Friday, July 31, 2009

Winning Words 7/31/09
“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If want happiness for a month, get married. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone.” (Chinese Proverb) Which of the five will you work on today? I’m going to read again, the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: This is an insightful, though somewhat amusing, bit of advice. Of those various activities suggested, helping someone can bring personal satisfaction way out of proportion to the little effort expended. As for my own happiness today...I'm keeping it simple, I'm taking a nap. FROM JACK: That's good for an hour.

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: If I take a nap today, I hope it will be because I'll have more energy to help others,
if I go fishing, I hope I'll share the food, I have discovered over the years that I got married to help my husband, my offspring and my community, If I inherit a fortune or win the lottery, I will definitely give a big chunk of it to the church and to charities. Well, that's my schedule for today. The only one thing I know for sure I'll be doing is being married and helping someone.


FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: I'm not sure I agree with the marriage and fortune ones, but do like the others.

FROM J.E. IN MICHIGAN: This is a great one.

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: I'm so sad that happiness of marriage lasts less than the inheritance in this proverb. FROM JACK: As Walter Cronkite used to say, "And that's the way it is." Too bad!

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Some of the people are happy all of the time and all of the people are happy some of the time , but all of the people are not happy all of the time. Abe Press FROM JACK: If you're happy, and you know it, clap your hands.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Well, I would like to work on inheriting a fortune, but I don't know anyone wealthy (at least not weathly with money) so I guess I will do something nice for someone else today. Happy Friday!

FROM CJL IN OHIO: After you read it, What? FROM JACK: Somebody asked me to preach on Sunday. An emergency had come up. I said, "Yes."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Winning Words 7/30/09
“Failure to hit the bull’s eye is never the fault of the target. To improve your aim is to improve yourself.” (Gilbert Arland) I remember the story of a farmer who had a barn with many bull’s eyes painted on it and with an arrow in the center of each one. It turned out that he had painted the targets after he shot the arrows. Some of us are like that when it comes to the goals in our life. BTW, is the author of this quote Gilbert
Arland or Arland Gilbert? ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: It seems that Gilbert Arland or Arland Gilbert is a moving target. When checking sources, that quote is attributed to both authors. The words are reliable even if the name of the source isn't.

FROM L.G. IN MICHIGAN: This is a good one, Jack! Thanks for your daily messages! I can share one with you that I keep posted on my refrigerator: "The only thing worse than being unhappy is being happy and not knowing it!" This was printed in an issue of the AA Grapevine magazine in the 1950's and was reprinted a couple years ago. It is an anonymous quote. Boy, does it ring true for me--I look back on times in my life that were truly wonderful and wonder how I could have missed the wonder at the time I was living it...Have a "wonder-filled" day.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: A true statement of our ability to use everything to the best of our ability. I think that farmer was very smart. Probably didn't fool anyone, but was just a fun statement. That's the way I choose to look at life. Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure at our goals so to have some fun out of failure is the best way to handle things. As Annie sang, "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow, you're only a day away!" (Personally I like Arland Gilbert better than Gilbert Arland, so that's the way I'm going to remember him.) REPLY FROM JACK: That's a good way to look at it. Some are obsessed with being, always miss the mark. The Greek word for sin means, "missing the mark."

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Sometimes just hitting the target is close enough. FROM JACK: Except in horseshoes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Winning Words 7/29/09
“Refuse to accept the inevitable.” (Unknown) I saw these words on the face of a wall clock the other day and wondered about them. I found them in a JFK 1960 Senate speech. I also saw them in a poem, Something Has To Change, by Attila Gyenis. I think I now see the point, that all inevitable things are not necessarily inevitable. What does the face of that clock say to you? ;-) Jack

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: I do accept the inevitable that God is in charge. I want to accept that reality. Man is not totally unto himself. Always a basis for hope. The question is how we deal with adversity. FROM JACK: We each walk our own path....but goes with us all.

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: What's the old saying about death and taxes? Benjamin Franklin (1706-90), in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789, "'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." FROM JACK: Is anything inevitable until it happens?

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: The clock face gives me that hour in time, whether I want to accept it or not. That moment in my life has been reached and there's no going back. And the hour ahead is inevitable whether I want to accept it or not. People get too concerned about the superficial things which may or may not be inevitable, and what difference does it make? The vital patterns of life are set, and we can be comfortable living our life knowing that "it's taken care of." Previous WW also were wise words, and I think they apply to today's WW: Remember that not getting what you want can be a wonderful stroke of luck. FROM JACK: What it the clock stops before that next minute?

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: Oh man it’s time to get up and get to work! FROM JACK: Inevitable, but at least it's a job.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: That..."It's 5 o'clock somewhere!" (From a Alan Jackson song.) It was inevitable
ALAN JACKSON: The sun is hot and that ol' clock is movin' slow And so am I
Workday passes like molassas in wintertime But it's July
Gettin' paid by the hour and older by the minute My boss just pushed me over the limit
I'd like to call him somethin' But think I'll just call it a day
Chorus: Pour me somethin' tall and strong Make it a hurricane before I go insane
It's only half past twelve, but I don't care It's five o'clock somewhere

FROM CJL IN OHIO: It says "You read a lot" Keep it up... for us

FROM S.G. IN TAMPA: Stop whining and find something positive to do. FROM JACK: At first, I thought that you were talking to me, instead of commenting on WWs.

FROM PR P.H. IN MINNESOTA: we have but one life; t'will soon be past. only what's done for Christ will last.

