Thursday, April 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/19/18
“Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.”  (Charles Baudelaire)  If someone were to examine my dancing they’d probably call it doggerel.  I recall two specific instances.  UGH  YouTube Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell to see real poetry.  There’s a parable which says that the Master gave each servant talents, not the same to everyone.  So, instead of being envious of what was given to others, let’s concentrate on what’s been given to us and make the best use of it.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  had to look ip “doggerel.” i learn all sorts of things from you!  i can dance in private, but would never dance in public... too shy.====JACK:  I even get embarrassed when I try to dance in private.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  you have lots of talents, Jack.  and yes, i too could never dance worth a darn.  two left feet for sure.  don't think two right feet would have even helped all that much!!
...some amazing foot work here between Powell and Astaire.  can't imagine moving my feet so fast and so rhythmically.====JACK:  In Wisconsin I enjoyed listening to polka bands and watching the polka dancers.  One of the songs was: "In heaven there is no beer.  That's why we drink it here."  ====SP:  i recall that song.   was it Whoopie John and the ________?   at Concordia the joke was that sex was banned on campus because it might lead to dancing!

FROM WALMART REV:  "...out of breath watching!!"====JACK:  Is "close" dancing a sin in the AG Church?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Those grand old movies and their extraordinary dancers!  I love to watch those movies!  My favorite dancers were Gene Kelly and Donald O'Conner.  And the beautiful ladies who danced with them.  I especially love Debbie Reynolds.  Our kids AND grandkids watched "Singin' in the Rain".  It's our favorite movie.===JACK:  Kurt Browning has a great video of him skating to Singing in the Rain.     

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  ...and as they said about Ginger Rogers....she did everything Fred Astaire did, but did it in high heels and backwards.  Gene Kelly comes to mind as well.====JACK:  I don't see much tap dancing anymore.  Do you remember when guys would wear metal plates on their leather heels?  The clicking sound was supposed to be cool.====RS:  I do remember that.  Sammy Davis, Jr. among others I believe.====JACK:  Lawrence Welk featured tap dancer, Arthur Duncan, for many years on his show.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: WOWIE!! What a treat to see those two perform, and also the next one, Old Movie Stars Dance to Uptown Punk!  Such talent!! I could do the "close dancing" and a little jitterbug, but no tapping...which as you say you don't see much anymore!====JACK:  I remember when Augie forbid close dancing on campus....only square dancing permitted.  My sister used to "tap dance" to The Good Ship, Lollipop.

FROM LBP:  This time two years ago I was prepping for my first and only dance recital. We had a FANTASTIC dress rehearsal ;)====JACK:  Was it poetry with arms and legs, or just arms and legs?  Is there a video?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/18/18
“That’s the way things go.  We meet people, get to know them, and they get up and leave me.”  (Ikkaku, Hosaka and Kawabata)  It’s part of life, but I don’t always like it…when a friend says that they’re moving, when a young person goes off to college…when there’s a death.  I don’t like the “Good-byes.”  Yesterday I got one of “those calls” about the death of a very good friend.  I celebrate his life and his faith…a true servant of God.  I’m glad for the memories.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i am sorry to hear that you lost a how is the spider bite coming along? what kind of spider bit you?====JACK:  I will miss the regular "breakfast" chats with my friend, but I was told that he was ready to "go home," having lived 85 good years.  It happens.  Re: the spider bite...I surmised that it was a spider.   Recuperation is going well, and I'm to doing almost everything as before.

FROM JZ OF MHS:  Enjoy your sayings. Regards====JACK:  Thanks for your response.  I do remember you from Moliner days.  I'm trying to remember who told me that you were in the lighting business.  Chet?====JZ:  Yes

FROM LS:  Good morning, Jack. I am sorry for your loss.  Truly you have comfort in his memory.  Just as important he, the essence of who he was, his purpose was fulfilled.  Today,  you have shared with me and his goodness lives in me.  I shall share it with someone through my journey and they through theirs.  Shared words and actions .... God has created a perfect harmony between life and death.  I am grateful for you each morning.  Thank you for the perfect compliment to my thankful prayers for the day ahead.====JACK:  When you get to be a certain age, "death calls" aren't the surprise that they once were.  When my mother reached 100, she said that the worst thing about growing old was that death gad claimed most of her friends.

FROM SF:  So sorry for your loss. It’s so sad to lose a friend.====JACK:  I look at it from another angle...It was so good to have had him as a friend.

FROM JANl  I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure you will miss your friend.  In the meantime, how are you healing (physically)? (You've been in my prayers.)====JACK:  I'm feeling better.  Is that how prayer works? ====JAN:  Well, I have found it never hurts. ====JACK:  Many people (even some pastors) view religion in that way, too.====JAN:  Most of my conversations with God are more general, but when I am concerned about someone, that becomes part of the conversation. ====JACK:  Yes, sometimes talks with God can become personal.  There's an "old" book which contains some of those personal conversations.  It's called, "Are You Running With Me, Jesus?"  The library might  have it, or Amazon might have it as a paperback. 

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  sorry for your loss, Jack.  i too lost a good friend last week.  Pastor David Wold.  seminary classmate and all around great pastor.  if at all interested,  go to the Star Tribune, and click on obituaries.   his funeral is tomorrow.   also lost another friend of the Widow Maker heart attack on Palm Sunday.  Mark Voelker was just 57 years old and long time member of our church.  .  too many losses.  thank goodness for the true message of Easter.====JACK:  When I began my ministry the worship book had a rubric for announcing death..."We are reminded that here we have no abiding place etc/"

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Sorry for your loss, Jack====JACK:  "That's the way things go."  

FROM JB:  We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your good friend.  May the memories warm your heart.  I too,  am not good at goodbyes.  This past year we have been working diligently on the 50th Anniversary of the founding of WBUMC.  Because we were the youngsters of the church so many of the friends and members have gone on to their reward.  So it has been a year of memories for is good to feel the empty spots that those losses have means that I am still in fellowship with them...but it also makes me realize that our church's history rests in so few people now.  Somehow our younger members are not so interested in what "was" as much as how the church can serve them in their very busy lives....====JACK:  Each generation is busy accumulating its own memories.  It has always been that way.  When you live long enough you memory bank account grows.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Blessings as you cope with this latest loss in your life. As my good friend said, when I lost my twin sis, "Those of us blessed with long years, bear the losses." So true, but we are also thankful to have had the precious relationships for many years, with accumulation of wonderful memories!  Family and friends who remain are the heartbeat of our lives! Thankful for each day so far...!  Shalom!====JACK:  Even though my sister is not my twin, we share much in common...laugh at the same remembrances.  She was two years behind me in school, but we knew many of each other's friends.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i was going to reply to yesterday's jim croce quote, but this one is just as pertinent.  mark's mom and well my only mom for the past 30 years passed away on monday night.  she was 91 and we will miss her so.  now i have memories in a bottle...lots of good ones.  she was a hoot!  it's never easy to say goodbye to someone.  our gift was that we were there with her.  now she's with the angels and god.  they are very lucky to have her!====JACK:  I like the hymn, Blest Be the Tie That Binds....especially the line: "We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear, and often for each other flows, the sympathizing tear."  Time In A Bottle has great words, too.  ====MARY:  I like that hymn too. Audrey wants “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord “ I hummed it for her during her journey. You know the Lillstroms and our musical language. Sometimes it’s the only way to heal/soothe the sadness 🎶====JACK:  You seem to come up with a song for every situation.  I remember when we left Grayslake for the suburbs of Detroit, your mother sang...
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,1
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one 
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there's doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky 
And they all look just the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same 
====MARY:  She was full of spunk and had great sense of humor. We grew up singing that song in three part harmony. I don’t think your family followed the rule of “and they all turned out the same “
====JACK:  I don't know if you were aware of this, but at the time we moved your dad was offered a job, also in a Detroit suburb, but it didn't work, you almost most into a ticky tacky little box.  ====MARY:  Oh I did know. I don’t know how different my life would have been but I do know that it wouldn’t have been “ticky tacky “ and it would have not been “just the same”! Not the Lillstrom way. Blessed to have been born to the people I was.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  My sympathy on the death of your good friend, Jack.  God bless you. I don’t like the good-byes, either.====JACK:  At the Sem there are annual good-byes, but also hellos.  Thanks for the good work that you and the staff do.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I am reading a great book Katharine Graham a personal history and she is dealing with the deaths of her family!====JACK:  She has certainly led an interesting life.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  one of my all time favorite hymns sung to the melody of O Day Full of Grace is in the LBW.  its a great funeral hymn called I Know Of A Sleep In Jesus Name.  just a fab hymn!   blessings,  plh     another chestnut of course is Abide With Me...====JACK:  When I began my ministry in Wisconsin, I would go to the local radio station at midnight when they signed off for the day.  I would have an evening prayer, they would play Abide With Me, and then the National Anthem.  If I were planning my funeral I might choose "the old chestnut."

