Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winning Words 1/31/12
“Greed has taken the whole universe, and nobody is worried about their soul.” (Little Richard) Jeff sent me a link showing Little Richard playing the piano when he was actually “little.” Fascinating! In reading about his life, I learned that his grandfather was a preacher and his father was a bootlegger. At the height of his rock and roll career, Little Richard abruptly quit and became a preacher. Fascinating! ;-) Jack

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Some years ago I saw an excellent TV movie about Little Richard -- it might have been on HBO or the like. He really was one-of-a-kind.////FROM JACK: There's more to Little Richard than just the way he plays the piano. Each of us, as an individual, is a whole of many parts.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Nice little story I hadn't read before. :-)////FROM JACK: In your book, "Where Angels Fear to Tread," I'm learning things about you that I didn't know before. Each of us has a story.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: That statement is still true today, if not more telling. He was quite a different person. God had a calling for him in a few different ways.////FROM JACK: I learned the names of the disciples by singing these words to the tune of "Jesus Loves Me." God calls us....
Jesus called them one by one
Peter, Andrew, James and John
Then came Phillip, Thomas too,
Matthew and Bartholomew.
Yes, Jesus called them.
Yes, Jesus called them.
Yes, Jesus called them.
And they all followed him.
Then came James they call the Less,
Simon also Thaddeus
The 12th disciple Judas made,
Jesus was by him betrayed.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: How interesting! Now you've intrigued me, and I'm going to look for more info about him, too! Great quote! ////FROM JACK: To be intriguing...That's one of the purposes of Jack's Winning Words.

FROM PH VACATIONING IN NESA: sometimes i get Rich Little and Little Richard confused. i do like his quote and sadly its very accurate!////FROM JACK: It's an interesting story....how Richard Penniman evolved into Little Richard. Ups and downs and ups and downs.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Why are achievers labeled as greedy?////FROM JACK: ad hominem!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is hard to believe that so many are not interested in their souls. We have so many churches in Tampa that it is hard to believe. There are many large churches, of course, but if some people do not agree with the way the minister is preaching, they go out and build their own churches, not too from their original ones. We have seen that happen many times in our area.////FROM JACK: "The love of money is the root of all evil," so says the Good Book.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: It's amazing what paths our lives take us down...////FROM JACK: And after all the wandering we finally arrive at the Promised Land.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Winning Words 1/30/12
“May I never miss a sunset or a rainbow because I am looking down.” (Sara Jane Parker) I once read about a man who became very rich by collecting coins that he found as he walked along. He was always looking down. Today, let’s look up and around.. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: “The world is full of a number of things. I’m sure we should all be happy as kings.” What riches do you see? ;-) Jack

FROM RJP IN NAPLES: The riches in friendships.////FROM JACK: The memories that go along with them are another treasure.

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: An occasional glance downward helps an old man miss items over which he might trip....a glance upward let's him enjoy the panorama of God's wonderful world....////FROM JACK: It's the same with looking forward all the time. Once in a while it's good to look backward for a reality check.

FROM TG IN MICHIGAN: Really love this one!////FROM JACK: I love a rainbow world.

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: The ¼ moon and the two star’s around it have been spectacular the last couple nights, I called my Hubby on Friday while completing our errands to tell him to go out and check out the sky. We love the sky at all hours.////FROM JACK: Have you ever heard the song, "Pennies from Heaven?" It was made famous by Bing Crosby (before your time) and composed by Johnny Burke and Arthur Johnston.

Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven
Don'tcha know each cloud contains pennies from heaven?
(You'll find your fortune fallin' all over town)
(Be sure that your umbrella)
Is upside down

Trade them for a package of sunshine and flowers
If you want the things you love, you must have showers
(So when you hear it thunder) Don't run under a tree
There'll be pennies from heaven for you and me

(Every time it rains, it rains) Pennies from heaven
(Don'tcha know each cloud contains) Pennies from heaven?
(You'll find you fortune fallin') All over town
(Be sure that your umbrella) Is upside down

Trade them for a package of sunshine and flowers
If you want the things you love you must have showers
(So when you hear it thunder) Don't run under a tree
There'll be pennies from heaven for you and for me

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: I think the beauty of Nature has the majesty of God's fingerprint all over it! Whether I am in Michigan amongst the one hundred foot tall White Pines, with the smell of Cedar trees bouncing off the AuSable River, which carries itself across the State like an eternal fountain, or while in the desert of Arizona, witnessing the golden sky as the sun rises from behind the mountains and the rich reds, oranges, purples, and yellows of an evening sky that sets behind another mountain range waiting its turn to add to God's glory, I think these are the things of beauty for certain. These are like the everyday miracles that are indeed reminders that there is truly a beautiful God that lives among us! ////FROM JACK: Is it in the mirror, too?

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Good one, Jack! Sometimes when I'm super frustrated, just looking up changes my whole perception... Have a great day!////FROM JACK: That's a good out-look to have.

FROM HF IN NOVA SCOTIA: I try to look at the Horizon and the evening Sky and are blown away by it's Wonders and Magic it holds and thankful to be a little speck in this vast Universe.////FROM JACK: I wish that I could be far enough north to see the Aurora Borealis. Do you see the display from your front yard?

FROM MEDD-O-LANE: The first gift I see is the gift of sight and the second gift is God's gift for us to appreciate the wonders of our being!////FROM JACK: Today I had the 2-year checkup for my knee replacement. I was told to come back in 2015. I wonder what medical advancements will have taken place by then?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Faith, great family and friends, good health,beautiful weather, lots of choices and things to do.////FROM JACK: Ingrid Bergman said, "Happiness is good health and a poor memory."

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: The richest thing you can see is a smiling face that you made happen. ////FROM JACK: "When you're smiling, when you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It's a wonderful saying. My family is very used to me calling them to the front or back door to "come and see the sky". We watched for the Northern Lights but our part of Michigan was under cloud cover. Still, the Northern Lights were there and it's easy to imagine their beautiful colors. Keep looking up!////FROM JACK: Ever since I was a little boy, whenever I hear sirens, I rush out to see the fire trucks go by. "Look at the rainbow," is a call that's heard at our house.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Winning Words 1/27/12
“Every day is a gift, even if it sucks.” (Sherry Hochman) I wondered about using this quote, but is has a couple of messages. 1st..God has made this day. God’s good days are really good. Right! But why did he make the miserable days? We’ve all seen them. What’s the good in the bad? 2nd..Every day is God’s gift. Given enough time, I’ve been able to see God at work in the bad days, too. Keep the faith” ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: True WW. I just pray God gives me the faith and strength to always believe this. Somewhere in the Bible he says he won't give us burdens we can't handle, a cross too heavy to carry. If I ever lose this faith, then I will also turn out to have been a crappy friend to others too, because I've sat with plenty of people now, thinking, believing, affirming today's WW. Thanks for giving us this WW, for today, feeling strengthened.////FROM JACK: Faith can be a very fragile thing. Physical exercise builds the body; spiritual exercise strengthens the soul.

FROM FATHER R SENT TO K: Thought you might enjoy this. Jack Freed - retired pastor of Holy Spirit Lutheran - sends out his "winning words" every day (with a brief meditation) - his list of "sendees" is in the thousands and around the world. Anyway, thought this one was a good way to end a week.

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: I think all Christians wonder how you would get through the miserable day without Faith, faith that someone has the miserable days under control. And you are so right there is almost always good that comes out of the bad I like to think that is the power of His Faithful! Have a great day Jack it’s kind of pretty out there it doesn’t suck! ////FROM JACK: Even the "bad" crucifixion caused the day to become known as "Good" Friday. That's what faith does for us.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: I like this, it has given me perspective Jack. Tuesday was a really bad day, but a co-worker reached out and really extended herself to me....that made it a real gift.////FROM JACK: Perspective is important to the artist. It's also important to us who are trying to figure out the twists and turns of life. Do you think that God had a hand in the interaction you had with a co-worker? Faith answers in the affirmative.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: I have often wondered why God would "create" evil, or "bad" as we use it in this context. As one thing is set against another, it seems necessary that for Good to be Good, it must contrast with its opposite. Otherwise, there would be no knowing of it. Just as Life is contrasted with Death --- a lesson learned with the eating of the forbidden fruit! ////FROM JACK: My "take" is that God did not create evil. By giving us "free will," the evil is of our own doing by choosing to go against the good that God has set before us. What good parent would want to a child to be a robot?

