Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Winning Words 10/31/12
“We all wear masks…metaphorically speaking.”  (Dr. Arthur Neuman)  I’ve read that the most popular Halloween mask this year, beside Obama and Romney, is a Zombie.  You might even wear one when you answer the door for the trick or treaters.  Oct 31 isn’t the only day when people disguise themselves.  Generally, family and close friends know what’s behind our mask.  I like Jim Carrey’s movie, “The Mask.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Some of us are scary enough just as we are, without adding a superficial mask.  I like Abraham Lincoln's response when he was criticized for being two-faced:  "If I had two faces to choose from, do you think I'd be wearing this one?"////FROM JACK:  11-yr-old Grace Bedell wrote to Lincoln and suggested that he grow a beard, because "All the ladies like whiskers."  Ask your wife if that's true.

 FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN:  Remind me to tell you the story about my daughter and her grandfather and a halloween mask.  It really fits what you're saying here and it's funny!////FROM JACK:  I'm reminding you!

 FROM DR ERIC IN MICHIGAN:  Depending on which side of the fence you're on, one may say either Obama or Romney are pretty darn frightening!  I'm going to wear my scary old man mask again this year. Hope the kiddos don't blow away tonight...////FROM JACK:  One of these years you can discard the mask.

 FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  I like that movie too.////FROM JACK:  The special effects fascinate me.////HT:  I like it that the dog retrieved the mask////JACK:  The dog is a Jack Russell terrier and his name is, Milo.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  The word "persona" can be translated to "mask", as in the "actor" who one pretends to be someone or something else. Clearly, one who is acting is not authentically oneself, and it is useful to wonder how pretending is preferred to honesty and authenticity. It appears authenticity and honesty lay behind the mask, and the courage to be oneself, honestly exposed, is our greater challenge. I'm going to wear my own face today...I hope it's not too scary!////FROM JACK:  A clergy collar can sometimes be construed as a mask.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I know I start wearing a mask when first having a conversation with anyone about politics and also confess the same is true sometimes about religion because sometimes people I meet are really aggressive about their opinions--scarey in fact--and I don't like to argue with scarey people. Some of them probably think I'm scarey too--too wimpish and besides maybe not thinking like them. Scarey to have such differences between us. Boo!////FROM JACK:  I remember a paper mache mask that my mother used to wear on Halloween.  It was a baby doll and not scarey, at all.

 FROM (SAINT) JUDY:  We do all wear masks sometimes, but I would surely change mine somedays if I could.  Jim Carrey is a gifted actor.////FROM JACK:  The good thing about masks is that they are not permanently attatched.  We can remove them, if we really want to.

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Some are uglier than others, metaphorically speaking of course.////FROM JACK:  Ugly is in the eye of the beholder.  Some people have been heard to say, "I don't know what she sees in him."////JON:  Please don't quote people talking about my wife. "I don't know what she sees in him." ////JACK:  I've never tasted ugli fruit.  I wonder how it got it's name?

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Only the Shadow knows////FROM JACK:  I always wondered how The Shadow was able to make himself invisible.  As a kid, I also wondered what it would be like to be able to become invisible.  I still wonder.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Winning Words 10/30/12
“Too often man handles life as he does the bad weather.  He whiles away the time as he waits for it to stop.”
  (Alfred Polgar)  Hurricane Sandy has made life miserable for millions of people.  It seems like severe storms are becoming more frequent.  Life has its storms, too, affecting young and old alike.  I keep a Prayer List, remembering before God those who are facing raging wind and water and other things as well.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM FARMER BOB IN U.P.:  Recently returned from N.D. helping Karl with the harvest.    His area has not had rain since May.   The farmers were expecting a miniature crop.   God worked a miracle and they received a medium crop.   An agronomist aimed to find our why.   He took a back hoe, dug down 6 ft. before the root of the corn stalk ended.  Amidst the drought the corn continued to seek moisture for its growth and maturity.   I used that illustration on Sunday.   Jesus stated,  CONTINUE IN MY WORD and you will know the truth which makes you free.     We, like the corn, experience tough times.  But if we continue to seek/ study God’s word, and  know Jesus who is the truth,  we will have stamina to endure and overcome the difficulties.////FROM JACK:  Robert Schuller wrote a book...Tough Times Never Last.  Tough People Do.  The farm has taught many lessons.

 FROM PC IN MICHIGAN:  Ironically, about half of my staff is in the area of Hurricane Sandy. So, our BAE York, PA site is closed today.  We can't work with those team members today and hope they remain safe.////FROM JACK:  Every day a hurricane enters the life of some person.  Whether storms affect millions or just one, it's still a catastrophe.  Even though our focus is mainly on Sandy, the thought behind today's quote is a good one.  

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Living by the water brings with it the risk of flooding, the sunshine brings with it the risk of drought, the forest brings with it the risk of damage from their fall, a house at the top of the hill brings with it risk of mudslides, ...etc. We rebuild and rebuild and never seem to account for the the other edge of the sword that maintains the balance of all things. Even Good is balanced with Evil, and one gift that accompanies the birth into the World, is the body's eventual death (...and to dust thou shall return). There will always be a rain storm of some kind, just as "the poor will always be with (you)" us. So, let us keep our focus on the Light; for it is also with us. As willful slaves of Christ, may we expose the Light within through our service to those who find themselves in storms. "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:"  (1 Peter 2:15 KJV)////FROM JACK:  Thanks for putting things in perspective.  When we are in the midst of the storm, our mind says, "Into each life some rain must fall," but our heart laments, "but too much is falling in mine."  (Song by Ella Fitsgerald and The Ink Spots)


Into each life some rain must fall
But too much is falling in mine
Into each heart some tears must fall
But some day the sun will shine
Some folks can lose the blues in their hearts
But when I think of you another shower starts
Into each life some rain must fall
But too much is falling in mine

Into each life some rain must fall
But too much is falling in mine
Into each heart some tears must fall
But some day the sun will shine
Some folks can lose the blues in their hearts
But when I think of you another shower starts
Into each life some rain must fall
But too much is falling in mine

Into each and every life some rain has got to fall
But too much of that stuff
is fallin' into mine
And into each heart some tears gotta fall
And I know that someday that sun is bound to shine

Some folks can lose the blues in their hearts
But when I think of you another shower starts
Into each life some rain must fall
But too much is falling in mine

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  It certainly seems we are facing more horrific weather situations, since any time that I remember. Either that, or the media coverage is more comprehensive.  Many in our area suffered severe financial losses due to the Summer/Fall drought. Now the terrible storms out East, and also a record number of tornados for this time of year throughout the Midwest.  AND the Raging Storm of ELECTION YEAR!! OH MY! My prayer shawl is getting a lot of use!////FROM JACK:  This is a rhetorical question ...What kinds of prayers of prayers shall we offer?  I know my answer, but I don't claim that it is the right one.////BO:  LIKE I KNOW!?!  I OFFER UP SITUATIONS, PEOPLE IN NEED, ELECTION CONCERNS, AND ASK TO SEE THE LESSON IN IT, THE CHRISTIAN SOLUTION,   AN ACCEPTING HEART, HEALING, WISDOM, ETC. NO MATTER WHO WINS IN ELECTION POSITIONS, HALF THE POPULATION WILL BE UNHAPPY...I DO PRAY FOR THE PRESIDENT EVEN WHEN I DON'T AGREE WITH WHAT HE DOES (I THINK WHOEVER  WINS THE PRESIDENCY WILL HAVE A ROUGH AND VERY LONG HAUL TRYING TO RECOVER THE ECONOMY, ESPECIALLY IF EUROPE CONTINUES IN SUCH A DEPRESSION, AND OF COURSE TRYING TO MOVE THE HOUSE AND SENATE TO DO ANYTHING IS SURE SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR EITHER CANDIDATE.)   BUT I FEEL IT IS BENEFICIAL TO PRAY FOR OUR LEADERS. MY SENATOR IN IL THANKED ME HEARTILY FOR MY PRAYERS  WHEN I TOLD HIM I SUPPORTED HIM IN PRAYER OFTEN. SO DID THE TWO REPS, I KNOW. (ONE USED TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF MY SCHOOL BOARD WHEN I TAUGHT...A MAN OF INTEGRITY)  WHAT  KIND OF PRAYERS DO YOU THINK IS MOST POWERFUL?? ////JACK:   I tend to think that God looks at situations using the wide angle lens while most of us want to use the microscope.  But, that's OK.  He's God, and we are human.

 FROM AW IN MICHIGAN:  I like this one, Jack.  I never thought about it this clearly but a powerful concept.  Thanks.////FROM JACK:  For some, there are storms worse than Sandy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Winning Words 10/29/12
“Even Betty Crocker burns a cake now and then.”  (Bill Caudill)  Interestingly, this wackiest of baseball pitchers was the first client of agent Scott Boras.  A more recent client is Prince Fielder.  Today the Detroit Tigers and their fans are thinking of the season that might have been.  The late Ernie Harwell said it best, “Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.”  It’s a life lesson.  You bake another cake.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Regrets to you Detroit...we're disappointed too.  Bostonians know the feeling all too well.  Congratulations on a great baseball year.////FROM JACK:  Maybe the next cake will have to have different ingrediants.

 ROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  Thanks - that made Mark feel better!////FROM JACK:  I had a newly married sister-in-law who made her first pimpkin pie and invited guests over to taste it.  Unfortunately, she didn't read the label and put the pumpkin right out of the can into the crust.  Her second pie tasted much better than the first.  For the year will be better!

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Cake….and pray it’s out of the oven before the guest of honor shows up. ////FROM JACK:  So...there will be cake when the Lord returns?  Angel Food, with strawberries and whipped cream is my favorite.////BBC:  Actually the frosting of choice in our home was cream cheese…but always white.  BTW, the disappointment when those angel food’s fall…is immense but we do run to the store, buy another dozen eggs and start over.  It has happened on more than one occasion and the winning words today will help me translate that into other areas of life.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  My husband hogs the TV so he can watch all the sports. I have no real interest so I'm either reading beside him or doing something in the kitchen. Don't know why I like your WW this morning, but I certainly do.////FROM JACK:  While you're in the kitchen, bake a cake!

 FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  If I knew you were coming I'd baked a cake.////FROM JACK:  Those words could be made into a song.

 FROM YOOPER FLICKA:  THOSE POOR TIGERS......I DID NOT APPROVE OF THE TYPE OF ALL OF SOME OF THE "TRICKS" OF THEIR WESTERN PLAYER..////FROM JACK:  ...tricks, like hitting home runs.  They hitt many, and we didn't hit enough.  Uff da!

 FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  My sympathy to you and the many Detroit fans.    You had a great team in 2012, but were beaten by another great team, who were on a hot streak.   Having cheered for Prince for several years, I regret that he didn’t have a World Series up to his ability.   But, as you say, we all burn a cake, or preach a poor sermon now and then!////FROM JACK:  I remember a bishop who didn't approve of "trial" sermons.  "Anyone can preach one good sermon on purpose, or by accident."  There are congregations who have received a burned cake, because of a good trial sermon.

 FROM (SAINT) JUDY:  Detroit will be fine as we know how to suffer losses.  Our "cake" has flattened out a number of times with a number of our beloved teams.  We will "Bake" again!////FROM JACK:  The perfect year was 1984, when the Tigers were never behind in the standings, nor in the World Series.  No sweat, and a piece of cake!////JUDY:  Ah yes, that was wonderful. But I liked the 1968 win better!  More exciting I guess as I was graduating from high school!  Bill Freehan and Mickey Lolich (both I met.  Bill at the State Fair, and Mickey at Eastland Hudsons).  How exciting!////JACK:  Did you wear bobby socks, a pleated skirt and scream when you met them?

 FROM BM IN MICHIGAN:  I was at the game last night and subjected to two “losses”:  (1) The pathetic Tigers & (2) The horrible weather.  I’m not sure which was worse.  I can count on better weather one day, but I’m not so sure about the Tigers.////FROM JACK:  Think of it this way.  If they had won, you would have to experience worse weather tonight.  The winds of Sandy would certainly make for some interesting fly balls.  BTW, I would remind you..."Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind..."  You know the rest..

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  A burnt cake is for the birds. Literally.////FROM JACK:  In our backyard, the chipmunks and squirrels would see it as dessert.

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  Did you live in this area when Harry Heilman did the Tigers' broadcasts?
As a youngster I could hear the Tigers' Sunday games played on the radio in our backyard, weather permitting, and always in the house if it rained in Grand Rapids.  After gas rationing ended in 1945 we drove to Detroit, marveled at the Davison Freeway, and saw the Tigers play the Philadelphia Athletics in a double-header.  Yes, it was a long time ago!  I later enjoyed listening to Ernie Harwell.////FROM JACK:  We didn't move to Detroit until long after Heilman.  Ray Lane, Ernie's one-time partner, was a member of my church.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is so true.  It is also true for elections.  I just early voted, and it is a challenge.  Besides the regular ballot we had 12 amendments to study and vote for or against.  I don't know what is happening in the rest of the country, but the Democrats were offering free food from food trucks this weekend in the  parking lot.  Have you ever heard of that before?////FROM JACK:  I remember when some churches would offer food to the hungry, but first they had to listen to a sermon.  I wonder if Jesus would do that?  I've read that Tampa does have a "homeless" problem, and I can imagine that lack of food is also a problem.////SHIRL:  We do have more of a homeless problem since St. Petersburg outlawed panhandling over there.  We have lots of food pantries in all of the churches plus the government programs. There is also a big drug problem, too, like in several cities.////SHIRL:  It is a big problem.  On my first job with Catholic Social Service in Peoria in 1949, I learned that in a hurry.  In those days, there were social institutions run by the churches.  Even in my mother's generation, orphans were sent to the orphanage in Annawan, and some young boys went to the CCC.  I remember all of that and, of course, there were the Okies who left the dust bowl and went to California.  Probably families used to be more prominent in helping.  More jobs would be the answer.  We have two young men and one young woman in our neigborhood who have been laid off, but their spouse's have jobs.////JACK:  The global economy means that jobs Americans used to rely on are now being done more cheaply by workers in other parts of the world.  And, technology allows more work to be done by fewer and fewer people.  It's sort of like a modern "Industrial Revolution."


Friday, October 26, 2012

Winning Words 10/26/12
“Grape=Nuts is a cross between gerbil food and gravel.”  (Dave Barry)  Today is the birthday of C.W. Post (1854), the inventor of Grape=Nuts.  It’s one of my favorite cereals, and it’s supposed to be good for you, too.  Another favorite is Shredded Wheat, even though some say that it tastes like straw.  I like Quaker Oats, too.  I’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Do you have an opinion?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  granola + fruit work for me.////FROM JACK:  Granola was invented as a health food in the 19th century, just like Grape=Nuts.////HG:  Take a look at the Kashi cereal. I use the Go Lean Crunch variety.////JACK:  Kashi sounds like a Muslim name to me.

FROM KB IN MICHIGAN:  I haven't thought about Grape Nuts in a while--my father's favorite cereal--thanks for the memory////FROM JACK:  What's your favorite?  Special K(itty)?

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I like the texture and taste of Grape-Nuts. Guess the trick is to eat it without looking at it.////FROM JACK:  It has a strange name, since it doesn't contain either grapes or nuts...although its shape resembles grape pits.

 FROM BF IN MICHIGAN:  Too often I skip breakfast but I agree Shredded Wheat tastes like straw!  I better go eat my Cheerios now...////FROM JACK:  I remember when Cherrios were first introduced...same shape as now, but with the name, Cheerioats, because of the oatmeal content.

  FROM (SAINT) JUDY:  We love Dave Barry.  No one makes me laugh as hard as reading his material.  He once wrote about a dead whale on the Oregon coast and how the people decided to get rid of the whale by blowing it up.  It happened to be a true story and it was hilarious!  On the cereal front:  I love my Quaker Oats oatmeal and have it at least three times a week.  I do like Cheerios too.////FROM JACK:  Speaking of blowing up things, Quaker Puffed Wheat is supposed to be created by shooting kernels of wheat from guns.

 FROM PM STILL VISITING IN MICHIGAN:  Wheaties for me...breakfast of champions!////FROM JACK:  Hey!  That's what I had this morning.  "We are the Champions," as the Queen song goes.

 FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  Grape-Nuts used to be a favorite of mine one of my Drs suggested that it might be better if I found another breakfast treat.  My all time favorite breakfast most people have never heard of is "milk toast" Yes I agree breakfast is the most important meal of the day.////FROM JACK:  Do you remember the comic strip, The Timid Soul, featuring Caspar Milquetoast?  Milk toast, as you know,  is the name of a bland and fairly inoffensive food, milk toast, light and easy to digest, an appropriate food for someone with a weak or "nervous" stomach.  Why did your doctor speak ill of Grape=Nuts?

 FROM TS IN INDIANA:  You've got it!    Grape nuts is my favorite also.   I have bran flakes springled with grape nuts to add that crunchy  - and banana.    I agree about breakfast being the most important.   Great time to do the daily devotion also.////FROM JACK:  Even though I like oatmeal, eating dry cereal is faster.  Speaking of fast foods, my daily devotional book is called, Three Minutes a Day, but I can do it in less time than that.

 FROM JUDY, JUDY IN MICHIGAN:  I agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I like frosted Mini Wheats and homemade oatmeal made with Quaker Oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and dried cherries. I’m a homemade waffle fanatic and I make them a lot…. It’s a family thing. Nothing says the weekend, like a delicious, warm breakfast of my favs, waffles, bacon, eggs over easy, and dark, strong coffee and the a couple of morning newspapers and nowhere to go!  The “nowhere to go” part is rare that’s why when I can linger over breakfast. it’s a treat!////FROM JACK:  I like the strawberry waffles at The Big Boy...with the whipped cream.  But, I agree.  Your weekend menu is great!

 FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  I make my own bread in a bread machine.  I toast oatmeal and barley in the oven til light brown and then put it in the blender to make it finer.  Also in the bread is wheat flour and corn meal.  It makes a very heavy bread.  I toast a piece every morning and put natural nutty peanut butter and honey on it.  I have eaten it every day for about 20 years and think it is very healthy. Rick thinks I could save time and energy if I just bought a 2 by 4 from Home Depot and ate that!////FROM JACK:  Rick is a very funny guy.  Genes probably affect how long we live, more than the stuff we eat.

