Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/31/08
“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.”
(Henry Moore) This song seems to fit: “One day at a time, Sweet Jesus, That’s all I’m asking from you; Just give me the strength To do everyday what I have to do.” One reason New Year’s resolutions often fail is because we bite off more than we can chew. One day at a time! ;-) Jack

FROM P.O. IN MI: Thank you for another entertaining and challenging year of WW! Have a healthy and happy new year.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Henry Moore's words show a sensible attitude for accomplishing things. If this came from Henry Moore, the renowned English sculptor, his thinking was as refined as his art. MORE ON MOORE: Thinking about how common the name Henry Moore is, I googled it to check about other persons, only to find that the most prominent is the sculptor. Going to some of the links, there was an interesting item about a piece he did in Columbus, IN. He produced a non-figurative bronze of large scale. If you're interested (and I know you will be) go to

FROM M.T. IN PA: Regarding New Year's resolutions, success is more likely if you start living the new way before New Year's Day! I remember that when I used to try to take new year's resolutions seriously, the anticipation of making a big change seemed to make the challenge all the greater. Getting a 'head start' on the the change made for an easy transition and greater chance of success. Later in life it became clear to me that every day is a day of opportunities to reshape who we are. (This is beautifully portrayed in the movie "Ground Hog Day") JACK'S REPLY. Ground Hog Day is one of my all-time favorite movies. I watch it every year on Feb 2, and wonder what it would be like to live one day over and over. M.T.s RESPONSE: It's in my all-time favorite top-10, too! I had seen it 3 or 4 times before, and then a 'shift' of some kind happened for me. I began to think of my every day as the same day over again UNLESS I willed myself to do something (or many things) differently or better than I would have otherwise done. In the movie, that's what gradually transformed Bill Murray's character into a new and better person. Each day that I remember to 'will' a better way truly is a new day. (And not the same one over again.) I don't always remember. It's a long haul.

FROM G.S. IN S.H.: HAPPY NEW YEAR.............and good winning words...............

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Oh I really like this one. It is just One Day at a Time!!! That's how I try, and I say, live each day. I make a resolution each year not to make one and I have been very successful! JACK'S REPLY: I think I can, I think I can. I know I can.

FROM CJL IN OH: That's all we have.....and maybe not the whole day... JACK'S REPLY: As Bugs Bunny used to say, "Ain't it the truth;? Ain't it the truth?"

FROM J.O. IN MI: That is so true!

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Thanks Jack, this is just the right day to sing this song. I think I'll succeed. Thanks ole buddy.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/30/08
Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”
(Malcolm Forbes) If college and seminary taught me anything, I learned to keep an open mind and not be too judgmental. My philosophy and theology professors had a big impact on my way of thinking. Which educator influenced you the most? For me, it was Eric Wahlstrom. ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER C.F.: I was home schooled so my mother was the teacher with the greatest influence on my life. Classes started at 6:30 AM six days per week and ran until the subject was covered. One nice thing about it, I was sent next door to do my homework. (Grandma lived there) Dad put in a playground so I could have a proper recess and we even had School Colors ... puce and chartreuse. Our football team was undefeated. And I still wear my letter sweater. Dad was the Dean and I often made his "list." Went to public school for a brief interlude in third grade but Mom decided there were some bad influences there so she pulled my out. My proudest moment was graduation and getting my class ring. The ceremonies were held in front of The Black Angel at Moline Memorial Park. Quite stirring (and scarey).

FROM M.L. IN IL: my fifth grade teacher, mrs. korell, comes in first place for me. she taught me to keep my eyes wide open.

FROM CJL IN OH: Eric Wahlstrom & A.D.

FROM PR F.M. IN WI: Two names, Art Hayes, a new testament prof. and James Raun, a long time 'foreign' missionary and later theology professor at NWLTS, who introduce me to Brunner, Barth and Nygren.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: The educator who influenced me the most was one of my college profs....she was Mrs. Cluchrechek. We would all go back to her house once a week and just talk and have discussions about the world around us. She was a tiny little lady but everyone loved her. I thought she was so old and come to find out, she was quite young. She quit that summer to have her first child. She taught me patience and to listen more than I talked.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: For some reason when I was in Miss Benson's 4th grade class I realized my hand writting was terrible. When 1944 rolled around I had enough to buy a type writter from Wettengel's and because I wanted people to be able to read my letters, I typed most of my letters since then.Also, or as the "krauts say it, ( unt )" I'm glad you enjoy Rev. Jack's Winning Words, they are better than great.Origianlly I just sent them to my grandchildren because I wanted them to realize their value and hoped they would retain the value. But now I sit up until 2 am some times to try to send them to as many people as I can. So after going to a special school in the army, when I hit my final unit, the Master Sarge," asked who could type." I raised my hand and never saw K.P. again.

