Thursday, December 24, 2015


The year was 1947. It was Christmastime. very first one as a Christian. I was going home to the farm to be with my family and Ted, my Navy boyfriend, home on leave.  Peace with God was brand new.  Should I be quiet, Lord, about knowing you? I've already written Ted and he wrote back, telling me to "GET OUT OF THAT CULT!!" If I tell my brothers, their wives and my parents, how will they react? I don't know how to tell 'em! Jesus, could you send a zinger of a snowstorm so I can't get home for Christmas?  I barely know you, but yet, somehow I DO! Your birthday never did mean anything to me before because I didn't even know you were on the Planet.  Since I just heard about your death and resurrection I can't quite get my mind wrapped around your birthday. I guess you had to have been born or you couldn't have grown up to go to the CROSS, and I just heard about that a couple of months ago. I'm still getting used to the idea that you had me in mind in a Garden called Geth something or other and you sweat drops of blood. I don't quite get the Holy Spirit or God-the-Father, but as I am stumbling around in the Book of John something about the other Two seems kind of right. Somebody told me that all Three are really "One" but I sure I don't understand that! Maybe later.

Jesus, you will help me know what to say and how to act,  won't you?  I have met some people who know you, and they wrap me in love I have never experienced before.  What is it about them that is so different? ...but I still wish just one person would spend some time reading the Bible with me. They take me to meetings, but I don't understnd a whole lot. Once more, Jesus, will you help me know what to say and when to say it. ...or not."

...and He did. One brother who "knew all things" told me that when he was stationed in the Fiji Islands in the Air Force he found out that the missionaries who went there ruined the lifestyle of the natives because they made them put on clothes and stop having more than one wife.  Everyone at the Christmas dinner table laughed. My other brother gave me his "You're just a kid" look and said:   "You'll grow out of it." I didn't say much after that, but somehow I knew I wouldn't "grow out of it".

...and now all who laughed are in Heaven,  I think. It was a long hard road for every one of them, for they were all "pull themselves up by their own bootstraps" people. For this reason, all of my ministry years I have been drawn to the brand new believer who doesn't fit in their before-families any more. It's a tough time. ...a really tough time. ...a make or break time.

Son Jeff drove all the way from Sacramento for an overnight with me last week. He and Carla flew to Philadelphia to be with granddaughter Lauren on Christmas Day. She is taking up the Doctor profession that her grandfather Ted left in 1948 to tend to souls rather than bodies. I was with Brent, Lexi and Dee for Christmas morning, then we went to Bakersfield and separated to spent the rest of the day with others.

This past week a  tsunami of tears broke loose right after I heard from a Campus Crusade friend that Vonette Bright had just slipped into Heaven.  She is with Jesus and husband Bill (The "Four Spiritual Law" man) now. My friend sent me Vonette's Goodbye to the CRU staff, recorded just a couple of weeks ago.  So many of us who are escaping into Heaven knew and helped each other when we came to Christ many years ago. We all hit the ground running.  Dear Lord, PLEASE SEND ANOTHER JESUS MOVEMENT!

How I love the many of you He has sent for me to love and encourage. You bless me to the marrow of my bones. ...deep down in there where the Word of God is hanging on tight! Oh, precious ones, don't fold up in despair. As the gloom morphs into darkness,  people will be desperate to hear about The Rock.


In times like these you need a Savior.
In times like these you need an anchor.
Be very sure; be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.

In times like these you need the Bible
In times like these, Oh, be not idle.
Be very sure; be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these, I have a Savior.
In times like these, I have an anchor.
I'm very sure; I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.


Be blessed. He WAS born. He DID die.  He AROSE and we LIVE. ... FOREVER!


Friday, December 18, 2015

King of Kings and Lord of Lords

Dear Ones,

                           THEY WILL MAKE WAR AGAINST THE LAMB, 
                           BUT THE LAMB WILL OVERCOME THEM BECAUSE: 

                            HE IS LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS--
                            AND WITH HIM WILL BE HIS CALLED, CHOSEN, 
                                         AND  FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS.  
                                               REVELATION 17:14

                                              I THESSALONIANS 4:18.

Love to my Fellow Pilgrims,


Friday, December 11, 2015


Before some of you read this I will be 87 years old. I have mixed feelings about that, but then I have mixed feelings about most everything. The bombardment of too much information coming at us could wipe out all incentive to keep on keeping on in the time I have left. I had no idea that the evil one would keep pounding on me when I am old,  but he never gives up in trying to seduce me into a pit of self-pity. He comes in the night when my defenses are down. I keep my cell phone right beside my bed and flip on the scriptures, listen and hit him right in the face.

