Friday, August 17, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/17/16
“Where you used to be, there’s a hole in the world…I miss you like hell.”  (Edna Vincent Millay)  I looked; I wondered; I couldn’t find…Who did Edna miss so much?  Have you had such an experience?  Recently, the remains of some soldiers, killed in the Korean War, were returned to the USA.  An 83-yr-old Iowa man will be able to bury his older brother.  “It’s like hell to miss someone you love.”  But, God promises a peace that passes understanding.  ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ;  πŸ’”===JACK:  I figured that I'd hear from you.  Re-read the last sentence of my commentary.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Have you just defined hell?....the absence of love..===JACK:  If God is omnipresent and God is love, does it follow that God, somehow, is there (if hell is a place)?  I'd just rather concentrate on the truth that God is love..

FROM KF:  ;- )===JACK:  Peace be with you!

FROM WALMART REV:  Exceptionally well published this morning, Jack. Thanks for the read. 0;-) ===JACK:  Sometimes "hell" is the right word.

FRO JR IN SOCAL:  Good Morning, Dear One,   Wow, does this message hit home.===JACK:  Years, months, days...even minutes, the "miss you" is still there.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/16/18
“The greatest masterpieces were once only pigments on a palette.”  (Henry Haskins)  Have you ever attended a Paint-Nite-Party?  They’re popular these days. Usually a group of friends get together and each is given a blank canvas, a brush and some paints.  An artist shows a picture, gives some basic instructions, and you’re on your own.  You leave the event, happy and with your own masterpiece.  I wonder if Vincent ever attended such a party?   ;-)  Jack
FROM RI IN BOSTON:Vincent could have attended such a party, but when the announcement about the event was broadcast, he didn't hear about it.  Due to an ear problem he didn't get the message! ===JACK:  He did attend, but was so disappointed that he hopped in his VW bus and sped away.  Someone was heard to say, "Wow!  Look at that van go!."

FROM HONEST JOHN:  They might have only been pigments on a palette but not everyone could do with them what Leonardo did to create the Mona Lisa.   That step is the key.   We too often forget that and heap praises on the mundane.===JACK:  Art, as with people, who is the judge?  Is "beauty" in the eye of the beholder?===JOHN:  Ah, the old Sophist in you surfaces once again...===JACK:  Isn't it great to know that some people don't least. not very often.?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Our PETERBURG Women's Club had an artist member who did
a program like that. We all were given a stretched canvas, and she presented several flower options, and we created "our" masterpieces. It was interesting, we worked hard, and most did a credible job for rank amateurs!  We all have some talent that comes to life when given the right basic materials. The trick is to recognize it and use it! :-)  We ARE "fearfully and wonderfully made!"===JACK:  The rwo pictures in my home are a French cafe and a winter scene with a bright moon in the sky.  BTW, I can understand "wonderfully,: but do you think is meant by "fearfully?"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I wonder if it had anything to do with his death?!===JACK: Have you ever heard someone say, "I thought I'd die!"?  Strange expression.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/15/18
“Our best successes often come after our greatest disappointments.”  (Henry Ward Beecher)  Scott Steinberg tells of people who turned disappointment into success,  J,K, Rowling, without a job, depressed…but “I’m still alive!”…then came Harry Potter!  Steve Jobs, fired by Apple because of poor sales.  Later came back and made Apple the richest company on the planet.  Michael Jordon, when cut by the high school basketball coach, saw it as a challenge, and set out to prove that the coach had made a mistake.  “You can be better than you are!”   ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  All great examples-if at first you don’t succeed, try try again!===JACK:  During your teaching days, did you ever use The Little Engine That Could, as an example for your students?===SHIRL:  Not for teaching school but for my children and grandchildren. I love that book!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  This reminds me of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the French journalist (Ed.of Elle magazine, and a popular newspaper columnist) who at 43 suffered  a stroke that totally paralyzed
his body. He had "Locked-in Syndrome, his mind active and alive, but unable to communicate this, until he mastered blinking ONE eyelid, and using this to denote what letter he wanted, with the help of a publisher friend, devised a way to write a best-selling book, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY about his condition!  What a wrenching, insightful book, showing his curiosity and love of life; I'll never  forget it!  He died 2 days after his book was published, before he could complete other projects he had in mind! So if you can move even a single eyelid, you have
something to give. No excuses! :-)  On a personal level, when my teaching job in Springfield didn't pan out as I had  wished, the subsequent teaching job for 20+ yrs. in a  nearby locale were much  easier, pleasanter and satisfying. I loved teaching!===JACK:  A Winning Words reader, with Lou Gehrig's Disease, operates his computer by visual movements.  Amazing!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Beecher on the other hand followed great successes with a bad tumble....fell into adultery.===JACK:  Jesus is the only paragon that I know of.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/14/18
“You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.”  (Albert Einstein)  Einstein’s daughter has shared her father’s thoughts on Love, contained in letters sent to her.  “Love is an extremely powerful force in the universe, which science cannot explain.  It is Light, enlightening those who receive and give it.  It is Magnetic, enabling people to be attracted to each other.  It is Power, bringing out the best in people.  It is God, everything that gives meaning to life.”   ;-)  Jack

FROM KB IN HL:  Another one of my favorites. “Favorites “ are one that stay with me for a very long time.===JACK:  You're a favorite, too.  Thanks for the good work you did that helped so many people.

FROM  SF:  WOW!===JACK:  Is that what Gary said when you accepted his proposal?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Science has its realm.    Religion should let it have its say in that realm.  (The Evangelicals have not learned to do this).   However, the spiritual world is another realm...even tho the two work in harmony in many areas).   Science must leave that realm to others....the little people with briefcases under their arms have not learned to do this.===JACK:  It sounds as though Albert was a philosopher as well as a scientist as well as a dad.  The concept that we are all of one world became most evident to me when I saw the picture of Earth as taken from the Moon. That happened 50 years ago.  We are all equal as passengers on Spaceship Earth!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HA! What a neat turn of phrase! Having read a couple of biographies
about him, I wondered how his children fared! He didn't always make the greatest personal decisions, but this quote is so good; I plan to incorporate it into my S.S. lesson this week: He  was a deep thinker for sure. Love DOES give meaning to life: How fortunate we are to discover that first-hand! ===JACK:  Einstein was human, also!  It might be interesting to make a list of love songs that you have sung...including "The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell..."  I think that the S.S. might enjoy adding to the list.  Together, you could sing, "Jesus loves me."===OAKS:  It's been awhile since I''ve song that old John Peterson "love" song; It's a good one! We've sung the Golden Agers Jesus loves me...Jesus loves me this I know, tho my hair is white as snow...etc. :-)

FROMSTARRY KNIGHT:  I like this one!! I hope to find that someday ....with someone I want to be with...forever :)===JACK:  Someone has said, "Fall in love, head first."  In other words, use your brain when you're considering "that someone."

FROM BB IN CHGO:  New to me – thanks for sharing!===JACK:  Usually we shortchange someone when we fail to  look at their total being.  Einstein had a love affair with Lina...that was the name of his cherished violin.  He was more than a physicist!===BB:   Again, I had no idea.  We always hear about Mozart and babies and the relation between music and math.  Apparently Einstein is another great example.  Last night I saw Tiniarwen, a Taurig band from Africa ….will try to write more about them later.  Fascinating!===JACK:  Yes, the more we examine the lives of people (like you and Albert) the more fascinating they become.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Awesome words!  He hit the nail on the head!===JACK:  Leave it to a physicist to connect gravity with falling in love.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/13/18
“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”  (Anne Frank)  I just read of something new, the GOODNEWSPAPER, a newspaper full of good news about people, ideas and movements, aiming to make the world a better place.  As a child, Fred Rogers was afraid of “the news.”  His mother advised, “Look for the helpers!  You’ll always find them.”  There is good in this world, and when you focus on it, you’ll send a hopeful message to others.   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think we need to keep r eyes open and see the whole thing ...good and evil.....better able to deal with it all if we are not sheltered from it.===JACK:  In my opinion, I'm aware of the negative, which helps me choose the positive.  That applies to many of the choices I weltanschauung.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Accentuate the positive! I think there is a song about this ===JACK: You were probably a teen-ager when Johnny Mercer made that song popular...
 You've got to accentuate the positive  Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative  Don't mess with Mister In-Between
===SHIRL:  That was a long time ago wasn’t it? It has a great message!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  another good one, Jack .  thanks!    i did some preaching yesterday at a church over in Newport,  on the eastside of St. Paul.  about 80 people in attendance.  i was representing LSS.  a small but quite active church.  very warm and welcoming.   reminded me a lot of SLLC in the 1970s.===JACK:  Sometimes we equate success with numbers, but how to measure success is more elusive than that.  "Beauty (success) is in the eye of the beholder."  God is the only judge in this Beauty Contest!"

