Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Winning Words 5/31/11
“Hope is a talent like any other.” (Margaret Jameson) I like to think that hope and optimism go hand in hand. This week I was ready to “toss” some things. Among them I saw a bookmark labeled, Hope. On it was printed: “Hope pushes ahead when it would be easy to quit.” Optimism is like that. During those times when life is dark, let a candle of hope be your guide. “It’ll work out…I believe it. I know it.” ;-) Jack.

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: I am sick when I encounter people who are going through terrible trials and are not Faith Full people, I think how do they even begin to manage this? I pray for them like crazy and if the opportunity presents itself I say, just try to believe, try to open your self, ask for His help, after all what do you have to lose? I know it too!////FROM JACK: Sometimes your presence and example is more effective than words. A simple "I care" means a lot and can be a first step.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Today's WW reminded me of God speaking to Cain, I believe, early in Genesis: "If you do what is right, will not your countenance follow?" It seems not only is attitude and "hope" important (strategic) but doing the right thing (tactical) increases hope, optimism, and good will among men. Though maybe Cain is not the best example.////FROM JACK: I think that Cain is a perfect example, because it shows that God can use what is considered "imperfect" to make a "perfect" point.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Great message to start off a great week! We always have hope! I hope you recycled the bookmark as it would be a good thing to hand out to someone, especially someone you don't know! Hope surpasses optimism but they do go hand in hand. Hope you have a wonderful day and I am optimistic you will!////FROM JACK: Thanks for the reminder. I throw away a lot of stuff that I should keep....and keep a lot of stuff that I should throw away.

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: Those rose-colored glasses? We may be born with them. Why our brains tilt toward the positive (in spite of all the negative)////FROM JACK: I attended a lecture recently on the subject of genetics. What you say seems to make sense.

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: Is it possible to live without hope?////FROM JACK: Theoretically, it's possible, but "hope" enables most of us to go on..and on...and on. That's what faith is about.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: We felt like that when we drove into Washington for Memorial Day and were anticipating lots of traffic. There was none to speak of and, from our experience, Memorial Day is a great day to be in Washington. The museum was not crowded, the streets were not crowded, the sidewalks were not crowded. I had never seen the city like this except during a snowstorm. The original flag flying over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote our national anthem has been restored and has a new, beautiful display. We also saw a Model T like the one Mother and Dad eloped to St, Louis in July 1926 and had seven blowouts on the way.////FROM JACK: So, you had "pessimism" riding in the back seat! Maybe if you'd given a ride to "optimism," things might have turned out as you expected. What a thrill...to be able see the original Star-Spangled Banner.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Eleanor Roosevelt said once, that "hope is the most important word in the English Language." It is certainly one of them. I, too, am optimistic that things will work out, although I can't help but fret about the world we seem to be leaving our grandchildren and "greats". My life had been so blessed, and of course you want that for your children, et all. I've quoted this before, but Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "The ultimate test of a moral society is what kind of world it leaves to its children"....I guess all we can do is impart our faith, and optimism, and try to leave our little corner of the world a better place! Live our lives for something that will outlast it!////FROM JACK: "If you had faith like this grain of mustard seed...." Other generations have fretted about what they are leaving to the coming generations. So, we tend to follow in their footsteps. "Fret not thyself...." My optimistic viewpoint is: "Do the best that you can, and let it go at that."

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS: I hope heaven is not perfect.....and their will be challenges and problems to solve and relationships to build and things that need to be fixed, and people who need to be hugged and loved and a common language so we can communicate....and God with his broad smiled and good humor , just like on earth////FROM JACK: That's the first time I've ever heard someone say that they wished for heaven not to be perfect. Your rationale seems to make sense. I would only say that God has a way of making the imperfect, perfect. You if you want for a common language and hugs, God will take care of that.//// MORE FROM AW: I think that facing challenges, struggling to overcome, completing work, resolving issues,and a sense of success are gifts from God and too precious not to have an afterlife..////FROM JACK:Another good response. I appreciate those that cause me to do a double-take. Most of the time we look at problem issues from the negative side, without noticing the positives that come...for example, the book by Dale Evans, "Angel Unaware."

FROM MOLINER JT: Great Wisdom !! You used my favorite word "Believe" I spoke at the Christian Friendliness annual banquet a few weeks ago. The topic "Believe". With this topic I could have spoken all night.////FROM JACK: Do you remember this song from Luther League days?
Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe,
Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Winning Words 5/27/11
“My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.” (Oprah Winfrey) I didn’t watch Oprah’s last daytime show, but millions did and heard her sign off with, “To God be the glory.” Today’s quote has me thinking about heaven and wondering if there’ll be baked potatoes there. I know that there’ll be friends. What “heaven” ideas and “friends” thoughts are on your mind? ;-) Jack

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: The Anglican (nameless) pastor here once said he was confident that there would still be fishing going on in heaven. I replied that the fish would probably disagree with him.////FROM JACK: Were the disciples of Jesus required to "leave their nets" because Jesus opposed fishing?

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: The potato part being wished for in heaven doesn't resonate with me but the sharing part sure does. I hope heaven will be just chock full of people sharing, not like down here on earth where someone is likely to be trying to get the biggest part. But man when there is healthy sharing, mutuality in relationships, ain't it just contentment, peaceful and heavenly?!!!!!!!////FROM JACK: The Difference Between Heaven And Hell (Adapted by Elisa Pearmain from a Japanese and Chinese folk tale) To tell the story dramatically, tape a spoon to a ruler so that the entire length is longer than your own arm to demonstrate how people ate in hell. When you get to the next paragraph about heaven, tape another spoon to another ruler. Give spoons to two participants. Invite them to pretend to feed each other to illustrate the way the people ate in heaven. Long ago there lived an old woman who had a wish. She wished more than anything to see for herself the difference between heaven and hell. The monks in the temple agreed to grant her request. They put a blindfold around her eyes, and said, "First you shall see hell." When the blindfold was removed, the old woman was standing at the entrance to a great dining hall. The hall was full of round tables, each piled high with the most delicious foods — meats, vegetables, fruits, breads, and desserts of all kinds! The smells that reached her nose were wonderful. The old woman noticed that, in hell, there were people seated around those round tables. She saw that their bodies were thin, and their faces were gaunt, and creased with frustration. Each person held a spoon. The spoons must have been three feet long! They were so long that the people in hell could reach the food on those platters, but they could not get the food back to their mouths. As the old woman watched, she heard their hungry desperate cries. "I've seen enough," she cried. "Please let me see heaven." And so again the blindfold was put around her eyes, and the old woman heard, "Now you shall see heaven." When the blindfold was removed, the old woman was confused. For there she stood again, at the entrance to a great dining hall, filled with round tables piled high with the same lavish feast. And again, she saw that there were people sitting just out of arm's reach of the food with those three-foot long spoons.
But as the old woman looked closer, she noticed that the people in heaven were plump and had rosy, happy faces. As she watched, a joyous sound of laughter filled the air. And soon the old woman was laughing too, for now she understood the difference between heaven and hell for herself. The people in heaven were using those long spoons to feed each other.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Meeting loved ones.////FROM JACK: I wonder how we will recognize each other.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: "Someday", not too soon.////FROM JACK: I read of one "religious" group that believed heaven was so wonderful that they couldn't wait to get there. The result was not good.

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: I think the key to the Oprah quote is "someone to share it with"....I keep wondering if a lot of you folks will make it?????////FROM JACK: Martin Luther said that he'd be surprised if he made it. I wonder if he'd be surprised about you, too.////MORE FROM JS: I'll be surprised if he is there....Lutherans are a strange bunch in general....I would guess Anselm and maybe Wesley might make it....probably no Augustana Lutherans....////FROM JACK: Your response seems to indicate that you'll be there checking the registration list along with St. Peter.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Winning Words 5/26/11
“This world is so full of crap, a man’s gonna get onto it sooner or later, whether he’s careful or not.” (Hud Brannon) You might rightly ask, “What’s so winning about this word?” Someone who’s undergoing radiation, saw a sign: Cancer Sucks! “That’s right!” she said. A friend, celebrating 1-year of successful bone marrow transplant writes: “My baptism reminds me that I have one foot on earth and another in heaven.” ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I like this WW. Got onto some crap yesterday. Might get onto some crap today yet. At least this WW puts me into the right context.////FROM JACK: Someone gave this advice today: "Never kick a cowchip on a hot day." My advice....Never kick it on a rainy day, either. Watch out during today's walk.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: ........... Amen!////FROM JACK: Evidently, that means you can relate.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: How true that is. The 20 years I was a stay-at-home mom raising our five children I could control the environment somewhat. Once I got my part-time job with Eastern Airlines in 1978 I saw what the world is really like.There were many positives there, too, like learning what a computer is and how to use it and getting to travel the world.////FROM JACK: ...and then Eastern went out of business (crap). If it was a merger, do you still keep your perks?

