Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/22/18
“I believe in having an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.”  (Arthur Hays Sulzberger)  I have mixed feelings about Stephen Hawking.  I admired him for his amazing mind and his ability to “carry on” in spite of physical limitations.  I didn’t always agree with what he had to say…and wondered if his words were colored by “his situation.”  Basically, I believe he just wanted us to “think,” to use our mind to explore new ideas.  I’ll miss his thoughts.    ;-)  Jack

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/21/18
“If you have a life and a garden, you have everything.”  (Cicero)  When all else fails, one of the ways to disparage other people is to yell, “Get a life!”  OK, what is “a life” for you?  What is it that inspires you…that makes you want to get out of bed each day?  Cicero evidently saw his garden as one of those things.  For me, it’s going to the computer and magically getting in touch with people,,,family and friends.  YOU inspire me!  After that, it’s a cup of Sumatra.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  👍====JACK:  I like the "thumbs up," and what is it that you like?

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  I’m a Caribou Coffee person myself – but love a good cup of JAVA! ====JACK:  I liked Caribou, too, but they pulled out of our area...I think they had some financial difficulties.  Sumatra is a dark roast...not for "breakfast blend" people.  We'd appreciate a few March Madness cheers for the Wolverines.

FROM JE IN WLCSD:  – the cup of Sumatra and some dark chocolate. I agree with Cicero – life and a garden -- just wish the gardening season would start. I love seeing my iris and poppies come up and especially my forsythia, lilacs and azaleas blooming. And of course, my magnolia tree!!! What inspires me is authentic people helping others. That’s why I love our principals and teachers who really care about kids and families. Thanks for reminding me how blessed I am. We are coming up to Holy Week and I have a lot to confess and to be thankful for.  Take care Jack – spring weather is coming – I feel it!!!====JACK:  The cycle of seasons is so pronounced in Michigan...people enjoying the summer and complaining about the heat, enjoying the fall and complaining about cold days, enjoying winter sports and a white Christmas and complaining about the snow and below zero temps, enjoying the melting snow and the budding trees and plants and complaining about the potholes.  Each year, it's the same song.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Could not agree more. And you inspire me everyday.  I just sent sent a message to a friend who has not communicated with me since the Trump election as they are strong liberals. I asked to have lunch soon to talk about family and laugh together over all the things we enjoy together,. Life is short and my father was my inspiration regarding the simply things are the best to be appreciated and enjoyed. A nice meal a glass of wine and laughter with friends an people you care about. My dad Never would dwell on disagreements but rather happy relationships. That is why he NEVER and I mean NEVER had an enemy. I only wish I was that good.  Thanks Pastor for charging my batteries.====JACK:  How did you acquire your "salesman-type" personality?  Was it from a parent/grandparent?  It's interesting how some basic qualities become part of our persona.  There's only ONE RJP that I know of.  God must have thrown away the mold.====RJP:  Thank you, I think??? I have always said good salesmen have one quality in common. Not personality but integrity. That is what shows through to customers. I would like to believe  have that quality. But I do appreciate that there was only ONE MOLD, however God improved it greatly when he made my an incredibly good, generous salesman and a special man of faith.====JACK:  In The Music Man it was said about Harold Hill that he was a good salesman, because "he knew the territory."  He knew what the people wanted to make them happy, and it was his job to make them happy.  Some thought he didn't have the ingredient you mentioned....integrity.  But, he changed.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  I'm glad you have that and that we inspire you back because you surely inspire hundreds of people every day!!====JACK:  What a difference the years can make.  When I retired in 1992 I never dreamed that I would still be preaching today, in a new way, reaching far more people every day that I ever did once a week preaching in a pulpit.====SK:  Wow... that is truly amazing and remarkable! And wonderful!!!!!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Just enjoying each beautiful day and my family and friends. Everyone knows that I have no green thumb and I get lots of artificial flowers====JACK:  Does the everyday blooming season in Floria ever get boring?====SHIRL:  Not to me but I am very thankful for air conditioning when summer comes although we have had lots of 80 degree days this winter ====JACK:  Sometimes we use A/C in the summer, too.  No 80 degrees this winter for us.  ====SHIRL:  It snowed on may 23 or 26 in Ann Arbor the year we moved to Tampa-1963 ====JACK:  Snow in Michigan in May...Not that unusual.  It keeps the heat away.

FROM SANDY IN MICHIGAN:  Thank you for your “Winning Words,” Pastor Freed. They are a faith-filled way to start the day.====JACK:  I remember the morning glories that bloomed in our yard.  The flowers close at night and miraculously reopen in the morning...something like my lifestyle with WWs.

FROM LBP:  It’s a good question to reflect on. Getting caught in the day-to-day can make life float by. What is important to be doing on a bigger time scale? I had my first meeting as a mentor of a junior faculty member yesterday and I asked her to think about what she wanted her career to look like in 5 years so we can work back and make sure she is taking steps to get there and not just meandering.  Afterward it got me thinking ... what do I want my career to look like in 5 years? ... hmmm ...====JACK:  I've often advised Pastor friends to re-examine their ministry every 3 to 5 years/  People change.  Situations change.  A regular review of our personal life is a good idea, too

FROM DB:  I like this , Jack!  Gardening is one of my favorite things. English Gardens has cold-tolerant pansies on sale right now.  Nothing says Spring like pansies on the porch (I also like daffodils, too).  I would like to learn the fine arts of Pruning and Rose propagation!====JACK:  Jack-in-the-Pulpit is one of my favorite flowers.====DB:  Yes, I agree, those are really fascinating!
LOL Jack in the "pulpit" are Jack, and where does a Pastor stand? (in the pulpit!)  😊

FROM BEECEE:  Had to look up Sumatra! Assumed it was coffee, but wondered about it. Am meeting Lynn at Starbucks this morning. Maybe I’ll get a cup of Sumatra!====JACK:  It ain't for everyone, but I like my coffee strong.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Family, friends, good books, meaningful work (or volunteering, at this point!,) and yes!  a good cup of coffee is right up there ! :-) Great music is, too. driving to Chicago this weekend to enjoy Chicago Chorale's Requiem, by Mozart. Sarah will be performing in it. Always awesome music!====JACK:  As the old saying goes:  You don't let any grass grown under your feet.  How long has it been since you've heard someone say that?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Pardon me, Cicero, but I think it should be "If you have a wife and a garden, you have everything."  At least that was what made my life really satisfying.  And what makes me want to get out of bed every day...well, to have breakfast.  It's one of my great pleasures to have a good breakfast every day, sitting across from that wife I mentioned above.  And a cup of Sumatra magnifies the pleasure.  I hope everyone manages to "get [such] a life!"====JACK:  Much has been written about much that we hardly know that his was married to Terentia (a modern day feminist)  Their long marriage was not exactly a happy one.   I don't think that they did much sitting across from one another, drinking Sumatra.  Hers is an interesting story.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  When I’m able, I enjoy make my cards for friends and family, scrapping our trips and days with the family and working in my gardens.    And...reading your daily inspirational and thought provoking words.====JACK:  Is your farm a farm in name only, or do you raise crops?  Is your garden for flowers or vegetables or both?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/20.18
“The wolf will lie down with the lamb…and a little child shall lead them.”  (Isaiah 11:6)  It has been said that a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement was the Children’s March.  I sense that a similar turning point in our country’s polarization happened with the Children’s Walkout following the Parkland shooting.  Something has to be done…and a little child shall lead them.  It the wolf is ever to lie down with the lamb…follow the children!    ;-)  Jack

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Sad that these students have become pawns for a political movement when 90 % of them have no knowledge of the constitution, or guns, or the laws that exist. Interview any average student of that age and it becomes frightening that we see they are involved in the mob mentality. Look who is funding the march...... Soros, Clooney etc. Look who is speaking , Bernie Saunders and he is escorted by armed guards. Hypocracy looms large. We can have a conversation but this is not about human rights, but rather the Law. We are a nation of laws and mob mentality is what the founders tried to prevent. I remember when I led a group in college to demand things of the administration. I became disillusioned when I realized that many joined because it was neat to do, not because of conviction. Instead of this we need to bring discipline, faith and balance back to the classroom and society. Where are the rights of the students who elect not to march and are disciplined for not participating? We also need to remove radical teachers who are poisoning our youth. Yes this may be a turning point but not necessarily what we expect.====JACK:  Well, you have expressed your opinion, and the students have expressed theirs, and since all of you are in America, all of you have a right to say what you want to say.  Regardless, I think that all of us want violence (gun or all other) to end.  Adults don't seen to be doing a very good job of solving the problem; maybe it's time to listen to the children.  What do you think Isaiah meant when he said, "A little child shall lead them?"====RJP:  I agree the Christ child shall lead us that is why we need Christ back.  We need to hear the call. Parkland could have been prevented by school officials, FBI, and law enforcement. and it had nothing to do with guns. You know  I do not own one, but  lets just enforce laws we have.

FROM YOOPER BOB:  Amen, Jack.    Good insight.====JACK:  We'll see if it has "legs."  Every great idea has to have a beginning, and only the future will tell.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  A hopeful thought====JACK:  FROM JT IN ST JOE:  A hopeful thought====JACK:  Hopefulness beats pessinism (or negativism) every time.

