Friday, December 31, 2010

Winning Words 12/31/10
“A love of tradition has never weakened a nation, but the new view must come. The world must roll forward.” (Churchill) I think that these words by Sir Winston are worth considering as we say goodbye to 2010 and roll forward into 2011. Every year seems to be a test. Which traditions shall we hold on to? And which shall we abandon in order to move forward? To know the difference is a challenge. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Joan, Jerry and I just celebrated an early New Years, playing cards all night. We agreed we want to keep Bible study and prayer, that will really strengthen our churches. Now we're going to sleep wondering if we've solved any of the world's problems.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Winston Churchill was such a study in contrasts. Above all he was truly a leader. Upon his death, while we lived in London we were among the tens of thousands who passed his casket, the least tribute we could pay to a great man. England is a country that clings to tradition, which may not weaken it but I believe it does restrain it from greater achievement. Churchill clearly realized that. FROM JACK: Churchill was the leader that England (and the Allies) needed during WW2. At least the monarchy allowed him to lead. He wasn't perfect, but maybe that's what makes a good leader. MORE FROM RI: Churchill covered so much ground during his lifetime...from philosophy to social criticism to art to humor. I liked his response when he was criticized for ending sentences with a preposition: "That's an attitude up with which I will not put."

FROM MOLINER CF: Traditions don't hold us back; interpretations do. FROM JACK: That's an interesting thought. Where are you going with it?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: There are many traditions which enhance and enrich. To remove them just because they are traditions makes no sense. We will continue to observe and uphold those which enhance and enrich our lives. We will add new and exciting "changes" if they fix, but not if it's change for change sake. I've never understood that at all! FROM JACK: That's what Churchill and I said. I'm glad that you agree.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: W. Churchill was a complex character. He certainly was interesting, and often wise. The picture you get of him in NO ORDINARAY TIME by Doris Goodwin, is quite different from the hero of a WWII nation! I suspect both have truth. He is much admired. Yes, what traditions are important to retain...? I imagine our views do not jive with the present generation! I do wish personal integrity were more practiced and admired. It seems to go begging in H.S. and Colleges and business many times, any more...Here's praying for a GREAT 2011! FROM JACK: Since none of us is perfect, I suppose that goes for leaders, too. I would rather concentrate on the positive aspects of one's character. fragile.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winning Words 12/30/10
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and, behold, service was joy.” (Tagore – Sent by Dana) I always appreciate it when readers of Winning Words send me quotes that are interesting to them. Tagore was well known as an Indian thinker and poet. I remember being introduced to his work in my college Oriental Philosophy class. He’s worth reading. ;-) Jack

FROM YOOPER PO: I love this one! FROM JACK: 2010 saw you acting on one of your dreams.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: In helping others, we really do help ourselves! FROM JACK: "One hand washes the other," as the saying goes.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I had never read the third part of that quote! Makes quite a difference in interpretation! I think those of us who have chosen a life of service, will readily agree that it is satisfying to know you have made some small contribution to making the world a better place. By now we have all experienced the truth of "it is better to Give than to Receive"...I'll have to get better acquainted with Tagore. FROM JACK: A similar problem exists when passages from the Bible are taken out of context. There's more to "the story" than first meets the eye.

FROM PRGC IN SAN DIEGO: Tagore...use him more. Good stuff for our souls and spirits. I usually am more "put together" when I am serving someone or a cause. How about you? Tagore's words were a real motivator afew years ago when we did a mission in Tula, Mexico for children. FROM JACK: No matter what age we might be, the time is always right for some motivation to do some good in this world. I wonder how your mission has affected the children with whom you had contact. God knows!

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I like this one too. Service is joy and what's amazing is that everyone in one way or another is able to serve-seems to be no limits. FROM JACK: One thing I remember about you is the "joy" that radiates when you have taken opportunities to serve others. It's a gift of God!

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Oh, I really love this one!!! Thanks for all you do, Jack! God bless you with all you need to continue your good works for His glory in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winning Words 12/29/10
“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today and yesterday.” (Chinese Proverb) I once read that some seeds were found in one of the old Egyptian pyramids. Someone planted them, and they grew. I have an apple seed taped to my computer to remind me, that as there are limitless apples in that seed, so are there ideas without limit in our brain that will affect our tomorrows. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: This WW touched off the science-fiction part of my brain, wondering if some mad scientist is now in her/his lab trying to produce a flower seed from scratch. I hope the Chinese Proverb is truthful for all time and there is a limit on man's inventiveness. There were so many ideas that sprung from this WW that I can't cope with them all. FROM JACK: Every age has its inventors. "The mind is a terrible thing to waste."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My mom had a huge garden (about a half an acre) when we were growing up and it was us kid's job to keep it weed-free. But when they moved up north, veggies were out....too much frost and snow too early in the season and the same too late in the season. However, there were some hearty flowers which bunnies, frost, snow and even deer didn't like so she always planted them. One of the plants which survived were Hollyhocks. So each year she saved the seeds and replanted them. She grew a very unusual hollyhock which was such a deep dark purple it looked black. It was extraordinarily beautiful. After she died, us girls continued to plant them for my dad. When he passed away in 2007, I took some of the seedpods and saved them. This summer, I found the pods and sent some to my sister Kathy. She was able to get them to bloom again. Now the seeds have been passed on to all of us. There is a big following of "antique" seeds. Some master gardeners were able to bring back many old seeds and you can now get the seeds and the fruit of antique trees. FROM JACK: I've always liked the biblical analogy of the Word of God as the seed...and the parable of the sower.

FROM PRFM IN WISONSIN: What a pregnant WW today! FROM JACK: God says, "Be fruitful, and multiply," and the ideas for WWs just seem to come.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I had seen this before, and also read of the seeds (and honey which was still edible!) found in the pyramids. Your Apple seed reminder is a good one, even if our tired old brains aren't quite as
productive as they once were! FROM JACK: I read recently that honey is the only food that doesn't spoil. And, who says that the aging process has to wear out the brain? I'll bet you can play BINGO today as well as you could when you were a teen-ager.

FROM PRCH VISITING IN CALIFORNIA: writing to you from California where we are visiting family I was amazed today, walking up into the hills how there were all these sunflowers, some blooming, but not just along the road - even coming right through the pavement. There is a lot of persistence and strength in a seed! Especially when it gets some sun and water. Concerning apples seeds - it's also a fitting reminder of Luther's comment about apples seeds/if the world ends tomorrow... FROM JACK: The parable of the sower doesn't take into consideration the persistence of some seeds. That's a sermon "seed" for when the sower parable comes up in the pericope.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winning Words 12/28/10
“Your world is made of your memories, and your memories are given to you by your world. The whispering voice of happenstance is always in our ears." (Real Life Preacher) “Happenstance” is an interesting word. “Serendipity” is one that it related. I wouldn’t go so far as to put “Dumb Luck” in the same category, but it is interesting to think about how our world is molded by happenstance. ;-) Jack

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: You mean like when George Bailey got mixed up with a happenstance named Clarence in "It's A Wonderful Life" ? FROM JACK: That was in the movies. It happens in real life, too. I should have added to the the list: Happenstance, Serendipity. Dumb Luck....amd the Intervention of God!

FROM YOOPER PO: What fun --- I love words. I'm going to see if I can use this one now and again. FROM JACK: Even more interesting than using the word (happenstance) is to think back and recall the various forks that appeared in the road of your life and the choices you made when you came to them.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: How nice a coincidence that I met you thru my Dad! FROM JACK: Someone has said that there are no coincidences...only the hand of God. Personally I think that God has allowed us to make our own choices (and to deal with them) through the gift of Free Will. Without that freedom, we would be robots.
You seem to be "a chip off of the old block," as the saying goes.

FROM MOLINER CF: Does "happy accident" fit your interpretation? FROM JACK: I don't know if there are accidents that are happy. Accident, by definition is "an unfortunate mishap." But, I guess that some of those mishaps can have a happy ending.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Dumb Luck??? Personally, I believe in God's intervention and the gift to us of Free Will. Happenstance? I wonder... FROM JACK: I think that God sometimes acts like a caring not always directing the child, but, rather, by letting the child learn from his/her mistakes. If things turn out OK, that can be because of Dumb Luck, and because God allows Free Will.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: "Happenstance", like by chance or accident? How often do we mull over a happening, thinking, "can this just be coincidence?" I read, a while back, a book titled "When God Winks" which seemed to imply there are no mere coincidences. I did not agree with a lot in the book, but it was an interesting premise. I think it is often true that we can't realize the far-reaching effects of seemingly insignificant choices we make, which turn our lives in one direction or another, in retrospect! I guess that's what makes life so interesting! FROM JACK: I read the same book and later preached a sermon with that title. Right now, I can't recall the text, but the theme seemed to strike a chord with the least, the ones who commented. MORE FROM MO: I THINK THE THEME WAS THAT GOD HAS HIS HANDS IN EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS:
THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES... FROM JACK: I'd like to think that God has a sense of humor and allows coincidences. I Googled the book and saw this comment by the author: What do godwinks mean? Think about when you were a kid and someone you loved gave you a little wink across the dining room table...Mom or Dad or Grandma. You didn't say "What do you mean by that?" You knew. It meant: "Hey kid, I'm thinking about you right now." That's what a godwink is too: a message of reassurance from above, directly to you, out of six billion people on the planet, saying "Hey kid...I'm thinking of you! Keep the faith! You're never alone."
There is a powerful correlation between wishes and winks, because when your wish comes true or your prayer is answered, it sometimes comes in the form of a coincidence - a wink from God.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Winning Words 12/27/10
“To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful, in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together.” (Archibald MacLeish) I recall two events that etched A.M.’s thought in my mind. 1) Watching the movie, 2001 A Space Odyssey. 2) Seeing pictures of the earth from outer space, taken by the astronauts. Let’s treat it with care; it’s the only earth we’ve got. ;-) Jack.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: I love Barack Obama and one of the most important things he has done is to swing the momentum away from the earth users and towards a saner policy . I love driving out to Colorado which we do twice a year and seeing the windmills along the way. I also attended a ceremony at which the King of Sweden cut a ribbon up in Flint...the ceremony was about a plant that takes the waste from Flint and produces power
for them....we just have to do these things. FROM JACK: "The earth from space" photo is a reminder that we need to step back from situations to see them as they really are. Sometimes we get so involved in "the here and now" that we lose sight "the big picture."