AB IN MICHIGAN: You used this one because, I needed it!! I was having a bad day and now I can't stop laughing. Thank you so much. I can't stop thinking of God smiling at me at me and saying, "I know it SUCKS, but look at the bigger picture."////FROM JACK: Sometimes we just need to step back from situations. My faith allows me to do this...and to "see" with new eyes.

FROM DS IN MICHIGAN: Love it – thanks!////FROM JACK: I guess you have to have been in the situation in order to really appreciate it.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: We really needed the rain today in Tampa for a change.It is almost over now, and we will be back to our sunny days this afternoon, the weather map shows. We count our blessings.////FROM JACK: Did you ever sing this song when you were a child?
Oh, who can make a flower?
I'm sure I can't, can you?
Oh, who can make a flower?
No one but God can do.

Oh, who can make the raindrops?
I'm sure I can't, can you?
Oh, who can make the raindrops?
No one but God can do.

Oh, who can make the sunshine?
I'm sure I can't, can you?
Oh, who can make the sunshine?
No one but God can do.

FROM YOOPER FLICKA: YOU BET !!////FROM JACK: Or, as Sarah would say, "You betcha!"

FROM PSYCHOLOGIST JL: When I work with my clients I try to help them to see that even the challenge gives rise to an opportunity and often a wonderful outcome. It's so wonderful when they get it. So said a 15 year old yesterday in my office. ////FROM JACK: Experiences like that give us the incentive to keep on keeping on.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Even though that is one of the words I really dislike, I have to agree with the quote. You can find something good in each day....just the fact you are alive to greet the day is a blessing. ////FROM JACK: Someone told me about some words which had been scribbled on the wall of a room where patients receive chemotherapy. "Cancer Sucks!"

FROM RJP IN NAPLES: I don't like the terminology. It could be said better.////FROM JACK: And then there are some to say that it couldn't have been said better. I guess it all depends on what kind of a day you're having.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: God gives us a bad day once in a while so we appreciate the good ones. ////FROM JACK: Read the Book of Job. Job had some really bad days. His friends said, "Curse God and die." Job's response: Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." In the end his faith was rewarded.

FROM SA IN VEGAS: I have a postcard taped to my computer tower on my desk. Every once in awhile I look over at it and chuckle to myself. James Reynolds painted 'The Good Life' and was awarded a Gold Medal in 1971. It hangs in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in OK City. This cowboy, who probably thought life on the trail would be a little more glamorous, is holding his dinner plate, which is obviously filled with water, in one hand, the fork in the other isn't even raised up, so we know dinner is a lost cause, he's looking at his boot, which we also know is filled with water due to the drainage from his rain slicker and the brim of his hat. Even the 'dumb' animal standing next to him is thinking 'what are we doing out here?' and we know this because it's ears are slightly back and it's head is raised as it looks for directions from it's master. 'The Good Life'. Ha! Great title, and even better message. God gives us good days and bad days for sure. Sometimes I think we kind of set ourselves up for the bad days by expecting 'fair weather' our entire life. WW helps us keep the faith.////FROM JACK: During this prolonged economic recession, the faith of the people in Las Vegas and elsewhere is being tested. During a drought, people pray for rain. During a flood, people pray for the rain to stop. At least God knows what the people are concerned about.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Was watching Joe Paterno's memorial service yesterday. It was wonderful. Like a "movie of the week." One of his players quoted (and I'm paraphrasing), "Today can be better than yesterday or it can be worse than yesterday... but it's not going to be the same." So, make the best of every day and do the best you can with the day you're dealt."////FROM JACK: That quote fits perfectly as a response to today's Winning Words. The words from My Fair Lady come to mind. "I think that Liz's got it."

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: I'm sure we all would prefer good days, but when you have a bad one, it really helps you appreciate the good ones...////FROM JACK: It has happened in my life that some really bad days eventually turned out to be some really good days.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winning Words 1/26/12
“Many of the most important things in the world were accomplished by people who didn’t feel well at the time.” (George Doriot) JF in Nova Scotia tells of being in a class taught by Dr. Doriot. A student failed to turn in an assignment saying, “I didn’t feel well.” Today’s quote was Doriot’s response. BTW, there’s an internet site of excuses people have made for not attending church. I’ve heard a few. ;-) Jack

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: I often marvel at the prodigious output of Martin Luther, who, with his constipation, had to "not feel well" a lot of the time! Sermons, lectures, "table talk", translations, commentaries, etc. -- amazing!////FROM JACK: Another example might be MLK Jr in the Birmingham Jail.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Oh my word. I don't think we would be here if everyone who felt ill stopped what they were doing. Most of the Pilgrim's were under the weather. I love the excuses policemen are given from people who were speeding. Can't remember where I read it but they were hilarious! As a church secretary I've heard a number of excuses for not attending church too. Sad but true.////FROM JACK: One of my favorite comedians is Steve Martin. I laugh at the way he says, "Welll, excuuuuuse me!"

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: FDR was a good example of not feeling well- especially at the end of WWII. By the way, did you know that Ron Paul is a Gettysburg College graduate? Everything down here is politics right now. Who would have ever thought that Florida could or would be so important in the electoral process. There is certainly no excuse for not voting if you don't feel well because of the absentee ballots and early voting. ////FROM JACK: Harry Golden wrote this essay which seems to relate to the subject.


I love the theatre and everybody connected with it, from actor to stagehand. I believe however that this business of “the show must go on” has been overdone a bit as it concerns the acting profession. Not that I doubt the truth behind this tradition. I know very well that performers have faced their audiences with deep sorrow in their hearts; with news of some terrible personal disaster, and as in Pagliacci, the clown bravely goes on with the show: “Laugh with the sorrow that’s breaking your heart.” I rise up to applaud. But I do not applaud actors alone. I applaud people. All people. Life itself. Everybody goes out on the “stage” with sorrow in his heart. For everybody, the show must go on. How many workingmen have come home from the cemetery where they had just buried a child and sat right down at their workbenches, machines, and lathes? How many housewives pitch in to get the children ready for school, do the marketing and household chores, with breaking backs, migraine headaches, and perhaps a personal sorrow, too? THE SHOW MUST GO ON. Not only for actors, but for all of us. We dare not stop “the show” for a single moment.

A few days after my mother died I was behind the counter of my brother’s hotel and a guest bawled me out because his laundry hadn’t come back on time. For a fleeting moment I had foolishly expected the world to stand still and pay homage to my mother. I checked my mounting anger in the nick of time. “Of course,” I said, “this man is blameless. He’s interested in his laundry – he’s interested in now, in living, in life.”

I am indebted to Dr. Frank Kingdon for my interest in the poetry of Sir Rabindranath Tagore. The great Hindu poet tells us a story in exquisite poetry. His servant did not come in on time. Like so many philosophers and poets, Tagore was helpless when it came to the less important things in life, his personal wants, his clothes, his breakfast, and tidying up the place. An hour went by and Tagore was getting madder by the minute. He thought of all sorts of punishments for the man. Three hours later Togore no longer thought of punishment. He’d discharge the man without any further ado. It was midday. Without a word the servant proceeded with his duties as though nothing had happened. He picked up his master’s clothes, set to making breakfast, and started cleaning up. Tagore watched this performance with mounting rage. Finally he said it: “Drop everything, and get out.”

The man, however, continued sweeping and after another few moments, with quiet dignity he said: “My little girl died last night.”

The show must go on.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: I was tickled to see the General's quote--thanks! By the way, for future reference, his name was spelled Georges and although he may have been called Dr. Doriot before WW II, he was always called The General by his students and admirers after that. I have a collection of some of his quotes. When I run across that, I will look through and see if some of them might be appropriate to share.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winning Words 1/25/12
“To think is easy; to act is difficult; to act as one thinks is the most difficult of all.” (Katie’s Fortune Cookie) Fortune cookies are fun. I like the saying that was in Katie’s cookie. Some believe that the cookies can tell the future. I read that you can even custom order fortune cookies for a Super Bowl Party, with one cookie as big as a football. You can open it before the game and know the winner. ;-) Jack

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Actually said by Johann von Goethe.////FROM JACK: I didn't know that they had fortune cookies in Johann's day. Thanks for the history lesson.////LG FOLLOW UP: Ah so, Jack, the Chinese have been making fortune cookies long before Johann was born! Have a happy day filled with good fortune!