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  Add to your list of tasty treasures for breakfast:  Cream of Wheat.  If you put enough sugar on any of those bland cereals, they'll taste good.  I vote Yes for Breakfast!!!  I have been eating oatmeal almost exclusively (except for those rare occasions when I go out for crisp bacon and scrambled eggs) for three years.  I have compared how I feel later in the morning when I have eaten oatmeal or when I eat my bacon and eggs treat or just a piece of toast with peanut butter, on the run.  I consistently feel more energetic and less hungry for a longer period of time when I start my day with oatmeal.  Your Winning Words usually feed our minds; today you're "feeding" our bodies.////FROM JACK:  I've been eating  Trader Joe's "Quick" Oats lately.  Quick means 7 minutes.  I'm used to Quaker Quick (1 minute).  Why are we so obsessed with time?  In the old days sermons could last a half hour, or more.  Now, it's around 10 minutes.  When Trader Joe's is gone, I'll probably go back to Quaker..

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Opinion on what? Breakfast or breakfast food? Breakfast is the least satisfying meal of the day. Always done in a hurry.  There is only one breakfast  food...Old Fashioned Oatmeal. No sweetener.////FROM JACK:  Old Fashioned seems to be appropriate for some people..

 FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I agree about breakfast being the most important meal--I never miss it--but I don't care for any of the cereals that you mention!  Ha!  I like Life.////FROM JACK:  You probably should write: "I Love Life!"

 FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  Unless you get up in the middle of the night and raid the ice box, the longest time between meals is from dinner the night before to the breakfast the next morning.  My favorite breakfast, although not done enough, is eggs, bacon or sausage, hash brown potatoes, toast and coffee.////FROM JACK:  You're making my mouth water.  Would the waitress think I was strange, if I ordered that for supper tonight?

 FROM BM IN MICHIGAN:  My motto is “never miss a meal”, and breakfast is one of the important ones!
////FROM JACK:  Does a visit to Starbucks count as a meal?

 FROM MW IN ILLINOIS:  Looks like we're on the same page, shredded wheat & oatmeal have always been  my favorites.////FROM JACK:  I remember that Shredded Wheat used to be manufactured in Niagara Falls and there was a picture of the falls on the box.  The biscuits weren't wrapped, either, and I didn't care.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  In most cases, yes, because that is how I was raised and how we raised our family.  But our family in Orlando has not eaten breakfast for years, and , yet, they have a lot of energy and no health problems.  So they defy that wisdom.////FROM JACK:  I seem to recall that you are one who does not like Shredded Wheat.  I can't imagine not eating favorite meal.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  All of those are great if you put enuf sugar on them. Brown sugar and a pat of butter on oatmeal. Had a bowl after work last nite!   Tried Frosted Mini-Wheats?////FROM JACK:  The "frosted" cereals aren't GR-R-REAT!, to my taste.  Kids seem to like 'em.

 FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I love those cereals and often have them during the week but at the weekends I like to linger over breakfast with maybe  eggs and bacon whilst reading the paper.   I have always enjoyed breakfast and when I was  at school Mother would make a cooked breakfast before we left home every morning and I agree it is the most important meal of the day!////FROM JACK:  What are the brand names of some of the popular cereals in England?  What newspaper do you read?

 FROM KB IN MICHIGAN:  I’m kind of a Granola girl.////FROM JACK:  I've heard that kitty's are pretty finicky eaters.////KB:  I am a real meat and potatoes girl.  I never eat food that I cannot identify at first glance

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  I love sugar crisp but its not too good for your waist line!!////FROM JACK:  There's a baseball player for the Oakland A's named, Coco Crisp.  His real first name is Covelli.  When he was a small child. his sister and brother gave him the nickname.  Maybe people should start calling you Sugar Crisp, or Sugar Daddy.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Winning Words 10/25/12
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”  (Carl Sagan)  I’ve begun to make a list of exciting discoveries that have been made in my lifetime.  TV, genome, jet travel, atomic power, moon landing, bio-engineering, I-phones, polio vaccine, organ transplants, computers…it could go on and on.  You might add to my list.  We have come to expect the unexpected…cures for the incurable.  It’s a great world.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM BF IN MICHIGAN:  Microwave!  Who would've ever thought popcorn could smell/taste so good! ////FROM JACK:  I think that the microwave was one of the side benefits of the astronaut program.  Our old popcorn popper now stands idle

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I think our congregation could be called a "destination church".  Now many members are getting elderly and becoming homebound. This was undoubtedly unexpected for us, before we really couldn't conceive these problems of distance becoming so real now and so necessary to solve. It's a great world--we have the mailwomen/men and such wonderful telephone service now where we have these unlimited long-distance rates. We are starting a card-sending and telephone-calling caregiving group and tremendously thankful for snail-mail and unlimited long-distance minutes. A shout-out for the old inventions so necessary for our new situations.////FROM JACK:  I didn't expect the backward look in order to appreciate the present.

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  All electrical gadgets that removed us from manual labor – dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, electric typewriters, electric sewing machines, sergers for home use, I-pads, I pods, hand held game toys; dimensional x-rays, laparoscopic surgeries, angiograms, Skype, digital cameras, USBs and external hard drives – just all the changes in how we save our computer information, GPS instead of maps…don’t have to learn how to refold them anymore.////FROM JACK:  We got our first dishwasher this year, and it's been going almost every day since.  Google Earth is good, too.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Television was "something incredible waiting to be known" but it seldom has fulfilled its great potential.  However, talking about Carl Sagan, he always enlightened us with his knowledge of science, and he used TV to do it.  He is missed.////FROM JACK:  I remember standing in front of a store window and seeing my first TV picture, a shadowy figure in the midst of a snowy background.  Recently I marvelled at the high definition picture of a football game on my daughter's large flat screen set.////RI:  Early TV sets were curious.  Our more affluent neighbors had a TV shortly after they came on the market, and I remember they had a round picture.  I suppose it was simpler and less expensive for the manufacturer to produce a round picture tube.  And of course they needed a complex antenna on the roof to receive a good picture.////JACK:  Who doesn't believe in the theory of evolution?

 FROM (SAINT) JUDY:  Billions and billions of discoveries are yet to be made too!!  So many exciting things have happened and will be happening.  Air conditioning is top on my list along with radio, which I use everyday.  Pacemakers came from space exploration.  This is an exciting time to live!////FROM JACK:  How about fake knees?

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes, it is a wonderful world.  50 years ago we were living in Ann Arbor and expecting twins at any time.  When I went to Mercy Hospital the night of Oct.26, the whole world was on edge because of the possibility of a nuclear war. The twins were born on Oct. 27 at 4:10 and 4:20 p.m.  The most amazing things to me are all of the opportunities that all of our children have had and what America offers to the world today. Everything won't be perfect until we get to heaven. It is fun to learn new things and to meet new people from all over the country and all over the world.  The motto of The Experiment in International Living for which I led groups to Europe in the 50's was Expect the Unexpected.  The first group we did was to find ten host families for ten Fulbright students in Moline before they went off to their university.  There were nine men and one woman from Germany . One was Walter Vogel, and his host family included Mr. Hoffman, who was big at John Deere.  Many years later Walter was the president of Deere and Co.////FROM JACK:  You've reminded me of the imigrant comedian, Yakov Smirnoff, whose famous line was, "What a country!"  He talked about going to an American grocery store.  "You have powdered milk, powdered eggs and baby powder.  What a country!"

 FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  It IS a great world. Amen!////FROM JACK:  The song, "It's a small world..." might be changed to...
it's a world of laughter, a world or tears
its a world of hopes, its a world of fear
theres so much that we share
that its time we're aware
its a great world after all
its a great world after all
its a great world after all
its a great world after all
its a great, great world


 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Each generation stands on the shoulders of the one before, and we can never say, "What else is there to invent?"  Because history has shown there is still a lot...if nuclear warfare doesn't  interrupt our wonderful world's progress.  I was taught in H.S. that the atom could not be split...and lo and behold a few years later it was!!  Great world, with so much potential!!////FROM JACK:  Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers gave us a glimpse of what was to come.  Is there a similar comic strip today?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Winning Words 10/24/12
“There are no facts, only interpretations.”  (Nietzsche)  My earliest recollection of Nietzsche focused on his criticism of the Church.  Later, as I studied his life, I came to realize that he, like all of us, was the product of what had gone on in his life.  My home, my personal experiences, my teachers and the people I’ve met have served to interpret the “facts” of life for me.  Are you comfortable with interpretations?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM LG IN MICHIGAN:  Well, Jack, this one makes me feel uncomfortable... Does the statement "there are no facts" mean the same thing as "there is no absolute truth"? If so, then I disagree with it. Is my truth filtered through my worldview? Yes. But I still believe there is absolute truth, and I believe that truth is Jesus the Christ. My understanding of the truth shifts over time, but I don't believe the truth shifts--only my comprehension. I'm not sure this makes sense, because it's still early in the a.m., but I hope you have a great day today!////FROM JACK:  The point of today's WWs is to make us think about who or what has shaped what we believe.  That there is an absolute truth is a belief.  While I may believe that God is the absolute truth, I must accept the fact that God is beyond spite of the "God particle."////LG:  Ok, gotcha! ; )

 FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  Recently I read a book called 'A Brief History of Everything', by Ken Wilber, the modern writer and philosopher who developed 'Integral theory' and founded the Integral Institute. (The book was fascinating!) He writes in detail on the extent to which interpretation influences experience.
It is a fact that every infant is born an individual, with different levels of energy, activity, awareness, curiosity, and so on. These physical differences can result in very different interpretations of similar life experience. ////FROM JACK:  What a funny title for a book!  It's often said that historians make history say what they want it to say...and theologians etc.

