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PLAY IT SAFE!       DO 2082       11/85--A Lecture on Birdy Safety!

       1. WE'VE TRIED TO MAKE SAFETY RULES FOR YOU ABOUT THE HOUSE & EVERY OTHER WAY, TO TRY TO MAKE SURE THAT ACCIDENTS DON'T HAPPEN, & a few times before when they did, the people involved usually got a lecture, as Dora & a few others know, about the care of the children & hot water & mechanics in the kitchen & all kinds of things. I've been a little bit concerned about this already & the Lord's been very good to us about it, in our birdy court & all of our household activities & our exercise.
       2. HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN ENJOYING BIRDY? I like to call it birdy, it's easier than saying badminton. I don't think it's "bad". Sometimes it's not too good either. But anyway, it's a lot of exercise. It was the Lord's idea. I was concerned about especially you office people like Maria & Peter that don't get much exercise, myself as well.
       3. I WAS CONCERNED & BURDENED ABOUT IT, & I was looking out my window one day & wondering, "Now what can we do?"--Thinking about the children & the office people that don't get much exercise. You shoppers & people that work in maintenance around here, you work hard enough & you get lots of exercise, but the people who sit at a desk all day & about the only exercise they get is pushing papers, that's not too good if they don't get out & get some really vigorous exercise!
       4. SO I WAS JUST LOOKING OUT IN THE YARD WONDERING WHAT IN THE WORLD WE COULD DO TO GET SOME GOOD EXERCISE! I even thought maybe we could bat a ball back & forth or something, some kind of in-house exercise that we could do. And I looked across at that pavement & it just came to me as clear as a picture, like all these other inventions have come! The Lord just gives me a picture. There it is, it's a birdy court! It's just the right size for a birdy court & thanks to the dear boys who helped set it all up!
       5. NOW THAT WE'VE GOT THE BIRDY COURT IN OPERATION & EVERYBODY'S ENJOYING IT, I HAVE CAUTIONED A FEW PEOPLE I've played with out there at the beginning about safety, because you can get cracked in the head with those rackets pretty hard if you're not careful & prayerful about how you play & how near to others that you play. But it's just a miracle that we've been playing so long & nobody's really gotten hit very hard--until today.
       6. SHOW THEM YOUR CHEEK THERE, DEAR NAOMI! She was hit so hard that it not only knocked the skin off & made a cut, but as you can see, it's black-&-blue around the cut, it hit her jaw so hard. But I think that girl is the bravest girl I ever saw! She never flinched! She never winced! She just smiled! She never hollered, she never complained & we thought she'd just been barely touched or grazed until we saw it bleeding. I thought, my goodness, she really has gotten a scratch, but I didn't realise how badly she was really hit until we were together this afternoon & I examined her jaw. I asked her, "Did it just scratch the skin or did you feel it hit your jaw?" She said, "No, it hit the bone!" It really hit hard.
       7. AS I RECALL, BRUCE, THIS IS A CAUTION TO YOU & SOME OF YOU VERY AGGRESSIVE PLAYERS. I think maybe some of you forget that you're not out there to go to the extreme just to try to win, you're out there for exercise & for enjoyment, health, fresh air & sunshine.

       8. BEFORE THIS, NOBODY HAS REALLY GOTTEN HURT. A few people have gotten grazed a little bit. The birdys don't hurt you, as long as they don't hit you in the eye. I've gotten knocked in the head a few times or in the shoulder with rackets, but it wasn't enough to hurt. But this was a serious accident, brother Bruce. And I'm not just saying this for Bruce's sake, but for all of you, we don't want this repeated, & it can be avoided!
       9. NOW WHAT HAS BEEN MY CRITERION ABOUT ACCIDENTS? What is my favourite saying about accidents? (Fam: Make it impossible for an accident to happen!)--Do your best to make it impossible for an accident to happen! Avoid the conditions & the circumstances that lead to accidents! If you see a glass sitting near the edge of the table, make it impossible for it to get knocked off the table by putting it somewhere else. If you see anything in a dangerous position, or in a position where somebody might accidentally hit it & knock it off or step on it or whatever it might be, although people might be able to avoid it, make it impossible for the accidents to happen!

       10. THOSE RACKETS ARE VERY SMALL & VERY LIGHT, BUT IF THEY HIT YOU IN THE WRONG PLACE AS THEY DID POOR NAOMI TODAY, THEY CAN HURT!--And it could have been a lot more serious. It could have been her ear, or worse yet, it could have been her eye!
       11. BY THE WAY, SON, WHAT SHOT WAS IT THAT WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAD TO COME THAT CLOSE TO HER? I remember that she was way over in the middle of her court. So I don't believe it was her fault. We have to be honest about these things. As far as I've seen playing with most all of you so far, I've found that Bruce is probably the champ here. I don't know whether it comes from playing tennis or birdy before. Had you ever played birdy before? (Bruce: Very little.) But you had played. Most of these people have never played before. So he's really good at it & a fairly aggressive player & really knows how to knock down your points & make points.
