Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Winning Words 7/31/12
“A crown is no cure for a headache.”  (British Proverb)  The value of the crown worn by Queen Elizabeth is about $2,700,000.  Most of the time she wears different hats …a woman, wife, mother, grandmother.  She’s a person like each of us.  She has her ups and downs.  She has her headaches, I’m sure.  Her wealth does not buy health or a problem free life.  “When I win the lottery…” does not cure a migraine.    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Money may buy material things but it can't buy what's most important in this life...or the next////FROM JACK:  I saw a recent cartoon, labeled "The Real Race,"  and it showed the two presidential candidates chasing after big donors.  I remember the song from "Cabaret," which goes: "money. mpney. money. money, money, money makes the world go round."

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Nor is it a substitute for a halo.////FROM JACK:  That's an interesting thought.  BTW, your comment reminds me of the old Halo Shampoo jingle.  It's probably going through your mind right now.  "Halo, Everybody, Halo  Halo is the shampoo that glorifies your hair  So Halo, Everybody, Halo….."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  The Queen didn't look like she was enjoying the opening ceremonies except when she was parachuting.  By, the way, it is refreshing to see Missy Franklin and to know her story of growing up.  This country has very few problems if we produce teenagers like her.////FROM JACK:  Yes, there are some good ones out there....  Let me tell you about my grandchildren.

FROM CJL IN OHIO:  But she does leap out of perfectly good airplanes before large crowds.  Quite a show person as well as a good queen.////FROM JACK:  I didn't notice.  Was she wearing her crown?

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Anyone who has being a queen thrust upon her probably has suffered through quite a bit of grief of criticism. I admire that Queen Elizabeth has done it for so long without doing something totally undignified and unrespectable. A lot of our celebrities in our country seem to have a "fall" of some kind or another, maybe because of the stress of being in the limelight so much or something, being scrutinized so much. ////FROM JACK:  Most of her headaches do not seem to be of her own making.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Good WW, Jack!  I remember a millionaire (IL Congressman!) talking to Bill, saying, "I envy you Bill." Bill answered, "WHY would that be?" He replied, "Because you have the idea, I'm sure, that is you just had more income, your worries would be solved, and you'd be on Easy St.  I have more money than I really know what to do with, and I no longer have that delusion.  All the money in the world can't buy a happy marriage, (He was talking to Bill, because he was Chaplain of the Senate, and this guy was going through a nasty divorce...) productive and decent children, or even good health.  Success can be bittersweet ."   It was a  memorable conversation, as we were struggling to meet college bills, repairs on cars and home ,etc. It put things in perspective.. We DID have a happy marriage, good and successful kids, and reasonable good health, and great satisfaction in our work!   Money is definitely not everything!////FROM JACK:  How much is enough?   

Monday, July 30, 2012

Winning Words 7/30/12
“If it were not for hope, the heart would break.”  (Greek Proverb)  Greece is one of 5 countries that have participated in all of the modern summer Olympics.  This week I’ve chosen Winning Words from each of them.  Every athlete goes into the games with the hope of doing well, even winning a medal.  As this week begins, go into it with a sense of hope.  Good things will happen when you choose to do your best.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM DR J IN OHIO:  like it!////FROM JACK:  It's interesting that the USA Women's Soccer goalie is named Hope (Solo).  I wonder why she was given that name?

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  BINGO!////FROM JACK:  I suppose you "hope" to win when you play BINGO at the Golden Dreams Senior Center in Bettendorf.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Certainly true. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Hope is the most important word in the English language." (I think I have quoted that before...)  Kelci Byrant's hope was fulfilled when she and her diving partner won silver yesterday! Now I feel such sympathy for the U.S. gymnast Jordan, who rated fourth of all the gymnasts in all the countries, and cannot participate in the all-around individual events, because there has to be only two from each country...and she's the  national champion! Talk about Life not being Fair!!  I think the top 24 in scoring should be the participants, not matter which country they represent!!  Oh well, off the soapbox, and on with the games. Hope springs eternal, and all of that!////FROM JACK:  I think it's interesting that the USA's women's soccer goalie is named, Hope.

FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO:  That is exactly what my parents told me as a child. " Do a good job." ////FROM JACK:  One of my first Winning Words was this one.  "Virtue is learned at mother's knee.  Vice is learned at other joints."  Evidently you spent time at the right joint.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Winning Words 7/27/12
“Gold medals aren’t made of gold.  They’re made of sweat, determination…and guts.”  (Dan Gable)  The award given at the first Olympics in the 8th Century BC, was a simple crown of olive leaves.  The Bible alludes to this (1 Cor 9:25):  “Athletes will take tremendous pains for a fading crown.”  Gold medals were first awarded in 1896 and are worth about $500.  To most athletes, they’re priceless.  Let the games begin.    ;-)  Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Interesting WW. Didn't realize fading crown literally referred to drying out/decaying olive leaves. I thought it was when the glory of the win starting wearing off and taking its rightful place in history.

FROM PASTY PAT:  Interesting --- and I think it calls for a review of 1 Corinthians.////FROM JACK:  It goes on to say that there is a crown that does not fade
FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  Dan Gable was a wrestler. He won medals and then went on to coach the University of Iowa (Hawkeyes) wrestling team to something like 18 NCAA championships. I remember going to a Hawkeye’s football game in 1978 when I was at Palmer and walking through the sports building, it was as much an homage to Dan Gable as U of M’s is to Bo. Finally another University got a Gable Assistant coach to leave Iowa and the wins with him.  He is an example of how coaching can make a difference to an athlete’s performance. He was also like Bo where there was never even a hint of scandal.////FROM JACK: 
Iowa was know for its great wrestling program and also for outstanding girl's basketball players and for a place Davenport called, "A Little Bit of Heaven."

FROM WB IN MICHIGAN:  I really like this one and it reminds me of one that I have often employed yet seldom quoted.   “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon”  As I recall Napoleon was quoted as saying this while on his way to exile.  Although I believe he said or thought of its truth often.  It is especially interesting to me because he established the “Legion of Honor” one of the most distinguished bits of colored ribbon.////FROM JACK:  I won one trophy in my life...a little cup with the engraving: "2nd Place, YMCA Ping Pong Tournament."  I can't find it right now, but the memory of it is in my mind.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I didn't realize that the gold medals were worth so much! The granddaughter of a couple in my S.S. class is competing in the 3 meter synchronized diving event, on Sunday morning at 9:00. Her name is Kelci Bryant. She placed 4th by 1/100 of a pt. in the 2008 Olympics, so we're praying she can medal this time!  A young man in our area is also vying in the discus, Lance Brooks,  and Iguadola, A Springfield graduate, now a professional BB player, is playing on the U.S Olympic Basketball team.  All of their parents are in London for the big event!  I love the Olympic games, and how fun to  have the Queen go along with the 007 parody, regarding her entrance to the games! Truly a trooper, at 87!  As you say, Let the Games begin!////FROM JACK:  I'll have to check on how Kelci did.  Does "Ask, and it shall be given to you" work when it comes to getting Olympic medals?  (PAUSE)  I checked, and saw that she and her partner "were given" a silver medal.  Hmmmmm! 

From: Patricia Ochodnicky [mailto:patochodnicky@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2012 8:52 AM
To: Pastor John Freed
Subject: RE: Winning Words i
Interesting --- and I think it calls for a review of 1 Corinthians.

From: Patricia Ochodnicky [mailto:patochodnicky@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2012 8:52 AM
To: Pastor John Freed
Subject: RE: Winning Words i
Interesting --- and I think it calls for a review of 1 Corinthians.

