Friday, October 30, 2009

Winning Words 10/30/09
“There’s nothing that gives more assurance than a mask.” (Colette) It’s not only on Halloween that people wear masks. In fact, our own face can become a mask, when we seek to hide our inner feelings. I once met Brace Beemer who played The Lone Ranger, the famous masked man. I liked that show best on radio when it fed my imagination. Pay attention tomorrow to the masks the kids will be wearing. ;-) Jack

FROM MKH IN MICHIGAN: So I ask my 2 year old nephew (Michael) what are you going to be for Halloween, he says Michael, I say are you going to get a costume he says yes, I say who will it be he says Michael, he looks at me like I have two heads! Got to love the little people! FROM JACK: In Church history, St. Michael is said to be the saint that stands up for children. Your Michael has a great name. And he's clever, too, for a 2-yr-old.

FROM MOLINER CF: Masked man cannot hide soul. Gitum up, Scout. FROM JACK: Hi-Yo Sliver, Away!

FROM CJL IN OHIO: There's a book titled: "The masks people wear".

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: The one I'm thinking of is Batman. Bet there will be a lot more Batmans out there than Lone Rangers. But the Lone Ranger had the idea first so he gets a lot of credit. I also like those old and new movies of life in the 18th century or something, about the time of Mozart was it? when the elegantly dressed ladies held up colorful eyeglasses in front of their faces. Wonder if that fashion will ever come back.
FROM JACK: How about The Phantom of the Opera...and Zorro...and The Green Hornet?

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: hopefully no one will be wearing a death mask! FROM JACK: I guess that there are cultures where plaster casts have been made of the faces of dead persons, as a way of remembering what the deceased looked like. Maybe it would be better to make a mask of us at some time other than at death.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: If you had been preaching this morning (which I assume you weren't) I would have thought you and Rick Bass had conferred on your subject. His homily this morning was also re: the masks we wear in order to hide our inner selves. I have memories of the "Masked Man" also. I don't think I ever met Bruce Beemer but as a child I remember my folks taking Pat and me out to Metamora (which was a very long way from Southfield.) Whomever my dad knew let us go to the farm/ranch where the horse who played Silver was kept. It was a big deal for us, probably bigger than meeting the Lone Ranger would have been. It good to have long-term memories isn't it--especially when I can't remember what I did yesterday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Winning Words 10/29/09
“Indecision may or may not be my problem.” (Jimmy Buffett—songwriter) I like the title of one of JB’s songs: “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” I wonder if there will be such a thing…or whether I would like it. Buffett’s quote on indecision reminds me of the song, sung by Ella Fitzgerald, Undecided. If I can recall: “First you say you will, and then you won’t. You’re undecided now, so what are you gonna do?” ;-) Jack

FROM GRAMMA GENIE: I'd like you to meet Ruby Elizabeth Garrett. She was born this morning to proud and loving parents Jason and Nancy.....and a bunch of equally proud and loving grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. What a day! What a miracle! Life is good. God is good.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Even when we make a decision, we can't know all of the consequences. But faith in God's care for us gives the confidence to make the decision. (As for Ella, she was superb. I remember her album during my college years, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rogers and Hart Songbook, for warm feelings on a cold night.) FROM JACK: When the choice is made, that sets in motion a whole stream of consequences. "You can't go home again!"

FROM JH IN OHIO: good one... or is it? FROM JACK: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: My saying is: "Analysis, analysis, paralysis." FROM JACK: I like the old Indian saying: "Heap big smoke, but no fire!"

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: I sit and watch those ads on TV and think it must be that way in Paradise that a person can have all the junk food that they want!!!! Don't those Big Macs and Breakfast Burritos look great?
FROM JACK: I wonder if they have Whoppers in Heaven? Those are my favorite.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I was going to write a long response to this message but decided not too ...I think ...maybe I will later... or not. I'm not sure. FROM: LUCY VAN PELT: "You're a good man Charlie Brown, if only you weren't so wishy-washy."

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: Hmmm... can't make up my mind about this one. FROM JACK: So. what are you gonna do?

FROM MOLINER TG: Yes, Jack, there was such a thing for Buffet. He has hung out for years on the Caribbean Island of St. Barthelemy (St. Bart’s) and conceived the song (I am told) while enjoying a cheeseburger in a harborside pub. I have sailed boats into St. Bart’s several times when doing bareboat charters and it truly is paradise. The capital of St. Bart’s is Gustavia so even the Scandinavians took part at one time in the colonization of the Caribbean. FROM JACK: Now, THAT is interesting! I guess there is such a thing as paradise on earth; at, least, we have a village named, Paradise, in Michigan's Upper Penninsula. We also have a place called, Hell, near to where I live. I haven't tried a cheeseburger in either place.

FROM MOLINER CF: I see where The Procrastinator's Society's annual meeting has been postponed until next year....again. FROM JACK: Darn! I missed it again!

FROM ED IN ARIZONA: A Jimmy Buffett Quote, YES! That quote is from a song called "Don't chu Know" - a lesser know (but goodie) song by JB. I always think about that quote when trying to make a hard decision (well, or any for that matter) ...just to comfort me in the fact that other people struggle to make decisions as
well. In fact, there is another good quote in that same song that comes to mind when I'm lost out on some Hike out in the middle of nowhere.... "Frank Bama once said the best navigators are not quite sure where they're going until they get there...and then they're still not sure."

DON'T CHU KNOW by Jimmy Buffett
You can spend all your days in the grind
Converting your nickels to dimes
ou could stuff all your pockets till they overflow
Dont chu know
Dont chu know
Dont chu know

ou can say you're too old to be young
ou think you're too smart to be dumb
But the well-seasoned pro knows how long he can go
Dont chu know
Dont chu know
Dont chu know

ou can sing every song that's been sung
Offer the moon and the sun
But if you ask me it's all been both said and been done

We're just recycled history machines
Cavemen in faded blue jeans
It's the unanswered question in each one of us
Dont chu know
Dont chu know
Dont chu know

The more we learn the less we know
What you keep is what you can't let go
Take it fast or take it slow
Just one way for you to go
Don chu know

Let's go now

You can sing every song that's been sung
Offer the moon and the sun
But if you ask me it's not in the race that you run

It's that outcast in each one of us
Who get's the girl that is too glamorous
There's no one to deceive it's just all make believe
Dont chu know
Dont chu know
Dont chu know
Dont chu know
Dont chu know
Dont chu know

Dont chu know
Dont chu know
Dont chu know

I Don't Know
I Don't Know

Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I can name that song in, in two notes.
It's another one of those songs that I've written about not knowing much, or
not knowing what I was doing, or not knowing where I was going, or not knowing
where I'd been. eah, Frank Bama once said the best navigators are not quite sure
where they're going until they get there...and then they're still not sure.
But I know one thing...Indecision may or may not be my problem.
And this song is
gone way too long, and it's, she's gettin out of control, and oh my god!...

