Friday, November 30, 2012

Winning Words 11/30/12
“I guess that’s how death works.  It doesn’t matter if we’re ready or not.  It just happens.”  Randy K. Milholland)  I read the obits, not expecting to see my name.  But eventually it will be there, and so will yours.  It happens.  We might pray that death be delayed, but life is transitory.  While we grieve for family and friends in the cemetery, let us also celebrate how they have made us and this world better by their living.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HY YO SILVER:  Amen.////FROM JACK:  I had mixed feelings about using the quote, but "the spirit" moved my fingers.

 FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN:  Someday we can talk about how there are generational differences about cemeteries and "burials". I'm learning a lot lately.////FROM JACK:  When I was growing up, my uncle was a caretaker for a cemetery.  I used to go there with my dog, and we'd play together among the tombstones.////DP:  I think cemeteries are monuments to history. But part of me thinks it's a terrible waste of land where people could live and enjoy. I think your exposure to cemeteries are rather unique and give you a different perspective than most people.  I think it's interesting that people care so much about how, when and where they will be buried and even with whom?////JACK:  Google Carl Sandburg's "Remembrance Rock."  I think tombstones are remembrance rocks.  I like to walk through the cemetery...and remember.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Amen! Knowledge of our impending Deaths makes Life very significant. Unlike cutting the grass and painting the house, Death points out that Life cannot be put off until tomorrow. Like you noted, there are the truly significant things to be done --- "Love one another; as I have loved you, Love one another" (...and let the dead bury the dead.) ////FROM JACK:  In fact I have a "Today To Do" list before me right now.  I've already crossed out..."Read the obituaries,"////MR:  I liked your response to Walmart Rev; but I was thinking "Friday". Saturday will have its own troubles!  And I was also thinking that a useful "to do" list could be: 1) read obituaries. 2) go love one another. 3) sleep.

 FROM WALMART REV:  Always think of "The Dash" when I read or think about something of this nature and "I've fought the good fight, finished my course...and now the victor's crown that my effort found in Christ!" Looking forward to Monday!////FROM JACK:  Monday's pretty far ahead.  How about looking forward to Saturday?

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  I know I'm going to die,I just don't want to be there when it happens. .////FROM JACK:  Did you ever play Hide and Seek where the person who was "IT' would call out, "Ready or not, here I come?"  Death is the ultimate IT!

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I think I remember something in the Bible "Whether we live or die we live or die to the Lord". Death changes things and in a good way for people to see. Actually, don't know if I just "choose" to see death this way or if it really does happen but I've seen quite a few times now that there seems to be "perfect timing" involved and people grieve and mourn but also are able to be filled with gratitude about death--whether it was very peaceful, something very necessary was said just in time, the death happened on a special day, someone was impacted by the funeral and made a new start "in Christ", even I knew a couple who were like two peas in a pod and the woman died, people said he would follow in just months and he's still very perky and contributing to the community in the assisted living. Whether we live or die we live or die to the Lord and people all around demonstrate that all the time. A person can see meaning and purpose in all of it.////FROM JACK:  Sometimes it takes..."Time."

  FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  I have been missing (and dreaming) more recently of my Mother.  Must be the holidays.  I am so blessed to have the memory of her.  BTW I started Miss Millie's Loan Closet at church because we had so much equipment necessary for caregiving in the home.  So if you know of any needs.  Let me know.  Those things can be a big expense.  We have been glad for the response to it. ////FROM JACK:  The "closet" is a great way to honor your mother.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Tears still come once in awhile, but mostly loved ones are remembered with smiles and memories.  I'm glad my name wasn't in there today....but it may be never knows.  I'm not afraid of dying but I am afraid of how I will eventually go.  Today is a gift and I intend to live it to the fullest.  There are 12 children coming over to make, bake and decorate Christmas cookies!  Yipee ////FROM JACK:  Those 12 children are building their memories, just like you did when you were their age.  Yipee!

 FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  AMEN to that////FROM JACK:  Carl Sandburg wrote an interesting poem which relates to today's subject.  It's called, "Grass."

       GRASS        by: Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

        PILE the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo,
        Shovel them under and let me work--
        I am the grass; I cover all.
        And pile them high at Gettysburg
        And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
        Shovel them under and let me work.
        Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
        What place is this?
        Where are we now?
        I am the grass.
        Let me work.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is why we have to enjoy each day.  I am sending your WW to my cousin who lives in Rockford and whose sister's private funeral was held this morning at De Roo's in Moline.   ////FROM JACK:  Funerals happen every day, but they are out-of-the-ordinary when for a loved one.

 FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  Zig Ziglar passed yesterday, now that was a guy who was Optimistic. ////FROM JACK:  I guess that's how death works.  His death is news to me.  He was interviewed a short while ago and said, "When I leave, we want to be sure to leave all of the messages that we can." He did leave many positive messages.  Zig was a nickname.  His real name was Hilary.

 FROM JB IN WISCONSIN:  Appropriate words for me today.  Today is the 90th anniversary of my dad's birth and Monday will be the 8th anniversary of his death.  I thank God for his presence in my life.////FROM JACK:  We don't forget, do we?

 FROM CWR IN B'MORE:  You get cheerier by the day.////FROM JACK:  There was one funeral where the Hallelujah Chorus was sung at the end of the service.

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  Everyday!!!!////FROM JACK:  After the flowers have faded, the memory lingers...and lingers.  Thank God for beautiful memories.////CJL:  do you remember the phrase, "God gives us memories so that we may have roses in December"?  we need them!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winning Words 11/29/12
“Lasting change is a series of compromises, and compromise is all right, as long as your values don’t change.”  (Jane Goodall)  When it comes to compromise, our legislators could take a lesson from Jane.  She has a passion for saving chimpanzees and protecting wildlife, in general.  She also realizes that there has to be give and take…and it works.  You don’t get everything you want, but you accomplish your goal.    ;-)  Jack.

 FROM WALMART REV:  At this point, they could probably learn more from the chimpanzees than they are learning from each other. Just a friendly gesture...////FROM JACK:  Give the chimps some money, and then see if they begin to act just like humans.////REV:  True...but they do a better job "picking the fleas out if each others back" instead of calling the newspaper and reporting their "Honorable friend next door has fleas!"////JACK:  ....which reminds me of a cheer that we used to use in high school.  "There ain't no fleas on us; there ain't no fleas on us.  There may be fleas on the referees, but there ain't no fleas on us."

 FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  This is a really good one with what is happening in Lansing with our Governor's EAA House and Senate Bills trying to create their own school system.... why? What we have is not perfect, but let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. It is really difficult for me to understand why public education in Michigan and around the country is the target. Isn't public education the great equalizer? It is suppose to give everyone an equal chance and opportunity. We take the poor, tired, speaking every language with every syndrome, ailment, etc.... every child, every day is our motto at WL. Very sad that our representatives want to demolish it.////FROM JACK:  It all comes down to a choice of values.  So long as first choice is monetary, education of children will place somewhere after that.  The love of power will also be placed ahead of education.  BTW, equalization is not always seen as a value.  As Churchill said during the midst of the war..."Keep calm and carry on."////JE:  thanks for passing Churchill’s advice….”Keep calm and carry on.”  That saying is in many places lately. Such sound advice.  You are right, equalization is not seen as a value.

 FROM MY ATTORNEY:  I hope our representatives in DC know and/or learn this soon; before we go over the cliff!////FROM JACK:  As a lawyer, you know that in disputes there has to be give and take, if there's to be a resolution.  Is there a legal term for that?////MA:  It's called "compromise".////JACK:  It's not necessarily a bad word.////MA:  It should never be a "bad" word.  That's the problem with fundamentalists, regardless of whether they be in politics or religion. There is too much polarization toward black or white. There's always many shades of grey. To find the most acceptable shade requires compromise. In my opinion, one can compromise without abandoning core values. It just requires that one recognize that fanaticism leads to division.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I am often concerned for what people consider what a compromise is, as opposed to what a concession is. When one concedes to another, or a collective group like a family, culture, or society, one also concedes a part of oneself. Then, the question is always worthy of attention --- Is the concession constructive and a "good" thing? Suffering from repressed concessions bears the fruit of dysfunction. At least one then knows that it was not necessarily a good thing. Just the same, we don't live in a perfect system. The lust for power is certainly one of those dysfunctional fruits! ////FROM JACK:  I'm reminded of the visual illusion where one person looks at a picture and sees an old woman, while the other looks at the picture and sees a young girl.

 FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  Good advice////FROM JACK:  No-one wants advice only corroboration.    (John Steinbeck)

 FROM SL IN HOUSTON:  Well said!  In this era of gridlock our politicians could stand to learn something about compromise and do what they're elected to do.  I don't know when it became so out of fashion to dialogue and compromise.  Thanks for your wisdom each and everyday!////FROM JACK:  The thing that saddens me is that the ones who are willing to compromise are "throwing in the towel," and moving on in frustration. I think that the American people are looking for another Henry Clay who served in both the House and the Senate and was known as "The Great Compromiser."

 FROM DR J IN OHIO:  like it! very appropriate I think!////FROM JACK:  I wonder when the message will get through?

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  If agreement is the goal, compromise works.  Compromise is compromising. Let's use the word "bend."////FROM JACK:  Flexible is another word.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The big moral in that statement is "as long as your values don't change"...that's the hard part.  To compromise isn't so hard, most of the time, but to preserve your morals and values is another story.  That's hard!////FROM JACK:  It applies in the workplace and also in interpersonal relationships.  Life is a series of compromise situations.

FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  Then one can say,  "I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong !"  A bit of humor.////FROM JACK:  It's good to have some humor from Minnesota that doesn't involve Ole and Lena.  BTW, in case you want an Ole and Lena story....:"Ole bought Lena a piano for her birthday. A few weeks later, Lars inquired how she was doing with it. "Oh," said Ole, "I persvaded her to svitch to a clarinet." "How come?" asked Lars. "Vell," Ole answered, "because vith a clarinet, she can't sing." 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winning Words 11/28/12
“Any experience can be transformed into something of value.”  (Vash Young)  The saying is often quoted, “If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.”  I know of many examples where bad experiences have turned out to be good.  Recently, some “bad” situations have been brought to my attention, and I wonder, “How will anything good come from that?”  A Bible verse says, “All things work together for good.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM FLORIANA NORM:  TRUE JACK.  I'm teaching a course at FAU on how to start a business with NO money:  This is another job I now have that pays 0 money:  It's fun.////FROM JACK:  The King Midas story illustrates the fact that wealth ain't all it's cracked up to be.  To be able to make something from nothing is a very satisfying experience.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I seems that my appreciation of food is best understood after I've been hungry, or being in the Light after having been in the dark. It seems that knowing and understanding what is "bad" makes knowing "good" all the more useful. This is why I think Wisdom cannot be had for a song! I've earned every grey hair, and learned from every battle-scar that I can count! Thank God for Mercy!////FROM JACK:  In the movie, "The Blues Brothers," I like that scene where Jake dances and shouts, "Yes, Yes, I have seen the light!"

 FROM BF IN MICHIGAN:  Amen!////FROM JACK:  Yes, even exchanging a handshake for a hug can be a good thing.

 FROM WALMART REV:  "I walked a mile with Pleasure;  She chatted all the way;  But left me none the wiser  For all she had to say.    I walked a mile with Sorrow;  And ne're a word said she;  But, oh! The things I learned from her,  When sorrow walked with me.   (Robert Browning Hamilton)  0;-)////FROM JACK:  There was an old cigarette commercial..."I'd walk a mile for a Camel."  We walk "many miles" through life, and pick up various things of value along the way, if we keep our eyes and ears open.

 FROM YOOPER FLICKA:  SUPER! AMEN!////FROM JACK:  Sometime you have to live through it to appreciate it

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Always do your best and God will do the rest.////FROM JACK:   There's a song: "He'll Take Care of the Rest."
You know it ain't no use, banging your head, up against that cold stone wall,
Cause nobody's perfect, except for the lord, and even the best bound to fall,
Remember he is de vine, and you are de branch,
He'd love to get you through it if you'd give him a chance,
Just keep doing your best,
And pray that it's blessed,
And jesus takes care of the rest.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Well said and very true!////FROM JACK:  Verily, verily.

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  works for good BUT only to those who love the Lord.////FROM JACK:  Is "BUT only" in the Bible verse?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winning Words 11/27/12
“Beauty ain’t pretty.”  (Bette Midler)  This quote made me wonder,  “What is beauty?”  The awards often go to the “pretty” ones.  In high school Bette was voted “the most talkative.”  Her singing voice is kind of brash, but her rendition of “The Rose,” is truly beautiful.  She’s won Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, but no Miss America.  Who are the beautiful people in your life?  How does pretty differ from beauty?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Actually, this past Thanksgiving, with some real quality family time sorting out things there are some real beautiful people in my life who are so intense in love and caring that sometimes, in the times when we let each other down, it hurts. Beauty can include the hurtin' and still be meaningful, in my opinion pretty usually doesn't or can't because it's more just what you see on the surface of things. Interesting quote to think about. I think Bette Midler is beautiful.////FROM JACK:  I think that the saying should be changed to read: "Pretty is skin deep."

 FROM WALMART REV:  Not too many Bette's in my life . . . but a whole lot of just "plain-down-to-earth" good people that inspire me each day!////FROM JACK:  Perhaps you are the Bette in someone else's life.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I think "pretty" is a description of some thing, while "beauty" is more of a state of being. ////FROM JACK:  Pretty is in the eye of the beholder.  So is beauty.

 FROM RS IN TEXAS:  My first reaction would be that pretty is outer and beauty is inner.  Also, pretty can fade, but true beauty does not.////FROM JACK:  Perhaps pretty also don't fade, but just changes with the the age.  There are pretty babies, pretty children, pretty teens, pretty adults and pretty aged, too.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There are so many beautiful things in the world for us to view...the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes, the Upper Peninsula, the oceans, etc etc etc.  But there are equally beautiful things that aren't quite beautiful.  I know I have mentioned my grandma many times in responding to your Winning Words, but she was beautiful.  Not in the "beauty" sense of the word, because she had a very crooked eye from falling out of a highchair as an infant.  True beauty transcends the facial features.////FROM JACK:  One of the best episodes of The Twilight Zone TV series was titled, "The Eye of the Beholder."  Google it, if you don't remember seeing it.

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  What is beauty? Truth.////FROM JACK:  What is truth?

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I LOVE Bette Midler (with Lily Tomlin) in the movie BIG BUSINESS...JUST HILARIOUS! I'll have to get it out and watch it again now! In the movie they are twins...I've often heard that someone is "beautiful, inside and out" but never that someone is "pretty, inside and out"...Beauty seems to have a depth that pretty does not have. (I'd be happy to be described as either! :-)  It often takes awhile to discern the beauty within a person, but that kind of beauty wears well throughout life!! I think we all strive toward inner beauty! Sweetness, gentleness, compassion, warmth, unselfishness, encouraging, enthusiastic, and so on.////FROM JACK:  Phyllis Diller, Margaret Cho, Carol Burnett, Imogene Coca, Rosanne Barr .... Are there any pretty comediennes?////BO:  Mary Tyler Moore was pretty...most are at least attractive, which is probably one step below pretty or beautiful...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Winning Words 11/26/12
“A hug is a great gift.  One size fits all, and it’s easy to exchange.”  (Unknown)  Recently I reached out to shake hands with someone I hadn’t seen in a long time.  Instead of shaking hands the person said, “How about a hug?”  Even though I’m not much of a hugger, it felt like the right thing to do.  I’ve noticed that more people at church are “passing the peace” with a hug.  Whatever brings peace is OK by me.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Within the contemporary context of impersonal relationships involving such things as on-line dating, incessant texting, a plethora of reality shows, and other similar examples of intimacy avoidances, it is nice to know that hugging is expanding in popularity. There is nothing like the human touch! ////FROM JACK:  Since there is situational ethics, I guess there's room for situational hugging, too.

 FROM WALMART REV:  Good morning, Jack! I'm reminded this morning of a time when I came across a church bulletin from a church in Denver, CO that instituted a ministry called,  H. U. G. S.  From that I developed my outreach ministry that brought me to Willmar, MN. I began working with folk in the congregation to present Host, Ushers, Greeters and Senders to those worshipping each week. I, in turn, followed up and assimilated the visiting guests into the ministry of the church. It all began with HUGS! ////FROM JACK:  I'm not surprised.  You seem to be the "hugger" type.  That's good.

 FROM HY YO SILVER:  Guilty as charged!  You are deserving of an embrace.////FROM JACK:  I think that hugging is a learned experience.  We never were much of a family for physical hugging, but the thought was there.

 FROM KB IN MICHIGAN:  I am a hugger and I love this WW.////FROM JACK:  I'll try to remember that.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There is nothing so special as a genuine hug from a child, a friend and someone we love.  Thank you!  I would give you a hug if I could!////FROM JACK:  I'll take it.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Actually, my Dad was a handshaker, even of me, and knowing how reticent he was about sharing his feelings, somehow even when we were shaking hands, our eyes said a lot more to each other. His handshaking, eye-looking will always continue to warm my heart.////FROM JACK:  There's nothing wrong with hand shaking, nor looking into another's eyes.  Some say that the eyes are the windows into a person's soul.

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  I'm a hugger : )////FROM JACK:  There's a song called, The Hug Song.
Doctor Dan, he's a friendly man, big and round like a bear
He hugs his friends, they hug him - any time, anywhere
Now the patients came for therapy to drive their blues away
And sooner or later they would feel better when they heard Dan say
 I wanna hug when you say hello
I wanna hug when it's time to go
I wanna hug because everyone knows
Hugging is good for you
I wanna hug, it's a wonderful feeling
Wanna hug, it helps with (it's part of) the healing
Wanna hug, because hugging feels
Like a natural thing to do

 FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  We have visited lots of churches, and I feel very reserved about hugs during "passing the peace" from strangers.  But I'm finally feeling  more open to handshakes and certainly enjoy a warm welcome. On the other hand, hugs are great among new good friends  and friends of yore; and because you are in that latter category,We will certainly will give you and Mary hugs when we see you next. ////FROM JACK:  The "passing of the peace" began with the kiss of peace, but for one reason or another, I see it seldom used.

 FROM YOOPER FLICKA:  I LIKE THAT IDEA....WHEN YOU HAVE ARTHRITIC  HANDS ::::A HUG, OR GO TO THE ELBOW !  TUDEN TACK////FROM JACK:  I have a couple of friends who give a very firm handshake, so I prepare myself.

  FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  A hug is worth a thousand handshakes. The handshake was instituted to show you weren't carrying a weapon. The hug shows  you care.////FROM JACK:  A bear hug also pins the other person's arms to his side, so he can't reach for his weapon.////PFC:  If I have a weapon, you aren't going to get near enough to "pin" me.////JACK:  I thought I saw a peace medalion hanging around your neck.

 FROM CJL IN OHIO:  Keep it up.  You'll grow to like it!////FROM JACK:  Is it possible to teach and old bear new hugs?////CJL:  Actually, you'll get to like hugging if you do it enuf.  At a church where I interimed, a hugger gave me a mug that was all bent out of shape.  It's message was, "I was fine until someone hugged me!"////JACK:  Better the cup than me.