FROM (SAINT) JUDY:  There are absolute facts.  It's a fact you will get burned if you stick your hand in a fire, elephants can't fly by themselves, some peppers are extremely hot, everyone is different, etc etc.  Some facts you can't change.  Jesus is our only Savior! But your personal feelings about facts can be influenced by your life-experiences.  Interesting fact!!!////FROM JACK:  On Oct 3, of my Ripley's "Believe It or Not" calendar, I read of a man who is able to direct a blow torch into his eyes without injury.  I wonder if he could also put his hand into a fire without injury?////JUDY:  I guess that's the part that you "Believe It or Not".  I would say "not".

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I am comfortable in the awareness that my interpretations, my meaning, and my perspectives are entirely limited viewpoints. This makes me more curious about expanding my perspective, i.e., seeking the Truth; all the while knowing I may have only gathered small bits of it. I think this also applies to Jesus' command to remove the beam from thine own eye. One can rightly understand that it is oneself that put it, and accumulated it, there in the first place. This is an example of the Freedom that accompanies Life: the freedom to respond --- even if it is untrue or simple fantasy. Can you hear the sound of the ancient shofar telling us all to "wake up!"? ////FROM JACK:  Acts 20:9 tells of a young man who went to sleep while Paul was preaching on and on and on.  He fell from a 3rd story window and died.  Sometimes preaching can lull people to sleep.  Perhaps we need better preaching...or a shofar.

 FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  A. Whitney Brown (who used to do the editorial commentary on the Saturday Night Live "news" segment) said: "History isn't what actually happened. It's only what people wrote about. So the reason that history repeats itself isn't fate, it's plagiarism."////FROM JACK:  Television is the interpreter for many people, whether it be comedy, documentary, or the news (both FOX and MSNBC)

FROM SAINT JAMES:  Once again, you have hit the nail on the head.  As I get older and watch friends and relatives do the same, the more I see that we simply become older versions of who we were as children.
 ////FROM JACK:  I don't know who said it, but it's sort of a fact..."We are who we were." ////JAMES:  That sounds like the famous Dennis Green quotation after he lost a football game that his team should have won:////FROM JACK:  That shoe fits many feet.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  How can you interpret "facts" which don't exist?    Perhaps that is why the relativist is on the slippery slope to nihilism!////FROM JACK:  People interpret what they "see" as fact.  In all of life there are questions that remain unanswered.  On ancient maps of the "flat" world, the cartographer would write at the edge of the map..."Here is God."////HJ:  So, are you saying there are no "facts"?....only what we see as facts?   In that case, you are left with nothing real to fact, you are left with nothing....Nihilism....Little wonder that Nietzsche made it there.....////JACK:  BTW, who has been your interpreter?////HJ:  How about Kant?////JACK:  I think it's interesting that Kant came out of a pietistic home.  The home often become an interpreter for many of us.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Being more comfortable with interpretations, for me, seems to also have come with being more comfortable with knowing Jesus hanging on the cross. He was surrounded with people's interpretations, both his supporters and detractors were limited in their human understanding and yet he was obedient even unto death and then rose again. Knowing that has helped me to live without needing so much to know facts and be completely sure of "truth". But I'm always glad when during the day some event pops up in which there seems to be a "meeting of our minds" with someone and peace.  Do you have peace meeting with Nietzsche' writings? I wonder if his criticism of the Church was the result of his great love for the Church?////FROM JACK:  I've always liked this description of the role of a pastor..."to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable."  I've tried to follow this advice when I write Winning Words.

 FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  The earth is round, it revolves around the sun. Facts exist. Our problem is we choose them selectively and deny those that don’t serve our purpose.////FROM JACK:  I believe that the earth is round, and that it revolves around the sun, because I believe my interpreter.  I'm not a Mr. Know-it-all."  And, even that which I "know" is subject to revision.

 FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  My thinking agrees to a point.  I agree things are an interpretation until I experience them personally and then it does become a fact.  Example: I have been told that if I put my finger on a hot stove it will hurt, that is an interpretation until I actually do it then it becomes a fact.////FROM JACK:  I should wear a sign around my neck:  "Caution!  Mind under construction."////M:  I have been told that our brain capacity is far from being used.  But, like my computer that has a search program I can't seem to know how to recall all the knowledge there may be in my brain.

 FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  The human brain, including my own if not classified as subhuman, doesn't seem to be able to function without the shortcut of paradigms. Attempting to understand the results of observations against the paradigm(s) in use (all of which are used to filter evidence, sometimes filtering out the wheat and leaving the chaff if "the" paradigm is challenged by the evidence) seems to require interpretation.////FROM JACK:  I once saw this sign:  "Some minds are like concrete...all mixed up and permanently set."  Does that require interpretation?

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Depends on who the interpreter is.////FROM JACK:  Exactly!

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My daughter Sarah called us from Japan, after she had been teaching there a few months, and said, "I'm sure, if I had been raised here in Japan I'd be a Buddhist, or Shintoist, etc. just like they are; We are what we're raised to be!"  She had wonderful friends there, and  the scripture "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father...etc." bothered her. She started a Bible study inviting fellow teachers and friends. They seem to be inquiring and open-minded people. One  teacher became a Christian, but had not told her family yet, when Sarah left the country.../I like  the quote  by H.Jackson Brown (A Father's book of  Wisdom)  "All that mankind has ever learned is nothing more than a grain of sand on a beach that reaches to Infinity".  We have a long way to go...!~!////FROM JACK:  Hurray for Sarah!  Her mind is working.   "No one comes to the Father but by me" needs an interpreter.  There are many interpreters.  Then comes the question, "Who do you trust?"

 FROM LBP IN MICHIGAN:  A challenge of being a mother: defining and interpreting for the little ones who are learning.////FROM JACK:  Just as it was done for you.

FROM CJL IN OHIO:  It depends upon WHOSE interpretation is under consideration.  I suppose that a lot of that depend upon how much they agree with my own feelings & prejudices...////FROM JACK:  Were you born with those feelings and prejudices?////CJL:  I started out with the thoughts/prejudices of my parents and then started to form my own.  Sometimes they would agree with my parents.  I guess I'm the result of much experience: reading/studying/living....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Winning Words 10/23/12
“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is the one comes from a strong will and the other from a strong won’t.”  (Henry Ward Beecher)  I read recently that pigheadedness can be a learned behavior.  Sometimes the terrible twos can last a lifetime.  Many of this world’s problems can be solved, or (at least) eased by trying to understand another’s point of view…a child’s, a teen’s, an adult’s.  Try it today!    ;-)  Jack

 FROM PM VISITING IN MICHIGAN:  Thanks, Jack! I heard early this morning that the best is yet to come...its up ahead looking through the windshield of the car, not in the rearview mirror.////FROM JACK:  Speaking of windshields, sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  "Won't" is not necessarily a bad word....the commandments include some strong negatives...."will" is not necessarily always a good...."I will shoot him!"FROM JACK:  I won't argue with someone who has a strong will.  And I do see your point.

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Perseverance I think is defined by us, obstinacy (in us) is defined by those of opposing views. What is called obstinacy in one view is often seen as perseverance by those agreeing with Mr. Obstinacy. Tigers in the World Series? Wow. I don’t watch baseball, but I hope they score a lot of touchdowns….   ////FROM JACK:  In the minds of a lot of people, perseverance is a quality that it positive, while obstinacy is seen as negative.  In the long run, they are just words.  Re the Tigers...You have to turn to the 2nd page of the Detroit Free Press to find out what else is going on in the world.

 FROM (SAINT) JUDY:  This wouldn't have been about the debate last night would it?  :')  I agree but I would add it's not always about the won't and the's about the reason for both.  Pigheadedness: haven't heard that word in a long time.  It's very descriptive and can apply to all of us at sometime. ////FROM JACK:  I didn't watch the debate.  I was too busy switching channels.  Pigheadedness, in my opinion, refers to those who are unwilling to compromise.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I will perservere in seeing the world in that all cultures are important in God's view; I won't sit around and share in the talk about just one culture--last night Finnish--but I will try to understand that, for Finnish people, that is the culture that is closest to them and which they are so proud of and maybe a little bit secretly or not, they think is the most fun culture. I won't be pigheaded and try to disabuse them of their enjoyment but funnily with all the enjoyment, haven't been able to convert and change my history of descent. Sometimes stuff like this becomes decisive, not to speak of things that we really can choose like our politics and sports teams, which in spite of the arguing are really great things about out country--in my opinion.////FROM JACK:  Sometimes when we see "the good old days" slipping away, we try to hold on and are reluctant to let go.  But, as Isaac Watts wrote in the old hymn verse...
Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  Try it, also, in the Presidential race////FROM JACK:  That's the problem...too many "I won'ts" and not enough of "I wills."////CJL:  Anything about "statesmanship"?   Haven't seen much of that.   "My party, right or wrong"    Sad.////JACK:  Isn't there a song---"Where have all the statesmen gone?"

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Big smile.  The trait sure runs in my family.  The other day my son argued that one person can’t be stubborn alone.  They need to have someone to be stubborn against and by definition that person is also stubborn.////FROM JACK:  Part of being a problem solver is having an understanding of what the problem is.  To be able to "see" both sides is a good trait.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Pigheadedness is a label that pigheaded people pin on people who don't agree with them.////FROM JACK:  If you don't like that word, try: bullheaded, mulish, stiff-necked, intractable.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HWB had a perfect way to put that! Clever man!  "A mind at PEACE, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe." Wayne Dyer, Book:"Real Magic:Creating Miracles in Everyday Life"   I like that thought...////FROM JACK:  I like anyone and any thing that causes me to think.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Winning Words 10/22/12
“There is no Someday in the calendar.”  (Ignacio)  Yahoo has a new series called, The Failure Club.  It tells the stories of people, like Ignacio, who have chased their dreams.  He wanted to start a haberdashery store in NYC, and was able to do it, because he didn’t allow “Someday” to have a place in his calendar.  “To Dream the Impossible Dream” is one of my favorite songs.  Is there some dream that you’d like to pursue?    ;-)  Jack

FROM PH VISITING FROM MINNESOTA:   Good morning, sure to enjoy your blessed day ahead!////FROM JACK:  I remember a song that that kids would sing at the beginning of the school day. 
Good morning to you
Good morning to you
We're all in our places
With bright shining faces
What a wonderful way
To start a new day
I wonder if it done any place anymore?

 FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN:  There is a great 4 part series on cable right now called, "The Men Who Built America."  It's fascinating.  Along with the stories are commentaries by current billionaires like Trump and Welch.  You would have enough material in one show for a year of writings and sermons! ////FROM JACK:  Perhaps I'll tune in and shut off the furnace.

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i have a future vision.  it involves elders, children, and a little dog.  i know it sounds a bit like the funny papers you enjoy, but life should have a little humor.  right?  oh, and, thanks for the song of the day!////FROM JACK:  It sounds like the comic strip, "Pickles,"  with Earl, Opal,  grandson Nelson and the dog, Roscoe.

 FROM (SAINT) JUDY:  That song was our graduation song!  Our dream is to have a 20+ acre lot and a home on a lake.  We are in planning stages.  It is so much fun to plan.////FROM JACK:   Here are some lines from David Cook's song, "Dream Big."
'Coz if you don't dream big what's the use of dreaming
If you don't have faith there's nothing worth believing
It takes one look to make the stars worth reaching for
So reach out for something more

 FROM DLM ON THE BENCH:  I just thought I would pass on a thought... Are you saving all of these great words in a binder for a potential book? (smile). You should be! These are great inspiration. ////FROM JACK:  I've thought about a book or a calendar...Someday.  But my "joy" comes from the daily interaction with friends, like you.  To me, the WWs are like conversations.  We enjoy the moment, and then move on to find more interesting things to talk about.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We just enjoyed an excellent performance of MAN OF LA MANCHA, so that beautiful song is fresh in my memory.  Good  reminder today that SOMEDAY is not good enough! I like the Steve Jobs quote:"Your time is limited. Don't waste it living someone else's life.." Get going on your OWN everyday! (Everyday is on the calendar!)  Always enjoy your words, wit, and songs!////FROM JACK:  I wonder why it's called, "The Failure Club," when "The Success Club" seems more fitting?

 FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  I think it is next to yesterday or doomsday?////FROM JACK:  Elvis Perkins wrote a song called, "Doomsday," recalling the day his mother happened to be on a plane that hit the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Here are some of the lines...."Not in all my wildest dreams it never once was seen
that doomsday might fall anywhere near a tuesday   but flight across the skies seein fate before my eyes"

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  Isn't it interesting that Sunday..the day of  the Christian Lord is so close to  sounding like"SONday"?////FROM JACK:  In the Indic languages, Sun-day refers to Surya, the chief solar diety.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Winning Words 10/19/12
“When you get to be 70 there are fewer people you can turn to and ask, ‘What was it like in the olden days?’”  (William K. Maxwell Jr – adapted)  I enjoyed it when my dad would tell me about playing baseball against 3-finger Brown.  I liked hearing about “the good old days.”  With Halloween coming up, I wonder if I should tell my g-children about what we did before “trick or treat” became so organized?    ;-)  Jack

Tell me 'bout the good old days.
Sometimes it feels like
This world's gone crazy.
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday,
Where the line between right and wrong
Didn't seem so hazy.

Did lovers really fall in love to stay
Stand beside each other come what may
was a promise really something people kept,
Not just something they would say
Did families really bow their heads to pray
Did daddies really never go away
Whoa oh Grandpa,
Tell me 'bout the good old days.

Everything is changing fast.
We call it progress,
But I just don't know.
And Grandpa, let's wonder back into the past,
And paint me a picture of long ago.

Did lovers really fall in love to stay
Stand beside each other come what may
Was a promise really something people kept,
Not just something they would say and then forget
Did families really bow their heads to pray
Did daddies really never go away
Whoa oh Grandpa,
Tell me 'bout the good old days.

Whoa oh Grandpa,
Tell me 'bout the good ole days.

 FROM BF IN MICHIGAN:  Is it safe to share that story?////FROM JACK:  When we first moved to West Bloomfield we were warned about Devil's Night (Oct 30), and it was baaaad.  Thankfully, things have improved.

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  This is why I’ve been encouraging ‘children’ who have parents in their 80s and 90s to ask them the questions they want to know about the good old days, memories of their parents (grandparents/siblings), how did you get these recipes you use all the time, what was it like to live without the amenities of running water and indoor plumbing.  Our daughter-in-law asked me last winter to write down my favorite recipes and memories that go with them or when did I start to learn to cook/bake.  It took me until September to finish the project – lots of recipes/lots of memories.  She’s thinking about doing a cookbook for our kids and grandkids for Christmas or maybe next year for our 50th anniversary.
After my mom died, I wrote to some of her siblings and cousins and asked them to write me stories about my grandparents or the cousins’ parents.  I cherish the letters they sent to me and we included them in a family tree book that another second cousin compiled and printed last year along with some old wedding pictures of each of my grandpas siblings.
Yes, you should tell your children the ‘free’ things we did at Halloween; getting an apple, a homemade caramel apple, popcorn balls, homemade cookies and the homemade costumes – nothing bought.  I’m sure there were some shenanigans too.  Those are all great memories!
Hope you enjoy your Halloween this year.  I love to see the costumes the children come dressed in and also how polite they are – remembering to say ‘thank you’.  We will see over 100 that night and we live in a neighborhood of mostly retired people.////FROM JACK:  In our subdivision, people are asked to sit at the end of their driveway with treats as a parade of costumed kids makes it's way through the streets with a lighted car front and back

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN:  Are you referring to "Trick or Treat for Unicef"?  That was the only way I was allowed to Trick or Treat - and no costumes were allowed either; it was "not" a day for Christians to celebrate. Yes, do share with the grandkids.////FROM JACK:  Yes, I recall raising money for UNICEF and some people (who didn't like the U.N.) refusing to contribute.  BTW, some people don't realize the Christian connection with All Hallow's Eve.////PC:  Well, for Catholics I know that November 1st is a Holy Day - the Feast of All Saints. Since I'm named after St. Patrick it does hold special meaning for me.////JACK:  The masks on Halloween were meant to disguise people so that the bad spirits would be frightened away and not enter them

 .FROM CB IN MICHIGAN:  I used to love hearing stories from grandfather about the farm and the pranks he did as a kid.  Once when he and his brother were kids they were sent to the preacher's house to do some chores.  The preacher had a parrot.  Those two rascals taught the preacher's parrot to swear.  Now, we laughed pretty hard about that but you, Jack, might have a different view ////FROM JACK:  That's a great story about the preacher's parrot.  On the day of Halloween I'd go out and buy a new bar of Fels-Naphta soap.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown was my idol....even tho his career was long ended before I was born.   I think it is so neat that your Dad played against him.   My Dad was the manager of the East Moline Cubs and his first baseman was George Magerkurth.    His first cousin. Hoot Ellinwood of Rock Island, was the QB for the Rock Island Independents and their running back was Jim Thorpe.    You are right, not too many people with whom one can reminisce any more....but you are one...hang in there. ////FROM JACK:  I like those nicknames from the good old days.  I went school with a kid whose nickname was "Stinky."  Stink was really a good football and basketball player and liked his nickname.  I suppose St.Peter's nickname was, "Rocky."  The first baby I baptized was named, Rocky..

FROM MY LAWYER:  I don't know about where you grew up, but in my neighborhood, we used to say "help the poor" going house to house!!!////FROM JACK:  That was commendable, if indeed you collected money, candy and other food for the poor.  Knowing you, I would think that you did collect for the poor. ////ML:  Are you kidding???  That was just the figure of speech for the day!  We ate it all!