FROM RI IN BOSTON (IN NH): I regret to say there are indications that we are raiders on the earth together. We need to be more diligent caring for it as you mentioned. FROM JACK: It starts with getting our own house in order; then moving to the rest of the world.

FROM MOLINER CF: You are right. It's the only earth we've got...and it's the only one we are going to get.
FROM JACK: I'm reminded of a Gospel song: "This world is not my own, I'm just-a passin' through."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It was truly amazing to see the first shots of the earth from space. They were and continue to be some of the most beautiful photos ever! FROM JACK: The colored pictures made "the ball" come alive for me.

FROM JJH IN OHIO AND ML IN ILLINOIS: Amen and Amen from these two "earth" people.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: The exhibits of photos at the Smithsonian Aero-Space Museum, and I'm sure many other places, sure do give you a perspective of our beautiful and compact little Earth revolving in Space. Nation Geographic magazine has twice run articles on the size of all the Planets in our Universe, and Earth looks pretty insignificant compared to the giant size of some others, but as you say, we are all Earth travelers together on the only Earth we have, so let's love and appreciate it together! It's distressing to read of the
many ways our Earth is being ravaged...what a different world our g.children will deal with! FROM JACK: Our trash hauler picked emptied our recycling bin today. We're beginning to make some progress toward protecting the planet for future generations. "One step. and then another......"

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Winning Words 12/25/10
One of my favorite Christmas songs was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the
Civil War. The message was appropriate for that time and continues to be appropriate for our time. “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.” ;-) Jack

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

FROM RI IN BOSTON: How "sweet the words" that you've repeated here on this Christmas Day. That song has always been a favorite of mine too, and I've never known that Longfellow wrote it. Thanks for bringing that out. (We happen to live less than a mile from Longfellow's historic home here in Cambridge.) FROM JACK: If I were living in the Boston area, I might drive by the HWL house and remember the gift that Henry has given to us to help us remember the reason for the season. But I'm not in Boston.

FROM RS IN TEXAS: Good one - thanks for helping us keep the faith FROM JACK: To keep the faith, we must share the faith...."you in your small corner, and I, in mine"....quoting a line from a Sunday School song.

FROM DK IN MICHIGAN: When Christmas fell on a Sunday, we always sang that. From the Junior Hymnal, I think. FROM JACK: You're right! #108, and on the same page as "When Christmas Morn Is Dawning."

FROM THE JUDGE: A lovely poem for then as well as now. I for you and yours all the joys of the season and may the coming year be fruitful as well as healthy. FROM JACK: With your interest in "haiku" and the use of words, in general, I'm not surprised that you would find meaning in Longfellow's poem.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I love that one too, Jack. FROM: I love the words and like the tune. I especially like the lilt of the tune as it brings to mind the pealing of bells.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: One of my favorites also makes reference to bells . . . Nikolai Grundtvig’s carol, “The Bells of Christmas chime once more . . ..”, # 298 LBW. All the verses are so meaningful. FROM JACK: It would be interesting to make a list of Christmas songs that have bells mentioned in them.

FROM SB IN MICHIGAN: That's one of my favorites, too. Wish it were sung more often during Christmas worship. FROM JACK: Most pastors like to have hymn suggestions from worshippers. Why not ask your pastor if this hymn could be sung in January...stressing the "peace" theme?

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: Like this one and enjoyed the 4 am exchanges last week. FROM JACK: Did you actually call your Westmont friend at 4 am, or did you just talk about doing it?


FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: That is one of my daughter and my favorite carols as well! In fact we sang it on Christmas Eve with our family! Small world! FROM JACK: What a great way for a family to add to the Christmas celebration. BTW, speaking of small worlds, a friend of mine, Pastor Jack Anderson and his wife have moved from Florida to Parsfield Park Pl in Springfield. Have you heard of that place?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Winning Words 12/24/10
“It came without ribbons; it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. Christmas can’t be bought in a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more." (Dr. Seuss) I thought carefully about what quote to use for Christmas Eve. The words of this “Lutheran” childrens author seemed just right. The Grinch can’t steal the real Christmas. It’s locked in the heart. ;-) Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Merry Christmas, Jack. I've enjoyed your words thru this year, like I have in prior years. When did you start doing this? FROM JACK: When I retired in 1992, my youngest daughter gave me a CD of positive quotes. After reading them, I decided to share a few with some friends. Then, I decided to search for more. There are now more than 400 "friends" who receive my "Winning Words."

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I love knowing now that Dr. Seuss is a Lutheran!!!! Will google today and find out more. Christmas is locked in the heart. The Grinch isn't stealing it from us. Yesterday, we were on our way to Ikea and passing by a truck, the back wheel must have kicked up a rock onto our rear right passenger window. Shattered the whole glass. I immediately heard the wind blowing in and thought the whole door had opened and Brenda was in danger of falling out. Jerry drove carefully to the Glass Doctor and we were able to get the window fixed for a reasonable price. Just counted our blessings and especially that Christmas is locked in our hearts and we're together through thick and thin. Must read Dr. Seuss some more and put his books in our church library. Merry Christmas FROM JACK: Christmas is not only locked in the heart. It's all around us in the spirit of people like you and your family, as you act as God's angels.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: A good one! FROM JACK: "Promise yourself to be so strong that...." you can see the good in Christmas, in the world, and in people.

FROM JB IN MICHIGAN: Great quote for the occasion. Merry Christmas. FROM JACK: I see that the Detroit Free Press used a portion of the quote as part of today's editorial cartoon.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: And it has never been truer for me than this year. Thanks for picking this quote! FROM JACK: Words can mean different things to different people. Since this is a "special" Christmas for you, Christmas will have a "special" meaning.

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: I love your quotes and your blog. Thank you for your wisdom! FROM JACK: WWs provides a connection for us. I'm thankful for that. May it continue in 2011.

FROM JJH IN OHIO: one of my favorite lines! FROM JACK: Isn't interesting that adults seem to enjoy the Seuss stories as much as children do.

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: I LOVE today's quote! Grinch is one of my favorites. The story is so meaningful, really. Merry Christmas FROM JACK: I think you have to "pay attention" to get the message that is beyond the story in the Seuss books. It's that way with the Bible, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: You did a mighty fine job of finding the perfect Christmas Eve message. Have a wonderfully blessed Christmas to you and your family and your blog friends also! FROM JACK: There are many quotes to choose from, but few that capture my imagination. This was one of them. MORE FROM JUDY: I can quote so many of the whole BOOKS by memory from Seuss as I read them over and over to my kids. In fact, Andy was reading them by 2! Once in awhile the kids and I do resite them and it's a hoot!!! (They remember better than I do of course.)

FROM DR IN MICHIGAN: I can accually respond to this WW on the day I received it! Since it is now coming to my home email address I don't check it every day but your WW are always something I look forward to. Thank you for sending them. Today's is perfect! I wanted to share with you something a friend of mine told me recently. I occasionally pass your WW on to her when I think it is one she would enjoy. Recently she informed me she goes on your blog every day to read the winning words. One of them moved her enough
to pass it on to me! So, I just wanted to let you know you are touching even more people then you know. Thanks for being such a blessing!!! FROM JACK: You make me feel like Johnny Appleseed who lived about 250 years ago. Legend says that he went around sowing appleseeds in our area. When we moved to West Bloomfield, there were still apple orchards around. I wonder if they were related to Johnny's seeds? Thanks for letting me know that the WWs are being shared with others.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: The simple stuff is the best! FROM JACK: I'll bet you still have some things that your daughter made for you when she was a little child. Some of our tree ornaments were made by our children.
I'll bet you still have some things that your daughter made for you when she was a little child. Some of our tree ornaments were made by our children.

