Friday, May 30, 2008
We are now in the season of graduations, anniversaries, weddings, and the like. Here are a few sayings that I’ve seen lately. You might want to use one or more when you send greetings to family and friends. Some of the authors are unknown to me. ;-) Jack
“The essence of life is to care. The secret of life is to dare.”
“Not all who wander are lost.”
“Education bridges the gap between your ears.”
“New voyager, sail forth to seek and find.” (Whitman)
“Be glad for this day, for it gives you a chance to love, to play,
to dance and look up at the stars.”
FROM P.O. IN MI: "Not all who wander......... is my hands down favorite! There aren't any petoskey stones in the U.P. (at least in the Keweenaw) and hardly any agates anymore. You can occasionally find a tiny piece of copper or datolite around the old mine dumps. There was virtually no 'holiday traffic', or any other kind for that matter --- it was almost eerie. I began to think that perhaps the 'rapture' had come and I'd been 'left behind'!
FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: The statements you have offered us today are so illuminating. For me, all of them are new, ideas that I have not come across before. Each in itself is a jewel of insight. Your input is outstanding, so again I want to thank you.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
“Think P.I.G. That’s my motto. P stands for Persistence. I stands for Integrity., and G stands for Guts, These are the ingredients for a successful business and a successful life.” (Linda Chandler) For me, the key ingredient is Integrity. Yes, it’s good to be persistent and to have guts, but if you’re not honest, are you really successful? Do you have a motto? ;-) Jack
FROM MOLINER, C.F.: Had a doctror named Motto once. He retired. First name was Thatsmy.
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: A line from one of my favorite songs (When You Say Nothing at All—Alison Krause) sums up well: “Old Mr. Webster could never define; what’s going on between your heart and mine.” Of course this line has to do with how I feel about my wife, but there is a similar thing going on in other relationships and business. Most of life perhaps as much as 85 percent according to many studies has to do with getting along with people. P.I.G. is a good start and in a binary/robot world it could work. The fact is most people are reached on an emotional level. When I was young I had many acronyms (PMA, et al) I thought held the secrets to life and I was sincere, persistent, embraced integrity, and had plenty of chutzpa. As I say in Good Debt, Bad Debt, “How unfair is life to insert emotion at the beginning of a simple math problem?”
FROM MOLINER, B.G.: My motto is:" Money is a lousy way to keep score."I have it printed on all my checks.
FROM B.G. IN MI: Yes, I do. I like Luther’s idea of sinning boldly. And, of course, there’s always “carpe diem” from Dead Poets’ Society with Robin Williams.
FROM EMT SINGS: Probably "It is what it is". Covers a whole lot of could've/would've/should've!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” (Walt Disney) It’s interesting to note that that many seriously ill children want the Make-A-Wish Foundation to send them to Disneyland. Disney has provided a diversion for many people caught up in a complex world, and I’m glad for his contribution. How do you handle complexity? ;-) Jack
FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: As Lucy (from the "Peanuts" comics) used to say, "I'm very optimistic about my pessimism!"
FROM J.F. IN NOVA SCOTIA: Hannelore was active for several years in the Eastern PA equivalent of Make-a-Wish. Many of their sponsorees chose Disneyland. Some of them stayed with their families at Give Kids the World, a very accessible facility providing rooms and transportation. The story behind Give Kids the World is inspiring--if you don't know about it or by whom it was founded, I can ask Hannelore for details. As I recall, the founder lost many family members in the Holocaust.
She's out gardening right now. We have a beautiful day and the sky and water are blue.
FROM S.H. IN MI: I've been to Disneyland a couple of times. What was interesting to me was how clean they keep it of garbage. Also what is interesting is that they take the ideas of real stuff--little children of the world, the presidents, pirates, an old house that might be haunted, the bears, Tahiti house with parrots in it, etc., etc., etc. and spring off on that real stuff technologically to make a whole new world that is peaceful and fun and an escape from this real stuff that probably has problems. For children dealing with serious medical problems and undoubtedly constantly involved in a barrage of medical tests and procedures and very familiar with a whole bunch of medical equipment, the way their lives intersect with technology, they of all kids probably see technology as possibly leading to an escape from the real problem stuff of their lives. How do we handle complexity? For myself, I also use technology. The Word, other people's words, my own words, for me The Word triumphs always over all other words but I had to find a way to "give it up." The internet and computer printer have proved invaluable in doing that because I go ahead and indulge my need to have the real stuff spring off technologically to make a self-contained world of W ords and print out the complicated ideas and stuff of people, together with the Word that comes from Miriam Woolbert and fold up the gathered pages and carry them around prayerfully in my pocket. God must hear my need to have all of those W ords close together to feel most secure that He is dealing with them all, I have actually gathered the problems so He can work on them, I suppose like Disney gathers the real stuff, the kids, the house, the pirates, the bears, the technology so that sick kids and their families can feel the most secure that people and hopefully they also think God are working on their problems. I'm glad for Disney's contribution too--it has brought joy to millions of people. Peace,
FROM MOLINER, C.F.: Like a jigsaw puzzle...one piece at a time.
