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New Math?

Raoul’s Two Cents: August 13, 2021

Gone Home

WARNING: Religious content

I didn’t think I’d be affected this much but a cloud has been hanging over me since Tuesday. A good friend of our TGIF family passed away last Monday. Don of Kelowna, B.C. who had consistently sent the funniest jokes of the week was found dead in his bathroom apparently due to a heart attack. What a shocker!

Don was not shy about his politics. He called a spade a spade. He had a witty mind and a funny bone to match. He loved puns. He loved irony. He sent jokes and videos. He loved his wife. He often shared their adventures to faraway lands. The pair would listen to sermons and speeches and shared the really good ones to his own email community. He would share pictures of snow-covered Kelowna. He invited me to visit several times. It was through him that I connected with his brother-in-law Rodney of Manitoba, B.C. who is another heavy contributor to our TGIF collection of jokes. He loved classical and choral music because he used to sing bass with the choir in Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, CA. I had only spoke to him 2 or 3 times in The Marketplace (a church-based job search support group which I co-managed) some 15 years ago. The last time I saw him was crossing the street wearing a tie — his bald head exposed when the wind from the bus blew his locks away. I assume he was dressed for a job interview. The next thing I know, he was getting married and moving to the “jungles” of Kelowna, BC to be with his wife, Betty. Surprisingly, our real friendship developed through our joke emails. It’s so 21st century how many friendships are born out of digital correspondence. Hey, that includes you and I, doesn’t it?

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this phrase “I accepted Christ” ad nauseum. Do you even know what that means? I know Don had “accepted Christ” a long time ago (as did I) and so I am confident we will meet again in heaven. Some might think our meeting in heaven is a flippant claim but the Bible is replete with passages assuring believers of our eternal home in heaven. It’s what you call “sound doctrine” or “reliable doctrine.” I don’t make these things up.

I used to think that I needed to be a good person, do good things, earn points to be good enough to enter heaven. But after studying the Bible, I realized that it isn’t about me and the good that I do. The universe does not revolve around me. It’s about Jesus Christ and what he did for us. I/we only come into the picture of his grand master plan when we believe in him … when we become part of his team.

“But for all who did receive and trust in Him, He gave them the right to be reborn as children of God” — John 1:12; ergo, it is our faith that saves us and not our “goodness.” The goodness follows as a result of our changed perspective.

Jesus said “There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I wouldn’t tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you.” — John 14:2; ergo, there really is a heaven and there is a place ready for us in our next life.

This is a very difficult truth that takes time to sink in. And not everyone will understand this. A lot of prayer is involved. One needs to open one’s mind to the paradigm shift.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you;” — Matthew 7:7; ergo, IF you sincerely want to know the truth, God will reveal himself to you. The operative word is “IF.”

So I declare this Friday to be Don’s Day. All the jokes today are from him.

Thank you for your friendship Don. Thank you for all those many many jokes you shared. You helped brighten the mornings of so many people. Can’t wait to hear your heavenly jokes..

No disrespect. This is just me. Is this also you? TGIF, people.


Joke of the Week

Thanks to Don of Kelowna, B.C. for this joke.

Thanks Don for the Videos of the Week

A Funny Young Mohammed Ali
Don loved this video of Ali’s sarcasm about racism.

The Hazard of Marrying Later in Life!
Don loved clever lyrics. Here’s one he shared with us.

Hallelujah – G.F. Handel.
Don loved choral music especially during the Christmas season. Here’s one of the music he shared.

Parting Shots

Thanks Don of Kelowna, B.C. for these jokes.

Good ‘bye Don. We will miss you. Time to rest old friend.

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  1. Heather

    August 18, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    Oh boy! What a treat you gave me and all your readers. Hallelujah is one of my all time favorites! But…. Side by side takes the cake! I laughed so much I cried. The Champ’s interview was wonderful too. What a way to start the day!


  2. Tom

    August 18, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    My Condolences on the passing of Don. I feel as though I knew him as well through his submissions and will offer a prayer for the repose of his soul. We are enjoying time at Dana Point in the lower temperatures and warm ocean for relaxation and rejuvenation. Take care and keep up the great and glorious cheering up that you dol

    Tom of Pasadena. Thanks


  3. Jennifer

    August 18, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Very nice tribute to Don!


  4. Jo of New Jersey

    August 18, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Hi, Raoul
    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s passing.
    Continue to do what you and Don are passionate about, I’m sure he will be delighted.
    Take care and stay safe, my friend.


  5. Rick

    August 18, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Bro,
    Thank you for the TGIF, or maybe I should be thanking Don. This was a very nice tribute to your friend. He sounds like a good man and may his family and friends be comforted at this difficult time.


  6. Pat

    August 18, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful friend! Thank you! He will be missed.


  7. Anne

    August 18, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Raoul.
    Thanks for TGIF . It is Tuesday and I am finally reading it.
    I appreciate your thoughts about heaven. I agree that it is important to keep this in mind as we live out our days. I recently read Eldredges book about a new heaven and any new earth. Good stuff.
    I like all of The Don jokes and contributions .
    You offer a nice mix of content. Normal daily things, spiritual food, along with a laugh or 3 plus your drawings.
    I appreciate your effort.


  8. Lois

    August 18, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    Funny how some little remark in TGIF every week stirs up memories for me. Today it was the mention of Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. When I first moved to California, my grandparents lived right across the street from this church. I’d been active in my local Methodist church in Pennsylvania, and longed for the social aspect of church, so I started attending the activities this church had for young people. I was there on the February evening, 1949, when it snowed in Pasadena. All the young people were dancing in the snowflakes, enjoying this strange phenomenon – I wasn’t happy, having expected nothing but beach weather in California.

    I LOVED the Mohammed Ali interview – watched the entire thing.



  9. Edward

    August 19, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Very profound and thought provoking.

    Sorry to hear about the passing of Don.


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