Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winning Words 11/30/10
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” (Reinhold Niebuhr) This AA Serenity Prayer was quoted by Dear Abby in advice to someone who wanted to know how to handle a Thanksgiving conflict when relatives get together. It’s not always a smooth ride to grandmother’s house. ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: That closing comment is so true. It's very easy to picture visits to grandmother's house the way Anna Mary Robertson Moses painted them years ago. In reality family get-togethers often become tense situations when people won't "let sleeping dogs lie." This recent Thanksgiving we witnessed such conflict. Too often we want change in others when we should consider changing ourselves. (I plead guilty.) FROM JACK: Once in a while Dear Abby gives some pretty good advice...as in this case.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: My favorite theologian political scientist. He had the insight to see things were tinged with original sin. We seem to have forgotten that in recent times. FROM JACK: Niebuhr's theological concept, "Utopianism is useless in dealing with reality," certainly seems to fit with today's message.

FROM JLF IN MICHIGAN: I remember that quote! FROM JACK: It's good to remember things; it's even better when we can adapt them to our life.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Our Pastor just spent 3 weeks with us in Bible study exploring the first 3 steps of the AA 12-step program. We all decided each of us has some sort of addiction or compulsion and need to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. We understood Romans 7:10-20 more after all of our discussion and we realized issues of trying to control things better, in families and churches, every institution people can fight over who's in control when it ought to be first and foremost God. But easier said than done. Thanks for your WW--they are very timely again. FROM JACK: Sometimes we act more like the "Pharisee" than like the "publican." I remember this biblical verse: "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

FROM MOLINER AE: Wisdom comes from you daily with our thanksgiving. I hope recipients check your Blog, to find Gems so priceless. FROM JACK: I don't know if they're "priceless," but I like to think that they're worth something. WWs is meant to elicit responses from the readers...either written, or simply to get the mind to think about the quote and what it means to them. MORE FROM AE: I read every one and to me they're beyond any price, they are Gems, you know like Diamonds, Rubys, and Collector items that everyone keeps and displays to only the ones who are interested. That's what Swedes call priceless.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I guess it depends on the grandma! It's a smooth ride here! The Serenity Prayer has been a favorite of ours for years and years. It's good to see it in your Winning Words as it is a great reminder of what we can and should do. FROM JACK: I have a book of contemporary prayers, one of which tells of being in bumper to bumper traffic and praying to God for an open and a smooth road. It ends with the words, "Jesus, thanks for sweating it out with me out here on this highway." Let's be thankful for the smooth roads, and let's be empathetic for those must travel the roads that aren't so nice.

FROM MOLINER CF: I think this one is a "keeper." FROM JACK: Thanks to the computer's memory, there are many keepers...some are better than others. Occasionally, when I have nothing better to do, I go back and reread some of them. For example: Jack’s Winning Words 1/7/09 “Life is like a trumpet. If you don’t put anything into it, you don’t get anything out of it.” (W. C. Handy) Handy knew life, the trumpet and music. You get out of it what you put into it. He bought his first horn when he was a teenager. At one time, he was director of The Alabama Agriculture & Mechanical College Band. He wrote Yellow Dog Blues, Beale Street Blues and the famous St. Louis Blues. Louis Armstrong, Elvis, Pearl Bailey, Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald and many other greats put life into his music. He’s even mentioned in the movie, The Music Man. Re-read today’s quote. ;-) Jack

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: and did you know there is more to the prayer than just this? i can't quote it right now but i do know there is more than just these memorable lines... FROM JACK: Thanks for the reminder.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next. Amen."

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Our family has always marveled at how well we all get along, and what great fun we have playing games, etc. when we all gather. We are so fortunate!! One of Jan's girls married a Jewish (not practicing, really) Doctor, whose family were constantly at odds: this one not speaking to that one, hurt feelings, etc. Debbie said it was like walking on eggshells when they were together with his family. This old saying has served many well! FROM JACK: Another reason to be thankful. I think it was Jimmy Durante who used to say: "I gotta million of 'em."

FROM JT IN MINNESOTA: I use this prayer each time we conclude our support group. I run a support group for caregivers of persons with dementia. FROM JACK: That support group program sounds like something very worthwhile. Ministry is not only done by pastors.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: I know I am rich. The young grandchildren talk about rich and I tell them we are rich - family and friends. How blessed we are. Kids are not so interested but we all know we are rich when we have our health or enough to get up each day. FROM JACK: ...and you have shared your riches through the years. This world is a better place because of what you have done.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Winning Words 11/29/10
“Start everyday off with a smile. At least it’s a good start.” (Fortune Cookie) On Thanksgiving Eve we ate Chinese. Go figure. My fortune cookie contained today’s quote. It’s pretty good advice, especially as a new week begins. TGIM. It’s a new week with new opportunities awaiting us. Some have noticed that as I conclude my daily message, I do so with a smile and a wink. ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: The week begins on SUNDAY....check out the calendar. FROM JACK: For people who go to "work," it begins on Monday. Retirees can choose whatever day they want.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It is a brand new week with a brand new beginning. A new start to a new day. Why not smile? Amen and Amen! FROM JACK: It seems like you wrote AMEN with a smile.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: So now we know at least one source where you get your Winning Words, smile, smile. The mystery is only partially solved though lol. You've gotten us off to a pretty good start to this week. wink, wink. FROM JACK: Last week I got an envelope full of suggested WWs from JK IN MICHIGAN.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: "i have something in my pocket. it belongs across my face. i keep it very close to me in a most convenient place. i know you'll never guess it if you guess a long, long while. i'll take it out and put it on. it's a great big happy,(or brownie), smile!" i learned this song in brownie girl scouting. it has stuck with me a longggggg time. FROM JACK: Our minds are full of many good things, because someone took the time to teach them to us.....like you are doing each day for the little ones in your school.

FROM MOLINER CF: Ever notice how many "Fortune Cookies" do not tell fortunes but are proverbial? The HyVee fortune cookies also gives the definition and pronunciation of a Chinese word. Trouble is, they don't tell which dialect. I wonder if they say "you-all" in southern China. FROM JACK: On one side of mine is some Chinese writing. Maybe that tells my fortune. There is also a listing of my lucky numbers: 5, 41, 55, 11, 4, 9. I should go back and see if they were the lottery winners for that day.

FROM NFC IN ILLINOIS: Your talk about fortune cookies reminds me of when I took our mother to one of our lunch bunch meetings. She loved to go to the Chinese restaurant, and the fortune cookies were especially fun. One of hers read, "You will live a long life." That was at 101 years! We all enjoyed that. FROM JACK: And she lived to be 102. That's a long life. Those fortune cookies can be right.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: You are always thinking . . . which makes me smile FROM JACK: Writing WWs and answering on the blog makes me happy...and sometimes I even smile...like NOW!

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: A smile is the universal language! "The best face lift is a smile...". To instantly improve your appearance, smile, etc. etc. You can even tell when someone answers the phone with a smile...here's to starting our days off right! :-) FROM JACK:
So, let the sun shine in, face it with a grin Smilers never lose and frowners never win
So, let the sun shine in, face it with a grin Open up your heart and let the sun shine in

Friday, November 26, 2010

Winning Words 11/26/10
“You have really succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” (Vernon Howard) Today is known in the retail world as “Black Friday,” when many businesses hope to end the year in the “black,” because of anticipated sales. VH’s words are meant to cause us to reflect on “What is it that we really need?” In the movie, The Jerk, all that Navin needs is “this ashtray, paddleball, remote control, matches, lamp, magazine, chair and this dog.” What is it that you really need? ;-) Jack

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: You remind me of Clint Eastwood's "confession" in Gran Torino. Did you see it? FROM JACK: I remind you of Clint Eastwood? Thanks. You remind me of Woody Allen.

FROM TS IN INDIANA: Your messages are always a very warm welcome to the day. We are both early birds. I hope you and Mary enjoyed a beautiful Thanksgiving with your family. Ours was here in Fishers, Indiana, with our family. What a wonderful time to remember as a family God's great blessings to us all. FROM JACK: There were 13 of us around the table, including 4 who came from Minnesota. We need more than one day a year to remind us of our many God-given blessings.

FROM YOOPER PO: Good health (which, thankfully, I again have). There's not a 'bargain' big enough to get me anywhere near a store today! FROM JACK: When you've got your health, who needs a paddleball or a remote control?