FROM J.L. IN MI: As one who has been to Disneyland and Disney World several times, I can tell you they are children's (AND adults) dream worlds. Watching the kids enjoying themselves is the most fun! As for complexity, I try to stay away and when I have to, I deal with it straight on. Like my jigsaw puzzles, somehow the pieces all fit...if I take the time to work it through...one piece at a time.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
“I have never been lost, but I will admit of being confused for several weeks.” (Daniel Boone) I can relate to this quote by D.B. I rarely stop to ask anyone for directions. Once I was confused in Holland, MI, but not lost. When you don’t have the answer, where do you turn? ;-) Jack
FROM J.L. IN MI: Have you ever read the book "The Compass in Your Nose?" It describes how almost everyone has a compass which will direct you automatically in the right direction. Well, I don't have that....I can never find my way anywhere. My daughter can automatically know the right direction. Many times I marvel how Gary and Kimberly can just know the right way. Well, I was not given that blessing. I can't find my way out of a paper bag. :-) But when looking for the answer, I go to prayer everytime, (or the map or Gary, if I'm lost). PS I have always admired Daniel Boone as he was extraordinary!!! He helped "borne" this country! His wife was extraordinary too as she was left alone most of their married frontier life and still managed to hold the family together and survive in the wilderness.
FOLLOW UP: Some years ago scientists at CALTECH (California Institute of Technology in Pasadena) discovered that humans possess a tiny, shiny crystal of magnetite in the ethmoid bone, located between your eyes, just behind the nose. Magnetite is a magnetic mineral also possessed by homing pigeons, migratory salmon, dolphins, honeybees, and bats. Indeed, some bacteria even contain strands of magnetite that function, according to Dr Charles Walcott of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York, "as tiny compass needles, allowing them [the bacteria] to orient themselves in the earth's magnetic field and swim down to their happy home in the mud". t seems that magnetite helps direction finding in animals and helps migratory species migrate successfully by allowing them to draw upon the earth's magnetic fields. But scientists are not sure how they do this. n any case, when it comes to humans, according to some experts, magnetite makes the ethmoid bone sensitive to the earth's magnetic field and helps your sense of direction.
Some, such as Dr Dennis J Walmsley and W Epps from the Department of Human Geography of the Australian National University in Canberra writing in Perceptual and Motor Skills as far back as in 1987, have even suggested that this "compass" was helpful in human evolution as it made migration and hunting easier.
Following this fascinating factoid, science journalist Marc McCutcheon entitled a book The Compass in Your Nose and Other Astonishing Facts.
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: While driving, I always stop and get directions, no big deal. “Pride cometh before a fall.” Sometimes on bigger things I wait too long. But I am learning as I get older.
FROM L.P. IN MI: Ha ha. Chris accuses me of using him as my personal Wikipedia. He's got such a good memory for facts.
FROM D.P. IN MN: I don't think Don ever got lost--he had a fantastic sense of direction, having grown up withnorth, south, east and west ingrained in his head on the Iowa farm, so I just enjoyed the ride all those years! Now I really get lost!
FROM SDG IN TAMPA BAY: I ask the little man on my GSP. What a wonderful invention.
FROM CJL IN OH: To a compass that fits the occasion! RESPONSE: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;In all you ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.Wherever the road leads, be my compass O Lord.Show me the way to the place you have prepared for me.You alone know the way -
FROM MOLINER, C.F.: Reminds me of a friend's mother who once said, "You're never lost if you have a full tank of gas".
Friday, May 23, 2008
“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” (Vince Lombardi) Vince was successful at Green Bay, because he instilled confidence in his players. You can accomplish a lot in this world if you believe in yourself. I like the story of The Little Engine That Could…”I know I can; I know I can.” I remember reading this someplace:
“Success comes in cans; failure comes in can’ts.” ;-) Jack
FROM M.T. IN PA: A double-header today -- and both are winners!
FROM J.L. IN MI: It's easier to boost someone's confidence than to lift their bad mood.
FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OH: This is the best explanation of Keynesian Economics I have a ever heard. No need to justify Market Power Theory, or explain away why competition and markets ultimately work.
FROM N.L. IN FL: Like it Jack:
FROM K.B. AT M.G.: Confidence..what an interesting attribute--so important, so often misread as "cocky" or arrogant.
FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: "Success comes in cans.." - very clever
FROM NFC IN IL: I recall the little engine as saying, "I THINK I can, I THINK I can...". and then on the other side of the mountain, he said, "I THOUGHT I could, I THOUGHT I could. "Knowing" completes the act, while "thinking" means it's an ongoing until the job is done. Is that my grade-school mentality showing?