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: So true. To be trustworthy and authentic and that others would know oneself as a person of those qualities but I suppose it's "to thine own self be true"--something like that. ////FROM JACK: An Indian was interpreting a billowing cloud of smoke to someone beside him. "Heap big smoke, but no fire." Many people have smokin' ideas, but the successful person is the one lights the fire.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It wouldn't be as difficult to act as one thinks as it would be to act as one should. ////FROM JACK: Sometimes honest uncertainty holds us back. On the one hand, the best action can be inaction. But, on the other hand....

FROM MY FLORIST: There is an old prayer that goes something like that. I think it went "...give me the wisdom to understand the courage to that which is right ...". I know I'm missing part of it something about "knowing the difference between right and wrong, the wisdom to understand and the courage to do that which is right" maybe that's the line.////FROM JACK: Reinhold Niebuhr wrote it as part of a sermon in 1943. Alcoholics Anonymous has adopted it as part of their program.
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other."

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Who’s Katie? I relative I don’t know yet?////FROM JACK: Katie is just one of the readers of Winning Words. She lives in Michigan, and we sometimes attend the same meetings. You can recognize her, because she usually has a laptop on her lap.

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: To not act as one thinks has to be schizophrenic!////FROM JACK: ...or, "chicken."

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Dad had custom fortune cookies made 4 a client as an advertising promotion when I was a kid. As I recall, they were huge. Really cool!////FROM JACK: Creative people usually can usually find a way to put their ideas into action. Your dad i good at that. One time I sent out a letter with an offering envelope and asked members to experiment by tithing for one week. Many of them responded, and the offering for the following Sunday was substantially higher.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winning Words 1/24/12
“If a man knew where he would fall, he would spread straw there first.” (Finnish Proverb) This proverb reminds me of the Scout Motto: “Be Prepared!” The first Boy Scout troop was organized in England on this date, 1908, by Robert Baden-Powell. He wanted scouts to think ahead of time and practice how to act in an emergency. The EMS responders I work with are doing this all the time. ;-) Jack

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: Cause you never know when you might get pinned down!!////FROM JACK: There are different kinds of straw...Friends...Faith...Courage.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: Oh yes--I went down in my driveway yesterday! I am beginning to feel it today! Ha! ////FROM JACK: Ouch! It's too bad there wasn't a Finn around to spread some straw.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Gary is an Eagle Scout and is working as a Troop Committee member, Neil is Assoc. Scout Master of Joshua's troop and Cub Scout Leader of Noah's. Kimberly is Co-Leader of Noah's troop. I was a Girl Scout Leader Trainer, had two Girl Scout Troops at the same time and was Troop Co-ordinator and First Aider and earned my 15 year pin. My dad was Boy Scout Commissioner of Harper Woods; my mom had 25 years in scouting as leader and various leadership positions. I sent this email to my family because of their love of Scouting. Thank you ////FROM JACK: You should certainly know what it means to Be Prepared. If you were on Jeopardy and the clue was: Founder of the Boy Scouts, you'd know the name.////MORE FROM THE OUTHOUSE: Yep Lord Batten Powell and Juliette Low////FROM JACK: Thanks for the Low-down. I didn't know that.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is interesting. When Les was in North Africa during WWII, he wrote how his scouting experience had prepared him for that experience. Our son got up to Webelos when his bus fell down the mountain on a trip up there to hunt for gems. Our girls earned lots of badges and sold lots of Girl Scout cookies, going door to door in those days.////FROM JACK: I sold Girl Scout cookies for my sister. I went from office to office in the 5th Avenue Building and to all of the stores on my paper route. She "sold" the most in Moline that year. My scouting level reached, Tenderfoot.

FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO: I used to think in terms of practicality: Can those scouts hoe corn, Pick the slugs off the bean plants at night competing with mosquitoes with one hand and hold a trouble light with the other, eat rutabega straight instead of mixing it with equal parts of potatos as Grandma Hammer did it, or getup into a silo at 5 am and fork down 500 lbs of silage when the temp is below zero? Last time we supported the scouts we bought carmel corn from them and got very sick eating it. PEACE BE WITH THEE, lOTS OF lOVE ////FROM JACK: The farm boys, like you, really had an interesting life. I'm more like Lisa on Green Acres. "Give me the city life!" One of my favorite shows. Arnold was hilarious.

FROM MY FLORIST: “Prepare for the worst - but expect the best”////FROM JACK: I like what Dennis Waitley added: "and be ready to be surprised." Life does take some surprising turns.

FROM PH VACATIONUING ARIZONA: actually i think a mattress would be better to land on. but i do get the point.////FROM JACK: I read once that a parishioner offered this excuse to his pastor to missing church the previous week. "I was attending St. Mattress."

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: The Girl Scouts definitely have an angle on selling cookies--I feel practically unAmerican if I don't buy some and how can you not, knowing some of them won't be able to go on their camping trips or something without the selling. And especially I've heard they also talk about God too and have some badges that have to do with church life or something. I think if a person hasn't had the Scouting experience, I have trouble understanding how great it is. Doesn't seem to be too onerous to them as they sell cookies, probably because they've got the camping trip in their minds.////FROM JACK: Thin Mints are my favorite, but I like them all. I finished my last box last week.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Winning Words 1/23/12
“He had the courage to practice what he preached.” (Jerry Sandusky) I’ve read many comments about the death of Joe Paterno, but this one particularly captured my attention. All of us are guilty, at one time or another, of rationalizing our behavior. I think that it can be said of JoePa, “He tried to do his best.” Right or wrong, the ultimate judgment is not ours to make. And I’m perfectly satisfied to leave it at that. ;-) Jack.


FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: Not only are we unqualified to make the ultimate judgment....We are also often unqualified to make some of the judgments we do make. I think a lot of people rushed to judgment on JoePa who didn't know the situation or the facts. I still don't really know what happened and only hope that those who do have to make a judgment will make a good one....////FROM JACK: One of Paterno's former players said, "He's only human." We're in over our head when we try to play God.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: Amen...and maybe the same applies to Gingrich?////FROM JACK: I'm glad that the ultimate judgment is not up to me. But, like everyone else, I have personal opinions.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: As one who had a niece sexually abused; I'm sure the parents of these boys have a different outlook. It's so sad to know a beloved coach passed away knowing what he knew. If he stood by and didn't stop it; he suffered at the end. If he didn't know it and was accused; he suffered. Hopefully, his suffering has ended and he has a new beginning.////FROM JACK: Death brings closure . God knows!////MORE FROM THE OUTHOUSE: Death brings earthly closures but eternal beginnings.////FROM JACK: Out with the old. In with the new.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: I'm satisfied to accept your comments about it and leave it like that. It seems to me the lesson to be learned is that vaunted personalities may be worthy of our admiration but should never be idolized. "Heroes" have flaws too. ////FROM JACK: "Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay." (Daniel 2:31-33)////RI AGAIN: An excellent representation...that's a passage I have never read nor heard read. We truly are degenerate.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Well said////FROM JACK: I tried.

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: Me too!! My husband and I had a conversation last night about this very same thing.////FROM JACK: We each must live the life that is ours. It's hard to live somebody else's, too.

FROM CUZ AL: There were goofy things that happened when we attended college, waaaaaaaay back when! ////FROM JACK: Thanks for the reminder.

FROM NFC IN ILLINOIS: I felt so sad At the way he was forced to leave his coaching position. It did show how fleeting and fickle fame is. Better to forget fame and continue trying to do your best IN SPITE of your press, not because of it. By the way, what were you doing up so early this morning?////FROM JACK: You gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. Decisions are sometimes hard to make, but life is one decision after another. BTW, I usually try to send out Winning Words between 5 and 5:30 so that when the computers are turned on there's a Winning Word for the day...at least a thought-provoking one.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is ironic that Sandusky is making that statement. I don't think that I was put on earth to judge anybody, but we all do have to be aware of what is going on in the world. I have been playing all week in Otrlando at Disney, Fort Christmas, and Wide World of Sports, and it seems to be a different world than the one we read about. Tonight the Republican debate will be at USF, and my son-in-law just called to say that there is a lot of unusual activity going on out there. 35 years ago last week we had our only snow here in Tampa in our 49 years here. By the way, the weather is absolutely beautiful.////FROM JACK: I was wondering how long it would take for someone to comment on the source of the quote. It's interesting how short our attention span is. Penn State...Disney...Christmas...GOP debate...the weather. What will be the headline for tomorrow? BTW, it's cold, rainy and cloudy in West Bloomfield today.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winning Words 1/20/12
“Nothing is permanent in this world—not even trouble.” (Charlie Chaplin) Robert Schuller wrote a book, “Tough Times Never Last. Tough People Do.” I wonder if he’s reading his own writing during these “tough” times in his own life? An airplane pilot recently described to me how, above the clouds, the sun is shining. It’s that way with life, too. “Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue.” ;-) Jack

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: Does Schuller still live? You don't hear of him....just his family....////FROM JACK: As far as I know, he's still living. His wife is quite ill. It's a sad story. Heraclitus once said: "The road up and the road down are one and the same."

