Thursday, May 31, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/31/07
I’d rather be governed by a wise Turk than a stupid Christian.”
(Martin Luther) This came up in a discussion about Mitt Romney’s run for the presidency and his Mormon religion. I remember something similar when JFK ran as a Catholic. How important is the religion of our leaders? Deist? Atheist? Muslim? Christian? Jew? Ask someone around you for their opinion on today’s quote. ;-) Jack.

FROM A FRIEND IN MICHIGAN: I believe Luther was on target with this observation.
I do not think a person’s religion is an important factor in determining his or her ability to lead the country as president. In fact, I think that religion has become nothing more than a marketing tool to pander to a particular segment of the voting population. While President Bush is a brother in Christ, his religious convictions have not had any impact on his ability to lead. He is not a very good leader. Whether he is as devout a Christian as he claims to be, is for God to worry about. Frankly, I would be happy to vote for someone who was honest about being an atheist, assuming they had the gifts and the ability to make humane, ethical decisions in leadership.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: Given the present occupant of the office of President - who claims to be a Christian, I'm with Luther!

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: I think we should look at their values rather than their faith.

FROM MOLINER, C.F.: What makes a wise Turk? (I ANSWERED: What makes a wise anyone?)

AND THIS RESPONSE FROM C.F.: Wisdom is in the eyes of the beholder.

FROM M.N. IN MINNESOTA: I just had that discussion with a bunch of my Gustie friends at our 50th reunion. People that I never thought really gave much thought to Christianity were saying that Mitt Romney is not even Christian. He doesn’t believe in Jesus. That is not true, but I could not convince them. I think he is a very moral man and he is certainly my choice to govern this land.

FROM B.C. IN ILLINOIS: Very interesting ~ church and state should be separate but look at how Bush has handled his religious beliefs. I don't believe that folks can truly compartmentalize areas of their lives, especially one that informs philosophy and actions to the extent that religion does. I'm concerned about all of the candidates on this score. I asked my 22 year old co-worker who is Jewish how she felt. She worked for the DNC while in college and was amazed to find so many Jews (especially orthodox) supportive of Bush/republicans based on his strong policy in favor of Israel….she began to ask during her canvassing for people to identify a Democratic president (or position) that was not in favor of Israel and no one had an answer for her!

FROM P.H. IN MINNESOTA: that is a great quote...that Luther dude was one sharp cookie!!

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: I'LL TAKE A WISE CHRISTIAN.

MORE FROM L.K.: To me, wise means a/non political.......not the same as shrewd. It means fair, thoughtful and conscientious, among other things. It does not shy away from controversy. Wisdom and truth, in a Christian context, imply leading, not following, the people. All of the candidates, including Obama, want to be liked. That rules them out for me. I'll likely wind up writing somebody in, as I've done so often before. Then my vote counts only to me, I suppose. I would go for somebody like Lee Hamilton of Indiana, for example.

AND STILL MORE FROM L.K.: Bobby Kennedy: Some think of things that are, and wonder why......I think of things that never were, and ask why not. (I didn't support him,either. He was cunning, but not wise, in my view.)

FROM E.A. IN MICHIGAN: Confusing. One is a religion and one is a nationality. Also, the term a "wise Turk" is rather deprecating don't you think? It is as if a "wiseTurk" is someone who is rarely encountered. I guess I am just musing

FROM D.S. IN MICHIGAN: As for your words this morning, I have always felt that faith in God is the only criteria for being a President. How could you have a President who didn't believe? I'd be curious to see a list of Presidents and their faiths. Have you ever seen one?