FROM SH IN BATON ROUGE: I really need purpose which thankfully I have been shown that I have and I hope that lasts even through my old age when I am just reposing on my bed ready to take my last breath.
Live to the Lord and die to the Lord, that's all I want. FROM JACK: Many things would be different if we knew when that last breath would be taken.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: all I really need is Jack Freed and his winning words FROM JACK: Don't you need that paddleball, the chair and the remote control? MORE FROM CL: I suppose at least the chair and the remote FROM JACK: And you don't need the ashtray anymore, either.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I may be a "jerk," but I think Navin has some good ideas there! Hope you are having a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend. FROM JACK: I thought there were some interesting points that were made in The Jerk. Navin wasn't such a jerk after all. And, we are having a great Thanksgiving.

FROM JB IN WISCONSIN: Thanks for the good words and the reminder of a funny movie! FROM JACK: As with most well-made comedies, there's a message in the madness.

FROM MOLINER CF: Some of the stuff I think I really need may be things I really just want. Weed 'em out by asking, "Can I really do without it?" FROM JACK: Did you ever see the movie, "Down and Out in Beverly Hills?" You could play Nick Nolte's part and see how long you'd last. I'd pay to see you in the movies...at least in that one.

FROM DREM IN MICHIGAN: "And I don't need one other thing, except my dog." (Navin Johnson) I am intentionally staying out of the stores today and spending it with my family. Great movie by the way. Great quote Jack! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. FROM JACK: I know people who were standing at the mall door at 4 am, and enjoying it. Not for me.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: "all you need is love, ba-da-da-da-dum"... FROM JACK: Yes, love is a many splendored thing.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: also, a good quote for a stewardship sermon. God will meet our needs (food, clothing, shelter) but not all our greeds. FROM JACK: I'll bet that you can find a sermon in every quote. For example: How about this quote? "It ain't no sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long
as you don't break any." How about this quote? It ain't no sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don't break any. (Mae West)

FROM BG IN SAN DIEGO: I want to thank you for all your winning words. I look forward to starting my days with your meaningful messages. I used these words as part of my prayer yesterday. We had many friends over to our place here in San Diego. Those of us who don't have family close by all came together to enjoy each others company. I hope you had a great day. FROM JACK: We used that prayer, too. It just seemed right. There were 13 of us.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: I want the energy to clean my oven. It is self-cleaning but the racks must come out and some parts need special attention. Well, I did it and read in between. What a great day. FROM JACK: When Mary was growing up, her mother cooked on a wood burning stove, and it wasn't self-cleaning. You had to carry in the wood and carry out the ashes, and no time for reading.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I NEED nothing...want is another matter! My daughter, dau-in-laws, granddaughters all helped on Black Friday in Springfield...I do not shop on the day after T.Giving...too busy picking up the pieces here, and getting the evening meal (and games) ready for Friday night. My husband's favorite saying is featured on our refrigerator, "WANT WHAT YOU HAVE, AND YOU'LL ALWAYS HAVE WHAT YOU WANT"...It has helped me many times. :-) Not to covet, or buy unnecessarily. I tend to spend it, it I have the money. He was a saver. Which of course is why we have a nice home on the lake, decent car, etc..etc...However, as we age and are more aware of the conditions in other parts of the world, we realize how very rich we are, and priorities change. (Hopefullyl) I always think now, "I'm 80 yrs. old...how long would I use this anyway, if I bought it?" Ha! Anyway, a good saying. May we keep it ever in mind! FROM JACK: I'm not so sure that many readers of WWs bother to read the blog, so I might be using Bill's refrigerator saying as Winning Words one of these days.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Winning Words 11/24/10
“O Lord, we thank thee for this food, For every blessing, every good. For earthly sustenance and love Bestowed on us from heaven above.” (Quoted by Garrison Keillor) Tomorrow many folks will gather around the table for a Thanksgiving dinner. Large group, or small, the words quoted by Keillor are appropriate to be used as a table prayer. We might do that at our house. ;-) Jack

FROM SL IN MICHIGAN: Blessings to you and yours in this wonderful season of "Thanks". I am thankful for you and your wisdom. I look forward each day to your little pearls of wisdom. FROM JACK: I'm thankful for my many "cyber-space" friends. The daily contact starts me off on the right foot.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your family, Jack. And thanks for all of your WW through all of the years. FROM JACK: Not only was there frost on the pumpkin. There was also frost opn the car which was left outside last night. Do you remember frost?

FROM YOOPER PO: Lovely --- thank you for sharing and have a blessed Thanksgiving. (One of the things I'm grateful for is WW). FROM JACK: Do you serve turkey pasties on Thanksgiving?

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: Happy Thanksgiving, Jack! I am thankful for your wisdom, humor and compassion -- and for winning words! FROM JACK: Winning Words is my pleasure.

FROM TB OBSERVING THANKSGIVING IN CHICAGO: Thanks for the new table prayer. FROM JACK: Let me know if you use it.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: we have as long as i can remember hold hands around the table and sing, "be present at our table lord", in three, four, five...part harmony. can't you just hear it? FROM JACK: Tomorrow there we be 13 of us at the table. There will be name card for each with a number on each, from 1 to 13. Slips of paper, 1-to 13, will be in a hat. The slips will be drawn out one at a time. The last number drawn is the person to read the Winning Words prayer.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winning Words 11/23/10
“I will see it when I believe it.” (Dr Wayne Dyer) This is one quote that you might have to read twice in order to “see” it. In the comics, when someone gets the point, the artist draws a light bulb above the character. I know more about things “religious,” because Sunday School teachers and professors put light bulbs above my head. Think of some moments when you “saw the light,”. ;-) Jack

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Love it!! This is one of my favorites--i just didn't know who said it! FROM JACK: Dyer usually comes up with thought-provoking comments.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: What an interesting comment. I think his belief in God is a lot different than mine. But I love the comment. I'll ponder it some today! FROM JACK: God has a relationship with each of his creations. It would surprise me if "one size fits all."

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I remember saying once "I asked for proof that I might have faith, I was given faith that I would need no proof." FROM JACK: I quoted a seminary professor before on this subject: "You can't find God at the end of a logical syllogism."

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: So true. Way back in 1970, shortly before a friend and I founded the glass studio, I did extensive reading on the history of stained glass. One book in particular, called 'Adventures in Light and Color' by Charles Connick, made me believe that organizing light and color--through design and symbolic representation--can have a beneficial impact on mind and spirit. I feel that this is why I 'saw' the many opportunities that eventually led me to making artwork for places of worship. FROM JACK: This exemplified by the beautiful art glass windows that you designed for Holy Spirit Lutheran Church. The DOVE window is one where you have to believe it before you "see" it.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: if only we'd open our eyes... FROM JACK: "If only..." precedes many decisions in life; thankfully, most of us (with God's guidance) have made some good choices.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: i have often used this quote to explain the nature of faith. there are simply some things in life that we will never "see" until we first take that leap of faith and believe, as best we are able. FROM JACK: Some people approach a Bible Study in similar fashion. They are fearful of what they might "see." Others are excited and interested in new vistas. The teacher's task is interesting, to say the least.

FROM LK IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: Whether it be in scenic beauty, new and ongoing relationships, through the eyes of street people you and I encounter, volunteering in the cancer community, indeed, God showers blessing after blessing, continually transforming His creation, including yours truly. He always brings me safely to way station after way station, so to speak. I am one of the most blessed imaginable.........your friendship, Jack, is an unwavering part of this blessing. The WINNING WORDS you have shared with your
friends daily for so many years now remain a source of growth and encouragement. Just marvelous of you to keep this up. I likely speak for us all in sharing our gratitude, at Thanksgiving, and always.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I did have to read that one twice! Good quote! FROM JACK: I suggested reading it twice, because in this fast-paced world, we sometimes miss some things, written, spoken or happening.

FROM CC IN MICHIGAN: I enjoy you winning words, they cause me to get up, dress up and show up. FROM JACK: When I send out WWs in the early AM, I think of those who are receiving them. I hope that they "mean" something to someone. At least, I enjoy the experience. The first step is to choose something that I think is worthwhile. It's like the sower in the Bible. He throws out the seed. Some falls on rocks; some falls among weeds; and some falls on good soil and bears fruit.

FROM MOLINER CF: Had an artist once who was prone to staring at his drawing board for great periods of time. One time I got impatient and asKed him what he was doing. "Thinking", he replied. To which I responded, "It's time you thought about getting the job done. " The lIght bulb went on and no more daydreaming. Sometimes people mistake daydreaming for thinking. FROM JACK: The manager (boss) has to be perceptive enough to know the difference. Some companies don't need the perfect idea. For the bottom line, "close is good enough."

