Friday, May 31, 2013

Winning Words 5/31/13
“You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”  (Arlo)  Do you read the comic, Arlo and Janis?  Jimmy Johnson has designed the strip to appeal to baby boomers.  I wonder how old you have to be to realize the value of the here and now?  Today will be gone tomorrow.  I’m in the process of cleaning out the basement, and I’ve come across things that have brought back some good memories.  My old tennis racquet….    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I think it is true. Kierkegaard said that understanding occurs through reflection -- meaning that we really understand something as we look back on it. While you're swimming in the pool, the experience of being wet doesn't truly occur until you get out of the water. Life wouldn't seem as immediately significant if death didn't exist along side it. Otherwise we could put life off until tomorrow. The temporality of a thing makes for its appreciation. I like Solomon's take on this as he considered all his power, wealth, and wisdom, and how it served no enduring authority -- enjoy one's blessings that one has because, in the end, as great a king as he was, he will lay dead right next to the fool.====JACK:  I like these words from the Bible (Ecclesiastes 1):  "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.  One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.  The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.  The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.  All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.  Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.  There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after."

 FROM WALMART REV:  ...just cleaned out at least a four or five foot stack of filed papers on many subjects from my file cabinet these past two days...all kinds of themes and programs I did and would work on if asked to over the years...haven't needed to nor touched them in quite a number of years...thinking I won't be in need of them any longer...someone else won't have to throw them away for me in the future. It did bring back a lot of memories of the churches and pastors I've gotten them from...even a few from the Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, West Bloomfield, remember that one, Jack...the "Charismatic church" with the dove?! I think I remember the story as someone asking you about that...and you sent them on down the road to the Assemblies of God church.====JACK:  Just like our files need to be cleaned out and reorganized once in a while, so do our minds need occasional reorganization.  "Remembering" helps that to happen.  I do remember recommending your A of G church to a woman who was looking for a "charismatic" congregation (and pastor)

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Just spent quite a long time on the phone last night trying to offer solace to a friend whose mother-in-law died. The problem is there is now a whole lot of crap going on with regard to the will and family relations are in disarray and considerable pain and hurt. My hope, with my friend, is that previous happier times were really truly real and happy and now it is grief speaking that, in the end won't prevail over the truth that love exists in that family, love for my friend. That their previous relationships weren't some big lie or pretense or something. Pray and hope that healing will come and just advise her not to do anything rash but trust God in this. Thanks for your WW.====JACK:  "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear."  Martin Luther said that we are to be as "little Christs" in this world.  You were there for your friend who needed to bear her grief to you.  Thank you for being a Christopher (a Christ bearer).

 FROM RP IN MICHIGAN:  So true and so real.====JACK:  I understand.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  What did you play with?    I had A Wilson Jack Kramer.====JACK:  Kramer was a great player.  Mine is a Wright & Ditson, still with its original strings put in by Bill Gustafson at Temple's in Moline.  (Bill was the last of the male-only cheerleaders at MHS, before Jolene came along and broke the glass ceiling).  BTW, the racquet is still in its press and ready for a game.  However, I'm not! ====HJ:  My high school racquet is long gone....there have been many since then....I played in a lot of leagues here in the area....until I was in my 50s and began to only play with my kids....Now I hit about five or six times a year....too many other things that I am doing that take up my time....I remember the old Wright and Ditsons....great racquets....There was also a Spalding Pancho Gonzales that was a good racquet...And, yes, I loved Jack Kramer as a player....had my pix taken in front of his when i attended the US Open in NYC....that, by the way, was a really neat experience....

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Probably a lot of us when rummaging through our storage areas have come across our first tennis racquet...with a wood frame that was strung with natural gut.  Regrettably, in my case, I keep coming up with the new racquet that I bought some years ago, and that doesn't get any more use than the "antique" from my youth, that my parents gave me.====JACK:  I still have the first drafting tools I used when I had other life directions in mind.====RI:  Maybe you chose the better direction.  I read recently something about the graduate degrees least in demand, and architecture was right up there near the top. ====JACK:  I know of some architects who were able to take advantage of their degree.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Joni Mitchell used those words in one of her songs.  As we age, I think we appreciate more and more the "things" we have....our health, our family, our friends, kindness, our pasts even, and most of all, God's Grace.  We realized we are reaching the stage of our lives where we do appreciate each and moment.====JACK:  Two grandchildren will be graduating from high school in a week.  I hope that they will be able to remember and appreciate their high school experiences as much as I do mine.====JUDY: Oh yes, my high school days were wonderful....I played every sport...softball, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, badminton...was on Homecoming Court, had tons of friends, tutored in downtown Detroit, was in Girl Scouts, oh just had a wonderful time.  I pray they enjoyed it AND learned something too.

 FROM BS:  Is your tennis racket in a wooden press?====JACK:  You must be using Skype, because the racquet is beside my chair "in its wooden press" ready for a set or two at Wimbledon.====BS:  I had one just like it-------do you have Skype?====JACK:  No Skype...yet.

 FROM MM IN FLORIDA:  Don't forget to watch The Ultimate Gift ====JACK:  Another gift story that I like is O. Henry's, Gift of the Magi.

 FROM DOCTOR J IN OHIO:  did you come across the wicker bug???====JACK:  In fact, I have two of them and slip them into my granddaughters' beds when they come to visit.  Somehow, those bugs seem to fly back into my bed.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Good luck  with your basement.  In Florida we have garages that always have to be cleaned out.  We used to be able to get two cars in. Now it's a collection of balls, beach stuff, lawn stuff, bicycles, and just plain stuff.  A few tennis rackets, and a pogo stick, too.====JACK:  Do you :"pogo" after that guy on his 3-wheeler?  I can just imagine it....

 FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  That quote is from Joni Mitchell’s song Big Yellow taxi. One of my favorites when in college. Her, Judy Collins and Carole King. I met King in 2008 at a home in West Bloomfield. I was star struck, and like a stammering fool, and couldn’t say anything intelligent to her. I said the most stupid thing you could say. We both got out of our cars at the same time and I told her who she was. I said, ”you're Carole King” and she smiled and said “yes I am”. I couldn’t have been more embarrassed.

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot SPOT
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
'Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
Then they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go,
That you don't know what you've got
'Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
 ====JACK:  Why does the brain stop working and the mouth keep working at the most inopportune times?

  FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA:  I remember you and Jeanne going to Stanges park to play Tennis whenever you visited Merrill. :)====JACK:  It was Nicole, when she was on the Bluejay's tennis team... and the old racquet did it's stuff.


 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  reminds me of that great joni mitchell song..."don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til it's gone...they paved paradise and put up a parking lot" ====JACK:  What a descriptive line..."They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot."  They tore down a house where I once lived and made a parking lot, but they couldn't wreck my memories. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Winning Words 5/30/13
“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”  (Unknown)  It’s been years since I’ve heard the words, “Tyst med du.”  That’s the Swedish version of “shut up” that my aunt used when she didn’t want to hear any more from me.  Kids sometimes get mouthy.  But there are adults who are mouthy, too.  How do you handle it?  I’ve found that “to give it back” just prolongs the argument.  What’s a good way to tell someone to “shut up?”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I don't know if there is a good way. Yesterday, Mary and I watched a television program that interviews a particular actor. Near the end, the interviewer asks a list of questions -- one of which includes,"What is your favorite curse word?" The best answer I could think of as a response was: the one not spoken. I think it is always difficult to answer rightly a bad question. It is a lot like trying to think about the best way to do anything unfruitful. Sometimes forbearance is the best way.====JACK: Some questions don't deserve answers....just as a good way to end an unwanted conversation is to stop talking.  Not always easy to do, but effective.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  A good debate is worth having since a good debate involves argument between two fools deserves Tyst med dig".   Or "sager ingenting."====JACK:  I know that in debate there is always one who gets the last word.  Does that rule hold in personal debates?  Some people always seem to want to get in the last word...thinking it makes them the "winner."====JOHN:  In college debate the Affirmative always got the last word....but the negative won more often ....    but, yes, I agree with you that some think that getting the last word makes them a "winner"....what it makes them is the last speaker....nothing more....

 FROM TREHARDER:  I've seen lawyers argue their way out of a winning position by talking too much.  When I see the judge is arguing my position for me in court, I shut up. When the judge then turns to me, my response is often, "Your honor, you've stated my position far better than I could ever hope to."  I've just learned a more complete lesson. When you tell a client not to talk and he/she insists on getting in a few words, you walk out -- or at least threaten.  "You apparently don't need me here."  In the specific case I'm discussing, the client, a lawyer, was brought up on charges for offering information that he didn't need to offer. Lawyers are very difficult clients.====JACK:  I think that adding "far better that I could ever hope to" is an example of saying too much.  In most instances, it's not believable.  As a juror (or judge), I might roll my eyes.====TH:  Lawyers are the kings (and queens) of superlatives.  ===Thank you for the valuable lesson/insight.====JACK:  All of us who make a living with our mouth need to be reminded of that.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I like:  "I beg your pardon...I think you've mistaken me for someone who's interested in what you have to say."====JACK:  "I beg your pardon" is like saying, "Excuse me," prior to sticking a knife into someone."====RI:  "I beg your pardon" is a proper way of interrupting a person talking.  "Excuse me" is what you say after sticking a knife into someone.

