Friday, June 30, 2017


I've done a lot of exciting things in my life, but the most fulfilling of all was being a wife, a mother and a grandmother.

Family is scattered all the way to Heaven but some of us who are left on this mountain sometimes gather with those who come for a visit. Today is one of those days.  Son Jeff and Carla will soon drive in from Sacramento and will be here for a couple of days.  Dee and Brent's Lexi is temporarily at home. Two of Doug and Robin's three children have moved back from Coeur d'lene, Idaho. Their youngest,  Madi Jane and Dee's Lexi came to my house on Tuesday and brought me indescribable joy.  I listened to them laugh and remember the wonderful times we have had as a family in this home. They volunteered to cook and vacuum. I did not object.

We mothers/grandmothers have a choice to make: We can either guilt trip our children into feeling responsible for our happiness or we can have gratitude for His careful attention to our every need, let them go and pray unceasingly as they figure out that without Christ there is no meaning whatsoever to life.

Our Heavenly Father, may those in leadership of our country who know You speak up and may those who do not know you shut up!  May our President understand that this country was only "great" in the past because the leaders understood that "Because You live, we live also." 

                               MY COUNTRY, 'TIS OF THEE

My country 'tis of Thee; 
Sweet land of liberty!
Of Thee I sing.
Land where our fathers died; 
Land of the pilgrim's pride.
From every mountain side
Let freedom ring!

Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of Liberty!
To Thee we sing!
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's Holy Light
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King! 

In Jesus' Holy Name. Amen

Love, Jo

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summertime Show

Last Sunday morning tree branches outside my patio door were swaying. Wait a minute! I don't have a tree there! Slowly pushing aside the vertical blinds I slid open the glass door and peered straight into the eyes of a full size male Tule elk!  Startling! Beautiful! Majestic! He shook his antlers at me while I fumbled around in my pocket for my I phone camera. By the time I figured out how to use it the animal was ambling up the hill. I managed to snap a picture of his huge hind quarters.

Speaking of  "huge hind quarters" in a few minutes I will join thirty or so older women and men at the pool for exercise. I will follow Marti's instructions to "MOVE it!" Water exercise is not only good for our bodies, but for our souls as well.

Bear Valley Springs is a gated game reserve. We have our own police and fire departments. We drink water from wells. Besides elk our other large animals are hundreds of deer, some bears and mountain lions. The little guys are raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, rodents, skunks, opossums,  bob cats, coyotes and probably some others. Birds? Oh, my goodness! Even condors! Snakes?  We have them. It is soothing to know that 'way back in the Garden after the seductive serpent did his number on the first people, God chopped off his legs, cursed him and told him to "Crawl!"  Yes, I sleep on my twenty-foot high deck in the summertime. Am I afraid? No. In the five cities in which we lived I sometimes was. Now I look up at the stars God calls by name and feel comforted.

In the Millennium lions will lie down and take naps with lambs. ...a lovely visual. "The devil made me do it" will not fly as an excuse for sinning because the enemy of our souls will be bound and gagged. We will be here and will be judging angels. I guess my training for that assignment isn't finished and since you're reading this, neither is yours.

"Summertime. When the livin' is easy. Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high.  Your mammy's rich and your daddy's good lookin' hush, lil' baby, don' you cry."  Oh.  Sorry. Wrong show.

Christie is picking me up to go into our little mountain town to the Farmer's Market. We will listen to some music and buy fresh-picked garden sass. That's what my Grandma used to call it.

Do your best to think and speak with gratitude today about something. It will change your mood and bless others.

            Hymn from the 1800's

For the beauty of the earth;
For the glory of the skies
For the love which from our birth 
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise. 

Love,  Jo

Friday, June 16, 2017

Our groans; His groans

Hi, Sweeties,

It is summer. I am doing water aerobics. ... in a wetsuit.  Getting into said "wetsuit" requires more strenuous stretching than I get in the water.  Getting out of it uses the few muscles I didn't exert\ getting into it.  Suggestion:  Buy a two piecer.