FROM MOLINER CF: "And the star that shone that cold winter's night, has since made our futures ever so bright." FROM JACK: That's a good thought for this day. Thanks

FROM ED IN ARIZONA (?): Merry Christmas. You should listen to this review of The Grinch on NPR...i think you would appreciate and enjoy it very much.
Also, I'm not sure if you have heard this before, but Dr. Suess wrote a prayer for the Dec 23rd issues of Collier's Magazine along with a page of beautiful artwork. It was mentioned on the radio broadcast above. I think it will be one of our prayers on Christmas Day.
A Prayer for a Child by Dr. Suess
From here on earth,
From my small place
I ask of You
Way out in space:
Please tell all men
In every land
What You and I
Both understand . . .
Please tell all men
That Peace is Good.
That's all
That need be understood
In every world
In Your great sky.
(We understand.
Both You and I.)
FROM JACK: As soon as I finish my mail ("e" kind), I'll be checking out the link. Thanks for the tip. Here's a copy of the prayer that we'll be using at our table tonight.
Father, We thank Thee for this day. Bless all we do and all we say.
May we each enjoy Thy blessings great As Jesus' Birth we celebrate.
And may the love that we share here Remain throughout the coming year.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: You are so right! God Jul!

FROM JJH IN OHIO: I'm a big Suess fan... I actually think he was talking to adults in man of his works! FROM JACK: I think that you're right about the "adult" thing. ED IN AZ sent an NPR link which is a discussion on Seuss by Seuss "experts." It's worth listening to, when you've got 50 minutes. I intended to listen just briefly, but got hooked.

FROM JMG IN MINNESOTA: We never knew that Dr. Seuss was a Lutheran. This is a good quote as are so many that you share. We continue to learn from your daily sharing. FROM JACK: Click on ED's link to get further information about Seuss's faith quest.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: And our hearts are open and full of love. FROM JACK: How silently, how silently The wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts The blessings of His heaven.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winning Words 12/23/10
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” (Stephen Covey) I remember a time when many “with it” people carried around Franklin Planners instead of today’s ubiquitous Blackberrys. Stephen Covey promoted the planner as a way to manage time. He is also noted for his book listing the habits of effective people. Today’s WWs lists an important one. ;-) Jack.

FROM LP IN MICHIGAN: I went to a women's retreat at work about work-life balance recently. One saying that stuck in my head was to schedule our priorities rather than to prioritize our schedules. FROM JACK: In 1962 The Flying Wallendas, a highwire act, were performing in Detroit without a net. Two of them died, and one was critically injured, because the lead person lost his balance. Balance is important in whatever it is that you are doing with your life. MORE FROM LP: My take? There are things that I feel are important but I never seem to have time to do them... like visit with family and friends, have devoted time with my husband and our daughter. . . Sometimes these things/priorities need to get scheduled or they will get
put off indefinitely for more immediate but perhaps less important tasks.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: This is a very thought-provoking WW. Running though my mind to see where it applies and I think one thing may be pride, things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least, among the things is pride. Potholes we fall into that keep the wheels of the carriage from turning and going forward. Pride and fear have at times kept me from attending to things which matter most.
FROM JACK: There's an old saying: "Pride goeth before a fall." Loss of balance goeth before a fall, too. Maybe there's a connection.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: Mercy Jack, I wanted to respond yesterday; I want you to know that you can always call me. I may not answer at 4:30 am, but you should leave a message, usually up by 5:30 FROM JACK: What if the EMS answered like that? However, knowing you, you'd answer for a friend, no matter what the time.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It's so easy to get caught up in the "little things" in life only to leave the most important things hanging. To me, spending quality time with those we love and those who need love is more important. Today there will be a lot of love and cookies flowing around our house as our niece, her husband, 5 month old and his parents along with our 10 will be making cookies. How fun! Flour and "sprinkles" will abound! And lots of laughter and love! FROM JACK: I don't think that there's a saying..."Too many cooks spoil the cookies." It only makes the cookies taste better.

FROM MOLINER CF: Planners are the bane of spontaneity. FROM JACK: The spontaneity people make planners go "bonkers."

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: I've gone back to paper after my Palm crashed w/o any survivors to reboot.
FROM JACK: I feel out of it when I'm with a group of people, and they all pull out their Blackberrys to schedule meetings....while I page through my little red datebook. I wonder if there will be Blackberrys in heaven.

FROM DS IN MICHIGAN AND GOING TO WISCONSIN FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE: Thanks for this. I sent it to my husband who works too much. He is not sure how to change. Of course, then there’s me too with similar issues. FROM JACK: "Sent it to him," which illustrates the point. Even in my "old age," I have a date book to keep my meetings and appointments straight.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: Well, I carry a pocket calendar. Without it I would be lost! FROM JACK: Is the one for 2011 poised and ready?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winning Words 12/22/10
“It’s the friends that you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.” (Marlene Dietrich) This famous movie star had a life of fame and fortune. However, as it sometimes happens, the last years were not pleasant ones. She died at age 90, secluded and bed-ridden for 11 years. But she did have a few close friends, and I would not be surprised if she called one or more of them at 4 am. That’s what friends are for. ;-) Jack

Keep smilin', keep shinin'
Knowin' you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for

FROM YOOPER PO: And blessed are we that have them! FROM JACK: The 4 a.m. call is the determining factor.

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: I think you turn off your phone at 9pm, right? FROM JACK: To call me at 4 am, you'd have to pick up your phone at 5 pm. Or better yet, I could pick up the phone at 3 pm and call you.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: Remember when you took us to the airport at about that time of the morning FROM JACK: Friends who do things for friends aren't aware of the time.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I am always happy to chat @ 4 a.m. That's why I love texting and IMing. Technology is gr8! FROM JACK: I don't mind getting 4 am e-mails, but when the phone rings at that time, I know that it must be important...or a wrong number.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Make new friends but keep the old One is silver and the other one's gold! (An old Girl Scout song.) FROM JACK: Because you remember that song, does it mean that you're an old Girl Scout? Just wondering....

FROM AA IN MICHIGAN: Hope you are a light sleeper, I'm up many times at 4 a.m. looking someone to call. I've got your number in my Fav 10. FROM JACK: I've had a few 4 am calls, and they usually jolt you more than an alarm clock.


FROM MOLINER CF: Wouldn't it be fun to start calling people you thought were friends at 4 AM and see who's left standing? FROM JACK: That would not be a "friendly" thing to do.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: Or a friend who sends a word every day at 4:30 am! That is really a friend!
FROM JACK: It's really 5:30 am, my time.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: i plan to call you tomorrow morning about 4 a.m. (if i am awake) FROM JACK: If you're in need, you'll be awake.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Reminds me of the line in the song, "That's What Friends are For"...My husband sometimes got calls in the dead of night...he could just talk to who ever called and then fall right back to sleep, (if it didn't mean getting up and going out...) while I lay there bug-eyed, taking what seemed like forever to go back to sleep. I would say if you got a call at 4:00 A.M., it'd better be a very good friend, or a very needy
person who had nowhere to turn... It's happened to me on occasion, but not often. I can't recall if I've had to call people, other than my son when my sister and her husband had emergencies, at that hour...? Hopefully not! FROM JACK: As Marlene said, "It's the friends that matter most." They're the ones you can call at anytime, day or night, and they won't mind...because they care. Dionne Warwick sang it well, "That's what friends are for."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winning Words 12/21/10
“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.” (Victor Hugo) Les Miserables (the miserable ones) is V.H.’s most famous work and could be a reflection on his own life. In today’s quote, he says that when life seems cold and grim, it’s good to have the hope of spring in your heart. At times, we can, and do, feel miserable, but don’t give up hope. The seasons do change. ;-) Jack

FROM CB IN MICHIGAN: great quote for the Winter Solstice today FROM JACK: You noticed!

FROM CS IN WISCONSIN: Starting today our days will be getting longer – another sign that spring is coming!
FROM JACK: The way we look at many events (like the change of seasons) is a mind game.

shortest day of the year began with AOL rejecting my WWs to you. The 2nd time was the charm.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Hope is what keeps us going some days. We are eternally grateful for of God's gifts!!! FROM JACK: Hope is what keeps me going every day...whether I consciously think about it or not.

FROM MOLINER CF: Where else but in winter can you see a total eclipse of the full moon on the Winter Solstice ... ONCE in 452 years. Find the good things in winter and spring is a true fulfillment of the promise. FROM JACK: If the cloud cover caused the moon to be hidden, did the eclipse really happen? Was the moon really there?

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: I believe that most saints were human, who lived, as St. Paul, to witness to the Lord and to serve other humans . . . angels are just angels . . . saints are humans who are filled with the grace of God. FROM JACK: I look at "angels" more in the human those who carry the message of God to others. In that sense, you are both a saint and an angel.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I thought maybe he meant his hair was snow-white, but there was still fire in the furnace...At any rate, HOPE is the most important word in the Engllish language, to quote Eleanor Roosevelt...We absolutely have to have it. Especially when we contemplate the world we are leaving our children and grandchildren!:-( FROM JACK: Every generation has its challenges. "God is not dead, nor doth he sleep."

