Joyska's Journal: April 2006

Saturday, April 29, 2006

waiting for the promises

There is something amazing about spending extended time in the prayer room. There is such a peace and restoration in this room... not just rest, but restoration. EVEN when I don't want to be here! haha

I won't lie. I don't know if I personally am an ANNA (the one who prayed in the temple day and night awaiting the coming of the Messiah), but this room is soooo good for me. I am committed to 24 hours a week, and it works out more like 30 when I do Night Watch. One thing I have noticed is that I am growing in my faith.

I remember a while ago, my big word in my head was CONTEND... contend for the breakthrough... FIGHT for the Lord to answer and move in the inner city, in winnipeg, in Kansas City, in the lives of my friends, for healing... it was all about getting before the Lord and making MY requests and desires known. It was about knowing his love too (don't get the wrong idea... it isn't all pacing and pounding) but for the most part, my attitude has been CONTEND, be the persistant widow... be one found knocking.

Those things are good and right. But the Lord is opening another way of looking at it. He knows what I need before I ask for it... and tonight at EGS I was reminded that he is "gracious to those whom he is gracious, and will have compassion on whom he will have compassion". (Exodus 33:17-23)

My prayers are about going deeper in relationship with Him. It's not necessarily about fighting for the things I think should happen. But He HAS MADE PROMISES. That is the slight tweak in my prayers. Rather than going before the Lord and contending with Him (yikes... there is a fight lost! haha) I want to come before Him and pray his promises. Not to remind Him of them, for that has it's own arrogance, but rather to agree with them. That is what he is looking for anyway isn't it? For a people who will agree with Him and NOT be offended by his judgements?

So rather than contend for a breakthrough in all the things, situations, and people I am praying for, I am shifting gears a little and praying the promises he has spoken throughout scripture over the things, situations, and especially people that are on my ever growing prayer list! (Thank you, by the way, for your requests... it's a privilege and honour to pray for you!) And rather than contend... I will wait to see the promises of the Lord fulfilled.

I have a meeting on Wednesday that I am excited about... but that is for the next post... :) Please just pray that the promises over my life would be fulfilled as well! (How's that for a way to get you to come back to my blog... I'm always thinking... hehe)
Joyska at 12:51 AM

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What now?

Have you ever had a feeling like you are on the brink of something... like the air is electric with anticipation? I have felt that this past week, at times.

Have you ever felt like nothing is going to change... ever... that everything seems dull and empty. I have felt that this past week too, at times.

I am sometimes so influenced by my surroundings. I am easily swayed into an almost depressive state if I sit too long, and I am "jazzed" and excited easily when I find something my heart connects with (like Hope City).

I love the "on the edge of something" feeling. It motivates me forward, keeps me going, keeps me focused on what God is doing. I get this feeling every time I go downtown, and when I am in the prayer room in the middle of the night. I pray, and suddenly I feel expectation... anticipation, "what now, God? what are you going to do?" Don't get me wrong... I have moments when I pray and I feel like... "when God... when are you going to move on this?" I prefer... What now?

I prefer anticipation, not stagnation. The reality is that life brings both. But I love when God rattles the lethargy in me, and stirs me to move.

What am I trying to say?

"How long will you lie there you sluggard, when will you rise from your bed?" (proverbs- somewhere in there!)


"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." (I Peter 5:7,8)

Make sense?
Joyska at 11:22 PM

Sunday, April 23, 2006

John G. Lake

This was an interpretation of tongues in 1908 at one of John G. Lake's meetings in South Africa:

O, soul, on the highway from earth unto glory
Surrounded by mysteries, trials and fears,
Let the life of your GOd in your life be resplendant
For Jesus will guide you, you need never fear

For if you will trust me, I'll lead you and guide you
Through the quicksands and deserts of life, all the way.
No harm shall befall you, I only will teach you
To walk in surrender with Me day by day.

For earth is a school to prepare you for glory;
The lessons here learned, you will always obey.
When eternity dawns , it will be only the morning
Of life with Me always, as life is today.

Therefore, be not impatient, as lessons you are learning;
Each day will bring gladness and joy to you here;
But heaven will reveal to your soul, of the treasure
Which eternity offers, through ages and years.

For your God is the God of the earth and the heavens;
And your soul is the soul that He died to save;
And His blood is sufficient, His power eternal;
Therefore rest in your God, both today and always.

I just bought a complete collection of John G. Lake's life teachings and read 50 pages in my first sitting. (there is 987 pages!) It was on sale in the bookstore and with my discount, I couldn't pass it up. This poetic interpretation of tongues deeply impacted me as it was yet another encouragement to keep going.

The introduction to the book asked the question "how did John get his power?"
This is the response :
(John G. Lake) had the power of God in his life because he was utterly consumed with the prize: A closer walk with Jesus Christ and a better, clearer, more personal understanding of the nature of God and the purpose of man's journey through this world.

