Thursday, March 31, 2011

Winning Words 3/31/11
“Baseball? It’s just a game, a bat and a ball…and sometimes even a religion.” (Ernie Harwell) Ernie, the long-time Tigers’ announcer, died last year. He’d always begin the season by quoting from Song of Solomon, 2:12. He was a humble man, and I still remember the time he spoke from our church pulpit. “Sports” has truly become a religion for many people, but for Ernie, baseball was just a game. ;-) Jack

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: Opening Day and Words of Wisdom from Jack Freed that includes Ernie Harwell .....There is hope for this world! FROM JACK: "For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN: Good morning ! In the distance I hear birds voices .. Excited about the day! As I open my chest and breath I give thanks for the blessing of another day. It was nice to get ur words. Have an easy day. FROM JACK: I have a friend who says that he begins each day by getting up and singing: "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." With or without the singing, it's a good thought. Perhaps the birds can provide the singing.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: It is just a game but spring training is fun. The Rays won yesterday. FROM JACK: In spring training the games can be fun, because they don't count...except for those players who are trying to make the team.

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: From Field of Dreams: Ray, people will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. "Of co...urse, we won't mind if you have a look around," you'll say. "It's only twenty dollars per person." They'll pass over the money without
even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers, and sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they'd dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ohhhhhhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come. FROM JACK: Thanks for reminding me of this great monologue from "Field of Dreams," one of my all-time favorite movies. One of my great memories is that of playing catch with my son on that "field" in Dyersville, Iowa.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Before reading all the comments I lazily looked up Song of Solomon 2:12 on the internet here and saw all the translations that list "turtle dove" and the ones that list "turtle". Personally I like imagining the "turtle". If baseball is a religion, in our house it is a religion where a person gets to shout out all his discontents about what the players, coaches, umpires are doing. Seems to be quite a bit of enjoyment there. I personally am more of the turtle. It's a man/woman thing I suppose. Anyway enjoyed your WW words again today and all of the comments. FROM JACK: I used to be more passionate, but now I just walk out of the room. It's only a game...a bat and a ball. It's not a religion for me.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Of course coming from a home where the Father is in three Athletic Halls of Fame, and having three sons who have followed in Dad's footsteps, (Oldest Son John will be inducted into his second Hall of Fame on April 12th, youngest son is dedicated minister) Sports could have become a religion with our household, BUT having a father who became a pastor and religious leader, put these things in perspective, as well, and in meeting Life's challenges, Faith in God overrules all the lessons taught in Sports. Both of course have lots of offer us...Wouldn't want to be without either one in my life. Love the quote and perspective it offers today. FROM JACK: I think that when a family is in the "business" of sports and of religion, they tend to look at both with eyes that are different than those of the spectators.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I'm thinking of my Mother today and her love of the Twins! FROM JACK: I think of the line from Field of Dreams...."Is this heaven?" "No, it's Iowa." I would not be surprised if there's baseball in heaven. I don't know about hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jack.

FROM mOLINER CF: As a baseball fan, I'm sure you know why left handed pitchers are called "South Paws." FROM JACK: I do.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: They played one of his opening readings today while I was listening on the radio. My grandpa loved Ernie as did we all. He truly lived his faith. He did keep things in perspective and especially during the baseball games. He is missed. FROM JACK: Last year the Tigers wore an EH on their uniforms. Today, I noticed that they are wearing "Sparky 11."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Winning Words 3/30/11
“Sometimes in life you don’t always feel like a winner, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a winner.” (Lady Gaga) Did you ever think you’d see a “Gaga” quote used in Winning Words? Time & Forbes have both listed her as among the100 most influential people in the world. Go figure! What she’s saying here needs to be said to all of us on those days when we need a lift. If Gaga’s a winner, you are, too. ;-) Jack

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: Nope, I sure DIDN’T expect a Lady Gaga quote here! You are quite “hip” for a minister and over 30 years old too!!! Ha Ha Ha. FROM JACK: Gaga's real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986). Put a "Lady" in front of that and you have a mouthful.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: All of us have a place in this wide world and she definitely does too. And, if she is a winner (and she sure has a following) you are correct...we are all winners. FROM JACK: God's world is full of surprises.

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: No, I didn't. FROM JACK: Martin Luther once said that 3 things will surprise him when he gets to heaven. 1) Some will be there that he didn't expect. 2) Some will not be there that he expected. 3) ...that he's there himself.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: lol This is one of those times when a person says to oneself "Now why didn't I think of saying that?" lol some more here now. FROM JACK: I think that God wants some fun in heaven.

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: You never cease to amaze me! You're right!! FROM JACK: "Irony" is an word that describes a device for making a story interesting. The short story author, O. Henry, was a master of the use of irony. One of my favorite books is a collection of his stories. Today's WWs uses irony.

FROM MOLINER CF: Why does everybody always have to be a winner? I have often thought it would be great for a dieter's club called "Losers International." FROM JACK: On the popular TV show, "The Biggest Loser" is declared to be the winner. Or, if winning doesn't matter, why keep score?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: It takes all kinds to make this interesting world. Speaking of winning, the Rays are playing the Blue Jays this afternoon at 4p at the Trop in their last spring training game. Let's hope they win and many more, too. FROM JACK: "Vive la différence," as they say in France. Today's problem is that so many people are afraid of diversity...racial, religious, political, idiological. BTW, yesterday I watched the Tigers play the Yankees in Tampa. Have you ever gone to any of spring training games there?

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I hope my winning & losing is not based on Gaga! FROM JACK: Read the message. Don't shoot the messenger.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: are you sure its not Lady Gag Gag? FROM JACK: The 8th Commandment and meaning.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: AMEN, to that! Can't believe Little Miss Koo-koo would be influential to any
meaningful extent, but what do I know??! FROM JACK: Most people have a side that is hidden from general viewing. That's why judging can only be partially right...if right, at all.

FROM DAN THE MAN IN WISCONSIN: still hip. i like gaga-good music to watch people exercise to. FROM JACK: Maybe I'll have to try GaGa instead of Sousa when I exercise.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winning Words 3/29/11
“Let’s face the music and dance.” (Irving Berlin) I.B.’s earliest childhood memory was that of seeing his family’s house burn to the ground. There was much hardship in his young life. He knew what it was to “face the music.” A miracle happened when he was able to turn the “ugly” into something “beautiful.” Can you think of some of his songs that are examples of this? Some are in my mind right now. ;-) Jack

FROM PASTY PAT: Love Irving Berlin's music --- everyone has their 'story' don't they? I'm off to the West Bank tomorrow to 'village-sit' for a week in my beloved Yanoun while the current team of EA's is out for additional orientation. I'm anxious to see the people again but know that the situation won't be any easier. FROM JACK: Irving has his story, and you have yours, and I have mine. It's a good day when we can learn from one another.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: He wrote a lot of favorites but "God Bless America" is probably my favorite of all he wrote. FROM JACK: Someone told me today that he wrote over 800 songs. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite. It would depend on the time and the circumstance. MORE FROM OUTHOUSE: I suppose that's true, but I love "God Bless America". There are a lot of old favorites Gary and I, and his mom and aunt, loved to harmonize to some of them in the car on trips.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" from a Jew who was not considered "entirely
American" in his youth. FROM JACK: As a Jew, he wrote two songs that popular at Christmas and Easter... White Christmas and Easter Parade.

FROM MOLINER CF: "Sunny Side of the Street" FROM JACK: Irv probably wishes that he had written it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Irving Berlin?! What a talent! Jerome Kern :"Irving Berlin has no place in American music. He IS American Music!" and George Gershwin wrote," I want to say at once that I frankly believe that Irving Berlin is the greatest songwriter that has ever lived...His songs are exquisite cameos of perfection... Berlin is America's Schubert." While in California, we enjoyed Irving Berlin's play "I Love A Piano", done by a professional troupe who were excellent. Alexander's Ragtime Band is so catchy rhythmic, A Pretty Girl is Like
a Melody,Blue Skies, How Deep is The Ocean?, Steppin' Out, with My Baby, Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep, his only Academy award song White Christmas (tho he was nominated for 8 others...) There's No Business Like Show Business, The Girl That I Marry, and on and on and on. He put a lot of music into our sometimes mundane lives, and lived to a ripe old age, at that! Let's face the Music, indeed! Love it! FROM JACK: "Blue Skies" is one of my favorites when it comes to giving an optimistic message.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Winning Words 3/28/11
“Optimism doesn’t mean everything is going to be great. It means that we can respond to
everything with greatness.” (Elimelech Goldberg) “Kids Kicking Cancer” uses Karate as a way of helping children “face” their illness. Rabbi G has developed the program in tribute to his daughter. It’s not always easy to take the negatives of life and turn them into a positive. “K-K-C” shows that it can be done. ;-) Jack

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Nice image! God bless Rabbi for his insight! FROM JACK: When 2-yr-old Sara was in pain and dying of cancer, she would pat her father (Rabbi G) and say, "It's OK, Daddy, I love you." In her honor, he discovered a way to ease the pain of young sufferers...practicing Karate. Many, many have benefitted from Kids Kicking Cancer.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: That's a good know how I feel about the power individuals have to make their perspectives positive or's amazing how much power to cope lies within ourselves... FROM JACK: It just takes one.

