Friday, June 29, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/29/07
“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one heck of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.”
(E.B. White) I keep a daily calendar by my computer. There are no notes on it for today, so I think I’ll just have a good time. Oops, I forgot about changing the world. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: The hard part for me is to realize making a better world starts with me. I am reminded today, by Jack, of the little poem in Samuel Smiles book, “Self Help” (circa 1859). “If every one would seeTo his own reformation,How very easilyYou might reform a nation.” Smiles continues: “It is, however, generally felt to be a far easier thing to reform the Church and the State than to reform the least of our own bad habits; and in such matters it is usually found more agreeable to our tastes, as it certainly is the common practice, to begin with our neighbours rather than with ourselves.” Amen

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Too many people are trying to change the world...that's why it's so messed up. Let's just care for it properly and treat it well.

You must be the change you want to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: having a good time with positive intention for all does change the world. live it up!

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: You DO change the world by having a good time! There is nothing better than being greeted by a stranger with a big smile. You can change his/her day and a little tiny bit of world with with a smile. And of course, your smile makes your day better too!

FROM J.S. IN MICHIGAN: I have never been determined to change the world. There are times that I bump into it and then I might try but I have never cared about change just for the sake of change. When things are messed up, then it is time to think about change. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

FROM MOLINER D.S.: I like that one, Jack. But at my age, I have a hard time thinking about doing EITHER of them. Have a good weekend, and great July 4th. Bless our troops and our country.

FROM MOLINER, C.F.: All it takes is one phone call to upset the schedule.

Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope - a slight change, and all patterns alter.
Sharon Salzberg

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: No notes on your calendar! How nice! And here I am on the 4th, in the church office! I will now ask myself: Am I having fun? Am I changing the world?
Trying to do a little bit of both! (in a small way) (I did have most of Monday and Tuesday off, hence working today)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/28/07
“There’s no bad day that can’t be overcome by listening to a barbershop quartet.”
(Chuck Sigars) I read yesterday that mice who listening the Strauss waltzes performed better in mazes than those who heard rock music. What kind of music soothes your soul? One quartet I’m skipping is Grandpa Satan’s Jollymakers. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Listening to a barbershop quartet is on my list of bad things that can happen in a day, I do not like them. They should be confined to PBS where they can easily be defeated by an off switch. I would guess some of the early Beach Boy’s harmonies were inspired by B.S. quartets, and I enjoy some of those. For me B.S. quartets are second only in pain to bagpipes at a funeral, rap music, punk rock, new age, blue grass, twang-y country music, techno pop, and heavy metal rock. I have a friend who says they use the bagpipes at a funeral to make sure the fellow in the box is dead…

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Hi, we used to have music for the cows when we milked. Later we read this increased milk production, and chickens would lay more while listening to music. It makes sense

MORE FROM B.S.: My Pharmacy class had 5 or more individuals who practiced Barber Shop Quartet, two of those individauls almost flunked out of school, and one who had to attend summer school to make up. So much for the reason I went to Pharmacy school, was: I wasn't certain that living another 4 years in povery was possible. I proved it was, then I had to prove I could get a job and earn a living, and then we could get married. My father said that in order to get married one had to hav e a house, to turn into a home when you got married. We had a one room apt and used orange crates for book shelves. Alan Ameche got an entire appt, with furnishings, and a TV set, and I forget all he received from the boosters. We didn't complain, a kid from Kenosha made it good, and we were happy for him. His mother invited me in to eat at their table several times. They were nice people. Later Lynn Ameche convinced a lot of People from the Snap on Tools office to come to our pharmacy. I made certain we didn't let him down. It somewhat tells the story that little people help each other, and stick up for each other.

AND STILL MORE FROM B.S.: Hi, being the junior member of the responsibility team, i.e. the low man on the totem pole, I rarely got to change the dial, however we listened to WLS, WBBM, WTMJ,WGM, We were centrally located between Chicago and Milwaukee, so we the the best and the worst of two or more worlds., My choice would have been WHA, from Madison, they had a large number of educational classes. As a matter of interest, the 8th grade class I attended in a one room school house on the corner of Hwy 50 and Cnty Rd B, the teacher used Wha as a class room teaching unit..

FROM MOLINER, A.E.: Are you aware I used to sing lead in the in the Rock Island "River Ramblers" quartette and was assistant Director of the Rock Island Chapter of the SPEBQSA Male Chorus, in the late 40's and early 50's. The main Quartette were the Vikings who won first place at the International finals.

FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: Lyda Rose, I'm home again, Rose...

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: I'm a classical devotee, esp. Mozart. And, as the late Walter Bouman used to say, "whenever I listen to Bach's Orchestral Suite #4, I'm in heaven"! (the other three are priceless. oo....ed.note,ha!)

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: Celtic music is my current favorite. Have you heard "In the Rare Ould Times"?