FROM DB:  That's exactly what the world needs. Can you please share its website or how one may view it please?JACK:  Just Google:  GOODNEWSPAPER

FROM BB IN CHGO:  I loved that concept of “look for the helpers” and thought that was a highlight of the documentary.  Goodnewspaper sounds like a great venture. I would like a reality show depicting thoughtfulness, kindness, forgiveness and positive values instead of smut and hollering and tearing people apart.===JACK:  I would like a miracle to happen resulting in our leaders showing a concern for basic values rather than political self-preservation.  The only ones who seem to speak out are those not running for re-election.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There’s so much more beauty in the world than the ugly.  But you don’t hear about it!  It’s not hard to find though!===JACK:  "Good News" people often can see beauty in what others call, "ugly."  Buy, you have to look for it.  A woman, because of her illness, had many hospital admissions.  After her latest one, she was heard to remark, "I wonder what God for me to do here this time?"

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Beautiful===JACK: While Anne Frank was in hiding, there was a window which allowed her to see outside, to see nature.  One of nature's gifts to her was a horse chestnut tree.  That tree is now gone, but a cutting produced another tree which was planted and is now growing at the Holocaust Center, 5 miles from where I live.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  That sounds like a great newspaper to read!  I remember one of the female
folk singers singing a song "What's the Good News? Hey! What's the good News today?" I arranged it for our Youth choir, who dressed as "Newsies" hawking their newspapers while they sang!  There are many good people everywhere! Last week the blind man that I pick up for Bible Study at church lost his billfold with over a hundred dollars in it...We tracked it down at the large Super market he'd gotten some groceries at, and someone had found it in the Men's RR and turned it in, money and credit cards intact.It was kind of funny, when the manager asked Brian what color his billfold was, he said, I don't know the color, but it is leather, and I'll know the way my money is folded in it." (Turned out it is brown: now he knows what color his billfold is!:-)  Heartwarming when these good things happen!!===JACK:   I don't suppose that story made the Journal-Register or Sherman's Village News.  Maybe your Church Newsletter will carry it.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/10/18
“Success in life comes not from having the right cards, but from playing the bad ones properly.”  (Joshua Dool)  My card-playing skills are limited to Old Maid and Crazy 8s, but I know that in those games you can win, even with a bad deal.  You may know of someone who’s made a success of life, despite physical, financial and/or social handicaps.  Maybe, it’s luck, but more often it’s because they’ve known how to play the cards dealt to them.   ;-)  Jack

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  My favorite prof, General Georges F. Doriot of the Harvard Business School, asked one of my fellow students why his paper wasn't turned in on time. He replied, "I wasn't feeling well." The General, who spoke softly but always had everybody's attention, said "Many of the great things in history have been accomplished by people who didn't feel well at the time." Nelson regularly got seasick.  We often hear a saying along the lines of "Health is the most important thing." I have long been inspired by the accomplishments of people who don't have what most of us would think of as health, and would substitute "Attitude". Many of our friends from the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Home (a long-term care facility) in Allentown, PA were inspirational. One man who had grown up there and later gone on to a satisfying career despite significant disabilities, composed a song called "Masterwork in Progress" along the lines that God was continuing to help him become what he could be.===JACK:  Right to the point!  Some time ago we had a e-mail discussion which included a reference to Harry Golden's essay, "The Show Must Go On."  That's worth re-reading, too.

FROM SF:  Hi. Just learning to play canasta. So many rules! New in retirement...canasta, mah jongg, golf, learning curve! ===JACK:  Who says "you can't teach old dogs new trick?"  I checked..."The idea of it being more difficult to teach things to an older dog has been around since at least the early 1500s. For example, in Fitzherbert's Book of Husbandry, 1534, there's a part that reads:
 "He muste teche his dogge to barke whan he wolde haue hym, to ronne whan he wold haue hym,
  and to leue ronning whan he wolde haue gym; or els he is not a cunninge shepeherd. The dogge
  must lerne it, whan he is a whelpe, or els it wyl not be: for it is harde to make an olde dogge to stoupe (put his nose to the ground for a scent)."  Grandchildren have a way of making you feel young again.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  One of course thinks of people such as Helen Keller, or her teacher,
Annie Sullivan who often felt ill, and had terrible eyesight herself!  But we all know personally, inspirational folks in our own lives who did amazing things. My grandson is named for a man in our church who had severe Cerebral Palsy, could not walk, very difficult to speak, or control his movements, who went to college and graduate school at U of IL earning a Master's 'Degree in Library Science, and worked for many years for IL State Library. He drove a motorized scooter to work, and
everywhere, in all kinds of weather, and when he retired, he volunteered at the Hospital, and in a first grade at one of our schools. My son Fred and wife Judy were close friends and often assisted him.  He loved classical symphony music, and I took him to concerts, as we had season tickets. That's just ONE of several I've know personally to overcome a "bad hand" dealt to them. (I should pay tribute to Jim's mom who was instrumental in all his educational accomplishments, living on campus with him throughout his education!)  I love playing bridge; Also enjoy Euchre, Pinochle, and most card game!!  Our family are GREAT game players! :-) Competitive===JACK:  There was a new seminarian who threatened to quit the sem after playing basketball against me.  When the ref wasn't looking I'd grab  the other guy's pants while guarding him so he couldn't get around me (stuff like that).  "If people who intend to be pastors play like that, I don't want to be a part of it."  His friends explained that I was really a "nice" guy...just competitive.  I wear that as a badge of honor.  BTW, he and I became best friends.  He went on to become a college and seminary professor...and even was on the Winning Words are his children.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/9/18
“I don’t believe that there are aliens.  I believe that there are really different people.”  (Orson Scott Card)  What’s your favorite…Independence Day or E.T.?    Personally, I like the friendly alien, the stranger who turns out to be one who makes life more interesting for me.  Some of my best friends were once aliens…different (religion, nationality, color), and I was different to them.  Think back over the past year.  Have you made any alien friends?   ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  1500 Somali I’m told now live in Willmar, MN and making a home here. Somewhere around a dozen young folk are now working at our local Walmart...I’ve learned four different words of greeting now and use them everyday and time I meet one of them...usually having one of those words responding back to me with a smile and appreciation for the greeting. 0;-) ===JACK:  It's surprising to many Somali refugees have come to Minnesota and have found jobs there.  How did it happen that your state became the place for them?  And, secondly, I believe that most of them are Muslim, right?  Do they have "church-like" gatherings, or overtly practice their faith?  I'm proud that someone like you bothers to learn a greeting in languages other than your own.  Yours is a great ministry!===REV:  The state government must have had something to do with inviting them here...something similar a few years ago with the Mong population in Minneapolis...Willmar has attracted many of them because of the turkey industry (processing plants for Jenni-O and Willmar Poultry)...several local Somali businesses catering to their own needs have developed as well....all Muslims and following the dress code, especially with the women. Interesting dynamic among us to say the least.===JACK:  Is prejudice against them widespread?  Have any  found their way into churches?  Do any of them stop by your table at Walmart?  Just wondering. ===REV:  More prejudices with the older Willmarites as there was with the influx of the Hispanics coming from Texas as south of the border to work the fields and poultry jobs...they were mostly seasonal until they found the government social programs more to their liking than those of Texas.
Some Somali work with a special needs business and find themselves sitting out in the church foyer while their consumer is in the service...I’ll tell them “You and I have something in common?” They always look surprised, and I follow up with, “We both get paid to be here!”  I have many Somali friends at Walmart and around town for that matter. 0;-)===JACK:  Somehow, I'm not surprised by your answers.  You're a good one!

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Not only over the past year but over forty years your alien friend.
I truly am an alien as I  carry an alien registration  card!  The little ones at school loved it when I  told them that I  was an alien!!===JACK:  Rather than fear the aliens (immigrants), we should embrace the fact that we have much to learn from them.  I think back to what my immigrant relatives contributed to America.  Think back, too, to what America has gained in culture (religion and music) from the reluctant immigrants, the slaves.  I have certainly learned to appreciate the "culture" of England because of you.  If "little green people" were suddenly to come to earth from outer space... istead of receiving them with fear, we should look upon them as an opportunity for learning.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  ET was a heartwarming movie/story!  We had foreign students or
International visitors from the Chicago Area, one weekend every year, for many years, and young kids from the ghetto who came for a week or two in the summer; one set of brothers (2) came
three years in a row, and we became quite close with that family in Chicago when we served the Dixon church.  Our boys learned first-hand about prejudice when these boys accompanied them
or our family on outings!  As I've said before Traveling the world is a first hand experience with "Aliens" and leads to empathy and understanding of the sameness and the differences among us!  ===JACK:  ...and you were aliens to those Chicago boys.  We are aliens to each other until we get to know each.  Christ is even an alien to us until we come to know Him.  But not so in reverse.  I like the words from Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born."  Though they applied to the prophet, they apply also to each of God's creation.

FROM LK IN NI:  Not just in the past year.   My entire life===JACK:  A newspaper headline declared today that "There are aliens to be found in Ferndale."  How about that?