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  After my father died in 1974, my wish was that I had hugged him just one more time and told him I loved him.  Since that time our family has become huggers!  I know that sometimes I sense that not all people are huggers, and I don’t hug strangers, but friends and family…well, look out!  There is something good that happens when you hug someone – good endorphins that makes us aware that someone has ‘touched’ us today.  When we were members at Grace Lutheran in Woodstock, Bob used to hug some of the widowed ladies after church – they were friends that we did things with during the week at church.  One lady commented that it was the only time during the week that someone had touched her.  We never forgot that.  It is hard for Lutherans to ‘touch’ or sit close to anyone in church…but it is fun!  It has turned mighty cold in the north country…our balmy fall weather has left.  We have a little white stuff on the ground too.  There was a little more of it in Duluth yesterday when we took our granddaughter back to UM-D.  Lake Superior looked very cold and gray yesterday!  BRRRR!!!!////FROM JACK:  Lake Superior needs one of Bob's BIG hugs.  I remember seeing a cartoon about a man who was uncomfortable when his congregation was introducing the passing of the peace.  He was sitting in a pew and whispering to his wife: "Ewww, it's touchy, feeley time again."

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  One of my professors used to tell us future pastors to do all our hugging in public with the exception of our wives!////FROM JACK:  Billy Graham never allowed himself to be alone with a woman, other than his wife.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  A hug is a good thing.////FROM JACK:  I read an article about good hugs and bad hugs.////TS:  How could a hug be bad?////JACK:  A "bad" hug might be...
a hug that is not wanted.
a hug where one squeezes harder than you want to be squeezed.
a hug that is not genuine.

 FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Easy to do. no expense, but courtesy requires permission from person to be hugged.  In CAP we are not allowed to touch anyone without permission.////FROM JACK:  CAP?  Child Advocacy Program? 

 FROM BF IN MICHIGAN:  I'm a "HUGGER" too!  Get with the program Jack!!!!////FROM JACK:  With hugging, I tend to be a responder, not an instigator.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Winning Words 11/23/12
“You’ll live through it.  C’mon!"  (Olivia Walton)  Black Friday?  How about Black Sunday, April 14, 1935, when daylight was obliterated at 4 pm by a dust storm?  A friend who lived on a farm during the Dust Bowl days told me, “I could hear the grasshoppers eating the paint off the west wall of my bedroom.”  Those were tough times.  Some folks have it tough today, too.  I wonder if there’s a Mrs. Walton among them?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  AND...the paint on the bedroom wall could have been the old lead-ingredient paint! It is indeed "dark times" when even the pestilence suffers! ////FROM JACK:  Well, that's one way to control the grasshopper population.  My friend also described a cloud of locusts that blotted out the sun.

 FROM WALMART REV:  Don't know about Mrs. Walton...but truly enjoy a present day "John Boy" in Michigan!////FROM JACK:  Are you spending Black Friday at your table at the Walmart Coffee Shop?  Perhaps the people are too focused on their shopping to take time to sit down and talk.////WR:  Sitting here now...however, the mad rush was last evening at ten...normal morning here as I write this to you.  PS...Just before I left Wall-Mart, a lady, an occasional attendee at the church, walked up and started a conversation centered on the fact she knows she needs to "get back to church" and the television ministries she watches takes away her ambition to attend...she ended our conversation with tears in her eyes explaining she knows it is the fellowship and special touches from the Sunday services at church she misses...I assured her that her seat is dusted off and awaiting her presence, and that she always had a hug waiting for her at Wal-Mart as well.////JACK:  Not all sermons are preached from the pulpit.  Edgar Guest wrote a poem entitled, "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day."

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Your WW today just hit the spot!!! the bathtub suddenly developed a crack in the bottom, our daughter is visiting from Houston and we can't take any showers until this gets fixed. Repair man is coming at 12:30 and we will see what he advises--could be time to install a whole new shower. We have to live through it--no other choice.////FROM JACK:  In the olden days out on the farm, the Saturday bath tub consisted of a wash tub in the middle of the kitchen floor.  Hot water came from a tea kettle on the wood burning stove.

 FROM BD IN MICHIGAN:  "We will live through it" was a special message for me today....Cut short my hunting trip for this week and came back Tuesday night, because my wife's mom is very sick....put her in Hospice yesterday. Please put her on your prayer list!////FROM JACK:  There's an old church hymn with these words, "Be not dismayed, whate'er betide, God will take care of you"...and your wife and your mother-in-law.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I somehow missed your point about Black Friday. Black Friday is a good thing.////FROM JACK:  Black Friday is good for the merchants, because it's a really big day for pre-Christmas shopping.  I was trying to make the point that there are some occasions that are more significant than Black Friday, such as the days when people are facing tough times.  I was seeking to encourage them to "hang in there," that they will be able to get through the tough times.  I've already heard from one such person.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  Like.  Happy Weekend of Thanks!////FROM JACK:  Hershey's used to make a Bitter-Sweet candy bar.  It never really caught on, because most people liked the sweet.  Such is life.

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  On difficult days, my mantra is similar: just get through it : )  Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving with family. Seems like we had Spring yesterday, and Winter has set in today (& we will get through it!!).////FROM JACK:  "Mantra" is a word that I think I know, but just to be sure...I checked.  It's a word, or series of words, that, when repeated, is able to create a transformation...sort of like the little emgine that could.  "I think I can, I think I can.  I know I can. I know I can."  It fits with your response.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I'm sure there are plenty of Mrs. Walton's around here.  That's what makes America so wonderful!  Happy "I survived Black Friday"!  And nope, I didn't do any shopping either with my feet or with my fingers.////FROM JACK:  I once had a teacher who said to me, "You can do better."  I've never forgotten him, nor  what he said.

 FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  Speaking of April 14, what about April 14, 1865 and a Friday when Lincoln was shot. Now that was BLACK.////FROM JACK:  Some have wondered why the day on which Jesus was crucified is called, Good Friday, and not Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Winning Words 11/21/12
“We often take for granted the very things that deserve our gratitude.”  (Cynthia Ozick)  Some people, at Thanksgivingtime, make a list of things for which to be thankful.  This year, how about making a list of those things that are overlooked, or taken for granted?  Perhaps at your Thanksgiving dinner, each person could be asked to think of something to be added to such a list.  I’ll start with…”the sense of smell.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM DR PAUL:  I was listening to NPR yesterday and they had the same topic.  One person called in and said, "I'm very thankful that when I wash my hands I have warm water and soap, because i know there are people who don't have that."  At first, I thought that this was very superficial, but it just wouldn't leave my thoughts.  I wonder how many other "little" things we every day that we never once stop to think about in terms of how fortunate we are to enjoy that activity.  Sometimes I think Thanksgiving should be much more often!////FROM JACK:  If having more Thanksgiving Days would mean having more Black Fridays, I'd wash my hands of that idea.

 FROM WALMART REV:  Thank God for being able to smell "stinky situations" indicates to us that we need to give this more attention for our well-being.  I remember God indicating in His Word something to the fact our worship can be "stench" in His nostrils if not given in a contrite heart of worship. Makes me want to present myself before Him clean through the washing of His Word!////FROM JACK:  I guess if you're going to give thanks for the gift of smell, you have to accept the stink along with the sweet.  Such is life.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  cottage cheese and olives. When I was growing up on a farm in Iowa, our holidays became times when we could have foods which we couldn't have "all the time." Now we have them all the time but, when I think about those days, cottage cheese and olives are still more special, otherwise just take them for granted most of the time since we've been able to afford them more. Actually, turkey is sort of like that too. People used to eat them just once a year, now we have turkey in the stores all the time. ////FROM JACK:  Black olives, or the green ones stuffed with a pimento?  BTW, I remember when cottage cheese came in returnable glass containers.  It was cheap, because it was considered to be a waste product.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We all have so very much to be thankful for and can't come near to what we can name!  But it's a sense of smell is a good start!  I would add....I'm so thankful to be living in a country in which we can complain about the government and still live!  Amen////FROM JACK:  Come to think of it, I can't remember when there wasn't political complaining.  I like the saying of Edward Hoch, "There's so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us."

 FROM MY ATTORNEY:  I'm thankful that we're friends.  Have a wonderful day.////FROM JACK:  That's one thing I don't take for granted

 FROM PC IN MICHIGAN:  That's a great idea. We have "thank you" boards that Nick and Alex made in preschool. We pass the board around and usually say what we are thankful for...I like this  twist. :)////FROM JACK:  A blessing taken for granted....a "thank you board" saved from preschool

 FROM SB IN MICHIGAN:  This evening is the Prayer, Pie and Praise worship service at Amazing Grace. Plenty of reasons to give thanks this year.////FROM JACK:  Have you heard the expression, Remember your p's and q's?  If p's stand for Prayer, Pie and Praise, what are the q's?////SB:  Quantity of qualified quotes?////JACK:  That'll do.

 FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  I’m thankful to know you and that you are patient in receiving your dark chocolate!////FROM JACK:  I thought that you'd forgotten.  Now, I see that it was just one of those "overlooked" blessings.

 FROM DC IN KANSAS:  "Thanks" is the only true gift I can give.  Every other gift is a sharing.////FROM JACK:  Thanks for the philosophical thought.  I'll have to chew on it for a while.

 FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I'm so grateful that I can still use my brain (most of the time ) when I see Angela struggling to make sense of the simplest of tasks.  She had to be hospitalized last week for lashing out at a day care worker-----what a dreadful disease this (Alzheimer's) is!!////FROM JACK:  Look at your finger.  Move it.  A simple motion.  So taken for granted...not to mention more complex thought processes.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  Of all the senses I think I value sight the most. Just my two cents…  have a meaningful Thanksgiving…////FROM JACK: Thanks for your two cents-es.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Winning Words 11/20/12
“Life is like a Doughnut.  You’re either in the dough or in the hole.”  (T-shirt slogan)  Burl Ives, in a song, advises to keep your eye on the doughnut.  In today’s world, there’s much talk about those who have the dough and those who doughn’t.  The truth is: It’s not fun to be poor.  Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are trying to get 40 billionaires to give half of their wealth to charity.  Any ideas for the rest of us and our dough?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I love the idea that each person who has been blessed through the grace of God, in whatever quantities God has chosen, also gets to decide how those blessings will be utilized. Current thinking by an extraordinarily large portion of the population seems to suggest that they know the answer to your question, and are more than willing to decide on behalf of those who have been blessed. I suppose this will save those who have been blessed the trouble of having to decide for themselves!////FROM JACK:  One of the things that goes along with a democracy is that the population elects representatives who make decisions for us with regard to the use of tax money.  If a person is satisfied or not with the representation , they have their chance to cast a vote in the next election.  The use of the bulk of our money is a personal decision.  For example, last Sunday we turned in our 2013 pledge cards at church.

 FROM WALMART REV:  How about taking a dime out of every dollar we have and invest that in charity. I heard that somewhere!////FROM JACK:  You must go to church or to a synagogue.

 FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  For 40 years I have admonished my children with " As you go through life brother, let one thing be your goal. Keep you eye upon the donut and not upon the hole."
Natural meaning is keep substance important.////FROM JACK:  Not all preachers are in pulpits.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  Keep on tithing.    It really does work over time.////FROM JACK:  The problem arises when it becomes an accounting procedure, rather than an offering.////PH:  True,  but even an accounting procedure,  stemming from a thankful heart, can be a blessing…  ////JACK:  I guess Jesus must have taken Accounting 101.  When he was asked, "How often shall I forgive?  70 times?"  He responded, "No, I say 70 x 7."  The answer is, 490!

 FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  We used to get donuts in a package in Merrill and the slogan was "As you travel on through life Brother, whatever be your goal,  keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole."////FROM JACK:  The Merrill donuts I liked best were not in a package.  They were the raised chocolate ones from Eddie's Bakery on the West Side.  Eddie's is now gone, and so are their donuts.

 FROM COMPASSIONATE JUDY:  I'm a doughnut hole person!  Now they even sell them!!  The kids love the Tim Horton's Doughholes!  I think the rest of us can keep our little cash and go into service to others!!!  We can do more with a bright smile than all the money in the world.  (Or we can go to Compassion International and "adopt" a needy child...which is what I want for Christmas- a Compassion International child that is)! ////FROM JACK:  Compassion: from the Latin:..with..feeling.  Having a strong desire to alleviate suffering.

 FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Give away not 10% but 15%!////FROM JACK:  Whoa, Nellie!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Winning Words 11/19/12
“We go through life sightless among miracles.”  (Quoted by Ellen Creager in the Free Press)  Have you ever been in another country and attended a worship service?  In last week’s Travel section, E.C. describes experiences told to her…in London, a woman carrying a barking dog up and down the church aisle…in a Liberian church, old Gospel songs and the U.S. Marine Band.  Have you seen something unusual lately?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Last night I was at our local Presbyterian Church at a meeting of All God's Children (advocates of gay, lesbian and transgendered inclusiveness in our churches) and one couple came. The man has serious Parkinson's. He used a walker and after the potluck and meeting, I helped Barb carry some food out to their car. I was amazed at how she gently encouraged him and kind of also cajoled him that, to me as I walked beside them, long, long distance. Most people would be in a home or at least home-bound and not make the effort these two amazing people do. In reflection, I think the thing to think is not "I could never do that" but "Here are two people setting an example which some day I may be in position of endeavoring to follow." Faith, trust and love are miracles sometimes seen obliquely.////FROM JACK:  Thanks for sharing that unusual experience.  I agree that most probably would not make the effort.

 FROM TRIHARDER:  The thing about Orthodox Judaism is it's so much the same all over the world. I was in Prague last year, after visiting my son in Lithuania. On Saturday morning, I decided to go to a service in the oldest synagogue in Europe.  After I was interrogated, I was greeted and allowed into the service where men and women sat separated by a large, thick wall.  I immediately recognized the chants and the words and felt quite at home listening to a service 3000 miles from home.  I never get used to this familiarity. ////FROM JACK:  In this day and age, when change seems to be the norm, and "new and improved" seems to be what sells, it's interesting that "old and the same" also sells in Prague.  How old do you think that service is?
////TH:  The synagogue was built in about 1270.  Obviously, services have been interrupted from time-to-time, most recently during the Soviet occupation.  It's so comforting that, no matter where I go in the world, I can attend a familiar service (--even though I am not dramatically observant).  It provides me with a real connection to the Jewish people, our history, culture and traditions.

 FROM CWR IN B'MORE:  Did you know that Liberia is a Country founded by freed Maryland Slaves sent back to Africa ////FROM JACK:  I did know of Liberia's close connection with the United States (the capital, Monrovia, named after President James Monroe), but I had forgotten about it's connection with the American slaves.  Unusual!

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  While in China during my Marine stint, I visited the temples in the hills. Awesome. And I have never forgotten their beauty and the effort and devotion it took to build them. ////FROM JACK:  Who are we to question the beliefs of a culture that is beyond our understanding?  I am in awe of the faith and devotion of the people who built the temples that you described.

 FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  My sisters little dog Mollie often goes to church, doesn't make a sound and seems to love hymns-------we also have a special  service every year for blessing the animals.  We have had all kinds of creatures from a snake to sheep and donkeys.  Good  thing that the church floor is stone, easy to clean!!!////FROM JACK:  I remember reading of a lady in England who would take her small dog to church and hide him under her coat when she went to communion.  When the vicar wasn't looking, she'd break off a piece of the wafer and feed it to her pet.  What do you think that God's reaction might be.?  What does Doreen think?

 FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Happy Thanks giving...and I offer a prayer of thanks for the wonderful way you communicate with us. You are so very creative and thoughtful. God bless you, your loved ones, and all on the list, Jack.  Thanks again////FROM JACK:  There was a WW2 book (made into a movie) called, God Is My Co-Pilot.  I feel that God is my co-pilot as I write my words.////AW:  I have a copy of that  book...and I once heard a preacher say the title is wrong...should be "God is pilot..I am the copilot. ////JACK:  It depends on whether or not you believe in predestination.

 FROM GP IN MICHIGAN:  My wife and I have attended St Fredericks Lutheran Church in St Thomas in the Caribbean that was founded in 1666 several times at Easter Time...  It has a steel drum band  playing along with the hymns and communion vessels that were a gift of the Queen of Denmark.  They sang 15 hymns at the service.  When I ask why so many, the answer was " Its Easter, the most important time of the Christian calendar. We usually only sing 8 or 9 hymns."  We loved it and have been back several times ////FROM JACK:  I like the sound of a steel drum band...and Easter songs would be special.  We learn from others that things don't always have to be the same.  At the Memorial Service at the West Bloomfield Cemetery, we sang, America, accompanied by George, playing a harmonica..

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  When I was in Africa in 1999 we attended a service where they announced how much they needed in the offering before the offering was sought – after the ‘collection’, it was counted and then announced how much more they needed – then proceeded to pass the baskets until the ‘goal’ was exceeded.////FROM JACK:  Mmmmm.  I'm wondering what you did when the offering plate came around?  ....the second time?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Winning Words 11/16/12
“I’m lucky, Lord, I’m lucky.”  (Carroll O’Connor)  O’Connor’s tombstone doesn’t mention “Archie Bunker,” but the Archie character made him a star.  Talk about “Thank your lucky stars!”  Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney both declined the role.  BTW, is there such a thing as luck?  Are the events of life, accident or chance?  Philosophically, I don’t believe in luck, but realistically, I’m not so sure.  Cross my fingers!    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RB IN MICHIGAN:  I like the way you start with Lord in phrase and end with Cross capitalized
Have a blessed day focused on the Cross! ////FROM JACK:  Unintentional, but I wonder...Does the finger of God sometimes move to the computer?

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:   At this point in my life, when prayer seems such a natural conversation, I don't think luck exists. For myself, "luck" is the watered-down version of Grace. Much like "higher power" soothes the contempt or fear of the atheist or agnostic, "luck" provides a nice coating on that "wide path" that so many, as it is written, will take. I think I'll take the narrow one by the Grace of God which has led and continues to lead me. It is a rough road indeed -- with quite glorious resting spots along the way! ////FROM JACK:  Someone once said, "If it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all."  Rhetorically, I ask, "Is there grace in the life of Joe Btfsplk?"

 FROM WALMART REV:  As Gleason would say, "And away we go!" Enjoy your day, Jack...the best is yet to come!////FROM JACK:  Reuben Youngdahl, a Lutheran pastor in Minneapolis, once had a popular radio program.  He'd begin each broadcast with the words, "Up and away, for this is God's day!  Are you going God's way?"

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Don't exactly know why but Archie Bunker was a redneck I could have sympathy for. Maybe because his character was drawn sort of whole-heartedly so the audience could see that he had a heart at the same time he was a bigot. Carroll O'Connor, in my opinion, played it beautifully and wasn't accident nor chance that he was given the gift to serve in that way but maybe accident or chance that the opportunity came to him at all--good timing and in the right place.////FROM JACK:  Do you suppose that there are angels in heaven with red necks?

 FROM HY YO SILVER:  Me too.////FROM JACK:  Is being at the right time (or being in the wrong place at the wrong time) an accident?

