Friday, September 21, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/21/18
“If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.”  (Charles Lindbergh)  I’ve flown in jet planes, open-air planes and a glider.  I like flying…but I’d like flying as birds fly, particularly the way hummingbirds do it at our feeder.  I also enjoy watching swallows and hawks.  I remember seeing a video of a man trying to fly with bird-like wings attached to his arms.  It didn’t work.  It was a good day when God had the idea of creating birds.   ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:  Really? I don’t know if I’d have the stomach for it. I don’t mind flying but I appreciate the closed space of commercial jets so my brain doesn’t have to think of where we are. On the runway, take off or landing, I say a little prayer and typically acknowledge the absurd (non bird) idea of plane flight.===JACK:  You used to babysit for Jason who is now a pilot.  I know that he'd be willing and anxious to take you on a flight over the "places" where you grew up.  You wouldn't be afraid to fly with him, would you?===LBP:  He was a good kid, I'd be OK with it I suppose. It's just not my thing to take a plane ride for kicks.===JACK:  Do you remember the TV commercial for the new cereal, LIFE?  Two brothers didn't want to eat something they hadn't eaten before, so they turned to their little brother and said, "Mikey, try it; you'll like it."  Soooo...flying with Jason?  Try it; you'll like it."

FROM SHALOM JAN:  With a number of my colleagues working now on Blessing of Animals rites for October, I'm reminded that my only pet was a canary.  After a while, even as a child, I felt bad for the bird being in a cage where there was no real room to fly.  No wonder Chippy didn't sing very much as he aged!===JACK:  I once served as an interim pastor to a congregation which had a bird (named Olive) in the narthex.  My children and g-children still refer to that place as Olive's church.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  do you recall Alfred Hitchcock's weird movie, The Birds??.   a few  people left the theater angry and wanting their money back:):):)   true story..===JACK:  Hitchcock was known for making some scary movies...and The Birds was one of them.  I remember seeing it and thinking that it could be real.  It is now considered to be a classic.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  One of my joys is sitting in my chair watching the birds at our 6 feeders and in our pond.  I have to shoo away our large birds such as Blue Herons, Storks, Egrets and Cormorants.  They eat my fish and frogs!  But I do watch them for awhile because they are so majestic!     The Cormorants do the most damage and they are the hardest to get out of the pond.  They swim the opposite way from me so it looks like we are performing some kind of strange dance.  I shoo them to the left and they turn right etc.  it makes me laugh every time.  God certainly blessed us with these wonderful friends.   I do have some of them named because they are back every year.  And, they let me know of their favorite feeder is empty!===JACK:  If you could be a bird, which one would you choose?===JUDY:  I’d like to say a beautiful songbird but I really want to be an eagle!  How about you?===JACK:  A Blackbird.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  angels have wings... 😇===JACK: Many birds are mentioned in the Bible...eagle, hen, dove (I like the mention of the turtledove), swallow, quail and raven...there may be others.  Just as the word, angel, means messenger of God, so each reference to birds in the Bible, sees it connected to "a message from God."  I remember the time a classmate in seminary asked a professor, "How did the angels manage to get their robes over their wings?"  BTW, the depiction of angels with wings was a visual explanation of how these messengers were able to travel between heaven and earth.===LIZ: zippers===JACK:  Elias Howe came up with the "zipper idea" in 1851, but the naming of that closure as a zipper didn't happen until 1923.  Maybe the Biblical angels used Velcro.===LIZ:  I'll bet that you are right.===JACK:  Or, it was one of God's miracles.

FROM FCGF:  I am also an avid bird watcher , especially in the winter.  Though, I'm often appalled by their savagery towards each other, taking baby birds out of the nest to eat. It doesn't bother me as much when a hawk swoops down to catch a meal. I tell myself, I guess other baby birds have to eat too.===JACK:  Remember that the next time you're at Buffalo Wild Wings, or when you're choosing between "white or dark" at Thanskinging dinner.===GF:  Yeah, you're absolutely right.  Years ago we secured the used Christmas tree to an oak in the back yard.  A family of robins built a nest and Nancy was so happy to sit on the deck for morning coffee and watch things progress in the nest. One morning, they were all gone, too young to leave on their own, remnants of blood about the nest, Nancy very sad, was not comforted by my remark that baby owls have to eat too.===JACK:  During the Nixon investigation leading up to his resignation, one of his supporters said:  "My mind's made up.  Don't confuse me with the facts."  Your "owl story" reminded me of that.

FROM DM IN LIV:  I agree completely!  Birds are one of my favorite creatures, though I love them all.  I get so much joy from watching birds just do what they do.  One of my favorite experiences is when there’s a large flock of them and they’re all flying in the same direction with dipping and weaving.  I call this the dance of the birds.  Birds make my heart happy===JACK:  When birds are able fly in unison like that, how can you ever call someone a birdbrain?===DM:  Exactly!  So beautiful

FROM KANSAN DON:  What no helicopter?  My first flight washer St.Peter in  whirlybird. Never tried a parachute.===JACK:  I wasn't even a helicopter parent.   Grandson Jason recently took a helicopter ride in Nepal at the foot of Mt. Everest.  He also has done the parachute thing.  His brother, John, has done the Bungee Jump off of a high bridge.  I get those thrills vicariously.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Surprised that C. Lindbergh would not prefer airplanes, with his rich history of aviation! But I think we all appreciate the colorful variety of birds that enhance our lives. This reminds me to get feed for my winter feeder, which is the only time I feed birds (and squirrels with corn...). We took a plane ride around and over Mt. Denali when in Alaska to watch for wild animals and see the snow capped peak of the Mt. Awesome beauty, but few birds!===JACK:  He was called, Lucky Lindy, but his life after his solo flight across the Atlantic was not so lucky, but those are other stories.  His mother is buried in our little cemetery here in West Bloomfield, and he would have buried here, too, except for his wish to be buried in Maui, Hawaii., where he lived when he died.
===OAKS:  I didn't know his mother was from MI. What surprised me was the fact of his second family in Germany, which his wife didn't know about until after he died!  I understand the children from both of his families have corresponded and gotten together!  I am a big fan of his wife's writing. (Anne Morrow Lindbergh.) Especially her little book "Gifts of The Sea." Profound!===JACK:  Time, the people who come into our life and the events that occur have a way of shaping us into who we are...even you.....and me..



Thursday, September 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/20/18
“Will you look back on life and say, I wish I had, or I’m glad I did?”  (Zig Ziglar)  What sad  words: “woulda, coulda, shoulda”…when it comes to missed choices and opportunities.  A man told me recently how he had Apple stock “in the beginning,” but sold it, because it wasn’t going to go anywhere.  “If only…”  The one thing gained by looking back is the experience of learning
how to make better choices.  What is it that has enabled you to say, “I’m glad I did?”    ;-)  Jack

FROM CONRO:  Good morning.  Thanks for continuing to start our days off with things to ponder.
===JACK: It's always a GOOD morning when it starts by hearing from friends such as you and knowing that we are pondering similar thoughts.  "I'm glad I did" get to know the St. Stephen's people.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Great Quote!!!! Says so much with such few words.===JACK:  So it is with life...so much that can be done...so little time.  We have to pick and choose wisely   I'd like to think that you and I have chosen wisely.  I remember a poem that begins..."Only one life, 'twill soon be past..."

FROM JT IN ST JOE  How true.  Sometimes I don't motivate myself well   So much easier to stay home.  But when it's completed and I'm back home I'm glad I did it  Again today I have events competing. I have to leave one early to attend another Not good either !===JACK:  Looking back (after you've rested (and are in the remembering mode), I'm sure that you'll look back and say, "I'm glad I did."

FROM MY LAWYER:  Spending about $5 in postage inviting friends to come for breakfast to learn about an Optimist Club!!!===JACK:  I join with many who will say that we're glad that you did invest the time, energy (and stamp money) to begin the Optimist Club of WB.

,FROM WALMART REV:  Those realities that indicate I made a good choice . . . They, of course, go along with those others that I wish now I hadn’t made. However, we can learn too from those latter experiences where we say they were good experiences to learn from?!?!?! 0;-)===JACK:  Just think!  You could have become pro bowler and made the BIG bucks.  But, compare that with the memories you have now.  It's been a Wonderful Life, hasn't it?===REV:  Who would know today, instead of “big bucks I could have fallen right into the gutter along with the bowling ball. I would not want to trade the ministry nor the experience of the ministry for any other profession, even if it was just for the pleasure of meeting you, Jack Freed!! 0;-)===JACK:  Do you know this hymn?  It helped call me into the ministry.
God calling yet! shall I not hear?  Earth’s pleasures shall I still hold dear?
Shall life’s swift passing years all fly,  And still my soul in slumber lie?
Chorus:  God is calling, calling yet,  God is calling ,  Sinner, hear his pleading voice.
God calling yet! I cannot stay;  My heart I yield without delay;
Vain world, farewell! from thee I part;  The voice of God hath reach’d my heart.
Chorus"  God is calling, calling yet,  God is calling ,  Sinner, hear his pleading voice.
===REV:  I’m going to “Google” it ...I’ll bet I can find it and listen to it...”callings” are precious...I’ll always remember what I’ve felt is mine in the Fall of 1965...been going strong with it for just shy of 50 years!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  great words for today!  thanks...===JACK:  Judging from the number of responses already received, the words seem to have hit a chord.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm sure we will say both those things, but for the most part, mine will be "I'm Glad I Did!" I never dreamed as a child that I would travel so many places in the world, or have the rich family life I've had, or  the rewarding ministries and friendships.  "One day my life will end, and if some whim should prompt you to review it; Let her who knew the subject best, tell you the simple way to do it. Then say: Here lies one doubly blessed! Say: She was happy--Say: She knew it!" ===JACK:  It sounds as though you've "lived" Heaven on earth...but, then, the Bible says that "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of Marilyn The things which God has prepared for her who loves Him.”===OAKS:  Yes, I'm sure that if we could understand the details
of "Heaven", Jesus would have been more specific.  I think in our Mortal bodies, we don't have the capacity to envision what God's Kingdom is like!  Like Bill and I trying to picture what Chicago is like decorated for Christmas, to our bush country African friends in 1970...  They wouldn't have the background to understand that.  NOW, I suppose movies and TV have penetrated even remote areas of Congo with visual life in the U.S. They ALL had a dream of getting to America back then!

FROM GDJ IN WISCONSIN:  Morning Jack  I'm mostly in the "glad I did" category but at 72 with a chance to look back there are a couple "shoulda, couldas."  I turned down an offer to become a missionary on an island off the coast of Japan. I'd like to say it was because I understood Christian proselytizing as colonial and insulting to other religions ( which I believe it is) but it was really a lack of faith and will. I fantasize it and believe I wouldn't have brought anyone to Christ but would've learned how to fish the ocean and live a simple life and probably made some life time relationships.
There is always a shadow of failure, but there has always been a powerful witness to forgiveness and grace.   I tried to do no harm and make no excuses for the Gospel. So there's that and that's more than enough.  I love waking up your words and will always be grateful for your mentoring me.  Blessings to you,===JACK:  Just a comment on the "coulda."  Missionary work is what being a pastor is all about.  It does not necessarily mean to get people to choose one way of worshipping God over to another way.  I have seen my ministry as one of offering people a way to make their life more meaningful.  Whether it be on the "island," or FH, or WB, or in Dairyland, it's the same.  Bob Seger would sing, "It's all the same."  BTW, did you know that Bob Seger lives in Orchard Lake?===GDJ:  Did you see he announced his retirement yesterday? Not counting this last tour. Still the same.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I  glad that I took that job at Eastern Airlines and got to learn about computers and to see the world.===JACK:  Taking that teaching job at John Deere wasn't such a bad choice, either.===SHIRL:  That was lucky too. I wanted to be able to help mother and dad with grandpa who had hardening of the arteries and couldn’t be left alone. I think they call it Alzheimer’s these days. He had it for nine years from 1940 til December 1949.     I'm also glad that I chose 20 years of being an at home mother and doing tons of volunteer work!That was lucky too.===JACK:    “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I’m glad I had God in my life:===JACK:  An old Sunday School song:  "What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought  Since Jesus came into my heart;
I have light in my soul for which long I have sought,  Since Jesus came into my heart."     

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/19/18
“On Yom Kippur we stand before God, hand on heart, and say, ‘It’s not your fault.  We are the problem.’”  (Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt)  I remember how nervous I was, standing before a judge for a traffic violation.  Nervous?  Think of yourself standing before God on Judgment Day!  In a sense my Jewish friends do that each year on Yom Kippur.  I wonder if they’re nervous.  I like the biblical concept of grace, where God offers forgiveness to those who repent.   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Ethics means making hard choices....not simple ones.    I will go with Bonhoeffer on this one.===JACK:  I'm glad to see that you're finally buying into Situation Ethics!
===JOHN:  I never have and never will.    To understand that our reason is sometimes unable to grasp the mind of God is unequal to recognizing that there is no ethic at all.    Any relativism in ethics cannot be called Situational Ethics.   It is the denial of ethics...as Socrates insisted.===JACK:  I knew that if I gave you an example of Situation Ethics, you'd find some reason to deny it.  Maybe it's the term, SE, that bothers you.  What's a better name for finding yourself in situations where "you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't?"===JOHN:  The term bothers me because it implies that there is no real Ethic....if the situation is determinative, we are left without an Ethic...and, in essence, without a God.   If this is acceptable to you, embrace it.   I can not ===JACK:  I agree that there is a basic ethic, a basic law.  Forget the word, situation... There can be a circumstance (the Hitler assassination attempt) when the Law (Thou shalt not kill) can be set aside.  And if that be a sin, so be it.  "God be merciful to me, a sinner."

FROM SF:  I find it very peaceful to be forgiven! No strings, no arguments, no guilt!! 😊===JACK:  That's what "grace" is a;; about...to receive God's forgiveness, not because it's deserved, but because of God's love for us.  From an outsider's viewpoint, that seems to be the promise of Yom Kippur. ===SF:  Yes!===JACK:  I’ll always remember the time in college…I slipped a “late” assignment under the professor’s office door with a note on the front…”I forgot!”  It was handed back the next day with a grade of D with a note from the professor…”I remembered.”  At the end of the paper another note from the professor, “I forgave,” and a revised grade of B.  I may have forgotten everything else in that class, but I never forgot the lesson of the meaning of grace.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  if my memory serves,  Rabbi Kushner in his book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, also asks if we can forgive God for creating an imperfect world?   i don't like the question, but he does ask it.  lots of food for thought===JACK:  The Bible has many stories of people complaining to God about his action or inaction.  God can take it...and understand as parents often do with their children.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Rabbi Rosenblatt and his people would be right at home in the book of James, then! He insists our problems and conflicts stem from too much Ego, too much self obsession which breeds discontent, envy, slander of others & conflict, both in relationships and with God!
 Reminds me of a passage in Jess Lair's book, "I ain't much, baby,  but I'm all I've got", years ago (early 70's!) who after a massive  heart attack due to stress and conflict in his life, examined his life and relationships, and concluded  he was his own worst enemy. But he said since HE was the cause of his problems, sad as this was, it was also a happy thing, because now  he could get to work on it to fix it!" :-) Would that we all had such insights into how we REALLY are...! It was a good read! ===JACK:  WOW!  You could be a preacher.  OOPS!  I guess you already are one.  I do remember Lair and his quote.  It's a good one.  Self obsession can be a real problem.  You probably know the expression, "He's full of himself."  (opinionated, overbearing, poor listener, it's always about self}  Of course, that ain't me or you! 

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I liked your honesty in writing about your arrest when you were younger. I had several close calls with the law, though never arrested.===JACK:  I should add that it wasn't only once that I was arrested...but only once did I appear before a judge.  Standing before God's Judgment Throne will be a totally different experience.  However I'll have a good defense attorney...Jesus.  

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I like the idea of Yom Kippur.  I like the idea of a special day but I know my Savior died for my sins.  However I do sin none the less.===JACK:  Every day can be a  Yom Kippur for you...and me.

:FROM TRIHARDER:  We confess our sins; acknowledge we aren't perfect.  But what I liked out of today's Torah reading was that performing rituals are meaningless unless you perform good deeds -- much of which were helping, feeding, housing the poor.  I'm sure you could ably perform a sermon on this issue.===JACK:  Jews and Christians aren't that far apart...at least from the Jews who are friends of mine....and I just saw this NYT quote by Gerard Papa who runs a youth basketball program in Brooklyn:  "We’re a cross section of New York. We got yeshiva kids, madrasa kids. We have Jesus, Moses and Muhammad, all playing on the same court."===TH:  The name of our religion is just the brand of phone we use to talk to Gd. Imagine that. No bombs, pogroms, suicide killings,===JACK:  That has the makings of a song...
 Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I'm a dreamer  But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us  And the world will be as one
===TH:  I'm not a particularly religious person, but I do try to learn from moral teachings on those occasions that I attend services. Today's Torah reading instructed that performing rituals are meaningless unless you perform good deeds -- many of which are helping the oppressed, feeding, housing the poor, the less fortunate. Amen.===JACK:  Just what do you see as a “particularly religious person?” Is “self” the best judge of that?  Or, is it left to others? And, ultimately to G-d? ===TH:  One who prays regularly to his/her higher power, observes religious customs, rituals, attends services regularly, has a high awareness of the dogma and has a deep belief in it.===JACK:  Would you be embarrassed, offended or surprised to be called, "religious?"===TH:  Surprised.  Not offended. 

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Nervous?  Yes. That’s one of many feelings.===JACK: AWE-some!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/18/18
“1. Never give up!  2. Be nice to one another.  3. Think good thoughts.  4. Try to do better.  5. Say please and thank you.”  (Rules to live by--RuthAnn Lillstrom)  Ruthie’s Rules remind me of a NYT article: 27 Rules of Etiquette for Our Times.  A common denominator is to “Think of the other person’s feelings first!”  Life isn’t always about YOU!  Turn off that phone…Use the turn signal more than the finger…Don’t Facebook gossip…Chew with your mouth closed.   ;-)  Jack

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  6. Don’t pick on old friends, play nice===JACK:  I've quoted this before.  The job of the pastor is "to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable."

