Friday, January 29, 2010

Winning Words 1/29/10
“No person has ever been honored for what he received. Honor is our reward when we give.” (Calvin Coolidge) I’ve been impressed by how people have come together to give support to the Haitian people in their suffering. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t get a request in the mail for a worthy cause. While we can’t answer them all, we try to do what we can for those in need. Are there causes special to you? ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: sustainable farming practices, housing, clothing, other necessities produced and used in a way that is also sustainable. Hope the funds we give to the people of Haiti not only help them to recover from the earthquake but also help them to build a sustainable infrastructure for a more prosperous economy. Probably the charitable contributions won't do it alone, the way our world does economics needs some changing.
Tariffs, subsidies, etc. Maybe we need to give to the poor in new ways that will be honorable. FROM JACK: Text messaging gifts are only one way, but they are a start. The recovery is a story equal to, if not bigger, than the earthquake itself. Haiti is not on the other side of the world, but on our own doorstep.

FROM MKH IN MICHIGAN: There are so many great causes you wish you could do them all! FROM JACK: I feel guilty when I throw some of the request envelopes in the wastebasket, but I answer more than I throw away. We can't do everything, but we can do something. That's what's needed.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Sometimes it's hard to pick which ones are more important...and sometimes it's right in the family. We try. Honor isn't earned by throwing cash's a lot more than money. Money is a short term fix. FROM JACK: You're right. It's not just gifts of "treasure." Time and talent are important, too...maybe even more so.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Hi Jack: the scripture of the day for today seems to send a similar message to your message today. As St. Francis of Assissi stated: "It is in giving that we receive..." Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all." FROM JACK: You're right. It does fit.

FROM PRPH IN ARIZONA: how about MY RETIREMENT retirement fund? well, maybe not) MN Teen Challenge seems to do some amazing work with teens on drugs. also, there is an orphanage down here in Mesa that runs purely on private and outside donations and it too does some incredible work with kids who would otherwise be in a world of hurt. FROM JACK: It seems to me that the divide the haves and the have nots is growing wider. Caring people are needed now.

FROM DP IN MICHIGAN: Hi In answer to your question, our church gave 12000 the first day when the plea for help came..We may be old, but we care! Also, at our Early Bible study the question came as to the difference between knowledge and wisdom..a fellow said, Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. thought you might appreciate it. FROM JACK: 12 K is an amazing amount for your congregation. Is a tomato really a fruit?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winning Words 1/28/10
“The poor get poorer by acting rich, and the rich get richer by acting poor.” (Seen on a wall plaque) This is a good example of a truism, something that is self-evident. It reminds me of the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz: “Ain’t it the truth. Ain’t it the truth?” Our current economic crisis is caused, in part, by acting rich/poor. ;-) Jack

FROM NL IN FLORIDA: That's good Jack FROM JACK: It's true.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Have to think long and hard on this WW today. Especially the rich get richer by acting poor. Actually what does that mean and if, they do that, why don't poor people aspire to act poor like them? Why does anyone want to act rich anyway? I've heard that some people overseas don't like us for that, they think we're just greedy for all their resources, you know minerals and coffee, etc., etc., etc. Chewing on WW in Michigan. FROM JACK: Do you remember the Slo-Poke suckers? In the beginning, it seemed that they were hard and impossible to chew, but after being in your mouth for a while they softened up and were delicious. Give some more thought to the quote, and I think that you'll begin to see the point. If not, go back to eating marshmallows.


Ev'ry morning, ev'ry evening
Ain't we got fun?
Not much money, Oh, but honey
Ain't we got fun?
The rent's unpaid dear
We haven't a bus
But smiles were made dear
For people like us

In the winter in the Summer
Don't we have fun
Times are bum and getting bummer
Still we have fun
There's nothing surer
The rich get rich and the poor get children
In the meantime, in between time
Ain't we got fun?

Landlords mad and getting madder
Ain't we got fun?
Times are so bad and getting badder
Still we have fun
There's nothing surer
The rich get rich and the poor get laid off
In the meantime, in between time
Ain't we got fun?

When the man who sold 'em carpets told 'em
He would take them away
They said, "Wonderful, here's our chance
Take them up and we'll dance"
And when burglars came and robbed them
Taking all their silver, they say
Hubby yelled, "We're famous, for they'll name us
In the pepers today

FROM JACK: Yes, I remember hearing that song when I was a kid. I remember, too, seeing a
Merrie Melodies cartoon featuring "Ain't We Got Fun."

FROM PRCWR IN B'MORE: ....interesting, but accurate, in a Capitalist's actually built into the system. That's one reason why Socialism (and it's neo-religious successor ideology, Communism) evolved. That's also why general Socialism and State Communism didn't work....because of the "human" propensity toward Greed and the sole reason for Jesus' trilogy "gospel" of Peace, Love and Justice (with "justice", in
Biblical literature and in Jesus' teachings meaning and referring specifically to "money"). That's also why both Socialism and Communism are failed political ideologies.....for because of the human natural inclination toward growth, clouded by greed, egalitarian anything is always a religious goal and not a corporate system. It's perfection and remember the old , worn out doctrine of "original sin"'s still around, but has nothing to do with "sins".....but with goals. FROM JACK: Still preachin', I see.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winning Words 1/27/10
“Sometimes you’ve got to jump off cliffs and grow wings on the way down.” (Ray Bradbury) Bradbury is well-known as a writer of speculative fiction. “I couldn’t go to college during The Great Depression, so I got my education by visiting the library.” Sometimes we have to make the best of life’s situations. I suppose that’s what he meant when he wrote about growing wings. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: This seems to be the predominant method both sides of the political spectrum are using presently. A version of, ready, fire, AIM! FROM JACK: I guess what impresses me about Bradbury is that when he couldn't afford a college education, he made regular visits to the library. When one road is closed, you look for another. That's what I got from the quote. BTW, even when I aim, I sometimes miss the target.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Great quote, Jack! I'm giving a talk to a class of young entrepreneurs at Drexel University tomorrow. This is a perfect fit! FROM JACK: In the West Bloomfield area, we have a young entrepeneurs club. Older entrepeneuers get together, too. In fact, the leader of that group is a member of our Optimist Club.

