Friday, May 29, 2009

Winning Words 5/28/09
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” (Anne Frank) Anne is one of those persons who did her part to improve the world. Another was John Hughes-Games who, when he was dying in the hospital, gave a final request to his wife: “I’d like to leave some money to have these windows cleaned.” The death notice asked for donations to the hospital window cleaning fund. (From 3 Minutes A Day) What might we do to improve the world? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: It’s true. Today I am going to get a haircut.

FROM MOLINER G.S.: People think they have to do a BIG THING to feel significant. That is nice, but I think doing the little things bit-by-bit is what counts. I remember my G'pa telling me only once in a gentle way, when I was 4-5 years old: "Jorge (yoryea), don't play with guns." And he invented an artillery gunsight used in WW II - but he was right to tell me, in his way, that war was a horrible, horrible thing. The older I become I hate war more and more. But that is what needs to be done to preserve our liberty & freedom. Sometimes it seems like an oxymoron.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Improving the world is a marvelous goal. Where's the starting line?
JACK'S REPLY: ...with you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Winning Words 5/27/09
“Failure is success if we learn from it.” (Malcolm Forbes) Yesterday I read about a man in his 70s who took his driver’s license exam 271 times before he passed. With each failure, he learned something more about the laws of the road. Shall failure make us feel sorry for ourselves, or spur us on to finally become successful? Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times in his career. ;-) Jack

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: The key word here is the "if." Too many people are willing to simply live with the failure and not learn from it.

FROM S.T. IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for the inspiring words.

FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: I agree with the quote --- but it must be just in theory because I still don't want to meet him on the highway! JACK'S REPLY: At least he knows the rules.

FROM N.L. IN FLORIDA: Like that Jack, I know.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: C'monnnnnn! I think the old guy was just socializing at the Motor Vehicle Registry. JACK'S REPLY: According to the article, he was somewhat illiterate, and the workers were patient enough to put up with his persistence. Success is about patience and persistence.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: it's better to fail than not try at all. JACK'S REPLY: It depends on what you are trying to do.

FROM GOOD DEBT JOHN: “I never see failure as failure, only as a learning experience.” J. Douglas Edwards (circa 1966) famous sales trainer… JACK'S REPLY: And maybe that's why the call the experience: "The School of Hard Knocks."

FROM P.H. IN MINNESOTA: I struck out with some old girls friends years ago. Is that the same kind of thing? JACK'S REPLY: 1330 times? I'm impressed.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: If we don't learn from failure we lose one of the most consistent & insistent teachers!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Winning Words 5/26/09
“It’s OK not to like everything that goes on here. If you liked everything, something would be wrong, because we are a real and diverse community. If you like 70% of what’s happening , count yourself blessed.” (A pastor in New York responding to a complaining parishioner) I suppose that can be said about the various places in which we live. Everybody won’t agree on everything, but we can try to learn from one another and make the world a better place for everyone. ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Looking at it another way, "You can satisfy all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't satisfy all of the people all of the time." JACK'S REPLY: Been there; done that. Even some of those who receive WWs don't like my "liberal" bent. 70% do.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Some people like everything some of the time and all people like some things some of the time, but not all people like all things all of the time. Abe Frieden

FROM CJL IN OHIO: We still have to listen to what is said, evaluate it, and then plan some action. People need to know we're interested and will take seriously what they say. I know a Pastor who said and acted "my way or the highway". That's no way to lead a church....

FROM A.M. IN MICHIGAN: I like this. Makes sense to me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Winning Words 5/25/09
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
(Seen on a headstone in Ireland) This is a good one to think about while Memorial Day is still fresh in our minds. We all have our memories that can never be taken away from us, don’t we? ;-) Jack (Seen

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: This is true in my life, the trick is to get the love memories to begin to flood and overwhelm the pain of loss.

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: Our dog, Calvin, died a couple of hours ago. It seems like he might have had a stroke. He was trying to walk and just couldn't stand up hardly. Spent some time scrunched up under my chair. I could tell he was suffering. Praying and praying and praying. Finally, he layed down in the kitchen, me sitting beside him on the floor, he seemed to be resting peacefully and after about 20 minutes stopped breathing. Calvin loved people, whenever anyone came he would get himself in the midst of all of us,
looking up at us, at each of our faces, seeming to be tremendously interested in whatever we were saying to each other, wagging his tail, he definitely leaves a void and will always be remembered as one of our family and no one will take his place in our hearts. He was uniquely special and had a uniquely special place even in the whole universe that God created. Heaven and earth are much richer for what Calvin did while he was alive and now also with God now, the One who brought Calvin and his gift of loving to us. Thanks for your Winning Words today, Pastor Freed. We appreciate them very much.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Both parts of that statement are true.....We live with them both!

FROM MOLINER C.F.: I look forward to the memories to yet be made.

FROM PR G.C. IN SAN DIEGO: Good quote for any day. Gracias.