FROM RI IN BOSTON: One more to add to the repertoire...
When skies are cloudy and gray,
They're only gray for a day.
So wrap your troubles in dreams
And dream your troubles away.
The best response is to think positively.////FROM JACK: Sometimes it's easier said than done. But whoever said that life is easy?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: How very true! I remember when Neil went to Bosnia when he was in the army. He was very upset and I reminded him that in one year, he would look back and say how fast it went. He still talks about that...years and years later.////FROM JACK: I just listened to a song written by a reader of WWs. The title is: "Life is pretty awesome when you can see both ends." I think that it's a goos response to what you have written.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: You seem to have second sense about when I need a pep talk. Thanks. ////FROM JACK: I'm convinced that we live in a mystical world. I'm glad, because "I Love a Mystery!"

FROM YOOPER FLICKA: True.....it has been 15 below......you almost forget...but then you go out......ouch !!!! Thankful for a warm garage and CARS that have heaters.....I remember when we a special blanket in the car to use in the winter......but then we didn't do too much traveling.////FROM JACK: We had a heat wave here this morning. It was 6 above zero. Ny first car was a Model A Ford which had a manifold heater that didn't work. Blankets are a necessity. My motor of my current car can be turned on by pushing a button the the key fob. What would grandpa say? Oh, that"s right. I'm grandpa.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: that and ruby slippers will see anyone through! BTW, have you ever read, "the second greatest story ever told"? the reference to charlie chaplin today makes me think you would like it. it is the story of alona coggswater, god's latest prophet. it's hysterical, sweet, and profound.////FROM JACK: It sounds like an interesting book. Of course, The Wizard is a favorite of mine.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winning Words 1/19/12
“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” (Jimi Hendrix) Some have described Jimi as the best guitar player…ever. His first guitar was a broomstick. He came out of an unstable home, but was able to find a sanctuary in music. I’d be interested to know the context of today’s quote. There’s a “depth” to some people that is beyond our seeing. Why not look for that depth in the people you meet today? ;-) Jack

FROM BEC IN MICHIGAN: Yes, you are a polymath.////FROM JACK: I don't know about that, but as far as music is concerned, I'm eclectic.

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: I will try to be aware today!////FROM JACK: That's a wise decision.

FROM DRPL IN MICHIGAN: Another great guitar player and probably even a better musician was Chuck Berry. I just watched a documentary called "Chuck Berry-Hail to Rock n roll" I never knew much about him, but when you hear other musicians such as Keith Richards and Bruce Springstein talk about the technical aspect of his music it's rather unbelievable.////FROM JACK: I first learned to appreciate the electric guitar listening to Les Paul. I think that I'll go to uTube for "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise." Chet Atkins is another favorite of mine.

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN: wanted to thank you for each morning sending me quotes....I awake and look forward to the words! They are are so energizing and thought provoking... after my saying how grateful I am for the day and for what I am blessed.. Your words are next :)////FROM JACK: I've always been an early riser. I try to go online with Winning Words when I get up...for the very reason you've expressed. Thanks for letting me know that you're an appreciator.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: There's depth and wisdom we don't often look for in fellows around us but it's there all the same. We need to listen and watch more often.////FROM JACK: Try looking for the depth in Kid Rock, Madonna and Emnem. If it's in Jimi, it's in them, too.////MORE FROM THE OUTHOUSE: Each of them has a wonderful mind and a true gift for me. Kid Rock has a true love for Detroit. Madonna is a converted Jew. Ennem has a gift of working with all kinds of very different people. Perhaps they are filled with more than the eye can see but the heart knows.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Along this line I have found that I rarely learn anything if I am talking.////FROM JACK: That's right, but sometimes listening and talking are necessary for clarification. Even the "talker" has to listen once in a while.////MORE CL: My experience in sales is that people do not listen they are to busy getting ready to respond rather than listening to what is being shared.////FROM JACK: I've found that being a pastor is something like being in sales.

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN: This kind of reminds me of Stephen Covey's 5th habit: Seek first to understand then to be understood. I actually have that written on my white board in my office right now.////FROM JACK: Covey's quotes are usually good ones. I was in a high school recently and saw a Covey quote printed boldly on one of the walls. I wish I could remember what it was.////MORE FROM PFC: When I was a kid, I thought they were saying, "Isle of a Mystery."////FROM JACK: That's Fantasy Island. "Da plane. Da plane."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winning Words 1/18/12
“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are moveable, those that are immoveable, and those that move.” (Ben Franklin) Ben’s birthday was yesterday (1706). In reading about him, I saw that he was described as a polymath (a new word for me), someone who knows a lot about many things. Galileo and da Vinci were like that. Can you think of others…even some in your own life? ;-) Jack

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I would say you, Jack, are a polymath... & now you even know what it means! Happy belated birthday, Ben.////FROM JACK: I know a little about more than a few things. I am curious about many things.////LIZ AGAIN: My dad is a polymath, too. I strive 2 be...

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Polymath makes sense, poly meaning many. One of my favorite words is, opsimath, meaning one who learns late in life, opsi meaning late, and math means learning.////FROM JACK: Another new word...Thanks!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: I thought the word was savant.////FROM JACK: Similar, but not the same...at least, as I understand it. I've known some polymaths, but no savants.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: Yes--My husband was like that! His birthday was Monday.////FROM JACK: I agree with you about that.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Professor Irwin Corey.////FROM JACK: In the Rocky and Bullwinkle TV show, there was a character named, Mr Know-It-all. I used to watch the show with my kids. I liked Irwin, too, especially the hair.

FROM ME IN CALIFORNIA: New word for me as well. Appropriate as it applies to my host here in Palo Alto where I am visiting this week, to whom I just sent the message.////FROM JACK: I like people who "know It' and are humble about knowing it. Which brings me to another interesting word, pedant.////MORE ME: An often used legal expression or argument is to characterize something as “form over substance”.////FROM JACK: Some sermons are like that, too.

FROM SH IN ILLINOIS: Now, I have a new word to describe Steve.////FROM JACK: I attended a meeting on Tuesday where the speaker talked about ALS and how it affected her dad. Many motor skills were lost, but t5he mental skills were as sharp as ever.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: They do...or think they do....////FROM JACK: Your response reminds me of some lines I was taught many years ago. "Though man a thinking being is defined, Few use the grand prerogative of mind. How few think justly of the thinking few! How many never think, who think they do!" (Jane Taylor)

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: Yes -look in the mirror.////FROM JACK: Before or after I put on my glasses? BTW, we once had a bishop with a hearing problem. I was talking to him, and he said, "Just a minute. I Have to put on my glasses." His hearing aids were built into his glasses.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Gary. I have great knowledge of not much but I have a lot of fun telling people about not much.////FROM JACK: You are a polymath when it comes to the privy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winning Words 1/17/12
“Do you believe that any of Tim Tebow’s success can be attributed to Divine Intervention?” (Pollposition.com) 43% of those responding to the survey question answered, “Yes.” My survey would ask, “Do you believe that God cares about what’s happening in your life?” You and I and TT are each important to God. Prayer is meant to be a statement of faith, not a manipulation of the Divine. ;-) Jack

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: Prayer is a statement of faith and a means of communication with our Lord....it ought to involve a lot of listening////FROM JACK: Any communication involves listening...prayer and what's going on at the kitchen table.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I think God roots for Notre Dame. It's Tim Tebow's faith in God, and therefore his faith in himself and his own abilities, that wins games. Sometimes... I love Tim Tebow, and the fact that he is not afraid of or intimidated by anyone who doesn't acknowledge his right to freedom of religion and expression.////FROM JACK: On a building, behind one of the goalposts at ND Stadium, there's a figure of Jesus with his hands upraised. It is commonly referred to as, "Touchdown Jesus>" (Google it) Even with a priest usually on the ND bench, they don't seem to win 'em all.////LIZ AGAIN: I'm quite familiar with the looming Touchdown Jesus. Bet he doesn't like that Coach Brian Kelly left his Cincinnati kids in the lurch pre-bowl game a couple of years ago... I think it stinks, anyway. They've had a couple of bad seasons, for sure...I love their games, tho, because as I read once-- every college considers ND a rival!////FROM JACK: One of my confirmation students went to ND and often was the only non-Catholic in a class. She learned a lot at that university, and others learned a lot from her, as well. It's a good school. I just wish that they'd break down and join the Big Ten.

