Friday, July 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/20/18
“Weather means more when you have a garden.  There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is sinking in around your green beans.”  (Marcelene Cox)  A farmer told me that he doesn’t cultivate the whole field.  He tries to leave undisturbed soil around the plants, letting moisture seep down thru worm holes and cracks in the earth.  Farmers and gardeners are among the happiest people I know, probably because of their closeness to God’s earth.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RS VACATIONING IN QUEBEC: Amen. We are up in Quebec and it seems everyone loves to grow flowers in the Summer. Maybe because of the short growing season. Also, their landscaping around their Parliament building is awesome, and they have so many parks. They seem to treasure the environment a bit more than we do.===JACK:  By living in a community that is adjacent to Canada, I get to enjoy some of the same things Canadians do...their TV and radio stations...and their stores and restaurants are just across the river.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  Yay 😊. Sounds good===JACK:  I wonder how many Winning Words readers would enjoy living in a house with three sides looking over protected wetlands?  BTW, do you have a garden, too?===JT:  I know I am very happy in my home.  It is me.  I do have a small garden.  Mostly flowers that come up every spring. Did I tell you I played bridge with a lady from the Country Club.  I always knew I felt uncomfortable when with them.  Now I know it is because I'm very happy not being a "country club" lady.  That is NOT me.  Farm Girl Joan  (that is me)===JACK:  Do you know this hymn?  There are more stanzas, but I'm sure you get the point.
O happy home where Thou art loved most dearly,
Thou faithful Friend and Savior full of grace,
And where among the guests there never cometh
One who can hold such high and honored place!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Count me my gardens....basically, a happy out in the garden almost every morning....before the heat of the day sets in ===JACK:  I seem to recall that your growing up years were spent with a large garden in your backyard.  I also recall that you are a frequent visitor to Stratford, Ontario.  Don't they have beautiful gardens in that well as the famous Stratford Festival?===JOHN:  I grew up on eleven acres....absolutely love the gardens in Stratford....not just at the theatre but also the gardens of the people living in Stratford....great community...===JACK:  Isn't it amazing how our experiences shape us?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I agree wholeheartedly. Whenever I have an anxious moment or am thinking of items to study, I get my greatest enjoyment driving thru the rural countryside. Jack, we have some of the most startling sights in our eastern Iowa rural country.===JACK:  I agree... especially the huge cornfields with red-wing blackbirds sitting on fence posts.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Margaret has deep roots in the soil....a farm girl.===JACK:  You know you've married a farm-girl when,,,she has a different idea of how fresh air smells...she's more comfortable in rubber boots than heels...she finds a bug in her bowl of berries, picks it out and keeps on eating...she knows how to drive a tractor...she's independent, strong-willed and has a heart of gold.
===SP:that just about sums it up!   and maybe just a bit of dirt under her nails after working in the flower garden...===JACK:  Or, as they'd say on the farm..."stuff under her nail after shoveling out the barn."

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Except when the deer and bunnies eat it all!  That is my problem.  Had some beautiful day lilies and overnight they were all gone!  My hosta is eaten down to the ground too!  Uff Da!  Ha===JACK:  The deep eat my hostas and flowers, too.  As I look at the stubs, I'm comforted to know that I'm helping to preserve the fauna===MARLYS:  And I think—well, I won’t have to clean them out in the Fall!  Ha!===JACK'S That's the way to look at some of life's problems.
===MARLYS:  Wish they were all that easy===JACK:  Often it depends on how you look at them.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  This is so true!===JACK:  "Carol, Carol", quite contrary  How does your garden grow?  With silver bells and cockleshells  And pretty maids all in a row.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm sure that is true, Or even if you have outdoor planters that have to be fed and watered,  Was it RL: Stevenson who proclaimed, "Man is nearer to God in a Garden, than in any place on Earth" a poem ? I remember those lines...I'm not a gardener, but do enjoy the fruits of those generous friends who do garden! :-)  I share baked goods and soups!
===JACK:  The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's Heart in a garden Than anywhere else on Earth.  (Dorothy Frances Gurney)
When I thought of how you don't garden, but eat what is grown by others, I thought of the story of "The Little Red Hen."  I'm no gardener, either, but do enjoy the fruits (and veggies) from others.
===OAKS:  O Thank You for that poem; my mom used to quote that exactly! She had a lovely rose garden in our back yard!

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Great quote.  Now that I have a few plants on the balcony outstand I have a different relationship with growing things.  It’s interesting and different than having plants inside and I actually care about them and pay attention to the little things.===JACK:  Kids are like plants, only more fragile.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How true!  Watering the gardens keep the plants alive.  But rainwater helps them grow.  My green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, spaghetti squash and summer squash, garlic and parsley lived through this drought but now they are thriving with the rain.  Farmers spend a lot of time praying!===JACK:  During a severe drought, the preacher announced a special service for the congregation to pray for rain.  At the beginning of the service he looked around and asked, "How come none of you brought umbrellas?"

FROM LBP:  I stopped and watched the rain today. It was just falling straight down. Interesting to just stop and think about how that happens. ===JACK:  "The rain in Sprain falls mainly straight down." (or something like that).

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/19/18
“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”  (Aristotle)  When Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you,” I don’t think that he was giving a societal opinion…rather that he meant…there will always be a need to help people, both the poor in money and the poor in spirit.    I saw this sentence recently: “Poor people always see the problem ahead; never the solution.”  How sad!...but what really bothers me is the nagging question: How much do I care?    ;-) Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  How much DO I care??===JACK:  Does that mean that you DO care a lot?===GEORGE:  Yes. Two of my favorite charities are The Salvation Army, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. They both keep their admin costs at 6%, plus I've experienced their God-blessed field work.BTW, I went to a service at the old First Lutheran church on 5th Ave & 12th Street, Moline. There were ~85 persons there, mostly old folks. One very nice personality is Mary Savely, widow of a former Army military chaplain. I went because my mother, Pearl Kruse used to go there with her sisters as a little girl. She walked ~1 1/2 miles each way, from 8th St and 19th Ave. ===JACK:  I remember having a Wycliffe Bible in my collection of different translations.  "If these walls could speak..." refers to the many people who have worshipped in old First Church, and the many events that have taken place there.  Sometimes we only see it as it is now and make our judgments from that.  The same thing applies when we look at old people.===GEORGE:  That was my favorite uncle. Almost every year we would take a 20 mile canoe trip on Rock River or a river or 2 in Iowa.  We did a few other things together too. We became so close that I only called him by his first name w/o saying "Uncle."===JACK:  Everybody called him, Pete!"

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I have friend who had signature at the bottom of his email messages that said “when I give to the poor they call me a saint, when I ask why are they poor, they call me a communist”.  What a statement! I think this explains a lot of what is happening out there today  ===JACK:  I guess that I'm obtuse.  I think I know what you're getting at...but maybe not, so...

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I believe that a society is judged by how well it treats its most challenged and needy persons ===JACK:  Perhaps you've read how Daniel interpreted  for the king "the handwriting on the wall."  It was God saying to the King..."You will judged by the way you have treated the poor."  (or, something like that)  The handwriting is on the wall for America, too

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  There is that nagging question, "How much do I care?"  It concerns many of us.  We want to give to those in need, but there are so many "in need" and we can't provide for every support organization.  How do we choose, and how much are we able to give?  In other words, "How much do I care?"===JACK:  Because there are so many in need, what I can give won't help.  In answer to that excuse, Jesus pointed to widow who only had two mites and put it all in the offering for the poor.  She gave her all!  It's the spirit of the gift, not the amount.===RI:  The question I posed was really rhetorical.  It's not how much do I care that demands an answer.  The issue is am I going to show I care by giving something.  Any typical month I usually decide how much in total I can spread around, and then divide that among a list of deserving organizations.  Sometimes 10 or 15 dollars is all that goes into the envelopes.  (I subscribe to "Charity Watch" that evaluates organizations for their honesty in distributing the most of the contributions to the needy, and use the least possible for administrative costs.)===JACK:  "Charity Watch" seems like a good site.  Hardly a day goes by that I don't charity requests in the mail or by phone.  I know that requests by my Church (ELCA) and by the Salvation Army are legit, but I wonder about some of the others.  I'll have to check them out to make sure that tje money is used in the best way possible...understanding that there are always administrative costs.

FROM WALMART REV:  “Poor people always see the problem ahead; never the solution.”  -- Working with in this area of benevolence for many a year, I've been driven often in thought back to "The Garden" where Adam and Eve felt they were somehow in poverty not being able to partake of that "forbidden fruit" there in the center of their sight and lives . . . the result of their choice certainly revolutionized the world and opened the door to erroneous crimes of sort (lust, stealing, miss-prioritizing, etc.) that will lead so very often an individual and family found in poverty) 0;-/===JACK: When it comes to watching out for the poor, you are more than words, words, words.  You really help.  Thanks for your example.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Jack,   few people seem to understand this.  almost all revolutions were born of economic disparity.   the French Revolution  the Russian Revolution,  the Cuban Revolution, etc.   even our Revolution to a somewhat lesser extent.  this is why i always vote for politicians and programs that support the middle class.  you lose your middle class and  you will soon lose  your democracy.   soooo many people do not understand this basic principle!    p.s.  do you get Time Mag??   see page 34 of the May 29 issue.  4 pages that explain in painful detail where we are today as a society,  how we got here,  and just what the future may look like.  excellent reading! ===JACK:  Some have been looking for the "tipping point," when things get so bad that the populace and leaders agree..."Something has to be done!"    How close are we?===SP:  we are not there yet but if we don't make some corrections, we will come to regret it.  stay tuned...===JACK:  That reminds me of a saying I used to hear in my growing-up years..."I thought I'd never live to see the day when..."

