Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Summaries of Jack Rushton's "Observations"

When I learned on Christmas morning 2012 of the passing of Jack Rushton early that same morning, I felt both joy and sorrow- joy for Jack and sorrow for his family. Since Jack’s love, example, and inspirational teachings have repeatedly blessed my life and helped me to become a better person during the decades I have known him, I wondered what I might do to help ease his family’s sorrow and show my love for this great man and his family. Having read many of his blog postings that have inspired me over the years to strive, with God’s help, to become a better version of myself, I thought that providing a synopsis or summary of each of Jack's blog entries or “observations” might make their valuable content more easily accessible to both family and blog guests alike. This is my belated Christmas gift to Jack Rushton and the Rushton family. I love you, Jack. Thank you for all you have done for me and countless others.

With much love and gratitude,
One of Jack's many friends

Summaries of Jack Rushton’s "observations" on his “IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE” blog  
(As you mouse over the hyperlink embedded in the summary of each observation, it will become underlined. You can then single left mouse click on this link to open the associated blog entry in either a new browser tab or window, depending on your browser capability. If using a mobile device, just tap on the colored hyperlink.)


Monday, January 15, 2006
What Lack I Yet?
At the commencement of a new year, Jack ponders the application for himself and the reader of the New Testament account of the rich man who asked the Savior what yet he lacked and the Book of Mormon account of King Lamoni's father being willing to give away all of his sins to know God.Focusing on a single area of improvement can yield better results than a overloading ourselves with attempting to bite off more than we can chew.

Monday, January 23, 2006

In our professions, as students, in our church callings, as parents, and citizens of this great nation we must never be so negligent and sloppy in what we do that we could ever be rightfully sued for malpractice.

Monday, January 30, 2006
Be Not Only Good, But Good For Something

Jack expresses his appreciation and admiration for those who develop talents and skills to create or repair tangible things.

Monday, February 6, 2006
Message to Garcia

"...there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this or that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust,
to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing..."

Monday, February 13, 2006
Stephen Hawking
Jack discusses some of the accomplishments that world-renown scientist Stephen Hawking has achieved despite the limitations imposed by Lou Gehrig's Disease. Jack is able to relate to Stephen Hawking's attitude of not dwelling on his few limitations but rather focusing on the many things he is able to do and the many aspects of life he does enjoy. Jack teaches that if our minds are sound and our spirits healthy that even though our bodies may not work as we would like them to, life can still be very good.

Monday, February 27, 2006
A Merry Heart

I have discovered through my life's experience that a "merry heart" is like medicine and that a broken spirit does "dry up the bones". If our spirit is broken we must seek with all our hearts the healing power of the Savior which can mend that which is broken like nothing else can.

Monday, March 6, 2006
March Madness I
Jack relates some of the symptoms of him having been infected with "March Madness" basketball playoff fever.

Sunday, March 19, 2006
Good Luck? Bad Luck? Who Knows?
At any given moment of our lives it is extremely difficult to accurately judge whether the things that are happening to us are "good luck" or "bad luck".  Usually only the passage of time will reveal how good or how bad some event or nonevent in our lives has actually been. One of the things we need most in life, and often must struggle to obtain, is an eternal vision accompanied by complete trust and faith in the ultimate goodness of God and his love for, and desire to bless each one of us.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Do The Best You Can With What You Have
If we measure our success in life by how we compete and compare to others, we will be using a false standard.  Only as we maximize that which we have been given, that which is uniquely ours, to the highest degree possible, will we ever know the peace of mind and self-satisfaction that is the essence of true success.

Friday, April 7, 2006
"I Had No Idea That Life Was As Short As It Is"

After attending funerals for family friends Wendy Varner and Dave Jones, Jack ponders on the thoughts of sacred and secular authors who caution that none of us knows when our fragile lives may end and we are called upon to account for our use of the time and talents given to us.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Fear vs Faith
Jack shares several examples from the scriptures and his own life where succumbing to fear instead of exercising faith has resulted in regret, sorrow, and forfeited blessings.

Friday, May 5, 2006
Hair Day
Cleanliness and orderliness and being in control of one's life are an important part of what life is all about. These things communicate better than words what our true character really is.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

I hate to admit it, but at this time in my life, and in my particular physical condition, eating has become my favorite indoor and outdoor sport.  Not being able to do much of anything else physically, I love to eat!...Jo Anne has helped preserve the quality of my life through her wise choice and amounts of food she allows me to eat.  I consider her my personal fitness trainer.

Saturday, May 13, 2006
Sip 'N Puff

Jack shares information about his motorized wheelchair and teaches how carelessness and inattentiveness in spiritual matters can lead to problems just as it can while driving his wheelchair.

Thursday, May 25, 2006
Gloria de Alvarado
Jack tells the story of the conversion of Sister Gloria de Alvarado during his mission to Guatemala and the subsequent life of service by both herself and her posterity.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Joseph William Johnson
Jack relates the story of meeting African pioneer and patriarch Joseph William Johnson.

Sunday, June 11, 2006 Observation:
Building Self-esteem and Self-confidence in Youth

Jack praises teachers and those who volunteer to help youth develop self-esteem and self-confidence.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 Observation
Being Content With The Things Which The Lord Has Alloted Unto Us
How fortunate is the man or woman who is content with that which is "allotted" unto them. 
If we truly seek the welfare of Zion, it matters little where we labor or how popular and well-known we may be.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Jack emphasizes the importance of parents teaching their children to strive for self sufficiency.

Friday, July 14, 2006 Observation:
Plimsoll Mark

Jack educates the reader about the history of the Plimsoll maximum loading mark on the hulls of ships, as and then points out how this same principle of not running faster than we have strength applies to individuals. He shares the methods employed by various persons, including major league baseball players, general authorities, and even Jack himself, to unstring their bows and relax an appropriate amount after much work.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Jack shares the story about the time his wheelchair ventilator experienced a complete systems failure, resulting in a near death experience while his beloved Dodgers were losing another baseball game.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Small and Simple Things
Jack shares personal experiences to remind of the importance of regularly doing the little things that add up to the sum total experience of our lives.