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Nice to celebrate a well lived life.====JACK:  It was a peaceful closure under hospice care.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The Good News is, you will see your friend(s) and Family again!  In the best of circumstances!====JACK:  The interesting thing is that I will be able to "see" with new eyes.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yes ....and all the more reason to cherish those relationships with those who are with us today.....and tell them so.  Reminds me of Bob Hope......."Thanks for the memories........."

FROM JMB IN WISCONSIN:  I remember when you moved on from Bethany/Bethlehem churches.  That was a sad time for me.  I am thankful we can still be in touch via your Winning Words.  God bless.====JACK:  I sometimes wonder, "What if....?"  But life is such that we make our choices and live with them.  I have new friends, but I will always remember fondly, the old you.  Thanks for keeping in touch.====JMB:  Perhaps you have used these words sometime in the past, but I just saw this recently and thought it was very good.   "Wise men speak because they have something to say: fools because they have to say something."   Plato....The other day I asked " Alexa"  to play songs by Carol Roberson and heard one I'd never heard  before.  It is so beautiful - titled Wonderful Life.  I think it pretty well sums up how I feel about my life.  God has blessed me with such wonderful family and friends.====JACK:  Alexa?  Wow!  You are really with it!  I like these words from "the song."  Oh, I need a friend  To make me happy  Not stand here on my own
Look at me standing  Here on my own again  Up straight in the sunshine


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/17/18
“The trouble is, we think we have time.”  (Jack Kornfield)  A favorite song on mine is Jim Croce’s, Time in a Bottle.  At one point he sings, “There never seems to be enough time.”  It’s an excuse we often use…”There’s not enough time.”  Or course, there is time…24 hours a day.  How we prioritize those hours is the key.  Parse an ordinary day to see what choices you are making, and…why?  Croce reflects and finally decides what he wants to do with his time.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM WALMART REV:  I'm reminded of that song sometime ago titled, "Cats in the Cradle" -- "When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when  But we'll get together then. You know we'll have a good time then."====JACK:  "Sometime" too often turns into "never."  Time has a way of running out.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yep - all about prioritizing.   I find I procrastinate too much.====JACK:  Here's a poem written by Edgar Guest...
He was going to be all that a mortal should be
No one should be kinder or braver than he
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who'd be glad of a lift and who needed it, too;
On him he would call and see what he could do
Each morning he stacked up the letters he'd write
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight
It was too bad, indeed, he was busy today,
And hadn't a minute to stop on his way;
More time he would have to give others, he'd say
The greatest of workers this man would have been
The world would have known him, had he ever seen
But the fact is he died and he faded from view,
And all that he left here when living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I just finished the outstanding bio on Leonardo by Isaacson's.    Leonardo never seemed to have enough time.   Almost all of his projects never came to completion.   He worked on the Mona Lisa for over thirty years.   Still not done when he died...was in his workshop.   Striving for Perfection adds a new element to the equation.====JACK:  Some of my sermons could have been better, but I ran out of time.  Early in my ministry the parsonage was next door to the church.  I remember once typing t5he last paragraph of my sermon as the church bell was ringing signaling the start of the service.====JOHN:  I was constantly fiddling with the way the sermon should be organized so that it made sense to the hearers.   Would occasionally see something during the week that I would insert into the sermon but usually the content was settled by Wednesday.   Only wrote out a sermon once....a Swedish sermon for Julotta Immanuel. 

FROM SA ON THE FARM:  We sat in the kitchen after dinner yesterday evening for about an hour, for no other reason than to be in the moment. The conversation ebbed and flowed, but maintained the randomness that makes sitting around the dinner table after dinner so relaxing. I left work in anticipation of that time, and, at least yesterday, it happened. It seems most days we get a few moments like that, and that keeps us going. ====JACK:  I wonder if people tend to be more laid back out there in the northwest?  That's what your dad used to say. 

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  One day at a time! Enjoy each day! We do not have to plan each day! Expect the unacceptable ====JACK:  That seems to be your mantra...One day at a time. More of us need to try that. 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Hearing this song by J.Croce (Bill was a great fan of his) sure brings back
memories...and a good reminder to use the time we have for what is important to us. The days slip by so fast, don't they?!   SO Carpe Diem!! :-)====JACK:  I like "message" songs...and hymns.

Monday, April 16, 2018

rt of the difficulty in getting people to seriously consider exploring Christianity is that the common perception is that all Christians are the same in their beliefs.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/13/18
“Perhaps even these things, one day, will be pleasing to remember.”  (Virgil)  I’ve had my share of embarrassing situations in the past and shake my head at them.  Most of what I’ve read seems to say that people want to forget those times.  Similar, but different, are traumatic and sad events, like suffering and death.  Virgil reminds me today of some of the “dumb” things that I did as a kid …and even as an adult (and would like a do-over).  How about you?   ;-)  Jack

FROM GOD ROX:  You slept in this morning! ====JACK:  You noticed!  I've decided, in my old age, that getting up at 3:30 Am to send out WWs is not worth it.  There's an old German saying...
“We grow too soon old and too late smart”

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Nope. Never did a dumb thing. Not once.====JACK:  I was part of the "Cavendish Gang," and you were the one on the white horse.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  So true, so true. True to the saying; if I only knew then what I know now   Happy Friday!  Big snow storm is on the way to Minny.   Urgg…I am so ready for Spring! ====JACK:  Knowing you...I can believe it.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  "Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit" -- Vergil  This is on a bookmark in a small book, The Heritage of the West, given me by my third year Latin teacher when I graduated from high school.  She knew how hard I had to work, how great my struggles had been, entering a class in my senior year of third and fourth year Latin in a new school in a new community.  I treasure the bookmark even more than the book which she also inscribed and was signed by the authors.  It's also a good quote to recall after we had our mother's Memorial Service yesterday.  She died at the age of 103 years, six days, on March 5th.  Scott, Jill and I, and our children and grandchildren have a lot of memories to that are good/helpful/pleasurable.====JACK:   There comes a time to say, Good-bye, and to celebrate a life well-lived...and the memories that go with it.  My thoughts are with you at this time.  How fortunate, too, to have had a teacher who knew how to teach.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I like to remember just the happy things!😊😊😊====JACK:  The "other" things are a reminder of how God has been with me always...and did not abandon me.  I "see" turning points in my life that I believe were God-directed.

FROM DS IN SOCAL:  Jack, I pleased to say I have only 1 or maybe 2 (thousand) things I would like a do-over====JACK:  Times were different way back then.  Maybe that's why we have similar memories of similar experiences.

FROM LBP:  It was the practice of the congregation I attended to have teens do the sermon one day a year and I had been invited. I was happy to be asked and had a topic in mind. But what I produced was extremely terrible! Unfortunately, I hadn't learned yet that I HAVE to script my talks. I may not read the script, but the practice of scripting it is what makes it work for me. Instead I took the advice of my HS friend who said that scripted sermons were boring and I should be more casual. I was rambling, incoherent, and possibly even insulting on reflection. The congregation had three services too and it did not improve over repeated attempts. In fact I hid out in the bathroom after service to avoid people feeling they had to talk to me about it. To this day, my parents never mentioned that event. We went home, had our lunch and went about the day. I think dad video taped the disaster. Hopefully, he also recorded over it!====JACK:  I still have the notes from my first sermon.  BAAD!  I'll show them to you sometime.====LBP:  I did it again in college and it was better. Had a script that time. If I ever have to do it again, I'm going with what I know, teaching. That is the second thing I learned over time... my talks work if I have learning objectives. But I suppose most talks are good if they have a point! ====JACK:  We were taught in seminary to take the text and connect5 it up with life.  Make the sermon relevant to the world in which the people are living.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Oh yes, many embarrassing moments, like running out of gas on the busiest bridge in town in my baby doll pajamas, with no money, no shoes, or robe, AND having to walk to a gas station and confess I was the Baptist Pastor's wife, and needed a loan of gas to carry back to my car to  get home! (The station owner was in church the nexr Sunday! Ha!)  These embarrassing moments formed the gist of a hilarious talk "Memories of the Manse" in later years. So many stories which are really funny as I looked back, not funny at the time!    hank God for a sense of humor, and a kind and unflappable husband!! :-)  We'd all like a few "do-overs"!!====JACK:  I can't imagine you being non-plussed...even on the bridge.  What a great story!

