Saturday, December 27, 2008

12-25-08 Making My Mother-in-Law Laugh

Maw got a kick out of her and Paw's Christmas presents!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

We are grateful that all in our family are healthy and well this holiday.

God bless you and yours in this most wonderful time of the year.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You really CAN'T make this stuff up!

The ultimate backseat driver...
Man's coffin kills wife on way to cemetery

An argument for a paperless society...
Workers find man's body in paper bale

Jocks have to channel their aggression somehow...
Ex-football player bites off officer's fingertip

I'm the best fan! No, I'M the best fan...
2 dead in spat over Alabama-LSU, witnesses say

Don't forget, she's also some poor sap's mother-in-law...
She gave birth to her own grandkids (triplets!)

Dane?!? Absolute proof America is in BIG trouble...
Dane, 22, wins poker's $9 million grand prize

Thank You, Soldier

Veterans Day, 2008

We are grateful to all who have served our nation in uniform, from those who raised their muskets on Bunker Hill to those who stormed Omaha Beach to those who are on the front line in faraway places today.

God bless you, and thank you, soldier.

Sgt & Mrs Adam Sandifer,
Germany, active duty

Cpt. Terry DeWitt,
Iraq veteran

Flight Surgeon Dr. Paul Rocereto and his team,
Gulf War veterans

DON'T Go There

Peter Greenberg got somebody to pay him to write a book about places to NOT visit. Check it out.

America -- what a country!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

THE DAY AFTER by Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson offers perspective on the election of Barack Obama in a recent Breakpoint. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

R.I.P. Michael Crichton

I am sorry to hear Michael Crichton is dead. He has given me so many hours of suspense, thrills, reading and viewing pleasure, and intellectual stimulation in his books and movies. He was truly a brilliant guy, and not afraid to ask questions and speak his mind.

If you're not sure who he was, here are a few reminders:

R.I.P., Mike.

God Bless America

Yes, I voted for the other guy, but I still recognize that this is a day all Americans can be proud of. We have elected our first African-American president. A tremendous threshold has been crossed. History has been made. I didn't know if it would happen in my lifetime. Let us pray for God to guide and work through Mr. Obama.

Now, about that next threshold ... Palin in 2012?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Do the American Thing -- VOTE!

I endorse John McCain and Sarah Palin to lead America for the next four years. I backed up my opinion by voting.

How about you?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

1,215 Honorable Patriots Reenlist

God bless America -- especially her true patriots, willing to water the tree of liberty with their blood. ... (This ceremony took place IN IRAQ, July 4, 2008.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Gifts of Gab

Got a few gems off sports talk radio today ...

* Bo Mattingly has some young guy side-kicking on his show now. They were doing a trivia contest call-in about Auburn University's Jordan-Hare Stadium, where the Razorbacks will be playing on Saturday. Ralph "Shug" Jordan (photo) is Auburn's most-revered former coach. His name is pronounced "jurd-un." Young Guy kept mispronouncing it over and over, thinking it was the normal "jore-dun." Anybody covering SEC football has to know this. Bo or also-present Dudley Dawson, who surely do know better, did not straighten the kid out.

Later, the kid jumped into a discussion about some worsening event and said "it only exasperated the situation." Exacerbated, of course.

Then, during a 103.7 The Buzz "Sports Slam," I am certain the unfailingly annoying Danny-Joe Crofford (full voulme and full volume only) said "groan strain" instead of "groin strain." Oh well, one deserves the other.

For truly inspired and legendary mangling of the English language, of course, The Buzz's Randy Rainwater on Drive Time Sports is unmatched. I have no ready example at hand; tune in any afternoon to collect your own. One of his specialities is the double negative that makes a positive. God bless you, Randy, we love ya.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I got a little freelance writing job through Elance, a website Jerusalem told me about.

I had to do 10 rewrites of 5 blog articles so that the author ended up with 11 versions of each article instead of just one. Each title had to be rewritten 10 times. Each sentence had to be rewritten 10 times.

In one article I encountered a section of bullet points. One of the points was just 2 words: Sodium Free.

OK ... write Sodium Free 10 more ways.

Here's what I did:

1. Is sodium free.
2. It's sodium free.
3. Free of sodium.
4. No sodium.
5. Has no sodium.
6. Contains no sodium.
7. Amount of sodium: none.
8. Amount of sodium: zero.
9. Sodium content: none.
10. Sodium content: zero.

One of the best writing jobs I ever did! Verbosity is not always a bad thing.

After all, it is a practical certainty that numerous methodologies appertain to the removal of a feline epidermis.

Jobless ... Sort Of

I've been over 4 months without full-time employment now. I wouldn't recommend it.

I haven't exactly been idle, though I obviously haven't used the time for posting!

I do most of the kitchen work, except when Tanya cooks a meal.

I've given a lot more time to our eBay store, YARD SALE MANSION.

I've spent a lot of time applying for jobs found in the classified ads... haven't gotten any, which has been an unpleasant surprise. I think I'm in that Over-Qualified quicksand...

