Joyska's Journal: January 2007

Saturday, January 27, 2007

prayer room perspectives

It's Saturday afternoon, and I am sitting in the most unlikely place for a gathering of young people. I'm about in the middle of the Prayer Room here at IHOP because everything toward the front is full.

Did I mention it was Saturday? I am constantly amazed at the sacrafices those who come here make day after day. Corey Asbury is leading "How Great our God" acapella (only voices) and it is beautiful. There is s a stronger sense of purpose here lately. A seemiingly stronger focus on "solemn assembly" and giving it all to Jesus. It inspires me to dig deeper in His word, to know Him better, to hear Him for myself and to carry that to others. This place is a centering. Does that makes sense?

Life for me this past two weeks has been busy, but more than that, it's been distracting. There is always so much "stuff" going on, that I consistantly miss the point. I am here to pray, to intercede, to call out to the Lord to move the hearts of men.

We are seeing it so much more clearly at HOPE CITY, which has moved from a place of feeding the poor and praying to praying and feeding the poor. A subtle shift to the outside, but a monumental one for us. And it is happening. Our prayer meetings aren't like the one I'm in right now, but it's rawness is just as important. The other day we had 4 homeless "kids" (18-21 year olds) reading and praying scriptures right along side the seasoned 20 + years Christians. It was profound as we all picked a scripture to read and how God was speaking the same thing : HE IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH in times of trouble.

One of the kids prayed that God would bring warmth to the coldest corners and light to the darkest places. YES! That is the point isn't it? God is moving and showing his refuge and strength even to the weak ones... and I put myself in that catagory by the way.

Our God is faithful. He is great.

I am praying for grace for all of us to walk out all that the Faithful One calls us to.
Joyska at 2:05 PM

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

cute face, pizza and a prayer meeting

This is Chase... those eyes and cheeks get ya, every time! I spent our "ice storm day" with Lisa, her girls and this amazing young boy. It was good to chill out and just "be" for a day. And besides, with a face like this looking at you, how could it NOT be fun?

Today after the prayer meeting, we took the gang for Pizza. This pizza fed 9 to the "I'm full" point. It's the Pizza shop next to Starbuck's in Westport. I'd tell you the name but I can't remember! haha! It was excellent however and as always a great way to end the prayer meeting.
The prayer meetings lately are amazing...This is the humble little church we meet in (just down the street from the buildings we would love to have!) The Lord is highlighting 2 Chronicles 29, 30 and 31. It's been POWERFUL for us as we have felt the Lord highlight the consecration of the temple after Ahaz had shut it down. It's a story of the Tabernacle of David being restored, and the Levites and priests taking their place in ministering to the Lord. We are moving in that direction too.

One of the things I love about Hope City and what we are doing, is giving people a place to belong, to OWN, and to function in. The prayer room in the inner city does that for people. It could be as simple as the one who straightens the chairs or opens the door, but whatever the "job" is, it is theirs and somehow something so simple changes lives. The Lord's way of doing things is so beyond anything mere man could think of. It appears foolish, and it confounds the wise (i read that somewhere!) and His way is worth following!

I'll keep you posted!

One more thing. Keep praying for Pat Bickle (friendly reminder). He is home from the hospital again, and we are waiting for God's timing for His healing! And Pat, Lisa tells me you are reading this blog, so...GREETINGS!!!! Know we are praying! Enjoy the pics! (and anyone else, feel free to send your greetings in the comment section!)
Joyska at 8:46 PM

Monday, January 15, 2007

what an ice storm in Kansas City looks like at night

Joyska at 12:56 AM

Friday, January 12, 2007

guees what i got?

prayer? new buildings? starbucks coffee?
all good guesses, but nope... i got a digital camera! woo hoo! the pics are actually: lisa praying for Marsha, the new set of twin buildings we are looking at for Hope city, and just a random shot of a glass of water that I took at Starbucks yesterday.
Lots more pics I can post, and will, as soon as I figure out what I want to say about them all :)
Joyska at 1:37 PM

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

stand, serve, minister and burn

2 Chronicles 29:11 "My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister before Him and burn incense"

These words are everywhere right now. I have been praying them for Sanctuary House of Prayer in Winnipeg for a long time, Zadok House of Prayer has taken them as a motto, and now today in HOPE CITY, they became words of encouragement and strength.

All of 2 Chronicles 29 actually, is a profound chapter. It is in the context of King Hezekiah restoring the temple, opening the doors and removing the debris that had taken over when King Ahaz had closed the doors and stopped the sacrafices. Hezekiah recognized that the condition of the temple was the reason for the wrath of the Lord being poured on the nation.

He restores the temple and places the singers and musicians, the Levites, the priests, all who ministered before the Lord, back into thier rightful place. That is the context of 2 Chronicles 29:11 and it's as true today as it was then.

We are chosen... more than called. Chosen to minister before the Lord. Serve is a function of that ministering, no question, but we are to stand (unmoving, unshakable) minister (worship, adore, agree) and burn incense (prayer) as well. So again, tonight as I sit and let the worship and prayer wash over me, and out of me, I stand, serve, minister, and burn.

P.S. verses 35 and 36 are pretty cool too: So the service of the house of the LORD was set in order, Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.

Even so Lord Jesus Come!
Joyska at 8:56 PM

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Live from the prayer room

2007 has certainly had a busy first week!

I have "re-uped" my time in the prayer room as I have realized how easy it has been to take it for granted. It's been an amazing week.

