Monday, December 31, 2012

Winning Words 12/31/12
“It may not feel like it, but 2012 has been the greatest year in the history of the world.”  (The Spectator)  Do I have your attention?  Now, let me ask, “How big is your world?”  For some, it’s the size of a TV screen.  Astronauts have a different view.  The Spectator article lists evidence for 2012 as the greatest year.  I’ll send the article if you want as an end of the year pick-me-up.  Beware of the Doom-Mongers.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MS IN MICHIGAN:  Please send if it's easy to do.////FROM JACK:  To look at the world using a wide-angle lens is eye-opening.

 FROM WALMART REV:  I think that was what they called those "Prophets of Old", Jack- "Doom-Mongers . . . however, I agree with you . . . it was the greatest year in history as it put us one year closer to the "Day of the Lord! - Even so, come Lord Jesus!"  Nice to have you back in my life for another week! ////FROM JACK:  I know the word, monger, but I never bothered to ask, "What does it mean?...until today.  A monger is from the Latin and means, someone who sells...i.e., someone who promotes doom and gloom.  In the beginning it referred to a slave-trader, a slave-monger. Walmarts are mongers.////REV:  That sounds like "Capitalists"...the ones who keep introducing us to bigger and better things, to discard the old things for, in which we purchase to make us have a better year than before...slaves to worldliness?  I'm getting out of my league here... I'm just a farm boy on these types of issues.////J:  Monger is just a word... not necessarily a bad word.

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Pls send me the article.////FROM JACK:  The article is from a well-respected magazine, not some off-beat "internet forward."

 FROM AM IN MICHIGAN:  If you have a chance, please forward the article about 2012 being the greatest year in the history of the world. I know a few 'negative types' who could stand a dose of optimism. Thank you for my morning 'lift-me-ups!'////FROM JACK:  Some people benefit from doing daily push-ups.  We all can benefit from daily lift-me-ups.

 FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  Happy new year and thank you for greeting me each morning w a words that guided me in a positive and reflective direction. Please forward to me the link for the wonderful year 2012! And God Bless you w continued good health joy and prosperity sent w appreciation and gratitude ////FROM JACK:  Sometimes I send out Winning Words without thinking about whose computer screen they show up on.  Thanks for reminding me that they show up on yours.

 FROM SAINT JAMES:  2012 has been a bit of a challenging year, yet a great one.  Despite my unemployment, God blessed us to (do things) that would have been next to impossible if I were working.
After all of that, God blessed me with a job which begins on January 2, 2013.////FROM JACK:  Here's hoping that 2013 will be the best year ever for you and your family.  God is good!

 FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  It is hard for me to judge whether 2012 has been the greatest year in the history of the world even with the records that have been kept.  As a believer, the year that Jesus was born could be judged as the greatest year for mankind.  The year that man first walked on the moon could be judged as the greatest achievement of mankind.  Your question, "How big is your world?" shows there is no one answer for all the worlds there are.////FROM JACK:  The astronauts who walked on the moon certainly saw the world from a different perspective than those who were living when Jesus was born.  I'm always trying to see this great God-given world with new eyes.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Any year you are alive, vertical and healthy is a "best" year! Ha! I'd like to read that optimistic article, too, and I tend to agree with those who take a favorable view of the future...An article in Reader's Digest (Jan) has an upbeat article THIS ASTONISHING AGE by Fareed Zakaria, from his commencement address at Harvard.  In it, he says that 1/3 of all babies born this year in developed countries will live to be 100.  And that the UN estimates that poverty has been reduced more in the last 50 yrs. than in the previous 500 yrs, most of that taking place in the last 20 yrs!  A good read!  Happy; Healthy 2013. May the majority of our news be good!!////FROM JACK:  So many people have a myopic view of the world, only seeing that which is directly in front of them.  Fareed looks at the world situation in pretty much the same way as does the author of The Spectator article.  2012 was a bummer for da Bears.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  As I look back over the months of 2012,  I don't exactly call it my greatest year, much less the greatest year in the history of the world.  I would like to see the Spectator article...perhaps it will bend my vision in a more positive direction.  Happy New Year to you for your Winning Words, and ditto to all the recipients.  Thanks for your contributions to making 2012 better than it would have been otherwise. ////FROM JACK:  What you see when you look at a building is not "the building."  You don't see the structural members, the interior nuances.  You don't see it from different angles, or with different lightings.  People who take a glance at the building and say, "I don't like it," are simply expressing an opinion
Now, read the article about the year, 2012.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Winning Words 12/28/12
“It’s not easy being green…”  (Kermit the Frog)  It seems that our recycling bin is getting heavier each week, but we still have a ways to go.  We haven’t started a compost pile, nor have we switched to curly light bulbs.  The first Earth Day was observed in 1970 and has been gaining adherents ever since.  I’d be interested to know what it is that you are doing to make this earth a better place in which to live.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  Most certainly could be better at being a good will ambassador in this regard, Jack...I do work at picking up and throwing away dropped paper found along my way, and with participating in the recycling program of our city.////FROM JACK:  A good resolution for the New Year:  "I'm going to be greener in 2013!"

 FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN:  We have been asking for the same size recycling container as our garbage.  As it is, we have two full little buckets each week. The reason we get for not allowing a bigger container is that the recycling trucks are not equipped to handle them. This is a good case of people wanting to do the "green thing" but the system won't adjust.////FROM JACK:  Sometimes good things take time.  Think how far recycling has come since 1970.  Think how far you have come since 1970.  The patience of Job is a good example to follow.

 FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Composting, curly light bulbs, recycling all papers and plastics.  Could do more - and probably will as time goes by.////FROM JACK:  Our first curly light bulb burned out in a couple of months, and it was a pain to get rid of it.  Maybe I'll have to try again, if I want to be green and practice what I preach .

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Learning organic gardening, not watering the lawn, being happy and joyful with produce that nature produces that isn't looking perfectly perfect, accepting more diversity, trying to listen and learn more from plants and also people what they need from their perspective and not trying to control others, living more with reconciliation and peace and always seeking understanding and wholeness.////FROM JACK:  WOW!  That's a BIG plateful.  I don't know if I can eat it all at once.  Listening to plants?  I've heard that in Iowa you can actually hear the corn growing in the fields

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  A couple years ago I added grocery and household packaging to the appropriate collection and was surprised at the accumulation in a week's time. Cardboard, metal, and glass are collected by my waste disposal company every week, and that does make it easy. There are public bins for disposal of newspapers and magazines in many areas.   At church we recycle food waste that wild animals will eat, collect recyclables that we can put in our home collection, and the Sunday bulletins go into a special basket after worship.  One by one we can make a difference.////FROM JACK:  I'm beginning to use cloth bags at the grocery store, but now I have to buy plastic garbage bags to replace the store ones that we  used for garbage.  When I was growing up, raw garbage (no paper, metal or glass) was picked up in an open truck and hauled to the hog farms for food.  That was a kind of recyling.////WJ:  I recall my parents dividing garbage/trash during WW II--food waste was separated out to feed the hogs (we had hogs in Michigan, too), and I never wondered where the other stuff went--I later assumed it had been sent to landfills.  My dad took food scraps to a corner of the Victory garden every day, turned it over into the dirt with a spade, and used that dirt later for fertilizer--easy composting with no odor.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We recycle everything but it's to cut down on buying garbage bags.  I use the curly bulbs only outside because they are so deadly inside if they break.  No compost pile but we do turn off the water, take short showers sometimes...when the arthritis isn't too bad, and try to eat what we buy instead of throwing it out.  We do turn off lights when we leave the room.  We aren't up in the top 20 of recyclers but we do try.////FROM JACK:  An outhouse would conserve water.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I have a few curly light bulbs, but I hate them.  They are very expensive and don't last as long as they are supposed to.  I hoarded the good old incandescent kind.  I hope they get reinstated before I run out!////FROM JACK:  Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease.  I think that there are still problems to be solved regarding those bulbs.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  my good friends own local coffee shops. they bring up a good point... restaurants just throw all their waste in the dumpster. no recycling.////FROM JACK:  Yes, it's a good point.  It's not a perfect world, but slow progress is better than no progress.

 FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  We are probably doing just a drop in the bucket compared to some,  But I do recycle every bit of trash: break down all cardboard boxes(cereal, etc), all sorts of food now is sold in recyable containers.  I save many and reuse.  I reuse the gallon storage bags by washing them out. (My kids will say to me if they are looking for a bag " I mean a new one,not one that has crumbs in it!"). I take the newspapers to a school as they get credit for them, etc, etc.////FROM JACK:  The ocean is made up of many drops.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We installed two of the new light bulb in the kitchen yesterday because one had burned out,  It is amazing how much brighter everything is and still is using just 23  watts.  What a wonderful world we live in.////FROM JACK:  Speaking of a wonderful world, the Wolverine football team will be playing in Tampa on New Year's Day.  Will you be going?

 FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  I compost my garbage, use curly light bulbs, and save all clean paper for recycling.  I iron clothes and use my dishwasher on weekends or after 8:00 pm.////FROM JACK:  You get a gold star, because you are REALLY helping to make your corner of the world a better place.////DP:  Well, I have no choice because I serve on the Environment Committee and everyone here at Becketwood is expected to cooperate on these matters.  And I am all for that! Of course many do much more than I ! ////J:  Two gold stars! 

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I live by the sampler, : Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Do without." BUT... I am resisting curly light bulbs with a vengeance. Contain mercury and made in China. ////FROM JACK:  Do you remember when we used to play with mercury in chemistry class?  We'd coat dimes with it to make them slippery.

 FROM CL IN CALIFORNIA:  A few years ago Novi ended its recycling program.  Instead of weekly pickups they opened a recycle center on 11 mile rd where you can drop off all recycle material.  Lois and I have used  the centerand make a trip or two a month,  not many people use it since I have never seen a crowd at the location.  Just an example of what recycle does to our garbage landfill problems.  As I said we have used it since it started and over the years we have never generated more that 1 bag of garbage a week{a small one at that].  We have a neighbor who is out of town most weeks so I agree to dispose of his garbage.  He does not recycle anything.  When I pick up his garbage on Monday Morning he never has less than 3 BIG bags of trash that goes to the landfill.  consider the savings if we were  required to recycle.  but of course we are far to democratic to require anything like that.////FROM JACK:  I thought that Northville was a progressive community.  Weekly recycling pickup, plus two hazardous waste days, is taken for granted where we live.  The waste hauler will also pick up any large items when a call is made ahead of time.  I also like Michigan's 10 cent per bottle/can deposit program..

 FROM TRIHARDER:  I can't believe the bags and bags of paper -- just from home -- that I toss out every week.  The vast majority of it is junk-mail and plastic.////FROM JACK: I don't mind the junk mail.  It's sort of a subsidy for the Post Office and it provides jobs for advertising people, printers, paper mill workers and loggers...and wood is a replaceable resource (like other plant products).  But I still think that recycling paper is a good idea.

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  so my beloved has been paying attention.  i got a really nice,(all i wanted was a basic), ukulele for christmas,  i started relearning chords with somewhere over the rainbow and it's not easy being green.  two of my life's anthems.  dorothy and much in common.////FROM JACK:  Next you can start working on Don Ho's "Tiny Bubbles," and Tiny Tim's "Tiptoe Through the Tulips."

 FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  Well, we do have curly light bulbs and I have a compost barrel.  Our church is "green" which is led by one of our congregation whose career is in the "green" world.  She has organized a rain garden, named the plants, recycles in the church and writes a monthly note in our news letter.////FROM JACK:  It's surprising what some people can do when they're motivated.  I tried to be a motivator in some of my sermons.

 FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  We, across the pond are recycling everything possible.  It is becoming competitive!!!!////FROM JACK:  A lot of recycling seems to depend on whether or not it's cost effective.

 FROM CH ON CAPE COD:  Our church has solar panels that supply 110% of our electric needs, J (we will be able to donate the excess to someone/charity of our choosing)  At home we had an energy audit and will get some free upgrades and do a few things that we’ll pay for (we have the curly light bulbs, will get better insulation)////FROM JACK:  Why do"people" go green...To save money, or to save the planet?
////CH: At our church, we had a group of people who were interested in “saving the planet,” a group of people wanting to “save money” and a group of people trying to keep another group from having the money to spend.  When all three saw solar panels as serving their goal, then we had the momentum to move on it in the congregation.  It was a humbling (and perhaps inspiring) lesson that when ideals and pragmatism and compromise come together, things get accomplished… (I once thought it would be as easy as discerning the will of Jesus ----- and then realized when dealing with human beings, it’s always a bit more complicated!) ////J:  Sometimes you ask a question, and you get an answer.  I got an answer that was also interesting.

 FROM SPARTAN JS:  I LOVE being GREEN.  :>)////FROM JACK:  As Kermit says, "it's not easy being green," when you lose to the Wolverines.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winning Words 12/27/12
“There's a view in this country that everybody's going through what they're going through for the first time.”  (Cokie Roberts)  Today is Cokie’s birthday.  She’s one of my favorite NPR commentators.  My grandchildren ask, “What was it like living in The Great Depression?”  I tell them that it was hard, but was made easier, because we knew others faced similar problems.  Life is easier when we practice empathy.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN:  I really like Cokie Roberts, too. She seems to always have such a wise perspective on complicated events. Another person who I've grown to really like is Matt Dowd. I've watched him become a voice of reason from once being purely partisan.  It's interesting reading, watching, and observing how different people view the same event and have wise and differing perspectives. ////FROM JACK:  Altho I know the name of Matt Dowd, I was led to find out more about him, including the fact that he was born in Detroit and played an active role as an advisor to Bush/Cheney.  Matt is not afraid to change his mind when a situation warrants it.  We need more people like that.

 FROM HONEST JOHN IN MICHIGAN:  Do you mean that others have had to put up with Jack Freed?    Just kidding.////FROM JACK:  Even tho it's sometimes hard for East Moliners to be empathetic with Moliners, I appreciate your willingness to give it a try.

 FROM WALMART REV:  The longer we live . . . the more evident it becomes . . . I've always enjoyed listening to her commentary as well.////FROM JACK:  Empathy is different from sympathy.

 FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  Did you read the fine book on marriage Cokie and her husband wrote? Beautiful.////FROM JACK:  I guess I'll have to put "Our Haggadah" on my reading list.  Newly married couples have many adjustments to make.  Couples who come from different faith backgrounds could benefit from the advice given by Cokie and her husband.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I wonder if Americans want to go through stuff for the first time. Always changing course, restless, never satisfied, never really at home. Maybe even having adversity is somehow welcomed because it gives us a chance to try solving the problem "for the first time". I like the "Greening of Detroit" grass-roots movement and then found out about Pinkerton in the 1830's economic hardship and his urban gardening solution and then the Victory Gardens during World War II and was thinking that maybe we do these things and then, soon as times get better again, we stop work on that earlier vision. Maybe we Americans like change more than we do sustainable living. People who believe they are going through things for the first time I suppose aren't bored with it all.////FROM JACK:  Maybe it's just a mind game.  I like the Bible verse:  "Have this mind in you which also was in Christ Jesus."

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Always wonderful thoughts.  I like Cokie too – great voice and presentation.  My mom says similar things about the depression and the war.  That folks did not mind sacrificing and rationing because there was a spirit that everyone was in this together.   Sometimes I think prosperity has not been the best thing for our nation.   In my 50 years I’ve seen the rich become much richer and the poor become much more obvious….that disparity between the “haves” and the “have-nots” does not represent the spirit of capitalism or motivate folks to get ahead.  It seems to make them despair instead…dire views on this snowy morning.////FROM JACK:  The middle-class provided a bridge between the rich and the poor.  Whenever a bridge is taken away, a way of communicating (and understanding) the other side is gone.  That seems to have happened in Congress, too.////BBC:  Beautifully stated. Your words are winning ones – you don’t even need to quote someone else////JACK:  The quotes have a way of stimulating my thoughts.  The interaction with people does that, too.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  History is just repeating itself.  Hopefully, people will help each other as they did before.  The neighbors had to help us today as our snowblower broke and last night Gary fell down the steps.  He's sore but fine.  Our neighbors are a blessing!////FROM JACK:  There's an old saying, "To have a friend, be a friend."  I guess that goes for neighbors, too.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winning Words 12/26/12
“Ye who now will bless the poor  Shall yourselves find blessing “   (Good King Wenceslas)  Dec 26 is the Feast of Stephen when a special effort is made to share with the poor.  This custom is told in the words of Good King Wenceslas.  A Sunday School girl played that song for us in church on Sunday.  The Prayer of St. Francis contains the words, “It is in giving that you receive.”  That’s really true, isn’t it?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TRIHARDER:  It feels so good to give. ...FROM JACK:  "It's better to give than to receive" is one of those many proverbs that has its source in the Bible.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Appreciated reading your WW this morning. I think it's painful recognizing poverty in ourselves. Last night our daughter and her boyfriend showed us pictures of their travelling to Rio de Janeiro and a lot of the evening was in discussing the Favelas, the poor community of people living up the mountain. And what are the solutions and what kind of help would the people like. The poverty is there but I also think we felt poor in our understanding of so complex a situation and we were divided in our thinking. Rich people and poor people have such a tough time of truly making necessary changes to make this world a better place because we many times are so divided as to what to do. We come from different life experiences. Thanks for this WW. Only knowing God and that He knows us brings me comfort and consolation.////FROM JACK:  We're familiar with the saying attributed to the American Indians:  "Don't judge a person until you've walked a mile in his moccasins."....but few of us who are "rich" have been able to really identify with those who are "poor."  If we were, this world would be a different place...and some attitudes would change.