FROM MOLINER CF: Carry a big shovel.////FROM JACK: John Deere makes a special wagon to haul it around to places where it's needed.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Ha! Good ol' Hud Brannon...who is he? But he is so right...when the s____ hits the fan, you can't always duck fast enough. :-) I read a good thought this week, "We live life forward, but understand backward". Makes sense to me. I can only imagine the joy of a successful bone marrow transplant! Pat T H went through that procedure but it failed, and was such an ordeal! My dear friend at church also had an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant. Sometimes crap creeps in...and we deal with it. But we are thankful for all the days and years, even, that are NOT "crappy"!!////FROM JACK: The quote is from the movie, "Hud," and was spoken by Paul Newman. We await more successes in the cancer fight and wish that there were more of them. Meanwhile, crap continues to be a problem.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Winning Words 5/25/11
“Someday is a code word.” (Jason Kotecki) “Someday….I’ll quit smoking…I’m going to write that letter…I’ll go to an AA meeting…I’ll tell my kids how proud I am of them…Someday, this is what I want to do.” Here are some suggestions for breaking the “Someday” code. 1) Write down what you want to do. 2) Put down, WHY. 3) Set a date and time. 4) Label it your, “Breaking Free Day.” ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Many live on "Someday Isle" (someday I'll...).////FROM JACK: That has the makings of a good song lyric. Work on it. Some day, I'm going to find a way to get off of Someday Isle.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Since the world didn't end last weekend, it seems like the start of a new year now, another chance, another opportunity to change yet before it really does happen. Enjoyed your WW. Also enjoyed the fact that I was able to find Jason Kotecki's blog on the internet. I found him because you told us about him but just musing here--how did you find him among the zillions of blogs out there? Curious.////FROM JACK: Someday I'll tell you.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I guess we all just muddle through this life with a lot of help.////FROM JACK: I'm reminded of the Beatles song, "Help." It's worth a uTube watch.
Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me?

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I've never done before.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Terrific. ////FROM JACK: Did you ever watch the cartoon show, "Tom Terrific?" It was terrific!

FROM MKH: Love it Jack! I am a quilter (something Marilyn and I took up together) I have a list a mile long of people I want to do this for I have 11 started at some level, I always have that tugging at me! I just finished my Aunt and Uncle’s 50th Wedding Anniversary quilt, I took it when we went to see them in March their anniversary date was 10-15-2006, yikes! Quilts are a labor of love!////FROM JACK: Are quilters called, "Sew and Sews?"

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: I try not to miss a day speaking with each of my kids, and my brother in California. The older I get the more ominous the word "someday" means to me. ////FROM JACK: Someday I'll follow your example with my sister and my children.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Love this one...I'm sure it hit everyone! I have shoe boxes filled to the hilt with photographs...and a garage FULL of things that need sorting...or just to be pitched! My twin Jan was SO organized with photos, and had at least 50 yearly albums! I hope her daughters are perusing them! Yes, I definitely live on "Someday Isle"...I'd rather read a good book, or play a round of golf, or a game of bridge, or go to a play or movie. or concert, or on a shopping trip, or do my church activities, or spend time with family....etc. etc. etc. Maybe someday, when I'm old and gray, I'll accomplish my "someday" projects!! (I said, MAYBE...!~!) Good one!////FROM JACK: How about this poem by Edgar A. Guest....
He was going to be all that a mortal should be
No one should be kinder or braver than he
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who'd be glad of a lift and who needed it, too;
On him he would call and see what he could do

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

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

FROM MOLINER CF: Good advice. I'm going to try that someday.

FROM LBP IN MICHIGAN: Hmmm. Interesting idea. Someday, my folks are going to take that trip to Iceland. Maybe I'll send this WW along to them (again, since I know they're on your list) with a little hint to make that happen. Of course the current spraying of volcanic ash justifies that someday not being today. I've been trying to schedule tasks. They don't always get done but with my digital calendar they keep popping up. I like "breaking free day." Those nagging "someday" items feel awfully weighty to carry around sometimes. ////FROM JACK: The best way to "delete" a pop-up is to "do it!"

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS: I think "someday" is also a word of hope, promise, anticipation of the future, and a look forward in life.////FROM JACK: "Somewhere" is a word that can refer to that heaven which believers looks forward to with hope. "Somewhere, over the rainbow etc."

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: OK - I've written three down, labeled them "Breaking Free Day", dated one for Memorial Day, will work on next ones when I'm done with the first. I hope I can make this stick. The second one is going through hundreds of photos (yuk), I've been "going to do that" for years!!!!!////FROM JACK: "The longest journey begins with a single step." You have take the first step. That wasn't so hard, was it? Now comes the next step....and so on.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Winning Words 5/24/11
“Be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur.” (Muriel Spark) An online conversation gave these opinions on the prime of life…You won’t know until it passes…It went downhill when I passed 10…It’s whatever you want it to be…Physically 20s; emotionally 40s; financially 60s. Do you recognize one of these as yours? As for me, I like to think that I’ve had several primes. ;-) Jack

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: And maybe the best is yet to come!////FROM JACK: As the ballplayers say: "Take it one game (day) at a time."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is me, too. Every day is a prime time. ////FROM JACK: There are many definitions of the word, prime. I like the one associated with prime rib.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: My mother-in-law is showing me the prime of life at age 92. She used to always tell me how "to do stuff", like more experienced and knowledgeable woman telling younger inexperienced and less knowledgeable woman how to. It was always sort of irritating but I bore up under it. But I'm finding her later years so refreshing. She seems so at peace and no need to be more experienced and knowledgeable than me, or anyone else for that matter. I guess she's at the point where she realizes she's in her prime and doesn't feel like she has to prove anything any more. We have a much freer and not competitive relationship and, if it be my lot, I look forward to my 90's too.////FROM JACK: My mother passed her driver's test at age 95. I was proud that she did that. But then she parked the car for the last time and said, "It's no fun growing old. You'll see.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: it's good to be "primed" and ready to go at any given time.////FROM JACK: Have you ever "primed the pump" before get water from a well? Do you know what that means?////MORE FROM MARY: Oh, yeah. We had a pump well at the cottage in Wisconsin. I loved collecting water. Good times!

FROM MOLINER CF: I think all you can do is point to the prime of your life so far. Who knows what lies ahead.////FROM JACK: As Robert Browning put it: "Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be." BTW, was Browning Field named after him?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: It sounds as if most of us do have several primes, if the 20's, 40's, and 60's hold true! I know I am past mine...less creative, witty, and athletic than 20 or 30 yrs. ago! Singing voice not as effective, etc. But I can still give a program, swing a golf club, lead hymns, and have a wonderful time with family and friends, so that is "prime" for me! :-) ("Say, she was happy: Say, she knew it!")////FROM JACK: The real question is..."What is prime?" I say that it's being effective in whatever you do at whatever your age might be.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Winning Words 5/23/11
“Around and around she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows.” (Major Bowes) I decided to use this quote after last Saturday came and went with no Armageddon (end of the world in religious terms). In spite of warnings by some so-called “experts,” I hold to the idea that the end of the world will come like “a thief in the night.” The lesson of this is that we should be prepared always for the end of “our” world. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I wish right now I could be better prepared for the end of "my" world but the thing which seems to preoccupy me so much of the time is trying to be prepared and accept the end of "my" world as I know it. Somehow, it all involves the insecurity and uncertainty of the "nobody knows" and rebelling against that seems to be a great temptation. So hard to be poor, weak and vulnerable but also loving and compassionate.////FROM JACK: God knows!
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen Nobody knows but Jesus*
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen Glory hallelujah!
Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down Oh, yes, Lord
Sometimes I'm almost to the ground Oh, yes, Lord

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: So True is the moral to the end of today's words.////FROM JACK: "A moral is a value by which an individual lives." I'm glad that you answered...So True. I agree with you.

FROM FROM BL IN THE U.P.: Out daughter in Tx. sent us a good one. She related that one of her friends said, “Since I am apparently going to be left behind, shall my husband and I pack a picnic basket and go out to the cemetery so that we can watch the dead in Christ arise first?”////FROM JACK: Isn't she the one with the appropriate name...Faith?

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Very true, Jack. Very true!////FROM JACK: Yea, Very-ly, Very-ly.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: I'm just thinking what the folks in Joplin, Missouri must be thinking! Worst tornado in the U.S. Since the 1953 tornado that hit Flint, MI.////FROM JACK: The "end of the world" came for them, when least expected. How many times have the words been said: "If I only knew..." Sometimes tragedy has a way of teaching us lessons.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Yes, of course, always and make use of each day.////FROM JACK: Do you remember Major Bowes? His was the original Gong Show. BTW, did you every watch the Chuck Barris "Gong Show?" You can probably call it up on uTube. Your Ashburn family might enjoy it.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: I don't know how to comment directly to the blog.
I love your comment that "we should be prepared always for the end of 'our' world". I work with this concept, too. In fact, my first blog (at judylipson.wordpress.com) discusses this very issue and includes an article that I wrote prior to Y2K. I find it interesting that the recent 2012 and Armageddon conversations sound so similar; and people are relating so similarly - with fear. Doesn't need to be perceived this way. Maybe you (and your readers) will visit my blog and share their thoughts with me.////FROM JACK: First...People respond to me, and I post the "edited" response on the blog. Then I post my response to the response. In that way inappropriate material is not posted for everyone to see. I don't know if yours works in that way. Second...The end of "my" world is the one I'm really concerned about. I think that most people are concerned in that way. Armageddon never was of much interest to me.

