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Jack Blanchard: The Last Day Of Your Life

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

THE LAST DAY… Simon Lescart woke up on his last day,

plugged in the coffee maker, and sat down at the computer to check his email.

There was the usual spam and forwarded jokes, which he deleted without reading.

The sixth message subject line read “Final Notice”, and the sender was an acronym, “T.P.T.B.”

He started to dump it as spam, but for some reason he clicked it open.

The message was this:

“NOTICE OF EXPIRATION.

“Dear Mr. Lescart,
“This is an automatic reminder that your life expires at midnight tonight.
Please do not try to reply to this email.
Have a nice day.
Very truly yours,
The Powers That Be.”

Simon tried to reply anyway, 
but his email bounced back from the “unknown recipient”. 
He knew it must be a stupid joke, 
but he couldn’t stop thinking about it 
as he fought the city traffic on his way to work.

What if this really was his last day? 
He’d often heard the old saying, 
“You should live every day as if it were your last.” 
What should a person do on his last day, anyway? 
Get drunk? Smell some flowers? Confess his sins? What?

He didn’t have much of a family to visit, 
just a brother up in Akron and an ex-wife in Atlanta. 
They hadn’t spoken in years. 
He couldn’t think of any old sins offhand. 
Maybe he should commit some?

He knew that the weird email was a fraud, 
but he decided not to go to work today, just in case. 
He pulled off at an exit and got back on the expressway, 
going the other way, toward the ocean. 
This is nuts, he thought.

He couldn’t think of anything really important to do, 
befitting a persons last day on the planet, 
so he just sat on the beach for most of the day and drank a few beers. 
He felt a little nervous, like a high school truant, 
but he also felt something else he couldn’t define. Was it freedom? 
He had some guilt too, for wasting the day looking at the ocean.

Someone sat down beside him.
The man was obviously homeless,
in his ragged black suit and dirty torn sneakers.
The man said, “Are you okay, friend? You look kinda lost.”
Simon said, “That’s an odd word… ‘Friend’.
Now that you mention it, I guess I don’t have any of those.
Just a bunch of acquaintances.”

“Maybe you never really tried”, said the man.
“I’ve been pretty busy”, said Simon.
“You must have accomplished great things, being so busy”, the man said.
“No great things. Just keeping even. Paying the bills”, said Simon.
“Do you think you have any great things in you”, asked the man?
Simon said, “Maybe. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.
If I had the time I’d do things differently.”

That’s when the chest pain struck and the world faded to black.
He heard voices. “What Happened?” “Get back!” 
He was being carried.
Then a blinding light above. People working over him.
“We’re losing him! CLEAR!”
Then a huge shock and the world was gone again.

The smiling nurse said, “Welcome back. You’ve had quite a day.”
“What time is it”, he asked?
“Almost midnight”, she said.
“I have to call my brother”, he insisted.
“We’ll contact him for you. You can talk to him in a few days.”
“I wish I HAD a few days”, he said!

A cell phone rang.
“That sounds like mine”, he said. “Where is it?”
“It’s beside your bed, but you need to rest.”
He reached for it, but she stopped him.
“I’ll answer it for you”, she said. “Lie back down!”
She said, “It’s just a text message.”
“What does it say?”, he groaned.

The letters on the cell phone screen said this:
“EXTENSION GRANTED.”

Jack Blanchard

© 2009, 2018.

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan… 
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists.
© Jack Blanchard, 2018.

Jack Blanchard: For My Dad On Fathers Day

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

PICTURE AT A RAILROAD STATION.
(For my dad on Fathers Day.)

The cavernous old railroad station was dimly lit,  or seems that way in my memory.
My parents, my sisters, and I headed toward the big doors  that led to the platform where the trains chugged and waited.
It was the end of an era.  One of us wasn’t coming back… ever.

We had never been your average family. My mother had been an artist and a model.
My father was a flamboyant jack-of-all-trades: A stock broker at times, head of an oil company,
owner of a gambling ship that never sailed, a mortgage broker, an aviator, and author of a course on aeronautics.

