Lamp Post MinistriesOn November 17th 2007 as I was driving down a road in northern Pa I came to a road blockage, a tree had fallen in the road. Forced to make a detour, I clicked on the gps as it showed me a road about a mile behind me. Angry at being forced to turn around, I fussed and fumed for turning a semi truck and trailer around on a road is not an easy task. After getting turned around I felt a heavy dose of God’s presence with me, I remember thinking what is this all about? Then praying, Lord you know what is best for me guide me in my travels, amen.
Coming up on Direction Rd. yep that was the detour roads name and my gps said turn right, hmmm problem, HUGE problem there is no right only a left. Saying whatever to myself I swung left and took my tractor trailer down this road, remember now I am in the mountains in a large tractor trailer then this road begins to get narrow. It is a beautiful country road I would have never dared travel on unless I took a wrong turn or was forced to travel it, like today!
The leaves on the trees were beautiful, all the colors of fall the reds, oranges, yellows and browns. Taking in this beauty I came upon a curve, slowing down to pilot the rig around the curve. Then I saw a sign it read, “Abortion America’s #1 Killer” nailed to a tree, I thought wow here in the middle of nowhere a pro-life sign! Encouraged and feeling like I took in a breath of fresh air, I exited this sharp curve and bam there it was a beautiful lamp post and sign that read, Lamp Post Ministries and below it the words, “If the light is on help and love are here!” and below that “we offer maternity services“. Excited I remember thinking wow here in the middle of the boondocks help for expecting moms, how cool.
Then I had an overwhelming desire I was to stop, seriously here on a country road in a semi truck was my thought process. I literally cried out to God, “Lord here, where, how, why and YES!” hmmm I finished the desperate prayer with YES! So I quickly began looking for a place to pull over and about 300 yards in front of me was a gravel packed pull off but it was on the other side of the road. As the road looked deserted I crossed over the incoming lane and off the road onto the gravel. Grabbing some 911Babies cards off the dash and stuffing my small notepad into my back pocket, I opened the door slamming it quickly and grabbing my jacket brrr it was cold. Putting on my jacket I felt the Lord say, “take another ink pen”, hmmm so I reached up on the dash pocket and took out another pen. I remember thinking, why because I have a pen with my notepad, but knowing God’s voice I obeyed.
I turned on my four ways or hazard lights and locked my door to see what God had for me this cold fall evening. No phone signal on my cell I left it in the truck and took off to experience what I would later call a appointment with and Earthly angel. I trekked back to the sign and read and reread it and looked at the awesome huge lamp post beside it. I recall thinking of the lamp post in Narnia as in C.S. Lewis’ books and the movies of it that I had seen. Remember the children came though the wardrobe and found the lamp post in the woods, also the lamp post was the way they came back home.
So standing there with all these thoughts flooding my mind and looking around I saw a grassy path that cars had driven on recently to my left. I also recall thinking, ok Lord what is it with noticing the left, the detour took me on a left turn, the gravel parking pull off was on the left side of the road and now this car hmmm path was on the left side of this clearing. That’s is when I heard her, a old lady spoke up in the distant and said, “can I help you son?” There down the path about 100 yards on the hmmm yes left side of the path was a huge old two story house. I walked towards it, looking at all the beautiful landscaping but also seeing the toll of frost and the coming winter upon it’s beautiful grounds.
I approached the house with caution and told her, “I’m not meaning to be trespassing but I was interested in Lamp Post Ministries“. She grinned and said, “well what do you want to know?” I just stood there and searched through thought and prayer and said, “hmmm everything!” This is a noted conversation between myself and this wonderful woman!
Eddie ~ “What’s your name?”
Jilly ~ “My name is Jilly Tomlinson. What’s yours?”
Eddie ~ “Eddie DeHart”
Jilly ~ “What’s Eddie short for?”
Eddie ~ “Edward, what’s Jilly short for Jillian?”
Jilly ~ “Nope Jilly is my birth name”
Eddie ~ “Cool name I like it, what is Lamp Post Ministries?”
Jilly ~ “A place where help and love live it’s for women with child”
Eddie ~ “You mean pregnant?”
Jilly ~ “No I don’t like that term, a dog or cat can become pregnant but only a woman can be with child. Pregnant is such a demeaning term like they say abortion instead of murder.”