FROM MOLINER CF: Optimism is the next rung on the ladder. FROM JACK: You have caused me to think....What's the difference between being positive and being optimistic?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Did he lose his daughter to cancer? If so, he certainly brought something good out of that!! "In all things God is working together for good, to those who love Him..." We never get over being a parent, no matter how old our kids grow, and when they hurt, we hurt!! Optimism is a gift, that is for sure, and your faith helps you to be positive in most situations. Hopefully, we make a conscious effort to respond with "greatness"! Good words to keep with us on a daily basis. Thank you! FROM JACK: It's one thing to read the story of the little girl in a book or on the computer screen. It's a different feeling to hear her father talk in person about her. Although her death happened over 20 years ago, it was "fresh" in his mind. That's the way it is with a parent.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I recall when you first wrote about KKC-- how many "facilities" does the rabbi utilize? This would be such a wonderful program at Ys across the country. (The Y has dropped the "Christian" and "Men's/Women's" part, tho that shouldn't matter to anyone anymore.) There are kids in every city who have cancer, live near a Y, and would benefit from this great idea. The kids might become interested in other Y programs, in addition to the Y's being able to add new programs for sick kids. Thanks for passing my idea along! FROM JACK: Yes, I did pass your idea along to Rebbi G, and although I haven't had a response, so far, I know that he will consider your suggestion. I spent many of my formative years going to the Y and also working there. Although they are now being referred to, simply as, the Y. The MCA is still in their official name. When my son lived in a Jewish area of New Jersey, the Y was the YMHA...H, for Hebrew.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: These people need a lot of prayers. FROM JACK: The rabbi saw a need and sought to do something about it. Not to denegrate prayer, but is there some need that has my name on it?

FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO: How about responding to someone's idea with enthusiasm?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Winning Words 3/25/11
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” (Jimi Hendrix –Sent by Anita) JH is considered to be the top acoustic guitarist of all time. He began his “musical career” as a child by using a broomstick as his guitar. He bought his first real guitar for $5. With all of his “life problems,” he had a sensitive side as revealed by his words about love, power and peace. ;-) Jack

FROM DMF IN MINNESOTA: Jimi Hendrix acoustic guitarist? You sure you don’t mean electric? Following-up on a day when you had a WW that related to the Rolling Stones….this must be a Rock ‘n Roll week. FROM JACK: When I read up on Jimi (incidently, I learned a lot about him), I saw both acoustic and electric used to describe his work...and chose acoustic. Now, I'll have to check on the difference. Rock 'n Roll is not just the music. Isn't it interesting that a guy named, Freed, helped make R 'n R famous? MORE FROM DMF: You should listen to Jimi Hendrix version of the Star Spangled Banner. It is probably on YouTube somewhere. FROM JACK: I listened to several versions, but like the 2 minute one best.

MORE ABOUT JIMI: He played the Electric guitar and played some acoustic guitar. Jimi also played the piano and violin and danced. You can look these up on you tube. You will not recognize him in his first performance/video. He sang and danced on American Bandstand. Did you know he also did some songs with the beatles as well as other popular stars?

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: That's called "heaven" FROM JACK: Do you think that Jimi Hendrix has traded in his guitar for a harp....or have the harps been replaced by guitars? MORE FROM JS: Saxaphones

FROM KC IN MICHIGAN: I used this quote in my Christmas card one year. I love your winning words – they brighten my day and often have some special advice that works for whatever is on my mind! FROM JACK: Isn't it we connect? The mystery of the origin of ideas never ceases to amaze me. Look up Proverbs 30:18,19, for other amazing stuff.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: once again, "all you need is love....." FROM JACK: That song keeps popping up. Is it the tune, or is it the lyric, or both, or simply the truth?

FROM MOLINER CF: Overpowering! FROM JACK: The ultimate meltdown, is the thawing of cold hearts. At the core will be peace.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Loved today's "quote of the day" ... I actually downloaded a copy of John Lennon's "All We Are Saying (is give peace a chance)" this week and did some "drumming" to it--my new favorite pastime... Author Malcolm Muggeridge refers in The Infernal Grove to an inscription said to have been found on an ancient North African stone: "I, the Captain of a legion of Rome, serving in the desert of Libya, have learnt and pondered this truth: There are in life but two things, Love and Power, and no one has both." If I can have but one of these, then I choose Love! How about you? FROM JACK: Is there such a person as a Benevolent Dictator?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: As George Orwell observed in ANIMAL FARM "Power corrupts, and Absolute Power
corrupts absolutely"~! Bill used to refer to a good quote attributed to Will Rogers, when he counseled and it was appropriate: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from Bad Judgement". That has nothing to do with the quote about replacing the love of power with the power of love, but thought you might want to use it sometime! :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winning Words 3/24/11
“2 get and 2 give creates 2 many problems. But first, double it….4 give and 4 get solves all the
problems.” (sent by Norm) Someone was talking to me recently about taking a test which included a math segment. “…and they didn’t let us use calculators. We had to do it all in our head.” In my day we didn’t use calculators, either… just fingers and, sometimes, toes and, of course, our head. ;-) Jack

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: Jack, as you may be aware, there are three kinds of people: those can count, and those who can’t. FROM JACK: Very good!!! Your response reminds me of the lyrics in the Billie Holiday song ...You're just a no account You never will amount to nothin' at all

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: I like that one, tho fogetting and forgiving both are difficult for me sometimes. I pray about it a lot. FROM JACK: One of the hardest things in life to do--is to move on. Sometimes forgetting is harder than forgiving. New resolve might help.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Very good!!! Not sure how many problems giving creates, but I do like to 4 give and 4 get. FROM JACK: I wondered about that, too. But, one of the purposes of WWs is to make us wonder. Giving (and reluctance to giving) can present challenges, I guess.

FROM PASTY PAT: I remember my youngest son talking about math with all of his 8 or 9 year old wisdom and telling me that "I always have my head with me but I don't always have my calculator". FROM JACK: Did you know that you probably have a calculator as an app on your cell phone? And since cell phones seem attached to the heads of kidsthese days, they do have a calculator with them at all times.

FROM MOLINE CF: When you were using your fingers and toes, you were using the original digital calculator.
FROM JACK: Oh, so that's why they're called, "digets." God was the original "techie."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is true of the income tax forms, too. Figuring it all on the computer and answering the questions is fast, but I prefer to see it on the printed forms and doing the math myself. It does get a little complicated when the law is changed so often that it does keep one's brain active. FROM JACK: The computer makes Income Tax time so much easier. I can't remember when I actually filled out a form by hand. I give my preparer the numbers. He fills in the blanks. I press, PRINT, write the check, and "VOILA," it's done.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Thanks for the kind words; I needed them this morning. FROM JACK: We all can use kind words....even when we don't think we need them. It's nice when we know that somebody cares.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: A neat turn of phrase...good grief, I really got behind on WW during my brother and wife's visit, (They are MOLINER'S!) but did get in 18 holes of golf during our warm day. 2 good 2 B forgotten! Ha! Like one of your WW correspondents pointed out it is easier 2 forgive than 2 forget, but to have good
mental health, it is a 4gone conclusion that you must let bygones be bygones. Clever math lesson today. Didn't need a computer to add up my golf score: that is the U4ia! :-) FROM JACK: I can see it now. You and Rodney Dangerfield playing a round of golf together in Caddyshack...him with his outlandish set of clubs, and you with an adding maching attached to the cart (for adding up the score).

THE GAS STATION. FROM JACK: I notice that some of the younger store clerks become confused when, for eaxample, a bill is $11.52, and you hand them a twenty two dollars and 2 cents. Whoa!!! What's going on here?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Winning Words 3/23/11
“We may not have all we want, but we have all we need.” (Brian Flaggs) I don’t remember the context, but I heard Brian speak these words a couple of weeks ago. I wrote them down on a scrap of paper, because they were a reminder to me that I have many blessings that I simply take for granted. I tried to find the source for the saying, and discovered that Gandhi once used it. Sounds reasonable! ;-) Jack

FROM HS TO BRIAN: Have you had pastoral training? You often speak as having had such education. FROM BRIAN: Yes I have. I'm an ordained Deacon. FROM JACK: Brian's invocations at the Optimist meetings show some training, too.

FROM BRIAN IN MICHIGAN: Amen! I'm grateful everyday. FROM JACK: "Amen!" See, that shows you've had some training.

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Here's the chorus from a Rolling Stones' song by Mick Jagger and Keith
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need
FROM JACK: Who wouldda thunk it?.....Traced to the Stones.

YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT (M. Jagger/K. Richards) - Circa 1965

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was footloose man

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need

I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse"

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need

I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was "dead"
I said to him

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need

You get what you need--yeah, oh baby

I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We always have enough even when we want more...we have enough. God is providing what we need when we need it and usually more. It's a good thing we don't get what we want sometimes!!! FROM JACK: God has a way of giving us what we need....and I've learned to be more than satisfied with that.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Had to read that song a couple of times. Probably the sort of song you want to hear when you're down in the dumps and want company of someone else whose been down in the dumps. What a person needs during those times but what really neither of us wants but just to find the right companionship and enjoy good health. Is this your usual optimism? FROM JACK: The spirit of optimism is something you have to work at. Pessimism just seems to happen when you sit around feeling sorry for yourself.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: In America because of the opulence around us, we tend to want more than we need! I go back to one of my favorite sayings, by Elizabeth Elliot, whose husband was killed by the Acua Indians (sp?) so many years ago: "It is always possible to give thanks for what is given, rather than to complain about what is NOT given. One or the other becomes a habit for life." Or as J .L. Kraft the good Baptist (Kraft Foods) said once, "There is enough in the world for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed." ( He was generous to share especially with struggling seminarians.) Here's to finding "wherever I am, to be content". FROM JACK: One of my favorite "Jesus" stories is the one where a rich young man comes up to Jesus and asks about becoming a disciple. Jesus said, "One thing thou lackest.......Give everything to the poor." And the young man went away with sadness. He had everything---except for commitment.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Winning Words 3/22/11
“If you’re all tied up in knots today—Cheer up! It might all turn out to be macramé!” (Wally
Armbruster) It often happens, as we review the twists and tangles and the knotty problems of life, we see a design. It might not be a design that we would have chosen, but time and experience tend to show that “things work out.” Not everyone likes Picasso’s work, but it’s called, “art.” ;-) Jack

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: Jack…..are you reading my mind or what???? Somehow I’m going to macramé what’s happening today. Love the analogy and visual image. FROM JACK: I like optical illusions...when you look at on object long enough, you see something else. That's another way of looking at one going on in the life that we lead. Whic\h is the reality? Both?