He was a party thrower and the life of every one, and made every holiday a festival.
He was rich one year and broke the next. As a young man he was a boxer and a daredevil.

During World War Two he was drafted  to be General Manager of the Bell Aircraft plant,
at the same time there were rumors of his involvement with the black market.

I came home from school one afternoon and couldn’t get the front door open.
It was stuck against silver fox furs. The whole house was knee deep in them.
I don’t know where he got them, but I wasn’t too surprised.
We all knew him and were ready for anything.
There was a distinguished couple in the living room, browsing through the pelts,
a New York State Supreme Court justice and his wife.

He was brilliant in an off-beat way, and an adventure as a father.
Then he got sick. His disease had symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s,
and the smart, witty man of the world became like a child.
He couldn’t work. He tried.

My mother submitted a resume for him, and got him a job on his track record as a mechanical engineer.
She dressed him in a suit and tie and took him to the job.
He called a few hours later to be picked up.
He had ordered his crew to put way too much pressure on a ship’s drive shaft they were working on,
and blew it through the factory roof.

The family was broke and had to split up.
My father was to live with his sister in Ohio, “just until things get better”.
The rest of us were to sell all the furniture and belongings, and move in with my mother’s parents in Florida.

Certain memories stick in my mind like clear snapshots and never go away.
One of those is the night at the railroad station when we kissed my father goodbye,
and lied to each other that it was just temporary.

I remember pushing through giant swinging doors that led to the train platform.
The steam from the idling engine puffed out across my knees.
The ceiling was dark and high with sooty light bulbs in it.
And that’s all I remember! The rest is gone.

I do recall seeing him one more time several years later.
I was hitchhiking from Florida or somewhere and I stopped in Miamisburg to see how he was.
He opened the door, and after a minute he recognized me. I didn’t think he would.

He grabbed me in his strong arms and hugged tight.
One moment in time again… like a photo… and everything after is blank.

I don’t have any memory of hearing of his death, or a funeral.
I have a thing about funerals: People tell me I was there, but I have no memories of them.

All in all, he was the tailor made father for me.
We had so many good times, it’s funny that this railroad station picture surfaces so often.

After he died  I kept seeing men who looked like him for several years.
A car would be ahead of me in traffic  and I’d see the back of the driver’s head. It was him!
I’d hurry to catch up and it was just a stranger.  Or was it, I wondered?
Maybe it was my dad for the minute before I caught up.

Jack Blanchard

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan… 
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists.
© Jack Blanchard, 2018.

Jack Blanchard Column: The Window

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

THE WINDOW

The writer sits by the open window in his comfortable room,
his feet propped up on the sill.
He holds a yellow legal pad and a felt tipped pen.
This is what he writes:
“Twilight in the afternoon. Only two o’clock, but looking more like seven.
Cold front moving in.

“Big soft raindrops
slap down random leaves on the bush that leans against the window.
The tempo of the rain picks up.
Now the breeze turns to wind, and the trees thrash around.
It begins to rain on your feet.
Feeling rugged and outdoorsy. The feet stay!

“Suddenly, lightning, and then thunder! The feet come down.
Rain splotches appear on your writing paper,
and the blowing curtains drape over your head,
creating a Mona Lisa effect.
From somewhere across the lake, a train whistle.
A sound often described as “lonesome”, but more like “unrestful”…
A moving sound, a signal to the wanderer inside us.

“You turn on the lamp and security fills the room.
The sky and lake are a lighter gray now and you reopen the window.
The rain is letting up, mostly just the eaves dripping.
A squirrel checking out the wet garage roof.
The air smells different:
Washed vegetation, damp wood, supper cooking.
And it’s colder.
The feet return to the windowsill
in fuzzy socks from the bottom of the drawer.