FROM SF:  Yup! ===JACK:  It seems as though every school has rules.  I've forgotten what they were in "my day," except for NO RUNNING IN THE HALLS, so I'd just walk fast.

FROM DB:  Two things that I absolutely hate:  when someone answers and talks on their phone when you are visiting with them and when people play with their phone when you are eating with them ……….. the epitome of disregard!===JACK:  I wouldn't say that I "hate" it, but I dislike it very much.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Wow!  Great reminders for every day!===JACK:  From my experience, Carol doesn't need reminders to be polite.

FROM LJ:  This will be in my Sales Meeting next week, for sure. Thanks Jack and let me know when you would like to get together.===JACK:  I’ve always seen myself in “sales,” so sales meetings are interesting to me.  Sometime I would like to sit in on one of yours (without disclosing to others what went on).

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  We need to buy a billboard with those rules on it on all the roads into Washington DC. Airport included.===JACK:  Burma-Shave signs used to be effective.  How about this one...
You know
Your onions
Lettuce suppose
This beets 'em all
Don't turnip your nose
use Burma-Shave ..
and try to be NICE!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We are all still here for a reason so we might as well do our best to make our world a better one!===JACK:  I recently read that the single most powerful factor in having good health is to have a "purpose in your life.

FROM PROUD MARY:  Oh and how proud this mary is of my sister ruthie! She’s a winning words celeb! ,,,and   Be kind to everyone.  Be kind to everything.  Be kind to yourself.  The only rules we practiced at preschool ❤️===JACK:  Tell me about the pre-schoolers who are now adults.  Have you seen positive results from your teaching?===MARY:  So many of my past preschoolers have come back to see me. They all have seemed happy and kind. My staff organized a great open house at the Grayslake museum for my retirement. I was graced with visits from past friends of all ages. Many three generation families attended. It was magical and I felt so honored. As far as how much my teaching helped...it’s a group effort. Parents learn from us. Children learn from us and the kindness keeps moving on.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Thanks for the smile.  You and Nancy are peas in a pod despite your height disparity===JACK:  Real life is not all smiles, but my sister and I had enough of them in our growing up years that have affected our adult years and how we react to things.

Nat King Cole - Smile - YouTube

===BB: Don’t get me weepy.  That is one of my father’s favorite songs… the Nat version too!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As I said in yesterday's reply, Kindness and Politeness are underused in our world today, which has become so divisive, hateful and rude!  We can all determine to make a difference by being the person who shows unconditional love, especially to kids and the underprivileged!  I try to be very positive, smile a lot, and encourage when I can, and people DO respond! (Notice I said TRY: I'm far from perfect!!)===JACK:  Son David, who is my content editor, commented that I was using "kindness" two days in a row.  Maybe it should be three.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Good rules to live by!===JACK:  Outhouse Rules...
Gather a handful of leaves before entering
Shoo out wasps, spiders and other critters
Wipe seat of any substance left by others
If no heat, do not strike matches inside
Be respectful!  Do your thing and get out
Save some leaves for the next person




Monday, September 17, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/17/18
“If you have to choose between being kind and being right, choose being kind, and you will always be right.”  (Sent by Tara Kane)  Friend Tara teaches more than public safety to college students.  She explains to them (as illustrated in her quote) the importance of knowing how to get along with people.  Whether it be a police officer, a fire fighter, or an ordinary citizen...how to be kind to others is an important skill.  Keep your eyes open today to “see” kindness.   ;-)  Jack

FROM SF:  I have repeated this statement many times. It works. Thanks for the reminder. ===JACK:  "Being right" is subjective and can lead to misunderstandings.  I know kindness when I see and feel it.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I don't buy this for a second.    If there is a Hitler like character around, should we be kind and not mention that he is causing pain to a lot of people....or, should we insist that this stop?===JACK:  There is no "all the time" after "being kind."  ...and for that matter, no "all the time" after "being right."  As Potter Stewart said of pornography, "I know it when I see it."  I use common sense to identify rightness and kindness.===JOHN:  All the time is certainly implied....no qualifications are placed on the act of bring kind.    I think you are resorting to Sophistry here. ===JACK:  I seem to recall someone saying, "Love your enemies."===JOHN:  Yes.   To do he right thing is to love your enemy.    Sometimes, however, to love one's enemy...e.g., Hitler....is to attempt to assassinate him.===JACK:  I'm not so sure that the omniscient Jesus would favor the assassination of our enemies or the capital punishment of them...but "who has known the mind of the Lord, or become his counselor?"===JOHN:  Ethics means making hard choices....not simple ones.    I will go with Bonhoeffer on this one.===JACK:   I'm glad to see that you're finally buying into Situation Ethics! ===JOHN:  I never have and never will.    To understand that our reason is sometimes unable to grasp the mind of God is unequal to recognizing that there is no ethic at all.    Any relativism in ethics cannot be called Situational Ethics.   It is the denial of ethics...as Socrates insisted.===JACK:   I knew that if I gave you an example of Situation Ethics, you'd find some reason to deny it.  Maybe it's the term, SE, that bothers you.  What's a better name for finding yourself in situations where "you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't?"===JOHN:  The term bothers me because it implies that there is no real Ethic....if the situation is determinative, we are left without an Ethic...and, in essence, without a God.   If this is acceptable to you, embrace it.   I can not.===JACK:  I agree that there is a basic ethic, a basic law.  Forget the word, situation... There can be a circumstance (the Hitler assassination attempt) when the Law (Thou shalt not kill) can be set aside.  And if that be a sin, so be it.  "God be merciful to me, a sinner."===JOHN:  Exactly.   That is called living in Grace.===JACK:  I think that (at last) we're on the same page.===JOHN:  That in itself is a scary thought!

FROM TK:  Thank you Jack! I am sure I stole that quote from someone else along the way. ===JACK:  I'm like you...When we come across something good, we usually forward it on to others.  That's how it often is with friends...We often introduce them to others.  I wanted WWs readers to know about the work that you are doing.  I should also tell them how to get rid of the "bags" under their eyes.FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Absolutely Spot On! After being married awhile, I came to the conclusion that Kindness was the most important requisite for successful relationships, and I was blessed with a kind, unflappable mate! A sense of humor is right up there, too! :-) But kindness and politeness can't be overrated; they are underused!!  Let's change that in our little corner of the world!===JACK:  I have to continue working at practicing what I preach.  As Glen Campbell used to sing...
Let me be a little kinder  Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me  Let me praise a little more
Let me be a little meeker  With the brother who is weaker
Let me think more of my neighbor  And a little less of me
===OAKS:  Love those song words; Haven't heard it, but Bill probably knew it, as he listened to Country Western songs a lot. ...and don't we all have to work to be more like we KNOW to be the
Christian Way!===JACK:  LESS OF ME - YouTube
===OAKS:  Thanks, Jack! Good words, and catchy melody!    You are so good to take the time to find these things and pass them on!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Glad we have people like her to teach our students kindness. ===JACK:  She's one who lives the words.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Absolutely lovely and inSpirational.  Thank you.===JACK:  I like this poem about The Power of Words by Omkar Atale

Words can make one happy,  Words can bend one's mind;
Words can make one grumpy,  words can make one kind.

Words can illuminate a man,  Words can make one weep;
Words can hurt so much,  That a man cannot even sleep.

Words can hide the truth,  Words can strike the heart;
Words can provoke the youth,  To make a revolution start.

Words can give one freedom,  Words can push one to heights;
Only words have such powers,  To separate wrongs from rights.

Words are more than missiles,  That can make one just die;
but words, if hit, cause much damage,  That makes one forget to try.

Words before being spoken,  Are under our total control;
But after we speak the words,  We fall under their control!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  What goes around comes around!===JACK:  ...or as Major Bowes used to say on radio's "The Original Amateur Hour".."Round and round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows."

FROM FARMBOY:  Another good one emphasizing ‘...an important skill.’===JACK:  Making right choices is truly a skill.  If we're lucky, we learn it from someone sometime.







Friday, September 14, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/14/18
“And the Lord changed his mind…”  (Exodus 32:14)  What?  God can change his mind?  God was angry with the behavior of his people and was determined to destroy them…Moses pleaded for another chance.  God listened, and the prayer was answered.  Sometimes God’s will seems to be carved in stone…but this Exodus story says that it’s good to keep on praying.  I’ve found that the best prayer is “Thy will, not my will, be done..and I hope that they’re the same.”   ;-)  Jack

FROM SUES:  Now I know why I read your daily offering!===JACK:  Now, I know why I write them.  They're for people like you...and me.

FROM DR JUDY:  In the spiritual/metaphysical community, when we request or vision something we say, “This or something better.”===JACK:  What a great way to end a prayer.  Thanks for the new thought!

