Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/26/17
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”  (Thomas Jefferson)  Alternative facts is a phrase being heard a lot these days.  When is a fact not a fact?  Einstein’s words are relevant: “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”  What has happened to, Honesty is the best policy. The truth shall set you free, Honest to God, Be honest when others are not?  “Alternative” honesty was not known to Jefferson.  He was a believer in the value of basic values.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  I gave this quote thought and did some googling.  I found AN explanation of the Einstein quote you used.  Thank you for your communication each morning.  I enjoy receiving.====JACK:  ...an Einstein theory that you could understand.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Why is it that I get concerned when someone starts a sentence with "to be honest with you...". It  begs the question are there other times when they are not honest?====JACK:  Is there a difference between "honestly" and "honest to God?"

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  to say nothing of the Commandment,  thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor!   did you see a recent 60 Minuets TV show.  they interviewed a man from Belgium who spends all day making up totally false news stories and sending them out virally all over the world on a platform called Bots.  when asked about ever telling the truth, he said,  "there is NO truth.  truth is whatever you believe it to be".  God help us all!====JACK:  Isn't it strange how some people will believe anything a certain person says (even obvious lies), because they believe in that person?  It can be a president, or even a pastor.  Maybe...truth is the mind of the believer.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Honesty was lost with politics and infidelity thousands of year ago. It is simply more exposed today. Sad that in our desire to know so much innocence is lost.====JACK:  Lying is more basic than politics and infidelity.  That's why one of the commandments is "Thou shalt not bear false witness."

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  If honesty was everyone's policy every day in every way, the world would be so different from what it is now!  We wouldn't need to wait for heaven...we'd be living in heaven now. ====JACK:  “A man's only as good as his word” is attributed to Rodd Thunderheart.  I'm going to research that, because it seems like there's an interesting story behind the quote.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/25/17
“You may feel  lost and alone, but God knows exactly where you are and has a good plan for your life.”  (Yiddish Proverb)  Google “Yiddish Proverbs.”  You’ll come across inspirational aphorisms, clever ways to say a truth…like today’s quote.  These aren’t Yiddish sayings, but they could be…You can’t play Hide and Seek with God, because he always knows where you are.  You can’t play 20 Questions with him, because he knows all the answers.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SF IN FLAMI:  My mom used a Yiddish expression:  'Menchen trucht un G-d lucht'. (sp??)
(Man plans and G-d laughs.)  So true!====JACK:  Great music.  Great comedy.  Great moralisms.  G-D evidently likes music, has a sense of humor...and is wise.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  You can't play Tag with Him either. He can run faster than you can. ====JACK:  Jesus is God in human form, and people were able to touch (tag) him.  I wonder if Jesus played children's games when he was a child.  Which reminds...There's a "child story" about Jesus that didn't make it into the Bible.  Jesus and his friends were making people figures in the mud, and they began arguing whose was the best figure.  Jesus clapped his hands, and his figure came to life.  He won the contest.  There are other similar stories that were rejected by scholars as material for the Bible.  Many people don't realize that the Bible came together by biblical scholar votes.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  That Yiddish proverb is perfect.  It's like God has eyes on the top of his head, the side of his head, back of his head and is watching you all of the time!  Its comforting but scary too.====JACK:  "Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,  Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,  When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:  His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;  His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/24/17
“One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.”  (Mother Teresa)  I saw an article, “What does it feel like to be homeless in America?”  The first answer was, “It feels like nobody cares.”  But somebody in New York City cared enough to start a Girl Scout Troop for 20 girls from a homeless shelter.  One of the scouts said, “The Troop makes us feel that we’re not alone.”  The homeless aren’t the only lonely people.  Try to be somebody to somebody today..    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR PHIL:  Great word today.  It is good to be somebody to someone.  God bless you. ====JACK:  Your ministry has touched many people in many ways...even as God has touched your life in many ways.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Mother Teresa was such an icon of caring; we visited her nursery in India for abandoned or orphaned babies (after she had died). 3 caring nuns giving love to wall to wall cribs with babies in them...overwhelming!  I'm sure this WW is so true; How blessed we are who have family and loving friends around us, and how important to spread that love to some who are so alone, in our churches and neighborhoods! Good reminder to be aware, and to care!====JACK:  Have you ever sung this song?  It has a Baptist ring about it...more so than Lutheran...but I learned it in Sunday School.  In fact, I still remember the tune.
1
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
  As the burdens press,
  And the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
  O yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
  When the days are weary,
  The long night dreary,
  I know my Savior cares.
2
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
  As the daylight fades
  Into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
3
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
  When for my deep grief
  There is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
4
Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
  And my sad heart aches
  Till it nearly breaks,
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
====OAKS:  Oh my, I haven't sung or heard that hymn for years! I learned it in the Methodist church! But it is in some Baptist hymnals, as well; (the older ones, I'm afraid...!)   Thanks for bringing that song to my mind again!!====JACK:  Isn't it great to be able to remember?...and just to sing with no one listening?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Dean Martin's theme was "Everybody loves somebody, sometime." ====JACK:  You could easily change "loves" to "needs" and it would fit with today's thought.  Dean had a special way of singing that made the words seem personal.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Loneliness is a very diabolical disease, even bigger than homelessness.  Perhaps it is one of the prominently dominate disease in homelessness.  Overcoming loneliness is would solve many problems in this world today including homelessness.  It's acknowledging people as human beings no matter what the situation.====JACK:  I thought it was interesting that Mother Teresa called it a disease...the feeling that you don't matter to anyone.  But, on a lighter side...Did you and the other Girl Scouts ever sing...

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms.

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.

Down goes the first one,
Down goes the second one,
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm.

Up comes the first one,
Up comes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm.
====JUDY:  Absolutely!  There's several we all still sing.  "Blue Jeans Tee Shirts" and  "Petunia Pop"...actually now that I think about it...there were tons of songs.====JACK:  How about making a Girl Scout Scrapbook with all the stuff you remember about scouting, even the names of some of the scouts and leaders...and especially the songs.  Both of our granddaughters were Gold Award Scouts.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Man, that is really sad====JACK:  What's really sad...over 4000 listings of shelters (some large hotels) in Queens, where the homeless scouts come from.  And...the President wants to spend money on a wall and more bombs.



 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/21/17
“Why should I care about future generations?  What have they ever done for me?”  (Groucho Marx)  Tomorrow is Earth Day, with an emphasis on doing things to take care of the environment.  Groucho foresees the struggle going on in society today.  Will it be, “me first,” or caring for “generations to come?”  My sister’s little grandson was asked by a flight attendant, “Where are you from?”  He replied, “I’m from Planet Earth!”  What a great answer!    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  China Twp gives away flowering bushes and trees for Earth Day! ====JACK:  I wonder if they give away Chinese maple trees?  BTW, Here's something you might not know...On March 17, 1834 China became an organized township, named China by Capt. John Clarke, one of the area’s first settlers. He was born in Maine in 1797 and a nostalgia for a town in Maine called “China” which was apparently the reason for his choice of a name.  So, what’s the story behind the naming of China, Maine? A commonly held belief is that it was related to the Orient, or perhaps the old vessels known as “China Clippers”, which early on sailed America’s coast.
However, a recent history of China, Maine tells a different story. A letter from Debra Fischer, Administrative Asst. of China, Maine noted that “the name of the town was chosen by Japeth C. Washburn, then representative to the Massachusetts legislature. The name originally selected was Bloomville, but the representative from Bloomfield, farther up the river, objected fearing that the similarity in names would create problems with mail delivery. So, Mr. Washburn chose instead the name China, which was the title of one of his favorite church hymns and not duplicated anywhere else in the U.S.”  "Jesus Loves Me" is often sung to the tune, China.  Now...you know the rest of the story!====JUDY:  Since choices from the past are passed, there's no sense in thinking "what ifs".  However, God always made bad choices turn out for the best.====JACK:  I'm writing about any choice that you make (past or present).  It will affect your future, positively or negatively.  ====JUDY:  I'd like to think our choices later in life are better choices because of more wisdom?!? ====JACK:  Possibly, but not always true.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I tend to agree with Garrison Kieler, "Nothing you do for children is ever wasted". We recycle, and try to take care of things, hoping our children and "grands" will have decent lives,on a planet that's liveable!  With tons of pollution, climate warming, etc. It will take some real ingenuity to continue comfortable living on Earth!  I read in Nat'l. Geographic, a forecast that there will be colonies on Mars by 2050! Hard to imagine, but who knows?===JACK:  Have you read the book or seen the movie, The Martian?  Who would want to live that way.  BTW, a reader of WWs is married to an expert on Mars.  I think I'll ask about the Mars colony prediction.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Unfortunately, under the current administration, today's corporate profits and greed are more important than taking care of our home (planet).  As long as that mindset prevails, I fear that our future generations will bear the consequences of today's actions (or lack of action as the case may be).  The good news is that heaven will be a real upgrade.====JACK:  A friend of mine wear5s a sweatshirt with the numbers 10-10-80 printed on it.  10% for God (charity) - 10% for savings (investing) - 80% for self (needs of life).  He's followed that advice for years, and says that it works for him.  I'm afraid that many people start with the 100% and by the time they've spend on the needs of life, there's little or nothing left for charity and savings.  That's an analogy for people and the planet.  Take our country's budget, for example.  What's the priority?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Groucho didn't care about future generations because he didn't have any kids. Or if he did, he didn't love them.====JACK:  Groucho did have children...3 of them, and he did care about them.  He said that he was a Democrat, rather than a Republican, because "they care more about the common man."  He never seemed to lose his sense of humor.  A friend visited the aging Groucho who was in the hospital, hooked up with various tubes.  As the friend came into the room, Groucho put his fingers on the tube coming from his nose and pretended to play it as he would a clarinet.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Jack, the devotional book I use suggested changing one word  in your vocabulary and it will make a difference in life.  Instead of saying "I have to do something," change it to," I get to do something"....and that makes us more thankful.====JACK:  In much of life, "you can, because you think you can."  As the Bible says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."====AW:  I celebrated earth day by filling my recycle bin.   AW   Happy earth day to you and to all the growing grass.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/20/17
“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.”  (Unknown)  It’s amazing how little choices can make a big difference…Kennedy deciding to ride with the top down in Dallas …Rosa deciding where to sit on the bus...Apple deciding to rehire Steve Jobs.  Looking  back, I see how a simple yes or no altered life’s direction for me and for others.  I’m sure that you, too, can look back and see how a little choice made a big difference for you.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  think about the woman you married and what would your life have been like with a different woman, different children, in-laws, grandkids, etc. etc.====JACK:  Think of the woman you married, if she had said no to you and yes to some non-minister.  Ask her!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes, life is all about making decisions everyday.====JACK:  I've read that the average person makes about 35,000 decisions each day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/19/17
“I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.”  (John D. Rockefeller)  Warren Buffett defined happiness by saying, “I get to do every day what I like to do with people I like.  I tap dance to work.”  Forget about winning the lottery!  Let’s appreciate what we have.  King Midas enjoyed touching things and turning them into gold, until he touched his daughter.  You see…there are different pleasures.  What brings you happiness?    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Good friends...like you.====JACK:  There's a saying:  "To have a friend, be a friend."

