Joyska's Journal: June 2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Consider this:

This came at the end of Misty's ten o'clock set tonight...

And all I want is the light of your countenance
All I want is Your evaluation of me
All I want is the light of your countenance
All I want is the expression of your face

Show me your face
I don't want to live for the face of man
I don't want to dance for them
I want to see the look on your face.

That is all I want.

What is it that I want? Is it this? Is it truly HIS face alone?
I found myself considering how different my life would be if this was the core desire and the outpouring of my heart.

And then I remembered that it is a journey... and more and more everyday it is all I want... it is living for His presence. It is pursueing His heart, it is breaking down the barriers, it's letting Him define who I am, it's walking in integrity and humility, taking the low road (in terms of humility not morally), it's living as close to the sermon on the mount as possible, it's eating the Word everyday... and hopefully... all of that comes to a place of "all I want is the light of His countenance...."
Joyska at 10:15 PM

Monday, June 26, 2006

I wanted to write some brilliant protrayal of Goldies funeral, but the days are passing and I don't want to miss the opportunity.

So I will tell you what I remember... I don't want to make her funeral about blacks and whites, but it is what I remember. Have you ever been to a black church? I mean an all black church? Where the pastor accentuates every word with a sing song "UH" for example... Jesusuh... SO fun! Goldie has 5 siblings, seemingly thousands of cousins and neices and nephews, and black funerals are far from reserved somber occasions. They seem to be more like a family gathering.

Of course there was sadness, of course there was grief, but even the expression of that was loud and uncontrolled. One woman was so overcome, she fell to the floor in front of the casket... but at the reception led us all in some amazing Negro Sprirituals! The funeral was a call to know Jesus... both pastors and the (phenominal) vocalist were all about the "after life" and being ready for His coming now and preparing our hearts... that it wasn't a sad day, it was a day to celebrate that Goldie did know Jesus. The second pastor who spoke I understood maybe a third of what he said. I was one of maybe six white people in the room (the other 5 from Hope City as well), and everyone else was shouting "Amen" and "Come on now". It was great. I felt at home there, regardless of how different I looked, and I felt a deep affection for the people.

The reception was held where we have our meetings. The family and friends came to eat and celebrate "Goldie's going away party". Seriously... that is what it was. We had the honour of serving all 100 of them. We laughed, joked around and marveled at how the sisters and mom looked just like Goldie and how Hattie, one of the sisters sounded SO MUCH like her that I did a double take when I met her.

The favourite moment for me? When 8 of them got up on stage and started singing. We got an amazing view of what the house of prayer in the city could sound like. And for the first time, we felt like the ceiling was broken spiritually over the seperation of black and white for us as a ministry. Someone said "we are witnessing the seed that fell to the ground (Goldie) bearing fruit". Many of the people there wanted to know what we were about because of how Goldie had changed so much over the last year... I believe we haven't seen the last of Goldie's family.

One more thing... at the end of the reception, Lisa, myself and the rest of the Hope City crew were cleaning up and all in one area of the room. I look up and there is a line of 8 to 10 of Goldie's immediate family (sisters, brothers, mom, dad, and sons) standing in front of us. They, with many hugs and tears in their eyes thanked us for the day, but also for our role in Goldie's life. My response was "we did out of our love for Goldie, and for you." And I meant every word.

Look over us Goldie, enjoy your place with the King, and we miss you.
Joyska at 7:09 AM

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

a few "light" topics....

This morning at OMEGA we talked about the different views of the millenium (1000 year rule and reign of Jesus). Talked about PRE, POST, A- millinealism, and the lighthearted pan and pro millinealism... Have no idea what I am talking about? Call me ... my brain is FULL of it all! haha

Then two ladies from my table (that I am facilitating discussion for) took me out for lunch! (Due to Randy's "take your table leader out for lunch and ask them how they got to IHOP... garaunteed a good story!) So for 2 hours we chatted about IHOP, my role here and how I got here and where they come from! One lady was saved through a 700 Club show that she was watching on TV many years ago! ha-ha... sorry mom, I shouldn't have mocked that show growing up!...

this afternoon we talked about the plan, the procession... the 7 year tribulation, the 3 1/2 years of peace followed by 3 1/2 years of "evil". We talked about the 12 signs that Jesus told us to look for... the place of Israel... you name it, we talked about it...

