Friday, March 29, 2013

Winning Words 3/29/13 
“Ex Malo Bonum:  Out of Bad comes Good.”  (Michael Burns)  I once preached a sermon: “What’s Good About Good Friday?”  The answer is in…the rest of the story. Judgments of good or bad are often based on limited information.  A man was recently released from prison, because new evidence showed that he was not guilty.  Some of life’s puzzling situations might take time, but good can come out of bad.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  We've seen that the words are true...good can come out of bad.  But we have to be often takes some time to show itself (as in the case of the man in prison).////JACK:  Time and patience sometimes have difficulty in connecting with each other.

 FROM WALMART REV: sure did that momentous week in Jerusalem, 2000 years ago...filled with so many "highs and lows" for Christ blessed today as we face our own hills and valleys along life's "pilgrim way" with the established Word of God..."He is risen, Jack! He is risen, in deed!"////JACK:  I just watched a video of a Jewish man describing what it was like to be freed from Buchenwald concentration camp by American soldiers at the end of WW 2.  A "kind of" Good Friday/Easter experience.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I used to be more radical when I was younger, agitating for more just political systems and so forth, a bra-burning feminist and so forth, but over-the-years have seen so many one-on-one overturns of exploitation and abuse, so many times when things have been righted and people have experienced freedom, that I'm absolutely positive God is working among us in the world and I don't have to be as loud and strident as before. When people see good coming out of bad, not just one or two people benefit and grow stronger but the whole community does. Thanks for these WW during Holy Week. ////JACK:  Each generation looks at the world through their own spectacles.  Each age has the need to see the continuing bad/good evolution.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  In short, there is but One who reaps where He has not sown. Evil can never do this. Life now overcomes Death, a Passover by virtue of the blood of the Pascal Lamb, and our ultimate example. Happy Easter. ////JACK:  I like the hymn stanza, written by Frederick Faber, "If our love (faith) were but more simple,  we should take him at his word:  and our lives would be all sunshine  in the sweetness of our Lord."  Theology can be complex, if we want it to be.  Most people want the shorter version.////RAY:  I think it is true that most people prefer the "shorter versions". We have become a "drive-thru" culture: more impatient and more lazy -- especially with regard to the depths of our understanding. We prefer a quick coffee, a quick fix, and even a quick word. The Internet is never fast enough, and we get angered when we have to wait for anything.
But, don't you think that understanding comes from seeking, and that the process of seeking requires one to enter into the complexities that lay beneath simple knowledge and that this process also provides for us the opportunities for understanding? Ecclesiastes and Proverbs are certainly complex in their simplicities. Until understood, through the process of seeking and knocking, they remain complex -- and hence, often avoided. Even Jesus' direct messages in the Gospels are complex until they are understood. There is a depth to Wisdom that requires our direct and personal involvement, if it is to be understood, don't you think?  We are required to "seek" if we are to find, to "knock" if the door is to be opened. In other words, we don't find if our eyes are closed or misdirected. No doors are opened that we don't engage and encounter. No path is worn that our feet don't touch. We cannot sit around in a preferred state of laziness (with regard to understanding) and gain understanding, can we? If this were not so, I suppose we could claim an ability to reap fruit without sowing in the field.   As far as I know, Wisdom cannot be had for a song. Even so, the process of seeking requires the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit; for I cannot know or understand what is not made known to me. As the Word is Spirit, and the Spirit is Life, it is not mine to "take" until it is given to me to take. Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom come as gifts of the Spirit as well. Otherwise, we would all be wise by virtue of the wise. And there are many throughout history who have shared their wisdom; yet many more remain ignorant of the wisdom since then, and remain poor in spirit, and heed none of the wisdom availed them.
But, we have been promised by Jesus the Christ that that which we seek we shall find and upon what doors we shall knock they too shall be opened. In this sense, the "short version" leaves people who prefer it poorer than they need be and not richer than they could be. And, as the promise of all the riches of Heaven as our inheritance is True, it seems counter to that promise for anyone to accept such poverty.
I like the Winning Words because it provides me the stone to sharpen my Faith in the Word of the Beloved Son of God, the Risen Christ, and Sacrificial Lamb, whose blood markings keep Death from my soul, and whose conquering of Death through His resurrection provides us a place with Him in eternity, of Life everlasting! To me, this is worthy of my continual pursuit. It is worthy of a sojourn that seeks a depth of understanding, knocks at the door of Wisdom, and prays for a companionship of the Holy Spirt throughout the entire endeavor.
I am remain thankful to God for all the gifts with which He floods upon me. And, it seems a tiring exercise to keep replanting them -- but what other option is available if there is understanding?
Thank you for your participation in this process. Your "seeds" cast have taken root as well. God bless you too. Happy Easter/Passover!
////JACK:  Like

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  If I recall, I think you did that sermon at Cross of Glory.  I may be wrong though.  It is a Good Friday, in fact, a Great Friday.  Without it, we would not have Resurrection Sunday!  Good eventually overcomes evil.////JACK:  I appreciated being the interim pastor at C of G.  I met many fine people, and I'm still in touch with several of them by e-mail

 FROM MY FLORIST:  I often share the same with the expression "when one door closes another one opens" or "every coin has two sides" it's a yin yang thing.  It's our job to find the good in every situation.  Sometimes it's harder to find but I firmly believe that I have learned more from my failures.////JACK:  Now, you can use a new saying:  Ex Malo Bonum.

FROM INDY GENIE:  I always sing a dancing song on Good Friday .. "I danced on a Friday when the world turned black, it's hard to dance with a devil on your back...etc" out of bad came dancing:)////JACK:  I have a hard time visualizing Jesus dancing.  I wonder if they had dancing at the wedding in Cana...and if he might have danced there? 

BTW, eyewitnesses are OK, but I like what the resurrected Jesus said to Thomas: "“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Winning Words 3/28/13 
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”  (Charles Dickens)  For Christians, Thursday before Easter emphasizes the importance of being willing to serve others.  Charles Dickens knew about poverty.  His father was put into a Debtor’s Prison.  Dickens used his writing skills to become an advocate for the poor.  Bob Crachit and Tiny Tim are examples of this.  We need to be more caring.    ;-)  Jack

   FROM PL IN MICHIGAN:  I had the honor of seeing Jane Goodall last night at Oakland University.  3000 people were in attendance. He ability to quietly mesmerize an audience with pure love was incredible. The connection she made between humans and animals was thought provoking. Judy and I were just totally immersed in her message of hope!////JACK:  I didn't see you there.. She is a remarkable person, and the chimp world is better off because of her...and so is the human world.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  We need to activate our "caring" through individual behaviors, and rely less on "hope" that is being done by others who utilize our donations and/or taxes. This truly is a function of the Church, and personally, I'd love to witness this Body reclaim it wholeheartedly. ////JACK:  There's a song that Sunday School children used to sing..."I am the Church, You are the Church, We are the Church together."  There are many "today" examples of the Church meeting the needs of the needy.  Sometimes this work is done quietly, without blowing a trumpet.////RAY:  I agree, and my point is that if the Church (that we are) was indeed doing the work we have been assigned by Christ to do, there would be no need for those who claim to be doing our work on our behalf to blow their trumpets. The fact that they exist, is a testament to our lack true "caring" and complacency.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  good words for today, Jack.  thanks. the motif of Jesus washing feet should be the primary logo of the Church.////JACK:  I wonder how many churches have the word, servant (or worker) in their name?

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  You picked wonderful words for today's message being Maundy Thursday.  Jesus came as a servant, worked among us as a servant and died for us as a servant.  We could all serve more.////JACK:  Maundy is a fascinating word, but I haven't been too fascinated by the foot-washing ceremony.  We never did that stuff in the old days.  Servants can do other things and still follow the Maundy theme.

 FROM WALMART REV:  ...never a shortage of opportunities here...that is if one is looking for an opportunity.////JACK:  Every face is an opportunity.

 FROM YOOPER FLICKA:  SUPER !!!!////JACK:  Which of these words says it best?  : jättebra, fantastisk, flott, brak-, toppen

 FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  Amen to that////JACK:  "Amen" is a useful word when you agree with something.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  RE:your blog; I just read a quote from Jane Goodall in THE WEEK publication; "Change happens by  listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don't believe is right."  Smart lady!  Per your quote today, as my father used to say, "Even the worst of us can serve as a horrible example!"  Not that we want to serve in that way....thank goodness for the means to lighten some loads in our little corner of the world!!////JACK:  The Parable of the Good Samaritan uses some bad examples (and a good one) to teach a lesson.