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/8/18
“Experience informs us that the first defense of weak minds is to recriminate.” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)  Recriminate means to blame someone else.  No one really knows, but we’re told that the Great Chicago Fire was started by Mrs (Mame) O’Leary and her cow, and so a song was written, Put the Blame on Mame.  People recriminate in many places.  I liked the sign on Truman’s desk: The Buck Stops Here!  Strong minds admit mistakes and move on.   ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  I have great misgivings when I see all of the tragedy, especially that which involves genocide. "Gd's plan"? Too hard for me. ===JACK:  I believe that, ultimately, God’s will is done.  Today is only one part of a complicated puzzle.  The Holocaust, too.  I remember, in my own life, a particularly depressing time which seemed contrary to the will of a good and gracious God.  Ultimately, it made a tremendous difference in my life.  It’s sort of like the T-ball player who was asked the score of his game.  “17 to nothing.”....“Wow, that’s too bad.”....“It’s only the first inning.  We haven’t come to bat, yet.”===TH:  I know that many concentration camp victims (survivors) emerged as atheists, faith destroyed, after having lost all -- family and earthly possessions; while many emerged with faith in Gd restored. Both views  warranted.===JACK: When the Jews complained that God had abandoned them in the wilderness...and that they'd be better off as slaves in Egypt...would you call that, atheism?  Given time....we see that the wilderness experience was bad turned into good.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words for this day,.  thanks...===JACK:  I try.  That's why I call them Winning Words rather than Losing Words.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  A Prime example of these WW sits in the Oval Office in Washington
today! I remember the song  blaming Mame, a very catchy tune, and very popular at the time! It takes a certain amount of courage to admit or accept blame. A strong  sense of self helps you do that, and go on.  Adversity reveals character!===JACK:  I think that recriminate might have the same root source as crime and criminal.  Mmmm

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/7/18
“God is never late, but He sure misses a lot of opportunities to be early.”  (From Mike Watson)  Prayer is personal conversation with God, so I won’t give you a right or wrong way to do it.  For me, I just say what’s on my mind and what I’d like to have happen…closing with, “Thy will be done.”  Sometimes, Thy will is My will and sometimes, not.  My faith lets me live with that.  There’s a hymn: “My God and I talk as good friends do.”  That’s prayer!   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:What do you think of that Bill Hybels business?===JACK:  I've lived long enough and "seen" enough stuff,,,so that nothing surprises me anymore.  There are higher expectations with regard to preachers and Presidents...but as we used to say at the beginning of the Augustana church service..."We poor miserable sinners come unto thee, confessing..."  We all have sinned and fallen short.  I'm reminded of the old deacon who prayed:  "O God, forgive my "falling shorts."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  this one was almost "profound" today, Jack:):)   thanks!===JACK:  Theologically (and in the minds of many), Jesus is the personification, I give some slack to those who like the song, "In the Garden."===PAUL:  when the LBW first came out,  i noticed that almost all of the hymns from previous hymnals that spoke of a very personal, one to one relationship with God/Jesus were deleted.  almost all hymns had a more corporate theme.  i think this was a mistake.  we need both dimensions of our faith expressed in our hymnody.   that is why With One Voice became so popular because of hymns like Thy Holy Wings and Great is thy Faithfulness, etc. ===JACK:  I don't foresee a time when another official hymnal will be printed.  We've grown accustomed to new ways of worship, new songs and old favorites, depending on the particular worshipping community...and the whims of the pastor or worship and music committee.  Personally, I like the new way, although I know of others who would like to go back to the old way.

FROM SUEBARTH:  AMEN===JACK::  Since God is beyond our complete understanding, it's OK to have questions.  "We'll understand it all, by and by."

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  What a timely message for me.  I’m working on a lesson on prayer for our circle meeting this month using the Gather magazine.  After trying to combine the summer Bible study lessons in this magazine, I came to the conclusion that the author was making it too complicated to pray.  If we get all caught up in the ‘politically correct’ way to pray or why we should pray, we’ve forgotten what we want to pray about.  I did find the words for this hymn online and will use it next week.  I do enjoy my conversations with God – at all times of the day and sometimes in the middle of the night. Thank you!===JACK:  I would sometimes put an empty chair in front of confirmation students and ask them to write down their words to Jesus as though he were sitting in that chair.  You might try that sometime with your "circle."  ...meeting Jesus face to face!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We've all had that thought at one time or another, haven't we?  I'm with you; I have running conversations with God throughout the day! Especially since I've lived alone...and of course some times our prayers are not answered in the way we so wish, and our faith accepts that God knows best. (Often that becomes apparent later on!)  The concept of timelessness is so difficult here on  Earth where we are so controlled by "time", but in eternity what is "early" and what is "late"??!===JACK:  Among other things, I admired the way you have "walked through the valley" on more than one occasion without prayers being answered in the way you would want.  Yet, you have learned also to pray, "Nevertheless, not my will, but thy will be done."  Later next week I plan to have some Winning Words relating to this.  Even those who comfort others need comfort, also.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/6/18
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  (Wayne Dyer)  Barnes and Noble reports that sales of books about handling stress are high.  These are anxious times…politics, finances, illness, relationships, you name it!  The Bible gives me hope.  Isaiah wrote: “The crooked will be made straight and the rough places, plain.”  A new book is titled, God Wins!  Ultimately, God’s will is done!  “It ain’t over til it’s over!” said Yogi.   ;-)  Jack to see my blog

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Sometimes I think Arthur Miller (author) was right when he wrote:"There
is nothing farther removed from Washington DC than the entire world."  And it's been an eye-0pener to me that so many think so differently than I do in the USA!  Hard not to be discouraged by the meanness, madness, and wrangling that constantly goes on among diverse factions these days.
Maybe it's always been like this, but we didn't hear  about in the news like we do now. Thankfully, we all know many good people make up the majority of our population! Keep the Faith!===JACK:  Now is worse.  Trust and honesty and co-operation for the higher good are in the rearview mirror.

FROM WALMART REV:  ". . . or when the fat lady sings!" 0;-)===JACK:  Or, until the roll is called up yonder.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Only a Relativist would buy that....certainly not someone who thinks that the world exists independently of us===JACK:  The world without people is just stuff.  We are part of the world, too.  "God so loved the world...(you know the rest)"===JOHN:  We are a part of the world but not an indispensable.   The "world" has been here for billions of years....humankind for approximately 1.5 million years....that makes us Johnny Come Latelies.....the rest of the "stuff" has bragging rights on us.    We are also a part of the world that is working on our own destruction....if we follow our present path, we will be gone and the "world" will just keep on rolling along===JACK:  There's so much we do not know.  "Jesus loves me, this I (DO) know."===JOHN:  With that I agree.  Amen

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Enjoy each day!===JACK:  That's your mantra.  "One day at a time."

Friday, August 03, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/3/18
“Never lie to someone who trusts you, and never trust someone who lies to you.”  (Mark Twain)  I read that 60% of people will lie at least once during a 10-minute conversation – little white lies, mostly.  Whatever…truth is taking a beating these days.  We used to believe: “A man’s as good as his word.”  Where’s that man gone?  If we’re to have a culture of believability, it has to start with us.  Lying, as a norm, is unacceptable.  We can do better than that.   ;-)  Jack

FROM SUNSHINE:  AMEN===JACK:  Who wouldn't agree with that?===SUNSHINE:  TRUMP ===JACK:  ...and those who are his supporters.

.FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and the biggest LIAR of them all occupies the Oval Office!      two major newspapers stated recently that Trump has put out over 4,000 lies, half-truths, and falsehoods since taking office.   whatever  happened to the Commandment,  thou shalt not bear false witness???  ===JACK:  The Commandment isn't the basis for me trying to be a truth-teller...It's part of what makes society work. The Commandments are relevant to those who believe in, and obey, the Commander.===PAUL:  but each Commandment does indeed protect a very important part of our lives and our communities.   don't steal protects our property,  don't kill protects our very lives,  don't commit adultery protects our homes and marriages,  don't tell lies protects our reputations,  don't covet...  well,  you get the idea.===JACK:  While "we" venerate the 10 Commandments, I think that it's a stretch to think common laws trace back to them.  At least that's what it seems to me after some cursory reading.

FROM WALMART REV:  I hate that feeling when sharing a little white lie--trying to stay away from them. Too old any more to carry any extra weight of deception. 0;-/ ===JACK:  An "untruth" is not necessarily a lie, when it's for the greater good.===REV:  I keep telling myself that?! 0;-)===JACK:  Keep on fighting for the greater good!

FROM MV AT ML:  Amen===JACK:  As sung in the old spiritual..."Amen, Oh Lawdy!  Amen, have mercy!  Amen, Amen, Amen."

FROM SF:  Good advice for everyone, whether in leadership or general cordial conversation. Sometimes, the truth hurts and it’s best to be quiet! Or check your facts!  Have a great Friday! ===JACK:  Anyone in a leadership role has faced the decision, "What is best for the situation?"  It isn't always "black or white."  There is some gray!===SF:  Or...what is best for the kids? Always our priority.===JACK:  Not to disagree, but to be more expansive:  "What's best for the situation?... which may go beyond the individual child.  Maybe I should put away my thinking cap.---SF:  Love the dialog===JACK:  It would be better, face to with most conversations.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think it begins with ourselves....we must be honest with ourselves ===JACK: It's a nice trick, if you can do it.  I think that one who lies to others will lie to self as well.

FROM TL:  Jack, many of your daily lessons strum my funny bone.  Today’s lesson is a hammer.
Thank you.===JACK:  I'm like most of those who read Winning Words...I like some of them better than others.  I like Mark Twain's edgy wit.

