Thursday, June 30, 2011

Winning Words 6/30/11
“I’ve got my faults, but living in the past is not one of them. There’s no future in it.” (Sparky Anderson) As we age, most of us tend to look back and remember “the good old days.” Yes, there was “good” in some of them. I appreciate my memories, but life goes on. It was unfortunate that dementia robbed Sparky of his past, but past was always past with him. The future is full of “new” memories. ;-) Jack

MORE FROM JACK: I just came across this one which seems to go with today's Winning Words. The author is one of my favorite new discoveries. "You can't base your life on the past or the present. You have to tell me about your future." (Chuck Palahniuk)

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Those incidents of the past that we cling to in memory...the good old days...wouldn't be the same in today's world. Stated another way: You can't go home again.////FROM JACK: Today, It might be interesting to make two lists. 1) Five things from the past that I would like to have today. 2) Five things from the present that are an improvement over the past.////MORE FROM RI: I'll just pop in one selection for each: 1) From the past...I'd like once again have my first automobile, a 1930 Chevrolet. 2) An improvement over the cream in 32 flavors.////FROM JACK: Keep working on it.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: For us Christians living in grace and always renewing, being transformed, Sparky sounds like he was wide open to grace. But these WW are making me reflect upon how a lot of us struggle with our own pasts or else with someone else's past, especially the expectations that come with pasts like we have and put obstacles in the way of historical change. We had all that welfare reform a couple of decades ago but still need to get a good handle on how to support and help to move people up and out of poverty and hunger in our country. Happy 4th of July.////FROM JACK: Sparky might not know exact definition of, "grace," but he might use the words, "I know it when I see it." The context is different, but the thought is the same.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Difficult but true. Even though I'm just a young man, I too will often think of the good old days and grow sentimental. I need to appreciate the now and look to the future.////FROM JACK: I hope that you are keeping a journal of experiences related to your present work (and life). You won't be a young man forever. In fact, you're growing older with each passing day. That's not all bad....older and wiser.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Yes, it is, and it can be exciting and challenging at times, can't it?////FROM JACK: The gift of being able to remember the past enables us to exchange recollections.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Winning Words 6/29/11
“I believe in the Big Guy.” (Sparky Anderson) This was Sparky’s theology. He lived in our community and quietly expressed his faith with regular church attendance and with unnoticed deeds of faith. How about in a church service, instead of reciting the Apostles’ Creed, the people simply say, “I believe in the Big Guy,” and then go out and live what they say they believe? Introspection time…What do I believe? ;-) Jack

FROM RB IN MICHIGAN: I like the "Big" part because then we don't limit His great work in our daily lives.////
FROM JACK: BIG, as in omnipotent! Someone may take issue with the "guy" part of the quote.

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: My faith is centered on the Resurrection....and moves out from there to the Big Guy...////FROM JACK: I understand where you're coming from, because we've both had similar theological training, but Sparky said, "I only finished high school, and I had to cheat to do that."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Sparky was a great follower of "the Big Guy". He lived as he believed. It would be wonderful if more people, especially believers in Christ, would be spot-lighted. I'm all for the thought of less church and more living the life of a true Christian believer.////FROM JACK: In reality, the Church is meant to be the gathering together of those who "believe" and wish to "follow." Since the Church is made up of imperfect humans, it sometimes strays from what it is meant to be. That's why our church services include the "confession of sin."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: That really says it all...if people understand who "the Big Guy" is! But always easier to "say" than to "do", right?////FROM JACK: Not everybody understands who Jesus is, either. It is easier to read The Sermon on the Mount than to follow what it says. Faith is an ever-learning experience, even for pastors and for pastors' wives.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Amen, Amen and Amen////FROM JACK: When I was in Wisconsin, we used to have a Sunday School worship service each Sunday. At one point it the service it called for the children to sing the threefold Amen. The superintendent would announce that part..." Let's all sing the triple ah-men." Thanks for your triple ah-men today.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I believe the Big Guy will take care of the church, including the church I attend. It may look like people are managing things but I don't think we mortals have very much horse-sense sometimes and the Big Guy will step in and help us to worship. I thank God every day for the glimpses of trust of Him that I can see among my fellow men and women and from-time-to-time even in myself, even battered around that these men and women usually are. Trust of the Big Guy looks paradoxical sometimes.////FROM JACK: Whose Church is it, after all? We pray for the Big Guy's guidance. Let's look for it; follow it; and then, try not to second-guess. Of course, we need to continually examine that guidance, because times and circumstances change.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Those many years ago when we walked into Holy Spirit looking for a church to get married in and Rick said that he believed in Jesus Christ and love your neighbor as yourself and you said that is all you need to believe in, you won a friend for life. I have not known him to waver in the over 20 years that we have been married. He says that The Big Guy has blessed him so much that he fears that when he gets "up there" God will kick him in the butt!////FROM JACK: That won't happen, unless someone puts a "KICK ME" sign on his back. It won't be me...because I've changed my ways.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: A great idea, of course, to live by.////FROM JACK: Do you think people would pay more attention if the Sermon on the Mount was called, "Great Ideas From Jesus?"

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: There is a whole lot in the Apostle's Creed to help us live our belief in The Big Guy. For one, the forgiveness of sins.////FROM JACK: You're right about that. As an aside, before the Apostles' Creed, was the Nicene Creed, and before that creed, was the baptismal affirmation, "Jesus is Lord," which sounds somewhat like, "I believe in the Big Guy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Winning Words 6/28/11
“You can go to the cemetery and see where Babe Ruth is buried.” (Sparky Anderson) My mother-in-law sometimes used the expression, “Here today; gone tomorrow.” It’s that way with sports’ heroes, with indispensable leaders, with each one of us. Do you have your plot picked out? The Babe is buried in New York’s Gate of Heaven Cemetery, with no mention of his home runs on the stone. ;-) Jack

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: wonder if Lizzy Borden's "score" is on her tombstone. Let's all go see.////FROM JACK: Her gravesite is in Massachusetts and simply reads, LIZZIE. While the poem says that she murdered her parents, all evidence was circumstantial, and she was acquitted. Therefore, no number on the tombstone. The poem has it all wrong, including the number of blows.

FROM TL IN HOUSTON: Jack, thanks for the plug! I continue to enjoy your WWs each day, now in Houston. Look me up when you are here. I miss WB and familiar surroundings. Keep inspiring us all!////FROM JACK: It's interesting that Sparky refers to Babe Ruth's burial, but wanted no kind of funeral service for himself.

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: As a kid, I listened on the radio to his funeral....he was tough on the Cubs but I adored the memory of Babe Ruth....////FROM JACK: I was listening to Don Elson broadcasting the Cubs game. BTW, did you know that the Cubs' broadcaster, Bert Wilson, was named Bert Puckett when he was broadcasting games in the Tri-Cities?

FROM MT IN PHILADELPHIA: I hadn't thought of Sparky for a long, long time -- but I do remember the great feeling that came when he led the Tigers to the world series in '84. Even from way over here in Philly, it's fun to see the Tigers playing so well these days. I was also reminded of a related idea someone once said to me (can't remember who, or whether it was a quote or an 'original', but it stuck with me: 'If you want to know if someone really is a good person, watch how they treat the people they don't need to impress.'////FROM JACK: I'll never forget the '84 season. From the beginning until the end, the Tigers were always in first place. Apart from that, they were led by a manger who was a man of principle. He got into trouble with the Tigers management over the issue of principle. Management "blinked" last Sunday.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Strange Winning Words. We don't have plots. We still have a lot of plot left in our lives, at least I pray we do. It's probably a good thing to think about though as we never know. I think the name of the cemetery; "Gate of Heaven" is so beautiful. A lot of our family, are buried in Elmwood in Mt. Clemens. It's one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have been in. My husband's family is buried in Cadillac, MI, another beautiful place.////FROM JACK: My grandfather immigrated from Sweden. He didn't go back to be buried in the homeland, but simply started his own family plot here in America.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: My Mother, Father, Aunt and Uncle are buried at Gate of Heaven. It is a huge place, very New York,i.e. crowded. My husband and I are going to Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly. Mac served in World War II and Korea. We married while he was on leave during Korean War. April, 2010. thirteen family members went to Washington. D.C. to take Mac to all the war memorials. It was a special time of thoughtfulness and respect. People did not talk about these wars for years. Since the war in Middle East, people thank the veterans for their service. Our neighbor saw some of our older friends coming to the house two months ago. Neighbor, about fifty, asked Mac, if any of them were veterans. Four are and the neighbor asked Mac to thank them for their service. When Mac told this at dinner, we all were tearful. Not for long! They still laugh and enjoy being with friends.////FROM JACK: I'm glad that we have a military cemetery in our area. It's interesting to learn that Babe Ruth is buried among your relatives.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I have it. It's with Ilene. The funeral is paid for. cremation.////FROM JACK: Do you have funeral instructions written out, too?

