Thursday, September 30, 2010

Winning Words 9/30/10
“Lasting change is a series of compromises. Compromise is all right as long as your values don’t change.” (Jane Goodall) Jane’s life work has been to seek protection for wild animals, especially the chimpanzees. Life is such that when we work for causes, some compromise is called for. It is possible to maintain our values without getting “our way” all of the time. It’s a hard lesson for some people to learn. ;-) Jack

FROM SL IN MICHIGAN: This one comes at a perfect time. I was involved in a rather heated discussion last night about education with friends. So many people are opposed to the school of choice that our district has implemented over the years because the "less fortunate" kids that are being bussed in are compromising our children's education. Some feel each child deserves an education and has every right to a WB school. The problem is much larger than schools and real dialog and compromise is necessary! As usual, your WW are right on target for my feelings! FROM JACK: I happen to agree with you. Connecting the "school of choice" issue with compromise is a good response. This isn't a perfect world. I'm old enough to remember when there was a "separate, but equal" brand of education. It was separate, but it wasn't equal. Back to the subject of the day...compromise. In world issues, on national scene, in personal relationships...if there is no compromise, we are asking for continued unrest and dissatisfaction. The second part of today's WWs is the subject of values. Gather a group of people together, and you're bound to get a difference of opinion regarding values. I don't expect everyone to accept my set of values as their's, but I do hope that we all are willing to listen. If we do, we might learn something from one another.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: It was a hard thing to learn. Three times a life situation arose. Three times I prayed for a different result. Three times I kept in mind "Thy Will be done" and when it was all over and the dust had settled I had learned compromise and also that my values hadn't changed because what did result was so good. Today's WW are words to grab onto and live by more peaceably. FROM JACK: If there wasn't compromise, God wouldn't have "created" the forgiveness of sin. I'm all for that!

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: This is a wonderful topic and the response of the first comment illustrates the stress when values collide relative to social issues. As I get older I'm far less tolerant of folks in group gatherings believing that they can spout anything believing that because we are in that group or look like the speaker we must have the same perspective. People sometimes get very uncomfortable when they realize "it ain't so."
and someone in the group will stand up and say "if you continue ,I can!t be here and here is why. FROM JACK: Most of us don't like confrontation, but there comes a time.... Someone has to make a stand for values.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Precisely! If only folks on the far left and far right understood the importance of compromise and moderation. FROM JACK: Tell an alcoholic or drug abuser to be moderate and see what the results are.

FROM CB IN MICHIGAN: I put today’s WW into practice today, this morning, already … and feel great about the result. It came at an amazingly appropriate time for me to consider this wisdom. FROM JACK: Life is good when I can come across something that helps me to figure out some of life's puzzles. Having said that, values is a word that continues to lurk in my mind.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Values are at a premium today. Many are asked to forget values completely and to go for the "popular" stance. I will always listen but will only compromise if it doesn't effect my values. They have been challenged quite constantly lately. Sometimes it good because it makes you evaluate yourself. My morals and values have not changed despite challenges and compromises. FROM JACK: I agree that values are important. I also believe that as life unfolds we need to continually re-examine our values. That's where compromise comes in. For example, a non-believer may have a value system that's important at the time. But when beliefs change, values might change, too. A good question: What are values?

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Jane's books and articles are a fascinating read. What a life she has led! I would guess every pastor and wife, or should I just say Christian, has had to compromise in order to move forward...and our present culture does not seem to value Christian morals or mores. Maybe the pendulum will swing back one of these days. I think people were happier living by the old-fashioned values, but it would be hard to
sell our youth on that, I suspect. Still, most people do try to live meaningful and worthwhile lives! FROM JACK: Compromise is a difficult word, because we like to think that our ideas are the right ones. Compromise says that we don't have all of the answers, and that we can learn from one another, even from those who seem quite different from us. That's not to say that we shouldn't stand firm in our beliefs, but that we should be open to exploring the path less travelled.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Winning Words 9/29/10
“One of the striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives.” (Mark Twain) I admire people like MT who can “hit the nail on the head” in a cogent way and make it relevant, too. His writing style was truly a gift, and I learned to appreciate it when I discovered “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn.” Later on, I found out that there was meaning hidden in his words. ;) Jack

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Humor is a wonderful way to get to the subtle truth. A long time ago when I was doing my student teaching in Davenport in 1948 and when teachers had to write their own units of study, my choice was Mark Twain and Casey at the Bat for my 8th grade class. By the way, how about the Rays clinching as playoff berth last night? FROM JACK: For humor, I liked The Ransom of Red Chief, too. I'm happy for the Devil Rays.
I wonder if you were there with your cow bell. I read that there were plenty of seats available.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: He truly was a gifted writer....not many like him anymore. I have read most if not all of his works and they were so extraordinarily different than most works. If you didn't concentrate you would miss his hidden humor. FROM JACK: ....and social statements, too. It's been said about division of the Bible into two testaments...."The new is in the old, concealed. The old is in the new, revealed."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Winning Words 9/28/10
“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.” (Mother Teresa) We need that kind of advice, because it’s too easy to lash out at people who treat us in an unkindly manner. One of the difficult teachings (among others) from the Sermon on the Mount is to “turn the other cheek” and to “pray for your enemies.” Not many are doing that, but let’s keep trying. ;-) Jack

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: I think there are times for everyone when our "kindness" is driven by selfish, ulterior motives. I remember a woman (who had, I admit, knocked herself out to provide Christmas stuff for a family) who was just so upset because the mother of this family didn't say, "Thank you." It was hard to convince her that maybe the mother was too overwhelmed to do so and that "thanks" is not the reason we are giving. Only one of the ten lepers bothered to say, Thanks. FROM JACK: We who are in the "teaching" business have plenty of opportunities put before us. One Christmas I took my young daughter with me to deliver some gifts to a needy family. Afterward she said, "They didn't look so needy; the house was neat, and they had a decorated tree." That was a "teaching" opportunity. But just as we are teachers, we must not forget that we are learners, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: The "Twilight Zone" song is gone, but I do love these Winning Words. Pastor Schaffer did a sermon about turning the other was about abused women. Something to think about.
FROM JACK: There can be many reasons to "neglect" the needy. But what God wants from his people is a caring heart. God blesses those who care.

FROM MOLINER CF: Who gets the most good out of well-intentioned kindness, the giver or the reciever? FROM JACK: Or to put it in another way, "Who gets the most good out of a well-intentioned kindness, God or you and I?" MORE FROM CF: I don't think God is in it for what he can get out of it. FROM JACK: I try not to put myself in the place of God. 1 Chronicles 2:16 "Who has know the mind of God?" Having said this, I think that God knows pain and pleasure.