FROM G.C. IN SAN DIEGO: As for Seminary profs, Eric Wahlstrom would also have my vote.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/29/08
“The great act of faith is when man decides that he is not God.”
(Oliver Wendell Holmes) I once loaned a book about “playing God” to a doctor. He really must like it, because he still has it. Medical technology is truly amazing these days, but I still have my prayer list. ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: A few months ago, I watched an old black and white movie about a doctor who had a cure for polio...I'm sure you know his name....Dr Salk. But it was interesting, because he was accused of trying to "play God" with the children's lives when he wanted to vaccinate them. It was a very good old movie and right on with your Winning Words today. JACK'S REPLY: One of the great medical discoveries.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: wow, what an ego trip, man thinks he is God. Mail/female thinks they are God. Well it must be a real awakening ( an epifamy? ), Hallelujah, male/female are ( is ) not God. How brilliant to admit and act accordingly. Oh Lord save me, do not permit me to make this mistake.

FROM MOLINER G.S.: Isn't pride the greatest sin? JACK'S REPLY: Could be. You'll have to ask God about that. Worshipping a false god (see the first commandment) could challenge for first place

FROM CJL IN OH: Isn't it a matter of both?

FROM J.T. IN MI: Technology isn't growing as quickly as my prayer list!

FROM M.L. IN IL: it's good to come in from all avenues.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/26/08
“Give thanks for a little, and you will find a lot.”
(Nigerian Saying) In some parts of the world, Dec 26, is known as Boxing Day, when it is the custom to “box up” a small gift and give it to someone who has served you well during the year. How do you say. “thank you,” to those who have done things for you? In a Christmas card, a former secretary of mine said that every year she hangs a wooden Santa on her Christmas tree. We gave her that gift 45 years ago. We had forgotten. She had not. ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Why do we have to wait for a special day to thank people? Seems to me it's a work in progress.

FROM KANSAN DON: My "box" for you -- besides saying 'thanks' -- is the interesting question a lady once told me.Her husband had a heart transplant. Then a friend asked her: "Will he still love you?"Off to a good new year!

FROM B & I NEAR ORLANDO: Thanks for the reminder Jack. I think a thank you even though it is late is valuable. Happy New Year

FROM D.C. IN MI: When my sister and I went on a cruise to the Panama Canal in February of 2007, I was the only one in some game we were playing that knew that the real name of Boxing Day was the Day of St. Stephen. Even a guy I discovered on the cruise who is a Polish Catholic and was a high school classmate of mine in Superior, WI, didn't get that one right. He and a Catholic lawyer who was railroaded into having the Sunday services because the priest they had contracted with didn't show up for the cruise, didn't know that either. Happy Day of St. Stephen!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Sometimes a hug can do more than a thank you. I hug a lot. Thank you for your words...since I can't hug you personally.

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: I was just reading part of "A Child's Christmas in Wales" to my daughter - a homemade version of the book (with calligraphy and drawings from a college friend) - so friends give us gifts that we somtimes cherish for years, unbeknownst to them!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/24/08
“In ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Charlie Brown asks: ‘Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?’ Linus steps up, quotes from Chapter 2 of Luke’s Gospel, and then says: ‘That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.’”
(Charles Schulz) A Charlie Brown Christmas first appeared in 1965, and I never tire of watching the reruns. I think I’ll go now and read Luke, chapter 2, and remember, not only Linus, but the original. ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER LIZ: Do you have the soundtrack from the movie? It's the best! JACK'S REPLY: Yep. I think that Vince died this year. REPLY FROM LIZ: Yes, he did. Jazz is so timeless and "clean" sounding.Vince and "Linus & Lucy" will live on forever. btw, my daughter's first ice skating routine for competition was "Linus & Lucy." It's also my cell phone ringtone.

FROM S.G. IN MI: Linus reading that passage is my very favorite part! I also love the score by Vince Guaraldi. I watch it every year and now own it in my DVD collection, the CD as well....Say, the mall store FYE has "Charlie Brown trees" for sale. What a novelty. Happy Holidays to you and yours. REPLY: I got a Charlie Brown Christmas jigsaw puzzle as a gift this year.

Since my children were toddlers my wife has always ordered and picked up a special birthday cake for Jesus. My daughter is now 13 and my son 18. Today at 3:00 she picks up another cake. Now my 4 year old nephew and the other small children look forward to Jesus' birthday cake. REPLY: What a great idea!

FROM B.S.'s FRIEND, S.D.: Let's not only count our blessings, but work together and teach our children to make this a better and a more peaceful world for everyone, not just for us in the US.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: This year, more than ever I have been reminded of the "Reason for the Season". I believe we need Him more now than ever and it seems like most are embracing Him. After a long interesting talk with our 4 year old grandson, I think we have done a good job too. I asked him what would happen if he didn't get any presents at all for Christmas. He's answer, "But we got Jesus!" AMEN
Christmas Blessings to you and all of our other "Blog friends!" May God richly bless your Christmas!

FROM M.L. IN IL: we were just all together for christmas eve and at the dinner table we made brother johnny recite linus' speech as we do every year. we're training his 22 year old son eric to carry on the tradition. some things must not be lost in the next generation! merry christmas to you all!