Friday, August 18, 2006 Observation:
Camp Sheanee

Jack compares and contrasts the experience of pampered children of rich families attending summer day camps designed to entertain them and provide them with one fun activity after another with the real purpose of life being to provide us experiences, which at times are difficult, but never the less ultimately for our good if endured well.

August 30, 2006 Observation
Blackstrap Molasses
Jack discusses the health benefits of blackstrap molasses and how this concentrated, nutricious supplement is similar to the Holy Scriptures, which if feasted upon, will eliminate "mental malnutrition" and "spiritual anemia.

Friday, September 8, 2006
ICU Stay
Jack relates the pros and cons of having been rushed to the hospital with a life-threatening, bleeding ulcer. Life is precious.  Each day is to be savored.  The most common things are really very special. A loving Father showers us with tender mercies.

Thursday, September 21, 2006 Observation:
Cuffed Trachea

Jack draws upon personal experiences to teach the importance of being able to communicate with others and expresses his gratitude that the communication medium of prayer is always available.

Friday, September 29, 2006 Observation:

Jack relates personal stories about the blessing of beautiful sunrises after long, cold nights.
He also shares messages from the scriptures about Christ being the light of the world.

Thursday, October 12, 2006 Observation:
Sword of Damocles

Realizing that I am "living on the edge" and under the dangling "Sword of Damocles" helps me to appreciate and value each good day I am given.  It motivates me to make the best of every day of life I am granted.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 Observation:

Jack reminisces about, and expresses gratitude for, his parents (who were married on Halloween) for inspiring him to develop multiple interests during his formative years,
which have been a great blessing in his life, especially after he lost his physical mobility.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The scriptures can renew our spiritual memory by helping us remember the things of greatest importance.

Friday, November 21, 2006
Isn't It Incredible What 26 Little Letters Can Do?
I have been blessed in my lifetime to have been exposed to some of the greatest books ever written which certainly have shaped my thinking and even my behavior I believe.

Monday, December 4, 2006 Observation:
The best is none too good for us.

Jack counsels us to avoid mediocrity and to seek out the best in art, literature, music, movies, and entertainment in keeping with who we are and who we are striving to become like.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Be Still...

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland once said that the Savior's command to "not let our hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" is probably the most frequently broken commandment the Lord has given to us.

Sunday, December 24, 2006
I bring you good tidings of great joy
Jack reflects on fond memories of past Christmas Eves. He also teaches that the atonement of Jesus Christ is the way to true joy for all those who are willing to exercise faith in him and come unto Him with full purpose of heart.


Friday, January 5, 2007
Lorenzo Snow
As for me, being cast into the deep and having the billowing surge conspire against me, unbelievable as it may seem, has given me experience and has been for my good.

Monday, January 15, 2007
Desire...can become the driving force that will ultimately result in our receiving from the Lord his greatest gift -- even the gift of eternal life.

Thursday, February 8, 2007
John's Helicopter Ride

I believe we need the spirit of a Winston Churchill today in this country.  Our way of life, the way of life that inspires us to give our blood to the enemy to save his life, must be preserved at any cost.  Whatever your feelings about the war on terrorism or about President George W. Bush, don't you believe we have just begun a battle to the death with a very evil ideology that would rob us of everything we hold dear?

Monday, February 19, 2007
Time for Pondering and Prayer

I wouldn't wish my paralysis off onto any of you regardless of its many upsides, but what a blessing it has been in giving me the time to ponder, meditate, and pray.  My spirit has been strengthened and my mind enriched as I have lain in bed, unable to move my body, but able to let my mind reach out to a loving and kind Heavenly Father, who through the Holy Ghost, has inspired and blessed me more than I could ever say.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Like many of you, I have been blessed throughout my life with parents, brothers, church leaders, coaches, and teachers who have encouraged me, built up my self-confidence and self-esteem, and helped me to believe I could do anything.

Monday, March 5, 2007
Choice vs Circumstances
Many circumstances we cannot control or change, but we can always choose how we react to them because of the priceless gift of agency. Choices and circumstances will continue to be the common lot of each one of us.

Friday, March 16, 2007
Healing of the paralytic

As the years have passed by, instead of my injury making me cynical and suspicious of others, it has had the opposite effect.  There are a multitude of good folks out there of every religious persuasion, nationality, and culture.  I am impressed with the basic goodness and decency of so many of Heavenly Father's children.

Thursday, March 29, 2007
Invasion of the Ants

During the night the Ant nation sent out some scouts to find food and a better environment for their friends and relatives.  They somehow sensed that my bedroom window was open and lucky for them they found me. 

Friday, April 13, 2007
Admiral Lord Nelson

To do their "duty" seems to have been at the heart of all that was important to Admiral Lord Nelson and his men.  Doing their duty, they saved England from Napoleon's armies and ultimate domination of the Western world, as we now know it, by the Dictator-Emperor. Nelson's style of leadership and devotion to duty could be the foundation upon which any successful life or organization is built.

April 23, 2007, Observation
Virginia Tech Massacre

I doubt that CNN or politicians will jump on this as the solution to tragedies like the Virginia Tech Massacre, bloodshed and violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, and hatred and murder between Israelis and Palestinians, etc., but truthfully "putting off the natural man" is the only solution to these kinds of problems.  Will this ever happen?  Sad to say it won't until the Prince of Peace ushers in his millennial reign.