 FROM WALMART REV:   found that to be a true as well, Jack . . . often being the recipient of another's willingness to bless their pastor, I find myself uncomfortable at times, and always remind myself why it is I'm being blessed in this way.  Interestingly, for the past three years I've had three and now four individuals from outside our church and in our community in trust collectively almost $3,000 to be distributed in segments of $50.00, $75.00 and $100.00 increments to folk I meet at Wal-Mart during the Christmas season who could use an anonymous gift of money. The one gentleman who has mailed me $1,000.00 these past three years was a teammate of mine on a bowling league in Wichita, Kansas when I was in high school. He moved off to Minneapolis to attend Minnesota State University and decided to live there the rest of his life, ending up teaching college level studies. We became re-united just a few years ago. He heard about this when I wrote of it in a Christmas letter and followed up by asking if he could participate as well. It has been a real pleasure blessing and receiving the hugs and tears from those I anonymously and at random give an envelope to, wishing them a Merry Christmas!  I always ask God to reveal needy people to me throughout the year as I keep my eyes open for a Christmas blessing. I always include a list and description of those receiving an envelope back to the donors after Christmas so they can enjoy reading about their investment. It adds a beautiful dynamic to my Christmas each year. 0;-)////FROM JACK:  The Greek word for "Walmart" is, Ἀγορά, (marketplace).  The word , agoraphobia, describes someone who is fearful of the marketplace.  God has called you to overcome that fear and do your ministry there.


 FROM MY FLORIST:  One of my favorite hymns ... FROM JACK:  The thing I like about it is that it's a story, set to music.


FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  Happy New Year!  Talk about a small world-- At the Christmas Eve service at St. John's there was special music presented and we were surprised and delighted that a special Harpist was on the program: Christa Grix, who played at our wedding. We, of course, went up and talked to her after church.  She "vaguely"'recalled the event.  She remembered Holy Spirit and you more, but that was 22 years and how many weddings ago for her!  It was a nice surprise!////FROM JACK:  I recall the occasions when Christa played her harp at Holy Spirit.  What beautiful music.  Songs by her are often played on WRJC-FM (101.9), Detroit's classical music station..

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Absolutely true!!!  It is truly more blessed to give than to receive!////FROM JACK:  But, do you know who said it?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winning Words 12/21/12
“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”  (Anton Chekhov)  Did you notice that today is the first day of winter?  Shelley wrote:  “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”  The first Spring Training game for the Detroit Tigers is Feb 22.  That’s just two months away; and Groundhog Day is sooner than that.  What are the events that make you happy?  Usually they’re not related to seasons.    ;-)  Jack

   FROM MS IN MICHIGAN:  It makes me happy that the days will start getting longer now….////FROM JACK:  Longer days until the next apocalypse...the Fiscal Cliff.

 FROM WALMART REV:  "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world!" New every morning are events that spring up where I'm involved with a particular season in someone's life...I discovered a new one when on sabbatical in Michigan and having lunch with an old acquaintance at Panera's in West Bloomfield...a wonderful season sharing ministry together once again! 0;-)////FROM JACK:  Everything happens for a reason! Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck.  This hymn says it well.
God is working His purpose out  As year succeeds to year;
God is working his purpose out,  And the time is drawing near;
Nearer and nearer draws the time,  The time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled  With the glory of God  As the waters cover the sea.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Great quote; the sun is peeking out from my window perspective just now.  Enjoy the day.////FROM JACK:  If you remember this song, perhaps you can sing it, now!
So, let the sun shine in, face it with a grin  Smilers never lose and frowners never win
So, let the sun shine in, face it with a grin  Open up your heart and let the sun shine in

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I started to notice winter and summer more when we started our local Emmanuel Community Farm and I also started noticing winter and summer as they are more appreciatively than I had before. Now when we get a good dose of moisture or a nice cool period for the dormancy of the trees and plants I don't begrudge it so much because I realize that the trees/plants need it and people depend on them for food so we also need moisture and cold. Makes me muse a bit--was Anton Chekhov a city boy or a country boy? ////FROM JACK:  Chekov grew up in a port city in the south of Russia.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  i like winter just as it is... happy winter solstice!////FROM JACK:  The winters don't seem as severe as they once were...or is that because someone now plows the driveway, and I don't have to shovel?

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  Today I realized a. the world didn't end :} b. it's the first day of winter; c. spring is ONLY 90 days away!!!  and I usually start seeing some action in my gardens before spring. A lot of things that make me happy are related to the seasons - I feel like I'm out "in it" all the time, so I really look for the changes and celebrations each season.////FROM JACK:  On second thought, many happy occasions ARE related to the seasons.


 FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  Today is the day after the shortest day of the year.  That means that each day coming will have about a minute more of light both in morning and night.   Light makes me happy!////FROM JACK:  Then you must really be happy when it's your birthday.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winning Words  12/20/12
“People always worry about the wrong things.”  (Max Tegmark, MIT Physicist)  Max the scientist commented on the Mayan calendar:  “It’s all bull.”  If the end doesn’t come tomorrow, the next predicted date is in 2018.  If you want to worry about something real, focus on health problems, care of the planet, violent behavior…there are plenty of issues.  How we will handle these concerns is more important that just fretting.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Anyway, I like this quote because it inspires the thought for that which we seek first, because for that which one worries correspondingly identifies that to which one also is seeking. Prior to the biblical reference below Jesus remarks that one cannot serve two masters. It also seems that this applies here too...not just for "stuff", but for what one "covets", wants, or desires. What one wants most at any time will be that which one finds oneself "worrying about" when it doesn't exist or cannot be found! For one does not want what one already has. Hence, the following was what I intending to was much more brief than what I send you:  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33, 34 NKJV)  I pray "all people" don't always worry about the wrong things! As the apologetics would suggest, the Truth is indeed exclusive; and Jesus either speaks the Truth or He doesn't. Thus, the first thing to "worry" about must be our focus: seeking the kingdom of God or something else. The rest pales by comparison.////FROM JACK:  Yes, worries are usually (but not always) about that which affects us personally.  I like the words from the Sermon on the Mount:  "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

 FROM WALMART REV:  The longer you and I live, the more we see the truth of this observation... interestingly to me is to see how the disbelief of a "coming Messiah" is built up as well..."the sky is falling" enough said has the vast listeners laughing at the notion it ever could or was the Messiah Himself who commented that if the "Day of The Lord" was not shortened in regards to His coming back "there would mot be any faith of His coming found on the earth."  The busier the enemy of our soul can get us trying to "clean up our own act" and off God who cleaned it up Himself...he must be smiling a bit more. It's beyond any "legislation committee" finding an answer to this dilemma from my way of thinking. 0:-/////FROM JACK:  I've been guided by the words, "The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night."  So, always be prepared for the unexpected, whatever that might be...including the end of the world, as we know it.

 FROM DM IN MICHIGAN:  Amen to that Jack!////FROM JACK:  Will you be coming to work tomorrow?////DM:  Of  Course.  But I can say that this has not been far from my mind with all the hoopla going around…..Like Y2K all over again.  I believe that when the Lord comes for me I will be ready.   I will be sad but ready.////FROM JACK:  God's promise is that sadness will turn into gradness.  God's promise is sure!

 FROM TL IN HOUSTON:  Thank you Holy Spirit for sending WW on a morning that I am particularly worrisome.////FROM JACK:  Each day I ask the Holy Spirit to "bless" the words  that are being sent.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:   How very true.  Worrying about something won't change it at all.  Focusing on something we can act on is the real issue!  Identify the problem and WHO'S problem it is.  Then identify who should do something about it and if YOU can change it.  If you can do nothing, let it go and give it to God.////FROM JACK:  Easier said than done.

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  2018 is more likely the date of "the end" because U of Michigan signed a contract for a football game that fall.  After the game ends, we can start to worry.  Go Green!////FROM JACK:  Six years can be an eternity when someone's lifespan is set to last 5 1/2 years.

 FROM SAINT JAMES:  I say people should stop worrying and use that wasted energy to get something done!  My family sits around and frets about everything while the world crashes around them, especially the children and grandchildren.  How different things might be if they would channel that energy to get things closer to right!////FROM JACK:  An old saying: "Worrying is like rocking in a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  I think it’s funny that my company holiday luncheon is planned for armageddon.  Let’s hope the conversation is interesting.  Believe there Is some solar event with the milky way that’s supposed to make the night sky pretty tomorrow night.////FROM JACK:  I think that the first prediction for the end of the world was somewhere about 600 BCE.  There have been hundreds since that time.

 FROM MK IN MICHIGAN:  My sister Jen, her two boys 5 and 2, my sister Karen her 10 year old, my brothers 10 and 13 year olds are all spending the night at our house Friday for breakfast with Santa…..Dean hopes the Mayans are right before 2:00 tomorrow!!!!!! ////FROM JACK:  I don't anyone who's taking the Mayans seriously, do you?