FROM JB IN OLV:  Good one!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "I am indeed rich", says historian Edward Gibbon, "Since my income is superior to my expenses, and my expenses are  equal to my wishes." How fortunate are those who can affirm this in their own lives! Of course poverty often increases crime. Desperate people do desperate things. I've quoted Jay-Z before :"The burden of poverty isn't just that you don't always have the things your need, it's the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you'd do ANYTHING to lift that burden!" Too many have to live that life in America, as well as the rest of the world. We, in the church, try to lift that burden as much as we  can!===JACK:  Part of my guilt over not caring enough comes from being "rich" when so many are poor.  I know you know the story of Kagawa who couldn't keep a shirt on his back, because he would always find someone who needed it more that he did.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  plenty of rich criminals. what’s aristotle’s theory on that?===JACK:  That's exactly how many revolutions start...the poor rising up against the rich.  That's what Aristotle was writing about.  BTW, in my book of people with strange names, there was a man named, Aristotle Tottle.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY::  We all care but you he question is “What do we do to help?” ===JACK:  I'd change that to read..."Many of us care."  I appreciate that each of us have our favorite charities, often based on personal experiences that we've had.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/18/18
“Too blessed to be stressed.”  (Paul Torn)  Do you think that God plays favorites?  The word “blessed” means to be favored by God.  Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and others claim to be blessed by God.  Are some groups or individuals favored by God over others?  Why are the prayers of some answered and others are not?  Who are we to know the mind of God?  Simply, count your many blessings and know that God loves you.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BS IN ENGLAND: I have just spent a week on Holy Island, Lindisfarne in Northumberland, on pilgrimage with 12 ladies from church and our leader Rev'd Doreen.  It is the most peaceful place on earth and a wonderful island to renew ones faith and come apart from the " maddening world "  It is where St Aidan and St Cuthbert first brought Christianity to the north of England.  Holy Island is visited daily by hundreds of people who have to leave  before high tide prevents them from driving off the island.  Peace then returns for the 105 who live there year round and the privilege few who are able to rent the cottages or live in the retreat houses.  There are only 2 children in the school at the moment and a teacher.  Please google it and also Rev'd Canon Kate  Tristram, 86, who has lived on the island for 40 years and still officiates.  She is truly remarkable, taking communion  8am wearing a heavy chasuble,  green,  for this we call ordinary time in the Church of England.  I wish you could visit!===JACK:  One of the definitions of holy is, blessed.  The Holy Island retreat seems like a perfect place to relieve the stress of living on the "mainland" and to be blessed by a special awareness of God's presence.  If the opportunity were mine, Holy Island would seem to be the perfect place to visit.  Thanks for describing it for me...and greetings to Doreen.

FROM TL:  Jack, your words are through the hands of God this morning.  They are a soothing comfort to Susan who sits with her sister today at the Mayo Clinic.   Thanks be to God through you! ===JACK:  Each morning as I click, "send," I wonder what difference (if any) the day's Winning Words will make.  Thanks for letting me know how it has impacted you and your family.  God is good!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Thanx, Jack. When I was in college I learned Matthew 6:34, Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let today be anxious for itself.===JACK:  Through the years I have learned many Bible have you.  What we need to be reminded of is...these verses continue to have relevance in our daily living.  Thanx.  Life at the university, for you, was more than just playing basketball.===GEORGE:  I have a sanguine temperament. That means that I like to be involved in many things, sometimes to my detriment. Sometimes I got over committed and had to scramble very hard.===JACK:  I think that the temperament you describe, instead of being sanguine, might better be described by Lou Holtz as a person  who tends to promise more than can be delivered.  He suggests that people deliver more than they promise.  I'm sure that you did that as an athlete and as a businessman.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Definitely count your blessings every day!===JACK:  I began counting mine as soon as I turned on the computer and read the first two responses to Winning Words.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I know I have been blessed to have John Freed in my life!!===JACK:  Yes, as I think back, God has arranged for many interactions in our lives.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/17/18
“The six W’s: Work Will Win When Wishing Won’t.”  (Todd Blackledge)  Alliterations can be fun.  Can you say: “Peter Piper picked etc?” or, “She sells sea shells etc?”  In the Wizard of Oz, Scarecrow calls the Tin Man, “You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk.”  (I had to look up caliginous).  Today’s six W’s give a humorous message about the importance of getting off your duff and doing that which needs doing…right now!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  My friend Terry always said the 6 p’s...
Proper prior planning prevents poor performance  Proper prior planning prevents poor performance
===JACK:  That's one worth saving.  Thanks

FROM RRC:  I am using this, as part of a reflection tomorrow!===JACK:  Great!  Here's a response I received today that might fit with your reflection..."Proper prior planning prevents poor performance "

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  so what does caliginous  mean?  my spell check said it isn't even a word:):):)===JACK:  ca·lig·i·nous  kΙ™ΛˆlijΙ™nΙ™s - adjective archaic  misty, dim; obscure, dark.  (Some people are like that)

FROM PG:  I'm enjoying your words every morning!  Thanks Jack.===JACK:  I have to remind myself, as I write, of the miracle of the internet that allows me to be in touch with so many old friends and also "faceless people" who are on the list by word of mouth.  I call all readers, "My Congregation Without Walls."

GOPHER LYNN:  This message made me laugh – I like it of course!===JACK:  It might be worth posting at work (Nah!)

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I too like alliteration and have often used it in my writing , or a program  title, or catchy  poster promotion.  Love both the 6 W's and the 6 P's in today's blog, and  copied them
 for a children's sermon at church. My S.S. class will appreciate them too! Thanks!  Now I'd better get off MY duff and get busy. Taking Best Baked Beans and Caramel Apple Cookies to my family potluck this evening! -)===JACK:  It may not be alliteration, but someone in your family is bound to say when your B-B-B are passed around..."Beans, beans the magical fruit..."  It would happen at our house.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good one! Blackledge must have been a farmer.===JACK:  Todd's name should be familiar to you...Penn State quarterback who led his team to a national championship and went on the the pros and to a broadcasting career.  He's now a high school basketball coach..  ===GEORGE:  Your last sentence confirms to me that he is a humble man. Maybe he is a Christian? ===JACK:  While humility (and serving others) can be characteristic of Christians, persons of other religions can do that, as well.  I like what C.S. Lewis said about us as Christians: "We should be as "little Christs" to others.  Yes, humility is one of those "little Christ" things.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/16/18
“Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.  That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.”  (Emily Kimbrough)  I was Googling around and saw a picture of two chimps holding hands.  What do you suppose I saw?  A sign of affection?  An act of helping?  When you see two humans holding hands, what do you see?  Affection, a desire to help, two becoming one?  Idioms say a lot.  Shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, eye to eye.  I see a need for more of that.   ;-)  Jack

FROM F.L.:  i have no one to hold my hand, and things couldn’t be much worse, literally===JACK:  The Beatles song comes to mind..."I wanna hold your hand."  I'm sure that's the feeling of other Winning Words readers, too.  Not being able to do by way of the internet, I can ask my friends to join me in praying on your behalf.  A pastor once asked someone in a problem situation, "Can I pray for you."  The person responded, "It can't hurt."  No it can't, but it certainly can help.  Another song..."His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches (you)"===FL:  ty. ♥️

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  our synod's Tanzanian ministry (to dozens of churches there) is called Bega Kwa Bega;  its Swahili for "shoulder to shoulder"  .  blessings on your day, Jack.    i also know of a true story of two WW II vets who had each lost an arm in the war.  one lost the left arm and one right arm.  .  but together they figured out how to sit and play the piano together.  it was a moving sight to see and hear them play.===JACK:  Two great stories!  "Bega Kwa Bega"--I'll have to try and remember that.  And...I wonder if Google can find those piano players for me?  I want to see and hear them.  (Loooong pause)  No luck!  But, I have the image in my mind.===SP:  Jack,  google  St. Paul Area Synod Bega Kwa Bega and you will get lots of info about this ministry.  every church in our synod has a "sister church" somewhere in southern Tanzania.  our village is called Tungamalenga and we as a congregation have been over there at least 15 times.  we have a group there right now.  and we have had them over here 3 times.  we built a clinic in this small village and staffed it with a medical student named Barnabas.  a really find Christian fellow.    the government now wants to use this clinic as a model for other villages.  and because the country is so poor,  the govt. is delighted to have such a Lutheran presence.  also, in Iringa,  40 kilometers from our village, the entire synod over 20 years has built Tumani (Swahili word for HOPE) University.  it started with 14 students and now has well over 1200 students.  and many of our synod churches pay for the student's tuition.   Kristin Levorson, from our church, has been over there all 15 times (or more), has learned Swahili, knows all the area pastors and bishops,  and has done a fab job in "shepherding" this ministry.   right now, she is finding funding to put 3 new wells for water for 3 area villages.  its quite a story.   also,  all i recall about the two WW II vets  was that they were in a home of some kind in New Jersey.  if i find that article in one of my files, i will send it to you.  take care,  plh      p.s. sometime i will tell you about the Illulah Health Care Center about 100 kil. east of Iringa.  we joked 30 years ago about building the Mayo Clinic of Tanzania and you know what?  by the grace of God it has become that!  last time i looked it had 22 buildings,  many Docs, and was serving at least a 3 or 4 hundred mile radius of Tanzania.  Randy Hurley, a cardiologist from our church,  goes over twice a year on his own dime and spends two or three weeks there at a time.  a remarkable fellow who just literally fell in love with the people of Tanzania.  all these stories give me hope for the future of our world.===JACK:  I remember visiting your church once when a pastor from Tanzania was present and being honored by your congregation.  Impressive work being done!...I still want to see and hear those piano players.

