Saturday, December 23, 2006

Simply Radishing
By Michelle HeimburgerFri, December 22, 2006, 12:01 am PST
Radish sculpture at the2005 Noche de Rábanos(Photo by
Laine Towey)Most of us carve our holiday vegetables in late October, when we sculpt pumpkins (or turnips) into fearsome Halloween forms. In one Mexican town, though, veggies get festive on Christmas. For more than a century, Oaxaca's Noche de Rábanos, or Radish Night, has been a tantalizing appetizer before the Christmas feast. Each December 23, the zocalo -- the town square -- overflows with elaborate displays made of dried flowers, corn husks, and the stars of the show, radishes. Local artists spend days whittling huge radishes into human figures, animals, and buildings. Detailed nativity scenes and dioramas of Oaxacan culture often take center stage. The striking colors and bumpy, twisted shapes of the root vegetables influence the subject matter and composition, like wood or stone in traditional sculpture. But radish art is fleeting. For just a few hours, the zocalo is transformed into a magical world of tiny radish people in a crunchy red and white landscape. At the end of the night, the winning carver is announced, and the radishes of Oaxaca can rest easy for another year.Suggested Sites...
Radish Night (Noche de Rábanos) - an illustrated history of the Oaxacan festival.
Radish Night - a Flickr slideshow of impressive radish carvings.
Noche de Rábanos - many images of the festival, with text in Spanish.
Radish Recipes - if the carvings don't work out, you can always eat the rejects.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Jack’s Winning Words 12/22/06
“I feel like a tiny bird with a big song to sing.”
(Jerry Van Amerongen) Jerry is the cartoonist who creates Ballard Street. A clever cartoon is one way to sing a big song. Do you have a song that you’d like to sing? Think about it! One of my favorite songs: I Heard the Bells. I especially like the story that goes with it. ;-) Jack

Robert Joseph, The Christmas Book:
In some American Christmas carols, we encounter an optimistic spirit of freedom and democracy, ironically contrasted with the painful facts of history which surround the origins of the song. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the words to this carol while America was in the midst of its bloody Civil War, on Christmas Eve, 1863. This was only six months after the Battle of Gettysberg where over 40,000 soldiers lost their lives. One of our country’s most influential writers, he taught literature for seventeen years at Harvard University. His faith in the power of God and man to join and transcend the horrors of war gave birth to this song, inspired by his hearing the ringing out of the Christmas bells. Nine years after it appeared as a poem, the tune was written by John Baptiste Calkin, an English organist and composer.
In 1956, the American lyricist and composer Johnny Marks wrote another score for this poem.
William L. Simon, ed., Reader’s Digest Merry Christmas Songbook (1981)
A mood of intense melancholy overtook poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in the years after his wife’s tragic death in a fire in 1861. The Civil War had broken out that same year, and it seemed to him that this was an additional punishment. Sitting down at his desk one day, he penned the poem "Christmas Bells. " As the bells continue to peal and peal, Longfellow recognizes that God is not dead after all, that right shall prevail, bringing peace and goodwill, as long as there is Christmas and its promise of new life. The poem has been sung to a tune written in the 1870s by an English organist, John Baptiste Calkin.

I heard the bells on Christmas day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet the words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along the unbroken song Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Till ringing, singing on its way The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, a chant sublime Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head “There is no peace on earth,” I said, “For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail With peace on earth, good will to men.”
Historical Note: This hymn was writ­ten dur­ing the Amer­i­can civil war, as re­flect­ed by the sense of des­pair in the next to last stan­za. Stan­zas 4-5 speak of the bat­tle, and are usual­ly omit­ted from hymn­als:
Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, It was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn, the households born Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”
(W. Somerset Maugham) In this season when neighbors express their traditions, which may be different from ours, it can be a time for learning. For me, it’s been the 7 principles of Kwanzaa and the meaning of the 8 lights of the menorah. My own tradition is the celebration of the Messiah’s birth. ;-) Jack

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

“Remember, credit is money.”
(Ben Franklin) I’m so old, I can remember when there were no credit cards. How about you? No credit cards in Ben’s day, either, but he knew that it was important not to overspend. Maybe these WWs should be posted somewhere in every home. ;-) Jack

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

“Who will bell the cat?”
(Aesop’s Fables) Many a plan has just one flaw. No one has the courage to try it. I think I’ll blog the fable so that you can read about the little mice and the cat. Maybe it will give you courage to do what needs to be done. ;-) Jack

Aesop's Fables BELLING THE CAT The Little Mice Plan to Bell the CatBelieve me, said a youthful mouse,That cat makes too much fuss,The silly thing just sits and waitsto capture one of us.You're right, a peer said, looking grim,I find the cat disgusting,You never know just where she is!No wonder we're mistrusting.Quickly a committee formedAnd came up with an answer!A bell around the kitty's neckWould neutralize the cancer!The crowd rejoiced: OUR PROBLEM'S SOLVED!But Grandma Mouse looked leery,She sighed a tired sigh and said:I've just one simple query.Who'll be the one to volunteerTo go and bell the kitty?And all kept perfect silence then,Especially the committee.MORAL: Many a plan has just one flaw: No onehas the courage to try it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

“Can one who is warm understand one who is freezing?”
(Solzhenitsyn) This one has a lot of different applications. Which one comes to mind for you? A.S., the author, had his personal “freezing” experience as a Russian political prisoner. ;-) Jack

FROM P.O. IN D., M.: A variation on the Native American "walk in another man's mocassins"?

Friday, December 15, 2006

“Roader, there is no road. You make your road by eroding it.”
(An old Spanish saying) A free translation: “Pilgrim, there is no path. You make your way by going.”
This was given to me yesterday by a friend to share with you as Winning Words. We all walk our paths. My prayer list grows longer. The name of a young mother has been added today. There’s a verse in the Bible: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord is with me.” Remember, we don’t walk alone. ;-) Jack

ANOTHER FROM J.S.: But, we can walk alone if we so choose. Kind of a sad way to go.
“Roader, there is no road. You make your road by eroding it.”
(An old Spanish saying) A free translation: “Pilgrim, there is no path. You make your way by going.”
This was given to me yesterday by a friend to share with you as Winning Words. We all walk our paths. My prayer list grows longer. The name of a young mother has been added today. There’s a verse in the Bible: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord is with me.” Remember, we don’t walk alone. ;-) Jack

Thursday, December 14, 2006

“I’ve always wanted a happy ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme. Life is taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next.”
(Gilda Radner) I read this yesterday and want to share it with you.. Are there things that don’t rhyme in your life? Gilda had a way to handle it in her’s. What do you suggest? ;-) Jack

PHILOSOPHER JOHN RESPONDS: I very much believe in happy endings. Good Friday may be on the next page for you but it is never the last word. The last word belongs to the Lord and it is Easter....