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Happiness is family, health and giving.====JACK:  When you have family and health, who wants to win the lottery?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Grandkids, family, friends, reading, scrapping, long drives, babies, puppies, memories, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, ice cream, cleaning, travel, hugs, smiles, walks, birdwatching, Compassion International child letters, photography, and looking out my window.====JACK:  You should be able to sing "Count Your Many Blessings" with gusto!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I agree. Jack, honestly, my pleasure and happiness is knowing that Jesus Christ is my Savior.====JACK:  Do you remember sing this song?
My Jesus I love Thee, I know Thou art mine
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign
My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus 'tis now

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me
And purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus 'tis now

In mansions of glory and endless delight
I'll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright
I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus 'tis now.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  With me, like most others, FAMILY comes first, my faith, good friends, concerts, plays & musicals, good books, movies, golfing, pretty gardens and flowers, and flowering trees, scenic rides, lakes. oceans, mountains...the list is endless; We are blessed!!====JACK:  You probably fall asleep, counting your blessings...as the song goes.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes, it is great to hear the birds.  I have a blue heron which visits my pool frequently, and now we have just discovered a bird nest in a hole in the rain tree.  We can hear them if we get up close but we don't know what kind they are.  Also the sound of the Gulf of Mexico waves hitting the beach at Clearwater is pretty mild compared to the east coast.====JACK:  The humming birds somehow find our feeder on the front porch each year.  I wonder how they do it.  No sound that I can hear, but those little flapping wings must be making some noise.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/18/17
“I don’t need an inspirational quote; I need coffee.”  (Pinterest)  I’ve read that Starbucks has more than 87,000 drink combinations.  At Sunny’s CafĆ©, I just say, “I’ll have a cup of coffee, black.”  Inspiration comes to us in different ways.  Uncle John used to drink his coffee from a saucer, letting it go through a cube of sugar that he held in his front teeth.  BTW, I came across this new song, “Holy Jesus, I’m so tired!  Bring me coffee, grant me strength.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  No Kidding? Certainly put in the modern vernacular, eh? "Bring me coffee, grant me strength"...that's a new one for sure. I rarely go to Starbuck's unless I'm using a gift card but the array of drinks IS overwhelming, and they are almost always busy, busy! I do use Starbucks at home, and take it black...Bill's grandpa used to drink from the saucer, too. He came to U.S. from Swittzerland (German speaking) as a young man.  There are times when we DO need coffee more than inspiration. Good thought!  (As Usual!)====JACK:  I use Starbucks dark roast Sumatra from the grocery store.  My parents used 8 o'clock, since my dad worked for A&P.  I remember when coffee beans were scooped out of a gunny sack, put into a paper bag and poured into the store grinder.  When I visited my dad at the store I would take a handful of beans from the gunny sack and chew them like peanuts.  No fancy name for the beans...just coffee.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I’d like to come across that song.  Any idea of the lyricist or the recording artist?  Coffee is the third Lutheran sacrament, no?====JACK:  I looked and looked, but couldn't recapture the coffee song.  I don't know about coffee as a sacrament, but it's sometimes referred to as Swede gasoline.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This could be a family motto!  The song sounds...well...interesting! ====JACK:  The Bible doesn't say anything about Jesus turning water into coffee.  I think that he preferred wine.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/17/17
“The earth has music for those who listen.”  (George Santayana)  What sounds of the earth fascinate you?  One of the best for me is the chirping of the birds in the early morning darkness.  Thank you, Rachel Carson, for writing Silent Spring.  I also like the sound of raindrops against the windows.  We once visited in New Mexico, and I can remember the howling of the coyotes at night.  I wonder what it was in nature that Santayana heard as music?    ;-)  Jack

FROM QUILTING CAROL IN WISCONSIN:  I made a quilt in 1994 – that bears your today’s quote – just a little different.  “The earth is full of music for those who listen.”  This quilt was made in a class in Woodstock that lasted 10 months.  We each started with our own bare bones tree and each month we were told what to add to the quilt – draping vines, leaves and berries, leaves, critters and their homes, fruit, flowers, heart and diamond shapes, a horizon line, wheelbarrow,  a quote and a pieced border.  There are many memories in this quilt!  Bob is sitting fishing in his cedar strip canoe on the river.  He used to take youth groups to the Boundary Waters; he and Michael build the canoe in our basement, often had bears in their campsites or saw moose along shorelines.  The cabin is a memory of the root beer lady who made homemade root beer and sold it to canoers in the Boundary Waters.  The pine trees are memories of those that surrounded our home in Woodstock.  I named this quilt – “I Can Too Have Bananas in My Tree”.  I learned so much making this quilt and how to use fabrics to create bird nests, wings on bees, shadings, squirrel tails, turtle shells, etc.  Thanks for sharing your Winning Words today and bringing back fun memories!====JACK:  Quilters ( like you) are amazing women.  I suppose that there are "guy quilters", too.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  I love the birds too!!====JACK:  I suppose that you're a fan of the bluejay...but probably not for its  song.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My daughter has a plaque of this saying on her condo wall. She is very musical. I've been under the weather for several days, and she stepped in on Easter, and rang my bells in the church bell choir anthem, and sang in our choir in my place on Easter Sunday.====JACK:  We had lots of music on Easter Sunday, too, beginning with the hymn, "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today."  We also had bells, along with a rousing choir anthem...and a good sermon.  3 grandsons sat with me.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The beautiful chorus of birds, the mooing of cows, the grandkids calling "Monnie" or Papa, the call of the Spring Peepers, laughter, the sound of a loved one on the phone, the "chirp" of the frogs as they jump in the pond, rain on an umbrella, and the songs of wonderful old hymns being played or sung.====JACK:  How about a baby's giggle?


Friday, April 14, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/14/17
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Jesus)  Rabbi Harold Kushner got the idea for his book, When Bad Things Happen To Good People, after his 3-yr-old son was diagnosed with a terrible disease.  The book became a best-seller, because many people want to know the “why” of suffering.  Jesus (God as a human) asked, “Why?”…and finally was able to say, “Father, I put myself into your hands.”  That’s what you do with the unanswerable.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  As re-posted from my Facebook devotional this morning-- "May you enjoy an exceptional Good Friday / Resurrection Celebrated Sunday",====JACK:  Easter...the day that turns a BAD Friday into GOOD,