“A storm is not bad from the inside, looking out.
You recall other dark days, in bleak, hopeless places.
You were alone, cold, and it was no fun.”
(That is all he puts on paper. His eyes close as he dozes off.)

The policeman says “Come on. You can’t sleep here”.
He’s lying on cement, covered with a large piece of cardboard.
He opens his eyes and sees the inside of a parking garage.
There are oil spots in the empty parking spaces. It’s chilly.
He says: “What the hell?”
The cop nudges him with his nightstick. “Come on, buddy. Let’s go.”
He struggles to his feet, aching all over.
“I gotta get home”, he says. “My wife’s cooking supper.”
The cop says “Uh-huh”.

Out on the pavement he tries to get his bearings.
The unfamiliar street is lined with old warehouses
and dirty brick buildings.
Some of the second story windows have old shades,
or shreds of curtain, as though somebody once lived there.

The sky is clouded over gray.
No telling what time it is. It looks like rain.
He picks a direction at random and starts walking,
collar turned up against the wind,
hands deep in his pockets in search of warmth.
A paper cup blows along the gutter.

He thinks about the dream he had before the cop woke him up.
Something about a warm house, and the smell of dinner cooking.
He feels for a wallet, knowing it wouldn’t be there.
There is some change in his pocket, and a half-smoked cigarette.
By long habit, he’s looking for the edge of the city,
so he can hitch a ride to a smaller town where help comes easier.
Big cities don’t care.

He’s almost across the city when the rain starts and the chill sets in.
He spends some of his change on coffee at a Burger King,
and is now entering the suburbs.
The storm comes up fast and he ducks into a doorway.
Lightning, and then thunder, almost at once. That was close!
Now he’s cold and wet. He’s not going to make it out of town tonight.
He’s got to find shelter!

He leaves the doorway and turns down a tree lined side street,
with a small lake on the left, and sturdy old houses on the right.
Lights are on in some of the windows. “It must be nice.”
Across the lake he sees some boathouses that might help him get dry.
This street probably winds right around there.

He sees a house that looks strangely familiar.
Maybe a look-alike from his forgotten past.
Now he notices the first person he’s really looked at all day.

There’s a guy in an open window with his feet up on the sill.
In this weather! He must be nuts!
It’s been raining on his feet, and he’s asleep!
The curtains have blown up around his head like a bandanna.

He turns and walks away, shaking his head at the stupidity,
On a day like this, if you have a window, you should close it.

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan… 
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists.
© Jack Blanchard, 2018.

Rhonnie Scheuerman Thanks All For Their Support

Today’s Inspiration Station With Rhonnie Scheuerman

To all my friends family and fans who have read my Inspirational Column’s on Frans Maritz’s WHISNews21 over the years, I want to thank you all for your support. Frans and I will appreciate you going to his web site directly at www.whisnews21.com to read any of my columns in future as they will always be archived on the website. He is a dedicated hard working Christian man and does right with all the folks he works with, he is always ready to help with their careers.

I have dedicated most of my life to the music business and due to some serious health problems the time has finally come that I need to spend more time resting and at the same time, dedicating more quality time with my Husband Bob and my family.  

 – Rhonnie Scheuerman for WHISNews21

Jack Blanchard Column: Our Big Night Out

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

Our Big Night Out (From 2005.)

Last night we went to a little beer and wine joint
to see and hear a 15 piece modern jazz band.
The decor was Early Dumpster, 
and we were the oldest people for miles.
A girl put white bracelets on our wrists at the door, 
in case we escaped.

A lot of the young guys wore long baggy tee shirts
and ankle length shorts, like Charlie Brown.
The girl in front of us had the US map tattooed on her back,
in case she got lost.

They were a small but friendly group. 
Empty heads waiting for information.
You could look into their eyes and see that nobody was driving.
There were no seats, so we stood on the cement floor
We bought a couple of beers 
and put cotton in our ears for safekeeping.