FROM DB:  Thank you. Slowly, things are getting better.  I am met with  challenges, plus I am embarking on new territory - its the only way that I can move forward. It requires a lot of courage, but prayer certainly helps open doors and make things better.===JACK:  Challenges are called challenges, because they require a desire to change things, to move ahead.  You're right!  Courage and prayer do open doors.  Courage and prayer are also needed to walk through the open doors.  May God bless you.

FROM LBP:  The HS youth came back from the national gathering a week back and shared with the Church their hand in hand symbol. They clasped hands with fingers interlocked to show that my neighbors strength covers my weakness and my strength covers my neighbors weakness. A Kinda cool thought.===JACK:  My sister's granddaughter was a counsellor at that same youth convention ...over 30,000 participants.  The Church is in in good hands when the hands  of our young people are locked together with the Hand of God.===LBP:  Science at this age is about capturing the curiosity of a child to help them observe things around them, to try things, and to learn from what happens. It's developing logical thinking, careful observation, and patience. As a rule follower, I get antsy to have a portion of the curriculum untouched, though I know that my son and I can talk about the life cycle of a butterfly or the water cycle of evaporation to rain. So really it's more about skills. Though I'm working on my patience and observation skills to see when there really are skills missed, or maybe they are just being taught in a different way than I saw them in my daughter's class.===JACK:  Lucky is the child who learns good stuff at home, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There is definitely a need for more hand-holding.===JACK:  ...and hand-folding, too!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I needed someone to "hold my hand" in comfort, after listening to the Trump-Putin summit in Finland this morning! AGHHHH!  Our AB Women's symbol for the theme TOUCH, was 4 hands and forearms,  with divers ethnic coloring  grasping one another in a "square" which was very effective. There is a lot of world-wide clasping of hands to help, (as your blog emphasized...good information from the Lutherans!) which is comfort and inspiration!  My Lutheran niece, who is a pastor in Texas had young people at the recent convention. A GREAT experience for them!!  AB Baptists have extensive work in Congo, Sudan, Thailand, Cost Rica, etc.===JACK:  When will there be in America less SELF and more WE?  I recall the WE, and I miss it.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Definitely a desire to help and to be friends!===JACK:  Perhaps you've heard the saying: "To have a friend, be a friend!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/13/18
“The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful.”  (Kelsang Gyatso)  It has been reported that when divers found the Thai soccer boys in the cave, they were meditating.  Their coach, a former Buddhist monk, had taught them how to handle anxiety and how to be at peace with the world.  A friend of mine has a meditation room in his home.  It’s such a peaceful place.  Where do you find peace?  Where are your fears calmed?  Meditation isn’t just for Buddhists.    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  … every morning with John Freed and his Winning Words!!" 0;-) ===JACK:  It's a form of meditation when I sit at the computer and begin to compose "the words" for the week.  Ommmmm!===REV:  I have that same experience preparing and typing up my daily devotional on FB . . . 0;-)

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  This was an amazing search and recovery of these boys and their coach. A feel good story except for the one Thai navy seal that died.===JACK:   I think of the Bible verse, applying to Jesus, but also relevant to the Thai SEAL: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man gave up his life for his friends."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  My entire home is peaceful ===JACK:  That means, wherever you go, you hear: "Pax Vobiscum!"

FROM FREMONT SUE:  I read the book by Dan Harris Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.  I am not a skeptic about mediation, but it turns out I am fidgety.  I’m still trying, but there doesn’t seem to be a  mediation room.  sigh===JACK:  In our family we called it the B,R,. as in,   "I'm going to the B.R."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  this could be a good example of mind over matter but if it works,  its okay with me.===JACK:  Some people have the same idea about religion, too.===SP:  fair enough, but it can't JUST be mind over matter.  faith has to have a bit more substance than that....  at least for me...===JACK:  Why can't faith be mind over matter?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Mediation to me is prayer.  I love to pray outdoors.  I find much peace when I am praying in the first church.===JACK:  By "the first church", I suppose you mean the out-of-doors.  Inside, doesn't matter to God.

FROM LBP:  I learned just recently that my son’s kindergarten teacher had been doing some meditation with them last year. They use an app called GoNoodle that has lots of short videos to inspire movement. But he showed me some that are for calming and meditation or reflection. Pretty cool for 5-6 yr olds.===JACK:  It seems as though Andy has a great teacher.  Does she dress in a yellow robe, too?  Meditation might have helped with some of my behavior problems as a kid. ===LBP:  Alas,... wish she had done the science curriculum... but a foundation in human skills is probably good for wild 6 year olds===JACK:  Spoken like a parent who is a "scientist."  As a pastor, I think that meditation is more important at this point (Kindergarten) than science.  As I recall, I had fun at a 5-yr-old learning about Native Americans,  In those days we called them, Indians.  We were excited to learn that they actually lived where we lived.  They were led by Chief Blackhawk, and their tribe was the Sauk and Fox.  Learning about that was more interesting than memorizing the periodic table.

FOM AMcC:  i meditate daily.  I find peace in God .  I am grateful.===JACK:  Meditation...Brother Lawrence learned to do it in the monastery kitchen while scrubbing pots and pans.  He wrote a book, Practice of the Presence of God.  Have you read it?

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  I need this for sure===JACK:  We are are trapped, from time to time, in placeas where we are afraid, in situation from which there seems to be no way of escape.  But, some have found a it meditation, call it time for reflection, for quietness, or call it a time for prayer.  Even if it's only for minute each day, it can (and does) help.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  PART OF PRACTICING yoga IS doing meditation. We all need to do devotional reading, and center our thoughts.For me it can happen almost anywhere, and almost any time,  depending on my schedule. It helps to take life's ups, downs, and in-betweens, in stride! ===JACK:  I heard today about a book, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.  That caused me to listen to an interview on NPR with the author Don Hanson.  He meditates 2 hours a day, but says that it can be done in a minute each day, too.

Dan Harris On The Power Of Meditation For The Fidgety Skeptic | Rich ...

Feb 8, 2018 - Ultra-athlete Rich Roll talks with ABC News' Dan Harris about how meditation transformed his life & his new book,10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics. ... Zomorod: author and host of the Note To Self podcast on NPR.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/12/18
“Happiness starts with a smile.”  (Sent by Carol Stanonik)  When you’re on a bus or subway laughter isn’t what you expect.  A Belgian ad agency, working for Coca-Cola, hired an actor to start laughing on a crowded train, with today’s quote as the tagline.  The result showed how happiness can be contagious.  Even a simple smile at someone will often result with one in return.  This world, at times, can be unkind.  Let’s help to make it a happier place.    ;-)  Jack    Coca-Cola: Happiness starts with a smile - YouTube

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and a friendly "hello" can often end up with some kind of brief but meaningful conversation too...===JACK:  A friendly hello is for strangers and casual friends.  The hearty HI and and BIG laughs are for close friends and family (in my experience).===SP:  but do you think carefully about those choices when you meet people or are  your responses more spontaneous and off the cuff?===JACK:  You probably dated many girls including Margaret.  Was the  attraction spontaneous, or off the cuff, or did you think carefully about your decision that she was "the one?"


FROM HONEST JOHN:  We are up here in Stratford....yesterday we saw The Music Man....the anthem of Positive was enjoyable.....===JACK:  That's one of my all-time favorite shows.  Harold Hill had the right idea...if you think it and believe it, you can.  That's something like preaching on a Sunday...or writing Winning Words.  I even made it a point to visit Mason City, Iowa.
===HJ:  We went there, too.    I love the show.   This was the best presentation of it that I have ever seen===JACK:  I liked how 76 Trombones and Goodnight My Someone were the same tune played at different tempos.  Beautiful music.

FROM KF:  Good one! But my favorite Coke commercial is still "I'd like to teach the world to sing", flash-mob style, followed by "Just Wave Hello" : )))===JACK:   That's my BEST, too.  but messages need to change in order to keep relevant...just like with preaching...and parenting.  The Santa Claus that most folks relate to is an image created by Coca Cola.  They hire creative ad people.

