Friday, July 29, 2011

Winning Words 7/29/11
“I’ve learned that to be with those I like is enough.” (Walt Whitman) WW is much admired as a poet, but I respect him more because of his humanism. He was a volunteer nurse all during the Civil War. Uppermost in his mind were human values, equality, fairness, social justice. His ideas made him a controversial figure, but that didn’t bother him, because he chose to hang out with those he liked (as do we). ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Thankfully, I've learned over time to see God's affirmation of me through different people around me but it feels like God's call on my emotional and prayer life is to be with some people around me whom I have a hard time understanding and whom I have a hard time loving and even liking. I figure it must be a call from God because it's neigh unto impossible to really get separated from them. But I have hope and trust that all will be well in the end. Mainly this happens in my family and in church. Very thought-provoking WW again.////FROM JACK: Yes, to learn to be among those who are not like us (like is a word with more than one meaning) is a challenge, but that's what living is all about. And remember...Likes are fickle.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I visited the Walt Whitman museum when out East, and one controversial thing was his life partner being a man, although this was not at all emphasized. (Not hidden either) He did indeed live a life of service, and in his lifetime, his poetry form was not always understood and accepted. He had the courage to be his own man! How fortunate we ARE to have people we like to be with!! Not to mention love, as in family and close friends! And to have Jack's WW each day! Last day of VBS at church...smiles all around! :-)
////FROM JACK: I knew that about WW, but I chose not to include it in my comments, because I did not want some to be distracted from his humanism. On second thought, how one lives personally as a human is humanism, after all. BTW, have you ever sung this song in VBS. It's one that I really liked.

God told Noah there's going to be a floodie, floodie
God told Noah there's going to be a floodie, floodie,
Get those animals out of the muddie, muddie
Children of the Lord.

God told Noah to build him an arky, arky
God told Noah to build him an arky, arky
Build it out of gopher barky, barky
Children of the Lord.

The animals, they came in, they came in by twosies, twosies,
The animals, they came in, they came in by twosies, twosies,
Elephants and kangaroosies, roosies,
Children of the Lord.

It rained, it rained for forty nights and daysies, daysies,
It rained, it rained for forty nights and daysies, daysies,
Almost drove poor Noah crazy, crazy,
Children of the Lord.

The sun came out and dried up the landy, landy,
The sun came out and dried up the landy, landy,
Everything was fine and dandy, dandy,
Children of the Lord.

This is the end of, the end of our story, story,
This is the end of, the end of our story, story,
Everything was hunky dory, dory,
Children of the Lord.

FROM JH IN OHIO: good point... humanist indeed.////FROM JACK: One human's definition of humanism, at times, riles another human.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Ah, one of my favorite quotes! He states it all what more can I say?////FROM JACK: Nature says it: "Birds of a feather flock together."

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: That is so true! It is very humbling when you acknowledge that the only thing you have control over is yourself...////FROM JACK: .....and, sometimes, trying to control yourself can also be a humbling experience.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I am happy with the simple things, too. Good company and conversation (whether it's in person, on the phone or even texting) is all I need to be content. ////FROM JACK: "Our" world has so many forms of communication these days, but nothing beats "face to face," which you and I have not had.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Winning Words 7/28/11
“Don’t bite your elbows.” (Russian Proverb) Have you ever tried to bite your elbow? The proverb advises us not to get upset over things we can’t do anything about. Don’t try to control what you can’t control. I read and listen to the news, but not as much as I used to. There’s too much that I can’t control. Even in everyday living, we have to pick our battles and do that which can be done. Leave those elbows alone. ;-) Jack

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: That's why I don't bother with the ELCA any more....I'm not going to make a difference there....I do bothere with the USA, however, since at least there I have a vote that counts....////FROM JACK: Stephen Foster wrote a song just for you....Beautiful Dreamer.

FROM EEC IN MICHIGAN: What a funny proverb!...Leave those elbows alone. :)////FROM JACK: I wonder, if in the privacy of your computer room, you actually tried to bite one of your elbows?

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: Often times your ww's are very timely. I have been sucking up water with shop vac in basement since about 6:30 this am. Taking a break with a cup of coffee now.I imagine ther's enouigh water down there to keep me busy fo at least another two hours. Thankfully, I am not upset, I will do what I can do and get thru it. Has happened before, but this time is different, much more water and sump pump is working well, time to seek some estimates on what can be done, after all, it's only money. Thanks Jack, just for being here. btw, just for giggles , I did try to see how close I could get to that elbow. ////FROM JACK: When I came across the proverb, I tested it out, too. A couple of months ago we tackled a water problem by installing another (small) sump pump. No water, yet, but the real test will come when the winter snow melts.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is a good one. Personally, we know that we cannot control everything, although we do have children who seem to be able to do that in a good and positive way. At this stage of life we know that everything eventually breaks down to some extent, but that we just have to do our best.////FROM JACK: A friend of mine was distraught when she found out that her children had taken away the car keys. At age 95, my mother decided, on her own, not to renew her driver's license. "Control" is very personal for us, at whatever age.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: That's right. I remember now that was the Wall Drug Store, wasn't it? His daughter graduated from Northwestern School of Nursing in MPLS, my own alma mater. (I think)////FROM JACK: Close, but not the Wall Drug Store. His father's drug store was in Wallace, SD. His early years, learning South Dakota values, shaped his life as a politician. There have been, and there are, some good leaders in government.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: Thanks, Jack, for the affirmation! I don't listen or watch news much either. Knowing I have no control distances me from it. (That's really too bad, isn't it.) Father Dietz said many years ago that he never listened to the 11 o'clock news. There was no reason to lose a night's sleep.////FROM JACK: I don't watch the 11 o'clock news, either, because I can't stay up that late. My excuse is that I have to get Winning Words out to people like you at 5 am.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Elbows certainly are inaccessible to the teeth! The worst we can do is hit or scrape maybe we can do SOMETHING with whose "elbow" situations! I just read a good Italian proverb this morning:"When the Chess game is over, the pawns, rooks, kings, queens, all go back into the same box". We have the power of prayer, and as the old poet said, "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of..." Wasn't that Tennyson? Anyway, the Russian proverb is a good thought not to worry and gnash our teeth when we are helpless to change thing.////FROM JACK: You're right about Tennyson. I haven't played chess for several years, but the chess box is within sight. Chess box and burial vault...two of a kind.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Strange but true. I seldom watch the news anymore at all. I used to watch it mainly for the weather. Now we can get the weather at the drop of a hat in several different areas. My grandson whips out his phone and gets maps and everything. Amazing! We were also taught to "Not sweat the small stuff, especially things we can't/couldn't control." It's still great advice for these days.////FROM JACK: It doesn't do much good to sweat the big stuff, least the elbow stuff.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Elbows are for bending, nails are for biting!////FROM JACK: The elbow (and not your head) is where your funny bone is located.

FROM INDY GENIE: of course you know I'm here trying to bite my elbows,,,can't do it. good illustration, hope i remember it!////FROM JACK: Do you remember the child's game, "Made you look?" I'm in my second childhood.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Winning Words 7/27/11
“Never give up on anybody.” (Hubert Humphrey) Never isn’t a hard word for God, but it sure is for us. How far do you go? In context, HH is speaking about how gov’t treats children, elderly, needy and sick. “Concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.” When he was in the hospital, dying, he got out of his bed and went from room to room cheering up the other patients. He was that kind of a person. ;-) Jack

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: I'm about ready to give up on the Tea Party....they seem to despise the rest of us!!//// FROM JACK: Hubert was called the "Happy Warrior," because he smiled in the face of opposition and did not give up on his fight for the disadvantaged. I can remember, from my past, the names of true statesmen on both sides of the aisle. I who the current generation will remember?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: In my book, my dad taught me "A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits." Grantland Rice.////FROM JACK: I agree with that quote, but I must confess that I sometimes leave the room when the Tigers or the Wolverines are losing badly. BTW, I think that the quote is from Napoleon Hill, one of the early "personal success" writers/speakers. was good advice from your dad.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: He was from MN!////FROM JACK: Yes, he earned his political fame in Minnesota. But, I think that it's interesting that he was born in South Dakota, in a room above his father's drug store. Eventually he came to Minnesota, because of his attendance at the Univ of Minn. Rah, Rah, Rah for Ski-U-Ma!

FROM JH IN OHIO: HH was one of my favorites... and I agree politically too!////FROM JACK: One of the things I liked about Hubert was that his ideals seemed more humanistic than political. I don't think that "political correctness" was in his vocabulary.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going"...I think I picked that up when I visited The Crystal Cathedral (in happier times). Most of us have the picture of a huge Crane or Heron with a Frog's head in his beak, and the frogs "hands" wrapped tightly around the bird's neck, with the saying, "Never, Never, NEVER give up!" My bro-in-law had it on the wall of his nursing home room. The world is full of stories about redeemed lives, because someone kept on believing in them. Guideposts magazine is a good source for that. I've experience a few myself, and give God the glory!! Hubert Humphrey was certainly an icon for compassion!!////FROM JACK: When the Crystal Cathedral Ministry was going through bankruptcy, I read an article which said that they were using the Schuller quote, "When the going gets tough," in letters to their hang in there. The going is certainly tough for that ministry. It's hard to see the frog's head.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: "Never give up on anybody" including yourself.////FROM JACK: It's that old, old story of "The Little Train That Could."