FROM PRCH ON CAPE COD: Forget the cheeseburgers: I'd go for stuffed quahogs, striped bass, or a lindser torte. sometimes indecision is a blessing - I consult and dialogue more with others...other times it's a curse - that prevents me from getting everything done (there's that Protestant work ethic, that good Lutheran 'preach grace alone' but live 'works righteousness'....Peace


FROM MW IN ILLINOIS: Nice to know you're a JB fan, I play his CD often when I'm cleaning or sewing.
Speaking of sewing, we have a group of ladies that make quilts for Lutheran World Relief and in October (last weekend) we place them on the chairs in the Worship center, so people can sit on them. This year we made 160.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Winning Words 10/28/09
“Success is a lousy teacher. It makes smart people think that they can’t lose.” (Bill Gates – sent by GS) This week I saw a TV program about The Great Depression and how it was fueled by stock investors who thought they couldn’t lose, but they did! I came across an interesting question yesterday. “If the choice were yours, which two would you pick: happy, famous, humble or rich?” Interesting, isn’t it? ;-) Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GS: i'll take the 2 h's FROM JACK: Sounds good to me.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: May I expand the choices to include innovative and contented? FROM JACK: I suppose in school you asked the teacher if you could write the questions. Your task is to write the answers.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: If you mean by "humble" what the scriptures mean by that term, I would pick "humble" and need nothing else. To be humble in the scriptures is to accept that you are a creature and not the Creator. Once you accept that you are human, everything else falls into place. Only the idea that we are God is truly destructive of us. FROM JACK: You're right. JS in not God. That role belongs to JC.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Humbly happy! FROM JACK: Or happily humble.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: It was interesting reading your blog from yesterday and learning how and why you started WW. Great ministry!!!!!!! For today's: humble. That's the only one I've found (so far) gets me through every situation. And I don't really take credit for getting humble, believe it's God who gets me there, who gives me the situations I am in and the choice and fortunately He gives also scripture to help me understand the necessity of being humble Micah 6:8. Comfort in the face of it all. FROM JACK: You're the second one who only wants humility. You must have been eating Humble Pie. I wonder about that expression.

FOLLOW UP FROM JACK: Origin of Humble Pie
In the USA, since the mid 19th century, anyone who had occasion to 'eat his words' by humiliatingly recanting something would be said to 'eat crow' (previously 'eat boiled crow'). In the UK they 'eat humble pie'. The unpalatability of crow, boiled or otherwise, seems clear, but what about humble pie? In the 14th century, the numbles (or noumbles, nomblys, noubles) was the name given to the heart, liver, entrails etc. of animals, especially of deer. By the 15th century this had migrated to umbles. Umbles were used as an ingredient in pies, although the first record of 'umble pie' in print is as late as the 17th century. Samuel Pepys makes many references to such pies in his diary. For example, on 5th July 1662: "I having some venison given me a day or two ago, and so I had a shoulder roasted, another baked, and the umbles baked in a pie, and all very well done." and on 8th July 1663: "Mrs Turner came in and did bring us an Umble-pie hot out of her oven, extraordinarily good." It is possible that it was the pies that caused the move from numbles to umbles. 'A numble pie' could easily have become an umble pie', in the same way that 'a napron' became 'an apron' and 'an ewt' became 'a newt'. This changing of the boundaries between words is called metanalysis and is commonplace in English.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: i think i would go with happy (and hopefully healthy too) FROM JACK: I guess that if you're healthy, you'd be happy....but not always, I suppose. There are exceptions.

FROM MOLINER CF: Being rich and famous doesn't preclude be happy and humble, I'm already happy and humble. Rich and famous won't change me. FROM JACK: Don't brag! Remember, you're supposed to be humble.

FROM GUSTIE MN: No doubt about what I would choose—I want to be happy. Being famous would not allow that but being humble or rich one could be happy, but they are not a prerequisite to being so. FROM JACK: People usually see your "happy" face. And you make others happy.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: I really enjoy your Winning Words, and this is one that is really makes you think. We are living the result of what Bill Gates was referring to. Just think of how many people are suffering at the whim of a few?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Winning Words 10/27/09
“QTH STS STA – mean anything to you?” (Archie Dunham) Archie was once president of a major company. Before meetings, he’d put these letters at the top of his notepad. They stood for: Quick To Hear--Slow To Speak--Slow To Anger. He believed that this improved his judgment and his decision making. Let’s be as eager to hear others as we would like others to be eager to hear us. (From 3 Minutes a Day) ;-) Jack

FROM TL IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for making me reach, stretch, go a little past my comfort zone. So, at the end of my day, I feel like I have used what I have been given. FROM JACK: Thanks for a nice response. It's good that someone is QTH. Most of us are unwilling to venture out of our comfort zone, aren't we?

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: I marvel that yoiu can come up with winning words five days a week---and for how many years? You have a real ministry giving thought provoking ideas from a great variety of backgrounds. Thank you for all you do to find them, and for replying to people's comments! FROM JACK: When I retired in 1992, my youngest daughter gave me a DVD of famous quotations. She knew that I was interested in things like that. When I was growing up in Moline, my pastor used to include sayings in the Sunday bulletin, such as: "Worry is merely putting today's sun behind tomorrow's cloud." I copied the idea when I began my ministry by including a SENTENCE SERMON in each bulletin. People responded positively, so I kept it up. After looking at the DVD for my own enjoyment, I decided to send a few to some friends, with a sentence commentary. Like Topsy, it "just growed." Today, there are about 300 people who receive them. I've considered changing the name to C-WOW, CongregationWithOutWa;;s, but decided to stick with Winning Words. A few months ago I was conducting a Memorial Service in a home for a young man who died in
Florida. Most of the people there were strangers to me. Afterward one of the "strangers" came up to me and said, "You don't happen to be Jack, from Winning Words, do you?" Amazing! I write the WWs the day before, and occasionally rethink and rewrite them. I try to send them out between 5:30 and 6 am, so that most people will get a positive statement when they open their computer for the day. The blog provides an opportunity for some give and take from the readers. MORE THAN YOU WANTED TO KNOW?

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: sounds almost biblical! FROM JACK: James 1:19

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Great Winning Words today...thank you for taking the time to research, refresh and renew the words for us each day. FROM JACK: The pleasure is all mine!

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: It certainly couldn't hurt! Excellent advice to live by! FROM JACK: It's always a good thing to follow good advice.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Winning Words 10/26/09
“There’s no education like adversity.” (Disraeli) Disraeli was British Prime Minister in the mid-19th Century and was very effective, even though he was involved in many political squabbles. He was Jewish, but was also baptized as a Christian, thinking that both religions could be compatible. He faced adversity in several personal relationships. In terms of adversity, he was a successful and well educated man. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Wow, reading Disraeli's biography on the internet here was interesting. A modern
Jewish-Christian who evidently supported ethnic Jewish interests. Sounds like his enemies couldn't believe, or else chose not to believe, his Christianity. It was interesting to read some of the forms that the adversity against him took. FROM JACK: Sometimes we focus so much on the adversity that we miss the lesson. Maybe it just takes time to be aware of what we have been taught.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: I've read bios of both Disraeli and Gladstone and they are polar opposites .... Gladstone was the scholar and the fighter for the people. Disraeli was a conservative and pragmatist and did his best to keep Great Britain an aristocracy and on top of the world. Interesting combination and probably good that they had them both. We need balance in the political world and in the church. Unfortunately in our church their is no balance since the constitution has prohibited it.....that is our biggest problem. FROM JACK: Ahhhh, BALANCE...That always seems to be the problem.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: And education from adversity costs a lot less than from a university. FROM JACK: Sometimes!