ANSWER TO THE REQUEST OF D.S.:
#
President
Religion
1
George Washington
Episcopalian
2
John Adams
Congregationalist (raised); Unitarian
3
Thomas Jefferson
raised Episcopalian; later no specific denominationheld Christian, Deist, Unitarian beliefs
4
James Madison
Episcopalian (deist?)
5
James Monroe
Episcopalian (deist?)
6
John Quincy Adams
Unitarian
7
Andrew Jackson
Presbyterian
8
Martin Van Buren
Dutch Reformed
9
William Henry Harrison
Episcopalian
10
John Tyler
Episcopalian (deist)
11
James Knox Polk
Presbyterian; Methodist
12
Zachary Taylor
Episcopalian
13
Millard Fillmore
Unitarian
14
Franklin Pierce
Episcopalian
15
James Buchanan
Presbyterian
16
Abraham Lincoln
raised Baptist; later no specific denomination (deist)
17
Andrew Johnson
Christian (no specific denomination)
18
Ulysses S Grant
Presbyterian; Methodist
19
Rutherford B. Hayes
Presbyterian; Methodist (?)
20
James A. Garfield
Disciples of Christ
21
Chester A. Arthur
Episcopalian
22
Grover Cleveland
Presbyterian
23
Benjamin Harrison
Presbyterian
24
Grover Cleveland
Presbyterian
25
William McKinley
Methodist
26
Theodore Roosevelt
Dutch Reformed; Episcopalian
27
William Howard Taft
Unitarian
28
Woodrow Wilson
Presbyterian
29
Warren G. Harding
Baptist
30
Calvin Coolidge
Congregationalist
31
Herbert Hoover
Quaker
32
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Episcopalian
33
Harry S. Truman
Southern Baptist
34
Dwight D. Eisenhower
River Brethren; Jehovah's Witnesses; Presbyterian
35
John F. Kennedy
Catholic
36
Lyndon B. Johnson
Disciples of Christ
37
Richard M. Nixon
Quaker
38
Gerald Ford
Episcopalian
39
Jimmy Carter
Baptist (former Southern Baptist)
40
Ronald Reagan
Disciples of Christ; Presbyterian
41
George H. W. Bush
Episcopalian
42
William Jefferson Clinton
Baptist
43
George W. Bush
Methodist (former Episcopalian)

FROM D.A. IN BIG RED COUNTRY: Jack, if our current president is any measure, it makes a great deal of difference. His has not been a positive one. However, it can't all be blamed on his "evangelical" perspectives.

FROM A.McC IN MICHIGAN: Good question. I do not believe which religion is important. I do believe that I am more impressed by the life choices and decisions of the candidates. I might give the edge to someone who practices some religion. I will ponder this and discuss it with my friends.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/30/07
“It shall be done.”
(From a story, The Blue Vase) A general lived by this motto and taught his soldiers to follow it, too. When an order is given, it is to be followed out with no questions asked. This reminds me of the petition in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done.” I’ve usually thought of it in terms of acquiescing to God’s will, rather than following God’s direction with no questions asked. How about you? ;-) Jack


FROM GREG IN TEXAS:
(Sorry, but I can't get the picture to show up. Jack)
Searching for Character in 2007!
“We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:3b-5
What does the word “character” mean to you? Did you know the original uses of the word from the ancient French and Greek languages dealt with the art of engraving and the instruments used to engrave? Now I understand my dictionary’s first of twelve meanings for “character,” “a distinctive mark.” My dictionary doesn’t even begin to list the behavior qualities we normally associate with “character” until meanings five through twelve.
Character or the lack thereof, is a major point of conversation in our contemporary context. The media seems to dwell on instant celebrity that is usually the result of the lack of character in the lives of today’s athletes, entertainers, politicians and leaders of all kinds. The mark that is being left on our children and youth is one that says fame and fortune are more important than values and integrity. A moment in the spotlight, even for infamy, is lifted up as a target to shoot for. Growing in knowledge and integrity is secondary to growing in recognition. It’s not the type of mark you leave behind that’s important, simply that you make a mark, good or bad.
In the middle of the front row in the picture above is a man who has left an indelible mark on my life. Above he is identified as 2/Lt. Lorn W. Matelski, co-pilot of the B-24 behind them. He left a mark on my life through his character, encouragement and mentoring. Today he’s a retired educator, veteran, father, grandfather and Lutheran. Many long years ago, he was my principal for most of my elementary school years and then the assistant principal for two of my high school years. He praised me when I did well, but he wasn’t afraid to correct or challenge me when I behaved poorly, inappropriately, or with less than a whole-hearted effort. He was the first to tell me that I could become anything I wanted to be with gifts God has given me. He has left a “distinctive mark” on my life. To Lorn and to all the veterans we remember on this Memorial Day, I say, “Thank you and thanks be to God for the hope we have today because of your suffering, perseverance and character.”
What kind of mark is your life leaving on this world and our younger generations? If your children and grandchildren are looking for character in leadership, are they seeing it in you? Who’s waiting for you to make a positive mark on their life? Does the mark of Christ’s suffering and hope show in your life?


FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: I sense a sharp contrast between the winning word - "It shall be done" - it is the order or will of the person that is to be fulfilled - the reference in the petition of our Lord's prayer it is the will of God that all persons, not just me or you, is to be done . . . fulfilled . . . accomplished.

FROM MOLINER, D.S.: Our soldiers sometimes have a struggle with this, don't they?

MORE FROM D.S.: I'm referring mostly to the ones that later get brought up on charges because they DID follow orders from their superior, but someone later decides the order was "unlawful". I do have a problem with that in a time of war. Tough dilemma.

