Friday, February 21, 2020

Jack’s Winning Words  2//21/20
“Why not do this  When you wake up in the night  With problems racing through your mind  And sleep becomes a fight?  Try this simple method,  It soon will gain control  And rest will surely come again  And calm down all your soul.
Thank you, Lord, for hearing me.  Thank you, Lord, for knowing who I am.  Thank you, Lord, for seeing me.  It’s so easy to get lost these days  In the shuffle and the noise.”
Many years ago I heard George Beverly Shea sing this song, written by Kurt Kaiser.  It has been a comfort during restless nights.  Perhaps you might want to keep a copy by your bed.  :-)  Jack


FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  thanks... i needed that!===JACK:  The words are even better with the music.  I like....It's so easy to get lost these days in the shuffle and the noise.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I love this!  Will try it!===JACK:  Try it; you'll like it.  Do you remember the Life cereal TV commercial where the 2 boys try to get their younger brother to eat the new cereal?..."Try it, Mikey, you'll like it."

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Jack’s Winning Words  2/20 /20
“I have a feeling that I’ve seen everything, but failed to notice the elephants.”  (Anton Chekhov)  A cartoon showed an elephant in a room, with two people on a couch.  Painted on the side of the elephant were the words, IGNORE ME!  I’m sure we’ve each been in conversations where we’ve ignored talking about what needs talking about.  “How are we going to get rid of this elephant?  He’s affecting our relationship.”  Do you know how to get rid of elephants?   ;-)  Jack


FROM NORM'S BLOG:  The phrase “elephant in the room” is oft used to refer to something or someone that should be too big to be ignored. It may be an unspoken prejudice that causes someone or everyone discomfort. It might be the presence of someone unexpected or unappreciated or perhaps who stands out from the rest of the crowd. Perhaps it is the introduction of a controversial conversation topic into the room. Whatever it is, there is a difference between failing to notice the elephant and ignoring the elephant.  One may be forgiven for being so blissfully ignorant of the situation that they fail to see the elephant in the room; however, tolerance of the elephants of hate or prejudice or fear of those who might be different is a willful act that cannot be forgiven. If one wallows in the mud bath with those elephants, they too get muddy.  The thing is that if you recognize those elephants in the room that you just entered, you are no longer blissfully ignorant and have to make a choice on how you react. Silence in the face of those elephants is usually seen as acceptance or willful tolerance of the behavior and the elephant splashes mud on you. At a minimum, distancing yourself from that situation or those people at least removes the threat that you could be association with their behavior or opinions; however, that is a very passive way of protesting or showing your true feelings.===JACK:  Many of us choose to live with the elephants.  Talking about them eventually leads to..."Who's gonna clean up the poop?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My parents would refer to the “elephant in the room” often.  With five of us kids, there was often a large one in our talks.  And, we talked a lot with our siblings and parents.===JACK:  Talking gets a lot of things resolved.  Not talking often causes festering.  Do you know what it mean, to fester?

FROM WILLMAR REV:  Given in time, they will run away to some circus going through town?! 0;-) ===JACK:  You're living in the old days...Circuses don't come to town anymore...not like when you were a whippersnapper.===REV:  You "city folks" have forgotten, I'm living out here in west-central Minnesota where all the "simple farmers" live and enjoy the circus still coming to town-- Jose Cole Circus annually play in Willmar, MN! 0;-))===JACK:  ...and you still have good old boys stock car races, too.  Are they still run on a dirt track?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  You sure can't push it out the door, and I think it's a myth that they are afraid of mice ...Eventually you have to deal with the problem, touchy or tricky as it may be,
like an addiction confrontation, or person who is undermining what you are trying to accomplish, etc. Sometimes when you lose the  elephant, you lose a relationship, too.  But still has to be dealt with, unless you are going to keep on being unhappy or miserable!===JACK:  You have some interesting observations...and if you don't get rid of that elephant, someone's going to have to do some cleaning up...in one way or another.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Was recently talking to one of Bob’s bike friends whose wife has cancer which is spreading.  I’d asked how she was doing and he replied that she sleeps a lot and is enduring the pain.  She’d just had another treatment so was not tolerating food well. Of course she doesn’t want to be out in public and he said that in the evenings they often just sit in the living room together not talking.  I said it is like having an elephant in the room; he smiled and said that was a good concept.  Sometimes there isn’t much we can say about that elephant either.  I shared with him that when my mom went through her cancer treatments my 3 sisters and I took turns staying with her so she wouldn’t need to be in a facility.  One day I asked her if she’d given any thought to what she wanted to do with her favorite things.  She immediately started giving me a rundown.  I grabbed a steno pad and wrote down her wishes.  We had many good conversations after that as I’d addressed the “elephant”.  She wasn’t going to survive her cancer and we both knew it so let’s look forward.  I doubt Steve will ask Lori that same question but maybe just maybe he will address the elephant.===JACK:  Some people may have vision problems and can't see well enough to spot an elephant....although you should be able to smell one.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Jack’s Winning Words  2/19 /20
“Nothing is worse than active ignorance.”  (Goethe)  Goethe (pronounced “Gerta”) lived in 18th century Germany and is considered one of the greatest thinkers of the modern era.  It’s said that he had an IQ of 220. (That’s higher than mine.)  People, who pretended to be smart when they were really ignorant, bothered him.  That type of person lingers in today’s world.  Goethe also said: “No one ever finishes his apprenticeship.”  To be always learning is a virtue!  ;-)  Jack