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  in a Kushner talk I hear him say this:  WHY is not the right question to ask.  it can never be answered satisfactorily.  the question to ask is this:  HOW can I survive this great loss/calamity and somehow come out on the other side with some degree of sanity and normalcy once again in my life?   btw, Phil Yancey wrote a book entitled: The Question that Never Goes Away.  and it does not ever go away...====JACK:  One of the resources that I use is Book of Comfort, by Alvin Rogness, given to me by you when you left for Minnesota.  Part of the inscription reads, "Keep in touch."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We should put ourselves in His Hands for everything.  It's the only way we can get through this life.   I used to go each year on Good Friday with the some of the attorneys I worked with in the Ren Cen to the Mariners Church for Good Friday services.====JACK:  My wife remembers how her father would have the children stop playing and come into the house for the 3-hour period from noon to 3.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Jack, every morning I have two items to read, one your WW – the second, “Quote – unquote” from the Milwaukee Journal – today, from the Journal, “If you are in trouble, or hurt – go to poor people.   They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.  John Steinbeck, through the character Ma Joad in his novel, “The Grapes of Wrath.” Published on this date, April 14th, in 1939.====JACK:  Steinbeck's wife suggested the title, referring to that line from the Battle Hymn of the Republic, "where the grapes of wrath are stored."  That, in turn, traced back to Revelation 14:19-20, where it says that God's judgment will come upon those who oppress the poor.  Today's society could stand a reminder of that passage.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/13/17
“It hurts to find out that what you wanted doesn’t match what you dreamed it would be.”  (Randy Milholland)  Randy is creator of the webcomic, Something Positive.  He began the comic, because some girl criticized him and said that he should do something positive with his life.  And he did that…only in a weird sort of way.  Has anyone ever encouraged you to follow your dreams?  The idea for the song, Yesterday, came to Paul McCartney in a dream.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Paul McC.'s song is so plaintive and even rather sad.  but it also makes a person think about how fast time moves on...====JACK:  It seems like only yesterday that you and I were talking about whether to buy the house (on Walce?) or to move to Minnesota.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Criticism often makes me angry....first, at the person who did it...and, second, if it is valid, at myself...====JACK:  I belong to the Optimist Club, and each week we say The Optimist Creed.  One of the lines from the creed says, "to forget the mistakes of the past."  Recently club members voted to change it to read, "to learn from the mistakes of the past."  Which version do you prefer?====JOHN:  The latter....the former version means no growth. ====JACK:  Here’s the problem.  The Optimist Creed was written in 1912 by Christian Larson.  Can you (should you) change something that is someone else’s writing without the author’s permission…and the author is dead?====JOHN: Yes.   A creed is a statement of faith and should, therefore, reflect the beliefs of those who use it.   It is quite different to change a creed than to change, for example, the wording if a hymn...or the wording of a book

FROM TARMART REV:  A beautifully gifted blessing, to live one's dream!!====JACK:  I just read an article...a day in the life of a refugee family.  The family is living a "dream" in Minnesota, having escaped persecution and death in Somalia.  The President says that Minnesotans have suffered enough from Somalian refugees.  This refugee family's dream is turning into a nightmare.  Do you have any Somalis in your community?====REV:  We have a goodly number working in our Jennie-O turkey plants...20,000 residents with 1/5 Hispanic and most likely 1500-2000 Somalians. They have pretty much taken over the older downtown portion of Willmar with several businesses and apartments above the businesses.  I've learned to greet them in their own language and have been received as their friend from many. I have one who wrote very kindly of our relationship and mine to the community. I have it included in my references in coming to Michigan.  They are very interesting to observe, double parking often, sitting outside their stores and when the men wear their white outer garment on Fridays for worship.====JACK:  I must say...Your answer caught me by surprise.

FROM GJ IN TEXAS:  Yes, as a matter of fact. A pastor in West Bloomfield, Michigan in the ‘80’s  helped me become a very good pastor and church builder.====JACK:  It's a good idea for all of us to review our life and its direction from time to time.  Do you remember the song, Swinging On A Star?  One line goes..."You can be better than you are."  Sometimes we need someone to tell us that.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Encouragement from many different places in our lives.  Family, teachers, friends and even complete strangers can encourage us.  And of course, we have the added blessing of the Holy Spirit!====JACK:  The word angel comes from the Greek language..angelos, a messenger (from God).  God sends angels into our life from time to time...like in the movie, It's A Wonderful Life.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  And sailboats go upstream.====JACK:  If you say so.  I prefer a motorboat.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  It hurts even more not to find out.====JACK:  You're on the safe side, because it seems that you've had several dreams to follow.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/12/17
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”  (Henry Ford)  Bob Seger could have had flying in mind when he wrote, “Against the Wind,” but in reality he was remembering his days as a x-country runner.  There are people I know who are facing very difficult times.  How do they cope?  Some say that it is their faith that gives them a lift.  Caring friends are important, too.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  For some, "difficult times" include grieving the loss of a family member.  Faith is the foundation for getting through it, but caring friends are very important.  Their condolence and expressions of personal love for the person who died bring a lot of solace, essentially becoming a member of "the family."====JACK:  Living through the Great Depression and several wars, including  one which claimed the life of a dear friend...These experiences have helped me cope with life as it unfolds daily.  I have experienced the omnipresence of God.====RI:  Your keen perception of so many things, plus your sense of humor, have helped me observe some situations differently.  You have nourished my spirit.====JACK:  Easter will probably take on a new and more personal meaning this year.  But the old message is still the same.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  God is good and, so are good friends.====JACK:  Friendship... what a perfect blendship!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/11/17
“There are millions of interesting things in this world, but they don’t actually become interesting until we devote our attention to them.”  (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)  I quoted Mihaly about a month ago.  He’s called, the Professor of Happiness.  Happy people generally are fascinated by the world around them.  Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: “The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.”  What do you find especially interesting in this world?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  That for 2017 years and especially still in America, every person, a Christ-follower or the most animate agnostic or atheist, documents his life from birth to death and every time he or she documents any date as a verification of authenticity, they do so after the recognition of Jesus Christ as coming to this world and the giving of His life for the remission of our sin. Please don't share this with the ACLU====JACK:  In the Jewish calendar the year is 5777, and in the Islamic calendar it's 1438.  Oftentimes CE (Common Era) is substituted for AD (Anno Domini - The year of our Lord) after the year number.====REV:  Which calendar do the Jews of West Bloomfield use when writing their checks?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's hard to narrow down the things I find interesting and I'm interested to see what other people find interesting.  I love to watch the interaction of the birds at my bird-feeder.  I love to hear of true stories of the history of the Oregon Trail, the Orphan Train, the history of our country and the founding fathers, geography, flowers, gardening, scrapbooking, grandkids, kids, outhouses and many many other things!    What do YOU find interesting?====JACK:  You are an interesting person in many ways.  Through the blog exchange we find out a variety of information about each other.====OJ: You learn a lot about me but I don't learn a lot about you except snippets.  I talk too much about myself.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  He’s one of my favorites… his theory of FLOW really fits well with what I believe about learning… I talk about “goldilocks” learning… not too hard, not too easy… but just right. When challenge is just out of reach of current skill… that’s when the magic happens! ====JACK:  Have you ever learned to pronounce his name?  I think that the Goldilocks analogy can be applied to theology, too.  In my training for preaching, I was taught to always try to connect my sermon up with life...to make "real life situations" relate to the Bible...not too hard or too easy.  A pastor friend of mine had a child in Sunday School whose father (a nuclear physicist) would drop her off and wait in the parking lot until Sunday School and church were over.  One day the pastor spoke to the man and said, "you know, when you come to this church you don't have to leave your brain in the parking lot with the car.  The rest of the story...That man eventually did go into the church and later became a pastor.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Good question.  I am definitely old school.  Family, books, politics, education, space, all things new.====JACK:  "All things new" doesn't sound old school to me.  I don't know many seniors who attend college classes as you do.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  PEOPLE====JACK:  That's my response, too.  Finally we can agree on something.====RJP:  Happy to see you are finally coming around to my way of thinking. Isn't elevating your game fun??????????? LOL

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The budding and flowering trees and spring flowers are so beautiful!  But INTERESTING; Good books, programs that educate us,great movies,  people that have unique hobbies or other entertaining interests to share, etc.  The world is indeed so full of any number of things! We're so blessed!====JACK:  Early in the morning when I go out to get the newspaper (some people still read newspapers), I'm fascinated by the singing of the birds.  In fact I just stand there for a while and listen.

FROM EMT SINGS IN TC:  Everything!  In fact,when one of the grandsons was very small, he said "Grandma, don't say "isn't that interesting" again".  Now he is 19 and thinks everything is interesting too!====JACK:  Now, that caused me to laugh.  It's interesting how young children can reflect what they see in us.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  The blessings of Easter be upon you and all your loved ones. Your faithful message brightens my life  Thanks.====JACK:  Easter is "interesting", isn't it...for those who see beyond this life?  Those who only see bunnies, chicks, candy, flowers and clothes don't know what they're missing.






Monday, April 10, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/10/17
“Don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”  (Song by Cinderella)  Can you identity with this song title by the rock band, Cinderella?  While the song is about a lost love (some of you may have experienced that), there are…people, places, things…gone, but not forgotten.  What comes to your mind?  Someone, some place, something!  Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena had a final hockey game yesterday…and who was Joe Louis?   Sometimes we take too much for granted.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DEACON ROBERT:  Haha...  Joe Louis was cousin by marriage as my grandfathers brother married his mom not long after Joe was born.  My memory was of days past at the Olympia Stadium. ====JACK:  I like the huge Joe Louis Fist monument which is displayed in downtown Detroit.  To me it says, "Dee-troit!"  Most people don't know that Joe's last name was Barrow and that Louis was his middle name.====D R:  How about the Jewish Museum donation to the City?====I've often driven by that building and thought of it as an example of "Detroit" fleeing to the suburbs.  Now, I can look at it in a new and positive way.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Hard to ever forget your Mom....is there a greater love ever than what she gives you?   Perhaps only with Christ.====JACK:  A Bible reading that I often use at the funeral of a "blessed" mother is from Proverbs 31..."A good wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her.  She does him good all the days of her life.  She works with willing hands.  She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy.  She opens her mouth with wisdom.  She does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and call her blessed.  Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

FROM TARMART REV:  The older generation speak of the building or business once located there, while the younger generation is much more excited about the new one located in its place. ====JACK:  I often catch myself speaking in a language that a younger generation doesn't understand.  "When I was your age...."