FROM S.G. IN TAMPA: Yes, how true, Jack, and we are the lucky ones who can remember and do count our blessings every day.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We are deeply grateful for our good memories....they far outweigh the heartaches. After all, loved ones leave the heartache and they are the ones who leave the love behind!

FROM M.N. IN MINNESOTA: Amen to that one!
I put a “garden flag pole” out on my husband's grave. Now I have an American Flag on it, but I bought several others to change it up. I will find some more for other holidays too. I will keep the flag till after July 4th. I figure that will always look nice and I have real trouble with keeping flowers. I did not realize just how hard it would be to put that on his grave. I have been out there many times and it did not affect me like that!

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: i participate in a cemetary walk every october in the old grayslake cemetary on lake street. i/we tell the story of people buried there. one year the theme was the meaning behind inscriptions/carvings on the stones. it is pretty interesting. i also like to roam graveyards reading epitaths. mark and i always stop at graveyards when we roadtrip. kooky heh?

FROM M.W. IN ILLINOIS: Your winning words touched my heart today. Having lost two dear friends in 4 months, Phyllis in December and Virginia in April. I'll carry these words for a long time. Ironically I was unable to attend both services. We were on a trip to Washington DC when a memorial service was held for Virginia. One of the men who mans the powerpoint system for the services taped the service for me. Couldn't bring myself to listen to it until this morning, then I read your email. Whew!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Winning Words 5/22/09
“Anything’s possible, if you don’t know what you’re talking about.” (Green’s Law of Debate) I laughed at this one. I guess we all need a laugh now and then. Hilltopper John, who occasionally responds to WWs, is a debater. He generally knows what he’s talking about. H. J. will probably debate the word, generally. ;-) Jack

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: This one is brought to the foreground when one listens to the political debates....and, particularly, the forwards that are sent via email during political season. Whole groups of empty heads passing on their ignorance to one another!!!

FROM MOLINER C.F.: T-t-t-t-they wouldn't l-l-let me on t-t-t-the debate team in high school because t-t-t-t-they said I was t-t-t-t-too tall. MORE FROM C.F.: I thought debate was something you put in dehook for fishing

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: This one really made me laugh! I remember in Art Class in high Mr. Deweke said to David, "Nothing is impossible". David replied, "Well, it would be impossible for me to have a baby!" I guess now-a-days maybe even that's possible! Keep smiling... it makes everyone wonder what you have been up to!!!

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: I am currently reading a book about giving inspiring speeches and presentations. I am in the chapter called "The Persuasive Power of Words" that deals with the use of rhetoric. It will be interesting to find a balance between the dull information-over-loaded lecture and hyped detail-light sales pitch. Hopefully I'll know what I'm talking about. JACK'S REPLY: Remember some of the sermons you've heard.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Winning Words 5/21/09
“I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining. I believe in love, even when I can’t feel it. I believe in God, even when he is silent.” (Sent by L.G.) These words were found scratched on a basement wall in Paris during World War II. Faith is what enables us to endure those times when God seems to be silent. Hang in there! ;-) Jack

FROM MKH IN MICHIGAN: I believe even then too. Hang in there is the only option!

FROM J.B. IN MINNNESOTA: I just wanted to let you know that your Winning Words have made it all the way to Bogota Columbia in South America! I shared this with a friend of mine and she sent it to her brother who is a Priest serving in Bogota. She said he would love this one!

FROM MOLINER G.S.: And we grow most in our faith when we're most challenged.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: When God is silent, he is probably listening.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Memorial day prose:
I love people even when they are unlovely like I often am. I believe in hope even after it has been politicized. I believe in change because by definition it is inevitable. I believe light will conquer dark, warmth will conquer cold, I believe this more and more even as I grow old. I am thankful for the men and women who help to keep me free. But most of all I am thankful for God, for thee

FROM C.H. ON CAPE COD: Thank you. I like this one.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: We're hanging in! Thanks to you for your good winning words, each week day!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I read those words years ago and they always stayed with me. They were in material sent to me for newsletter when I was a church secretary. I put them on my Computer!! (Sound familiar?) I like to think God wasn't silent...just waiting patiently to give us what we needed next.

FROM PR P.H. IN MINNESOTA: i was told these words were found on a wall in a barracks at one of the infamous Nazi concentration camps. no matter, they are still timely and instructive words

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Winning Words 5/20/09
“This is an exciting world. It is cram-packed with opportunity. Great moments wait around every corner.” (Richard Devos) These seem to be words meant for our time. Sometimes it’s difficult to write words like exciting, opportunity and great. It depends on whether we look at the world using a microscope or a telescope. ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It is a very exciting world....we never know what's going to happen when. It keeps us on our toes. Early this morning, while walking our property, I was amazed at the miniature world wake awake already. We have a habitat for Red Winged Black birds and sometimes the "noise" is astonishing! I will admit though, I would rather be in that "world" than the "real" world most days, as the "real" world isn't always pleasant.
However, each world is full of wonder if you are able to move the mess aside. FROM JACK:
Isn't that "early morning" world a "real" world? I'm sure that the worm isn't too happy when the robin is pulling it out of the ground. This morning I took a centipede from beside my computer and placed it outside in the "real" world. I'm sure it wasn't too happy about that.