FROM SF IN MICHIGAN: This reminds me of "Building the Bridge as You Walk on It" (Quinn?) or Nike's challenge: "Just Do It!" Sometimes we need to move out of our comfort zone and make our move! There is also a story in "Women Who Run with the Wolves" (Estes) that says "Go out in the woods...if you never go out in the woods, nothing will ever happen and your life will never begin." How true! FROM JACK: Life is great when you have time to think. Someone wrote to me and said that she only has time to read what she has to read. But sometimes, constraints just make it that way. I'm glad that you've been able to grow new wings.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: The essence of faith... I love this image! FROM JACK: The musical, Will Rogers' Follies, opens with the song, "Let's Go Flying." With our faith-wings, we can do that.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: I believe in some risk taking but just reading about jumping off cliffs gave me the creeps. FROM JACK: It's no problem if you have wings. Birds do it all the time. And, it's no problem if you're able to sprout wings on the way down. Faith can sometimes be a creepy thing.

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: I was never able to verify this, but ..... When a baby eagle is ready to fly the mother eagle encourages the baby eagle to leave the nest by taking away all the comforting feathers woven into the nest. If this does not work, the mother eagle pushes the baby eagle out of the nest into a free fall. Meanwhile the father eagle is flying underneath and will catch or stop the fall by getting in between the baby eagle and the ground (e.g. carried on the wings of eagles). This process becomes how the baby eagle learns to fly. Have you heard this before? Is this correct? FROM JACK: When in doubt, Google, but don't believe everything you read. The reference is from the Bible and refers to God rescuing the fallen. Maybe some ornithologist knows.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I don't like heights but sometimes I am forced off the cliff anyway....God has always managed to catch me and He where I put my trust...not in my ability to grow wings, but that He give me what I need. FROM JACK: Heights never used to bother me, but, wings or no wings, don't stand me on the edge of a cliff now. Faith is a different story.

FROM HAWKEYE GS: I think he's talking about being free enough to take risks. Starting my own business during a minor recession without $ was a big risk that I'm very thankful I took. FROM JACK: That's the mark of an entrepeneur....a person faith.

FROM MOLINER CF: Now, there's the true definition of Faith. FROM JACK: I'm glad that you approve. Since you've been married and are a father and a grandfather and also an entrepeneur, you know the importance of faith.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: If you want to walk on water you must get out of the boat. Just do it. FROM JACK: That's what Jesus told Peter.

FROM CL IN CALIFORNIA: Reminds me of If you want to walk on water you need to get out of the boat. Just do it. FROM JACK: With our "cold" weather, people around here are really doing just that.

FROM INDY GENIE: I wonder if he meant that for some of us that's the only way we'll ever know that we CAN grow wings! FROM JACK: That's a good thought; however, your sister would put it this way: "I wonder if she meant etc."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winning Words 1/26/10
“The best way out is always through.” (Robert Frost) One of my favorite lines from Psalm 23 is: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” Life’s dark valleys can be frightening and a test of faith. It’s a comfort to know that we are not alone, and that there is a way out. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: We're wrestling with Lazarus and the rich man in our Bible study. It certainly does look like Lazarus just stuck it out and went through being poor but the rich man didn't go through being rich very well but evidently chose not to see his situation through enough so he could get out too. The rich man was alone, Lazarus was not. FROM JACK: That's a good comparison. "The love of money is the root of evil."

FROM GUSTIE MN: Have you read the book “Going on a Bear Hunt”? It says—“Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, gotta go through it” It is a kid’s book. FROM JACK: At our library, I just checked out, The Closing of the American Mind. Next time I'll go into the Children's Section and look for the Bear Hunt.

FROM SG IN MICHIGAN: Indeed. I have always said that you simply cannot circumvent reality. FROM JACK: ....except in your mind. Your mind can do all sorts of things.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Frost gets the message of the Psalm: THRU! But we've got to keep going in order to get thru! A great & comforting thought & truth. FROM JACK: "....for thou art with me" are the key words.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Similar: If you're going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill FROM JACK: Winnie knew what he was talking about.

FROM MOLINER CF: I wonder if RF took the word "throughout" and interpreted a different meaning. I await your lesson. FROM JACK: Frost experienced much grief and loss in his life, and some of his writings reflect that. Today's quote seems to indicate that he had found a way out of his depression. He taught at the Univ of Michigan for a while, and his Ann Arbor home has been moved to the campus of the Henry Ford Museum, located about a half hour from where we live. He encouraged young poets to put the sound of the human life into their writings. He's a favorite of mine, because he did just that.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Winning Words 1/25/10
“That which is beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful.” (Ninon de L’Enclos) This is from a book of Words of Comfort, sent to me recently by a reader of WWs. Today’s quote is one that is both beautiful AND good. This week I plan to use some more quotes from my “gift.” ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Proof....there are some beautiful flowers out there...but deadly. Most though are absolutely beautiful and GOOD. People are like that also. FROM JACK: I've heard that the poinsettia is one of those plants.

FROM MOLINER CF: Some of the people are beautiful all of the time and all of the people are good some of the time, but not all of the people are good and beautiful all of the time. Abe Ryser

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Could be...but I love yellow roses! I guess it was from when I was little and my favorite song was "Yellow Rose of Texas". FROM JACK: Briefly stated, the song is based on a Texas legend from the days of the Texas War of Independence. According to the legend, a woman named Emily D. West — a mulatto, and hence, the song's reference to her being "yellow" — who was seized by Mexican forces during the
looting of Galveston, seduced General Antonio López de Santa Anna, President of Mexico and commander of the Mexican forces. The legend credits her supposed seduction with lowering the guard of the Mexican army and facilitating the Texan victory in the battle of San Jacinto waged in 1836 near present-day Houston. Santa Anna's opponent was General Sam Houston, who won the battle literally in minutes, and with almost no casualties. This legend is comparable to the Biblical war story of Jael and Sisera, found in Judges 4:14–22 and repeated in poetry in Judges 5:23–27. Jael's story was popular with Protestant Christians of the time and would have been familiar to slaves and freedmen as well as the white population.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Winning Words 1/22/10
“I showed you the world through my eyes. Now you show it to me through yours. And so we
learn” (Pam Brown) Pam lives in Australia…poet, musician, film-maker, artist, librarian, teacher. She’s a teacher in many ways, but she is also on the lookout for new ideas. Is there an idea that you have learned and can share? ;-) Jack FYI: Winning Words now goes daily to almost 400 people, most of whom I know. Some of you forward them on to others or post them on websites. I want you to know that I enjoy having you as a reader. If you want to add a name, or if you want your name to be dropped, just let me know. Interesting give and take is posted on the blog.