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Only one.... A time I took the Pastor to lunch and a fashion show entertained us.  I know that is one you will never let me forget!!!!! Happy to see you at it again. I missed the WW and was concerned. Sincerely hope your emergency was not too serious or lasting. I just had 12 needle biopsies done and I am grateful all were negative. Even bad guys like me are cared for by  God.====JACK:  It was not a Fashion Show, it was a Lingerie Show...and you were flustered.  I remember it as though it were yesterday...and smile.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Absolutely!  But if I had any “Do-overs”, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Those things, even the unpleasant unhappy things are what made me today!====JACK:  When you were created, God didn't say, "Let's have a do-over."  For better or worse, we are who we are.:

FROM AA CK:  Well Jack, you try to live well and without regret. However it seems inevitable. I think we all have something we would like to do better.====JACK:  Sometimes we are granted do-overs.  I try to make the best of 2nd chances.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

.Jack’s Winning Words 4/12/18
“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”  (Shakespeare)  In The Merry Wives of Windsor W.S. uses humor to teach some practical lessons…punctuality…regret…we do have some control of what happens in life.  Consequences can be avoided by following the rule to be on time.  I know of someone who was in yelling distance of jet-way gate as it was closing.  Once shut, it could not be reopened.  He watched the plane leave without him.  Now, whose fault was that?    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm pretty late reading WW today! Had a great birthday (88) with friends for lunch and family for Lobster dinner at Red Lobster and gifts and games at John's after. Avery who was born on my was 8 today! :-) So 8 and double 8! I'm pretty much on time or even early, now that I have only myself to get ready to go...:-)  At our SR events, they come at least 1/2 hour early for lunch, so we say if you're on time, you're late! ====JACK:  Eats!  I'm late afain in wishing you a YADHTRIB YPPAH.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It was on this day in 1945 that president Roosevelt died. We put out a special line o type issue that ended with “he died with his boots on”====JACK:  Tempus fugit!  Ask people today what FDR stands for, and 9 out of 10 will give you a blank stare.

FROM BOBBY C:  When I was in the University of Michigan Marching Band, the conduct would always say:
To be early is on time
To be on time is late
To be late is to be dead
Clearly the syllogism does not work, but the message was clear.
====JACK:  A group, dependent on precision, needs strict adgerence to rules.  Go Blue!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How appropriate for today.  I missed my doctor’s appointment because I wrote down the wrong time!  I try very hard not to be late and to miss an important appointment because of an error makes me upset! ====JACK:  Those of us, used to being "up on things," have a
hard time with downers.====JACK:  Those of us, used to being "up on things," often have a hard time with downers.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Personally I like to be early because it is easy to get into trouble if u rush! ====JACK:  ....and you get the worm, too.

FROM LBP:  I may have to post this one for a regular reminder on my journey toward punctuality : ) ====JACK:  Did you ever do something "naughty" just to rebel against being perfect?  Sometimes I did something nice in order to rebel against always being naughty.====LBP:  I have my rebellious moments, but they are likely tame in the big picture. I'm a rule follower for sure. The one notable, conscious rebellion was in my senior year of HS when I broke my perfect attendance record for the year to play hooky on "senior skip day." I think it was the day of senior prom and because I recall staying home and having a bubble bath instead! I recall really weighing the pros and cons though and realized that no-one cared a lick about perfect attendance.====JACK:  Our church gave out "perfect attendance" pins.  Even on vacation we had to hunt up a church for Sunday School and have the Supt sign a letter that we attended a class.  Ugh====LBP:  I like the idea of finding churches out of town, but who cared if you got a pin? I'm sure they celebrated it but at the end of the day no one is checking your pin count.====JACK:  I still have my pin.  It has a removable disc, so the number can be changed as the years increase.  I was up to 10, and then got a T when I became a Teacher.  The fact that I still have it must mean something.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  During many years of business travel I was flying a lot...logged an enormous number of air miles by the time I retired.  Only once did I have the misfortune of missing a flight, running down the concourse but getting to the gate just as the plane was backing away.  Boo-hoo!  On the positive side, to catch the next available plane home, I was at that gate hours early for the flight home.====JACK:  I'be told this before.  In college I once turned in a paper..late..with a note: "I forgot."  The paper was returned with a grade of D, along with a note, :"I remembered."  At the end of the paper was a grade of B, with the note, "I forgave."
Jack’s Winning Words 4/11/18
“The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”  (Voltaire)  I expected to comment on illness and cures in Voltaire’s day, only to become engrossed by his book, Candide, which discusses medical philosophy and the importance of a medical student having a mentor to teach that the world is both good and evil.  Medical miracles happen every day…and sometimes they don’t.  For me, I simply pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  ;-)  Jack

.FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Both Voltaire's quote and yours suit me.  But I must say I speak yours more frequently, and believe it more surely.====JACK:  Sometimes Voltaire gets a bum my opinion.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  If you ask the right questions and really listen to the answers 95% of the time the patient will tell you what’s wrong with them, without any testing  This is not my statement. I read it in a medical diagnosis text years ago. I followed it as my golden rule in patient care though out my career   It worked for me and my patients   I knew when to start treatments and more importantly when not to.   It works well for life to.  Ask the right questions and listen.====JACK:  It works well for life, too.  Ask the right questions and listen

FROM PT:  Glad to see you “back in the saddle” Jack! Or should it be “back on the mouse” for our day?====JACK:  If you want to practice dealing with frustration, have someone take your mouse away from you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/10/18
“I am totally lacking the ‘zippity’ part of my ‘do dah’ day.” (Sent by PZ)  I laughed at this one, because I know what it is to lose your zip.  Pete Seeger sang, “My get up and go has got up and went.”  Pete continues, “I’m able to grin when I think where my get up has been…But I’ll stick around to see what is next.”  That’s good philosophy when the do-dah-day isn’t going so well.  Celebrate the memories and say with Scarlett, “Tomorrow is another day.”    ;-)  Jack 

FROM COPPER COUNTRY BOB:  Vacancies up here result in my being active about 2 times a month.   I begin the worship with:
Zippity do dah,  Zippity  eh
My, oh my, what a wonderful day.
Jesus is risen,  He’s here today.
He sends the Spirit to show us God’s way.
Rah!   Rah!  Rah!
====JACK:  Do you sing it, or speak it?  Reuben Youngdahl used to begin his daily radio program by speaking loudly..."Up, up and away.  This is God's day.  Are you going God's way?"  Robert Schuller would begin his TV services by quoting, "This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it."  I'd like to have seen him use your opening.