FROM HONG KONG J.C.: Celebrity meets reality.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

“Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old people are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”
(J. K. Rowling) Do you have a favorite memory of a time when you were younger? Ask a young person what they think it will be like when they grow older, and see what kind of an answer you get. You might want to share the results. ;-) Jack


>> 1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and
>> height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay
>> "them!"
>> 2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
>> 3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening,
>> whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's
>> workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
>> 4. Enjoy the simple things.
>> 5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
>> 6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only
>> person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.
>> Be ALIVE while you are alive.
>> 7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family,
>> pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.
>> Your home is your refuge.
>> 8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is
>> unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get
>> help.
>> 9 Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next
>> county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
>> 10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every
>> opportunity.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

“Nothing exists except atoms and empty space. Everything else is opinion.”
(Democritus) I agree with this one, but that’s just a matter of opinion. Democritus was called “the laughing philosopher,” because he was always laughing. Some said that he was mad, but others said he just had a happy disposition. Do some laughing today, but watch out for those who might call you, mad! Democritus was a pre-Socratic thinker, born in 460 BC. ;-) Jack

FRIEND L. P. WRITES: This seems like a pretty advanced thought for 400BC! It reminds me of my undergrad days in chemistry and physics. Though I must say that thinking on the level of atoms and empty space makes my skin crawl a bit. I start to wonder how I stay disjoint from the furniture on which I'm sitting. Though in the context of biochemistry and multicellular organisms it puts an added layer of "awe" to the miracle of life. Speaking of miracles, faith, and science... have you seen the recent book by Francis Collins? I saw a short interview he gave on it the other day but have not looked at the book myself.

Evolution of the Atomic Concept and the Beginnings of Modern Chemistry
Michael Fowler
University of Virginia Physics 252 Home PageLink to Previous Lecture
Early Greek Ideas
The first "atomic theorists" we have any record of were two fifth-century BC Greeks, Leucippus of Miletus (a town now in Turkey) and Democritus of Abdera. Their theories were naturally more philosophical than experimental in origin. The basic idea was that if you could look at matter on smaller and smaller scales (which they of course couldn't) ultimately you would see individual atoms - objects that could not be divided further (that was the definition of atom). Everything was made up of these atoms, which moved around in a void (a vacuum). The different physical properties -- color, taste, and so on -- of materials came about because atoms in them had different shapes and/or arrangements and orientations with respect to each other.
This was all pure conjecture, but the physical pictures they described sometimes seem uncannily accurate. For example, here is a quote from Lucretius, a contemporary of Julius Caesar, on the ideas of Epicurus, who was a follower of Democritus:
…look closely, whenever rays are let in and pour the sun's light through the dark places in houses … you will see many particles there stirred by unseen blows change their course and turn back, driven backwards on their path, now this way, now that, in every direction everywhere. You may know that this shifting movement comes to them all from the atoms*. For first the atoms of things move of themselves; then those bodies which are formed of a tiny union, and are, as it were, nearest to the powers of the atoms, are smitten and stirred by their unseen blows, and they, in their turn, rouse up bodies a little larger. And so the movement passes upwards from the atoms, and little by little comes forth to our senses, so that those bodies move too, which we can descry in the sun's light; yet it is not clearly seen by what blows they do it.
(*called "first-beginnings" by Lucretius - we'll put "atoms", he meant the same thing.)
Is it possible some young Greeks had acute enough eyesight to see Brownian motion?
These Greek philosophers believed that atoms were in constant motion, and always had been, at least in gases and liquids. Sometimes, however, as a result of their close-locking shapes, they joined in close-packed unions, forming materials such as rock or iron. Basically, Democritus and his followers had a very mechanical picture of the universe. They thought all natural phenomena could in principle be understood in terms of interacting, usually moving, atoms. This left no room for gods to intervene. Their atomic picture included the mind and even the soul, which therefore did not survive death. This was in fact a cheerful alternative to the popular religions of the day, in which the gods constantly intervened, often in unpleasant ways, and death was to be dreaded because punishments would surely follow.
Little conceptual progress in atomic theory was made over the next two thousand years, in large part because Aristotle discredited it, and his views held sway through the Middle Ages

FROM DAZ: That may all be true, but as I recall my introduction to atomic and molecular theory, Neils Bohr came up with the modern concept and the word atom was an old old word he and others adopted because it had been used to describe the smallest things, building blocks of matter, or something like that. When I saw atom in your thing I was going to question it, but then I remembered the preceding. Not as elegant as what the professor came up with, but---

Monday, December 11, 2006

Life is shaped by the people you meet every day.”
(Ikkaku, Hosaka & Kawabata) This quote is from three persons I never met or heard of. Be on the lookout for persons of influence who will come into your life unexpectedly. If you get a chance, let me know who they might be, and how they have impacted you. ;-) Jack

G.S. WRITES: This is one of the things I work hard to guard against - wrong influences from wrong people.

Friday, December 08, 2006

“My mechanic couldn’t fix my brakes, so he made my horn louder.”
(Steven Wight) During this holiday season there seems to be a lot of honking going on in the stores and on the road. Have you checked your horn lately? And how about your brakes? ;-) Jack

Thursday, December 07, 2006

“Time will explain it all.”
(Euripides) Are things happening in your life that cause you to wonder, WHY? Euripides says to have patience. Having a faith helps, too. BTW, do you know what the word, infamy, means? ;-) Jack

FDR's "Day of Infamy" Speech
President Roosevelt delivered his "Day of Infamy" speech to a joint session of Congress on December 8, 1941. Listen to and view FDR's "Day of Infamy Speech" below.
Listen to FDR's "Day of Infamy" Speech

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: INFAMY...Of course December 7th, is Pearl Harbor day. Roosevelt made the word infamy famous. "A day that will live in infamy..."
In this use Roosevelt meant an extreme public crime.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

“Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.”
(Apache Lessons On Life) These are good lessons, aren’t they? There’s more, but I will blog the rest, if you’re interested. What else can we learn from the Native Americans? -) Jack

Happiness keeps you Sweet.
Trials keep you Strong.
Sorrows keep you Human.
Failures keep you Humble.
Success keeps you Glowing.
But only God keeps you Going.

A PASTOR WRITES: That last part..."Leave the rest to God" is something that the Church desperately needs to learn. We so often try to insert ourselves in the place of the Almighty because we are not sure God or His Word are really up to it as we are!
“Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.”
(Apache Lessons On Life) These are good lessons, aren’t they? There’s more, but I will blog the rest, if you’re interested. What else can we learn from the Native Americans? -) Jack

Happiness keeps you Sweet.
Trials keep you Strong.
Sorrows keep you Human.
Failures keep you Humble.
Success keeps you Glowing.
But only God keeps you Going.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

“But all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”
(Mitch Albom) We are fortunate to have Mitch living and writing in our Detroit community. He does more than sports stuff. Today’s quote is an example of his philosophical side.
It causes me to muse. How about you? ;-) Jack

P.O. WRITES FROM DETROIT: Why is this so hard? It makes so much sense, but I so rarely see us able to actually do it in any setting or context!