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I've read you can have green burials. For years and years now I've been remembering that I will return to dust and would kind of like to do that. Also I kind of think I'd like to be buried in a park where millions of people might wander through. When I was growing up people met at the cemetery to visit and remember. My husband and I have been such vagabonds that those times are just memories but perhaps it's still possible for me to be buried where people come to visit and remember also it's a burial ground. Wherever it is, wish just that nature could sprout up from my composting body. A natural cycle and not unnatural. Enjoying Sparky's WW and your take off on them.////FROM JACK: Many churches used to have burial grounds next to them. I once served a country church where that was the case. The pall bearers simply carried the casket out the door and followed me over to the cemetery. The mourners processed after them. No hearse and no procession of cars. On Sundays, after church, if people wanted to walk through the cemetery, they could easily do it....and remember.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: Yes, we have our ‘plot’ . . . along with a large stone with two holes bored in, for our cremains. . at West Lawn Memorial Park in Racine.////FROM JACK: When I conduct a funeral service, I try to make it personal, because it is personal to the family and friends. I try to work the personal into the religious meaning of death and the hope of new life. I would wish the same for my loved ones and me.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: "Your 15 minutes of Fame" phrase didn't originate for nothing...that's about right, isn't it? You are unusual if your "renown" lasts for more than one generation! My plot will be in Oakland cemetery, Petersburg, beside my husband of 51 yrs, and next to My twin sister Jan and her husband, Hal Bolm. Also keeping company with Abe Lincoln's first love, Anne Rutledge, the poet Vachel Lindsey, and his nephew, bandleader Mitch Miller! It is beautiful in the Fall, with many colorful trees! But after our children go, and possibly (?) our grandchildren, who will know or care?! It is fairly humbling to contemplate! I, myself, was never one to visit cemeteries, but often think of my departed loved ones...////FROM JACK: My uncle used to be a cemetery caretaker, and, as a youngster, my dog and I would go with him some days and play among the stones. I liked to read what was written on them. I still do. Next to the plot that we have is a stone in the shape of a heart, with the words, "I'm still dancing in heaven."////MORE FROM OAKS: Ha! Interesting. Our stone has our names, birth and death dates (not mine, of course...) our marriage date,and intertwining rings and lake scene with fishing boat and loons (Bill loved loons) and fir trees. Our place in Northern WI meant so much to us for 34 yrs, fishing, water skiing, swimming, family, games and relaxation time. The kids picked the scene they thought appropriate. It wasn't a Bible and Cross...but also not a football, baseball or golf club...ha! I like it.////FROM JACK: What an interesting "stone." Especially interesting, because your children had a part in its design. They're the ones who will come....and remember. This reminds me of something that I recall from the writings of one of my favorite authors. Carl Sandburg tells of a man who had a big boulder in his back yard. He called it, Remembrance Rock. There were times when he would sit by that rock and just remember.
He travelled to the battlefield in France where his son had been killed during WW 1 and brought back some soil from that place and placed it by Remembrance Rock. He went to Plymouth Rock, to Valley Forge, and to Gettysburg, and brought back some soil from each place to put it along side his Remembrance Rock. There were times when he would sit by the rock and just remember. Coming to this cemetery is sort of a Remembrance Rock for us. We remember the family members who are buried here and who are buried elsewhere. We think about our loved ones who are no longer with us in person, but who continue to be with us in spirit. We think about them, and remember, and give thanks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Winning Words 6/27/11
“It doesn’t cost a nickel to be nice to people.” (Sparky Anderson) It was nice that the Detroit Tigers retired Sparky’s #11 uniform number yesterday. It’s too bad it wasn’t done sooner, because he died last year. Sometimes we wait too long to express our appreciation to people. Today is a good day to say “thank you” to someone who’s made a difference in your life. Being nice doesn’t cost a nickel. ;-) Jack (The quotes this week are from George “Sparky” Anderson, long-time manager of the Detroit Tigers baseball team)

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Yet, it seems, some folks are too tight to give free compliments….nice WW.////FROM JACK: I can remember the times when a nickle was BIG money...and when being nice was commonplace.////
MORE FROM JON: I remember 16 oz Frosty Root beer 10 cents candy was a nickel now a $1////FROM JACK:
When Pepsi-Cola was introduced, they had this jingle: "Twice as much for a nickle, too. Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you." Both Pepsi and Coke cost a nickle, but Coca-Cola came in a 6 oz bottle. Pepsi's bottle was 12oz.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Very true. Thanks for being a great friend, Jack. And - thanks for everything you do for Gary. ////FROM JACK: And "thanks" for your nice response. It's appreciated!

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: "Thank You", Jack!////FROM JACK: I'm putting a nickle in my pocket for the next time I see you.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: thank you.////FROM JACK: You didn't have to "say" that, but I will "say" that the feeling is mutual.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Thank you, Jack. Thank you for bringing us quotes from so many very diverse peoples and thank you for sharing your own really nifty thoughts and also all the other people here who share their thoughts. Your blog really underscores my own belief that everyone has something to contribute to this world, when we think about things a bit.////FROM JACK: I'll always remember how you helped the Liberian girls. You were a friend indeed to those in need. I wonder what ever became of them.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: Thank You (and Mary)....for, among many other kindnesses, "Winning Words"...////
FROM JACK: "Give, and it shall be given unto you." Friendship is a mutual thing.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: My husband said this exact same thing last night!////FROM JACK: That was a nice thing for him to do.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Very nice thought! Thank you!////FROM JACK: As far as I know, Sparky was a nice man.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Some of the people are nice all of the time and all of the people are nice some of the time, but not all of the people are nice all of the time. Abe Hodson////FROM JACK: Have you surveyed that ALL of the people are sometimes nice?

FROM DS IN MICHIGAN: This is SO SO true. Thank Jack, for being in my life. ////FROM JACK: In your work, you touch so many lives, both directly and indirectly. Sometimes the best "thanks" is in the knowing.

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN: We were there yesterday -- we left church early because we needed to be there for Scout Day; thus, the boys' attire in their Class B t-shirts yesterday. What a moving, nice ceremony it was. We all received a nice remembrance of Sparky -- a photo of him. Great game too...they won one for Sparky!////
FROM JACK: I saw the ceremony (and game) on TV. Although Sparky was "unknown" firsthand to the boys, you will be able to tell them what you remember. They will always be able to look at the #11 on the brick wall and say, "We were there."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Sparky Anderson rings true. Being nice, or expressing gratitude can really make someone's day! I can remember when my daughter was very small, having tears in her eyes, because she had come up to an elderly lady (who sometimes was a guest in our home for a meal) at church and greeted her, and Leona didn''t talk to her. It turned out Leona was speaking to another lady and didn't even notice she was there. It all righted itself very promptly, but it made ME pay special attention to little children after that! And big children, too, for that matter! I just sent thank-you notes to my committee who helped with the new photo directory. (Big job!) Their comments back to me suggested it is rare to receive a written note of thanks for a job well done! It only costs a postage stamp to be kind....amen.////FROM JACK: Have you noticed how few personal letters and cards come in the mail these days? Part of it is easy access to the telephone and e-mail. But, there's nothing like a hand-written message. I've got to send them more often.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND: and I for one have lots to thank you dear Pastor Freed.////FROM JACK: Thanks, but that's what friends are for."

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: THANK YOU for winning words every week day! ! ! ////FROM JACK: It's hard to accept thanks for something that I enjoy doing...but I'll take it, anyway.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: Thank you Jack for sending these inspirational thoughts. They start my day right and always make me think before acting.////FROM JACK: Getting up at 5 am, in order to send out WWs, starts my day in the right way. The words means something to me; that's why I share them with you.

FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO: It is interesting U mentioned Babe Ruth. He was our role model, but we only saw him in the newsreels at a theater that permitted entry for a knickle. We used to say, "Want a nickle?, go suck a pickle". ////FROM JACK: My father told me about being at the first All-Star game in Chicago and seeing Babe Ruth. Some of Babe's actions after leaving "the park," were not of the role-model kind. BTW, it's been a long time since I've heard that nickle/pickle saying. Thanks for jogging my memory.

FROM MH IN MICHIGAN: I read all of these and often you ask for a response and I do not have one. In this case I do. In my position as a the purchasing director I have decided to recognize each year a person from one of our suppliers who excels at helping us build our business. When I started out with this program I was just thinking about getting the responses that I need and maybe working with their company as an advocate for us as far as keeping us competitive. For last year's award I took the criteria to a higher level. We honored the most humble man that calls on us and works with our sales people. He is absolutely tireless and helping our sales people to build our mutual business. Whereas we are lucky to hear from some of our vendors once per year, we hear from this person everyday. As I wrote his letter of commendation I realized that no one else could win this award as long as he was working with us. He was shocked and humbled that he could be so honored by one of his customers. I am very glad that I did this last year because 2 weeks ago he suffered a stroke, then developed a blood clot, and the hospital in a clumsy effort to treat these things with blood thinners caused him to have internal bleeding. John, which is his name, has survived 2 weeks and everyday he survives I guess gives hope that he will come through this in some fashion. I do not think that I will be able to see him again and therefore am so glad that I chose to honor him. My only regret is that I did not have his family present as I would have liked them to see that their father who looks amazingly like John Candy as Uncle Buck was much more than a simple man but a true American Icon. John would always tell us that we had to Innovate or Die. He meant that we needed to be creative in order to find new products or ideas of how to excel. We have missed him everyday for the last 2 weeks.////FROM JACK: The good thing is that you honored him while he was still able to appreciate it. Sometimes we put off doing the "good thing" until it's too late. There are times when sales people do more than sell things.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Winning Words 6/24/11
“That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next.” (John Stuart Mill) Bruce J sent this to me, and I asked him for an example. “Bottled water,” he said. In my thinking, I came up with mold used to make penicillin, the growth of Christianity, and, lastly, Milorganite. I wonder what the philosopher, JSM, had in mind…or what you can come up with. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Government borrowing and spending 42 cents of every expenditure would have seemed totally absurd only a short time ago.////FROM JACK: ...and the way we personal spend on borrowed money.