FROM PRFM: "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matt. 5 46 ff FROM JACK: Good luck on your quest for perfection. Incidentally, a Detroit Tigers pitcher almost threw a perfect no-hit, no-run game, and the TV camera said that he did. But what counts is what the umpire said. "SAFE!" In the game of life, it's God's call, regardless of the judgment of others.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Mother Theresa was such an icon. I have a book of her sayings on LOVE. It was distressing to have her letters published after her death (I also have that book) and to realize how bereft she felt, and abandoned by God. But she kept her faith! I toured her bldgs when I spent three weeks in India. Baby cribs end to end . The nurses, or sisters, tried to hold each child once an hour. Calcutta is both beautiful and very depressing. I guess I could say that about most of the places I visited in India! Yes, of all the virtues one can possess, Kindness is probably the most prized, and wears well in all relationships. My husband was very kind, which I appreciated more and more as the years flowed by! FROM JACK: I personally didn't find her letters to be distressing. They seemed to make her real. Martin Luther had similar feelings and wrote about them. We all have two sides...the outside and the inside. I think the "key" is that, although at times she felt abandoned, she kept her faith.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: What struck me is that Mother Theresa said these words. If one of our kindness leaders sometimes came across as someone who questioned her intentions, it really is a comfort to me who often wonders about the basis of my own intentions and am vulnerable then to others' judgments. Just be kind no matter what people think. Good advice, I'll take it. FROM JACK: As the Scriptures say, "No one is righteous--not even one. (Romans 3:10)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Winning Words 9/27/10
“If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.” (Unknown – Sent by Liesa in Michigan) I searched in vain for the author, but, really, it’s the thought that counts. I’ve known some people who’ve had a “tough row to hoe” in their life and have said: “The Lord is helping me to get through this. I’ll be all right.” I admire the faith that those people have. Where do you think such a faith comes from? ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: The Bible says faith comes from hearing...hearing what Christ has told us. That assures a Christian. Often we build our own faith by what we observe from others, who have shown us by their faith how they prevailed in difficult times. FROM JACK: Another one..... "He who has eyes to see, let him see."

FROM DR IN MICHIGAN: thank you - would alter the quote - if life brings you to it God will see you thru it! Blessings FROM JACK: Interesting comment. Are the events that happen to us just events, or are they part of God's greater plan? Do Presbyterians still hold to pre-destination? At least I now have an author to put to what you have said. Thanks for the thoughtful response.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: I can really relate to todays WWs...I believe the Lord brings us through all times, and that we should recognize that during both the good and bad times. During this past year of unemployment, each day I have to remind myself that He is there, will not put us under more than we can He just trying to remind us about who He is???? FROM JACK: Sometimes you really have to "go through it" to understand the truth of the quote.

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: I believe that the faith to persevere comes from experience of witnessing the goodness of God in our lives for ourselves. Unfortunately, this requires that you be willing move forward into experiences based on faith regardless of how you feel emotionally. FROM JACK: "Unfortunately?" I've found sometimes that that which I consider to be unfortunate, in retrospect, turns out to be fortunate for me. I know that this your experience, too. I'm not suggesting that the word is wrong; it's just a matter of a choice in our writing. In all things, God is good!

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: being at the other end and knowing only believing brought you there. FROM JACK: You don't need a GPS to "know" where you are.

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN: I know the answer to that one...Mom always told me that God will not give me more than I can bear. FROM JACK: We are fortunate when we have mom's who give good advice.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: God will never give you more than you can handle. I think that faith is a gift, and that some accept the gift and others refuse it. FROM JACK: Just as a bell is not a bell until you ring it, a gift is not a gift until you receive it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: How ironic....I was just repeating your Winning Words as I was walking up to the computer. I have a friend who is facing many difficult issues right now and I was going to make her a card with just that saying. But, does God bring us to "it" or is it just life in general which "brings us to it"? Anyway, I believe He gives us the strength to get us through. Thankfully! FROM JACK: As I read your response, the theme music for "Twilight Zone" started going through my mind. People "going through it" need all the support they can get, especially from friends. God's support is already with them. MORE FROM JUDY: It was very strange....I mean, I was just sitting down to the computer and repeating those exact words. Wow. Should I prepare for tomorrow's words too??? :-) FROM JACK: Tomorrow's will fit for you, too. Keep humming The Twilight Zone song.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: In a way I think that it is a gift. FROM JACK: ....and so many gifts we just take for granted. Let's see, can you count up to five of them?

FROM MOLINER CF: That word "if" bothers me. Does it mean he will not help you through it if he didn't bring you to it? I don't believe that. Which brings about another question? FROM JACK: To remove the "if" pre-supposes that God causes everything. In my belief, God gives to all of us, the gift of free-will, which removes the "if" in certain cases. Some of the evil in this world is caused by our own free-will and cannot be "blamed" on God. Some of that which we consider to be evil seems to be beyond understanding. Therefore it's OK to ask, "Why." Or to say, "If God brings me to it, he will see me through it." MORE FROM CF: Thank you for the very thoughtful response. Knowingly or not, you cleared up a lot of questions in a few choice words.

FROM PRPH ON MINNESOTA: you can give me the credit for that quote. it sounds like something i would say.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: I love the quote. Such faith comes from God.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Winning Words 9/24/10
“Consider the little mouse, how sagacious an animal it is which never entrusts its life to one hole only.” (Plautus 254-184 BC) There is much that we can learn from the mouse. Maybe that’s why they are used in laboratory experiments. The Roman author, Plautus, learned something about planning for the future by watching mice. He saw that the mouse had two holes, with one labeled, “Plan B.” ;-) Jack

FROM NL IN INDIANA: Good morning. Amen to that too. FROM JACK: What does the sign read on your mouse hole? MORE FROM NL: Diversification: Always looking at the BIG picture: Thinking outside the box: This is everything: Think about it.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: "Plan B" is a good idea in many situations. Buildings have long been designed with at least two means of exiting in case of emergencies. When planning an outdoor event, know what you'll do in case of rain. I always counseled my students to be qualified in at least two careers, to be better prepared for a layoff. (Regarding Plautus's comment, I wonder how those Roman mice chewed holes in those stone dwellings.) FROM JACK: A mouse who's smart enough to think of a Plan B is smart enough to figure out how to make a hole in a stone wall.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: They are very clever but most if not all animals have two exits to the burrows. Even snakes! However, mice are clever enough to avoid traps....most of the time. FROM JACK: Most privies have two holes, too.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Federalist Paper #10....has learned that lesson....present day Tea Party people think, on the other hand, that we should put our faith into the hands of the beloved capitalists!!! FROM JACK: Most politicians (and their influential lobbyists) construct laws that contain loop-holes.

FROM MOLINER CF: I had a ground hog that thought two holes were his safety valve. He needed plan "C" Moral: Holes in one are only good in golf. FROM JACK: I know that you're old enough to remember the story of the golfer who always wore two pair of pants in case he got a hole in one. Did I ever tell you about the time I got a hole-in-one?

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: remember the important role the mouse played in "The Green Mile?" FROM JACK: No I don't. I guess I'll have to Google it.

FROM NFC IN ILLINOIS: Your words today remind me of Rev. Tillberg's illustration about the pussy cat who went to London to visit the queen and saw only the mouse under the queen's chair because he was "mouse minded" while in the company of royalty. Do you remember it? FROM JACK: I remember that illustration well. In retrospect, he was a very good preacher.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Winning Words 9/23/10
“We do not know what to do with this short life, but we want another that is eternal.” (Anatole France) People often speculate as to what happens after death. A verse from the Bible says: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the things that God has prepared.” That doesn’t stop us from giving descriptive opinions about heaven and hell. Do you have an opinion to share? ;-) Jack

FROM SL IN MICHIGAN: The answers to our questions that are un-answered here! FROM JACK: Yes, the "issues" that some people have "here" with God will no doubt be resolved in the "hereafter."