Raised on songs and stories, heroes of renownThe passing tales and glories that once was Dublin TownThe hallowed halls and houses, the haunting childrens rhymesThat once was Dublin City in the rare ould timesRing a ring a rosey, as the light declinesI remember Dublin City in the rare ould timesMy name it is Sean Dempsey, as Dublin as can beBorn hard and late in Pimlico, in a house that ceased to beBy trade I was a cooper, lost out to redundancyLike my house that fell to progress, my trade's a memoryAnd I courted Peggy Dignam, as pretty as you pleaseA rogue and child of Mary, from the rebel LibertiesI lost her to a student chap, with skin as black as coalWhen he took her off to Birmingham, she took away my soulRing a ring a rosey, as the light declinesI remember Dublin City in the rare ould timesThe years have made me bitter, the gargle dims me brainCause Dublin keeps on changing, and nothing seems the sameThe Pillar and the Met have gone, the Royal long since pulled downAs the grey unyielding concrete, makes a city of my townRing a ring a rosey, as the light declinesI remember Dublin City in the rare ould timesFare thee well sweet Anna Liffey, I can no longer stayAnd watch the new glass cages, that spring up along the quayMy mind's too full of memories, too old to hear new chimesI'm part of what was Dublin, in the rare ould timesRing a ring a rosey, as the light declinesI remember Dublin City in the rare ould timesRing a ring a rosey, as the light declinesI remember Dublin City in the rare ould times

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Music generally puts me in a wonderful mood. I love oldies, old-time hymns, Sunday School/VBS music, country, classical, soft rock, polka (I really do! :-) ) just about everything but jazz. Listening to music is such a joy....I feel it's one of God's greatest blessings, both to be able to play and to be able to listen. My nephew did a class project years ago when he was in high school: who did better on tests, those who listened to classical and those who listened to rock. And of course, classical won, hands down. It was a very in depth report and took a full class year. He worked very hard on it. And since, I have heard many times of examples of little ones all the way up to nursing home residents, and their positive reactions to light listening/classical music. God is full of wonderful blessings for us, isn't He?

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: We have had a 'classic music' station. WFMR, in Milwaukee for many many that just this week announced that they were changing their 'format' to some kind of 'cool rock' in order to reach more people. It relates to their ability to sell 'time' for commercials. That station along with WGN in Chicago have been my favorites - I'm in trouble now as WGN is 'talk radio', very little music. I guess I'll just rely on my CD's - classic music and the favorites from the 40's and 50's. When I lived in Toledo there was a great program on the Detroit station, I think it was WJR, on about 10:30 in the morning. The name of the fellow was Karl Haas, I believe. I really enjoyed that program. You brought back some memories with your 'word' today.

FOLLOW UP ON KARL HAAS: Karl Haas is the creator and host of the longest running daily classical music program in broadcast history, Adventures in Good Music. Using a new theme each day, he has delivered the classics to listeners around the world for over 40 years.
Karl Haas, a native of Speyer-on-the-Rhine, Germany, began his love affair with music at age six, when he received his first piano lesson from his mother. At age 12, he formed a piano trio with some friends
Fleeing the Nazis, Haas and his family settled in Detroit, where he taught piano and commuted to New York to study with the legendary pianist, Arthur Schnabel.
His broadcast career began at WWJ/Detroit in 1950, where he hosted a weekly preview of concerts performed by the Detroit Symphony. Soon the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation asked him to talk about the music on the air. In 1959, WJR/Detroit proposed a daily time slot for Haas to expand his commentary and, thus, Adventures in Good Music was born.
Since 1970, WCLV/Seaway Productions in Cleveland has syndicated Adventures in Good Music to a worldwide audience. The program has received two coveted George Foster Peabody Awards during its long run, and Karl Haas has received the National Endowment for the Humanities George Frankel Medal.
Karl Haas died on February 6, 2005
Karl Haas was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1997.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/27/07
“No one has ever drowned in sweat.”
(Lou Holtz) Coach Holtz has a way with words when it comes to motivating people. Can you think of others who have been great motivators? John Kennedy comes to mind as he gave his inaugural speech. “Ask not what your country can do for you…” The right use of words is a gift. ;-) Jack

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: ...just as the right use of our ears is also a good thing. God gifts both speaker and listener.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Interesting note on Kennedy’s speech you quoted below (he used a lot of ghost writers, here and in Profiles of Courage). Kennedy gets a lot of accolades for “his” clever words. It was actually a twisting of a Kahlil Gibran article, in Arabic titled The New Frontier. It said, “Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you, or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country? If you are the first you are a parasite; if the second then you are an oasis in the desert (Galles, 2007).” Politicians who abuse their positions to benefit themselves and their friends are clearly parasites. But applying “ask what you can do for your country” to citizens instead of politicians turns America’s founding upside down. Advancing the general welfare means advancing the welfare of individuals that comprise our country. But asking citizens to sacrifice for the country, especially when the government is misleadingly used as the proxy for America, implies we were made for the government’s benefit, rather than it for ours (Galles). Gary Galles, is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University.

MORE FROM JON: It's when we start working together that the real healing takes place, ... It's when we start spilling our sweat, and not our blood.” David Hume

FROM P.H. IN MINNESOTA: Korey Stringer (Minnesota Viking) died from a lack of sweat and heat stroke...still a very sad story...