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  Our 17 year old granddaughter teaches karate to kindergarten children. One of them tells his mother to ‘SHUT UP’.  He said those words to Katherine in class.  She said she paused a moment, walked over and picked him up, set him next to the wall and told him he was in ‘time out’!  He was quiet after that – she thought maybe the shock value was what worked.  That she didn’t answer him back but removed him from her space…and face.  It really upsets Katherine to hear him speak to his mother this way and wonders what he’ll be like if his mother allows him to keep doing this to her. ====JACK:  Good for Katherine.....a wise teacher.  I see it as a problem, both for the boy and for the mother (who seems to allow it).  K can't change the whole world, but she can control her space.

 FROM WALMART REV:  "I'm not saying another word, Jack!" . . . or did I?====JACK:  Do you know people who always have to have the last word?

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i use the phrase..."nothing good can come from this".  most people get the message!====JACK:  That certainly is a positive way of handling a negative situation.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  First of all, our children and grandchildren were not allowed to say "shut up."  They could say "keep quiet."  I don't remember how we  taught our children, but when we were in charge the grandchildren were told that those words were not to be said in our presence.  That, and "I hate you" were two things not be heard in our house or when we were in charge.====JACK:  Calling someone an "idiot" (or similar derogatory name) was not permitted by us..

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  "Shut up" was and still is "swear" word in our family.  There is no polite way to tell someone to close their mouth.  Usually, just walking away works for me...even if it's a little child.  If there is no one to mouth off too, the person usually is quiet.  I had a sister who would just follow me around when we were little.  It's probably not a good way to handle a mouthy person so I will make sure to read your blog's entries to see how others handle the situation.====JACK:  Maybe there are some frustrating situations when it is OK to say slowly..."WILL...YOU...JUST...SHUT...UP!!!!!!"   Mmmmm, after reading what I wrote, it really has to be a frustrating situation.====JUDY:  That made me laugh.  I really don't know of any situation where you would seriously say Shut Up.  I have to make a confession though, I have often said it to myself in situations.====JACK:  Or, "Bite your tongue."

 FROM DONNA THE BADGER:  "I gotta go. Bye bye." I LOVE this quote.  Have a happy day. ====JACK:  Do you really have to go, or are you just telling me to shut up?====DONNA:  I actually don't like the words shut up, do you? I don't like it when I hear parents saying it to their kids. There are other word choices or even the "look" which means shut up. ;o) Do you know that look?====JACK:  A wife sometimes give "the look" to her husband.

 FROM SAINT JAMES:  The mouthy adults are the worst...====JACK:  "Put a cork in it!"


 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Silence and indifference are usually more effective than verbal responses. ====JACK:  Indifference is a great comeback.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Reminds me of the old Mae West joke with the punch line, "So's mine. It must be the salt water."====JACK:  I don't get it.

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  It depends on the person talking.====JACK:  I know of a pastor  who was booed by some members of his congregation during a meeting.

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i go straight for the jugular.====JACK:  As Count Dracula says: "Ooooh, that's scary!"====LIZ:  it works. & saves time!====JACK:  If "it works" that's what's most important.

 FROM BIG AL:  Hol Shefton po de, Ochso.  "Hold Tongue on you, also"====JACK:  I'd forgotten that one.  I heard "hol shefton" many times.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Winning Words 5/29/13
“Wax and wane is the world’s way.”  (Japanese Proverb)  There’s an old definition for the word “wax” which means, to increase in size.  And, of course, “wane” means to grow smaller.  Used together, they refer to the moon, as it seems to change size.  Even the events of this world seem to wax and wane.  Robert Schuller wrote a book: “Tough Times Never Last; Tough People Do.”  Let the moon be a reminder of this.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  "Arise fair Sun and slay the envious Moon"====JACK:  I might have expected a Shakespearean quote from you.  Did you hear those words at one of the Stratford festivals?

 FROM WALMART REV:  "Waxing and waning" in Willmar, MN today, Jack..."onward and upward!"  ====JACK:  I hope that there's more waxing than waning.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Enjoyed your explanation of these words, especially in regards to the moon. This makes the saying even more profound in my mind than I have ever thought about it before.====JACK:  Those who work in the hospital ERs say that more crazy stuff happens when the moon is full.  Why?

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  That's a saying I haven't heard in a long time.  We were taught all about the moon and tides by the waxing and waning of the moon!  Definitely applicable today in our lives .====JACK:  Waxing and waning....just like breathing.

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Like.====JACK:  Our minds think a"like" on this one.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'VE READ THE SCHULLER BOOK, AND THOUGHT IT INSPIRING AT THE TIME. WE VISITED THE CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL, AFTER WE RETIRED, WHICH OF COURSE WAS NOT TO  MY BILL'S TASTE, BUT I WAS PRETTY ENTHRALLED WITH IT ALL. BILL WAS MORE IMPRESSED WITH SCHULLER WHEN HE WAS HOLDING SERVICES AT THE DRIVE-IN MOVIE VENUE, BEFORE HE BECAME RICH AND FAMOUS.   AS DO MANY THINGS, THEIR MINISTRY HAS WAXED AND WANED....GOOD THOUGHT FOR TODAY,; ALWAYS HOPEFUL THINGS MAY "WAX" YET AGAIN! :-)====JACK:  I once attended at Pastoral Leadership conference at the Cathedral and found it to be worthwhile.  I was most impressed that there was a congregation, beyond the TV viewers.  During the "waning" of the ministry, there were problems brought on by mismanagement during the waxing years.  At least the building is still being used as a church.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  good words for today.  how is Robert Schuller these days?  he made a huge mistake in trying to keep control of that church thru his son and daughter both of whom bombed big time as his replacements.  he should have looked for and hired the best preacher/administrator he could find in the nation to replace him.====JACK:  The Crystal Cathedral Ministry has fallen on tough times.  The health of the Schullers is not good either, from what I hear,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Winning Words 5/28/13
“Sometimes you’ve got to jump off cliffs and grow wings on the way down.”  (Ray Bradbury)  One thing that is not on my “bucket list” is to jump off of a cliff using one of those wing suits that the birdmen wear.  I don’t even want to go skydiving.  But I do like to watch Rocky and Bullwinkle.  Ray Bradbury is writing about those life experiences that feel like jumping off of a cliff.  I’ve had a few of them.  Have you?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Marriage is certainly one of those one is prepared for it.  You had better grow some wings or you are sure to crash.====JACK:  I wonder if that's why fewer people are choosing marriage?  No need to jump off of the cliff.  No need to worry about having wings.  The rationale:  "Marriage is just a piece of paper."====JOHN:  I think you are right...and they are the losers for it  My guess is just what you were pointing at....the commitment of marriage is a big one....public and full of problems if it breaks is so much easier to just live together and pretend at marriage and then walk away when it doesn't work....I think a lot of people will be left lonely and unfulfilled because of it....but that is just what I think....time will tell

 FROM WALMART REV: mind just goes "splat" when I think about it!====JACK:  "Under his wings I am safely abiding..."  In our "distress" His wings become our wings.

  FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i like rocky & bullwinkle, too.====JACK:  Also Boris, Natasha, Dudley, Peabody, Sherman and Fractured Fairy Tales.

 FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH:  I fly to Seattle today. Tomorrow I give my first ever invited lecture. I'll be the visiting professor! Here's hoping my wings work because I feel like this is a really big leap. Ack!
Thanks for the WW today. Timely as usual. :)====JACK:  There always has to be a first time.  I remember my first sermon preached in Odgen, Iowa.  I still have a copy of it.

 FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  A few years back I saw a Norman Rockwell exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in DC.  The exhibit included the original, many very large size oil paintings of Norman Rockwell that are owned by Steven Spielberg George Lukas.  Both men, who became story tellers themselves, were strongly influenced by the Rockwell story telling magazine paintings that adorned the covers of Life Magazine each week for many years.  The exhibit included a video created and narrated by Spielberg and Lukas where they articulated the influence of Rockwell on their careers.  One painting, which I am sure you have seen at some point, is of a little boy crouching down on a high dive looking over the edge down at the pool.  This original oil painting hangs over the office desk of Spielberg and in his words represents " he feels every time a new movie of his is released..."  Your winning words today bring that exhibit and story to mind.====JACK:  I was able to Google that painting.  Rockwell was a genius in putting feeling into his work.