FROM LBP:  Things change so quickly. Society? Views? Culture? Technology? Not from a minute-to-minute perspective but to think of the change in my 40 yrs... my parents 70 yrs ... my grandmas 100 yrs ... I fight against the “this is how we always have done it” and My kids will challenge my ways I’m sure. Hopefully I’ll be open minded enough to hear the new perspectives ====JACK:  Your children are fortunate to have the views of 3 generations in order to gain perspective is shaping their views.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  But the adults still have to act, and with such a super power NRA, it is pretty difficult to change legal gun-buying age, or ban assault weapons, like Australia did, which has had excellent results. Still be admire the youthful zeal, and desire to change things for the better, and hope and pray it results in some positive action!  We "oldies" went through the Civil Rights marches and protests (We marched with King in Chicago and worked hard for change in our communities) and eventually, change did come...Hope springs eternal...====JACK:  The NRA will not be able to stand up to the "push" by the children.  Already the cracks are beginning to show.  In the past the children have relied on the adults to get it done.  That hasn't worked.  The Children's March is something new, and I have the feeling it's going to change things.  Sometimes we're so close to the action that we fail to see it happening.  BTW, the Civil Rights Marches are ancient history, and with the recent rebirth and acceptance of the new racism, the fight resumes.  More than...Once to ev'ry man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,  In the strife of truth and falsehood,  For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,  Off'ring each the bloom or blight,  And the choice goes by forever  'Twixt that darkness and that light.====OAKS:  "Once to every man and nation" was Bill's favorite hymn. Sung by our congregation several times a year to coincide with his sermons! ====JACK:  I knew that the mention of that hymn would trigger a response from you.  The point I'm trying to make is that "every generation" has its moment to decide.  The cause can change from time to time, but the choice goes on...for the good or evil side. 

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I do not remember the children’ March in the civil rights movement. I remember the wonderful gathering in Washington in August 1963. We had just moved to Tampa then!====JACK:  Google.....Mighty Times: The Children's March tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham braved arrest, fire hoses, and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees. In the spring of 1963.====SHIRL:  I guess that that was a very busy time for our family. I have been to the civil rights museum in Birmingham and the next time I will pay more attention to that time. It is a very large museum

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  those kids are pawns of the liberal factions w/in our government...they just want to get out of class.====JACK:  It seems as though you've made the transition from the idealism of youth to fogeyism.=====LIZ:  i was always a realist, even in my youth... and i would have done anything to get out of class, like all kids!====JACK:  I think that times may have changed since the olden days of almost two generations ago.  For example...the social media.====LIZ:  kids don’t change.====JACK:  Yes, some don't, but it's been my experience that many do...I base my hope for the future on them.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  i also recall the saying that the wolf will lie down with the lamb but the lamb won't get too much sleep!:)====JACK:  "Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me,  Bless Thy little lamb tonight;  Through the darkness be Thou near me,  Keep me safe till morning light."====PAUL:  was this a bedtime prayer for you as a child??====JACK:  Mary and I used it as a bedtime song for our children.  Mary would sing it softly to herself toward the end of her life.  Read the words again...and see how fitting that was.  A good memory for me.====PAUL:  Comforting indeed.

FROM RUTHIE:  Hi!  This makes me think of my Mom. She always said to love the children. I know she would be so proud of these brave kids,and root them on! I feel the same. Let the children lead us back to the teachings of Jesus! Peace and love!   As always, thanks for your winning wise words ♡====JACK:  It's a shame that when some adults grow up. they lose the sense of what it is to be a child.  I think that there's a difference between being childish and childlike.  Your mom....She was so special!====R:  I agree! The Buddhists say to love each other the way a mother loves her only child. When we think of the child within, it changes the need for judgment, don't you think?
It's good to be child like!====JACK:  We adults need to reread from the Bible,,,Jesus called a little child to stand among them. “Truly I tell you, He said, 'Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'"..and think about what that means.====R:  I agree completely!  I seem to keep crossing paths with "Christians " who twist the words and teachings of Jesus. It challenges me to go back to the bible, to the words of Jesus, and to study and contemplate. ...every day a practice in love, peace, non violence,  non judgment and then there's forgiveness!  Children are pretty good at all of these things :)

FROM JF IN AZ:   I was particularly touched by many of the photos.====JACK:  ...and the words.  I was especially moved by the girl with the cropped hair.  I'm appalled by the politician from Maine who denigrated her.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Couldn't agree more.  Now it's up to us adults to find the ways to support them......all the way to the November elections====JACK:  It will be a huge disappointment if the adults don't follow the leading of the children.====RS:  Agreed - I know I'm on board.====RS:  Already emailed him and our two Senators.====JACK:  Do they ever reply?  with more than a form e-mail? 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/19/18
“Be like St. Joseph.  He’s a model for every (teacher and parent).  Children need you to walk beside them in love.”  (Pope Francis)  Today is St. Joseph’s Day, honoring the father of Jesus.  Real Estate people also have an interest in him, because of a legend:  If you bury a statue of Joseph in the yard, the house will sell faster. You can buy a kit, even with burial instructions.  Far more important is the example of Joseph as a good and caring teacher and parent.  So much of what I am today is based on what I learned at home.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:  Huh. I feel like we don’t hear much of Joseph  beyond the nativity. Have you ever preached on Joseph as a father figure?====JACK:  Historically, there's been so much emphasis on the virgin birth, that Joseph has been all but forgotten.  The fact remains that he was there for Jesus as his "father" from birth and through the growing-up years.  I can't remember preaching a sermon on Joseph (until today's WWs).  But is I were still in the Sunday Business, I think that I would do so with no qualms.

FROM TL:  Ah, fond memories…  I love that hymn of Joseph, ”How Can It Be?”  My grandmother always made homemade pasta for the feast of St. Joseph.  Funny, and I’m not sure why, it was always pasta with a 3-bean blend – pasta fagoul.  Always gave me a little gastrointestinal stress, but it never affected my admiration of Joe.====JACK:  I'll have look up that hymn.  Can you hum a few bars, or give me the first line?  Old family traditions are full of memories.  I wonder if it works that way with our children, too?  We should ask them.

FROM MF:  I can say the same Jack. St Joseph's feast day became special to us a few years back
As my Dads passing was near. The family was anticipating when it would finally happen, some hoped for St Patrick's day but Dad held on until the 18th, a more fitting day for such a great father.  ====JACK:  I think I met your father at your retirement party.  Was his name Joseph, or Patrick, or Michael...or some other Irish name?====MF:  He was William Andrew, he did make it to the retirement party, in a wheel chair.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We certainly have no details about Joseph as a father figure, so it's hard for him to be inspiring, except for the fact that he did remain faithful to raising Jesus.  When our home in Spfld. had been for sale for a few weeks, our devout catholic neighbor brought over a small statue of Joseph and buried it per their ritual in our front yard, and two days later, it sold!  Who knew?! :-)  I didn't know there was a St.Joseph day, but am not surprised. You just hear so much more about Mary!===\JACK:  Most of our historical information about Joseph comes from Catholic writers and artists.  With their emphasis on the virginity of Mary and the miraculous circumstances of the birth of Jesus, Joseph has to be left out of the picture and appears more as a kind of step-father.  Some modern theological interpretations seem to put him in more of the traditional role.  It's interesting that the burial of Joseph "worked" when it came to selling your house.

FROM SPARTY:  Thank you for recognizing St. Joseph's Day.  My father was Joseph, my mother, Josephine and then there's me!====JACK:  Other famous Joes...Biden, DiMaggio, Louis, Pulitzer and Pal Joey.====SPARTY:  And, don't forget about Joey Heatherton.😊

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  and were you not suppose to bury him upside down?   did i dream that or not?   and if it is true,  why bury him in an inverted position?? ====JACK:  He's buried upside down, so that he'll work harder to get out...and with his praying hands directed toward the house.  I read of a woman who had her husband's ashes put into an hour glass.  She turned it over regularly,because she wanted him to work harder in death than he ever did in life.

FROM LJ:  Thanks Jack, we have used the statue of St Joseph on occasion to try to sell a house when it has been on the market longer than the normal selling time expected. Sometimes it does work but not always. Probably I should be present and carefully read the instructions during the burial. A jewish client of mine, married to a Catholic woman, whose house was on the market for a very long time, when it was suggested to him that he coincider such a burial, told us that his wife had buried St Joseph under the sign and nothing happened. Realtors have many St. Joseph stories but I think you have to believe to make it happen.====JACK:  Standing at the basketball free throw line and making the sign of the cross is supposed to make the shot successful.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.====LJ:  So much is mindset at the time you do it.====JACK:  The reason for saying, Bless you!, when a person sneezes....It was thought long ago that when a person sneezed his spirit went out with the sneeze.  It was also believed that there were evil spirits lurking around, seeking to be sucked in with the next breath..  Someone would quickly say, "Bless you!" so the good spirit would enter the person before an evil one.====lj:  Very interesting, I had better be sure there is someone around to say "Bless you" before I sneeze.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Poor Joseph... he has to be buried upside least that’s what I heard.  Our most important learning does happen at home:  morals.====JACK:  Most important thing to be learned at home?  I'd

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Your latest thoughts on st Joseph mysteriously disappeared but he indeed is a perfect role model. I never heard the one about burying him in the yard.====JACK:  I learned something today from a quotation by Cicero.  The word, SUPERSTITION", in its root form, means "to stand in terror of the deity."  Isn't that interesting?

