Friday, March 30, 2012

Winning Words 3/30/12
“Eventually three things come out—the sun, the moon and the truth.” (Dan Gilbert) Vetting is a common word that means to check and evaluate people being considered for a job. Political candidates are vetted…even pastors. I find it interesting that the word comes from horse racing where veterinarians are asked to check the horses before a race, hence, vetting. After reading the quote, I say, “Ain’t it the truth?” ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Last year's VBS at our church was centered around the theme "Jesus Truth Seekers, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26. The poster had a picture of little kid Columbo's with sunglasses and magnifying glass. Loved the poster, loved the theme, love your WW today. Love Jesus who loves us. The only way this world becomes attractive to live in is if there is truth in it. My opinion, some people may think otherwise.////FROM JACK: I like it when Bible stories are connected up with real life. especially for children. I guess that goes for adults, too.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: That's a good quote, an interesting explanation, and a down-home conclusion. Thanks for the insights...all around.////FROM JACK: A "vetting" that I've liked is being able to drive my friend's Corvette while my Impala was being serviced.

FROM HONEST JOHN: I don't know if the truth always comes out. Read the histories that are coming from the Right and those are immense distortions. You can deny the truth if you want.////FROM JACK: Given enough time, anything is possible. G-d is the ultimate truth. At the end, we shall "see" and "know."

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: So does the tooth!////FROM JACK: One of the fun things about being a parent is the job of posing as the "tooth fairy."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: The truth always does surface doesn't it? We have always stressed to our kids and grands that it's easier to tell the truth than suffer the consequences. I do know a few pastors who are "long in the tooth".////FROM JACK: "Horses's teeth, unlike humans', continue to grow with age. They also wear down with use, but the changes in the characteristics of the teeth over time make it possible to make a rough estimate of a horse's age by examining them. There are various similar Latin phrases dating back to the 16th century. The gap between these and the first citation of the English version - in 1852, make it likely that 'long in the tooth' was coined independently from those earlier Latin sayings. That earliest citation is in Thackeray's, The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. and refers to a woman rather than a horse."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: A very good thought, and your explanations of "vetting" and "Long in the tooth" were both interesting! I remember a clever turn of phrase involving "truth" that Adlai Stevenson used when he was running for President:"I offer my opponents a bargain:If they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them." :-) And Will Rogers' classic: "If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these politician's acceptance speeches, there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven." The truth can be nebulous...

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: And that's the truth!////FROM JACK: Thank you, Edith ANNE!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Winning Words 3/29/12
“If you wait to “see” it before you “believe” it, you’ll be waiting a long time.” (Dan Gilbert) When I came to Michigan my “new” dentist suggested that maybe I would want to find someone else, because he was an atheist. I didn’t. There are people who are waiting for empirical proof before they will believe in God. G-O-D is a code word used to say that the unknowable is made known in a limited way. ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Love these WW. Bring alive the scripture "He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Especially I like the G-O-D code word belief.////FROM JACK: "I must see, in order to believe," does not seem to express humility. So, if "I" see, it must be so?

FROM MY FLORIST: Sounds very much like part of the Gnostic Belief to me…////FROM JACK: I don't consider myself to be a heretic, but I do believe that my theological thinking has a Hellenic influence. Suffice to say, I believe that Jesus is God in human form, and that God is more than the human form. And so the theological discussions have continued through the ages....////RESPONSE FROM MF: I must say that I also have a very similar view.////FROM JACK: You were paying attention during confirmation classes.

FROM HONEST JOHN: If, however, your Dentist had said that he was being sued by several people for malpractice, you might have switched. What you want is a competent Dentist. What I want is a God who loves me....not one indifferent to me (Deism)....For me, Good Friday and Easter are at the heart of everything that we look for.////FROM JACK: If we only associated with people who agreed with us, what a dull world this would be. That dentist did discover a "hidden" problem and sent me to an oral surgeon who was able to treat the problem and save me from major consequences.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: You won't need a dentist in heaven anyway.////FROM JACK: I know of a man whose leg had to be amputated. He contacted the local funeral director and had the leg buried in his cemetery plot, because he didn't want to spend eternity without that leg.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Was that last sentence yours? If so, you should put it on a poster and retire. God is code to say the unknowable is made known in a limited way – nice!////FROM JACK: No quotation marks, so it must be mine. However, I'm sure I'm not the first to have thought of God in this way. My Jewish friends do something similar when they show it as G-D.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: I think the “unknowable is made known” everyday to those who open their eyes. ////FROM JACK: ....and to those who open their mind.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Too true, reminds me of the quote, "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God" (Theresa MacCleod). When Bill used to enter his Barber's shop in Dixon, he thought the barber greeted him so warmly because he liked him and was glad to see him: "Pastor Bill, so good to see you Reverend!"gesturing him into a chair... it later dawned on him that the barber was saying to the other guys in the shop, "the REVEREND"S here, knock off the off-color stories and jokes, and be on you best behavior." HA! Interesting that your dentist brought up his atheism immediately...did you have some good conversations? Most pastors enjoy a good debate...:-) Bill often preached,'You BELIEVE, then you are given eyes to SEE." "Not Seeing is Believing", but "Believing is Seeing"!////FROM JACK: I did invite the dentist to come and speak with our youth group. He was not trying to "convert" them and vice versa. I never engaged him in a debate, but simply treated him as a friend. BTW, the first thing my barber says when I sit down in the chair is: "What's the Winning Word for the day?" The conversation takes off from there.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Winning Words 3/28/12
“The one who tells you there is food on your face is your friend.” (Dan Gilbert) One of my favorite Burt Bacharach songs is, ”That’s What Friends Are For,” sung by Dionne Warwick and friends…especially the line, “For good times and bad times.” A friend will offer constructive opinions. I have someone like that. Do you? I think that most of us can relate how a friend has “been there” when we needed him/her. ;-) Jack

FROM HYYOSILVER: Yes - very true. However, did you know that in the Jewish scriptures (I don't remember if it's the Mishnah or the Talmud) it talks about truth and flattery and says that it is not a lie (and thus not a sin) to tell a bride she is beautiful. In fact, the scripture essentially says that you must tell her she is beautiful. So Dan Gilbert, a fellow Jewish person, is totally right - except for that one point.////FROM JACK: Beauty has more than one definition. So does truth. Even we are multi-sided individuals.

FROM SAINT JAMES: That is so true!////FROM JACK: We all have "true" experiences. When I was growing up, there was a magazine called, True Story. I remember it as being far more interesting than today's, People.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I am deeply grateful for my dear friends. I married my best friend. However, I do have some extremely close friends who love me as I am through thick and thin and good and bad times! ////FROM JACK: "Friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship."

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Someone told me something just last night I am trying to figure out if it was constructive criticism or not. There is a way of saying "There's food on your face and thinking "you slob"" and being in a restaurant, looking in a communicative way at someone's chin or something and touching your own chin to help the person avoid embarrassment and address the situation in a sympathetic way. However a person gets criticism, constructive or destructive, I suppose it does promote change, I suppose the important part is that the words are true, never mind the other stuff-the next person you see won't have to look at the food on your face and help you. Well, mulled this WW over quite a bit. Thanks////FROM JACK: It's the thought that counts. Sometimes our attempts at caring are misinterpreted. There is such a thing as not being on the same wavelength...but that's life.

FROM GM IN MICHIGAN: Yes My wife, for 55 years.////FROM JACK: After 5 1/2 decades, you should have gotten the message.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: At my age, I got a kick out of the quote:"We will be best friends until we are old and senile, then we will be new friends, again!" :-) I love the song That's What Friends Are For, and heartily agree that candid friends are the chocolate chips in the cookies of life! I have been blessed, many times over! They are even more important, after you've lost you best-friend-spouse!! Thanks for the thoughtful WW today! ////FROM JACK: Sometimes chocolate chip cookies have nuts in them.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: "It's friendship, friendship, Just a perfect blendship, When other friendships have been "forgate" Ours will still be great!" ////FROM JACK: Yes, I know that song, and it describes what friendship is about. Your response caused me to look up the source...Written by Cole Porter in the musical, DuBarry Was A Lady." I had forgotten about that...but not the song.

FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH: At work there is a bi-annual survey about employee "engagement" and satisfaction. One question that seems to raise a lot of questions is "do you have a best friend at work?" Perhaps today's WW could be used for interpretation.////FROM JACK: It would be fun if you gave a kind of response like that. Then, again, they might wonder about you. Maybe they already do.////MORE FROM PLYMOUTH: Last summer when I was pregnant and wrestling maternity wear and a big belly I *twice* walked out of the office bathroom with my skirt tucked into my underwear. Thankfully each time someone was friendly enough to tell me before I got too far.////FROM JACK: Too funny.

FROM DS IN MICHIGAN: One of my all time favorite songs as well. Also “You’ve Got a Friend” – James Taylor and others. ;o)////FROM JACK: Yep! Another good one to add to the list of "friend" songs.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Winning Words 3/27/12
“Those who want milk should not seat themselves on a stool in the middle of a field and hope the cow comes to them.” (Elbert Hubbard) I smiled when I read this quote in Gilbert’s book. Can’t you just “see” the guy on the stool? The one who makes the sales is the one who gets off of the stool. It works in the business world, at home and even in the church. By my computer is a sign: “Get tough--get off your duff.” ;-) Jack

FROM HYHOSILVER: True - and hilarious. ////FROM JACK: Some things are false-and not so hilarious.

FROM KB IN MICHIGAN: I have to tell you this is one of my favorites!////FROM JACK: I think that each if us has an "agenda" that makes this a good quote.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I like your sign Jack, I looked around my computer quickly and noticed I had posted a quote from Thomas the Tank Engine (kids books). "What can I do today to be a really useful engine?" Thomas My son loved the Reverend Wilbert Awdry. Great stories well produced. We still have a drawer full of VHS tapes my son is now 21.////FROM JACK: When did the little boy become a man. Didn't Peter, Paul and Mary sing a song about that?////MORE GOOD DEBT: I think so. So did Harry Chapin and me...

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Great words. God helps those who help themselves. Of course, there are always exceptions which have to be accepted when there seems no reason why, We have a 56 year old friends who has just been diagnosed with a deadly cancer. She has three boys- the oldest a freshman in high school. ////FROM JACK: BTW, Ben Franklin came up with "God helps etc." I'm sorry to hear about your friend and her family. I know of a similar situation.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I think you should provide a "like," as Facebook does. Btw, are you on FB?////FROM JACK: My son has made the same suggestion. Yes, I do have a Facebook and a Twitter account, but don't use them. What I do now seems more personal, but I'm not so old that I can't change.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: And too much welfare makes that happen--the cow comes to those who wait! ////FROM JACK: I was thinking more in terms of sales. Your husband was not one to sit and wait for the cows. BTW, on my way to a hockey game last night I saw homeless people sleeping on manhole covers that had steam coming out of them. They were trying to keep warm.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: The cow will come to you if you are holding a basket of hay. Never overlook your options.////FROM JACK: The one who would think to go and get some hay wouldn't be sitting on the stool and waiting for the cows.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Winning Words 3/26/12
“If you believe “tomorrow” will be even more exciting than “today,” then you have discovered what “passion” really means.” (Dan Gilbert) D.G. is an entrepreneur and the founder of Quicken Loans. I picked up his book, “isms” and could not put it down. I jotted down many of Gilbert’s thoughts and will be using them this week. Some of what is his passion is also mine. BTW, what’s your passion? ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: It probably sounds old-fashioned but, I believe, my passion is to help my husband. And somehow I've discovered, or rather God helped me to discover, that the things he is dealing most with are also most universal so that I'm personally helping the universal--and believe me I've got my hands full!!!! ////FROM JACK: It's never out of date to treat others as God has treated us.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: Wisdom! But it very elusive... ////FROM JACK: That's why the search for wisdom is so exciting. You open a door to enter a room with many other doors.

FROM PASTY PAT: Life --- and knowing that there is something new to learn, a new adventure to be had, or a new person to meet each day!////FROM JACK: No one can say that you're not following your dream.

FROM HONEST JOHN: Let the day's own troubles be sufficient for the day.////FROM JACK: Good advice. Don't bite off more than you can chew....especially if it's an elephant.


FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: My passion is my girls' well-being.////FROM JACK: That sounds like your passion when you were a teen-ager....the girls part.

FROM CLAUDIA MONET: To go to the studio and paint! What's yours?////FROM JACK: Right now, I'd have to say that my passion is collecting Winning Words and commenting on them.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE: John's son, Brian, works for Quicken. I am interested in Gilbert's ideas.////FROM JACK: I wonder if he's read the "isms" book. I'm impressed with the direction that Gilbert has set for his many business enterprises. I'm also impressed by his attemt to revitalize downtown Detroit.

FROM CAPE COD CHRISTIAN: Passions: discussing theology, cello, sailing, blue sky with shining sun in the morning (“O Lord, what a morning!”)////FROM JACK: That's quite a list. Nothing about politics and money.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Winning Words 3/23/12
“To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” (Bertrand Russell) If I could order a new red Ferrari, is that the essence of joy? I saw a cartoon of a dog gripping a car bumper with his teeth. Over his head were the words, “OK, now what?” Someone has said, “The joy is in the chase.” I’ve had some happy times in my “dream” world. I sometimes still live there. Do you? ;-) Jack

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: I think through experience alone, like Russell and the dog in the cartoon point out, one learns that even when one acquires that which one wants or desires, satisfaction wanes. Happiness, now distinct from the pleasure of acquiring what one wants, seems to exist alongside the acceptance of the things of the world and our place within it, and the knowing that what one wants is just what one wants. What is righteous is always long-lasting; hence we can be confident that Happiness, Love, Peace, and all the fruits of the Spirit are eternal indeed.////FROM JACK: Even though the "science" of categorizing people as Type A or Type B personalities has been called into question, I continue to see some truth in it. The cartoon dog seems to be Type A...short-fused, aggressive, impatient, looking ahead. Do you know any people like that? I do. Happiness can be elusive.

FROM BEC DOWN THE ROAD: I like this one!////FROM JACK: Did you like it, because a dog is involved. My dog, Sparkie, used to chase cars, but never caught one.

FROM PASTY PAT: Absolutely. I wonder about today's kids growing up in a world with all this technology, where everything is so fast, so immediate. How do you learn to set a long-term goal and work towards it and then experience the satisfaction of reaching it? Or, as today's quote says ---"be without some of the things you want" and still be happy? (Honestly, I'm not against technology and appreciate the benefits, but also wonder about the downside.)////FROM JACK: Beautiful music is made by a combination of high and low notes. The secret lies in knowing how to arrange them.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I have always thought that the "game is the thing". Once achieved I believe that another goal is chosen. As I have always told my kids. We never arrive we are just on a journey. ////FROM JACK: I remember when we were on family trips...someone was bound to ask, "Are we there yet?" Adults become impatient, too. We all need to learn to "stop and smell the roses."

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Loved your thoughts this grey gloomy morning; thank you for inspiration. ////FROM JACK: I call them "Winning Words" for a reason, hoping that they will be inspiring to someone. It's like preaching a never know. I believe in the omnipresent Spirit of God.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: Always. Extends life in the real world.////FROM JACK: Here's a philosophical question. When we are dreaming, are we not also in the real world? Is the world REAL only when we are awake?////FROM NEWPORT BEACH: My answers below in Bold.
Here's a philosophical question. When we are dreaming, are we not also in the real world? NO. Is the world REAL only when we are awake? YES.

FROM MEDD-O-LANE: As long as you realize the dream world is just a dream, that takes the possibility of having to live with a dream that you didn't want. ////FROM JACK: One of Martin Luther King's most famous speeches was, "I Have a Dream." It was given in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Not many people realize that it was first given in Detroit. When I was given the assignment of starting a new church, first in Grayslake, Illinois, and then in West Bloomfield, Michigan, I first had a "dream" that it could be accomplished. Who was it that first dreamed of a business to be called, Dairy Queen?

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: If I had a a red Ferrari, the first thing I'd do is paint it yellow. Who wants to be like everybody else?////FROM JACK: The FIRST thing you'd have to do is learn how to drive it. The dealer won't let you out the door without showing you how it doesn't drive like the car you presently own.

FROM SAINT JAMES IN MICHIGAN: Sometimes wanting something is better than having it...there's just something about that...////FROM JACK: Or, as the saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for; you might get it."

