Friday, August 31, 2012

Winning Words 8/31/12
“Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other’s good, and melt at other’s woe.”  (Homer)  I imagine that the average person is more familiar with the words of Homer Simpson than they are with this quote from the great Greek philosopher, Homer, who lived about 850 BC.  I chose to use his words today, because they describe what it means to be sympathetic.  We need more people like Homer.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Especially appreciate the start "taught by time". We can become wiser over the years. Appreciate Homer's testimony.////FROM JACK:  I sometimes have a hard time vizualizing people from ancient history as "real" people.  Homer was real, just like us.  Homer Simpson is not real.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  It was the theologian and philosopher Kierkegaard who noted that all understanding comes through reflection, while Life itself moves one forward. One must "look back" or inward, as Homer suggests, to gain meaning for that which we move forward into. I think both Homer and Kierkegaard are accurate in their experiential descriptions. Maybe we need to keep our eyes open and forward-looking while not losing sight of our footprints! Like our mothers had, we need "eyes in the back of our heads" too!////FROM JACK:  We may not have eyes in the back of our head, but we do have a marvelous brain which allows us to process all sorts of information and to learn from from what we experience.  We are even able to learn from both Homers.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  How true. It was interesting last night to hear from two of the families that Romney had helped through their serious medical problems with their children.  In our neighborhood today we have had the men  build a ramp for our neighbor who cannot walk who has cancer but who loves to be outside to walk and to talk to everyone.////FROM JACK:  These words of Jesus catch my attention:  "Inasmuch as you have done/not done it unto the least of these, you have done/not done it unto me."

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  This is quite beautiful.  Thank you for sharing.  Do you think either of our candidates are glowing or melting?////FROM JACK:  I've finally come to the conclusion that it's better to concentrate on what the parties do or do not stand for that should guide my voting decision; it's not about the "face" of the candidate.  It sort of reminds me of the man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz.////BBC:  Absolutely; there was a great article in Bloomberg businessweek (last week) which appeared echoed in the Economist and in Fortune that it does not matter who gets elected in terms of the economy.  If they are able to bring their plans to fruition, spending will be viritually the same, within 2-3%, they will just spend, spend, spend on different things.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I would not be one who knows the words of Homer Simpson at all, but these words from the REAL Homer do "ring a bell"... The key words would be "with time". As we age, we become (hopefully) less self-centered, and more people-centered, and  rachet up our compassion level.  The "glow" and the "heart-ache" define us as caring  Christians.  Excellent WW, and who cares if you got Lady Gaga's birthdate wrong!? Deal with it! ////FROM JACK:  So, evidently, you haven't read, "The Gospel According to the Simpsons?"  Asked by his son, Bart, what his religious beliefs are, Homer answers, "You know, the one with all the well-meaning rules that don't work in real life. Uh, Christianity."


 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We need more caring loving people, not just people who talk the talk but don't walk the walk.////FROM JACK:  The song, "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked," can have more than one meaning.

 FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  Amen,  a whole lot more!!!!!!FROM JACK:  I don't think you mean more episodes of The Simpsons.  You probably mean...a lot more people who are sympathetic to people in need.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  He didn't seem overly concerned about the plight of the Trojans////FROM JACK:  Thanks for getting me to reread my Greek history.  I've always liked the strategy of the Trojan horse.  I see that some historians say that it was not a horse at all, but a battering ram that was somewhat like a horse.  Another account says that it was a metaphor for a destructive earthquake.  Regardless, the passing of time often obscures the truth.  As for Homer....using the words from Jesus Christ, Superstar.....  "He's a man   He's just a man   And I've had so many   Men before   In very many ways   He's just one more."  John, you always make my day interesting.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Winning Words 8/30/12
“Sometimes in life you don’t feel like a winner, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a winner.”  (Lady Gaga)  Stefani Germanotta was born in NYC in 1986.  She was made fun of at school, because she was different.  “I felt like a freak.”  But she had confidence and pursued her interest in music.  Her name, Lady Gaga, comes from the Queen song, “Radio Ga Ga.”  A certain generation doesn’t know Gaga or Queen.      ;-)  Jack

 FROM TRIHARDER IN MICHIGAN:  Born 1986////FROM JACK:  You're right.  She was not born in 1948.  I got her mixed up with Tipper Gore.  Attorneys are so picky, picky.

 FROM GF IN MICHIGAN:  1948????////FROM JACK:  Like with Gaga, people seem to like picking on me.  You're the 2nd one today.

 FROM MP IN MICHIGAN:  It does not change the great point, but according to wikipedia, Lady Gaga was born in 1986.   I know you, of course, could draw all of those screaming fans later in life.   I am one of them.////FROM JACK:  You're the third one to pick on me today!  I didn't know that you were so up on the details of Lady Ga Ga's life.  Of course, paying attention to details is your business.////MP:  She wears a lot of make up and costumes, so even I did not know for sure.   I prefer Loreena McKennitt.  Do you know who she is?////JACK:  Thanks for introducing me to Loreena.  I just listened (on YouTube) to her playing, "The Mummers' Dance."  Great music!  BTW, here's a quote by her that I came across:  “A journey is a never ending road- a discovery that there is so much more to hold us together than to tear us apart. These are the dreams we hold in the palm of our hand.”  Thanks for reminding me that WWs can be an never ending road of discovery.

 FROM EM IN MICHIGAN:  Had no idea she was that old! She looks great for 64! Lady Gaga was born March 28, 1986!////FROM JACK:  Hello #4.  One way to keep track of who's reading WWs is to throw in an error when writing about a Super Star!////EM:  See, people DO read your stuff! lol

 FROM PASTOR BILL:  Great winning words, but lady gaga wasn't born in 1948. Yikes, that would make her 64! She was born in 1986.////FROM JACK:  Now, we're up to FIVE!  I've now found the way to get attention...Mess up once in a while.  "Forgive me, for I have sinned!"

 FROM CZB IN COLORADO:  She was born in 1986- she is definitely not 10 years older than me!  She went back to her stuffy old girls school where she felt like an outcast in a see through lace number just to "show em",  ha!  Quite an interesting character.////FROM JACK:  This is getting to be funny.  Six responses to WWs today, and each has pointed out my fallibility.  Sometimes I don't feel like a winner.////CZB:  You r a total winner. The fact that everyone reads your words so closely should tell you that! ;)////JACK:  There's an old sports quote: "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game."  I play "the game" for fun.  However, when David and I used to play ping pong in the basement, we'd keep a running score on a chalkboard, which still hangs by the table.  Dave 18,198   Dad 18,284. 

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  queen band?  queen latifa?  one would mean a large amount of time, one a little shorter, making the generational exposure a little different!////FROM JACK:  FINALLY!  A response from someone who's not pointing out my imperfection!  Although I like Latifa, it's the other Queen that I was referring to.  Does "We are the champions!" give you a clue?

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Winning is certainly defined by the rules of the game one chooses to play. We learn discipline within these games, which is critical when playing the game of life. I admire those who are committed and disciplined to their commitments! FROM JACK:  Gaga wasn't going to let others define her.  She was determined to be her own person.  What is success, really?

 FROM DMF IN MINNESOTA:  I don’t think she is 10 years older than me.////FROM JACK:  In the old days they used to say, "She's well preserved."  But, you're right, you and Gaga are alike (in age).

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  Or doesn't care...////FROM JACK:  Don't be like "an old poop."  Surely you like Queen's song, "We will, we will rock you!"  BTW, It's not a lullaby.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  One of my favorites of Queen is "We are the Champions."////FROM JACK:  One of my favorite breakfast cereals is "The Breakfast of Champions."  I remember a time when I was growing up...when a couple of players from the Moline Three-Eye League baseball team sat at a table in the front window of one of the downtown department stores and ate a bowl of Wheaties.  We stood outside and watched.

 FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA:  I think you got her birth year wrong :) Hostage is coming out on National Radio very soon!!!!!!!!!!!!! Super Excited!!////FROM JACK:  Yes, I listed Gaga as older than she is, but I haven't heard from her, yet.  Maybe she doesn't read Winning Words, but she's made a winner of her life.  Good luck on the release of your new song.  When you know the date, I list it in WWs, since so many people pay attention to what I write.  Ha!

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I guess it's not what you LOOK at that matters, it's what you SEE.  She is a young lady who seems to love attention, both bizarre and admiring...depending on what you see.  Remarkable that she was able to come to see herself as a winner, if she was teased and unaccepted in her childhood. It's hard for most of us to feel like winners, when we've had nurturing parents, and our share of admiration and acceptance as young people!  We are our own worst critics, as a rule! We're all winners in God's eyes (Let me tell you about my children and grandchildren...HA!~!)////FROM JACK:  One of my favorite college courses was Abnormal Psychology.  It helped me to understand some of the idiosyncrasies of people.  I guess that we all have them.  "What the world needs now is love, sweet love..(and understanding)".