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: you are the eternal optimist, Jack!! but that is okay. its beats the %$^%##@#^% out of being a pessimist. hope you are having a good Lenten journey FROM JACK: Life's always a journey, and for some people it always seems to be a Lenten one. I try to keep WWs optimistic, as a kind of encouragement for those folks who aren't having it easy.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: I liked today's WW....I've even gotten to enjoy lemonade. ... as in "if you're handed a lemon, make ........" Cheers! FROM JACK: Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out. Lemonade is better than sour wine.

FROM MOLINER CF: Just like a ship, the more knots you drag behind you, the faster you get there. Put 'em behind you. FROM JACK: Who says that an old Navy guy knows not-hing?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: A Good one to remember! Something like the theme in the poem THE MASTER
WEAVER... How our lives create a design not apparent until all is "finished"...I'm sure we influence the pattern by the decisions we make, and the attitudes we take, but the Master creates the divine pattern outcome with his deft and understanding hands. Trust is the name of the game. As Bill used to say, "All of us are good Christians, now and then, more or less..." Ain't it the truth?! FROM JACK: If I were an art teacher, I would place a blot of color on a page and ask them to turn it into a beautiful picture. In a way, I think that's what God does with each one of us.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Winning Words 3/21/11
“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” (Doug Larsom) Doug was born in Wisconsin and now is a writer in Green Bay. He should know something about winter weather and the slush that goes with it. However, his words aren’t about winter, spring or weather. He’s saying that when you’re feeling optimistic, you tend to forget about the bad stuff. ;-) Jack

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: Actually today (Monday morning) is rather tough... I think I need to shake out the 'slush' out of my shoe(s) and engage with optimism. I remember one of the ways to dry out wet clothing in the summer was to wear it and let the atmosphere dry it out as you go. I am realizing that we have a tendency to want comfort before we act. Obviously, this is not always possible. )) FROM JACK: March is like that. One moment there's slush in your shoe...and the next, the sun breaks through the clouds. I've found that those who have an optimistic outlook have more sunny days than slushy ones. I remember hearing of someone who had a cat named, "Happy." The more he tried to get the cat to come, the more the cat would go off and do its own thing. Finally he gave up trying to convince the cat to come. Then, before he knew it, "Happy" was there in his lap.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I'm doing a book reading study by internet. The book is by Henri Nouwen "Here and Now". Actually, he talks about the Dalai Lama being free of hatred or bitterness toward the Chinese who ravaged his land and murdered his people. He, in his meditation, allowed all the suffering of his people and their oppressors to enter into the depth of his heart, and there to be transformed into compassion. Nouwen writes "Isn't that, too, the way of Jesus?" All day long, I've been praying off and on "Lord, help the suffering of.... enter into the depth of my heart and be transformed into compassion." There's some people, some situations I feel really badly about now but I figure I can at least ask God to help me let their suffering enter deep into my heart and maybe what will come out will actually be some useful act to help them out. It's kind
of a useful prayer and makes me feel like I am at least doing something about things I actually feel sort of hopeless about. Like a homeless felon getting a job and so forth. Just thought I'd share this reading--it kind of goes with your WW. FROM JACK: Some people whistle while they work. Do you whistle while you read?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Spring is daffodils and rain and crispy weather here in Ashburn, VA, where I came for the baptism of a granddaughter yesterday. But the weatherman says there is a chance of snow on Wednesday, but by then I will be back in sunny Florida. By the way, have you read Unbroken yet? It is hard to read but hard to put down. FROM JACK: You and your "boring" Florida weather. I just listened to our forecast. Coming up in the days ahead....sleet, freezing rain and a possible accumulation of wet snow. Last night we had lightening, thunder and rain. I feel like whistling.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: WELCOME SWEET SPRINGTIME! It is easier to feel optimistic when flowers are
blooming, robins are singing, and sun is shining, but of course we hope our Christian outlook permits a "spring-like" attitude whenever...even with slush in our shoes! It sure helps us to "cope" when we endure winter blasts in our lives! Your winning words are a breath of Spring, as well! :-) FROM JACK: The birds are back at our feeder, but no sign of flowers, altho the calendar says that it's springtime.

FROM MOLINER CF: The road to happiness is paved with the golden bricks of optimism. Follow the yellow brick road. FROM JACK: Don't believe that man behind the curtain when he says that the bricks of optimism are made of fool's gold.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Winning Words 3/18/11
“Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.” (Yiddish Proverb)
I’ve read that Yiddish is a mishmash of German and Hebrew. I usually associate it with common sense proverbs spoken among the Jewish. Example: “Love your neighbor, even if he plays a trombone.” Today’s WWs says that we should be understanding of others and the life that has formed them. ;-) Jack

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: How about. this Yiddish saying... "You should grow like an onion with your head in the ground and your feet in the air!" Not quite your style,Jack, but it is funny! FROM JACK: I read about some non-Jewish woman who set out to learn Yiddish, because she wanted to read the proverbs in "the original." I'm satisfied with the translations--loke yours.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON IN DENVER: You probably won't knead half-baked puns today. FROM JACK: I'll take anything from a half-baked Baptist.

FROM MOLINER CF: Probably why some of us are "half baked." FROM JACK: It depends on the bakers, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: There are some extremely funny sayings. I like this one: like the others's sounds like the dough in too under baked for some and burnt for others. FROM JACK: The key thought, as I see it, is that we all have the same "ultimate" baker.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: How about everyone is needed out of the same dough but not needed to be baked in the same oven. I like diversity though can't say I've always appreciated it as much as when I got older and wiser. FROM JACK: I like the needed/kneaded comparison. Diversity is still a "hard sell" to a lot of people.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I had some lovely, close Jewish neighbors, who personified tolerance, and understanding. (Their son played Prince Chulalongkorn when I portrayed Mrs. Anna in THE KING AND I at Sprfld. Muni Opera. He is now a professional actor in the Chicago Area). A timely reminder that we need to walk in another's moccasins before judging their lives and motives! Good one. FROM JACK: Or, we need to go to another's place of worship, before judging their lives and motives. Accepting religious diversity is still hard for some to accept, even in a country which espouses "freedom of religion." MORE FROM BO: Isn't hat the truth! And yet our world has become very small, and diversity is here to stay!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Winning Words 3/17/11
“Irish Blessing: May the Lord keep you in his hand and never close his fist.” (From The Bathroom
Reader) History says that Patrick was a priest who brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century. He used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity. The clover is one, as God is one. God reveals himself as 1) Creator, 2) Jesus, 3) Spirit, but remains as one. Today’s “blessing” is one for you! ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: What a wonderful blessing this morning!!!! I forwarded it on to my daughter. FROM JACK: Blessing is an interesting word. Make your choice...Germanic paganism: To mark with blood, or...Biblical use: To wish good things for someone. I choose the latter.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: How interesting is the significance of the clover...I never knew that... FROM JACK: Here's something else you probably didn't know: Many years ago the custom developed in Ireland where young children would pinch anyone who wasn't wearing green on St. Patrick's Day. I would suggest that you NOT try it today.

FROM MOLINER CF: I have designed a logo for T-shirts, mugs, caps, etc. I've copyrighted it and am just
starting to market it. Thought you might like to see it on St. P's Day. (Note) It shows a shamrock--half blue and half with red and white horizontal stripes. Beneath are the words: Twice Blessed. It's all on a green and white background. FROM JACK: It looks good. Now, see what you can do with an open hand and a fist.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: The threat that He could close his fist has been forgotten by the modern liberal church....that loss detracts from the power of the message FROM JACK: I wonder if you see the "Fist" sculpture in downtown Detroit as a symbol of God?

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: Thank you! And, top o' the mornin' to ya! FROM JACK: and the balance of the day to you! (When you wish some one the "Top of the Morning" you are wishing them the best part of the
morning. To which they should reply, "and the balance of the day to you." This is wishing you a good rest of the day.)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Thank you! I've heard or read many Irish Blessings but not this one. Happy St. Patrick's Day! FROM JACK: Could the "fist bump" be a new kind of Irish greeting?

FROM MW IN ILLINOIS: Don't think I've ever heard this saying, but I like it. FROM JACK: It's always a good day when you learn something new.

FROM KZB IN COLORADO: May joy and peace surround you, Contentment latch your door,And happiness be with you now And bless you ever more Happy St. Paddy's day! FROM JACK: Does the fact that you went to Notre Dame make you half Irish?

