Huge Cross 2


Jesus Movement

I’m ready for a modern day Jesus movement.  I was picking berries when I began humming to the Lord, “I really wanna see you.  I really wanna know you, Lord,”  and then I got to thIMG_7256e “Hare Krishna” part and I sighed.  John, what’s the deal?  Jesus isn’t cool enough?  I know, I know.  Jesus is not fashionable. What IS fashionable is, “Yeah, yeah, it’s all cool.  Spiritual paths are all leading to the same place.  Isn’t it great to not be tied to any one particular name or religion?  Get out of that small-mindedness and come up higher where we all are one and enjoy the variety of all paths. No one is better than another.  The Way isn’t a person or a name.  The Way isn’t ONE WAY.  No, it’s above it all that….”

The words remind me of something I read in my early twenties in a book on open marriage. “It’s not necessary to commit yourself to one person. Sharing is caring. Grow up, and get over your petty jealousies. We are all just struggling to find our way, and we should love one another freely. Free love is unconditional, and generous, and open. Why would you want to limit your love to ONE person for the REST of your life?” open-marriage1

Here’s the rub. The open marriage idea was kinda gross. And putting Jesus on the same plane as all the other gods is too. The other gods did not carry a massive wooden cross and get brutally nailed to it willingly to take upon themselves what was needed for my redemption. Nor do other gods claim to have created the current universe we inhabit. So, to cheer them all on as equals, and praise them and thank them with a tip of a wine glass, like we are ALL on the same plane, is about as gross as the open marriage idea.


In the Jesus movement, there is praise and talk of his goodness. There is a celebration of our redemption, our freedom, and our love for our Savior. The awkward embarrassment, and apologetic tones used when discussing God and Jesus are blown away by our enthusiasm.  If you are a Christian, and  behave like a Christian, you can expect to be hated for your Christianity.  And we understand fully, that to love him means we will be hated.  If you are a Christian, but do not behave like a Christian, do not claim that the hatred directed at you is because of your Christianity. jesus2001

I feel a little bad for Jesus. He wasn’t cool, I don’t think. But he had something wonderful that drew people from Roman soldiers, to nervous Pharisees, to the neediest blind, diseased, and lame. Even rich Zacchaeus climbed a tree for a chance to lay eyes on him. So somehow, the participants in the Jesus movement will have to have something current Christianity doesn’t.



Something wonderful, and beautiful like Jesus had.  Love?  Yes. But it can’t be that free love yuckiness that promises freedom only to leave you feeling empty and used. No, it’s got to be the Way.  The Jesus movement that actually follows him, hears him, loves him, and sees him in ourselves and others.  Our Treasure is not cheap.  Our Treasure is costly,  Holy.  And the goal of our love is the prize of His pleasure.




Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

When Jesus came by, he looked upat Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

You will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.

Oh that men would praise and glorify his goodness in all the earth!

Without Faith it is impossible to please him.

I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.




Blood Soaked Earth


sumaccover-page-001      Set on a small farm in upstate New York, Blood Soaked Earth tells the story of three orphaned sisters and their valiant attempt to care for one another after the tragic death of their parents. Helen is only fifteen when she gives birth alone to her daughter, Denny. With the death of her parents looming over her young life, she carries within her a hidden memory that drives her back again and again to a place under the sumac, to the blood soaked earth.

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Photo on 2011-05-18 at 10.28 #2

Mary Joslyn is a freelance writer, a trained labor doula, natural childbirth educator, yoga instructor, homeschool mother of four, and a part time event planner. She has written for Finger Lakes Times, Life in the Finger Lakes and Edible Finger Lakes magazines. When she is not wintering in a nest of blankets on her couch, you may find her rummaging nearby thrift stores for vintage goodies.

God is in the Detail


It occurred to me as I was folding the linen napkins from the laundry that they shouldn’t be returned to storage without ironing. But I had no starch. My mother would have had starch. She ironed and starched tablecloths, sheets, and my father’s dress shirts in the living room while watching her favorite soap operas. My mother created an everyday elegance in the home, thoughtfully selecting wall paper, curtains, paint colors and upholstery fabrics.

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Accents of hand knit afghans made with complimentary yarn, cross stitched throw pillows, worn wooden bowls and baskets were tousled here and there  adding warmth, femininity and charm to every room.

Windsor Castle. The care that surrounds each hospitable event is complete to the most minute detail, actually measuring distances between place settings on the royal table. Today, many women don’t even know if the fork goes on the left or the right of the plate. table_AP

In my childhood home, we were treated like royalty. We were the company! Our everyday dining dishes were pink and white with European cottage scenes. Our silver was heavy and made of real silver! Our beds were strewn with handmade quilts, and covered with printed floral sheets.


Supper was served every evening at six. There were no exceptions. Afterwards, the table was cleared and dessert was served.

All of this was my mother’s doing. Had she gone off to save the world, or discover herself, or make her mark, her seven children would not have felt like princes.

There is a scipture that says he who wishes to be great, make him your servant. My mother is the greatest servant I know. And what quality she brought to my home life! May women everywhere aspire to be as great as my mom.

The Dark Before the Dawn

The day Robin Williams died I found myself out of sorts. I went for a drive. I sat in my truck by the lake and watched a kingfisher in the rain. I cried. I felt the heaviness of defeat hovering over me like the gray sky above. Not for myself, but a painful sadness for the desperate cries of those who end up taking their lives. The Catholics say that to despair is to sin. It is the ultimate in unbelief. I was suffering the pains of life in this world, with its failures and cynicism. I kept crying, and crying. At one point I was on my stairs, back in my home, when I finally surrendered to deep sobs and crying out to my Lord, “It hurts. Oh Lord it just hurts here so bad. So much suffering!” And then he was next to me; sitting bloody and torn with wounds all over and nodding in understanding. “Yes. Yes it does.” He was smiling, His tone lighthearted. He knew all my pain. And more. So much more. I felt a certain affinity toward Him; a connection.

As I write this I remember encouraging a pregnant woman who was only a few minutes from pushing. Her labor was at its most intense, and almost over at the same time. And she was looking at me with fear and in pain. She was so desperate. And I was smiling at her. Not because I had no compassion. On the contrary, I knew all about giving birth without the help of drugs or epidurals. And I knew it was well worth the effort. And so, she could look at me, and see my faith in her. My demeanor said this was a wonderful thing, not a bad thing. And she composed herself, got down to the business of pushing, and delivered her little girl.

“Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” John 16:21-22