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: We recently had a supply pastor who introduced us to the book"The Dream Giver" written by Bruce Wilkinson. I never understood the story of Abraham and Isaac from the Bible so deeply until I read in "The Dream Giver" that God needs us to be willing to give up our dream to Him for true happiness and true realizing our dream. Actually, I don't know how this could all tie into the dog wanting a car, maybe the dog's true dream is to ride in the car with the window open. Our dog really liked that.////FROM JACK: I often wondered about my dog's dreams when I saw him twitching and kicking.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: A cartoon on our bulletin board from Family Circus pictures a grandmother with two grandchildren in her arms. She is saying that the best things in life are not things. I guess that sums up my philosophy. My life has been wonderful, and I hope to take the 13 remaining grandchildren on a trip of their dreams, as I have been able to do for the five older ones. The youngest are two 7 year olds, so, you see, I am an optimist.////FROM JACK: I'm glad that you're able to enjoy "the circus."

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Good thought to ponder...Maybe that is why the Jet-Set is so restless, there is nothing they have to deny themselves, materially or travel-wise, and what new thing can they look forward to? As we age, for most of us, good health supercedes Red Ferraris, or starring roles in Muni-Opera, or trips to some exotic place, etc. I'm sure there is a lot of truth in these WW...good to keep in mind!!////FROM JACK: Today I'm meeting with someone to strategize how to solve a (not major) problem. That kind of meeting makes me happy.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Good thought. In my speaking about my book, I've observed that the most well-adjusted people I've met had to work hard for what they want in life. Too many things given to them breeds complacency. Just look at South Korea and Germany and Japan for ones who lost everything, and then dug themselves out of their economic problems.////FROM JACK: Does anyone (anymore) wear boots with bootstraps? BTW, what are bootstraps?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Winning Words 3/22/12
“I know the plans I have for you.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Predestination is a word that has been the topic of many religious discussions. Has God pre-planned our life?..and picked out our destination…heaven or hell? Today’s quote is God saying to Jeremiah and to all of us, “I love you and care for you. I want the best for you.” Jeremiah tried to live according to that plan and was blessed. God has a plan for us, too. ;-) Jack

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: I don't think God has planned out our lives. Else why bother praying? Or is that part of His plan too?////FROM JACK: I don't see prayer as a ploy to get God to change his mind. Rather, i think that it allows communication with God, a way for us to express what is on our mind. His feedback is in a kind of "language" that can be described only in spiritual terms. Bottom line: Prayer is God/people talk.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: I'm not sure I would call it predestination; but Jonah, Saul, Moses, and others who were "knocked off their horse" because they were not following God's plan might think so. In our lives, we assign our plans upon those for whom we care. Quite often, they don't necessarily follow the plans we have for them either. I don't think it was God's "plan" for Adam to succumb to temptation; but it would be God's plan to have us decide (Liberty) freely what course of action we will take. I would add that it is God's plan for each of us to become full manifestations of that which He created each one of us to be in the very beginning. The most difficult part is knowing what that is from moment to moment. So, as children of the Light, let us walk in the Light and find our way... ////FROM JACK: My problem with predestination is that it devalues free-will. Many of the biblical stories are meant to "show" us how to use our free-will in the best way. To focus on the stories in a literal way sometimes causes us to miss the meaning/reason of the story.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: This is my favorite scripture, Jack! It was Jeremiah 29:10 that sustained me through the period when our son was in the death-grip of addiction...that was a very, very dark and terrifying time. I actually felt like we were in a tug-of-war with satan for our son's spirit and sanity! "'For I know the plans I have for you' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" Those words were exactly what I wanted and needed to believe--that God was on our side of that tug-of-war! We needed to know that His plan for our son was for GOOD and not disaster! (One translation I read said--for good and not CALAMITY! I love that!!) I clung to His promise of a future for our son! These words in Jeremiah WERE life and hope for me during that time! It was our faith in these promises that gave my husband and I the courage to send our son to a rehab in PA that our only knowledge of was reading about it in a book and a couple conversations with an intake coordinator. We could never have taken the steps recommended to us by treatment pros there in PA or thereafter back in MI if not for our faith in the promises in Jeremiah 29:10-14... And the Lord rewarded our faith abundantly! Which, of course, increased our faith in all of the Word and all of His promises! I never could have imagined then how trusting the Lord's word in even the smallest way could abate the fear, calm the mind, and cure the indecisiveness and self-doubt that plagued me prior to the day we surrendered our will for our son to the Lord. It changed my life in EVERY way! So, Jack, reading Jeremiah 29 for the first time planted the seed of my faith! I was a "believer" before that time, but I never knew what faith was until then! My scripture of the day yesterday was Jeremiah 17:7-8. Such a beautiful, peaceful image for me...a tall, strong tree on the shore of a lake or stream... Thanks for your continued commitment to your continued Winning Words mission... I look forward to it every day!////FROM JACK: The Book of Jeremiah is one of my Bible favorites. When I was ordained as a pastor, our class chose Jeremiah 1:7 to "our" verse. Yes, God is involved with us and our lives.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: This has been both comforting and puzzling to me. If God has it all planned out for me...if I pray, will He change His mind about up-coming life events? How does free-will effect God's plans for my life? Something to ponder.////FROM JACK: God is our friend, and when we are with a friend, that is a comfort. We don't have to worry about puzzles.

FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: I don't read Hebrew so I don't know if this quote is for Jeremiah (singular) or for the people (plural). If the latter, as I have most often thought of it, God had already revealed many times the plans for the nation -- to be the cradle of the messiah -- starting with Adam and Eve. As for my Lutheran self, I believe God has given us a giant measure of free will and waits to see what decisions we'll make. We have been told plainly what the results of one decision will be -- that is, the rejection of the Holy Spirit. As for the rest, from infant vs. believer's baptism, to the existence of hell for humans after life, to homosexuality as a status, to nuclear weaponry, etc., we have some general guidelines in the Commandments and in the gospels, but nothing hard and fast for making these decisions of the 20th and 21st centuries in the Western World. So "free will" doesn't always feel "freeing" because it carries with it a lot of responsibility for our decisions. Thank goodness, I say, God is not the Great Puppeteer and we are not puppets. Thank you, not only for the interesting quotes but more for the thought-provoking commentary on them!////FROM JACK: I often wonder, as I sit at the keyboard in the morning, if the messages are more than clickety-click and SEND. Thanks for pressing REPLY and offering feedback. If, in the end, I find out that I am really a puppet with God's hand in my body, I'll be satisfied with that. I won't complain to Him/Her.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Amen. It is interesting how the word predestination upsets and affects some people.////FROM JACK: There are other words, too, which upset and affect some people. Predestination seems to be one that isn't high on today's agenda.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: We are given the privilege of choices...that what Love is, the freedom to choose, so probably God doesn't always get what God wants, since he allows us to opt, or reject...I like the way Rob Bell discusses this in his book LOVE WINS, in his chapter "Does God get what God wants?' Bell seems to think that at some point down the line, people do finally accept God's love and respond to it. Interesting book No ETERNAL punishment. I like that! What a blessed life, if we do try to live out God's plan for us...who knows us better?!////FROM JACK: As Iris DeMent sings: "I think I'll just let the mystery be."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Winning Words 3/21/12
“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” (Kevin Borseth) Borseth is coach of the U of M’s women’s basketball team. His quote was in response to a reporter when asked how far they would go in the NCAA tournament…”one game at a time.” When we have challenges before us (more important than games), we have to face them, like eating an elephant. “One day a time, Sweet Jesus,” is a song I like. ;-) Jack
Follow up: One bite was enough. No more elephant for the U of M ladies.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: How do you know an elephant was in your refrigerator??? You can see his footprints in the oldie but funny. One bite at a time...reminds me of a saying from one of your favorite movies..."What About Bob"..."baby steps, baby steps".////FROM JACK: Your response reminded me of the Harry Mancini song, the Baby Elephant Walk. I just listened to it on YouTube.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: If you can't eat him all at one time, pack some in the trunk for another day.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I watched Delaware and Kansas College game last night, hoping Delaware could pull off another win, with their 6'5" whiz, but they couldn't quite get enough bites to down the elephant, and make the Sweet 16 in Women's BB. I like this quote, akin to "A Journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step..." Little by little we can! "Inchworm, Inchworm, crawling there among the marigolds, You and your arithmetic will probably go far..." another tune.////FROM JACK: I like that "Inchworm" song. It has a good message.