FROM L.K. IN OH: This helps me to be more "a-mused" about life and not to take it so deadly seriously all the time.....

FROM R & F UP NORTH: Yes, "charitableness" is a good word. It is also a good attitude. thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Monday, December 04, 2006

If people would consider not so much where they differ, as wherein they agree, there would be far less uncharitableness and angry feeling.” (Joseph Addison) Addison and his friends would hang out at the 18th century English coffeehouses and discuss common thoughts such as in today’s quote. Some people do the same thing today at Starbucks. I like the word, charitableness. ;-) Jack

Friday, December 01, 2006

“In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.”
(Dalai Lama—Instructions for Life) I guess that this holds true in a variety of situations. Test it out and see if it works. The Dalai Lama calls it Good Karma, ie: We get back what we give. Maybe it’s just common sense. ;-) Jack

P.O. HAS THIS TO SAY: "This is most certainly true" --- unfortunately, not often practiced.

SOMEONE SUGGESTS: Could you e-mail my mother-in-law?

FROM AN ELCA PASTOR: I am coming to appreciate the common sense wisdom of Buddhism. Perhaps we Christians could learn a lesson or two from the Dalai Lama. And, remember that Jesus taught the same stuff.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

“As life runs on, the road grows strange with faces new—and near the end, the milestones into headstones change, Neath everyone a friend.”
(James Russell Lowell) I just read about the death of a friend in his 90s. I’m sorry I didn’t get to the funeral, but I have the memory of a fine person. Milestones and headstones…an interesting connection, isn’t it? Life runs on! ;-) Jack

FROM OHIO'S JON: Thanks for the timely line. I just used it in writing to my sister. Her son-in-law died suddenly at age 51. Along with the quote I also observed:
I suppose that is one reason we are taught to have faith--if we considered the reality of life daily (that we could be gone any minute) it would be paralyzing.

FROM ANOTHER JOHN: Were it not for our hope in Christ, those headstones would weigh down awfully heavy upon us. They are no problem because God has intervened in Christ. The child in the manger who will experience "nails and spears" ("What Child is This?") makes certain that the milestones lead to a wonderful definition....

FROM FRIEND DALE: It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all... And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams... But, here it is…. the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise... How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my babies go? And where did my youth go?

I remember well... seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like... But, here it is...wife retired and she's really getting gray...she moves slower and I see an older woman now. She's in better shape than me... but, I see the great change... Not the one I married who was young and vibrant... but, like me, her age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will...I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things.

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...This I know, that when it's over...its over....Yes , I have regrets .There are things I wish I hadn't done ,,,,,things I should have done. But indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done Its all in a lifetime.. .

So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly!

Life goes by quickly So, do what you can today, because you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your, live for good today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...

"Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who came after. Make it a fantastic one."

LIVE IT WELL!! ~author unknown~

FROM WATERFORD, MICHIGAN: DO as much, and enjoy as much as if everyday is your last!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.”
(Reba McEntire) I suppose you could argue the point of this quote, but the value of each “bone” by itself is a truism, especially the funny bone. Incidentally (and beside the point), have you hit your funny bone lately? And, it’s not really a bone; it’s the ulnar nerve. Funny that you should ask! ;-) Jack

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

“Tis sometimes the height of wisdom to feign stupidity.”
(Cato the Elder) In some of your dealings with those around you today, be wise! BTW, Marcus Porcius Cato was a Roman statesman who lived about 150 BC. Evidently they knew about wisdom and stupidity then, too. ;-) Jack

FROM NEWLY-RETIRED, J.S.: Cato the Elder was a windbag and a clown who persecuted and prosecuted Scipio Africanus who had saved the nation from Hannibal. Cato didn't have to feign stupidity.

Monday, November 27, 2006

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
(Muhammad Ali) Why not stop and do something about that pebble, that little irritant in your life? I like Ali’s quotes. Here’s another that caused me to smile. “Superman don’t need no seatbelt.” I know some people who still refuse to buckle up, and they ain’t Superman, either. Click it! ;-) Jack

M.L. FROM ILLINOIS HAS THIS TO SAY: i shall call the pebble dare'...remember the great song from "godspell"? "dare shall be carried and when we both have had enough...i will take it from my shoe your new road...then i'll take your hand...finally glad that you are here...
by my side". pondering thought.

Friday, November 24, 2006

“When a woman is hungry, she says, ‘Roast something for the children that they may eat.’”
(African Proverb) On the day after Thanksgiving, let’s not forget that there are hungry people in many parts of the world. Try to be generous when asked to help those in need. In your life, did someone sacrifice for you? ;-) Jack

F.M. HAS THIS TO SAY FROM WISCONSIN: a good word for the day after Thanksgiving . . . yes, many have sacrificed for me, but especially my mother.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

“Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines."
(Satchel Paige) Old Satch knew a lot about baseball, and he knew a lot about prayer, too. I’ll bet that he and his family said a prayer at their Thanksgiving dinner, too. Is that a part of your tradition also? ;-) Jack

FLORIDA B.S. SAYS THIS: Thanksgiving Day was a facinating day when we were kids. We got a ride in a cold delivery truck out to the farm where the entire family convened a day of hugging and squeezing, combined with laughter and love. After the dishes were washed Aunt Laura would sit behind the piano and would beltout hyms and everyone joined singing.

THIS WHAT F.M. AND HIS FAMILY DO IN WISCONSIN: Yes, prayer is a part of our Thanksgiving - usually each person at the table offers a reason for thanksgiving, prior to our prayer.

GRANDPA L.K. RESPONDS FROM OHIO: My two year old grandson will lead us (20 plus) in prayer at Thanksgiving. He reaches out, we all hold hands, he mumbles a few things, then says AMEN. Is this grand?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”
(Gloria Steinem) I don’t know if this is really a Winning Word, but I think it’s funny and typical of what Steinem would say. What are some of your favorite things? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: A woman without a man is the last woman of that lineage

J. B. HAS THIS WORD: It seems some women think they can't exist without a man. I just read a biography of the much married Elizabeth Taylor. She would be an example of that, I think.

L.S. CHIMES IN: I like my bicycle, although I dont love my bicycle.

FROM B.S. IN FLORIDA: Hi one of my Dad' s (relatives) never married, so I asked one time whether or not she missed life without a male companion, and she said to me as she gave me a hug,"Bobby, you're all the man I need or want", so some people choose to remain single in life. When I shipped out to sea, I discovered early on, that a sailor's life was very lonely, and not for me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

“A man doesn’t know what he knows until he knows what he doesn’t know.”
(Laurence J. Peter) LJP is the author of The Peter Principle. I didn’t KNOW that! Do you KNOW what the Peter Principle is? Seek to learn something new today. ;-) Jack

If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day.
John A. Wheeler

Friday, November 17, 2006

“The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions.”
(James Russell Lowell) As I look back over the years I see that I have changed my opinion on certain societal and theological issues, so I guess I’m not dead yet. I don’t know about foolish. How about you? ;-) Jack

B.G. HAS THIS CHURCHY OPINION: The problem, I think, is that people too often perceive the church to be a place where reconsidering significant societal and/or theological issues is strongly discouraged.

