“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”
~~Helen Keller

Hi all,

I hope, wherever you are, you've been able to enjoy some nice weather!  After a few late snows and freezes, my neck of the woods is finally getting a proper Spring!  While I certainly wouldn't trade the nice weather, it has made for a rather miserable start to the allergy season.  While I'm feeling much better than last time I sent one of these, the issues continue and my concentration isn't what I'd like it to be.  On top of that, both the Timeline and Encyclopedia pages had some formatting issues that were just getting worse each time I tried to update them.  So... I did a lot of fixing that's put a dent in my writing time.  Thus, this newsletter is a mish-mash of short bits and pieces of some of the recurring features.  I hope you enjoy the randomness!  :-)

God bless,

Ask a JABB Co-Founder aka Ask Myself   

So this is something I've found myself pondering lately: what moral obligation do we have to risk our own well-being to aid others?  It's a theme that seems to pop up in a lot of the entertainment I've been taking in lately from Black Panther to The Handmaid's Tale and iZombie.  It's something that would be very relevant to Dyeland and especially comes to mind when I consider issues like immigration and homelessness.  For example, with Omaha, Los Angeles, and New York City all among the Sibling Cities; the Friends no doubt see countless homeless people.  And there they are with access to a place with excess housing and land.  Should they be inviting folks into Dyeland just because they know those people need help?

It's trickier than it seems on the surface!

First, the most obvious scenario: If the Father or Joshua tells a Friend to bring someone into the fold then obviously that's exactly what they should do.  However, in the stories, there are very few times when God's command to help those around them actually means He intends for someone to be brought into Dyeland.  After all, why bother with the Phoenix Inn or the Chrysalis Court or even True Light and Monica's food truck if God wanted everyone just moved into Dyeland?  Clearly He means for people, for the most part, to stay linked to their communities. 

And would bringing a bunch of people into Dyeland even be sustainable?  I think not.  For one, I imagine Dyeland to be around the size of Disney World.  Forty square miles seems like a lot of space but you have to consider that a good portion of that is water.  Second, with the exception of some gardens and fruit trees,  there isn't much agriculture.  Dyeland is, in a lot of ways, a really large bedroom community.  Virtually no one actually works there.  They go to other Sibling Cities to work, shop, get healthcare, etc.  So all the Dyelanders could offer is a place to stay to a limited number of folks.  I'm sure they'd scrimp and save to try to buy enough food for everyone there but there's only so much a handful of people can do.  It would be difficult for anyone brought in to find employment themselves given employers usually want to know home addresses, etc. and are unlikely to hire someone claiming to reside in another realm!  Not to mention the fact that just because someone needs some help, it doesn't mean they want to leave everything they know and, actually, leave the planet!

Also, security would be a major, major issue.  While the Dyelanders and Friends would know to ignore jingoistic, prejudiced, xenophobic, etc. comments, it's simply the truth that some individuals are bad people and they don't come clearly labeled as such.  Heck, the Friends know that not even all angels are good people (see Nen and Tzila).  So it would be difficult to whole-heartedly trust people and/or sort out who is a person of goodwill and who isn't.  If someone troublesome gets into Dyeland, they don't have an army or police force to help protect citizens and/or curb violence.  Even if they could know who to trust enough to feel comfortable letting them into Dyeland that doesn't mean that person's friends and family are all equally benevolent.  Someone might have every intention of protecting Dyeland and yet, for example, have that one boyfriend/girlfriend who they really feel is a good person deep down but makes lousy choices.  In a weak moment, they could potentially tell that person how to access Dyeland and a series of lousy choices could unfold, exposing and harming Dyeland and everyone in it.

So, in short, I don't think the Friends, and especially the Dyelanders themselves, have any obligation to throw open the doors.  Rather, they should hold themselves to the same standards as anyone else should: giving what they can and working towards in-community solutions to problems like homelessness and more global ones when it comes to immigration.

Unless God says otherwise.  :-)

Ask Andrew

Here are a couple more questions from Shirley:

Do you like dogs?

You bet!  I have one myself: a basset hound named Lulu who was a gift from JenniAnn.  She's getting up there in age but still a very good cuddler and friend.  I feel blessed to still have her with me.  Of course, I'm also very fond of Laja's shepherd mix: Fawn.  She and Lulu are great friends and both so good with Belle.  And I don't think it's just because she gives them treats every chance she gets!  They were very sweet even when she was a tiny, helpless baby without the ability to launch Froot Loops at them.  0:-) 

Several of my friends also have dogs (and cats and sheep and turkeys and donkeys and horses and so on) and I can see that these pets, regardless of their species, bring a lot of joy into the humans' and angels' lives.

Are you older than Monica?

Oh yeah.  But by how much?  A gentleman doesn't tell.  0;-)

Three Things

As I wrote in JABB 507, I'd like to take the time every now and then to list some things related to John Dye, TBAA, JABB, and related that I'm grateful for so here goes!

1. I'm grateful for the improved weather around here!  The gloom and cold were sending me to bed at around 8 every night which really cut into my already scarce writing and web page time!

2.  I'm thankful that the yucky, clunky code is now off of the Timeline so I can work on it without it constantly freezing.  Yay!

3.  I'm glad that I finally got my basement set up in a way that suits me so I can, hopefully, go work on the old laptop down there in the coming weeks and, FINALLY, get the Hallmark Channel snaps off the TBAA Photo Gallery!

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye and Charles Rocket for, via Andrew and Adam, introducing me to ginger ale mixed with orange juice.  While I was battling with sinus yuckiness, I pretty much lived on this, that, or the other mixed with orange juice!

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JABB 516

(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.)