Thursday, May 24, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/24/18
“If you’re going to be a leader, make sure the heels of your shoes are polished.”  (Dale Schweinberger)  I was Dale’s Sunday School teacher, and he has gone on to be successful in business…and to be a leader (with polished shoes).  A seminary friend of mine began his intern year with a pastor who, on the first day, showed him how to shine his shoes.  He learned other things, too, but he came back to school with shiny shoes.  A pastor should look neat.     ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Does a leader always find himself in the front?====JACK:  I suppose a leader could also call for a retreat.  However, your comment seems to show that the word "leader." has more than one definition.  You must have had someone in mind.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  That is a good story! I agree :)====JACK:  Yours is a good story, too.    Have you ever heard of the word, gumption?  You've got gumption!  Stay tuned...

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  jesus wore sandals, tho...====JACK:  You're right!  Flip-flops don't have heels,

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How about patches on the knees.... from kneeling in prayer?!?====JACK:  In Biblical times, kneeling was a sign that "something is wrong, please hear us!"  It's a somber expression of concern.   Interestingly, there are different kinds of kneeling...the sit. the squat,  the standing-kneel, the one-knee. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/23/18
“Love is the only game that is not called on account of darkness.”  (Thomas Carlyle)  T.C. has a sense of humor, that’s for sure.  Did you have a curfew when you were young?  I was pretty much allowed to use my own judgment.  Responsibility ideally is taught in the home.  “Take out the ashes!  Clean up after your dog!”  Looking back, isn’t it surprising to see how what we are today was learned at home?  I’m still smiling at the Carlyle quote.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:  “Take out the ashes” huh. Now there is a chore that is generationally telling. Kids and I were discussing how I was born in a different century and how if they live to 100 they will see 2100. This is way off topic from your WW but just struck me to read====JACK:  There's usually a reason for why I write what I write, and you captured one of them.  Did you explain "ashes" to your children, or do I need to explain it to you?====LBP:  Har har ... We had a wood stove in the basement for years.  We used it when the power went out. Eventually had to get rid of it for insurance purposes :( ===JACK:  ...and I'll bet you a donut that "you" never had to carry out the ashes.  ====LBP:  I owe you a baked good ;)

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i was allowed to use my own judgment, too... which was a wonderful gift, as i look back.====JACk:  "My own judgment" wasn't always perfect, but that lends credence to the saying, "We learn from our mistakes."

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Or rain!====JACK:  One of my favorite songs (and videos)...
I'm singin' in the rain  Just singin' in the rain  What a glorious feelin'  I'm happy again.
I'm laughing at clouds.  So dark up above  The sun's in my heart  And I'm ready for love.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I guess I was spoiled! At least that was the consensus of my children and Shirley B. when they were discussing it one day! Anyway I have had and am having a wonderful life! ====JACK:  What do you think?  Do the "spoiled" spoil their children?====SHIRL:  I have never thought about that but I was an only child! We had four children in two and a half years so there were not enough hours in one day to spoil anyone. The twins always had each other and those were the years of large families!

FROM DS IN SOCAL:  Not enough being taught in the home these days. ====JACK:  That may be true, but I'm proud of the way my grandchildren are being raised.====DS: Just returned LATE last night from Moline.  I agree...not ALL of the parents (our kids) are doing a bad job.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We had to be in when the street lights came on.  When I got older it depended on what I was doing.====JACK:  I can't recall that we ever "grounded" our kids.  Were you ever grounded?  Probably not!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/22/18
“What do you hear, Laurel or Yanny?”  (Katie Hetzel)  Katie started the L or Y craze simply as part of a homework assignment.  Have you listened?  What do you hear?  As Bishop Michael Curry preached at the Royal Wedding, I wondered what the people were hearing…”I loved it!” and “It wasn’t for me.”  I suppose it was unusual to have that kind of preacher and that kind of sermon in St. George’s Chapel.  I heard. “Love is the way!”  Perfect for a wedding!    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I loved it!====JACK:  Are you a Laurel or a Yanny?

FROM TRIGARDER:  Why does no one hear "Larry"?====JACK:  Moe and Curly do!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i am a “cradle” episcopalian. his grandstanding was inappropriate. invoking mlk & slaves was better left to another venue.====JACK:  From her body language, the Queen seemed to be hearing what you were hearing.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I LOVED it too!====JACK: I heard it in the same way.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Amazing address, and as our rector said on Sunday, Pentecost, the disciples may have reached 3,000 but Bishop Curry reached out to millions.  What a platform he had!  The Queen and the royals got a bit restless.  Apparently  he was given 6 minutes but spoke for 15!  We British certainly  know how to do weddings!====JACK:  I noticed the "restlessness, too, and wondered if it was the result of physical agism, or because of the incongruity of "modern" preaching in a "traditional" setting.  I liked watching the carriage ride.  I'm sure that not all British wedding are like that.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/21/18
“I wanted to be a bus driver when I was a kid…seeing it through the eyes of a little boy.”  (Jim Lehrer)  I used to spend time at the bus depot, watching buses come and go and dream about being a driver.  100 yrs ago, today, the Greyhound Bus Co got its start, going between Hibbing and Alice, Minnesota.  The fare was 25 cents.  Altho I never became a driver, seeing a Greyhound bus still brings back the childhood memory.  Was there a “dream” for you?    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  The dream of riding a bus from Willmar, MN to Little Rock, AR was more exciting than the reality of the experience . . . a 24 hour experience of rain and lighting throughout the night, falling behind 2 hours in the schedule, out of he way bus stops, tired and disgruntled passengers (some connecting from California and 24 hours overdue) . . . needless-to-say, an unforgettable experience-- thinking I'll hitchhike next!!====JACK:  I can't remember the last time I took a trip on a bus, but I do remember my first date...taking a girl to a movie and riding the bus, because I didn't have a car.  I don't think that we has a second date.

FRO GF IN DETROIT:  I wanted to be a baseball player, I was at a Tiger game when the riots started in 67.  The following year I recall many games listening to the radio where the Tiger came from behind in the late innings to win.  I'm sure you know the rest of the story that year for Detroit. ====JACK:  I moved to Detroit in 69 and became a Tigers' fan, abandoning the Cubs.  After wanting to drive a Greyhound bus, I moved to wanting to be the tillerman on a fire engine.  My favorite Tigers year was 1984, when they won the World Series after never being behind in the standings.  Perfect!

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  I always loved stories about sailing ships, and there was a time when my dream was to captain one. I was told at the time that when I grew up there would no longer be any around. In recent years, they are building many new tall ships. However, I do not regret that I missed this opportunity. Hannelore and I have spent some weeks on windjammers in the Caribbean, and that was great.  Our first windjammer voyage was on Fantome, a beautiful four-master with a colorful history. As I recall, she was about 250' long. Her keel was laid in Italy during the First World War as a steam-assisted Mediterranean supply ship for the Italian Navy. Her unfinished hull was spotted around 1927 by an English duke and duchess who purchased her, and had her towed to Britain and outfitted as their personal yacht. She was later bought by the Guiness scion, who moved her to Seattle to keep Britain from nationalizing her. After the war, she was bought by Aristotle Onassis and refurbished as a wedding gift to Prince Ranier and Princess Grace. Before she could be handed over, Onassis and Ranier had a big argument. Onassis was disinvited and that gift was never given. She was bought by the Windjammer Barefoot Fleet and was their flagship when we sailed. A couple of years later, she was caught in Hurricane Mitch and went down with all 32 crew; passengers had been put off before the ship ran for a safer place. Mitch, to the astonishment of the hurricane trackers, reversed course and nailed Fantome. This incident led to major investment and redesign of the US and other hurricane tracking models.  All this was by memory but I am sure if you are interested you can find her story on the Internet.====JACK:  "Tall Ships" are majestic!  We have a painting of two of them, the Ariel and the Taeping (by Montague Dawson),  tea-carrying "clippers" who raced from Hong Kong to London and finished just minutes apart.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I guess I just liked to travel! Shirley Peterson and I took the train to Colorado Springs Salt Lake City La Jolla California the summer of 1946!  Since then I have been lucky enough to see the world!====JACK:  I recall "Pete."  You two probably had a great time.  I remember riding on the train to Denver and sleeping in a Pullman upper berth.  That was traveling in style.  My first airplane trip was on a United DC-3 from Moline to Chicago.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My dream was to become a Forest Ranger.  I was told there were no women in the Forest Ranger program.  But there were jobs in the following areas:  hair dresser, teaching, secretaries and nursing!  True story!  Things have sure changed!====JACK:  In "your" day women couldn't be pastors, either...and still can't in some churches, but they could be Sunday School teachers, sing in the choir and work in the kitchen.  Being a Forest Ranger seems like a great job!