FROM JOHNNY D: My wife of 61 plus years died on Feb. 2nd. I never knew how much I loved her until she was gone.====JACK:  How many times have you read these words as part of a wedding ceremony..."And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."?  They sound different when they apply to you, don't they?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We definitely take things for granted...Waking up every morning, heat and energy, good health, food, our loved ones coming home from work safely, and of course God, faith and mercy.    I do wonder if the younger generations know or care who Joe Louis was.  Several comedians have "on the street interviews" with random people and when asked the simplest questions about politics or history the answers are unbelievably outrageous!!!  They have no idea!!!  It's funny but extremely frightening!!====JACK:  I'm sure if the shoe were on the other foot and young people asked us questions having to do with "their world," our answers would be hilarious, too, but maybe not frightening.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  memory is one of God's greatest gifts to us.  even when "it" is gone,  we can still remember...tho even memory seems to fade somewhat with age.  have a good Holy Week, Jack.  plh    p.s. we had a live donkey in church yesterday.  very well behaved too.  must have been a Lutheran donkey...====JACK:  I'm sure that you've experienced it as I have...We make a visit to a shut-in whose memory has lapsed, but as we quote a scripture or a hymn, the person is able to recite the words along with us.  "Gone, but not forgotten!"

FROM JB AT LSTC:  Is that a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”? I just looked up the lyrics and, well, all these years later they still hold true.====JACK:  I can see how the "Taxi" song might relate to missing things after they're gone.  It was interesting to read the how and why it was written.

FROM GARY IN TEXAS:  Really been enjoying your Winning Words. Last night I live streamed the closing of Joe Louis arena. The weekend before, the family made the pilgrimage to Detroit to see the last game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Wings. Daughter Hannah wanted her baby Charlotte to be at The Joe before it closed. As you can guess, we are more than a little nutty about the Wings and hockey in our family. Krista tolerates it and is bemused, but the rest of us live and die by it all.====JACK:  It seems that most of the fans wear a game jersey with the name of a player on the back.  Do you have one of those...or a wingnut cap?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Those of us who have lost beloved spouses or children, especially, know you more fully appreciate what you had when it is no longer with you.! Even when the relationship has been very good, and there aren't regrets, to speak of, we have a new and deeper value for what is now missing! Make today with your loved one count!!====JACK:  I have a file for all of my funeral sermons.  From time to time I go through them...and remember.



Friday, April 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/7/17
“Nothing recedes like success.”  {Walter Winchell)  There’s a Latin phrase, similar to this quote, “Sic transit gloria mundi,” worldly glories are soon gone, or, what have you done for me lately?”  When you live long enough you get used to change.  Walk through any cemetery.  “Here today, gone tomorrow.”  Winchell used to be a famous radio personality, but how many of you remember that?  Even today will become a history footnote.  Time marches on.    ;-)  Jack      

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  What time do you go to bed????  8:00 PM???? It's too early to think. I am still up working and getting ready to retire for the night!!!!!====JACK:  In order to get my "words" out to you and others...to bed about 10:30 pm and up (without an alarm clock) at 4:30 am.  I write my stuff, usually a week in advance.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I remember his broadcasts..."to all the ships at sea"====JACK:  His rapid-fire delivery sounded like the pounding of typewriter keys.  Winchell's downfall came when he bought into Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Communist witch hunt.

FROM DM AT LIV:  Some may look at this and feel sad.  I look at this and think…don’t sweat the small stuff and keep your eye on the ultimate Prize.====JACK:  Illness caused a woman to make many trips to the hospital, but while there, she always tried to cheer up others.  As she registered on one occasion she was heard to say, "I wonder what God has for me to do this time?"  Much of the time the quality of our life depends on our attitude.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Your 15 minutes of Fame" is about right.When I showed my music classes the movie "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" I introduced it telling them the BING CROSBY was the narrator and singer in this cartoon depiction of Ichabod  Crane's adventures. They looked at each other in puzzlement, like "WHO"S Bing Crosby??!"...It dawned on me that their grandparents could tell them!  :-(====JACK:  We have a channel on our TV which plays uninterrupted showtunes and swing with no commercials (24-7).  I don't think that they get many high school listeners.


Thursday, April 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/6/17
“Sweet is the memory of distant friends!  Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.”  (Washington Irving)  I attended Irving Grade School, not knowing at the time that it was named for a famous poet.  What I remember most about Irving was my 6th Grade teacher and my classmates.  As Archie and Edith used to sing, “Those were the days, my friend.”  Read again the W.I. quote.  Beautiful words…and memories.    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Very nice, Jack!====JACK:  Were you ever at a school with a "meaningful" name?====EP:  Of course...it is interesting how sometimes nostalgia does not measure up to reality. Some treasured friendships of the past are disappointments of the present. As to memories of those who are no longer with us...heavy stuff.====JACK:  From what you've told me, your bag of memories is heavy...and many of them are good.  I think of your growing-up years.  I think of your teaching experiences...and your unique family.  Life is good!

FROM DEACON RB:  Last evening, I attended the SAE Dinner at Cobo focused on the Ford GT that won the 2016 LeMans against Ferrari taking 1, 3, and 4th place. There were about 800 engineers in attendance - more than the number of GT's that Ford will build this year. The goal to the finish line was inspired by the 50 th anniversary of Ford winning this race. The technology and spirit exhibited was phenomenal. However, my most memorable time of the night, was seeing my neighbor from Korea from 16 years ago, who has three children with similar ages to ours and sharing pictures of our children now all grown up.  Tuesday, I attended a family hour for Joan Whitaker, who went to be with the Lord. Her husband is one of the oldest serving Deacons at 83 years young in the Detroit area - Walled Lake. He has been  a constant inspiration for me in our city ministry. While sitting with him and meeting his 3 children, his son said: "are you the Bobby Brooks that graduated with me from LHW?" We embraced as never before, since it was 1979 since I had last seen him. Later, I was explaining to him how I met his dad and he reminded me that his dad knew me from our graduation.
Were you watching me when you pinned these WW's?====JACK:  We each have memories that are waiting to to be discovered.  One thing a lot of people don't realize is that we are making future memories on a daily basis.  I'm pleased that you are to be included in mine.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Our youngest grandson, Hudson, is always asking us to share memories or favorites in our lives.  This last week when we Skyped he asked me who my favorite friend was in school – Linda.  We have been friends for 71 years as we started Sunday School together and went to grade school too.  He wants us to share stories about when we were younger or as kids or tell stories about his dad when he was little.  Of all our grandchildren he’s the only one who has done this.  Fun to share those memories!  Today is another memory making day!====JACK:  Don't you wish you had had Skype when you were a child...and could have talked with your grandmother?  What I remember about my Nannie was how she, in her 90s, would read her Bible with a magnifying glass...and how she wrote a letter to me when I was ordained...and how shortly after that my cousin (who was also her grandson, and was a Catholic priest) and I conducted her funeral.  BTW, was Hudson named after Hudson, Wisconsin?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My cousins, Karla and Steve Koelz, attended Irving.   I remember Steve showing me the slide/chute that was their fire escape.   I was a little guy and was duly impressed. ====JACK:  The fire escapes were large red tubes reaching to each floor.  As I recall, there were 3 floors, and the interior of the building was all wooden.  In the end, the unoccupied building was destroyed by a nighttime fire.  The large bell in the tower survived and is displayed on the grounds of Lincoln School.  Also surviving is a picture of my 6th grade class.  Some of them have died, and I've lost track of all of the rest...but I still have the memories of them.

FROM PASTIE PAT:  Greetings from the Baptismal site in Jordan. We will worship at the  Lutheran Church Bethany Beyond the Jordan, visit the Dead Sea, Petra and the Wadi Rum. We've just completed a Habitat for Humanity build in a village north of Amman.====JACK:  As a Sunday School child, would you ever have dreamed of spending time "walking where Jesus walked" as you are doing now?

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I too attended Washington Irving grade school, in Oak Park Illinois. I don't remember seeing you there.====JACK:  My Irving was in Moline, Illinois...and you weren't even born yet when I was in 6th Grade.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I attended Logan and Garfield Grade schools in Moline, also named after famous people.  I still remember my kindergarten teacher Miss McQuinn. We just adored her, enthusiastic and fun !  Remember two Garfield teachers for different reasons, our 3rd grade, Mrs. Gryce (sp?) crabby and sarcastic, and Miss Vanette Johnson, 5th grade, pretty, fun and adored by all. She married the year after we had her, and no longer taught there....Yes, so many distant school chum memories. Miss Becker in H.S. gave me my push toward teaching Music, by choosing me as student director of our choir concert my Sr. year. Lots of mostly very good memories of past friendships!  We were pretty naive, back in the day...:-)====JACK:  What famous person was Logan School named after?  I can't locate a school named, Blaser?====OAKS:  I really don't remember...It seems he was an essayist and writing critic, in the late 1900's educated at Harvard and Oxford...but I don't know if that is accurate at all!