FROM MOLINER CF: Death itself is the end of the world to the deathee. Be prepared!////FROM JACK: More and more of the deathees are contemporaries of ours. You know what that means?

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: good words. remember, the Bible calls us to engage the world, not escape the world. ////FROM JACK: Is that in Revelation 23?

WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS: "It is the still, small voice that the soul heeds, not the deafening blasts of doom."
(American author and literary critic)

FROM YAHOO NEWS: It's hard to feel bad for someone whose doomsday predictions caused so much anxiety, but 89-year-old Harold Camping's recent admission that he's "flabbergasted" the world didn't end last weekend sounds somewhat pitiful. "It has been a really tough weekend," Camping said Sunday, after emerging from his Alameda, California home for the first time to talk to a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle. "I'm looking for answers ... But now I have nothing else to say."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Jesus said, "NO man knows the time or the hour", but it seems some "experts" will always think they do! I hardly gave this a thought, except to wonder at their audacity, and to mourn the loss of life incomes in some lives who did absolutely believe the end would arrive on May 21st!! AS Thanatopsis (Wm Cullen Byrant) says so well at the end of the poem (thanks to my Moline Lit. teacher who had us memorize it!~): "So live, that when the thy summons comes to join
That innumerable caravan, which moves to that mysterious realm,
Where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death;
Thou go not like the Quarry slave at night, Scourged to his Dungeon,
But sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust,
Approach thy grave like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
about him, And lies down to pleasant dreams."
Hopefully, our faith will sustain us, when the time comes, and as we see more and more of our contemporaries making the journey, we know we are the fortunate few to live past 80!! Billy Crystal once said, "By the time a man is old enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere!" I'm still going! Ha!////FROM JACK: When I took Greek, we talked about the words, thanatopsis....[from Greek thanatos death + opsis a view]

FROM IKE IN MICHIGAN: I prefer the OPTIMISTIC view: TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!.. ////FROM JACK: Yes, "Talk health, happiness and prosperity..."

FROM MOLINER JT: It feels "so good" to be ready.////FROM JACK: "The Day" has been postponed several times for you, hasn't it?

FROM JW IN MICHIGAN: We just came from Mary's funeral; she wore her Lance Parrish jersey with her stuffed Tiger around her neck. When her coffin was wheeled out after the service, Nancy played "Take me out to the ballgame" and we sang. We will miss her like crazy, but know that her suffering is over and she is with God.////FROM JACK: I like it. I can imagine Jesus joining in with the singing.

FROM THE JUDGE: I think the end of the world is much more personal---if you understand what I mean. ////FROM JACK: I think (I know) what you mean.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: I am with you 100%. We like to predict and control everything ~ isn't there a line from Shakespeare about "at lover's promises they say love laughs" I imagine this is the same with end times predictions. If it comes like a thief in the night I will surely be sleeping :)////FROM JACK: Has a thief ever sneaked up and taken something without your knowing about it? Death sometimes happens like that.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Tornados. Have we ever had this many this severe hit our country as this past weekend? Add to this this year’s severe, record Mississippi River flooding, plus the flooding in Australia that covered an area the size of France and Spain, and one might think that we are getting much closer to the last days. I’m not a doomsday kind of guy, but it does make me think about it. How about you and your thoughts on these phenomena?////FROM JACK: I don't give it a second thought, because it's beyond my control and knowing. Every generation seems to have had Doomsday predictors. "Be ready always," is my motto. ////MORE FROM HAWKEYE: Jack, you are entirely right. I saw a note showing how many prominent people have predicted the end - going back

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: Write on St. John!////FROM JACK: How much of your sermons was you, and much was the Holy Spirit? 50/50?

FROM CJL IN OHIO: That's what the Holy Book says, why wouldn't you believe it?////FROM JACK: Not believe what? ...that there will be an end to the world? Either by "ordinary" death, or by a cataclysmic event, the end will come...I think!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Winning Words 5/20/11
“Do whatever you love, love whatever you do, leave the world a better place, and don’t pick your nose.” (Jef Mallett) Jef is a Michigan humorist who draws the comic strip, Frazz. He has an offbeat sense of humor as shown in today’s quote. Maybe that’s why I like his work. There are several messages in what Jef is saying. See if they apply to your situation (I don’t mean the last part). ;-) Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I can't get the visual of the last part out of my mind. I guess it is just not my sense of humor. To each his own. FROM JACK: The humor is in the unexpected ending....For example: I asked God for a bike, nut I know God doesn't act in that way. So, I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness. I wonder if the word, anagnorisis, would apply here?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Wow, and updated version of the Golden Rule...sort of! I love it! His cartoons are a plus. I ususally read them because I do the crossword puzzles. Although, I have a big stack I haven't had time to do yet. Happy Friday! FROM JACK: Now, I'll have to spend the day figuring out how to connect it with the idea of the Golden Rule.

FROM BB IN MICHIGAN: Ha! Ha! LOL. FROM JACK: I hesitated to use the Mallett quote, because some people don't see humor as I do. I'm glad that you LedOL early this morning.

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: I like this variation better: God has showed you what is good. To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Oh, and to not pick your nose at the dinner table. FROM JACK: That's the way you might tell it in church. I don't know if Jef goes to church. MORE FROM JC: People's worlds are so small these days, ususally only including themselves! Not sure how I would explain this elitist WW to the vast majority of the global population who have trouble making ends meet due to the Financial Fraud perpetrated by American and European bankers, politicians and accountants of the past two generations. (Including their supporters.) Being an optimist, I suppose I would urge these poverty-stricken folk to Love trying to make ends meet. There is a challenge in that, for sure! Meanwhile, suicide rates are up all the around the world, notably and including farmers in India and the general population in Ireland and elsewhere, because bankers Love foreclosing on little guys and pocketing BIG BONUSES, and they do it well, even though I sense some nose-picking is taking place! Obviously, the world is not a better place for most people. The few continue to disgrace the rest of the human race. (One million worlds have improved, seven billion worlds are dying.) FROM JACK: Somehow, I fail to see how today's WWs are elitist, but I agree that we need more caring people in the world.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Working in the Farm today, planting. The two apple trees there are looking good--2 years old now. I remember Pastor Rol telling us in Bible study once that, when he got a little discouraged with us church people, he would go out and plant a flower that would come up and bloom. Strange, but it seems as much as we get culturally more and more technological, still all those old agricultural references in the Bible resonate in our collective memories. I'm expecting to be praying while working today with my hands in the soil. FROM JACK: "Ora et labora," is translated, "Pray and work." St Benedict had that as a rule for monks living communally under the authority of an abbot. Since about the 7th century it has also been adopted by communities of women. During the 1500 years of its existence, it has become the leading guide in Western Christianity for monastic living in community.

FRPM MOLINER CF: I was very fortunate to live that dream during my career. Whether I leave the world a better place remains to be seen. You are better off picking your nose than picking a fight.//// FROM JACK: Yes, I enjoyed my "job," too. One is blessed to have a job and doubly-blessed to have one that is liked.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: HA! I don't know Fraz, but I like his creator...off beat is usually thought-provoking. I used to tell my kids whenever I caught them doing the indelicate...picking their nose! "Pick your friends, but NOT your nose!!" I loved teaching, and when you love what you are doing, you're usually good at it. I feel sorry that some folks do not have daily jobs that they "love", (what a drag!) and in this economy I suspect that covers MANY people, but according to this guy, you can still "love what you do". God, give us the power!////FROM JACK: Speaking of picking...How do YOU go about helping someone to pick a job that they will like (love)? That's a rhetorical question.

FROM LK IN OHIO: Any relation to Ryan Mallett?////FROM JACK: No, I think that he's from the Croquet family.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Winning Words 5/19/11
“Nobody ever said it would be easy—and that was an understatement.” (George Mitchell) How would you like to have the job of trying to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians? Mitchell has been recognized for his part in bringing peace to Northern Ireland. It was hoped that he could work the same magic in the Middle East. He resigned a week ago from that un-easy assignment. He tried! ;-) Jack

FROM EM IN MICHIGAN: I found your post today interesting. It's frustrating to watch the events in Israel/Middle East...if George can't handle it I wonder who can? At least he gave it a shot. FROM JACK: Even good and talented people can't win every battle or solve every problem. But, at least, they give it a try. That should be inspiration for us to keep on trying. Maybe, next time.

FROM MOLINER CF: You have to WANT peace to have it. FROM JACK: "You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist." ~Attributed to both Golda Meir and Indira Gandhi MORE FROM CF: Isn't that what I said? FROM JACK: Beauty is in the eye (words) of the beholder (e-mail writer).