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  She is still strange but she has her head on straight.  I give her credit! ////FROM JACK:  You caused me to think about the word, STRANGER.  Isn't that someone that we don't much, except wshat we see at first glance?  Children are taught to avoid strangers.  We are all strangers to one another in the beginning.  It Looks as tho you're beginning to know Stefani.
 FROM LISA THE BADGER: How interesting! I always enjoy reading and pondering your WW's! I didn't think Lady Gaga was that old? Are you talking about THE Lady Gaga who is all over the pop radio stations these days and wearing all of those crazy outfits? She's seriously almost 70 years old?!////FROM JACK:  If you read the blog you will see that I corrected the mistype.  She was born in 1986.  She had a rough life in the early days.  People sometimes compensate in "different" ways.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Winning Words 8/29/12
“God has no religion.”  (Gandhi)  I remember the sad day in 1948 when the non-violent Gandhi was violently assassinated.  M. L. King, Jr. copied his way of civil-disobedience.  Gandhi, raised as a Hindu, was once asked about his religion and said, “I am a Hindu, but also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew.”  In other words, labels didn’t matter to him.  His religion was finding better ways to help the poor.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TRIHARDER IN MICHIGAN:  Perfect!////FROM JACK:  I suppose Gandhi had his flaws, like all of us, but I think that the world is a netter place because of him.

 FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: I've heard he was asked about Christianity and replied something to the effect that it was a great idea and somebody should try it sometime.////FROM JACK:  So, he had a sense of humor, too? That was before Mother Teresa.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I think Jesus points to the issue when it becomes obvious that He needs to tell us what love is and how to do so: "Love one another; as I have loved you, love one another." I am reminded of the parable that points to all of the messengers from the owner of the vineyard who were killed....they even killed the Son Himself, and they continue to kill the messengers. ////FROM JACK:  And sometimes they just ignore people, just choosing other interests.  "Killing" can be done in more ways than one.

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  Amen.////FROM JACK:  I take it that you agree.////MARY:  i would probably add wicken to the list as it honors the respect of our earth's power.  i believe if we concentrate on the "light" side of all faith, goodness prevails.////FROM JACK:  It's Gandhi's call.  Anyone who has an interest in helping the poor is religious.////MARY:  teach by example.  a jesus-like life, (as well as the other prophet-teachers-acknowledged and not).

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Watched quite a bit of the Republican Convention last night. It occurs to me that dialogue in our country particularly has to do with the best ways to help the poor. I've struggled with this all my life and find it difficult to give to a poor person without putting a condition on the gift--be thankful, be honest with me, be wise in using the gift, value education, get a job, start a business, please don't be poor any more. The motivation of giving can be so controlling and not at all giving like God gives us--figuring the most important thing is we have free will and He treasures our learning about our relationship to Him that is higher and deeper than our relationships to each other because we are all saints and sinners. That's the idea that seems the most promising to me anyway. Maybe that's why we will always have the poor with us because we will always have our selfish and self-centered ways with us too. That's where my religion really helps--Christianity really helps me to know I am ////FROM JACK:

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Watched quite a bit of the Republican Convention last night. It occurs to me that dialogue in our country particularly has to do with the best ways to help the poor. I've struggled with this all my life and find it difficult to give to a poor person without putting a condition on the gift--be thankful, be honest with me, be wise in using the gift, value education, get a job, start a business, please don't be poor any more. The motivation of giving can be so controlling and not at all giving like God gives us--figuring the most important thing is we have free will and He treasures our learning about our relationship to Him that is higher and deeper than our relationships to each other because we are all saints and sinners. That's the idea that seems the most promising to me anyway. Maybe that's why we will always have the poor with us because we will always have our selfish and self-centered ways with us too.  Maybe, in my perspective on helping poor people, I am also a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew. Haven't studied enough those religions to know their deepest perspectives.  Hope our country is going in a good direction and the politicians are honest in their beliefs and intentions.////FROM JACK:  Gandhi had empathy.  Too many people express sympathy, but wind up blowing a lot of smoke, but showing no fire.  There's a difference between empathy and sympathy.

  FROM DR J IN OHIO:  really like this!////FROM JACK:  Gandhi's right up your alley!

 FROM SAINT JAMES:  I read your WWs every day, even though I don't always respond.  I look forward to them and really appreciate you taking the time to reach out to your community.   I don't like sending these mushy emails, but I want you to know that you are appreciated.////FROM JACK:  Everybody likes to get a word of appreciation...even me.  WWs is something that's good for me, too.  They're like a mirror.

 FROM ATTY KH:  THANK YOU.////FROM JACK:  I thought that you'd like it.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I doubt if Jesus was his Savior.  He was to be admired.////FROM JACK: I'm comfortable with letting Jesus decide.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I read a very detailed bio of Ghandi, and it said he read the new testament every morning, and greatly admired Christ and his teaching, but when he visited America as a young lawyer, already prominent in his own country,  he was refused entry into a Sunday worship service in a large Christian church in the South, where the ushers pointed out to him that the church for people "of color" was across town.  He said that incident prevented him from becoming a Christian, but he lived by the New Testament and teaching of Jesus.(I'm sure not JUST Jesus, as he was known as a Hindu...)  He certainly had a powerful influence in his own country! His life made a fascinating "read"!  He got his idea for passive resistance from Henry David Thoreau, and ML King got it from Ghandi...Interesting.  Back and forth across the Ocean!////FROM JACK:  That kind of thing happened, not only in the south, but also in Moline, in my home congregation.  The usher didn't turn them away, but he did tell them of the location of the "colored" church.  I was a kid at the time, but I never forgot that.  The good old days weren't always so good..

 FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  WOW!////FROM JACK:  I wonder if Gandhi ever said, "WOW!"?  I looked up the word in Hindi, and it's, "KAMAL!"  Did you know that Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times and never received it?  KAMAL!

 FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  This is a great quote this election year as the Democrats attack Romney for being a Mormon.  So like the attacks on Jack Kennedy 52 years ago. I will pass this on......////FROM JACK:  ...or falsely accusing Obama of being a Muslim.  Attack ads on both political sides turn me off.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Winning Words 8/28/12
“Mambo means, Conversation with the gods.”  (Dave Wagner)  In Bernstein’s West Side Story there’s a fast Cuban dance song called, Mambo.  I like it because of the beat, but I’ve also learned that the word, Mambo, means, “Conversations with God.”  Neale Walsch has written a book with that title.  In it, he asks questions, and God replies.  I like it when God says, “Do you really want an answer, or are you just venting?”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM DR JUDY:  You had to know that you'd get a response from me.....Love these books. I think they're fascinating. When you listen to Conversations with G-d on tape, the part of G-d is alternated between Ellen Burstyn and Ed Asner so that you don't get locked into a gender assumption of G-d. ;)////FROM JACK:  This is one example of the "good" regarding books on tape.  Ellen and Ed make the questions come off as real.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  Like.////FROM JACK:  It looks like you meant to respond to Facebook.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Great words.  I especially like God's answer.////FROM JACK:  It goes to show you that "God" has a sense of humor.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  In my conversations with God I believe He responds in His own way and own time.  I don't expect to identify His responses at any specific moment.  Seems to me Neale Walsch assumes a lot of authority when he writes God's replies to questions Walsch poses in his book.////FROM JACK:  I don't think that Neale is trying to be God.  I think that he simply seems to be using a literary device to help answer some of the faith questions that people have.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Imagine having the confidence to speak for God!  But I always picture God having a sense of humor, too. I think Philip Yancy has good insights into what God might think or say, in his books. Very Contemporary. When we don't think God has given us an answer, are we too obtuse to see it? I'm afraid this may be the case, but  when we believe in an all-powerful, all-loving God, and see the misery in the world, it is hard to reconcile. I know God empowers us to "make a difference" in our little sphere influence...BUT so much need!!////FROM JACK:  Martin Luther said that we are to be as "little Christ" in the world...doing good in the Christian way, but not seeking to be Christ (God).  The pastor, speaking from the pulpit, needs to keep this in mind.

 FROM CC IN MICHIGAN:  I had a unique experience last week.  I have a Jewish Neighbor, who was in the Chek Underground during WWII.  He is 92+ and is now able to get around too well. I go over and check to see if he needs any help from time-to-time.  His front area is tiled and was in disrepair and I asked if I could fix it for him.  He said a relative would do it.  I waited a few months and just bought the materials and went over and fixed the tiled intrance and sidewalk area.  He offered me $20 for my time and costs and I refused.  But he insisted and I again refused, but he insisted, saying that I should put it in the collection plate for God.  I, like a fool said that I wasn't Jewish and he replied with elder wisdom.  It's aright Carl, it is the same God.  Silly me.////FROM JACK:  I think that God used your Jewish neighbor in order to have a conversation with you.  Mambo!

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I like to think that from time-to-time God asks us questions too. Even though I know that He knows everything before I ever know it. For Him to ask a question in such a circumstance is very kind and considerate, Someone related to. Augsburg Fortress once put out a little devotional about the 300 or so questions written in the Bible that Jesus asked people. If God is Jesus and Jesus is God and not just a human being waiting to be God, to me it makes Biblical sense that God could be asking us questions at least 300 times and maybe much more than scripture reveals. Thought-provoking WW.////FROM JACK:  The thoughts you raise are thoughts that I've wondered about, too.  I've come to the conclusion that if we have free will, it is truly free (ours), and God has chosen to limit himself in certain ways.  He could make us robots, programmed to do his will, but I don't think that he has.  So, we pray: "Thy will be done."  As for Jesus, I've come to believe that God chose to create Jesus (God in human form), so that the unknowable could be known by humans.  Of course, that's not the whole story, but it's enuf to make the point.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Winning Words 8/27/12
“Try, and fail, but don’t fail to try.”  (Stephen Kaggwa)  Yesterday two WWs friends took part in an Ironman Triathlon…swimming, biking and running for 17 hours with no break.  That never was on my “bucket list.”  Another friend went to Mt. Everest.  Another hitchhiked around Europe.  My grandson flew solo when he was 16.  Have you ever tried to do something exciting and out of the ordinary?  It’s not too late!    ;-)  Jack

 FROM LOUIE IN MICHIGAN:  What is / are WWs?!.////FROM JACK:  In computerspeak, it stands for Winning Words.////LOUIE:  Oh, you mean "Jack speak!"  Thanks!////JACK:  Every day is a good day when you learn something.

