Friday, July 14, 2017


A wealthy Greek couple who had come to Christ called us to their home. "We want you to take some weeks away from the pastorate. We have two requests: 1) Go to Greece and share the Gospel with our relatives.  2) Go to Israel.  Fly anywhere else in the world where you can get some rest. Now, go!"

We went!  From Switzerland and Austria we flew to Rome, then to Corinth, Athens, Ephesus, the Island of  Patmos and on to Egypt. The Six Day War had ended. There were few tourists. We ventured out into swarms of human beings. Burka-clad mothers broke through the crowd to put their little ones directly in our path, with palms up, outstretched for money. We managed to elbow our way onto a bus crowded beyond capacity, with people hanging on the outside and riding on the roof. When we reached the Museum to view King Tut's sarcophagus we found it covered with layers of dust. We proceeded on to a Muslim mosque and were required to remove our shoes and put our feet into filthy slippers. We braved another bus back to the hotel where I sank into a "Where are You, God?"  funk. Ted proceeded on to the zoo, returning shortly to report that the animals were cleaner than the people. The next day we found our way to the train station, hoping to be transported to the Valley of the Kings. The train stood on the tracks with no indication it intended to go anywhere. Disappointed, we caught a cab to the Pyramids and Sphinx. I rode a camel. Ted watched. Hot and dirty, we returned to the hotel and called the airport for a flight to Israel. Uhh,  We would have to enter Israel by way of a neutral island. The next day we were put on a single engine plane that delivered us to Cyprus where we made our way down rickety stairs, at the bottom of which was a flat vat of disinfectant. We waded through,  caught a cab to a hotel, showered and slept. The next day I went swimming in the Mediterranean while Ted explored Nicosia. The following day we flew to Tel Aviv, Israel, and that's a story for another time.

The Bible shapes the world. Where there is not such a foundation there will be no freedom of religion, no honoring of women, no cleanliness, no preservation of human life, health and dignity, and no gainful employment for the multitudes. Muslims worship a god of FEAR, as do all other religions.  A civilization will not be "civil" unless its foundation is laid upon the Word of God that extends to us the LOVE of God. Our America was founded upon that foundation. You and I inherited a treasure. exquisite treasure that we have shared with the world. We are the ones who give money and blood that other nations might survive. We are the ones who send missionaries to every tribe and nation to take the message of the LOVE of God Who continues to give us grace because of the determination of a handful of Christians who fled the tyranny of a government that would not allow them to freely worship the One Who gave His life that we might have life. ....everlasting life!

All of us with half a brain know that our country's moral compass has shifted.  The lives of the millenials He sends me to disciple resemble a back-lashed fishing line that would be easier to snip than unsnarl.

Father, dear Heavenly Father, as prophecy unfolds, keep older Christians focused on encouraging action and peace that is found only in Christ to the next generations.

               HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow.
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not harm thee, I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose;
I will not, I will not desert to his foes.
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

Love,  Jo