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Don't we all wish we could have one of those buttons from Staples which read "Easy". In their commercials if you want something done you just push the Easy button. Life isn't easy but it is worth working hard. But it is "Easy" to believe there is something better waiting for us at the end of the road. FROM JACK: In this morning's newspaper I read about a man who has a lot of problems. He hopes that Armageddon happens on Saturday. MORE FROM OUTHOUSE: Yes I have heard him speak. He was on the radio and I listened to his thoughts. He is so sad. I know Jesus said not even he knows the time or the hour. We all have problems, some of us have terrible problems, but I know I'm not ready to meet my Maker yet. I have more scrapbooking to do.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I appreciate your WW this morning. Here are Rabbi's words. A day to remember the stopping of the killing-such as found in no other faith. Respect between Jews and for Jews. These also give me much to think about. In my little corner of the world, among my friends, I am told that the Jews are powerful, more powerful than their enemies but, just from reading here and there, I start to believe that the Jews and their little country of Israel are actually very weak and that, if we could only see into the hearts of all people all over the world, there is a preponderance of people who don't want to see a Jewish nation or else are sort of passive about it and see it of really no consequence. I have the idea from most Christians I know that Christianity is what counts with God and, while they believe that Israel should exist (and from that they seem to draw a conclusion that people all over the world of rational and logical thinking also would be able to see this--you know like this is reason) but I don't think many of us actually see the enmity of so many towards Jews and their having their own nation. Everything that is happening now, people may interpret as being the Jews own fault for all the terrible things they have been doing in oppressing and occupying Palestine but I wonder, could it be ever more and more coming to the surface the enmity of people towards the Jewish people and their faith and their now living in great numbers (but really small numbers) again in the Holy Land. Again and again and again they stand in history like this and it's just sort of sobering that the Rabbi and other Rabbi's will see and write the way they do. Thanks for your WW again to day and that we actually awoke again today and I look forward to reading your blog to see what others think. FROM JACK: God certainly has many problems on his desk. It's good that he's all-wise.

FROM GM IN MICHIGAN: JACK i THINK THEY HAVE BEEN WORKING ON AN AGREEMENT FOR 3000 yrs Give them another 25 yrs FROM JACK: The idealism within me says: "Keep on trying." If you believe that something is good, you don't give up on achieving it.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: It's impossible to shake hands with someone who has a clenched fist! FROM JACK: If someone offers to shake your hand, what is your response? MORE FROM JL: The question is not what I would do. Forget the Palestinians for a moment. The rest of the Arab world, and especially the Muslim fundamentalists, believe that the 'entire' State of Israel is occupying their land and should be destroyed. They don't recognize Israel politically nor do they want it on the map. That is the clenched fist about which I made reference. Until Israel's neighbors recognize it's right to exist as a nation and secure borders, there cannot be a peace. While I am an optimist, talk is cheap. I just watched President Obama deliver his speech. Sounded good; but, God only knows how it will be received by the parties in interest. Both Nazi Germany and Japan wanted to destroy us and overrun the world. It wasn't 'til we destroyed that mentality that they discovered the way to the peaceful future that now both enjoy. Just my thoughts. FROM JACK: If someone offers to shake YOUR hand, what is YOUR response?

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Did you read President Carter's book on the midEast , we can have Peace in the Holy Land? I loved it…that was before Peace Not Apartheid which I think was quite controversial but probably a wise tome just the same. no, I don't envy that job a whit. FROM JACK: Whit is an interesting word...the absolute least. Regardless of the politics, Clinton and Carter close to brokering the deal...."Close, but no cigar."

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: I'm hoping that he didn't resign because he believed that resolution is hopeless. It does seem so at times. Obama tackled the issue today in his speech on the Middle East. I hope his speech bears some fruit. FROM JACK: I heard a comment today that "the Jews" probably would be opposed to the president's speech. I would hope that each individual would have an individual opinion. MORE FROM TS: Yes/No will create a histogram, not a bell curve. AND here's a link to the Jerusalem Post. The Left have one opinion; the Right have another. http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=221383
FROM JACK: I was absent the day they talked about histograms in school, but some histograms do sorta look like a bell (not the curved kind).

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I wonder if God Himself could solve the problem. We know that He could. FROM JACK: The teacher could solve all the problems, because he/she controls the answer book. However, if that were done, there would be no learning experience for the student.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Bill and I visited the Holy Land and sat in on a seminar involving the Israelis and Palestinians in 1970, and felt pretty hopeless that they'd ever come to any agreement, for any length of time, and it has proven to be true. I feel for ANYONE trying to work that out!!////FROM JACK: I have friends who support people on both sides of "the wall." I've come to the conclusion that the extremists are the cause of the problem. I'm like Goldilocks. I don't like "too hard" or "too soft," or "too hot" or "too cold."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Winning Words 5/18/11
“There are no accidents—there is only some purpose that we haven’t yet understood.” (Deepak Chopra) The physicist, Stephen Hawking, has been making headlines lately, with comments like, “Science Makes God Unnecessary.” I recently saw someone interview Hawking. I wonder if his comments relate to a search for “purpose” that might be going on in his mind. We all search, don’t we? ;-) Jack

FROM DRJH: I like this one a lot! I think science makes God necessary actually, as science is based on observation and has limits. We cannot truly "know" what we cannot see or test in science. Whereas God cannot be directly observed. I used to think of it this way... Science is the telescope that lets us observe and explain the natural world around us. God is the what lies beyond the view of the scope. It is certainly there... but lies beyond human vision. But the science only makes sense because of the context around it (God). Does that make any sense at all? FROM JACK: Faith is so elusive that it's hard grasp it without saying, "I believe; help my unbelief."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Yes, but they must not know or have not experienced the power of prayers. FROM JACK: First of all, I believe in the power of prayer. As I pray, I say: "Thy will be done," not "my will be done."

FROM ST IN MICHIGAN: Excellent thoughts to start my day with. Thanks for sharing FROM JACK: Regarding your comment on "thoughts," here's something I learned a long time ago: "Though man a thinking being is defined, Few use the grand prerogative of mind. How few think justly of the thinking few! How many never think, who think they do!" (Jane Taylor)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Just my simple opinion but the people who say they don't believe in God seem to use His name a lot. They spend a lot of time trying to "prove" He's not real. Why would they spend anytime at all on that theory. Truly I believe they use Him as a challenge and are really kind of threatened by His power. God is working on them and the people around them. Just my Wednesday morning thoughts. FROM JACK: After watching and listening to the interview of Stephen Hawking, I came a way wondering...What would my thinking be if I were sitting in his chair. It's frustrating to try to know the unknowable.

FROM MOLINER CF: Life is one big search. Some things are just easier to find. FROM JACK: When I was "working," I conducted a search party every Sunday morning.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: Hawking is surely an interesting fellow. and yes, i think he may be searching. FROM JACK: Everyone with a curious mind is searching. I withhold criticism of Stephen, because I have a curious mind, too.

FROM CL IN SANTA BARBARA: I love the concept of purpose. Also the fact that we don't always understand.
Chopra advocates some worthwhile ideas . . .According to Business Week, one of Chopra's main messages is that by ridding oneself of negative emotions and developing intuition by listening to signals from the body, health can be improved. According to Chopra, slowing down or reversing the aging of the mind through his methods can increase one's lifespan up to the age of 120 years. As a result of his writings and lectures in this area, he is thought by some to be "one of the pre-eminent leaders of the mind-body-spirit movement".
Trouble is it's all temporal. One may live to 120 but that's all there is according to Chopra. How disappointing to see smart guys like him and Hawking missing the point that the only Purpose that counts is eternal. FROM JACK: I asked my doctor about "knowledge" yesterday. He made a small circle with his thumb and forefinger and said, "This is how much we know about this world and us."

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I used to wonder if my physicist husband, spending so much of his time with the equations and big machines of the lab, was actually looking for God. He certainly seemed to be searching for the grand "truth" of all matter. After he didn't get the job he wanted and had to go in another direction, which incidentally involved a growing involvement with the church, I no longer wonder so much about what my husband is looking for. He seems pretty content and peaceful and fulfilled and happy also now too with how he is spending his time. He did so enjoy research!!!!! What God has/is creating is so fabulous!!!!! FROM JACK: You have given a perfect example. When a door closes, a window opens. I thought I knew a certain "purpose" for my life, and when a door closed, a new and better opportunity presented itself. So....we think we know it all? How foolish.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I really cannot fathom just what Deepak Chopra means by this...is it like the thought in the book God Winks, where the there are not coincidentals? We certainly cannot know the "grand design" of things that befall us, but Jesus assured us "Everything works together for good, to those that love Him, and are called according to His purpose..." With Atheists putting up billboards with persuasive Anti-God messages, we are aware that not everyone believes in, or feels the need for, God, in their lives. Dr. Werner Bon Braun had an interesting article years ago, in which he expressed his belief in eternal life, as his experience as a Scientist (and a Rocket Scientist at that!) had taught him that "nothing disappears with out a trace...all creation knows is transformation, never extinction: even the tiniest iota of matter survives in some form. He said "Science has quite a surprise for the skeptics!" I loved that article and his affirmation of faith.
FROM JACK: The "searchers" that I'm writing about today are those who have not had the same experiences that you have had, so Jesus and God mean different things to them. What we all have in common is that we would like to know "the reason" behind things and events.