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Changes mind?? Maybe God really is a woman??===JACK:  Now, that's a funny one.  Somewhat related....Definition of a Catholic priest:  Someone who dresses like mother and wants to be called, father.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: more good words, Jack.  thanks!===JACK:  I generally haven't thought of prayer as a way of getting God to change his mind.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  Nice! I go to New York in 10 days to meet my team at Universal :):) I'm praying for great things!!===JACK:  "Thy will be done!"

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/13/18
“Walk on through the wind  Walk on through the rain  Though your dreams be tossed and blown  Walk on, walk on  With hope in your heart  And you'll never walk alone.”  (Richard Rodgers)  I remember, as a 10-yr-old, how afraid I was when I saw the movie, The Hurricane.  Storms can be scary for adults, too…and not only hurricanes.  Rodgers gives good advice.  When you are tossed and blown, remember:  God goes with you.  You do not walk alone.   ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  "Walking on now with faith and confidence, not walking at all alone!" ===JACK:  How many times have you sung this song...
"Trying to walk in the steps of the Savior,
Trying to follow our Savior and King;
Shaping our lives by His blessed example,
Happy, how happy, the songs that we bring."

FROM PROUD MARY:  This song of the day has been a theme song throughout my life. I will use it in the next number of difficult days.===JACK:  It's an "everyday" reminder that God is always with us, but it's especially significant for those in the path of Hurricane Florence.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I thought Rodgers did the music and Hammerstein wrote the lyrics. ===JACK:  You're probably right.,,as usual.  Whatever...the lyrics are good.  Hammerstein and Rodgers worked well together, producing great songs. 

FROM SHALOM JAN:  We sang that in the high school choir, too.  My concern is that, with all the storm emphasis on our East Coast, we are ignoring "readiness" for Hawaii, which also has a huge hurricane headed there.  Haven't heard anyone talking about preparedness for the islands.  I hope not another Puerto Rico!!===JACK:  Ultimately, it's about empathy (not sympathy).

FROM INDY GENIE:  I love this song!!🎶 I loved the drama of it when I was a little girl(big girl, too:)===JACK:  I remember hearing it as a Grayslake HS graduation song.  So appropriate!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and thank goodness (and God) for that!===JACK:  I look at "goodness" as a slang synonym for God, like, GeeZoo, Gosh, Golly, GadZooks, etc.===PAUL:  i think those words came into use as a way of not breaking the 2nd Commandment.  but isn't it really just splitting hairs??===JACK:  When I was in Luther League (ages ago) our pastor's wife game me a pamphlet, "Sugar Coated Swearing" which listed some of those words.===PAUL:  my guess is the pamphlet today is no where to be found.      we grew up in simpler times, did we not?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I love that song! I guess that is why I can’t get into the songs of today. ===JACK:  Here are three top songs of today.  Can you relate?  God Is A Woman; God Has A Plan; Sunrise,.Sunburn, Sunset.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Always loved this song===JACK:  What songs do you recall from your USO days?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I've sung that song many times for various gatherings and programs, and it is always inspirational! Both words and such appropriate music for the words make a memorable song!  My faith has sustained me through life's crises, such as losing my husband to Inoperable Brain Cancer, and a son to Liver failure. I don't know how people cope with such things walking "alone"!  I have a dish/Plaque on my coffee table with the words "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!" I could substitute FAITH for LIFE..===JACK:  The theater masks, Comedy and Tragedy, seem to illustrate your life...so much laughter...and tears, too.  But, the show must go on, and you have been an example of that to the many who know you.  Have you ever sung the Anne Murray song, "Put Your Hand In The Hand Of The Man Who Stilled The Waters?"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We have to remember He’s with us always.  We all have that devil that drives us.  But we’re not alone....we’re never alone!  What a blessed thought!===JACK:  The reading, "Footprints in the Sand," emphasizes that God is always with us...good times and bad.







Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/12/18
“Even the great get greater by doing more of it.”  (Colleen Wainwright)  You’ve heard the answer…”Practice, practice, practice!”  Do you know the question?  Whether it be Carnegie Hall or The Big House or the Olympics, “reps” are important to the participants.  That’s what makes someone the best.  That works in other aspects of life, too.  The Boy Scout doing the daily good deed begins to do them naturally.  Good health habits…Practicing politeness…etc.   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Work was Prof Holcomb's secret formula.    He congratulated my partner and me when we were elected to Phi Beta Kappa and then said, "This means you are smart.   So are all the other teams.   If you want to beat them, outwork them."===JACK:  Studs Terkel, in his book, Working, describes the "work" of various people...but not including a debater.  Define, if you will, your professor's "secret formula."

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  👍===JACK:  I'm glad you liked it.

FROM FF MF:  Reminds me of what I always believed to be most important job on a fire scene.
The fire  engine operator (FEO), after arrival at the fire, has to secure a water supply, usually a hydrant, switch engine from drive to pump, connect intake hoses and supply hoses ,finally, pump water to the fire.  Any mistakes in these first critical moments means delay putting water on the fire.
We would have rookie firefighters practice this operation repeatedly, again and again.  High stress assignment for less than two minutes.===JACK:  It's interesting to know that fire fighters (and EMTs) are good at what they do because of practice, practice, practice.  If not for God's intervention, I might of been an FEO, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Good habits have to become habits by practicing.  AND by example. ===JACK:  The word, habit, originally meant dress, or attire.  That's probably why the nun's attire was called a habit.  Habit also came to mean a person's demeanor, and that's probably why we refer to what a person customarily does or says as a habit.===JUDY:  That is very interesting!  I learned something new today!  Thank you



I loved driving the engine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/11/18
“Love, not hate, makes America great!”  (T-Shirt slogan)  The T-Shirt was invented in the 19th century as an undergarment for workers.  It took about 50 yrs before someone got the idea for printing slogans on them.  Here a couple that I’ve seen…”Jesus is coming.  Look busy!” and “Think like a proton.  Always be positive.”  Do you have some favorites?  Clever slogans are one way to get your message across, but, IMO, the best way is by the life that you lead.   ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I miss your face!!!===JACK:  ...those words on a T-shirt with #44 printed below it.

FROM WALMART REV:  All mine say something like the “Fruit of the Loon” or is it “Loom?!” 0;-)
===JACK:  Are you sure it doesn't read...Fruit of the Loopy?===REV:  I was going for “Loonie” but thought else wise! ===JACK:  Here's an idea:  Wear a message T-shirt as you sit at Walmart....
IS TODAY SPECIAL FOR YOU?....ISN'T GOD AWESOME?...SOME PASTORS ARE FUN-SIZE

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Amen - lead by example.===JACK:  Did you ever play the game, Simon Says?  That's a kind of Follow the Leader.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  my favorite is    Lets Put The Fun Back In DysFUNctional!===JACK:  ...or, how about, Let's Put The FUN Back Into FUNdamentalist?  OOH, that would be scary!

FROM VLAZING OAKS:  My son has one:"When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power the world will know Peace." it's a quote from Jimmi Hendrix! So many funny slogans: "Only Left-handed people are in their Right Mind!" My grandkids and "Greats" have a  slew of them, but none come to mind just now!  I love the Proton one you quoted!  How about "Carpe the Hell out of your Diem!" Has a nice ring to it! :-)===JACK:  You might be able to wear the "carpe" shirt if it read:  "Carpe diem tuorum et ad inferos "===OAKS:  That might be more appropriate, yes! I could always interpret it according to my "audience"!




Monday, September 10, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/10/18
“Your life is like the morning fog.”  (James 4:14)  Tracie Miles, in an article, “What if tomorrow never comes?” tells of a harrowing airplane experience when she wondered if it would be the end of her life.  A lot of “what if” questions crossed her mind.  Have you ever had such an experience?  In reality, each day is like that.  We don’t know what it’s in store for us.  There’s an old saying: “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”   ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  (v) I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day.  I don’t borrow from its sunshine, For its skies may turn to gray.  I don’t worry o’re the future, For I know what Jesus said. And today I’ll walk beside Him, For he knows what is ahead.
(v) Ev’ry step is getting brighter, as the golden stairs I climb; Ev’ry burden’s getting lighter; Ev’ry cloud is silver lined. There the sun is always shining. There no tear will dim the eye. At the ending of the rainbow, Where the mountains touch the sky.
(v) I don’t know about tomorrow, It may bring me poverty; But the one who feeds the sparrow, Is the one who stands by me. And the path that be my portion, May be through the flame or flood, But His presence goes before me, And I’m covered with His blood.
(Chorus) Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand; But I KNOW WHO HOLDS TOMORROW And I know who holds my hand. (Alison Krauss)
===JACK:  Today is the tomorrow we were concerned about yesterday.  By faith, we move on, day by day.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words for today or for any day.  thanks!    in college the choir sang an anthem entitled,  What Can Life Be But a Shadow?    the song spoke of how transitory life can be for so many.===JACK:  Messages tied to music seem to make the words come alive.  I've often thought that church worship services could be enhanced by giving a brief background of some of the hymns and anthems that are sung. BTW, your mention of life as a shadow reminds me of  Robert Louis Stevenson's words...
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

CHARLES KETTERING:  You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time. "