FROM TRIHARDER:  I know 3 people whose best, life-long friend cheated with his buddy's wife and then married her. In one case, I know all sides. The male cheater is a "trusted" financial advisor.  My reaction is (forgetting the cheating spouse for a moment) if your best friend can continually cheat and lie to your face, there is virtually nothing he couldn't justify.  I hope all is well in your life. ===JACK:  I would call the lie you describe...Bold-Faced, which caused me to look up that term.  "A shameless falsehood....The adjective barefaced means "beardless," and one theory is that in the 1500s this condition was considered brazen in all but the youngest males. By the late 1600s barefaced also meant "brazen" or "bold," the meaning alluded to in this phrase."  I don't know if the person you described was beardless, but he certainly was brazen.  In this case, "friend" needs to be redefined.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Amen===JACK:  So far, three from the Amen Corner.

FROM JB IN OLV:  So true!===JACK:  Or, to put it another way..No lie!

FROM SH:  Amen:  JACK: How do you write "Amen" in Aramaic?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Bill's mother was a stickler for the truth! she used to say if someone
catches you in a lie, you'll be a Liar to them the rest of your life.  Probably right...hard to trust someone who lies, even once to you.  Only 2% of the claims Donald Trump made during his Pres. campaign have been true, according to fact-check Org. (  Six % were mostly true, 15% were half true, another 15% were mostly false, 43% were false, and 18%  were "pants-on-fire"lies.  His 76% "false" rating far exceeds that of all other candidates who ran for President. Not surprisingly!!  blessings, (I think! )===JACK:  FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Bill's mother was a stickler for the truth! she used to say if someone catches you in a lie, you'll be a Liar to them the rest of your life.  Probably right...hard to trust someone who lies, even once to you.  Only 2% of the claims Donald Trump made during his Pres. campaign have been true, according to fact-check Org. (  Six % were mostly true, 15% were half true, another 15% were mostly false, 43% were false, and 18%  were "pants-on-fire"lies His 76% "false" rating far exceeds that of all other candidates who ran for President. Not surprisingly!!  blessings, (I think! )blessings, (I think! ) ===JACK:  The other day someone asked to check on something she'd been told (not political), to see if it were true, or not.  It wasn't, so I called her and caught myself saying, "Fake News!"  Why did I do that?===OAKS:  Are you brain-washed by our fearless leader??! :-)===JACK:  I've got to stop doing that!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Wiser words have never been spoken.  We’ve had an extremely busy summer and it looks like it will stay that way.  Squeezing very ounce of sun and fun possible!
   We’ve had our youngest grandchildren most of the summer.  Ethan, 3 hears his older sisters talking about books or movies or things they have done and he wants them get into the discussion.  So he makes up things with his wonderful imagine.  We spent quality time teaching him the difference between stories and truth.  We think he’s getting the idea.  I’ll sit down and write out his “stories” and sometimes illustrate them too.     Sometimes people believe their lies are truth and must be told “it ain’t true” just like Ethan’s learning about his stories!===JACK:  "Some have eyes, but cannot see.  Some have ears, but cannot (will not) hear."  Great grandchild story!

FROM LK IN ILL:  How true.... Too many bad actors, go get a day job is what I say Very few actually live real lives===MORE LK:  On tape bold faced .......sickos  not really little.......very insulting===JACK:  Telling the truth is a 2-way street, as Mark Twain seems to indicate.  And, no one even blinks an eye, anymore.  "So help you God," often is just a collection of words.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/2/18
“People are more than the way they look.”  (From the movie, A Winkle in Time)  Not all churches have pews.  I read of one that uses chairs and places them in a semi-circle so that worshippers can see each other.  Jacob said to Esau, “To see you is like seeing the face of God.”  It is a biblical truth that we are the Face of God to others.  As MTM’s theme song puts it: “Love is all around…With each glance you show it.”  People really are more than you see.   ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  well spoken, Jack!   a women once accused A. Lincoln of being two-faced.  his reply:  Lady, if i had another face,  do you think i would still be wearing this one???  ===JACK:  Some people may not have two faces, but they often wear masks...and not always on Halloween.===PAUL: were there not at least a few Sundays when you put on your happy face and went to the church when in fact you would rather have slept in or perhaps you were sick but still well enough to lead the flock in worship?   we all have our masks===JACK:  Perhaps there were some, but I can't recall any.  I liked preaching and meeting the people.  It may have been part of my new church building DNA.  I could not expect the people to be enthusiastic and the church, if I were not enthusiastic.  Maybe that was the mask I was wearing.===PAUL:  or maybe it was not a mask after all.  i think i could count on one hand the number of really bad days i had doing parish ministry.  you would likely say the same...

FROM SA IN KW:  Indeed. I'm not the only one, no doubt, who 'sees' you every morning in WW. Thanks.===JACK:   Here is an interesting follow-up quote to what you have written: "Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought."  (Albert Szent-Gyorgyi)

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  This weekend we will bury a wonderful missionary pastor we became friends with after we moved up here.  One of the many things he shared with us was a greeting he and his wife learned in Senegal – “I see you.”  He said the native people greeted you in this way.  It does put the greeting in perspective – that you see the person as they are.  I often think about greeting people at church on Sunday mornings – what more do I know about this person – sometimes a lot because I’ve gotten to know them by working with them at the church, but sometimes the greeting is all I know as we have no other interaction.  Meeting people in smaller settings sure helps us to know each other better.  Guess I’m nosy and want to know what makes people tick – what did/do they do for a living, do they have children, grandchildren, what activities do they like to do, do they like to read, where did they come from or natives of the area, etc  Sometimes when you read obits about people, you find out a whole lot more about them than you ever knew.  Feel sorry for those whose obit reads – he/she was born/died, had children, preceded in death by.  There had to have been more to their life than that!===JACK:  Does "Peek-a-boo" precede, "I see you?"  I remember playing the PEEK-A-BOO game with babies.  Meeting people, and seeing them should be fun.  If I were still in the preaching business, I'd like to develop a sermon around the theme of "What do you see when you really see people?"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Albert Camus said "Every great work makes the human face more admirable and richer, and that is its whole secret."  Likewise, I think we could say that every act of Love does the same!  Kindness and Compassion never go out of style, no matter how the facial image changes. We need to keep that twinkle in our eyes!===JACK:  Camus died in 1960, before the coming of anti-aging skin products that seem to work.  Judge Judy is a user.  A friend of mine is a rep for one of them, and she says that they really work.  But, I'm going with good works which may not get me to heaven; however, if Camus is right, they will make my face more admirable.===OAKS:  A book that my friend, Mary Ellen Ton, an AB Pastor's wife wrote after she was terribly scarred by a church fire where she worked, THE FLAMES SHALL NOT CONSUME YOU, was one of the
most life-changing, influential books I've ever read.  If your self  esteem is dependent or revolves around your attractive good looks, you need to read this book!===JACK:  Sometimes the blind are better at judging people than those of us who have sight.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  Liked the winning words today especially.  People's Church in Bemidji where I was on the mission trip has movable pews.  They place them in a circle.  Looked strange to me but works for them.  Thanks for the winning words!===JACK:  I like the name, People's Church.  There an ELCA congregation in Dinkey, Pennsylvania called, Dinkey Lutheran Church.  I wonder how many members they have?

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 8/1/18
“Tradition is a guide, not a jailer.”  (W. Somerset Maugham)  “We’ve always done it this way” are words often heard when someone suggests a change.  Of course, some traditions are good and worth keeping.  But, new ideas can be good, too.  Jesus referred to this when there were complaints about breaking Pharisaic tradition.  “Does anyone pour new wine into old wineskins?”  Sometimes you have to break with the old to present a better idea.   ;-)  Jack 

