I am:

  • A Wife...to Steve Stern, and this is the joy of my life.
  • A mom...of three amazing daughters – Whitney, Tori & Tess as well as my only begotten son, Josiah. Whitney is married to Corey who is a huge blessing to our family (and Whit likes him a lot as well).
  • A pastor…at Westside Church in Bend, Oregon. It’s a place I love dearly and it’s been a joy to serve on staff there for nearly eight years. To discover more about the church I call home, just jump on the information superhighway and take a sharp left at www.westsidechurch.org.
  • A speaker...at churches, youth and women’s events. This may be why you’re actually on this site. Choosing a speaker is such an interesting thing, isn’t it? I’ve found that it’s one of the bigger conundrums in ministry as there are a lot of great speakers out there, but not every one is right for every group. I don’t have a lot of empty space in my schedule, but I do book as many speaking engagements outside my church as I and my family can comfortably handle. There are a couple of messages here and here for your listening enjoyment, so you can see if we might be a good match for one another. Also, reading my (often random) blog will help you understand who I am. The best way to contact me for booking information is by email at: bstern@westsidechurch.org.
  • A pretend chef.
  • Pretty sure that there will be Food Network in heaven.
  • A political news junkie (it’s an affliction).

I am not:

  • Tall.
  • A professional stuntwoman.
  • Ready to slow down yet.
  • A vegetarian.
  1. Keri Donnigan says:

    Remember me? I was the worship leader for the ladies retreat for Hope Foursquare in Leavenworth on your birthday. I can’t tell you what an impact you made on my life. God did something big that week-end. I so relate to you and your speaking style. I wish we could have heard you speak more. Also, I am now getting up early and having quiet time every morning since the retreat. I am not a morning person either. This is a miracle in itself. I just wanted to let you know that you are truly being used of God in so many ways. I bless your compassion, kindness and realness. Thanks again! Keri

  2. bolovesjoe says:

    Keri, Of course I remember you! I enjoyed my time with you and the Hope women so much! Thanks so much for your encouraging words. I hope your mornings are changing your life – it’s the biggest change that has ever happened in mine. -Bo

  3. Kathleen Doane says:

    I just attended the Selah seminar at George Fox Last Saturday, Not only did I start my walking this morning I also had a hour in the bible, prayer and journaling. This made a significant change in my day and I feel like I have been close to God ever since Saturday. I know this was good because yesterday I was on a spiritual high and this morning started out rough but after the hour I spend I was back at the Plate and I dont mean china.
    I know you had a impact on me because it always sounds like a good Idea but usually never happens(hour with God).

    Heres the thing, I bought 3 student joy project books(for me my mom and a gal who is going through a rough time) and went to study this morning and realized I should have got the CD as well. Could I buy one? Where? how?

    P.S you are so funny

  4. Annette Swor says:

    Hi Bo,

    I met you at the Selah Conference just a week or so ago. We just had our Women’s Conference this week-end at Macleay Christian Retreat Center in South Salem and I’m already looking forward to next falls conference. (By the way I LOVE fall too!) Anyway, would you please consider being our conference speaker next October 1,2 & 3rd . We are Canby Foursquare Church in Canby, OR and this years conference speaker was Tammy Donahoo our Interim General Supervisor of Foursquare.


    Thank you and I’ll look forward to hearing from you,
    Annette Swor

  5. bolovesjoe says:

    Kathleen – thanks for your comment! The DVD’s can be ordered through my web site http://www.bostern.com. They’re backordered right now, but will be available in about a week or so I believe. Bless your walking and seeking…He will be found by you!

    Annette – I emailed you! 🙂

  6. Debby says:

    I am earnestly studying the Word like never before…but have never really used a Greek/Hebrew dictionary, study help. What do you recommend? Any other study helps…you could recommend would be greatly appreciated!

  7. Debby says:

    whoops…somehow I deleted my subscription…will try again

  8. bolovesjoe says:

    Hi Debby,

    I love E-Sword software. You can download it online for free (at http://www.e-sword.com, I believe) and it has a Strong’s Concordance and a lot of add-on study tools that make life really easy and wonderful for me. I got the KJV and ESV versions of the Bible for free and purchased the NLT, Nave’s and Matthew Henry Commentaries to round it out. If you aren’t computer saavy, you can do a lot with just a basic Strong’s (you can get them used at http://www.half.com and they’re very reasonable) and I also really LOVE the Zondervan Bible Handbook or the Hayford Bible Handbook. Any of those resources will be a good starting point…if I only had to choose one, I would pick the Zondervan. For the price and information, it’s a treasure.