Then again as a result of Randy's command, two of the older guys at my table bought me a "sugar free vanilla avalanche" at Higher Grounds and we sat and talked for almost an hour and a half about Israel, the Palestinians, Egypt, Iran and the conflict in the middle east. One of the men lives in Cairo and the other has spent much time in the middle east. It was a fascinating conversation revolving around Isaiah 19 and other passages regarding Egypt especially!

Now if that weren't enough for one day, I ran home, grabbed a few crackers and ran back out the door and went to my Overcoming Barriers class at FSM that I am TAing!
Tonight's topic? Overcoming Lust... shutting the eye gate, before it gets to the thoughts, then to the heart, and finally to the action. NO light topics for me!

Here is a tid bit from that discussion:

When Jesus says "You have heard it said" he is not contradicting the Law given to Moses, he was there when it was written! What He is saying is, you have taken the letter of the law... the action... and focused on that...but I (Jesus) tell you ... it is the spirit of the Law you must obey... even the thought of it will produce sin... so stop the thought... you stop the sin.

I thought that was GREAT... Holiness is not an option!... Paul told the Ephesians to not even have a HINT of sexual immorality amongst them... and they were in EPHESUS where once a year there was a huge festival of immorality! That was the context of his admonition to them.

Okay... relax! I am WOUND UP with all the info I have taken in today. Time to go to the prayer room for a bit to settle it all in my heart... then off to sleep to spend tomorrow finishing the OMEGA class and doing a Q and A with Mr. Bickle in the afternoon, after of course, a meal with the HOPE CITY team!

Yikes... Good thing the weekend is coming!
Joyska at 8:57 PM

Monday, June 19, 2006

overload and brain explodes!

and I LOVE IT! haha

I've had the privilege over the past week to TA (Teacher assist) a class offered at the Forerunner School of Ministry. The class is called Overcoming Barriers to Intimacy with God. It is taught by Derek Loux... and it is wonderful. The first night... overcoming offense, night 2... overcoming fear... night 3... overcoming demotion...and tonight... overcoming lying and deceit! It's been great. Lots to think about and chew on for sure.

Then TODAY... i have started doing the OMEGA intensive (study based on the end times). We talked today about the GREAT and TERRIBLE day of the Lord and Jesus' leadership. I walked away today feeling like my brain was on overload, but I am loving the stimulation!

Tomorrow is another morning in OMEGA, then downtown to meet with Goldie's family and pray, and back to OMEGA at night. Wednesday is OMEGA, OMEGA, and Barriers class... Thursday is OMEGA, downtown, OMEGA and then Friday is funeral for Goldie.

So needless to say it's a busy week.

I will post some of the learning as the week goes on and I get a chance... let me leave you with two one liner nugets that I heard today

#1. Let the longing be your compass until He returns. (LOVE THAT!)
#2. Knowing that there IS a plan of righteous justice makes me feel safer than I ever have!

SOOOOO much I could say about both of those statements... and someday I will do it!
Joyska at 10:09 PM

Sunday, June 18, 2006

it's been a tough weekend, but good.

I keep thinking about Goldie, about what she meant to us, what she meant to her family... and what was said so often to us. I love it. She used to say... Jesus is coming... he's coming you guys! She had visions of a big white building that was filled with people from the street worshiping God, and praying. She knew the heart of what we wanted to do.

She called everybody "miss" or "mr". She called me "miss joyce" cause she just couldn't "get her mouth" around miss joyska! She lived her life asking for help, and I know that she gave in whatever way she could.

Part of why I love the city is that people live honestly. Not always "legally" :) but always honestly. They aren't afraid to let you know they need help, that they could use a "hand up", but when things are tough, they often come together in a community unlike any I've seen

I remember when I was living in Winnipeg, and when something happening on the street, EVERYONE knew in seemingly minutes. The community pipeline. Communication with out the benefit of cell phones and email. It's the same here. They live together... they know each other... and they mourn together.

The funeral will most likely be this tuesday. It's still up in the air, but so far it looks like Tuesday.

Anyway. God continues to remind me to LIVE, to be TRUE, and to follow Him with EVERYTHING I am!
Joyska at 5:39 PM

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I am sad to have to write this entry.

Goldie, whom I've told many stories about on this blog, died of a heart attack this morning. The family, the community of Hope City, and many others are saddened greatly by this loss. We do know that she loved Jesus in the midst of her struggles, and she will be greatly missed. Please pray for the family, and for her friends of which she had many.