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i drink a glass of red wine almost everyday.  is this pouring new wine into an old wine skin:):)?? ===JACK:  Is Margaret familiar with this song...
Margaret stood awaiting her lover one night,
Her cheeks flushed and glowing, her eyes full of light.
She had placed a sweet rose 'mid her wild flowing hair;
No flower of the forest e'er looked half so fair
As she did that night, as she stood by the door
Of the cot where she dwelt by the side of the moor.
She heard a quick step coming over the moor,
And a merry voice which she had oft heard before;
And ere she could speak a strong arm held her fast,
And a manly voice whispered, "I've come, love, at last.
I'm sorry that I've kept you waiting like this,
But I know you'll forgive me, then give me a kiss."
But she shook the bright curls on her beautiful head,
And she drew herself up while quite proudly she said,
"Now, Paulie, I'll prove if you really are true,
For you say that you love me -- I don't think you do;
If really you love me you must give up the wine,
For the lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine."
===PAUL:  i don't think so but i will surely forwarded it on to her.   for the record,  i don't drink and drive nor do i drink and kiss (very much:):):)===JACK:  I was born during the Prohibition era in the United States.  After its end, I recall an increase in "drinking" and drinking related problems.  I think that my non-use of alcoholic beverages is related to what I saw.===PAUL:  people so often go from feast to famine and then back again.   for some,   alcohol is a very real problem.   i worked for a year parttime in the Abbott Northwestern Hospital's  chemical dependency unit.  did so many 5th Steps i lost count.  but i sure learned a lot that year about human nature.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  I love Somerset Maugham.  As one well indoctrinated with religion, his writing speaks to me as both consolation and  reason to upend some of our dearly held traditions.  How do you spell, Cortez?  Seriously, we’ve followed her with interest and watched her interview on Trevor Noah’s Daily Show the other night.  He asked her about the label “Socialist” and suggested that millennials don’t know the baggage this word carries for older generations.  She does not care about the label as she does not think she can rid herself of it nor does she want to further confuse voters.  She just keeps talking about the issues and what is morally right and how “reprioritizing” how government money is spent is an option. Today I looked up her bio (below) and now understand more than before where she gets her verve and her commitment to those less fortunate.===JACK:  I wasn't able to stay up late enough to see the interview, but I know that she was a popular guest with the show's viewing audience.  It's time for politics to have some new faces.  "Socialism" and "Communism" have long been words used to discredit political opponents.  Opponents often use negative buzz words to distract voters from real issues.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Many of our churches are going downhill, because they didn't stay current and relevant...CHANGE??!! :-(  we are now left with the task of trying to rebuild and yes, CHANGE!  The Gospel doesn't change, but our culture does.===JACK:  Yes, the Gospel doesn't change, but its interpretation does.  When I was growing up, there was more of a literalistic view of the Bible as the word(s) of God.  That had changed by the time I got to seminary.  When the Revised Standard Version (RSV) came out in 1946, there were some churches that public burned copies of the book.  I even heard of a pastor who said: "If the King James Version of the Bible was good enough for St. Paul, it's good enough for me."  The need for re-interpretation is ongoing.===OAKS:  What a hoot! Did you manage not to laugh in his face as he said it??! :-)  Yes, interpretation NEEDS to meet the times we live in.  I like the NASB,  The Message and Cotton Patch versions; YOu name it they all have something to recommend them! The King James is so outdated...!===JACK:  My favorite NT translation is by J.B. Phillips, published in 1958.  It's not as well-known as some others, but, to me, it's the best!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/31/18
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.”  (Buddha)  As I read this quote, I thought of a similar one…”The truth will out,” from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.  I remember being introduced to W.S. with that story in Jr Hi.  We often use his lines in our speaking without knowing it.  “We have seen better days…All’s well that ends well …Neither rhyme nor reason…and  What’s done is done.”  Try applying these to current events.   ;-)  Jack 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As Oscar Wilde predicated, "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and
never simple!" And as historian Timothy Snyder says "To abandon facts is to abandon Freedom. If nothing is "true", then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis on which to do so!"  With the present Gov't's disregard for facts, that is a concern...Well, the sun and the moon WILL continue to rise. Cheers!===JACK:  Pontius Pilate would be right at home in our world with his question., What is truth?  Perhaps "truth" is when the good and gracious will of God is done.  Do you know the spiritual, "Soon and very soon" which sings about the end of the world.  One stanza has the words, "No more crying, then."  Another says, "No more dying, then."  I'd add a third, "No more lying, then."===OAKS:  YES, I'm very familiar with Soon and Very Soon. I used to direct our choir and Union Baptist choir (African American) singing that spiritual. They could really swing it. LOVE the "No more Lyin' then" addition!!===JACK:  I have some friends from a former congregation who would get up and dance in the aisle if "Soon and very soon" were being sung, and I'm sure that others might follow their example.  We need less inhibition in our churches.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  I loved today’s quote; thanks so much for sharing.===JACK:  Often, when I push "Send," I have the apprehension that this is not good enough.  Thanks for the validation, at least for today.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We are living in an exciting time! Today President Trump will be in Tampa for a rally! Before that he will be at a high tech high school! I think of how lucky I have been to see so many of our presidents. President Carter was here in 1986 and George W Bush was here at Steinbrenner Field. President Kennedy was here in 1963 the Monday of the week that he was assassinated in Dallas. The only presidents that I have not seen in person are Reagan,Clinton, and Obama. Thank goodness for πŸ“Ί===JACK:  Today, I drove on the Gerald R. Ford Freeway.  Does that count for anything?===SHIRL:  You keep jogging my memory! While working in Washington in the 50’s, one of my friends was interning for Gerald Ford and we went to his home which was a simple one and met his wife and little children! Life was simpler then!

FROM WALMART REV:  Probably have forgotten many of those times past that a very similar as today . . . some missed, some not!!===JACK:  Here are some Shakespearean idioms that may appeal to you...Heart of Gold...Pure as the driven snow...Green-eyed monster...For goodness sake.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  The truth is currently under attack. It is important now to insist on not allowing the truth to lose this attack. That is how a society sinks to its worst instincts===JACK:  Each side is accusing the other of lying.  In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote something like this: "Tell a lie so colossal that no one will believe it, but if you tell a little lie and repeat it often enough, sooner or later the people will come to believe it "  Scary!

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  My sixteen year old grand daughter is a Shakespeare fan.  She has been in several plays, and is in a Shakespeare club and can quote verses upon verses of Shakespeare.  Amazing!!===JACK:  I'm amazed at the number of day to day idioms that come from Shakespeare.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/30/18
“Not cohabitation, but consensus constitutes marriage.”  (Cicero)  There’s lots of discussion these days, if not agreement, on what constitutes marriage.  I’ve performed many weddings, but I can’t guarantee a perfect marriage.  Cicero gave some good advice.   …and Aretha, too, “You better think!”  Thinking is recommended, but it takes more than that..  It takes an understanding love by the two who would become one…and, mostly, the Grace of God.  Some truths don’t change!.   ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Wise words from so long ago! Reminds me of a quote from Henry Kissinger (!) in N.Y.Times:"Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There's just too much
fraternizing with the enemy." HA! Perseverance and and commitment as well as love, understanding, and thinking, are necessary to float the ship of marriage.  .And it's worth the effort, especially in nurturing your kids!===JACK:  Think about the word, consensus, and how it makes for a happy, if not tolerable, marriage.  Think about the word, tolerable, too.   Come to think of it...all these words can apply to Congress, too.===OAKS:  I'd hate to have a "tolerable" marriage! Hard to muster up
commitment and perseverance when you say tolerable!!  Government...what can I say? Consensus seems to be a forgotten word to congress!! I don't hear much consensus for Trump either!===JACK:
Like them or not, tolerable marriages do exist, for a variety of reasons.  We put up with a lot of things, because by not doing so, we create other problems, even worse.  The Civil War happened, because a situation became intolerable.  Divorce is often the result of an intolerable relationship.  That's probably why Cicero said that marriage is based on consensus (getting along).===OAKS: I do know that, and have known several "tolerable" marriages; I just wouldn't be happy to settle for tolerable; but in the case of children, one does what is best for them, and I understand that!! ===JACK:  Part of the joy/sorrow of being in church work is being intimately involved in the lives of people.... "In our joys and in our sorrows"...goes the hymn.
days of toil and hours of ease,

"Christian, love me more than these!"

Friday, July 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/27/18
“Before you speak, listen.  Before you write, think.  Before you invest, investigate.  Before you criticize, wait.”  (Unknown)  Out West a STOP sign reads: WHOAA.  A t-shirt for mom has a STOP sign on it with WHINING printed below.  While looking at today’s quote, I thought of the railroad crossing sign with the words, STOP  LOOK  LISTEN.  It’s a good sign to keep in mind as you prepare to speak, to write or to invest your money.  “If only…” can be some sad words.   ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Today's WW are packed with sound advice to rid ourselves of hardship and disgrace.  There you'll find the guidance for self help, and it doesn't cost a cent===JACK:  Flashing lights were added to the Stop-Look-Listen sign.  People ignored them.  Then, blocking gates.  People drove around them.  It's the same with other kinds of advice.  Consequently, "train wrecks" continue to happen.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  One of my earliest regrets growing up is doing before thinking it all out.===JACK:  What happened to you is called, maturation.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Some of our biggest mistakes are not listening.  If we would just listen! ===JACK:  There's a song in the ELCA Book of Worship that has this refrain: "Listen, listen, God is calling  through the Word inviting,  offering forgiveness,  comfort and joy."

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/26/ 18
“I don’t think the public knows what it wants; this is the conclusion I have drawn from my career.”  (Charlie Chaplin)  My first Presidential vote was for Harry Truman, so I was sad to see the headline, “Dewey Wins!”  But, the Chicago Tribune has misread the public. No robo-calls in those days; no focus groups; no sophisticated polling.  Is it any better today?  Do you think that your voice is being heard?  BTW,  Charlie Chaplin made the kind of movies I like.     ;-)  Jack   

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I do think that most politicians are in it for their own financial  gain.  If you look at the parliament sessions  on tv there are very few present, some are even sleeping!  I am working with our MP to reinstate Angela's continuing healthcare funding.  He promised to visit the home to see for himself Angela's needs, I'm  still waiting.  Now the houses of parliament are on holiday for 10 weeks!  We are experiencing  really hot weather for England,  over 90's with very few places air conditioned.  Not good!  Fortunately my car does have air conditioning.  We have had no rain here in Norwich since May.===JACK:  I still marvel that I'm able to be in contact with you, on another side of the world, to hear that your weather is similar to mine, to learn that politics there is similar to politics here, and that personal problems continue to exist everywhere.  "Don't give up hope" is a message for people everywhere.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  we, as a nation, are divided by the news channel we watch... crazy times! ===JACK:  That may be true, but hearing from more and more people that there're turning off the fact, doing other things that watching TV.  Philosopher George Santayana's 1863 words come to mind for me..."Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  I also remember the song..."This my Father's world, O let me ne'er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet."===LIZ:  alas, we are wising up!===JACK: Instead of "Alas," I would substitute, "At last!"===LIZ:  and add “hallelujah!”

