Sometimes "S"

My willbesixbeforeweknowit year old son, the loving linebacker, JM, is learning to read and write in Kindergarten. It’s amazing to watch how his world is expanding. His little world of audible only words is becoming a greater world of written word. Couple those new skills with his God-given problem solving ability and you never know what he is going to come up with. Or when.

A small percentage of his original, oft humorous, offerings have made it to my quotes page as Markese. Read those in a moment.

His most recent, arresting pronouncement and the reason for my post is this: 

Sometimes “s” can be a good thing. Like “friends”. You just add “s” and you have more friends.—JM, age 5

His world, though rapidly expanding through language, is still so simple. Add an “s” and get more friends. He is learning language skills. But that observation reveals so much more about him. What’s important to him. Friends. What we all need more of. Friends. What we could all be more freely for others. Friends.

JM’s childhood logic begs the adult question: If you could add an “s” to anything to have more, honestly, what would it be?

What does that tell you about yourself?

No Regrets

We buried a friend yesterday.  A dear, godly man.  Like unto a saint.

Curious, inquisitive, life-long learner, gentlemanly, courteous, quick-witted, affable, gracious, congenial, patient, kind. Rich voice, gentle hands, hearty laugh.  Settled & secure in God's sovereign grace allowing him to be a portent for many.

"He didn't wear Christianity on his lapel, but on his life.  You just knew."

I'll miss Bill Long.  He blessed me.  More than words can say.

I love Bill Long.  A treasured friend.

I'll see him again.  Thanks be to God.

Hearing such rich remembrances of a gracious soul, I wish I'd have known him even better.  Spent more time. Asked more questions.  Sought greater depth.  A sapling sheltered by a giant.

Love well, Dear Friends.  Grow where you are planted.

Spend time.

Share life.




That you'd have no regrets.


Forty observations on life celebrating my fortieth birthday. Some serious. Some not so much. You decide.

  1. Never cease to by amazed by God’s grace. Thank Him.
  2. Help. I need somebody. We all need help at times. Be willing.
  3. Friends are essential equipment for life well live. Be one.
  4. Mayonnaise tastes good. Especially on french fries. Try.
  5. Sleep is a gift. Don’t hate if you don’t have it.
  6. Crying is good. Joyful. Painful. Griefful. Let it out.
  7. Dr. Pepper really does make life taste better. 10-2-4.
  8. Laugh. Loud & often. Thank me later.
  9. Hair needs trimming. Nose & ear hairs with age. Agh!
  10. Be courageous. Your gut is right. Mostly.
  11. Chill. Too serious is too bad. Loosen up a little.
  12. Trust God. And others. Mystery makes you stronger.
  13. A day without peanut butter is not a day. Mmmm.
  14. Inspiration is essential. Search it out. Dream.
  15. Seasons change. Enjoy the difference.
  16. Eat more fruit & veggies. Ask my wife.
  17. Run. For your life.
  18. God gives grace to the humble. Be broken.
  19. Show your faith. Sacrifice.
  20. Growth is change for the better. Don’t die.
  21. Chocolate. Just as long as you have some in the house.
  22. Memories are priceless. Hold on.
  23. Patience. Its a virtue hard earned. Worth the wait.
  24. Be a kid. I act like I’m 6 (or 66). Ask my wife that one too.
  25. Give your heart. God says you’ll find Him.
  26. A lion’s roar. In the wild. Will surprise you.
  27. Forgiveness is the best gift. To give yourself too.
  28. Pain reminds us we’re human. Don’t curse. Thank God.
  29. Follow Jesus. The best decision you’ll ever make.
  30. We need a big God. Don’t limit him by your thinking. Or faith.
  31. Have passion. Live for something.
  32. Stretch your brain. Learn.
  33. Two words: Ice cream. Two more: Blue Bell.
  34. Comfort is a virtue. No matter what others say.
  35. Give. It’s best.
  36. Love with everything you’ve got. You can do it.
  37. Order is nice, but life is unpredictable. Be flexible.
  38. Treasure family. God gave you one another.
  39. Listen. You’ll learn things you never knew.
  40. Don’t tell your wife not to interrupt when writing your forty things. Trust me.


Tears for a Friend

Have you ever cried for a friend?

You hurt because they hurt. You wish you could change their circumstances. You want to make it all better. You pray that everything would come right. You cry for a friend.

