by Edgar Guest

It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ‘preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything.

Home ain’t a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be a heap o’ livin’ in it;
Within the walls there’s got t’ be some babies born, and then
Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ’em up t’ women good, an’ men;
And gradjerly as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn’t part
With anything they ever used—they’ve grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an’ if ye could ye’d keep the thumb-marks on the door.

Ye’ve got t’ weep t’ make it home, ye’ve got t’ sit an’ sigh
An’ watch beside a loved one’s bed, an’ know that Death is nigh;
An’ in the stillness o’ the night t’ see Death’s angel come,
An’ close the eyes o’ her that smiled, an’ leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an’when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an’ sanctified;
An’ tuggin’ at ye always are the pleasant memories
O’ her that was an’ is no more—ye can’t escape from these.

Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years, ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play,
An’ learn t’ love the things ye have by usin’ ’em each day;
Even the roses ’round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they ‘come a part o’ ye, suggestin’ someone dear
Who used t’ love ’em long ago, an’ trained ’em jes t’ run
The way they do, so’s they would get the early mornin’ sun;
Ye’ve got t’ love each brick an’ stone from cellar up t’ dome:
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home.

Edgar A. Guest

Born:  Birmingham, England – August 20, 1881
Died:  Detroit, Michigan – August 5, 1959

This post has been posthumously published at Leslie’s request.

My Jesus, I Love Thee

My Jesus, I Love Thee

by William R. Featherstone

1)   My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

2)   I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

3)   I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

4)   In mansions of glory and endless delight
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now. 

A little about William R. Featherstone . . .

Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, William Featherstone most likely wrote this hymn at the age of sixteen on the occasion of his conversion and/or baptism. He sent the text to his aunt in Los Angeles, who sent it to friends in London, where it was published anonymously in the London Hymn Book to a now forgotten tune. Adoniram Judson Gordon found it, wrote a new tune for it, and also published it anonymously in The Service of Song for Baptist Churches. It wasn’t until around 1930, fifty years after its publication, that enough research had been done to establish Featherstone as the author, who had died at the young age of 28. Today, it is a much loved hymn of assurance and confession of faith, with words of comfort and peace. And perhaps bolstering the power of the text is Featherstone’s story itself. A young man with no connections, who simply wrote a poem one night about his own faith, has, unbeknownst to him, come to bless millions. God certainly works in mysterious ways to use the gifts and talents of his people.

‘Til the Storm Passes By

‘Til the Storm Passes By

by Mosie Lister

1)  In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face,
While the storm howls above me, and there’s no hiding place.
‘Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry,
“Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.”

‘Til the storm passes over, ’til the thunder sounds no more,
‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.

2)  Many times Satan whispered, “There is no use to try,
For there’s no end of sorrow, there’s no hope by and by.”
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I’ll rise
Where the storms never darken the skies.

‘Til the storm passes over, ’til the thunder sounds no more,
‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.

3)  When the long night has ended and the storms come no more,
Let me stand in Thy presence on that bright, peaceful shore.
In that land where the tempest never comes, Lord, may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

‘Til the storm passes over, ’til the thunder sounds no more,
‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.


Mosie Lister

This hymn isn’t one I was familiar with as a youth. Probably ten years ago, I discovered it while playing through one of my hymnals on the piano. It has become one of my favorites and I hope it’s an encouragement to you, too. We all have storms in our lives—perhaps generated by the weather like the one that just hit Louisiana again—sometimes financial, sometimes relational, sometimes our health. It is good to know we have a God Who cares and will ride out the storm with us and not abandon us through it all.

We are so grateful

Our Father in Heaven has arranged for all of our needs to be met. Jon continues on his road to full recovery through:

  • Your fervent prayers,
  • Weekly visits of his experienced and caring Home Health nurse,
  • Three times daily antibiotic infusions provided by Todd and/or Liz,
  • Substantial breakfast and lunch prepared by Todd and/or Liz, and
  • Todd accompanying Jon to his doctor appointments.

Todd shared the following with our Pastor John Tiffin. He said it so well, I’ve copied and pasting here for you: 

Good morning John, 

All of us are doing well. Jon has had follow up appointments with a cardiologist and his primary care physician. Both have found him to be in remarkably good health (other than the present staph infection). He has maintained a good diet over the years (Leslie always fed him well) and he has remained very active caring for things around their house. I think both of these specialists were expecting a recently hospitalized 70 year old man to have much greater underlying issues with diet and exercise. 