FROM NORM'S BLOG:  Were Goethe alive today he might label the current political situation as being representative of active ignorance. The two sides are so rigid in their positions that they refuse to even try to see the other’s point of view, especially where the solutions to the problems are concerned. It’s not so much that they disagree upon the problems, just on the best approach to fixing them.  Goethe’s term “active ignorance” alludes to the inability (inflexibility) to learn and change, especially from one’s mistakes in life. Sometimes people can become so entrenched with their beliefs that not even overwhelming proof that those beliefs are wrong can change them. Global warming immediately comes to mind.  Sometimes people who have a change of heart and mind find that they are still trapped and categorized by memories of their past, at least by others. It’s not that they have not been flexible enough to learn from their mistakes and change; but, rather, that others refuse to see the change in them and relegate them to their past positions. I remember when George Wallace proclaimed that he had  realized the mistakes of his racist past and changed his mind and heart on topics of race. Almost no one believed him. As a four-time governor of Alabama and a four-time Presidential candidate, Wallace was the personification of racism and resistance in the South to integration. Then in 1982 he changed -"We thought [segregation] was in the best interests of all concerned. We were mistaken," he told a black group in 1982. "The Old South is gone," but "the New South is still opposed to government regulation of our lives." So, ,he was still inflexible on some things.  More recently, Michael Bloomberg has been held up to scrutiny for his past actions as Mayor of New York; specifically his “stop and frisk” campaign against violence in the city that was primarily aimed at blacks and Latinos. Bloomberg has admitted that he was wrong and stated that he has learned from his mistakes. Goethe might have been proud, but his Democratic opponents need something negative to say about him and are not yet ready to move on. They remain bent out of shape. ===JACK:    Those of us in business know that "the customer is always right!" ...up to a point.  Be it a real estate broker or a pastor, we need to be flexible....just like a contortionist, but even the contortionist can go just so far.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Definitely! Learning is necessary every day!===JACK:  Be on the lookout for a new lesson to be learned today.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  that’s higher than mine, too. my daughter’s is 177... no lie. she skipped the last semester of 4th grade, the 1st of 5th. her teacher, a great guy who previously taught at lawrenceville academy, was shocked when she was tested. said he’d start expecting more from her. she tended to slide by. still does, to an extent.  i only tell you this bc you brought up IQs, and you’re a pastor... so i am not bragging, just relating that info.===JACK:  We are who we are, no matter what our IQ might be.  I've known some people who belong to a group called, Mensa.  It's for people who have high IQs, and you have to document your number before you can join.  I am more than my IQ, and so are you...and, most certainly, so is your daughter.

FROM WILLMAR REV:  "220" . . . that was always a great score for a game of bowling; I wish I could get my weight back to there once again?! I find one generally tries to change the subject when found purposely avoiding the truth of the matter being asked. 0;-/===JACK:  Have you thought of changing your thinking from "I wish" to "I will?"  We can't do anything to change our IQ, but other things are within our/my/your grasp.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Never knew I was a per cent higher than him!  Not!  There is a person in our lives who thinks he is much smarter than us.  It’s very aggravating but it’s also funny.  Still, we love him.===JACK:  Do you know what a pedant is?  You may know one.