"There's Treasure Everywhere" (Calvin & Hobbes) JACK'S REPLY: ...and it's in the eye of the beholder.

FROM J.C. IN HONG KONG: wow, how elitist can you get! devos is out of touch with most peoples' realities. maybe he needs to do more walking through land-mine fields ... there's some great moments for ya .. well, no doubt those folk weren't part of his intended audience ... by the way, microscopes AND telescopes can both be quite amazing ... JACK'S REPLY: See, you're focussing in on the messenger instead of the a lot of church-people do. I thought about microscopes and telescopes and decided to use the illustration as a way of pointing out that use them to look at the extremes...and neglect what is seen without them. Even that has its problems. The point being: This is an exciting world...and there are opportunities...and the next
exciting opportunity can be just around the corner. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Winning Words 5/19/09
“To wish to be the person you aren’t is to waste the person you are.” (John Wesley)
This quote reminds me of a poem that I learned long ago. I’ll put it on the blog. We
each have talents and opportunities that are ours, alone. Let’s take an inventory and
work on them, for as we’ve heard: A mind is a terrible thing to waste! ;-) Jack

FROM J.B. IN WISCONSIN: Do you recall the poem
De sunflower ain't de daisy De melon ain't de rose
Why is dey all so crazy to be somethin' else that grows?
Jes' stick to de place you're planted and do de bes' you knows
Be de melon or de daisy de sunflower or de rose.
That was in a book of poetry my parents gave me (purchased from you when you were still in Irma)
It was one of my favorites. I don't know where the book is anymore but that little verse has stuck with me all these years. Have a nice day. God bless.

BE YOURSELF (Anonymous)
De sunflower ain't de daisy, and de melon ain't de rose;
Why is dey all so crazy to be sumfin else dat grows?
Jess stick to de place yo're planted, and do de bes yo knows;
Be de sunflower or de daisy, de melon or de rose.
Don't be what yo ain't, jess yo be what yo is,
If yo am not what yo are den yo is not what you is,
If yo're jess a little tadpole, don't yo try to be de frog;
If yo are de tail, don't yo try to wag de dawg.
Pass de plate if yo can't exhawt and preach;
If yo're jess a little pebble, don't yo try to be de beach;
When a man is what he isn't, den he isn't what he is,
An' as sure as I'm talking, he's a-gwine to get his.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I remember that poem well! I'm not sure where I first heard it but I used to hear it a lot. I don't want to be anyone else, but I would love to have a few different "parts" to me. I am happy though with who I am, what I have done, what I will do. I read a saying in one of my books a few days ago....."Jesus Knows me, this I love."

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Yes, And a waist is a terrible thing to mind. That's where I wish I were the man I was.

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: This is a great quote. I think I'll try committing it to memory. Thanks.

This is a good one; as are many of your WW’s! As I read this, I thought of a similar sentiment that I read somewhere. Not exactly sure who said it…”When the end of your life comes, God will not ask you, ‘Why were you not more like Rick Warren or Joel Osteen or (fill in the blank). God may, instead, ask why you were not more like yourself.”

FROM J.H. IN OHIO: love this one....

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: as we prepare for pre-school graduation, one of our graduates expressed a concern to her mother. the child stated, "someday i'm going to miss me." this little one doesn't waste a minute of who she is. doesn't sound like she wishes to be anyone else either. she's going to kindergarten. i'm going to be the one missing.

Be The Best Whatever You Are
by Douglas Malloch

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley--but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass--
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here.
There's big work to do and there's lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail--
Be the best of whatever you are!

FROM ME IN MICHIGAN: "I wanna be a supermodel."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Winning Words 5/18/09
The things which hurt, instruct.” (Ben Franklin) The History Channel had an interesting hour on Franklin this past week. What a brilliant mind! He had common sense, too, as is shown in today’s quote. I can think of lessons that pain and loss have taught me. And, I didn’t necessarily like it at the time, either. ;-) Jack

MORE FROM JACK: Today, I think of the workers at auto dealers from across the nation, who are losing their jobs, because dealership are having to close in the process of business reorganization. Jobs are people. Jobs are families. As a word of encouragement, I think of words from an old Fred Astair/Ginger Rogers movie: Swing Time...."Pick yourself Up And Start All Over Again."
Nothing's impossible I have found, For when my chin is on the ground, I pick myself up, Dust myself off, Start All over again. Don't lose your confidence if you slip, Be grateful for a pleasant trip, And pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again. Work like a soul inspired, Till the battle of the day is won. You may be sick and tired, But you'll be a man, my son! Will you remember the famous men, Who had to fall to rise again? So take a deep breath, Pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again.

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: We are now midstream in a three hour movie documentary about BF......quite "enlightening"............and the book about him by HW Brands that I'm reading now is great,too.....THE FIRST AMERICAN....... REPLY FROM JACK: Circumstances were such that he did not get to be the STAR as President of the United States of America. But he was probably played a more influential role in the success of the new country than did anyone else.