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: Joanna, our 8 year old memorized some of the verses from Luke 2 as one of her Christmas presents for her mother..

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/23/08
“Pray, and let God worry.”
(Martin Luther) I guess they had worry and prayer back in the 16th century, too. My prayer list continues to grow, along with this added petition: “I trust these friends, O Lord, into your gracious care.” That’s my magic wand. Yet, I still have concerns. Would you classify that as, worry? ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: No, I wouldn't say that is worry. That is concern. It's knowing God is working but you are keeping those people in prayer. Worry is mostly needless me they are two different things. I don't "worry" but I am concerned. I think; I'm not sure about anyone else, but I think they are different...and I'm not going to worry about what anyone else thinks!

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: No, it's not worry, at least not about God's power and grace. Such "concerns" relate to the nature of "these friends" who by their own free will have somehow gotten as they are, and may continue to follow personal choices rather than submit totally to God's will. REPLY: My concern is for those, who through no fault of their own, face daughnting problems.

FROM MOLINER LIZ: I would classify that as "caring." Thank you for another year of inspiring thoughts. There have been so many mornings when your words were just what I needed to start my day. Merry Christmas, Jack, to you and your loved ones.

FROM PR J.S. IN MI: I had a similar idea for my ministry. I let God take care of the big picture and I did the little things. It worked out well.

FROM MKH IN MI: I am trying to do that!! It is not easy to do!!

FROM EMT SINGS IN MI: I think that is being human.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: I wonder if it's a good idea to place a greater burden on the Good Lord. I appreciate all he ( she ) does without adding more responsibility. Thanks for the thoughts Jack. I think M.L.K.was a great person and his leadership in his time was tremendous. JACK'S REPLY: The quote is from the original Martin Luther. MLK came centuries later.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: You may either pray or worry! No one can truly do both at once... Worry supposes inaction. If you actually pray believing that is effort and not worry. The hard part is to pray effectively believing without our selfish motives blocking the path of God's will.

FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: "Obey God, and leave the consequences up to Him" (Charles Stanley).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/22/08
“I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know who his grandson will be.”
(Lincoln) Abe’s grandparents would have been proud of what he accomplished in his lifetime. I never knew three of my grandparents. One survived the Chicago fire. One worked for the C B& Q Railroad. His wife, my grandmother, died when my father was three. Genealogy is interesting, but more relevant is the genealogy yet to be written about each of us. That’s scary. Who remembers Count Scary? ;-) Jack MORE: My father's father came from Sweden to Galesburg, Illinois. and worked in the railroad shop. His name was Frank Johson, but his pay envelope was getting mixed up with other Frank Johnsons, so he changed his name to Frank Fried, but people pronounced it with a long I, so he changed it to Frank Freed, and so in reality I could have had the name of a famous prize fighter.
P.S.: Who wants a picture of Count Scary?

FROM PR J.S. IN MI: I like to think that both grandpaarents and grandchildren are very important. Our grandparents sacrificed a lot to give us a chance. I hope that I am trying to make the world a good place for my grandchildren. Interesting that your Grandfather worked for the C B & Q. What did he do with them? I love railroads and we took the train to NY last year instead of flying. It was really fun. My German Grandpa was an achiever. He was a musician (flutist) and a cabinetmaker. He built the EM Sash and Door Works before dying of TB when he was 44. My Swedish Grandpa was just a good old guy.....he had been an alcoholic but went cold turkey and overcame it. He liked Bank Night at the Movies in Moline. He died when I was five. My roots are from Moline and EM. I am probably a bit schizo as a result!!!

FROM D.C. IN MI: What were you doing watching Count Scary? REPLY: Enjoying the show!

FROM M.T. IN PA: oooOOOHH! Count Sca-a-a-ary! That's a blast from the past!

FROM J.H. IN OH: I remember The Count!

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Genealogy certainly is interesting, and if you delve into your heritage, be prepared to find out about both the good and the bad.

FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: Count Scary, where is he now? REPLY: I think he's in heaven.

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: (Comment on "That's scary.") But also really exciting... to think of all the things God might accomplish through us generations later...) Hebrews 12:2. We'll become part of the cloud of witnesses...
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My maternal great grandparents were from Denmark and lived in Grayling, Michigan. My maternal grandparents were both from Grayling as was my dad's family. They all grew up maternal grandparents babysat for my dad and his sisters. My dad's father worked on the railroads in Grayling. He got pneumonia and died when my dad was 14. My dad then got the pneumonia. He nearly died. The visiting doctor put two rubber tubes in his back, one for drainage and one for my grandmother to breath into to keep my dad alive. It's quite a story. One for another day. As you know, my dad survived until he was the grace of God and my grandma's breath of life. MORE: I still listen to Dick Purtan on 104.3!!! Thanks for the "scary memories"!!!

FROM P.H. IN MN: i too knew only one of my four grandparents. but with health care improving, our kids knew all four grandparents for quite a number of years...