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I expect something wonderful that cannot even imagine! FROM JACK: How about starting with the Beatles' song, Imagine?
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: My depiction of hell, as eternal separation from God, is the heavenly city with the gates wide open and people streaming in and being satisfied at the banquet of the Lamb. The people who have put themselves in hell are still trying to scale the walls saying, "I did it my way!" -- they'll never get in.
Have fun this day whatever you do! God made us from the humus to be human with a sense of humor. FROM JACK: Referring back to the book, "90 Minutes in Heaven," which I read this week....the author describes what heaven was like when he was there for an hour and a half. I guess that the views of heaven are individual expressions, and not the same for everyone.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: We sing that verse and I always think it is so beautiful and hopeful. FROM JACK: I looked it up in the Catholic Community Hymnal that I "borrowed" from my friends at Prince of Peace. I'm going to return the book one of these days. Meanwhile, the words are worth sharing on the blog.
Eye Has Not Seen
Marty Haugen © 1982 GIA Publications
Verse 1
When pain and sorrow weigh us down, be near to us, O Lord,
forgive the weakness of our faith, and bear us up within your peaceful word.
Verse 2
Our lives are but a single breath, we flower and we fade,
yet all our days are in your hands, so we return in love what love has made.
Verse 3
To those who see with eyes of faith, the Lord is ever near,
reflected in the faces of all the poor and lowly of the world.
Verse 4
We sing a mystery from the past in halls where saints have trod,
yet ever new the music rings to Jesus, Living Song of God.
Eye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love him;
Spirit of love, come, give us the mind of Jesus, teach us the wisdom of God.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We all look forward to eternal life. I know it will be grander than anything we could possibly imagine. I used to believe Heaven would be all the ice cream I could eat always. Now I look forward to greeting all of my family and friends who have passed on. And, walking in the garden with Him. FROM JACK: I can't remember what you considered to be your favorite flavor of ice cream. Whatever, I'm sure that God must have it in his freezer. I'm sorta reminded of Burl Ives' song: "The Big Rock Candy Mountain," in which he sings of things that he would consider, "heavenly." To each, his own.

FROM MOLINER CF: My opinion is that too many people worry about the afterlife and don't live this one. FROM JACK: Yes, there are some who have that kind of worry, but they usually really get worried when the end is in sight.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I think the Spiritual world is so far beyond our comprehension as mortals that we can't really envision it. If we had the background to understand and accept a definition of Heaven, I think Jesus would have described it for us. It's like Bill and I trying to describe to the Congolese in the bush country, what Marshal Fields was like at Christmas. No way they could possible get it. Don Piper said in his book, "Ninety Minutes in Heaven", that he had no recollection of his earthly family, or regrets to have left them. He only recognized the loved ones, or familiar people who were there at the gates of Heaven, and was so thrilled to see and be with them. And of course he said he will never forget the heavenly music! I am sure it is beyond our comprehension! FROM JACK: What a great response! Maybe you should go to seminary. On second thought, you don't need to. You already are a minister. Did I mention to you that I read Piper's book recently? I laughed at the comparison using the Congolese and Fields. Perfect.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Winning Words 9/22/10
“Tell me what ticks you off, and I’ll tell you what makes you tick.” (Lloyd Ogilvie) Ogilvie? I thought that the name sounded familiar. He was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He became a minister and eventually Chaplain of the U.S. Senate. I’m sure that he met some ticked off people in that role. My experience has been that angry people often have “hidden” issues. ;-) Jack

MORE FROM JACK: In my reading this morning I came across this which seems to fit. It's a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies. The only variable is about what. The weird thing about telling someone they're dying is it tends to focus their priorities. You find out what matters to them. What they're willing to die for. What they're willing to lie for. (David Shore, House M.D.)

FROM MOLINER CF: It's the ones who DON'T show their anger who are the most dangerous. FROM JACK: How do you show your anger? Some times we become more angry with ourselves than with others. "Frustrated" is a better word for me.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Church attendance, why do so many people feel it is not so necessary to their living their lives? This is close to home and it is also farther away. I do need to think whether "there are hidden issues" because maybe somehow my own stuff is a hindrance to people I love and cherish not being in church each week. Thanks for sharing And also sharing the M.D.'s wise thoughts too. FROM JACK: "You can lead a horse to water...." You know how the saying goes.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: Often, angry people just need to vent, anger worsens when they are unable to vent.
FROM JACK: I see that the courts often send people to Anger Management classes. I wonder if it works.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Or, "Troublesome people are often people in trouble." FROM JACK: I read somewhere that the job of a pastor is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Your comment "angry people have hidden issues" unpack that a little for me??? FROM JACK: Not always, but enough of the time to cause me to look beyond the complaint.
It's almost a truism (at least in my ministry) that when someone suddenly comes in complaining about the church, in a manner that seems out of character for them.....there's something else going on in their life. Maybe it's a family problem, a work-related issue, health difficulties.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: That is also my experience about people who suddenly change, too. FROM JACK: As one the recent WWs put it: "You can learn a lot by paying attention."

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN: Have to share with you, Jack, that my husband and I arise about 4:40 a.m. and we look forward to your "Words of Wisdom" hitting his blackberry - what a wonderful start to our day! Each week I rotate thoughts of "reality and encouragement" on my overhead cabinets- so those waiting in my office have a moment of reflection if they so desire. Often, it is your Words of Wisdom placed there. I certainly enjoy this one - reminds me to reflect on what is important in life and where priorities should be. Earlier this week I connected with Gleaners Food Bank to once again offer our business location as a food collection site. The working poor. That's what ticks me off.....Working in today's political environment has it's challenges - I often glance at my computer where I have noted the words of Psalm 23 - Shepherd me O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears...from death into life. It's good to be reminded of what is actually important - what ticks us off. Okay - off my pulpit :-) FROM JACK: That's a good sermon, if I do say so myself.

FROM BP IN FLORIDA: Lots of truth to this but I also have to question why folks with issues have to be considered angry because of their issues???? FROM JACK: "Angry" is in the eye of the beholder. When some judge was asked to rule on whether something was pornography or not, he said: "I know it when I see it." The point I was trying to make is that when people come to me upset about something (especially when it's out of character for them), I'm concerned that there might be another issue going on in their life. We are complex individuals.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Wise words - we're all ticked by something sometime! My husband Bill was chaplain of the IL senate for 10 years. (While also serving as pastor of Elliott Ave. Baptist Church in Sprfld.) You get a pretty good look at what makes a politician tick! FROM JACK: Even though many people have negative feelings about politicians, when you get to really know them, they are human beings for better or worse, like the rest of us.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: you got that right! and the anger often comes out sideways too... FROM JACK: ...and sometimes the angry person just leaves without revealing the reason, but that's the way it goes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Winning Words 9/21/10
“Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.” (Jim Bishop) Bishop was a successful newspaper columnist and author. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade, but he never stopped learning. His comment here reminds us that the past is past, and there comes a time when we have to move on. Sometimes we ruminate (chew the cud) too much about the past…”If only…!” I’ll blog a poem about, “Tomorrow.” ;-) Jack

Tomorrow by Edgar Guest

He was going to be all that a mortal should be
No one should be kinder or braver than he
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who'd be glad of a lift and who needed it, too;
On him he would call and see what he could do

Each morning he stacked up the letters he'd write
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight
It was too bad, indeed, he was busy today,
And hadn't a minute to stop on his way;
More time he would have to give others, he'd say

The greatest of workers this man would have been
The world would have known him, had he ever seen
But the fact is he died and he faded from view,
And all that he left here when living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: That old Could've/Would've/Should've syndrome. I try very hard to say "It is what it is". Works most of the time!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I try never to want to relive a minute ago. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it hard. I love Guest...he was my mom's favorite. I bought her every book he wrote. I have them now. "Tomorrow" was one of my favorites! FROM JACK: I just finished reading a book, "90 Minutes In Heaven," in which the author tells of being pronounced dead after an auto accident and having a "heaven" experience before coming back to life. In that case he relives the experience by telling about it. I'm still pondering.

