“Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
~~Mark Twain

Hi all,

Next week, on the 31st, I'll be sending our annual celebration of John's birthday.  Because we have a lot covered over on Pay It Forward in Memory of John Dye, I'm not quite sure what I'd like for JABB to do.  So if there's anything you'd care to send in be it graphics, a reflection, or whatnot; please lemme know.  I think I'd like to write about how John's changed my life at greater length.  So that's what I'm doing.  But I really wanna accommodate whatever it is you would all like to do.  So just keep me posted!  Because I am taking some time off next week, I can accept submissions as late as January 30th at 5 PM Central.  But earlier is always better!

Thanks!  Hope you enjoy!  It's a bit of a mish-mash.

God bless,

And now we turn to that most mysteriously awesome of angels... a great guy even if he does sound like Darth Vader... and present...

Advice from the Angel of Angels

Dear Angel of Angels,

There's one thing I really don't get about humans.  (There's actually a lot but I'll just stick with this one for now.)  I want to ask my supervisor but I'm kinda embarrassed.  So here it is...  Why are they so confused about the way we are?  I once saw a commercial with a lady in what looked like their idea of angel wings and she was barely wearing clothes!  And then once I had an assignment as a bookseller and I came across a bunch of romance novels... and sometimes one or both of the pair were angels!  Angels in romance novels!!!  I have to admit I read one just because I felt I ought to know what crazy ideas they've got about us.  Sir, I don't think I've recovered!  They didn't talk about God's love once!  Just about each other and there were words involved not to be used in polite company!  Why?!?

Not Seductive in the Slightest

Dear Not Seductive,

Imagine there is an entire world of which you have very little actual knowledge.  Imagine, too, that you have been taught that this world is peopled with creatures who, though like you in some respects, are separate and different from you.  Imagine then that you are told one day this mysterious world will be your own.  You will spend eternity with those like yourself but also with these others of whom you know so little.  Might you find some comfort in attributing qualities to those strangers that you and those close to you possess?  Might you be calmed by the idea that these creatures have the same cares, the same desires, the same vulnerabilities as yourself?  Would this seep into any art you might create?  I've no doubt it would.

Yes, some humans have wild and deeply misguided views of us.  But I think you will be more tolerant if you realize that deep down these are likely imperfect attempts to feel close to us, to know who and what we are.  We are, after all, their brothers and sisters, children of the same Father.  I can guarantee you that when these same humans who so vex you now get to Heaven and see us as we truly are... they will never want to go back to believing you wish to sell them unmentionables or make googly eyes at them.  Take it all with a grain of salt, my friend.  The truth will win out.  It always does.

Be at peace,
The Angel of Angels

Dear Angel of Angels,

e recently started working under a supervisor.  He's training me to be an angel of death.  I respect him very much and have come to care for him.  But I'm not exactly the touchy feel-y type and I know he is.  He respects that but I feel bad.  Should I try to be more affectionate with him?  Also, I would like to get him a gift to show him I do appreciate him.  Do you have suggestions?

espectfully yours,

Dear AOD-in-Training,

I think it would behoove you, as you are intending to become an angel of death, to make the attempt to develop your warm and affectionate side.  However, false affection at this stage does no one any good.  Don't worry so much about your supervisor (I know of whom you write).  I am sure his human friends are filling whatever void of affection he may be feeling.  Perhaps excessively so but something tells me your supervisor does not mind this. 

As for a gift: might I suggest a freshly baked red velvet cake and a case of ginger ale paired with a note sharing with him words of your appreciation and respect?  Your kind and sincere words will mean more to him than any gift.

Be at peace,
The Angel of Angels

Dear Angel of Angels,

I have a little problem...  I've just learned that I'll be working with a circus for my next assignment.  The problem?   My last assignment was a horror buff and after viewing the movie It with her, I've found myself with a phobia of clowns.  What do I do?  Who's going to believe a trembling angel when they say "Fear not!"???  Help!!!


Keep Me Away from Bozo

Dear Keep Me Away,

You are an angel of the Most High.  What is there to fear?  Certainly not a red rubber nose and white pancake make-up!  Humans do like to scare themselves silly.  But that's what it is: silly.  There is no reason to be fearful of clowns.  Clowns are only people with cosmetics and over-sized clothing.  The Angel of Wardrobe and Accessories may have reason to fear them as a cause for over-work.  However, there is no reason for a caseworker to be frightened of them.  Take a deep breath, shake your clown co-workers' gloved hands, and enjoy the popcorn and cotton candy.  Fear not!

Be at peace,
The Angel of Angels

PS- Andrew is willing to visit you in complete mime regalia prior to your assignment if you think it would help desensitize you.  We just need to get him out of that invisible box first...  I am only kidding.  I am sure he would, though, if asked.

If you have a question for the Angel of Angels, please send an email to angel at onthisside.net, replacing the at with @, of course.  The Angel of Angels requests I not type it out lest he wind up with not so heavenly spam.  ;-)


As some of you may know, a lot of my PIF activities revolve around crafts.  And then I do some just to keep myself outta trouble.  Often I have TBAA playing while I work on craft projects.  So I got to wondering what Andrew might be like as a crafting buddy for those lucky Dyelanders.  How might that play out?

Top Ten Things Likely to Happen During Arts and Crafts Time with Andrew

10.  As Andrew merrily worked on a scrapbook about his assignments, he would at some point look up and notice that the entire table of Dyeland women are all working on scrapbooks about him...

9.  Andrew would promptly be taught to either knit or crochet... solely because then his absolutely beautiful hands would be on display. 

8.  Our beloved angel of death would possibly be a touch creeped out if a teddy bear and doll making session yielded an army of dirt blonde creations all wearing jeans and flannel shirts or, alternatively, lovely white suits...

7.  All sewing activities would quickly devolve into making Andrew clothes and rendering him into an angelic version of a paper doll.  Fun for the ladies... maybe not so much for Andrew!

6.  Andrew would hog the glue gun just for the novel experience of spending time around a gun he doesn't actually hate.  Poor love...

5.  During a jewelry making session, Andrew would be pestered to explain exactly what happened to that earring of his...  Some day the Dyelanders will know the truth!  (Seriously, they will.  Promise.)

4.  Dyelander ladies would deliberately get sloppy while using glitter with the purpose of then having reason to brush the glitter out of Andrew's hair and off his face.  Sigh...

3.  A pottery class would yield a bunch of "World's Best Angel of Death" mugs that would be equally distributed among the four angels of death befriended by the Dyelanders.  Andrew, Adam, Henry, and Eli would be left to imagine just what the reaction would be if they had one of those beauties sitting on their desks during assignments.  Nothing says "Hey, what's the deal with the crazy new guy???" like a hand-crafted "World's Best Angel of Death" mug!

2.  Andrew would discover that the labels on all crayons have been replaced with ones bearing names like "Andrew's Eyes" and "Andrew's Hair" and "The Color Andrew Turns When He Blushes" and "The Shirt Andrew Wore When We First Met Blue."  The print would be very tiny...

1.  Andrew teaching Woodworking 101...  I don't have a joke.  I just really love that visual.  And it seems like a good note to end this on.  Enjoy!

This newsletter is dedicated to John's crafting-inducing awesomeness.  Thank you, John, for keeping me out of trouble and leading to the production of countless peace sign bedecked pieces of jewelry, drool buckets, ornaments, throw pillows, lil angels, modge-podged spheres, and for all the skills I've learned because of them and you.  And I really do think of colors in terms of their relationship to you.  Bet I'm not the only one.  :-)


JABB 347

(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. They are not being used to seek profit.)