FROM I. D. IN MICHIGAN: The will I feel we are meant to follow is using the power of free will we have been blessed with to do for each other that which would make God know that we do love God, in a free and open way, the reason God elected to bestow free will upon us. The will is ours, free will, and it is the most powerful basis for a genuine and real relationship with our creator. Following God's direction with no questions asked would be to ignore the responsibility given us with free will, and make God's "direction" the accountable entity rather than ourselves.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: Brings up the subject of discernment.

FROM C.R. IN MARYLAND: .......that's okay as long as we "know" what IS God's will. Cheers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/29/07
“No one becomes a good doctor before he fills a churchyard.”
(Swedish Proverb) I have a good doctor. I’ve got to remember to ask him about this one. I guess that in any profession, you don’t become good without practice. ;-) Jack


FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: This would seem to make the high cost of medical school even higher when considered in total

FROM REV. J.D. IN MINNESOTA: THATS WHY THEY CALL IT A PRACTICE.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: A truly humane doctor would be somewhat philosophical about things, perhaps thinking that medicine cannot do what it does on its own.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: I wonder what other profession this could apply to . . . a marrying preacher?

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Grandma Hammer told me a long time ago,"beware of doctors". Melcor Carlson told me one time, a long time ago, "if you find me lying unconscious in the field call a veternarian",so I asked why and he said"they usually can diagnose a situation without asking questions ( of a horse ), and they bring a little black bag of medicine with them", What I wanted to say was,I hope they don't hve to fill a grave yard before they become adept at their profession.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/25/07
“If you tell people where to go, but not how to get there, you’ll be amazed at the results.”
(George S. Patton) This reminds me of one of my favorite essays, “A Message to Garcia.” Nike picked up on the point of the writing with their slogan, Just Do It! The ingenuity of some people is really amazing. Are they any who come to mind? ;-) Jack

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/24/07
“Leroy bet me I couldn’t find a pot of gold at the end, and I told him that was a stupid bet, because the rainbow was enough.”
(Rita Mae Brown) Isn’t it the truth that people knock themselves out, day after day, looking for that gold, when there are rainbows and other good stuff all around, and for free. Can you name some? ;-) Jack

FROM C.B. IN MICHIGAN: We raised our girls reminding them 'Happiness doesn't come from having what you want, it comes from wanting what you have', We read it somewhere and it stuck with us.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Each day there are so many "rainbows" in our lives. Rainbows are the little special blessings we have each day: a smile from a total stranger, after standing in line way too long, a smile and hug from your child or grandchild, sitting in the warm sun after a long, cold winter, listening to the birds sing their beautiful songs, a fresh slice of apple pie, listening to your favorite radio station, singing your favorite hymn, and on and on. Rainbows are everywhere. May you be able to find yours today!

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: Wasn't it Franz Kafka who wrote a short story about a man who fished... he was lying on the hill in the sun and someone came by and said 'why aren't you working' and he replied, 'I already caught the fish I need and now I'm enjoying the day'... "But if you are catching fish, why don't you catch more"
"Why?" "So you can buy a bigger boat..." "Why do I want a bigger boat?" "To catch more fish - and then buy another boat... until you have a flotilla and then you can be captain of the flotilla..." "Why should I do all that?" "You'll make a lot of money and then you can take it easy and lie down in the sun and enjoy the day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/23/07
“To him who is in fear, everything rustles.”
(Sophocles) Rustle is a word that you don’t hear much anymore. It’s one of those onomatopoeia words which I like. On the other hand, fear and its partner, terror, are used so much by the media and the politicians that we ought to call those guys, rustlers. ;-) Jack



FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: i also like to play with words. i know a word that rhymes with rustler, it begins with an "h".

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: Was it Churchill or Roosevelt who said "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." (From Jack: It was Roosevelt in his first inaugural speech.)

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: I am working a lot in cancer research so it is a battle sometimes not to imagine myself or my loved ones as a research case in one of my studies. I started working on a melanoma study and suddenly all of my freckles were "rustling". It's hard not to catch the panic bug. Read the headlines of the the health & fitness magazines at the grocery next time you are there. There are a lot of rustlers there too.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear -- not absence of fear."
--Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/22/07
“Nothing we do changes the past. Everything we do changes the future.”
(Anon) This was in the graduation announcement card that Heather sent me. No matter what our age, or what our circumstances, there’s a lot of truth in what Anon has to say. ;-) Jack


FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: A very profound word for the day - O Lord, give me strength to make good decisions today!