FROM NL IN IN/FL: Isn't that the truth. I know. FROM JACK: And you are what that has made you.

FROM MOLINER CF: University of Adversity....Had a scholarship there. Four years, all expenses paid.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Winning Words 10/23/09
“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that’s says, “'Make me feel important.'” (Mary Kay Ash) I can imagine that Mary Kay used this in a pep talk to her sales people. I might adjust the sign to read: “Make me feel that I matter.” A story in today’s newspaper told of how Rick Waggoner, former head of GM, would always greet a custodian by name as he came to work, while others would simply pass by and let him go about his business. Watch for that sign! ;-) Jack

FROM BD IN MICHIGAN: Today message from you is HUGE! In a management seminar I learned that "their is never a neutral encounter with an employee". I've been using that for about 20 year and never walk pass an employee without saying Hi, it's made a big difference in my life! FROM JACK: Sometimes stuff that we should have learned at home has to be taught in the workplace.'s good advice!

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: Every person is important. Not just to their friends and family, but to our society as a whole. Every person has a role to play-- doctors, teachers, mothers, grandfathers, custodians. Though my friends would probably call me an introvert, I am actually a "people person." I find it makes me feel good when I acknowledge others' importance. FROM JACK: We need more people people in this world.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I just relish every time in the Bible where there is some little nobody from a non-descript place and a highly unlikely background to be anybody at all and God says "That's the one" and gives him/her some big important job to do. That makes for a really eye-popping world to live in and Mary Kay Ash and Rick Waggoner sound like people who were able to tap into seeing all this excitement just waiting behind the scenes to be acknowledged and let loose to work--for good I hope. FROM JACK: And you, too!

FROM JACK TO BD, A HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR IN MICHIGAN: I'm sure that today's "Word" serves as a reminder to you...everytime the door opens and a student walks in. FROM BD: Very true! Each student deserves to be treated as if they were the most important person I helped that day.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: A great message especially for today's culture\

FROM MOLINER CF: Rick Waggoner was practicing the old saw, "Be nice to the Janitor on the way up. You may meet him on the way down." FROM JACK: It's even better, because that's just your nature...or because you learned at home that it's nice to be nice.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: It's the little things that count. You learned that in the parish, didn't you. FROM JACK: I learned it first at home.

FROM INDY GENIE: I will! What a great way to live! FROM JACK: That seems to be your modus operandi.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: J.Wallace Hamilton, that dynamic preacher, used this idea, calling it the Drum-major instinct...we all want to be the leader of the band. He said once, we all wear a sign around our necks crying, "I want to be important!" as we imaginatively twirl our batons...And isn't it the truth?! FROM JACK: I remember hearing of a minister who turned down a call to a certain congregation. He said: "There were too many chiefs and not enough Indians."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Winning Words 10/22/09
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” (John Muir) One of my favorite poems is by John Donne. It begins: “No man is an island…” We’re all interconnected. What affects one of us, affects all of us. BTW, a friend of mine whose last name is Muir, is related to John Muir. Do you have any famous people on your family tree? ;-) Jack

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

FROM CA IN VEGAS: I was told growing up that Lawrence Welk was my grandmother’s cousin. I guess that made him my third cousin. FROM JACK: Take a survey of your students and see if any of them know who Lawrence Welk was. I do. A one, a two.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: when son Mathew went to law school at the U of Chicago, he had Obama as a professor for all three years. does that count? FROM JACK: Double points.

FROM A FRIEND NAMED DIMAGGIO: Joltin' Joe! FROM JACK: If that's true (Why would I doubt you?), why do you pronounce your name differently that people pronounce his? I'm impressed!

FROM MOLINER CF: My brother was an only child. Otherwise he might have been able to say that he was related to "Moliner CF." FROM JACK: No wonder they called him, Lucky!

FROM CWR IN B'MORE:, but my relatives

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Not in mine, but you know Gary's....the famous explorer Fraser....(just about everything in Canada with Fraser or Frasier was discovered by Gary's relative, including the Fraser Mountain Range and the Fraser River etc.) and of course, Abraham Lincoln. I am just me but with a lot of love from the past generations. FROM JACK: How about the Fraser automobile? Have you heard of it? Oops...wrong spelling...Frazer

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Not that I know of, but I have a son-in-law who is related to the discoverer of Pike's Peak and another son-in-law whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower. FROM JACK: In-laws count. I always thought that Pike's first name was an interesting one...Zebulon. It was the name of one of Jacob's sons.

FROM MOLINER JT: We're traced back to "Eric the Red". Not bad !! FROM JACK: Eric was one tough cookie.

FROM MH IN MICHIGAN: Queen Mary of Scotts, Jayne Mansfield I think FROM JACK: A couple of doozies. Do you know how that expression started?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Winning Words 10/21/09
“To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years.” (RLS) Kenny Rogers made popular the song, The Gambler. I like the lines: “You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, Know when to walk away and know when to run.” I guess that goes for ideas as well as cards. I embrace change. My mind has changed for the better with the times….I think! How about you? ;-) Jack

FROM BD IN MICHIGAN: I agree with these Winning Words. Like I tell my kids, Believe me, I’m right – I’m OLD!!

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Reminds me of the old saying...."You've gone a long ways...because you had so far to go" FROM JACK: When I look back...the basics are there, but a lot of other stuff has undergone change.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: I will keep that in mind and get back to you in 15 yrs FROM JACK: I'll probably be at Pine Lake Cemetery at Middlebelt and Lone Pine.

FROM MOLINER CF: The only thing that needs regular change is diapers. Show me a man who always seeks change and I'll show you an unhappy one.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I think so, too...

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: I agree! Reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3:1-3. A time for everything - A time to plant, a time to sow, a time to harvest, etc. Funny how the wisest man who ever lived later regretted many of his early ambitions and passions. It seems to be pretty easy to get sidetracked along life's journey into distraction. However, it occurs to me that so much of our learned wisdom and knowledge come from our mistakes? **Makes me so Thankful that we serve a God who knew we desperately need His help to make it through.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: You never count your money, when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin', when the dealin's done. Song was written by Don Schlitz but made famous by Kenny Rogers. FROM JACK: The performer wouldn't be successful without the composer.

FROM ST IN MICHIGAN: Thank you for the good words.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: i turned 54 yesterday! i take every opportunity to not be stupified. i have learned much in these years on earth and look forward to becoming less stupid each year for a very long time!

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Well. we've lived long enough to know that there are many,many changes. I guess the main idea of it all is to keep on trying to build a better world. That probably is one of the reasons that we are still here, in my humble opinion. FROM JACK: Everett Dirksen was not my favorite senator, but I've always admired him because of his response when he was criticized by fellow GOPers for changing his vote on the Civil Rights legislation. It went something like this: "Anyone who doesn't change his mind is either dead or in an insane asylum." Why do so many people resist change? MORE FROM SG: Mostly because they are afraid. Some things don't need change such as one's core beliefs. Our generation, and especially those of us who grew up in the midwest, are lucky on two accounts. With the war we knew what was and is important. After the war in college there was an emphasis on social justice. MORE FROM JACK: We seem to be on the same wavelength. We are Moliners; we're from Moline!