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good WW.////FROM JACK:  How about when you ventured out to start your own business?////GEORGE:  With many, many thanx to my wife, Sue.////JACK:  as the old saying goes, "Behind every successful man, there's a woman (rolling her eyes)."

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  I am an armchair adventurer & cheerleader.////FROM JACK:  Some of us would even have trouble staying awake for 17 hours, let alone doing a triathlon.////LIZ:  But I never shy away from intellectual adventures or challenges.////JACK: Wheel of Fortune?

 FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA:  Hey, we got ordained didn’t we??////FROM JACK:  I tried it and liked it.  I've also tried spinach, Brussels sprouts and liver...and liked them all.////PRPH:  My Mother had pernicious Anemia when I was a young boy and liver was highly recommended by some Doctors for her diet,  2 or 3 times a week.  I hate liver to this day but someone said to bury it in onions and maybe its not so bad after all…////JACK:  Add some crisp bacon, too.  Oh, how I wish the Family Buggy Restaurant hadn't gone out of business...they served it perfectly....along with stewed tomatoes.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  One of the most exciting things I ever did was fall off a carousel horse at the carnival when I was a senior in high school. Unfortunately, Murphy was with me and never let me live it down. That was the beginning of my love for carousel horses. So much so that I carved my own full sized one. Pal amino with roses on the bridle and saddle. Giddy=up, Trigger!////FROM JACK:  Riding on the merry-go-round....and falling off....Whoa!  Next time, try the bench.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  What about surfing in Maui?////FROM JACK:  I've seen that on TV, and I'm impressed that you've done it.  Perhaps you can top that by attending the GOP convention in your backyard.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  A Bungee jump, and riding in the 12 story Disney Hot Air Balloon are probably two of my more unusual things...I'd still like to try hang-gliding, soaring over the terrain, but doubt the opportunity will arise, at this point. If it does, I'll try it!  Jan and I scheduled 3 Hot air balloon rides, before the wind was right to go up, finally! Awesome!!!  Failure to Try would translate into many lost opportunities. Good WW for today!////FROM JACK:  So far, no one's mentioned "getting married."  That's sort of like bungee jumping...taking the big leap.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  When our daughter was about 2 1/2 years old, we were living in Switzerland. We took a vacation to Paris, rode the train there, and tried to see a bunch of art museums. Pushing her in and out of them in her stroller and I think we got about 1/2 hour in each of them before she would get fussy and we would get out. That's probably one of the most interesting things we did which had a high element of failure possible.////FROM JACK:  I remember the first time we took our son to a restaurant (Bill's Fine Foods).  I think that Mary of I were up and down, in and out the door countless times, but it's a great your trip to Paris.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  White water rafting was the extent of my terrifying experiences.  However, I would like to zip-line across something one of these days.////FROM JACK:  How about entering the Trenary Outhouse race in the U.P.?  It's the last Saturday in February.  You can sign up now.  That should be a thrill!  Thousands of people show up.

 FROM MW IN ILLINOIS:  Have to admit I never had a bucket list, and now I'm to old to even think of one.////FROM JACK:  A bucket list is for those want to do certain things before it's too late.  How about riding the fastest, twistiest roller coaster at Six Flags?////MORE MARY:  Are you crazy? I could never ride that awful ride.  I happen to have vertigo & have to take meds if I feel a dizzy  spell coming on, it's not pretty if I don't catch it in time.////JACK:  You could take a bag with you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Winning Words 8/24/12
“It is the letter (e-mail or text) not sent that is the most valuable.”  (Melanie Benjamin)  Has it ever happened that you’ve pressed “Send,” and immediately wanted to cancel it…to no avail?  Melanie is a Tucson author who says that it’s good to get feelings out by writing them down…love, disappointment, anger, grief.  It improves the health.  Then, throw the writing away…unsent.  A friend of mine does that.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  I do that frequently....get the bile out and then reconsider....////FROM JACK:  No wonder I haven't heard from you lately.////MORE HONEST JOHN:  Actually, I have written to you....from my iPad....but I found out that my messages were not being taking the iPad to the Apple Store today.....////JACK:  It could be God's way of filtering your messages.

 FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  A lesson that I have tried to learn with sensitive issues.  At least to have someone else review.  Things sent with too much emotion involved are almost always regretted and usually counterproductive.  Mom has helped me with this on many occasions.  FROM JACK:  Your use of the word, sensitive, reminded me that I once attended a "sensitivity training" workshop.  When I came home, I was "different."  You had your sensitivity training in the home.

 FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  I believe this is called talking to yourself.  I have done this now and then, but instead of throwing it away or sending it I leave it and return much later.  Most times I receive a big laugh. ////FROM JACK:  I often talk to myself when I'm preaching, and, to clarify, that doesn't mean the congregation isn't listening.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  Unless I am totally gorked over something, I try to give it the "24-hour" rule... don't think I've ever ended up sending a poison pen the next day.////FROM JACK:  I had to look up "gorked," and found both the medical and the slang definition.  Which were you referring to?  I digress!////LIZ RESPONSE:  The phrase came to me from one of my many gorked out friends (slang), whose mom is a psychiatrist/neurologist. Didn't know it was a "medical" term-- ha!

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  My father-in-law always said. "Measure twice, saw once/"////FROM JACK:  Like with many wise sayings....We hear, but we don't always heed.  Thank goodness for the times we do.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  My daughter often shares things with me where she doesn't even want anything back--just wants to "vent". Of course, ole Mom then takes it to God where she does expect God to intervene in the situation and help her out.  But I learned long ago not to say anything back to my daughter and just accept her "venting" without offering any advice, just try to be a blank page.////FROM JACK: I wonder of God understands that our prayers are sometimes like "venting," and  that he patiently listens like a loving parent?

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  Good practice.////FROM JACK:  While practice might not always make perfect, it will prevent a lot of imperfections.

 FROM GUSTIE MAR:  I do that many times.  It just helps to put feelings down on paper ( or email if you will!).////FROM JACK:  The inadvertent "send" is what trips me up.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Winning Words 8/23/12
“Kindness is in our power, while fondness is not.”  (Samuel Johnson)  Samuel knew the difference between the words, kindness and fondness, because he wrote one of the first English dictionaries.  Do you see how you can be kind to certain people without necessarily being fond of them?  I wonder how Jesus, in his humanity, dealt with that?  I guess that in his preaching and in his teaching, he gave us the answer.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Strange, but I like to think that Jesus was kind and also fond of the Samaritan woman, the adulteress, the people he healed, the people he fed, Lazarus whom he raised from the dead, the tax collectors, the prostitutes, all the children, the thief on the cross, Judas, the poor, the hungry, the thirsty. All people I can identify with. But wonder if he was kind and also fond of the pharaisees, the scribes, the religious authorities. In my own mind, it's not enough to be kind externally to people, the struggle is to be kind in my heart and fond of people I have struggles with, people I disagree with but whom have the support and are given power by so many others. If I had lived back in Jesus day, I would probably have been so confused between trying to listen to the pharaisees, the scribes, the religious authorities and listening to Jesus tell me to be kind and fond of everyone. Love my enemies. It's awesome what He did and every day I enjoy living with Him and trying to be kind and fond. In some respect He didn't have any enemies because He was bigger than them and not small-minded. His world was a circle around them. Thanks for your WW. ////FROM JACK:  In the musical, Jesus Christ, Superstar, some people see Jesus as being fond of Mary Magdalene.  I wonder if the humanity of Jesus extends that far?  If he is truly God and truly human, as the theologians say, I guess that it could be true.

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  kindness matters.////FROM JACK:  Fondness does, too...just in a different way.////MARY RESPONSE:  Undeniable so.  I have been concentrating on kindness lately.  I have been giving away "Kindness Matters" car magnets when people comment on my little red beetle's display.  I think that I may have started a movement in my own little part of the world.  I am so very fond of humanity and the surprises that it brings!

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  I am kind to people I am not fond of every day at work!////FROM JACK:  Do you suppose there's a difference between fond and like?  Do think that fond is only a word that relates to a people interaction?  Grammatiacally...probably, yes, but in my mind, perhaps.////LIZ:  "Fond" sounds chummier than "like" in one respect, and shallower in another... the joy of semantics!

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I suppose that falls the same category as loving someone and not necessarily liking them.///FROM JACK: In the Bible, the word, love, can be interpreted to mean three different kinds of love...brotherly, erotic and Godly.  I wonder it something similar is true toward the word, like.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Probably too true, but as we get to know and understand what made a certain person the way he/she is, we may be able to be "fond" of them. This has happened in my life, a number of times. But Kindness is a most endearing trait...May we all be 'kinder than necessary" !~!////FROM JACK:  I like more people than I'm fond of.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We can be kind to total strangers but to be fond of them would be nearly impossible.  Thankfully, Jesus loves them all.////FROM JACK:  Does loving them encompass being fond of them?