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: It takes everyone to make the bell curve look like a bell. FROM JACK: Let's take a poll on whether or not there's agreement on what Chopra says and see if the results come in the shape of a bell. (x) I agree.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Winning Words 5/17/11
“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” (Dolly Parton) Dolly is one who’s overcome the odds. She grew up “dirt poor” in Tennessee and, after “putting up with a lot of rain,” has seen the rainbow. Not only has she become wealthy; she is also known for her philanthropy. There’s a basic goodness about Dolly, shown as she plays “Doralee” in the movie, From 9 to 5. ;-) Jack

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: I know what she was talking about. Saw my dentist for a tooth cleaning a couple of weeks ago, they discovered I had a vertical fracture of a root on one of my molars – he couldn’t do anything for me except refer me to a dental surgeon. So I visited him yesterday, was in the chair for an hour as they dug out the tooth and the roots. He said I was ‘lucky’ they found the problem as the tooth had infected my sinus. Have to see the surgeon again, then back to the dentist . . . he’s talking about thousand of dollars plus to replace the ‘cap’ on the adjacent tooth. And all I was planning on was a tooth cleaning. Now I’m looking for the rainbow – had enough rain and cold weather recently, frost this morning on May 17th. FROM JACK: I had a similar experience a week ago. I'm glad for the advancements that have been made in dentistry. My "expensive bridge" will be installed in July. I know of a dentist who named his powerboat, POPCORN!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Talk about rain, you sure have a lot of it in the North compared to Florida. We have had many Little League baseball games cancelled for rain or wet fields. FROM JACK: Yes, plenty of rain; some even made its way into our basement. A rainbow? My grandson will get to play a high school baseball game this week on the Tigers' field in Detroit...if it isn't rained out.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Good old practical Dolly...she's the one who said, "I don't mind dumblonde jokes, because I'm not a natural blonde, and I'm not dumb!" And she isn't! Her words ring true, and I suspect we must all put up with a certain amount of rain, no matter what! In the U.S. much less than any other country, as far as women are concerned, from what I've seen in my travels! FROM JACK: Dolly is certainly quotable with her remarks...like this one: "I still close my eyes and go home - I can always draw from that." Who says that you can't go home again?"

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: Good one and very appropriate….this rain will net beautiful iris, lilacs and all of the other spring beauties. FROM JACK: Did you mean"net," or "wet?" MORE FROM JE: I like the play on words!

FROM MOLINER CF: And lest we forget that she wrote one of the most beautiful love songs ever written, here's the link Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You - Lyrics FROM JACK: I wonder if Whitney ever sang it to Bobby?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: She is truly a wonderful person who lives her faith. One of my favorite movies as a girl was Wizard of Oz. I loved the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". It takes a lot of work and perseverance to achieve one's goals and Dolly was willing go the extra mile. FROM JACK: The rainbow was Good News for Noah and his family. The Oz rainbow song has a great message, too.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: I saw Dolly Parton perform in Dallas in 1985. What a grand performance; talented, witty, warm personality. FROM JACK: Her self-deprecating manner is what I like.

Winning Words 5/16/11
“The kind of person I want to be is a kind person.” (Frank Tyger) A new word to add to your vocabulary today is, homonym, an example of which is contained in today’s WWs. This world is craving for more kindness, even the random kind. Tyger is an editorial cartoonist known for celebrating the positive side of life. I like other Tyger quotes like this one: “There’s a lot of try in triumph.” ;-) Jack

FROM CH ON CAPE COD: I’m going to share these with Joanna (our older daughter – in 5th grade) She is very kind. FROM JACK: Isn't it nice to be in the presence of kind people...especially when they are your children?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Who is Tyger and how long has he been around and where does he live? FROM JACK: I searched in Dog Pile and read his biography. Fascina
ting. If you don't want to look through the dog pile stuff, you probably can find similar stuff in Google. MORE FROM SHIRL: How interesting the life of Frank Tyger is. My first love was newspapers, too, and I hand printed one for the neighborhood when I was in the fifth grade and had the newspaper -a weekly-until sometime in the ninth grade. Mr Nutting, who was our neighbor, gave a typewriter to use when I was in the sixth grade, and I would go to each house once a week and get the news of the families and then type it up with carbon paper copies. I remember Judge Larson, who said he was an atheist, always wanting me to stay and talk with him, and I was pretty young to understand at that time. By the way, if you hear that no one is reading newspapers these days. I tried to buy both a Washington Post and a Washington Times the other day, and they were both sold out. We had to go to another store to find the Post but never could find a Times. I like to read two different opinions and sides and then make up my own mind about how our country should be run.

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Seriously, though, how frank can Frank be; he can't even spell his last name correctly. FROM JACK: He's from New Jersey. If he were from Detroit he'd probably get the spelling correct.
I knew a frank man from Tygeria,
Who set out one day for Nigeria
An unruly cargo of steer
Made them forget they should steer
They soon found themselves in Phyrigia.

FROM MOLINER CF: There's a lot of oomph in it too. FROM JACK: Tri-oomph! I like it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I'm reminded of a Jewel song..."Only kindness matters." She has a strong faith and I believe she has hit the nail on the head...only kindness matters. How can one go wrong if they are kind! Great Monday morning words!! And I love the try in triumph thought! FROM JACK: I like the Glen Campbell song:

If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he's sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and stay you're going the wrong way

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you'll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Don't walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you'll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you'll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: What a great word – not a winning word for a day, but for a life!

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: Kindness as in Micah 6? FROM JACK: Did you mean Micah 6:8?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Winning Words 5/13/11
“Enjoy life now; it has an expiration date.” (Michael Gartner) MG is writing about his father…75 years of marriage…still treadmilling at 101…last words at 102: “I’ve had as happy a life as anyone on earth could ever have.” Why not make a list today of the things that bring enjoyment to your life. Better yet, why not make that “bucket list” that you’ve talked about, but have never written down. ;-) Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Yes, and we have Pop who was 101 years old last month and rides his bicycle around the block almost every day. Granted, it is a motorized three wheel bike, but he maintains and putters the motor a lot in his garage. We are all still here on earth for a reason that only God knows. FROM JACK: I wonder if Harley-Davidson makes a version for the seniors who want a little more speed. Ask Pop if he's interested.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: i just heard a guy speak on this very subject last night. his topic was about recovering from "adultitis". his name is jason kotecki and lives in madison. i think he's worth the google-time! FROM JACK: Besides Google, I use another search engine called, Dog Pile. I think that I'll look there...(Pause) I went to Dog Pile and got a good idea for some future Winning Words.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: My husband and I saw that movie--the Bucket List. It was funny. We did get much of our "bucket list" in before he died! We were fortunate. I just came home from the lake. I have not been up all winter. The kids came up this afternoon and put in most of the waterfront stuff. It was COLD! They came in and took hot showers and we went out for supper. I came home afterwards because I am playing in a "Jazz Band" at 2 services on Sunday. Funny! Junior High music, so it doesn't take much effort. FROM JACK: The "Lake" is a parable of life....to truly enjoy it, you have put in the labor of "prep" work.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Winning Words 5/13/11

“Enjoy life now; it has an expiration date.” (Michael Gartner) MG is writing about his father…75 years of marriage…still treadmilling at 101…last words at 102: “I’ve had as happy a life as anyone on earth could ever have.” Why not make a list today of the things that bring enjoyment to your life. Better yet, why not make that “bucket list” that you’ve talked about, but have never written down. ;-) Jack

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: Thanks, once again, Jack, for ministering to my spirit... I was feeling down because I'm dealing with my wife's dental emergency. Then I realized I'll have this chance to help her with this only once...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Winning Words 5/12/11
“Good advice is almost certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it.” (Agatha Christie) One of the most-read parts of a newspaper is the advice column. Do you read Dear Abby or Miss Manners? I’ve heard that Carolyn Hax gives “advice with an attitude.” People sometimes ask me for advice. Most of the time they just want to talk out a problem. So, my advice becomes their own thinking ;-) Jack

FROM BF IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for all the advice you give me. FROM JACK: I just see it as conversation between friends.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for your WW today too. I especially like that part in the Bible where God says "I will write on their own hearts" or something. I think He says the Law on their hearts. There is so much comfort in believing/knowing that truth about the relationship of God with His children. I kind of hope Agatha Christie's WW touch base with that fundamental in the Bible and certainly your WW at the end of the paragraph do. When our advice becomes people's own thinking, powerful transformation of people's spirituality, vision and hope and lives takes place. My experience and opinion anyway. FROM JACK: There's so much good advice out there..... And there's so much bad advice out there..... The trick is to separate the wheat from the chaff. That's our task for today.