Thursday, May 22, 2008
“The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.” (Peter Drucker) We don’t need a campaign slogan, CHANGE, to remind us of this. However,
it does reflect a broad desire for a new direction. The future will be different for Ted Kennedy. But “stuff” like that can happen to any of us. It’s important for us to have our priorities in order and our friendships in good repair. Viva le difference! ;-) Jack
FROM MOLINER, C.F.: We have no control over the past and limited over the future. Choose wisely.
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Change can be good It just makes sense Hope someone is keeping an eye
On Change’s step-brother; Unintended consequence… By H. Wrongfellow
FROM J.L. IN MI: There's that word again...CHANGE....it can strike fear into some people's heart and soul. Some of us go kicking and screaming into change, but then after a while, can't remember it being any different. It is a scary word sometimes, as is the word future, but life happens and God gets us through it. I agree we have to have our priorities in order and our friendships in good repair, but our relationship to God should be the first "change".....how's your friendship with God? :-)
JACK'S REPONSE: What a friend I have in Jesus....
MORE FROM J.L.: "To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did".
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
“I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention.” (Diane Sawyer) I read a couple of daily newspapers, scan the NY Times on line, listen to bits of NPR, read a weekly news magazine, browse the TV news channels and listen to what people are saying in public about events of the day. Yes, I try to pay attention, but with discernment. What sources influence you? ;-) Jack
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: What?
FROM B.G. FROM MI: I listen to npr, read Sojourners daily e-mails, watch Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, read Time, the Detroit Free Press, etc. I also find that The Christian Century is a very helpful guide, when it comes to the intersection of religion and public life (e.g. politics; economics).
FROM R.P. IN MI: E-mails like yours, Jack! Thanks
FROM CWR IN B'MORE: Winning Words. Keep them coming.
FROM MOLINER C.F.: It's difficult, these days, to find a news source that isn't biased. I guess I'd say friends are my best source of information I can trust.
FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: when someone in our family graduated, a note said: " I am so broke, I can't even pay attention".
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
“It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.” (Sally Kempton) Sally is a teacher of meditation as a way of controlling the inner self. The mind is a marvelous instrument, but it can become, at times, at battleground. While meditation can become a calming force for some, I find that prayer does the same for me. In prayer, you can use words, or you can be silent. What works for you? ;-) Jack
FROM MOLINER RFP: So far nothing works for me. It's a constant battle. Think I'll call a cease fire.
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Like any other battlefield the war is not always won by the crowd favorite. Wellington defeated Napoleon because he could keep his trains running, troops supplied, and well fed. If we keep our minds feed with “the good stuff” and bring in supplies (prayer, reading, and wholesome thinking) on a regular basis we can easily defeat General Beelzebub.
FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: The enemies in my head are my worst ones to fight. Prayer is the only thing that helps. I find I can't turn off my mind sometimes...especially when I wake up at night. To turn them off, I recite the Lord's Prayer. Works everytime.
JACK'S RESPONSE: A woman once told me how difiicult it was for her to stand beside her 16-year-old son's casket and pray the Lord's Prayer. She came to the petiton, "Thy will be done," and had to stop. She summoned the courage and faith to pray "Thy will be done" and to finish the prayer. She was able to walk away...with the peace that passes all understanding.
FROM MOLINER C.F.: Mediation.
Monday, May 19, 2008
“The word you will hear most often in heaven is: OH!” (Attributed to C.S. Lewis) “Oh, now I understand…the meaning of the Trinity…why there seemed to be unfairness on earth…why there were so many religions…why good people had to suffer.” Are there questions bothering you that you would like to have answered? When you get to heaven, be ready to ask for answers, and then be prepared to say, “Oh!” ;-) Jack
FROM L.K. IN OHIO: I think when God fathoms His creation, He says "Oh!" or "Oh,my!"
FROM DR J.H. IN OHIO: Yes, and I understand that frequently the "OH" is stated as "O-H", and is immediately followed by an "I-O" ;-) YEP, the Buckeye chant is alive and well in HEAVEN too!
Sorry.. to hard to resist ;-)
FROM PR B.M. IN MICHIGAN: I see you used my sermon illustration from CS Lewis!
FROM J.N. IN MICHIGAN: My husband "pretended" to have a "little black book" in which he said he was writing his questions for God. I'm sure he was glad to get the answers that he wanted when he died in 2001. I'm also sure he's still distressed and wandering Heaven looking for the TV remote that I neglected to put in his casket. Thanks to you for your Winning Words. It was good to see you at the Assembly, and most touching to stand with 17 others to be acknowledged as Good Samaritan. It was a difficult two years in the birthing, but we are moving forward, with the help of God and the prayers and support of many.
FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN; Oh, that's so true! I have a lot of questions...but I really can't wait to "see" my friends and family again! It will be amazing! Oh so amazing!
FROM MOLINER C.F.: First, ya gotta get to heaven.
