossibe to find a seat!

Head to FSM: Good because I am finally getting there to take care of the SPIDERS ...
eeeeewwww, but bad because I didn't actually do it!

Lunch at ElMaguay: good, because the food is amazing, friends fun, bad because I'm not in the prayer room or taking care of the spiders...

4:00 staff meeting: very good... again no place to sit... i've GOT to get there earlier!! bad cause I had to leave early... not feeling great.

phone call to my dad: good to talk to him, keep praying for him!

supper at chili's with Tim and Diana... very good.

night at home alone: good cuz I need a break, bad cause it is too quiet. (i've gotten used to the chaos!)

So in this day of ups and downs I come to the end of it tired and a little down. Not sure why, but hoping for a better day tomorrow.
Joyska at 5:58 PM

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I speak peace to the weary heart today
I speak peace to the mind and the soul
I speak peace to the whirlwind of circumstance
I speak peace, I speak peace.

There is always SO much going on in our lives. It never (to me at least) seems easy or straightforward. There always seems to be a glitch SOMEWHERE in the system. I've been feeling the stress of having so much happening at once and as I sat down at my computer this morning, I just felt I needed to "speak peace"... to claim the rest that is found only in the arms of the Father; to lean back into Him and let my body find a soft place to fall; to set my mind at ease, and trust the One whose soveriegnty covers all.

There is a scene in the movie "Luther" where Luther is lieing on the floor, weeping before the Lord for he knows his days are numbered and he feels the weight of what he has done... and he says, "I am me".

This morning, though not in straits near as dire as Luther, I do the same... Father... I am yours, save me.

It's funny how simple it can be. God has invited me into this place again and again, and yet I am so busy, I am too tired, I'm having too much fun, there is a good movie on... the excuses are endless. Yet God is desiring that I find my rest, my everything in HIM alone.

This morning I am focused on the story of the Pharisee and the Tax collector that went up to the temple to pray. How often have my prayers been "thank you that I am not like other men" rather than "forgive me Father, my heart is in need of you" (not the words of the tax collector, but definitely the essence of his prayer) I want to be like the tax collector, because the Lord HEARD his heart cry...

this morning I speak peace, and know that my Lord and SAVIOUR Jesus Christ speaks peace over me. Sigh. THANK YOU Jesus!
Joyska at 5:21 AM

Friday, August 26, 2005

Wisdom verses book smarts

Wisdom... the total quantity of things learned through both books and experience. It's deeper than head knowledge, yet not always as articulate. It is one's own ideas tied in with what we have learned from is not simply a regurgating of what we have read.... and yet seems at times less intellegent. Wisdom is quiet while knowledge can be loud and out spoken. Wisdom is knowing when to be quiet... and when speak. Wisdom is something you come into... where knowledge is learned...

Why the distinction on this normally less philosophical blog? It was part of a discussion that I had tonight that has got my head really asking questions. How much of my relationship with God/Jesus/Spirit is simply what I know... not a wisdom that has come from experience... How much of my fear of things like fire, or the dark, are fears based in experience... not rational knowledge... and is fear then a form of wisdom?

I have never thought of myself as smart. I don't have a great memory for facts or dates. I can't remember the details of a subject or a book (unless I have read teh book 22 times... like On the Night of the Seventh Moon... i could tell you that whole story inside and out)... but I do remember movies, plots, quotes. Lately, it is the stories of the Old Testament that fascinate me. Maybe that is it. We know a lot of things about a lot of things... but we gain wisdom in the areas where our passions lie.

Solomon... he asked for wisdom SO THAT he could govern the people of God well, and with integrity. He loved the people. He saw his father David's heart to follow God whole heartedly and to love the people that God had chosen... He recognized his own passion for those same people and wanted to do his best by them.

Wisdom has at it's heart, a dimension of giving it away to build someone up. Wisdom hears what is being said behind the words and responds with decorum and tact; in order to build and improve. Book smarts alone (without wisdom) can tend to puff up the speaker and be about them and what they know rather than what the hearer may need or want to hear. People with emmense knowledge and less wisdom tend to hold it as "better" "more prestige" than someone who hasn't studied that subject. Often it is goes with out notice in the one whose knowledge is being spouted.