FROM INDY GENIE:  My kids loved their Uncle Joseph....he was very kind and understanding with children. He also was a great story teller and made them laugh! (He made us all laugh til we cried with his impromptu storytelling.)====JACK:  I have a grandson, Joseph.  Everybody calls him Joe...except me.  I can't imagine Mary saying, "Hey, Joe, would mind changing Jesus's diaper." ====GENIE:  Ha! That is funny to imagine:)  Brother Joseph went by Joe in high school. As he got older he preferred Joseph.====JACK:  Did your parents ever say why they named hi, Joseph...or you, Eugenia (Oh, I know the reason for that.)====GENIE:  Yes...the story goes that they took the Bible to the hospital when they had a baby and looked through it while my mom was in labor. (My guess is that they had names in mind before that:)  Full name...Joseph Ernest  Ernest was my mother’s uncle’s  name. And right...Eugenia for my dad!  How about you?====JACK:  I was named after my Uncle John.  He and his wife (my dad’s sister) were my sponsors.  Since they lived close to us, I was given the nickname (for John), Jack…and was Jack from the beginning.  My middle name is Harold, after my father.  In today’s world, I might have been named Jacobi, my father’s middle name.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  That's why I  am such a great person!!! I was born on St. Joseph Day !!!!!!!!! 78 on the 19th.  Laughter and giggles not allowed.====JACK:  I wonder why your parents didn't name you, Joseph?  Maybe it was because one of the definitions of the name is, sweet and caring.  Maybe that's a definition for Robert, too.  I'll have to look it up.....  NOPE.  But, it does mean, bright.====RJP:  LOL LOL  Truth is mom liked the name Robert and my brother was named Anthony after Dad soooooo Joseph was the natural middle name I must have the traits of both don’t you think?  BTW In real estate we bury Joseph upside down facing the home we do it go about 50% of our customers. Most folk are really superstitious.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/16/18
“Old age is the crown of life, our play’s last act.”  (Cicero)  People usually do a double-take when an AARP card arrives addressed to them.  I read recently that the transition out of mid-life begins at 65, and that age 80 and above is considered to be very old.  Bring out my crown and let the “fat lady sing.”  However…healthier life-styles and medical discoveries are causing midlife to last longer and old age to be postponed.  What do you think is the perfect age?    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  George Burns once said, “The secret to not getting old?...Don’t shorten your steps when you walk.”   He always got a big laugh when he said that.====JACK:  GB also sang, "I wish I was 18 again."  I think that would be a good age to go back to.

FROM LS:  The age You are at any moment in time.===JACK:  I guess...It depends...There are certain ages that I would not like to re-live.

FROM LBP:  I was surprised when an AARP letter showed up for me on my 19th birthday. It was my Dad who had just turned 50, Not me!  I can’t let myself fixate on a perfect age. Time keeps moving. ====JACK:  I can see why AARP seemed confused.  You were always "old for your age."  Your comment about "time always moving" reminds me of the adage, "You can't step into the same river twice."

SF SENT A CARTOON SHOWING POOH AND PIGLET.  "What day is it?" asked Pooh.  "It's today," squeaked Piglet.  "My favorite day," said Pooh.====JACK:  What a great response.  A good teacher never forgets how to teach.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I think whatever age you are is the perfect age… perfect for new adventures, new ideas, new friendships, and new possibilities.====JACK:  I guess it all depends on the "YOU" and you's point of view.  A good life depends on a good point of view.  Keep looking for those new adventures and possibilities.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  All ages are fun – if you have your health, a sense of humor and a positive outlook on life.  I have good memories from all of mine…some maybe not as much fun but still memories.====JACK:  There can be "fun" even during the bad days.  At age 16 I was in the hospital for 3 months (not good), but I was able to get out of bed (good).  Once, when I was standing by my bed, a mouse ran toward me and scampered up my leg (inside the pajamas) and down the other leg, before running away.  At that time I, miraculously, was able to do a dance (fun-ee). ====CAROL:  Was that an “Irish” jig?  I would have died on the spot!====JACK:  It was sort of llike the Hokey Pokey...You take your leg and shake it all about.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The age of home with loving to do some things that you couldn't do at two....not yet in school....although pre school is a horrible invention for the four year old.... ====JACK:  Age 4 is fuzzy for me.  At age 5 things seem to come into focus...the house where we lived...Kindergarten...Moonie, our dog.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  If we r lucky enough to live a long life, we should just enjoy each day. Every day is special and we should do our best to appreciate each day! And to be helpful and to have fun. Age is a frame of mind.====JACK:  You're right.  Age is a fame of mind.  The number of candles on the cake does seem to make you stop and think.  Wow!  I'm really getting up there!  ====SHIRL:  Aren’t we all? We r the lucky ones====JACK:  It's a sign of getting old when they put number candles on your cake instead of individual ones.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Your whole life passes before your eyes before you die; that is called Living!" says author Terry Pratchett. I'm certainly wearing the crown of life, but I'm not young enough to know everything! :-) However I do know that every age has it's challenges, and perks, so might as well enjoy old age, if that is where you're at!  More and more people are enjoying our play's last act, as you say, thanks to medical advances, and will continue to do so, if we can control Nuclear power!!====JACK:  Re: nuclear power...Re: medical problems and advances...Re: unexpected challenges...Most of these things are beyond our control, but we "worry" about them, anyway.  Have you ever heard the old song, "It takes a worried man to sing a worried song?"  YouTube it!

FROM DM IN LIV:  Good morning Pastor Jack.  I believe the perfect age is the age we are right now.  We’ve never been here before and we won’t be here again.  I just love right now. 😊====JACK:  If you love a mystery, then you enjoy each day, because you never know what the day may bring.  The comforting factor: The Lord is always with matter what.

FROM LK IN OHIO:  If one is able to embrace life thoroughly, it seems each and every day God grants is perfect.  Just yesterday I talked with a lady at AARP customer care. She told me I have been on their membership list for twenty years now. I wished I might have said that to me the "crown of life" has been pretty light and a pleasure to wear. That is, I give thanks, like you, for God's blessing of life, and the opportunity to better my acquaintance with Him (old school) as I/we pass along the way into his closer comfort and protection. Of course, also JOY!  May God be and remain with you, Jack! ====JACK:  I think that the "optimists" probably enjoy life far more than do the "pessimists."   They enjoy tomorrow even before it comes, while, while for the pessimists, "tomorrow" can be a bad day twice.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The perfect age?!?  Each day I get older.  I guess my 40’s but that just a guess.  I’m glad I don’t believe as Cicero believed...our eternally wonderfully blessed life starts at the death of this one!====JACK:  You are consistent in looking forward in faith:  The life to come (Heaven) is going to be far better than life on earth.  “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Oh dear—we are old Jack!  Funny, my mind is still 60 but the body does not do what it could do then!  Ha!====JACK:  But the memory of those the Gershwin song puts it... "They can' take that away from me."

FROM JE IN WLCSD:  I think the perfect age is the age you are at your best physically and mentally, for me that was my early 40s, although I’m getting my umph back and exercising and eating right, (including some dark chocolate), even though I’m in my mid-50s. My goal is to be in tip-top shape like my mentor Jan Calligaris, who is going to be 70. Jan is more positive and active than most 40-year-olds.  I’ve adopted Jan’s motto: “You rest, you rust!” ====JACK:  Ahhh.  The 40s ...a time when I was full of "spit and vinegar!"  Have you ever heard that saying.  The 50s and 70s weren't so bad, either.  Aging is a matter of adjustment...of the mind.

FROM BB IN CHCO:  I enjoyed having small children.  I hear…that being a grandparent is just as much fun, if not more.  So, I look forward in hope.====JACK:  I love my every age.  Grandchildren are special in their own way.  Even the in-laws are special.  I guess mothers/fathers and grandmothers/grandfathers look at the situation using different glasses.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  well,  I don't know, but I have experienced a truly happy life for 77 years.  I guess it's OK to bring out my crown and let the "fat lady sing."   But I'm going to post pone it for as long as I can.====JACK:  At a recent doctor's visit, he spoke into his recording device, listing the results of the check-up, including..."patient still has all his marbles."

FROM DS IN CA:  Almost all of your blogs "hit a note" with me, but this one really did.  Since "hitting" 80, my body seems to have decided it's time to slow down.  I suppose that's true, but I'm trying to resist the tendency to just give up.  My lower back makes it difficult to fight this aging thing, but the alternative is not attractive.====JACK:  I remember the day when I couldn't go up the stairs one after another....What's going on?  Just recently, I felt my daughter's hand at my elbow (just like I used to do with my mother).  What's going on?  My advice: "Deal with it!

FROM AA IN FLA:  I'm pushing for 108 and plan to still be golfing and shoot less than my age ====JACK:  It's nice to have dreams when you're a whippersnapper...but time will have its way.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  my aunt turned 100 last week in Dysart, Iowa.  i will ask her that question:):):)====JACK:  You might want to make a list of questions to ask her.  You never know when it might be the last opportunity...especially when you're talking to a centenarian.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  I think the perfect age is the one I am.====JACK:  Que sera, sera!

FROM SAZ:  I'm 89 and am lucky to feel great. This year we will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. We live in an active independent living retirement community with many active friends. I'm active in out local church. I'm looking forward to reaching the perfect age although this is pretty good. God has been good to me.====JACK:  I like the story of how you enlisted in the Navy without your parents being aware of it.  Didn't you leave for duty right from the recruiting station without going home?  Those were your carefree years. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/15/18
“The Bird of Paradise alights upon the hand that does not grasp.”  (John Berry)  There’s a bird found in Indonesia called the Bird of Paradise.  It is so beautiful that it’s thought to be descended from the first bird created by God in the Garden of Eden.  To come in contact with such a bird is thought to be a sign of God’s blessing.  While I’ve never actually seen that bird, I’ve had contact with people who, by their life, show God’s influence upon them.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM VW MARY:  Yes, thankful for you, for one, & for other people like you!====JACK:  It's interesting how, with the coming of each year, people enter our lives and make a difference...and you are one.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Right now my backyard is full of birds of all kinds—and all beautiful and all colors. I do have a bird of paradise plant also. The blooms are breathtaking====JACK:  Each year I look forward to hearing the chirping birds when I go out to get the newspaper.  Today I heard them for the first time.  Spring is on its way.====SHIRL:  Spring has been in Florida most of the year so far. It has been beautiful!====JACK:  Do you ever have a change of seasons?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/14/18
“My interest is in the future, because I’m going to be spending the rest of my life there."  (Charles Kettering)  This quote was often used in Kettering speeches.  He was one of America’s great inventors, particularly in the auto industry.  Today’s credit card also traces back to him, and so does air-conditioning.  With his inventor’s mind he foresaw the future as a wonderful place to live.   What invention do you think might bring optimism to the world today?    ;-)  Jack 

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My Dad held several patents.   He worked in R & D for Deere..and then left and started his own business....developed several new types of feed which he sold in his business...====JACK:  There must be some satisfaction in coming up with an idea that no one's thought of before.   To have sermons limited to fresh ideas would tend to make them a lot shorter.
====JOHN:  He was the kind of character that one meets in novels.   I loved him.    We were both great Cubs' fans.    We also were as different as night and day.   He finally came to grips with that.   I am more like my mother....a good Swede.====JACK:  I, too, was more like my mother...German.  We were both Cubs fans until I moved to Detroit.  She never like to lose.  (Me, too) She lived to be 102.  I told her that I was going to beat her by living to be 103.  Now, I'm not so sure that that's a good idea.