From: Patricia Ochodnicky [mailto:patochodnicky@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2012 8:52 AM
To: Pastor John Freed
Subject: RE: Winning Words i
Interesting --- and I think it calls for a review of 1 Corinthians.ASTY PAT

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Winning Words 7/26/12
“Sometimes the biggest questions are answered by the little-est things.”  (Stuart McLean)  Think of some little things that mean a lot in this life.  A “thank you” from someone    An empty parking spot… A bird at the feeder… The aroma of a Starbucks… The sound of a child laughing… One vote… A firefly… A brush stroke on a painting… Maybe you can jot down little things that mean a lot to you.      ;-)  Jack

 FROM DOCTOR PAUL:  As we are on our way to visit our Stella in Quebec for her second birthday, your words resonate with me today. I was reminded recently of some of the most effective moments of parenting. I was reminded recently that those long heart to heart talks with kids are needed and really important but may not have as much impact as a parent thinks. It seems that some times, an off the cuff remark or a moment that a child observed has even more impact. Thank goodness the situation I was remined of was very positive but just thinking about this underscores how difficult and and important It is being a parent. Sometimes, being a parent is just plain scary!////FROM JACK:  Our children often remember some things that we have forgotten.  Sometimes that surprises me...both good and bad.  There's a children's song which has the verse..."Be careful little mouth, what you say!"

FROM JACK:  Would you take a moment today to offer a prayer on behalf of my friend, Nicky, who is struggling with the effects of autism in his life?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Winning Words early in the morning.////FROM JACK:  I like your list.  This morning, I was not satisfied with what I was about to "send," so I did a rewrite to try and make the words more relevant to you and the others who see Winning Words when they turn on their computer.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Back in the 50's there was a popular song, "Little Things Mean A Lot", and they do...as your list indicates.  But a lot of people don't take notice.  Yesterday I took a bus where I had to go.  It was crowded, and I noticed the large number of people clinging to their iPods or Kindles, "little things" that mean a lot to them.  So many recede into their own "little" world.////FROM JACK:  There's a line from the "Little Things" song you mentioned..."a line a day when you're far away."  The responses I get from the readers of WWs are little things that mean a lot.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  My little/BIG thing was being face to face with a hummingbird in my garden while I was planning the purple bee balm plant.  I’m working on the Sinking Fund renewal election for my school district. People who show up for the 9 a.m. meeting this morning to work on this committee are THE answers as to how this BIG thing is going to be passed. Back to People Who Need People……////FROM JACK:  Each flower is important to the humming bird.  Each voter is important in a school election.  Each child is important in a classroom.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  The little-est thing I hope to give to someone else or have given to me is when a little effort--even sacrifice?--is made to "move over" and give the other person a little space to speak, to do something, to be themselves more. To think of another person before myself is hard to do but I think big questions are answered by doing that. Thinking in Southfield,////FROM JACK:  Some people say, "I need my space!"  Others say, "That's OK; I'll give you some of mine."  I appreciate it when people are courteous drivers and give me space to move in.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  Jacks winning words.////FROM JACK:  The responses to them.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  The fresh smell after a rain.  My girls' hug. A driver's yield to let me in. Whitecaps on the river. Music. ////FROM JACK:  You and your list remind me of Jimmy Durante.  When he'd crack a joke, people would laugh, and he'd respond, "I got a million of 'em."//// PFC RESPONSE:  JD is one of my favorite singers. He was rough but NEVER off key.  And always used violins to complement has gravely voice.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  Rain clouds in the morning sky.////FROM JACK:  I'll bet nobody else comes up with that one, but I agree that it's a good choice.  .

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  A grandchild running into your arms...a sleepy smile....any smile from a stranger...a good book....a hug...hearing beautiful birdsongs...sunrises and sunsets....a good roast beef dinner...a remembered item (I rejoice when I can remember what I was looking for)...a good sense of humor...great Winning Words...His amazing Grace..the list could go on forever! ////FROM JACK:  How about a "special" word that someone has said to you?

FROM CJL IN OHIO:  a note from a friend....////FROM JACK:  Most of the mail these days consists of ads and political stuff.  When there's a personal letter in the bunch...it's a good day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Winning Words 7/25/12
“Be strong.  Don’t give up hope.  Life is like a jump rope.  Up Down Up Down Up Down.”  (Blue October)  Last week I was introduced to “Blue October,” a group that’s not like Lawrence Welk.  “Life Is Like a Jump Rope,” has some good lyrics, and the music really fits.  We all need to be reminded to remain hopeful when life’s situations tempt us to give up hope.  Why not buy a jump rope as a reminder?    ;-)  Jack

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Good words for today.////FROM JACK:    ////FROM JACK:  Here's a rhyme to use when you get your jump rope.   Cinderella, dressed in yellow   went upstairs to kiss a 'fella
made a mistake   and kissed a snake   how many doctors   did it take?   [count until someone messes up]
////CS RESPONSE:  Next time I jump rope at the gym I will remember the rhyme – and the words////FROM JACK:  Also, remember, Up Down, Up Down..

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  If I had a jump rope I think I would strangle myself learning to use it.  Jumping and moving the rope requires multitasking which I am not good at!!!!!!!!!!!!!!////FROM JACK:  How come the girls were always better at jump rope than the boys?  Does that mean that your wife is better at multi-tasking than you are?

FROM SAINT JAMES:  Good Winning Words!  Very timely...////FROM JACK:  Timing is everything, including jumping rope. 

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Jumping rope was one of our neighborhood wonders.  We had a group of kids, both boys and girls who would jump all day long.  And, if there was no one to turn the rope, we tied it to the garage door handle.  I was telling my girls about it the other day and trying to remember all of the jumping rhymes.  We would do it for hours and hours and hours.  What fun!  I will check out the Blue October group.  The words were wonderful to read today because I walk 3 miles most mornings and I need to keep saying to myself...."one foot in front of the other...keep going...nearly there."  Thanks for taking the time to find us "Winning Words" each morning!////FROM JACK:  I remember how my sister could jump rope while going down the sidewalk.  Maybe you could try doing that during one of your 3-milers. 

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  This is soooooo true. Thank you!!! Life is like a jump rope. And a jump rope is a good reminder.////FROM JACK:  Pull up Blue October and their song, "Jump Rope," on your computer.  I think that you will enjoy it.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  How many turns does the rope take while you are still in the air? It's one way to stay "up."////FROM JACK:  I always thought jump rope was girlie stuff; then I saw Ali jumping rope in the gym.////PFC RESPONSE:  In boxing it's "skipping."

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  This is so true of Israel in the OT.////FROM JACK:  And for you Chicago Cubs fans, too....as far as hope is concerned.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It is way too hot down here to jump rope.  One day at a time and life is a constant change.   The WSJ had a picture and story about Augustana College these days and their program for parents so that they don't become helicopter parents.It is definitely a change for colleges, students, and parents.////FROM JACK:  I never felt that my parents were "hovering" when I was in school.  Bust I guess that each of us has our own nest.

FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO:  a gent by the name.of Bobby Hines started a jump rope business in
Kenosha,  he was a friend of Alan Ameche.   think their wives were
related.  Ach der lieber.  with luck he is still alive and still selling good exercise if you learned how to "  UMP like a rabbit, Boxer, an athlete???" ////FROM JACK:  I saw that you can order, on the internet, a jump rope called The Muhammad Ali Rope-a-Dope Jump Rope.  There's a little "computer" in the handle that counts the number of jumps you do.  Maybe you'd like to order one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Winning Words 7/24/12
“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.”  (Victor Kiam)  Poor VK lived an up and down life.  In that sense, he was like many of us.  We have our good days and our bad ones.  Victor tried to see the good in the midst of the not so good.  It works sometimes, and then there are those other times.  When you find yourself in those “other times,” seek out the positive.  Look for the silver lining behind that cloud.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN:  This is why the character Rocky Balboa was so popular. People really desired to see the perseverance and commitment in themselves.////FROM JACK:  I wonder if the disciple Peter was ever called, Rocky?  His name means, Rock.  

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  A line sung a lot in our family while I was growing up..."You just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again."////FROM JACK:  Barack Obama used these words (by Dorothy Fields) in his inauguration speech.  God gives each of us opportunities to make a new start.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  But not moving forward by much, right?! He is REALLY looking for the positive!! I like what Eckhart Tolle  (Author of The Power Of Now) says in this regard: "Accept...then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will miraculously transform your whole life."  It helps you to stay positive, and re-think the present moment.////FROM JACK:  This morning I attended a weekly meeting of the Optimist Club.  I was talking with a friend and had to remind him to take to heart the words of The Optimist Creed which begins: "Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind...".

