Friday, March 31, 2017

No Mistakes

Ted and I were in ministry in Houston for ten years. ...three of them in the church- with -walls, and seven in the church- without- walls. After years of serving the Lord in churches with walls in Minneapolis, Dallas, Palo Alto and Bakersfield, it was harder for me to adjust to the church-without-walls than it was for Ted. Of course!

We went to East and Southeast Asia after leaving our fruitful California pastorate. Before settling into a new pastorate in Houston God's plan for us was that we experience being in ministry in six countries where there were millions and millions of people who had never heard the Gospel even once. The last country was Viet Nam,  as it fell. We flew out of Saigon with a plane load of Catholic nuns and orphaned babies. Every passenger was given a baby to hold.

In our new church and city, we were ready for new fruit. Within three years we were out of the church-with-walls and turned loose in a city of three million people.  This is what God did: A couple of days after our last day in the church-with-walls in Houston I fulfilled a commitment to speak for the Torrey Conference at Biola/Talbot in Los Angeles, California. The subject that had been assigned to me months before was "The Hazards of Full-Time Work".  There were four other speakers...all men with big names. Mine wasn't. We met for prayer early on Monday morning. I was scheduled to be the kick-off speaker before thousands of students and faculty on a subject that was about one of those "hazards". We had just, for the first time in our lives, entered the "church-without-walls." I told the other speakers my worry about downloading my fears on these young people that were training for ministries around the world.  All of them said: "We've been there. The Lord has done this. You cannot believe the doors that will open for you and your husband!" They were right! When I returned to Houston my Ted had rented an office, hired a secretary and we were on our way into a ministry we could not have imagined. For the next seven years lost folk from every socioeconomic level.came to Christ. Many of those dear, precious people continue to bear fruit that remains. How I love them! How God loves them!

We were invited to speak to the leadership of Young Life. We had worked years before with this ministry to unchurched kids when in Dallas Seminary. Having been "unchurched" kids ourselves we were eager to encourage and teach these Houston leaders. Meeting over,  we moved across the room to meet our host couple and thank them for their hospitality. We had no idea that our host was the District Attorney of Harris County. We had been pleading our case before the D.A.!  In his Texas-gentleman's soft drawl, he said: "I have been listening to you two and I believe you may have an answer for my question. My law partner was the attorney involved in Watergate. He is not sure that Chuck Colson is truly a Christian. What do you think?" We jumped on that:. "Chuck is coming to Houston this week to speak for a breakfast. Would you and your wife be our guests and you can decide for yourself." In his message Chuck said this to a couple of thousand people, many of whom were attorneys: "The only difference between you and me is that I got caught!" Whew! The District Attorney of Harris County later resigned and joined Chuck in Prison Fellowship. He is still living.  Chuck Colson is in Heaven. His TV show, "Worldview from the Colson Center" continues as an excellent, galvanizing resource for such a time as this.

I had been very sick with allergies to mold and pine during our ten years in Houston.  We  moved to a beautiful suburb to see if I would be headache-free. It didn't help. We moved back to our home in town. I became even more ill and had to take time off from my daily radio program. I slid into a depression. I knew many scriptures but I could remember only one. The power of the Lord in that scripture and the prayers of the saints gradually brought me up and out of a dark place. The allergy clinic had no solutions and told me it wouldn't help to move back to a dry climate. ...but it did. My dear husband's agape love brought us back to lots of sunshine and humidity-free way of a church-with-walls which were not yet even built. Ted and others built the church. Three years later we re-entered the church-without- walls. For nearly thirty-three years our home has hosted thousands of people who have needed to be here.  I disciple regularly, and just launched another lovely young woman to teach others in her own home in another community. That's what I do. That's what I am assigned to do: teach and let go...teach and let go. Not unlike parenting. Do I attend a church?  Yes,  but only a church whose leadership understands that discipleship is not about volume, but is about quality...working our way out of a job, then doing it again. And again. And again.

God has a Plan. He will not be dissuaded by our whines and whimpers. These writings underscore my understanding of the Truth that our Lord makes no mistakes. None whatsoever.

 A generation ago (or is it "two"?) we were singing "For Those Tears I Died." in our Young Life clubs. Some of you will remember.