FROM WALMART REV:  Still enjoying the ones we have, to stop and think of a new one?! ====JACK:  Which invention do you enjoy the most?  I enjoy so many....but right now it's the computer.====REV:  The iPhone with its computer and internet service would be at the top of my list . . . I have my office files and phone right there in my hand.====JACK:  Do you read your Bible that way, too...or are you too old fashione for that?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Anything that Elon Musk comes up with====JACK:  Do you have a Tesla? ====SHIRL:  Nope.   What do u think of roads under the streets to relieve the traffic?====JACK:  It would probably be too expensive.  Self-driving cars will allow bumper to bumper traffic to move swiftly and safely.  Less congestion downtown, too.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Here's an interesting invention... trailerghu4

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/13/18
“When you inhale you are taking the strength from God.  When you exhale it represents the service you are giving to the world.”  (Yoga saying)  I’ve read that the average person takes 8,409,600 breaths each year.  One breath was our first, and one will be our last.  Psalm 39:4.5:  “Lord, let me know how fleeting I am.  All mankind is but a breath.”  Stop for a bit and be conscious of your breathing.  Stop for a bit and be conscious of God in your life.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PEPPERMINY MARY:  Namaste====JACK:  Did Ruthie teach you that?====MARY: We kind of learned that together. I took my first yoga class in 1974ish. Ruthie and Genie just took it much further in their certifications. Now I’m along for the ride! ====JACK:  Ommmmm!

FROM SUES:  Thank you, a great way to start the day!====JACK:  Another great singing, "Roll out of bed in the morning with a great big smile and a good, good morning.  Get up with a grin; there's a new day a-tumbling in."

FROM LBP:  I enjoy yoga. I should try to get into it again. I’ve been trying a meditation app called “calm.” It has one simple feature that just paces the breath. I’ve heard that daily meditation can change pathways in our brain slowing down our quick-stress anxiety reactions. It seems that prayer can be meditative too. Perhaps I need to work on that practice too.====JACK:  Is there a kind of yoga that you can practice while driving a car.  You have to be careful with meditation CDs.  They might put you to sleep.====LBP:  Alas, no car yoga. No meditation exercises either. Just NPR and other podcasts.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How fleeting we are in this life!  One breath will keep us here or let us begin eternity.  I watched a Christian video yesterday.  This man brought in extremely long rope.  He pulled and pulled the rope into a large room.  He then showed a tiny part of the rope which was colored red.  He said, “This is how long your life is on earth and this (the rest of the long rope) is eternity.  Why are you so consumed with this part (the red part of the rope)?  Very interesting sermon!  Just one breath!!====JACK:  I suppose there's no need to breathe in heaven.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I have never thought of it like that!====JACK:  There are lots of things and thoughts to wonder about

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  You can't help growing older, but you don't have to grow OLD! Hoping to stay; "Young at Heart" until my last breath, keeping hopeful, loving, curious, and with a sense of humor!! My daughter is a Master Yoga teacher, and would appreciate this saying!.====JACK:  Do you remember the song by The Police?..."Every breath you take  Every move you make
Every bond you break  Every step you take  I'll be watching you."

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Jack, I truly love this one.  We laid to rest a 63 year old coworker over the weekend who died of brain cancer – similar to that affecting Senator McCain.  Your words are a comfort and an inspiration.====JACK:  Isn't it interesting...with a child, a first breath and a cry...with a dying person, a last breath and a sigh (but not always).

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Amen.  With the death of my mother last Monday at age 103+six days, that last breath has become more profound.  None of us knows when that will be.====JACK:  Sorry, to hear about your mom, but there comes a time.  As my mom was dying at age 102, and orderly went over and opened a window in the room to allow her spirit to take its leave and be with God.  ====JAN:  What a beautiful memory!

FROM GDJ IN WI:  Thanks Jack. Good stuff.====JACK:   Hey!  It must be that Holy Spirit at work again.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I think about my inhalation and exhalations all the time… it is indeed a yoga thing… I’ve never heard it this way though and I like it better… typically we think of good in, bad stuff out…but service out is WAY better… oxygen in.. via gift of life from GOD gives us energy for the service out!====JACK:  When I was your age the only yoga I knew was the Yankee's catcher, Yogi Berra.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/12/18
“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.”  (Euripides)  Netflix says it’s surprised
by the popularity (especially among millennials) of reruns of the 90s sitcom, Friends.  Is it escapism?  “I’d like to live like that with six close friends…real friends, not digital ones…in a simpler, less complicated time.”  Maybe every generation is looking for…friends!  We are truly blessed when we have a family who can also be friends.  I don’t need a TV rerun.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I see that as a. Major benefit of a place like Maple provides easy access to a lot of friends...====JACK:  I remember when Maple Village was just an empty lot and a dream.  I've now made many visits there and am happy to see that some dreams do come true.

FROM SF: So you have met my family...hehe!-----JACK:  I've heard of some of the others (and you can be proud), but I've only met the ONE!====SF:  Yeah, you met the good one!!====JACK: He told me that YOU were the good one."  I tend to believe that.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Maybe they are looking for real “talking” friends instead of all their “electronic” talking…maybe they don’t realize the importance of communicating verbally with friends one on one or 5 on 5 rather than all the silent conversations they experience.  I heard on a news report that some teens are shutting off their electronic devices – can we only hope this will happen?  At Walmart Friday I watched a dad pushing a cart with one hand, texting or playing a game with another on his cell phone and this young daughter standing in the cart balancing herself precariously next to the edge.  He wasn’t paying attention to her or possible dangers all so he could be entertained.  Or eating in restaurants and seeing parents texting and ignoring the ‘family’ time sitting in front of them.  We are blest to have a family who are friends in all generations!  Have a 23 year old granddaughter coming to spend a few days of her spring break with us!  Can’t wait for the conversing!  Thanks for this silent chat good friend!====JACK:  When Mary needed home care, we were interviewing potential helpers.  One of the candidates was a young person who continued to check her iPhone for messages during the process, diverting her eye contact from us to the phone, while still talking.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Makes one wonder about Eueripides' family members!  I love my "bestie" but family would still come first in love and friendship. Lucky me, I guess!  I think a lot of young people are becoming very cautious about what they put on face book, any more. I notice less negativity and more positive comments, which is heartening. But the loss of a phone is major to most kids (and probably adults!) My g.daughter was lamenting the loss of her phone in a rock climbing descent, as it fell from her back pocket.  I was just glad it wasn't her taking the fall!====JACK:  I was just thinking (and smiling) at today's iPhone people being transported back to "party line" phones and having to wait until someone had hung up until they could call the number they wanted.  Talk about frustration.  Did you ever make a telephone using two cans and a long string?====OAKS:  We did...there were a lot of kids in our neighborhood, so can't remember who concocted them, but you really could "hear" from one length to the other!====JACK:  And, did you ever play the game, Telephone?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Sometimes friends are more loyal than relatives.  At least it has happened to me.  Sometimes relatives aren’t friends at all but people who came into our lives through other relatives.  That’s ok but they aren’t the ones closest to us.  They aren’t around us enough to get to really know us well as our closest friends do!  They both have their place in our lives.
====JACK:  What a blessing to have a friend, relative or not.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It would be hard to think of a life without family and friends!====JACK:  So then, no need for Netflix for you!

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I am truly blessed with wonderful friends too! ====JACK:  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The only way to have a friend is to be one."  Old-time comedian, Jimmy Durante would crack a joke and then say, "I got a million of 'em."  You could probably say the same thing about the number of friends you have.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/9/18
“If you’re not greedy, you will go far.  You will live in happiness too…like the oompa…loompa…doompety do.”  (Oompa Loompa song)  Willie Wonka fans are familiar with the Oompa Loompa.  I like their song, especially that part about not being greedy.  Greed is on the list of the 7 Deadly Sins, on a par with lust and sloth.  One of the problems with greed is - it doesn’t lead to happiness.  Do you want to be happy?  Be like the Oompa Loompa!    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:  Greedy... that was Veruca Salt. Each kid had a different fault that they sang about. Greed, gluttony, sloth, ... a catchy tune in the 70s movie ====JACK:  People  of a "certain age" grew up with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory..  It seems like oompa loompa can give more advice in future WWs.====LBP:  Seems like a lot of good learning in that story. Some day I’ll actually read the book and see how Gene Wilder and Johny  Depp measure up to the original vision.====JACK:  Maybe you and your children can read it together.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  oompa loompa! I’m Happy ;-)====JACK:  My mind smiles when I say, "Oompa Loompa!"