I got it... wisdom responds to and acts on the knowledge one aquires!

So on that note... I pray to the glorious father of our Lord Jesus Christ that he would give you a Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that you may know him better... WISDOM, REVELATION, and KNOWLEDGE! Obviously a deep subject... and being that it is past my bedtime (knowledge) i should sleep (wisdom) and ask the Lord to make it clear! (revelation)... I like that... hmmm maybe that could work with my kids!

Be blessed!
Joyska at 1:12 AM

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

from living in solitude to insanity!

Gone are the days of coming home and sighing because the house is empty. Gone are the days of feeling like I have no one to "hang" with or talk to til all hours of he night and sometimes early morning. Gone as well are the days of doing the dishes when I want, keeping house on "my standard" or lack there of, and total access to the bathroom as needed!

In their place are 2 CRAZY (ugly dancing) Canadians who have taken over my room and are now staying til Sunday instead of leaving tomorrow; AND two new roommates. Some have been asking for details so here ya go... at least what I have figured out so far.

Nicole is the one I wrote about on my last blog. She is 32 and is here for Intro to IHOP, at least as a start. She is great. We seem to have a lot in common and it is always comfortable and fun conversations. The only wierd thing that I have seen so far is that she eats oatmeal RAW... she doesn't cook it first... she doesn't add tons of milk and brown sugar...she just eats it straight from the bag...must be a Pennsylvania thing.

Then there is Jessica from Traverse City, Michigan. She is 20, just arrived tonight and is here for at least one semester of FSM. (Forerunner School of Ministry). She seems really cool and ready for anything. She plays piano (and brought her full size keyboard that is now in our living room... How cool is that?) She also plays guitar and sings... that makes three of us! heehee. She surprised us all when within an hour of her arrival, her side of the room was pretty much set up. She hasn't been here long enough for me to discover what is wierd about her, but I was glad she told me before she got here that she was 6'2", cause I think I would have been surprised when I opened the door!

Needless to say, things are a little more chaotic right now. In the midst of it all are many late night conversations with Christina and Stephanie (who I have affectionately dubbed "the Canadians"), helping set up the FSM library, followed by later night coffee outings, followed by sleeping on the couch (for another 3 nights) and somewhere in there,preparing for the Equipping Children in Power and Praise Conference that begins tomorrow night! And somewhere else in there, I have managed to finish 9 weeks of curriculum on Ephesians 1:17-19... with an additional 2 weeks still to come!

you know I was going to start this blog by saying that I missed those days of solitude but I would be lieing. I LOVE the chaos, the loud laughter, the serious conversations, and being so consumed with what God is doing to even watch Dr. Phil and Oprah!

Which by the way... in one of my all day in the prayer room days, I FINALLY got why the intimacy piece and the judgement piece are so connected!!!! But that... is for another post!!!
Joyska at 11:14 PM

Monday, August 22, 2005

It's a small world after all

okay, i asked the Lord for some connection points with people recently simply because I was feeling a little "out on my own" lately... well the Lord answered in short order:

I was out for coffee with the Winnipeg girls and Joel and some of Joel's room mates. I'm sitting next to a young guy named Ryan who just happens to mention that he is from Michigan. "really?" I say, "which part?" He is from GRAND RAPIDS (for those of you that don't know I spent close to 14 years in Grand Rapids). That would be a cool connection in and of itself, but it didn't stop there. So I tell him I used to live in GR and then get more specific of what area and what church I went to... sure enough he lives in that area, knows the church, has been to the school that the church is connected to and knows exactly where the street is that I used to live on. Too cool!

Well, then today...One of my new roommates arrived from Pennsylvania (yes I have 2...count em... 2 new roommates). As we were talking I mentioned that I had spent a summer in Philadelphia. "where?" Nicole asks. "In Hunting Park" I reply...

Her mouth drops and she says "Kingdomworks?"