JACK'S RESPONSE: I got shoes you got shoes all God's children got shoes When I get to heaven gonna put on my shoes I'm gonna walk all over God's heaven heaven Everybody talkin' bout heaven ain't goin' there heaven heaven Gonna walk all over God's heaven I got a robe, you got a robe all God's children got a robeWhen I get to heaven gonna put on my robeI'm gonna shout all over God's heaven heaven Everybody talkin' bout heaven ain't goin' there heaven heaven Gonna shout all over God's heaven I got a harp, you got a harp all of God's children got a harp. Oh GloryWhen I get to heaven gonna play on my harpI'm gonna play all over God's heaven heaven Everybody talkin' bout heaven ain't goin' there heaven heaven Gonna play all over God's heaven I got wings, you get wings, all got children got wings, when I get to heaven gonna put on my wings I'm gonna fly! FLY! Everybody talkin' bout heaven ain't going there heaven, heaven, going to fly all over, going to shout all over going play all over gonna walk all over god's heaven
FROM J.T. IN MICHIGAN: I think we all have things we want to ask God about. It is faith that enables us to know we have to wait until then for the answers.
FROM MOLINER J.T.: Very timely. We've had 7 funerals in the past 10 days. Oh ! I guesss at this age, it's to be expected.
FROM MOLINER EFP: I experience little "Oh!" moments every so often. They come out of nowhere. Oh, by the way, I think you're right...
Friday, May 16, 2008
“The less you know, the more you believe.” (Bono) I made a mistake. Yesterday’s quote was from Yeats, not Bono, and shows the truth of today’s quote. These words can be applied to religion, politics, economics and personal relationships. That’s why faith is a very important word and concept for me. I don’t have to be “a know-it-all” about my religion, the political scene, or the people I’m in contact with. ;-) Jack
FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Awesome quote! That's why I think we have to enter the Kingdom as little children. They don't know all about religions...they just believe. We are the ones to make "religion" what it is but God gives us the freedom to just believe...that's all that's required....just believe. Now that's perfect!
FROM MOLINER C.F.: You don't have to know it all, just more than the competition.
FROM B.G. IN MICHIGAN: You are entitled to one mistake a year; and now you have made it! Thanks for clarifying and for providing a nugget of wisdom from good ole’ Bono.
FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Another aspect of that quote is "The less you know, the less you can be sure of"? Until we investigate, delve deeper, or look beyond what is before us, we prevent ourselves having a genuine basis for belief.
FROM G.G. IN INDY: That's why I like being around young children...there's nothing like a child's faith!
FROM PR J.S. IN MICHIGAN: I absolutely disagree with this quotation. How on earth can we make any correlation at all between the amount of one's knowledge and one's faith. Based on that Jesus must have known nothing. This is a garbage quote and only encourages ridiculous comments like the one below....that it is unimportant to be informed.
FROM DR J.H. IN B.G.: I like this one a lot....my research is in teachers' beliefs.. and I agree whole heartedly with this quote. My work shows just how important teacher beliefs are in determining how they will operate their classroom. And of all the different sorts of beliefs... the belief that "I THINK I CAN DO IT WELL" (efficacy) is most important. So even if they don't know it all... the belief that they can find a way to do it well is what often separates the great ones from the rest. And on a personal level... I too rely on my beliefs much more than my knowledge about the world
MORE FROM J.L. :The responses are very interesting....Knowledge is power...but faith is more powerful! I certainly don't believe we should "dumb down" America...and especially her children as that is extremely dangerous. We already see the consequences of that belief....much taxation without representatiion and the minority rules. Very dangerous consequences. We cannot put our belief in humankind as we will be doomed for failure. We are in an political turning point and I'm not sure it's in the right direction. Our belief in God must stand strong...perhaps stronger than ever!
MORE FROM C.F.: "An open mind is the key that opens doors"
Thursday, May 15, 2008
“From our birthday, until we die, is but the winking on an eye.” (Bono) Today is the 16th birthday of one of my grandsons. Do you remember when you were 16? It’s etched in my memory. Where did the time go? Eddy Arnold was born on May 15, and died a week ago at age 89. One of the songs he made famous was, Gotta Travel On. ;-) Jack
OOPS FROM JACK....Today's quote is from Yeats, not Bono. This is an example of my imperfection. Which reminds me...When I applied to enter the seminary, I needed a letter of recommendation from my pastor. On the form he was asked, "What is his greatest fault?" He responded simply: "Original Sin!" Among others, that's the greatest.
FROM MOLINER EFP: Good morning. Today would be my grandfather's 100th birthday. Seems like a wink, those 30 years he's been gone, as I still remember him vividly. How wonderful that memories somehow manage to last a lifetime, not for just a wink...
FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: That wonderful age 16...such new freedom, such new responsibility, the fleeting moments, so short the duration. "Now the days grow short, I'm in the autumn of the year, I think of my life as vintage wine, from fine old kegs, from the brim to the dregs, it poured sweet and clear, it was a very good year." (from a Frank Sinatra classic)
FROM B.G. IN MICHIGAN: I think you know that Bono is one of my heroes; not only because of his music but because of his ability to bring together disparate parties and make good things happen on behalf of people in need. Yes, I remember when I was 16. As Bono sings in the song, City of Blinding Lights, “I knew much more then, than I do now.” Hope you are doing well. My goodness, Eddy Arnold was 89 years old! Green acres is the place to be… JACK'S RESPONSE: I wonder if there's a cemetery named, Green Acres. THANKS TO GOOGLE: Welcome to Green Acres Mortuary & Cemetery Green Acres Mortuary & Cemetery has served Scottsdale families since its founding in 1957 by Lisle and Ruth Hawkins. As a proud member of the Dignity Memorial national network, we are devoted to exceeding expectations and providing a standard of service that is 100 percent guaranteed. Occupying approximately 40 acres, our award-winning and beautifully-maintained facility offers a comforting environment featuring a fountain and flush-to-the-ground monuments. To further assist our families, we provide the convenience of funeral, cremation and burial services at one convenient location, and a professional staff with Spanish-speaking capabilities.
FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: i tell at least one parent each day to blink a little less so as not to miss a precious moment. i wish that i had blinked a little less. JACK'S RESPONSE: Winking is different than blinking. One eye remains open. MORE FROM M.L.: i wonder if i could train myself to wink alternately and not miss a beat. i think i'll start practicing.
FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: I remember my 16th birthday as if it were yesterday. We had a band from my school play for my birthday and I had my first kiss. One of my "adopted" sister"s (my parents raised a number of kids besides their natural born) boyfriends said..."Today you are 16 and I want to be the first to give you your sweet sixteen kiss"....so he did. It was very sweet as he was a very good friend too. Later that year he was killed in Vietnam. But I always remember his kindness to me and my brother and sisters.
FROM MOLINER, C.F.: I'm all for a slow blink.
FROM G.G. IN INDY: I remember when I was 16.....got my drivers license! Went for the test in the morning and then straight to teach VBS at Shepherd of the Lakes. I'm also remembering a song I learned from your Mary (I think it was that same VBS summer) "A great grey elephant, a little yellow bee. A tiny purple violet, a tall green tree. A red and white sailboat on a blue sea. All these things God gave to me, when he made my eyes to see. All these things God gave to me. Thank you God." I've shared that with many children. Thank you, Mary. BTW, I have no idea where the time went!
FROM CJL IN OHIO: I especially like the one that points out that one out tombstones are two dates - when
we were born and the year we die with a dash between them. Then the question "How are you living your dash?" Eddie was right, but HOW we travel is most significant.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” (Carl Jung) Rockports and Eccos for me. The blog shows some prefer other brands. So be it. Wear what you think is comfortable. ;-) Jack
FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: My vote goes to Easy Spirit!
FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: keens,uggs, and birkenstocks for me! truth be known, i prefer barefoot and love when my feet can be liberated in the warmer weather!
MORE FROM M.L.: ok...here's the deal...many feet, many shoes. there is unity in diversity. i love my shoes, but i also love and respect yours. shoe choices are alot like the life/love choices, don't you think? all the while, it is all about being caring, sharing, loving, peaceful people walking through life together. we should all be comfortable in our shoes and preferably wearing clothing that feels like pajamas for the journey.
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Maybe I spent too much time in loafers instead of work boots.
FROM G.G. IN INDY: Uggs (I have my purple ones on as we speak), Doc Martin's and Keens for me......cute and comfortable, that's my criteria. I love shoes. p.s. if the shoe fits...wear it!
FROM PR J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Remember when almost every kid wore Thom McCanns? Are they still made?
FROM JACK: Thom McAn shoes are still sold at KMart. They reached their popularity in the 50's to 70's. The brand was named after Scottish golfer, Thomas McCann. I think that Thom McAn was the store that would x-ray your feet in the shoe to see if they fit properly.
FROM CJL IN OHIO: Slippers & New Balance
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
“Another thing I remind myself is that God knows what’s best for me.” (Joel Osteen) If Joel were reading this, I’d remind him that, while God knows what is best for us, we don’t always use our free will to follow that advice. I also believe that God allows certain things to happen in our life that (ultimately) are for the best. Perhaps you can look back and see the truth of this. ;-) Jack
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I heard someone yesterday (in a business setting) trying to explain his relationship with someone he didn’t want to be associated with and he said, “We all have our Reverend Wright’s.”
MORE FROM JON: Isaac Singer wrote, “We have to believe in free will. We’ve got no choice.”
Paraphrasing my 2004 advice about debt, from Good Debt, Bad Debt: “If we follow our emotions we have given up freedom—then we are slaves to our emotions. Many refuse responsibility and are given over to their emotions until finally they collapse under the weight of their own desires. So it is not only freedom that is important; but freedom tempered with discipline, deferral, and discernment.” That’s enough preaching, I am way behind on yesterday’s discipline.
FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: Oh my, yes!!
FROM A.M. IN MICHIGAN: Great advice Pastor Jack! Truer words were never spoken.
FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: Good one. (But God hardened Pharaoh's heart ....)
FROM D.S. IN MICHIGAN: I have to trust this is true since I am in overwhelm these days – too many jobs at once. Thanks for the encouraging words.
FROM PR J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Things happen here. Some are good. Some are neutral. Some are bad. God helps us use the good things to make the world better. He helps us gain perspective during the neutral times. He guides and leads us "through the valley of the shadow of death."
FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Just curious if you have an opinion about Joel Osteen, or more accurately his theology. Isn't his the Properity Church? RESPONSE FROM JACK: You're the first one who asked....which surprises me. Usually, I switch channels when I see him, but I listened the other night when he said that we need to do things differently to makes our lives more interesting. So, the next morning I had Cream of Wheat instead of oatmeal. It is true, that life becomes more interesting when we crawl out of the rut.
I look upon him as a motivational speaker....and he's good at that. I don't look upon him as a pastor, but who am I to judge? It takes all kinds...and if he's able to lead someone to a deeper faith, so be it.
I don't know enough about his theology to judge whether or not it coincides with mine. Mine isn't perfect, either. "There is so much good in the worst of us,And so much bad in the best of us,That it hardly behooves any of usTo talk about the rest of us. " Edward Wallis Hoch,
FROM MOLINER, C.F.: Joel does have a way of stating it that gets through to us. With good mix of common sense.
FROM L.K. IN OHIO: yes......key word, "ULTIMATELY".....
FROM MOLINER EFP: I certainly learn a lot from your blog. I had never heard of "prosperity church" before so I "googled" it. As you know, I am a fan of Joel Osteen because he makes me feel hopeful. Now I don't know what to think. I kind of feel as if I've been "had."
Monday, May 12, 2008
“One of the hardest things in this world is to admit you are wrong. And nothing is more helpful in resolving a situation than its frank admission.” (Disreali) This 19th century British Conservative was able to put aside party loyalty and build a bridge to the Liberals for the benefit of his country. We need people like that today…Bridge Builders. ;-) Jack
FROM A.M. IN MICHIGAN: Kinda reminds me of the 1st step of AA.
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
FROM PR J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Have you read his biography? He was pretty partisan in a very partisan time.
FROM MOLINER, C.F.: Note that is is the CONSERVATIVES who are willing to build the brifge.
MORE FROM C.F.: You've devoted your life to building bridges and I commen you for it. I'm proud to name you as a friend. I'm glad you fo it because I don't have the tempement for it. If people don't want to be led, I don't try to lead them (except sometimes).
FROM CJL IN OHIO: Do you remember.."An old man going a lone highway came at evening cold & gray to a chasm vast & deep & wide thru which was flowing a sullen tide"...? It's called "The Bridge Builder". Fits right in with your thought
The Bridge Builder by Allen Dromgoole
An old man, going a lone highway,Came, at the evening, cold and gray,To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;The sullen stream had no fears for him;But he turned, when safe on the other side,And built a bridge to span the tide.
"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near,"You are wasting strength with building here;Your journey will end with the ending day;You never again must pass this way;You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide-Why build you a bridge at the eventide?"
The builder lifted his old gray head:"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,"There followeth after me today,A youth, whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm, that has been naught to me,To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."
FOM L.K. IN OHIO: Agreed, from one side to the other......from Rush Limbaugh to the Liberals, and from Al Franken to the Conservatives; from Jeremiah Wright to the Conservatives and Pat Robertson to the Liberals; from Michael Moore to the Conservatives and (name of producer) to the Liberals; from FOX News to the Liberals and CNN to the Conservatives......and so it goes!!!!
FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: Tell it to the liberals.
FROM THE NY TIMES: A Liberal Wit Builds Bridges to the G.O.P. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORNBarney Frank, the rumpled, cantankerous Massachusetts Democrat, has emerged as a key deal-maker in the House.
Friday, May 09, 2008
“Live with extreme gusto.” (Sean Kavanaugh) Sean is famous for creating a popular executive training group, The Ariel Group. He believes that to be successful, you have to live with gusto. I seem to remember a TV beer commercial with “gusto” in it. Am I wrong? Gusto is an interesting word, meaning: enthusiasm, zest, hearty enjoyment. With that in mind, live this Pentecost weekend with extreme gusto. ;-) Jack
FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: "Go for the gusto"? --- but I don't remember what it was referring to.
FROM MY SON, DAVID, WHO HAS THE ANSWERS TO MANY QUESTIONS:
FROM MOLINER G.S.: True. I also like Passion - I pray for it every day.
FROM G.G. IN INDY: Great message! Please thank son David for the beer commercials...really fun to watch! I want to go to that old time Schlitz party. By the way, I lived this week with gusto, too. I held President Bill Clinton's hand at Hillary's headquarters in Indy on Tuesday night! Awesome!
FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: i am living this week with much gusto and not much down time!
FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Extreme gusto, enduring optimism, and eternal thankfulness. This morning I was talking with my wife about her cousin, dying of bone cancer. I try to remember the path others have to tread, whenever I feel sorry for myself because of my (mostly) self-inflicted short comings.
FROM J.D. IN MINNESOTA: PEPPY PENTECOST TO YOU. NOW THATS GUSTO!
FROM A PASTOR WHO USED TO DRIVE A BEER TRUCK: Grab the Gusto! Go for the gusto! And other lines were used in Schlitz commercials for years. I drove a Schlitz truck two summers while in college. Before the brand and brewery became the first Milwaukee brewery to die.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
“Every vision is a joke until the first person accomplishes it.” (Robert Goddard) Goddard is regarded as the founding father of the Space Age. He launched his first rocket in 1926 (before I was born). His father introduced him to science by showing him how to generate electricity by moving his shoes back and forth on the family carpet. I sometimes shocked people in this way when I gave them Holy Communion. Back to the quote. I remember when I first heard of magnetic credit cards. Unbelievable! ;-) Jack
FROM CWR IN B'MORE: It's interesting that both King and Obama were/are considered by many to be "jokesters".
FROM P.H. IN MICHIGAN: Sometime you'll have to expand on that "Holy Communion" comment....Enjoy a fabulous day, always full of opportunities. FROM JACK: Some churches have carpet in the altar area. When I walked on it, static electricity was created. Sometimes when I handed the bread to the communicant, a spark was set off, which caused both me and the communicant to jump. Of course, it could have been the Holy Spirit showing up, too.
FROM MOLINER G.S.: I really think you were listening on your Dad's crystal radio to Goddard's feat.
FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: Roger Bannister and the 4 minute mile—no one ever thought it could be done. Personally I broke the 15 minute mile 4 times yesterday.
FROM MOLINER C.F.: Yeah, and Flash Gordon launched rockets long before he did. Talk about vision!
FROM A.W. IN IL: Goddard's work was not appreciated in the U.S. until the Nazi's got a head start and began sending buzz bombs and rockets on London. The U.S. was light years behind , hence the grab for the nazi rocket scientists at the close of WWII...... Goddard's quote is especially meaningful in light of the way he was treated by felllow scientists...who looked at him as a sort of crackpot. He became discouraged and quit trying to advance rocketry.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
“Pain is God’s megaphone.” (C.S. Lewis) Today’s devotional thought says that pain opens the door to a deeper spiritual awareness. When I was 16, I spent some time in the hospital. A regular visitor at that time was my Sunday School teacher. One day he gave me a book of daily religious readings which started me on a spiritual journey. God used the hospital and that man to affect change in my life. It can happen in your life, too. Listen for the voice of God. ;-) Jack
FROM CWR IN B'MORE: .....it does. Thanks.
FROM DAZ IN MICHIGAN: How about trigeminal neuralgia?
FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN OHIO: And prayer is our microphone to God. FOLLOWUP: I wasn’t going to send anything, but it seemed short and was a good juxtaposition for your WW. I love a good juxtaposition early in the morning.
FROM LK. IN OHIO: I like Lewis immensely and have, like you, read most of his writings. This "winning word(s)" is one of the best......I am viewing (again) the movie SHADOWLANDS. Have you seen?
FROM A.W. IN IL: I disagree with this one! I have seen pain become a paralyzing poison.
I have seen pain destroy faith, reason, hope, communication, love, and joy. Pain is not from God in my opinion as it seems so contradictory to God's love.
FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: I could write a book about "if", If my mother insisted I learn to play the violin, If she hadn't shipped me out on a farm when my Pa went to the Vets hospital, if I could have pursued a career of "song and dance",If I had taken a different service school when in the Army, Jack we could go on all day. But I decided to go in one direction, and give it my all. Irene went with, thank goodness, except she could hav e done well on her own if she would have had backing. Our families cast us adrift early in life, but we made something out of life. But now son Rom has been shipped to Iraq. This is so devistating. Damn,Bush.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
“…and what did you do for someone today?” (Jack McConnell’s father) Each night at the supper table, Jack’s father would ask this question of each of his 7 children. It’s next to impossible to imagine this happening in today’s world. But if it were possible, and you were at the table, how would you answer? This continues a week of excerpts from the devotional book, Three Minutes A Day. ;-) Jack
FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Altruism isn't selling these days. FROM JACK: You should have been to the meeting of our Optimist Club today where scholarships were awarded to outstanding students in our community. Some families did something right. The meeting concluded with about 50 people of all ages saying together:
FROM CJL IN OHIO: I listened.
FROM PR J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Did you see that Chauncey Billups won the NBA award this year for his outstanding charitable work? The Porter-Billups Academy sounds like a good deal.
FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: i'm going to use that question in pre-school circle time today. can't wait to hear the answers!
FROM G.G. IN INDY: It's primary day here.....I helped a friend locate her polling place so she could vote!