Monday, April 30, 2007
Perceiving Truth

Hopefully, as life inevitably brings to each one of us challenging events and experiences, we will be able to accurately perceive the truth and respond to them appropriately and with faith.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
As I read history it is apparent that all great civilizations that have fallen had lost their civility at some previous time, and because of it were ripe for destruction.

Monday, May 28, 2007
The Least of These

If giving money is our only effort in blessing those in need we have overlooked an essential ingredient in our quest to become true disciples of Christ.

Friday, June 8, 2007
Enduring it Well

Adversity can either drive people away from faith in Christ or to an increased faith in Him.  When one comes to understand that he is not strong enough, smart enough, talented enough, etc. to make it on his own through this mortal experience and comes to Christ with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then the Savior can strengthen the individual through the healing power of the atonement to "endure it well".  Then the adversity truly will be for our good.

Thursday, June 21, 2007
The United Herd
Families, extended families, the inspired organization of the Church that includes home and visiting teachers, bishops and stake presidents, youth advisers, and seminary and institute teachers and classes, constitute our "united herd" and are absolutely essential to save our vulnerable children from the spiritual lions and alligators stalking them and us.

July 2, 2007
Live Today, Learn forever
"Live as though you are going to die tomorrow; learn as though you are going to live forever! Gandi".

August 2, 2007
If It Is Expedient in Christ

My life was preserved because of faith -- my own faith, the faith of my family and friends, the numerous prayers offered in my behalf, and the priesthood blessings administered in faith -- and because it was expedient in Christ that such be the case.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The gift of his peace enables us to never let our hearts be troubled or afraid.  If we seek him and trust in his goodness he will give us his peace -- not as the world giveth.  His peace is spiritual in nature and hard to describe to one who has never felt it.  Paul said it passes all human understanding -- and it does, but it is real.

October 27, 2007
Destruction of Sennacherib
Yes, the Lord will fight our battles for us if we will have complete trust in Him and not in the arm of flesh!

November 11, 2007
Love One Another

I do believe that if we would learn to love one another as the Savior did -- ultimately giving his life for each one of us -- that most family and world problems would be instantly resolved.  I believe the love the Savior described begins at home between husbands and wives and then extends on to their children and grandchildren.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007
...the master illusionist is Satan -- the great deceiver.  He would have us believe, for example, that "Wickedness can bring us happiness" which is contrary to the eternal truth that "Wickedness never was happiness" because it is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in God!  And yet, through the ages how many sorry people have bought into this illusion? I believe a daily challenge we all face is to separate truth from illusion, and especially to not deceive ourselves regarding ourselves.

December 7, 2007
I'm Glad I Did
"Each of us makes daily entries in our book of life. Occasionally we take it from the shelf and examine the entries we are making. What kind of memories will flood our minds as we examine the pages of our personal entries? How many pages will contain “I wish I had” entries?"

Sunday, December 16, 2007
Ministering Angels
Present day disciples of Jesus Christ are the earthly angels who should rise to the occasion and minister to the needs of those who are within the circle of our influence.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Happy New Years

A New Year’s Greeting

Thursday, January 3, 2008
Rejoicing In Christ Through Sacred Music and Scriptures
Jack shares the spiritual experience he had while listening to Bill and Gloria Gaither’s song "Because He Lives" performed by Nathan Brown and John Lu while accompanied by Roylee Brown.

Saturday, January 5, 2008
Because He Lives

“Because He Lives” song mentioned in previous post was actually composed by Sally Deford.

Thursday, January 17, 2008
The Blessing of Christmas Letters

Humorous and thoughtful comments regarding Christmas cards and family newsletters. Jack makes particular mention of correspondence from, and the inspiring lives of, his Uncle Clyde Rushton and his Uncle Howard and his wife Renee.

Monday, January 21, 2008
Free Ride

Photograph of Jack and his granddaughter Sabrina enjoying wheelchair ride through nearby park on Thanksgiving Day 2007.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"...there is no deliverance except through Christ. Christ can infuse joy into our souls and dispel the cloud of darkness hanging over us as nothing else can. No man can do it for us; no other human being can deliver us from sorrow and despair except the Great "Deliverer."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
He Was What He Seemed To Be
Hopefully when we eventually pass on into the spirit world it can be said of us by those who knew us the best, "He was what he seemed to be!"

Friday, March 14, 2008
Search the Scriptures

The Scriptures are wonderful in that they never change, but we do.  They are the "standard" we can use to measure all of or thoughts and actions.  Because of experiences we are having in life, challenges, or specific needs we are feeling at any given time, we can read scriptures we have read for years and yet discover new truths and eternal principles we have never noticed before. 

Friday, March 28, 2008
The Law of The Harvest- We Reap What We Sow (March Madness II)

Jack comments about college basketball’s “March Madness” tournament, making particular mention of teams from BYU and UCLA. Jack notes that one reason UCLA’s freshman center Kevin Love is so successful is because, even though he is not as athletic as some other players, he has mastered the fundamentals of the game of basketball. Extrapolating on author Matthew Arnold’s "All art earns freedom through discipline" quote, Jack relates how BYU professor Ralph Laycock helped him advance from 23rd chair to 2nd chair in BYU’s symphony band by focusing on the fundamentals of clarinet playing and long hours of practicing perfectly. Jack then relates this formula for success to Christ’s Law of the Harvest.

Sunday, April 13, 2008
Powdered Milk

Humorous stories of Rushton family frugality including drinking powdered milk, preparing brown bag sack lunches instead of purchasing food from restaurants, decorating their home with used furniture from LDS Institutes of Religion, buying long lasting Sears Tough Skin jeans, and using discount coupons.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
An Ensign to the Nations

Joel H Johnson’s story of the writing of the LDS hymn "HIGH ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP" as told by his wife Margaret Threlkeld Johnson to her grandson Bernard A. Johnson.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
"I Wish it Were Yesterday"

Using a line from the movie “Westside Story” and his own paralysis inducing accident, Jack discusses the tendency of the natural man to dwell on wishing that consequences of difficult events in life could be avoided by returning to what we believe to be better days from the past. He relates several scriptural examples of this futile and counterproductive attitude. He concludes by encouraging all to learn from our own and other’s past, but “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ... and endure to the end”.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A heart felt tribute to the smart, sensitive, kind, compassionate, and hard-working women in Jack’s life, especially his wife, Jo Anne.