FROM BEECEE:  I loved that book!!! When I was in 5th grade the teacher read it to us. I remember her saying we were too old to be read to, but for whatever reason she decided to read part of it to us every day, and we all sat excitedly in our seats while she did. She’d say (not in a particularly nice way) “I can’t believe you big kids are sitting here letting me read to you.” (But it kept us quiet.) When I’d get home from school, I'd fill Mom in. One day when I came home she said she had a surprise for me. It was a hard covered copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!  (Of course I still have it!) I think that first read/my imagination was much better (more exciting) than the two movies that have come out since then. Now I can’t help but picture the actors and Oompa Loompas like they were in the movies, in my head.====JACK:  My education is lacking...I never read the book, and I never saw the movies.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  LOL – this one made me laugh ====JACK:  I laughed, too, when I came across it, when I saw the characters and when I wrote about it.  HAHAHAHA


FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I thought Gene Wilder was superior in his part, in that great movie. It has a message for all ages!  As I quoted Jim Carrey (actor) once before,"I wish everyone could experience being able to buy everything   they ever wished for, and do everything they ever dreamed of, to realize that is not the answer to happiness,,,"  (He might have said "fulfillment"; can't remember exactly) but you get the idea, greed doesn't bring contentment in life. Having enough to "get by", enjoy some pleasures, and be able to share some wealth, does help, as we all do know. The Oompa Loompas are on the right track ! :-) Doompety Do!====JACK:  Gene Wilder, with blue eyes, his frizzy hair and his worried-looking face, was often recognized by children..."There's Willie Wonka!"  Even though Gilda Radner was his 3rd wife, I thought that they were the perfect comic pair, like Burns and Allen and Fibber McGee and Molly.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/8/18
“Of all noises I think that music is the least disagreeable.”  (Samuel Johnson)  Last night I went to a string quartet concert.  The noises I liked were: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Ode to Joy, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, Precious Lord Take My Hand…and some Bach.  A concert in June will feature a jazz band, with a singer named, Shuga.  “Eclectic” would describe the style of music I like…western & classical, rock & Gospel, piano & banjo.  How about you?    ;-)  Jack 

FROM LK IN OHIO:  I overdose on Mozart and Chopin.====JACK:  One of my favorite CDs is "Mozart for the Mind."  I sometimes play it when I'm researching for Winning Words.====LK:  Then there is Mozart for the morning commute/Mozart for morning coffee and Walter Matthau's good line. . Mozart for meatloaf!====JACK:  Have you ever heard music by Meat Loaf?  Meat Loaf is a musician, made famous for composing and singing rock opera. Meat Loaf (originally: Marvin Lee Aday) was born in Dallas, Texas. He wrote the hits "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" and "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" and appeared in such films as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club.

FROM VOLUNTEER DM:  Mary's memorial concert was so very enjoyable.  Vivaldi IA my all time favorite and the quartet did a great job with each "noise."====JACK:  I've wondered why "noise" has synonyms of a negative nature.  Now, I see that it's from a French word, meaning, disturbance.  Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it leads me to learn  interesting things I didn't know.

FROM WALMART REV:  Southern Gospel, quartet harmony plays everyday at home or in my office...I even help the group out sometimes with my 5th goes all over the song’s score!! ====JACK:  One of our upcoming concerts will feature a Gospel Quartet from a Baptist Church in Detroit.  Is the AG Church into old-time Gospel music, or does it feature New Age stuff?====REV:  No southern gospel here . . . but the more recent worship songs and choruses . . . When one of the older hymns is played, we older folks always join in with the volume and harmonies raised in such away that hardly a time goes by that several will make the comment how they enjoyed singing that old hymn.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  we have similar taste in tunes...====JACK: It's said that "music soothes the troubled soul."  Whatever "soothes" the soul, yours or mine, is good music.

FROM LBP:  I like a variety of things. Music is a good tool to complement, or adjust, my mood. ====JACK:  Sousa makes me want to get up and march around.====LBP:  Maybe I should put Sousa as my alarm in the morning. Here is one I’m enjoying now though. Not Sousa but gets me marching (and dancing) along   ====JACK:  I like your "marching story."  Our local classical station plays a Sousa march every weekday morning at 7:15.  It's called "the Sousalarm."

FROM RONDO STRINGS:  Last night did you see the cake in the shape of a violin?  That was really creative.  What a nice group of people.  Thank you for having us play. ====JACK:  Yes, that violin cake was a surprise.  A friend of Mary's made it for the event.  Thanks for making the evening special.

FROM DO:  Agree.  It was a wonderful concert.  So nice to have Mary's violin played.  It played and sounded beautiful.  The special treats at the reception were wonderful as well - her favorite cookies and a violin cake.  What a nice celebration of Mary.  Well done, good and faithful servant.  My style is eclectic also.====JACK:  I liked it when everybody sang "Happy Birthday" to "Mary."  I've read that the Birthday Song is the most played and sung piece of music worldwide.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Sorry I missed the string quartet… I’m working with a school district and we meet on Wednesdays. Yesterday, I didn’t finish my work with them until too late to attend. I TRULY hope I can make the next one!  I like the Hawaiin version of Over the Rainbow…
 Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
====JACK:  .  I suppose you’re familiar with the Pink version.
I still like Judy Garland’s best.  I thought you couldn’t attend because the Bolt wouldn’t have enough “juice” to make it from Maumee to West Bloomfield and back.====DR J:  LOVE it… I hadn’t heard Pink’s version.  Thanks for sharing!

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  You might want to Google “Only Boys Aloud” - Britain’s Got Talent on You Tube.====JACK:  That was good.  Thanks====RS:  Glad you liked it - Wales seems to come up with these good choirs (Cor Glaneathwy is another) 

FROM AP:  The recital was beautiful and elegant, I feel that it was a perfect tribute to Mary. And you never fail to impress with your calm and exactly right things to say. There was a lot of love in the sanctuary around you. You are a rich man.  However it is that Tracy came into your circle was a blessing. The perfect hymn to play on Mary's violin. I had to wipe away tears.   Such a great plan to have regular music concerts at Holy Spirit.====JACK:  The church's music program has your fingerprints on it, too.  I'll always remember the choir singing, "What a Fellowship."

FROM CS:  I like it when we ask Alexa to play Leonard Cohen; and others of course. Enjoyed the concert last night.====JACK:  Cohen's Hallelujah is one of my favorite pieces of new music.  Haunting!

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Pipe organ music!====JACK:  Mary's mother was an accomplished musician...organint, choir director, and piano teacher.  Her father was a baritone soloist.  Music was a part of all family members, except the dog and cat.  Mary's mother headed the committee which chose the Moller pipe organ for the church.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We are a musical family.  Grandson #1 plays guitar and drums, grandson #2 plays ukulele and drums, and the other 3 sing in choirs; grandpa plays trumpet and sings in the choir, grandma plays clarinet and sings in choir, daughter plays clarinet and sings in choir, and son-in-law in sings in choir.  The dogs even sing!  There isn’t too much we don’t listen too.  We love the classical...even the grandkids.  Christian music- especially the old hymns, country, rock, western anything really.  But I don’t care for jazz.  Listening right now to Christian Music.  Music brightens my day.====JACK:  When you get around to building your outhouse on the farm, make sure it has a battery-operated CD player.====JUDY:  It probably will have one and a speaker to blast over the barn.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I like all sorts of music too. I do especially like George Symnoette from the Bahamas, Benny GOodman and Sachmo. I especially like Joy to the World.====JACK:  Which Joy to the World?  The Christmas carol, or Joy to the World by Three Dog Night?====SHIRL:  The Christmas carol I guess. It is the one the kids love to dance to. My very favorite is how great thou art!

FROM JE IN THE WLSD:  I thoroughly enjoyed the string quartet concert last night. It was music to my ears and heart. What a tribute to Mary, what a gift for each of the attendees and what a pleasure to hear Mary’s violin played so beautifully. It was like angels music. Thank you so much====JACK:  Usually crow size isn't that important to me, but last night's attendance was awesome....So many friends!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Least disagreeable" is not much of a recommendation, but oh well!  I love the "old" pop songs and big band era music we grew up with, musicals  give us many delightful songs, and am  trained in classical, so enjoy that, and of course the sacred, if its not too ponderous! :-) Rap is probably the only genre I truly dislike (aside from Hamilton!) mostly because of the lewd lyrics, and am not a rock fan, but yes,, to me, music is a very desirable "noise" and I would hate to live without it, Bill loved country western, I think because it usually told a story, or had a moral to it; He once used Peggy Lee's song, "Is That All There Is" to lead into his sermon. Folks never forgot it!  He loved violin music, and many folk singers. Let's face it, 'Music soothes the Soul" is really true! ====JACK:  During the time when Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was popular, I began a sermon by playing the song.  Smiles came on the faces in the pews.  When you starred in musicals, what was your favorite character and song?====OAKS:  The most fun was Eulalie McKecknie Shinn (Mayor's wife: Pick a little, Talk a Little) The favorite song as Anna in the King and I, Hello Young Lovers. Ado Annie in Oklahoma was a great part too: loved "I Caint Say NO!" ====JACK:  In The Music Man, I like 76 Trombones and how the same tune with a slower tempo is used for Goodnight My someone.  I suppose you knew that.