I spoke with her daughter today and she thanked us "the church people" for loving her mom and being her friend. It was an honour to have been part of her life. She lived with and cared for her brother for many years as he struggles with cancer. Just this past Tuesday, we spent time praying for her and the medical issues she was dealing with. She had a huge heart and saw many things prophetically. She was only in her 50's.

Please pray.
Joyska at 1:38 PM

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tuesday's with Joyska Ha-ha

Today is tuesday. And that means heading downtown with Hope City.

We were a small crowd of IHOPers this time around (myself and Jane) but we had 5 of our friends come join us for our prayer meeting. It was awesome. Everyone of us today had a prayer request and concern to bring before the Lord. We usually spend the time in worship and then praying for the city, the area, and the people, but today it was all about God breaking into the lives of the people in the room.

Please pray with us. 2 of our "regulars" are missing. One hasn't been seen in a month, and one hasn't been seen since Thursday. Both are struggling to come off of drugs and alcohol, but their disappearances have concerned us greatly. Please pray for their safe return.

One of our friends as well is caught in a nasty court case that has cost her and her family thousands of dollars that they do not have. Their case is ligitimate and essential for the safety of handicapped children in public schools... please pray for justice to be done, and supernatural provision for her and her family.

In the midst of all the concerns and requests today, i looked around the room and saw 4 men and women who have been at least 6 months clean of their addictions as a direct result of giving their lives to the Lord. One supernaturally never having an urge or desire to use again, and the others, through support and prayer, successfully finding freedom and a "new direction". I was humbled and honoured to be amongst such a powerful testiment to God's grace, love, and power.

As we were heading to lunch, one of the women got in the car with me. She began to panic and as we talked it through I discoverded that we were in the same type of car that she was in when her son was killed 28 years before (a newer model of the VW bug). The story unfolded as she told me of her 6 month old son, who was killed when they were hit by a drunk driver. I was again... overwhelmed with honour to be with her as she retold her story.

These men and women have been through so much. Their hearts have been broken again and again by circumstances and choices they have made in response. These precious ones, now many years, scars and tears later are again saying "yes" and as much as I am honoured to watch, the Lord is far more thrilled and honoured.

Pain is pain, someone wisely told me once. Your worst pain is terrible, even if it is only a fraction of what your neighbors pain is. The reality of pain is not the degree we feel it, it is the degree in which we respond to it. I was blessed to be in a room today, where though it has taken time, pain, struggles, and regrets, these ones have responded to all of it with a YES to the Lord... and he is rewarding them for it!

Joyska at 8:34 PM

Monday, June 12, 2006

barriers to intimacy with God #1

Removing offense, recapturing the presence.

faith is living in tandem between God's promises and His presence. We are designed to beleive His promises and live for His presence. Faith is walking the valleys in between the mountains without offense, no matter how deep the valley or how long.

That's what I learned tonight. And it's exactly what I needed to hear.
Joyska at 10:30 PM

Sunday, June 11, 2006

they've left

so sad...but it was fun!
Joyska at 4:53 PM

Saturday, June 10, 2006

they're here!

It's so fun having old friends come into a new phase of your life.

IHOP is a foriegn world to these guys and it is great to give them the grand tour and the heart and soul of why IHOP even exists. I surprised even myself as I sat up til 1:00 talking with Joann about all that I am learning, and what I am doing here, and especially how I grown in the Lord.

I needed that. I think it is so easy to forget how blessed I am to be in a place like this. Like Cheryl J. said in her blog a while ago..."life is life" and the rest is geography! No matter where I live, I face the same life challenges, no matter what I do, my weaknesses show, but God reminded me last night that I have, here at IHOP grown a hunger for Him and a longing for His presence. I have developed a habit of extended prayer times, I have learned and continue to learn that the heart of God is for His people, not angry, or disappointed,but deeply in love and longing for "voluntary lovers" as Mike calls us.

My life (as all of ours lives are) is a series of phases... the Alberta Phase... The Grand Rapids Phase, the Winnipeg Phaase, and now the Kansas City Phase. There is one thing that has remained consistant through all of it...

God's pursuit of me. His hand is so evident in every phase. His beauty demonstrated through provision, protection and people He's connected me with along the way. I'll be 35 in a couple months, and looking back, through all of it, God's hand has held me... even when i've pushed it away.