I did get the part-time job with the radio stations, which I am enjoying -- even though it has meant listening to some awful football games (winless Gurdon HS and the sub-par Razorbacks.)

I still have my pastorate and church duties every Sunday, thank Heaven!

Had some time to get our church website back up and running.

I have checked on a lot of on-line & telecommuting jobs via Craigslist, etc. -- most seem to be scams.

I've signed up to be a substitute teacher for Arkadelphia schools this year. Had orientation last week, so I'll probably get my first call soon. Should be ... interesting.

(Calvin says, "Yeah, kill the messenger.")

For the first time in my life, I'm drawing unemployment -- and grateful for it, let me tell you! Worried, too, since it will run out in a few more weeks.

Like I say, I wouldn't recommend an extended period of unemployment. It's pretty much ruin't me! Can't stand the thought of another j.o.b. ... but it better happen soon!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Back in the saddle again ...

After 11 years away from radio, I'm back in the control room ... at the station where I started in 1976! Bill Deaton gave me an hour on Saturday night to play "Jesus rock" on KVRC-AM while I was a student at Ouachita Baptist University.

While attending seminary in Memphis, I got hired on at gospel station WMQM-AM (owned by a Jewish lawyer from New Orleans!), where I had made commercials and had duties as a D.J., music director, and program director.

After seminary there was a stint working for Gary Vaile at KITA-AM in Little Rock where I dee-jayed and produced Bernie Tuazon's morning sign-on show, "Good Morning, Manila!" aimed at the central Arkansas Filipino population.

Years later, after returning from Alaska, I was DJ, producer, and music director at KALR-FM in Hot Springs, then moved to KYTN-FM in Little Rock where I ran board ops, made commercials, occasionally dee-jayed, and eventually managed the office for KITA-AM and KYTN-FM.

Now that I've been out of full-time work for over 3 months (longest stretch ever in my life!) my OAO (One And Only) encouraged me to check into radio again, since I loved it so much ... and whadya know, the Arkadelphia stations -- KVRC-AM (talk), KDEL-FM (rock), and KYXK-FM (country)-- are under new management and looking for some help. So I'm back, baby!

It's only a modest part-time return, but it's a start. I'll be running board ops for the Gurdon Go-Devils high school football games on Friday nights ...

and for the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturdays.

A good way to break back in! Oughta be fun ... now where does this wire go?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

" Nana" turns 80 on August 26!
Congratulations, Mom. We love you!
Ooops, told your age!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


We love having the grandsons come to visit ... short visits ... they tend to take over one's life (as grandchildren are supposed to do!). This year, She Who Brooks No Challenge decided the summer visit needed to be extra special and came up with the idea of making it a real 2-boy summer camp, with field trips, crafts, cooking, recreation, etc. He Who Is Out Of His Mind said he would help. Voila -- Camp MeMe! What were we thinking?!?!?

Blackberry picking at 5K Orchard, near Donaldson.

Making popsicles in the Mess Hall.

Visiting Ka-Ho-Da Indian Village near Murfreesboro.

Pow-wowing at the ceremonial fire site atop the Ka-Ho-Da Temple mound.

Meeting the Clark County Judge at the county courthouse in Arkadelphia.

Models of World War II aircraft on display at the Clark County Historical Museum.
(Photo by Wylie Greer.)

Checking out the Civil War cannon at the Clark County Library, Arkadelphia.

Cooling off in the Best Western pool. (Aunt JuJu works there.)

Big Fist and Big Grin of the Jingle Bell Tribe with their handmade costumes and trail pouches on the last day of Camp meMe 2008.

It was a blast!
Hey, what're we doing next year??!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Song #1 - Happy Birthday, America!

The inimitable Ray Charles starts our Happy Birthday card to America.

Song #2 - Happy Birthday, America!

The Gaither Homecoming choir helps us celebrate -- solos by Terry Blackwood and David Phelps.

Song #3 - Happy Birthday, America!

Our national anthem -- never sung better. God BLESS America!

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Grateful Nation Thanks You

To those who made it home ...

... and those who didn't:


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rock on, MOM!

There's nobody like a mom ... and no one as special as MY mom, Carleene Jackson! Naturally, I don't tell her that nearly as often as I should, or as she deserves. Need proof? It's 7:16 pm on Mother's Day, and I haven't even called her yet today! Man, I'm toast. I'll try to call her right after this blog.

I don't have enough time or words to give Mom the tribute she deserves. I'll just keep trying to be a son she can be proud of. That is a full-time job! At least I'm a clean-shaven son again -- that makes her happy for sure!

We were sharing mom memories this morning at church. Here's the first thing I thought of: now that I've been a parent myself for more than 30 years, I realize that parents don't know everything after all, and sometimes don't actually know what to do or say about this or that problem or situation -- but my mom never let on. She was a rock. She projected faith and confidence all the time -- whatever inner struggles she might have felt, she acted like she always knew what to do or say and made her kids feel very secure, safe, and certain.