       12. BUT I WANT TO REMIND SOME OF YOU THAT WE DON'T PLAY BIRDY JUST TO WIN! We're not out there playing just to make points. The point is not as valuable as the people! And winning is not the point! Winning is not the thing you're out there for, you're out there for a good vigorous exercise!
       13. WE HAVE BEGUN PLAYING COMPETITIVE BIRDY BECAUSE, FRANKLY, FOR ME IT'S A LITTLE BIT EASIER. You get a little time to rest in-between plays & shots. Whereas what we used to call goodminton, just hitting it straight back & forth between two players up to 150-some-times, that can be pretty tiring for an old man like me & a weak little girl like Maria. It's pretty hard. And it gets actually a little boring after you get the knack of it & you know how to do it, you can just hit it back & forth almost endlessly. Whereas the playing of the actual game is far more interesting, more fun, more variety & actually you can play a little longer & it's not so tiring. You get good vigorous exercise, not too strenuous, & very good activity.

       14. (TO ONE OF THE GIRLS:) I AM JUST ABSOLUTELY AMAZED AT YOU, HONEY! SHE'S LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT SHE HAS ABSOLUTELY GOTTEN GORGEOUS! She has that classic Greek Hellenic statuesque beauty of those Greek statues! She's got it! I just happened to be looking at her the most because I try to shoot down the middle & you get the flack in all directions! Maybe she needed that for her encouragement, beautiful! I think anybody that works at it like that to lose a few excess pounds really deserves some credit! That's real self-denial & sacrifice!
       15. AS JUNIOR LEHMAN TOLD ME YEARS AGO AT OUR DINNER TABLE ONCE--I think he was talking to my Mother, because she was pretty stout then. He said, "You know the best reducing exercise there is? I'd like to show you!" She thought he was going to perform some kind of callisthenics or what they call aerobics today, it's all the same thing, they've been doing it for years. She said, "Well yes, I'd like to see it, what is it?" And as she watched, all he did was to push himself away from the table! That's the best reducing exercise! Seconds look so tempting or snacktime in-between meals, that trip down to the kitchen, it would be so good, especially with all these goodies that these cooks are making now! The best reducing exercise is...(Pushes away from the table!)--In other words, no!

       16. NOW THE REASON I'M BRINGING THIS OUT & I'M MAKING POOR BRUCE THE GOAT IS BECAUSE IN A WAY HE DESERVES IT, because look what he did to Naomi. That was a real hard blow! I mean she is a soldier! She didn't even wince or flinch or hardly anything, & yet her chin was bleeding, & it turned out afterwards it hit the bone hard as well, the jaw is black-&-blue. One of those rackets dealt edge-on by a strong man-player could break a jaw or crack a head, & we don't want that to happen! We didn't even want this to happen! But you have to be the goat & the guinea pig today, Honey, to be a lesson to the rest of them what we don't want to happen.
       17. I BRING OUT THIS POINT TO SHOW YOU WHERE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LAY DOWN THESE RULES: Bruce, what were you doing over in her court? (Bruce: I was going after a bird that was really hers.)--Right! That's an honest confession. God bless him for being honest about it.
       18. NOW WHEN I FIRST TAUGHT YOU GUYS TO PLAY BIRDIE, DIDN'T I SAY SOMETHING ABOUT STAYING IN YOUR OWN COURTS? I said the only safe way to keep from hitting each other with your rackets is to only hit birdies which are in your own courts! Most of you play doubles, don't you? (Fam: Yes.) Of course, if you're just playing singles you get the whole court & there's nobody playing right beside you with a lethal racket, so you're perfectly safe & you can be all over the place, it doesn't matter! You're the only one on that side of the net.
       19. BUT WHEN YOU'RE PLAYING DOUBLES & YOU'RE SIDE-BY-SIDE IN TWO SMALL COURTS, YOU ARE DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO EACH OTHER! And the only way to avoid this sort of accident is to make it impossible for it to happen by staying in your own court. As I recall, when I saw it happen, you were right in the middle of your court, but Bruce was leaping over there to get a birdie he was afraid she was going to miss, & that's how she got socked!
       20. I REALISE YOU'RE A GOOD PLAYER, BRUCE, & SOME OF THE REST OF YOU ARE TOO.--Like David here, he can jump all over both courts & everywhere! He goes so fast you never know where he's going to be! He's like a grasshopper or the Irishman's flea! He is terrific! But it can be dangerous if you're playing alongside someone else.
       21. WE'VE ALL PROBABLY GOTTEN HIT A FEW TIMES, on the head or the shoulder or somewhere. How many of you have gotten slightly hit at least sometimes while you were playing birdy? I know I have! It looks like most of the children have, & several of you adults! How did the rest of you guys escape, anyhow?

       22. SO ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU GO OUT THERE IS LIKE MARIA DID TODAY WHEN WE STARTED TO PLAY--PRAY! But maybe we didn't take it seriously enough & didn't really join in with her in spirit enough about it. She prayed, "Lord bless & keep us in Jesus' name, amen!" Maria was thoughtful & mindful to pray, but perhaps some of the rest of us didn't really take it as seriously as we should have.
