Joyska's Journal: October 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

to warb or not to warn... that is the question

If any of you have been following Yvonne or Shane's blog, you have probably seen the comments and conflicts that arise when anyone takes a stand on an issue even within the church on something like Halloween. I remember when I was part of a Christian Reformed Church, when I first moved to Winnipeg 10 years ago, that a sign was put up that caused much of the same discussion. The church sign simply said "Jesus is Lord over Halloween". Next thing we knew there was a camera crew at the door asking to speak to the pastor and wanted to know what was meant by that... If I remember right, that sign wasn't put up the next year.

I've been reading Ezekiel over the last couple of days and am seeing again a reoccurring sentance... "That they may know that I am the LORD". It usually follows some declaration of judgement for the nations surrounding Israel, or a declaration or promise of restoration, but all of it culminating in the realization that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS AND HE DOES WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL DO.

And then I get to chapters 33 and 34. If you get a chance, read them. Now consider this passage in light of the Halloween and "darkness" question that has been raised by some of my friends...

" Son of man, speak to the children of your people and say to them: 'When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning: his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. BUT (emphasis mine) if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and they are not warned, and the sword comes and TAKES ANY PERSON FROM AMONG THEM, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.'"

I am rattled by this. What is our place as watchmen now? I don't want to take the scripture out of context primarily because of my ignorance of the overall context... but this passage makes me ask the question, how do we warn in today's context? I look around me and see such compromise and out and out rebellion against the law and statutes that the Lord has laid out for us... some even in the name of grace... I know that the Lord has paid the price for our sins, but like Paul I ask the question, does that give us the right to keep on sinning? NO! BY ALL MEANS NO!

I know none of us get it right 100% of the time either. But I do know, for me, and for many of us, that God is calling us to something higher, something that pleases his heart and delights him, not calls on his grace again. He is calling many to rise to a greater degree of holiness... not "Holier than thou", but holiness for HIS names sake. He is calling many to be found on the side of 100% pursuit, not 10% compromise.

Almost all of Ezekiel is God telling him to go to the nations and speak His judgement over their evil and ungodly ways. But chapter 33 is addressed to Ezekiel himself as the Lord tells him that if he does not declare the judgement on these nations, their blood is on his hands and if he does do it he has saved his own soul (regardless if they listen or not). Then chapter 34 is addressing the "shepherds of Israel", and is a declaration of His hand coming against them BECAUSE THEY DID NOT feed and shepherd the flock well. They did not address the compromises, that started out small, but became sin and stumbling blocks to many, rather they joined them.

Later on in Chapter 44... it gets to the point where ALL OF ISRAEL goes astray and only the Sons of Zadok keep the sanctuary. Again without stating too much on the context of this scripture, it simply challenges me to start with my own heart, to heed the warning I am finding in scripture, but also to posture myself to be one who is not afraid to warn others... to take a stand for light in the darkness, to not hide Him in my life, but to give him priority in EVERYTHING.

This is a long post, but what it comes down to for me is this: IN HIM THERE IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL... He lives in me... what is the logic that gives me the right to allow darkness in my life? That doesn't mean I do it perfectly or right, it means that I become tenatious about keeping darkness away from my heart. I John says it best...

"This is the message which we have heard from HIM and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth, But if we walk in the light as HE is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

John writes this because he witnessed and heard the truth. His message came from the life altering experience he had with the LORD and he couldn't help but speak it out. He saw it, he heard it and he was compelled to share it so that others would experience it to. My heart is that all that the LORD has done in my life, that I have seen him do all around me, will be what compells me to declare his light in the darkness... I can't do it if it is just a set of rules to follow, but I will give it everything I am if it is following a person that loves me, that will judge the earth, that is who he says he is, does what he says he will do, and will ultimately save my soul!
Joyska at 6:37 PM

Saturday, October 29, 2005

cheese lettuce,tomato, egg, banana and chicken sandwich

i have the distinct pleasure of staying with Yvonne and Jason and their beautiful children Anneka and Aila. This morning Anneka made me a sandwich... it was yummy!