FROM MOLINER, J.T.: Yes. My mother (Agnes) said, "You can". Short but powerful.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Lou Holtz sounds like Unc John, He used to boost me in the hinney with his hoe, and say to me ( as I looked down the row of corn to see if I could see the end of the row and freedom ) " never mind, when we get to the end, we just have to turn around and head back on a new row". Talk about a workaholic.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/26/07
“Who is it that can tell me who I am?”
(Shakespeare “King Lear”) Jesus had that trouble with some of those who met him. What answer would you give? Who gives you the best insight on your identity? Who is your human mirror? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: We are the sum total of our experiences—strained through our vision and values, and ideally, guided by a purposeful mission. Time alone with paper and pen allows us to discover who we are. If we allow the enterprise of advertising and politics to influence who we are, we may be uneasy with our results. As Charles D. Hayes writes, “Advertising is an emotional enterprise directed at people who are, for all practical purposes, emotionally illiterate.” Combine the “training” you receive from advertisers with a bit of consumer debt, spew a few undigested political thoughts (FOX,CNN, MSNBC, et al) and in a few years you become unrecognizable—even to self. It is YOU that must answer who you are.

MORE FROM JON: My teachers are filtered media—meaning we need to use all sources of media, the Bible, mentors, etc. And then, examine them critically. I could do very well just adopting the values of my wife and a few mentors I hang with. My rant was directed at those that allow popular culture and media to define them—without having ever examined themselves. Once again I have used too many words to basically agree with you.

FROM J.M. IN COLORADO: Do we ever REALLY know since we keep evolving during our lifetimes? Am I the same person I was 10 or 20 years ago?

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: I think I am a kaleidoscope of my own self-assessment plus reflection/feedback from interaction with others. No one but God has the perfect view.

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: And then there's Bonhoeffer's poem from prison, "Who Am I?"

Dietrich Bonhöffer, a young theologian of great promise, was martyred by the Nazis for his participation in a plot against the life of Adolf Hitler. His writings have greatly influenced recent theological thought. This article appeared in the Journal Christianity and Crisis, March 4, 1946. Used by permission. This article was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.
Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smilingly, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were
compressing my throat,
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, 0 God, I am Thine!

March 4,1946

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: I don't know if there is any person who can tell me who I am completely. There are several who can tell me something about me, and I need to be open to all of them, my wife, my sons, my daughters in law, my neighbors, my pastor, my friends, etc. Each know me, but no one know we totally. Maybe inner reflection and meditation are important to help us tell us who we are.

FROM C.R. IN WHO KNOWS WHERE: was the case with Jesus. Others see who they see through their own eyes, but what or whom do they really "see"....what they perceive or what is? .......Can anyone really "see" another or ,for that matter, can anyone really "see" himself as he "is" or only as he perceives himself to be. Jesus had that problem and, as recorded later, wasn't always consistent in his self-awareness.

FROM R.R. IN DETROIT: My dear wife has a Mary Engelbriet calendar that she loves. There was a quotation today that made me think of you. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

FROM J.F. IN NOVA SCOTIA: Have you seen Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life"? I think one could have a good discussion group around it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/25/07
“Don’t tell me how much you enjoyed this; tell me what you will do differently on Monday.”
(Peter Drucker) Perhaps you listened to a sermon yesterday or preached one. Maybe in your reading you came upon a profound thought. Is your life today going to be different today because of that? Doing things differently is: changing! ;-) Jack

ANDY OF MICHIGAN SENT THIS: I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. - Robert McCloskey

HERE'S A PROFOUND THOUGHT: Can the existence of a God beyond human comprehension be proved? (Stanley Fish in the NY Times)

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: I enjoyed Drucker's writing more than anyone else who lived in the 20th century.

MORE FROM G.S.: Jack, I would sit at breakfast for years and outline his books while eating. He had the most influence on my business, outside the writers of the Bible. I used to do research to verify his work and NEVER found him to be in error i.e. the stirrup led to the fuedal system of society in Europe. It got so that I just accepted what he wrote - in other words, Peter Drucker was my guru in management thought and practice. His seminal book, Management - Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, is still on my computer desk shelf for use. It was written in 1973. I once wrote and invited him to come to the QCs from CA - didn't know how I was going to raise the $. But he was in his 80's and gracefully declined - a hand written note.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Oh, that's that bad word again! Change! Sometimes it's so easy to go into a "change" mode. And sometimes I go kicking and screaming! Life constantly changes and yet, we'd like to keep things just as they are each day. We are so very comfortable with the "way things are" whether it's a matter of each daily routine or in our church routine. Today, I will see what I can do differently this Monday, just for the fun of it! I will do everything I can differently. I'll let you know what worked!!

FROM THE HYMN, ABIDE WITH ME: "Change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me."

FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: Ohhh --- that scary 'C-word' again

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: This quote will work well for one of my financial stewardship sermons (or any kind of outreach/service emphasis)! :)

FROM G.G IN INDIANA: Reminds me of a quote from my daughter years ago after a date with a boyfriend who was trying to explain away something stupid that he had done. "Blah, blah, blah"
For myself, you have inspired me to practice some of my preaching today.....I will start with smiling at everyone I see.