FROM LH:   I enjoyed hearing it’s history of Mary's treasured violin. Very heartwarming. Her grandfather was a gifted man. I have so much respect for people who are craftsman. For a violin it has an incredibly mellow quality.====JACK:  We each heard it for the first time. I agree...the tone quality stunned me.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  The ones you listed sound good to me.  I do have problems with the loud banging "music" my grandchildren prefer.  I like Beethoven a lot.====JACK:  It's amazing that Beethoven could compose such beautiful music while suffering deafness and depression.  To me, it's a miracle.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/7/18
“So much of who we are is where we have been.”  (William Langewiesche)  Someone I know has traveled around the world, starting and ending in Detroit.  I’ve been to Mexico (Juarez) and have crossed the Detroit River into Canada (Windsor).  What exotic spots have you visited?  While travel is fine, I believe that people we’ve met and books we’ve read tend to influence us the most.  I once was set to lead a tour of the Holy Lands, but bombings cancelled it.    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Gary and I have been to all 50 states, most of them numerous times.  We've been to Mexico several times and  Canada many many times to many provinces.  He has traveled to Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany and Austria on business.  My favorite state beside Michigan is Idaho.  But every state has a special place we love and they are all beautiful.  They have all left an impression on both of us.====JACK:  After listing places we've visited, in our mind we should list the books and people who've made a difference in our life.====JUDY:  I think that's why we love to travel.  People are so fun to get to know from all over the world.  I still am in contact with people we met years ago on a cruise to Nova Scotia.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Travel people and books certainly all make life very interesting and challenging. Bali Australia Hawaii Alaska Rio Paris Rome Venice are some of my favorites. And of course the Bahamas where we lived for three years and many many more...and Moline was a great place in which to grow up!  People are very interesting. One of my favorite books is still Men to Match my Mountains. Another is Steve Jobs.====JACK:  You've had the best of both worlds.  Working for Eastern Airlines, you've had a chance to fly cheaply (even free) to many destinations.  As an educator you've had a chance to read many books and to interact with many people, students and colleagues.  ...and I agree with you about Moline.  "We are Moliners!"

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  one can travel the world over and over, yet never become worldly... ====JACK:  It depends on what you mean by worldly.  Would you be described as worldly?
Experienced and sophisticated and enlightened and streetwise?  ...or, are you one who is concerned with material values or ordinary life rather than a spiritual existence?  I would guess that you are more of the first than of the second.

FROM WALMART REV:  Willmar, MN has been by "Disney World" experience with its Adventureland, Frontierland  Fantasyland and Tomorrowland!====JACK:  Willmar also has a racetrack with an AG preacher giving the invocation and singing the National Anthem...and a Pastors' Race where local reverends can get into a race-car and go like He(ck) around the track.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I have been so blessed to be able to be able to travel to England, Scotland;, Wales and France, the Congo, Africa,,Japan (for 3 wks. when Sarah taught English there), India, Nepal & Naga Land, and the Holy Land, Turkey and Germany! Jan and Hal celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by taking their family and Bill and I on a cruise to Mexico and Caribbean Isles!  Also toured Canada and Nova Scotia one summer.  We were always thankful to return "home" to the good old USA!  But indeed seeing conditions in the rest of the world IS life-changing, The more you're aware, the more you care, and travel does open your eyes!!  Books do sway us in different ways, and certainly key people in our lives are an influence, you are right on about that! Just had a memoriam yesterday in the newspaper for Bill's 91st, had he still been among us.  Because of memories in the heart, we'll never be apart!====JACK:  You're up there among the most well-traveled person that I know. I once took the Quinlan Ferry across the Mississippi from Rock Island to Davenport.  As I recall, the fare was five cents.  Maybe I'm among the least-traveled person you know.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  We've been blessed to visit Canada (6 of the provinces), England, Ireland,  Mexico, and Costa Rica.  We almost always try to stay at an Airbnb or a Bed and Breakfast to get to know the locals.  In most cases it's the people that we remember more than what we saw.  Great people everywhere.  Viet Nam was on my list - that was a mixed bag.  OK when you weren't getting shot at.  Gloria has also been to Medjugorje (Bosnia and Herzogovina), Spain and Morocco.  Still a few places on our bucket list - Sweden, Finland, Scotland,France, Austria, New Zealand......and the 4 states I haven't been to  - RI, MT, WY and ID.   Figured we could knock out the last 3 of those with a trip to Yellowstone.  We'll see.====JACK:  Be careful when going to Yellowstone.  I've heard that there's a big volcano there that's about ready to erupt...but that should be nothing compared to the danger you faced in VN.  I'll always remember how proud your parents were when you were promoted to be a helicopter pilot.

FROM CPA BOB:  As a kid, like many others, I thought the US was the best at everything and invincible.  I did not have the experience of the depression as you did and my parents both had jobs (pharmacist and secretary) through the depression. My perspective changed dramatically when I started to travel and understood that everyone sees things from their own “center of the universe”.
It’s people Margie and I have met, primarily in other countries, who have influenced my thinking the most, particularly friends and/or relatives in Italy, Hungary and Israel.  We have not been to what I would call exotic places.  The Dominican Republic and Costa Rica may have some of those characteristics.  I think that cultural differences seemed the greatest in Shanghai and Seoul, although both show significant Western influences.  Thanks for your insight in this and so many other topics. ====JACK:  I know that I could have benefitted from more travels.  I was pointing out that our lives (in my opinion) are shaped more by people and books than by sight-seeing.  Mary and I did take a train trip from Toronto to Vancouver, through the Rockies.  Does that count as travel?====BOB:  Yes, that train  trip counts as travel.  I think that if you go more than a nominal distance from where you live and work to see someone or something new, it counts as travel.  I think that seeing the unique resources available to others also influences our thinking about some of what’s important to them.====JACK:  I've read that some people are spending their senior years living on a cruise ship because it's cheaper than living in an assisted living facility.  Boring!

FROM KANSAN DON:  Travel has been my desire and privilege (but not much more).  Scandinavia, of course.  Three LWR trips (Peru/Bolivia, Kenya/ Tanzania, and Israel/Palestine.  Perhaps most unexpected was East Germany, where I had a significant lesson on democracy.  When visiting students in 1973, they taught me about democracy.  I noticed that their voting seemed to be almost a useless act and I asked why they voted knowing the predictable results.  Their explanation;  We’re supposed to vote!  So we go as a group to the polling place and cast our ballots.  Some vote for and others against party people, but going as a group kept them from identifying who voted for whom.  Further, we used the voting booth, because a party loyalist would ‘brag’, “I don’t need the booth, I can mark my ballot right here!”  Did the party candidate get a small or larger percent this time as last?  That was their way to register opinions/concerns.  Yes, all should vote and the private booth is IMPORTANT.  Will I vote next time in Kansas?====JACK:  In one of my travels, I did go to Lindsborg, Kansas.  Does that count as foreign travel?====DON:  I hope you felt welcome without depending on Swedish.

FROM GL MARY:  i have been to many great and exotic places...turkey, lebanon, syria,  mexico, canada, costa rica, equador, china...but i am so much like dorothy..".there's no place like home".  i love road tripping in the states and canada.  my goal is to visit each state and provinced before i pass on to the next realm.  i also love to explore through books.  i always have a good read with me when i travel!====JACK:  My first and only passport's as clean as a whistle, while yours has all kinds of strange languages stamped on its pages.====MARY:  Hey, I just saw that my name has changed on the blog. No more peppermint mary?====JACK:  I thought that you had retired from the Peppermint School, so I retired your moniker.====MARY: 

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/6/18
“You can learn much from wise words, little from wisecracks, and less from wise guys.”  (William Arthur Ward)  At Christmastime a friend of mine would always refer to the magi as “The 3 wise guys.”  In slang, a wise guy is a smartypants.  In biblical terms, it’s someone who understands how God relates to the world and how the world’s people relate to God.  That’s why I enjoy reading Ecclesiastes and Proverbs.  Much can be learned from those wise words.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  One of my memorable class assignments in my freshman year was in Literary Masterpieces of the Near East (in translation). We all had to write a compare-and-contrast on Ecclesiastes and The Rubayat (Fitzgerald translation). That course influenced me the following year to start the first of my three years of Arabic language studies and to continue with Middle-East related courses throughout my AB and MBA studies. We were simultaneously assigned a reading on the background and mindset of Fitzgerald.  I had one Zoroastrian colleague in Pennsylvania and sometimes discussed religion with him at lunch. He's the only Zoroastrian I ever knowingly met. Aren't the Three Kings thought to be Zoroastrian?
====JACK:  From an article called, The Real Magi, I learned that Zarathustra (also known as Zoroaster by the Greeks) was considered to be the 1st philosopher and the 1st monotheist.  I also learned that the  word, Magi, has a root meaning,,,followers of the truth.  This, then, led me to better understand, "Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the book and the music.  One step, and then another...Thanks

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Every day we get strong messages about what constitutes the "good life": Money, Sex, Power, Profession, and social Position. People seem to buy into it these sales pitches in record numbers, but Ecclesiastes pokes holes in each of these definitions of success...All are futile and will not last after we die. Only God is a sturdy foundation which merits our trust and devotion. Still, our culture often sways our judgment, which seems to be human nature!  Hopefully we can learn much from the Wise Guys!!  We have to stay focused...:-(====JACK:  Each generation has its choices to make.  There comes a time when decisions have  to be made.  Ecclesiastes does a better job of reminding them...a better job than does a nagging parent or preacher.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Oh to be wise, in the real sense of the word!  Sometimes my wisdom comes after the fact.  Hopefully, I am wise enough to learn from my errors.====JACK:  There's the old story of the preacher who prayed (instead of...forgive my errors) "forgive my falling shorts." ====JUDY:  Now that’s funny!😀