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Good WW for me today. At VBS I was asked to give a presentation on CROP Hunger Walk. It's a challenge to do something that very young kids will find interesting but that also teenagers won't laugh at because they think it's all kiddie stuff. I realize I may fall on my face but it's a little difficult to trust that we'll all be still moving forward and not backward into disinterest or apathy. But I'm trying.////FROM JACK:  I have always enjoyed doing "children's sermons."  Since I was once a child, I try to recall what it was that interested me at that time.  I then give "my message" in an empathetical way.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Winning Words 7/23/12
“When you reach out, the chances are pretty good that someone will reach back.”  (Cheryl Richardson)  As I reread this quote, I started humming…”If you’re ever in a jam, here I am.”  Lucy and Ethel sang it in a talent show.  “Friendship” is when people can rely on each other to help in time of need.  As we reach out to help in “need” situations, we’ll often find that unexpected blessings come back.  True?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  True.   A term that I never heard of until we moved to the South is "what goes around comes around."////FROM JACK:  Even Eminem mentions that in one of his rap-songs (just so you know that I keep up on things).////TAMPA RESPONSE:  Do you listen to Eminem?  For years I have avoided movies except for Disney and definitely rap because I cannot abide the violence or the language.  I have just fallen heir to some wonderful jazz cds plus some Mozarts and Andrew Lloyd Webbers.  Lucky me.
////FROM JACK:  Altho, Eminem, Madonna and Lady Gaga are not on my usual play list, I'm intrigued by them and why they are popular.  I find that each has an interesting background story...as do we all.  One CD that I often play as background music while I "create" on the computer, is "Mozart for the Mind."

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  One of my book's chapters is "Life is Reciprocity." As we treat others so, in turn, we tend to be treated the same.////FROM JACK:  I remember that it in your book; in fact, I saw it as a recurring theme.  "Give, and it shall be given unto you."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As Ol' Ben Franklin is attributed to have said, "Well done, is better than well said." You don't have to look very far, to see needs that beg for a helping hand. Blessed are we who have the health and strength to reach out in that way.  We find the truth in "It is more blessed to give, than to receive"! ////FROM JACK:  Paul says: "Remember the words of Jesus, 'It is more blessed to give etc.,'" except that we don't find Jesus actually saying that.  Of course, not everything that Jesus said wasn't written down.  Luke comes close by quoting Jesus: "Give, and it shall be given unto you."  You caused me to think...today!

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  my bff and i call each other lucy and ethel.  we are, what i like to think, a stable staple in grayslake.  she is usually lucy.  i tend to be ethel, her grounding and centering voice, (mostly to keep her out of trouble), she can be a wildcat!  i am sometimes lucy just for the fun of it!  but, gladly not so wild...i am in nyc visiting my beth and sister pat.  i hugged someone today and they asked where i was from because i certainly could not be from nyc and hugging on the street.  we reached each other.  it was a god thing...a good thing. i guess the two most times lead to each other.////FROM JACK:  Somehow, I'm not surprised by your actions.  I think that it's in the genes.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Winning Words 7/20/12
“I want it said of me that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”  (A. Lincoln)  There are so many quotes attributed to Lincoln that I wonder if he really said this one?  I read a  “Lincoln” quote recently.  “The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on them.”  Did Abe actually say that?  His life shows that he did try to replace evil with good.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BIG AL:  Longest Winning Words ever?////FROM JACK:  I don't know about that, but I think that this might qualify.  "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," which means, "having something to say when you have nothing to say."

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  This quote interested me especially. Googled Abraham Lincoln and found out neither he nor Mary were gardeners though they loved flowers. However, Lincoln came from a hard-scrabble farming family and moved around a lot to different farms--there must have been considerable adversity and Lincoln also said "The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land." Even though the small family farm seems to be on the decline, there are still plenty of people all over the world who dream A. Lincoln's dream and hope it becomes a reality for them. Also, heard that--after the Civil War--there was a plan proposed to give each freed slave 40 acres and a mule. Would that that plan have succeeded, our country probably would have not had so much pain to go through. My opinion.////FROM JACK:  Lots of things could have been done differently, in retrospect.  It only means that we should probably be more diligent in advocating for what is "right."  We need to plant our own flowers.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  He had some wonderful quotes, although, I don't think he dealt too much with the internet.  LOL  Gary's mom had books and books on him, which we have now.  She also went to Utah to the Mormon Tabernacle to do research on the Lincoln family.  She also attended many lectures on Lincoln.  He was a great God-loving fellow.////FROM JACK:  I have a book in my library which contains the devotions Lincoln used.  Oops!  Now, I can't find it. 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  This doesn't really sound like Lincoln, does  it. Maybe because he wasn't much of a gardener, as far as flowers went.////FROM JACK:  I'd hate to have people judge me just by quotes that I left behind.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  I never heard it and it doesn't sound right to me.////FROM JACK:  You know more about those times and those people than I do, so I think you're right.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is so true.  It is amazing how trusting he was.  I am rereading Killing Lincoln, and it is unbelievable, in this time, that he went alone in Washington and in Richmond without protection until that fatal day at Ford's Theatre.////FROM JACK:  He certainly would pick a thistle if he saw it, but I think that he was more into planting flowers.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:   i am a seed planter.  i don't really have the control to know what will grow from them and/or if they will be nurtured, but i am a hopeful one!////FROM JACK:  You're just like that Appleseed guy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Winning Words 7/19/12
“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”  (Theodore Roosevelt)  TR was the USA’s youngest president and was known for his progressive ideas.  He cared about nature and pushed for conservation.  He cared about people’s health and pushed for gov’t regulation of food and drugs.  His views weren’t always popular, but he cared about doing things the right way.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DOCTOR P:  TR was such an interesting person.  Although John Muir is designated as "The Father of the National Park System", TR was responsible for expanding that system and passing laws like  "The Antiquity Act"  to preserve precious historical sites.  TR National Park in North Dakota is just beautiful and has its own Bad lands (comparison to South Dakota).  When Roosevelt Elementary School (Named after TR) was going through a renaissance, I suggested our logo become "The Rough Riders."  That didn't go over very well!  LOL////FROM JACK:  Why can't "people" see the value of our good ideas?  I guess that's why we continue to pursue teaching, gratis.

FROM SAINT PAUL:  Jack,  this quote should be the summary statement for ALL parish ministry.  it was mine.  when pastors live by this motto,  they will generally do quite well.   they have to bond with their people.  by the way,  TR went to Africa on safari after leaving the White House and shot over 500 big game animals. yet, he was a conservationist.  go figure.////FROM JACK:  We all have incongruities in our life.  That's God created such a thing as grace.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  These really are winning words...so true. What a colorful President (and family) the Theodore Roosevelts were!  He didn't seem to compromise about being himself!   I read recently an anonymous quote:"Each person has a choice in life: He may approach it as a creator or critic, a lover or hater, a giver or taker." I think T.R.was at times, all of these! So, maybe, are we ?////FROM JACK:  We are who we are, for better or worse.  I remember the story of someone who wore a button which read: PBPGINFWMY.  People who asked about it were told:  Please Be Patient God Is Not Finished With Me Yet.How true that is.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  But sometimes you can do too much, and people don't take any responsibility for their actions if everything is done for them.////FROM JACK:  Like the Bible says, "God helps them who helps themselves."  Oops!  That's Ben Franklin and not the Bible.  The Bible story that fits is the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

FROM RS NEAR ORLANDO:  I wish he were here today.  We bought some grub at a place and got food poisoning.  We tied to alert the community by calling the Health Dept.  FORGET it; they didn't answer any of the many numbers they offered.  So we called the Police Dept, another wasted call; said it isn't in the city; so we called the sheriff's dept. and this gent tried to get through to the Health Dept.  no luck.  He said he & his wife never eat out any more; they encountered the same problem.  Maybe Teddy could have shaken the cobwebs out of the H. Dept. We don't quit easily, but we did this time.////FROM JACK:  Maybe you should pay a visit to the Health Dept and be sure to carry a big stick.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  He was a great President.  My husband's niece and nephew are both youth pastors.  They use this saying about children.////FROM JACK:   35,000 ELCA youth are gathering in New Orleans this week.  It would be a good message for them.