Forget your troubles
Come on get happy
You better chase all you cares away
Shout hallelujah
Come on get happy
Get ready for the judgment day

The sun is shining
Come on get happy
The lord is waiting to take your hand
Shout hallelujah
Come on get happy
We're going to the promised land

We're heading across the river
Wash your sins away in the tide
It's all so peaceful on the other side
////FROM JACK:  Hallelujah!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Winning Words 12/19/12
“If stranded on a desert island, what music would you take?”  (Reba McEntire)  First of all, the island would need a source of power, unless you brought your harmonica.  But, that’s not the point.  Reba wants to know, “What’s your favorite music?”   A poll listed Lars Ulrich’s Snare Hits as the song that would be played over and over in Hell.  On a desert island?  I might take Handel’s Messiah.  But I also like country.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN:  My kids are really music oriented.  I asked them to give me a playlist of 30 of their favorite songs.  It was so interesting.  Some of it I even liked!  LOL  Wouldn't that be fun to share among friends?////FROM JACK:  I wonder what/who it is that influences our likes and dislikes of music.  I remember that may parents and I disagreed on what was "good" music.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  A medley of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney hits.////FROM JACK:  Evidently you liked the movie, White Christmas, in which Bing and Rosemary were a "hot" couple.  My Aunt Nell preferred Crosby over "Snot-ra."

 FROM WALMART REV:  When I sit awhile in meditation and focus on our Savior, I have a library of hymns and choruses I've been taught and memorized over the first 50 years of my life that I rehearse in song. These  paragraphs and phrases of biblical truths and praises share in song my feelings and thankfulness to Him. So whether on an island without any power source, some prison because if my faith or on top of a mountain in praise, "I Will Bless Thee O Lord!" 0;-)////FROM JACK: As you sit in the Walmart Coffee Shop, what are the holiday songs that you hear being played over and over and over again?////REV: 
I wish there were... Neither there nor Target- silent nowadays. 0:-(////JACK:  "Silent Day" instead of "Silent Night?"

FROM PASTY PAT:  Hmmm ..... I wouldn't have picked you as a country kind of guy!////FROM JACK: 
Polka would have been my 2nd choice, followed by Zydeco.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS: Oooh! That's a tough one!  Bing Crosby for sure, big band classics, favorite classical pieces (I love Scheherazade (Rimsky-Korsakov) by NY Philharmonic Orch. Vilvaldi Seasons, Mozart, The Mills Bros,  Billy Eckstine, Hymns of faith, Statler Bros., Oakridge Boys, Nat King Cole, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Wow, I'd have to have a UHaul!!  Music sure does lighten our lives!! Right now I love hearing all the Christmas music on radio, TV, supermarkets, malls, etc. etc. And I play my CDs...Love the movie White Christmas...watched it twice already! And The Christmas Story (You'll shoot your eyes out!) and It's A Wonderful Life... Aren't we fortunate to have so much??!!  BLESSINGS!! ////FROM JACK:  With all that "stuff," it would no longer be a desert island.  In fact, you might have to find a larger island.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:   playing over and over again in Hell reminds me of the repeated use of "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Polka Dot Bikini" in Billy Wilder's film One, Two, Three to extract a false confession from a suspected spy for the West.////FROM JACK: Now, that is funny. Just for fun, I Googled it.  "I confess.  I confess."

FROM LK IN OHIO:    On Mother's Day, 1981, I was asked this very question while being interviewed on our local NPR broadcast, "Desert Island Discs".....I worked for NPR then. My reply, now and then...... Handel's Water Music. ////FROM JACK:  That's a good choice.  I wonder if Reba has ever heard it, or would choose it?

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Battle Hymn of the Republic Goose bump time.  By the way, that's live with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.////FROM JACK:  That's a Civil War song written by Harriet Beecher Stowe as she watched the Union soldiers marching off to war.

 FROM SS IN MICHIGAN:  And I would take "Ode to Joy"!!!////FROM JACK:  I'd take Beethoven's whole 9th Symphony.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:   Reba's list surprised me.  People sure love music...all different kinds too.  I would take Vivaldi's Four Seasons.////FROM JACK:  It looks as though you're planning to stay for the whole year...Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: right would be the roche sisters or anything by them.  their sound is so organic.  it is one voice singing all parts.  some musicians overdubbed their own voice.  you have heard the sweet sound of the lillstroms and i'm sure other family groups singing.  one voice...all parts.////FROM JACK:  You introduced me to Iris DeMent, and I like her better, especially when she sings, "Let the Mystery Be."

 FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  How about a hymnal?////FROM JACK:  But which one, the black, red, green?  "Songs of Two Homelands" would be a good one for mme.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I like New Orleans jazz., opera. folk, musicals, country, big band, religious.  I like all kinds of music.  We have just returned from a grandson's wedding in Birmingham and they had a fantastic band at the reception. Also at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando yesterday Christmas music was played throughout the park.  Symphonic concerts and blue grass are great, too. When we lived in Nassau for three years, we enjoyed calypso and the Bahamian songs.  In fact, the only thing stolen from our trunks when we moved to Ann Arbor in 1961 was an album of George Symonette, our favorite.////FROM JACK:  You never can count on Ann Arbor people to do the usual stealing an album that most people have never heard of.  (I'm on my way to Google.)  I'm back.  Now, I can understand.  I'd like to have G.S. on my playlist, too.  There are advantages for living in the Bahamas, beside the weather zand the beaches.

 I'd just try to remember "Jesus Loves Me" until I finally got rescued. Maybe I'd sing out very loudly "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" too until I finally got rescued. Being stuck like that would probably be too traumatic for me to do much more than try to find stuff to eat, sleep with one open all the time, and pray. ////FROM JACK:  Did I ever tell you of how someone changed the words to Jesus Love Me?  It reads: Jesus Knows Me, This I Love.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winning Words 12/18/12
“A smiling face is half the meal.”  (Latvian Proverb)  The “family meal” seems to be a thing of the past, except at Thanksgiving and birthday parties.  At those times there are usually many smiling faces, especially when the “birthday song” is sung.  I read an article on nutrition which began, “Grandmother was right.  Happiness aids digestion.”  It went on to say that a positive attitude around the table is as important as veggies.    ;-)  Jack.

 FROM BM IN MICHIGAN:  The Optimist creed has a lot of wisdom behind it, including:  “Give every living creature you meet a smile.”  Often our family (kids, grandchildren, in-laws) meals are out (Red Robin, Calif. Pizza Kitchen, etc.), the advantage being that the children have nowhere to go, with more interaction than at home.  What do you think about that? ////FROM JACK:  I remember our first experience of taking our young son to a restaurant (Bill's Fine Foods in Wausau, WI).  He wanted to do what he did best at the time...yell.  If we had been at problem.  We can be ourselves at home, and that's what we do best.  I'll take a family dinner at home over a restaurant meal anytime.////BM:  My father always said what you say and that my mother’s cooking was the best.  We rarely ate at a restaurant.////JACK:  During the Great Depression we couldn't afford the luxury of a restaurant.

 FROM WALMART REV:  Another good post for "Winning Words"////FROM JACK:  When you eat a meal at Walmart, do you have a smile on your face?

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  Something to make you smile...
1) You can't count your hair.
2) You can't wash your eyes with soap.
3) You can't breathe when your tongue is out.
Put your tongue back in your mouth, you silly person.
Ten (10) Things I know about you.
1) You are reading this.
2) You are human.
3) You can't say the letter ''P'' without separating your lips.
4) You just attempted to do it.
6) You are laughing at yourself.
7) You have a smile on your face and you skipped No. 5.
8) You just checked to see if there is a No. 5.
9) You laugh at this because you are a fun loving person & everyone does it too.
10) You are probably going to send this to see who else falls for it.
You have received this e-mail because I didn't want to be alone in the idiot category. Have a great Day. Laugh, and then Laugh and sing It's a Beautiful Morning even when it's not.
////FROM JACK:  Yes, I did smile.

 FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH:  Thankfully with tots of only 1 and 5 yrs old, we still eat together for dinner. Those nights when I have to teach or work late we are usually blessed to have a Grandma (and sometimes a Granddad too) to fill Mommy's chair. Though I am looking forward to Christmas dinner when we have to figure out how to put 12 chairs around our table :)////FROM JACK:  I don't know if it was a miracle or not, but Jesus managed to get thirteen around the table for the Last Supper.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We still have family meals, we still say Grace and sometimes our food gets cold because all the little ones want to pray and you know how that goes..."Thank you Jesus for trees, cookies, KoKo, Opie, Chief, flowers.....etc etc etc .  When it's just the two of us things are different though.  We miss when everyone is over, although some part of the family is over about 4 times a week.  I still cook like I'm feeding 10 each day, but the leftovers never go to waste.  God is so very good and He gave us free smiles to share....and they don't even hurt when we do share!!!  :-) ////FROM JACK:  Maybe we can learn something about praying from the little ones.  "Unless you become as little children...," said Jesus.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Hooray for the "Happy Meal."////FROM JACK:  McDonald's is expanding in Latvia, and The Happy Meal is called, a real bargain.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Winning Words 12/17/12
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”  (Marcus Aurelius)  Behind this quote is the thought that we do not know what each day may bring.  For example….last Friday in Newtown.  It’s ironic that a similar event happened in Bethlehem when Jesus was born.  King Herod ordered the killing of innocent children (thought to be 20 of them).  Jeremiah prophesied, “There will be weeping and great mourning.”  To keep the faith is sometimes a difficult thing.  A sign outside of the Sandy Hook School reads: “Our hearts are broken. Our spirits are strong.”   May God strengthen us all in these testing times.    :-[  Jack

 FROM HY YO SILVER:  See if you can find a morning prayer from the Jewish Shacharit service called Birchot HaShachar.  It is a set of prayers that we read every morning thanking God for just those things. Let me know if you can find it online.////FROM JACK:  I Googled Birchot HaShachar and found a series of morning prayers.  I'm interested in knowing which one (ones) you're familiar with.////HY YO:   Birchot Hashachar...Blessed are You, Lord our God, Soverign of the Universe,  who gives the rooster understanding to distinguish between day and night.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Soverign of the Universe, who opens the eyes of the blind.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who releases the bound.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who straightens the bowed.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who clothes the naked.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This reminds me of a song the men's quartet sang..."In the Mornin' when I rise, in the mornin'; when I rise; in the mornin' when I rise, give me Jesus!"  Life is so very precious ~ it's a true blessing to be able to know all is well in the morning.////FROM JACK:  A minister I once knew had a daily radio program and opened each broadcast by saying, "Up and away, for this is God's day!  Are you going God's way?"

