Newsletter – August-October 2020

Featured Image: Four-year-old twins, Isaiah and Evelyne on the outside, two-year-old Solomon (“Solo”) in the middle, welcoming home twin-boys Aaron and Noah (now 3 months!) from the hospital!

Dear treasured friends, precious family and valued ministry partners:

Once again, Tammy and I hope this finds you and yours staying safe and keeping healthy. Needless to say, like so many, this season is particularly challenging — we SO miss our families, especially when they live SO far away. We can’t wait to hug our new twin boy grand-babies, and the other five as well! For now, we must settle with regular FaceTime calls and almost daily video exchanges. It’s not quite like being there, but so very much appreciated for the time being!

For the second time in 23 years, I am not including a schedule with this quarterly newsletter!  Needless to say, all planned ministry trips have been canceled or postponed for the foreseeable future.  We are surely hoping that changes soon. I WAS able to give a concert at a local nursing home/assisted living on America’s Independence Day, July 4th.  I was outside in the courtyard and most of the residents were inside, socially distancing, and able to hear through open doors. The welcoming response was enthusiastic as so many residents enjoyed the first live entertainment in almost 4 months. I am looking forward to many other opportunities like this.

Also, since our last newsletter, I have given 12 Saturday evening “Driveway Concerts” for our friends and neighbors. The last one had about 75 in attendance, spread out in small groups up and down our street.  It has been a great way to reach out to our neighbors and develop closer relationships. I usually field many requests during the 90-minute programs and even include some hymns and inspirational songs. We are taking a little break right now due to the very warm summer temperatures, but plan to resume in a few weeks as soon as it is a little cooler. (Most of the audience are seated in the shade but the logistics put Tammy and me in full sun!)

If I have your e-mail address, some of you will have received the daily “musical offerings” of videos of my original compositions, so far 27 of them, accompanied by short messages of the biblical passages on which the songs are based. There has been a lot of wonderful feedback to this project as well. If you have not received these via e-mail, please drop me a note and I will gladly add you to the list, and send you some or all of these “offerings!”

One other exciting project recently completed is a recording of piano arrangements of 100 Best-Loved Hymns and another recording of piano arrangements of A Variety of 100 Popular Songs (including Broadway songs, jazz, folk, classical and more!) Just like the “musical offering” project, I am making these available through a Dropbox link and can e-mail that to you as well. Needless to say, these two recording projects cost quite a bit to produce — I am offering them each at a reduced price of $45. (Each of the 2 sets is the equivalent of 7-8 CDs of music.) You can order via e-mail or, if you prefer, call me on my cell phone with your credit card information.

Last, but by no means least, please keep Tammy and me, Lisa and Heidi and their wonderful families in your prayers. Please pray for their ongoing safety and God’s promise of protection and blessing. The twin baby boys are doing great! Thank you so very much for your heartfelt prayers and your kind and generous support. Tammy and I are praying for you and yours. God’s word tells “all things work TOGETHER for good.” (Not ALL things – especially this pandemic – ARE good!) Our loving God is always FOR us, WITH us and IN us (“Christ in you, the Hope of Glory!”)

With love and prayers and blessings,
Ross and Tammy

Newsletter – May-July 2020

May-July 2020 Newsletter
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psa. 127:3-4

Photo: The Blomberg Family in the Middle East Jonathan holding Isaiah; Lisa with Solomon and Evelyne and baby twins Aaron and Noah

Dr. Ross Jutsum State of the Heart Ministries P.O. Box 56, Sierra Madre, CA 91025

Dear treasured friends, precious family and valued ministry partners:

We hope this finds you and yours staying safe and keeping healthy. For the first time in almost 23 years, I am not including a schedule with this quarterly newsletter! Needless to say, all planned ministry trips have been canceled or postponed for the foreseeable future.

Over the past eighteen months, I have also been giving programs regularly at about ten different nursing homes/assisted living retirement communities, but those opportunities have come to a grinding holt, at least for now.  The last program I did was on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, at Royal Oaks/Bradbury Oaks not too far from our home – I was alone in their chapel with a grand piano, a microphone and a camera which streamed my one-hour program to all 250 of the residents’ rooms. In addition to the Irish folk song repertoire, I also included several hymns and some words of comfort and encouragement. I have gotten to know many of our dear senior citizens there and many of them are quite lonely with no family close by to visit them. Apparently, this, my last program for now was very much appreciated – the Activity Director texted the next morning to say that her voice-mail box was filled with messages of appreciation with some saying it was the “best St. Patrick’s Day ever!”