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  To play baseball on the Chicago Cubs team – I still follow them and am pleased that the won in 2016.====JACK:  I grew up as a Cubs fan.  My pastor took me to my first Major League ball game in Wrigley Field.  My grandmother was a seamstress and sewed the wedding dresses for the girls in the Wrigley family.  That's as close as I got to playing for the Cubs.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/18/18
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”  (John Keats)  In philosophy, truth is that which agrees with the facts.  In religion, truth is what you believe about God.  In law, truth is what you “swear to tell.”  Truth can be a slippery object.  “True” often depends on a personal opinion regarding the truth-teller.  In the Bible when Jesus says, “I am the truth, “the hearer’s” reaction is all you need to know…or is it?    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  We should have a philosophy seminar!   LOL====JACK:  I thought that we already had one...Saturdays at Sunny's.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good words.====JACK:  Do you remember ever studying John Keats in school:  People focused on being educated for "a job" usually don;t have time for the arts.  ====GEORGE:  Never did. Engineering took up most of my time. I once did take a philosophy class, but don't remember much.====JACK:  Where did you learn to appreciate the arts?====GEORGE:  At Hawkeye Land:  U of Iowa, Ia City.====JACK:  Since engineering and basketball seemed to consume you, how did you have time for the arts?====GEORGE:  I read a lot. My favorite artists were Western painters:  Charles Russell & Frederick Remington. I also like the works of Iowa's Grant Wood. I used to walk thru the Art Department at the U of I on the way to class. Also, two brothers-in-law were professional artists who also are my favorites. Sue's brother, Jim Trissel, was head of the art dept. at Colorado College in Colo. Springs. Jim was commissioned by Prince Charles to do the art work for one of his birthdays (60th?). We obtained two of the pages of this work and it is on our walls. (Why didn't he commission a citizen of Britain or England?) We only have original art works on our walls at home.
Glad you asked,

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  An opinion isn’t necessarily the Truth — even though one is being honest. In the same way, what is “real” or reality is more often one’s personal fantasy. Thus is Mankind’s problem, and (s)he is unconscious of it!====JACK:  Connecting your thought with that of Keats, it seems that both beauty and truth are in "the eye of the beholder."====RAY:  I suppose what I’m suggesting is that both Beauty and Truth are gifts from God, and knowing either is by His Grace; not by our doing.====JACK:  I believe that God offers grace, but does not force it.====GEORGE:  I read a lot. My favorite artists were Western painters:  Charles Russell & Frederick Remington. I also like the works of Iowa's Grant Wood. I used to walk thru the Art Department at the U of I on the way to class. Also, two brothers-in-law were professional artists who also are my favorites. Sue's brother, Jim Trissel, was head of the art dept. at Colorado College in Colo. Springs. Jim was commissioned by Prince Charles to do the art work for one of his birthdays (60th?). We obtained two of the pages of this work and it is on our walls. (Why didn't he commission a citizen of Britain or England?) We only have original art works on our walls at home.  Glad you asked.====JACK:  I knew that there had to be more to the story of your interest in art.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Truth is in the eye of the beholder? I am reading They Shall Bear You Up by fachtna Joseph Harte.  It is a fascinating story so far about the priest who believed nothing is possible with God. He was the planner and first priest of the shrine Mary Queen of the Universe in Orlando which my mother was a contributor for many years.====JACK:  Questions (fachtna?) and (nothing is possible with God?)

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  hmmmm?????  I have been taught to believe Jesus is the truth.  I can believe it now.====JACK:  After learning that Jesus is the truth, we move on to...What does this mean?  When it comes to God, Jesus, truth...we are always learning...and that is good.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/17/18
“Silence is foolish if we are wise, but wise if we are foolish.”  (Charles Colton)  My Uncle John would say to me (in Swedish), "håll käften".  I couldn’t understand Swedish, but I knew that it meant, “Keep your mouth shut!”  A wise person knows when to “håll käften,”  But there are also times when we need to speak up.  To know the difference is truly the mark of wisdom.  Are there (wise) persons who come to your mind?  Someone suggested, Dan Rather.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  ha! dan rather is wise?!? now i know you are just trying to get a rise out of i will counter with “president donald trump is wise.” take that! 😂====JACK:  I know how to"pull your chain."  You're too young to remember Dan in his prime.

FROM WALMART REV:  Can't think of something 'witty' to answer with! It most likely would be wiser to answer with nothing at all! ====JACK:  I was just reading this quote by Dale Carnegie..."When you have nothing to say, say nothing."

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Silence often makes sense if one is speaking to a person who has no intention of "hearing" what is said.====JACK:  Getting in the "last word" doesn't always mean success.  Sometimes silence is the best answer.  Did you ever use silence in debate?====JOHN:  No, but we often softly and clearly in response to "Rangers" was a good tactic====JOHN:  Sorry that was a typo...the word is "ranters".   ( The computer tried to change it to Rangers this time, too)

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Maybe MLK, Nelson Mandela, Luther?====JACK:  I like to use the qualifier, MAYBE.  It makes a statement, but also provides an escape.

FROM LBP:  As I navigate may way into new leadership positions I have to remind myself to keep my mouth shut. Each team member was added for their expertise. I listen. I learn. I try my darnedest not to helicopter parent.====JACK:  I just read a Lee Iacocca quote: "The speed of the boss is the speed of the tteam."  Applying it your situation, "The sense of the leader is the sense of the team."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Mark Twain:  JACK:  A good suggestion...although some of his wisdom might be a bit salty for your taste.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I've had it both ways.  If we don't know much about a situation it's always wise to remain silent, letting others who know speak.  There have been times when I didn't speak up when I actually knew more than the person who was speaking like "the expert."  Regrettably things would have gone better if I had shown wisdom and said what I knew.====JACK:  I must confess that it's happened the other way for me...not often, but enough so that I've learned the lesson.  "You,ve got to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em," as the song goes.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  So true!====JACK:   You have some wise genes in your pool.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Our current president

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Rex Tillerson and David Gergen come to mind.====JACK:  Rex seems to have become more strident since "being fired."  I like the "independent" Gergen.  Do you see it that way?====ME:  Have not noticed the strident side of Tillerson but agree with you re Gergen.====JACK:  Strident is probably the wrong word.  Rex appears to more freely express his own mind.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:   My question is this—How did you get the little markings on top of the Swedish words?====JACK:   I could say that I have a Swedish computer, but, in reality, I Google "translate shut up into Swedish, then copy and paste the result.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/16/18
“Love is what you’ve been through with somebody.”  (James Thurber)  An internet site lists the most common marital problems and possible ways to solve them.  Not listed is the effect of unexpected tragedy on the relationship…a death, financial setback, health issues, etc.  Thurber is more than a cartoonist.  He “reads” the human mind.  Marriage is not always “a piece of cake.”  A willingness to adapt can go a long way in successfully meeting relationship issues.    ;)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think of the song from Oliver...."Where is Love?"====JACK:  You've got the idea...and so did the writer of the musical.
Where is love?
Does it fall from skies above?
Is it underneath the willow tree
That I've been dreaming of?
Where is she?
Who I close my eyes to see?
Will I ever know the sweet "hello"
That's meant for only me?
Who can say where she may hide lit ?
Must I travel far and wide?
'Til I am beside the someone who
I can mean something to ...
Where is love?
Who can say where...she may hide?
Must I travel...far and wide?
'Til I am beside...the someone who
I can mean...something to...
Where is love?
====JOHN:  There is a lot of pathos in that song....seems to reflect a good part of earthly life.  Life seems crammed with such wonderful loves and such unbearable voids.   Christ on the Cross helps me understand the great breadth of life....makes some sense of it.====JACK:  The 1964 film, "The Parable," produced by Rolf Forsberg, has helped me understand a part of Jesus.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  Thurber is one of our family favorites. I read some of his stories aloud to the family many times--"The Night the Bed Fell on Father," "The Get-Ready Man," etc.====JACK:  I've mainly looked at his cartoons.  Now I see that there's more to his story.

FROM TL:  What site do you reference?====JACK:  I just "Google" around...probably "common marital problems."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I read once love is 80%-20%. You give 80% and it will be a happy marriage!?!====JACK:  I noticed that you stuck a question mark in there.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/15/18
“Happiness is an inside job.”  (William Arthur Ward)  A psychological study shows that roughly 40% of our happiness is controlled by us.  We can alter our life by altering our attitude.  Associate with upbeat people, listen to “happy” music, practice smiling, practice compassion.  These can become your life.  It works the other way, too.  Negativity begets negativity.  So, let this be your song…“Brush off the clouds and cheer up.  Put on a happy face.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM KC (A NEW READER):  I’m enjoying your winning words. Thank you.

FROM WALMART REV:  "...standing alongside you, Jack!!" Always a winning combination!! 0:-)====JACK:  ...but your grin is wider than mine.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  :-)====JACK:  Now, that's a happy face.====LIZ:   i took your good advice!====JACK:  Here's one of my favorite morning songs..."Roll out of bed in the morning with a great big smile and a GOOD, GOOD MORNING!  Wake up with a grin.  There's a new day a-tumbling in."

FROM SF:  Agree!  Here’s a funny aside... whenever the kids were out playing and came home with some wet on their pants, we would say “that looks like an inside job! “. Even if it was sprinkler or rainwater, we would tease! We still use that term when somebody gets wet on the pants!====JACK:  "Wetting your pants!"...the ultimate embarrassment for a young child or an older person.  Our response to them ought to be "caring", not "staring."  Apart from that...a family's inside jokes are a lot of fun.  One of ours..."This food tastes musty!"  "I'm so sorry!"  "No, it  tastes like I musty have some more."====SF:  How about...What are we having for dinner?  Mustgo.   What’s mustgo?  Everything that must go!  (I love leftovers! Everything is better the next day!! Except sushi!)====JACK:  Sushi isn't my favorite, even on the first day.  Having said that, I ate yogurt for the first time today.  Mixed with granola, it was pretty good.  My father used to eat pig's feet.  That was not for me.