FROM MARCY IN FLORIDA: Sunscreen that sprays. And of course looking at our phones. We are all doing that 10yrs to.....////FROM JACK: We don't use much sunscreen in Michigan, but people looking at their handheld phones would be an absurd idea just a few years ago.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Another thing which has been occupying me lately is miraculous healing. It happened when Jesus, and he gave his disciples authority for it, and some part of Christianity today puts emphasis on it but other parts downplay it. Some parts put the height of wisdom in what we can understand, other parts put the height of wisdom in things we don't and still can't understand. And we look at each other and think of each other, we are an absurd peoples, all in this one generation.////FROM JACK: I remember seeing many old people with canes. Artificial knees and hips have caused a recession in the cane manufacturing business.////MORE FROM SH: Birth control. I wonder if clear back when the Bible was being written and people were writing "Be fruitful and multiply" any of them had an inkling anyone would ever think it wisest not to do that.////FROM JACK: Yes, another example of what grandma and grandpa would never have thought about (or talked about).

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: Had to google that term!////FROM JACK: I always thought that a google was this...10000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,
0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000. Then I realized that I had misspelled, googol.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My grandmother and mom made beautiful wedding cakes. Watching some of these programs now where they make these awesome cakes would just floor my grandma and mom!////FROM JACK: I'd rather have home-made than store-bought, any day.

FROM PRDL IN OREGON: Jack regarding your request for absurdity becoming wisdom: "wearing blue jeans to worship and to public meetings!" Thanks again for the inspiration in each days 'winning words"////FROM JACK: Yes, and how about the way that pastors dress? What a change. And...last week, Mary came across my old Luther robe in a plastic bag. "Let's throw this away. You'll never wear it again." What do you think was my response? BTW, I remember the first time I look out on the congregation and saw a member, sitting in the pew, calmly drinking coffee from a styrofoam cup. What?

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: The wheel.////FROM JACK: Did you mean The Wheel of Fortune?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I can remember One of the major movie moguls saying that Television had no future, and would not last! whoops! not the height of wisdom, but certainly has lasted, and grown! Computers...from first being the size of a room, now to hand-held. Internet College classes, newspapers, etc/ etc/ What a vast source of instant information on the internet! Who could have dreamed this two generations ago? I'm sure there are many examples of this winning word today! Now they are not going to teach cursive writing in our schools, because it is outdated! No one needs it...! Changes, changes.////FROM JACK: I learned cursive, but it didn't do me any good. I used to write out my sermon notes, but when it got to the point where I couldn't read my writing, I switched to the computer.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Here's one for you, Jack... OXYGEN BARS!! A few years ago our family went to Colorado for a much-anticipated ski vacation. I got a blinding headache every day for 4 days in a row from "altitude sickness," which is caused from too little oxygen in the bloodstream when a "flat-lands" person travels to thinner-air mountain regions. On the 5th day, I surrendered to it and went to an "oxygen bar." It seemed like a regular pub, but instead of serving alcohol, each patron received a (new) cannula (tubing that fits around one's ears and nostrils for attachment to an oxygen tank) and 20 minutes of oxygen for $10. I got 30 minutes of oxygen, the headache vanished for good, and I felt like I could've done cartwheels all the way back to the hotel. If anyone had ever told me as a child that I would be paying for water and oxygen, I would have thought he was crazy! ; ) I also have one for the reverse of your adage...That which seems the height of wisdom in one generation often becomes the height of absurdity in the next... How about... the use of toxic chemicals (that suppress and damage the human body's own ability to fight disease) to treat cancer! I believe that one day folks will look back on us in wonder that we ever thought that pumping chemo into our blood was a good idea...////FROM JACK: Great examples. As a follow up, how about when barbers treated illnesses by bleeding people, thinking that poison was in the blood? The red stripe on the barber pole was put there to indicate that "bleeding" was done at that place.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: As a real foot-dragger, I can really identify with this. I dragged my feet for a long time over getting a cell phone. Now I cannot leave home without it. As to the matter of fashion I would say "I would never wear something that short (or long), etc". But when "everyone" is doing it, it seems like the thing to do. Now the layered look is all the rage. We used to think all tops (like T shirts,etc) needed to be tucked in. Isn't it all interesting?////FROM JACK: How about paying "extra" for blue jeans that look worn and have holes in them?

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: Front wheel drive for an automobile – automotive reaction to the development by Audi 50 years ago . . . and the number of automobiles today that have front wheel drive. ? What will be the impact of AWD?////FROM JACK: The latest...No spare tires or jacks, because cars will tires that can run flat.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Winning Words 6/23/11
“Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other’s good and melt at other’s woe.” (Homer) I imagine more people today are familiar with Homer Simpson than with Homer, the epic Greek poet. Contrast what the original Homer said with this by today’s Homer. “Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand.” Satire is Matt Groening’s way of expressing the same message. ;-) Jack

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Speaking of Homers, did you know that Babe Ruth hit more homers for number of times at bat than ANYBODY?////FROM JACK: My heart "glows" after reading your good answer.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I've never watched the Simpson's. I love the Winning Words today though because I think as we age, we grow more emotional. We understand more of people's joy and people's pain as we relate it to ours. My mother cried a lot....mostly happy tears but things woes did make her cry, even if it was on a tv program and wasn't real. I could never understand why she was so emotional and she would always say, "Just wait Judy, you will do the same thing." And so I do. It's a good thing I think!////FROM JACK: Watching The Simpsons should be on your "bucket list," if only to be on tune with what young people like these days. If you remember that much of it is satire, you should get the underlying message.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Our empathy (and ability to shed tears!) surely increases with the years, probably because of our diverse happy and sad experiences...we have walked in their shoes perhaps. I never could really connect with the Simpson's, but watched it occasionally because my one grandson (now 33, married and still addicted) was such a fan. The tongue-in-cheek humor appeals to the younger generation, and as you say, they get that message, kind of reverse psychology. They are not idols to be emulated...I recall a phrase that struck a cord with Bill, from the Greek philosopher, Zeno (Stoic) :"The masses are asses...the few will always rule." It often seems so!////FROM JACK: The more I see and read The Simpsons, the more I seem to understand the Groening humor. Rather than calling it "reverse psychology," I see it as a way of getting into younger minds using that which appears to be anti-establishment. My sister DOES NOT like Bart Simpson, so I usually send mail to her using Bart Simpson stamps, issued by the Postal Service.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: We definitely have more experience with those WW than we did when we were younger Life is a challenge even for an optimist.////FROM JACK: The younger folks have not had the experiences of older folks, and some of the older folks have forgotten the experiences they had when they were younger folks. It has ever been.

FROM THE MASTER IN OSAGE: Homer Simpson and his family never fail to bring me a special enjoyment. I don't tune in often, but when I do I get some great laughs. "Gracie films" indeed. The the original Homer quote? Such fine wisdom for the ages!////FROM JACK: I like The Simpsons, but why don't I watch it more often? Too busy channel surfing, maybe.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: We've watched the Simpsons from time to time...laughed a lot too...but somehow it hasn't been addictive or habit-forming. It will be interesting to see how long Homer Simpson and gang remain through the years. By contrast, it's impressive the length of time Homer the Poet and his words have endured, and remain beautiful to ponder.////FROM JACK: How often have we consulted the TV schedule or become enamored with the headlines, instead of Googling the writings of Homer, or visiting the Art Institute? I plead, Guilty!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Winning Words 6/22/11
“The good without the bad ain’t no good at all.” (Laura Dern) Life was not always good for Laura. Her parents divorced when she was two. She hated her looks as she was growing up. Her boyfriend dumped her. But the bad turned into good, and she became an award-winning movie star and an advocate for charitable causes. The quote is a line from her movie, “Everything Must Go.” ;-) Jack

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: You must know hate to appreciate love? Or you must know discomfort to appreciate pleasure? Not sure that I agree with the "opposites" approach.////FROM JACK: Sometimes those who've gone through particularly difficult situations are able (with the passage of time) to look back and say, "I'm better because of what has happened." Time has shown me that what I thought was "bad" at one time, turned out to be "good." I think that Laura Dern was speaking of her own life, rather than generalizing.////MORE FROM TS: I always counsel people that many events that seem traumatic at the moment will be barely visible in the rear view mirror. Always nice learning of your perspective, and others,

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Interesting quote. The bad mixed in with the good makes one appreciate the good all the more after the bad in gone. I guess that's all I have to say about this one. Have a GOOD day! ////FROM JACK: Maybe you should have said, "Have a good day, mixed with some bad, so that it will be a really good day."

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: You don't need bad to appreicate good. Down with bad!////FROM JACK: Have you ever wondered why Good Friday isn't called, Bad Friday?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I'm sure none of us pray for bad things to happen to us, in order to have the perception to appreciate the good that befalls us, in contrast, but it is true God does use these things to bring good from them. One of the best books I've ever read is THE FLAMES SHALL NOT CONSUME YOU, by Mary Ellen Ton, a beautiful pastor's wife in Indiana who was severely burned and disfigured by a fire in their church. She will always wish that it hadn't happened, and would LOVE to have her former looks back, but my, what a ministry she has had using this experience. Talk about an admirable person!! Interesting quote from the talented Miss Dern. She deserves her success!////FROM JACK: Today's subject led me to Google the word, "rationalization." This, in turn, led me to look up, "cognitive dissonance," which brought me to the sentence: "Our own God is the right God, and the other god is the strange god." Hmmmm....What part does "rationalization" play in what we believe? Thanks for sharing Mary Ellen's story. Wouldn't it be a different world if our judgment of others wasn't based so much on sight?////FROM OAKS: Yes. Mary Ellen prefaces her book with the words, " if your self-esteem is tied up in how you look, this book was written for you." And I have to admit, it was! If none of us could see, how would we judge, eh?!