       23. I THINK YOU REALLY NEED TO PRAY SERIOUSLY, ALL OF YOU! You don't want to go out there & hold hands & bow your heads & have a prayer meeting or a seance in front of all the neighbours, but if nothing else, you could pray before you go out. I think maybe we're going to have to make a rule that you folks who go out there to play, stop inside & bow your heads & pray & ask the Lord to keep accidents from happening.
       24. WE'VE HAD SEVERAL PEOPLE TAKE SOME BAD SLIPS OUT THERE WHEN IT WAS SLIPPERY & WET. David's so light on his feet, he sort of bounces & he picks himself up before he hardly even hits! But I even fell once out there. How many of you have fallen? Well, look at that, more people than got hit! So you've really gotta watch out about that, you can break a bone! Of course, you young people aren't in as great danger of breaking bones as us older people whose bones they say are brittle. I don't know about mine. Thank the Lord, I still seem to be in pretty good shape. I think I bounced off almost as fast as I hit when I fell the other day! I've fallen at least once or twice out there, but thank the Lord, it didn't even hurt.
       25. I'VE GOTTEN HIT IN THE ARM & SHOULDER & EVEN IN THE HEAD WITH A RACKET A FEW TIMES LIGHTLY, BUT IT REALLY DIDN'T HURT. But after all, I usually play with Maria & she doesn't swing that racket very hard. She could hardly hurt a fly the way she bats those birdies, but she's got some real tricky little clever short shots you'd better look out for! She's no pile driver or bullet-shooter, but she's got some real tricky little shots! So when she hits me with a racket it feels like a feather touch! (Maria: Well, I deliberately try not to hit you!) Yes, she's very careful to try not to hit me when I'm in the way, & I often get in the way. That's a good point!

       26. YOU FOLKS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO FIRST OF ALL PRAY, THEN YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP THE RULE ABOUT KEEPING TO YOUR OWN COURTS & only hitting birdies that are in your court, regardless of whether your other player is good enough or not! You're not there just to win, you're there for exercise!
       27. WE PLAYED A SET OF THREE GAMES TODAY & I CAN REMEMBER WE WERE ONE GAME TO ONE, BUT I'M NOT INTERESTED ENOUGH IN THE SCORE that I could even tell you now who won the last game. Who won? Okay, Bruce. He's really good. And so is this little gal Naomi, she's terrific! Her responses are really quick!
       28. SO PRAY, NUMBER ONE, & NOT ONLY PRAY BUT CONTINUE TO PRAY & BE CAREFUL & PRAYERFUL about trying to jump all over the place & "slide Kelly slide" & all that kind of stuff! You may prove yourself to be a champ & kill somebody in the process, including yourself! So stick to your own court! Try to just hit the birdies that you're pretty sure are going to land in your court, & for God's sake, don't run out of your court into somebody else's court!
       29. NOW THERE IS ONE EXCEPTION IN THAT, & THAT IS AFTER THE FIRST SERVE, LIKE IN TENNIS OR IN BIRDIE, YOU'RE ALLOWED TO PLAY FORECOURT & BACKCOURT. You can either play net or backcourt, so one man stays close to the net & one stays in the back field, in the back court, so that you stay away from each other. One tries to get the birdies just coming over the net & the other stays back there to get the longshots. That's one good way to stay away from each other. Although sometimes because the front man can't see the rear man, it can cause problems. You're really safer to play your whole court & just your own court, the side court, whether close or back.
       30. BUT IF YOU'RE TWO GOOD PLAYERS THAT ARE USED TO PLAYING WITH EACH OTHER & you know where you're at & you're not going to bop the other guy on the bean with your rac-ket, you could play forecourt & backcourt. Usually the guy in front of you isn't going to hit you back there behind him, although you can sometimes raise your racket to hit a birdy & hit the player behind you.
       31. --LIKE MY MOTHER KILLED THAT MOUSE THAT TIME WITH HER SLIPPER! She was trying to stand on her bed & throw her slipper at a mouse! She never was a good shot of anything. She saw it over there on that side of the room. The Swedish maid saw this & nearly died laughing! She raised her slipper & it flew out of her hand backwards, & by that time the mouse had run clear around the room & it hit the mouse & killed the mouse! That could only happen to my Mother! She was an expert at the phenomenal! If it couldn't be done, she would do it!
       32. BUT YOU CAN RAISE THAT RACKET & HIT SOMEBODY BEHIND YOU IF YOU DON'T LOOK OUT! So if you know they're back there & you don't know where they are, just don't raise your racket that far, even if you miss the shot! I'd rather you miss the shot & miss the person than hit the shot & hit the person! So try to stay in your own court, or if you want to play forward & backward, be sure you know how to play it safely & stay apart from each other.
       33. WE KIND OF MAKE UP OUR OWN RULES OF THIS GAME HERE & WE TRY TO MAKE IT SAFE, but you can reach across the court, like I often do when I play the forward right at the net, & try to catch birdies coming right over the net. Because if I can hit'm, usually I can keep the other guy from hitting them. In which case I can even steal one from my other player, which in formal birdy is not legal on a serve. But I do it & I like to do it, so I make the rules here & I made it legal! Some of you have found out you can do it too! If they hit it a little too close to me even when they're supposed to be serving to Maria, I sometimes can swat it down. Is that legal in tennis? Can the net man hit the other guy's ball? (Fam: Not on a serve.) That's when I usually get'm, on a serve!