FROM SA IN WA: Today's WW help refocus. Thanks.====JACK:  You are in control (most of the time).

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Attitude is all in the head and heart!  Put a smile in your heart today! ====JACK:  In a way, this relates....I saw this adage: "Fall in love head first!"

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Happy happy happy! Enjoy each day! I am about to leave on an armchair travel to New Zealand and Fiji! It will bring back memories of our trips to Australia where we visited Mary Hauberg and her family and to Bali where they have rainbow sunsets !===JACK:  "Armchair travel" is a new term for me, but I can surmise what it is.  My granddaughter traveled to Indonesia last year...washed and elephant and was bitten by a monkey (needed rabies shots).

FROM INDY GENIE:  That’s for sure! Smiling is such a good path to happiness!  And music... I saw John Prine in concert last Saturday life giving. My colleagues actually commented on how “youthful” I looked on Monday morning! Ha!====JACK:  Another HAPPY song...Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy."  I think I'll YouTube it now.====GENIE:  Another one...Bob Marley’s “Don’t worry about a thing” the title is actually “Three Little Birds”====JACK:  I like the best and the theme///"Everything's gonna be alright!"

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  I would consider myself an UPBEAT person====JACK:  And you have the smile to go along with the upbeat persona.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/14/18
“You want me to be great, but you don’t ever want me to say I’m great.”  (Kanye West) Have you heard… never discuss money, religion or politics?  Kanye, the rap star, is in the news for saying “Slavery is a choice,” and for admiring Pres. Trump…2 of the 3.  When boxer Ali proclaimed, “I am the greatest,” I saw it as a shtick, a way of getting attention.  The more I read about West, the more I wonder, “Is he for real?”  Most of us have a story beyond the obvious.    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  "I'm not telling?!" 0;-)====JACK:  I tell my story when I want to make a point about how God can make a change in the direction of one's life.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  continuing to live in a “slave state of mind” is what kanye refers to...
black americans have every opportunity, and more... thanks to affirmative action policies of the past... but still live second-class lives? why? it makes no sense. especially when others like kanye & oprah have made it.  democrats want to keep blacks needing democrats is all...====JACK:  The point of today's message is that each of us has a "story" beyond our words and try to withhold snap judgments until you hear more of that story.====LIZ:  in answer to your question, yes, he’s for real. why wouldn’t he be for real? bc he is not what you and others think a “real black guy” should be?====JACK:  How do you know what I think of Kanye?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes he is for real and he is brave in the current wave in our country ====JACK:  Yes, but you listen to his music?====SHIRL:  Never that I know of. Have u?====JACK:  I pulled some up on YouTube...10 of his songs.  I didn't make it thru.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I have never been able to relate to Kanye West. Can't imagine being Kim K. and married to such a person!! But then I don't have to ...God loves us all unconditionally, so I try
not to be judgmental!  Live and let live...====JACK:  It seems as tho some readers today thought that I was being judgmental...I was just asking if this is his real personna, or it is an act?  I don't know enough to be judgmental..

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Ali needed the press...Kanye doesn’t.  Slavery today has a different master....drugs, porn, sex, and dozens of other issues.===JACK:  Those are some interesting thoughts.  Thanks

Friday, May 11, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/11/18
“An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.”  (Rudyard Kipling)  I would agree with Rudy.  My mother influenced me more than any other person, including clergy.  Some say that Mother’s Day was invented by Hallmark as a way to sell more cards, but it was thought up by Ann Jarvis in 1868 who wanted to honor her mother and all mothers for the good things that they had done, and to be challenged to continue that work.  That’s a good thought for this Sunday.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  Maybe a ton of clergy .. no offense. (I mean that in the nicest way). ====JACK:  Sometimes it depends on who's the mother and who's the clergy.====JACK:  Sadly, not all mothers are loving and kind.  And it's the same with clergy, no matter the denomination.  Not all attorneys are shysters, either.  Generalizations are generally not to be trusted.====TH:  As a child, just looking at my mother would calm me if there was something stressing me. She was the kindest person I ever knew. ====JACK:  Both you and I have been blessed and have reason to give thanks for our mothers.

====PAUL:  Jack, i am pretty sure its Anna Jarvis.  just a minor matter:):)====JACK:  I think that her friends called her, Ann, or A.J.

FROM YAMPA SHIRL:  It is fun to see our daughters and granddaughters become mothers . It has so many rewards all through life!====JACK:  One of our daughters was born on Mother's Day.  That day has always been special for both mother and daughter.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Reminds me of Lincoln’s quote about his mother!  Other than God, no one quite loves as a mother.  Dad are wonderful and live unconditionally, but differently as necessary.  God bless all mothers!====JACK:  My very first Winning Words...."Virtue is learned at mother's knee.  Vice is learned at other joints."

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  ....and the joy of seeing your wife and daughters as mothers.====JACK:  In olden days at the movies, a historical short would be shown...The March of Time.  The march goes on in our families, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I didn't realize it went back that far! Our kids tend to idealize their mother as they get older; I'm glad they have selective memories, and seem to only remember the highest and best of your motherhood !!  I chrm. Blanket Sunday (Church World Service) on Mother's Day in Church,"Give a blanket in honor of your mother or significant woman in your life, and "Cover the World With Love!"  We buy a LOT of blankets! :-)  Blessings to all our dear Mothers, so well remembered and revered!====JACK:  "Blanket Sunday on Mothers' Day"...What a great idea.  Do you have any others?====OAKS:  Honoring our "Earthly Father" on Father's Day with a contribution to World Mission Offering that promotes our "Heavenly Father"s kingdom work" throughout the world. They can cite their father or a significant man in their lives to be honored in the bulletin. Works well!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/10/18
“The problem with internet quotes is that many of them are not genuine.”  (Abraham Lincoln)  I’ve read that Shakespeare is the most quoted person, ever.   How about Jesus?  Or Anon?  Abraham Lincoln has been quoted a lot, too.  In fact, there’s a site: “Things Lincoln Never Said.--like…”If I were two-faced, do you think I’d be wearing this face?”  Today’s quote is questionable, too.  Do you have some particular saying that has stayed with you?    ;-)  Jack 

FROM CS:  “A good marriage is all about tolerance” Eileen Caya (my Mother)====JACK:  Forget the internet, the best advice comes from mom!

ROM RI IN BOSTON:  A quote that I learned many years ago has stuck with me.  "Be careful what you want because you'll get it."  From my experiences it seems to be true.  The saying has been around so long that its origin is considered untraceable.====JACK:  Here's your task for today...Find out when the source "ANON" was first used.====RI:  The origin of "anon." as an abbreviation for anonymous is cited from about 1730 - 1740.  Anon without a . (period)  refers to "at another time".  The origin of anon dates back as far as the reign of King James, for the word anon is in the King James translation of the Bible...Matthew Chapter 13, verse 20.===JACK:  You're a bundle of information today.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I read that Jack Freed said, " East Moline is clearly the Queen City of the Quad Cities."====JACK:  I looked it up.  The area now know as East Moline was known for its frog ponds.  Upon incorporation, I agree that East Moline was a bad choice for the city's name.  It should have been Frog Pond, Illinois.====JOHN:  My Grandparents lived in Stephenson, Illinois which is now the east end of Moline.   My Grandfather bought some land in what is now East Moline and built a Sash and Door Works where they built Windows, doors, etc.   he, unfortunately, died  of consumption when he was only 44.   That part of EM was on higher ground.    The part closer to the river....often called "Watertown" was probably what was referred to as Frog Pond.    I had a lot of good friends who lived down that way.    That section used to be just inundated when the Mississippi would overflow its banks.====JACK:  Unfortunately, in my day Watertown was always associated with the "insane asylum" which was located there.  Apart from that, Watertown would have been a good name for East Moline.

FRO ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  they don't care how much you know until they know how much you care...====JACH:  So, A. Lincoln is the source of that quote, too.  I didn't know that.

FROM WALMART REV:  "He looked upon them as sheep without a shepherd?!" (Holy Bible) 0;-) ====JACK:  The trouble with most shepherds (leaders) today is that they can't seem to do their work without a BIG staff.  How many are on the staff of your church?====REV:  Somewhat like the medical clinics of today . . . specialist in every age bracket (fields of service)-- Senior Pastor, Adult Ministries Pastor, Worship Pastor, Administrative Pastor, Outreach Pastor, Middle School Youth Pastor, High School Youth Pastor, Mission Outreach Pastor, Children's Pastor, and a Young Adults Director. All these for a congregation of 1,100+ weekly congregants (and/or members). Father Steve has asked me on occasion, "How does the church keep you all busy?' with actually two priest to serve St Mary's being equivalent in size and membership. There were two of us on staff starting out in ministry in 1972 in Ohio (a Senior Pastor and Youth Pastor or actually an Assistant Pastor) for a church of 500-600+. We will have high attendances on Christmas and Easter, somewhere in the 1600-1800 range.====JACK:  Often the size of the staff depends on the money available...but not always.

