Monday, December 17, 2012

Winning Words 12/17/12
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”  (Marcus Aurelius)  Behind this quote is the thought that we do not know what each day may bring.  For example….last Friday in Newtown.  It’s ironic that a similar event happened in Bethlehem when Jesus was born.  King Herod ordered the killing of innocent children (thought to be 20 of them).  Jeremiah prophesied, “There will be weeping and great mourning.”  To keep the faith is sometimes a difficult thing.  A sign outside of the Sandy Hook School reads: “Our hearts are broken. Our spirits are strong.”   May God strengthen us all in these testing times.    :-[  Jack

 FROM HY YO SILVER:  See if you can find a morning prayer from the Jewish Shacharit service called Birchot HaShachar.  It is a set of prayers that we read every morning thanking God for just those things. Let me know if you can find it online.////FROM JACK:  I Googled Birchot HaShachar and found a series of morning prayers.  I'm interested in knowing which one (ones) you're familiar with.////HY YO:   Birchot Hashachar...Blessed are You, Lord our God, Soverign of the Universe,  who gives the rooster understanding to distinguish between day and night.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Soverign of the Universe, who opens the eyes of the blind.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who releases the bound.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who straightens the bowed.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who clothes the naked.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This reminds me of a song the men's quartet sang..."In the Mornin' when I rise, in the mornin'; when I rise; in the mornin' when I rise, give me Jesus!"  Life is so very precious ~ it's a true blessing to be able to know all is well in the morning.////FROM JACK:  A minister I once knew had a daily radio program and opened each broadcast by saying, "Up and away, for this is God's day!  Are you going God's way?"

 FROM DS IN MICHIGAN:  God bless you Jack. Heading to family in Cedarburg, WI on Saturday. Going to be hugging everyone just a little tighter this year.////FROM JACK:  I'm sure that you have visited the Cedarburg Bridge, the last covered bridge in Wisconsin.  Was it with a horse and buggy?

 FROM WALMART REV:  Very timely...and very much appreciated thoughts to ponder this Monday morning.////FROM JACK:  Every day is a day for pondering....////REV:  I find myself more involved in it than ever before...I would like to have a season here in the United States when I could say, "You think this is bad, you should have lived back on the xxx!" There must have been a time and I've surely forgotten it.

 FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN:  I think G'd needs our help now!////FROM JACK:  Setting aside the immediate situation where I see your point....In what way does the omnipotent G-d need our help? ////DR:  Do you remember the joke about the man angry at G'd for not winning the lottery?////JACK:  The odds of winning  the Powerball lottery are 1 in 195,249,054.  Can G-d perform that miracle?. 

 FROM YOOPER BOB:  Up here the thoughts go back to the big labor strike when a false cry of “FIRE” at the Italian Hall Christmas party for children resulted in 74 died in the stairwell on Christmas Eve.     Yesterday the worship included the hymn JOY TO THE WORLD.   The phrase  “...he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found...” brought me to tears and prayers.////FROM JACK:  I remember when you showed me the "fire" site and told me the story.  Even Jesus, in his humanity, called out, "My, God, my God, why?"  God is able to bring joy into a joyless world.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Thanks for your reflection Jack.  I did not get to church until 9 pm Sunday.  The priest at Loyola nailed it for gaudite(sp?) Sunday ~ he preached about our duty to rejoice during these times.////FROM JACK:  The 3rd Sunday in Advent is called, "Gaudete," a word for "Rejoice."  Coming at this time, it causes us to reflect on what it means to rejoice and, why?

 FROM MEDD-O-LANE:  We adults do strange things and then ask why a child reacted a terrible way.  If a child has a problem understanding normal thinking of life why would we put before them a deadly instrument and teach them how to use it?////FROM JACK:  We never had a gun in our house, but I remember that there was a razor strap.////M-O-L:  We didn't have a gun in our home nor a razor strap, but my mother's tongue stung and hurt me worse then any strap when it was needed.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I put on my Christmas letter, "LOVE TOMORROW, AND YOU'LL HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO, EVERY 24 HOURS"! :-)  EVERY DAY WHEN YOU GET UP, YOU HAVE A CHOICE WHETHER TO BE HAPPY OR SAD, POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE, ETC.  I CHOOSE HAPPY AND POSITIVE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE!  GOOD WORDS AND THOUGHTS TODAY!////FROM JACK:  The old story is about a boy who wanted to fool his grandpa.  He caught a bird and hid it in his hands.  "Grandpa, is the bird in my hands alive or dead?"  If grandpa answers, alive, I'll crush the bird and show him that he was wrong.  If he answers, dead, I'll let the bird fly away and grandpa will be wrong.  The wise grandfather responded, "The answer is in your hands."  It applies to your Christmas message.

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  God gave us free will... there will always be people who use theirs for evil... :( ////FROM JACK:  For example, the Cain and Abel story in Genesis.

 FROM CP IN WISCONSIN:  how true Jack!  We were just talking about family traditions and meals.
Everyone is so busy and we don't take time for the little things in life.  How important to have the happiness and positive attitude.  I appreciate your winning words!////FROM JACK:  Everything changes.  Even traditions change.  Even food choices change.  However, I still like some of the food made from my mother's old recipes.

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN: Thank you for your thoughts on this. The world we live in is often difficult to make sense of; but every day is a gracious gift!

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