FROM MOLINER CF: Then, there's THIS side of it.
The sun'll come out Tomorrow Bet your bottom dollar That tomorrow There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about Tomorrow Clears away the cobwebs, And the sorrow 'Til there's none!
When I'm stuck a day That's gray, And lonely, I just stick out my chin And Grin, And Say, Oh!
The sun'll come out Tomorrow So ya gotta hang on 'Til tomorrow Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow! You're always A day A way!
FROM JACK: How about the Beatles' song, "Yesterday?"

FROM MOLINER MH: I liked your ww today because I try not to let yesterday or tomorrow take up too much of today. Mayo Clinic has a simple recipe for longevity I wanted to share with you: Their recipe: Have someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to. This guarantees a happy and hopefully long life. (hope none of these igredients are missing from your life.) FROM JACK: Mayo's recipe is a good one, even though some may demur, because they are "alone," or "feel worthless," and are trying to drive by "looking in the rearview mirror." We are not alone in this world, and there are things to do, and the car is miving forward.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I don't know...the DAYS fly by so fast, its almost hard to concentrate on the one day at a time! One MINUTE at a time? WHOA!

MORE FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I loved Jim Bishop's book, and will never forget his story about his son's Frog dying, or so they thought. Trying to console the little boy, he emptied his silver cigarette Box, and said they would bury him in that, wrapped in satin. They planned a service, dug a grave in the garden, and invited the neighbor kids...about that time the frog turned over, dove into his pool, and swam around. The boy looked up at his dad and said, "Let's kill him!" Priceless! Ha! I read a quote on anger you might want to use-- I loved it.
"Anyone can become angry, that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way---this is not easy. ~Aristotle Amen to that; a wise man!

FROM CA IN MICHIGAN: This one is for me. I tend to "chew the cud". Thanks. Agape', FROM JACK: I like that word, ruminate. It's one I don't use often, but I still like it.

FROM MOLINER MH: I liked your ww today because I try not to let yesterday or tomorrow take up too much of today. Mayo Clinic has a simple recipe for longevity I wanted to share with you: Their recipe: Have someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to. This guarantees a happy and hopefully long life. (hope none of these igredients are missing from your life.)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Winning Words 9/20/10
“Forget one day at a time. Take a deep breath, and let’s just concentrate on one minute at a time.” (Claudia Rushlow) CR is a Family Advocate at a facility in our community that treats people with substance abuse problems. She says that drug and alcohol addictions are illnesses that need constant attention. Other life situations need the same kind of attention…family, job, finances, health…you name it! ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Well, I think the most important minutes may be when we set those personal concerns aside for a bit so we can "stop and smell the roses."

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I read this early this morning. Now I'm reading it again and it struck me it could be "Forget one a time." Actually that old saying to take it a day-at-a-time is probably much too hard when we're doing with breaking old habits. Actually, what do we do with the days when we fall off the wagon--do we remember them thinking with thanksgiving we're still alive to try again or are we able somehow to wipe them out of our brain and make the most of being able to "downsize" the upsetting day? Somehow it seems more realistic to accept a lot of the day and deal better with a minute or a few minutes. Concentrating on this WW FROM JACK: I think that what the quote says is this: When you're trying to handle a difficult situation, it's better not to look too far into the future.

FROM DS IN MICHIGAN: Love it. ;o) FROM JACK: We were at the same meeting when she said it. I had to write it down right then.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Winning Words 9/17/10
“The road to success is always under construction; it is not always straight; and it is not always smooth.” (Lily Tomlin) I used a quote from Lily last Friday, too. She can be serious when she wants to be. I don’t think that success came easy for her. In fact, I think that all of us can attest to the fact that the road to success has its bumps, some u-turns and its share of orange barrels. Right? ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: There's no map for the road to success. Everyone has to find his/her own way. The question is...what is success? When I entered my career path I had a certain perception of what I had to do to be successful. Some of those "orange barrels" such as layoffs, financial concerns, and family responsibilities can change what we thought was important. At this time in my life I'm coasting down the road, satisfied with what I've accomplished, where I am, and what I'll leave behind. However, where I hope to travel has nothing to do with what I've done, it's a matter of grace, and my Lord will decide if I succeed through the gate. FROM JACK: More and more people are relying on a GPS to tell them where to go. The GPS is a tool, but I'm glad that I learned to read maps and how to have a sense of direction. For me, to learn and to apply is a measure of success.

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: However, there are times when the converse is true. When you expect bumps and road construction but find the journey very pleasant. I guess you have to learn to be content in any situation FROM JACK: True. But we must not text while driving (or do other distracting things), lest we be unprepared for the unexpected. My daughter was driving on a clear highway when a driver entered from a sideroad without stopping. My daughter's alertness to take evasive action prevented a serious accident.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: I think that the Orange barrels and never ending road repair in this great state of Michigan is a testament that the construction industry has been successful in establishing job security for building/ repairing roads. Seems to me that the average is about 6 years until that brand new road is in need of those pretty barrels decorating it again. FROM JACK: It seems to me that 6 years is about right. That's much better than the "personal" road which needs daily maintenance. Without such repair, that road can become pretty bumpy.

FROM MOLINER CF: ...and lots of forks. FROM JACK: I like what's said in the Sermon on the Mount: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: There were as many valleys as there were hills in my life. But I can tell you the work it took to get through the valleys and up to the summits were well worth the view! FROM JACK: "Hooray, though he leads me through the valleys, I will fear no evil, for he is with me always."

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: I don't know of one man who started a business without setbacks. They just make you stronger. Lily was quite the switchboard operator. FROM JACK: I read that Thomas Edison had 2,998 failures before he perfected the light bulb. Talk about a bumpy road!


FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: what exactly is success?? FROM JACK: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. FROM JACK: Some pastors angle to get a "plum" of a call, only to find out later that it was a "prune."

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: The road to success can be very bumpy! This reminds me of the epitaph on Mrs. Billy (Ruth) Graham's tombstone at his Library Center garden, landscaped in the shape of a cross, and she is laid to rest at the foot of the cross.) It gives her name, dates of birth and death, and underneath are the words
"End of Construction...thank you for your patience." It has her typical sense of wry humor. She was an extraordinary woman! FROM JACK: I don't see many epitaphs on tombstones anymore. Have you given any thought to what you want on yours? MORE FROM MO: YES! "ONE DAY MY LIFE WILL END, AND IF SOME WHIM WOULD PROMPT YOU TO REVIEW IT,
I've had a happy, blessed life, and I know it!!! And I am thankful!!!

