Friday, January 4, 2019


Over Christmas I spent five days with members of my family who live to the north of me.  Our son Jeff and his dear wife  Carla are in full- time ministry as counselors and professors in universities.  One of their daughters is in law school;  the other will soon be a third-generation Dr.Stone.  As she watched her grandfather’s life ebb away from a cancerous brain tumor she made up her mind to become a brain surgeon.

We all need purpose.  What’s mine?  As my 90-year-old body tells me daily that it is 90 years old I must adjust my thinking regarding what is “purposeful”.   Some days,  just getting out of bed and getting dressed feels like an accomplishment.

My love language is "words of encouragement."    I love to give them and I love to receive them.  Deeds are  good, but without words, something is missing.  "Silly?”  you say.  Probably.   Over sixty years of marriage my husband sent me many birthday and anniversary cards with carefully chosen printed words he simply could not articulate.  I kept them all.  As he lay in his hospital bed for eleven months I read those cherished words back to him.  He would smile and sometimes squeeze my hand.

Pulling the New Covenant card on Our Father will not cut it.  The First Commandment has always been and always will be His requirement.  You know what it is.  Like Rachael,  Jacob’s favorite wife,  we can try to hide our idols by sitting on them, but  God knows who, what and where they are.  He wants us to finish our race unencumbered by idols that needs be pitched into the ditch by the side of the road.

Some fellow pilgrims carry a weight of guilt from being told they do not have enough faith.  This question comes to mind:  "How much faith was required of Lazarus as he lay dead for four days in a grave outside the little town of Bethany?"  I think the question better asked is: "How GREAT is my God?"   

Love,  Jo