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: Your WW word today reminded me how my mind has changed about ministry in our church, and how we must be open to everyone . Thanks for your daily word, which keeps my mind open! FROM JACK: Thanks to college and seminary professors, colleagues and lots of reading and pondering and working with all kinds of people, I have changed (I think) for the better. There's still more to be done. MORE FROM FM: Change and growth are a part of life . . . thank goodness!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Winning Words 10/20/09
“There is no foreign land. It is the traveler only that is foreign.” (RLS) This one caused me to stop and say, “That’s right!” When Ted Turner owned CNN, the use of the word “foreign” was not allowed to be used. “Foreign” means: on the outside or alien. A flight attendant asked my sister’s young grandson, “Where are you from?” He innocently replied, “Planet Earth.” RLS was born in Scotland, tried England, France, the USA and
other places, and finally died in Samoa on planet Earth. ;-) Jack.

FROM PRCH ON CAPE COD: I like this one too! Blessed day!

FROM MOLINER CF: Remember that old nursery rhyme, "Foreign twenty blackbirds baked into a pie?" That's something foreign to find in a pie. FROM JACK: Very clever of you!

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: Harry Wendt of the Crossways Bible study series likes to say that when God looks at the earth he sees no borders, no boundaries, no barriers, and no flags! FROM JACK: It reminds me of John Lennon's song, "Imagine."

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

Monday, October 19, 2009

Winning Words 10/19/09
“The world is so full of a number of things; I’m sure we should all be happy as kings.” (Robert Louis Stevenson) Even though RLS was sickly for most of his life, he traveled to many exotic places in the world. Even as a child, when illness confined him to bed, he used his mind in order to travel. His poem, “The Land of Counterpane” is an example of this. So, let your mind take you wherever you want to go. ;-) Jack

The Land of Counterpane
by Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

FROM JACK: I learned that a counterpane is a bedspread. I inever knew that before. It makes sense, now.

FROM R.I. IN BOSTON: The world is so full of significant things...I'm sure we don't need those irrelevant kings. FROM JACK: Very clever of you. MORE FROM RI: And once again you've stirred people's curiosity to learn. no, I did not know about counterpanes. Googling I found that it comes from the Middle English
countrepointe, which was derived from the French coute pointe which is an embroidered quilt. (I suspect you already knew all that.) I did know about Robert Louis Stevenson, informed about him when I was about 5 years old by a wonderful old neighbor lady who showed interest in me. She taught me to memorize "My tea is nearly ready, and the sun has left the sky. It's time to take the window to see Leary going by..." Remarkable how those things remain with you. MORE FROM JACK: The Land of Counterpane was one of my childhood favorite poems. In fact, I even remember playing it out on my own bed....And it wasn't until today that my
curiosity got the best of me, and I wanted to know the definition of a counterpane.

FROM MOLINER GS: In my recovery from tibial osteotomy I have been able to reflect more on the many, many blessings in my life. Three women: Mom, the 81 year old cook at my fraternity, and my wife so enriched and blessed my life.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: That and pictures. When the strength goes. Then? FROM JACK: A new life--eternal!
Soon and very soon
We are going to see the King
Soon and very soon
We are going to see the King
Soon and very soon
We are going to see the King
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
We're going to see the king
No more cryin there,
We are going to see the King
No more cryin there,
We are going to see the King
No more cryin there,
We are going to see the King
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
We're going to see the King

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: ‘Tis true, I am happier than I’ve a right to be. FROM JACK: That's what GRACE is all about.

FROM MOLINER CF: In your mind go far and wide And never see the great outside. FROM JACK: The mind is the great controller.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Poems of Robert Louis Stevenson was my absolute favorite book
when I was around 5 or 6. I actually sought out and purchased a copy as an adult, just to
'reconnect the dots' from the past -- but the replacement book was lost somewhere. Now I
will find another copy!
P.S. "The Lamplighter" was another fave from that collection--along with "Counterpane".
P.P.S. Here's a short poem that is (to me at least) reminiscent of Stevenson. It's by
Gregory Allan Turner -- a good friend of mine since college days. He's been writing poetry
for over 40 years, and only brought them out into the open a few years ago.

GRACE by Gregory Allan Turner

The sun guarantees
the day to me
Each and every one the best
that by night, when's to rest
I count my blessings one by one
and they mount up
as does the sun
when day doth break

The moon does too
with silvery light
descends the dark and shadowy night
marks the course of starry flight
through heaven's cobalt fields

This poem, for nature's messengers
bearers of fates, and passengers
hauliers on God's recurrent round
Mark them well for what they be
They shine their light, as well you see
on revelers
and sorrowers
the same

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Today at USF we had two young PHD candidates , one from Uganda and the other from Kenya. One was a Fulbright student. They both did power point about their countries and answered questions. The amazing thing about living today are all the opportunities for young people. Of, course, we had them, too, and what a blessing it was and is for our generation and for our grandchildren, too. One speaker had lived under Idi Amin and the other was from the same part of Kenya as President Obama. I am ready to travel again, but my friends in California have invited me to go with them to Palm Springs, but right now I am not ready for the desert after our hot summer forever in Florida.

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: thanks for RLS lines from Counterpane--I remember them well!

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: Just got to yesterday's blog. Counterpane... what a lovely poem. RLS had such a simple, great style. Thanks for teaching me a lot about a lot! Actually, that poem is haunting me now. Melancholy, when you realize he was sickly. But I can identify with being (temporarily) sick and having to make do with the amusements provided by the surroundings of my sickbed. FROM JACK: RLS shows that even if you are incapacitated in some way, you can still contribute to the your own time and in other generations, too.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Winning Words 10/16/09
“Happiness you pay for, you can find anywhere.” (Gypsy Saying) My curiosity was piqued recently when I saw a movie about gypsies. In searching, I found that they came to Europe from India in the 1400s. Some people thought they came from Egypt, hence the name. They became wanderers, because no country wanted them. The German word describing them was: untouchable. Look for more gypsy sayings in the blog. ;-) Jack
BTW, where is it that you find your happiness?

MORE GYPSY SAYINGS: Each one of these caused me to THINK!
"Everybody sees only his own dish."
"It's easier to milk a cow that's standing still."
"Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you."
"When the sea turned to honey the poor man lost his spoon.
There are such things as false truths and honest lies."

FROM EM IN MICHIGAN: My parents have this painting in their den with this caption "Who is rich? He who rejoices in his lot." --The Mishnah My happiness comes from being with my children,whether it's playing
outside with them or snuggling in bed. They'll be up in about 30 minutes and I'll go back to bed just to have 'morning snuggles' - priceless. FROM JACK: You are rich!

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: My mother's family were immigrants from Sweden. She was the only one with dark hair and so she always had to sit by her mother because her mother was afraid that she was the one that the Gypsies would try to steal. She was also very good looking and that probably added to her mother's thought that she was a likely candidate for kidnapping. Did you know that Bill Moldwin is a Magyar from Hungary? I think he is a Gypsy in disguise!!! FROM JACK: So, that's where your looks come from...

FROM MOLINER CF: If you have to pay for happiness, you're getting gypped. FROM JACK: "Gypped!" I haven't hears that word for awhile. I'll bet it come from "gypsies." MORE: I looked it up. Sure enough, that's the source. I'd never thought of that before. Even "I" learn something from WWs.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Seems like I've heard the gypsies are very much discriminated against in a lot of countries and stereotypes about them become common, for example stealing, etc. Stealing objects, time, other's reputations, benefits from other's work, we all grapple with these and I think the gypsy sayings here have a profound take on life. Thanks for spreading their wisdom around. FROM JACK: Minorities and "outsiders" always seem to face discrimination...even in the Church (but it seems better nowadays.).