    Bless you as you pursue the rich and incomparable Word of God!


  9. Gary Arctic says:

    You need to write more often you do a good job

  10. Karen McWilliams says:

    Just wanted to thank you for coming to Lincoln City Church and saying so many meaningful things to us. I trust the Lord stored the comments tailor made for me in my head so I can visit them again this week. My 22yr. old son was back from college this weekend and he was in Sunday morning’s service. I mentioned we had a speaker and at the end the service he looked directly at me and gave me a thumbs up. That’s huge! I’m so pleased he got to hear you.

    He attends a Lutheran college ( a strange journey the Lord’s taking him on, since we’re not Lutheran), but some of the classes he’s taking are more like Bible Trivia Pursuit. In his New Testament Studies class his test ask questions like: Which of these cities did not have a synagogue? What was the name of the hill that…? It seems to me that a class over the New Testament ought to at least be about Christ and his character, lead you to falling in love with Jesus, or stir up a hunger and thirst for God. I was so excited when I heard his course titles, and then deeply saddened when I found out the content. I believe the Lord can use any situation to draw us to Him, but I struggled to see how this was going to work. I guess I don’t have to know everything, maybe Christ wouldn’t drop the class, but his mind would definitely be wandering.

    Thanks again for shining the light of God’s word directly on our hearts this weekend, and allowing it to be what it’s intended, up close and personal. How else can we see ourselves clearly?

    We get that here each Sunday, Praise the Lord, and I’m glad that my son got a special dose of your spirit led perspective!

  11. bolovesjoe says:

    Karen – thanks so much for your encouraging words. I’m always so excited to hear good reports! And you know, I will TAKE the thumbs-up from your boy and cherish it in my little heart! I will be praying for him as he continues his education. I’ve been studying Martin Luther and I often wonder what he would think of the colleges that bear his name.

    Be blessed as you pursue Him…you are dear!


  12. Melissa Campbell says:


    I went to your website in search of your Joy Project workbook. I heard you talk about it at the Selah 2009 conference. It looks like the links on your website are broken.

    I am wanting to purchase a workbook.


    Melissa Campbell

  13. bolovesjoe says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Sorry about the broken link…I’m not very techno-saavy. Just email me and I’ll send you what you need! http://www.bolovesjoe@gmail.com.

    Bless you!


  14. brittany dolyniuk says:

    IAM searching for an old sermon of yours about the love of god that i want my mom to hear and i cant find it 8( and i NEEEEED IT! lol if you have it i would love tooo listen to it again and so i can have my mom hear it

  15. Annette Swor says:

    Hi Bo,

    We’re really looking forward to you speaking at our Fall Conference Oct. 1-3. I want to let you know that if you have a guest you want to bring they can register at canbyfoursquare.com. Call me if you have any questions.

    Annette Swor

  16. Melissa Dodge says:

    Hi Bo,
    A very close family friend of mine recommended your blog to me, and recommended it again when I said I hadn’t read it yet. I wanted to share this with you as she passed away in September and I have been thinking about letting you know. Her name was Connie Stych and she was in a bible study with you a long time ago (she may have even led the study?)…I am thinking it was in Pittsburgh. She was like a mother to me and helped raised me and saw your blog as being a thing that would inspire me. She really enjoyed your blog and thought you are down to earth and have a lot of good things to say. She loved your thoughts about marriage and just your take on life. So thank you for being an inspiration and a connection that I shared with Connie. It is a hard loss and a very sudden one as she got sick, went to the hospital where we found she had cancer and she died 5 days later. If you remember her and want to see more about it, you can still visit her caring bridge site under conniestych.

  17. bolovesjoe says:

    Melissa – thank you so much for that note! I enjoyed Connie so much while I lived in Lincoln. She was a woman of faith and fun and I believe we studied the book of Mark in a Bible Study that she led. My brother-in-law had sent me word of her death, but I went to the Caring Bridge site and read all the entries as well. I’m certain she is LOVING her new home, but has left quite a void in your heart…so I will be rejoicing for her and praying for comfort and joy for you.

    Bless you,

  18. Mark Neuman says:

    Thanks Bo. You and Steve are in our prayers!

  19. Kim Summers says:

    Amazing!!!! I do have to tell you, I thought you were possibly talking about Jeff Sprague at first!! He’s similar to Jesus too….. (Did that make you laugh?)

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