Good answer.
Joyska at 4:20 PM

Friday, April 21, 2006

Change of heart

i'm a little down today. Maybe it's the realization that the Canadians are all done with their visits for awhile. Maybe it's the wierd sleep schedule I'm on, or maybe it's just one of those days.

So "why so downcast o my soul? Put your trust in him!"

Oddly, that statement when I am down, almost is annoying. And yet it is truth. I know truth. We all do, and yet sometimes I find it easier to complain.

"do all things without complaint" hmmmm

Okay, so maybe reading 10 chapters a day does have an affect! Every excuse I come up with for staying "down" can be refuted by scripture.

"How long will you lie there you sluggard, when will you rise from your bed?"

(That was one of my favourites in college! haha)

There is a reason that God's word is like a double edged sword, separating marrow from bone. without his living word, I would likely be a puddle of mush, refusing to move from where I am, and whining and complaining the whole way through... not to mention blaming everyone else for my laziness or malcontent!

So, let me start over. I am thankful this morning for the very WORD of GOD... and how it changes me, even now!
Joyska at 8:34 AM

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

it's not a game!

i was downtown today and while we were praying I felt so strongly that the Lord was reminding me and all of us in the room that what we are doing is not a game. it's easy to get into a mode where you are just doing the stuff to do the stuff. That going downtown to feed people is fun, that praying for the breakthrough in the city is cool thing to do... but it is so much more than that.

Today we had a number of new faces in our prayer meeting. 5 to be exact, and all of them at a crossroad in their life. The question before them is "are you in or are you out?" It's eternal issues we are dealing with. Do I realize that as I speak and joke around with them? Do I (as one of our newer folks said) realize that I am the only Bible some people will ever see?

So I am reminded of the urgency of what we do. It is truly not a game, and it something that I can't take lightly. I am thankful for the reminder and even more excited for what the Lord is going to do amongst these wonderful people.
Joyska at 6:39 PM

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Canadian Humour

Driving down the road the following was heard:

Joel did you get Naked?

"Peepholes from around the world"

I met the two dwarves in my Spiritual Holding class"

the wet naps are in the back

Sometimes Canadians can be more entertaining than television! (especially when you get 4 of them together!)
Joyska at 7:26 AM

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

the bearded lady

Monday night, I went downtown.

We are in a new spot...just down the street... literally two buildings over from where we were. It's a great spot, complete with kitchen facilities and a sound system. It's actually in a building that in years gone by was "the" spot in Kansas City. Al Capone renovated the 8th floor and kept it for whenever he and his pals were in KC, Dean Martin and his crowd frequented the then hotel whenever they were in town as well. It has a great history and in former years, had great glory.

It's a little more rundown now. Section 8 housing mostly, but none the less has very colourful people.

For example...

On Monday night, we had a lady (who really did have a beard) come to the meal that we make every Monday. She told a story of woe that was captivating and heartbreaking. She said her apartment had burned down, that she had six kids and that they were starving. We gave her all the left overs.

Tuesday we go back down there and meet up with a woman who lives and works in the area. She lets us know that our "starving mama" was out selling the food for a dollar a plate. Haha... i would of charged $5! (it was an awesome taco salad afterall).

Then there is Ron. He must be a hippie of long ago, but he came on Monday night. Great guy, really funny and engaging and truly homeless. He spends his days "on the wall" pan handling and sleeps in a sleeping bag under the bridge. On Monday he asked for some new jeans. Since we don't have a clothing pantry yet (and I do mean yet) Lisa told him she would bring some next week. He laughed and said that next week might be too late. He turned around and shook his butt, to reveal that the rips in his jeans revealed just a little too much skin! We found him "on the wall" yesterday and gave him a pair of jeans. He had a huge smile and simply said "I love you guys!" too fun!

Then we drove through the West Bottoms area of Kansas City. It's were the 2nd largest stock yards were in the 50s. I was told of great stories of the flood that hit in 1950 where cows were floating everywhere and in buildings. That must have been amazing. Then back in the civil war, it was called the crossing. If you could make it through that area, you were free, but they would stand on the bridge and shoot at you if you tried. Amazing history.

Now for my Winnipeg friends you will appreciate this:

We are driving through the West Bottoms and I look up and see Winnipeg Centre Vineyard. Seriously... the building is RIGHT THERE! It's beside the train tracks near a bridge and looks exactly like our building... only six stories instead of 4. I look at the sign painted across the top and I freaked out... INTERNATIONAL HARVESTERS OF AMERICA! It was built by the same company that built WCV! We drove closer to it (after a few adventures going over grated bridges and down steep hills) and discovered it is for lease. I don't know if that was significant for us here at Hope City, but it was a huge thing for me personally.

I know I've said it many times before, I know I'm supposed to be here, and God is reminding me of it daily! Thanks for your prayers...please keep praying!
Joyska at 6:01 AM

Monday, April 10, 2006

early morning in the prayer room

It's 2:41 am and I am in the prayer room. The prophetic singers are singing this phrase:

All i can do is lean, all i can do is cling to your mercy... this is what you require, this is all you desire from me.