 FROM SUNNYSIDE LOU:  Thomas Jefferson said, "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."////FROM JACK:  History confirms that he was a hard worker.

 FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  In our time in this life we find that we really don't know at the moment whether we had good luck or bad but we have learned that life goes on.  It reminds me of the old saying " If I didn't have any bad luck I would have any luck at all".////FROM JACK:  Do you find yourself encouraging good knocking on wood, or saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes?

 FROM JAMES IN MICHIGAN:  I believe "luck" is simply a label we use for God's blessings, especially those we don't anticipate, understand or think we had anything to do with.////FROM JACK:  Is "bad luck" a blessing in disguise?

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Good luck is serendipitous. Bad luck is not.////FROM JACK:  I like this definition of serendipity..."a happy accident."

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL: It good be luck or fate or whatever.  But, definitely, things happen unexpectedly, and they don't just happen one at a time.////FROM JACK:  This week's  Newsweek has an interesting series of recap articles on the recent election.  Several of them talk about "luck," good and bad.  One author believes that good luck and good preparation compliment one another.  I guess it works that way in school and business, too.

 FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  Not sure I believe in luck either. I think its more than that. God is totally involved**////FROM JACK:  Do you remember the song, "Jesus loves me, this I know"?...Someone has changed the words to read..."Jesus knows me, this I love."

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Love the twist on "Jesus knows me, this I love: (sending blessings from above??~!)  All In the Family and Archie Bunker probably preached more "sermons" than the rest of us combined. :-)  And the 'saint" Edith...Wonderfully entertaining show, and it spawned 'The Jeffersons' , which was equally wonderful.  Humor can be used to teach some important life lessons!  Roger Dangerfield says his luck is so bad, that if he bought a cemetery, people would stop dying! That's bad luck...Some people do seem "luckier" than others:circumstances of birth, physical attractiveness, mental ability, personality make-up, etc. but I think we do make our own luck, too...Cross your fingers, indeed! :-)FROM JACK:  I remember bringing a TV to church so that the Youth Group could watch a certain episode of "All In the Family," that had a particular moral lesson....probably on "bigotry."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Winning Words 11/15/12
“It’s a scary thing, never knowing where the money will come from.”  (Mr. Thanksgiving)  71-yr-old Bob Vogelbaugh has been providing Thanksgiving meals for the needy (no questions asked) for 42 yrs.  This year he and his volunteers expect 2,500 diners at a Moline, Il, mall.  He’ll need $16,000.  The MPD is giving $2,000.  People will be dropping off pies.  The world is better, because of Mr. Thanksgiving.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  Let's go out in our respective areas of ministry today and find "one last lamb" to nuture with the "Good News" of Christ!////FROM JACK:  "You in your small corner, and I in mine," is a line in a song that I learned in Sunday School.  We each have our task, using the talents that are ours.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I met a man once who was a Medical Dr and Scientist who developed wonderful natural products. His motto was " Be ashamed to die until you have contributed something positive for mankind" Nice thought I believe. Don't we all wish we could have or would have done more.////FROM JACK:  Your comment, "We wish we could have done more," reminded me of the poem by Edgar A. Guest...
Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You've all that the greatest of men have had,
Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes,
And a brain to use if you would be wise.
With this equipment they all began,
So start for the top and say "I can."

You can triumph and come to skill,
You can be great if only you will,
You're well equipped for what fight you choose,
You have legs and arms and a brain to use,
And the man who has risen, great deeds to do
Began his life with no more than you.

 FROM SAINT JUDE-Y: We need more caring loving people like him in the world.////FROM JACK:  I like this verse from a song about the saints of God.
    They lived not only in ages past;
    there are hundreds of thousands still.
    The world is bright with the joyous saints
    who love to do Jesus' will.
    You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
    in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
    they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
    and I mean to be one too.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Absolutely; wonderful effort to make the day memorable and meaningful and to illustrate to everyone stepping up to the plate to help that meals are needed every day….////FROM JACK:  It causes me to ponder....What can I do, besides writing a check to the food bank?

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  With citizens like Vogelbaugh and the MPD, no wonder you are proud to claim that you are a Moliner!////FROM JACK:  I know a young lady who would pack and extra sandwich for her lunch.  Every day, on her way to work, she would pass a homeless man sitting by the sidewalk.  She'd say, Hello, hand him the sandwich, and be on her way.  Another friend was standing in line at McDonald's and, impulsively, told the cashier that she'd pay the bill for the man behind her.  He was so impressed that he paid the bill for the man behind him.  I'm proud to have friends like that.

 FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  There was a Greyhound terminal in Rock Island  that had a Greek restaurant attached. It was the only place that served Gyro sandwiches. My friends from Palmer never had a Gyro until I introduced them to the Best Ever Gyro Restaurant. We used to cross over at the Rock Island armory bridge to get to the restaurant.  . It takes local people to take care of local problems.  I am surprised that this is the first I have heard of Mr. Thanksgiving, but he embodies the spirit of giving.////FROM JACK:  A friend of mine often orders a Gyro when we eat out.  I usually order something else.  I can't say why.  I'm still amazed at Mr. Thanksgiving.  To do what he does, and to do it once, would be a daunting task...but to do it 42 years in a row....  WOW!

 FROM TH IN MICHIGAN:  I was telling a rather affluent, but financially conservative (careful) a divorce client this morning how fortunate she was/is that all she was fighting over was property -- money; and that whatever happened, she would be OK -- (just maybe OK-er if I'm successful in pursuing her interests):
She does not have to worry about food on the table, housing, paying utility bills, fight to provide for her children, worry about their clothes, education, financial well-being.  She does not have to worry about custody battles, parenting time, sharing vacations -- Where, indeed, will the next dollar come from? ////FROM JACK:  I placed an order by phone this morning.  In talking with the order clerk this morning, I discovered that she was in New York.  "Did Hurricane Sandy affect you?"  She said that she was without power for two weeks, and she's soooo glad to have it back.  Thanksgiving means different things to different people.  We take so many things for granted.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Bless Mr. Vogelbaugh, and in our home town of Moline!  I'd never heard of this.  We'll be feeding 55 at our house, with brother Ted's family, Jan's family and mine.  I guess we have fulfilled the mantra, "Go forth and multiply!"////FROM JACK:  I'm asking myself, "If you were in Moline on Thanksgiving Day, would you be at home with family and watching football, or would you take time out to go and work at the mall, or, at least, go there with a pie?"  It's easy to answer that, sitting here in Detroit.////BO: 

I'd be at home with all my family...but I would definitely donate pies...I bake a lot of them!  a sister church in Springfield has a public Thanksgiving Dinner, including carry-outs for those who can't come to the church. and serve hundreds. I've always admired that they unselfishly give up their mornings and noon time through 2:00 to serve any who come, and it is hundreds!  But I have always had such a crowd here on Thanksgiving, I've never participated...My friends who celebrate with families, have their dinner late afternoon or evenings.
  Our church used to have a Thanksgiving Bazaar in early November, when we served a Turkey dinner and all the trimmings, and it was quite famous in the area...we'd all bake a turkey or two at home, and bring it to the church, and work in the kitchen for hours in preparation! Lots of comraderie in that. But as leaders of the Aid who  sponsored it died off, it was eventually discontinued about 12 yrs. ago...not enough workers or handicrafters! Now we feed the homeless once a month...Happy Thanksgiving. There will be 55 at our celebration, which is the most ever!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Winning Words 11/14/12
“I’d rather know a square guy than own a square mile.”  (Wilson Mizner)  Wilson was a raconteur, someone always ready with a story or an anecdote.  “Let me tell you about the time I met Wyatt Earp.”  He was a playwright and once part owner of Hollywood’s Brown Derby.  In his day, a square guy was someone you could count on, who was fair and honest.  Possessions really don’t compare to a good friend.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM PPM:  I'm so happy to see this this morning. I've missed Winning Words. Thank you for taking the time to change my email address.////FROM JACK:  From time to time e-mail addresses change.  I'm glad that there are moms who keep track of things like that.  Glad to have you back.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  How true that is.  Most people our age are downsizing and have lots of stuff to get rid of.  We have just returned from Washington and Virginia, and you definitely need more stuff up north.  Good friends are great.  It is hard for me to believe that Shirley Briere Parker is so close.  We still have many of the same interests and have gotten to know each other's families. Through the years we have kept in touch with all of our moves.  ////FROM JACK:  Didn't you grow up in the same neighborhood, too?

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  I had lunch @ the brown derby many years ago... nothing special....////FROM JACK:  I've only seen pictures of the Brown Derby.  I can't remember the last time I saw someone wear a derby.  It might have been Churchill, and his was black.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I agree! Friends and family before possessions!  Johnny Cash put it pretty bluntly when he said, "Success is having to worry about every damn thing in the world, except money." Possessions apparently  didn't make for a charmed life for him.  I know we were happier in the pastorate, making a modest salary (by U.S. standards) than we were when Bill was CEO of his construction company and we were living "high"...but we didn't know that until we made a "leap of faith"...Still, it IS nice to have "enough" to enjoy life...there is a difference....////FROM JACK:  Even though reforms that came out of the Great Depression have made for a less worrisome life for older people, there are still people who are poor.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Mizner is right about this. Sometimes, and in some situations, I believe I accumulate possessions when what I really want is a good friend. Possessions don't really fill the void of not having a trusting and warm accepting relationship. I think we especially find this out at Christmas time.
Very wise WW, as usual with your selections.////FROM JACK:  In the "olden" days, the annual Christmas card was a way to keep in touch with friends.  I still send them out, but the computer has changed things... including how I address the cards.