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: In the air we breath, in the life we live, in the people we touch in our living. How about you?? FROM JACK: I like the song, "Count Your Many Blessings." I learned it in Sunday School, and it continues to make me thankful...a faith...a family and friends...opportunities to be of and shelter... and a good doctor'e report.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Having wonderful memories and enjoying each day. FROM JACK: MEMORY! What a great gift. One of my favorite remembrances was going to Toronto for a stage presentation of "Cats." We were on the aisle, a few rows from the front...and got to experience the singing of: Memory! (PAUSE) I had to pull it up on the computer and listen to it again. It added to the enjoyment of the day. Thanks for the reminder!

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: did you also know that Hitler almost wiped out their (the gypsies) entire population in eastern Europe during the Holocaust? FROM JACK: No, I didn't know that. MORE FROM PH: here is another factoid. there were between 10 and 11 million lost in the Holocaust but we almost always hear only about the Jews. The other 4 to 5 million were gays, blacks, Poles, Gypsies, political prisoners, mentally handicapped, physically handicapped, clergy, etc. If you want to rent a good film sometime, rent Judgement at Nueremburg (war trials) with Spencer Tracy and Maximillian Schell.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Winning Words 10/15/09
“In so many areas of life, you need to be a long-term optimist, but a short-term realist.” (Chesley Sullenberger) Sully was the pilot who safely ditched Flt 1549 in the Hudson River. In his new book he says that all of life is a preparation for how we react to emergency situations. A spirit of optimism helped him when he was faced with reality. It was more than luck. It can be the same for us, too. ;-) Jack

MORE FROM JACK: Another quote from the same article in on the subject of preparation. In the book, WE, Charles Lindbergh says of his solo flight across the Atlantic: " Success was due almost entirely to preparation, not luck." And yet, he got the nickname, Lucky Lindy. Success in school, in business, in life (in general) is due to preparation. However, I remember being lucky a few times.

FROM SF IN MICHIGAN: I just love waking up to your words...helps set the course for my day!! FROM JACK: And I enjoy getting a first response such as yours.

FROM NL IN IND/FLA: That's Good Jack. I'm still in Indiana till my classes end in hot glass blowing. Very hard to do but I'm getting there, not easy for the average person because it's so hot and the room can get up to 110 degrees let alone the glass you are working with that gets to 1,200 degrees. I really love it, I guess,
because it's so hard to do; it's like life itself.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Sounds like The Happy Pragmatist. FROM JACK: It works for Sully....and the passengers on Flt 1549 will say, AMEN!

FROM CJL IN OHIO: He's a great example of preparation & use. I like to think that Seminary & parish experience were used for the same purposes.... FROM JACK: It worked for you...and me.

FROM PO IN MICHIGAN: I'm enjoying the focus on optimism --- I can't imagine existing any other way.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Winning Words 10/14/09
“Let others praise ancient times; I’m glad I was born in these.” (Ovid) The famous Roman poet, Ovid, lived during the heyday of the Roman Empire, 2000 years ago. It was a time of social, economic and cultural prosperity. In spite of today’s problems, I echo Ovid’s words. If you could choose a time in history in which to live, when would it be? That might be a good discussion starter with family and friends. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I'm glad I was born in this time, but my thankfulness is tied very strongly to an appreciation of the past's counterculturalism that still seems relevant and gives hope today too. There are higher values to latch on to.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Various eras have marked world history, each having its pros and cons. Back when country life was simpler there was perhaps less security and fewer conveniences. Now with the many material improvements and the complex culture of today, we are confronted with plenty other aggravating circumstances. To me there doesn't seem to be a utopian period for living. My father was born in Germany and witnessed regal princes living in castles and riding in gilded carriages, came to this country and
survived the great depression, struggled to maintain his family, finally achieved a comfortable level of wealth and lived long enough to see men go to the moon. He often commented that he had lived in the best of times. Personally, I can't be that certain. FROM JACK: We all seem to be searching for the Holy Grail, thinking that there might be something better. One of my favorite comic strips is "Pickles." The current story line has Earl saying to Opal, "Did you ever notice that in the middle of life is IF?" I have the luxury of looking back a few years. While there were good times, I do see that progress has been made.

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: After the next election... FROM JACK: I've lived long enough to see that we sometimes regret what we've wished for. I like this saying: We live and we die and inbetween we make a lot of mistakes.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: I agree with Ovid and his times presented social questions that were difficult too.
FROM JACK: He lived 43 BC to AD 17, and you know all of the stuff that was going on then, don't you?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Winning Words 10/13/09
“You got to accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative, Latch on to the affirmative, Don’t mess with Mr. Inbetween.” (Johnny Mercer) These lyrics from the 40’s seem relevant today. Negative thinking is trying to make a comeback. The Wall Street Journal had an article yesterday: “Scrap That Smile,” which told of a new book, We Are Doomed. What do you think? Scrap that smile? We are doomed? I’d rather latch on to the affirmative. ;-) Jack

A positive attitude can really make dreams come true. It did for me. ( Zina Garrison 1963, American tennis

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Nice. Stay positive! FROM JACK: I belong to The Optimist Club!

FROM RI IN BOSTON: We're most of the way to being doomed if we give in to thinking we are doomed. "Wall Street" and "Madison Avenue" are a couple of the best paths to doom. A positive attitude, some self-confidence and common sense can go a long way toward sustaining us through difficult times. We shouldn't allow ourselves to give in to the mass media. Pogo is gone now but his philosophy generally pertains: "We've met the enemy and he is us!" FROM JACK: I couldn't have said it better.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Do you realize that all of our great Presidents were Pragmatic Realists? Think of Washington, Lincoln, FDR....maybe Obama will be there someday....that is an optimistic viewpoint but he is a Pragmatic Realist. FROM JACK: I like to think that I'm pragmatic and that I'm a realist, too.

FROM ID IN MICHIGAN: When you think you’ve stuck in your life it doesn’t mean you ‘ve lost yourself. It just a mirage of fake plans and egoistic dream that leads you in different direction.
Long time no see you and talk to you. You're blessed to be a pastor.....Give people encouragement and hope which they really need nowadays...We are weak minded creatures when it comes to a challenge....We getting lost in our life tunnel.And only people like you can be a real blessed light for us.... FROM JACK: Thanks

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: I'm latching with all my might! FROM JACK: I like the Gloria Gaynor song,"I Will Survive. " We will survive these down times. I believe that.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: I love that song and that thought. You just have to be around children or young students from the United States or from other countries to keep your optimistic attitude, in my opinion.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Of course. The negative builds nothing! FROM JACK: ...except more negativity!

FROM MOLINER CF: Doomed to what? Just remember Chicken Little and move on! FROM JACK: The author of "We Are Doomed" wants to get rid of smiley faces and recapture "the republican virtue." "Diversity does not strengthen societies but makes them worringly fissiparous." And "Happy talk and wishful thinking are for children, fools and leftists." I'll continue to "latch on to the affirmative."

