Joan's journey began in Wisconsin where she grew up attending a small church in West Salem. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. in Education, she taught for several years at an urban public school in Los Angeles.
Although active in the Christian church, busy as a teacher and wife, Joan fought an emptiness within her that faith could not seem to satisfy. The turning point came when she realized she had been living the Christian life in her own strength. It wasn't until she yielded to Christ, surrendering to his control that peace, power and joy became a reality.
Joan has continued her quest to know Christ and to share with others the true freedom of a surrendered life. She has taught Sunday school, served as a Stephen minister and deacon, led Bible studies and lectured for several Christian organizations. She developed and implemented the prayer ministry at her church and continues to lead the intercessory prayer team.
In addition to playing keyboard for church worship services, Joan maintains a studio of private piano students from her home. Married for 19 years, Joan and her husband Rick live in Houston, Texas with their three daughters.
Obeying God's Call: Joan's Calling to Ministry
For several years, God had been teaching me how to depend on him daily and live in the presence of his deep peace. I was bursting with stories of his faithfulness, joy and strength in my life. I felt compelled to share the latest thing I'd learned with whomever was around. Still, I hesitated when asked to be a speaker for our Bible study. I had a very active toddler at home. Imagining hours of preparation, how would I find time to organize talks each week when I barely had time for anything else? How could I do this with my young daughter in the picture? We enjoyed our days together. These were precious times.
The decision was agonizing. "God, do you want me to lecture?" Pacing through my house, I talked, prayed, and gestured toward the ceiling. "If you are calling me to this, do you mean right now? And God, what about Audrey! Is there a scripture for me? Please make it clear!"
Immediately, the word "Zephaniah" came into my mind. "Who ever hears of this book?", I thought. "It has to be God." I grabbed my Bible and found the section. Reading along, I stopped short at Zephaniah 3:8 when these words flew out at me:
"Wait for me, says the Lord, for the day I will stand up and testify."
My breath caught! I knew God was saying he would speak through me as I lectured. "Wait for me" meant he would direct my writings as I prepared the talks. I would not need to have my daughter sequestered away for hours. God would open up the time for me. When I called our Bible study director and agreed to accept the assignment, a tremendous peace flowed through me. It was another confirmation that I had stepped through the door God had opened.
As I subsequently prepared the talks, I learned how to continually rely on God, and not my own strength. I learned to listen for His voice as I poured through scripture passages asking God what He wanted me to share. Truths from His word spoke to me. Stories from my own experience would be remembered. With clarity, lost and forgotten examples became new lessons for me.
As God promised, the flow of time was squelched if I sat down with a paper and pen and "decided" to tackle the next lecture topic. Nothing would come to me because I was not "waiting for Him." But if I remained alert to God through the day, keeping the prayer thread going from within, ideas would be clear. I might be stirring soup on the stove, or swinging Audrey in the backyard when a complete paragraph would appear in my mind. I rushed to jot them down. Sometimes Audrey would fall asleep or be invited elsewhere, and an hour or two would open up. I followed God's flow, knowing I could not control it.
He is faithful. His way worked beautifully. Each lecture came together just in time.