FROM INDY GENIE: Edith Ann's reply to these WW's would be "and that's the truth"

FROM PRAW IN ILLINOIS: Hi Jack...your WW reminds me of a time when Judy and I were going to our local Sr. Center for lunch on weekdays. One of the regular guests was Howard, a 91 yr old man who would sit there quietly, enjoy his meal, and then his son would pick him up. One day I said to him: "Howard, what did you do this morning? He replied, "Nothing, and when I go home,I'm going to finish it!"
Now there's a Sr. citizen who knows how to enjoy life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Winning Words 9/16/10
“Life is half spent before we know what it is.” (French Proverb) Recently I went through some stuff that I had saved from the time I was living in my late teens and early twenties. I was distressed to see how much I could have learned, and didn’t. It was also interesting to see how much I did learn, without being aware of it. I can imagine it’s like that for most of us. “Too soon, old, and too late, smart!” ;-) Jack

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: If I only knew, what I know now,...... I think Rod Stewart sang a song about this. When I was younger, When I was stronger. FROM JACK: Your's is a great response. Rod's song "gets it!" Ooh la, la, la, la, yeah!

Poor old Granddad I laughed at all his words I thought he was a bitter man
He spoke of women's ways They'll trap you, then they use you before you even know
For love is blind and you're far too kind Don't ever let it show

I wish that I knew what I know now When I was younger.
I wish that I knew what I know now When I was stronger.

Poor young grandson, there's nothing I can say You'll have to learn, just like me
And that's the hardest way, ooh la la Ooh la la, la la, yeah

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: If there is one thing I have learned in my 60 years....I haven't learned it all...yet. Hopefully, we learn from our mistakes and learn to make new ones instead. However, with age, we all can agree, our mistakes are forgiven as were our mistakes in our youth. God is forgiving and His mercy is great. Thankfully. FROM JACK: Early on I learned a lesson about GRACE which I didn't come to appreciate until later years. I'm still trying to comprehend it, because human nature says that "it isn't fair." Many of the teachings of Jesus beg that response.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: So true! It seems that I heard that last quote many times as I was growing up with many German relatives. Seems it had almost an accent with it. My Mother still says it a lot! FROM JACK: “Vee Get Too Soon Oldt, und Too Late Schmardt!” It's not a new saying, by any means. Every generation seems to have seen the truth of it.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Ha! too true. I just returned from our San Diego Moline H.S. mini-reunion, where class mates brought many old "remembrances" from 50 and 60 yrs. ago! It was great fun remembering...some things long dormant in our minds! It seems that while we are BUSY with careers, raising children, doing volunteering, socializing, playing, etc. etc. the years fly by in a blur. Now that we can "catch our breath", we have more time to savor todays and yesterdays...a "senior" blessing! FROM JACK: My MHS reunion is happening this weekend at Short Hills CC and at the Arsenal. About 50 will be there. I'm looking forward to gettting some e-mail pictures.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Winning Words 9/15/10
“Man must sit in chair with mouth open for very long time before roast duck fly in.” (Chinese Proverb) I smiled at this one. But it’s the truth. We can’t just sit around and expect great things to happen in our life. Now’s the time for us to push away from that computer, get out of the chair, and begin working toward accomplishing our goals, whatever they might be….and then comes the roast duck! ;-) Jack

FROM SL IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for the "pep talk"! ....and for your nuggets of knowledge that you pass on to all of us! FROM JACK: Do you know of the cereals....PEP and GRAPE-NUTS (nuggets)? I think I'll have QUAKER OATS today.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Laughed out loud on this one. It's a very, very funny image and even funnier contemporarily with so many of us spending time sitting at our computers though do appreciate the computer here to be able to get the message. Pushing myself away now. FROM JACK: Today I read that Bill Mahar said: "If you find yourself laughing, something in you says, 'Ooh, there may be some truth to that.'" I like Bill...most of the time, but not all of the time.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: Great inspiration, made my mouth water. Roast Duck, Wild rice, burgundy sauce, mmmm. FROM JACK: From your experience as a cook, you know that the preparation comes first. The goal is not achieved without the work.

FROM MT IN PENNSYVANIA: I'm looking for roast duck by this time next year! Meanwhile, am working round the clock some days, to make sure the duck flies right! FROM JACK: Another Chinese proverb say: "Duck that tries to fly without stopping to rest can wind up as dead duck."

FROM CZB IN COLORADO: LOVE this one! I'm passing it along : ) It is such a great visual as well.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: So right. I went to China thirty years ago and was fascinated by people exercising in groups on the street. I decided I would like to study Tai Chi. This week, I took my first class. Figured I'd better not wait much longer. FROM JACK: You don't do Tai Chi sitting in a chair, do you?

FROM PRDM IN MICHIGAN: In this case sitting at the computer prompts me to "push away" for now from the computer toward some worthy goals... FROM JACK: Not all goals are worthy. are they. My mother-in-law was a church music director, and she would carefully choose her music. She did not want something that was not "worthy." Lately, it seems like anything goes. That doesn't mean that the "new" is not worthy. It means that church music should be chosen with thought.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Winning Words 9/14/10
“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.” (Yogi Berra) Berra is better known as a Hall of Fame baseball player than as a philosopher and theologian. His words, quoted today, can be used to explain something about preparation for eternal life. They can also say something about the value of setting a direction for where we want to go in this life. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Especially enjoyed your WW this morning. They explain things to a T. This might be one reason to hang around church folks a lot, at least I can find my way to the church and maybe there will be some help to help me figure out where I'm going and to actually get there. It's the most careful thing I can think to do anyway. The computer, even here at the library, wouldn't let me make a comment on your blog but I'm
thankful it will probably let me reply. FROM JACK: When you want to post something on the blog, you must send it to me, and then I will post it. That way inappropriate remarks are filtered out.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Winning Words 9/13/10
“This world is like a foyer before the world to come. Prepare yourself in the foyer so that you will be able to enter the banquet hall.” (Rabbi Yakov) The Bible describes heaven as a banquet hall and this life as a time of preparation for entering it. This week three families that I know are sending loved ones into the banquet hall. Micah 6:8 gives a description of some of the preparation required. ;-) Jack

MICAH 6:8 - "What God requires of you: Only to do justice, And to love goodness, and to walk humbly with God."

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: I think the next world is as different for us as is this world from the world from which we came (the womb)....we can neither imagine nor think what this new world will be like....we can only wait for the Lord to introduce us. FROM JACK: You're in sync with the words from the Bible: "As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." When people speculate on what heaven and hell might be like, I find a satisfactory answer in the words of St. Paul (1 Cor 2:9).

FROM EA IN MICHIGAN: WE also are "sending off" a very dear freind to the "Banquet Hall" on this week. FROM JACK: That's what we wan it to mean when we say that "they're in a better place." But sometimes it puts our faith to the test.

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: My family just sent my grandfather to the banquet hall last week. I wonder how so many times your devotionals seem to sequence with what is going on in my life? Obviously, devotion and service to God orders your steps - FROM JACK: The moving finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a line, Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it. (From The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam) You have caused me to ponder...Do my fingers wander aimlessly over the noisy keys? From what you write, God sometimes does the aiming.

