Every home needs a copy
“In my 21 years as executive editor of a group of 48 papers, Jim’s column had the quickest acceptance and highest satisfaction of any I shared with editors. Jim provides down-to-earth, common sense, back-to-the-basics thinking, that inspires and makes people feel good”
Max Heath, Vice President, Landmark Community Newspapers, Shelbyville, Kentucky
It is my honor to share these words with you from one of the most respected men in the newspaper industry. His letter came several months after I began this column back in 1995. Since that time a lot of wonderful things have happened, as my column’s list of subscribers grew to more than 365 papers in 35 states. Back in the late 1990s, at the pinnacle of the newspaper industry, they tell me my column had more than a million readers each week.
Over the past 25 years I have continued to write, and the number of columns written has now grown to almost 1,300 since I began. During this time I have been blessed to have several thousand readers to call, e-mail or write me to share their love and encouragement. Now in my eighth decade I know that I have fewer days left on this earth than when I started, so in order to leave something behind I decided to publish a book of my best columns. As a sequel to my book of radio shows, I have titled it “Better Than the Best” and it is that and more.
When I was reviewing all the columns I had written, one I came across was titled “America’s First Self-Made Man” and was about Benjamin Franklin, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was the 15th of 17 children, from a very meager family, who made a tremendous contribution in the early days of our nation. As a fellow author, one thing that really caught my attention was when it said his book “Poor Richard’s Almanack” was in every American home. Well, I was so intrigued with this statement that I ordered a copy from Amazon and have read it. His book was very good, but I just had one observation: if his book was in every American home, mine certainly deserves to be in every American home, too.
You be the judge: just order a copy and read it, and you will agree. It is that good. Here are some of the titles my new book includes: “The Happy Loser, A Test for First-Time Parents, A Man After My Own Heart, Welfare and Unwed Mothers, The Greatest Profession of Them All, The History of American Legion Baseball, A Television Program With Class, JoVoni Johnson: A True Success Story, A Member of the Family, Ever Been in Cahoots, The Shoji Tabuchi Story, Who Held Your Ladder” and over 50 more. Just logic and common sense would tell you that my columns would be better, after 15 years of writing my daily radio show.
While the various messages the book contains are very important, and I hope you will purchase a copy, here are some other thoughts that I would like to share with you. First, I would like to say that I am grateful for the great opportunities I have had to succeed in this wonderful country. And to also place things in context by saying, “I am a sinner who has been saved by God’s amazing grace.” As a positive person, my personal philosophy has always been, “It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” And with all the problems we have in our world and nation today, to not just talk about problems, but to offer some possible solutions.
As an eternal optimist, I believe that our best days are still before us. However, we must learn from past experiences. As a place to begin, read II Chronicles 7:14 as it shines light on a path that will take us all home. God bless, Jim.