Joyska's Journal: March 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

Continuation of 100% pursuit

I'm back to this... actually i haven't left it... i'm just back to sharing my thoughts on it. There is a saying that says "so heavenly minded they are no earthly good." I have never liked that saying.

Can we really be TOO heavenly minded? I think we can be too self focused, too isolated in our pursuit of God, but I don't think it is possible to be TOO heavenly minded. The Lord commands that we love him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. That doesn't leave much left over for other pursuits. The Lord also requires that we act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

These two focuses have plagued me (and many others i know) for a long time. Can one be TOO heavenly focused that they forget BEING Jesus to people around them? I guess it's possible if the intent of being heavenly minded is a selfish, self fulfilling way. But I believe the more we focus on God, on his goodness, his power, his justice and perfected love, the more we are empowered to reach out to those around us.

I have been involved in teaching, preaching, and being the gospel for years, to children, to teens up on the reserves, and on a few occasions in a church setting. I am now also involved in a 24/7 prayer movement. The Winnipeg Centre Vineyard was a justice church. My heart is justice for the poor and especially for the children, and here I am at 12:45 am in the prayer room...

Where am I going with this you ask? I'm not exactly sure.

I know that my heart is stirred and empowered to go out the more I stay at His feet. It's the classic Mary and Martha discussion. Martha wasn't wrong in wanting to serve Jesus supper and prepare the meal, but Mary chose the BETTER thing, to be at His feet and hear His words.

Does that mean that Mary never lifted a finger again to help her sister with the daily chores? I don't think so. After Lazurus dies, Martha is the first to run out to Jesus. She loved him too.

Somehow these two, the doing and the being at his feet have to go together. Back to the 100% pursuit. Jesus requires no less than holiness. (Thankfully he is the great editor! He can edit our lives before the Father through his blood...) When we give our lives to him wholely... everything, He calls us deeper still. To a longer time in his presence, to a deeper honesty and communication with him

But what about going out to minister to the lost, broken, and poor? What about those children who are fatherless, those women who are widows, the poor, hungry and thirsty ones? DO we not respond to these as well? And how do we do any of this when we are just trying to keep our heads abouve water financially, or are raising our children?

I saw the two come together today in our staff meeting. There is a man here named Hal Lindhart. He is an amazing evangelist and constantly brings to our attention opportunities and places to serve. He has said similar things before, but today it struck me. He said that "IHOP is an evangelist's answer to prayer! Where else will you find 400 prayer warriors to pray for a month before an event, the whole time during an event, and have a place to celebrate what the Lord has done after the event!" He had this analogy as well:

IHOP is like the air covering of the Air Force that gives the covering for the ground forces to go in!" I love that. We are all part of the same army. One cannot be successful with out the other.

I have the honour of longing to do both... and I need wisdom and revelation to figure out how to do both and not lose one or the other.
Joyska at 10:35 PM

additional visitors!

Funny, but visitors seem to go in spurts. The Guse' left on Tuesday, while Corrie and Johan came on Monday (one day overlap!) Then, Johan and Corrie left on Saturday morning and my roommate Jessica's friend came Friday (another overlap). Jessica's friend leaves Friday and Jason, Yvonne, Shane, Kristi, Deanna, and Esther come Thursday... If you are paying attention... yes it is yet another overlap!

Up to this point, these are all planned visitors. Now, two of my friends (and one little daughter) from my days in Grand Rapids are coming to visit the 7th through the 9th. While this is not an overlap with people, it is overlapping the conference... Israel Mandate...could be entertaining!

Then, the following weekend... 14th-16th (?) is Easter weekend and Joel, Stephanie and Nancy are coming! And I'm still waiting to heare if Cheryl is still coming the last weekend... anyone (LIKE CHERYL!!!) know?

Anyway... the post is supposed to be about the additional visitors. I haven't seen Patricia and Joanne in a long time. It will be exciting to see them again. More than 10 years ago, we used to go into the church at really wierd hours and pray together for a long time... hmmm... sounds a bit like what I do now!

anyway... visitors are always welcome at my house... just with this many, you better call first if you want a place to sleep! Haha!
Joyska at 1:18 AM

Friday, March 24, 2006

100% pursuit

okay, i know I have blogged about this before, but it is forefront on my radar again. Mike spoke tonight about being "in the Spirit" specifically in regard to Revelation 4 and the Beauty Realm of God. (the throne room scene in Revelation 4 and 5). He took a bit of a bunny trail tonight to talk about how being "in the Spirit" is way more than encountering God in a trance like state, or hearing his voice audibly. It's about living a life in the Spirit, day by day. John experienced Christ's visitation while he was living FOR Jesus and was even in exile for his faith.