       34. ANYWAY, SOMETIMES YOU'LL WANT TO PLAY FORWARD & BACKWARD, BUT JUST BE VERY CAREFUL, especially the back man, don't go swinging that racket around so you crack your teammate in the head with it, like Bruce did to poor Naomi today. We know of course he didn't do it on purpose, but he was a little too zealous & ambitious & aggressive there in trying to get that shot.

       35. I GUESS HE WAS AFRAID DEAR NAOMI WAS GOING TO MISS IT! BUT I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE TO BE AFRAID ABOUT NAOMI, I've never seen a gal hit back shots so quick like she did today! I think she's one of the fastest players we've seen in the girls out there! She got back some real good shots today, so I don't think you have to worry that much about her. After all, let her fend for herself! She's got to play her own part & do her own part, don't try to play the game for her! And the same to the rest of you.
       36. I'M TALKING TO ALL OF YOU, NOT JUST BRUCE! He just happens to be the guy that's getting it tonight because he was the first one who had a serious accident & really hurt somebody. Were you able to chew tonight? (Naomi: Yes, Sir.) She's sticking up for you, Son, she doesn't want you to get it too bad here, bless her heart.
       37. BUT WHEN YOU CAN SEE THAT MARK & THAT BLACK-&-BLUE SPOT AROUND THERE WHERE HE CRACKED HER IN THE JAW, IT REALLY HIT! Now don't take chances! If you think the bird is coming down too close to the other player, it's better to let it fall than swing your racket & hit'm! Just let it fall! I think I've only grazed you one or two times, haven't I, Maria? I touch her lightly! I've really been pretty careful because I know Maria's pretty delicate & frail & I sure don't want to hurt her. I think I only touched her once or twice. Anybody else here I've hit? Come on, raise your hand. Come on David, I think I hit you once. Nobody else here? Well, I'm pretty cautious, I try not to swing my racket too close to other people.
       38. THE BEST WAY TO DO IT IS NUMBER ONE, PRAY, NUMBER TWO, STAY IN YOUR OWN COURT--either forecourt or rearcourt, whichever--& remember, it's better to miss the shot & lose the point than to hurt somebody! Is that clear? (Fam: Yes, Sir!) Now let's do it! Let's not take any chances. When you think your teammate is a little close & you might hit'm, if there's any possibility you might even touch them with that racket, it's better to just let it fall, or let them have a chance to see if they can get it!--Especially if it's in their court. Give'm a chance to play! How are they ever going to learn if you try to play the whole field for'm, no matter how good you are?
       39. THERE'S NO POINT IN SHOWING OFF HOW GOOD YOU ARE! WE'RE NOT OUT THERE TO SHOW OFF, TO WIN GAMES & MAKE POINTS! That's not what we're there for, to be aggressive & show what a champ & what an expert we are. I know I try to make points, but I try to make them safely & I try not to hit Maria, of all people. And she does her best not to hit me, although a lot of times I get in her way. There are some times when we've hit the birdy together even with both rackets. It looked like it was coming down between us & we both wanted to make sure it got hit so our rackets went up together like that! But that's OK as long as you know where each other are & there's no chance of actually hitting them, you know right where they're at. You might hit rackets, but for God's sake, don't hit the person!
       40. STAY FAR ENOUGH APART THAT THERE'S NO POSSIBLE CHANCE OF HITTING YOUR PARTNER WITH YOUR RACKET! We don't want somebody to lose an eye or break a nose. I got my nose broken in sports & it's caused me trouble ever since. It's still stuffy. Of course, it's been that way most of my life anyhow. My sister used to scream at me in the morning when I'd go in the bathroom & start blowing my nose because it was so loud, it's just one of my many afflictions that helps keep me righteous. (Psa.34:19)
       41. BUT WE DON'T WANT SOMEBODY LOSING AN EAR! Those rackets on the end, especially where the strings are strung, are pretty sharp. Look what they did to her cheek! Swung by a strong man, they can cause a lot of damage if you hit somebody. They can hurt & they can actually injure, especially around your head & face etc. There's just no point in it! There's no point in playing so close to the other player that you're apt to hit them. Just don't do it!
       42. WE DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO BAN BIRDY BECAUSE YOU'RE CARELESS & YOU'RE TOO AGGRESSIVE in your playing & you're striving too hard to make points & trying too much to win & you're forgetting what you're there for! You're there most of all to get the exercise you need. That's what I was concerned about when I figured out the birdy court & the Lord gave me that picture.

       43. AT FIRST I WAS A LITTLE LEERY ABOUT SETTING UP THE COURT, BUT I THOUGHT, "WELL, LORD, WE'LL TRY IT!" After all, He gave me the idea, it's gonna work! But if you start boppin' people on the bean with your racket it's not going to work very well!--Or socking them in the jaw or in the eye or the nose or the ear or something! It could cause a permanent injury & you wouldn't be very happy about that, would you? You'd better take good care of that little girl & make sure that that doesn't get any worse. We washed it good, did you put any alcohol on it? (Naomi: We put cologne on it on the birdy court.) Oh that's right, you did.