FROM WALMART REV:  I think "the jury" is still out negotiating as to whether it's better today?! 0;-)===JACK:  As in most trials, it depends on the makeup of the jury.  Each time there's an election, we pick our juries.  I'm waiting for the next election.===REV:  It definitely will be interesting?! ===JACK:  In each election there are winners and losers.  There's a heaven, and there's a hell.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Truthfully I think it is worse today.  We have an election coming up in August and I can’t tell you the names of the candidates, except for one local young man.  We don’t hear what their platforms are, what is their background or reason for running.  All we hear/see are the negative campaigning on TV.  I do not like polls taken over the phone – have no idea who, what or where this information is to be used and how much more junk mail it will put in our mailbox or more robo generated calls will come from giving my opinion.  The first Presidential convention I can remember watching was for Eisenhower and hearing the states call out who they were casting their votes for – “THE GREAT STATE OF WHATEVER CASTS THEIR VOTES FOR”  Now it seems whoever has the biggest war chest gets put into position.  I don’t think our voices are being heard as so many politicians are in the pockets of special interest groups that they can’t listen to us. ===JACK:  Only one candidate came to me door, and I wasn't home.  But, she took the time to write out a personal note on a card and left it.  Even though she's young and "inexperienced" I like that about her...and that she cared enough to leave a handwritten kind of politician.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That was an exciting election! I remember seeing president Truman at his whistle stop in rock island! These are exciting times too!   President Trump is coming to Tampa on Tuesday!===JACK:  I wonder if Paul Douglas would show up at a Trump Rally?===SHIRL:  Well, you worked for him, so you should know.===SHIRL:  I was on his office for two and a half months Jan feb March of 1954 in the legislative office. The McCarthy hearings were going on and the Puerto Rican’s shot up the floor of the House! Then we went to Europe for five months-all a great way for a teacher to enrich herself or himself!===JACK:  The McCarthy hearings were riveting TV.  Do you recall if they were discussed in Douglas's office?

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  :-)===JACK: I didn't know that Chaplin composed the song, Smile, basing it on music from Puccini's, Tosca.

FROM PG:  My first vote was for Eisenhaur===JACK:  I was on the losing side in that one, but IKE turned out to be pretty least he seemed to be honest..

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  My 1st vote: democratic primary for Jesse Jackson;-) haven’t missed a vote since!  My favorite vote???? Obama!===JACK:  My favorite vote remains HST.  Maybe, because he was my first; maybe, because was able to make a (the buck stops here) a difficult decision on using the A-bomb; maybe, because after his term he refused to profit from being the president.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I think my first Pres vote was for IKE, whom HST dislilked intensely, and I think the feeling was mutual. I came to admire HST long after he was PRes. by reading about him...he and Bess were such people of integrity and paid their own way, even in the White House! Bess kept a ledger of every item they bought, and it if was for their own personal use (like entertaining hometown friends) they paid for that themselves. She even used her own stamps for all correspondence !  Bygone Days...===JACK:  One of my Moline friends, Niel Johnson. (did you know him?) was an historian and Truman impersonator at the Truman Museum.  A trip to the museum and the Truman home was an unforgettable experience.  You would have made a great Bess impersonator.===OAKS:  I'm sure I would enjoy the Truman library and home...I'll put it on my bucket list. It's probably only a few hours away from Springfield, IL.  Wouldn't that have been fun; to portray Bess T!  WE're giving or COUPLINGS play next weekend again, at the Rushvile Opera House. 2 performances. Always fun to do!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/25/18
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  (Aesop)  Aesop was a storyteller who lived about 2500 years ago.  Do you remember his fable about the boy who cried wolf or the tortoise and the hare?  Today’s quote is from the lion and the mouse.  Aesop’s fables were meant to teach morals to children.  How were morals taught to you?  I saw a movie recently, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” the story of Mr. Rogers.  He was a kind of modern Aesop.   ;-)  Jack

FROM INDY GENIE:   I saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”, too. So good.   In some ways, I think the smaller acts of kindness are what keeps the world going around:)  Like those smiles you're always talking about.)  ===JACK:  You remind me of Mary Tyler Moore..."who could turn the world on with her smile."===GENIE:  That made me smile:)   ===JACK:  Did you throw your hat into the air?  ===GENIE:  Not today but we used to do that at the “lillstrom tribe house”! We were self amusers:)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:     Aesop Fable are just wonderful!  What a brilliant story/moral writer.  My granddaughter Alyssa was talking about the boy who cried wolf just the other day.   We heard and learned those stories at a very early age.  When The grandkids were born they each received a Bible and a book of Aesop Fables.===JACK:  I have both the Bible and Aesop's Fables in my house, too.
===JUDY:  Makes me want to take out my Fables and read it.  Perhaps after my chores!

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Loved the film; I want my children to see it soon.  Kindness, thoughtfulness and the art of listening to others seem lost these days.===JACK:  Look around you (and in the mirror, too).  Kindness, thoughtfulness and the art of listening to others is till being practiced today.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I just watched “Daniel Tiger” with my granddaughter.  That is a cartoon version of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood—same characters.===JACK:  Recently, I saw the "Won't You Be My Neighbor ?" movie.  The movie I saw previous to that one was in 1999..."Inspector Gadget," which I saw with my grandson, was seven at that time.  16 years between trips to the movies...WOW!
===GM:  Not many movies out there worth seeing.  I have not seen the new Documentary movie on Mr. R.  I want to do that.===JACK:  Yes, I would say that it's worth your while.===MG:  Just came from the Bend in the River Big Band concert at Como Park Pavilion.  Keith plays in that band.  They have been together since before 1990.  A bunch of Gustie Alums.  They always end with IN THE MOOD.  A fun night for sure===JACK:  Strike up the band!  Mary especially liked Glenn Miller's "In the Mood."  I think that I'll YouTube it right now!===GM:  The band does all kinds of stuff during the song.  At one point the T-bones play while lying on the floor.  (I think they are getting pretty old for that!  Ha!). The Saxophones march off the stage and walk around the audience playing.  It is all really fun.===JACK:  I wish that I could experience that...As it is, I'm still listening to Glenn on YouTube.  Such great music! 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I TAUGHT KINDERGARTEN JUST ONE YEAR, AND USED THE AESOP'S FABLES, AND HAD PICTURES TO COLOR ABOUT THE STORY, SOME OF THE PARENTS WEREN'T FAMILIAR WITH THE STORIES, WHICH FLOORED ME! THEY LOVED THEM,  TOO!  THE MOVIE, WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR, IS SUPER.  HE WAS AN ICON OF TENDER TRUTH TO THE LITTLE ONES! (I SOMETIMES FELT I WAS MORE INTERESTED THAN MY KIDS WERE. THEY TENDED TO GET DISTRACTED IF HE WENT TOO 'SLOW"===JACK:  If I were still in the business, I might create a series of sermons based on Aesop.  BTW, what's the difference between a fable and a parable?...===OAKS:  Good question!  Both are quite metaphorical, and teach a truth.  I would guess a parable would be for more mature reader (audience)...and that IS a guess !===JACK:  Each is told for a "teaching" purpose

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/24/18
“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re to go to bed with satisfaction.”  (George Lorimer)  When I was a kid a radio show began with this song: “Roll out of bed in the morning with a great big smile and a “good, good morning.”   Maybe you don’t get up in the morning with a song, but I’m told that our morning attitude sets the tone for our day.  That old song ends: “You’ll find it worthwhile if you roll out of bed with a smile.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR JUDY:  Sometimes I wake up with a song. Or I hear a song over and over in my mind for no reason, or within my meditations. When I pay attention to the repeating lyric, or the lyric that comes directly after, I usually notice that it’s a message that my higher wisdom has for me. ===JACK:  I have a friend who wakes up with this song...
Father, I thank Thee for the night,  And for the pleasant morning light,
For rest and food and loving care,  And all that makes the world so fair.
Help me to do the things I should,  To be to others kind and good,
In all I do, in all I say,  To grow more loving every day.
===JUDY:  What an awesome wakeup song!!===JACK:  Religious, without being syrupy.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Btw each day is exciting for a different reason. Our fourth great grandchild was just born in Washington DC and two of our granddaughters are traveling in Ireland and Scotland and sending lots of pics-thanks to the iPhone and Steve jobs!===JACK:  "...and the beat goes on," as the song puts it.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  I like these oldies that you share.  The theory makes sense.  I always feel if one wakes following a “bad” or dangerous dream, that feeling of apprehension or anxiety can last through the day even though we say, ”it’s only a dream” so the top of the morning mindset does matter.===JACK:  I think that song was the theme of The Breakfast Club national radio show which originated out of Chicago's WMAQ.  I think I have the complete lyric, but not he tune.  I could sing it for you.
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

