loves you! God loves you.
He made you... He knows you."
~~Andrew, "Fighting the Good Fight"
Happy 12th anniversary,
JABB! That's a really awesome
milestone! However, I've had a lot on my mind (more on that
later) so wasn't able to devote the attention to this newsletter that
it deserved. Nonetheless, I really am very proud of our lil group
for sticking it out for so many years! While this newsletter may
not have as much text in at as usual for an anniversary, rest assured
there's a lot of love in it!
First, a message from Liz:
12th Anniversary everyone!! A lot of people have passed
through but it's because of all of us that there's a 12th anniversary
a message from Rebecca:
wanted to say as always how much I have enjoyed JABB. It has been
so much fun to meet other people that love TBAA, ToD, and
JD. I have really enjoyed the
JABB group. I am so glad that you all did form this group as I am
sure many people have gotten as much joy out of it as I have.
hope for another many years. And as always thanks to Jenni
and everyone for all of their work on the group.
Now, a message from Jenni:
I'm really emotionally beat
so, again, I'm sorry this newsletter is so
short. Maybe I can make it up on our next anniversary. :-)
I'd planned to do some sort of
"12 Favorite Lessons from JABB" or even
an essay on literary references in JABB made in the past 12
years. But that all got scuttled after the morning I had (I'm
writing this on the 17th). Now I have something else I'd like to
JABB is here in all its forms
for many, many
reasons. We were bored the night it
was created. We had crushes on Andrew but none of our off-list
friends did so we needed a place to talk about it. I had free web
space with my old AOL account and figured I might as well use it.
We felt Andrew wasn't on TBAA enough so wanted to supplement. We
made friends and didn't want to lose them or, if we did, wanted to keep
a spot on the net where they could find us again. The
list goes on. And over time different reasons have had higher
value to me. Sometimes when I feel really creative, I'm glad it
still exists so I can play with color schemes and photo effects on the
web pages. When I'm distressed, I'm glad JABB is here because it
gives me a place to explore my feelings in a fictional (aka safe)
way. Generally, I just like knowing that people enjoy their time
here and that it's a place to chat with friends. Well, today I'm
most glad JABB is here for this reason: it has
taken TBAA's message that "God loves you" and that we should love each
other and run with it.
It's not that I've ever *not*
valued that as a part of JABB. But
today I do more than usual. Why? Because hundreds of
my fellow citizens and I spent the morning lining a street to support
family of a fallen soldier and detract attention away from a certain
group of people infamous for picketing military (and other)
funerals. I'm going to be
honest and say I have little love for those folks. I've tried to
garner some compassion for them. Some days I do better than
others. It must be terrible to be
brainwashed. It must be awful to never experience a moment of pride when
you see your country's
flag unfurl. It must be pretty darn terrifying
to grow up believing that God will hate you if you're this, that, or
the other. I'm sure they'd be super-thrilled to know that on the
occasions I glanced over at them, even less than anger or disgust, I
began to feel a sort of comical pity. Using just the absolute
lowest count of our numbers I could find (I would guess that in reality
it may have been at least double), there were 37 of us for every one of
them. That says a lot right there, doesn't it? It reminded
me of something right outta TBAA.
Two scenes from the show that
have always stuck in my mind and more often
than not leave me with goosebumps when I see them come from "In the
Name of God" and "Breaking Bread." In the first, Monica, Tess,
Sam, and Jerry walk to where Satan's got himself holed up with his
followers. In the latter, the trio and Matt lead the citizens
down the street and boldly and fearlessly confront Satan again.
Now, I can't say I really believe that a person can just go and
confront Satan face-to-face. Who knows? Of all the great
theological questions out there, those related to Satan probly interest
me the least. But, still, those scenes have such amazing power to
me. They depict love confronting hate and winning, even making
the hateful side seem insignificant. Every time I watched them
I'd think "I wish I could really be part of something like that."
I mean how awesome would it feel to stand up for love, community, and
compassion in the face of that? Now I know: really awesome.
As I stood there holding my "God loves you" sign and my flag,
surrounded by a
diverse group of people with their own uplifting signs and their waving
flags, I felt really awed despite the nonsense across the street.
Because it's a pretty amazing thing to represent that powerful message
and cynicism. But, ya know, while that setting was really novel
for me... the general feeling wasn't. Because I think us JABBers
do what we can to spread that message of God's love, too. For us,
TBAA getting canceled didn't mean letting go of hearing "God loves you."
And I just don't know if without TBAA and without JABB to constantly
remind me of its messages that I woulda been there today. I'd
think I would have still wanted to support the fallen soldier's
family. But I also think I'd be kidding myself if I denied that
these 16 years that encompass TBAA's run and JABB's haven't changed
me. You can't spend that long basking in the message of "God
loves you" without it changing you. It's been an honor to
continue to help deliver that message and remind people of the days
nearly ever week an angel would appear on your TV and tell you "God
loves you." Because He does.
So... I'd like to challenge everyone to move into this 13th year of
JABB with a mission to think up even more ways to keep TBAA's message
alive in your hearts and share it with others. Then I'd really
like to think of something we could do as a group. Like a reprise
of our Messenger
Angel project from a few years ago. If you have any ideas on
what we might do or just want to be included on whatever we decide,
please contact me and let me know! It's been a blessing to run
this group for 12 years and I'm looking forward to seeing what this new
Thank you and God bless,
(Photo Credits: The
photographs used on
from "Touched by
an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon
Water Productions except for the second which is from "Tour of Duty"
and owned by New World Television and Braun Entertainment Group.
They are not being used to seek profit.)