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Tenstrike woman pens book of a year of devotions

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TENSTRIKE – A first-time author at the age of 86 will hold a book signing Saturday at Yellow Umbrella in Bemidji.

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“Grandma’s Gleanings: A Daily Devotional,” which features a year’s worth of devotions, started out as contributions by author Joyce H. Pomp on the website of her church, Tenstrike Community Church. Eventually, she had enough to make up a book.

“Some of the people that I gave a copy that I had just put together myself, they appreciated it so much,” Pomp said. “So I thought, well, maybe I should look into publishing it. That’s how it came to pass.”

Pomp published the book a couple of months ago through Westbow Press out of Indiana. The book’s cover photo, a serene view of the Tetons, was taken by her granddaughter, Faith Pomp.

“Grandma’s Gleanings” is available on Amazon for $34.95 for the print edition and $3 for the Kindle edition. It will also be sold at Yellow Umbrella, at Tenstrike Community Church and by emailing Pomp at jpomp@paulbunyan.net.

“I’ve been getting really good feedback,” Pomp said. “I’m very thankful for the response that I’ve gotten.”

Family members were helpful in getting the book published, she said.

Pomp dedicated “Grandma’s Gleanings” to her late husband, the Rev. Jerold Pomp, with whom she moved to Tenstrike in 1977. They had served churches for 25 years and continued to counsel and teach at Tenstrike Community Church, where their son Steve is the longtime pastor.

“I’m blessed,” Pomp said. “I’ve got all my children around me. … I’ve got five kids, and they’re all quite near.”

The devotions spring from the journaling Pomp did over the years during her “quiet time” with God. They are not intended to be used as a religious “chore,” but rather to further a special relationship with God. Some of the devotions spring from personal anecdotes.

One entry shares Pomp’s memories of her friend Pat, to whom she often gave a ride home after their softball games during the World War II years. They shared prayer time during these times.

“One evening, the moon shone brightly and as we drove in her yard, it cast a shadow on the barn – it formed a perfect Cross (a reflection from a clothes line post),” Pomp wrote.

“The prayers we shared together, after those games, are still some of my very most precious memories. There was no doubt that the Presence of the Lord was in the car with us; the Cross just added a confirmation of that fact. Many times our prayers were for the protection of the young men serving our country. Other times we would pray for the mates the Lord would bring in our lives one day.”

In a devotional titled “We are Family,” Pomp focuses on the families who make up the congregation and stresses how important it is for those who have family nearby to include those who are alone, such as nursing home residents who may not have relatives nearby.

She also advises readers to  “take time to have a Private Prayer time with the Lord,” a specific time set aside for that purpose.

Pomp continues to counsel, teach and make hospital visits through the church. She feels that her desire to serve God means she can be a blessing to the people whose lives she touches.

The name for “Grandma’s Gleanings” came easily, Pomp said, not just because she’s a grandma, but also because she is “Grandma Joyce.”

That distinguishes her from her daughter-in-law, also named Joyce, who is married to her son Steve.

“When our whole family gets together … we have good times,” Pomp said. We do a lot of singing.”

Saturday’s book signing will begin at 10 a.m. at Yellow Umbrella, which is owned by her two grandsons and their wives, John and Jen Pomp and Andy and Jennifer Pomp.

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Laurie Swenson
Laurie Swenson is a reporter/copy editor for the Bemidji Pioneer. She has been with the Pioneer since 2004.
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