More Shows!

 I’m excited to share with you that Encounter is now on two times weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. on KSIV AM1320 and FM 91.5 and 95.9.

In case you miss the show live in the St. Louis area, listen anytime from anywhere:

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If you have a story that you would like to share, contact me here and you might just become my next guest!

Thelma's 6th Birthday Party

Happy 6th Birthday to MyFour Footed Friend

My dog was born 6 years ago. This is her Birthday weekend! She’s had a packed life for a 6-year-old.

When she was born at the Seeing Eye School in Morristown, N.J., she was sent to a wonderful puppy-raiser family. She learned all the rights and wrongs that a good dog should learn. She even went to school and helped her trainer, a teacher, in some of her daily duties. She learned all about soccer, too, from their daughter, who took her to all of her soccer practices and games.

At 14 months, she returned to the Seeing Eye School for additional training so she could be a street-smart dog when it was time for her to meet her new visually impaired owner.

But before Thelma completed her training, she was chosen to be a breeder dog because of her intelligence and good blood line. So, she took time off from her training to birth two litters of puppies. In all, I’m told she mothered 15!

Then it was back to the streets, to train for her new owner… me!
Happy 6th Birthday Thelma. So proud to be your new owner and have you by my side.

Helping people tell their story and find their highest potential

Encounter show host, Tuesdays 2:00 p.m.
KSIV Radio St. Louis, MO
AM 1320 / FM 91.5 / FM 95.9
Let’s connect!

Wet Menace

What does your dog do when it encounters a sprinkler?  It probably doesn’t matter much to you, unless you have a seeing eye dog and you are intent on getting somewhere. 

My dog and I try and walk at least a half mile a day.  We take different routes each day and some special routes on weekends.

I know grass and plants need water on these hot summer days in St. Louis, but to my dog, sprinklers are a dog’s worst friend.  We’ve passed around 6 of them in the past three weeks on our walks.  I always know we are coming to one because Thelma stops in her tracks.  Try as I might, she won’t budge.  No, I take that back.  The first time we met this moving creature we walked right into its circular path and got soaked.  That did it for Thelma.  The next time, she hastily turned around and we headed back home.  Our hike that day turned out to be almost twice as long just to avoid the spraying menace. 

So I started taking treats with me to help. But she was resolute and just would not walk through them, even though a little water would feel great on a 90 degree day.  So with my commands we’d go carefully out into the street, walk along the curb until the sprinkler was behind us.  I kept giving her commands directing her until she was back on the sidewalk.  Then we’d continue our walk joyfully as if nothing unusual had happened. 

A yellow lab not liking water?  Well, you never know what’s in the mind of a dog.  But together we can navigate as a team to accomplish our mission.  And I am glad that when Thelma sensed danger she wanted to protect both of us from it.  And isn’t that why I’ve chosen  to have a dog rather than just use a white cane?  Another adventure with my four-footed friend.

Helping people tell their story and find their highest potential

Encounter show host, Tuesdays 2:00 p.m.
KSIV Radio St. Louis, MO
AM 1320 / FM 91.5 / FM 95.9
Let’s connect!

God Bless America

As our praise team was practicing patriotic songs for this Sunday’s service, I reflected on the powerful words of God Bless America: 

“God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above

From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home
God bless America, my home sweet home”

Even in the midst of so much turmoil, we need to remember to thank the Lord for those who went before us and sacrificed, to pave the way for the freedoms we have today.  We pray that today’s leaders would not make decisions based on their own gain, but for our country’s good.

Judy and Annette, Thelma and Gazelle

In this picture are two dogs who love to play together.  They are very special dogs, Annette and I are both blind, and Thelma and Gazelle are our service dogs.

Annette and I live not too far from each other, so we get together when we can to let our dogs play.  Recently, we decided to take our dogs on a long walk in our neighborhood.  We walked around our neighborhood, Thelma and I leading the way, warning our friends about low hanging branches, changes in sidewalk elevation, or street corners ahead. 