He has an appointment with his infectious disease doctor on October 21st.  We will find out then if his current course of antibiotics will end on November 1st  as expected, or if he will need to extend the course of treatment. 

Leslie’s condition is stable for the most part. She has had some congestion lately, which can be very difficult for her since she is unable to swallow.

The meals have been such an incredible blessing. When we picked Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday as the days for meal drop offs, it honestly was a random selection. But these days have proven to be ideal. Tuesdays and Thursdays are most often the days when we have doctor’s appointments and home health visits. These are usually long exhausting days and it is such a big help to have a meal delivered on those days. Now that Finn is here, we try to make some extra time for him on Saturdays. He’s a pretty adaptable kiddo and we’ve explained to him the Grandpa Jon and Grandma Leslie are both very sick. But he’s also a toddler and he needs some time to run and play and be loud. So the meals on Saturdays also give us more freedom to care for Jon and Leslie and also make time for our little boy. 

Every meal so far has been excellent. Thoughtfully and lovingly prepared. And they have been meals that Jon has found to be very satisfying. We are so grateful for the love and support of the church. We are upheld by your prayers and your tangible care. 

God is Able,


Thank you for your cards, 
expressions of love and
thoughtful acts of kindness.


Jody Langford Photography


As a follow-up to yesterday’s post . . .

You may send an email to Kathrene Tiffin
(Pastor’s wife at Baywood Park Community Church) at
sched@baywoodchurch.com .
If my instructions yesterday caused any confusion,
please forgive me.
Kathrene is graciously coordinating meals.
She will provide what you need
to know if you’d like to help.

Thanks so much❣️

We’re still here . . .

Just when we all thought 2020 had generated enough confusion, dread, and frustration for an entire lifetime, along came September 18. Jon said everything went dark when he arrived by ambulance at French Hospital with only a faint recollection of being semi-conscious. We really believe he was very close to not pulling through. Truly, without our neighbor summoning 911, the EMTs swiftly coming to our home, Emergency Room personnel’s immediate action, and God’s intervention . . . Jon probably would no longer be alive on Planet Earth.

Kathryn has returned home to San Francisco. She was of immense help as she quickly stepped in to oversee my care, helping calm me, taking over household chores, and even assisting with the transfer of ownership of our seven hens to a trusted friend. That was especially difficult for her as she had developed a special bond with our friendly, productive chickens. At this time in our lives, we need to shed nonessential responsibilities and simplify our lives.

Laura assists remotely from Chattanooga making needed and sometimes critical phone calls on Jon’s and my behalf. Kathryn continues to help with the same. Liz and Todd have moved in with us and are helping establish a regular routine for Jon’s intravenous antibiotics which must be administered every eight hours. We have visits from Jon’s Home Health nurse, dietitian, and more as well as my weekly Palliative Care nurse visit. Medical supplies deliveries, too. Jon has upcoming doctor appointments, and Todd will provide transportation and accompany him. They are washing loads of laundry, sorting through items in our pantry, and shopping for food and other essentials. Liz is providing my liquid diet via my feeding pump, giving me bolus water injections in-between meals through my feeding tube, giving me nebulizer treatments in an effort to help with my increasingly thick, sticky mucus, and generally trying to make sure my needs are met. We have an essential oil diffuser and a humidifier running 24/7, too. As you can see, there are no dull moments in our lives. My grandmother would say, “Looks like you’ve got a 3-ring circus happening around there.” Each of us has been quite exhausted by midday, if not sooner. Additionally, Todd or Liz  have been responsible for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for Jon and themselves. Soon, our 3-year-old (going on 4) grandson, Finn, will be added to the mix!

Baywood Park Community Church where we attend will graciously coordinate some evening meal provisions. If you are subscribed to my blog and live locally, I will include you in an email with contact information. There is absolutely no pressure, but if you’re able and would like to participate, you’ll know how to do so. If you want to help and don’t receive my email today, please email me directly if you have my email address (not posting here to thwart potential spammers) or post a comment and I’ll make sure you get the details.

We appreciate your faithful prayers and uplifting comments as we continue to navigate through this most challenging season of our lives. I’ve always appreciated Jesus’ words as recorded in Matthew 6:34 (Revised Standard Version):

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
Let the day’s own trouble
be sufficient for the day.