Eddie ~ “Oh I saw your sign about Abortion the #1 killer”
Jilly ~ “Truth, pure truth I am called to battle this demon and I do it with help and love as God gives me those whom seek it. Don’t give to those who don’t seek for if they don’t seek it they don’t value it and if they don’t value it they aren’t sent to me.”
Eddie ~ *blank stare trying to understand what I wrote
Jilly ~ “Who are you son and why are you here?”
Eddie ~ “Guess you could say I was sent and I value to whom I am sent. Amen?”
Jilly ~ “I like the way you said that, so you are a man of God?”
Eddie ~ “Yes I carry a passion for life, a God given passion for life.”
Jilly ~ “Well Edward my name is Jilly I am 86 years young and I live my life in honor and glory to God as I offer help and love to the least of these and their mothers.”
Eddie ~ “So Jilly, are you an angel? How long have you been doing this?”
Jilly ~ “ No not an angel, been called one many times but…”
Eddie ~ “ But what Jilly? Are you stumped for words or recalling past events?”
Jilly ~ “My my my son are you God’s reporter? You don’t seem to miss a thing and you show up here with a pen and paper in hand. I am old and I have been praying for a way to share my calling with others and you come walking up the drive a few hours later. Where did you park and how did you get here? The question is are you an angel? That is why I stopped talking, I was wondering if an angel was asking me if I was an angel. Does that sound strange?”
Eddie ~ “No Jilly, I am not an angel but I am a messenger.”
My pen quit working as I shook it and scribbled trying to get it to write!
Jilly ~ “ Edward, would you like me to get you another pen?”
Eddie ~ Then the thought about the extra pen came into my mind as I groped for the pen in pocket. “No Jilly that is not necessary God told me to bring another with me”, as I pulled the pen from my jacket pocket.
Jilly ~ “I see you listened and obeyed. Many listen to God but do not obey Him.”
Eddie ~ “Wow and yes, HUGE message in that word. Tell me about the Lamp Post and what you do here and why you do it. That is I would love tell others of you and your calling.”
Jilly ~ “Well Edward I have always loved life and treasured babies. I love God and He loves me more and He loved me first. The Lamp Post is a symbol of a hope in the darkness and a place of shelter and safety. Many years ago in the 60’s I believe I first heard of abortion and thought this is work of Satan and his demons. Such evil to kill a unborn child, then as I lived in the 70’s I saw abortion become legal. America made HUGE mistake by making it legal to kill a baby, evil is alive and well as it destroys our future blessings, the babies. So I prayed and prayed Lord what can I do and I continued to pray. With no answer I still prayed, one day driving down the road near Scranton Pa. I saw it a sign, a sign of a fortune teller, palm reader or as I see it a witch. Her office was her house for I saw a clothesline out beside her house as I thought that witch works from her home. So I thought I have some empty rooms in my house I will make use of what God has provided. I made one room into a sitting area and stocked it with brochures and pro-life books. I took another room and began to collect maternity clothes and baby items in it, of course my church helped me for a season. Then I prepared my daughter’s room Anne who had gotten married and moved out about a year before to house a mother and her child. Yes, I even purchased a crib for this room. I had all this stuff but nobody ever came for over 2 years. Then…” as she stopped and raised her hands towards heaven.
Eddie ~ “So you created a ministry like a pregnancy support center in your house? I know I used the word P word and you don’t like it but that is what I hear.”
Jilly ~ “Edward it is a maternity support center, yes it’s here in my home. To what God has given, I use to give Him the honor and glory. Why don’t more people open up their homes to help like I do? I don’t travel much anymore but I remember seeing large homes of so-called Christian people, huge homes as they have been blessed. Huge empty homes for what, to house a couple or in my case just myself since my beloved Solomon has gone to glory. If people would just do something with what they have, if they would just do something! Do you hear me Edward?”
Eddie ~ “Yes Jilly, I hear you and I thank you for all you have done and will do.”
Jilly ~ “Edward, my season in life is slowly passing.”
Eddie ~ “Are you dying Jilly?”
Jilly ~ “Edward, we are all dying, we are dying flesh from our first breath until fleshly death. I am dying and you are as well, unless you are an angel which I want to believe. You will tell the Christians to just open their hearts and homes to women with child and God will send them. You ever hear the phrase, just build it and they will come?”
Eddie ~ “Yes Jilly, so your saying it’s the truth.”
