Friday, February 24, 2017

Green is good.

...and California is greening up! The trucks, trains and planes that carry our vegetables, nuts and fruits to you are revving up. In a couple of weeks my giant oaks will be dressed in their chartreuse spring loveliness. The gophers will poke their heads out. The old and young bucks are locking horns. Soon the does will saunter by with their newborns.The bears will awaken from their long winter naps and the mountain lions will show up at the top of the mountain. Birds of all colors will stake out their territory in my trees and break forth singing their little hearts out.  Snows and rains over,  Bootsie and I will walk down my long driveway to the bench where we sit side by side. I talk to Jesus; I have no idea who Bootsie talks to. Come May, I will have some strong person carry my summer bed from the floor down below to my deck outside my living room, and Nights with the Creator will begin!

Clair Anderson, our neighbor who lived three miles down the road from our farm refused to install a telephone. If he had he would have had no excuse to drop by our house as Mother and Grandma dished up a heaping platter of fried chicken,  bowls of mashed potatoes and every vegetable God ever created. Dear Clair. He married Julie, daughter of a deaf, silent, and blind father.  Her mother was deaf and silent with very limited vision. A deaf, silent and blind aunt lived with them. Sometimes, on hot summer days I saddled up Patsy the Mare and struck out down the road to visit this family who taught me so much. Julie's mother would glimpse my shadow through the screen door and come shuffling toward me with arms wide open, making happy noises deep in her throat. She grabbed the slate and chalk and we wrote notes back and forth, smiling and hugging.

 I still walk down a dirt road and I still visit aged people.  A couple of weeks ago when I was in town I dropped by the home of a couple that I love. Patty threw her arms around me. It felt good. Her friend was there. We drank tea together. We laughed and hugged. We had such a good time. Sometimes I sit in Patty and Chick's living room with the Bible open and we read. Nearly every week I call one of my many older friends across the nation. We encourage each other, "and all the more as we see The Day approaching".   For years, dear Harriet in Santa Rosa, California downloaded my blog on Fridays. When it didn't arrive by noon she'd call to see if I was o.k.  Then for one, two, three weeks she didn't call.  I went online, and found her obituary. She had slipped away to Heaven in her sleep. At ninety- two. Yesterday I had a call from June's son, Jack. Two weeks ago his mother, at ninety-three went Home from Turlock, California to Heaven. Gordon and June, Ted and I arrived at Dallas Theological Seminary in 1952.  Friends forever after. I remember that first meeting at DTS so well. We were being introduced to Dr. Walvoord, President of the seminary, and his wife, Geraldine. Seven years later, Dr. Walvoord was sitting at our dining table in Palo Alto, California. "Ted and Jo, a grey-haired lady from Bakersfield,California came up to the pulpit at a Mt. Hermon conference this morning and asked if I knew of a couple that would be willing to come to a very small church in her town". That "town" was Bakersfield, California and that "church" was Fruitvale Community, now River Lakes Community that today covers a city block.  Many of you who read this blog are still in that church. Many of you from that church are scattered throughout the world, taking the Gospel to people who will be together forever with the Lord Jesus.  Some of you California, Oregon, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Florida, France, Indonesia, Bolivia, Africa, and Guatemala dear ones continue to lead countless people to the Throne of Grace. Praise God!

If I slip quietly away in my sleep, which is my exit preference my blog won't arrive. Wait a week or two before checking because I just might not have thought of anything to say.  Not likely, but maybe.


...and another comes to mind:  

Love,  Jo

Friday, February 17, 2017


I've got some sanguine in me. ...or is it just "Irish"?  Our ilk can be counted on to speak up. Peter had that problem. Even after the Holy Spirit got hold of his heart he'd usually be the first to address the situation. Nobody can convince me that those other guys didn't set him up to say what they didn't want to say.  My Ted knew I would do just that and he milked it to the end!

My husband was not a story-teller so you would never have heard this or any other story if he were the one left behind. ...which reminds me of a conversation between two men I heard about the other day. One asked the other:"Why do you think husbands usually die first?" The other replied: "Because we want to."