FROM KEWEENAW BOB: I’ve used this quote for two years in describing the fund raising efforts which have generated $1.1M in stabilization and renovation funds for the Keweenaw Heritage Center. They are good words to live by!@////FROM JACK: Sometimes it seems as though there's a herd of elephants descending upon us....Just one bite at a time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Winning Words 3/20/12
“People ask me what I do in winter when there is no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” (Rogers Hornsby) Some of you might not know that Hornsby was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Baseball was his life, his passion. Do you have a passion? “Passion” is derived from Latin and means to have a compelling desire for something. Spring? Baseball? ;-) Jack

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN: Writing (grammar) and Singing...those are my passions. :)////FROM JACK: Passions have changed for me through the years. Right now, Winning Words (and the blog) are my passion. Why else would I get up at 5 am every day (6 am on Sat and Sun)? Work has always been a passion, since I was a teen. I remember that I was an early riser in those days, too. I like grammar and spelling, too.

FROM SAINT JAMES: That's a good question...I'll have to think about it...////FROM JACK: That's why God created us with think about things.

FROM TRI-HARDER: As I recall, the best single season batting average for a second baseman. .420////FROM JACK: The rarest and most expensive baseball card has Honus Wagner's picture on it. The first bat with a player's signature on it was a Honus Wagner bat. OOPS, how did I go from Rogers Hornsby to Honus Wagner?

FROM HONEST JOHN: Hornsby played for the Cubs for a couple of seasons....we used to win back then.... ////FROM JACK: In the mid 30s is when I first became a Cubs fan.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: I can't help but think of the Twins and Mother!////FROM JACK: Isn't it interesting to have moms who are such avid baseball fans. One of the highlights for my mother was when she was interviewed by Harry Carray and Ron Santo during a Cubs' broadcast.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Winning Words 3/19/12
“I’m not scared of snakes and spiders, but I’m scared of butterflies.” (Nicole Kidman) Some things make me smile…like picturing St. Patrick taking a stick and trying to drive the butterflies out of Ireland. Through the years I’ve learned to be understanding of people who have phobias. We all have them. You won’t catch me walking near the edge of Preikestolen (The Pulpit) in Norway. ;-) Jack

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Nor I on a tightrope across Niagara Falls. I can't swim.////FROM JACK: I never have heard of someone in the US Navy who couldn't swim.

FROM S&S IN ILLINOIS: Saw this on Facebook last week. I didn't know if you'd ever seen it before.

////FROM JACK: He would have done better with butterflies, if he could have herded them into the car.

FROM JF IN MICHIGAN: What is it with you tall men and fear of heights?! We took the kids to the Grand Canyon for winter-break last month and Craig was a basket-case the entire time. ////FROM JACK: That's why we each married someone shorter than us.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Smiling here.////FROM JACK: And I was smiling as I wrote it.

FROM DS IN MICHIGAN: There are so many people afraid of clowns which I think is interesting.////FROM JACK: "Coulrophobia" is the word meaning, to have the fear of clowns. I think that part of the origin of clowning was to frighten away evil spirits.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you: and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; and when you walk through fire, you shall not be burned and the flames shall NOT consume you. Isaiah 43:2 So take THAT, you old phobias, and be gone. HA! Interesting to be afraid of butterflies, which bring delight to most people, but then phobias are not logical ...snakes are close to the top of my list, tho I have handled them, and kept a big contrictor in my kindegarten classroom for a few months, along with other animals. We gave him to the local Zoo, for which all my students received a free pass to tour the zoo!////FROM JACK: I've heard that Baptists sometimes have used snake handling to show their trust in God. Thanks for confirming that. Many Christians use butterflies as a symbol of Easter. Their cocoon emergence seems to have more relevance to the story of Easter than the bunny.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Spiders aren't my favorite but I can't say I'm afraid of them. I would have to say, going too close to the edge of the Grand Canyon is scary.////FROM JACK: There are plenty of spiders and other critters in outhouses.

FROM HONEST JOHN: Do you get "edgy" when you do that?////FROM JACK: I get edgy just looking at videos of Preikestolen. I once had a church member who was an iron worker on skyscrapers. I was a afraid of doing his job, and he was afraid of doing mine.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Winning Words 3/16/12
“All things in life are temporary. If they’re going well, enjoy them, they won’t last forever. If things are going wrong, don’t worry, they can’t last long either.” (Sent by John Dragelin) The Hee-Haw Quartet sings: “This world is not my home; I’m justa passin’ through.” Today’s words encourage optimism. We live in a cyclical world. To me, that’s what makes it interesting. You never know… ;-) Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN IN MICHIGAN: Heresy...."we live in a cyclical world" Judaeo-Christian...."we live in a linear world" Our friend Jack has totally subscribed to the Greek tradition....I think we will just call you "Freemistocles"////FROM JACK: That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! "Beware of Geeks bearing gifts."

FROM TG IN MICHIGAN: Lv this one!////FROM JACK: I lk the song...And the wheel goes round and round.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: The trick is, when things are going well, not to live worrying when the other heel is going to stomp on you. Other than that, cyclical is interesting.////FROM JACK: On the positive side..."Wake me up, I must be dreaming." and "This is too good to be true." On the negative side..."Is this ever going to end?"

FROM YOOPER FLICKA: GOOD LAUGH !!! THANK YOU.////FROM JACK: The Hee-Haw Quartet was often good for a LAUGH. If you liked them, you probably also liked Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: If you are set back, set forth.////FROM JACK: But don't do it with a fifth.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Just do the best that you can every day and enjoy. What as boring world it would be if every day would be the same. ////FROM JACK: Yesterday, it was tornado weather; today the weather was absolutely beautiful. The change was far from boring. This is Michigan.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: My thought is that I'm here just renting whatever resources I have - in 50 years no one will likely remember the home I lived in, etc.////FROM JACK: 50 years? "Here today, gone tomorrow," as my mother-in-law used to say.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: "When it's dark enough, you can see the stars"..Charles Beard. Even in tough times, one can usually find small moments to savor and treasure, and what a delight the good times are, in contrast! Let's always be open to the possibility of JOY in our lives! Do I hear an AMEN?!////FROM JACK: OLE!

FROM TG IN MICHIGAN: “May you live all the days of your life.” (Jonathan Swift)////FROM JACK: It fits! I wonder if Jonathan wrote these "Swifties?"
"I only get Newsweek," said Tom timelessly.
"I punched him in the stomach three times," said Tom triumphantly.
"I still haven't struck oil," said Tom boringly.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Winning Words 3/15/12
“The Principles of Honest Business: Truthful, Dependable, Trustworthy, Honest, Fair, Legal.” (Awake magazine) In my hometown there was a store with the slogan, “Your purchase free if we ever forget to thank you.” Penney’s was originally called, “The Golden Rule Store.” You could trust them. They were fair. How do you shop these days? Is it price, service, loyalty, fairness, niceness? ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Local, trying to keep some of the money in the community right around me. I liked Penney's. They used to sell fabric. Same with Montgomery Ward and Sears. Now going to buy fabric takes a whole big trip for me to the nearest fabric store out of town. More and more it's getting to be the catalogs and letting the UPS drivers deliver. They provide good service.////FROM JACK: Is your closest Minnesota Fabrics store in Minneapolis? BTW, when I was a kid, we used to call MW, Monkey Wards. And, yes, UPS provides good service with their brown trucks and brown uniformed drivers.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: I suppose it is no coincidence that what is righteous seems to apply to any venture we, as mankind, might engage. Finance, politics, education, industry, etc., do not provide a pass from what is right. How many times have we heard (or said), "well, that's politics" -- as though one does not expect righteousness to apply to such a thing? ////FROM JACK: It's unfortunate, but true, that discussing politics and religion, is something to be avoided, because most people can't do it objectively.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Price.////FROM JACK: You'd probably do well as a contestant on, The Price Is Right. Have you ever thought of tying to get on the show?

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Initially price. But service and honesty after a time. I buy a lot from because of prompt service along with their good prices.////FROM JACK: One of the problems for not buying local, is that the locals go out of business without local support. "You never miss the water til the well runs dry." Somebody's probably written a song about that.

FROM MY ATTORNEY VACATIONING IN FLORIDA: More and more retailers are asking their cashiers to engage in very friendly conversations as the checkout counters. Just yesterday, at Publix, the cashier was so nice and engaging. Hope this is a trend of things to come.////FROM JACK: Sing this song to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic...
It isn't any trouble
Just to S-M-I-L-E
It isn't any trouble
Just to S-M-I-L-E
So smile when you're in trouble,
It will vanish like a bubble
If you'll only take the trouble
Just to S-M-I-L-E

FROM BM IN MICHIGAN: Each of the five qualities is important (& there are others, of course), but at least one of the other four needs to go with “price”. Every Starbucks seems to embody one or more of the other four, while quality helps to offset the impact of the price. The Starbucks business model has always intrigued me.////FROM JACK: You get what you pay for, and if you're able and satisfied to pay a little more, then do it. I see you coming out of Starbucks with your "TALL," so you must be satisfied and able.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Usually price is the reason. However, I have my very favorite stores where I shop...Meijer's, JoAnn's, Michael's, Gordon Foods, and Kohl's. They are all within a mile or two of our house and each store perfect for our needs. They are also truthful, nice people, trustworthy, honest and fair and CLEAN.////FROM JACK: Yes, convenience is a big attraction, but sometimes I pass by the closest to get to the one I "like."