FROM INDY GENIE: This blessing reminds me of how I tried to raise my kids! Balance of the day to, my friend! FROM JACK: Pretty good advice to parents. If God does, so can they.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I have a good Irish prayer hanging on my hall often causes comments and chuckle: "MAY THOSE WHO LOVE US, LOVE US. AND THOSE WHO DON'T LOVE US, MAY GOD TURN THEIR HEARTS. AND IF HE DOESN'T TURN THEIR HEARTS, MAY HE TURN THEIR ANKLES, SO WE'LL KNOW THEM MY THEIR LIMPING. Old Gaelic Blessing... Happy St. Pat's. I chaired our Corned Beef and Cabbage luncheon for Seniors at our church today, with festive decorations, and games with silly Celtic prizes. Fun. Then took my best friend out for dinner to celebrate her 82nd she's Italian) green beer and corned beef for her! :-) FROM JACK: Some people like corned beef and cabbage...and some of us love knackwurst and sauerkraut.

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: My meditation book for lent says the stem represents the one divine nature, and the three leaves the three persons. I like it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Winning Words 3/16/11
“It is as hard to see oneself as to look backward without turning around.” (Thoreau) Most of us picture ourselves, based on what we see in the mirror. In clothing stores they often have mirrors that allow us to see parts usually hidden from our eyes. Maybe we like what we see; maybe we don’t, but it’s us. Do you have anyone who helps you “see” things about yourself that you might not be aware of? ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: For me that is the importance of my morning devotions....looking at the Lord helps one see one's own self in a different both saint and sinner FROM JACK: You and Luther are alike with respect to placing value on a devotional life. I wonder if that emphasis was a carryover from when he was a monk. Can you remember when it began for you? MORE FROM JS: It really became important for me in the late 70s when I was the pastor of a growing church, the primary parent for two little ones (my wife worked full time) and taking my D.Min degree. I thought I was going to go nuts and then I added some more minutes to my schedule every morning for devotions in the chapel....those minutes made the rest of the day much easier.....I began to see through the rush in which I lived and to see sunlight and air. It was a good feeling. I miss going to the chapel every morning now....use my office instead.

FROM PASTY PAT: Actually, a few people. But I think my youngest son is the most adept. In a very straightforward but gentle manner he 'keeps me honest'. --- What a gift! FROM JACK: Who would think that a little baby could grow up to help you see yourself? In fact, that's the miracle of the baby, Jesus, who grew up to help us see ourselves in relation to God. RESPONSE FROM PAT: Oh wow! Talk about having something to 'chew on' all day!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Once in awhile the grandkids will point out a flaw and my friends will point out errors, but my dear husband thinks I am always perfect. We both know I'm not; far from it. As for looking in the mirror at my backside, well, that would frighten me to never leaving the house again! LOL Perhaps when I look at my past, I see in places where I really was a different person than I am now. Growing older, growing in faith, growing up so to speak, has made me who I am today. God's Grace gets me through, up and over! PS The red-winged blackbirds are back...came in yesterday. Spring is here!! FROM JACK: It's a real challenge for all of us to accept constructive criticism. It's a challenge, too, to know how to give it. I always will remember a high school teacher who said to me, "You can do better."

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Bible studies help me. Something about being prayerfully gathered around reading scripture together and sharing contemporary experiences, a whole wealth of insights--both divisive and uniting pour into me. But I must say, the Bible study--for me--usually goes on a bit when I get home again because of the need to pray some more for God to help me understand the Bible study experience, on top of the sharing of our lives and faith that we just did. It becomes a realistic community. FROM JACK: It's been my experience that the people in Bible study groups are looking for more than an understanding of the Bible. They'd like people to understand them and care about them.

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Interestingly enough, we often "see" better when we keep our mouths shut and our ears wide open.

FROM MOLINER CF: Anybody wiith kids has that answer FROM JACK: Especially, a precocious one.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Henry David Thoreau has a point!! Our kids are pretty observant about us that way, and will occasionally set us straight! HA! Having been a pastor's wife, and the "pampered darling" of the congregation, helps the self-esteem, but does not inspire severe introspection...however through the years we do "get a handle" on our true selves, and perhaps it is not as impossible as Thoreau thought. Being a good listener is key! Good reminder today to humbly pray that our more obnoxious traits ARE humbled: Lord knows we need a few friends, at the end!! :-) FROM JACK: Robert Burns thought that it would be a great gift to see ourselves as others see us. I'm not so sure.

FROM RADIO IKE: The great philosopher YOGI BERRA has been quoted as saying: "IF YOU LOOK AT SOMETHING LONG ENOUGH-YOU ACTUALLY BEGIN TO SEE SOMETHING" maybe we just don't spend enough time really looking at ourselves... FROM JACK: People tend to make fun of Yogisms, but there's a lot of sense in his nonsense.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Winning Words 3/15/11
“Nostalgia is like grammar. You find the present tense and the past perfect.” (Robert Orben – Sent by Katie) One of the few college texts that I’ve saved is one used in Freshman English. I’ve enjoyed learning about grammar, punctuation, sentence structure. And, I like the way today’s quote takes the “mechanics” of English and applies them to the present and to the past. ;-) Jack

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: You would probably enjoy a book called "Woe is I". The author does a brilliant job of making the rules of grammar clear, and (however improbable it may seem) entertaining! FROM JACK: I need to go back and refresh myself on the rules of me and I. The book you mentioned does sound interesting.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: You know, this is really true. I am always nostalgic for the good ole days when people spoke more civilly--not cursing or swearing all the time. Love the old movies especially for this reason. The present is tense but it's probably not true that the past was less tense just because in the public discourse people didn't "let it all hang out" without some restraint in the use of foul language. I like today's quote too. FROM JACK: In reality, the past wasn't always perfect, but selective memory often makes it so. One thing I notice about the old movies is how much smoking is being done in them.

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN: Since I'm in the middle of a large proofing/editing project, this was especially pertinent. FROM JACK: Proof-reading is about more than catching errors in spelling. It takes persnickety people (in the good sense of the word). I try to guard against being overly fussy. But, it is interesting work.

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: So you like wordplay, huh? By the way, how many languages do you know? Here's something that might be interesting to ewe:
FROM JACK: Like most Americans, I'm fluent in one language. I read recently that the three most used languages in the USA are 1) English, 2) Spanish, 3) Sign Language. I found the uTube program on English useage to be very interesting. How's your Mandarin coming along?

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I think nostalgia also involves not engaging or remembering the full "past tense". Perfect past tense in Nostalgia 101 would involve selective memory. We only remember the good parts. Few would want to go back and remove the progress of modern medicine (I would not be here) and I for one would not want to give up instant communication with my family (even when they are 8,000 miles away).
I am out for a walk in Colorado Springs this morning. My son got back from Iraq two nights ago. While sometimes I miss my simple life as a kid in the 60's and 70's I love what has happened as a whole with the world. I wouldn't trade my Blackberry for a whole street full of 57 Chevys. FROM JACK: A Blackberry for a street-full of '57 Chevys....I'll have to think about that one. I seem to remember that the old Ford Edsel had a "SelectShift" by the steering wheel where you could push a button to choose the driving gear you wanted. I think that we have a "SelectShift" like that in our mind when it comes to remembering the past.

FROM MOLINER CF: As Sitting Bull said while looking at the herd of buffalo. "There are our future tents."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: What a wry wit in this quote. Probably pretty true, as we find the present a challenge, and the past is remembered through rose-colored glasses...However I think we are all thankful for every day we're given, with reasonably good health! I know I am, and still enjoying what the day has to offer, in most cases. I taught English grammar for a number of years, so do notice proper usage: One of the "perks" or "debits" of the trade! Ha! Good quote! Here's to the Present Perfect case! FROM JACK: A song that many of know is related to word usage: "You got to accent the positive, eliminate the negative."

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Like someone said: The best thing about the past is a faulty memory... FROM JACK: i guess it all depends on what you have to (or choose to) remember.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We do have a selective memory don't we? Its a good thing. It's so much easier to remember the past as the one of childhood happiness. And for most of us, it was a wonderful or at least a good childhood. I wouldn't trade my memories! When I sit down with my siblings and we talk about an incidence in our lives, we each remember it just a little different. It's so refreshing to hear "the rest of the story" so to speak. I love the quote today! FROM JACK: When my sister and I get together and remember, it's interesting that we're able to recall the same events, but as seen with a different pair of eyes. In today's world, people might get along better if they realized that two persons can look at the same situation and see it differently. There's nothing wrong with that.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is pretty good. By the way, yesterday while going to chaffeur two grandchildren to their activities, I stopped at the Dairy Queen in New Tampa on Bruce B. Downs where there is a large picture on one wall of the original DQ on 4th Avenue in Moline. That DQ hasn't been there for a long time; it's the one where you just lined up at the window. FROM JACK: I suppose you know that Bob Medd's dad was one of the owners of that Moline DQ. Whenever and wherever I get a Dairy Queen, I think back to days when I patronized that one in "our town."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Winning Words 2/14/11
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” (Henri Matisse) One of Matisse’s paintings of a vase of flowers brought an auction price of $33.6 million. You can buy a similar vase of fresh flowers for under $100 (delivered). Besides their beauty, flowers carry an emotion beyond words. Matisse’s painting does it; so do fresh roses from the florist; so does a child’s bouquet of dandelions. ;-) Jack

FROM AP IN MICHIGAN: Thank you for the flowers today. We gave roses to my mom and my 'aunt' on Saturday, 2 women who turn 90 this year. They came to the US together from Bulgaria in 1947 as 26 year olds. FROM JACK: What an adventure for a couple of 20-somethings....and how nice to remember these beautiful people with beautiful flowers.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Inthe summer you can get a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my garden by just going out and picking them!!! That's the best way of all to get them. FROM JACK: Can anyone go out there and pick them? Or is it by invitation only?