O.K., back to this story. My Ted's parents raised chickens. One day Ted's dad told him to go into the shack where they stored the chicken feed and see if he could discover why the feed sack emptied so quickly. Armed wih a crowbar, Ted pried up a floor board and rats poured through the hole and surrounded him. One skittered up his leg inside his pants.  He grabbed and squished it, then ran to find a pair of leather gloves and a rope to tie around his pant legs. Finally, when every squished rat lay dead he tossed them into a bushel basket. The "Council Grove Republican" sent a reporter to take a picture of young Ted Stone standing by a basket of dead rats. He made the front page. ...probably for the first and only time in his life. Over his many years of life on this earth Ted Stone squished many a rat with the Word of God and prayer.

Moral of the story: If we're going to wade around in a rat shack we'd better make sure we've got our armor on. ...head to toe.

Soldiers of Christ, arise and put your armor on.
Strong in the strength which God supplies through His Eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts andi in His mighty power.
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts, is more than conqueror!

Leave no unguarded place; no weakness of the soul.
Take every virtue, every grace and fortify the whole.
Having all things done and all conflicts past
You may o'ercome through Christ alone, and stand complete at last!

Love,  Jo

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Battle

I've been working myself out of a job all of my Christian life. We were in a couple of pastorates that didn't approve of my calling to "GO and make disciples".  A born people-pleaser, it was hard for me to rise above their expectations and be obedient to only the Lord. Yesterday, I had such a good time. One of the then-unredeemed girls He sent me a couple of years ago taught the twenty-third chapter of Matthew in my living room to others. This beautiful, transformed woman is in her mid thirties,  loves to study the Word and comes with well-thought-through printed lessons and questions to ponder. It just doesn' get any better than that!

Today, I don't want to even think about pornography or any other rotten, dirty sin that is swallowing up whatever is left of our country. I have settled in my mind that all human governments will fail and the best we can hope for is God's extended grace so we can continue to make disciples who will teach more disciples when things get really ugly.

There truly is "nothing new under the sun".   My losses have accrued as they do for all human beings. Have I come to know Christ better because of them, or am I fixating on the losses instead of that most important of "gains?" know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death?  Have I whittled down expectations of myself and lived up to the Lord's requirement of me? do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with my God? 

Today is a day to pray for His and my Beloveds and to read my pastor/friend's book: "Hebrews; a Reader's Companion". Westbow Publishers. His books are,  as the kid's chorus says: "Deep and Wide".

        Old Hymn by Lowell Mason: 1792-1872

My soul, be on thy guard; ten thousand souls arise.
The hosts of sin are pressing hard to draw thee from the skies.

Oh, watch and pray; the battle ne'er gives o'er.
Renew it boldly every day, and help divine implore.

Ne'er think the victory won, nor lay thine armor down.
The work of faith will not be done till Thou obtain the crown.

Fight on, my soul till death shall bring thee to thy God.
He'll take thee at thy parting breath to His divine abode. Amen.

Love, Jo

Friday, February 3, 2017

Listen and pray!

I want to believe that Trump can put somebody in office who will drain all the swamps filled with hungry crocodiles. He can't.

My heart is troubled about a murky-water swamp. The same technology that is taking the Gospel to every tribe and nation has made pornography instantlyavailable to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I suggest that you download Josh McDowell's message on "Moody Bible Institute Founder's Week, 2015." In my experience nobody tells the truth about this marriage-desroying subject better than Josh.

The Word of God in Ephesians 5  tells us clearly to: "Awake thou that sleepeth, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you Light."  In the verses preceding He says: "Let no man deceive you with empty words, for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience. Be not, therefore partakers with them...and have no fellowship with them, but reprove (expose) them."

What does a broken hearted, humiliated wife do whose husband has uncontrolled desire for pornography but has little desire for her?  They find old, safe people like me to talk to who have arms to hold them as they sob their hearts out. The sad reality is that some pastors tell these women to "submit and forgive".

If I don't get to go Home until He's through with me, neither do you, "take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of Godpraying always with supplication in the Spirit". ...then put legs on your prayers and do something about it.

Whatever happened to worship songs about POWER IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST?  Here's one:

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Nothing can for sin atone. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Naught of good that I have done. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace: Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness: Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Now by this I'll overcome: Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Now by this I'll reach my Home: Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Glory! Glory! This I sing: Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
All my praise for this I bring: Nothing but the blood of Jesus!


Love,  Jo