"Somebody loves you!  God loves you. 
He made you... He knows you."
~~Andrew, "Fighting the Good Fight"

Hi all,

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!

God bless,

First, a message from Liz:

Happy 12th Anniversary everyone!!  A lot of people have passed through but it's because of all of us that there's a 12th anniversary newsletter.  Congrats!!

And a message from Rebecca:

Just 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.
Let's hope for another many years.   And as always thanks to Jenni and everyone for all of their work on the group.
Happy Anniversary JABB!

Now, a message from Jenni:

Hi again,

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 say. 

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 the 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 amid hate 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 like to 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 when 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 still more 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 chapter brings!

Thank you and God bless,

Happy 12th Anniversary!!!


JABB 305

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are 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.)