FROM GO BLU IN OHIO: I believe God shows NOTHING to us through sports, any more than through other aspects of living......and dying. He says to me, I am the one who causes things to happen, and I won't be manipulated." In terms of life history, I've developed a rather tragic sense of things....from boyhood on........YET, I KNOW WITH CERTAINTY that God does care deeply about me and what is happening in my life........when I am able to see the big picture, take the long view, I absolutely am confident God is in charge. ////FROM JACK: There's a Big Picture that outdoes the HD JumboTron. It's strange that we often forget that and chase after that which the media feeds us. In all of life, look at the Big Picture. Eventually, it will all make sense.

FROM MY ATTORNEY: I believe that God is in every foxhole of life, be it on the football field or in the trenches of a war.////FROM JACK: A fox hole and a bird nest are places of refuge. When things get tough, all creatures seek somewhere to feel safe. Those who have faith in God have their refuge. Others are willing to "go it alone." We all make choices.

FROM TRIHARDER IN MICHIGAN: a better question, Jack. Tivo's question is "Is G-d a football fan." Does G-d favor the more righteous team? Or the more righteous sport? Or the more righteous city? ... I think an athlete's statement thanking G-d should be "I thank G-d for allowing me to reach my full potential." But, I wish G-d would also, at the same time, look after the less fortunate.////FROM JACK: Somewhere in the Bible there's a verse, something like this: "Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without G-d knowing an caring." Some religious groups, on Super Bowl Sunday, choose to go in a different direction and make a concerted effort to feed the hungry. They call it Souper Bowl Sunday. The good thing is that most of these groups have a continuing concern for the less fortunate. I think that G-d cares about what they are doing.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I think that his demonstration of faith served to be a very good role model for everyone. His winning and losing were beside the point and his behavior in both instances shows all of us (particulary the kids) how living "the right way" thru faith will enhance our lives.////FROM JACK: We all need role models...parents, teachers, friends, the faithful. That's also one of the reasons for Christmas.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES: I don't believe he prays for Divine intervention, but for strength to do his best and thanks God for allowing him the opportunity to help others. He should be an inspiration to people of character in all walks of life. Instead of diamonds in his ears he puts smiles on those less fortunate.////FROM JACK: I don't know what he prays for. But, as far as I know, he's sincere in his expression of faith. That's what I would ask of anyone. Less emphasis on Tebow (self)...Let the glory be God's.

FROM PRCH ON CAPE COD: My sermon was titled “Come and see” based on Jn1 and I talked about ways we live out our faith in the public realm and how we do or don’t invite others. To shake things up I gave illustrations such as Tim Tebow, the Mormon two year mission stint, and a local gas station employee trying to give me tracts and make sure I have Jesus in my heart (I’m sure he did that especially because I was wearing my clerics!) Hey, Time magazine said that after Tebow put John 3:16 in his eye black at a Florida football game, 92 million people googled the scripture reference! That’s more than any Lutheran pastor can claim! Out here we were thrilled to see the Patriots win big; however, I didn’t care much for the headlines in the Cape Cod Times: “In TOM we trust”////FROM JACK: If the Broncos had won their game, I could imagine a Denver headline: "In TIM we trust." People find enjoyment in being fans. I just wish that they (we) could find that much enjoyment in our faith.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: Thank you for the anti-manipulation of God stance regarding prayer. How do we get this across to some people who are disappointed or angry with God because they couldn't manipulate Divine favor for their requests? I understand their grief but I don't understand their anger at a God who is not a puppet. God is not a puppeteer, either. It's a two-way street.////FROM JACK: We are just one of God's instruments. It takes more than just a hammer to build a house. God has many tools in his tool box. I try to do what I'm able to do, working with the Master Carpenter. Yes, sometimes the work is frustrating, but we must try to do the best we can.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: If he believes it, that's all that's necessary. I won 3.16 from my daughter. Paid off in pennies.////FROM JACK: Pennies from heaven? Have you tried playing the lottery using the number, 316? My daughter has 666 in her house number. Someone suggested that she ask for permission to change it. Do you think God cares about such things?

FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH: God knows best. "Thy will be done" not mine. I have learned that. ////FROM JACK: I 've always taught that a prayer should end with the words, "Not my will, but thy will be done." I haven't always followed that advice. Thanks for the reminder.

FROM DC IN KANSAS: Your last sentence are THE winning words!! Many need to know that truth!!////FROM JACK: We had many of the same teachers. No wonder we agree.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I don't follow the sports and just watch from time-to-time while my husband has the games on TV but your blog is very interesting today. My leanings and cheering seems always to be for the underdog and maybe that's because my heart goes out to those who must be feeling poor in spirit--identify more with those players than with the winners--it's the Sports Beautitudes. I hope all those underdog teams know deeply that God is with them. and don't forget to be compassionate to losers when they come out up on top from time-to-time.////FROM JACK: If a team called, The Underdogs, needed a cheerleader, I know that you would volunteer for the job, pom poms and all.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: Amen--Because I do believe that God cares about everything happening in my life! ////FROM JACK: You have to walk the walk...and then you can talk the talk.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I think of God intervened, TT would have won that last game. I do however, believe He can and does hear all of our prayers. How and why and what He decides to intervene in our lives is completely up to Him. That's freewill!////FROM JACK: I remember once reading that when the gods were angry with the people, they answered their prayers as they were prayed. Our God "understands."

FROM FLOWER POWER: It reminds me of one of my favorite movies “For the Love of the Game” when Billy Chapel offers a private prayer “God, I always said I would never bother you about baseball, lord knows you have bigger things to worry about. But if you could make this pain in my shoulder stop for ten minutes, I would really appreciate it.”////FROM JACK: Sometimes movies are really real. Many of our prayers are like Billy's. I've seen some pictures depicting a smiling Jesus.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: It makes me sad that "they" take advantage and make fun of Tim's faith. They ought to be assessing his football abilities, which are considerable...////FROM JACK: "They" mocked Jesus on the cross. What many seem not to like is a public display of their faith. Does that mean that table prayers in restaurants should not be offered, or that someone should stop wearing a cross?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Winning Words 1/16/12
“If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice.” (From 1968 sermon by MLK Jr) The King Memorial wording will be changed to reflect what was actually said in the sermon. The band follows the drum major, so it’s important that there be no miscommunication. The Civil Rights march was not to lift up the leader, but to promote justice, peace and righteousness. ;-) Jack

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: I saw and heard MLK at the Central Methodist Church in Detroit in the 1960s. He was here as a guest of the Detroit Council of Churches....amazing preacher.////FROM JACK: A lot of people don't know that King gave his "I have a dream" speech in Detroit before it was made famous in Washington. But, I'm sure that's not new info for you.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Thank you for working to keep Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy clear for posterity. ////FROM JACK: I'm glad that the King Monument wording is being clarified...for the sake of posterity.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I remember when MLK was assassinated. It was a month before my Dad died, and two months before RFK was assassinated. 1968 was a year I'll never forget, I was 10 ten years old.////FROM JACK: I was beginning my ministry at about the same time as MLK Jr was beginning his "crusade." I was trying to figure it all out. In retrospect....


FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I hope to see the monument when we go up next month for Jacqueline's senior weekend at Georgetown. Two years ago for Michael's senior weekend we had 20 inches of snow. I belonged to the NAACP in the late 40's and early 50's, and the meetings were often held in black churches in Davenport. When I worked in Senator Paul Douglas' office in Moline, I was surprised to read in the Dispatch that the Senator had a separate organization for black voters.////FROM JACK: I don't suppose the wording on the monument will be changed by the time you get there. I'm not surprised that black voters were on a separate listing. Even today the candidates tailor their messages to black, Latino, female, evangelical, pro-life and pro-choice.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winning Words 1/13/12
“Whatever tears one may shed, in the end one always blows one’s nose.” Heinrich Heine) Like most of us, this 18th century German poet was a complex individual. He grew up as a political radical, but also wrote sensitive poetry. I think that his quote is a snapshot of how it is when people face sadness in their life. Dr. Oz says that, for some reason, tears and nose blowing go together. ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Worried about our cat. The doctor treated her couple of weeks ago, $340, now it looks like she has the same problem. We may have to put her to sleep. At the end of a long week, appreciate the WW Heinrich Heine thought and you decided to pass along, also with your winning commentary.////FROM JACK: I like this verse from the Bible. "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 21:4)

FROM DR J IN OHIO: speaking of nose blowing.. do your remember our story about the nose flutist (Jeanne and I saw her perform on the Johnny Carson Show)? I wonder if she had tears while playing/blowing the flute? ////FROM JACK: That was hilarious. I wonder if the flute was wiped afterward.

