This is an e-mail that I rec'd from my Aunt about the name of our women's ministry...Friend of Joy. I ask her if I could post it and she agreed that I could. She doesn't really blog. (Not that I have been blogging regularly...I can't believe my last blog was in September.)
I had to share something that is filling me up to the rim. Back in May at the Women of Joy Conference; God used Fran to bring into our lives a special duck named Joy. At first I thought how silly; but God really spoke through Joy in a lot of ways. She became an outreach for us and a door opener. I would specially like to thank Fran for listening and obeying to God and bringing Joy to us; not just for a cute joke but for a ministry. I thank God for using Fran as a vessel in what our Women’s Ministry at church is all about. This duck has captured the heart of many and has brought Joy to many others outside of the church. Then Heather brought Phish into her life and it really spoke out and brought even more Joy to several more lives outside of our church; even though Phish is ministry somewhere in Virginia now. When the women’s team got together; one of the first things was to come up with us a name for our women’s ministry. We threw names around and nothing hit home; until one night Barb woke up in the middle of the night and came up with the name “Friends of Joy” (that is a God thing when he speaks to you in a dead sleep). Along with the name was also “JOY”; we had to use this tool that God has provided for us. God had a plan back in May when Fran was standing in line and spotted Joy. It all started right there and then; God is so amazing. And that is the story of how the ducks came into the picture. Last night I received a gift from Becca for my birthday; and I am so blessed. She brought me Hope; and Hope has a twin named Faith. A few got to see them last night and I am so excited. When she gave me this white with orange, pink and yellow dotted duck; it truly brought Hope into my heart. She named her Hope (that was a God thing; because He knew). Last night I received “Hope”. On the bottom she wrote her name, birth date and 1 Corinthians 13:13 - “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” With these three you will no doubt have joy beyond imagination. Now I know how Fran felt when she spotted Joy; she received Joy to no end. Not sure but Becca has Faith and I think just by talking with her that her Faith has stepped up a notch. Isn’t it amazing how something so silly and so small be turned into a great tool for our Lord and Savior. Man, I am just bubbling right now.
I know there is a lot of negative going around in the world and even at church and it is easy to fall into that trap. I actually have been there for almost a year until about 1-2 months ago and I more or less fell down before God and pleaded for God’s help and strength to overcome this satan thing that was attaching me; my hope was leaving me and I at the time was not even wanting to go through with a retreat this year and give up everything I was doing for God. But I tell you; when God has something planned – it will happen. God has showed me a tremendous change in my heart and life. And that is one reason that when Becca gave me “Hope” last night; it just poured into me; and now it is up to me to let it out in my everyday life and those I come in contact with. This makes me want to share my hope in Christ even more. I don’t know where God is leading the “Friends of Joy” but I can have hope, faith and joy that He is on the move not just with the women but with the church.
I’m sorry for the long email; but I am flowing over right now. One more thing about the retreat; listen to God and He will bless you more than you can imagine. I would like for each of you to pray, pray and pray for this retreat and each lady that goes.
Love you all,