FROM INDY GENIE:  When my neighbor’s zip is not quite all there he says, “I’ve got a hitch in my get-go.” :)====JACK:  I've heard of people having a hitch in their step.  (I had to find out more.)  It can mean to walk unevenly, with a jerk, with a limp...sort of like Chester in Gunsmoke.  A hitch in the get-go can mean that things aren't going smoothly.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Made me laugh because my zip and zapped!====JACK:  Zippity do dah can describe going to the outhouse in the cold of winter, too.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Thanks for the smile.  All of those old songs lift your heart.  Music is a gift.  A more somber one might be “smile”.  My father always liked that one and played it on the piano. ====JACK:  Smile is one of my favorites, too.  It reminds me of Charlie Chaplin  and how he used the song in a silent movie.  Some of the "silents" were good, because of the descriptive music.  ====BB:  We have an historical landmark theater call the Music Box in Chicago that’s nearly 100 years old.  They sometimes screen silent films and have an organ and organist.  Think it is no longer pipes but the fidelity is good.  He also plays between movies on the weekend in the large theater where they still use the 70 mm format.  The movies are great.  Last time I was there it happened to be Doris Day’s 96th? Birthday and he played an ode to her.  I didn’t realize the songs he played were all ones she made famous but they lifted my heart nonetheless.====JACK:  In her prime, DD was really good...and her songs were, too...Fly Me To The Moon...Sentimental Journey...Que Sera Sera...Dream A Little Dream.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  song of the day...and I’m sure your get up and go still needs some rest! I used the Scarlett line yesterday when I left work...====JACK:  I like that idea of quoting Scarlett as you leave work.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ha! I love that quote; that was me a couple of weeks ago when I had my little dizzy episode and ended up in emergency and laid up for 3 days...I'm sure it is you, as you recover fromyour serious infection hospital stay!  I lead singing for the Clergy  Spouses retreat the end of this month, and am going to use the Zippity call to worship shared in todays blog! :-)  stay well, dear friend!====JACK:  Somehow, I never pictured Jesus as a ZIPPY kind of a guy.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/9/18
“The little things are infinitely the most important in solving mysteries.”  (A. Conan Doyle)  What happened to Jack’s Winning Words last week?  Answer: It was a spider bite, a little thing that I left alone until it became infected.  An antibiotic reaction caused severe dehydration and kidney issues and a 6-day hospital stay and home recuperation.  It was only a spider bite!  So, examine your life.  Is there some “little spider bite” that you should be taking care of?”    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Jack,  about a month ago a good friend of our's stepped on a toothpick by accident and ended up with a severe infection in the heel of her foot.  it took a surgery to remove it and 4 weeks to get rid of the infection.  who knew a little toothpick could do so much damage?  PLH   p.s.we are home now.  took an 8 day road trip through southern Utah on the way home and hit 4 national parks: Zion,  Bryce Canyon,  Capitol Reefs, and Arches.  spectacular beauty!   get well, my friend.  and Easter blessings to you and yours...====JACK:  Baseball manager Dusty Baker had a habit of chewing on a toothpick.  MLB ordered him to stop, because people were imitating him, and some had swallowed toothpicks.

FROM LBP:  Glad to have you back. :)  Alas, there are too many little things. But there was a lesson I was given once for combatting stress. Do three things each day. 1. One thing to come closer to God (or the divine). 2. one thing to address a nagging problem. 3. One thing to make someone else happy. Doable, right?====JACK:  Doing 3 "little" things each day is a good idea.  Saying 3 little words to someone is a good idea, too.

FROM WALMART REV:  Welcome back, Jack!! You were missed!! "A pesty little critter, wasn't he?!?! ====JACK:  I didn't actually see him; the doctor surmised.

FROM KS:  Glad to hear you’re doing better!!   Little things - I agree, sometimes in the back of my mind (bad habits, thoughts of the past, procrastination) have a way of getting in the way.  Take care of yourself and hope you continue on the recovery road.====JACK:  Have you ever heard the song, Little Things Mean a Lot?

FROM SF:  Whoa! I wondered where you went! Relieved to hear that you are good again! My brother is an exterminator...’The Bugmen’ (248-763-7973). You can call him if you ever need him! He loves me and would love to meet you. What a character he is!!! Crazy good! ====JACK:  NOW you suggest an exterimnator?  That's locking the barndoor etc.  OOPS.  That spider may still be in the house, getting hungry again.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  We missed you!   So glad to see you're back.  In my mind I contemplated various possibilities why you were not "publishing".  Some were health related, but much more notable than a spider bite.  Seems your treatment was one of those situations with the "cure" being worse than the "disease".  I hope you're beyond any danger or discomfort now, and feeling on top of things again. ====JACK:  I'll take the cure!!!!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/30/18
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness.”  (J.K. Rowling)  The fear of darkness and the fear of death are common phobias.  Google can tell of ways to meet these fears.  But, a fear more inimical is Xenophobia, the fear of the unfamiliar.  It expresses itself in being suspicious of things and people that are different… “foreign” languages, cultures.  The French have a saying:  Viva la difference, meaning, Live the difference, celebrate the unique.    ;-)  Jack

ROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  When I was in Washington for the march, I visited the holocaust center.  Obviously, an emotional experience.  It was at the end of the visit that made an impression on me that I wasn’t prepared for.  the last exhibit was devoted to Syria and the genocide that is happening there. Obviously, I know what’s happening there, but for the Holocaust Museum To educate us on this and also on the genocide of Armenians by Turkey..made a real impact on me. Then today, Trump contradicts his own Pentagon spokesperson talking about Syria.  It makes me wonder.  Roosevelt was begged to bomb the railroad tracks in Germany and Poland that carried so many people to the death camps.  He refused.  Is that any different than what Trump is doing in Syria?   I’m not a war monger but genocide is going on there with such brutality that it defies understanding.  Just venting a little, Jack====JACK:  I know that attending the Washington March was an emotional experience for you, and the museum visit just added  to that.  Personally I think that it's unfair to compare Trump and FDR.  Different  times and different types of people.  Sometimes leaders face choices that have consequences that the public is not aware of.  It's not a perfect, or then.====PAUL:  Historians have always asked what two different t leaders living at different times would do given the same circumstances. It may be unfair but it makes for interesting books, movies and discussions. ====JACK:  It may help sell books, but it's unreasonable.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  that is why religion seeks to explain the unknown...   et, oui, vive le difference. it would be a boring world if we were all the same, my mom always said.====JACK: It seems a common thing that people seek to know the unknown.  Teachers, for better of worse, seek to fulfill the role of "explainers."  ...and either we learn from what they say, or we don't.  With the passage of time, much of the unknown remains unknown, and we continue to seek.====LIZ:  w/o the unknown it would be a boring story. the vastness of space should keep us occupied for a while... ====JACK:  ...and exploring the human psyche, too.====LIZ:  fascinating stuff!  happy easter...  ====JACK:  Easter is fascinating, too.  Even now, we don;t know the whole story.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Someone should explain xenophobia to President Trump, but it seems none of his staff remain around there long enough to get the message to him.====JACK:  Some people like it that there's never been a President like him.  Others fear that that's true.

FROM LBP:  I don’t like taking about fear. It just makes me feel icky. But I don’t think I have Phobophobia (it’s a thing I just looked it up)====JACK:  Chicken Little was something like that.  I'd rather follow the example of the prophet Job.  In the midst of all of his difficulties, he said (about God): "Though he slay me, yet, will I trust him."

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Wishing you blessings on this Holy Opening Day!  Such a special time when our beautiful traditions coincide; Holy Week & Passover. Ha e a wonderful weekend and a terrific holiday.  Sorry Sister Jean, not this year!====JACK:  I choose to concentrate of the similarities of our religious searches, rather than on our differences....any way to better understand the unknown.  Incidentally, relying on Sister Jean to affect the outcome of a basketball game is about as effective as crossing yourself before shooting a free throw.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:   We definitely fear the unknown.  I'm not a worrier...I will get into an airplane not thinking am I going to die or am I going to get killed in a shoot out at the mall.  I don't fear death at all, but I do fear the way I'm going to or slow.  Poor Jesus suffered a horrible death for us.  I'm not sure ai could do the same...suffering on a cross.====JACK:  When it comes right down to it, who knows what YOU might do for someone you love?  That's the explation of Jesus...and a "what if" in your life, too.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Really we do not know what will happen each day. We just pray that all will be good!====JACK:  Are you a worry wart?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/29/18
“I don’t wear a watch.  How do I know my time?  I find that someone will always tell me.”  (Michael Patrick King)  Some friends of mine wear an Apple watch which can serve as a GPS, be a health monitor, send/receive voice messages and texts…and play 40 million songs.  It also tells the time.  I like MPK’s idea of not wearing a watch.  Think of all the people you can meet and talk with.  If they’ve got an Apple, ”Can you tell me the time in Madagascar?”    ;-)  Jack 

FROM LBP:  A big source of stress for me is being habitually late. Knowing the time is part of the battle. Appropriately accounting for transition time and not trying to do “one last thing” before I go have been harder to beat.  I recently heard a story of Sandra Day (O’Conner) as a teen on the farm. She was driving lunch to the field and got a flat tire on the truck. After much effort she changed the tire and delivered lunch, but an hour late. Her father was not proud of her for changing the tire but upset that she hadn’t planned ahead for that contingency. Her responsibility was to deliver lunch. All else was irrelevant. I think of this story when I hear myself making excuses for being late, none of which are as unexpected as a flat.  Listen to Was Sandra Day O'Connor Our Last Independent Justice? from Part-Time Genius in Podcasts.  The Apple watch also has an alarm app.  But, you have to remember to set it.  BTW, Sandra D O was a great Justice.  How come we can't seem to find any like her today?====LBP:  My Fitbit tells time and buzzes for morning to get me up and evening to start getting kids to bed.====JACK:  Do you think that if your maternal grandparents would have worn a Fitbit, life would have improved for them?  Maybe!  Let your grandma wear yours for a while and see what it records.====LBP:  My grandpa was a lumberjack and then a diver and then a welder. My grandma was a house keeper and then a volunteer at church camp. Me? I work out of my house at a desk job. I don’t think it’s a Fitbit that is the difference in our lifestyles.====JACK:  Their Fitbits would be off the charts...and, besides, people like them wouldn't have time for gadgets like that.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Old chiming clicks tell the time in this house.  They’re always a few minutes different and I like it like that.  I don’t wear a watch, haven’t for years and years. ====JACK:  I went to a church service where the preacher had an alarm clock in the pulpit.  When it started ringing, he stopped speaking in mid-sentence and said, "Amen."