FROM DC IN MICHIGAN: I thought I would tell you of my encounter with him. Char Jonson, my roommate and one who worked in Ren Anderson's office at G.A. and I worked there too. She was from Illinois and I was from Wisconsin. Hubert came into the office to meet with Ren, and he wanted to talk to us too. So we shook his hand and said a few words. I didn't tell him I was from Wisconsin and she was from Illinois, but we figured we could never vote for him, so he just kind of wasted his time with us. But later on, we actually both voted for him, but it didn't do any good anyway He was at Gustavus for some kind of Democratic meeting, and Ren was working for him. Ren was head of the communications department, or something like that. Char was the daughter of a Pastor Rudolph Jonson who was at Augustana Church in Chicago when she went to high school, but then later was in Cambridge. So Dick and I visited there several times when Dick was at seminary. Mrs. Jonson was related somehow to Mrs. E. E. Ryden--the one who is now about 77 years old.////FROM JACK: Thanks for the first-hand HH story. It sounds just like him. If you and Char and I voted for him, how come he lost the election?

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: Concern for the needy is not socialism. The line is between encouragement, support and self reliance. These are not simple issues. One must do the right thing.////FROM JACK: The "s" word is still being used today in the political arena. Even might have a tough time being elected, not that he would want to. He doesn't need more power.

FROM INDY GENIE: My mother loved HH!////FROM JACK: Hubert's gone. Who do you "love?"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Winning Words 7/26/11
“Who knew that a dog’s saliva could mend a broken heart?” (Jennifer Neal) One of my “dog relatives” has had training as a therapy dog, one who is able to go among the sick and shut-ins and give them comfort. Some dogs, without special training, have a way of bringing comfort. Have you had a dog like that? We got “Tiger” from the dog pound, and he brought joy to our home. ;-) Jack

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: It is shown that petting an animal, dog or cat, will reduce a person's blood pressure. There is something soothing about having a pet by one's side.////FROM JACK: Last night I took my "dog relative" to the Silver Dairy (a kind of DQ) where they give dogs free samples. Kids, with smiles on their faces, came up to pet her, and she smiled back with her tail.

FROM LK IN OHIO: Yes, "GUS", our beloved yellow lab, died of cancer at age 10 (70?), March 11, 2009, six mos. to the day before Mary Ann lost her own battle with cancer. Thanks for asking.////FROM JACK: There's a reason why dogs are referred to as "family pets." They become part of the family.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Calvin--he knew all of us in our home so well. We will always miss him. He never changed up and down with emotions and was just simply affectionately with us, with each of us.////FROM JACK: Is there anything more enjoyable to watch that the happy way a dog greets you when you come home? There's another saying..."A dog is a man's best friend, because he wags his tail and not his tongue."

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: lucy pugglestien, our late-in-life puppy, is making our life complete and completely happy. ////FROM JACK: There's got to be a story behind that name. Dogs have person-alities, don't they?////MORE FROM PM: just saying...we didn't know our hearts needed mending until lucy pugglestein entered our life. we had no intention to bring her in. she chose us...pure and simple. she knew.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: All of our dogs have been special. Over the years we have had all kinds of dogs, all large breeds. They have all left a wonderful mark on our lives. We don't have one now. After Taffy passed away, we decided no more. However, we have three granddogs....Chief, Opie and KoKo. They are special to us too. They love to come to Grandma and Grandpa's house and are over often. They fill in the gap for us! ////FROM JACK: Dogs have it made. The whole world is their outhouse.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Everyone seems to be into dogs lately. Another phenomenon seems to be that they all have human names, like Charlie, Emma. Wally, Sofie, Jack, Lulu-for examples. Another neat thing is that another family with a high schooler who would like to have a dog of her own, compromises and dogsits for friends who are on trips. She takes the dogs to her home temporarily and earns spending money besides the enjoyment of the dog. Our dog in Moline was a black cocker spaniel named Smokey. At first my grandpa, who was in his 80's, was jealous because Smokey was getting so much attention. Later they became great friends, and Smokey would sit by grandpa for hours.////FROM JACK: I know a man whose name is, Rex; but I don't know anyone named, Rin Tin Tin. Our Moline dog would walk by himself up the 15th St hill and over to 1313 - 18th St, knowing that my aunt and uncle would take him to the DQ for a treat

FROM JH IN OHIO: Sheefa (meat pie in arabic) Teddy Tashka Casey Mandy Keela Maizy Jersey All brought/bring me joy via saliva.////FROM JACK: There's a song, "Lips That Touch Whiskey Shall Never Touch Mine." That doesn't apply to a dog whose name is, Whiskey.

FROM CZB IN COLORADO: Linda has trained her dog, Raven, to be a service dog at assisted care facilities. It's pretty wonderful.////FROM JACK: We trained our dog to pick up things from the floor and put them in the waste basket. "Put it in the waste basket!" A treat would follow...Something like with kids.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: we love our pets because they, unlike humans, love us UNconditionally!!//// FROM JACK: Do you ever watch the TV show, Animal Cops? It's amazing how some people mistreat a dog, and, still, the dog wag its tail. Sometimes spousal abuse is like that, too.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: Our dog Baxter brings comfort and joy daily. He’s amazing. We so lucked out in bidding on him at a Christ Child Society benefit almost five years ago. He is smarter/more perceptive than some people. He has more costumes than most kids.////FROM JACK: Names are interesting. My Name Book says that Baxter has a Saxon origin and means, a baker. Judy means, one who praises.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Isn't it interesting that dog spelled backwards is God? No wonder they are so comforting.////FROM JACK: "To err is human—to forgive, canine (divine). "

FROM BLAZING OAKS: One of the best dog books I have read this year is author Dean Koontz'a book about their "daughter" Trixie; who was adopted by them (who were childless) when she couldn't function as a trained dog which helped the handicapped. Truly delightful. And of course that great dog book "the Art Of Racing in the Rain"...there are so many, and probably for a good reason: They bring joy to a lot of lives. My daughter's friend had a beautiful dog, Dancer, who was trained to go to nursing homes and hospitals and "visit" the sick and disabled. A terrific ministry.Son Mark brought home an abandoned puppy from Augie, which we enjoyed for 14 years. (Even when a misadventure at the park resulted in her getting sprayed by a skunk...gallons of tomato juice baths finally eased the stench!! :-( ) Pets are a pleasure! (Most of the time!!)////FROM JACK: We enjoy the James Herriot books, especially All Creatures Great and Small. We considered naming one of our dogs, Augie-- Augie the Doggie.////FROM BO: All of Herriott's books are delightful! Bill and I read some of them to our younger 2 kids, and we all had hysterics over the dog plagued with highly odorous flatulence, owned by the high society dame who gave formal dinners and teas: She had to find him another home, and Dr. Harriet finally found the perfect home with a WW1 vet who had been gassed in the war, and had no sense of smell! Too funny! Augie the Doggie has a nice ring to it..should've christened our "Queenie" with that appropriate monicker!!////FROM JACK: It's always convenient to "blame it on the dog."

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: Pam and (after her death ) My dog Shep (a Collie) was a Registered Pet Therapy dog. We would take him to some hospitals and to a Nursing home there. At Moon Lake , he was a Greeter , and after Pam's death ,he and I were "buddies" and just horsed (dogged) around together at Moon Lake until, several years later (at 13) he died. ps: Pam always commented that I married her for her dog. PS:2 Pat comments to friends that I married her because my dog died. ////FROM JACK: I suppose that Shep was a therapy dog for you, too. One of my favorite songs is, "Old Shep." Do you know it?

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: You brought joy to his home, too!////FROM JACK: No saliva, either. BTW, I had an aunt in Moline who used to call her salvia flowers...salivas, just to be funny.////MORE FROM LIZ: One of my favorite Archie Bunker running jokes is the "Salivation Army."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Winning Words 7/25/11
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” (Dr. Spock) Spock wrote one of the best selling baby books of all time, urging parents to use common sense in raising their children (including teens). In many life situations, besides child-rearing, it’s not wrong to rely on “horse sense.” In the movie, “What About Bob,” Bill Murray says of his psychiatrist, “It’s the horse sense of the guy.” ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Your WW today are interesting. As was the daily ELCA scripture which gave the scripture where Solomon decided between the two mothers and gave the mother who didn't want her child cut in half, gave her her baby back. Trust yourself to give up control over your own child? I've found parenting to involve a process where I've learned to trust the inner life of my child who always wants to turn toward the Light and grow from it. Sometimes it's more than I ever was able to think of before and surprising that what I wouldn't have thought would have worked actually turns out all right in the end. Thanks for your provocative WW again this morning.////FROM JACK: Your response caused me to think about another kind of option, called, Hobson's Choice. "Take it, or leave it" doesn't leave much room for negotiation. It's a style that some parents use. It's also the kind of thinking leads to NFL and NBA lockouts and political brinkmanship.