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for the positive thoughts.


FROM LP IN MICHIGAN: Not sure I like the word "latch" here. It feels a bit head-in-the-sand. But I will say I try to avoid the unnecessary negatives, like I don't even want to see previews of the new end-of-the-world movie 2012. I read and watched "On the Beach" for a high school writing assignment and it has haunted me for years since FROM JACK: Latch, to me, is a good and descriptive grip, to hold on, to lock (latch-key comes from this), to attach. All of these seem to work when it comes to latching yourself to affirmative beliefs and thoughts.

FROM PRGC IN SAN DEIGO: Gracias for today's to be reminded of the oldies...still recall their lyrics and melodies quite well. FROM JACK: The lyrics usually make sense...except for ones like this:
Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?
Yes! Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: If this trend is truly occurring, then I think we really are doomed! But it is the negativity itself which will doom us, in my estimation! My "Book of Choice" continuously calls me to positive thought! We can't have faith and fear at the same time; we can't have joy and depression or despondency in the same breath; and we can't have hope and hopelessness together in one body. Peace and discord can't
inhabit one space; nor can love and self-will live together--in my humble opinion, all these are opposing forces! So if I must choose--if I can have just one or the other at any moment in time--if I can have only joy OR despondency, faith OR fear, hope OR hopelessness, peace OR discord, love OR power--I choose joy, faith, hope, peace, and love. These are not feelings to which I randomly submit, but are attitudes of the heart I choose each day (sometimes each minute).

MORE FROM LG: Wisdom from my "big book" that backs up Mr. Mercer's sound advice includes:
"Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!" Nehemiah 8:10b
(My daughter has this tatooed on her hip!)
"May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice!" Philippians 4:4

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I’m with you! And I love that song—it should be sung now too. Probably more relevant than when it was popular. FROM JACK: Which version did you like best...Bing Crosby, Perry Como, the Andrews Sisters, or Johnny Mercer? Mercer was my favorite.

FROM A&C IN MICHIGAN: I AGREE! It's going to take a lot of strength--and patience!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Winning Words 10/12/09
“THOU SHALT NOT WHINE.” (sign in a doctor’s office) When I saw it, I wondered if it were directed at me or at the staff or at the doctor. The word, whine, is from the Old English, which compares the sound to the wind in a chimney. Anyone who’s raised kids knows what it sounds like. A football coach said to his team: “Be winners, not whiners.” I’ll post some synonyms on the blog for you to use as the situation warrants. ;-) Jack

SYNONYMS FOR WHINE: Bitch, beef, grumble, grouse, gripe, bellyache, snivel, pule. Can you think of others? I heard someone say to me once when I was complaining: "Would you like some cheese with your whine?"

FROM KB IN MICHIGAN: I enjoyed this morning's "WW's" as I always do--but after spending the weekend with the grandchildren. it seemed especially meaningful…and then of course there is the Lions's…

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Actually bitching, beefing, grumbling, grousing, griping, bellyaching, sniveling seem like the crappiest kind of whining to do but from what was on the internet dictionary pule seems not so distasteful. I was surprised. It's not a very attractive word. Sort of sounds like puke. Oh well, one learns something every day. Wonder if I can go a whole day without whining or puling? FROM JACK: seem to think that there's good whining and bad whining. Maybe you're right.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: "Whine"....sounds coming from Herb Chilstrom during CORE meeting in Indiana FROM JACK: Quitcher bellyachin'! JS RESPONDS: That sounds like a "fine whine"

FROM PO IN MICHIGAN: I had this one on my desk at Mercy College when I was clinical coordinator for the Physician Assistant program --- for my adult students. FROM JACK: Good for you. I might not have had it on my desk, because I think a pastor is there to listen to some whining. However, I might eventually have said, "OK, now let's see what we can do about the situation" ....and move on from there. (Ideally)

FROM JB IN WISCONSIN: My favorite whine is I wanna go shopping!

FROM LP IN MICHIGAN: I wondered if it were directed at me or at the staff or at the doctor. I'm going to guess (d) all of the above. Each party probably needs a reminder here and again. I know I do.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Winning Words 10/9/09
“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” (Tom Brokaw) One of my first jobs was to deliver newspapers everyday for a friend, so he could play football. He did the collections (including tips) on Saturday and paid me a buck. Later in life someone suggested that I become a pastor in order to make a difference…and “that has made all the difference,” as Robert Frost wrote. Can you remember your first buck,
and someone who has made a difference in your life? ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I didn't get a whole buck; got 65 cents/hour detassling corn. The boys got 75 cents/hour. The first people who made all the difference--my Dad who got rebaptized in a different church because he loved a woman, my mother, who was inconsolable over the death of her unbaptized baby. It's amazing to me that, in a world filled with inequities and imbalances, God is constantly at work to turn things right side up and bring in His heavenly Kingdom, if we can only see it.

FROM MOLINER CF: Now that's weird. I went through the same experience but I was the football player. So I guess I made a buck and a difference in his life by providing work. Different people make different differences differently. FROM JACK: I made the buck; the football player (not you) raked in the rest. I learned a lesson which was worth more than a buck. MORE FROM CF: For whom did you pass? Actually, there were no tips during the weekly paper route collection...Only at church. Tom Getz passed for me...155 papers. No Sunday issue in those days. Sorry you didn't get more out of it than A buck, I got chased by a lot of dogs. MORE FROM JACK: Not Tom, either....Carlos Woodward.

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: We are certainly glad that a friend suggested that you become a pastor. You certainly have made a difference! My wife and I are in Naperville right now, babysitting for our daughter's family (two little girls) while mom and dad are headed to Wisconsin for a weekend remebrance of a
classmate of our daughter's who died suddenly at age 24 of a heart condition. It was one of those things that no one knew about, and was simply fatal. She and 6 other girls shared an apartment at Purdue and they all became very good friends. They and about 100 others will be there for a memorial weekend which will include a special walk/run fund raiser for the heart association. She was only 24 when she died, but was one who made a difference in the lives she touched. Have a great day, and continue making a difference.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: There have been more bucks, and more people who have made a difference in my life, than I ever imagined. I credit the hymn I learned as a child..."Praise God from whom all blessings flow." FROM JACK: It amazing how God uses people to work his will.