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: Thank you for today's WW. REPLY FROM JACK: We are often quick to think about things as being inevitable, and, consequently, not doing anything to change the situation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Winning Words 7/28/09
“The Depression taught us a better way to live.” (Reminisce Books) While on vacation I read a book about The Great Depression. Here are some of the chapter titles. “We had everything but money…We didn’t know we were poor, but our parents knew it…When the banks closed, our hearts opened…Making-do was a way of life” I can relate to each one of them. I wonder if someone will write a book about The Great Recession? Do you have some chapter suggestions? ;-) Jack

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: Chapter 2 Descent into Socialism Chapter 3 America Begins to Wise Up MORE FROM L:
Chapter 5 The Elderly: Too Costly to Keep Alive? FROM JACK: Does that go for your dad and me? REPLY FROM L: Some would say so. Fortunately, in the final chapter, America does wise up. And remains the gold standard for health care the world over. Another happy ending! STILL MORE FROM L: Good morning. I do admire your "fair and balanced" blog! Thank you. Heard an interesting story on TV last nite. They said health care costs have increased because the quality of health care has increased. Think of all the technology we Americans have access to now. And take for granted. For example, I just had a CT scan in the ER. I know for sure that my terrible pain was diverticulitis-- no aortic aneurism, no tumors, nothing serious. Found that out in a little over two hours. Went home with antibiotics. I'm fine. Costly? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely. Today I take my dad to have his eye rechecked. A shot can stop the bleeding of macular degeneration. Next on the scientific agenda? Macular RE-generation. The lady I elder-sit is speaking in sentences again. And using words long forgotten. The Exelon patch for Alzheimer's. A medical miracle. My daughter, a pre-med student, just got back from a research lab in Minneapolis. You
can't even imagine what's in the works to make all of our futures brighter.

FROM S.H. IN MI: Maybe it's pie in the sky, but some of us are thinking and acting in our lives, making choices that lead to "sustainable" lifestyles--trying to live today in a way that is also constructive for future generations. Actually, what happened to the values that were learned during the Great Depression? Like I wrote, maybe sustainability is a concept that is pie in the sky because maybe we're all programmed in some way to forget and get off track every few decades or something. My suggestion for a chapter is "The Great Recession brought back our memories and reinforced that there is a better way for us to live."

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: My father in law often speaks about his Mom who had 14 kids of her own and how she always managed an extra loaf of bread or and extra pot of stew for any of the neighbors who may have needed it. I never met Grandma Hare I feel slighted about that! My Grandma who was born in 1903 a first generation German American it affected her and she lived the depression her whole life. She was practical and frugal but incredibly generous especially in gifts or time and love and wisdom. We called her a Kraut Head! Those Germans are very strong and straight to the point. I miss her terribly. I often think about how kind we were to each other after 911 sometimes I think we need to be shook up again. Wow I went off on that one!

FROM MOLINER G.S.: One of my best friends died last weekend. Born in 1924, he remembers his dad worked for the RR and out of work 5 years - used to pick up coal along the RR tracks for fuel for family of 6 at home.
They knew what thrift and hard work for little pay meant. FROM JACK: I remember being sent to the bank to cash a check for 3 cents. We could use the money.

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: Chapter Three...."How we got BUSHwhacked!"

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I could not agree more! I have been exposed to the concept my whole life and I know that I got it from my parents. Having my Mother here now for almost 4 years Rick can understand me more, I am sure. Our refrigerator overflows with leftovers. And they are always used up. He claims that there must be mold on some things and I just scrape it off behind his back. I rarely buy myself
anything as I just don't think I need it. I happened to catch a segment on Oprah the other day where different people were making a real effort to simplfy their lives. Their kids whined at first but soon became used to it
and were embracing the whole idea. I am seeing more examples of this all the time. As far as chapter suggestions. I actually had thought of writing something once called. AIways Rinse Out The Catsup Bottle. I have always done that and used it in making chili, spaghetti sauce, etc. But I came to the conclusion long ago that it also is a message about living life: Make the most of every day, etc. Incidentally, I just finished reading "The Last Lecture". Now I think I will try to find the video on the internet. Great stuff! FROM JACK: I scrape out the peanut butter jar with a spatula.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: I'd add a subtitle to "The Grest Recession"..."What's so Great About it?" FROM JACK: As you know, GREAT also means, huge. Sometimes those who are living through the bad time, scrounge around to find something Tom Brokow in his book, The Greatest Generation.

FROM GUSTIE M.N.: I don’t have any suggestions, but I was at the Minnesota History Center today to see the exhibit of “The Greatest Generation”. There was a docent there telling a bunch of kids about rationing. He mentioned gas and tires, but I chimed in sugar rationing too. Those kids have no idea. And you are right, we did not know we were poor. We had gardens and ate like kings I thought. We were also very patriotic and
ALWAYS saluted the flag and said the pledge—and we DID NOT murder the Star Spangled Banner when we sang it either. I can’t listen to it the way the pop stars sing it.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: what is the title of the book you read on the Great Depression? I want to read it . . . before I suggest any chapters for the Great Recession. FROM JACK: It was from Reminisce Books. It may have been called, It Was High Time We Learned About Life by Phelan Beale It could have been called simply The Great Depression

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: A good title will be "What's next?" I have my own reasons for that title, but it's perfect for the next step each of us will take in this Recession. I remember hearing and reading stories of the Hobos and how they would mark a house...good food, nice people, etc. I dont' remember all of the markings, but it was a very interesting time of our life.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE:'s "Winning Words" resonate with me. Jack and I are old friends and served as Colleagues for 30 years. He was a member of one of my congregations for a short time as he developed a Mission Congregation near Detroit....I was born as the Depression ended, but during food, clothing and products Rationing and before World War 2 began and I grew up during Rationing and the the City of