15 years ago I went on a summer mission trip to Philidelphia to work with Bart Campolo (Tony Campolo's son) who ran a ministry called "Kingdomworks". It is where I fell in love with the inner city... it is where God grabbed my heart for working with children in difficult situations... it is where God spoke to me about what I would do with the rest of my life.

Nicole was there too.

We are pretty sure she was there the year after I was (as she is a couple years younger than me..) but we were in the same church basement... sleeping on the same dingy matresses, next to the mouse infested food pantry... working with the same people, and more amazingly to me... some of the same kids! And now, literally 15 years later, we are living in the same house, awaiting the arrival of our second roommate from.... Michigan.

Boy when God answers prayer, he answers prayer!!!!
Joyska at 10:13 PM

Sunday, August 21, 2005

THE Winnipeggers are here !

They are here! they are here! they are here!

(I would be this excited if you came to visit too....)
Joyska at 2:17 PM

wisdom and revelation

Mike spoke on Ephesians 1:17-19 on Friday night (as well as other prayers). I was sitting up in my seat as he went through it, because that is what I have been teaching the 4 and 5 years olds for the past two weeks.

And again on this glorious Sunday (early) morning, I am preparing the final touches on my lesson for today. Today we are talking about wisdom and revelation... the knowledge (experience) of God and the understanding of His word. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best story to demonstrate wisdom inparticular. Then it hit me...

The most powerful man (in his day) is given a gift. The Lord comes to him in a dream and says... I will give you what ever you ask for... what do you wish? And Solomon, David's son, responds first by acknowledging how good God has been to David and his family, and then without thought to himself, asks God for wisdom to know how to govern God's people in fairness and justice. God is so pleased with his answer that he not only makes him wise, but he makes him famous throughout the earth and exceedingly wealthy.

When we position ourselves to recognize what God has already done, and is already doing, I think we are in a much better place to know what to ask for. When we know his word, we are in a better place to know His heart, and know what He wants to give us. I have enough experiences with the LORD that I am not after worldly wealth, I'm not after fame... I'm after the things of his heart. Solomon didn't stay in obedience to the Lord though, he did eventually make some "unwise" choices, not from lack of wisdom persey... more from lack of staying in tune with God's heart.

Probably a little too deep and abstract for my 4 and 5 year olds, but it is impacting my heart, and that is the best place to be when trying to impart it to others anyway!

Hope your day is filled with the wisdom and revelation of HIS heart!
Joyska at 5:27 AM

Saturday, August 20, 2005

to my Winnipeg readers

next time you find yourself in the grips of another Winnipeg winter,
Remember this:

Job 37:10
By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen

Job 38:22
Have you entered the treasury of snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail...

Heehee... YOU have!!!!

Just wanted to remind you that summer does give way to a day of fall, followed by 6 months of winter! There is always a place here in warm KC for you to escape to!

Have a great day!
Joyska at 7:28 AM

Friday, August 19, 2005

Yet another take on difficult times

It isn't even that I am having all these difficult times or something... it is that I see this highlighted in scripture over and over again.

I read the book of Job over the last 2 days. I'm struck by the things that most are when they read Job, like Satan passes before God and gives account of what he is doing and GOD highlights Job, by saying :"have you considered my servant Job". and then preceeds to give him permission to go after him.

Job stood his ground, that he knew his God, and that he knew God knew his heart. And therefore could stand before the Lord and say that his heart was blameless and that "though he slay me, i will praise him"

Life and death are prescribed by the Lord. So again I come to a place where I am awed by His soveriegnty. But it's taking me farther than that... I am getting to the point where I am trusting his soveriegnty... and to use the words that are common here... I am beginning to "agree with his judgements", not just in my head, but also in my heart.
Joyska at 10:29 AM

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

rubik's cube freak!

I met someone tonight who can solve the Rubik's cube in 30 seconds... from any mixed starting position. I watched him do it a number of times! He is 20 years old and he is amazing on the stupid thing. I have memories of taking the stickers off to make it look like I figured it out! (he despises people like me!) He was talking about figuring it out through a series of algarythms... (what are algarythms?!!?!?) and by learning a certain number of them, you can solve any cube.