FROM JM IN VIRGINIA: Good morning, Jack. I like this one. As usual, it puts things in perspective. FROM JACK: Perspective is an interesting word. "The ability to see relevant data in a meaningful relationship." The way the eye (mind) sees things is not necessarily the way things are...if you "see" what I mean.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Micah specifies such a simple set of requirements for preparing ourselves, such fundamental standards by which we can honor God and also live graciously. Yet all too often we fail to follow through. Can we ever qualify for "the banquet hall"? FROM JACK: We don't qualify. We're invited, and, upon receiving the invitation, we say: "Who, me?"

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: Interesting. Sometimes Covenant Village and other retirement facilities are referred to as God's waiting room. Similar.There is a British comedy series which takes place in a retirement home called 'Waiting for God'. FROM JACK: I guess we're all in the waiting room...some closer to the door than others, and age doesn't necessarily determine how long one waits.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord . . . that they may rest from their labors!" FROM JACK: I liked the follow up poem that you also sent.
> I was shocked, confused, bewildered
> As I entered Heaven's door,
> Not by the beauty of it all,
> Nor the lights or its decor.
> But it was the folks in Heaven
> Who made me sputter and gasp--
> The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
> The alcoholics and the trash.
> There stood the kid from seventh grade
> Who swiped my lunch money twice.
> Next to him was my old neighbor
> Who never said anything nice.
> Bob, who I always thought
> Was rotting away in hell,
> Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
> Looking incredibly well.
> I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal?
> I would love to hear Your take.
> How'd all these sinners get up here?
> God must've made a mistake.
> 'And why is everyone so quiet,
> So somber - give me a clue.'
> 'Hush, child,' He said,
> 'they're all in shock.
> No one thought they'd be seeing you.'

Friday, September 10, 2010

Winning Words 9/10/10
“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” (Lily Tomlin) Lily was born and raised in Detroit in a blue collar family, and we’re proud of her. Her characters, Ernestine and Edith Ann, make me laugh. Lily’s life was not always an easy one, and her WWs today give some advice to us when we find that the schedule is too full, with too much to do and too little time. I wonder if she followed her advice. ;-) Jack

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: Which leads me to say what my mother in law always said, and I sure millions of others "The hurryer you go, the behinder you get!" These days we (I say we but mean I ) are always running a little late but are we just running a little early for the next endeavor? FROM JACK: My mother-in-law used to say, "One step, and then another, and the longest journey is ended." Sometimes we can learn a lot from those infamous mother-in-laws, if we just pay attention.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Sounds like a Pepto Bismo commercial. I did love to watch Ernestine and Edith Ann. She was so funny but so true to life. As life swirls around us like a tornado, we do try to slow down and enjoy the little moments which make life so much fun. Happy Friday! FROM JACK: I read that they also make Pepto-Bismol for dogs. Do those pets need it after they've been chasing their tails?

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Effervescent advice from an effervescent comedian. The WW make sense so I'm going to slow down today...from a stroll to a crawl. FROM JACK: I always seem to work better with deadlines. At least, that was my excuse for being a procrastinator. MORE FROM RI: Procrastination reminds me of a cartoon we had tacked up in our architectural studio at Washington University. It showed 2 slackers, slouched in lounge chairs with their feet up on the coffee table, and the caption was, "Next week we've got to get organized!"

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I have heard this: B-being U-under S-Satans Y-yoke. I think there is some truth in that. FROM JACK: B-U-S-Y connected with Satan? A saying traced back to 1386 AD puts it this way: "Idle hands are the Devil's tools." The Devil seems to work both sides of the street.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: I saw her on a rerun recently. Just outstanding!

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Even in retirement.....Probably not. She was funny. I appreciated her humor.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Winning Words 9/9/10
“You learn something every day, if you pay attention.” (Ray LeBlond) Here’s another piece of good advice for all of us…not just for those going back to school. From my past experience, there’s a lot of day dreaming that goes on in school. We don’t always take advantage of the learning opportunities surrounding us. Where’s that loud PAY ATTENTION! when we need it? ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER CF: I always thought the railroads got it right..."Stop, Look and Listen." FROM JACK: I like your response. I wonder how many people actually heed that advice at railroad crossings. I wonder how many will heed the advice of LeBlond's quote.

FROM HAWKEYE GS: Fortunately, it never stops -- I hope! FROM JACK: The daydreaming? Or the paying attention? The head of General Motors in the 30s created a job for an innovative man whose responsibility was just to dream. I have a sign by my computer which reads, "WHAT IF...." I'm sure that your company became successful because someone did some dreaming.

FROM JF IN NOVA SCOTIA: ...and if you're open to the possibility that what you learn may be unexpected and initially easy to reject as noise/error or "not of general interest", but eventually prove to be useful. This was the case for Teflon, penecillin, 3M stick-it pad glue, etc. FROM JACK: I think that the Post-It inventor got the idea while attending a church choir practice. "Accidental" inspiration is not always accidental.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: God has a great knack for getting our attention when we think that we know everything. FROM JACK: I remember playing Hide and Seek, when the person who was "it" would say, "Ready or not; here I come." Sometimes God is like that.

FROM PRAW IN ILLINOIS: I thought you might find some use for some of these. Most are stupid. Some have truth in them. Thanks for all you send. Sometimes your message is just the pick up I need as my body and mind ages. FROM JACK: One of the sayings you sent seems to fit with today's WWs: "The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas."

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Isn't it interesting how BIG that little word if is. FROM JACK: “If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.” (Mercedes Lackey)

FROM DS IN SAN DIEGO: I find I pay attention a lot more in my older years. Is it because we have a harder time remembering things? FROM JACK: Remembering what?

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Oh, I have an epitath for your headstone!"You can teach something every day, if you pay attention". FROM JACK: In a cemetary in England:
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so shall you be,
Remember this and follow me.
- To which someone replied by writing on the tombstome:
To follow you I'll not consent,
Until I know which way you went.

QUOTE FROM OG MANDINO: "Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new."

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Pay attention to dreaming. Many good ideas are here in capsule form