FROM REV. P.H. IN MINNESOTA: i might offer that forgiveness can heal the past, tho not change it...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/21/07
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
(John Wayne) I didn’t always agree with Duke’s views off the silver screen, but every American is entitled to have an opinion and express it. Putting that aside, it’s a pretty picturesque quote today, don’t you think? Have you ever saddled up? ;-) Jack

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: ...not if it's a bucking bronco. Then it becomes foolhardy.



Friday, May 18, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/18/07
“There is no moral precept that does not have something inconvenient about it.”
(Denis Diderot) Diderot was a famous 18th century French philosopher who was a prominent figure in The Enlightenment, or The Age of Reason. His quoted words fit right into that kind of thinking. Try to do something inconvenient today. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Does the inconvenience of a given moral precept increase or decrease depending upon whom you hang out with? I think so. Diderot is good, his contemporary, another 18th century French Philosopher, Claude Adrien Helv├ętius said, “Virtue has many preachers, but few martyrs.”

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Today's WW, with its historical reference to an earlier time, made me think: considering the exploits of current society, The Enlightenment and The Age of Reason were either misnomers or an extensive waste of time.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: "Turning the other cheek" is perhaps inconvenient, certainly admirable, many times risky.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/17/07
“But once you become active in something, something happens to you. You get excited and suddenly you realize you count.”
(Studs Turkel) Studs is one of my favorite writers. I particularly like his book, WORKING, Yesterday was his birthday (95). BTW, what things are you involved in that excite you? ;-) Jack


FROM MOLINER, G.S.: Jack, my Mixed Martial Arts Bible Study has certainly enriched my life.
These men have become very special to me.


FROM M.U. IN MICHIGAN: I am excited everyday about my family, fitness and gardening. What about you?

FROM MOLINER, D.S.: That is exactly what happened to me, Jack, when I joined my men's bible study
group. Maybe the best thing I have done in my adult life.



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/16/07
“Death, the one appointment we must all keep, and for which no time is set.”
(Charlie Chan) I wonder what was written in Jerry Falwell’s date book yesterday. I also wonder about the context of Charlie’s quote. Regardless, the truth remains that there is one appointment we all must keep. Be prepared! ;-) Jack

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: Yes, true enough. But I recall Luther Wright's funeral - and the brother-in-law who shared how he had asked Luther before his death, "If you had one more Easter sermon to preach, in a couple sentences, what would you preach..." And Luther said, "I know when I close my eyes to death... that when I open them, I will open them to Jesus." So, maybe the appointment we keep isn't with death but with Jesus, and death is just the entry way to get where we're going.

FROM P.H. IN MINNESOTA: Garrison Keilor likes to say that its a shame we all have to miss our own funerals and usually its just by a couple of days!

FROM MOLINER, D.S.: I wonder if God uses a Palm Pilot?

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: ...and for which no set amount of time is allotted......and, to me, that is good.

FROM STADER IN MICHIGAN: Death and taxes are a given, It is how we prepare for this that COUNTS! Amen!!!

FROM PR. G.W. IN TEXAS: “They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people’.” Luke 7:16
Today I attended a funeral. It was different than most funerals I attend. Today I was seated with the congregation. The congregation was different, too. Most of us were in uniform, vested in albs with stoles. The vast majority of those in attendance were other ELCA pastors. We were gathered to celebrate the life of one of our own. And, we were gathered together to remember the sure and certain hope of the resurrection for all who follow God’s Son, Jesus, our risen Lord.
Funerals are never easy for me, leading or watching. There’s a finality to each that is difficult. A relationship is ended, left to memories that occasionally pop into mind at the strangest times. Further opportunities for sharing all the experiences of this life’s journey with the one who has passed on are lost. Thoughts move backward to the past. Time seems to almost stand still. It’s hard to look to the future’s fullness in the emptiness of the present. It’s hard to hear God’s promise through the present’s pain. Dealing with death, especially when it’s a friend, a fellow pastor only one year older than you, isn’t easy.
It wasn’t easy for the folks in our Good News for this coming Sunday, either. In the procession winding its way through the town of Nain were the usual funeral procession participants of the time: friends, family, neighbors and professional mourners with musical instruments and woeful wails. That day’s departed was too young, too. That day’s survivor was a widowed mother. Jesus saw her pain. He said to her, “Don’t cry.” He touched the wicker basket carrying her son and told him, “Young man, get up!” He did and the mother’s pain was gone. And the people were prompted to praise Jesus, saying, “God has come to help his people!”
In the Word of God, in the fellowship of other pastors and believers, in the tunes and lyrics of ancient and modern hymns, God helped me today. He pointed me to a future where one day the relationships with all those I’ve known and loved here will be renewed endlessly in his presence! Praise God for His Savior Son who tells us all, “Get up and live!” And praise God for the life and ministry of Pastor Daryl Koenig who touched young lives and old across our country with the power, pardon, presence and peace of Christ!
Who do you need to spend some time with before it may be too late? Who needs you to share the peace and promise of the Risen Christ with them today? What has God done for you today that should prompt you to praise?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/15/07
Today’s WWs was all set to go. Then I reread it and was reminded of a quote by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show: “I always knew I shouldn’t have said that.” Sometimes, by stopping and thinking, we can avoid misunderstandings. I think of the children’s song: “Be careful little mouth, what you speak.” Do you recall it? ;-) Jack

FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: For the Father up above, Is looking down in love, So be careful, little mouth, what you speak. Hmm, let me think ... should I send this back to you? Well, you know, I never knew this song until I got involved with children's ministry here in HK, courtesy of the good ol' Church of England.

FROM N. AND K. IN THE U.P.: THANK YOU, JACK.....YOU KEEP REMINDING US TO "THINK".

FROM J.D. IN THE TWIN CITIES: , DON IMUS SHOULD HAVE REMEMBERED THE CHILDREN'S SONG, "BE CAREFUL LITTLE MOUTH----." THE BIBLE SPEAKS ABOUT THE TONGUE.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/14/07
“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
(Confucius) Where is the unlikely place that you can find something beautiful today? Not everyone may see it, but you will. ;-) Jack


FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: I see a beautiful day . . . the temp is 92.7 degrees! My wife sees the same day and says, "Gee, what a hot day!"

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: I'm looking. Somtimes that's enough - just to know it's there - I will live my day with eyes open!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/11/07
“Never make predictions, especially about the future.”
(Casey Stengel) Fifty years ago today Mary and I looked ahead to our life together as wife and husband. At that time, people celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary were old folks. What goes around comes around. We have been blessed in many ways. ;-) Jack.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/10/07
“Anyone can be an idealist. Anyone can be a cynic. The hard part lies somewhere in the middle, i.e. being human.”
(Hugh Macleod) Why is it so hard to be human? Why is it so hard to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” Maybe it’s so hard, because we don’t practice it enough. Practice, practice, practice. ;-) Jack


FROM MOLINER, G.S.: A daily fight.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: Too much thought leads to cynicism. Too much feeling leads to idealism.
Better to have a good mind and heart.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/9/07
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”
(Maya Angelou) I can picture it now…Pudge Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers wearing two catcher’s mitts. What a laugh! This weekend the postal workers are collecting canned goods for the needy. Here’s a chance for us to give something back. Any other ideas? ;-) Jack

FROM M.H. IN MICHIGAN: Not exactly giving back but I just spent most of the last year promoting a competition for students in grade 5-8 called You Be The Chemist Challenge. Over 1000 students in schools in Michigan and Chicago were given the opportunity to compete for prizes and finally a trip to Philadelphia where the prize list gets much bigger. My company supplied all necessary supplies and costs for the various competitions. THe events were great! Here were kinds who never get the chance to compete and be recognized. THeir parents were excited and they were excited. The experience was very rewarding and I will work to grow it next year. I gave of many hours of my time and also was allowed to invest the company's money.

FROM F.M. IN RACINE: I received so many ideas every day when pick up my mail - I won't bore you with the many suggestions we receive. We use LWR to memorialize someone, thank a person and honor someone.

FROM P.H. IN MINNESOTA: tithe to Shepherd of the Valley LC!!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/8/07
“I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”
(Socrates) For two days in a row I’m using the words of this Greek philosopher; it’s because I like the thought.. When he was a little boy, my niece’s son was asked by an airline attendant: “Where are you from?” In seriousness, he replied: “Planet Earth.” I wish more people would have that kind of insight. ;-) Jack


FROM REV. P.H. IN MINNESOTA: I like the line: don't ever let your patriotism stop at the border! we are citizens of the world... God's world

FROM SHIRLEY IN FLORIDA: Your winning words today remind me of how naive I was in the early 50's. I expected that by now asking for race on any form would be obsolete. In fact I remember filling out applications with the answer - human. Unfortunately, we haven't come that far yet.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/7/07
“The hour of my departure has arrived, and we go our ways…I to die and you to live. Which is better, God only knows.”
(Socrates) Socrates lived over 400 years BC, so his view of death and dying represented his Greek philosophical thinking. Even today, dying and death are a mystery, and what happens afterward, is a matter of faith. Yesterday I received a call telling me that a friend had “passed.” It is better. ;-) Jack



FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: perhaps better, but never easy for those left behind. i am sorry for your loss.