FROM INDY GENIE: So of my favorite bouquet memories is a bouquet of spring violets picked by Emily in our special! FROM JACK: Did you take a picture of them? No? That's OK, because the best picture is in your mind. MORE FROM IG: I agree...I can clearly see the violets in my mind's eye. I can also clearly see that darling little girl who gave them to me. I just visited Emily and her family...husband Chris
and beautiful baby, Arloa Sunshine. They live in Sunol, California. Emily is just as darling to me today as she was when she delivered the violets! FROM JACK: ...and you wouldn't trade that memory for Matisse's painting, either.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Does this mean all of your readers will be receiving flowers today??? It would be nice...then again, so would world peace! LOL I did a lot of studying about Matisse and a lot of other artists when I was one of the "Picture Lady" at the kid's schools. FROM JACK: Everyone who responds to today's flowery WWs will receive flowers. World peace will have to wait for another day.

FROM PASTY PAT: How I remember those dandelions clasped in a pudgy toddler's hand! FROM JACK: Are they weeds, or are they flowers? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. MORE FROM PP: According to each of my kids in their 'turn' they were "BUUUFUL FLOWERS, MOM --- FOR YOU"!!! And if you think I'm gonna argue with that.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: .......Amen....especially the dandelions. Thanks.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I can't imagine anyone needing a painting that much!!! The money would be
much better spent elsewhere! FROM JACK: I like this Chinese proverb. "When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."

FROM SJA IN VEGAS: Yes. Dandelions are coming soon. Easter lilies too, with their sweet fragrance. Spring is near. But not yet. FROM JACK: I like the symbolism of the Easter lily. Someone once told me that she didn't like to go to church on Easter Sunday, because she was allergic to the smell of the lilies.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: And remember the May Days in Moline when the children picked flowers in the woods and left bouquets at the neighbors' front doors? Flowers are one of the bonuses of living in Florida and having them year round. FROM JACK: Were May baskets a "girl" thing? I don't remember doing that stuff in Moline. However, I do know about May baskets. It's a good idea....for you to take some of your flowers and deliver them to a shut-in on May 1.

FROM PRDL IN OREGON: Thanks, Jack, for the continuing lift you give to each day with the WW's! Along the Walking Path just next to the condo's in our neighborhood the spring Daffodils are beginning to bloom indicating a change in weather soon! (we hope!) Wanda always seems to light up when I'm on the ball with the flower gift! FROM JACK: Our snow keeps hanging on, so the daffodils still slumber. Isn't the cycle of life amazing?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: A True saying, and I just visited The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, CA, where you take a wagon ride through acres of colorful flowers, including a giant red, white and blue flag, visible from the highway. It was truly a treat for the eyes! My family is generous to send me flowers for special occasions, and I love particularly a bouquet of pink or red roses and white daises together, but enjoy EVERY kind of bloom. You are so right, including a handful of dandelions, violets or lily-of-the-valley from an adoring grandchild...(or now Great-grandchild!!) What a BLESSING to have flowers in our lives! Thank you, Great Creator!! FROM JACK: This morning someone sent me some picture of tulip fields in the Netherlands. Isn't it neat that God invented flowers?

FROM MOLINER CF: Have I sent you this before? Worth watching again
FROM JACK: It certainly fits with today's WWs.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Winning Words 3/11/11
“I don’t know what other people are like. I haven’t been able to crawl inside anybody else.” (Iris DeMent) Iris is one of my favorite singers who’s often appeared on A Prairie Home Companion. I like her, because she’s able to put to music some of my own thoughts. An example of this is, “Let the Mystery Be.” You can see it on uTube. We like it when we can be understood…at least, somewhat. ;-) Jack

Here are the lyrics for Let the Mystery Be.

Everybody's wonderin' what and where they all came from.
Everybody's worryin' 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done.
But no one knows for certain and so it's all the same to me.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Some say once you're gone you're gone forever, and some say you're gonna come back.
Some say you rest in the arms of the Saviour if in sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they're comin' back in a garden, bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Everybody's wonderin' what and where they all came from.
Everybody's worryin' 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done.
But no one knows for certain and so it's all the same to me.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Some say they're goin' to a place called Glory and I ain't saying it ain't a fact.
But I've heard that I'm on the road to purgatory and I don't like the sound of that.
Well, I believe in love and I live my life accordingly.
But I choose to let the mystery be.

Everybody's wonderin' what and where they all came from.
Everybody's worryin' 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done.
But no one knows for certain and so it's all the same to me.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Interesting words to her song! I think, as Christians, we should know where we will be. But what it will be like is a whole different story. Today will be spent in prayer for the Japanese. FROM JACK: By faith, we "know" certain things, but not in the scientific way. Eternal life is a mystery, in that we have not seen with the eye. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the things that God has prepared etc."

FROM MOLINER CF: Iris is one of my favorites also. Love her closing "Our Town" for the final episode of Northern Exposure. She and Emmy Lou Harris make a great duet. And you are right, there is always a message. FROM JACK: In her own way, she IS able to crawl into the skin of her listeners.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Winning Words 3/10/11
“The happiest people do not necessarily have the best things. They simply appreciate the things they have.” (Warren Buffet) A group of people in Texas has formed the “Secret Society of Happy People.” They’ve decided that they’re going to be happy, despite the circumstances around them. It’s not playing a game of Let’s Pretend. They just want to enjoy the life they have. ;-) Jack

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Warren would know... FROM JACK: I hope that it's a happy day for you today. BTW, 4:30 am at your place will be 5:30 am next week.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: I want to join this society, can we form our own chapter here in Michigan? FROM JACK: That's what Winning Words is supposed to be doing for you. We now have about 500 members in the club.


FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: That sounds like a message that Gov. Walker might bring to the union members in Wisconsin..... FROM JACK: I know of friends in Wisconsin who aren't too happy these days. The reality of the ballot box is that it makes some people unhappy.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I've always found a lot of joy in the Apostle Paul's WW I've learned to be content with a lot and also content with a little. There's a truth with appreciation. Material wealth goes up and down during our lifetimes but serving the Lord is always elegant and to be appreciated. Now I don't know about having a lot or having a little just all by themselves. Maybe it's hard to be happy that way. Thought-provoking WW once again. FROM JACK: Another thought-provoking question: "What brings the most joy to your life?"

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: That is a good one...I read the WWs every day, and they are all good, but sometimes a WW just stands up and screams at me. We've discussed this before, but it simply reinforces how powerful a positive attitude is... FROM JACK: It sounds like Mark Twain, but someone said, "A fella's about as happy as he wants to be."

FROM MOLINER CF: Is Buffett trying to tell us that he is not happy? I remember on a recent interview, he was asked why he bought a railroad. "Because my dad wouldn't buy me a train set when I was a kid," was his reply. I guess the size of the boys is judged by the size of their toys. FROM JACK: I don't pretend to know what's in Warren's mind, but most of the time I know when to take things literally. In reading the Bible, it's like that, too....Trying to figure out what's in the mind of the writer and When to take things literally or figuratively.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: Amen. FROM JACK: Just like my sermons....A few "Amens" here and there (said quietly). I hope that's the way it is...the Amens, I mean. I went to a Pentecostal church a couple of weeks ago, and they were shouted out. Ask Cliff if they shout "Amens ' at his church. RESPONSE FROM CLIFF AT WESTMONT: They don't at my church but I'll give you a hearty amen for today's words. We had Condoleeza Rice speak at a Westmont breakfast last Friday. In addition to being a good Presbyterian, she's an optimist, much like Ronald Reagan. Grew up the daughter of a sharecropper in Alabama. Loved her outlook on life and her positive attitude, even when when she had little. MORE FROM NEWPORT: See what comes out of the woodwork with a little Amen.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I very wise statement from a very wise guy! We have been talking a lot about
happiness and blessings lately in the family and this statement will be sent to everyone in the group! FROM JACK: I've said it before, and it bears repeating.....Those who are happy will clap their hands, stamp their feet, and say, AMEN!

FROM SH IN ILLINOIS: I love this quote. We had a period of about two years where my husband was either unemployed or underemployed. We had to give up a lot and even leave our home for a smaller one. McDonald's food was a luxury item for us. But, our best Christmas was during this time. I didn't shop, didn't send out cards, didn't stress over making a fancy dinner, etc. My biggest concern was that I'd have no explanation for our small children why Santa didn't come and then a neighbor decided we would be the family she helped that year. The gifts under our tree were a beautiful sight, given freely, graciously, selflessly. The six of us drew names and exchanged gifts of ourselves, our time. My husband and I gave our kids coupons for snowball fights, Barbie fashion shows, sledding, etc. The kids made their gifts. One of my most precious treasures is a picture of an angel I helped our 5-year-old make with his handprint. Yes, that was our poorest
Christmas financially, but our richest in so many other ways, all the ways that count. FROM JACK: I think that the S.S.H.P. should send each of you a membership card.