FROM RI IN BOSTON: That quote might just as well be credited to you. Thanks for generating WW, plus the good will and inspiration you impart to so many people, by its distribution and those who "pay it forward". FROM JACK: Thanks for the encouragement.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My favorite way to look at the world is through the eyes of my grandsons. Everyday is filled with little miracles!!! Love it. And love your Winning Words too. THanks for sharing them with so many! FROM JACK: You are blessed.

FROM MOLINER CF: Some great ideas never see the light of day because the thinker has no idea how to implement it. Just air the idea and someone will know what to do with it. FROM JACK: In your company, did you do both? MORE FROM CF: Absolutely! We bounced ideas off each other all of the time and
Brainstormed regularly. FROM JACK: A regular Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

FROM PRDL IN OREGON: Jack, that you have 400 readers is a tribute to your well chosen mottos, quotes and sayings! Each day you inspire the whole group of us! Thanks for your willingness to give of yourself in this helpful gift of your time for our good! Joy and Peace FROM JACK: We learn from each other, don't we?

FROM MOLINER JT: I don't know if I told you but my G-son Seth Teske is in Haiti assisting on an Orth surgery team. Long hours but worth the effort. We pray for his safe return. FROM JACK: You can be proud...In fact, we're all proud of the care-givers like Seth.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: What a fantastic way to share your thoughts and to stay connected. It sounds like good old American entrepreneurship with something more important than money. Are you international? Yesterday we were at Wide World of Sports at Disney and met many people from all over the country and the world, too. One of the salesclerks had a name tag from Traverse City, MI. She said that she is a snowbird but there are far fewer in her mobile home park this year. FROM JACK: WWs is not limited to the USA. Canada and Hong Kong are regularly heard from, to name two. Most of the 400 are personally known by me. Others are friends and relatives of those folk. One church has all of its council members and committee members on the list.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winning Words 1/21/10
“It’s not how you fall; it’s what you do after you get up.” (Scott Hamilton—sent by L) Scott was commenting on a fall by a figure skater. Everyone experiences a fall now and then. The recovery is the important thing. It’s not just in the sports world, but it’s in the world in general. In God-talk, it’s confession and forgiveness. ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: In God-talk, it's confession, forgiveness AND penance (the forgotten word in modern liberal theology) FROM JACK: I don't think that God requires penance, but simply the confession. If there's a hint of penance, it's "Go, and sin no more." FROM L IN ILLINOIS: with your comment on penance. That's the way I see God, too. I also maintain that God has a sense of humor, and likes music, art and literature. And sports. Otherwise, why would we humans possess such traits and talents?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Scott Hamilton...another good guy. He is very inspirational and has overcome massive health problems. He has a very positive outlook on life. One of my favorite Olympic sports is figure skating! I hope after my surgery I can "get up" fast and without a lot of complaining! FROM JACK: Make sure that you have those figure skates sharpened.

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: Scott Hamilton is not only an Olympic champion, he's a survivor of testicular cancer and a benign brain tumor. He got up, became a father and re-learned how to skate. He also raises funds for numerous charities. There are still sports heroes! FROM JACK: He can still do the back flip, too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winning Words 1/20/10
“As I grow older I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do.” (Andrew Carnegie) I first became acquainted with Carnegie when I saw his name carved on the front of the Moline Public Library. Edgar Guest used to write a poem a day for The Detroit Free Press. Here’s the first line of one of them: “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.” Look for it on today’s blog. ;-) Jack

Sermons We See
Edgar Guest

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.

I soon can learn to do it if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you and the high advise you give,
But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.

One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Andrew Carnegie obviously gave his opinion as well as his fortune. His endowing of public libraries around the U.S. was an extraordinary example of personal philanthropy. Besides the Moline library with which you're familiar, didn't Carnegie also provide a library for Merrill Wisconsin, another town familiar to you? FROM JACK: 1909 Request for $17,500 from Andrew Carnegie Foundation approved. Claude & Starck of Madison (associates of the famed Louis Sullivan) contracted as architects the following spring. 1911 New Carnegie library completed in Stange’s Park . 1935 WPA grant helps with roofing and cement work on the library. 1945 H. V. Kaltenborn, Merrill native and famous radio commentator,
journalist and author donates $2,000 to the library for creation of a book fund. 1969 Library addition opened, doubling the size of the building. Architects were Foster & Shavey; Wausau, WI. 1970 Ramon Hernandez begins duties as ninth library director. (Do you remember him? He was later Director of the Ann Arbor Public Library and preached occasionally at Holy Spirit.) 1971 Library acclaimed as an excellent example of Sullivanesque architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Wisconsin Chapter of American Institute of Architects. 1972 Library recognized by State Department of Natural Resources as an
excellent example of construction on a flood plain.


FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Going to print this one out!!! And keep it by my computer here.

FROM JB IN WISCONSIN: Excellent words indeed!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winning Words 1/19/10
“Faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase.” (MLK, Jr) There are many instances when these words can be repeated. Circumstances sometimes cause us to venture out and just trust that things will work out. It would be a different world without the need for faith, and a lot less interesting. ;-) Jack

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Agreed. Faith (and diverse perspectives) do indeed keep life interesting! FROM JACK: Not only interesting, but meaningful, too.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: There was another Martin Luther King, Jr., quote on the back of our program from our Walk yesterday, "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." 2010, still finding out things he said that just stick in a person's mind. Thanks for quoting him today. FROM JACK: We're still learning. The issue is not behind us.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: Makes me think that my life could be considered that staircase, every year I get older is another step. I have to trust that things will work out and have faith to make it another 30 or 40
years. FROM JACK: We each have an hour glass, made of blackened glass, which contains grains of sand reprenting the length of our life. We make the best of each day. Faith helps us to go on.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: How true that is. Also I believe that faith is a gift and some people refuse it. FROM JACK: Your response causes me to think. Is faith a gift (from God), or is it part of our free will. Regardless, what you have said is true.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Awesome!!! FROM JACK: That's a good word.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Faith is knowing we are cared for and loved even when it doesn't seem like it. Talking with my grandsons yesterday in the car about the Trinity. One is grandson is 10 the other is 5. I was explaining how in faith we believe there are three in one...the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They were having problems understanding so I used my hand. There is a thumb, a pointer finger and a middle finger, but they are all from the same hand. They understood that easily. We had a long talk about faith and I think I learned more than they did! FROM JACK: I'll have to remember that one.