FROM INDY GENIE:  Ha! “40 million songs”...That’s funny, made me laugh:) Good point about not wearing a watch...another way to connect with people. You sure are good at that.====JACK:  How could I check the length of the pastor's sermon, if I didn't have my watch?

FROM KF:  I don't wear a watch.........I am very grateful that my days are not so time constrained : ) ====JACK:  I've always been a clock-watcher, even in grade school.  However, I've timed my sermons in other ways.  When I see wives giving a poke to their husband's ribs, I know it's time to wrap it up.

FROM FROM GOPHER LYNN:  Well, I must say I do love my Apple watch    However, I still like talking to most anyone!====JACK:  Be sure to turn off the sound when you're at the movies...or in church.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  The watch does not interest me very much. Several family members have them though. I depend upon my bird clock, tv,microwave, and iPhone ====JACK:  I have a watch, produced in Detroit.  It's called, Shinola.  I remember that Shinola was shoe polish.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/28/18
“Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”  (Dale Carnegie) I once knew a woman named, Jewel.  I wonder how she came to have that name?  I’ve known other jewels…Ruby, Crystal, Opal, Pearl and Sapphire (Kingfish’s wife).  The developer of the Lear Jet, named his daughter, Shanda.  People usually like it when someone calls them by name, except when a kid hears his mom use both his first and middle names in a loud voice.    ;-)  Jack

FROM SF:  I heard a child describe his favorite teacher this way: “She smiles whenever she says my name.”  So easy to make someone feel special, huh?====JACK:  What a great little story!  It's hard to smile when saying, Jack, but not when saying, Sandra.====SF:  Awwww...!

FROM HUNGRY HOPWIE:  We asked Jonah what he thought we should name his baby sister. He thought a moment and said. Flower.  So that’s what Sue and I have been calling her for about  3 months now. I am sure her parents have other names in mind ====JACK:  I vote for Suzy.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Cute!!!====JACK:  Paulette is cure!

FROM LBP:  So many thoughts ... reverence to the name of the lord in recent Bible studies ... picking names of my kids ... people saying my name wrong ... the fact that my name is suddenly popular for little kids so I hear it (sometimes with middle names) at grocery stores and parks ... picking names for my kids ... trying to say other people’s names right especially when they come from an alphabet that is unfamiliar to my tongue ... so much in those few syllables that identify us as individuals! ====JACK:  Son, David Merrill was named after a cousin with the same name who died as a child.  Merrill is the name of the city where he was born.  My sister was born in Oskaloosa, so she was 2nd named after her Aunt Ruth.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I guess we preferred the common names Thomas Ann Susan Jeannie and Nancy! We had five girls in our 6th grade class and four were Shirley’s. That is why we were called by our last names.====JACK:  Common names in 6th Grade...Don. Tom, Gerald, Bob (2), Earl, Jack (2), Harold, , Arnold, Roy and a Carlos====SHIRL:  In the ninth grade we had a group which we named the five vacuums-Mary hauberg, Shirley Kennedy, me, Jackie tucker, and Doris Murray. Mostly we just had fun and lots of different experiences====JACK:  I was on a couple of basketball teams at the Y...the Eega Beevas and the Shooting Stars.  It was fun to make up names.  There was also a team, the YMCA Bullets.  That wouldn't be acceptable today.

FROM JAN IN PALM SPRINGS:  this really made me laugh and bring back fond memories...when I heard my Mother say "Janet Marie", I knew I was in trouble.   XXOO====JACK:  In spite of the one or two name-calling, I could run faster than my dad.====JR:  BUT we were just good kids....XXOO ====JACK:  Maybe you were....

====LAILA: Did you know my folks considered naming me Sarah? I didn’t until I was grown up. Unknowingly, when I was a kid I sometimes wished my name was Sarah. A nice “normal” name. I like my name, but I still use a variant of Sarah when I want an alias :) ====JACK:  O, so you're the Siri everyone talks about.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We knew we were in trouble when we heard our first full name, middle name and last name said my our mom!!  I still say it sometimes!====JUDY:  Does that mean that you were sometimes a naughty little girl?

FROM KF:  "A Rose by any other name would smell As sweet" : ))) also "Stephanotis" flower = Stephanie...a gardener mom! I wanted to name Rose "Lily"... But Lilly Fillipp = too many L's...... ====JACK:  When our first daughter was born, I was the pastor of three congregations, Bethlehem, Bethany and Bethel.  That's how we came up with Beth for her name.  Officially it's Elizabeth, but to family and friends, it's Beth.====KF:  we have two Elizabeths and a Beth in my family; Rose is Rose Elizabeth!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HA! You'd better listen up when that happened!  Ah yes, I remember it well....====JACK:  How could your mom tell which twin she was yelling at?  We have twins (mid-30s) in our church.  Last Sunday, I got them mixed and asked the father how he tells them apart.  He responded, "I can't!"

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/27/18
“Everything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough.”  (Gustave Flaubert)  Have you ever had a staring contest with someone, to see whose will was strongest?  YouTube shows a   series of such contests, some with sports-like commentary.  A science teacher had her students stare at the flame of a Bunsen burner for several minutes and write down all the things they saw.  Why not choose an object (or person) today?  Stare at it and write down what you see.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I am reading Walter Isaacson's bio of Leonardo da'Vinci.   He would stare St things so closely that he would be able to notice tiny details like the difference in size of butterfly wings.   In debate at Augie we would concentrate on cases so hard in order to find the actually worked.   Now I am more of a casual observer....too lazy to stare anymore.   Just enjoying. ====JACK:  When I begin writing my Winning Words for the week, I often stare at the quotes, seeking ideas and inspiration for what I should write.  Today's WWs are a result of that.  If I were still in the preaching business, I might stare at the text for a while each week before starting to write.

FROM WALMART REV:  Reminds me of one of my favorite older church choruses, Turn Your Eyes on Jesus...Turn your eyes on Jesus,  Look full in His Wonderful Face,  And the things of earth  Will grow strangely dim  In the light of His Glory and Grace ====JACK:  ...or another: "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross."

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Marina Abromovic  is a performance artist who, for one of her events,  sat in a room,  on a chair, nude, without moving or talking for 24 hours, with a chair facing her. She invited the public, one at a time, to  sit in the open chair and  just stare back at her.  She has an installation at the DIA, it’s a 13 minute video in a continuous loop of her in an old kitchen holding a round deep container full of milk. This is symbolic both the location and the milk====JACK:  When I viisit the Detroit Institute of Arts I often see people standing in front of a piece of art for what seems to be a long time, just staring.  I'm going to try that next time.  I don't know that I'd be bold enough to sit in Marina's chair.====HOWIE:  When you want to visit the DIA again tell me I can be your docent.====JACK:  Will Marina be there?====HOWIE:  The 13 min video of her is on permanent display

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  We use to have staring contests growing up, especially during car rides to Merrill ====JACK:  What if Trump and Kim Jong un sat across from each other and...instead of talking about nukes, would have a staring contest to see who would blink first.  The world would be a safer place.====LYNN:  LOL – you betcha!