FROM SH WHO IS SH'S HUSBAND: "The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least." FROM JACK: You should let Warren Buffet and Bill Gates know that. I like it that they are encouraging wealthy people, like themselves, to much of their wealth away. Like you said, Who needs it?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Winning Words 3/9/11
“As kids, we want to be adults who can do whatever they want, and as adults, we wish we were kids
who can do whatever they want.” (Kelly Oxford on Twitter) One of my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone is called, “Kick the Can,” in which some old people become young again by playing kick-the-can. The age we are is determined more by our attitude than by a calendar date. ;-) Jack

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: So true. I also remember pushing my girls to walk, then wishing they would hold still and let me rest. Then I pushed them to talk, and oh my…! FROM JACK: I wonder what they might say of you.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: That's going a bit too far....your last statement....certainly our attitude is important but the chronology is also critical. I could dunk a basketball at one time but can't even come near the rim now....that has nothing to do with attitude..... FROM JACK: The qualifying word is "more." I think my age is more of an attitude-age than a calendar-age. I can do other things and think other things now that I was never able to in the days of yore. Perhaps you need to go out and play kick-the-can.

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: I loved that episode!!!!! FROM JACK: One of our Winning Words recipients is a relative of Rod Serling.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: Well said! Blessed Lent! FROM JACK: Oh, that's right! Today is Ash Wednesday. Yesterday, on Fat Tuesday, I had an apple paczki for lunch and pancakes for supper and wore a Mardi Gras sweatshirt.

FROM SF IN FLORIDA/MICHIGAN: 'How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?' (Satchel Paige) 'I never think about age...never.' (Jack LaLanne) Two of my favorite quotes about age! FROM JACK: A favorite picture of Satchel shows him in the bullpen as a relief pitcher, sitting in a rocking chair. That's one of his commentaries about age. And, of course, LL lives on through his ubiquitous TV juice commercials.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: Nice, and even nicer yet, I feel like I have had the good fortune as both a child and an adult, to approximate that wish, with a slight modifier on the “whatever” part. FROM JACK: I think that living "on the Beach" helps keep you young.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is so true, but some things do change, too. For instance Discovery is going to land at Cape Canaveral about noon, and I was thinking about going. Instead I am watching the NASA station with the orbit burning just announced and that the shuttle is over the Indian Ocean just now. What an amazing world we live in. We have seen many rockets and shuttles blast off at the Cape but never a landing. Maybe we'll make it over for the Atlantis landing. FROM JACK: When we were kids, Buck Rogers helped us drean of space exploration, and now we can turn on the TV and watch it as adults. Every age has its advantages. I heard on NPR this morning that museums "positioning" themselves to get Discovery as a permanent exhibit. Florida is trying to be first in line, but Texas A & M said, "DIBS," ahead of the rest.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: I havent seen the kick the can episode but the kids used to watch a child horror series on TV called either Goosebumps or Eerie Indiana. In one episode the mothers are making the children sleep in tupperware/foreverware at night to keep them young always… FROM JACK: ....and Ponce de Leon went searching for "the Fountain of Youth" in Florida. You can see the kick-the-can episode on uTube.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: Right on Jack...I could not agree more. FROM JACK: One of the "miracles" of Winning Words is that it causes so many to see that so many have similar ideas.

FROM MOLINER CF: Some people do what they want to do all of the time and all of the people do what they want to do some of the time, but not all of the people do what they want to do all of the time. Abe Frieden

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: That's why I have friends of all different chronological ages - as they say, age is just a number. FROM JACK: Do you have friends with different attitudinal ages, too?

FROM WATERFORD JAN: Kick the Can is more fun to contemplate than kicking the bucket! FROM JACK: My laugh for the day.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Today Neil came over to do some work around the house for us. We talked for
quite awhile about our blessings and as we age, how much more we are grateful for our blessings. I wouldn't ever want to go back for a "do-over" but it is fun to remember our childhoods. Our favorite games... S.P.U.D. and flashlight tag. FROM JACK: What I remember in the younger days usually relates in school segments... later elementary, junior high, senior high.

MORE FROM ME: Nice weather is also very conducive to a positive attitude. Probably most important of all is the inbred attitude of wanting to play kick the can. FROM JACK: I'm going to get a can out of the recycling bin and kick it. I wonder if I'll feel any different.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Winning Words 3/8/11
“The one who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” (Chinese Proverb)
Recently I heard a preacher say that a mountain can be removed by telling it to go into the sea. He was talking about dealing with problems. I know that some people are facing mountainous difficulties in their life. The proverb says that the mountain can be removed. Developing a faith can start the process. ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Yeah, those Chinese philosophers had some interesting concepts. St. Paul did too, telling the Philippians: I'm instructed to be full and to be hungry, to have abundantly and to suffer need, and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:12-13) It's true that some people face mountainous difficulties, and then there are some people who make mountains out of molehills. In either case faith can change one's perspective on things. FROM JACK: Even a molehill, in reality, can be a mountain to some people and needs to be removed, a grain at a time.

FROM JH IN OHIO: THANK YOU! your words always mean so very very much to me. A big day for us here ... Carolyn is getting a tracheotomy and J-Peg Food tube... then they can ease her out of the heavy sedation. I will keep the faith! FROM JACK: Prayers continue for your sister-in-law and her young children. "Our Father, who art in heaven...." Pause at the petition...."thy will be done on earth..." God hears our prayers and knows what in our minds and on our hearts.

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: Sounds a lot like "Every long journey ... " FROM JACK: It certainly does. I think it's another one of those Chinese sayings. We used to call them: "Confusicus say...."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Just as wind and rain can destroy boulders and make them sand. God can and does help our boulders become sand. FROM JACK: In both instances, it can take a long time. Why are we so impatient at times?

FROM MOLINER CF: On target again today. Thanks

Monday, March 07, 2011

Winning Words 3/7/11
“When there’s snow on the ground, I like to pretend that I’m walking on clouds.” (Takayuki Ikkaku) I’ve heard of people who can walk over hot coals and not be burned. Some say that it has to do with mind control. I think that physics could play a part. Be that as it may, there’s something to be said for using the mind to turn snow into clouds, to turn a negative into a positive. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: What a cool thought!!!!!! Just spending a minute here reflecting on how much I cut down on my walking around the community on the snow this last winter trying to be careful and not fall down on it. Don't really know whether it would have been wiser to not be so defensive about it or not. Enjoying Ikkaku's ability to soar in his mind and make walking on snow a transforming experience, something out of the ordinary. Thanks for the pleasant start to the week again. FROM JACK: The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Let's use it today to think positive thoughts. Think spring!

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: if you lived in MN this winter, you would really have to stretch your mind to make snow into clouds! but its a nice thought just the same... FROM JACK: Did you have to pretend that there was snow when you spent part of the winter Arizona?

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Am I the only Midwesterner who appreciates a good winter? They use a special coal that is not hot on the surface, I read somewhere, sometime... FROM JACK: Maybe your appreciation is just imagination. Special coal, or not, fire walking is not for me. I prefer clouds.

FROM CS IN WISCONSIN: We are walking on more “clouds” today…. FROM JACK: Four of the last Februarys here have been among the top ten "cloudiest" since records have been kept.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: Until you hit a patch of ice and go down! FROM JACK: A couple of my friends have gone out and purchased strap-on spikes for their shoes. You ought to try them.

FROM NK IN THE U.P.: On March 1....I was so excited, I could go out and not wear BOOTS. I wore SHOES !
I have it circled on the calendar.....since then the Snow Machine is working night and day. The weather for ASH deep snow and Cold. Thanks for your daily messages..I so appreciate them and pass them on to my daughters. FROM JACK: Church attendance was down somewhat on Sunday, probably because of the 2" of snow. Maybe you can wear shoes on Ash Wednesday....snow--shoes.

FROM WATERFORD JAN: I tried walking on snow and pretending that it was clouds, but it didn't work. Now I'm in Florida for the month of March and the only thing I'm worried about burning is my skin, so I'm using SPF 30. FROM JACK: For excitement, when you're walking on the Florida sand, pretend that you're walking on hot coals.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I personally love snow and winter. Now, with the knee replacement, I am much more careful of how I step on the "clouds". I still love it though. (I did have a fall but it was because my boots are too big....I have a AA foot in a medium sized boot and my foot slipped in my boot...down I went.) But I landed in one BIG cloud of snow and was just fine. FROM JACK: This is unrelated, but this week I read that the bite of a black widow spider is far more deadly than that of a rattlesnake. In olden days the spiders would often spin their webs across the holes of outhouses. People had to be very careful before they sat down....and that's the truth!

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Isn't that what we tried to do in the parish? and now? It makes for life rather than simply existing. FROM JACK: Sometimes it's called, "Walking on eggs."

Friday, March 04, 2011

Winning Words 3/4/11
“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” (MLK Jr) Some coal miners were trapped underground. After a period of days, a faint tapping was heard. It was a Morse Code message. “Is there any hope?” I can’t recall whether or not they were rescued. But life traps us in certain situations at times, and we cry out for assurance. Our hope: The Infinite overcomes the finite. ;-) Jack

FROM PRMD IN MICHIGAN: Wow! Thank you, Jack, for this one. “The Infinite overcomes the finite.” What great news! I will use this for my Ash Wednesday sermon with your permission. We are finite, but we have hope.
FROM JACK: It's hard to improve on what MLK had to say about hope overcoming disappointment. Hope is one of the keys that helps open many doors.