 FROM CWR IN B'MORE:  .......Amen.     It's interesting for me to enjoy how much Baltimore has changed since in my youth here when Baltimore was an old Southern City, segregated (both ethnically and racially)  I grew up in a white German Christian neighborhood where even the Church Services were in both German and English (and Latin)....and went to public parks labeled "White Gentiles Only" and the "public" schools were Segregated both ethnically and racially..////FROM JACK:  The Civil Rights legislation changed a lot of communities, but there remain pockets of incivility.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Essie had an interview with the assisted living lady this morning. Essie just called me, the apartment she saw Wednesday has been taken by a lady moving in from rehabilitation at the nursing home. We have one brother and in his just came back from seeing Africa, a niece who's going to move to India to work, our daughter and her boyfriend going to Rio de Janeiro for business and vacation and yet I can honestly tell Essie the saga of her life now is absolutely the most interesting to me, maybe because I'm impressed with her stamina and fortitude in going through all of this right now--she'll be 93 this coming Saturday you know. Maybe some day I'll be telling some grandkids about Essie and the old days when Essie and I were so surprised each day at the news she had to share about the situation and we could still share a laugh and joke about the way life is.

 FROM DL IN NW MINNESOTA:  No, don't tell them, and I won't tell mine about our Halloweens in the suburbs of L.A..!////FROM JACK:  Were you ever arrested?  You probably should have been.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  Soooo,  what did you do before tricks and treats?? ////FROM JACK:  Enough so that when my dad heard about it, he chased me down the street.  I was a fast runner in those days.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's very important for families to share memories.  Last Thanksgiving I collected recipes from all the family members and had them made into a book.  This year I am working on taking quilt squares from my great grandmother, grandmother and mother and giving each family member a square.  They all sewed quilts for Lutheran Social Services and they kept a few squares from each quilt.  I embroidered  "Families are tied together with Heartstrings" on each piece and am writing a memory about each woman.  Family means a lot to each of us.  Memories, such as scary Halloween trick or treating are one of those fun things to be shared. ////FROM JACK:  I should probably change your Blogger name to SAINT JUDY.

 FROM DS IN SAN DIEGO:  Boy, isn't that the truth.  Is it just because we are "old" we seem to talk more about the 50's?  I suppose our children will talk about how great the 70's were. ////FROM JACK:  Even though it included WW 2, the decade of the 40s was the best for me.

 FROM MOLINER JT:  Probably best we keep it to ourselves.////FROM JACK: I never hear anyone say, "Mum's the word," these days.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Your dad must have been quite a ball player!!  We had a Memorial service today for long-time baseball coach here, who was in my S.S. class. One less to reminisce about the good old days with us...About Halloween stories, Bill and his buddies annually pushed over outhouses in the neighborhood, especially one cranky neighbors...It ended, when this neighbor moved his outhouse  off of the septic hole, and when they ran in after dark to ram it over, ended up in a stinking mess (just the first three..luckily Bill was behind them...:-)  The neighbor did the trick!!  They sure got no treat!! The next morning, the outhouse was back in place, as innocent as anything...! I like your neighborhood's parade of costumes, with lighted cars at each end. We have Trunk or Treat in our church parking lot, dressed in costumes(nothing scary) and handing out treats from out car trunks.  Always give costume prizes, as well. ////FROM JACK:  Did the twins dress in identical costumes?

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  Don't give them any ideas!   The oldest living human just died at 132... btw. ////FROM JACK:  I wonder what stories they could tell me that I don't know about.  "Grandma, you don't want to know how the kids talk in school and what they talk about."

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  Why not?  They'll either think it's cool or foolish.  Either way you educate ////FROM JACK:  Recalling the things I did in high school and sister laughed when I said that I was thinking of becoming a pastor.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Winning Words 10/18/12
“If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things that you don’t get that you don’t want.”  (Oscar Wilde)  Tig Notaro does standup comedy.  Hours after her cancer diagnosis she went on stage.  “Good evening, I have cancer.”  There was laughter and some shushing.  Somehow she was able to make tragedy into comedy.  Sometimes good and bad happen in our lives at the same time.  We make the best of it.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I'm laid up again with another knee problem, but this has let me see the fall colors and appreciate them more as I drive my car and not do work I'm not able to do at this time. ////FROM JACK:  That's turning a negative (knee problem) into a positive (enjoying fall colors).

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Do you acknowledge any evil in the world?   Are there any real disasters?   When the Mongols surrounded a city and then massacred its men, raped its women and enslaved its children, was that a time for comedy?    A tragedian would be bankrupt in your world!!!////FROM JACK:  I was simply relating how one person sought to handle the "evil" that came into her life.  I'm sure that her story affected some who were in the midst of their own "evil" situation.  I wonder what it would be like if a pastor began his sermon one Sunday by saying, "Good morning, I have cancer?"  Could I do it, and then witness to what faith means to me?////HJ:  I've actually heard sermons that begin in similar ways....they were well done.    I would rather not do it for a while but I would not be afraid to do it.    Life is life and death is death.    "The word of our Lord lives on forever."     Thanx for the excellent reply.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  My mother-in-law now says she is ready to move into an assisted living. I prayed real hard that a place open up in the assisted living she prefers. "God, if she needs to go into an assisted living, please make it the one that is her choice." Her preferred home called her and made an appointment for this past Tuesday. then I gratefully started praying in thanksgiving that God gave her and me what we wanted. Last night I found out the appointment didn't happen for some reason. Still praying, but now not so sure she won't be disappointed in where she spends her latter years. Essie could go on stage and say "Good evening, I have to go into an assisted living that I might not like nor choose." and it won't be so funny to our family. "think of the things that you don't get that you don't want" is the kicker--I wonder what might have been unhappy about that cancelled appointment and why we should be grateful about the answer there. We're a community and definitely make the best of it.////SHARON FOLLOW UP:  More about the saga of the assisted living for my mother-in-law. We had heard from our sister-in-law about the cancellation of the appointment. Were trying to call Essie last night and she wasn't answering because, as it turns out from her calling me this morning, the Activity Director of the assisted living was showing her the room and she was enjoying a cooking class at the Harmony Club last night. Things are turning out even better because now when she does have the appointment Essie will know better all the questions to ask. Why do I doubt so much so many times I wonder?!!!!!!!////FROM JACK:  "God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform."  (Hymn by William Cowper)


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Winning Words 10/17/12
“It ain’t enough to get the breaks.  You gotta know how to use ‘em.”  (Huey P. Long)  A psychological study discovered certain characteristics among people who seemed to “get all the breaks.”  They are open-minded, willing to risk, have a relaxed approach to life, are positive thinkers…and were summer babies.  A song lyric goes, “Breaks run cold, and breaks run hot.  Some folks got ‘em, and some have not.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WILLMAR PAUL:  Good word Jack for an early riser this morning!////FROM JACK:  ...and I stayed up way past my bedtime last night, too!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  As I look over that list of "certain characteristics" I realize all five of them (some more than others) apply to me.  Looking back, I suppose I did get quite a few "breaks".  Ahhhhh, that's why my life has been so good!////FROM JACK:  The old saying, "It's not what you know, but who you know," is not completely correct.  A lot of time it's what you know and who you know.  The "who" often recognizes the "what."

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  We often aren't privy to the "breaks" a "lucky" person did not get... glad 2 be a summer baby, tho!////FROM JACK:  I wonder if there's someone operating the "break" pedal?

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is an interesting psychological study which I have never heard of before.  I wonder why people even think about those facts.  I just say-to each his own, you win some, you lose some, faith is a gift, God answers prayers, enjoy each day, always do your best and God will do the rest. ////FROM JACK:  People always seem to be wondering, and when they wonder, someone usually writes a book about it.  "Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?"  Is it just the breaks? win some and, you lose some?

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  As Sam Goldwyn said, The harder I work, the luckier I get." Joan did a sampler of that and it hung in our office for YEARS.////FROM JACK:Now Donald Trump is going around saying it.  I wonder if he has a sampler in his office?


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Winning Words 10/16/12
“There have been only two geniuses in the world—Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare.”  (Tallulah Bankhead)  T.B., the actress, was eclectic, a fan of the Giants and also a fan of Shakespearian works.  She enjoyed both kinds of plays.  I’ve read that a genius is someone with an IQ above 140.  I don’t know what my number is, but I’m not applying for Mensa membership.  I wonder if the two Willies would qualify?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Probably neither one would apply either.  But they were geniuses in their own way with their own special gifts.  You don't have to be intelligent to be a genius, just gifted.////FROM JACK:  I've heard that the genius finds that being above average in an average world is a heavy burden to bear.

 FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN: I think there are times when all of us wish our neurons worked a little faster with much more accuracy. Then I look at the people I know or who I've read about that are "geniuses". Many of them are tortured souls. I'm not sure I would make that trade anymore.////FROM JACK:  I like it best when my, body, mind and soul are in sync.  I heard some Aaron Copeland music on Sunday.  At times I wondered whether or not the notes were acquainted with each other,but, in the end, it made sense...and beautiful music.  Maybe that's the way it is with some lives.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Had a receptionist once who claimed to be a Mensa member. Maybe she was, but it didn't help her perform her job very well. It's how you use what you have.////FROM JACK:  It's the same way with money.  It's not how much you have, but how you use what you have.

 FROM RON IN TEXAS:   From my experience there is more than one type of genius.  I would suspect based on their accomplishments both would qualify.  You may not be applying for membership in Mensa, Jack, but you are way more valuable than some Mensa members I know. ////FROM JACK:  I like the Joe Theisman quote about about who is a genius, "Nobody in the game of football should be called a genius. A genius is somebody like Norman Einstein."////RON:  Maybe that's why Joe was a football player and sportscaster and not a physicist.  On the other hand , he got people to pronounce his last name to rhyme with "Heisman." so maybe there was a sliver of genius there.  It might be interesting to do a poll of people and see who they consider to be a "genius."