FROM TRIHARDER:  Or wilfully ignorance.===JACK:  I'm trying to think of someone who is willfully ignorant...dropouts?...lazybones?...Help me! 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Well, now I know how to pronounce his name, which is new info. for me..I had been saying Get-ay...:-( I knew what my kid's IQ's were at one time, but don't recall knowing my own, which certainly wouldn't compare to 220!!  The kid with the highest IQ of mine, did the poorest job of using it, at least intellectually. But he did qualify through interviews for jobs that required advanced degrees that he did not have, but which he was hired to fill, anyway! IQ does not define us, as you pointed out!===JACK:  I looked up "Successful people with low IQs."  Not surprising...Muhammad Ali (but he was smart) and Britney Spears (she could sing).  But surprising...Andy Warhol, Ronald Reagan, JFK (60) and Abe Lincoln (I didn't know that they had IQ tests in his day).









Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Jack’s Winning Words  2/18/20
“Those who in quarrels interpose, must often wipe a bloody nose.” (Ben Franklin)  Recently I was given a book of old Ben’s quotes.  Some are sayings by others, but given a Franklin flavor.  At times I try to do something similar with Winning Words.  Take today for example…Have you noticed that if you intervene in a dispute, you may sometimes suffer a bloody nose, and perhaps the loss of a friendship.  But then, it may be a lot worse to sit by and do nothing.  ;-)  Jack

FROM WILLMAR REV:  Is that where the old saying, “you can’t win for losing” comes from? 0;-)===JACK:  You CAN win by losing, if you stay consistent with your principals for good versus evil.

FROM NORM'S BLOG:  Franklin was probably referring to those who stick their nose in where it doesn’t belong, or to those who jump into arguments seeking to be peacemakers. It often happens that the anger that was being vented between the arguing parties becomes refocused onto the peacemaker. We sometimes see on the nightly news that some would-be peacemaker in a street argument ends up being shot or injured by one of the parties to the argument.  While being a peacemaker is sometimes dangerous or difficult, it is a role to which we have been called. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)===JACK:  I feel guilty for being an observer on the sidelines (too often).  It's not that I fear a bloody nose.  I like to keep my options open to speak (for the the good) to both sides and be a conciliator.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Blessed are the peacemakers.....bloody noses and all. ===JACK:  I'm a member of the Optimist Club, an organization in our community which works to try an effect a positive influence upon people.  Today's speaker for the group was from the ADL, the Anti-Defamation League...a group not afraid to get a bloody nose.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Good manners, respect, compassion, personal integrity, and humility  will always be the hallmarks of a decent human being. I find these sadly lacking in our leadership at the White House! :-( And these days, in other places as well!===JACK:  Sadly, negative leadership affects the followers (the core).  That's why it's so important to have the right kind of leadership in any organization, including the family.


Monday, February 17, 2020

Jack’s Winning Words  2 17/20
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  (John Quincy Adams)  On this Presidents’ Day, JQA gives a good description of what a president should be…a leader.  In your opinion, which president has been the best leader?  For me, it was FDR…leading the country out of the Great Depression and to the conclusion (almost) of WW 2.  He wasn’t loved by all, but his 4-time election says much about his popularity.  ;-)  Jack


FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Abraham Lincoln.  He had the most to overcome as any President.  He had to keep this United States united, which was probably his hardest job.===JACK:  He did have a difficult time during his presidency.  Yes, he was an outstanding leader.  On 2nd thought, maybe he WAS the best leader.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  I think Abe and JFK, primarily because of the push for equality and civil rights.  I agree with FDR, though.===JACK:  ."No better words than...."Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."===RS:  Agreed.....perhaps adding .."or your fellow man" following "your country."===JACK:  Now, you're sounding preachy.