The only other thing I'll mention, among the thousands that could be listed, is this: I knew from my earliest awareness that Mom knew and loved JESUS. He was real to her, and she made Him real to me, too. To know what a Christian was, I only had to look at Mom and Dad. What a great, priceless heritage. Thanks, Mom! Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fantasy Update #18

NBA: My Kobe Bryant team was terrible, only won 5 or 6 games in the 22-week season. But my Kevin Garnett team was very good, won the division, and had the second-best record (19-5) in the league. Unfortunately, I lost the championship round by 15 points to the best team in the league (21-3).

MLB: I have 1 team with CBS and 2 with Yahoo. I like Yahoo so much better because I can make line-up changes every day. With CBS you lock in a roster for a week at a time. The second week of the season is ending today. I have pretty good rosters, so hopefully some good seasons are in store. Let's dub the teams per best pitchers: good luck to Team Santana, Team Hernandez, and Team Bannister. Play ball!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


The first Sunday in March was my 5th anniversary as pastor of First Baptist Church of Emmet, AR. It has been a great experience being a part of this congregation. What wonderful people! What a privilege to be their pastor! I can only hope that they have received some blessings along the way ... I am SURE I have been more blessed than they. Space (and lack of complete photos) prevents showing them all, but let these be representative of ALL the wonderful people of God at FBC Emmet. I appreciate each and every one.

The last Friday in March was the 39th anniversary of my first date with the wonderful girl who became my wife and the mother of our 4 exceptional children. April 25 will be our 38th wedding anniversary. High school sweethearts, she has always been, truly and literally, my ONE and ONLY. Yes, it can be done! It don't come cheap, but it's worth the price! A'int love grand? Thanks, sweetie!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008



The moon flashes on his finger.
As he mounts,
He shakes the glitter from his robe:
Stars drift down.

With graceful gallop,
With the medallion sun softly swinging
In time to roaring hooves,
God is riding horseback.

(c) 2008 J.J. Jackson Jr.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Well, YEAH ... the stuff of real faith

"Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable, the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains."

The above is the quote randomly loaded today by Quote Database. It's from Robert G. Ingersoll.

My response is, "Well, yeah ... Your point is?"

Ingersoll's point, of course, is to mock Christianity and the church. However, with this quote we see that God spoke truth through a jackass more than once! Ingersoll's motive was wrong, but his words were right.

MY point is that if you have a church without the named ingredients, you certainly do not have the real thing, just an empty shell. Biblical faith is exciting and radical. JESUS does not call us to a safe, reasonable, moderate life; He calls us to the miraculous, the supernatural, the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable, the absurd -- a life of FAITH. Most believers, including me, fall too short of this challenge. We should be more daring, and not be ashamed of the supernatural, unreasonable aspect of following Christ. As my friend, evangelist Bill Stafford, says, "Extreme death scares me a lot more than extreme life!"

If you're in a dead church, either raise it from the dead, or get out and find a live one! Life's too short to live in the shell.

"For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. ... For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." (I Corinthians 1:18-25)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Recommended Reading ... and Listening

As you may or may not know, Don Imus is back on the air -- it's about time! -- on WABC radio in New York, and on RFD-TV. Last week he had a fascinating, refreshing, and startling give and take interview with Dr. Debra Dickerson, who blogs for Mother Jones magazine. The subject was race, and particularly her observations about who can legitinately be called "black" and whether the term still has any validity.

Dr. D has written about her appearance on Imus in the Morning, and shared other thoughts, in a blog post you can read here. I highly recommend it. She includes links to the Imus interview, and you definitely should listen to that!

Warning: it is not light reading, or light listening. Put on your thinking cap! Whether or not you are a racist, everybody in America has been influenced and affected by racism, including you and me. It's worth thinking about.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Writer's Haiku

Writer's Haiku

Pages stare back -- like
Stones we washed in rivers, and
Laid aside to dry.

(c) 2008 J.J. Jackson Jr.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Having to Howl

Having to Howl
(For Tanya)

Look at me with big brown eyes.
See yourself
in my big brown eyes.
Study yourself, primp a little.
Read my door
(a special sign just for you)
Come on in and pet me.

(c) 2008 J.J. Jackson Jr.

The Poet Returns

More like a resurrection, really, than a return. I haven't written any poetry in years. But when I mentioned in an earlier post that in 1969 the poet laureate of Arkansas dubbed me Arkansas' Poet of the Future, oldest daughter suggested I should market my little volumes of verse on the Internet. Probably not ready for that ... but I've dragged out some of my old notebooks, and from time to time, when I have no other inspiration, I'll post a poem or two for your consideration and critique. First one in the next post.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Negotiate? NEGOTIATE?!@!

Handicapped bombers kill dozens in Iraq
Officials say 2 handicapped female suicide bombers struck pet markets
Iraqi soldiers walk past a pile of slippers that belonged to victims of a suicide bombing in central Baghdad on Friday. (Ali Yussef / AFP-Getty Images)

OK, now who is it that thinks we can negotiate with animals like these? The only good terrorist is ...