FROM IE IN MICHIGAN: Another "spin" on this quotation: "The next worst thing to a blind believer is a seeing denier."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Winning Words 11/22/10
“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.” (Lorraine Hansberry) There was a time when the President of GM hired someone whose job was…to think. That’s right! Every day he’d just “think” and come up with ideas. I’ve found that some very good problem solutions have come to me when I just sat and let my mind work. It’s mysterious. The trouble is that often we don’t have time for it. ;-) Jack.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My thinking usually turns into praying. It's hard for me to turn off my thought process and it drives me crazy sometimes. Thinking clears the mind. It would be nice to be paid to just think but I'm sure I would have problems thinking of certain ideas. I love to listen to others thoughts also. FROM JACK: During the thinking process I keep a pad of paper and a pen beside me in order to jot down ideas as they come. Afterward there's a sorting sorting out.....looking for the wheat among the chaff.

FROM IE IN MICHIGAN: The motivational speaker Zig Ziegler has actually recommended that everyone pick a "peaceful" section in one's home and place a comfortable "Thinking Chair" to create an appropriate mood as you sit in the chair & of course to use it daily at a set time.. FROM JACK: I used to have a teacher who would say, "Put on your thinking cap." I wonder if Zig had a thinking cap beside his thinking chair. Ziegler's ideas are usually good ones.

FROM MOLINER CF: What do you think about when you just sit and think? Do you spend too much time thinking about what to think about? Or don't you think about that? I'd like to know what you think about this thought. FROM JACK: I usually have a particular subject or problem that guides the thinking process, but sometimes I let my mind wander. It's surprising, what's discovered along the way. The slogan "WHAT IF...." located beside my computer is a thought guide also.
MORE FROM CF: How do you think Edison thought of developing the light bulb? Something to think about. FROM JACK: Edison said: "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration." This seems to indicate that he was thinking 1% of the time.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: This reminds me of the "Listening Prayer" concept... I have this tiny little book that provides the basic explanation of it and many examples of its successful use, but in a nutshell, alone or with a group of people, one prays to the Holy Spirit the scripture (not sure exactly where passage is located off-hand) that asks the Lord to take captive every thought of one's own, so one's own thoughts don't contaminate the process. Then one prays scripture that the Holy Spirit will bind satan and all his demons such that they are also unable to contaminate the process by placing negative thoughts into one's mind... Then one prays for the insights being sought and sits and waits, pen and paper in hand, to hear from the Lord. I've had some amazing revelations from this process. Waiting on the Lord--it's worth the wait!! FROM JACK: I haven't heard of this before, but I guess that's why inspiration is called "IN"spiration. God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform.

FROM MOLINER TG: The story, as I've heard it told several times, was the first Henry Ford came up with the "thinker" job. As his company was soaring after the introduction of the assembly line and the $5 a day wage, a person interviewing Ford was being escorted around the factory and came across a man alone in a bare office when Ford made the comment that the man was just hired to "think". There was also Tom Watson Sr. the founder of IBM who has signs all around the company that said just "think". FROM JACK: Ford, IBM and GM have been successful to the extent that they wanted employees to THINK. I know I've told you before what I. B. Gilbert taught me...and it bears repeating: "Though man a thinking being is defined, Few use the grand prerogative of mind. How few think justly of the thinking few! How many never think, who think they do!" (Jane Taylor)


FROM NL IN INDIANA/FLORIDA: More people should do this before they open their mouths.

FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO: When I do this I fall asleep and out of the chair. How do U spell broken arm? Lots of Luv.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winning Words 11/19/10
“God works in moments.” (French Proverb) People, through the ages, have been intrigued about “What happens at death?” The Bible simply says that we shall be changed, “in the twinkling of an eye.” A “blink” is a billionth of a second, and a twink is much faster than that…which is to say, that life can be changed for us in twinkling moments. I believe that God is in those twinks. ;-) Jack

FROM GF IN MICHIGAN: Me too FROM JACK: To celebrate this thought, I'm thinking of eating a couple "Twinkies" today.

FROM FRTW IN MICHIGAN: I was just particularly touched by this meditation. Thank you FROM JACK: I think that most of us have had those "twinkling" moments when God has boldly appeared. We need to remind ourselves that God is always beside us, even when we think that we are alone.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Where would we be if we didn't believe that God is there in everything that happens? and even the stuff that doesn't. FROM JACK: Where would we be? We'd be like many lonely, discouraged, frustrated and negative people living out there in God's world, oblivious to his presence.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Winning Words 11/18/10
“Kind words are the music of the world. They have a power…as if they were some angel’s song.” (F.W. Faber) When I studied Greek in college, one of the first words that I learned was, angelos, which means, “a messenger.” Angels have come to mean, “God’s messengers.” Dale Evans wrote a book, “Angel Unaware,” illustrating that “messengers from God” can appear in strange and unexpected ways. ;-) Jack

FROM BC IN MICHIGAN:Angelos is the name of Kappa Delta's magazine. Just got it yesterday! I never knew that's what it meant. FROM JACK: It makes sense. The magazine carries messages about the KDs.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Kind words and compliments are always long remembered. (Of course so are criticisms, especially unwarranted ones...) which I guess proves the point of your winning words: Heaven's messengers bear kind words and deeds! Good thought to hold today.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: didn't Roy write a book about how he loved Trigger more than Dale?? or did i just dream that?? FROM JACK: I think that you were having a night mare.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winning Words 11/17/10
“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking
obstacles before they triumphed. They refused to become discouraged by their defeats.”
(B.C. Forbes) Forbes magazine usually has a list of quotes on the last page of each edition. Today’s words are directed toward those of us who have encountered obstacles in life…Thomas Edison, Babe Ruth and Helen Keller, to name a few. Don’t give up. All is not lost. ;-) Jack

FROM: PK IN MINNESOTA: Thanks for your WW today! synchronistic... FROM JACK: It's amazing that, without prior knowledge of situations, things seem to fit. Some would call it "The Twilight Zone," but I would see it as more of a spirtiual intervention.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: When I was watching my Dad shave as a youngster, he told me, "A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins." (Grantland Rice) It's been with me for over 60 years. FROM JACK: A famous quote, but one that has added meaning, because it came to you from your dad. Father's Day can happen at other times, besides in June.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: "They refused to become discouraged by their defeats." That quote rings true for me because it was exemplified by my father. He was a remarkable man, a role model who demonstrated for me that you don't give up in the face of obstacles. He was so influential, and still is as I reflect on how he guided my life. FROM JACK: It's good to have those who tell us what to do, but it's more important for them to show us what to do. Jesus came, not just to "tell about God," but to show, by example, what God would have his people do and be.

FROM MOLINER CF: "It ain't over 'til it's over." - YB FROM JACK: "The days dwindle down, to a precious few...." You know that song, don't you? I like the Jimmy Durante version...Very poignant!

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Those who persevere TO THE END shall be saved! I'm sure that the winners gained determination and strength from their setbacks. I seem to recall the story of Wilma Rudolph who was burned so badly as a toddler, that the DR. said she would never walk, much less run. Despite her injuries, she became a world champion runner. So many inspirations like that. Should inspire us all to keep on going,...and going...and going! (pant! pant! pant!) Hanging in there

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winning Words 11/16/10
“Where there is love, there is pain.” (Spanish Proverb) “Heartache” is a term often used to describe mental and physical symptoms associated with falling in (or out of) love. Psychiatrists might call it something else, but those who have experienced it, probably know that heartache describes it best. You might be able to Google one of my favorites: “Heartaches,” whistled by Elmo Tanner. ;-) Jack

FROM BC IN MICHIGAN: I listened to/found him whistling. Joe called down the stairs in a confused tone, Mom is that you??? Or the computer? How funny. He couldn't figure it out. He thought for a second it was me whistling along to the music! Ha. Wow though. That Elmo was a great whistler. He sounded like a bird! FROM JACK: It seems that whistling has become a lost art. Do you remember Whistler's Mother?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Haven't checked out Tanner yet but will soon. We were never promised love with out sorrow, life without pain...but love does cover all pain in the end. It's God's promise. FROM JACK: I promise that you will enjoy Elmo's whistling on the video. You might even tap your foot to the music. MORE FROM JUDY: I notice the Winning Words have been about heartbreak. Most, if not all of us have had heartbreaks in our lives. We do survive, even if we don't want to. God gives us the strength to handle what we need to handle. When I look at my own heartbreaks....it's amazing how I got through...only by the grace of God. FROM JACK: I think heartache is different that heartbreak. What do you think?