The echo in the room rolled all the sound into one big lump,
so I can’t judge the music with any fairness.
Much of it sounded to me like the mental hospital orchestra
rehearsing “Flight of the Bumblebee”.
I know the band is excellent, which only makes me feel dumber.
They rehearse at this little bar where they charge fans to get in.

During intermission, 
a guy armed with an electric guitar was allowed to play for free.
They should have made him an offer to leave.
He assaulted the strings for an hour on the same three notes, 
without letting go of a single musical idea.
The best part was when he got his thumb caught in the strings.
He eventually stopped, shook the saliva from his guitar, and left.
The patrons drifted back into the room for the next band set.

All in all, we did enjoy the experience. 
Sometimes I just complain to be funny.
This morning is like Old Home Week. 
I’m old, I’m home, and I feel weak.

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan… 
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists.
© Jack Blanchard, 2018.

Today’s Inspiration Station With Rhonnie Scheuerman

Today’s Archived Inspiration With Rhonnie Scheuerman

Share Your Life All the believers were one in heart and mind

No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had

When you read the story of the New Testament Church, you tend to get caught up in its explosive growth and amazing miracles. But here’s a component you shouldn’t miss: ‘No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had…There were no needy persons among them…those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money…and it was distributed to anyone as he had need’ (vv. 32-35). You say, ‘If I just had more money I’d be happy.’ You might feel more secure and have fewer worries, but you wouldn’t necessarily be happier. In the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers looked at what distinguished quite happy people from less happy people. One factor consistently separated those two groups. It’s not about how much money you have; it’s not about your health, security, attractiveness, IQ, or career success.

What distinguishes consistently happy people from less happy people is the presence of rich, deep, joy-producing, life-changing, meaningful relationships. Social researcher Robert Putnam writes: ‘The single most common finding from a half-century’s research on life satisfaction, not only in the U.S. but around the world, is that happiness is best predicted by the breadth and depth of one’s social connections.’ But you can know a lot of people without really being known by any of them, and end up lonely.

Those folks in the New Testament Church got it right: it’s in sharing with one another spiritually, emotionally, financially, and relationally that you achieve your highest level of joy.

Prayer Heavenly Father,

thank You for putting into my life people I am able to share life with.

People who know You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

The above devotion was written/compiled from multiple sources by

Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities and author of WORD Bible Studies.

 

 

Today’s Inspiration Station With Rhonnie Scheuerman

Today’s Inspiration Station With Rhonnie Scheuerman

Devotional: Seeing Your Work as the Will of God

As long as it is day we must do the work of him who sent me Night is coming when no one can work John 9:4

jesus036

You’ll experience a new level of fulfillment when you begin to see what you do for a living as an important part of God’s will for your life. Jesus preached and healed, but He saw it all as ‘work’ given to Him by His Father. You must too. Instead of seeing church as a place where you meet with God on Sunday morning, see it as a place where you’re fed and strengthened so that you can carry the presence of God with you into the workplace. ‘Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him’ (Colossians 3:17).

Notice two words here:

1) ‘Word.’ That covers skills of communication and information.

2) ‘Deed.’ That covers skills such as creativity and building. Whatever you do, you’re supposed to do it with a thankful heart, as though the Lord were your boss – because He is.

When you work with that attitude, you come alive. One person comes alive when they pick up a musical instrument, another when they lead a team, another when they counsel someone who’s hurting, and another when they’re looking at a financial spreadsheet. When each of us is doing what God designed and called us to do, the world around us is enriched. All skill is God-given, and we’re invited to live in conscious interaction with the Holy Spirit as we work, so that we can develop the skills He gives us. Work is a form of love. We cannot be fully human without creating value.

Prayer Heavenly Father,

help me see that the work that I do is all part of the plan You have for me right now.

