A few weeks ago, I received a message from Rod Jetton (a young man I have always admired) that made a simple statement, followed by one of the most daunting challenges I have ever had in my life. He said, “I am writing a book about dad and mom. I’m giving their life story. I was looking for someone to write the Introduction of the book and needed someone who has known dad and mom for quite some time. I was talking to dad and he suggested you.” Immediately, my mind started wandering and wondering, Why in the world me? I’m not a writer. Bill must be afraid to let anyone else loose to write it. Boy, do I have a lot of things I would like to say. Then, I realized how huge a responsibility his request was. It would be like me setting up a reader for the final words on a person’s life. More than that, I would be setting up the final words on the lives of two people I love and admire. After thought and prayer, I said, “YES!”
When you pick up this book and read its title, you will probably ask yourself, “Why would I want to read this?” Well, I have known the Jetton family since the late 1970’s. During that time I have been blessed by their dedication, drive and determination. I have watched them serve on church staffs, associate-ional staffs and the international mission field. I feel confident that most people who read this book will identify with the storyline as told by their oldest child—Rod. A few things in this story I am just now being privy to. However, the closeness of our two families has allowed me to know more than most people.
Rod has done a fantastic job of writing about the lives of two people who are favorites of so many throughout the world—William “Willy Bill” (my nickname) and Judith Ann (Bill’s words when he wants to silence Judy) Jetton. If you are like me, you get only as big a glimpse of a person’s life as they will let you have. You dare not delve too deeply into their past. WHY? For fear you will discover something that will spoil your image of them. Or, they may close themselves off even more with an attitude of, “It’s none of your business.” Well, Bill and Judy are about as transparent as the water on upper Black River on a cool, crisp December morning. Bill and I know exactly how transparent that is. They have always opened themselves up to the people around them, and have encouraged them to do the same.
Bill and Judy amaze people with their willingness (not just their ability) to live on whatever God has given to them at that moment in time. They never beg, borrow nor complain. They will literally give you the shirt off their backs if needed. I’ve never seen a more committed couple to the Scriptural imperative, “By this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” The pages of this book are filled with just such a witness to those who read it. It is part of the spirit Rod has tried to capture. Bill and Judy are also people of prayer. Many have been the recipients of their prayers (knowingly or unknowingly).
Rod has tried to emphasize one thing to the readers of this book. Listen to the Spiritual advice of those Spiritual leaders around us. At the moment, it may seem like they are wasting our time. But, in the end, it will save us a lot of trouble. I believe, once you pick up this book you will have difficulty putting it down. You will want to know more and more of this couple who so many of us love and appreciate.
There, I’ve done it. I’ve put my final touches on the lives of Bill and Judy Jetton. May their Godly wisdom and demeanor be followed by young and old alike. And all their friends said, “Yea, verily!”