Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winning Words 11/30/11
“When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.” (Otto von Bismark) Recently, my son sent an old video of the TV show, “To Tell The Truth.” Only one of 3 participants told the truth. All of the panelists were fooled and picked the wrong Tony LaRussa. It’s surprising how many people will believe what appears on the computer screen or what the media tells them. Today’s good advice: Tell the truth! ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: That, of course, implies that there is "truth"....I sincerely believe there you? ////FROM JACK: Yes, I believe that there is ultimate truth...but we are continually searching for it. ////MORE JS: You are like Mitt Romney...a "flip flipper". I agree with your "new" position...////FROM JACK: Sometimes the "B" side (the flip side) of a record is better than the "A" side. "I'll be around" by the Ink Spots is one example.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: That's why I like Bible studies with people so much. Invite everyone!! Gather around!! Start with prayer. Everyone share what they think the scripture is telling them. Have a good discussion, try to always be friendly, open to other's viewpoints, feel the joy or pain, end with prayer, go home, pray some more. Somehow people will figure out what the truth is but it takes discipline and patience. But I don't think our purpose is to fool the world but light up a piece of it. Actually, fooling the world is sort of a cranky position to take but the advice to tell the truth is the best. Thanks for today's good advice,////FROM JACK: In order not to be fooled, it is necessary to look at a variety of opinions...and still maintain an open mind.

FROM TL IN HOUSTON: Jack, you are spot on...every day. Thank you for your daily ministry! ////FROM JACK: No foolin'? Thanks

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Love these words! I remember "To Tell The Truth". I used to love to watch the program. I was fooled a lot of times. Now-a-days, it's just as hard to know the truth, maybe even harder because we are bombarded with lies so much we start to believe them ourselves. Some are even changing the words of the Bible to make it more politically correct! "The truth shall make us free!"////FROM JACK: I'm for any translation that makes God more understandable. Many of the newer translations rely on manuscripts that weren't available to earlier translators. It's also important to have confidence in the translator. In the end, it's a search for truth.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: There's a lot of truth in that.////FROM JACK: A lot of thtruthat.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: The word truth is used so frequently in the Bible, but especially in the fourth Gospel – where our Lord speaks of Himself as “The way, the truth and the life.” John 14:6. Being truthful is a worthy goal for any follower of our Lord.////FROM JACK: Is a goal something that you are always striving to attain? If it is reached, is it no longer a goal?////MORE FROM FM: With truth, a constant challenge . . . which we deal with each and every day – hence, a goal!

FROM BLAZING OAKS: We used to LOVE that show, "To Tell the Truth". Truly entertaining! The sage Confucius had many sayings about truth: "Sincerity and truth are the basis for every other virtue". and "The strength of a nation is derived from the integrity of its homes" We know that whoever is careless with the truth in minor matters, cannot be trusted with more important matters... good words to chew on...////FROM JACK: I remember being warned that if I didn't tell the truth, my nose would grow like Pinocchio's.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winning Words 11/29/11
“Don’t give up, whate’er you do. Eyes front, head high to the finish. See it through!” (Edgar A. Guest) EAG is well-known in Detroit, and Chrysler is using one of his poems in its latest car ad. Previously, in another ad, words by rapper Eminem were used. Talk about unusual juxtaposition! But Guest’s words aren’t about cars. They’re about an attitude toward life. We Detroiters have that attitude. ;-) Jack

See It Through

When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim,
But don’t let your nerve desert you;
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
When with troubles you’re beset,
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through!

-Edgar Albert Guest

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My mom's favorite! I bought her all of his books years and years ago. We loved to read his poems out loud, especially "Octopus, Octopus". Good words!////FROM JACK: Although I remember seeing his poems reprinted in our Illinois newspaper, I didn't come to really appreciate them until I was a young adult.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I love the Chrysler commercials, especially the one they did last year for the Super Bowl... that truly had attitude! I keep hoping they'll run that one again.////FROM JACK: "Imported from Detroit" is an interesting tag line. Some people really think that Detroit is a foreign country. In fact, look at the map, and you will see that Canada is south of Detroit.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I need those words, after a very hectic week! :-) /Good ol' EAG... Bill had all of our 4 children memorize his "Myself" poem. (I have to live with myself, and so, I want to be fit for myself to know...) Homey advice, which is good to remember at decision times! He also loved his "I'd rather see a sermon, than hear one, any day...". Now, not giving up (!) I'll prepare sandwiches to feed the homeless...our once a month stint at church. (Some Sprfld. churches take turns having hospitality night every Tues.) Last month we had 163, the most ever...! ////FROM JACK: Serving the hungry is a sermon that can be seen. "When did I see thee hungry etc.?"

FROM RJP IN FLORIDA: Thanks, every day we all need positive words like a good cup of coffee in the morning it helps get one going. I sent this one on to several folks who know how to take it to heart. Be Well in that wonderful winter weather. See....I am positive...............////FROM JACK: Positive words are needed whatever the weather. Can you remember what winter was like in "the good old days" when you lived in the north country?

FROM CL IN SANTA BARBARA: Here's an inspiration for you. We brought Nick to SB a couple of years ago to meet with our Providence Hall students (I'm on the board of this five year old Christian high school in SB). He's an awesome and inspiring guy. Not a lot of whining going on by people who know Nick.
////FROM JACK: I hope that "blog" readers will take the time to check out the attached link. Nick's story is one that fits the thought of the Guest poem.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: Great one today.////FROM JACK: "Don't give up!" are words that wee all need at one time or another.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Perseverance counts for a lot in this life. That is why one should take one day at a time. Or else one can just muddle through life.////FROM JACK: "Perseverance" is a better word than "muddle." BTW, muddle is a word that means to proceed in a bungling and confused way.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Winning Words 11/28/11
“People don’t notice if it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” (Anton Checkhov) One of Checkhov’s short stories is about Love. This quote may have come from that work. Perhaps you’ve noticed, or had first-hand experience, that people in love aren’t really concerned about the weather. “Oh, the weather outside is frightful…but as long as you love me so, let it snow, let it snow.” ;-) Jack

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: Yep! Let it snow! I am so lucky in so many ways.////FROM JACK: "Lucky" people, like you, can sing this song: "In all kinds of weather...Just as long as we're together...We'll travel along Singing a song Side by side."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Okay, I may be deeply in love but when I walk out the door in the middle of winter, I know it's cold! I guess that comes from living in Michigan. The coldest temperature I have been in was on the AuSable River in Grayling at my parent's was 42 degrees below zero!////FROM JACK: Was that Grayling thermometer in the outhouse?////OUTHOUSE FOLLOW UP: Nope, unfortunately, that had been removed years and years ago. The thermometer was on my parent's deck. An aside story about the outhouse lore told of a bunch of money and guns which were buried near the corner of the outhouse by the large barn. For years everyone searched for the "treasure". My dad even had the forenic State Police lab from Grayling with their special equipment do some checking but to no avail. We figure it was wrapped in oilcloth as the story went but we had never found anything. We were more interested in the historic items but they were never found.

FROM YOOPER FLICKA: SUPER. ////FROM JACK: Have you had one of those super U.P. snowstorms yet?

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: We will be happy, Whether or not.////FROM JACK: So, now you're a happy whetherman.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I would say you " notice" winter or summer, even when happy, but you don't "mind" what season it is not paramount. It seems most happy people are able to see the humor in almost any situation. "Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never ceased to be amused!: :-) ////FROM JACK: Sledding (or skiing) in the winter can be some of the happiest times. Playing in the water or sunning yourself in the summer can be some of the happiest times, too.

FROM CA IN MICHIGAN: Your words are perfectly timed since snow is predicted today. Hopefully we feel loved - and blessed.////FROM JACK: At least, I'm not shoveling the rain today.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Winning Words 11/25/11
“Every charitable act is a stepping stone toward heaven.” (Henry Ward Beecher) I don’t know that God looks at our checkbooks on Judgment Day, but I’ve read that he sometimes appears to us in disguise as a needy person. Was God that bell ringer at the grocery store? Or is God behind those money requests in the mail? Maybe! This I do know….God’s people are generous and caring. ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: thanks! Good words to focus on before going forth today. Especially today when it seems like it's all about shopping.////FROM JACK: I'm staying in.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: I think it is so fascinating that Lyman Beecher was the last of the Puritans and that his son was a Norman Vincent Peale forerunner.....Lyman was, however, much truer to to his faith than Henry whose Ethics were pretty relative and allowed him to be involved in some shady doings....////FROM JACK: It seems as though Henry and the Puritans strayed from purity. Paul got it right in Romans 3:10. Is the Lyman Beecher Lecture Series still in business?

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Charitable acts go way beyond the checkbook.////FROM JACK: I've read that God keeps a Book of Life. Some say that there's a Book of Dead, too.////PFC ASKS: God's a Bookie?////FROM JACK: He's a Good Book-ie.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: I always think of that phrase that says "Whatever you do to the least of those you do unto Me"...I try to live by that while driving, shopping, and whenever I am around His people.////FROM JACK: I wonder how many people follow your example on Black Friday?

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: There is also an infinite number of charitable acts that don't cost a cent...////FROM JACK: The omniscient God is aware of them, too.

FROM DMF IN MINNESOTA: I don’t think Martin Luther would agree.////FROM JACK: Beecher wasn't a Lutheran. He was a Congregationalist. His sister was Harriet Beecher Stowe.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Excellent. I'm forwarding this on to about 100 rabbis. Thanks for this one. ////FROM JACK: Oh, Oh. Each one will probably get back to you with an offering envelope. Be careful! One of them might be G-d in disguise.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: You're right about "God's people being caring & sharing, but be careful about "works -righteousness"...////FROM JACK: God is both a "mind" reader and a "heart" reader. The charitable act is what is important.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Winning Words 11/23/11
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘Thank you,’ that would suffice.” (Meister Eckhart) Before there was Luther, the Germans had a “heretical” monk named, Meister Eckhart. He was part of a group who called themselves, “Friends of God.” That would be a good name for a church. BTW, if you’re looking for a table prayer to use tomorrow, how about: “Dear God, Thank you!”? ;-) Jack

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Most excellent! :-)////FROM JACK: In grade school teachers would grade papers with the letters, E, VG, G, and P. I never got an ME. I do remember getting one P.////MORE MT: LOL!

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: Thank you........and have a good one.////FROM JACK: Meister E would approve of your reply.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I think E must be excellent, VG, very good and G good but what would a P stand for? thankful for privilege of prayer and that we don't need to pray as we ought but as we are able but actually wondering if, when all is said and done, it all starts and ends with thank you anyway because God is so good and we are "Friends of God", maybe even "heretical". Pondering this morning's WW.////FROM JACK: Privilege? Prayer? Pondering? Poor guesses. You were right about the others.////SS AGAIN: I like "Poor guesses". chuckle, chuckle LOL. Whatever, nothing sounds so bad as Failure or Flunk.////FROM JACK: F or P...the parent doesn't see the difference.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: God doesn't do stuff for us because he wants thanks. He does it because he loves us. but it's nice to be polite anyhow. Happy Thanksgiving, God.////FROM JACK: In his explanation of the petition of the Lord's Prayer..."Give us this day our daily bread," Martin Luther writes: "God gives daily bread, even without our prayer, to all people, though sinful, but we ask in this prayer that he will help us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanks." ...and so we pray, "Dear God, Thank you!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Winning Words 11/22/11
“He who limps is still walking.” (Stanislaw Lec) Lec, a well-known Polish aphorist, has a way of putting truth into “catchy” words. Today’s quote should appeal to those who are hip and knee challenged. We may not have all we want, but let’s be grateful for what we have. That’s a good Thanksgiving thought. Lec again: “ Don’t ask God for the way to heaven. He will show you the hardest one.” ;-) Jack.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: Amen........////FROM JACK: Amen, Amen, Amen to each of the thoughts?

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I have something that's temporary right now, a very nice supply Pastor who preaches Biblical sermons and know she's not going to be permanent which is what I really want, but anyway I'm grateful that she's with us now, just like I am very grateful that you were once our supply Pastor and grateful that you've chosen to still "stay with us people" through this creative idea of a WW blog. Always having to separate from people, God does indeed show us the hardest way to heaven, but sometimes He helps people by softening the walk with HIM, giving us remnants of ability to still hang onto.////FROM JACK: All of life is temporary, so let's enjoy it while we can.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: 3 wks post surgery today and working to eliminate the limp w help of cane. 3 wks from now w/o fancy support hose.////FROM JACK: Been there. Done that. I just some pictures of a smiling little boy who is walking (and even running) without a limp on two artificial legs. The pictures carried the caption: Attitude Is Everything.

FROM HR IN MICHIGAN: I am exceedingly grateful for what we have; our oldest daughter, an architect, received notification last evening that she passed the last of her seven licensing exams. She was thrilled. Our youngest daughter is working and happy. What can be better. By the way, I always wanted to name my practice….Limp in , leap out Chiropractic. ////FROM JACK: My wife's grandfather was a shoemaker and used to make special shoes to help people who limped walk more comfortably.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: As one who limps, this quote is very true. I am grateful to be able to walk in less pain than I had before and even more grateful I am able to walk at all. (How is your knee and hand? I find my knees very sore in this weather but then, cold is always hard on knees....and shoulders and hands, and joints. But, I am so very grateful for all of them...even the aches and pains.)////FROM JACK: I'm thankful for modern medicine which has successfully treated my "ailing" hand and knee. But, I'm more thankful and amazed at how the healing process works.

FROM JB IN WISCONSIN: This one really hit home with me. I had a total hip replacement 21 yrs ago and Sept 29th of this year I had a revision of it. I am coming along very well but my goal is to walk without a limp. I still hope to accomplish that goal, but if not, as he says, I am still walking and I thank God for that as well as the many other blessings He has allowed me to enjoy all my life. God is good and life is good.////FROM JACK: Like "The Little Engine That Could," you will accomplish your goal, because you, not only think you can, you KNOW you can.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: Thank you for these daily inspirations.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: I love it. I feel that way every day as I awake and check which part is stiff. In awhile most of me gets in gear.///FROM JACK: Do you ever hear the gears grinding? Gears would sometimes grind when I was learning to operate a car with a stick shift.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: As Elisabeth Elliot has said, "It is always possible to be thankful for what is given, rather than to complain about what is not given. One or the other becomes a habit for life" At this Thanksgiving Season, I hope we can all find at small blessings to savor each day. We are truly blessed!
Ole!////FROM JACK: "Ole!" says it all. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Thanks for the info about a limp. I suppose that also applies to the cane.////FROM JACK: Your response reminds me of this riddle: What walks on 4 legs in the morning 2 legs in the noon and 3 legs at night?

FROM EA IN MICHIGAN: That is exactly the attitude I am striving to achieve.////FROM JACK: I read somewhere...Thanksgiving is a time for an attitude of gratitude.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: moving forward is so much more than hip and knee challenges. emotional limps are more powerful than the physical. aches and pains are aches and pains. head stuff is well...more complicated...not so simple. let's pray for those less physically challenged.////FROM JACK: What an interesting way to look at this quote. Lec would have liked that.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Winning Words 11/21/11
“Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away.” (Sir Arthur Help) The Parable of the Sower should appeal to those who are in the business of making sales. No call is wasted, because persistent calling results in sales. It’s like sowing seeds. It’s like a person is the habit of speaking kind words. It pays off. My sister’s vanity plate reads…PLS TEN Q. ;-) Jack

FROM RJP IN FLORIDA: Good morning............. And that is why I always have kind words for YOU......... ////FROM JACK: Spoken like a true salesman. Thanks.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: My vanity plates read "VANITY."////FROM JACK: Carly Simon sang about you...."You're so vain!"

FROM IKE AT THE MIC: Sorry..but I need clarification of the meaning ////FROM JACK: Sound it out slowly. Hint: They represent three words.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: How clever! A reminder to mind our manners, with the magic words! Reminds me of a little ditty I saved, called CHARITY: "What is charity? It is silence---when your words would hurt. It is patience---when your neighbor's curt. IT is deafness---when a scandal flows. It is thoughtfulness---for other's woes. It is promptness---when a duty calls, It is courage---when misfortune falls." ////FROM JACK: I think you've got it! Nancy always insisted on the magic words, so much so, that I think someone got her the vanity plate.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I love your sister's plate. I remember taksamicka= or however it is spelled.////FROM JACK: Tack så mycket. I remember my Uncle John using a phrase, which my sister and I could say, but not understand. She quoted it to a Swede and asked what it meant. He said, "You wouldn't want to know."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winning Words 11/18/11
“I don’t believe that stupid or dumb belong in my dictionary.” (Mickey Redmond) We are fortunate in Detroit to have “Hall-of-Famer” Mickey as one of our Red Wings’ announcers. He is reluctant to be overly critical of mistakes players make. He’s played the game and knows how difficult it is. A couple of words that I try to keep out of my vocabulary are “idiot” and “moron.” Do you have others? ;-) Jack

FROM BB IN MICHIGAN: I don't think I can write them on paper either.////FROM JACK: Spontaneous combustion?

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Back when Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell and Don Merideth were doing Monday Night Football, Cosell was being his arrogant, know-it--all self, putting down Frank and Don. "He, of course knew more about football than they did." Don responded with, "Remember, Howard, we played the game." Cosell was pretty quiet the rest of the game. Players make better announcers.////FROM JACK: Harry Carray never played the game, either, but the fans loved least, many of them did.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Shut up are two words that are not heard within my range.////FROM JACK: My Aunt Nell used to say to me, "Tyst du!" which is "Shut up!" in Swedish. Does that count...especially when it was needed?

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Those are all words I don't use, plus also "fool" not like "fool someone" but "you, fool".////FROM JACK: You probably don't play April Fool's jokes on people, either.

FROM RJP IN FLORIDA: The word I try never to use is HATE. I really hate that word.////FROM JACK: What do you do when you come to Romans 12:9?

FROM JM IN MICHIGAN: I'm trying not to say such things as "liar" and "stubborn" and "bully" to some not-so-good-people.////FROM JACK: Luther explains one of the commandments by saying that we should fear and love God so that we speak well of our neighbor and explain his actions in the kindest way. Just as Isaiah, it is written, "My thoughts are not your thoughts," saith the Lord.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Stupid and dumb, words such as those words, were not allowed in our house growing up or now. They are considered swear words. I was just caught saying stupid when I was in the car with my youngest grandson...."Gramma, don't say stupid." PS We love our Red Wings and our Mickeyisms. ////FROM JACK: The Book of Proverbs has it right. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Winning Words 11/17/11
“You can do anything, but not everything.” (David Allen) By age 35, Allen had experienced 35 professions, including, being a magician, a U-Haul dealer and a minister. He’s most famous for teaching time management courses. Today’s “thought’ is from one of his books. When I have many things to do, I find it helpful to make a list and cross off the items, one at a time, as they are done. What do you do? ;-) Jack

FROM MY ATTORNEY: Why are you up so early? Go back to sleep!////FROM JACK: I'm up every morning by 5 am, so that people like you can receive a "Winning" Word to inspire you for the day. "You can do anything today!"

FROM RB IN MICHIGAN: This is exactly what I do!////FROM JACK: #1 Read Winning Words. #2 Try to follow them.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: For some reason I had to go to your blog for today's words because they didn't show up in my email. Weird. Like you, I am a list-maker. That is one of the reasons my planner bulges with slips of paper and why I don't use an electronic planner. I think an electronic one would blow a gasket (if it had a gasket) with my incessant "stuffing" it with notes and lists. If I used an electronic list, however, there is less chance I would leave the list at home. :-(////FROM JACK: I had internet access problems today and a few people (like you) didn't get the 5 am message. One of these days I'm going to give up on the little red appointment book and go hi-tech.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: True, true! Prioritize.////FROM JACK: Decisions, decisions!

FROM A MICHIGAN ALUM: i like that one.////FROM JACK: Go Blue!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: same, same - but now i have 3 cards with to-dos - too much////FROM JACK: I know it's difficult, sometimes, but prioritize those cards.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My husband makes lists...lots and lots of lists. I just do one thing at a time and usually get it all done most of the time.////FROM JACK: As "they" say...."Whatever floats your boat!"

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Making lists is also what I do. In fact I may have a couple lists going at one time, organizing the different tasks I am trying to accomplish. It is fun to cross things off! ////FROM JACK: I have fun making my lists, because I view that as the first step toward getting things done.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I couldn't function without my lists!////FROM JACK: I guess that you'll never have that listless feeling.////MORE FROM LIST-LIZ: I did one time, when I left my list at home...

FROM MISS PEGGY: Yes, I make a list and cross things off. Have a great day. :)////FROM JACK: My list ..... # 1: Send out Winning Words. # 2: Begin answering responses. You're number ten.

FROM WATERFORD JAN: Not only do I make a list and cross off completed items, I add to the list anything extra that I do so I can cross those off, also! I often refer to your Winning Words of some months ago "You can't do everything at once, but you can do something at once." (Calvin Coolidge) ////FROM JACK: The Coolidge quote must have been on your list of things to remember. It wasn't on mine. Thanks for the reminder.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: That's scary. I make lists too! ////FROM JACK: People from Moline and East Moline are more alike than one would think.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: I don't waste my time making lists. Maybe that's why I don't get anything done. Hmmm.////FROM JACK: What's important is that the job gets matter what tools are used

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: I also make a list but try to list them in a priority order so that those that dont get done are usually dropped////FROM JACK: Like the quote says..."..and not everything."

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: I too am a list maker . . . and one who senses progress by crossing off items on my daily, weekly list.////FROM JACK: Some who try to do "everything" become frustrated with undone jobs. I just make a new list.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Many studies in the past 75 years have shown it takes about 10,000 practice hours to become an expert at most anything. The Beatles were great in part because of 8 years of playing 50 hours a week in Hamburg Strip clubs (so I have read). 10,000 hours is about 5 years fulltime or 10 years of sincere part time work. 35 careers in 35 years I guess makes Allen a job change expert. I have not heard of David Allen. I'd probably source Brian Tracy for this kind of information. Cross it off the list is good, especially if you remember to make the list....////FROM JACK: David Allen runs with the Earl Nightengale, Zig Zigler crowd. "How to get things done How to sell things, etc. Motivational stuff.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: A list is a good thing and also the telephone to call repairmen comes in handy. ////FROM JACK: Two repair calls this a.m., because my modem was acting up. One call this afternoon, because one of the TVs wouldn't work. All problems solved w/o a repair truck in the driveway.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Excellent thought! My husband was a Football Player, teacher, coach, Sears Men's wear Manager, Insurance Salesman, & Heavy Construction Engineer, before he went to Seminary to become a Pastor. All of these experiences helped him in the pastorate! He made a tape of the next day's events and appointments, and played it as he traveled from place to place in his car. I note things on my wall calendar.
Then I hope I'll LOOK at !!

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: I'm a list maker, too, esp. since I get to do everything without my help mate! ////FROM JACK: I should make a list of all the list makers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winning Words 11/16/11
“If the mountain was smooth, you couldn’t climb it.” (Quoted by Wintley Phipps) I recently saw someone on TV climb, what appeared to be, a sheer mountain face. As the camera focused in, the climber’s hands and feet were finding small crevices which made it possible for him to do the impossible. As we look back, let’s be thankful that things always haven’t been smooth. “We are who we were.” ;-) Jack

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: My daughter Julia bought their present house from the first blind man to climb Mt. Everest. We have seen a very striking video of the expedition. He is now an inspirational speaker.////FROM JACK: My mountain climbing has been of the figurative kind. A friend of mine went to climb Mt Everest, but was unable to make it to the top.

FROM JM IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for aiming the Winning Words at me this morning.////FROM JACK: As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote: "I shot an Arrow into the air It fell to earth I know not where, For so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight. I found again in the heart of a friend."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: As Winston Churchill once said, "The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." or Lincoln's observation, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be..." Of course we can learn and grow in maturity or faith, when we're unable to surmount a mountain, but most of us don't pray for those situations, in order to grow! Bev Johnson once said, "you have to spend some time in the Valleys...that's where all the fertilizer is to help you grow!!"////FROM JACK: Thanks for the fertilizer.

RJP IN FLORIDA sent today's WWs to his children and said: "Keep this quote on your mirror and view it every day. This is one of my favorite winning words. I am reminded of a young Priest who once told me that the problems we endure are the steps on the ladder to heaven."////FROM JACK: Children are never too old to hear good advice from a parent.

FRO GOOD DEBT JON: And: If all incomes were equal why would you work hard and innovate? Kind of like the smooth mountain theory hard to climb...////FROM JACK: Money is a motivator for some. I don't know that it is for me. It's on the list, but not at the top. What is it for you?

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: "If the mountain WERE smooth....."////FROM JACK: The Bible has something to say about the broad way and the narrow way. I wonder if it applies to smooth mountains and rugged mountains?

FROM DR IN MICHIGAN: This reminds me of what someone told me when I was doing CPE way back when. If you go up the smooth side of the mountain, when you get to the top and you slip, you’ll slide right down to the bottom. If you go up the rough side of the mountain, when you get to the top and you slip, there are all kinds of places that will catch you on your way down. And life, of course, is like a mountain. Some go up the smooth side and some the rough.////FROM JACK: Just as we have our own moccasins to wear, our own canoes to paddle, we also have our own mountains. Some people find mountain climbing to be exciting (or scary).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winning Words 11/15/11
“The minute you think you’ve got it made, disaster is just around the corner.” (Joe Paterno) One week JoePa is hailed as the winningest coach in football. The next week he’s fired and Happy Valley isn’t a happy place for him. One’s reputation is a fragile thing. “If only” are two of the saddest words. The positive side of this is that we have a God who allows “do-overs.” Thank God for grace. ;-) Jack

FROM CZB IN COLORADO: Is that a recent quote? I just can't figure out how so many people didn't act appropriately. This was pretty black and white.////FROM JACK: No, it's not a recent quote, but I thought that it was fitting. My experience is that few situations are black and white. The truth is somewhere in the gray.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: Isn't that the truth? Wow!////FROM JACK: I just talked with someone about an unexpected disaster that happened yesterday in her family. The positive is that God knows and understands in ways that we cannot.

ROM SHARIN' SHARON: Actually, probably the truth is somewhere in between. One's reputation now-a-days is certainly a fragile thing especially because the media is so pervasive, everywhere, in people's homes, in our doctor's waiting rooms, at the airport's waiting room, etc., and you just never know how much investigation and thoughtfulness and real truth seeking is involved in any of these news reports. I think the purposes aren't so high and pure either.////FROM JACK: We need to be warned that media pictures and words don't tell the whole story.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I can't add anything positive here. It's a shame that Paterno will be remembered for "not reporting" a child rape (to police), much like when folks around here talk of Woody Hayes, it's not about his winning record but about punching a player in the 1978 Gator Bowl…. I agree there is a lot of gray area, as you say, but is seems to have a very dark hue…////FROM JACK: As I prepared these WWs, I thought: "This isn't a very positive quote." Now, as I read my commentary, I see that the last line shows that it is, indeed, a positive message. Today's news report says that there is more to the story.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Interesting. I’m sad about all of this….doubt that Sandusky is as innocent as he purports yet to be convicted by the jury of the media is a crime, especially when one has no opportunity to present a defense. I also wonder why it takes a decade for these things (like Cain harassment allegations) to come out. If folks really want to clear the air and do the “right” thing, why aren’t they acting in a reasonable period of time?////FROM JACK: Attorneys, judges, counsellors (and pastors) know that stories usually have various versions, depending on the one who tells it. In today's desire for "instant" solutions, it's sometimes difficult not to rush to judgment. "Patience is a virtue." There's a reason why God is sometimes referred to as, THE JUDGE."////MORE FROM B: Yes, indeed but people so enjoy sitting in the seat of judgment rather than removing the “speck” from their own vision, right? I remember when my folks left the Missouri Synod congregation and listened to a “born again” pastor for a while. He did a series of sermons on godly relationships/marital harmony/infidelity and said that often both parties are to blame, which I recall thinking odd, knowing none of the complexities involved. I This was around the Clinton scandal or some other public case and he said that often the one accusing has allowed or even led the “fallen” person to stray… hence we should not be so quick to condemn. In Paterno’s case, I think of him as someone of my dad’s generation and imagine that going up the chain of command and reporting to authorities seemed right to him at the time. Not “outing” or further embarrassing/publicly humiliating the alleged perp or his family or the team/sport would have been reasonable in his mind. It seems with the Catholic church scandals as well that often things were reported in an honest and timely manner. It seems a shame to fault that person who took the first, and right step to report ….when others up the chain did not do their respective duty. I just cannot imagine how bad my dad or grandpa or someone that senior in years and life experience would feel with such a public outcry. On the subject of sport, Frank Deford (wrote a column a year ago) that I thought was both funny and insightful – regarding another football scandal. He takes the position that Americans err in holding their athletes and sports to higher standards than their politicians, entertainers and preachers…maybe we should let the “thugs be thugs” and consider them BAD role models!////FROM JACK: Thanks for you insight. You have put two and two together and arrived at what I think is the right answer.

FROM MEDD-O-LANE: For at the moment the only thing that has changed is your and my knowledge of who JoePa really is or was all this time. What we will know in the future is will it change him to what we thought he was?////FROM JACK: Paterno, through the years, has created a legacy. He did the right thing by reporting an indiscretion that he had been made aware of. He may have erred in not taking the next step, but his legacy still stands. We have yet to hear "the rest of the story."

FROM SL IN TEXAS: Beautifully stated!////FROM JACK: I tried to make them be words that we could all relate to.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Anyone who has worked with young people knows that you have to be on your best behavior and have to set a good example.////FROM JACK: One of the first lessons a teacher, pastor or (football coach) needs to learn is that you are NOT one of the kids. They are not your peers.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: Thank God for Grace…..////FROM JACK: I saw it put in another way: Thank God for God!

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Joe's biggest mistake was in trusting that his superiors would do something about the problem. Hindsight is wonderful. It gives us 20/20 vision of what might have been.////FROM JACK: He did the right thing in the beginning (and that's important), but he failed to follow the advice that he would give to his passers...A good pass must have a good follow through.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I'm casting my vote for more positive messages...////FROM JACK: Did you consider today's WWs to be positive or negative? I thought that my last two sentences showed how a negative could be turned into a positive.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Amen, Amen and Amen////FROM JACK: I take it that you agree. Your 3 Amens reminds me of one of my Sunday School supts who, during the closing worship, asked the children to sing the "Triple Amen."

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Warren Buffet said something like this: It took me 45 years to build this business and it can be ruined in 17 seconds by one dishonest act. True, true.////FROM JACK: It takes less than 17 seconds to push "Send" after you've written the wrong e-mail message. Coaches have a bigger responsibility than putting down the right Xs and Os.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Unfortunately, it is too late for a PapaJoe "Do-over". Such a sad ending for a distinguished career! As the poet Robie Burns has said, "Oh what a tangled web we weave. when first we practice to deceive!" And people are mad at the whistle-blower??!! Incomprehensible. I hope that poor coach gets a "do-over" someplace where he is appreciated!////FROM JACK: The 'do-over" that counts is the one offered by God. This is not a vindication, but I'm waiting for more of the story to unfold. We are quick to read and believe everything the media chooses to show us.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: wow, rather ironic words to say the least.... ////FROM JACK: I'm sure he didn't speak them, anticipating the current situation. Since we are "wordy" persons in our profession, it is a reminder to us to be careful of how we speak.////MORE FROM PH: you got that right! i can think of several occasions when i should have said a LOT less!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Winning Words 11/14/11
“Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens.” (Andy Rooney) If someone were to ask me to define, “curmudgeon,” I’d say, “Andy Rooney.” I guess at age 92, you’re entitled to be a crusty crab and griper. I always looked forward to his 5 minute-commentary at the end of 60 Minutes. He struck me as one who sensed some of the issues that bugged me. I’ll miss him for that. ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: That kind of statement might make sense right now; however, think of 14th century plague, hundred years war, peasant's rebellion, power hungry aristocracy, corrupt church.....hard for peasants to smile in the midst of some of that.////FROM JACK: What do people mean when they look back on "the good old days?" "Into each life some rain must fall," whether it be in the 14th or 21st centuries. Today strikes me as a happy day.////MORE FROM JS: Today and in this place...the world is great....for folks in Somalia....not so good////FROM JACK: You're right. But, turn over any stone," and there are little Somalias, even in our community. Elton John sang about sharing sadness:
Guess there are times when we all need to share a little pain
And ironing out the rough spots
Is the hardest part when memories remain
And it's times like these when we all need to hear the radio
`Cause from the lips of some old singer
We can share the troubles we already know
Turn them on, turn them on
Turn on those sad songs
When all hope is gone
Why don't you tune in and turn them on
They reach into your room
Just feel their gentle touch
When all hope is gone
Sad songs say so much
If someone else is suffering enough to write it down
When every single word makes sense
Then it's easier to have those songs around
The kick inside is in the line that finally gets to you
and it feels so good to hurt so bad
And suffer just enough to sing the blues
Sad songs, they say
Sad songs, they say
Sad songs, they say
Sad songs, they say so much

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Andy Rooney was a favorite of mine too. He could take something like 20 different brands of toothpaste on the store shelves, all claiming to be the newest and best and help us see how an alien would see it, and help us see ourselves. Kind of a truth-talking to all the narcisistic media advertizing that constantly bombards us. Actually, he always made me happy.////FROM JACK: He probably wouldn't make you happy, if you asked him for an autograph.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Another perspective in similar vein, from Irving Berlin: "Life is 10% what you make it, and 90% how you take it." ////FROM JACK: Those are pretty good odds. Two of his songs that express this thought are: "Blue Skies" and "Isn't This a Lovely Day?"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: How life strikes you...really? Hmmmmm////FROM JACK: See! The Winning Words are striking you in a puzzling way today.

FROM JB IN WISCONSIN: I think many of us will miss him.////FROM JACK: Sooner or later, we'll all make the obituary page....some with bigger headlines than others.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Over those 92 years, Andy Rooney sensed some of the "pet peeves" or issues that bugged many of us, and it always felt good knowing that someone else disliked such things too. Regarding "happiness depending on how life strikes you," I'm not always pleased with how life strikes, but somehow the feeling prevails that there's a well of strength for me to tap and get through the situation.////FROM JACK: The cartoonist sometimes shows a character striking his head with an open hand to indicate..."Now, I get it."

FROM IKE AT THE MIC: In my opinion, happiness depends more on how you "optimistically" strike BACK & not on how life strikes baseball when you're pitched a tough serve & you hit a home run you're looked upon as a winner!..////FROM JACK: Some people are disappointed in life, because they believe that winning is the ONLY thing.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: I'll miss him for his keen sense of observation of the things surrounding him....and the way he could put into words what I felt. A true "writer"

Friday, November 11, 2011

Winning words 11/11/11
“The answer is blowin’ in the wind.” (Bob Dylan) When I was in grade school we used to stand for a minute of silence precisely at 11 am on Nov 11, remembering the date and time when World War 1 ended. Sadly, “The war to end all wars” did not end them, but we still remember Nov 11. A few miles from where I live, General Sherman gave his speech, including the words, “War is hell!.” It is! ;-) Jack

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: I can remember my sister Jean and I would stand and face East at 11am because that is where the war the east. My Dad was a veteran from WW I and was Civil Defense Director of the QC area later in the 50s....he was also involved int he 40s in the "blackouts" that we would have. Since he was German ethnically (his Dad was an immigrant) and a veteran the FBI came and asked him to "identify" those from the German community who might be suspect....he said he knew of no one. I don't remember the second World War until around 1944 when we would "play" DDay, or later, Iwo Jima or whatever. Scary times.////FROM JACK: During the blackouts, I was on duty with my bike as a messenger boy (no cell phone). I wore an identifying arm band. I don't remember WW 1.

FROM DOCTOR J IN OHIO: like that you added Dylan to this… NICE!////FROM JACK: Peter, Paul and Mary are known for singing this song, but it really belongs to Dylan's heart and soul.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: indeed it is. i always think of the peter, paul and mary song, "where have all the flowers gone?". when will we ever learn?////FROM JACK: P, P & M had a way of getting there message across, through lyrics and tines that people identified with.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: It is......and that includes all kinds of wars including inter-personal skermishes. ////FROM JACK: Thanks for the reminder that "war is more" than army against army. Thought for the day: What is war, and why is it hell?

FROM MY FLORIST: My boys are keenly aware of the message delivered by General Sherman at the Michigan Military Academy. One thing about the Treaty of Versailles on 1919 is that it was an unforgiving peace. By that of course I mean the terms were to oppressive and ultimately lead to the 2nd World War. You can't get blood out of a rock. This vengeful, greedy peace was what caused the German folk to embrace a terrible course. From this lesson I have learned three things.
1. I was married on November 11th and as you well know its not always easy to seek a fair balance in your personal life. But only with forgiveness comes peace.
2. The only sustainable business model is one that allows every one to profit.
3. Being right is nice but being Dead right is worse than losing.
Well that's my two cents on this one.////FROM JACK: That makes a lot of sense for 2 cents. I think that the Marshall Plan, after WW 2, sought to address some of the problems associated with 11/11/18.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Back in those days, it was "Armistice Day." The new name is most fitting as an honor to all Of those who sacrificed so much. Side bar: My date of discharge from the SSMC was November 11.////FROM JACK: I wonder how many folks today know what the word, armistice, means.

ROM SA IN VEGAS: Once a week, PBS's News Hour shows the faces with name and rank of the service men and women that have given their lives in the current war(s). They do this in silence. The elementary school I have been substituting at lately has 30 seconds of silence every morning following the pledge of allegiance. But then, in the evening, I see a television commercial for a video game of soldiers in battle, the 'player' loses the game (dies), but then is instantly transported to a new game and is 'alive' again and laughing. Why is it some can profit from such poor taste? Can you imagine such a game being sold during WW1 or WW2? I think there would be outrage. Yet we use the same technology to keep in touch with loved ones overseas, through video-chat and the like. It is also used to reduce the human element when countries resort to violence to solve disagreements, such as drone planes, and most likely in the near future, drone solders. But at what cost? Eternal fire? Yup...war is hell.////FROM JACK: Mixed messages, to be sure. Learning begins in the home. What comes next? TV? School? Peers?

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: When will we ever learn?////FROM JACK: I'll bet that you can sing the whole song. Seriously, I have my doubts about ever learning the lesson, and I'm an Optimist, too.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: At least we are not speaking Japanese or German unless we choose to do so. We count our blessings and seeing the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. is a very powerful experience for those of us who were teenagers during the war.////FROM JACK: In my opinion, the fact that English has become a common language throughout the world is not necessarily the result of winning WW2...but it could be. The teenagers of today will have memories different from ours. I wonder what they will be?

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: Where did General Sherman give that speech? I haven't a clue.////FROM JACK: At the Michigan Military Academy (Orchard Lake Schools).

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Erich Remarque's book ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT from WW1 is one of he best war-deterrent books I ever read. Never forgot it! Anyone who has ever served in a war agrees that War IS hell. Bill served in the Navy, and always mourned the High School buddies and service friends who never returned home to marry, have children, and enjoy a "normal" life. Such a WASTE!!!!!!!!!////FROM JACK: So you agree with General Sherman!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Winning Words 11/10/11
“Jesus Saves!” (Suggested by a WWs reader) I remember this slogan from Sunday School days. What’s it mean? As a Christian, I know about Jesus. But what about the non-Christian? If “saves” means “rescues,” the n-C might ask, “From what?” Religious beliefs must be more than bunper-sticker slogans. Someone recently asked me about the meaning of All Saints’ Day. We should have talked more. ;-) Jack.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: My dad saw this hand-painted sign at a junkyard in the south. “Don’t talk so much. Keep your mouth close. And bowel open. And believe in Jesus.”

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: Thank You for your call back to the basics. These days there seem to be so many distractions or flat out deceptions...////FROM JACK: Burl Ives used to sing: "Watch the do-nut and not the hole." Decide what's most important in life and focus on that.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: All Saints Day is the day after the real Church was born.....////FROM JACK: G-d is in charge of keeping the membership list up to date.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I saw a cartoon of a bumper sticker: 'Jesus Saves--at First National Bank….' To the point, the purpose of bumper stickers is to start conversation or a call to action.////FROM JACK: I'd be interested to know what kinds of responses the bank got...positive and negative. You're right. It gets the conversation going, and that's what is important.

FROM HR IN MICHIGAN: I remember my Father telling me a story about a billboard that had JESUS SAVES as its message and someone had written “green stamps” under it. I remember green stamps, my mother saved them in little books and took them to a redemption center for gifts. I helped her put the stamps in the books. Anyway this happened 50 years ago. I am not sure whether my father thought the graffiti to be funny, clever or inappropriate, but whenever I see the phrase Jesus Saves I think of my father and his billboard and I say under my breath green stamps.////FROM JACK: "Redemption Center" certainly has a connection with "saves." Redemption has to do with salvation. Incidentally, when I came to West Bloomfield to start a new church, one of the proposed names was "Redemption Lutheran Church." I thought that it could be a confusing name, so "Holy Spirit Church" was chosen instead.

FROM JACK: A song that I remember hearing on the radio:
We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land, climb the mountains, cross the waves;
Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command; Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

FROM DMF IN MINNESOTA: I saw a picture of Jesus with a hockey goalie mask on his head. He saves!////FROM JACK: He was probably playing against The Devils.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: I don't think the N-C thinks about it any more than C's think about N-C beliefs.
////FROM JACK: Pontius Pilate asked of Jesus, "What is truth?" In my "business," I've had conversation with non-believers who were seekers. I guess, in the long run, we are like St. Paul. "I believe; help my unbelief."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: My hubby Bill once took that phrase and added to it: "Jesus Saves! Marilyn spends!" HA! I did tend to be a big spender in the eyes of frugal Bill. We were a good balance, and he certainly knew how JESUS SAVES and could preach it! And he was very generous to the needy and poor, where it counted. One of his legacies to our family, who try to follow in his footsteps...Jesus does Save! that's why we SPEND our lives in his service!////FROM JACK: Did he develop his sense of humor before, or after, he married you?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Winning Words 11/9/11
“Keep things precisely as they are!” (The New Yorker cover) The NYer cover showed a cartoon of some Wall St bankers (looking like the Monopoly rich man) picketing and carrying signs. One was today’s quote. Others read: “I’m good, thanks!” “Change, Shmange!” “Leave Well Enough Alone!” A follow up cover could show a picture of people in need of change, and it wouldn’t be a cartoon. ;-) Jack

FROM TRADER MATT: I heard something from a friend yesterday that is hearsay but interesting if true. The Tea Party has been an orderly non violent movement. Occupy Wall Street has been violent and out of control. There is a message somewhere in there.////FROM JACK: A truism...We hear what we want to hear.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: One might also include “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. We certainly have economic problems but we can’t fix them by attacking the symptoms. As any Christian should know; men are not angels. There will always be people who will try to optimize their personal gain given the circumstances and environment that they live in. So is the real problem the fact that some (arguably a very small minority of) people are driven by greed and self-interest? Or is the real problem the fact that we have created an economy than manipulates the markets through interest rates and legal mandates and has resulted in a world where it is more important to be connected and know how to "game" the system than it is to offer a decent product at a fair price? The disinterested observer would probably find enough blame for both sides rather than just picking on the easy target. ////FROM JACK: My concern is for the truly needy who have no voice and who live in despair. "Keep things precisely as they are" is not going to help them. I see a parallel with Luke 16:19-21, the Rich Man and Lazarus.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: if we keep things as they are we will soon have a world of very old people. Do we need or want that???////FROM JACK: Like it or not, change happens. Jesus was all about change...especially with regard to how the poor are treated.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I confess, I'm afraid of change and would like to stay as I am; but poor people and people slipping from a middle class lifestyle to being poor people are just constantly becoming more numerous and right now don't think my family is very safe from becoming poor people either. It's probably a blessing that our country becomes more aware of what poverty looks like so we do better by other countries in the world who've been struggling with this for so much longer while we enjoyed eating high on the hog. We're still on the sunny side of the road. Thanks for quoting so even-handedly.////FROM JACK: Those of us who are living rather comfortably probably would carry the sign: "Leave Well Enough Alone." WWJD?

FROM JG IN MINNESOTA: Today's Winning Words reminds us of a quote that we heard some time ago. "Some people are willing to change not because they see the light, but because they feel the heat." Did we hear it from you? It is one of Mark's favorite quotes.////FROM JACK: I like that quote, too. I would rather that people change, because it's the right thing to do....instead of because, it's expedient.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: You don't think the irony of it is sad?////FROM JACK: If I were to preach a sermon about it, I would use as my text: Luke 16:19-21. That's what moved me to write as I did today.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: The cover of the Economist today is a hamburger bun with nothing in the middle. It's titled the Missing Middle.////FROM JACK: I was trying to make a sociological statement today, but I can see where it might have led you in the direction of economics.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Winning Words 11/8/11
“If you’re having trouble finding things to be thankful for, feel your pulse.” (My sister, Nancy) During a recent phone conversation, my sister gave me these Winning Words. You might stop right now and check your pulse (if you can find it). What are you thankful for? A friend is making a thanksgiving tree and is asking e-mail friends to fill it with words of thanks. I sent her the word, “hand.” ;-) Jack

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: I am! Can't sleep!////FROM JACK: I try to fall asleep, counting my blessings instead of sheep. At least, that's what Bing Crosby advised. Tri-harder tomorrow night.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Cool. A home-grown quote. My Dad always used to be amazed at how the heart could just keep beating all the years of a person's life and never stop. Thankful for amazement and awe at God's good gifts.////FROM JACK: Sometimes we fail to hear those who are closest to us.

FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Good one. Creepy but good....////FROM JACK: There's creepier stuff than that going on these days.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Nancy contributed some of the winningest and wittiest words yet. She sounds like a winning sister. I have a difficult time feeling my pulse but my doctor always finds it. Two words I'll contribute to your friend with the thanksgiving tree..."life" and "wife."////FROM JACK: She's the best sister that I have, so that makes her a winner.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: good one! similar to the saying "If you think that your mission in life is over, and you are still breathing, it's not."////FROM JACK: Mission in life? That's something to contemplate. Life, for me, is more than sending out Winning Words...although it's a pleasure.


FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Deeply thankful mine is still going strong. You have a very smart sister!!!////FROM JACK: Pilse: "Something that goes bump in the night."

FROM HR IN MICHIGAN: I am thankful for your winning words and Friendship.////FROM JACK: Friendship is usally a two-way street. In this instance, it is.

FROM JB IN MICHIGAN: Good words.////FROM JACK: Words are just words, unless resulting in some kind of action. Thanks for your good response.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Family ////FROM JACK: How BIG is the Family Circle?

FROM OSAGE DAVID: I am thankful for your work on Winning Words. I am also thankful for the gift of the Bible scriptures to read each day. ( I use the daily lessons from the back of the ELW.) I am also thankful for a wonderful spouse. Also for fine faithful Christian friends. Looks like I am starting a thanksgiving tree of my own. Hey, Dave, why not get up and start on one right now.////FROM JACK: That Thanksgiving Tree is a great idea, isn't it? Let's see if you follow through.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: I love it! Thanks for sharing.////FROM JACK: It sounds like her.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Faith. good family and friends, good health....
And the good fortune to be living in the United States of America. ////FROM JACK: That's a pretty good list. When you've got those, what more could you want?

Monday, November 07, 2011

Winning Words 11/7/11
“I had been taught all my life how to die, but no one ever taught me how to grow old.” (Billy Graham) Today is BG’s 93rd birthday. The famous evangelist is now frail and sees eternal life coming closer. He knows how to die, but growing old has been a problem. What are the signs? Debilitating illness? The death of peers? No meaningful work to do? Is there a secret to growing old, gracefully? ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: the church I belong to has quite a few older people in it. They are teaching me how to grow old. Also the older people who gather with us each Saturday at a worship service at a nearby assisted living are setting an example for me how to grow old. They have been able to form a new community at ages 70's, 80's, 90's and I am truly impressed with their resilience and adaptability to their new situation. I'm amazed Billy Graham could say this. He should come be with us and we'll all learn from each other a thing or two.////FROM JACK: It sounds like you're a whipper-snapper. BTW, what is a whipper-snapper? (PAUSE) I looked it up. You're not a whipper-snapper; you're just younger than some of the people you associate with and who send you Winning Words.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: I think that you've found it and thanks for teaching the rest of us closely following your example.////FROM JACK: As the song goes in "My Fair Lady"....With a little bit of luck, (I'm) movin' up. With a little bit...with a little bit... With a little bit of bloomin luck!

FROM SON DAVID IN MINNESOTA: "You don't stop playing because you get old... You get old because you stop playing." (Roy Hobbs)////FROM JACK: I was still "playing" when I was your age. However, if was slo-pitch softball, not the fast-pitch hardball that you play.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: If there is a secret to growing old gracefully, you have discovered it, Jack. Your Winning Words are an encouragement to hundreds of people every day. What a gift you are to us!////FROM JACK: Too kind! I really write for myself, and then share with you and others.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: It seems you’ve already discovered that…I have no idea your age but gracefully actively enjoying those years seems to be something you and Mary are blessed to embody. I know my mom has had much sadness as friends have gone to their rest but now she has younger friends in the 70s with similar interests and concerns. She too, is blessed with robust health.////FROM JACK: Do you ever look in the mirror and say, "I'm becoming my mom?" I do. Maybe it has to do with the genes.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: In fact, Billy Graham's latest book is about the challenges of growing old, and it's a good read. I think YOU have found the secret of growing old graciously! I am blessed with good health and energy, and a reasonably sharp mind, which makes it infinitely easier to have a meaningful old age. So thankful! (Quote for the hip and knee-challenged:"He who limps is still walking." Stanislaw Lec, poet) We do have to bear the losses of loved ones, and the 'slowing-down" process. Every age and stage has its compensations and challenges! OLE, for Billy Graham's long life. (and ours)////FROM JACK: I like the Lec quote. My knee replacement has enabled me to walk without a limp. BTW, have you ever tasted limpa bread?

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I'm trying to figure that out myself!////FROM JACK: You'll probably still be trying to figure it out when you get to be Billy's age.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: What a wonderful individual he is. I wish the whole world could be like him.////FROM JACK: A whole world of preachers? Who would sit in the pews?

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I imagine getting older is much the same as every other phase of life-- you handle what you need to handle when you need to handle it. "Handling stuff" starts early, not in old age. Playground scuffles, dating, college, first job, subsequent jobs, marriage, kids, divorce (?), empty nest, grandparenting, widow/widower-hood... and all the other trials (and joys!) of life. By old age, we're pretty experienced at handling stuff. Most of you would say there is a book to help you get thru all these phases, the Bible... ////FROM JACK: That for a very "wise" answer.

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN: Growing old seems sort of easy compared to dying. Growing old is hard, but dying is so scary. Maybe we learn how to die as we grow older?////FROM JACK: It may sound gruesome, but we begin to die as soon as we're born. A friend of mine, whose wife died of cancer several years ago, can't wait to die in order to be with her. Each letter I get from him (he doesn't do e-mail) has a note saying that he's pushing-87. He been using that "pushing" phrase for several years now. His "dying" is taking longer than he expected, or wished. We paddle our own canoe. Here's to your good health!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Growing old gracefully is a goal few manage to attain. It's a goal none-the-less and a good one to try to obtain. Knowing our true goal is one the "other side" and is obtainable is our saving grace.
////FROM JACK: Billy G knows that, but I think that his physical limitations are behind his lament about growing old. "Darling, I am growing old, Silver threads among the gold, Shine upon my brow today, Life is fading fast away; But, my darling, you will be, will be, Always young and fair to me, Yes, my darling, you will be, Always young and fair to me. Darling, I am growing, growing old, Silver threads among the gold, Shine upon my brow today, Life is fading fast away." ////MORE FROM THE OUTHOUSE: We would sing that song around the campfire in Girl Scouts. My mom was our leader and even though she really couldn't sing very well, she still loved those old songs. So us kids learned them too. I remember that well! Mitch Miller songs were beloved by the family fact, I still have some CD's from Mitch Miller. (The albums were replaced by CD's for me a few years ago.)

FROM IKE AT THE MIC: I know I am going to die..I just don't want to be there when it happens.. ////FROM JACK: So you're going to have an "out of body" experience.////MORE FROM IKE: You're right! & a profound response because it also addresses the original question you posed :Is there a secret to growing older gracefully ? I don't think there is one "secret" but I believe there is a "strategy" that by adjusting to our aging bodies with an "optimistic" mindset we can age gracefully.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: to be young at heart and to keep on giving and learning.////FROM JACK: Are you still taking those college courses....for credit?////MORE FROM TAMPA: I did that for 12 years and am trying out our new senior center in the neighborhood. So far I am trying to learn Spanish, sampling the Japanese culture and language ( where green tea and goods from the Japanese store are served), trying out the book club(the two choices so fare have been disappointing), and attending the travelogue once a month. The center also has exercise classes and the men play dominoes. The people make it so interesting. In the Japanese class, we have Spanish and English people learning the Japanese words.In the Spanish class are people from Trinidad, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, etc. When we first moved here in l963 our neighbors were from the South and the Midwest.

FROM MOLINER JT: Yes--BELIEVE !!////FROM JACK: Mrs Tillberg taught us this song: "Only believe. Only believe. All things are possible. Only believe."

Friday, November 04, 2011

Winning Words 11/4/11
“It doesn’t matter how well you polish the underside of the banister.” (Randy Pausch) Here’s another line from “The Last Lecture” which caused me to smile. I remember someone’s comment about a pastor. “He majors in minors.” We all need to be reminded to concentrate on the important things in life. Take a look at your calendar. Are you scheduled to polish the underside of the banister? ;-) Jack
NOTE: I had outpatient hand surgery yesterday, so typing isn’t that easy. I’ll read responses, but answering them will have to wait until sometime next week. Polishing banisters (both sides) will have to wait, too..

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Winning Words 11/3/11
“The brick walls are there for a reason. They are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” (Randy Pausch) I just finished reading “The Last Lecture” in which “dying” Randy Pausch gives/leaves advice for his children. Today’s quote seems self-explanatory. But, read it again. Sometimes we can become stronger by facing and overcoming obstacles that life puts in our way. ;-) Jack

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Winning Words 11/2/11
“The future’s so bright, I gotta wear my shades.” (Timbuk3) I must confess that Timbuk3 isn’t on my list of favorite musical groups. But I do like the optimistic tone of their song about the future. Look around your world today and give thanks for some of the bright things you see. Sing some happy songs. Put on a happy face…and you Timbuk3 fans, don’t forget the shades. ;-) Jack

FROM ER NURSE: Really nice poem. Makes you think...
It was written by a terminally ill young girl in a
New York Hospital. It was sent by a medical doctor -
Have you ever
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a
butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the
You better slow down.
dance so
Time is short.
The music
Do you run through each day
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear
When the day is done
Do you lie
in your
With the next hundred chores
Running through
your head?
You'd better
slow down
Don't dance so
Time is
The music won't
Ever told your
We'll do it
And in your
Not see
Ever lost
Let a good
friendship die
Cause you
never had time
To call
and say,'Hi'
better slow down.
Don't dance
so fast.
is short.
The music won't
When you run
so fast to get somewhere
miss half the fun of getting
When you worry and hurry
through your
It is like an unopened
Life is not a
Do take it
Hear the
Before the song is
FROM JACK: It certainly seems to fit with today's Winning Words.

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: YEAH! Love this one. Have it on the Red Cross t-shirt I got as a chaperon in a youth volunteer Leadership Camp:-)////FROM JACK: That's a good slogan for leaders to have, and you are a good one to wear it for all to see.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Wonderfully optimistic words. I've never heard of Timbuk3 but I will look them up and listen to one of their songs.////FROM JACK: I asked a 50-year-old if he knew of Timbuk3. Of course he did. Does that tell you something?

FROM PASTY PAT: It's official...I'm a dinosaur...I've never even heard of Timbuk3!///FROM JACK: That song was popular in the 80's--not the 1880's. The message is still a good one.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Timbuk3 is an unknown entity to me. Imagine my kids and some would be conversant with that group: but I do know the saying, and have used it, and heard others use it. Especially at graduation time. The optimism buoys one up!! Dean Smith (former college BB coach) said, "If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot!" :-) Relax, and show a bit of optimism. It's catching!!////FROM JACK: Winning Words can be a way for me to let people know that there's more to the music world than Kate Smith and Lawrence Welk. The message is the important thing. A seminary prof once said: "A hymn should appeal more to the heart than to the foot." It's not bad for a hymn to appeal to both.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: I think u might like ZZ Top's music a little better... I know they have that line in one of their songs...////FROM JACK: ZZ Top pre-dated Timbuk3 (I think), so maybe they have the "right" to the line. Every generation seems to have had it's share of songs with an optimistic outlook. "Look for the silver lining" and "Let a smile be your umbrella on a rainy, rainy day" are just a couple of examples.////FROM KNEELING LG: You know me, Jack--I am a true optimist! I was on my knees this morning thanking the Father for all the blessings He's poured into the lives of me and my family...even though our furnace went belly-up yesterday and must be replaced! I have every confidence our loving Father will provide for our every need--one way or another--and will bless many through our trials! I know you have this joy in your soul, too, Jack! "Do not be dejected or sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10)--one of my favorites! I have learned, "no joy" = "no strength"! So, in all circumstances I try to remember gratitude...then my joy returns. Thanks for your commitment to bring sunshine to our lives every morning! : )////FROM JACK: Be thankful that your aging furnace didn't give up the ghost in mid-winter.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: I liked that lyric too and then there was the other song, I Wear My Sunglasses At Night…I saw that on the el recently; cracked me up.////FROM JACK: " Sunglasses at night" is followed by: "so I can spy on my girl friend." So, that's why you see many celebs wearing shades...not to be noticed, or to be noticed?

FROM JK IN LA: I like the words today! Anything with musical overtones is always good for me Jack! Going to LA tomorrow to work with a Grammy and Oscar winning songwriter and producer. He has had major Hits with Whitney Houston, Barbara Streisand and many others. I'm pretty excited about this one!////FROM JACK: Keep chasing your dream. Susan Boyle hit it BIG at age 48, by singing, "I Dreamed a Dream!"

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Winning Words 11/1/11
“Facts are stubborn things.” (John Adams) Last Tuesday someone gave me today’s quote, saying, “I think it’s from John Adams.” He was right. Adams said it as he defended the soldiers accused in the 1770 Boston Massacre. For those of you who can’t remember history lessons, it’s worth checking out. I was recently challenged to define “facts.” Maybe if I read more of John Adams….. ;-) Jack

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: John Adams and those revolutionaries had some pretty good things to say...////FROM JACK: How about this quote from John? "I must not write a word to you about politics, because you are a woman."////LIZ ASKS: In what context? In reference to his wife's not approving of his writing to another lady? Or because his own conscience wouldn't allow it? Context is everything...////FROM JACK: That's what I say when people quote Bible verses. "What's the context." I picked that Adams' quote just for you.

FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Knew you'd hear from me, didn't you? Here we have non-existent "facts"....totally undefinable....existing once again! This time as so real as to be stubborn.////FROM JACK: One man's "fact," is another man's "fiction." Who was it that postulated that the world and our life is not real?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Or you could watch the DVD of the John Adams PBS production. It is quite long but full of facts. It is interesting to see how facts are you in history classes these days. I like to read the textbooks used these days compared to when I was in the classroom.////FROM JACK: Beard's book on Basic American History is in a pile beside my chair. I'm going to have to dust it off and see what's said about the 1770 event.

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: They are indeed.////FROM JACK: Cagey Einstein wrote: "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Mark Twain says, "Get your facts, first. Then you can distort them as much as you please." I'd guess this is done with some regularity, right now, by those running for office, or sitting in congress. (To name just a few...) John Adams was a hard and stubborn man, according to his biographer, David McCullogh, but a man of integrity. He did not suffer fools! I wish we had a few leaders like him today! ////FROM JACK: We are all complex individuals. Adams seems complex-ier.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Facts change. 150 years ago man could not fly. But, then again, maybe we just weren't aware of the fact. Is that a fact?////FROM JACK: Man's interpretation of "facts" is what changes. And, that's a fact!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I believe the enter quote is “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
The better part of wisdom (and arguably the toughest part) is being objective enough to know the difference between the evidence and what our wishes, inclinations, and passion might prefer.////FROM JACK: I'm amazed that you can remember your history lesson from so long ago. Objectivity is a difficult task in a variety of situations.