FROM JB AT LSTC:  I attended a grade school named for explorer Richard E. Byrd. I wonder if anyone remembers him now. Writers have greater longevity, don’t you think?====JACK:  I suppose your school cheer was, "We're for the byrds!"  I think that genes have more to do with longevity than one's profession.  John Keats died at 25 and Anne Bronte at 29.  I think you've got them beat.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We were lucky growing up when we could just be out all day paying with our friends and walking and bicycling all over town.  How different life is today.====JACK:  Each generation has pluses and minuses.  I think ours was on the plus side.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  You also went to Wm. Carr. For the  life  of me, I can't find who he was. Can you? I'm sure you remember Miss Wilson. "Dear Teacher, Go jump in the lake."
====JACK:  No wonder my sister laughed when I said that someone suggested that I become a pastor.  I think Miss Wilson over-reacted.

  FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: had no idea either!  lovely words...====JACK:  When you live long enough you learn some things.  For example. in my 6th grade class there was a girl named, Bessie Mae Coleman.  It wasn't until I was an older adult that I learned...Bessie Mae Coleman was the first
woman of African-America descent to pilot an airplane.  She died in 1926, about a year before my classmate was born.  I'd like to be able to ask her if she was named after that famous person.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  We lost this week a very dear friend – he died very unexpectedly – alone in his warehouse.  Apparently we tripped and fell on his head –he lived for a few hours.   He didn’t return home when he was due, his wife called him on his cell phone a couple of times, but he didn’t answer so she called their daughter who lived only a mile from the warehouse – she found him lying on the concrete floor.   He was airlifted to the medical college in Wauwatosa, but there was nothing they could do for him – he died at 8:45 PM on Tuesday.  His funeral is Saturday at The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (ELCA) here in Racine!  A prince of a fellow, 85 years old.    Your word today applies to Ray and his wife, Louise.====JACK:
 "The clock of life is wound but once  And no one has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop,  At late or early hour.  
Now is the only time you own;  Live, love, work, and with a will;
Place no faith in tomorrow, for  The clock may then be still."


Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/5/17
“None of us can change our yesterdays, but all of us can change our tomorrows.”  (Colin Powell)  As I read this quote I began thinking about how choices we make affect the direction of our life.  Every day we come to a fork in the road.  Colin P came to one of those forks when both political parties wanted him as their candidate for President.  For a variety of reasons he chose not to run.  But, what if….?  Forget the “What ifs”!  Let’s live our chosen way.    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Powell will go down as one of the most interesting people in the Iraq War era after 9-11.  So articulate..so intelligent..and mislead. He never fully recovered in the public view.  Such an interesting person!====JACK:  No one is above reproach, but I think that the "public" has admired Powell more than any other candidate in recent history.  I've read that his wife had an influence on his decision not to be a candidate.  Wise husbands often listen to their wives.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  The way to forget the "What ifs" is to never look back.  Maybe we should look ahead with "Suppose that..." and then do all we can to achieve a chosen goal.====JACK:  I like the figure of the god, Janus, a head that can look forward and back at the same time.  To be able to look back (memory) is a great gift.  To be able to look ahead (to foresee what might/can be) is also a great gift.  However...I do like your (Suppose that...) point.====RI:  You are correct that memory is a great gift.  It enables us to keep with us past pleasures we otherwise would be unable to enjoy.  From here on I'll depend on memory for support in my remaining years.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Guidepost magazine had a quote appropriate to today's thought:"Nothing you've done in the past is wasted. It's all grist for your future". Habitat Changers (M.J.Ryan). One of the valuable spiritual insights I've learned is that God does not reveal His future plans to us, but we discover them along our journey of faith,  trusting that we are living in his caring, loving presence. The decision to try to follow Christ affects every nook and cranny of our lives!====JACK:  I know what a nook is, but I've never seen something referred to as a cranny...even though I'm familiar with the "nook and cranny" phrase.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What if you are turning 67 and you decide to buy a farm?  The possibilities are unlimited.  Forget the realities and go for it!  We are having a great time, sleep like the dead (because we nearly are half of the time), are muddier than we've ever been, and love it!!! ====JACK:  As a slang expression, "buying the farm" referred to using death benefits to pay off the mortgage on the farm.  In your case I hope that it means having a happy and peaceful life.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Life is all about making decisions everyday,isn't it? Think of all of the years we have lived and what we have lived through.  We are all still here for a reason, and we just have to remember that every day. By the way, the Rays had a great opening game with the Yankees, but not so great last night. C'est la vie.====JACK:  The Greatest Generation lived during some exciting and interesting times.  I'm glad to have been a part of it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/4/17
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”  (Carl Sagan)  Are you familiar with the term, Luddite?  It refers to someone who’s opposed to new technology, like driverless cars.  A Luddite is opposed to robots in factories.  And how about the new robot who’ll play ping pong with you?  Scientists are now working at developing a manufactured eye, growing human organs, bringing back the woolly mammoth…and stuff like that.  Are you a Luddite?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Trying not to be ... but realize daily how I'm falling behind on tech. A friend at work chuckled at me when he sent a twitter link to a science article that I should read. I don't have a twitter account. But now it's something I'll have to learn ... for work!  Now is when I want to bust out the "i remember when I got my first email account" stories. But this easy connection is what will let me telework and not move jobs though I'm moving cities. So I can't be a grumbling Luddite. ====JACK:  I avoid putting Winning Words on Facebook, because the e-mail blog seems more personal to me.  For the same reason, I don't Tweet, either...to much ME and not enough WE.  ====LBP:  I remember finding you on email way back when I got my first email account. Were you doing WW mailings already then? I remember spending a long time drafting those email letters to you. I think you gave me a little ribbing for the ridiculous formality that gave to the text. Ha! Now I'm typing this on my phone while walking on the treadmill in my basement. No more special trips to the university computer lab!====JACK:  The early days with the computer...like riding a bike with training wheels!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  W/o that technology, I would be stone deaf.   I have a cochlear implant.    We just have to adjust to it...and find a way to deal with the financial and ethical consequences. ====JACK:  The next needed break-though...how to make implants like yours (and other advanced medical care) available to all who need it...instead of spending the dollars on military stuff.  I will always remembering the warning by General Eisenhower..."Beware of the military-industrial complex!"====HJ:  Isn't it interesting that our great generals ....Washington, Jackson, Grant, Eisenhower...all, when elected President....cut back on our military.   The draft dodgers have tended to increase it.   Irony.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  And they thought Chester Gould was crazy when he gave Dick Tracy a radio wrist watch!====JACK:  Something that I look forward to is teletransporting.  For now, it's science fiction..like Dick Tracy's watch was.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I'm not a Luddite when it comes to robots and progress but messing with making hybrid babies makes me a Luddite!!====JACK:  If your child's gene pool had a gene that anticipated cerebral palsy (for example), would you approve of genetic engineering that would remove that gene?====JUDY:  Health issues are entirely different story.  But trying to have a little boy with blond hair and blue eyes....designer children...is utterly ridiculous and unacceptable.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  One of my grandsons is working with robots, and it all sounds very interesting.  Otherwise, science is not my forte.  I prefer the simple life but the new electronic stuff is fascinating.====JACK:  Someday I'd like to ride in a driverless car.


Monday, April 03, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/3/17
“Baseball season is here.  I think I’m going to cry.”  (Charlie Brown)  Is there anyone reading this who cannot sing, “Take me out to the ball game?”  I was surprised to read that the song was written by two guys who’d never attended a ball game.  Harry Caray, Chicago Cubs’ announcer popularized singing the song at each game.  You can listen to him on YouTube.  After his death, celebrities like Ronald Reagan and the Goo Goo Girls were invited to lead the song.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  my song for the day will be,"the baseball game" from charlie brown's musical!====JACK:  I remember hearing that song for the first time.  It was in your family's living room....
"There is no team
Like the best team
Which is our team
Right here
We will show you
We're the best team
In the very Little League this year
An in no time we'll be big time
With the Big League baseball stars
For all we have to do is
Win just one more game...
...And the championship is ours!!"