FROM JACK TO CAROL:  Do people laugh during quilting, or do they just quietly sew?===QC:  Quilters mostly laugh when they are sewing…unless we make a mistake and have to rip out what we’ve just done.  Most of us have can even laugh about the ripping out.  There are times that we share tears as sad things do happen in our lives, but we know we have a wonderful caring and loving support group in our fellow quilters.  Laughter does dominate though!  Do pastors find things to laugh about in congregational work?  I can only begin to imagine that!===JACK:  Pastors usually are good at adapting to situations.  With other pastors, they generally talk shop, keep checking their iPhones (in case there's an urgent message), and there's a good bit of laughter, because church and church people can be funny as well as holy.  If I would happen to drop in on your group, I'd try to blend into the situation, except for the sewing.  I think that I might be able to do ripping.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  A smile makes everyone happy especially the smiler 😊😊😊===JACK:
 There are smiles that make us happy  There are smiles that make us blue
There are smiles that steal away the tear drops  As the sum beam steal away the dew
There are smiles that have a tender meaning  That the eyes of love alone will see
And the smiles that filled my heart with sunshine  Are the smiles that you gave to me.
===SHIRL:  I love that song! Thx!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  THAT is hilarious!! I'll bet all the WW readers today are laughing our loud! :-) Smiling  is contagious! I hope we all "catch it" and pass it on!===JACK:  How about the laugh of the Great Gildersleeve?  For real laughs listen to Carol Burnett "Bloopers."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  That’s a very “smiley” Commerical.  Too bad I like Pepsi better.  That will almost make me switch.  Smiling is very contagious but laughter is down right an epidemic! ===JACK:  When Pepsi Cola first came out, Coca Cola came in 6 ounce bottles.  Pepsi came in 12 ounce bottles, twice as much as Coke.  Pepsi's radio ad was a musical jingle..."Pepsi Cola hits the spot.  Twelve full ounces, that's alot.  Twice as much for a nickel, too.  Pepsi Cola is the drink for you."

Retro Pepsi Radio Commercials - YouTube


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/11/18
“Let parents bequeath to their children, not riches, but the spirit of reverence.”  (Plato)  Reverence is more than a “churchy” word.  To reverence something is to respect it, to see it as something holy, an ideal.  The flag, for example, stands for “the positives” in America, the  freedoms and the sacrifices to preserve them.  It’s not a perfect country, but we respect the respectable.  Even Jesus showed how, in life, to separate the wheat from the chaff.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  you teach me something new so often! did not know “reverence” could be a verb. thought it was “revere.”===JACK:  I'm  sure you researched it before you wrote.  I beat you to it.  Grammar can be fun.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Since we are focusing somewhat on the Supreme Court right now, I thought of Clarence Thomas' statement: "One of the advantages of living in a free, democratic society, is that each day we have many opportunities to be leaders, simply by leading virtuous lives"
Our kids learn reverence and respect when they see it in others, as well as hearing about it! ===JACK:  I think that much of our frustration comes from having those we look to as leaders act like sheep.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  :-) ;-)===JACK:  Do people laugh during quilting, or do they just quietly sew?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/10/18
“The best of us must sometimes eat our words.”  (J.K. Rowling)  Recently a man made the news by eating 74 hot dogs.  JKR has written 7 Harry Potter books.  Imagine eating those words.  But, what she’s talking about are the many times that people (you and I) have said things that we shouldn’t have said.  There’s a warning in the Bible: “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.”  If only there were a pause button connected to the tongue…but there isn’t, so be careful!    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  And... sometimes.. that stupid thing that came out of my mouth haunts me forever!===JACK:  A person who was caught stealing sheep has ST branded on his forehead, reminding everyone that he was a Sheep Thief.  But that person mended his ways and did many good things for the poor and for the community.  Years later someone new came to town and asked about the man with the ST on his forehead.  The townsmen paused and said, "It's been a long time.  I think that it stands for Saint...A roundabout way to encourage you to forget the past and live positively in the present.

FROM WALMART REV:  Yes sir, be careful!! 0;-)===JACK:  Even the Bible has a "Be Careful" warning..."Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  (1 Peter 5:8)

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything !===JACK:  That sounds like something you learned at home.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HA! One of my mom's oft reminders:"Keep your words sweet; you may have to eat them!"  Not always successful in teen years, but more so as we matured! I read a quote by Bishop Michael Curry (Chicago Tribune) that seems appropriate, "If Humanity ever captures the
energies of Love, It will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire."  Loving words ignite loving responses! Impressive array of Kudos for you in Yesterday's WW. I'm sure well-deserved, although that was NOT your intention. (Knowing you, we KNOW that!!) Thanks for spreading energies ===JACK:  Who was the "sassier", you or your twin (or neither, since you both were well-behaved)?  While having a multiple birth is cute, it must be doubly difficult for the mother to have 2 newborns, 2 terrible-twos, 2 teens, but it evens out as they mature.  As to yesterday...I was sorry that Goethe's quote seemed to be overlooked.  It was such a good one.===OAKS:  We really weren't "sassy" didn't talk back to parents like they do these days! Or other adults, either, usually!

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Better we should eat God's words (Matt. 4:1-11) and then live on their nurture than to have what I call "foot 'n' mouth disease" to which I am so prone!  God bless you for the reminders!    ===JACK:  At least you're not entering any hot dog eating contests.  At Holy Spirit we once gave out Bibles with sections marked to be read each day.  In one year those who followed the program would have read the entire Bible in a year.  I still have a copy of the One-Year Bible.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Maybe Britain exiting Brexit is another example of foot-in-mouth? ===JACK:  I have a hard time with that Brexit thing.  In or out?  When they refused to adopt the Euro, they weren't really in.  It's hard to come to grips without being an Empire any longer.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I’ve read “Make sure your words are always sweet because you may have to eat them!”  I have no idea who said it but they’re good ones!===JACK:  When I first started  as a pastor, the worship service began with the Confession of Sins..."Forgive us, because we have sinned by thought, WORD and deed."===JUDY:  Words do hurt!  Much worse than smacks.  My friends name is Charlene.  She’s not fat but she not skinny either.  One time her male teacher in grade school called her by name.  He said, “Charlene....well there’s nothing lean about Charlene.”  She has never forgotten that and says that all the time.  She doesn’t like to be called Charlene because of that but prefers Char.===JACK:  "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me."  Not true!

Monday, July 09, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/9/18
“Divide and rule is a sound motto.  Unite and lead is a better one.”  (Goethe)  Goethe is one of the most quotable authors in my stack of “good quotes.”  His education included the study of six languages, besides lessons in dancing.  He read a lot and learned to put his thoughts into words, becoming one of the greatest writers of the modern era.  I Googled “Information” about today’s quote and up popped, Jack’s Winning Words 2007.  I’m a source.  WOW!    ;-)  Jack

FROM VW MARY:  from vw mary:  😊If only our leaders would heed Goethe, by way of Jack! ====JACK:  I read this Salman Rushdie quote this morning:  "Democracy is not polite.  It's often a shouting match in a public square."  Maybe frustration is the price that we have to pay to be able to have democracy.  It allows change by the voting process.

FROM WALMART REV:  "...always has been a 'winner' in my book since coming across him in the mid to late 1980's!" 0;-)===JACK:  I met him in my college philosophy class, but had trouble with the guttural pronunciation of his name.  At first, I spoke it like the Chicago streetcar conductor:  "Next stop, GOthy Street!"===REV:  I was speaking of that dynamic Holy Spirit Lutheran pastor of West Bloomfield, MI!! 0;-) ===JACK:  I'm not in the same league as the Great Goethe.

FROM HONEST JOHN: You are a font of wisdom!===JACK: Have you ever sung the hymn, "Come, thou fount of every blessing?"  I like the line..."Here, I raise my Ebenezer."  I wonder how many in the congregation (including the pastor) know what that means.

FROM CARRIE:  I hope you are doing well.  I still read you every morning – thanks for inspiring me.===JACK:  You are an important member of my Winning Words family.  Today, I'm asking G-d to especially watch over you.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  πŸ˜Ž ===JACK:  Thanks for your unspoken support.  May today be a good one for you ===LIZ:  πŸ˜‰

FROM LS:  You are a source to me. Thank you.  I am glad that your recognition is apparently global. Hope for all the world to be a better place because of your commitment to writing WINNING WORDS. ===JACK:  You  can find lots of stuff on the internet if you push the right key.  Sometimes the right key is, Delete!  At other times, it's, Save!

FROM LBP:  Cool! 😊===JACK:  Yes, it is cooler today that it was recently.===LBP:  Ha ha. I’m a child of the 80s. “Cool” is still in my vocabulary ;)  Though happy for the milder weather too ===JACK:  My stepfather was in a restaurant once, and the waitress asked, "How's your dessert?"  He responded, "It's cool!"  She said, "I can put it in the microwave for you."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  congrats! πŸ˜€===JACK:  Wolfgang should get all of the credit.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Wow. That is very impressive.===JACK:  What's impressive is the "new" work that you are doing for the Jewish Federation in reaching out to donors for the Foundation!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Indeed, you are.  Thumbs up on that!  Goethe's gone but you're still with us and enlightening us.===JACK:  Yes, Goethe's gone (heart attach at age 82), but he's not forgotten:  He left behind...four novels; epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism;  memoirs, and treatises on botany, anatomy, and color. In addition...numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him...and lots and lots of quotable quotes.===RI:  I knew Goethe was erudite, but I didn't realize he was so prolific.  Thanks to you for continuing to educate me.

FROM VOLUNTEER JIM:  You are a much greater source than you will ever know.===JACK:  I meant this to be about Goethe's quote on leadership.===JB:  I got your quote loud and clear and agree.   I frequently fail to tell the important people in my life how much they mean to me and didn't want to miss this chance to let you know you have a great positive impact on my life and how I live it.===JACK:  It works both ways.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Wow, now that is special!  You not only enlighten your readers but the whole world!!!  I’m honored to be your friend!===JACK:  I was just how the internet is able to pick up stuff.