One of my ministry projects during this “hunkering down” time is developing ways that I might serve from a distance via video streaming and recordings. Also, for the past 3 Saturday evenings I have given a “Driveway Concert,” setting up my portable keyboard, amp and microphone, joined by most all of our neighbors on the block singing along on their favorite songs and also a few hymns. I plan to continue these on a regular basis – obviously with everyone, including Tammy and me, “socially distancing!”

If I have your e-mail address, some of you will have received the daily “musical offerings” of videos of my original compositions, so far 21 of them, accompanied by short messages of the biblical passages on which the songs are based. There has been a lot of wonderful feedback to this project as well. A dear 90-year-old friend who lives alone in Milwaukee wrote that she hasn’t been able to leave her assisted-living apartment in over 6 weeks and cannot see family, and that my daily musical offerings were the highlight of her day! If you have not been receiving these via e-mail, please drop me a note and I will add you to the list, and even catch you up!

One other exciting project recently completed is a recording of piano arrangements of 100 Best-Loved Hymns and another recording of piano arrangements of A Variety of 100 Popular Songs (including Broadway songs, jazz, folk, classical and more!) Just like the “musical offering” project, I am making these available through a Dropbox link and can e-mail that to you as well. I would love to be able to give these away also, like I did with the 21 musical offerings, but, needless to say, these two recording projects cost quite a bit to produce and I am offering them each at a reduced price of $45. (Each of the 2 sets is the equivalent of 7-8 CDs of music, so I think it’s a pretty good deal!) You can order via e-mail or, if you prefer, call me on my cell phone with your credit card information.

Last, but by no means least, please keep Lisa and her beautiful family (pictured above at her baby shower, right before the lock-down) in your prayers. Lisa is 37 weeks pregnant with another set of twins (boys!) She is in great spirits and has a wonderful doctor. A dear Christian couple, refugees from Iran, are staying with them and helping out with the children at their home there in the Middle East. However, their country is on lock-down 4 days a week right now. Please pray for God’s protection and blessing on the arrival of 2 more precious grand-children, and for the family’s safety.

Finally, thank you so very much for your heartfelt prayers and your kind and generous support. Tammy and I are praying for you and yours… it is so true that we are “all in this together” – please know that our loving God is FOR us, WITH us and IN us (“Christ in you, the Hope of Glory!”)

With love and prayers and blessings, warmest regards and virtual hugs,
Ross and Tammy

Newsletter — February-April 2020

Clockwise from top left – Ross and Tammy enjoy visiting many historical sites; Lisa and Jonathan and family serve as tour guides; Grand-twins Evelyne and Isaiah love to “help” in the kitchen; Solomon, “Solo,” enjoys taking Grandpa on a treasure hunt; Ross leads a chapel service at a Christian ex-pat school; “Grammy Tammy” and “Grandpa Rossy” playing tourists

February-April 2020 Newsletter

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Hab. 2:14 (NIV)    

Family Update – Without a doubt, the highlight of 2019 for Tammy and me was our four-week trip to Middle East to visit our daughter Lisa, husband Jon, and treasured grand-children Evelyne, Isaiah and Solomon.  In addition to some wonderful family time and music-making, I was privileged to lead worship at the English-speaking Christian church at the Cultural Center and also lead a chapel service at the Christian expat school.   We were also able to visit some amazing historical sites and meet many of Lisa and Jon’s friends and co-workers.  On our last day with them, Lisa invited us to join her and Jon at a visit to her doctor to see the sonogram of the two precious baby boys she is carrying – yes, Lisa is expecting another set of fraternal twins in May!  With Solomon turning 2 in April and the twins turning 4 in June, they will certainly have their hands full and I am certain would appreciate your prayers for Lisa and the twins’ delivery, and for the assistance they will need for their growing and delightful family.

Other Ministry Visits – November-December 2019   

Immediately our return from overseas I had the opportunity to serve on Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November) at Royal Oaks Retirement Community in Bradbury CA in their Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living and Independent Living areas for one hour each.  Though these programs include a variety of musical styles, weaving both piano solos and vocals, there are invariably a number of requests for hymns and other sacred pieces.  This often leads to my being able to tell an inspirational story or two!  The incredible therapeutic power of music has been well-documented, especially in these wonderful facilities catering to folks in the twilight of their lives.  I have had many family members comment on what a difference these programs make in the lives of their loved ones – many of whom often feel lonely and disconnected — this is my opportunity to bring joy and happiness and hope into their day.  During December, I had opportunities to serve in four other communities similar to this one!