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Great thought, however if one were trying to pin down a strange medical problem in the family, knowing a lot about your backgrownd could help diagnose a present condition and predic t a future problem. Mr. Abe was a great thinker.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/19/08
“The rich are always advising the poor, but the poor seldom return the compliment.”
(Lord Chesterfield) Our Optimist Club usually does things for the needy at this time of the year. I think that we could do a better job of it, if we had had the experience of really being poor. The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31) is an example of this. I once heard a needy person say, “You just don’t understand.” It was a statement and not a complaint. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I've been poor before, it is highly overrated.

FROM YOOPER B.L.: That's one of the joys of going to Tanzania. When we are there for an extended period of time the folks are free in commenting upon our lifestyle and what we might accomplish better by working together.

FROM S.A. IN MI: In respond to the poor; as a Chaldean/Iraqi/American, there is a saying within the culture I will translate it to English the best way I can. It says " people who are full(as full after a large meal) have no clue about the hungry ones."

FROM MOLINER G.S.: how true, how true

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Anybody who went through the Great Depression understands what being poor means. They also know that you can Work your way out of it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Been there...done that...hopefully never again. JACK'S REPLY: We are what we are, because of what we were....I think!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/18/08
“Concern for someone else was always a good remedy for taking the mind off one’s own troubles.”
(Elizabeth Aston) Someone I know encouraged his school-age sons to be bell-ringers for The Salvation Army this year. Someone else that I know is sitting in the hospital with a dying friend. We help ourselves when we help others. ;-) Jack

FROM B.G. IN MI: Thanks for today’s WW. This is a good one for all of us to remember, in the midst of circumstances that can easily cause us to only look inward and feel sorry for ourselves.

FROM DMF IN MN: Another good one as usual.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Thanks for the help.

FROM M.L. IN IL: reminds me of a song..."love isn't love until you give it away, give it away, give it away..oh, love isn't love until you give it away and then it comes right back to you." if we don't give it away, it has a hard time finding us.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MI: This weekend our whole bunch will be here to exchange Christmas gifts. We have developed some good traditions, I think. Gifts are opened one person at a time and then applauded. If it is a homemade gift it gets 2 applauses. With Grand ma always being so much a part of our lives homemade gifts are the norm. We have all been gifted this year with her showing so much improvement. On Sunday the whole bunch of us will go downtown to Crossroads to help serve the turkey dinner that St Johns is providing. They go down 4 times a year. Some of the grandkids have helped at soup kitchens before. Everyone is trying to encourage and nurture them.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/17/08
“Define the universe, and give three examples.”
(Unsigned Graffiti) A professor once told our class that it’s impossible to unscrew the inscrutable. He was talking about God. Inscrutable is one example of a definition for the universe. It’s a good descriptive word for some people, also. Try to use the word, “inscrutable” in a conversation today and note the reaction. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Slow death is inscrutable. I am at the emergency room with a friend of 26 years. 7 kids (age 11 to 30) and a sometimes understanding wife. This is his third major event, two strokes, triple bypass and oh yeah diabetes. They are probably going to take him off the respirator in a little while. Larry was a brilliant real estate attorney--that's how I met him. I think he died (inside) 7 years ago. (Stroke no. 1) He never got to drive his sports car again. I rode his motorcycle to my house and stored it in my garage until he decided he was never going to ride again (I was afraid to really ride it like Larry did). We talked often and I would drag him out for coffee or a sandwich now and then. My wife and I had date night with the "Lockhorns" once a month until mid-2008 my wife was in law school and schedules were hard to sync during bar exam prep. Yes, she is now an attorney. Over the past seven years only in rare instances would I ever get a glimpse of the real Larry I knew. Hang on...something in my eye. Larry dealt with more pain than most could bear. I am a big sissy I could not have maintained such dignity. I guess this a bit of a pre-eulogy (which sucks he is only 59). While he was at OSU Hospital a few months ago I wrote and sang a song for him hoping to make him laugh. It did, with the half-way laugh a stroke victim can muster--until the chorus then he began to cry. The song blends three of his favorite things, Family, OSU football and Ireland. Most of it is pretty funny but the chorus was a little too poignant, perhaps. I'll send you a copy later I can't do it from this Blackberry. It's called Erin Go Bragh and OSU. Perhaps you can ask the Winning Words folks to pray for Roger L. (Larry) Connor, Jr and his family. I don't even know what to pray for anymore except God's will be done. We have Baptists praying for him; a few Lutherans added in may really help. They just told me they are moving him to ICU, so this may continue... As I said, slow death is inscrutable.

FROM M.S. IN MI: Not defining the universe, but...I received a beautiful Christmas card showing an angel with its face turned away (copy of a painting in the Smithsonian). I've been trying to think of words to describe it---inscrutable is a good one.

FROM PR J.S. IN MI: To me it is impossible to think of a Universe that is created....that was not always here. It is equally impossible to think of a Universe that has always been here. Perhaps I am the problem rather than the Universe!!!