FROM SG:  Yay, you're famous!!===JACK:  This has backfired.  I meant the emphasis to be on the quote.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  You are that and a lot more, Jack. Your ability to make us take pause and think is so important. Thank you.===JACK:  I have to pause and think before I with preparing a sermon.

FROM DR JUDY:  Congratulations on becoming a source!!! :)===JACK:  I was warned by the professors in college, "Check your sources, check your sources!"

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  you are way too modest, Jack!   but that is also why people love you too!===JACK:  Like the guy said, "In my humble opinion..."  Someone whispered, "His opinions have plenty to be humble about."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  WOW is a very appropriate reaction!===JACK:  Do you remember the expression, "You could have knocked me over with a feather?"  It wasn't quote like that.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  I always knew you were a source. Google is just catching up.===JACK:  You were my first computer teacher.

FROM TRIHARDER:  Agreed! Who in our midst had tried to do that over the last 60 years? ===JACK:  When I was choosing the quote, I was thinking within 2 rather than 60.===TH:  Yes, I know. W was supposed to be the uniter.  He failed. Too much hatred and distrust for Obama who also did a poor job of reaching out, despite his inviting rhetoric. I just don't know of anyone since, possibly, Eisenhower (who was fighting "commies" in a post war America) when views weren't so extremely divergent and society had not yet progressed toward accommodating minorities (race, sexual orientation and inc. women) which seems to be basis of much of our current discord. ===JACK:  The phrase..."East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet."  Rudyard Kipling had a way putting situations into words.  In the quote he is lamenting the gulf between the British and India that existed.  Although the twain did meet in that case, it was not a happy meeting.  In the present american political situation, the gulf seems to have become a chasm.

DROM SHALOM JAN: You are a lot more famous than you realized in this technical age!  Good for you!===JACK:  What if I were on Facebook and Tweeted, too?

FROM JT IN SJ:  WOW is right.  Maybe you should author a book with the contents being your winning words and the thoughts you share about those words!!  I think it is a great idea!!===JACK:  Once, someone did put together a book of Jack's Winning Words.  Maybe 250 copies were printed and sold on Amazon.  They were gone before I even got a copy.  I had thought of doing one of those daily tear-off calendars.  Someone even offered to help.  BTW, I once preached a funeral sermon in which I mentioned sending out Winning Words each day.  After the service, a stranger came up and asked, "Are you Jack from Jack's Winning Words?  I'm so glad to meet you."  Maybe I should write a book!

Friday, July 06, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/6/18
“Be thankful for today, because in one moment your entire life could change.”  (Unknown)  “In the blink of an eye.”  An eye blink is about 4/10s of a second.  If a batter blinks, the fastball will pass him before he opens his eyes again.  That’s how fast life can change for us…in the blink of an eye.  Perhaps you know of someone who’s experienced that.  Regina Brett wrote: “God never blinks!”  What comfort to know that God’s unblinking eye is on YOU!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good words. In Rock Island on July3, while watching fireworks at the Centennial Bridge a huge tree branch fell on the crowd at the county courthouse, killed 2 and injured several, IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE.===JACK:  A person that I know was setting off fireworks for family and friends.  One of the items did not go off, so (knowing better in hindsight) he went to check on it.  In the blink of an eye, he lost an eye and is within one eye of being blind.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  how true this is!  yesterday we attended the funeral of a women who seemed very healthy until she had a massive stroke and died at age 76.  also, a good friend lost a son a week ago to a motorcycle accident.  both very sad life-changing events.     every day is a gift! ===JACK:  Every pastor,I'm sure, has similar stories to tell.  After news of a tragic death, I usually felt unease as I drove to make first contact with the family.===SP:  for sure.   when first out of the seminary,  those situations scared me half to death.  it was only later that i realized just how MUCH the family wanted and needed my/our presence at that moment.   i will say my 3 quarters of CPE in a hospital were also very helpful in letting me be more at ease with death, dying, and trauma.  take care, old and wise friend.===JACK:  In a couple of hours I'll be making one of "those" calls.  Tho not because of a death, it is one where a pastor and friend is wanted and needed.===SP:  bless you for going to her.   i guess we never fully escape our ordination vows:):):)==JACK:  It was not a "have to," but a "want to" call.  I never saw my work as fulfilling an ordination vow.  It was work that I enjoyed (and still enjoy) doing.  Besides, I got to meet the daughter and her 1-month-old son.  ===SP:  truthfully i can't even recall just exactly what the vows stated but in a general sense,  it was to serve God's people, the church,  and the needs of the world in general.===JACK:  Are you sure those aren't the words people say when they join the Church?

FROM DM IN LIV:  I was a little uneasy reading the first part of today’s Winning Words but then I got to the part that says “God never blinks!” and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Thank you and have a beautiful, blessed day!===JACK:  Be aware today...that God really does have His eye on YOU!  ===DM:  Oh…now that has a whole new meaning. 😊

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  Thanks for the song of the day...”he’s got his eyes on you”. I have had a series of life changing events this spring/summer. Some good some sad all challenging. Life goes on and I’m thankful for each day’s adventure❤️ ===JACK:  If it didn't change, it wouldn't be life.  Are you now done at Peppermint?  If so, what is your fondest memory?===MARY:  the school will remain with me forever although we closed the doors on may 25th.  there are so many individual memories and lovely stories.  i think my sweetest memories are of "door opening" time each day.  happy children coming in to start the day and greet their friends.  even the ones having a bit of trouble were joy to me for they were the ones that would sit on my lap until ready to join the group.  i heard the best stories and could share my stories with them.  i never wanted to be away from my home when i was little unless my mama or daddy was with me.  the children seemed to appreciate that fact. i am pondering my next stage in life and wondering how i can continue to work with children and parents, (really just more children as i aged).  there is so much information "out there" but so little guidance for families in stress.  i'll come up with a way.  you did with your winning words.  i thank god for them every day.  it's the first thing i read when i wake.  thank you.===JACK:  Creative people, like you, will come up with the idea that fits.

FRO FACEBOOK LIZ:  a year ago tomorrow we lost my beloved father... in the blink of an eye. he was waiting for my daughter to pick him up for dinner out. he fell asleep in his chair, dreaming of a good meal and the company of his cherished granddaughter.  that’s the way to go at age 90, he’d tell you...===JACK:  I have a book in my library, "They Went That-a-Way," which describes how some of the famous and no so famous people died.  Your father's death was unusual in the way it happened.  But, of course, he was unusual...very special.  You were fortunate.

FROM ANNE McC:  Padre Pio  "Pray, hope, don't worry."  I live one day at a time.  I thank God for a good night's sleep and that I can still take my own shower.  Each morning and night I abandon myself to Him and pray that He helps me to accept whatever I am sent,  God is good.  These are the thoughts I had when I read these words of Pastor Freed's WW.  Peace and prayers, ===JACK:  We have so much to be thankful for...and it's more than material things.  Faith, family and friends are 3 F's.  God is good!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My nephew in law was riding his 4-wheeler without his helmet, fell off, hit his head and suffered brain damage and is partially paralyzed on his left side.  In the blink of an eye!   Thankfully, God is always on the job.===JACK: I believe that "God never blinks," but I'm interested to know what you mean by "o, the job/"===JUDY:  “His eye is in the Sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/5/18
“Sometimes I just want someone to hug me and say, I know it’s hard.  You’re going to be okay.  Here’s a chocolate and 5 million dollars.”  (Unknown)  Often when a child gets a bump or a scrape Mommie will kiss it, and it will be all better.  As we become adults life’s owies are harder to cure.  Money might solve some problems…some TLC…A friend who will listen can help, too.  There are hurting people out there today.  Let’s see what we can do to help!    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Wisdom displayed again!===JACK:  Common sense!

FROM JT IN SJ:  I'll send you a hug.  Just ask me.  and a chocolate will be OK too.  I don't happen to have 5 million dollars.  Would a dollar help?===JACK:  It's a deal.  I'll take it!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i find that most people seem to be “all talk.” social media is rife w/those prevent suicide memes that say “i am there there for you...” but in actuality, they couldn’t be bothered.===JACK:  Most of my friends are the face-to-face kind, although I do appreciate the social media ones, too.  E-mail hugs and kisses (Hershey's) aren't the same.  Getting 5 million?  I'm not holding my breath.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words, Jack.  thanks.===JACK:  A pastor friend of mine asked a shut-in if their was anything he could do for her.  "I'd like to have recite the 23rd Psalm for me."  He had brain freeze and couldn't remember how the Psalm started.  Seeing a Bible on the table said, " I think that it might have more meaning for us if I read it from your Bible."  She was pleased that he was so thoughtful.===SP:  smooth move, preacher man!===JACK:  We each have our moment and our stories...and there's no one smoother than the King of Smooth, PLH.