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Convenience.////FROM JACK: I suppose you use the ATM and the self-checkout line, too.

FROM LH IN MICHIGAN: I like this, especially coming on the heels of a Greg Smith, a director of Goldman, Sachs' resignation, because of his disgust with the greed-based decisions based on the company's profit-making rather than in the best interest of the clients. (Twelve years ago my son - at a much, much lower level : ) - left Goldman, Sachs for the same reason: "I can't work for people who would take advantage of my grandparents' generation's hard-earned savings." I was proud of him. And I'm proud of this Smith fellow, too. P.S. I liked learning what JC Penney's was called. I had never heard that.////FROM JACK: A word that isn't heard much anymore is: scruples. I'm glad that your son had someone teach him to have scruples. BTW, the Penny's used to have a golden ruler across the front of each store, with J.C.Penny painted on it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Winning Words 3/14/12
“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” (Alison Sweeney) Maybe you’ve seen Alison as the host of “The Biggest Loser.” I read about her recently in a devotional book that I use. It mentioned what she calls, “5 Steps to a Better You.” The one I liked best was, “Be committed.” If you’re looking to make a positive change in your life, you have to believe that you can do it. “One day at a time!” ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I'm not familiar with her but I have heard of the program. I sure like her attitude though. I assume she lost a lot of weight. We are still struggling with weight but have made big strides in the right direction. One day at a time!!!////FROM JACK: As long as strides are made in the right direction, that's what is important.

FROM NL IN FLORIDA: Yep, like that one.////FROM JACK: You like it, because you're a "can do" person.

FROM HONEST JOHN IN MICHIGAN: Mary Lou and I met her when we were in New York....ML loves the Days of Our Lives upon which Alison stars. I didn't really know who she was but did notice that she was a great looker....////FROM JACK: You were so busy remembering Alison that you missed the quote. You've got to try to concentrate.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Winning Words 3/13/12
“It will all come out in the wash.” (New York Times) I remember when my mother would cut up a bar of Fels-Naptha and put it into the Maytag along with bluing to do the wash. Today’s quote first appeared in the NY Times in 1896, meaning: “Things will work out.” That’s one of my favorite sayings. I’ve found it to be true most of the time. Just be patient, have a little faith, and let the washer work. ;-) Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN IN MICHIGAN: Remember 100 Mule Team Borax....they sponsored Ronald Reagan's Show.....I loved their name...////FROM JACK: Death Valley Days was popular on radio and then on TV. Ronald Reagan was one of the last hosts of the TV show. I remember Boraxo as a powdered hand soap.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Simple, but I have found it to be true. A friend who worked 4 CARE asked me if they still sold bluing in the US-- he was in some foreign land & couldn't get whites white bc of the water.////FROM JACK: I wonder if they still sell Little Boy Blue, the bluing that was so popular?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: That was a saying we heard a lot as kids too. I thought it was a great way to say what needed to be said. "Don't sweat the small stuff" was one I liked too. People don't hang out their clothes and bedding to dry on the clothes line anymore. I love the sweet smell of freshly dried clothes off the line. ////FROM JACK: I think our subdivision by-laws forbid having clotheslines in backyards. I've never seen clothes on the line around here.

FROM INDY GENIE: I loved to watch my mom put the clothes through the wringer. I was happy to just sit on the step and watch...sometimes we'd talk but she had to pay close (or clothes)attention so her fingers didn't get stuck in the wringer!////FROM JACK: I remember once when my mom got her hand caught in the wringer, and her arm rolled up to the elbow before the safety mechanism released her.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Wracking my brain to see if I can remember a time when this wasn't true to my experiences and, either my memory is too dim already or I've just chosen to forget (with God's grace) the disappointments and moved oFROM SHARIN' SHARON: Wracking my brain to see if I can remember a time when this wasn't true to my experiences and, either my memory is too dim already or I've just chosen to forget (with God's grace) the disappointments and moved on, but--yes--the washer has worked awesomely well. n, but--yes--the washer has worked awesomely well. ////FROM JACK: Things do have a way of working out. Just let them "soak" a while.

FROM CJL IN OHIO: Did you ever help?////FROM JACK: We each had our jobs. Mine was to start the coal fire in the furnace in the morning and to carry out the ashes.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: I have a bar of Fels-Naptha in my laundry cabinet. My mom used it, also. I most remember her using it the year my brother and I both had boils. She made a poultice of F-N and brown sugar and applied it t our arms. It worked! I have no idea where she got that remedy but I'd try it today if needed. ////FROM JACK: Ask your grandchildren if they know what a poultice is. Fels-Naptha would puzzle them, too.

FROM S&S IN ILLINOIS: Love Fels-Naptha - it could get anything out! I grew up with a ringer washer and always had to scrub my white socks on a wash board with Fels-Naptha before putting them in the washer. My mom was very anal when it came to laundry! Hardly ever used our dryer either. We hung most everything on clothes lines in the basement or outside in summer.////FROM JACK: We have saved a couple of washboards. Cajun musicians use them in their performances.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Remember in the wintertime how damp it was in the basement when mom hung the clothes to dry? Yes, I got the message. But that smell came floating back.////FROM JACK: I recall that when the sheets were hung on the line outdoors in the winter, they got "stiff as a board."

FROM DC IN MICHIGAN: My mother used Oxydol or Rinso but the bluing didn't get put in until the second rinse in the laundry tub. My grandmother used the same bluing to put in her gray hair rinse after shampooing with Drene. My dad insisted on Drene with no hair conditioning action. They also had a Maytag and used it until he retired in 1958, and moved out of the parsonage in Superior, WI.////FROM JACK: "Rinso white! Rinso bright! Happy little washday song." This was one of the first soap powder jingles and was sung by 12-yr-old Belle Sullivan, who later changed her name to Beverly Sills...and the rest is history.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Oh my! What memories that does recall! Fels Naptha...hadn't thought of that for a loooong time! Reminds me of the chorus, "Wash me and I will be whiter than snow...." And God doesn't have to bother with Fels Naptha! :-) We have it so easy these days: no scrubbing on the wash boards or putting clothes through a ringer, or hanging laundry on the clothesline. I can still see my grandmother scrubbing filthy overalls on a big washboard, then rinsing them in huge tubs in the yard, swirling them with a long pole; life on the farm was HARD work! And for a long time they made their own soap, as well. Ah me, blessings abound, to have the "maids" wash and dry your clothes, while you ck. the computer, and enjoy WW! Thanks! ////FROM JACK: My son refers to us as "the old soaks." Do people these days ever soak clothes in bleach so that they will be whiter than snow?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Winning Words 3/12/12
“It’s so easy to get lost these days in the shuffle and the noise.” (Kurt Kaiser) This is the last line from a song, “Thank You, Lord.” To me, it speaks to those who feel that no one cares. “Everybody has their own agenda. So much shuffle; so much noise! Do I count?” The chorus affirms: “Thank you, Lord, for knowing who I am.” If you know a “someone” like that, perhaps you can give a word of support. ;-) Jack

THANK YOU LORD (Kurt Kaiser)

Early in the morning
While the world is still,
Before the daylight streaks the sky,
I would know his will.
I commune with him, my Savior,
And listen carefully
And seek the strength I need from him
While praying quietly.

Thank you, Lord, for hearing me.
Thank you, Lord, for knowing who I am.
Thank you, Lord, for seeing me.
It's so easy to get lost these days
In the shuffle and the noise.