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  my Dad used to call some people wiseacres.  it was not a term of endearment...====JACK:  Wisenheimer is another term of endearment, and smart aleck, too.  a generation, younger than your father's might use the term, smartass.====PAUL:  and jackass was used on occasion as well!====JACK:  The President knows some doozies and is not reluctant to use them.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/5/18
“Choose to be kind over being right every time.”  (Richard Carlson)  Kelly Clarkston sings about, “Mr. Know-it-all.”  Do you know that person, one who has all the answers?  Men’s Health Magazine has some suggestions for dealing with him/her.  Stay calm.  Confrontation isn’t the solution.  Asking question can help.  Sarcasm sometimes works.  If all else fails, smile, stick your fingers in your ears and shout: “La, la, la.  I can’t hear you!”  Choose friends wisely.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is very interesting. In 2006 I compiled a book with photos family trees and the family history. In the intro I emphasized the importance of kindness in life ====JACK:  You will never go wrong in being kind to people.  Kindness beats "being always right" every time.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Boy don’t we all!  We lived next to a neighbor who always did to her house what we did you ours.  We didn’t realize it for awhile but pretty soon it became a funny joke.  We had our basement finished and pretty soon she did.  Lottie was in her 80’s but we didn’t think anything of it.  Then, we had a patio put in and so did she.  We got a dog so she went out and got a dog (which didn’t live there long).  But we noticed finally, when we got our roof checked.  The next day, there was a roofer checking out her roof.  It went on as long as she lived there.  If we got rose bushes, so did she.  To this day it makes me laugh.  She always knew everything about everything but she had to keep up with the Lenn’s.  Too funny!====JACK:  I hope that she also practiced what you preached.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Most of us who marry, realize over time that kindness is VERY important in a spouse!!   I was blessed in that, and tried to reciprocate. As Colin Powell once said, ''Always be
kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting an uphill battle." The "Know-it-alls" usually have their "comeuppance" eventually, just be patient; they alienate friend and foe alike...====JACK:  That article in the Health magazine said that "Know-it-alls" generally have fragile egos.  Can you think of some "prominent" person where this seems to be true?

Friday, March 02, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/2/18
“There is no sense crying over spilt milk.  Why bewail what is done and cannot be recalled?”  (Sophocles)  I’m surprised at the number of aphorisms in present-day language that have their origin in the writings of ancient philosophers.  When Sgt Schultz says, “I know nothing,” he’s quoting Socrates.  Sun Tzu’s adage, spoken 2500 years ago, has come alive to influence basketball’s March Madness…“The best defense is a good offense.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL;  What goes around comes around-or something like that====JACK:  ...and that saying is probably based on the ancient Indian concept of Karma.====SHIRL  Very interesting! ====JACK:  I'm impressed with your impression of Arter Johnson on Laugh In when he played the cigarette-smoking German soldier.

FROM LP IN GOLDEN GOPHER LAND:  So true…so true!  Yeah for March Madness! ====JACK:  Maybe the GGs will get an NIT invite to continue the Madness.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  I've seen lots of "new jokes" in my lifetime that can be traced to Erasmus. One example: the idea of trying to rouse someone in a house and being told there's nobody there. Examples I can remember: the joke "nobody here but us chickens" (remember that one?); BBC Gong Show on the radio, Pogo.====JACK:  Socrates had them rolling in the aisles with this one..."By all means, marry.  If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher."

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/1/18
“Why do we have to wait for special moments to say nice things or tell people we care about them?”  (Randy Milholland)  Randy was bumming around, doing odd jobs here and there, when a friend said, “Why don’t you do something positive with your life?”  In Randy’s mind that “something” turned into the famous web-comic, “Something Positive,” which led to even more success.  Perhaps there’s a “Randy” within you who needs some encouragement.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Our days are full of them, when having foresight to look around for them. Sit still long enough out in the public, they will walk right up in front of us.===JACK:  On an average...How many sitdown conversations do you have on a morning at the Target coffee shop?  How many waves?====REV:  Walmart has been my primary place on interactions the past couple of years now since Target replaced their snack area with a Starbucks and no more popcorn.  I have recently began tabulating those from our church only that I have waved at or visited with, sharing our appreciation for worshipping with us or letting them know we've missed them of late.  The list is from February 2018. They are submitted to help me convey, even though I am out of the office more than before, I still am quite busy reaching out to our congregants.====JACK:  When I think of your outreach ministry, I think of the Gospel song that you've probably sung...
I can hear my Savior calling,  I can hear my Savior calling,  I can hear my Savior calling,
“Take thy cross and follow, follow Me.”
Refrain:  Where He leads me I will follow,  Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow,  I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.
I'll go with Him to our Walmart.  I'll go with Him to our Walmart.  I'll go with Him to our Walmart.
I'll go with Him, with Him, all the way.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  handyman work is positive. don’t look down on people!====JACK:  Fortunate is the one who has a "handyman" who can be called upon to do odd jobs around the house.  Last week one of them installed a new garage door opener for me.  After the spring thaw I need one to straighten my mailbox which has been tilted by the snowplow.

FROM TRIHARDER:  I don't.  You don't. ====JACK:  As Dr Seuss wrote..."There's nobody youer than you."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This gives me something to think about!!!====JACK:  That's what Winning Words is meant to accomplish.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  I try to say nice things in the moment when people can still hear me.  So I think this is a good statement today.====JACK:  It's always good when there's a WWs response from you.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 2/28/18
“Happiness is a good bank account, a good cook and a good digestion.”  (Rousseau)  What Rousseau described as “happiness” in 18th century France is much the same as today.  What more would you want?  Well, he wasn’t happy with the political situation of his day, or with the inequality of wealth, and restrictions on liberty.  He was stressed--and died of a stroke at age 66, not as a happy fellow…except for the bank account, the cook and the good digestion.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Those things make for a comfortable life, alright, but don't alleviate stress, which we all have; For us with faith, and belief in the power of prayer, things might go more smoothly, which brings "happiness"!  I think we're all praying hard about the direction our gov't. is taking!!====JACK:  If I had my druthers, I'd rather choose living in today's world rather than in Rousseau's.  Each has its negatives.  The positives...enough money and enough food and to have people who care for us.  Those are certainly keys to happiness.  As for stress...I'll bet Adam and Eve had it while living in Paradise.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What funny choices.  Good family and friends, good health (which should have been one of his choices evidently) and enough food and enough money would be my choices. Of course, I would love to have a cook.  But, we have enough...not necessarily what we want, but God has taken care of "Enough".====JACK:  I'm rethinking about what makes us happy... forget naming things.  Basically, it's freedom from worry that puts our mind at ease.
Elizabeth Cheney wrote:
Said the Robin to the Sparrow:  “I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings  Rush about and worry so.”
Said the Sparrow to the Robin:  “Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father  Such as cares for you and me.”
====JUDY:  Love it!  I will have to look up her book(s)!

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Let's see, what else would I want...........people who love me, a high capacity to love and forgive, and being able to do what you love to do.  A better political situation would be right up there, too.  Good thing God is in charge.====JACK:  Let's see....I think that God was in charge in Rousseau's day, too.  George Herbert wrote a poem, "Gratefulness."  There's one line that's often used at Thanksgiving-time...
"Thou that hast given so much to me,  Give one thing more, a grateful heart."

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  jesus was poor, never bitched abt it...====JACK:  In the musical, Jesus Christ, Superstar, Mary Magdalene sings: "He's a man, he's just a man...In very many ways he's just one more."  How would you sing about Jesus?  Is he just a man?, or is he God in human form, letting us know that he identifies with us, rich or poor.  This Jesus Parable has always caused me to think...
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.  The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’  But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’  He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'  ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’  He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”  What do you think that Jesus had in mind when he told this story?====LIZ:  Share

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  He obviously worried about too many things!====JACK:  Go back and Google: "Living conditions in 18th century France" and see if you'd worry as he worried.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  This seems hackneded but the only enduring happiness is knowing Christ as Savior.====JACK:  You probably know  that the Church during Rousseau's life was far different than the Church  of today.  It was seen as aristocratic.  "Christ as Savior" would not occur to him.  We are products of our time.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 2/27/18
“Every dogma has its day.”  (Anthony Burgess)  In seminary we’d comment on our Dogmatics professor’s lecture cards that were yellowed with age…the same lectures every year.  Dogma… the basic teachings of the Church never changed.  But it’s a different day.  Dogma is now open to question.  Not that beliefs have to change; students just want them to relate to their world.  How has your thinking about God and religion changed since you were younger…or has it?  ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  Jack,  we also had an Andy Burgess at Luther Sem at one time.  did he teach in both places?  or was he "on loan" to us for a time.  and was he not also very interested in world missions?  opps,  now that i think about it,  it was Andrew Burgess.   wonder if they were related.   brothers perhaps?   also,  i used the word Dogma in a high school English class one day  in Livonia,  Bentley High School,  and the teacher had never heard the word before in her life.  i had to look it up in a dictionary to prove to her that i was not making it up!====JACK:  Pastors have their own lingo (pause...while I look up source of lingo).  We must keep that it mind when we're talking to the laity...and make sure that they understand our specialized language.  Educators use terms that might be confusing to the hoi poloi, such as blogish.====PAUL:  i recall Billy Graham once saying that he never like to use words with more than 3 or 4 syllables.  he wanted to speak to the "common man" and he did.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Just look at how writing style has changed from wordy, detailed, somewhat formal, and with precocious vocabulary, to concise, direct, even simple, and to the point...The Dogma of church is unchanged but the ways of evangelism and communication are much more diverse and tailored to different regions and peoples. Our culture is so much more informal, don't you think?====JACK:  The Dogma of the Church might not have changed, but the understanding and interpretation has changed, so, in that sense, it's really not the same dog.  BTW, my sister now has a new phone and is learning to text.  She says that she has trouble with punctuation and upper and lower case.  In her working life she was a secretary where that stuff was important.  I've told her that there's a new world out there.