Being in the Spirit means living a pure life... or at the very least pursueing a pure life. Holiness is not an option or a choice, it's a commandment. Mike spoke about how every area of our life needs to be pursueing Jesus 100%. There are no half measures, no comparing ourselves to the next guy, saying, "well, at least I'm doing better than so and so"

This of course is not new, and it is not easy.

But it's also about not giving up. It is soooo easy to look at a situation and say, "well this is too hard, or it's not working out quite right, so maybe this isn't God's will for me right now." What if Job had said that... or Noah... or Paul... or Jesus himself? Paul was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, mocked, you name it, but he KNEW that the Spirit of God was in him and he was hungry to see the gospel be told to Jew and Gentile.

What am I hungry for? I don't want to look at any situation and call it God's soveriegnty with out putting up a little fight if I believe He had called me there in the first place. Maybe, the situation and circumstances are to grow me up in Him, not to tell me to quit.

I want to see the beauty of God, here and in heaven. I want to run after holiness, regardless of what it costs me. I want to be hungry for His will in my life and not loss my fight everytime I feel discouraged by circumstances. If I am faithful to putting a gaurd on my tongue, a gaurd on my eyes, a gaurd on my time, and on my finances, as well of course other areas, I am that much closer to 100% pursuit of the Holiest of Holy. I don't want to be simply "more holy than so and so" I want to live my life with in His standards, not my own.

One more thing. Mike said tonite that we must want to go where only the Spirit can lead us and the Spirit can only lead us there if we are willing to go.

It brings me back to 1 John, "In Him there is no darkness at all". I am humbled by the fact that the only way for us to be reconsiled back to a Holy GOd, is through the Holy God becoming sin that I might see the righteousness of God.

Thank you Holy Spirit... continue to open up the mystery of God!
Joyska at 11:00 PM

Thursday, March 23, 2006

chase goes home tomorrow!

I just wanted to update and thank any of you who have been praying for Chase. His first set of x-rays were so cloudy from the liquid, you couldn't see his heart or ribs. This last set of x-rays is almost completely clear. Even the doctors are surprised! I'm not... the very breath of God is in him! Praise Jesus! and they are sending him home tomorrow with mamma! woohoo!

as for "settle Hope City" and "establish Joyska" please keep praying! (read previous post if you have no clue what I am talking about!)

God is on the move!
Joyska at 11:45 AM

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

prayer requests

It has been a busy weekend once again. The Guse' are on their way home after spending a few days here in Kansas City. Johan and Corrie arrived here around 10:00 last night and are soaking up the prayer room. It is so great to have them sitting here in the room with me! Makes me miss home too. But having them here is the best of both worlds!!

Today is Tuesday, however, which means another trip downtown for Hope City. Lisa and Jane (two of our leaders) were unable to come so it was a small group, but the prayer time was powerful. I only have two weeks left of my class, and then I'll be going with them on Monday nights to feed the poor as well. I am really looking forward to that.

Now here are the prayer requests:

Chase (Lisa's new grandchild!) was born yesterday around 5:00 and was perfectly formed (10 fingers, ten toes, everything in the right place...:) always a good thing, but especially in this case where we weren't 100% sure of that, because of the siezure meds the mamma was on). We are praising the Lord for this miracle!
He was 6 lbs 15 oz and beautiful! He is however in need of many prayers. He was born with fluid in his lungs and spots on his lungs that are indicators of pneumonia. He needs a feeding tube here soon, as he hasn't yet eaten much. I for almost 2 months now have had the word "BREATHE" going through my heart and mind as I have prayed for Chase. Please pray as well: "In the name of the Almighty God and His son Jesus Christ, BREATHE, Chase, BREATHE!"

I had the privilege of laying hands on him today and praying those very words. I am believing for his miraculous healing! Please pray with us!

Another (less dramatic) prayer request is we, as Hope City,are in need of a new location to feed and pray with our faithful crew. The building we are in is being closed down by the 31st of March, and we therefore are homeless ourselves. We have the opportunity to use a room down the street that is actually a church called Urban Impact, who only uses the room on Saturdays. We do not feel like this is a long term home, but we do feel that it will serve us well in the meantime. We are praying that God will give us a home in which we can "settle" (Psalm 107) and develop the things He has placed on our hearts.