FROM WILLMAR REV:  A random thought for a random day-- "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God" (Romans 13:1) . . . Being mindful of the One who is in control of the one in control and how temporal leaders are, I do try hard to appreciate and pray for the one's elected or I've found I am in charge of following . . . reminds me of being asked to select the "most appreciated" senior pastor I have have worked under (seven in fact) . . . they all have added to my pastoral journey, missing some and not so much others . . . curious at times which one God selected as His choice mentor for my best regards!?!?  0;-) ===JACK:  What do you think?  Was Bonhoeffer wrong in rebelling against Hitler?  Are you ready to requote Romans 13:1?  Just asking..===REV:  ..I’m sure it is worth re/quoting if being placed in the Scriptures as such, but I think I would be guilty of taking the Bonhoeffer route and grabbing the horns of the alter afterward asking forgiveness if necessary...you’ve heard of that before, haven’t you, asking forgiveness instead of permission? 0;-)===JACK:  I think that there's a difference between quoting scripture in a Bible study and being forced to live and react to the scripture in real time.===REV:  I would think situations like these fall in line with “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and the history of wars.===JACK:  There are situations means choosing the lesser sin.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Unfortunately, Adams was not a great leader....yet, a wonderful thorn in the side to the slaveholder...some of us are better at that.===JACK:  JQA didn't say that he was a leader.  He was describing the qualities of a leader.  Do you agree with his description?===JOHN:  I think being a leader involves something more than that.   Think, for example, of Washington===JACK:  Of course, leadership is more than a description put on paper.  As for Washington, most of what I know about him is what historians have said.  They might have overstated...like cutting down the cherry tree...and not lying. Some have said that Trump is a great leader.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Trump!===JACK:  Yes, I saw the fans cheering as he sped around the Daytona 500 racetrack yesterday in his limo.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  ANYONE but TRUMP! He's the worst!!! Being a voracious reader, I've read bios of most of our Pres. and I do admire the personal integrity that Harry Truman personified; He took most of his expenses out of his own pocket, never charged the gov't. a dime for living expenses, or personal correspondence: When they had company for dinner or guests in the White house, they paid for groceries, etc! Unheard of today. But of course Giants like Washington the first to serve, with no real guidance to go by (!), Lincoln in such turbulent times, FDR (and Eleanor!) in terrible economic times, and World War 2...so there are many  to laud (or criticize, as we are wont to do!).===JACK:  The current situation?  I think that you have to "live" it to believe.  I wonder what the (unbiased) historians will write?

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  amen to that, Jack!   to overcome polio and rise to the highest office in the land is truly remarkable and especially in a day when handicapped people were almost looked down upon. ===JACK:  He was not a perfect person.  In today's world, Eleanor might have been a better leader than he was...but it is what it was.  In his time he was the leader that was needed.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Jack’s Winning Words  2/14/20
“True love comes quietly, without banners and flashing lights.  If you hear bells, get your ears checked.”  (Erich Segal)   Valentine’s Day customs in America are probably the result of immigrants bringing traditions with them…romantic writings from France, giving red roses from England.  In South Korea, the women, not the men, present gifts to their lovers.  In Wales, it’s romantic to exchange wooden spoons.  Are you going to show love in a special way today?  ;-)  Jack

FROM WILLMAR REV:  Heading now for those wooden spoons as we speak!! 0;-)===JACK:  OH, I thought that you might be going for the roses.===REV:  She's not really into roses as she likes expressive cards . . . which one has been selected and is sitting now at her place at our our dinning table . . . interesting that her middle name is "Rose" though-- Francesca Rose!! 0;-) 

FROM BB IN CHGO:  T and I received a wooden spoon from a dear friend for a wedding gift.  I never knew the significance until this very moment and Tim held it carefully until the fire.  Hmmm.  Thanks for your thoughts.===JACK:  "The mind is a terrible thing to waste"... especially when it comes to memories.

FROM PROUD MARY:  heart shaped marshmallow peeps for my belovedi do however believe that each day is a celebration of love.===JACK:  There's love and there IS love.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Jack’s Winning Words  2/13 /20
“Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape.”  (Unknown)  When I was going to college there were rules of behavior.  Chapel was required, and attendance was taken.  Square dancing was allowed on campus, but no “close dancing.”  It’s said that I might feel out of place at my college today.  I still don’t know how to dance, square or close, but I have managed to be flexible and change with the times..  Are there things that test your flexibility?  ;-)  Jack

FROM WILLMAR REV:  Aging at this moment of time! A reality check for sure!! 0;-) ===JACK:  When aging stops, no more bending. Have you felt for your pulse today? ===REV:  A-Fib...I hear it pulsating even at times! 0;-/===JACK:  At least the heart is beating.  What a wonderful; invention of God.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Every day!===JACK:  Exercise test your bendableness.  Do you have a daily set of exercises?  I do!===SHIRL:  I just walk every day ! Every day is beautiful!===JACK:  I'd like to walk, too.  Too much snow and below zero weather.  How long since you have experienced that?
FROM PEEWEE:  Yes. There are things that test my flexibility, daily.  Thank you for the reminder, it put a smile on my face that I needed!===JACK:  I recall that you retired from "your job" to take care of a grandchild.  How's that going?  Is that what's testing your flexibility?