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: I enjoy asking advice from people I consider "confused" (he said diplomatically). Whatever they suggest, I do the opposite. FROM JACK: Some good advice: Don't ask for something that you don't want.
MORE FROM HONG KONG: I sometimes try to explain to some of my English-language aspirants how sometimes the word some can refer to a seemingly singular noun, such as a piece of advice. Usually I end up seeking another's advice. FROM JACK: Sometimes you're right in what you write.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Here's a different 'take' on the same topic: To most people, free advice is only worth what they pay for it. FROM JACK: I'm sending you some "free" advice with regard to your business. Take it for what it's worth.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: My MO is that I don't tell adults what to do unless they ask for my advice which usually goes with a story of an experience that I have had. Life is not easy, it is hard. But it is important to enjoy each day and to take one day at a time. FROM JACK: Since you're a teacher, you may appreciate this "advice" poem that I recall....
He came to my desk with quivering lip--
The lesson was done.
"Dear Teacher I want a new leaf," he said,,
"I have spoiled this one."
I took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave him a new one all unspotted,
And into his sad eyes smiled,
"Do better now, my child."
I went to the throne with a quivering soul--
The old year was done.
"Dear Father, hast Thou a new leaf for me?
I have spoiled this one."
He took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave me a new one all unspotted,
And into my sad heart smiled,
"Do better now, My child."
-- Kathleen Wheeler

FROM MOLINER CF: What's mind boggling is that people pay for advice and then ignore it. FROM JACK: We seek advice to help us with our decision making. Advice, paid for or free, is worthwhile only if considered.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: We seek advice to help us with our decision making. Advice, paid for or free, is worthwhile only if considered. FROM JACK: You know how it works, don't you?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Winning Words 5/11/11
“The sweetest of all sounds is praise.” (Xenophon) A study of beautiful sounding words has “cellar door” as #1. I don’t know about that. I like euphonium. Xenophon lived 25 centuries ago and was known for his “sweet diction.” He’s been called, The Original Horse Whisperer. Today’s WWs show an indication of that. Give someone some sweet praise today and see what happens. ;-) Jack

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Was that as spoken by a Texas girl, an Atlanta gentleman, a South African schoolteacher or an Australian cowboy? FROM JACK: You'll have to write LOUDER. Next time, put it in bold print.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I love that name. Les' father's name was Xenophon Blaine Guffey. "Xenophon" has a sweet sound to it, too.

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: You truly inspire me! You Rock! Have a terrific Day! FROM JACK: Sweet sounding words, especially "You Rock!"

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: cellar door--perhaps you heard the same story I did: a sample of individuals with no knowledge of English was asked to rate a number of phrases for the beauty of their sounds. The winner: ...and there, upon the cellar door, behold the golden cuspidor FROM JACK: I like cuspidor almost as much as euphonium...and both better than cellar door.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Sounds of Praise...sweetest sound in the world! He was a very wise man indeed! I attended a seminar once on child-rearing, and the leader said REMEMBER THIS! "Nothing improves a child's hearing, like PRAISE"! I tried to incorporate that in my family, and once my daughter-in-law Judy (Pastor Fred's wife) said,"You are so positive and affirming...no wonder your kids are so self-confident and out going: I believe if you saw Fred off in a corner picking his nose, you'd say, 'Fred, you pick your nose better than anyone I've ever seen!" We had a good laugh, but there is truth to succeeding with praise. My students would clamor all over each other to outdo, for the much- coveted word of praise. It works! :-) Of course you're not human if a negative criticism doesn't occasionally slip in ....HA! FROM JACK: How about the sounds of praise that you've heard? I'm sure that there've been many...or at least a few. "The Twins" were usually the ones to liven up a party.MORE FROM OAKS: I've been blessed with often hearing accolades, (not much on the golf course!) however, do you find that if you receive 100 compliments, and ONE negative remark, you tend to
dwell on that one negative??! We get better as we age, and mellow... FROM JACK: What do you mean ...."Negative comments?"

FROM MOLINER CF: The sweetest words I ever heard were, "I do." FROM JACK: I heard those words 54 years ago today, and you're right about the sound.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Great words today. Everyone enjoys hearing something nice about themselves. The teller also receives pleasure for spreading some good words too. A cellar door opening or closing would not top my list....an "I love you" from someone I love is the sweetest sound...that an "The Lord's Prayer" sung by my husband. Love your Winning Words! FROM JACK: I know that you have memories of many beautiful sounds that have come to your ears, because you've told me about some of them. You are a people person.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Winning Words 5/10/11
“A person who never makes a mistake never tried anything new.” (Einstein) I’ve read that Albert wasn’t a very good student in school. He didn’t live up to expectations. He wasn’t perfect. Hey, I can identify with that. Einstein recognized that we all make mistakes, and that the successful person is the one who tries to learn from them. I wonder if AE ever tried to find a new hair stylist. ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Do you have to do something new to make mistakes? Gosh, I make them doing my old stuff. Like today, I went to get pork chops and I came home with chicken, weed killer, a bonnet for Melanie, and ice tea. Pork chops??? Well, I guess it's chicken tonight. Personally, I think AE liked his hair wild...he was making a statement. What statement, I don't know! FROM JACK: "I'm a wild and crazy guy!" Or, was that Steve Martin'e statement?

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Wow, I wonder if all us readers are afraid to type in a mistake. This is a new WW we've never tried to comment on after all. I've always enjoyed thinking how AE was working as a bookkeeper or something and working out the Theory of Relativity in his own spare time. As far as I've heard anyway. Guy like that can afford to have frowzy hair. If the rest of us aren't going to use our free time that productively, suppose we have to look more hidden in the crowd. Enjoyed your WW again too. They always are stimulating. FROM JACK: Those physicists march to their own drummer, don't they?

FROM MOLINER CF: Who cares, he had hair! FROM JACK: In life, something are important, and some are not. Trying to figure out the theory of relativity would curl my hair, too.

FROM BEC IN MICHIGAN: (...That last line was a little mean.) FROM JACK: I wonder if Einstein ever cracked jokes, or did he only crack atoms?

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: My Dad said that his father told him that a person who has no enemies is a person who has never done anything.... FROM JACK: I guess it's true that some people just don't like it when you try to befriend them.

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN: I noticed something early this morning. During the thunderstorm, the booming and the lightening, I could hear the birds singing. Even they can sing their song during trying and threatening times. So can we! FROM JACK: Einstein, storms and birds can each teach us something.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Thanks for the chuckle! He could have used a knowledgeable hairstylist, but when you have his "smarts" it wasn't important, I guess! I read his extensive biography that came out a couple of years ago, which was quite fascinating, but one couldn't help but think how eccentric he was, and pretty self-centered, too. I guess the crucial thing about making a mistake, is if we LEARN from it...Then it has some value! Hopefully we not only get older, but also wiser...! Reminds we of when 4 high school boys skipped morning classes, and after lunch reported to school, explaining they'd had a flat tire. The counselor smiled, and said, "Well, as you know, you missed an important test this morning, which Mrs. Root left with me, so take
seats far apart from each other. He handed out a piece of paper and pencils, and still smiling, said, "First question: which tire?" OOPS!! Mistake number one... FROM JACK: Is it so surprising that the Confession of Sins is repeated each week in the Sunday Worship Service....or do Baptists have such a thing as the Confession of Sins?

AFROM FM IN WISCONSIN: So true . . . for me, not only when trying something new, but also doing things that others can do so well, but I am unable, such as trying to saw a straight cut with a hand saw. And there are a lot of other things which I have attempted to ‘accomplish’. FROM JACK: I'm sure that there are those who have tried (and failed) to do some things that are easy for you. We each have our talents. That's what teamwork is all about.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Winning Words 5/9/11
“There is only one beautiful child in the world, and every mother has it.” (Chinese Proverb) In my family, it was my sister. Today’s proverb causes me to muse about “What is beauty?” People magazine tends to focus on the physical aspect, but, as the saying goes, “Beauty is more than skin deep.” Have you got some thoughts on beauty? I think that my mother was a beautiful lady. ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Beauty is so much more than on the outside. My grandma, Mildred, was 2 years old when she fell out of her highchair. She damaged the muscle in her left eye and thereafter her eye was extremely crooked. In many of the photos we have of her, she is photographed from the side. But she was the most beautiful person I have ever met. She never raised her voice, never said a bad word about anyone and was extremely generous with her time, talents and love. She was beloved by everyone. My grandma was also quite deaf and had two hearing aids. (I remember sometimes they would whistle.) She also had a special dial and light on her phone which allowed her to see someone was calling and to enable her to hear. If you
forgot to turn off the speaker before you answered the phone, your ear would be blasted with the sound. She also did ceramics, leather tooling, made all of the birthday, Baptism, Confirmation and Wedding cakes for the family and even sold them out of her house. She made beautiful ceramic dolls. My sisters and I supplied the hair for her dolls. We all had long hair and when it reached the correct length, our braids would be cut for another dolly. She also had a doll hospital and people came from all over the Detroit area to have their antique dolls fixed or to purcahse one she made. But perhaps the most important thing she (and grandpa) did was to be a faithful servant of God. They both had very strong faith in Jesus and each night they prayed the Lord's Prayer together, as my husband and I still do. That is what being beautiful is to me. FROM JACK: What a "beautiful" story. They should put something like than in People magazine.