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Remember last year we talked about the quote, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains”… Crash Davis   What was it that Ernie Harwell used to quote from  the bible I think, about the turtle and spring on his first game of the year.====JACK:
Ernie would begin the first spring training broadcast of each season with a reading from Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (KJV): "For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."  He is also the one who recommended that Jose Feliciano sing the National Anthem at a 1968 World Series game in Detroit...and he almost got fired because of that.  IMO, one of the great renditions of that song...ever!====HH:  I remember that it was Ernie that brought in Jose. I remember the grief he caught also, very unwarranted.  What does the voice of the Turtle refer to? Is that a reference to  God, Is it a reference to something else, or did turtles have voices then?====JACK:  Interesting!  "The voice of the turtle" translation probably should be, "The cooing of the dove."  It probably should read, "The voice (cooing) of the turtle(dove)."  That makes sense to me.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I hope the Cubbies can come close to 2016 wins.====JACK:  I saw my first Major League game at Wrigley Field.  My pastor drove me from Moline to Chicago and bought my ticket to see the Cubs...my favorite team.  What a great day!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's such a fun song!  We grew up with a "side lot"...that's what we called.  Now it's called "Chappel Field" after our family.  We played baseball everyday all Spring, Summer and Fall.  Our family would have huge backyard parties and all of us cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents would play.  Even the little ones.  There would be galvanized buckets with beer in one and Faygo pop in another.  The BBQ would be going and hot dogs and hamburgers would be on.  Big bowls of potato salad and all the fruit and veggies you could eat.  Baseball was the main attraction.  But the highlight would be my grandpa's Model A.  We'd take turns getting rides in it and holding on to the sides and standing in the running boards!  Oh what wonderful times!!!  Take me out to the ballgame!!!====JACK:  Take me back to those times.  Memory is a  great gift.====JUDY:  Both Gary and I grew up with Grandpa's and Dad's who loved baseball.  There was always a Tiger Game on the radio during those summer days!====JACK:  Radio forced us to use our imagination, and that wasn't all bad.  Maybe this world needs more imagination.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Well, our Cubbies are off to a rough start, in their opening game with Cardinals, losing 4-3 in the ninth...:-( Think it's going to be pretty iffy batting in a "Re-peat" for the World Series, but too early to be discouraged, yet!:-)  Outhouse Judy's memories sound fun, re. baseball! Our big Blaser reunion in August always involved a family baseball game, including all ages, and it was a highlight, playing ball with our dads, grandpas, uncles and cousins. Not many of the women actually played, but cheered us on! Family Fun!  Bill and all the Oaks boys were catchers on their teams, and now my great g.son Tyler is an MVP catcher on his! (Mark's g.son). Yep! Baseball season is here, once again! Cheers!====JACK:  My favorite season was 1984 when the Tigers were never behind in the standings and won the World Series continuing never to have to catch up to someone.  I have a newspaper front page hanging on my wall which reads..."Gr-r-r-reat!", probably mimicking Tony the Tiger's famous line.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Those two guys were misguided. They didn't realize how lucky they to not have attended. Watching baseball is like watching paint dry.====JACK:  If baseball isn't your favorite spectator sport, what is?  Personally, I prefer playing a sport, rather than watching it.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  I go back far enough to remember when Harry Caray was the announcer for the White Sox and Jack Brickhouse was the Chicago Cubs’ announcer. Harry Caray did his sing-a-long when he was with the White Sox. That’s when they still played in Comiskey Field, later US Cellular Field and now sadly named Guaranteed Rate Field.====JACK:  When I lived in Moline, the local baseball announcer was Bert Puckett.  He changed his name and went on to be the Chicago Cubs' announcer, Bert Wilson.  Did you know that?  ...and did you ever attend a Cubs' game on Ladies' Day when women would get in free?


Friday, March 31, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/31/17
“Some days I wish I could go back in life, not to change anything, but to feel a few things twice.”  (Unknown)  I recently closed a door and saw my old clergy robe hanging on a hook.  I had some good times wearing that robe--sermons, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, even funerals.  Refrigerator magnets hold memories, too.  Do you have “memory joggers” around your place?  Thank God today for a mind that allows us to feel some things…twice.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  What a novel idea!  I think there were some events in my life which I didn't recognize at the time as being so special.  Would be nice to relive them.  Alas, things just don't work that way.  As they say, "this isn't a dress rehearsal".  We have to settle for getting it right the first time.====JACK:  Thomas Wolfe wrote, "You Can't Go Home Again," but, thanks to "memory," we can re-feel them.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I would love to see you in your robes....preaching a sermon.   I bet you are still up to it!====JACK:  When I was ordained, I wore a black robe, similar to what Martin Luther wore.  A few of the "high church" classmates wore a cassock and surplice.  Eventually I packed the Luther Gown away (I still have it) and bought a c & s.  Some years later the style changed again, and I bought the robe which now hangs on the door.  I think it's called, an alb (with a rope belt).  In reality, it's not the robe that matters, it's what the robe represents...a symbol of one who is ordained to preach the word and administer the sacraments.====JOHN:  I wore a c and s right from the beginning.   It was what Con Trued told me to get.   I didn't know it was associated with The high church movement.   Did you know Glenn Stone?   I think he was about your age.   He was a leader in that Una Sancta movement.   He published a couple of my articles in Lutheran Forum.    That magazine has, I think, been on a bit of a downhill run.   I am reading a biography of Innocent III....interesting guy....talk about high powered!       Have a great weekend.   Peace====JACK:  The Luther robe was typical wear for the Augustana pastors, pre-1950s.  Things were more casual then.  When I was a college freshman, my pastor asked me to do the liturgy each Sunday.  He had me wear his doctor's robe (with the velvet stripes).  He also had me wear a stole.====JOHN:  Do you think the high church direction by our church was a good thing or did it contribute to the present malaise by elevating our supposed dignity to the point where pastors felt too. Good to do trivial things around a congregation?====JACK:  As Pope Francis said in another context, "Who am I to judge?"  Let the high-churchers do their thing....and the Shakers....and the Quakers....and the Swedes.====JOHN:  How can one live w/o judging?   You have to judge what course of action works best.   You do that, in part, by looking at what has worked well in the past and what has not.====JACK:  Putting the Pope's words into context...Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli asked the pope how he might act as a confessor to a gay person in light of his now famous remarks in a press conference in 2013, when he asked: "Who am I to judge?"  His reply..."On that occasion I said this: If a person is gay and seeks out the Lord and is willing, who am I to judge that person?" Further... "I was paraphrasing by heart the Catechism of the Catholic Church where it says that these people should be treated with delicacy and not be marginalized."

FROM TARMART REV:  "Jack’s Winning Words" certainly keeps fond memories of West Bloomfield, the Jewish community and Temple Kol Ami in the forefront of my mind during this season of my life.====JACK:  I "feel again" that time when you came into my office and talked about starting a new ministry in our community.  It evolved, probably not as you had dreamed it would, but our dreams are sometimes improved on by God...as in this case.

FROM COPPER COUNTRY BOB:  If  God has a frig your picture is on it!====JACK:  I don't know about the frig, but I trust that my name is written in God's Book of Life.

FROM EMT SINGS IN TC:  Memory joggers?  I have a million of them!  I have always kept pictures, scrapbooks, etc.  I have pictures of you--the most recent was at the 40th anniversary of Holy Spirit, on Sunday October 10, 2010.  It is a cute picture of Rick and I with you in the middle.  I love my "memory joggers"!====JACK:  Memory kicks in for me every time I pass the Aspen Ridge condos...was it Breckenridge?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ah yes! To go back and savor how special some of these moment really were! At the time you are so engrossed in all the details, things race by, and so do the years; But as you say, my fridge door is loaded with  "memories" and many, many pictures and items of sentimental value surround me, and that does jog special times and places. I've been privileged to travel throughout the world much more than I ever dreamed of, as a child!! Good WW!====JACK:  My grandson gave me a football helmet, exactly like the Augie ones, only 6" in size.  I remember "your" Bill being Little All-American while I was at Augustana.  A memory jogger...

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There are memories nearly everywhere you look:  from photos, paintings, folded flags, candlesticks, wedding toppers and of course, scrapbooks!====JACK:  Speaking of memories, do you have a working privy on your estate yet?

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  Thank you for today’s WW.  I would love to relive my wedding day, and yes, some special funerals.  I don’t know if you realize what your WW have meant to me over the years.  I read them all and keep some of them that I want (and need to remember.)  Today’s ends up being in the middle of page six.  God bless you.====JACK:  We often thank God for the gift of memory.  I can't remember thanking God for the gift of emotions.  That's special, too.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/30/17
“Life is a lot like jazz.  It’s best when you improvise.”  (George Gershwin)  Did you know that some of Gershwin’s music is based on what he heard at the synagogue?  But a lot is simply improvisation.  Bach, Mozart and Chopin were improvisers, too--just doing what comes to mind.  In comedy, I think of Jonathan Winters and Robin Williams.  Sometimes, in life, we are called upon to act without warning.  That’s when common sense and a value system come into play.    ;-)  Jack  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/29/17
“Part of making good decisions in business is recognizing the poor decisions you’ve made and why they were poor.”  (Warren Buffet)  In some way I have believed that everything W.B. touches turns to gold.  Not so!  I read a series of articles about the investing blunders Buffet has made.  I guess it’s true about humans…”All have sinned and fallen short.”  Warren’s like the rest of us.  The secret of success (in any situation) is learning from your mistakes.    ;-)  Jack

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  Do you think we should send him the "updated" Optimist creed of "Learning from the mistakes of the past"?  mmm.====JACK:  First, Optimist International has to buy into the change.  Iffy!

FROM TARMART REV:  "...we are definitely a work in the process.====JACK:  Have you seen the new gender compliant sign?...DANGER!  PEOPLE WORKING.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As Ruth Graham said, "We are all "under construction" until the day we die: On her gravestone, at the foot of a garden-shaped like a cross, are the words,, "End of Construction. Thank you for your patience!". I loved it, as I'm sure most do... ;IF we don't learn from our poor decisions, we are doomed to continue dealing with endless negative situations.  We've probably all known a few people who don't seem to "learn"! Frustrating!====JACK:  That reminds me of the person wearing a tag...PBPGINFWMY.  When asked what it meant, the person replied.
"Please be patient; God is not finished with me yet."

