Friday, January 27, 2017

Teeth? A +

Dental exam over, Dentist reports: "Jo. If you live to be a hundred, you'll have these same teeth!" Well, Whoopee! about my other parts:...not quite such a good report.  ...but for Pete's sake, I'm 88 years old!!!

Big ol' flakes of snow are cascading down and sticking. As my current guest and I sit at  the window looking down below, five deer are snoozing in the snow. My fat in-house cats, Puss 'n Boots are sitting beside us, thinking: "Better you than us!"

Hebrews 12:1 and 2 will not let go of my mind. If I continue to disentangle myself from the evil people and lies they tell I will finish this race on the run. Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.

We have been graced and given another hour or so  to repent of trading America's birthright for a mess o' pottage. Is God's cup of iniquity full? Apparently,  not quite. This Trump man is wielding a wrecking ball on the deadly corruption that has accumulated for decades. Lord, please protect him. Please protect his family. Please protect the mighty warriors and their families You have gathered around him. Please prompt him by your Spirit to run to scripture for guidance. Ding on him to humble himself before You so You can lift him up. Please push on us, your family to make hay while the sun shines before the darkness sets in when no man can work.  ...and we will give you all the praise, in Jesus' Name.  Amen.


Am I a soldier of the Cross, a follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause or blush to speak His Name?

Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease?
While others fight to win the prize and sail through stormy seas?

Sure I must fight if I would reign; increase my courage, Lord. 
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain; supported by Thy Word! 

Love,  Jo

Friday, January 20, 2017

After the Ball is over

If Ted Stone had been required to dance at a Ball before accepting new leadership he'd have feigned a heart attack. ...or had one. When we lived in Houston, for weeks my usually prompt husband was late for dinner. The thought that there might be another woman in his life never entered my mind. ...but there WAS!  He was taking dancing lessons from a female instructor after work, planning to surprise me by taking me dancing on my birthday! We went dancing. ... on my birthday. He was struggling hard to relax but he was stiff as a board. I had known for years that myTed had no natural ability to feel the music and he never would. While we danced on my birthday night he was looking at a 3x5 card behind my back with dance step configurations marked on it. his football coach had scribbled on a blackboard years before. I broke out in both tears and laughter and said, "Come on, husband. Let's get outta here and go have dinner."

Ted was an athlete, and a good one. All three of our kids were and are excellent sports people. They love music but can take it or leave it. ...not like their mom. When I sit down at that Grand piano at Triassic tomorrow afternoon every tune I ever heard will somehow come from my memory and through my fingers. ...not unlike the natural way my Ted and his kids felt and feel what to do with a ball, a bat, a mitt, a racquet, a golf club, their feet that hike, run and climb (but don't dance), and so forth and so on.

One Saturday night when I was still entertaining from the piano at the Apple Shed a lone man named "Gideon" was sitting nearby. We talked, and connected in the heart with Jesus. As I write, Messianic Jew Gideon and Alta,  his born-again Navajo Indian wife are sitting at my dining table, getting acquainted with a lovely young woman the Lord has recently brought through my door and into my heart. Such SPLENDID people He brings!

Franklin Graham's benedictory prayer at the Inauguration ceremony cut through some of the religious baloney.. ...and his dear dad is still here to HEAR him.  Father, praise You for Your mercy! You have put these men in office for such a time as this.

Love, Jo      


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Our Unpredictable Minds

I remember a whole lot of things that would be best forgotten. At the same time I can't remember what I had for supper last night.   ...but then,  I remember the names of my friends' dogs. In the 60's Sukie and Dexter's saggy- jowled Basset Hound's name was "Queenie". and Pat and Ed's lovely brown, pettable dog's name was "Gussie".

A snowstorm is brewing. Check list: Plenty of food for Puss 'n Boots and me. Check. Furnaces working. Check. Plenty of firewood in case the furnaces die. Check. Both land and cell phone working. Check. Gas in all-wheel drive Honda truck. Check. No flat tires. Check. An arsenal of scriptures to ward off satan's attacks  Check. Actually, that last item on the check list is the most important of all.