Why not try to do this
When you wake up in the night
With problems racing through your mind
And sleep becomes a fight?
Try this simple method,
It soon will gain control
And rest will surely come again
And calm down all your soul.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: There was a time when "going out" was accompanied by a level of excitement and anticipation, but there is so much "shuffle and noise" in public activity these dampens the desire to get out to do things. After years of putting a comfortable home together we savor the serenity around our place, especially bringing in friends to join us for an evening of conversation by the fireplace, or soon to get together outside on the deck for brunch on a sunny morning. I guess that's our own agenda. With aging, our spring is winding down.////FROM JACK: I like the word, shuffle. I remember it being used in the song, "Shuffle Off To Buffalo," which describes a couple going to Niagara Falls on a honeymoon. On their 2nd honeymoon, they might shuffle off in a different way.////MORE FROM BOSTON: I never thought about it much, but now that you mention it I like the word shuffle too. It suggests sort of casually getting involved in the goings-on around you. One of the things I like about Boston is getting on the subway near us (the Harvard stop)...getting out in the center of downtown...then strolling about in the shuffle of the city.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I didn't know this song, but it is a good one! "If you love people, you get back love in return, and experience a joy that makes you a happy person!" (credit:N.V.Peale) I have found this to be true, and if a sincere compliment can boost a person's feeling of worth, don't hold back!! The best thing we have to give is ourselves! When you live by Faith, very few things can get you down...////FROM JACK: The tune is as good as the words. George Beverly Shea would sing it at the Billy Graham Crusades.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: The words of the song are very meaningful. The author had a great thought and a wonderful way to greet the day. We find ourselves more and more enjoying the time we have together as a family at home, just enjoying each other. Without the noise. Although..sometimes the Wii comes on and we all dance together. That in itself creates a lot of noise, laughter and shuffling!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Winning Words 3/9/12
“If I could save time in a bottle…I’d save every day like a treasure.” (Jim Croce) We lose an hour on Sunday when Daylight Savings Time goes into effect, but we’ll be getting it back in the fall. When Ben Franklin came up with the DST idea in 1784, he was told to go fly a kite. Dairy farmers say that cows refuse to follow the change. Jim Croce’s words are poignant. Time really is a treasure. ;-) Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Thanks for the information about Ben Franklin. Surprising how old the idea is. ////FROM JACK: Other Franklin Firsts...Franklin Stove...Bi-Focals...Catheter...Lightning Rod...Professional Fire Department.

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN: I first heard that song in a movie called She Lives! It was about a young couple struggling with cancer in the woman and she overcomes it. I think it was the response to the movie Love Story where Ali McGraw’s character dies.////FROM JACK: That song appeals to me in many ways--the sound of the tune, the message in the lyrics, the life story of Jim Croce. It cause me to think and to remember.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: every single moment no matter what it holds.////FROM JACK: Your response reminds me of "Every Breath You Take." Which version do you like best...Sting or The Police? It can be the song that sticks in your mind today.

FROM HONEST JOHN IN MICHIGAN: I'm like the cows....I just pretend it hasn't happened....then in the Fall, I let that happen so I become a big winner!!!////FROM JACK: Maybe you can try that with some other things that tend to upset you. Just pretend that they didn't happen, and eventually they'll just go away.

FROM MEDD-O-LANE: It is not just the cows that can't tell time, Mother Nature goes by her time also. ////FROM JACK: Wouldn't it be funny to see Jesus wearing a wristwatch? Would it be a Rolex or a Timex? ////MORE FROM MEDD: I wonder if we can fool Mother Nature by every time she starts a quick storm we just set our clocks ahead an hour, call it daylight savings time and we will miss the storm.////FROM JACK: There are some people who, recently, would like to have been able to do that.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: Time can be a great distraction to our focus on the Eternal. It's easy to do as humans; for it is the "world" in which we find ourselves! I believe, that deep down, our souls know of the eternal and long for the unrestricted Life the Eternal provides. In this season of Lent, or we might say the Advent of our Salvation, I am increasingly grateful for the eternal life provided my soul through the Love of Christ. ////FROM JACK: Thanks for your Lenten perspective. On another note, what will people, who are easily bored, do when they experience eternal life...or death?

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: Isn't it interesting that the only thing all of us have in common is a 24 hr day. No one has more and no one has less [except when we are called from this life]. The real difference is what we do with those 24 hrs., we never get to relive them once they fly by they are gone. It seems to me we really ought to be careful how we spend our time. but are we?????????????////FROM JACK: Each of us has our own 24 hours, none exactly like anyone else's. How we respond to them is a choice that is ours alone.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: One of the best songs ever written.////FROM JACK: I guess a song writer should know. I'm a song listener, and I agree.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Cows are smart. I like to fall back but I don't like to "Spring" forward.////FROM JACK: I always try to go to bed an hour early in the spring changeover. It works.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: My Sweet Adelines Barbershop Chorus sang that song in concert. It is beautiful, and meaningful. Time goes so fast, we often look back on a blur of events! How fast our kids grew up, how even faster the "grands" grew, and now the "Great-Grands" take the speed record! At least my husband was more sensitive than the woman (Beth Geffers) in Oshkosh, WI, who on her 40th birthday, waltzed out of her bedroom dressed in an old outfit. "I wore this on my 30th birthday...I guess this means my wardrobe is 10 yrs. old" she said, hoping her husband would get the hint and buy her some clothes as a present. "Or", he offered, "it means when you were 30, you had the body of a 40-yr-old." :-( Always something to be thankful for! Ha!////FROM JACK: There are many time-themed songs. As Time Goes By...Turn, Turn, Turn...Cat's In the Cradle...Sleepytime Gal...I Didn't Know What Time It Was.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Winning Words 3/8/12
“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.” (Jane Austen) There’s much talk these days about the loss of the middle class. In fact, people seem to have chosen sides in such a way that there’s no longer any middle anything. I went to a liberal arts college and learned to appreciate both sides of issues. In the present world we need more people who are willing to build bridges instead of walls. ;-) Jack

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: You make many excellent comments and observations, but this is one of your most quotable: "In the present world, we need more people who are willing to build bridges instead of walls."
Those words deserve a permanent place in Bartletts!////FROM JACK: The mind works in a strange way. I had prepared a different last sentence for my commentary. But, then, I thought....I can do better.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN: This a trait of yours that we have admired since we first met you!////FROM JACK: Some might say that I have the Charlie Brown character of being "Wishy-Washy", because I seek the middle ground. I don't mind being identified like that.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I had a brief exchange a few years ago with our then-Pastor regarding (being so concerned with people all over the world who are having to live on $2.00 or even less a day) that we, in the first world, need to learn to live more simply and sustainably. There's simply not enough for the whole world to have our standard of living. He, having had a talk with another church member, said "Oh, no. God provides plenty and it's up to us to figure out how all the people of the world can come up to our standard of living." I happen to know the other church member is fairly well off while I regard my husband and myself as blessed but living pretty simply both because we don't have a lot of money but also because we were brought up simply in not affluent families. Wasn't Jane Austen the author who used to pepper her novels with actual figures of the monetary spending of her characters? How much this man or that woman owned and so forth? I love your WW today. Jesus knows everything, what would Jesus do? I think he was talking to Jane Austen. ////FROM JACK: What I know about Jane is that she was a writer of popular romance novels which included biting social commentary. This quote seems to fit.

FROM CL, AN ADMINISTRATOR AT WESTMONT IN SANTA BARBARA: We value the liberal arts at Westmont too. Where did you attend college?////FROM JACK: For example, Liberal Arts gave me a course in Abnormal Psychology, allowing me to get along better with people having differing views from mine. I went to Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. My scholarship was $100, but the education was invaluable.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: There is application of the wisdom of the Gospel here. For there are those whose eyes, hearts, and minds are "veiled" from the Truth. I only pray that my own eyes are opened to see! We need to be aware that building a bridge to the deceitful and/or a blinded ignorance is fruitless. Better that one "shakes the dirt from one's sandals" and moves on, rather than to throw pearls before swine. The "middle class" wasn't something conceived; it was a result of economic circumstance and industrial opportunity. This situation has been irreparably altered through an assortment of unfortunate and short-sighted policies of our "leadership" over these many years -- not to mention the individual person's desire for the consumption of wealth. It is beyond naive to think we can simply reconstruct it -- eventhough those who intend to deceive you speak as though it is within his/her/their capabilities. NEVER has it been that any person with the means to do so could not have shared one's wealth and good fortune with another. This NEVER required government assistance or direction. Nor, did it ever require a Pastor's direction. One must decide for oneself, and by oneself, how much of the blessings one has been afforded will be utilized as a blessing to another. What would Jesus do? This is what He did: He asked the beggar if he wanted to be healed. Jesus didn't take it upon Himself to heal him. Why did He ask? Because, there are certain requirements that are assigned to being healed. When you are healed, you can no longer sit on the street with a cup and ask for help. It is much easier to be a beggar than one who labors. It might or might not be preferable, so one must ask what is preferred. There's your bridge. ////FROM JACK: Idealism as opposed to realism. For the most part, people have to be "led, inspired, educated," to be generous and understanding. I still have a ways to go before I achieve true empathy.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Isn't that the truth?////FROM JACK: ...and the truth hurts when it is so often ignored.