FROM FUNENGINEER:  Love following you Jack. “ He who dies with the most toys still dies” (unknown)  Dave Burley

FROM DS IN SOCAL:  Yes, old, but worth reviewing....too many are too true.
I don't do drugs. I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast.
Every day I beat my previous record of consecutive days I've stayed alive.
Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.
Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the differ

FROM LBP:  What? You mean honest Abe lied about the internet?!? Ha ha ha====JACK:  Another - "They call me two-faced.  If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"====LBP:  I forget names and exact phrasing too much to be good with quotes. Thank goodness for internet to help me recall this one that speaks to this phenomenon.  “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou ====JACK: 

FROM MK:  When someone burps, “That was nicely brought up. Why weren’t you??====JACK:  I've never heard that one before,  Has it ever been used at your table?  Kids?  Dad?  Mom?  We have one member of our family who prides himself in his long and loud belches.====MK:  Our house? Our table??  Never!! Ha====JACK:  Let mom do it once and see what the response might be.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Lol!!!  He was sure way above his time wasn’t he?!?   The saying that stays with me all the time is the one we kids heard every Saturday...”Get up get up, it’s daylight in the swamp!”  Oh how I hated to hear the yelled upstairs!  But guess what?!?  I said it to my kids! ===JACK:  It's interesting that the word, swamp, has come mean something bad, when it's just a creation nature.  It' too bad that it's most often used in a pejorative way.

FROM YAMPA SHIRL: Always do your best God will do the rest!====JACK:  Was that another of Lincoln's quotes?

FROM PT AT OLCCP:  “You only grow old when you think you’re too old to grow.”  (Rev. Henry Jones)====JACK:  I knew Henry.  He was part of West Bloomfield's original Clergy Group.  He had some interesting missionary experiences to share.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/9/18
“Land really is the best art.”  (Andy Warhol)  What’s the most beautiful landscape that you’ve ever seen?  For me, it might have been the Grand Canyon or the Canadian Rockies.  For most of us, art is wherever we look…the personal pictures on the wall…things on the refrigerator made by our children or g-children.  Look in the mirror…God’s art.  (Yes, God sometimes has fun!)  MTM sang: “Love is all round.”  I say that “art” is all around.  Do you have a favorite?   ;-)  Jack

  FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: we drove thru 4 national parks in southern Utah on the way home from AZ.   just gorgeous scenery. btw,  who is MTM?====JACK:  Our National Parks are a treasure.  Did you know that there is one in Calumet, Michigan?  Ma Ty Mo (hint)====PAUL:  i think i had a bowl of that recently at an Asian restaurant... ====JACK:  I will not eat anything in an Asian restaurant when I don't know the source of it.

FROM VW MARY:  The Oregon coast at sunset is one of my favorite landscapes and.. my favorite art of the moment...the Milwaukee Art Museum..====JACK:  I've been to the Milwaukee Zoo, but not the Art Museum.  And, I have been to the Oregon coast.  Besides the scenery, I saw kite flying and stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The rocky shores of both coasts, the Glaciers in Alaska, Copper Harbor in the UP, and sitting and watching the sunset or sunrise on any of our Great Lakes!   ( Right now, land itself isn’t so fun.  I’m making a rocket city garden and the rocks are too heavy and the dirt is too dirty!)====JACK:  Sometimes our own  backyard is the "most beautiful" place,,,in more ways than one.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Van Gogh's landscape paintings.===JACK:  I agree.  Van Gogh is a master at recreating landscapes.

FROM WALMART REV: My little "smiley face with the wink" . . . most folk comment of the "halo", but it is really my bald head I'm showing! Nice to be thought of as an angel at times . . . but you and I know different!! 0;-)====JACK:  Did you know that Smiley Face was invented by Harvey Ross Ball over 50 years ago?  I don't know who invented the wink.  Maybe it was Adam when he first saw Eve,

FROM MV:  Just driving to work on this beautiful May Spring morning. The colors from the flowering trees-purple, pink, white, yellow, green are like a Claude Monet impressionist painting. ====JACK:  I like the "impressionists" when it comes to painting...and speaking, too.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  How bout this for art.  The statue is Italian from 1872   The baby is American from 2018====JACK:  Statues are nice (Michelangelo?), but a live baby is nicer, especially when it's a grandchild.====HOWIE:  The statute was by Benzoni (another Italian) in 1872. The baby was by Laura and Blair 2018.====JACK:  Babies, and even statues, have names ====HOWIE:  ====HOWIE:  The veiled lady and Avery Esme Maman====JACK:  How apropos for the baby.  Both names are traced to the Hebrew, meaning, "Gift of God."

FROM TRIHARDER:  Some colors in the sky have brought me close to tears. My first view of the Grand Canyon  left me breathless. Seeing snow in the Rockies as I approached Denver for the first time was like proving the earth was round.====JACK:  I respect your opinion, since you have seen such a variety of "landscapes" in your lifetime.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  i like Pablo Picasso's quote about art: (If it is genuine...!) "The purpose
of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls." One of the most spectacular land sights I've seen was JAPAN during Cherry blossom time. Every park across the land, lined streets, etc. were filled with pink and white blossoming cherry trees. Absolutely gorgeous!  If you've seen them surrounding the Pavilion in Washington D.C. you get a glimmer of that!  Sunsets in Hawaii, the majesty of Alaskan Terrain, the Grand Canyon,  Big Sur in what a feast of art we have in the U.S. as well!!  The quote in your blog today is attributed to Mark Twain: "Never argue with an idiot, because bystanders won't know who the idiot is!"  I'll bet many a celebrity or politician is amazed, (shocked, horrified, amused)  at the many things they are quoted as saying!====JACK:  Andy Warhol also said:  "Art is a man's name."  I thought that was funny.


Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/8/18
“Just because you are blind and unable to see my beauty doesn’t mean that it does not exist.”  (Margaret Cho)  I’d like to see Margaret enter a Beauty Pageant…and then watch the judges puzzle over how to rate her.  Pageants in America had their beginnings as carnival sideshow entertainment and evolved into what we have today.  Cho suggests that there are different kinds of beauty.  The most beautiful person you know probably didn’t enter a contest.    ;-)  Jack

  FROM WALMART REV:  I’m reminded today for some reason of the weekly church pageants of today.  Leonard Ravenhill once wrote of the early church presented as one of poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, as a place of prosperity, personality, and popularity.  My, how things have a way of changing over time. Some of God’s best nowadays do not enter the fray, I’m sure. 0;-) ====JACK:  I have not given up.  There are still caring people who work to address the issues of poverty, prisons and persecution and eschew the 3 p's of today. 

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Isn't it odd that although there is no consensus on the definition of beauty, there re still folks and things that the great majority call "beautiful"?    Helen of Troy.   The Peacock.   Mt. Blanc?     It almost makes one think that Plato is on to something, doesn't it?====JACK:  I like the Isaiah even better..."How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"   Maybe we should have a "Beautiful Feet" Contest.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm not familiar with Margaret Cho, but suppose she means 'blind" in the larger sense that many do not see "different" true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but also true that attractive people fare better in this world than those not blessed with good looks!!
But a beautiful spirit does shine through! I still lovingly remember a Bible School teacher I had in Moline , who was far from beautiful, but she LOVED her kids, and we thrived under her teachings :-) ====JACK:  I guess I'm not surprised that a Baptist pastor's wife would be unfamiliar with Cho.  Margaret is a little edgy.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/7/19
“A man who both spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has both enjoyments.”  (Samuel Johnson)  At 5 yrs old I began selling the Saturday Evening Post in the neighborhood.  Since then I’ve always seemed to have money (not a lot) to spend.  I remember making my first church pledge…$1 a week, 10% of $10.  A friend used to wear a T-shirt: 10-10-80.  10% for charity, 10% for savings and 80% for everything else.  “It works!” he’d say.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i have often promoted the 10/10/80 lifestyle.  and yes, it does work!  btw, can you still get me a subscription to the Sat. Evening Post?:):)  i always liked the covers? ====JACK:  The cost of a 1932 issue of the magazine would be $14.  Still interested?  Norman Rockwell, famous for his Post   covers, started working for the magazine in 1916 and retired 47 years later, having crested more than 300 covers.

FROM JB IN OLV:  Good morning  This is my philosophy-Bill on the other hand,  is more fond of the saving and not spending part.====JACK:  When she was working at Montgomery Ward, mu mother received her pay in cash.  Each week she'd take that money and put it into envelopes designated for its, rent, etc.  I don't think that there was an envelope for savings during the Great Depression.

FROM MY LAWYER:  Don’t forget the taxes!!!====JACK:  They're in the "everything else."  I'm one who sees my taxes as "the cost of living in the community and country that is mine."  I would never choose to abandon America to live elsewhere so I could lower my tax bill.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I just don’t spend money I don’t have! Father Coleman used to print what each parishioner contributed each week! Our generation was lucky because we had our priorities in order. Btw we went to the graduation at the U of Florida yesterday and the future of our country will be in good hands! It was all a good inspiration!====JACK:  When I became the pastor of my first church my predecessor would print the giving record of each member at the end of the year.  When I suggested ending that custom the church council said that offerings would decrease, because members would give higher amounts to avoid looking cheap.  Well, they went along with me and at the end of the year offerings were significantly higher.  The subject never came up again...and as far as the future of our country is concerned, I'm perfectly satisfied to leave it in the hands of the younger generation.  My grandchildren are far more responsible than I was at their age.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  If you don't take the tithe to the church out first, it's usually not there later! Pretty hard for young couples with children to put money aside these days! But then it was hard when we were raising a family, too. Bill was much better at it than I!!  Credit cards have made "instant gratification" available, which is a great temptation to spend before you have it!  A difficult lesson for many! Bill had couples he counseled before marriage write out a was an eye-opener for most! :-) JUst returned from the marriage of Jan and Hal's 37 yr. old grandson in WI. Lovely! Hope they have a handle on saving & spending!====JACK:  I can imagine that only a few enjoy paying taxes...but just stop and think of the advantages that come with that payment: schools, police, fire & EMS, parks, libraries, roads, city govt.  As for church contributions, there's a saying: Give til it hurts.  Someone has changed that to Give til it feels good.  A modern translation of "The Lord loves a cheerful giver" to read, "The Lord loves the one who gives hilariously." 