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  caring should be a daily practice.  at school our motto is ,"we are caring, sharing, loving, peaceful people".  we practice it every day and point out out goodnesses to each other! ////JACK:  So, you do more than free-style crayon work?  Do you know this one by Karen Rupprecht?  "A Smile and a Kind Word"
When I'm feeling sad and someone asks
How can I help you?
I say what my daddy always said
Just a smile and a kind word will do
Just a smile and a kind word will do
Just give a smile any kind of little smile will do
A few kind words like my daddy taught me to
Just give a smile any kind of little smile will do
A few kind words like I'm lucky to have a friend like you
So if a friend is feeling down there's something you can do
Just try a smile and a few kind words
It's sure to help them too

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Winning Words 3/27/13
“Whatever you’re going through in your life, don’t ever give up.”  (Mariah Carey)  Today is Mariah’s birthday.  Her mother’s Irish and her father’s black.  “And me,” she said, “I’m tan, I guess.”  She’s had her ups and downs, as happens with many celebs, but she’s developed the attitude of not giving up.  Some people call it, Spunk!  I’ve known a few spunky people in my lifetime, and I’m sure that you have, too.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  Spunky and thankful for your daily "get-up-and-go" highlights every morning!! Spending the day with my lovely wife of almost forty-three years and on my 66th birthday today.  What more could a blessed guy like this ask for today!!!////JACK: You and Mariah have the same birthday!  WOW!  Now, if you could only sing like her...

 FROM RS IN TEXAS:  I seem to remember another guy who said "Never give up."  Jimmy Valvano.  He may have lost his battle with cancer, but his NC State NCAA Championship is a testament to that attitude. ////JACK:  A good example.  He said: "Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all."

 FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  reminds me of the  advice:   "Keep on keeping on."////JACK:  I wonder if that's one of Abe Lincoln's quotes?  He lost a lot of elections before he was chosen as President.

 FROM NEIL AND CAROL UP NORTH:  We are still enjoying your Winning Words. But, could you make the font larger, please? Time marches on.////JACK:  I've noticed the font problem with the new computer.  I hope to have it resolved one of the days.  Meanwhile, do like I do and keep a magnifying glass next to the monitor.

 FROM JS IN MICHIGAN:  Do you consider me "spunky"?////JACK:  I'd consider SPARTY to be spunky, and I would not be surprised to find out that you were the one hiding in that costume!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Winning Words 3/26/13 
“Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything.”  (Aesop)  The Madness continues, and we will have to wait until April 8, to find out who can sing with Queen, “We are the Champions.”  But who are the champions?  Sportswriter Grantland Rice put it best: “When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He writes—not that you won or lost—but how you played the game.”  Who’s your pick?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Are you cheering for the buckeyes?////JACK:  Right now I'm concentrating on how the Wolverine can beat the Jayhawks.  Is OSU still in the tournament?

 FROM PL IN MICHIGAN:  Wow..Had to figure this one out, Jack..pretty deep!////JACK:  The message is simple.  Be content.  You don't have win every "game" every time.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This should be on the score boards of every sports arena!  It is a sport and not a life or death experience as in the Roman arenas.  We do love our teams though don't we?   PS  I have been in Canada on one of Gary's business trips with him.  The Figure Skating competition was one week too early for me as I would have loved to sat in that ice arena and cheered for the USA.////JACK:  Figure skating is one sport when winning or losing is beyond the skater's control.

 FROM YOOPER FLICKA:  Sooooooooooo   True !!! ////JACK:  That must mean that you agree.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Florida Gulf Coast////JACK:  Does Cinderella's coach turn back into a pumpkin?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Winning Words 3/25/13
“Passover and Easter are Jewish and Christian holidays that move in sync, like ice skating pairs.”  (Marvin Olasky)  Certain things just seem to go together, like Meryl Davis and Charlie White, peanut butter and jelly, Adam and Eve.  Those seeming to be opposites can work together to bring about something new.  Passover helps give meaning to Easter, and Easter adds a dimension to Passover…a kind of yin and yang.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER IN MICHIGAN:  Yes, the "last supper" was a Passover Seder.  (I was born on the night of the second seder)   I saw "The Book of Mormon" last night.  Very funny, but very offensive -- in many ways.  I guess I could laugh because they weren't making fun of Jews.  ... or could I?  I talked about that on my way home.   The concept of finding religious tablets in upstate New York that depict an ancient tribe of Jews coming from the middle east by boat is a bit far-fetched.  But is it any more far-fetched than a sea splitting in half? Or an arc full of pairs of every animal?   I guess that's why they call it "faith"////JACK:  I once visited that New York "hill," and tried to visualize the tablet and spectacles story.  I suppose, like you say,  there are other "faith" stories that seem far-fetched.  Like one of my professors used to say, "You can't find G-d at the end of a logical syllogism." 

FROM DR JUDY IN MICHIGAN:  Yes indeed! Wish you were free to join us for our Passover meal  tonite. Would have been fun.////JACK:  I haven't heard a Passover meal described as "fun," but I guess that there's nothing wrong with making faith experiences fun.  Didn't Sarah "laugh" when the angel announced that she was going to have a baby...when she was in her 90s?

 FROM WALMART REV: a good Lutheran pastor and a new energetic Assemblies of God pastor desiring to start a new church in West Bloomfield, MI becoming friends and laboring together reaching folk for God's Kingdom on earth? Always grateful-////JACK:  In spite of what some people think, I don't believe that there will religious segregation in Heaven.

 FROM HY YO SILVER:  True  I'll think of that tonight when I re-enact the Last Supper!////JACK:  I admire anyone who tries to add meaning to their religious belief..

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  we are all organically ever-connected.  why is it hard for some to "see"? ////JACK:  "They have mouths, but cannot speak,  eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell  They have hands, but cannot feel,  feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats"   (Psalm 115:5-7)

 FROM INDIE GENIE:  Love this one!!!////JACK:  I love both the Passover story and the Easter story.  Both of them show the love of God.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I thought that the Christian version of Easter was infused into the Gentile culture as a replacement for the pagan god of fertility (Eshtar) and its related rituals with the redirected reference to the eternal victory of Life over Death (Passover) by virtue of the One true God -- as in the blood of Christ, the sacrificial blood of the Lamb of God and Pascal Lamb, placing His blood upon the threshold of our souls (instead of the thresholds of our earthly dwellings) which serves as a protection from Death itself (Passover). Also, Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection occurred during the Jewish Holy Passover season -- which couldn't have been a mere coincidence could it? In my way of thinking, Easter is Passover.
Just as the Passover ritual served as protection from the spirit of death and provided those who followed the instructions of God entry into the Promised Land, so does the fulfillment of God's promise through Christ's blood serve the same entry into Heaven (Promised Land) for those who believe in the Christ and, as a result of such belief, follow the instructions of Christ.  Both Christians and Jews believe in Jesus; their understanding of Him differs. Passover is much the same -- our understanding of it differs. As Jesus said, "...I have come to fulfill the law", and it seems to me that Jesus' resurrection is the ultimate fulfillment. Am I just confused about all this? ////JACK:  I think that it was t5he great theologian Karl Barth who was asked to explain the basis of this faith, and he replied: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."   It's good to know some of the complexities of theology, but it's also good to know that the knowledge of God is more than words.  

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  davis & white! best since torville & dean.  the last supper was a passover seder.  . my daughter goes to seder w/her dad & pals tonite & tmrw, then we will make something delish at my dad's on sunday. happy easter!////JACK:  You've given a good example of how things can work out.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Winning Words EXTRA (3/23/13)
“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”  (John Steinbeck)  “The Grapes of Wrath” was a “moving” movie for me.  It caused me to see the plight of poor people in a new way.  But it’s not just the invisible poor.  Sometimes the people in our everyday life become invisible, too…family, friends, fellow workers, clerks at the store.  Let’s really try to “see” the people in our life today.    ;-)  Jack

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  Please go to you tube and watch ghost of Tom Joan by Bruce Springsteen.  Its based on the movies influence. Springsteens music has had a profound Influence on my life for along time.

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  Good point. I think most of the time we look at people we don't really see what or who they are or what is going on with them. Also, I hope the new Pope can further open the eyes of the world to the plight of the poor........