 FROM "SAINT" JUDY:  Absolutely, a square person is a true blessing.  I have one with me now.  She is my best friend and is down with me for the week.  She has been my friend since childhood at church.  She's worth more than any amount of money...well I guess I would sell her for a million dollars (she's watching me type this).  ////FROM JACK: I have a friend in Arizona who I call a couple of times a year.  It's almost as though we have never parted.  The conversation just flows.  It's that way with friends.////SJ:  So very true.  I have a friend, Jesten, an American Indian, who I worked with in the 60's.   She's a pastor now.  I have seen her 2 times in the last 30 years yet we remain steadfast friends.  They are God's blessings to us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Winning Words 11/13/12
“I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.”  (Daniel Boone)  Dan’l was one of America’s first folk heroes.  He was once captured by Indians, but used the experience to learn from them.  I’ve read that the Boy Scouts came out of an organization named, Sons of Daniel Boone.  Speaking of confusion, I’ve been known to wander around, while driving, not willing to ask for directions.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TRIHARDER IN MICHIGAN: long as you knew your destination, I guess it's ok.////FROM JACK:  Some of the most interesting places are discovered by wandering.////TH:  And, your thought made me think of the miles and miles that I've put on my car (or rental vehicles) in the mountains and deserts of the US, sometimes with a vague destination, sometimes just to see what I could see.  I guess going on hikes is similar -- no destination, per se.  Just wandering.////TH:  You know, Jack, a good portion of the time I'm involved in a legal project, I'll sit at my computer and nothing will come into my head. It's only while running or doing some other unrelated project that an idea often leaks into the brain.  Then the task becomes trying to remember it when I'm in a place where I can put it down on paper (or on a screen).  Day dreaming allows that to happen -- the creative juices often don't flow on demand.

 FROM WALMART REV:  "serving the King of the wild frontier"... (Taken from Davie Crokett, wasn't it?) ////FROM JACK:  Crockett's the one with the coonskin hat..////REV:  Disney World came on TV Sunday evenings during the time of our youth service at church...when Davey Crockett or Daniel Boone was featured, I'd beg (usually to no avail) to stay home to watch the program...probably wasn't a happy camper that night at church either. Memories! 0;-)////JACK:  Today's youth have even more reasons to skip a youth service...if there is a youth service.  God understands all.

 FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN:  Thank goodness for GPS!!! ////FROM JACK:  I had a strange hobby when I was a kid.  I used to go around to filling stations and collect road maps.  I still have a map of Chicago when there were no freeways.  BTW, you've probably never used the words, filling stations.

 FROM RS IN MICHIGAN:  That’s perfectly normal….you’re a man!////FROM JACK:  You're always right!  You're a woman.

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  curse of the gender.  sorry for the stereotype  :(////FROM JACK:  No cursing  allowed on this blog!////PM:  oh and by the way.  i love daniel boone.  i was so excited when i was a kid and the television program with fess parker aired.  i watched the original and re-watched the reruns through adulthood.  i would get up early and scrub floors on saturday morning when mark and i were first married.  i could hear the tv throughout our tiny little first home!  life was, (still is really), grand!////JACK:  It's no wonder that some people get Danny and Davy mixed up, since Fess played both characters on TV. ////PM:  no kidding.  my first theme song of the day was..."daniel boone was a man...such a big man".  little adison was dropped off early today and one of the teachers had brought in a disney theme song cd.  i popped it in and ..."davy, davy crocket...king of the wild frontier" started playing.  we danced and sang to it and i told her that when i was a little girl my brother johnny and i loved the song!  life is a series of synchronous happenings.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  "Wandering around driving"...that's not confusion.  Back on the farm that's what we called "getting the lay of the land."  If you don't resort to asking for directions to find the way, you're a man's man. ////FROM JACK:  That's right!  Daniel Boone was a man's man.  "I know where I'm going!"

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  I've never been lost, but I've been misplaced a few times!////FROM JACK:  At least you haven't been put in the "dead letter" file.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Daniel Boone's sister, Hannah, married a Pennington, my husband's grandmother's side. The family figures the Hall brothers all have a drop or two of Daniel Boone's blood in them. Now I believe it since I read Daniel Boone's quote.////FROM JACK:  There's a song, "Blame It on the Bossa Nova."  Now your husband's confusion (at times) can be blamed on the Boone-a Nova.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I have a friend who's mother once said, "You're never lost with a tank full of gas." She's the same woman who got arrested for speeding in Davenport...on a horse.////FROM JACK:  During WW2, when there was gas rationing, some dairies delivered milk in a horse drawn wagon.  One day a little boy was watching as the milkman came back to the wagon after a delivery.  "Mister, you're not goin' anywhere.....Your horse just lost all his gasoline."

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Confused for several weeks" sounds a bit serious!!~!  I suspect you are not alone in your wanderings, sans directions. Women are much more apt to stop and ask the minute they suspect they are on the wrong track, or need help. I know I do! As the Brits say, "Stay Calm and Carry On!"////FROM JACK:  I used to walk my dog, Tiger, using a leash hooked to his collar.  When I didn't want him to to go in a particular direction, I'd give a gentle (or, not so gentle) tug on the leash.  Do you suppose that God has a supply of leashes?

 FROM JS FROM MSU:  That's what men do.  Women are wise enough to ask for directions or I should say "ego-less"!  :-)////FROM JACK:  My mother-in-law used to say to her children when they were uncertain about going somewhere new?   "Afraid?  You can speak English, can't you?"

 FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  "Been there , done that"  haven't we all?????////FROM JACK:  Evidently not today's female responders.

 FFROM IKE AT THE MIC:  Don't feel bad about not wanting to ask for directions..because rumor has it that the reason the Israelis  took 40years to get from Egypt to  Israel is that Moses being a male as well was too proud to ask for directions////FROM JACK:  Rumor also has it that Moses came to a fork in the road and chose the way leading to the land of milk and honey, instead of the way leading to oil..

 FROM "SAINT" JUDY:  Loved this Winning Words.  Daniel Boone's wife had it very hard.  He was a great man but his wife was the one to take care of the farm, kids, and raised them mostly by herself.  He was gone most of the time.  But he was faithful to her and her to him.  He ended up being one of our greatest explorers and statesman.////FROM JACK  The frontiersmen got the glory.  Thanks for the reminder of the glorious frontierswomen. 

 FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  I have always loved road maps –they can help greatly to find a way, a destination.  I have a very large collection of maps – some of them I have had for 50 years or more.  I have them filed alphetically in file drawers- and it is amazing how often I go to them when I am reading or listening to the news on a radio or on TV.  Our new car has a system to tell where you are and how to reach a destination.   When the car was delivered to us, my wife then suggested that I could throw out all my maps.  But I find use for the maps almost every day – not that I am lost, but just wanting to know where someplace is.  I have been lost a few times but I have found my way many many times with my maps!////FROM JACK:  Does your will specify what's to become of your collection?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Winning Words 11/12/12
“Don’t call me a hero.”  (Medivac soldier)  My wife’s uncle was a medic assigned to a WW2 troop ship, bringing the wounded back home.  She asked him, “Where were you last Christmas?”  He replied, “You wouldn’t want to know.”  Current Newsweek tells of  a Medivac team in Afghanistan who flew into enemy fire to rescue trapped SEALs.  The quote today is from one of the team.  Veterans’ Day honors the brave.    :-[  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  Salvation's Army on duty for another day spreading the Light in a darkened world under attack!////FROM JACK:  I guess that there are armies, and there are armies.
"Like a mighty army moves the church of God;      brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
    We are not divided, all one body we,      one in hope and doctrine, one in charity. "

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Yours is an unexpected and realistic WW for today. My father served in World War II and up until his last decade when he was in his 70's never wanted to even talk about his experiences over there. Thanks for helping us all to remember today in a way that keeps us together really acknowledging what our service men and women have done for us in helping our neighbors all over the world and our country to endure and survive.////FROM JACK:  We don't always tell everything we've experienced, even to our closest friends.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Our church honored a huge list of veterans from our congregation (living and deceased) starting with WWII;  It was a very long list,  with so many wars and "conflicts" , and that is just one church with an average congregation!! So much talent and potential lost. THEY ARE ALL HEROES!!  " When will we ever learn?  When will we ever learn?!"  as the "Where have all  the flowers Gone" folk song asks...////FROM JACK:  Veterans' Day is a very solemn occasion, but it doesn't seem the same as Armistice Day, when on November 11, at 11 am, we used to pause for a time of silence as school kids and give thanks for peace.  That was a solemn occasion, too.

 FROM MY FLORIST:  Armistice Day  The Treaty of Versailles, was signed in 1919 between the Germans and the Allies during the eleventh month, on the eleventh day, in the eleventh hour. ////FROM JACK:  Can you remember the date (let alone the time) of any peace treaty signed since that time?

Friday, November 09, 2012

Winning Words 11/9/12
“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”  (Martin Luther)  Tomorrow is Martin’s 529th birthday.  A Catholic theologian who I know, once said, in a sermon, “Martin Luther was a priest with a conscience.”  The Reformation was not meant to start a new Church; the hope was that dialog could produce some needed changes.  Perhaps you hope for life changes to occur.  Hope is the start.  Action must follow.    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  A good phrase from a counselling session yesterday..."hopefully, we instilled a measure of hope!" Enjoy your day, Jack! It's called the "Present". Unwrap and enjoy!////FROM JACK:  There's a song...."Father, we thank thee for the night, and for the pleasant morning bright.  Help us to do the things we should, and be to others, kind and good."

