Thursday, October 25, 2018

Christ in you

My Ted pastored three churches,  we were on the staffs of six other ministries and were part of three sending foreign mission organizations.  One of the three church sent out lots of missionaries to foreign fields.  Some of those are in their early and late 60’s, still bearing fruit that remains. Lots and lots of it. Today I am tracking one to Africa and two to Indonesia.  I can visualize the milling  crowds in the airports as these faithful warriors are deplaning.  ...exhausted beyond words, fighting their way through customs, heading for baggage claim,  praying that their belongings made it across the pond. The adjustments from having been back here in America for a short time are horrific.  Jet lag takes its toll on the human soul. Sleep patterns are broken and must be reset.  There is no describing the emotions of leaving loved ones behind, and pressing forward in a foreign land.   One of my dear male friends  always closes his communications with “Pressing on…”   Why do they do it?  They have to.  They simply have to.  They are called saints.  So are we.  …every one of us.

This little blog keeps me connected with all of our former ministries.  I remain on the board of Round Top Retreat in Texas.  Thousands of people come to that place of learning and refreshment every year.  Nick and Euphanel declare that Ted and I had much to do with the launching of that  reproductive ministry  If we did,   we didn’t  know it.  Yes, there are some who go there who will never lead one person to Jesus.  They will go back to their homes and wait for the next retreat. Many more are in the battle for souls in their market places and communities.  At Round Top they catch their breath and re-enter the fray. 

Do not for a moment believe that God is through gathering in the Gentiles.  Yes, I believe the Rapture is the next event on His time clock, but I do not “stand looking up”,  waiting for the trumpet to sound. I live in a gorgeous place.  No one moves to Bear Valley Springs that does not have a love of nature. …but “nature” won’t save them.  Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  How can they hear unless someone tells them?

I have been, once more, delving into the Book of Romans.  Oh, my goodness.  Romans 1 is grabbing me again.  Nobody has an excuse.  God has revealed Himself in nature.  Every human has a choice as to whether to find out Who did it.  Of course I know that I am “chosen”.  I  have known that since I came to Christ.  There is no way a farm girl from east Kansas could hear the Gospel unless God tracked me down. …which He did.   I don’t know who else He is tracking down here where I live. He will reveal to me all I need to know. …if I will just listen carefully to what people are saying.  …and not saying. …and earn the right to be heard.

 Every heart with Christ is a missionary.  Every heart without Christ is a mission field.  …so what’s His plan of evangelism?   We’re IT!  There is no Plan B.  “For it is Christ IN you, the HOPE OF GLORY.” 
Love,  Jo

Friday, October 19, 2018


The fall leaves are clinging to my giant oaks. …not wanting to turn loose, fall to the ground and be scooped into black sacks and dumped into the garbage bins Down Below.  I too, am clinging to my Mighty Oak. …my God Who placed a passion for the lost in my soul before the foundation of the world.  

Last Saturday my church sent students from a nearby Christian college to do some manual work around my home and property.  I walked them through the history of this hallowed place.  I told them that II Timothy 2:2 has been one of my life verses. One of the fellows immediately spoke up: “That’s mine too.” …and a new relationship with a young disciple began.  He is a 25-year-old Marine vet from a family of non-believers,  has immersed his mind in scripture through the Navigators, a scripture memory disciplehip mission that was started by a Navy man on a ship in the South Pacific during World War II.   My Ted immersed himself in scripture through that same powerful discipleship method many years ago. The scriptures grabbed his heart, he turned from his intended life work, listened to the Spirit of God and during his entire life,  never veered to the left or to the right, but stayed focused on teaching scripture to those who were reliable.

Yesterday some “reliable” women of the next two generations met in my living room to begin a study of Isaiah.  Oh, my goodness!  What an adventure this is going to be!  The women He sends are all aware of  reality.  All stay current with daily news; all flee to scripture for guidance in navigating through these perilous times.  All are focused on discipleship.

Today I will hear from my dearest friends who are scattered from Africa to Indonesia and assigned points in between. Some are in their 60’s and 70's when many people retire. Not my friends. …and not me either.  I spent one morning this week with a new Christian man in his 60’s.  The thrill never diminishes while watching a scripture like II Corinthians 5:21 take root. 