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Useful thought. Love it….////FROM JACK:  There's a song somewhere in there.

 FROM DB IN MICHIGAN:  Ironically, I found a similar message about the same day!  (You both must be on the same page!)////FROM JACK:  I'm fond of thoughts on kindness.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Winning Words 8/22/12
“Be brave.  Take risks.  Nothing can substitute for experience.”  (Paulo Coelho)  P.C. is famous for writing, “The Alchemist,” now translated into 71 languages, the most by a living author.  Life was not easy for him in the beginning.  But he persevered, and the negatives turned into positives.  I think that most of us can look back on our experiences and see how they have affected us in positive ways.  I know that I can.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM DOCTOR JUDY:  I loved The Alchemist. Read it years ago.  Was at Costco several weeks ago looking for a new read and picked up Aleph by him. Haven't started it. Usually read when I go on trips so it could be awhile. But I'm looking forward to it. ////FROM JACK:  Now that Borders has closed, I see that you're now doing your book shopping at Costco.  Was it an e-book?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  How about, "Ready, Fire, Aim" from Tom Peters?////FROM JACK:  I'm sure that book was written from the background of Tom's experience.  You couldn't have written your book with having the background of experience.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Great words to live by.  Experience has taught most of us about the hard knocks in life and the way to get through them.  Sometimes it's not so great going through them but like you state, you can always look back and see how you have grown and the positive ways the experience effected our lives.////FROM JACK:  It's an response that I first heard many years ago...When someone was asked where he went to college, he replied, "I got my education from the College of Hard Knocks."  Personally, I learned a lot at that college, too.  .

 FROM RG IN ARIZONA & MICHIGAN:  I even believe that the thoughts and ideas that occur in my mind -- and which often seem so outlandish or crazy to many -- had to have come from somewhere beyond my own thinking. An idea that comes from "out-of-the-blue" still comes from somewhere, and its purpose is somehow relative to my life and, in turn, the "whole body"...even if no one yet knows where it fits. Just the same, it must be so with others' experiences as well. All understanding leads to something...don't you think?
I suppose one whose seed, which was cast by the sower, has taken root in one's soil, can also learn some lesson from the one whose soil was hardened, and the seed was washed away or eaten by birds. One who invests talents can learn from those who bury them, even if it be only to see the waste of such things   Hence, one's eyes and ears must be open and alert (one's oil lamps must be filled and ready) to the food of the Spirit. But knowing what is nourishing and what is poison (what is God's and what is mine) is one's particular challenge, I think. It's the discerning part that is most difficult.  These are the thoughts in my mind anyway. ////FROM JACK:  I like this quote from Robert Louis Stevenson.  "The world is so full of a number of things.  I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."  I think that the mind is one of those "things."

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Lack of experience is generally the result of a lack of trying  ////FROM JACK:  Neglecting to "try" is a kind of experience, too.  There are various reasons for that.  In the movie, "What About Bob," I like the scene where Bob gets Siggy (the little boy) to try diving into the water  ...and the joy that is expressed when Siggy tries and succeeds.

FROM PL IN MICHIGAN: Jack..I don't know what to expect anymore...I think I'm through being shocked by stupid statements and then before the those words come out of my mouth I hear another one!
On the Other Hand,,,There's a group of  guys who have an informal "Republican Meeting" each Wednesday at the local  Mc Donald's.  One of the group is always trying to get me to join their conversation.  I know them, and they are somewhat to the right of Rush!  When I walked in there today, one said, "Someday, we are going to convert you!"  I said,"I'm Jewish and I don't think I'll become a Christian."  At least I got a laugh out of them.////FROM JACK:  Maybe they could learn something by listening to you and vice versa.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Tonight I was at prayer evening and joined by a gentleman who has been homeless. He related to me how he had a "Jesus moment". Someone asked him for a ride downtown. It was pretty important. So he drove the person downtown even though he lost his own $30 landscaping job in the process. We prayed into the events of this day and I just hope that this is turned into a positive for the gentleman, as well as the person he helped. It would seem so reasonable to say, if you are living really close to the margins and depending on $30 landscaping jobs in the neighborhood, first thing you should do is be reliable and do them before anything else and yet his heart went out--undoubtedly because he has had "experiences" and someone's heart went out for him sacrificially too and so this is life. This is the example that was set for me today and seems to fit. Poor people just impact on me so much!!!!!! ////FROM JACK:  Jesus vcomes to us wearing many different disguises.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I wonder how I missed reading such a well-read book! Must investigate, and remedy that!  There's that Cal Coolidge's word PERSISTENCE again!  Most of us aren't very good at taking risks. but I'm sure Coelho's words are very true.  Bill took a risk when he was 29, to sell our home, give up his business, and go off to Seminary, with a wife and two sons, 4 and 2...a courageous decision that led to a marvelously satisfying life!  He was a great admirer of Halford Luccock (mentioned in your blog) and took some seminars under his leadership.  I remember Simon Stylities!  Your WW are always educational and inspiring. I enjoy the responses as well, and have learned a lot!////FROM JACK: I think that if we knew ahead of time the risky situations that would come our way, we'd be afraid to get out of bed in the morning.  Life is good that way. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Winning Words 8/21/12
“God, I don’t understand.”  (Ken Boa)  A WWs friend in Santa Barbara knows Ken Boa personally and has good things to say about him.  That caused me to do some internet research.  Today’s quote is the title of Boa’s book, which is described as “a book for people who struggle with faith.”  It’s no secret that many people are looking for answers to difficult situations in life.  Are you one who has questions for God?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  Sometimes I wonder if I have a God for questions. ////FROM JACK:  Jesus would understand that.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I would like to know why there are some of those scriptures in the Bible admonishing homosexual behavior and, if they were only meant for a time, did God know that they would cause so much pain and tear the churches up so much? What's been in His Mind all along? Also, I would like to know if somehow, at some deep level, especially realizing all that anti-Semitism has done to the Jewish people and affected back on to all of us, especially since we now have the Holocaust to be so impacted on the whole world, should we believe the Jews and Christians are really at some deep level now reunited in One Church and it's just to know that consciously? God, I don't understand whether I've thunk wrongly about some theological stuff and which direction I should go to be on the same page with you now and why are things like this?. I pray you are a consistent God and I pray you help reconcile the divisions in Your Church.  Thanks for these WW too.////FROM JACK:  When God sees you coming, he's going to have set aside some extra time.

 FROM SAINT JAMES:  Yes, I do, especially at a time like this.  I try not to ask "why me?"; rather, I try to ask "what should I do next?"////FROM JACK:  There are times when I need to sit down and do as the song suggests..."Count your many blessings."  Another song comes to mind..."No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you."

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I feel that God is in charge, all the time, but we often can't see the "big" picture!  Of course we will have questions for God until the day when "we know, just as we are known"...With so much injustice and misery in the world, we have to trust the outcome to Him. Meanwhile, we plug along doing our  "bit" in our little corner, even when we feel "God, I don't understand."////FROM JACK:  The BIG picture also shows that "the misery" in this world is far outweighed by the many blessings that we take for granted.  Foe example, this morning a piece of Grape-Nuts got into my slipper, and it was an aggravation while I walked.

   FROM CL IN SANTA BARBARA:  Well done.  Here's another profundity for you, from my former pastor at Fourth Pres in Bethesda -- "You go nowhere by accident this week." Dick Halverson would say this in his benediction each Sunday.////FROM JACK:  I had to look up accident...An unforeseen circumstance.  "The Lord is my shepherd."

  FROM RG IN ARIZONA & MICHIGAN: You bet; I have many questions! My concern is that the problem is most likely related to my ability to understand the answers I get!!!////FROM JACK:  A Bible verse comes to mind.."Who knows the measure of man's mind?"  (1 Corinthians 2:11,12)  It's worth reading and pondering.

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  Why anything....beginning with me!////FROM JACK:  As Luther wrote:  "I believe that I cannot, by my own reason or strength, believe in God, or come to him, but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and kept me in true faith."

 FROM CC IN MICHIGAN:  I was watching LL World Series with Japan yesterday and watched a youg player bat with a leg kick that carried his leg over the plate and outside of the batter's box.  He then returned his foot the the batter's box.  I know if he gets hit by a pitch on the "over the plate leg'" he is charged with a strike.  But is he out for having one foot completely out of the box, if he makes contact before his foot hits the ground part or partically inside of the box?  The batter's box has always been a rule black hole for me.  The plate is 6" from the batter's box and the player can be called out if he steps completely out of the box.  If you player's foot is larger than 6,", he could step on the plate and hit the ball.  I am seldom at a loss on the rules, but this one confuses me.  The reason I wrote you was your latest quote on "Winning Words,"  which are very thought provoking for me.  Have you viewed the link listed below, An Interview with God?
////FROM JACK:  During your interview with God, you might ask him for his interpretation of the batter's box rule.  And there would probably be some "purists" responding, "I still don't understand."  As Joe Garagiola wrote: "Baseball Is a Funny Game."  I always think of Joe when I see his son doing the news on WDIV-TV.  BTW, "God, I Don't Understand...Baseball," would be an interesting book.  Perhaps, in your spare time......