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  To Walmart Rev: "hope" exists for the person(s) by virtue of their presence. When one "shows up" at the office, it was hope that brought them there.
////MR:  Because of man's corruption, "Reform" has been the battle-cry of man since Adam and Eve. I think Luther was well-aware of man's corruptibility through the obsessive awareness of his own. As such, Hope for that in which we have Faith is such a powerful gift. Hope is indeed the Light at the end of the tunnel....and you are right about the action that follows; we need to then walk through the tunnel. When it is not the Will of God to to take away the cross that lays before us, we can pray and hope that God provides us the strong backs to carry it. ////FROM JACK:  Thanks for your insight, and for your words of encouragement directed to Walmart Rev.

 FROM "SAINT" JUDY:  Hope is what keeps us going!  It's good to know someone is older than you!  :-)  ////FROM JACK:  I learned about "hope" when Luther and I were growing up together in Germany. ...stealing from Obama's response about Donald Trump's criticism.  ""Trump's problem with me dates back to when we grew up together in Kenya."

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  This must be a sign...............I saw a version of this yesterday - about moving forward with "less hoping, more DOING".  Yesterday I set up a meeting with a headhunter; that's my 'doing'! : )////FROM JACK:  It's interesting how the word, headhunter, has evolved.  I remember reading about real headhunters in South America who would capture people and...(I won't bore you with the details).

 FROM MY PASTOR:  Isn't it Martin Luther's 529th?////FROM JACK:  As people age they tend to lop off years from their age, but, in this case, Ill make the correction.  BTW, I'll be turning 70 next year.

 FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  Just wanted to remind you that today would have been my Mother's 100th birthday and also that 22 years ago tonight Rick and I were having a wedding rehearsal with you for our wedding that would have been tomorrow.  All happy memories!////FROM JACK:  Thank God for the gift of memory which enables me to bring to mind your mom and also your wedding.  I appreciate the "jog."

 FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  Maybe truer today than it was when ML penned it!!!!!!!!!////FROM JACK:  Some things grow better with age, but I guess we'd have to walk in his sandals to know how it applied to his life situation.:

 FROM REV PH IN MICHIGAN:  Jack,  Love your words.  Great job.  Is it Luther's 529th?////FROM JACK:   You are the second one today to catch my error in math.  Without the change, he would have lived to be 162.  It is not true that he died because of a diet of worms.

 FROM AJ IN MICHIGAN:  I really enjoy your Words of wisdom.  I enjoy them, too.////FROM JACK:  I enjoy them, that I enjoy coming across interesting and thought provoking sayings and sharing them with friends.  Right now I'm working on what I want to send out next week

 FROM HS IN ILLINOIS:  Just to keep the record straight, Jack, tomorrow is Brother Martin's 529th birthday.  Thanks for the reminder, though.  Incidentally, Nov. 10 is also the anniversary of the birth of the US Marine Corps.////FROM JACK:  Semper Fi!  You're the 3rd Lutheran preacher to point out the fact that I am not perfect.  "Forgive me, for I have sinned."  Be sure to read the blog for other penitential responses.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Hope is the most important word in the English Language."  It surely has to be one of the best!! I was in St. John's Lutheran Church in Springfield, IL this afternoon, (beautiful sanctuary and complex!) for Church Women United Community Day, and saw  the S.S. kids cards for Martin Luther.  What a reform movement he started!! We'll all hang on to hope, especially as Obama takes the reins for his second term!!////FROM JACK:  Hope is always needed as we march into the unknown.  It would have been the same if Romney were elected.  Eleanor was cerainly an interesting person.  She would have made a good president.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  You are Lutheran pastor #4 who has pointed out the error of my ways. ////FROM JACK:  Do you remember what the Winning Words were about?


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Winning Words 11/8/12
“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”  (Guillaume Apollinaire)  I remember when Bobby McFerrin’s song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” was popular.  I couldn’t get it out of my head.  I even preached a sermon with that title.  The song was based on a quote by the Indian mystic, Meher Baba.  He was responding to the drug culture which was looking for happiness in pills.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM JACK:  I just came across this one.  "Happiness is an inside job."  (William Arthur Ward)

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  sometimes we get so caught up in the quest for happiness that we take no time to experience the the happiness we already possess.////FROM JACK:  Your song for today..."If you're happy, and you know it...clap your hands etc."

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Happiness is a state of being. Pleasure is a result of action. Quite often the two do not meet.////FROM JACK:  Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, happiness/pleasure is in the mind of those those who feel it.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  One of my favorite "happiness songs" is Zippedy-do-dah. Like you, it sticks all day sometimes.////FROM JACK:  You've still got that ZIP!  Of course that word have several meanings.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  If I pursue happiness for myself seems like it's hard to be happy, the goal is so illusive, but when I live purposefully wanting to help others be happy, I get happy also in the process. I guess it's a sort of a understanding of the Declaration of Independence--the pursuit of happiness--and what President Kennedy said "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." Feeling happy today.////FROM JACK:  I wonder what happiness Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he wrote those words...the pursuit of happiness?

 FROM "SAINT" JUDY:  "Just Put on a Happy Face"..."Forget all your troubles and get happy".  Great thoughts and a great idea.////FROM JACK:  I like the way Dick Van Dyke sings "Put On a Happy Face."  He's got the face for it, too.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I remember you preaching on that song!////FROM JACK:  Here are the words to the song.  And after them is a link (from a friend) that I think you will enjoy.
Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy......

Ain't got no place to lay your head
Somebody came and took your bed
Don't worry, be happy
The land lord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don't worry, be happy
Lood at me I am happy
Don't worry, be happy
Here I give you my phone number
When you worry call me
I make you happy
Don't worry, be happy
Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Ain't got not girl to make you smile
But don't worry be happy
Cause when you worry
Your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
So don't worry, be happy (now).....

There is this little song I wrote
I hope you learn it note for note
Like good little children
Don't worry, be happy
Listen to what I say
In your life expect some trouble
But when you worry
You make it double
Don't worry, be happy......
Don't worry don't do it, be happy
Put a smile on your face
Don't bring everybody down like this
Don't worry, it will soon past
Whatever it is
Don't worry, be happy


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Winning Words 11/7/12
“The way we see the problem is the problem.”  (Stephen Covey)  When it comes to problem solving, “brainstorming” works for me, even if it’s only my brain that’s involved.  Get the ideas out on the table; make a list, if you have to, and then try to choose what seems to be the best solution.  I’ve read that problem-solving is the most complex of all intellectual functions.  What is it that works for you?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  Thanks, Jack...maybe we should forward your comments this morning to our new President and both Houses...I'll certainly use this process working with a family of four children and a mother caught in adultery...close friends too which hurts me all the more.  0:-(////FROM JACK:  When it comes right down to it...some situations close to home are more pressing than an election.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  "Talking it out" seems to work best for me. It requires someone else who just listens and doesn't advise. I especially learned to understand this process better in the Stephens Ministers training. The most effective responses to problems seem to be the ones that come from within. A good "talking it out" opportunity can really help a person to see a problem differently. Great WW again this morning!!!!!////FROM JACK:  In order for talking to be effective, there must also be some listening...and a willingness to act.

 FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: Sometimes in my sleep.////FROM JACK:  It's happened for me, too.  I wonder how that works?  We haven't been able to solve all of the mysteries.////HT:  I have a US Patent on the "Planar Log Periodic Quad Array", a simultaneous geometric solution for antenna design that came to me full-blown in my sleep (I had been thinking about the tradeoffs the previous day)   Otherwise, as far as I can recall, it just seems that difficult decisions and choices sometimes seem to have been clarified for me I wake up.   As for odd things that seem to work for me, another one is memorizing vocabulary in a foreign language. One of my Arabic profs told us, when handing us a huge list, to work on bits of it while walking between class. Said walking seems to improve memorizing. Seemed to work well. ////JACK:  I wish that I had know your memorizing technique when I was taking Greek.  I keep a pad of paper and a pen near my bed, so that when I wake up with an idea, I can jot it down.

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  For problem-solving, even for deciding which trip package to buy, I begin with a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper and draw a line down the middle; list pros and cons in either column no matter how extreme.  Consider each item aloud--your brain hears your ears differently from how it hears itself!  Don't decide that the longest list must be the best.  Each item also has weight.  Don't expect to make a decision immediately--you might need to consider your lists for a few days, especially if it is a significant decision that should not be made impulsively.  Sometimes I know the "answer" in advance but I need to see and hear the options before I make a commitment. ////FROM JACK:  I like the quote..."Not to decide is to decide."  Sometimes we delay our decisions so long that they are made for us by our inaction.

 FROM "SAINT" JUDY:  Prayer is the way to start.  We've got a lot of praying ahead of us.////FROM JACK:  I remember the story about an executive who had the the letters, DFTP, carved on the edge of the desk facing him.  Someone asked him what they meant.  He said that when he was facing problems, the letters reminded him..."Don't Forget To Pray!"

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I think Covey's point is more to the idea that our perspective is what gets in the way. The beam(s) in our eyes prevents the clear view. Talking familiar nonsense doesn't help; admitting the nonsense and discarding it, leaves one in the true mystery of the unknown --- which is the "truest" admission of all!////FROM JACK:   As the poet Robert Burns wrote:  "O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!"

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Problem solving is one place that I really miss my astute mate's input. He had a much more analytical mind than I do. So now, I usually talk with my kids if it relates to family, or good friend or pastor friend if not.  Talking out loud helps to put it forward, too: to "hear" it expressed.  Sometimes it helps to "Sleep on it" fact that often is the case for me.  I'm praying hard that Obama can reconcile the communication and compromise problems amid the Pres., House and Senate, so we can at last move forward on the many serious ills that beset the U.S.  Starting with JOBS, first!////FROM JACK:  Rep. or Dem., I think we expect more of a President that he can deliver.  Like in a church...if the pastor, the people and the leaders aren't on the same page, not much is going to happen, but, if they work together...You know the rest of the story.