FROM IKE AT THE MIC: Boy! but it must be pretty "messy" when you do both at the same time.. ////FROM JACK: You have to make sure you use different parts of the handkerchief.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: It's OK to wipe your eyes on your sleeve, nut not your nose.////FROM JACK: When there's sadness, it makes no difference. You can use my sleeve, if necessary.

FROM PH VACATIONING IN MESA: a good friend of mine at the church is now dying of ALS. former flight attendant for Northwest/Delta, 55 years old. it is an AWFUL disease!!////FROM JACK: Yes, ALS is AWFUL, and especially so when it affects someone that we know. I tend to respond more to donation requests that relate to diseases affecting people that I know.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Or use a sleeve! It's all generally a mess anyway. Tears clear the eyes, heart and nose!////FROM JACK: I like the song. "We're Goin' To Meet The Lord." One verse goes: "No more cryin' then; we're goin' to meet the Lord."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winning Words 1/12/12
“Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.” (Stephen Hawking) Even in his wheelchair Hawking puzzles over great scientific mysteries. He also expresses his opinion on the mystery of God. Recently, I read that he thinks the biggest mystery of all is the mystery of women. In the life of this brilliant man, I found that to be “funny.” However ALS, which cripples his body, is not funny, and I pray for a cure. ;-) Jack.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: It does seem so many times that it is the funny, ironic solutions/answers to our prayers that absolutely delight and enthrall us and turn tragedy into comedy. How and why does God make these kinds of people/experiences/things happen in the scheme of things that make us laugh and laugh out loud?!!!! Don't know much about Stephen Hawking but wonder if he has an amazing woman or women in his life who love him not even minding his ALS, sometimes something that seems so monumental of a detriment turns out not even to be a blip to someone else and everything becomes surprisingly funny and enchanting and mysterious in its appeal to another side of a person. Even so, I pray for a cure too.////FROM JACK: I got a book on the subject of puns as a Christmas gift. Puns often rely on the fact that words have different meanings...like the word, funny.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I read he has suffered from als for 50 years-- unheard of! He is a total enigma.////FROM JACK: I think that there's something puzzling about each of us, but I'm especially tolerant when it comes to the words of Hawking. 50 years with ALS is bound to shape one's opinions.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: I read that at this point, Hawking can only communicate with the right cheek. What a brilliant mind he has.////FROM JACK: I find Stephen to be a fascinating individual. There's so much yet to discover about the workings of the body and why we are as we are.

FROM CPA BOB: Is his long-term survival with ALS a “scientific mystery”?////FROM JACK: Doctors don't know everything, althought sometimes we wish they did.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: A sense of humor is sometimes the greatest cure. Hawking seems to have found that.////FROM JACK: Having a sense of humor is also a mystery. Why do some have it while others don't?

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: Hawking just might have something there with that "women" thing...////FROM JACK: Did you talk that over with your wife?

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: my brother joe would have been 65 yesterday. i shared his funny stories with pretty much everyone i came in contact with. joe loved women, babies, and animals. if we, his siblings, couldn't see the humor and significance in that, we may have found his life, (and our loss of him), tragic. ////FROM JACK: I remember working with him on his God and Country Scouting award. I liked Joe. I liked the whole clan.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: He has a wonderful way of looking at serious issues. We lost a dear friend and a wonderful carpenter to ALS. It's a terrible way to die. Thankfully, he also had a wonderful outlook on life. ////FROM JACK: The best way to die is "Safe in the arms of Jesus." Do you remember that hymn?
Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world’s temptations;
Sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow,
Free from my doubts and fears;
Only a few more trials,
Only a few more tears!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winning Words 1/11/12
“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence.” (Helen Keller) Here’s something that Helen knew about. It was her world, and, surprisingly, she saw it as wonderful. How can that be? Are there times when you long for quietness, for the neon signs to stop flashing? Where is it that you’ve found “wonder” in your world? We each have an answer. We each have our Anne Sullivan. ;-) Jack

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: I take my hearing aids out when I want silence....usually when I read and do the puzzles, etc. Hearing aids are wonderful things....they bring words back to the near deaf and they bring silence when you need it....////FROM JACK: Many inventions since Helen's time have provided "wonders" for those who are hard of seeing and hard of hearing. Not long ago I saw someone in a doctor's office making an appointment, using sign language. She had an "Anne Sullivan" with her. Fascinating!

FROM RI IN BOSTON: We get "flashed" beyond reason about Beyonce, Ellen and Anniston...thanks for keeping us aware of the accomplished and esteemed Helen Keller.////FROM JACK: I take it that you don't subscribe to People magazine. And you're probably not a fan of the Kardashians, either.

FROM PH IN ARIZONA: its kind of "wonderful" here in Mesa today.////FROM JACK: My sister and husband enjoy going to Mesa to watch the Cubs do their spring training. You must be doing your "pastoral" spring training, getting ready for Easter.

FROM ANONYMOUS IN MINNESOTA: Concerning "darkness", last Sunday's opinion section of the MPLS Trib. had an interesting article about the difficulty in seeing the planets and constellations because everything is so lit up, everywhere. Where can we find places dark enough to see the wondrous heavens? Maybe the deep woods?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Helen is one of my favorites. She was always so positive and extremely intelligent. I cross-stitched one of her saying and it hangs in our home. "The most beautiful things are not seen or heard but touched by the heart." Who is your Annie?////FROM JACK: Annie has different faces. Right now she is persons who respond to Winning Words. We are the product of the people and experiences that have come into our life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Winning Words 1/10/12
“There are some people who, if they don’t already know, you can’t tell ‘em.” (Yogi Berra) Yogi is expressing some of his frustration as a baseball manager. It also happens in the business world and in the classroom. I read that British TV once produced a reality series called, “The Unteachables.” Average, bored and unruly kids were put together with the best teachers. How do you think it turned out? ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I'm betting, in the reality series, it turned out well; otherwise probably the series would never have been aired. However, I do believe some people are going to reject even God's telling them though I personally know some people, among them a teacher, who insist ultimately everyone is going to heaven, God is so powerful and He won't let hell happen to anyone. Pondering over how many of us can't be told anything or don't listen. Thank God for Grace!!!!!////FROM JACK: One of the episodes showed the teachers taking the students to a farm pasture and having them read to some cows. They were much more at ease that when reading to peers.

FROM BM IN MICHIGAN: I think they were successful.////FROM JACK: I think that good teachers make a difference. That was my experience.

FROM DL IN RURAL MINNESOTA: My guess is that some of those bored kids got fired up if you gave them some unique learning involvement activity. On the other hand, for adults? Maybe a bit of active listening and then a question relative to their response(s). Gotta get on a line with folks.////FROM JACK: In "preaching" class I was taught to take the Bible message and connect it up with the life that the listeners were living. "Connect it (the sermon) up with life!"

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I have no idea, but I am a positive thinker and activist. do you know the answer? ////FROM JACK: You're the teacher. What was your experience?////RESPONSE FROM TAMPA: I was teaching in the stone age where if there happened to be an unruly student, Mr Welch would have him run around the track quite a few times. In California, it was a different story because so many families were falling apart. Our principal wanted us to call the parents and to explain the problem to them. It did work most of the time, though. When we moved to Florida, the children were mostly well behaved or they were paddled with a ping pong paddle-with witnesses. In those days the lunch hour each day had a prayer before the meal- Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish- alternating each day. When the schools were integrated, the principals hesitated to enforce their discipline for fear of being called biased. The standards were definitely lowered for a while. Our experience as parents was with private, Catholic, and public schools, and everyone got a very good education to prepare for a good career in life.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: The bored kids got unbored, the average kids stayed average.////FROM JACK: Look at how you and I turned out.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My nephew's church has a saying, "Kids won't listen till they know you care." I imagine all those teacher's found values in each child and they blossomed.////FROM JACK: The series was a "reality show."