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: At my baby shower, when I was expecting my first baby, they handed out 3x5 cards for all to write down their best piece of advice for a new mother. Many suggestions were good, but my wonderful Aunt Marilyn’s said “throw away all of these cards and do what YOU feel is best!” I loved it. She is my mom’s sister. My mom, and 2 of her sisters have always been my greatest advisers. Only Aunt Marilyn is alive now and we talk often. ////FROM JACK: Everyone ought to have an "Auntie Mame." If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, do so, and you will, no doubt, be reminded of your Aunt Marilyn.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Unfortunately, Dr. Spock's ideas didn't work too well with his child: As Will Rogers said so many years ago, "Good judgement comes from Experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." I think we raised our younger two quite differently than the older two...not quite so strict, more motivation through loving...but still feel they all became responsible and caring adults. It IS hard to beat common sense, and their father had a ton of that!////FROM JACK: "You can lead a horse to water etc," is a fitting proverb for Dr. Spock and for parents who try to do the right thing with regard to raising a child. The children of ministers are often held under a microscope, too. God, in his wisdom, gave everyone (including children) a free will.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I almost wore out that book--amazing how he changed later in life.////FROM JACK: It was really a helpful book, because it encouraged the use of common sense.////MORE FROM GM: That is something that young parents of today just can't use. There is a law to regulate EVERYTHING!!! They all drink bottled water. I used to drink water from the garden hose! They have to have all the right gear for whatever sport they are doing. No "pick-up games"--things have to have coaches, etc. Dumb!!! It was alot easier to have fun when we were kids!////FROM JACK: When they used to repair street cracks with hot tar, we would pick up some of the excess and chew it like gum.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That quote is interesting-trust yourself you know more than you think you know. I remember Dr. Spock's book very well and really liked his medical advice. But I remember his permissiveness and letting the child do whatever he and she wanted to do. That didn't make any sense to me= common or horse.////FROM JACK: Just wonderin'......What are your thoughts about God's permissiveness? Life is full of questions.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Good words. Although I think Dr. Spock really missed the mark on childhood, ultimately we have to trust ourselves, especially in bringing up our children, along with living this life we are blessed with. ////FROM JACK: 50,000,000 copies in at least 39 languages isn't missing the mark by much.

FROM JB IN WISCONSIN: I love that movie!////FROM JACK: I know practically every line, and I laugh every time I see it.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: I have my Spock book to this day. I have puchased new child rearing books as the grandchildren came along. I just took all of those to a new family member who is expecting but I kept my Spock. Spock saved one of my children. Our son was ill with pneumonia and an ear infection. We had seen the doctor three days in a row. The third night, our eleventh wedding anniversary, our six year old son complained of a stomach ache. He was lying down; I sat next to him with my Dr. Spock next to us and followed the pain in his abdomen. I concluded it was appendicitis according to Dr. Spock. We called our doctor who told us to take him to the hospital. Friends who were visiting watched our other children.
Our son had emergency appendectomy at 2 a.m. He is now 55 and we thank Dr. Spock . He is one of the many who has helped us along the way.////FROM JACK: I'm sure that there are thousands of stories about how Spock calmed the fears of anxious parents, or, as in your case, gave life-saving advice.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Winning Words 7/22/11

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.” (Richard Bach) I’ve read that there are 15,000 kinds of butterflies, and the scientists are still counting. Christians use the butterfly as a symbol of Easter. The caterpillar ends its life by becoming a butterfly. Sometimes circumstances come upon us that can cause us to lose hope. In those times, remember the butterfly. ;-) Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: good words////FROM JACK: Master, Easter, hope, butterfly...good words, indeed.

FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH: OK. The biologist in me objects to the caterpillar "ending its life." It's not dying it transforming. Though not as showy, even mosquitoes do it (Can you imagine an Easter mosquito?!?). I don't want to squash the analogy, but extend it. We all go through life stages and transformations but each stage makes us part of who we are. I have to think that the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus are defining.////FROM JACK: Have you talked to any caterpillars lately? I thought that you might argue the 15,000 number, or the difference between a butterfly and a moth. But you're right on the transforming thing. Even "dust to dust" is transformation.////MORE FROM LP: FYI: JACK: That was worth looking at. BTW, what happens to butterflies when they cease being butterflies? ////FROM LP: No chatting with caterpillars, however I've seen a few butterflies flitting around. I'll not question the incredible amount of diversity. Though I only see (recognize) a few species around here, it's a wide wide world. Aren't there a butterfly houses in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids? I wonder how many species are housed there...Dust to dust... we checked out a book on space from the library. It said that all of earth and the other planets were created from space dust. On the first day.////
FROM JACK: A Butterfly House on Mackinac Island, too.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: There are cycles in human life and I think we have to make the most of each one...savor each good thing and then let go, and move on to explore what's next. Cherish the past but don't cling to it. The memories of each cycle are what sustain us when we become physically unable to continue what we always liked to do. ////FROM JACK:
Sometimes you're happy, sometimes you're sad
But the world goes 'round
Sometimes you lose every nickel you had
But the world goes 'round

Sometimes your dreams get broken in pieces
But that doesn't alter a thing
Take it from me, there's still gonna be
A summer, a winter, a fall and a spring

Somebody loses and somebody wins
And one day it's kicks, then it's kicks in the shins
But the planet spins, and the world goes 'round-
But the world goes 'round
But the world goes 'round

FROM KKG IN MICHIGAN: This reminds me of a children's book that was read at Story Hour in the dorm my freshman year at MTU. The Story Hour was once a month and someone would read a book and then we would all discuss it - it was a great "get to know" your dorm mates event. The book was "Hope for the Flowers" by Trina Paulus. What a wonderful book about caterpillars becoming butterflies but the deeper meaning was something like not trying so hard in life and just letting life take you where it takes you and believing in yourself. We all loved it. I'm not sure if it is still in print but libraries might have it.////FROM JACK: shows it available in paperback for 75 cents, plus postage. You might want to order it and relive your college days.

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN: My favorite story of the butterfly.....Struggle is Good! I Want to Fly!
Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.
The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.
One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.
The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.
At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!
The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!
As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.
But neither happened!
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It never was able to fly…
As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.
As you go through school, and life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.
As instructors our gift to you is stronger wings…
////FROM JACK: We are the world...or, at least a part of it. "All things work together for good."

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Don't let the butterfly flutter by.////FROM JACK: I've heard that butterflies were first called, flutterbys, which makes sense to me.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: The children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” is an incredible classic book that has so many lessons for children and adults. At my two-year-old great niece’s birthday party the whole family participated in a reading/skit of the book. Each of us was one of the items the caterpillar ate…..have you heard of this book by Eric Carle?
I need to remember the butterfly today! ////FROM JACK: No, I haven't heard of that book. And I haven't heard of a family doing a skit for a 2-yr-old's birthday party. What a great idea!

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Good morning. There's no link here to Winning Words anymore? Or did I just notice that? I have it on my toolbar.////FROM JACK: Some people were having trouble accessing the link, so I thought I'd simply things by giving a daily reminder to Google "jack'swinningwords." The blog shows up there.

FROM DP VACATIONING IN WISCONSIN: A very encouraging thought and reminder!////FROM JACK: If you're by your laptop, with nothing to do...Google Wisconsin butterflies. I never knew that there was such a variety of beautiful winged creatures in that state. However, today's message is about something else, as you surmised.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: I love the butterfly house at the Detroit zoo. In addition to the peace and beauty of the butterflies, one may enjoy the beauty of the Pewabic tile on the building. Look up as you enter.//// FROM JACK: Two more things that are GOOD about Detroit...The Zoo and Pewabic.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Our grandsons look all over the place for cocoons. They love to watch the butterflies emerge. My neighbor buys caterpillars for her class and they make a big display and watch them grow. She gets some for Josh and Noah each year. They can't wait to get their caterpillars! The caterpillar is a wonderful way to explain a lot of Christian values. It's a perfect resurrection tool! I'm sure God made it so! "Oh who can make a butterfly, I'm sure I can't can you? Oh who can make a butterfly, no one by God tis true!" One of my favorite Sunday school songs!////FROM JACK: I know that song, too.

FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO: one beautiful school day I was enjoying our garden when I noticed about 5 mature ( huge ) tomato cut worms eating away as though there was no tomorrow. They already had several wasp eggs attached to their bodies, so our friend Mother Nature got started as early as we used to when working on the farm. i.e. 5 o'clock up in the silo forking down 500 lbs of silage. Well I quickly got a qt. canning jar and carefully stuffed those caterpillars into it and hauled off to Roosevelt school ( in my gardening clothes ) and stopped in the office to get permission to take them up to Mrs Middleton's class so they could get a first hand look at nature. I surrendered them to Mrs Middleton with one rule they didn't let the butterflies loose to come back to someone's garden. I think that is called metamorphosis, ( thank you spell check )////
FROM JACK: I read that a tomato worm turns into a huge moth, called a butterfly.////FROM A FRIEND OF BS: Nice little story. I have hedges on my property. One day noticed a lack of foliage and investigating I found a horde of caterpillars eating away as if there was no tomorrow. Putting on gloves I filled a can with plain alcohol, and pulling off the cdaterpillars I put them in the alcohol which immediately killed them. Took me about an hour to rid the plants of the caterpillars. I know I interferred with Nature, and I missed some butterflies. It was a dilemm. Best always. Leonard ////REPLY FROM BS TO LEONARD: That reminds me of the time my grandmother's neighbor , Gus Otto, planted potatoes next to the sidewalk. Potatoes attract a nifty lookingcaterpillar, so we children picked handsfull of them and brought Grandma a present. I just cain't remember her response but Aunt Lydia got some kerosene and an an m-t can and we dispached them rather quickly. We never saved any to see what they might look like' A lady preacher from our church came over to visit with Irene, her visit was just as nice as her sermons., but not like that Rip Roaring preacher who preached for the Martin Luther King service one year. I hoped that if our church changed preachers that we could vote for this gent. No such luck. Preacher Brenda told us that the church has a committeeto do that 4 us. Shucks.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Winning Words 7/21/11
“No one really knows enough to be a pessimist.” (Norman Cousins) Not long ago I heard that TV stations try to capture their audience with, “FEAR.” Think about the news and about the weather reporting. Politicians do it, too. The concept of “Hell” is another example. FEAR! There’s a song, “His eye is on the sparrow,” which reminds me that God is in charge. Look for the words on the blog. ;-) Jack


why should I feel discouraged
and why should the shadows come
why should my heart feel lonely
and long for heaven and home

when Jesus is my portion
a constant friend is He
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches over me

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches me

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Didn't some politician once say--maybe it was Churchill--we have nothing to fear except fear itself? As you yourself are pointing out to us here in your WW.////FROM JACK: It was FDR, as he began his first term as president in 1932. The Great Depression was in its beginning stages. Then, as now, a depressed economy causes fear among the populace.////MORE FROM SH: Fr. Prus, a Catholic priest in Ferndale, says and really believes, that "everything happens for a reason." I too believe this. He is in control, not us. The sooner we surrender to Him, the sooner we will find peace.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My husband and I seldom watch the news anymore. We can get the weather on the internet and there's really nothing else on the news except horror and fear. The news channels should be rated R like the tv programs! Some people seem to feed off of fear and use it all the time. I like the words of the Veggie tale..."God is bigger than the boogie man, bigger than Godzilla and the monsters on tv...God is bigger than the boogie man and He watching over you and me!"////FROM JACK: I was once walking along in the twilight and passed a mother and her small child. I heard the boy ask his mother, "Is that the Boogie Man?" We learn to fear at an early age.////OJ AGAIN: That must have left a bad taste in your mouth. Did you speak to the child? I'm sure the mom did if you didn't. We do learn fear early. With age, we fear but different things. Now I fear illiness.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: FEAR= False Evidence Appearing Real////FROM JACK: I like acrostics. Joyful, Unusual, Discerner, Yauld.

FROM CZB IN COLORADO: I think the choir sang the sparrow song at our church a few weeks back. First time I heard it- pretty.////FROM JACK: It was written over 100 years ago and is based on Matthew 10:29-31.

FROM ANI: I never cared much for this song until a woman sang it in church years ago. Her interpretation struck me like a bolt. When I feel small and insignificant, I remember that the sparrow and me have a place with God.////FROM JACK: Some hymns affect the foot (toe tappers); some are emotional; others make you think; but they're really good when they affect the foot, the heart and the mind.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is all why it is better to be an optimist. Your blog is interesting and to the point.Speaking of weather, it is pretty hot down here, even for Florida. Thanks goodness for air conditioning.
////FROM JACK: It's also true that no one knows enough to be an optimist. Even being a realist has its problems. How does one know that the real world is really real? Oops! Maybe the heat is affecting my mind. Too much philosophy for a hot day.////MORE FROM TS: The real world has changed a lot in our life time, or so it seems. Think of all the adjustments we have had to make in these years, but when you watch the History Channel, you see that some things never change- like good and evil.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I guess you could twist this to say "No one really knows enough to be an Optimist" as well, but it is more satisfying to think and hope for the best! I love that song, His Eye Is on the Sparrow, and always think of Ethel Waters, and her biography. That was her theme song, and it is a good one. I KNOW HE WATCHES ME!" I (like?) Joan Baez's song, "Any Good News?" too... asking why we always have to concentrate on the Bad News?! There's certainly a lot in our World to be sad about, but there is also a lot to be thankful for. Upward and Onward my friends! "It is always possible to give thanks for what is given, rather than to complain about what is got given. One or the other becomes a habit for life." Elisabeth Eliott////FROM JACK: I belong to an organization called, The Optimist Club. Their creed begins, "Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind, to talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet." It sounds as though you already belong to that club.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: Is Cousins the author of Anatomy of an Illness which promoted humor to overcome sickness?////FROM JACK: He is. No one really knows enough to be an expert on illness.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Winning Words 7/20/11
“There will come a day for each of us, more or less sad, more or less distant, when we must accept the condition of being human.” (Jean Anouilh) Anouilh was a French dramatist whose plays often centered on the dichotomy between idealism and realism. In today’s language: “How to be moral in an immoral world? How much to compromise?” We fight the battle of being good while being human every day. ;-) Jack


*1]* Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in
> trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right
> path throughout.
> *
> **2]* So a Car's WINDSHIELD is so large & the Rear view Mirror
> is so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE.
> So, Look Ahead and Move on.
> *
> **3]* Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes few seconds to burn,
> but it takes years to write.
> *
> **4]* All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy
> it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don't worry,
> they can't last long either.
> *
> **5]* Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get
> a Diamond, don't forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you
> always need a Base of Gold!
> *
> **6]* Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD
> smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a
> bend, not the end!
> *
> **7]* When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS
> abilities; when GOD doesn't solve your problems HE has faith in
> your abilities.
> *
> **8]* A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything
> worse than losing eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your
> vision!"
> *9]* When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses
> them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that
> someone has prayed for you.
> *
> **10] *WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes
> away today's PEACE.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Enjoyed readng. Thanks.////FROM JACK: Creating enjoyment is one reason for sending out Winning Words.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: My wife had a heart attack several weeks ago. That is a human condition - our new normal.////FROM JACK: From age to age, there are the realities. Give thanks to God for his love and care and for those who express love and care in human ways.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Being human...hum...I think we are all feeling more human each day in the heat. It is always a struggle to "be good" while being human. I am often comforted by the fact the disciples had the same struggles. They had the privilege of literally walking, listening and talking to Jesus yet they were simply human and made mistakes often. We can all take comfort knowing we are still loved despite our humanness.
////FROM JACK: I like the translation: "Conceived and born into sin." Just as we are born into a family structure that affects us, so the world that we are born into affects us, also.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I just read in a science Digest that 95% of the Earth's creatures are smaller than a chicken glad I'm a "giant" human, with brain power and other perks...bring on the challenges, we'll do our best to cope! (With a lot of help from our "FRIEND!"////FROM JACK: Whenever I see a statistic like that, I want to know more. Thankfully, there are search engines like Google and Dog Pile.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Winning Words 7/19/11
“Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.” (Guy Lombardo song) G.L. and his Royal Canadians played, “The sweetest music this side of heaven.” Today’s quote is the title of one song. The words are so good that I’m putting them on the blog. BTW, someone recently sent me a Lifespan Calculator. Answer a few questions on the computer, and your demise year pops up. I hope you’re enjoying yourself. ;-) Jack
G-DAUGHTER JANEL enjoyed herself last Sunday by entering a 1k Backward Race in London and winning it (06:06). 1k backward is equivalent to a 6k race forward.

You work and work for years and years, you're always on the go.
You never take a minute off, too busy makin' dough.
Someday, you say, you'll have your fun when you're a millionaire--
Imagine all the fun you'll have in your old rockin' chair.

Google: Northwestern Mutual; then click on: Lifespan Calculator

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: You go, Janel! Guy Lumbardo reminds me so much of my mom. Anything that reminds me of her (it happens daily) makes me smile. We had a Christmas record by them and I loved it. I actually still have my own cassette tape of it, but wont be able to play it much longer…they are antiquated like records now.////FROM JACK: Your spelling of Lombardo reminds me of a friend who used to refer to him as Gus Lumbago. BTW, do you know what lumbago is?

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Awesome that your granddaughter can walk backwards that fast. Enjoyed the Lifespan Calculator--especially since I was honest on the quiz and still got 93 years. Sort of incredulous but smiling here.////FROM JACK: Since you're smiling, you must be enjoying yourself.

