Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winning Words 2/25/10
“We people of the world need to find ways to get to know one another…for then we will recognize that our likenesses are much greater than our differences.” (Peace Pilgrim) Mildred Norman changed her name to Peace Pilgrim, because of her dedication to bringing peace among people. In my ten days at the Rehab Institute I met many fine people from backgrounds different from mine. I’m glad for every chance to make new friends. ;-) Jack

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winning Words 2/24/10
“It is better to give than to receive---especially advice.” (Mark Twain) I like Samuel L. Clemens. It’s been said that he wasn’t a religious person, but I don’t know about that. I try to be very careful about that kind of judgment. It’s seems presumptuous for us to sit in the seat reserved for God. ;-) Jack

Monday, February 08, 2010

Winning Words 2/8/10
“Hope may play traitor at times, but she is so agreeable that we forgive her offences for the sake of her company.” (Minna Thomas Antrim) Turn this one over in your mind to get at the real truth. Hope is a good friend of mine. Yours, too? Minna wrote this 100 years ago, and it still seems relevant. ;-) Jack
PLEASE NOTE: Tomorrow’s WWs will be the last for a while. I’m having a knee replacement on Tuesday and will be away from my computer. Hopefully, re-hab will allow me to be back at it before too long.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Our hopes are sometimes dashed, but often they are just delayed and we experience the results we wanted in one way or another. And for those hopes that are never realized, we have to HOPE that a greater power led us on a better path. FROM JACK: It is not expected that all of our will be realized. They are simply a target for us to aim at.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: These Winning Words must be true for me. I know I've been disappointed in life over and over but also know that even if something should happen today that is a darkest moment for me, I'll be down on my knees praying with hope. And I do forgive her for whatever plan before turned out differently than I wanted. Because mainly something always seemed to have been learned from the experience.

FROM MOLINER CF: Hope is a truly positive emotion and you have mine for a very successful procedure. We'll miss your Words. (Won't it be nice to be able to get back on your knees again? )

Friday, February 05, 2010

Winning Words 2/5/10
“Being wise is better than being strong.” (Unknown) The Winter Olympics will soon be shown on our TVs. Medals will be given to those who are the fastest, who score the most points. The best will be honored. That’s the way it works. But what if medals were given to the wise? Would you give one to a certain person in your life? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Is a mind richly disciplined better than a mind richly stored? FROM JACK: It depends on what you mean by disciplined....and is it to be stored for future use or to be hoarded. MORE FROM GDJ: Doesn’t every hoarder think it is for future use? It’s really a funny thought (or sad) hoarding thoughts….! FROM JACK: I have a "stash" of good quotes and can't wait to spend them.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: I would give one to Ray Riggs. FROM JACK: As they say on American Idol, "Four yeses. Welcome to Hollywood!

FROM B IN MICHIGAN: I couldn't agree more! Thanks Jack for this and all your Winning Words.

FROM MS IN MICHIGAN: You would probably be one of them! Off today for a cruise through the Panama Canal, Long Beach, CA, to Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: To my Mother who continues to amaze me at the age of 97! FROM JACK: She is truly an amazing lady. Do they have Olympic events for those in their 90s?

FROM MOLINER CF: Was the unknown who said that wise or strong? Hmmm. FROM JACK: Hmmm. If the author is unknown, how would I know the answer to your question...unless I'm really, really wise?

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I'd give it to Ilene. She had insight & evaluation, and way to act in each situation. That's one of the things I miss.... FROM JACK: ...and both of you were wise in choosing to "pair up."

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Actually, every day I see so many people around me doing wise things that I think I would be handing them out right and left.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Winning Words 2/4/10
“It’s better to eat vegetables with people you love that to eat the finest meat where there is hate.” (Unknown) I was looking through “the cigar box” the other day and came across this quote that I once used as part of an invocation at a sports banquet. The people in our lives are more important than the food that we eat. ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Some people will tell you "it's better to eat vegetables".(period) FROM JACK: Some people will say that it's better to love than to hate.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: True. But perhaps once a month a nice sirloin steak with a contentious idiot is bearable.
FROM JACK: What's your schedule look like?

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: it's double the pleasure for a vegetarian! FROM JACK: ...with a stick of Wrigley's DOUBLEMINT gum for dessert.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Have you read "The Shack"? Would be interested in your thoughts. (Speaking of conversation starters.) FROM JACK: I starting reading the book, because so many had recommended it to me. For some reason, or another, I didn't make it to the end....but the concept was interesting. F or a conversation starter, I just read a synopsis and looked at the reviews. It's difficult to explain the concept of the Trinity, and The Shack is the author's attempt through fiction. The fact that so many people have read it is an indication that he was successful in his attempt.

People--people who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world,
We're children, needing other children
And yet letting our grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside,
Acting more like children
Than children.
FROM JACK: I like that song, too, especially the way Barbra Streisand does it.
MORE FROM CF: As Will Rogers once said, " I never met a vegetable I didn't like." FROM JACK: Brussel Sprouts?

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Nice, especially for those of us who are vegetarian! I've been reading Jonathan Safran Foer's "Killing Animals" ….a fascinating look into our relationships with animals/food and, half-way through a BIG pitch for family farms (which now account for less than 5% of meat & poultry & dairy consumed in the US) but before 1930 accounted for all of the meat available for purchase FROM JACK: I notice that there are more and more vegetarians "out there." But, as you see, the quote is about eating when there is hate and when there is love. Now, if we could just genetically engineer love and eliminate hate..

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I once took a macrobiotics cooking class. The teacher taught us to cut up our vegetables and cook them in a loving way. How much of our food that we eat is grown and slaughtered and cooked in a loving way? How much in a way that is hateful or actually indifferent to nature? How many people involved in the "food-producing chain" are we loving and so we take time out at each meal to be thankful for? It's darn-right scarey to think of but perhaps a lot of the food that is on our tables was in a very tense and
fearful and emotionally exhausting environment before it finally got to our tables where we endeavor to be loving while we are eating it. I'm thankful for the cross and God's faithful promise to take care of all of us, all along the food chain. FROM JACK: It's interesting, I sent out today's WWs believing that the message would be on love and hate. Much of the response has been on the food part of it. Not that I mind, but I find that I'm not always in tune with where the readers are. BTW, I try not to think of where the food comes from. I love sausage and, I don't need to know how it's made. MORE FROM SH: By golly, my thinking was pretty grim there for a while. We have a Community Farm here in Southfield by our church. All volunteer. Organic and sustainable gardening practices. Trying to not even disturb the worms and just let them work. Nurturing the plants as wisely as we can--we have a teacher who is almost mystical in his relationship to nature. We leave our heated discussions of religion or politics or the economy outside the gate and concentrate on peaceful conversation and sharing and taking care of the work at hand which is growing fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit for people in our community who cannot afford to buy it. When the food is on their tables (maybe some
don't even have a table but are just holding it in their hands), it's satisfying for us to know where their food is coming from. Undoubtedly, a lot of our food on our own tables comes from people with the same good intentions for the community. I hope so but I have to try not to think too much about what's on the labels.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: They sure are. I'd eat vegetable with you and Mary any time!!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Winning Words 2/3/10
“What if God’s skin isn’t either white or black? What if it’s blue? Does it matter what color her skin is?" (Wally Armbruster) There are so many things that separate us in this world. Different concepts of God tend to push us apart, but maybe they can be used to bring us together. That subject might be an interesting “conversation starter.” Why not give it a try? ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: This is an interestng conversation starter. What nags at me is "what color was/is Jesus' skin?" I know of a young man who turned away from church because when he was just a kid (living in Poland), as an assignment in Sunday school, he drew a picture of a oriental yellow Jesus and the priest told him Jesus didn't look like that. Why do we have so many pictures of a white Jesus in this country? And does that limitation push us apart from each other? Do we want to know what color Jesus is for each of us or do we really want Jesus to be the same color as we are? I wonder. FROM JACK: I once gave an assignment to a confirmation class to draw a picture of God. One boy drew a picture of the face of Jesus, divided it into four segments, and made each part a different color. That was really creative...and theological, too.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Doesn’t matter here, won’t matter in heaven. FROM JACK: You're right. The "identifiers" on earth...race...wealth/ will fade away. One of my favorite Bible stories is the one about the rich man and Lazarus.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: i like to think of her as rainbow. a power of true color. an all incusive spectrum. FROM JACK: I knew that you'd relate to this one.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I'm not sure the His color but I'm pretty sure He is a He as He calls Himself Father and so does, His Son Jesus. FROM JACK: If God were to reveal herself today, do you think that she might come as a woman...say, like Mother Teresa?

FROM PRPH IN ARIZONA: i have not seen Avatar and probably won't but everyone in that film IS blue. FROM JACK: In Sunday School, did you learn the song: Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world etc?

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: How about GREEN? I like GREEN! FROM JACK: It figures, but the quote says that God's skin is blue, with a maize colored beard.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Winning Words 2/2/10
“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” (Phil Connors) The movie, Groundhog Day, is one of my favorites. If we were to live life over, we might choose to do some things differently. In the movie, Phil does escape from Feb 2nd and changes his life, but our life ain’t the movies, so we try to do our best with the first take. ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I would like to think I would do what Phil did.....try to improve each took him awhile, but he finally realized that point. FROM JACK: Maybe that's why I like the movie...It has a happy and positive ending.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: That is hard to imagine that every day would be the same with all of the books,art, videos plus our own imaginations to make life interesting plus all of the new people that enter our lives. FROM JACK: I try to imagine the weather in Tampa...everyday the same...warm and sunny...heaven on earth. Have you seen the movie, Groundhog Day? Poor the same experiences every day. But he was able to learn from his benefit, when he escaped the situation.

FROM GOD DEBT JON: Quit; change scenery. I did Ground Hog Day for 9 years as a youngster at Kroger’s. It’s not worth the money to have to watch the same film every day. FROM JACK: I hadn't thought about that. Maybe, I'm in a time warp, too, watching that movie every year on Feb 2. At least, I'm only watching it once a Christmas Vacation, each year at Christmastime.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: If that were the case, you might not be aware of it. FROM JACK: The problem for Phil was that he was aware of the situation, but nobody else understood. That's one of the frustrations of life, when we're in out own little world and see things from our point of view, and nobody else seems to understand.

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN: Groundhog Day is one of my favorites too! For a few years in my recent life, I often spoke out loud or to myself "I feel like I'm stuck in Groundhog Day" . It was hard to escape! But I finally did!
FROM JACK: When you were young(er), did you have have games with "do-overs?" There are times in life when we wish that there were do-overs, but it doesn't work that way, does it. Memory allows us to do-over some of the good things, also.

FROM MOLINER CF: Life is not a rehearsal. One "take" is all you get. Mistakes happen. move on. FROM JACK: True. The trick is to learn from your mistakes. Some people do. Others don't.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: One thing I'd do is NOT change my roommate or best man! FROM JACK: Ahhhhhhhhh! Those were the days, my friend.

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: Good One! This speaks to me directly on an issue I have been praying about. I disagree with the concept of one chance at life. I have found that you can have repeating patterns in your life. If you live negatively (e.g. unforgiveness, pessissism, etc) you will find yourself in the reoccuring situations much the same as in the move 'Ground Hog Day' movie. The risk is if you start to expect the same patterns to occur and then start to think that we are powerless to change then start losing hope. This 'trap' is a very serious one and many people are struggling with this in our city / state at the moment FROM JACK: It was Einstein who said: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

FROM ES IN COLORADO: Enjoy your show! FROM JACK: Bill Murray movies are funny.

FROM CS IN WISCONSIN: No day is ever the same in this house!!!!! Every day becomes an adventure of trying to figure out how to get through it with humor, dignity and wonderment at what God puts before us to handle…one day at a time. Today we are dealing with the possibility of putting my mother-in-law in a nursing home, deciding whether she should receive more blood transfusions. She has wanted to die for years and now months and sometimes days. This morning when we saw in the hospital she said…”See! I’m going to live despite what everyone thinks! God isn’t ready for me yet!” It has been a tough day of reckoning and really coming to grips with a loved one’s Living Will…God will see us through this day too. Amen! It has been a beautiful winter day here – one of many this year! Did you know that Groundhog Day was filmed in Woodstock, IL? I got to watch many take and retakes of scenes in the movie. FROM JACK: God has a way of working things out. It's good that a God and people who care about us. I had forgotten about the movie being filmed in Woodstock. That waitress sorta reminds me of you. Was it you?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Winning Words 2/1/10
“What if we get to heaven and find that God has let everybody in?” (Wally Armbruster) Would you feel that God duped us? A friend suggested that I try to develop some “conversation starters” to get people talking and thinking together. Why not ask someone today if they think that you’ll be going to heaven? ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: You know that old story about a person telling something to a person at the head of a line, and the story is passed on to each person down the line, and finally at the end of the line the story is entirely different than what was originally said? Using that analogy, we can't say God duped us. It seems that the Biblical writers and translators were the ones who misled us. FROM JACK: Translating anything is an inexact science. In theology there are some who believe that "the Holy Spirit" has guided the minds and hands of the trnslators of the Scriptures so that no mistakes would be made. Others believe that the Scriptures are a simple recording of an oral history. I think that most theologians are in the middle. However, the basic thought in the quote, as I see it, is that "heaven is God's party" and he is the untimate doorkeeper and judge.

FROM HAWKEYE GS: Then God is a liar, and He cannot sin. FROM JACK: I would be careful about calling God, a liar. In fact that word, liar, is one that I try to avoid using. However, I think I know the point that you are trying to make. The point of today's WWs, is that God is the one who decides. I happen to think that God will choose you, but I'm not in his shoes (sandals).

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: My husband said, "Yes, dear, you'll be going to heaven." When I asked him if he thinks he'll be going to heaven, he said "I don't know." But I actually don't think that minute of conversation was enough time for us to actually to think about it. I'll broach the subject to him again tonight when he gets home. But I do know someone who seems very ambivalent about the church and who has lots of difficulty not doing antisocial things and I do believe people can say, on their own, "No" to God even if he wants to let them in. Thanks for your provocative WW--maybe they will help us to live more care-fully today. FROM JACK: That's what I had in mind for today's WWs.

FROM LK IN OHIO: I'm through raising that question......though confident of access myself, others around me aren't at all sure,ha. FROM JACK: You're right! It's a personal issue. MORE FROM LK: Yeah, I don't know if they're sure about themselves....I DO know they're unsure about me,ha.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: i learned about a merciful and all forgiving god. if we have to ask for forgiveness, what becomes of those who do not have the capabilities to ask? FROM JACK: Your missing ingredient is Grace (God's love); "Heaven" is not dependent on our (anyone's) action. MORE FROM ML: my point exactly!

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Everyone has the possibility but they might have to spend some time in purgatory. FROM JACK: I thought that the Catholic Church changed the rules....and that there no longer is a purgatory. I like what Iris DeMent sings: Some say they're goin' to a place called Glory and I ain't saying it ain't a fact.
But I've heard that I'm on the road to purgatory and I don't like the sound of that. Well, I believe in love and I live my life accordingly. But I choose to let the mystery be.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: On the other hand, what if we get to heaven and find that a lot of people have been excluded? What a shock that would be to those who have abandoned the scriptural teachings!!! FROM JACK: ...and on the other hand, what if you get there yourself...and you're alone?

FROM NE IN MICHIGAN: I wouldn't feel duped, It's not like; "I do good things to try to get to Heaven." I'm pretty certain that any "good" I ever do is all God's doing...working through me. It wouldn't surprise me if "everyone" was there... Grace & forgiveness would not surprise me. (In fact, I'm counting on it!) FROM JACK: That's the kind of response that I like to hear. Grace is such a great gift!

FROM EB IN MICHIGAN: Jack is a day late.... FROM JACK: Now, I have to ask, WHY? Knowing you, you have a reason.

FROM LI IN ILLINOIS: I'm not sure how people would feel about my asking that question... I imagine there are people in heaven who will be a big surprise. FROM JACK: Ask your dad. But, if you were to ask me, I'd say, "Yes."

FROM MOLINER CF: Only your friends think you are going to heaven. The people who don't know you wont have a clue so will say yes. That leaves your enemies. FROM JACK: "What a friend we have in Jesus."

FROM DS IN SAN DIEGO: Jack, this is one we discuss quite often in our Bible study group. We cover the extremes such as Hitler, Stalin and that sort. It leads to some interesting discussions. FROM JACK: I hope you get to the point of discussing how miraculous it is that anyone gets in, rather than spending time talking about who is kept out. Wasn't it Paul who said that he was the chief of sinners? Would he make the cut?