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: That's why I love the Midwest-- seasons! FROM JACK: We mid-westerners adapt to change. We might not always like it, but we adapt.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winning Words 12/20/10
“You don’t have to be an angel in order to be a saint.” (Albert Schweitzer) If anyone would have qualifications for sainthood, it would seem to be A.S.: theologian, physician, musician, missionary. But some “traditional” Christians have criticized him for his humanistic views. It only goes to show that it’s hard for an angel to be regarded as a saint. I don’t think that Albert wasted much sleep over it. ;-) Jack

FROM YOOPER PO: I hope not! FROM JACK: He probably went to the hospital in Lambarene to treat some sick people.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: I've been a long-time admirer of the man you quoted today. Schweitzer's altruism until his death, serving the sick and hungry in Africa, got little attention compared to the many "personalities" who are continuing such work today. I can only imagine what it was like with him sitting at the organ in his primitive hut, with stirring music wafting through the tangled jungle. FROM JACK: In today's world, some might call him paternalistic toward the Africans. Some might say that he was not "Christian" enough. But like the Good Samaritan, he offered help when it was needed and where it was needed.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Schweitzer was truly a man of God! FROM JACK: "Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3;18

FROM MOLINER CF: With all of his accomplishments, I don't think Al slept. FROM JACK: Maybe he practiced polyphasic sleep. Einstein and Edison did.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: its also hard to be a prophet in a non-profit organization! FROM JACK: It works, if you don't care about potential negative in the case of Amos.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Neither do his supporters.... FROM JACK: People who are really committed to a cause don't seem to be worry-warts.

FROM LIZ IN ILLINOIS: Saints are human. Angels aren't. Humans make mistakes. Am I correct in this? A.S. gets my vote, too... FROM JACK: It is what you want it to be. As far as definitions go: When St. Paul writes to the early Christians, he addresses the, as, "saints." In his thinking, a saint is a believer that Jesus is God, who came to earth in human form. The word, angel, is from the Greek, and means, a messenger. Anyone who relays the message of God by word or by action can be called an angel. It's as simple as that. At least it is, in my mind. Liz can then be both a saint and an angel.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winning Words 12/17/10
“There is always room at the top.” (Daniel Webster) Leo Durocher’s comment, “Nice guys finish last,” isn’t necessarily true. Recently I heard a local TV business reporter talk about some of the leaders, including U.S. presidents, that he has met. “One thing that I noticed about them was that they were really nice people.” Niceness doesn’t have to be a weakness. Have you met some “nice” successful people? ;-) Jack

FROM SF IN MICHIGAN: Ruth Holmes, nationally renown handwriting analyst, gave me some advice when she analyzed my handwriting: 'Too nice is too stupid' (She said it in French). In other words, going overboard, to your own detriment, is not so good. I also like the Chinese saying: 'Smile with teeth'. And regarding enemies: 'Kill em with kindness!' You can probably tell that I have thought a lot about being nice...which I try very hard to be!
FROM JACK: Early on, I learned the difference in spelling principle and principal. The school principal should be the students' "pal." No one ever looked at my handwriting and called it nice.

FROM IE IN MICHIGAN: Because of my "day job" I've not only met many "nice" people, but I've had an opportunity to interview them & they are not only nice but they are also intelligent..
FROM JACK: Like you, I've gotten to meet and talk with many people from a variety of backgrounds. Most of them are very nice.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Had lunch in a speakers room in 1984 with Art Linkletter, Washington DC, just the two of us. It would be hard to imagine a nicer person. He was the Keynote Speaker and I had a 10 minute part with one of the lessor known speakers. FROM JACK: Billy Graham spoke to the Detroit Economic Club, and I had some one on one time with him afterward. We talked about his visit to Moline, IL, when both of us were young people. He remembered the details of that time. We had a "nice" conversation.

FROM MOLINER CF: It's the nice ones who STAY at the top. FROM JACK: Sometimes. MORE FROM CF: My daddy always used to say, "Be nice to the janitor on the way up. You may meet him on the way down." FROM JACK: I thought that it was first said by Abe Ryser.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Many nice successful people, and of course some not so nice.. If people are happy with themselves, they are usually nice to others.They are not jealous of some other person's success, or comparing themselves to you in a competitive way. I find that successful, confident people are usually very good and interesting company! FROM JACK: In your many travels, who are some "nice" successful people that you've met?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winning Words 12/16/10
“You aren’t just the age you are. You are all the ages you have ever been.” (Kenneth Koch) There have been occasions lately when I’ve looked around and seen myself as the oldest person in the room. That’s not discouraging; I just smile and say to myself, “I’ve experienced every age of the people here. I know what it’s like to be them, but they don’t know what it’s like to be me.” ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: That's a pretty wild assumption....that you "know what it's like to be them." FROM JACK: Meaning...I know what it is to have been that age. For example, I remember what it was like (long ago) when I was your age.

FROM NL IN FLORIDA: AMEN TO THAT FROM JACK: It's nice to hear a voice from "the Amen Corner." Some churches would have a corner of the worship area where a group of members would gather. It was their job to shout, "AMEN," as the minister was preaching, in order to build up support for what he was saying.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Old age is like a stuffed Rolodex (are they still used in this era of Info Tech) where you can access a vast collection of past experiences recorded in the mind. FROM JACK: Rolodex? Wow! Talk about the Dark Ages. I have lots of "memory" in my computer, but it doesn't match that which is in my mind. MORE FROM RI: Few can match what is in your mind. FROM JACK: Just for fun...Today try to pull out something from the depths of your mind...something that you haven't thought about for a long, long time.

FROM SF IN MICHIGAN: This is great!! FROM JACK: I remember you as the one who introduced me to "Kindle." I see that they are now priced at, $139. One of these days......

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Sometimes it nice to be the oldest. My older sister Valerie would probably dispute that remark because I remind her of that fact quite a bit. We still laugh about it though. We grow a lot from childhood to adult and "older adult" but I am still the girl I was back then...just with a little more mileage and wrinkles. FROM JACK: I could look in the mirror and say, "I've become my father," but he died before he reached my age. What I can do is look back and try to remember myself at his age in various stages of his life.

FROM YOOPER PO: Oh what fun! FROM JACK: Each age makes it's own fun. I haven't come to the point where I think that playing BINGO is fun, but it might come sooner than I think.

FROM EAGLE EYE IN MICHIGAN: I am glad you are you. I thought I was the only one who didn’t know what month it is….Your senior is showing…. FROM JACK: Weren't you ever taught not to make fun of the elderly? I would to talk to my proof-reader about that mistake, except that people would see me talking to myself.....another sign that might be interpreted as...aging.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Yesterday I heard the exact same comment from two different people. In the afternoon talking with a 90 year old woman at Henry Ford Assisted Living, she told me she didn't choose to participate in crafts there because she has so many appointments with doctors, nurses, physical therapist and each appointment requires so much time getting ready, that she feels like she is living by the calendar. Last night a younger 58 year old woman who is busy with her kids and also kids she provides respite care to said
the exact same thing that she is living by the calendar. They are both in great spirits and I am wondering about ages and living by the calendar, is there some way to look at it all differently now before I get there?
FROM JACK: I have a watch that lists the date, as well as the time, hours, minutes and seconds. Every so often I have to change the battery. It's not the way with life, is it?

FROM MOLINER CF: Sammy Davis, Jr sang this song:

"I've Gotta Be Me"
Whether I'm right or whether I'm wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me, I've gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am

I want to live, not merely survive
And I won't give up this dream
Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
The dream that I see makes me what I am

That far-away prize, a world of success
Is waiting for me if I heed the call
I won't settle down, won't settle for less
As long as there's a chance that I can have it all

I'll go it alone, that's how it must be
I can't be right for somebody else
If I'm not right for me
I gotta be free, I've gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I've gotta be me

I'll go it alone, that's how it must be
I can't be right for somebody else
If I'm not right for me
I gotta be free, I just gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I gotta be me

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: I tell my kids that all the time...I have already been their ages, but they have not yet been mine. FROM JACK: And we must not forget what it was, to be like at the age of our children.

FROM A & M IN MICHIGAN: We have the same experience. We are fortunate.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: A good thought to hold when you are the oldest. I'll have to remember that! We have understanding of quite a span of years!! A blessing, for the most part. FROM JACK: All the parts make for a blessing, even though some parts of "the road" can be bumpy and perilous at times.

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN: The age quote is very appropriate, since today is my birthday. I often feel older than anyone in the room. FROM JACK: I get that feeling once in a while, too, but I try not to dwell on it.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Good point, Jack. That makes you a resource for any of them, in case they are so inclined. BTW: Do they look at you like you maybe understand where they are? Anyway, it's a good feeling to have. FROM JACK: Winning Words makes it seem that I'm not so far behind the times. Texting (which I don't do) puts me in another age. E-mail is sooooo "old." Most of the time we relate.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: I think I like some of the other ones (ages) better than this one, although I’ not sure I want to relive them. FROM JACK: Life is a progression with the end as a new beginning.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winning Words 12/15/10
“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.” (Ivy Baker Priest) Priest was US Treasurer for 8 years under Eisenhower, and her signature was on all currency. She said: “Women don’t care if their picture is on money, as long as they can get their hands on it.” Today’s quote is a reminder that life has a way of being cyclical. Don’t give up. A new day is dawning. ;-) Jack

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: I read your devotional today and it seemed to ring true what is happening in my life at the moment. As I am in a transition phase in my life, you are right - I need to stay focused and not grow faint.
FROM JACK: The host of an old radio show (sort of like American Idol) used to say, "Round and round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows." Each choice determines another choice, and so on. We're always in transition, when you get down to it.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: What goes around comes around is a saying down here that I never heard while living in the North. FROM JACK: If you live long enough, you sometimes run out of new stuff and have to recycle the old stuff....or have I told you that one before?