FROM MOLINER CF: Beautiful spelled backwards is "Lufituaeb" which in a little known Chinese proverb, which means "one who resembles a pig." FROM JACK: The Chinese word for pig is, "TEHC." MORE FROM CF: Another old Chinese proverb is, "One who edits provincial dialect get pig's knuckle sandwich."

FROM CJL IN OHIO: But you weren't? Whatever happened, you turned out pretty good. FROM JACK: It was just like with your family.

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Forget the "beauty", I don't have enough time! I'd rather talk about what you mean by "lady". FROM JACK: Well she's all you'd ever want, She's the kind they'd like to flaunt and take to dinner.
Well she always knows her place. She's got style, she's got grace, She's a winner. She's a Lady.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: I used to think that physical beauty was what it was all about. As I got older, I realized that the truly beautiful people were those you felt most comfortable being around. It's kind of funny...people whom you might not think are attractive become so if they have pleasant personalities...
FROM JACK: Love is blind.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I think that every child is beautiful and unique in his or her own way. FROM JACK: I guess that includes you and me, too.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Winning Words 5/6/11
“On spaceship earth there are no passengers; everybody is a member of the crew. We have moved to an age in which everybody’s activities affect everybody else.” (Marshall McLuhan) Earth Day began in the mind of Gaylord Nelson. His concern for protecting the environment has grown to be world-wide. Earth Day just celebrated it’s 40th birthday, Apr 22. It’s not too late to honor the day in some way. ;-) Jack

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Boring, not winning. Sounds like another quote by one of your Eureka People who just got slapped in the face by reality and found out what everyone else knew all along! By the way, Mr. Global Village would have been 100 in July, maybe that'll give you enough time to find a deeper quote, hehe. Have a nice weekend! FROM JACK: Boring? Probably so. After all, Earth Day is 40 years old. People over 40 can sometimes be boring when they tell the same story over and over. My mother complained about that when she was in the "assisted living facility." But, what if it's a story that needs to be told and retold?

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: A great WW. I wonder, however, if there has ever been a time when this is not true. What John of Gaunt did in Lancaster in England certainly had a ripple effect on his serfs.....and they had a ripple effect on the economy....and they affect the archers who eventually won at Agincourt, etc.... FROM JACK: You've caused me to think....This world, like our body, is not made to last forever. This does mean that we should misuse either, for both are the creation of God.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: It's a challenge in this day and age to feel better on the crew and not worse--a person can read about the global warming in one place and then read the scepticism about global warming in another place. Read about the sweatshop conditions that we are working to overcome in one place and then read in another place that actually this crappy stuff will ultimately lead a nation out of poverty and more satisfyingly into the global economy. We are bombarded by information and much of it conflicting. Maybe this is why some people just sit in their chairs and be passengers instead of crew members. I'm not there yet but it's tempting and the thing that pulls me back into trying to do something is realizing as a Christian there are sins of omission as well as commission. Trying is really the only option. FROM JACK: Triumph begins with TRY...and then takes some OOMPH.

FROM MOLINER CF: Earth Day is not a once-a-year thing. That gives us 364 more days to be good shepherds.
FROM JACK: Our Optimist Club is responsible for picking up trash twice a year along a 3-mile stretch of one of our roads. Tomorrow's one of those days, but I won't be able to help.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I don't believe we should worship the earth as some people do but I do try my hardest to set an example of good use of this God-given wonderful earth. In fact, I have a tablecloth which is made from 36 plastic bottles. I showed it to my grandsons yesterday. There was a tag attached which showed how they made the cloth. Lesson number 424 of being part of the crew. FROM JACK: Gaia (Greek for Mother Earth) Worship goes way back in time, before the invention of plastic.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: The world has become very small, with instant media transport...so every country's activities affects every one else's! And of course it is then too true that in our own country, everyone's activities would also affect neighbor, city, state, and so on. Hopefully most recycle, and try not to litter, at least, although when I visit a park, I am amazed at what "pigs" some people are!! And as for things flying out of car windows...don't get me started!! As Dietrich Bonhoeffor, the German pastor and theologian wrote: The ultimate test of a moral society is what kind of world it leaves to its children." Amen FROM JACK: Here in Michigan we have a bottle/can return law. 10 cents each. It works. The no smoking law works, too. We have curbside trash recycling, too...and two hazardous waste days each year.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: My husband and I flew to DC in the late 70's and it happened to be the day after Earth Day on the mall. We had never seen so much trash left over from the people trying to clean up the earth. First things first. FROM JACK: Yes, it's not a perfect world. I celebrate the fact that there are those, like Senator Nelson, who do try to make it better.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Winning Words 5/5/11
“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” (Mary Tyler Moore) Many of us have watched “Perky Mary” on TV. What most people don’t know is that she’s had “not-so-wonderful things” happen in her life…loss of a son, failed marriages, cancelled shows, being a diabetic. And still, she’s able to “put on a happy face.” I admire her as an actress, but mostly for her bravery. ;-) Jack

FROM CHUCKLES, THE CLOWN: MTM is my all-time favorite sitcom. What I admired most was that she let other people be funny. That kind of selflessness is a good life lesson in many ways. FROM JACK: Thanks for responding from the grave. Your episode on the MTM Show was one of the best...and had a religious message, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Who wants to be brave?! Ha! Of course I'd take nothing but wonderful things all my life, but it doesn't usually work that way, and we find times when we must be brave...like when my husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. But we find, then, that we are given the strength to deal with the situation, and that deep, abiding, peace that only God can give. AND how WONDERFUL to have healthy, productive children, and g.children, meaningful work to do, and the capacity for humor and fun thrown in. We don't have to be brave all of the time!! Love Mary Tyler Moore, and not only did she lose her son, he took his own life, which would be a double whammy! FROM JACK: Not many of us want to test it out, but a positive attitude when faced serious problems seems to make the situation better.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: And what about the 40 navy seals and our intelligence service? FROM JACK: I'm sure that the SEALs have a personal satisfaction, because they accomplished their assignment. Sometimes that's better than receiving accolades.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Winning Words 5/4/11
“We love the Lord, of course, but we often wonder what he finds in us.” (Ed Howe) I think that most people find it easier to love God than to love themselves. “God is OK, but I’m not so OK,” is the thought that is bothersome. I try to remember that God loves me, not because I’m so loveable, but because he cares about me. Keep this thought in mind for yourself today. God knows you and cares about you. ;-) Jack

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: I think God loves you, Jack, because you are very "lovable."....kind of an adorable leprechaun FROM JACK: Oompah! MORE FROM JS: Great story....enjoy the synod assembly....there will be lots of "oompah" there!!! FROM JACK: I will try to stay away from the microphones. I hope you do, too

OOMPAH....President Harry S. Truman’s told a story of the congressman running for election in a district with a large Native American population. He went out to the reservation on the occasion of a powwow and was taken by a tribal elder to the rodeo grounds where a large crowd was gathered. The congressman gave his standard speech and was delighted by the response from his audience. “Oompah! oompah!” the crowd chanted after each campaign promise, so he went longer than planned. After one final “oompah” his host stepped up, thanked the congressman and said he’d accompany him back to his car. As they crossed the grounds near the holding pens for the rodeo stock, the congressman spoke of the enthusiasm voiced by his audience. “Yes, yes,” his host said. “Oh, careful, don’t step in that oompah.”

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Substitute men and their wives, and you have the original version of your quote.
FROM JACK: Yes, you have a very understanding wife...and a loving God, too.

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: Thanks Jack this hit the spot today. FROM JACK: Since the SPOT has a habit of not staying in the same place, I'm glad today's WWs found it.

FROM YOOPER NANCY: Thank you. FROM JACK: Du är välkommen

"You are much grander than you think you are."
— Asara Lovejoy: Human potential author and coach

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: Regarding today's WW: I need to be reminded often that God cares about me-- why do we forget so quickly? FROM JACK: I choose WWs first, because they appeal to me. Hopefully, others see value in my choice. Symbiotic?

"The things we hate about ourselves aren't more real than the things we like about ourselves."
--Ellen Goodman, American columnist, author, speaker and commentator

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Tony Campolo says, "God is CRAZY about you! He puts your pictures on his refrigerator, he carries your photo in his wallet..." Figuratively speaking, of course! It helps to "picture" this, and feel really special! Just like every mother crow thinks her babe (babies) are the blackest! FROM JACK: What about the people who don't "buy into" Tony's message, who can see no reason for God to care about them?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: The wonder is He still loves us even when we are unlovable. God is good and
merciful and for that we can be thankful. FROM JACK: What do you do when you wonder?

FROM CJL IN OHIO: How else can I live with any certainty? FROM JACK: That's the spirit!!!