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN: I remember watching Guy Lombardo on New Year’s Eve every year with my family.////FROM JACK: At midnight the band would play, "Auld Lang Syne." Auld Lang Syne is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Boy Scout youth movement, in many countries, uses it as a close to jamborees and other functions.

FROM SB IN MICHIGAN: Congratulations to Janel. Nice going!////FROM JACK: Some people find enjoyment in running backwards. Why not try it today?

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: wow, rather impressive. so you run backwards for one k?? sounds like my life sometimes...////FROM JACK: I remember reading about a guy who was driving backwards down a busy street. When the police stopped him, he explained that the only gear that worked in his car was, "reverse." I hope that your gears work better than that.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Now those are words to ponder! I have a friend who won't spend a cent more than she has too. She is waiting for retirement. She thinks our family is foolish to take the vacations we do and to have the fun-times we do. I invite her to think about the todays and not so much about the tomorrows as we don't know the time or the hour of our death. It's the same way I feel about the "demise" calculator. It's an interesting tool. PS...congratulations to your Granddaughter...what an interesting way to race!////FROM JACK: "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." I'm glad that Janel took the time to try "reverse running."

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: I am constantly amazed by the opportunities and challenges that our grandkids have. I can't imagine walking 1k backward. (I have enough trouble walking frontwards.) I did learn to ride a bike backwards when I was probably 10 or 12. Didn't go far, just around the neighborhood.////FROM JACK: Some people go to London and ride a sightseeing bus. I admire those who seek out that which is unusual.
Mother Goose had a comment about this: Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been? "I've been to London to look at the queen." Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, what did you there? "I frightened a little mouse under the chair."

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Very impressive!////FROM JACK: What is impressive? Guy Lombardo? Your lifespan prediction? The way you're enjoying yourself? Running in reverse?

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Congrats to Janel and her family!////FROM JACK: She has played a lot of soccer, which involves running backward at times. She'll be a college senior and is in London as part of her study program.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Ah! What a g.daughter! Good for her!! This quote reminds me of the song, "Are Ya Having Any Fun? (Whatcha gettin' out of living'? What good is what you've got, if you're not, having any fun?! and goes on to say, "You know the squirrels save and save, and whadda they got? NUTS!...better have a little fun, you aren't gonna live forever..." And so on. I LOVE having a little fun, and one of the highest compliments my husband ever paid me was, "You've been fun to live with"!! :-)////FROM JACK: Your comment about being a "fun-wife" caused me think about the original Funny Girl, Fanny Brice, and her movie portrayer, Barbra Streisand. You're in good company. Sadly, Fanny Brice's life wasn't always fun and games.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Do backward races start at the finish line?////FROM JACK: Now, that's a good question. lenaJ ksa ot evah ll'I.

FROM DP IN WISCONSIN: Congratulations to Janel! that must be fun to watch....not to do!////FROM JACK: It reminds me of something that might have been highlighted on The Monty Python Show.

FROM DFL IN OREGON: Your G-Daughter Janel is anything but backward - Congratulation to her-- and to you for having really interesting family members!////FROM JACK: Janel said that instead of saying "ready, steady, go!" they said "go, steady, ready!" ...and they were off.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND: Well done Janel////FROM JACK: Did you ever participate in that race? It was held in Crystal Palace Park. Do you know where that is?

FROM MOLINER JT: I feel like I'm in a Backward Race many times.////FROM JACK: From where you've been, it's been a forward march.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: Congratulations, Janel. You come from great stock. I love that song and all the memories it brings. Yes. I try to enjoy every day. Some are better than others but I am grateful for each.
////FROM JACK: "Enjoy Yourself" is one of those songs where I enjoy both the tune and the lyrics.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is why we have to take just one day at a time and to know that life is all about changes.////FROM JACK: We know that with our mind. Now, if we could only get our emotions to understand it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Winning Words 7/18/11
“Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.” (Carolyn Myers) Do you know of someone who needs a word of encouragement? Maybe today is that day when you send off an e-mail, make a spur-of-the-moment phone call, or even hand-write a letter. I knew someone who kept messages like that in a box. On “difficult” days he’d go to the box and reread what friends had written. It helped. ;-) Jack

FROM DR IN MICHIGAN: Just so you know, from time to time I have been using your winning words as foci for the devotions with the staff here in Midland at my new Interim position. Thank you for the research you do and your faithful sharing of what moves you.////FROM JACK: As I remember telling you when you were contemplating retirement...."My ten years of interim ministry after retirement were among the best years of being a pastor." I hope that you are enjoying your time in Midland. Thanks for your comments about Winning Words.


FROM BLAZING OAKS: Ha! What a neat quote...If it's not O.K. It's not the end! Alright! I will try to smile and have a cheerful word today, as I pass out Meals On Wheels in Springfield, where the heat index is 110...! That way the heart can be warmed as well as the body...////FROM JACK: The heat in the village of Hell, Michigan, isn't that hot today. At least you won't have to worry about keeping the neals warm.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Some days I swear you have a sixth sense.////FROM JACK: I call it, The Holy Spirit.

FROM A FRIEND IN MINNESOTA: this is really ironic. on Wed. i have one of those dreaded colonoscopy tests since there is some colon cancer on my Mom's side of the family. i truly hope everything will be okay "in the end!" argh! ////FROM JACK: Colonoscopies are OK. What is to dread...not having one. I like the song, "One day at a time, sweet Jesus!"

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: I heeded your word today and called a very good friend we know from our time in the south each winter . . . he lives in Harrisville, MI . . .. was at the U of Mich. Hospital in Ann Arbor last week and didn’t get a good report on some tumors no his left kidney. We talked for a half an hour .. . . I have a better feel on what he is dealing with . . . we’ll keep him in our prayers. They are unable to operate right now . . . so it is a waiting game for 4 – 6 months. He has a real faith, he said he spoke to his pastor yesterday for a half an hour after church . . . he is a real saint, a a blessing to us for the faith he and his wife demonstrate. //// FROM JACK: There are stories like this being told in hospitals every day. The comforting thing to know is that there is a God who has our days marked on his calendar...and that he loves us and cares.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Spent the day with sick grandkids. Told many words of encouragement to Andy and Jess (Andy's 31st birthday today) also. Everyone seems fine now, illness is past. Grandma is just tired! //// FROM JACK: The end of an OK seems to me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Winning Words 7/15/11
“The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” (Sent by Blazing Oaks) Disneyworld advertises itself as “the happiest place on earth.” But, a recent in-depth study shows that Denmark is that place. The Danes feel “tryghed,” a word meaning, like a snug child. Wouldn’t you like to feel like that? What’s your idea of happiness? ;-) Jack

FROM SS IN MICHIGAN: Probably my description of happiness is oft quoted "not having what you want but wanting what you have".////FROM JACK: That works in a lot of situations, doesn't it?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: And Copenhagen has had Tivoli for many, many years. Happiness is counting your blessing every day.////FROM JACK: "When I'm worried and I can't sleep I count my blessings instead of sheep And I fall asleep counting my blessings When my bankroll is getting small I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings."

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: How do you pronounce that? I want to add it to my vocabulary.////FROM JACK: I think that the "try" is pronounced as, "tree." I believe that some Danish boys have been named, Trygh. We don't seem to give enough thought to the meanings when give names to children these days. In biblical times it was very important. ie: Adam (formed from red earth); Dorcas (one with beautiful eyes); Jack (the Lord's grace). Oops, they can't all be perfect.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Happiness is being a Dane! My idea of happiness is being healthy in a room full of beloved family and friends. It's knowing God forgives and Heaven awaits!////FROM JACK: Clap your hands; stamp your feet; say, AMEN!

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Thanks for using my quote! As we age, I think happiness more and more centers on having the health and strength to enjoy our days, and be useful to others, in some way. I just completed scheduling a month of volunteers for Meals On Wheels, and they are mostly retired people who are willing to serve. With gas prices sky-high, a few have had to cut back on volunteering; so having enough money "to do" also contributes to happiness. Just played 18 holes on a beautiful golf course on a gorgeous summer day. Doesn't get much better than that! :-) "Being an active 81 yr. old is happiness!"////FROM JACK: 81? You don't look a day older than 18. Of course, I haven't seen you since you were 18.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: "Blazing Oaks" ? ////FROM JACK: That's a nickname that I've given her. I should come up with a good one for you.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Happiness is seeing your loved ones happy.////FROM JACK: Happiness is contagious.////MORE FROM CHESTER: Be a "carrier."

FROM CS IN UPPER LOWER MICHIGAN: Yes, my husband! I guess I'm the talkative wife--but I'm learning. ////FROM JACK: I know! He just looks at you and smiles.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Actually, my idea of happiness comes from those days when at least 3 things happen all in a row that tear a person down and I don't know whether it's all my fault or someone else's fault but I feel battered and bruised and busy praying, you know, and someone God's angel, comes along and puts some salve on the wounds. That's not only happiness, that's pure relief that the pain and suffering has some sort of a solution. Happened again this past Wednesday in fact.////FROM JACK: The "salve" in biblical days was called, "balm." "Some times I feel discouraged, And think my work’s in vain, But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again. There is a balm in Gilead To make the wounded whole; There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul."