I was struck by the truth and power of these words. Of course it is based on Psalm 51:16-17, and it is truth that I needed to hear. I get so caught up in the "what needs to be done... where I need to be next... what the purpose of my being here" is all about that I often miss the simplicity of "all I can do is lean, all I can do is cling to your mercy", because no matter what or how I do anything... it is nothing without Him.

So here I sit praying through my "list" and find that I need to ask for your prayers as well. Please pray for me these four thngs...

1. That God would show me how to love... myself, others, and most importantly HIM!

2. That God would establish me here, both financially and with stability of schedule, friends etc.

3. That I wouldn't miss what God is doing by finding this prayer room common place.

4. That Hope City (the inner city ministry/prayer room) would be firmly established in Kansas City and that many homeless and addicted would find mercy and restoration there!

I've been here a year and 2 months, and there are days that I take for granted the gift that God has given me here...and I don't ever want to do that. My prayers are for a deeper love and relationship with Him first, and with others second.

As I finish this post... these words are being sung...

"On this one will I look, on this one will I strengthen"... now that is a promise of GOD!! And my prayer for all on my list! (which by the way... if you have specific prayer requests, let me know... I am loving going through it nightly!)
Joyska at 1:00 AM

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Revelation 4:11

"You are worthy O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created."

This is what the 24 elders are proclaiming everytime they throw down their crowns before the throne of God.

I am in awe of this. The Lord is worthy to receive glory honour and power... that I have always thought. He is the only one worthy. And then I ask "Why?" My answer (in my little conversation in my head) is that He is the one who died for me, He is the son of God, He just is... He is worthy.

Revelation 4:11 says it's because He created all things... that by His will they exist and were created. I knew this (still do) but this really is phenominal. without our being created, we would never given glory and honour to Him... The elders see the wonder of His creation, the very wisdom of God in His creation... creation of ALL things.

I'm at a loss as to how to describe my awe and wonder of these words. But with the elders I throw down everything of my own honour and give it to the one who created me!
Joyska at 10:30 PM

Monday, April 03, 2006

I've been reading about Solomon lately. I am once again amazed at what happens when our hearts are in the "right" place.

When God appeared to Solomon in a dream, and asked him what he wanted, Solomon could have answered anything. He could have asked for lots of money... he could have even had a heart to give it all away, he could have asked for fame... even if it was to be able to bring glory to the name of God, he could have asked for true love in his life, again to bring glory and honour to God. But he didn't. He asked for wisdom... not just wisdom to be or appear smart, but wisdom BECAUSE he didn't know how to lead the people God had given him.

Solomon was NOT the hier to the throne. He was one of David's sons, yes, but not his first son. He was the son of Bathsheba... unplanned, and in some respects initially unwanted. He, I am sure, at least initially was not the first pick for the next king. In fact his brother Adonijah proclaimed himself King while David was on his death bed. It took a decree of David to stop Adonijah from taking the throne. Solomon knew he was under some serious pressure and needed God's help.

He was one who was pursueing the heart of God, like his father. So when God came to him, he knew what he wanted. He thanked God for the good that he had done to his father and asked for wisdom to reign JUSTLY over the chosen people of God. What a profound request. He knew the authority he had been given was not from his own standing, but from God alone. He knew that David was chosen by God as well. I'm sure David had told him of his sheep herding days, of his days playing the harp on the hills, writting music and worshipping God. I'm sure Solomon had his own songs... infact scripture says he "spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs were one thousand and five" (I Kings 4:32) -- of which song of solomon is the "song of songs".

Solomon loved God long before he asked for wisdom. I find that inspiring.
Joyska at 11:56 PM

Saturday, April 01, 2006

friends and provision

This week end has been full of great friends visiting and God's constant provision in my life!

yvonne, jason, kristi, shane, deanna, and esther have been here since Thursday. it's been FABULOUS!! Dee and Esther have been staying here, and I am LOVING getting to know this little 4 1/2 month old that has wrapped my heart around her little finger... funny... her big brother did the same thing! we've done all the fav's around here... the Prayer room, panera bread, cold stone creamery, bath and body works, the plaza and of course the friday and saturday night services.

And in the midst of all the fun... God has miraculously handed me in the form of unexpected support, enough money to pay rent, pay utilities, AND pay some back bills that have been "doggin" me a little! All in the span of 2 days! My prayer was and continues to be "Lord, if you want me here, establish me..." and he continues to do it! YEAH GOD!

Thank you for praying with me! Chase by the way is doing GREAT! We had a little party for them and another new baby this past Thursday, and Chase is doing wonderfully! I am so thankful to the LORD!

Anyway... so the Canadians leave tomorrow, which is then followed by 4 days of getting back to normal just in time for 2 more friends to come (complete with another little one!) Joanne and Patricia... friends for over .... (shall i say it?) 12 years are coming to visit me! Man I feel popular!

So back to reality first thing in the morning! Don't forget to set your clocks ahead... ( you were wondering why you were late for church this morning weren't you?!) haha
Joyska at 10:48 PM