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: We are so hard on ourselves, I think. A recent meditation that I read ended with this: Self condemnation is spiritual clutter--help me to forgive myself 70 times 7. FROM JACK: When I was first ordained, the worship service began with a confession..."We poor, miserable sinners..." In the parable of the Pharisee and the publican, Jesus commended the one who prayed, "God, be merciful to me a sinner." Having said this....In order to receive the forgiveness of our sins, we must be aware of sin. We don't have all of the answers, do we?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Winning Words 5/3/11
“Be a positive thinker, not a negative stinker.” (Michelle Nikitaides) Michelle is a cancer-survivor. During her chemo treatments she used the words of today’s quote to help her stay focused on the positive things in life. She now runs in marathons to raise money for cancer research. Life has its problems, but sometimes those situations can help us to grow in unimagined ways. ;-) Jack

FROM YOOPER NANCY: SUPER ! FROM JACK: The world is better because of people like that "thinker."

FROM BF IN MICHIGAN: I appreciate your "winning words". They are a true source of inspiration. This is a very fine thing that you do. FROM JACK: The pleasure is mine. The inspiration? Where do ideas come from?

FROM KT IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for including me on the distribution list. Words are a powerful communication tool and I make every attempt at choosing “Winning Words.” It’s my intention to use my words wisely and share “Winning” words liberally.

FROM MOLINER CF: Only place I know where a negative produces a positive is in photography. And even that's not a truism anymore with digital. FROM JACK: Maybe you can come up with a truism for the Digital Age.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: What a good, succinct thought, and easy to remember. I am blest with an optimistic spirit most of the time, but a serious illness can take its toll, for sure. We all need to keep the positive thoughts in the forefront...I tried to impress this on my son, when he had to have the 3 surgeries in a month, due to the hip replacement! He is on the way to full recovery, Praise God! FROM JACK: I don't know of anyone who's optimistic all of the time. Maybe God, but who knows the mind of God?

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Many people need near-death experiences to awaken them out of their dream. I applaud those who don't need them. Entire cultures are similar. Biblical Israel and modern America are great examples. Sept. 11 temporarily woke up the USA, but this alleged killing of Osama surely will put them back to sleep. Just like Obama wants. You will call me a stinker, but the truth only stinks to dreamers. ;-) FROM JACK: I wonder if bin Laden had a near-death experience.

FROM AJ IN MICHIGAN: Great thought, Jack. Just what I needed. FROM JACK: Staying focussed on the positive is a real help, indeed!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Not an overly wonderful statement but it makes a fantastic point. She is to be admired!!! FROM JACK: I wonder what help I would use if I were in her situation. A woman once told me that she recited the memory work that had been "forced" upon her during confirmation instruction 40 years before.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Winning Words 5/2/11
“I fled him down labyrinthine ways…” (Francis Thompson) I thought of this line from the poem, The Hound of Heaven, when I heard of the capture of Osama bin Laden. How must it feel to know the inevitability? The chase is over. FT’s poem is about how God chases after us and does not give up…but it’s for a positive reason. He wants to share his heaven with us. The poem is worth reading. ;-) Jack

THE HOUND OF HEAVEN by Francis Thompson (1859-1907)
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat--and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet--
"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."
....and so forth. You can Google the rest.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I know there will be those that gloat about Osama bin Laden's death but I doubt it will have the impact many are expecting. Bush/Obama spent an estimated 5 Trillion $ to get him. At what point does protecting honor no longer make sense to pursue? Afghanistan literally broke the USSR and the Middle East is leveling a terrible price on the taxpayer of the US. The Constitution talks about the defense of the US not military offense abroad. Toby Keith will sell some more songs, but I don't think this will change much in the Middle East. I am thankful my son is back from Iraq, this will make it hotter for our soldiers still in Iraq and Afghanistan. FROM JACK: I rejoice that your son has returned from "the war" safely. I can only imagine what it must be like to send a child into danger. A young man who I know is now about to be sent to Afghanistan. I'm concerned for him, but I pray and believe that "the Hound of Heaven" will follow him. The world is never a completely safe haven, but our faith tells us that there is a "heaven."

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: How much better to be caught by the Hound of Heaven than the US Special Forces!!!
FROM JACK: Yes, that's the point I was trying to make.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Reminds me of the parable of The Lost Sheep...99 in the fold, but the Shepherd couldn't rest until the one lost sheep was rescued and in the fold...I'm just starting to read LOVE WINS, a Book about Heaven, Hell and the Fate of every person Who Ever Lived by Paul Kent. He is persuaded that Jesus taught a very different version of Heaven and Hell from the Christian teaching today. I like his idea of no everlasting torment! FROM JACK: Even though Jonathan Edwards once preached a sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," which caused people "to weep and gnash their teeth," I don't thing that God wants to scare people into heaven. MORE FROM OAKS: I read that sermon to my S.S. class last year...quite a diatribe!! I really can't reconcile a loving God casting sinners into everlasting torment...I think there is some
insight we don't know. Certainly the old testament is vague on any details about what happens after death> I think if we had the capacity to understand the next transition of life, Jesus would have been more specific detailing life in heaven. Ah well, "then we shall know, even as we are known"... FROM JACK: There are different sermons for different congregations in different situations. As the song goes in The Music Man... "You've got to know the territory." STILL MORE FROM OAKS: I thought of a saying I memorized, when I heard of Bin Laden's death..."JUSTICE=WHEN YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE. MERCY=WHEN YOU DON'['T GET WHAT YOU DESERVE, GRACE=WHEN YOU GET WHAT YOU DON'T DESERVE. I think most of us had mixed feelings about this situation, and all its possible repercussions. FROM JACK: Are Justice, Mercy, Grace available for everyone?

FROM PRDC IN NEBRASKA: I can understand the feeling with the death of benLaden, but I am uneasy to think of it as justice. It is revenge, one man's life for thousands. In fact, I think of a lynch mob, which believes it makes justice by their own hands, not as a result of justice from a court decision. Granted, the court of public opinion has no doubt about this one's perverse advocacy, but does a lynching counter an idea and ideology? I appreciate the rejoicing, but is it "justice"? FROM JACK: I see that your comment is in reference to what you have seen and heard about Osama's death. My WWs tried to make a connection between the relentless military search for this one man, and God's relentless "hound search" for each individual, including you and me...and bin Laden.

FROM MOLINE CF: Don't take offense, but if you reference something you want us to read, include the link to get to it. "Make it easy and you'll sell more." FROM JACK: Thanks for the suggestion. Personally, I've found it easy to simply go to Google and type in what I want to know; but I'm just a novice.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Curious - what's the name of the poem? I'd like to read the full text. FROM JACK: The poem is simply called, "The Hound of Heaven." It's a classic, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding it. FOLLOW UP FROM BBC: Quite the pithy work…I think the internet read did not do it justice. Will have to print and read in the quiet of my home rather than during the work day. How are you feeling today? The news of last night fell oddly on my heart and I'm not sure why. A facebook (old H.S. ) friend posted, "now that he's down, can we have our civil liberties back"? That was a snarky take but pointed. I feel that bin Laden's death does nothing to bring the victims back or restore wholeness to their families and friends so his demise, ten years after is a sort of empty victory. And, since illegal drugs, and weapons seem to flow freely in and out of this country despite "heightened, vigilant security" I have little faith that those government overseers are doing much significant to "protect" us….just window dressing on an isidious and malignant problem. How's that for a sunny day? FROM JACK: Vengeance never seems to fully satisfy.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: Oh, I remember that poem well. Read it for the first time in grade school ,often later but not for awhile. I shall do that today. FROM JACK: I suppose that it was in parochial school. The message is a good one.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We all know inevitability of death...but we have the promise of eternal life...bin Laden didn't. His death brings mixed emotions...it's hard to describe. He was a deadly leader and faced his inevitable ending. Hopefully, it will bring about a change and hopefully, our soldiers won't pay the price. War is hell....and perhaps this will be the beginning of the end. The poem was excellent and well worth the read! Thank you! FROM JACK: The poem is about us. If Osama had read it, it would have been about him.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: Dumb me--I think I watched TV till after 1:30 last night! Talk about wonderful news!!! FROM JACK: That's 2:30 am, my time. I tuned out after the president's speech.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: You are really well read. Keep it up so the rest of us will benefit. FROM JACK: "The Hound" is a classic. It's the kind of poem that you would like.

FROM AS IN MASSACHUSETTS: I've been thinking of emailing and thanking you for your "Winning Words" each day, but your reference to Francis Thompson's poem has prompted me to do so. It was one of my husband's favorite poems. He was fond of quoting the first line. I still miss him, especially when I'm trying to start the lawnmower, but life goes on. FROM JACK: There are poems like this that help us make sense out of what goes on around us.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: All I know is that our daughter does a lot of travelling for her work, in fact she travelled to San Francisco this evening and goes back and forth to Europe, etc., and now I'm going to worry more. I wonder if there would have been some way that we in the United States could be more subdued and quiet and sort of sober about Osama's being killed and then buried at sea by his enemies. Couldn't they just have used a stun gun or something and then had a trial of international jury or something? I think all this is just going to fan the flames. Didn't you have a WW a little while back that talked about how a little action led to a big result? FROM JACK: Monday Morning Quarterbacking is something that most people like to do. In this instance, I was not in Pakistan when the decision was made, so I'll just have to trust the people who were there in my place. There's a reason why "trust" is in the dictionary.