       44. I NEVER SAW SUCH A BRAVE GIRL! She didn't flinch, she didn't cry, she didn't wince, she didn't holler, she didn't do anything, she never made a sound! We didn't hardly realise anything had happened! She was just going to go right on playing. And it really must have hurt! Just look at that black-&-blue bruise there. It must have really hurt! She said it hit the jaw, it actually bruised her. But she was so brave she just ignored it.--Until we saw it bleeding & told Bruce to do something about it.
       45. JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE BRAVE DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN'T HURT & EVEN RECEIVE SOME KIND OF A SERIOUS INJURY. There's a possibility that those rackets wielded carelessly could give somebody a permanent injury, & you certainly wouldn't want that to happen. So please pray, & stick to your own courts. If you're anywhere near somebody, don't take a chance on trying to hit that birdy that close to them! You wouldn't be hitting it close to them unless you're afraid they can't hit it. Now if they can't hit it, just let it go. They've got to learn to hit it. If you're going to rush in & help'm every time, they'll never learn. Besides, you're going to endanger them & their life or their limb or their body or head or eye or ear or nose or something! You don't want to give them a permanent scar on their face or something.
       46. TRY TO DO THINGS IN A WAY & SITUATE THINGS IN A WAY THAT ACCIDENTS CANNOT HAPPEN! Do your best to make it impossible for accidents to happen!
       47. PLEASE WATCH OUT ON THE BIRDY COURT! If you want to continue to be able to have it, & without pain, without accident, without some kind of a problem that you're going to regret for the rest of your life, then just don't do it! Just don't go over there & try to help your teammate. That's what they're there for, they're supposed to catch their own birdies, they're supposed to hit their own shots in their own court! Stick to your own court! Stay away from'm!
       48. AND DON'T EVER TAKE A CHANCE ON HITTING ONE SO CLOSE TO THEM THAT YOU'RE APT TO HIT THEM, EVER! I don't care how good you are, what a champ you are, to show us how good you can play & get shots they can't get, it's not worth it! It's just not worth it. It's better to lose the point. It would have been better to have lost the point, wouldn't it, Bruce, than to have hit her today & caused that hurt!
       49. I THINK YOU OUGHT TO MEMORISE THAT RULE: BETTER TO LOSE THE POINT THAN TO HIT THE PERSON! Just stay in your own court! And pray before you go there & ask the Lord to really help you, that you're not going to hurt somebody with that racket! Wielding it wildly to try to catch a birdy, you're apt to catch somebody else.
       50. I'M SORRY THAT I HAD TO MAKE POOR BRUCE THE GOAT TONIGHT, BUT IT COULD JUST AS WELL HAVE BEEN YOU, & some of the rest of us have been just as careless & have wielded wildly that racket & hit somebody. Thank God we didn't hit'm that hard, hard enough to really hurt'm, but we could've! Just don't do it!
       51. WINNING ISN'T THAT IMPORTANT! Winning one point certainly isn't that important. It would be better to lose the game & save the person than to try to win the game & hurt the person! Amen? So please try to be more prayerful & more careful, more consi-derate, more thoughtful of other people, & put first things first. And the most important thing is not to hurt anybody--not win the game! The most important thing is not to hit somebody.
       52. GO AHEAD & LOSE THE POINT, IT'S BETTER THAN SOMEBODY LOSING AN EYE OR AN EAR OR A NOSE OR SOMETHING! Try to stay away from each other. If it lands right in the middle on the line, well, better for both of you to stop & miss it. I've seen players do that lots of times. They each saw maybe the other one ought to hit it & neither one of them hit it & they just let it fall. Well, that's better than both of them trying to hit it & hitting each other!
       53. I HAVEN'T ALWAYS BEEN AS CAREFUL AS I SHOULD BE, BUT MOSTLY WHAT I'M GUILTY OF IS HITTING PEOPLE WITH BIRDIES! I'm a hard-driver on some shots. But I don't think I've really hurt anybody with a birdy yet, have I? Some of them put up their hands trying to protect themselves when they see I'm going to swat it! Maybe it's a good idea! I don't think anybody's got hit in the eye with a birdy yet, have you? Usually you have time to protect yourself. The birdies travel pretty slow, except on those pile-driver shots or bullet shots. You guys that got hit with my birdies, did anybody get hurt? I think I've hit you more than anybody, Son. It's not because I'm aiming at him, but he's just so big! It's hard to miss him! But I think I'm going to make a rule that any team that hits someone anywhere on the body except for the arms & legs with a pile-driver or bullet shot will be penalised by losing the point.
       54. POOR NAOMI TODAY, I WAS SOCKING'M TO HER QUITE A FEW TIMES! I think I hit her right in the belly button once & a few other places. It certainly didn't injure her any, that's for sure but they can sting. But those rackets can hurt you badly, & they can even injure. And if you're not very prayerful & careful & really watch your step & your swing, you could give somebody a permanent injury that you'll be sorry for & they'll be sorry for for the rest of their lives!