Jilly ~ “Two years of preparation then on a cool night in October I was sitting here with Jewel and there was a knock at the door. Jenny was her name, a waitress from a nearby town I had seen as well as prayed for as she began to show that she was with child. One day at lunch with a church friend I saw Jenny and the Lord led me to tip her twenty dollars for a five dollar meal. I told her thank you for choosing life, she begin to cry saying my boyfriend don’t want it or me. I told Jenny it’s not an it that she was the bearer of a God given gift a human child in her womb. Here is my number and address Jenny and if you need me I am here. That October night Jenny’s boyfriend brought her here and took off, it’s like he just disappeared for Jenny tried to contact him after Melody’s birth but he was gone. God got rid of the problem for her, many times the young women who are with child are told by their partner to get an abortion it will solve their problems. Only to abandon them after the abortion anyway, Jenny’s problem was not the baby but the boyfriend. Jenny and Melody stayed here for about a year and a half, she met a good man and got married and moved away a few years later. Melody died at age four of a childhood illness, but she blessed many with the short life she lived. Including mine!”
Eddie ~ “Wow awesome testimony, thank you! Who is Jewel?”
Jilly ~”Jewel was a Scottish terrier that kept me company for many years. Life is testimony be it good or bad it is still your testimony. I have many more but the first is always the first, it believe it is the one God uses to awakens our slumber. Do you understand what I am saying Edward?”
Eddie ~ “Yes Jilly, I hear more than the words your speak your spirit and life speaks of God’s love in and upon you. Are you sure your not and angel?”
Jilly ~ “Silly Edward, you think I am an angel and I believe you are, you make a old woman blush and giggle, thank you son I feel loved and appreciated.”
Eddie ~ “Does the Lamp Post mean something specific? Does it carry a special meaning?”
Jilly ~ “One day years ago Solomon went to an auction in Pittsburgh and he came home with that, I fussed at him buying that thing. He liked it and always said “it’s more than what you see, one day you not just like it but you will love it, it represents you“... I remember those words because I thought Solomon was crazy when he spoke them. Do you think he spoke those words under the power of the Holy Spirit, Edward?”
Eddie ~ “No Jilly, I don’t think that! I know that he did, I hear his words spoken by you all these years later still under the power of the Holy Spirit. Was Solomon prophetic?”
Jilly ~ “No more than you Edward” as she laughed out loud.
Eddie ~ “Back to the interview, do you have a website or email I where I can stay in contact with you?”
Jilly ~ “Oh no none of that computer stuff for me, that is what you asked right? Just good ole fashioned mail and a phone number. That way my family and friends can reach me, cause I don’t travel or get out much anymore. Why would you like to stay in contact with me?”
Eddie ~ “Yes I would love to stay in touch with you for you are awesome! I travel as I share my God given passion for life as a ministry titled 911Babies, we have a website.”
Jilly ~ “911Babies, like a 911, like an emergency call?”
Eddie ~ “Yes Jilly, like a emergency, like Romans 9:11 says for the children being not yet born, 911 like an alarm.”
Jilly ~ “God wants the people to wake up and quit killing His babies!”
Eddie ~ “Yes, He does and you do too, as well as many others.”
Jilly ~ “Edward, way back when I saw that old witch working from her house, I thought wow such a simple concept. So I took what was being used for evil and applied it to fulfilling my calling. Have you ever heard of others doing maternity ministry from their homes?”
Eddie ~ “No Jilly, but I believe it is a great idea and more people need to do it.”
Jilly ~ “Yes Edward, more people do, back in my younger days people took care of people not organizations. The personal touch is what is missing in this ole world, people hurry, hurry and hurry going nowhere all while doing nothing. Well son that is nothing that matters, do you understand what I am saying.”
Eddie ~ “Loud and clear like a mission bell. Jilly you are filled with so much wisdom and truth.”
Jilly ~ “Thank you son, you are wise as well as in God told you bring an extra pen and you did what He told you to do. Many these last days do not listen or care what God says!”
Edward ~ “True, why do you keep using my name in almost every sentence you speak to me?”
Jilly ~ “Well Edward, your name is a word that means guardian, so Edward I believe if I keep mentioning your name, your calling into your spirit you will find strength and courage to continue in this battle God has chosen you for, abortion must be defeated.”
Edward ~ “Thank you Jilly, I will look at my name a little differently from now on.”
Jilly ~ “The day is coming when my work here on Earth will be done, will you please tell others about the Lamp Post Ministry and the works done here?”