A California snow storm brings up memories of Minnesota winters when our little sandy-haired Dougie and I were confined indoors for months while Daddy worked and went to school.  From the time he was about four years old our little son would ask me: "Mommy, do you think Jesus will come today?" After some decades and Jesus hadn't shown up, one night Doug doubled up in excruciating cancer pain, couldn't wait any longer, so like his dad eleven months before, he went to be with Jesus. Just when I think the grief of losing them both in the same year has subsided I hear something about Doug that I had never heard before and the tears begin to flow. On Christmas night a twenty-three year old woman law student from Sacramento crashed our family party. She came over to where I was, sat down in front of me on the floor, looked up into my face and asked: "O.K, How do you reconcile science and the Bible?"  Then she said: "When I was fifteen years old I asked your son Doug that very same question and here's what he told me: 'God created dinosaurs and kittens on the same day!'  I  never forgot it.  Is that what you believe too?"

That was Doug Stone.  He kept me laughing and crying for fifty-nine years. ...sometimes, on the same day. How does a mom ever get over missing a son like that? I guess we don't,

Here's a little chorus we used to sing. Do you remember it?

Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?
God any mountains you can't tunnel through?
God specializes in things thought impossible.
And He will do what no other One can do.

He who dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord: "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."  Psalm 91:1&2.

Love, Jo

Friday, January 6, 2017


My Ted and I watched from our Safaril land rover as 1.7 million wildebeests and zebras milled around on Kenya, East Africa's plains. All around us other land rovers carried the world's most famous television crews with their cameras set to roll.  A short distance in front of us the Maasai Mara river's dark waters waited. Twenty-foot crocodiles, feigning sleep stretched along its banks. An hour, then two hours we waited as the adult beests milled around and the young ones danced and pranced in anticipation.  'They are deciding",  our driver explained. "The old ones remember. The young ones do not".   Finally, a huge wildebeest made his way to the edge of the river, hesitated, then plunged headlong into the murky water. On the other shore, the crocs, with lightning speed were on the move. They submerged, only their eyes showing, and then, the water boiled as one came up with a frantic wildebeest in his jaws. He thrashed the poor animal back and forth, then held him under until there was no life left in him.  Soon a zebra met the same fate, and then another beest and another zebra. The herd became frenzied but did not turn back.  One by one they crashed into the now roiling water of the river, the memory of the rich grass of the Tanzanian Serengeti luring them forward. There they would feast,  bear their young, then return to the plains of Kenya. Ever restless. Following the rain. The river turned red with the blood of a dozen or so animals. Still,  they came.  The largest animal migration in the world,  the Great Maasai Mara Migration was in progress.  Finally it was over.  We returned to the Safari camp,  not having much of an appetite for the sumptuous dinner served us. Later in the evening tall Maasai tribal men came to entertain us with their high jumping dancing.  Their hair and short tunics weres caked with the red clay of Kenya. The next day Ted was invited by Charles, a Christian who clerked in the souvenir shop to speak to the workers. There, mixed in with others were Maasai men. I will never forget singing and sitting with these men as they listened in rapt attention as Charles translated my Ted's words of the sweet, powerful,  transforming Gospel

My mind goes back many years to a morning in our first pastorate in Bakersfield, California as a man named Wesley, missionary to the Maasai told us of the conversions to Christ of the relatives of these tribal people. Never would I have dreamed as a young pastor's wife that one day I would have the privilege of meeting his beloved people. As I write, I re-live the wonder. Several times in the next years before my Ted went Home we watched The Great Maasai Mara Migration on National Geographic. No camera could capture the sounds and smells of a massive herd, some of whom would die on their charge toward greener pastures.

I have spent my life offering the Gospel to the generation before me, my generation and the next,  but I cannot quite get the hang of communicating with this new generation. For sixty years in our nation the moral absolutes we knew as children have slowly been siphoned off. There is however, this praiseworthy note: The same technology that has lured a staggering percentage of our population into deadly sin has transmitted the Gospel to millions of Muslims, Iranians, Russians, other lost peoples as well as the Chinese.  The Mao tse tungs of these nations didn't win and the enemy of our souls is angry.

Donald promises to drain the swamp. The crocs are waiting,  and they are hungry and mad. Suit up,  Christians  Prophecy is unfolding by the day.

                                          A MIGHTY FORTRESS

A mighty fortress is our God; a bulwark never failing.
Our helper He amidst the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide; our striving would be losing.
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He.
Lord Sabaoth His Name; from age to age the same.
And He must win the battle.

And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us.
We will not fear, for God hath willed His Truth to triumph through us,.
The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him
His rage we can endure for lo, his doom is sure.
One little Word shall fell him.

That Word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them abideth.
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who sideth with us.
Let goods and kindred go; this mortal life also
The body they may kill; God's Truth abideth still
His Kingdom is forever!

Love,  Jo