YOU KNOW THIS ONE, DON'T YOU? It isn't any trouble Just to S-M-I-L-E It isn't any trouble Just to S-M-I-L-E So smile when you're in trouble, It will vanish like a bubble If you'll only take the trouble Just to S-M-I-L-E

G.G. RESPONDS....oh let the sun shine in, face it with a grin.
smilers never lose and frowners never win.
so let the sun shine in, face it with a grin.
open up your heart and let the sun shine in.

ANOTHER SMILE SONG (BY CHARLIE CHAPLIN): "Smile"Smile, though your heart is achingSmile, even though it's breakingWhen there are clouds in the skyYou'll get by...If you smileWith your fear and sorrowSmile and maybe tomorrowYou'll find that life is still worthwhile If you just...Light up your face with gladnessHide every trace of sadnessAlthough a tear may be ever so nearThat's the time you must keep on tryingSmile, what's the use of cryingYou'll find that life is still worthwhileIf you just...Smile, though your heart is achingSmile, even though it's breakingWhen there are clouds in the skyYou'll get by...If you smileThrough your fear and sorrowSmile and maybe tomorrowYou'll find that life is still worthwhileIf you just smile...That's the time you must keep on tryingSmile, what's the use of cryingYou'll find that life is still worthwhileIf you just smile

FROM MOLINER, J.T.: As we continue with a 6.7 Mil update building program at St. Paul I realized all I've done is pledge and attend. This may sound like enough,but at 75 I still have some energy left to participate in many projects. Pastor Marty say's "be active" and starting today, Monday, I will.

MORE FROM J.T.: The day got better. It started out when someone rear-ended me at a stop light in Bettendorf. No one hurt but a few $ damage.

FROM A.M. IN MICHIGAN: One addition to our lives in retirement is praying aloud before dinner. In addition to grace, we remember those who are ill, military, out of work, deceased, etc. It is so calming and we believe it is our task as elders to pray and praise God more often.
We often shorten the prayers when adults are with us -not eliminate. But the grandchildren hang in there listening and joining us. It is a good thing as Martha would say.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/22/07
“Let us begin to see the true promise of our country, not as a melting pot, but as a kaleidoscope.”
(RFK) I grew up in a melting pot city. I now live in a neighborhood that’s becoming kaleidoscopic. Have you ever used a kaleidoscope? Do you happen to have one in your home? I think I’ll get one someday. ;-) Jack

OOPS: Wife Mary just showed me a small kaleidoscope that she received from our daughter. It's about the size of a pen. It's really neat.

FROM MLK, JR: We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Some of the strongest metals are composites.

MORE FROM JON: The nonprofit, For Impact training was great. Met a lot of interesting people; a Jesuit Priest from Romania, I gave him a copy of the Romanian edition of my book, 2 college presidents, and many other interesting people (and their stories). Like a cord of three that is not easily broken, I think the diversity of America is one of its greatest strengths, it is too bad some on the right and the left keep wanting to separate and label. I could team up with my new friend from Romania, my mathematician from Senegal, and my accountant/project manager (a blonde female) from Appalachia and tackle or take over most any situation. This group is also pretty religiously diverse too; a Muslim, a Catholic, a Southern Baptist, and a Lutheran. A lot of talent lies in this combination.

FROM D.C. IN MICHIGAN: When my dad used to go to "conference" meetings--I think these were at New York Conference meetings when we lived in Braddock, PA, he always came back with a present for me. We lived there when I went to 3rd through 6th grades. Anyway, one year he brought me a kaleidoscope. I had it all through high school. But my favorite present was when he brought me a funny book Bible. The Old Testament was about an inch and a half thick, and was perfect bound, but the New Testament was hardly any thicker than a regular comic book, and was just stapled together I didn't have those books as long as I had the kaleidoscope, but I think I wore them out!

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: i love the intention of a kaleidoscope country. my favorite color is rainbow. i have a few kaleidoscopes. one is a wooden one that sits on the table in our living room and i can change the objects inside that create the visual display. i wish i could as easily change the fears of people who have concerns about crayon box families/communities. have you ever heard pete seeger's song about a rainbow world? i bet he likes kaleidoscopes.

PETE SEEGER'S SONG: MY RAINBOW RACE Chorus:One blue sky above usOne ocean lapping all our shore One earth so green and round Who could ask for more And because I love you I'll give it one more try To show my rainbow race It's too soon to die. 1. Some folks want to be like an ostrich, Bury their heads in the sand. Some hope that plastic dreams Can unclench all those greedy hands. Some hope to take the easy way: Poisons, bombs. They think we need 'em. Don't you know you can't kill all the unbelievers ?There's no shortcut to freedom.(Repeat chorus) 2. Go tell, go tell all the little children. Tell all the mothers and fathers too. Now's our last chance to learn to share What's been given to me and you. (Repeat chorus one and a half times) Words and Music by Pete Seeger (1967)