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I suppose those who love are vulnerable, because they care so much! I feel I have been inordinately lucky in the love category, but of course then there is the pain of separation! And the anxiety as our children, friends and close relatives go through the bumps of life...I would guess this Spanish saying has a lot of truth in it, but who wants to live without LOVE??! A Pain-free, but sterile life? Quite possibly, NO ONE...! FROM JACK: I've read that when engineers design roads, they try to avoid making them with long, straight smooth stretches. Not only are they boring, but they are also dangerous, because they tend to put people to sleep.

FROM MOLINER CF: How about the Mills Brothers' "I love you so much it hurts me." FROM JACK: I went back and listened to their version on U-Tube. I listened to several others, including Patsy Cline. The tune really does have a mournful and hurtful quality to it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Winning Words 11/15/10
“A smile is the shortest distance between two people.” (Victor Borge) VB was a classical pianist before he gave it up for stand-up comedy, using the piano as a prop. He put smiles on the faces of many people, including mine. A lot of songs have “smile” as a theme. Do you remember: “When you’re smilin’, the whole world smiles with you?” Do you have a favorite “smile” song? ;-) Jack

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: As a kid, I loved watching Victor Borge. What a genius! FROM JACK: Even though I saw some of the skits repeated, they always seemed to bring a smile to my face.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: makes me feel close to you! i'm smiling too. FROM JACK: That reminds me of a saying that my Aunt Nell would use: "He's smiling like a cat eating soap." Can't you just picture it?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Surprisingly, one of mine is Mack the Knife. It was popular when I was at Iowa in engineering - used to go to a local coffee shop and hear the song. But now I play a Bobby Darin hit, Beyong the Sea. FROM JACK: Good songs, but I'll have to check to see if there's a smile in them. Perhaps the smile is on your face when you hear them.

FROM JN IN MICHIGAN: My favorite Victor Borge recollection is from his appearance at the Fox Theater when he paused early in his performance as a couple walked to their third-row middle seats. He asked them where they were from and when they replied Grand Rapids, he said, "I'm from Denmark and I got here on time!" My favorite and bittersweet "smile" song has the line "Smile though your heart is breaking . . . ." FROM JACK: Your favorite smile song is from a Charlie Chaplin movie where he reaches over to softly move a sad girl's lips from being down-turned into a smile...as the song is played. We've all had those moments.

FROM MOLINER CF: She's 17 Diana Vickers - Smile X Factor 2008 Live Show 3 (Google it) FROM JACK: While Simon Cowell liked the rendition, I personally think that it lacks the poignancy of the Chaplin version. To make it work, there needs to be that "conflict" between being sad and trying to smile at the same time. This comment is not meant to take away from Diana's singing. MORE FROM CF: Good point. But she's just quirky enough to be different...and so was Chaplin.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: So true. I use this daily and most always works. It's irresistible--like the wagging of a dogs tale. A smile is one of the few free things you can give away that adds to your wealth and psyche as you give. FROM JACK: This world could use more smiling. As a song-writer, that's an idea for you to use.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: "There are Smiles that make you happy..." SMILE while your heart is aching, Smile Tho your heart is breaking..." "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure 'tis like a morn in Spring..." Ay, yes, the most effective face-lift IS a smile! When I traveled, I found it was the universal language! I hope we all remember how important it is to keep smiling!! (Except where it might be inappropriate...!~!) FROM JACK: "Keep smiling" reminds me of a line from another favorite SMILE song, "That's What Friends Are For." MORE FROM MO: My 8th grade chorus sang that at every graduation. We all loved it! Yes, "That's What Friends are Fir"! :-)

FROM SG IN TAMPA: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. FROM JACK: When someone is said to have a twinkle in their eyes, does that mean their eyes are smiling? Just wondering....

FROM MOLINER TG: Here are two more: Let a smile be your umbrella: and Johnny Mercer's "You smile and the angels sing" FROM JACK: Your two SMILE songs remind me that there are so many good ones. It even makes you smile to remember them. BTW, Johnny Mercer could really write good songs.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: Amazing grace. FROM JACK: Can you think of any hymns with the word, smile, in them?

FROM EKS IN MICHIGAN: I am enjoying reading your messages everyday, and I have to respond to this one, I am a songwriter, and I have written a song titled "Smile." I sing it to children as well as adults, and it does bring smiles to their faces.... FROM JACK: Perhaps you're willing to share your lyrics on the blog. The can use more smiles.

FROM MOLINE TG: Johnny Mercer did Skylark and Lazy Bones with Hoagy Carmichael. Others were Jeepers Creepers, One for My Baby, Laura, Dream, Autumn Leaves, Old Black Magic, I Remember You, Blues in the Night, Moon River, Days of Wine and Roses and many others. A very prolific song writer of very good stuff. If you haven't seen it get Clint Eastwood's "The Dreams on Me" the story of Mercer and his songs. Available on Amazon and it is excellent. FROM JACK: Thanks for the suggestion. BTW, with regard to WWs for 11/16, our mutual friend, Roy Gillen, was a very good whistler, and while he was working he sometimes would do a perfect imitation of Elmo Tanner's "Heartaches." You can Google it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Winning Words 11/12/10
“Time and health are two precious assets we don’t recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted.” (Denis Waitley) For the last couple of years, the world’s focus has been on economic issues. Real estate and investment values have plunged. I’ve heard it said more than once: “When you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.” Last week I read of a couple who won $11 million in the lottery and gave it all way. “We have our health and each other. We don’t need the money.” ;-) Jack

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: I agree...you have health...you have wealth. FROM JACK: I've read of very wealthy people saying that they would give away all they owned for a healthy body.

FROM YOOPER PO: I remember getting so impatient with my grandmother (with my vast life experience of 12 years or so!) when she repeated the "When you've got your health.................. Now from the perspective of close to 70 years and a recent serious illness, I can only apologize to Grandma and pray that she forgave me! FROM JACK: Your grandmother was once a 12-year-old, so I'm sure that she understood. Sometimes we forget that older people were not always old.

FROM DREM IN MICHIGAN: I try and tell this to my patients all the time! FROM JACK: It's as the old saying goes, "You never miss the water til the well runs dry." My exercise regimen can sometimes be a bore, but I know that without it, aches and pains can be more than boring.

FROM DS IN CALIFORNIA: This is one we all think about the older we get. Where did it all go???? FROM JACK: Hopefully, we have "golden" memories.

FROM MOLINER CF: I was sad that I had no friends until I met a man who had no money. FROM JACK: Do you remember the song, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" The song, written in 1931, asks why the men who built the nation – built the railroads, built the skyscrapers – who fought in the war (World War I), who tilled the earth, who did what their nation asked of them should, now that the work is done and their labor no longer necessary, find themselves abandoned, in bread lines.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I think everyone our age is very concerned about good health! And also about the limited time we have left to do anything we hope to accomplish. J.L.Kraft (CEO of Kraft Foods) once said, "In Youth, we spend our health to gain our wealth; In old age we spend our wealth to regain our health!" Too true for many. I too, read of that couple who gave most of their lotto winnings away. I believe they said they had taken care of their children, first. (?) Anyway, this saying holds much wisdom! FROM JACK: One of their first charities was the local fire department, and then the Salvation Army. The story didn't say anything about a Lutheran or a Baptist Church. I don't that there are many of those in Nova Scotia. And...a good quote by the cheese head. Is he from Green Bay?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Winning Words 11/11/10
“Freedom is never free.” (Unknown) How is one to figure the cost of war? It is not found by just adding up the figures in the military budget. In his Gettysburg Address Lincoln talked about the real cost of war…”those brave men, living and dead,” who paid the price of freedom for us. In Canada, it’s Remembrance Day; for us it’s Veteran’s Day. Either way, it’s a reminder that freedom is never free. ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We are a big supporter of our soldiers and vets. My grandson has a t-shirt with "Freedom is Never Free!" and he wears it proudly. While watching President Bush talk about his new book, it was humbling to us all when he talked about the men and women killed in this lastest war and the emotions and tears. Each president has his crosses to bear, as we all do when we are at war. Thank you to all the vets or people who have lost loved ones to war! "Freedom is never free!" FROM JACK: In the comic strip, Arlo 'N' Janis, Arlo says: "At the end of World War I, November 11 became 'Armistice Day.' But we no longer call it 'Armistice Day.' After Word War II and the Korean War, it became 'Veterans Day.' And we no longer call World War I, 'The War to End All Wars.'" ....and so, we continue to honor our veterans and those who are currently in the armed forces, placing themselves in harm's way for the cause of freedom. I know some of them, and you may know some, too.
MORE FROM OJ: Some changes aren't good...just politically correct. I'm not for that at all....too watered down. (We have a way of watering down things we don't want to confront don't we?) Anyway, I have been watching coverage all morning of veterans and memorial services. Also, I would attend the memorial for the Edmond Fitzgerald each November at the Mariner's Church by the RenCen along with several attorney friends. Always so moving! It's a good day to be alive thanks to people who have died for us!