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: Rick and I are talking about this. We do not know this answer,but hope it is that they all did better Which we think gives hope to everyone. What is the answer? We hope that no one is hopeless.////FROM JACK: I like it that someone is trying to do something to solve a problem. There's more to "no child left behind" than a political slogan.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: I would wager that the "BEST" teachers learned a great deal during this project ////FROM JACK: I hadn't thought about it in that way. Sometimes we forget that we are continually learners, and that includes teachers...even the best of them.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: don't leave us in suspence!////FROM JACK: Too bad! As in all classrooms, there are successes and there are failures. In this instance, the success was that someone recognized a problem and did something about it. Creativity and caring seemed to make a difference...in the long run.

FROM JO IN MICHIGAN: I like that one...most people I know already know everything...////FROM JACK: I'm glad you wrote "most" instead of "all."

FROM IKE AT THE MIC: On that thought there is a saying that people who believe that "you can't teach new tricks to old dogs, chances are you couldn't teach those dogs new tricks when they were young dogs"..////FROM JACK: Who taught you "tricks" when you were a young dog?

Monday, January 09, 2012

Winning Words 1/9/12
“Life is a crisis—So what!” (Malcolm Bradbury) I can imagine that you, or someone you know, will face a crisis situation this week. A crisis is a turning point, a time for decision. Depending on how we react, it can be a positive or a negative. Did you know that there’s even a Crisis Magazine, to help people with their choices? God says, “Lo. I am with you always,” including the crisis times. ;-) Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Help is on the way! "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Phil. 4:13)////FROM JACK: The Bible is your Crisis Magazine in book form.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Amen Amen and Amen////FROM JACK: At the end of Sunday's sermon the pastor said, "And let the people say...." And the people loudly said, "Amen." I guess that meant that they agreed with the message.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: A magazine to help people with Crisis Management? Too funny. How easy would life be if we could just read a magazine for our situations and crisis. I will stick to prayer, thank you very much. LOL ////FROM JACK: Whatever floats your boat. Some people use the Bible as a kind of crisis magazine.

FROM BF IN MICHIGAN: Thanks Jack! This is needed this week.////FROM JACK: I've heard that the Chinese word for crisis is made up of two symbols...danger and opportunity. Now, I've read that it's not true. But the fact remains...crisis does present danger, but it also presents opportunity.

FROM SA IN VEGAS: The church where our kids were confirmed has a large stained glass window behind the altar, maybe 25' tall and 10' wide, of Jesus, and across his feet, the only text on the entire image- 'Lo, I am with you always'. God keeps his promises.////FROM JACK: Your father remembered the words painted on the wall of the church where his father's family attended. "Cast all your cares upon the Lord." 1 Peter 5:7

Friday, January 06, 2012

Winning Words 1/6/12
“A teacher’s day is half bureaucratic, half crisis, half monotony and 1/8 epiphany. Never mind the arithmetic.” (Susan Ohanian) The word, epiphany, is from the Greek, and means to “show forth.” Jake, in The Blues Brothers, had an epiphany moment when he said, “I’ve seen the light!” What’s makes a teacher’s day enjoyable is when a pupil “gets it.” That’s what teaching is all about, Charlie Brown. ;-) Jack

FRIM RB IN MICHIGAN: What a perfect lead in for an Epiphany message!!! You really know how to inspire with the use of the gospel in such a subtle way. He loves us so very much He gave His best! (a simple epiphany) ////FROM JACK: I'm glad that you noticed. Thanks May you have an epiphany experience today.

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: Ha! I was shaking my head at the math before I finished reading the quote! Funny. My daughter, the teacher, will love this one.////FROM JACK: It's that way with teachers....so much to do...so little time....but the epiphanies make it worthwhile.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: Glad you like The Blues Brothers too.////FROM JACK: Yes, Jake and Elwood are favorites of mine. I know much of the dialog.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA: For some crazy reason, all your winning words are now coming to me in the Junk Mail inbox. Yikes! I will have to get that fixed////FROM JACK: That can happen if you do not put me on your "safe sender" list.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Many years ago I read a book on John Belushi's life and times. At one point, Belushi answered a question about 'the source of inspiration' he and Dan Akroyd had had for the Blues Brothers. Belushi told him that Dan had met a guy from Detroit who was involved with a folklore group, was really tall, never said much, and never took off his dark glasses. That person was Dale Ackerman, my brother's best friend, dating back to high school. (He didn't take off his dark glasses even then, and when he did say something, it was either profound or hilarious. Sometimes both. :-)////FROM JACK: I wonder if you can come up with a picture of Dan Ackerman? That is a really interesting story.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: One might say this about being a pastor, too! I'd add "half God thing", though, because it is uncanny how the Holy Spirit breaks into the crises and the bureaucracy. I'd subtract the "half monotony" -- I've never found parish ministry to be monotonous.////FROM JACK: My son once said to his mother, "What dad needs is a boss." He wasn't being critical...just observant. I would rather say that pastors need challengers. When I first entered the ministry, the "bishops" were more pro-active when it came to overseeing their pastors. I personally liked that style.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I forwarded your WW to three teachers I know.////FROM JACK: Teachers need to be bolstered occasionally.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Today is Epiphany Day in Tarpon Springs where the Bishop throws the Cross into the Bayou, and today 54 young men were diving for it. Whoever recovers it, is guaranteed a blessed year. Something happened, though, because after six minutes no on could find it. so another one was thrown in. Eventually,both were found, so two boys, not one, will have a special year.////FROM JACK: I think that the Church could recapture the meaning of "Christmas" by celebrating the birth of Christ on Epiphany, which seems to be the appropriate time. On second thought, the stores would probably latch on to it as another time for holiday buying.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS: You might add: exhausting, rewarding.////FROM JACK: You just did.

FROM DR IN MICHIGAN: I have several teacher friends, my sister being one of them. I have passed these winning words along to them.////FROM JACK: A long time ago I learned the difference between the spelling and the definition of principal and principle. The school principal should be the "pal" of the students. The same goes for the teachers. Not a peer, but a friend.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

inning Words 1/5/12
“If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it’s at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbor.” (Rosie O’Donnell) Rosie and Jesus seem to be on the same page. “You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.” I recently read that “low-self esteem is the problem behind all problems.” Rosie’s words might make for a good resolution.. Be thoughtful of others, and you could build your self-esteem. ;-) Jack

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: There is not a lot of love for oneself when one despises another. I would suggest that Rosie misses the point entirely. The idea of loving one's neighbor implies that one does indeed love oneself. For one can only give to another what one has to give. If what one has is pathological, it is the pathological that one shares with others. This is why angry or hurt people share the same with others...it's all they see, and in turn, all they give: a fruit of the tree so to speak. Rather, we need to remember Jesus said to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength AND to love thy neighbor as thyself. The first step makes the latter successful. First things first. Hopefully, Rosie and the rest of us will remember the first step, act accordingly, and we'll require less need to rephrase the great commandment.////FROM JACK: I purposely used Rosie's quote, because I think that it explains some of her behavior. To me, it also reaffirms my belief that there can be something of "good" in everyone. God sees what we can't always see.

FROM TL IN HOUSTON: Today's WWs will go into the all-time favorites folder! Thanks again for your daily inspiration.////FROM JACK: I was hoping that people would see the point of today's WWs and not be put off by who was the quoter.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Wow. I actually agree w/Rosie...////FROM JACK: Rosie isn't a favorite of mine, but I used her words, because I think that they fit many situations in our lives.

FROM ANONYMOUS: These WW are our universal struggle and I think it's because when we realize someone doesn't love us and we in turn have a difficult time loving them, our self-esteem does sink. We all want peace, we all want love, we all want mutual respect and kindness in our relationships and, when that is broken, we really are aware of our sinful natures. But, somehow I think it is in the process of the agony of not being able to love someone else as we also want to be loved, when we go down to the pit of acknowledging our failure--if we do do that and don't try to anesthetize ourselves--God Who created us and is faithful will come to our aid. To me, implicit in Rosie's WW is the acknowledgment that some neighbors don't love us and we have to ask God to give us the ability to love and respect ourselves just to be able to deal with the mental, verbal, physical, emotional violence that is in this world.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Don't you think that parents are neglecting their job of teaching right from wrong and of teaching responsibility for one's own actions. Also the example of good living and sharing comes from the home.////FROM JACK: Ideally, morality should be taught in the home. Realistically...many homes do have that in their teaching plans. Teaching in the home is always going on. Eyes are seeing. Ears are listening. Minds are working.