 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Reminds me of when Sundance and Butch were trapped on the cliff and Sundance wouldn't jump because he couldn't swim, And Butch said. "Hell, the fall will probably kill you anyway!" Sometimes you need to leap, but it doesn't hurt to look first.====JACK:  I thought that I was daring....until I experienced vertigo.  How do those iron workers do it?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Lots of them but I managed to survive.  I loved Fractured Fairytales! ====JACK:  Sometimes circumstances push us off the cliff...sort of like the mother robin pushing the babies out of the nest on our front porch.  Our daughter has put leafy tree branches below in case their wings don't work.  God is like that.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Winning Words 5/24/13
“Why do strong arms fatigue themselves with dumbbells?  To dig a vineyard is worthier exercise.”  (Marcus Valerius Martialis)  Several years ago a man that I knew offered his condolences to a neighbor whose husband had died.  “If there’s anything I can do, let me know.”  She answered, “Well, my husband was going to spade the garden.”  If our concern is serious, there are gardens in the world that need spading.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  "If there is anything I can do!?" Over-used phrased for a well intended thought, with very limited ability or even true concern to follow through on. Kind of like, "How are you doing!?" Really? I've learned to say, "It is so nice to see you and I hope you are enjoying your day!" 0;-) PS- by the way, Jack...I WILL look forward to hearing from you again on Monday! Have a very pleasant weekend. 0;-)====JACK:  If you say it, mean it.  This applies to many situations (including from the pulpit).  I don't do holidays, so I hope to "see" you on Tuesday.  On Monday, I'll be at Pine Lake Cemetery for the annual community Memorial Day observance.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  "Right shoulder,,.. shovels. Forward, match!"====JACK:  "Hi Ho Hi Ho, it's off to work we go.  We dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig.  It's what we like to do."

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It has always been easier to speak the words than to do the word .====JACK:  There's the story of an Indian who was looking at a smoke signal in the distance.  He said to another Indian..."Heap big smoke, but no fire."  Some people blow a lot of smoke, but the fire never gets going.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Winning Words 5/23/13
“The law is not so much carved in stone as it is written in water, flowing in and out with the tide.”  (Jeff Melvoin)  The 10 Commandments are written in stone…or are they written in water?  In his Catechism, after each commandment, Luther asks, “What does this mean?”  Even his explanations need further interpretation.  Circumstances change.  It would be nice if all of life had black and white answers, with no cloudy gray.    ;-)  Jack.

 FROM WALMART REV:  It would be very thankful for His grace...I'd be very lost without it... ====JACK:  Thankfully, there's not only the Law; there's also the Gospel.

 FROM TS IN INDIANA:   And what about Martin's first words in explaining "What does this mean"?     " We should FEAR and love God ..."?====JACK:  As I said, Martin's explanations also need interpretation.  "Fear" can have more than one meaning.  In this case, I think that it means to "respect" and "be in awe of" God, rather than to be "afraid" of God.  But, even that probably needs more explanation.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  If that is the case, the Ten Commandments are truly suggestions.   You seem to have a great deal of trouble distinguishing between Truth and the discernment thereof.   The only truth you seem to recognize is that everything is relative.   And, of course, that is false if there is no truth.====JACK:  Yes, that is my problem.  Of course, my mind "sees" the Truth.  But the ultimate Truth is beyond human comprehension.  There's a Gospel song that puts it this way.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
  And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
  And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
  Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
  Though stretched from sky to sky.
 ====JOHN:  There is a light in the parking lot at a nearby shines there in the morning and is in the shape of a cross....when I look at that cross, I am face to face with the truth....I think we can confront the truth and even in part grasp it....we can't however, use it as a judgmental weapon nor can we ever shove it down anyone's is for us alone to sit in the light of that truth and enjoy....we can witness to it....that is the ultimate task of the Christian...."You shall be my witnesses"====JACK:  Your comment reminds me of a hymn that Isaac Watts wrote.  It even mentions the name of a congregation that you served.
When I survey the wondrous cross  On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,  And pour contempt on all my pride.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I like the idea that scripture interprets scripture or something like that. A Jewish person once told me that there is law in the Hebrew scriptures that capital punishment is allowed. However, there are also all these other scriptures for them that say "before you kill the person, you have to make sure there were 3 witnesses or stuff like that" and actually it turns out that when you've read and tried to do all the scriptures you end up being merciful to most of the people and not executing them after all. And this reminds me of how I was conveying the law to my daughter when she was a young child--whenever she wanted to do something that I thought it was not wise for her to do, I distracted her and could usually get her to do something else that it was OK for her to do and she would forget doing the unwise action. Actually, I believe all truth is in the Bible and we need to study it constantly and God, through His scripture/Word just really treats us exactly as children.====JACK:  Before God is a judge, he's a teacher.  Life is a continual learning situation.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The Ten Commandments were not suggestions.  The truth is changing because people want it to change.  You can't "change" Jesus' words about how to get into to Heaven for instance....some things are written in stone.  God knows us and loves us but....there's always that "but" isn't there? ====JACK:  Will Christians be the only ones in heaven?

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  "Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists.  During his homily at Wednesday Mass in Rome, Francis emphasized the importance of "doing good" as a principle that unites all humanity, and a "culture of encounter" to support peace.  Using scripture from the Gospel of Mark, Francis explained how upset Jesus' disciples were that someone outside their group was doing good, according to a report from Vatican Radio."====JACK:  A good example of the Law being written in water.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  We had to memorize the “what does this mean” part and I still recall some of them.  I think the whole of scripture is fluid, but more like a river than in and out like a tide.  We are being carried forward, from here…to eternity?====JACK:  Many are comfortable with black and white.  "What does this mean?" can put the Bible into Technicolor.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I read a quote once, "We do not see things as THEY are, We see things as WE are"...Seems to explain a lot about the diversity of "truth" in our lives!  Situational ethics modify truths for us. But someday we will know in full, not in part, as God promised....Imagine there will be some big surprises for all of us!!  Meanwhile we try to live lives of Integrity..====JACK:  I wonder if God smiles or just shakes his head when he hears us babbling back and forth about religious stuff..

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It used to be easier to be a parent and to teach your children the difference between right and wrong.  Our parents' generation did a better job in providing a good environment and culture for families.  It is rather sad to see what has happened to movies and tv and music these days.There are many families here who home school so that their children learn their values.  I do think one has to be part of the world today and to try to improve it.====JACK:  Each generation has its own set of problems.  Easier is a relative term.  Four of my grandchildren attended a high school which educated them for the "real" more ways than one.

 FROM RJP IN FLORIDA:  Not sure I understand. Are you saying the commandments are fluid?? not absolute????  Subject to anyone's interpretation?????====JACK:  Communication is all about interpretation.  When you read the commandments, they cause you to ask, "What does this mean?"  Your answers do not necessarily jibe with the answers of others.  Who is right? 

 FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Someone called us on the phone three weeks ago, and indicated that they would like to purchase our home.    We talked to them and they seemed serious, so we spent a couple of weeks looking at ‘senior’ housing.   Then they decided they wanted to sell their home first.   So our plans are fluid, we located an ideal apartment, but now we don’t know what to do.   The answer is not either black or white!   Something like your WW today!=====JACK:  Not to decide is to decide. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Winning Words 5/22/13
“Confronting the truth will always set you free.”  (Valerie Harper)  You may know that “Rhoda” is struggling with brain cancer.  In a People magazine article she describes how she has been able to face up to the reality of the disease.  The words in her quote are the words of Jesus.  He is saying to the people that their belief in his teachings will give them a new kind of freedom.  Many, like Valerie, have experienced that.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  Jesus certainly did that in facing what the Bible calls "the redemption of man" certainly didn't look like that when hanging on a cross as a common thief...nor does it look like that with our bodies ravaged with cancer or lying in a casket..."Stay tuned!! for our redemption draweth nigh!!" 0;-)
====JACK:  Thomas Shepherd wrote the words to this hymn...
Must Jesus bear the cross alone,
And all the world go free?
No, there’s a cross for everyone,
And there’s a cross for me.
====REV:  Yes sir! There is! ...a few "carrying scars" are seen on all of us.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  That is why the ELCA is in chains...and dying...They recognize no pursuit of truth...only official positions====JACK:  What is truth?====JOHN:  One thing we can say about it....Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were convinced that there was truth....Jesus seems to be on that side also....along with Kant and Leibniz....Pontius Pilate, the Sophists and the ELCA are lined up on the other side  Let me add that Valerie Harper seems aligned with Socrates, also.====JACK:  I guess that truth will always be in the mind of the beholder.  Of course, people of faith place the ultimate TRUTH on the mind of G-d.  Facing the reality of death often causes the mind to "look" at things in another way.====JOHN:  That truth is in the mind of the beholder is a radical assumption....even more difficult to deal with than the question of truth itself....and, of course, at death, one had better hope that when Jesus said "I am the truth" that he was not kidding....