FROM GF IN FLORIDA: Good morning. FROM JACK: I remember, when I was in grade school, that the class would sing....
"Good morning to you; good morning to you.
We're all in our places with bright shining faces.
What a wonderful way to start a new day."
A "Good morning" from you.....What a wonderful way to start a new day.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Hope and love are both infinitely available to us, if we choose to have them. They are positive and optimistic characteristics in a person, but there's no assurance that expressing them will bring the results we desire. To continue hoping and loving, and expecting the best from them is, I suppose, a matter of faith. FROM JACK: Referring back to yesterday's WWs....Hope and love, on our part, are simply matters of choice. Often, life (not the circumstances of it) is what we want it to be.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: You know this WW is so true. Sometimes our little family, or our little congregation or our little city, state, country is going through such a turmoil that we just pull ourselves inward, like pulling ourselves into a hole for protection but someone, someone in the hole starts tapping to get the attention/help from someone on the outside and God is always out there ready to help us get over our finite disappointments and get out of the life that was trapping us and our response to turn so much inward upon ourselves. Trying to deal with a finite disappointment right now and appreciate these WW. FROM JACK: "Finite" means that something has an end. "Hope" means that disappointment doesn't have to be infinite. As a previous WWs put it: "Keep on truckin'."

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: hope springs eternal! FROM JACK: From an Essay on Man written in 1733 by Alexander Pope
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Of course, since 1733, we've come to understand that "man" refers to mankind. Incidently, on this day in history....On March 4, 1933, the start of President Roosevelt's first administration brought with it the first woman to serve in the Cabinet: Labor Secretary Frances Perkins....AKA, Feisty Frances.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: As Christopher Reeve observed, "Once you choose to hope, anything is possible". He certainly paved the way for great progress in treating paraplegics! Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Hope is the most important word in the English language". and I like Norman V. Peale's quote:"Once you live with HOPE in your heart, in your mind, and in your spirit, you have discovered one of life's most powerful secrets of success!" As it tells us in Job 11:18..."you shall be secure in Hope." We have to have it, to be, and remain, positive people! Good quote! FROM JACK: An acrostic by Meital R, using the word, H.O.P.E.
Happiness rediscovered
Omens of happiness found in just a smile
Positive feelings of what is to come
Events will turn out for the best

FROM JF (A HAM) IN NOVA SCOTIA: Also proves the "if all else fails" capabilities of Morse Code. Some years ago, an accomplished South American ham was dying and in an apparent coma. A ham friend visited him and tried tapping Morse on his hand. He was able to respond in similar fashion and they were able to have some dialogue before he passed away. FROM JACK: I wonder if young Tom Edison's mind was stimulated because of his knowledge of the Morse Code. Thanks for that story of friend being able to communicate with a friend in a coma, by using "the" code.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: ....good one !! Thanks.... FROM JACK: "Good one" is in the mind of the beholder.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: The Chilean coal miners didn't lose hope. And it paid off! FROM JACK: That's a good example. And, there are people living around us who are examples of hope, too. We celebrate them and the ways in which their challenging circumstances, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Profound words...good words...eternally hopeful words!
FROM JACK: I'm reminded of a song by Pete Seeger...
Words, words, words in my old Bible.
How much truth remains?
If I only understood them while my lips pronouncred them
Would not my life be changed?

SENT BY DB IN MICHIGAN: "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Winning Words 3/3/11
“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the
same.” (Carlos Castaneda – anthropologist) I recently had an online “talk” with a friend about: “Is the life we lead completely the result of choices we make?” I agree that it is, up to a point. We can make some “miserable” choices, and others can turn out great, but is it all choice? What do you think? ;-) Jack

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: It has been the observation in my life that I agree our choices affect 90%+ of our life position. Strange thing is that for some reason less honorable choices (like eating the rest of bag of chips) seem easier to justify sometimes than the right ones - even when I know the difference. I am starting to really re-evaluate the value of self discipline to honor God in all things. FROM JACK: I see God as being like a caring parent who allows children to make free choices...up to a point.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Well, you have to consider Tornados, and 2 foot snow storms, and a few extenuating circumstances which are out of your control, so I say, NO, our life is not ALL about choices we make, but in all honesty our choices do heavily reflect on our life outcomes, especially health issues. But the WW today hit the nail on the head (ouch!) as to whether we decide to be a happy person or a sad and miserable one...and that is a conscious choice for sure. Hopefully we get better at putting a positive spin on things, as we mature...! I said, HOPEFULLY!!~!A cheerful person is appreciated by everyone, and people DO notice. FROM JACK: Storms can can cause "trees" to fall on homes indiscriminately. "Into each life some rain must fall." You've had your share of storms. We all have. Having a religious faith seems to go a long way toward helping one to have a positive attitude.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Life is all about choices and answers to prayers. Work like everything depends upon you and pray like everything depends upon God,. That is what I tell all of the grandchildren. Just do the best that you can. For some reason, I am programmed to forget the unpleasant experiences and to remember on the happy ones until someone or something jogs my memory. At our age, if we are healthy, we get to do what we want to do, don't you think? Yesterday we went to a concert of the Dukes of Dixieland which reminded me of the jazz in smokefilled cellars in Chicago, the caves of Paris, and Bourbon Street New Year's Eve in New
Orleans. Today we are going to a lecture on My Travels with the World Council of Churches by the Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson at USF. Afterwards, we are thinking of going to the Strawberry Festival in Plant City.
FROM JACK: Ahhh, The Dukes of Dixieland. I have two of their albums. Because I'm free to do what I want to do, I'm going to pull them out and listen to them. We have a "player" that accomodates LPs, tapes and CDs, but no 8-tracks.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: That's about as answerable as the "Nature/Nurture" discussion. We have free will but there are other circumstances that impinge on our ability to choose or enable more choices. Mmmm?
FROM JACK: It's easy to become sidetracked. Simply stated, our attitude plays a large part in whether we are happy or depressed. I know of people who heavy burdens to bear and do it with a happy demeanor. I know of others who are just plain grumps, for no apparent reason.

FROM HANNELORE IN NS: Thank you for the many Winning Words I am receiving since I have my own E mail address, I liked many ,but today was very special. I had a friend in Pennsylvania, she died 2 years ago, she was born with C P, she had the most amazing attitude in life and made the most of every day. Mary Anne and I we had so much fun together,she is on of my heroes .Even so it is up to us how we deal with challenges in live we have to want to be positive. FROM JACK: We all have our heroes....those who face adversity with courage, who are an inspiration. I'm sure that Mary Anne thought that way about you, too. That's the way it is with friends.

FROM SH IN ILLINOIS: We may not always be able to choose what happens in our lives, but our reaction to what happens is always of our choosing. Dealing with my husband's ALS, friends' cancer diagnoses, and other senseless tragedies has taught me that over and over. Do we choose anger or forgiveness? Do we want to live in despair or hope? Do we choose to live as victims or to find a way to make a difference each day? Do we choose to wallow in the fallenness of the world or to rejoice in God's promise of salvation? FROM JACK: I am inspired (as are others) by you and your husband. Someone might say, "I couldn't handle it." That's a choice. How the two of you and your family handle it is a choice, too. Thanks for your response.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: I think that there are two sides to everything, and that there can be positive outcomes from negative events. It's all up to the individual and what point of view he/she has on life. FROM JACK: It also has to do with the kind of people we associate with.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: So we ought to be optimists. FROM JACK: We need to try.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: it is not always dependent on the physical choices that we make. they are actually teaching tools. attitude also depends on the way we choose to perceive life around us. without burying our heads in the sand, we can still choose to see things from the positive side, not giving power to the negative. it's the way i think about the whole god/satan conflict. by giving all power to god/positive, satan/negative power is diminished. FROM JACK: That makes sense to me. It may be simplistic, but I see God as the ultimate good, and satan as anything that is opposed to that good. MORE FROM MARY: not simple at all. that is the definition of good and that which is not. we give power to that which we choose to, even sometimes, innocently. the key to choices is keeping one's eyes and spirit open, and of course sending as much goodness out into the world as possible. it is a full time job. not simple at all. FROM JACK: A verse from the hymn, "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy"....If our love were but more simple, We should take Him at His Word, Then our lives would be all sunshine In the sweetness of our Lord.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Where is the point you are talking about? At what point do we loose control? I do agree by the way. FROM JACK: "Ay, there's the rub." The point may be at different times for different people. My belief is that God intervenes at the appropriate time.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: These WW resonate with me too. Henri Nouwen says in his book "Here and Now" "Some people become bitter as they grow old. Others grow old joyfully. That does not mean that the life of those who become bitter was harder than the life of those who become joyful. It means that different choices were made, inner choices, choices of the heart." Some how that is so comforting to realize we have "inner choices" "choices of the heart", kind of levels the playing field doesn't it, helps the most down-and-out person still be able to win the prize. Great WW once again today. FROM JACK: I like "Choices of the heart."

FROM MOLINER CF: Jack, This one is a bell ringer! You have no idea of the influence you had on me today. Thanks. FROM JACK: It's like "The Twilight Zone," sometimes.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: I agree, as well, "to a point".....but circumstances are a big factor. For instance, skin color. I volunteer in an "inner city" health clinic and our patients are climbing up a much steeper ladder than I ever had to climb and my choices are easier and more simple, by birth. FROM JACK: I agree with your "point." Judgment is based on varities of circumstances.