FROM LBP:  You have a serious message but I laughed at the quote. Helping out of a bind is one thing, 5M is gonna bring a whole new variety of ‘troubles’===JACK:  "If I win the lottery..." Have you ever bought a lottery ticket?   I would guess that you haven't.===;BP:  Actually, I have. I very rarely do, but sometimes I get caught in the crazy allure of a big jackpot. Have you?===JACK: The odds of winning the Mega Millions Jackpot arw 259 million to 1.  I can't even win at 1 out of 10. ===LBP:  Awe, come now. On average you will win at 1 out of 10, 10%  of the time, provided the play is fair. Odds of “winning” if you never play are zero. But sometimes I’m ok with those odds too===JACK  Ooops.  Odds are a specialty with a stats person.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  One day at a time! Always do your best and God will do the rest!===JACK:  That seems to be your mantra...and it's a good one, too!===SHIRL:  What you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God!===JACK:  ...and another good one. ===SHIRL:  Did you see the wonderful show on the mall last night! I like it all-especially Jimmy buffet and The Beach Boys!===JACK:  Yes, I saw them.  Some relatives of mine saw Buffet live at Target Field in Minneapolis last week.  I think it's time to rename the Beach Boys and call then the Beach Fogies, but they're still good.===SHIRL:  I guess we saw Buffet in key West which is very apropos and our twins were Beach boy fans and still have many records in my house!===JACK: I have a Beach Roys CD, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I think it was Mark Twain who observed, "I'd rather have 100 friends than money; If ever needed, they'd all be wiling to send a buck!" (paraphrased)  I see you have at least one friend who offered a buck! :-) Millions are beyond most of us, but a kind word, helping hand, a meal, flowers,  driver  when needed (that's been a need of mine with this broken wing!) etc. Are ways we can all show we care. God bless the many kind-hearted who do so!===JACK:  Are you good for a buck, too?  I offer prayers for your healing from that fall.  What's that worth?===OAKS:  That dear Jack is priceless!!! And I'm in for a buck whenever!===JACK:  If it were you in need, it would be worth at least a Jackson...or more.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  A friendly smile or a little compliment helps tremendously.===JACK:  The "out of the blue" notes of appreciation are especially meaningful.  Try that with your pastor...or your husband.===JUDY:  Great idea!!!===JACK:  Ideas really work when they're put into action.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/3/18
“I am not an American,  I am the American.”  (Quoted by Mark Twain)  M.T. is more than Tom Sawyer.  Ken Burns called him, “the” American.  He loved the freedoms of his country.  He used freedom of speech to question political leaders, even the President (Teddy R.).  He used freedom of the press to expose racism and hypocrisy,   By writing about his travels, he helped show the world to America.  He wasn’t afraid to be critical of the Church, either, when it needed criticism.  Like him or not…to me he represents America, “the land that I love.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR JUDY:  Keep preaching Jack! Maybe more people will remember the importance of free speech, free press, and as we used to say “questioning authority “.===JACK: FROM DR JUDY:  Keep preaching Jack! Maybe more people will remember the importance of free speech, free press, and as we used to say “questioning authority “===JACK:  Our important.  Try living in a place without them.  NO< thank you!.===DJ:  Right! Yet for many in our country suddenly there is the fear of just that-living in a country without freedoms. And of course reminds so many of us of the poem:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
===JACK:  That happened in Nazi Germany, or have we forgotten?===DJ:  amazing what we have seemingly forgotten. Sigh.===JACK:  Philosopher Santayana was probably correct when we wrote:  "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  ...and, sadly, we cannot depend on "doctored" history books to tell the story correctly, or to tell it at all.===DJ:  Excellent inference!===JACK:  Isn't it sad?  We used to take "truth-tellers" for granted.  Now, we can't depend on history books for telling the truth.  We are being told that what we read and hear is "fake news."  Everyone seems to have a "spin"...even the clergy!===DJ:  Other than prayer, Jack, which really is not a ‘nothing’!, Do you have any suggestions?===JACK:  Even "prayer" has lost some of its luster, with the ubicquitous "our thoughts and prayers are with you."  What more can be done?  - By not taking values for granted - By conversations such as we are having - By not being afraid to say, "The emperor has no clothes!" - By "truly" having a little talk with God about things that concern us.  After all, that's what prayer really is.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  And, he grew up on the Mississippi!===JACK:  I like the appellation, "The Father of Waters."  It was a special privilege to have grown up on the shores of that river that had so much to do with the unfolding of our country.

FROM MM:  Thanks Pastor Freed.  Twain was an interesting guy.  Did you ever read The Mysterious Stranger? ===JACK:  I'll have to put that on my "to do" list.  You always seem to come up with some thought[provoking suggestions.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I wonder what MT would say to those who believe his books should be banned in schools because of issues such as the “N” word.  I would like to hear his speech to the Board of Educations that consider those issues.===JACK:  As we used to say...He'd have apoplexy!  They are too many so-called educators today who are like the Straw Man in the Wizard of Oz before he met Dorothy.===PAUL:  I find that people are far more confident in what they say and do in the midst of their own choir.===JACK:  What's surprising about that?

FROM ANNE McCL  Happy Independence Day===JACK:  What do you remember about the day?  I remember how people would attach little flags to the radiator caps on their car.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I like M.Twain's quote: "Travel is fatal to prejudice , bigotry, and narrow mindedness...and 'many of our people need it sorely on these accounts! Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the Earth, all one's lifetime!"  It  is as true today, as it was in his day, and I keep that quote posted on my computer. There are many with the  courage in our country today who are marching and rising in protest over issues in gov't. and women's rights, my daughter among them.Hopefully it will help to ensure our continued freedom of our precious rights in the U.S.!===JACK:  Marching is good exercise, but the voting in November will tell whether or not it's good for something else.===OAKS:  Exactly! Will it have voter effect? I pray so!===JACK:  Wondering...If Russians can affect elections, can praying do the same thing?===OAKS:  Well, it didn't work in the last election; but I'll persevere in praying
for a different outcome!===JACK:  Oh, prayer keep on praying!!!  In the Lord's Prayer, we don't pray, "My will be done," but "Thy will be done."  When it comes to answered prayer, we often use a stopwatch while God may be using a calendar. I try to keep that in mind when I am "desperately" praying.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  Good message for today.===JACK:  We don't appreciate our freedoms enough!

FROM INDY GENIE:  Oh my goodness....I just laughed out loud when I read your response about the  “Straw Man in the Wizard of Oz before he met Dorothy” !! I have to write these subtleties down and use them!===JACK:  Come to think about it, there are some politicians who are like the Tin Man and the Lion before they met Dorothy.

FROM JB IN OLV:  Good one!===JACK:  Some are better than others.  I enjoyed writing this one.

FACEBOOK LIZ sent a picture of the American flag, displaying a circle of 13 stars.===JACK:  Without Google, do you know why the flag is referred to as, Old Glory?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Very good. Have a Happy 4th tomorrow!===JACK:  DEM or GOP,, it's the same flag!  Here's another Twain quote: "In truth I care little about any party's politics--the man behind it is the important thing."

Monday, July 02, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/2/18
“It’s OK to live a life others do not understand.”  (Sent by MarO)  In conversation recently someone looked at me and said, “You are different.”  I took that as a compliment.  The world is trying its best to make everyone like everybody else.  Clothing…politics…TV watching…food choices.  I like what Popeye used to say, “I yam what I yam.”  If I like a rainbow society, so what?  I have some friends who are Libertarians , but I tend to draw some lines.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  it is a compliment... congrats! i am that libertarian!===JACK:  I knew that you'd be the first to respond.  You may be that libertarian, but I'm sure that even you "draw lines" once in a spelling libertarian with a lower-case l.===LIX:  i do draw lines... at illegal immigration. and i am not a big “L,” i am an independent. i bet you may even have republican friends!===JACK:  My friendships are not based on politics or other supercilious criteria.

FROM JB IN OLV:  It is a compliment...===JACK:  I have man acquaintances and a few friends.  "Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend."  (Plautus)===JB:  I have learned the trees that reach for the sun are often alone in their effort.  Many wish to bask in the shade of the people they respect - few are brave enough to walk a long side them.===JACK:  As the song goes..."All things bright and beautiful (including trees)...the Lord God made them all!"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Aren’t we all different?  Made by God with a special reason for being here!  I like the Popeye reference because “I yam what I yam” is quite a because sentence and sentiment!
I may not agree with some people about different things but I am not going to scream and yell and protest their ideas.  We are called to love everyone but we don’t have to agree to everything they do or say.  The fact you have Friends who are different from you is a blessing.     Thank you for your friendship!===JACK:  A  song that I learned in Sunday School comes to mind..."Friendship with Jesus!  Fellowship divine!  Oh, what blessed, sweet communion!  Jesus is a Friend of mine."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  How many of us do really understand anyone else?!  Or listen completely when someone speaks?  We don't know others' paths or's a life-long process to become a compassionate and caring human being. You can care for (and about) yourself, and care for others, but learn  not to care too much about what others think or say.  If we've found our purpose, we need to live and love in our own way! Shalom!!===JACK:  As for others' words...sometimes it's hard to know which to throw in the waste basket and which to save foer further thought.  With a true friend, you don't have to worry too much about that.  It's difficult for a pastor and family to "choose" friends among church members without having some others feeling "left out."===OAKS:  We had long pastorates, so always developed some really close friends in our churches.  I suppose some might feel left out, but others are probably more comfortable just having a ===JACK:  "cordial" relationship with THE PASTOR! :-)===JACK:  c'est la vie