FROM B.C. IN ILLINOIS: Tim's first gift to me and one of the best that's withstood the test of time. We have 3-4 art kaleidoscopes with blown glass interchangeable wheels - very fancy stuff. When the chiildren were sick or "down" we'd let them come into our bed and just stare through the scope at the window and relax. A great toy and conversation piece.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: Yes, I have used a kaleidoscope, but we don't have one anymore. There are some real fancy ones. One of the fascinations with kaleidoscopes is that there is constant change, and some beauty in each of the multitude of changes,

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/21/07
“I don’t pretend that we have all the answers, but the questions are certainly worth thinking about?”
(Arthur C. Clarke) What are the questions you’re thinking about these days? I read recently that Clarke’s movie, 2001, A Space Odyssey, was named one of the best films ever made. It raised questions for me. ;-) HAL

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: The questions (the right ones) are the hardest part of any project. Try asking questions that, if answered, will add to the body of existing knowledge. If you can do that you will have a worthwhile inquiry to pursue.

Stanley Fish: Think AgainCan the existence of a God beyond human comprehension be proved?

FROM J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Can anything be proven or must we make a priori judgments in order to facilitate human knowledge. I am in the midst of reading Walter Isaacson's biography of Einstein. It is fascinating. I just read that when they checked out one of his theories on the bending of light by gravity that he commented after it was shown to be valid, "I would feel sorry for the poor Lord if it didn't check out. Because the theory is correct!" Great position.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: One of the questions that I have relates to the several of the recent decisions of the Supreme Court, and one member of the court, Clarence Thomas, and how significant his 'vote' is in these decisions - decisions which will have important effect on our nation, our freedom and our ability to select and elect leaders who will offer real leadership.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/20/07
“Get the right people on the bus. Get the wrong people off the bus. Get the right people in the right seats.”
(Jim Collins) Jim gives some good advice on how to build a team. It can work in sports, in your business…if fact, it can work whenever you’re trying to put together a group of people to get things done. ;-) Jack

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: A portion of this quote was used in the Bridgebuilders Learning Event we had at church a couple weeks back: "Get the right people in the right seats". It struck me as an interesting metaphor especially in relation to seating on a bus which, at first glance, appears to have two types of seats (driver & passenger). I know on the Ann Arbor bus I pick my seat carefully since you are likely to be sharing with someone and sometimes some seats are broken. This, however, is not unlike on a grade school bus. But I never thought of "correct" assignment aside from knowing when to give up your seat for someone else. So I suppose I am still figuring out how the metaphor works for building a team because one leader and a bunch of people getting dragged along behind doesn't sound ideal to me.

FROM G.G. IN INDIANA: It can also apply to the people in you life ... you might call it your "life team".

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: People get off at different stops, for different reasons.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: As a person who has had to develop many teams, sometimes you don't know the right from the wrong until the process is half way do you deal with that problem? If you are a sports team, you trade them off, but, in real life, it's a lot harder than that, ,especially with volunteers! Good quote though, because, it's so true!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/19/07
“Age is foolish and forgetful when it under estimates youth.”
(J.K. Rowling) The aged should know better, because they were young once. The youth can be excused, because they haven’t experienced aging. The problem is that times change, and we’ve got to change with the times….I keep telling myself. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Being fifty, I had to look up what I wrote about the impetuosity of youth: “I remember thirty: Old enough to have been there, young enough to still get there, yet optimistic enough to wait.”

MORE FROM GOOD DEBT JON:To get back to my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable
Oscar Wilde
The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience, while the error of age is to believe experience is a substitute for intelligence” Unknown

FROM MOLINER, C.F. : The opposite can be said to be true, too.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: wow,you really said a mouthful. However, I am impatient for my grandchildren to illustrate greater maturity, in thought, especially in thought that controlls their function. It seems to me that their parents should be the mentors that encourage more philosophical thinking and thereby manuever them towards maturity. Especially when one considers their woeful lack and understanding of finances and their don't give a darn attitude. I'd like to boot them right in the rear end to stimulate their interests in things financial. I recall one of Rev.Power's sermons about a gent in the bible who gave some money to each of three sons, and then one year later had them account for their success in making that money grow. It seems to me that this lesson in the Bible is very relevent today.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/18/07
“Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”
(Noela Adams) There are a variety of challenges that people face these days: negativism, sadness, fear, discouragement. Have a sense of determination. I can slay that dragon, and I will. Incidentally, Winston Churchill named his airplane, Ascalon, the name of the lance used by St. George when he killed his dragon. ;-) Jack

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: How about eureka, remember the Greek gent who was bathing in a bathtub and said the weight of the water displaced by his body would equal his weight. so the weight of water displaced by a piece of gold would equal the weight of that gold. Does that make sense? My son Matt obtained a package of sunflower seeds one time and he proceeded to go around the neighborhood and plant these seeds of gold colored sunflower seeds, and in several months some people had many sunflowers growing in their yards. Beautiful gifts of God. I didn't diswade him becausec I thought the result would beautify the neighborhood. It did.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/15/07
“Since you are like no other being ever created from the beginning of time, you are INCOMPARABLE!”
(Brenda Ueland) I like the word, incomparable. Do you know? Is the accent on “comp” or on “para?” Whatever, you are special, whether you think so, or not. And the world is better, because there is only one YOU! ;-) Jack

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: From the pronunciation key at it looks like either is correct.