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Warren B is not afraid to TRY.  No pain,no gain.====JACK:  I'm sure that you took some risks in the business world.  Hopefully, there were more successes than failures.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We'd like to think the rich have the Golden Touch but they don't.  They go through the poor phase also.  The difference is they never give up on their dreams...blunders and all.====JACK:  I've always liked the story of King Midas.




Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/28/17
“When you own a lot of rubbish, it’s tough to simplify your life.”  (Leon Logothetis)  Not long ago, I was told of L.L., the author of The Amazing Adventures of A Nobody.  Leon tells of how he simplified his life by getting rid of “stuff” and replacing it with new life experiences.  He decided to ride around the world on his yellow motorbike, seeking examples of kindness.   He’s living the Dr. Seuss quote: “O the places you’ll go, and the people you’ll meet.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Funny how minimalism is the new "in" thing. I've been following this blog for a couple of years. I didn't get through the "2015 in 2015" but I made a good go at it. Have you heard that a new thing for Lent is donating one item (or one bag!) per day for 40 days? She also advocates decluttering schedules not just spaces.  I also like the mantra of Gretchen Rubin "outer order for inner calm" (her blog is here: http://gretchenrubin.com/, but I follow her podcast "Happier")
====JACK:  Last year I tried that "giving up 40 things."  It started out easy, but got harder and harder, until I quit before reaching 40.  Life's a lot like that in a variety of ways.

FROM GOOD SAM LEE:  The key words here as I see it, is seeking examples of kindness (compassion) Sometimes it is  hard for some of us to see this in this un-compassionate world that we live in today)  Many are focusing on ourselves for survival and keeping what we got. (not giving back)    WWJD (What would Jesus do?)====JACK:  It should be an inspiration (and a challenge) to belong to a church named, Good Samaritan.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It was very inspiring to watch his program.  We are always trying to get rid of stuff and trying do hard to simplify.  Kindness is always on our agenda.====JACK:  To me, the challenge would be to start off on a journey with nothing and relying on the kindness of others to be able to live.  The Bible speaks of the disciples of Jesus going off in such a way.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Owning "a lot of rubbish"...how well I know about that!  When a person ages, it becomes clear that most of the "stuff" we accumulated was really of little value.  Mostly it distracted us from what would have been so much more significant, to ourselves and to others.  I think I'll do like Leon and look for some new life experiences.====JACK:  (Pause) while I look around this room where I sit.  The "rubbish" includes...a braid of Jeanne's hair from when she was in grade school...a picture of my father in his baseball uniform...a carving of Luther...a billy club...a 1954 license plate...an exercise ball.  Lots of precious junk that I'm not yet ready to part with.  ====RI:  If I looked around the room and listed the "rubbish" that could be disposed of, I think my computer would have a melt-down.









Monday, March 27, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/27/17
“Of the five most important things in life, health is first, knowledge is second, and wealth is third.  I forget the other two.”  (Chuck Berry)  I checked out some lists of things that people consider most important in life.  As expected, it depends on the person.  Some, agreed with C.B., and had Health as #1.  Others named, Friends, Family, Faith in God, Love.  What’s your #1?  In a way, life is like a machine.  There’s no #1.   When things work together, life is good.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I like your final two sentences.====JACK:  I'm turned off by fans screaming, "We're number one, we're number one."====JOHN:  And usually, they are really only No. 536... They are simply better than the other woeful team they just beat!====JACK:  I take it that you don't have one of those "WE'RE #1" foam rubber hands with the index finger sticking up 

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Faith in Jesus Christ is most important to me.====JACK:  I like Joshua's words to the people: "Choose this day who you will serve....As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."  You and Joshua are on the same page.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  I believe most people put health first or second, yet some of our best hymn-writers, who wrote to encourage faith inside of themselves as well as inside others, would have put faith first, even though they had all sorts of physical health problems.  They are a blessing to me in my darkest days!  Thanks for the thought-provoking words, Jack!====JACK:  I've often thought that it would be good to give a brief background of some of the hymns before we sing them in church.  We often take them for granted.====SJ:  I have actually used hymn backgrounds for "sermons" on Hymn Days, usually one Sunday a month in the summertime.  I collect people's favorites/suggestions, do the research, tell the story of the hymn and then we sing the hymn, or several verses.  Usually I do three songs as the message for the day.  It is a lot of fun.  The Swedish woman in my last congregation was thrilled to have the whole congregation know that "How Great Thou Art" is Swedish.  She even taught the first verse in her native language to the choir for Hymn Day.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Love. Always love.====JACK:  I like the Burt Bacharach version of "What the world needs now is love.====DONNA:  Love that song!  How about the Beatles "All You Need is Love"====JACK:  That's one of my favorites, too.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Not the Jayhawks today.====JACK:  After March Madness is over, the losing teams will say..."Wait til next year."

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Knowledge and wealth don’t hit the top 5 for me.  Integrity?  Contentment? Peace? Faith?====JACK:  As the old saying goes..."We are who we were."  I think that goes for Chuck Berry and explains, in part, his choices.  His was not an easy life.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE:  One is most peaceful when God is first.====JACK:  The greatest of the Commandments is the first...

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  the gods of this world are power, pleasure, profit, prestige, and popularity...====JACK:  Don't forget priggishness.



Friday, March 24, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/24/17
“Whenever I complain that things aren’t what they used to be, I always forget to include myself.”  (George Burns)  George Burns died when he was 100.  How appropriate for one who’s 2nd career was comedy about growing old.  A signature song of his was, “I Wish I Was Eighteen  Again!”  Ahh…the younger days.  What are your memories of back then?  But times change, and we have to change with them.  Life is a matter of adjusting to whatever comes.    ;-)  Jack

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/23/17
“There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.”  (Charlie Brown)  When I was a child I recall sitting on the front porch with my dad who was telling me of the things he did when he was young.  I remember saying, “Tell me more!”  Do you ever wish that you could go back and pick up where you left off?  One of life’s great gifts is the ability to remember--and re-live.    ;-)  Jack

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Love that story.   Happy Resurrection.  Heard one clergy say..too many Christians look like Lent, when they should be looking like Easter.
 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/22/17
“A good laugh is sunshine in the house.”  (William Makepeace Thackery)  I smile when I read Thackery’s name, but I really laugh when I see Chuck Berry do the duckwalk…and Monty Python’s skit on silly walks.  The Giggle Twins, separated at birth, were reunited 43 years later.  The same things made both of them laugh…in the same way.  This world, at times, can be a pretty doleful place.  What is it that brings a smile, even a laugh, into your life?    ;-)  Jack

FROM GOOD SAM LEE:  Watching puppies or kittens play with one anotheršŸ˜Š====JACK:  I smile when I remember your toddler daughter (I think it was Angela) scooting around on the church office floor when I was the serving as pastor of your church.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/21/17
“Well, write poetry for God’s sake, it’s the only thing that matters.”  (e.e. cummings)  Did you know that today is World Poetry Day?  One of my favorite poems is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.  I recall seeing him read one of his works at the JFK inauguration.  Some business schools require students to take a course in art appreciation.  What do you suppose is the value in that? There’s a reason why the arts are called the humanities.  Do you know why?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  e e cummings wrote very visual poetry -- literally visual. Describing a falling leaf, in a phrase that looked like a leaf.====JACK:  I thought that I could come up with a quick answer as to why e.e. cummings used lower case letters for his name.  The more I read about him, the more I understood the "why".  Sometimes he did; sometimes he didn't.  He was a unique person.  He did as he felt like doing when he felt like doing it.  I would never have found this out about him if it weren't for World Poetry Day.  BTW< E.E. stands for Edward Estlin.  I'll bet you didn't know that. ====TH:  I studied him in 11th grade English; then, again in college. So, I may not have come up with it on time to get it right on Jeopardy, at one time, I knew. And now, because of you, again.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  One of the best classes I ever took was " Humanities." It was an introduction to art, music, and literature. It was suppose to be a filler do nothing class to complete class work on my doctorate degree in education. This LA class turned out to be one of the best and most fun classes I ever had.====JACK:  Don't forget!  The humanities also include philosophy, the study of thinking.  One of my favorite quotes is by June Taylor.  "Though man a thinking being is defined, Few use the grand prerogative of mind. How few think justly of the thinking few! How many never think, who think they do!"

FROM TARMART REV:  The humanities include ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, art and musicology. ... The term "humanist" also describes the philosophical position of humanism, which some "antihumanist" scholars in the humanities refuse. The Renaissance scholars and artists were also called humanists.  I went to the Michigan Renaissance one year while living there-- interesting to see the "humanist" in individuals played out during the festival. --Poor example. I know, 0;-)====JACK:  One of my philosophy classes which benefited me as a pastor was the study of various religions, of which Christianity was just one.  Humanism was another.  "By accident," I was born into Christianity (and Lutheranism).  Through my studies, I'm comfortable with that...but I'm also comfortable with friends who may not believe as I believe.  I believe that "my" God is an understanding God.