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: You probably have already see this. I received it from 3 different
people yesterday, but in case you didn’t you will love it.
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, Who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN, Who salutes the Flag,
It is the veteran, Who serves under the Flag,
We can be very proud of our men and women in the service,no matter where they serve.
God Bless them all!!! FROM JACK: The cause of Freedom is important for us all, not just for some.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Thank you. FROM JACK: Though I was not able to serve in the armed forces, I still support those who have.

FROM PO IN MICHIGAN: ..............and it takes an enormous amount of personal responsibility to handle it.
FROM JACK: Today, I especially remember one whose name is inscribed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

MORE FROM OJ: Some changes aren't good...just politically correct. I'm not for that at all....too watered down. (We have a way of watering down things we don't want to confront don't we?) Anyway, I have been watching coverage all morning of veterans and memorial services. Also, I would attend the memorial for the Edmond Fitzgerald each November at the Mariner's Church by the RenCen along with several attorney friends. Always so moving! It's a good day to be alive thanks to people who have died for us!

FROM MOLINER CF: "Band of Brothers," while it began with Shakespeare, has more meaning than ever these days. Let us never forget. FROM JACK: Those who don't learn from the past are doomed to relive the past.....Or something like that.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: And you just have to visit a National Cemetery any day to realize how true that is. We always have a very beautiful ceremony at the National Cemetery in Bushnell and so it was today. FROM JACK: We have a National Cemetery in our area which opened recently. It is being rapidly filled with veterans and the spouses. One of our church members was buried there recently.

PROFESSION...." A SAD THOUGHT. BILL SERVED IN THE NAVY, GRADUATED IN ABSENTIA FROM H.S. AS HE WAS ALREADY I N TRAINING AT GREAT LAKES BY MAY OF'44. SO YES, FREEDOM HAS A TERRIBLE COST. FROM JACK: Many of my college and seminary classmates were returning veterans from WW2. They were "different" from the typical student. They seemed more focused.

FROM PRPH: i think we also need to note that many wars in human history were totally unnecessary. WW I is a classic example. Perhaps even the Civil War. i love that phrase: war is simply a collosal failure of the human imagination to find workable and peaceful solutions to the conflicts of life. FROM JACK: I'm sure that your words about unnecessary wars have been debated over and over again by historians, without resolution. Today, I was reading an article about divorces, the good ones and the bad ones. To paraphrase your last sentence: "Divorce is simply a colossal failure of the human imagination to find workable and peaceful solutions to the conflicts of life. " In a perfect world, there would be no divorces (or wars).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Winning Words 11/10/10
“Keep calm and carry on.” (Seen on a British mug) In 1939, when it appeared that the Nazis might invade England, a now-forgotten person designed a poster with this slogan, meant to “buck up” the public. It has been rediscovered and is being used as inspiration for today’s difficult times, whatever they might be. When life’s events cause us anxiety, let’s take the mug’s advice: be calm and carry on. ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Keep calm. What a strong but simple statement. If we would all stop to take a deep breath before speaking or acting, what a different outcome we would have in our lives. I will try to remember it!
FROM JACK: I remember the "Cuban crisis" when there was the danger of nuclear missiles being fired at us. We were are reminded to keep calm. Any crisis situation which affects us needs a reminder to "Keep calm!"

FROM PRAW IN ILLINOIS: Jack, I always like message mugs. My family gave me one that reads :" If it is going to get done, then I have to do it.".....my favorite arrow shot at my kids for not doing their jobs. I know better now...but the kids are grown and gone.....so now, this arrow has become a motto. FROM JACK: I have a mug that reads: FIELD OF DREAMS Dyersville, Iowa. My son and I played catch on that field. What a great memory. He's now in Florida, playing in the Roy Hobbs hardball World Series in the over 45 age division.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Ingrid's friend, Kaz, sent me a tee shirt from Britain with this phrase on it. I wear it proudly & with clear memory. FROM JACK: Do you wear it when you go to those high school games? You probably need a reminder to Keep Calm.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Excellent advice...although keeping calm is often difficult! I received a call today for instance that my pastor had collapsed in his office, and was now at St. John's hospital and unresponsive, I called all of my S.S. class for prayer, and felt sick thinking he might not survive. he is 55, and has a pace maker and a defibrulator implanted already. Well, they have now (I learned at choir practice tonight) ascertained that he did not have either a heart attack or stroke, but is hospitalized to try to find out why he passed out, etc. We carried on, but not too calmly. When Bill was 59, he dropped dead on the handball court at the "Y", and they worked on reviving him for 45 minutes. Less than 5% or heart arrests outside the hospital are revived! He finally started breathing again, and was rushed to the hospital, where he had nine by-passes, recovered, and was preaching again by March. (This was on January 19th). The Doctors called him "Miracle Man," because they didn't expect his brain to function after that long period of "death". He WAS blind when they brought him in, due to lack of oxygen to his eyes, and for a few days couldn[t remember anything, but his sight returned within three days...(Just like Paul...Ha!) We laughed, when he was being questioned to see what he could recall: he didn't remember his 4 children, or what town he lived in, or what church he served, etc. The one thing he did know was that he had a wife named Marilyn!! Too funny. But he fully recovered. His message after that was "Today is all you have...live as though every day was your last, because someday it will be!~!" Helps you set priorities...He was just short of his 75th birthday when he died of the brain tumor. I was given the strength I needed at the time I needed it, which certainly strengthened my faith! I found I could "cope"! FROM JACK: Coping is an every day challenge, because you never know. If FAITH is a coping mechanism, I'll take it.

FROM AP IN MICHIGAN: I saw this quote somewhere at the beginning of the school year. I wrote it down and keep it by my desk at school. Did you see this quote yesterday in the Free Press - "Music is the only art that engages the left and right brain simultaneously, the emotion and the intellect. It's the voice of God."
(Quincy Jones) But then, we knew that already, didn't we? FROM JACK: I saw the QJ article, but didn't read it carefully enough to see the quote. Thanks for being my eyes on that one...and I agree.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Winning Words 11/9/10
“The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone.” (Oswald Chambers) I have a 6” stack of papers on my desk that needs to be sorted into two piles: 1) Get it done today! 2) It can wait. Prioritizing things isn’t always a simple task. I don’t think Oswald would mind (d. 1917) if I revised his quote to read: “The whole point of getting things done is to start.” ;-) Jack

FROM NL IN INDIANA/FLORIDA: Good Morning: I like that, I believe in the pile method. It works for me. FROM JACK: I started on mine yesterday, and now it's down to an inch and a half.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Love Oswald! Haven't read him in a long time but my mom was a big fan when I was in my teens and his words leaked everywhere in the house. FROM JACK: Is there something like that which your kids will remember when they get to be your age? They're called, "The formative years." MORE FROM BBC: Probably waking up to NPR and/or reading the New Yorker. Since you're so engaging, I'll attach a copy of a recent New Yorker book review. The volume is about various studies (or angles from which to view) procrastination. I read it for myself and my procrastinator offspring…it made me laugh out loud many times. You'll see my notes/highlights to the kids but I was struck by the study of people's Blockbuster/Netflix Queue showing that folks tend to shuffle their own self-made lists in favor of "light films/comedies' defering more serious films…and another study where faculty allowed students to impose somewhat artificial deadlines on themselves. I hope you enjoy the read if you have time and can see the light print. It might be easier to
view online - the 10/11/10 issue. FROM JACK: I was able to pull up the article. I read the first page and then saw that there are three more. I think I'll put off reading the rest until I have more time.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The organization of a thousand pieces of paper begins with one piece, either dealt with or filed. My update on Chinese philosophy. :-) FROM JACK: ...or recycled or pitched. I found that probably four inches fell into that category. But, what was left was important. God has a more important job...the sheep and the goats.