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Granddaughter Allison was "home" from AZ so we had a diversity of outlooks in our discussions. Allie is outfitting a big white van, to be her "home" when she's out rock climbing the sheer peaks between traveling nurse assignments. (She's 27). What a different life from mine, and even my kids who are pretty traditional!  Another type of "housing" which I'm sure I'd not have had the courage (or desire) to experience. It seems risky for a pretty young woman to be "living" in a van alone...but "not my circus, not my monkeys", so Nana zips the lips, and rejoices in her adventures and prays a lot! :-) As Bill enjoined so often regarding our kids and "grands":"All you have to do is Love them, Marilyn." They live their own lives...===JACK:  I imagine that most people of our generation can tell a similar story of the young "uns" doing things that we wouldn't think of doing (we'd think of other things).  I got in my grandson's car yesterday, and he changed the music to play grandpa's type///Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever...and The Thunderer.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Just enjoy each day and do your best every day!===JACK:  During the season  hurricanes, do you enjoy each day?  I guess you do, because you're a veteran Floridian, and storns are old hat to you.===SHIRL:  Hurricanes are scary! I usually am not here! Charlie in 2004 was our worst but I was in Texas helping Susie. We evacuated once in 1985 for Elana but she stayed in the gulf for three days and then went north!  Wow...For our 65 years in Florida we have been very lucky with so few hurricanes!
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Just like life, fog dissipates and starts a new day.  Life ends briefly and as the veil lifts, we start eternal life.  Always knowing who will meet us!===JACK:  Who will you be looking for...first?===JUDY:  My grandma...After Jesus, of course...How about you?===JACK:  In my thinking, I tend to lean toward what Martin Luther said..."When I get to heaven, 3 things will surprise me.  ...that I will see some people I didn't expect to see.  ...that I will; not see some people I expected to see.  ...and most surprising of all--that I'm there myself.  He was emphasizing that we don't get to heaven by our good works, but by God's grace.

FROM PRAW:  Every day is a wonder to me....and filled with expectations and  I think often of the family motto coined by my wife JUdy:   "It's all part of the great adventure!"......===JACK:  Judy was a special person in so many ways.  She helped make your life and the lives of others a great adventure.






Friday, September 07, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/7/18
“Do you want to live on Flip Flop Lane in Margaritaville?”  (Parade Magazine 8/12/18)  The new trend in housing is to develop neighborhoods which attract people with common interests: singles, children, Boomers—even one for veterans with PTSD.  “The hot word is communal!  People are looking for a new kind of living, real neighborhoods.  “The old has become new.”  Privacy fences are coming down.  Walls aren’t popular.  Make way for the Buffetteers!   ;-)  Jack

 FROM LG IN MI:   People who are fans/followers of Jimmy Buffet are lovingly referred to as Parrotheads.===JACK:  You must be a fan!  Do you wear flip flops, too...and like Margaritas?  ===LG:   Not a "fan", don't wear flip flops. but I do like a good Margarita occasionally!===JACK:  That's how I picture you...and with no ponytail or bun, either.

FROM DM IN LIV:  A resounding YES!!!  😊===JACK:  What is Flip Flop Lane for you?  People who live in like-minded neighborhoods?  People who like Buffett music?  People who dislike fences and walls?  All, none, some of these?===DM:  People who love the ocean and beach, wear flip flops everyday and love Buffett music. 😊===JACK:  How about ponytails?===DM:  I’ve always loved ponytails!===JACK:  On men or women or both?===DM:  I loved wearing them.  I guess I never was a fan of the man ponytail or the man bun. 😊

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  is that a reference to Warren Buffett?? ===JACK:  His followers are called, Profiteers, not Buffetteers.

FROM LS:  Good morning .   I continue to appreciate and thank you for your words each morning.
As I read your winning words, I agree that people are seeking to live near people and are attracted to people with common “interests”.   (You used the word communal which, to me is a different concept of sharing and exchanging for the good of all.  )   I write  here to the concept/attitude/trend you speak of in your winning words this morning that I see creating silos and building  “walls “ to those with disabilities, veterans, children in the name of common interests. Let them live together with their own is the concept/attitude/ trend that is growing.  Walls that keep out those that want to live in “our “ neighborhood but do not “fit into” the chosen, protected interest”  The attitude that accompanies this way is thinking is - Those that do not fit into our common interest should find their own group and live with them.  Then they and we will be happy living with “our own”. Sadly,  I see that this attitude is moving people away from my perception of the world where I seek to know, understand, learn and grow from my neighbors  “differences”.  It is ironic to me,  at a time when technology gives us the ability to explore our great universe and beyond,  the smallness of our minds towards each human miracle on this abundant planet earth is becoming smaller.  I shall continue to dream of enjoying  living in my neighborhood, sipping lemonade on my  front porch in a padded rocking chair with love in my heart  - engaging in conversation, with intention,   neighbor to neighbor-  honoring and respecting each.===JACK:  I like my neighborhood because of its diversity.  In a sense, there is a sameness about those who like diversity.  Xenophobics might want to live someplace else.

FROM WALMART REV:  I think I will continue to lock our doors . . . at least for a little while longer. Fran I were out in Palm Springs, California last year as guests of one of our more affluent families in the church . . . I have never seen so many gated communities with small golf courses on the inside!===JACK:  Were there any Walmarts or AG churches in those neighborhoods?

FROM RS:  Hopefully we might get some neighborhoods with both Democrats and Republicans that actually talk with ....and listen to....each other.  What a concept.===JACK:  Who's going to pay for the wall?  How about the Republicans pay for building the wall and the Democrats pay for tearing it down?  Having said that, Robert Frost had some good advice..."Good fences make good neighbors."  ===RS:  How about neither side pay anything and learn to get along as neighbors?  I never like spending time, effort and money addressing a problem that could have been avoided in the first place.===JACK:  That presumes a neighborhood of reasonable people...and that's what you were opting for in  your original posting.

 FROM PASTY PASTOR:  Thanks for your morning thought provoker.   This one, though, I read as “WARNING” words.
America is more and more afraid of talking with anyone other than their own tribe.   My projection is that fear drives such tendencies and is destructive to Democracy.

Tribalism builds fences.  Privacy fences are coming up, not down... it is simply that the yard  has been enlarged and fence lines stretched longer to encircle a same-as-me neighborhood in which I feel safe.  COMMUNAL is indeed the trend so long as we agree with one another.  I’m interested if you see things opposite of what I perceive===JACK:  I'm saying that people who like diversity like to live among like-minded people.  Calling it, communal, simply gives credence to: "Birds of a feather."  It works that was with congregations, too.  I guess that what I'm looking for is a neighborhood where people understand or are seeking to understand.

FROM PASTY PASTOR:  Morning, Jack.  Thanks for your usual morning eye-opener.   I just finished the Washington Post article on  How segregated housing helped liberal Sweden’s far right dominate the debate.    This past week they got 18% of the vote....JACK:  Life is always presenting us with dilemmas.  "You're damned if you do and damned if you don't."  I guess Joshua's advice is the best, "Choose this day whom you will serve."





Thursday, September 06, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/6/18
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”  (Satchel Paige)  That’s an interesting question, isn’t it?  Ask it of someone today.  “Old Satch” pitched pro-baseball until he was almost 60.  Sometimes, in the bullpen, he’d sit in a rocking chair.  Jack LaLanne, the fitness expert, died at age 96.  He was doing daily workouts until day before he died.  I think that we might be better off if we had a birthday cake without any candles.  Don’t you agree?   ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  That IS an interesting question!  I'm younger in mind than in body.  Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of  Joy" which is probably true, so at any age be thankful for the capacities YOU have at that moment. No matter how hard life is. there is always
SOME THING to be thankful for! I think  I'd be 20 yrs. younger than my actual age, if I had no idea how old I was....I am blessed!===JACK: It is expected that physical capabilities will diminish with age, so I have no problem with that.  When I see younger people doing things that I can no longer do, I say to myself, "I used to do that when I was their age."  So, in that sense, I am who I am.  To have a clear mind is a blessing beyond description.  To be able to navigate the computer, to be able to see things in perspective, to tell the difference between sense and nonsense, to remember and make decisions...as you wrote, "I am blessed."  Today's birthday is simply a number.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I would like that.  Too many candles on mine!  Ha!===JACK:  I relived my life of 65 years ago and went to the Minnesota State Fair, visiting the spot where the Gloria Dei food booth used to be.  I felt young again!===MARLYS:  You and a few of your closest friends!  Ha!  I didn’t get to the fair this year.  I have a bad ankle—which will be fine by next year!!!  I will go then for sure.  I went to Warren for my 65th class reunion this summer.  Drove up and back by myself and it was wonderful.  Next year they are having an ALL SCHOOL reunion.  I won’t miss that for anything.  Trouble is where to stay.  I stayed with a cousin this year, but her whole family (8 kids) will be back so no room for me.  Oh dear!  I will find someplace for sure!  By the way, I felt like I had not changed a bit!  Ain’t it great!!!  Ha!