...and Jesus said, "Come to the water, stand  by my side.
I know you are thirsty; you won't be denied.
I felt every teardrop when in darkness you cried.
And I strove to remind you: "For those tears I died".

Love,  Jo

Friday, March 24, 2017


My pastor/friend/Sunday School teacher invites us to reason together. He writes books. With his permission, I quote from his latest: "The purposes for this booklet are: 1) to expose the Devil's tactics of positioning government leaders as benefactors, who bestow benefits in order to solicit support; 2) to clarify a caution of prophecy about beastly, fear-based--rather than faith-based--forms of human government, and 3) to emphasize how God expects His people to share the good news--about the superior way He runs His kingdom--until the very end of this age. I hope devout disciples will faithfully preach Jesus Christ as King, especially to whomever the elite reject, whether the loser or the deplorable".

"Larger than Life, An Expose' of the Spirit of the Antichrist" is sixty-six pages that say more than most say in hundreds.  Mike Loehrer is a Viet Nam veteran who opted to lay down his post-trauma at the Cross and spend the rest of his life pointing people to The Deliverer.

 Mike says of the Destroyer:  "With heaviness of heart, the tragic fall of Lucifer ripples through the sea of humanity as he makes beautiful beasts of all who seek to become larger than life. When Satan sought to become like the Most High, he fell to the very depths of death. Rebellion against the Source of Life demands the death penalty. Those who resist the Creator of Life walk with the destroyer. Separation from the Sustainer of Life seals in death those who love darkness. After humanity fell--following Lucifer--God purposefully left human beings as fragile, finite failures. Our surroundings persuade us we are fragile. Physical death convinces us we are finite. And our consciences condemn us as failures. God made the conclusion obvious: We are sinners in need of a Savior". 

In Mike's Sunday School class I am flanked by two women. Both are married to destroyers. For months a Millennial has come through my door every Wednesday. Her night job affords her time to study God's Word.  Long after I am in Heaven this young woman, now only two years old in Christ will be teaching people who are awakening to the horror that the Destroyer has been masking as The Deliverer.

Publisher of Mike's book: Westbow. Available on Amazon and Christian book sellers.


'Tis the grandest theme through the ages rung; 'Tis the grandest theme for a mortal tongue;
'Tis the grandest theme that the world e'er sung, "Our God is able to deliver thee."

'Tis the grandest theme, let the tidings role; To a guilty heart, to the sinful soul;
Look to God in faith, He will make thee whole. "Our God is able to deliver thee."




Friday, March 17, 2017


Caesar was the Roman Emperor when Jesus was born in an insignificant town in an insignificant country. Who noticed? ...a handful of people who dared not declare: "Jesus is Lord!" Anyone in the Empire who didn't declare "Caesar is Lord!" got their heads chopped off.

Israel is no longer "insignificant". Neither is Jesus. Countless young Muslims are coming to Christ. Old Mao thought he killed Christianity forever. China has the fastest growing church in the world today. I used to wonder how "Some from every tribe and nation will be there." Technology has solved that mystery. Comes to mind a quote from Ted: "When the last Gentile is in the Lord will say: 'I'm wrapping it up and bringing you Home!' " Obviously the last "Gentile" isn't "in". Here's what I think: God is extending His grace toward America because we continue to generously send and support the Gospel around the world. Christians in this country give, and give, and give. That's what I think. My Irish dad used to say when I would challenge him: "I can think what I want to think." So, there ya' go!

We know how it's all going to end up, but between now and then is what troubles my mind.  Are my children and grandchildren prepared for what's ahead? Those are my thoughts, come evening.During the day I am doing pretty well at bringing my fleshly thoughts into captivity, but toward evening I can't quite catch 'em before they get a foothold...especially if I flip on the news. What a mess!

A few months before both my husband and son died with cancer, I threw a party...a Gospel singin' party. When I asked for requests son Doug shouted out: "Peace in the Valley". Fabulous Fiddler Gayel knew the words and we both knew the tune. The rest of the team picked it up and Doug was singing along. He's in Heaven now where there are no more valleys. I feel another singin' party coming on. Will let you know where and when.

"Bringing every thought into captivity"  requires disciplining our minds to think on: "...whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and there be any praise, think on these things."

                                              PRAISE THE SAVIOR

Praise the Savior, ye who know Him! Who can tell how much we owe Him?
Gladly let us render to Him all we are and have.