Monday, July 27, 2009

Winning Words 7/27/09
“Approach a goat from the back, a horse from the front, and a stupid person from no direction whatsoever.” (Yiddish Folk Saying) The point of this proverb is pretty self evident, but through the years I’ve tried to avoid using the word, stupid. Roget’s Thesaurus has helped me come up with the word, credulous. BTW, I’ll be offline for a couple of days, and not planning to do anything stupid. ;-) Jack

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: I wonder, does this WW mean a goat is somewhat predictable, a horse is somewhat predictable, but a credulous person is totally unpredictable and any interaction with her/him is bound to turn out badly? Actually, I prefer not thinking of a "stupid person" but a person who has some elements within her/him of stupidity. At the press conference, was it that President Obama indicated the policeman did something stupid. I wonder how come we jump from a person's stupid behavior to categorizing the whole person as stupid? That's a pretty heavy onus on all of us when we do that. FROM JACK: When I heard him say "acted stupidly," I winced, because I knew that the words would be inflamatory and understood in different ways by different prople. This morning there was an interesting segment on how crows can recognize differences in people, but how people have a difficult time recognizing differences in crows. Crows, people, goats and horses are predictable and unpredictable at the same time.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: In our family, stupid is a swear word. We never let the kids use it at all and still don't. And the kids had a wonderful example of what NOT to do from our very own "foolish" he was! Credulous, though is a good word....much better. But I stick with my Grandma Sorenson..."If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything!" REPLY FROM JACK: When I was younger, I used the word, stupid. It's a valid word, in some instances, but now that I'm older, I try to avoid it....except when I make stupid decisions. MORE FROM JUDY: When growing up, anything "not nice" was not said. And my parents
especially didn't like us to judge people by their looks or actions. I could tell you many many stories of the people my dad brought home. Stupid was one bad words.

FROM JACK: Frank and Nancy Sinatra once sang a song: Something Stupid.
so why do i feel like i'm livin' a lie
something in your eyes
is tellin' me to stop and think twice
and i just can't decide
so don't say you love me unless you mean it
'cause i might do something stupid
like believe it, like believe it
i might do something stupid
like believe it, like believe it
i might do something stupid

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I didn't know anyone "planned" doing something stupid... REPLY FROM JACK: Oh yes, I have planned several stupid things in my the time I bought a bar of Fels-Naptha soap, planning to soap my neighbor's screens on Halloween. Stupid. I did it, and have regretted it to this day. She was a nice lady, too.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Stupid seems to have become a popular word lately. Too bad it was used so stupidly. FROM JACK: Maybe you have to be stoop-ed to tie your shoes.

FROM S.G. IN TAMPA: I feel the same way about stupid. We have just returned from an incredulous trip to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Tetons, and Vail. I hope that you enjoy your days off. Thanks again for your Winning Words. REPLY FROM JACK: Hey, we grew up in the same city. But I didn't learn to let go of the
"stupid" word until later in life. Mary and I traveled to South Dakota after our wedding. The day we came to Mt. Rushmore, the monument was obscured by fog, so we never did see it. We did buy a postcard. We saw it in later years with our children.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Winning Words 7/24/09
“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” (Sent by D.S.) There have been several times in my life that I’ve wanted something very much and didn’t get it. At the time I was disappointed, but it turned out that I unexpectedly got something else better instead. We don’t always know what’s best for us. Has it also happened to you? ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: There's another maxim somewhat related to your WW. "Be careful what you want because you may get it."

FROM SOMEONE I KNOW: So true that we don't always know what is best for us. The psychiatric help I've gotten here has all the time been disappointing. Seems like the psychiatrists see a lot of people with chronic mental illness problems and they get sort of perfunctory about the hordes of patients they see. But finally a strange turn of events happened a couple of years ago and I got a young woman psychiatrist who specialized in geriatric psychiatry, works in nursing homes and assisted living besides her private patients and she is turning out to be immensely supportive of my goal to help disabled women who use wheelchairs. She is a person who prays, she has insight into people, she has vision and she especially is able to help people be positive about their situations and their possibilities. She must be great with those elderly people and she is kind of turning into a mentor for me. But the thing is I don't think I would be seeing her if it weren't for that long line of changes in insurance and doctors in each system, etc., etc., etc., so that I had never really settled down to one doctor/patient relationship that I would work to keep. At the time I was disappointed but it has turned out unexpectedly that I got something better instead.

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: My daughter is a top student (graduated Summa Cum Laude from U of
Mich) and I wanted very much for her to consider ***** for her collegiate experience.
********* didn't give her the time of day. She ended up at U of M and loved it and I am
so happy that she didn't go to *****. Now my nephew who is an ***** grad, a former Prez
of the Alumni Board, and a major contributor has a son who has an outstanding high school
record....Yale is interested in him along with the Un of Chicago, etc. This son has
received the cold shoulder from ***** as well and I wrote to him and said this may be one
of the best breaks of your life.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Yes! Great, isn't it?

FROM D.S. IN SAN DIEGO: trying to get that message through to your children is a life-long exercise in futility. Probably can say the same thing for ourselves, but once in awhile we recognize it when it happens.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Oh yes. When I didn't get my electric train. Twenty years later I got a NEW CAR.

