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On May 17th the decision was made. Our family landscaping business could not sustain the economic downturn. The success of our family landscaping business has been dependent on commercial construction, residential development, discretionary spending, and stable property values. All of these have been compromised in our current economic status. Tough decisions had to be made, which involved the loss of nearly all of our worldly possessions, with the exception of our home furnishings and clothing. Craig and I grieved the loss of our home, business, and land but because we believe in the sovereignty of God, we determined to walk through this season of our lives with God's grace and peace.

The first need was to secure a place to live. We were not sure when we would be required to give up our home, but we knew it was an inevitable part of this process. With 2 spoiled boxers and 1 delightly endearing Siamese cat, we could not move into an apartment and would not qualify to rent a house. My mom owned some property in Moscow, TN. She and my dad had intended to build their retirement home on the property. My dad had built a one-car garage and attached workshop on the property. We approached my mom and asked if we could move into the garage/workshop and make some additions to turn it into a home. She quickly agreed but could not imagine how we would do it. At the time, I could not quite see it either! This is what it looked like.


The garage, or cabin as my mom called it, was built about 15 years ago. Due to my dad's lingering illness and subsequent death in February 2000, the cabin had become a storage site for her. It has been closed up for about 11 years. On June 9th we took my mom out to the cabin and let her sort through the things she had stored there. This was the first step in turning the cabin into our "home sweet home." Here we are sorting and cleaning out the cottage.


This is such a God-thing, but Craig and I left on June 10 for a mission trip to Asia!! This trip had been planned and paid for long before we knew about the impending loss of our business. Only the Lord could ordain such a divine appointment, but on June 10 we - who had just lost everything of this world's possessions - were flying to Asia to teach pastors and church leaders about planting churches in a land that is hostile to our faith. For the next 12 days we were absorbed in teaching and ministering to our dead brothers and sisters in the Lord in a land far, far away.

While we were gone, Dawson and Miguel began to gut the little garage and the first strains of the emerging cottage could be seen with the eye of faith.
Posted: 12/20/2010 3:17:13 PM by Global Administrator | with 1 comments


Well, thanks to the good folks at Comcast (shout out to Comcast!) we have internet at the cottage. Since many of you have prayed for us and supported us through our recent faith-walk-escapade, I wanted to write update.

Craig and I moved out of our home on Grove Road on Oct. 13 and put our worldly storage. On the 14th I taught my darling mommas at Bellevue and then dashed to the airport with Craig, Ray-Ray, and Roy in tow. We flew out to Canon Beach Oregon where I had the AWESOME privilege of teaching a precious group of wmn. if you were there that weekend, I LOVE YOU, precious sista in the Lord!! On Monday we flew home-weary but full of joy and Jesus-and moved in with Roy and Ray-Ray. The previous 2 posts are written by Ray-Ray as she shared what it was like for us to invade their world!! Trust me, I have a way of snatching everyone up into my tailwind and this was no exception!!

Roy and Ray extended an indefinite invitation to live with them, but I knew that me and my tired self needed to begin the transition process of settling into the cottage. We stayed with the Terrells (God bless 'em recall good!!) until Friday, Oct. 21, when Craig and I moved - ready or not - into the cottage with 2 boxers and 1 sweet Siamese cat. The cottage was no where near ready, but it was time for us to start making it "home".

We moved in with our bed, 2 chairs, a fridge, a toaster oven, 2 bowls, 2 coffee mugs, a coffee pot, 2 spoons and 1 knife. Oh yeah, and the big screen TV. It managed to weather the downsizing and made the move with us!

We are still many weeks from completion, and are - to a degree - camping out in our cozy space - but we are home! And for now, that is a lovely thought and very kind of the Lord to provide a place for us to live.

I will go back and recreate our journey for you, as we have learned much about the Lord and about faith-walking, and I would not want you to miss out on that just because I have not had internet or time to this mighty incredible journey. And I will include pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
 
Posted: 12/20/2010 3:02:35 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments


Dear Ones~
I am sure by now you are in the midst of the flurry of activities that surround the holidays. I pray this year’s celebrations will be especially meaningful for you and your loved ones as we rejoice in the birth of our Savior.

Could I ask for a few precious moments of your time to bring you up to date on the ministry God has opened up for me? As you may already know, God is doing a fresh work in family’s life and ministry. I have been teaching MOMS at Bellevue Baptist Church for more than 20 years now. In 2006 we became professionally publishing our workbooks and DVDs for use in other churches and discipleship groups. Just over a year ago we formed a non-profit organization, Standing Near the Cross, Inc. to facilitate the speaking ministry, the publishing, and the international teaching work Craig and I have been privileged to do.
Since the Lord has allowed our paths to cross in ministry, I want you to rejoice with me in some of the ways God has been blessing Standing Near the Cross. Here are some of the highlights of 2010.
 
*I taught my study on 2 Timothy entitled "Run Well, Finish Strong" to over 125 moms this spring.
 
*I wrote a new Bible study on the Book of Ruth entitled, "One Day Your Prince Will Come” and  taught the study to over 150 moms this fall. This is my 8th Bible study to offer for individuals or churches to use. I believe if we can capture the heart of the mom, the direction of the family can be altered up to the third and fourth generation.
 
*I wrote monthly articles for the Christian publication "Delivered." 
 
*I launched a new website at www.jeanstockdale.com. This allows individuals and churches to browse through my available resources and make credit card purchases or contributions to the ministry. A blog feature is also included to enable me to stay connected with moms all over the world. 
 
* Craig and I traveled to Asia to teach the Pioneer Evangelism program to seminary students in the underground church.
 
*I traveled and taught at 10 churches and at the Cannon Beach Christian Center in Oregon this year. Decisions were made for Christ and lives were changed through the teaching of the Word of God. 
 
Here are a sampling of comments I have received.

"Jean, the lives you have blessed through your ministry are immeasurable. I am changed, as a wife and momma. Your teachings have done more than prick my heart; they have called me to a higher standard - a higher calling - and while challenging me, your words have also encouraged me to press in and press on." Dianna Douglass (mom of 5, Franklin, TN.)
 
“Jean, you have taught me how to study the Word and how to apply Biblical principles to every area of my life, especially my parenting.  One of the many lessons that stuck with me is helping my child to understand the difference between being sorry and true repentance. You taught me how to help my child not just change their behavior, but to change his heart.”  Laura Hubbard (mom of 4 boys, Nashville, TN.)
 
” When I first attended MOMS I had a 21/2 year old as well as an 18 month old - yes, count 14 months between!! MOMS was my sanity- giving me the much-needed break from my kids as well as hearing about a radically different way of parenting that rocked my world to say the least.” (Caitlyn Shores -Sane mom of 3, currently residing in England)
 
We are well aware of the current financial climate. All of us to varying degrees are feeling its impact. Personally, our family’s farm and landscaping business has been a victim of the depressed economy. This business was the primary means of growing and supporting our ministry. Without it we are more than ever dependant on financial support from friends of our ministry to continue our work.
 
Would you prayerfully consider a year-end gift in support of our ministry? Your tax deductable gifts can be made by check to Standing Near the Cross, P.O. Box 477, Oakland, TN. 38060 or by credit card at www.jeanstockdale.com and click on Donate.
 
I pray you will have a most blessed Christmas season and a Christ-filled New Year.
Thank you for joining with me in Standing Near the Cross,
Jean Stockdale
 
Posted: 12/20/2010 2:39:16 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments