Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Winning Words 8/31/11
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” (Thoreau, quoted by Arlo ‘n’ Janis) It’s surprising how many philosophical thoughts you can find in the funny papers. Thoreau believed in the value of simple living in the out of doors. The result of Arlo spending time outside is the comment of Janis, “I’ve never seen so many chiggers.” Try to ignore life’s chiggers, while you look at the big picture. ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Again Reality is ignored....the beholder becomes more important than the object itself...that way, of course, there can be no truth and we are all free to believe whatever we want to believe and it is just great.....////FROM JACK: Which vision of the world is correct? Yours? Mine? Thoreau's?

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Clever////FROM JACK: I always liked to watch "Leave It To Beaver," with the Clever family.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Dogs see with their nose.////FROM JACK: Somehow, the thought of that doesn't appeal to me. But, I guess it's true.////MORE FROM HG: Just watch dogs being near each other. Plus I attended a fire dept demo by a dog trained to find accelerants.////FROM JACK: ...and drugs, cadavers....and food. I used to play hide and go seek with my dog. We both had fun.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Thoreau lived a mile away from home and went back there often for lunches and dinners. He wasn't as alone as everyone thinks. Sometimes what you look at isn't what you see and sometimes what you see isn't what you look at. An aside: I don't like chiggers at all! I'm not sure while God added them to the list of needed things on this planet. I'm sure He had His reasons!////FROM JACK: I didn't know that about Thoreau. About chiggers..."Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?" Isaiah 40:13

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: My favorite philosophical thoughts come from Pogo. The very best is, "We have met the enemy and they is us."////FROM JACK: You're right! One of the best strips ever. It had more of an edge that feel-good "Peanuts," although that Charles Schulz put philosophy in it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: HA! My comment at our Church picnic was, "I've never seen so many FLIES!" I am not a big fan of eating in the great outdoors, but unavoidable this time, as I was in charge...:-( "If NOAH had been truly wise, he would have swatted those two flies!!!" And the mosquitoes and chiggers, too. But as to REALLY seeing: "Focusing on the tiniest details, finding magic in even the smallest inspirations, embracing the briefest moments----that's where passion is" from THE POWER OF SMALL by Linda Kaplan. Some truth in that...////FROM JACK: What interests me most about the Noah story is not the ark and the animals, but... What does it mean?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Winning Words 8/30/11
“Life isn’t all beer and skittles.” (Thomas Hughes) Skittles is an easy game played in English pubs, while the players drink beer. Young Americans have developed a kissing game using candy Skittles, instead of the wooden pins used in the pubs. Famous jurist Hughes wasn’t writing about games. There are times when life is serious business, and hard decisions have to be made. God give you wisdom, today. ;-) Jack

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: when our son thom was little his favorite candy was skittles. he received a large bag as a present from a friend and exclaimed, "we are smooth with skittles"! it's become one of our favorite family sayings when things are going well. life is smooth with skittles! ////FROM JACK: I think that I'll go and buy some Skittles today and see if thom's comment works in Michigan like it does in Illinois.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I once attended a Chaldean wedding of a friend of ours. The whole wedding was in Aramaic (I think) until there was a part where the priest broke into English to tell the bride and groom and all of us gathered that the party, the reception, the celebrating we would all be doing, wasn't the main thing we were to be about, he was saying very effectively that "Life isn't all beer and skittles" or in this case champagne and skittles. That memory is tatooed on my mind and it instructed me I think as much as the young bride and groom he was marrying. We all would be the support and encouragers of each other's relationships.////FROM JACK: There's a time when advice needs to be given in "plain English," whether it's at a wedding, at work, in the home...but with love, caring and the use of common sense.

FROM s&s IN ILLINOIS: How come you know about this kissing game and I don't? :) Suppose it's a Michigan thing or are my kids just keeping me in the dark?////FROM JACK: I haven't played the game, but here's how it works...Do you really want to know?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: ...And if life WAS all beer and skittles, we would soon tire of it! Actually life is serious business most of the time: (It's our church's night to prepare and serve the homeless dinner, again!) but the games are a precious respite, ( and nepenthe, as Poe would opine). Fortunately, when the going gets tough, "The Great Physician still makes house calls", as the bumper sticker proclaims! ////FROM JACK: You caused me to look up an unfamiliar word...nepenthe. "Medicine for sorrow. An ancient drug causing forgetfulness." A stint at serving the homeless has a way of causing forgetfulness (or putting aside) of one's own problems.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Thanks for the smile and the explanation…here I thought it was about those brightly colored candies!////FROM JACK: Ohhhhh, you must have played the game using the candy Skittles.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Beer and candy? Comon!////FROM JACK: You drink your beer, and I'll eat my candy. In fact, I went to the store this afternoon and bought a package of Skittles.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Winning Words 8/29/11
“Strike it!” (Madeleine Albright’s father) M.A.’s father was a Czech immigrant who sometimes mixed up his idioms. When he said, “Strike it!” he meant, “Go for it...You can do it!” She followed his advice and has made a success of her life. We all need a word of encouragement…maybe, especially on Mondays. “Strike it!” Be confident! In fact, you might help someone else by saying to them, “Strike it!” ;-) Jack

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: If your friends name was Richard, you could say "Strike it, Rich!" What would that connote?////FROM JACK: "That's rich!" is a saying that you don't hear much anymore. You're clever, today!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: If at first first you don't succeed, try, try again. That is always a good way to live. Did you know that M Albright's father was on the staff at the University of Denver? You probably did. And also that Condoleeza Rice's father was there also.////FROM JACK: No, I didn't know that piece of trivia. I was at DU when my son got his MBA there, but I didn't see the fathers of Madeleine or Condi at the ceremony.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: I'll tell ya, I have no idea how you find some of these quotes!////FROM JACK: I try to know "my customers" and am always on the lookout for things that will interest them and me. I try to find challenging quotes for Mondays.

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: I was in Brazil I ran across an opportunity to get a massage and took advantage of it. The local, a transplanted European, spoke decent, but not perfect, English. "Inspire", he told me. I quickly figured out he was instructing me to "breathe in". "An interesting, but appropriate, confusion of words," I thought. You obviously get all the connections between breathing in and inspiration. ////FROM JACK: "Inspire!' That makes perfect sense to me. What if you have been told to "Expire!" I remember being told in seminary that pastors should continue to inspire before they expire, and I'm trying to do that with my Winning Words. I always appreciate your comments.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: When my twin and I visited Mexico, we were assailed by street vendors holding out items, saying, "Very fine! Wrrrop eet up?!" That became our mantra when we agreed something was O.K., or the plan or program should go forward...."Wrrrop eet up!" (With a chuckle, always!) "Strike it!" is decisive, and Madeline "got it". Fun WW for today....Tim Tebow, Heisman trophy winner, NFL quarterback,says in his book, "Mom used to quote Isaiah 64:4, about waiting on the Lord. It doesn't mean being complacent. It means understanding that He has a plan, and that we're not the ones in control. In the meantime, we need to strive to use our gifts and abilities fully," And he has. Good to keep in mind.////FROM JACK: I wonder what Bible verse Tim is using now that "college adulation" has been replaced with Mile-High fans pronouncing his name, Tee-boooooo? Romans 8:18?

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: I still think the Nike line is masterful..."Just do it!"////FROM JACK: I don't get ( it)! which reminds me of the slogan of The Washington Post: "If you don't get it, you don't get it."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Winning Words 8/26/11
“Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” (Warren Buffett) Warren had an interest in money, even as a child, going door to door selling chewing gum. He bought his first stock at age 11. His high school yearbook predicted that he’d be a stock broker. He bought a house in Omaha in 1957 for $31,500 and still lives there. Try to see “greed and fear” in their context. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Trying to see "greed and fear" in their context but still believe that, when others are greedy, that's the time to practice trust of God and be generous, and, when others are fearful, that's also the time to practice trust of God and be generous. Maybe the reason the quote is WW is because Buffett advises to not be part "of the pack" and he, himself, lives life outside "of the pack." Maybe living a strong life is not being so influenced by other's greed and fear that you adopt those qualities too. Just because you want to see something worthwhile in Buffett's quote, I've been trying to too. Thanks for thought-provoking us out here in e-mail land.////FROM JACK: I sense a lot of fear among people today in many areas of life. I chose the quote, because (as you commented) times like these need us to live "outside of the pack." The word, greed, generally has negative connotations, but it fits in the context used.

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: When stocks were falling due to S&P downgrade and so many people were panicking, Buffett said ,"I'm buying," He also said that this country should be rated AAAA, let alone triple A. I'm not only impressed with his patriotism, but I'm impressed with how he does what he thinks is right regardless of trends.////FROM JACK: That's why I think that it's a good quote. We can learn "generally" from watching people who do their "particular" job well. That's why I appreciate meeting and talking with people in different situations than my own.

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: Buy low and sell high....How opposite is Christianity....You can't buy a thing and you should always share the gifts....My grandson said that "Santa should share"...So should we....////FROM JACK: In my opinion, Christianity says that when people are fearful they need to hear a message of how to react to that feeling. "Do not be overcome by evil." Figure out how to overcome that evil. Perhaps being "Santa" to some of the poor is such a way. I commend Buffett for encouraging the wealthy to give a large portion of their wealth to charitable causes. I should be doing more than I am to help people in need.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Warren was on a talk show recently and was asked why he bought a railroad. "Because my dad wouldn't buy me a train set." Now he has lots of little engines that "can."////FROM JACK: Now, he's bought Bank of America, because his dad wouldn't get him a piggy bank.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I don't really relate to the greed and fear part, but I do understand his philosophy about his money and his children being responsible for themselves and not depending upon him for handouts. By the way, the Tigers have a very good and deep team. The Rays loaded the bases again in the ninth yesterday but couldn't deliver their usual bats. Congratulations.////FROM JACK: The blog has some interesting comments. I knew that the word, "greed," has negative connotations, but I purposely chose the quote, because of the time s in which we live. When people are living in fear, another way has to be shown. "Greed" happens to be the word that stands for another way. There's a way out of fear.

FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO: this is very interesting Jack. I often wondered where I would be today if my mother hadn't interfered with my shoe shine enterprise. I was earning in 4 nites more money than my father earned working about a 60 hr week. Or if the county had a fair during the gas rationing days of the WAR, I could have shown my skills raising premium pigs. Or if I had a mentor to push me, could I have become eventually a supervisor at Nash Motors. Or if I would have gone to Officer's Candidate school would I saved enough money to start a civilian adventure? I don't think it was greed, I think it was ambition, but unfortunately, without the education needed to start the building blocks. A life during the depression was a real challenge, actually an education or sorts. One item to remember when aboard he George Gershwin, in a hurricain, I was too young to be fearful. I didn't have enough experience in life to know when to be afraid..Mr Buffett had the skills, the ambition, and parents to give advice, apparently good advice. I wonder why my Grandchild doesn't listen? Is it because they had a silver spoon in their mouth during their precious sponge years? Hey Jack, I am not going to give up, it's fun succeeding in enterprises here to fore had not been grababill ( wow what a word ).////FROM JACK: Woulda...Coulda...Shoulda. I guess we just have to play the cards we have been dealt. You've accomplished some good things during your lifetime.

FROM THE MEDDIA IN IOWA: Warren Buffett,as you probably know is a major stockholder in Dairy Queen but since he bought the stock after the business was developed I give him credit for recognizing that accomplishment but I don't give him any credit for building a business. I recognize a doctor that has a successful operation, but I have no idea how he does one. Warren should do what he does in investing in those that are successful and realize that he is not an expert in running the operation.////FROM JACK: Warren seems to be good at what he does At least, people are anxious to follow his lead. His advice is the one typically given to those who are the stock market...Buy low. Sell high. I wish I'd had some money to invest in DQ in the early days and had been smart enough to do it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Whatever Warren Buffet says holds sway, because he's made it work, but I also heard a news commentator say the other day, that he keeps encouraging taxing the rich, but he makes billions, and knows how to manage it without paying much in taxes....I wish I had his smarts! But remember dear ol' Paul: "I have learned in whatever state I am to be content." We Christians put our minds and energy in a different place. We DO walk to a different drummer. Though I can relate to the person who said, "Money can't buy happiness, but it can make misery much more comfortable..." So be it!////FROM JACK: I am not ready to put Warren Buffett outside of the Christian group. We each do what we can with the blessings that we have. Warren does his thing. I do mine. You do yours. I think that we each do what we do, as the Spirit leads us.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Winning Words 8/25/11
“I don’t care much about music. What I like is sounds.” (Dizzy Gillespie) Today is the birthday of Leonard Bernstein and Billy Ray Cyrus. In their honor I chose a quote by the bebop artist known for his crooked horn and his name, Dizzy. Leonard, Billy Ray and Dizzy…What a sound that trio would make. Beauty is in the ear of the listener. I like many kinds of music, but not necessarily on the same program. ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Unlike Dizzy, I do care about music, but much of what I hear these days is "sounds"...and to be more emphatic, I consider it noise.////FROM JACK: I take that you prefer Leonard over bebop and Achy-Breaky Heart.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Some of today's music is like scratching your fingernails on a blackboard. But, then sometimes Dizzy got on my nerves too. Used to see him a lot when I was in school in Chicago. Prefer Armstrong.////FROM JACK: Try scratching your fingernails on an iPad.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: i always wondered how his horn got bent? did somebody sit on it?? ////FROM JACK: Here's what I read....Like many important discoveries, Dizzy's bent trumpet came about by accident. Gillespie, who died in 1993 at age 75, threw a party for his wife, Lorraine, at Snookie's in Manhattan on Jan. 6, 1953. Leaving his horn on a trumpet stand, he left to do a quick radio interview. The dance duo Stump and Stumpy started fooling around on the bandstand; Stump pushed Stumpy, who fell onto Dizzy's horn, bending the bell skyward. It was such an unsettling sight that saxophonist Illinois Jacquet left the club before Gillespie returned; he didn't want to be around when the jazzman saw his misshapen horn and blew his top. But Gillespie kept his cool. "It was my wife's birthday and I didn't wanna be a drag," he wrote in his autobiography, "To Be or Not to Bop." "I put the horn to my mouth and started playing. I played it and I liked the sound . . . it could be played softly, very softly, not blarey." He had the horn straightened out the next day but couldn't get that sound out of his mind. "I remembered the way the sound had come from it, quicker to the ear, my ear," Gillespie recalled. The 45- degree angle brought the bell closer and let him hear the sound sooner.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That would certainly be a different kind of sound. It is hard to imagine what it would be like. I like all kinds of music, too, but I haven't mastered the Ipod or the MP3 like my grandchildren. Have you? My favorite memories are of the jazz concert at the Chicago Opera House with Louie Armstrong, Benny Goodman, one the of the Dorsey. One of the best country I have heard is in Branson, and the operas in New York City, plus the musicals. We still have a lot a 78s which most people have already discarded. The liturgical music is beautiful, too. How Great Thou Art was sung at Mass in Maui, and I still remember that wi th fond memories, too.////FROM JACK: What if people who don't like harp music find themselves in heaven ...Would that be hell? ...and, no, I don't have an iPod. I can play music on my computer while I'm writing my message. Steve Martin, playing the banjo, is good.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I like a lot of sounds. Sometimes even just a bunch of screaming musically performed I interpret as a relevant message needing to get through to the audience. Once saw a pianist that banged away with spoons and everything all over every part of his piano. That was stretching the musical imagination. Then I think "I could do that art" sort of like making a large black spot in the middle of a white canvas and calling it modern. We contemporary people are pretty talented and amazing. In our search for simplicity I guess.//// FROM JACK: I'm going to try and attach some interesting sounds to the blog. Enjoy!

THE SOUNDS....It looks like I can't attach the sounds, but, if you ask me, I'll send you some.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: As has been said, "music IS the universal language"...but I remember sitting through a five hr. Kabuki theatre historical musical in Tokyo, and thinking I wouldn't care if I never heard another high, wailing, keening, song in my entire life! (Not to say it wasn't fascinating, as men played all the parts in Japanese Theatre, and they were fabulous, even as women and girls!! ) Different types of music enrich our lives at different times, but rap and be-bop, and scat jazz and loud rock and roll tend to rattle by senses! Having been a music teacher and choir director, I can't imagine life without the lyrical melodies! ////FROM JACK: One of my friends is from Iraq. I told him that the music played by Iraqi musicians is about my least favorite music. I don't think that he likes Glenn Miller, either.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Reading from Blazing Oaks comments...Hiroko also wonders why Kabuki remains alive today when it is so dispassionate.////FROM JACK: I personally know of a minister whose congregation dwindled to no members. He continued to hold Sunday services for two years, preparing sermons, preaching them, singing hymns, and praying. I wonder, why? Somehow, Hiroko's comment triggered that thought in my mind. To me, it relates.

FROM ALIBI-IKE IN MICHIGAN: I LOVE music ! because it truly affects the soul but do not like ALL music & do not want to offend other people's taste by calling it BAD just because I don't like what they I adopted the acronym BIG-Boring--Irritating-Good & thus I have "wiggle room"..////FROM JACK: Worms, snakes and hoochy-koochy dancers are all wrigglers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Winning Words 8/24/11
“Maybe one day we shall be glad to remember even these hardships.” (Virgil) This Roman poet lived in the 1st Century BCE, in a time similar to ours, with a widening divide between the haves and the have-nots. Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation” seems to imply that hard times have a way of engendering greatness. I see Virgil express that same thought in his poetry. Regardless, it’s hard to be poor. ;-) Jack

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: When it is hard times for all (e.g. the Depression), that might inspire greatness ....hard times for a large group while others are rolling in money usually inspires rebellion, revolution and civil war (e.g. London right now....France in 18th century)....////FROM JACK: My memory of living during the Great Depression is that there were some neighbors who didn't have it so bad. I also recall protests that made the news. The "haves vs the have-nots" seems to be an on-going world-wide conflict. "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen."
////MORE FROM JS: The most egregrious gap between haves and have nots is in China....that is a potential explosion waiting to happen....900 million in abject poverty and tons of new millionaires and billionaires....I am just reading the excellent history of the 40s, 50s, 60s and early 70s from the Oxford History of the USA...."GRAND EXPECTATIONS" is an excellent chance to look back on an era in which I grew up with the "have-nots" and then went to college with the "haves" a different world....what a horror "McCarthyism" was.////FROM J: The McCarthy hearings were "reality TV" at it's best.

FROM PRJN IN NICHIGAN: Forsan et haec olin memonise iuabit -- spelling is probably off, but I remember the Latin sounds for this phrase.////FROM JACK: I'm glad for the Latin course I took in college. It helped me to understand "English" better. So did my courses in Greek. The "hardships" of those language courses was worthwhile.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Now , isn't that something to look forward to! (Or did I miss something?)////FROM JACK: In the larger picture....Some of our hardships result in "growing" experiences, which make us better. I'm all for trying to be a better person, although I don't always relish what it is that makes it happen. In this case, "The end justifies the means."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Winning Words 8/23/11
“Jesus said, ‘I am the rock, paper, scissors.’” (Unvirtuous Abbey) I read that the rock, paper, scissors game originated in China 2200 years ago. I also read that there are worldwide tournaments for the game, with referees and trophies. Hints for how to win at R, P, S are on the blog. But today’s quote is about something else…the ultimate power of God. Follow God’s “hints,” and you’ll win the game of life. ;-) Jack

HOW TO WIN AT ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS LiveScience By: Natalie Wolchover

In the game Rock, Paper, Scissors, two opponents randomly toss out hand gestures, and each one wins, loses or draws with equal probability. It's supposed to be a game of pure luck, not skill — and indeed, if humans were able to be perfectly random, no one could gain an upper hand over anyone else.

There's one problem with that reasoning: Humans are terrible at being random.

Our pathetic attempts to appear uncalculating are, in fact, highly predictable. A couple of recent studies have provided insights into the patterns by which people tend to play Rock, Paper, Scissors (and why). Abide by them, and you'll be riding shotgun and eating the bigger half of the cookie for the rest of your life.

According to Graham Walker, veteran player and five time organizer of the Rock, Paper Scissors World Championships, there are two paths to victory in RPS: Eliminating one of your opponent's options — for example, influencing her not to play Paper — and forcing her to make a predictable move. In both cases, Walker wrote on the website of the World RPS Society, "the key is that it has to be done without them realizing that you are manipulating them."

Those two overarching strategies can be translated into executable moves, starting with the opening one. Expert players have observed that inexperienced ones tend to lead with Rock. Walker speculates that this may be because they view the move as strong and forceful. Either way, remember the mantra "Rock is for rookies," and simply throw Paper at the outset of a game to earn an easy first victory.

"Rock is for rookies" should be kept in mind against more experienced players, too. They won't lead with Rock — it's too obvious — so use Scissors against them. This throw will either beat Paper or tie with itself.

Double trouble

If your opponent makes the same move twice in a row, they almost certainly won't make that move a third time. "People hate being predictable and the perceived hallmark of predictability is to come out with the same throw three times in row," Walker wrote. [Why Aren't We Smarter?]

With that option eliminated, you're guaranteed either a victory or a stalemate in the next round. If you see a "two-Scissor run," for example, your opponent's next move will be either Rock or Paper. If you throw Paper, then, you'll either beat Rock or play to a draw.

Like a Jedi, you can use the power of suggestion to influence your opponent's next move. When discussing a game, for example, gesture over and over again with the move that you want your opponent to play next. "Believe it or not, when people are not paying attention their subconscious mind will often accept your 'suggestion,'" Walker wrote.

This trick may work because of humans' tendency to imitate one another's actions. A recent study on decision-making in Rock, Paper, Scissors, published in the July 2011 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that players often imitate their opponents' last moves. Human mimicry seems to be involuntary.

Announcing your next move before a round starts also seems to be an effective mind trick, though it'll only work once. If you say you're going with Paper, for example, your opponent thinks you won't, Walker explained. Subconsciously, they'll shy away from Scissors (which beats Paper), and choose Rock or Paper instead. When you do end up throwing Paper, you'll score a victory or a tie.

According to Walker, your opponent will often try to come back from a loss or tie by throwing the move that would have beaten his last one. If he lost using Rock, for example, he'll likely follow up by throwing Paper. Knowing this, you can decide what move to follow with yourself.

Interestingly, monkeys show the same behavioral pattern. In a study detailed in the May 2011 issue of the journal Neuron, researchers at Yale found that rhesus monkeys trained to play Rock, Paper, Scissors tended to react to a loss by playing the move that would have won in the previous round. This suggests monkeys, like humans, are capable of analyzing past results and imagining a different outcome, the researchers said. [The 6 Craziest Animal Experiments]

Humans can take the logic one step further, by imagining what their opponents might be imagining.

There's one more ploy to fall back on — that is, if you're willing to sacrifice your honor and integrity for a victory. "When you suggest a game with someone, make no mention of the number of rounds you are going to play. Play the first match and if you win, take it is as a win. If you lose, without missing a beat start playing the 'next' round on the assumption that it was a best two out of three. No doubt you will hear protests from your opponent but stay firm and remind them that 'no one plays best of one,'" Walker wrote. A low blow, but a smart one.

Had no idea so much strategy was possible in Rock, Paper, Scissors? The rules of the game itself may be simple, but the human mind is not.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Wow, who would have thought there would be so much predictability in the supposedly randomness of just three choices. Enjoyed the information about the monkeys too. Interesting to read. But most of all agree with your WW this morning.////FROM JACK: Life isn't as random as we sometimes think.

FROM RM IN IOWA: I find that the only way we can improve our minds is to ask questions and seek answers. So, I ask the question "Was the scissors and paper invented back 2200 years ago?" I believe rock was here then and was also used to cut natural materials such as animal skins, rock surfaces and tree bark. But, this has nothing to do with the world wide tournament of winning life.////FROM JACK: I agree. We learn by questioning. But is something appears in Wikipedia, it must be true. Or, do you question that? According to Xie Zhaozhe's (谢肇淛) book Wuzazu (五杂组), in the Chinese Ming dynasty period, the game could date back to the time of Chinese Han dynasty, it is called The Gestures (手势令). Li Rihua's (李日华) book Note of Liuyanzhai (六砚斋笔记) also reveals this game, calling it shoushiling (手势令), huozhitou (豁指头), or huoquan (豁拳). So, does that answer your question? Responding to question #2 about a connection with the game of life....An advantage in being able to win a game is to follow "hints" given by the pros. God, the ultimate pro, gives hints on how to win at the game of life. Follow those hints, and you will have a good chance at winning.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Actions speak louder than words. Being a good example is what really matters in life. I liked the UA advice about prayers. Just do it. Also their saint was interesting, St. Arnold, the Belgian brewer of beer.////FROM JACK: It sounds as though you're a fan of this Abbey and St. Arnold. At least, you have more information about UA and SA than I do. You've piqued my interest.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Rock, paper, scissors is much like a Mobius Loop. Never ending. Did you know that if you slit a Mobius Loop along its length, you end up with a Loop twice the original size? And on and on and on.////FROM JACK: It sounds as though you also play the rock, scissors, paper game, with that guy in the mirror. Have either of you ever won, or do you just play onandonandonandonandonandon?////FROM PFC: I stand with my back to the mirror so he can't see.////FROM J: He's looking over your shoulder.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Winning Words 8/22,11
“I am a hope-aholic, encapsulating both optimism and my weakness for a peppy catchphrase.” (Gloria Steinem—adapted) I wonder if Gloria would be interested in receiving Winning Words, as a kind of daily HA meeting? I can identify with her quote about being a hope-aholic.. She’s 77, and sensing the years slipping by. “So much to do; so little time.” That’s the way it is with those who are activists. ;-) Jack.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: hope springs eternal! if not...why bother?////FROM JACK: ...and isn't that why you're in the "business" of teaching children?

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I'm sure by now someone has asked about the typo of encapsulating vs escapsulating. Other than that I like the saying….////FROM JACK: I went back and checked. You and Gloria and Newsweek had it right. I hit the wrong key.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: good words for today, my friend. thanks. hope all is well in your world. i baptized 7 babies yesterday and they were all as good as gold. even their older siblings were well behaved!////FROM JACK: Babies are a sign that there is hope.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: I think you should send WW to her. The link is: JACK: Nice try, but that link does not exist.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: YES, I THINK YOU SHOULD PUT HER ON YOUR SUBSCRIPTION LIST! I have been reading you words every day, but my hands have been full.////FROM JACK: I'd put her on the list, if she'd share her e-mail address with me. BTW, speaking of hands being full, I'm reminded of what Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say of SNL, "It's always something--if it ain't one thing, it's another."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I love that phrase, "Hope-aholic"! I want to join her club!! LEARN from yesterday, LIVE for today, HOPE for tomorrow...Albert Einstein Amen to that thought. "And you shalt be secure, (have confidence) because there is HOPE. Job 11:18. AHA!! Take that, fear and anxiety!!! :-)

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: My lawn people came while I was finishing that last thought. My experience with the feminists early on were when I was in California, living on the beach in the 50"s. When I read Sex and the Single Girl there by Helen Gurley Brown, I thought she was one crazy lady. Then,when we moved from the Bahamas to Ann Arbor in the 196o's Betty Fridan had just written Feminine Mistique. and I definitely thought that she was one crazy lady,. too, because she wanted women to be able to work forever, and I had just gotten married and we had started our family. But. our girls have definitely benefited from the educational opportunities, withe medical school, law school, and Georgia Tech. And it is exciting to see how they all have managed their families and to see the grandchildren accomplish so much, too. There is definitely a challenging world out there, as it has always been.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Winning Words 8/19/11
“And the seasons, they go round and round. And the painted ponies go up and down. We’re captive on the carousel.” (Joni Mitchell) Can you solve this puzzle? Julia is riding on a horse. To her left is a hippo. In front of her is an elephant. Following behind is a lion. They’re all going at the same speed. And to her right is a ledge. How will Julia make it to safety? Are you stumped? See the blog. ;-) Jack

PUZZLE ANSWER: Julia will just have to wait until the merry-go-round stops and then get off of her painted pony. Life can sometimes seem like a ride on a carousel.

FROM NL IN INDIANA/FLORIDA: THAT'S THE TRUTH JACK:////FROM JACK: Enjoy the ride while you can. Up and down, round and round. It can be fun, if you don't take it too seriously.

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: I'm living on the Merry go Round! But..having a good time!////FROM JACK: I'm reminded of the line from Summer Vacation when the Griswolds are at WallyWorld. "I had a bad experience on this ride once." "Why? What happened?" "I threw up." Even Merry-Go-Rounds can do that to some people.

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN: I cannot get to the blog. This is one of my all time favorite songs-“Circle” So isn’t the answer Julia is on a carousel?////FROM JACK: You solved the puzzle, but now the trick is for you (and the rest of us) to get off of the financial merry-go-round.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: by waiting until the carousel stops! "carousel" is one of my favorite musicals. "when you walk through a storm keep your head up high" has been one of my life-time mantras.
Dr. Selden: [at Louise's graduation ceremony] It's the custom at these graduations to pick out some old duck like me to preach at the kids. Well, I can't preach at you. I know you all too well. I brought most of you into the world, rubbed linament on your backs, poured castor oil down your throats. I only hope that now I got you this far that you'll turn out to be worth all the trouble I took with you. I - I can't tell you any sure way to happiness. I only know that you've gotta go out and find it for yourselves. You can't lean on the success of your parents. That's their success. And don't be held back by their failures.
Billy Bigelow: [to Louise] Listen to him. Believe him.
Dr. Selden: Makes no difference what they did or didn't do. You just stand on your own two feet. The world belongs to you as much as to the next fella, so don't give it up. And try not to be scared of people not liking you, just you try liking them. And just keep your faith, and your courage, and you'll turn out all right. It's like what we used to sing every morning when I was a boy. Maybe you still sing it: "When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high." You know that one?
Singers at graduation: [singing] And don't be afraid of the dark.
[they continue with the rest of the song]
Billy Bigelow: [to Louise, as the singing is still going on] Believe him, darling. Believe.
[Louise joins in the singing, and puts her arm around the girl sitting next to her, who reciprocates]
Billy Bigelow: [Walks over to Julie] I loved you, Julie. Know that I loved you.
[Julie smiles and joins in singing. As the song reaches its climax, Billy and the Heavenly Friend walk away from the graduation and up a hill. Billy then takes a last look toward the schoolyard and follows the Heavenly Friend]
Singers at graduation: [singing] Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart/ And you'll never walk alone,/ You'll never walk alone!

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: As a senior in high school, I was showing off riding sidesaddle. Fell off. Not the ride, just the horse. But that's why I never played basketball. I kept tripping over the black lines. ////FROM JACK: I never heard of anyone riding sidesaddle on a merry-go-round.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: The hippo to her left is not going the same speed. It's going the same rpm on the carousel. ////FROM JACK: Is that your answer, or one from your physicist husband?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Merry go rounds can be lots of fun, too. The rehearsal dinner for our first grandchild's wedding was held at the carousel museum close by, and it was great fun for all- young and old. Some did ride side saddle and others played it safe and rode on a bench. What a pleasant memory of that evening it all was.////FROM JACK: What a great place for a party! Plain Folks Chester (Fanning) should have been invited, since he likes to ride sidesaddle on merry-go-rounds. The Tigers have a ferris wheel and a merry-go-round at their ballpark. All of the riding animals are tigers.

FROM DR IN SEATTLE: You've probably heard this one. I was remembering what my mother had said to me when I was a college student and wondering if a friend's marriage would work. Her response was: " Two halves do not make a whole". It was only as a seasoned adult I understood the meaning of her response. Two people who both have personality or psychological problems are not going to bring qualities to a marriage relationship that will make it a happy or enduring one. Even one person with problems who would qualify for "a half" can make a marriage relationship difficult. Keep up your good work.////FROM JACK: That's a new one for me, and it makes a lot of sense. Marriage can sometimes be a puzzle, especially if each person expects his/her own way.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: If it were me, I wouldn't get on in the first place. I love to watch them but they don't do much for my stomach. I used to ride them all the time though and I loved them. One of the joyous things about life is it's ups and downs. We have to get on, hold on and give the horse his head. Yipee!!////FROM JACK: The Twilight Zone once had an episode called, "Kick the Can," in which old people could become young again by playing "Kick the Can." If you had a chance, would you kick the can?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Winning Words 8/18/11
“How easy it is to think that the good old days were only good.” (Herb Chilstrom) I just finished reading HC’s autobiography. Since I can remember the “old days” that he describes, I can appreciate his reminder that the good old days weren’t always so good. I try not to use nostalgia as an escape mechanism when it comes to looking at the political and religious world as it is today. Today “is what it is.” ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: You are so right. This week, at our intergenerational vacation Bible school, the adults sat in their classroom, talking a bit about how it used to be that kids were raised by the whole community. If a kid was doing something wrong and any adult saw it, you can bet that adult would admonish the kid. However, I can remember as a young adult how, from our perspective, we all wanted to "get out of town" and away from where everyone knew our business. We all wanted to "go away" somewhere and have more room to just be ourselves, that the community seemed to be just too confining. Another great WW speaking truth.////FROM JACK: Thomas Wolfe wrote: "You Can't Go Home Again," and the title of his novel is true...except, we can go home again with our memories. Here's an interesting thought...Each day, we're making new memories.

FROM LP IN MICHIGAN: Went to a child-birth refresher class last weekend. She asked me to describe my first child-birth. My husband filled in those more difficult moments that I guess I had forgotten.////FROM JACK: Thankfully, memory can be selective.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: however, the mind seems to tell our memory to forget the bad stuff from the past and to remember only the good. is this a blessing or not?////FROM JACK: Good or bad is Bad Friday can turn into Good Friday. Events are what the mind chooses to make them.

FROM MF IN MICHIGAN: I think it's totally appropriate to use nostalgia as an escape mechanism. You lived in and survived those old days that weren't always so good, to me that's a success to be recalled and give encouragement to have an optomistic attitude about todays challenges.////FROM JACK: Yes, nostalgia is good in order to recall and benefit from the lessons learned. I guess sometimes we also need places to escape the past.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Yeh, right. Remember the bad old days? What a hoot! Remembering the bad stuff gets in the way of hope.////FROM JACK: In "those days" we were anxious to move on to new and better things.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: The Good Ol' Days do seem more care-free and less chaotic than our world today. Partly because there weren't constant wars all over the globe (or at least we didn't dwell on it at that time!) But would we trade our wonderful modern conveniences, medical care and countless improvements in our daily lives? Probably not! Katie Couric says in her book (The Best Advice I Ever Had): that Old fashioned qualities like character, honor and integrity --no matter how old you are--never go out of style. The more things change, the more they remain the same???! we hope so, in that case!////FROM JACK: The Great Depression, WW 2, and polio (to me) were scarier than anything in today's world. Racial prejudice was taken for granted. Just some comments to put it into perspective.....

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: How true! There were a lot of problems in the good old days. People's bad memories fade which isn't a bad thing sometimes. But to claim things were "hunkie doorie" is wrong too. We should try to look to the future with hope even when all seems hopeless. "Better days are coming."////FROM JACK: Hunky-Dory? I haven't heard that since the good-old-days. My step-father used to say: "forget about yesterday, plan a little bit for tomoorow, and live like (heck) today." He changed it to heck when pastors were present.////MORE FROM THE OUTHOUSE: I guess I should have spell-checked my words....but I wasn't sure hunky dory was even in the dictionary! :-) My husband has all kinds of weird old sayings which are famous around here. How about...the horse is dead, put away the bat? I like you step-father's's right on the mark, especially now-a-days when we don't know what tomorrow will bring (did we ever know?)

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Remembering the mix keeps our vision in perspective!////FROM JACK: This is somewhat off the subject, but, in a way, it can apply. I learned, in seminary, this description of the Bible and the importance of both the Old and the New Testaments. "The new is in the old concealed, and the old is in the new revealed." The mix is important!

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVa SCOTIA: Today, I was sitting next to our former CAA (AAA) rescue truck driver waiting for our barber. The driver/mechanic/repair shop owner was chatting with the person on the other side about his vehicle’s ailments, and said “Lots of people say they don’t build them like they used to; in cars, I’m glad they don’t.”////FROM JACK: I agree. Our 2000 Impala looks like new. In the "olden days" a car that old would be rusted out by now...and it wouldn't have the built-in conveniences (heated seats), either.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Winning Words 8/17/11
“I praise loudly. I blame softly.” (Catherine the Great) An ad once showed a lady smoking a cigarette and read, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” In the 18th Century “a lady” successfully ruled the Russian Empire. Perhaps one of the reasons she was called, “Great,” is that she ruled with common sense Read again the words for today. Better yet, try to put them into practice as you deal with people. ;-) Jack

FROM JC IN FLORIDA: I'm writing to request that you add my name to your mailing list for "Jack's Winning Words." Reading The Augustana Heritage Newsletter article about your creative and inspiring ministry, reminded me of my own fascination with positive quotes. Throughout my 30-year career as an administrator with The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, I made it a practice to share a "Thought for the Week" (AKA "Vitamins for the Soul") with my department heads. In retrospect, I believe this simple, repeated act not only challenged us all to "look up," but also served as the foundation for my own personal mission statement -viz. To create environments of hope, where people are valued, embraced by God's love, and empowered to live life fully! I look forward to hearing from you!////FROM JACK: There's always room for one more on the Winning Words' list. Welcome!

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: I read her biography....She is called "Great" because she successfully ran over people and made herself all powerful....the same reason for calling so many ruling people "Great"////FROM JACK: Thanks for your response. You are GREAT! I praise loudly.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Those are definitely very good words to live by and to encourage everyone to do his/her best in life. Thanks for the thought provoking words every day.////FROM JACK: "Provoke" is an interesting word, isn't it? "To incite to action." Praise and blame are "action" words.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO: Good advice.////FROM JACK: "Advice" is offered. What to do about it is up to the one who receives it. You remember that from the car business, don't you?////MORE FROM DAZ: It seemed to me that you've had a higher quality set of advice recently or at least I thought so.////FROM JACK: My Winning Words seems to evolve. I try not to get stuck in a rut. It was the same way with preaching. I try to be relevant.////MORE DAZ: Relevant is the right word. The ww did seem more relevant to me ie my situation recently. Helpful is a word for it too.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I grew up in a home where my parents didn't want to praise their kids very much, afraid we would all get swelled heads. Consequently, I praised my daughter frequently but still she is now taking a Dale Carnegie enrichment class at her work and hoping to get more confidence and a better self-identity. I still think she's a great kid and suspect my parents thought that about us too. There must be something more going on than the actual praising or blaming. Something bigger. Just saying.////FROM JACK: We were all nurtured in different nests, but, somehow, the "parent-birds" know what their little ones need.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Virginia Slims was a masterful campaign. It "made" the brand almost overnight. Probably because it rode the tide of the "lib" movement. Granted, this response doesn't address the Catherine side of WW, but she was a great communicator also.////FROM JACK: Communication is usually the secret of success. Teddy Roosevelt was a communicator when he said that our country should "speak softly, but carry a big stick." BTW, he was quoting an African Proverb.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: It WAS extraordinary for a woman to rule in the 1700's. I suspect she had to be at least a bit ruthless to maintain her power of "greatness". George Orwell opined "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Certainly true of some subsequent Russian Top dogs! But the idea presented of praise and criticism, certainly does hold true. "Nothing improves a child's hearing, like praise" is a slogan we 50&60's parents held, and it is true of adults as well. Our parents weren't lavish with praise, but we knew we were loved! Then it became much more in vogue to EXPRESS praise and admiration to your children, which we did. They weren't TOO spoiled...!////FROM JACK: Catherine didn't always practice what she preached, so I've been told. BTW, because you were a twin, was praise/blame sometimes given to the wrong person?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Winning Words 8/16/11
“When hope is difficult, God smiles and says, ‘Relax sweetheart, it’s just a bend and not the end.’” (Adapted from Hawkeye George) One of the advantages of having lived through The Great Depression and too many wars is that I can imagine God saying today, “Relax, sweetheart!,” as we fret over growing fears and fading hopes. This is also good advice when personal cares seem to be weighing us down.. ;-) Jack

FROM YOOPER NANCY: SO TRUE.////FROM JACK: People who walk the walk are able to talk the talk.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I've had caregivers and been a caregiver over and over and now just ruminating here at the computer pondering if, when people have poured out their troubles on someone else, if it's comforting to have the person smile at them? The "Relax sweetheart...." part does all sound comforting though. The distance between ourselves and God can sometimes seem so big, I suppose it's just at the moment it can be bridged and maybe a smile at that time would do it. Thinking of a smiley God.////FROM JACK: One of the reason I chose today's quote is that it seemed to bring God down to earth, talking to us directly...friend to friend.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: I've lost my voice in the past over business worries. But my faith has been greatly strengthened during those times.////FROM JACK: One of my favorite Bible verses is: "My way is not your way, says the Lord." This is something to remember when worry is about to consume us. God allows us to choose the path, and whether it be right or wrong, he still walks beside us.

FROM CWR VISITING IN MICHIGAN: .......I like that one !!!////FROM JACK: You and God speak the same least, it appears so.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: That is comforting, "Relax! We can't see around the "bend", so tend to be anxious...more for our children and g.children than ourselves! As my friend Shirley Wood said, "Worry is pulling tomorrow's clouds over today's sunshine". Something to think about! ////FROM JACK: It helps to step back and take the wide-angle view of life.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Maybe we are guaranteed a safe landing but not necessarily a calm passage.////FROM JACK: I always liked the Bible story which described how the disciples were so afraid during a storm and how they couldn't understand why Jesus was asleep in the boat during that time. "Don't you care?" We are so like them.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: The very first verse I memorized is Matt. 6:34. "Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own troubles be anxious for itself." I have/had a tendency to try to live up to people's expectations.////FROM JACK: Do you remember the movie, "High Anxiety?" Sometimes that describes us when our faith is weak.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: ;) nice! Perspective is good.////FROM JACK: An artist friend described for me how perspective (foreshortening) was developed in art as early as 500 BCE. Some lives are "flat," because they lack perspective.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Winning Words 8/15/11
“Dreams will get you nowhere; a good kick in the pants will take you a long way.” (Baltasar Gracian) I was surprised to discover that this is a quote from 400 years ago. It also surprised me that it’s attributed to a Jesuit priest who preached out-of-the-ordinary sermons…once reading “A letter from Hell” from the pulpit. Today’s WWs might have been in that sermon. I heard them as I was growing up. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Ha ha. This means something to us women today too. 400 years ago we wouldn't have been wearing pants. This WW tickles my funny bone, they sound like they come from someone fed up that someone else they know is not doing anything except fantasizing. I hear them, hope to accomplish at least some one thing worthwhile today. Thanks for the WW.//// FROM JACK: When I was growing up, instead of "a kick in the pants," we used "a kick in the...behind, bixer, ta-hinton, etc." It was the same message.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: I disagree. I tell people to "Live the Dream." In other words, pursue what you really want to do in this life.////FROM JACK: I'm sure that you, as one who has developed a business, came across an employee that needed to stop "dreaming" and get to work. My son once said, "Dad needs a boss." People who don't have someone to "crack the whip" can neglect to "live" the dream. ////MORE FROM HG: Those kinds of dreamers I would call lazy, and they would disqualify themselves from their job by not meeting the standards the business set for them. This is covered in my book that I hope to have out for the Xmas season. Self discipline is part of the dream. Without that, it will only be wishful thinking. ////FROM JACK: So, there are different kinds of dreamers?

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: I coached the EM summer tennis program and the Augie Debate team....had pretty good success at both....found that a little bit of honey and a kick in the pants can both be ought to know your people before you use either....////FROM JACK: Does it work with pastors....and with church members?

FROM CS IN WISCONSIN: See, even Jesuit priests are human…nice to know that even they can speak/think like ‘the rest of the world’ – not up on some lofty pedestal.////FROM JACK: Much of the time the priests wear robes, but when they wear pants, they put them on, one leg at a time.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Good thing that Baltasar wasn't living in the Old Testament days! God talked to his followers through dreams all the time. Dreams can keep you going when funds can't. But I do understand his thoughts. Dreamers usually don't get much work done. I'll have to look up that sermon if I can find it.//// FROM JACK: God was (is) not shy about giving people a kick in the pants once in a while.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I am amazed that that saying goes back 400 yrs! My twin sister used this quote, when an outcome was O.K. but not excellent...she tickled our kids when playing games, by saying, "Well, it's better than a kick in the pants...I've had both, and this is better!" Or sometimes on the golf course...:-) In our many years, we've all seen folk who need a good kick in the rear to wake them up, or get them going in the right direction...maybe a heavy foot, administered in a loving way? Is that possible?! I'm sure its been tried. //// FROM JACK: There's some good in doing away with corporal punishment, but I must say that my father got my attention in some ways that might be questionable today.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Then why do they say, "Follow your dream?"////FROM JACK: Who are they? the VanPatten family? You have to be more specific.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: This is a funny one! I might revise the first sentence to read, "...will take you only so far..." instead of "nowhere," but otherwise, I wholeheartedly agree!! Have a great day!////FROM JACK: You will have to jump into your time machine and go back 400 years to discuss that change with Gracian. But, I agree with you.

FROM MY FLORIST: I like it////FROM JACK: Sometimes, a nice bouquet of flowers will do the job better than a kick in the pants.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Sometimes you need both a dream and a kick in the pants to get you moving. Growing up it seems that we were always busy and that there was always something to do. At least that is how I remember it. And we had to walk almost every place, which took up a lot of time versus being driven in the car like most of the modern children in the suburbs today. It kept us pretty healthy, too.////FROM JACK: I never ever had a ride to school, and I usually walked home for lunch. On my first date, we took the bus. I got my driver's license when I was 21.