FROM MOLINER CF: It takes a tremendous amount of faith because you don't even know if the staircase goes up or down. FROM JACK: Look at the first step. Is it up or down? Then, look at the next step. "One step, and then another...."

FROM CJL IN OHIO: We have to know where the staircase is leading before we take that first step. FROM JACK: That's the whole point of faith. We don't "know," so we have to "believe."

FROM GC IN SAN DIEGO: Right on, Jack! FROM JACK: As the hymn puts it....We are marching in the light of God.

FROM DS IN MICHIGAN: Trying to encourage my 23 year old just this. So tough trying to find career work. FROM JACK: No one said that faith would be easy.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: reminds me of the song, "jacob's ladder", brothers...sisters...all. FROM JACK: That's a good connection.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Winning Words 1/18/10
“It’s a kingly act to assist the fallen.” (Mother Teresa) Whether it’s marching in Alabama, assisting in Haiti, ministering to the dying in Calcutta, building Habitat for Humanity homes, serving in a Detroit soup kitchen, or putting money in a Red Kettle… our help is needed for those who have fallen and aren’t able to get up. ;-) Jack

FROM SL IN MICHIGAN: Amen! Thank you! FROM JACK: I'm always impressed by caring people who see the needs of people and do something to help.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: To help those in need IS kingly, according to Matthew 25:40: "And the King shall answer and say unto them, 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: I was thinking of kingly, as in Martin Luther King, Jr. MORE FROM RI: That association is excellent. Actually I thought of that as I was writing "King" in my response. The capital K clued me in to MLK's name. Fine WW today...not just the quote but especially your insights.

FROM MOLINER CF: Pun and all, it's the right thing to do.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Including those at home.. FROM JACK: Yes, it's no laughing matter.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: I repeat paraphrasing Mother Theresa that we may not all be able to do great things but we can all do small things well. FROM JACK: Everybody can do something.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Winning Words 1/15/10
“When there’s snow on the ground I like to pretend that I’m walking on clouds.” (I, H & K) You people in the cloudless Sun Belt don’t know what you’re missing…making snow angels…walking on the new-fallen snow…seeing your breath. Not far from our house is a big snow-covered hill, where young and old have fun with Flexible Flyers, saucers and cardboard. As I watch, I pretend to be up there with them. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Your Winning Words today point out to me that, as I get older and older, my imagination might be deteriorating because one of my big purposes now is NOT TO FALL DOWN ON THE SNOW, NOT TO FALL DOWN PERIOD AND BREAK A BONE. FROM JACK: While you're down there, you might as well make a snow angel

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: There is nothing so pretty as a freshly snow covered lawn; especially evergreen trees. And being as we have a sloping backyard our grandsons love to come over and sled all day. They come in when their toes and noses are bright a cup of hot chocolate! How wonderful these fun days are!!! FROM JACK: Do you go down the hill with them?

FROM RI IN BOSTON: There are some wonderful moments that go along with a fresh snowfall. Your mention of a snowy hill with lighthearted young and old sledders reminds me of years ago when we were in West Bloomfield, and our family got invited by the Fishers to join the winter fun on the hill near their home. Afterward we were invited to their home for hot drinks and friendly chatting. You don't forget those moments. FROM JACK: Thanks for the reminder. That's a great remembrance.

FROM PRFM IN ALABAMA: I get the same feeling when I am walking on white sand at the gulf of Mexico. FROM JACK: Do you ever lie down and make sand angels?

FROM ED IN ARIZONA: Who says there's no snow in the sunbelt? FROM JACK: wow (for the rest of you..ED sent a picture of her hiking in the snowy mountains)
MORE FROM ED: its 70 degrees here and sunny (sorry). However, im heading up to Flagstaff this weekend (just a 2 hour drive north) and it will be 25 degrees there. We are planning on hiking in the Grand Canyon on Saturday, Rock climbing in Sedona on Sunday (50 degrees) and then watch the snow from a big snow storm that is coming through on Monday! The topography here provides such a range of climates within just a 2 hours drive!! How awesome

FROM SG IN TAMPA: In Florida the young make their angels in the sand at the beach. FROM JACK: Are you one of the young?

FROM CJL IN OHIO: and remember when you were..... FROM JACK: Those were the days my friend We'd thought they'd never end We'd sing and dance Forever and a day We'd live the life we'd choose We'd fight and never lose For we were young And sure to have our way MORE FROM CJL: God gives us memories so we can have roses in December....

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: I would love to come down that hill but would likely come down in more than one piece so I am with you...I watch and remember.
FROM JACK: I remember once going down a hill and unexpectedlt came upon a cliff at the bottom. I landed with such force that the sled runners bent.

MORE FROM ED: its 70 degrees here and sunny (sorry). However, im heading up to Flagstaff this weekend (just a 2 hour drive north) and it will be 25 degrees there. We are planning on hiking in the Grand Canyon on Saturday, Rock climbing in Sedona on Sunday (50 degrees) and then watch the snow from a big snow storm that is coming through on Monday! The topography here provides such a range of climates within just a 2 hours drive!! How awesome

FROM PRPH IN ARIZONA: why pretend, Jack? you should go and join them! it would surely bring back a lot of childhood memories! FROM JACK: If I'm going to pretend, I'll pretend that I'm in Arizona.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS: I read the weather reports, the people in the Sun Belt are learning how to walk on water.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winning Words 1/14/10
“In this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in.” (RFK) This was said by Bobby after the assassinations of his brother and Martin Luther King Jr, and 2 months before he himself was shot. We continually have to ask, “In what direction do we want our country to move?” ;-) Jack

FROM JH IN OHIO: timely and important to remember!