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Facing the truth can be tough.  But you have to accept it to get past the problem.  Harry Truman said, "I never gave anybody hell...I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."  ====JACK:  He also said: " My program was 'Give 'em Hell', and if they don't like it, give 'em more hell.'" ====RI:  That's how you work with mules...and Harry was from Missouri.====JACK:  Do you remember this song?  A mule is an animal with long funny ears  he kicks up at anything he hears  His back is brawny but his brain is weak  he's just plain stupid with a stubborn streak  and by the way if you hate to go to school
You may grow up to be a mule

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  good words for today, Jack.  thanks!====JACK:  Most of the time People magazine seems to be a collection of fluff, but not with the Valerie Harper story.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That quote could apply to the political scene in our country today.  Lanny Davis today said it is the wise and correct thing to do is to get out the truth and get it out fast.====JACK:  Do you remember the saying, "The truth will out?"  Origin: This saying was already recorded in England by the 15th century; and it appears in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (1596): "Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man's son may, but in the end truth will out."  I remember reading (and studying) The Merchant of Venice in 9th grade English.

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  True. Though, confronting it publicly may not always make you popular. When it is a struggle like Harper's it is refreshing to see her bravery and upbeat approach. I saw an interview recently on TV with her, pretty amazing.====JACK:  When you are free, you are free indeed...and the public be damned.…

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Winning Words 5/21/13
“Someday I'll wish upon a star And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.”  (Judy Garland)  Do you remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is running home as the tornado approaches?  Yesterday’s Oklahoma tornadoes were not make believe; the devastation was real.  “Wishing on a star” doesn’t cause the bad things in life to go away.  But people assisting people in need helps ease the burdens.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  a friend said the red cross really helped her family after a disaster years ago, so i texted "redcross" to 90999. cell bill is charged. every $10 helps... ====JACK:  There's something good about the way that gifts can be given immediately.  Often, with the passage of time, the check doesn't get written and mailed.  "Strike while the iron is hot."

 FROM WALMART REV:  Well stated, Jack, as usual...remember well those days in Kansas, myself...heart goes out to those folk...when they started their day, they had no idea the devastation awaiting their them...we will now see what ours has in store for us today!?    0:-/====JACK:  You're right!  There are different kinds of "tornadoes," and they can strike at any time.  As the Bible puts it, the Lord will come like "an unexpected tornado."

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Words can't express how we all feel today.  It's almost unreal to watch the photos on the news.  We were in Missouri all week, with a trek down to Arkansas.  It's such a wonderful and powerful testimony to our country to see the people rushing to help and even putting themselves in harm"s way. ====JACK:  I drove, with our family, through a violent wind/rain storm once.  Later we discovered that it was a tornado.  I'd never do that again.

 FROM LG TO HER DAUGHTER:  My friend, Pastor Jack's quote of the day is perfect for you and your friends in Moore today. Please sing this song for Sarah's little girls, Kim. It will bring them serenity--which is peace in the midst of the chaos... And I want you to record it for me like you did that one song a few years ago.  Life is so precious and so short. I love you, my sweet girl, forever until the end of time...Mom
====JACK:   Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There's a land that I've heard of once in a lullaby.  Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream,  Really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a star  And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops,  Away above the chimney tops,  That's where you'll find me.
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high  There's a land that I've heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue  And the dreams that you dare to dream,  Really do come true.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  WE may be a divided nation, but it is incredible to see how "bonded" we can get in time if of need.====JACK:  I'm reminded of this line in Onward, Christian Soldiers...
"We are not divided, all one body we,   one in hope and doctrine, one in charity."

 FROM AJ IN MICHIGAN:  This is one of my favorite songs !!!====JACK:  ...and one of my favorite movies.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Winning Words 5/20/13
“Damn the torpedoes!  Full speed ahead!”  (David Farragut)  How comfortable are you with taking risks?  Admiral Farragut ordered the ship, Brooklyn, to go through the mined waters of Mobile Bay in 1864, to help bring an end to the Civil War.  This life is full of risks.  Our choices of food, transportation, job, life partner are all risky business!  While it’s important to be prudent, sometimes we have to be like the Admiral.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Risk seems inevitable when we have to make a decision and all our choices have a downside.  On the other hand, sometimes we are so headstrong that we just disregard good judgment or common sense.  Damn the consequences...I'm gonna do it.  The degree of risk isn't even taken into account, we are so determined to do what we want to do.  Gambling everything we have, or passing on a curve aren't worth the risk, however as an example, surgery to correct a heart problem may be a risk we have to take. ====JACK:  I wonder is some people are so poor that they will buy lottery tickets in spite of the odds? ====RI:  I think it happens all the time.  Seems to me a sad prospect for hope.====JACK:  Do you think that the agnostic/atheist feels the same way about people of faith?====RI:  I think the agnostics aren't quite sure what to believe so they maintain a position "on the fence."  The atheists though, most likely do believe people of faith are counting on something they will never encounter.

 FROM WALMART REV:  ...the missionary is most exciting when back home sharing his experiences. ====JACK:  To me, missionaries always had stories to tell that made my ministry seem mundane.  I wonder if people in the pew feel that way when they listen to sermons?====PH:  I believe they do so...especially when we open up and share some of the experiences when God brought us through those more difficult times.

 FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  That's why I'm risking everything (literally) to make Teamability® a success.  It's a technology that really can change the world for the better.====JACK:  Damn the torpedoes!

FROM MY FLORIST:  I LOVE IT!====JACK:  I'm not so sure that those on the "Brooklyn" loved the order.====FLORIST:  When I was a kid the Military school I attended was Admiral Farragut Academy. ====JACK:  The background of some quotes is even more interesting than the quote itself.  You probably learned the story of Farragut at the academy.

 FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Good inspiration for me today.  I have been dragging my feet on a big project.====JACK:  My BIG project is wading through a pile of papers that were tossed together in a pile during our recent sump pump failure.  Full speed ahead...after I take a coffee break!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.====JACK:  ....EXCEPT...the ship could strike a torpedo and blow up.  But, that's the risk involved.  Life is risk

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!====JACK:  According to writer Jack S. McDowall, the famous phrase is generally credited to "a chaplain," said to be manning the guns of a ship under attack.  The real chaplain, Howell Forgy, was aboard the USS New Orleans during the Japanese attack. An officer in charge of an ammunition line on the USS New Orleans during the attack said that, "I heard a voice behind me saying, 'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.' I turned and saw Chaplain Forgy walking toward me, along the line of men. He was patting them on the back and making that remark to cheer and keep them going. I know it helped me a lot, too."  Forgy appeared on the game show I've Got a Secret in an episode that originally aired May 18, 1955, and recalled the story as follows:
    Well, I was stationed aboard the USS New Orleans, and we were tied up at 1010 dock in Pearl Harbor when we attacked again. We were having a turbine lifted, and all of our electrical power wasn't on, and so when we went to lift the ammunition by the hoist, we had to form lines of men — form a bucket brigade — and we began to carry the ammunition up through the quarterdeck into the gurneys, and I stood there and directed some of the boys down the port side and some down the starboard side, and as they were getting a little tired, I just happened to say, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." That's all there was to it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The recent case of Jason Collins is a case in point...he had the courage to raise his hand in the pro basketball classroom, and say "I'm Different"; Risky, even tho some criticized him for waiting until the closing of his career, and until gay rights had  become a popular cause...)  I think my husband  was gutsy to be a determined teetotaler in college, (in the hard-drinking athletic Pug fraternity at college,)  and to go church on Sunday mornings as  a  committed Christian, when most friends slept in. As Supreme court Chief Justice John Marshall has said, ":Sometimes integrity is the subtlest and most effective strategy o all."  Loved these WW this morning. ====JACK:  Hard drinking at Augustana in those days?  I thought that the BIG question of the day was whether or not to allow dancing on campus.