My granddaughter #2 is almost a brain surgeon. Currently finishing her training in Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia , very soon she will be assigned to her place of residency.  We are fervently praying that she will be back in California.  L. has daily helped me figure out the right medication my new doctor has prescribed.  …a need provided.  Our beloved daughter skillfully handles financial matters. She is a phone call away at all times for all other matters relating to this last chapter of my life. Another need:  My 94-year old neighbor insists on doing some grocery shopping for me since I don’t feel safe about driving the mountain roads into town anymore.  I continue to drive in Bear Valley …carefully.  My  neighbors around the curve have a key to my house in case I push the little black button and the paramedics come racing in.  Others are teaming up to keep me in my home.  Others fetch me for church and Bible study on Tuesday night. Others of  you, far and wide support me financially, emotionally and spiritually. Daily. I  am so grateful to all of you. My Father is meeting all of my needs. …just as He promised.

Bob, the bobcat is sitting on his brisket below my deck, eyeballing a gopher hole.  My felines know he is there;  they are nervous; they hover close; they cling.   One is sitting by my computer as I write.

It’s a beautiful fall day here. I will rejoice in it.

Love,  in Jesus,


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sports Dud

Jo, why do you tell us old stories?  I'll tell you why:  New stories are driving me crazy. Telling my old stories helps me think on God's faithfulness throughout my long life.

There was not a square inch of asphalt on our farm. There was just DIRT. One hundred sixty acres of it!  I married a town boy who played every ball/ court sport known to man.  So did his kids. His (and my) oldest one also chose NCAA wrestling and worked his way up to second and third in the nation in his weight class.  I spent a half century of my life cooking to build muscles on four athletes while cheering them on to victory from the sidelines. 

I, the mom/grandmother am a sports dud. I don't play games or watch people on TV who do.  In gatherings you can find me in a corner, having a conversation about something or Someone I deem worth talking about.  If there is a piano and somebody wants me to play it,  that's my indoor/outdoor sport. I  am cozying up to the idea of throwing some living room singing parties now that fall and winter are setting in.  I may not remember what I ate for dinner last night but I can remember and play any tune I ever heard.   ...from memory. ear. ...with a beat!  If you hum a tune, more than likely I can pick it up and, for a few moments, the cares of this present world will fade away.  Do you want to come?  Bring cookies.  

 I continue to minister under Family Life Resources, the non-profit organization that Ted launched in 1983 while still in Houston.  I am supported by people to whom we have ministered. churches or organizations. ...just individuals. ...all of whom are taking the Gospel to others.  I have a Board of eight people. ...four couples. ...all in the battle for souls. Here's the scripture from one:  Sally is her name:  I do not count my life of any value, nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God.  Acts 20:24.

I have no idea why I am thinking about Garrison Keillor's radio show  "Prairie Home Companion" that I used to listen to on Saturday night.  His sign off words about the people in his fictional town of "Lake Woebegone" went like this:   "Well, that's the news from Lake Woebegone where the women are strong, the men are good lookin'  and all the children are above average."  So there ya' go...

Love,  Jo

Thursday, October 4, 2018


The morning after we arrived in Bear Valley Springs in 1984 we awoke to a foot of snow.  Our sweet realtor had arranged for us to stay in a double-wide ‘way on top of the mountain. …heated by electricity. … which quit.  We couldn’t cook. It was cold.  Ted’s Gold Wing Honda was parked by the front door. … gleaming and beckoning.  We hopped on and went flyin’ down the mountain for breakfast at a little country cafĂ© in Keene   One more time, I was hanging on for dear life behind Ted Stone, on a motorcycle,  as we raced into a new ministry in a new community.  

Most of Bear Valley Springs residents were retired. …not true anymore. A third of a century later the little church we came to build is bursting with young families. Kevin, the pastor calls all the kids up to the platform every Sunday morning for the “Surprise Box”. Yesterday it was Family Sunday so the kids stayed in Big Church.  I like that.  I really like that. …but not every Sunday.  …because Kevin is teaching through “Ecclesiastes”. …a very serious Book.  In fact, it is not possible to read Ecclesiastes and smile at the same time.   A long time ago I taught through That Book in a big ol’ church in the ritzy part of Houston. The women did not have Bibles;  I suggested that they buy one. …which they did.  I do not know exactly how, or I would market the formula, but most of the women came to know Jesus, left that church, went down the road and joined The Baptists.  I haven’t taught That Book since.

My son Jeff changed his major from “Engineering” to “Psychology” when he read That Book.  “Since nothing lasts except God, His Word and people, I guess I had better invest in Those Three.”  Like his dad, our son has spent his life pouring the Word of God into people.  I am a blessed mamma. …and grandma. Maybe I will tell you more about my family in these blogs.  Maybe. 

God never changes.  Hang onto that, because EVERYTHING ELSE DOES! 

Love,  Jo