FROM DMF IN MINNESOTA: What happened to the nintendo guys? FROM JACK: Back tomorrow.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: The kind of nation we are is one which emphasizes individual freedom for living our lives, and I think we are so focused on our selves that we have lost sight of the nation's collective needs. We concentrate on personal aspirations, but how many of us dwell on national aspirations? It IS a difficult time for our country now, but future generations will look back and realize that these years were "the good life". FROM JACK: You got the gist of the message. MORE FROM RI: I get insight from Hiroko, who reminds me from time to time about Japan's populace, all of whom consider themselves a small part of a larger whole. They move together like a school of fish, no one individual expecting to stick out from the pack.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Attended a talk and panel discussion led by Jim Wallis of Sojourners. He said people seem to be asking "when will our economy get back on track again, when will it go up?" But he thinks the problem is of need to change. We need to be digging deep, asking "what are our values and how do we need to change?" I'm 62 years old now--how many times do we have to ask ourselves what are our values anyway before we get it right what direction our country needs to be going in? Maybe we're only asking and not doing.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Definitely not where we are headed! FROM JACK: That's what I thought in the 50s and the 60s, and then someone tried to make a difference. The way we're heading, individually or collectively, won't change until someone wants it to change. " If it's to be, it's up to me!" MORE FROM OJ: That's why I never miss a vote and support my the hard part to get the rest motivated. My family never misses a vote (unless illiness of course). My husband and I feel we vote or we shut up until the next don't vote you don't get a say....that's how it works. MORE FROM JACK: I happen to
think that most of the change happens outside of the hearts and minds of individuals.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Good point; however presently no one is asking. FROM JACK: Since you are commenting, I suppose that's a way of asking. On MLK's birthday, I tried a subtle way to raise the question.

FROM MOLINER CF: "Ask not what direction your country should move, ask our country's directors to move." We're in limbo. FROM JACK: The Catholic Church says that "limbo" no longer exists. You must be thinking of the limbo dance. I'd like to see you do that.
We're in limbo.

FROM PRPH IN ARIZONA: right now we need to be moving in the direction of Haiti. what a disaster! FROM JACK: Disasters seem to unite people, sad to say.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: In this day and age, it is hard not to feel that OUR era has passed, and we can only pray that our Ship of State will eventually right itself. From all I read, it appears that the next big war will be between Muslims and Christians, although China looms large, doesn't it? Our poor old brains are often overwhelmed with the scope of all nations deal with these days. Yet we remain very interested in it all! FROM JACK: Don't let that negative thinking clutter your mind. This IS our era, as much as any other time in which we have lived. Relgious wars are nothing new. How about our country's Civil War and our race riots and the Great Depression,etc, etc. We sometimes look through the wrong end of the telescope. Enjoy your trip to the Sun Belt.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Neither right nor left....the center is our best bet. All of our greatest leaders have been Centrists and very pragmatic. The idealists are a scary bunch. FROM JACK: ...and you've been accusing me of being a "mugwump."

FROM TB IN MICHIGAN: I think the efforts that the President has outlined for assisting the people of Haiti is an outstanding direction. Your thought? What do you think of the comments by Pat Robertson relative to Haitians pack with the Devil? FROM JACK: Does anyone listen to Robertson anymore? "My" God doesn't work in that way. As far as the president is concerned, we are thought to be a humanitarian country and should therefore support our leader in his humanitarian efforts on our behalf.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winning Words 1/13/10
“Life is shaped by the people you meet every day.” (I, H &K) I’m going to make it a point to meet someone new today and to learn something about them and their family. Most of us are reluctant to move out of the comfort zone of old friends (who were once new friends). Tomorrow, I hope to report on my ad-venture. Perhaps you can tell me about a “new” friend of yours. ;-) Jack

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: The story of my life! I met you and sure shape my mornings! FROM JACK: It works both ways.

FROM EM IN MICHIGAN: I'm up to the challenge of meeting someone new today as well. I'll report to you how it went. That is something I try and do on a weekly basis - it isn't too challenging especially as a chiropractor
when I see a new patient, I get to learn a whole lot about someone! FROM JACK: It's a beautiful world out there when we're bold enough to leave our cocoon.

FROM ST IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for keeping the good faith going.

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: I just read your Winning Words and thought that you might like to meet Doug Firebaugh ( He and his wife conduct a weekly Bible study at the Troy Civic Center on Tuesdays at 7:00 called 'Success Church'. This is a cross denominational meeting focused on marketplace ministry. The people that attend are diverse. Doug and Jodi are successful motivational speakers by trade and use Tuesday nights to give back'. It just occurred to me that you may have something's in common and might benefit from the relationship. FROM JACK:, if I want to meet a new person! Maybe I'll venture to check it out.

FROM SB IN MICHIGAN: Another quote along these lines (one of my personal favorites) is, "I am a part of all that I have met," from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "Ulysses." There are more gems in that poem as well. FROM JACK: In fact, I read that poem this past weekend, and my eye caught that same line.

FROM MOLINER CF: I have a friend about whom I learn something new every day. Good luck on your quest, old friend. FROM JACK: And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest, That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm, when I'm laid to my rest ...

FROM JK IN MINNESOTA: I'm a mentor to a 9th grade confirmation class member who is teaching me things new and hopeful about the generations who will be our leaders not-too-many-years-from-now. Most recently, Ana shows me that many thirteen-year-olds are responsible about their studies, involved in extra-curricular activities, loved and supported by their parents and think deeply about their faith. I look forward to two years (and I trust more) of learning from a remarkable young person! FROM JACK: That's a good meet and learn from a younger person

FROM HAWKEYE GS: CBS has mostly young men -30 years old. We go to lunch together afterwards - keeps me young. FROM JACK: For blog readers---CBS is a Bible Study group which includes Mixed-Martial-Arts fighters.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: In Florida at this time of year there are lots of snowbirds. Yesterday I met a woman from Ottawa, Canada and both she and her husband were teachers before they retired. Now they have the best of both worlds and climates. Usually. FROM JACK: Meeting new people is an experience that works both ways. Both parties benefit from meeting someone new.