So I take the cube from him, and really try to mix it up... I was trying to get only one of each color on each side... makes sense except that there are 6 sides and 9 pieces to a side. He laughed pretty hard at me...

Not only is he 14 years younger and explains things like algarythms, but he wasn't even born when I was moving the stickers to try and solve the stupid thing... and he can finish it in 30 seconds. That is little humiliating...

Did I mention that I went to a college that didn't have math and science... and that's one of the reasons I chose it?

I just kept reminding myself that I am good with kids... betcha he couldn't do that... then a few of us went out for super and sure enough the cube came in with us and he had a child mesmerized as he quickly solved it again... seriously, doesn't he get bored?

Josh grabbed it and messed it up... only to have Jordan grab it back and solve it... again. I tell you...this boy is a freak!

Great... now I want a Rubik's cube... pathetic.
Joyska at 9:02 PM

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Judgement as the mercy of God (Part 2)

I will do my best to articulate what is on my heart this early morning:

"and the Lord God of their fathers sent WARNINGS to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had COMPASSION on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans..." 2 Chronicles 36:15-17

I am standing this morning in the prayer room reading the scripture and seeing yet another story in the Bible that shows his Judgement as mercy on His people. It feels severe... it feels harsh... it sounds cruel. But it is His mercy again. The people of Israel had just come out of a time of favour with the Lord as King Josiah had restored the Law to the land and they were as a nation and a people following the Lord in all they did... as long as the leadership of the nation mandated it. It's interesting to me that as soon as Josiah died, the people quickly moved from the ways of the Lord. It was only 22 1/2 years later that Babylon over took them completely and the house and city of the Lord was burned to the ground.

But then comes verse 21 "... to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill 70 years." I won't even try to expound on what that really means, but it was a time of rest for the land from the evil and "abominations" that Israel had inflicted on it. The choices that Israel made in following other gods, in following the gods of other lands, they defiled the very ground they walked on... so in God's mercy he gave the LAND rest... for seventy years.

And then the compassion of God is shown to His people again in the proclamation made by Cyrus at the end of 2 Chronicles: "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!"

So after 70 years, the call goes out to what? To be free from captivity? Yes, but more than that... to return to the Lord and to the house of His dwelling, which to me says, return to Me, your God and your salvation. Again, the 70 years was not on the whole to punish the people, it was to draw them again to himself.

I am awed, humbled, and fascinated by this kind of MERCY! And it draws me closer to His heart, and closer to a place of trusting ALL his judgements.

So what does that mean for me today? I'm not exactly sure other than again recognising that not all calamity and hardship is of the "evil one". God first moves out of a place of compassion and brings warning and invitation to draw near to his heart again, and it is when I ignore those warnings, or despise his word, or even scoff at the messangers that HE brings greater judgements to bring me back to His heart... to get my attention. He is after all a jealous God who longs for me...and will not ignore my wanderings. HMMMM...
Joyska at 5:52 AM

Sunday, August 14, 2005


I am humbled this morning by the wonder and Glory of God. I woke up this morning with a song of his Holiness ringing in my head. this morning I am talking to the kids about the throne room of God, about the four creatures, about the elders throwing down their crowns... the whole Revelation 4 senario. I'm excited to remind them that it is to God the Glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ that we pray to! Since I have begun working on a curriculum for the 4 and 5 year olds on the Apostolic prayers, I am awed by who it is we are praying to!

I'm also awed at God's heart towards me, and especially toward the children. That has always been a motivator for me and what I do, but lately it has so grabbed my heart of what it is that he longs for from and for these little ones. It is such a sweet relationship and one of complete trust and mercy. I sat and talked with some 7 and 9 year olds the other day who were here visiting with their parents. They were asking questions like
"why does God let people die?"
"why do people make fun of me for being a Christian?"