FROM DR J:  I recently heard this quote from Maya Angelo: Every storm runs out of rain!===JACK:  Since you don't have to worry about running out of gas anymore, what is it that worries you?  Losing your charge?  I know what worries you most...Trumpty Dumpty!===J:  Yes... waiting for him to have a good fall after he sits on as wall :-)   
Racism worries me most... it seems like people feel emboldened under this admin  ===JACK:  Amoralism worries me most, because it is more contagious and destructive than the coronavirus.  DJT seems to be the main carrier.
FROM PASTIE PAT:  What an interesting thought as I sit and watch the soft. fluffy snowflakes today!===JACK:  Softly falling snow is beautiful...It's the blizzards (not DQ) that I abhor.

FROM YOGA GURU:  New Yoga Poses test my flexibility !  We are reporting in at -18 this morning, area schools are closed and no yoga today.  I am ready for weather break up.===JACK:  Bitterly cold weather also test flexibility.  Even the car groans when you try to start it. 

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Hysterical.  This one is going in my journal.  My folks were big square dancers, weekly – and, we took vacations to square dancing camps.
I’m not sure my father could dance any other way; apparently he told my mom that since he was a pianist in a band, dancing was a challenge as “the band always had to be a half a beat ahead of dancers on the floor” Ha!===JACK:   Another change...co-ed dorms...I suppose that there are co-ed rooms, too.

FROM PF IN MM:  Hello Jack,  Yes, please add me to your Winning Words recipient list. Heavens knows we are in dark days and any words of encouragement are appreciated.===JACK:  These truly are discouraging times.  Your father would always say, "Thank God Judgment Day is coming!"  When all the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain.


FROM GUSTIE:    We had the same rules.  But I am so glad—Clem sat behind me in chapel.  Without assigned seats, I probably would not have met him.  Things are very different at GAC now. ===JACK:  I thought that you met Clem through Jerry (I think that was his name) and his girlfriend.  But it was the chapel that brought you together...Holy Smokes!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Jack’s Winning Words  2/12 /20
“When I do good, I feel good.  When I do bad, I feel bad.  That’s my religion.”  (A. Lincoln)  When I keep the Commandments and follow the teachings of Jesus, I feel good.  When I confess my sins and have to apologize I don’t feel so good.  It’s said that Lincoln never belonged to a church, yet he and I have a similar religion.  I read that going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you an automobile.  What’s your religion?  ;-)  Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Somewhere in Genesis?..."If you do what is right, will not your countenance follow?"===JACK:  Google says that you're right  (Genesis 4:7)...and I'm impressed.  I like the modern translation...""You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

FROM WILLMAR REV:  "Redeemed" through the sacrifice of Christ . . . happy to know, sad at times realizing why!?!? 0;-)===JACK:  Before we named the W.B. mission congregation, Holy Spirit Church, it was known as Redemption Lutheran Church. ===Rev: Do you good folks have this song in your Lutheran hymnals?   
Redeemed how I love to proclaim it! ===JACK:  No, it's not there, but we do have: "I know that my Redeemer lives.  What comfort this sweet sentence gives: I know that my Redeemer lives."===REV:  Sweet indeed!

FROM OPTIMISTIC TERI G:  For your Optimist members....not the stroke; the positive effect of OPTIMISM in one’s recovery...See the attached story:
Another win for optimism! Recovery after stroke
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/12/health/optimism-stroke-wellness/
===JACK:  ...Terri G - Always looking at the "sunnyside of everything."

FROM BB IN CHGO:  In my almost senior years, I’m finding the confession part much easier.  I no longer have a desire to even appear “squeaky clean”.  I’m more willing to embrace my humanity/fallibility and hope that our collective imperfections are part of our unique contribution to life.  I now wonder if the “for better, for worse” in the wedding vows has little to do with outside circumstances and everything to do with our personal character – embracing our shortcomings as well as our successes. ?===JACK:  I like your comment about, "for better, for worse."  Maybe it could also be part of the baptismal service...and for confirmation.  In fact, God is always there for us, both in the better and the worse.  At the heart of Luther's theology was the phrase: "Simul justus et peccator,"  we are at the same time, justified and a sinner...better and worse.  And, God loves us as we are.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  My religion?  Do unto others as you would have them do to you!===JACK:  Many religions have the Golden Rule as a faith statement.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  but its also true the practicing your religion in a community of faith  (i,e, a church)  has a way of enhancing and deepening your faith.  
===JACK:  Of course, it depends on the church.  Many "church" people are supporters of the current administration and their policies.  Is religion religion?  Is church church?