FROM MOLINER LIZ: That was a good show. I saw part of it as I was channel surfing. Hope I get to see the rest of it. Yes, pain is a good teacher, but does it have to be so painful?

FROM MOLINER G.S.: BF is one of my heros. Have you read his autobiography? He was quite an athlete - the only one who could swim the across the mouth of the Beverly?
River in Beverly MA.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: So there is a silver lining to this existing congress? financial promiscuity of today forges shackles for our children and grandchildren. Deficit (so far) as percent of GDP is near 4x higher than the gut less Republican GW had it. From about 3.2 to 11.8 percent of GDP. I see the Change but Hope is fading.
REPLY FROM JACK: I see that you're wearing your optimistic hat today!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Through the years, life itself has been painful, scary, depressing, etc etc. However, it has also been filled with fun, friendship, love and many many lessings. I guess it's all in the way you handle life. Life can be very painful but we do learn to avoid as much as possible. And to take the joy and laughter when we can.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Yes. learning can be a painful experience. But the joy is worth it. FROM JACK: Joy? CF's response: Not the joy of pain, the joy of learning.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Didn't someone else say, "It's an ill wind that blows no good."? Troubling as some events may be, something positive can be salvaged from what happened. REPLY FROM JACK: I wonder what those who've been through a tornado or a hurricane have to say about this.

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: isn't that the truth. one of our family sayings is, "that which does not kill you makes you stronger". there were times when i thought it would have been easier to be killed. then a nanosecond later, i change my mind. i love life, even through the tough times. REPLY FROM JACK: We are who we were. Robert Schuller has a saying: Tough times never last; tough people do.

FROM J.E. IN MICHIGAN: Jack, even though it’s Wednesday, I keep coming back to the quote you sent on Monday. For a long time I was stuck on the quote on the Marine’s billboard in Vermont, “Pain is weakness leaving your body.” Generally pain brings new insights and strength. My oldest sister is going through a divorce. Real exercise can sometimes be painful, but the long term benefits are worth it. My mom always used to say, “….offer it up to the poor souls in purgatory.”

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Me, too. But it does depend on the lesson it teaches!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Winning Words 5/15/09
“To solve big problems, you have to be willing to do unpopular things.” (Lee Iacocca) This week I was talking with someone who had big problems on his desk, and his name wasn’t Obama. True leaders are more concerned with problem solving than they are with approval ratings. Based on what he did as head of Chrysler in the 1980’s, Iacocca’s words ring true. ;-) Jack

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: the right thing is definately not always the popular one. ask any teenager. FROM JACK: That's right. You were a teen-ager once.

FROM E.A. IN FLORIDA: This is one of the truest "winning words" that I have received. One should not worry about approval ratings when making decisions---especially one which adversely affects some but creates a better good for many more.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Many things are unpopular now-a-days, especially belief in God and belief in the Bible. We are finding our faith tested constantly. And, it looks like it will be tested more in the months ahead. We stay strong in what we have always believed, but it's most unpopular. God's words ring true!

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: I don't know how you feel about the problems with the American automotive companies, but I feel that the Chrysler management has been more forthright then GM in how they handled the announcement of the downsizing of their franchised dealers. At least Chrysler made public their decision, GM hid behind their decision - leaders willing to do unpopular things, but not having the courage to make their decisions public. REPLY FROM JACK: Apples and oranges. Two different situations, with Chrysler
hooking up with an Italian company. I haven't walked in the shoes of either, but I do think that GM is doing the best that they can do. In either case, more people lose jobs. I blame the NY money manipulators.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Winning Words 5/14/09
“You are the same today as you’ll be in five years, except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” (Charlie “Tremendous” Jones) Charlie got his nickname, because he would always say, “Tremendous,” when faced with a problem. He saw it as an opportunity. Yesterday I attended a workshop and became acquainted with several very interesting people. Now, I’m looking for a new book. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Jack you made me cry today! Charlie “Tremendous” Jones died a few years ago. He truly was a Tremendous man. My son (then 14) loved him, we met him in Anaheim, CA right before my book came out in January 2005. A true gentleman, humorist, and man of God. One of the few guys that actually lived up to their marketing. He will be missed. And his/your WW today is exactly correct. Everything I have done or become or will become, that is a rise above my Appalachian baseline—began in a book.

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: I'm reading THE LAST DICKENS by Matthew Pearl. I recommend it to you.

FROM M.T. IN PENNSYLVANIA: You'll probably get an inbox-full of suggestions. Mine would be The Tipping Point, or Blink, or Outliers (or all 3, in that order) by Malcolm Gladwell. He has a knack for turning a compelling train of thought into a good story, populated by a host of interesting and important real people and their work. FROM JACK: The librarian says that thy're all on loan, but I will be notified when they come back.