FROM INDY GENIE: Haley Mills (Pollyanna) and I couldn't agree more with these WW's! I like the Danes idea of happiness....Disney wants us to believe that they understand a child's happiness...I think Dorothy knew better.."There's no place like home"////FROM JACK: Did you know that there's an exact copy of Dorothy's house in Liberal, Kansas? How long has it been since you've visited the Grayslake home on Lake Street? I'll bet that you can do it right your mind.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Winning Words 7/14/11
“There’s all the difference in the world between having something to say and having to say something.” (John Dewey) Our 30th president was known as a man of few words and was called, “Silent Cal.” Perhaps it was the way of a Vermont conservative. Some say it was because he had a very talkative wife. Regardless, he usually only spoke when he had something to say. Do you know people like that? ;-) Jack

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: You may have heard the story of Calvin Coolidge’s report on the Sunday church service. (The following is by memory—I think I heard the story as a teenager.) His wife was ill that day, and at the noon meal back at the White House she asked him how the church service went. “Fine.”
She probed: “What did the preacher talk about in the sermon?” Cal said, "sin". "And what did he say about sin?" “Was against it.”////FROM JACK: The sermon must have been short and to the sermons should be.////MORE FROM NOVA SCOTIA: Or Cal gave a succinct summary of however long it was. You know the story of when the Emperor called the forty wise men of the empire together and gave them a year to distill the wisdom of the ages. They brought back forty volumes. He said he had something more compact in mind, and gave them a month. They came back with one volume. He said, “Let me be clearer: I’d like it written clearly on a 3x5.” He gave them a week, and they returned with a 3x5 that stated: THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH. I bet some sermons have been constructed taking pro and con positions as to whether (in Christianity) there is a free lunch.////FROM JACK: I had forgotten that 3x5 story. Yes, some pastors could take the emperor's advice...and, certainly, many of the politicians, Canadian, as well as American.//// FROM BLAZING OAKS: What an interesting piece from Happy Trails in Nova Scotia...(yesterday) he must be very well-read! I read a lot, much in the biographical or historical genre, but hadn't every heard of those 3 gents! Is he retired?//// FROM JACK: You've got it right. Happy Trails is well-read, indeed. As a youngster, he started to read the encyclopedia. In the "A" book he became interested in the Arabic language and went on to learn it. He is also a "ham" radio operator and has code-contact with people all over the world. He's a graduate of Princeton. He is a retired Ford engineer and was once a member of my congregation. He's also an accomplished musician. He and his German-born wife live on the Bay of Fundy.

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: See??? and you want me to write! LOL////FROM JACK: I encourage you, because I think you have something constructive to say about educating children. As with sermons, keep it short and to the point.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I flew to Chicago to go to Northwestern University in 1994 to take the Education GRE exam. At that time you could get a number of college credits for taking it and also was used for entry into graduate programs. There were several questions regarding John Dewey on the exam, one I remember was: "John Dewey believes the teachers approach should be (answer C I believe) : "A partner in inquiry." //// FROM JACK: I thought John Dewey created the Dewey Decimal System. WRONG! It was Melvil Dewey. John was a professor at the Univ of Michigan and is known for developing the theory of pragmatism. He was once a high school teacher in Oil City, PA, where (not when) a friend of mine was a Lutheran pastor.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: one of my profs in homiletics always used this quote. and then he added: and the difference is like that between a lightning bug and a lightning bolt!!////FROM JACK: ...or a Roman candle and a sparkler.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Maybe he also discovered that he rarely learned much while he was speaking but could learn a whole lot while listening.////FROM JACK: Knowing when to speak and when to listen are the keys to being a good salesperson...pastor, too.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: I wish it applied to me!////FROM JACK: It applies to all of us.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Ha! I was dating four different young men, and my father said one day, "I like Bill a lot...he only talks when he has something to say!" :-) And maybe poor Bill ended up with a talkative wife, as well!! ME..Dewey has a point of course. I imagine that too often, I THINK I have something to say! ARRGH! I've seen the saying "Better to be silent, and thought a fool, than to open your mouth, and remove all doubt"...attributed to several sources, but it remains a good thought!////FROM JACK: Life has a way of helping two people connect in the right way...most of the time.

FROM SG IN MICHIGAN: My dad was a farmer and a man of few words, yet I learned a lot from him.////FROM JACK: When I first became a pastor, one of the churches in my parish was a farm congregation. I will always treasure the experience of "learning ministry" among those people. They showed me the truth of the saying that "actions speak louder than words." God planted you in the right family, SG.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Maybe my husband!!??////FROM JACK: The strong, silent type!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Winning Words 7/13/11
“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” (John Lubbock) I was interested to read that Lubbock was a young friend of Charles Darwin. I may be reading into it, but his quote seems to have a relationship to the theory of evolution. But I want to go in a different direction. The word, prejudice, (social, political, religious) describes us as we “see” what we want to see. Be sure to look for the facts.. ;-) Jack

FROM MS IN MICHIGAN: I see you slept in this morning (smile)////FROM JACK: What's a half-hour? There's no privacy anymore with the internet

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Good one, Jack. We all have our good and bad prejudices - like Whitey's ice cream is the best! I've observed that dogs see with their noses maybe better than with their eyes////FROM JACK: I guess I'd rather look at people face to face. I tend to agree when it comes to Whitey's. I remember seeing the original Whitey when he was making ice cream in the old store.////MORE FROM GEORGE: We have 17,000 nonverbal means of communication, so i to i is best.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Looking intentionally for Jesus in each stranger pops into my mind. My sympathy is for people who have been abused, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and have a tough time expecting to see people who won't abuse them.////FROM JACK: I like your look at people and try to see in them the face of Jesus. I'm going to experiment with that today.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Interesting. I went on a blind date last night - first time in my life - and had an absolutely amazing time. I always say that there are no cute, smart, caring Jewish girls around. I guess I just wasn't looking, eh John Lubbock? On a separate note, please pray for your colleague Rabbi Irwin Groner (Shaarey Zedek) who is ill. ////FROM JACK: Rabbi Groner has had an amazing influence on many people through his ministry. I wish him well. I wish you well, too, as you explore the "blind dating" world. There's somebody out there for everyone.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Like my friend the sheriff says, "No two eye-witnesses ever see the same thing", when investigating an accident or crime! Amazing. As Abraham Lincoln observed, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be..." Lord, help us to see the UP side of life, the beauty, the meaningful, and be a positive influence!!////FROM JACK: Since you and your sister were twins, were boyfriends able to see differences between the two of you?////MORE FROM BO: Yes, they easily told us apart! I think part of the confusion if they didn't know us well, was which name belonged to which twin...

FROM JACK: Be sure to take time to read the following....////FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: One of the deadliest problems historically has been that we look for what we are told to look for. In recent years, I have been interested to read books about several people through history who saw what was actually before them and, with some difficulty, informed the world around them of some important truths that contradicted existing paradigms. This included TUXEDO PARK, about the amateur scientist Loomis, A MUSLIM TRICKSTER…about Leo Africanus (as we know him in the West—I had read bits of his writing while studying Arabic in college), and A PIRATE OF EXQUISITE MIND, about Dampier (Coleridge gave Dampier the moniker). I think you might enjoy any of these books. Each of these three people also became involved in an astonishing variety of subjects and endeavors.
Loomis, Yale-educated as a lawyer, foresaw and made a bundle of money on the ’29 crash, got lots of patents on scientific developments, was called in by the US Government as an unpaid volunteer to oversee the large-scale rapid development of radar to support the Battle of Britain (and disagreed with the current “impossibility” that aerial radar could be used to detect German submarines, and was a child prodigy in chess. He made important observations in precise time and for a while had the only multiple set of the world’s most accurate clocks—in his private laboratory in Tuxedo Park. He was also an inveterate and brilliant prankster; his sister said when he was around the family never knew whether they were standing on the floor or the ceiling.
Leo Africanus was born in Muslim Spain just in time for his family to be exiled by Queen Isabella around 1492. He grew up in North Africa and became a linguist and diplomat. His life changed enormously when he was captured and enslaved by a Christian captain; his brilliance became known in Rome and he was supported by and listened to by the Pope (still more or less as a slave). He had traveled widely in areas little known by Europeans at the time, and publicly contradicted widespread “knowledge” about the peoples of those areas. Together with a Hebrew scholar (who, if I correctly recall, was also expelled by Isabella) he created the first Arabic-Hebrew-Latin (I think it was Latin—could have been Italian) dictionary. Late in his life, he escaped back to the Muslim world.
Dampier was a pirate who was the first person to circumnavigate the globe three times. He was a keen observer and independent thinker and became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Science; somebody at the time said something like it was either celebrate him as a scientist or hang him as a pirate; apparently England decided the former was more advantageous in the longer run. From his observations at anchor, he correctly saw there must be consistent patterns of ocean currents; this contradicted “explanations” of local currents from the ancient Greeks (remind you of Copernicus and Galileo?). He also described people and cultures around the world objectively (pretty much) and brought back over 1,000 words into the English language (including barbecue, a word from his Caribbean days meaning a cross-hatch or grill—used by the buccaneers to support the structure supporting their beds on mosquito-rich lands).