Sunday, May 25, 2008
It was the Best of Times. It was the Worst of Times
Using the famous “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” opening statement from Charles Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities” novel, Jack teaches how life is often a compound in one, with what we can perceive to be both very good and very bad occurring together. He shares how the loving kindness of special caregivers at Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Hospital made his “worst of times” 6-month rehabilitation also a “best of times” with cherished memories of the kind and thoughtful service rendered to him.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Leaving our mark

The book of Revelation reveals many kinds of marks mankind may receive that will have eternal consequences for their ultimate salvation or damnation. Hopefully, at the conclusion of our lives, the mark we will have received from the Lord will be evident to all because we will have "... received his image in [our] countenances... having the image of God engraven upon [our] countenances..."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008
If it isn't one thing, its your mother!

We all experience Murphy's Law in our lives.  The unexpected always seems to happen at the most undesirable and inopportune time.  I believe our challenge is to learn how to deal with these bumps in the road of life and not let them get the best of us, because they are inevitable.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008
ICU experience
"A while back I noticed Jo Anne studying my life insurance policy.  She informed me that if I were to suffer an accidental death she would receive double the face value of the policy.  Then, and this kind of disturbed me a bit, she asked me what could constitute an accidental death for someone in my condition?"

Sunday, August 17, 2008
Pressure sores and repentance
Jack uses the metaphor of his own battle with pressure (bed) sores to teach about the process of repentance and the law of the harvest. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008
Life is for Giving
Jack draws upon his own person experiences and the parable of the Good Samaritan to encourage readers to evaluate where on the give-take spectrum we are.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Try and Do
"I think of all the great things that have been accomplished because men and women were willing to try and do, in many cases, the seemingly impossible.  The list is endless, of course, and each one of us, with a little pondering, could create our own list of heroes that have been an inspiration to us.  We will find some of them in our own families and among our friends.  Their examples are priceless."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Jack extols the virtue of having good friends and being one as well.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Memories are wonderful things.  President Monson often quotes the poet John Barrie who wrote that "God gave us memories that we might have June roses in the December of our lives."  Hopefully we will live in such a way that our memories as we grow older will be 'June roses' and not regrettable noxious weeds."

Friday, October 31, 2008
Be of Good Cheer
"I have discovered that it simply is not enough to endure.  We must rise to another level -- the level the Lord expects of us -- to submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."

Thursday, November 13, 2008
Don't Blow Your Lead
Whoever was given a bigger lead as a young man than David?  He had the faith to go forward to slay Goliath.  He was a great poet and musician, as well as a powerful warrior.  He loved the Lord and was loved by the Lord.  Our heart aches for David as we observe him through the pages of history "blow his lead," in his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the slaying of her husband.  How could you have done it, David?

Sunday, November 30, 2008
Linger Longer
The life of the Savior has always been an inspiration to me as I have tried to learn to "linger longer", visiting with, and hopefully being blessed and blessing others in the process. I believe one of Jesus' most beautiful attributes was his sociability and willingness to "linger longer" with others.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Joseph Millett Story
"The Lord knows who we are.  He loves us as individuals.  I believe one of our great challenges in life is to love other individuals as we are loved by the Savior.  How precious is each individual soul?  No price tag can be attached!"


Saturday, January 24, 2009
We Should Nourish Our Spirits By Thinking On These Things
Teaching from the scriptures and from personal experience, Jack reminds us that while our physical bodies are a valuable gift from God that we should care for, our most important stewardship is to nourish our spirits with the things of God.

Thursday, February 5, 2009
Giving Up Something Good For Something Better
Progressing to a higher state of living oft times requires us to sacrifice something good for something better.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
NEVER give up!

"...if we know that family members need our love and that we are loved in return, and if we have some work, some significant project (at least to us) that we have a desire to complete, then we will be blessed with a desire to live and press forward regardless of the seemingly impossible odds we are facing. I know this has been the case with me during the past 20 years.  Because of the love and support I have received from our family and because I still feel I can contribute in my own unique way in strengthening and blessing my loved ones, I have a great will to continue to live."

Thursday, March 12, 2009
The Great Debaters

"I believe one of the great lessons we hopefully learn early in our lives is that we have to do what we have to do so we can do what we want to do -- or more importantly become who we want to be."

Thursday, March 21, 2009
Darwin Awards

"I believe that all of us have probably done something to qualify for a Darwin award sometime during our lives.  Just as I have to be constantly on the alert when driving my wheelchair so as not to injure myself or somebody else, I believe this principle applies to all of us in a physical way...I believe there could be given spiritual "Darwin's Awards" for less than intelligent spiritual or near spiritual demises, as well as for the physical."

Monday, March 30, 2009
Living Our Religion Will Help Us Rise Above Mediocrity And Excel In Our Professions
Referring to quotes from Brigham Young and Brent North, Jack teaches that living gospel principles and striving to be our best will help us rise above mediocrity and excel in our chosen professions.

Monday, April 27, 2009
Living on the Edge

"Because of our agency, if we choose to do so, we can live our lives on the very edge of physical or spiritual disaster.  One false move and we are over the edge and must suffer the consequences of our actions.  How wise it is to stay away from the edge of physical or spiritual disaster following those who know the "safe way."
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Snuffy Smith

Jack, ever the master teacher, utilizes examples from his own life and those of World War II bomber crews to reinforce the team creed of "One for all and all for one".