FROM MOLINER CF: If the world is round, we should never get lost...just derailed now and then. FROM JACK: That's what your GPS is for. Santa uses one all the time. MORE FROM CF: The mother of one of my friends used to say. "You're never lost if you have a tank full of gas."

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I like Ivy Baker Priest! And quite agree. In a round world, who is to say what is the end, and what is a beginning? And getting our hands on some money is always a preoccupation...ha! She didn't get to where she was by being dumb, or naive! But she also had a sense of humor apparently, which tends to make the challenges of life a bit more palatable! FROM JACK: Is the song, "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," a stereotype?

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: I often forward your winning words to my sister can you put her on your list? I can’t imagine how many people you have on that list. FROM JACK: This is the season for sharing. Over 400 on the WWs list at this time. Your sister makes one more.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winning Words 12/14/10
“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to you when you go for a walk.” (Raymond Inmon) Someone that I know sent me an envelope full of quotations that I might use as Winning Words. I’ll be using a few from time to time – like today. I see people walking down our street, in the mall. Some of them are wearing ear buds. I wonder if angels can whisper through iPods. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Yes, this morning through the soft dawn they said, “Go inside—it’s 10 degrees out here. Get thee to a mall!” FROM JACK: Angels are in the mall, too, and not just hanging from the ceiling.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: While I don’t believe in angels, I have to tell you that this is a terrific quote. FROM JACK: Speaking as a theologian, the word angel, means a messenger from God. I believe that God sends messages to us in a variety of ways. It may be by way of a person, an event, a thought. However that message comes, the one who brings it...person, event, an angel. Perhaps you might want to reconsider your belief in angels. MORE FROM HS: Certainly a fair point. I just think it’s the nomenclature to which I am personally unaccustomed but I loved the thought. In biblical times the visual of a winged creature had some relevance, but God chooses to "appear" to each of us us in a way gives meaning to the message.

FROM PO IN BETHLEHEM: Have been walking in Bethlehem all day. Spent a lot of time getting lost, but that's how you meet people and by far the most of them couldn't be more helpful. FROM JACK: What a thrill it must be, to walk in Bethlehem at this time of the year. Have you heard any angels sing? Or have you heard any messages from God?

FROM JK IN JAPAN: I am back in Japan for another meeting, but I wanted to Thank You for your encouragement. It has been a really, really long travel day.... I will be up late working on information
for tommorow's meeting but I wanted to say Hello & ask for a prayer for clarity and mental refreshing tonight as I sit down in front of the computer. FROM JACK: Thank you for providing the quote for today's WWs. There are angels in Japan, too, because God follows us wherever we go and even knows how to enter a computer mouse.

FROM CS IN WISCONSIN: I am always looking for creative ideas, but I think I’ll wait to walk until it is a little warmer. It is -19 here this morning. Hope you are a lot warmer! FROM JACK: I carry a card which says, "Wherever I am, God is!" That goes for his angels, too. 19 below, or hotter that h---, God is there.

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: i love to listening to whispers in the wind. some think they are one's own thoughts. i choose to believe that they are messages from creation or those bearing the message. FROM JACK: The miracle of God's message is that "one size fits all." No discrimination. No boundaries. We are one in the Spirit.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: I think they whisper to you when you are listening to a dull unprepared sermon....thank God! FROM JACK: Yes, God is a God of miracles and can use imperfect people as his angels. Sometimes, that's a hard lesson to learn. We get the message mixed up with the messenger.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Yesterday while we were taking our daily evening walk, lo and behold there was a tiny screech owl sitting on the lawn. Its eyes were huge and he/she looked just as surprised as we were. Marley. the dog we walk, missed the owl completely before it flew away. FROM JACK: Something to think about... Can a screech owl be a messenger from God? A friend was going through a difficult time and went out for a walk. As he walked, he saw an eagle soaring overhead and following him. He felt the presence of God.

FROM MOLINER CF: Angels are capable of turning down the iPod volume when they have something to whisper. But keep your hearing aid tuned in. FROM JACK: Someone recently told me that God spoke to them through the song, "Here I am, Lord." I don't whether or not they were listening on an iPod.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Good quote but today my angel is telling me to keep off the ice. He/she is watching out for me! FROM JACK: Maybe you can sing this song:

Well it's all night, all day, angels a watchin’ over me my Lord
Well it's all night, all day, angels a watchin’ over me.

FROM OLD SHEP IN MICHIGAN: That's where I always get my ideas. Sometimes they come so fast I have to have tricks for remembering them all. But today I went to the gym for my workout on the treadmill. too cold outside. Brrrrr! It doesn't work as well for ideas as my 4 mile walk in Royal Oak. hope you and mary are staying cozy. FROM JACK: Maybe you should carry a tape recorder with you for those ideas.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: anything's possible, but it might be a little garbled. FROM JACK: ...and sometime the hearing ain't what it used to be.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Ha! Well, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks...Give it a try! :-) FROM JACK: Does that mean you are hi-tech enough to have an iPod?

FROM PO, HOME FROM BETHLEHEM: It was a peculiar trip. I went to take part in a walk on a portion of Abraham's Path in the Judean Desert with an overnight stay in a Bedouin camp only to have it cancelled because of severe storms. But managed to have a good time anyway including an interesting encounter with a pickpocket. I was able to retain my possessions, but my he was good! I'm now 36 hours without sleep (have never learned to sleep on a plane, even the overnight flights) so don't plan to even unpack til later. FROM JACK: Interesting! I walked where Jesus walked and met a pickpocket. I wonder if there were pickpockets in his day? Did robes have pockets?

ANOTHER THOUGHT FROM YOOPER PO: lol --- as to the voice of angels and the voice of God, I fairly often
hear the voice of angels no matter where I am. But I find I'm much more questioning about the voice of God because I'm not sure it's what God wants or what I want! FROM JACK: If angels are God's messengers, you might have been hearing the voice of God without knowing it. MORE FROM PO: I didn't think about it that way --- always good to get a fresh perspective on these things!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winning Words 12/13/10
“Nothing ahead of you is bigger or stronger than the power of God behind you.” (Sent by PRPH) A friend of mine has gone through some very difficult times. An unexpected diagnosis. A treatment with uncertain results. Changing priorities. The problem loomed big and strong. But by recognizing the presence of God, and by taking one day at a time, a “higher power” has taken over his life. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Changing priorities rang out to me. Say you want to get from A to B and one person in front of you seems to control the situation. Do you just decide not to go to B or do you trust that God still wants you to go to B and that He will put another person in front of you or else transform the first person to support and not oppose this journey from A to B. I'm so thankful for that scripture from the Apostle Paul I think that we see through a dim glass darkly--it seems to help in this taking life one day at a time and not feeling so lonely about it all. Plus also every morning your WW. They do offer daily encouragement. Thanks from one of your readers.
FROM JACK: The petition, "Thy will be done," means that God will help us to find a way through problem situations if we are patient enough.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I tried, just yesterday, to think how differently I would act if I knew I had only a certain amount of time left here on earth, perhaps 3 months, or even a year. I wondered how I would prioritize my time--what would be important? Would leaving words, songs, poems, or letters for loved ones be more important than just spending actual time with them (even if that time was uncomfortable for them)? I hope I never have to make that decision. After a few hours I slid back into my comfortable existence--recognizing how blessed I am. FROM JACK: Just wondering...... If someone we know goes into hospice care, would it be acceptable or unacceptable to ask what it's like to know that the end is approaching. It might come up in conversation without asking the question directly. Still wondering.

FROM MOLINER CF: Larry does listen. FROM JACK: I read that God doesn't think that he's Larry.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: That's true, even when the answer is not what you would like or even what you prayed for... FROM JACK: I find comfort and guidance in the petition: "They will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." The power of God is beyond our knowing.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: What a wonderful message!! I will keep your friend in my prayers. God knows his name FROM JACK: God knows a lot of things....far beyond our understanding. Amazing!

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: An excellent quote...we find this truth, that God behind you (or at your side) is a powerful force in dealing with serious setbacks or health problems, or times of LOSS. I hope your friend's health is improving! But either way he/she has gained wisdom that will always stand in good stead!! FROM JACK: It's always one day at a time.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winning Words 12/10/10
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” (Anne Bradstreet) Anne came to America with the Puritans in 1630. The new colony was plagued with illness and starvation, especially during the winter. Even though having a life of poor health, Anne went on to become one of the founders of Harvard Univ. Adversity doesn’t have to get us down. Springtime is coming. ;-) Jack

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: if there were no sorrow, how could we experience joy? my mom told me that. a person important to us died this week. no matter how sad i feel, i can't stop from smiling when i remember her joyful whimsical spirit. we were lucky to have her in human form. FROM JACK: Attitude makes a big difference in our life. I like the song, "Put on a happy face."