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Inscrutable is the opposite of outscrutable.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/16/08
“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”
(Lou Holtz) Coach Holtz is in wide demand as a motivational speaker. Someone once sent me tape of one of his speeches. Wow! I don’t think his football teams ever lost because they weren’t motivated. They just didn’t score enough points. Ninety percent of the time, we can use some motivation. How do you get yours? ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Life is delivering us 6" of snow today. My reaction to it is to stay inside.

FROM D.S. IN MI: So, I get motivated by hanging out with positive thinking people. ;o) I wish the “news” was focusing more on the positive ways people are responding to the economic news. That would make us all feel better. One year when my son was young our family published “The Positive News Gazette” – it didn’t have many issues but what we did write allowed us to focus on what great things were happening in our lives every day. More of us need to get back to that. It’s much easier to complain.

FROM J.L. IN MI: Coaches are motivational by trade. Larry Bielat has written several motivational books that are quite interesting to read. WhenI see you after the 1st, tell me if you would like to read them and I'll make them available to you. By the way, in case you didn't realize it, you're a motivational person too -- and a good one.

FROM J.B. IN MN: Thanks for adding me to your mailing list. I am looking forward to reading your uplifting words.

FROM L.K. IN OH: This one's exceptional.

FROM C.S. IN WI: How do I get motivated? DEADLINES!!!!! JACK'S REPLY: It used to be that way when I was writing sermons, but now I'm motivated, because I have a bell, and I want to ring it.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: The radiant early morning sunshine cutting across my bed...that motivates me.

FROM MOLINER J.T.: (Motivation?) Usually from "winning words" !!!!

FROM J.L. IN MI: (Motivation?) Lots of prayer and a lot of determination.

FROM J.O. IN MI: I get my motivation from knowing how blessed I am and how rich I am because of those blessings. Although I am not monetarily rich, I am surrounded by exemplary individuals who are a constant reminder of how much I must do to improve as a person. It is an extremely humbling experience, but well worth it.

FROM K.B. IN MI: Your friendship has helped me work on the 90%--thnaks

FROM F.M. IN WI: Several ways, including reading WW's every day! Thank you! ! ! !

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/15/08
“Love makes your soul crawl out from it’s hiding place.”
(Hurston Zora) Hurston was an acclaimed author, though sometimes criticized for her ethnographic style. Maybe today’s quote isn’t ethno, but it’s graphic, and I like it. “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” is one of her books. It sounds worth reading. She died in a welfare home and was buried in an unmarked grave in The Garden Of Heavenly Rest cemetery. ;-) Jack.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: "Love's the only house, big enough for all the pain in the world...". Tom Douglas, songwriter of Martina McBride's hit: Love's the Only House.

FROM D.K. IN MI: C'mon, Jack. It's not supposed to be "it's." That's the picky English major in me. JACK'S REPLY: The computer didn't like it, either...but that's the way Hurston wrote it, so I went with that.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Personally, I think I would revise that to, "Love makes your soul rush out of its hiding place." At least it has for me. JACK'S REPLY: Rush, as opposed to crawl, is an interesting thought.

FROM F.M. IN WI: I don't know if you knew Ralph Leonard, who served at North Austin Church back in the late 50's and 60's - then for many years at Zion in Rockford - anyway Ralph died suddenly over the weekend. I was at a Faculty Christmas Party for Carthage on Friday evening, and Ralph was there with his wife. The last person I spoke to as we left was his wife Odelle. It doesn't relate to your winning words . . . but maybe it does! The friend who called me this morning said . . . we must be ready for the Lord's Call . . . crawl out from our hiding place!

FROM INDY G.G.: I loved this book.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/12/08
“Don’t overlook those lovely intangibles. You’ll discover that those are the only things that are worthwhile.”
( Fred Gailey - Miracle on 34th Street) Gailey was the owner of Macy’s who caught the spirit of Christmas from Kris Kringle. Christmas is a season of intangibles. “Faith” is a word that is often used to describe one’s religious belief. What are some worthwhile intangibles for you? ;-) Jack

FROM M.L. IN IL: life would be pretty unsatisfying if not for the lovely intangibles. we are learning about kwanzaa this week at school. the principle of imani(sp?)is that of faith. when asking the children what faith is, one said that it is believing without seeing. another replied that it means everything will be all right. i have the best job in the world, full of lovely little tangibles understanding and living by the intangibles. keep the faith, baby!

FROM PR J.S. IN MI: That's just it. What is an intangible? One could define it almost any way that one wanted and then fit the said item under that category as something "worthwhile."