Thursday, June 18, 2009
Jacob's counsel on priorities

"Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy..." [2 Nephi 9:51]

Friday, Jul 10, 2009

"The world will never be able to give us the peace, contentment and joy that the Savior can.  It is a gift to all who will come unto Him with faith and trust and who will be true to the sacred covenants they make with Him."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
"If Rushton Can Do It, ANYONE Can Do It!"

"A number of people over the many years since my accident have said to me that there is no way they could do what I have done and endured.  That is so false!  We never know what we are capable of doing until put to the test.  And believe me, "If Rushton can do it, anybody can do it!" 

Monday, September 14, 2009
Spiritual Paralysis


"Thankfully, we never need to be the victims of spiritual paralysis; we can immunize ourselves against it through prayer, hard work, self-discipline, keeping the commandments, searching the Scriptures, and exercising our minds through reading good books."

Showing Up
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Nobody could do anything to change my circumstances after my accident, but what strength and comfort it was to just have so many friends show up at my bedside."

Wearing the Uniform
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

‘What E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.’

Thursday, October 15, 2009
We Was Robbed!

Jack teaches that Coach John Wooden's philophy of "don't whine don't complain, and don't make excuses" is the antithesis of the all too common "We Was Robbed" philosophy.

Saturday, October 31, 2009
Beware of hippie bands

"...you need to be careful what you commit to do, but once committed, do it with all of your heart."

Friday, November 13, 2009
The Precious Present

Jack reflects on how his circumstances have helped him realize how important it is to enjoy the moment -- "the precious present" -- and to not live so much in the past or in the future. We need to be grateful for the particular season we are experiencing in our lives and not be in such a hurry to just get through it. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Blood for an Enemy
Jack shares an email from his son John (a military Emergency Medicine Critical Care Doctor) documenting the great efforts made to save the life of an enemy combatant in Afghanistan. Jack notes that this willingness to treat others better than they would treat us is one of the principles that helps make America a great country. He shares and comments on quotes from former LDS Church President Gordon Hinckley and Winston Churchill about the importance of eschewing pessimism and thinking positively despite the many problems facing us, including being engaged in “a battle to the death with a very evil ideology that would rob us of everything we hold dear”. 

Friday, December 2, 2009
Wisdom Teeth
Jack’s teaches from his own experience with suffering, from dental ordeals to decades of living as a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic, that the natural man tends to be totally self-consumed with his own problems and pain. Great writers and the Gospel of Jesus Christ all teach us that we are all interconnected with one another and we should therefore care about and care for each other in spite of our own problems.


January 7, 2010
Dressing for Respect
"When we make and keep covenants, we are coming out of the world and into the kingdom of God. Our appearance should reflect that."

Thursday, January 21, 2010
The Importance of Knowing Who We Are 
Scriptural doctrine which teaches and reassures that each individual is a child of God helped Jack endure dehumanizing experiences he suffered with his self-esteem and self worth intact.

Saturday, February 6, 2010
Are You Listening?
Intently listening to another person, especially those who are most near and dear to us, is a vital part of developing and nurturing relationships. 

Friday, February 26, 2010
Non-verbal communication
"I think I first discovered the power of nonverbal communication as a young teacher while teaching religious education and counseling disturbed teenagers at a reform school/coed prison."
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Jack shares the story of British Admiral Lord Nelson inspiring the captains and sailors of Britain’s underdog fleet to each do their duty in order to defeat the superior combined navies of Spain and France at the Battle of Trafalgar that prevented an invasion of England by Napoleon. God also expects each person who has taken upon themselves the name of Christ to do their duty and endure well until the end. (Also see April 13, 2007.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010
March Madness
Several LDS Church presidents share Jack’s love of basketball. Jack relates how one year he literally risked his life to watch the annual NCAA basketball tournament.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might..." [Ecclesiastes 9:10]

Monday, April 5, 2010
“In our professions, as students, in our church callings, as spouses and parents, and citizens of this great nation we must never be so negligent and sloppy in what we do that we could ever be rightfully sued for malpractice.”

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jack observes that the most important type of defense is obtained by paying the individual price to obtain and utilize the "whole armour of God" described by the Apostle Paul. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010
Lucky Man

“I had to learn to live in the present and discover a way to live with, and hopefully even enjoy, the very limited options which were available to me.  I had to discover how to make the most of what came my way."

May 11, 2010
Hit the Ball and Drag Jack

Jack shares some humorous experiences with Jo Anne transporting him in various modified vans they have owned over the years.

May 11, 2010
A Breathtaking Necktie

"I am convinced that in a spiritual sense we are as dependent on Christ each minute and hour of the day for our spiritual life support as I am totally dependent upon my electrical and mechanical life support system to keep me alive physically. I know with a sure knowledge that if I detach myself from the "true vine" that unhappiness, depression, and despair will surely follow."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Human Need to Communicate

Jack shares some of his experiences with learning to communicate in new and different ways following his accident.

Thursday, May 13, 2010
The House That Jack's Friends Built

Jack relates the story of how his friends built an addition on to the Rushton's home so Jack could continue to live there after his accident.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Jack’s life long love of basketball eventually taught him that the discipline, hard work and determination needed to play good defense is equally important as the more recognized and publicly lauded accomplishment of scoring lots of points on offense. The is also true of the critical, but private preparations needed to defend ourselves from the enemy of all righteousness so that we may more ably serve and bless our fellow beings.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Moral Courage

"...on a daily basis we have decisions to make that require us to be strong and courageous in keeping all "the law." As we do so, the Lord will fight our battles and we will be able to ultimately triumph over seemingly impossible odds. Each day we are tempted to do it the world's way or the Lord's way. How foolish it would be to think anyway but the Lord's way will bring us ultimate peace and joy."