 FROM DS IN MICHIGAN:  God bless you Jack. Heading to family in Cedarburg, WI on Saturday. Going to be hugging everyone just a little tighter this year.////FROM JACK:  I'm sure that you have visited the Cedarburg Bridge, the last covered bridge in Wisconsin.  Was it with a horse and buggy?

 FROM WALMART REV:  Very timely...and very much appreciated thoughts to ponder this Monday morning.////FROM JACK:  Every day is a day for pondering....////REV:  I find myself more involved in it than ever before...I would like to have a season here in the United States when I could say, "You think this is bad, you should have lived back on the xxx!" There must have been a time and I've surely forgotten it.

 FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN:  I think G'd needs our help now!////FROM JACK:  Setting aside the immediate situation where I see your point....In what way does the omnipotent G-d need our help? ////DR:  Do you remember the joke about the man angry at G'd for not winning the lottery?////JACK:  The odds of winning  the Powerball lottery are 1 in 195,249,054.  Can G-d perform that miracle?. 

 FROM YOOPER BOB:  Up here the thoughts go back to the big labor strike when a false cry of “FIRE” at the Italian Hall Christmas party for children resulted in 74 died in the stairwell on Christmas Eve.     Yesterday the worship included the hymn JOY TO THE WORLD.   The phrase  “...he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found...” brought me to tears and prayers.////FROM JACK:  I remember when you showed me the "fire" site and told me the story.  Even Jesus, in his humanity, called out, "My, God, my God, why?"  God is able to bring joy into a joyless world.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Thanks for your reflection Jack.  I did not get to church until 9 pm Sunday.  The priest at Loyola nailed it for gaudite(sp?) Sunday ~ he preached about our duty to rejoice during these times.////FROM JACK:  The 3rd Sunday in Advent is called, "Gaudete," a word for "Rejoice."  Coming at this time, it causes us to reflect on what it means to rejoice and, why?

 FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  We adults do strange things and then ask why a child reacted a terrible way.  If a child has a problem understanding normal thinking of life why would we put before them a deadly instrument and teach them how to use it?////FROM JACK:  We never had a gun in our house, but I remember that there was a razor strap.////M-O-L:  We didn't have a gun in our home nor a razor strap, but my mother's tongue stung and hurt me worse then any strap when it was needed.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I put on my Christmas letter, "LOVE TOMORROW, AND YOU'LL HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO, EVERY 24 HOURS"! :-)  EVERY DAY WHEN YOU GET UP, YOU HAVE A CHOICE WHETHER TO BE HAPPY OR SAD, POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE, ETC.  I CHOOSE HAPPY AND POSITIVE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE!  GOOD WORDS AND THOUGHTS TODAY!////FROM JACK:  The old story is about a boy who wanted to fool his grandpa.  He caught a bird and hid it in his hands.  "Grandpa, is the bird in my hands alive or dead?"  If grandpa answers, alive, I'll crush the bird and show him that he was wrong.  If he answers, dead, I'll let the bird fly away and grandpa will be wrong.  The wise grandfather responded, "The answer is in your hands."  It applies to your Christmas message.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  God gave us free will... there will always be people who use theirs for evil... :( ////FROM JACK:  For example, the Cain and Abel story in Genesis.

 FROM CP IN WISCONSIN:  how true Jack!  We were just talking about family traditions and meals.
Everyone is so busy and we don't take time for the little things in life.  How important to have the happiness and positive attitude.  I appreciate your winning words!////FROM JACK:  Everything changes.  Even traditions change.  Even food choices change.  However, I still like some of the food made from my mother's old recipes.

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN: Thank you for your thoughts on this. The world we live in is often difficult to make sense of; but every day is a gracious gift!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Winning Words 12/14/12
“Silence is foolish if we are wise, but wise if we are foolish.”  (Charles Caleb Colton)  Bill Cosby said, “When I was a kid I thought my name was ‘Sit down and be quiet.’”  On the other hand, Marlo Thomas recalls lively and funny conversations in the home when she was growing up.  George Burns and Bob Hope were regular visitors.  What was it like for you?  We tend to become like what we experienced in the home.    ;-)  Jack

  FROM WALMART REV:  "It's time for church!" ////FROM JACK:  My first recollection was Sunday School.////REV:  My father had an consecutive eighteen year SS pin for perfect attendance... We would miss the church service and attend SS on vacation at times. Mom stayed home with us when sick.////JACK:  I can relate to that.  I, too, had a perfect attendance pin...and went to "strange" Sunday Schools on vacations.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I like the quote, but I'm pretty sure you already know that. The foolish can't know they're foolish, or they'd be wise. There are many options regularly available for being foolish, but maybe just one for being wise. As children, we were encouraged to think about the "whole" -- what precedes and what will likely follow. A situation or concept requires a context to understand it. If only those in government (and others in authority) were so inclined.////FROM JACK:  My concepts of  "right and wrong" came from the home...and from the Church, too.

  FROM HY YO SILVER:  Clever.  I think I talk too much!////FROM JACK:  You never talk "too" much when you have something worth saying.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  In our home, we would sit around the kitchen table after dinner, Dad would sit with his leg resting on a corner of the table--sounds strange but he was really relaxed that way--and we would be talking--6 kids and Mom and Dad--about is there really a God and so forth. Boisterous and all really involved and being sincere and all in our discussions. When we left the house and went out among people, we were very quiet and well-behaved. But eventually I had to start talking in church too in order to be myself outside too. That was really a tremendous discovery--you can actually ask if there is a God in church!!!!! and not be so fearful there. Sounds foolish but it is wise.////FROM JACK:  It really is true...that we are what we have experienced in our home.  Thanks for affirming this.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We were taught to listen when adults talked and especially when visiting or others were visiting.  My father worked in sales and traveled. Many many times he would bring home another saleman, a vice president or even a president of the company where he delivered coffee.  We always had dinner together but were told before dinner "Don't take the meat".  My parents never had a lot of money so we always let the visitors have the first go at the food, then us.  We were always welcomed into the conversation.  My parents raised us up correctly.  Because we always had visitors, our house was full of laughter from their stories.  Once my dad  brought home a World War II vet who was in prison camp for years in Japan.  He had had bamboo shoots shoved up his fingers...none of his joints worked anymore.  We would listen to him for hours.////FROM JACK:  I can't remember that we had many visitors at the dinner table...mostly family.  A former POW certainly would make an impression.

 FROM TRIHARDER:  I would suggest that more people get in trouble for what they say versus what they don't say. "Happy Anniversary" and "I love you", may be a distinct exception.////FROM JACK:  "G-d bless you" is another...and not just when someone sneezes.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Once entered a contest in New York City for anti horn-honking bumper sticker. "Silence is golden. Let's get rich." Didn't win but got honorable mention.////FROM JACK:  If that bumper sticker didn't make you rich, how did you accumulate your wealth?

 FROM DREX:  a real treasure////FROM JACK:  Where your heart is, there is your treasure, also.

FROM MOLINER JT:  My home life was fantastic. If I could only be a small part of what my folks were. I was adopted, but no one ever showed it.////FROM JACK:  We knew that you were adopted, but so what?  We at Trinity liked the Teskes.  I remember being invited with the Luther League into your farm home on John Deere Road.  What was it called in those days?

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  freedom of thought, speech. lively discussions of politics, current events. good tv, art, music. parents well-read.////FROM JACK:  That sounds like a good learning situation.

