Monday, December 24, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/24/07
“A Merry Christmas to everybody! A Happy New Year to all the world.”
(Charles Dickens) I hope that you have enjoyed receiving the Winning Words for this year as much as I have enjoyed sending them. The 2008 Version will begin, Jan. 2nd. Dickens’ greeting is my greeting to you, and I’ll add: God bless you, real good. ;-) Jack

FROM C.S. IN WISCONSIN: Thank you for another wonderful year of positive thinking! Can't wait to see what 2008 will bring!

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: We all win from Winning Words.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/21/07
“Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.”
This is a good one to think about during this season when gifts are exchanged. Keep a stack of note cards handy, so you can write those Thank You’s right away. I wrote my first one today. How are you doing? ;-) Jack

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: I truly laughed today when I got this! God does have a great sense of humor and timing. I got my husband some gifts for Christmas two months ago, and forgot where I hid them. I have been searching and searching this house! So I did give without remembering and he may have to be thankkful without getting! I'm still laughing....and searching! And, when I find them, he will be thankful, as will I!

MORE FROM J.L.: It's kind of a joke because each year the kids get something after Christmas I forgot to give them. Here's a little something I am putting in the newsletter next month....
"I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on." Beryl Pfizer

FROM D.S. IN CALIFORNIA: This is a very poignant one for me, Jack. I really enjoy doing things for other people, but in the same instance, I like to be recognized (most of the time) for least with a sincere "Thank you". Does that same something bad about me, and if so, how do I overcome it?

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Hi,not too good, but tomorrow I will try again.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/20/07
“Saying goodbye doesn’t mean anything. It’s the time we spent together that matters.”
(Trey Parker and Matt Stone) To me the key words here are: “the time we spent together.” The time may be long or short, but the memories give value. What a great gift to be able to recall! Thanks for your friendship. ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER. J.T.: Yes, a great gift. I had 44 years with Elaine and 6 months with Judy. Although many years difference the time spent was special.

FROM MOLINER, L.P.: This is a special quote for me today. My daughter's 104-year-old great-grandmother is celebrating her birthday today in the hospital. She's a totally cool lady, and despite my divorce from her grandson, I adore and admire her. We talked yesterday, and, though she is dying, she didn't say "goodbye," she asked me to come see her "tomorrow." I am glad we have good memories of each other...

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: The time we spent together before distance set us apart, always provided something memorable to me. The hours you shared with my family were special and we still reflect on those experiences. I'm grateful that technology has enabled us to continue our relationship via Winning Words.

FROM BBC: Are you a fan? Have you read South Park and Philosophy or the Bible According to the Simpsons?

FROM PLD IN MICHIGAN: beautifully put!

FROM MOLINER, J.R.: Have enjoyed your winning words each day---in regard to todays. My daughter and I were on a tour in the Alps and as we entered our bus one day the tour guide handed us a peice of candy. In the wrapper was a small peice of paper that read " I can`t remember what we did but we were together." We had a great time.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Having the time to say goodbye means an awful lot too and very precious, but memories are for always. That's why I spend so much time on my scrapbooks. My family, for many generations, has taken photos and were smart enough to label them. And those special memories, the ones you can't possibly put down on paper, or in an album, are the most precious.

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: You've been making us all see our neighbors, even Plato and many dead people a lot better than we did before you started your e-mailing ministry. I hope tomorrow and the next day and the next and the next one after that we continue to get your Winning Words. I hope you're not saying goodby to us or something.

FROM B.G. IN MICHIGAN: I have been ruminating a lot about the death of Dan Fogelberg this week. Although the only time we "spent time together" were the three concerts of his that I attended, I felt a connection with him through his music. I'm glad I was able to spend some time with him. May he rest in peace.

FROM L.E. IN MICHIGAN: So true, so true. My husband died in July and we didn't get a chance to say goodbye, but we spent almost 50 years married and traveled all over the world and did what we wanted to do. I read this on 12-22 during a very difficult time. Thank You.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/19/07
“I think you’re not human unless you have doubts and fears.”
(Coach K) Some people do a better job of hiding them, but look under the skin, and there they are. One of my favorite carols is, O Little Town of Bethlehem…Especially the verse that goes, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee.” Yes, there is a way to deal with those doubts and fears that Mike mentions. ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: I believe doubts and fears go beyond humans, to touch the animal kingdom as well. Have you ever seen a dog cower in the presence of a cruel owner...or a deer stop nibbling, to perk its ears and pivot its head...or a robin stop pursuing a worm momentarily, to check for a stealthy cat? We all are vulnerable. Humans however have a source of solace and hope in our Lord ("He restoreth my soul"), but what relief is there for lower forms of life?

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Absolutely. My biggest fear is ill health. That's my biggest prayer too...good health for those around me and myself. The rest I can handle...I think....I mean, I don't want to doubt I can do it....

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Wow, we have been singing this song"con much gusto" for many years, and now we disect it. It is interesting to think about one's fears. I just wonder how far we would have progressed from poverty to a middle cclass status if we had concentrated on our fears, instead of doing as we did, and as uncl John said "Work harder, work faster, the team needs to be fed and watered, we didn"t", so it is true, we didn't concentrate on our fears. ?? What if we had?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/18/07
“Tradition is a guide, not a jailer.”
(W. Somerset Maugham) Don’t be afraid to try something new. When a new translation of the Lord’s Prayer came out, my mother encouraged me to “get with it” and use it in the worship service. Are you one who hangs on to the old, like Tevje in Fiddler on the Roof? Tradition! ;-) Jack

FROM EMT SINGS: I liked that! Should be hung in workplaces.....But, of course, my Christmas traditions are sacred!

FROM L.H. IN MARCO: Usually, Tradition stands the test of time and a lot of the new things are just fads, and many of them not good ie abortion, divorce (what happened to for better or worse), honor thy father and mother (now people want the goverment (tax payer) to carry the full load, etc. I am not ashamed to say I am a tradtionalist.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Some traditions I love, and others beg to be replaced. Today, one was replaced. My littlest grandson, (3), has had a terrible cough but no other symtoms. My daughter and her husband found out he is allergic to pine trees. So the annual cutting of the Christmas trees will be replaced by another annual outing instead. (He also has a sever allergy to peanuts.) We loved that tradition, but will happliy replace something else.

FROM SPARTAN JEFF IN MICHIGAN: I'm a little of each!

FROM BBC: Yeah, I'm all about the "red" book. And "save us from the time of trial" is no where near "lead us not into temptation"….. life is about trials; I've never been able to pray that line with the rest. It doesn't seem right to ask that of the heavenly Father. Smile!

FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: I don't think so --- maybe some day. I'm never sure whether that's a personality trait or an age thing. Perhaps a personality trait that intensifies with age?

FROM REV J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Some forget that it can be a jailer and are indeed jailed by it. Others forget that it can be a guide and so lose the wisdom of the ages for the immediacy of now.

FROM M.N. IN MINNESOTA: You better believe it! I “pray” the old version—I “read” the new one. If we are supposed to be “ecumenical” and inviting to visitors, why can’t we pray the Lord’s Prayer the same way as other denominations???

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: My Ma used to say"ain't that the truth Mabel", thank the Lord for Mother's when they encourage you to explore, to try something new and different. I must admit however, when I went to the 9:30am Young People's Special service, I went back to the 11:00 0'clock traditional service. Maybe this Sunday, I'll go back and try it one more time.-I seemed like a combo of the Holly Rollers and a musical gymnastic class, very different.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/17/07
“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.”
(Jules Renard) If one is looking for those pieces, where do you suggest that they go? On the other hand, there may be those who think that this statement is theologically incorrect. Let them go into another room to continue their discussion. ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: "Heaven" is what each person considers it to be. The pieces of it can be found wherever we go, sometimes large pieces and sometimes small. As the poetic line from my childhood stated, "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: What did Luther say Christians were? Little Christs. Have you been a "little Christ" today?

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Oh my gosh....just look at a newborn baby and his mom and dad! There is Heaven on earth....or a little child's first snowfall! Or a woman's face when she gets her engagement ring...there are little bits of heaven whenever someone helps a stranger....I could go on and on.....blessings on this beautiful snowy day!

FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: I suggest they simply pay attention --- those pieces are everywhere!

FROM G.G. IN INDIANA: I'll be staying in the " heaven on earth" room. It's all around us, although my most recent siting was at the children's Christmas pageant at church. Angels, wisemen, shepherds, Holy family, etc. singing "Prepare ye the way of the Lord" and "Away in the Manger".......heavenly.

FROM REV J.S. IN MICHIGAN: "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"

FROM EMT SINGS: I think my Mother would disagree with that. She claims that if there is a Heaven on earth she is in it. I agree with her as I think possibly this is what Heaven is like: No decisions, no worries and surrounded with love. So I suppose it is not Heaven but is like it. Sounds good to me!

MORE FROM EMT SINGS: Yes, I like it. I also very often think "My soul is restless until it rests with Thee" Can't remember who said that, but it often describes what I am feeling!

RESPONSE FROM JACK: St. Augustine said it.

FROM D.P. IN MINNESOTA: Go and stay with the Homeless for a few days and you'll find heaven when you go back home !

FROM M.N. IN MINNESOTA: I think there are lots of pieces of heaven on earth. Last Sunday the little kids sang in church—that is a big piece of heaven. Yesterday we went to Hilder Anderson Swenson’s 100th birthday party in St. Peter. Listening to her life story and her strong response (she still lives in her own home) was a piece of heaven. In fact—there are pieces of heaven all around us. All we need to do is open our eyes! And hearts and ears too!

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Wow, how many choices do we have? l. being at Grandma's house?, 2. being in that hardwoods forest on NN in Kenosha, coun ty? 3 being in a 12 foot cartop fishing in Lake Geneva? 4. Having a cool beer and a candy bar on a hot day while threshing with Mel Carlson, 5. Listening to Colleen Andrews and Audrey Barber singing while in choir?", Thanks Jack, YOu have me crying, I forgot, camping and fishing with my family anywhere.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/14/07
“Wise men talk, because they have something to say….fools, because they have to say something.”
(Plato – Sent by B.G.) Pay attention; I have something to say. “Plato was a wise man.” One of my favorite courses in college was a Seminar on Plato. The Dialogs of Plato were a resource. Good stuff. Google it for a superficial look. ;-) Jack

FROM D.S. IN SAN DIEGO: It even goes to "writing". I read some of the blogs yesterday and a couple of those
were by fools. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

MORE FROM D.S.: I do love reading all those that agree WITH ME!!
You do know I'm jerking your chain don't you?

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: Philosophy was my weakest course - too much gray for an engineer!

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: With 13" of snow outside keeping me indoors, sitting here at the keyboard I may as well "say something." I hope that isn't foolish.

FROM B.D. IN MICHIGAN: That was the best one of the month..........I can think of a few people this fits both ways, but the fools would never guess I picked them, they would be too busy talking. This is one of those winning words I'll remember for a very long time, Thanks.

FROM MOLINER, C.F.: Problem is that some fools have a knack of making their garbage csound convincing. Politicians are well noted here. (Although they eventually do get found out)

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: How many times have I wished I would have kept my mouth shut! I think that is the one thing I can say I would do differently sometimes....just simply listen! Plato was wise!

FROM G.G. IN INDIANA: i have nothing to say, yet.....oops i guess i'm a fool once again!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/13/07“ It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.” (Unknown) There are times when things don’t go they way we want them to go. There are reasons. But when reason, doesn’t work, there is God to blame. “Why does God let this happen? Why doesn’t God do something?” To me, God is the loving, caring and understanding parent. He sees things with the larger perspective. Hang in there. ;-) Jack

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: I think anger, directed at God, is much better than one of the alternatives some embrace - ignoring. When angry with someone, you are still in relationship, you are still engaged. Hence, I think anger can be a better alternative than silent treatment. Furthermore, the psalms underscore the point of this quotation.

RESPONSE FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Anger, ignoring? How about accepting that He is God and we are His creation?

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Being angry with God seems idiotic, to me, if you truly believe God is your maker. If you believe you have a right to question God, do you believe in God?

FROM MOLINE C.F.: I know you are right and I remind myself of that when times get depressing. But, it God made us in His image, wht did He make you so ugly?

FROM J.O. IN MICHIGAN: I try not to get angry with God, because I don't want him to get angry with me!

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: ok, U R a philosophy Major, or Minor???( I can't even spell it ), Pardon me, over 3800 GI's dead in a damned war. and he doesn't kick butt, U bet, I don't understand. Perspective, save me, Dear Lord, I do not understand, I am not angry, I am bewildered. Dear Sir, we need to discuss this, our children are being butchered, as they butcher others. I wasn't raised this way, perspective? We do not want to fund this war any more, We didn't want it to start. I am going down by the riverside, to study War no more.

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: oh, i know this for a fact.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/12/07
“I am a deeply superficial person.”
(Andy Warhol) Some may look at these daily Winning Words and say that they are superficial. Maybe so, but I encourage you to look for the deeper meaning. There’s a method to my madness. Andy and I are alike in that way. Do you care to join our club? ;-) Jack

FROM D.P. IN MINNESOTA: No thanks, not right now !

D.P. HAS CHANGE OF HEART: Sure, why not, I'm as superficial or more so than anyone. I just don't want you calling a meeting in New York or Humbug, Iowa !

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: You have such wNo thanks, not right now !it so early in the morning.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: To make people think, and investigate for themselves is a good use of superficiality.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: To believe that is also to consider that one may be superficially deep.
I am more the latter than the former. Words are almost always superficial. They can't capture everything.
You and your words are generally quite "winning" in my view.

FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: I think I'm already a member!

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: Hits the nail on the head, for me more than I care to have happen.

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: Jesus the truth in my life. I am superficial and He is deep.

FROM B.G. IN MICHIGAN: nothing superficial about WW, Jack. If people are unable to see profoud simplicity in WW, they are missing some good wisdom for living.


FROM S.A. IN VEGAS: I try to consider the source when determining if written work is superficial. (Stereotyping always gets me in trouble here) Your sources for WW tend not to be superficial. Aren’t you glad to hear I'm so wise as to determine the significance of others’ experience(s) as told in their written reflections? Ha!


RESPONSE TO J.S.: You're too deep for us...and not superficial enuf.

RESPONSE FROM J.S.: With the little bit of knowledge that you have of me, that seems like a truly superficial judgment.

FROM D.S. IN MICHIGAN: OK, so this one we need to discuss. ;o) Not sure about your club.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Andy was superficial but only on the surface. Aren't we all?

FROM G.G. IN INDIANA: Sounds like good company to me! I would be proud and happy to be a member of your club. Too bad Andy's not with us anymore....he could design our club t-shirts!

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I know that you are anything but superficial!


FROM J.O. IN MICHIGAN: Nothing in you Winning Words has ever been superficial. Many times I find myself scratching my head because I know there is something there I missed.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I don't want to look like a label on a Campbell Soup can! But I'm in your club!

FROM MOLINER, J.T.: I do look deep at each message. I do belong.!! Don't stop now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/11/07
“ If A is success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Work is X; Y is play; and Z is keeping your mouth shut.”
(Einstein) I’ve never thought of Albert as someone with a sense of humor. But why not? As humans, we are more the same than we are different. I’d like to know more about the real Einstein. Remember that equation: A=X+Y+Z. Here’s to success in your life! ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: A little-known fact about Albert (which aided in his success) is that he and his brother created Einstein Bros. Bagels. Albert later postulated E=mc2, while exploring the idea of nuclear fission, in an effort to find something that could break open a stale bagel.

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: Back in 4th grade we had to read a biography of Einstein. I'm sure the book is still floating around my parents house somewhere. I don't recall much of the details of his life but I didn't have the sense that he was particularly dour. It is definitely an interesting formula that he has put forth.