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Good, and Wayne Dyer: "When you change how you look at things, the things you look at change." I believe he is paraphrasing the Bhagavad Gita and Dharmic scripture.////FROM JACK:  That's another way of looking at it. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Winning Words 11/6/12
“A politician thinks of the next election—a statesman of the next generation.”  (James Freeman Clarke)  I hate to see Olympia Snowe leave the Senate after 17 years.  “There’s no longer a political center.”  As a statesman, she saw compromise, conciliation and consensus-building as part of her role as a senator.  Most of us might not agree on who is a great statesman, but we know a politician when we see one.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  God Bless the statesmen and may they be brought forth as leaders of this beautiful United! 5tates of America! Thank you for the quote this morning!////FROM JACK:  Gridlock is causing us to waste so much potential.  "When will they ever learn?"////LS:  When statesmen rise up and they are blessed w the wisdom to listen to understand and realize that by understanding they will be understood!!! Then we will move forward to find solutions and put them into motion for the greatest good.

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I favor term limits. Why don't you?////FROM JACK:  Not all elected officials are bad, and not all the newly elected are better than those who have been replaced.  In your business you would not have wanted to get rid of employees who were doing a good job, just because they had served a certain number of years.  In fact, people who were good at their job would be rewarded by you.  I would like more "truth in advertising, too!....and less influence by the PACs.

 FROM HY-YO SILVER:  Sounds like an endorsement...////FROM JACK:  I recognize that people who read Winning Words come from differing political backgrounds, so I choose to concentrate on messages that stimulate the mind, rather on those that create a wedge.  However, I have voted and made a choice.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  That's an interesting comment about the distinction between a politician and a statesman.  Regarding your comments about Senator Olympia Snowe, I'm in total agreement with what you said.  She made herself part of "the solution", not "the problem."////FROM JACK:  I feel sad when those who stand for principles choose to sit down.  I wish that, what I think is the silent majority, could let Olympia and the others know that we support them when they take a "stand."////RI:  You're right.  While I have written my senators and representatives, to sometimes criticize them for their stand, and also tell them what I think about issues, I have to admit that I don't do it enough.  Too many citizens don't do it at all.

 FROM CL IN SANTA BARBARA:  I heard Gloria Steinem speak at a UCLA Bus School function in the 70s. She said . . . "Planning is s function of class. The rich plan for generations ahead and the poor plan for Saturday night."////FROM JACK:  At first glance, I nodded in approval of the quote.  On second thought, I felt guilty of prejudging the "non-rich."  For some people, Saturday night is about as far ahead as they can plan.  On third thought, it's generally a true quote.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON: FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  My problem is I'm not always astute enough to know who is a politician when I see one. Tend to want to take people at face value and believe they are actually telling us their principles and not just what they think we want to hear in order to vote for them and elect them. Really! really! thankful I live in a democracy of over 2 million voters and I only have one vote--this humbleness also helps me not to argue politics with a lot of people.  Hoping we are getting what we are voting for and moreover that we have our own houses in order here in our country so that the poor will be assisted to come up from poverty and we won't have so much divisiveness in our country,////FROM JACK:  I like the words from the hymn, Onward, Christian soldiers...  "We are not divided, all one body we,      one in hope and doctrine, one in charity. "

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  So true; A president can only do so much without support, and this congress is determined that he will not have it! Why Presidents get gray, and Barak Obama  sure has gotten very gray! I think whoever gets in as Pres. is going to have very rough sledding with the economy, unless the European Depression lifts, which seems doubtful.  It seems true statesmen are in short supply, and compromise has become a dirty word.  I, too, mourn Snowe's departure, but can see  the frustration.  I watched an interview with David McCullough Sunday night, (Author of JOHN ADAMS, TRUMAN, etc,)  and he avers that from time immemorial,  we mourn the present times, and think of how good the past was...probably true.  Well, I'll go vote and pray for the "lucky" winner!////FROM JACK:  I saw the same 60 Minutes interview.  Perhaps that is what inspired my comment for today.  My first presidential vote was when Harry Truman was opposed by Thomas Dewey.////BO:  I WAS TOO  YOUNG TO VOTE, BUT I WORKED FOR DEWEY...MUCH LATER ON I CAM TO ADMIRE TRUMAN A LOT...

 FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Well said, Jack.  That's why Birch Bayh from Indiana retired.  He said he got tired of seeing politicians spending half their term in office trying to get re-elected instead of doing the job they were hired to do.////FROM JACK:  And how about the humiliating task of kissing the "feet" of big donors, trying to get their financial support; when they, in turn, expect a payback?  I can see where some would say, "Who needs this?"

 FROM LG IN MICHIGAN:  Wow!! That's a good one, Jack! Thx for sharing!!!////FROM JACK:  I tried to leave the chaff on the floor.

FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Lovely; I agree.  Today is a great day and I’m glad the sun is shining in the Midwest!////FROM JACK:  Your words remind me of the old Cubs' song..."It's a beautiful day for a ballgame (an election).Can you sing that song?
Let’s go!  Batter up!
We’re tak-ing the af-ter-noon off!
It’s a beau-ti-ful day for a ball game, for a ball game to-day
The fans are out to get a ticket or two
From Wal-la, Wash-ing-ton to Kal-a-ma-zoo
It’s a beau-ti-ful day for a home run,
But e-ven a tri-ple’s o-kay!
We’re gon-na cheer and boo and raise a hul-la-ba-loo
At the ball game to-day

 FROM TRIHARDER:  Next campaign starts tomorrow (-- or Thursday).////FROM JACK:  ...or tonight, when the polls close and the winner(s) are announced, before the votes are counted.

 FROM JM IN VIRGINIA:  I agree - she was a beacon in the darkness.  Maybe a new generation of "statesmen and stateswomen" will recognize the shortcomings of politics and have the wherewithal to look at the long term effects of their decisions!  Forever the optimist!////FROM JACK:  I thought about using stateswoman, but decided against it.  In my mind, statesman is a powerful word that transcends gender.  It's like Will Stockdale in "No Time for Sergeants," when he looked at a female Captain.  "I see a Captain.  That's all I see."  When I look at Senator Snowe, I see a statesman.  That's all I see.

 FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  Some people think only of themselves, while some think of others.////FROM JACK:  I vote for someone, because I believe in what they stand for.  I think a representative should use his/her best judgment on issues, and if the voters don't like it, there's the next election.  Voter polling means that the representative guages the will of the people.  While what the people want should be known, I think Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" is the ideal.

 FROM DS IN SAN DIEGO:  Have to agree with you on that one Jack.////FROM JACK:  In your lifetime, are there statesmen who you can recall?////DS:  Actually I admired Margaret Thatcher.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Winning Words 11/5/12
“We’re all just regular folks walkin’ down the road God done set in front of us.”  (Denver Moore)  Homeless people have names…like “Denver Moore.”  His biography is in a new book, “Same Kind of Different as Me.”  Miss Debbie changed the lives of a rich white man and a homeless black man.  When Denver left prison after 10 years, the prisoners in the yard gave him a standing ovation.  Do you wonder why?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Enjoyed your WW this morning.   I read these words yesterday from the Henri Nouwen Society.  "In God's eyes there is no distance between bottom and top.  There shouldn't be in our eyes either."  I think the gentleman you quoted today must understand this too.  What a great title he thought up for his book!!!!!!////FROM JACK:  Poverty and poor are interesting words.  While they seem to indicate a lack of worldly goods and a kind of negativity, I see a positive side, too.  "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them."  (Matthew 5:3)

 FROM EEC IN MICHIGAN:  Why did they give him a standing o?////FROM JACK:  I guess that you and I will have to read the book.  It would be an interesting selection for your Book Club.

 FROM "SAINT" JUDY:  We made dinner for MCREST last night.  Twenty women and nine children including several infants.  They were normal homeless women and children...just like us.  It's incredibly humbling.  I will have to read the  book.  Happy Monday.////FROM JACK:  We complain when we lose our electricity.  Homeless people who lose "power" have a real burden.  More power to those who help them out in their time of need..////JUDY:  We took the easy way.  The people who stay overnight and take them to where they need to go and tutor them, etc etc are the real angels!

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  Just finished reading this book and thought it was great! It takes just one to make a great deal of difference in this world.////FROM JACK:  I wonder how many will be intrigued enough to read the book, because of the "seed" that you planted.  I'm planning to.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  Sounds like a good read.  We have had 5 funerals in 9 days.  Waaaay   too much death for a little over one week.   It does go in spurts sometimes.////FROM JACK:  Death happens to regular folks as they're walkin' down the road God done set in front of them.

 FROM PLAINFOLKS CHESTER:  I bet you'll tell me!////FROM JACK:  You lost the bet.  You'll have better luck at the Isle of Capri Casino.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes, what was he in prison for and why did he get the ovation and why didn't he have a job?////FROM JACK:  Does Tampa have a library?////SHIRL:  You sent me to the computer.  His life was very interesting, hard, and uplifting.  Fort Worth is a very interesting city.  I tried to check another website about his life, but it seemed too concerned about why he was in prison.  This has been a busy day with running errands for a sick neighbor and helping to celebrate Emily's 12th birthday- one of my four grandchildren who live in Tampa.  Thanks for helping me learn something new today.  We have a neighbor who goes to garage sales and buys shoes for veterans who are living in a home here for homeless veterans.  She buys them.,washes them,.and takes them to the house.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Sounds like that would be worth a read! I'm curious as to the standing ovation! I would guess some folks are more "regular" than others! :-) But  yes, we're all walking the path of life we have chosen, or are put upon...Clint Black says "the only easy day was yesterday": somewhat true! ////FROM JACK:  You can order it from for 96 cents, plus postage.