FROM BB IN CHGU:  Always thought provoking ideas.  Have you seen the Fred Rogers documentary yet, “Won’t you Be My Neighbor”  We absolutely loved it and the narration by his wife reminded me of M…and N and certain women of depth and kindness that seem to be vanishing.  The simplicity of his message and the tenacity with which he strove to bring acceptance and nurturing to children and families just warmed my heart.===JACK:  There's a lot on misunderstanding in this world of ours...sometimes because we don't sit down and talk together...and sometimes because we DO!  I like the word, symbiotic...its sound and its meaning.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/29/18
“Did you know that Dammit I’m mad spelled backwards is Dammit I’m mad?”  (Sent by Norlene)  What makes you upset these days?  I once saw something called a Dammit Doll.  The instructions said to keep slamming that rag doll until your anger is gone.  It might be a useful   gift for someone who becomes overly-frustrated by some life-events.   Even Jesus got angry when he saw the Temple being misused.  What is your secret for relieving anger?     ;-)  Jack

FROM SF:  WOW! Interesting fun fact! Just turning on the news evokes so many emotions...anger, fear, shame, frustration, shock, sadness. The height of these negative emotions is new to me. Trying to concentrate on joy and good health and of course, my children, grandchildren, and G.  What are we to do? (Refusing to turn on the news or to read the newspaper doesn’t solve anything, does it?)  Hope you are well. Look forward to your notes!===JACK:  "Dammit" expresses my feelings when I read about the political direction of the USA as it replaces a more moderate tone.  "Extremes" bother me.  That 1/3 of the population believes that another Civil War is inevitable leads me to believe that 1/3 of the people have not learned from history or studied it.  Instead of using a Dammit Doll, I place my trust in the ultimate triumphalism of G-d and His way.

FROM WALMART REV:  Never have truly found my secret . . . "Pondering over and over it until it goes away or is replaced by a more edifying thought?!" 0;-/===JACK:  I've tried that, but I seem to still be angry.  The thought..."God is ultimately in charge"...seems to be come a comfort.===REV:
Yes sir . . . I agree wholeheartedly.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Madam I’m Adam is also a palindrome. I always enjoyed them
Barbara Kinsolver wrote a wonderful book called THE POISIONWOOD BIBLE. About a missionary in Africa and each chapter is written from the POV of a daughter. One daughter writes in palindromes. I think you’d like this book.===JACK:  I appreciate cleverness.  Much comedy is based on that.  So are moralisms.  I especially like Yiddish sayings.  I also like word origins...palindrome, doe example, has Greek root  Dromos (running) and Palin (back around).  I had to look up the why of a Bible called, Poisonwood.  That caused me to learn something new.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I had never seen Keller's comment. It's a good one.===JACK:  I find it fascinating that one who had never heard speech, learned to speak, and that one who had never seen writing, learned to write...and one who had never heard or read about God, learned a knowledge of, and a belief in God.

FROM JACK:  Reading my Facebook postings today, I sense that many of my friends need to use a Dammit Doll.===EDUCATOR PAUL:  I guess you read my post... Goodbye Jeff, Bill, etc...I’m good now! LOL===JACK:  Yep!  Sometimes "Unfriend" works better than the doll, of stewing. ===PAUL:  I really enjoy watching Chris Cumo on CNN at night..mostly taped.  His motto is “Tell The Truth.” And, he gets after anyone who does the spin..anyone.  Last night he told the story of Two Wolves.  I can guess you know the story, but it had a lot of meaning to me..===JACK:  There was an early television show called, To Tell The Truth, where 3 celebrity panelists would try to guess who among 3 people was the one who had the "strange" occupation.  It was less stressful than politics.

FROM DR JUDY:  Jack, this was a great laugh out loud Post!  I’m seeing a lot of posts from you lately which non-directly teach us how to deal with these chaotic times that compassionate people are perceiving. Thank you.===JACK:  You're a mind-reader, too.  My Winning Words seems to have morphed from moralism commentary into moralism/spiritual-ism with a contemporary "poke."  Maybe it has become my personal Dammit Doll.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Taking action!  Tomorrow there is a noon march at Chicago’s Daley center for “Indivisible” standing up for immigrants and families who were recently forced to separate while trying to seek refuge or political asylum.   This si followed by Veganfest with my daughter! ===JACK:  The aphorism is true..."Actions speak louder than words."  Separation of families is unconscionable, regardless of the law.  This week I had vegan chocolate ice cream.  Great!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Interesting Palindrome! I had A Dammit Rag Doll; (I think they were on sale at our church bazaar!) And you not only slam it, you yell "Dammit" with every slam! It does let off steam...:-)  Novel idea at the time.  With our country in the condition it is today, one does need some way to vent!!  I guess watch and pray, and do what you can in your little corner of the world! ===JACK:  I have a hard time picturing "church lady" with a Dammit Doll, or yelling, Dammit!"  Maybe Dana Carvey, but not the ladies or the leader of your Sunday School class.  Why not bring the doll to class and ask if anyone is bold enough to use it?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Reciting Bible verses over and over!===JACK:  I know a man whose father had him recite a piece of poetry (from memory) each night at the supper table.  A woman once told me that confirmation memory work suddenly came back to her as she lay on a hospital gurney awaiting cancer surgery.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/28/18
“I do not want the peace that passeth understanding, I want the understanding that bringeth peace.”  (Helen Keller)  I once visited Ivy Green in Alabama, where Helen Keller was born and spent her early childhood.  It was special to stand at the spot where Helen and Annie Sullivan first communicated.  Hers is a story that truly passes understanding.  Mark Twain called Annie, The Miracle Worker.  While there, I got a Helen Keller quarter as a memento.    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The Miracle Worker is one movie I never miss if I see it show up on tv.  It’s a true story of strength, persistence and love!===JACK:  It's almost like Jesus restoring sight to the blind man.===JUDY:  Absolutely!  He gave Annie the gift of faith so she kept on until she was successful!===JACK:  I don't know that Annie was a particularly religious person, but she did seen to have a basic feeling that each success in life brings us closer to God.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That was one of Les’ favorites too! When we moved to Tampa in 1963 and he taught 6th grade and had 48 students in his class, his students loved it too!===JACK:  Annie certainly knew what it was to be a teacher.

FROM ESF:  I like this, we should never ignore bullying ===JACK:  I recall "bullying" from the past, but there was a passive toleration "back then."  Things weren't always better in the old days.

FROM LBP:  Yes. Yes. Yes. This is very selfish. I’m sure you were thinking loftier issues as you penned the ww. But I’m waiting to hear the result of a decision at work and it is driving me insane! I get hints to one way then the other and I’m starting to obsess. The decision was made Monday but I have to wait for the formal announcement to come “soon”. I just want the peace that comes from knowing the yes or no!===JACK:  Your response reminds me of the person who prayed, "O Lord, give me patience, and give it to me, RIGHT NOW!!!"===LBP:  Yeah. I know. ..This proposal went in for review last November. I feel like I’ve been pretty patient. But I’m really stuck ruminating on the potential outcome these last few days knowing that it’s decided but I cannot know that decision. It’s silly and useless to fret on it I know. Now to convince my brain to cut it out.===JACK:  It's sort of like the promise of Heaven, isn't it?  Well, maybe not something that we're anxious for RIGHT NOW, but a "perfect world" would be a relief.===LBP:  Well, as you probably figured, no answer translated to a “no” answer. Ah... the NIH .... some day I will figure out how to win their favor ===JACK:  Someday, when you're in charge, things will be different.  Life is a learning experience.  The "church" experiences, good and bad, in my growing years, helped shape my ministry.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Love this quote from one of the most amazing women ever!. She was
a deep thinker, and found a way to communicate what she thought.  Yes, we all need more understanding, and we all want peace. I am currently enjoying Maria Shriver's new book, I'VE BEEN THINKING, in which her essay on Intestinal Fortitude says exactly how most thinking Americans are feeling today!! She nailed it!===JACK:  There must be an eleemosynary gene in the Kennedy pool, probably coming from Rose's side.  It shows up in so many of her offspring.===OAKS:  Really?! I'll have to look that gene up in Websters. Always learning something new!===JACK:  I learned that "e" word in college/seminary.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Helen Keller certainly was an outstanding achiever, and a proponent of humanitarian causes throughout her life.  She overcame her disabilities and was a powerful influence in society with her writing and lecturing.  It's a credit to her parents that they used what wealth they had to engage Annie Sullivan as Helen's teacher and companion.  By her efforts she broke through the darkness and silence Helen suffered from being blind and deaf.  Reading Helen's biography in my youth, and seeing the film, "The Miracle Worker", really impressed me about overcoming adversity ===JACK:  Annie's life story is almost as interesting as Helen's.  It is God, as a miracle worker, that brought Annie and Helen together.===RI:  Your insight about God being the miracle worker is a revelation for me.  I had never perceived it that way.  I live about three miles from The Perkins School for the Blind, where both Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan were schooled.===JACK:  ===RI:  Your insight about God being the miracle worker is a revelation for me.  I had never perceived it that way.
I live about three miles from The Perkins School for the Blind, where both Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan were schooled.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/27/18
“If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say you’re neutral, the mouse will never appreciate your neutrality.”  (Desmond Tutu)  Bullying these days doesn’t only happen among the young.  The little guy doesn’t stand a chance unless someone sees the unfairness and chooses to intervene.  Ann Landers used to say, “MYOB,” but sticking up for the mouse IS my business.  Victims of exploitation need an advocate.  If not me, who?  If not you, who?    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  sarah sanders is a victim of bullying... are you sticking up for her? just asking.===JACK: I wrote some really good replies to this, but the delete key got in the way. ====JACK:  Sometimes the fish swims away from the bait.