FROM NORM'S BLOG:  Lincoln was not a member of any organized religion, but he certainly did a lot more good in this world than many of his era that were church goers. Religion is sometimes defined as the practice of one’s faith, what one believes in. One would be hard presses to find a better example than Abe Lincoln of someone who practiced what they believed in.  So, the question, “What’s your religion”, really boils down to what do you believe and do you practice what you believe? Churches tend to build complex sets of rules and rituals for the practice of beliefs, turning them into dogma which cannot be challenged. Disagreements over that dogma has lead to the splintering of churches or religions, not matter what beliefs  they were originally based upon. That is why we have so many different faiths and denominations and sects within faiths. At their core, most are defined by a belief in a supreme being (God in whatever name is used). Once you get past that simple core belief, one begins to encounter the hand of man in the accepted practices of worshiping that God. Let the dogma begin. Most practitioners of religion eventually find a set of dogma that they can accept and settle into one of these groups, secure in their knowledge that they are practicing the one, true religion, while all others are doomed.At least the religion that Abe Lincoln professed has very simple and straightforward rules – do good and feel good about it or do bad and feel bad about it. Jesus put it that we should love others as He has loved us and do unto others as we would have them do to us.  I suspect that you would end up doing good if you accepted that as your religion. Leave the dogma stuff to the people who are more concerned about perpetuating their institutions than about the faith that underpins their religions.===JACK:  Good stuff.  Thanks.




Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Jack’s Winning Words 2/11 /20
“Instead of a TO DO list—an I GET TO list.”  (Ryan Seacrest)  The receipts and forms are on the table.  My To Do List includes paying my Income Tax.  Oops!  I meant to say that “I get to pay my taxes.”  I’m one of those strange people who looks at taxes positively and sees a library, the schools, police officers, ems and fire trucks.  Aside from Congress, at times, I’m glad that I get to live in America, from sea to shining sea.  What do you get to do that makes you happy?  ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  To just enjoy each beautiful day here in Florida!===JACK:  It's a beautiful day in Michigan, too...and crisp, white snow.  Temperature..28.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  govt’s wasting our money, never solving any problems/just throwing more and more money at the same stuff, and fat cat crooked congresspeople make me unhappy. term limits, voting them all out would make me way happier... ===JACK:  We have term limits in Michigan...and that has its own set of problems.  It does not seem to solve the problem.  What we need are "principled people."  They are few and hard to find and seem reluctant to enter the political scene...so we are left with too many "unprincipled."  Frustrating, to say the least.===LIZ:  curious as to what probs you guys have experienced regarding term limits. do they serve the purpose of weeding out some of the seedy types who think they can make politicking a lucrative career, i wonder...===JACK:  Yes, term limits gets rid of ineffective career politicians.  At the same time you lose those who have experience.  In Michigan, we tend to have a novice legislature...learning...and then they are gone.  It would be like changing the pastor of a congregation just when he is most effective.  The obverse is to be stuck with an ineffective pastor.  Perhaps the answer is a longer term limit.  I think that the term limit for American President has worked well, although I didn't necessarily think so at the time.  I stand by my previous statement..."We need principled people."  I see politics over principles...and that leads to disaster.  

FROM WILLMAR REV:  Wake up in America and realize how blessed I am to do so!! God has truly blessed America and I hope will will bless Him for doing so. 0;-) ===JACK:  How do we "bless" God?  Is it possible?  I guess it's a blessing for God when people are obedient to His will.===REV:  Obedience is what I’m thinking. 0;-)  ===JACK:  "Trust and obey, For there's no other way."

FROM YOGA GURU:  Praise God !  I woke up today.  I hope get to do the 5 things on my list today including taxes - lol.===JACK:  Do you begin your day with asanas...and end the session with savasana?  Do you try to practice what you preach?===GURU:  I do try to begin each day with Praise and Gratitude.   
My yoga practice is very dedicated in the evening.   My mornings are more random asanas.    Today,  I am working on 3 new vinyasa flows for class on Thursday.  
So, the answer is yes - I believe so.===JACK:  There are different ways of praying (communicating with God).  Yoga is simply one of them.  Doing a good deed is another.  By saying words is another...but not the only way.  