FOLLOW UP FROM L.P.: Ha! nah, my 4th grade teacher was just a bit nuts. He had served in the Canadian armed services--Major Vaughn. He smoked a pipe, played the bagpipes, and ran his classroom like a ship. Every morning after we recited the pledge of allegiance we sang the national anthem. I was number 8 (we all had numbers) and the row of desks that I sat in was called Ajax. I actually liked the guy though and I must say that 4th grade was probably my most memorable elementary school year.

FROM REV J.S. IN MICHIGAN: The biography EINSTEIN which came out this past year is a great place to start....I loved it and I think you would too.

FROM DR H.R. IN MICHIGAN: Be cautious in wishing to know more, in many ways knowing more about someone only diminishes their shine. There is a wonderful new biography called Einstein, by Walter Isaacson. I have read it and it provides as complete a picture of the man as you might wish and his physics in relatively easy to understand language. I would be glad to lend it to you.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Never was good at algebra but it sounds like a successful endeavor to me! And Einstein was an overcomer of great obstacles so he would know! I read a book on Einstein and he had a wonderful sense of humor. Hope you have a lot of laughs today too!

FROM MOLINER, L.P.: Hi, again. Humor is another form of intelligence. I've always thought that God probably has a good sense of humor, too.

FROM MOLINER, C.F.: Even in his humor, ol' Al was relevant.

MORE FROM C.F.: Did you know that the literal interpretaion of Einstien is "One Mug"?

FOLLOW UP TO C.F. FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Regarding Moliner C.F.'s comment about Einstein meaning literally "one mug", that is perhaps humor, or is just wrong. The literal translation of the German "Ein-stein" would be "one stone". Stein is German for stone, and the use of "stein" to mean beer mug is no doubt because they were made of ceramic stoneware, thus shortened to stone.

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: It sounds like when people ask why we do what we do we should tell them clearly and otherwise we should shut up and just listen to them. Einstein's words do resonate with these words for evangelizing. I'm trying to take them to heart.

FROM L.H. IN OHIO: I've never really gotten the "Z" part of it,ha!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/10/07
“The road to the sacred leads through the secular.”
(Abraham Heschel) Do you think that it’s possible…that all the commercialism of the season can lead to an appreciation of the sacred? I’m wondering. I hear many comments that the real meaning of Christmas has been lost. I’m not so sure. Do you know of examples? ;-) Jack

FROM G.G. IN INDIANA: I never thought about it that way but yes, I think it can lead to the sacred. I don't think that the real meaning of Christmas can ever be's too powerful and the spirit "gets up in you" even when you think that it won't.

L.H. IN MARCO DOESN'T AGREE: Heschel would make a good con man. He's is wrong.

MORE FROM L.H.: This is a Christian country (over 80%) and it is what this country was founded on. You can't rewrite history! I thought that especially with your background, you would want to spread the Word.By the way, yesterday I picked up a copy of his book.

FROM MOLINER, L.P.: Hi. I think we're finding the meaning again. Gratefully, the stores dumped all the "political correctness" they tried last year, and we see trees, wreaths and Christmas again-- maybe that's what it took to make us realize how much Christmas really means to us as a society. People seem to be less in a party mood, and more in a reflective mood this year-- an improvement, in my opinion. Our political candidates certainly have prompted a lot of talk about religion, and it seems there are more people coming forward who are proud of their beliefs and not afraid to talk about them. I think as a country we're becoming more tolerant of each other and realizing that our differences are not that different after all. Merry Christmas!

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: I know an example of two people's experiences in Israel. I know a pastor who visited Israel many years ago and saw the place where Jesus was supposed to have lain in a manger. The place looks very commercial now, a spot surrounded by all sorts of souvenir stuff, plastic Jesuses, etc., etc., etc. At first he said he was very angry, very putoff, very disappointed but, as he came to terms with the current reality of it all, he came to an appreciation that THAT PLACE LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE THE PLACE WHERE JESUS WAS NEEDED TO BE BORN. A friend has just come back from a trip to Israel and she had a similar experience. The place seems Hollywoodish with a star at the place where the manger was supposed to have been. I do think the commercialism of the season leads me to an appreciation of the sacred because the real sacred is the only thing that sets right it all. Let the real sacred be in the midst of it. Do not try to isolate the real sacred away from the commercialism because the battle needs to be fought and we, in the end, need to be able somehow to see our idolatry, what false prophets we are not to follow. Over the weekend we just sent out $73 postage on boxes of food for all of our relatives. Candies my daughter bought in Texas, fudge I made and also baklava because that is a different food you can buy in this area. Plus our homemade Christmas cards with our hopes for peace and love and that we all remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus. It might seem silly for quite a few of our relatives to see us spend money like that but, at this time, this is kind of our way of dealing with the commercialism and putting it out there for everyone all around Who we think is important and are remembering. I know quite a few other people are contributing their Christmas money to things like Heifer Project and other charities in lieu of presents to their relatives and trying to get back to the meaning of Christmas like that. Many years I make homemade gifts and that is also very satisfying but it's because I have first reflected upon what it feels like to give and receive presents that are "just picked out from the shelf at the store and don't seem to be very personal." . I believe the road to the sacred leads through the secular too.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: I wonder?!?, I wonder if I give our grandchildrena big gunny sack to put their things in. They get so much, and what for? I just wonder if we should go back to the Christmas we had as kids, and were damned greatful for the apple and orange with a small bag of Zion candy that we received in Sunday School. We also got socks, underwear, and gloves at home. Aunt Lydia used to bring us some 5c Hershey bars (* now made in Mexico ) and we were so gratefull. Incidently, if we got shoes, it was at the start of School in Sept. We were so gratefull for our Ma and Pa, and our aunts and uncles. Hey a hug from Grandma was the greatest.


FROM MOLINER C.F.: If the real meaning of Christmas has been lost, why is there standing room only at the Cathedral on Christmas Day?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/7/07
“May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten.”
(Irish Blessing) As I was searching for a Pearl Harbor Day quote, this one came to my attention. We remember the sacrifice of life on 12/7/41; some of the details of intrigue might be better set aside. I guess that’s the way it is with other episodes in our life, too. ;-) Jack


FROM A.M. IN MICHIGAN: Returned from Italy last night. Wonderful trip. Many Japanese were at the hotels. I initiated conversations especially with the young since they were more willing to talk. I was 11 when Pearl Harbor was bombed.. I remember it well-President Roosevelt speaking to us on the radio, movie news, rationing, tearing down the El train tracks in New york City which were used for the war effort, the young men and women enlisting, the draft, rationing. Time goes on. My husband , who served in World War 11 , traveled to Japan many times for GM. He invited Japanese visitors to our home for dinner and long conversations ensued. There was so much suffering on both sides. When I met these young people on the trip, my heart was peaceful. I enjoyed the interaction. We have come a long way.
Your Irish blessing says it all.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: There is a lot about forgiveness wrapped in those Winning Words, and forgiveness is appropriate from both nations that suffered tragically following December 7, 1941. Thanks for words that show understanding on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Fortunately, time does bring healing.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: I've never heard this one before....and it is awesome. I was doing volunteer work at a nursing home for my Girl Scouting Day's years ago, and it was so interesting. Most people only remembered the good old days. And, at the last, when there was no conscience communication, you could always softly sing the old hymns and they would respond. They would respond to The Lord's Prayer too.
My grandparents had an cousin live with them when she turned 94. Her name was "Aunt Emmy". (Her father was in the Civil War and we have his artifacts. He was in the Michigan 22nd.) She lived for years under my grandparents care, and us grandkids helped take care of her for my grandma. Aunt Emmy loved to hear Jingle Bells and Jesus Loves Me. She only remembered good things and I pray, when the time comes, I will too. I try to do that now, and I'm sure you do to. There is so much good to remember!

FROM REV C.L. IN OHIO: Isn't forgiveness something we do just because we can never forget?
Didn't someone say if we didn't remember our past we were bound to relive it?