FROM C.B. OUT WEST: I feel like that right now with selling our house. We put an offer on a lease to own and it fell thru. Thank goodness since we are still trying to sell that house. There is another house that I really wanted, was hoping that we would sell before the kids came home, but it didn't happen. I'm convinced that sometime between now and forever we will sell our house (it won't take forever). And I've come to like
this little rental with no air conditioning - it is quick to clean and we are on top of one another - which is kind of nice : ) I have learned I can live with a whole lot less, so it has been a very good lesson...

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: This is one of your Winning Words that I keep in the inbox for a day or so in order to look back at it. I think I can say unequivocably that everything I wanted that "didn't work out" worked out better somehow.

FROM INDY GENIE: although i totally believe in today's winning word, i'm not thinking in those terms today. reason being is that i got exactly what i wanted in the last couple of days. my kids planned a 60th birthay party for me from coast to coast are gathering in my home. the gala is tonight at 6:00....if you're in the neighborhood, drop by! i'm a happy and lucky girl!

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: I remember not getting what you "needed " was the norm, Reply: I remember not getting what you "needed " was the norm, and we just got used to it. Then when you did get a new pair of shoes for Easter, you hugged them, after you hugged your parents, or Aunt Laura.Also, if it started raining while wearing them I took them off and curled then under my chest. Imagine what life was like after I finally got the correct glasses I need for several years. Oh yes Jack, I remember. When I told our children we got
3 nickle hershey bars 4 Christmas from A.Lydia, i noticed skeptasism in our children. Oh, my I tell you right from the chest, we worked hard to give our children things we never had. We also paid most of their way through Madison, that took some doing. MORE FROM B.S.: one thing i"ll never forget was the cold. we had warm itchy woolen underwear, but still when going outside with the pail of ashes to be poured in the alley, or shoveling the side walk, it was cold. And then too we didn't have any fresh green beans or red beets from the garden. Also. we had to walk out to Unc John's farm to beg for potatoes. Then that long walk home carrying heavy potatoes and heads of cabbage

FROM B.S. NEAR ORLANDO: I'll never forget the fresh orange, and fresh apple plus the bag of Zion candy we got in Sunday school for Christmas. Our hung stocking contained another orange. I took a long time savouring that orange. slice by slice. But Hell, we made it, now that lovely Florida orange screws up my glucose. One item that scared me was the long candles that tiped over as the tree became dry.

STILL MORE FROM B.S.: it seams that most of us were in the same boat. One thing I do remember was the smell of meat cooking at some homes where the breadwinner had a job. we used to get a meat meal in the summer when we caught perch from L.Michigan. Usually we would walk barefoot down to the lake and back. When the perch would bite on the worms we dug in our garden we were in heaven. we dug in the innards to fertilized the garden. I knew we were poor when my Pa gave me my sister Peggy's glasses to wear when she
got new ones, and my Pa replaced the soles on our shoes.with real leather.weiners were a nickle.but not at the Cub Ball Park.

FROM C.A. IN MICHIGAN: I am enjoying your winning words. Thanks for keeping me on your list. Whenever I see your message I remember your words of wisdom to me at the synod assembly - "there are rainy day prayers and sunny day prayers, depending on your needs for that day." (something like that, but the idea stays with me ). Agape', FROM JACK: Rainy day and sunny day prayers? That sounds good enough for Winning Words. What I remember about our assembly meeting was being able to purchase an olive wood cross on a laniard. I presented it to my grandson on the day of his confirmation.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Winning Words 7/23/09
“Six faults ought to be avoided by one seeking prosperity in this world: sleep, sloth, fear, anger, laziness, prolixity.” (Unknown) I’ll try to keep this short. If you want to get ahead in this world, look at the above list and try to do the opposite. Now, which fault should we tackle first? ;-) Jack

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I've missed you. I have been having computer problems. Is that why I have not heard from you this week? Our Bible Study group went to a Muslim Mosque yesterday. It is all very interesting. I know that you have been in involved with ecumenical groups for a long time. My thoughts are that this is the only way the world will ever get along--accepting and trying to undersatnd other beliefs. In fact, I think that we are all a product of our culture and upbringing and if we had been born in the middle East we could easily be them. I find the common heritage and close geograghic proximity of those regions to be very significant. Their belief that Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son Ishmael (no mention of Isaac) puts an interesting spin on everything. And mentioning his wife Hagar (no mention of Sarah), ditto. What are your thoughts on this? Am I getting the facts right? I love your opinions. JACK'S REPLY: I've been on vacation in Wisconsin for a week. In my opinion you are right...getting along in this world means having a better understanding of of one another. Muslims and Jews (and Christians) all trace their faith heritage to Abraham. Abraham's first born was Ishmael, the son of Hagar (Sarah's handmaid). The Muslims see this as their faith beginning..The Jews (and later, the Christians) believe that God's promise of a "son" was to Abraham
and Sarah, and, thus, Isaac was the child of promise and their faith beginning. Therefore, Muslims and Jews have much in common...yet often focus in on their differences.

FROM M.T. IN PENNSYLVANIA: You've already handled prolixity!

FROM K.B. IN MICHIGAN: I kind of agree with five --but sleep? Don't we need that one? FROM JACK: Not on the job.

FROM PREACHER, B.M. IN MICHIGAN: What the heck is prolixity? FROM JACK: Pulpit People should look it up.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I would say fear of the unknown, especially in these terrible times in the USA. More and more government intervention is SO scary. I am afraid of where we are headed! FROM JACK: "Cast all your fears on Him."