SENT BY S.H. IN MI: Are the great visions of the ultimate peace among all people and the ultimate harmony of all creation just utopian fairy tales? No, they are not! They correspond to the deepest longings of the human heart and point to the truth waiting to be revealed beyond all lies and deceptions. These visions nurture our souls and strengthen our hearts. They offer us hope when we are close to despair, courage when we are tempted to give up on life, and trust when suspicion seems the more logical attitude. Without these visions our deepest aspirations, which give us the energy to overcome great obstacles and painful setbacks, will be dulled and our lives will become flat, boring, and finally destructive. Our visions enable us to live the full life. (A Catholic priest)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Grace, Mercy, Hope, Love

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Truth, integrity, honesty, fidelity, reliability, patriotism...just a minute while I get my Thesaurus.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: I can't put my finger on it.

FROM MOLINER G.S.: The love of my family. And the winning ways of the Hawkeyes. BTW, Big Blue might win the bb title this year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/11/08
“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.”
(Seen on an Andy Warhol poster) Little children can hardly wait for the coming of Christmas. Preachers talk about the message of Advent. Parents wait for the birth of a baby. Others are anxious about the results of a medical test. Many wait for signs that the economy is turning around for the better. What are you waiting for? ;-) Jack

FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: "What are you waiting for?" Those are the exact words of the sermon I used 2 weeks ago. Are you copying me now? FROM JACK: Nope. I haven't been to Hong Kong lately.

FROM LBP IN MI: In 53 minutes I present my dissertation proposal to my committee.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: "Wait not, want not" FROM JACK: Very cleever; we should call you, Beev.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I'm waiting for answers to prayers. JACK'S REPLY: As we sometimes have said to our kids, "Keep your shirt on!"

FROM G.M. IN MI: I am waiting for peace all over the world. JACK'S REPLY: That's the weish of many people. Realistically, people have been waiting for the peace for generations and generations, back to Bible times and before. Maybe what we ought to be looking for is that peace that passes understanding. I know what kind of peace you were writing about, and I look forward to that, too. But more important than that is peace of mind and peace within the heart. I think that it's doable!


FROM WENDY PIANO, TLC GRAD): There are long lines of people waiting at food pantries where the shelves are nearly bare. There are few jobs so many wait in unemployment lines. The widow waits for the ache of loss to go away. A mother waits for a letter from her son fighting in Iraq.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Yes sir, sir: we not only need signs, but many people desparately need the turn around. I remember the feeling of being out of work when I was single. Can U imagine being out of work when you have a family depending on your paycheck. If we hadn't been so frugal we never would have been able to send our children to Madison. Oh yes, there's the work ethic too, and the love factor, We often wonder how people with more than 3 children did it. My wife claims it was because I fixed our autos, raised a garden. painted our own house, etc. Was it testosterone too? or was it growing up in poverty to give you lots of encen tive? imagine if we had caught our clerks stealing from us. also imagine what that does to trust. That reminds me of another song, "Memories, memories," There I go crying again. Damn.

FROM J.F. IN NOVA SCOTIA: Many years ago, Guinness (stout), my favorite beer, was lagging in sales because consumers didn’t like its longer pouring time. They put out an ad campaign, “Guinness—worth waiting for” and sales jumped something like 20-25%.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/10/08
“If thou thinkest twice before thou speakest once, thou wilt speakest twice the better for it.”
(William Penn) I thoughest twice before I wrotest this one. It’s one of those quotes that hits home for a preacher. However, the thought is good for all of us. If I could find room by my computer, I’d post it there. I like Penn’s oats, too. ;-) Jack

FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: Hahahaha .... good job.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Kind of like measurest twice, sawesr once.

FROM JACK: I know that this is relatively lengthy, but if preachers stay with it, it fits today's quote.
"Pastor’s like to talk. On a Tuesday morning once a month study, 21 pastor’s, mostly Lutheran, meet in the Black Hills of South Dakota for a discussion dealing with the revised common lectionary texts for the coming month. I always learn a few new ideas or come to a better understanding of a text but the key learning for me over the years in these discussion’s is that pastor’s full time or retired like to talk and be heard but seldom will a pastor listen first and then speak. I believe that the Priest Zechariah was no different than the pastor’s that I spend so much time with dealing with the issues in theology, culture, and every day living as the texts of
God’s word proclaimed in Word and Sacrament define our calls as pastor to God’s people. I can understand how after meeting the angel of the Lord that Zechariah doesn’t bow down and worship though he is fearful Zechariah is but an anxious pastor who just asks more questions instead listening and believing. I can understand the Priest Zechariah and his questions of who, how, why, when, what and where for those questions are the same questions that the 2o pastor’s and myself ask to each other and of God every month. I believe that God is the action in our lives, God is the subject and the verb of our sentences. God gives the faith, the experiences, the reality in which we live and serve. God is involved and like that of Zechariah we as pastor’s get God envy most often when God is present and we aren't aware. We need intervention from God, awareness of God, reflection in God, and belief of holy moments of God coming to us where our mouths hang open and no words come out. Holy silence where in awe we say nothing but wave our hands around
about which we cannot describe or contain. Silence is what happened to Zechariah. The angel zips the lips of Zechariah and he utters nary a word and for several months neither the congregation, nor his wife, nor his community, ever hears him speak about his condition, his experience, or his vision but they know that God was present because only God can shut the mouth of a pastor who likes to talk. This Advent Wednesday December 10th, is any pastor’s great opportunity to share the mystery of God’s promises without saying too much. Less is more."