FROM COPPER COUNTRY REV:  Excellent words!   I express such words to my township tax collector every time I bring in my payment.  Both she and the supervisor at visibly taken back.  Then I get to share my 10 second witness about being a Christian citizen.===JACK:  It's something like that with my Church giving.  "We give Thee but Thine own, whate'er the gift may be.  All that we have is Thine alone, a trust, O Lord, from Thee."  Heaps of thanks for your blog

FROM BB IN CHGO:  As always, great thoughts.  I agree with you about taxes.  I am fine kicking in for the betterment of all and feel fortunate that paying an extra share could mean foregoing a few meals out or a new outfit where for others, tax increases could mean a choice between getting prescriptions filled on time or paying their utility bills and paying taxes.  Whew!===JACK:   I have trouble enough with living one life, without trying to insert myself into other situations which are beyond my control...and I don't feel guilt, either.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Live every day as if your last.===JACK:  Have you ever thought that a particular day might be your last?  Last year I was riding in the back of an ambulance and asked the EMS tech to take me to a particular hospital, and he replied that they couldn't.  They had to go to the nearest hospital, because I might not make it if they went to the one farther away.  What?  I was feeling fine, but didn't  have access to the numbers.  That's the closest that I've ever been to my last day...at least, that I know of.

FROM J&J IN &OVER:  Not our President?===JACK:  I shake my head.

FROM LBP:  I get to run a messy Cub Scout adventure tonight. I expect they will have lots of fun though===JACK:  Getting to be a parent is a real privilege, which becomes more and more of a blessing with the passage of time.

FROM DR J:  Yep… I’m with you. Paying taxes is an honor. Contributing to something bigger than ourselves and something that will serve future generations.  I used to take nibbles off of Kiki’s treats prior to serving it to her and remind her “you have to pay your taxes”… we laugh about this today!===JACK:  I know that there's a tax on gasoline to help pay for roads.  Is there a similar tax added when you recharge the batteries of your Bolt?===DJ:  Actually Ohio is now taxing people with hybrids and electric cars since we don’t pay a gas tax. I actually don’t mind that because it seems fair. However the rate in which they are taxing us for exceeds any other state I’m told. That seems mean-spirited since we have a lot of big oil legislators in Ohio===JACK:  Our governor got elected mainly on her slogan: "We've gotta fix the damn roads."  Then, when higher gas taxes were proposed, or turning free-ways into toll-ways, protests were loud...so back to the drawing board.  A bond issue!  No pain now....We'll worry about how to pay it off later.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Jack’s Winning Words  2/10/20
“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right.”  (Tony Robbins…sent by Cathy S)  Catastrophizing is what people do when they dwell  on what can go wrong.  “The plane will crash! the MRI will show something bad!”  I belong to the Optimist Club which has a creed that begins: “Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.”  “That’s impossible!” said someone recently.  Get excited today and try doing the impossible!   ;-)  Jack

FROM NORM'S BLOG:   Robbins’ advice isn’t so much about not worrying as it is about completely refocusing your thoughts. Many professional athletes (especially pro golfers) use a technique called visualization to “see” the result that they desire before they even swing the club. They do not stand there worrying about how to get out of the sand trap next to the green. They have trained themselves to see and get excited about what could go right. In their mind’s eye the ball will gently land on the green and roll right into the cup. They imagine success, not disaster,  There are probably challenges ahead that you already know about, at work or at home. You could spend your time fretting about what could go wrong or you can visualize how you are going to make things go right. Visualizing success does not completely discount any challenges that may be there, but it does “see” how you are going to handle and overcome them. It give you the confidence to face them, because you have already dealt with them in your mind and see the positive outcome. Many events that you may be visualizing will have some unpleasant moments – moments of sadness or fear or anger. It is the fear of an unknown outcome that paralyzes many people. Visualizing how you will handle them and get through them allows you to “see” the desired outcome at the end of the event…it removes the unknown from the equation and allows you to imagine success.===JACK:  I'm going to try and visualize good Winning Words for tomorrow.

FROM WALMART REV:  Up and at it now, and ready for the adventure in west-central Minnesota!!===JACK:  Wherever I go, I find adventure.  Are you still venturing into Walmart?  ...and what other places?