FROM L.H. IN MARCO: In this season of Advent, I still think back to how you covered Advent at Holy Spirit Church.I still have a sticker from one of the bulletins at the beginning of my rolodex that says "Love, Peace, Joy, Hope, Christ." Each week your sermon covered one of those topics and it made Advent especially meaningful. I always thought it was done that way at all Lutheran Churchs, but I haven't seen that since. The closest I have seen was on the Catholic network cable channel (EWTN) I watch quite frequently----they talked about Hope.Its taken me 65 years to hear of this guy (I'm sure you have) but I just finished the book "Profhet of Orthodoxy, This Wisdom of GK Chesterton." Most of his words are as true today as when he wrote them. I will plan on buying some of his books.

FROM MOLINER, C.F.: I'll try to remember that.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/6/07
“Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough, but not baked in the same oven”
(Another Yiddish Proverb) Ain’t it the truth? There is so much that’s the same with us; why do we persist in looking at the comparatively little that is different? I like the variety of friends and acquaintances that I have. I appreciate, too, the backgrounds that have made us who we are. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Would different ovens explain many of the half-baked ideas in the world? In Good Debt, Bad Debt, I wrote:
The father says to the son, “I’m concerned about you being
at the bottom of your class.” The son replies, “Don’t worry,
Dad. They teach the same things at both ends.” Within a classroom,
this might be true. But within neighborhoods throughout
America, the lessons can be very different (p. 92).
Even when we are in the same oven we don’t always rise to our potential, some come out undercooked/half-baked, some are baked too hard, some are old and crusty, some are warm and inviting, and most are just right, it is true we all come from the same dough. Perhaps it is up to us to seek the yeast.

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: Your Winning Words today are making me recall the dream you told us about in one of your sermons. Remember the time you dreamed the priest was offering communion and you needed to take your own bread out of your pocket? That was just hilarious to me, coming as I do from a background where the Catholics and the Church of Christ Protestants were trying to go forward in the faith in our family. There is so much on the Channel 2 Catholic TV station here in Detroit that I appreciate but also so much that I also put little stock in. One time some guy was explaining how wrong Martin Luther was in his theology and leaving the Catholic Church. They don't seem to teach that Martin Luther was ex-communicated but that he left. On the other hand, I appreciate very deeply Henri Nouwen's meditations that come to me here each morning on the computer too along with your Winning Words and also Miriam Woolbert's daily scripture. I do believe we are all kneaded out of the same dough
and need to accept that we are not baked in the same oven,
how very true,
busy being baked here in Michigan.

FROM MOLINER, C.F.: Cookie cutters are for cookies.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Whenver the subject comes up, and we talked about changing the things in our lives...especially the rough spots my answer is always the same....they made me who I am. I'm different in so many ways from everyone around me, but I'm just the same too.
How boring it would bes
To have to live with a bunch of mes!
Poem especially written for my different friend, Pastor Freed!
Any requests for written permission to use it must come to me personally! :-) :-)

FROM E.A. IN MICHIGAN: > Here is another yiddish saying: With one tokus (butt) you can't dance at two
weddings. Think about this one.

I DID THINK AND ASKED FOR A HINT. HERE IT IS: Don't try to be everything to everyone---or don't commit yourself to too many obligations that you cannot give your best to each one .And so on.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/5/07
“God created the world full of little worlds.”
(Yiddish Proverb) I find it interesting that so many folks have long discussions about when and how God created the world and never get around to asking, why. Forget “the words” and look through a telescope or a microscope. How many little worlds can you come up with? ;-) Jack

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: To quote Carl Sagen..."Billions, and billions and billions!" Good Wednesday Morning to you!

FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: That's because they don't read the scriptures.....they are full of the "Why" question. Perhaps the ELCA has been doing to much looking "beyond the scriptures" and not enough in them!!!

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Given all the opportunities we have to explore things from the grand scale to the finite scale, how could anyone be bored in life?

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: "What is man that thou are mindful of him, and the son of man that thou does care for him?" Ps. 8:4

FROM A SCHOOL SUPT. IN MICHIGAN: I tell my Principals to remember they are but a star in the universe (the school district) they are not the universe.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/4/07
“Do not free the camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.”
(M. Kathleen Casey) I guess I’ve never thought of it that way before. We are who we are. Of course, if I could talk with a camel, he might want to be rid of his hump. I read somewhere that Helen Keller was satisfied with her hump. ;-) Jack

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Talk about a hump! Have you seen those renowned cojoined twins that are joined at the head? They are often featured on Discovery, on documentaries,etc. The one twin is the verbal one and able to walk. The other twin is constantly on a wheeled contraption. Obviously, they are constantly together and I saw them lately on a program where they were going through a museum and enjoying it like everyone else. As they were interviewed the verbal twin stated that she is just like anyone else who is making her way thru life and could not fathom being any different. She is apparantly able to "get inside herself" and function, at least emotionally, independantly.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: If you offered to remove the camel's hump, it might reply as Igor did, in the movie comedy Young Frankenstein..."What hump?"

MORE FROM R.I.: Another fan of Mel Brooks? Regarding Young Frankenstein, there are so many clever transformations of common expressions (Pardon me, is that the Transylvania Station?) which I'm sure you appreciate as well. One sequence that broke me up was Igor helping the buxom young woman from the coach as Dr. Frankenstein is standing at the castle door and says, "Wow, what a pair of knockers!

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: I wonder if Lincoln, Juliett Low, or anyone with any kind of "handicap", if they would be different people if they weren't so burdened. Don't we all have our humps? That's what makes us us! The camel's hump enables him to survive in places he never would be able to I'm sure he probably is grateful....most of the time!

MORE FROM J.L.: (On Juliette) Did you read about her wedding and the rice getting into her ear? People face all kinds of adversity in their lives but keep least most people do...

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: Intersting you mention Helen Keller... When I read the quote I think of some in the deaf community who would agree adamently (and have major issues with the idea of a cochlear implant, for example).

Monday, December 03, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 12/3/07
“Divide and rule is a sound motto. Unite and lead is a better one.”
(Goethe) These are some good words to keep in mind as we move toward elections next year. The negative is to divide. The positive is to unite. I’m looking for a uniter. It’s interesting to note that Goethe lived in a period called, the Enlightenment. It’s worth doing some reading about that time in history, even if you only Google it. ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: I agree that uniting is positive. It generates power to get things done. The essence of unity is strength, cooperation and solutions.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Yes, we need a "uniter" as our country is in danger of imploding....we don't need an enemy as we are fighting ourselves. Hopefully, someone will step up and set the tone to work together....a strong Christian who will pray a lot and work hard with everyone! We must unite as did our forefathers, even with their differences! With God for us, who could be against us? God's blessings on this freezing Michigan Monday!

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Feeling Goethe today: Dost thou fancy that I should hate life,
Should flee to the wilderness, Because not all my budding dreams have blossomed?
No man deserves his freedom or his life, who does not daily win them anew. Goethe.
I think this is Goethe’s way of saying stop the whining. I predict the election will go to the party that can “Balkanize” enough Americans to win the primary and then unite enough of the “Balkanized” groups to paste together a “win.” In the process America loses, we are more divided and less united. We run against each other—not “for” America.

MORE FROM JON: “No man deserves his freedom or his life, who does not daily win them anew (Faust).”

This part of the quote was Faust, not Goethe.

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: Excellent! >:o

FROM MOLINER, C.F.: You can't lead an enemy that is united against you. And let's face it, we have enemies.

FROM P.S. IN MICHIGAN: So is ( or was ) George Bush! this country needs a uniter badly and Idon't see any on our political scene even with couple dozen wantnabees!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/30/07
“One cannot imagine St. Francis of Assisi talking about rights.”
(Simone Weil) Simone grew up as an agnostic, but prayed for the first time in her life when she visited the town of Assisi. It was a mystical moment for her. She was a political activist, so I wonder what was going on in her mind with this quote. What changes us? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: St. Francis was more about duty and action. He said, “Preach the Gospel every day—use words if necessary.”

FROM B.S., NEAR ORLANDO: REPLY: What changes us? wow, it's the information in all those nooks and crannies that you mentioned a day or so before. I always hope that the changes are positive. I am going to send this to our friend Leonard for his input. You will like Leonard , Jack. Irene and I have a bushel of respect, admiration and love for Leonard. That is one of the reasons I forward your WW words to him.