FROM PR D.C. IN KANSAS: "We read the gospel as if we had no money, and we spend money as it there were no gospel." -- Fr. John Haughey

FROM INDY G.G.: thankest youeth.......that is a good oneeth.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: His oats make great cookies, but exacerbate the gout. so instead of eating two of Anabell's lovely cookies just eat onest and thank her twicest. Aren't girls great.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/9/08
“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.”
(Helen Keller) H.K. may have been deprived of hearing and seeing, but she still had a good mind…and a sense of smell. Are there some favorite aromas that come to mind as you wander back through time? I remember the smell of a new leather baseball glove and my old sweaty basketball clothes. ;-) Jack

FROM D.C. IN MI: Anyway, I remember Pearl Harbor Day, even though I was five. Friday night, the 5th, we went to Lake Lillian, MN for some meeting, and I always liked to go there because they had decorated sugar cubes. Anyway, when we got home my dad noticed a tire was flat. So I guess because war stories, or the expectation of the same, caused him to go downtown Hector on the 6th and buy 4 new tires for the '35 Pontiac. People thought he must have had inside news, because they were frozen by the 8th, and he couldn't have bought any, (We had that car until 1951.) And then I remember them listening to the radio on the 7th. I also remember that the over-the-street Christmas lights were only half up and so they lit them, but then in 1942 and 1943 there were no lights at all

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: One of the best was my mother making fresh sugared donuts when I arrived home from elementary school. MORE: Yeah, and her home-made bread too. When a loaf was needed, Mom kneaded.

FROM PR J.S. IN MI: "Moline, Moline, You can tell when you get there, by the odor in the air!!!" An old refrain we used to sing in the old days.

FROM P.H. IN MN: I do recall a perfume my first girl friend used and I later found out it was called Ambush!!! Actually I really liked it!

FROM DMF IN MN: Granny A’s Cardamom bread.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My dad grew up on the AuSable River off of Louie's Landing Road in Grayling. Across the dirt road from my grandmother's house was an old cabin built around 1830. Sometime in the late 1800's Martha and her husband Louie (Louie's Landing was named after him) had a bakery/restaurant in this little cabin and they cooked for the Voyageurs who took the logs down the AuSable River. I never met Louie, as he had passed away, but my grandmother and my dad knew them both very well. Martha continued to bake for years and years and people came from all over the Grayling area to purchase bread and her special bakery items. She was German and had a heavy accent. As kids, we used to love to go to her cabin. As you neared the could already smell the baking bread. She past away when I was 17. My grandmother took care of Martha in her later years and Marth a left the property and cabin to her. When we would go "up north", we would stay in Martha's cabin. The truly wonderful smell of bread never left the cabin and I still remember it as if it were yesterday.

FROM MOLINER, J.T.: As an old farm boy, I remember smells also. I won't list them here.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: The smell of the ocean on the way back from overseas. Especially at night. It conjures up the joy of coming home. 31 days of anticipation.

FROM G.M. IN MI: The odor of a new car that your father brough home . The smell of the turkey on Thanksgiving. The first day of spring. FROM JACK: Isn't it interesting that you can buy an air freshener for your car that has the new cae smell?

FROM MY SEMINARY ROOMMATE: I remember the smell of your athletic clothes, too....

FROM M.L. IN IL.: my mom always smelled like "tabu" and my dad like "old spice". i keep a bottle of each to awaken my sensory memory. i love the occasional random scent when i am in a crowd. often times i choose to believe that it is their spirits making contact. it's a good feeling. noxema, original jergens lotion, cornhuskers lotion, sen-sen breath mints, pipe tobacco, and, and, and ...the list could go on and on...

FROM J.T. IN MI: I now know that it is a pollutant but I love the smell of burning leaves in the fall (one of the childhood memories.) FROM JACK: How about the incense at church?

FROM EMT SINGS IN MI: Schools still smell the same and I love it!

FROM PR F.M. IN WI: We just had an old fashion snow storm . . . the smell of the air was just great this evening as I walked to our mail box for our mail.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: Yes, yes, yes,: The smell of Gardenias at Graduation dinner in Frieden's gym in 1945, the smell of Hyathins at Easter in our kitchen, the smell of Lilacs in our backyard to announce the running of the white bass on the Wolf River near the Union Star Cheese factory at Zittau, Wis on hyw 10. Oh Lord what memories. Sorry I am crying. We just had to get old, Wow, what memories.