It was wonderful to make a return visit to South Bay Christian Church in San Jose, CA.  I believe this was the 20th time to have been privileged to serve there in our 23 years of “State of the Heart!”  Our dear, long-time friends Pastor Mel and Barbara Dahlgren and Aletha and Brad Mann were delightful hosts and the dear brothers and sisters were so enthusiastic and encouraging as we worshiped together on the third weekend of Advent and as we enjoyed a Community Christmas Singalong that evening.  The following morning, I made a return visit to One in Christ Community Church in San Leandro CA and thoroughly enjoyed leading worship for Pastor Jun and Yolando Caranto and their beautiful congregation.  At both these venues, a delicious potluck was served and fellowship was excellent!

The weather cooperated the following December weekend when I traveled to Washington D.C. in order to serve once again at the Central Seventh-Day Baptist Church in Mitchellville MD and at Living Hope Christian Fellowship in Vienna VA.   I am so grateful to my hosts, Barbara and Dusty Miller and Sylvie and Torney Van Acker, for their hospitality, and to Pastor Dr. Lawrence Watt in Maryland, and Bonnie Edwards, Juanita Carlisle and Barbara Miller, pastoral team members in Vienna.  The rental car company graciously gave me a big Ford 150 four-wheel drive pickup truck for the price of an economy car, but thankfully there was no significant snow or ice that weekend and my 200 plus miles of driving went smoothly.

Ministry Contact Information

We are an established 501C3 California non-profit corporation and tax-deductible donations and CD orders can be done online at www.stateoftheheart.org or by calling 626-818-7113 or by writing to “State of the Heart Ministries” at P.O. Box 56, Sierra Madre CA  91024-0056

Ross’ Ministry Schedule – February-May 2020

Jan 25-26 Boston MA/New Haven CT Apr 4-5 Sierra Madre CA
Feb 1-2 Arcadia/Bradbury CA Apr 11-12 OPEN
Feb 8-9 FAMILY Apr 18-19 Arcadia CA
Feb 15-16 OPEN Apr 25-26 Spokane WA (tent.)
Feb 22-23 Ft. Myers FL (tent.) May 2-3 Chicago IL
Feb 29-Mar 1 Pasadena CA May 9-10 New Haven CT
Mar 8-9 FAMILY May 16-17 New York NY
Mar 15-16 OPEN May 23-24 Family
Mar 22-23 OPEN May 30-31 OPEN
Mar 29-30 Orlando FL June 6-7 OPEN

                         

Newsletter — November 2019-January 2020

Clockwise from top Left – Ross visits sisters Robyn and Claire in Australia; Fun at the park with grands Grace and Gabriel; Reading time with “Grammy Tammy”; Lisa and Jon, Isaiah, Evelyne and Solomon in the Middle East; Our dear friend, Mrs. Robbie Trussell and part of my wonderful audience for a concert outreach program at Memorial Life Center in Johnson, Kansas

                                                                                  From the keyboard of Dr. Ross Jutsum                                                  

From everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children.”               Psalm 103:17     

Passing of our dear brother-in-law, Richard Gerrard — In early September our dear brother-in-law Richard, beloved husband of Tammy’s sister Linda, ended his year-long battle with Stage IV brain cancer.  Richard was a wonderful father and cherished grandfather, treasured husband and a devoted follower of Jesus.  He leaves a lasting legacy and we all miss him greatly and look forward to that great family reunion God has in store for all of us!

Family  Update  — We were delighted to have Heidi and Ryan and children spend two weeks with us in August and we are very excited to be soon visiting our younger daughter Lisa and her family in the Middle East.  We will be thrilled to see where they have made their home and spend some quality time with our three “grands” and sharing in worship and ministry with the wonderful communities they are serving over there.

Ministry Visits – August-October 2019   

It was a delight to make a return visit in August to Christ Communion Church in Beaumont TX.  Then it was off to the land down under.  I hadn’t visited my family in Queensland in almost seven years and a quick 9-day trip gave me the opportunity to catch up with my brother and three sisters, their spouses and families, and especially to spend quality time with my middle sister Robyn, who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  The latest update is certainly positive with her becoming more mobile, having better sleep and energy and gaining a little weight.   Your continued prayers for Robyn, her husband Ian and their children and grand-children would be most appreciated.

