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Blessings to you, Jo,

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Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, honored Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. After World War I, the purpose of the day broadened to include all men and women who died in U.S. military service. Today, we often think of Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer–a long weekend with a car race, playoff basketball, and brats and burgers on the grill.  

Thank you to all who served and sacrifice for each of us. We honor you and your memory.

Jason Douglas Woodward

1972 -  1974


Father's Day reminds me of my father and all the generations before him. Some of them served in the wars and were P.O.W's. 

I will share one story later this year.

It is also a reminder of my son, Jason Douglas Woodward. 

Jason was a beautiful boy who had red hair and beautiful brown eyes. He loved to follow me around and always wanted me to read a book to him.

An accident happened in our backyard two days before his second birthday. 

At the hospital, a doctor came in to see me and my first husband. We were anxiously waiting and praying in the waiting room. He told us that Jason had frontal brain damage and they could not operate. He passed early the following morning.


Life would never be the same for us. My two beautiful daughters lost their brother. We had another son and a daughter but our marriage never survived this loss and we divorced. My children have experienced the loss of their brother in different ways over the years.

My daughter, Dianna, and I started a scholarship at a college we both attended and our family has donated our time, talents, and finances throughout the years for a variety of causes.

The photo on the left is the last photo taken before he passed away.

Little did we know three months later he would pass. He died the day before his second birthday, two days before Father's Day. His wake was on his second birthday.

I took the photo on the right when we visited my grandmother, Josephine. He loved her and my parents, Anthony and Pearl.

Yes, I celebrate Father's Day, but it is also a reminder of his brief life.

We were so blessed to have him in our lives. I rejoice in knowing one day I will meet my sweet boy again.

Are you in the midst of a detour?


We have a plan to take a certain route and then a detour happens, keeping us from our original route. Detours usually pop up when least expected.  

Today, we can use the map system in our cars, phone, or just our own mental map.

Detours can be good things that often feel bad. Oh yes, detours can be a good thing.

I’m on a detour in my life. I’m 71 and in a divinely designed detour. There are positive interruptions designed to divert us down a better path so that we might reach our destination.

My destination has been to create a nonprofit, the Jason Douglas Woodward foundation, in memory of my son. DETOUR! This was not on my radar.

I’m working on the paperwork for the 501 (c) (3). I committed my heart to children’s literacy by inspiriting a passion for reading for all children, helping to give every child the fundamentals for success in life. 

My children’s historical fiction series will be out later this year. DETOURS!

In the summer of 2023, I will launch a virtual Christian writing summer camp for children.

Please pray for me and this new detour. If you would like to learn more about this detour, please connect with me.

Blessings, Jo

Connect with Jo.

Women of Faith

 Charlotte Elliott

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On September 22, 1871, an elderly British lady, 82 years young, passed into her heavenly reward. Earlier in her life, in 1835, her frustration at being an invalid left her feeling useless and questioning her very salvation. What she did next would echo through history.

As a young woman, Charlotte Elliott was not sure of her relationship with Christ, not sure of how to be saved, even though she was a minister’s daughter, and the probing question of a Swiss evangelist, “Are you at peace with God?”, would not leave her mind. When she saw the evangelist a few weeks later, she mentioned she could not shake his question. But, she protested, what could she possibly bring to God? When he replied she need not bring anything but herself, she gladly accepted Christ.

Some twelve years later, in 1835, crippled by illness and constant fatigue, she felt saddened by her inability to help a local church’s cause. Remembering her conversion, she took out pen and paper and wrote a poem to encourage others who felt perhaps they too had nothing to give.

People inundated her with requests for her poem. She was happy to discover later that some copies were being sold to raise money for the very cause she felt helpless to assist!

After her death, they found thousands of letters in her home, written by people whose words had transformed their lives.

Her song was transcribed into hundreds of languages, published in over 1600 hymnals, has reached billions around the world, and continues to bring people to Christ even today.

Sixty years later, on this date, in 1931, a 31-year-old man riding in the sidecar of his brother’s motorcycle in England finally came to the end of his internal struggle against whether Christ was indeed the Son of God. He finally knew in his soul that indeed Jesus was just whom He said He was! He realized God calls us to Him “just as we are”.

When C. S. Lewis stepped out of the sidecar, he was a new man, saved by grace!

Ninety-nine years after Charlotte Elliott penned her words, and 3 years after Lewis’ conversion, the 16-year-old son of a dairy farmer listened intently as he heard the message of salvation preached at a revival service in Charlotte, NC. When he heard the song “Just As I Am,” young Billy Graham went forward to accept Christ.

Twenty years later, Billy Graham had become a successful evangelist and received an invitation to speak at Cambridge University in England. His nervousness over the event nearly led him to cancel it. But they introduced him to a kind man named C. S. Lewis, who encouraged him to disregard the critics who had spoken out against him and to continue with the revival.

Rev. Graham spoke to an overflow crowd of 2,000 each night of the revival, and when he returned to England in 1989, he addressed a crowd of 80,000 at England’s Wembley Stadium! As always, he closed the event with the same song that brought him to Christ, “Just As I Am.”

Never think you have “nothing” to bring to Jesus! That is exactly what He wants you to bring... nothing! He wants you, just you, as you are! He can take frustration like Charlotte Elliott’s, skepticism like Lewis’, and nervousness like Billy Graham’s, and reach the world through you!

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Watch Michael W. Smith sing "Just as I Am," at Rev. Graham's service.
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Your Story - His Glory

The third edition coming out

in the fall of 2022.

Do you have a Christian-based story of hope, survival, faith, and perseverance? Would you like your story to be considered in the third edition of “The Book Lover’s Companion?” If so, connect with Jo to receive the guidelines.

All submissions are due by July 1, 2022. 

 Get your guidelines here.

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Connect with Jo here to speak before your women's group, churches, and organizations.

You don't want to miss this interview.

Meet Jody Hudson, author of "My Promise to Alex."

Be sure to subscribe to the channel.

You don't want to miss this.

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Meet author Greta Picklesimer on June 29th.

Rita Gerlach will be with us sfor the third time on July 25th.

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