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: That keen sense of smell has done me in. The smell of dust and mold and a few other choice items exacerbate my asthma, thank you. I thinkHelen Keller was a real gift, a role model for people of all ages.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12 8/08
“The one who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
(Chinese Proverb) This seems to be a good quote with regard to today’s economic dilemma. Are there any mountains in your life that need to be removed? I guess we all have them, of one size or another. Start with the pebbles, but start! ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: That's a really good quote.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/5/08
“Enthusiasm, like measles, mumps and the common cold, is highly contagious.”
(Emory Ward) Here’s some background on that word, enthusiasm. It’s from the Greek and means to be possessed by a god, to be inspired, to be excited, especially about one’s religion. The Holy Rollers would enthusiastically roll around on the floor. The Quakers and the Shakers would violently tremble. People who are enthusiastic about sports are called, fans, from the word, fanatic. Are you enthusiastic about something? ;-) Jack

FROM E.D. IN AZ: i'll tell you what i am not enthusiastic about... being at school writing a proposal at 3:40am! :) ...although i guess most women my age could be up with a screaming baby at 3am... umm... a proposal vs.screaming baby... that is a toss up.

FROM MOLINE, C.F.: Some of the people are enthusiastic all of the time and all of the people are enthusiastic some of the time, but all of the people are not enthusiastic all of the time. Abe Lundeen

FROM MOLINER, G.S.: Life & living with a purpose. What is yours? REPLY: At the present time, connecting some in need with some who have the ability to give.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Yes. (But very private about it.)

FROM S.G. IN TAMPA: I'm enthusiastic living and enjoying each day and learning new things. The important thought for me is to know that God had a plan for me and for my family and friends. By the way , it is a beautiful day in Florida. It is easy to remember why we moved from Ann Arbor 45 years ago.

FROM CJP IN WI: I'm excited about life. It's a daily rollercoaster with unexpected twists and turns and the more positive and enthusiastic you can be-the better. Yes, it's contagious and we need more of it-especially thru these uncertain times!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/4/08
“Having a dream is what keeps you alive. Overcoming the challenges makes life worth living.”
(Mary Tyler Moore) MTM has had her share of challenges…failures in show biz…a couple of failed marriages…the tragic death of her son…living as a diabetic…and others. But she has persevered and comes across to her many fans as, Perky Mary, even though Lou Grant once said, “I hate perky!” Evidently there’s something good about having a dream. ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Did you know MTM was Sam Spade's secretary's phone voice? That's, of course, before she married Dick Petry. REPLY: No, I didn't lnow that. I always liked Perky Mary. Rob Petrie

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/3/08
“We can learn much from wise words, little from wise cracks, and less from wise guys.”
(William Arthur Ward) This reminds me one of the Sunday School boy in my congregation who was in a Christmas play. He said that he was one of the “wise guys.” In a dream, the Lord came to Solomon and said , “Ask whatever you want, and I shall give it to you.” Solomon replied, “Give me an understanding mind to govern your people well, that I may know the difference between right and wrong.” (1 Kings 3::5-9) Now, that’s wisdom. ;-) Jack

FROM PR J.S. IN MI: And yet he was the dope who ruined the Kingdom of David by running after other gods.... REPLY FROM JACK: At the time, it was the proper response to God. Later on, he may have been a dope. As you well know, we sin daily. Therefore. confession and foregiveness are regularly before us.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: A great choice today for WW (Winning Words/Wise Words). Incidentally, we missed you yesterday.

FROM D.S. IN SAN DIEGO: Jack -- sort of reminds me of Ecclesiastes that we are reading now in our bible study group. My goodness, it certainly has a lot of "ramblings" by whomever wrote it. Sounds like MY ramblings of a life misspent (at times). Quite a depressing piece of work. Some people think Solomon wrote it as he was aging, but there are a lot of contradictions in it. I know it doesn't really come together until the 12th chapter, but it has got to be the most depressing book in the bible. Do you agree? JACK'S REPLY: I disagree. Maybe it's because its alternate name is, The Preacher. I especially like Chapter 3.
FROM F.M. IN WI: Wise winning words today! The three W's.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Jack’s Winning Words 12/1/08
“It’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”
(Bertrand Russell) If anyone ever hung question marks on things, it was Russell. He was a brilliant philosopher and longed for eternal truths. I guess we all would like ultimate answers. Someone once said to me, “When I get to heaven, I’ve got a lot of questions to ask God.” He/She won’t mind. ;-) Jack

FROM P.O. IN MI: A hearty "Amen!"

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: When I get to heaven, God will have a lot more questions to ask ME.

FROM PR J.S. IN MI: I read an anecdote about Russell in a Philosophy book that I think might be reliable. It said that he was walking along the campus at Oxford in deep thought and suddenly stopped and said, "Anselm was right." When asked later about it, he said that he was thinking about Anelm's Ontological Proof of God. Amazing story. JACK'S QUESTION: What is that proof? J.S.'s RESPONSE: The thought of God must come from somewhere....cause and effect. The cause must always be great enough to cause the effect. No thing that we know is great enough to cause the thought "God"....therefore, it must be God who is causing that thought....ergo, God exists. Anselm would probably throw up if he saw my summary because he wrote the same thing in about 20,000 words. However, in my simplistic style, that is the Ontological Proof of God.

FROM J.S. IN MI: He/She??? I LOVE it!