FROM PRAW IN ILLINOIS:  I just discussed this topic with my favorite College prof yesterday. It is his method of teaching and he is known widely for  his caring about students.////FROM JACK:  I like the term, pastor.  The one called to lead a congregation should be pastoral, like a good shepherd.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Winning Words 7/18/12
“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.”  (Wyatt Earp)  Wyatt was never wounded in any of his famous gun battles, so this quote seems to fit.  Actually, it was first spoken by Xenophon, the Greek philosopher who lived in the 4th Century, BC, long before there were any guns.  One of my failings in school was that I often chose fast over accuracy.  Later, that changed when I was introduced to Xenophon.    ;-)  Jack   

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I don't think anyone will ever accuse me of being fast.  Something inside me always says, "think about it."////FROM JACK:  Norm Abram, TV's famous Yankee Carpenter, has written a book, "Measure Twice, Cut Once."  You don't need to read it.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Earp was from Monmouth, Il...I have been told.////FROM JACK:  The city's water tower once had "Home of Wyatt Earp" painted on it.  BTW, the high school basketball team is named "The Zippers," because they have a lot of zip.  They chose that name to replace, "The Maroons."

FROM RS VACATIONING IN VERMONT:  Now if I could just get the accuracy part to work in my golf game................////FROM JACK.  You reminded me.  I once tried to see how fast I could play a round of golf and ran from shot to shot.  I can't recall the score, because fast was everything at the time.

FROM MY ATTORNEY:  You should send this to Jim Leyland. He should share it with his rookie pitcher who served up a bunch of gopher balls last night.////FROM JACK:  He was accurate alright...right over the plate.

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN:  Did I tell you I'm leading a team that's responsible for the quality checks of the technical manuals?  We do more than that but this is a primary focus of about 50% of my team.  This was so appropriate that I just sent it to my entire staff. :)////FROM JACK:  I've come to be meticulous, without being obsessive-compulsive ("Don't sweat the small stuff.")  I just came from having my car serviced.  The job was done fast and with accuracy, and the customer went away, more than satisfied.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Looked up accuracy - found "an accurate measurement is one which is close to the true value". Aiming for the true value is everything to me too -- the word which sticks out is "true" -- fast could be just interested in time to the neglect of truth. Maybe that's why patience is talked about in the Bible and I don't recall anything about fast except that time when Jesus was complained to about not coming fast enough to save a person's life but then he raised him from the dead anyway. ////FROM JACK:  I was led to explore why the word "fast" is used for abstaining from food.  The root of the word is "fixed or firm."  To fast is to hold tight to not eating food.  Which leads me to ask, "Why is fast food called fast food?"  It's because they serve it to you fast, and it makes you fat, fast.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Oh, the difference between nearly right, and exactly right! Excellence isn't an accident..I read a quote from Vince Lombardi (great coach): "The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."  We don't always attain accuracy or excellence, but we do better if we strive for it!  That is usually not done with undue speed!  When you are juggling many tasks, however, we have all found time is a constraint!!////FROM JACK:  Vince had Bart Starr for accuracy and Willie Wood for speed.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This was quoted often my by typing teacher.  I still remember him.  It was also quoted by my employers.////FROM JACK:  Nowadays, many people rely on the accuracy of  "spell check."  I even find myself going to Google instead of paging through the dictionary, because it's faster.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Joel, I have a friend who sends me a ‘winning word’ every day.   This is the one I received today, and I thought of David and the way he took tests, always wanting to be the first one done.   Interesting!    DAD////FROM JACK:  I, too, always wanted to be the first one to finish the test.  Then one day the chemistry teacher talked to me privately and said, "Jack, I know that you can do much better, if you take your time."  There's something else I remember him saying.  "He here stands as he oughter; he poured acid in the water.  Here he lies, calm and placid; he poured water in the acid."   

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  You better be damn sure the guy who is faster than you isn't also more accurate. Practice, practice, practice.////FROM JACK:  The only drawing I ever did was on paper; and, the only gun I ever owned was a cap pistol.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Winning Words 7/17/12
“What’s life without a little adventure?”  (Ron Drwonkowski)  An adventure is an exciting undertaking with an uncertain outcome…like the first roller coaster ride…like leaving home for the first time…like getting married.  RD has often used this phrase in encouraging his daughter to try new things.  Think about an adventure that you had in your lifetime.  I remember a summer spent working in Saskatchewan.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Was that a summer while you were in sem?////FROM JACK:  I was in college at the time and went to the small prairie town of Kelliher, Sask, to serve as a student pastor.  The conditions were primitive, compared to what I was used to...but I learned much from that adventure.

FROM PASTY PAT:  Too many to count --- and hopefully many more to come!////FROM JACK:  Next might be a "mission" trip to Cedar Point.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Getting married.////FROM JACK:  Today's quote was by a father, RD, who gave this advice to his daughter who was getting married.  In some marriage situations, the experience is like riding a roller coaster.  For others, it's like being forever in the Tunnel of Love.


FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Oh what wonderful memories were stirred up by these Winning Words.  It's hard to even pick one as we have had dozens or even hundreds of fun adventures.  Perhaps the most "exciting" adventure was going white water rafting with Pastor Lindamood.  There had been a storm so the water was very high; much too high for novice rafters, but we went anyway.  I never prayed so hard out loud in a raft full of people.  But, it's a memory we wouldn't trade for anything.  Walking down to the Southern most point in the USA, South Point, Big Island, Hawaii was another.  Hiking through Acadia National Park, visiting the Badlands, etc etc.  A lot of exciting, beautiful memories!  We are blessed!////FROM JACK:  How about the adventure of raising children?

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN:  Sunday we drove down to our son’s home in Mt. Prospect, and along the toll road we passed Six Flags, with their many roller coasters.    My wife said, “Why don’t we stop and take a ride on one of the roller coasters?”    I looked at her and said, “I’d wouldn’t ride one when I was a kid . . . why now?”   To which she replied, “At our age we could use some excitement!”   So, I can think of adventure that I have avoided . . . it is more difficult for me to remember adventure in my lifetime.    Yesterday in our local paper there was an article on tethered air balloon rides in Waterford, WI.    She asked me if I’d be interested in going out and trying that.    NO! was my reply, and now today you come along with your business of adventure in life . . . by Ron Drwonkowski, who ever he is or was!////FROM JACK:  You shouldda gone on that roller coaster.  If you had listened to your wife, you'd have added an adventure to your memory bank...and the sound of the Six Flags younguns pointing and saying, "Look at those spunky old coots."  The tethered balloon would have been "a piece of cake" after that.  BTW, Ron D is the editor of The Detroit Free Press, and he was giving her some advice on her wedding day.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I understand the wisdom of today's winning words, but I still love to travel and to see new worlds and to meet new people,  Meeting new people is easy these day, whether at home or on the road.  We have just returned from a week in Northern California, the wine country, the tech valley, Stanford, San Jose, Carmel, a week in Maui which is beautiful, and a week in Fort Worth, TX where it was hot. But what else is new?  I count my blessings every day.////FROM JACK:  Well, you've had some adventurous times, and that's not an overstatement.  I flew to Minnesota for a 3-day visit with my son and his family.  Does that count as an adventure?