FROM DS IN SOCAL:  Boy, isn't that the truth?  I would have to say, "it depends on the day".  Some days I feel like I'm on top of the world...other days I think, what in the world is happening to my body.  Ughhhh   I still consider myself extremely lucky (blessed), but also wonder "why?"  Others are certainly more deserving of His many blessings but tragedy strikes them.===JACK:  Blessings seem to be in short supply for some, and for others (like myself), beyond our deserving.  Why are their inequities in this world?  I like this song... Farther along we'll know all about it  Farther along we'll understand why  Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine  We'll understand it all by and by

FROM CPA BOB:  Our grandchildren always ask how old we are.  What would you suggest we tell them?===JACK:  When my mother-in-law was asked that question she'd hold up her hand and say, "I'm as old as my little finger."

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Is it your birthday Jack?  Or are you, as I am, contemplating the next birth anniversary (because I am celebrating a friend's 80th birthday today)?  Either way, I think you might be 60 if you didn't know how old you are.  At least, I think your brain is only 60 because you are so much more "with it" than a lot of people I know who are in their late 60s and seem to have lost their rationality. Whatever you are, age-wise, blessings each day.===JACK:  Yep!  It's that day again.  I'd like to think that I'm wiser today than I was yesterday...so, instead of looking backward, we should look ahead and say, "I'd like to live another day so that I can become wiser than I was."  How about that for a positive thought?===JAN:  Love it!  What a great attitude to have!  Thank you for that piece of wisdom.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  So…are you pondering your next birthday?  Coming soon?  I think we are as old as our mind thinks we are each day.  Some days we can act like children with our silliness, other days decisions must be made and our adulthood takes over and other days our bodies tell us we are aging because we can’t accomplish what we did when we were younger and our mind then says slow down and enjoy the sights.  I never worry about what ‘age’ I am.  I’m the age of those I’m with – children show us joy, make us aware of new ideas and technology and that we can still be learning; teens and young adults show us views of our past life when we were learning about relationships, leaving home for the first time, the anticipation of a new job and looking into the future; the middle age show us their interest in the various jobs they’ve had in life, the activities they have found to do volunteering in their communities or supporting causes, people older than us show us what we have to look forward to as we age.  Do we want to go kicking and screaming or being helpful to our children or caregivers as we might need their help.  Some in our own age range can show us we are still useful in this world; a lot of work still needs to be done mentoring younger children, young adults, or visiting those that are alone.  Life is to be lived no matter what are age – enjoy every moment of it!===JACK:  Practically all of the people I associate with are younger (far younger) than I am.  I think that has something to do with how we see ourselves.  When I was doing Children's Messages in church, I tried to put myself in the place of the children.  I think that your Bob has that quality.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  I never excelled in math so numbers don’t mean much to me. And frankly, even though math is indeed an exact science, sometimes I don’t think numbers tell the full truth.
I don’t know how old you turn today and it is irrelevant because your spirit, wit, innovative approach to life inspire me - and countless others - with the youth of a teenager. You’re fun and energetic and absolutely the best.   My wish for you today - on your birthday - is continued health, productivity and even some adventure.  May the Almighty continue to use you as as God’s vehicle to bless the rest of us.  Happy birthday!===JACK:  Wow!  Thanks for those words.  I've always appreciated your upbeat spirit.  In these days when many things are being labeled, FAKE, you stand out as being real...a real smile, a real friend, a real faith.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  You’re only as old as you feel! Each day is different for me! Some days it’s 40 and other days it’s 90!===JACK:  To me, you'll always be the Shirl I knew in high school.

FROM TRIHARDER:  29===JACK:  Somehow, I'm not surprised.  29, but with the wisdom that you have at the present time.===th:  If wisdom equals experience, yes, dxrpt when physically, I act like I'm 29.===JACK:   Enjoy it while you can.  Sooner than you can say, "Jack Robinson," the 29 will turn to 89.===TH:  I am.  Thsnk you!  You, too!

FROM VW MARY:  Age would vary A LOT from day to day!===JACK:  Where did you find the Fountain of Youth?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Probably 25 some days and sitting in a rocking chair some days.  It’s all the way you want to feel.  Just the young ones get the correct amount of candles the rest of us get a handful.===JACK:  When they start putting candles shaped like numbers on your cake instead of actual number of candles...you're over the hill.

PRAW:  I agree. I just turned 89....and my age fluctuates between 39 and 99...depending on the day and time. ===JACK:  You're just a whipper-snapper (Whipper-snapper: The meaning of 'whipper snapper  a youngster with an excess of both ambition and impudence.===AW:  wish that were true...but at least I still look twice at a pretty girl.




Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/5/18
“Don’t hurry.  Don’t worry.  You’re only here for a short visit, so be sure to stop and smell the flowers.”  (Walter Hagen)  I’m told that the famous golfer Walter Hagen lived for a short time in the same house where I live.  Maybe I should put out a sign: “The Haig slept here!”  Perhaps more important is to have a yard with flowers: roses, lily of the valley, Jack-in-the- pulpit and Rose of Sharon.  Concentrate in this life on the most important things.   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My Rose of Sharon is in bloom right now...it is beautiful.  I am out almost every morning to tend to my garden and smell the roses...beautiful out there...===JACK:  You probably know that the name "rose of Sharon" appears in the Song of Solomon (2:1), the beloved says "I am the rose of Sharon, a rose of the valley."  In Sunday School we used to sing...
I’ve found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me,  He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see  All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay;  He tells me every care on Him to roll.
He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

FROM SF:  So we have just learned this strong lesson. G had a stroke last week and we just got home from the hospital last night. It was a ‘large stroke’, but thank God, he had zero impairment. His heart checked out beautifully as well. So he was sent home with some meds and will wear a heart monitor for four weeks.===JACK:  The words, "You're only here for a short visit," are a reminder that life is but one breath...and then another.  "Stroke" is a scary word.  Both of you are being added to my daily Prayer List

FROM TL:  Jack, today’s WWs hit home.  I have said many times to my wife and children that we are here but for a blinking of an eye, in the grand scheme of things.   Thanks for the reminder. ===JACK:  1 Corinthians 15:52 describes the "blink" this way..."in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye."  That's quick.  Practice a blink now, and think!

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  We agree - we've tried to create a small area where we can sit, coffee and unplug.  Wish I had Hagen's golf game!===JACK:  I remember reading in the Bible that there was a time when Jesus had to "get away from it  all," and so he went off to (unplug) be alone.===RS:  We’ll pretend we’re on Japanese time, in which case- Happy Birthday 🎂!===JACK:  I'll pretend that it's 1945 and graduating from high school.

George Burns - "I wish I was 18 again" - YouTube

===RS:  George was one of a kind.  1945 -  a very good year ....considering I made my entrance into this world then.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i take it you like rose of sharon. me, too. and roses and lilies of the valley and...===JACK:  I tend to have an affinity toward "Jack-in-the-pulpit."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Flowers are just so very pretty...God’s Masterpieces along with the clouds, the mountains, the rivers etc.  we are blessed!===JACK:  I like the Bible verse..."Consider the lilies, how they grow.  They toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Be careful Walter was the famous womanizer drinker and carouser. You don’t want to have your sterling reputation impugned. Unless of course you’re Going through a phase in your old age.===JACK:  There's a saying: "Is these walls could talk..."  I'll have to trying listening sometime.  As a realtor, you've probably walked through many homes with interesting stories to be told - if the walls could talk.

FROM GO BLUE LYNN:  Better Walter than AL Haig===JACK:  Only old fogies remember General Alexander Haig.  He has been reincarnated today with the name, General John Kelly.

FROM PROUD MARY:  our message to the hurrying child at school was simply, "no hurries...no worries".  i loved hearing it when the said it to each other or one of the teachers. song of the day i learned as a child..."white coral bells upon a slender stalk...lily of the valley deck my garden walk...oh how i wish that you could hear them ring...that can only happen when the fairies sing!" ===JACK:  I remember that song...I think that is was often sung as a "round."  BTW, in your experience, what did small children seem to worry about...mostly?===MARY:  Yes, it was and that's the way we sang it.  i think that children worry about the unknown.  anticipating something new causes anxiety. once they are guided through new situations or their questions are answered in an age appropriate manner the fear goes away. pondering my response...i think my answer may pertain to all children no matter what age child we are!

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Did Mary or Hagen plant those lovely blossoms?===JACK:  When we moved in there was only one little spindly tree in the yard and no flowers, only weeds.  The upgrade to flowers and over 30 trees was Mary's doing.  She especially liked Lily of the Valley.===BB:  I love that fragrance.  Sometimes you’ll pass a city yard with this wonderful aroma and see no plantings yet there at the base of the bushes are a few Lily of the Valley plants springing out.

FRPM DAZ IN COLORADO:  I like that. We'll be sure to "smell the flowers"  during our visit with you.===JACK:  The Rose of Sharon should still be in bloom.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Your yard is a treasure of flowers!. I, like your Mary, love the Lily of the Valley;  Had a nice bed of those at my former Lake house. We have Rose of Sharon on the golf course, so beautiful! Even those of us granted long years, know how fleeting our lives are in comparison to the millions of years of Earth's history!  AND the endlessness of Space...that fascinates me! So much to learn, so little time, so make each day count, right?!===JACK:  I know that RLS is a favorite author of yours.  I like what he wrote:  "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."









Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 9/4/18
“Next to God, we are nothing.  To God, we are everything.”  (Cicero)  During Cicero’s time, people’s names had strange meanings.  His name meant, chickpea.  Catulus was, puppy, and Scaurus was, swollen ankle.  Today’s most popular names are Olivia (always smiling) and Noah (long-lived).  At baptism, the pastor gives the person a more important name, “Child of God.”  It recalls what Cicero said, “To God, you are everything.”  Hold that thought, today!   ;-)  Jack

FROM RVB:  Amen, I’m holding on tight in prayer  Blessings on your day!  From one child to another Child of God  (no matter our age)===JACK:  Sometimes, when we're on a roller coaster, we're told to "hang on tight!"  That goes for "life" too...especially when we're holding on to the hand of our Lord.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good thought. You're a little late today.===JACK:  It's always a good thought to know that God cares about us.  BTW, the Hawkeyes looked good in their football game last week...and I'm "late" because I'm still in MN on CDT.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What a wonderful thought!  God loves us so much it’s unbelievable!  Good thought for today.===JACK:  Jesus loves me, this I know -or- Jesus knows me, this I love.

FROM FM IN WI:  Jack,  a great word for today!    Thanks.===JACK:  I write, because I think I know my clientele.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Named and claimed as a Child of God. Yes that's  good news any day in any language!  Taking 16 AB  Women on a tour of our recently renovated Governor's Mansion on this hot Sept. afternoon, but as Children of God we will enjoy the outing & praise Him for the opportunity!===JACK:  "I was glad when they said unto me, 'Let us go into the house of the Governor!'"

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Love it!  Thanks so much for bolstering my favorite name: Child of God! ===JACK:  I like the hymn, "Children of the Heavenly Father."  I like both better than "Royal Priesthood."





Friday, August 31, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/31/18
“Oh, give us the man who sings at his work.”  (Thomas Carlyle)  Who still believes that Labor Day is a day to honor our country’s workers?  It’s the year’s last 3-day weekend.  Times have changed.  Studs Terkel captured the spirit of the laborer in his book, Working.  Studs has put together a collection of his interviews with working-class people.  It’s worth a read or re-read.  Laborers in the 1930s were called, working stiffs, because they’d be so tired and stiff from their work.  I like TV’s Dirty Jobs which gives a glimpse of some of today’s working stiffs.   ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  There is so much content in what you wrote today, Jack!  Next door to me, people are building s new deck. It’s constructed of stone and bricks. The skilled workers laying down the bricks snd preparing the ground are Mexican. I watched them work for the past three days. I have never seen people working harder and with such skill!  The neighbor across the yard is s construction manager. He, like other people I know in the field, tells me that there is so much work that  he has stopped accepting new jobs. Why?  He said he can’t find skilled workers. He looked across the yard at people working and said to me that he could use every  Mexican or any other worker with those skills and work ethic. “What is our country doing putting road blocks  preventing these skilled hard working people coming and staying g here?”  In this Labor Day holiday, we should try to understand that skilled hardworking people are what this country needs irregardless of where they were born and how they got here!    Perhaps on another occasion we could address people trying to come into our country who are “unskilled” but just want to escape horrendously dangerous situations to themselves and their children.===JACK:  Not all immigrants are terrorists, but an agenda built on xenophobia is keeping America from being great again.  Our country was built, in large part, by working stiff immigrants like your forefathers and mine.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Going to watch my g'son play soccer for Drake today in Des Moines. Hope it doesn't rain.===JACK:  Oh, what fun to relive our past as it is played out by our progeny.  This week I watched my son play hardball in an Over-50 League.  At his age I was winding up my geezer slo-pitch softball career.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Which would probably mean he enjoys his job ?  The unskilled jobs are where the market is in this era.  Or skilled jobs such as plumbers, electricians food and grocery positions, bakers, etc.Computers,  There is work  for those who are willing to get their hands and overalls dirty!  These working stiffs used to be the heart of America:  I don't know how many sang as they worked, however!!===JACK:  In the factory office where I worked while also going to college ans seminary there was a guy who would always whistle while he worked.  He knew the latest songs and whistled quietly and beautifully.  He whistled "Nola" just like Elmo Tanner.
.1938 Ted Weems - Nola (Elmo Tanner whistling) - YouTube



Just my thoughts on this upcoming Labor Day.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/30/18
“The least I can do is speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”  (Jane Goodall)  It’s not only the chimpanzees who need an advocate.  There’s a “silent minority” in our country who don’t have access to the “perks” of the privileged.  MLK spoke up for the garbage collectors.  I knew a man who cut toenails for the indigent in a Chicago hospital.  Who’s the “Jane” who will say that we need better education for all children and better health care for all people?   ;-)  Jack 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As Marshall Field once said, "Goodwill is the only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy." There will always be' someone who speaks for those who have no voice, and do for those who cannot do for themselves, and they are heroes to those who know them! (Like your friend, who cut toenails!) My husband was often involved in some dirty or distasteful jobs, for those who could not afford work done. Our church had a registry of skilled workers in many fields, who could be called upon to help when needed, and  many mentored young men who had been in trouble with the law, to learn a trade such as plumber,or electrician, or construction worker to earn a decent living. Bill's years growing up working in Oaks & Sons construction (his dad's business) gave him lots of know-how!  In the ministry, no  talent goes unused! :-)

FROM THE SHARK:  I always do Jack, always.===JACK:  The world needs more people with opinions/actions like that.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Everyone!  We all have access to our lawmakers and policy makers.... our politicians!  All of their names are easy to find and easy to access!  Speak up!  Write letters!  Call and be heard!  Most of all VOTE! ===JACK:  Have you ever known or talked to one of your candidates personally?







Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/29/18
"The beginning of compunction is the beginning of a new life.”  (George Eliot)  I’ll never forget the teacher who said, “You can do better, Jack.”  I felt compunction.  I could do better.  Most of us know that there are things that we can do better in this life—a better parent, a better boss/employee, better language, and like me, a better student.  The old song put it this way: “You can be better than you are.”  Make the attempt…and it can be the start of a new life.   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  "Or would you rather swing on a star and carry moonbeams home in a jar?"    Wasn't that Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters?===JACK:  The song was in the movie, Going My Way, in which Bing was a priest at Boys Town.  I like this verse..."And all the monkeys aren't in a zoo  Every day you meet quite a few  So you see it's all up to you  You can be better than you are  You could be swinging on a star."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Always do your best, God will do the rest!===JACK:  Is that what you told your children?

FROM PROUD MARY:  In my eyes you are “swinging from a star”. Thanks for the song of the day! ===JACK:  Did you ever teach that song to pre-schoolers?===MARY:  Yes, I did. They love the classic oldies ❤️===JACK:  How do you like your Tina Turner moniker?===MARY:  well...it’s a lot to live up to  but i'll do my best.  don't want to end up with that feeling of compunction...although that feeling has helped me many times to turn-about and do the right thing!

FROM ANNE McC:  "You could be swinging from a star".  Rarely here or read compunction anymore.===JACK:  I purposely used the word, compunction, to stir up the brains of my readers.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  That’s the 100 million dollar question!!  It has been the same question since mankind was dropped on this planet!  When will we understand each other?===JACK:  There used to be a radio quiz show where the top prize was 64 silver dollars.  To win the prize you had to answer a tough question.  "That's the 64 dollar question" became a phrase to describe what you called "the 100 million dollar question."  Times change.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  COMPUNCTION- now that's a word you don't hear every day!  But it's a good one.  Jan's 4 girls used to sing "Swinging on a Star" in their Mother's Day program...each girl would sing a verse, and all would harmonize on the chorus. Precious Memories, and a great song!  Good movie, as well!  I once had a student who came into my classroom with a history of D's and F's on his report card, but I discovered he had a very good mind...in fact his hobby was creating intricate ships inside a bottle!  Real works of art! I told him that he was going to shine in H.S. when his studies caught up with his mind. The next year as a Freshman, he came back over to my room, and threw his report card on my desk: All A's, except a B in P.E.!:-) He went on to become a well known
 Engineer in our Area.  Maybe he found compunction?? We all need to, at some point.===JACK:  You exemplified the "good" teacher...like Mr Eckblad, my chemistry instructor.  Did you ever have him in high school?


.





Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/28/18
“There would be no society if living together depended upon understanding each other.”  (Eric Hoffer)  A Wall Street Journal article described in detail how social philosopher Eric Hoffer predicted the current political situation 70 years ago.  The rich don’t understand the poor, and vice versa.  And, isn’t it true?  Not only is there a non-understanding, there’s unwillingness to understand.  Hoffer lived both sides, poor and rich.  He understood.   When will we?   ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  Hopefully tomorrow, for we sure are missing it today! Yesterday looked much better than today, but if my memory serves me correctly we were describing the same back then too. One might believe we are living in a broken and depraved world ===JACK:  I was reading an article recently..."What if tomorrow never comes?"  But, our faith tells us that our tomorrows are in God's hands.  As long as that's the case, I am hopeful for tomorrow.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  don't hold your breath, Jack.  but pray for unity in the church, schools, offices, and neighborhoods of America.  there is some, if you take time to look for it but i admit, it does seem less prevalent than years gone by.===JACK:  I'm waiting and hoping for "understanding" and a willingness to seek to understand.  There will be no unity without understanding.  The past wasn't always that rosey, either.  Each era has its challenges.