FROM MOLINER G.S.: Christ is a pretty good start.

FROM J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Absolutely right on. He knew that the human task is written in Ethics and not rights. Rights have become the cry of the Enlightenment and now everyone has so many rights that they clash not only with other folks rights but sometimes our rights clash with our other rights!!! We need to return to the question of the human...."What ought I to do?"

FROM A.M., WHO JUST RETURNED FROM ASSISI: Assisi is a special place. It reaffirms the kindness and goodness of St. Francis. One is moved to ponder a simpler life.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/29/07
“Who sees the human face correctly; the photographer, the mirror, or the painter?”
(Picasso) This is an interesting question to ask family and friends. What do I really look like? There’s a picture of me on the wall, and a painting, too. I look in the mirror every day. Which image is the real me? None of the above? What do you think? ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Only one's eye observes a face image correctly, and then only for an instant. A blink, a twitch, a pursing of lips, all bring change to facial contours or features. Images by photography, mirror reflection, and painting are attained through the use of other tools (camera, silvered glass, artist's hand and brush), and each imposes variants from the genuine face being viewed. The camera lens distorts, the mirror delivers a reverse image, and the painter injects his/her personal touch regarding proportion and color. So I believe "none of the above" is the proper answer. Having said that, I would add that a captured image is never permanent anyway, because a person responds to moods, and one's smiling face can quickly change to dour or pouting. Any image is just an instant in a continuum of time.

FROM T.B. IN MICHIGAN: A photo of you will not do you justice. With all your knowledge and insight only knowing you will give the correct picture.

FROM B.G. IN MICHIGAN: This WW reminds me of a line from the U2 song-City of Blinding Lights. It goes like this, "Don't look before you laugh...Look ugly in a photograph." What I like about this lyric is that it reminds us not to look around to see how other people are going to perceive us doing whatever it is we're doing. If you feel like laughing when you're getting your photograph taken, go for it! Who sees the human face correctly? It depends a lot on us, I think.

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: You are what you think others think you are. Hm..................................................

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Probably only our maker can really know what he intended. I was lucky enough to marry a near-sighted gal. I am not sure who sees faces “correctly” but I am pretty sure the video camera is the most critical. Just ask any Fred Thompson supporter that saw him on CNN last night. When they turned the camera on him, my 12 year old daughter blurted out, “Oh my, who’s the old guy?” My kid’s like Huckabee and Obama. Maybe a positive message is best?

FROM J.S. IN MICHIGAN: We have a family painting done when our kids were young. I actually look pretty good in that one. I want them to tear up all of m photos and just keep that painting. The painter lied a bit....and wouldn't it be nice if that were the truth?

FROM L.H. IN FLORIDA: I think the real image is on the inside and only you know the real person. Just look at the politicians; they create an image that is usually quite different from who and what they are.

FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: I vote for "all of the above".

FROM K.B. IN MICHIGAN: i just read an interesting little piece of fantasy fiction called Spellbound--that is the question it really addresses

CORRECTION FROM K.B.: The name of the book I referred to yesterday--was GARDEN SPELLS not SPELLBOUND

FROM C.S. IN MICHIGAN: The painter of course;do we ever see large photos over the mantel? no, we see painted portraits! A little bias here of course.


FROM J.T. IN MINNESOTA: Going to the mailbox one day was an eye-opener. At a Synod Assembly I had my photograph taken for a pictorial directory. When I opened an envelope from the photograph company addressed to me, enclosed was a photograph of some pastor (unknown to me) 30 years younger! Those One-a-Day vitamins work wonders!

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: I think the portrait painter, "El Pintor", the portraits I have seen are remarkable, how ever in some cases I never knew the person b-4 the painting, However, how can a photo be different, except in time sequence, alas, so is the portrait, . I should have kept my mouth shut.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/28/07
“Keep ya head up, oooo child things are gonna get easier; oooo things are gonna get brighter.”
(Tupac Shakur) You probably never thought that I’d be quoting a rapper, but I’m a positive thinker, and these words “fit in.” They’re an example of Shakur’s softer side, an example of a deeper rap song. Look at the world around you…Things are gonna get brighter! ;-) Jack

FROM PR J.S. IN MICHIGAN: They will if we can get rid of GW and elect Obama!!!

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: Tupac has some interesting songs. Some of them I've listened to are laced with religious kind of language, Hail, Mary, and so forth. I've watched several of the videos made of his life and believe his music is one of the voices of our time. In all the mix of his expressing feelings and thoughts, he actually seemed to be trying to sort out an honest relationship with his mother which, as a mother myself, I appreciated. Always had the impression he was trying to be true to what was in him and I wonder if today's Winning Words were inherited from what his mother might have said to him at one time. I'm optimistic, too, and wouldn't be at all surprised if he is in heaven now.

FROM N.G. IN MICHIGAN: Actually he was remixing a song from the 60"s. I don't remember the name, but as I read the quote I started singing along. I think it was from the Associations.
It is true - I didn't expect to see you quote a rapper. You are just too HIP!!!!!

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: I don’t have time to research this right now, but I think (am sure) this is an old Motown Hit. It goes on, “Someday we’re gonna walk in the ray of a beautiful sun, someday the world will be brighter….”

MORE FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Song by The Five Stair Steps, Motown. Ooh child by the Five Stairsteps song was covered by lots of different people (including Tupac)
Ooh-oo child Things are gonna get easier Ooh-oo child Things'll get brighter Ooh-oo child Things are gonna get easier Ooh-oo child Things'll get brighter Some day, yeah We'll get it together and we'll get it all doneS ome day When your head is much lighter Some day, yeah We'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun Some day When the world is much brighter Ooh-oo child Things are gonna be easier Ooh-oo child Things'll get be brighter Ooh-oo child Things are gonna be easier Ooh-oo child Things'll get be brighter Some day, yeah We'll get it together and we'll get it all done Some day When your head is much lighter Some day, yeah We'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun Some day When the world is much brighter Some day, yeah We'll get it together and we'll get it all done Some day When your head is much lighter Some day, yeah We'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun Some day When the world is much brighter Ooh-oo child Things are gonna get easier Ooh-oo child Things'll get brighter Ooh-oo child Things are gonna get easier Ooh-oo child Things'll get brighter Right now, right now


FROM D.R. IN MICHIGAN: The line is also an example of history repeating it’s self. That was from a song by The Five Stairsteps in 1970 called “Ooh Child”.

FROM PR B.G. IN MICHIGAN: Brighter, indeed! The people who walked in deep darkness have seen a great light...Things are gonna get brighter during this Advent season.

FROM B.C. IN ILLINOIS: Made me smile in part, because it's not really a Tupac song…. it was released in 1970 by the 5 Stairsteps, a soul group of teens that pre-dated Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five. I'm glad it got redone by Tupac and heard Destiny's Child did a cover too. My I feel old now!

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Well, today we need some's cloudy and overcast. But "gray skies are goingn to clear up..put on a Happy Face!" Going shopping with my daughter and grandson!

FROM B.R. IN MICHIGAN: So you know I'm still alert, check out the original from the 60's by Nina Simone. Tupac must have plagiarized.

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: it is the season of light, no matter the generation of tune. deck them halls and all that jazz!

FROM L.P. IN MOLINE: I was completely surprised to find "Oooohh Child" on a mix CD Gisela put together for me last summer-- the original '60s version. I have no idea how she knew I've loved it since I first heard it as a kid (a really young kid). Good stuff endures.

FROM P.O., JUST BACK FROM ISRAEL: I'm playing catch up with WW and other email. We returned from the Holy Land late Fri. night. It was a remarkable experience --- very 'layered' and it will take me a long time to process all we saw and heard. I hope that you and Tupac are right about things getting brighter. Right now I'm quite despondent about the Israeli occupation of Palestine, how that plays out for the 'everyday folk', and the prospects for any significant change.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/27/07
“It’s niver too late to turn over a new leaf, and if you’ve niver had no church, there’s no telling the good it’ll do you.”
(Dolly in Silas Marner by George Eliot) For some reason, I happened to think back to reading this in 9th Grade. The mind saves lots of stuff in nooks and crannies. It’s great to rediscover some of them, isn’t it? ;-) Jack

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: It is just amazing what those nooks and crannies can release back into the active conscousness. My wife chides me for remembering so much of the past. So is the past good?, bad, of value? I guess we'll continue to strive forward. I just wish we could still dance.