.FROM CZB:  Good one!===JACK:  I miss having talks with you.===CZB:  Yes!  But the problem is becoming a news weary electorate who might decide to just “shut down” and leave it to the “ others” to vote===JACK:  I feel an unease over the lack of a unifying message and a unifying leader.  "Divide and conquer (rule0" is the old slogan.  "Two more years" would be a disaster!

FROM LS:  Bullying is a complicated formula, although a simple, uncomplicated act in its deliberate result.  choose  to intervene whenever possible  to encourage one to see the greatness in themselves,  to give them the opportunity to feel self confident, to enable them to feel love and to enable them to the do what is right unto their fellow human beings because they intend to.  It works on both sides of the bullying formula. When the above does not work there is always the element of surprise from me - giving the situation a 1-2 punch.  Have a blessed day.===JACK:  I tend to be concerned when I observe unfairness.  Of course, unfairness is in the eye of the beholder.  Sometimes we become stronger by personal resistance, or even by becoming a martyr.  Problems don't always have easy solutions or one solution.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Amen to that.===JACK:  Problems sometimes are so pervasive that we give up on seeing ourselves as part of the solution.  So many times I have preached: "Every little bit helps."  Now, I have to believe that and practice it.

FROM WALMART REV:  Hard to decipher at times . . . are Christians nowadays the victims or the perpetrators as some are suggesting?! Democrats or Republicans? Whites or Blacks? or, are we all guilty of "shooting ourselves in the foot" trying to figure whose right and whose wrong? I'm wondering if we will ever sit down together and talk about our differences, how we might solve some of these dilemmas, and quit yelling and demonstrating only!!!!!!  0:-/===JACK:  In its history the Christian Church has been guilty of bullying...and so have I, as my sister can attest.  Heaven on earth is an elusive goal, and so we hope for better things in the sweet by and by.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We should all take a stand.  I know a couple who never voted because they might have to serve on a jury!  At one time names were pulled from people who voted.  I was just flabbergasted!  Now it’s different but thankfully neither ever was chosen.  I wouldn’t have wanted anyone with that attitude deciding my fate.===JACK:  We're promised a "jury of peers."  Is that really possible?  Definition of a peer:  "a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background, and social status."  But what we have is better than no jury. ===JUDY:  As one who served as a Jury Foreman, I can say most of the women on the jury were peers.  But, to take unskilled untrained people to listen to sly lawyers and try to figure out the fate of a family just didn’t seem right.   It’s not the best way but it is the way we have in this country and as fair as we could make it.===JACK:  Do you remember the All In The Family episode when Edith Bunker was on a jury?  I really liked that show and its characters.===JUDY:  No I don’t remember seeing that episode.  How politically incorrect that program would be now.  They would be all fired. ===JACK:  It was meant to be satire.  The Archie Bunkers still exist.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Couldn't agree more -  good examples might be those (people or companies) with a lot of money vs the little guy....or big government......or refugees.  The list goes on. ===JACK:  Sometimes the elephant trumpets so loudly that the mouse's squeak can't be heard.  ===RS:  I take it the "trump" in trumpets was not a pun.===JACK:  Sometimes I like to be subtle.  My hope is in God's ultimate judgment where right triumphs over wrong.  As the hymn goes: "This is my Father's world, O let me ne'er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler, yet!"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What an excellent quote! I think we get discouraged because the people
 with big money seem to have the power, and our little "squeaks" are not even noticed or honored in any way, We just have to be faithful in our little corner of the world to help the poor and disadvantaged with the time and funds we have. It will make a difference to THEM, a least!  Our church works with the homeless and some on welfare, which can be time-consuming and expensive; Often they have nowhere else to turn.===JACK:  Remember what Jesus said about the mustard seed.  BIGGER is not always better.

FROM INDY GENIE:  If Not Now you for your WW’s today.
I thought of this song that you probably already know but here it is.===JACK:  I'll have to listen to Carrie.  Thanks for introducing me to Iris.  "Let the Mystery Be" has become one of my all-time favorites.  I listen to it often.===GENIE:  You’re welcome....iris is one of my favorites too.
I heard Carrie sing “If Not Now” at a Jewish synagogue a few years ago. She and the rabbi were doing a tag team thing with stories and songs. She ended the evening with that song. Everybody was singing good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/26/18
“It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”  (Francis of Assisi)  The word, pardon, is in the news a lot these days, but are you aware of its origin?  It was first used to explain the gift of forgiveness that the Pope gave to sinners.  It was a serious and holy action offered to the wrongdoer who asked for “pardon.”  The forgiveness was really God’s, and the Pope acted as his agent.  I feel badly when such a “holy act” loses its holiness in today’s secular world.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DEACON R:  I also feel bad because it makes people confused about God’s grace given through Forgiveness and the embodiment of Jesus sent to redeem us from our sins.  I’m prayerful that Paul understands this point so he may understand that it is not about how I might feel (regarding Kwami Kilpatrick). It’s all about God’s forgiveness, not to be twisted with a presidential pardon.
The fairness we consider from person to person is making such a mess that Jesus clarified in saying the First shall be Last.====JACK:  Ultimately, pardon involved "just a little talk with Jesus by and by."  Kwame ans God...Robert and God...Jack and God...Donald and God.

FROM WALMART REV:    "...could it be more political nowadays?" 0;-/ ===JACK:  In your ministry has anyone come up to you, confessed and asked for forgiveness?===REV:  Somewhat the nature of those walking through the 4th and 5th Steps of AA's 12 Steps program . . . others come asking if God would forgive them, and I readily assure them He will if we ask Him to! 0;-) ===JACK:  If you ever wanted to convert, you'd make a good Lutheran.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  you feel “bad,” not badly... unless your sense of feeling is impaired. but i forgive you!===JACK:  Sometimes I have a tingling in my fingers which causes me to feel badly.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  I visited the town of Assisi in Italy a couple of years ago. Our tour director for the trip was also from Assisi.  We visited the Basilica as well. It was so informational to me as I had never heard of St Francis. ===JACK:  His is an interesting story about how he grew up in a wealthy family and made the transition into becoming a "poor" monk,  Religion will often change fact, that's what it's meant to do.===LYNN:  Yes – I learned a lot that day ===JACK:  As Michelangelo said, at age 87, Ancora Imparo!===LYNN:  Yes – I still learn   Of course I had to look this up ===JACK:  Being curious enough to look things up is part of learning.  Ancora Imparo is a good phrase to remember.

FROM MF IN WB:  Maybe you shouldn't feel so badly, certainly, the many people reading ww's today will recall the holiness connection you taught us. I will remember today's lesson every time I hear the word pardon, and am sure I'll share it with others,   Thanks Jack===JACK:  The "bad feeling" is a feeling of los, when a Godly word becomes identified with political favor.  Ib church, before the eucharist, the peace greeting is meant to be a time of asking for pardon and being pardoned.  In most instances it's become a time of greeting friends (and sometimes strangers).  ===FM:  see your point

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" as we say in the Lord's prayer. We are to pardon as God pardons us. As CS Lewis has said, "We all think forgiveness is a good idea, until WE have something to forgive." It's not always easy to practice compassion, but most will be miserable in the long run, if they don't! Threats of "Presidential Pardons" under the present regime certainly cheapens the whole action!====JACK:  I've always liked the C.S.Lewis quote.  What if we prayed the Lord's Prayer as it really say...God, forgive us in the same way that we forgive other people."  Ouch!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  It is interesting how words are derived. You were very late this morning. Do you have a health issue?===JACK:  I see pardon, first of all, as a theological word relating to God's offer of forgiveness.  My sense is that the hoi poloi could not care less.  Their interest is in today's application.  As to the lateness of today's WWs; it was an internet issue.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  Sunday, we went to the church that is sponsoring our group's efforts to bring a second refugee family to our community. Our new chair was giving a presentation, and the Anglican priest, Elizabeth (raised Lutheran in Germany) designed the service around the quote from Leviticus about how we must treat immigrants.  Listening to the Lord's Prayer, I remember as a boy I thought it was presumptuous to say "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." I took the second phrase to declare that we DO forgive others, which I had noticed was not always the case. Later, maybe in discussions in Catachism, I came to a different conclusion, that we were asking that we be orgiven to the extent that we do forgive others. This felt like a more reasonable request, but not without its issues in understanding the grace of god which passes all understanding, that Jesus died to save us from our sins, etc. What IS the proper understanding of this phrase, and given that understanding, how should it be punctuated in today's understanding of punctuation and grammar?===JACK:  Without going to Biblical commentaries, my  interpretation of the petition is like your second one..."Forgive us in the same way that we forgive others."  Yet, I don't think that's what we really want.  You can Google Luther's Small Catechism and see how he explains each petition of the Lord's Prayer under the headings, "What does this mean?  I've always taught it this way to confirmation students.  Also...the Commandments, the Creed and the Sacraments.  "What does this mean?"  Luther was a pretty smart guy.