FROM CJL IN OHIO: How about 'laziness' ? No. We'll work on that later.... FROM JACK: I like the sound of the word, sloth. Onomatopoeia describes it.

FROM L.P. IN MICHIGAN: Right now I'm battling fear -- masquerading as laziness. But, perhaps I shall never be prosperous since a lack of sleep leaves me a victim of the other 5 faults. FROM JACK: I think we have to face them, one at a time. Sloth and laziness seem to go together, so that cuts the list to five.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: I agree with all of your seven deadly sins except the one on prolixity. Prolixity is actually a very desirable trait because it helps one control the conversation. It is used often in Congress. Without prolixity we would be left to wonderwhat was meant. Brevity clouds the issue by being brief. Prolixity is sometimes mistaken for blowhardness but this is a myth. Blowhardness is in itself a deadly sin and should not be confused with prolixity. I'm sure that you have experienced prolixity in writing as well as spoken. Sometimes run-on is associated with prolixity but that, too, is a separate issue. If we did not have prolixity things would become vague and we would not be able to understand a computer instruction book. Chatterbox, motormouth and BS Artist are all derogatory references to prolixity, but I for one, prefer "communicator."More of this on page two tomorrow. FROM JACK: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

FROM B IN ILLINOIS: I have to admit… I had to look up prolixity. Nice one today! FROM JACK: I'm glad that you did what I expected some to do.

FROM D.S. IN SAN DIEGO: I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess.
He asked if I'd been 'computering',
And I had to answer 'yes.'
He told me to get off my fanny,
And tidy up the house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The smudges off my mouse.
I wiped and shined the topside.
That really did the trick.....
I was just admiring my good work.
I didn't mean to 'click.'
But click, I did, and oops - I found
A real absorbing site
That I got SO way into it -
I was into it all night.
Nothing's changed except my mouse.
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess....
While I sit here on my hiney.

FROM P.L. IN MICHIGAN: May be I should try the opposite of "prolixity" since I don' know what that means and I can make it what I want. FROM JACK: Part of the fun of doing WWs is to throw in a word like, prolixity, and see what people do with it. It makes the blog more interesting.

FROM GUSTIE M.N.: I will never get anywhere because I NEED my sleep! Ha!

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: Fear is my first and foremost to tackle, by letting God be God.

FROM P.H. IN MINNESOTA: Prolixity sounds like a laxative of some kind!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Winning Words 7/16/09
“You need to conquer the moon before you can conquer Mars.” (Bud Gordon) This is a modern take on the old proverb: “One step, and then another…” BTW, during August the moon and Mars will show up in the sky at relatively the same size, if you can imagine that. No one living has ever seen this, nor will anyone living see it again. Don’t miss it! But you will miss WWs for a week. vacationtime. ;-) Jack

FROM P.O. IN MICHIGAN: Have a wonderful time! FROM JACK: Next Sunday I will attend a Polka Worship Service at the County Fair, where the liturgy and the hymns will be with polka music.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: I can hardly wait until August to see two big night sky objects. Will the nights be lighter outside? ......Are you sure about that same size story. WOW

FROM M.T. IN PENNSYLVANIA: Good morning, Jack. The Moon-Mars sighting information is based on a misunderstanding of something that happened in 2003. Here's the full story:
FROM JACK: Do you mean to tell me that there's no Santa Claus, too?

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Going to Mars? Be sure to bring back some Mars Bars. FROM JACK: Be sure to read the blog today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Winning Words 7/15/09
“What was most significant about the lunar voyage was not that men set foot on the moon, but that they set eye on the earth.” (Norman Cousins) I’ll never forget those first pictures of the earth from outer space, 40 years ago. Spectacular! I became acutely aware that we are all passengers on the spaceship, Earth. Some major problems might be resolved if we could all realize that. ;-) Jack

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: Human beings are programmed to be contentious. Just look at the history of the church....and the next Bienniel Convention of the ELCA ought to be a doozy!!!

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Gradually, steadily, spaceship Earth is gaining passengers while the fuel supply is depleting. Maybe improving healthcare to keep people alive isn't such a good idea after all. FROM JACK: I guess it depends on which people you're talking about. I'm glad that my wife and I have health care.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I remember well the awesomely beautiful photos of the earth. Photos of the stars, moon, sun, distance galaxies...all never fail to absolutely amaze me! But to have stepped on the moon to look down on the blue/green earth....I can't imagine what that actually felt like! FROM JACK: Much of what we "know" is based on what others have told us.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: While Earth isn't the Good Ship Lollipop, it treats us pretty well as passengers. We just need to remember that it need regular maintenance.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I haven’t been able to look back at the earth, which would be super cool. But it reminds me of when I was doing media training how different we look speaking on video than we perceive in our minds. Part of the training was mock interviews while being taped and played back. The difference in perspective is startling and educational. FROM JACK: I never liked seeing myself on tape. My perception was different from reality. "O would some power the gift to give us, to see ourselves as others see us." Robert Burns, from his poem, "To A Louse," stanza 8.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Winning Words 7/14/09
“The day, night, sun, moon…I do not have to purchase these things with money.” (Plautus) This Roman writer lived around 2500 years ago, and he was looking at the same sun and the same moon, and he was talking about money, too, just like us. Time passes, but some things just stay the same. Incidentally, I read somewhere that in Jewish folklore there’s a story that says the moon is made of green cheese. ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Danish folklore says that the moon is a large cheese ball that resulted from the milk that spilled out of the Milky Way. (Alas, so much folklore was swept aside on July 21, 1969 when men personally found what the moon really was. And it took some money to do it. In just a few days we'll celebrate the 40th anniversary of that event.)