Tough questions, but as we sat and talked about all the stories in the Bible where God came through for people and about judgement and mercy (i'm on that kick lately!) and how he draws us to himself with difficult times... I watched in awe as it clicked in their minds and they became a little more fascinated with this man Jesus... and so did I.

That is what I want people to see in me! A fascination with Jesus. A longing to see him in everything... a willingness to submit to his soveriegnty. That is my heart cry this early morning! Be blessed in your pursuit!
Joyska at 5:48 AM

Thursday, August 11, 2005

judgement as the mercy of God

How's that for a title? Before you scroll down or go back to a lighter post, hold on... because this is quite amazing.

I've been reading through 1 and 2 Kings again. AMAZING. There are so many stories of God's judgement on the nations and it is ALL because they chose other gods to worship and walked away from the statues and laws that God had laid out for his people. But it wasn't judgement for punishment's sake... it really wasn't. Judgement came "so that they will know that I AM THE LORD".

In Deuteronomy God lays out the whole law and he says to Israel; that if you follow these statutes you will not be afflicted by the diseases of the nations I will run out before you, I will bless the land, I will secure your families, and you will be my people and I will be your God. On the flip side he told them if you DO NOT do these things I will curse you with disease, the land will become desolate, your families will not live long, and your gods will be of no help to you.

His LONGING for us is one of blessing. He wants to bring all of us into a place of safety and peace. And yet "in Him there is NO darkness at all" and no darkness can be associated with Him. So when His people choose darkness... he HAS to respond.
And His response again is not punishment, but a longing to see HIS people restored to himself.

So I am realising that not all difficulties are a bad thing. Could it be that it is unto relationship with the Father? Could it be that He is calling me to deeper intimacy and the reality of HIS love for me? Could it be that it is to show me and others that HE IS GOD?

could be.
Joyska at 2:43 PM

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

the power of a focused life

Yesterday I was MSNing with one of the young teens who lives right next door to me. She is a great kid, and we are online a lot.

I've been listening to a tape series on the power of a focused life that Mike Bickle did awhile ago and it affects my daily thinking. So while on MSN with this young lady, I asked her what she was doing tomorrow, to which she responded, I don't know!

SOOOO, i respond with my new found wisdom... "you should always have a plan..." Her response? "WHY?" "because it is knowing that you aren't just wasting time, that you are using your time wisely... that you are living a focused life."

"Oh," she says, "I thought it was just you being a control freak"

Okay, my bubble is officially burst!
Joyska at 4:59 PM

Monday, August 08, 2005

heard in the office

We have rearranged the offices for the Children's Equipping Center and I love our new set up. I was sitting at my desk working on the curriculum i am developing... in a moment of frustration, i said to myself: "this is not as easy as it looks!" To which Hollie asked; "What?"

"Writing a curriculum based on the Apostolic Prayers for four and five year olds."
She laughed... and laughed... and laughed... in fact as I left the office she was still giggling...

I don't get it... what's so funny?
Joyska at 11:59 AM

Friday, August 05, 2005

the chocolate factory

i went to go see Charlie and the chocolate factory yesterday with Tracy and her daughter Andrea. Not the most amazing movie I have ever seen, but entertaining enough. It left me with a question though... what would you, when you enter into the area where everything is edible, what is the first thing you would eat?

It's an interesting question for sure. Tracy is so practical and wanting to NOT throw anything out that she would look for the smallest blades of grass or a small grape size candy, so she could taste lots of things... not just one big thing. ME? Go for the chocolate baby! The most solid piece... what ever it was! Though I was interested in the grass as well!

It got me thinking though about what does motivate me? I want something solid, something that satisfies and makes a difference. That is pretty much me. I don't like "wasting" time on things that are gone in an instant, or are not going to leave a mark or impression. I think that is part of why I love working with kids. They are a relatively blank slate, empty canvas, empty candy mold... whatever metaphore you want to use; and my "job" is to leave an impression... to help them begin their experience with God. Big leap from what candy you would eat first in the chocolate factory... but it works in my head.