FROM L.P. IN ILLINOIS: Hi. The accent is on "com." I am incomparable at grammar, although there are other things I'm not so hot at! (And I ended that sentence with a preposition, so I guess I'm not so incomparable after all.)

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: Sounds like the late, great Fred Rogers. Yes.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Morning! I LOVE this one! It's a different way to look at "You are Special!" I like the INCOMPARABLE! Somedays I'm a LOT more incomparable than others! God has a wonderful sense of humor, don't you think??? I really like being called incomparable: it's a wonderful word! And, thank God there's only one of me! :-) We are truly blessed aren't we!?

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: As my late Mother always said, “No one is worthless honey, they can at least be a good bad example.”

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: This is very good, a moment of truth, a good way to lift up someone, also the start of better relationships. This is so cool.

FROM E.T. IN MICHIGAN: As I always say, "Be yourself, who else is better qualified!"

FROM C.J.L. IN OHIO: Marriage Encounter says that "there will never be another US" Both of the authors are right

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/14/07
“The American flag represents all of us and all the values we hold sacred.”
(Adrian Cronauer) Enough with the blue states and the red states. Let us celebrate the red, white and blue, and proudly fly the flag today. Flag Day was originated in 1885, by a school teacher in Fredonia, Wisconsin, as a means of teaching his students American values. I just thought you’d like to know. ;-) Jack

FROM M.N. IN ST. PAUL: My flag is flying proudly. I put up a couple of small ones today too. Happy Flag Day!

FROM B.G. IN MICHIGAN: Amen! How about celebrating the red, white, blue, black, brown, yellow, pink, etc. beauty of this country; all somehow covered by the stars and stripes.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: The battle over the “red” and “blue” states has left many black and blue—with purple bruises.

FROM MOLINER, D.S.: I PROUDLY fly the American flag on a 20 foot pole every day. On July 4th I will also drape one across the front of my garage.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: I just put out our flag, before I read your word - yes, I am for the red, white and blue. As part of our flag day I am reading Gore's latest book - which stresses the importance of reason in our government.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Amen! What happened to good old American compromise, the stuff on which our nation was born? We have a flag up 24/7 and with a light shining on it 24/7 also. We are blessed to live in America and we best not forget it either! I didn't know where it started and I thank you for the information!

FROM C.P., NEAR FREDONIA: Fredonia is 10 miles north of Saukville. We have gone many times to the Flag Day parade and celebration.

FROM MOLINER, J.T.: Just a side note. I have a grandson who will be leaving for his 3rd tour to Iraq. He is an Army Ranger and proud to be an American. He just re-uped for another 4 years. Might even be a lifer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/13/07
“If people can’t accept your imperfections, that’s their fault.”
(David Burns) I like this one for a couple of reasons. I like a sentence that arrives at an unexpected conclusion. What do you call that? I also like the truism that none of us is perfect, and we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. Lighten up! ;-) Jack

FROM J.S. IN MICHIGAN: I can't just accept my own imperfections. I try to do something to get better. Too busy dealing with myself to notice the problems with others!!!

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Give me a sense of humor, Lord;Give me the grace to see a joke,To get some humor out of life,And pass it on to other folk.From one of my emails! I personally, don't have any faults....(My husband) however, has a few!

FROM MOLINER, D.S.: Luckily I have NO imperfections so it has never been a problem.

FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: Except for our own unique set of imperfections, we are all exactly the same.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: It may be THEIR fault, but you have to let God deal with the consequences. In other words, we cannot be the judge of what's fair.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Thanks Jack, I look at my friends from the Triangle Club as God's family who he made more gifted than he made me. I can't fault him for that, but I am so happy for them, may they enjoy their lives to the fullest.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/12/07
“It’s not how old you are, but how you are old.”
(Jules Renard) Haven’t you found it to be true that some of the elderly are young at heart and others just act their age? Are you older than your age, or younger? This quote is in honor of my sister, whose birthday is today. ;-) Jack

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: I struggle with identifying myself as 'old'. I told a friend the other day that I purchased a new mountain bike - and he responded, "Don't you know you are old - and old people don't usually ride a bike." I told him that I had a flat tire on my 40 year old bike, needed to replace the one tire as it was worn out - so just thought it was time to get new wheels. In reflection, and as I keep track of my seminary class, I know that we are getting old - all in our 80's now - but when I am honest with myself - I don't consider myself old, but only aging.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: I suspect this refers to the state of the mind, and when someone is ill that will be a negative factor.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: I am as old/young as I am.....a mere 62.

FROM M.N. IN ST. PAUL: Old!!! What is that???

MORE FROM M.N.: A GIFT The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old.
I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old.
Upon seeing my reaction, he was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let him know. Growing older, I decided, is a gift.
I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be.
Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body: the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the cellulite.

And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly.As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to be messy, to be extravagant, to smell the flowers.I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 a.m and then sleep until -- ? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50's & 60's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love..I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set. They, too, will get old, if they're lucky. I know I am sometimes forgetful. But then again, some of life is just as well forgotten and I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect. I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say "no," and mean it.I can say "yes," and mean it. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being older. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day... if I want.