FROM DR IN MICHIGAN: Thanks for today's words. When I started teaching Sunday school to 5th and 6th graders we were talking about Jesus' commandments and one young man seriously asked "what if you don't love yourself?" This has stuck with me ever since and I still don't have the perfect answer. I have noticed many people have the ability to love others and not love themselves. It is usually because they don't feel loved. That's when I try to point out how much they are loved by God. ////FROM JACK: That was an epiphany moment for you...and hopefully for that student. See tomorrow's WWs to see what I mean. The Church needs more Sunday School teachers like you. I give you an A+.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Winning Words 1/4/12
“I have some problems with my life, but living is the best thing they’ve come up with, so far.” (Neil Simon) I like Simon’s, The Odd Couple. He had a knack for seeing humor in the lives of everyday people…not all bad and not all good…like most people we know. Much material came from his own experiences.. He could probably even produce something “odd” about your life and mine. ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: The Odd Couple was funny!!!!! In this day and age when sexual stereotypes are being broken down so much there is a movie/sitcom where both men and women can identify. Neil Simon helped us to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves and others' foibles so seriously. Great WW.////FROM JACK: Who do you identify with...mostly, Oscar or Felix? For the most part, I'm a Felix, but my desk is an Oscar. ////MORE FROM SS: I'm an Oscar with an inner Felix, married to an Oscar with an inner Felix who together produced a Felix. The paradoxical thing is that, when I was at home with Mom and Dad, I was a Felix to my Mom's Oscar and then when I got married and had a baby and found out how much work was involved, that's when I became an Oscar too like her. I became more understanding and also realized there are other priorities in life sometimes than being neat and organized. Life is great and also ironic. God bless you for having an Oscar desk, you should see what's around this computer here.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Yes, when you think of the options, life is pretty good, even with the problems. Although I am not afraid of going to Heaven, I'm quite content down here with the family for awhile, please God. As for the odd things in our lives, well, we could and should write books....some would have volumes!!!////FROM JACK: I think I know where Simon would start with you.

FROM PASTIE PAT: He'd have a field day with mine! When my youngest son went away to college he said --- "Will your feelings be hurt if I tell everyone I'm an only child? There's just no way I could explain our family"!
////FROM JACK: He probably wanted to have you all to himself.

FROM PLAINFOLKS CHESTER: Why do you think we always called you an oddball?////FROM JACK: Sticks and stone may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Neil Simon may have some problems with his life, but he sure had no problems writing really funny plays, often with pathos thrown in. I love his work! I think he once said that every comedic situation had some sadness...When Bill and I saw GOD'S FAVORITE, we laughed til we cried. Too funny! But ALL of his works are so entertaining, Barefoot in the Park, The Star Spangled Girl, both California and Plaza Suites, The Sunshine Boys, and of course The Odd Couple. Too many to recall, but thanks to a fertile mind that used everyday life to highlight ridiculous situations. We should all be so blessed! Good WW! ////FROM JACK: He could probably write a good one about twin sisters who grew up, but never lost their childlike spirit. He could add humor to the plot by having them both be married to ministers. He might call it Barefoot in the Parsonage.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS: One friend always greets me when I ask how he is: "I am on the right side of the dirt!"...hard to argue with him.////FROM JACK: I've never heard that one before.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Winning Words 1/3/12
“Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.” (Winston Chuchill) I’m tempted to write about Witty Winnie, as displayed in this quote. But I see it as an example of Wise Winston. If you’re going to be a leader, you have to be able to make good decisions. First of all, you’ve got to know the difference between a monkey and an organ grinder. It’s not as easy it seems. ;-) Jack

FROM JC IN HONG KONG: Or ... If you want the truth, then talk to someone privately. If you talk to them with others in the room they will "fall into line." Witness last month's N. Korea crying masses ... now there's a BIG room.////FROM JACK: Yours is an interesting comment which raises questions...What is the goal of the discussion?...Is there more than one organ grinder?...Who programs the organ?

FROM RI IN BOSTON: I love today's quote. Churchill was such a constant source of witty comments or retorts. One had better think twice before wising off with him. One of his best responses that I can remember (when he was criticized for ending a sentence with a preposition)..."That's the sort of attitude up with which I will not put!" ////FROM JACK: I once visited Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, where Churchill gave his "Iron Curtain" speech. I like this Churchill quote: "Dogs look up to you. Cats look down on you. Give me a pig. He just looks you in the eye and treats you like an equal."

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Never hold an argument at the top of the stairs.////FROM JACK: Did you see the movie, Death Becomes Her? There was a staircase scene as you described.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Peter Drucker said that a mgr is successful if 33% of his decisions are correct, sort of like a MLB player.////FROM JACK: One could be the organ grinder at work and the monkey at home.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: How true that is. Where are all of the leaders these days? I am still waiting for a Truman, who certainly was not in politics for the money to be gained or the perks forever.////FROM JACK: It's a new day. But it's the same old story. Even Abe Lincoln was elected facing much opposition. I like the hymn written by the Moravian preacher, Count von Zinzendorf:
Jesus, still lead on, till our rest be won,
And, although the way be cheerless,
We will follow calm and fearless,
Guide us by Thy hand to our fatherland.

If the way be drear, if the foe be near,
Let no faithless fears o’ertake us,
Let not faith and hope forsake us,
For through many a woe to our home we go.

When we seek relief from a long felt grief;
When temptations come alluring,
Make us patient and enduring;
Show us that bright shore where we weep no more.

Jesus, still lead on, till our rest be won;
Heavenly Leader, still direct us,
Still support, control, protect us,
Till we safely stand in our fatherland.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I love witty Winston, although in the book NO ORDINARY TIME (About FDR and Eleanor) he is not presented in a positive way as their sometime house guest! One of my favorite quotes of WC, was when he was dining at state dinner, and the lady seated next to him said, "If you were my husband, I'd give you a poisoned drink! He replied, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it!" :-) He was an inspirational leader when England needed one. Much admired!////FROM JACK: No one's perfect, not even the great Churchill. Perfection is not what makes a great leader. Having a sense of humor helps.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Winning Words 1/2/12
“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.” (Henry Moore) In Glenn McCoy’s cartoon The Duplex, Eno worries about keeping his New Year’s resolutions. Fang, his dog, tells him not to worry, because the day will be over in a few hours. That’s the way it is with resolutions. Keeping them, one day at a time, should be the goal. I like what the book of James (4:14) says about our tomorrows. ;-) Jack

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: When you are in the pulpit, do you tell the congregation to go read James 4:14 or do you read it to them?////FROM JACK: In the pulpit, I would read the reference, because those in the pew usually don't have a laptop on their lap. Elsewhere, I figure that the reader can Google it, or look it up in their Bible.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZl Every day there are new challenges, hence, new resolutions.////FROM JACK You're right. However, some challenges are more daunting than others. I really admire some of the folks who have overcome obstacles greater yjan any I've faced.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: Amen......after spending time trying to remember and then find James......Happy New Year........////FROM JACK: Martin Luther didn't like the book of James (after he found it).

MORE PFC: Hope you don't think I'm being critical. I love WW! I just wondered if you are expecting people to do it. My bible isn't even Len the same floor as MY COMPUTER AND i NEVER THOUGHT OF goggled may YUP SHOULD REMIND PEOPLE OR PUT A HOT LINK IN WW. OOPS. I unknowingly slipped into all caps. Sorry. ////FROM JACK: This is one of those times I did something on purpose, just to test some of the old folks.

FROM LP IN MICHIGAN: Saw an parent-kid activity to celebrate the new year: Set a goal or resolution for each month of the year and write it on the calendar. Was thinking about trying something like this. Haven't put out my 2012 calendar yet :-0 ////FROM JACK: That' a great idea...12 resolutions. Now, don't suggest one for each day of the year.

FROM AJ IN MICHIGAN: This one is sort of like take one day at a time.////FROM JACK: Yes, and your response reminds me of the song, "One day at a time, Sweet Jesus." Do you know it?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: True, as James points out we don't know what tomorrow will bring...sometimes that is a good thing, I guess! I don't make resolutions as such, but this year I have taken JOY for my word, and am trying to see the JOY in every day happenings. Hopefully it will be contagious to those around me! As the sign on a church says, "Kind Words Make Good echoes"...////FROM JACK: The Book of James contains a lot of interesting stuff