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: I like Socrates phrasing. Last week my grandpa received news that his brother died. This leaves my grandpa as the last of that generation. I believe there were 8 siblings. I think this has been hardest on him that his sisters and brothers are gone. He told my grandma now he was all alone. She said "no you're not. you've got your wife!" I guess it's good to remember what is here for us in this part of the journey.

FROM REV. P.H. IN MINNESOTA: Wow, I didn't know old Soc was such a man of faith!

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Over the weekend my adopted father, A.C. Bennett, passed away (my son is named after him). He was born in 1911 and had been a good friend and father figure to me since my father died when I was age 10 (1968). Jack, this is the gentleman I talk about as “Buck” in chapter five of my book. He had a tremendous positive effect on my life. There is an old African proverb that I can only paraphrase, “When a village elder dies, it is like an entire library has been lost.” Buck was my window into 95 years of the past... obviously history has not ended, but my vivid, living window to the past has gone dark.
P.S. I know you are right, it is better. . Maybe in a few days I can say it is better. Today I wallow in my human selfishness, I miss my friend.

MORE FROM JON: I hope I can say something at the service with words, and not just sob like a big baby. I had on my original six book plan a book on how to write a eulogy. I am not sure Eulogies for Dummies is a definable market. We have to remember what Johnny Carson said with a tear in his eye eulogizing John Matters, (the original Human Cannon Ball for Barnum & Bailey), “We’ll never find a guy of that caliber again.” That’s how I feel about Buck.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Hi, I know, and I am anxious to see my brother and my father and mother. and all my uncles and aunts. I will grow some squash for my mother, and make dinner for her. I will go fishing with my brother and father and go camping, and make dinner for them.I'll pick red raspberries with Aunt Laura and give her and Unc John a ride on the hay wagon with Dick and Ben pulling the wagon. It's interesting how one remembers the nice things of the past and forgets the difficult days. But I think we are better people because of the difficult times as well as the good times. My mother caught her arm in the Magtag wringer wash machine. Lucky my brother positioned it right beneath the light fixture and taugh Ma how to quickly pull the chain, and hit the release button on the wringer. I wonder now how much farther in life I would have achieved if I were as bright as brother John? When he passed away different people from Snap on came to the showing and many told me how bright he was and what a diference he made at Snap On. I knew he was good, but not how good. I credit the qualities in our children from the DNA we shared and I offered to them in combo with Irene's, it's no wonder our children have done such a great job in life so far.


FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: "What happens afterward" is clearly not a matter of faith. It is a matter of God's Will. You can believe all you want but if God wills you to be dead, you will not live. And you cannot believe if you so choose but if God wills you to live, you will live...and probably be amused that you were so incredibly wrong during your other life!!! I am putting my hope in God. I am not immortal...but I may be resurrected.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: I believe, as long as you have a grateful heart, 'tis much better to live, whatever the promise about the hereafter.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: HI, sorry, I have toooo many things not finished. I can't leave just yet. My grandchildren need further motivation to be better citizens. This is so important. They will be the solution to this less than perfect world. Our Hannah is going to study business in a big school, our Natalie is studying in a big school. Our world has hope, we have hope, we have a future.

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: I'm sorry your friend "passed". It's hard to miss people when they die. I hope Socrates is with God and will be greeting us when we get to heaven. I hope his departure ended up finally better than he ever maybe exected that it would.

J.F. IN NOVA SCOTIA CALLED MY ATTENTION TO THIS ONE
Tie Me Kangaroo Down SportRolf HarrisWords and Music by Rolf Harris- peak Billboard position # 3 in 1963SPOKEN: There's an old Australian stockman lying, dying. He gets himself up onto one elbow and 'e turns to his mates, who are all gathered around and 'e says:Watch me wallabies feed, mateWatch me wallabies feed,They're a dangerous breed, mateSo watch me wallabies feedAltogether now!CHORUS:Tie me kangaroo down, sportTie me kangaroo downTie me kangaroo down, sportTie me kangaroo downKeep me cockatoo cool, Curl,Keep me cockatoo coolAh, don't go acting the fool, CurlJust keep me cockatoo coolAltogether now!(CHORUS)'n' take me koala back, JackTake me koala backHe lives somewhere out on the track, MacSo take me koala backAltogether now!(CHORUS)Let me abos go loose, LewLet me abos go looseThey're of no further use, LewSo let me abos go looseAltogether now!(CHORUS)And mind me platypus duck, BillMind me platypus duckAh, don't let 'im go running amok, BillJust mind me platypus duckAltogether now!(CHORUS)Play your didgeridoo, BluePlay your didgeridooAh, like, keep playin' 'til I shoot thru, BluePlay your didgeridooAltogether now!(CHORUS)Tan me hide when I'm dead, FredTan me hide when I'm deadSo we tanned his hide when he died, ClydeAnd that's it hangin' on the shed!!Altogether now!(CHORUS)