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Pioneers- Foot Soldiers of the Lord

"It seems to me that our challenge in our generation is to make sure the fire of the covenant is burning like a flame unquenchable in our hearts. As we do everything in our power to make sure our lives are governed by covenant and not by convenience, spiritual power will be ours to sustain us through the difficulties and challenges of our lives. And one day, perhaps our children and grandchildren for generations to come might be able to talk of us with admiration and respect, and will have gained strength from our examples, even as we have from those early "foot soldiers" of the Lord."

Sunday, July 25, 2010
Tender Mercies
Another near death experience generates additional gratitude for miraculous tender mercies when the Lord mercifully intervenes in our lives in answer to prayers. Jack relates yet another story where the tender mercies of the Lord helped them postpone major mechanical problems with their van until they could return home. He bears testimony that “the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen because of their faith to make them mighty even under the power of deliverance.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Jack rejoices in the publishing of his book entitled "It's Good to Be Alive!" that contains a selection of his best observations of the past 8 years.

Saturday, July 3, 2010
June Roses- 4th of July Memories

Jack reminisces about cherished memories of Independence Days as a boy in Ely, Nevada. 

Saturday, August 1, 2010
Contentment II

Jack teaches that we should strive for to be content with the challenges in our lives that out beyond our power to change and to seek to find joy in the many simple blessings we too often take for granted.

Sunday, August 8, 2010
A Bad Day
The story of a veterinarian caring for a severely injured dog and Jack’s own experiences with the consequences of his paralyzing accident set the stage for the sharing of former LDS First Presidency member Hugh B. Brown’s talk, “God is the Gardener”.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
It is important that we seek to develop well rounded, balanced lives, and to also endeavor as parents to provide our children with every possible opportunity to “increase in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man.”

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Is There Anything Else I Can Do for You Today?
Jack teaches the importance of giving service in the Church and in our families with an attitude of seeking to know “is there anything else I can do for you today?".

Saturday, August 14, 2010
As scientists continue to debate the many ‘how’ questions regarding the creation of our universe and the earth on which we dwell, it is reassuring to know that the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and latter-day revelations contain the answers to the more important questions regarding ‘why’  God, through his Son, created worlds without number.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
What Will You Take with You?
Jack relates how his experiences have taught him that there is nothing more important than preparing ourselves in mortality for eternity than by filling our minds with the content of the scriptures and also to "to seek learning by study and faith out of the best books."

Thursday, August 19, 2010
Piano Lessons
Jack explains how he learned to play the piano, which ability was a blessing to him throughout his life.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Praise -- Potential Poison
In true Jack Rushton humility, he teaches that any praise or notoriety he receives is actually due to his imperfect efforts to point others towards the Light of the World as a beacon for others to follow, even Jesus Christ the Savior of the World.

Saturday, August 28, 2010
The Billy Shaw Incident
“The Savior's message of agreeing with our adversaries quickly and then turning the other cheek is absolutely true but not always easy to do. It takes great self-restraint not to verbally or physically fight with others; of course nothing good ever comes from it. Love and kindness toward other people will usually help us to avoid confrontations and enable us to live in peace and harmony. If all else fails however, go for the nose!”

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Mothers have an incredible impact on our lives
“I am convinced that mothers have the greatest influence for good or evil on their children than any other factor in this world. I shudder to think what I might have been like without the teachings and influence of a wonderful mother.”

Saturday, September 4, 2010
A Plumber With Integrity
“The quality of integrity is much more important than great intelligence or other talents or abilities. It will compensate for a multitude of other weaknesses. To just DO IT and to be men and women of our word is to be a blessing not only to ourselves and our families but to all who know us.”

Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Sacrifice of a Hang Glider
Stories of sacrifices by Church members to help raise money for the building of the Irvine Lake Street stake center.

Monday, September 13, 2010
Spiritual Integrity
“Enduring well and trusting in a loving and kind Heavenly Father, will not position us to necessarily receive great worldly wealth, but as we are tried in the refiner's fire we will eventually become what the Lord sent us here to become.”

Saturday, September 18, 2010
Jo Anne
An inspirational tribute to the Elect Lady of Jack’s life, Jo Anne.

Friday, October 15, 2010
What Happened to Your Face? Page
“What I do believe is that after many years of living what we truly are becomes etched on our countenances… I have seen the face of Christ in your faces, in your deeds, and in your exemplary lives."

Thursday, October 28, 2010
Ever the master teacher, Jack instructs by personal experience that the great challenge of life is to find "joy in the journey" regardless of the "detours" that come our way. 

Friday, November 19, 2010
Jack ruminates about the many ways hands have blessed both his life and the lives of others.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
All People Make Me Happy
Jack reviews and recommends the book AMAZING GRACE: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas. One of the few things we can take with us from mortality into eternity are the cherished relationships we’ve cultivated with others, which is what also makes the temporary separation from departed loved ones so difficult.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Jack uses the passing of his close friend Lloyd Rasmussen during the Christmas season to remind us that Christ's mission and the celebration of his birth and mission is all about joy, which we don't always fully experience in this life, but will in the next if we are faithful disciples of Christ.


Monday, January 31, 2011
Hope – Adrenaline for the Soul
“I believe there are at least two different levels of hope that are operative in our lives. There is the hope that no matter what the problem is that there is a way out and that things can get better. And then there is a higher level of hope which the Scriptures call "A perfect brightness of hope." This perfect brightness of hope is faith and hope in the atonement of Christ and in the great plan of happiness. Fortunate is the man or woman who has both levels of faith/hope alive and well in their lives.”

Friday, February 11, 2011
If We Don't Try We Don't Do
“I believe there are times in all of our lives when we are tempted to give up or give in because things that confront us are just too difficult to deal with. Of course if we quit trying we quit doing and the "why are we here" question becomes very relevant in our lives. On those occasions when I have been tempted to give up and feel that all is lost and quit trying and doing I remember my Grandmother Halley Wilkin Young. Her example gives me courage to keep trying and doing.”