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  It was probably just as strange for you to send Winning Words in the afternoon as it was for me to see your name in my email this afternoon!  Hope this test is satisfactory for you and your new computer. ////JACK:  Dr. Seuss developed the ad slogan, "Quick, Henry, the Flit."  I need soem Flit to get rid of the bugs.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON: FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Congratulations on your new computer. Your WW are making me recall a movie my husband and I saw a few weekends ago. "A Place at the Table". The movie stated that Mississippi has the highest number of people below the poverty line in the U.S.A. Also that it has the highest number of people who are obese. It's because there is a certain type of malnutrition when people are forced to eat the cheapest food available, such as at fast food places and also at convenience stores because grocery stores with fresh produce have abandoned certain parts of places where the people live. It's interesting when people are very, very visible but their lives and adversities are invisible in a way we're just starting to become aware of in our country. I also learned from that movie to see hunger having sort of an up-and-down movement through poor people's lives and this is because, through government programs and private charities, enough food can be available for part of the month but then it dries up for part of the month so that there are alternating patterns of feast and famine which are also different from hunger that is constant and poverty just looks different under these conditions. It's hard to see these movies, it's sad, but if we don't see, we don't act and try to make different decisions to help, thank God for people who have a passion to see more justice and fairness in this world and "wake us all up"!!!!! There are people who would write a book/make a movie even if they never got a cent out of it--just to help people to see. That's how I see John Steinbeck.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Winning Words 3/22/13
“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal.”  (Mark Twain)  There are descriptive phrases that capture my attention, like…a sleepy conscience.  Some people go through life with that malady.  Is one’s conscience “nature or nurture?”  That’s something to think about.  And while you’re pondering, bring to mind some of the good friends and good books that have made a difference in your life.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM CWR IN B'MORE:  I think it means something quite different. It may mean "...don't be such a 'worry wart'////JACK:  Sam Clemens wasn't afraid to express his true feelings.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I think we have a innate knowledge of right and wrong, but certainly nurturing comes into play.  People raised in desperate circumstances often numb their conscience out of necessity, perhaps. And then there are those who are so wrapped up in # 1 that their conscience IS dulled....But love the Mark Twain quote on good friends and good books. What JOY they bring to our lives!!  So many great books, so little time!!!////JACK:   I think that the genes we are born with tend to affect our decision-making.  I'm not so sure about an innate sense of right and wrong.

 FROM PASTY PAT:  I've been 'chewing on' this one for 2 days now.  I think it's nature but I want to be wrong.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My daughter just commented on FB about how she is reading Frog and Toad to her little boy and that she remembers me reading to her those same stories.   I love all those children's stories.  I think my favorite is "Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back".   By Uncle Shelby

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  like, i think. is a sleepy conscience still a good thing in the morning?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Winning Words 3/21/13
“You never regret the things you do, only the things you don’t do.”  (Steve Jobs)  I don’t want to be picky, but sometimes we do regret the things we do.  However, I think Jobs is referring to the regrets of life.  “If only--”  I can identify with the song, “My Way” and the line, “Regrets, I’ve had a few.”  When life’s menu is put before us, we sometimes choose a burger and fries instead of steamed broccoli, a “lite”salad and prunes.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  steve jobs was plenty smart, but did he regret he cheated apple's co-creator early in their careers? apparently not. i agree w/you, jack.////JACK:  I'm sure that Steve had his regrets, things done and not done, like the rest of us.  So, we move on...hoping that we've learned a lesson or two.


 FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  There are regrets both ways – indeed a part of message of the church, sin of commission and sin of omission.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Winning Words 3/20/13
“Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”  (Virgil Kraft)  In 1934, Bill Stidger wrote a poem, “I saw God wash the world last night.”  The poem  describes how the Spring showers wash each blade of grass and each flower, and how they clean the wings of the bees and birds.  The poet concludes, “Ah, would He had washed me  As clean of all my dust and dirt  As that old white birch tree!”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM PASTY PAT:  Lovely!////JACK:  I like the word, loverly, from My Fair Lady.

 FROM WALMART REV:  Nice to know He has in Christ!! We can walk in that in faith today, knowing the best is yet to come!////JACK:  The old hymn puts it this way:  "I have found a friend in Jesus,     he's everything to me,      he's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;    the Lily of the Valley."

FROM MY LAWYER:  Today is not my idea of the first day of spring!  But it won't be long.  Enjoy every day. ////JACK:  Did you ever quote this rhyme? 
Spring is sprung, the grass is ris.
I wonders where the birdies is.
They say the birds is on the wing.
Ain't that absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird.
It's often attributed to Ogden Nash or e e cummings, but the author is really, Anonymous!

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i love winter for winter... more than just a pathway to spring!////JACK:  I know someone who really likes summer, and there are those who like the crispness of fall, and others who are enjoying the coming of spring.  I guess God knew what he was doing when he crested the seasons.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Therre is something about the Spring "greening" that does  lift one's spirit! That, and the first cup of aromatic coffee any day! :-) It's 20 degrees in Petersburg with strong cold winds...we'll have to make our own   Spring today! to quote C.K. Louie, "I'm bored is a useless thing to say. You live in a great, big, vast world  that you've seen none  percent of."  Exclamation point on that one...have an amazing spring day!  (I don't recall ever seeing the last part of "Spring has Sprung...".we used to say "I wonder where the flowers is"...but the bird on the wing and the wing on the bird was new, and "makes" the ditty!! :-) ////JACK:  I've always liked irregular verbs...spring, sprang, sprung; swim, swam, swum; stink, stank, stunk.  BTW, do you remember Lavern T from high school, whose nickname was, "Stink."  And, he didn't mind it, either.

 FROM FARMBOY BOB:  I’ll use that in my Easter sermon at Chassell.////JACK:  I wonder how many readers of Winning Words know where Chassell is?  Even though I've often heard the name, I had to look it up on the map.  Will the snow be gone by Easter?

 FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Exactly what Spring are you talking about.  We are having zero temps at night and today it went all the way up to 18!  We have mountains of snow all around.  Ha!////JACK:  Can you sing this song?  "I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm,  I'm as jumpy as a puppet on a string.  I'd say that I had spring fever,  But I know it isn't spring."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Winning Words 3/19/13
“We can’t always be cool and collected, but for the times when we’re not, be cool!”  (3 Minutes a Day)  My stepfather often used the expression, cool, to say that things were OK.  A waitress asked him how his food was, and he replied, “Cool!”  She offered to put it in the microwave for him.  Many problems are the result of misunderstandings.  People can lose their “cool” when they jump to erroneous conclusions.  Be cool today!    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  Hopefully, no "global warming" in this area of my life! Even weather wise...I don't believe we have that problem in Minnesota, especially this winter!?!? 0;-)////JACK:  You know that you're from Minnesota when people call it, MinneSNOWta!

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Waking up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit and 6 inches of snow...yeah, we're cool today!////JACK:  What do you expect?  It's not Spring until tomorrow!

 FROM DC IN KANSAS:  Mary Sanchez in today's KANSAS CITY TIMES shared this quote  "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.  When I ask why they are poor they call me a communist."  That's a quote from a So. American archbishop.  No, not the present Pope Francis.  That comes from Dom Helder Camera (my So. Am. favorite).///JACK:  I'm familiar with DHC.  A prophet is not always welcomed.  He really walked the talk.  A cool guy!

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We're certainly cool weather-wise! However no snow so can't complain, and tomorrow SPRING arrives! HA!  As Anne Hathaway (actress) reportedly said, "Mellow doesn't always make for a good story, but it makes for a good life."  Probably true in most cases. Some  things (injustices & abuse) are worth losing your cool about!////JACK:  The idea of "cool" can be traced as far back as Aristotle.  Now, there was a cool cat!  In my mind, I always associate The Fonz as being "cool."

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This saying sounds like a commercial for deodorant.  Perhaps I have jumped to a conclusion?!?////JACK:  Speaking of deodorants, does your research show that air fresheners were ever used in privvies?

 FROM DAVID FRANZ IN OREGON:  Thanks Jack for the continuing inspiration with your Winning and Wise Words!  They put a spring in our steps and song in our thoughts!////JACK:  They'll really put a spring in your step tomorrow!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Winning Words 3/18/13
“A little March Madness may help…keep society on an even keel.”  (Henry Porter)  The term, March Madness, originated in 1939 with the Illinois High School Basketball Tournament.   The Moline Maroons weren’t in the finals.  You lose some; you win some.  When Butler’s basketball team recently lost on a last second shot, Coach Brad Stevens said, “I’m a huge person on growth over prize.  Whether the last shot goes in or not doesn’t define the team.”  That’s basketball; that’s society; that’s life!    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TL IN TEXAS:  Jack, your thoughts are refreshing, motivating and relevant. Thanks again for my daily vitamin, for adding goodness to my life.////JACK:  If you want to have a friend, the best vitamin to take is, B1.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Great WW!!!!! I can remember a time when the coach of my daughter's swim team put all the "B" swimmers in for the last half of the competition because the team they were playing were so disadvantaged in terms of school resources. Brenda and all her teammates experienced a great example of compassion and ethics and "growth over prize." ////JACK:  Football coach Vince Lombardi is often misquoted in saying: "Winning is the only thing."  He actually said, "Wanting to win etc."  Sometimes you win by not making winning the only thing.

 FROM WALMART REV:  "It's not whether you win or lose the came, it's how you played the game that counts!" I'll bet you know where saying that originated, Jack! I really don't, but remember the saying well!  Nice to have in you my life again this Monday morning.////JACK:  The sportswriter, Grantland Rice, said something like that.  The real question is..."How do you measure success?"////REV:  You always impress me with the background knowledge.////JACK:  When you live long enough (and keep your faculties)...

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I'm disappointed the Hawks didn't make it. NEXT YEAR!!////JACK:  I watched several of their games.  They played well, even when losing.  Maybe that's "winning!"

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Playing to win the game IS a part of the game. By virtue of a game that defines a winner, there must also be those who lose. In my own experience, winning is a wonderful experience; but it is in those times of defeat that character is most often developed. You can be sure that "good winners" were taught through their earlier loses! ////JACK:  The game is the point!  There will be winners, and there will be losers.  There used to be ties, until some sports took away that possibility.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:   That's the year I was glad that Moline didn't win that year!////JACK:  The Maroons came in 2nd in 1951 (a heartbreaker); E.M. lost in the finals in 1970.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm excited that the Fighting Illini made it into the big dance, but they will probably be one of those teams that will have to value growth over prize, as well.  Didn't realize the term March Madness originated in Illinois!  Looking forward to all of the excellent basket ball games!!  Also the advent of  Easter and Holy week on the other side of the spectrum!!!////JACK:  Oh, the things you learn when you read Winning Words.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Slam Dunk!////JACK:  Let the games begin!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Winning Words 3/15/13
“The Benedictines have a saying about electing a new abbot:  Not too healthy, not too wise and not too holy.  In other words, a regular guy.”  (Fr Peter Daly)  Catholics are rejoicing over the election of their new Pope.  And I like the name he has chosen for himself…Francis.  Francis of Assisi was an advocate for the poor.  The word is that the new pope stands for what is right and just.  He also believes in shoe-leather evangelism, which means, you live out your faith among the people…a regular guy.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TRIHARDER:  Pope Frankie.////JACK:  A step in the right direction...He took the bus, instead of a VIP limo, back to the hotel, where he paid his own bill.////TH:  I can see the cartoons now -- VIPs of the world waiting for him -- bus is late.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think he is so much least, I hope so.////JACK:  Each of us is so much more than is seen on the outside.  Time will tell.  Pope John XXIII is a good example.

 FROM WALMART REV:  Will be interesting to watch develop . . . I wish him well and my prayers are with him!!  . . . a call came in from the Railroad Chaplains of America about a fatality in Waybay, SD . . . leaving in an hour to drive there and console a grieving family on behalf of our railroads. Back home this evening. ////JACK:  As a common priest, living among the poor and needy, I'm sure that the new Pope can identify with a chaplain who goes to console a grieving family.////REV:  An American Indian family with Episcopalian persuasion along with tribal custom...was here a couple of years ago and treated as a welcomed guests at their wake...been invited  back on Monday for the same (24 hour wake with meal served Monday eve). An adventure, this business of railroad chaplaincy...

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  This is certainly a hopeful election. Enjoyed your WW again this morning. Thanks!!!!////JACK:  There's a reason why prayer is important before making important decisions.

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  he is also politically savvy, they say... i like him!////JACK:  There's nothing wrong with being savvy, political, or otherwise.  Jesus said, "Be wise as serpents, but harmless as doves."
////LIZ:  JC also knew PR... has kept himself relevant for over 2000 years!

 FROM RI IN BOSTON: I admire Pope Francis for choosing to use public least he did until now.  Here we have very good bus, subway, and commuter-rail public transport for getting around Greater Boston, but it doesn't get nearly the use it should.  Some people will creep along in clogged traffic twice a day, and pay $25 a day to park their vehicle instead of using the public transport systems.  With more support from daily commuters we could have a first class system, and cut fuel consumption as well.  ////JACK:  Sad to say, in this "kooky" world, people like popes, presidents and rock stars cannot act like the hoi poloi (you and me).

 FROM PL IN MICHIGAN:  I have friends who are from Argentina. They are not so jubilant about his humanity. He has some history as a priest during the "Dirty War."   Although, when I read the article I felt that there must be more to this story. In any respect, this man could do enormous good for the world if he chooses to think about people first and dogma second.////JACK:  I wonder if any of us could stand the scrutiny of being under the microscope.  I think that some of the euphoria is the result of an intense hope for a change in the way things are in the Church and in the world, in general.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This is so much more to the choosing of a Pope than we will never know or's very political. We have a new Pope and a new hope.  Perhaps he will be able to take us back to the future.////JACK:  My father-in-law, as a safety engineer, used to inspect plants where sausages were made.  He said that if you saw it, you wouldn't eat a hot dog again.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  i just hope the vatican with all is pomp and circumstance does not put him into a straight-jacket that will squelch his former lifestyle.  we will see...////JACK:  Did Minnesota change you from what you were in Michigan?

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  At least initially. he seems to be a humble and down-to-earth kind of guy.  Rumor has it that he was the runner-up when the last pope was selected...You must have SOME credentials and clout to get to the top of the Roman Catholic hierarchy!  He seems to think for himself,  choosing an original name for a Pope.  At age 78, with one lung, he may not have a lot of time to put his stamp on things! ////JACK:  Who knows how much time one has?

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  I am very grateful for the choice made by the Cardinals.  I think the governor also made a good choice for Emergency Manager.  I am praying for both men!////JACK:  Both have tough jobs.  Perhaps Francis has one that is more daunting than Kevyn's, but both could use your prayers.

Even though Pope Francis has been elected, I thought Tony La Russa would have
been an excellent candidate to be Pope.
He is a Catholic male.
He had been involved in a personal scandal.
He has worn red shoes.
He successfully directed all Cardinals for 15 years.
He could have easily vacated his current position as Manager Emeritus.
Admittedly, he is married, However, in the world today, that seems
like a small transgression. Plus, think how much fun it would
have been if he could have arranged for the Clydesdales to
pull the Popemobile.  GO RedBirds !!!

 FROM PASTY PAT IN ISRAEL:  Sounds promising.  They rang the bells in Tabgha where we were staying when the election results were announced.  We woke up but didn't realize why they were pealing until later. ////JACK:  A place like Tabgha exists, even though I had to look it up on a map and read about it. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Winning Words 3/14/13
“If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes.  If you don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes.”  (Unknown)  Someone once tried to tell my future by reading the lines in the palm of my hand.  What do you think about fortune telling?  Personally, I believe the words of the song, “Que sera, sera,” whatever will be, will be.  The great philosopher, Charlie Brown once said: “I only dread one day at a time.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  There's a difference between worrying about tomorrow and preparing for tomorrow...preparing often removes the need to worry.////JACK:  "Be Prepared," is a good motto, but preparation doesn't necessarily cure worrywartitis.  So, "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile...So, what's the use of worrying?  It never was worthwhile."////JOHN:  Worrying is natural.   Preparation can help to ease it.   Not preparing can often lead to the necessity to worry.////JACK: The famous William Feather said, "Some people are making such thorough preparation for rainy days that they aren't enjoying today's sunshine."

 FROM WALMART REV:  Was it King Saul who didn't fare so well with his? Little too spooky for my taste . . . I even stay away from those "prophetical evangelists" that hit town occasionally . . . I don't want them telling my future- sticking with the Word...////JACK:  It was King Balshazzar who saw the handwriting on the wall (mene, mene, tekel, parsin), and it was Daniel who was able to explain the future to him.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  "The sun will come out tomorrow" ARFF!////JACK:  I thought that it was Annie and not Sandy who did the singing.  BTW, did you know that the comic strip was based on a poem by James Whitcomb Riley..."Little Orphant Annie?"

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Just read a "finish the sentence quote, "TOMORROW IS....promised to no one. (Clint Eastwood) ...the first, blank page of a 365  page book. Write a good one! (Brad Paisley)
...our permanent address. (E.E. Cummings)  I'd say, TOMORROW is....another chance to get it right!"
I love the song Que Serra...My twin and I sang that in one of our programs we gave several times.
Good thought for today and all our "tomorrows". The world will go on, no matter what!!////JACK:  I like this poem written by Edgar Guest...
He was going to be all that a mortal should be
No one should be kinder or braver than he
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who'd be glad of a lift and who needed it, too;
On him he would call and see what he could do

Each morning he stacked up the letters he'd write
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight
It was too bad, indeed, he was busy today,
And hadn't a minute to stop on his way;
More time he would have to give others, he'd say

The greatest of workers this man would have been
The world would have known him, had he ever seen
But the fact is he died and he faded from view,
And all that he left here when living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Tomorrow is the today we had yesterday. ////JACK:  Each day has its tomorrows.  Proverbs 27:1  "Fret not thyself of the morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."