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  I was very lucky because my father always  encouraged  me to say whatever I had on my mind  & it has served me well..he wa the ultimate diplomat ..
When I said something that was really bizzare he would say: "Don't make yourself sound foolish" but never called ME foolish..I try to practice that same strategy..////FROM JACK:  Your father was like the guru on the mountaintop...a wise old man.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Winning Words 12/13/12
“The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much.”  (William Hazlitt)  This quote sounds like the Stoic, Epictetus.  “The Art of Living” is a book by Sharon Lebell which puts 93 instructions of Epictetus into everyday language.  A review says, “She makes him sound like the delightful man next door.”  Her book tries to show how E’s philosophy can help the reader face the ups and downs of life.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Life wouldn't be such a torment if we weren't blessed with the gift of intellectual thought. We wouldn't need to think about how to live...we just would. Freedom and Will have brought us interesting combinations of operation. Eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil has been one of the more interesting and long-lasting one!////FROM JACK:  Although everyone has a mind, not all minds have the same capacity for intellectual thought, or so it seems.  The individual mind can make life a heaven or hell or something in between.////RAY:  To your reply: and this is likely where the phrase, "ignorance is bliss" comes from. Solomon noted that Wisdom is torment", and which I believe comes from knowledge and the understanding of knowledge...because understanding doesn't necessarily follow knowledge. It is tormenting to witness the "bliss" of ignorance and know the fruit which it will soon bear! ////JACK:  What makes one mind superior to another?  Who is the judge of that?////RAY:  "how well it works" is a determining factor. There is no question that some are "superior" or function more clearly than others. One need not judge it, but one better be aware of it! Accepting is much different than condoning. Accepting ignorance is to be aware enough to avoid it. Foolishness is never worthy of condoning. Personally, I abhor it. I'll let God judge it!////JACK:  The longer I live, the more I let God be the judge.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I can relate to those Winning Words...but I would like to enjoy a little more and endure a little less.////FROM JACK:  I have benefited from the words of Paul (Romans 8:18)  "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."////RI:  Yeah...those are reassuring words.  Now that you provided them to me I remember having read them before and taken solace in them.////JACK:  The word, solace, reminds me of the the last line of the hymn, What a Friend..."In his arms he'll take and shield thee.  Thou wilt find a solace there."  So many sing "so-lace," instead of  "sol-lace."   

FROM WALMART REV:  Joined our daughter at a gathering of folk who had paid several hundreds of dollars for a series of teachings that would improve their outlook and skills in living more successful in life and business. The purpose of our invitation was to expose us to their influence on us to sign up for the next upcoming one. When approached I was happy to explain how much I appreciated several of the principles they projected and how  I've found the same in the Bible over these past 60 years. Suddenly the conversation was coming fast to a close.////FROM JACK:  Money can't always buy answers to life's basic questions.  Jesus said to the disciples, "Freely, you have received.  Freely, give."

 FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  Good morning, Jack. I think I was about 13 years old when I read the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. I didn't know what he was about -- but my mother used to call me by that name from time to time, and the book was on a shelf at home. In retrospect, it seems to have had an effect.
Your quote today spurred this thought  Life is a lot easier to take once you realize you're not the only person having one.////FROM JACK:  In my philosophy studies I've read works by Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus, but I need to go back and do some re-reading.  Life is an ongoing learning experience.////MT:  Life's troubles are a lot easier to take, when you remember you're not the only person having them.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  I have worked at enjoying a great deal and enduring a lot.....why scrimp on the front end of the equation?////FROM JACK:  I missed out on many extra-curricular activities in high school, because I chose "working."  We are what our choices have made us.  I enjoyed doing what I did.  As "Satch" said, "Don't look back, something might be gaining on you."

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "PRAYER PUSHES US THROUGH LIFE'S SLUMPS, PROPELS US OVER THE HUMPS, AND PULLS US OUT OF THE DUMPS.  PRAYER IS THE OOPH WE NEED TO GET THE ANSWERS  WE SEEK." (Max Lucado, from Max On LIfe).  If we are blessed, we enjoy very much as well as endure much!  Some have so much more to "endure" than others!   I often stand in awe of them!   Reading your blog, I did not know  that Rodin's sculpture pictured The Thinker looking down into writhing  men in hell! Again learned something new. Also need to get a book by Ziglar!!  I read  Edwards sermon on Heaven and Hell, which does paint a horrific picture, to my Sunday School class (35 "Srs".) and the consensus was that modern congregations would have walked out on him! More and more, I think we are content to let God be the Judge! I close with a quote from the 90 yr. old model for M.A.C. Costmetics, Iris Apfel, ""If you're lucky enough to get old, I think you should celebrate it!"  So, let's Enjoy much, and endure stoically!////FROM JACK:  Among the many Churchill quotes, I like this one.  "When you're going through hell, keep on going."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Life is filled with endurance tests isn't it?  But we are not of this life...which keeps many of us going strong.  We enjoy as much as we possibly can knowing full well the afterlife and perfect and this too shall pass away.////FROM JACK:  I once worked with a chaplain at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.  He would often visit at the bedside of sick "Skid Row" dwellers.  I still remember one of the Bible verses that he would quote.  "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that shall be ours through Christ Jesus."

Pick yourself up...
Take a deep breath...
Dust yourself off
And start all over again.

Nothing's impossible, I have found
For when my chin is on the ground.
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off
And start all over again.

Don't lose your confidence
If you slip
Be grateful for a pleasant trip
And pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off
And start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired
Until the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you'll be a man, my son.

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again
They picked themselves up
Dust themselves off
And start'd all over again.

Work like a soul inspired
Till the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you'll be a man, my son.

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again?
So take a deep breath...
Pick yourself up...
Dust yourself off
And start all over again.
////FROM JACK:  Yes, I remember that song...and it's true.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winning Words 12/12/12
“Earth without art is just “eh.’”  (T-shirt slogan)  In spite of the negative “eh” factor, the Detroit area has much that is positive, its symphony orchestra, the river front, the Eastern Market, museums, many lakes, the Tigers…and The Detroit Institute of Arts.  Recently, people of the area voted for a millage to increase support of the DIA.  Rodin’s “Thinker” sits at the entrance.  Can you guess what he’s thinking about?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  In the eyes (mind) of the beholder!////FROM JACK:  That's a good thought, but there is a "right" answer.////REV:  Jack, you've got the upper hand on this one . . . I'm sure you know something about the creation of the monument that I don't.////JACK:  In the complete sculpture, he's looking into Hell...and thinking.

 FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Just came back from Art Basel in Miami and had never been before.  Rodin's "Burghers of Calais", which stand outside the Hirschhorn Gallery in DC was my first ever "look up" in art, and has changed how I look at life.////FROM JACK:  I, too, got a new look at Rodin when an exhibit of his work came to Detroit.  That's when I saw "The Thinker" as part of a larger sculpture.  Thanks for leading me to investigate the story behind "the Burghers."

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Jack, it's enjoyable to read your missives early in the morning. Keep it up! ////FROM JACK:  There's an old saying: "Lord willing and the creek don't rise."  See also, James 4:15.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Always learning--that's your readers and we like it that you daily tap into that desire.////FROM JACK:  A friend of mine has this saying etched in stone and placed beside his garage door..."Ancora Imparo," which means, "I am still learning."

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  The common belief is that Rodin was depicting Dante contemplating his poem "The Divine Comedy".  The Thinker could have been pondering a way to cash in by franchising his image, since there are multiple castings of the sculpture all around the world.  The pose of the sculpture is somewhat contorted and looks awkward...the Thinker may have been thinking, "maybe I'd be more comfortable leaning on my right leg."////FROM JACK:  I saw the complete sculpture at the Rodin exhibit at the DIA, and "The Thinker" is indeed contemplating the figures writhing below him in the abyss of Hades.////RI:  I enjoyed your last comment to CZB in Colorado...but you don't seem so "scary."////JACK:  Preacher Edwards was the one who scared people.  My style was somewhat different.

 FROM YOOPER BOB:  Yes, Jack, he is thinking about the size of our government.  The Scriptures warn that God is opposed to civilizations who  protect the strong and trample on the weak.////FROM JACK:  The O.T. prophets gave the rich something to think about...God's judgment on those who mistreat the poor.

 FROM CZB IN COLORADO:  Originally created to represent Dante over another Rodin piece, The Gates of Hell. Rodin referred to the sculpture As The Poet. Fascinating!////FROM JACK:  Jonathan Edwards once preached a sermon on this topic..."Sinners in the hands of an angry God."  During his sermon, it was reported that listeners were writhing and crying out, "What must I do to be saved?"////CZB: Oh my. Glad I wasn't there! Have you ever looked at Pieter Bruegel's paintings on the subject? Scary!////JACK:  Ooooh!  That's pretty grim, too.  Artists and preachers have tried to assist the Bible writers in scaring "the hell" of of people.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Right now I think he's thinking it's darn cold outside!!////FROM JACK:  "Will somebody please get me a coat?"

 FROM DC IN KANSAS:  Financial Cliff?////FROM JACK:  As it says in the Bible (Mark 5:13), "Jesus let them do this. The evil spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs. The herd of about two thousand pigs rushed down the cliff into the sea and drowned."

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  detroit is broke... art should be funded privately.////FROM JACK:  The millage was passed by a vote of the people living in 3 counties outside of the city.  The suburbs count themselves as part of the Detroit metro area.  Much private funding is also going into providing a regional transit system to provide easier access into the city.

 FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  Love this one. I love art and the DIA and I hope to get to there to see the Faberge exhibit.  Rodin is thinking of how we can get revive Detroit. He’s also wondering what happened to Detroit?  He is wondering why more people do not come visit him.////FROM JACK:  He's wondering if the Lions will ever win the Super Bowl...or be in it?

 FROM BLAZING OAKS (BACK FROM A VACATION):  I would say  the word would be "BLAH" without the arts!  Especially drama and music for me, tho I love to read, and appreciate the other "arts"!  I am looking forward to portraying "Clarissa" (the elderly lady dealing with Alzheimers) in Ken Bradbury's play "Couplings" in January at the Hoagland Center for the Arts in Sprgfld, There will be six performances. Once a "Ham" always a "Ham" I guess!  Springfield has many and varied opportunities for Art and Drama, which is such blessing! I'll be clapping for Martina McBride tonight at her  Christmas Concert at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center, where my grandson is the  Manager.  Life-long cheers for the arts, and your daily WW!!////FROM JACK:  I became curious.  Why are some actors/actresses called, "Hams?"  The derivation hat makes most sense to me..."Someone who acts in an amateurish way...ham being a takeoff on the word, amateur."  That can't be you.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  I just ordered the tee shirt; thanks for a fun Christmas idea.////FROM JACK:   I like this one...P.B.P.G.I.N.F.W.M.Y.

FROM JM IN MICHIGAN:  I think he's thinking about how cold he is sitting out there in the buff! ////FROM JACK:  That cold bronze seat doesn't make it any better, either.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winning Words 12/11/12
“A lot of people quit looking for work as soon as they get a job.”  (Zig Ziglar)  Z.Z., the motivational speaker, died last week.  He was known for nudging people to see the bright side of life.  “They don’t build statues of negative people.”  A writer for Forbes advises, “If you see a Ziglar book on the shelf, buy it.  A nugget found in it might change your life.”  I’ve discovered that even the motivators need to be motivated.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  Good thought...there's a treasure awaiting our discovery every morning... ////FROM JACK:  You can find a Job by looking in the Bible.  Many lessons to be learned there. ////REV:  ..."It's a real job to figure Job in the Bible!"

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  That quote is so amusing, and so true.  As an example, often enough I'm in Home Depot and can't find what I need.  I come across clerks standing around chatting when they could be familiarizing themselves about the store's merchandise.  When asked where to find something, they don't have a clue and send me off to another clerk. ////FROM JACK:  I've found that people tend to enjoy their job when it's more than work.  It's that way for pastors, too.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  This reminds me of the Zen quote: a man with no food is wise to choose hunger. Accepting our situations also includes accepting our gifts.////FROM JACK:  I guess that when you're in the meditative state, the things of this world lose their attraction  When you're absorbed in your work, it doesn't seen like a job.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How very true!  It's so easy to get caught up in the negative and yet, those negative times pass on too!////FROM JACK:  I always liked the Johnny Mercer song, "You gotta accent-u-ate the positive, elim-i-nate the negative."

 FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  Years ago I had the pleasure of being at one of Ziglar's talks.  He in is white suit and stage experience could make a fish fly.  He was a human being so I am sure there were moments when he too needed emotional help, but he knew his power over others and made a living with it.////FROM JACK:  White suit?  Are you sure that wasn't Colonel Sanders?...or some evangelist?  Zig was an evangelist for positive thinking..and action.

 FROM CL VISITING IN CALIFORNIA:  When I first started my career at KBC I heard a motivational speaker make the comment that success was based on ATTITUDE  not APTITUDE.  That made an impression on me and has been my motivation in both of my careers.////FROM JACK:  A slogan that has motivated me is: "It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Winning Words 12/10/12
“There are men too gentle to live among wolves.”  (James Kavanaugh)  “Gentleman” isn’t a word that’s used much anymore.  Last week I had conversation with someone about a man who was truly, gentle.  This led me to the poetry of Kavanaugh.  I Googled him and was fascinated, especially by the poem containing today’s quote.  In this world of wolves, it’s refreshing to find people who are gentle.  Do you know any?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RS IN MICHIGAN:  I am so appreciative that my husband is one of the last true gentlemen. From small things like saying thank you for everyday things that I do for him to opening my car door for me every time we go anywhere. Most importantly, he is KIND. He is a gem and I am so lucky to have him. His family is “a little rough around the edges”, yet he had a mentor in high school that he worked for that taught him how to be a man…a gentleman. His family is loving, but I tease him and tell him that he is the “Marilyn Munster ” of his family. You know, the only “normal” one! We laugh about it. FROM JACK:  I thought that you were going to write that he was the Marilyn Manson of his family.  We are fortunate when we have mentors who come into our life.////RS:  I am cracking up that you even know who Marilyn Manson is. You are so “hip”.

 FROM MY LAWYER:  Isn't it ironic that congressmen refer to each other as "gentleman" to their face and spend the rest of their time trying to out maneuver them by any means possible?////FROM JACK:  Think what this world would be without some sense of decorum.  The rule of law provides for order, but the rule of decorum provides for niceness.

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  A good book to read:  Wicked River, by Lee Sandlin. He spoke at our library last month. Many, many things I hadn't known about the Mississippi in the 1800's. Swiftly changing borders, flat boats down river taking a few weeks, but the rest of the year to walk back home - no engines then for power, etc. Quite interesting.////FROM JACK:  At times "The Father of Waters" is no gentleman.  It's interesting that the word, wicked, traces it's meaning to an Old English word that refers to a witch, or to something that is evil, by nature.////HG:  Indians and settlers alike thought there was some witchcraft involved.////JACK:  I think the word is human characteristics to non-human objects.

 FROM WALMART REV:  Tis the season . . . "GENTLE SHEPHERD, come and lead us, For we need You to help us find our way. Gentle Shepherd, come and feed us, For we need Your strength from day to day. There’s no other we can turn to Who can help us face another day; Gentle Shepherd, come and lead us, For we need You to help us find our way."////FROM JACK:  Would it be appropriate to refer to Jesus as "a gentleman?"////REV:  As for the Son of Man...probably welcomed by Him...He is certainly my hero of such a nature.

 FROM PASTY PAT:  One son, a brother-in-law and a good friend --- probably some others if I thought about it a few minutes.  While I love and thoroughly enjoy them, I always worry that they're just not tough enough to survive this world!l////FROM JACK:  In the game show, Survivor, it's not always the "nice" one who wins.  Which brings to mind, "What does it mean to win in the game of life?"

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  How does one define "gentle?"    Was Jesus a "gentle" person?   If so, does the definition given fit his lifestyle?FROM JACK:  Maybe Jesus is the definition of "gentle," if, indeed, G-d sent his Son into the world to show us "G-d" in human form.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  What is the name of the poem?////FROM JACK:
There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves  (James Kavanaugh)

"There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men too gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder them for a merchant's profit and gain.
There are men too gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.

There are men to gentle too live amount wolves
Who devour them with appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and such their childhood dry.
There are men too gentle for an accountant's world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.There are men too gentle to live among wolves

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant's world
Unless they have a gentle one to love."

 FROM SS IN MICHIGAN:  Apparently I have lived a blessed life...among the Gentle Men in my life I can name my father and my lucky am I!////FROM JACK:  I like the word, blessed.  It means to be favored by God.  We receive many blessings in this life, but, too often, they are taken for granted.  It's good that you appreciate how God have favored you.

 FROM CL IN CALIFORNIA (?):  It does seem that today we have fewer Gentlemen than I remember in the past.////FROM JACK:  I remember when the sign on the men's rest room read: GENTS.  Now, it's usually just a stick figure picture.BTW, the founder of Jack Daniel's Distillery was called, Gentleman Jack.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  i am a gentle wolf.////FROM JACK:  Perhaps you are a feral child, a modern version of Romulus and Remus.

 FROM JS IN MICHIGAN:  My father was a true gentleman.  Our school superintendent is a true gentleman and I have told him so.////FROM JACK:  Is it by contrast with wolves that we see the gentleman, or is it by contrast with the gentleman that we see the wolves?  

 FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  yes,  I have known some truly "gentle men"  throughout my life.  And now I meet some again in the Support Group for caregivers of care receivers with dementia.  One "gentleman" whose health is very fragile and he is caring for his wife with Alzheimers, told me,  "I should be dead.  I have actually died several times and now I know why I am still here."  His mission is caring for his wife.  He goes to church every day.  and gets upset with us in group when we get kind of complainy.  He tells a funny story and we all laugh again.////FROM JACK:  I like the word, nice.  The gentleman in your group seems like a nice man.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Winning Words 12/7/12
“May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten.”  (Irish Blessing)  I remember going to Toronto, sitting in the 4th row, and seeing “Cats.”  The signature song from that show is, “Memory.”  Such beautiful music!  What causes a baby to start remembering, and why do some people begin to forget?  Even though I can’t explain it, memory is one of God’s great gifts.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  Precious memories  How they linger   How they ever flood my soul  When, the stillness of the midnight   Precious sacred scenes unfold  
May your day be filled with heavenly splendor////FROM JACK:  I remember that song.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Thankfully, God remembers our petition to "be remembered in His kingdom", while forgetting the sins that would otherwise keep us from Him. That's Mercy! Loving one another seems to involve similar "memories" of our own.////FROM JACK:  Your response causes me to wonder...Is memory a human condition?  When the Bible speaks about God remembering, is that putting a concept into terms that a human can understand?