       55. YOU COULD SAY, "WELL, WE'RE NOT GOING TO LIVE VERY LONG ANYHOW, DAD!" Well, that would be a terrible attitude to take, I'm sure nobody here is going to have that attitude. Be careful! What little life you've got left is worth something, & what little faculties you have left in the way of your hearing & your eyesight & your breathing & a few other things are worth saving for the Lord's work & your jobs & not sacrificing just for the shot or for a point. What do you think about that, Bruce? (Bruce: I think that's absolutely right, Sir. I'm really sorry it happened.)
       56. I'M SURE YOU'VE TOLD NAOMI HOW SORRY YOU ARE, HAVEN'T YOU? Did he make it up to you, Honey? (Naomi: Yes, Sir.) He'd better be good to you now. You can hold him responsible for that from now on: "Don't forget now, you hit me once! You owe it to me! You'd better be nice to me!" I'm trying to help you laugh a little bit, but it was pretty serious. Bruce, do you have anything more you want to say about that? Have you got any advice you'd like to give the rest of them about it? (Bruce: It's better to miss the shot than injure someone, & winning is not the most important thing, the exercise is the most important thing.) It's better to even lose the game than lose an eye or an ear or a broken nose or something, a bad hurt, or even a scar on somebody's face or whatever. It just isn't worth it!
       57. I KNOW YOU'RE A GOOD PLAYER, SON, YOU'RE THE BEST I'VE RUN ACROSS SO FAR, BUT IT'S NOT WORTH IT TO SACRIFICE ANYTHING JUST FOR THE GAME. You're only out there to get good healthful fresh air, sunshine, exercise, fun & play & enjoy it! But you're not going to enjoy it if you hurt somebody, & they're not going to enjoy it if you hurt them.
       58. DO YOU THINK THIS LITTLE TALK WAS NECESSARY? (FAM: YES!) Do you think it's important? (Fam: Yes, Sir!) Well, I've had this burden, I was going to talk to you about this, but see, I'm sorry that you had to be the goat. The Lord had to let something happen as a visible evidence of what could happen, in order to make me finally do what I've had a burden to do for some time & I should have done long ago, & that's give you a little dinner talk about safety on the birdy court!

       59. ANOTHER POTENTIAL DANGER SPOT IS THE STAIRWAY, & IF YOU START TUMBLING DOWN IT, YOU'VE GOT A LONG WAYS TO GO! So we have always taught our children & insisted that everybody on a stairway always hold onto the handrail.

       60. BE PRAYERFUL & CAREFUL IN ANYTHING DANGEROUS OR THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS IN ANY WAY ABOUT THE HOUSE OR THE KITCHEN, that's one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. More accidents happen in the kitchen than anywhere in a house. The second most dangerous room is the bathroom. People slip & fall or get burned or cut themselves or take the wrong kind of pills or something. It's been proven by actual statistics that the kitchen is the most dangerous room because of fire & knives & food prep & explosions & all kinds of things, gas & whatnot. And the bathroom is the second most dangerous place because of all those other hazards--water & hot water, slips, falls, broken bones.
       61. I REMEMBER ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS AIRMEN, ONE OF THOSE STUNT FLYERS THEY USED TO HAVE IN THE EARLY DAYS, WHO'D LIVED THROUGH MANY A THING. HE ACTUALLY SLIPPED ON A BANANA PEEL ON THE STREET, cracked his head & it killed him! And it's the most common thing for people to slip in a bathtub or in a shower where there's a wet surface & they slip & don't hold on to things. I'll tell you, I've heard of so many of those accidents that I have never gotten into a bathtub when I haven't held on to the side for dear life like I was climbing in a lifeboat, & stepped in carefully & didn't feel safe till I'd sat down. Of course you guys like showers but you can slip there too if you're not careful, with wet feet & a slick surface. So watch your step!
       62. LIFE IS DANGEROUS & MORE ACCIDENTS HAPPEN AT HOME, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THAN ANYWHERE ELSE, because you spend more hours at home than anywhere else, & there are so many dangerous things you can do at home. Cars are the next biggest killers in the World, but homes can kill you if you're not prayerful & careful & cautious & do your best to keep accidents from happening, & do your best to try to make it impossible for them to happen.

       63. I THINK THAT'S ENOUGH LECTURE FOR TONIGHT, BUT I THINK WE NEEDED IT, DON'T YOU? I know that Bruce wouldn't have wanted to hurt her by any means, it was an accident, but if he had been more careful, prayerful & not as aggressive in his playing & been willing to lose a point rather than hurt somebody, it wouldn't have happened. But I'm sure the Lord let it happen in order to make sure I gave you this little talk, so we don't have any more of these happen. PTL?
       64. ANY COMMENTS? ANY QUESTIONS? ANY SUGGESTIONS? CAN YOU GIVE US ANY MORE HINTS ON HOW TO BE SAFER HERE AROUND THE HOUSE? (Fam: It might be safer to mop the court if it's wet before you start playing.) Yes, if it's rained & it's wet, we always have someone mop up the court before we play. You get most of the water off the court & the rest of it seems to dry very quickly once you've got the bulk of the water off. So don't be so lazy & in such a hurry that you haven't got time to do that. You may find you'll have a lot of time lying in a hospital with a broken leg or hip or something & you'll wish you had mopped the court!