Both Annette and I each depend on our dogs daily to get us where we need to go. Maybe a trip to the grocery store, YMCA or gym or to work. Since neither of us drive, we might need to take public transportation, Lyft or Uber. Thelma, my dog, lies quietly on the stage as I lead praise and worship at church, or if I’m speaking or training somewhere. Both of us try to walk with our dogs at least a half mile or more in our own neighborhoods daily to keep them sharp and learning new routes.  It keeps us fit, too. 

In the spring, we often encounter low-hanging tree limbs.  You might love them hanging low over the public sidewalk in front of your home, but when you can’t see them coming, it is truly an annoyance, especially after a rain storm.  You see, our dogs are used to looking out for us on the ground. They make sure they stop at elevation changes in the sidewalks, or at street corners.  Reminding them to look overhead for those branches and overgrown evergreen ferns is something we must retrain them on every spring.

Lastly, our dogs are great companions.  You know, there’s nothing like a dog cheerfully saying “good morning.” It reminds us that it’s another fresh, new day that the Lord has given us, full of adventures.  Since my husband works away from home, even in the pandemic, my dog Thelma is my little buddy who encourages me to take breaks, hikes, and times to play fetch.  Annette works from home too and I know Gazelle helps remember that “dog time” must also be built into her day. 

Please pray for safety for those of us who depend on our service dogs, and remember to give your dog that extra love and attention they need.

Look for two more posts from me this week, both podcasts I think you’ll enjoy. Follow me on Face Book; subscribe to my website at and feel free to email me at jredlichspeaks [at] gmail [dot] com

Memorial Day. (Formerly Known As My Birthday!)

Today is the first Monday I am going to try to blog.  I intend to also post two of my radio shows weekly too that aired recently on KSIV, AM1320 FM95.9 in the greater St. Louis area. So many wonderful stories out there to cover. By subscribing at my web site,, you can get an email notice each time something new arrives on my website.

Today is Memorial Day.  We commemorate those that serve and have served us in the  Armed Forces.  Let’s also include those who are first responders serving on the front lines to keep us safe.

My Dad was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army in World War II.  He received a purple heart for his bravery and quick thinking to protect others in his charge.  Think a moment about those you know who either served, or serve today and let’s thank the Lord for them.  

This week I will be posting two shows featuring heros in the military.  Watch for them. Check them out and share with others.  

Another aside about Memorial Day… Prior to 1971, my Birthday, May 30, always fell on Memorial Day.  Friends at school were always envious because I was always off on my Birthday.  It made me feel so honored to be born on such a special day.  But in 1971, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, designating Memorial Day as the last Monday in May.

Have a good week.  Follow me on face book; send me an email if you’d like at jredlichspeaks [at] gmail [dot] com

A Gift of Presence

For Christmas most years, we’ve been choosing names among the five of us adults in our family.  We give one nice gift to the person whose name we drew and a small give to each of the others.

This past Christmas my son, David, had my name.  On Christmas day he informed me my gift would be coming later.

About a month and a half ago, he asked me to keep March 1st open.  I put it on my calendar and expected we would get together and he might help me enhance my web site, or some other projects around the house.  March 1 arrived, a beautiful Sunny day in St. Louis.  After church he picked me up and we drove about 15 minutes.  Then he parked his truck and we went inside.  I thought we were eating lunch somewhere.  We were greeted cheerfully by the hostess and ushered into a room with a long counter and other voices greeted us.  We each were handed a name tag and an apron. What was this all about, I wondered.  After thanking us for coming, our instructor said “today we will be making these recipes.” She handed out a packet and asked us all to wash our hands. 

Wow! A cooking class!  I had never been to one before and it was so much fun.  My son enjoys cooking, too, and when he lived at home, we did a lot of cooking together.

