Thursday, September 27, 2018

Three D''s

If you are still reading this blog, may you receive rewards for your love, patience and forbearance in putting up with an elderly woman’s stories, thoughts, ideas, concepts and conclusions. …some of which may not be worth a plugged nickel.   …whatever a “plugged nickel” is.

Today I will meet with a few women in the Book of Genesis.  What can a few women do?  What women have always done: learn; share, pray, and give birth.  It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to cram in any more Bible knowledge if there are no new babies to nurture.  Now, does it? 

Ya’ know,  there’s hardly a family that isn’t plagued with one, two or three of the Big D’s:  divorce, death or divisions.  Prayer meetings can be disheartening if we pray only for the sick Christians and forget about the little lost lambs that have yet to be born.  My Ted used to make some people very uncomfortable when he asked them: "How many non-Christian friends do you have now?"

That's about it for today. Last week’s blog was too long.  I have repented.

"...and the life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me".

Love,  Jo

Thursday, September 20, 2018


Nothing was going right.  The Mulligan Room head waitress had not been informed that I was coming to entertain singers and diners. Hungry people were arriving. The Women’s Golf Association had left the patio tables and chairs in disarray.  The meat bees had been informed that we were coming. Anticipating this, I was armed with fly swatters and a can of RAID. A few arriving people muttered. 

None of my fellow musicians could join me. They were scattered all the way to Spain.  I flipped the on switch to my microphone.  Dead.  My keyboard came alive.  Hoorray!  The sun was glaring straight into my face.  A resourceful woman found a piece of cardboard and tried to block it out. Didn't work. Five Bakersfield friends ambled in from Down Below.  Any thought of  cancelling the show evaporated.  I invited the growing group to turn to # 4 in my Singalong book. Ol’  Bill Bailey may have left his weeping wife but he’s always good for launching a toe-tapping Singalong. …then “Sweet Georgia Brown” and "Ain't She Sweet?"  and a floundering party just might be on its wobbly way. 

I’m thinking: These people don’t know each other. This is not my first rodeo. What have I done before to pull together an unconnected crowd?  O.K., I’ll invite them to tell about their summer travels. "W., tell us about your trip to Kentucky.”  She had had a terrible traveling experience which put her in the hospital for a hernia operation.   We need to change the mood here, so I called on Lauraine,  my writer/friend who always brings smiles to every gathering.  She told us about her upcoming motor home trip to Minot, North Dakota where she and Wayne will rendezvous with Norwegians that gather from around the world.  Picture THAT! Hundreds of Scandinavians. Remembering. Connecting. REconnecting. Laughing. Discussing. Probably arguing. Eating.  I hope they dance.

G. and R. told about the missionaries they will soon visit in Australia. Ahh,  thought I.  The word "missionary"  might trigger a conversation about the Lord. I called on D., a dear Bakersfield friend, and asked her to say a few words. Her “few words” took us right where I hoped they would. 

Some fellow, whose name I do not know stood up and said: “O.K., Jo, you’ve got us talking. What’s your story?” I thought they’d never ask. …so I told them the short version of my long story. …which is all about traveling with Christ.

We sang some more. The night grew chilly. The local folk filtered out toward their mountain homes; the flat landers lingered to sing some more before traveling back down the mountain.  Despite the fact that almost everything that could go wrong, did, everybody had a good time on a Fallish night, outside, at the Mulligan Room, in Bear Valley Springs, California.

Tell me the story of Jesus.
Write on my heart, every word.
Tell me the story most precious
Sweetest that ever was heard.

Love,  Jo

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Before we figure out how to use a new device, it's obsolete.  I am just figuring out life. So are a great many in their 80's and 90's.  I will tell you about a couple of women who are not "obsolete". Both are in retirement homes. One, in Houston; the other in Fresno. They don't know each other.  They will. Before long.  But not quite yet.

The one in Houston is not computer savvy.  She can't read my blog, but manages to stay reasonably "with it"  anyway. She is Swedish.  Despite that, she has a sense of humor.  Her penmanship is perfect.  Mine looks like chicken scratches, so I call or type letters to her.  She always responds, reporting first of all on the weather. What I have never told her is that we left Houston because of the weather. 

Then there's R.  In Fresno. She's 93. ...or maybe 94. Doesn't matter. She is still a barrel of fun.  R. and F.  were the couple Ted and I chose to counsel our daughter and her man before their marriage.  F.  was a new Christian.  He didn't know much scripture but he sure knew how to live life with integrity.  R. and I have lots of laughs.

I hang pretty much with people who can laugh at their own humanness.  Take my current pastor.  He does that. ...chuckles at himself.  I like that.  On Sunday mornings I sit practically under his nose. …for two reasons:  I don’t hear so well anymore. The other?  People tend to download their agonies on me. …so I wear my pretend horse blinders …the kind my dad put on his four- horse team to keep them focused on the job.  My “job” is to stay as sane as possible in an insane world.

The aortic aneurysm in my chest hasn’t blown up yet. The hiatal hernia is just hanging out in my rib cage. All of you readers have something “hanging out”. …so let’s just cut our losses and enjoy what we’ve got left.

Tonight:  another Singalong outside. It will be chilly. Oh, well. 

Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that you may be blameless and harmless in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.  …holding forth the Word of God.   Philippians 2 something or other.

Love,  Jo

Friday, September 7, 2018

Soup Kettle

At another time and in another place Ted and I were on the staff of a ministry launched by guys who had just graduated from seminary. Here’s how the format was set up:  A group of believers build relationships with people with no belief in a Higher Poweer.  All are invited to a discussion  in homes, offices and schools about “Life and God”. The discussion is to last only fifty-nine minutes. ...which it did   Just when the conversation was going somewhere, the time was up.  …very unsettling to me, but not to my husband.  He was far more at peace with "dangling ends" than I. 

The leaders of this ministry were of the opinion that the human soul contains only a MIND.  I have wondered how many of their marriages ended up in divorce. …or murder.  One more of their conclusions went like this: All around the globe, people have only twelve most asked-questions about “Life and God”. I have double that number of questions every morning before breakfast.  

God’s pilgrim-children, down through the ages have been allowed to ask God all kinds of questions about Himself and about Life. All have expressed the gamut of their emotions. Not very often has He struck them dead.

In the Soup Kettle of my mind this morning simmered a mixture of feelings and thoughts. Then a wisp of a scripture intruded:  Take every thought captive.”   “Absurd!” I thought.  “Utterly absurd!”. …then came another bit of scripture: "Whatsoever is worthy of praise, THINK on these things”. 

Now, that’s the tricky part: Deciding to praise Him in the midst of awful situations, and then actually doing it. I think that must be the meaning of offering to our Lord "the sacrifice of praise."  What do you think? 

Love,  Jo