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Winning Words 9/8/10
“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” (Sydney J. Harris) I don’t know if that’s the “whole” purpose, but it’s a good goal for our teachers today. I’m particularly thankful for those teachers who opened windows for me at every level of education. I think of the professor who taught a class called, “American Ideals.” A window was opened which gave me a whole new outlook. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: This is an absolutely fascinating quote. It's the use of "mirrors". Does that signify that everything we don't understand, in our short-sightness we see as an extension of us? When we lived in California, I remember reading editorials in the San Francisco Examiner by a Sydney Harris. Wonder if this one is one and the same. FROM JACK: Mirror-people, in my opinion, simply reflect what others have taught them. Window-people use what they have been taught to develop their own thoughts. As a pastor, I tried to open windows for people. We used to have a foreign-born neighbor who would open all the windows in her house once a week (no matter the season). Yes, SJH was a popular columnist in many newspapers. Periodically he would write a column, "Things I learned while looking up other things." There are books of his that you would find interesting. You can usually get them in the library.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: The looking glass to window thing educational for Alice. FROM JACK: Thanks for the recall of "Through the Looking Glass," by Lewis Carroll. The looking glass (mirror) shows things in a reverse way. In the book, there are occasions when time runs backward. How would you like it if you could make time move backward? Are there changes that you would make, or would you just sit there and look? MORE FROM JON: I am sure in my "humanness" I would often want to change things. But pondering how you would change things is a time waster I already do enough of. And what of all the unintended consequences? Perhaps we should leave it to God. FROM JACK: I'm reminded of the song by The Beatles...
When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be. Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Teachers (starting with my father, who was a teacher) opened windows of learning for me too. And there are teachers these days committed to expanding their students' minds. Unfortunately they have to spend too much time "baby sitting" and counseling those who are distracted by other things. So much opportunity is being wasted as students drop out of school, giving up on one of our "American ideals". While the windows are opened to help them, too many young people are heading for the doors. FROM JACK: ....the windows are open, but too many students are heading out the doors. Sad, but true. Maybe it's always been that way. Being a teacher can be frustrating because of wasted opportunities. Having said this, remember that the farmer sows the seed, knowing that some will fall on the rocky ground where it will waste away; but that which falls on the good soil will take root and bear much fruit. MORE FROM RI: Your words are relevant and convincing. When I was teaching at U of M, I witnessed just what you're saying. Each year as the term progressed I could see a few students giving attention and "catching on" and ending the year quite accomplished, while more students just did what was necessary to complete the projects and went away with a fraction of what could have been achieved, and there were a few who simply dropped the course.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: And that is what is so great about being both a student and a teacher. I learned a long time ago that you learn a lot more as a teacher than as a student, and that you are never too old to keep on learning about this marvelous and ever-changing world in some respects in which we live. FROM JACK: We never graduate, do we? That's so in the "religion business," too...or at least it ought to be.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: What does this mean to you. I liked it on it's face but got to wondering… is it that you're not reflecting only on and with yourself but outward? FROM JACK: It is what it is! You can make it say what you want it to say. In my case, I chose it because, in my mind it describes two different teaching where the teacher expects the student to reflect back what the teacher has said...the other where the teacher challenges the student to look beyond what the teacher has said. I think that education ought to be one of challenge. A case can be made for the reflection response to education, where the student goes out an reflects to others what has been learned. What I like to do with Winning Words is to open windows, to cause the readers to wonder and move beyond the obvious you have done.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I always read his articles as I enjoyed his insight. I also don't think education is solely to open windows, but a large part. Education seems be so vastly different from my days....which is why Kimberly is home-schooling both boys. This is their second year and she work through a Christian curriculum. Noah is in 1st grade and Joshua in 5th. They love it and have bloomed so much with confidence and school skills. She is a great teacher and is hooked up with a wonderful guidance system. I will say, it was Josh's wonderful teachers at his elementary school who helped him and Kimberly so much. FROM JACK: Education takes many forms. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for all. Open windows are good. One minds are even better.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Winning Words 9/7/10
“God’s Little Workshop” (George Washington Carver) These words were on a sign which hung over the door to GWC’s lab. In that room he discovered over 100 uses for the peanut…gasoline, cosmetics, plastics, paints, nitroglycerin—and peanut butter. On Labor Day we observed the fact that we all find ourselves in God’s Little Workshop, doing whatever it is that we’ve been placed on earth to do. ;-) Jack

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Cool facts, Jack! Have a great day! FROM JACK: GWC is one of my favorite personalities in American history and from God's Workshop.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Happy to see you're doing what you've been placed on earth to do again today. 100 uses for the peanut--who would have ever thunk!!! I used to wear cosmetics--wonder if I've ever put a peanut on my face? Today's WW once again are a delight. Thanks!!! FROM JACK: In his day, he probably worked for "peanuts," too.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: today is our first day back to pre-school. over each classroom door our signs read, "another day in paradise". i think i've been put in the right spot. FROM JACK: "Paradise" is an interesting word. Even though I think I know what it means, I think that I'll Google it today. We used to have a movie theater in my hometown, called the Paradise. MORE FROM JACK: More on the meaning of Paradise....It's from the Persian language and means, the perfect place. It's like the Garden of Eden, like heaven. It's the counter-image of this world's miseries. Paradise is where things are positive, harmonious and timeless;
where these is peace, prosperity and happiness.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Did you know that kids can't take a peanut butter sandwich to some schools any more because so many kids are allergic to peanuts. When I heard that, i could hardly believe it. That was my lunch so often!!! FROM JACK: Like with many things, we don't pay much attention, unless it affects us directly. After my knee surgery I got a HANDICAPPED parking card. It expired last weekend. I probably could get it renewed, but I'm walking well now.

FROM MOLINER CF: God not only gave me the workshop, He gave me the tools. FROM JACK: And we need to continually remind ourselves that it's his workshop.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: It's funny that you should mention this. I always felt that my studio was God's Little Workshop (although I didn't hang a sign saying so). And now I have come to think that The Gabriel Institute (the business I am helping to build) is in the same category. Each in their own way, my glasswork and this business are ways to add some healing light in the world. FROM JACK: Maybe you should make a sign and hang it in your office. You've inspired me to have such a sign near my HP.

FROM HAWKEYE GS: I admire Mr. Carver's works. But my hero from that era is Booker T. Washington. FROM JACK: That's why they have horse races. Both are good choices. Both did interesting and worthwhile things as they labored in the Little Workshop where God put them.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Winning Words 9/3/10
“The truth is more important than the facts.” (Frank Lloyd Wright) These are some words that cause me to think. Is truth a fact? Is a fact a truth? Some questions just seem to lead to more questions. Sgt. Friday used to say, “Just the facts, maam.” But the facts don’t always tell the whole story. Ultimately, we want to get to the truth of an issue, and that can, at times, goes beyond the facts. “Just the truth, maam!” ;-) Jack

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: facts can sometimes get in way of truth. FROM JACK: Maybe Sgt Friday should have said, Just the truth, maam."

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Socrates tells us that the truth is that which corresponds with reality....the facts. The problem with facts is that often we don't have a sufficient number of them to support the conclusion to which we come. So if good old Sgt. Friday gathered a sufficient number of facts, he was zoning in on the truth. FROM JACK: "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?" Robert Browning, (line 97 from Andrea del Sarto, 1855) We should always be reaching for the truth.

FROM DRJH IN OHIO: like it! don't always think the facts come together to reveal truth... but instead are used in isolation - often to conceal truth. FROM JACK: We are a devious people, aren't we? Not always willing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: High-minded comments like Mr. Wright's may be used to defend some heavy-handed activity that a person is engaged in. I don't think Mr. Wright ever thought for a moment that he could be Mr. Wrong about his sometimes eccentric behavior. Regarding facts and truth, I'm reminded of the film A Few Good Men where Col. Jessup says, "You can't handle the truth!" Oh yeah? FROM JACK: I thought that you'd like that FLW quote. I, too, have that image of him as never seeing himself as "Mr Wrong." But that doesn't mean that we ARE as others see us.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Reminds me of a my favorite Bill Clinton answer when asked directly about something he did. He said, "I'll be able to answer more fully once I know what the facts are." Classic. FROM JACK: Bill is the "consummate" politician. Since we never know all of the facts, we never get all of the truth. Blah, blah, blah. But that doesn't mean that we, like Diogenes, should stop searching.