"It is no secret."  Remember that wonderful Stuart Hamblen song?  Most of you never heard of Stu whom Billy G. led to Christ during his first Crusade in Los Angeles. His name brings up a story. Stuart's wife was speaking for a Christian Women's Club in Bakersfield, California. One of my new friends was Sukie Haymond. Sukie was a Scripps College graduate, a tall, elegant lady that would have looked glamorous in sackcloth. Melania. Her grammar was flawless. I invited her to hear Susie Hamblen.  That down-home lady dropped every "g", and massacred the English language worse than I had heard since I left the farm in Kansas. I was mortified.  Sukie Haymond became a Christian that day.

A couple of Sundays ago the pastor where I attend said "I have came".   I stifled a groan, refused to flinch, strolled by him after church, hugged him and smiled. I am learning to ignore most everything but the heart.

One of the young women I am teaching is now teaching me. She is one of the most arduous students of the Word I have ever worked with. Her grammar is, well, ..  Once in awhile I start to correct her and then think of Sukie Haymond  and say to myself: "Oh, what the heck?"

We all groan. ...for different reasons. "We know that the whole earth has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth (ugh!)  up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit groan inwardly as we wait for the first fruits of adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies."  Read on: "The Spirit iintercedes for us with wordless groans". 


Praise the Saviour, we who know Him.
Who can tell how much we owe Him? 
Gladly let us render to Him 
All we are and have.

"Jesus" is the Name that charms us

He for conflict fits and arms us.
Nothing moves and nothing harms us 
While we trust in Him.

Trust in Him, ye saints, forever 
He is faithful, changing never. 
Neither guile nor force can sever 
Those He loves, from Him.

Keep us Lord, O keep us cleaving
To Thyself and still believing. 
Till the hour of our receiving
Promised joys from Him

Then we shall be what we should be 
Then we shall be what we should be
Things that are not now nor could be
Soon shall be our own. 

Love,  Jo

Friday, June 9, 2017

Author and Finisher of our Faith

Faith in my ability to think right can only take me so far; then  I must press past that stuck-place and listen only to His voice. Ahhh, ...We have direct access to the Mind of Christ!

I started to be an auditory learner at five years old in a one-room country school where all eight grades recited. Now, as my eyesight is being compromised by macular degeneration I listen to scripture on my cell phone and give my eyes a rest.  Ahhh, ...modern technology!

Three of  our grandchildren who were raised on this mountain are home for the summer. One ran into my house last week and yelled: "Gramma, where's your rifle?  I just ran over a snake!" I helped her load my 32 gauge single shot, she drove back down my driveway, pumped that snake full of lead and cut off his head with a shovel.  Like the devil he continued to twist, twitch and squirm.  Ahhh. ...he's a defeated foe, but he won't admit it! The other three grandchilkdren  are in Coeur d' Laine, Idaho, Sacramento, California  and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  I am needed only to pray  Ahhh, ,..the blessed life of a Christian grandmother!

O.K., off to the pool after I struggle into my wetsuit. There, I will slide into the water and follow Marti's instructions to move body parts that have not willingly moved in months  Ahhh, ...the healing power of water!


Come, Thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace. 
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it!
Mount of Thy redeeming love. 

Love, Jo

Friday, June 2, 2017

Between now and then

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing, by the Word of God. Deeper faith comes by calling to memory God's faithfulness throughout our lifetime. We can then embrace Philippians 1:6 and be "confident of this:very thing:  That He which began a good work in us will complete it until the Day of Jesus Christ."  In Deuteronomy 1:30,31 we are reminded of three evidences of His faithfulness: He has always 1) gone before us; He has always 2) fought for us; He has always 3) carried us, as a Father carries his son, all the way until we reached this place.

The evidence demands a verdict: Jesus is, indeed, the "Author and Finisher of our Faith".  

Faith is the Victory
Faith is the Victory
Oh, glorious Victory
That overcomes the world

Love, Jo