FROM ANNE McC:  Interesting you should ask.  I spent last Thursday evening in a group listening to a review of the dogma on Mary, Mother of God.  I loved the program.  Great review.  Thoughtful presentation.  Although I have been a church member for 88 years, catholic schools for twelve, I  am always learning and need to review the teachings of the church.  I have deepened my relationship with Christ. Not so busy and put Christ first.  Choices we make.  I am more compassionate but still religious.  I always trust in God but am more aware, more trusting.  I was never a huge worrier and I worry much less now.  I live each day.  Forgiveness is so key to holiness, simple holiness.  I have fear of God and love. More aware of sins of pride.  God is good and love.====JACK:  Anyone who's spent a lifetime as a Catholic and has been trained by nuns should be an expert on Dogma.

FROM STEVE ON THE FARM:  My New Yorker Magazine subscription comes with online access to 10 articles per month with no additional charge, but if I try to open 11, it costs extra.   I get WW every day of the month, keeping me up to date on the important takeaways for each day. God is always there in relationship so we can live. For free! :)====JACK:  Each year I get a tear-off calendar with a daily New Yorker cartoon.  I "get" most of them.

FROM GDJ IN WISCONSIN:  Two things to share. 1) Since I've retired, for me, the Church has become smaller and God has become bigger.  2) As I began to pack up my office I asked my Associate if there were any books of mine she would like. She had graduated from Luther a few years before. She chuckled (kindly) and said all she wanted was my DSM-iv. That was the only relevant book I had on my shelf. Indeed, dogma was either passé or was organic and growing. I'm not sure which.====JACK:  YOUR ANSWER TO TODAY’S WINNING WORDS IS WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR.  ONE SUNDAY I PUT SOME OF MY “BEST” BOOKS ON A TABLE IN THE CHURCH NARTHEX FOR PEOPLE TO TAKE…IF THEY WANTED.   VERY FEW WERE TAKEN.

FROM TARMART REV:  I suppose my answer is colored by the generation and era I was taught in-- "But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!"====JACK:  In our seminary it was not out of the ordinary for students to challenge accepted belief, not necessarily to dispute the, but to get a better understanding.  I would surmise that in an AG seminary, that would not be the case.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  No it has not changed in any great way. Just do your best every day and pray for help every day! But how the world in which we live has changed!====JACK:  I don't know if it's considered dogma, but the Roman Catholic interaction with non-RC churches certainly is different now than it was in the old days in Moline.  A priest preached in my church on Reformation Day and invited me to speak to his congregation during a service.====SHIRL:  My mother thought it was good for me to go to all churches when growing up It was a great experience from the Full Gospel to the tent holy roller church and various Lutheran churches and many others which I don’t remember

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Things are always changing...we change it.  But the Bible doesn’t change even when people don’t like what it says and change or ignore certain passages.  My faith has grown much stronger as I age.====JACK:  How about newer translations of the Bible?  Or, do you prefer reading the Greek and Hebrew?====JUDY:  I would love to be able to read both but thankfully the pastors at the Church we attend do know both languages or look it up, I’m not sure and they explain the words we have in our Bibles and the old translation..

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  I think so.  ELCA is different than Missouri Synod.  More "open."====JACK:  Women can be pastors in the ELCA.  Not permitted in LCMS.  Communion in the LCMS is generally is for LCMS members, where the ELCA invites all Christians who wish to participate

Monday, February 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 2/26/18
“Sometimes, if God can’t find a hammer to tap the nail into the wall, he’ll use the heel of an old shoe.”  (Quaker Saying)  There were times as I was growing up that we had to make do. Do you know that expression?  Sometimes mom’s tastiest meals didn’t come from a recipe book.  A little bit of this; a little bit of that.  She was a kitchen magician.  So it is with life.  It’s not always what we’d like, but somehow it works out.  We do the best we can with what we have.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i shared this on my fb today...never heard this saying, but i like it! ====JACK:  I like the Quakers, too.  In their honor I try to eat oatmeal once a week.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes and take one day at a time====JACK:  Sometimes we ask too many "What ifs?..." before taking action.

FROM LP IN TWINSLAND:  Love this one!====JACK:  I love this time of the baseball season when all teams have yet to lose a real game.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Yes, somewhat like the saying "God does not call the equipped, He equips the called;" He  can endow a willing heart with the needed skills to do his work! I  like G.K. Chesterton's comment: "All Theology has two simple principles: that we matter, and that everyone else matters." (!)====JACK:  The humble Sunday School teacher is a theologian, too. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 2/23/18
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”  (1640 Proverb)  The first mass inoculation of the anti-polio vaccine was on Feb 23 in 1954.  At its peak in 1952, there were 60,000 cases, with 21,000 paralyzed and 3,000 fatal.  Parents were terrified.  But scientists Salk, Sabin and others found a way and the disease has been practically eradicated.  I’m sure we can all agree that gun violence in schools needs to stop. Do we have the will to work together to solve this problem?    :-(  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  What an interesting topic you chose.  How things have changed!  Today, mainly from the far left, we have parents who are anti-vaccinations.  I remember the story you told me about your experience.  How many people back in 1954 would have predicted that a significant amount of parents in 2018 would not vaccinate their children!?====JACK:  "Out of a sight, out of mind."  Imagine an "anti-vaccination" movement during the polio epidemic.  We must work together, today, to find a solution to a problem we could not have imagined when we were schoolchildren.====PAUL:  Exactly right!====PAUL:  I wonder how many voters today can name a U/S. President who had  infantile paralysis?

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  of course, gun violence has to stop. so does gang violence, domestic violence, bullying... but god made sinners, so good luck w/that!====JACK:  Think back,,,Were you ever afraid that you--or your daughter were going to contract polio, or be shot at when you were in school?  I can see why parents were distressed back in the 40s and why parents are demanding action today.====LIZ:  some vaccines are necessary, others, like HPV, are not. autism is prevalent, cannabis still illegal.  that kid slipped thru every possible crack in the system... so what do you suggest? ====JACK:  I point out the problem and rely on the "scientists" to come up with the solution.  Perhaps we need a new set of "scientists," ones who will explore unexplored solutions.====LIZ:  what makes scientists so smart? can’t even develop a flu shot that works!====JACK:  Most scientific breakthroughs are based on countless experiments...finding out what doesn't work.  It took Edison 1000 tries to invent the lightbulb.

FROM TRIHARDER:  The first time I heard this as a child, I heard, "Where there's a wheel there's a way."  A lot to be said for that, too.====JACK:  Did you know that puns were found in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics?  Neither did I.====TH:  way up on the wall. The high roglyphics. ====JACK: The answer to violence, specifically gun violence, seems to be written high up on the wall, too.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Which idea is more stupid...Trump’s suggestion that we pay  bonuses to teachers who are armed (when it is self evident that getting high powered weapons off the street is the solution) or...the state  House discussing making English the official language (they are fiddling around while our roads crumble).  We need some candidates who understand that the state is responsible for roads and schools and  our voters that pay attention to what’s  important  I feel frustrated and angry.  I do what I can but all around the world is upside down.   Whew!====JACK:  Nothing will change if we continue to elect legislators and leaders who continue to do what we've been warned NOT to do..."Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

FROM CS IN RO:  I’m in awe of These passionate young people!  They are our future maybe we can get this done!====JACK:  Perhaps "energized children" is the answer.  Up to now, "the answer is blowin' in the wind," as Bob Dylan put it.

FROM SCIENTIST JH:  Yes we must and these incredible students are leading the way. ====JACK:  In the Bible it says, "A child shall lead them"

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Common sense a lot of hard work and prayer r all needed.====JACK:  I read that one school administrator has decided that all children who walk out of school in protest shall be suspended for 3 exceptions.  As a former classroom teacher, how would you advise your students?====SHIRL:  Just thankful never to have to make that decision

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Agreed.  Gun violence everywhere needs to be addressed.  Not pleasant to realize that we have more gun murders per capita - by far - than any European country, Australia, Canada, Japan, etc.  I hope we do have the will to come together.  Sure would be easier if the NRA would at least be receptive.====JACK:  We need to remember that the NRA is people.  Today's violence problem is a people problem.  The solution is to be found in bringing people together for a common cause.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  , Gun violence does seem to be its own disease. But apparently we can’t all agree that it needs to stop or we would be more serious about finding a solution. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Northern Illinois University. Marjory Stoneman Douglas. How many times does this need to happen before we can agree, before it touches someone high enough up in the NRA so they become reasonable instead of blaming school security or want to arm teachers? Prayers of lament. ====JACK:  In the midst of the Vietnam War (1962) Bob Dylan wrote a song which asked the question, "How many times must the cannonballs fly?"  It seemed that there was an impossible solution to that war...but the war eventually did end, although not all were pleased with the solution.  An answer to gun violence will eventually come, but "how many times must the "bullets" fly?"

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  good one, Jack.   my secretary at SLLC   (Nancy Ryan) got polio one week before the vaccine came on the market.  how sad for her.  she was in a wheel chair the rest of her life. ====JACK:  Some things just don't seem fair.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Do what Australia did after a shooting rampage in 1996 which killed 38 people..Ban ALL assault weapons and monitor all handguns eligible to only a small group of security people and police. they haven't had a shooting since!  Of course they didn't have to amend the 2nd amendment of the constitution...Surely we can emulate Australia, or don't we wish we could!  ====JACK:  Is there anything out there now that's realistic, or will it take some new idea that brings people together?  I'm sure that in your teaching days you wouls not want to carry a gun.

FROM FM IN WIS:  I surely hope that a way is found, without arming our teachers ====JACK:  ...or preachers.  The proliferation of guns does not seem to be the answer.  It's a conundrum.

FROM DB:  I blame Hollywood for all of the violent movies, and for violent video games.
Kids are bored, plus, they have few positive role models. They tend to emulate what they see..... ====JACK:  I just read that Trump, too, blames violent video games.  Personally, I haven't seen any of those games, so I can't make a judgment.