FROM MS IN MICHIGAN: Unfortunate, but probably true.////FROM JACK: Yes. It would be nice if it were a perfect world. I feel fortunate to have received a few "nudges" to get a move on.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Winning Words 8/12/11
“If tomorrow never comes.” (Ronan Keating – Sung by Garth Brooks) Many of us have prayed, “Now I lay me down to sleep…If I die before I wake etc…” Garth Brooks sings about a man who wonders about that. “Will she know how much I love her?” We live in a world of uncertain tomorrows. A smile, a hug, a kiss, some good words. Most of us have some unfinished business. YouTube the GB song. ;-) Jack

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Today's Q evoked some thoughts for me... My eldest brother passed away at 53 from a heart issue... It was sudden and tragic... Since then I have more fully grasped the concept of "Life's short." I try to live now always remembering that life is short. Harboring resentments seems like wasted time when evaluated against that reality. Expressing concerns fervently, seeking forgiveness quickly, and conveying love tenderly and immediately--these pursuits seem like a better use of my time...////FROM JACK: Winning Words is a chance to remind others (and myself) to think about some of the really important issues, before it's too late...And to act on them, too.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Nice song. Interesting lyric set-up and rhyme scheme, I learned something. I was not familiar with this song. Great message.////FROM JACK: Which is more important to a song? The lyric, or the tune? Both are important to me, but I know of instances where I like the tune, regardless of the lyric, and vice versa.////MORE FROM GDJ: You need both. Prosody (my definition as understood by writing songs for three years), is the agreement or the "third thing" created from the combination of music and lyrics. It allows that the music and lyric are greater than the 2 separately. Good writers understand that the singer is an instrument too and that they must complement the other instruments. For example you would not have an ominous minor chord with the words "I'll always love you…" unless you are aiming for humor.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I think when we're elderly, especially, we know how swiftly catastrophic things can transpire...we've seen it in the lives of friends and close relatives: I think we ARE more intentional in expressing thanks, love, and blessings. I will think of this as I traverse the beautiful Rail Golf Course with my oldest son today...and thought of it as family gathered here for dinner while Marcia, my twin's oldest daughter, and a Lutheran Pastor like her dad (now serving in TX) visited briefly. We lost both of her parents within 5 mo. of each other! I just read that for its 40th anniversary Starbucks has a new drink coming out. It's sugar-free, and fat-free, and has no whipped cream. It's called coffee! Better grab one of those, before it's too late! :-)////FROM JACK: I don't know if you're responding to yesterday's or today's Winning Words, but your words are appropriate for both..."We're not in Kansas anymore" and "If tomorrow never comes." You've walked the walk. BTW, our food store sells bags of Starbucks. I bought a package this week. They also sell 8 O'clock.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Jack Zukerman sent me a good line earlier this week "Old age isn't for sissies."////FROM JACK: Sisyphus was a Greek mythological god who rolled an immense boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down again, and the sissy repeated the task over and over again throughout eternity. Old age can be like that for some people.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Winning Words 8/11/11
“We’re not in Kansas anymore.” (Dorothy to Toto) A man found out that he had leukemia. He came home and told his wife, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” As the disease progressed, he remained upbeat, using the “Kansas” phrase. Life has a way of leading us down strange roads. The man’s tombstone reads, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” It’s said that heaven has yellow brick roads. ;-) Jack

FROM FG IN MICHIGAN: I have had a rough few days at work with some old and new issues. I read your blog while I eat breakfast. Thank you for the kind and reflective words each morning. They help to get me energized and keep me focused. ////FROM JACK: Sending out Winning Words before breakfast helps get the day started for me in a positive way. Today's "Kansas" saying reminds us that life is always subject to change.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: oh, i hope heaven has yellow brick roads...and ruby slippers!////FROM JACK: You don't need magic slippers to be able to go through the pearly gates and walk on the golden streets. "I believe; I believe!"////MORE FROM PM: Oh I know that, but wouldn't they look great with gossamer wings?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Thankfully, we have a "Wizard" who will whisk us away to the real Oz!////FROM JACK: Some of the people turned against Jesus, because he refused to be the kind of wizard that they wanted. The Wizard of Oz is a favorite of mine, and I can see religious analogies in Baum's writing.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Psychiatrist Judith Orloff says" Spirituality isn't static: It's an evolving optimism that won't let hardships get the best of you". When we find "We are not in Kansas anymore", hopefully we will have (like the person you quote today) an upbeat spirit to meet the challenge. Sometimes prayer-power is as potent as healing drugs. "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" has a new heavenly meaning...:-) Thanks!////FROM JACK: Sometimes the changes in life situations are more dramatic than at other times, but they come daily.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Sounds like something Hillary would say to Bill.////FROM JACK: Everyone has their personal road to travel. It's not always an easy one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Winning Words 8/10/11
“Better the cottage where one is merry than the palace where one weeps.” (Chinese Proverb) “The Shack” was an immensely popular book put out in 2007. The author sees the “place” where we live as a metaphor for what goes on in our life…the hurts, the frustrations, the feeling of “being stuck.” It’s easy to look at others and think that they’ve got a better “house.” It ain’t necessarily so. Be thankful today! ;-) Jack

FROM PR JS IN MICHIGAN: I always saw(my congregation) as my call and I had a great and fulfilling time there....was offered deals by other churches to double my salary but they didn't seem like the place where I should be....(my college) offered me a terrific opportunity if I would come back and coach their debate team....again the salary would have doubled but it sounded like a very boring life....The Chinese had it right on this one as far as I am concerned....////FROM JACK: The grass may appear to be greener from a distance, but reality can be something different. Yesterday I read that many thousands of dollars were spent by a Chinese village to paint a barren hillside green, when the same amount of money could have been used to plant trees, shrubbery and grass. Too many people are fooled by green hillsides.

FROM JS AWAY FROM HER DESK IN MICHIGAN: How did you know I'm at my cottage this week? I know this message was just for me. he he ////FROM JACK: Eat, drink and be merry in your cottage... for the routine at the palace begins again-- soon.

FROM LJ IN MICHIGAN: How True!////FROM JACK: You know that to be a fact, because you've helped people (with expectations) to move into cottages and palaces.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Love this one. We are thinking about a "cottage" on a lake's a pipe dream of ours. We don't want anything too big, just a little cottage with enough! "The Shack" was quite a book. It made me think. Today was a good day to read this one as I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself and all of my aches and pains. We do, as do I, have so much to be thankful for...even my little cottages along the way.////FROM JACK: When you look for a cottage, make sure that it has an outhouse. A privy helps us appreciate the coveniences of the modern world. We live in the world where we are.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: And every day. Be thankful, too, for electricity. Ours has been off this morning and so the hurricane preparations are put to use. We are so lucky to have whatever we have today and to be able to appreciate our blessings.////FROM JACK: I 'll have to check the Florida weather. We had a windy rainstorm yesterday, and, thankfully, the power stayed on. As Mr. Rogers used to sing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood (of Michigan) today."

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I like the metaphor of feelings being where we live. I wrote a song last week about seeing and feeling life in totality. I've lost a lot of friends recently so perhaps I am a little more reflective than normal. My song is called Both Ends seems to me once you pass fifty you have a bit more perspective. Here is a link to hear the song:
////FROM JACK: A little reflection is good for us. I look in the mirror, and I see my parents (who are now deceased).

FROM PH IN MICHIGAN: good words. and if this recession doesn't end soon, a lot of people will be living in shacks! hope your day is going well.////FROM JACK: I read yesterday that 1 out of 11 people in their 20s doesn't watch the news. You must be older than that. "Don't bite your elbows!"

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Some of the people are merry all of the time and all of the people are merry some of the time, but not all of the people are merry all of the time. Abe Frieden////FROM JACK: You're spending a lot of time on the merry-go-round. But, if that's what makes you happy, go for it!

FROM JB IN WISCONSIN: Amen to that!////FROM JACK: You might like the poem by Edgar Guest which describes how a house is made a home. I've posted it on the blog.

HOME by Edgar Guest

It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home,
A heap o' sun an' shadder, an' ye sometimes have t' roam
Afore ye really 'preciate the things ye lef' behind,
An' hunger fer 'em somehow, with 'em allus on yer mind.
It don't make any differunce how rich ye get t' be,
How much yer chairs an' tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain't home t' ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o' wrapped round everything.

Home ain't a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it's home there's got t' be a heap o' livin' in it;
Within the walls there's got t' be some babies born, and then
Right there ye've got t' bring 'em up t' women good, an' men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn't part
With anything they ever used -- they've grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an' if ye could ye'd keep the thumb marks on the door.

Ye've got t' weep t' make it home, ye've got t' sit an' sigh
An' watch beside a loved one's bed, an' know that Death is nigh;
An' in the stillness o' the night t' see Death's angel come,
An' close the eyes o' her that smiled,
an' leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart,
an' when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an' sanctified;
An' tuggin' at ye always are the pleasant memories
O' her that was an' is no more -- ye can't escape from these.