Wake with the sun and the rooster
Cock-a-doodle-do like the rooster, useta
You'll find it worth while
If you roll out of bed with a smile

Do your singing in the chalet
As you start this happy day
While you're singing in the chalet
Think of all the fun you'll get the Butlin way

Coffee and rolls with your honey
Turns a gloomy day to a day that's sunny
You'll find it worth while
If you roll out of bed with a smile
===BB: Now I have a big smile; thanks for sending this along to me.  I wonder if the depression made people much more appreciative of everything.  When you have nothing, you still have the choice to smile and think positively though I am sure it was monumentally difficult.  Thank you for sharing.===JACK:  Since there was no TV, a lot was left to the imagination.  When the  Breakfast Club announcer said that they were going to play a march...and everyone should march around the breakfast table, we did just that.  We didn't have much money during the Great Depression, but we has lots of fun.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  there is a Carole King song that, I think, starts....” you’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world that there is love in your heart....”
Your winning words today made me think of this===JACK:  There's another staza to that song which seems to have relevance in this world of ours...
I have often asked myself the reason for the sadness  In a world where tears are just a lullaby
If there's any answer, maybe love can end the madness  Maybe not, oh, but we can only try."
===HH:  That’s a great oldie!  It has me smiling😊

FRO DAZ IN COLORADO:  Mornings seem to be taking more coffee as time marches on. But then the great big smile.===JACK:  Here's another "smile" song that you probably know and can sing...
 When you're smilin', when you're smilin'  The whole world smiles with you
When you're laughin', oh when you're laughin'  The sun comes shinin' through
But when you're cryin', you bring on the rain  So stop that sighin', be happy again
Keep on smilin', 'cause when you're smilin'  The whole world smiles with you

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Some days I awake with a smile but I’m always glad for mornings.... even when the morning are very late.  Psoriatic Arthritis makes it very hard to get out of bed let alone smile.  But I always thank God for the new day.===JACK:  I know that arthritis is no laughing matter.  I can imagine that even a smile is difficult when the pain is there.  But, this song by Nat King Cole comes to mind.  Maybe it can become your morning song.
Smile though your heart is aching  Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by  If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow  You'll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness  Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near  
That's the time you must keep on trying  Smile, what's the use of crying?  
You'll find that life is still worthwhile  If you just smile
===JUDY:That song brings back a lot of good memories.  My dad, who was totally tone deaf, would sing it to us to bring on a smile!  It always worked mainly because he sang so bad.😊===JACK:  I was going to write..."Smile, though these bones are aching.  Smile, though they feel like breaking..." , but I thought you might think I was making fun of a painful situation...which bring to mind this Louis Armstrong song...
When you smilin', when you smilin  The whole world smiles with you.
Yes when you laughin' oh when you laughin'  The sun comes shinin through.
But when you cryin', you bring on the rain  So stop your sighin baby, and be happy again
Keep on smilin, keep on smilin baby,   And the whole world smiles with you
FROM DAZ IN CO:  Don't make songs like that any more, too bad.

FROM AW IN WB:  Good morning, Jack.  Your winning words continue to be very meaningful to me.  Thanks.===JACK:  Words such as yours (and your friendship) continue to be meaningful to me, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  THANKS!! A JAUNTY TUNE, AND PEPPY WORDS...I'D NEVER HEARD THIS.===JACK:  I think that the idea of a peppy song with peppy lyrics is worth sharing with your senior friends.  "What makes you feel peppy?"===OAKS:  Not much, but a good night's sleep helps, and something I really look forward to doing!===JACK:  I can't recall going to bed - tired.  I can recall getting up feeling rested and "ready to go."

Monday, July 23, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/23/18
“I want to be a bridge to the next generation.”  (Michael Jordan)   The new generation, the Zs (born after 1995) is far removed from Boomer Jordan.  If there’s a bridge to the Zs, it would seem to be the Millennials, but demographic experts say the ones most like Zs are the Silents, those coming out of WW2.  Both tend to play it safe, to be optimistic. Surprised?  It’s fun to read what selling experts have to say about age-groups.  What are they saying about yours?   ;-)  Jack
(Link) The Generation Guide - Millennials, Gen X, Y, Z and Baby Boomers ...

FROM WALMART REV:  It seems the media anyway is trying to sell me on the idea to "Impeach Trump!" and all our troubles will then go away!? 0;-)===JACK:  I think that both "sides" are in the selling business.  "Caveat emptor" is one of  the first "foreign" phrases that i learned, and it has helped me in many ways ever since.  Let the buyer beware!

FROM MY LAWYER:  Sleep Number beds!===JACK:  Could you be more specific?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We are called the greatest generation and we fought WW2 and then came home to build our families and helped to rebuild Germany.===JACK:  I read recently that those actively involved in WW 2 were called, "The Greatest Generation, " while those who were children during that time were a generationed referred to as "The Silents."  As Will Rogers said, "All I know is just what I read in the papers" or what Google tells me.===SHIRL:  I tried to join the WAVES but was told I had to wait until I was 18. I was working at the rock island arsenal where we were transferring war material from Europe to Japan theater when the atomic bombs were dropped and thankfully the war ended and saved thousands of lives.===JACK:  Many of us at that time had had enough of the war's killing.  If the A-Bomb cost lives to save more lives, so be it.  Truman was faced with a Hobson's Choice.  BTW, did you know that WAVES was the U.S. Navy's acronym for...
 Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.===SHIRL:  No I did not know that! I thought it was the women’s branch of the navy.===JACK:  It was a branch of the Naval Reserve, as I understand it.

FROM INDY GENIE:  This information is great...very interesting read about the generational thinking and perspectives! Understanding definitely creates a bridge. Listening to each other helps too:) BTW, I’ve always seen you as one who bridges the generations...I remember you appreciating and  listening to me when I was a goofy teenager.....thanks for that. You continue to be a great role model for me....thanks for that too!==JACK:  Thanks for your kind words.  In seminary, we were taught to preach sermons that related to where the people were in their lives.  That works also in personal contact with people...Try to understand where they are in their lives, and try to put yourself in their place.

FROM CPA BOB:  What are those of us born before the US entered WWII called?  “Old”?😊😊 ===JACK:  You are the "Silents."===JACK:  According to what I've read..."The Silent Generation are the people who were born between 1925 and 1945.   Children who grew up during this time worked very hard and kept quiet. It was understood that children should be seen and not heard."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Interesting Read, tho some dates seem too early, and other too late, from my recollections!===JACK:  As I researched, I found that there are no hard and fast rules with regard to generations.  "Generally," is a word often used.  As with the Bible, there are many opinions as to what the Bible says, or doesn't say.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/20/18
“Weather means more when you have a garden.  There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is sinking in around your green beans.”  (Marcelene Cox)  A farmer told me that he doesn’t cultivate the whole field.  He tries to leave undisturbed soil around the plants, letting moisture seep down thru worm holes and cracks in the earth.  Farmers and gardeners are among the happiest people I know, probably because of their closeness to God’s earth.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RS VACATIONING IN QUEBEC: Amen. We are up in Quebec and it seems everyone loves to grow flowers in the Summer. Maybe because of the short growing season. Also, their landscaping around their Parliament building is awesome, and they have so many parks. They seem to treasure the environment a bit more than we do.===JACK:  By living in a community that is adjacent to Canada, I get to enjoy some of the same things Canadians do...their TV and radio stations...and their stores and restaurants are just across the river.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  Yay 😊. Sounds good===JACK:  I wonder how many Winning Words readers would enjoy living in a house with three sides looking over protected wetlands?  BTW, do you have a garden, too?===JT:  I know I am very happy in my home.  It is me.  I do have a small garden.  Mostly flowers that come up every spring. Did I tell you I played bridge with a lady from the Country Club.  I always knew I felt uncomfortable when with them.  Now I know it is because I'm very happy not being a "country club" lady.  That is NOT me.  Farm Girl Joan  (that is me)===JACK:  Do you know this hymn?  There are more stanzas, but I'm sure you get the point.
O happy home where Thou art loved most dearly,
Thou faithful Friend and Savior full of grace,
And where among the guests there never cometh
One who can hold such high and honored place!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Count me my gardens....basically, a happy out in the garden almost every morning....before the heat of the day sets in ===JACK:  I seem to recall that your growing up years were spent with a large garden in your backyard.  I also recall that you are a frequent visitor to Stratford, Ontario.  Don't they have beautiful gardens in that well as the famous Stratford Festival?===JOHN:  I grew up on eleven acres....absolutely love the gardens in Stratford....not just at the theatre but also the gardens of the people living in Stratford....great community...===JACK:  Isn't it amazing how our experiences shape us?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I agree wholeheartedly. Whenever I have an anxious moment or am thinking of items to study, I get my greatest enjoyment driving thru the rural countryside. Jack, we have some of the most startling sights in our eastern Iowa rural country.===JACK:  I agree... especially the huge cornfields with red-wing blackbirds sitting on fence posts.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Margaret has deep roots in the soil....a farm girl.===JACK:  You know you've married a farm-girl when,,,she has a different idea of how fresh air smells...she's more comfortable in rubber boots than heels...she finds a bug in her bowl of berries, picks it out and keeps on eating...she knows how to drive a tractor...she's independent, strong-willed and has a heart of gold.
===SP:that just about sums it up!   and maybe just a bit of dirt under her nails after working in the flower garden...===JACK:  Or, as they'd say on the farm..."stuff under her nail after shoveling out the barn."