N.R.BURR HAS THIS COMMENT: A more contemporary version of James Russell Lowell's quote is, "I've made up my mind; don't confuse me with facts."

C.B., A SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR RESPONDS: It reminds me of another quote and I don't know the author ... "I'm not young enough to know everything."

D.S. HAS THIS TO SAY: I am a supporter of our President, but I think he needs a little help in this area.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

“Possession isn’t nine tenths of the law. It’s nine tenths of the problem.”
(John Lennon) Here are some good words to consider today: charity, generosity, sharing, benevolence, love, philanthropy, kindness, mercy. Can you think of others that relate? Sharing is caring. ;-) Jack

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

“All that is gold does not glitter; not all those who wander are lost.”
(Tolkien) I especially like this quote, just as I like The Parable of the Prodigal Son. I think we all have to work on our tendency to give up on people. ;-) Jack

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

“The most important thing in communication is listening to what isn’t said.”
(Peter Drucker) A lot of problems in this world are caused by people who “miss” the message. Make it a point today to look for these unspoken messages. Drucker was born in Austria, but fled to America to escape the Nazis. He especially appreciated people who used their minds. ;-) Jack

D.S. WHO WORKS WITH KIDS AND PARENTS SAYS: This is one of the biggest communication breakdowns. Depending on the issue 70-90% of the message is communicated non-verbally. This is where a lot of us mess up as parents and friends. (In reality - everyone)

G.S. GIVES THIS STATISTIC. IS IT TRUE? Jack, there are some 17,000 non-verbal forms of communication - many, many more than with words. Just ask your wife.

Monday, November 13, 2006

“I’m quite sure that in the hereafter she will take me by the hand and lead me to my proper seat.”
(Bernard Baruch) B.B. was an economic advisor to FDR and helped craft the New Deal. He had an interesting concept of heaven, too. How about you? Will she take you by the hand and show you to your seat? ;-) Jack

FROM M.L. IN ILL: perhaps a believer in the creator image...the androgenous goddess/god. i'm not sure if she'll take me by the hand or if he will lead me to my seat. i just know that god will be there, as she is everywhere that i am.

Friday, November 10, 2006

“We don’t know a millionth of one per cent about anything.”
(Edison) These words are from one of the greatest inventors of all time. Think about how they can be applied to religion, psychology, the way the earth works, the sea, the universe, the body and mind. What else can you think of? ;-) Jack

MORE WORDS FROM N.R. BURR: Each of us has enormous potential,more than we can imagine, if we strengthen our faith and then act on it.

I LIKE THIS ONE FROM S.H.: Read John 21:25. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen

D.S. SENDS A GOOD ONE: Teenagers

J.S., THE PHILOSOPHER/THEOLOGIAN GIVES THIS THOUGHT: We don't know much about the Nature of God (unless one reads Anselm...and actually understands it); however, we have been given his Word. Too bad that so many in the church choose to avoid that wonderful knowledge that has been given us and look instead "beyond the scriptures" for their answers as to what God requires of us!!!

R.H. HAS THESE THOUGHTS FROM LAKE LEELANAU: I have a large picture window in my bedroom. The window is on the north side of our house. I have an excellent view of our front yard, the lake, and the northern sky. I remember the familiar words of the song, "O give me a home where the buffalo roam." When I go to bed at night and everything is quiet and the moon is not bright, I can see the stars and I think of the words, " How often at night, when the heavens are bright with the light from the flickering stars, have I stood there amazed and asked as I gazed, does their glory exceed that of ours?"
Although I am not standing outside in the darkness, I am lying on my left side in my cozy bed gazing at those same stars and I begin to ponder the glory and the greatness of God's handiwork. Edison was right. We know so little about the vast universe. We are led to think of a favorite hymn, "How great Hour art!"

The more I see the less I know for sure. John Lennon

Thursday, November 09, 2006

“Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money.”
(Arthur Miller) All kidding aside, trust and integrity are real virtues. So is believability (Is there such a word?). ;-) Jack

I BELIEVE P.C.: Yes, believability is a noun and it is an actual word.

A JUDGE'S VERDICT: There definitely is such a word. I just arbitrated a case in which there was absolutely no believability to the testimony of the plaintiff. His credibility was nil and we no caused his case. "So use the word in good health" (The last is an ancient Yiddish expression.)

HERE'S A SUGGESTION FROM JOHN: How about credibility?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
(Michael Altshuler) This reminds me of the book/movie from WW 2, God Is My Co-Pilot, telling the story of Robert Scott, one of the Flying Tigers. In this life, I’m glad to have a co-pilot. ;-) Jack

ANOTHER N. R. BURR COMMENT: It is so true that time "flies" during our lives. Being the "pilot" gives us some advantage, but the problem is we get so old before learning the best way to fly.

G.S. GIVES THIS INFO: Van Johnson was the actor.

J.S. GIVES HIS OPINION: Jack...I never bought into that concept. To me God is the pilot and we are the neophytes simply trying to learn how to do things...never really getting it right. If you don't buy that, how do you explain the world? With all of those "pilots" out there why are we in such a mess? Could it be that we aren't listening to the Pilot?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

“I don’t agree with every thing I say.”
(Marshall McLuhan) I wonder if those politicians believe some of the preposterous statements they make. Where’s Jimmy Stewart when we need him? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: It takes a special person to be a politician, because you are often forced to support beliefs that are counter to your real beliefs to be "elected." It reminds me of the college professor that believes in God, but supports evolution in whole to be a part of the university culture.

Monday, November 06, 2006

“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
(Nelson Mandela) Yesterday was observed as All Saints’ Sunday. Have you met up with any saints in your life? ;-) Jack
Mary and I have just returned from spending a week in Fort Myers/Cape Coral in Florida. Son David was playing in the Roy Hobbs (The Natural) Hardball World Series. Over 3000 players from all over the country (and even Russia) participated. He was in the Over-35 Division. Games were played on the spring training sites of the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox. We saw his team win four and lose one. It was a great vacation!

Friday, October 27, 2006

“It’s good to have money and the things money can buy, but it’s good to check up once in a while and make sure you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy.”
(Lorimer) What are those valuable things money can’t buy? Why not scribble a list now and “Post-It” by your computer. ;-) Jack
No Winning Words NEXT WEEK!

G. S. COMMENTS: money definitely isn't the answer, but rather the legacy we leave for others to follow

N. R. BURR HAS THIS TO SAY: Having lots of money is like carrying a box of's just too much trouble keeping control of it.