A STORY FROM BLAZING OAKS: Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She
was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens . 'Great', she thought. 'Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry.' She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.
She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.
When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse 'The eyes of the Lord run to
and fro throughout the whole earth.'
She thought, 'Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.'
Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, 'Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?'
Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!
The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, 'Lord,
I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You.'
I think it would do all of us some good to say, 'God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will.'
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Winning Words 6/21/11
“I have failed many times, and that’s why I’m a success.” (Michael Jordan) There’s an Italian proverb with a similar thought. “He who never fails never grows rich.” All of this causes me to think about the meaning of these words…fail…success…rich. Babe Ruth once held the record (at the same time) for the most home runs and the most strike outs. Today, try to think of some other successful failures. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Failure at intimacy. The closeness I want to other human beings, animals, plants, God seems to have made me to yearn for and yet I fail each day and yet each day I'm a success because every day I grow in my faith in Jesus and what he has done for me and all others, especially that he is with me always.//// FROM JACK: The Greek word for, sin, means, "Missing the mark," as with...shooting at the target, but not hitting it. God offers us the forgiveness of sin...the ultimate success following the ultimate failure.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: I believe your own thoughts about the meaning of words imply what's significant about today's do words like "fail", "success", and "rich" apply to individuals? What affirms a failure? Is celebrity status proof of success? Does an excessive bank account certify a rich life? I think many of us are not as blatant as Michael Jordan in stating whether or not we're "a success".////FROM JACK: In the "world's" eyes MJ is considered to be a success. His quote seems to suggest some introspection, leading to a feeling that real life has failures, too. The words, "fail, success, rich, " have subjective meanings which are more relevant that the objective ones.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: "If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you." Steven Wright....(I couldn't resist!)////FROM JACK: Is "skydiving before 60" on your Bucket List?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Edward Albee says, "If you're willing to fail interestingly, you tend to succeed interestingly..." An interesting point to ponder! How does one fail "interestingly"?! As to riches, "Get rich quick, count your blessings!" And that is the truth! I would imagine the saga of successful space travel involved much failure before success. Guidepost magazine had a good quote: "Patience is a virtue that carries a lot of "wait". Many who have finally succeeded had that virtue!!////FROM JACK: Thanks for your interesting response. in·ter·est    [in-ter-ist, -trist]
1. the feeling of a person whose attention, concern, or curiosity is particularly engaged by something: She has a great interest in the poetry of Donne.
2. something that concerns, involves, draws the attention of, or arouses the curiosity of a person: His interests are philosophy and chess.
3. power of exciting such concern, involvement, etc.; quality of being interesting: political issues of great interest.

FROM A GREEN BAY FAN: A quarterback named Favre – with record touchdown passes and record interceptions.////FROM JACK: Same guy....From fan adoration to fan disillusionment.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Winning Words 6/20/11
“Be the kind of person that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “O, crap!” (Sent by Chuck Lindquist) I came across an article, “Tips for Mastering Mondays.” #1 Make coffee; #2 Make a to-do list and prioritize; #3 Try not to react to anything for 2 hours. After the cup of coffee, think about how you can make this a good day for someone. By helping others, we help ourselves. ;-) Jack

FROM MS IN MICHIGAN: If only I could put into practice all the good advice!////FROM JACK: Start with making the coffee.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: Start with making the coffee.////FROM JACK: Do you say, " O, crap," when you get up in the morning and stub your toe?

FROM DR IN DETROIT: I will definitely be passing this one on!////FROM JACK: Sometimes I wonder how many (if any) Winning Words are passed on...and then passed on.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Tip for mastering Monday....let Sunday be the first day of the week....////FROM JACK: Get plenty of rest? God rested.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: "Open your heart, Open it wide; someone is standing outside." Mary Engelbreit, artist. There is so much NEED, it is overwhelming, but we can do out little bit to help. One person can make a difference! And most of us have discovered by now, it IS more blessed to give than to receive...My great-grands could hardly wait for the meal to be over, so that "Pa- Pa" and their dads could open cards and small gifts...just delighted when the card that THEY had chosen was read, and thanks were expressed, at out family Father's day gathering. Children love to help (and be praised!:-) Abby, 21, and almost an R.N. washed her dad's car, and cleaned it inside and out as her gift to her dad, who recently had hip replacement surgery. Mark insisted everyone come look at his "new car"...what a wonderful gift, which took LOTS of elbow grease!!
////FROM JACK: My gifts yesterday included reading material and some nice cards and angel food (not devil's food) cake with strawberries and whipped cream.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Who's this Chuck Lindquist?////FROM JACK You and he could be CHUCKles, the clown. BTW, you and he used to get your mail mixed up when he was working in Ohio.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Great advice! I love the tips too. Make mine tea sometimes though. I like not reacting for 2 hours. This advice must come from a retiree because we are the only ones who can sit for 2 hours after coffee in the morning!////FROM JACK: My wife's brother was a pastor. He'd start Mondays drinking coffee left over from Sunday's coffee hour. He'd drink it each day until the pot was dry.

FROM ERIN (SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD): you forgot step #2.5: Make another pot of coffee.////FROM JACK: Ethiopia is supposed to have good coffee. Did you drink it while you were there?////MORE FROM ERIN: Oh yes! The Italians during their brief occupation of Ethiopia brought over fancy espresso machines. So between that, and the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony (see ) I definately get my fill of "buna", the Ethiopian word for coffee.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Winning Words 6/17/11
“All you need is love, but a little bit of chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” (Charles Schulz) I remember a visit we once made to Hershey, PA. The street lights are shaped like Hershey kisses. I really liked the gift store. The creator of “Peanuts” must like chocolate as much as I (and you?) do. But let’s not overlook what his quote is really about…the importance of love, Charlie Brown. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: "Man cannot live by chocolate alone, every now and then a little caramel must come into his life." 1st Hesitations 12:2 NRV (New Redneck Version)////FROM JACK: The Bible also mentions a mountain made of carmel, Mt. Carmel. I wonder if the song, "Big Rock Candy Mountain" refers to that.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: how about the boxes of chocolate where there is a filling of every kind, some caramel, some coconut, some with nuts, some with mint, whoever devised those recipes must have really loved people and appreciated people's different tastes. Happy Father's Day to all you fathers.////FROM JACK: You've reminded me that three of my favorites are Snickers, Mounds and Hershey Almonds. BTW, what do you think about referring to God as our Holy Dad?

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: Do you like light or dark chocolate?////FROM JACK: I believe in anti-discrimination.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: Amen////FROM JACK: Have you been able to find an Sander's out there?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Amen, to that, Charlie Brown! I love sweets, but WHITE chocolate is my thing. To each his own, eh, what?! I read a short book by a psychiatrist, now retired in W, Virginia (Can't bring up the title, but it was very engrossing!) who, during WW1, died briefly of pnuemonia, and had a terrific out-0f-body experience for those 20 or so minutes that was unforgettable. He said, "this taught me that we need to love, Love, LOVE as much and as many as we can here on Earth...Judgement is all about loving one another...and his medical practice was so enhanced by this knowledge. I have meant to re-read it, because you can't really digest all he presented in one reading! As the old song goes, "What the World Needs NOW is Love, sweet Love..."////FROM JACK: When Charlie Brown grew up, I wonder if he ever married that red-head girl. He'd be about 61 years old now....and maybe a grandpa....Grandpa Charlie!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Winning Words 6/16/11
“If you can solve your problem, what’s the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what’s the use of worrying?” (Shantideva) This quote is from the writings of an 8th century Buddhist scholar. I read this week that worriers should try to get regular doses of contact with positive people--and also eat a wholesome diet. So, “What’s the use of worrying?” Can you sing the rest? ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: For a while I was around some people who told me I was going to kill myself off from worrying so much. Then I also had that to worry about. When I took it to God and accepted more that part of my personality that I'm predisposed to worry about the other heel dropping down upon me, other people didn't comment so much on my worrying too much. Maybe I actually was talking less about worrying, maybe I was worrying less but something changed for the better.
Helpful WW again this morning. thanks.////FROM JACK: I wonder where the expression, "worry wart" came from. I'm not going to worry about it.

FROM GP IN MICHIGAN: "Reflect upon your present blessings - of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." Charles Dickens Been trying to keep my eye on the ball that is life. Thanx for being a part of my life

FROM PASTY PAT: Greetings from Helsinki, Finland. I'm not contemplating the 'why' right at this minute, but I'm amazed at how strongly I'm relating to Finland. From the minute we entered the harbor and throughout this day I've been feeling like my soul is truly at home (and I'm not even particularly a city person). It's a good thing I don't have any money (it's frighteningly expensive). Otherwise I'd be contacting my kids to send all my belongings!////FROM JACK:'s in the genes. I suppose you looked for a sauna, too.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: " never was worthwhile.....'////FROM JACK:, smile, smile.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Oh! To face life with such equilibrium! Excellent point to ponder, and to lessen our fearful worrying. "What's the use of worrying? Gloom never was in style! So pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and SMILE, SMILE, SMILE! :-)" "Protect Us by Thy might, Great God, our King!"...////FROM JACK: Good advice, but sometimes hard to follow.