In addition to special time with the family, including an impromptu and very moving worship service for Robyn and Ian and two of their children in the hospital waiting room, I also served Grace Community in Carina (Brisbane) and at the Rangeville Community Church in Toowoomba, as well as gave concerts at West Haven Retirement Village and Symes Thorpe Nursing Home in Toowoomba, and also made a quick visit to our old home town of Warwick, about 50 miles away.  Two days after my return to California, it was time to head back to the Texas Panhandle and serve many dear brothers and sisters in Grace Communion Church in Amarillo, Calvary Baptist Church in Tulia and Community Fellowship Church in Clarendon.  An added treat was a 500-mile round-trip on Monday to Johnson, Kansas to visit with our dear friend and treasured ministry partner, Mrs. Robbie Trussell.  After two previous visits to give concerts in the living room of Mrs. Trussell, she decided to make it a community program at Memorial Life Center and what a delight it was.  I so appreciated my brother and friend Sammy driving  over 800 miles in two days!

Another ministry trip took me to Houston TX where I was delighted to give a program at the Solea Copperfield Retirement Community and lead an outreach worship service in a tent adjacent to Inn Town Suites.  I am so grateful to my hosts, dear friends and wonderful ministry partners, Debbie and Barry Wawak for arranging these opportunities.   Also, many thanks go to my hosts in other venues – Pastor James Scales in Beaumont, Pastor Eddy Helms in Tulia, Pastor Larry Capranica in Clarendon, dear friend Bill Edwards in Amarillo, Pastors Bob Regazzoli and Bharat Naker in Brisbane, sister Claire and Keith in Scarborough, sister Margaret and Lex in Ipswich, brother Bruce and Janine in Toowoomba, and for my wonderful nephew Peter, his wife Anchalee and “great” nephew Lewis.

Ministry Contact Information

We are an established 501C3 California non-profit corporation and tax-deductible donations and CD orders can be done online at www.stateoftheheart.org or by calling 626-818-7113 or by writing to “State of the Heart Ministries” at P.O. Box 56, Sierra Madre CA  91024-0056

Ross’ Ministry Schedule – November 2019 – March 2020

Nov 2-3 U.K./Middle East Jan 11-12 Arcadia CA
Nov 9-10 Middle East Jan 18-19 Bradbury/Pasadena CA
Nov 16-17 Middle East Jan 25-26 Fort Myers FL (tent.)
Nov 23-24 Middle East Feb 1-2 OPEN
Nov 30-Dec 1 Bradbury/Duarte /Sierra Madre CA Feb 8-9 Miami FL (tent.)
Dec 7-8 Pasadena CA Feb 15-16 FAMILY
Dec 14-15 San Jose/San Leandro CA Feb 22-23 OPEN
Dec 21-22 Mitchellville MD/Vienna VA Feb 29-Mar 1 Arcadia/Bradbury CA
Dec 28-29 Arcadia/Pasadena CA Mar 8-9 Orlando FL (tent.)
Jan 4-5 OPEN Mar 15-16 Sierra Madre CA

 

Newsletter — August-October 2019

August – October 2019 Newsletter

From the keyboard of Dr. Ross Jutsum                                                  

 “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matthew 19:14    

Clockwise from top Left – Ross with brothers and sisters from the Congo at Grace Communion, Calgary; Ross with a Congolese family he first met years ago in Ottawa; Ross gives a June concert for grand-daughter Grace and 100 of her 5-year friends; Evelyne and Isaiah with Solomon in the Middle East; Daughter Lisa enjoying our precious “Solo”

Family  Update  Tammy and I are looking forward to welcoming Heidi and Ryan and 6 year-old Grace and 3 year-old Gabriel for a 2-week August visit.  We will have to wait till November to see Lisa and Jon and their three (pictured above) in their new home in the Middle East, where they have been settling in well the past four months.

Ministry Visits – May-July 2019   May took me to serve as worship leader and guest speaker in Christian Fellowship Church in Chicago, IL and in Kenosha, WI.  Hosted by my dear friends of 48 years, Pastor Richard and Joyce Frankel, I was delighted to also lead a worship service at Meadowmere Nursing Home and give a community concert at St. John Lutheran Church.  The concert was videotaped and runs on Kenosha’s Community Cable TV station.  Back in Los Angeles, I was honored to once again provide music for the annual Armed Services Night Out at the Jonathan Club.  Then it was off to Williams College in Williamstown MA to help with music at three performances at the annual Alumni Reunion, hosted by our dear and long-time friend Martha Williamson, a Trustee of the college.  Tammy and I then spent a few days in Woodbridge CT with Heidi and family, where I was honored to give a concert for 100 plus Kindergarteners at Grace’s school.  This was definitely my youngest and most fun school audience ever!  The children really enjoyed my songs about unusual Australian animals beginning with the letter “k.”