FROM D. S.: Brings to mind the saying, "how much is enough".

WHAT DO YOU THINK? aside from food and shelter-can $ really buy anything? (From M. L.)

I LIKE THIS FROM D.S.: ­The Blind Man ...One day, there was a blind man sitting on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet and a sign that read: "I am blind, please help."A creative publicist was walking by and stopped to observe. He saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat. He dropped in more coins and, without asking for permission, took the sign and rewrote it.He returned the sign to the blind man and left. That afternoon the publicist returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of bills and coins.The blind man recognized his footsteps and asked if it was he who had rewritten his sign and wanted to know what he had written on it.The publicist responded: "Nothing that was not true. I just wrote the message a little differently." He smiled and went on his way.The new sign read: "Today is Spring and I cannot see it."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

“Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.”
(Wm Penn) Keep this in mind as you plan to cast your vote in the coming election. The question is: Who decides what is right and what is wrong? You are the one! I turn off the sound on the political TV ads. ;-) Jack

"Never follow the crowd." (Bernard Baruch)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

“We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.”
(Silent Cal) Is there something pending in your life that should be taken care of? Do you know who Silent Cal is without looking it up? ;-) Jack

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This is the precept by which I have lived: Prepare for the worst; expect the best; and take what comes.”
(Hannah Arendt) My personal precept includes two of the three, even though I can’t argue with Hannah’s idea. Being a German Jew during the Nazi era, no doubt, influenced her weltanschauung. ;-) Jack

FROM L. H. IN WI: That reminds me of what I always tell my daughter and my son; Over estimate costs/expenses, under estimate income, and you will not have any surprises.

A. W. COMES UP WITH THIS THOUGHT: You’ve got to believe that God is in control of your life. It may be a tough time but you’ve got to believe that God has a reason for it and he’s going to make everything good.

Monday, October 23, 2006

“To him who is in fear…everything rustles.”
(Sophocles) This Greek dramatist lived about 500 BC. Evidently they had terrorism in his day, too. I like the word, rustle. The word, fear, is too negative for me. What positive words can replace it? ;-) Jack

How about uncertainty?
It seems that fear is really not knowing what to expect, or when...

FROM GOODDEBT JON: Action is the best replacement (antidote) for fear or worry.

I LIKE THIS ONE FROM N. R. BURR: To those who wear taffeta...everything rustles.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

PREDICTION...I believe the Detroit Tigers will win the baseball World Series. Jack
"Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event" (Brian Tracy)

Friday, October 20, 2006

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our he-roes and she-roes!"
(Maya Angelou) Who are your roes? ;-) Jack

DAZ SEZ: And sing from our hym-nals and her-nals

Thursday, October 19, 2006

“Everybody has to be somebody to somebody to be anybody.”
(Malcolm Forbes) I hope that you have a somebody in your life and that you are a somebody to someone yourself. ;-) Jack

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor.
Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups -porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite -telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professorsaid: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of yourproblems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to
the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee,
not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups...
And then you began eyeing each other's cups. Now consider this:Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are thecups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type ofcup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy thecoffee life has provided us. Life brews the coffee, not the cups..........
Enjoy your coffee!
"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.

They just make the best of everything."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

“My future starts when I wake up in the morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.”
(Miles Davis) Miles was one of the great jazz composers and trumpeters of all time. He did something creative with his life. Every day we have the opportunity to make a difference in our corner of the world. If Miles did it, we can do it, too! ;-) Jack

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

“There’s nothing sweeter than to be sympathized with.”
(Santayana) Basically, sympathy means to put your self in the other person’s place. Is there someone in the circle of your life to whom you can be sympathetic? ;-) Jack

HERE'S WHAT N. R. BURR SAYS: We often express sympathy for others in difficult circumstances, wanting to show our support, but truthfully, I don't believe we can genuinely feel that other person's depth of concern.

A QUOTE FROM HUGH ELLIOTT: All people want is someone to listen.

GOOD DEBT, BAD DEBT JON EXPLAINS: I think empathy is putting yourself in the other person's place, sympathy is sharing another's feelings.

Monday, October 16, 2006

“If you done it, it ain’t bragging.”
(Walt Whitman) The Tigers have won the American League Championship and are going to The World Series! Of course Walt never saw the Tigers, so I wonder what caused him to say these words. St. Paul (in the Bible) would credit his accomplishments to God. Any thoughts? ;-) Jack

Friday, October 13, 2006

“Blow, blow, thou winter wind. Thou art not so unkind as man’s ingratitude.”
(Shakespeare) I know, I know. It’s two days in a row of Shakespeare. But the quote fits, since we had our first snow today, along with a winter wind. But, as the bard put it, man’s ingratitude is worse. What are you thankful for these days? ;-) Jack

Thursday, October 12, 2006

“A wretched soul, bruised with adversity, We bid be quiet when we hear it cry, But were we burdened with like weight of pain, As much or more we should ourselves complain.”
(Shakespeare) I know that this is an extra long quote today, but please take the time to reread it and see if there’s someone (or some cause) whose burden you might help to ease. ;-) Jack

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

“The trouble with life in the fast lane is that you get to the other end in an awful hurry.”
(Rabelais) Have you checked your speedometer lately? Maybe it’s time for you to slow down and enjoy the scenery. ;-) Jack

NEWSNOTE....One of our innercity freeways is increasing the speed limit from 65 to 70 mph, because nobody was obeying the lower limit.

Remember "Life in the fast lane" by the Eagles?
Life in the fast line, guaranteed to blow your mind...I think Don Henley sang that one when he was the band.
Have a good one. Fast, but not too fast to look around.

EAGLES LYRICS "Life In The Fast Lane" He was a hard-headed man He was brutally handsome, and she was terminally pretty She held him up, and he held her for ransom in the heart of the cold, cold city He had a nasty reputation as a cruel dude .... They went rushin' down that freeway, messed around and got lost They didn't care they were just dyin' to get off And it was life in the fast lane Life in the fast lane

FROM D. Z. IN W. B.: Sort of like-- "take time to smell the roses along the way." --Too many exhaust fumes in the fast lane.

FROM B. D., THE CORVETTE GUY: What scenery, at 120mph's you don't see anything but poles flying by !!!!!!
Going on a four day Corvette road tour starting Friday. I bet if I keep it under 80mph I'll see a few things. This is a perfect winning word for me.

The bus that runs late at night in Montpellier - his university town - is named "Le Rabelais" in his honour.
Rabelais is mentioned in the Meredith Willson musical The Music Man. In Act One the ladies of the town tell Professor Harold Hill that Marian the Librarian advocates "dirty books" (Chaucer, Rabelais, Balzac); in Act Two the ladies admit to Marian, "The Professor told us to read those books, and we simply adored them all!"
The title song on Donald Fagen's 2006 album Morph the Cat refers to the Cat as a "Rabelaisian puff of smoke".