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There are so many things I don't understand about God and the way He works.  I'm just glad He knows how I work and forgives me anyway.////FROM JACK:  I like this translation of Romans 11:34:    "For who can know the LORD's thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?" ////MORE JUDY:  I don't know about you, but sometimes I try to tell Him what I need and when I need it and how it need it.  It's a big failing of mine.  But, I'm working on it.  :-)

 FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  Don't we all???????????????////FROM JACK:  From the beginning of our life, we learn by asking questionS.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Winning Words 8/20/12
“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”  (Jim Rohn)  Most of time our day is determined by circumstances, but how we respond to them really determines our day.  I like the movie line, “Run, Forest, run!”  Do you remember what he was running from …or to?  Malcolm Boyd wrote a book connecting prayer and ordinary life.  It’s called, “Are You Running With Me, Jesus?”  It’s 75 cents on    ;-)  Jack

FROM PASTY PAT:  I remember both the book and the movie line.  Does that mean I'm getting old or that I'm old but at least my memory is still functioning reasonably well?////FROM JACK:  How old does something have to be in order to make it old?  The past minute is old.  Only those who have experienced the past are able to remember.  Thank God for the gift of memory.  As the "old" saying goes: "Memory allows us to have roses in December."

FROM PRDM IN MICHIGAN:  ...Or like the movie line from "Dead Poets Society" that I utilized yesterday in conjunction with the Ephesians text... "Carpe diem!"////FROM JACK:  I, too, have used those words.  Here's "the rest of the story."  The poet, Horace, used the phrase is part of the longer Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero – "Seize the Day, putting as little trust as possible in the future", and the ode says that the future is unforeseen, and that instead one should scale back one's hopes to a brief future, and drink one's wine. That could be the start of another sermon.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  You have to grab the day and hold on with two hands!  We just got home from a ten day vacation with the whole family.  We stayed in a cabin with our two little granddaughters...all we did was run.  We stayed at Mill Creek Campground at Mackinaw..  It was absolutely beautiful.  Out our front window we could see the Mackinac Bridge.  It was beautiful, especially all lit up at night.////FROM JACK:  As Dean Martin used to sing, "Memories are made of this," for you and for the whole family.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I guess that I didn't see that movie or read the book.  I did see Cool Running about the Jamaican bobsled team, which was interesting, especially because of the years we spent in the Bahamas.////FROM JACK:  I don't suppose you watch TV's South Park (Your grandchildren might), bu one of the characters in Chief Running Water.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I remember that book by Malcolm; Jan's husband Hal, loved that  book!  It's true that sometimes the day "runs" us...there are times I don't get one thing done I had planned, due to unforeseen happenings!  I'm happy to have my computer "up and running",  after 3 visits from A T & T techs!  I've been off-line since Thurs.////FROM JACK:  Here's the first prayer in Malcolm Boyd's book.
"It’s morning, Jesus. It’s morning, and here’s that light and sound all over again.
I’ve got to move fast…get into the bathroom, wash up, grab a bite to eat, and run some more.
I just don’t feel like it. What I really want to do is get back into bed, pull up the covers, and sleep. All I seem to want today is the big sleep, and here I’ve got to run all over again.
Where am I running? You know these things I can’t understand. It’s not that I need to have you tell me. What counts most is just that somebody knows, and it’s you. That helps a lot.
So I’ll follow along, OK? But lead, please. Now I’ve got to run. Are you running with me, Jesus?"

 FROM GP IN MICHIGAN:  Somewhere in my old books, I have Malcolm's  Are You Running With Me Jesus.  He gave a copy to me when he was living in Ann Arbor too many years ago.  He was a client of mine and I had more than a few visits with him. I helped arrange his being a principle speaker at my old church men's summer retreat back in the late 60's. I saw him on one hand, a very complex person and yet, one who could get to the real meat of a situation with words we all could understand. When he left Ann Arbor, his insurance records were transferred and I never heard from him again.  I believe that Forest was running from his feeling of loss of his Ginny and other aspects of his life.  I believe that all of us at one point or another have had some from of "running from" in our lives. That is when many people run into Christ Jesus.////FROM JACK:  Sometimes we forget the human side of "famous" people.  Sometimes we forget the human side of God, so that's why there is Jesus.  I'm impressed that a copy of Boyd's book was given to you by him.  A mutual friend of ours also knew Malcolm when he was the campus pastor at her university.

 FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  Don always said, "Plan your work, and work your plan"////FROM JACK:  That was a good plan and enabled him to all the work that was placed before him.  It can work for us, too.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Winning Words 8/17/12
“Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away.”  (Arthur Helps)  Each day these Winning Words are sent out to about 400 people.  There are times when I wonder if “the seed” falls on barren ground.  I wonder if Jesus felt the same way when he spoke the Parable of the Sower?  The farmer knows a lot about the business of sowing…and so did Jesus, when he told the parable.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  I hear u asking if I read, ponder and take into my heart and daily living ur daily mail winning words? The answer is YES and thank u for doing this - - I look forward to ur insight and the words! I pay it forward to my four daughters and people I come in contact w each day as appropriate to their lives. Thank u////FROM JACK:  WOW!  I have a saying above my computer screen which reads, "Anyone can count the seeds in an apple.  Only God can count the apples in a seed."  Thanks for the affirmation of those words.

FROM TS NEAR PURDUE:  Remember however that some of that seed bounces around - maybe from barren to fertile.   For example, the seed that you dropped in Birmingham MI has now bounced to Lafayette IN and onto new ground as well.////FROM JACK:  That would be a good addition to the parable.  "And some of the seed bounced."  I think that Jesus would approve of that thought.

FROM FOXY ROXY:  Winning Words is what gets my day started. Haven't found one yet that didn't help me get going. Thank you for all the time and effort put into this.////FROM JACK:  Words like yours serve as an alarm clock to get me out of bed at 5 am each day..

FROM RS IN MICHIGAN:  I'm listening!////FROM JACK:  God speaks to us in a variety of ways.  Roy Acuff used to sing the song, "Turn Your Radio On," which said that God can speak using the radio.  If Roy were still alive, he might sing, "Turn Your PC On."

FROM JH IN MICHIGAN:  Hi Jack - yes they do make a difference - thanks for your good efforts!!   Please add my son Adam to your email list ////FROM JACK:  I recall that the translation of the word, Adam, means "first man."  Your son will be the first Adam on the Winning Words list.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: I enjoy your daily missives - it is a work of love you do.  In my CBS Newsletter I wonder if many read them. Then I'll run into someone who thanks me, or get a short email note from someone in Turkey.////FROM JACK:  I would like to see if someone has modernized the Parable of the Sower to read, "Behold, someone sat at their computer and typed out a message that went to many people..."  Or something like that.  BTW, I hear from people in London and Hong Kong, but no one in Turkey.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  There are two things I read every morning--your WW and Henri Nouwen meditation sent out by the Henri Nouwen Society. Your WW never cease to make me think and reflect and, whenever you take a vacation, they are truly missed. You are truly missed. You have a wise and optimistic perspective that shows through the people's quotes you choose and your own words that follow. Your lens on life is wonderful and helps us all to see we are in a big, big, big community in this world where there is much joy, hope, charity, love, I could go on and on. THANKS A MILLION!!!!!!!////FROM JACK:  I am energized by the the give and take from readers like you.  You always seem to s response that indicates that the "seed" has taken root.  BTW, when I was a teen there was an ice cream place in our town by the name of, Prince Castle, and their milk shakes were called, "One in a Million." Without Prince Castle, there would be no McDonald's. Ray Kroc was working as a salesman for the Lily Tulip Cup Company. One of his clients was Prince Castle, and Kroc sold him paper sundae cups. Another client of Kroc's had invented Ice Milk - in contrast to a milkshake, it was made by blending milk with frozen milk, flavoring, sugar, and cornstarch, which resulted in a drink colder, thicker, and more viscous than a standard shake. Kroc introduced Prince to the Ice Milk, and Prince immediately invented the "One-in-a-Million" shake.

FROM DR EM IN MICHIGAN:  I often feel that way in my office - telling people that health comes from within. Some hear it, some don't. Sometimes I wonder...////FROM JACK:  All preaching is not done from the pulpit.  All sowing is not done by the farmer.  Keep on trying to get the health message into the minds of your clients.////MORE FROM THE DOCTOR:  I serve God by serving his people. I'm just a vessel. ////FROM JACK:  In the Church, there's a slogan, that we try to follow..."People are our only business." 
That slogan could hang in your waiting room, too.////EM AGAIN:  My friend has a sign up in his office - I move the bone. God does the healing.

FROM TEXAS RON:   Seems to me some seeds wind up growing better than others, but if they aren't sown the guarantee is there will be no fruit, so glad you sow them.////FROM JACK:  The farmer would never get his job done, if he stopped to ponder the potential of each seed.  The seed is the seed.

FROM AP IN MICHIGAN:  This reminds me of a conversation you and I had years ago. I was concerned about all the high schoolers who had completed  confirmation, then disappeared. Your comment was that the seed had been planted and that time would tell if it had taken hold.  Rewards are sometimes long in coming. It works like that for a teacher, too. Your words are appreciated here, every single day.////FROM JACK:  It works that way with parenting, too.  Do the best you can as a mom and dad and "things will work out."  I remember these words from a poem:  "It's been said,  As a tree is bent...  so then shall it grow.  The teaching that you give your child,  determines where they'll go."