FROM G.G. IN INDIANA: Yes, that is fun. It's also really fun to wait and see what going to pop out of your've got alot of winning words saved up ! I have to go now and look for some new leaves that need turning

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: "Amen" to Dolly, and "Amen" to Jack.

FROM J.T. IN MICHIGAN: Wow! I'm impressed. I know I read Silas Marner back then too, but I don't remember anything about it. I guess I'll have to add it to my list of "rereads".

FROM P.H. IN MINNESOTA: Didn't Eve tell Adam that is was never too late to turn over a new leaf?

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: One of the classics! I read it too...along with all Shakespeare, Hemingway, Greek and Roman Mythology, O'Hare, Poe and Sherlock Holmes books and stories. Emily Dickenson, Frost, and Edgar Guest are some of my favorites. And, it's niver too late to start anew! God's blessings

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/26/07
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”
(William James) His generation was 1847-1910, but his view seems to hold true today. I’ve tried it, and it works for me. Three p’s describe him: psychologist, philosopher and pragmatist. W.J.’s life was truly an interesting one and worth reading about. ;-) Jack

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: It's truly hard to believe it took humankind to figure out that would seem that is a n-brainer....However, it doesn't mean all people "get it". You can change your whole life by an attitude change. Let's put on a new attitude today!

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: It is interesting how many of William James theories seem to be straight from the Bible. Some oddly from the book of James. What is expectancy theory except, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. [Proverbs 23:7]” In modern psychology (the young science), it seems the Bible is taken for granted and not given attribution most of the time. I used to annoy my professors at Ohio State (94-95 Grad Adult Ed classes) when I could come up with many parallels for Will James’ work to Solomon and other Biblical writers that were not given attribution. I believe Poor Richard aka Ben Franklin covered a lot of this road too, nearly 100 years before, but Franklin does credit Cotton Mather (his Pastor) and the Bible. I will admit, I have not read all of W.J.’s work, perhaps he does give attribution. We as mortals, love to recast God’s revelations as our own. I suppose a healthier response would be , “The Lord is the beginning of all Knowledge” (Solomon, 961 B.C.).

FROM MOLINER, C.F.: That's exactly what some, most, politicians are trying to do to us now.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: This gent sounds like a real winner. A contributor to society. Thanks Jack, we can hike over to the librbary.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/23/07
“If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working hard enough on problems…And that’s a big mistake.”
(Alexander Humboldt) Let’s see. What problem am I going to work on today? World peace? “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” What can I do to make my corner of the world a better place in which to live? ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Humboldt inspires us with some cogent words...a great quote. On this day after Thanksgiving, response seems somewhat quiet...maybe everyone is out making their "corner of the world a better place in which to live." I guess I better get going here in my own "corner of the world."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/21/07
“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”
(Luther) On Thanksgiving Day we are reminded to count our blessings. We need to be reminded, too, that these are fragile and can disappear in a moment. So, let’s enjoy today what we have and recognize that we are simply stewards of these blessings. ;-) Jack

FROM D.P. IN MINNESOTA: You answered the question in three short sentences!Happy Thanksgiving!

FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: Counting, counting, still counting................

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: It has to hard to receive new blessings while holding onto the old blessings. The current ELO song, Hold on Tight to Your Dreams, is used in the new Honda Accord TV ad; I presume they want you to hold on tight to the steering wheel of an Accord (they don’t mention holding on tight to your wallet). I drive a 7 year-old Lincoln TC, but, I favor Toyota, presently, the Scotsman’s Lexus.
The fact is God may have something better in mind for us, holding tightly to what “we” believe is best may not be wise. I remember a story my wife told her Sunday School class, about a young girl that arrives in heaven and St. Peter is showing her around and everything is wonderful. They come to a big door and St. Peter says, you can go anywhere but in there. Well, the human can’t stand that! She begs and begs St. Peter to let her see in the room. Finally St. Peter gives in, saying, “It won’t make you happy.” The young woman opens the door and sees shelf after shelf, row after row, of the most wonderful, plans, ideas, gifts, and situations. The woman says to St. Peter, “What is so terrible about this?” This is the most wonderful room I could ever have imagined! “I know, “ says St. Peter, “It is full of all of the things God wanted to give you if you had only asked—believing.”

Hold on tight to your dreamHold on tight to your dreamWhen you see your ship go sailingWhen you feel your heart is breakingHold tight to your dream.It's a long time to be goneTime just rolls on and onWhen you need a shoulder to cry onWhen you get so sick of tryingJust hold tight to your dreamCHORUS:When you get so down that you can't get upAnd you want so much but you're all out of luckWhen you're so downhearted and misunderstoodJust over & over & over you could

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: Thank you for sharing this one!

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Unquestionably, my cup runneth over.

FROM MOLINER, L.P.: I am thankful for you & your thought-provoking Winning Words with which I start each day. Happy Thanksgiving!

MORE FROM L.P.: The last few years Dad, my daughter and I have gone to The Cellar in Geneseo. They serve family-style traditional Thanksgiving fare, plus the regular menu. I am having chicken livers-- the best around. And their famous BBQ shrimp cocktail. Plus, it's a nice, relaxing drive after dinner.
They're predicting 1 - 3" snow today. Yippee-- I love winter. Have a Happy and Delicious T-Day!

TO J.C. AND FAMILY IN HONG KONG: > Are you and the fam having turkey tomorrow (today)? What's the > Chinese delicacy? We had some Liberian girls in our Southfield > church. They said that the delicacy from their homeland was a serving of chicken feet.

J.C.'S ANSWER: Yes, the American contingent will have the usual traditional T-Day get-together. As for Chinese delicacies ... if it moves, it can be eaten.
(And that means any part of it!) Fishhead or snake soup, and pigs' and chicken feet are especially great. Oh, and don't forget the birds' nests or the hundred-year old eggs.

FROM S.G. IN TAMPA: Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Tomorrow the family from Sweden will be here to share our day with us. They are very knowledgeable. They are enjoying the experience of living in our country, and their two girls have adapted so quickly to our educational system. Yet, they maintain their Swedish ties. Actually, there are Swedish organizations in both Tampa and Orlando. Their five year old was in the group that sang for the huge opening of the new IKEA in Orlando recently. She was dressed as Pippi Longstockings.

FROM C.L. IN OHIO: Believe it or not<>

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: i am a steward of many blessings, but i still grieve the ones lost. i lack the ablility or maybe the grace. this is a particularly rich time of blessings lost for me. i am fortunate to have many present blessings to keep the scales balanced. i am a libra. happy thaksgiving to you.

LIBRA: Diplomaitic and urbaneRomantic and charmingEasygoing and sociableIdealistic and peaceable

FROM J.F. IN NOVA SCOTIA: Considering where you grew up and the state in which you now live, I'm sure you're well acquainted with blackflies. I saw this bumpersticker on a car in a parking lot and walked closer to read the fine print. All it said was that it was from the "Maine Blackfly Preservation Society."
Tongue-in-cheek? or a stunning example of commitment to biodiversity? How many environmentalists would sign up? Why should a blackfly be worth any less than the rest of us?

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: hit the nail on the head! have you been influenced by a carpenter?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/20/07
“The best cure for worry, depression, melancholy and brooding is to go deliberately forth and try to lift, with one’s sympathy, the gloom of somebody else.”
(Bennett) I read once that sympathy is “your pain in my heart.” There have been several heart-ache stories have been told to me recently. A letter, a card or call of sympathy can mean alot to someone. Do you have a person in mind? ;-) Jack

FROM REV. P.H. IN MINNESOTA: More good words from a wise old man!! Blessings to you and yours in this season of thanksgiving. Your friend in the valley of apples,

FROM K.B. IN MICHIGAN: A meaningful message for me today--Happy Thanksgiving

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Do you remember Charlie Kinney? Well, Charlie, 40 years old, was playing soccer and died. Charlie and his wife Debbie ran the Luther League. Charlie was a WONDERFUL inspiration to the youth and volunteered a lot in his church in Linden. It's a real shock. By uplifting someone else, you definitely uplift yourself. I also ran into a friend who is struggling with paying bills. Somehow we have to find a way to help her without her knowing.