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  I'd say genius is in results not test scores.////FROM JACK:  It all has to do with the Spin Doctors.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  They are both obviously gifted in a special way.////FROM JACK:  The "gifted" aren't necessarily gifted.  But, in the case of the two Willies, they were really good at what they did.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I often noticed that some very bright people often lack common sense, even tho they  are super-smart in their spheres of excellence.  I wonder how happy genius's are...hard to find an intellectual equal, for sure...that's not a problem for most of us "ordinary" folk! :-)  How blessed we are to be in our 'right minds" into our 80's..////FROM JACK:  I've heard it said that playing cards helps keep the mind sharp.  I've also heard it said that playing cards is considered to be a sin by some Baptists..

Monday, October 15, 2012

Winning Words 10/15/12
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”  (J.P.Morgan)  I’ve read that we have 35 chances each day to change the direction of our life—not just one fork in the road, but 35.  The same article said that intuition, hunches and gut-feelings should not be dismissed.  They are the brain’s way of taking shortcuts.  A significant decision probably put you where you are today.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Happy Monday morning.  The brain's way or the Holy Spirit's prodding?  We are given little moments of hunches and intuition and perhaps God gives us a direction.  We can choose it or not.  That's what I believe they are.////FROM JACK:  Here's something for you to think about today.  Can predestination and free-will work together?

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  That is AMAZING...35 chances a DAY??!   I must be too content where I am to perceive them! (And I know i should move to a smaller place "in town"! ) Herman Edwards, the football analyst once said, "Your problems are never bigger than your purpose."  HEY How about your Tigers??! Cardinals are doing well, too..tho that is small consolation to a Cub fan! :-)  Two huge decisions seem to govern most lives: The choice of a life-partner, and profession.  I'll have to be alert for my other 35 daily....////FROM JACK:  My son flew in from Minnesota yesterday for a week of business.  At breakfast today we had an interesting discussion on how choices (more than 35) have affected our lives.

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE.:  What about your conscience?////FROM JACK:  Is it possible that not everyone has a conscience?  Is a sense morality necessary before there's a conscience?////HAWKEYE:  I believe we are all born with a conscience. The Bible talks about it, from Genesis to Hebrews. A conscience can be seared and lost.////JACK:  So you think that a person is born with a sense of moral values?  It's the old debate...Nature or Nurture?

 FROM MY FLORIST:  This one is very cool.////FROM JACK:  ...and the Tigers are very hot!

 FROM BM IN MICHIGAN:  One would hope that the “significant decision” had positive results.  While just one decision might have worked for some people, I quickly thought of at least four for me:                 The opportunity and choice to go to U of M.                       
Following a vocational counselor’s suggestion that an accounting curriculum might be the best for me, after   
                              floundering in other directions.
 Proposing to Margie.
 Leaving a very good, secure public accounting position to go out on my own.
But, are these really so unique?  What do you think?////FROM JACK:  They are unique, because each of us is unique, with our own personal choices to make.  Your result of choices was also dependent on the response choices of the U of M (whether or not to admit you); the counselor (what shall I advise this person?); Nargie had to choose whether or not to accept; finally, new clients had to choose whether or not to go with a brand new firm.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  These were wise and wonderful words today; thanks for sharing.  I’m a big fan of intuition but have never read anything about the 35 forks… nice!////FROM JACK:  Have you come across any forks today?////BBC:  Yes,  but just recognized one and imagine many more have passed by un noticed.////JACK:  Sooo...we're deciding, even when when we don't know that we're deciding.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  The question is, "which decision was more significant?" And then, again, does it really matter? We couldn't change it, even if we wanted were so inclined. It's a row of dominoes.////FROM JACK:  In other words, you're saying that we only "think" that we make decisions.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  thanks for these WW this morning. I have a habit I've been trying to break for a long time. Especially other people can see it's not a practical habit. Now I think I see from your WW that it's about making a decision not to be where I am and choosing to go in any one of the other 35 paths forward. Go back to the beginning of when this habit seemed beneficial and try to figure out if I really don't want to be there anymore and try to figure out which of the other 35 choices could also be beneficial but also practical. Thanks for these WW counsellor!!!!!FROM JACK:  Counsellor?  I don't know about that, but as Popeye used to say:  "I yam what I yam!"

 FROM LBP IN MICHIGAN:  I've come to the decision that hunches and gut-feelings are most often God giving me a nudge when I've gotten off track. All-in-all I'm often better off for listening to them. I would have missed a big deadline today if I hadn't listened to a gut-feeling. ////FROM JACK:  Philosophers and theologians have long argued about the location of the soul.  Is it in the head, or the heart...or could it be in the gut?////LBP:  Why does the soul have to be localized to a single organ?////JACK:  OK...if not in one organ, how about in one body.  It reminds me of the mother who was trying to explain to her little daughter that God is everywhere.  The child asked, "Is he in the sugar bowl?"  The mother replied, "Yes!"  With that, the little girld quickly put the cover on the bowl and yelled, "I got him!"

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  A good thing to ponder at the end of the day! What choices did I make and were the results positive/negative?  I keep coming back to this one!////FROM JACK:  Several people have commented on this quote and how it caused them to make some decisions.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Winning Words 10/12/12
“You may delay, but time will not.”  (Ben Franklin)  A sermon that I’ve preached more than once is titled, “Come Before Winter,” based on an incident in the life of St. Paul.  The gist of it…There are things that need doing before it’s too late.  Getting the yard work done before the snow flies.  Writing that letter to someone before it’s too late.  The sand in the hour glass keeps falling.  Let’s work on that “to do list”…today!    ;-)  Jack 

FROM BD IN MICHIGAN:  Here it is my last official last day at work before retiring and my "to do list" is greater then the hours left. This is one case where my to do list becomes someone else's to do list! What a great feeling!////FROM JACK:  It seems as thought the sand goes faster through the glass, as it gets closer to the end.  How long ago did begin your first days on the job?  Yesterday?

 FROM TRIHARDER IN MICHIGAN:  I think I've supplied you with my saying before:  "Procrastination is a means of avoiding a bad decision" or "Never be in a hurry to make a bad decision."////FROM JACK:  I remember once delaying going to see someone in the hospital...and then it was too late.

 FROM DM IN MICHIGAN:  Which leads me to think about, how many important things one can do in a day.  Everything important to me  and right now this is …getting my plants in for the winter but now after work I will be in the dark doing this….that to do list keeps getting longer every day!!!.   Unfortunately, the list doesn’t get shorter even after we do a few things on the list, the list continues to grow.  Oh well as long as the list exist we will have things to do ….right? ////FROM JACK:  The point of the St. Paul story was that he was in prison during the winter, and it was cold.  He wrote to his friend Timothy, asking him to bring a coat.  "Come, before winter!"  Timothy put off going until springtime.  Paul died during the winter.////DM:  Yikes!!!!  I guess this mornings ww  may have benefited poor St. Paul!////JACK:  2 Timothy 4:9-22

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Why is it always too late to do it right when there is always time to do it over?////FROM JACK: 
 "The clock of life is wound but once  And no one has the power  
To tell just when the hands will stop,  At late or early hour.   
Now is the only time you own;  Live, love, work, and with a will;  
Place no faith in tomorrow, for  The clock may then be still."
Sometimes late at night  I lie awake and watch her sleeping
She's lost in peaceful dreams  So I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark
And the thought crosses my mind  If I never wake up in the morning
Would she ever doubt the way I feel  About her in my heart
If tomorrow never comes  Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day  That she's my only one
And if my time on earth were through  And she must face this world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past  Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  That's worth repeating.  Perhaps tht's the sum of what we are trying to get across to our people.  I hope you get a chance to give that sermon many times....and that people take it seriously!
////FROM JACK:  Did you ever pull a sermon out of the barrel?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Winning Words 10/11/12
“If you want to catch something, running after it isn’t always the best way.”  (Lois McMaster Bujold)  I remember reading about a cat named, Happy.  He would never come when called.  Then, when least expected, he would suddenly be your lap.  It’s often that way with happiness.  It’s elusive…and, then, suddenly, it’s in your lap.  Haven’t you found that some of the best things in your life have come unexpectedly?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think that is the motto of some pastors....they are sitting back and waiting for their churches to prosper....sometimes, it pays to go out and work, too.    I've noticed that "good luck" seems to follow after folks who are working hard.////FROM JACK:  "Go and make disciples" are the words of a sales manager to any employee whose job it is to "sell" a product.  The next step is up to the sales person.

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  keep an open heart and mind.  happiness will happily fly in.   fyi-never try to chase a puggle.  they have turbo speed!////FROM JACK:  Now I know!  A puggle is a pug/beagle mix.  My daughter has a dog who will ALWAYS run to you...if you have food.  Some people are like that, when you have something they want.  Thankfully, everyone's NOT like that.////PM:  if lucy doesn't come when i call her, i yell out "treat!"  she comes right away.  smart dogs!

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Absolutely. Positively/. For sure.////FROM JACK:  I guess than means, Yes!

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Almost all of them.////FROM JACK:  A lot of times we go along thinking that we are in control of what happens in our life, and then...SIS, BOOM, BANG!