FROM RS NEAR ORLANDO:  Wow, I know a guy who went to Saskatchewan.  I can hardly spell it.  You lead a magic life Jack, but you came back, so it wasn't that big a deal??  I almost went there.  Several of my buddies in the army were farm boys and mechanics.  And hard workers I might add.  We were going to pool our money and buy equipment and hire ourselves out to farmers to  harvest their crops, starting in  Texas and going north to Saskatchewan.  It sounded romantic at the time, and a lot of work, but we would have become entrepreneurs. Ya, we would have, but no one had any money to go to the bank and say, SEE, we have a stash; believe in us and we:ll pay our debts on time and in full.  That's as close as I got to Saskatchewan.  Maybe I'll dream about it tonight.////FROM JACK:  I had a crazy dream this week.  It was so funny that I woke up laughing.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Winning Words 7/16/12
“The dog that trots about finds a bone.”  (Golda Meir)  One of my favorite books, Acres of Diamonds, is on sale on the internet for 25 cents.  Don’t be fooled by the price.  The gist of the story is that, as you seek all around for life’s opportunities, you can often find them in your own backyard.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “Seek, and you shall find.”  Don’t give up looking for that “bone,” the best in life.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Wonderful WW again today.  And I admire the originator.  Thanks for passing them on!!!!!  Great way to start the day.////FROM JACK:  Did you know that this strong-willed, tough-talking Jewish lady grew up in Milwaukee?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Acres of Diamonds"!  I hadn't thought about that book for years...It was indeed a good one!! I enjoyed the "bone" quote of Reba McEntire, the country cute-as-a button- Singer: "to succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone." Pretty profound! ////FROM JACK:  Ezekiel trotted around and found some dry bones.  Now, hear the word of the Lord!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Winning Words 7/13/12
“The hills of one’s youth are all mountains.”  (Mari Sandoz)  I had lots of fun when I was growing up, but I don’t think I’d want to be a teen again.  There were pressures and temptations then, but not like those of today.  In retrospect, many are the same, such as.  Not enough time..Concern over body image..Search for identity..Parental expectations.  Dr, Seuss wrote:  “Adults are obsolete children.”  I like that.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  Youth have better skin than we do.////FROM JACK:  Tell that to a teen with acne.////HR RESPONSE:  “It’s always something”…  RoseAnn RoseAnna Danna////FROM JACK:  I'm sure that she'd rather have had acne.  What a great lady...and comedienne, too.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Adults are obsolete children. I like that.////FROM JACK:  The 55 Chevy Bel-Air, cream and red hardtop, is now obsolete, but it's still my favorite car.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  You must have Dr. Seuss's book YOU'RE ONLY OLD ONCE! (Book for Obsolete Children)...What an entertaining writer was he! He dedicated that book to "the class of 1925". Suppose it might have been read at a class reunion. It is delightful, at any rate!  Looking 'way back to teen years, they seem to be happy and care-free, but imagine at the time there were "mountains" we climbed, as we discovered who we were, and what we wanted to do in life...especially who we'd spend our lives with!  BIG decision!!////FROM JACK:  Just the quote and not the book.  How about..."The mountains of old age are only hills?" 

FROM HONEST JOHN:   I have loved almost all of the various "ages" thru which I have travelled but clearly at the top of the list is the time from age 3 to age 10....that is a wonderful time of fantasy and dreaming and of searching and playing and just being a kid.   The worst time was the age just after that....middle school is a horrible time of life.  ////FROM JACK:  I like how Charles Dickens begins A Tale of Two Cities.   "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way."  As I look back and remember the various ages, I see the good and not so good, the positive and the not so positive.  I see (by the grace of God) a meandering walk in the right direction.////HONEST RESPONSE:  From what I have seen you have meandered more to the left than to the "right" direction....or is left right?    In this election, I think it certainly is.////FROM JACK:  I keep leaning left as I take the walk

FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  GOD allows ignorance to be innocence in youth but, HE gave us a brain to change ignorance into intelligence as we become adults.believe that when we leave this world, this life and this body we enter the Kingdom of Heaven as little children.////FROM JACK:  Jesus said, "Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven."  What do you think he meant by that?////MEDD RESPONSE:   I believe that when we leave this world, this life and this body we enter the Kingdom of Heaven as little children.////FROM JACK: We each wear our own moccasins, especially when it comes to walking into heaven.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  For some strange reason, when I was a teenager I still looked to adults, particularly my parents, more for values--now-a-days I feel young people's peer groups are more influential. We'll just have to see if all the values stand the test of time.////FROM JACK:   I wonder what your daughter, who's a "tweener," might have to say about her experience? 

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:   On the other hand, Dr. Seuss,  adults are children's role models. ////FROM JACK:  For better, or worse.  And following up on Suess...Children are futuristic adults.

Winning Words 7/12/12
“Don’t wait.  The time will never be just right.”  (Napoleon Hill)  Hill was one of the original writers of the value of positive thinking.  “Believe it, and you can achieve it.”  N.V. Peale took that message into the church pulpit.  I have a Bible with the positive thoughts highlighted in blue.  One such verse reads, “With God all things are possible.”  Believing is a key in the teachings of Jesus   Some call it, faith.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HY-YO SILVER:  When I was young, I would save things (candy, money, new clothes) and not use them because I was "savin' them for the good times"...  What I didn't realize is that these are the good times.
We need to enjoy the Now and appreciate Today.  Of course, the food rotted and the clothes didn't fit once I rediscovered them.  It's important to conserve and not over-indulge, but don't wait to do something if you can to do it today. Don't leave it over until the next day.  I should share this with my girlfriend. ////FROM JACK:  Your response brought to mind a saying I heard long ago from my Aunt Nell.  "I'm saving this for good."  There's another saying that comes to mind..."There comes a time..."

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  Jack, do  you recall the old line: i find Paul (St. Paul) appealing and Peale appalling.   actually i liked some of Peale's "stuff"////FROM JACK:  Adlai Stevenson had a way with words, and this is one of his quotes.  I would have expected it from a theologian and not a politician, but I guess athat sometimes a politician can be a theologian, and vice versa.  We can wear different hats. Schuller borrowed from Peale, and Peale borrowed from sources, and his sources borrowed from other sources, etc.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Do it now. Get it off your chest and it's off your mind.////FROM JACK:  Since you're in the ad biz, you probably know this.  According to Nike, their famous and easily
recognized slogan was coined at a 1988 meeting of their ad agency Wieden and Kennedy and a group of Nike employees. Dan Weiden, speaking admiringly of Nike’s can-do attitude, reportedly said, “You Nike guys, you just do it.” The rest, as they say, is (advertising) history.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Wow! I'd love to see that "positive thinking" Bible. I 'd never heard of such a one! The Power of Positive Thinking" really influenced my life as a young woman. I'd always sung duets with my twin, and when she moved away,  I had to go "solo". That book helped my to sing alone in church, for organization programs and to do many roles in musicals for Muni Opera in Moline and Springfield!  Gave me the confidence I needed!  Interesting to know who inspired N.V.Peale to write his book, and carry the message  into the pulpit!////FROM JACK:  The "blue" Bible was created by Robert Schuller using the NKJV.  I got it when I once attended a workshop at the Crystal Cathedral.

FROM MOLINER JT:  "Believe" is now my by-word. Where would I be today if I didn't Believe? ////FROM JACK:  There's a song we used to sing in Sunday School.  Perhaps you did, too.  "Only believe.  Only believe.  All things are possible.  Only believe."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Winning Words 7/11/12
“You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”  (Abdul Kalam)  Tesla, the great physicist and inventor, was said to have had the ability to conduct experiments in his dreams.  Edison would often nap and wake up suddenly with an idea.  I dream crazy dreams at night, but my day-dreaming has produced some worthwhile ideas.  Dreams are only dreams, unless we wake up and try to put them to use.    ;-)  Jack

FROM NW, A MICHIGAN REALTOR:    Jack, see where I went with your Winning Words today////FROM JACK:  I'm blogging your words, so others can see WWs are being used.   

How true. Sometimes we let the slog of daily life consume so much time and energy that we forget to dream or lose sight of our original dreams. Whether you call it dreaming or visualizing, you have to have goals in mind that you are working towards. Otherwise another old saying takes over your life – Where ever you go, there you are.”
More often that I care to admit I’ll end a day and realize that I got caught up in the minutia of life and failed to put any effort or time into things that would further reaching my goals or dreams. Sure many of the things that I did needed to be done. There are always things that need to be done; and, if you let them just take over and control your life, you’ll never get around to dreaming or doing those things that need to be done to realize your dream.
There is an interesting story in this week’s Bloomberg Business Week about a single mom with two children struggling to make it in one of the nation’s worst areas of economic blight. It could be a really depressing story, especially since Bloomberg has taken the slant that this is a story about the decline of America; however, the story focuses enough on one aspect of this woman and her daily struggles to make it inspirational.  She has a dream of a better life for herself and her children and nothing that she has to endure on a daily basis is able to shake her off accomplishing that dream.
So give yourself a break today and take some time to dream. Visualize what it is you want or where you want to go in life and then set about planning how to achieve your dream. Working on accomplishing that plan will make every day feel a little better.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I know people who keep paper and pencil on their nightstand to record dreams and ideas when they wake at night. I never seem to remember my dreams! I'm sure I do dream, but can't recall most of them. I haven'[t come up with any million dollar ideas, either, tho occasionally when I pray for a solution to a dilemma, the answer will come to me upon awakening, so suppose my brain has been wrestling with it while I slept!  Fearfully and wonderfully made, aren't we?!////FROM JACK:  I do have a book where I record my unusual dreams.  Some of them are really odd.