FROM MY FLORIST: You are 100% on target - all to many people refuse to see the other side of the coin. When I was a kid I was a debater and part of that involved taking the negative side and then taking the affirmative side of the same issue. This was a valuable experience. The common courtesies have lost their value in today's discourse. The old expression "you can disagree without being disagreeable" seems to be a lesson that far to many people have not chose to learn. What makes matters worse is that it is nearly impossible to engage in a discussion unless both parties have a willingness to understand before being understood. This willingness to understand seems to be lost. It seems that volume has become more important than the message. A few days ago I was on a conference call will a fellow who was so into volume that I could not receive his message. What made matters worse was when I tried to extract the message I was told that I was bing "condescending" so I never did understand the message. There seems to be so much distrust and so much anger and frustration that the result has been simply more volume.////FROM JACK: I long for a reasonable discussion, but, in the political world, the volume control seems to be controlled by the one who has the biggest bankroll.

FROM BF IN MICHIGAN: Well said my friend!////FROM JACK: I try to write what I friend.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: The problem with building bridges these days is that some of them get built to nowhere. And that's partly the cause of all of this divisiveness. There is a middle class and it's far larger than either extreme, just not aggressive enough.////FROM JACK: The term "silent majority" has already been used. The Golden Rule: "He who has the gold rules."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is true, but people have to be responsible for themselves when they are able to be. There will always be a need to help those due to death or illness or something dire. But it seems to me that people in the Midwest were resourceful in providing for themselves and their families barring some catastrophic event.////FROM JACK: Yes, there are resourceful people, and I admire them. The ones who concern me are helpless and the hopeless. How can we give them help and hope?

FROM BLAZING OAKS: As a fellow Augie-ite, I too, am happy I was taught to explore both sides of issues...It is invaluable in developing understanding and empathy. :-) Desmond Tutu says "Do your little bit of good where you are: It is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." Onward and upward! OLE!////FROM JACK: In Sunday School, we liked to sing: "Brighten the corner where you are."

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Winning Words 3/7/12
“Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7) My father-in-law grew up in a church where today’s “words” were painted boldly on the wall behind the altar. We have the same words on a plaque hanging in our home. The lives of many people are burdened these days with a variety of concerns. Picture yourself, sitting in that church and looking at the words on the wall. They are for you! ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: The choir where we went for years sang this anthem. It was one of my very favorites. This is a wonderful message to remember! Thanks! I needed to remember this one today!////FROM JACK: To know that God cares about our cares is a comforting message.

FROM MA IN MICHIGAN: Amen Jack. Thanks every day for thought provoking thoughts. I copy and see that my husband gets them too. Some days he understands, some days he doesn't but we keep plugging along. Anyway, many thanks////FROM JACK: God always understands, and God always cares.

FROM NO IN MICHIGAN: Wow! We just sang that choir anthem for Harold Wilson’s funeral this past Saturday! What a comforting Bible reading!////FROM JACK: This Bible verse is also in Psalm 55:22 and in Hebrews 4:15,16. Many people through many generations have benefited from this assurance.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Amen. Practiced it this morning at a point of great stress. Things worked out. I found the lost item through someone's honesty, but was not anxious as I checked the library lost and found and received the item.////FROM JACK: Some believe. Some don't. My experiences have led me to be in the first group.

FROM DS IN MICHIGAN: I love this one. Need to remind myself of this. ;o)////FROM JACK: When the burden becomes too heavy, we begin to look for help...which reminds me of the line in a hymn: "Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there."


FROM PRAW IN ILLINOIS: This has been a favorite since the first time I heard my Mother speak it..when I was a child.////FROM JACK: I've quoted it before, but it bears repeating, especially as it relates to what your mother taught you. "Virtue is learned at mother's knee. Vice is learned at other joints."

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Winning Words 3/6/12
“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than to live my life as if there isn’t to find out there is.” (Sent by Paul Harrington) I like Bill Maher as a comedian, but his theology is not my “cup of tea.” Faith is difficult for some people to grasp, because they want proof. Old flat-earth map makers would come to the edge of their map and write, “Here is God.” ;-) Jack

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Love this quote! :-)////FROM JACK: There's a simplicity about it. There's a hymn that has this verse.
If our love (faith) were but more simple,
We should take Him at His word;
And our lives would be all sunshine
In the sweetness of our Lord.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: I love your metaphor: Faith begins where reason can no longer be mapped out. Even still, Faith can flourish amidst that which can be seen and proved. I am regularly in awe with a Creator that could generate such a system that a science can dissect, identify, and understand. Just because one can prove something doesn't mean there isn't a Faith in the One who created the system in the first place! Even what we can "map" is really quite incredible.////FROM JACK: Faith can be very complex, so as to intrigue the theologians. It can be very simple, so that even the most common among us can grasp it. God is continually trying to reach out to us.

FROM BP IN NAPLES: WOW, I'm shocked that you would make the statement you like Bill Maher. He uses foul language to excess, denigrates God, women and anyone who disagrees with him to an extreme extent. His humor is most often at another's expense and not in a nice way. Frankly I find him to be vulgar and disgusting. Its one thing to disagree but another to use God and Jesus in graphic vulgarity. WOW.////FROM JACK: The quote is not about Bill Maher, but it's about being a part of God's heaven. Be sure to read some of today's blog comments. Does it surprise you that I'm weird? Don't give up on me. As usual, there's a madness to my method...or is it the other way around?

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Just read also the scripture verses the ELCA sends out each morning. Today's is the part where Abraham is asked to sacrifice Isaac but then he doesn't have to because "God will provide." For me, faith that there is a God goes out to struggling with to really believe that "God will provide" whatever the problem I am dealing with and there is where the actions in my life become focussed. Sometimes it is a strain to do some actions believing at the same time that there is a God and that God is at work and this whole big problem isn't going to last forever--that things are changing and changing for the good because God is providing. When things get happy again, I draw some conclusions from what seems like "proof." Your WW today are interesting again.////FROM JACK: I like that story in Mark when a father comes to Jesus asking for his son to be healed. Jesus asks, "Do you believe?" The man responds, "I believe. Help my unbelief." Faith is not always an easy thing.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Bill Maher ceased being funny a long time ago. He is the left's Rush. "Faith" means believing in what u can't see. U can't make urself have faith; u either have it or u don't. Faith can come 2 those who never had it b4 & it can grow. Bill Maher, I think, wants 2 believe bc he doth protest too much & has become so angry. ////FROM JACK: I wonder what Bill looks like when the mask is removed?

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: I feel sorry for Bill. Think he must’ve really been bruised as a child over religion to be so caustic and vehement about all expressions of faith.////FROM JACK: Congratulations on being able to read my mind.

FROM MEDD-O-LANE: He is not only not my cup of tea, his sense of humor is always in the toilet.////FROM JACK: When you get to heaven, would you be surprised if he were there?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Not all people accept the gift of faith, of course.////FROM JACK: Not all people have the same opportunity to choose to believe or not to believe. As children come to school from different home environments, they will respond to teaching, in large part, because of what happens outside of the classroom. I'm thankful for what I learned in the home.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Winning Words 3/5/12
“We are all a little weird, and life’s a little weird, And when we find someone whose Weirdness is compatible with ours, We join up with them and fall in Mutual weirdness and call it Love." (Dr. Seuss) Sometimes my sense of humor has been called, “weird,” meaning, peculiar, curious, odd, kooky. I’ll accept that, because much of life is weird. Maybe that’s why Dr. Seuss’s work is so popular. ;-) Jack

FROM TS IN MICHIGAN: Now be careful. I think you've brought Mary into this, and she is pretty perfect in every way!////FROM JACK: You're right? Weird is not a word to describe her, but putting up with weirdness is certainly one of her attributes.

FROM NL IN FLORIDA: Great, I saved it.////FROM JACK: As with any collection of quotes (Winning Words), some are better that others. I like this one, too.

FROM DR J IN OHIO: I really like Dr. Seuss and think there are a few more words to describe your humor! HA!
But I've enjoyed being on the receiving end for 30+ years now!////FROM JACK: It seems longer than that. BTW, I like the Seuss book title, Yertle the Turtle.