       65. AND DON'T BE TEMPTED TO MAKE ANY FAST HOME RUNS TO GRAB ONE LITTLE BIRDY TO SAVE ONE SHOT & MAKE ONE POINT & RISK YOUR LIFE & go sailing across there & knock your head on a concrete corner or something! It's just not worth it! Take it easy! Don't work so hard, don't play so hard. You don't need that much exercise that you risk killing yourself! Just take it easy! If you have to start running across the court some great distance way out of reach to make some spectacular hit or shot, forget it!
       66. WE'RE NOT OUT THERE FOR VANITY & TO SHOW HOW WELL WE CAN PLAY & how smart we are & how athletic we are & what a good sport we are & what a great winner we are & all that, you're out there to get good exercise to save your life, not end it or hurt it! Is that clear? Okay! I don't want to hear of any more accidents out there, God willing! I want you to pray before you get out there & I want you to make sure the court is safe & dry, as dry as possible. You can't always have it perfectly dry, but just go slow & easy. Don't try to make any home runs or something like you're trying to get to first base, just walk around carefully. If it's within reach, hit it, if not, let it drop! Even when it's dry we found out it can be pretty slick with some kinds of shoes. Just don't try to go on one of those big slides to try to get something or you're apt to fall & get badly hurt.
       67. ANY ACTIVITIES THAT ARE THAT VIGOROUS & WITH THAT MUCH ACTION, IF YOU'RE NOT VERY CAREFUL & PRAYERFUL, YOU STAND A DANGER OF A FALL or a tumble or a hit or something & to get hurt. Because you're in motion. Anything where your body's in motion, just try to limit the motion & slow the motion. Better slow motion & miss it than fast motion & hit your head!--Or hit somebody else, for which you might even be more sorry!
       68. OKAY NOW, LET'S PLAY, LET'S HAVE FUN, & MOST OF ALL LET'S GET THAT GOOD EXERCISE, FRESH AIR & SUNSHINE THAT WE NEED, because most of us are in office jobs & we don't get much exercise except walks or trips to town or birdy. Some of you, your job is a lot more active & you get more exercise, but the birdy court was a salvation to us office workers & desk workers to give us the exercise we need without having to go out, get dressed in those dirty System clothes & walk on the dangerous streets.
       69. I'M SORRY ABOUT THAT, HONEY, & I APOLOGISE FOR NOT HAVING GIVEN THIS LECTURE SOONER, it might have saved your face & saved poor Bruce a lecture. Ahem! GBY, Bruce, we all love you & we're sorry for you too. I think Bruce might say that it hurt him worse than it did you!--Like us parents were always saying before we spanked kids. Sometimes I used to wonder about that when I was a kid getting the spanking! I wasn't too sure it hurt them more than it hurt me!
       70. BUT ANYWAY, IT COULD HAVE BEEN YOU TODAY! So you're all just as guilty if you're not going to pray & play it safe. So please be careful & cautious & most of all prayerful & use that birdy court for what it's for most of all--recreation, healthful exercise & just plain fun. And don't let it be a source of trouble & accident & sorrow. Amen?
       71. SO NOW LET'S PRAY FOR DEAR NAOMI'S CHIN, THAT IT'S NOT GOING TO HURT HER ANY WORSE, & THAT IT WON'T BE INFECTED. In case you are tempted to lie on it at night in your sleep, it might be a good idea to put a little bandaid on it or something.
       72. WELL, I THINK YOU'VE HAD ENOUGH SERMONS & WE DON'T NEED TO PREACH YOU ANY MORE IN A PRAYER, so why don't we just pray the Lord's Prayer, shall we? PTL? Everybody get the point? (Fam: Amen!) GBY! Maybe it was partly my fault because I was bragging about Bruce too much, about his being such a champ & the best player here & all that stuff, so he was trying to live up to his reputation. (Bruce: It was just my fault for having my priorities wrong.) Well, I think we got that straightened out now, haven't we? PTL!
       73. DO YOU AGREE WITH ALL THAT, MARIA? (MARIA: YES, SIR!) The Queen is at her lofty window there, looking out the palace window! God bless her! But she did that for your sake. She'd love to be here but she didn't want you to get too near her with her cold. Please pray for her too. She's feeling much better, TTL, aren't you, Maria? (Maria: Yes, thank you for your prayers, they really help. I could have been a lot sicker!) And I've been feeling great, TTL! Wonderful! Thanks for your prayers, or I probably would not be here tonight, thanks to the Lord!
       74. I WAS TELLING YOU HOW THE DEVIL TRIED TO KILL ME BEFORE I STARTED THE POSTER SERIES. SO HE MUST THINK THAT THIS NEW HC SERIES IS GOING TO BE REALLY SOMETHING & really useful or really informative or inspiring or something that's good for you & good for His Kingdom, or I don't think the Devil would have gotten so mad & tried to kill me like he did this time. I think he came closer this time than before. Well, I don't think I've ever come as close as in Switzerland. Anyway, he sure tried! But TTL, I'm still here! The Lord is merciful & He spared me & your prayers really were effectual! TTL! Thank you for loving me enough to pray for me like that. I love you, David. Some of you look at me like you love me, all of you do really! Amen! Enough said! PTL!

