Thursday, December 29, 2016

From my cousin in Kansas:

A grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events. He asked her: "What do you think about the shootings at schools, the computer age and things in general?"

She replied: "Well, let me think a minute: I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, frisbees and the pill. There were no credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. Men had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man hadn't yet walked on the moon. Your Grandfather and I got married first. ...and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother. Until I was 25 I still called policemen and every man with a title,  "Sir". We were before gay-righs, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibilty for our actions. Serving your country was a privilege, living in this country was an even bigger privilege. We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. Draft dodgers were those who closed front doors as the evening breeze started. Time-sharing meant time the family spent togeher in the evenings and weekends; not purchasing condominiums. We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt or guys wearing earrings. We listened to Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the Presidents speeches on our radios. And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey. If you saw anything with "Made in Japan'" on it, it was junk. The term "making out" referred to how you did on your school exam. Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of. We had 5 and 10 cent stores where you actually could buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were a nickel. If you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards. You could buy a new Ford Coupe for $600, but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon. In my day "grass" was mowed, "coke" was a cold drink, "pot" was something your mother cooked in and "rock music" was your grandmother's lullaby. "Aids" were helpers in the Principal's office, "chip" meant a piece of wood, "hardware" was found in a hardward store and "software" wasn't even a word. And we were the last generaion to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap.

So how old do you think I am?  I'll  bet you have this old lady in mind.  You are in for a shock. This is scary and sad. Are you ready???? This woman would be 61 years old!



Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

No disappointments

Sixty-seven years ago tonight, in Minneapolis, Minnesota a blizzard was raging outside the church where Dr. O.E. Sanden, Professor of Science at my school offered me his arm. We walked down the aisle to meet my smiling, handsome groom. Together  Ted Stone and I committed to a lifetime of following the Lord.

Yesterday was my 88th birthday. Calls, Emails, texts and cards came from Indonesia, up and down the East Coast, down to a jungle in Belize, a dozen people in a half dozen states, many Californians, Oregonians and the Hawaiian Islands. You have encouraged my heart. Thank you. My last call was from son Jeff.  I said to him: "Son, I cannot even imagine not being married to your dad in Heaven." "Mom, there won't be any disappointments in Heaven.". Beautiful words. Wonderful words. Wonderful words of life!

Last Sunday, the fog had closed in all around my home. It was a perfect afternoon to hunker down and watch a no-brainer movie, but  I was scheduled to play at the foot of our mountain at Triassic Winery.It's beautiful. My son Doug built it. The owner is a Christian. He loves my music. I can share Christ and play anything I want to play. The Grand piano is one of the grandest I have ever played. It's a Cadillac. I have played many a Model T and many models of organs, keyboards and pianos in between..

Dee was the second baby born in our first pastorate in Bakersfield, California. Then, Fruitvale Community Church was small. It grew quickly as the Word of God took root. Today RiverLakes Community Church covers a city block and continues to reach a lost world. Last Saturday morning our beautiful Dee spoke for the Women's Fellowship outreach Christmas brunch. She brought a clear, powerful heart-felt Gospel message. I am so proud of her. Yesterday, after lunch at her home near the top of our mountain Dee, Madi Jane, Doug's youngest, home for the holidays  and I wound down the mountain a couple of thousand feet to my house. While Dee paid my bills and balanced my check book Madi Jane sat on my bedroom floor and looked at photos of our family that gathered here for many years.  Now, we fourteen are scattered from Heaven to Philadelphia, Couer d' Laine, Idaho and Southern California. But we shall, in His time gather again. the Throne of God.

Years ago in our first pastorate in Bakersfield, the Lord brought together young wives and mothers to form the Choralaires.  We recorded and sang on Family Radio from San Francisco to Phoenix, ...for our church and for clubs, civic groups and here and there in southern California. Yesterday, Steve, missionary to China for many years, Emailed:  "I sure would like to hear the Choralaires again." This morning, from Southern California, came a call from Darlene: "Those ten years of singing were the happiest of my life!" She couldn't read a note of music, but she sure could lip sync!  From Nita in Arroyo Grande: "I am remembering the beautiful Christmas songs we used to sing."  I think I can hear her clear, sweet voice as I write, singing ...

No room; only a manger of hay.
No room; He is a stranger today.
No room; here in this world, turned away.
No room; no room.

Angels in Heaven up yonder
Watch with amazement and wonder
To see the Son of the Highest treated so.

No room; here in the hearts of mankind;
No room; no cheery welcome to find
No room; surely the world is blind. 
No room.  No room.

...but there's room at the Cross for you. 

Love,  Jo                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Friday, December 9, 2016

Stuck in Philippians

I'd rather be stuck in Philippians than in the Old Testament Law. You know how it is: The Lord will cause us to tarry in scripture right where He wants us to be. I suppose it's because my birthday is coming up that a verse like this just won't go away: For our citizenship is in Heaven from which also we look for the Saviour,  the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul couldn't make up his mind either: "To go or not to go. That is the question."  The Lord made the decision. I would just as soon not have my head chopped off by a Nero, but then that might be better than wearing out my loved ones while my aging body ... well, ages!

Even though I make statements about how discipleship is about working ourselves out of a job, I still miss you when you do what I tell you to do: "Leave! Go make disciples! See ya' in Heaven!"

I have loved hearing from you this week.  ...from near and far away. Keep the messages coming. You are blessing my socks off.

Love,  Jo

Friday, December 2, 2016

My 88th

It must have been a romantic spring night on a Kansas farm in April of 1928. My birthday is December 14. Wanta know what I want? I would like for you to read Philippians 2:1 and consider calling me on my land phone at 661-821-1214, or my cell: 661-619-9866 just to fellowship about the nearness of Jesus. But then, I will happily welcome an Email or a text.. ...or a visit.

Philippians 2:1:  "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in Spirit and purpose.."

Love, Jo