Ye've got t' sing an' dance fer years, ye've got t' romp an' play,
An' learn t' love the things ye have by usin' 'em each day;
Even the roses 'round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they 'come a part o' ye, suggestin' someone dear
Who used t' love 'em long ago, an' trained 'em jes' t' run
The way they do, so's they would get the early mornin' sun;
Ye've got t' love each brick an' stone from cellar up t' dome:
It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: Have you ever seen the film,"the enchanted cottage"?//// FROM JACK: No, but I read this synopsis: When pilot Oliver Bradford (Robert Young) is disfigured by war wounds, he hides from his family (Spring Byington) and fiancée (Hillary Brooke), renting a cottage from Mrs. Minnett (Mildred Natwick). Laura Pennington (Dorothy McGuire) is a shy, homely maid who tidies up the place. Oliver and Laura gradually fall in love and discover that their feelings for each other have mysteriously transformed them. He appears handsome to her, and she seems beautiful to him. This is only perceived by the two lovers (and the audience), not by others. Laura comes to believe that the cottage is "enchanted" because it was once often rented to honeymoon couples. In 1945, I was watching movies like, Zombies on Broadway.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: I just had to chime in on this take is that "it's all relative".////FROM JACK: You're right. Life is how you make it, or how you take it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Winning Words 8/9/11
“Somewhere, deep down, there’s a decent man in me.” (Eminem) I’m not a fan of rap, but I was interested to see and hear the 60 Minutes interview with Eminem last Sunday. Before that, I’d have had a hard time connecting the word, “decent” with him. Webster would seem to agree. It’s a good thing that God is the ultimate, omniscient judge. Heaven will be an interesting place. Harps and rap? ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Certainly God is the ultimate judge of everyone and we all stand naked before Him. However, that does not mean that we do not have to make judgments here on this earth and your comments always seem to point in that direction. We tell our kids that they shouldn't associate with some other kids. That is a judgment and one, perhaps, that we ought to make. Every election we make judgements about people. We have to and we should make good ones. When we hire someone or call them to ministry or whatever, we need to make good solid judgments about them. This "leveling out" process that you seem to push, I think, is not good. We may never make ultimate judgments but we had better make some good calls here on this earth about people or we could wreck our nations, our businesses, our churches, etc.////FROM JACK: I'm glad that you have been able to capture the consistency of my thought. God is the ultimate judge, while our judgments, though a part of being human, are not always perfect and are subject to change. I often agree with you, but that's a judgment.

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I liked that "8 Mile" movie. Rap goes so fast, I can't keep up and understand the words. Is that on purpose, does the performer deliberately want to make mysterious the meaning to some. I believe heaven will be a place where all are all-knowing and hopefully rap will be there but it will not be angry and the meaning will be in the healed wounds. ////FROM JACK: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

FROM LP IN MICHIGAN: Funny, I caught the credit lines for 60 mins the other day and thought I saw "Shady Aftermath" listed which I think is his label. Anyhow, several years ago when Eminem was first out and I was taking a car full of 9th grade boys from our HS youth group on an outing. They asked to put the radio on and an Eminem song came on. One boy said his mom doesn't let him listen to that. But then another one really surprised me. He said Eminem's songs have some interesting things to say if you just listen to the words... if only he didn't swear so much. I actually enjoy a good Eminem song now and again. It's hard not to feel the emotion in them and that's what I enjoy best about music (of any variety), when it can deliver an emotion. ////FROM JACK: The teachers need to be learners, too. Let's listen to our children and respect their opinions. I've learned some things by doing that.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLANIA: I didn't think much of him either, until I read an in-depth interview a few years ago (might have been in Rolling Stone). Funny how some people who seem 'least likely to be decent' really are, and other who seem to be quite proper are, underneath, anything but. ////FROM JACK: "You can't judge a book by its cover," applies to more than books. Too often, we tend to be superficial in our judgment and miss out on the message of the "book."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Isn't he from the Detroit area originally and didn't he change his message after he got married and have a family? Probably the best of the harps and the rap will both be there, don't you think?////FROM JACK: Yes, he was from the other side of 8 Mile Rd, the dividing line between the Detroit and the suburbs. He was raised by a single mother, going to six different schools in a year. Anger, drugs, a failed marriage, not ever knowing his father, he became a father....I try to understand, and I'm content to let heaven be up to God.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I, too, was interested in the interview with Eminem Sunday. Strange that his lyrics are filled with horrible language, but in his home no cussing is allowed! I would say his children might grow up confused! I read that only 2% of American homes don't have a Bible in them...(of course that was 1990!) His may be one, but who knows??! I'll email you the poem I have on surprises in heaven! We'll continue to do for "the least of these" as instructed by Jesus, and leave the final judgement to Him. I DO know that my children would not have been allowed to attend one of his concerts, had he performed when they were growing up. (As far as I could control it!)////FROM JACK: Part of growing up is dealing with confusing messages. We tried to teach our children right from wrong, without always saying, "NO!!" Our son went to a concert by The Stones. I would be very surprised to learn that 98% of American homes had a Bible in them. A Bible in the home does no good, unless it's read and discussed. ////MORE FROM BO: To re-interpret an old saying, "having a Bible in the home doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car"...and I suppose that statistic is outdated by today. 20 yrs. makes a big difference, and I believe Christianity is losing ground in USA...////FROM JACK: I don't think that Christianity's success or failure in the USA is tied to statistics. In every generation, since the time of Jesus, the message has been shared and people have chosen to believe it or not. The planting of the seed is what's important. The harvest comes later.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: I did not care for much of what I read in Em’s book but my son defended him based on his rough past and he does have a story to tell – don’t they all….Connor’s also told me that a lot of what’s captivating about rap is the beat and the hook, verses/epithets be damned (oops!)////FROM JACK: Your "oops" shows a generational difference. As I grow older, I try to keep in touch with those who are younger (it gets easier to do). Your young son is very perceptive. We adults have trouble getting beyond the "oops" stuff. ////MORE FROM B: Funny that the “letter of the law” vs. “spirit of the law” arises in so many contexts. A non-threatening example…what about “white lies”…is it ever okay to tell one…is there a “slippery slope”….do these pants make my butt look broadJ! My son is a delight for his forthrightness and his ability to put spin on a situation. The boy could make Clinton proud. That said, I at least want him to know that I/we know when he is “spinning”. I do feel like forgiveness/I’m sorry flows pretty freely around the house which is not something I saw much as a teen. Parents were always right and students not. Now that I am a parent I am not so sure. I had the pleasure of listening to Avis Clendenon teach on Lamentations last weekend at a Theology on Tap for young people. An odd topic and a wonderful lesson. If I can find a copy of her paper I will forward it along to you as food for thought. You always fill my morning breakfast plate!////FROM JACK: Being a parent is a learning experience. Just like in school, some days are better than others. It's good to have good teachers, but I am impressed with students of all ages who can "process" education even from poor circumstances

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: jazz and rock?? ////FROM JACK: Yes, and probably Lawrence Welk music...and Sousa...and Frankie Yankovic., too.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Let's hope Glen Miller is there.////FROM JACK: "Speaking of Heaven" was a famous Miller song (about another kind of heaven). As for the sound of music, I like the sound of "A String of Pearls." Heavenly!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Winning Words 8/8/11
“You are my mirror.” (Sarah Browning) Someone recently showed me an iPad picture of herself which was distorted, like the image in a Fun House mirror. Most of us would rather have a looking glass that reflects our “true” image. A good friend is like that. In his famous poem, “To a Louse,” Bobby Burns describes how good it would be to see ourselves as others see us. Do you have a friend like that? I do. ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Just finished a book by Richard Rohr "Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life." He also says we need a true friend who will help us in our "shadow boxing". In the second half of life, we can become truly a wise elder when we deal with the shadow side of ourselves which does require truthful feedback--not to be utterly destroyed by criticism but to be built up by God and our friend's loving care. Sometimes it's a pretty humiliating experience. I actually think it's my husband who bears the brunt of this task for me. Also my daughter and faith community. Great WW again.////FROM JACK: Continuing with the "boxing" theme, the ones who help us in our quest to become better can sometimes be seen as our sparring partners. Many relationships are like that.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Even though sometimes I don't like what my mirrors say, they are always thinking of what's best for me. They are true friends!////FROM JACK: Annie, a true friend, was Helen Keller's mirror.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Yes, I do have such a person.////FROM JACK: Is it someone I know?

FROM CWR VISITING IN MICHIGAN: ....and I'll bet it's your wife.////FROM JACK: It's not a bet when it's a sure thing.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: True friends love you warts and all. Because they don't see the warts a'tall.////FROM JACK: "Toadies" look for the warts, because they like them.

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: America's Fun House mirror just disintegrated; that sound of flushing that you heard yesterday was the official end of the good old days of distortion; to be replaced by the Louse-y reality of no economy whatsoever. Hopefully we can bring the troops home, shoot all the politicians and bankers instead, and re-educate the clergy to listen to God instead of .... whatever they're fantasizing about now. The famine is here. What can an optimist do? ////FROM JACK: It would be good to reread my recent Winning Words. It helps me to deal with certain BIG issues. 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.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: I have had two friends like that – but they have been called by God.////FROM JACK: "When the role is called up yonder," you'all will be able to reflect again.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Winning Words 8/5/11
“Most of the work that is done in the world each day is done by people who do not feel very well.” (Churchill) As a teen. my wife came home one day and complained, “I’m tired!” Her mother responded, “Tired? What’s that? Everybody’s tired.” That’s become a well-used quote in our family. A lot of necessary work, going on around us, is being done by “tired” people. It’s Friday! Be sympathetic. ;-) Jack

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: This is a new thought for me. My concept is that the norm is is healthy and feeling good. Maybe it is true that the majority of the work being done is by people who are below that that level. I have to think about this!////FROM JACK: One of my Winning Words goals is to promote "thinking." Because today's quote is attributed to Winston Churchill, it cause me to wonder, "Why did he say it?" I go back to what my wise mother-in-law said, "Everybody's tired."////MORE FROM PL: Interesting thought that the "tired" never use that word!