The Update We’ve Been Waiting For

Jon is Back Home!

I’m too fatigued to go into much detail but wanted you to praise God along with us that Jon arrived home before noon today. Two specialty RNs with Central Coast Home Health arrived mid afternoon to train us in administering his antibiotic every eight hours for the next six weeks and another RN will be here later tonight for more hands-on training. Follow-up medical appointments are in the works. Jon will be spending the night in his own bed.

We are so grateful for your prayers
and ask that you continue to pray
as Jon still has quite a journey
back to good health.

Update No. 3 concerning Jon . . .

  • Jon must spend a sixth night at French Hospital.
  • We are hopeful he will be released tomorrow (Thursday) morning to come home.
  • His platelet count was up slightly today which is a good thing.
  • The hospital used the opportunity to run a few additional diagnostic tests.
  • Still waiting on some lab test results.
  • Jon was queuing for 2:00 p.m. for the new PICC line but the procedure didn’t begin until about 3:30 p.m.
  • Home health nurse could not come to our house so late tonight to teach us how to push the prescription antibiotic into Jon’s new PICC line.
  • Since Jon’s staph infection is in his heart on a valve that has already been repaired, they’re not taking any chances on skipping any IV antibiotics or altering his infusion schedule. This is very serious!

Preparations are underway to make necessary adjustments so that when Jon finally comes home, we’re ready and able to care and provide for him and for me in the best way possible.

Thank you so much for your prayers,
words of encouragement, and
thoughtful acts of kindness 

that help bolster endurance
in such a time as this.

Update No. 2 concerning Jon . . .

My special man is spending his fifth night at French Hospital. He is, to put it mildly, very disappointed that he wasn’t released today. He is in the queue to receive a new PICC line which should happen tomorrow. We are also waiting on additional lab results to show more conclusively how the staph is responding to the antibiotic that’s being administered. His platelet count is still low but not quite as low as yesterday.

To paint a more accurate picture, the COVID-19 rules at French Hospital permit only one visitor per stay. So Liz is the only person allowed to go see Jon. No exceptions. Understandably, he is quite lonely and sad. We’ve all tried to remind him that he’s there because he has been very ill and everyone is trying to help him get better as soon as possible. 

Thank you for continuing to send your encouraging messages. Means so much. Your prayers are invaluable.

A special longtime friend stopped by yesterday to bring a bouquet of flowers and a card. The card is unique and meaningful at a time like this. Since a picture’s worth a thousand words . . . or more, I’m sharing it here along with a few of her encouraging words.

“I’m reminded that the tide
will never be so high
that HE won’t be able to keep us safe.
We may be a bit worn & wet . . . !”

Update No. 1 concerning Jon . . .

Here’s what we know so far, but keep in mind . . . information changes without notice.

  • Jon has tested positive for MSSA staph infection (staphylococcus aureus).
  • There is still fluid in his lungs.
  • They performed a TEE test yesterday (TEE – A transesophageal echocardiogram is a special type of echocardiogram. It is usually done when your doctor wants to look more closely at your heart to see if it could be producing blood clots. Like an echocardiogram, the TEE uses high-frequency sound waves [ultrasound] to examine the structures of the heart.) Jon was required to swallow a tiny camera for this procedure.
  • Jon’s TEE was inconclusive—the doctor noted enough shadow or “vegetation” on the valve to be suspicious.
  • This type of staph is known to cause infection on heart valves, especially heart valves that have been altered/modified—Jon had an open-heart mitral valve repair in 2004.
  • Jon had a PICC line inserted yesterday to prep him for a six-week round of home-health antibiotics, but we just learned that line will need to be swapped out for a different PICC line tomorrow.
  • He was moved out of ICU late last evening to a step-down room.
  • His blood platelets are low, but they’re not sure why.
  • His appetite seems to be improving—he ate a pretty good breakfast and lunch today.
  • He could be discharged as early as tomorrow. No guarantee.

This has all been very overwhelming. Kathryn arrived Friday evening. Liz flew in yesterday from Houston. Todd and our three-year-old Grandson Finn, will fly in on Wednesday evening. Without their help, I may have been put out to pasture by now.

Thank you for your concern, prayers,
and heartfelt comments.

Even though it may not be possible to respond to each of your notes, please know I will read each and every one. As I texted to a friend yesterday—

“If life here on earth gets any more ‘exciting’ than this,
I don’t want to know about it.”