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It's a lot harder to find the "real facts". People look for facts which prove their point of view. I remember one of your old Winning Words about facts. But these Winning Words are right on. Just look at religions around the world. Many of them read the same Bible but each one "sees" something different. Is it revealed to them or is it them reading what they want to read?////FROM JACK: I don't know if there's any such thing as unbiased information. That's why it's important to gather as much information as possible and, then, to make your own judgment...realizing that your judgment could be flawed. Such is life; but it's the way life has been created.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: I've made up my mind. Don't confuse me with facts.////FROM JACK: That's the way it is with some folks, even the plain kind.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Winning Words 7/12/11
“Panic is not an effective long-term organizing strategy.” (Starhawk) I have a motto hanging by my desk: “If it weren’t for the last minute, a lot of things wouldn’t get done.” I confess, there’s a longtime reason why it’s there. These days I seem to be doing a lot of sorting and tossing of “stuff.” Things are looking more organized. Panic days are fewer. Are you a clean or messy desk person? I’m a tweener. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: messy desk person who doesn't do what I want to do and does what I don't want to do. I always hanker to be uncluttered but all my projects and the things I'm not getting done add up around here. Never thought about panic in connection with this but suppose, if I really knew how much time is left, I might be in a state of panic even right now. Today's is certainly one of your fire and brimstone WW.////FROM JACK: I've never been accused of preaching Jonathan Edwards types of sermons, but a sermon that I've preached many times is titled, "Come, Before Winter." The text is about Paul, sitting in prison, writing to young Timothy. He wants Timothy to bring him some things before winter closes sailing opportunities. If Timothy doesn't come before winter, it will be too late. My point...There are things that need doing...before winter.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Used to be a 'messy' (in my 20's & 30's) then a 'tweener' (40's). Now it's clean desk all the way, and it feels good!////FROM JACK: I "feel good" when I can go to the mess and know just where to find what I'm looking for. Instructions to others..."Don't mess with my mess!"

FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH: I'm a life-long messy desk person with recurring, but short-lived, aspirations of organization. ////FROM JACK: My problem is, that....when I clean off my desk, it just gets messy again.//// MORE FROM LP: A problem I have too. Hence my short-lived aspiration of organization. I figure if things had a home then they would go there. I just haven't gotten a system that works. My folks used to hate my version of cleaning. I'd dump everything out first (making a bigger mess) then put it back in some "order." I still do that to some extent.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: LOVE your motto...I've used MANY a last minute, and yes, in a panic, but got the job done, or the program completed, or the sermon prepared, (for Women's Sunday). Afraid I would fall into the messy desk category, but like you, periodically I sweep it clean. Cleaning is a last choice, behind all the fun and enjoyable alternatives! I have a funny frowsy cleaning lady figurine (given to me>>>) with the inscription "Housework Makes You Ugly". Good enough reason for me! Ha!////FROM JACK: Stereotypes: Women's Sunday, with women preaching -- Cleaning ladies -- Frumpy housewives. We've managed to live through it. We are who we were, as the saying goes.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: I had an art teacher at St. Ambrose who was seemingly the messiest person on earth. Until you asked him to find something. He'd, without hesitation, go to the right pile and fish it out. His surroundings were a fright but his mind was organized.////FROM JACK: Plan your work, and work your plan. In the end--get the job done expeditiously!

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Let's just say I have my own "system."////FROM JACK: "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Definitely a clean desk person. I don't panic about too many things in life...perhaps I never have. I'm a calm clean person.////FROM JACK: An out of the ordinary kind of person.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: Me too. I am a fairly tidy person. But i do enjoy some clutter around my desk area.
I also am clearing out a little. Jane Armstrong, a senior citizen from Birmingham, said we spend the first half of our lives collecting things and the second half getting rid of them. She knew. Jane was one of three sisters of an old American family. Generations of them had collected stuff and it ended with these sisters. They were pretty humorous chatting away to the craft group about how they were sorting it out and what they were going to do with it. Another of the fond memories and teachable moments.//// FROM JACK: That must mean that we're in the second half of our life.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: Your two choices are not what I would offer – I’d suggest ‘organized ’or ‘messy’. And I am organized, but that isn’t always good, for being organized frequently turns off some folks. What I have done is ‘downsized’ – which requires organizing.////FROM JACK: I've downsized, too, but today I wanted one of those sizes back. Alas!

FROM MEDD-O-LANE: The condition of anyone's filing system should not be described as orderly or messy
////FROM JACK: I didn't mean to mess with your orderly mind.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: That old example of asking 5 people to describe the accident the just witnessed, you get 5 different stories. We see what we want to see and we beleive it////FROM JACK: Or, ask five different people what they got out of Sunday's sermon.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Lots of truth in this statement. Excellent WW.////FROM JACK: Truth (or is it,beauty?) is in the eye of the beholder.

FROM RS NEAR ORLANDO: I am changed, as a student, and when took the boards both in Madison and here, I whistled right through the exams except for one organic chemistry class by Dr, Foy. I was a very neat person but no more, I have a kitchen table full of bookwork, as in full and I can't seem to be able to get done. I need to change, and one day I will, especially with other folks encouragement.////FROM JACK: When I have a "full table," I make a priority list and then start doing that which is #1. When #1 is accomplished, I cross it off and work on #2. It seems to work for me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Winning Words 7/11/11
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” (James Joyce) Granddaughter Summer was in Dublin for Bloomsday this year. I want to talk to her about that and its connection with James Joyce, the famous Irish author. Re: Mistakes. Coca-Cola was developed as a medicine to cure headache, dyspepsia and depression. It’s secret formula has made it the best-selling soft drink in the world. A Coke or a Pepsi fan? ;-) Jack


FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: Neither. I don't care for carbonated drinks--but if I do drink one, I have 7-Up. (Anything that can take the bugs off a car grille can't possibly be good for my stomach! ////FROM JACK: I must have a really polished stomach.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: How did Summer enjoy Dublin? I have been six times. One time I had the oportunity to go stay with my Mother and stay at Trinity College. I had attended a conference and it was great fun to to go again with my Mother who was born in the lakes are in Leitrim. I am the oldest American in my family. Dublin is on the Liffy River and the architecture in the city is grand. At this time, the economy is in a slump. It is one of the five worst in Europe. They had some great years recently and it is fascinating to read the reasons that they slumped after years of poverty, then wealth and down again. What is Summer studying? And isn't Joyce a challenge? Irish men love words .////FROM JACK: Summer went with a high school group, interested in studying the British Isles. My grandchildren have far outpaced me in their world travels.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It would be amazing to find out how many things were discovered while "looking" for other things. Science and medicine are full of such discoveries. Definitely a Pepsi fan all the way!//// FROM JACK: What? No Royal Crown Cola?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: There are many instances of such "discoveries". I read not long ago about how an Englishman (Edward Craven-Walker) invented the Lava Lamp after seeing an egg timer in a Pub, which used a blob of wax floating in a liquid..! Seven million a year in sales at its peak...still sell over 2 million a year.
Or how about the discovery of penicillin?! "A scientific experiment, briefly exposed to the air, became infected with a fungus whose spores had blown in through an open door...and left untended on a lab bench through the summer vacation, the fungus managed to destroy bacteria being grown as part of the first experiment! The improbable results could not have been duplicated". Fortunately they didn't have to be...they led to one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the 20th century! (from Gilbert Shapiro's book on the discovery of penicillin...) Incredible story... Your g.daughter traveling in Ireland makes me marvel again, at all the travel opportunities available to kids now. My g.daughter just returned from a month in Africa, and but 2 of the 8 have traveled or lived in foreign countries! "It's a Small World, after all" as the song goes!////FROM JACK: Marco Polo came back from his travels, and people marveled as he told of what he had seen. And, then he said: "I haven't told the half of it." There is so much more for future generations to discover. It's not over, 'til it's over.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: and changing their formula a few years back was another big mistake!////FROM JACK: They had the good sense to "confess their sin" and go basic to the Classic Coke.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: "Dyspepsia". Now you know how they arrived at "Pepsi Cola." Long before "Coke."////FROM JACK: I see that Kellogg's has dysed "PEP" cereal.