FROM D.P. IN MINNESOTA: That is the best medicine of all, and I KNOW it works!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/19/07
“A smiling face is half the meal.”
(Latvian Proverb) This is a good one for the Thanksgiving holiday. Why not look around you at dinnertime and count the smiles. The one on your face counts, too. Here’s a geography quiz. Put these three in the proper order from north to south: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. No fair looking at a map. ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: There're in the right order. What country is on the coast south of Lithuania?
Are you Blue today?


FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: Ouch! Geography was my hands down worst subject.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: There is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting across from a crabby or sad person. I personally like to eat happy, as you can tell by looking at me! I think you put the countries in the correct order... Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania north to south. No map used!

FROM C.R. IN MARYLAND: .......try this one: Iceland, Greenland ,Finland, Fairbanks. Happy Thanksgiving

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: Two observations . . . first, for a sermon I checked the concordance for "smile". . . it doesn't appear in the English Bible! And I checked "laughter" - that only appears a few times, and mostly not in a positive context! Secondly, you have the three nations in the correct order, north to south. A few years I took a tour through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia. A great tour - we finished in St. Petersburg!

SMILES: There are smiles that make us happy,There are smiles that make us blue,There are smiles that steal away the tear drops,As the sunbeams steal away the dew,There are smiles that have a tender meaning,That the eyes of love alone may see,And the smiles that fill my life with sunshineAre the smiles that you give to me.

FROM G.G. IN INDIANA: we are not fed by bread alone...right?

MORE FROM G.G.: from a long time ago in Montreal, Wis. "I have something in my pocket, it belongs across my face. I keep it very close to me , in the most convenient place. I know you'll never guess it, if you guess a long, long while. I'll take it out and put it on. It's a great big Brownie smile!"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/16/07
“It is no secret what God can do. What he’s done for others, he’ll do for you. With arms wide open, he’ll welcome you. It is no secret what God can do.”
(Stuart Hamblen) This song is really a story of Stuart’s life and how he was rescued. Don’t give up hope in “hopeless” situations. It is no secret what God can do. ;-) Jack

FROM D.S. IN MICHIGAN: Perfect for today. Thanks!

FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: That's the "secret" of Christianity. It is open revelation....out there for all to see. There is no secret revelation like the Gnostics receive. That is one of the real problems in our church today. I asked (an ELCA seminary professor) how he supported one of his positions from the scriptures and he said that he didn't. He looked "beyond the scriptures." Why then bother to hire a New Testament person in the seminary? We need to hire a "beyond the scriptures" guy....maybe an Extra Sensory Perception person who has a direct pipeline to God that is unavailable to others. When we start dealing in secrets and get away from the historic revelation in Christ, we move into a realm that is non-Christian.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: Jack's Winning Songs . . . a new vehicle . . . but the same old pregnant reflection and question!

FROM G.G. IN INDIANA: Thank-you for the reminder. I've been humming that song all day!

FROM M.E. IN MICHIGAN: Is it fair to ask God for anything more than good health and safety for ourselves and loved ones? I rarely do for the risk of losing the thing that matters most, our health. The rest is up to us.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/15/07
“Death is only a larger kind of going abroad.”
(Samuel Butler) I hadn’t thought of it in this way before, but it led me to look up some more thoughts on death. Henry Ward Beecher said, as he was dying: “Now comes the mystery.” When Lady Astor awoke briefly on her deathbed and saw her family gather there, she said: “Am I dying, or is this my birthday?” Edison’s last words were: “It’s very beautiful over there.” ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: The after-life is just as real as death. But sometimes I wonder........

MORE FROM G.S.: An excellent book discusses this: 90 Minutes in Heaven, by Don Piper.
He was clinically dead for 1 1/2 hours. I'm reading his next one, Heaven Is Real.

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: Jerry's Dad spoke some interesting words right before his death. Kevin, the male nurse was with him, and he imparted to Jerry's Mom and all the family that Doc said something to the effect, "They're telling me to come but I don't know if I should." It sounded like someone "on the other side" was beckoning him to join them.

FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: I love St. Francis' words in his great hymn "All Creatures of our God and King"....."O thou most kind and gentle death, ..." It sees death asa friend that leads us to our Lord. I can't think of heaven as a place. To me it is wherever the Lord is. That's why the kingdom of heaven transcends reigns on both sides of life.

FROM G.G. IN INDIANA: This is so funny to me because we always refer to our mom as being on an "extended cruise" !

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: I think it depends on your travel agent. In Christ all destinations are possible, with Satan Travel layovers for eternity at Newark/Hades International are the norm.

FROM J.F. IN MICHIGAN: A few years ago, one of the founders of the Farmington Players died of cancer. A couple weeks later, I was taking some soup to her husband and he told me about the day she passed away. Don had traveled the world when he worked for GM in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Don's wife, Perle, traveled with him occasionally -- especially to Europe, but usually Don had to leave her home when he traveled to places like India, China, and South America. Don told me that as Perle took her last breath, he kissed her good-bye and told himself that this time it was Perle who was taking the trip and he would be joining her sometime in the future. Don passed away a few years later and I immediately thought of his "travel" image. Your quote made me think of it again. The other story is a quick one (reminiscent of the Thomas Edison quote):
My uncle Bernard's last words before his heart stopped were, "Oh, Beulah!" (Beulah was Bernard's wife who had passed away about 2 1/2 years before him.) I know we're not supposed to know too much about the life after this one, but sometimes it's nice to have a little hint of what's to come.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/14/07
“Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.”
(Santayana) I read that George was an adherent of epiphenomenalism. Personally I’d rather read from my favorite skeptic, C.S. Lewis. Skepticism has helped me to deepen my faith. I like what the father said when he brought his son to Jesus for healing. “I believe. Help my unbelief.” Jesus commended him for that. ;-) Jack

FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: Had to look up 'epiphenominalism' and can see that it's going to take more than a quick read!

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: If skepticism were a crime, I’d be on death row. Through faith, I get a pardon daily.

JON SAID NOT TO POST IT: The worst speculative Skeptic ever I knew, was a much better Man than the best superstitious Devotee & Bigot. --David Hume (Letter to Gilbert Elliot of Minto, March 10, 1751) .... but it's too good to just let it float in cyber space (Jack)

FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Jack...You piqued my curiousity with that quote today from Mark. I had always associated that with Paul who is a natural skeptic. I checked in Eduord Schweizer's commentary on Mark and he associates "unbelief", however, not with skepticism but with the recognition that it is too difficult for the man to rely simply on God in this situation and that in part he wants also to rely on himself. Complete faith would demand that we simply rely only on God and that the "I" in the equation disappear. It is something, I think, like the I THOU relationship which Buber describes when he talks about the Ultimate Thou. Thus, the unbelief of the man is not a mental skepticism but a spiritual inability to cast away his own independence and rely simply on the Lord. Thanks for sending me up to look that up. I think I learned something today.

RESPONSE TO J.S.: I have this quote in my WWs file. I don't think I'll send it out to the general readership, because they might not appreciate it....the way you might.
"Archaeology is the search for fact, not truth. If it's truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall." (George Lucas)

FROM D.S. IN CALIFORNIA: Jack, you hit on my favorite religious saying. I do question things, and wonder "why" so often, but then I think, God gave me this brain to think with. What bothers me is that I don't want to feel as if I have to have a miracle occur immediately at my asking. I do need help with my "unbelief", but I don't think I am the only one. I do HOPE that what I believe and am learning IS what "will be", and of course I hope that in some way I am worthy of eternal life with my Savior.