FROM JB IN PENNSYLVANIA: I think the worry comes when you don't know if you can or can't solve it. Once you know either way, worrying doesn't help.////FROM JACK: Yes, it doesn't help....but why are there times when we just can't let it go? Human nature?

FROM RJP IN FLORIDA: SOOOO Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile. Your old enough to know what a kit bag is........That's the good news.////FROM JACK: Speaking of words that have fallen out of use or taken on different meanings..."While you've a lucifer to light your fag."

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: This one sounds like it also comes from my wife.////FROM JACK: She sounds like she knows a thing or two. I should meet her someday.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: I remember that when I was at UD I was told by a friend that there's no use in worrying - you're either well or you sick. If you're well there's nothing to worry about - if you're sick there's only two things to worry about - you're going to get well or your're going to die. If you get well there's nothing to worry about - if you die there's only two things to worry about - you're going to Heaven or you're going to Hell. If you go to Heaven there's nothing to worry about - if you go to Hell you'll be so busy greeting all your friends you won't have time to worry. (See what I learned in college!)////FROM JACK: I've never heard that saying before, but it must be old, since you heard it in college. It's a good one.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Winning Words 6/15/11
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why you were born.” (Tom Walsh) Tom vacations in Los Cobos, Mexico, and is raising funds to provide world class medical care for the poor children there. You and I were put on this earth for a purpose. Maybe it would be interesting if we would share the “why” of our lives. ;-) Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Sounds simple. Do you think some people figure out the latter part and are unwilling to engage?////FROM JACK: Maybe it's like when some people do their taxes. They figure it out, add it up, and don't like the answer they see. There are some who smile, because the answer is better than they expected. Either way, life is pretty much what we put into it, with a few breaks along the way.

FROM BB IN MICHIGAN: I was in a car accident when I was 15 and landed in the street. My dad said to me, you have a reason WHY. Do you know your WHY?////FROM JACK: My "WHY moment was at age 16. Robert Frost wrote about such a moment in his poem, "The Road Not Taken." I'm putting it on the blog.
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: I think I was born to serve others....I love cooking, baking, entertaining, decorating and gardening and sharing the fruits of those labors with others. God bless you and have a nice day!//// FROM JACK: Even more important that the things listed...Your pleasant personality which makes others enjoy being around you.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: I wonder how many people have taken the time to consider what the purpose of their life is. And if they did, how many find an answer. So many drift about without knowing what to do with their lives. I know there are some persons who believe their purpose in life is to nag others around them.//// FROM JACK: I wonder what the "drifters" think about the "others"...if they give it a thought? I guess we have our hands full trying to keep from drifting. Each day presents new challenges.

FROM SH ON MICHIGAN: Seems like I was born to ask questions, particularly when injustices are evident, especially in the church-- my little job is to work tirelessly on hospitality, Bible studies, prayer evenings where I am always seeking to go deeper, to have more understanding, to be more accepting and welcoming of all. And the more I do this, the more of it remains still to be done. But it makes me happy and in some strange way contented.////FROM JACK: It seems like you're a combination of Mary and Martha.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: Love this post! I am here to help others find their best life and purpose. Also to teach a new way to understand sensitives and those with ADHD, aspergers, autism and anxiety so we can recognize and develop THEIR gifts.////FROM JACK: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren has become a best-seller, because so many people are searching for a personal purpose. Those with acute problems that affect the lives of their loved ones (and themselves), especially are looking for answers and help. Thanks for being a caring helper.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: my why certainly has to do with using my voice to promote peaceful intention. spreading words and example of peace, love, and kindness each day gives me purpose. the stumbling block for me has been to overcome my fear and find my courage to do so. luckily my courage always seems to find the way to prevail. i get braver with age. ////FROM JACK: Where there's a will, there's a the saying goes. Your will has found a way. We pray in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy will be done." If we mean that petition, God will show us the way. ////MORE FROM PM: That's been proven to me many times. I have often been led to an alternate path by "intuition".

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: I would probably say that my most important day was the day I got married. The second most important day for me will probably be if and when son Todd moves to California with his family, which could be as early as this September. Not sure either explains The Why.////FROM JACK: How about the days of your confirmation instruction?

FROM CL IN CALIFORNIA: OK, since you asked . . .I have often said that finding God's direction can be frustrating because he never promised us total clarity. However if we had total clarity we wouldn't need faith, right? Nonetheless we can sometimes look back, connect the dots, and with a open palm to the forehead realize that there was a plan in place all along.////FROM JACK: What you wrote is certainly true for all of us. I came across this sentence in my reading. "God was there all the time, unnoticed in the shadows, perhaps, but never absent." (Don Kimrey) Thanks for sharing your story. "Getting to know you, getting to know "more) about you....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Winning Words 6/14/11
“If you’re talking and your mind goes blank, turn off the sound.” (Graffiti by Gene Mora) A few days ago I cut this quote out of our morning paper. Graffiti appears daily on the “comics” page, because it usually gives a “funny“twist to a serious thought. With regard to today’s thought, one of the things we like about our TV remote is that it has a “mute” button. It’s surprising how often “Mary” uses it. ;-) Jack

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: That's a good know, one cannot talk and listen at the same time!////FROM JACK: I like the one that says..."God gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason."

FROM RI IN BOSTON: The "mute" button is a resource that I've not taken enough advantage of...the fact is, I wish I had the will to hit the "off" button more often.////FROM JACK: One of the first things a couple need to learn when they get married is how to operate the "mute" their own communication system.

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: The mute feature is a marriage saver in my house!!! Ron lets me be in charge of the remote!!!////FROM JACK: Technology is great. Common sense is even better.

FROM THRIVENT TOM: However, I remember Mary always having a smile on her face when she pushed that "mute button", similar to my wife Sue's smile at such times.////FROM JACK: Another thing that works...two TVs in the house.

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: I take out my hearing aids during ballgames on TV and just watch the is surprising how much more interesting it is without the "commentary"////FROM JACK: What happens when you take them out while your wife is talking to you?////MORE FROM JS: :The peace of God which passes all understanding!"////FROM JACK: Do you then seal it with "the kiss of peace?"

FROM BLAZING OAKS: What a good piece of advice on a rainy, rainy day! A mind going blank is old news for us seniors: in my bridge clubs it is a cause for hilarity, when one is telling a story or joke, and suddenly loses the whole point...because almost everyone does it! Hopefully we'll have enough wits about us to close our mouths! Good one...////FROM JACK: When your bridge club gets together, do you remember to play cards?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I am learning how to do this on a nook which is a challenge.////FROM JACK: My Nook friends are after me to get a Nook. One more "new" thing and I'll be able to pose as Inspector Gadget. Do you know him?

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Hearing aids serve the same purpose. I don't wear one, but i have "selective hearing."////FROM JACK: Now, if you could just work on that selective speaking.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Mary???////FROM JACK: You're the first one who noticed that.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Winning Words 6/13/11
“Be pleasant until 10 o’clock in the morning, and the rest of the day will take care of itself.” (Elbert Hubbard) Hubbard published a magazine with “butcher paper” as the cover, because “there’s meat inside.” Among his friends were H.J Heinz, Billy Sunday and Booker T. Washington. He’s known for his clever way of writing. I wonder if he followed his “10 o’clock” advice, and if it worked. ;-) Jack

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: The best way for me to be pleasant both before and after 10 am, is to stay in bed till at least 9:30. :-) Not gonna happen, though.////FROM JACK: Even if it's a half hour before 10, that seems to be enough time to put on a happy face (and disposition).

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: This quote sounds very apt to me. Set ourselves a little goal and it will help propel us to the longer goal. When the hard times come again, (so far this morning I'm not anticipating a huge struggle being pleasant all day long but you never know), I'm going to remember this quote to help me still try to act kindly and pass it along to others struggling and who need to know they only have to bite off a little to chew on at a time, we don't have to feel overwhelmed and too troubled and anxious trying to be something all at once, we can grow into it. Actually this WW even sounds sort of Biblical--we reap what we sow.////FROM JACK: The old saying is generally true. "When you're nice to people, they're nice to you."

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: it must work. if one can muster up pleasant for the early hours it seems logical that pleasant will continue throughout the day. it takes more muscle energy to frown than it does to smile! ////FROM JACK: Since I'm usually up at 5 am (4 am your time), I have extra time to prepare to be pleasant. It takes longer for some people than for others.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Guess I’d believe it works…I’m an owl not a lark so the first couple of hours are the most challenging to meJ////FROM JACK: I like this song....You can probably sing it, too.
Gray skies are gonna clear up,
Put on a happy face;
Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
Put on a happy face.
Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy,
It's not your style;
You'll look so good that you'll be glad
Ya' decide to smile!
Pick out a pleasant outlook,
Stick out that noble chin;
Wipe off that "full of doubt" look,
Slap on a happy grin!
And spread sunshine all over the place,
Just put on a happy face!
Put on a happy face
Put on a happy face
And if you're feeling cross and bitterish
Don't sit and whine
Think of banana split and licorice
And you'll feel fine
I knew a girl so glooming
She'd never laugh or sing
She wouldn't listen to me
Now she's a mean old thing
So spread sunshine all over the place
Just put on a happy face
So, put on a happy face

FROM BLAZING OAKS: You probably remember that funny prayer, in which one thanks the Lord for all the bad things they haven't done , (like lash out in anger, speak ill of anyone, been unkind, etc. etc.) and it ends with "But now, Lord, It's time to get out of bed, and I'll need your help...." When you live alone, it might be easier to hold on until 10:00. :-) Hopefully, that WILL set the stage for a pleasant day.////FROM JACK: It's 5:30 in the afternoon, and the day is still pleasant. Of course, I just got up from a nap.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: What if one sleeps to 10?////FROM JACK: You tell me. Are you pleasant at 10:01?

