Friday, February 23, 2018

Keep on dancin'

Billy Graham is Home. A dairy-man's son, he never forgot where he came from. David the King did. He took a census. Notoriety can do that to you.

Before he became a name known around the world Billy and an older gentleman named Elmer Nelson took me to lunch at a restaurant in Chicago, Illinois. A few months before,  Billy's boyhood friend, T.W. Wilson had led me to Christ in a fifteen minute conversation at a small gathering off the campus of  Kansas State University. 

During a one hour lunch in Chicago,  these are the words thirty-year-old Billy Graham said to me: "We believe that you need a Christian education. We are flying you out of O'Hare tomorrow.  My team will meet you at the airport in Minneapolis and take you to Northwestern Bible College where I have just become interim president.  God bless you. You are on your way."

...two short meetings that changed the course of my life.

Little is much when God is in it;
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There's a crown and you can win it
If you go in Jesus' Name.

 I will download a delightful video on: Youtube, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3QivliBtpnY If that doesn't work go to YouTube and look up "Little girl dancing to to old church choir." 

...then ask yourself:  If I'm the only one who really hears the tune and dances to it, will I keep on dancin'?  

Love,  Jo


Friday, February 16, 2018

...NOTHIN' NEW

...under the sun. At times in my long life I have been up to my neck in alligators. Lately I have been up to my neck again as I have been studying First and Second Kings. Talk about your SWAMP!

 I listen to a few Bible teachers. One of my favorites has been in Heaven over a quarter of a century. J. Vernon McGee was was gravel-voiced, pragmatic, with a dry wit. When he knew he was going off to Heaven he told his radio team: "Keep the tapes rolling as long as the money holds out". Well, the money continues to "hold out". Every day the "Thru the Bible" team reads thrilling and encouraging new letters from countries whose names I can't even pronounce. ...and don't we need encouragement?

J. Vernon McGee pastored Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles for many years. In those days that downtown church was 10,000 strong. From there Biola University and Talbot Seminary were launched.  COD continues.under excellent leadership. I will tell you more about that next week but for now my suggestion is this:  Find on some device "Thru the Bible" with J. Vernon McGee. Your heart will be encouraged,  you will enjoy some chuckles and your knowledge of the scripture will be greatly increased.

Sixty-eight years ago when I was first  born again I memorized the following scriptures. They draw me back today to the only place we can find Truth.

Thy Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Thee. 
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. 
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. 
For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

Love,  Jo

My Ted would have been ninety years old today.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The simple Gospel

For some reason, I am thinking of the farmers we have seen in China, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, East Africa.  Has satellite radio found its way into the humble dwellings of these people who are told that the Lord will heal their every sickness, make them rich and give them make sure they reach their destiny while on this earth.

Every day I must, just like you rekindle my faith as I delete from my mind most news that is shoveled out to the public. My everyday assignment is to refocus on the simple Gospel that guarantees our "destiny".  The good news? Jesus promised:  "I go to prepare a place for you...."

As you watch the big, flashy, glamorous "birds" on Christian television, do you feel like an insignificant, plain little sparrow?  Don't you believe it!

        HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW

Why should I feel discouraged?  
Why should the shadows come? 
Why should my heart be lonely
And long for Heav'n and Home?

For Jesus is my portion;  my constant friend  is He.
For His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy;  I sing because I'm free!
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Love,  Jo

Friday, February 2, 2018

Are we there yet?

II Timothy 3:1-7. ASV.  But realize this: In the last days difficult times will come for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful,  arrogant, revelers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited,  lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, but denying its power, and avoid such men as these.  

O.K.,  and how do we do that?  Some Christians hold out hope that the Cavalry will come over the hill and rescue us from the coming darkness.  The "Cavalry" already came over the hill two thousand years ago.

Yesterday in my living room newcomer women gathered. Christians already, desirous of making a fresh start in this community, bringing the lost who live all around us to Christ. All have been church goers in their lives "down below". These next years can be the most fruitful of their lives if they will not become institutionalized and limit their circle of friends to just Christians. Whatever will American Christians do if and when the visible church is forced underground?

We prayed for one another and nailed our prayer with God's promises. We will meet again next week to "encourage one another, and all the more as we see the Day approaching."  What "day"?  You know the answer to that.

Meanwhile, there's

             POWER IN THE BLOOD

Would you be free from your burden of sin?

There's power in the blood; power in the blood.
Would you o'er evil the victory win?
There's wonderful power in the blood.

There is power, power, wonder-working power

In the blood of the Lamb.
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Love,  Jo 

Friday, January 26, 2018

His mercy

endureth forever.  Some folk of my vintage murmur because of the redundancy of phrases in modern worship tunes. I count twenty-six repetitious phrases in the twenty-six verses of  Psalm 136. "His mercy endureth forever.". I think God wants us to embrace that promise. I think we are going to need to cling to it.

In our beloved Fruitvale/River Lakes Church where Ted pastored many years ago there was a mother of six children whose name was "Mrs. Gause". She taught scripture to every kid that came through the door. Some little kids actually believed her name was "Mrs. God".

In these dark days of broken promises, broken hearts,  broker families, and a broken nation,  every kid of every age needs a "Mrs. God"  to reassure them that our spinning world has not spun off its axis . ...someone to remind them again and again that no matter what happens God's mercy endureth forever..

Question 1) Do we really believe that God will not judge our America for the killing of 60 million babies since in 1973, the Supreme Court affirmed the legal right of  a woman to have an abortion?  Question 2)  Are you counting too much on Jesus coming and getting us out of here before God's severe judgment sets in?

Last week I asked the newest crop of women who come for discipleship, "If you knew a nuclear attack would take out a billion people at 8 o'clock in the morning who would you run to,  to lead them to Jesus?

Yes,    THERE'S A WIDENESS IN GOD'S MERCY

There's a wideness in God's mercy
Like the wideness of the sea.
There's a kindness in His justice
Which is more than liberty.

For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man's mind.
And the heart of The Eternal
Is more than wonderfully kind. 

We can count on His mercy,  but at the same time there are desperately unprepared people for what is just around the next bend in the road.
 


Love Jo

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