FROM J. S., NEWLY RETIRED:....I'm getting both knees replaced on Friday. I definitely will not be in the fast lane for a while.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

“Better one timely squawk than constant talk.”
(Folk Wisdom of Mexico) Look for that one timely occasion when you can let out a pertinent squawk. Squawk is an interesting word, isn’t it? ;-) Jack

QUESTION FROM P. O.: I'm blocking --- what is the term for a word whose sound (pronunciation) is also the definition?

Monday, October 09, 2006

“They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of him as somewhat of a recluse.”
(Emily Dickinson) E. D. was obsessively private and withdrew from social contacts when she was 23. Maybe that’s why she wrote words like this quote. Is God a recluse in your life? ;-) Jack

Friday, October 06, 2006

“Learn to listen. Opportunity could be knocking at your door very softly.”
(Frank Tyger) There’s so much noise hitting our ears these days that we are apt to miss the soft stuff. Is there an opportunity waiting outside your door today? Don’t let it go unanswered. ;-) Jack

Thursday, October 05, 2006

“A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus.”
(Herbert Hoover) It’s a frightening world that we live in with so many things happening beyond our sight and beyond our control. Having said that, I like the slogan of The Christophers: “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” ;-) Jack

THE WORD FROM N. R. BURR....Maybe more shocking are the many things happening in this world in broad daylight.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

“The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to him positive results.”
(NVP) There is a power in positive thinking…and putting it into action. Let’s try to focus in on this today rather than on negativism. I think that the people around us will appreciate it. ;-) Jack

reminds me of a song i learned a long time ago and share with many pre-schoolers each year.
"love isn't love until you give it away, give it away, give it away.
oh, love isn't love until you give it away, and it comes right back to you".
children are such great vehicles for spreading goodness...jesus knew that.

ANOTHER PEALE ACCOMPLISHMENT...Norman Vincent Peale also co-founded “The Horatio Alger Association,” with educator Kenneth Beebe in 1947 dedicated to recognizing and honoring contemporary Americans who have achieved success and excellence in the face of adversity.
Do you know of any persons who could be honored with this award?

A song is not a song until you sing it. Love in your heart is notput there to stay. Love is not love until you give it away. Oscar Hammerstein

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

“Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope….a slight change and all patterns alter.”
(Sharon Salzberg) Is the kaleidoscope an art object, a toy, or a teaching aid to explain how rapidly life can change? We’ve probably used one for all three. But, for now, I’m sure you know of current examples of the latter. Do you have a kaleidoscope? ;-) Jack

I LIKE THIS RESPONSE....When the kaleidoscope is stationary, the pattern is static and monotonous. It's the twists and turns that create interest. It seems that "life" is pretty much the same way

Monday, October 02, 2006

“We must believe in free will. We have no choice.”
(Isaac Singer) One of the great gifts from God is Free Will. It also gives relevance to God’s Grace. I hope that you choose to make good choices today. ;-) Jack

J. S.'s COMMENT ABOUT MY COMMENT....Are you related on your mother's side to Erasmus?

The good or ill of a man lies within his own will.

FROM M. L. IN ILL...choice is key. it gives opportunity to be responsible to one's self. sadly, it seems to be endangered at times. have a great day if you choose to!

I like quotes like this that have conflicting statements. (From D. F. IN MN)

FROM SOMEONE NAMED, ANONYMOUS...I always like choosing to look at your WW each day. They are so thought-provoking and stimulating of daily meditation. But I actually wonder if I have choice in the matter because I have such curiousity if you put WW on in the morning and, if I didn't look at them, the rest of my day is spent wondering. I have a very hard time choosing not to be curious. Even the ones filled with conflict are welcome ones to think about.

Friday, September 29, 2006

“There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.”
(Herman Melville) Herman must have been looking at my desk. Can you think of other circumstances where Melville’s words might fit? ;-) Jack

N. R. BURR HAS AN INTERESTING FOLLOW UP....There's a "careful disorderliness" about flea markets, which I think makes them interesting, encourages people to look things over, and buy.

The careful disorderliness of The Church in the Bible gives encouragement to keep on keeping on in the careful disorderliness of The Church today, making my desk and house awash in things to be read and studied--interesting is an understatement of what I think about this circumstance. Sometimes it's just plain frustrating.

It is best to do things systematically, since we are only human, and disorder is our worst enemy.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

“True luck consists not in holding the best of the cards at the table; luckiest is he who knows just when to rise and go home.”
(John Hay) This quote isn’t just about cards. Even today there are circumstances when decisions involving gray areas have to be made. You can surmise what they are. I hope that you are lucky in the choices you have to make. ;-) Jack

You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, Know when to walk away and know when to run. You never count your money when youre sittin at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

“In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences.”
(Robert Ingersoll) These words seem appropriate when applied to the “global warming” debate. I suppose they could also be applied to decisions we make in general. ;-) Jack

Ingersoll's comment is somewhat deceptive. "Consequences" are results of some action, and could be classified as positive or negative results. In essence, that could be translated into "rewarding" or "punishing".

Mark Allen Powell, professor at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, said in a recent lecture: Jesus never talked about good or bad, right or wrong – only wise and foolish!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

“Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.”
(Thomas Huxley) Huxley was a 19th century scientist in England and a defender of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Here’s question for today: Who is the protector of the mind of man/woman? Is a protector needed? ;-) Jack

Huxley is best known for his famous debate in June 1860, at the British Association meeting at Oxford. His opponent, Archbishop Samuel Wilberforce, was not-so-affectionately known as "Soapy Sam" for his renowned slipperiness in debate. Wilberforce was coached against Huxley by Richard Owen. During the debate, Archbishop Wilberforce ridiculed evolution and asked Huxley whether he was descended from an ape on his grandmother's side or his grandfather's. Accounts vary as to exactly what happened next, but according to one telling of the story, Huxley muttered "The Lord hath delivered him into my hands," and then rose to give a brilliant defense of Darwin's theory, concluding with the rejoinder, "I would rather be the offspring of two apes than be a man and afraid to face the truth."

Man is his own protector of his mind. Only he accepts or rejects input.

You surmise that everyone has similar values when making judgments. What is one person’s garbage is another man’s treasure. The terrorists who blow themselves up believe that they will have a reward in heaven for that. Someone taught them to believe that. While they are free to choose, they are led toward making a decision based on someone else’s beliefs.
IN THE END, as the Bible says…1 Corinthians 2:16.