Gray skies are gonna clear up,
Put on a happy face;
Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
Put on a happy face.
Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy,
It's not your style;
You'll look so good that you'll be glad
Ya' decide to smile!
Pick out a pleasant outlook,
Stick out that noble chin;
Wipe off that "full of doubt" look,
Slap on a happy grin!
And spread sunshine all over the place,
Just put on a happy face!
Put on a happy face
Put on a happy face
And if you're feeling cross and bitterish
Don't sit and whine
Think of banana split and licorice
And you'll feel fine
I knew a girl so glooming
She'd never laugh or sing
She wouldn't listen to me
Now she's a mean old thing
So spread sunshine all over the place
Just put on a happy face
So, put on a happy face

MORE FROM ML: we sang that song at pre-school graduation one year. just imagine a bunch of 5 year olds putting on happy faces! i'm glad you reminded me of it. we might have to try it again.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: All four seasons account for more than our pleasure. Nevertheless,
each of the seasons gives so many satisfying choices for personal pleasure. Bradstreet's
words are full of insight, and your closing words, "Springtime is coming", are comforting
words of hope. FROM JACK: If the spirit of being a complainer lives within us, no season is a happy one. Honey is sweeter than vinegar.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: A very good one! FROM JACK: ...especially since we woke up to snow this morning.

FROM MOLINER CF: Just knowing that spring is coming gives us the strength to shovel snow. FROM JACK: There was a time when I shoveled snow. That's when I dreamed of spring. Now, I just look at the calendar and let the plow guys deal with the snow.

FROM NK IN WISCONSIN: I'll keep this in mind after we just rec'd a major winter snow storm- the worst since 1991! thx! springtime is coming! FROM JACK: I'm waiting for Groundhog Day. When I watch that movie (as I do each year), I know that spring is around the corner. We had our first plowed snow today (Dec 12).

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: With the temperature outside a stinging 12 degrees, it is good to remember 'Spring will come! I spent last weekend in Chicago, and it was blizzard-like Saturday eve. and Sunday. But Sarah's Chicago Chorale Concert was worth the trip! :-) I have that saying LIFE IS NOT ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORM TO PASS. IT IS ABOUT LEARNING TO DANCE IN THE RAIN prominently displayed in my living room. Adversity can make us better dancers! We have to at least TRY! FROM JACK: When I try dancing (in the rain or not) , it looks like Steve Martin in "The Jerk."

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Winning Words 12/9/10
“P.U.S.H. – Pray Until Something Happens.” (Unknown) I was looking through a catalog recently and saw this slogan printed on a sweatshirt. I didn’t order the item, but I did tear out the page. There are some concerns that have been on my Prayer List for well over a year. The temptation is to replace them with newer concerns. Or maybe I need to learn the lesson of patience and of - PUSH! ;-) Jack

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: Love that saying. I posted it on my board a couple of years ago. FROM JACK: I must have been looking at an old catalog. It is a good saying, isn't it?

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: As I have been cleaning out my Mother's room I really took a look at her Bible. I knew that she had written many interesting things in it. Now that the Bible is "mine" I am really studying it. Your WW for today reminded me of something I just saw in her Bible yesterday: B-I-B-L-E,Basic Information Before Leaving Earth. I like that! FROM JACK: I like acrostics, too. Your mother is still speaking to you through her Bible. She left you a treasure.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: So this motavational speaker was looking for a theme for his talk as he walked into the auditorium and saw the sign on the door that said push and said – that’s it . So during his talk he says – if you want to know what it takes and a good word for success look at the sign on the door. The probllem was the sign on the inside of the door said pull. Your word just reminded me of this story. FROM JACK: Your task for today: Take the letters, P.U.L.L. and use them as an acrostic for a message for success. I'll be waiting to hear from you. MORE FROM DAZ:
Putting you future success
Under the control of someone who
Leverages you talent so you
Land one rung up

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Great WW. Doing a blog book study, Henri Nouwan, "Reaching Out", "The movement from illusion to prayer is hard to make since it leads us from false certainties to true uncertainties (TRUE UNCERTAINTIES?!!!), from an easy support system to a risky surrender, and from the many 'safe' gods to the God whose LOVE HAS NO LIMITS." Sounds like prayer is process, prayer is transformation, something does happen, just praying blind me and others can see it. What a wonderful God whose love has no limits.

FROM MOLINER CF: "P.U.L.L.- Pray Until Larry Listens" I remember a "Becker" episode where God's name was Larry. And for some reason it stuck. FROM JACK: As an advertising guru, you should be able to come up with an acrostic for the holidays.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Maybe those prayers you have been praying are being answered....just not in the way you expect. Keep listening. I love P.U.S.H. FROM JACK: Yes, all prayers are being answered....Just not using our timetable. I like the Lord's Prayer petition: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: PUSH. How long does not matter. FROM JACK: God doesn't wear a wrist watch

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Yes, I've seen P.U.S.H. as of our circle ladies used it for a devotional last year. A good thing to remember, especially if you are not long on patience. I am getting better at it as I age. Actually, I'm slower at everything!! :-( Oh well! FROM JACK: We have a lot to learn about prayer...and how to use it.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Winning Words 12/8/10
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” (Mother Theresa – sent by Dave Henig) Dave and I were at a meeting last week when a program to assist the hungry was talked about. The religious groups in our community are hoping to collect a half ton of food on the 1st Friday of each month in order to provide 45,000 meals a day for parents skipping meals to feed their children and for seniors choosing heat and prescriptions over food. ;-) Jack

FROM YOOPER BOB: May the God of compassion and justice so inspire the community to respond in abundance! FROM JACK: The divide between the rich and the poor widens, but our religious groups (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) are seeking to bring us closer together. "Your pain is our pain."

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: That is right on target! I wonder how many people DON'T take action just because a large-scale problem makes them feel powerless to help. FROM JACK: There's a Catholic Church near us that was built from "penny" contributions during the depression era.

FROM DS IN MICHIGAN: This is wonderful. How can I help? Wish we had made a canned food drive for the Coalition's Friday breakfast. We are doing that with a teen activity over the Holidays FROM JACK: A Ford van will be in the parking lot of Prince of Peace Catholic Church on the 1st Friday of each month starting next month. You can open the van door and leave your items. Stay tuned for this Friday's prayer.

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: What a worthy cause. FROM JACK: What I like about it is that it's a community project, and you know (first-hand) where the gifts are going.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Very good. So far as giving goes, Peter Drucker, my guru in mgt., said that people give to results, not needs. The point being that there are many needs in the world, but we give to places that will do the most for the investment. FROM JACK: Since the givers are in our community, and the need is in our community, it's practically hand to mouth.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: I agree with Mother Theresa, of course. But whatever happened to our country in the last fifty years that families or neighbors no longer help when the need is there? Nothing is ever perfect, but we see it ins Tampa and Orlando, where many come for the warmer weather. St. Petersburg has outlawed panhandling. The churches in Tampa have banded together and formed the Metropolitan Ministries which offers food and shelter. Individual churches have their own pantries besides. FROM JACK: One thing I like about our program is that it is spearheaded by the religious community. They have seen the need and are stepping forward to help with the problem. "Government" does not see the issue with the same set of eyes. The poor and homeless here have the additional problem of trying to keep warm.

FROM MAD IN MICHIGAN: Hi, Where do we take the food? FROM JACK: On the first Friday of each month, there will be a clearly marked van in the parking lot of Prince of Peace Catholic Church on Walnut Lake Rd. Put the food inside of the van. Let me know if you have trouble finding it.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I am going to a Christmas Tea at a friend’s home. She suggested that we bring something for the food shelf—great idea and I will do that! FROM JACK: If each of us could come up with an idea like that...what a great world this would be!

FROM PRCH ON CAPE COD: Helpful advice –especially this time of year where one is inundated with pleas from charities and ministries to give… and one just can’t do it all… (but one can do something!) FROM JACK: Is there a "hunger" problem on the Cape? Or is it a Detroit phenomena? MORE FROM CH: Food pantry usage at our church is up significantly, and around the Cape as well.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It's almost overwhelming how many people need help right now. K's two friends husbands just lost their jobs...and one their home on top of it. When we are pulled in so many directions, it's so easy to just says enough. I truly believe people as a whole are more than willing to help out...the need is just overwhelming. But to help just one will be just one who doesn't need help from someone else. FROM JACK: As the saying goes, "If you can help just one (of them) that's what it's about." Their pain is my pain.