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Except when the deer and bunnies eat it all!  That is my problem.  Had some beautiful day lilies and overnight they were all gone!  My hosta is eaten down to the ground too!  Uff Da!  Ha===JACK:  The deep eat my hostas and flowers, too.  As I look at the stubs, I'm comforted to know that I'm helping to preserve the fauna===MARLYS:  And I think—well, I won’t have to clean them out in the Fall!  Ha!===JACK'S That's the way to look at some of life's problems.
===MARLYS:  Wish they were all that easy===JACK:  Often it depends on how you look at them.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  This is so true!===JACK:  "Carol, Carol", quite contrary  How does your garden grow?  With silver bells and cockleshells  And pretty maids all in a row.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm sure that is true, Or even if you have outdoor planters that have to be fed and watered,  Was it RL: Stevenson who proclaimed, "Man is nearer to God in a Garden, than in any place on Earth" a poem ? I remember those lines...I'm not a gardener, but do enjoy the fruits of those generous friends who do garden! :-)  I share baked goods and soups!
===JACK:  The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's Heart in a garden Than anywhere else on Earth.  (Dorothy Frances Gurney)
When I thought of how you don't garden, but eat what is grown by others, I thought of the story of "The Little Red Hen."  I'm no gardener, either, but do enjoy the fruits (and veggies) from others.
===OAKS:  O Thank You for that poem; my mom used to quote that exactly! She had a lovely rose garden in our back yard!

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Great quote.  Now that I have a few plants on the balcony outstand I have a different relationship with growing things.  It’s interesting and different than having plants inside and I actually care about them and pay attention to the little things.===JACK:  Kids are like plants, only more fragile.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How true!  Watering the gardens keep the plants alive.  But rainwater helps them grow.  My green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, spaghetti squash and summer squash, garlic and parsley lived through this drought but now they are thriving with the rain.  Farmers spend a lot of time praying!===JACK:  During a severe drought, the preacher announced a special service for the congregation to pray for rain.  At the beginning of the service he looked around and asked, "How come none of you brought umbrellas?"

FROM LBP:  I stopped and watched the rain today. It was just falling straight down. Interesting to just stop and think about how that happens. ===JACK:  "The rain in Sprain falls mainly straight down." (or something like that).

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/19/18
“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”  (Aristotle)  When Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you,” I don’t think that he was giving a societal opinion…rather that he meant…there will always be a need to help people, both the poor in money and the poor in spirit.    I saw this sentence recently: “Poor people always see the problem ahead; never the solution.”  How sad!...but what really bothers me is the nagging question: How much do I care?    ;-) Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  How much DO I care??===JACK:  Does that mean that you DO care a lot?===GEORGE:  Yes. Two of my favorite charities are The Salvation Army, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. They both keep their admin costs at 6%, plus I've experienced their God-blessed field work.BTW, I went to a service at the old First Lutheran church on 5th Ave & 12th Street, Moline. There were ~85 persons there, mostly old folks. One very nice personality is Mary Savely, widow of a former Army military chaplain. I went because my mother, Pearl Kruse used to go there with her sisters as a little girl. She walked ~1 1/2 miles each way, from 8th St and 19th Ave. ===JACK:  I remember having a Wycliffe Bible in my collection of different translations.  "If these walls could speak..." refers to the many people who have worshipped in old First Church, and the many events that have taken place there.  Sometimes we only see it as it is now and make our judgments from that.  The same thing applies when we look at old people.===GEORGE:  That was my favorite uncle. Almost every year we would take a 20 mile canoe trip on Rock River or a river or 2 in Iowa.  We did a few other things together too. We became so close that I only called him by his first name w/o saying "Uncle."===JACK:  Everybody called him, Pete!"

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I have friend who had signature at the bottom of his email messages that said “when I give to the poor they call me a saint, when I ask why are they poor, they call me a communist”.  What a statement! I think this explains a lot of what is happening out there today  ===JACK:  I guess that I'm obtuse.  I think I know what you're getting at...but maybe not, so... ===DR J:  I think a lot of conservatives approach poverty as something good people can help with. They give a little ( and sometimes a lot of) money here and there to help the poor - giving through their church or another organization. But a question they do not want to  tackle is  why are these people poor? Many depend on social classes and believe if we give poor people more opportunity Three social programs, that means they have less opportunity to earn wealth and power. So they want to keep social structures in place and just keep trickling down donations to the poor. Sam don’t even do that, but many of the conservatives that I know are generous, they just don’t want others to have real opportunity to earn and improve the quality of their life.===JACK:  So long as one side sees poverty as a personal issue (pull yourself up by your bootstraps) and others see it as a human issue (society needs to do something to help the underprivileged)...and both sides are somewhat equal in number, there's an impasse and the problem is not solved.  So...let's keep on doing and preaching about things that make life somewhat eaier for the poor.  But, it is frustrating.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I believe that a society is judged by how well it treats its most challenged and needy persons ===JACK:  Perhaps you've read how Daniel interpreted  for the king "the handwriting on the wall."  It was God saying to the King..."You will judged by the way you have treated the poor."  (or, something like that)  The handwriting is on the wall for America, too

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  There is that nagging question, "How much do I care?"  It concerns many of us.  We want to give to those in need, but there are so many "in need" and we can't provide for every support organization.  How do we choose, and how much are we able to give?  In other words, "How much do I care?"===JACK:  Because there are so many in need, what I can give won't help.  In answer to that excuse, Jesus pointed to widow who only had two mites and put it all in the offering for the poor.  She gave her all!  It's the spirit of the gift, not the amount.===RI:  The question I posed was really rhetorical.  It's not how much do I care that demands an answer.  The issue is am I going to show I care by giving something.  Any typical month I usually decide how much in total I can spread around, and then divide that among a list of deserving organizations.  Sometimes 10 or 15 dollars is all that goes into the envelopes.  (I subscribe to "Charity Watch" that evaluates organizations for their honesty in distributing the most of the contributions to the needy, and use the least possible for administrative costs.)===JACK:  "Charity Watch" seems like a good site.  Hardly a day goes by that I don't charity requests in the mail or by phone.  I know that requests by my Church (ELCA) and by the Salvation Army are legit, but I wonder about some of the others.  I'll have to check them out to make sure that tje money is used in the best way possible...understanding that there are always administrative costs.

FROM WALMART REV:  “Poor people always see the problem ahead; never the solution.”  -- Working with in this area of benevolence for many a year, I've been driven often in thought back to "The Garden" where Adam and Eve felt they were somehow in poverty not being able to partake of that "forbidden fruit" there in the center of their sight and lives . . . the result of their choice certainly revolutionized the world and opened the door to erroneous crimes of sort (lust, stealing, miss-prioritizing, etc.) that will lead so very often an individual and family found in poverty) 0;-/===JACK: When it comes to watching out for the poor, you are more than words, words, words.  You really help.  Thanks for your example.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Jack,   few people seem to understand this.  almost all revolutions were born of economic disparity.   the French Revolution  the Russian Revolution,  the Cuban Revolution, etc.   even our Revolution to a somewhat lesser extent.  this is why i always vote for politicians and programs that support the middle class.  you lose your middle class and  you will soon lose  your democracy.   soooo many people do not understand this basic principle!    p.s.  do you get Time Mag??   see page 34 of the May 29 issue.  4 pages that explain in painful detail where we are today as a society,  how we got here,  and just what the future may look like.  excellent reading! ===JACK:  Some have been looking for the "tipping point," when things get so bad that the populace and leaders agree..."Something has to be done!"    How close are we?===SP:  we are not there yet but if we don't make some corrections, we will come to regret it.  stay tuned...===JACK:  That reminds me of a saying I used to hear in my growing-up years..."I thought I'd never live to see the day when..."

FROM JB IN OLV:  Good one!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "I am indeed rich", says historian Edward Gibbon, "Since my income is superior to my expenses, and my expenses are  equal to my wishes." How fortunate are those who can affirm this in their own lives! Of course poverty often increases crime. Desperate people do desperate things. I've quoted Jay-Z before :"The burden of poverty isn't just that you don't always have the things your need, it's the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you'd do ANYTHING to lift that burden!" Too many have to live that life in America, as well as the rest of the world. We, in the church, try to lift that burden as much as we  can!===JACK:  Part of my guilt over not caring enough comes from being "rich" when so many are poor.  I know you know the story of Kagawa who couldn't keep a shirt on his back, because he would always find someone who needed it more that he did.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  plenty of rich criminals. what’s aristotle’s theory on that?===JACK:  That's exactly how many revolutions start...the poor rising up against the rich.  That's what Aristotle was writing about.  BTW, in my book of people with strange names, there was a man named, Aristotle Tottle.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY::  We all care but you he question is “What do we do to help?” ===JACK:  I'd change that to read..."Many of us care."  I appreciate that each of us have our favorite charities, often based on personal experiences that we've had.