I personally continuously find that I find the Jewish writings fascinating. In the end it seems I can't get too enthralled about what impersonal nature is doing or not doing as much as asking what God is doing through His creation and wondering if nature is, in fact, not impersonal but rather somehow flowing out from a benign God always working to bring us back from idolatry. Somebody like a Jerry Falwell who attributes catastrophes in parts of our own country to the sinfulness of that area and punishment, etc., etc., etc. well I suppose maybe we all are being brought back to God and instead have been allowed to see the consequences of our communal decisions. I hope this kind of analysis doesn't seem trite and simplistic and not concerned with the depth and tragedy of being able to descend to the pain that people experience when they lose their homes, all of their possessions, their very livelihoods of jobs and their churches/synagogues/mosques where they went to worship and be strengthened in their faiths. Can't know the reasons so maybe the best thing is to just concentrate on the known reality and try to come together as community to help each other but one wonders if we can get even some more faithful understanding of what we might be being called to be learning. Did Christianity remove forever Jewish relationship and understanding of God's working in our lives, for example this writing on the miraculous? That is one big question I have for God when I get to heaven.

Monday, September 25, 2006

“Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.”
(Rules for a Happy Life) We can’t all be the best at everything, but we can bounce back from our losses and disappointments and move on. Today is a day for moving on. ;-) Jack

Friday, September 22, 2006

A POEM ABOUT RESPONSIBILITY quoted by Charles Osgood

There was a most important job that needed to be done,
And no reason not to do it, there was absolutely none.
But in vital matters such as this, the thing you have to ask
Is who exactly will it be who'll carry out the task?

Anybody could have told you that everybody knew
That this was something somebody would surely have to do.
Nobody was unwilling; anybody had the ability.
But nobody believed that it was their responsibility.

It seemed to be a job that anybody could have done,
If anybody thought he was supposed to be the one.
But since everybody recognised that anybody could,
Everybody took for granted that somebody would.

But nobody told anybody that we are aware of,
That he would be in charge of seeing it was taken care of.
And nobody took it on himself to follow through,
And do what everybody thought that somebody would do.

When what everybody needed so did not get done at all,
Everybody was complaining that somebody dropped the ball.
Anybody then could see it was an awful crying shame,
And everybody looked around for somebody to blame.

Somebody should have done the job
And Everybody should have,
But in the end Nobody did
What Anybody could have.

“I can’t believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.”
(Lou Holtz) I wonder if Coach Holtz used these words in a pep talk to his football team. They can fit in many situations. One definition of ordinary: “Inferior in quality, or second-rate.” This reminds me of a slogan I saw on a tee shirt…God don’t make junk! ;-) Jack

Thursday, September 21, 2006

“There is no bad in good.”
(Doug Horton) You can’t go wrong, if you do the good thing. You might be criticized. You might become disappointed and discouraged, but you can’t go wrong, if you do the good thing.. So, as Nike says, Just Do It! ;-) Jack
“There is no bad in good.”
(Doug Horton) You can’t go wrong, if you do the good thing. You might be criticized. You might become disappointed and discouraged, but you can’t go wrong, if you do the good thing.. So, as Nike says, Just Do It! ;-) Jack

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I had a million questions to ask God, but when I met him, they all fled my mind, and it didn’t seem to matter.”
(Christopher Morley) What is it that really matters to you? AND…Do you have any questions for God? Those two question marks should keep your brain occupied for a while, today. ;-) Jack

FROM FRIEND, J.S.: Reminds me of my mother-in-law.
(She suffers from dementia, but sometimes she stumbles on some lucid thoughts.)
She is constantly telling us, "When I get up there, I'm going to have a long talk with God and straighten him out on a bunch of things."
I can only hope that Christopher Morley is right.

DALE SHARES THIS WITH ME....Jack, this one really hits home. As I get "older" I find myself with so many questions I want to ask God.....most of which begin "why". Just last night I mentioned to my wife about how beautiful the sunset was and how much I loved them, and I said I wondered if I would see beautiful sunsets in heaven (assuming with hope that I would be there some day), and she said it will be even MORE

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

“We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.”
(Anthony Burgess) On Sunday I saw a man on the side of the road holding a sign: Homeless and Hungry. The traffic was too congested for me to stop. How do we help those who are needy? ;-) Jack

support your area homeless shelter and give-give-give of yourself and your $.
also-voting responsibly doesn't hurt either.

For some time I carried a package of peanut butter crackers and a tuna salad kit in my glove box for such occasions. I have not yet put such supplies in my new car, though its nearly a year old. But I overheard an interesting conversation on the bus the other day.
There an exit to the parking lot of Arborland Mall, that all east bound Washtenaw travellers must use, where an array of people stand with signs. It seems ever day there is a different person and sometimes they are different by the time of the day. Anyhow, as my bus to campus passed that spot a woman across the aisle commented scornfully to her seatmate about how shameful it is that people should beg there when there are 'so many' organizations that can provide service. This comment would have seemed offensive but her appearance and and knowledge of the matter led me to believe that she may have at some point used those services.
So, the question that has plagued me, even when passing peanutbutter crackers out my window, is how to get people a more substantial solution. In a recent church report the social concerns committee reported that the number of people using our food pantry for emergency groceries has risen from a few dozen per year to a few hundred in the last 5 years. So, to the crackers should I stick on a phone card, pamphlet of local organizations and some bus tokens?
I suppose it's better than what I've done lately... drive by.

M.L. CHIMES IN FROM ILL.: it is amazing how we can answer our own questios when we are prompted to ponder. thanks for the ww springboards!
maybe a list of area oganizations could be added to the glove box.

Monday, September 18, 2006

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”
(John W. Gardner) This is a very descriptive quote, isn’t it? Some of the most interesting experiences happen, because we don’t have an eraser. ;-) Jack
An extra for Tiger fans: “Let’s not get panicky.” (Branch Rickey) Mr. Rickey went through many baseball seasons as a general manager. You win some. You lose some. That’s the way it is in the game of life, too.

Friday, September 15, 2006

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
(Einstein) Wouldn’t it be interesting if there were stock market listings for the things that really count. What things would you expect to see there? A long time ago, I learned a little song: Count your many blessings. Look for it on the blog. ;-) Jack

FROM JUDY....Things that count? Hmmmmm! I would say: good health, good friends, a strong family, grandkids, a cooling breeze, a warm Fall night, and most of all a graceful, merciful God. Thanks for the words....

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling.”
(Arthur Brisbane) Why not tell someone today that you appreciate their friendship…. and you don’t necessarily have to tell them what’s the matter with them. Save that for the appropriate time. ;-) Jack

Proverbs: (in there somewhere) I know a lot of Bible, I just don't know where it is.

"Better the stings of a friend than the kisses of an enemy."
(Jon, it's in Proverbs 27:6.)