Eddie ~ “Oh yes Jilly, I will tell all who will listen and then I will write in honor of you and the Lamp Post Ministry so others may follow. You my dear Jilly are a chosen vessel of God in which He is well pleased. He is so pleased with your works and the way you have chosen to worship Him with your life. Very seldom do I dare speak the words, Thus saith the Lord. Today I declare, Thus saith the Lord I have arranged you to meet my beloved daughter Jilly, listen to her heart and write her words for many will follow her lead.”
Jilly ~ Eye’s wide open and tears streaming, she said, “Yes you are an angel.”
Eddie ~ “No Jilly, just a frontline reporter writing back to the troops.”
Jilly ~ “Well Edward it’s getting late and I need to go have my devotions, evening meal and rest. It has been nice speaking with you and I thank you for saving the unborn children and their mothers from the destruction of abortion. You know once during a harsh winter storm the power was knocked out, but when I looked out from my window the lamp post light was on as it’s light pierced the darkness. I thought it was strange, but God kept the light on when I couldn’t and even now it burns night and day for all who come my way. Did the lamp post bring you here to me today?”
Eddie ~ “No my dear friend, God brought here and the lamp post just showed me the way. Amen? Thank you for taking time to share your testimony of a life lived in honor of God the Creator of life with me and others. You Jilly are a treasure beyond Earthly value!”
Jilly ~ “Thank you for obeying God and for coming here today. Please travel safe and come visit again, here is my address and phone number.” As she scribbled it down in a handwriting I could barely read, knowing age had taken a toll on her hands. They trembled and she dropped the pen, “Please forgive me dear Edward it is so hard for me to simply write these day. That is why I prayed for God to send me someone to help me, then you came. Be blessed on your journey, for mine here is almost over.”
Eddie ~ “Jilly, no please don’t speak like that, your are a blessing beyond measure.”
Jilly ~ “Goodbye Sir Edward, a knight in the service of God, one chosen before birth to fight, love, serve and protect life. Your passion for life will burn bright for your whole life, nothing will ever quench it’s flame, you are one of God’s lamp posts shining into the darkness. Burn bright my friend, God will never let the light go out. Burn bright and good night.”
Edward ~ <- Yeah notice the name change, I watched her get up and go into the house and sat there in awe of this detour on Direction Road. Slowly I stood to my feet, looked out over the mountains and started walking down the path back towards the road. As I came to the lamp post I laid hands on it and said, “Burn bright, lead many home! Amen”
Pulling my jacket zipper up as the wind cut through me, I walked back to truck and drove on. That day I took a detour that changed my life forever! Amen
Note: I carried the notepad with me for years, knowing I had a God appointed message with an appointed time. Once read it would be welcomed and received by many and some would set out to follow Jilly’s footsteps. Then one day flipping though the notepad I saw Jilly’s number and called it, a woman answered named Anne, it was Jilly’s daughter. I asked for Jilly, holding as I was faced with silence.
Anne spoke, “Jilly went home to be with the Lord.” I told her, “I am so sorry, she was a awesome woman of God.” “Yes she was special. She passed away November 17th 2007, may I ask your name?” I replied, “Oh sorry, my name is Eddie but Jilly, hmmm she called me Edward.” I remember silence, a long period of silence, I even looked at the phone to see if I still had service! Then Anne spoke as her voice was trembling, “Edward huh? The last words she wrote in her journal left beside her bible as it appeared she had passed doing her devotions. The note contained the name Edward!” Startled and filled with the immense power of God‘s Holy Spirit in what I call a quickening I replied, “May I ask what the note says?” Anne said, “I am ready Father, my work is done and thank You for sending Edward to tell my story, guide his steps and watch over him in his travels. Amen” I dropped the phone! As the power of God took me to my knees then grabbed it up to speak to her again, but it was dead. So I quickly called the number back to find it a nonworking number. Hanging up and redialing several times, to get the same recording, I cried as I prayed in my spirit, words only God knows. Love and life flowed from my being into His throne room as I thanked God for choosing me to meet His Jilly!
Note: I have treasured this message and held it for years, why? It has an appointed time and is to be delivered to a specific person or persons, hmmm maybe you! Amen
In Memory and Honor of Jilly Tomlinson, 1921~2007. A lamp post in dark world, shine on forever! Amen
By: Edward DeHart (Eddie)