FROM RG IN MICHIGAN: For me, the awareness of what is "real" from what is "True" seems even more significant. I'm not sure if there are any "facts" at all ... they seem to continually change! FROM JACK: I'm not so sure that facts change. What is, is! What changes is how we look at the facts. Truth is the ultimate, and to find it is a never-ending search. We should not be afraid of change, as we pursue the truth.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: A person's whole life in some relationships can be spent discerning where facts are being shared and where truth is being shared. I'm thinking about the issue of boundaries and where some people state facts that cause a divide when they really are ambivalent of being close. Sometimes people start arguing about what is black and what is white when the truth is beyond the facts but more exactly in their feelings for each other. Frank Lloyd Wright said an interesting thing here and glad you are sharing it. Wonder how much arguing there would have been if we had been able to know each other personally. FROM JACK: The Sioux Indian Prayer is right: "Great Spirit, help me to never judge another until I have walked in his moccasins for two weeks."

FROM SG IN MICHIGAN: Here are some funny truths:
Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
Bad decisions make good stories.
I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front.
FROM JACK: To readers of Winning Words....You should read some that I chose not to include.

FROM MOLINER CF: Facts and truths go hand in hand. As Sinatra once sang, "You can't have one without the other." FROM JACK: Both are in the eye of the beholder. I had an aunt who didn't like Sinatra. She called him, "Snotra."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I'll take the truth over facts any day. FROM JACK: Is there a choice?

FROM DRLP IN MICHIGAN: Facts are the evidence. They must be pieced together to get a peek at the truth. FROM JACK: Who is it that determines the validity of each? Are either objective or subjective? Now, there's a philosophical question for a Friday. MORE FROM LP: Not philosophical... scientific. Think about medical studies and diagnostic tests. Your PSA measurement is a fact. But, it is only one piece of evidence toward the truth of whether or not you have prostate cancer. Sensitivity, specificity, validity, accuracy, precision... this is why statisticians have jobs. FROM JACK: Statisticians have jobs. Philosophers don't really have jobs, unless raising questions...and more questions, is a job.

FROM HAWKEYE GS: There are some 17,000 nonverbal means of communication. When you want the truth from someone, you can best do it in person and observe their whole body. FROM JACK: 17,000? If you say so. The truth is that you can tell some things about people by observing the body language. That's why there is such a thing as judging. What is true and what is false?

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: "and that's the truth", says edith ann. FROM JACK: And "snort, snort," goes Ernestine.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Winning Words 9/2/10
“Golf without bunkers and hazards would be tame and monotonous. So would life.” (B.C. Forbes) The recent PGA golf tournament was played on Whistling Straits which has 967 bunkers. Dustin Johnson thought that there were 966, which cost him a two-stroke penalty. That’s one of the hazards of golf. Life has its hazards, too, which can lead to frustration and excitement. How else is golf like life? ;-) Jack

FROM DR IN MICHIGAN: I like this one! I'm going to share this one with friends. FROM JACK: Do you remember the game, "Pass it on?" Pass it on!

FROM MOLINER CF: Golf spelled backwards is "Flog".And a lot of people flog through life for lack of focus. FROM JACK: In golf, I've seen a lot of people flogging the ball. MORE FROM CF: Isn't it odd that golf is the only game in the world where you try to get a low score? What devious mind dreamed that one up?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: From a family of golfers...Gary, Neil, Andy, Jess, Joshua (11) on a church team, and Noah who is just starting out, life is a lot like golf for me. It has a lot of hazards and a lot of missed holes, but ya just gotta play the game of life for the fun of it. FROM JACK: I don't see your name on the list. Men only?

FROM PRGC IN SAN DIEGO: One of the persons who did not make the playoffs that day was Zach Johnson. He finished one stroke behind the twosome who made the play-off hole where it was decided by a birdie. Dustin Johnson ended up one stroke behind Zach...I think. Whatever, Zach hails from Cedar Rapids, IA and worked at the CR Country Club as a youth. And would you believe your friend, Jorge, was the CRCC club handicap match-play champion in 1973...I think that was the date. Whatever...Zach is fine young man. Hope he will
make the Ryder Cup again. Will know in a day or two. Small world, don't you think. Go hit a few white balls, Jack. You will like it. You were always athletic. FROM JACK: In an act of generosity (and frustration) i gave my golf bag and clubs to the church rummage sale. I am now a commentator regarding the sport. I still look at my hole-in-one card once in a while.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Expect the unexpected. By the way, that Whistler's course reminded me in some ways of the Indian Bluffs course up and down hills near Milan or the airport. It wasn't quite as rugged as Whistlers but it was fun to play. FROM JACK: Indian Bluff is where I first played the game. I also played at Saukie... sometimes when the sun was just coming up and the heavy dew caused my ball to leave a "rooster tail" as it scooted along the ground. It was in Moline where I learned the meaning of the word, MULLIGAN!

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Most of us willing settle for a bogey as we play life's courses. FROM JACK: I remember when playing "bogey-golf" for a round was satisfying for me. I never thought that I was perfect.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Golf is one game where you can see the walkers and the drivers. I mean the people on foot and the people riding around on wheels. Those spinning wheels in Revelation and also that hymn "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" always remind me of how contemporary wheels were back then but Jesus was a walker and also a boat rider. He might have enjoyed golf. Wonder whether he would have been a walker or a rider. FROM JACK: You're pretty clever today. Jesus went to a wedding, and he hung out with some sinners. I guess he'd go to a golf course, too. Groucho Marx said that he'd never join a country club that would have him as a member.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: Golf is like life, as it is one game without any opponent - if things don't go well, you can't blame other people for you choose the club and swing the club! FROM JACK: What do you mean, No opponent? I wanted to beat my playing partner (a UCC pastor) soooooooooo bad. I was glad he was playing with me when I aced a hole. One time he hooked a drive and blamed the club. He threw it in the air, and it stuck high up in a fir tree. But, we had fun and lots of laughs.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Winning Words 9/1/30
“Deus caritas est.” (1 John 4:8) “God is love,” is the translation. It wasn’t until I got into college that I took a year of Latin. The professor was good, and what I learned has helped me to understand other things, besides Latin. “Caritas” is the Latin word for divine love, contrasted with “amore,” which is human love. If you get the chance, Google the reference, 1 John 4:8, for the real translation. ;-) Jack

ORE LATIN FROM JACK: alis grave nil nothing [is] heavy with wings Or "nothing is heavy to those who have wings".

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Verits Vos Liberarbit FROM JACK: What is truth? MORE FROM JON: Sorry it is VERITAS VOS LIBERABIT had one too many “r’s” Had to go look at one of my carved in stone sayings. FROM JACK: Truth is admitting a mistake.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Nice, thank you FROM JACK: You are probably reading this on "company time." neglegenter operor!

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: I was required to take two years of Latin in high school. It really helped me become a better writer and gave me a better understanding of the English language since so many of our words have a Latin origin. I had a very good teacher as well. FROM JACK: A friend of mine has the Latin words, "ANCORA IMPARO" etched in a stone which is in the brick wall by his garage door. The translation is: "I am still learning." I try to make that my motto, too.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: Sister Caritas taught chemistry in the high school I attended. We studied Latin for three years and I studied for another year in college. I am a fairly good speller because of those classes. FROM JACK: "Caritas," what a nice name. Do the nuns get to pick their own names, or are they assigned?

FROM INDY GENIE: My mom insisted that we all take Latin in high school....she loved Latin. I'm with you, I've benefited from those Latin classes in many ways. Once again, mom knew what she was doing! FROM JACK: Mom's know best! ...usually.