 FROM TL IN HOUSTON:  Jack, you just happen to catch it in my lap this morning.  How do you do that? ////FROM JACK:  It was an example of one of those things that happens unexpectedly.  Some of us call it, The intervention of the Holy Spirit.////TL:  Yes we do!

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Perfect WW for us this week.  We are babysitting for all three of our granddogs.  One huge chocolate lab 2 years old, one little white poodle-bichon mix 1 year old and one boxer-lab mix 9 years old.  The old one, Koko, Andy's dog comes right away but the other young ones come when they want.  I have shake a dog bone box to get them in.  They love the creek behind us and you can imagine the issues we have with that!  So I just laughed when I read this WW!!!  There are always surprises in life and it's fun just waiting for them to happen!!!  Like...the dogs coming the first time we call!  Miracles!!!////FROM JACK:  My hearing improves considerably, depending on what it is that my wife is asking me to do.

 FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Still trying to understand cat psychology. But, yes, that's it. Good metaphor. ////FROM JACK:  One of my favorite comics is "Get Fuzzy."  The cartoonist captures the mind of a cat, if, indeed, it can be captured.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  Like.////FROM JACK:  I'll have to guess.  Like cats?  Like the name Lois?  Like the unexpected?  Like being happy?  Like Winning Words?

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Like we "run after" our guys 'til they catch us?! Sneaky, huh? :-)  I'll take happiness anytime, whether it is planned or unexpected  I think it was Meryl Streep who said, "Instant gratification isn't soon enough" !  Most of us are rarely  that impatient: probably said tongue-in-cheek...Our family much preferred dogs to cats, tho we had both at one time or another.  Dogs can be trained; cats do as they please!////FROM JACK:  Meryl's quote reminded me of the prayer: "Dear God, grant me patience...RIGHT NOW!"

 FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  My mother in law had "wise" sayings for nearly every event.  For the situation you are talking about she would say,"You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."  So good to be on your list.////FROM JACK:  They used to call sayings like that, "old saws."  I'm going have to find out why. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Winning Words 10/10/12
“Life is a gift.  Unwrap it slowly and anticipate just what is going to be there when the whole gift is unwrapped.”  (The Merrill Courier)  Someone once told me that she would secretly open her Christmas presents and then rewrap them.  She just couldn’t wait until Christmas.  We can’t do that with the days of our life.  Each day comes as a new gift.  I have a friend who starts off each day by singing a happy song.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  "whenever i feel afraid...i hold my head up high...and whistle a happy no one ever knows i'm afraid!"  i had dinner with a friend last night who was diagnosed with stage four bone cancer 18 months ago.  she went through aggressive treatment with a prognosis of two years tops.  she was routinely scanned after one year of treatment and the team of doctors pronounced her cancer-free.  she walked through that storm singing many happy tunes!  she also told me that she unwraps each day like a gift...very...slowly... ////FROM JACK:  A translation of Proverbs 27:1 that I remember:  "Fret not thyself about tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."  And this poem: 
 "The clock of life is wound but once  And no one has the power  
To tell just when the hands will stop,  At late or early hour.   
Now is the only time you own;  Live, love, work, and with a will;  
Place no faith in tomorrow, for  The clock may then be still."
 ////PM:  beautiful and thank you.  i remember a message on the united protestant church sign.  it read
'"don't worry about tomorrow.  i'm already there."

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  One of the best aspects of our vacations is the planning and anticipation.  Each planning stage is like a gift: choosing hotels, planning routes, side-trips, things and places to see, even places to eat.  They are gifts to be opened slowly so when we finally begin the trip, it's like getting to dessert!  Right now, anticipation for the next Tiger's game keeps us hopping from one foot to the other like a little child!!////FROM JACK:  My alternative to hopping on one foot while the Tigers are playing on the West Coast is to go to bed before the game is over.  Que sera, sera.

 FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  I appreciate the philosophy of the winning words.  It is a good way to begin my day.////FROM JACK:  A line from a song I remember, goes:  "What a wonderful way to start a new day."  I think I learned it in grade school.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Enjoy each day and every day.////FROM JACK:  Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the U.S. Senate once prayed, "O Lord our God, as we seek Thy guidance this day we do not ask to see the distant scene, knowing that we can take only one step at a time.  Make that first step plain to us, that we may see where our duty lies, but give us a push, that we may start in the right direction."  That's a great prayer for any of us to use at the beginning of a new day.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  "Like."////FROM JACK:  Did you ever peek at your Christmas gifts ahead of time?////LIZ:  Never, not sneaky. I was always an expert wrapper, tho, so I could have. I had/have an uncanny ability 2 guess what's in them 90% of time.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Amen! you galvanized me to action  to write to a former bridge buddy who is stricken with cancer. Have meant to do it for two weeks... I "preach" a message "Seize  The Day" on that same theme. It is always well received. Last time I presented it was on Mother's Day, 2012, and for the first time ever, the congregation gave me a standing ovation!!  How rare is that????!////FROM JACK:  "Come, Before Winter" was a sermon designed to elicit such a response from the congregation, from the preacher, and from you.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Winning Words 10/9/12
“I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me, and it has nothing to do with what I look like.”  (Margaret Cho)  I had a chance to look through a copy of People Magazine the other day.  There seemed to be pictures of “beautiful” people on every page.  There was no picture of Margaret Cho, even though she sees herself as beautiful.  What is beauty, after all?  Who are examples in your mind?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  Beautiful people to me are those who day after day take care of nursing home residents, Alzheimer’s residents, Hospice volunteers who give relief to families of terminally ill people and visit the terminally ill reassuring them that God loves them, those who work with the homeless, those who make quilts to be sent around the world, teachers working with disabled children, doctors who operate on infants to make them better– anyone who helps someone besides themselves feel good about themselves.
As for the ‘beautiful’ people in the magazines – well, if they can get beyond themselves…  It’s what’s inside someone that really makes them beautiful.  So much for my opinions!////FROM JACK:  You've got the gist of Margaret's quote.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  thanks for sharing your view.

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  i think you are beautiful!    (but i also  have bad eyesight)  blessings. ////FROM JACK:  Nope!  I wasn't in People, either.  In fact, I've never had my picture in the Metro Lutheran.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The woman, Martha, who baked bread and cookies and pastries out of my grandmother's "green house" for the loggers on the AuSable River.  She was a beautiful person inside but would not have been judged beautiful on the outside.  My grandmother Mildred who was a gentle God-loving soul.  She fell out of her highchair when she was two and her left eye was slanted out forever after.  My Sunday school teacher Mrs. Woike who walked and talked and told of Jesus to a bunch of little ones.  My grandpa Herman who was gifted with intelligence beyond normal.  He also loved God with a quiet but strong faith.  My parents Bob and Eileen who opened their hearts and homes to so many and gave us kids the gift of love.  Many people in my life were beautiful beautiful people. ////FROM JACK:  A beautiful girl, who was a complete stranger, gave a shy wave to me the other day...from her wheelchair.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  People should call that the "plastic surgery" issue. Margaret Cho is hilarious.  BTW, Did u see that Gaga was smoking pot onstage? Just read that her parents' NYC restaurant is on the verge of being closed by board of health. The new Amy Winehouse, I fear... ////FROM JACK:  It must be a terrible burden to have to try and live up to a media image.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Reminded  again that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"..and how fortunate is that?! AND "A thing of beauty is a JOY forever" (Keats)/   My 4th and 5th grade Bible School teacher was far from beautiful, elderly plain spinster, but she was so kind, loving and soft-spoken and encouraging that we all loved her!  I've never forgotten her, and can still recall her face, tho by now the name escapes me. She had beauty of soul!  THAT is lasting beauty.////FROM JACK:  I wonder if there is someone today, who can remember your face, but can't recall your name....that person who made such an impact on their life?  I would not be surprised if that were true.////BO:  I've been blessed (as I'm sure you have also) by warm notes from former students (some still send Christmas cards every year) and parishioners over the years. It means a lot to think your life has counted in a meaningful way!!////JACK:  A businessman friend keeps a file folder where he puts customer "thank you" letters.  Whenever there's a down day, he pulls out the folder and reads some of the letters////BO:  Reminded once again that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder":  how fortunate is that?! AND "A thing of beauty is a JOY forever" (Keats)  I  think of an elderly Bible school teacher in Moline who had no physical beauty at all, but was so kind and loving that we all adored her!  Beauty of Spirit.  And now, let me show you my grandchildren....HA!

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  music. it doesn't require vision.......////FROM JACK:  When I was in a choir, long ago, I remember singing this ancient Irish hymn.  You probably know it and can sing it.
 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
be thou my whole armor, be thou my true might;
be thou my soul's shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise:
be thou mine inheritance now and always;
be thou and thou only the first in my heart;
O Sovereign of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, thou heaven's bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won;
great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Jesus on the cross. It's hard to pinpoint when my seeing him that way changed but I think it was when God/He/Holy Spirit and some special God's children helped me to see that he's always been with me and to see beauty in my own suffering and afflictions too. To see better the whole picture.  Enjoyed your WW again this morning and all the sharing on your blog.////FROM JACK:  Well, that's a response that I didn't expected.  On second thought, it causes me to recall a hymn that is popular in many of our congregations...Beautiful Savior.

 FROM DB IN MICHIGAN:  Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II ....... they did not consider themselves but instead focused on the worth and beauty of others.////FROM JACK:  My favorite pope was John XXIII, a real beauty.