 FROM BS NEAR ORLANDO:  Dear Jack,  YES  SIR. SIR.  Once, after our entire unit returned from a 20 mile hike, ( full back pack, and helmet, and rifle Mi with bayonet, one of my buddies asked the ist Lt. what time it was, with out saying, SIR.  So the Lt asked, "What did you say????,  So I quickly answered, YES SIR< , YES SIR SIR.  my buddy didn't catch on,and the Lt recognized my voice,  and repeated,  "WHAT ????", again my buddy didn't catch on so I yelled out, "YES SIR, SIR"   too late,  so the  Lt. yelled out, "O>K>  double time twice around the company area".  Well my risk didn't work.  We hit a mine.  Thank God I was young, and spent a lot of time, using each and every muscle the GOOD LORD gave me every day,  the double time ordeal was a snap then,but I never forgot it.  Thank You Jack,  Adm. Farragut won the battle.  He was an "Old Timer"

Friday, May 17, 2013

Winning Words 5/17/13
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”  (Ronald Reagan)  I just tossed out a stack of requests for money to help various causes.  I feel guilty about that.  I’ve found that to give larger amounts to fewer causes is best.  There was a man in one of my congregations who gave beyond the tithe, but often did not pay his bills.  The deacons asked me to talk to him about it.  What would you do in such a situation?    ;-)  Jack

FROM DEACON ROBERT:  Been there, done that, and helped with the understanding. All along I don't think I really knew how much they were in arrears on their bills.  The debt equals sin shows the Law, but love as God first loves us shows the Gospel - committment to responsibilities. God's blessings on your day ====JACK:  As I recall...First, I thanked him for his love for God.  Then, I reminded him how God wants us to love others and be fair to them.  I did not report to the deacons on my conversation.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I'd move to a different congregation.  (Just kidding!)  I suppose I would commend the man for his tithing, but just as he has a responsibility to support God's work, he also has a responsibility to pay his other obligations.  As Jesus stated, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."  How did you handle it?====JACK:  That's a good quote.  As I replied to Deacon Robert..."As I recall...First, I thanked him for his love for God.  Then, I reminded him how God wants us to love others and be fair to them.  I did not report to the deacons on my conversation." ====RI:  That "God wants us to love others and be fair to them" is a convincing response.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Sounds like it would require a long talk...or talks. But, I might talk about how we need to give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's. I might talk about how we have obligations to others (organizations) with whom we have given our "word" (contracts, agreements, promises). I would say something to the effect that if he prefers to share his first fruits to God, that he will also need to reduce that which he takes from Caesar without its correspondingly required payment. For stealing from Caesar to give to God is no gift at all. Then I would watch his eyes glaze over and his look of frustration, and wish that the deacons never asked me in the first place.====JACK:  The individual was naive in many ways, including theology and business.  I tried to be kind (and pastoral) in my conversation with him.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  have you become an insomniac?   4:43 a.m.   i sometimes give smaller amounts to many causes because they then can show an expanded donor base which often impresses foundations, grant-givers, major donors, etc.  just my two cents (not literally!)====JACK:  If Jesus were walking and talking in Minnesota today, he mite use you instead of the widow, as an illustration.====PH:  i like  your play on words..."he mite"...   but i would likely drop a $100 bill in the plate and that would screw up the whole point of the story:)

 FROM WALMART REV:  ..sounds like an upcoming sermon or teaching series on stewardship at it finest! ====JACK:  Been there; done that!====REV: often the case...the sermon is always for another person than the one it would benefit the most if there were "ears to hear". 0:-/

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Both - you have to give to the Lord (maybe a little less now) and meet your obligations.====JACK:  Sometimes a person's faith and common sense don't seem to mesh.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Interesting…I would ask questions.  There must’ve been a pretty significant reason for him to jeopardize his credit etc in favor of giving…====JACK:  The problem is...Your concept of credit is not necessarily the same as someone else's.

FROM LS:  I have learned you cannot give what you do not have to give.  That could be financial or spiritual.  It is a sin to not take care of the temple that houses out soul .  Part of that care to make sure we have the ability to care for ourselves   .  Until then we are not able to care for others .  Put the oxygen mask on yourself so you are able to help others!====JACK:  The man that I mentioned  had problems, beyond the financial.  That's the way it is many "problem" situations.  There are problems beyond the immediate problem.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I'd tell him to reduce his tithe and pay his bills do his debtors could also afford to tithe.====JACK:  I don't recall that he had a sense of humor.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  What's hard for me and makes me feel guilty is when the person asking money for a certain cause asks me for even just $10 or $20 and I realize it grows their donor base but also realize it will grow their appeal to me, over and over in various ways, more telephone calls, letters, etc. Don't even want to get on their "list". My empathy goes out to your congregational member wanting to support God's work so much--we all wrestle with this and how to balance our giving.====JACK:  What do you suppose Paul meant when he wrote, "The Lord loves a cheerful giver."?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is a big problem. I have never understood why some people spend money they don't have.====JACK:  Maybe your next "senior" college course should be Economics 101.

 FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  That is a difficult one, but doesn't charity begin at home after all?   If you do not take care of the bills your family could find themselves homeless-----not good.====JACK:  That makes sense, but to some, sense in non-sense.


 FROM MY FLORIST:  Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  (Theodore Roosevelt)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Winning Words 5/16/13
“Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”  (Ogden Nash)  Ogden was born in Rye, NY.  It seems apt for a wry poet.  I didn’t know that he was a descendant of Gen. Nash, for whom Nashville was named.  He’s right, when he says that being in debt is no fun. The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is worth reading again. Lk 16:19-31.  Remember the poor!    ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  It took my son, Joseph, five years working through a systematic plan and with the help of his parents to retire a $15,000 debt and a car he no longer could afford payments on...a lesson of a lifetime and has set in order a desire in him to never se that happen again. "Life's tough lesson we all have to endure!"====JACK:  I think that God allows "teaching mistakes" also.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Well, Ogden, I remember it felt pretty good when we retired the mortgage debt on our first little house.  Nevertheless, I believe the best feeling is when you acquire anything without going into debt to pay for it.  It's better to be unencumbered...with material things or debt.  Material things can be a serious hindrance.  I remember from the Bible, the wealthy man asking Jesus, "what must I do to have eternal life?" and Jesus told the man to sell everything he had, give the money to the poor, and then follow him.  But the man loved what he had too much, and he apparently believed he needed all that stuff more than the poor needed his money.  There are quite a few people "out there" these days who won't think twice about buying a $200 shirt, but don't give a dime to the destitute.====JACK:  I was impressed when my grandson gave a dollar to a "beggar" when we walked out of Comerica Park, after watching the Tigers play.  Sometimes the young can teach the old.

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  Your comment about the wry poet from Rye, NY caused a laugh and reminded me of something from college.  We called groaner puns "two-thirds of a pun--p u" and one of my roommates who was mathematically challenged misspoke and said "three-fourths" of a pun.  I like the variety of sources you use for your Winning Words--from the Bible, ancient philosophers, humorists, political leaders, etc.--it's always mental stimulation.====JACK:  Ogden Nash used humor to teach serious lessons.  I sometimes do that, too.

 FROM DL IN OREGON:  Often we are poor at remembering (and helping!) the poor.====JACK:  Our pastor closes each Sunday worship service with these words..."Go in peace.  Remember the poor."  I like that reminder as I leave.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  My favorite of his is, "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy."====JACK:  Which did you choose?

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ogden Nash was a master of wry wit!  As old Ben F. intoned, "A penny saved is two-pence earned",,,oops! It seems a little harder to save these days and for College Grads to retire their student loans. O.N. knew whereof he spoke!====JACK:  In my first parish there was an elderly lady who was a shut in.  She could only speak Swedish, and I only knew a little of that language.  She always wanted me to tell the story of..... den rike mannen och Lasarus.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Winning Words 5/15/13
“The person with a good memory remembers nothing, because he forgets nothing.”  (Augusta Roa Bastos)  Blaise Pascal memorized the Bible and could quote any verse.  I read of a person with a similar gift, except that, later in life, he wanted to forget things and couldn’t do so.  There’s much to learn about how the brain works.    Meanwhile, let’s give thanks for a memory that allows us to recall events…and passwords.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Speaking of memory, yesterday I had an MRI and to kill the time I was thinking about great basketball teams of my youth...thought of the Iowa team with the starting guards from the QC...remembered Sharm Scheurmann and Bill ?   ( seems like his last name was Swedish and may have started with Sea...").   Do you remember that guy?====JACK: Bill Seaberg.  His brother also played at Iowa and is a regular contributor to Winning Words as HAWKEYE GEORGE.  He can give all the details  of those Moline(Quad-City)/Iowa connections during those glory years.

 FROM WALMART REV:  "...what did you just write?" I have been guilty of being jealous of those preachers that have a great gift to memorize, recall and seemingly create such powerful Bible teachings and sermons that stay with me the longest times... still working hard digging out my own- 0;-/====JACK:  The Lord has given talents to each of us, separate from those given to others.  Let us rejoice in those given to us, and use them to the best of our ability.

 FROM TG IN MICHIGAN:  "As a parent, at times, you must break your child's heart.  Just remember NEVER to break their spirit."====JACK:  To know "when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em."  Parenting and teaching are something similar to playing cards.  I'm glad that I had parents and teachers who were good at it.
FROM TRIHARDER IN MICHIGAN:  I might be a little guilty of that.====JACK:  Guilt is a burden that we lay on ourselves...most of the time.====TRIHARDER:  It's not guilt, so much. My memory is too long when I think of how others have done wrong -- not to me, necessarily.  I have to learn to let go a little bit sooner.  I'm getting there, though.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  uhhh... what was your name again??====JACK:  It often happens when standing at the door greeting people after the worship service.