Please pray for clear direction for us as a ministry, and as we try to maintain contact with the people who out of necessity are scattering a bit. It's an interesting time, yet we feel the Lord has promised many things, and we just need to remain faithful in the coming to pray.

One more request. As of the end of the month, i will no longer be receiving any finances from IHOP, as I have switched completely to working with the inner city outreaches here. My support from Canada is significantly less, as I have been away a year, and most commitments were for that time. I am asking the Lord to show me His will in this, and am open to whatever happens. If I am to be here, He will establish me. Please pray with me for clear leading in this. Thank you to all who are continuing to send monthly contributions! It is a gift greatly appreciated.

So, to summarize "Breathe, Chase, Breathe" "Settle Hope City" and "Establish Joyska"
Not to hard to remember eh?
Joyska at 8:09 PM

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Canadian Invasion

Well the Canadian Invasion of IHOP has begun...

Phil and Tricia Guse with their five amazing children are here until Tuesday (not in my apartment... but here at IHOP)Johan and Corrie arrive on Monday night (are staying in my apartment) They leave on the 25th. I get a chance to clean my room, sleep in my own bed for say... 5 nights and then Yvonne and Jason, Kristi and Shane, and Deanna AND Esther (the baby) are coming for the weekend! (Only Dee and Esther are staying with me) Then over the Easter weekend Joel,Stephanie, and Nancy are coming! Again only Steph is staying with me... and then I believe Cheryl might be coming the last weekend in April...

Whew... anyone else want to come? My guest book is getting some good use!

Have I mentioned that I like Canadians?
Joyska at 8:53 AM

Thursday, March 16, 2006

100 degrees Farenheit

Well folks there is only one place on the earth that is above 100 degrees farenheit--- abuja, nigeria
Joyska at 11:46 PM

Monday, March 13, 2006

Happy Birthday brother Marcel!

Today is my brother's 36th birthday. 36TH?!?!? how in the world did that happen?
My sister turned 40 this year and has been married for over 20 years. My oldest niece is 16 and getting her drivers liscense, and more distressing is my youngest nephew is 7.

When did all this happen? I remember the day Megan (the now 16 year old) was born. I remember sledding down the hill in our back yard with my brothers. I remember our old house in Calgary like it was yesterday... and in some ways it was!

What does this all mean? Well... Marcel... YOU are getting old!
Joyska at 8:50 PM

Saturday, March 11, 2006

lasting impressions

I just got home from a funeral. The step father of a friend, died this week. I was just thinking that I had the honour of being one of the last people to have a conversation with him. It was an honour because I saw a side of him that from what I heard at the funeral, not everyone got to see. A softer side.

It's amazing to watch people go through the grief process. 100 + people were in the room for the funeral and a few more at the reception. There was a sense of people really being blessed by having known this man, that he had had an impact on many people's lives, that he could make them laugh, even now, just by remembering the crazy stuff he did, and how funny he was. Funerals bring those stories out don't they? The hard stories are there too. The angry words, the fights, the hurts, but those are for another day... not the day of the funeral; so everyone smiles, laughs, and cries for this man that they have loved, raise a glass to him and thank God for him.

It reminded me too, that every conversation is significant. The stuff people remember is not necessarily what you would expect. So much of who we are is communicated through our words and of course our actions, but words were what I heard today. "Bob used to say..." "I remember when he said..." You know, that kind of stuff. Our words do leave an impression... even when we don't think they do.
Joyska at 4:47 PM

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

new definition of "want"

We are in the midst of a 40 day fast here at IHOP, for revival, for the crisis in the Middle East and for the rights of the unborn. I have added to that Sanctuary (in Winipeg) and some personal things. We started March 1, and so far it has gone relatively well. I'm eating somethings, not other things, and the biggest thing is I have sworn off TV. (the occasional movie is okay, though)

I have been a movie freak for a long time... as many of you know, and I sold almost all of my "collection" when I moved to Kansas City because I felt the Lord said "no more distractions". Back in the day it was bad. I would watch my movies all the time, and when I wasn't watching them I was organizing them, alphabetically, by star, by year, whatever. And then I got rid of them all, and honestly have NOT missed them. Well I have discovered that I replaced those movie distractions with TV.