I was honored to give a Father’s Day Concert at Villa Gardens Retirement Community in Pasadena CA and then take a ministry trip to serve in Grace Communion congregations in Phoenix and Tucson AZ.  The last weekend in June, I put more than 600 miles on the rental car to make return visits to Grace Communion congregations in Milwaukee WI and Fort Wayne IN.  I also enjoyed giving a Sunday afternoon concert at New Beginnings Community Church before driving back to Chicago and the home of my hosts Pat and Bill Giordano, near the O’Hare airport.  Thanks to Pastors Tracy Porter and David Howe, and my Fort Wayne hosts, Louise and Tom Jagielski.

In the month of July, I have been delighted to give concerts at 7 different nursing homes/retirement communities in the Southern California area.  The residents of these facilities are always so appreciative and love music so much.  It is very rewarding to bring smiles to their faces and see them singing along with their favorite songs!  I also made a return visit to the Ontario CA congregation of the Church of God Seventh Day.  Then it was off to the beautiful province of Alberta, Canada where I made return visits to three Grace Communion churches in three different cities – Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary.   It was great to get to know the Congolese families in the Calgary congregation.  Our daughter Lisa and son-in-law Jonathan did missionary work in the Eastern Congo for four years and I wish they could have been with me to share in Swahili!  I am very grateful to my hosts, Pastor Bob Millman and Pastor David Sheridan.  I had a free day before traveling home and was thrilled to take a long hike with David to the amazing Johnson Falls near Lake Louise.   David and I go back 48 years to our time together as college students in England.

Ministry Contact Information

We are an established 501C3 California non-profit corporation and tax-deductible donations and CD orders can be done online at www.stateoftheheart.org or by calling 626-818-7113 or by writing to “State of the Heart Ministries” at P.O. Box 56, Sierra Madre CA  91024-0056

Ross’ Ministry Schedule – August – October 2019

Aug 3-4 FAMILY Oct 12-13 Duarte/Pasadena CA
Aug 10-11 Bradbury CA Oct 19-20 Bradbury/Duarte CA
Aug 17-18 Sierra Madre CA Oct 26-27 Duarte/Pasadena CA
Aug 24-25 Beaumont TX Nov 2-3 London, United Kingdom
Aug 31-Sept 1 Brisbane, Qld, Australia Nov 9-10 FAMILY
Sept 7-9 Amarillo/Tulia TX,  Johnson KS Nov 16-17 FAMILY
Sept 14-15 Houston TX Nov 23-24 Israel
Sept 21-22 Bradbury/Pasadena CA Nov 30-Dec 1 Arcadia/Bradbury CA
Sept 28-29 Bradbury/Pasadena CA Dec 7-8 Pasadena CA
Oct 5-6 OPEN Dec 14-15 San Jose/San Leandro CA

                         

Newsletter — November 2018-January 2019

Baby Solomon will soon turn six months and the twins, Evelyne and Isaiah, are almost two and half.  We are so delighted to have had this time with Lisa and Jonathan and their family close by here in Southern California.  We treasure our walks to the nearby parks and having Isaiah and Evelyne visit “Grammy Tammy and Grandpa’s house!” The family’s next adventure will take them in the early Spring to serve God’s precious children in the Middle East.   Please pray for the family as they make preparations for yet another amazing overseas outreach serving God’s precious children, and please pray that they would succeed in raising the necessary funds to make their important ministry possible.

Newsletter — August-October 2018

Just six weeks after Lisa and Jonathan and family returned from Central Asia, on May 22nd, they welcomed Solomon Paul, little brother to grand-twins Evelyne and Isaiah.  We are thrilled to have them close by, at least for the next 10 months or so, before the family moves on to another overseas assignment.  It was a delight to have the twins sleep over for 3 nights prior to Solomon’s arrival.  Heidi and Ryan, Grace and Gabriel were also able to join us to meet their new nephew and cousin.  Heidi and her wonderful family just returned from 3 weeks in Lima, Peru where Heidi was busy with important work for the Innovations for Poverty Action organization where she is Director of Policy and Communications.  Heidi is currently in Accra, Ghana, working with their government to improve the lives of many!

Newsletter — May-July 2018

Perhaps one of the quickest and most inspiring international ministry trips took place the last weekend in January.  I was invited to visit the United Kingdom, and in particular churches in the cities of Cardiff and Llanelli, Wales, by my dear friends Pastor Gary and Deborah Glenister. A very warm Welsh welcome was extended by the two  Grace Communion congregations, the Llanelli (hardest word to properly pronounce in the English/Welsh languages!) Salvation Army and at the Soup Station wonderfully sponsored each Sunday evening by the Llanelli house church, enthusiastically being the hands, lips and eyes of Jesus to so many – a small body of believers with a really big heart!