       75. SO LET'S PRAY THE KINGDOM PRAYER THAT THE KING TAUGHT US TO PRAY! Are you thinking about Him? Don't just say the words but get your mind on Jesus! Think about the Lord when you're praying. Don't just pray in vain with vain repetitions & not even thinking about Him! You could even be taking His name in vain if you're not really praying! So think about Jesus & pray to Him--not to me, not the rest of us, each other, not even yourself--let's pray to the Lord, shall we? Who's this prayer directed to? Jesus directed it to "Our Father", right? We sometimes pray to Jesus, but since He taught this prayer, He taught us to pray to "Our Father", because He is the God of all & the Father of all, even of Jesus. So let's think about Him while we pray & let's pray it to Him! (Prays the Lord's Prayer.)
       76. NOW DO BLESS & KEEP US SAFELY, LORD AS WE GO TO OUR QUARTERS OR OUR DUTIES, WHATEVER THEY MAY BE. Help the boys as they finish the dishes, God bless them for being patient & willing to stay here for this little talk. Help them not to make too much noise & disturb the neighbours. And bless & keep us all safely tonight & give us a good's night rest, Lord. Thank You for how wonderfully You've been helping me to sleep lately, much better than usual! TYJ! PTL! I've been feeling better, Lord, & going strong!
       77. LORD, I COULDN'T GET STARTED ON THAT HEAVEN'S CHILDREN STORY, NOW I CAN HARDLY STOP! So make it a blessing! And Lord, help them to believe what they're going to read tonight! (See "The Moon!") I have to believe it, I have to receive it, Lord, because I know You gave it. I was asking You for the answers & You gave them, & I have to receive what I get. When I ask You for a fish You'll not give me a serpent, when I ask You for bread You'll not give me a stone. (Mat.7:9-11) So I asked You for the answers on these things & You gave them & I have to accept them, whether it's hard to believe or not.
       78. BUT IT'S THRILLING, LORD, WHEN WE HEAR SOMETHING THAT IS SO WONDERFUL & SO MARVELLOUS, Your mighty, wonderful, divine design & plan & provision, Lord, & prevision for all of our needs & how wonderfully You've worked everything out & are working everything out, & sometimes in such surpris-ing ways! Hallelujah! We're really thank-ful, Lord! We're really thankful for every new revelation, even if some may be hard to understand or believe, just help us to take it by faith anyway & believe it. TYJ!
       79. IN JESUS' NAME, WE ASK FOR SAFETY FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY NOW, WHETHER AT WORK OR AT PLAY OR AT HOME OR ABROAD! Bless all of our far-flung Family clear around the Globe! Keep them, Lord, as You have, with so few accidents or injuries, Lord. It's just miraculous how You've spared us, with so few serious persecutions, Lord, or jailings, really almost nothing compared to what could have happened, Lord.--And so few deaths, so few, Lord! It's absolutely supernatural & miraculous the way You have protected us & provided for us & cared for us & kept us & prospered us & made us so fruitful, Lord, winning so many millions of souls for Thy Kingdom! Thank You Jesus for using us! Thank You Lord for loving us & saving us & even using us for Thy glory & to help others, in Jesus' name! TYJ!
       80. AMEN, IS THAT ENOUGH? I HOPE IT WASN'T TOO MUCH! I never seem to be able to teach a class in less than a couple of hours. Maybe this class will at least do some of the rest of the birdy players a little good too! PTL! And I hope it will certainly do you some good & save us from any further injuries! PTL!
       81. SO DON'T YOU CAUSE THE TROUBLE BY RUNNING OVER IN SOMEBODY ELSE'S COURT WHERE YOU CAN GET HIT! Amen? Try to take care of yourself! Keep from getting hit by getting out of their way! Right? Actually I don't think poor Naomi could have saved herself today because he dashed over there so fast & took a swing. I don't think she hardly knew what was happening, did you, Naomi? You didn't even see it coming, did you? (Naomi: No!) Obviously she didn't or she wouldn't have gotten hit back here. It must have been quite a surprise!
       82. SHE IS A SOLDIER! I never saw anybody take a lick like that & she just smiled like nothing happened & was going to go right on playing till the blood started flowin'! TTL it wasn't too bad, but it was enough to be a warning to us all & to inspire this little safety lecture.--Amen? PTL! You're dismissed! I guess you always wait for me to walk out first!
       83. I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T HAD MORE FELLOWSHIP WITH YOU HERE, but I must confess that I made the Lord a promise when I was dying that if He would save me I would try to spend some more time with you. That was one of the things I was confessing & which I felt guilty about, that I hadn't spent enough time with you. You are more important than anything except my work for the rest of the World. So even if it's inconvenient & it's the wrong schedule & the wrong time, you're here! So it's better that I have fellowship with you so that I can make sure my own flock is intact & happy & all right & see the state of my flock & make sure you're okay. I get a lot of reports & I hear constant running accounts of how you're getting along, but I like to see you! GBY!

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