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Yes....By that time, I've been up for almost three hours. Time to smile.////FROM JACK: When you're getting up, I'm ready for a nap.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Winning Words 6/10/11
“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought.” (Jonathan Swift) Edison wound up with 1,093 inventions. A person who gets Winning Words is from the family that invented TV dinners. I’m from a family that eats them, and I work on a computer invented in a 1-car garage. God was really on to something when he invented the brain. ;-) Jack

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: ..........I must be related to you.////FROM JACK: Original sin?

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: All the comments on yesterday's blog here are very thought-provoking. Thankful to have read them this morning and, as I go about my business today, I'll pay especially attention to the people who are often quite likely to be overlooked but they probably are doing the work that is most necessary and most unsung.////FROM JACK: We discover the most interesting people when we "see" in situations that are right before our eyes. "Here's lookin' at you, kid." Wasn't it Humphrey Bogart who said that?

FROM JH IN OHIO: like it!////FROM JACK: It must be that inquisitive, scientific mind of yours.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Just when you think there can be NOTHING "new under the sun", yet another invention hits us big time. It is truly amazing!! And each generation builds on the discoveries of the previous one. Thank goodness for the Thinkers! What would our great-grandparents think of the world we live in today? My own grandfather, who lived in a tiny burg in IL remembered the Wright Brothers early experiments with flying an airplane, bought the first Model-T Ford in his town, (They were all black, no color choice for them!) and lived, in his eighties, to see a man walk on the moon. He never would have dreamed we would "invent" Space travel!! Now I'm in my eighties, and marvel at Cell phones which do EVERYTHING (!), I Pods, Kindles, electric cars, etc. etc. Yep! The brain is one of God's miracles!////FROM JACK: Recently someone sent me a link....You type in any sentence, and a voice speaks what you have written. You can ask for a different language, and the voice will respond in that language. How about that for an invention? I'll forward it to you, if you want it.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: And to think they are phasing out the incandescent bulb! in favor of one made in China? No wonder this country is in trouble.////FROM JACK: You probably want to go back to candles, horse-drawn buggies and outhouses, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Yep, and especially when people use them! Good words!!!////FROM JACK: People use them all the time. There's no on/off switch on the side of the head. But there does seem to be an invisible channel changer.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Winning Words 6/9/11
“He taught me to talk to janitors.” (Rochelle Riley writing about Greg Lewis) Riley was writing about her newspaper mentor and what she had learned from him. “In writing a story, don’t forget to talk with the common people.” Something similar: “If you really want to know about a man, talk to his valet.” In this celebrity-conscious society, pay attention to ordinary folks. That’s where the real story is. ;-) Jack

FROM RB IN MICHIGAN: Were you at the recent WBHS Graduation? The male Valedictorian (Avery) did just this...e started by recognizing the "humble guard" (Isaac) who doubled as greeter and cheerleader, then spoke about his unsung heroes - a cheer-leading "Special Ed student", etc. He received series of applause for recognizing them... we saw his real ministry / service talent come forth. He will attend Cornell in the fall with serving people as the focus of his studies. Your winning words are always right on time! Keep on being a blessing.////FROM JACK: I always seem to miss some of the good stuff that happens in my neighborhood. Thanks for letting me know that one of our young people has been taught to "talk to janitors." I'll check to see if there's an online video of what Avery said.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: A very humble reminder is the tv program "Undercover Boss"...I think that's the name...but it is a very good measure of a company and the company bosses. It's the ordinary person who keeps us all afloat. Most families are made up of ordinary men and women; I know mine is and has been through the ages. I celebrate us!////FROM JACK: The first episode of "Undercover Boss" featured a CEO who was in my daughter's class at Albion College. I like "UB" for the way in which the "bosses" are forced to talk with the janitors. A former CEO of General Motors made it practice to greet one of the "janitors" by name every day when he entered the GM building.////MORE FROM JUDY:
There are more caring bosses then people think. Mr. King, who owned King Coffee was my dad's boss for years and years. There were five of us kids but Mr. King would have each of his workers families over at least once a year. His whole house was white...white carpeting too. And Mr. King always ask my dad what us kids liked to eat and drink. Red Koolaid was the drink we preferred because we never got to drink anything but orange juice and milk (my parents were so pop or Koolaid for us). So, Mrs. King would always give us red Koolaid on their white carpeting!! My mom nearly had a heart attack during each visit. But the King's wouldn't have cared. I thank God for all of those caring bosses and the bosses who are more than willing to have their eyes opened to shake hands with those people who keep their businesses running.////FROM JACK: Is King coffee still in business? I could support a company like that. You're right! There are caring God Almighty.

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: My friend, Tom Seabron, who was born in, and went to high school in, Detroit, is a brilliant African-American financial advisor. Lawyers send him their clients who have won large injury awards. He is in a meeting between the lawyers and the clients. The lawyers don't know how to speak to the clients' families; the clients' families are clearly not comfortable expressing themselves to the lawyers, and Tom serves as the interpreter expressing the ideas of the attorneys in plain, clear simple language to the clients; listening to the clients' response and expressing it to the attorneys. The two Englishes are clearly amazing -- not only the words used, but the method of expression, are simply amazing. My friend, Ruth Mossok, is a nationally reknowned cook-book author. She posts many of her efforts, not necessarily the recipes, but stewing, basting, ... And I'll write, "English, but I don't understand a word of it." She laughs.//// FROM JACK: Yesterday, I saw a beautiful thing....I was standing in line behind two women. One was making an appointment as an interpreter for her friend in sign language. BTW, not all lawyers are "sharks."

FROM TAMP SHIRL: One of the journals that I kept when I was in Virginia was to ask the ordinary people I met where they were from and then I got nosier. For example, the guest services clerk at Target came from Syria 6 months ago and it was easy for him because his mother has been here for 15 years, the 20 year old girl working at Staples who had stayed up all night talking with friends and who wants to join the Air Force and be a linguist and whose mother and grandmother live at Top of the World in Clearwater, and the woman waiting for the United flight home and who came to Milwaukee from Russia in l978 with her parents, is an engineer, and was going to Tampa for a brief meeting for her company.////FROM JACK: Curious people can make some interesting days for themselves and for others, too. On a whim, a paid the bill for a grandmother and her grandchildren when I saw them at one of my favorite restaurants, Pete's Coney Island. She insisted that I give her my name and address. Later, I received a nice "thank you" card sent by her from Georgia. I still have it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Reader's Digest runs a series each month on "Our Hero" in which they highlight common people who do "heroic" work to help others or animals, etc. It is heartening to read about so many good people in our country! When you mentioned paying a restaurant bill for strangers (to you). I remember how it felt when a former student (we're both retired teachers) paid my friend and my bill at a restaurant where we were having Sunday dinner, as he left...what a delightful surprise and blessing! Parishioners also paid (more than once) for Bill and my lunch secretly, when he/she spotted us dining out...we "paid if forward" many times to those in need! As any pastor does...Do you remember the newspaper story about the University professor who had the question on his final exam, "What is the name of the woman custodian of our building?" Only one student knew, and received credit for his answer: then the professor explained the reason for the question...she'd kept the building clean and attractive for almost a year, and she certainly should be known to them, and appreciated! They never forgot it!////FROM JACK: In the days when we were counting our pennies and we had 3 small children, it was a treat to go out to a restaurant. It was a real treat when the waitress pointed to a couple who had paid our bill (including the tip). We've never forgotten that, nor them. BTW, the test question was a good one. I think I can find a way to work into a sermon someday.

FROM MOLINER CF: Who decides who is "Ordinary folks?" Kind of snobbish isn't it?////FROM JACK: You and I....We're just "Plain Folks." A Plain Folks argument is one in which the speaker presents him or herself as an Average Joe, a common person who can understand and empathize with a listener's concerns. I think that I might change your acronym to "Plain Folks Chester."

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: .........weekly I spend some time with the dropped off the map, left out, excluded people of color (all colors , including white), under -employed "working poor" and those living with them whom they support....all with no health insurance, some in rat infested housing or in "living with" housing....most of whom are gentle, kind, sharing what little they do have with others, grandparents (age 40) supporting whole families all crowded into sub-standard housing with them, .....and we treat them and all "supported by them" , including anybody living under their roof for the total fee of "one hours wage" of the one in the house with a job. You bet that's where reality resides. All the rest is icing......not earned, but a gift, as in 'of good fortune'. On a global scale, where whole populations are in the condition of those whom we see,......I think that the Jesus message is that we, no matter how modest our resources or the state of our own health ,are the fortunate ones, the lucky few....... there's a whole other world out there and neither of us has earned what we have......primarily it's an accident of birth. That's what I think Jesus was addressing.////FROM JACK: That's what the veteran newsman said: "Don't forget the "janitors," the ordinary folk! God has put you in a certain place at a certain time to talk to and serve his special people...and for free, too. Hallelujah!