FROM M.A.L. IN MICHIGAN: I just love your Blog! Consider publishing the "Best Of" I am serious, your friends are such wonderful caring, funny people. I am writing to ask permission from MN in St. Paul that was posted on June 12, 2007 First line is "Gift to Myself" to include in birthday cards for friends. Let me know.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/11/07
“When an old person dies, a library is lost.”
(Unknown) Seek out some older person today and see if there’s something you can learn. It might even be a stranger. There are some interesting books out there. Tell me what you learn, and I’ll blog it. ;-) Jack

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: Alice has been in the hospital for 5 or 6 days now. Visited her again yesterday. She is not very alert, her skin feels pretty cold. Spent the time praying at her side and also talking to her, everything in me was wanting to feel the most complete of blessed unions with her while she is yet still living, hoping against all hope that we are in fact together now in some very clear fashion that we will also be together "on the other side." I know and trust that God is hearing my prayers and responding to them, hears Alice's prayers and is responding to them but sometimes when I hear another "take" on things wonder about my sanity and the posssible foolishness of my longings. When Alice does die, her last chapter won't be closed for me but continuing on and my memories of her will always be twinged with this beggarly plea to God to intervene and bring us the closest together as possible while we are both still living. That we will also be the closest together as possible, perfectly close together, in our new lives in heaven. Alice, herself, is teaching me to know how dependent we both are on God.

FROM EUNICE IN MICHIGAN: Living with my almost 95 year old Mother makes me truly know what you are talking about and I could not agree more! We have many wonderful conversations. On Wed. we are hosting a "Lutheran luncheon" for the Bible Study group that I go to every Wed. morning. It is a great group that has taken my Mother to their heart. She sees them in church on Sunday mornings and they have made her feel so welcome, so I thought this would be a fun thing to do with her. It is all tongue in cheek, of course and I am having lots of fun planning it. On Friday her two sisters, one sister in law and a niece are coming from MN and AZ to spend a week. I think it is very important for these old siblings to get together. And to what better place, Rick thinks we need to get a nursing home license!

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: How true, there are so many questions I would like to ask my Ma. When Irene did all thatwork on her Geneaology, she said, she wished that som e of these people were still alive so she could ask them directly, questions.

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: Hey!! Maybe someone might think that I have value.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: When a baby is born, a new library comes into being.

FROM C.P. IN WISCONSIN: Back in October 2005- a friend of mine Diane and I started the Oncology Alliance Angel program where I work. We recruit people at work to volunteer a minimum of one hour per week with hospice patients. I have had a wonderful opportunity to meet strangers. Currently I visit 3 people each week.
My first patient is Henry-he is 80 years old and has Alzheimers. He lives with his wife Gloria and I go there to provide respite care so his wife can get out. Henry can't talk but he enjoys my visits. I tell him jokes from the Readers Digest and we listen to music.
My second patient is Florence. She just turned 91. In one of her eyes-she has 20/20 vision.
She is completely with it-I learn alot from her. Sometimes we cook dinner together and her favorite thing to do is go to the Hallmark store and buy cards for her family and friends.
She has a great faith and it is interesting to listen to her stories and great memories.
My third patient is Lawrence. He and his wife have been married for 76 years. They live in a group home. He used to be a music conductor and a teacher. Lawrence has a great faith and loves to read the Bible. I help write letters for Lawrence and his wife. I have learned so much from these people who were initially strangers but now are like family. They are coming close to the end of their lives here on earth but it's inspiring to see their faith and to know that we have much to look forward to when we leave this earth and have life eternal with our Heavenly Father.

FROM C.S. IN WISCONSIN: I really liked the one about when an older person dies, a library is lost!
I think of the wonderful things my mother had committed to memory that she learned as a child in school. How she kept track of family members birthdays and anniversaries and also of those of many friends. She also was a great source for good family history. I often marvel at what my grandparents and parents saw happen in their lifetime and wonder what will be for our grandchildren. Good thoughts to ponder.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/8/07
“You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it.”
(Joyce Meyer) When a prickly situation comes your way, examine it to see if there’s some hidden beauty, some flower that’s ready to burst forth. And, don’t keep poking at it! ;-) Jack

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Hi, my mother used to subscribe to "Arizona Highways", which was published in New Berlin, Wis, and it had many pictures of cacti in bloom. The Good Lord seems to beautify even the deserts.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/7/07
“Being an optimist after you’ve got everything you want, doesn’t count.”
(Ken Hubbard) There are a few people I’ve met who continue to be cheerful even though life has handed them some setbacks. How do they do it? In 1914 Thomas Edison’s lab was almost completely destroyed by fire. His response? “Thank God we can begin anew.” That’s the spirit of optimism. Today is a new day. Begin anew! ;-) Jack