FROM JB:  My father's saying was "Live on 50% of what you earn. Give away 10%,  save 10% and the government will take 30%"  Basically the same as 10-10-80 without the government====JACK:  In Tennessee didn't they they call them, Revenuers?  For all it's faults, I see far more positive results from the taxes I pay.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/4/18
“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”  (Epictetus)  Epictetus was a Greek philosopher who believed that many of life’s events are simply beyond our control, so relax and learn to adjust.  I wonder if Queens of the Stone Age knew of Epictetus when they wrote their song, “Go With the Flow?”  Chiropractors and psychologists do adjustments to ease pain, and I suppose we could do the same.    ;-)  Jack

FROM SF:  And ...‘Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. You are in charge of your attitude.’ (Charles Swindell?)===JACK:  Chuck Swindoll is "one of those televangelists," but that shouldn't deter you from the valisity of the words you quoted.  He's written many books, one of which caught my eye,,,"Esther, A Woman of Strength and Dignity."  Maybe someone has said that about you!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I guess nothing stays the same so just take one day at a time! My new hip replacement has slowed me down but I am looking forward to a granddaughters college graduation and a grandsons high school graduation on Fort Worth Tx. The college graduation is in Gainesville. ====JACK:  I remember when hip replacements were new.  Not always good.  A friend had to have his done 3 times, and it still wasn't what had been promised.  They've come a long way since then.  Our own graduations are in the faded past, aren't they?

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/3/18
“All the people like us are, WE, and everyone else is, THEY.”  (Rudyard Kipling)  WE watch MSNBC and THEY watch FoxNews, or is it the other way around?  A sad characteristic of today’s society is the growing divide between people and the growth of xenophobia.  Rich or poor (shrinking middle class), racism, classism, conservative or liberal.  I’m not suggesting that homogenization is the answer, but I’d like to see more reaching across the divide.    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  "...with my hand outstretched, I share a hearty 'Amen'!"====JACK:  WE make a great pair!

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Amen.====JACK:  A second agreement of today's WWs.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Amen====JACK:  The 3rd response is another Amen...the triple Amen, the trifecta!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  then quit dividing us into angry groups w/“different” goals. we are people, not gays, blacks, women...don’t perpetuate stereotypes, & they will go away.====JACK:  I agree that it would be good if we could get rid of stereotypes, but even Jesus said, "The poor, you will have with you always."  Communism or socialism (equality) ...a "fair" idea that hasn't seemed to work.  But, all in all, the world needs "idealist" such as you.  We all needs...goals.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Unfortunately, the extremes have pushed the center out of existence.   We saw this in the church in the 90s and early 00s.   Now we have a far left ELCA and two far right cast offs.   The question is no longer, "Can the center hold?"    It is now "Whatever happened to the center?"    (I, by the way, used to occupy the center.    Now I simply have no place in the church). ====JACK:  The Church has never been perfect.  That's why each age needs its reformers.  Not all of them have been as successful as Luther (He had his problems, too!), but (as in in debate), you win some and you lose some.  Do you remember the song..." I am the Church, you are the Church, we are the Church together?"====JOHN:  The church needs to reform but, as usual, is unaware of that reality.   So far, no reformers have appeared.   We have to quit making excuses for the church.   It is running amok.====JACK:  I'm sure that some Catholics feel the same way, with the actions and pronouncements of Pope Francis.  Is God an activist God?====JOHN:  Pope Francis would be a moderate in the ELCA...and, therefore, much despised====JACK:  Are you pointing at anyone in particular?

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Lately, I’m learning that to make an assumption as to who is “We” and who is “They” can be an incredible personal experience to an awakening into the values of people I know. ====JACK:  As "the electronic voice" reminds us, we are continually "recalculating" our relationships with one another...and our own views regarding life events.  After recalculation, you're still in my friendship circle...and I hope that I am in yours.====PAUL:  Of course!!!! You didn’t take what I wrote personally, right?====JACK:  I read between the lines.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  In Springfield (IL) at least, Church Women United has a great blend of Black, White, Salvation Army and one Muslim Congregation, who all work together for community
understanding and events. I think we all have learned from one another, and there seems to be genuine affection and even love, among the Reps who meet each month.  The consensus is that we've come a long way from pre-civil rights law days, but there is still a long way to go, and the Trump era is certainly not promoting compassion and understanding between all the various factions in our widely diverse nation!====JACK:  Baby steps!!!!  We have gone so far away from the days of bridge building that it's going to take a loooomg time to get back to where we were when we could have differences and still find ways to work together for the common good.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We all have more in common but this “divide” with politics, religion, race whatever...causes us to forget what we have in common.  It’s a shame but this is a fallen world!  One day there will be nothing left but peace and love... what we ALL want!====JACK:  Divisive rhetoric certainly doesn't help.  Xenophobia is hard to overcome.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  I found myself reminding folks the other day that both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were reaches across the aisle.  It allowed them to accomplish much more than those who followed them in politics.====JACK:  The bad news is that we have to live with who we elect (when they don't agree with us). The good news is that another election can remedy the situation.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Amen!!  But not entirely new; only worse.  A question in my growing up days: Is the girl a Swede?  I’m only 7/8 Swedish, but Jan is 100% and she let’s know I’m 1/8 Norwegian.  How are you?  Life still interesting?  (Politics solves that question.)====JACK:At least the Swedes and the Norse are both Lutherans.  BTW, did any Scandinavian leader suggest building a wall between the two countries and have the other country pay for it?

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Amen, brother!  We need longer arms and shorter differences.====JACK:  We need leaders, wise as owls who give a hoot and not a tweet.====JAN:  Love your response!!

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  Oh yes,  I get so discouraged watching the news.  It is difficult accepting our country when those adjectives you named are more significant now.  And as difficult as that is more difficult to recognize so many people think it is OK!  And these people are folks I respect!!  My brother, my neighbor, my friend...How can it be??  but then I remember a quote from Will Rogers. " I don't have to spend time thinking up things to say...I just listen and report what is going on in Washington."  He remains one of my favorite folks.  Thanks for the WWs====JACK:  I feel the same way about the news.  I'm beginning to limit my time with that stuff...and decide to go to bed peacefully (sorta).  I remember a story from WW 2.  A woman was in a London bomb shelter during an air raid.  She prayed, "I know that you are a God who never sleeps and protects His own, so I'm going to sleep, trusting that you will watch over me and bring me safely through the night.  It might not be an air raid, but I trust that God will bring us safely through this ordeal.  Pleasant dreams!

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 5/2/18
“Every man has three characters - that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.”  (Alphonse Karr)  I like to find new information…like things about  Alphonse K  He was a 19th century French novelist, educational reformer, satirist, floriculturist (he named the dahlia), fisherman and creator of the saying: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”…and d’ya know gangster Al Capone was also named, Alphonse?     ;-)  Jack 

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i don't imagine Al C. named too many flowers...    but he did wear one in his lapel as i recall.====JACK:  Maybe he didn't name flowers, but he did cause some of his enemies to "push up daisies/"

FROM WALMART REV:  Learning something new ever morning, Jack!!====JACK:  No day is wasted when you learn something new during that time.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Great words and true!!====JACK:  Did you ever think that you'd be reading some "great and true" words from Alphonse Karr today?  Have you ever heard of him?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  MERCY! Wonder what he did in his spare time??! :-) Talk about a
Renaissance man!  This quote reminds me of the late Barbara Bush, saying, in Time magazine: "Be Yourself! Well, maybe someone a little nicer..."  Ha!  I remember A.Lincoln saying the true test of
Character is observing how someone treats the lesser, or little guy.  (Paraphrased) Alphonse is pretty "spot on" in this observation!  Heaven help us!!====JACK:  Put on your sport's cap.  Do you remember Alphonse and Gaston?====OAKS: Afraid sound vaguely familiar....! ====JACK: It’s a baseball play when two players stand under a pop-up thinking that the other was going to catch it, and it drops between them.  There was an old comic strip, Alphonse and Gaston, a couple of overly-polite Frenchmen who could never get anything done, because each was deferring to the other.  “After you, Alphonse.”  “No. after you, Gaston.”