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  we used to play the memory game, which had delightful european-style cards. i couldn't play more than 3 games in a row bc i would still remember the cards' positions from previous games.====JACK:  I remember playing a memory game where everyone sat in a circle.  The first person said, "I went on a trip and I brought along a (name something)."  The second person would say the same thing and add something else.  If there were 15 people in the circle, the memory list would be quite long.  It was fun to add strange items.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I use the same password for everything on the net. Lot simpler and, if anyone wants to  invade my privacy, they can anyhow.====JACK:   Did you ever pull guard duty and have to say, "Halt, who goes there?" and then ask for the password?  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Winning Words 5/14/13
“A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck.”  (James A, Garfield)  I attended Garfield School, but I didn’t know much about our 20th president.  Later, I realized that “pluck” was a word that could be applied to him.  His growing up years were not easy, but he had spunk.  Lou Grant complimented Mary Richards by saying, “You’ve got spunk!”  If you were to make a list of spunky people, who might be included?  You?    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  ...first thought out of the box..."fundamental Baptists" of them, in jest, mentioned one time that if two or three members at a church business meeting ever agreed on one thing, it was not an official meeting.====JACK:  The Jehovah's Witnesses who are willing to go door to door to talk about their beliefs...have spunk.  

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I think that most of the people in our generation had that quality.====JACK:  Tom Brokow called ours The Greatest Generation.  A Spunky Generation fits, too.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Yeh, and Lou also said,"I hate spunk!" ====JACK:  Sometimes you remind me of Lou Grant.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Your mom had pluck, and spunk.====JACK:  She was a "Chicago" girl.  We are what life has made us.  Yes, she had spunk!

 FROM JS IN MICHIGAN:  Yes, I hope I am referred to as, spunky.  I like moxie, too.====JACK:  How about..."ball-o'-fire?"

 FROM HL IN TENNESSEE:  You mentioned attending Garfield School.  Was this school in Moline or possibly in Davenport?  I attended Garfield School located at E. 29tth St and Arlington Ave. in Dvpt from 1931 to 1935; Garfield was K-4 in those years.  For 5th and 6th grade I attended Tyler School on Grand Ave. near Locust St., and then on to Sudlow Jr. High for 7th -90th.  My brother Dick was at Garfield from 1934 to 1940.  It is possible that Moline and Davenport both had Garfield Schools,.  But if it was Davenport our paths might have crossed.  Let me know.====JACK:  The Garfield School that I mentioned was in Moline.  You never hear of schools being named for Garfield anymore.  Come to think of it, I don't come across many Harrys anyomre, either.  The first baby I baptized after ordination was named, Rocky.  Talk about being ahead of the curve!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Winning Words 5/13/13
“Sweating kept me sane.”  (Jodi Sampson)  What to do?  A cancer diagnosis for her son and for herself.  Jodi decided to make two lists.  1) Things that stress me.  2) Things that make me happy.  She picked what made her feel good.  Running was on that list.  “I couldn’t control some things, but I could lace up my sneakers.”  The doctors said that it was good therapy.  Perhaps you have similar lists.  What make you happy?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Every morning I look out the bathroom window toward the Midvale parking lot and there is a light there in the shape of a cross which pokes a hole in the darkness and reminds me that "It is well with my soul".====JACK:  Horatio Spafford wrote the hymn, "It  Is Well With My Soul'" after hearing that his four daughters had drowned in a ship wreck on the Atlantic.  His wife, who was with them, sent a telegram..."Saved alone..."  He began the hymn..."  When peace like a river, attendeth my way,  When sorrows like sea billows roll;  Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,  It is well, it is well, with my soul."


 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Truly, I am happy when I choose's that simple; but not easy. Most often, I am happy when I experience pleasure. But it is much more difficult to choose happiness when displeasure is all in your example. Happiness is good therapy for the soul, not just the body! ====JACK:  Everyone has to choose their way of coping with their personal stresses.  Jodi chose running.  You and I might choose something else.====RAY:  Precisely my point. Your question asked for what "makes" one happy. We choose happiness as much as we don't choose it. Happiness isn't something that just happens to us, and our situation does not determine it -- we do ourselves. Maybe we don't choose cancer; but we certainly choose how we respond to it. Happiness is always an option of choice -- not one of circumstance. Jodi chose to "run" and to have treatment. I wonder if she chose happiness too?

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  The Bible has, over the years, become my friend. It wasn't always such a happy relationship. But still I am very aware through many discussions with others that, at times, others and I receive scripture differently. What really makes me happy is when somehow through a miracle we can feel together "unity" like yesterday when we heard and worshipped together that the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father, and that we are in them so that the world may believe that the Father has sent Jesus. John 17:20-26. My hope and faith is in this unity, though day-by-day I cannot always manage to actually feel it. But I turn this miserable situation all over to God for His work among us and that's what really makes me happy--I don't have to do anything impossible!!!!!!====JACK:  We used to sing in Sunday School..
    I'm so glad, Jesus lifted me,       I'm so glad, Jesus lifted me,
    I'm so glad, Jesus lifted me,       singing glory, hallelujah,       Jesus lifted me.

    When I was in trouble, Jesus lifted me,       when I was in trouble, Jesus lifted me,
    when I was in trouble, Jesus lifted me,       singing glory, hallelujah,       Jesus lifted me.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  From age 12 onward, wherever I've lived I usually planted a tree or two on the property, little more than seedlings, maybe a couple feet high.  It made me feel good to see the growth every year, little by little.  The greatest satisfaction was many years later when I had the occasion to revisit some of those places.  There was a lot of satisfaction deep within me each time, seeing the dividend of mature trees from my original small investment of time.====JACK:  Years ago we transplanted a little spring of a tree from the church property to our yard.  You came over and said that we should cut off one of the stems and let it grow with a single trunk.  Today, that maple is at least 40 feet tall and has a beautiful canopy of leaves. ====RI:  God's creation has no limit when it comes to the diverse collection of living organisms.  And your tree sounds fantastic.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What makes me happy....seeing my husband walk through the door after work, my grandchildren, my child, church, watching and listening to the birds, ice cream, visiting with my sister's and their families, traveling, a good book, conversations and fun with friends, getting up each morning and saying "Thank you God", listening to music, Red Wings winning, being thankful for good health for my family...and reading "Winning Words"...and as my little granddaughter says after every conversation.... "Amen!"====JACK::  If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.  If your happy and you know it, say, AMEN!

 FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  Keeping in touch with friends.  Sending belated hugs to people who celebrated a wedding anniversary two days ago.   Wishing them a blessed day today.====JACK:  Every day is blessed, depending on how you look at it.  Thanks.

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN: sweating is on my list, too! : )====JACK:  I had an aunt and uncle who would take ordinary words and turn them into extra-ordinary.  Petunias became spitunias, and sweating became sweatry.
And there were many more.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Winning Words 5/10/13
“I deeply appreciate the people of Michigan. I love their grit. I love the way they face life. I love the family values they have.”  (Ernie Harwell)  Each year, in May, we celebrate Michigan Week in our state…highlighting our natural resources, our businesses and our people.  Our state slogan is, "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you." What is it in the place where you live that you consider to be beautiful?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MS IN MICHIGAN:  This glorious spring we're having!====JACK:  You know what they say about the Michigan weather..

.FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Well, we have a "pleasant peninsula" here in Massachusetts too.====JACK:  Beauty is everywhere...just look about you..  It's in the eye of the beholder..

 FROM LE IN ARIZONA:  What I view as beautiful here in the desert of Arizona is the way God can cause so many beautiful flowering and other types of plants to grow where you wouldn't think it was possible...and the mountains!!! I do miss the "grit" of the people of Michigan, though. It's always fun to bump into people here that are from back home!====JACK:  There's a famous newspaper, called Grit, which has been published in Pennsylvania for over 125 years.  It usually contains stuff that could be used as "Winning Words."

 FROM FROM DS IN MICHIGAN:  The people first, then the amazing natural resources we are so lucky so enjoy. All green and flowers everywhere.  Doesn't Spring make you feel re-born?====JACK:  Even today's rain couldn't dampen the spirit of us who live in the Great Lake State.

 FROM WALMART REV:  ...when I get a daily e-mail from Jack Freed from the state of Michigan! Just passing through..====JACK:  You'd better check the eyeglass section at Walmart.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  What I like about the place I live in here in Michigan is that somehow it seems to embody the grit, the down-to-earth practicality of facing life together, the family values of the place in the heartland of the U.S.A. that my husband and I came from. It's been beautiful to be able to come here and get to know the neighborhood here and to have the comfortableness of still feeling at home despite "following the job". Probably has been God's work in our lives and not just the money.====JACK:  We followed the job to Michigan, expecting to stay 3 years.  That was in 1969.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We have been in all 50 states; most of them several times, and I will tell you, Michigan is beautiful!!  Each state is unique onto it's self but there is no place quite like Michigan.  We have the #1 tourist designation...Sleeping Bear Dunes and 5 in the top 10...Mackinaw Island, and Greenfield Village to name a few.  Plus we have wonderful people.  We are blessed!====JACK:  Have you visited the Mystery Spot, just outside of St. Ignace?