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  especially the dandelion.   one of the most beautiful intricate flowers. ====JACK:  Even as we age, we mimic the dandelion as it ages....if we keep our hair.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/26/18
“Big sweeping life changes really boil down to small, everyday decisions.”  (Ali Vincent)  In meteorology it’s called, The Butterfly Effect…how small changes in a weather system can cause big variations.  That’s why forecasts aren’t always correct.  A news article last week told how regular small eating and exercise habits can make a big difference in health.  Even by repeating  “Eat Less, Exercise More,” can help.  I’m working on “Mess Less, Pick up More.”    ;-)  Jack
ROM GOPHER LYNN:  LOL – I can’t imagine you make much mess ====JACK:  You should see how fast I can un-mess the house when I get a call that  someone's stopping by,,,soon.  Has it ever happened to you?====LYNN:  YES – my house is always messy because we live in it

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Talk less, listen more====JACK:  I hear you!

FROM DOWN ON THE FARM:  A good reminder for Monday morning... Good teachers (or mentors) help learners break, seemingly insurmountable tasks into smaller, more manageable parts. We are creatures of habit. Start a good habit, today!"====JACK:  Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments into one..."You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: How about “Complain less....”====JACK: I wouldn't make a fuss
about that!====JUDY: Oh but I complain too much about the pain I experience and no one wants
to or needs to hear it. But, I’ll tell ya if ya want to hear about it! lol

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I love 💗 the one talk less, listen more====JACK: With the passing of
time sermons have become shorter. When I began preaching, 20 minute sermons were considered
to be short. Now, I've noticed them to be around 10 to 12 minutes. I wonder if it's because of our
abbreviated society, guided by iPhones and shortened text messages.

FROM GARY: As you and I know, knowing names of the flock and those important to them went a long way in building relationships.====JACK: This is what the Gospel of John says about the Good Shepherd:    "He calls his own sheep by name and leads ...They follow because they are familiar with his voice."  That's part of being a good pastor.  To visit the sick and others in need ia also important.  And so too is preaching an interesting and relevant sermon.  "To comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable!"

Friday, March 23, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/23/18
“I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”  (Lewis Carroll)  I remember well how GOP Sen. Everett Dirksen was criticized for changing his vote on an issue.  The only people who don’t change their mind are in a cemetery or a mental institution, was his reply.  The people we meet and the times we experience have a way of changing us.  While I love my yesterdays, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the past.   Vive la difference!    ;-)  Jack

FROM SF:  So true! I was so shy in my ‘yesterdays’ and could hardly find my voice. Thankfully, that has changed and I really am a different person! (Same in the inside though!)====JACK:  "By the grace of God" the direction of my life changed.  I can't pinpoint a time or situation.  I just know that it happened, and I am grateful.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Wow, didn't know you spoke French!!!!!====JACK:  Whee!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  his granddaughter, sen howard baker’s daughter, is a college friend... ====JACK:  I'm impressed.  I do seem to remember a Dirksen/Baker connection.  I didn't always agree with Dirksen's politics, but in this instance, I supported him wholeheartedly.  As I recall, bi-partisanship made for better government for all the people in the "olden" days.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Enjoy each day !👍====JACK:  To find enjoyment requires effort... separating the wheat from the chaff.

FROM A VOICE OUT OF THE PAST:  I really enjoy your posts.  Thanks for sharing.====JACK:  Sometimes a WWs' name from the hundreds appears on the screen and surprises me.  Thanks for being in touch.  Do you live both in Canada and the USA?

FROM DOPHER LYNN:  You are right about that!  (The only people who don’t change their mind are in a cemetery or a mental institution.)  Michigan basketball – nice win by them yesterday….they may be a Final Four team!  GO BLUE! ====JACK:  I also hope you're right about Michigan's chances in March Madness.  "One and done" makes it nerve-wracking.

FROM THE SHARK:  Amen my friend.====JACK:  We're on the same page.

FROM A McC:  Agree with all you said.  May he rest in peace.====JACK:  ...and when it comes to judging him, I'll leave that up to the Judge who makes no mistakes.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We are constantly evolving, so true, both mind and body...I like Dirksen's reply!  Sometimes that takes more courage than NOT changing  ! remember Kissinger 'saying "Nobody will ever win "the battle of the Sexes'. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy!"  Made me laugh, and was memorable. :-)  Have a good weekend!====JACK:  About not changing... the tombstone which read: "See, I told you I was sick."

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/22/18
“I believe in having an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.”  (Arthur Hays Sulzberger)  I have mixed feelings about Stephen Hawking.  I admired him for his amazing mind and his ability to “carry on” in spite of physical limitations.  I didn’t always agree with what he had to say…and wondered if his words were colored by “his situation.”  Basically, I believe he just wanted us to “think,” to use our mind to explore new ideas.  I’ll miss his thoughts.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  but a closed mind squeezes your brain.  i agree abt stephen hawking. he had no explanation as to how he survived w/ALS for 55 yrs... is god trying to remind us that no one knows everything, & there is always hope?====JACK:  I'm reminded of the saying...Some minds are like concrete--all mixed up and permanently set.  For me. Stephen Hawking continues to be an enigma.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Not knowing what all Stephen Hawking shared with people during his lifetime, one of my younger friends on Facebook posted "Stephen Hawking, 'There is no God'", "God, 'There is no Stephen Hawking'". Somewhere, along the way, I learned from reading some theologian, that actually there is no commandment in the Bible against being an atheist. Being guilty of idolatry certainly but professing no belief in God not. But maybe I misunderstood the whole point in that teaching or the point that was being made by the author. With regards to Stephen Hawking, with the contributions he made during his life, to science and also the people around him, never got the idea that he was self-absorbed or self-centered or was trying to put his time and energy into things that would hurt people. That Facebook post and your WW this morning are making me think, Pastor Freed, and what I am remembering of what I had seen of Stephen Hawking is making me think too. I hope he somehow in God's Plan still "is" with God who created him and loves him.====JACK:  One of the first things I learned in seminary was that you will never be able "unscrew the inscrutable."  Youi can read all the books, use all the words and God will still be beyond our comprehension.  Even Stephen Hawking, with his great mind, could only voice an opinion.  There's a reason for the word, faith, when it comes to God.

FROM WALMART REV:  An interesting gentleman for sure?!====JACK:  I would not expect to find him in church, but I would not be surprised to meet him in Heaven.====REV:  I often said, one of the surprises found in heaven is that we’ll find some there that we thought didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. 0;-)====JACK:  You sound like a "Luther--an."  Martin Luther said that three things will surprise him when he gets to Heaven. 1. He won't see some people he expected to see.  2.  He will see some people he never expected to see.  3.  Most surprising of all...He's there himself.    He was making the point that we (all of us) are saved by grace and not by our works (good deeds).
====REV:  "The best is yet to come!"====JACK:  Does the best include bowling, car racing and all the stuff that makes for fun here on earth? ====REV:  Thinking of something out of this world, actually!====JACK:  Is it possible to think of the unthinkable? "...To dream the impossible dream.  This is my quest!"

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  Another good message.  I had never heard of Stephen Hawking before his death (hard to believe – right?), but now may have to pick up A Brief History in Time.====JACK:  I'll have to see if our library has it.  I also plan to read a few reviews.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My grandson said that, too, awhile back, "Don't be so Open minded that You're brains fall out!" :-)  I was SO amazed that Hawking could survive Lou Gherig's disease for over 50 years. Never heard anything close to that, although my good friend battled it for over 20 yrs.
When I think of Stephen Hawking, I think of Jesus' saying to his disciples, after the rich young "ruler' walked away, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle, than for a rich man to enter Heaven", and immediately amended it with, "But with God, all things are possible." Since he knows
us so completely, I'm glad He's the one who judges...!  S.Hawking was admirable in many ways, and certainly had an awesome scientific mind, able to translate what he knew so laymen could grasp it! ====JACK:  Interestingly...the quote that comes to my mind is this...“Don't judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.”