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Thanks for the info. I needed to know that!

FROM MOLINER C.F.: How many people have seen the sun and the moon and so few have seen the Earth. FROM JACK: You are anticipating tomorrow's WWs.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Jack, it's been a tough year. First I discover Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Obama are not as portrayed in popular culture and mainstream media. And now you are telling me my green cheese moon is folklore?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I always wondered if it was rotten cheese or just plain green cheese. Was it smelly cheese or bland green cheese, was it soft or hard cheese. When the first guys landed...I was shocked to learn it wasn't smelly, or rotten but it was a solid hard cheese...with a litte dust on top! :-) PS Golfing was good on the green cheese too!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Winning Words 7/13/09
“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit. There’s footprints on the moon.” (Brandt Paul) These words are from a song, “There’s A World Out There.” It was 40 years ago that the first moon landing took place. I remember the excitement that it generated. What is it that excites today’s generation? This week I’ll be using “moon” quotes. ;-) Jack

FROM E.P. IN ILLINOIS: My cockatiel, Buzz Aldrin, and I are going thru the morning email and we really like today's quote.

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: Are you "mooning" us this week? FROM JACK: I had thought about "saying" that, but I'm too much of a prude to actually do it.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: I was "mooned" once...and I wish he had been closer so I could have put a footprint on it!

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Judging from my nineteen year old granddaughter, today's generation is determined to make a difference.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: You're right about that. In WW you asked what the younger generation is doing. There seems to be a behavior disconnect in each generation, such as the "streakers" and the "mooners". One evening during their teen years, my son and a couple friends came home after dark laughing hilariously. While the one friend drove the car, my son had mooned someone through the car window.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Winning Words 7/10/09
“Too little or too much spoils anything.” (Danish Proverb) I remember a time when people didn’t talk about diets. But I do recall that the word “moderation” was often used in those days. It works, not just for what we eat and drink, but in many other areas of life, as well. What comes to your mind? ;-) Jack

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: Too much faith leads to death on a cross! FROM JACK: I'll have to think about that.

FROM E IN ILLINOIS: Ok, you win, after all. I've been thinking about what you said about not wanting anyone else's problems instead of your own. You are right. As bad as my life is at the moment, I realize that I wouldn't trade with anyone when it comes right down to it. What a strange phenomenon... FROM JACK: You win, because you've come to a realization.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Reflecting on yesterday's WW, it seems to me that today's WW applies to "ambition"...too little or too much can spoil things. FROM JACK: When son David was a toddler he would love to pour catsup on his food. His mother would say. "Tooooo much!" It got to the point that when he wanted catsup, he would point to the bottle and say, "Tooooo much!"

FROM S.H. IN MICHIGAN: talking/writing too much, talking/writing too little spoils anything. I know I've talked too much to my daughter when she tells me to stop lecturing her. Fortunately, in that case, stopping is good, and things still have turned out OK.

FROM GOOD DEBT JOHN: Many of the Victorian era books I have read, described “portly” or overweight as a sign of wealth. How times have changed.
MORE FROM JON: Some people are retrievers, I’m an observer. In my book, I quote a poor Indian man, saying, “I want to see America where the poor people are fat.”

FROM M.K. IN MICHIGAN: Interesting words today as I work in a substance addiction hospital this month... A place where "moderation" is not mentioned. I think many (addicts and otherwise) adopt an "all or none" philosophy.

FROM M.T. IN PENNSYLVANIA: ...and then there's the saying: "Everything in moderation....including moderation." (Sometimes its important to go all-out.) FROM JACK: I like it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Moderation is an action word and it would be nice if it were said more often and USED more often. Lots of things these days are either "too much or too little"....but mostly too, drink, taxes, government, selfishness, job loses, etc etc. It's a good thing it just takes a little faith and a little of God's grace to get us through it all.

FROM JACK: Here are the lyrics from something sung during WW 2:
They're Either Too Young or Too Old
Words by (Lyricist): Frank Loesser
Music by (Composer): Arthur Schwartz

They're either too young, or too old,
They're either too gray or too grassy green,
The pickings are poor and the crop is lean.
What's good is in the army,
What's left will never harm me.

They're either too old or too young,
So, darling, you'll never get stung.
Tomorrow I'll go hiking with that Eagle Scout unless,
I get a call from grandpa for a snappy game of chess.

I'll never, never fail ya,
While you are in Australia,
Or off among the Rooshians,
And flying over Egypt.
Your heart will never be gypped,
And when you get to India,
I'll still be what I've been to ya.
I've looked the field over
And lo and behold!
They're either too young or too old!

They're either too bald or too bold,
I'm down to the wheelchair and bassinet,
My heart just refuses to get upset.
I simply can't compel it to,
With no Marine to tell it to.

I'm either their first breath of spring,
Or else, I'm their last little fling.
I either get a fossil or an adolescent pup,
I either have to hold him off,
Or have to hold him up.
The battle is on, but the fortress will hold,
They're either too young or too old.


FROM JAN IN MICHIGAN: Maybe except for church offerings? FROM JACK: The deacons once came to me about a church member who was a tither, but he wasn't paying his bills. "Pastor, perhaps you can talk to him about using some of his tithe to take care of overdue bills?"