FROM MOLINER G.S.: I was remarking last month at a new business open house that I didn't know any of the people in the room 5 years ago, before we started Champions Bible Study. REPLY FROM JACK: I celebrate
occasions like that, because it means that I've widened my circle of friends.

FROM G.C. IN SAN DIEGO: During my media days I came to know Charlie Tremendous Jones. We did a show w/ him and Ken Blanchard on the business world and ethics and Christian values. You kept wondering if this guy is for real...he was and is. Ken Blanchard was the key in the whole show.

FROM CJL IN OHIO (YOUNGSTOWN): Try The Winner's Manual" by Jim Tressel of YSU and Ohio State fame. FROM JACK: What's YSU?

FROM PR P.H. IN MINNESOTA: i think my body will be 5 years older and that won't be the same! FROM JACK: I hope your mind grows, too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Winning Words 5/13/09
“Always go forward in life.” (Chuck Daly) NBA Hall-of-Fame coach Daly is being buried today. Today’s WWs are his last words whispered to former player, Joe Dumars. It was his way of saying, goodbye. It’s good advice too, for all of us, when we are wondering what our next move should be. Always go forward. ;-) Jack

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: Lately when people ask about my progress in school I say "I'm going forward". This quote was timely... in many ways. Thanks as always.

FROM J.M. IN COLORADO: I can always count on WWs to bring things into perspective. We are in the process of moving to DC (again) -- the movers come June 5, and I've been preparing reluctantly because I really don't want to move this time. In the next couple years we'll settle, but right now I needed a little push to get me moving again. Always go forward in life! This IS a forward move.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: My gearbox doesn't have a "Reverse" REPLY FROM JACK: Sometimes reverse gets us out of tight spots.

FROM MOLINER LIZ: Wow. Always the coach... wonderful last words.

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: Ironic that he said "Always go FORWARD in life to a guy who played at the GUARD position!!!

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Just where is "forward" exactly?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Winning Words 5/12/09
“Life is full of shadows, but the sunshine makes them all.” (Unknown) If the world were all sunshine, it would be a desert. I’m thankful for some of the shadows, for they help to put things into perspective.” ;-) Jack

FROM INDY GENIE: I feel the same way about the weather.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Have you ever studied a black/white picture/movie and looked how they use the shadows? They use them as we ought to use them in life...

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: So many times it's so peaceful to sit in the shadows. Shadows are what make the sunshine so wonderful. Today my husband and I celebrate 31 years of marriage. The shadows are so much gentler now and the sunshine so much brighter. We look forward to both.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Does the sun make shadows or something in its way make shadows?

FROM E.D. IN ARIZONA: Speaking of sunshine and shadows...I attached a picture from Buckskin Gulch
(Arizona/Utah border) on a recent hike through the beautiful Navajo sandstone. FROM JACK: That's really an interesting picture. If any reader wants to see it, I can forward it.

FROM R.G. IN ARIZONA: Actually it is the 'object' that makes the shadows, not the light. If we consider the the 'light' as the truth, and the shadow as the absence of it, we might consider that the shadows are a result of our own constructed objects (opinions, beliefs, ideas, etc.) that interfere with the Light of Truth. How often can we admit to our own errors as evidence of this? This alone provides support for the command to 'remove the beam from thine own eye...' so the light can give evidence for the Truth --- not just my perception of it. How are you, by the way? Stay well my friend!

FROM G.C. IN SAN DIEGO: I love shadows! It is my favorite time of the time to play golf!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Winning Words 5/11/09
“History never looks like history when you’re living through it.” (John W. Gardner)
When I grew up in The Great Depression, I never thought of it as an historical occasion.
I could make a list of similar events that happened in my lifetime. In the future, as
people look back on our present decade, what history-making events do you think will stand
out? Maybe we can compare our lists? ;-) Jack

MORE FROM JACK: Wasn't it Henry Ford who said, "History is bunk?" What's bunk?

FROM T.L. IN MICHIGAN: Thanks again for the daily bread.

FROM M.T. IN PENNSYLVANIA: just for fun, here's a tidbit from A. Whitney Brown's brilliant book of social/political satire, "The Big Picture" History is a very tricky thing. To begin with, you can't get it mixed up with the past. The past actually happened, but history is only what someone wrote down. If you don't think there is a difference, just witness an event and then read about it the next day in 'The New York Post.' History is made by writers -- made up, if they have a deadline. Knowing this reveals one of the greatest mysteries of history: The reason history repeats itself is not a cosmic plan, it's plagiarism.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I must be odd. I have always thought about how history will treat the big events we were living through. I saw (news of)assassinations of JFK, (age 7) MLK, RFK (4-5 years later) The moon landing, Vietnam, Woodstock (age 13) race riots, Kent State, and the free love hippie movement all by age 15. It felt like history in the making to me. Converting America into a French Socialist state by Balkanizing groups of people to gain power and handing Chrysler (or the Anti-Chrysler as it were)over to the UAW and overt versus covert welfare for businesses (GM-AIG-CITI et al) yes Jack I see history and I wish it were only an Oliver Stone conspiracy plot in a movie. We cannot help but live history by definition--whether we are aware is another thing.