Thank You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Today’s Inspiration Station With Rhonnie Scheuerman

Today’s Inspiration Station With Rhonnie Scheuerman

Author ……Dianne Neal Matthews

A Friend told me about a day she got so wrapped up in her current project that she missed lunch and started dinner late

The more she wrote, the more ideas came to her.  By the time she took a break she noticed the street lights coming on and heard her stomach growling. I know the feeling of getting lost  in a good movie, an interesting conversation , or a challenging craft project.  I’m also too familiar with being so absorbed in a well- written novel I’m  oblivious to everything else, especially the number on my bedside clock.

These things are good in and out of themselves, but what I need too experience more often is getting lost in Jesus.  Meditating on His love and mercy.  Seeking to know Him on a deeper level.  Focusing on how I can learn more closely in His steps.

Jesus calls on us every single day to live for Him, making decisions that help us replace a self centered life with a sacrificial one.  As we get lost in Him, we’ll discover a new richness in our relationship, new opportunities for ministry, and renewed meaning and purpose in our lives…worth exceedingly great value.

Faith Step:

Today try to find a quiet moment to lose yourself in Jesus

so much that everything around you fades away

and His presence fills you to the brim with love, joy, and peace.

Today’s Inspiration Station With Rhonnie Scheuerman

Today’s Inspiration Station With Rhonnie Scheuerman

Share Your Life  – All the believers were one in heart and mind.

No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,

but they shared everything they had. Acts 4:32

Jesus005

When you read the story of the New Testament Church, you tend to get caught up in its explosive growth and amazing miracles. But here’s a component you shouldn’t miss: ‘No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had…There were no needy persons among them…those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money…and it was distributed to anyone as he had need’ (vv. 32-35). You say, ‘If I just had more money I’d be happy.’ You might feel more secure and have fewer worries, but you wouldn’t necessarily be happier. In the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers looked at what distinguished quite happy people from less happy people. One factor consistently separated those two groups. It’s not about how much money you have; it’s not about your health, security, attractiveness, IQ, or career success.

What distinguishes consistently happy people from less happy people is the presence of rich, deep, joy-producing, life-changing, meaningful relationships. Social researcher Robert Putnam writes: ‘The single most common finding from a half-century’s research on life satisfaction, not only in the U.S. but around the world, is that happiness is best predicted by the breadth and depth of one’s social connections.’ But you can know a lot of people without really being known by any of them, and end up lonely.

Those folks in the New Testament Church got it right: it’s in sharing with one another spiritually, emotionally, financially, and relationally that you achieve your highest level of joy.

Prayer Heavenly Father,

thank You for putting into my life people I am able to share life with.

People who know You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

The above devotion was written/compiled from multiple sources by

Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities and author of WORD Bible Studies.

 

 

Today’s Inspiration Station With Rhonnie Scheuerman

Today’s Inspiration Station With Rhonnie Scheuerman

 Author Elisabeth Elliot: Big Enough To Worship!

Thirty years ago I was standing beside a shortwave radio in a house on the Atun Yacu , when I learned,  one of the principal headwaters of the Amazon when I learned that my husband, Jim Elliot, was one of the five missionaries missing.  They had gone into the territory of the Auca Indians a people who had never heard even the name of Jesus Christ.  What did I do?  I suppose I said out loud, “O Lord!” And he answered me.  Not with an audible voice ( I never heard him speak that way in my life).  But God brought to mind  this ancient promise from the book of Isaiah.

I am the lord your God.  Think of it !  The One who engineered this incredible universe with such exquisite  precision that astronomers  can predict exactly  where and when Halley’s comet will appear -this God is my Lord . Evelyn  Underhill said, “If God was small enough to be understood, he would not be big enough to be understood,  he would, not be big enough to be worshiped .” Can we imagine that God who is concerned with so many stupendous things, can possibly be concerned about us?  We hope he is.  That is why we turn to him in desperation and cry out , as I did, ” O Lord”  Where else can we possibly turn when we have come to the end of our resources?

Does God love us?  Karl Barth , the great theologian , was once asked  if he could condense all the theology he has ever written into one simple  sentence.

Yes he said ” I can. “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”.

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