FROM RS NEAR ORLANDO:  When Rom was a med student I told him of my dreams and how I couldn't remember them when I awoke.  So I asked him if he and his team mates could hang something on my head and capture my dream waves so we could print them out during the day and work on them.  He said that several of his team mates had the same problem and at that time they had no solution.  Shucks, we possibly could  have shaken hands with Mr. Edison, or Ford.

Winning Words 7/10/12
“There never seems to be enough time.”  (Jim Croce)  By accident, I heard The Jim Croce Story on TV, as told be his wife, Ingrid.  How great to hear him sing, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time In A Bottle.”  Jim died in a flying accident at age 30.  I can only imagine what songs he might have written.  There never seems to be enough time.  You can’t keep time in a bottle.  Do what needs to be done, today!    ;-)  Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  This is really a good WW.  If we could only focus on what needs to be done each day and not wander about hither and there, in a daze sort of, how much more content with our use of time would we be.  I'm praying and then doing and thank you for encouraging us.////FROM JACK:  I went to a breakfast meeting this morning.  Each person went away from there in different directions with different agendas, but with the same amount of time in the day.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Jim's lyrics were wise!  However, if I had to do what needs to be done today, I wouldn't finish for a few years.////FROM JACK:  One step, and then another....

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  what's interesting to me is that in Heaven there will be no such thing as time.////FROM JACK:  I guess you'll have to leave your Rolex behind.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Right...I didn't have time  to ck. the computer yesterday, but these are good words. Bill and my boys all loved the Jim Croce songs. What a shame his life was cut short. Our loss!  Each day holds its possibilities and challenges, but we who are older are maybe more urgently aware of limited time to get important things done before time expires!!////FROM JACK:  It doesn't fit, but I really like Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Winning Words 7/9/12
“Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.”  (Swedish Proverb)  A verse from the Sermon on the Mount reads, “If you love those who love you, what reward is that?”  The Kingdom of God isn’t supposed to be some kind of exclusive club where the “unlovely” are excluded.  A woman once said, “There’s one thing I don’t like about Jesus.”  Can you imagine what that might be?    ;-)  Jack

IMAGINE THIS:  A woman who belonged to the WCTU, was reminded during a Bible study that Jesus served wine at the Last Supper.  "That's one thing I don't like about Jesus," she said.

FROM NZG IN MICHIGAN: Maybe it was the unconditional love that Jesus had for everyone.////FROM JACK:  That's a good guess, but see the blog for the answer.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I can "imagine", but I would rather "know".  You're not just going to leave us hanging here are you?////FROM JACK:  Sometimes imagination is more fun than reality.  Have fun today,but, for reality, read the blog.////MORE RI:  Thanks for the link...actually I had it and often check in to the blog, but just didn't get to it this morning.  I am amused by that woman's point of view.  My own imagined reason was wrong: why should we bother being "good" persons because Jesus loves "bad" persons as well.  BTW, I really liked your sample of Swedish wisdom.  Reminds me of the Polish story about laying sod: "Green side up."

FROM HONEST JOHN:  If it's Swedish, it has to be great Wisdom.////FROM JACK:  Here's an example of Swedish wisdom:  What's written on the bottom of bottles in Sweden?  "Öppnas på andra sidan". (Open in the other end).

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  A provocative question from the woman.  I think the thing that is hard sometimes to accept about Jesus is that He actually changes the world, changes the status quo, that change can feel like it's  unbearable unless we have God's help to accept it.  Often even people in church don't like this about Jesus.  His changing people/situations  I mean.  Often I find myself not liking the changes either but so far God has been working on me successfully  through all the changes I've had to go through and I'm being sanctified.  Appreciate your morning's WW.////FROM JACK:  People are funny.  They always like the changes...that go their way.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Can't.////FROM JACK:  Someone said that success comes in cans; failure comes in can'ts.    The first successful cast iron plow invented in the United States in 1797 was rejected by New Jersey farmers under the theory that cast iron poisoned the land and stimulated growth of weeds. 60 years later, John Deere proved that theory wrong with his invention of the steel plow. 

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Perhaps because he loved the unlovable?  His mercy extends to everyone.  But I do believe to get to Heaven you must accept Him.  Those are His words, not mine.  I do pray for my enemies...I pray God will change their hearts and make my accepting.////FROM JACK:  I like the words of C.S. Lewis:  “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.”

FROM SAINT JAMES:  Someone posed this question to me:  If God knows what we are going to do before we do it, why does He bother?   I think it's because He wants to be glorified by watching us do the best we can.  What's your take?////FROM JACK:  God chooses to limit himself by giving the gift of Free Will to each of us, thus allowing good choices, as well as mistakes.  Like a kindly parent, he is there to pick us up when we've fallen.  Recently, I was available to help a family in distress.  They were so involved in what was going on in their life, that they wanted no help.  Sometimes that's the way it is with us and God.

FROM WATERFOR JAN:  Is the one thing a woman said she didn't like about Jesus is the he requires us to be want we should be and not just what we want to be?////FROM JACK:  That's using your imagination, but it's not the answer I was looking for.  Click this link www.jackswinningwords.blogspot.com to see my blog

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  The Swedish are wise people!
I never liked Jesus' beard. Or sandals - ha! Also thought he should be depicted as darker; he was from the Middle East, after all.////FROM JACK:  I once asked some confirmation students to draw a picture of God.  I was impressed when one boy handed in a drawing of the face of Jesus divided into quadrants, each with a different color.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  He loves everyone!  This is so appropriate for today.  Have a beautiful day. ////FROM JACK:  In our human-ness we see some people as soooo unlovable.  How could God ever accept them?   

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:    that he is a bit too accepting of others  (i.e. sinners)...FROM JACK:  That's good, but too theological.  Click this link www.jackswinningwords.blogspot.com to see my blog

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I have an idea, but you tell me.////FROM JACK:  The Ink Spots sang  this song, "You Tell Me Your Dream, I'll Tell You Mine."  My idea is on the blog.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  That He persists in loving unconditionally? never gives up on us?////FROM JACK:  NOPE.  Here's what's on the blog.  IMAGINE THIS:  A woman who belonged to the WCTU, was reminded during a Bible study that Jesus served wine at the Last Supper.  "That's one thing I don't like about Jesus," she said.  She must have been a Methodist.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Winning Words 7/6/12
“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.”  (Bill Watterson)  In the urban area where I live it’s hard to see the horizon, because of trees and buildings.  I miss the times and places when I could see the full sky at night, with the big and little dippers, shooting stars and the moon.  It was a time for appreciating the wonder of it all.  “Stuff” mattered less.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM MM IN FLORIDA:  Jack, hi...got me on two things this morning...download google sky map on your phone and face up towards sky at night for a detailed map.   And I always told my friends to travel because even if you sit on a bench all day in a far away city you'll learn more than just sitting at home. ////FROM JACK:  Thanks for the Google suggestion.  Whether you sit on the bench at home or in some far-away place, it makes no difference, unless you are looking to "see" something.  If we really looked at the world around us, we might live differently, too.

FROM NORMAN IN FLORIDA&INDIANA: I AGREE:  OR LOOK AT THIS ...http://www.youtube.com/embed/mcbHKAWIk3I  ////FROM JACK:  You're right.  There are wonders as we look up; there are also wonders below.  Your youtube link is outstanding.