I arrived after a 20 year bus ride... in which I woke to find my hand being carressed by the man sitting beside me... long story short... he'll never talk to me again and he will think twice about carressing a sleeping girl again!

*note to self*
Next time sit beside the fat guy!

Anyway I am here and lovin' it! Dadadadada.
Joyska at 9:08 AM

Thursday, October 27, 2005

the wheels on the bus go round and round

I don't know if starting out an 18 hour bus ride being absolutely exhausted is a good thing or not. It could mean I will actually sleep for most of it, or it could mean that the confined space will drive me batty and I will arrive in Winnipeg a raving lunatic! HAHA

Anyway, this day is crazy busy, between making sure all my bases are covered while I am gone, and packing, cleaning... silly me, i baked cookies and banana bread all of last night... rather than pack, clean and cover all my bases! Ah well... it was fun and the cookies, though not as good as they usually are (ran out of my white chocolate chips and my skor bits) they are still yummy.

I go to see a play tonight, and then it is off to the bus station. It's in a pretty "colourful" area of town and it is at 12:30 at night... scared? no, just glad my friends Marty and Julie are taking me!!!

Anyway, need to run, get going on the day. I will see many of you tomorrow!
Joyska at 9:33 AM

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

so that they will know

Can you really know something? I mean without a shadow of a doubt, that you know that you know that you know.

As I have been reading through Isaiah and Jeremiah I am struck that over and over again the Lord says in response to the judgement he is bringing or the glory he is bestowing on Israel that he is doing it so that "they may know that I am the LORD" We can KNOW that much. We can KNOW that the LORD is who he says he is. But it takes faith to believe it. Whether we believe it or not doesn't change it's truth... whether we know that it is truth doesn't by nature change it's reality. We are the ones who are changed when we KNOW that we KNOW that we KNOW.

That has been my thought process as of late... and if nothing else... I KNOW that I am different than I have ever been.

The LORD is truly faithful.

I go home to Winnipeg tomorrow... that I KNOW is TRUTH!
Joyska at 8:22 AM

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Ready, set, go!

This morning is starting VERY early! HAHA!

I have the privledge of singing on the six AM team this morning. Ron Downing is the worship leader who faithfully leads the 6 am 3 mornings a week and the 8 ams three mornings a week. I am hopefully joining this team. We are going to try it out starting today, and see how this week goes. Then I go home (YEAH!!!) for 11 days, and join the team (assuming all goes well) when I return.

I'm also beginning to transition out of the early childhood. I knew a change was coming, and that it would happen fast when it did... and there ya have it, by November 15 I will be starting to work more with the older kids and turn my face more deliberately to the inner city. That is the plan as of today anyway.

I'm excited. I think there are many good things on the way. Keep praying that I walk in humility and strength as everything changes again.

I am soo looking forward to seeing my Winnipeg friends. It is WCV's 10th anniversary in November so lots of "old" faces will be around too... that thrills me!

One other note: a mother board has been found for my computer... a little more money than I expected, but I am going ahead with it, as it has been much harder to be without my computer than I thought it would be! But I am trusting the Lord to make this all work out. Please just continue to pray for provision (my ticket home went up by $50.00 too... totally my fault, but still an unexpected expense.. yikes).

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in Love. That is my rock this early morning! Be blessed and I will see many of you on FRIDAY!!! WOOHOO!
Joyska at 4:47 AM

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

sing...sing... sing!

I found out today that I have been approved as a "prophetic singer" here in the House of Prayer. YEAH!! I am quite excited. I will start out as a replacement on teams and see where it goes from there. The time in the prayer room has been so great that this added dimension can only make it even better!

Another happy thing is I am going home in 9 days!!!! I have decided to come home on the 28th and stay through the tenth anniversary of WCV and come back with Stephanie and Christina...(so if you are reading this C and S ... i want to ride with you!) I am taking the big bad grey hound there so that should be fun!