FROM P.L. IN MICHIGAN: I think physical labor was much more many years ago and food not as pentiful. The thought of "holding back" food portions to our older genrations would probably sound insane to them. then agian, people didn't live as long and diet was one of the reasons. Interesting thoughts! JACK'S REPLY: They probably got more exercise (digging gardens, shoveling coal, carrying ashes, cranking the car, etc)...and no fast food, either. MORE FROM P.L.: Right!!!! But then again, what my mother served for dinner in our Jewish
home would make current nutritionists crazy. The fat content alone is off the charts by current standards.. Yet, Mom lived to 94 and Dad lived to 96. go figure!

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Everything. Don't have to think!

FROM C.S. ON THE WAY TO THE U.P.: Bob and I are heading for the UP in the next couple of hours. I will breath in some fresh air for you too!!

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: i like when garrison keillor talks about things being "good enough".

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Winning Words 7/9/09
“Ambition is a dream with a V-8 engine.” (Elvis Presley) It was “Elvis Night” on Tuesday when I went to see the Tigers play at Comerica Park. An Elvis impersonator sang The National Anthem and Take Me Out To The Ball game. The real-Elvis had his ups and downs. Most people do. But most people don’t have the driving ambition that was his. “Gentlemen..and women, start your engines!” Follow that dream. ;-) Jack

FROM N.L. IN FLA-IND: I like that one and you know why.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Today I awoke with a lot of ambition...not as much as Elvis, but enough to get me going at full speed. Having lots to accomplish will be a race! I will win!

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: That is almost an unreal Elvis Impersonator sings the National Anthem .....was it the real anthem or was it a fake too??? FROM JACK: Actually, it was one of the best that I've heard. Even the fans sang along. Maybe Elvis REALLY was in the house.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Never forget that, although Elvis had driving ambition, he also had the other major ingredient for is kind of success. Talent. Paul Newman also had a driving ambition and did pretty well at it. FROM JACK: Who determines what is talent?

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: It seems to me ambition might be a close relative of greed. They both spring from a desire to have more, but either of them can get out of control, and end up hurting the person and/or others around them. FROM JACK: Isn't greed, by nature, out-of-control desire? Is there good in greed? Ambition, on the other hand, is good, unless it is out-of-control. By themselves, I see greed as negative and ambition as positive. It won't be solved in an e-mail exchange, will it?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Winning Words 7/8/09
“If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.” (Michael Jackson) I’m not a big fan of Michael, but I do like some of his work, and I like what he had to say about being able to deal with life when you feel that you are loved. ;-) Jack.

FROM JACK: Most of the time Al Sharpton and I aren't on the same page, but I liked what he had to say to Michael's children at the funeral. "There was nothing strange about your daddy. What was strange was what he had to deal with."

FROM MOLINER LIZ: I felt sorry for his poor daughter who got up in front of the world at her father's memorial service to speak (and be seen publicly) for the first time. Exploitation? I hope not. I hope it was her choice to get up there and speak, but somehow I doubt it. What a sad story all around... FROM JACK: I had mixed feelings about that, but in retrospect, it gave me a new impression of Michael as a father. I can go with that.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I successfully avoided any Michael Jackson coverage yesterday, as was my goal. It’s too much. A great singer/writer and talent, yes, but enough already. Imagine if Cap and Trade and Health Care got the debate and coverage, or even the cursory investigation Jackson’s death is getting? JACK'S REPLY: I made a decision not to watch, but after a couple of hours I decided to tune in, and I was glad I did...just to get the flavor of it. I could have left the source of the quote off.....and you might have thought that the words were pretty good. I'm a multi-tasker. I can still keep up on Cap and Trade, Health Care and questions about the Jackson death.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Some people love all of the people all of trhe time and all people love some of the people some of the time but all people don't love all of the people all of the time. (Abe Engwall)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I don't watch tv during the day and chose not to watch the coverage. Right now there are many other things to be concerned about. Sometimes the media makes a circus out of the very thing which should be respectful and tactful. I felt very sorry for his family to have to endure the circus....if they in fact, wanted a quiet funeral. I was not a fan either, but he did have talent for music and dancing.

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: It was interesting what his daughter said about him yesterday at the Memorial Service . . . a great dad. JACK'S REPLY: Sometimes we need to be reminded that the "stars" are actually human beings.

FROM D.S. IN CALIFORNIA: Jack, the thought in his quote was interesting, but I am not sure that the feeling of "being" loved is that important in getting past the day to day trials. Perhaps more important (or just as
important) is loving others as well as being able to at least "like" yourself. From everything I have been reading, Michael did not like himself and needed the adulation of children to be fulfilled. I think he was a very sad person inside, but a great talent on the outside. FROM JACK: It's hard to judge another person, based on what someone writes. I was moved by what his daughter said. To me, that was a first-hand observation.
I also happen to think that the feeling of being loved by family and friends makes intolerable situations somewhat more tolerable.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Winning Words 7/7/09
If you want a dialogue, don’t insist on always having the last word.” (Dom Helder Camara) There’s nothing better than to be able to sit down with someone and have a good conversation. If there’s a last word to be spoken after that, it’s probably, “Thanks!” Have you had such an experience recently? ;-) Jack

FROM K.B. IN MICHIGAN: I am spending a couple of weeks at home with my children and grandchildren and I want to tell you how much I enjoy your WW's and with children there is little dialogue so I try to get the last word


FROM MOLINER C.F.: You did this especially for me, didn't you? FROM JACK: In fact, I told someone this morning that I would be getting a response from you on this one.

FROM C.B. IN COLORADO: Love that one!! (In a family that likes to be right - this one hits home!)