At 5 A.M. this morning I fed my kitties, made coffee, brought it to bed and hunkered back under the covers to read several days of Christmas mail. Oh, how you encourage my heart! Some of you Ted and I have known since the 60's, when we were still relatively new in Christ and in ministry and you had not come to Him yet. From the frequent responses to my blog and in your Christmas letters it seems that the Lord is not despairing about the ominous headlines. He admonished the fellows not to stand around looking up, waiting for His return, but instead, to stand UP and go tell others that He has risen!

Do we really think that the "Roman Tribune" reporters  had a clue as to what was really happening right under their worldly little news-greedy noses?  Here are some excerpts from today's E and snail mails:  Franklin Graham has recently been welcomed into high level political and religious circles in countries we may think impenetrable.  He spoke in churches that were filled to capacity. My precious friends in Indonesia report that "In the past twelve months in the ministry we are part of,  a thousand a month have come to Christ'. ... right in the midst of a quarter of the Muslim population of the entire world! There are many other missions besides theirs in that country. This is the particular one Ted and I have personally connected with for many years. My friends who labor in East Asia continue to bear fruit that is bearing more fruit. From Africa come reports of lives being changed by Christ. I wish I could be more specific, but I dare not be. Churches and missions are thriving right in the back door of the bombing in Paris. Yes, the "Koran", the Muslim Bible states clearly that we, the infidels are to be murdered because Allah wills it and will bless them. ...but reports come in regularly that Jesus is showing up to Muslims who have never even heard His Name. I know such a one, but dare not share her name. Reports of re-births continue to flow in from His servants who are scattered across this nation, glorifying His Name in their homes and market places. Reports come in of the re-birthing of foreign students who continue to flood into our universities from Asia, India, Saudi Arabia and other countries.Yesterday I attended a luncheon where a musician friend of mine who has entertained thousands in the world before being transformed by the Spirit of God brought a Christmas program that would knock the socks off of the best Hollywood or Broadway has to offer. That was just today's family information that the world knows nothing about. The unbeliever cannot understand or care about eternal matters.

In my little life, new ones who are hungry for His Word and want to give it to others, continue to come. Praise Him! I just a answered my phone and was invited to come to a nearby community to entertain at a Christmas party with a mix of Christians and people who do not know Him. of my "favorite things".

 I am amazed and rejoice as I see on TV the new ministries that exalt Christ. The generosity of God's children blows me away. ...and I am the recipient of some of that generosity. I take not one dollar for granted, am humbled and grateful, and prayerful for every one who trusts me to serve Him with my whole heart until I take my last breath. You know that I never talk about money. I absolutely hate the subject! The thought crossed my mind more than once, that when Ted left, I might be sitting on a corner in Tehachapi, playing my keyboard with a tin cup marked "tips" in full view.  Well, not yet.

Suggestion: If you did not hear James Robison's  ("Life Today")  interview of David Jeremiah on December 8, dial it up on your computer. You will be blessed. ...and now I am going to hunker down under the electric blanket and read David's book: "Agents of Babylon". There are not a whole bucket full of advantages to being old, but I am about to indulge in one of them: a no guilt afternoon, reading a great book on a cold, snowy, foggy, rainy day.


Jesus, keep me near the cross; there a precious fountain.
Free to all, a healing stream flows from Calvary's mountain.

Near the cross I'll watch and wait, hoping, trusting ever.
Till I reach the golden strand just beyond the river.



Friday, December 4, 2015

A Door for the Gospel

"Lord, give me a door for the Gospel"! I was sitting at our kitchen table in Houston, Texas. The year was 1975. We had just returned from weeks in Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam.  After eighteen years of ministry in visible churches in California we had packed and moved to Houston where for three weeks we met our new congregation and settled our two younger children: our daughter, 14 and her nineteen-year-old brother. ...then left to rendezvous with Ed and Loretta Murphy of Overseas Crusades in San Francisco to begin the long flight to Tokyo, Japan. This mama cried all the way across the Pacific Ocean,  split down the middle of my soul for knowing I had to leave our children in a new culture, new city, new church, new neighborhood. life.  All through their growing- up years, their dad's rightful need for me to be alongside him had often trumped their needs. This time was the hardest ever. Our little girl would be entering a whole new life and her mama was half 'way around the world.