Let's see, what else? I guess my soap opera of a life is slowing down a little! Imagine that! I am so looking forward to seeing all the Winnipeggers and having a bit of a break!

Hey here is a question for those of you who think about such things:
Who do you think the two witnesses in Revelation 11 are? (such has been the latest discussion)let me know what you think... it'a a bit of a survey!
Joyska at 7:10 PM

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sunday again

wow it has been a crazy busy weekend again! NO KIDDING!

Larry and Jeannie have been here since Thursday and it has been so fun to reconnect with them and to get to know them better. They are sooo funny!!!

This weekend has been nothing like the conference weekends, but has managed to fill itself up none the less. There is always something to do around here eh?

I am LOVING what I see God doing in me right now though. Last May (2003?!?!) I started reading 10 chapters in the Bible a day. As I have said many times, that has transformed my life! Now as I am able, I try to do 20... not always successful, but I try. That has continued to impact my heart in a significant way. The last three weeks the Lord is taking me deeper still. I am "required" to spend 24 hours a week in the prayer room, and at first that was a daunting task. It is becoming my joy.

My "spot on the wall" is between 1:30 and 6:30 Monday to Friday -- give or take a half hour on some days. I know that is when and where I am exppected to be found before the LORD. The discipline alone is transforming my life. I find I am more focused, more aware of my time, more alive in my Spirit, and definitely more eager to be in the Prayer Room. We say here alot that all leadership needs to lead from a place of prayer... that our headquarters needs to be the prayer room. I knew that when I moved here, but it was never my prayer room... it was IHOP's and I was a visitor, and observer of the great thing happening around me. It's different now.
Did I mention i LOVE that?

Anyway, I had my coffee (Tim's of course) out on the deck this morning as I watched the morning light hit the sky... without a jacket! Fall in Kansas City makes me happy! I'll be hitting Manitoba cold soon enough!

off to teach the children! Have a great day. (Keep praying for a new mother board for my computer... using the office ones are no fun!)
Joyska at 5:52 AM

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

quick update

Using a friends computer so I should probably do this quickly!

The Canadian Thanksgiving celebration was a HUGE success! Dwayne, Jennifer, Dale, Cheryl, Joel, Josh, Fran, and all the children (all 5 of them!) all came and we sang O Canada with pride! Apparently Dwayne was going to wear a Canadian flag and come in as Captain Canada... but forgot about it!!! (that would have been fun!)

All that to say, that we had a great night!

Today I prayed on the microphone for the first time here at IHOP. Aren't you proud of me? Seriously though, I am in the prayer room 4-5 hours a day now, and I finally feel like it is "my" prayer room and something I can have some ownership in. Does that make sense? I prayed for Canada in the Nations intercession meeting. It was great and different all at the same time.

So... let's see... I'm busy busy busy!!! It has been running from one thing to another and making time for friends... the midst of it all I have many deep conversations about the Bible... and love it!

So this is a little scattered and all over the place but i am in the midst of one of those deep discussions as I type.
Joyska at 6:18 PM

Monday, October 10, 2005

ahh... breathing again

It is now Monday afternoon... The conference is over... thank you all for your prayers it was a great weekend from the 1 and 2 year olds room anyway! Today i must say HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my Canadian friends (and expatroits!) I am having Dwayne and Jennifer Roberts, Dale and Cheryl Anderson, Joel (from Winnipeg) and a few others for a whole Thanksgiving shindig tomorrow! I have the bird thawing in my fridge as we speak! That will be really fun I think.

On another note, I found out today that my grand mother (Oma) died. She was 102 years old and loved the Lord, so it is not unexpected or even all that sad, but it is still a loss. I met her two years ago on her 100th birthday and it was a joy and a privledge to meet such a woman of stature! I just wanted to honour her passing by thanking the Lord for her and for her life in this semi- public way. She even at 100 seemed to have such joy as she recited the Psalms and was surrounded by her family. She lived in Holland her whole life and was a widow since 1973. I was so happy that I got to meet her!