FROM MOLINER JT: As a new member of First Lutheran I've made many "new" friends. Probably the most important is Pastor Dan. I've always considered my pastor as a teacher,confidant etc. Now I have found a truly new "friend". FROM JACK: Friendship...just a perfect blendship.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I didn't think anything would happen today but tonight suddenly got a telephone call out of the blue. A couple who had attended our church and then left. Since then we've had sporadic contact. But during tonight's conversation I found out some things about the direction their lives are going in which totally surprised me. Glad I can now have a different understanding of them and our lives together. Some of my regrets have just plain evaporated. Old friends but new friendship.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winning Words 1/12/10
“It’s takin’ whatever comes your way, the good AND the bad, that gives life flavor. It’s all the stuff rolled together that makes life worth livin’.” (I, H & K) It’s a different analogy, but with the same truth: “All sunshine makes a desert.” I appreciate the ethnic diversity of the community in which I live--over 60 different languages spoken in the homes of our 2000 high school students. ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: The "good and the bad" really do give life flavor. Of course those judgments are subjective. There are a lot of examples where one person's trash was transformed into another person's art. And didn't stew originate from someone making use of miscellaneous leftovers? All that stuff rolled together makes for good eatin'. FROM JACK: Variety makes for a good congregation, also. "Variety is the spice of life."

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Wow. I had no idea that West Bloomfield was so diverse! I'll bet there some really interesting restaurants around there now. FROM JACK: On our block....African-American, Korean, Indian, Russian, Chaldean. This morning I had breakfast at a Russian restaurant. Tomorrow's lunch will be at a French Pastry shop. Sunday will be a big MLK, Jr Walk and Program at the high school.

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: Despite ethnic diversity, we are all the same. Perhaps, someday we'll get past the "I'm this, you're that" mentality and labels. FROM JACK: First, we in the USA have to get by the red state/blue state thing.

FROM GUSTIE MN: I do agree with the diversity part—mostly—but I got an email about what is going on at Fordson High School in Dearborn and that I cannot agree with. That sounds like a Muslim school and nothing else is acceptable. FROM JACK: I don't believe everything that comes to me by e-mail. Do you?

FROM SG IN TAMPA: I am curious. Are all of the classes taught in English? FROM JACK: I'll check.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Oh my! That is really do have ethnic diversity! Yes, there is much truth in this want neither desert or swamp!! FROM JACK: Our clergy group has Christians, Jews, Muslims and community leaders who are non-clergy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winning Words 1/11/10
“Deal with the consequences of your actions, ‘cause life ain’t no video game.” (Ikkaku, Hosaka, & Kawabata) What I know about this trio is that they create video games for Nintendo. Sometimes, after we do and say certain things, we’d like to be able to push a button marked, REPLAY. Too bad! We just have to move on, hoping that we can do better the next time. I, H & K will have more to say this week. ;-) Jack

FROM NL IN FLORIDA: Isn't that the truth. It's cold in Florida, 38 this morning. FROM JACK: It's snowing and 19. Crisp and beautiful!


FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I have a funny Nintendo story. My daughter was born in 1983. She was about 5 or 6 or 7 or somewhere thereabouts when Nintendo first became popular. A lot of her friends had a Nintendo machine. We didn't have a real big budget and were not buying her a Nintendo machine. She was so cute. She got a small box, the right size and drew Nintendo buttons and stuff all over it and made herself a "make-do"
Nintendo machine to play with. That's one of our family's stories of being poor in the old days but it's really richer with treasure and thankfulness and appreciation than if there had been a real Nintendo. And, at age 27, she still seems to be able to do her engineering job OK and not lack from not having the real Nintendo experience. FROM JACK: Imagination is good for all of us, especially engineers....and those trying to learn to play the accordian.

FROM INDY GENIE: you're blog is making me laugh again today....i don't know the story behind the accordian but it made me laugh!

FROM PRJS: Do you suppose that Harry Reid would like to hit the REPLAY button??? FROM JACK: Apart from the political aspects of your question....When I was in "Luther League" I remember having a discussion with our youth leader, who was the pastor's wife. The question was: "Should you never tell a lie?" or, "Should you always tell the truth?"

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Have you ever played a video gamer? FROM JACK: Pong! BTW, does Tampa's weather today remind you of Moline winters?

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Bring 'em on. There are some "cool" Japanese people out there. FROM JACK: What's the difference between COOL and HOT?

FROM MOLINER CF: "i'm sorry" is a viable way of dealing with the consquences of what we regret doing and saying.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I wouldn't hit a replay button, I would hit a delete button and then say...oops sorry.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: One of the problems is that people don't take time to think about consequences. They just act. FROM JACK: ...which reminds me of the saying, "Look, before you leap."

Friday, January 08, 2010

Winning Words 1/8/10
“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.” (Bella in Twilight) This is sort of a follow up to what was written yesterday. Sometimes life has a way of seeming terribly dark and brutally cold. There’s no magic wand available to change that, but a positive attitude can help us to see some stars and to experience a feeling of summer during the winter. ;-) Jack

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: There are those that are like that without (it seems) seemingly having to try. And than there are those of us that are hangers on to the positive light just to get through the day. FROM JACK: I guess we all feel like that at times. Let me share aomething written a friend of mine who's dealing with ALS. His computer is voice activated, because he can't use his hands. The computer software recognizes his voice, even though the disease has weakened his ability to talk.

FROM SH IN ILLINOIS: This is the season to take stock of what things make us happy in life. For me, this revolves around faith, family, health (yes, health-I was originally not given a chance to see this year, so every day is a good day) and friends. Many of us also make resolutions of things to do to improve ourselves, whether that be quitting smoking, spending more time with the children, losing weight or catching up on our reading.

But should these things, however noble and worthy, be our main responses to the happiness we feel in this time of new beginnings? And as I thought about this, my mind wandered, naturally, to Beethoven. Late in his life, Beethoven was not only completely deaf and unable to hear the masterworks he created or indulge his love of music in any normal way, he was often sickly and bed-ridden. About two years before his death, Beethoven went through a very severe and lengthy illness that caused him to think he might very well die. Upon his recovery, he expressed his gratitude in the best way he knew how -- he immediately began composing. Never mind that he would never hear it, and never mind that the slow movement for a string quartet he now composed didn't really fit as part of the larger work he had started earlier. He was simply compelled to write this music. In an unusual move, Beethoven even gave this individual movement its own title -- "Holy Hymn of Thanks from a Convalescent to the Deity".

his "Holy Hymn of Thanks" (to listen, click and then click "Hear the Performance") is not the fiery, tempestuous Beethoven many people know. This work is peaceful, serene and transcendent, with Beethoven caressing each note and reveling in his re-found opportunity to exercise his gift for writing music. In fact, he becomes so enraptured with giving thanks that he simply can't contain his joy -- twice in this supposedly slow movement Beethoven's music breaks out into dance.