FROM SAINT JAMES:  Although you might not get much feedback from your audience, but you never know how much your perspectives shape our perceptions.////FROM JACK:  Your response brings to mind this poem by Leroy Brownlow.
There's a Gospel according to Matthew; To Mark;
To Luke; and John too.
There's another gospel that many are reading...
The Gospel according to You.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Thanks for the daily WW.  I really appreciate them.////FROM JACK:  Your kind word has not been thrown away!  Thanks

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  No they don't.  This one is sowing further.////FROM JACK:  Here's an interesting case for you as a patent attorney.  Does a farmer have the right to sow the seed?
Judge Sides With Monsanto: Ridicules Farmers’ Right to Grow Food Without Fear, Contamination and Economic Harm.  
On February 24, Judge Naomi Buchwald handed down her ruling on a motion to dismiss in the case of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Assn et al v. Monsanto after hearing oral argument on January 31st in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Her ruling to dismiss the case brought against Monsanto on behalf of organic farmers, seed growers and agricultural organizations representing farmers and citizens was met with great disappointment by the plaintiffs.  Plaintiff lead attorney Daniel Ravicher said, “While I have great respect for Judge Buchwald, her decision to deny farmers the right to seek legal protection from one of the world’s foremost patent bullies is gravely disappointing. Her belief that farmers are acting unreasonable when they stop growing certain crops to avoid being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should their crops become contaminated maligns the intelligence and integrity of those farmers. Her failure to address the purpose of the Declaratory Judgment Act and her characterization of binding Supreme Court precedent that supports the farmers’ standing as ‘wholly inapposite’ constitute legal error.  In sum, her opinion is flawed on both the facts and the law. Thankfully, the plaintiffs have the right to appeal to the Court of Appeals, which will review the matter without deference to her findings.”

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  That's why u need a Facebook-style "Like" button. I often wonder whether I have made a point when the other party doesn't acknowledge... have determined that when they quit "putting up a fight," they r conceding. Or simply exhausted.////FROM JACK:  Facebook or a blog isn't a good substitute for face to face encounter.  However, they're better than no contact at all.  Winning Words has allowed me to meet and to reconnect with many people, and I really appreciate that.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  What happened to make you doubt yourself this way? The seed you sow in WW bears more fruit than you realize .  So here's a kind word...bravo!////FROM JACK:  Today's quote refers to wise saying falling on barren ground...which caused me to wonder: "Are the daily WWs falling on barren ground?  In the ad biz, "Are people really reading this stuff and being motivated by it?" ////PFC RESPONSE:  "As in advertising", not everybody "gets" it, but if enough do, you sell a ton of product. Believe me, you are selling a ton of product.////FROM JACK:  "Sell" is an interesting word.

FROM HR:  I read your words every day. Some make me smile, some inspire me, some go in one ear and out the other, some help me clarify questions I have of how to proceed with a problem. Thank you for sending these words out ////FROM JACK:  Thank you.  "A kind word is never thrown away."  A friend of mine had a business that was cyclical.  He had a box where he would keep "thank you" notes received from clients of his.  When there was the occasional "down" day, he would take out that box and reread some of those nice letters and notes that people had written to him.

FROM RICE LAKE CAROL:  Good Morning –  Just so you know your wise sayings and kind words don’t fall on barren ground here.  I often share them with other friends or family members to brighten their day or remind them of our many blessings.  You may never know when just one seed gets planted in someone else’s life to give them hope for today and faith for tomorrow.  Thanks for sharing!////FROM JACK:  When I was in "the church business," my WWs were called, Sentence Sermons.  Instead of saving them in a computer file, people told me that they'd put them on the refrigerator or paste them in a scrapbook

FROM MOLINER JT:  The seed will sprout, even in drought !////FROM JACK:  I read that a 2000 year old date palm seed (carbon dated) was found in some ruins in Israel.  It was planted and germinated.

FROM PASTY PAT:  I can't speak for the other 399, but let me reassure you that I'm paying attention! ////FROM JACK:  I'll keep that in mind next Monday morning.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I warmly receive your WW every day and never considered myself Barren Ground....Many have accused me of being fully fertilized.....I consider myself a conduit of the best life gives me.////FROM JACK:  Have you ever heard of Milorganite?  Perhaps you could develop Boborganite?

FROM JR IN PALM DESERT:  The "seed" never falls on barren ground at our place.  I so look forward to your Winning Words every morning.////FROM JACK:  There's lots of barren ground in the desert, but there are also those "oasis" where you live.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  One of the four hundred says that all the time that you spend searching for "Winning Words" affects many of my days.  I know that you have shared hundreds of them with all of us.   I have about 50 of them in my file "Favorite Quotations."////FROM JACK:  My all-time favorite is probably the one that got me interested in saving quotes.  "Virtue is learned at mother's knee.  Vice is learned at other joints."  My pastor had that printed in the Mother's Day bulletin when I was a teen.

FROM CA IN MICHIGAN:  KEEP ON SOWING !!  Many (including me) are being fed by your Winning Words.////FROM JACK:  Your response reminds me of the old Gospel song, "Bringing In the Sheaves."  The sowing is not complete until the sheaves are harvested.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Excellent WW.////FROM JACK:  I was surprised that no one commented about the author of the "seed," the man with the interesting name.

FROM YOOPER BOB:  I for one have of file of your quotes.  But as important as they are I recall much more our conversations as friends and colleagues at Merrill.////FROM JACK:  Talking about sowing the seed....I remember your sermon on the subject to the pastors of the Superior Conference in Merrill.  Calling on your farm-boy experience, you said: "We are to be God's artificial inseminators."  I'll never forget it.

 FROM MS IN MICHIGAN:  Your words are appreciated, if not acknowledged.  They are often a spur to finding a Bible verse or looking up something else.  One of my favorites (posted on my little basement bulletin board) is from September 2008, from Leonard Cohen:  Ring the bells that still can ring.  Forget your perfect offering.  There is a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.////FROM JACK:  That's almost 1000 WWs ago.  The quote seems new to me now.  Thanks for letting the light back in.

FROM CJL IN OHIO:  We read them but don't always respond.   Keep sending & know they are read and used.////FROM JACK:  Sometimes sermons are like that.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Winning Words 8/16/12
“Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they contain the whole truth, or the only truth.”  (Charles Dana)  Every so often The Christian Century magazine has a theologian write an article, “How My Mind Has Changed.”  One writer began, “Have I changed?  I certainly hope so.”  I can identify with that.  The years have taught me to be more understanding and less dogmatic.  I highly recommend that.    ;-)  Jack

FROM CB IN MICHIGAN:  You're such a great mentor for learning everyday!////FROM JACK:  We learn from each other and by paying attention to what's going on around us.

FROM PASTY PAT:  Amen!////FROM JACK:  Thanks for expressing your opinion.  BTW, and AMEN at the end of a prayer is, expressing an opinion, isn't it?

FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  Isn't it scary that rote of things that happen in our life does effect our thoughts. ////FROM JACK:  I'm trying to figure out what was meant by "rote."  But I do agree that the unfolding of events does test pre-conceived notions.  I'm willing to change, but not just to change without thought. ////RESPONSE FROM M-O-L: the word "rote" is a method of learning through repeating.////FROM JACK:  It's been a long time since I've seen or used that word.  I should have known.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  This has always been hard for me. How can a person fight for their opinion and yet also, at the same time, recognize that the opinion may not be right. Finally, I think it is an action WW--a person fights for their opinion but at the same time chooses to be/remain in relationship and dialogue with others that believe differently. That's the sign that the person is willing to at least entertain the thought that the opinion may not be not right and need to be changed. ////FROM JACK:  Just because I have an opinion does not mean that it's not subject to change...with additional information.  Conversion is an example of this.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Diapers need changing. Minds need expanding.////FROM JACK:  Some of the "stinky" stuff in our minds needs to be thrown away.  A change of mind can sometimes be quite refreshing to the person and those around him/her.

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  That would be a sign of maturity....hopefully we all obtain it. I remember an article from Simeon Stylities  (I think) that suggests we read the names of people in a photograph from right to left rather than the normal left to right and that as we grow older, our lives ought to reflect the movement from right to left.  Less dogmatic means movement to the left.  Good going!////FROM JACK:  I miss S.S. and some of the lessons he taught.  I think that his other name was Halford Luccock.  You probably recall that the original Simeon Stylites was a 5th century Christian ascetic who lived for 37 years on a small platform on top of a pillar in get away from it all.