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS: Jack, some years ago, Judy and I had daily lunch at our local Sr.Center. One of the regulars was a delightful gentleman named Howard, who was 91 and enjoyed the company. One day I asked Howard how he spent his day. His answer is a classic, I think. Howard said "This morning I did nothing, and when I get home, I'm going to finish it."////FROM JACK: Older people have some interesting things to say, when you take the time to ask and listen.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Winning Words 6/8/11
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (Ferris Bueller) A Free Press writer used these words to describe the life of a baseball rookie. You’re only in “the bigs” as long as you produce. Have you noticed how fast the sand goes through the hour glass as the grains become a precious few? Take a look at the calendar and give a prayer of thanks for each day. ;-) Jack

FROM JM IN MICHIGAN: Speaking of calendars, have you noticed how hard it is to find moon phases on calendars these days? I'm not sure what that means but, for me, it means I sometimes have to guess if all the crazy behavior is due to a full moon or just human nutziness. Good morning!////FROM JACK: A nurse who has worked the ER on the night shift says that when there's a full moon they expect weird kinds of situations to come through the door, and it happens. She's not weird, either. I don't see moon phases on my Thrivent calendar, but my Fire Dept calendar has them.////MORE FROM JM: I guess I'll have to get a fire dept. calendar for 2012. I have all kinds of calendars (four wall calendars, several "datebooks" and a couple of all-the-months on one card) in addition to the Thrivent desk calendar that I have hole-punched and use inside my planner, and none of them has moon phases. Your ER nurse is not the only one busier on full moon nights. More babies are born then, too, according to nurses' comments. I tend to be more careful driving when I can see that the moon is full -- crazier driving ensues, as well, on those nights. We are, in many ways, as human beings, all "luna-tics".

FROM NL IN INDIANA: YEP: I'M 72 TODAY WHERE DID THE TIME GO? HOW DID I DO IT ALL? MAYBE I STILL HAVE A LOT MORE TO DO? WE CAN ALSO LOOK AT WHAT THE WORLD INVENTED IN OUR LIFE TIME, AMAZING. MY NEW CELL PHONE IS JUST AMAZING.////FROM JACK: I think that I could adjust to using a droid, but, for now, it'll have to be the little red book that I carry in my pocket. It works. You've done a lot in those 72 years...and who knows what's in store during the years to come.

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: Amen Jack, time is flying by! I try to stop and take it all in! ////FROM JACK: Do you remember when you were in high school? If you were to pick a "favorite" time, what would that be?////MORE FROM MK: That is a tuff one, early twenties I guess was a terrific time for me, now it pretty good too! How about you?////FROM JACK: It sounds like a cop-out, but each of the eras has been fun for me. But, the twenties were good ones, come to think of it.

FROM PASTY PAT: My corollary to that one is "Life is an interesting journey --- if you're paying attention". ////FROM JACK: Who'd ever think that a little girl from the U.P. would travel to so many places in her lifetime?

FROM DR IN MICHIGAN: Thank you for this one! I have forwarded it on to many, many of my friends and family that just move to fast! They all really need to slow down and look around!////FROM JACK: Unless someone bothers to warn us to Stop, Look and Listen, we're going to miss out on some great things. This morning I saw two people communicating in sign language. It was beautiful.

FROM MOLINER CF: One of the most appropriate WWs in a long line of wisdoms. Had our monthly Lunch Bunch (High school buddies) yesterday, and as I sat there looking around the table, I realized how many were missing. Was sad the rest of the day. Today's WW has lit the fire again. Thank you.////FROM JACK: Someone has to be first. But thank God that we can remember.
Should You Go First By A.K. Rowswell

Should you go first and I remain
To walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, dear,
With happy days we've known.
In spring I'll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early fall, when brown leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you've touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I'll hear your voice, I'll see you smile,
Though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain
To finish with the scroll,
No length'ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We've known so much of happiness,
We've had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
That death can not destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I'd have you to do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I'll follow you.
I'll want to know each step you take,
That I may walk the same,
For someday down that lonely road
You'll hear me call your name.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!!! ////FROM JACK: I'll have to remember that when I'm doing some creative thinking in one of the last bastions.

FROM AM IN MICHIGAN: Teach us to number our days awright.....Psalm 90////FROM JACK: I've used that verse often at funerals....and this poem, too.
The clock of life is wound but once And no one has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop, At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own; Live, love, work, and with a will;
Place no faith in tomorrow, for The clock may then be still.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: One of my daughter's favorite still makes her laugh. Ferris manipulates his time and days for fun and laughter. We should all do a little more manipulation for fun and laughter ....perhaps not like Ferris does, but we should get a little more joy out of our brief lives. Stop to look around today!////FROM JACK: Isn't it interesting how we'd look forward to "a day off" when we were younger, and now (in the golden years) we look forward to something interesting to do with our time?

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: the average NFL career is less than 4 years! ouch. literally!////FROM JACK: I wonder how that compares to the career length of the average pastor.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Boy, the days and weeks slide by in a blur, if you're not careful! My mother once said to me, "If you think your children grow up too fast, wait until you have GRANDCHILDREN!" So true, and the Great-grands even more so!! Loved the poem If You Go Before Me...poignant and very true; The loss of a soul mate is a path you must trod alone...each deals in his/her own way. Difficult! As Marilyn Charles Karlstrom (remember her from MHS?) wrote when Jan died, "Those of us blessed with many years, bear the brunt of many losses." It does make you more aware of the blessing of each new day, and decent health to enjoy it!! ////FROM JACK: Yes, I knew Chuckie. My mother, who lived to be 102, said in her later years: "All my friends are gone." When she was dying in the nursing home, one of the aides opened the window in her room so that her spirit could be released and "fly" away.

FROM ES IN MICHIGAN: Good advice, I agree, Life sure moves fast. ////FROM JACK: But once in awhile an e-mail like yours "puts on the brakes," and I can go back and my memory allows a "rerun."

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Winning Words 6/7/11
“We play the hands of cards life gives us, and the worst hands can make us the best players.” (Doc Searls) Liesa sent me something her father had saved which described how a deck of cards can serve as a Bible. The ace is God; the 3 stands for the Trinity; the Queen is Mary; the Jack is the Devil; can you figure out the rest? Good or bad hands, the game isn’t over till it’s over. God deals the last hand. ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: "Ya gotta know when to hold them and know when to fold them!" Kenny Rogers We played a lot of cards growing up. A lot of Kings-in-the-Corner, War, Rummy 500 and a lot more. Many times I don't play with a full deck either!////FROM JACK: I remember some who told me that playing cards was a sin. I never thought that my parents were sinning when they played poker with friends. But to be on the safe side, I never learned to play poker. I wonder if cards are allowed in heaven.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: Appropriate to the NBA Play offs as well. Have enjoyed them more this year than in a long time. Cliff probably won’t agree as he is a Lakers fan.////FROM JACK: Oh, is there a basketball playoff going on? The Pistons are now owned by a Californian billionaire who grew up in Flint, Michigan.////FROM CLIFF: Also now a Dallas fan.////FROM JACK: I'm no Cuban fan, or LeBron fan, for that matter.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: To paraphrase Will Rogers, "I never met a card game I didn't like!" My Methodist grandpa (much beloved!) did not allow cards in the house, but my mother and dad were avid bridge players, and I learned that, and 500, Canasta, Euchre, pinochle, Kings-in-the-Corner, Rummy, etc. etc. etc. but never poker, tho my oldest son is an excellent player...It takes brain power to play the hand you are dealt, in any card game, as well as the cards we are dealt in life! Hannibal Buress (comedian) notes, "When people go through something rough in life, they say, "I'm taking it one day at a time. Yes, so is everybody, because that's how time works! " So, one day at a time, let's play our cards to the glory of God, and the good of our fellow Earth travelers!////FROM JACK: Mary, grandson Joseph and I are avid Old Maid players. It's fun to hide the OM from the one who is drawing from the hand that has been dealt.

FROM MOLINE CF: The 10 is for the Commandments.////FROM JACK: You've got that one right, but there are more to go.////MORE FROM CF: The five is for Five Golden Rings.////FROM JACK: Joker!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Yes, everyone needs challenges in life to stay strong and to appreciate and count his/her blessings. Life is definitely harder for some than for others. Job is a good example of that truth.////FROM JACK: One of my "challenged" friends has told me that challenges have made him a better person. As I said in WWs, the last hand has yet to be dealt.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: My friend, Tony lives in Troy, and is a pal I befriended through the Stephen Ministry. He's a great guy and a super dad to his son. He's struggled with kidney failure and dialysis for years, and now he's been dealt the additional burden of the "cancer card"--sort of like getting "the old maid" card! The hand he's been dealt has been a tough one to play, but you would never know it to talk to him! In the midst of his pain and trials, he still gives the gift of compassionate outreach to others through Stephen Ministry. The blessed Trinity lives within him, and shines for all to see! It is a joy to know him. I felt very forlorn this morning, thinking about cancer, and the loss of my dad as his birthday approaches. But remembering Tony's many trials and relaying his gifts and strengths to you has lifted me up. Hope you have a great day, Jack!
PS: I heard a quote yesterday somewhere (maybe you sent it to me?) that was something like, "Lousy cards make better players." It was better than that, but that's the gist of it. It struck a nerve for me when I heard it--we can't be good at overcoming unless we have to overcome... Tony's a perfect example of a GREAT card player!////FROM JACK: Isn't it interesting to see how inspiration comes to us in unusual ways? Do you know the song...His Eye Is On the Sparrow?
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Winning Words 6/6/11
“Optimism is like red wine. A little bit is good, but the whole bottle is dangerous.” (Heard on MSNBC by Tony) Optimism is from Latin, meaning, “best.” An optimist expects the best outcome. Some researchers see it as a biological trait. Optimism is one subject in a book, Why People Believe In Weird Things. I subscribe to the “red wine” theory about optimism. I believe that it’ll be a great day today. ;-) Jack

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Guess it depends entirely on one's defintion of great. ////FROM JACK: Thanks for your great response.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I tried moderation but then I wanted just a little more… ////FROM JACK: You sound like Mick Jagger. "I can't get no satisfaction."