Our time in the Orient would be a turning point in our lives. ..but we did not realize it then. In my shell-shocked mind were images of millions of people who had never heard the Gospel even once. Our last week was spent in Viet Nam, dedicating a medical clinic established by two American doctors. Both had closed down their lucrative practices to serve the Su Tong tribe, located in the highlands near Dalat. Bunkers and exploding shells were all around us. On our last night we were gathered in a circle with Sai, chief of the tribe and his two sons who had given themselves the American names of "Jimmy" and "Johnny". In the circle were our doctor friends, their wives.and missionary John Newman and his wife.  We were holding hands,  praying and singing when a persistent knock on the door startled us. A uniformed policeman ordered us to leave at once or "You won't be able to get out."  We quickly packed our suitcases and fled down the mountain to Saigon, renamed Ho Chi Minh City after the war. At the airport Catholic nuns placed in our arms babies whose daddies were American military men. Ted and I cuddled and quieted two precious dark-skinned little ones until we reached Hawaii where we left the flight to sleep and rest.  We were exhausted. We had been too busy to even note our twenty-fifth anniversary.

With a big chunk of my heart left somewhere out there in Asia,  one morning I was reading Colossians 4:2-4.  Paul was in prison when he wrote to a cluster of believers in Colossae and asked them to pray that God would "give him a door for the Gospel".  I cried out: "Lord, if Paul, in prison can pray that way,  so can I!"  Deep in my soul it did not seem reasonable that church-goers were fed doctrine upon doctrine, and millions had never even once heard the simple, life-changing Gospel. On TV we were watching as the Vietnamese people were fleeing by boat.  Many had already arrived in Houston and were moving into our communities, finding work in 7/11's or anyplace that would hire them.  Missionary John Newman had somehow managed to get Jimmy and Johnny out of the ravaged country.. He called and asked if he could bring to our church these two young evangelists who had been running the trails from village to village, sharing the Gospel since our American missionaries had led them to Christ.  We rounded up all the Vietnamese we could find and some from our new church came to hear Jimmy and Johnny's testimonies, interpreted by John. A year or so later we learned that the boys had disappeared. John knew that they had attempted to get back into their beloved country, but the last I heard,they had not contacted John. The Lord had spared the Su Tong tribe when there was no human reason that they were not murdered by the Viet Cong. Their only defense had been poison-spiked poles placed in a deep ditch around the compound. One captured Viet Cong told our military men: "We could never penetrate the white army that always surrounded them."  You will meet many Su Tong in Heaven.

Weeks after my kitchen-table plea in Houston a business woman named "Lou" called me over into her Macedonia.  We went to work together to bring the Gospel to women. Soon Billie joined me to reach other lost women.  About that time I met Gratia, wife of astronaut, Colombia Commander Jack, and she joined me. ... or rather I joined her. That woman had outrageous ideas about how to reach the wives of the astronauts, the scientists who launched them, students and anybody she could round up. ...and just last night she called me and we talked a long time. Then there were other women and men who joined us in the marketplaces and communities of our enormous city. Nick and Euphanel teamed up with us and through miracles and very hard work,  Round Top Retreat was born. Thirty-some years later, thousands of people have found new life and hope in that hallowed place that continues to bear fruit that bears more fruit.  Unsolicited financial support came in.  We started small groups around the spokes of the city.  Ted and I were invited to teach the Young Life leaders of the city who were meeting in the home of the District Attorney of Harris County. At the end of the evening our host asked us: "What do you think of Chuck Colson? Is he for real or a phony?" "Come with us, we replied, "and hear Chuck speak to your fellow attorneys this coming Thursday. You can decide for yourself."  That morning, listening to Chuck's  moving, Christ-honoring testimony the District Attorney of Harris County received the free gift of salvation offered by the Lord Jesus Christ. He cut short his term and joined Chuck's Prison Fellowship ministry. Chuck is in Heaven now with his beloved Saviour.

...and so went the next seven years in Houston, Texas. The decision to leave was wrenching. My physical health had taken a nose-dive.  Ted knew he had to get me back to a dry climate where I was not bedridden for days with allergies to pine and mold. We took a fledgling pastorate and remained in it until the building was built, then once more, away we went. ...into Samaria and the uttermost parts.

The joy of my life is teaching God's powerful Truth to people who have never heard the Word of God, nurturing them and turning them loose. ...not a bit unlike parenting. I will ask the same question I asked last week: If and when the visible church is forced underground, are you prepared to stand alone on scripture, while encouraging others around you to do the same?

                          OLD HYMN:  JESUS LED ME ALL THE WAY

Some day when life's journey will be o'er; and I shall reach that distant shore.
I'll sing while entering heaven's door: "JESUS LED ME ALL THE WAY."

If God should let me there review the winding paths of earth I knew.
It would be proven clear and true: JESUS LED ME ALL THE WAY.

And hitherto my Lord hath led; today He guides each step I tread;
And soon in Heaven it will be said, JESUS LED ME ALL THE WAY.


Love,  Jo