Anyway, though the conference is over, I have much to do today, so I am off and running again. I apologize for not returning emails as quickly as I usually do, but with out my laptop, it is a little more difficult!
Joyska at 10:22 AM

Thursday, October 06, 2005

let me sum up

"let me explain... no there is too much"

CONFERENCE TIME again. Women's conference... 15 children in the 1 and 2 year olds... 8 sessions... 10 if you include Sunday... 3 hour sessions... 1 hour breaks... see ya monday!
Joyska at 3:30 PM

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

bummer dude

well, I finally did it. I dropped my laptop and broke it. It's slid off my lap a few times, fallen off a chair and has always been fine. Not this time. It landed on the spot where the power cord connects to the computer and cracked a part of the mother board. Ouch.

I am writing this on the public computer in the "corridor". It is going to cost $200 -$250 to fix it. Bummer. But I still have access to this computer...
Please pray for provision to pay for it, and in the meantime, I will make do.

The prayer room is awesome, by the way. The Lord continues to meet me there and to speak truth to my heart. This 5 hours a day is transforming my life. The time spent on the Life Lines are transforming my heart, and the time in worship is melting my spirit. What more can you ask for. HE is faithful.

Read Ecclesiasties lately? It is incredibly profound in light of all the things that I am learning as of late. When I get my computer back, i will wax more elequantly on that one!

Please pray for the financial end of things for me. There have been a few unexpected bills (doctor) and expenses (computer) that I hadn't planned on. Thank you all for your continued support of me. Larry and Jeannie are coming up next weekend so if you want to send me anything... (hint hint!!!) you can send it with them! HAHAHAHA

Anyway, need to get to that prayer room.
Joyska at 12:43 PM

Sunday, October 02, 2005

early morning musings

it is once again Sunday morning.
It has been thundering all night long, there has been lots of rain, and with it comes the humidity all over again. I get all excited about fall, and then the heat comes back! Apparently only til Wednesday, but still!

Anyway, I have been musing alot lately on the story of the priests of Zadok, partially because that is the scripture (Ezekiel 44:15) that my prayer room team has been focusing on, but also because their story intrigues me. These are the priests that kept the charge when all of Israel went astray, these are the ones who remained faithful. Why?

In doing some study of these men, I discovered that they weren't these valiant men who stood by God "no matter what". These were men who were given an assignment... a "this is your job" kind of thing. They were told what their position in the temple was, according to their family lineage. These were the priests that came from Aaron, direct descendants, the ones to whom God said, "set these apart, they are mine". When Israel began to falter, and forget who they were, these men, maybe out of strong conviction, did what they were designed and assigned to do. They remained faithful to their charge.

I am of the mindset that these men, valiant as they may have been, simply set their hearts and minds to the call and purpose the Lord had for them. It wasn't a "season" of service in the temple... it was their life. So when all began to shake around them, when Israel actually rebuked them and harassed them for their faithfulness, they remained true... because it was their life.

(the eyes of the Lord move to and fro, looking for hearts that are completely his)
I am reminded of Kim McMechan's song:
And when you search through out the earth
I pray you'll find me here...
at your feet.

That I think is the point of the sons of Zadok. They were men that found themselves faithful to what God had given them to do... they found themselves keeping charge of the sanctuary... standing for what was true and right, not wavering from the laws because of their love for the law, and refusing to compromise. And their reward? To minister to the Lord himself, to be invited into His very presense.

The other priests were allowed to do the work of the sanctuary, but were not permitted into His presense. That is one of my greatest fears... that I will do the work of the ministry, but not minister to the Lord.

So my prayer this morning as I go to do the work of the ministry, is that the Lord's presence go with me, that HE minister to the children, and that I remain faithful to the charge.
Joyska at 5:54 AM