OPTIMISM OR REALISM (From Good Debt Jon): A guy (not in the best of shape) was working out in the gym when he spotted a sweet young thing... He asked the trainer that was nearby "What machine in here should I use to impress her?" The trainer looked him up and down and said "I would try the ATM in the lobby".......

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: ....Amen to both........////FROM JACK: Watch out for that whole bottle...and too much optimism.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Optimism is to be taken as needed...sometimes a little is okay and sometimes you need a whole bottle.////FROM JACK: Thanks for the prescription, Dr. Judy!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Yes, and I hope that it will be as great a day in Michigan for you, as it is for me in Florida, because I am finally home. Neighbors, friends, and families took good care of my house while I was gone for six weeks.(I went to Virginia for three days, but that is another story.) We did get to go to a beautiful wedding and reception at the Cah d'Zan at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota on Saturday night, but Mark did not get to receive his First Holy Communion on Sunday because he was sick. C'est la vie.////FROM JACK: It's a beautiful day in Michigan. Sunshiney and comfortably cool! I remember when the Ringling Brothers Circus came to Moline. My dad took us down to watch them unload the train. We watched as the tents went up with elephant power. There was also a parade on 15th Street passing the Roxy. Or did I just dream that?

FROM BF IN MICHIGAN: I'm counting on a great week too! Am I on my second glass or drunk....??? Have a great day,////FROM JACK:
It's a little after noon, so I imagine that it's water that you have "drunk."

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: That's about a glass-full.////FROM JACK: The Optimist says the glass is half-full.

FROM MOLINER CF: Is your wine glass half full or half empty?////FROM JACK: Do you mean that little communion glass?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I sure enjoyed the "optimistic" comments today on your blog, and laughed out loud at the banter exchanged! What a day brightener you, and these guys and gals are!! I have been blessed with a positive attitude in most situations, even when my wonderful husband was incurably ill (most of the time!), but the condition of our world at present, and USA with all the economic woes and violent weather, and my church's crisis of transformation,(Our neighborhood location has changed very drastically in the past 20 yrs. and we are staying put, ministering to the "new" and much needier congregants, and getting older by the minute :-) ) makes it difficult to have the full bottle of optimism, which is counseled against, anyway, isn't it?! So yeah, let's just have a GREAT hot and humid day on Lake Petersburg!! I'm all for it. As a woman in the US, I always have a lot to be thankful for, having seen the alternative in many other countries..////FROM JACK: WWJD is more than a bracelet slogan. If Jesus had a choice between joining an optimist club or a pessimist club, I have no question about WWJD. The world always seems to have a variety of woes, so the need for a spiritual base is omnipresent...just like our God.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: It will be if you MAKE it so....////FROM JACK: What you wrote reminds me of something similar: "If it is to be, it is up to me."

FROM MOLINER JT: It "IS" a great day today !!////FROM JACK: You know what it means to "take one day at a time." Today must be one of those "IS" days. Hurrah.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Winning Words 6/3/11
“Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get.” (George Bernard Shaw) I like the lyrics and music of My Fair Lady. That musical is based on Shaw’s novel, Pygmalion. Do you know who Pygmalion was? (Google-time) Either you like opinionated and acerbic GBS, or you don’t. In this life we don’t always get what we like, but sometimes we get My Fair Lady. ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Creative people often aren't easy to live with. But considering what they bring to our lives, it's an acceptable trade-off.////FROM JACK: How about when two creative people live together? You make an interesting point. Perhaps the best marriages are symbiotic ones.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Great one; have never heard this before; thank you for sharing and I love My Fair Lady …we know all of the words by heart.////FROM JACK: With a little bit of luck, you'll like what you get. I suppose you can sing these lines.
He doesn't have a tuppence in his pocket.
The poorest bloke you'll ever hope to meet.
He doesn't have a tuppence in his pocket-but
With a little bit of luck, With a little bit of luck,
He'll be movin' up to easy street.
With a little bit...with a little bit...
With a little bit of luck, He's movin' up.
With a little bit...with a little bit...
With a little bit of bloomin luck!

FROM MOLINER CF: GBS was an egotistical clod who wasn't smart enough to make a movie out of his story. ////FROM JACK: GBS was just an ordinary man.
Well after all, Fanning, I'm an ordinary man,
Who desires nothing more than an ordinary chance,
to live exactly as he likes, and do precisely what he wants...
An average man am I, of no eccentric whim,
Who likes to live his life, free of strife,
doing whatever he thinks is best, for him,
Well... just an ordinary man...

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I'm sure we strive to get what we like, but sometimes have to say with Paul, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content!" MY FAIR LADY is an all time favorite with me! ////FROM JACK: That's why Paul is called SAINT Paul. It takes a saint to be content in whatever state...Illinois or Michigan.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: My Fair Lady reminds me of another movie "Hobson's Choice" produced in 1954. A real treasure of a movie. From the internet "A Hobson's choice is a free choice in which only one option is offered. As a person may refuse to take that option, the choice is therefore between taking the option or not "Take it or leave it." I like My Fair Lady too but I like "Hobson's Choice" better.////FROM JACK: There are many "choice" situations in this life. Every day is a fork in the road, and the choice that is made leads to other forks, and that's why life is so interesting.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Winning Words 6/2/11
“The last bastions for creative thinking are the car, the john, the shower, the gym, and church.” (Reader’s Digest) Sometimes creative thinking happens when you’re waiting for someone. Last week, while “waiting,” I picked up a copy of the Digest and saw today’s quote. It caused me to marvel at how the brain continues to work in ordinary bastions and says, “Here’s an idea to think about.” ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: ...and waiting on the phone. That's also become, over the years, since all the automation has come in, when I pray a considerable time.////FROM JACK: I'm reminded of a line from an old Irving Berlin song..."All alone by the telephone...Waiting for a ring, a ting-a-ling.""

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Love this, Jack! So many times at work I've been completely stumped by a computer problem. I say,"OK, Lord, I'm all out of ideas! You know I'm not doing this work for my glory, but for the kids and for You! If u want this to happen, then You gotta give me something!" Then I go get a cup of coffee, or chat with a co-worker. When I get back to my desk, soooo many times a new idea is there! It's amazing, and I believe an answer to my prayerful plea! Maybe everyone's brain just works like this, but I see the Father's gentle hand in it...////FROM JACK: The Lord is closer (and more involved) than many of us realize. Oh, we know that he's near...even closer than our skin.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: I also keep a pad of paper and pen near my bed at night; sometimes wake up with a good idea on a matter. Add that to the list.////FROM JACK: It's amazing how our brain continues to work even when the rest of our body is asleep. I know of someone who keeps a recording device by the bed to record ideas that come to mind.

FROM MOLINER CF: The mind works best when you are doing "mindless" things.////FROM JACK: Do you pay overtime wages?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: some of my best thinking is done sitting on the mower cutting grass. no one can bother me there.////FROM JACK: I heard of people thinking while sitting on a John. Now, you say that you do your thinking while sitting on a Deere.

FROM SA IN VEGAS: We have a book of Wisconsin trivia in our john.////FROM JACK: Each year I give my children a book of devotions to keep in "the room." It's called (appropriately enuf)...Three Minutes a Day!

FROM BLAZING OAKS: My husband often had good thoughts while fishing on the lake in WI, and in P'burg...he said to be out on the water was blessing enough, to catch a good fish was a bonus! I still recall perfectly the June 26th, I pulled in a 7#2oz big mouth bass from Balsam Lake, WI, where we vacationed for 34 yrs. Those lucky enough to live on the water, are lucky enough!! I have a pillow that says, "Heaven seems a little closer, in a house beside the water." Too true...Can be a meditative place. I have several UNCLE JOHN'S BATHROOM READERS. placed in our 3 bathrooms. They are informative, and very entertaining; a source of trivia for sure! Good quote, I take the R.D. so should have seen it!////FROM JACK: Yes, being in a boat and fishing on a quite lake can be "heaven." Those living in houses by the Mississippi River and Red River might call that living...something else.

FROM DAVID LM: Oh, yes! Those miles on the road, the minutes on the throne, the quiet meditation during worship. Truly!////FROM JACK: In olden days, the privy was a place for quiet meditation. Thomas Jefferson removed the last outhouse from the lawn of the White House. I'll bet you didn't know that.

FROM JM IN MICHIGAN: The writer of that quote needs to spend time ironing shirts and washing dishes by hand, and maybe even cooking something that needs stirring for a long time.////FROM JACK: Somehow, I didn't expect that response from you. No wonder Mary won't let me help with the dishes. She's thinking. She's thinking that I won't get them as clean as she does. And I'm thinking...mmmmm, that maybe I should get her a dish washer.////MORE FROM JM: Thanks for the chuckle! As one colleague said, "I get my best ideas driving home *after* the meeting!" Maybe doing somewhat mindless activity allows our brains to go into a mode that gives the Holy Spirit little interference in getting through!