 WILLIAM CONGREVE:  "Defer not till tomorrow to be wise, tomorrow's sun to thee may never rise."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Winning Words 3/13/13
“The Church has a great Lost and Found Dept."  (Robert Short – adapted)  Recently I lost my cell phone.  What a relief when I found it.  Yo-Yo Ma lost his $2.5 M cello.  It was later found in the trunk of a NYC cab.  What a relief!.  People can become lost, too.  Perhaps you know of some.  I’m glad for those organizations that don’t give up on them.  “There is joy in heaven (and in other places, too) when the lost is found.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  I've never found much competition over the one lamb caught in the briar, as most are very consumed with the ninety and nine . . . somewhat frustrating at times, but trying to be the role model of the one out of ten that will come alongside a person when the other nine have pretty well shared their opinion of the down-and-outer (often times right on in their judgment) is intriguing, challenging and even rewarding. Kind of like you, Jack, taking an interest in that one, off to himself, Pentecostal pastor their in West Bloomfield many years ago!////JACK:  If I were going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and was attacked by robbers and left half dead by the side of the road, I'd want you to come by.

 FROM LG IN MICHIGAN:  Very good message today, Jack. I just learned yesterday that one of my past treatment clients is in jail. I've never visited anyone at the Grand Traverse County Jail, but I was just thinking this morning that perhaps I should see if I can visit her--that she's probably feeling pretty defeated right now... Then I read your note and the same thought popped into my mind again. So now I am thinking these thoughts are prompts from the Holy Spirit! She may well be someone lost who needs to be found. This gal wasn't particularly spiritual as I recall, but if He's calling me to visit her, I know he'll tell me what to say...
Thank you for your amazing dedication to this email ministry, Jack! I look forward to reading your words of wisdom added to the daily quotes! God bless you now n always!////JACK:  "I was sick and in prison and you visited me"  ...and her name was, Jesus.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I wonder what distressed Yo-Yo most... the loss of the fiddle or the 2.5m. My guess is that is was the cello. Old friends are irreplaceable.////JACK:  My wife has a violin that was made for her by her grandfather.  She played it when she was in her high school orchestra.  If it were to be appraised, how much do you think it would be worth? 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Reminds me of the poem "Seniors Lament"!
My forgetter's getting better, but my rememberer is broke!
To you this may  seem funny, but to me it is no joke.
For when I'm HERE I'm wondering if I really should be THERE,
and when I try to think it through, I haven't got a prayer!
Oft times I walk into  a room and say, ":Now what am I here for?"
I wrack my brain, but all in vain, a zero is my score.
OR I put something away where it is "safe", but gee,
the person it is safest from is generally ME.
When out and about, I may meet someone, Say, "Hi" and have a chat,
Then when the person walks away, I ask myself "Who was that?".
Yes my forgetter's getting better, but my rememberer is broke.
It drives me almost crazy, and it isn't any JOKE!!
Glad Jesus "forgets" all our sins, and remembers to love us unconditionally!!

My good friend tucked her expensive authentic Indian silver and turquoise jewelry
away in a curtained pouch of her sewing cabinet, for safe-keeping, and it was "lost"
for 13 yrs! She was delighted to discover it again when they moved, and cleaned things out!:-)
I know several similar stories!
////JACK:  I like those "lost and found" stories from the Bible...The woman and the lost coin...The Good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep...The Prodigal Son.  Do you remember singing this Sunday School chorus?
God is so good,
God is so good,
God is so good,
He’s so good to me!
He cares for me,
He cares for me,
He cares for me,
He’s so good to me!
I love Him so,
I love Him so,
I love Him so,
He’s so good to me!
I praise His Name,
I praise His Name,
I praise His Name,
He’s so good to me!
 FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  You have helped me find my way a number of times and I appreciate that and am thankful to you.////JACK:  Ours are generally "friend to friend" conversations.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Winning Words 3/12/13
“STOP WHINING!”  (Sign in an office)  Should there be a sign like that in your office, your home?  My mother used to respond to my complaints with, “Poor Baby!” even when I was an adult.  There are some good things to be said about kvetching.  The Slavs have a proverb: “Complain to the one who can help you.”  A good listener can hear what’s not being said.  It’s something like that when God listens to our prayers.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  I don't whine.  It gets you nowhere.   I fight.////JACK:  General Sherman gave a speech at the Orchard Lake Military Academy in which he said, "War is hell!"////JOHN:  It is if you are opposing me...I don't fight to lose.////JACK:  When Michigan's basketball team lost by 1 point to Indiana, Coach Beilein said, "We try to win with class.  We try to lose with class."

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: many thanks for your thoughtful insights each morning, btw!////JACK:  Like!

 FROM WALMART REV:  Often remind myself that I am too serious about some things that really don't matter to anyone but me, at least at the present. When I have make mentioned of it, polite silence is my reward for the effort...just like I give in return to those commenting or joking about me. 0;-/ ////JACK:  Pastors are entitled to whine once in a while.  Usually it's best to do it to other pastors and not to members of their congregation.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  My daughter and I have a system when she starts trying to sort out her complaints about something. At first I would try to think of solutions and try to give advice, but she told me she didn't want that--SHE JUST WANTED TO VENT!!! When we both understood that and that venting really only takes a few minutes, we just relaxed and felt better. Does God understand "venting" when He's not being asked to do something? It's probably why she's venting to me first so's she can get her thoughts organized and ask God more clearly. I know there's purpose in it.////JACK:  Isn't there a verse in the Bible which says, "Come unto me, all ye who labor and want to whine, and I will give you rest?"

 FROM SS IN MICHIGAN:  As you probably know, I slipped on the ice on March 2, injuring my knee.  I am now on crutches and a full right leg brace. Since I can't drive I am pretty much house-bound.  I mention all this while getting to your "Jack's Winning Words".  I really look forward to reading your words each day. Today especially.  Just as I was beginning to feel sorry for myself, up pops "Stop Whining", so I stopped.
Thanks so much for your daily help - Keep 'em coming.////JACK:  Could that be the 11th Commandment?

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This one made me laugh!  I guess we could all have it in our house at one time or the other.  I'm deeply grateful God listens when no one else will.////JACK:  There's an old song:  "Hello Central, Give Me Heaven."  You never get a "busy signal" when you want to talk (whine) to God.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My twin used to use the old cliche, "Wait! Do you want cheese with your whine??! which always brought me up short, and made me smile....tho I am not an habitual whiner!  I am usually blessed with enthusiasm and optimism...Love the paraphrase of the bible verse "Come unto me..." in the blog! :-)  Your WW are spot-on!////JACK:  Some people knows us better than we know a twin...and especially like...God.

 FROM TRIHARDER:  I'm stopping; I'm stopping!

 FROM VW MARY:  My mother did not use those words in response to my complaints, but her attitude was exactly the same.////JACK:  Try that with a worker who comes into the cubicle complaining, and see what response you get.  "Poor baby!"

 FROM JOAN L: When we complained as children, my mother, with a smile  would say, "Stackers liten". In Swedish it means, "Poor little one". We passed it on to our children. It's a wonderful phrase to wash away life's little worries.////JACK:  She might also sing to you..."Tryggare kan ingen vara,  Än Guds lilla arnaskara,
Stjärnan ej på himlafästet,  Fågeln ej i kända nästet."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Winning Words 3/11/13 
“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”  (Will Rogers)  This familiar quote has a follow up…”if you do, you’ll be blind to the present.”  We can’t change the past, so let’s concentrate on making a better today.  I heard someone say, “If we never made mistakes, we wouldn’t be here.  We’d be hanging out with Jesus.”  So…today, listen to a piece of good music, read a book, meet a neighbor.  What are your plans?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Already thinking about the future, are you?   So much for the present.////JACK:  Speaking of the future...April 15 is approaching.  I think I'll finish up doing my taxes today.  One less "future" worry put to rest!  While doing them, I plan to listen to this CD, "Mozart For Your Mind."


 FROM WALMART REV:  Training session today and tomorrow for Hospice chaplaincy...equipping myself for a new outreach ministry in west-central Minnesota.////JACK:  Does that mean you'll be giving up you seat at the coffee shop?

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How very clever of Will.  He had some very good quotes.  Do you ever wonder if any of your quotes will be famous?  Today will be a day of chores, visiting with my son-in-law as he paints our kitchen, Bible reading, book reading and a little of comfortable memories.////JACK:  "Chores" os an interesting word derived from the Old English, "char."  So, I guess you're a "charwoman" today.  Re: my quotes becoming famous?  I doubt it.  Although I once referred to "Winning Words" in a funeral sermon.  Afterward, a stranger came up and asked, "Are you Jack from Jack's Winning Words?"

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  good words indeed...////JACK:  I remember someone who would always greet me with the words, "What's the good word?"  If he did that today, I could say, "Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."

 FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  I met a neighbor!////JACK:  Mr Rogers used to sing this song...
It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
It's a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So let's make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we're together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please,
Won't you please,
Please won't you be my neighbor?
Hi television neighbor, I'm glad we're together again....

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "The cheerful heart has a continual feast":Proverbs 15:15.    If we bear this in  mind, whether Past or Present or Future, things tend to have a rosy glow.  I'm thankful for a relaxed Monday, after a hectic Sunday, where I CAN do email, read or whatever. ENJOY!!  ////JACK:  I "see" that you've put on a happy face today.