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: I can't possibly enumerate all the character and practical traits I learned from my husband, but one or two come immediately to me. "Plan your work and work your plan", basic common sense, but at age 19, it was news to me! Also, whenever an issue like making a phone call was needed, he consistently did it, not like me, who puts it off until later or maybe not at all! I can't remember my first buck!!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Winning Words 10/8/09
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” (Dr Laura) To get out of the box that encloses us, perhaps we need to think outside of the box. There are solutions to life’s problems. Is there a window that we haven’t seen before? How about digging a tunnel? Or maybe our box only has one wall. Trying to think “outside of the box” is a real help for me. ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER GS: People need to do this now more than ever due to the economy. Cashed any $.03 checks lately? FROM JACK: Yep, those were the days....We are who we were. GS is referring to a time during the Great Depression when my mother sent me to the bank to cash a 3 cent refund check. We dug our tunnels.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Yes. On the economy we must be taking the tunnel route, sure seems dark. FROM JACK: I read someplace that it's darkest before the dawn...AND that there's light at the end of the tunnel. I have high hopes, high apple pie in the sky hopes. MORE FROM JON: Good. I hope the light you see at the end of the tunnel is not another train… Have a great day my friend.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Actually, when I have a relationship problem with someone and struggling with it, and even when it's embarrassing and humiliating that others can see my life isn't just one of success and harmony and lawfulness, I thank God that He is everywhere, in heaven, in sheol, nowhere is hidden from Him and His people and it's not just up to me, I take some relief from thinking someone else outside my box is seeing this unjust and crappy relationship and praying for us. The walls are being beaten down on both
sides. I do the same for other people. Is Dr. Laura, Dr. Schlesinger? Suppose most might be thinking of other, more material walls. FROM JACK: The idea of the walls being beaten down on both sides.....I like it!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Today is my 59th birthday! There is no way I can stop time, so I will just grin and bear it! I am deeply thankful for the walls and the doors in my life! And my friend sent me a cartoon about the dangers of digging tunnels...sometimes. (Remember the outhouse tunnel?!?) FROM JACK: Yes, I remember the picture of the person digging under the wall and finding that the tunnel led to the space beneath the outhouse. Sometimes that happens when we dig tunnels.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: todays winning words reminds me of the book "If you want to walk on water, you need to get out of the boat" interesting book have you read it?? FROM JACK: It sounds like something that I want to read.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Isn't that what we were taught? FROM JACK: That which is taught is not always learned.

SENT BY J&RA IN MICHIGAN: A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out
through the sides near the bottom.. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself..

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Winning Words 10/7/09
“Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything.” (Aesop) This is from the fable, The Peacock and Juno, where Juno tells the peacock to celebrate his beauty, instead of envying the song of the nightingale. Well, the Tigers will have to be content with their lot. We all have to move on, even when things don’t go our way. That’s how it is in the game of life. Go Twins! ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: You're a good sport. (Re: the the song goes..."You cain't always get what you want...") FROM JACK: My want: Twins vs BoSox. So you're a fan of The Stones.
No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need

FROM SG IN TAMPA: That was a terrific game last night. By the way, in some gifted programs in Florida schools, the teachers don't encourage the students to be first in anything, but to be satisfied with something less. What do you think of that? FROM JACK: Gifted kids have their own set of problems. I think that the Aesop fable, quoted today, would be a great teaching tool. To me, "less" seems to be a negative, whereas, "be satisfied with who you are" appears more positive....but what do I know? I was never in a gifted group. Regarding last night's game....That's baseball! As Yogi said: "Even Napoleon has his Watergate."

MORE FROM SG: As a parent and grandparent, we have all attended lots of games. My attitude is "you win some, you lose some." Our youngest daughter told me the other night that one of the mothers on her son's t-ball game {where scores are not kept} brings a notebook and keeps score anyway. Our daughter is the
coach, and we all know that many parents are very intense at the games. FROM JACK: Parents keeping score at a T-Ball game....I know the kind. In all of life, some people seem to have the need to" keep score."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I loved Aesop's Fable. I think they should be required reading in every school. And I love this saying content. Love it! FROM JACK: I may have to save it for the Red Wings. Oops! That's too negative; I have to remind myself to be more optimistic!

FROM MOLINER CF: Three things to never bring up in mixed company: Religion, Politics and Baseball. FROM JACK: Are the Cubs considered to be baseball?

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: .......spoken like a true Minnesotan.... FROM JACK: least until the end of the season, now that the Tigers are waiting for next spring.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: We have a lot of counseling to do on those Tiger fans. Problem is they don't seem consolable.... Oh well.... FROM JACK: The word is, consoling. Perhaps you've heard the saying...It's the job of a pastor to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.

FROM MOLINER GS: But I'll be content with the Hawkeyes beating Big Blue on Sat. FROM JACK: Well, they're in first place....for now, so celebrate, while you are able.

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: You are very gracious! What a game--it could have gone either way--the Tigers played as well as the Twins--so that must be a bitter pill to swallow! FROM JACK: For the last month or so, we Tiger fans have has practice dealing with losses. We were ready. Our son from Apple Valley was here to watch the game with us, his sisters, his bro-in-law and our two high school nephews. He was the only one cheering for Minnesoda. He didn't gloat....much!

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I was born and raised in Minnesota. My Mother and all the relatives still in MN are thrilled! We know that Minnesotans are "different" in a good way. I know that I am dreading the end of baseball season as she is such a fan of the game and with so many physical limitations it gives her something to look forward to every day that they play. My Grandson, who is a huge Yankee fan are glad that they will be
facing a tired Twins team later today!

FROM JG IN MINNESOTA: Go Twins, indeed!! It was quite a game! FROM JACK: As Vince Lombardi once put it...
There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game and that is first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay and I never want to finish second again.

FROM RN IN MINNESOTA: Thank you for WINNING WORDS. You are right about the Tigers and the Twins. I felt some real pain for the Tigers whom I cheered for 25 years. A couple of weeks ago there was an excellent article in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED about how much a Tiger victory would cheer the Detroit residents. I hear on a regular basis from friends in Flint and the work that is being carried on by Pastor Gary Hansen as Interim at Salem. It is really hard for folks like me to really feel the pain of the hundreds of thousand of "downers" in place like Detroit and Flint. We say, "God help them and God bless them", but what else do we do? I wonder?
FROM JACK: I'm reminded of this song from Evita....
I had to let it happen, I had to change
Couldn't stay all my life down at heel
Looking out of the window, staying out of the sun
Don't cry for me Minnesota
The truth is I never left you
All through my wild days
My mad existence
I kept my promise
Don't keep your distance

FROM M&LS IN MICHIGAN: We can only do our best!
FROM JACK: There's a book by Kevin Lehman: "When Your Best Is Not Good Enough: The Secret of Measuring Up."

FROM ES IN COLORADO: Go Rockies! FROM JACK: Oops; I forgot. There is a National League, isn't there? When son David lived in Denver, he took us to the ballyard, so that we could go on a tour of the facility. We were impressed.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: i is not a competition... FROM JACK: Wanna bet? MORE FROM ML: really, now...did you think i'd fall for that?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Winning Words 10/6/09
“All great truths begin as blasphemies.” (GBS) I suppose that one could argue the point, but this is Shaw, living in his time and place. Some of us have lived long enough to see that this statement has some merit. Times change; people change. Great and basic truths don’t change. You can probably name examples. I can, too. ;-) Jack

FROM EA IN MICHIGAN: After thinking about this statement a bit, I agree it is a trueism (a word?) FROM JACK: Those mores when you and I were young, are not necessarily acceptable today...and vice-versa.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: You know, I think--as unbelievable as it might seem--this WW is actually true. Just personally thinking about the truths that I have come to accept in my own life, realize that conversion has always seemed to be the name of the game. Great truths and struggle seem to go together more commonly than truth and ease in life. Though maybe ease in life results after the great truth has been accepted. It's sobering to realize I am one of the ones who has lived long enough to realize that this statement has some merit. One of the old people now. FROM JACK: Change happens, whether or not.....It reminds me of when we used to play hide and seek. "Here I come, ready or not."