FROM RJP IN FLORIDA:  One of the true pleasures of living in Florida is relaxing in the pool at night under a full moon or a clear starlit night. During the day we have some wonderful cloud formations as we are on the outskirts of the Everglades. It all gives us a real appreciation of the beauty of the Creators work. ////FROM JACK:  As you may know, Michigan's slogan is..."Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.  (If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.)  Since Florida is also a peninsula, you could adopt the same slogan.  In all of this magnificent world...Look about you!

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  And far enough out you hear no whine of a truck or freeway a ½ mile away…////FROM JACK:  Maybe some cheese with your whine would help.  If there's no sound in space, was there really a BIG BANG?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What a wonderful thought.  We spend a lot of time watching the night skies.  It's something we have always liked to do.  In August, we watch the meteor showers.   We don't have the trees and buildings around us but we do have a lot of light "pollution".  Bill Watterson had a great idea though....we would all be better off if we looked up more!////FROM JACK:  That's a good theological thought....Look up more!////MORE FROM THE OUTHOUSE:  Here is a site we check out for Star Gazing.  They also tell you when to watch for the Northern Lights... spaceweather.com.  There's a place called The Headlands International Dark Sky Park...a 600 acre park west of Mackinaw City.  It's open 24 hours a day and they encourage you to go after dark to stargae.  It's on 2 1/2 miles of Lake Michigan and it's pitch black all the way to Wisconsin.  The Headland's also has a weekly  email update on stars which can be seen in the skies.  It's emmetcounty.org/darkskypark/

FROM TRIHARDER:  I LOVE the sky.  Full moons, sun rises, sunsets, rainbows, constellations, starlit sky  ////FROM JACK:  Do lightning bugs count?////.TRIHARDER RESPONSE: I remember seeing my first lightning bug.  I thought they were fictional!  I was about 10.  I was amazed.  And, yes, they are part of the evening environment.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  i recall in 1959 (?) when Russia first put up Sputnik, we laid out at night on the lawn looking for that basketball sized satellite all the while missing the incredible marvels of the heavens created by the Creator.  we humans are a funny lot sometimes...////FROM JACK:  Sometimes the things that are around us all the time, we tend to take for granted....like certain people.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I remember a time when the Men's Club at BLCA brought the boys BB team out for a dinner at church.  The boys got out of the van and looked up in the sky at all the stars!  They had never seen them before!////FROM JACK:  When I was growing up, there's was a man in our church who was an astronomer.  He lived on a farm and had a big telescope housed in a dome and located on a high hill.  He would invite church groups to come3 out and gaze at the stars.  I was amazed to get a close-up look at the moon.

FROM KG IN COLORADO:  We saw the Southern hemisphere constellation -  the Southern Cross - in Ecuador last week!////FROM JACK:  I never knew that the Southern Cross was represented on the Australian flag.  I never knew that the constellation tells a story.  A large fish lived in the waters of the river known as the Milky Way.  This fish carefully avoided the traps set by the sky people and swam by countless bright water lilies which the people on earth saw as stars. He finally came to rest under a large rock.  Two brothers, looking for food, saw the fish and killed him with a spear.  They made two campfires, cooked and ate the fish.  The campfires represent two stars of the Southern Cross.  The other two brightest stars are the brothers.  The fish is in the dark area of the constellation known as the coal sack.  Did you know that? 

FROM JM IN DC:  One of the first things I noticed moving from Colorado Springs to DC was that the sky never gets dark.  It looks like pre-dawn all night so my telescope has not been used at all here.  Some day we will get back to CS, but not any time soon!////FROM JACK:  Don't go back to the Springs until they get those fires out.  Telescopes don't work well in smoke, either.

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN:  Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight.  Wish I may, Wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.    We would pray more and wish more if we saw the stars more!////FROM JACK:  I like the song, When You Wish Upon A Star."

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  That is a plus, living on the lake...the stars are vivid, and plentiful, and the moon is gorgeous. A pleasant place to be. "Those lucky enough to live by the water, are lucky enough!" as one of my wall hangings proclaim. And I have a pillow that reads, "Heaven seems a little closer in a house beside the water." both true.  My daughter who lives in Hyde Park, Chicago, loves to come here and watch the sun set, and used to bring her telescope to study the stars at night. There sky is smog-overcast and they seldom see many stars.////FROM JACK:  As fire department chaplain, I was called out last night, because of a lake drowning.  Your comment about "Heaven seems a little closer" by the lake can have more than one meaning.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

inning Words 7/5/12
“Whenever Don Knotts and I were waiting for lighting cues, we would sing hymns in harmony.”  (Andy Griffith)  …and now Andy and Barney are singing together again.  Two weeks ago I was in a group that sang hymns with Garrison Keillor (Minnesota’s Andy).  One of the favorites was “Children of the Heavenly Father.”  My library has an entire shelf of hymn books .  Do you have a favorite hymn?    ;-)  Jack

(Lina Sandell)
Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in Heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foeman must surrender.

FROM EEC IN MICHIGAN:  That's neat. I didn't know he was a singer too.////FROM JACK:  He starred in one of my favorite movies, "No Time For Sergeants."

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  Children of the Heavenly Father--it's in at least one of the Baptist hymn books around here too! I've indicated a desire to have it played at my funeral, as it was played at First Lutheran Church (then Augustana) at other significant events during my lifetime.   It was played at Elke's funeral too.////FROM JACK:  It is a folk song out of the Swedish tradition.  The words are particularly meaningful.  Another Swedish song with meaningful lyrics is, Day By Day, also by Lina Sandell.

Day by day, your mercies, Lord, attend me, bringing comfort to my anxious soul.
Day by day, the blessings, Lord, you send me draw me nearer to my heav’nly goal.
Love divine, beyond all mortal measure, brings to naught the burdens of my quest;
Savior, lead me to the home I treasure, where at last I’ll find eternal rest.

Day by day, I know you will provide me strength to serve and wisdom to obey;
I will seek your loving will to guide me o’er the paths I struggle day by day.
I will fear no evil of the morrow, I will trust in your enduring grace.
Savior, help me bear life’s pain and sorrow till in glory I behold your face.

Oh, what joy to know that you are near me when my burdens grow too great to bear;
oh, what joy to know that you will hear me when I come, O Lord, to you in prayer.
Day by day, no matter what betide me, you will hold me ever in your hand.
Savior, with your presence here to guide me, I will reach at last the promised land.

FROM CWR IN B'MORE:  I Come To The Garden Alone////FROM JACK:  I gained a new appreciation for that song when I "discovered" that the lyrics represent the words of Mary when she came to the burial place of Jesus on Easter morning.////CWR RESPONSE:  I didn't know that.

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  On Saturday night we are going to see Garrison Keillor at Interlochen.  He is absolutely one of my favorites and I have many of his books and tapes.  How were you so fortunate as to sing hymns with him?   Also, one of favorite hymns is "It is well with my soul".  It was my Mother's favorite and was sung by my daughter-in-law at her funeral.////FROM JACK:  After the hymn sing Garrison helped my sister figure out how to use her IPhone to take a picture of her granddaughter standing with him.  The hymn, It Is Well With My Soul, was written by Horatio Spafford after several traumatic events in his life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871 at the age of four, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone . . .". Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. 

FROM RJP IN NAPLES, FLORIDA:  Two favorites are Amazing Grace and the battle Hymn of the Republic. Very different but both very strong in conviction.////FROM JACK:  Each of those songs has an interesting background story.  They're worth a Google.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  To tell the truth, I've never been very enthusiastic about hymn-singing.  Too often the sung cadence is dreary and the sing-song delivery loses.  There is, however, a hymn that I always like to hear and sing along with, and that is Beautiful Savior (which I believe is actually titled Schönster Herr Jesu) ////FROM JACK:  Among the differences with Christian denominations relates to the singing of hymns.  The way German Lutherans sing is quite different from the way that Methodists, Baptists (and some other Lutherans) belt them out.  BTW, Beautiful Savior is sometimes known as The Crusaders' Hymn, because the German crusaders supposedly sung it on their way to the Holy Land..

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  It's an Episcopal children's hymn, "I Sing A Song of the Saints of God."////FROM JACK:  I remember being introduced to that one.  I liked it, because it says that we all can be saints.  "For the saints of God are just folk like me.  And I mean to be one, too."

