Friday, April 27, 2018

Joy Unspeakable

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in Truth."

Many of you, my dear friends know that my Ted and our son Doug left for Heaven in the same year,  eleven month apart, at about this time.  I want to talk about both of them today. 

Having inherited his dad's athletic ability Doug became an All American at Humboldt State. ... an NCAA wrestler,  second and third in his weight class in the nation. ...but being an Olympic contender or a coach was not going to be his life work.  He would become a successful custom home builder in Houston, in San Diego and here on this mountain. What fun it was to watch our son build spectacular homes to grace the terrain. 

Doug was an artist.  ...a high risk taker,  a mountain climber, a hang glider, para glider and pilot who flew from Tehachapi to San Diego for years to build mansions in and around that city.  He flew hundreds of Young Eagles who have gone on to become pilots themselves. Doug loved children.  He helped his dad begin the Awana program here at the church we came to build.  My son left so suddenly, leaving Robin, his wife and three teenagers. ...Luke, Lance and Madison.  Like his father eleven months before, cancer ended his life here on earth.  Could any in our family have survived such loss if we did not know they are with the Lord in Heaven?  Not well.  ...not well.  

Jesus said: "I go to prepare a place for you that where I am, you may be also."  I wonder if the Lord will give our Doug a "say so" in the building of his mansion in Heaven. 

I had a ringside seat in 1948 as Ted Stone fell in love with God's Word, then lived it and taught it until he took his last breath.  As a young man he was headed toward becoming a medical doctor.  God changed his mind.  He doctored souls instead.  Once I said to him: "Ted Stone, you would teach scripture to a stump! ...and he answered: "Sure I would. ...if it would sprout!"  You can hear some of my husband's messages on "".  Oh, I do recommend that you do that. 

...and now, Ted's grandchildren are falling in love with Christ and His everlasting, powerful Word. 

Grandparents, stay on your knees.  God hears our prayers.

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in Truth".   III John 1:4.

Love,  Jo

Friday, April 20, 2018

Get over it!

"Get over it". That's really what Paul was saying to Euodia and Syntyche in Philippians 4.  

There is an Euodia  ("Odius") in the church I attend. I try to avoid her but sometimes she corners me. The Syntyche  ("Soon Touchy") in me struggles with wanting to deck her. 

The other day the garbage disposal wouldn't dispose. Pipes broke and water leaked all over the floor.  On the same day my new Shark vacuum cleaner wouldn't vac. I went to my Honda truck with the mission in mind to make a run to Home Deport to return the kitchen flooring I had bought  (...the kitchen flooring that was to replace the warped flooring that got that way from the refrigerator filter that leaked).  An unfriendly "ping" greeted me from under the hood.  I never lift the hood and would have no idea what to do if I did. A little green wrench appeared in a square behind the steering wheel. It was late in the day.  I deep-sixed my plan to go into town to Home Depot. 

 I visited my repertoire of things to do when everything feels out of control.  I decided to move my living room furniture around into a more inviting configuration.  Sometimes,  engaging in something physically exhausting gives me a sense of control over something.
I fell into a troubled sleep.  

Arising very early the next morning with the goal of having a productive day,  I shuffled to the kitchen to fill the coffee maker with water. Needing an energy kick I chose Bold Guatemala Caffeine.  Something black flopped around in the sink. It was alive. It was a bat. ugly, ominous-looking night critter.  I grabbed some paper towels,  squished him/her/it and ran out the door with broom in hand and beat that bat to death. Oooh, that felt good!!

Now, human bats that whoosh around our heads in the daytime must be handled in a somewhat gentler fashion.  I'm workin' on it. 

"Oh, wretched man (woman) that I am. Who shall deliver me from the body of  this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord".  Romans 7:24,25 a.

Love,  Jo


Friday, April 13, 2018

I hope...

you are not letting the devil tell you the next generations do not want or need to know what you know.  Good grief!  We're leaving them with a twenty-three TRILLION dollar debt. We had better leave them with God's Word or they won't survive.

Mostly, I love every day of my life.  I allow myself a few minutes to admit my losses then praise Him for what I have left. It's a discipline, but you probably knew that.

On Thursdays women come through my door and we dive head-on into Genesis. I have turned the teaching over to a young woman whose heart for Christ and His Word, her excellent mind,  and her job hours allow her plenty of time for her passion to "Study to be approved of God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth".  Her lessons and insights would knock the socks off of a seminary professor.  On another day a next-generation couple comes and we dig into the Word of God.

God's people who have dug into scripture are scattered far and wide, taking the Word of God to those Paul would call "faithful".  I call them "strategic". There are four generations in II Timothy 2:2.  I learned a long time ago not to take much time with people who have no intention of passing it on. The II Timothy 2:2 level of discipleship is not about volume or show.  It's about reproducing fruit that will reproduce more fruit. ...but you probably knew that.   

Ted and I were fired from a pastorate for doing exactly what I just reminded you to do. You who knew Ted will not be a bit surprised at his spin about that: "Honey, we've just been promoted!"
Do not be afraid to break away from your church if it is not reproductive.  ...and now I am going to church to hear my pastor teach exactly what I just wrote.  He gets it!

Love,  Jo

Friday, April 6, 2018


Do you remember how annoying it was when one of your little children kept asking you "Why?"  That question was almost as wearisome as "When?"  Barely on the road for a long car trip one child would ask "How much farther?" 

Some of God's children have a question mark for a brain. Sometimes, I do too.  A new Christian at nineteen years of age,  Romans 8:28 was the first verse I memorized.  Seventy years later that verse ebbs and flows through my mind.  Compared to eternity it can't be long for any of us before our Lord Himself gathers up all the dangling threads, and there will be...THE TAPESTRY!   Our little lives are woven into His Masterpiece of Eternal Art. 

We KNOW that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. 

Love, Jo