FROM DR SCIENCE (HE'S NOT A REAL DOCTOR):  My best science students were also somehow involved in the arts. They could see the details in biology that others missed. I used to say “others looked at things, but my art students saw things”. The literature students seemed to have more creative solutions to problems. They were not as confined by the answers they thought I wanted. They were a lot more fun to have in class.====JACK:  While science is not considered to be part of the humanities, scientists are human and do their thinking as humans.

FROM DAN THE MAN:  The big part of my concern with education policy is that there is very little room for other disciplines outside of subjects that are the focused on state requirements and standardized testing, which is centered on college preparatory subjects. There is very little flexibility in the schedule for young people to explore skilled trades, arts, and foreign languages.  It is my basic belief that there should be more career preparedness options in a high school student’s career than college preparedness, especially when you consider only one-third of future jobs will require a bachelor’s degree.====JACK:  I believe that "skilled trades" people are human, too, and it is to their benefit to know what it is that makes them human.  I think that a "welder" would be a better welder if he/she knew what makes for a better human.  Is there some way to shoehorn a basic humanities course into your educational curriculum for the non-college student?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My favorite course in college was Humanities.  We were required to attend plays, symphonies, art museums, etc etc.  My children's schools had Picture Ladies, of which I was as one.  We got copies of art from the Detroit Art Museum.  We studied the artist and the medium and presented the works to the children free in Kindergarten to 8th grade.  We loved it and so did the kids.  Studying humanities is so important.====JACK:  How does the thinking arise that only the elite are able to appreciate the humanities?  And yet, when funds are short, the first classes to be cut are usually the arts.====JUDY:  Supposedly the tri-counties pay taxes do everyone can enjoy the Art Institude.  It seems to me a lot more people's have taken advantage too.  But I do agree the schools cut the arts out as the first thing for budget cuts.  That's a big shame too!!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Poetry seems more abstract now, than it did when I was growing up, and teaching literature. I suppose we've all tried our hand at it, if only to paraphrase a song for a special occasion, or deliver an "ode" to a loved one. Bill was pretty good at that!  I don't know a specific reason why arts are called humanities, but would it have something to do with feelings and moods and feeding of the soul, that art inspires?  Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, etc. etc. all so appreciated!====JACK:  You don't have to be a poet, an artist, a musician to appreciate the humanities.  You only need to be human.  Although I have read about an elephant that enjoys painting.  People pay good money for some of his work.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  He's a poet  and doesn't know it.  But his feet show it.  They are Longfellows.      Remember, God is creative. And the humanities all come from creativity
====JACK:  I see that you appreciate the classics when it comes to poetry.  But since you are also trained in art, you know about creativity.  I appreciate creative people.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  why?   now you have made me curious...====JACK:  "Put on your thinking cap," as elementary teachers used to say.  (I wonder if teachers say that anymore?)  The humanities are those things that add to the condition of being human...the study of languages, art, philosophy, music, history, literature, dance.  Part of today's social problems is that too many people skipped class when it came to the humanities.  They don't know what it is to be human.

FROM CS VISITING IN CALIFORNIA:  Well, it certainly has softened my opinion of George bush--interesting article about his painting in the New York Times .  As you probably know, there is a book out about his paintings.  Some well known critics are surprised about the humanity in them.  He has had  some excellent painters coaching him.  I think it was in yesterday's Nyt.  I saved it and will send it when I get to a wifi location.====JACK:  That's it!  The humanities help us to understand human beings.  George is more than an ex-President; he's a human being.  I especially see it, because he is painting...and I love painting.  There's a human side to him.  I like this song...and it's melody.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/20/17
“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.”  (Victor Hugo)  One thing leads to another.  I expected to make comments on aging when I read, “Winter is on my head…”  But then I came across, “Winter Is On My Head,” a group of musicians and artists who offer a yearly album of music and art to be used as a fund-raiser for needy causes.  One album featured gospel music by The Gospel Whiskey Runners.  I’ll leave an aging quote to later in the week.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM COPPER COUNTRY BOB:  Last night Deloris and I attended a  Music For Sacred Space  concert put on by Mich. Tech. U.   It was a wonderful part of my 2017 Lenten journey.   One of the songs which fertilized my soul was   LAY ME LOW   by Kevin Siegfried.     You might Google the text to experience the  truth of God laying me low to “find, own and bless me.”====JACK:  I did go to Google...and I was able to hear, as well as read, the lyrics  of the song.
Lay me low, lay me low, lay me low
Where no-one can see me  Where no-one can find me  Where no-one can hurt me  
Show me the way, help me to say  All that I need to  
All that I needed you gave me  All that I wanted you made me
When I stumbled you saved me  Lay me low...
Throw me a line, help me to find  Something to cling to  
When the loneliness haunts me  When the bitterness taunts me  
When the emptiness eats me.  Lay me low...
It does have a Lenten theme about it, doesn't it?

FROM VW MARY:  Word association made me think of a my high school chorus whose repertoire included this verse from a madrigal:
April is in my mistress’ face  And July in her eyes hath place;
Within her bosom is September,  But in her heart a cold December.
====JACK:  Brrrrr!  Cold December!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Loved the quote.  "Hope springs eternal" on my head and in my heart." ====JACK:  That quote by Alexander Pope goes back to the 1700s.  Hope means that you haven't given up.  A father arrived late for T-ball game and asked his son what the score was.  "It's 18 to nothing and we're losing."  "Well, don't feel bad," consoled the father.  The boy responded enthusiastically, "Feel bad?  I don't feel bad.  We haven't been to bat, yet!"  Hope springs eternal!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Good thing we keep eternal Spring SOMEWHERE, isn't it? If winter comes, can Spring be far behind? I hope not! Yes, we always need to keep hoping, even when Winter is on our heads. It enriches our lives...JACK:  What?  No comment on the Gospel Whiskey Road Runners?  Since they sing Gospel music, I wonder if they're members of some Baptist church?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  There are Summer who won't Fall for that. Sorry about that, Couldn't resist.====JACK:  It's Spring...time for you to wet your plants!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is the good thing about living in Florida-it is mostly summer or spring all year long. Speaking of aging, I was feeling like 49 until I got a coughing bug  that lasted for a month or more.  Now I am almost normal after 10 days of an antibiotic. It is a marvelous world in which we life-one day at a time.====JACK:  Since you live in, what seems to be paradise, does that mean there will be no changing of seasons in heaven?



Friday, March 17, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/17/17
“Did you see NYT article regarding what the Pope said about giving to panhandlers?  He wants us to look them in the face, share a kind word and…not judge them or decide if they “merit” our help."  (BB in Illinois)  Have you ever pulled up to a city intersection and seen someone standing there with a sign, “I Need Help”?  The light usually changes before I can get to my wallet.  A Winning Words reader keeps an envelope of money handy for such occasions.  Yes, some may be undeserving, but we’re encouraged to see panhandlers as people.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Right-On!!====JACK:  Are there any panhandlers in Bettendorf?

FROM LS IN NYC:  A timely message - in NYC babysitting my grandson.  Walking we noted a homeless veteran siting with his small dog.  What drew my attention were 2 Young teen age girls nicely dressed  engaged in conversation with him.  Perhaps they heard the Pope's message. ====JACK:  Wouldn't it have been interesting to hear "the rest of story."  To talk to the veteran about his experiences?  To talk to the girls about why they stopped to talk with the man?  There are so many interesting situations out there with stories waiting to be told.

FROM CZB:  So many homeless on the corners in Denver. I spoke to a woman who runs an innovative business there called So All May Eat. They serve delicious dignified meals to all. The patron gives what they can. If someone has no $ they volunteer for the biz. I asked her whether to give $ to the beggars. She suggested giving food instead. So we tried to have nutritious food in our car. Having said that, bill says who am I to tell them how to spend $? He preferred to give them $$.
Here is the info on SAME. http://www.soallmayeat.org/about/  Such an awesome organization! ====JACK:  Weren't you the one who would make an extra lunch sandwich and hand it to "beggar" as you walked to work each day?  Wasn't that in NYC?  BTW, I think that the Pope might side with Bill.

FROM TARMART REV:  Ours usually call the church while passing through . . . I have a card given me by the DQ in town that will treat a panhandler to a free meal. I must admit, seeing so many of them in Minneapolis with what I'm told by others living there of "self-designated rights" to certain corners, I'm not moved that much anymore to participate. 0;-/====JACK:  While you're sitting there at Target, do you ever ever offer to buy a meal (or a bag of popcorn) for someone who stops to talk?

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Our church assembles bags of helpful items and we can pick them up and carry for distribution on those very occasions.====JACK:  Does anyone from the church actually hand over to the needy the bags that have been assembled?  It would be a good (and perhaps unsettling) to look them in the eye and see them as real persons.  I'm musing this for myself, as well. ====MARLYS:  They carry the bags in the car and when they get a chance they hand them out.  The SS kids assembled the bags and they are placed in a box in the Narthex for anyone to pick up to give away.  I remember Clifford going down to the bus station in MPLS where he would actually buy a bus ticket for someone who had called for a handout.  He was a real soft touch tho.  
 
FROM JACK:  JLF asked about the origin of "panhandle."====ANSWER:  Meaning "an act of begging" is attested from 1849, perhaps from notion of arm stuck out like a panhandle, or of one who handles a (beggar's) pan."