Friday, May 04, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/4/07
“God does not play dice.”
(Einstein) What do you think Albert means by saying this? There are some who believe that God has everything planned out to the minutest detail? Ask someone around you what they believe, and, if you care to, report what you hear to the blog. There should be a variety of responses. Does God play dice? ;-) Jack


FROM D.S. IN MICHIGAN: This is so ironic. Your words. On Wed. there was a bus accident in front of Scotch School. The young man on the motorcycle was Clay Dangler, a friend of my son's, WBHS, Class of 2005. Yesterday they took Clay off of life support. It is so tragic and so hard to know why things happen the way they do. He had a dream and was working toward becoming a Navy Seal and his Mom was so proud of him but also worried for this difficult future of his.Please pray for the family of Clay Dangler.

FROM L.S. IN MICHIGAN: I guess, we will have to wait until we get there to find out.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: If He does play dice, only He knows what He will throw in advance.
Einstein suggests God is not totally arbitrary, even though we humans may think so.


MORE FROM L.K.: Faith begets faith....it precedes the miracle (of faith)...I view faith itself, the gift thereof, as the greatest miracle. We choose whether to accept and incorporate God's gift. You do. Others do, too. Some don't. That reality may not be random, but God's plan is not entirely known, except to Himself.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: I was in the barber shop this morning and talked to the shoeshine man about his family. "My wife and I had five children. Only one of them's left....but that's the way it goes. I'm goin' fishin' in Canada tomorrow and catch some crappies." What a nice man! He's moving on, and while he has a pain in his heart, he wears a smile on his face. I think of the song: We'll understand it better by and by. God is a God of grace. Jack

FROM MOLINE, D.S.: Regarding THIS Jack, I believe that is why God gave us a mind, and choices. I believe he sets the "path", but it is up to us to make the correct turns. What say YOU, oh Bill O'Reilly?

FROM L.F. IN FLORIDA: The Einstein statement has to do with his disagreement about some of the ideas in quantum physics. I used to know more details about the statement but it was so long ago I would be guessing.



Thursday, May 03, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/3/07
“Peace, if possible; truth at all costs.”
(Martin Luther) War and lying were problems way back in the days of Luther. He tried his hand reforming the Church as well as reforming the morality of the world around him. The need for reformation continues today. Whatever happened to being a peacemaker and telling the truth? ;-) Jack

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: i was lying in bed this morning-that moment before rising and facing the day...i was pondering the actions and words of jesus as i was taught. i am ever saddened by humankind's inability to "turn the other cheek". we must learn to think before acting...to love and understand in place of hate and fear. then, i hopped out of bed and read these winning words. life is full of sychronicity. thank you.

"Lying is done with words and also with silence."--Adrienne Rich,poet and teacher

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/2/07
“God is really only another artist. He made the elephant, giraffe and cat. He has not real style, but keeps trying new ideas.”
(Picasso) This thought just went through my mind: What would you look like, if Picasso were God? But God is God, and we are who we are, for better or worse. Who among us is an art critic? ;-) Jack


FROM FRIEND, G.L.: We are all "work in progress" aren't we?

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: For a long time I never could understand, Pastor Freed, why Picasso's people had eyes all over the place and noses, profiles so funny until I read that he was trying to capture all the dimensions of his models seen from all angles of perspective. I believe he did actually say this but he might have been actually fooling himself in that actually for him God was/is the truest of artists and Picasso was trying to be an artist in His Image able to see the whole picture of who his models were/are. Actually the effort came out pretty primitive but I admire it nevertheless. Anyone who is making the struggle and not just trying to do something for money or shock, etc., etc., etc. is another pilgrim person actually trying to think and relate. That's my 2 cents on this one

FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Who among us is a God critic?

FROM N.L. IN FLORIDA: WHAT IS GOD? I LOOK AS GOD AS ALL THE SOLAR SYSTEM, EARTH, AND WHAT IT IS ALL MADE OF AND A LOT OF LUCK.