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  I didn't like that he was an atheist*****====JACK:  First, you have to know what he meant by "atheist."  The same word has different meanings for different people.  He also said, "I am not religious in the normal sense of the word."  There are many Christians today who would not identify with the Evangelical Christians.  That does not mean that they are not Evangelical or Christian.  You have to sit  down face to face with a person to get an understanding of their beliefs, and, even then, words can cause a confusion.  Saint Paul writes in Romans..."Who has known the mind of God?"  Be sure to read today's blog responses.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  he also said on more than one occasion that religion and faith were for people who were afraid of the dark and who believed in fairy tales.    interesting to me that both he and Carl Sagan who studied the grand mysteries of the universe were also so unimpressed with WHO was behind it all.====JACK:  The only conceptual WHO that we have is Jesus.  It's harder to figure out the limitless spiritual God, just it's hard to get a handle on limitless space or limitless anything.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It’s sad we have lost a brilliant mind.  It’s even more sad that he wasn’t a believer.====JACK:  I wonder what my concept of God would be if I had ALS and was confined to a chair for half a century?====JUDY:  ====JUDY:  We have two friends with ALS.  Tony is 67 and a devoted Catholic.  He has been in an experimental Drug for 11 years.  He trains horses and farms.  Our other friend in Frank.  He’s in his late 40’s with three kids: one on college, one very ill with crony’s disease and on 14.  Frank and Gail and the kids came to many of our Easter, Thanksgivings and family parties.  Frank and Gail are devoted Christians also.  They rely on faith and grace to get them through.  I really wonder what Hawkins did to get him through?!?====JACK:  We each stand alone before God...who knows all, who understands all.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/21/18
“If you have a life and a garden, you have everything.”  (Cicero)  When all else fails, one of the ways to disparage other people is to yell, “Get a life!”  OK, what is “a life” for you?  What is it that inspires you…that makes you want to get out of bed each day?  Cicero evidently saw his garden as one of those things.  For me, it’s going to the computer and magically getting in touch with people,,,family and friends.  YOU inspire me!  After that, it’s a cup of Sumatra.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  👍====JACK:  I like the "thumbs up," and what is it that you like?

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  I’m a Caribou Coffee person myself – but love a good cup of JAVA! ====JACK:  I liked Caribou, too, but they pulled out of our area...I think they had some financial difficulties.  Sumatra is a dark roast...not for "breakfast blend" people.  We'd appreciate a few March Madness cheers for the Wolverines.

FROM JE IN WLCSD:  – the cup of Sumatra and some dark chocolate. I agree with Cicero – life and a garden -- just wish the gardening season would start. I love seeing my iris and poppies come up and especially my forsythia, lilacs and azaleas blooming. And of course, my magnolia tree!!! What inspires me is authentic people helping others. That’s why I love our principals and teachers who really care about kids and families. Thanks for reminding me how blessed I am. We are coming up to Holy Week and I have a lot to confess and to be thankful for.  Take care Jack – spring weather is coming – I feel it!!!====JACK:  The cycle of seasons is so pronounced in Michigan...people enjoying the summer and complaining about the heat, enjoying the fall and complaining about cold days, enjoying winter sports and a white Christmas and complaining about the snow and below zero temps, enjoying the melting snow and the budding trees and plants and complaining about the potholes.  Each year, it's the same song.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Could not agree more. And you inspire me everyday.  I just sent sent a message to a friend who has not communicated with me since the Trump election as they are strong liberals. I asked to have lunch soon to talk about family and laugh together over all the things we enjoy together,. Life is short and my father was my inspiration regarding the simply things are the best to be appreciated and enjoyed. A nice meal a glass of wine and laughter with friends an people you care about. My dad Never would dwell on disagreements but rather happy relationships. That is why he NEVER and I mean NEVER had an enemy. I only wish I was that good.  Thanks Pastor for charging my batteries.====JACK:  How did you acquire your "salesman-type" personality?  Was it from a parent/grandparent?  It's interesting how some basic qualities become part of our persona.  There's only ONE RJP that I know of.  God must have thrown away the mold.====RJP:  Thank you, I think??? I have always said good salesmen have one quality in common. Not personality but integrity. That is what shows through to customers. I would like to believe  have that quality. But I do appreciate that there was only ONE MOLD, however God improved it greatly when he made my an incredibly good, generous salesman and a special man of faith.====JACK:  In The Music Man it was said about Harold Hill that he was a good salesman, because "he knew the territory."  He knew what the people wanted to make them happy, and it was his job to make them happy.  Some thought he didn't have the ingredient you mentioned....integrity.  But, he changed.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  I'm glad you have that and that we inspire you back because you surely inspire hundreds of people every day!!====JACK:  What a difference the years can make.  When I retired in 1992 I never dreamed that I would still be preaching today, in a new way, reaching far more people every day that I ever did once a week preaching in a pulpit.====SK:  Wow... that is truly amazing and remarkable! And wonderful!!!!!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Just enjoying each beautiful day and my family and friends. Everyone knows that I have no green thumb and I get lots of artificial flowers====JACK:  Does the everyday blooming season in Floria ever get boring?====SHIRL:  Not to me but I am very thankful for air conditioning when summer comes although we have had lots of 80 degree days this winter ====JACK:  Sometimes we use A/C in the summer, too.  No 80 degrees this winter for us.  ====SHIRL:  It snowed on may 23 or 26 in Ann Arbor the year we moved to Tampa-1963 ====JACK:  Snow in Michigan in May...Not that unusual.  It keeps the heat away.

FROM SANDY IN MICHIGAN:  Thank you for your “Winning Words,” Pastor Freed. They are a faith-filled way to start the day.====JACK:  I remember the morning glories that bloomed in our yard.  The flowers close at night and miraculously reopen in the morning...something like my lifestyle with WWs.

FROM LBP:  It’s a good question to reflect on. Getting caught in the day-to-day can make life float by. What is important to be doing on a bigger time scale? I had my first meeting as a mentor of a junior faculty member yesterday and I asked her to think about what she wanted her career to look like in 5 years so we can work back and make sure she is taking steps to get there and not just meandering.  Afterward it got me thinking ... what do I want my career to look like in 5 years? ... hmmm ...====JACK:  I've often advised Pastor friends to re-examine their ministry every 3 to 5 years/  People change.  Situations change.  A regular review of our personal life is a good idea, too

FROM DB:  I like this , Jack!  Gardening is one of my favorite things. English Gardens has cold-tolerant pansies on sale right now.  Nothing says Spring like pansies on the porch (I also like daffodils, too).  I would like to learn the fine arts of Pruning and Rose propagation!====JACK:  Jack-in-the-Pulpit is one of my favorite flowers.====DB:  Yes, I agree, those are really fascinating!
LOL Jack in the "pulpit" are Jack, and where does a Pastor stand? (in the pulpit!)  😊

FROM BEECEE:  Had to look up Sumatra! Assumed it was coffee, but wondered about it. Am meeting Lynn at Starbucks this morning. Maybe I’ll get a cup of Sumatra!====JACK:  It ain't for everyone, but I like my coffee strong.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Family, friends, good books, meaningful work (or volunteering, at this point!,) and yes!  a good cup of coffee is right up there ! :-) Great music is, too. driving to Chicago this weekend to enjoy Chicago Chorale's Requiem, by Mozart. Sarah will be performing in it. Always awesome music!====JACK:  As the old saying goes:  You don't let any grass grown under your feet.  How long has it been since you've heard someone say that?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Pardon me, Cicero, but I think it should be "If you have a wife and a garden, you have everything."  At least that was what made my life really satisfying.  And what makes me want to get out of bed every day...well, to have breakfast.  It's one of my great pleasures to have a good breakfast every day, sitting across from that wife I mentioned above.  And a cup of Sumatra magnifies the pleasure.  I hope everyone manages to "get [such] a life!"====JACK:  Much has been written about much that we hardly know that his was married to Terentia (a modern day feminist)  Their long marriage was not exactly a happy one.   I don't think that they did much sitting across from one another, drinking Sumatra.  Hers is an interesting story.====RI:  You have an uncanny grasp of so much diverse information.  I'm going to make you my "go to guy" when I'm stymied by something.  You always have some little gem of knowledge to share with everyone.
About breakfast and a cuppa joe, if Hiroko chose to sleep in every so often, I always had a fall-back meet you for breakfast at ____________(now what was the name of that place)?====JACK: I think that the coffee shop we went to was Joey’s, now named the Early Bird.  Talk Times with friends have happened in many places through the years…Cozy Corner, Franks, Ellens, Sunnys, Leezas, the Purple Pickle, the Maple House, the Gallery, the Ram’s Horn, Leos, the Palace, Big Boy, Tim Hortons, Boskos, the Scrambler, Dawn Donuts, Dunkin’s Donuts, Starbucks, Einstein’s, Caribou, Skippers….WOW!  That’s a lot of coffee and a lot of talk and a lot of friends.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  When I’m able, I enjoy make my cards for friends and family, scrapping our trips and days with the family and working in my gardens.    And...reading your daily inspirational and thought provoking words.====JACK:  Is your farm a farm in name only, or do you raise crops?  Is your garden for flowers or vegetables or both?