The prayer room has been revamped over new years as the stage has been moved up 12 feet and the lighting has become much softer. As a result, my third or fourth row seat has become spitting distance to the worship team (not that I would ever spit at them!)

It took a little getting used to, but I am really enjoying it. The pacers are now regailed to the side rows and the back, the dancers as well, and as a result there is little to take my attention away from what is at hand... worship, praying or reading. It even at some points feels like there is only 20 people in the room as opposed to the 150 or so that inhabit the night.

Clay Edwards team is about to switch to Alisha Powell's/Shawna Forrey's intercession set and it has been a "glorious" two hours of devotional worship. In the midst of it all, I feel like I have refound center.

I feel a little more grounded in this room. I feel like things make a little more sense in these four walls than in any other. Could it be the 24/7 prayer and worship now for over 7 years, or is it the fact that there are 150 others here doing the same thing in the middle of the night? During the day there are over 500 that fill this room at different times.

But then again, this room has also been at times the place I feel the least grounded, the most unsure, the most afraid. But I think that is the point. In confusion or in surity, this place reveals the heart. Don't get me wrong, I can meet Jesus just as easily on the street and I do, but this room tonight anyway, is centering my heart back on what is important. HIM.

Even with all the changes and the excitement about God TV broadcasting live from the prayer room, it remains a place where HE comes first in all things. I'm all for that.

We start back with Hope City tomorrow, and I must say I have missed it, but I have also been thankful for 2 weeks of focusing back in this place. BOTH are needed, and I am continually aware of both. Please pray for us as we enter back into the thick of the city. Our feeding in the park is being moved to prayer and eating at the church and we are excited to see wher this will take us. More on that later.

so... live from the prayer room, this is me... signing off!
Joyska at 9:41 PM

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

ahh the prayer room

It feels like it has been forever since I've found myself in the third row at 12:00 am, but tonight, here I am. Sarah Edwards is finishing up her set and Shawna Forrey is up, coming in on her guitar as Sarah leaves the keyboard. It's an amazing hand off as once again, a new team comes on and yet the worship never stops. Who thought of this?

This room is a sweet fragrance to me. I have had my "struggles" trying to figure out where I fit in this ever growing prayer furnace, and yet, as I remember back to two years ago (almost) I see that this room is very dear to my heart.

With the onslaught of the One Thing conference and 15,000 people coming to hear messages I hear every week, I realized how easy it is to take IHOP for granted. I am literally 100 feet from a place that never stops in prayer and worship. What an honour.

However, I have seen that it is so easy to get busy with other things... even at IHOP. Mike Bickle says often that IHOP has to be converted to IHOP. I finally am seeing what that means. INTERCESSION, HOLINESS, OFFERINGS, and the PROPHETIC. All of them awesome in scope and purpose, and even harder to walk out.

Yet here I am, amongst a people who have said yes. Amongst a people who offer their lives to be wasted in a prayer room, to know their prayers can move heaven and earth. The doing is good... necessary even, but the prayer is essential to be the power behind the "doing". I think if I've learned anything in the last year and 10 months it is that. Without being rooted and grounded in his word and connected in prayer... there is little worth working for.

IHOP is a place that needs to be experienced. It's not easily explained. I guess that is as good of an invitation as I can give. Just don't come if you are expecting to leave the same as you came. But know you can always stay at "hotel Joyska" where there is always a coke of some variety waiting and late night conversations to work it through! Anytime... just call first! :)
Joyska at 9:58 PM

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'd like to say that there is something incredible about spending time with friends.

For the last week, I have had the wonderful fun of hosting 4-6 of the 6 Lewis family members (depending on the day), Jacob from Winnipeg and Heather and Graham from Ireland.

My house has been full, no question, with 5-7 in one room, 2 in another, and me on the couch! We have drank a full tin of Tim Horton's coffee... 4 2 liters of Coke... uncountable 2 liters of Diet Coke, a large container of apple juice, 2 pitchers of orange juice, a couple of cartons of eggnog and 2 gallons of milk.

We have eaten more candy than should be legally allowed, more CiCi's pizza than should be legal, a 12 lb turkey, 40 chicken tenderloins, a large salmon, lots of toast and cereal, 8 bagels, 2 dozen eggs, 6 1/2 Subway subs (the big ones), cold stone icecream, 3 bratwurst at One Thing, a couple meals at Denny's, veggies galore, salads, and more candy.

We have spent major time at the conference while still managing to get in a couple movies at home, time in the new prayer room, and LOTS of laughter. AND Graham and Heather got me a Coke shirt that they signed and FRAMED as a thankyou for staying here. We spent 6 hours burning cd's and MP3's, countless hours reading and laughing and playing Suduko.

Jacob and Ken drove 4 hours to St Louis and 4 hours back... TWICE, and Alana and Corina spent 5 days at Urbana while the rest of us did ONE THING. Today, Drew and Steffan joined the craziness, cooked up 40 chicken tenderloins (breaded and fried) and returned to watch WHITE CHRISTMAS!

Everyone leaves tomorrow, except Drew and Steffan who are my two new friends and fellow Canadians at IHOP! WOO HOO... 3 Points (that is for Lisa and Shane!)

I'll tell more of the Spiritually awesome stuff on the next blog... it's 4:40 am, and this girl needs some shut eye!

Blessings in the new year!
Joyska at 2:23 AM