You see where things are headed. You expect the anticipated end. You know its just not here yet. You hope the end comes or maybe you hope against it. You cry for a friend.

I am comforted. Jesus cried for his friend, Lazarus. Jesus knows hurt. Jesus knows life. Jesus knows pain. Jesus knows me. He knows my friend.

Thank you, Jesus, for tears.

Thank you, Jesus, for my friend.

Thank you, Jesus, for befriending me.

Dr. J.

Kenneth R. Jacobs, 75, died Wednesday February 11, 2009 at an Abilene, Texas medical facility. He was born July 9, 1933 in Franklin, North Carolina. His parents were Floyd S. Jacobs and Wilmer M. (Angel) Jacobs.
Kenneth entered the army on June 20, 1950 and served for four years and one day. This was during the Korean Conflict. After he was honorably discharged, he apprenticed to become a journeyman carpenter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He worked in several cabinet shops in Iowa and Illinois.
In 1962 he married Marilyn J. Jacobs on April 28th. They were married for almost 47 years. They lived in Quincy, Illinois, Sweetwater, Texas, Lubbock, Texas and Abilene, Texas.
In 1963 he enrolled in Quincy (College) University in Quincy, Illinois. He graduated with a B.A. degree in history in 1967. In 1968, he took a job teaching history in the public schools in Sweetwater, Texas, and enrolled in Hardin-Simmons University in the master’s degree program where he studied under the legendary Dr. Rupert N. Richardson, dean of Texas Historians.
Dr. Jacobs completed his master’s at Hardin-Simmons University in 1971 and received a graduate teaching assistantship at Texas Tech University. He taught survey history classes and studied for his doctorate at Texas Tech University. In 1977 he received his doctorate in history and political science after studying under the eminent historian Dr. Earnest Wallace. In September of that year he accepted a position as assistant professor of History at Hardin-Simmons University. He was an immediate success in the classroom. The students loved his relaxed manner and the humor in his lectures. Attila, a massive tomcat, and “the Big O,” who could be approached about poor grades, are two characters that will live on in the memories of his students.
Dr. Jacobs was professionally active at Hardin-Simmons. He became associate editor of the West Texas Historical Yearbook in 1978. He became an editor of this journal in 1985. He held this position until his retirement at the end of the 1997-1998 school year. He was named Rupert N. Richardson professor emeritus after his retirement.
He published several articles in Texas history in professional journals, and in 1984 co-authored a book with Dr. B. W. Aston and Dr. Fain Downs, The Future Great, concerning Abilene, Texas. In 1990 Dr. Jacobs edited a new edition of a famous book by his mentor Dr. Richardson The Comanche Barrier. He held memberships in the American Historical Association, Phi Alpha Theta, The Southern Historical Association, The West Texas Historical Association and the Texas Historical Association.
During his career at Hardin-Simmons University, Dr. Jacobs received several honors. In 1986 he was named Reata man of the year. The next year the faculty voted him the Cullen Teaching Award. In 1989 the students at Hardin-Simmons named Dr. Jacobs the teacher of the year, an honor that he treasured above all others. In 1997 the All School Sing was dedicated to Dr, Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs was the original faculty sponsor the Theta Alpha Zeta fraternity.
Dr. Jacobs was preceded in death by his parents and by his brother Floyd S. Jacobs, Jr.
He is survived by his wife Marilyn and several cousins. He is also survived by his special adopted family Bryan, Elizabeth, and Luke Adams and many friends and former students.--Abilene Reporter News.

Dr. Jacobs was my favorite history professor, my fraternity sponsor, & a dear friend. 

I love Dr. J.
He was easy to love. All at once larger than life, yet accessible. A history professor & a dedicated husband. A mentor & a friend. You could count on him. You could count on comments, witticisms, criticisms, Attila, the Big O, Miss Marilyn, Miss fill-in-the-name of his grader at the time, and many, many more. Keen mind, quick wit, twinkling eye, & sonorous voice.

"Mr. Householder, can you tell me the year that all good things began?" Of course we all knew the answer that we would pronounce in our most dignified voice, "1901, Sir, the year Theodore Roosevelt became president." That oft repeated question spurred me in later years to read presidential biographies. I started with none other than TR. Many times as I read I would wonder if this story or that character trait of TR may have been attractive to Dr. J. The appeal of TR to man of history like Dr. J was obvious.

Such was the appeal of Dr. Jacobs to a young man like me.