FROM LIZ IN ILLINOIS: The "heat or meat" situation is a tough one, especially this time of year. I've chosen heat. FROM JACK: Life is made up of many choices...and some are especially hard for those with limited incomes. Some of us are so used to comfort, that we really don't know what dis-comfort is.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: We serve the homeless the last Tues. of each month. In Nov.. we had over 100 come for dinner..more than ever before. We also give food for the food bank on communion Sunday each month. Our food pantries are stretched to the limit all the time! Hard to imagine in our country there is so much need! I visited Mother Theresa's compound in Calcutta, when I toured India with AB Women three years ago.
FROM JACK: In biblical days, those with the disease of leprosy had to shout, "Unclean!" so that others would steer clear of them. In today's world, we are often so insulated from the hungry and the homeless that we are unaware of their real suffering and have no clue as to how they feel, physically and emotionally.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Found out from gardening that, if you want to want to propagate some seeds indoors, you have to put them in the freezer so they can have their cold dormant time. Maybe this is theodicy of plant life or something. FROM JACK: That's one I've never heard before...and it fits, too.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Winning Words 12/7/10
“Let’s remember Pearl Harbor, as we did the Alamo.” (Don Reid) Some of you will know these words and be able to sing them. 12/7/41 was important in my youth. FDR referred to it as “a date which will live in infamy.” Infamy is a descriptive word reserved for the worst of circumstances. You might want to look it up, if you don’t already know its meaning. 9/11 lives in infamy, too. ;-) Jack

As we go to meet the foe.
As we did the Alamo.
We will always remember how they died for Liberty.
And go on to victory."

FROM SG IN TAMPA: I just came in after hanging up the flag. FROM JACK: I salute you! One of my friends has a son serving with the Marines in Afghanisrtan. A buddy from his troop was killed yesterday in small arms fire. "How many times must the cannonballs fly..."

FROM MOLINER CF: We tend to think of a day of infamy as something that happened to us here in America. The opening of Auschwittz certainly ranks at the top of of any list.If we broaden our focus, how many more are there? FROM JACK: Gettysburg, for one.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: What is astounding to me when I read the "inside" account of Pearl Harbor, and it is also referred to, when you take the tour in Hawaii of Pearl Harbor, was how warnings were ignored, which allowed such a disaster to happen. We now know this could have been diverted or prevented, or at least defended! History has too many "days of Infamy" !! FROM JACK: Read again, the fable of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." We are getting warnings of one sort or another all of the time. We pick and choose, because it's physically and psychologically impossible to be on the alert all of the time.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We remember the day of "Infamy" as well as we remember Nov 22, 1964, the Shuttle disaster, 9-11 etc. Thankfully, they are a small number. I try to remember the ccompassion and the strength of our nation. FROM JACK: I think that television has made some events more memorable than others. As more and more of a generation die off, the first-hand memories fade away, too.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: Yes, today we remember Pearl Harbor. Forty years ago today at 9:30 a.m. our family flew to Detroit from Milwaukee. GM had closed down their guidance missile program . It was Detroit or Kokomo if we wanted to continue with GM. We left our first son there to attend U. of Wisconsin. We brought my widowed father-in-law and our four children. Every year , our second son calls to remind us of the day that lives in infamy for our family. We spent fifteen years in Wisconsin, had three children there and learned to appreciate the midwest. We made good friends whom we still hold dear and keep in touch . Many have died. It turned out well. At the time, it was miserable. Leaving friends at the holidays was painful. We went to our new church, met new friends. Neighbors called us and made us welcome. My husband's new hobby was driving me to Milwaukee. Time does heal all wounds. Today Japan is a democratic ally. Our family celebrates our long, happy life in Michigan. FROM JACK: The move to Michigan happened 41 years ago on Labor Day weekend. I told my "Wisconsin" girl that we'd stay three years, and then decide whether or not to leave. We go back to the Dairy State at least once a year.

FROM MOLINER CF: And Nagasaki for another. FROM JACK: It's said that General Sherman gave his "War is hell" speech about five miles from where we live.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Winning Words 12/6/10
“Remember that credit is money.” (Ben Franklin) In BF’s Poor Richard’s Almanack, there’s a whole chapter on Thrift as a Virtue. It’s apropos for this “spending/charging” season. I read this week that 6 out of 10 Americans are in serious credit card debt. Ben’s advice is good, and it’s free. What a deal! Check your memory. Are there any favorite Franklin quotes that come to mind? ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: I suppose one of Ben's best known quotes is, "A penny saved is a penny earned." It's true, and saving enough of them can add up. I sometimes carry a picture of Ben in my wallet. FROM JACK: I carry a picture of George Washington in my wallet, and a MasterCard, too.

FROM PRLH (CLUSTER DEAN): Greetings Cluster Pastors - at our meeting last week retired pastor Jack Freed shared about his ongoing internet ministry called Winning Words - just in case you have not seen one of these great little conversation (and sometimes sermon) starters, here is the one for today - to subscribe just let Jack know. FROM JACK: I'd put you on the payroll, Jonathan...except that there's no payroll. Another quote from Poor Richard's Almanack.....""Blessed is he that expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed." This quote should be able to fit (somehow) this season of expectation.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Excellent! Timely! It does seem as though people are reducing their credit purchases here. FROM JACK: But, those ads can be soooo enticing. "Yield not to temptation..." as the old song goes.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” Ben Franklin FROM JACK: Old Ben is remembered for his many sayings and his inventions and his brilliant mind. I wonder if he ever had an "ego" problem. MORE FROM JON: No more so than any other politician….He wrote of taming his ego in his Biography and followed the writings of an early preacher named Cotton Mather. EVEN MORE FROM JON: Everyone is listening to their personal radio station: WIIFM (What’s In It For Me)….

FROM SG IN TAMPA: A penny saved is a penny earned. FROM JACK: I've heard that it costs almost 2 cents to make a penny. Some have said that pennies should be discontinued. If that happens, Ben's saying will become obsolete

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: My favorite money quote does not come from Franklin but The Bard, Neither a borrower or a lender be FROM JACK: Having said that....Do you pay cash for everything? No credit cards? No mortgage or car payments? I know of a man who always uses cash for his church offering. It makes him "feel" like he's really giving.

FROM MOLINER CF: "I wish I had something to help me read this small type." FROM JACK: Funny, but that's just what Ben said. Ben also wrote: Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something.

FROM LH IN MICHIGAN: My mom was very fond of using Ben Franklin quotations, so I'm familiar w/ lots of them. (Mother liked to "pep up" winter a bit by having special 'birthday dinners', so in January we'd celebrate Ben's birthday, in February George Washington's, etc.) Her annual Ben Franklin monthly calendar was a fixture in the kitchen by the wall phone. Every yr. different sayings were used for each month and the ink color would be different. I can just "see" it now. Though it's made me a bit teary, thank you for reminding me of a fond memory. FROM JACK: What a great idea....A special birthday party to "spice" up the month. I wonder if they still make Ben Franklin calendars. They have Franklin Planners, but I don't see them used much anymore.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Not advice I take, since I'm a night owl, but on those few occasions when I get enough sleep to wake up perky in the early morning, it's a delight to watch the sun rise over the little lake behind my apartment and thank God for the day to come. FROM JACK: Ben lived in an era when it was believed that hard work would be rewarded. We seem to be more cynical about that today. My parents put that saying in these words: "Don't complain! Hard work is good for you."

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Goes along with "A Penny Saved, is a penny earned" ...When Ben Franklin was warned that he was surrounded by spies, after he landed in France, he responded: "I have long observed one rule which prevents any inconveniences from such practices. It is simply this: to be concerned in no affaires I should blush to have made public, and to do nothing but what spies may see and welcome. When a man's actions are just and honorable, the more they are known, the more his reputation is increased and
established. If I was sure therefore, that my valet de place was a spy, as he probably is, I think I should probably not discharge him for that, if in other respects, I like him" Isaacson says Franklin, in his 84 yrs. was America's best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer and business strategist, and a practical, if not profound, political thinker. Gee, we'd better get busy and make OUR lives count...only four yrs. to go for me!! FROM JACK: It's said that if you want to know what a man is really like, ask his valet. In your case, we'll have to ask your maid. I'm sure that Ben was like the rest of us, in that no one is perfect. I once gave a speech on the occasion of George Washington's birthday. In a clever way, I pointed out documented imperfections of "the father of our country." The class got a lick out of it. The professor said that it was a good speech, technically, but that it was totally inappropriate. Augustana College was a place for learning, and I really learned something that day.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Winning Words 12/3/10
“If thou thinkest twice, before thou speakest once, thou wilt speak twice the better for it.” (Wm Penn) Penn was one of the first to suggest a union of the colonies, a pre-cursor of the USA. His idea of democratic principles became an inspiration for our US Constitution. He wasn’t as successful in promoting the concept of pacifism and the idea of a United States of Europe. No one’s perfect! ;-) Jack

FROM NL IN INDIANA/FLORIDA: I like that. I wish more did. FROM JACK: Sometimes we lose track of the old guys, like Penn.

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Nothing is perfect until we get to Heaven. FROM JACK: I'm wondering....Will we bring our ideas of perfection with us?