Sunday, April 3, 2011
The Work and the Glory
Even though Jo Anne jokes that she does all the work while Jack gets all the glory, he believes that Jo Anne is both "The Work and the Glory," and "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder!" Jack relates to the Apostle Peter losing focus while walking on the water and then pleading for Christ to save him when he began to sink.

Monday, April 11, 2011
Heap Big Smoke but No Fire
Jack reiterates his appreciation for companies and people who are reliable, both in the present day and as examples from history.

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Putting off the Natural Man
“It will probably take a lifetime and more to completely put off the natural man through the atonement of Christ the Lord and become a saint which can only happen as we continually yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit each day of our lives…. through constant repentance and the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost we can ultimately be converted from a natural man to a Christlike state.”

Saturday, May 7, 2011
Broken Bows
“…most problems and challenges we face in life are really only broken bows. Like Nephi, we must not sit and murmur and weep and wring our hands in despair and frustration, but work through our challenges and problems with an attitude of faith and hope, discovering that "the only way out is the way through".

Friday, June 24, 2011
It's Good to Be Alive Again… And Again
Jack shares yet another near death experience. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the season of hope, it was the season of despair…". "Be patient in afflictions for thou shalt have many, but endure them, for lo I am with thee even unto the end of thy days."

Thursday, July 7, 2011
Job Revisted

"Most of us will never be rich or famous, as defined by the world, but anyone who is surrounded by loving family members and friends is truly rich in the only way that really matters. As hard as life can be at times, the Lord's words to Joseph help us to keep things in their proper perspective. "Thy friends do stand by thee...Thou art not yet as Job..."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Christ-like Lovingkindness
“The true test of our "loving kindness" as well as our "long suffering," it seems to me, is in the relationships we have with our spouses, children, and those with whom we interact in our own little circle of acquaintances on a day to day basis.” 

Sunday, September 11, 2011
"Is It I?"
We should all strive to overcome the tendency of the natural man to blame others in order to avoid responsibility for our mistakes and instead "yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit" and sincerely seek to understand and resolve our part of a problem. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Even If Paul, Not I (Even If All, Not I)
“Et si omnes ego non”
Using examples from the scriptures and his own life, Jack teaches the importance of remaining true to correct principles even in the face of peer pressure or persecution.

Monday, October 31, 2011
The Defiant Power of the Human Spirit
The willpower of the human spirit to persevere in the face of adversity is aided by acknowledging the truth that "no matter how bad you think your life is, there is always someone who has it worse than you, and because of that, we should count our many blessings and be content with our lot in life, whatever it may be.”

Monday, November 14, 2011
"I Saw That All I Had Made Was Good."
Jack shares his admiration and appreciation for all those who create, maintain, and repair the physical inventions of this world that so bless our lives.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
He Really Likes Me
Jack uses the lyrics to a song from the musical “Man of La Mancha” to express his appreciation for the devotion and unwavering support from Jack’s beloved eternal helpmeet Jo Anne and everyone’s advocate with the Father, our Savior Jesus Christ.


Friday, January 6, 2012
What Lack I yet?
“All of us…are lacking in something which is keeping us from following the Savior with more devotion, putting Him first in our lives, and being his true disciple. Growth will only come to us as we recognize and honestly admit to ourselves, however hard it may be, what we lack and take the steps to overcome and deal with that weakness.”

Friday, January 6, 2012
I May Never Pass This Way Again
Jack reminds us all that, especially at Christmas time, “truly celebrating the birth of Christ and his subsequent mortal mission, it seems to me, can best be done by committing ourselves to follow His example of compassion, love, and desire to bless even "the least of these our brethren" who surround us on every side.”

Friday, January 6, 2012
Grandpa's miracle
Jack shares an essay that his 12 year old granddaughter Annie Rushton wrote describing her grandfather’s miraculous recovery earlier in the year from a hopeless diagnosis of a brain-damaged vegetative state.

Monday, January 23, 2012
Do What You Can with What You Have, Where You Are
Jack again shares his love of the scriptures, of biographies of great Church leaders, as well as inspiring historical figures. “Although my body is mobility impaired, through the magic of reading, my mind knows no limits. Through reading I have become acquainted with some of the greatest people with the best minds that have ever lived, and have vicariously experienced many of the world's most important events in history.”

Thursday, February 6, 2012
Fear vs Faith II

"Very infrequently something will happen to me, like what happened to Peter when he walked on the water. As long as he was focused on the Savior, he was able to do this miraculous thing, but for just an instant he realized that what he was doing was really impossible for any human being to do, fear replaced faith, and he began to sink like a rock..."

Monday, February 27, 2012
The Rougher the Course, the Greater the Reward
“Mortality and its many challenges we all have faced, are facing, or will face – it can be a rough course for most of us – is a necessary part of Heavenly Father's customized curriculum for each one of us as a prerequisite to be given the greatest reward possible – the gift of eternal life!”

Monday, March 26, 2012
Don't Blow Your Lead
Just like talented sports teams that blow large scoring leads by becoming complacent about executing the fundamentals of their game, once righteous individual members of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that have been born in the covenant to righteous families can fritter away their blessings by becoming complacent, lazy, soft and cease doing the fundamentals that had brought to them their big lead – getting up early, searching the Scriptures, praying, striving to keep all the Commandments and seeking to serve others.