FROM JACK:  (I read this today in an article by Greg Jaffe and Jenna Johnson)  Over the past few decades, Americans have fled to the political poles, leaving fewer in the once vibrant and decisive middle. Increasingly, those partisan voters are being driven more by fear and loathing for the opposition party than admiration for their own party’s leaders — a phenomenon that political consultants call “negative partisanship.”  Today partisanship has a “stronger influence” on voters’ behavior that at any time since the 1950s, Alan Abramowitz and Steven Webster, two Emory University political scientists, wrote recently. One result: Any act of compromise with the enemy — or opposition party — is greeted with anger and derision.  “Dislike of the opposing party, its supporters and its governing elite is a powerful mechanism driving individuals to remain consistently loyal to their own party,” the two political scientists wrote.  This anger is likely “to shape voting behavior well into the future,” they concluded.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  oversimplified to say it’s rich v poor. our god-given survival instinct makes it me v you, pretty much in any situation, unless we rise above our baser emotions... which is god’s goal for us, right?===JACK:  What is it that separates you from me?  What is it that separates the masses, if not "the haves" and "the have-nots?"===LIZ:  people w/in the various class designations do not see eye to eye for a variety of reasons.===JACK:  ...but that does not preclude them from trying to understand one another...as in a marriage, religion, politics. workplace, ethnic neighborhoods, etc.===LIZ:  i guess i don’t see people as labels. “what” you are has never mattered to me. perhaps that is just how i am built, and also raised.===JACK:  Whatever we call people or individuals, my point is that an ordered society needs a willingness to try and understand each other.  Your response says to me..."If you want help in understanding me, here's who I am (in part)." ===LIZ:  my response is: if you marginalize groups therein lies the problem. treat everyone equally, no problem.  has always worked for me.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  I used an old quote in my sermon a few weeks ago:  "Living together is an art." (William Pickens, 1932, speech to Congregationalist gathering in Oak Park, IL)  With divisions being more accessible to our knowledge (if not our understanding!) it appears Pickens was correct 86 years ago and today, as well.===JACK:  I Googled, How to live together successfully and came up with these sites:  3 Secrets...5 Secrets...!0 Secrets.  I guess that it's more complicated than I thought.
===JAN:  I think our history -- both national and church-wide -- would teach us the same lessons!  I have actually heard church members say that they wanted their church to grow (membership wise) and added, "But, I don't want any ... here!"  Fill in the blank with any ethnic, racial, sexual identity group, etc. and we know how much of a struggle we're up against.  We still have small congregations in the same small town here in this synod who will not join together because of age-old ethnic background differences (Swedish vs. German, for example) that led to disagreements/arguments/fights about all sorts of other (non-) issues.  Your Winning Words for today also reminded a friend of mine, with whom I share WW often, to recall learning recently about the Exclusion Laws in the founding of the State of Oregon, where they not only did not want slavery, they did not want black people at all.  As a history major in the early 1960s at a Lutheran college, of course, I never learned about that.  It pays to keep learning about one another.===JACK: A declining church that I know of has an increasing Sunday School (of color) and is making an increasing effort to reach out to the community.  However, in a sense, there is a reverse racism (a reaction to sins of the past) where "the neighborhood" feels more comfortable in their traditional places than in the reaching out mostly-white congregations.  That's why I write for the need for "understanding."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I do think we will survive these divisive and base times we're
experiencing, but it will leave its mark; Things will never be the same, sadly. We've certainly taken steps back in race relations, which will be a long recovery, and probably true of economic situation as well. Prayers abound! :-(===JACK:  I think that racism was muted in our time, but seeds were kept and allowed to grow anew in the present time.  Do you know of some pesticide that we might use?  Classism is another weed that continues to grow.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  When I was a social worker in Peoria for a year after college graduation, I saw many children and adults with many many problems. At the guardian angel orphanage there were 120 children but only 2 were real orphans with neither a mother or father. At the home of good shepherd for delinquent and non delinquent girls, I learned so much! We have so much to learn to make a better world and to appreciate what we have!===JACK:  That experience, no doubt, helped shape you into the caring person  you are, today.  It's too bad that more people can't have such an experience.  That's how "understanding" grows.

FROM GDJ IN WISC:  I remember Hoffer. Liked him. Sorry he was so prescient. 😣===JACK:  Thanks for teaching me a new word...and it's a good one, worth adding to my vocabulary.  From the time he was in his teens,  Eric always carried a library card with him...even on skid row.

FROM JB IN OLV:  Eric Hoffer was a wise, observant man.  I grew up on the east side of Detroit.  It was the little Italy.  When the I-94 was going to be constructed all our neighbors left and moved to East Detroit, Warren and Roseville.  Our house wasn't needed for the expressway so we stayed.  A large city playground on one side and the service drive on the other.  By the time I graduated from High School our neighborhood was 90% black.  We had no problems with our neighbors.  They were for the most part families like our own.  When the riots hit in '67 the business district near us was ransacked but without burning the buildings or injuries...our neighbors protected their homes just like my folks and Bill & I did my folks'.  Bill was just back from Vietnam....I am grateful that I grew up in such a richly diverse area...it was an education in manhood that has held me in good stead.
===JACK: The experiences that we've had have shaped us into the persons we are today.  It was also true of Eric Hoffer.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  That’s the 100 million dollar question!!  It has been the same question since mankind was dropped on this planet!  When will we understand each other?===JACK: There used to be a radio quiz show where the top prize was 64 silver dollars.  To win the prize you had to answer a tough question.  "That's the 64 dollar question" became a phrase to describe what you called "the 100 million dollar question."  Times change.












Monday, August 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/27/18
“My faith has sustained me in very difficult times.”  (John McCain)  Put yourself in McCain’s shoes…brain cancer, skin cancer, bad things being said about you, a Navy pilot in an unpopular war, shot down, a POW for 5 ½ years, beaten & tortured.  I’m always amazed at people who go through so much trouble and are able to say, “My faith has sustained me.”  I think of the words of Prophet Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”  Certain people inspire me!   ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words for today or for any day, Jack.  thanks...===JACK:  We all have difficulties at one time or another.  It's good to be reminded of the help that can be found in a religious faith.===PAUL:  very true but i sense fewer and fewer Americans now believe this. ===JACK:  Not believing something does not make it untrue.  Who has the responsibility for seeing to it that truths continue...the seeker or the teacher or the writer?===PAUL:  or all three perhaps.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I think every decent person is inspired  by John McCain's integrity, deep thinking, and patriotism. I'll always remember how gracious he was in losing the presidency to Barack Obama. He advised him, publicly defended him when some Congressmen were critical, and
warmly welcomed him to the  White House. That take's a generous spirit and largeness of soul. I'm sure his faith sustained him then, as well.===JACK:  Part of that quote that I did not include was, "I am a Christian and go to church regularly."  I did not include it, because I think that some people would equate faith with church going and a particular religion.===QAKS:  Even better! I like the whole quote...I tend to equate faith with attending one's church, synagogue or Mosque! If you're a  Christiian, it's church.===JACK:  I didn't go to church last Sunday.  Does that make my faith less than those who did?  ..===OAKS:  Not my Circus; Not my monkeys! Far be it from me to
judge what you or others do about attending church!  I have my hands full managing MY choices!

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Great is Thy Faithfulness!    He was a faithful man – by all accounts, to his country, his wife and his faith.  I am gobsmacked that anyone has the audacity to disrespect a military veteran with his record of service.===JACK:  Folks in my past used an expression: "I thought I'd never live to see the day when...."  Now, I find myself saying it.

FROM FM: IN WIS:  Jack, a great word today for a man for whom I had a lot of respect!    May God grant comfort to his loved ones. ===JACK:  He wasn't perfect, but he loved his country even to the point of "suffering" for it.   He was a man of values.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Thank you for sending. A tough guy one wanted on his side in conflicts.===JACK:  Sometimes it takes a military person with combat experience to understand a military person with combat experience.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It is hard to imagine a life without faith, isn’t it?===JACK:  For me?  Yes!  But, I know that there're many people out there who are turned off by things religious, including, faith.  As a pastor, I always found it challenging to get through to them.  Example seemed to work better than argument.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  He was an amazing man!  God rest his soul!===JACK:  "In You I rest, in You I found my hope   In You I trust, You never let me go  I place my life within Your hands alone  Be still, my soul  Be still, my soul   Be still, my soul."  These words are from the hymn, "Be Still My Soul," with the music composed by Jean Sibelius.

FROM ANNE McC:  I read his books when I was working.  I must read them again. They are probably in one of our bookcases.===JACK:  Old books are like old friends.  You need to reconnect once in a while.