 FROM PASTY PAT IN JERUSALEM:  Going to the Temple Mount, having lunch with Pastors Marty and Angela Zimmann, and walking around the top of the wall of the Old City in Jerusalem.......////JACK:  You are privileged to be looking at yesterday far as our faith is concerned.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Winning Words 3/8/13
“Tears may be dried up, but the heart, never.”  (Marguerite de Valois)  Do you know of someone who’s in a “grief experience?”  50 years ago Granger Westberg wrote a little book called, “Good Grief,” and it’s still in print.  One chapter says, “Hope gradually comes through.”  As a 21-yr-old student I had a one-on-one role play experience with Westberg.  He was the patient; I was the pastor.  A good “grief” lesson!.    ;-)  Jack

   FROM HONEST JOHN:  I wonder if she traces her lineage to the Valois dynasty in France?////JACK: I usually look up information about the author before I post a quote.  In this case, I didn't.  But you're right about her ancestry.  It's said that she was a very beautiful woman (a knock-out) and didn't mind using her beauty for nefarious reasons.  You'd also be interested to know that Shakespeare's "Love's Labor's Lost" was probably inspired by her life.////JOHN:  Thanks for the info....very interesting....I was never tempted to use my beauty for nefarious reasons....I wonder why that was?????////JACK:  In your case, it's the inner beauty that counts!

 FROM WALMART REV:  Seemingly in our ministry, Jack . . . it's like the little Dutch boy trying to poke his finger in every hole in the dam . . . always having grieving situations, one after another to contend with . . . Good grief, it sure is helpful for another to come along beside and offer a prayer, a word of hope and presence . . . that's you and me, Jack in Christ!////JACK:  That's why the Gospel means: "The Good News."  The bad news of of Good Friday turns into the good news of Easter.  We are privileged to share that news.

   FROM PASTY PAT IN JERUSLALEM:  I am amazed at the stories of hope we are hearing in a situation that seems hopeless.  Time and time again we hear "We are not our situation" and "Live life and live it abundantly".////JACK:  Hope is a beautiful word.

 FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I understand that statement completely.  I will always grieve for my husband--but the tears don't come all the time now.   I think I met Granger Westberg one time.////JACK:  There are different kinds of healing that take place, but usually  there's a scar.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  For anyone grieving, hope and optimism are the best means of overcoming it, the belief that just over the horizon there's something good awaiting us.  The sight of a rainbow after a storm is such a good symbol of brighter times ahead.  As Dorothy in Oz said, "We're not in Kansas anymore!"  ////JACK:  A book could be written, "The Gospel According to the Wizard of Oz."  There's already one called, "The Gospel according to the Simpsons."

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The heart and head start to make progress while grieving and turn a tear into a loving sweet memory.  There are no tears left for our loved ones, only Hope and memories.////JACK:  It's interesting that the author connects good with grief...sort of like Good with Friday.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Memories of deep grief are especially  close to the surface this week (3rd anniversary of my twin's death...late husband's birthday)....another helpful book is Healing After Loss by Martha Hickman, but it takes time, lots of time! Always appreciate your WW, Jack. Interesting that you knew and actually interacted with the author of Good Grief.////JACK:  I remember a song from long ago... "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through."  The 2nd stanza begins: "They're all expecting me, and that's one thing I know..."  That is our hope...our belief!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Winning Words 3/7/13
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead to a better understanding of ourselves.”  (Carl Jung)  I saw a list of  “1000 Things That Bug People.”  Psychiatrist Jung says that we can learn from those “bug-ers.”  What are some of the things that “get your goat?”  How about people who drive slow in the fast lane?...or, a plodding internet connection?  Ozzy Osbourne sings: “Slow down, you’re moving way too fast.”    ;-)  Jack

   FROM JC IN HONG KONG:  How about tailgaters?////JACK:  When traffic is bumper to bumper, everyone's a tailgater, except the driver in front.  Do people in Hong Kong ever tailgate at sporting events?

FROM DR EM IN MICHIGAN:  Ozzy? Really? Didn't know you were a fan?  What gets my goat? People who flick cigarettes out their at window.////JACK:  I thought about using a similar quote from the Beatles, but I wanted to relate to a "younger" crowd.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I read these words to my husband as he was leaving for work this morning.  His answer was impatient people (he said he was impatient and didn't like it in himself).  I said, "People who give long-winded answer when a yes or no would do" (something he does all the time....why not give a long answer when a paragraph or two would be better?!?)  We just both laughed together. Irritating people hit me different depending on the mood I am in but I guess people who aren't handicapped but park in the specially marked handicap parking...that always gets to me...especially now.////JACK:  You could have simply responded, "like," but I "liked" hearing about your conversation with Gary.    Long or short, he usually has something wise to say.  I "like" it when enforcement officers ticket a car illegally parked in a handicap spot.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  This is so right. But what I am finding extremely trying is when I complain about certain things others are or are not doing and people around me have a "different take" on the situation, before I finally get a better understanding of myself and particularly why I choose to do something (usually I'm not doing for the right reason), it's necessary to go through a period of being separated from others all around, even those I thought were friends until I get to a better place again. It's kind of a painful thing to go through.////JACK:  Constructive comments are usually better received than complaints.  When I was a newspaper carrier, if a customer didn't like the way the paper was delivered, I'd get a yellow "complaint" slip from the circulation manager.  I'd usually respond with a justification, but make sure I didn't get another.

 FROM DM IN MICHIGAN:  Ozzy Osbourne????????  Didn’t realize you were a rocker!!////JACK:  I really like Sharon better.  I wonder how those two got together?

 FROM WALMART REV:  Where the real challenges of life are . . . our everyday world and with those we share life with . . . learning as I go-- ////JACK:  We're always learning, unless we're that kind of person who has all of the answers.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  This quote fits well with yesterday's quote. It takes two to know the one. Jung would also say that it's not "thing" that irritates, but what's beneath the thing.////JACK:  Psyche is an interesting word derived from the Greek, meaning: life, spirit or self.////RAY:  Yes it is indeed. I find it very interesting that the Greeks (and other cultures around the world throughout time) generated stories (myths) that reconciled the "spirit" of man to the divine. They had inner inspirations that gnawed at their own souls for understanding the origin of their existence. There is actually a story of Psyche, who was a mortal woman whose beauty reviled the goddess, Venus. She sent her son, Cupid, to resolve the issue -- but it backfired. In the end, the story is ultimately about the "marriage" of the divine with the mortal world, and the unification of divine love within mortal man. This is why the study of the Psyche (psychology) is not a science, nor should it ever be considered one. It is the study of one's soul, spirit, life, and breath...all mythological symbols that we still utilize in our Christian theology. The disciplines of theology, psychology, philosophy, and mythology are all very closely related! ////JACK:  I'm glad that Greek, theology and Philosophy (major) in college.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Gandhi once said, "There is more to life than increasing its speed."  I am often in a hurry, so that is a good reminder to have posted, for me.It can be  irritating when persons are chronically late, taking others valuable time.////JACK:  I'm reminded of these words by Thomas Sowell:  "People who have time on their hands will inevitably waste the time of people who have work to do."

 FROM SAINT JAMES:  I'm in for these Michigan drivers who cannot make it to the posted speed limit... ////JACK:  Do you mean...too fast or too slow?  I'm irritated by those who won't take turns when merging from 2 lanes to 1 at construction zones.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Winning Words 3/6/13
“You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”  (Herbert Williams)  A polyglot is able to speak several languages.  Are you a polyglot?  There’s an American scholar who is fluent in 3 dozen languages.  While I’m a monoglot, my study of Greek and Latin has led to a better understanding of the one language I use.  Much misunderstanding happens because of miscommunication.    ;-)  Jack

  FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I am definitely not a polyglot.  At one time I did speak a little French as we were bicycling 500 miles in Burgundy and in the Loire Valley.  We have three daughters who are fluent in at least two languages.  At the University of Denver Susie and Jeannie learned by the Dartmouth method. Susie spent her junior year at the University of Madrid and is fluent in Spanish.  Jeannie was at the Sorbonne for her junior year and is fluent in French.  Nancy studied in Seville one semester abroad at Gettysburg College and is fluent in Spanish. Her two children are fluent ,too.  BTW it is a very interes ting world we live in  Our son is in France for business this week and I learned how to text. It is amazing how the whole process works so easily.  And it is fun.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  A Smile is the universal language, always understood.  In my travels when we could not speak or understand the other's language, a hug and a smile was expressive!  I took H.S. Spanish, and college German, but was never fluent in either!  I'll have to trust Herbert W'illiams on this one! People in other parts of the world are much more apt to be bilingual, it seems, mostly out of necessity, than are Americans.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Winning Words 3/5/13
“The Lord don’t mind what floor you’re shopping on, as long as you’re shopping in his store.”  (Unknown)  How many religions are there in the world?  There are 21 major ones, but the correct answer is probably, “Too many to count.”  Michelangelo painted Adam’s finger reaching out to touch the finger of God, or is it God reaching out?  I’m comfortable with my religion, but there’s so much more in the “store.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Sometimes I think the Lord cares that we are "in His store" and what floor were are shopping! As we have been provided varied gifts, it would naturally follow that we would be "shopping" for needs of various types as well. This is good reason for paying attention to what we so often call a "personal" relationship! Following the crowd to the floor where the "specials" and sales are probably won't cut it.////JACK:  It pays to be a careful shopper.  The highly advertised is not always the best deal.  I tend to go where I get the best service.