FROM TL IN TEXAS: Jack, all of your senses are perfect. That's why I take WW's once a day. Thank you again for continuing your ministry. You bring God things to life!////FROM JACK: Thank G-d for a God who puts up with non-sense.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA: I heard it a little differently, and I think the the following quote is essentially noting the same idea that none of us are perfect. I like this one -- "I'm not okay; you're not okay; and that' s okay!" it is also a reminder that Love has no condition to it. ////FROM JACK: I'm okay with that. Love is weird!

FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Like the song, Strange Kind of Love….////FROM JACK: "Strange"...another synonym for weird.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We did a Bible study based on Dr. Seuss' books. It was the best one I have ever led. His book Horton Hatches an Egg was the basis for the children's sermon Sunday. Loved it and so did the kids! ////FROM JACK: There's a book, "The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss." Amazon has a used one for about $2. There's also a "Gospel According to the Simpsons." Have you ever done a children's sermon using Bart and his family?

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: Ur sense of humor doesn't seem the least bit weird 2 me...////FROM JACK: You can probably guess why that is.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Yes, and it still is after all of these years. Lorax was the top movie for the past weekend.////FROM JACK: I watched the movie "trailer." Lorax looks interesting, but I may just read the book.
FROM TRIHARDER: and then become even weirder.////FROM JACK: Can you remember how GBS described first love? "Only a little bit of foolishness and a lot of curiosity." Yes, love is peculiar.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: "Weird" is just something the other guy doesn't understand. Maybe he's the one who is weird. What's wrong with weird, anyhow? It's just a weird word.////FROM JACK: Some people try to put a real (or imaginary) wall between themselves and those who are different from them....different color, different religion, different politics, different mental acuity. People are weird.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Winning Words 3/2/12
“When I’m worried and cannot sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep.” (Irving Berlin) I’ve read that insomnia is the most common adult sleep disorder. 1/3 of the U.S. population doesn’t sleep well. I recently came across a list of 42 things to do if you can’t go to sleep. For example: Take a warm bath, eat milk and cookies, don’t watch TV. I like I.B.’s suggestion best…”Count your blessings.” ;-) Jack

FROM JAYFOR: When I can't sleep, I figure it's God's way of saying, "We need to talk." (But I don't have chronic insomnia -- just the occasional restless night.)////FROM JACK: I like that. In teaching kids about prayer, I sometimes put an empty chair in front of them, saying, "Talk to God just like he's a friend sitting in that chair."

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN: Ahhhhh, from my all time favorite movie. White Christmas. My kids and I can recite almost the whole movie. I definitely have many blessings to count. Too many to finish before falling asleep! ////FROM JACK: As you know, the song continues with Bing singing, "and I fall asleep, counting my blessings." You can probably sing it right now.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It's definitely a problem for me. I read and pray and count my blessings. It's a very nice song too!////FROM JACK: A priest friend went to Rome and had a personal audience with the Pope. He gave me a rosary that had been blessed by the Pope during that visit. Many people use rosaries as an aid for praying. Books and the Berlin song are aids, too.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: i have this quirk, (some would say one of many). i hum/sing a "theme song" each day. thanks for today's song. it's a good one!////FROM JACK: Adding to my quirks....Seeing if I can give a response which will match the one given by you. Next week I'll be putting Jim Croce's song in your head.

ROM MY LAWYER: If I had insomnia, I could count all night! Thanks for sharing this with me. The only even round of golf I ever played was while I was having an MRI.////FROM JACK: You're the only person I know of who goes to sleep and dreams of golf in the tube.

FROM MEDD-O-LANE: I find that reliving my blessing when I am having trouble sleeping is to turn on the radio with an automatic turn off and listen to music of the past that reminds me of my blessing. In no time I have gone back to sleep and with pleasant dreams.////FROM JACK: In Detroit a program of "dreamy" music would come on at midnight. It was called, "Night Flight," and sound effects would simulate a plane taking off with the announcer as the pilot. The flight would go to various spots with music appropriate to the location. Sometimes I'd go to sleep and not wake up until the plane was landing.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I work w/a lovely Catholic woman who gives me quarterly "Living in Faith" booklets. One of the prayers asks God to please grant a good night's sleep, but "if I am wakeful... if you wish to tell me anything, may I listen carefully." Some interesting thoughts have come to mind in those wee hours. ////FROM JACK: In our community five Christian churches get together on the Wednesdays of Lent for a Soup Supper and a brief Prayer Service, alternating locations. This week we were at the Catholic Church and the priest led us in a very moving responsive table prayer.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH: Always good advice. Life is short, blessings are many. I was trying to think of who in my family has trouble sleeping...not many. I copy Marilyn as she sometimes has trouble; and Nok, as a new Mother, never gets enough.////FROM JACK: I remember a song for singing when sleep won't come. "Thank you, Lord, for hearing me, Thank you, Lord, for knowing who I am. Thank you, Lord, for seeing me. It's so easy to get lost these days in the shuffle and the noise."

FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH: I'd love to know the other 39 on that list. Usually I try to tackle the thing that's hanging over me and keeping me up, though it's not always possible. Prayer can help. I took to reciting the Lord's Prayer when late nights with the baby turned to my insomnia (worries magnify at 2 a.m.). Oddly, when all else fails I read the Bible. More than any other reading material, that will put me out.////FROM JACK: I have a box of old sermon tapes, if you are interested. Yes, problems seem to magnify themselves in the nighttime. Recently I saw a TV program on the brain which spoke to things like that.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: The best cure for insomnia is a good night's sleep.////FROM JACK: “I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.” (Avery Sawyer)

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Love the movie WHITE CHRISTMAS which introduced that good song. Yes, if I waken and can't get right back to sleep, I pray for the current concerns I have. At least you are using the time constructively! My daughter is interviewing to re-enter the job market in Chicago, after six months interning at Kripalu Yoga and Nutritional Center in Stockbridge, MA, and my son just fell and broke a bone in his lower leg, on the same side of his hip replacement, which will require 8-10 weeks recovery. A parent and (g.parent) usually has many concerns of the heart, requiring prayer!! But of course our biggest blessing IS our family! Here's to sound sleeping in the Everlasting Arms...////FROM JACK: Harold Boulton put these words to a Welsh folk tune. Did you ever sing it as a lullaby?
Sleep my child and peace attend thee,
All through the night
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping,
I my loving vigil keeping
All through the night.

FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO: Thank the Good Lord, and the dumb Ruskies. Our world received Irv baby out of the deal, wow, what a deal. We came out smelling like a rose.////FROM JACK: My grandparents were immigrants, too...Swedes and Germans. The melting pot has made great soup.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: I agree with you and Irving. I've tried all the others - really liked the cookies but it didn't help much.////FROM JACK: Here are some other suggestions: Drink valerian tea; use melatonin tooth paste; use lavender pillow spray; remember to go to bed.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Winning Words 3/1/12
“A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.” (Gore Vidal) Narcissus, in Greek mythology, was that young man who fell in love with a reflection of himself that he saw in a pool of water. The Harry Potter character, vain Narcissa Malfoy, was modeled after the myth. Having self-confidence is one thing. Becoming ego-centric is something else. Moderation is a worthy goal for much of life. ;-) Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Hilarious!////FROM JACK: That's what Sec'y of State Clinton probably says when she looks in the mirror in the morning. In fact, that's probably what most of us say.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: I do the best I can to look the best I can, then I forget it. Superficiality has never been of importance to me. I am not impressed with people who are beautiful outside. It's what's inside. Yes, I know it's trite, but true.////FROM JACK: Poor Narcissus. Poor anybody who sees a reflection as the real thing.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Chuckling over your hilarious joke. Yep, that's what I say when I look in the mirror too, "Hilarious!//// After a good smile, I get on with it. ////FROM JACK: This morning someone told me about a dog who was carrying a bone in his mouth. He looked into a pool and saw a dog with a bone in his mouth. Dog #1 wanted that bone and grabbed for it. In the process, he lost the bone that he had. A lot of us are like that, when it comes to our wants.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Love that quote! Mythology has certainly given us a rich heritage to plumb! I'd forgotten that character in Harry Potter, tho I've read all the books, and was fascinated with each one. What a fertile imagination!!////FROM JACK: Myth is an interesting word, and so is Parable.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I know some people like that!////FROM JACK: "People all wrapped up in themselves make a small package."