Introducing: As we continue to celebrate this anniversary month of 40 years of publishing Above Rubies, I’d like to introduce you to another dear friend who was part of the beginning of Above Rubies. Lois Jordan was the original Design Artist for Above Rubies. This was before we used computers and she did everything with “cut and paste.”
Lois is not the ordinary woman. When she married, she longed to have their own home. Her husband didn’t have time to build it. He was too busy earning the money. She decided that since she was at home with her little baby boy, Azaan, that she would build the home. Studying books at night and with advice from her father, she began the dream. And she did it! She built this beautiful five-bedroomed two-story home that you see pictured. Lois is a grandmother now and Barry and she continue to live in this home she built.
I remember going out to her home when she was building. Azaan would be rocking in a hammock between poles and she would be up on the roof hammering! I would call, “Come down, Lois, we’ve got to work on some design.”
When we moved from New Zealand to Australia to pioneer a church on the Gold Coast of Queensland and to continue the ministry of Above Rubies there, Lois and her family and her sister, Janie and her family also came with us. She continued to create the design for Above Rubies for some years before they returned to New Zealand.
Lois and her sister, Janie were also the first singers for Above Rubies. With sister harmonies, we produced their original songs to encourage and bless women. Their two recordings were called HER PRICE IS ABOVE RUBIES and THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE. They blessed thousands of women. Lois and Janie, Val Stares, and I travelled to many meetings across Australia to encourage women in Australia. I would speak, Val shared testimony, and Lois and Janie sang. Does anyone have a copy of these LPs and tapes?
Serene and Pearl were only young and as they sat around with Lois and Janie as they wrote and sang, they were inspired to also become a sister due. When they grew up, they continued producing Above Rubies music.
This year in the spring Colin and I were back in New Zealand for an Above Rubies retreat and I got to see Lois again. How wonderful it was to catch up with her.
“How are you, Lois, and what are you doing these days?” I asked when I first set eyes upon her.
She replied with the most radiant face, “I just love to seek the Lord and BEHOLD Him each new day.” What a beautiful answer. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone gave such a reply?
The following is an article that Lois wrote for Above Rubies in the very beginning, telling about her marriage that at that time of her life, she didn’t want!
I DIDN’T EVEN LIKE HIM!
“And they both lived happily ever after!”
That’s certainly not how we were going to live! It wasn’t that we didn’t want to, but we just weren’t happy together. In fact, I wasn’t happy being with Barry three days after we were married.
We became engaged two weeks after we met and were married five months later. During our engagement, I thought that the things I was doing were too important to stop doing to get to know Barry. “I’ll have plenty of time for that later,” I thought.
Alas, on our honeymoon, I realized I didn’t even like Barry very much, let alone love him.
It wasn’t that he was a bad person, but the thought of spending the rest of my life with him didn’t send me into spasms of joy. The greatest cause of our problem was that we were two people wanting to live our own lives and not give in to each other.
After several months of marital unhappiness, I wanted to leave Barry, but there was only one thing that stopped me. I was a Christian and had promised before God that I would love, honor, and cherish Barry as long as we both would live. However, I felt that unless something miraculous happened in our relationship, I was not going to be able to fulfill the promises I had made at our wedding.
The things that made me go further and further away from Barry now seem so small and insignificant. In fact, it is hard to remember them. Little things like going out for the evening and not telling me where he was going, hardly ever being on time, breaking something of mine, etc. Oh yes, I had list upon list of all the things he did that I didn’t like.
Of course, I never, never did anything wrong except be stubborn, selfish, independent, and above all, would not accept Barry as he was. I thought that by nagging and criticizing him I could make him the way I wanted him to be. But that didn’t make him change for the better, but for the worse.
Finally, I spoke to a counselor at our church and told him everything about our marriage. I announced that I was giving one more week for a change to occur. He encouraged me to accept Barry the way he was and not try to change him. We prayed and he asked God to do a real work in both Barry and me, which was our only hope. There was nothing we could do--we were too far apart and the hurts were too deep.
The following week a miraculous change came into our marriage. All the things that irritated me before seemed so unimportant and I began to see all the lovely things in Barry. I saw how good, kind, and gentle he was and so many other things.
At the same time Barry responded to the new love I had for him and he became so thoughtful and started looking for ways to please me and all I wanted to do was please him. That was five years ago and now he is my best friend and I am his best friend. We live so peacefully and are so much in love.
With all my heart, I know that because Christ was in our lives, when we called on Him He stepped in with His love and saved our marriage.
We have a little girl who is so beautiful. We call her Selah. We are so glad to have God’s principles working in our lives. Now we have the absolute confidence that we will live “happily ever after”!
LOIS JORDAN, Ashhurst, New Zealand
Don’t miss tomorrow’s article. I will print another testimony from Lois—this time a very sad one!