FROM MOLINER CF: Some of the people are truthful all of the time and all of the people are truthful some of the time, but not all of the people are blasphemous all of the time. Abe Medd

FROM C&AS IN MICHIGAN: A grin is right in between a smile and a chuckle! FROM JACK: How do you draw a chuckle?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Winning Words 10/5/09
“I really do believe I can accomplish a great deal with a big grin. I know some people find that disconcerting, but that doesn’t matter.” (Beverly Sills) Ms Sills sang for the Metropolitan Opera, but I remember her most of all for her smile and her philanthropy. Practice a grin in the mirror today, and then see what happens when you use it during conversation with someone. Is a grin the same as a smile? ;-) Jack

So, let the sun shine in, face it with a grin
Smilers never lose and frowners never win
So, let the sun shine in, face it with a grin
Open up your heart and let the sun shine in

GRIN, v.
1. To set the teeth together and open the lips, or to open the mouth and withdraw the lips
from the teeth, so as to show them, as in laughter or scorn.
2. To fix the teeth, as in anguish.
GRIN, n. The act of closing the teeth and showing them, or of
withdrawing the lips and showing the teeth.
GRIN, n. A snare or trap. [Not in use.]
GRIN, v.t. To express by grinning.
He grinned horribly a ghastly smile.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Will all the WW people be Cheshire Cats today??? FROM JACK: You will be interested to know that the root of "grin" is also the root of "snarl." My aunt used to have an expression: "He smiled like a cat eating soap."

FROM MOLINER CF: "Bubbles" is one of my all-time favorites. And I ain't much for opera. Must have been her pleasant demeanor. FROM JACK: ....and her grin.

FROM INDY GENIE: a grin has more personality

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Below was from earlier, I just got back in. I didn’t think you’d post it. I understand. FROM JACK: OK, if it makes you grin, here's your response:
That sounds more like President Obama, on his way to Copenhagen.
I still think our president has a great smile.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I used to think I knew how to grin but, after reading the dictionary definition here on your blog, I'm not so sure. When I tried to follow the instructions just now, it was pretty awkward and didn't feel natural. Maybe that's why I'm not an opera singer either--do opera singers often put their teeth together and open their lips? Smiling on a gray, dismal Monday. FROM JACK: I also remember someone saying once...Wipe that silly grin off of your face.

FROM C&AS IN MICHIGAN: A grin is right in between a smile and a chuckle! FROM JACK: How do you draw a chuckle?

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: my last words to mark before he walks out the door for work are, "show me your smile!". as for me, i work with children, it's like being in a smile factory! FROM JACK: A smile factory! I like it.

FROM MOLINER CF: "Outside the box" is the Mother of Invention.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Winning Words 10/2/09
“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” (Elizabeth Taylor) Here’s an interesting thought for today: What is a virtue and what is a vice…and who determines that? Most restrictive laws have a religious origin, as with the Puritans. Most “blue laws” have been repealed, but it’s still illegal to hunt on Sunday in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: smoking and drinking coffee with caffeine. If people feel like their vices help them to be more virtuous i.e., relaxed, even-tempered, energetic, better able to function in this world, well, I'm sympathetic. Just chuckling over Elizabeth Taylor's observation and reflecting on what pain-in-the-necks we can be with our annoying virtues. Wonder, if I were old enough back in the days of prohibition, if I would have been against that too. Great quote again FROM JACK: It reminds me of Robert Burns' poem: To A Louse. On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church

Ha! whare ye gaun' ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly;
I canna say but ye strunt rarely
Owre gauze and lace,
Tho faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunn'd by saunt an sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her--
Sae fine a lady!
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body.

Swith! in some beggar's hauffet squattle;
There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle;
Wi' ither kindred, jumping cattle;
In shoals and nations;
Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.

Now haud you there! ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rils, snug an tight,
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right,
Till ye've got on it--
The vera tapmost, tow'rin height
O' Miss's bonnet.

My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an grey as onie grozet:
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
Or fell, red smeddum,
I'd gie you sic a hearty dose o't,
Wad dress your droddum!

I wad na been surpris'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,
On's wyliecoat;
But Miss's fine Lunardi! fye!
How daur ye do't?

O Jeany, dinna toss your head,
An set your beauties a' abread!
Ye little ken what cursed speed
The blastie's makin!
Thae winks an finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin!

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An foolish notion:
What airs in dress an gait wad lea'es us,
An ev'n devotion!

FROM MKH IN MICHIGAN: I thought a virtue was a positive and a vice a negative. FROM JACK: I guess it depends on which mirror you're gazing into. What some people see are virtues are seen as vices to me. FROM MKH: Give me an example. FROM JACK: An atheist might see your faith as a vice, rather than a virtue. Some might see making money off of naive people as being shrewd (a virtue), while I would see it as a vice. You can probably think of some you examine how people look at morality. FROM MKH: I get it, I guess I assume that everyone thinks form a Christian perspective. FROM JACK: A pitcher throwing at a Tigers batter is a vice. Retaliation is a virtue.

FROM DRPL IN MICHIGAN: Thanks Jack...and I thought I could have a real easy day today without thinking about stuff! FROM JACK: Why were you given a brain? FROM PH: That's what my wife says! Although sometimes she phrases it just a little bit different!

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: In the Lincoln/Douglas debates you would have sided with Douglas. He was the Relativist. He said that slavery is wrong only if a majority of the voting population in the state says it is wrong. Lincoln was an Absolutist. He said that slavery is simply "wrong." Fortunately, Lincoln prevailed in that situation. FROM JACK: So, all-knowing one, you are able to determine what I think. WOW, I am impressed!

FROM MLS IN MICHIGAN: Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FROM JACK: It's always good to hear from the Amen Corner.

FROM MOLINER CF: One man's vice is another man's virtue. It's a matter of degree. FROM JACK: Like a matter of 180 degrees.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Winning Words 10/1/09
“Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgement of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you’re going to do about it.” (Kathleen Casey Theisen) We all have had “situations” come before us in unexpected ways. The Old Perfessor, Casey Stengel, put it this way: “There comes a time in every man’s life, and I’ve had plenty of them.” Do you have any tips on how to face them? ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Say something, to God and/or to other people, to myself. Do something if the idea comes to me but it's amazing how much just plain old waiting does too. I've found waiting to be invaluable as things seem never to be static and often it is more powerful to do something when the situation has changed. Some things are more God's business than mine. FROM JACK: Your business is God's business...I think!

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Isn't that what is going on in the ELCA right now? A lot of people disagree with the recent decision and even more with the non-scriptural drift of the church but now have to decide what they are going to do about it. It will be interesting to see. For right now I am going to stick with St. Andrew and serve there. How about the news from the Pension Board? They certainly have a different definition
of "annuitize" than I have ever heard before. FROM JACK: I have been blessed by my ministry, simply in the doing. The pension, to me, is simply grace. So many people are suffering financially. Are we as pastors to be exempt?

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: Lord give me the wisdom to change the things I can change and to accept the things I can't change and to know the difference. FROM JACK: First attributed to St. Francis of Assisi...and it's still good advice.

FROM MOLINER CF: Go someplace quiet and SCREAM. Surprising how it clears the head.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Keep your head up, your eyes, heart and mind open. FROM JACK: Good advice, and for the golfers, too. No, I guess for the golfers, it's keep your head down and your eyes on the ball.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I think the key word is acceptance. Maybe, it is what it is without all of the could of, would of, should ofs. And then deciding to pick your battles. Is the situation worth it?