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: I have always felt that we don't really start getting any true perspective on an historical event until we are at least fifty years from it....until the primary characters are dead and gone. I think we are just starting to get a handle on the depression and WW II and perhaps the immediate post-war years. Most of the history on the 60s and 70s is no good now since too many of the participants are trying to write it and, therefore, there is no objectivity. I personally think that the late 50s and early 60s will be seen as a great time when we made enormous progress forward as a people and that the late 60s and 70s will be seen as a negative period in US history....but, it remains to be seen. I'm on my way to Colorado and heading thru good old EM.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: History is for people who live in the past, Learn from it and look ahead.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I wish this era was history! I do not like the way things are heading for the country at all. I'm afraid of the coming "history" also. I try keep my postive thoughts but some days it's just overwhelming. Today was one. Tomorrow will come soon enough and today will be history.

FROM A.W. IN ILLINOIS: been reading the original book by the astronauts about Apollo 11. Just think, it was 40 yrs ago men walked on the surface of the moon. Also, I suddenly realized that I have been driving an automobile for more than 60 yrs....What history!

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, the market crash, the tragedy in Africa, the election of Geo.Bush in 2000 and the 2008 election.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Winning Words 5/8/09
“The only things worth learning are the things you learn after you know it all.” (Harry Truman) If Harry were still alive, he’d be 150-years-old today. I have a friend who’s a Truman impersonator. I think I’ll phone him and wish him a Happy Birthday. HST never made a dime giving speeches or writing books after he left the White House. I admire him for that…and for other things, as well. ;-) Jack

FROM M.T. IN PENNSYLVANIA: In 1995 I saw a 'made-for-TV' movie about Harry Truman. ("Truman" starring Gary Sinise as HT-- details from It was exceptionally good. If it's possible to obtain it from anywhere (Netflix, maybe?), you'd enjoy it.

FROM J.L. IN MICHIGAN: He and Bess also drove home to Independence, Missouri in their own car after his successor was innaugurated. They didn't even have Secret Service protection! REPLY FOR JACK: Someone asked him, "What was the first thing you did when you got home?" and he replied. "I took the grips up to the attic." That's my kind of guy.

FROM T.G. IN ILLINOIS: Harry Truman was an icon and a man of his time. How fate plays a big hand. Can you imagine where we would be if FDR had not dumped Henry Wallace in 1944 and picked HST as his VP. Wallace would have been a disaster stepping into the presidency. "Give 'em hell, Harry!"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Well, being asTruman ended WWII by making the tough decision to drop “the bomb” on Japan. He also led the UN intervention in Korea (although it was Eisenhower who negotiated the truce). I think he also was the president when the Marshall Plan was implemented – this was a military and economic process that probably created NATO and did a lot to get Europe back on its feet. He was the one who used the motto – “the buck stops here”. He was stalwart in his defense of the US. I agree with you! He had some extremely tough decision and I'm sure he did a lot of his learning the hard way. Being President is a job I would personally never want! Thank God for strong leadership.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Harry Truman was the last truely honest president we have had. He called 'em as he saw 'em.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: There's also a Greeting Card with that statement on it with no reference to HST. BTW - have you read Plain Speaking by Merle Miller? It's a biog of HST and a real good read. Get something out of it, too, Like: Q. Mr. President, what would have happened if you would have made this decision rather than that one? A. I didn't. Next Question! Said a lot about HST... REPLY FROM JACK: I think that Truman was using the quote to make a point. Like most of us do in our sermons. Just like "the buck stops here." It's attributed to him, but others used it before he did. He used it to indicate that he, as President, is ultimately responsible.

FROM A.W. IN ILLINOIS: I heard there is a new book about Harry and Bess about their cross country auto trip after they left the White House. He is still one of America's greatest and most honest Presidents in my book. Would that God would send us more like him!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Winning Words 5/7/09
“No matter how wealthy we are, we have only ten fingers on which to display our rings.” (Dalai Lama) I’ve seen people wearing rings on their toes. I’ve seen rings in ears, in eyebrows, in lips, in noses and in other places.. But this quote isn’t about rings; it’s about the limitations of wealth. I only wear one ring, and I am very rich. ;-) Jack

FROM JACK: Sorry that you received WWs late today. It was a server problem. They went out at 5 am.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: What are riches after all?? Some people "blame" people for their wealth, some others for their lack of same. Wealth to me is forgiveness of sin, freedom, love of family and friends, good health, eternal life, and enough. Enough to survive and enough to be comfortable. It is enough!

FROM D.C. IN KANSAS: Missed you today. Hope you are OK. Tomorrow is Harry Truman's 150th birthday. His grandson, Clifton Truman Daniels, was on the radio today and told of a saying he remembered. "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." (That's as I remember him telling it.) His grandson recalled that Harry wanted to punish the Germans after WW I for 50 years, but acted quite differently after WW II.