FROM BB IN CHGO:  I like the more things change…but I’ve never been certain of what it really means.====JACK:  You are the person you were when you were a little girl, even though your appearance may have changed.  Chicago is the same city as when my mother grew up there, buy, even though it's appearance is different, it's still Chicago.
Chicago, Chicago that toddling town
Chicago, Chicago I will show you around - I love it
Bet your bottom dollar you lose the blues in Chicago, Chicago
The town that Billy Sunday couldn't shut down

On State Street, that great street, I just want to say
They do things they don't do on Broadway
They have the time, the time of their life
I saw a man, he danced with his wife
In Chicago, Chicago my home town

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Jack’s Winning words 5/1/18
“Life is like a Maypole.  Life is colorful  Bright  vibrant and always fun   For children and fools.”   (Mason Hartley)  Maypole dancing is the custom among Scandinavians, signaling the end of winter and the advent of spring.  A happy time…singing, dancing…colorful clothing.  Have you ever seen or done “the dance?”  People celebrate different things for different reasons.  May is known for Mother’s Day and graduations and Memorial Day.  Anything else?    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  we had maypoles at st katharine’s & the villa (where i graduated). happy may day!====JACK:  I remember those schools.  I think that they were Episcopa; girls' schools... elementary and high school?  Are they still in operation?  If you have time today, you might want to create a miniature Maypole...just for fun.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My birthday====JACK:  How appropriate.  May 1 is also the day which, internationally, honors workers.  Through the years, there's been a battle for fairness when it comes to how workers have been treated.  That subject would make for an interesting debate.

FROM WALMART REV:  "New mornings with Jack!" ====JACK:  Isn't the internet amazing?  Over 20 years ago William Cowper wrote:  "God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform."  ...and God is still at it today!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  my birthday!  the 25th.    no gifts please.    just cash:):):)   Jack, do you recall John and Christine Glaser who lived on Walce Ave. just down the street from us in Michigan??  wonderful old couple and also members of SLLC..  on May Day we would bring a tall volley ball standard down to their front yard and decorate it with colorful crepe paper and then dance around it with our kids.   the Glasers loved it!   all fond memories.   btw,  when did May Day also become a cry for help for ships and planes that are in trouble?? ====JACK:  About the presents... No need to worry.   No. I don't remember the Glassers, but I do remember Walce and Figa.  As for MAY DAY!  Mayday got its start as an international distress call in 1923. It was made official in 1948. It was the idea of Frederick Mockford, who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He came up with the idea for “mayday" because it sounded like the French word m'aider, which means “help me."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  ...and family b.days and anniversaries...Such a festive month, with all the  trees in bloom, and flowers everywhere! We once did a Maypole for a dance at the "REK" in Moline. Details are hazy, but I remember it was quite a lot of work involving pastel crepe paper streamers and a big middle pole, and was a fun time!  We always used to do "May Day baskets for friends and neighbors, with a few pieces of wrapped candy and violets and lily-of-the-valley from our yards. Hang them on a doorknob, press the bell, run and hide!  Good memories!====JACK:
A dry May and a leaking June  Make the farmer whistle a merry tune.
A snowstorm in May  Is worth a wagonload of hay.
Among the changing months, May stands confessed  The sweetest, and in fairest colors dressed!
–James Thomson, Scottish poet (1700–48)

FROM BB IN CHGP:  Haven’t seen or done the dance.  Perhaps it’s time for another European trip? ====JACK:  Long Beach, CA, celebrates May Day as a BIG event...the Maypole Dance, crowning of the May Queen...the Girl Scout weave colored ribbons to hand out.

FROM BS IN  ENGLAND:  Next Monday is a bank holiday here and we have a festival on the village green in Shipdham called the Church Drynnkings.  It is a medieval  festival  when the church brewed it's  own beer and invited the villagers  to enjoy.  We are no longer brewing beer but a company that does will bring barrels to the green.  A bishop will come to bless it and the people, then there will be eating and drinking,  dancing round the Maypole and also Morris dancing.  It is a fundraiser so there will be the usual stalls.  Homemade cakes and preserves,  plants, books and many more.  Children love the Maypole with it's  brightly  coloured ribbons.  All we can do now is pray for fine weather, we've had really cold, very wet weather recently.====JACK:  Is the purpose of the festival to celebrate the coming of Spring?  It should like fun (if it doesn't rain).  Let me know how it turns out.

FROM RAMPA SHIRL:  My first and only Maypole dance was in 1954 in Karlstad Sweden in 1954 during my first trip to Europe! It was very memorable! This year we have two graduations-0ne from the U of Florida and another from high school on Ft Worth TX. Life is very interesting and exciting! How about that game last night?====JACK:  I took a year of Swedish in college, and one of the requirements was to participate in the Maypole Dance.  I was absent that day.  As for yesterday's game.  I went to bed before the 9th inning, so I slept peacefully.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  In the Girl Scouts we had dances and costumes from around the world.  One group did a Maypole dance.  It was all beautiful.====JACK:  Did you ever dance the Hora?

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  I do remember dancing around the may pole as kid. It was just fun. I knew there was some significance to it but really enjoyed the act. So my mama is a may girl. That’s important to me.====JACK:  It's too bad that you're retiring.  Maypole dancing could have become a fun tradition for the school kids.=====MARY: did in its own form

Monday, April 30, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/30/18
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something,  you’re at the beginning of something else.”  (Fred Rogers)  My favorite line from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”  Fred Rogers did a great job of helping children to understand what it means to be a good neighbor.  It’s more about “us” than it is about “them.”  At our house, we try to show up at the newcomer’s door with a welcome and a pie and some ice cream.   ;-)  Jack

FROM SANDI:  Mr. Rogers was amazing. One of my favorite quotes, shared with me by my very wise son, goes something like this:‘There isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love, if only you knew their story’.I try to consider that everyone has a story.  (Although I have to admit, some people are hard to love!! 🙃)====JACK:  I once read..."The saying is, 'Love your neighbor,',,,but you haven't met my neighbor."  Yes, everyone has a story.  In school a good teacher becomes a better teacher when she/he understands some of the (good/bad) baggage that the student carries.  Difficult, but not impossible. ====S:  And that is also a reason that teachers/counselors are often dismissed from serving on a jury!!! They look for cause instead of focusing on the crime! The question is: ‘Did s/he do it or not?’ (Not about their horrible childhood, etc.)====JACK:  I've always been excused from jury duty, too.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  sounds like a good idea to me...  even at 5 in the morning:):) ===JACK:  Early or late, any time is the best time to do a good deed.

ROM HONEST JOHN:  Good heavens!    You never should mix ice cream and pie.    That kind of thinking comes straight out of Moline.====JACK:  It might be difficult for someone from that "other" city to understand something as sophisticated as pie ala mode.====JOHN:  "Real" pie is coconut cream....lemon meringue.....butterscotch cream. ice cream needed or wanted..... Dad had one of the first Dairy Queen franchises in the country....on 7th St in EM.....rented it out to Dan Ligino....also, I loved to stop at Whitey's on the way home from Augie....also Downing Dairy in Rock Island....great ice cream..ever been to Ray's in Royal Oak?====JACK:  Any kind of pie is fine with me.  The Medd family of Moline were partners in the original development of Dairy Queen.  They were members of our church and one of the sons was a classmate of mine.  Your dad seemed to be involved in a lot of interesting stuff.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Do you also bring a few extra forks to your neighbors house with the pie and ice cream :-)====JACK:  I've never been invited in (at the time).  However, they've often said, "If you ever need anything, give us a call.)

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We have the same neighbors as we had in 1970. Everyone watches out for everyone else and helps when help is needed. How about the game today when the Rays come to Detroit!====JACK:  FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We have the same neighbors as we had in 1970. Everyone watches out for everyone else and helps when help is needed. How about the game today when the Rays come to Detroit!====JACK:  We moved into our house in 1969.  Everyone around us is a "new" neighbor...Jewish, Russian, Indian, Chaldean, ????.  2 blocks from school, from library, police dept.  3 blocks from Catholic Church and synagogue.  5 minutes from Lutheran Church and fire dept (EMS).  ...and it's a beautiful day for an (outdoors) ballgame.====SHIRL:  That is all very interesting. Our neighborhood was and is mostly military because McDill did  not have housing for all of the large families. Today we still have many flags on large poles with light! Go Rays!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Of all the little programs we let the kids watch, My favorite was Mr. Roger’s.  He was always so calm and soothing.  The kids and I (sometimes) watched Friendly Giant and Captain Kangaroo.   Andy did not like tv and still doesn’t.  But he would watch those programs. ====JACK:  I like The Banana Man on Capt K.  My son and I thought that he was a riot, but the girls thought that his act was "dumb."

