Wednesday, June 6, 2012


2012 Summer In-Touch from Leona

In my birthday month I usually look back and forward at my life and then refocus on the present moment to evaluate the course of my life. “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thess. 5:18) Okay, so that assures me that I’m still in the will of God…I do thank God for His goodness and mercy that He promised would “follow us all the days of our lives.”
Whew! Birthday 87 coming up. Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 60th year of reign. (She and I are exactly the same age and we were married the same year—Ha! I can empathize with her cautious walking pace to maintain balance and not stumble. Does she have her smart phone in that ever-present handbag? Sorry, I’m not a HAT and GLOVES person, but I too am reigning under the Lordship of Christ in the sphere of influence He has chosen for me in life. But I haven’t mastered the Queen’s distinctive regal hand-wave yet! )
             My late husband Ted and I were serving God at the time of her coronation as evangelical missionaries in what was then still British Hong Kong. I could only listen to the extravaganza events on BBC (before TV!)  Significance of 60? Next month my third son Gary joins Rick and Cliff, two of our other sons, in attaining age 60—he was born that summer. (Gary and Cliff are grandfathers themselves already!) Son Jeff would be born 7 years later after we returned to the U.S. to minister on university campuses and plant a church for Chinese students and professionals in the Nation’s capitol.
            Because so many of you ask about my physical health and faithfully pray for me, I owe you a word. God has blessed and sustained me as a lung cancer surgery survivor for 22 years and a widow for 20. As the years increase, of course health and energy begin to decrease and the mounting number of “no-longer-fixables” is simply being “managed” with the help of God. “In everything give thanks!”
But my focus is not on this temporary mortal body and its limitations because God’s promise in Christ is for my body’s literal resurrection and move on into eternal life in a new model. I believe it!
God’s calling on my life is for a lifetime, so I keep pressing on while He gives me breath—which my diminished and compromised lungs do find in ever shorter supply now, but they are still adequate for me to keep up a brisk pace of active ministry and writing. So when will I retire? I don’t plan to retire from the Lord’s calling—what would I retire to that would be better than continuing to fulfill His will to the max as long as He gives me earth-time?
            My 35th published book just came off the press. Because this new book is again spiritually autobiographical, my recent 3 titles as a book-cluster have unexpectedly turned out to become a TRILOGY. Full information is on my newly updated and refurbished publishing web site: The 2 recent ones are already on eBooks for ease of purchase. Read about the potential of electronic books on one of my recent blog posts.
I’ve also reconfigured my blog: and I’m excited to be posting again when I have windows of opportunity. Since I design and handle my own blog site, it is more “Mickey Mouse” than high tech. On my blog you’ll find fresh writings from the new books I’m working on. Also excerpts from some of my published books with new tweakings and personal applications. I hope you will take a look often. Check my blog Archives for what you may have missed. Comments and dialogue always welcome.
            I’m enjoying the privilege of collaborating on a book with a retired Baptist pastor, noted author, and specialist in ministry to senior Christians. He is good friend from my college days who lives in Canada and has just written an excellent, thoughtful book titled “AGING JOYFULLY.” He is incorporating one of my recent poems at the beginning of each of his 16 chapters to introduce the content of what follows. I’m honored to be part of this project.
            My own work-in-progress on a similar theme on which I’ve been working for some time is titled “FINISHING WITH A FLOURISH.” I’ve posted the Preface on my blog. In addition, I’ve taken a few of my unfinished but still very much alive and well book manuscripts from my writing archives to work on simultaneously. We’ll see which book, if any, God might want to reach publication first.
            I’m happy to receive permission to independently mentor my 12 year old grandson Jeffrey to prep him for his First Communion and eventually on to his Confirmation at our local parish, Sacred Heart of Jesus. He lives out of town and can’t attend the normal classes. I’ve been attempting it through informal, plausible, imagined dialogues with him that I call “Conversations with Jeffrey.” I share-post those and other topics related to his youthful world on my blog. I wish my other 9 grandchildren and 7 great-grands lived nearby so we could also bond our lives more closely.
            I’m proud of two of my teen grandchildren, Andrew and Brianna, who have just returned from an evangelistic-help-mission trip to Haiti. Another granddaughter, Kristen, is excitedly planning her summer wedding. What fun to see the extended branches from the roots of our family tree, and from my late husband Ted’s and my trunk of that tree, as they plant their own unique family trees!
            Our radio station Southern Light Gospel Music Network is thriving in its new expanded location after 26 years and we expect to sign a contract shortly to obtain a second frequency for a contemporary Christian music sister station to reach to a new generation of listeners.
            Thank you for your sustaining prayers and love and concern. I reciprocate with my love and prayers each time God brings you to my mind. I’m living in my lovely spacious home in the Shenandoah Valley which my son Rick provides for me. I call it “Eagle Summit” and I invite you to visit me.

  For fun I like to sign my letters now as “Sal” – which is an a.k.a. for “God’s SALmon still swimming upstream” –but perhaps somewhat more slowly these days.

No comments: