Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Winning Words 6/30/10
“Why do we have to wait for special moments to say nice things or tell people we care about them?” (Randy Milholland) I’m getting to that age where funerals are being held for more and more people that I have known. Recently someone called after the doctor told her that her life would probably be short. She just wanted to talk before it was too late. That call was one of those special moments. ;-) Jack

FROM NL IN INDIANA/FLORIDA: OK Jack: You're like me we get up tooooo early. Great minds can't sleep once they wake up. FROM JACK: In the early hours I decided that the Winning Words I had intended for the day were not the right ones, so I got up and did some editing.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: The older I get and the more shifts that seem to take place, technological shifts, economic shifts, political shifts, social shifts, etc., etc., etc., the more thankful I am for community, true community, people who place their trust in God and can keep the rudder steady, so thank you for appreciating community too and for always finding a way to foster it. FROM JACK: I suppose you're not much into boxing, but good fighters learn to "roll with the punches."

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Wouldn't you say that each moment was special? FROM JACK: Yes, but some are specialer than others.

FROM SA IN VEGAS: Good question. You are a really cool Uncle. I like your smile because it usually means you’ve turned the light on for me. ( A Light in the Attic). Thanks for turning the light on in my ‘attic’. FROM JACK: Thanks for the nice words which remind me of the Shel Silverstein quote: “Tell me I'm clever, Tell me I'm kind, Tell me I'm talented, Tell me I'm cute, Tell me I'm sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I'm perfect-- But tell me the truth.”

FROM LIZ IN ILLINOIS: We never know when a friend may go. Even when you're my 20-year-old daughter's age. Which brings up another thing that's so great about the internet. It allows us to keep in touch with people with whom we used to lose touch. FROM JACK: I wonder how many people who receive WWs are people that I've never met face to face? A lot!

FROM MOLINER JT: Thank God, she had someone to listen to her. It is important to "talk" when life makes drastic changes. FROM JACK: To have a friend, you have to be a friend. She was the kind of person who attracted friends, so when she wanted/needed to talk, there were people available. But, you're right! When life changes (as it certainly will at some time or another), it's good to have friends...people who care.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I am of that same age, where the news if often not good. My friends and I laugh now about checking the obituaries first thing when we open the paper anymore, and we used to think it was so funny when our parents did that...and the quote is spot-on: Send your flowers to the living, and pay your compliments and give you hugs, before it is too late. FROM JACK: I was looking for a poem that I recall, titled, Too Late...and I came across this:

"It is too late! Ah, nothing is too late—
Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles
Wrote his grand “Oedipus,” and Simonides
Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers
When each had numbered more than fourscore years;
And Theophrastus, at fourscore and ten,
Had begun his “Characters of Men.”
Chaucer, at Woodstock, with his nightingales,
At sixty wrote the “Canterbury Tales.”
Goethe, at Weimar, toiling to the last,
Completed “Faust” when eighty years were past.
What then? Shall we sit idly down and say,
“The night has come; it is no longer day”?
For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress.
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
It is never too late to start doing what is right.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Winning Words 6/29/10
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” (Nelson Mandela) Mandela is the epitome of someone with a good head and a good heart. He spent 27 years in prison for protesting racism in South Africa. After his release, his priority was reconciliation. The Nobel Peace Prize is just one of hundreds of awards he’s received. I think of him “sometimes” when I watch the World Cup games. ;-) Jack

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Oh, I love Nelson Mandela! Thanks for this! FROM JACK: I'm sure that Nelson would be pleased to know of your feelings. If I had his e-mail, I'd forward your message to him.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Yes, an excellent combination head and heart—heart and soul! From Jonathan Swift--"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought." I’d remodel Swift’s words to fit today’s WW as, "Discovery consists of feeling what everybody has felt and doing what nobody else has done."— Jon Hanson FROM JACK: "There is nothing new under the sun." (Ecc 1:9)

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I tried to write a comment but it wouldn't work. But I will just reply that your WW today also trigger some thinking, particularly the example of Mandela working for reconciliation after being imprisoned. I wonder if the challenge for each of us is to be somehow unified in our minds and hearts in a direction intentionally moving towards God. The people who are able to demonstrate that through their actions become our leaders, the people who are torn in minds and hearts are like so many of us feel so much
of the time, well, as above, so many of us have our challenges and as for me that is a primary reason I am in so many Bible studies, prayer groups, worships wanting to move more intentionally in a direction closer to God and the good He would develop in me. If the solution is in having a unified mind and a unified heart, well that is hard (in my opinion) but not impossible with God and I'm thankful for examples like Mandela to look to
for encouragement. Thanks again for your WW. I always enjoy reflecting on them and even trying to live a bit
more by them. FROM JACK: The problem with some people is that they try to approach problems with the mind only. The problem with others is that they try only the heart approach. It's when mind and heart are in sync that the most effective work is done (in my opinion).

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Some people like Mandela are truly blessed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit more than others. Especially patience. I was talking with my littlest grandson Noah yesterday while we waiting to make sure his allergy shots wouldn't react after he first got them. We were talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit we heard about in church Sunday. I started naming them and he added...."Justice". FROM JACK: Noah has caused me to think.....Just because the "fruit of the Spirit" is a list recorded in Galatians does not mean that the fruit of the Spirit is limited to that list. "Justice" could well be another fruit. The Spirit is without limit and the fruit is limitless, too. Thanks, Noah!

GUSTIE MS: My Grandson Kirk (a Rugby player) and I watched Invictus last weekend. Great movie. I want to see it again. I think Nelson Mandela truly deserved a Peace Prize. Now I think that prize is a JOKE! I will let you figure out why! FROM JACK: Just because Alfred Nobel was a Swede does not give you a vote on who gets the prize. I looked over the list of past awardees, and I'm sure that there are some (besides the one in your mind) who could be considered problematical. In fact, in 1911, someone by the name of Fried got the prize. At that time, my grandfather used that spelling for our family name. I wonder if the 1911 winner was a relative, or if you would have voted for him.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Nelson Mandela is certainly an epitome of Good head/good heart...I read recently that his granddaughter was killed in an auto accident. He doesn't go out in public much anymore, but traveled to her service. We can all try to emulate his excellent example. I remember marching in a Civil Rights
demonstration in Chicago, when we were serving 1st Baptist in Elgin, and having people spit at me, and calling me M_______F_______, Bitch, etc. It was hard to smile and march on, but those were our orders, and that is what we did. Bill and I weren't hit by anything, but some were, including containers of urine. I wonder what those people think now of their' actions?! FROM JACK: All those past experiences in your life have made you what you are today. The same with Mandela. Someone you know said, "Turn the other cheek."

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: have you seen the film, Invictus? the story of his life. i have not but some friends of ours said it was very good. rent it sometime. he is a prophet in our time... FROM JACK: In seminary I was impressed to read about the OT prophets and what they endured. We had a professor who acted as chaplain for local union members. His social views influenced many students. Our seminary was known as, "The School of the Prophets." We were proud of the title, even though we were sometimes reticent about living up to it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Winning Words 6/28/10
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.” (An old proverb) I read this in a recent issue of Christopher News Notes which encouraged readers to reach out and help people in need. It specifically cited the need for understanding and compassion for those living with HIV/AIDS. In any need situation, try to walk in the steps of Jesus and love as he loved. ;-) Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GS: Perfect! FROM JACK: Do you remember the hymn....O perfect love, all human thought transcending? Although the hymn is often sung at weddings, reminding husbands and wives to love as Jesus loved.....the first line applies to today's WWs, too.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Wonderful WW!!!!!!! Great imagery--someone/thing always needs us and we need others too. FROM JACK: No one is insignificant.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: It seems the best way to treat depression is to help others. Got the blues? Spend an afternoon helping at the homeless shelter, or a charity you care about. It helps you embrace a more realistic perspective. If you are depressed because "you" are in a homeless shelter; volunteer at a hospice or AIDs clinic. We are never without a way to find real love and a sense usefulness for our lives. We do sometimes focus only on ourselves--and that of course can be depressing. Jon, from my Little Book of Observations. FROM JACK: Is it an actual "little book," or is it one that you should write?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I got a big laugh from this one today, not because if insignificance but because of what happened Saturday. Gary and I went to the early show. There were two older men leaning on the one of the doors to go into the show. One had a Army baseball cap on. When I see someone who serve, I always say "Thanks for serving". Well, the fellow said thank you and then asked Gary for money. Gary pulled out a bill and gave it to the guy. When we went in to pay for our tickets, he found out he had given the man a $50 instead of a $5. We are still shaking our heads. The guy didn't even look at the bill...we're smiling because when he does look he's going to be surprised. FROM JACK: I'll bet you didn't laugh as hard as I did. A seminary classmate went to church with his wife while he was still a student. When the offering plate came around he put in a $20 bill instead of $1. As he saw the plate go down the row, he didn't know what to do.
Money was very tight for them at the time. He thought of going to the minister and asking to exchange the twenty for the one. He and his wife decided to let it go, and that God would provide. A few months later, they got an unexpected inheritance. Tell Gary to keep looking in the mail.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Ha! Even Try sleeping in a BIG room with a mosquito buzzing around! Your word today makes me feel good that I am making a few dozen sandwiches, and going to the homeless shelter to help serve dinner tomorrow night. Last week we had 80, tho my church just does it once a month. Of course only a few , and usually the same few, do the work, tho a few more contribute food. We serve sandwiches, drinks (pop, coffee, tea, juice) chips of all kinds, cookies and cake and raw veggie trays. Interesting to hear some
of the stories. They like the meat sandwiches while there, but want peanut butter/jelly to take with them,
as it does not need refrigeration. Anyway, we can all do some little thing to help on occasion... FROM JACK: Do you remember the song, "Will there be any stars in my crown?" You should have a galaxy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Winning Words 6/25/10
“Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice. If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would never have begun.” (C.S. Lewis) Reasons can always be found for “playing it safe,” but I’m thankful for pioneers who weren’t afraid to take chances. The covered wagon people come to mind; also, the astronauts. Can you think of others? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Yes, the precipice. Which reminds me, I am not afraid of heights--it's widths, ie; "I am fine in Denver, but nervous on my roof." FROM JACK: Not long ago and 86-yr-old retired steel worker started talking to me in the mall as I was sitting down (minding my own business). He told me about working on the beams of high rise buildings. He kept saying, "It's tough to grow old." I told him that I wouldn't want to have the job that was his. He probably wouldn't want mine, either.

FROM PRJS IN CANADA: We are up here in Stratford and yesterday we saw Kiss Me Kate and The Tempest (Christopher Plummer played Prospero). The latter show illustrates life lived on "the edge of a precipice." It also is a good illustration of the need for revenge and the need to forgive. They are not separate....they interact. FROM JACK: Glad to hear that your doing one of your favorite things. Speaking of "your favorite" would you have liked to play in an 11+ hour set at Wimbledon? That would tested your ability of living on the edge.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: A person who is in our Movie night Bible study suggested we watch "Four Brothers" filmed in Detroit. Last Monday night we did watch it but only a couple of us plus our Pastor really wanted to have it included, the rest overwhelmingly felt it was too violent. I don't think any of us wanted to see the movie "for its thrill or anything" but we want to go beyond the limits of our boxes and search for the larger reality of the issues, particularly revenge, the movie deals with. We aren't "playing it safe", thanks to our Pastoral leadership and we are searching for truth and beauty but whoever thought all this stuff would come out from a group of people who have been studying together for so long?!!!!!!! FROM JACK: "To each his own," as far as that movie is concerned. BTW, the phrase itself, or at least a popular variant, can be traced back to ancient Greece, where it became a popular sentiment in the legal profession. In order for a society to work well together, there had to be a certain level of permissiveness and tolerance. This is the key principle behind the reluctance of lawmakers to legislate morality. What may be offensive or immoral to one group may be perfectly permissible in another, so the concept of "to each his own" discourages efforts to create artificial boundaries where personal freedoms are concerned.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: new parents...we just had our second grandchild this morning. arloa sunshine, 7 pounds 2 ounces, 20 and1/2 inches. born to pioneers emily and chris. we are so blessed. thank you god. FROM JACK: You're right! New parents are pioneers. It may not be covered wagon times, but the same "obstacles" wait around the bend. Those with the pioneering spirit press on, because there are "riches" on the other side of them thar mountains.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: How about those persons from Europe who left family and friends to come to a strange country where they spoke a strange lanquage. My ancestors came in 1838 and settled in Western New York. They without question took a chance but they were happy with the outcome FROM JACK: My wife's grandmother, as a teen-ager, left her mother in Sweden, knowing that she would probably never see her again....and she didn't!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Medical "pioneers", space "pioneers", engineer pioneers, educational pioneers, dreamers, explorers, care-givers, but my biggest love...the earliest pioneers who bravely started out for places unknown. FROM JACK: There are so many to whom we owe debts of gratitude.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: The Underground R.R. safe houses people; the Civil Rights workers, many of whom laid their lives on the line, The first women Drs. (What a time THEY had!) the founders of "free" education for all, the immigrants whobraved the trip to the New World, come to mind immediately... FROM JACK: A friend of mine lived in a house located not far from ours here in Michigan. It was one of the stops for the Underground R.R. One day he showed me a bureau with a drawer that had a hinged back. The fleeing slave would get in the drawer and then exit into a secret hiding place. It really felt strange to look at the drawer and to think of the history that went with it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Winning Words 6/24/10
“It’s not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.” (Rene Descartes) When I read this, I thought of the slogan of the United Negro College Fund: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” It’s a similar thought. Descartes is probably best known for his saying, “Cogito ergo sum.” I’ll let you use your mind to figure out what it means in English, if you don’t already know. ;-) Jack

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: This is famous Western philosophy in French, meaning "I think, therefore I am." Right?
FROM JACK: Hooray! You am thinking. MORE FROM JL: Actually, cogito ergo sum is Latin. Descartes was French. In French, it would be: Je pense donc je suis. FROM JACK: I'm impressed!


FROM HAWKEYE GS: 2 good ones. Just got back from Boston - not to see the Sox or Celtics, but the POPS - great music. FROM JACK: Did you know that one of the stars of the Tri-City Blackhawks was POP GATES?

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Great winning word. When I was younger giving talks about real estate investing often I would start out talking about the power of knowledge and add the only applied knowledge has power. Knowledge without action is moot. Have a great day FROM JACK: I remember seeing a cartoon showing two Indians looking at a large smoke signal. One says to the other, "Heap big smoke, but no fire." That's the way it is with some speakers (including pastors).

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: Rene' Descartes walks into a bar and orders a stiff drink then sits sipping it for quite a while. After some time the bartender asks him, "Do you want another?" To which Descartes replies, "I think not" and disappears. FROM JACK: That "lightens up" the blog. Thanks

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: It looks like it might translate "Knowledge is all" ? My friend and I belong to U.of IL, Sprfld's Life Long Learning organization, which tries to keep our old minds sharp. And of course the old saying, "So Many Books, So Little Time!!" I'm reading an interesting little book, "100 things you didn't know about Abraham Lincoln". Amazing how even here in Lincoln country, there are still things you can learn about him after all these years! Our Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library are absolutely wonderful in
Spfld.! FROM JACK: That Lincoln book sounds interesting.

FROM LF IN SWITZERLAND: Incidently the quote that you sent previously from Descartes is Je pense, donc je suis. He probably wrote it in French but maybe in Latin. He surely did not write it in English. FROM JACK: How many languages do you speak?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Winning Words 6/23/10
“If there’s one thing we all better get used to, it’s the certainty of uncertainty.” (Evan Newmark in the WSJ) This quote was sent to me by someone who’s in the financial planning business. Talk about living with uncertainty! However we all live in an uncertain world, with surprises around every corner. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Don’t brag about your plans for tomorrow—wait and see what happens.” ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Newmark's words are akin to Heraclitus's familiar words..."The only constant in life is change." The thought behind both expessions assures us that life will always be interesting. FROM JACK: ...if you enjoy living on the edge. A followup quote from the weeping philosopher is: "You can't step into the same river twice."

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: The challenge is what do we do with all this certainty of uncertainty. I always feel the very strong temptation to hang back, put up a wall separating me from the outside uncertainty and try to make my own sense of reality the biggest certainty. When other people do this, one can see it's so unwise. Harder to see what's wrong with me myself doing it. FROM JACK: It reminds me of the words of St. Paul: "The good that I would, I do not. The evil that I would not, that I do."

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: And the CERTAINTY of God's love and power remain in the midst of our uncertainties. And on that solid rock we can stand. FROM JACK: It sounds as though you're positive about that.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Makes life exciting doesn't it? FROM JACK: Exciting is one word; there are others.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: We are only secure as our ability to handle insecurity. J Douglas Edwards. FROM JACK: Is that the Douglas Edward who used to do the CBS TV news?

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Reminds me of a saying that went something like: "Make your plans, and hear God laugh"...WE DO live in an uncertain world. I suppose every age has felt this way, but our lifetime seems pretty chaotic, historically. Of course it is the age of miracles, too. What would our grandparents have thought about the things available to us today??! Well, we cling to the Certainty of a loving God! FROM JACK: I wonder what it will be like in the future when our grandchildren ask the same question you are asking.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Is your knowledge of Scripture gained from years of study or research for this project?
FROM JACK: I learned an older version, "Fret not thyself about the morrow, for thou knowest not what the day may bring. I also like Proverbs 26:11.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Winning Words 6/22/10
“If you’re looking for perfection, look in the mirror. If you find it there, expect it elsewhere.” (Malcolm Forbes) Whenever I see a Forbes magazine, I always look in the back for the usual page of quotes on a particular subject. Someone once gave me a whole book of Forbes quotes. Today’s WWs are a reminder to be more understanding of those around us, and to be more humble, too. ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Today's WW are both witty and wise...admonishing me without condemning me. I'll be considering those words later this morning when I shave. Forbes' comments about human nature may be more valuable than his advice about monetary wealth. FROM JACK: Your opinion seems to say that Malcolm isn't perfect, either.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Our pastor was talking about aging and looking and looking at the man in the mirror. I was thinking of the mirror in my mind; how I'd like to be the man I see in that mirror--not the old guy standing here. In my mind I seem to carry a vision that is discordant with real mirrors. FROM JACK: What is a "real" mirror? BTW, I didn't know that you could get "fun-house" mirrors for bathrooms.

FROM DMF IN MINNESOTA: Does this mean, “I’m perfect, so everyone else should be?” FROM JACK: It means that if you see yourself as perfect, you will expect to see you wife and children as perfect, too.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: Another magazine that has quotes on a particular topic is Sun. It is a privately published mag that is supported by readers and has no ads in it. The articles and photos are by amateurs as well as people who make their living in it. Sometimes the stuff is not to my taste but I appreciate a forum for amateurs. FROM JACK: Your comment caused me to Google it. The next time you see it, send me some quotes you think are interesting.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: HA! Not likely to find perfection in our mirrors, are we/! That SHOULD make us more tolerant , for sure. FROM JACK: Sometimes it takes more than a mirror to make one tolerant.

FROM INDY GENIE: I've been thinking....we might all be better off if we looked in the mirror and saw perfection....and then looked at each other and saw perfection. It's possible we'd go easier on ourselves and therefore be easier on each other! FROM JACK: Possibly or probably?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Winning Words 6/21/10
“The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty-stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man.” (GBS) I seem to remember a fable in which everyone’s problems are put into a huge pile, and each person is invited to pick one of them. In the end, each picks his own. Even after hearing the fable, most of us still focus in on our toothache. Do you happen to have a dental appointment today? Mine is in a couple of weeks. ;-) Jack

FROM MW IN ILLINOIS: Laughed when I read your email about teeth. I had to have a root canal & received
the crown last Thursday. Rich has an appointment with his Endontist this morning, in preparation for implants. And I will be going in for my knee replacement tomorrow morning. So today will be training sessions for Dick on how to use the washing machine etc. FROM JACK: My teeth and knee feel

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Here is a story relating teeth and poverty: In ancient Japan, the samurai personified strength and endurance. Their prevailing attitude was to never show they were weak. They were devoted to protecting the noblemen, and in return depended on the noblemen for food and shelter. If a samurai's master died, leaving him unsupported materially, the samurai had to fend for himself until he found another master to support him. To suppress any image of need while traveling the bi-ways searching for a place to serve, a toothpick in their mouth would give the impression that they had just eaten, concealing that they were in fact impoverished. FROM JACK: Here's some information relating to toothpicks. Toothpicks used to be made in Merrill when I was a pastor there. My sister recently gave me a pack of bacon-flavored toothpicks.

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN: My dad always used to tell me the fable of the problems in a huge pile. Thanks for the memory FROM JACK: The longer you live, the more memories you accumulate.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Yes I do - fillings at four! FROM JACK: Dental work and even poverty aren't what they used to be...unless you're the one in the situation.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Somehow I have always had nice dentists, beginning with Dr. Hinman in Moline, who charged one dollar to clean teeth, to Nassau, to Ann Arbor, and now Tampa, who is very young, in his fifties. Having learned from Mother and Dad's experiences, it is always easier to have young doctors and dentists at our age. Unfortunately, my dentist here just sent a letter stating that he has been battling cancer of the esophagos since September with chemo, radiation, and surgery.He needs prayers. FROM JACK: Old age has it's set of problems; in fact, at any age, we don't know what problem is around the corner. Take each day as it comes, is the old saying.

FROM CL IN ILLINOIS: Being a poetry nut I am reminded of the E A Robinson poem "Richard Cory". We never quite know the paths of others FROM JACK: Ohhhhh, I hadn't seen that one. But now, having read it, I see that it fits.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I laughed when I read the words....I can't begin to tell you how many times I have heard how "bad" rich people are, especially in church. And I laughed again because who can define "wealthy"? Making $5,000 a year in a lot of countries is wealth. FROM JACK: In the USA, those making above $250,000 are classified as rich. But what is the value of health, happiness and freedom from worry?

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Is this from George Bernard Shaw, supporter of Stalin, and selective eugenics? Perhaps a clever playwright but against most everything I believe including private property rights. He called a men like me that would buy a property and rent it for profit an exploiter of the poor. Shaw is credited with saying the masses are too stupid to vote, he believed “supermen” presumably like himself would be able to fix everything by not allowing the poor and stupid to vote. Today in the oddest of twists his kind pander to the poor and the ignorant to sell them back their own blood. FROM JACK: Why don't you really say what you think? To me, the GBS initials are merely an identifier. If they weren't there, you might have a different reaction to today's WWs. MORE FROM JON: My daughter was looking over my shoulder and said, “I wouldn’t send that.” Perhaps she was correct. But I figure we are able to speak clearly to each other. I think
character matters a great deal and I do not think much of my fellow Irishman GBS. FROM JACK: I have a wise daughter, too.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: June 28 for me and I am just happy to have all my teeth. Milk and no junk food during the depression years gave me a healthy start. FROM JACK: Fluoride helps, too, and so do new dental procedures.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Winning Words 6/18/10
“All that mankind has ever learned is nothing more than a grain of sand on a beach that reaches to infinity.” (Dad) This is from another book by H Jackson Brown, A Father’s Book of Wisdom. With Fathers’ Day being celebrated on Sunday, it’s good to think back and remember some of the lessons our dads taught us. Being truthful is one that I remember. He also taught me how to make a kite using newspapers, grocery string and torn-up rags for a tail. BTW, I like the imagery of today’s WWs. ;-) Jack

FROM LIZ IN ILLINOIS: Happy Father's Day! I remember using torn-up rags for kite tails, too. Seemed Dad always got a bigger kick out of kite flying than I. It thought it was fun that he had so much fun!

FROM NL IN INDIANA/FLORIDA: After visiting Egypt with my boys at least 25 years ago, that tells you what time is. A grain of sand is time, and yet man does not learn much and I've been using that phrase ever since. Life is just a venture, one grain of sand at a time. FROM JACK: The span of one's life is contained in a blackened hour glass, with the unseen grains of sand falling one at a time.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Every Sunday, my Dad always read the funny papers to us. I remember thinking "Wow!!! How did he get exactly the right lesson us kids needed to hear in there?!!!" My Dad taught me to enjoy reading. He also brought us a bag of candy each pay day. FROM JACK: Thank God for the gift of memory.

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: Sometimes I feel rather limited by current role in my childrens lives. I just try and be consistent to myself and the Lord. Honestly, I have no clue what I am doing as a dad most of the time as I can be swayed by emotion and opinion. I just hope to have good integrity in front of my daughters.... FROM JACK: To have integrity as a dad is a good goal.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Jack, I have written songs for everyone in my immediate family and finally, Wednesday wrote My Dad Was a Carpenter. It has just been too emotional for me to come up with something, compounded by the extra responsibility for my words now that I have a son and daughter. My Dad taught me how to build and how to love. My Dad died 42 years ago when I was 11, you can hear the song at: Dale Crockett sings it for me. I put a picture from 1945, from the Spring Valley Sun (Wisconsin) of my Dad returning from WWII on the SongRamp page. He was 46 when I was born.

MY DAD WAS A CARPENTER © 2010 Jon Hanson

I used to work with Dad; sometimes he’d take me out of school
By the time I was eleven, I could use most every tool
He taught me how to frame a wall and how to hang a door
I saw how he loved my Mom and five kids he adored


I met my friend Jim for lunch, soon after his father died
He showed me a box his Dad had left, as we sat and cried
He was crying because he had a box of memories with him
I was crying because I had no box like my friend Jim

It's hard to believe God called Dad home; more than forty years ago
When I look back on all I've built, I know I wasn't working alone...

FROM JACK: Your mind is the box where your dad stored things for you. FROM LIZ IN ILLINOIS TO JON: What a lovely tribute to your dad, and to all dads. I can tell you're a good dad, too. Happy Father's Day!

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: This was my father's directive to me . . . many many times, from when I was about five years old FROM JACK: It's a good memory to have, especially as Father's Day is near. MORE FROM FM: Indeed - he frequently mentioned the words when we were someplace where someone had left some paper etc. along the street. He has been dead for almost 48 years,
but I have good memories.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Mostly my father taught me how to live and love faith and how to be friendly and enjoy everyone. Until the very end he trusted and spoke to everyone and prayed a lot. FROM JACK: A chip off the old block, as the saying goes.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: These Winning Words are so true! God so wonderously made us with so much abililty. My dad taught us more than I can possibly put down in this blog sight, but the most important thing he taught us was to treat everyone, regardless of age, race, color, rich or poor, with respect and love. Many was the time when us 5 kids sat at the table with presidents of companies, salesmen (he was in coffee sales) or hitchhikers...he brought home many different people and he treated them all like family. FROM JACK: I'm sure that your dad would be humbled by your words, but proud of how people have been influenced by him.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: I remember making the old newspaper kites. Who ever had enough money to afford one from a store? FROM JACK: ....and we used flour and water "paste" to glue it together.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Winning Words 6/17/10
“Leave everything a little better than you found it.” (H Jackson Brown) Brown’s Life’s Little Instruction Book was written as a gift to his son who was going off to college. HJB listed 511 reminders of how to live a better life. What a great gift from a father to his son. I wonder if today’s words apply to dorm rooms. Or perhaps they apply to the world in which we live. What do you think? ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: If everyone everywhere heeded those words, and acted on them, can you imagine what a wonderful world this would be? FROM JACK:

Let's all light one little candle,
Why stumble on in the dark?
When the day is dark an` dreary,
And your way is hard to find,
Dont let your heart be weary,
Just keep this thought in mind!

It is better to light just one little candle,
Than to stumble in the dark!
Better far that you light just one little candle,
All you needs a tiny spark!

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: My mom always used to say that to me when we would go to a hotel! Hilarious. FROM JACK: Was it the Ritz or Motel 6? We usually learn some good stuff from moms.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: both! FROM JACK: ...and even more than both!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Just think what the world would be like if everyone left it a little better everyday! FROM JACK: While at the grocery store yesterday, I saw cloth bags for 99 cents each to carry purchased items and help improve the environment. When the cashier asked, "Paper or plastic?" I said, "Plastic's OK." We use them for our garbage. Maybe I should rethink using cloth bags and starting a compost pile. MORE FROM JUDY: We use those shopping bags...or I should say, I have them. I use them around the house and sometimes I leave them at home when I go shopping. However, I use my plastic or paper bags all the time, and if I have too many, I recycle them. I am going to try to leave this world a better place today by doing something...I'm just not sure what yet. :-)

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I remember ours. Yes, I think they apply to both FROM JACK: Felix and Oscar, and you were Felix.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I'm thankful for Jackie, the internet tech support person at AT&T. Over the phone, she found our computer here afflicted with a virus and walked me through getting some virus protection on it. She's definitely one person today who left something--my computer and frustrated me--better than she found us. Computers need cleaning up, as well as dorm rooms. FROM JACK: An appropriate illustration. The world needs more Jackies.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: This was my father's directive to me . . . many many times, from when I was about five years old! FROM JACK: It's a good memory to have, especially as Father's Day is near.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Winning Words 6/16/10
“Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen every day.” (H Jackson Brown) Never giving up on difficult situations, especially when it concerns someone who has disappointed you time and again, is easier said that done. HJB reminds us that there are miracles that happen. The Good Shepherd is always out there seeking the lost sheep and rejoices when it is found. I know of some lost sheep who’ve been found. ;-) Jack

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: That's a good one! FROM JACK: It's always a good one when it fits into one's life.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: When a person has really been involved in another person's life, and is trying not to give up on the person, quite often (in the interest of opening oneself up to actually see a miracle), you have to "let go" and believe way deep down in your soul, that another one needs to become the mediator between the Good Shepherd and the lost sheep. In that case, we also need a whole community who "don't give up on us" and help us to fulfill our own special place in the grand scheme of things. Finally no one is giving up on anybody and the skies just open up to countless miracles and blessings and everyone rejoices. This is happening today with someone I know. FROM JACK: Joy is an interesting word. It has different meanings to different people, depending on circumstances. To re-joice is to experience "more" joy. I know a couple of people who have that as their name.

FROM MOLINER CF: Do I detect political overtones? FROM JACK: It is what it is. I don't see how anyone could construe today's WWs as political.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Thankfully a lot of people did not give up on me. FROM JACK: I like, "Winners never quit, and quitters never win." Some winners have been resued from the trash heap.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Some remarkable transformations do occur in peoples lives. One never knows what will come along that influences and changes a person. I think gaining a few years and associating with "new" people are a couple of influences. FROM JACK: We all have our stories to tell about that.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: I believe that miracles are so commonplace they are overlooked as status quo. We are trained, in modern society, to see the negative in everyday life. Imagine if we start a movement to find the positive, the good! I imagine that there would be more miracles recognized everyday! FROM JACK: Miracle of miracles...a positive statement in a negative world.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: God answers prayers. FROM JACK: I've always thought that God answers prayers in one of 3 ways: "YES...NO...LET'S WAIT AND SEE." Some may see this as equivocation, but I think that "God is love," and that he answers prayers in a loving way. I like to conclude prayer requests by saying: "Not my will, but thy will be done."

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: And I do, also! There is a good story in Guidepost magazine about Marion Bond West, and her"hopeless" twin Jeremy, now 44, addicted to drugs and alcohol for years, and letting them down time and again...she didn't want to let him move back home AGAIN because she felt he was a lost cause, and she couldn't let herself hope. But lo and behold, he has been clean for 3 yrs., has his own place which he keeps spotless, and owns a landscaping business that he has built up! A parishioner whom Bill had counseled successfully (finally) told Bill and the folks at prayer meeting, "I don't know about these other miracles, but in my house, Jesus turned Beer into furniture." FROM JACK: I heard of a church where they were talking about whether to use grape juice or wine for communion. Someone said, "In the Bible we read that Jesus turned water into wine." A little old "temperance" lady spoke up and said, "Yes, and that's one thing I don't like about him."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Winning Words 6/15/10
“Never underestimate the power of a kind word or deed.” (H Jackson Brown) I got a surprise gift last week. A friend of mine, JK from Minnesota, was at a church book sale and bought a book she thought I would like…Life’s Little Instruction Book. There are many gems in it, like the one I used today. Talk about the power of a kind deed. I think I’ll use a few other gems this week. ;-) Jack

FROM SL IN MICHIGAN: You are a kind word each day for me. My husband and I often say to one another "wasn't WW great today"? Each day you challenge us to think about our actions and challenge us to be better! That is indeed a kindness in each day that I look forward to. FROM JACK: Another of Brown's quotes: "Be kinder than necessary." Thanks for your kindness today.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: "How can we choose love when we have experienced so little of it? We choose love by taking small steps of love every time there is an opportunity. A smile, a handshake, a word of encouragement, a phone call, a card, an embrace, a kind greeting, a gesture of support, a moment of attention, a helping hand, a present, a financial contribution, a visit ... all these are little steps toward love." These words of Henri Nouwen also tie in with your Winning Words today. but I think the widest kind deed has to do with the sermon I heard last Sunday. When we are hurt by something, even something that to someone "on the outside" would seem very trivial but to us who are "on the inside" whatever the act was, it felt like it was destroying and limiting the confidence of the soul, the message was "do not seek revenge but seek instead to love, with the help of God, the one who did that. That forgiveness kindness seems to go farther than we could even surmise. I know I've often been the recipient and it's been unforgettable. Thanks for setting me thinking once again this morning. FROM JACK: Sometimes it's the little act of kindness that makes the big difference.

FROM MOLINER CF: A kind word is rewarding for both parties. FROM JACK: Including The Tea Party?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Winning Words 6/14/10
“You’re the emblem of the land I love, the home of the free and the brave.” (George M. Cohan) Did you know that today is Flag Day? June 14 commemorates the day in 1777 when the 2nd Continental Congress determined the design of an American flag. It is customary to fly the flag on this day, even though it’s not a national holiday. GMC’s song, “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” is one of my all-time favorites. ;-) Jack

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: In our church, as different Pastors have come and gone, we have had a dispute about the flag in the sanctuary (actually it's by the door right next to the sanctuary). Our current interim Pastor made an interesting observation at one of our Bible studies to the effect that when we have an economic system like free market or capitalism or something like it, it bodes better for Christianity than does socialism. Henri Nouwen's short meditation really speaks to me and I think it is so true, whatever political/social system we live in, heroic choosing among one's neighbors near and far of love, living one's life that way is really powerful testimony to God's Presence in this world and does give true hope. The local Presbyterian advocacy group for gays and lesbians and transgendered, etc., etc., etc. that I attend each month has for its name TAMFS (That All May Freely Serve). Just turning all of these things over in my mind this morning and coming to the conclusion that I am glad you offered up a reminder to honor our flag. I still think maybe our church's should be downstairs in the Fellowship Hall (and I also KNOW for a lot of our members that would seem like a repudiation of it or something) and I know for a lot of the U.S. citizens actually the flag hasn't always stood for THEIR or even MY freedom but nevertheless serious progress has been made I feel for more freedom in our country. Actually maybe it's the Declaration of Independence I put front and center more than the flag. Thanks for your Winning Words another day this morning, I am sure they have led a great many of us to think and reflect upon our country and our feelings about the flag. FROM JACK: Through the years, the flag (and its placement) has been both a dividing and a uniting object. To me, there is no ceremony so moving as the placement of a flag on the casket of a military veteran. To me, it is a conundrum as to how to resolve the issue of flag placement in a church. I know of a congregation that had a cemetery on its property. When the cemetery was established, the big debate was whether or not to have a large cross in the center of the cemetery. Opponents said that it made the place look "too Catholic." The congregation (and the building) are no longer in existence, but the cemetery with its Cross still remains.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Looking over flags of the many nations of the world, our American flag design stands out. Seeing the Stars&Stripes displayed always makes me proud, and I am flying that banner on my home today. FROM JACK: I wonder if Betsy Ross ever flew the flag at her house. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" are words that can apply in various situations, including the design of flags. The man who designed the 50-star American flag was born in Michigan. As a schoolboy, he submitted the design as an art project and was given a B- grade.

FROM ML (A NURSERY SCHOOL TEACHER) IN ILLINOIS: it's the first day of summer camp today. we are celebrating flag day together by making flags and having a parade. i love this day and am surprised at how many people don't know about it. i fly a flag every day, alternating the american flag and rainbow flag. happy flag day! FROM JACK: In Proverbs 22, there's this advice: "Train up a child in the way that he/she should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it."

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: Ours flies everyday, I would like to have one of those poles so you can have a spot light at night, have not convinced my husband yet. We have many trees not sure how well you could see it. Happy Flag day FROM JACK: Say!!! Who's the boss in your family?

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: June 14th was my cousin's birthday (Hank Siefken....from Moline) and so I remembered him and the flag on the same day....made it easier that way FROM JACK: Steve Stone and Robin Ventura were also born on that day.

FROM PRDL IN OREGON: Long may it wave FROM JACK: I was in the ACE Hardware Store on Saturday and saw a box where you could put old flags when they were too "tired" to wave any longer. Is there any box for old and tired Bibles that you know of?

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I have American Flags flying all over--but you knew that. If I were still doing music for DVBS, I would sing a couple of flag songs too! FROM JACK: Singing at VBS is one of the best parts, as I remember. I even remember as far back as when I was one of the kids.

FROM MOLINER CF: I fly the flag everyday. Never take it down. Anyone looking over the ramparts will see it gallantly streaming. FROM JACK: Is it up, rain or shine and at night, too. Have you had to replace it? MORE FROM CF: It flies proudly at all Times. Flag etiquette calls for lights at night, but what does our national anthem say? I replace it about every four years.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We are truly blessed to live in this country. We fly the flag all day and night as we have a solar light on it....I plan to get another light to put on the other side. Because of our tremendous winds, I change the flag whenever it gets worn. The Boy Scouts have a special ceremony and retire the flags for us. FROM JACK: The solar light is a good idea.

FROM MG IN WISCONSIN: I always remember Flag Day but I didn't put my flag out due to off and on rainy weather. Can I put out 2 flags on July 4th to make up for it???

FROM CJL IN OHIO: It's also my sister's Ann's BD. That's another good reason to fly the flag! FROM JACK: On June 14, 1976, the Gong Show premiered on TV.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Winning Words 6/11/10
“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.” (Lord Alfred Tennyson) ALT is considered to be one of the greatest poets of Victorian England. At age 12, he wrote a 6000 line epic poem. When I was 12, I had other things on my mind besides writing poetry. Of course, I never was named a Lord, either. He’s famous for writing Ulysses, but I like his “Flower in the Crannied Wall” the best. Grandson John is graduating from high school this Sunday, and today’s “knowledge” quote is in honor of the occasion. ;-) Jack

FLOWER IN THE CRANNIED WALL By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies;—
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower—but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: Congratulations proud Grandpa. BTW, my favorite is The Eagle. FROM JACK: The eagle is a magnificent bird. Grandchildren are magnificent--er than that.

THE EAGLE - Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Jack congratulations to you and your grandson. As you and ALT say, the learning comes and is ongoing—the hard part sometimes is operating that which you have learned along the guidelines in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Living this verse has been harder than any advanced degree I have ever obtained. This verse is universal, as my friend Paul Reece says it works in any language and with any religion. Have a great day. FROM JACK: I was at a Coalition committee meeting this morning and learned something. Lessons are out there, if we are just tuned in.

FROM PO IN MICHIGAN: I'm not familiar with that poem, but the title alone will make me check it out! FROM JACK: I know you'll like it when you read it. It's on the blog.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: The word that grabbed me was "lingers" so looked up in the dictionary. Among all the possibilities the one that was the most appealing is "to remain, last or continue for a long time or after the EXPECTED time". Congratulations to your grandson, John, and to all the other graduates out there!!!!! FROM JACK: The Cranberries recorded a song called, Linger.

FROM SF IN MICHIGAN: Mazel tov! FROM JACK: (For my non-Jewish friends, see below....)

Although mazel tov literally translates to "good luck", the phrase is not used in the way that the expression "good luck" is used in English (typically as "I wish you good luck"). It rather means "good luck has occurred" or "your fortune has been good" and is an acknowledgement of this. The phrase "mazel tov!" parallels the use of the phrase "congratulations!" and conveys roughly that "I am pleased this good thing has happened to you!".The phrase for wishing good luck to occur in Hebrew, in the way "good luck" does in English, is b'hatzlacha

(בהצלחה), literally meaning "with success"

FROM LIZ IN ILLINOIS: Congrats to Grandson John! Congrats to you for not saying, "graduating high school," as so many people seem to say these days... even on tv! That and "went missing" are becoming increasing prevalent and annoying. FROM JACK: Of course I wouldn't use those words. I graduated Moline High School, although when I don't show up for this year's anniversary, I will probably be marked, as "went missing."

FROM MOLINER CF: Congratulations to Grandson John. I hope he has a more positive attitude than you do. FROM JACK: That's a negative thought. At least he carries the name with pride.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I have a quote on my refrigerator from Lord Tennyson that I received on a Sympathy card when my twin sister died. "Although much is taken, much abides." It kind of put things in perspective for me at the time, because I do have a wonderful, attentive family and friends for which to be thankful! Imagine writing an epic poem when one is 12!! I'm sure we've all tried our hand at poetry, and written parodies of song, etc.But have not invested the time it would take to be really good at it! FROM JACK: I really like that quote sent to you when Jan died. Her life was a great one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Winning Words 6/10/10
“Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.” (Elizabeth Bibesco) Elizabeth was the daughter of British Prime Minister, H H Asquith, and was well known for her writing ability and her quick wit. She was especially good at writing aphorisms, like the one above. Recently we sent a card of congratulations to a college graduate and, to our surprise, received a nice “thank you” note for the card. We will not forget that one who remembered. ;-) Jack

FROM PP IN MICHIGAN: I feel like you are God's direct line to me these days. I pray about something and then you email me a quote the next morning that directly relates to my prayer. Obviously, I realize it is not about me but I like to think God is whispering to me. :) I often forward your quotes to my sister, and every time she emails me back telling me she loves it when I do so. Have a great day and again, thank you for your time and efforts each morning on "Winning Words." FROM JACK: There's a hymn written in the 18th century by William Cowper...The first verse speaks to your comment about WWs. "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea And rides upon the storm." Life is indeed, a mystery. An old radio program that I listened to as a kid was titled, "I Love A Mystery."

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: That describes how my wife is, and how I want to be. FROM JACK: "Caring" is one of those traits that becomes easier each time you practice it. "You can (have it), if you think you can!" MORE FROM JON: "Two steps forward and one back is still progress." LBO

FROM MOLINER CF: Isn't this kind of contradictory to "It's better to give than to receive?" Or maybe there's no relationship. See how confused you get me? I'm going to stop reading you in the morning. Makes me confused all day. FROM JACK: You're really confused. Your comment has nothing to do with the quote, except that both are on the subject of giving.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: An attitude of gratitude is always memorable. Good quote, and interesting little bio. I hadn't heard of her FROM JACK: I hadn't heard of her, either, but I once did know someone whose last name was Asquith.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Winning Words 6/9/10
“May I never miss a sunset or a rainbow because I’m looking down.” (Sara June Parker) I’ve tried without success to find out something about Sara June. But it doesn’t matter, because what’s important are the words she’s written. I once read about someone who was always looking down. He found lots of money that way, but what’s money when you compare it to rainbows and sunsets? Let today be one when you concentrate on looking up. Do you “see” the message here? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I like this Jack. I often look to the sky in amazement. I wrote a song a few months ago while gazing at a Red hawk circling nearby. I started wondering what if I returned after death as a Red hawk? It was a time of reflecting on my blessings and mostly my wife of 27 years. I told her it could be played at my funeral which she did not find as amusing as me. FROM JACK: Shortly after a member of my congregation died, his son was out hiking in the woods and saw a hawk continually circling above him. He was convinced that his father had come back to visit him in the form of that hawk.

I’M STILL WITH YOU (Red Hawk) © 2010 Jon Hanson
I’ll be the red hawk circling in the morning light
The moon through the clouds to light your way at night
I’ll be your prayer support from heaven above
Just marking the days until I see you again my love
The day I met you I knew love would stay
You taught me to lean on faith and how to pray
Through the miles we’ve shared loves laughter and tears
I can think of no one else I’d rather have shared my years

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for sharing the lyrics Jon wrote. I wonder if there is some way he'd be willing to share the tune, too. The words are very good. Unlike his wife, I'd like to have something like that played at the funeral of a loved one -- or anyone else's that it fits. FROM JACK: I'll see.

FROM PRDL IN OREGON: Another "Winner" for starting the day! Thanks FROM JACK: I aims to please.

FROM MOLINER CF: I hope that's not Sarah June Parker's punctuation. Isn't interesting how a comma can change the meaning of a sentence? FROM JACK: You're right! That comma was put in by mistake by me. It does change the message. Eliminate that negative.

FROM ME IN CALIFORNIA: Getting up early enough in the morning helps as well. Good health FROM JACK: We visited our son when he was living in El Segundo and enjoyed watching people jog, walk, bike and skateboard on the paved path along the beach.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Definitely enjoy each day. FROM JACK: That's one of the messages.

FROM PO IN MICHIGAN: Perfect, perfect, perfect --- those are the words I needed to hear today. And the sun just came back out in the last few minutes FROM JACK: Do you remember this song?

Gail & Rosemary Clooney - 1954 Cowboy Church Sunday School - 1955

Mommy told me something a little girl should know
It's all about the Devil and I've learned to hate him so
She says he causes trouble when you let him in the room
He will never ever leave you if your heart is filled with gloom

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

When you are unhappy, the Devil wears a grin
But oh, he starts a-running when the light comes pouring in
I know he'll be unhappy 'cause I'll never wear a frown
Maybe if we keep on smiling he'll get tired of hangin' around

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

If I forget to say my prayers the Devil jumps with glee
But he feels so awful, awful, when he sees me on my knees
So if you're full of trouble and you never seem to win
Just open up your heart and let the sun shine in

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

FROM DWR IN MICHIGAN: good thoughts as usual - this one has a twist for me - someone noted that you do have to watch where you are stepping and that sometimes leads to finding coins - pennies - which by the inscription on them can remind you to - yes - look up - ie. - in God we trust. Sunsets and rainbows and in the grit of the street God is present and God is Good - All the Time FROM JACK: Your comments really enhance the WWs for today. I like "In God We Trust" and God is seen in the grit of the street.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Winning Words 6/8/10
“Nobody’s perfect.” (Armando Galarraga) He was commenting on the umpire’s wrong call that cost him the chance to pitch a perfect baseball game. He went on to say, “Inside my heart, I don’t have any problem.” After the game his father called from Venezuela to say how proud he was of his son. AG says his father taught him how to react to unfair situations. It may not go down as a perfect game, but his response was perfect ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: This baseball incident, leaving Galarraga out of the record books as a perfect-game pitcher, is an example of just how lopsided history can be. History certainly isn't perfect either. FROM JACK: Here's one I came across recently..."God cannot alter the past, but historians can." (Samuel Butler)

FROM RP IN MICHIGAN: Sometimes I think of myself as a Perfect Imperfection. FROM JACK: St. Paul put it this way: "I am the chief of sinners." Humility isn't a bad trait.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Wow. FROM JACK: Sometimes you win by losing.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I seem to remember Pastor M R saying once "err on the side of mercy if you're going to make a judgment". All those sports figures talking about God, praying in a huddle, wearing a cross, crossing themselves, etc., etc., etc. this was maybe an example in the face of strong temptation to react differently when you're hurt. People celebrate sports winning so strongly, but actually his example has made sports more relevant and worthwhile talking about in my opinion. FROM JACK: Grace is good.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: It was exciting to watch, indeed his response was not typical for this day in baseball. I hope he pitches well tonight. FROM JACK: I especially liked his smile after the call. It reminded me of the song, "Smile."

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

FROM PO IN MICHIGAN: Amen! FROM JACK: One of the definitions of Amen is, "I agree with that." I do.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: What a perfect role model he is, not only for young people today, but for many others who complain about almost everything. FROM JACK: One, a role model for ballplayers; the other, a role model for umpires; both are role models for how to handle adversity.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: You know how much I agree with this whole story! FROM JACK: I can surmise, but it's nice to know that I'm not the only one.

FROM MOLINER CF: The only one who knows it wasn't a "perfect game" is the record book. Everybody else knows it was! Probably the most memorable perfect game in baseball history. FROM JACK: When I saw it as it happened, I was disappointed. In retrospect, it was one of the best games I witnessed, because of what happened afterward.

FROFROM LIZ IN ILLINOIS: Whoa. He's a "bigger man" than I! I'd be suing the baseball commission. When the umpire admits he made a mistake & there is precedent for using instant replay (apparently it was used one other time previously) why should the pitcher not be in the record books? I guess this is what happens in a country like Venezuela-- you do what you're told (by the government), whether it's right or wrong. There is opportunity to rectify this situation, and the baseball commission should do it without anyone's having to go to court. He was robbed! FROM JACK: What's the deal about Venezuela? It's simply about a father who calls up and says, "I'm proud of you, son!" I admire a dad like that, from whatever country he comes. And what are record books? They're not perfect either. Part of the reason I liked to play sports is because of imperfection. Players make errors. Managers make errors, and so do umpires. The "incident" ultimately was about character...and the pitcher, his father and the umpire were winners.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: amen, Amen He should be in the record book as the only pitcher to pitch a perfect game and got 28 players out FROM JACK: They've already sent "the first base, the ball, and Galaraga's cleats to Cooperstown.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: this will make a great sermon illustration on the power of forgiveness!! FROM JACK: Certain sermons still need to be preached.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: What a great choice for today, John! ! ! ! I hope and wish your comment/reflection would make it into the national news! Any ideas how we could accomplish it FROM JACK: The current NEWSWEEK, received today, has a good lead article on it.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: His response WAS perfect! It would certainly take a man of character and well grounded in his priorities, to be as gracious as he was in that situation!! A good role model for all of us!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Winning Words 6/7/10
“Material possessions, winning scores and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because he knows what we really are, and that is all that matters.” (John Wooden) Ben Stull, age 92, played on JW’s first basketball team in Dayton, KY. It was in 1932, and Ben has gotten a Christmas card every year since then from “Coach.” It’s too bad that he won’t get one this year. Wooden was more than a great coach; he was a great person, too. ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER TG: Good words from John Wooden, an inspiring person without question. I heard him speak one time at the Deere Administrative Center. He spoke about the building blocks in his famous pyramid which was a part of his teaching technique. I remember his comment on coaching basketball, "I would always rather play an A Team with a B Coach, than a B Team with an A Coach." A great comment on motivation. FROM JACK: I haven't heard that quote before....I like it. It's dangerous to put a popular person on a high pedastal (pyramid), but Wooden seems to deserve that place.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: And a great example! Everyone ought to read "They Call Me Coach" FROM JACK: A great book, and a great man.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: What a great story! All that I have heard about him, he was one of a kind. FROM JACK: Yes he was!.....and when you get right down to it, so are you.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Everyone seems to agree with that! He is much revered! FROM JACK: Revered is an interesting word. It's "almost" like reverend. Yes, revered applies to John Wooden, but it can also apply to you, and to all who make a difference in the lives of people.

FROM KZB IN COLORADO: When I was at my 25th Notre Dame reunion I saw a leadership lecture from Lou Holtz and Father Hesburgh (now 93 years old!) gave the homily at the all-class mass. It was an amazing sermon - he said that he had 3 simple words that will change our lives going forward, that we should use whenever we are struggling, celebrating, working through business/family/social issues. He says them in the morning when he wakes up and at night when he goes to bed. "Come Holy Spirit". He seemed to be glowing up on the podium/alter too, which was a very
interesting sight. A very, very moving sermon.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Winning Words 6/4/10
“People often say that motivation never lasts. Well, neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily.” (Zig Zigler) I grew up in a time when a weekly bath was the custom. My aunt and uncle once rented a room to a young man who bathed daily. They considered raising his rent because of the extra water he used. However, ZZ’s quote has to do with motivation. It’s a challenge each day to wake up and motivate ourselves to do the day’s tasks. Perhaps these WWs are like a bath for you. ;-) Jack

FROM EM IN MICHIGAN: or sometimes it's like a cold shower Jack! which we sometimes all need - wake up!!! FROM JACK: One summer, as a student, I served a small church in Kelliher, Sascatchewan, Canada. I lived in a little one-room shed-like structure. The only bathing I did was in a wash tub with cold water.

The Argyle Sweater

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: They work for me! Thanks. FROM JACK: Is there a difference between a bath and a shower? MORE FROM MT: I think that a bath uses 2 to 3 times more water than a shower...but they
both get you clean! FROM JACK: How clean are you after sitting in scummy water?

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: The luxury, when I was growing up, was whenever we could be able to be the first kid in the metal tub in the middle of the room. But then thinking about motivation and preachers and realizing that maybe the water always has already been used, one person motivates the next and so forth, beginning with it was that Jesus is the original motivator and it is his body and blood that cleanses and starts us fresh again. FROM JACK: Baptism, from the beginning, has been a cleansing ceremony. Which causes me to wonder when the obsession with body cleansing began.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: WW is definitely part of my morning routine that I need to do! BTW-- I thougt that whole thing re: the missed call at the Tigers game could be a good sermon. I suspect that it will be mentioned in lots of pulpits this weekend. FROM JACK: There are some Winning Words in that event. I hope to choose some for commentary.

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: Geez, Jack I think you hit the head of the nail with this…at least for me lately. Motivation is like running water, when it flows everything is great but once it stops we get stagnate. FROM JACK: Your response got me to thinking.... What keeps us from stagnating? What motivates us? Different things for different people, but for me. Wanting to do a superior job is one thing. Another is competition. And still another is seeing a job that needs to be done and isn't being done.

FROM DB IN MICHIGAN: Did you grow up on a farm, or in the city? I remember one of my Grandmothers saying this too, when I was small.........admonishing my mother for bathing too often, that it wasn't good for the scalp or the skin.........the Germans say that, too. Did water cost more then? (re: the boarder) Was your aunt and uncle country/city dwellers? Since there wasn't air conditioning then, (I even remember those days.......small window units that took all day to cool off one room!)..........and people didn't bathe much, and
people typically had only two or three outfits..........was it common.......say, at church or in-line somewhere (close quarters) that one had to ignore the "aromas"? Sorry if I'm giving you the third-degree..........but I find this very interesting! I am considering sustainable energy to my studies and basically, the premise of being
"green" means using a lot less of what we typically enjoy and take for granted. You were born at the right time, Jack! You got to enjoy these things for at least a good portion of your life, and probably won't have to suffer lack of these things in your lifetime! Its a little frightening! I am finding that I have a difficult time breathing when the humidity goes up! (although, strangely I did okay in steam baths.....although I wasn't
walking about or working)..........maybe its the ozone-mix! I wonder if that means in the future, people will walk around with respirators on their faces? FROM JACK: WOW! I grew up in the city, and my aunt and uncle (frugal people) were city dwellers, too. During the Great Depression, everything was "expensive" if you didn't have money. Electric fans and the hand-held variety were the air conditioners. In the summer it was hot and usually muggy (humid), everywhere...home, work, church. Underarm odor problems were called, B.O., and showed up with sweat marks. Today there's more emphasis on health issues and environmental concerns. Each age has it's own issues. Tomorrow will have different concerns that we have today.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: i read winning words everyday while my bath is pouring. they are often the catalyst for my daydreams. FROM JACK: The blog is a catalytic converter, as we exchange thoughts.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Thanks for sharing. Every day is a motivation to think outside of the box. FROM JACK: Each day is a challenge for me to present something that is thought provoking and encouraging to those who might check out WWs. It's like preaching a sermon in miniature. That's why I like the blog. It's an opportunity for feedback.

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: My motivation is my faith, my family and my personal peace. The latter I find that was the hardest thing for me to get to. I have struggled with this almost my entire life. Anyways, I appreciate your WW’s on a daily basis sometimes they really are to close for comfort!!

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Ah, memories! Right, the weekly bath and hair washing...How did we ever survive??! My daughter's and g.daughter's daily hair shampooing and showering would be excessive indeed in the 30's and 40's...probably eve the fifties! My dermatologist says even now, not to shower more than two or three times a week, to keep the oils in you skin from drying! It seems to be sufficient...Maybe at our age, motivation to do things two or three times a week is also sufficient, tho most of us need more!! FROM JACK: Think of all the things that we call necessities today....things we didn't even dream about when we were growing up. In your spare time, you might make a list.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Winning Words 6/3/10
“We are all alike on the inside.” (Mark Twain) One thing I like about our community is it’s diversity … religious, ethnic and political. Last week I was at a party with a number of Africans. Even though we’ve lived as “neighbors” in WB for a few years, I had never met them. What a pleasant experience to talk with them and to learn about their food and customs. One family recently joined our church. ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS ON VACATION: I certainly hope that you don't cavort around with Norwegians!!! FROM JACK: Aren't Swedes and Norwegians the same, outside and inside?

FROM MOLINER CF: Mark Twain was a knotty fellow FROM JACK: I once belonged to the Knothole Gang which was organized for kids by the Moline Plows, a Cubs' affiliate in the Three-Eye League. Does that make me knotty, too?

FROM LIZ IN ILLINOIS: My mother used to lament that there is a McDonald's in every little town across the country (world now)-- that we were losing some of the "regionality" of the "old days." Her point: diversity is what makes life interesting. I agree. FROM JACK: I wonder what she'd think of the little Dairy Queen in Moline which has expanded worldwide, too? I like to be able to get a Big Mac in various communities and know that each will taste the same. That's just me.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: We are all overwhelmingly alike physically on the outside too, with the exception of a few details. The closer one gets, and the deeper the relationship gets, it becomes clear just how appealing some others are. FROM JACK: Diversity (or lack of it) is in the eye of the beholder. MORE FROM LIZ: My friend, John, a native QC homosexual and Democrat, calls himself an "armchair traveler." He is more worldly than any of the "well-traveled" people I've met, including those I met while in college in D.C.-- people whose parents held such worldly positions as VP @ DuPont. Diversity is where you seek it...

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: We are all alike on the inside. too bad more people don't believe it FROM JACK: "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind." I always admired the way you took your son's soccer team to Cuba to play soccer with the boys there. I'm sure that both groups gained an appreciation that we are alike on the inside.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: I like to think that way,too, but we do have to acknowledge history to know that there are exceptions. Yesterday our eighth grader was in a play about Anne Frank, and then I am also reading Laura Bush's Spoken from the Heart where she describes her father and his experience in liberating Germany and a death camp. FROM JACK: I don't think that MT was saying that everything (including the mind) is the same. I see his "words" as a reaction to the racial prejudice that was so prevalent in his day. Currently, Rand Paul seems to be resurrecting the issue. BTW, since many Germans during WW 2 were Lutherans, the leap of logic has been made by some that Lutherans are Nazis. MORE FROM SG: The bottom end is that we all have to be the best that we can be.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: i like mark twain. he helped me view the world in a "bigger" sense. my mark shares this point of view. he read huck finn to beth and thom at bedtime when they were very young. he wanted them to strive for adventure, the river and those who may come into life no matter what their color or economic stature. good quote! thanks! FROM JACK: Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer were social commentary dressed in adventurous clothes.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Winning Words 6/2/10
“We’ve been taught to use our ears to listen, but that’s just the beginning. Listening involves the entire self...mind, heart, hands.” (Nightengale-Conant) Listening is a real art. There are so many sounds and voices around us, clamoring for our attention. The art is learning what to tune in and what to tune out. I’ve learned a lot by listening to some pretty smart people, and acting on what I heard. ;-) Jack

FROM SL IN MICHIGAN: Such wise words! Such an art! Thank you for you wisdom, as always! FROM JACK: Reading between the lines helps, too.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Listening is to communication as harvesting is to baking. There is still a lot of process ahead before we get the message or enjoy the bread. FROM JACK: There's a Thanksgiving hymn that goes with your thought. (Come, ye thankful people, come) first the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear; Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be. MORE FROM JON: I like the hymn and I like Him.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: We have a community farm right beside our church. We grow fruits, vegetables and herbs for needy. Your listening WW made me remember this past weekend. One of the volunteer's mother died a week ago. Felt such sympathy for him, words seemed impotent. But spent time, my own hands digging around in the soil, praying that the very soil and flora and fauna out there and the happy promise of food soon growing to make poor people have a nutritious diet just like rich people, well, anyway God does speak in many different ways and I believe my friend was comforted by what He was saying. FROM JACK: What a sensitive and caring thing to do. Flowers and cards are nice, but your gift was a special one.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: And besides all of that, you can learn what is really going on in this world by listening to friends and family of all ages. FROM JACK: And sometimes you have to learn a new language.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Amen Amen the art of listening is not always practiced in our culture. As a former peddler [salesperson] I learned this lesson early in my career. Too many of us while in conversation are quietly deciding what we are next going to say rather than listening to what is being said. Learning to listen is sometimes a hard lesson. A favorite saying of mine is that I rarely learn anything while I am talking. FROM JACK: Pastors are peddlers, too, although some don't want to admit it...or practice it.

FROM HAWKEYE GS: I used to listen to Mr. Nightengale often, years ago. FROM JACK: The reruns are still good.

FROM MOLINER CF: Don't tune out anything. You never know what gem is burried in the rubble. FROM JACK: Have you ever read, "Acres of Diamonds?" You can Google it.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: I know hearing is important, but my hearing is going - I try to listen even when I can't hear - using the rest of my self! Your words are helpful to me.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Winning Words 6/1/10
“What kind of a man would live in a world where there is no daring? I don’t believe in taking foolish chances, but nothing can be accomplished without taking any chance at all.” (Charles Lindbergh) Lucky Lindy’s solo across the Atlantic was a real chancy flight. I wonder if there were betting odds at the time. CL is buried in a private spot in Hawaii. His mother is buried here in West Bloomfield, MI. Yesterday I made a visit to her gravesite after our annual Memorial Day observance. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Of all the people I talked to yesterday, visiting gravesites and observing Memorial Day, your visit was the most different one. FROM JACK: At the observance a man played The Star-Spangled Banner on a harmonica. A bag-piper in a kilt was there, also, playing Amazing Grace, as he walked through the cemetery.

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN: Where is she buried? FROM JACK: In Pine Lake Cemetery by a lilac bush and a good sized tree. Her bother, Charles, is buried next to her. I suppose Lindy was named after him. MORE FROM MV: This is really cool history! Why W Bloomfield? Were they born here or citizens of? Was Charles born here?
FROM JACK: I'll try to find out.

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: You are a gifted man - and writer! FROM JACK: As Popeye the Sailor uster say: "I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam."

FROM MOLINER CF: I wonder why he didn't fly back. It would have been faster than coming by boat. FROM JACK: I think the French wouldn't release the plane, because he had not paid his landing fee. He didn't have a gasoline credit card, either.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: Reading Lindbergh's life story, I'd say he took chances with his life. It is the lives of others we need to respect and he had a challenge with that. FROM JACK: What do you mean? MORE FROM AM: Charles Lindbergh's story revealed his strong feelings for the German ideas before World War II. Articles,film and Berg's book "Lindbergh"reveal that he had a complicated and secret life including children with German women. He had five children with Anne Morrow, his wife here. in U.S. The Secret Lives of Charles Linbergh was on National Geographic channel in July, 2009. I did not watch it but I saved the Wall
Street Journal article about it. Scott Berg's, book delves deeply Who knows how the kidnapping in 1932 impacted the family? What a horrible time for the Lindberghs. FROM JACK: "Turn over every rock," as the saying goes. I had forgotten "the rest of the story." Maybe selective memory isn't all bad.