FROM MOLINER CF: Procrastination is the thief of time. If you can't make up your mind to do it, maybe it doesn't need doing. FROM JACK: Maybe we procrastinate, because we are reluctant to make choices. I like the say: "Not to decide is to decide." MORE FROM CF: A choice philosophy.

You are right. I have already forgotten, sort of like having a baby and forgetting the pain. FROM JACK: There are somethings I don't know, and that's one of them. I do know that it's easy to keep putting some things off.

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: Jack have you seen my piles? I made my Mom feel better once when she felt she was way behind, I said Mom take a look at this pile, she fainted…. I think my piles of papers to go through, things I intend to read, cards I can part with,, are a fire hazard! FROM JACK: Reluctantly, I threw somethings in the waste basket. I had read them once or twice. After all, it's the thought that counts

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: I'm so glad you have a pile of "to do" on your desk, too. I got rid of mine a couple of weeks ago but it has reappeared. The good part is that when I do go through it I find a third pile "no longer relevant, can be pitched." ;-) FROM JACK: ...and I thought that I was the only one!

FROM JN IN MICHIGAN: Here's another thing my dad taught me, "When a task is once begun, never leave it 'til it's done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all." In my case, I was never allowed to not do it at all! FROM JACK: One of the the hard choices a parent has to make is to allow a daughter (or son) to do things as a child would do them.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: My problem is the things that have been done before, the things that are nice to do, the things that no one else will do now unless I do them now and how not to let past self-and-others-expectations derail my getting done the things that need to have priority now. I like Oswald Chambers too--Pastor David clued me into reading some devotions written by him. FROM JACK: I think we need to learn that we can't do everything. And then, not to feel guilty about it.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Bill and I were great admirers of Oswald Chambers! I like your revision, which is probably more to the point for most of us. I need to start sorting and pitching, for sure. It's getting started, and NOT reading through everything, or there goes your day. Ha! Good winning words today. I played bridge instead of working (actually I was the hostess today!) but did get two apple pies made, baked and into the freezer, so all was not lost.
FROM JACK: Yes, in seminary days, OC was recommended. We are shaped, in large part, by what we read... and by what we eat...like homemade apple pie.

FROM PRCH ON CAPE COD: This is helping me today as I negotiate lots of piles, files, e-mails, Advent planning,

Monday, November 08, 2010

Winning Words 11/8/10
“When God gives hard bread, he also gives sharp teeth.” (German Proverb) Not long ago, someone told me that they have some real questions to ask God about certain difficult situations that have happened in their life. Today’s proverb says that with the “hard” situations, God also gives a way of coping. The search goes on for that way. In your experience, has he given you “sharp teeth?” ;-) Jack

FROM AP IN MICHIGAN: This is another version of - He doesn't give you more than you can handle.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: When the Mongols appeared outside the walls of the Hungarian capital and prepared to massacre them did God send them? If so, what kind of "sharp teeth" were the Hungarians given??? FROM JACK: Paul probably wondered, too, about the difficulties in Corinth and about the problems that afflicted him. So when hard bread was put on his plate, he wrote: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" (1 Cor 2:16)

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I have a friend who is going through a very tough situation. Practically, I can understand why things have turned out the way they did. Emotionally, I think she should have gotten what she wanted. Was it the Will of God? Now the crux of the matter is resting in the Church. Been through struggles like this a few times myself. Still I cower a bit at the difficulty of it all but, my experiences perhaps can help her in some way if my words are straight and loving and incisive. Lots of praying necessary. FROM JACK: Read again the story of Job. Or, as the old song puts it: Farther along we'll know all about it, Farther along we'll understand why; Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine, We'll understand it all by and by.

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: I was divorced at 26 with a 3yr old and a 6 yr old. Although I dated some, I was single for 21 years. During that time, my mother (I lost my dad in 1977) and I were almost constant companions. We traveled together and worked and played on her boat in the summer, I was the one who put her Christmas decorations up, etc. because I loved spending time with her. We were very very close. I met R in Oct of 2000 and my mother passed away in Oct of 2001. I wonder truthfully if I would have been able to cope with the loss without R. I am so grateful that he was able to get to know my mom quite well in the year we were all together often. I thank God daily for R, but especially the timing! FROM JACK: You know the taste of hard bread, don't you? You also have learned that sometimes it can be good for you. MORE FROM RS: Funny, it was very difficult at times, but I would not change a thing in my past difficulties. It has made me AND my children very resourceful and thankful for all that we have. They have needed very little assistance from me. When they do ask for something, I know it is needed, not wanted. I am very proud that my goal that they both graduate from college came to pass. Thank God for that too! Here’s another gift from God. TWICE I won $1000.00 on the radio when I was desperate for money to pay bills. I am very blessed that I am able to put things in God’s hands when I cannot do something myself in spite of my best efforts. It allows me to sleep at night without undue worry. Winning that money wasn’t just luck. Yet another story: My girls and I went out to get a Christmas tree one year and the prices had gone way up. The previous year I paid $40.00 and I knew I shouldn’t have spent that much, but we loved that tree. This particular year they went up to $65.00 for the Douglas firs that we loved. We discussed whether the girls felt it was important enough to get less gifts under the tree to get “THE” tree. Or should we get the 20.00 or 30.00 trees that weren’t what we liked as well. We all decided that, yes, the Christmas tree was very important to us the whole season. We went to the check out and it rang up $19.99. I told the girl that it was rung incorrectly. She called the manager over to correct the register. He looked at us, smiled, and said “This one is on sale today. I heard you discussing which tree to pick. I am glad it is marked wrong. Merry Christmas!” I got in my car and cried. I told my kids that it is so important to be honest. That leaving the store without paying the correct price is stealing. I told them that the holy spirit just answered another prayer. This was when they were in high school and it is a memory that we bring up and talk about every year! FROM JACK: Have you ever heard the song, "Angels Watching Over Me?" It is a beautiful Black Spiritual which tells about how God sends his angels to watch over us. No one knows who wrote the song, but it is believed to have originated in the southern part of the United States
during the days of slavery. The song goes like this:
All night, all day, Angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day, Angels watching over me.
Sun is a-setting in the west; Angels watching over me, my Lord.
Sleep my child, take your rest; Angels watching over me.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: I hope so, but prayer is the bedrock. FROM JACK: Prayer sharpens the teeth, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Absolutely! In some instances, I even got a root-canal! :-) I truly believe He got me through everything I have faced and will face. No doubt about it at all. Even though I falter and fail, He doesn't. What a blessing! FROM JACK: Root canals aren't so bad when you have an anesthetic.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Last night I returned home from MN where we had a second funeral last Monday for Mother and then drove the distance down to a very small town in southern MN where we buried her beside my Dad. I feel like I have had a very long and blessed journey with and for my Mother. I feel I was given very "sharp teeth" and feel very proud of having gone the whole distance. FROM JACK: It was a piece of cake to have had the privilege of caring for your mother in your own home. The "hard bread" times will recede with time as you continue to recall the "sweet" times.

FROM MOLINER CF: Sometimes I think God has a warped sense of humor. FROM JACK: He's "funny" that way. I like humor that has a purpose.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: we all got some incisors, i believe... FROM JACK: They're necessary for the knäckebröd.

FROM ED, TRAVELLING IN AFRICA, I THINK: Talk about sharp teeth! Ethiopian bread must be really hard :-)
FROM JACK: Curiosity got the better of me. I HAD to look up Ethiopian bread!! Injera is the Ethiopian staple bread (staple = a principal dietary item, such as flour, rice, or corn) its thin crepe like flat bread that the dishes such as Wots, Tibs and Fitfit are served on. To eat the dishes pieces of injera are torn off and used to scoop up mouthful. Injera is unique to Ethiopia, from its distinct taste and main ingredient the Teff cereal.
Teff is the tiniest cereal and used as a staple food only in Ethiopia (in other parts of the world its associated with common grass). Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000 and 1000 BC. Teff seeds were discovered in a pyramid thought to date back to 3359 BC. ....and now I know!

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I said to friends, when Bill was diagnosed with brain cancer (the less than 1% whose cancer originates in the brain...) that I was going to tell God ( Like Desi said so often to Lucy)i when I met him, "GOD, YOU'VE GOT SOME 'SPLAININ TO DO"!!! Such a compassionate, eloquent, witty, intelligent guy to have to die that way did not seem at all fair. Of course there is no good way, I suppose, but I was expecting him to drop of a heart attack suddenly and swiftly, since he had serious heart problems. But yes, we were all given the strength to deal with that, and the many other"bumps" that life presents along the way. I don't know how people without Faith, can deal with "bread" (symbolically) without those sharp teeth!! FROM JACK: When we are strong, we can be weak(ened) by disease). It is indeed hard bread. But, when we are weak, God makes us strong...and that's what faith is all about. Keep that faith!