FROM TEACHER C.A. IN LAS VEGAS: These winning words are ironic to me. Before I even read today's winning words one of my first grade students told me that I must be rich because I was wearing a ring, a bracelet, earrings and a necklace. I explained to her that those "things" are not what make a person rich. I'm not quite sure she understood what I was saying, but someday she will know what it means to have a rich life.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Thanks, I bet I know which one it is! FROM JACK: It's not on my toe.


FROM D.P. IN MINNESOTA: I can't wear any rings because of arthritis, but I am rich, too.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: I once was fairly wealthy and also very healthy.....but now that both have waned ......I've learned to live again........comfortable and at peace..........except when some damed, stupid politician makes some "jackassed" proposal which threatens either world peace , health care for all, food for all and opportunity for all......and freedom of religion or to be not religious at all.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Winning Words 5/6/09
“Neither despise nor oppose what thou dost not understand.” (Wm Penn) The song says, “What the world needs now is love…” That’s true, but I think that world also needs more understanding…of why people act as they do…of how our actions affect the planet and the lives of future generations. The longer I live, I become more tolerant of some situations and less tolerant of others. I try to understand.. ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I find myself in the same situation....more tolerance on some things...less on others. I can't believe how things get so twisted around and changed around to fit what people want to believe. It's unreal. There are some very basic truths in life which can not be changed, even if unpopular. And I can't seem to understand. I then fall back on the Serenity Prayer.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Dost this meaneth that if thou understandith it, thou canst oppose or despisest it? FROM JACK: I'll tolerate your answer. MORE FROM C.F.: That's why I like you. You understand me.

FROM B.G. IN MICHIGAN: A good WW for today.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Be careful becoming less tolerant of anything. Someone might call you
a conservative. FROM JACK: Perhaps a centrist!

FROM H.S. IN MICHIGAN: One of your finest

FROM PR J.S. IN MICHIGAN: I really don't understand EVIL. I don't understand from whence it arises and how it can dominate us in such horrible ways. Should I then not oppose it??? The word "tolerant" is a word that has so many meanings that it has virtually become worthless. In some ways it is a word that could well be translated "wishy-washy". In other ways associated with Liberals in America it is a word that says "I will ok that which I like but will brand people I don't like with the label "Intolerant." I don't find "tolerance" as we know it in today's society as a positive trait from a scriptural point of view. I listen to Jeremiah and I don't find him very tolerant of Israel's injustice. He instead urges them to "change your ways and your doings." I don't find Jesus very tolerant of the Pharisees and certainly Matthew 5-8 is as about an intolerant a piece of work as you could find anywhere. It roundly condemns virtually all of us. "Tolerance" has become a trademark of ELCA Liberalism (I am not fond of Conservatives either but at least they are not hypocritical enough to say that they are tolerant). The ELCA is very tolerant of the Arab world's destruction of Christians in their midst (and very intolerant of Jewish walls). The ELCA is very tolerant of having Hindis head Christian religious departments (and intolerant of schools that unabashedly put forth the gospel). Their form of tolerance is as judgmental as any intolerance has ever been. Let's get rid of the word tolerant and substitute "I favor" or "I don't favor" something and here is my reasoning. It might be an exercise in thought for some of our friends to try that approach. It would certainly clear away a ton of hypocrisy. FROM JACK: I'm comfortable with my understanding of EVIL as being that which is opposed to the ultimate good (GOD). I tolerate views different from my own, because I am always try to be a learner. I'm comfortable with a Hindu leading the Religion Dept in one of "our" schools, because I know the individual you are referring to, personally, and we connect on a spiritual level.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: With understanding comes tolerance & prejudice, for & against. FROM JACK: Tolerance and prejudice are both imperfect, "when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be done away ."

FROM CJL IN OHIO: We have to live with the imperfect here.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Winning Words 5/5/09
“Do you think the land has no feelings? I saw a building plot die of shame at being put up for sale like a slave with a price tied round his neck.” (Dom Helder Camara) This causes me to wonder if the foreclosed homes and the shuttered factories and the land which is called, Detroit, have feelings. Are humans the only ones with feelings? ;-) Jack