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Penn not only thought and spoke...he took action. He was perhaps the first urban planner in this country, designing and creating Philadelphia. FROM JACK: After spending 9 years on the Planning Commission of our community, I've come to realize that planning is not always received with enthusiasm. It's hard for some to believe that planners know what they're doing. MORE FROM RI: I hear you. Having sat on some local-government committees I've witnessed some of the same. In my opinion the conflict comes when the voices of self-interest confront the voices of communal interest. The U.S is a populace of individuals with personal concerns, not a collective of citizens with communal concerns. (One problem is "communal" sounds too much like "communist".) Also, most people do not understand that a
"plan" is not set in is a starting point that is adaptable to change. But of course you know that. I applaud you for your involvement on the Planning Commission (and other things).

FROM MOLINER CF: WP may not have been perfect but how many guys have a State named in their honor?
FROM JACK: I don't know. Al ask a.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Love this one. If I had to speak like they spoke, I would probably have had to think twice too. William Penn was of one the USA's heroes. He thought outside the box. We should be grateful to him and all of our founding fathers. They weren't perfect but they did an outstanding job of building our country. FROM JACK: I like the word, sylvan (wooded area), particularly when connected with Penn. It just sounds right. I can imagine it looked right, too, in Penn's day.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN: What a word to place before each couple before they make their vows in marriage! FROM JACK: I hadn't thought of it in that way, but it makes sense. It could also be used at the swearing in of legislators.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: I'm sure we'd all be the better for thinking twice before speaking...keeping us from "open mouth, insert foot" disease... I came across a saying you might want to use sometime along these lines: "IF WE EXPIRE WHEN WE DIE, SHOULDN'T WE INSPIRE WHILE WE LIVE?" George Goldtrap I have no idea
who this gentleman is, but it is a good thought! FROM JACK: It seems that George Goldtrap was a TV weatherman, Uncle Albert (kind of a Mr. Rogers) on a kids' program, and a humor writer. Your quote shows that he had a way with words.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Winning Words 12/2/10
“The young man knows the rules. The old man knows the exceptions.” (O.W. Holmes) In last Sunday’s PARADE magazine, there was an article describing how and why the brain of a teen is different from that of an adult. There are reasons why a child can be so smart and so clueless at the same time. Life could be so much easier, if we’d just take the time to try and understand one another. ;-) Jack

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN: Amen Jack. It is easy to expect others to understand everything we understand when in fact circumstances such as the one you mention prevent it. FROM JACK: If only we could "see" that there are other points of view. We don't all see with the same set of eyes, using the same brain. The world becomes more beautiful when we ask others to explain what they see.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Ain't it the truth. In fact, I find it so easy to see both sides of a situation that I usually seem down right wishy-washy. A trait that I think I may have gotten from my Mother who was very non-judgmental. We miss her! FROM JACK: Oh, that explains my "wishy-washyness." Sitting on the fence allows you to see both sides, doesn't it?

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: We have more people coming through our church doors now to use the food pantry. Last night we had a homeless person join us for prayer. I don't know where he eventually slept but we all felt comforted praying together and I feel like it's the depression again when people realized poverty wasn't just an individual's situation but systemically in the culture. He had been in a shelter getting eaten up by bed bugs. Now he needs money to get to Texas for a job. We probably should have had a man/woman of wealth
praying with us last night for us all to be able to understand each other better in these United States. Now I see better why Jesus spent so much time eating and drinking with the Pharaisees and the Publicans and so many other rich people. He was smart and could see all our needs and the world was beautified. Just trying to see here this morning. FROM JACK: We need experiences like you had last night in order to see with other eyes.

FROM MOLINER CF: One thing the old need to remember: they were once the young. FROM JACK: .... because the young can't remember what it was like to be old. I don't mind it when the young sometimes laugh us oldtimers, because I did the same thing when I was their age. MORE FROM CF: Our conversation reminds me of when I was in Boot Camp. I was 18 and fresh out of high school, as were most of the platoon. One of the guys was 24 and we called him "Pappy."

FROM SG IN TAMPA: Just maybe the teens learn from the actions of the adults around them and that is one of our main goals in life. One of my granddaughters is preparing for confirmation and one of the projects was to sleep out and to serve the homeless in St. Petersburg in a shelter called Pinellas Hope. FROM JACK: What a great and memorable experience for a young person. Confirmation is a time for getting to know what "faith" is all about. "Sleeping out" as a homeless person is different than going out on a camping trip.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: Good saying! And every rule has exceptions! My grandson is VERY bright but when he was growing up he was not imbued with common sense, at times! But he was the Go-to person by third grade, for the whole school, if a computer needed to be fixed, and was a Merit scholar, getting a full ride to Arizona State. (Had his choice of Yale, Northwestern, Princeton, etc.) and has done really well out in the Real World as a business consultant, so there you go. His dad is Fred, the AB Minister, the youngest of my 3 sons. All of Fred and Judy's 3 children are outstanding. They were exceptional nurturing parents. How did I get off on this, when the saying was featuring diversity and acceptance??! ' FROM JACK: That's the mom and grandma in you doing the writing.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Winning Words 12/1/10
“Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.” (Robert Orben— What is it that makes one rich? I’m sure that Bill Gates doesn’t lounge around all day in his PJs. Why not keep a scrap of paper by your computer today and jot down the valuable things in your life? Maybe you’ll find that you’re as rich as Bill. ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Last Friday I woke up really feeling terrible. I had gotten a really bad cold and it had totally settled in. I lounged the whole day in my PJs. I slept practically all day long. I didn't shower or shave or even brush my teeth....ate almost nothing. Lounging around in one's PJs is not a great way to live!!!

FROM RI IN BOSTON: I think the Bible story of The Widow's Mite is relevant here. She gave what she could
afford to give. In our home we give to benefit others, to the degree that we can afford to give. What I admire in Bill and Melinda Gates (and other such philanthropists) is their decision to give the money away. You can feel "rich" when you take pleasure in giving away. FROM JACK: What I like about the "widow" story is that she did not give what she could "afford" to give. I still have a a ways to go. Having said that, I do admire Bill and Melinda and how they are trying to inspire other "rich" people to do the same. MORE FROM RI: You're correct...she gave because she wanted to help somehow with what she had. FROM JACK: O. Henry's stories often had endings like some of the stories Jesus told.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: "You are rich when you are satisfied with what you have." FROM JACK: You may have missed it, but someone wrote on the blog recently that her husband put a saying on their refrigerator: "WANT WHAT YOU HAVE, AND YOU'LL ALWAYS HAVE WHAT YOU WANT." Good advice for all of us.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: God's Work, our hands. I just keep trying to remember and live into that. FROM JACK: I'm still working on God's Word: "Love one another, as I have loved you."

FROM ML IN ILLINOIS: well, george bailey was " the richest man in town" according to his wealthy brother. FROM JACK: Ahhhh, the old philosophical question: "What is it that makes one wealthy?" It's about time to take another look at that old movie, "It's a Wonderful Life."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Loved this one! Most people have what they have because of what they do to earn it. Some aren't so fortunate but work hard. And some live off of others because they have learned to do so. So many times we are judged by what we have or don't have and not who we are! Our family is truly blessed by who we have and not what we have. I will make that list and it will be a long one! FROM JACK: Sometimes we don't practice what we preach. Thanks for the reminder to start my own list.

FROM YOOPER P.O.: Hands down --- richer (I don't even have to make a list). FROM JACK: You're right! When the list is "etched" in your mind, you don't to put it on paper. Are pasties on your list?

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: My Grandfather Lindquist was a poor western New York farmer, Father of nine children [my Dad was child 3]. I can still recall his words when he told me that his children made him the richest man alive. FROM JACK: Add to the list of valuables.....a mind that can take WWs and cause you to member your grandfather and his wise words. God is good!

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: Did you see "This Week" with the the interview of Warren Buffett, Ted Turner, and Bill-Melinda Gates? They are forming a movement among Billionaires called "The Pledge." Over 90% of there fortunes are going to Philanthropy. It was amazing to me to hear each one say..."We are not paying enough in taxes. We feel it's our moral obligation to do something worthwhile with the money and not just give it to our
children our keep it in the bank. It was amazing! FROM JACK: I did not see it, but I heard of it. I also heard that not all who were contacted bought into the idea of altruism. I agree with the idea of paying taxes to help support our way of life. At the same time, I respect the right of others to believe that taxes are t5oo high. That's what democracy is about. I commend Warren, Ted, Bill and Melinda for taking the initiative.

FROM MO IN ILLINOIS: This brought a smile! A bit of wry humor, we all enjoy. I feel I have worked very hard in my day, when teachers (and preachers) were not highly paid, but as we age, I know we consider ourselves rich in health, relationships, family, and opportunities we've had to travel and see the world...If we are comfortably well off, we are rich enough! Bill (and I'm sure you also) counseled many wealthy people who were not happy. In fact one very wealthy senator (*he was Senate chaplain for 10 yrs) said, "Bill, I don't think I'll ever be happy again." He was going through a divorce, his children had problems, etc. so money didn't mean much... There are lots of things we cannot afford, but hey, WANT WHAT YOU HAVE, AND YOU'LL ALWAYS HAVE WHAT YOU WANT! Right? FROM JACK: Life has a way of getting us to put things into perspective. The Bible has many stories on this subject.