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  The people, the Mississippi River vista. Hard to beat midwestern friendliness.====JACK:  You also have "A Little Bit O' Heaven" in Davenport.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  The sun shines almost every day.====JACK:  ...and your baseball team plays indoors.====SHIRL:  Well, it does rain sometimes, and it does get very, very hot. It just seems a lot hotter than when we came here 50 years ago, especially in the summertime.  Florida didn't really boom until air conditioning was invented in1960.  By the way, the Rays are losing right  now 3-2 to the Padres.  The Tigers are doing great.

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  I love this state of Michigan!!!  I've traveled through almost every county in Michigan and vacationed in many of them.  I was born in East Grand Rapids, across the street from the Ramona Park roller coaster, and grew up in Grand Rapids.  I've lived much more than half of my life in SE Michigan and I love every part of Michigan.  Up North is one of my favorite parts of Michigan.  I will not purchase any image of our state that does not include the Upper Peninsula.  My favorite part of my home in SE Michigan is the opportunity my family has had to earn a living in various ways and, within minutes, we have access to first-rate museums, orchestras, many parks and nature areas.  Our highways allow us access to all of our state and our airports allow us access to the world, but the best travel is when we return to our beloved State of Michigan. ====JACK:  I was once asked to consider serving a church in the U.P.  You could only get one station on the radio, and there was no TV.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  i well recall those Michigan Week breakfasts out at the country club.  good memories...====JACK:  Today's 41st event was held at the same Country Club.  The Keego Jacket Club got an award for community service.  A Ledge Tomlinson Scholarship was given to a hign school student.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  The thing I appreciate most about Iowa is that it's 200 miles from Michigan.====JACK:  I was born in Iowa, but have lived most of my life in Michigan.

 FROM JACK & DONNA IN WISCONSIN:  Being born in the Upper Peninsula and called a "Youper" and called "Upper Peculiar" by some folks in the Lower Peninsula (just in fun), I found it to be a pleasant peninsula bordering Lake Superior.. Milwaukee, bordering Lake Michigan, is beautiful, too, with a  lot less snow and ice. As the bumper sticker suggest, "Escape to Wisconsin!"====JACK:  There are many similarities between the Great Lakes states...and people.

 FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  Some years ago, Dave & I went to Tennessee where we had vacationed and loved it.  We went with the plan to look for a retirement small farm.  My goodness.  The places we looked at needed so much work and were very expensive.  We came home to our lovely Minnesota Farm and wondered what in the world we had been thinking.  How happy we were to stay put.====JACK:  There's a Swedish proverb..."Away is good, but home is best."

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Winning Words 5/9/13
“Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.”  (Will Rogers)  A carpet installer came to our house recently, and when he found out that I was a minister, he began to talk about religion.  Some of his ideas were different from mine, and he couldn’t understand why I didn’t believe as he did.  The thought occurred to me…”Who can have the right idea about God?”  We didn’t talk about the correct way to lay a carpet.    ;-)  Jack

FROM JACK:   "To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them."
-- Charles-Louis de Montesquieu,  French political thinker

 FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  Very interesting and probably appropriate for me today.====JACK:  After today, there's the last line goes in Gone With the Wind..."Tomorrow is another day."

 FROM CWR IN B'MORE:  ...excellent....====JACK:  Excellent is in the eye of the beholder.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Hi, enjoyed your WW again this morning. Also the scripture sent from ELCA office somewhere. The scripture has to do with Jesus ascending to heaven in a cloud and how he will come back again. I tend to believe this passage literally and heaven for me already would be the "meeting of minds" on accepting this but your WW are leading me to ponder if others believe differently on this idea that Jesus at one time ascended to heaven and the promise that he is coming back again. Maybe others interpret that passage sort of metaphorically or something. Personally, I think there are a few correct ways to lay a carpet. One may be very meticulous and precise, all the corners exactly even and so forth, another may allow for some unevenness here and a little fudging there and not exactly square, a do-it-yourself style, your WW are very interesting this morning!!!! I enjoyed your sharing.====JACK:  There are various interpretations (literal or figurative) of the ascension story, but "the bottom line" seems to be....this is not the end.  Stay tuned!

FROM CJL IN OHIO:  That was probably wise.  He wouldn't have agreed...but maybe he would have gotten a new or different idea or two.  Who knows?  You probably don't know much about carpet laying.  Maybe you would have learned something, depending on the questions.====JACK:  If God is beyond a complete understanding, one who has "all of the answers" does not need anymore answers.  We weren't on the same page.  As for the carpet laying, I watched and kept my mouth shut, except to ask, "Isn't that pretty hard on your knees?"====CJL: ...and he, wearing his knee pads,said, "Not really"====JACK:  He said that his father taught him the carpet business.  Someone usually teaches us the faith, too.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Your line should have been, "you don't preach and I won't lay carpet."====JACK:  No.  He was entitled to his opinion, just as I am entitled to mine.  To "look for God" is a never-ending search for each of us.  He helped me in my search.  At this point, I have no interest in learning how to lay carpet.

 FROM SAINT JAMES:  Everyone thinks they have all the answers...====JACK:  I don't have all of the answers.  That's why I like to listen to others.  Maybe I'll learn something.

 FROM DS IN SAN DIEGO:  Jack, that is a topic that comes up in our bible study group from time to time.
We have a retired pastor that often says "we have a lot of surprises in store". I think he's right. ====JACK:  I wonder how those who "know it all" will react when they eventually meet up with the ONE who knows it all?  Surprised?...or disappointed?

 FROM HS IN ILLINOIS:  A blessed Ascension Day to all!====JACK:  OOPS!  I thought that today was just May 10.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Well said Rogers!  No one has the right answer to everything although some think they do.  Especially with religion and politics.  God is God and some people try to change Him into what they need or want but He stays constant.  I can't do math well but I am an extremely fast reader.  We are all blessed but in different ways, thank you Lord!====JACK:  I identify with the words of the famous philosopher, Popeye..."I yam what I yam!"  ...nothing special.

 FROM WALMART REV:  The answer to the correct way of laying the carpet is "inch by inch", just saying... 0;-)====JACK:  Anything's easy when you know how.

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Like.====JACK:  What's the Facebook response for not liking something? ====LIZ:  there is none. you don't click "like."====JACK:  So, when I don't hear from you, I'm actually hearing from you?====LIZ:  you figured that out... ha.  actually, i like all your ww, some just hit home more than others. & i always appreciate the time & thought that goes into your daily "column." even more than that, i "like" our conversations!

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  You pose a valuable question to consider for what is "right". It seems to me that a whole and complete idea of God is the only "right" idea. This would be the same for the Truth, for the Truth cannot be the Truth if parts of it are missing. Since, God is the Truth, the same holds true for Him. Maybe we mere mortals would be wise to consider what we actually know of God, the Truth, and even laying carpet, is simply a limited and partial version of the whole -- a transitory understanding. If we "knew" the entirety of God we would need no Faith. I am left to continue seeking, asking, and knocking with all my mind, heart, soul, and strength. Wisdom truly lags behind knowledge!====JACK:  It's not just with religion that faith is needed.  marriage partners, doctors, jet pilots, other drivers, etc.

 FROM DOCTOR JUDY IN MICHIGAN:  LOVE THIS!! How clever.====JACK:  I had an uneasy feeling during the conversation.  I just wanted to talk and not try to "win" an argument.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  To each his own.  I don't argue religion or politics. The way you live your life speaks volumes.====JACK:  The carpet layer made a pre-judgment about my politics, too, but I didn't go down that road, either.  I wonder what he told his wife if she asked, "How was your day?"


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Winning Words 5/8/13
“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”  (Seneca)  I recently read an article, “How to stay positive in negative situations.”  The gist…Attitude makes the difference!  I know some people who live daily in difficult situations.  Their attitude is an inspiration to me.  They “practice the presence of God.”  Through their faith they’ve found a kind of strength that a physical exercise program could never give.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  The priest yesterday was commenting on the Apostle Paul's stay in prison where the guard and all his family were converted. "Two men looked out the prison bars. One saw mud, the other saw stars." "Our outlook is so very important, isn't it? We aren't so naive as to believe there is no evil in this world. Some things need to be changed, but they won't be changed if we have a negative attitude. Let's us have a positive attitude." That priest could be in the Optimists Club as it sounds like Seneca could too. ====JACK:  We "see" what we're looking for.  It happens in the church, in the home, in the neighborhood and in the world.

 FROM WALMART REV:  Notice the same type of friends and acquaintances in my life...definitely special people with an unusual display of an over-coming attitude. Good word again this morning.====JACK: "Birds of a feather flock together."