FROM KZB IN COLORADO: I believe in free will and the power of prayer. hmmmm... where does that put me? ;-) FROM JACK: Where? Sitting in the pew next to me.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: It's time to read Kierkegarrd on this one. He was the first one to address the depths of our existence in the subjective sense, unlike other philosophers who addressed Life systematically. He was the great Danish philosopher and theologian born in 1813(?) and died in 1855. That's not that long ago really --- but long overdue! He notes our fundamental freedom and corresponding ability to respond [response + ability]. We're even free to think we are 90% accountable. Once the notions of freedom and responsibility truly set in, with all of its overwhleming option and opportunity, one will likely better understand the reasons for all the attempts we make to avoid it! FROM JACK: Those philosopher/theologians are so complex.
(People understand me so little that they do not even understand when I complain of being misunderstood. —Søren Kierkegaard) Responsibility for choices goes on an on. Socrates probably influenced SK. I know that both had an influence on me.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Winning Words 3/2/11
“Oh for a book and a shady nook.” (John Wilson) “Oh for a Kindle and a shady nook” doesn’t seem very poetic. Friends of mine are now gadget-reading and say that it’s really great. Maybe I’ll try it someday, but for now I’ll just sit in my easy chair and pick up a hardcover from the pile next to it. I also have access to our excellent library down the street. Have you read any good books lately? ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Oh, for a Kindle and morning sun through a window. I am still old school; I like the analog world of real books. My 100 year old books have a scent and a feel no digital device can replicate. And I can wonder about the person that may have read it 100 years ago. FROM JACK: Your comment on old books caused me to pull an old book from the shelf that I read as a kid...The Halfback by Ralph Henry Barbour...written over 100 years ago. MORE FROM JON: Neat right? I love old books. When the Kindle is obsolete like the 8 track what good is it? I never get a virus in my books FROM JACK: Interesting thought.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Just finished "How Just is the War on Terror?" Although it was written in 2007 and a lot has happened since then, still the book helped me to understand the shift that happened in our country. Also just read something by Henri Nouwen, theologian, "Reading in a spiritual way is reading with a desire to let God come closer to us... The purpose of spiritual reading is not to master knowledge or information, but to let God's Spirit master us, strange as it may sound, spiritual reading means to let ourselves be read by God." Thinking about Kindles and terrorism/war against terrorism and what kinds of acts that seems to have entailed, wonder if God thinks we're still as barbaric as ever. But not without hope as we try to understand and do better. FROM JACK: Whether it's a hard copy or on Kindle, a book is just a book. It's the content that makes the difference. Someday I'm going to try gadget-reading.

FROM GF IN FLORIDA: Went to Lakeland Monday and saw the Tigs beat the Yankees. FROM JACK: It's good to hear from a Kindle person. Did you take your "K" with you to the game?

FROM AP IN MICHIGAN: I'm working my way thru the Mark Twain autobio, volume 1!! Have you seen it? It's HUGE! FROM JACK: That sounds like something that I would appreciate reading electronically.

FROM SF IN FLORIDA: Hey you know I have! I still cherish the 'book and nook' scenario, even tho I have gone electronic! There is not much better than that! FROM JACK: I knew that I'd probably hear from you. I'm looking forward to my first experience of "new way" reading.

FROM KKG IN MICHIGAN: I am reading "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson. I checked it out at the local library. So far I'm enjoying it. His language is quite colorful in places. I agree that the Mark Twain Autobiography Volume 1 should be read electronically. I have seen it and was amazed at how big it was, especial since it is only volume 1. FROM JACK: Bryson's writings sound intriguing. He goes on my "to do" list.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Jack, try the books by Malcolm Gladwell. His work is nonfiction is second only to Peter Drucker. The Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink, & What the Dog Saw. These are compilations for his writing for The New Yorker. FROM JACK: I've read both authors and found them interesting. Some of Gladwell's books seemed "better" than others, in my opinion.

FROM PASTY PAT: Yet more proof that I'm a dinosaur --- holding a book is so much more comforting. FROM JACK: Be careful. You know what happened to the dinosaurs.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Right now I am into Unbroken and hope to start Tick Tock, my first James Patterson book which has been highly recommended to me recently. This week is my week for music with a Dixieland Jazz concert tomorrow, but I did not get up early enough today to get to the 10 a.m Florida Orchestra coffee concert in Clearwater. What are you reading now? FROM JACK: So much to do. So little time. That's what happens when most of the sand in the hourglass is at the bottom. Right now I'm reading: "When Baseball Went to War," the story of major league ballplayers who left the game for action in Word War 2. The book was a gift from my grandson who loves the game, as I do.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: I bought an i-pad because I can read it so easily with the ability to increase the font size. The contrast with a white background and black fonts is great. It has a lot of other neat features too. I read a lot more now. Civil War books are good, but the newspapers are still kind of depressing with only a few bright spots. FROM JACK: The trouble with writing that is "current," is that it doesn't allow perspective. People who are seeking knowledge must look for it in a variety of places, old and new. People with sight issues can appreciates some of the new inventions. "Talking Books" is one of these, too.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: I'm not into gadgets for reading purposes. Books....big, small, hardback and paperback .....are great for notes in the margins, underlined sections, starred paragraphs, paper clipped pages and anything else that assists older, memory challenged readers remember what they've just read......not that I'm in that category...but just in case....keep Borders open (especially now that my son-in-law is VP of the
Corporation and was recently interim CFO)....not that I am influenced by that either . CR ps: Have you read
Paul F. Knitter's "Without Buddah I Could Not Be a Christian" ? He teaches at Union Seminary, NYC. The
Presbyterian book group I'm in is now reading it. I like it....... FROM JACK: I've always tried to buy from
Borders, because it's a Michigan company. I was sorry to see their nearby store close. Your thoughts about the use of "real" books are interesting ones.

Books give not wisdom where none was before. But where some is, there reading makes it more." (John Harington, British writer and inventor of the flush toilet)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: The Winning Words today were so appropriate! I spent all day yesterday cataloging my books, including the ones on my Nook! I am not done yet, but I made a good dent in them! I am going to put them back in the booksheves in author order and be able to find them at the drop of a hat. I love my books! PS Zondervan Publishing Company is giving away 1 million free downloads of the Bible. Your friends might like to know about it. You can get the Bible downloaded free at many places...Barnes and Noble has several. FROM JACK: I'll have to think about...What is my favorite book? (The Bible doesn't count in this question)

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: David Bascevich's, Washington Rules and Roger Lowerstein's, The End of Wall Street. both very informative and helpful in making better sense of the world we live in. FROM JACK: You have caused me to seek out more information about these guys.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: War Trash by Ha Jin. Chose it because the writer is highly acclaimed. Very good, informative especially about Chinese attitudes and culture. All mankind has similarities.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I just finished "London" by Edward Rutherford. Can't say it was a page turner but I guess I learned a lot. It was a very big book--many pages that is. One of my favorite series is "Ladies Number One Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall. Takes place in Botswana and is just delightful. I loved Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" and the sequel "World Without End". They are both HUGE books, but I could hardly put them down. FROM JACK: It sounds as though you're doing some interesting reading. BTW, did you know that your former city in Michigan is closing its library to save money?

FROM PRFM IN ALABAMA: Several . . . “Unbroken” . . . 1421 . . . “We were Next to Nothing” . . . “Decision Points” . . . etc. And your comments about Kindle sound just like my wife! No Kindle yet . . . but so much to read. FROM JACK: Since we'll never be able to read all that there is to read, we have to make choices. That's the story of life.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I KNOW! People rave about Kindle and I am tempted, but so far stay with the regular books. I enjoy all of Philip Yancy's books...have you ever read his books written with Dr.Paul Brand, FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE, IN HIS IMAGE, & PAIN;THE GIFT NOBODY WANTS? Old, but so good, I just re-read Yancy's SOUL SURVIVOR, about 13 mentors to his recovery from "church abuse". His WHAT'S SO AMAZING ABOUT GRACE is such a good read! Love David Baldacci's thrillers, Kate Morton's THE
FORGOTTEN GARDEN AND THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON, and Garth Stein'sTHE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN are recent reads I enjoyed, And Mary Wesley's quirky English books, and Steig Larsson's violent but
fascinating trio, et.c etc. We probably could all make a list a mile long of good reads. As my T-shirt laments,'
"So Many books, So little time..."!!! FROM JACK: The pile of books next to my chair seems to grow. I read one, and two more appear. Amd mow I'm getting suggestions of others to add to the pile. MORE FROM BO: Another all-time favorite is TEAM OF RIVALS by Dorothy Kearns Goodwin. What a fascinating read about Lincoln and his cabinet. Her pulitzer prize winning autobiography NO ORDINARY PEOPLE (or was it TIME?)
about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt is also a must-read! Like you say, there are SO MANY! Thank God for good eyesight: I'd be lost without being able to read!!! I listen to audio books in the car, as well, so do two or three books a week that way...

FROM PRAW IN ILLINOIS: I can't get you previous quote about "book" and nook out of my mind....only for me it is "large print book and well lighted nook. God bless you. FROM JACK: When our senses start to diminish, we are even more thankful for what's left...aren't we?

FROM THE GOOD SHEPARDS: There you are--up early again!I love to read I love my Kindle. I love my Nook ('cause it's in color). They're great for trips!! I'm presently reading Cutting for Stone, but I have some great books on the Kindle as well as the Sunday N.Y. Times, which I download and it's "thrown on the step" in a few seconds--no matter where I am. The daily issue is 99 cents--pretty good for the Sunday edition. I've always had stacks on the table, too. Now they're in my reader. Chris loves his because he travels back and forth to N.Y. He also reads lots of papers and periodicals. He has the IPad. It's very cool. guess I sound like an advertisement. FROM JACK: One of these days the IPad bug might bite me.