Thursday, March 29, 2012
How Is Your Vision?
In classic Jack Rushton master educator style, he intertwines his wonderful sense of humor throughout his sharing of his own repeated struggles with deteriorating eyesight (that would qualify as a sore trial for even otherwise healthy individuals) that has given him an increased appreciation for his remaining gift of sight, as well as a desire to continue his efforts to avoid spiritual blindness by seeking to see more clearly with spiritual eyes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012
The Passing of a Great Servant of God

Upon learning of the death of his friend, fellow patriarch, and spiritual giant Joseph William "Billy" Johnson from Ghana, West Africa, Jack remembers Brother Johnson's amazing pioneering efforts to plant and harvest gospel seeds among the people of Africa and his visits to the Rushton home. 

Friday, May 4, 2012
"Look with Optimism, Work with Faith"
Another classic Jack Rushton motivational speech. Jack talks about his efforts to match pace with his wife Jo Anne’s seemingly inexhaustible ability to look with optimism while working with faith to overcome and endure the many trials and hardships of their lives. Jack shares both personal and historical examples of severe trials faced and overcome through a positive outlook, determination to never quit, and calling upon God for his assistance while doing all in our power to succeed.

Friday, May 25, 2012
"Tell Me Something Good"
Jack reminds all of us, through the sharing of many examples, to exercise our God given gift of agency to recognize  and value the good things in our lives, especially if we are struggling with major challenges in our lives.

Thursday, June 28, 2012
"I have no man...[to help me]..."

Jack relates examples of himself and others recognizing that, even in the midsts of difficult life experiences, we are not truly alone when we utilize the power of prayer and exercise faith and trust in Christ.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The Least of These

"We all know why the Sheep were called the "blessed of the Father," and would inherit the kingdom prepared for them from "the foundation of the world." They had simply followed the example of Christ in giving selfless service to others –"…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." 

Sunday, September 16, 2012
"Dad, the Cookies Didn't Turn Out!"
Jack reminds us that there is great power in words to bless us, to sustain us through trials, and even to change lives. This is especially true of the Word of God found in the scriptures.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
"Here Comes Jack…"
“It would not be a bad idea on occasion for all of us to, with a sincere heart and real intent, ask Heavenly Father, "What lack I yet?" I am sure the answer will be different for each one of us, and even different at different times in our lives”. “Something I have been trying to overcome for years, and thankfully I am making progress the older I get, is to put people before my personal projects, programs, agenda and timetable.”

Tuesday, October 5, 2012
The Way out Is the Way through
(this was the last blog entry published prior to Jack's death)

“Over the years I have learned that it is much easier to teach great truths and principles than to live them. Most of our students did not internalize the fact that "The way out is the way through." It was hard for me to accept the fact that so few were able to do this. Many years later, because of what happened to me one August day at Laguna Beach, I was given the opportunity to implement this philosophy in my own life. I found that it was easier said than done and caused me to have greater empathy…”. We must accept about our situation what we can never change, and then explore and discover every capacity, ability, and talent we have left, and magnify them to the highest degree possible.

“…all those who would come to truly know God and come to understand that the way out is the way through – through God. To come to know God, to have "the wicked spirit rooted out of our breasts" requires coming face to face with ourselves and being willing to "give away all of our sins of commission and omission" to come to know God. There is no other way. Ultimately the way out of the "natural man" condition we all inherit because of the Fall is "through" Christ and his atonement. As Nephi so beautifully taught, "And now behold my beloved brethren, this is the way and there is none other way nor name whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God…"

Monday, October 29, 2012
Jack in the Box

"As I contemplate my own mortality and my inevitable journey into eternity – someone once said birth is a terminal disease – I have taken comfort in the scriptural references cited below from the Book of Mormon in which Alma teaches his wayward son, Corianton, the truth and reality regarding The Spirit World and of a literal resurrection. (Alma 40:11-12; Alma 40:45-46). These scriptures fill me with a "perfect brightness of hope" regarding my future journey into the World of Spirits, and ultimately of receiving a glorified, perfected body."

Saturday, December 22, 2012
Who is Any Williams?

After kiddingly discussing his disappointment that so few people in his life know or remember some of the great singers of yesteryear, Jack teaches the importance of learning about the lives of faithful men and women from the scriptures and from the examples of the lives of modern day prophets, remembering always to building our foundation upon the Savior Jesus Christ.

Jack completed his mortal probation early on Christmas Day 2012. This humble and faithful disciple of Jesus Christ is finally free to soar outside the confines of his unresponsive mortal body to spend Christmas Day with his beloved Lord and Savior. Jack concluded his mortal probation with flying colors and has left an example and a legacy to lead and inspire his family and generations of descendants, and for all to seek to emulate. Although the family and friends he leaves behind will truly mourn the temporary loss of his presence, most assuredly he has enjoyed a joyful reunion with family and friends who have already preceded him in returning home to that God who gave us all life.

It is most fitting that Jack’s last observation published on his blog prior to his death (10/5/12- The Way out is the Way through) concludes with scriptures that testify of Christ and the transforming, sustaining, and saving power of his Atonement that provided both Jack and Jo Anne with the faith, hope, and charity needed for them to endure well Jack’s 24+ years of life as a paralyzed quadriplegic. Even more importantly, it has helped them both become even better disciples of Jesus Christ than they already were before.

It will be evident to those who read Jack’s observations that he primarily intended them for the benefit of his beloved family and posterity, Rushton Family scriptures, if you will. However, Jack had the wisdom and foresight to recognize that his observations could also be of great worth to friends and other non-family members, and was kind enough to publish them in a manner that would enable access by a potentially much larger audience. Because of Jack having taken the time and great effort to lovingly and painstakingly document his thoughts, experiences, and how he employed the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help him through adversity and sore trials that most of us will never fully comprehend, the sphere of his influence will continue to ripple outward from one person to another, from generation to generation, blessing the lives of countless individuals.

Not surprisingly, the last word of Jack’s last blog entry published prior to his death was “God”, to whom he has now returned with the promised greeting of, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matt 25:21

"For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory." Doctrine and Covenants 76:5-6