Captain Kangaroo The Banana Man! - YouTube

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Good neighbors are such a blessing!  I seem to keep so busy that I don't "neighbor" as much as I should, but if New neighbors move in, I usually take a big box of our Melo-Cream doughnuts and a welcoming note. Good for breakfast, or just with a cup of coffee or glass of milk! It is  always appreciated. As  for Mr.  Rogers quote, when you end something, there is now time for something many more "opportunities" than there is time, it seems! He was wise and gentle soul!====JACK:  Did anyone welcome you when you moved into your new neighborhood?  BTW, do you mean to tell me that Melo-Cream donuts are still being sold.  I remember the shop on 16th St in Moline...and later on in Downtown Moline.====OAKS:  Really?! Yes, they are still very popular in Springfield! Delicious!   I was warmly welcomed into my new neighborhood, and especially the folks next door, and man across the street were, and are, very helpful to me! I am blessed!!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/27/18
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.”  (Chinese Proverb)  When we moved into our house there were no trees on the property, and now there are many.  One was planted on Arbor Day over 20 years ago and has grown into a climbing tree for children and g-children.  “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as (that) tree.”  There’s also a pine-tree, transplanted from northern Wisconsin.  Do you have a memory-tree?    ;-)  Jack

FROM PM:  Love this one! I wish I had known of it when I was a teacher!!  Have a great weekend! Thank you for your continued emails.====JACK:  I recall learning about Arbor Day is school, but I can't remember when.  Teachers do have an influence, 'tho we don't always remember their names.  Do you especially remember some of your students?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  During 52 years of married life we moved nine times.  Our first home was an apartment so I didn't plant a tree there, but the other eight houses we bought, and I planted one or more trees at each one.  It has always been a pleasure to return to those home sites and see the grown trees standing tall.  Where we live now we have a neighbor couple who are caring and generous.  On the man's 50th birthday we wanted to give a gift, but couldn't decide on what to give.  Then it struck me...we would give a commemoration tree.  I chose a weeping cherry tree and planted it for them.  Now it's more than 20 feet tall, and this week it began to bloom again.  Its location is perfectly in view for both them and us, and we are enjoying it in all its flowering glory.====JACK:  A mate to our "climbing tree" began as a two-stem "twig" on the church building site.  Mary brought it home and planted it in our yard.  After a while you suggested transplanting it and removing one of the little trunks.  Apprehensively, she agreed.  Years later we were so happy to see it mature into a second climbing tree.  Thank you!====RI:  You're welcome!  It was my pleasure to serve you with a few little favors in exchange for all you gave to us.  I remember going over once and pruning your crabapple tree.  Has that survived?  Nature is remarkable the way it can overcome disruption and live on.====JACK:  "That" tree has moved on the crabapple heaven, only to be replaced by another/  BTW, there used to be a TV cartoon character named, Crabby Appleton.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Good one, Jackl!!!====JACK:  Have you seen the "off-shoot" of Anne Frank's horse-chestnut tree planted at the Holocaust Center in F.H.?====PAUL:  No... and a good friend of mine has a brother who is a guide  there. Soon on my agenda.. thanks for the heads up. ====JACK:  It's on my (BIKTB) list, too.

FROM WALMART REV:  That one that money doesn't grow on .====JACK:  Matshona Dhliwayo said: "Money doesn't grow on trees, but it grows on intelligent minds."  You've heard of Mat, haven't you?====REV:  Sorry to say I have not ... Impressed though with the number of writers you quote from ... I spent too much time at the bowling alleys instead of becoming better informed in these impressive areas understanding and knowledge.====JACK:  But I never rolled a 300, or a 200...but a few 100s.

FROM DR I IN OHIO:  I love this one! I’d like to think someday people make might remember me as a person like the Lorax, I too speak for the trees! ====JACK:  Lorax -- sort of like an amanuensis for trees, huh?====J:  I had to look up the word amanuensis… I learned something new!====JACK:  Sometimes a preacher can turn into a teacher. ==== DR J:  :-) indeed! I’ve learned a lot from you over the years… not ALL good ... such as how to play practical jokes on people... but mostly all good!====JACK:  Good is relative!  I hope you've learned that life can be fun.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My daughter loves our large maple in front because she used to limb up there and sit and read====JACK:  What a beautiful word-picture!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I just got 10 flowering trees from the Arbor Foundation.  Last year we got 10 hard wood trees.  We put them in large containers for two years and then transplant them.   Our favorite tree in located on I-75 by West Branch, MI.  It was my mom’s favorite tree... a huge ancient “Christmas” tree as we used to say.  She would mention it every time we passed it for years and years and years.  Now she’s gone, and we still remember her favorite tree! ====JACK:  Eventually we had to take some of ours down.  Thay were taking over the yard and impacting the house. ====JUDY:  There are lots of trees on our property but there’s room for more.  We have a large brick patio in the back.  It was damaged when a huge branch of a willow tree broke off in a storm and landed on it.  The willow also hit the roof but there was no damage.  It happened before we got here.  We had to have the willow cut down because it was rotted in the middle and would have fell in a strong storm.  We hate to take trees down but like you say, sometimes they can wreak havoc! 

FROM MF:  Not sure if was one of your ww's in days past, but today reminds me of a favourite about this subject.     "It's a noble man who plants  a tree to give shade to someone he may never know"  I think fondly of the many trees I have planted, now some at my current house are diseased and have to come down, they will be replaced.====JACK:  Trees can be like people...sometimes.====MF:  I looked it up, was from Dr. Elton Trueblood,will do more research about him. ====JACK:  He's a famous theologian...worth reading more about...and he speaks to "the common" people, too.

FROM LBP:  oh my.. so many "trees" that need planting and tending.====JACK:  Just like children..

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Many many trees! Les loved trees! I have taken down or a freeze has taken down 15 trees and I still have 14. We did have a few orange trees, a Chinese lemon, a tangerine, and several grapefruits. We used to share with friends. Our house was built in a woods where people used to come to shoot wild boar before the developer came! We had lots of swings and lots of tree climbers!====JACK:  I'd love to have a grapefruit tree in my yard...if the climate were right.  Do====SHIRL:  Yes the elms were beautiful before the were all cut down. That happened before Mother and Dad moved to Tampa because the state took their home for the bridge over the Mississippi. That was a blessing in disguise for us! remember the beautiful and stately elm trees in Moline?  That nasty Dutch Elm disease....====JACK:  It was a blessing, too, for those who wanted a quick way to pass through the Quad-Cities.

FROM MY LAWYER:  Yes. After I got Gino’s a liquor license in 1976-1977, Ezio Santia, Gino’s Dad, came to my home and we planted a cutting of his Italian fig tree. We used to have to uproot it every fall and bury it, then replant it in the spring to keep it alive. After it grew to about 10’ with a 6-8” trunk, it became too big to maintain in this climate. Long gone, but not forgotten.====JACK:  What a great gift to present to someone.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Jack, an ornamental tree we planted in 1976 – in just a few years it began to develop small berries, which attracted cedar wax wings birds every fall – in a couple of hours they would strip all the berries from the tree - - -  and the birds would be tripping all over – drunk from the berries.   By night fall they had recovered and taken off.   Jewel and I would look forward to their visit every year.   Memories  are  wonderful! ====JACK:  Birds getting drunk at the pastor's house!  Oh my!.  A UCC pastor friend of mine moved to become pastor of a church in Wisconsin.  It was Good Friday noon and people were filing into church for services.  Just then a beer truck pulled into the parsonage driveway next door, and the driver began unloading cases of beer.  It seems that the brewery would give free beer to the pastor of that church for Easter each year and thought that the new pastor would appreciate the gift as did the others.   

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/26/18
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”  (Nathaniel Hawthorne)  Hawthorne is considered among the best of American fiction writers.  Maybe, in school, you were assigned to read “The Scarlet Letter.”  I’m amazed at his “writer friends”…Longfellow, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville.  Creative writing is “easy.”  All you have to have is an imagination and an idea of what interests people and connect the two and get someone to publish what you write and to sell it.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  your blog is easy, too... because you make it seem that way!  i know you gave great sermons.====JACK:  In both instances (blog & sermons) I try to figure out the interests and needs of the readers/listeners and go from there.

FROM LBP:  Have you ever done a grade level analysis of your writing? There is a fallacy that “smart” writing should be at a higher grade level. But, who wants to fight to understand content? I agree with this WW. Writing to be read is harder than it seems.====JACK:  I have not had my writing grade-analysed, but I try to write based on experience.  To write about what you haven't known is to "make-believe."  Even fiction writers have to have some "experience", don't they? ====;BP:  I thought that MS Word used to do this, but now I can't find it. Anyhow, a quick search and I found:  For what it's worth, your WW today has a Flesch Reading Ease score of 60.5 with 60 being "plain English" and lower numbers being harder to read. Other scores say that it's reading level is between about 7-10th grad. That's pretty good! Though knowing you, even these 6 sentences have great care and thought behind them.====JACK:  I guess the analysts validate my easy read (except for a word or two that cause some head- scratching.====LBP:  sure. I'll let you know if the WW starts to give me fleas ;)

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Oh Yes, The Scarlet Letter (unforgettable to a H.S. reader In Fanny Entriken's Lit. class,)  and House of the Seven Gables...He did have a way with words!  Easy reading writing is indeed hard work. I know how I sweated out writing articles to be published in our  AB Women's Nat'l. magazine when I was Pres. of GRR AB Women!   I was impressed when teaching Jr. High, by how well some "writers" expressed  themselves in themes and book reports. etc. A privilege to nurture such talent!  Most of us  have at least one good poem within us! But, as you describe, the imagination, insight of interests,  actual writing, publishing and selling is a whole other ballgame!!  Your WW are insightful and very readable :-)====JACK:  I remember being in Fanny's class,,,and I do remember enjoying writing.   (and reading O. Henry's short stories)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  You also have to have the knowledge on how to put the ideas together, put together a plot, a beginning, ending and a very intriguing and entertaining middle.  Nothing to it!!!====JACK:  I'm no Nathaniel!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  that's all there is to it???====JACK:  ...and don't make it too long.  Although he was immensely popular, I wasn't a fan of Michener.====PAUL:  some of his books seemed longer than the event he was trying to describe... ====JACK:  ...sort of like some sermons on the text, "Jesus wept."