 FROM TRIHARDER:  I often wondered what was going through my poor mother's mind when she was suffering from dementia.  Dreams?  Anything?  I hoped it was the former and that they were pleasant. ////FROM JACK:  There's so much about the mind that we don't understand, but, just like with all problems, there's an answer somewhere.  That's why some people say, "When I get to heaven, I have a lot of questions to ask G-d about."

FROM THE OPTIMIST SANTA:  Sometimes memories need to be rekindled.  For example, near the end of every sabbath (Shabbat) service (Friday nights and Saturday mornings) and during many others such as Yom Kippur, the rabbis recite a list of those members of the community (not necessarily Jewish - for example Officer Pat O'Rourke was mentioned) who have died during the last 30 days and another list who's deaths fell during the anniversary week of the service.  Unfortunately, the lists are getting longer and longer; and, in fact, while the lists are printed in the service bulletin, only names of relatives in attendance are read aloud during the service.////FROM JACK:  You will have a chance, on Saturday, to make some memories for the kids who come to talk with you.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  It's in your memory someplace: you just have to remember where you tucked it.////FROM JACK:  I've that every word and every experience that has occurred in your life is tucked away in your (and God's) memory bank.////PFC:  Problem is: sometimes we forget the combination. Do you remember your high school locker combination? My rifle number in the Corps was 1027186 .////JACK:  I can't remember my Social Security number, but my checks keep coming.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is the way I remember-the good memories.  Life is too short to dwell on the not-so-good ones.  By the way saw Cats in Tampa, and that song was the happiest one in the entire production in my opinion.////FROM JACK:  I read T.S. Eliot's "Cats" book before going to the show..  I agree that Memory is a great song.////SHIRL: We are going to Epcot and to Disney this weekend.  Epcot always has a beautiful Christmas program presented by churches around the country.  Last weekend we went to Bush Gardens here in Tampa, and they have a new religious display, too.  Last Sunday I was the driver for two  grandsons here in Tampa, and we went to their church,. St.Mark's, which has the largest advent wreath in the middle of the center aisle which is the largest I have ever seen.  The priest had all of the December birthday people come to the front and we all sang Happy Birthday to them.  Then he had all of the couples with December anniversaries come to the front and to renew their vows and kiss.  That  was the first time I had ever seen this, but my daughter says they do that every month.////JACK:  That's one way to bring to mind an anniversary that a husband might have forgotten.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  I love this one….never heard it before and I’m Irish…thanks for sharing. ////FROM JACK: Maybe you've heard it, but just don't remember it.  I have that problem sometimes.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What wonderful "Winning Words"!  What insightful thoughts to go along with the words!  God has put all of these things together for us and we can wonderful and we will find out how it all works one day.  In the meantime, we remember the good times and let the painful ones slip away from us.  Memory is one of God's best and most wonderful gifts!////FROM JACK:  In the song, "Memory,"  I wonder if it's the lyric or the tune that makes it a memorable song?

 'MEMORY" FROM CATS  (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
See the dew on the sunflower
And a rose that is fading
Roses whither away
Like the sunflower
I yearn to turn my face to the dawn
I am waiting for the day . . .

Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan

All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Every streetlamp
Seems to beat a fatalistic warning
Someone mutters
And the streetlamp gutters
And soon it will be morning

I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I musn't give in
When the dawn comes
Tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

Burnt out ends of smoky days
The stale cold smell of morning
The streetlamp dies, another night is over
Another day is dawning

Touch me
It's so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You'll understand what happiness is

A new day has begun

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Winning Words 12/6/12
“Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”  (Mary Anne Radmacher)  I was curious to know more about Mary Anne, artist, author, designer of greeting cards.  Some of her phrases caught my eye: “She lived her eulogy…Choose with no regret…What if we acted as if everything was easy?”  She’s cynical, yet optimistic.  I can relate to that.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  She might be right about the idea that the simple determination for "not quitting" is courageous. Or, maybe the willful act of surrendering to the mystery of uncertainty is the most courageous. Neither are quitting; but the latter leaves one's developed resources useless.////FROM JACK:  Just as there can be "situation ethics," I guess that there can be "situational courage," too.

 FROM DR PAUL:  Live your eulogy...WOW////FROM JACK:  In the following poem, substitute "eulogy" for "Gospel," and it fits the thought behind Mary Anne's words.
“You are writing a Gospel, a chapter every day,  By the things that you do and the words that you say.
Men read what you write – distorted or true,  What is the Gospel, according to you?” (Unknown)

 FROM WALMART REV:  "cynical, yet optimistic"- I think it grows on us as we age in life . . . I'm going to try again today!  0;-)////FROM JACK:  I think that's what God wants us to try again.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I don't understand completely "cynical, yet optimistic" but can grasp the idea that it's possible to be "honest about the present moment, which may not be all that good, and yet optimistic", been there, done that, many a time and come through (so far) so that still seem able to muster up that "I will try again tomorrow" hopefulness. Maybe today I'll learn about "cynical" too. Going to the library.////FROM JACK:  Cynical?  There are those days when I think that things are going from bad to worse, and it doesn't look like they're going to get any better.  Optimistic?  After the time of cynicism, faith kicks in and says that God is still in charge, and that he will cause good to come out of the bad.  The day of crucifixion turns into the day of resurrection.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This Winning Words made me think of the lion in Wizard of Oz.  We can choose to live life with quiet courage or just give up.  What will you choose today?  I'll try courage.  (Greeting cards have certainly changed over the years.  I have a collection from my grandma and mother which are so very different than we send now.)////FROM JACK:  The Wizard of Oz is a thought-provoking movie.  Was it just a dream?  Do dreams come true?  Is courage dependent upon the mind?  Speaking of greeting cards...the cards and stamps have been bought...the letter has been, to put them all together!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Excellent!////FROM JACK:  When I was in grade school we had this grading system...E, VG, G, and P.  I once got a P in Deportment.  Deportment was Behavior.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  Like.////FROM JACK:  Sometimes we think a-like.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Winning Words 12/5/12
“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it.”  (Paul “Bear” Bryant)  I wonder if Nick Saban will ever replace “the Bear” as Alabama’s greatest football coach?  Bryant knew “football,” and also knew how to inspire his players.  He got his nickname, because he rassled a bear at age 13.  Today’s quote is about football…and also about life.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  Another good word for the beginning of our day!////FROM JACK:  Maybe you can begin the day by singing a song (What will it be?).   Jimmy Durante used to to say that the day goes better when you begin it with a song.  Through the magic of Google, you can hear his advice.
"You gotta start off each day with a song
Now even when things go wrong
You'll feel better, you'll even look better
I'm here to tell you that you'll be a go-getter
Now the way that you shake my hand
Will tell me how I stand
Now isn't it better to go through life with a smile and a song
Then walking around life with a face, 11 miles long
Now you know that you can't go wrong
If you start off each day with a song."
 ////REV:  "You can have a song in your heart in the night, after every mile, after every trial. Anyone can sing when the sun's shining bright; but you can have a song in your heart at night.  0;-)

 FROM SAINT JAMES:  I know people who never admit they made a mistake.  What's up with that? ////FROM JACK:  I don't think that those people ever played football for Bear Bryant.  BTW, I do know of  some people who are so confident of their opinions that they're not open to change.  As the saying goes, "They have minds that are like concrete...all mixed up and permanently set."

 FROM MY LAWYER:  Only time will tell.  Unlike comparing Ali to Marchiano, one can count the wins and losses in football and determine who was the best at winning.  I didn't know Bear Bryant, but he must have been a a cool guy.  I do know Nick, and he's not cool!  He focuses on football 24/7---that's his whole life.  Does he inspire?  I think he does.  His work ethic speaks for itself.////FROM JACK:  You're right.  It's difficult to compare one human being to another, because there are so many variables.  As far as being a good football coach, both Nick and Bear fall into that category.

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Bear was a mean coach. Bill Baltzell, retired baseball coach at MHS, was a frosh on one of his teams. He was used for cannon fodder by the upperclassmen without regard to their condition. He left after his frosh year.////FROM JACK:  Even Jesus had his detractors.  I'm sure that there were more than a few detractors among those who played football with Bear as their coach.

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  I agree &  am wondering if you'd like to help me in changing  the wording of the Optimist creed stating "To FORGET the mistakes of the past to" To LEARN from the mistakes of the past"////FROM JACK:  Both are valid points.  It is good to learn from past mistakes.  It is also good to forget some of the mistakes of the past...and not dwell on them.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Great advice.  He was known to give a lot of great advice.  How in the world did he ever rassle a bear???////FROM JACK:  I have a daily calendar called, Ripley's Believe It or Not.  Maybe it should have a page for the Bryant "bear" story.