FRIENDSHIP - Cole Porter

If you're ever in a jam, here I am If you're ever in a mess, S-O-S If you ever feel so happy, you land in jail; I'm your bail. It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship. When other friendships have been forgot, Ours will still be hot. Lah-dle-ah-dle-ah-dle dig, dig, dig. If you're ever up a tree, phone to me. If you're ever down a well, ring my bell. If you ever lose your teeth, and you're out to dine; borrow mine. It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship. When other friendships have been forgate, Ours will still be great. Lah-dle-ah-dle-ah-dle, chuck, chuck, chuck. If they ever black your eyes, put me wise. If they ever cook your goose, turn me loose. If they ever put a bullet through your brrain [sic]; I'll complain. It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship. When other friendships have been forgit, Ours will still be it. Lah-dle-ah-dle-ah-dle, hep, hep, hep.


This should probably be taped to your bathroom mirror where you could read it every day. You may not realize it but its 100% true!

1. There are at least 2 people in this

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

“Be interesting. Be enthusiastic…and don’t talk too much.”
(Peale) Today is being observed as Positive Thinking Day. Try to speak positively in response to negativism that you might hear…and don’t talk too much. ;-) Jack

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

“Forgive your enemies as part of the price you pay for the privilege of being forgiven. Realize you are sometimes a pain in the neck yourself.”
(Sent by Glen H.) Don’t you find that it’s difficult to forgive those who are a pain in the neck? Now, you know how God feels. ;-) Jack

FROM D.R. IN L,M: Jack, Here’s one that is a nice companion to today’s WWs:
“If you wait for others to become worthy of being loved, you will wait for the rest of your life. Because they are waiting for you to love them so they can be worthy of your love. They need to be loved if they are to become better.” --Louis Evely (Our Prayer)

I find this especially hard. I have always had a problem with this part of "The Lord's Prayer."
"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."
I don't want God to forgive me as I forgive others. I want God to do better than that.

Monday, September 11, 2006

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
(Confucius) Many of us recall sadly seeing falling buildings and falling airplanes five years ago. Our country remembers and our country shall recover. It’s the same way when we have “falls” in our personal lives. We shall recover! ;-) Jack

FROM FRED IN WISCONSIN....First Samuel . . . My son, keep sound wisdom and discretion; let them not escape from you sight, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. then you will walk on your way securely and your foot will not stumble. . . " I Sam 3:21 ff

Friday, September 08, 2006

“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”
(George S. Patton) General Patton knew something about making plans and carrying them out at the expeditious time. That’s what made him a successful leader. Waffles are good on the breakfast table, but not on the battlefield. ;-) Jack

George Smith Patton, Jr. (November 11, 1885December 21, 1945) was a leading U.S. Army general in World War II. In his 36-year Army career, he was an advocate of armored warfare and commanded major units of North Africa, Sicily, and the European Theater of Operations. Many have viewed Patton as a pure and ferocious warrior, known by the nickname "Old Blood and Guts", a name given to him after a reporter misquoted his statement that it takes blood and brains to win a war. But history has left the image of a brilliant military leader whose record was also marred by insubordination and some periods of apparent instability. He once said, "Lead me, follow me, or get the hell out of my way."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

ADVICE FROM CHILDREN (Sent by Carol from Milwaukee)
1. Never trust a dog to watch your food.- Patrick, age 10
2. When your dad is mad and asks you,"Do I look stupid?" don't answer him.- Michael, 14
3. Never tell your mom her diet's not working.- Michael, 14
4. Stay away from prunes.- Randy, 9
5. Never pee on an electric fence.- Robert, 13
6. Don't squat with your spurs on.- Noronha, 13
7. Don't pull dad's finger when he tells you to.- Emily, 10
8. When your mom is mad at your dad, don't lether brush your hair.- Taylia, 11
9. Never allow your 3-year old brother inthe same room as your school assignment.- Traci, 14
10. Never hold a dust buster and a cat at thesame time.- Kyoyo, 9
11. You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glassof milk.- Armir, 9
12. Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick.- Lauren, 9
13. Don't pick on your sister when she's holdinga baseball bat.- Joel, 10
14. When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone.- Alyesha, 13
15. Never try to baptize a cat.- Eileen, 8
“We may not know the whole story in our lifetime.”
(Earl Warren) There are a number of things that have puzzled me in this life. I’m sure that God in heaven has some answers that will be shared in the hereafter. Is it the same for you? ;-) Jack

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

“I’m better today than yesterday, but not as good as tomorrow.”
(David H. Anderson) If this world is going to be improved we have to start by trying to improve on what we say and do. Our tomorrows are up to us. Tomorrow is an interesting word. What does it mean to you? ;-) Jack

FROM THE MUSICAL, ANNIE.....Just thinkin' about Tomorrow Clears away the cobwebs, And the sorrow Till there's none! When I'm stuck a day That's gray, And lonely, I just stick out my chin And grin, And say, Oh, the sun'll come out Tomorrow So ya gotta hang on 'Til tomorrow Come what may Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

“Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.”
(Horace) Horace was one of the greatest of Latin poets. He was also a farmer and a soldier. Have you ever met anyone named, Horace? Oh, BTW; here’s the translation of the quote. Seize the day; put no trust in the morrow. That’s good advice, isn’t it? ;-) Jack

MINNESOTA MARLYS KNOWS OF A HORACE As a matter of fact, yes. We knew Horace Hanson. He was a member of our church and had been a lawyer at Nuremburg during the Nazi War trials. He was an interesting man.

Friday, September 01, 2006

“Anyone who has gumption knows what it is, and anyone who hasn’t can never know what it is. So, there’s no need of defining it.”
(L. M. Montgomery) It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anyone use the gumption word. If I had any gumption, I’d expand my vocabulary by adding a new word each day. If you had gumption, what would you do? ;-) Jack

I recall a song from the Men's Emmaus Walk, with words similar to this:
Give me gas for my Ford
Keep me trucking for the Lord
Give me gumption for my unction
Help me function, function, function...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Someone asked someone who was about my age: "How are you?" The answer was, "Fine. If you don't ask for details." Katharine Hepburn
“The man with the ball is responsible for what happens to the ball.”
(Branch Rickey) Mr. Rickey was talking about the game of baseball. In today’s world, I see the earth as a ball, and we humans as being responsible for what happens to the ball. We need to do a better job of keeping our eye on the ball. ;-) Jack

at the beginning of every school year we teach a familiar old song with a bit of a twist.
"we've got the whole world in our hands..."
you know the rest.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

“I arise in the morning, torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
(E. B. White) I suppose it is possible to enjoy trying to improve the world. That’s my plan. What’s your’s? ;-) Jack

I was introduced to E. B. White in a college literature class. Our assignment was to read his book, ONE MAN'S MEAT, which appeared in 1942, and was reissued two years later in expanded form, had a nonstop run of 55 years in print. It was compiled of White's columns for Harper's with three essays from The New Yorker. I still have the book. I think I'll go and reread it.
....I've started the "reread." It's great. BTW, the English professor asked, "do you know the origin of this book's title?" The smart students were able to answer correctly. CAN YOU?

How about just enjoying the world as we look for opportunities along the way to improve it?

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Anne Frank (1929 - 1945), Diary of a Young Girl, 1952