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN:  I needed this quote this morning... Thanks for sharing, Jack!////FROM JACK:  Remember...the Lord is ALWAYS with you to provide strength.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Winning Words 8/15/12
“When you make a choice, you change the future.”  (Deepak Chopra)  Last Saturday the media focused in on Romney’s choice for a campaign partner.  That choice will affect the months, and perhaps the years, ahead.  We each make choices every day that alter the direction of our life…the road taken, or the road not taken.  I read of a high school that offers a class on “Making Right Choices.”  What good idea!    ;-)  Jack

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN:  Love Deepak! Did you pick up a book of his yet?////FROM JACK:  I must confess that I've read many quotes by Chopra and much about him, but I've never read any of his many books.  One that sounds interesting is:  "How to Know God : The Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries."  Another has to do with Spirituality vs. Science.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Our congregation offers a worship at a nearby assisted living residence. For 8 years now I've been so impressed that 26 or so people, from different faith backgrounds--including even Jewish--choose to join us. And I've been ever hopeful that this ministry has been helping us in our own congregation to be welcoming to others, called to us by God, and from different backgrounds. At the current time I'm going through a period of bumpiness--and suddenly have decided to attend the Tuesday healing/worship noon service offered by a Catholic Church that is right next door to our house. Yesterday's sermon was we make ourselves unhappy, no one else can really make us unhappy, and it's because we don't have the right perspective. Look at the martyrs and so forth. Now I see even better how much those old people we've been ministering to at the assisted living have changed the future and that change seems to be still going on through me. I expected to see everyone come to a Lutheran church and never expected to make the choice yesterday I did, circumstances sort of forced me into it and I still heard God. Thanks again for your WW and offering us all the opportunity to share.////FROM JACK:  When God looks through his spectacles, he doesn't see Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, young or old.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  You win some, you lose some.  So far, I have had 8 presidential winners and  7 losers.  Tampa is busy getting ready for the Republican convention.  The first that I vividly remember was in 1952 in Chicago when Stevenson was nominated and the first one I remember being televised.  The 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago was the first violent one that I remember.  Henry Commanger, my Constitutional History professor at Columbia, used to say that the conventions were gatherings where everyone learned to go along to get along.  That is paraphrased.  The only time  that didn't work was just before the Civil War, or, as they call it in the South, The War of Northern Aggression.  I just learned that a few years ago.////FROM JACK:  The politics of today seems to indicate that a war is still going on.  What many Americans are looking for is someone to be a uniter, to show us how to go along to get along.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Been busy.  Like this WW though.////FROM JACK:  I'm glad that you chose to reply.  You've made many choices in your life which have brought you to where you are now.…

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Maybe they should offer "Making Right Choices" to Adults, as well! :-)  I like Calvin Coolidge's remark along these lines: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not;nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent! Make your choices accordingly."////FROM JACK:  "The world is full of educated failures," seems to say that adults who take a course on "Making Right Choices," would have to follow thru by making right choices.

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  Don't forget:  When you get to a fork in the road...take it....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Winning Words 8/14/12
“In happy moments, praise God.  In difficult moments, seek God.  In quiet moments, trust God.  In every moment, thank God.”  (Quoted by Bryan Clay)  Brian won the Olympic decathlon in 2008, but failed to qualify this time.  He had his happy times and some that were sad, both in sports and in life.  In that respect, he is like many of us.  Re-read the quote for today and let it direct your life.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Remember Bob Mathias?   He won Gold twice and was an incredible athlete.    They never mention him when they mention the great athletes in Olympic history....I think the sportscaster are too young and too ill read....they also forget Jim Thorpe which is almost inexcusable.////FROM JACK:  I'm reminded of the Latin phrase, "Sic transit gloria mundi."  (Thus passes the glory of the world.)  These words are always spoken at the coronation of a new pope.  They could also be used when a congregation changes pastors.  And they could be used, too, when Olympic medals are handed out.  New winners are waiting in the wings.  When Bob Mathias received his medal from King Gustav of Sweden, he said, "Thanks, King!"  I liked that.  Jim Thorpe will never get the glory that he deserves, but that's life.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Good morning!!!!!! I think I'll go to bed now that I have your good word for the day. Good night!!!!////FROM JACK:  I thought that it was only a teen-ager who stayed up until dawn. ////MORE FROM NAPLES:  When my father was dying and I was trying to make him smile and not give up he said "Are you ever going to grow up".....I was 44 years old and my response was ..." I hope not Dad".
There is an innocents and purity in children that is sadly lacking today. Too bad we can't carry more of it into maturity. This month I will be at the Memorial of a dear friend who spent 40 years entertaining as the clown Peppermint Patty. She brought such joy to thousands and I wish I had done even more to help people smile. Laughing helps healing and our world needs more of it.  WOW I didn't mean to off on my soap box.  My lack of sleep is due to other situations today however.////FROM JACK:  This was written in 1884.
Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee,
All through the day;
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the day;
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping,
I my loving vigil keeping,
All through the day            You can probably sing it!.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Truer words were never spoken.////FROM JACK:  Somebody told me today that they were helpful, too. .

Monday, August 13, 2012

Winning Words 8/13/12
“One who does not look ahead remains behind.”  (Brazilian Proverb)  The games were great, but London is “old news.”  Rio in 2016 is what lies ahead.  The summer games will be held during that city’s winter season.  Will Bolt run his races using snowshoes?  That should slow him down, somewhat.   Looking back, I remember most, Pitsorius and his blades.  He may not have won a medal, but he won “hearts.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  How true that is.  I found it quite exciting to see almost the entire world having fun and working together. With 204 countries participating and 85 winning at least one medal was inspiring.  I especially enjoyed the swimmers, the womens' water polo and basketball teams, and the track events.  The two runners who trained in Oregon, one from the UK and one from the US were inspiring, too.  Of course,  Bolt and our relay teams were great.  Rio will be exciting, too.////FROM JACK:  Did you read that Detroit has applied to host the Summer Olympics and been turned down more times than any other city (7)?  The Olympics in Detroit (Ann Arbor and Windsor) would really be an exciting event for everyone involved. ////TAMPA RESPONSE:  It sounds even more dangerous than Rio.  The good thing would be that maybe progress would be made.  When Les and I were in Rio a few years ago, it was the first time that I had seen so many panhandlers-children and adults.  Now, we have them in so many of our cities.  When we were in San Francisco this summer, the children were frightened by being approached on the street.  That is the one of the saddest things about our country today-that families don't take care of each other.  The churches used to do a good job of knowing who really needed help and of getting them the help they need.  They say that there are 8,000 homeless in Tampa today.  St. Petersburg has outlawed panhandling, so everyone has moved over here.. Of course, drugs and alcohol play a big part in many of the problems.////FROM JACK:  I have a grandson who always reaches into his pocket to give something to the one asking for help.  Jesus talked about such a person.  31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’  37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’  45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’  46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. ”  

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  ;-) Rio will be fun I think!////FROM JACK:  I wonder if they will postpone Lent in 2016?

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  It will be interesting to watch Beach Volleyball played in snowsuits ...with snowballs.////FROM JACK:  I heard that tickets to Women's Beach Volleyball were the hardest to get in any sport in London.

FROM MEDD-LANE:  This may be OK for Brazilians but, my proverb is "If I don't remember the past I will make the same mistakes again."////FROM JACK:  The baseball player, Satchel Paige, had some great quotes.  The one I like is, "Don't look back.  Something might be gaining on you."

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  Pitsorius was incredible! Even more so were the poor sports who claimed his "handicap" gave him an advantage. If they really believe that, they can get their own legs amputated & see for themselves....////FROM JACK:  I saw a picture of Pitsorius with a little girl.  She, too, had blades, and was smiling at him.  A symbiotic relationship!

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I thoroughly enjoyed the Olympics, and will miss the competitive excitement they brought! (Especially since the Cubs are such a fizzle this year!)   Bolt was a phenomenon, but nobody thinks more of him than he does himself,  which to me makes him less admirable!  As to Pitsorius, as the great Grantland Rice said, "When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He marks, not that you won or lost, but how you played the game." Something to ponder...!////FROM JACK:  I think that the picture of  the "blade runner" will endure longer than any other from the London Olympics.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Winning Words 8/10/12
“Wishes won’t wash dishes.”  (American Proverb)  Sometimes my sister and I would argue so much about doing the dishes, that our mother would do them herself.  But this proverb isn’t about washing dishes.  Do you remember Jiminy Cricket singing, “When you wish upon a star?”  One line goes, “Anything your heart desires will come to you.”  Do you think that prayers are like wishes?  What is your prayer?    ;-)  Jack

FROM JUDE-E IN MICHIGAN:  I really like this Jack. Prayers are like wishes and I do firmly believe in prayer. I believe Jesus listens and saints intercede for us too.  I find myself praying to St. Jude, the patron of hopeless cases a lot lately.  Does the rain wash away the burdens?  TGIF….have a nice day.////FROM JACK:  2012 mark's the 50th anniversary of the founding of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, founded by the comedian, Danny Thomas.  He had a wish that really did come true.  BTW, for those who read the blog, St. Jude was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, and was also known as Thaddeus.  Since he is referred to as the saint of lost causes, it's ironic to note that the recently-resigned Congressman McCotter from Michigan also goes by the name of Thaddeus.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Since I'm realizing practically all the time how limited my human thinking is and also other people's thinking whom I'm relating to, seems like I'm constantly praying that Jesus will intervene and believe that He does constantly intervene among us. He sees the big picture and knows the truth better than any of us individually or collectively. Do you think your mother was only doing what Jesus in her heart told her to do? And something about her decision really impacted upon you and your sister? Loved your WW today.////FROM JACK: In reference to asking for the intervention of Jesus, that's why I like the petition in the Lord's Prayer..."Thy will be done."  In reference to my mother, she was often called upon to emulate the patience and grace of the Lord.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  My prayer is that we all find a way to love and serve each other!!!!!   Amen ////FROM JACK:  As the song goes..."Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."  Your prayer is a good one.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Meaning, I guess, we need to put "feet" on our wishes, as well as our prayers...Do you remember the old saying, "If wishes were horses, beggars would  ride"? I wish to keep learning until the end! Mac McMillan says "You are the same today that you'll be five years from now, except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read."  Amen to that.  What would we do without interesting new people, and good books??! :-)  AND the power of prayer!////FROM JACK:  Perry Como once sang a song..."If wishes were kisses."  Taylor Swift has a new version of it.

 FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  WW made me laugh.   My brother and I fought (it seems like every night) doing dishes.  He used cold water, she didn't rinse them, he didn't dry them.  My poor dad would sit in the living room until he couldn't stand any more.  He'd come into the kitchen and tell us to get the heck out of there, he'd do them himself.  Needless to say this would make my mother furious.  We sure put them through a lot!!  I pray for them every day, hoping they have been rewarded for the love they gave.////FROM JACK:  In today's families, it's all about who's going to load and unload the dishwasher.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Winning Words 8/9/12
“If heaven made him, earth can find some use for him.”  (Chinese Proverb)  I think Ogden Nash wrote, “God made the fly and forgot to tell us why,” or something like that.  I saw a tee-shirt once that read, “God Don’t Make No Junk.”  It’s a good slogan, and I don’t want to question the wisdom of God, but….sometimes I wonder.  Everyday the “news” has another story.  Even the human Jesus asked, “Why?”    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  A few years ago I saw a visiting car in Annapolis Royal with the bumper sticker: "Save the blackflies!" Later it was parked at the Farmers' Market and I got a chance to see it closer up. It had the slogan and a line at the bottom: "Maine Black Flie Preservation Society." I suspect that Society exists only as a way to sell bumper stickers.   Actually, while waiting in the bookstore at L. L. Bean in Freeport, ME, I read a book of Maine humor (humour up here in Canada) that said the Maine blackfly population was due to human error: the blackflies had been imported to control the tourists, but then it was learned that they also bite the natives.////FROM JACK:  I remember a saying I once heard..."A reasonable amount of fleas is good for a dog.  It keeps him from brooding over being a dog, maybe."  I wonder if God had something like that in mind when he created the 1800 species of black flies.  Thanks for starting my day off with a smile.  Which reminds me of the old Jimmy Durante song that has this line..."Now isn't it better to go through life with a smile and a song  Than walking along with a face 11 miles long?"

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I blame us....we have polluted our own selves and our world with it...."we have (sinned) against the Lord in thought, word and deed"    Yet, God loves us so we can't turn our back on anyone.////FROM JACK:  Maybe that proves the truism..."We are not God!"  Sometimes it's hard to pray, "Thy will, not my will, be done."  Consistent Christianity remains a worthy goal.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's very easy to get depressed about the life and death situations facing this world each day.  But our reward is not of this world.  Evil dwells among us and we wonder.  But that's freewill and the devil at work.  People make very bad choices and we suffer.  It does cause one to stop and be thankful for each and every "safe" day.////FROM JACK:  When I hear about murders, particularly involving family members, I just shake my head in unbelief...and then I remember the Cain and Abel story.  Martin Luther is said to have thrown an inkwell at the devil who was pestering him.  the ink stain is still on the wall in Luther's room at the Wartburg. 

FROM PASTY PAT:  I'm going to try really hard to apply this one to the garter snake that doesn't seem to appreciate my efforts to remove a couple of years of dead leaves, etc. from the front yard of the parsonage. ////FROM JACK:  I wonder if your snake might be a descendant of the one in the Garden of Eden.  I've heard some people refer to a garter snake as a garden snake.////PAT RESPONSE:  I've heard that too.  I've tried to strike a deal whereby the snake can have the back yard while I'm working in the front and vice versa, but so far no luck////FROM JACK:  Never make a deal with a snake!.

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  God gave us free will, and genes are random, by design, in my humble opinion. So sometimes stuff goes awry.   God created earth to sustain itself without intervention. God is a scientist. ////FROM JACK:  Do you mean to tell me that that white robe is a lab coat?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I have a kitchen plaque with a painting of the ARK, and captioned, "If Noah had been truly wise, he would have swatted those two flies!" :-)  There are certainly creations that cause us to emit "WHYS"! Of course mosquitoes feed our purple martins, but really!////FROM JACK:  I looked out the window yesterday and saw three hawks sitting on top of the telephone pole.  I was wondering how come our chipmunk problem had been solved.



Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Winning Words 8/8/12
“Don’t make an elephant out of a mosquito.”  (German Proverb)  I like this one better than “making a mountain out of a molehill.”  One of those “mountain builders” was described to me in this way:  “He majors in minors.”  We need to be reminded that some things are more important than others.  When you make a “TO DO” list, are the easiest things put first, or last?  Which reminds me…I should make a list.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  The easiest things go to the top of the list.  That way a number of things can be gotten out of the way quickly and it looks like you're really making progress.////FROM JACK:  "Looks like..." are the qualifying words.  What is reality?  So many things in this world are judged on "looks" rather than on "reality."

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  you are an insomniac!   go to bed and sleep like a baby.////FROM JACK:  I can't sleep, because that buzzing mosquito keeps bugging me////PH RESPONSE:  Here in Minnesota we just get a gun for those critters.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Usually they are in the order that I hope to do them.  Yesterday early voting was on the top of the list.The summer in Florida is a good time to do what we normally did in the spring or fall up north-clean closets and drawers, wash curtains, etc.  My list is very short today.  But  it does feel so good to cross items off the list, doesn't it?////FROM JACK:   I find that I usually make a list when "things pile up," like on my desk.  As I glance over, it's not quite at that point.  BTW, I vote by absentee ballot, and I use the ATM..

FROM CJL IN OHIO:  Hard: first or last?////FROM JACK:  Most important is at the top.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Don't just make a list...prioritize.////FROM JACK:  #1 - Go to the dictionary and look up pryorateyes.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  This one struck home with me..  I have lost lots of sleep over " mosquitoes" . Usually not worth giving them a second thought.////FROM JACK:  When I would tease my sister, she'd call me a a mosquito in the darkened bedroom. ////MORE FROM AW:  Hi Jack...Just reminded me  of one I heard on radio many years ago...A talk show host was talking to a friend on telephone when  the friend said very very calmly...."my new Cadillac was stolen this morning" The host reacted with  surprise at the callers calmness....and he blurted out....something like  "wow! if that was me I would be very upset and  not calm about that at all!  To which the  caller replied "It's only metal.".....That  little perspective "It's only metal" has surely defused many situations for  me.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Winning Words 8/7/12
“God is never in a hurry, but he is always there at the proper time.”  (Ethiopian Proverb)  Time is very important in some of the Olympic sports, down to the 100ths of a second.  That’s how they measure winners and losers.  But God isn’t that way.  He doesn’t even wear a wrist watch.  He says, “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.”  Now what do you suppose he meant by that?    ;-)  Jack

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  what you doing up at 4:20 am??   go back to bed and i will too!   good night...  or good morning...////FROM JACK:  My routine is to have Winning Words available 5 days a week between 5 and 6 am (EDT).  Thanks for letting me know that it works for you.  God may not be concerned about time; but he's comfortable knowing that people like you watch the clock.

FROM RG IN ARIZONA & MICHIGAN: I think Jesus was conveying a non-time and non-space realm. One could say that Jesus was speaking in terms of the "whole" -- where there are no lines and there is no early or late. He also noted that through His forgiveness, the Father will know us with no sin. I think this is the same state of wholeness...nothing to compare to but that which we are and have been created in an image of. For me, this is the eternal and the infinite, and something the brain of the world can never know; but one that the mind cannot forget!////FROM JACK:  In this world we count success and failure in a different way than Jesus did.  Take the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31), for example.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I think he was trying to tell us that being first isn't all that important. ////FROM JACK:  Evidently the folks at NBC weren't listening.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I've found God to be a just-in-time God. Too many wonderful experiences to think otherwise.////FROM JACK:  I'm sure you found that "just-in-time" has some glitches when you were in charge of Seaberg Industries.  God is the perfect C.E.O. and takes care of problems like that.

FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  I believe God means life is not a competitive sport to be judged  first or anything else.  The proof is we all have our individual finger print.////FROM JACK:  I've read how crooks have endured great pain by mutilating the tips of their fingers, trying to eliminate their fingerprints.  They can't do that with DNA.  BTW, in the Bible it says that God knows each hair of our head.  Someone bothered to count the hairs om a person's head and came up with 135,168. The Bible doesn't say anything about the  hairs in a mustache, but the number is about 7000.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I think He was giving us a message of encouragement. When we feel like we're last, we can remember He said we will be first. And when we start to feel cocky and sure we are first, self-assured and bloated with self-importance, we need to remember we serve the poor, the marginal, the lonely, the lost, and the needy however their need manifests itself and get right with God again in right relationships in the community. Whichever side I'm on from time-to-time, I find a lot of comfort in His message to us. Written on an Iowan church sign "God gives everyone patience, the wise know how to use it." Enjoyed knowing there are 135,168 hairs on my head and possibility of 7,000 hairs under my nose. ////FROM JACK:  The Spirit of God has a way of giving messages to us in some of the most unlikely ways.  "Ready or not, here I come."

FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  I interpret this as "there isn't a line."////FROM JACK:  "The believers" say that death is not the finish line.