FROM P.H. IN THE TWIN CITIES: Picasso came home one day and saw two robbers running out of his house. When the police came, he drew them a picture of the two robbers. The next day the police arrested a lawn mower and a sewing machine!

FROM B.G. IN MICHIGAN: Are you suggesting that the process of creation is an ongoing reality, and that God is not yet done with his creative handiwork? If you are, I am agreement with you J.

FROM J.T. IN MICHIGAN: Having seen some of Picasso's work I am very grateful that he is not GOD!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 5/1/07
“The best thing you can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”
(Longfellow) There are some things that you just can’t do anything about, so make the best of it. One of my favorite movies is Singin’ In The Rain with Gene Kelly, especially that part where he’s dancing in the rain. Remember? ;-) Jack


FROM J.D. IN THE TWIN CITIES: THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO WHEN IT'S RAINING IS TO CURL UP WITH A GOOD BOOK.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: I love the rain. And I especially love "Singin' In The Rain". In fact, it was my grandson, 2 year old Joshua's absolutely favorite movie, and still is! He delights in the silly routine with Donald O'Connor when he was dancing and falling down and running into the wall.

FROM A FRIEND, H.S.: Jack, did you know that Hollywood used milk instead of water when they filmed that? Milk showed up better on the screen.

FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: What a glorious feeling!

FROM D AND J IN CA: A good friend of ours died recently. He had a number of bit parts in the movies including the role of the cop while Gene Kelly did his dancing in the rain---his name was Bob Whitney.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: I know we agree on this one.

FROM REV. J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Remember the old saying about the person who didn't know enough to come in out of the rain???

FROM M.L. IN GRAYSLAKE: my friend mary and i never missed an opportunity to hoist the umbrellas and perform in the pouring rain. if we were lucky, scotty was around to join us. i still find joy and peace in a good storm.

FROM C.L. IN MICHIGAN: I sure do remember that great dance scene It seems like only yesterday.

FROM MOLINER, D.S.: Rain usually does cleanse.

FROM D.S. IN THE DETROIT AREA: I love this one (It's SO true) AND 'Singing in the Rain'

FROM D.P. IN THE TWIN CITIES: Yup! Don and I went to see that show when we were in New York several years ago. The rain was amazing!!!

FROM B.S., NEAR ORLANDO: Hi, We thought "Singing in the Rain" was great. A real expression of joy and freedom of action, But to wear good dancing shoes in the rain is a no,no. (remind me to tell you some day about the experienc e my Aunt Laura had with the Mexican workers who tended on contract the sugar beet crop )> We loved to dance. It was a combination of artistic expression, the love of exercise, and the joy of freedom to do something beautiful. We admired good dancers. especially friends who excelled in the art of dancing. And we hoped to gain a better understanding of technique. We used to drive up to Menomenee Falls to go to the Schaubenhof in a snow storm to be able to dance on a wooden floor to the music of the Red River Boys. and others, and then drive back in a storm so we could open the store on Sunday to help people who were sick. And to argue with Matt to get him to go to Sunday school. We regret that we stayed home so many Sat.nites with the children when we should have been taking them to dances and encouraged them to learn and to socialize. One of the most family orientated dinner dances I truely enjoyed was a Pure Milk Assoc meeting which included a dinner dance. Here entire families interacted with each other in a positive way. It was a plus, plus situation. Now about yourvgrandmother telling you tyo come in out of the rain, shucks, I mowed lawns in the rain, wearing my oldest clothing, or no clothing, because it was a hell of a lot cooler than in the hot sun. And so long as the mower operated. I kept going. I remember one time I laid sod in the rain.

MORE FROM B.S.: Hi, I feel so forntunate. Rain has usually been a blessing for the environment. I have never been exposed to a flood, but hurricains that we survived, and unfortunately others didn't. We did have a flood on the farm one time and we dug several acres of potatoes by hand that were under water, and then subsequently those we didn't eat or give away immediatley rotted. What a shame. We did have rain one time for an entire week, and when we walked on the land, water came up through our toes and since we couldn't take the team out on the land and we went over every inch of the farm pulling weeds by hand, I said to Unlc John, "now can we go fishing", and he said," follow me" and we spent the entire day cleaning and greasing the fertilizer attachment on the grain drill. The only time we stopped was to feed and water the animals, and after they were cared for, we could go and have a meal. we ate to live
Jack’s Winning Words 5/1/07
“The best thing you can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”
(Longfellow) There are some things that you just can’t do anything about, so make the best of it. One of my favorite movies is Singin’ In The Rain with Gene Kelly, especially that part where he’s dancing in the rain. Remember? ;-) Jack