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Or if it is: "Thanks" or "yes, dear"?

FROM JACK: "An apology is a good way to have the last word." (Unknown)

FROM N.C. IN ILLINOIS: Here's a quote: I Believe...
That just because two people argue, doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue, doesn't mean they do love each other.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: This is a hard one in a family who loves to talk politics. But it's a good one too, because we are all in the same party! Thankfully! But truthfully, we do need to stop talking sometimes and just listen. I love to stop talking and listen to my grandsons...I learn SO much!

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Yes, I did have such an experience recently, except it happened on the internet. It was with you FROM JACK: The internet provides a new way of conversation.

FROM C.L. IN MICHIGAN: always when I have bkft with Jack

Monday, July 06, 2009

Winning Words 7/6/09
“Yesterday is a canceled check; forget it. Tomorrow is a promissory note; don’t count on it. Today is ready cash; use it.” (Edwin C. Bliss) My mother used to have this saying posted in her apartment. My step-father would often say something similar. “Forget about yesterday. Plan a little bit for tomorrow, and live like h--- today.” He would sometimes say “heck” and at other times, “hell.” ;-) Jack

FROM HILLTOPPER JOHN: How about "Learn from yesterday; Plan for tomorrow; Live wisely today" I would say that makes a whole lot more sense.... FROM JACK: In the movie, "What About Bob?" Bill Murray calls it, Horse Sense.

FROM S.G. IN TAMPA: That is one of my favorites- enjoy each day. Another is-count your blessings. FROM JACK: Your response reminds me of this song I learned in Sunday School: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

MORE FROM S.G.: I like that very much. It is interesting that you were using one of your mother's quotes. Today was my mother and father's wedding anniversary. They died ten years ago after more than 72 years of marriage. I had a Mass said for them this morning, and they are certainly among my many blessings.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Remember when Hank Stram used this illustration? I guess it's quite popular...and, of course, true.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Who has ready cash today or any day??? FROM JACK: Look under your mattress.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: Don't forget yesterday. That's where you learned everything you shouldn't do today that you will regret tomorrow.

FROM P.H. IN MINNESOTA: Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, and that is why they call it The Present!

FROM L.K. IN OHIO: I consider this very special.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Winning Words 7/3/09
“God puts you where He needs you when He needs you and as often as He needs you.” (Mychal) God chose to send Chaplain Judge to Tower 1 on 9/11 to minister to those in need, and it was there that his life came to an end. His words in today’s quote can apply to each of us. Where has God put you and me today? ;-) Jack

FROM CJL IN OHIO: right where I am...

FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: God put me working in a food pantry - very rewarding!


It may not be on the mountain’s height, or over the stormy sea;
It may not be at the battle’s front my Lord will have need of me;
But if by a still, small voice He calls to paths I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in Yours,
I’ll go where You want me to go.

I’ll go where You want me to go, dear Lord,
O’er mountain, or plain, or sea;
I’ll say what You want me to say, dear Lord,
I’ll be what You want me to be.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Winning Words 7/2/09
“We have to leave the kids in God’s hands. He has his own way of working.” (Father Mychal) As a priest, Mychal never pressured young people. He saw them doing things their own way, but he also saw God’s grace as always being with them. I’m enjoying reading The Book of Mychal. Sometimes we have a hard time letting God do his work. Some things never change. ;-) Jack

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Yet we should not abandon the stewardship we bear regarding our children. Ephesians 6:4 instructs, "provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." It's our opportunity as parents to guide "the kids" into a life that avoids the mistakes we've made.

FROM MOLINER C.F.: God does His work but I think He expects us to cooperate. FROM JACK: I don't pretend to know God's expectations, but I expect you're right.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I've seen gardens left alone to God's hands. A mess! Has he heard of the phrase that "God has no hands but ours"? FROM JACK: "Consider the lilies, how they grow...."

FROM D.M. IN MICHIGAN: I first discovered this quote when reading inspirational literature just after being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. In every challenge there is a gift. I feel blessed to have been given so may gifts. FROM JACK: There are varieties of miracles, aren't there?

FROM D.P. IN MINNESOTA: An excellent reminder!

FROM P.H. IN MINNESOTA: i would only note that Priests, who have no kids of their own, may sometimes offer advice that is not always well tested in the crucible of life. however, on this point, i think the good Father is right on target. FROM JACK: If you read the book, you'll see that he spent more time in the crucible than most folks, married or not.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Winning Words 7/1/09
“God’s watching over you…and everything is going to be just fine.” (Father Mychal) This is another quote from The Book of Mychal. Mychal is making regular hospital visits to AIDS patients just to chat and to give a blessing. There are times, aren’t there, when we need to be reassured: “God’s watching over you.” ;-) Jack


FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: Sometimes we should do the reassuring. With so little effort we can do so much. One example from Matthew 25:36-40: I was sick and you visited me.... When did we see you sick and came unto you?... And the King shall answer "Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." FROM JACK: Fr Mychal was making regular visits to AIDS patients at a time when they were looked upon as lepers were looked upon in Jesus' day.

FROM M.L. IN ILLINOIS: reminds me of the great bob marley song, "three little birds", "singin sweet songs of melodies pure and true...sayin this is my message to you-ou-ou. don't worry 'bout a thing, cause every little thing is going to be alright". maybe bob got a message from god?

FROM MOLINER C.F.: "God's watching over you " may be comforting, but I wonder if sometimes we don't feel he has overlooked us. FROM JACK: Yes, some may feel overlooked, but they're not!