I've been working on writing a curriculum on the Apostolic prayers for early childhood. I love having to break it down into pieces the kids can understand and hopefully take with them into their prayer life. Again it's about giving language to prayer for them, and leaving an impression that the Holy Spirit makes in them. Not me. Ephesians 1:17-19 will literally take us through Christmas!!! But in that we will talk about God's glory, wisdom, revelation, their future, who they are as ones who are called, the promises of God, their eyes of their heart being opened, the power of God... it's crazy how much is in those 3 verses alone!

Anyway, it is off to EGS! Thanks for all the birthday greetings!
Joyska at 3:33 PM

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Today is my birthday. Isn't that exciting? IHOP for breakfast with Joely and Tim and Diana (friends here at IHOP), Panera Breads with Pam for lunch... and Lenny Tracy, Shon, and ???? for supper... i have no idea where...

So on a day I thought would be easier to ignore, I am being treated to 3 meals with people I am getting to know! That is a true blessing from God. And a much needed one!
Joyska at 8:56 AM

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


okay, apparently I have been tagged a few times... so here are the answers and my tag-ees!

What I was doing 10 years ago today:

I was leading a day camp in Grand Rapids, MI, preparing to move to Winnipeg Manitoba to be the Children's director at Good News Fellowship Christian Reformed Church. I was about to turn 24 years old and was none too happy that I had to leave! (Funny how life changes!)

What I was doing 5 years ago:

I was doing a daycamp in Winnipeg with WCV and Bethlehem Aboriginal Church. I had just left LBE(Living Bible Explorers) and was living in the North End.

What I was doing 1 year ago:

I was preparing to lead the children's ministry at WCV for the fall. I knew I was moving to Kansas City in January or February, and was laying out the plan for the kids.

What I was doing Yesterday:

I was writing curriculum for the kids I work with here in Kansas City (wow how things change... yet stay the same!) I was in the prayer room trying to figure out how to take the Apostolic prayers to 4 and 5 year olds!

What I will be doing Tomorrow:

Going back to the doctor. Participating in the Global Bridegroom Fast, going to a department head meeting...

5 Snacks I enjoy:
ice cream, *especially vanilla bean*, Little Debbie Nutty Bars, Snickers, Sour Cream and Onion potato chips... i could go on! :)

5 Adult Beverages:

Don't drink... but I did enjoy a Mike's Hard Lemonade though...

5 bands I know the lyrics to:

That is a hard one... I know lots of songs... but bands? I have to go back to my highschool days: Air Supply, Phil Collins, Chicago, The Police, and Sting

5 Things I would do with $100,000.00:

Give a lot to charities that help kids. Send money to family. Send money to friends who are missionaries, buy exercise equipment (and as a result new clothes!!) hehehe

5 Locations I would run away to:

The Netherlands, London, Atlanta (that is where the Coke Museum is! :) hehehe), the rocky mountains, Maritimes

5 Bad habits I have:

watch too much TV, procrastinate, eat too much, stay up too late, and withdraw when insecure

5 Things I love doing:

Being with friends, teaching and hanging out with children, reading, watching movies, and walking (that is a NEW love!)

5 Things I would never wear:

PINK! daisy duke shorts, high heels (never again!), white pants, and a bikini! (for which we are ALL thankful!)

5 TV shows I like:

Dr. Phil and Oprah (they are one show in my mind),CSI New York, Dharma and Greg, documentaries, and news shows.

5 Movies I like:

Only 5? Uh, let's see-- Princess Bride, A Man for All Seasons, Philadelphia, Shawshank Redemption, and Rabbit Proof Fence

5 Famous People I would like to meet:

Easy: Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, St. Francis, Thomas Moore, and oddly enough, Tom Hanks... hehe

5 Biggest joys at the moment:

My job, the kids, the prayer room, my friends, and my apartment

5 Favourite toys:
(these are not really toys, but:)
My laptop, my DVD player, my coke phone, my coke collection, and my new shoes...

5 people I tag:
Joel Agustin, Nancy Crary, Cynthia P-L, Nancy Saura (email it to me and i will post it here!) and Joy Eidse
Joyska at 1:33 PM