 FROM SC IN ILLINOIS:  Thanks, Pastor Jack.  I I live by that motto, but it is so good to be reminded.  Through the many difficulties with Russ' illness and death and my cancer, it helped me get through it and also helped my children and friends know that I could deal with it because of my faith.  I start my day with you. ====JACK:  Your response reminded me of Longfellow's poem.  Winning Words is something like that.
 "I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight. I breathed a song into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, who has sight so keen and strong That it can follow the flight of song? Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroken; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend."

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  good words for today, Jack.  thanks.  i am helping to emcee a luncheon today hosted by LSS on behalf of homeless youth in MN.====JACK:  I wonder how the home;ess might respond to this quote?

  FROM CJL IN OHIO:  But, as the exercise manager says:  You need both!====JACK: We've been carrying stuff out of the basement to give to the church's rummage sale.  My son and grandson can carry loads that would be impossible for me to life.  Why is that?

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Amen!   I want to send you the link to my Spiritual photography course.  This week our topic was Attitude of Gratitude.  There’s a link to a 10 min TED talk – time lapse flower photos mostly that – 3 minutes in has a discourse from a little girl and then an old man on how time outside can change your attitude.====JACK:  What you don't want to see on a job evaluation -- BAD ATTITUDE!

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  A positive attitude strengthens the body, too. "I think I can, I think I can."====JACK:  A better attitude..."I know I can!"

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  He definitely never went through birth-labor.  :-)  However, I do truly believe this statement as nothing feels better than to overcome or finish a hard project, illness, situation, whatever the circumstance.  Faith gets us through all kinds of things we never could have thought we would be able to manage.  Thank you God!====JACK:  I didn't, either.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Winning Words 5/7/13
“God always has another custard pie up his sleeve.”  (Lynn Redgrave)  Pie throwing has been a staple of slapstick movies.  The 3 Stooges were especially good at it.  I have trouble seeing Jesus doing something like that.  But I do think that God has a way of causing things to happen to us at unexpected times and in unexpected ways.  I even think He has a sense of humor.  So, be on the alert.  Whoops!...there’s God again!    ;-)  Jack

 FROM CWR IN B'MORE:  Yes. Here I am. Cheers!====JACK:  Yes, God does have a sense of humor!

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  God does have a sense of humor....who else would have invented an anteater or some of the wonderful creatures who roam this great planet.====JACK:  ...or someone who has a hobby of collecting outhouses?====JUDY:  Of course, He made us all so special...some of us more than least in our own minds.  :-)

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I disagree with Lynn Redgrave...I don't think that God is behind our troubles.   God helps us to work thru them and bails us out on the final turn.====JACK: Everyone comments on their own life experiences.  Lynn might have been referring to her cancer diagnosis as one of God's custard pies.

 FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I think pie throwing is a huge waste of pie!  Ha!  On a serious note--a little 5 yr. old boy who is in Rory's pre-school class and whose grandparents are friends of mine--all go to our church--we in a horrific car accident on the way to school on Monday.  They said he was severely brain damaged and would probably not speak or walk again.  Well, yesterday, as he came out of the induced sedation, he said Mom and Dad and answered questions.  The family is elated--and they give God all the glory--they never lost faith.  They know that he won't be going home tomorrow and will still have problems to overcome, but they know that God has performed a miracle!  I just cry when I read their Caring Bridge site.====JACK:  I think that Lynn Redgrave was calling attention to God's surprises.  The situation which you described is a perfect example of this...the accident...the miraculous recovery...and the surprises that the future holds.====MARLYS:  That dear little boy that I told you about is now talking.  He knows the answers to all the questions they ask him.  They have not had him on his feet yet, but his mind is sharp as a tack!  The grandma that I know called me this afternoon.  They are only allowed to visit him for 5 minutes.  That would be hard.

  FROM WALMART REV:  He must have had a sense of humor placing me in the ministry...I even have to laugh at myself just thinking about that at times!!?? 0;-)====JACK:  Do you believe in predestination?  Or, you think that life's path is pre-determined?====REV:  At this stage of life...I've come to a place where I believe God is "All-Knowing"... and has determined my course by the choices He knows I will for me, my walk is by a choice I've made to live a life of faith placing my confidence in Him as my Lord and Savior. Predestined or Choice, don't think we will finalize that question until we stand before God.

 FROM JM IN MICHIGAN:  Hmm - I think Jesus' "pie in the face" was a sound bite such as, "straining at gnats and swallowing camels".  No waste of food, yet a real slap!====JACK:  I used to take food that I didn't like and slip it to the dog who was sitting by my chair.  Does that count as wasting food?

Monday, May 06, 2013

Winning Words 5/6/13
“I’ve yet to meet someone who couldn’t teach me something.”  (David DeSalvo)  As I look back on my life, I see that many people have caused me to be what I am today.  Yes, the decisions have been mine, but the choices put before me were the result of the people I’ve met up the church.  My memory allows me to put a face with each name.  I’m sure that you’re able to do the same.    ;-)  Jack

  FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Those WW strike me as true.  We sometimes make a hasty appraisal of a person, only later to get something instructive from that person.  It may happen during a brief encounter with a person that we never see again.====JACK:  An electrical engineer told me of a phrase that was used on certain projects...UNK UNKs, the unknowns.  UNK UNKs have shaped us, too.

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I have coffee twice a week with a unique collection of men. I'm usually the youngest one there and these guys are continually are teaching me, a 75 year old, new things. One was born in Sweden, one is a 91 year old Jewish veterinarian who served in WW  II after immigrating from Poland as a boy, one can speak 11 languages, and others who possess soooo much wisdom that I am privileged to benefit from all this learning.====JACK:  My mother-in-law was a very talented organist.  She took her talents to the grave...and, yet, she influenced so many of her students. The talent lives on.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:   This WW is so true!!!! Within a few hours, a little 4 year old boy will be coming to my house--wonder what I'll learn from him today--there's always something discovered or uncovered or made more aware of in himself and myself and that started happening right at the beginning of our friendship. Astonishing also is what we can learn from complete strangers in just a very brief encounter. Things we remember for a lifetime. Thanks for helping us to remember to be thankful again this morning!!!!! ====JACK:  How realize that you can learn from a 4-year-old.  Sometimes the older folks think that they have all of the answers.

 FROM WALMART REV:  ...and a few more I'm no longer able to put a name to or remember what they looked like any longer... I can tell you the church, or the school or college or the place...but somehow I'm asking others, "You know, that person who...what's there names again?"====JACK:  Some people believe that all of that information is written in God's Book of Life.

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: Like.====JACK:  ...and there are the ones who've been influenced by you

 FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  Sometimes, there are things I’d rather not learn :)====JACK:  As the old song goes..."You got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative."

 FROM GF IN MICHIGAN:  I was always attempting to have teachers understand that learning could take place outside of the four walls of a classroom!====JACK:  I'll never forget the experience when my 6th grade teacher and her "boyfriend" took the whole class on a bike outing one Saturday.  I didn't own a bike at the time, but I borrowed one, because I didn't want to miss out.  She was my all-time favorite teacher.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  The significant implication in today's word suggests a more fundamental issue with regard to teaching's usefulness: that there is much to learn from others! Learning keeps me in the more humble state of "not-knowing". We are left to be discerning about what we are "learning" and from whom we are being "taught"!====JACK:  There are times when we learn, without knowing that we're learning.  There's an old saying with regard to what is said in the home..."Little children have big ears (and eyes, too)."  
FROM WATERFORD JAN: Many names and faces come to mind as people who taught me positive ways to live by their example. The positive examples I experienced began with my parents, and soon extended to older neighbors and friends, then to my Sunday School experience.  There were also persons whose names and faces were never known who also taught me a lot. Their behavior was not how I wanted to behave or their appearance was not how I wanted to appear.====JACK:  Isn't it interesting how the names and faces can sometimes be etched in the mind, as well as the lessons?  I'm doing that right now!

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  So many people help us map our lives.  They show us the best pathways and even though we do have choices, they are there to help.  I remember!====JACK:  Every day can be a memorial day, if we want it to be.  Even though I like the last Sunday in May to be Memorial Day, I appreciated the olden days when it was called, Decoration Day.  There was a reason for that name, too.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes and it is so much fun to learn new things, don't you think?  The Whirlpool repair lady (yes, she was a lady)  just left after showing me how to use a hair dryer to clear some gears which allow the ice cubes to be dispensed.  I would have never thought of that in a million years.  life is very interesting and challenging and changing.  I remember the ice box on the back porch and the ice man who delivered the ice.  It doesn't seem all that long ago.====JACK:  The plumber recently gave us a bottle of liquid, containing microbes.  "Put 2 ounces of this down your drains once a month and your drains will never clog up."  No more plunger or Drain-O..