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  My favorite hymn was removed from our hymnal in 1968 when the green book was published.  It is in the old red SBH  Hymn #539////FROM JACK:  John Greenleaf Whittier is not too shabby as the composer of "O Brother Man."   However, it does seem to fit with his abolitionist activity, as does the more familiar "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind."

O brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother;
Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there;
To worship rightly is to love each other,
Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.

For he whom Jesus loved has truly spoken:
The holier worship which He deigns to bless
Restores the lost, and binds the spirit broken,
And feeds the widow and the fatherless.

Follow with reverent steps the great example
Of Him Whose holy work was doing good;
So shall the wide earth seem our Father’s temple,
Each loving life a psalm of gratitude.

Then shall all shackles fall; the stormy clangor
Of wild war music o’er the earth shall cease;
Love shall tread out the baleful fire of anger,
And in its ashes plant the tree of peace.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i was with garrison at ravinia a couple of weeks ago.  genie, ruthie and i took pat for her 70th birthday.  the show started with "america".  of course garrison had his own twist on words, but the sing-a-long was great.  i maintain that i learned much of life from the andy griffith show, leave it to beaver, and the wizard of oz.  they are one of my life"s trinities.////FROM JACK:  In our home, David and I watched the trinity of Moe, Larry and Curly.  Kukla, Fran and Ollie was another threesome that we enjoyed.  Does "I Led Three Lives" count?////MORE PEPPERMINT:  FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  I forgot to name a hymn.  That's hard I really hold so many dear to my heart.  " All Things Bright and Beautiful" is one I belted out as a child and still do.  I also love, "Away in a Manger".  The red hymnal is still my go to book.////JACK:  Which color of red?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I love SHINE, JESUS, SHINE.  A fairly recent hymn as hymn times, go. I want it sung my memorial service. Lots of pep, and good words.  Children of the Heavenly Father will always be special, as we sang that every year in Augie choir...and in the Swedish language. It was sung at both Hal and Jan's Memorial services, as they were Lutheran clergy. Hal had a Swedish heritage as well; His grandparents came from Sweden, and lived next door to them, when he grew up in Buffalo.////FROM JACK:  I think that "Shine" was written in the late 1980s.  I don't want to write what an editor of The Catholic Herald said about it.  But, I like it, too.  BTW, here's the first stanza of that Swedish hymn.
Tryggare kan ingen vara,
Än Guds lilla barnaskara,
Stjärnan ej på himlafästet,
Fågeln ej i kända nästet.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There is nothing quite so beautiful as the old hymns sung in harmony.  Gary and I harmonize a lot when we are driving.  My favorites (can't just pick one...) "Amazing Grace", "How Great Thou Art" and "Peace Like A River".   There is nothing quite like singing God's Praises.////FROM JACK:  A friend of mine once made a tape for me which he labeled, "Christmas Songs For Singing In The Car."  He later updated it to a CD.  I have a couple of George Beverly Shea tapes of hymns which I keep in the car.  Here are the lyrics to one that I really like.  (Thank You Lord by 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.

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 JT IN MICHIGAN:  "How Great Thou Art".   Recessional for Ledge and Mo////FROM JACK:  Most people carefully choose the hymns to be sung at the funeral of loved ones.  How Great Thou Art is also out of the Swedish tradition..

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I think mine is Amazing Grace.////FROM JACK:  It's always listed up there as one of the most popular hymns. 

FROM BF IN MICHIGAN:  Great is thy Faithfulness!!////FROM JACK:  That's one of my favorites, too.  It was written in 1923 and was based on Lamentations 3:22.

FROM DS IN MICHIGAN:  LOTs of favorites – What a Friend We Have in Jesus, How Great Thou Art, Silent Night, Amazing Grace, Joy to the World, What Child is This, Halleluiah Chorus, Here I Am Lord, Jesus Loves Me – How much time do you have? ;o)////FROM JACK:  And each one of them has an interesting background story.  They're a lot like life.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN:  Amazing Grace////FROM JACK:  From today's responses, you're in good company.  BTW, some "modern versions have changed "wretch" to "soul."  Some words need to stay the same, or the true meaning is lost. 

FROM PRFM IN WISCONSIN:  Wish it was just one . . . but many, but included in the many is “Children of the Heavenly Father.” ////FROM JACK:  I, too, would have trouble picking out just one.  My favorites are the tune, the words, and the story behind the hymn.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Winning Words 7/3/12
“America is a tune.  It must be sung together.”  (Gerald Stanley Lee)  I just talked with a friend of mine who was in the German army in WW2.  He was a member of one of my congregations and sang in the choir.  One Sunday the anthem was, “America.”  I recall hearing “America, America,” in a lusty German accent being sung by him, an adopted patriot.  “America” was once proposed as the national anthem.    ;-)  Jack

 'AMERICA' --Words by Katharine Bates and music by Samuel Ward
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain;
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in law.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  I prefer to think it still is our anthem.  Singing about war in our current anthem plants too many seeds.  I am respectful when it is played, but choose not to sing along.  And you know how I love to sing!////FROM JACK:  It's easier to sing, too.  Personally, I'm not impressed when soloists try to "jazz" it up.

FROM HY-YO MICHIGAN:  Nice. I'll use this - credit to you!////FROM JACK:  One thing that really bothers me is that so many people aren't willing to sing together, or purposely sing off-key.////HY-YO AGAIN:  Boom! Even better.

FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA:  and were it not for one single vote take in 1776 (i think that was the year), we would all be speaking German today and not English!////FROM JACK:  What difference does the language make, so long as there's communication.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Winning Words 7/2/12
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”  (Bob Dylan)  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a bucketlist.  If you do, you might check out a link…10,000 things to do before you die.  Here are a couple.  “Dye my hair in rainbow colors.”  No!  “Drive a Ferrari.”  Well, maybe I do have a bucketlist.  How do you like Dylan’s suggestion?    ;-)   Jack   

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  My definition of success is "Happiness & Peace of Mind." And that only comes thru Christian love and Bible study. It has very, very little to do with finances.////FROM JACK:  I guess that you could be called "successful," because you're doing what you want to do.  You've got it made!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  How about doing what he OUGHT to do?////FROM JACK:  As a famous person once said, "It depends on your definition of "OUGHT."

FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  I don't agree IF by just doing what you want to do makes success then you are only successful in being self centered.////FROM JACK:  I guess you'll have to take it up with Bob Dylan.  But, the ball is returned to your court.  What do you think it means to be successful? 

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  Wouldn't it be a productive world if this were actually the case!   May I change the "in between" to " puts in an honest day's work & treats everyone with kindness." Bob was kind of a sexist, apparently... women?////FROM JACK:  I considered changing "A man" to "A person" in the quote, but decided against it in order to see if anyone would comment.  Back in the 50s and 60s when Dylan was in his prime, "politically correct" was not in the vocabulary.  In the 60s  Dylan produced an album, "Times are A-Changin'."  I would be surprised if he himself had not changed since that time.  I know I have, and I hope...for the better.  

MORE HONEST JOHN:  There is only one "ought.  Ess " ...it is often difficult to comprehend but always worth the effort ////FROM JACK:  I just read a news bulletin that some atom smashers think that they've discovered the "God particle."  Maybe they can now work on comprehending "Ess." 

FROM DEACON ROBERT:  I was able to use your WW this morning when I went to be with a congregation member having cancer surgery this morning scheduled at 7 am.  The discussion he was having with me in pre-op was about all he had wanted to do in his life already being accomplished through Christ.
Then he spoke about getting up today to decide whether he would have the surgery.  He is nephew to Rosa Young (mother of black Lutheranism)  I shared your words I read this morning and he said the decision between awakening and sleeping for him is those we affect with God's love.  He explained that this is where his confidence came from today to decide to have the surgery.  I wonder if he realized how much he affected my day, between waking and sleep.////FROM JACK:  Your day was a success.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'd think it would be a rare person who could do just what he/she wanted to do between arising and going to bed!   You might occasionally have a day like that, but few and far between. Duty calls; and that's probably a good thing!////FROM JACK:  Most of us, including Dylan, speak in generalizations.  To parse every statement ruins "the moment."  I'd hate to have to stop and defend every word in one of my sermons.