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/25/18
“I’d rather know a square guy than own a square mile.”  (Wilson Mizner)  Calling someone “square” goes back several centuries…“He’s honest, loyal, reliable.”  The jazz world introduced a new definition in the 1940s …“He’s dull, out of touch, old-fashioned.”  Mizner is using the older definition…an honest friend is far more valuable than having one who is rich and not honest and dependable.  Count yourself blessed when you have a friend who is square.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM GDL:  You fit the bill for me. Still gratefully remember your gently wise mentoring when I was (in Michigan) ====JACK:  We were "just talkin'" like friends do.

FROM GF:  I’m glad to call you my friend.====JACK:  As I look back on it, we've really had some good conversations... Ben Casnocha, in his book, The Alliance, describes the "close friend" who you don't see very often, or talk to very often, but still consider to be important in your life.  I like the word, sympatico.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  : "A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realization that
you can't make old friends." Those that share a long past with us are dear indeed!  I like the first definition of square! Probably most of us "oldies" fit into both definitions to some degree...:-) ====JACK:  Interesting...Square (meal, deal, shooter, block, root, etc).

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  does this have anything to do with that cartoon character,  Bob Square Pants??====JACK:  I suppose it has to do with the shape of SpongeBob (square, like a kitchen sponge).  In order to fit, his pants would have to have a square shape.  BTW, in the Detroit Thanksgiving Parade, there's a balloon in the shape of Captain Underpants.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes I have many friends who r square and I have lost many along the way!  ====JACK:  Do you know the origin of the saying, "Be there, or be square?"
Guy 1: There's gonna be a party later tonight, dude!  Be there, or be square!
Guy 2: What does that even mean, bro?
Guy 1: Be there or you're being a square, because you're not a-round, man!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I sent this to my “Square Friends”!  Thanks====JACK:  Four of them (4-Square)?  BTW, Aimee Semple McPhereson formed the Foursuare Gospel Church.  She once dressed as a traffic cop and rode into her church on a motorcycle.  She got off and began her sermon,,,"Stop! You're speeding on the way to Hell!"

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/24/18
“Everything for me becomes allegory.”  (Charles Baudelaire)  There’s a lesson, metaphor, parable in every event, when you look for it.  The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a lesson in what it means to be a neighbor.  The walk by the Israelites to the Promised Land can be a metaphor for our life’s walk toward Heaven.  The Wizard of Oz has many allegories…the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion, even Home!   Our world is full of hidden stories.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and some of the best stories ever told are the Parables.  and yet so much of our preaching today lacks this key element.  i wonder why... on another note,  i lost two relatives last Saturday.  Cleo was 96 and Estella (my aunt) was 100.  both died 3 hours a part in the same small town in Iowa. ( kind of weird ).   we will spend much of this week in Iowa planning and attending wakes and/or funerals.  thankfully the weather looks good.  hope you are well today,  Jack.  Easter blessings====JACK:  What is the "story/lesson" in Cleo's life? Estella's life?

FROM LBP:  But dissecting and analyzing everything gets tiring. On a related note, a podcast I listen to discussed “Hollywood producing legend Robert Evans’ advice on making it: “You learn from success, kid, not failure.”” (Happier in Hollywood ep 39). Which do you analyze more? The successes or the failures?====JACK:  Things seemed to turn for me after I went to a workshop where participants talked positively about my ideas and accomplishments.  That validation made a big and long-lasting difference   Validation by others is a real help.

FROM WALMART REV:  "...treasures for discovery!"====JACK:  Jesus told a parable comparing our relationship to God to a hidden treasure.  “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The Bible is full of little or big stories!  Some are hidden and some are not.  Each one of us has stories and parables which would fill volumes!  I’m waiting for the next chapter...actually, I’m creating the next chapter!  Love your “Winning Words”!  They make me think!!!====JACK:  Even the most "knowing" Bible person has more to learn.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  When I didn't receive a WW on Monday/23rd, thought you were ill again! Glad to get today's offering when I returned home from taking friends to tour our African American Historical Museum, located in a new bldg. in Spfld!  Everything being Allegorical might be stretching it, but if you in that mindset, present events  can certainly qualify for a "lesson" or parable!  Most pastors are pretty good at taking daily happenings, and using them for examples
and lessons in their messages, it seems to me, and you are one who looks for this kind of thing!  Thanks for the heads up to alert us to possibilities!! :-)====JACK:  I was surprised when you didn't respond yesterday...especially since it was a sports quote.  I checked, and it was sent (perhaps lost in outer space).  Of course there can be a lesson in that...thinking the worst...missing what you've liked when it isn't there anymore.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/23/18
“You gotta do what you gotta do when you gotta do it.”  (Denny McLain)  If I were to meet Denny, I’d want to ask: “How do you cope?”  Daughter’s death, wife’s illness, pain, prison, self-blame, regrets.  It can be overwhelming!  “What do you do?”  Everyone has their situations, but some seem worse than others.  In the end, if there’s time, I’d like to talk some baseball with the last pitcher in MLB to win over 30 games (28 complete)…and at age 24.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ROBERT:  Justin Verlander is the only one I've met while walking down Maple in downtown Birmingham.  I thought you had also met him?====JACK:  Nope.  I passed Dennis Rodman in Birmingham.  I also pumped gas beside Pistons coach Chuck Daly at a Shell station.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I was up here the year that he won thirty.   Great team.   Outstanding pitcher.   Seemed to lack ethics.====JACK:  Professional sports is a hard business and sometimes saps a players ethics.  According to the article I read, he seems to be taking another look at life.  another quote in the article..."I've got a whole lot of things to talk to God about."====JOHN:  Lots of work pursuits raise difficulties.   Sports is only one of them.   Ethics is critical to navigate the rough waters we face in those endeavors.   Our present President seems to be almost bereft of any ethical considerations.   He is an horrific example to our people.   I still really admire Barack Obama for the lifestyle he was able to pursue in the midst of a myriad of temptations.====JACK:  Being a pastor has its share of ethical/moral challenges, too.  Re: Trump.  For one who seemingly lacks a moral compass, it is impossible to expect him to be guided by what he lacks.====JOHN:  Is he amoral or immoral?    If he lacks an ethical compass, he is the first.   If he just spits in the eye of an ethic he knows and pretends to accept, then he is immoral.   I think he is the latter.   Interesting question. ====JACK:  I vote for amoral!  I don't think he has a moral sense of right and wrong.  Actions and words are right or wrong only as they fit the situation...another way of looking at Situation Ethics.

FROM TRIHARDER:  Just hang on to your wallet. I knew a young woman who worked for him on his TV show (Channel 20?) in the 70s. It was a weekly struggle for her up get a paycheck. This was a precursor to his legal problems. ====JACK:  Our reputation follows us, to be sure.  I'm in the business of helping people to change.  It doesn't always work, but time and circumstances have a way of causing people to readjust their way of thinking.  BTW, I'm not always an optimistic thinker.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  funny thing, i quoted Denny McLain in my sermon yesterday.  talking about the need for a Shepherd to guide us thru life  on Good Shepherd Sunday,  the quote was taken from a newspaper article after he went to prison, years ago.  he said,  "How did i ever get from where i was to where i am today" (in prison).  sounds like he really has re-built his life.  happy spring, Jack.====JACK:  As for why McLain wound up in prison...let the people who believe that God causes all things to happen answer that question.  The gift of free-will carries with it the consequences for how it is used.  HOWEVER..We can be thankful that God has also invented GRACE.====PAUL:  Amen to that!!

FROM SHALOM JAN:  AARP news has an interview with Denny.  If you haven't seen it yet, do so.  Interesting.====JACK:  That issue is sitting unread on my kitchen table.  Your message saved it from the recycling bag.

FROM MV:  My Dad and I got up that historic Saturday morning, drove to Tiger Stadium from Flint and witnessed his 30th win. It was funny that Reggie Jackson was playing for Oakland(their opponents that day) and was carrying a sign saying Whoever their pitcher was(could have been Catfish Hunter) was going for his 15th or 19th or 16th victory. Even though the full attention and publicity was on Denny. Flint was the infamous place that was the beginning of the end of Denny’s career as he played the organ at The Shorthorn Restaurant and ran into some bad characters there. ====JACK:  How fortunate it was for you and your dad to have seen that game.  How fortunate, too, that we don't have to continually live with bad decisions we've made in the past.  The Bible assures us that "though your sins be as scarlet, they can be white as wool."  Sometimes that's difficult to comprehend.  I would remind Denny of that...if we should meet.====MV:  That would be a great conversation to have with Denny.====JACK:  One of life's joys for me is to be able to talk and relate to people in a way that personally brings them into the conversation.  It once worked that way with Billy Graham.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  “Man’s Fame” is fleeting. I wonder how Denny’s faith is.====JACK:  I've learned that before I attempt to judge the faith of others, I need to examine my own.  Then, I echo the quote of the man who came to Jesus and said, "God be merciful to me, a sinner."  In McLain's case, I see the ongoing events of his life causing to think more deeply about "God" in his life.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I can truly say I would pray!  And I do!====JACK:  Praying:  "Talking it over with God."====JUDY:  Absolutely!  Perhaps the world’s biggest problem is no God no prayer!  God cannot be removed for us but many try!  Prayer prayer prayer!    Are many many prayers from many many people...we have Spring!  God is good all the time!