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Ha! I had to laugh, and nod my head...Tired just doesn't cut it! Remember Pearl Bailey (wife of Louie Bellson, the great drummer from Moline) singing her song TIRED...she did it so well, and always brought down the house! As one comedian observed, "If you think you've got it tough, read the history books." I plan to keep fanning my shirttail doing all I can, until I just can't! Reading about Churchill, in the Pulitzer prize-winning book NO ORDINARY TIME, when he visited the FDR and Eleanor household on several occasions, he was a problem drinker. Or that's what I read into it. That can make you tired, I imagine! ////FROM JACK: I'd forgotten about that song. And yes, alcoholism can make more than the alcoholic, tired!


Tired of the life I lead,
Tired of the blues I breed,
Tired countin' things I need,
Gonna cut out wide and that's the truth,
Get a brand new man while I got my youth.

Tired of the clothes I wear,
Tired of the patches there,
I'm tired of the crows I scare,
Gonna truck downtown and spend the (moo?)*
Get short vamp shoes and a new man too.

Washin' and a-tubbin'
Cleanin' and a-scrubbin'
Sure leaves my glamour with a scar.
All that mendin' and a-moppin'
Washin' and a-shoppin'
Don't make me look like a glamorous star.

Tired of the tears I shed,
Tired of livin' in the red,
Tired of my same old bed,
Gonna live the life of Cindy Lou
And do the things that I know she'd do
'Cause I'm tired, yes I'm tired of you.

Well, I guess by now you all have the general idea.
I am tired.
I-I am in the wrong place.
Do you know I-- What am I doing in this studio?
Well I just passed by and heard "Tired" playing,
Do you know I'm in the wrong place?
I thought this was my recording session,
This is Louie's recording session.
Music sound so good, though, I think I'll stay here.
At least sing four more bars and enjoy myself while I'm here.
Come to think about it, you know something else?
I don't know nobody here.
They certainly look like nice fellas though

And they keep playing this song, maybe they expectin' me to come in later.
Yeah, it's a long way, but I'm trying to wait for a few more bars and then I'll sneak in on 'em...

…So I can live the life of Cindy Lou, and do the things that I know she'd do.
I'm tired, mighty tired of….

….You know I don't know all of these boys personally, honey,
But I certainly would like to thank them very much
For letting me drop in on this session.
I've enjoyed myself so much, it sounds good too.
Wait a minute, I'll close the door as I'm leaving,
Thank you so much...


FROM CWR VISITING IN MICHIGAN: I'm tired...., but that's no excuse for lethargy. Amanda and I are making clay dough pots.////FROM JACK: I'll bet Amanda isn't tired.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: Like it and big fan of WC.////FROM JACK: Churchill reminds me of the Robert Schuller book title: "Tough Times Never Last. Tough People Do." He was the leader that Britain (and the world) needed during WW2.

FROM BF IN MICHIGAN: TGIF! Have a great weekend.////FROM JACK: As the old saying puts it: “Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.”

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Winning Words 8/4/11

“To win in a relationship, don’t keep score.” (Crown Point, IN) This saying was seen on a church sign. It can apply in a variety of situations. I smiled when I read, “Christians are required to love one another, even if they’re married.” When the love game is played correctly, there’s no keeping score, no losing, only winning. I came across these “3 Rules for LUV”…Listen – Understand – Verbalize. Try it today. ;-) Jack

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: True. As needing to take credit may get in the way of doing a good job. I read a comment recently that most divorces are caused by selfishness and misunderstanding. This is probably true in many relationship difficulties; friends, family. It relates to today's winning words.////FROM JACK: Most divorce events start with someone keeping score.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Wonderful Words! I sent them to all! Especially loved the 3 Rules. I am having computer problems. Hope you get this.////FROM JACK: Your response reminds me of an old Sunday School song: "Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of love...."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Good advice...Your three rules on marriage would do the trick, if husbands would be more verbal! I read another church sign this week @ Christian Fellowship Church: CHURCH PARKING! (Trespassers Will Be Baptized!) Hopefully we have learned to heed not keeping score, over a lifetime of relationships...////FROM JACK: ...and wives less verbal? I'm just kidding. It's hard to have a one-sided conversation, isn't it? I visited a church not long ago where the spots closest to the door were reserved starting with the senior pastor. Every deacon had a spot. So did the organist and the choir director. It was a long row. Visitors had to fend for themselves.

FROM IE IN MICHIGAN: It has been wisely said:"Before you get married you should have your eyes wide open; once you're married you should keep your eyes half closed (only if you're not driving).////FROM JACK: ...and share the remote, too.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Winning Words 8/3/11
“There’s enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.” (Gandhi) Gandhi, besides practicing non-violence, also practiced voluntary poverty, believing that we should only possess what we need. After his assassination, the number of his earthly possessions could be counted on two hands. They included a prayer book, two porcelain monkeys and a spittoon. What if we only wanted what we needed? ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: It would be so great if everyone had what they needed, especially the people of Somalia. Thanks for helping us to think of Gandhi today and reflect on what he stood for, wondering if I can aim for just a little bit of his values and integrity and love of people and seeking more justice in this conflict-filled old world. It was interesting to see he had a spittoon. Was that because he was a smoker or just a polite spitter?//// FROM JACK: This world's basic conflict...the haves versus the have-nots.

FROM SL IN TEXAS: I will give you a big Amen on this one! Perhaps there would be enough for everyone on this planet! What a concept!////FROM JACK: "Enough" of what?

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Gandhi's words ring so true. We could all do a little self-evaluation in that regard. In our home we are gradually dispensing with unnecessary items, things we don't need and never did need, evidence of our own greed. Other words come to mind, words which were penned in a different context, but now are used so frequently that they've almost become a cliche..."Less is More!"////FROM JACK: Gandhi was assassinated. Jesus was crucified. "Kill the messenger!"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: If we had what we really needed, we would all possess food, water and shelter. We should be deeply grateful God doesn't just grant what we need. We all have way more than we need but probably still want more. We are grateful!////FROM JACK: If we have all we need, why do we need to seek for more? The answer is sociological, psychological, philosophical and theological.

FROM LP IN MICHIGAN: It can be a hard thing to untangle, but I'm guessing my house would be a lot less messy if I did!////FROM JACK: Where will you put your spittoon?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is a very good thought and life is simplified that way. Think about the pioneers who went west in our country in the old days. They certainly could not take much with them of their worldly possessions. When our ancestors came from the old country, most brought very few possessions. I still have two of the trunks that crossed the Atlantic with my grandparents from Sweden. Mother kept them in the attic. At the museum in Sanford, Florida there are several trunks just like theirs By the way, did you know that Sanford was a Belgian who owned some orange groves and hired the Swedish immigrants to pick until a big freeze killed everything?////FROM JACK: If you watch Antiques Roadshow, you notice that people are always bringing in stuff that their ancestors accumulated. My mother never kept many things. If it had no use, a favorite expression of hers was, "Ditch it!"

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Here I thought he died with only his glasses and a library card!////FROM JACK: I only listed four things. He also left a mat, his glasses and two pair of sandals that he had made. No library card, that I know of.

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: If we only wanted what we needed, we would be pretty dull people. The thing is not to not have wants but to learn to control the can't get rid of it but it can be controlled. ////FROM JACK: If I were to sit down for conversation with Gandhi, I don't think that I'd find him to be dull. However, I think that he might have some reservations about me.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: I think the problem might be that everything we want, we think we need. //// FROM JACK:

When God passed out brains,
I thought he said trains,
And I missed mine.

When God passed out looks,
I thought he said books
And didn’t want any.

When God passed out ears,
I thought he said beers
Ands asked for two long ones.

When God passed out legs,
I thought he said kegs
And asked for two fat ones.

When God passed out noses,
I thought he said roses
And asked for a big red one.

When God passed out heads,
I thought he said beds
And asked for a big soft one.

When God passed out hips,
I thought he said lips
And asked for two large round ones.
God I am a mess.
When God passed out hands
I thought He said hams
And I said give me two big fat ones.

When God passed out chins
I thought He said pins
And I said Give me a long sharp one.

FROM THE MEDDIA IN IOWA: If that were true we would have 90% unemployment rather then 14%//// FROM JACK: That raises the philosophical question, "What is the purpose of employment?" Which raises another question in my mind: "Should zero unemployment be the goal?" Thanks for causing me to wonder.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I have another saying by Ghandi posted on my wall, under a picture of a Beach chair, sandy Beach and Ocean scene, "There is more to life than increasing its speed." His biography was a really interesting read! J.L.Kraft, quoted this saying in an address at Green Lake, WI. I was quite taken with it, as it was easy to remember. My husband's quote, posted on the fridge, "WANT WHAT YOU HAVE, AND YOU'LL ALWAYS HAVE WHAT YOU WANT"...has helped me control my materialistic urges, somewhat! In our land of plenty, it is a continual battle.////FROM JACK: Gandhi would have a difficult time living in Petersburg, and you probably wouldn't do very well walking in his sandals. We learn from one another, because none of us has all of the answers.