This was my Christmas surprise.  We stood side by side and not only learned a lot, but carried out tasks needed to complete the meal.  All 12 of us worked together with the instructor to create the casseroles and desserts.  When I needed a visual, either David or the instructor let me hold or showed me the technique.  When she explained how to get the papery outside off a clove of garlic, she let me borrow her cleaver to try the technique myself.  My job became to remove the outside of the clove, and chop it finely for one of the recipes.  I got plenty of practice as there were quite a few cloves for me to prepare.  David and I also cleaned and prepared mushrooms for one of the recipes.  Did you know that you aren’t supposed to wash a mushroom?  Instead wipe it clean with a paper towel.  That’s because mushrooms are porous and adsorb water like a sponge?    

An hour and a half later, we all sat down to our scrumptious meal and enjoyed every bite.  Since I could not read the paper copy of recipes, I asked for them electronically. By the time I got home, they were in my email. 

What a fun afternoon, and unexpected belated Christmas surprise.  Too bad my husband had to settle instead for left over spaghetti and home made meatballs for supper. 

Joni Eareckson Tada Shares Our Story

For the past ten years I’ve been on staff with Joni and Friends, an international ministry founded by Joni Eareckson Tada. It has been amazing to get to know Joni and hear her vision for reaching those with disabilities with the message of hope that Christ offers. Recently, Joni featured my seeing eye dog, Thelma, and I on her daily radio show. She shared a bit of our story and we were  so honored to hear it.

Picture of Joni and I

Take a listen on her blog! Or, if you’d like to read more adventures that Thelma and I have had, check out my blog. I will continue to write, as having a dog as my constant companion always brings unexpected surprises!

Adventure Seven – A First Walk Through the Neighborhood (…and a Thunderstorm)

Now that we are home, learning our neighborhood is very important. My first seeing-eye dog, Velda, passed away two-and-a-half years before I got Thelma, so learning the neighborhood together with Thelma is a new adventure for both of us.

It was a sultry Saturday afternoon. We decided to start learning my route to work. This is a 16-block route, and there are some interesting irregularities on it. We walked down our street, turned right and crossed the corner. Thelma saw the wide expanse of a concrete patio in front of a store and, understandably, treated the whole thing like a sidewalk. Since I didn’t actually want to go into this particular store, I had to show her where I wanted to end up after crossing the street. So we went back across the street and repeated the process, reinforcing to her where the real sidewalk was.

My husband, Ray walked a few feet behind my right shoulder and alerted me to anything he thought I should beware of, such as cracks in the sidewalk caused by a root; construction; lime bikes, etc. Thelma skirted around most of these obstacles or took me past them without difficulty.

A few times I had to stop, show her the obstacle and praise her for seeing it, then take a few steps back and have her walk past it again to reinforce the learning. Then we encountered construction, and it seemed we might need to cross the street to avoid it. After traveling about eight blocks, we decided not to walk to my new office, but instead to turn left and walk to our friends’ house. They were working in their yard when we got there.

We talked for a while and then started the trek home. About three blocks from our house, the rain came and so did the thunder and lightning. Thelma just kept walking without a hitch, and I picked up my pace beside her. Ray almost had to run to keep up with us! When we finally arrived home, we were drenched… but we were safe.

I was glad to know that my dog wasn’t afraid of a little rainstorm. Thelma had already proven that several times in the short time we’d know each other. This was actually the sixth downpour we had traveled through together since our training began three weeks earlier.

We all dried off as best as we could, got a refreshing drink of water, and continued our day. I realized I was truly beginning to trust this four-footed friend of mine more and more. Most of all, though, I trusted in the Lord to keep us safe during our adventures as we learned more about each other’s traveling habits. And I did forget to thank the Lord for my faithful husband, who also invested time in this training.

After that eventful walk, Thelma and I had grown closer together and came away another fun adventure to share with our friends.


Judy⠠⠚⠥⠙⠽ and Thelma ?