Costa Rica Journal – Not Me God!

I experienced the most amazing time on my first mission trip to Costa Rica.

I’ve shared my story in this journal. 

Just click on the link below.  It does have pictures, it may take a few minutes to download.

Costa Rica Journal

Enjoy!!

Blessings To you!

Joyce

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No Plan B

When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.
Numbers 30:2

Legend has it that when Spanish explorer, Hernando Cortes, landed in Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula, in the 1500s, he ordered his men to burn the ships that had brought them there, to remove the possibility of doing anything other than going forward into the unknown.  He was there for a purpose, to take control of this country’s treasures.  He was committed to a victory, there was no backup plan, no Plan B.  It was all or nothing for his soldiers.  If they wanted to get home, they had to conquer the soldiers of the Yucatan and take their ships.  And so they did.

So many times in our lives we live with a Plan B, a backup plan.  If our marriage doesn’t go the way we want it, we get divorced.  If our job isn’t to our liking, we quit and move on.  If our pastor says something we don’t like, we go to a different church.  If God doesn’t do want we want him to do for us, we give up on him.

Joseph was a following of God who had no Plan B.  He had dreams as a young child of his family bowing down to him. His older brothers didn’t think much of this idea and one day they decided it was time to get rid of him.  They sold him to a group of traveling gypsies and off to Egypt he went.  He was sold as a slave to a guy named Potiphar, who was the captain of Pharaoh’s guard.  One day he was falsely charged with rape and thrown into prison.  Life wasn’t really going so well for Joseph, he went from bad to worse, yet he never cursed God nor turned his back on God.  One day Joseph was brought before the Pharaoh and he interpreted his dream and the Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph that he put him in charge of all the land of Egypt, second only to himself.  Joseph ended up saving not only Egypt during an intense time of famine, but also his family, including his brothers who began this chain reaction of pain so many years before. God honored his commitment of faith.

We live in a society that lacks commitment.  But as a follower of Jesus, we need to be different.  The Word tells us:  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

I have a couple of questions for you to ponder; do you have a Plan B?  Is it time to burn your boat?

Father, thank you for teaching me how to be committed to you.  Thank you for the examples of commitment that you give us, the greatest being your love for us.  When I am ready to give up, give me that burst of encouragement that I need to stay just a little bit longer. 

I love you Jesus.
In your name I pray,
Amen

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones
But Words Can Kill My Spirit.
The Lies That Get Stuck Inside.
Now Available!
http://www.sticksandstones.cc

Back Pack Servolution Project

As one of our Servolution projects in April, we collected toiletries for the homeless and put them into back packs.  Thousands of items were collected.  We gave away 43 back packs.  A simple way to share God’s love!  Thank you to all who participated in this worthy cause!

February Living Stone – Jerry Stevens

Jerry Stevens – February 2011 – Tree of Life Living Stone

Jerry Stevens has a heart to serve.  His desire to serve God is so deep, that he actually left his home and his job in North Carolina, and moved to Naples to help us here at The Tree!  Jerry has been busy since he arrived, helping out with the video and the sound system, and anything else that needs his attention.   Jerry is an “anything I can do – use me” sort of guy and for that  we thank and honor him this month as our Tree of Life Living Stone!

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering  spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
   I Peter 2:4,5

Fleece Blankets Servolution Project

On Saturday, February 26th, 2011, eleven members of The Tree spent the day tying fleece blankets and enjoying each other’s company.  At noon, they broke for a lunch of tacos and everyone ate till their fill.  It was a great day of fun and friendships and thirty-one blankets were made to give to the nursing home residents.  Showing God’s Love Through Simple Acts of Kindness!

Love Like Jesus

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
   I Corinthians 13:13

Today is Valentine’s Day.  I was just on Facebook and there are thousands of people declaring their love for their spouses, their children and each other.  It’s a sweet day.  It seems like today most everyone is willing to say to at least someone … “I love you.”  Chocolates and roses and special cards are being exchanged today.  Love is in the air … as the old song states.

In 1 Corinthians 13, called The Love Chapter, Paul talks about love.  He has written a letter to the church in Corinth, giving them instruction and encouragement on their journey with Jesus.  They are a lot like we are today,  wanting to do right, but somewhat confused on how to stay on track.  As a result they dealt with problems like immaturity, instability, divisions, jealousy, envy, lawsuits, marital problems, sexual immorality  and the misuse of spiritual gifts.  Sound familiar?

But Paul doesn’t beat them up, he simply writes a letter to encourage them and help them get back on track.  And in the midst of that letter, he shares with them that no matter how great they think they are or what wonderful things they do, if they were not motivated by love, it means nothing.  He explains that love is the most excellent way.  He goes on to share that:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

At the Last Supper, the night before Jesus was crucified, he told his disciples:  A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  (John 13:34,35)

If we are followers of Jesus, we must love one another.  We are to be love. It wasn’t a suggestion.  He told them it was actually a new commandment.  So now, go back to the Love is section above and replace love with your name.  Are you patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not dishonoring, not self-seeking, not easily angered.  Do you not keep records of wrongs?  Do you not delight in evil but rejoice in truth?  Do you protect?  Do you hope?  Do you persevere?  Are you unfailing?  Do you love?  Ouch …not so easy is it?

I want to be like Paul.  I don’t want you to feel beat up if you fail in some areas, because we all fall short, but rather do this exercise to take inventory, see what needs some work.  I encourage you to seek God in the areas that you struggle with, release them to him and let him fill you with His love, which will then overflow from you into those around you!

Father, thank you for your unfailing love.  When the world is fickle, when one day it loves me and one day it loves me not, you are faithful and true.  You don’t just love me, but rather you are love.  It is your nature.  It is who you are.  I honestly cannot even fathom the depth of your love. Forgive me Father for not loving as you do, help me to remove the planks out of my eyes, so that I can see others as you see them and love them as you love them.

I love you Jesus!
In Your name I pray,
Amen

God’s Blessings Upon You!
Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org/