As a movie lover I also love the Oscars. I don't like what they represent (fame, wealth, power, arrogance etc) but I am fascinated by the ones that the academy calls "best". Anyway... they were on this past weekend. I had a new level of "I WANT TO WATCH THEM!!!", and when I came home from church my roommate was watching them. It took everything in me to walk away! I bargained with "it's only once a year, it's technically NOT TV, but God... it's the OSCARS!" and that is when I knew that all of it is still a distraction. I picked up my bag which had my journal and bible and fled to the prayer room!

Then yesterday, I was with a friend in the waiting room of a hospital during the surgery of a family member and what was blaring in the middle of the room? Of course... the TV. Now a couple hours of ignoring a box that is in your line of view and telling all the tantilizing gossip (news) of the day is difficult, and I must admit my head turned that direction more than once, but it is awakening in me a sadness of how easily distracted I am from the things of God.

Grace grace right?

There is a tornado watch on right now... surely weather updates don't qualify... right? Oh Lord, thank you for a deeper hunger for you as a result of saying no to other things!
Joyska at 2:00 PM

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

a blog about nothing

nothing is an interesting word... it means the absence of something... and yet the very existence of the word, means it is something. where I am I going with this you ask? I don't know, but i'll leave it at that!
Joyska at 9:48 AM

Sunday, March 05, 2006

life lessons

The Lord has been teaching me a lot of things about life lately.

The most important lesson I am learning is that LOVE is supposed to be the core of all I am and do. The book of I John talks about the fact that God IS Love, that we can't claim to know God, and yet not know love.

What does that mean exactly? Is my response when I am insulted or hurt supposed to be love? Yes, actually. I am to love those that "drive me crazy"? Yes. And here is the greater question for me, do I readily receive love from those who extend it?

Along with the lessons on love, I am learning the kindness of God, because there is also something that we call GRACE. The Lord, he sees my heart. He knows the reasons why giving and receiving love are difficult, but he also doesn't let me stay there and calls me to a higher revelation.

It's a lesson that God has been teaching me for years, but I am seeing that His heart demands holiness and obedience, and yet never gives up on me when I fail.

My job is to give Him all my worship, all my praise, and to recognize he ALONE is worthy of it. In that, He will change me day by day.
Joyska at 1:52 PM

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

update on my dad

I spoke with my dad today. His MRI showed that the MS is there, but that it is not progressive. They did discover, however, that he has arthritis on his spine and hip. My dad is now going to a neuron specialist who will then decide what to do next and may recommend an operation. Dad is also needing surgery on his eyes in Novemeber. I am praying for a miracle. Please pray with me.

I was reading (again) "Peace like a River" by Leif Enger. i loved what he wrote regarding miracles:

"Let me say something about that word: miracle. For too long it's been used to characterize things and events that, though pleasant, are entirely normal....a clear sunrise after a an over cast week-- a miracle, people say, as if they've been educate from greeting cards. I'm sorry, but nope. Such things are worth our notice every day of the week, but to call them miracles evaporates the strength of the word.

Real miracles bother people.... It's true: they rebut every rule all we good citizens take comfort in. Lazurus obeying orders and climbing up out of the grave --now there is a miracle, and you can bet it upset a lot of folks who were standing around at the time. When a person dies, the earth is generally unwilling to cough him back up. A MIRACLE CONTRADICTS THE WILL OF THE EARTH."

So God, I pray for my dad, that you would bring about a miracle in his body that goes against all that the doctors are seeing and saying. I pray that his life would be a testimony of the full measure and power of You. You've done it before God, I am asking you would do it again. Amen.
Joyska at 10:20 PM

"in the middle of the night"

I had no idea how much staying up through the night praying would awaken my heart.

It is 5:30 ish and have been here since 12:30. It's not about how long one is here, it is about what happens here. We begin a 40 day fast today... and in the spirit of the IHOP "don't ask, don't tell" policy, I will just say that I know I am Diabetic and can't skip eating... I know, and I am taking all needed precautions! I'm excited about what God will do in this time of greater focus on Him.

This fast has many corporate and national reasons and facets to it, as well as personal applications. There is something amazing about a corporate fast that can never be touched in individual pursuit. This is outside of the thinking of today's lifestyle... to choose lack for the purpose of gaining deeper relationship with HIM, but when a body of people go after it together, it is amazing.

"Pour out your Spirit, restore a generation" is the heart cry right now here in the prayer room at 5:30 in the morning. That is truly amazing to me. I feel like I am on the "edge" of something, that the Lord is up to something in my life. I am soooo ready for whatever that is!

Thank you for praying for my dad. I will update as I know more.
Joyska at 3:33 AM