Jesus is the Name that charms us; He for conflict fits and arms us; 
Nothing moves and nothing harms us while we trust in Him.

Trust in Him, ye saints, forever; He is faithful, changing never
Neither force nor guilt can sever those He loves from Him.

Keep us, Lord, O keep us cleaving to Thyself and still believing
Till the hour of our receiving promised joys with Thee.

Then  we shall be where we would be, then we shall be what we should be
Things that are not now, nor could be, soon shall be our own.

Love,  Jo


Friday, March 10, 2017

Our anchor holds!

Ted spoke many times for memorials, comforting grieving friends and relatives of loved ones.  I felt great joy this week as I found in an old address book two 3x5 cards on which were Ted's typed memorial notes. I will share some with you today. May you be blessed.

Paul was facing probable death when he wrote in Philippians 1:20,21 " now Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it will be by life or by death. For me to live: Christ; to die is gain.

Would we really call our loved one back to the tragedies and sorrows of this earth? Our loved one is at home, in the Presence of the Lord, and there, on "His right hand are pleasures forevermore!"  II Corinthians 5:8; Psalm 16:11

The Lord intended sorrow, disease and death to display the bankruptcy of humanism. His death saved us from destruction; His life guarantees us eternal blessedness. Truth shows the shortcomings of delusions and that which is not real. Death for the believer is a promotion...a coronation...a celebration!

 If we have personified the Lord in this life our influence continues to personify His Person after physical death. Our lives have great value if we honor and heed the heart of God. God's love is far better than any of our blundering attempts to display it. If we have Christ in our heart, Deity does not die! We do not bury a believer. "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord." 

It has been very hard to go on living without my Ted. He loved the Word of God. He lived the Word of God, I cannot count the times I have heard him ask a person: "Are you a Christian or are you still on your way?" Disarmed by his gentleness  many asked Christ to come in. Through the influence of those he led to the Throne, many are still coming to Christ. I am left behind to know, believe and give out His Word to those who will hear.  Christ is my Anchor, but I surely do miss my Ted.

"Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path." Psalm 119:105: ...a thought: A "lamp" only lights our way a step or two ahead of us. .

                       THE SOLID ROCK

When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the vale.


Love,  Jo

Friday, March 3, 2017


 I want to concentrate on Mike and Kevin's messages at the church I attend; therefore I sit right up front so I won't be distracted. For many years my eyes were scanning the crowd to see who needed a personal contact as soon as Ted said the "Amen".

Ted Stone was a pioneer.  He plowed the hard ground as he broke into a new field, sowed and watered and when the crop was growing well and leadership was in place he moved on to begin another ministry. Then came the day when there was no leadership showing up in this new field he was plowing, except for one dear couple, Sally and Jim who taught the little children. Offerings were minimal. Ted was counselling in Bakersfield and was being drawn into Agape International Ministries, Campus Crusade's training school for their foreign missionaries. Many of those candidates were coming here to our home. We welcomed them with open arms and some of them remain in my life to this day. Through the week Ted was not here. On Sundays the Fellowship was growing into something that looked very much like a church that was going to require organization. The thought of launching yet another church was emotionally and physically too much for me,  I went over to the coast to think. I had no problem feeling. Women never do, and I was feeling frustrated and angry at Ted. I had always walked alongside this visionary man of mine. Organizing. Hosting. Connecting people with people. Considering another option required thinking and thinking required days and nights alone to pray, read, walk, weep, write and wait.

Ted pulled the plug on the fellowship. That was hard for him, but he did it. That decision led to another level of ministry: that of personal discipleship to many individuals and couples that continues to be my assignment. Even though far away in Paradise, as my son Jeff said the other night: "Mom, Dad is still with us. We are carrying on the legacy. Hold on to that."  I will, son.  I will.

Will Ted and I be married to one another throughout eternity?  No. We are and will be the Bride of Christ forever. We will know Him in ways we cannot yet fully know Him. "For now we see in a mirror darkly, then face to face; now I know in part but then shall I know, even as I am known".  I Corinthians 13:12.


Face to face, oh blissful moment;
Face to face, to see and know.
Face to face with my Redeemer
Jesus Christ, Who loves us so. 

Love,  Jo