Dance! From a man who has repeatedly been deathly ill and can't hear his own music? From a man who never found love and was abused and shunned by family? Yet Beethoven felt deeply that music was the voice of God, and that it was God's gift to him to have that voice flow through him to make the world a better place. He knew of no more joyful thing than to use the gift God had given him.

So I will resolve this year to be profoundly thankful for the gifts I've been given and to use those gifts to make the world around me a better place. Then a happy new year won't depend on what I want, but will flow from what God has given me. And since Beethoven can dance without hearing, I will joyfully and thankfully dance without standing. Peace

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: After reading the article and listening to the music from your blog....I can't make a flippant remark concerning the Winning Words. But I would like to say I will never look at my illinesses the same. I am deeply thankful for each day as it comes and will try my best to remember your friend's outlook when facing situations. Thank you both FROM JACK: I wish that you could meet him

FROM GC IN SAN DIEGO: Walking to the Geisel Library this a.m. from their prking bldg I thought of the usual of cking the e-mails and seeing "Winning Words." My thought process was..."You know, greeting Jack on the screen is a bit like walking into the office at the beginning of the day and greeting your work associates...'Good a.m. How are you? Have a good night? Good to see you this morning. You're looking good. Have a good day!'"

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Yesterday, at the public library, reading a issue of the magazine "Back Home", some person was advocating the health benefits of sleeping the really old-fashioned way--going to bed when it's dark, getting up when it's light--no artificial light. Do we, in our culture, deny the night? deny the dark? And are we physically, psychologically, spiritually weaker for that? I confess seeing the stars never thrills me as much as seeing the sun and especially enjoying the days getting longer again.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: One of the bonuses of living out in a rural area, such as Lake Petersburg, is that the stars are so bright at night, and the skies are usually clear. Beautiful sunsets, too. Sarah, who lives in industrialized Chicago, (Hyde Park) is always enthralled when she is here, because in the city you so rarely see a clear view of the Heavens. The night does highlight the stars! Good to remember! FROM JACK: We have so many trees around us that it's impossible to see the horizon. Looking up, we can see the stars, but not the panorama.

FROM PRDM IN MICHIGAN: Thanks, Pastor, for ALWAYS having encouraging words in the bleakest hours!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Winning Words 1/7/10
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” (Albert Camus – sent by Suzanne) Some of my friends who are living down south have a penchant for sending a report of their weather, particularly when we in the north are experiencing below zero temps and deep snows. However, Camus is writing about an inner spirit and not about the weather. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: We have some friends in Arizona who always send us Christmas cards with pictures of them in their sunglasses. I thought about sending them Christmas cards of us in our sunglasses but somehow I don't think they would see us as enjoying our invincible summer but rather sort of pitiful.

FROM DR IN CALIFORNIA: Just wanted you to know that it will hit 74 here in Palm Desert today. FROM JACK: Just wanted you to know that a BIG snowstorm is headed our way today and tomorrow. The thermometer shows in the mid-20s right now. Wish you were here.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: Reminds me a little of the Happy Gilmore movie, where everyone has a "happy place" they can go to in their mind to help get thru some personal challenge, like a trip to the dentist or a flu shot. I have many "happy places" to help thru tough times. FROM JACK: Thanks for that "thought." There are movies that have more than the obvious storyline. The song "Count Your Many Blessings" is a happy place for me.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: i like the term "invincible summer". i am the invincible summer for my beloved and friend amy each winter. they both suffer from "sad" beginning about now. they've had enough of the dark and cold so i become their seasonal shrink. i think i'll change my title today...hope they don't smack's a touchy business! FROM JACK: It's worse to see someone having problems and just to sit idly by and feel sorry. The trick is to know when to step in and when to back off. Empathy!

FROM CJL IN OHIO: As I look out the window, I see that both are true.... FROM JACK: O, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful....

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: This quote reminds me of you. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, you are always positive, upbeat and full of vim and vinegar! That’s wonderful.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I personally like the snow and cold....however, having a knee replaced in February in Michgan probably will change my mind. I will keep "summer in my brain" all winter this year. FROM JACK: It looks like no sledding or ice-skating for you.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I bought a poster with this Camus quote on it and had it on my classroom wall during January when I taught Music and Literature in Jr. high. It had the quote, and a picture of a purple crocus emerging through a layer of snow on the ground. My students always commented on it, and some discussed it. One young woman quoted it to me years later when I ran into her at the mall! She then had two small children in tow. Made me feel good that she had that memory! I still get notes, invitations, and pictures from former students. An old ladies' reward for 23 yrs. in the classroom. I loved teaching!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Winning Words 1/6/10
“If only there were a longer time between epiphany and epitaph.” (David Glaser) I got a daily calendar of The Year’s Best Bumper Stickers as a Christmas present. I think the sticker from a couple of days ago explains what Glaser is saying today…Old Too Soon---Smart Too Late. Some of you may know the Dutch version of this. ;-) Jack

FROM L IN ILLINOIS: Are we a little too hard on ourselves? Life is a learning curve that doesn't end till we do. I am going to try to enjoy the learning process a little more, and not beat myself up for not "knowing it all." FROM JACK: My goal is not to "know it all," but simply to enjoy learning some things that I didn't know before.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: Thank you for acknowledging "epiphany" today. It is my youngest grandson's 6th birthday anniversary and, before that even, has been one of my favorite church festivals. Lots of my European members over the years have spoken of December 6 and January 6 being the highlights of their childhood celebrations, while Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were for worship and family gatherings around special foods -- seafood on the Eve because they were often still fasting during Advent, and other meat specialties to break the fast on Christmas Day. Since this day commemorates the visit of the wise men, it would be nice if our society could have an epiphany about Epiphany! FROM JACK: In this case, the Greeks might have it right.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: We all want more time. Do we just want to take, or do we have something to give? FROM JACK: Ah, there's the rub. How do we give of our time? MORE FROM RI: I'll bet your bumper-sticker calendar brings a bright moment every day. Bumper stickers are witty, where opinion and humor collide. FROM JACK: Today's bumper-sticker reads: "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH." Take it for what it's worth.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: it takes most of our lifetime to learn to accept with grace the matters of the human state before we leave it. i believe i'm being prepared for the "mystery". FROM JACK: and Iris...and me, too.

FROM MOLINER MH: Your last couple of ww reminded me of a passage from Gibran on Time. " Know that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream"....."Let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing." I just rediscovered the Prophet and find a lot of similarity to some of your ww. You might want to take a look. FROM JACK: In fact, I just pulled "The Prophet" from my book shelf. How about this writing about Time? "Whenever you pass by the field where you have laid your ancestors look well thereupon, and you shall see yourselves and your children dancing hand in hand. Verily, you often make merry without knowing."

FROM MOLINER CF: As a result of our conversation yesterday, I am going to start an enigma farm. They are easy to raise and maybe I can make a difference. They are quite like mushrooms in their requirements so I am going to start in my abandoned darkroom and see what develops. If I am successful, I may franchise it. Since you were the inspiration, I am going to name it FREEDom Farm. FROM JACK: How about DumbFreed Farm?

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Boy, I'll second that! I'll bet your new book is entertaining! I just saw one that made me laugh...It said, "Diapers and politicians should be changed frequently, and for the same reasons..." There are a lot of good ones out there, if you pay attention. I sure appreciate the work you do to bring the quote each day FROM JACK: My calendar is the daily tear-off kind. One of the bumper stickers asks: "What would Scooby do?" BTW, not using diapers is a worse alternative.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: How true, how true!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Winning Words 1/5/10
“Sometimes it proves the highest understanding not to understand.” (Gracian) BG was a 17th century Spanish Jesuit who is known for his witty maxims and a writing style called conceptism. Today’s quote is an example of this. It caused me to do a double-take. Do I really understand what he’s saying? I think I do. That’s what it’s like with many happenings in life. Do you like enigmas? ;-) Jack

MORE FROM JACK: I was talking with IE this morning and he gave me a clever follow up on today's WWs..."I'll see it, when I believe it." (Wayne Dyer)

FROM LK IN OHIO: Yes. Little choice but to deal with them. FROM JACK: You play the hand you're dealt.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: I'm often puzzled, yet I accept that there are many things I will never understand. FROM JACK: I like Proverbs 30: 18,19: "Four things I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high-seas, and the way of a man with a maiden."

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: How about that "your ways are not my ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts" or
something like that in the Bible? God's probably the only One who can say that and the smartest, most understanding thing is not to fight with Him but to appreciate and be thankful to Him. With people seems like just fighting and trying to convince each other. I'm glad Gracian was a Jesuit, maybe our understandings are in the same ball park, my gut feeling is these Winning Words should be appreciated even if I don't think I fully
understand them. How many of your past Winning Words are like that?!!!!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: According to this writing...I am extremely intelligent! FROM JACK: Mensa material!

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: Actually, I tolerate enigmas. Growing up in America in this generation I guess I am not as patient as I should be. Thats OK - Thats why it takes a lifetime to get a right perspective on life. FROM JACK: Go to your Bible....Proverbs 30:18,19.

FROM MOLINER CF: Just read on the Drudge Report that enigmas have been placed on the endangered species list. FROM JACK: I don't pay attention to gossip. MORE FROM CF: Never tasted an enigma, but I understand they are delicious dipped in chocolate and topped with whipped cream.

FROM HAWKEYE GS: I do not like having my feet firmly planted in mid-air. That is what most enigmas do for me. FROM JACK: Maybe Ali was right...We float like a butterfly.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: In this modern world philosophy seems easy if you have your head on straight. What are puzzles to me are all the electronic things that my children and grandchildren know how to operate without even reading the instructions. FROM JACK: Your parents and grandparents probably thought the same thing about you....and so the beat goes on.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: That's what HUMILITY understand that you don't understand and to be content with that....that means that we are human and not is a very wonderful thing to be human
FROM JACK: What is it about being human that makes it wonderful? People want our leaders to be divine, when, in reality, they're just like the rest of us. An enigma!

FROM MOLINER JT: I love enigmas but, do I understand this one, I think so.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: A conundrum? I guess it is hard to argue this point. Is he saying that we are wise not to question or ponder things that we can never understand as mortals; for which there seems to be no answers that we have the background or ability to understand? Just wondering,

Monday, January 04, 2010

Winning Words 1/4/10
“All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that.” (Baltasar Gracian) When we count our valuables, I wonder how many of us remember to include time. I keep a diary of sorts … appointments, meetings, celebrations, events. As I look through the 2009 book, I’m thankful for the gift of time and the people who gave it meaning. ;-) Jack

FROM SG IN TAMPA: I have a to do list everyday, and besides that I take pictures which is great fun since the invention of the digital camera. FROM JACK: How does your "to do list" compare with you "done list?" MORE FROM SG: Today I have accomplished 4 1/2 of my list of 15 to do's today. There is always tomorrow, God willing. that is.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Yes we do have time, lots of it, even when we have nothing else, and still we waste so much of it. That's speaking for myself...pleading guilty. I like your organized approach, and the contribution you make. I've got to do better. FROM JACK: We each row our own boat.

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: Thank You for the Winning Words in 2009 and am looking forward to 2010 with you as well. FROM JACK: I continue to be optimistic about the days ahead.

FROM PRBG IN MICHIGAN: And, I am thankful for the gifts of your time and friendship. FROM JACK: And I'm thankful for the Hercules "time."

FROM MOLINER CF: Time is the only place there is a level playing field. FROM JACK: Sometimes there are divots.

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: That's timeless! Without time we have nothing!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I write everything down on my Outhouse Calendar...I get one each year for Christmas...sometimes several as quite a few know I collect outhouse photos. As for time, does it really belong to us? We don't know our "time" or when our "Time will be up". But, if we were given an envelope with our closing time in it...would we open it? I will ponder that one for awhile. I am deeply grateful for all of my time...past, present and future. FROM JACK: I'd leave it closed.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Your Winning Words are preparing me right now to live my time with thanksgiving and I hope as I practice doing that, even if, when I might get really old and completely thin-haired, maybe even bald, probably toothless, lose most of my health, maybe even a good part of my mind, and hardly with any possessions, even my clothes being shared among all the residents in the nursing home, the practice will stand me in good stead to be optimistically thankful then too.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Amen to that! As we age (!) time is ever more precious, and we are ever more thankful for it! Even tho it tends to get away from us. I can fritter a day away with no trouble, if given the chance! :-) FROM JACK: I haven't heard the word FRITTER for a long time, even though I seem to practice it every day.