FROM INDY GENIE:  I love spending time in my garden....can’t wait for the hastas to start peeking up! I’m like a kid ....I get really dirty...head to toe! And I love the first sip of the first cup of coffee in the morning! (The following sips are good too)====JACK:  I'm not a gardener, but I love what the gardens produce, the flowers and the vegetables (especially the tomatoes for the BLTs).  That's right, you only eat LTs (or is that your sisters?)====GENIE:  Oh no...I go all the way BLT! That is one of my favorite parts of summer...a REAL tomato plus the B and L:)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/20.18
“The wolf will lie down with the lamb…and a little child shall lead them.”  (Isaiah 11:6)  It has been said that a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement was the Children’s March.  I sense that a similar turning point in our country’s polarization happened with the Children’s Walkout following the Parkland shooting.  Something has to be done…and a little child shall lead them.  It the wolf is ever to lie down with the lamb…follow the children!    ;-)  Jack

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Sad that these students have become pawns for a political movement when 90 % of them have no knowledge of the constitution, or guns, or the laws that exist. Interview any average student of that age and it becomes frightening that we see they are involved in the mob mentality. Look who is funding the march...... Soros, Clooney etc. Look who is speaking , Bernie Saunders and he is escorted by armed guards. Hypocracy looms large. We can have a conversation but this is not about human rights, but rather the Law. We are a nation of laws and mob mentality is what the founders tried to prevent. I remember when I led a group in college to demand things of the administration. I became disillusioned when I realized that many joined because it was neat to do, not because of conviction. Instead of this we need to bring discipline, faith and balance back to the classroom and society. Where are the rights of the students who elect not to march and are disciplined for not participating? We also need to remove radical teachers who are poisoning our youth. Yes this may be a turning point but not necessarily what we expect.====JACK:  Well, you have expressed your opinion, and the students have expressed theirs, and since all of you are in America, all of you have a right to say what you want to say.  Regardless, I think that all of us want violence (gun or all other) to end.  Adults don't seen to be doing a very good job of solving the problem; maybe it's time to listen to the children.  What do you think Isaiah meant when he said, "A little child shall lead them?"====RJP:  I agree the Christ child shall lead us that is why we need Christ back.  We need to hear the call. Parkland could have been prevented by school officials, FBI, and law enforcement. and it had nothing to do with guns. You know  I do not own one, but  lets just enforce laws we have.

FROM YOOPER BOB:  Amen, Jack.    Good insight.====JACK:  We'll see if it has "legs."  Every great idea has to have a beginning, and only the future will tell.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  A hopeful thought====JACK:  FROM JT IN ST JOE:  A hopeful thought====JACK:  Hopefulness beats pessinism (or negativism) every time.

FROM LBP:  Things change so quickly. Society? Views? Culture? Technology? Not from a minute-to-minute perspective but to think of the change in my 40 yrs... my parents 70 yrs ... my grandmas 100 yrs ... I fight against the “this is how we always have done it” and My kids will challenge my ways I’m sure. Hopefully I’ll be open minded enough to hear the new perspectives ====JACK:  Your children are fortunate to have the views of 3 generations in order to gain perspective is shaping their views.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  But the adults still have to act, and with such a super power NRA, it is pretty difficult to change legal gun-buying age, or ban assault weapons, like Australia did, which has had excellent results. Still be admire the youthful zeal, and desire to change things for the better, and hope and pray it results in some positive action!  We "oldies" went through the Civil Rights marches and protests (We marched with King in Chicago and worked hard for change in our communities) and eventually, change did come...Hope springs eternal...====JACK:  The NRA will not be able to stand up to the "push" by the children.  Already the cracks are beginning to show.  In the past the children have relied on the adults to get it done.  That hasn't worked.  The Children's March is something new, and I have the feeling it's going to change things.  Sometimes we're so close to the action that we fail to see it happening.  BTW, the Civil Rights Marches are ancient history, and with the recent rebirth and acceptance of the new racism, the fight resumes.  More than...Once to ev'ry man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,  In the strife of truth and falsehood,  For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,  Off'ring each the bloom or blight,  And the choice goes by forever  'Twixt that darkness and that light.====OAKS:  "Once to every man and nation" was Bill's favorite hymn. Sung by our congregation several times a year to coincide with his sermons! ====JACK:  I knew that the mention of that hymn would trigger a response from you.  The point I'm trying to make is that "every generation" has its moment to decide.  The cause can change from time to time, but the choice goes on...for the good or evil side. 

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I do not remember the children’ March in the civil rights movement. I remember the wonderful gathering in Washington in August 1963. We had just moved to Tampa then!====JACK:  Google.....Mighty Times: The Children's March tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham braved arrest, fire hoses, and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees. In the spring of 1963.====SHIRL:  I guess that that was a very busy time for our family. I have been to the civil rights museum in Birmingham and the next time I will pay more attention to that time. It is a very large museum

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  those kids are pawns of the liberal factions w/in our government...they just want to get out of class.====JACK:  It seems as though you've made the transition from the idealism of youth to fogeyism.=====LIZ:  i was always a realist, even in my youth... and i would have done anything to get out of class, like all kids!====JACK:  I think that times may have changed since the olden days of almost two generations ago.  For example...the social media.====LIZ:  kids don’t change.====JACK:  Yes, some don't, but it's been my experience that many do...I base my hope for the future on them.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  i also recall the saying that the wolf will lie down with the lamb but the lamb won't get too much sleep!:)====JACK:  "Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me,  Bless Thy little lamb tonight;  Through the darkness be Thou near me,  Keep me safe till morning light."====PAUL:  was this a bedtime prayer for you as a child??====JACK:  Mary and I used it as a bedtime song for our children.  Mary would sing it softly to herself toward the end of her life.  Read the words again...and see how fitting that was.  A good memory for me.====PAUL:  Comforting indeed.

FROM RUTHIE:  Hi!  This makes me think of my Mom. She always said to love the children. I know she would be so proud of these brave kids,and root them on! I feel the same. Let the children lead us back to the teachings of Jesus! Peace and love!   As always, thanks for your winning wise words ♡====JACK:  It's a shame that when some adults grow up. they lose the sense of what it is to be a child.  I think that there's a difference between being childish and childlike.  Your mom....She was so special!====R:  I agree! The Buddhists say to love each other the way a mother loves her only child. When we think of the child within, it changes the need for judgment, don't you think?
It's good to be child like!====JACK:  We adults need to reread from the Bible,,,Jesus called a little child to stand among them. “Truly I tell you, He said, 'Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'"..and think about what that means.====R:  I agree completely!  I seem to keep crossing paths with "Christians " who twist the words and teachings of Jesus. It challenges me to go back to the bible, to the words of Jesus, and to study and contemplate. ...every day a practice in love, peace, non violence,  non judgment and then there's forgiveness!  Children are pretty good at all of these things :)

FROM JF IN AZ:   I was particularly touched by many of the photos.====JACK:  ...and the words.  I was especially moved by the girl with the cropped hair.  I'm appalled by the politician from Maine who denigrated her.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Couldn't agree more.  Now it's up to us adults to find the ways to support them......all the way to the November elections====JACK:  It will be a huge disappointment if the adults don't follow the leading of the children.====RS:  Agreed - I know I'm on board.====RS:  Already emailed him and our two Senators.====JACK:  Do they ever reply?  with more than a form e-mail?

FROM INDY GENIE:  Emma Gonzalez and 2 other girls were on Rachel may have seen them. The children will lead us for sure! I read that Emma gave her parents a power point presentation about why she wanted them to let her get a “buzz” cut! Amazing, brave, funny, smart, passionate, hard working group ...”follow the child”.====JACK:  Emma is great.  I'm glad that the Maine (female) politician who disparaged her was "forced" to resign...a sign that some sanity is creeping back into the USA.