FROM CA IN MICHIGAN: I agree with the coke ! Your words are always a pleasure.////FROM JACK: I would be interested in seeing a psychiatric report on the difference between Coke and Pepsi people.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: Also one of the main ingredients in the original Coke was just that: cocaine. Talk about a mistake!////FROM JACK: I also have heard of that, but I didn't want to include it in the blog, less I be accused of being a drug pusher. At the time when Coca-Cola was being developed, cocaine and heroin were sold over-the-counter.////MORE FROM JM: I am (ahem) old enough to have had Paragoric to take for tummy-ache, rubbed on gums when cutting teeth, etc. that was also readily available (though I think by prescription, at least) and a great source of opium. Ah yes! And, cigarettes were touted as part of a healthy lifestyle! I wonder which is really healthier, since we seem to think everything must be government regulated these days, and are scared of our own shadows.////FROM JACK: The absence of regulation is not for me.

FROM BF IN MICHIGAN: I like Coke! I guess the secret stuff is working.////FROM JACK: I remember someone who was addicted to Coca-Cola and drank at least a dozen bottles a day. She needed medical treatment.

FROM JB IN WISCONSIN: Pepsi, please!////FROM JACK: Where's your nickle? Oh, that's right, the cost has gone up.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: Dr. Pepper! ! !////FROM JACK: "I'm a Pepper, You're a Pepper, Wouldn't You Like To Be a Pepper Too?" Dr. Pepper is said to be the original of all soft drinks.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Winning Words 7/8/11
“All our sweetest moments fly fastest.” (Virgil) During those sweet moments of youth I went to school with a boy named, Virgil. In college I learned that Virgil was a Roman poet who lived 2100 years ago. Psalm 90 says that the days of life can be fourscore, but they are soon gone. Do you remember how slowly time passed when you were young, and how fast it moves nowadays? Which years are the sweetest? ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I'm in with a group of old people at an assisted living. Every Saturday evening we get together to worship and worship liturgically. Being younger, things were about identity. But the kind of identity stuff that actually probably was based on more insecurity than not of who I was actually being called to be. It's comforting to know that now I've got the chance to worship with a group of people not intent in being Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Jewish, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran or even Non-denominational. This experience has given me more hope for the Church and thankfulness that these old people seem to really appreciate it too. But I wonder--if we were all 40 years younger, would we so agreeably agreed to come together to worship. We're the same people, has something with regard to religious identity changed in us? Is it just necessity or is it the sweetness of God that we acquiesce in His molding of us into community? ////FROM JACK: It's an interesting look back 40 years, or even 20 years, and to see how time changes the way you look at life...what was important then and what now is almost a laugh.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: It's true, the sweet moments do pass quickly, but I find that they remain in my memory to be enjoyed time after time, whereas the unpleasant moments fade and for the most part disappear from my mind.////FROM JACK: I think that the control, for the most part, is in one's mind. There are some people who just can't seem to let go of the bad stuff and let the "good" events fade into nothingness. I came across a quote recently by David Foster. "We are who people think we are." I might change it to read, "We are who we think we are."

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: Yes, I remember how I couldn't wait to get older, and now all is too fast. Sweetest? I would have to say right now,... Our first grandchild will be delivered in a little more than 1 hour, ( she's a girl ), the anticipation and joy is unbelievable.////FROM JACK: Too fast? Our first granddaughter is now taking some college classes in London. It was only "yesterday" that we were awaiting her arrival at Beaumont. Enjoy each "sweetest" day.

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN: I try to “slow down time” and enjoy as much of it as possible. I also try not to stress(easier said than done) too much because it subtracts from my enjoyment of those fleeting days we have. ////FROM JACK: I'm glad that you seem to be making progress in creating a "time machine." Inventors have trying for years to solve that problem. I wonder if taking the battery out of my watch might help?

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: As I prepare my trip to NYC for daughter Beth's 30th birthday, I know that the sweetest time in my life was when we were all settled in the same nest.////FROM JACK: I'll bet that's what Shirley said, too. Those were times were a "riot"...some days.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I think that we only remember the sweetness of the past because we are able to forget the little frustrations, fears, worries, etc that we were experiencing in those days. I look at my grandchildren and tell them that they really have no idea how precious everything is because they are now experiencing those same fears, worries, etc of everyday life. They only seem big when we are living thru them. Just like the minute my mother passed I forgot all of the hard work it was and I only remembered the sweetness of it all. I'm not sure if I am making any sense with all of this rambling. You are nice to let me do it!
////FROM JACK: As we get old we have more and more "stuff" deposited in our memory bank. It's like with a regular bank...we can go and withdraw whatever we choose to take out. You had an opportunity to deposit golden memories during the time your mother was in your home.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: Satchel Paige once said: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you!" Enjoy the present every day.////FROM JACK: In his later years, they put a rocking chair in the bullpen, so that Satch could sit there and relax before his next trip to the mound. Eventually, there came a time when his baseball exploits were only memories. It happens that way for all of us.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Now that I have finally returned to Florida, things have certainly slowed down. It seems that all of my life I have been very busy doing interesting and good things. The sweetest time is always the present time and the challenge to adjust to each situation and to count our blessings every day. One of the sweetest is the friendships we have through all of the years, don't you think?////FROM JACK: I think... that God has blessed some of us waaaaaay beyond our deserving. Some of my friends are having some difficult times in their "golden" years. Every day should be Thanksgiving Day for the blessings that are ours. Friendship is one of those blessings, and that can uphold us, whatever the day might bring.

FROM FOXY ROXY: I think all the years have been the sweetest. Can find some good from each of them. Hope they continue for a long time yet.////FROM JACK: It's been said that "there's some good in everyone." That might be harder to accept than finding some good in every day. It's also been said that "the good die young." Mmmmmmm?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: My mother used to say, "If you think your children grow up too fast, wait until you have GRANDchildren!" I wish I had recorded more of the special things my kids did and said, to savor these days...Life goes by in a blur of experiences and activities!! Now the GREAT-Grands are growing up incredibly fast! The sweetest times are surely those with spouse and family, and yes, close friends. Last night I baby-sat my one yr. old "great" Avery, and was aware of how special it was, to have time with her. Count your blessings,name them one by one..."////FROM JACK: My sister and I love to recount some of the sayings that we heard when we were kids. For example, if we acted overly proud about something, we'd hear: "Who do you think you are, Mrs Butternuts?" This was referring to that rich family in Moline, the Butterworths.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Moments do fly faster and faster. But the sweetest moments waking each morning to make more memories. We love our family and our lives right now, each second counts! So we cherish each day and each other.////FROM JACK: "Faster than a weaver's shuttle" the saying goes.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Winning Words 7/7/11
“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.” (Ben Franklin) In Michigan we may not have oil reserves or the weather of a San Diego, but we’ve got water. Those who live in arid places would love to tap into that resource. Today might be a good time to take an inventory of our blessings. Maybe we’ll come to appreciate the value of some of those things that we just take for granted. ;-) Jack

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: I count you as a blessing!////FROM JACK: A blessing is defined as: "a favor or gift bestowed by god, thereby bringing happiness." Therefore, "Thanks be to God."

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: The weather's not too bad either!////FROM JACK: Lately, it's been "perfect!"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We are truly truly blessed with the beautiful lakes and rivers we have here in Michigan. We have just vacationed for over a week on Lake Mitchell in Cadillac. Gary's uncle Mike lives up there. The family "cottage" has been in the family since the 20's. It is now a home...rebuilt by Uncle Mike. We should value the gift we have by living here in Michigan. We have some of the most beautiful scenery in the USA. Pure Michigan!////FROM JACK: Has Uncle Mike installed indoor plumbing, yet, up there in Cadillac?

FROM PASTY PAT: Just got access to my email back after being 'blocked' for 10 days. I realize I took that convenience much more for granted than I thought! And mornings just aren't the same without WW//// FROM JACK: You never miss the WWs until the computer runs dry.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Could also be a good analogy for spending in Washington, D.C.; where the financial well is dry. I fear neither side will have the courage to do what is right or even sensible. As the poet Josiah Gilbert Holland wrote: "For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds, Their large professions and their little deeds, Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps, Wrong rules the land and Justice sleeps!" We need statesmen and women, that lead but it is likely we will get more politics and gamesmanship. We shall know the worth of freedom, when she is gone.-////FROM JACK: Some have said, "...and so it shall ever be." Alas.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Enjoyed reading your WW again this morning. Busy counting my blessings today. I'm reading a book now written by Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest "Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life" and one of the chapters begins with this quote from a Native American Aphorism "No wise person ever wanted to be younger." Ain't that the truth!!!!!!!!!!! None of us, younger or older, really knows the dangers that are ahead for us but we just try to support and love each other as we live out our own lives and do the best we can with the cards that are dealt us. Thanks for reading, Pastor Freed, and allowing me to express.////FROM JACK: Irving Berlin wrote it; Bing Crosby sang it. It's good advice.
When I'm worried and I can't sleep I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all And I fall asleep counting my blessings

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: In Colorado water is everything. The big snows this year let everyone breathe easier because we will have more water.////FROM JACK: No need for sump pumps, I suppose. We just installed a 5 gallon one in our SW corner to take care of seepage during large rains and melting snow.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: how true. we also appreciate our water here in MN. now, if we could only get the state up and running again. this shutdown is really hard on the economy. uffda.////FROM JACK: Just wait until Michele gets into the White House.