 ROM HONEST JOHN:  How do you take the judgmental ism out and retain a sense of urgency? ////JACK:   For better or worse, I find that I've become less judgmental.  Time (urgency) seems to have a different meaning, too.  That does not mean I've given up on judgment and urgency.  I just see them from a different perspective.////JOHN:  I think you remove the judgmentalism of the human but keep the aspect of judgment from God...which is all over the scriptures....and then you still retain the sense of urgency without becoming personally judgmental...and thus, playing God////JACK:  I had a book, "Let Us Play God."  I loaned it to a doctor following a conversation that we had.  It now occurs to me that he never returned the book.  He's probably still playing God.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Interesting quote.  There are a lot of different a lot of different "stores".  It's interesting how many ways people find to "worship" God.  Some of them are very different! ////JACK:  When we believe in the ONE God, that means that there is ONE store, with many floors.  There is the possibility, with "free will," that someone might decide not to shop in that store.

 FROM CZB IN COLORADO:  Can the store include non-christian religions? Just wondering what you think.////JACK:  I don't want to tell God how to run his store.  But I do believe that God loves his creation, which means that there would be floors open to everyone.  I can't envision a store  with a sign on the front, saying that someone is forbidden from entering.////CZB:  I agree!  My store could be different, depending on the geography...

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  who's to say who's right? hence, freedom of religion. i find it disgraceful when people denigrate/ridicule any religion or a person's lack of belief... cuz who really knows?////JACK:  So, who's doing that?  Not me.

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  Is your comment about going to the store where you get the best "service" an intended pun, or did it just pop right out?////JACK:  No, that was intentional.  In "the store," some people move from department to department depending on the service.  They may also take the elevator to a different floor.  A good store owner knows his clientele.

 FROM WALMART REV:  The chorus that comes to mind is, “Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand; But I know who holds tomorrow And I know who holds my hand.”////JACK:  There are some churches where people hold hands when they pray the Lord's Prayer.  Do they do that at your church?  What does hand holding signify to you?////REV:  Sometimes we will break up in circles around the sanctuary and hold hands in circles...I prefer that used with folk I know...some visitors will feel uncomfortable when we do that and I certainly understand...  I've found it very comforting with family, friends and families at preservice time at funerals.

 FROM BF IN MICHIGAN:  Amen!////JACK:  That sounds like an old-time Baptist response, to me. ////BF: You know it so well!

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Have you seen or read Life of Pi?  The book focuses much more on religion and his relationship to the divine than the film ever could…////JACK:  I've heard of it, but have not read the book or seen the movie.  I'm going to check it out.  There's alot of talk these days about people being spiritual, but not religious.  I happen to believe to believe that the two can go together.  But some people insist on putting up roadblocks.  ////BBC:  Please treat yourself to the read.  It’s 100 small chapters.  I read it aloud to both of the children when they were young even tho it’s an adult book.  Pi becomes Hindu, Muslim and Christian and does not want to choose between them.  I think he carries his faith (as well as his love of spicy cuisine) into his difficult journey.  Obviously inner faith and the aromas of various home made dishes do not translate to the screen.  At all.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Having been a shopper and having felt the self-examination when others shop and keep on shopping (this has happened after I settled down and stopped shopping) I wonder how many along the way were praying for me and sad when I left. The way I feel now when others leave the floor that I believe and think has such great, awesome, eternal and powerful spiritual value.////JACK:  Comparison shopping isn't all bad.////SHARON:  Tom Ehrich has a great insight. The thing must be to discern one's one-on-one situation and personal relationship with God deep-down truly and not get bogged down in a community of relationships where people are worried about paying for the maintenance and upkeep of the building, keeping a Pastor and also keeping the church programs functioning. Have re-thought my previous comment--probably when I write a comment like that it's time to reassess my perceptions and realize all the above are just temporal things and will keep changing over time as they have down through the centuries but pilgrims and disciples of Jesus are all over the place, and stand the test of time more than the building or the stationary. We're all just travelling through.////JACK:  There's good and bad in the organized Church.  I've met many fine people there that I wouldn't have met "going it alone."  My own faith was nurtured in the organized Church. 

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:    I shared with my S.S. class last Sunday some thoughts from an article written  by Tom Ehrich, a writer and Episcopal Priest: "Pilgrims and disciples of Jesus look at what His debut season was intended to produce.  They don't look for the proud and prickly institutions our ancestors created and we perpetuate, not the more than 40,000 denominations that joust for attention and funds, each one convinced of its superiority.  But they look for a transformed humanity that's capable of resisting evil, speaking truth to power, treasuring humankind in ALL its forms, and making daily life a better reflection of God's life. But that always requires that there be a new season, not a continuous replication of earlier seasons.  It's time for a new script, written and directed by an author who knows more, and loves more than we do..."  Worth thinking about!////JACK:  Is it possible that there are as many religions as there are people?  Isn't God' s relationship with us a one on situation?  When I buy something that says, "One size fits all," it doesn't seem to fit the way I like it.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  When I was teaching in California a long time ago, we taught religions of the world in the public schools.  Faith is a gift. and we each have to live our own lives.////JACK:  My surmise is that few teachers (you excluded) are equipped to teach such a course without prejudice.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Winning Words 3/4/13
“Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush alive with God.”  (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)  One of my favorite Bible stories is the one that tells about God speaking to Moses out of a burning bush.  In my opinion, God speaks out of all kinds of nature…the daffodils which poke from the ground each spring…the birth of a child…more stars than the human eye can number.  God says, “Here I am!”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Amen...His majesty and power in the mountains, and His gentleness and power in the breath of the littlest of creatures...all quite overwhelming when one truly considers it all. Rejoice and be glad; for this is the day that the Lord has made for us. May the presence of God be made known in our own souls' hearts each and every day!////JACK:  Without getting into a brou-ha-ha about National Anthems, I really prefer "America the Beautiful" as a song that typifies the beautiful land that we occupy.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  There is an interesting book in our public library written by a person who had difficulty in relating to other people. This person found that she had a green thumb, she was able to nurture plants, because the plants seemed less complicated, and they grew and blossomed for her, and when this happy situation occurred, the gardener also grew to be able to have more peaceful and warm and giving/receiving relationships with people. Is God alive in the burning bush and flowers?--I believe so too. I also believe God is alive in the dogs and the cats.////JACK:  As long as you're naming creatures in whom God resides, don't forget human beings..."As creatures of our God and King" (words by Francis of Assisi).

 FROM ILLINOIS LIZ:  Like.////JACK:  God is in the "weed," too.  BTW, what is a weed?////LIZ:  a weed is a plant that needs no cultivation to thrive & that no one likes. queen anne's lace being an exception.
i was gathering a bouquet of it years ago when a lady yelled out of her car, "those are weeds, ma'am." ////JACK:  Even though weeds (tares) are mentioned in the Bible, I have a hard time understanding why God would create something that has no use.  Some people call other people, "Weeds."////LIZ:  weeds are food for deer and rabbits. they help replenish oxygen & soil. & prevent erosion. everything has a purpose!

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  also...our spirit guides and earth angels.////JACK:  Your song for the day is "Earth Angel" by the Penguins.  Do you do "doo wop?"////MARY:  oh yeah!   thanks to the "big kids" in the family i am well versed in many a genre.  thanks for todays song.////JACK:  If you get tired of that one, Try "All Things Bright and Beautiful."

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle. (Albert Einstein)////JACK:  I'm preparing a sermon on the subject of "Miracles," and the Einstein quote is now among the notes.  Thanks.

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  Yes, he does speak to us through many things and in many ways…but the big question is “Are we listening?”  How observing are we?////JACK:  Well, your response today is one indicator that some "listening" is being done.  Where have you "seen" God in Rice Lake?////CS:  In the beauty of the birds that frequent our backyard; the 7 to 8 deer that walk through nibbling on whatever they can find to eat, the graceful movements of their bodies and their beautiful faces (I know I’ll complain about them this summer when they are eating up our garden produce too.)  See God in the faces of our neighbors; those who meet at Bible study each Monday morning and the retired pastor who leads us on our exploration of God’s word; the changes of seasons; the ice on the lakes; the ducks and wildlife that winter over on our river; those providing lunch for the less fortunate each Tuesday at our church.  Will miss the beautiful smile and twinkling eyes of our local funeral home director who will be laid to rest this week.  He was another of God’s servants on this earth! I’m off to Bible study…Have an awesome day!////JACK:  Thanks for your local observation of the awesomeness of God.