Yah... well that was close to being mushy... so I'll end there and get back to hugging Katlyn, Joann's adorable little one year old! Have a good weekend one and all!
Joyska at 7:06 AM

Friday, June 09, 2006

waiting patiently

i am so excited.

Two of my friends who live in Michigan are on their way here to KC to VISIT ME!!!
I haven't seen these women for many years.

Patricia and Joann are friends that i have known since about 1990. WOW!
We used to be inseperable in days gone by. We worked together in an inner city ministry in Grand Rapids called Positive Alternative, we prayed together MANY hours for and in our church (Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church), went to college together (Reformed Bible College) and LAUGHED ALOT. That was all so many years ago! Life changes and moves on, but it certainly is fun to reconnect!

so why am i waiting? cause they aren't here yet!!
Joyska at 12:31 PM

Sunday, June 04, 2006

all authority

Matthew 28:18-20... "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore...I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

I've been studying Mark for the last few days. So why start the blog with a quote from Matthew? I've read through Mark a couple of times in the last few days and the word "authority" keeps coming through. Then I remembered that the book of Matthew ends with the same word. All authority is His... and He gives it to us... and we are to use it... with the rememberance... the assurance that He is with us always.

In the book of Mark there are various times that Jesus shows His authority... over the demons, over the waters and waves, in the words he speaks, over the temple leaders, society leaders, the crowds.... Over and over again His words have weight. AND various reactions. People respond with awe, with wonder, and with fear and anger. Funny how one event can have so many responses.

In Chapter 6, Jesus GIVES that same authority to His disciples and sends them out. For the most part they are successful... demons are cast out, healings occur, and the word goes out with power. They would then come back to Jesus and be taught where they went wrong (this one comes out only by prayer and fasting), encouraged by Him and sent out again.

I noticed also that the leaders of society had no sway over Him until He allowed it. They tried to trick Him, they tried to trip Him up on the law, and they tried at times to even overtake Him. But each time, Jesus silenced them, either with rebuke, wise responses, or by His power. In fact after all levels of leadership (chapter 12) tried to trick Him, no one dared ask Him any more questions. Again that same authority was GIVEN to the disciples. And to us.

I've been asking myself the question why I am so easily silenced. Why do I opt for comfortable relationships instead of speaking boldly and with truth? So often it is my lack of belief that God has given ME that same authority. My prayer as I go into the prayer room tonight is that God would help me to choose courage, and trust His authority in me... what that looks like... well, Mark saw it and showed us! I think if I were to walk in that same authority my life would have to change...

I was talking with a friend the other day and someone jokingly called her trouble... she responded with that's right... trouble to the very depths of hell! She is also one who I know takes her authority seriously and is a threat!

hmmm... i like the sound of that!
Joyska at 9:46 PM

Thursday, June 01, 2006

sorry dad... your birthday blog was short lived!

I've been thinking alot about destiny lately. How do we walk in the destiny God calls us into? And what stops us from living out our true identity... as children of God?

For instance... i believe my name holds my true identity... in doing a name search, i discovered that my name means "beloved one who brings much joy" and my middle name "johanna" means "delivered one" what a great idenity... delivered one and beloved one who brings much joy!!

But as I look back over my life... i have struggled deeply with depression and isolating my true self and feelings. (apparently not today however!)... why is that?

I think that the area that we are most called in is the area that we are most attacked in. But it also the area we need to contend for the most! It is easy to get "lazy" or even overwhelmed by the constant attack we feel. But the reality is that we are ALREADY overcomers! In revelation, there is a phrase that says "to him who overcomes"... our destiny today and eternally is not simply handed to us... it's something we have to fight for.

In some respects it is what "work out your faith with fear and trembling" means. (This by no means is an exegesis on any passage -- just random thoughts). One thing I do know and am learning more each day is that if the fire isn't kindled in me to run after my destiny... to truly see what God has called me to BE (not connected to what I DO) then my words of "life" that I want to give to others are empty and without impact.

I met with some of my friends today from Hope City. They see me... they see my destiny... and they speak words from a place of fire in them... and it has impact in my life. I don't know if there is a raging blaze in me... yet... but I know that there is at least a little heat to give some umph to my words simply because He lives in me.

Hmmm.... gives a little bit of a twist to the words "fan into flame!"
Joyska at 11:50 PM

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my dad's 60th birthday!

Hope it is a good one dad!
Joyska at 5:01 PM