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: > > A 92-year-old, small-framed, well-poised and proud man, who is fully
> > dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably > > coifed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved > > to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away,
> > making the move necessary.> > After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing
> > home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was read y.> >> > As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual > > description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had
> > been hung on his window.> >> > "I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old
> > having just been presented with a new puppy.> >> > "Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait"
> >> > "That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied.> >> > "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like > > my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ...
> > it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. "It's a > > decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can > > spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts
> > of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful > > for the ones that do.
> > Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the > new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this > > time in my life.
> >> > Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.
> >> > So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the
> > bank account of memories! Thank you for your part in filling my
> > Memory bank. I am still depositing." Remember the five simple rules
> > to be happy:
> >> > 1. Free your heart from hatred.
> > 2. Free your mind from worries.
> > 3 Live simply.
> > 4. Give more.
> > 5. Expect less.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/6/07
“If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”
(Muhammad Ali) Who is the more famous? Muhammad Ali or Alexander Flemming? Which of the two has contributed most to the well-being of humankind? Both of them, like us, are moldy bread, with worthwhile qualities. Isn’t it great to be able to move among different kinds of people? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Apparently Ali has a better press agent.

MORE FROM G D JON: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee…no one can lay a glove on Muhammad Ali.
I remember Cassius Clay too. I was confused when he changed his name in the sixties.

AND MORE: It is a shame some radical elements are making an extremely bad name for Muslim’s. My experience with local Muslims has been excellent. I have at least 2 close Muslim friends.
I think the early conversations like Clay were to avoid the draft (a move I would have almost considered myself), Nixon stopped the war just as I was getting ready to be drafted with my low number.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/5/07
“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”
Oscar Wilde Oscar had his share of bitter trials, often of his own making. It’s interesting that he should come to see them as blessings. Many of us have had that kind of experience. I know I have. “Look for the silver lining…” as the song goes. ;-) Jack


MORE FROM L.K.: My entire life I have been blessed beyond belief........indeed, my cup runneth over.......I suffer when I "push the envelope." God understands. I am in good hands.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/4/07
“Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.”
(Colleen Wilcox) With so much negativism in the world today, I think that it’s time for a week of quotes on developing a spirit of optimism. Most of us can remember teachers who’ve helped us build that spirit. Who comes to mind for you? As school ends for another year, let’s say a word of appreciation for our educators. ;-) Jack.

FROM D.S. IN MICHIGAN: Miss Koffernus, Speech teacher who confirmed with great enthusiam what I think I already knew - that I should major in specch and drama in college. She loved to teach and it was so apparent every day. I also loved to teach and when it started to change (19 yrs.) I decided to retire. Never wanted to feel negative about being in the classroom. Great teachers are the most important people in the world - thank God some people are just born to teach. I know some teachers who have been teaching for over 35 years and still love it every day.

REPLY TO D.S. BY JACK: It's an interesting tradition to refer to teachers as Miss, Mrs., Mr. In the religion business, more and more people are referring to their clergy by first names. I don't have a personal problem with it, but maybe it's an erosion of respect.

MORE FROM D.S.: I loved 'Mom' too much to have been called anything else. :-)

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: I am way behind on my MBA homework for today. Dr. Bashor is the generous and optimistic teacher; it is the student that is falling short presently.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: As I think back, I need to be very appreciative to my kindergarten teacher, my grade school teachers, those who were patient and taught me in Junior Hi, most of my high school teachers, and certainly my professors in college and seminary. They gave me so much - I hope that I have given to others some which I learned - from my teachers, from my study and reading, and from experience.

FROM J.S. IN MICHIGAN: I think I enjoyed teaching more than anything else in my ministry. I taught for three years at Augie (speech) while I was going to Seminary and also taught the Homiletics class for Art Arnold when he became acting President of the Sem after Mattson's death. I loved that and he wanted me to go on to get a degree and teach homiletics. I went to Purdue for a year of grad study but it was so boring. I'm glad of that because I loved being a parish pastor....(Just a few musings on teaching)....and I got in plenty of teaching in the parish. I always enjoyed teaching confirmation and never considered farming it out to lay people. It was too much fun. I also taught in our pre-school (creative dramatics) and we had an extensive adult education program which gave me plenty of opportunities. Lots of chances to be optimistic!!!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Jack’s Winning Words 6/1/07
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
(J. K. Rowling) That’s an interesting way to look at death, isn’t it? As an adventure! Now that she’s done with Harry Potter, perhaps she could write an adventure story about the great mystery, death. I’d read it, wouldn’t you? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: You can be as well organized as you want—the adventure [bodily death] is not guided by the fastidiousness of ones mind—but the prior sincere confessions and commitments of the Heart—related to Christ Jesus. I would hate to be on such a grand holiday with a beautifully packed and organized bag [mind] containing nothing I need.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: Since my mind is not well organized, and for other reasons, I would not view death as an adventure. While I don't have a clear notion about it, I don't view it as dreadful. What I face, I face. What is, is; what will be, will be,etc......

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty, will I be rich
Here's what she said to me.
Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.
When I was young, I fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows, day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said.
Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.
Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome, will I be rich
I tell them tenderly.
Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it. W. Somerset Maugham

I've looked that old scoundrel death in the eye many times but this time I think he has me on the ropes. Douglas MacArthur