FROM MOLINER C.P.: We do something we feel is good for the environment , we take recyclable stuff to the recycle place. Hence , we have very little garbage for the garbage man.
Monday, May 05, 2008
“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” (Jane Goodall Institute) Jane Goodall believes that informed and compassionate individuals can make a difference in preserving the environment. What is your role in making a difference? Jane Goodall is a good role model. This quote comes from Three Minutes A Day, a book of daily devotions that I use. ;-) Jack
FROM JFREEDSTER IN MICHIGAN: One of my highlights was meeting Jane Goodall! I'm a member of her Institute.
FROM G.F. IN MICHIGAN: Thank's I'm using this one.
FROM J.F. IN NOVA SCOTIA: On the front page of QRZ.COM (a ham radio site), down to the lower right, was a quote from Hegel to the effect that "The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history." Then there was a counterquote from somebody to the effect that we don't learn from what happened to us yesterday--"Hegel must be taking the long view."
FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: this is especally for all the granchildren, Love to all
Friday, May 02, 2008
“God has entrusted me with myself.” (Epictetus) There used to be an expression by Flip Wilson that: The Devil made me do it. We like to find ways to blame others for our shortcomings. It ain’t gonna work! This quote from a famous Stoic philosopher says that we alone are responsible for our actions. Life is a great gift from God, and, with life, comes Free Will and whatever results from its use. Handle with care. ;-) Jack 5/2/08
FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: What an awesome responsibility...one ignored by most. I thank God everyday He made me and apologize each day for falling so short. However, with His Amazing Grace we can't go wrong. "He don't make junque!"
FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: That half dozen words reveals the totality of our personal responsibility. We have to see the light and take the heat.
FROM MOLINER G.S.: Then what does Bondage of the Will, by Martin Luther mean?
FROM M.E. IN CALIF: like this one.
FROM MOLINER C.F.: With a guy like me. God is too trusting. I'm sure He's still looking out for my best interests.
FROM PR J.S. IN MICHIGAN: "An enemy has done this!"
FROM PR G.W. IN TEXAS: Back in the day, I loved to watch The Flip Wilson Show on television. Many of his comedy sketches teetered on that thin line that distinguishes comedy from tragedy. When placed in situations where consequences for his bad choices were inevitable, Flip would shout in his own self-defense, “The devil made me do it!” It’s a cry I’ve often heard, and even been tempted to use myself, when one’s actions are held accountable by others. It’s easy to place the blame on others or circumstances or even the devil when caught in the web of bad choices and bad behavior. Sharing the blame for bad is easy.
If it’s so easy to place blame on the devil for the bad that we do, why isn’t as easy for us to give credit to the source of the good that we do? Sunday is Pentecost, the celebration of the birth of the Christian church and its empowering with the gift of the Holy Spirit. That gift of the Holy Spirit, given with Jesus’ gentle breath to the disciples in Sunday’s Good News, sent with the power of violent winds, fire-torched tongues and linguistic miracles, is the same Holy Spirit poured over our heads and into our hearts and minds in the waters of baptism. And that Holy Spirit is the reason we believe what believe, live as we live, do what we do and are what we are. When anyone asks why any one of us or all of us together do whatever good we are able to do, we should shout “The Spirit makes me do it!”
Thursday, May 01, 2008
“It’s time for us to cross the street.” (Evan Krauss) Harris-Stowe Univ. and SLU are separated by a street. The historic black school and the Jesuit school are making an attempt to better understand each other, to cross the street. We observe World Day of Prayer today; it’s an opportunity for people of various religious faiths to cross the street. Is there a street that you need to cross? BTW, in my mess I found this treasure…a note reminding me to look up information on Harris-Stowe. Yea! ;-) Jack
FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: Cross the street...build bridges...all terrific advice. Sometime we all need to do more of! May God bless us all today as we observe World Day of Prayer!
FROM T.L. IN MICHIGAN: I just want you to know that I read your Winning Words each day they are published, even though I haven’t responded in the blog. I love your thoughts, and each day, they provoke a thought or two in me. Sometime soon I want to treat myself to expounding in the blog.
Thanks for including me on your list.
FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: i have had my most meaningful spiritual awakenings by crossing many streets many times!
FROM PR C.H. ON CAPE COD: Amen brother! You're talking to me this morning. See, even though this is yesterday's e-mail today I found it as treasure amdidst the 211 e-mails I'm trying to wade through!
FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: I love Milne and Winnie; what a great happy quote.
FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Great Idea: one time, lon g ago, I went with Eddie R. to a Synagog in New Orleans, where instead of just chewing the fat after the service, everyone commenced huggin ea ch other. This place was filled with young people, so I said to Eddie,"you never told me that you did this in your church". He started stammering, he said,"In Madison, we don't do this". So I said, Ya, Sure, you just want to keep all the chickies to your self. Bob. Ac tually Aunt Laura started this idea back in the 30's. We usually went to 4 or 5 different churches during the summer. Nifty idea.No just the girls idea, but people totally