FROM MY SISTER IN ILLINOIS: This reminds me of the song Mrs. Tillberg taught us:
I believe in God the Father,
I believe in God the Son,
I believe in God the Spirit,
One in Three and Three in One.
Chorus: I believe, yes I believe; I believe yes, I believe; I believe yes I believe--help thou Lord mine unbelief.


FROM REV. P.H. IN MINNESOTA: wise words from a wise man!! both you and Diz


FROM G.G. IN INDIANA: I think a skeptic is one who thinks about things. (That's a good word...epiphenomenalism.. I'm still working on it.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/13/07
“In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it.”
(Boris Pasternak) Boris was that kind of person. It said that during one of his purges, Stalin crossed out Pasternak’s name and said, “Leave that holy fool alone.” “Holy Fool!” Isn’t that an interesting expression? What do you think it means? Can you see yourself in Boris’s shoes? ;-) Jack

FROM C.R. IN MARYLAND: ......I like that one.

FROM MOLINER, C.F.: That's Politics.

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: if the jester hat fits...

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: I read a little about Pasternak this morning. Perhaps Ron Paul is the modern day Boris Pasternak. Paul’s run for president is treated by the elite establishment with great disdain if it is reported on at all. We elect politicians, not statesmen, we want someone to lie to us—because the truth is far too potent to seriously consider. When I consider the 14 or 15 rent seekers running for the presidency—it is Ron Paul that is considered by many to be the lone fool or the “Holy Fool” speaking the truth. Though the poem below was written long ago (update to men and women)—these are the words and deeds I wish presidential candidates, the 535 lords and ladies, the executive branch, and the judiciary would embrace.
God, give us men!
GOD, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
Josiah Gilbert Holland

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: "Fools for Jesus" what could be better? Us Christians should all be "Holy Fools" willing to speak up in Jesus' name...especially in this world of ours, as Boris did in his world, where Stalin "purged" so many!

FROM D.S. IN CALIFORNIA: Let's see, Boris Pasternak ---- Jack Freed. Hmmmmmm

FROM E.A. IN MICHIGAN: A very lovely poem that does apply today. But you must remember, these are the same types of integrity and hoped for ethics in all of his (Holland's) books,. Great to want but seldom gotten.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/12/07 (Veterans’ Day)
“We often take for granted the very people who most deserve our gratitude.”
(Cynthia Ozick) Today we remember and honor those in the past and in the present who have been members of the armed forces. Are you a veteran, or has someone in your family been a military person? There are others, too, who deserve our gratitude. I think of the parents, teachers and friends who have influenced us. ;-) Jack

FROM C.S. IN WISCONSIN: If you look at the statue of the flag being raised on Iwo Jima you'll see 13 hands on the pole. Why 13 when there were 6 soldiers. The man who reated the statue simply said that the 13th hand was the hand of God.

THE INSCRIPTION ON THE STATUE READS: "Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue."

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Old Geezers remember the Depression, World War II, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War 1950-55, The Cold War, the jet age and the moon landing the 50 plus Peacekeeping Missions from 1945 to 2005 the Jet Age and the Moon Landing, not to mention Vietnam. "Geezers" are easy to spot: At sporting events, during the playing of the Star Spangled BANNER. Old Geezers remove their caps and stand at attention and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe in them.

MORE FROM J.L.: A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his, or her, life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life." That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it. Author unknown.

FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Today (yesterday) is Armistice Day and I remember the bloody conflict that is now called World War I. My sister Jeanne and I used to face East at 11 am on the 11th in honor of all those who fought to bring about a better world (until Wilson and Lodge screwed things up....along with Clemenceau and Lloyd George). My Dad was in the Army in that war. It seems that all of our holidays have become Veterans Day.....Decoration Day, July 4th, Labor Day, etc. have all turned into days to remember veterans. I like that you wrote that we ought to remember others as well....parents, teachers, friends.....folks who fought for peace in our world. I'll remember you today!

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: I started to write, “…said the politician to the taxpayer.” Then I read on and saw the quote had to do with Veterans Day. My dad, who died 40 years ago was in WWII. Many of the best people I know are serving or have served. While I disagree with most overseas wars, I do want to honor the men who are sent to fight them.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: A very appropriate word for this day - I just secured ten days ago a list of my grade school teachers - reading their names, I recall how helpful they were and how much I owe them. They taught during the depression - when teachers were dismissed if they married! How these ladies put their teaching ahead of their personal lives!

JACK'S RESPONSE: Yep; that's the way it was in my day, too. My favorite teacher, Miss Ruth Erickson, taught 6th Grade. She and her boyfriend took our whole class on a bike excursion. Since I didn't own a bike, I had to borrow one. It was so much fun. She married shortly after I went to Junior High. She is now deceased, but I had a chance to visit her after she retired (she went back to teaching when the rules changed), and we had a great time "remembering."

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: and you. thanks and love

MORE FROM M.L.: i believe that people come into each other's lives for a reason. yours was to help keep us believing in tomorrow when each day was a challenge. it has been a great gift to reunite. it has simply reinforced my belief.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/9/07
“There is no education like adversity.”
(Disraeli) Old Ben was right about adversity. However, during adversity, these song lyrics often come to mind: “Into each life some rain must fall, but too much is falling in mine.” As I look back, I do see that some hard times have been good times…at least in retrospect.. There are many ways to get an education, if one pays attention. Right? ;-) Jack

FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: While I agree completely with this in theory --- I still could have passed on a couple of them

FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: I read a bio of Disraeli. He was a fascinating individual. So was his opponent, Gladstone. Disraeli, however, would have been more appealing to you.

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: When bad things happen to us and people seem to be against us for some reason, if we could believe that we are doing something according to God's Will for this world that He created it would all make our educations in life, the adversities we face more palatable.

FROM J.M. IN MICHIGAN: The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary It rains, and the wind is never weary; The vine still clings to the mouldering wall, But at every gust the dead leaves fall, And the day is dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary; It rains, and the wind is never weary; My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past, But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast, And the days are dark and dreary.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining; Behind the clouds is the sun still shining; Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary.

FROM D.S. IN CALIFORNIA: A friend of ours recently moved (with her husband) to be close to their children near Atlanta. He has been fighting cancer for 15 or more years. Near death so many times and coming back. Now they're daughter just lost her baby after 3 months of pregnancy. Her husband can hardly get out of bed they have him so doped up due to pain.
Today's Winning Words just seemed to come at the right time

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: Reminds me if the University of Hard Knocks!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/8/07
“Do not bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.”
(Emerson) There are plenty of barkers out there in the world. We need more folks who are willing to point out what is good, and talk about it. ;-) Jack

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Yes, like my mom used to say..."If you can't say something nice, don't say it." I'm sure she didn't coin the saying, but she sure used it a lot!

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: as pollyanna would say, "that's a scalingly wonderful idea!"

FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Why not "both/and" rather than "either/or"?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 11/7/07
“Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes along.”
(Samuel Butler) I smiled as I imagined playing the violin in public. Then I remembered the point of the quote, and I smiled again. Yes, we learn as we move along through the years, don’t we? I recall reading of someone with this on a lapel button:: PBPGINFWMY. What was it supposed to mean? Please be patient; God is not finished with me yet.. ;-) Jack

FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: My favorite Jr. Choir anthem that Mary Lou's kids used to sing was "Kids Under Construction"....if we remain "kids", we can always be under construction. The alterntive is "destruction."

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: I can relate. I just started my 8th year playing the piano.

FROM MOLINER, LFP: I actually cringed as I read that quote... I'm reading Joel Osteen's new book. He, as you, reminds us that we all are God's work in process, throughout our lives. Many thanks for your daily words of wisdom. They're a good way to start the day!

FROM MOLINER, C.F.: I didn't even like playing the violin in private.

FROM D.S. IN CALIFORNIA: I love that label "PBPGINFWMY". I think of that often as to "why" I am still "here".

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: I am going to send this to Lori because she re-learned the violin, which she hadn't played since High School for the 60th Anniversary! Bob Bomier played the drums with us, and a bunch of members volunteered to play so we had an orchestra! What a wonderful gift! I remember that saying well! It brings a big smile to me also!