 FROM PASTY PAT IN THE LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM:  Greetings from Bethlehem.  God is speaking indeed in the incredible stories of hope and faith we are hearing from the 'living stones' who are in an untenable situation.////JACK:  In church, a couple of Sundays ago, we sang. "Listen, listen, God is calling."  The voice of God speaks in many ways, in many places, though many people.  "Hark, a thrilling voice is sounding" you in Bethlehem.////PAT:  Thank you!  Salaam/Shalom/Peace

 FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  How true!!  I will treasure that thought because it surely fits with my thinking.////JACK:  "Lay not up for yourself treasures on earth...but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven."


FROM WALMART REV:  This is a keeper . . . I've used it often with a little adaption: "Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes - The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries and drink beer!” 0;-/////JACK:  Root beer?

 FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH:  :)////JACK:  "The hills are a live with the sound of...God!"

 FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Did you watch THE BIBLE last night?  I did, but did not really care for it.  They left out too much and it was very hard to follow I thought.////JACK:  Oops!  I watched "The Amazing Race" instead.

 FROM CL IN CALIFORNIA:  How true how very true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!////JACK:  As it says in the Bible, "Verily, verily."

 FROM A BLAZING OAKS ACORN:  I’ve used that quote a few times when preaching on Romans 1:20. (“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”)  Over the past month I’ve been watching a DVD series from The Great Courses.  It’s called “Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe.”  The knowledge of the cosmos we’re gaining from Hubble is astounding!  God is great.////JACK:  Hubble allows us to have a closer look at God, too.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Winning Words 3/1/13
“Today you are you, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is youer than you.”  (Dr. Seuss)  Tomorrow is Theodor Geisel’s birth-day (1904).  I’ve read that his most popular book is “Green Eggs and Ham,” and I’ve never read it.  But I have read others.  Do you have a favorite?  The NEA uses Seuss’s birthday as the annual date for “Read Across America Day.”  Why not read a Seuss book tomorrow?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM ONE OF THE JANS:  Funny that I didn't like Dr Seuss as a child but now I appreciate and quote him Sam I am.////JACK:  I didn't like corn on the cob when I was a child, but now I enjoy it.

 FROM JM IN VIRGINIA:  When the kids were in kindergarten in Colorado Springs, they made Dr. Seuss hats which they wore all day and I think I recall someone in Dr. Seuss costume who appeared at a school assembly.  It was a big deal for the whole school.  Fun years!////JACK:  (Dr. Seuss) hats off to creative teachers who make learning enjoyable.  I had a few like that.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  I used Hop On Pop to teach my little girl how to read.////JACK:  What a great give to another the enjoyment that comes from reading books..////JOHN:  Darn kids....they pass you up in everything....the little one I taught to read passed me by in academic achievements....the son is a much better athlete....they are both better gardeners....Todd is better at woodworking....on and on it goes....I might have a chance in debate but who knows....I would probably be drubbed there as well....But, I do know that they will get their comeuppance....their kids will pass them Dad always said that our goals as parents should be to have our kids end up better in all ways than we are....maybe I have succeeded in that respect??? ////JACK:  My son has become a better ping pong player than I was, and my children  have exceeded me in other ways, too...their mother's influence and their own wiles.  PTL!

 FROM WALMART REV:  There is no one youer than you, Jack . . . thanks for your daily posts . . . always awaken gladly to them every morning!! Talk to you, Monday, the good Lord willing!////JACK:  Here's a suggestion...Why not go over to the book section of your store and pick out a Seuss book?  "Buy" it, bring it back to the coffee shop and see if it sparks any conversation.////REV:  I have to admit, outside of short stories, sermons and ever-day accounts found in biblical passages of scriptures, my habit of reading goes astray, Jack...I count on good folk like you to keep me informed and up-to-date of pertinent information like you share in your daily posts.////JACK:  There are many sermons hidden in the everyday world.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  The Butter Battle Book was one that we read over and over in our house. ////JACK:  I like alliteration, but not butter.

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  green eggs and ham is a classic.  there is a great audio version of it done in a jazzy drummy way.  maybe it can be googled.  i learned it many years ago while teaching.  don't know who performed it.  i think i'll search it later.////JACK:  Rhyming can be fun, especially when it's set to music. ////MARY:  you know it!  i have my song of the day.


 FROM CZB IN COLORADO:  One fish, two fish. Red fish, blue fish. This one has a little car, that one has a funny star. My what a lot of fish there are!  My fav. Green eggs and ham is up there though!  You need to read it ;)////JACK:  I guess that German Lutherans, like Geisel, can be funny, once in awhile.

 FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  When I retired I received the most wonderful Seuss book "Oh, The Places You'll Go" with all my co-workers signing and writing in it. A real treasure!  I think I will reread it tomorrow. Thanks for reminding me!////JACK:  What a great gift!  I don't own a Seuss book (I got other stuff when I retired), but my kids have ones that we gave them.

 FROM DR J AT BGSU:  love Dr. Seuss! Your words inspired me to google Seuss to refresh my memory of his many many contributions!////JACK:  Google is my friend, too.  Creative people, like Seuss, fascinate me. ////DR J:  Creative people fascinate me too. Did you read Steve Jobs' biography? Really interesting! ////JACK:  No, I have not read the book, but I've read extensively about it, and I've read enough to know that creative people are complex people, even beyond the ordinary.  Nature or nurture?////DR J:  both I think.. nature and nurture. I think his brain was wired differently/uniquely, but his environment and growing up when he did & where he did unleashed his gifts and talents. He was complex for sure... and broken in many ways. But brilliant and transformative nevertheless.////JACK:  Aren't we all?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Oh the memories you brought up with the Dr. Seuss quote!  I taught my daughter to read with two books:  "Ten Apples Up on Top" and "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!".  Andy learned with "There's a Wocket in My Pocket" and "Horton Hears a Who".  But I loved "What was I Scared of" and "Yertle the Turtle".  We also did a Bible Study using Dr. Seuss' books.  It was fantastic!  (We can still recite "Marvin K. Mooney", "Wocket in My Pocket" and "Ten Apples Up on Top" together (and sometimes do)!////JACK:  I suppose you know that there's a book..."The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss?"

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  What a great response to a great author.  One of my favorite Seuss lines is "From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!"  Seuss' funny books need to be taken seriously when you consider how many children have learned to read or learned to love reading because of them.////JACK:  Yes, there's a story behind the words...just like with the Bible.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  That is Craig's favorite Dr. Seuss book too.  We gave it to him as a joke a few years back at Christmas time.////JACK:  Why not suggest to him that he read it tomorrow in honor of Seuss's birthday?

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  All Dr. Seuss books are fun to read.  Have read “Green Eggs and Ham” to our children and grandchildren and other kids too.  We had quite a collection of them when the kids were little.  I believe some of them still exist in their homes.  Happy March 1st…spring can’t be too far away! ////JACK:  I wonder...Did Seuss ever write about the changing seasons?

 FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  Did you know that a first edition of The Cat in the Hat is valued at about $1,500.  Amazing. Look in your basement you may have a fortune.////JACK:  In my basement I have a 1909 baseball Major League Rule Book.  I wonder if it's worth more than The Cat in the Hat?

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Dr. S submitted his first work to 28 publishers before he got published. The said his stuff was too silly. Now THAT'S a positive attitude. Never give up!////JACK:  It takes someone with persistence to submit one more writing...after 27 rejection letters.

 FROM SAINT JAMES IN MICHIGAN:  You must read Green Eggs and Ham!  We read that book to our kids all the time . it is Great ////JACK:  When hardboiled eggs are left in the water too long, the yolk has green around the edges.  I've eaten that kind of green.

 FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Winning Words are darts “to-the-heart- of –the matter”  and the range of references stimulate thought provoking recall and research.////JACK:  "Darts to the heart" is a good way to describe Winning Words.  I reach more people every day with my "words" than I ever did on a Sunday with my preaching...and I get more feedback, too.

 FROM LG IN MICHIGAN:  Dr. Seymour Gretchko, of blessed memory,  always read Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss to every West Bloomfield High School graduating class at commencement exercises.  This has become one of my favorites!////JACK:  Yes, I remember that, but I'll have to go and reread the story.  (pause)  "Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!.....
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!"

 FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I have read Green Eggs and Ham, many, many, times.  Three year olds love it!
You should try it sometime and then make green eggs and ham--------not so appetizing!////JACK:  You've lived both in the USA and England.  What was the most different about the food eaten in both countries?