FROM JK, TRAVELLING IN JAPAN: I am in Japan traveling for my employer and wanted to have a chance to write to say hello Good Morning / Good Evening! Hope this note finds you well. Regarding your note about G_d being faithful in different situations, I would say this is true. I try to perceiveremembrance them as 'stones of rememberance'; That is trail markers of faith on my journey with the Lord. Case in point; Last night we had a traditional Japanese meal with foods that I have never even seen before. It was great. FYI: It is much easier to pick up rice with chop sticks that is sticky or clumpy than not. I found that I gotten used to how much food per bite that I could get on a fork or spoon so that eating with chop sticks was more than a manual dexterity exercise :-) FROM JACK: The amazing interenet....today, a message from you in Japan ....and just before that, a message from a friend in Eithiopia. Both commented on food. I'm going to a
basketball game at Michigan State tonight and will probably have a hot dog and a coke.

FROM JN IN MICHIGAN: I don't really believe that God deliberately gave me hard bread to handle, but I credit him with the sharp teeth that helped me through those challenges. When Bud, my now-deceased husband was 32, I was 30, and our children were 6, 4, and 7 months, he had a near-fatal heart attack. Bud never asked "Why me?" and both of us thanked God for the recovery that was assisted by good medical care and which allowed him to live 28 more years before he had another real crisis. Following heart surgery for a
quadruple bypass at age 60, Bud suffered a severe stroke that left him with a paralyzed left side. Again, God blessed him with outstanding medical care, especially an exceptionally gifted physical therapist. With some difficulties, including more medical challenges, Bud lived an additional eight years that were filled with regular church attendance, a return to the Board of Trustees, trips to Florida and throughout Michigan, and enjoyable times with family and friends. We dealt with the hard bread and made the best of some difficult situations. I especially thank God for my father who taught me to "fight, don't flee." It never occurred to me that I couldn't deal with my husband's medical challenges. He had a need and I could supply that need.
FROM JACK: There is so much about life that we don't understand. If someone asks, "Why?" I don't pretend to have the answer. On occasion I've said that we are like children before God. In a family situation children often question their parents and ask, "Why?" They have a hard time understanding the adult point of view, because they have not yet been adults. Love and trust and persevere. I'll work out.

FROM PRAW IN ILLINOIS: And sometimes a little hot coffee to soak the bread in.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Winning Words 11/5/10
“I’ve got my faults, but living in the past isn’t one of them. There’s no future in it.” (Sparky Anderson) I can’t help but live in the past as I remember Sparky. I have a picture of him walking off the field of Tiger Stadium after he managed his last baseball game. I sent it to him, and he signed it: “To Jack, Good Luck! Sparky Anderson.” And now, he really has walked off the field…into the future. ;-) Jack

"As long as you remember where you are from, you will always know where you are going."
"Being nice to people is the only thing in life that won't cost you a dime."
"I ain't awed by celebrities, and if I'm one of 'em, I ain't awed by me."
"Ain't never been no better manager." (Patrick Reusse Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: I guess there is a fine line between "living" in the past and "remembering" (and learning from) the past. It seems that many people today get the two confused. Sparky always loved Detroit and the Tigers. I think he knew that we loved him too! FROM JACK: I feel sorry for those who have an anchor in the past and can't sail forward.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: We also have a picture of Sparky, posing with our then 2 year old son after a pre season game down in Florida. It was 1984 and he reached over the fence for Danny in a crowd of people after hearing the "kid" call his name, "Sparky, Sparky". We would also see him attending mass at Prince of Peace when Tigers were in town. FROM JACK: The human stories are the best stories. Your picture is a treasure.

FROM THE PRIEST AT POP: As is true of so many of the words spoken of him, people here remember him with great fondness and appreciation. Have a great day - the quote will undoubtedly be used in one of my homilies. FROM JACK: Each of our parishioners has a story.

FROM AP IN MICHIGAN: I love the last sentence of your Words today. FROM JACK: Where do ideas and words come from? It's an ongoing mystery. It reminds me of Proverbs 30:18-19.

FROM JB IN MICHIGAN: He was one of a kind. Mitch Albom wrote a nice article about Sparky today. Have a good day. FROM JACK: I began the day, as always, by reading the newspaper. It took more time than usual, because I read Mitch's column and the many others about George.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We would see Sparky a lot in Petoskey. He and his wife would be walking arm in arm along the streets. He was one of those special people. God will be glad Sparky's up there managing things. FROM JACK: From what I've read about Sparky, I think that he would leave the managing business up to God. The story-telling might be a different situation.

FROM RN IN MINNESOTA: Thank you for your story on Sparky. My son John and I saw a lot of those games at the old stadium, and I'll never forget that World Series. FROM JACK: Mary thinks that because Sparky is from South Dakota and his name is Anderson (the same as her maiden name), he must be Scandinavian. And since it's Anderson instead of Andersen, he must have been a Swede.

FROM MOLINER CF: Reminds me of another "truism"...I've got my faults, but being wrong isn't one of them. FROM JACK: It sounds more like a "falsism" to me.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Enjoy the quotes; thank you so much. FROM JACK: Did you know that Sparky had an offer to manage "your" Cubs, before he chose the Tigers? When he came to Detroit he promised a championship in five years, and the promise was fulfilled. The goat jinx lives on.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: And wasn't that a great time to be a baseball fan? The Reds were in Tampa when Mother and Dad moved to Tampa, and they would take our children to the practices where all of the players were happy to sign balls, etc. The Rays were exciting this year when they were winning with their young players, but it is, literally, a new ball game these days with all of the money floating around. FROM JACK: The significance of Sparky isn't necessarily found in the record book. It's hard to have a suitcase full of money and maintain a value system.

FROM KB IN COLORADO: That's a good one. FROM JACK: It takes a good one (like Sparky) to make a good one.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: ......excellent commentary and moving........ FROM JACK: When people would try to compare modern baseball with the olden days, Sparky said, "Babe Ruth is buried in Baltimore." Maybe you should visit the cemetery in your city and see if it's true. MORE FROM CWR: It's not true. He was born here, went to school here at the old St. Mary's Industrial School , which, though renamed, still stands at Wilkens and Caton Aves, he started in baseball here and the Stadium here was once named Babe Ruth Stadium, but he is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in New York. STILL MORE FROM B'MORE: Here's something I'll bet you and Sparky missed. The New York Yankees started in Baltimore, Maryland in 1901 and were known as the Baltimore Orioles. In 1903, the team moved to New York and the name was changed to the
New York Yankees. That's why, to this day there is in Baltimore a fierce rivalry between the Orioles and Yankees. The current Baltimore Orioles moved here in the 1950's from St. Louis and were at that time the St. Louis Browns. Baltimore then renamed the team the Baltimore Orioles. I was at their welcoming parade into Baltimore in the 1950's. Any more questions??? FROM JACK: ....and all I thought you knew was theology.

FROM PRGC IN SAN DIEGO: Good word on Sparky. Give your signed pic to one of your grandkids who is in to baseball before you leave the planet. They will cherish it for a long time. FROM JACK: Maybe it will go to my son who's still playing hardball in his 50's. His team will play next week in the Over 45 Division at the Roy Hobbs World Series in Florida. My father played hardball in Galesburg, Ill. His team once played a group of Major League barnstormers which included 3-Finger Brown.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: He’s with Ernie…no doubt. They are having some laughs and talk’in baseball. FROM JACK: Two of a kind, in more ways than baseball. We are privileged to have had both of them in Detroit memory bank.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: What a nice picture to have!. I do like the idea of he and Ernie Harwell taking a morning stroll in heaven. I'm sure they have a lot to talk about other than baseball. Maybe they can put in a good word for Detroit & Michigan. FROM JACK: A popular song in the early 80's was "Talkin' Baseball," recorded by Terry Cashman. You can Google it. I wonder if Google works in heaven. Ern and Sparky probably don't care.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: To paraphrase Sparky, "There's no future in living in the past." Sounds like Yogi Berra. FROM JACK: Both are great sources for interesting quotes. When Yogi goes, the internet will be flooded with Yogiisms.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Wow! A signed picture of Sparky? Is that SPECIAL or what??! Everything I have read about him points to his being a very special guy, and excellent manager. I did not follow his career, but feel bad he had to lose his grasp and reality, with his dementia problem the last year or so. That is so difficult to see and cope with. But he is "spot-on" with that quote. Put your past behind you,and live in the present, and enjoy every minute you can...the 'future' is closing in! FROM JACK: Dementia was just one of several problems for him as life ebbed out. There comes a time. But thanks be to God for the promise of a new life in which all "that bad stuff" in the old life will be gone. Your response goes on the blog with comments from others.

FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO: living in the past really gets my wife all worked up,but since one just remembers the joys of the past, and of course the lessons of the past, don't knock it, the name Sparks is generally given to an electrician, but I suspect this gent was a base ball person from the Detroit Tigers. I was going to say something negative about athletes but since I have lost my svelte figure I will not, can not, should not. ( there
I have my group of three ) FROM JACK: I think that they have slo-pitch softball leagues in Florida for gentlemen your age. Check it out.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Winning Words 11/4/10
“Probably my worst quality is that I get very passionate about what I think is right.” (Hillary Rodham Clinton) Hillary! Either you like and respect her, or you don’t. But give her credit for being passionate in standing by her beliefs. Lucy said of Charlie Brown…”You’re too wishy-washy.” Many people want to play if safe by being passionate in a wishy-washy way. ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Being passionate, taking a stand, and sticking by your guns is not easy, especially in the public arena where you may likely get harsh disagreement. Wishy-washy passion is the escape hatch to extract oneself during the heat of criticism. FROM JACK: In the religious world we're told about The Passion Story of Jesus. Now, there's real passion.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Are you thinking of "relativists?" FROM JACK: That's me!

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Don't we all? FROM JACK: Not Hillary! I'm wishy-washy part of the time.

FROM ME IN MICHIGAN: This is me! FROM JACK: Some situations call for people to be wishy-washy... to have the ability to see both sides of issues. Eventually, the clothes have to be taken out of the washer.

FROM TL IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for thinking of me. Jack’s Winning Words is throughout North America! FROM JACK: I conducted a "house" memorial funeral a few years ago. Most of those present were strangers to me. After the service, one of the strangers came up to me and asked, "Do you happen to be Jack from Jack's Winning Words?" Someone had been forwarding WWs to him, and he didn't know the source.

FROM MOLINER CF: Wasn't Hillary smart to get out of the country at this time of passion. FROM JACK: I was waiting for someone to pick up on the "Hillary" bait instead of the Charlie Brown thing. "One" of my worst qualities is cynicism.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: I LOVE this….this is my biggest problem at work. I’m so tired of the politics and games and you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. It is so hard. I like this. I hope when I’m gone, people will I say I was very passionate about what I thought was right. While I’m on this…I’ll say, I’m tired of unions. FROM JACK: Hey! The fire fighters have made me an honorary member of their union, because of my work as their chaplain. One of my passions is, "fairness." The right thing equals the fair thing. It is frustrating, indeed, when people aren't content with that.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: This is one thing that Hillary and I have in common--I sometimes drive other people crazy by my enthusiasm and "let's do it!" atitude. I think the passionate annoy the wishy-washy... Have a great day! FROM JACK: There are two pedals in the automobile... the gas and the brake. A good driver knows when and how to use each of them.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Should we be passionate about wrong things? FROM JACK: Passionate is simply a modifier. What it modifies is the determiner of good or bad...in the eyes of the one who judges.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: "Because you are neither HOT nor COLD, I will spew you out of my mouth.." Is that in Revelation? I should look it l up, but am pressed for time! Yes, I admire Hillary, and feel badly for her that she never got her chance at the Presidency. She is a strong woman, and strong people always have their share of detractors and hatred. She certainly is not perfect, but she does what she does, with zeal! And she is one smart cookie, overall. I tend to be very enthusiastic for things that I believe in. I can identify with this! Fortunately, my husband was pretty unflappable, and even observed that I was fun to live with! ha! ( I have witnesses...) FROM JACK: John 3:16 Even you and Hillary would be "sensitive" in certain situations and put you passion on the back burner. You don't have to hit every person on the head with a hammer. BTW, since I have your attention...It's the Revelation of John 3:16.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Winning Words 11/3/10
“If you don’t believe in God, you’d better find a damn good substitute.” (Tuskegee Airmen instructor—sent by Al Weidlich) It’s a real shame that there had to be such a program as the Tuskegee Airmen. But as in lots of situations, good can come out of the bad. A few years ago, I heard one of the airmen speak. Inspiring! BTW, “It’s the real thing,” is not only a Coke slogan, it’s a God slogan, too. ;-) Jack

FROM MOLINER CF: The Tuskegees never lost a bomber they were escorting. FROM JACK: I hadn't heard that information. One of Detroit's former mayors was a Tuskegee Airman.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Good comes out of the bad when we all acknowledge the shame. We all need to be in the business of getting more real and I find your WW commentary as hopeful as the Tuskegee Airmen instructor's WW. More things unite us than divide us and isn't that grand!!!!! FROM JACK: Good coming out of bad is GRAND, too. That's one of the reasons for being hopeful.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Winning Words 11/2/10
“It’s unbelievable how much you don’t know about the game you’ve been playing all your life.” (Mickey Mantle) This baseball quote by a Hall of Fame player shows that there’s always something new to learn. It can be about a sport; it can be about a craft; it can be about religion; you name it. I don’t want to sound pedantic, but I’m suspicious of those who have all the answers. ;-) Jack

FROM PO IN MICHIGAN: All the answers?!! I'd be happy with just a few! FROM JACK: For the learner, there will always be questions.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: No Jack, you don't sound ostentatious, I admire your desire to continue to learn.... How bout those Giants? and I wrote Edgar Renteria off as could'nt help us when he left the Tigers. So, I've learned something again about baseball, you never know. FROM JACK: Aubry Huff, too. We often consign people to the scrap heap, thinking that their usefulness is over. What do we know? I like the bumper sticker: "God Don't Make Junk." I'm glad that God is the final judge.

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: I had to look up "pedantic". I learned a new word. FROM JACK: There was a time when I looked it up, too, because I didn't know what it meant.

FROM MOLINER CF: The person who knows all of the answers doesn't know the questions. FROM JACK: It's easy to know the answers, if you're the one in control of the questions.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: I never have all the answers. I like this quote. I took it as the game of “life.” We are not in the “driver’s seat.” We like to think we know what we have planned and we know how our day will go….but WE are not in control. He is in control and we have to give each day to him and let Him know HIS will is what we will be doing. That is so hard some days. FROM JACK: Our experiences teach us, don't they? At least they do, some of of the time. I like the line of the song that goes..."When will we ever learn? The answer is blowin' in the wind.""

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I thought you did.... FROM JACK: A few, but not all.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Enjoyed your WW words again this day. Hope you had a grand time at your grandchild's confirmation. Especially was charmed by Mantle's word "unbelievable". That's how we people talk too when we're highly astonished at something. Last night at our Bible study we were talking and sharing various things and I shared what a struggle it has been to go from a Church of Christ background to a Lutheran understanding of things, how the teaching back then had seemed so off-the-mark. So I was changed by others'
teaching but how surprising and unbelievable it has been to go back and worship in the Church of Christ in Bayard, Iowa, and see that THEY HAVE CHANGED TOO--WHY THEY EVEN HAVE A CRUCIFIX RIGHT THERE ON THEIR PLAIN LINEN-COVERED TABLE ALTAR. The more I think I know about religion, the more I find out I don't know yet either. Don't know a huge amount of churches changing yet (I'm only 64) , but hope I am grounded in the Church and there's some things that aren't going to change. Must be in the same boat as a lot of other people, both here and there. Mickey Mantle makes a lot of sense. Correction--I'm 63, my math is worse than it ever was. FROM JACK: I've lived to see unbelievable changes in situations in people. In the dark days of WW 2, Churchill encouraged his people by saying: "Never, never, never, never give up." I may waver, but I try not to give up on people.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: ........harsh, but true... FROM JACK: Harsh? Yes, it's sharper than a two-edged sword.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I can't imagine who thinks they have all the answers! I've changed some of my viewpoints quite radically as I've aged. The more you know, the more you realize you don't know! A quote from THE FATHER'S BOOK OF WISDOM went something like this: "Our lifetime of knowledge amounts to no more than a grain of sand, in a shoreline that stretches to infinity." So much to know, so little time...but most of us are seekers until the end! FROM JACK: That's a good quote about the grains of sand. The next time I'm on the beach, I'll pick up a handful of sand and try to count the grains.