FROM N.L. IN FLORIDA: I always felt sorry for cars, boats, homes, factories etc., but not empty fields who where allowed to grow free. FROM JACK: There's talk of turning some of the empty blocks in the city of Detroit back to farm fields or into tree farms. I wonder how the land feels about that. REPLY FROM N.L.: THAT'S WHAT I WOULD WANT IF I WERE LAND. "GREAT IDEA"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I once read a story about trees who screamed as they were cut down. Only one man could hear the sound and he, of course, went crazy. No, I don't think inanimate things have feelings, but I do believe the people who lived, worked, cried, laughed, raised children, painted, decorated, planted, and died in the Therefore, they do live through memories! FROM JACK: I wonder if outhouses have feelings.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I could be ready to argue either side of this. But I am leaning your way. The quick answer is no. But we do attribute a lot human attributes to land, home and factories. We love it, tax it, regulate it, we care for land and buildings, houses, we fight for land, divorce/foreclose it and sue for possession, not unlike child custody. Some times we abuse and hurt the land with toxic chemicals, just like many do with their own bodies. We revere some land and buildings more than others as we do one class,
ideology, or color of people over another. Some land is dependent on the government and we see the effects of welfare as it infects both human and real property and like swine flu has now migrated to business as a carrier. Now we are ascribing human characteristics to GM and Chrysler the question is are we feeding them or teaching them to fish? So as a believer in Austrian Theory Economics the answer is no. As a songwriter who just wrote "Least Momma Died Before Elvis" (for Mothers Day),a dad, son, husband and taxpayer
and voter; I can tell you I wept a little last week when I drove by my childhood home. Maybe the answer is land makes us feel. And if you don't think an unfeeling thing can make you feel then you have just never met
Katie Pendergast (from my 8th grade class) FROM JACK: My childhood home has been torn down, and now the land has been made into a parking lot. I wonder how the land feels about that? In the glory days, it was probably a pasture. And before that, it was in the mind of God when he said, "let there be dry land," or words to that effect.

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: I once apologized to a dress at the store because I chose another one to be my Easter dress. I didn't want it to feel bad that it didn't get picked. MORE FROM LP.: Ironically
anthropomorphism is something I have tried for many years to "grow out of". Though it's helpful in the sense of reducing, reusing and recycling because I'm sad to think of my belongings rotting in a dump-yard crying of neglect. Of course I was also sad when I thought how my couch went to the Salvation Army store near campus
because that is probably where the frat houses get their porch couches. (I patted it apologetically as they hauled it - unceremoniously - out the door... shhhhh)

FROM MOLINER C.F.: I think humans own the shame for what happens to the land.

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: well, i believe that the spirit that dwells within all structures feels the shame that is put upon it. REPLY FROM JACK: I'll have to think about that. It sounds like animism. Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas thought about it, too. MORE FROM M.L.: all is god's creation whether animate or in...we cannot survive without the generousity of the inanimate. happy contemplating plato!

FROM A.W. IN ILLINOIS: with all the strange stuff going out on e-mails, it is refreshing to get something to think about. Decatur has many homes boarded up, waiting for destruction. Someone should go around and
paint a sad, crying face on the plywood covering the windows. Surely the happy memories in that house have saturated the walls.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Winning Words 5/4/09
“Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.” (Henry Kissinger) I suppose H.K. said these words after having been a presidential cabinet member. There are some people who are energized by facing problems, but not many. Celebrate the times you’ve met a problem and successfully put it behind you. Can you think of one of those times right now? ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Any time you move forward you are bound to run into problems of one sort or another. The irony is that if you just stay put, some sort of problem usually comes to you.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: That's life...a set of problems solved as best as we can and then we move on to more of life. It's not this one thankfully, where we will spend eternity. But I believe there are many more successes than problems!

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: I remember Henry Kissinger had a whole lot to do with things going on in the Middle East. As interesting as the Winning Words always are, also is interesting the really varied diversity of people you pull from, it's a delight to see that much inclusiveness!!!!!

FROM MOLINER G.S.: Yes, I'm to take my Federal First Responder test later this week. Passed all 11 exams so far, in 6 weeks. Jack, I haven't taken college level exams in over 40 years - until this year.Not as bad as business decisions, though.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: I think Henry was wrong on this one. A problem solved is an open door to greater success. FROM JACK: In a way, both thoughts are correct.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Winning Words 5/1/09
“If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” (Michigan’s Motto) The people of Michigan are experiencing some tough times, but God has been good to us by giving us a beautiful land, bounded by four of the Great Lakes. May 1, marks the beginning of Michigan Month, a time each year when we celebrate all of the great things about our state, both the Upper and the Lower peninsulas. ;-) Jack

FROM D.L. IN OREGON: The truth of your state motto was tested by my family who lived in Munising, Upper Peninsula for five years. My privilege was to live and work there for two summers while a college student. The beauty of that area takes a persons breath away.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I was just a little girl when I first heard Michigan's Motto....other than Sunday School songs, it was one of the first things I memorized....I just thought it was so pretty. Thanks for sharing it. I sent it on to my fellow Michiganders!

FROM HILLTOPPER PR J.S. IN MICHIGAN: Is there a state song for Michigan? I can still remember the state song for Illinois that I learned in grade school.

Michigan is lovely at night.

FROM PR P.H. IN MINNESOTA: i fondly recall those Michigan Month breakfasts held at the Orchard Lake Country Club. all good memories.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I guess living in the suburbs of Detroit you must think about the wonderful & beautiful land "up north". After all, they are connected. FROM JACK: It's beautiful in our neighborhood, too.

What a nice word for May one.

FROM S.G. IN TAMPA: One of the beautiful trips we made from Moline to Ann Arbor was driving around Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, doing the Upper Peninsula and visiting Mackinac Island before returning to Ann Arbor. Also, taking the direct route, we would stop at Michigan City and the sand dunes.We do indeed live in a beautiful and varied country.